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Archive for June, 2011

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 30, 2011

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Libyan War: 13,184 NATO Sorties, 4,963 Combat Missions

African Union Condemns France For Arming Libyan Rebels

French Arms Deliveries Violation Of UN Resolution: Russia

Killing Of Libyan Civilians Weakens NATO’s War Stance

Canadian Warship Deploys To Mediterranean For NATO’s Libyan War

Mediterranean: U.S., Spain End Amphibious Assault Drills “To Go To War”

“Vancouver to Vladivostok”: NATO Chief Eyes North Africa, Middle East

“Expanding Fading Clout”: Russia Slams West’s Double Standards In Middle East

Pentagon: Ex-CIA Director Out, Ex-CIA Director In

Quarter Million Displaced: NATO Air Strikes, Raids Fuel Afghan Refugee Crisis

U.S. Building Alliance To Effect Regime Change In Syria

Serbia Submits Kosovo Organ Trafficking Draft To OSCE

China Warns Japan Over Disputed Islands

U.S. AFRICOM To Supply Burundi, Uganda With Drones For Somali War

Majority Of Russians Want Warsaw Pact-Type Counterweight To NATO

U.S. Forces Ordered Out Of Pakistani Air Base

NATO Still Pushing For Kazakh Troops In Afghanistan

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Libyan War: 13,184 NATO Sorties, 4,963 Combat Missions

http://www.aco.nato.int/resources/3/documents/Libya%20update%20June%2011/20110630oup-update%5B1%5D.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
June 30, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 13,184 sorties, including 4,963 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 29 JUNE: 149

Strike sorties conducted 29 JUNE: 55

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African Union Condemns France For Arming Libyan Rebels

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110630/164925545.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 30, 2011

AU condemns French arms drop to Libyan rebels – media

MOSCOW: African Union Commission Chief Jean Ping condemned on Thursday French arms supply to Libyan rebels, world media said on Thursday.

France has confirmed media reports that it dropped weapons to Berber tribal fighters in mountains southwest of the Libyan capital Tripoli without informing the other coalition countries taking part in a military operation against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

“What worries us is not who is giving what, but simply that weapons are being distributed by all parties and to all parties,” Ping said ahead of an African Union summit in Equatorial Guinea. “We already have proof that these weapons are in the hands of al-Qaeda, of traffickers. These weapons will contribute to the destabilization of African states.”

Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s NATO envoy, criticized certain NATO countries for interfering in Libya.

“Individual NATO countries have basically started giving direct military aid to one of the warring sides,” Rogozin said, adding that this could be qualified as direct interference in an internal conflict.

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French Arms Deliveries Violation Of UN Resolution: Russia

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110630/164934759.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 30, 2011

French arms sales to Libya in breach of UN resolution – Lavrov

Moscow: France’s distribution of weapons to Libyan tribes, if confirmed, is a blatant violation of the UN Security Council resolution, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

“We asked our French colleagues today if reports are true that weapons to Libyan rebels came from France. We are waiting for their answer,” Lavrov said. “This, if confirmed, is a serious breach of the UN Security Council Resolution 1970.”

French media reported that weapons were dropped to Berber tribal fighters in the mountains southwest of the Libyan capital Tripoli without informing the other coalition countries taking part in a military operation against Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi. Reports said the load included anti-tank rockets and even light armored vehicles.

Thierry Burkhard, spokesman for the French general staff, confirmed on Wednesday that arms distribution took place but said only light arms and ammunition were airdropped.

….

The international military operation began on March 19 following a UN resolution and was extended until late September.

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http://rt.com/news/france-supplying-rebels-country/

RT
June 30, 2011

Russia criticizes France over arming Libyan rebels

France has become the first country openly to admit it has supplied the Libyan rebels with weapons – a measure banned by the UN Security Council. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has labeled the move as a major violation of the UN resolution.

“We have asked our French colleagues if the statement about weapon supply from France to the Libyan rebels is true,” Lavrov said. “We are waiting for the answer. If that is proved to be true, that would be a major violation of the UN resolution 1970.”

The move was also condemned by the African Union, while China indirectly objected to it.

A French military spokesman, Colonel Thierry Burkhard, said the arms, including machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, as well as munitions, were parachuted in to besieged rebels.

According to the official, the deliveries took place in early June in the western Nafusa Mountains…AP reported on Wednesday.

Chairman of the African Union Jean Ping has condemned the move in an interview with BBC, saying it threatens to put the entire region at risk.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei indirectly opposed France’s actions on Thursday, saying that countries should avoid actions that go beyond UN Security Council directives.

Spokesman for the rebels Mahmoud Jibrilm who is now in Austria, said more weapons are needed to fight against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime. He also said the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council needs large amounts of money from foreign sponsors to fund its programs for civilians.

Meanwhile the UK on Thursday said that it is supplying body armor to the rebels. Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague said the UK was offering 5,000 sets of body armor, 6,650 police uniforms, 5,000 high-visibility vests and communication tools to Benghazi. The equipment is meant for the rebel police.

­“Armed rebels are not civilians, which the UN wants to protect”

France has been among the main powers behind the NATO-led air campaign, officially aimed at protecting civilians from assaults by Gaddafi’s forces. However, many view a change of regime in Libya as the main reason of the alliance’s involvement in the country.

The Libyan National Transitional Council last week also received its first tranche of financial help from the international community to the amount $100 million, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague announced on Wednesday. The rebels are receiving funds from several nations including the US, the UK, Italy and France.

The UN Security Council resolution 1970, which was adopted on February 26, imposed an arms embargo on the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, preventing weapons from being supplied to anyone in Libya. The UN Security Council resolution 1973, which established a no-fly zone over Libya, allowed NATO countries “to take all necessary measures… to protect civilians and civilian-populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.”

As the unrest has been continuing in Libya since mid-February, the fighting between the forces of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and the rebels, backed by the NATO forces, seems to have reached a stalemate.

France’s admission to arming rebels undermines the whole reasoning behind the bombing campaign, says John Laughland, the director for the Institute of Democracy and Co-operation in Paris.

“The argument, as we know, war predicated on the accusation that Libyan government was attacking civilians. The admission that France war arming the rebels is very obviously an admission that what’s going on in Libya is a fight between the government and armed rebels, and armed rebels are not civilians. So any attack on the armed rebels in Libya is therefore not necessarily a war crime. In other words this news is not only incompatible with the case that’s being made for the war in Libya, it completely contradicts it,” he told RT.

­George Kenney, a former US diplomat, said that France had also apparently shipped a couple of light tanks to the rebels, and that this would only lead to more problems later.

“That was very foolish on the part of France. We do not know who these rebels are. We do not know what they are going to do with these weapons. And I would suspect that some significant percentage of the weapons will find their way into the hands of terrorists and will just become another problem for us to have to deal with later on.”

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Killing Of Libyan Civilians Weakens NATO’s War Stance

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15195397,00.html

Deutsche Welle
June 28, 2011

NATO sees support waver after airstrike kills civilians in Libya

NATO aircraft have been bombing Gadhafi targets for over three months, but the Libyan leader has clung to power. Now NATO is taking criticism for civilian deaths in recent air strikes, and some allies are nervous.

This week marked the three-month anniversary since the start of NATO’s military operations in Libya, but there was little sign of a breakthrough.

Earlier this month, NATO acknowledged…killing several civilians during a bombing raid in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. NATO admitted in a statement that the civilians were killed when allied warplanes failed to hit a Libyan missile site.

The casualties have prompted accusations that NATO has overstepped its United Nations mandate. Even within the Alliance, some have voiced concern about where the campaign is heading.

Italian foreign minister Franco Frattini told reporters last week that NATO’s reputation was on the line.

Uneasy feelings

On Monday, the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Gadhafi, accusing him of crimes against humanity.

Ian Lesser of the German Marshall Fund in Washington said that the court’s decision could prolong NATO’s involvement.

“I do think the decision by the court in The Hague raises the stakes. It would make it much more difficult for the Gadhafi regime to accept a graceful exit,” said Lesser.

A pricy problem

Adding to NATO’s woes, key allies Britain and France are warning about the cost of the airstrikes, running at around 1 million euros ($143 million) per day. Others, like Canada, are considering pulling out in the autumn.

NATO’s current mandate runs out at the end of September. And if there’s no breakthrough by then, it could be forced to reconsider its mission in Libya.

Author: Vanessa Mock, Brussels / smh
Editor: Michael Lawton

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Canadian Warship Deploys To Mediterranean For NATO’s Libyan War

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingnews/124748004.html

Canadian Press
June 29, 2011

HMCS Vancouver headed for Mediterranean to take part in Libyan mission

ESQUIMALT, B.C. – The frigate HMCS Vancouver is preparing to leave for the Mediterranean Sea to take part in the NATO-led mission in Libya.

Vancouver, a Halifax-class frigate, carries about 250 officers and crew and includes a CH-124 Sea King helicopter and air detachment.

The ship will replace HMCS Charlottetown, which has been on patrol with NATO forces in the region since the early spring.

In March, Canada sent fighter jets, patrol planes, aerial tankers and the warship…

The mission includes bombing by NATO countries who are trying to drive Gadhafi from power.

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird visited Libya this week after Canada recognized rebels fighting Gadhafi as the legitimate government of that country.

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http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/canadian-forces-frigate-deploy-mediterranean-sea-support-nato-operations-libya-1533229.htm

Marketwire
June 29, 2011

Canadian Forces Frigate to Deploy to the Mediterranean Sea in Support of NATO Operations for Libya

ESQUIMALT, BRITISH COLUMBIA: Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Vancouver will depart in the coming days to the Mediterranean Sea to join NATO forces…HMCS Vancouver will replace HMCS Charlottetown, which has been on patrol with NATO forces in the region since the early spring with Operation Unified Protector, on a regular rotation of ship and crew.

“Our ships and sailors are always ready to do the job asked of them by Canada. I am proud that Vancouver will soon continue the important work off the coast of Libya..,” said Vice-Admiral Dean McFadden, Chief of the Maritime Staff. “Operating in the congested air-sea environment off Libya is particularly challenging, but the crew of Vancouver is well trained to meet this challenge and make a real difference.”

HMCS Vancouver, a Halifax-class frigate, is commanded by Commander Brad Peats, and carries a ship’s company of about 250 officers and crew, which includes a CH-124 Sea King helicopter and air detachment.

The Canadian contribution to Operation Unified Protector is known as Operation Mobile.

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Mediterranean: U.S., Spain End Amphibious Assault Drills “To Go To War”

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=61327

Navy NewsStand
June 29, 2011

U.S., Spain Complete Bilateral Amphibious, Aviation Exercise
From USS Bataan Public Affairs

-“What we do is train to go to war,” said Marine Corps Capt. John Bradley, PHIBRON-6 combat cargo officer. “So this is important when it comes time to go to war and do your job in the military. It equips us to train as a team; to train to fight, so if we actually get the call in a real-world situation to debark Marines, go ashore and fight in harms way … then the amphibious portion that takes place is not going to be an issue.”

USS BATAAN, At Sea: Sailors and Marines of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (BATARG) and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) completed the bilateral Spanish Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) 2011 off the coast of Spain June 29.

The exercise, which began June 22, partnered 800 Spanish service members with 4,000 Sailors and Marines from the BATARG/22nd MEU for combined joint air and amphibious operations from the sea and on the shores of Spain.

PHIBLEX was specifically developed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and develop professional relationships between the two forces.

PHIBLEX took weeks of planning and coordination between Spanish and U.S. forces.

“PHIBLEX was the culmination of over six months of very deliberate planning and coordination between 22nd MEU, [U.S.] 6th Fleet, U.S. Embassy [Spain], and Spanish planners that paid off over the last 10 days with some tremendously valuable military-to-military training,” said Col. Eric Steidl, 22nd MEU commanding officer…

PHIBLEX events included amphibious operations from the well decks of Bataan, dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41) and amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde (LPD 19), flight operations ashore and from the flight deck of Bataan, as well as parachute, fast rope, medical evacuation and non-combatant evacuation training from a military training facility in the area of Sierra Del Retin, Spain.

“It’s always a benefit when our two countries can work together,” said Spanish Marine Corps Major Carlier Grana, Commander Naval Group 2 operations officer. “In our current international environment, emerging risks exist that make it extremely important for us to be familiar with one another.”

The exercise culminated during a full-scale amphibious landing demonstration that combined surface, amphibious and flight operations.

“What we do is train to go to war,” said Marine Corps Capt. John Bradley, PHIBRON-6 combat cargo officer. “So this is important when it comes time to go to war and do your job in the military. It equips us to train as a team; to train to fight, so if we actually get the call in a real-world situation to debark Marines, go ashore and fight in harms way … then the amphibious portion that takes place is not going to be an issue.”

PHIBLEX required the movement of approximately 1,400 Marines, 134 vehicles and tons of equipment. Bradley coordinated with combat cargo teams from the Spanish military and aboard all three ships to conduct the massive offload ashore and keep the movement as smooth as possible.

The BATARG and 22nd MEU deployed three months ahead of their original schedule to relieve the Kearsarge ARG and 26th MEU. The blue-green team conducted integrated training throughout April to arrive on station and provide the combatant commander with a versatile sea-based force that can be tailored to a variety of missions.

Bataan is the command ship of the BATARG, supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

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“Vancouver to Vladivostok”: NATO Chief Eyes North Africa, Middle East

http://finchannel.com/Main_News/World/89862_According_to_NATO,_Joint_responses_needed_to_promote_stability_in_Europe_and_neighbouring_regions/

The Financial (Georgia)
June 30, 2011

According to NATO, Joint responses needed to promote stability in Europe and neighbouring regions

VIENNA: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen underscored the need for a comprehensive approach to security threats in Europe as well as in North Africa and the Middle East at the opening session of the OSCE’s Annual Security Review Conference in Vienna today.

He called for deepening co-operation between NATO and the OSCE to address challenges including Afghanistan, arms control, transnational threats and promoting democratic reforms.

“The OSCE is a crucial part of Europe’s security architecture. And NATO is another,” said Rasmussen. “We both share the aim expressed in last year’s Astana Declaration of building a ‘free, democratic, common and indivisible security community from Vancouver to Vladivostok’. A security community that must be rooted in agreed principles, shared commitments and common goals.”

State Secretary Kęstutis Jankauskas, representing Lithuania’s OSCE Chairmanship, said: “One of the important priorities of the Lithuanian Chairmanship is to enhance co-operation with other international and regional organizations, and to profile the OSCE as a suitable platform for dialogue and interaction between relevant international actors. Our meeting takes place within the larger context of a re-examination of the security landscape in the OSCE area. Therefore, ‘comparing notes’ with other security organizations on their perception of existing challenges to our common security, as well as on future trends, is of exceptional importance.”

In this regard, Rasmussen emphasized the need to co-ordinate and complement operations, including in Afghanistan, and to improve responses to transnational threats such as terrorism.

“Terrorism is another major issue that both NATO and the OSCE must deal with,” said Rasmussen. “We could consider joint training and education for our own staffs before we deploy them. We could reinforce our combined efforts on security sector reform. And we could broaden our co-operation to include training of security forces.”

On promoting democracy and human rights, Rasmussen addressed the importance of advancing democratic reforms in the OSCE area, as well as supporting partner countries and neighbouring regions, including North Africa and the Middle East.

“Since January this year, men and women across North Africa and the Middle East have shown real courage. They have cried out for freedom. And they have triggered a wave of change across their region, and beyond,” he said. “At NATO, we are actively considering just how we might respond to requests for help. The OSCE is also giving this careful thought.”

Rasmussen added: “The range of possibilities for practical support is wide. But the intention must be the same…”

“NATO and the OSCE have a shared past in making Europe more stable and secure. Our job now is to make tomorrow even more secure.”

The OSCE Annual Security Review Conference provides a framework for enhancing security dialogue and for reviewing security work undertaken by the OSCE and its 56 participating States.

As a regional arrangement under Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, the OSCE serves as a forum for co-operation with regional and sub-regional organizations and initiatives in the OSCE area.

Recognizing that the “risks and challenges we face today cannot be met by a single State or Organization”, the participating States in Istanbul in 1999 adopted the Platform for Co-operative Security to define the Organization’s work with international partners and acknowledge “the key integrating role that the OSCE can play”.

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“Expanding Fading Clout”: Russia Slams West’s Double Standards In Middle East

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/30/52610641.html

Voice of Russia
June 30, 2011

Russia slams West’s ‘double standards’ in Mideast

Russia describes as inadmissible the West’s attempts to replace some regimes in the Arab world, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a State Duma session in Moscow on Thursday.

“Russia is up in arms against the West’s efforts to expand its fading Middle East clout by politicizing processes currently under way in some Middle East countries”, Lavrov said.

He berated the United States and EU countries for pursuing policy of double standards in relation to Syria and Yemen, which Lavrov said are yet to resolve their domestic deadlocks.

“With civil war showing no signs of abating in Yemen, no one turns to the UN Security Council for help”, Lavrov lamented.

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Pentagon: Ex-CIA Director Out, Ex-CIA Director In

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/New-US-Defense-Secretary-Panetta-Faces-Many-Challenges-124650499.html

Voice of America News
June 28, 2011

New US Defense Secretary Panetta Faces Many Challenges
Meredith Buel

Washington: Leon Panetta, 73, will become the 23rd U.S. secretary of defense, replacing the retiring Robert Gates on July 1.

Decade of war

The United States has been a nation at war for nearly a decade and the all-volunteer force has been stretched by years of combat. More than 1,500 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan and the war has become increasingly unpopular with the American public.

While a third of the U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan are to be withdrawn by the middle of next year, the new secretary of defense, Leon Panetta, says there is still significant work to be done.

“My first task at DOD [Department of Defense] will be to ensure that we prevail in the conflicts that we are engaged in,” Panetta said. “In Afghanistan, we must continue to degrade the Taliban.”

Panetta comes to the Pentagon after serving as chief of the CIA, where he supervised the raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Panetta has also been a strong supporter of increased drone attacks…along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.

“We are engaged in the most aggressive operations in the history of the CIA in that part of the world..,” Panetta said.

Those drone attacks are very unpopular in Pakistan and managing the relationship with Islamabad is another major test for the new defense secretary.

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Quarter Million Displaced: NATO Air Strikes, Raids Fuel Afghan Refugee Crisis

http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/nato-airstrikes-night-raids-blamed-for-afghan-idp-crisis-report

AlertNet
June 29, 2011

NATO airstrikes, night raids blamed for Afghan IDP crisis –report
Katie Nguyen

LONDON: More than 250,000 Afghans have fled their villages in the last two years, Refugees International said in a report blaming U.S. counterinsurgency strategy for causing greater instability in Afghanistan and forcing more people from their homes.

“President Obama’s strategy in Afghanistan has not prioritized the needs of hundreds of thousands of Afghans whose lives have been made worse since the war began,” Refugees International President Michel Gabaudan said in a statement.

Not only have NATO-led troops and Afghan forces failed to protect Afghans, but international airstrikes and night raids by U.S. Special Forces were destroying homes, crops and infrastructure, traumatising civilians and displacing tens of thousands of people, the advocacy group said.

The number of people displaced since the beginning of the year has more than doubled to 91,000 compared to the same period last year. In the north alone, nearly 30,000 people have been uprooted, a sevenfold increase compared to last year, it said.

Internal displacement is not new in a country that has suffered a decade of conflict. But the pattern of displacement in Afghanistan had changed, U.S.-based Refugees International said.

“Before the military escalated its campaign, Afghans were fleeing for brief periods and returning home shortly thereafter,” it said. “Now, people are increasingly unwilling to go back to their homes because they are afraid their villages are unsafe.”

Exacerbating the crisis were militias, many funded and trained by the United States as part of the Afghan Local Police programme favoured by U.S. General David Petraeus.

Security analysts have repeatedly raised fears the units could lead to a repeat of the tribal militias that received covert U.S. backing to fight the 1979 Soviet invasion, before later turning on their own government.

The defence units are meant to provide security for villagers wanting to resist the Taliban. But many of them are increasing insecurity, particularly in the south, with members accused of looting, harassing and forcibly taxing villages, Refugees International said.

It called on the U.S. Congress to withhold funding for the initiative until proper recruitment, vetting and command/control systems were in place.

LIMITED HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

Refugees International’s report comes a week after President Barack Obama announced he was ordering 10,000 U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of the year and 23,000 more by next summer, leaving some 70,000 U.S. troops on the ground.

The report, based on field research carried out last month, also criticised foreign and Afghan troops for failing to share information with aid organisations about the humanitarian needs and displacement patterns in areas where they operate.

In a symptom of the “fractured” relations aid groups had with the military brass, monthly NGO meetings with the deputy commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul had stopped altogether, Refugees International said.

“At best, military coordination with humanitarian agencies is ad-hoc and personality-driven, worsened by the high turnover rates of the military,” it said.

To tackle increasingly difficult humanitarian challenges in Afghanistan, the United Nations should immediately fill the post of Humanitarian Coordinator, which has been vacant for seven months, Refugees International said.

It also suggested that the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR double the number of humanitarian affairs and protection officers. For example, UNHCR has only one protection officer to cover nine northern provinces.

Not only have Afghans had to contend with the conflict but a drought in the north and increasing food prices have made life harder, leaving few options for safety or survival.

In one case a group of internally displaced people from northwestern Badgis province told researchers they had been uprooted more than five times in one year, and were forced to live in a cave during one period of intense fighting.

(Editing by Rebekah Curtis)

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U.S. Building Alliance To Effect Regime Change In Syria

http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2011/me_syria0797_06_29.asp

World Tribune
June 29, 2011

U.S. now quietly seeking regime change in Syria

-In late June, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff approved a proposal to enhance military monitoring of Syria. Officials said the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet was stationed near the Syrian coast of the eastern Mediterranean…

WASHINGTON: [T]he United States is seeking to build an alliance against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Officials said the administration of President Barack Obama was urging several U.S. allies in the region to undermine the Assad regime amid the revolt in Syria. They said Obama has sent messages to several of Syria’s neighbors, particularly Israel, Jordan and Turkey.

“The United States cannot be seen as being involved in regime change in Syria, but it is clear that Assad must go for the sake of regional stability,” an official said.

Officials said Obama has urged Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan to improve relations with Israel as part of a strategy against Assad. They said the president envisioned that Ankara and Jerusalem coordinate intelligence and military deployment…

In June, Israel and Turkey conducted high-level talks meant to improve relations and cooperation. Officials said Erdogan agreed to an Israeli request to stop a Turkish-flagged flotilla from sailing to the Gaza Strip, under siege since the Hamas takeover in 2007.

Officials said Obama, who has not publicly addressed Syria since May 19, was changing U.S. policy toward Assad. They said the change came in wake of recent talks between Obama and Erdogan in which the Turkish prime minister warned that Assad’s crackdown could destroy Syria and lead to a separate Kurdish entity along the borders of Iraq and Turkey.

“Once Erdogan stopped his support for Assad, the president quickly changed as well, although he kept this private,” the official said.

In late June, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff approved a proposal to enhance military monitoring of Syria. Officials said the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet was stationed near the Syrian coast of the eastern Mediterranean…

Officials said Obama has been alarmed by the prospect of a military clash between Syria and Turkey. They said most of the Syrian Army’s Fourth Division, led by Assad’s younger brother, Maher, has been deployed along the Turkish border.

“Turkey sees this as a threat and could lash out before long,” the official said. “There is an attempt, coordinated with other neighbors of Syria, to force Assad to withdraw his forces from the Turkish border.”

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Serbia Submits Kosovo Organ Trafficking Draft To OSCE

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=06&dd=29&nav_id=75181

Tanjug News Agency
June 29, 2011

Serbia submits Kosovo organ trafficking draft to OSCE

COPENHAGEN: Serbia has proposed to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe a draft resolution on Kosovo organ trafficking.

It requires an urgent international investigation of allegations that atrocities were committed in Kosovo and Albania in 1999 and 2000.

Members of ethnic Albanian KLA have been named in Council of Europe Rapporteur Dick Marty’s report as perpetrators of the crimes, while their victims were Serb and other civilians kidnapped in the province.

The draft will be discussed at the annual meeting of OSCE PA in Belgrade from July 6 to 10, it was announced on Wednesday in Copenhagen.

The trafficking of human beings is one of the worst crimes against humanity, but the trade in human organs is an extreme form of this crime, head of the Serbian delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly Suzana Grubješić, who filed the resolution, said.

The resolution, which is supported by 41 OSCE PA members from 17 countries, calls for closer international cooperation in the fight against criminal organizations involved in trafficking in human organs, OSCE PA said.

The Serbian delegation has scheduled a special meeting on the fight against illegal human organ trafficking for July 9 in Belgrade to further highlight the issue.

The event will be addressed by Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić, and Grubješić.

The OSCE PA will hold its 20th annual meeting from July 6 to 10 in Belgrade, which will be attended by over 250 delegates from over 50 countries.

Parliamentarians will consider the inclusion of the resolution in the Belgrade Declaration, which will help shape future policies of OSCE member states.

All members present will vote on both documents.

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China Warns Japan Over Disputed Islands

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-06/29/c_13957297.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 29, 2011

China reaffirms position on Diaoyu Islands

BEIJING: China reaffirmed its position on the Diaoyu Islands Wednesday, saying that any move by Japan against China’s sovereignty over the islands was “illegal and invalid.”

“China’s indisputable sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands has been inherent since ancient times,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement.

Media reports said a fishing boat from Taiwan was disturbed Wednesday morning by the Japanese Coast Guard while sailing around the Diaoyu Islands.

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U.S. AFRICOM To Supply Burundi, Uganda With Drones For Somali War

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13946702

BBC News
June 29, 2011

Uganda and Burundi to get US drones to fight Islamists

The US is supplying drone aircrafts to Uganda and Burundi to help them fight Islamist militants in Somalia, its defence officials have told the BBC.

The four drones will be part of a $45m (£28m) military aid package aid to the two countries.

Uganda and Burundi contribute the 9,000 troops to an African peace force in Somalia battling Islamists that control much of the country.

The US military command for Africa (Africom) confirmed to the BBC that the Pentagon plan was to strengthen Uganda’s and Burundi’s counter-terrorism capabilities.

The military aid is to include body armour, night-vision gear, communications and surveillance systems.

The US has a military base in neighbouring Djibouti where some 3,000 US troops, as well as armour, aircraft and drones are based.

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Majority Of Russians Want Warsaw Pact-Type Counterweight To NATO

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=255901

Interfax
June 30, 2011

Russians want military block of Warsaw Pact dimension to be recreated – poll

MOSCOW: Two thirds (66%) of Russian citizens, mostly young people (84%), do not remember or do not know that a Warsaw Treaty Organization existed and was disbanded 20 years ago, but many are convinced that Russia needs an organization of this kind today, sociologists have reported.

Only one third (34%) of respondents polled by VTsIOM pollster in June could remember what this organization was about, VTsIOM experts told Interfax on Wednesday.

The overall image of the organization is generally positive and many said that it helped maintain peace after World War II (12%), aimed to unite all socialist countries (9%), resist NATO (9%) and guarantee the social camp’s security (8%).

Asked whether Russia needs a new organization similar to the Warsaw Pact or NATO, half of the respondents answered in the affirmative (51%) and one quarter (23%) said “No.”

The Warsaw Pact, the military union of the European socialist countries, was formed after the relevant treaty was signed on May 14, 1955, by Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, East Germany, Poland, Romania, the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia. It emerged after Germany joined NATO. It was a defensive treaty, which aimed to maintain the member-states’ security and to safeguard peace in Europe.

A protocol, disbanding the Warsaw Pact, was signed in Prague on July 1, 1991, in connection with reforms launched in the Soviet Union and other Central and East European countries.

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U.S. Forces Ordered Out Of Pakistani Air Base

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/30/52597301.html

Voice of Russia
June 30, 2011

U.S. forces told to vacate Pakistani air base

Islamabad has asked U.S. forces to withdraw from the Shamsi air base in northeast Pakistan. Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar told reporters on Wednesday that the base would be vacated soon and that it had already been leased to the United Arab Emirates.

The United States used the Shamsi air base for supplies to coalition troops in Afghanistan and for drone attacks on Taliban camps along the Pakistani-Afghan border, which inflicted civilian casualties amid angry protests in Pakistan.

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NATO Still Pushing For Kazakh Troops In Afghanistan

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/30/52594120.html

Voice of Russia
June 30, 2011

Kazakhstan mulls Afghan mission

Kazakhstan may send peacekeepers to Afghanistan. Ural Mukhamedzhanov, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, the Majilis, reminded reporters on Thursday that the lower house had already given its consent.

Earlier, the upper house rejected the proposal but will take it up in autumn.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Plutarch: On war and its opponents

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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

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Plutarch
Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans
Translated by John Dryden

From Tiberius Gracchus

…Tiberius, maintaining an honourable and just cause, and possessed of eloquence sufficient to have made a less creditable action appear plausible, was no safe or easy antagonist, when, with the people crowding around the hustings, he took his place, and spoke in behalf of the poor. “The savage beasts,” said he, “in Italy, have their particular dens, they have their places of repose and refuge; but the men who bear arms, and expose their lives for the safety of their country, enjoy in the meantime nothing more in it but the air and light and, having no houses or settlements of their own, are constrained to wander from place to place with their wives and children.” He told them that the commanders were guilty of a ridiculous error, when, at the head of their armies, they exhorted the common soldiers to fight for their sepulchres and altars; when not any amongst so many Romans is possessed of either altar or monument, neither have they any houses of their own, or hearths of their ancestors to defend. They fought indeed and were slain, but it was to maintain the luxury and the wealth of other men. They were styled the masters of the world, but in the meantime had not one foot of ground which they could call their own.

From Numa Pompilius

Numa was about forty years of age when the ambassadors came to make him offers of the kingdom; the speakers were Proculus and Velesus, one or other of whom it had been thought the people would elect as their new king; the original Romans being for Proculus, and the Sabines for Velesus. Their speech was very short, supposing that, when they came to tender a kingdom, there needed little to persuade to an acceptance; but, contrary to their expectations, they found that they had to use many reasons and entreaties to induce one, that lived in peace and quietness, to accept the government of a city whose foundation and increase had been made, in a manner, in war. In presence of his father and his kinsman Marcius he returned answer that “Every alteration of a man’s life is dangerous to him; but madness only could induce one who needs nothing, and is satisfied with everything, to quit a life he is accustomed to; which, whatever else it is deficient in, at any rate has the advantage of certainty over one wholly doubtful and unknown. Though, indeed, the difficulties of this government cannot even be called unknown; Romulus, who first held it, did not escape the suspicion of having plotted against the life of his colleague Tatius; nor the senate the like accusation, of having treasonably murdered Romulus. Yet Romulus had the advantage to be thought divinely born and miraculously preserved and nurtured. My birth was mortal; I was reared and instructed by men that are known to you. The very points of my character that are most commended mark me as unfit to reign, love of retirement and of studies inconsistent with business, a passion that has become inveterate in me for peace, for unwarlike occupations, and for the society of men whose meetings are but those of worship and of kindly intercourse, whose lives in general are spent upon their farms and their pastures. I should but be, methinks, a laughingstock, while I should go about to inculcate the worship of the gods and give lessons in the love of justice and the abhorrence of violence and war, to a city whose needs are rather for a captain than for a king.”

*****

When Numa had…won the favour and affection of the people, he set himself without delay to the task of bringing the hard and iron Roman temper to somewhat more of gentleness and equity. Plato’s expression of a city in high fever was never more applicable than to Rome at that time; in its origin formed by daring and warlike spirits, whom bold and desperate adventure brought thither from every quarter, it had found in perpetual wars and incursions on its neighbours its after sustenance and means of growth, and in conflict with danger the source of new strength; like piles, which the blows of the hammer serve to fix into the ground. Wherefore Numa, judging it no slight undertaking to mollify and bend to peace the presumptuous and stubborn spirits of this people, began to operate upon them with the sanctions of religion. He sacrificed often and used processions and religious dances, in which most commonly he officiated in person; by such combinations of solemnity with refined and humanizing pleasures, seeking to win over and mitigate their fiery and warlike tempers…

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 29, 2011

June 29, 2011 1 comment

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Libya: NATO Air Missions Exceed 13,000, Combat Sorties Near 5,000

Democracy By Order Of Washington: Next Targets North Africa, Middle East

Senate Gives Obama Blessing For Military Intervention In Libya

Wisconsin Air National Guard Deployed For NATO’s Libyan War

Five Lessons Of The Balkan Conflict

Montenegro: NATO Chief Completing Total Absorption Of Balkans

U.S. Special Forces Chief Nominee Pushes Afghan Night Raids

Afghanistan: NATO Loses Three Drones In As Many Days

Two NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

Next U.S./NATO Afghan War Commander: 100,000 Foreign Troops To Stay

NATO Chief, North Atlantic Council To Visit Georgia

NATO To Hold “Emerging Security Challenges” Conference In Georgia

NATO, U.S. Experts, Training Group To Visit Azerbaijan

Romania: U.S. Trains Azerbaijani Troops In “Marine Landing Operations”

American Ambassador: U.S., Azerbaijan Share Strategic Interests In Caspian

Baltic Assembly: Azerbaijan Is GUAM’s Leading Force

Pentagon To Concentrate On Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Germany: Fighter Jets Scream Overhead As NATO Rehearses Next War

Saudi Troops To Stay In Bahrain

Pilots Trained In United States: Morocco Becomes 25th “F-16 Ally”

Iran Denies Plans To Bomb NATO Bases In Turkey If Syria Attacked

Pakistan: NATO Accused Of Infiltrating Militants Into Border Areas

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Libya: NATO Air Missions Exceed 13,000, Combat Sorties Near 5,000

http://www.aco.nato.int/resources/3/documents/Libya%20update%20June%2011/20110629_110629-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
June 29, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 13,035 sorties, including 4,908 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 28 JUNE: 148

Strike sorties conducted 28 JUNE: 58

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Democracy By Order Of Washington: Next Targets North Africa, Middle East

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/29/52565554.html

Voice of Russia
June 29, 2011

Dermocracy by order of Washington
Pyotr Iskanderov

-The hidden agenda of the Community is the erection of a cordon around Russia by the U.S and having malleable client countries fits the plan snugly.
East European nations and the Baltic countries are of strategic importance to the U.S in terms of political support throughout the world.
-The next plan of the U.S is the redrawing of the maps of North Africa, the Middle and Near East.

Members of The Community of Democracies are due to meet on June 30-July 1 in Vilnius at a foreign ministerial level. The U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be at the meeting.

The Community of Democracies is an international organization of democracies and democratizing countries with a stated commitment to strengthening and deepening of democratic norms and practices worldwide. It was founded in 2000 on the initiative of the then U.S Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and the Polish Foreign Minister Bronislav Geremek. Countries in Eastern Europe and former republics in the old Soviet Union, regarded by the West as the precursors of democracy joined the Community.

According to a press release by the US State Department, the Vilnius meeting will be attended by officials, representatives of nongovernmental organizations, budding leaders and private sectors representatives, and they are to discuss the strengthening of civil societies and the fledgling democracies.

It should be pointed out that at the time when Madeleine Albright and Bronislav Geremek floated their idea, countries in Eastern Europe, which America called “New Europe,” had just burst onto the scene, but the old Europe, especially Germany and France, were not overjoyed that countries in Eastern Europe were upsetting the existing balance of forces. But the U.S administration was over the moon, because Poland, Lithuania, Estonia Latvia and other nations in the so-called new Europe would help strengthen U.S military and allied influences in Europe.

Not surprisingly, the initiative of the Community of Democracies raised more questions than answers, the major one being about the need for the Community, in view of the fact that the most active members are already members of the EU, an organization which is in a position to help European nations within the framework of the Union. The hidden agenda of the Community is the erection of a cordon around Russia by the U.S and having malleable client countries fits the plan snugly.

East European nations and the Baltic countries are of strategic importance to the U.S in terms of political support throughout the world.

American leaders who are skilled practitioners of double standards will benefit hugely from adopting different approaches to ties with Eastern European countries. Speaking in an interview for VOR, Victor Litovkin, senior editor of the “Independent Military Review,” said that the U.S position on Kosovo on the one hand, and Abkhazia and South Ossetia on the other hand, was a classic example of American double standards policy.

“The independence of Kosovo was their project. The US and East European nations fought for the tearing away of Kosovo from Serbia and were among the first to recognize it, although the grounds on which the argument for such independence were based are much weaker than the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia”, said Litovkin.

The next plan of the U.S is the redrawing of the maps of North Africa, the Middle and Near East. America is counting on the suppoort of its most loyal allies.

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Senate Gives Obama Blessing For Military Intervention In Libya

http://rt.com/news/senate-obama-military-libya/

RT
June 29, 2011

Senate gives blessing to Obama for military intervention in Libya

In Washington, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has finally authorized American involvement in the military mission – something President Obama was strongly pushing for.

­The vote was 14 to 5 in the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday. The resolution gives approval for US warplanes and unmanned drones to continue limited strikes for up to one year, but forbids the deployment of ground troops.

At the Tuesday hearing, a top US State Department lawyer Harold Koh told a Senate panel, which was divided over Obama’s authority to commit US military resources to the conflict, that the US president was acting within the law in ordering military attacks against Libya. He insisted that the commander-in-chief did not require congressional authorization for his actions.

“This administration is acting lawfully, consistent with both the letter and the spirit of the constitution and the War Powers Resolution,” Koh told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as quoted by AP.

At the same time, Koh faced both Republicans and Democrats who challenged his stance that air strikes and drone attacks on Gaddafi’s forces did not qualify as military intervention.

“We are contributing 70 per cent of the coalition’s intelligence capabilities and the majority of its refuelling assets. The fact that we are leaving most of the shooting to other countries does not mean the United States is not involved in acts of war,” AP quoted a top Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana as saying.

Just days ago, the Republican-led House of Representatives voted down a measure to carry on military action in Libya. This had no immediate effect on the campaign, but represented a symbolic falling-out between congress and the president.

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Wisconsin Air National Guard Deployed For NATO’s Libyan War

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/124677684.html

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
June 28, 2011

State Air National Guard unit to support NATO effort
By Meg Jones of the Journal Sentinel

Members of the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s air refueling unit deployed this month in support of the NATO-led operation in Libya.

Col. Ted Metzgar, commander of the Wisconsin Air National Guard 128th Air Refueling Wing, and a team from the unit left Milwaukee for a 90-day deployment to refuel planes participating in Operation Unified Protector in the skies over Libya.

Metzgar assumed command of the 313th Air Expeditionary Wing in western Europe from a Pennsylvania Air National Guard refueling unit. The 313th Air Expeditionary Wing provides air refueling to NATO aircraft enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya.

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Five Lessons Of The Balkan Conflict

http://en.rian.ru/valdai_op/20110629/164905004.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 29, 2011

Five lessons of the Balkan conflict
By Alexei Fenenko*

On June 25, twenty years ago, Slovenia and Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia. This was followed by the Serbo-Croatian (1991 – 1995), Bosnian (1992 – 1995), Kosovo (1998 – 1999) and Macedonian (2001) wars, which became the official facts in textbooks on the history of international relations. Thus, the question arises: Do the Balkan wars of the 1990s offer something more than academic interest?

I think they do. The conflicts in the former Yugoslavia took on global significance almost immediately. They became the platform for the formation of the contemporary world order, while at the same time revealing its new contradictions. In this sense, the Balkan wars of the 1990s taught us five lessons that are still relevant today.

Lesson One: The “Atlantic Community” (the EU and NATO) can exist as a united actor only if it has an external enemy. Otherwise, it is prone to break into groups of interest, like any system. The internationalization of the Balkan conflict began in December 1991, when Germany, despite the protests of Britain and France, unilaterally recognized the sovereignty of Slovenia and Croatia and threatened to withdraw from the European Community over it. This move alarmed Britain and France, so they began to view NATO as a mechanism to keep Germany’s growing independence in check. Moreover, this situation posed a threat to European integration. Thus, it was not Warsaw and Vilnius but London and Paris that were primarily responsible for strengthening the alliance in the early 1990s. The Americans took advantage of these sentiments and again joined NATO in its operations in Bosnia (1995) and Kosovo (1999).

This conclusion gives rise to some ideas about the prospects of the alliance’s military policy. Since 2001, NATO’s main opponent has been international terrorism, so the main mission was the operation in Afghanistan. But at the Lisbon Summit on November 20, 2010, NATO leaders pledged to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by 2014. On June 23, U.S. President Barack Obama confirmed that Americans are ready to implement the “Lisbon strategy.” Who will be the alliance’s new enemy after the Afghan war?

Lesson two: NATO remains the priority for the United States. It is how America makes its presence felt in Europe. The wars in Croatia and Bosnia frightened Americans, too. But the reason was not a serious human rights violation (if necessary, Washington can tolerate such things.) The key worry for the White House was the possibility of disagreement among the NATO allies. The growing rift between Britain and France, on the one hand, and Germany, on the other hand, threatened to undermine transatlantic unity. Thus, the alliance needed some joint military operation that could unite the allies in shared sacrifice.

Alongside this, the Clinton Administration managed to solve another problem. In 1992, in the early days of the European Union, the Petersburg Declaration was adopted, which announced the new challenges of the Western European Union: humanitarian missions and crisis management. Washington considered this as an attempt to create duplicate NATO defense structures. Thus, the Balkan wars allowed them to assign both of these missions to the alliance. In 1996 (just after the Bosnian conflict) the “Berlin formula” was applied: the EU created its own armed forces based on NATO infrastructure. So far, Brussels has not been able to go beyond its scope.

Lesson three: The military operations in Yugoslavia clearly demonstrated that the U.S. would not allow the resurgence of communist regimes in the former Soviet bloc (except Russia). The Croats, Albanians, and Bosnian Muslims were no less cruel than the Serbs. However, NATO carried out a peace keeping operation only against the latter. Why? A possible explanation may be that the leader of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, emphasized his continuity with Tito’s communist regime. Yugoslavia was used as an example to show the socialists of Eastern Europe that they could gain power only if they accepted the conditions of the “Washington Consensus” (1989).

Lesson four: During the Balkan wars there appeared a new type of “war punishment.” Until the late 20th century, war had been traditionally aimed at forcing the enemy to compromise or to bend to the winner’s will. The latter required ground operations: the arrival of the victorious army to establish the desired order. Along with nuclear weapons, the technical impossibility of such a war largely guaranteed the peaceful nature of the Soviet-American relations.

Now the situation has changed. Air operations against the Bosnian Serbs and Yugoslavia, by contrast, were staged only to create conditions for regime change and the subsequent dismemberment of the country. From an ideological perspective, war is not waged on a state but on its “pernicious regime.” The regime is depicted as a pariah well in advance, thus threatening international stability. Similarly, an opposition must be created in advance to carry out the necessary changes.

Lesson five: The Balkan wars of the 1990s developed and consolidated a system of separated legitimacy. Adopted by the Clinton Administration in 1993, the concept of “expansion of democracy” included: (1) strengthening transatlantic unity, (2) the inclusion of the former socialist countries (except Russia) in the common institutions and (3) carrying out “humanitarian actions”. The wars in Bosnia and Kosovo consolidated this. A system was created within which certain regimes now can be given limited rights to conduct domestic policies on their own. Moreover, their leaders cannot be guaranteed personal safety under any circumstance (the “Arab Spring” of 2011 proved that such security is not guaranteed for the allies either, if the U.S. and the EU do not consider them fully legitimate).

These lessons show why the Balkan events caused such a nervous reaction in Russia. It was not because of the “Slavic unity” of 1914. Regarding the fate of Bosnia and Kosovo, Russian elite felt that both the U.S. and the EU countries considered Russia to be alien to them. Thus, it causes fears that under certain conditions the “Balkan scenario” may well be applied to Russia, too. Hence, the discussions over disarmament issues, human rights, criticism of domestic policy, etc. After the events in Yugoslavia, these issues have become not only a matter of morality (as it was during the Gorbachev period), but also an instrument for protecting or, conversely, weakening national security.

In the 1960s, the establishment of nuclear parity with the United States gave the Brezhnev elite a sense of external security that was unprecedented in Russian history. Without it, it would have been hardly possible to demolish or restructure the old system. However, in the 1990s, under the influence of the Balkan developments, this confidence began to recede. Another more vital, question arose: How would the world change if Russia’s military potential was diminished? This issue is still quite relevant today in the context of the Libyan war and the heated debate over missile defense.

*Alexei Fenenko is Leading Research Fellow, Institute of International Security Studies of RAS, Russian Academy of Sciences.

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Montenegro: NATO Chief Completing Total Absorption Of Balkans

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_75568.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 29, 2011

NATO Secretary General visits Montenegro and calls for Euro-Atlantic integration of the Western Balkans

-“My message to all the political leaders, of all the countries in this region, is clear. You are responsible for breaking with the past, and focusing on the future. For taking your countries forward. And into Europe and the Euro-Atlantic community of nations.”

The NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited Budva, Montenegro on Wednesday, 29th June 2011. During his visit, the Secretary General met with President Filip Vujanovic and with Prime Minister Igor Luksic.

They discussed progress made in the first year of Montenegro’s Membership Action Plan (MAP), the situation in the Western Balkans as well as NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and Libya. In a joint press conference with the Prime Minister, Mr. Rasmussen thanked Montenegro for substantial contributions to the Alliance’s operation in Afghanistan.

The Secretary General also commended the participation of Montenegro in the Adriatic Charter initiative aimed at providing trainers to Afghanistan.

Mr. Rasmussen stressed that the joint Adriatic Charter initiative “is an excellent example of how we can produce security in the future”.

Mr. Rasmussen also commended Montenegro for the constructive role it has played in promoting security and stability in the region.

“It is my vision to see all countries in the Western Balkans improve their relationship with NATO and the EU in the future”, he emphasised.

The Secretary General praised the Government of Montenegro for “its efforts to reform the Montenegrin society.”

“Your first year in the MAP process has been a great success. Montenegro has achieved a lot of progress in its reform process”.

The Secretary General underlined that nevertheless “there is still some work to do when it comes to fight against organised crime and corruption” and concluded: “I welcome the strong commitment of the Government to continue the reform work”.

In his address to the Adriatic Charter Conference, the Secretary General urged the leaders of the region to focus on the common ground and the common good.

“My message to all the political leaders, of all the countries in this region, is clear. You are responsible for breaking with the past, and focusing on the future. For taking your countries forward. And into Europe and the Euro-Atlantic community of nations”, he said.

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U.S. Special Forces Chief Nominee Pushes Afghan Night Raids

http://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/afghanistan/top-special-ops-nominee-defends-night-raids-in-afghan-war-1.147757

Stars and Stripes
June 29, 2011

Top special ops nominee defends night raids in Afghan war

In spite of the criticism against U.S. and NATO forces’ use of night raids in Afghanistan, the man tapped to be the next head of Special Operations Command defended the practice during testimony before Congress, the National Journal reports.

Vice Adm. William McRaven, the man who commanded the operation that kill Osama bin Laden in May, told lawmakers that the missions, typically carried out by special forces, ***often are misconstrued as violent***, the journal reports. President Obama has nominated McRaven for the top special operations spot.

The use of night raids has been controversial and has drawn the ire of Afghan president Hamid Karzai, who repeatedly has called for U.S. and NATO forces to stop conducting such missions.

In 2010, then-Gen. Stanley McChrystal put NATO and U.S. troops in Afghanistan under new orders to refrain from night raids whenever it’s not absolutely merited. Gen. David Petraeus reinstated more use of night raids when he took over as commander.

McRaven said ending night raids in the Afghan war, written about in the National Journal, would be detrimental to missions.

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Afghanistan: NATO Loses Three Drones In As Many Days

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/28/52526944.html

Voice of Russia
June 29, 2011

ISAF drone crashes in A’stan

A NATO drone crashed in Afghanistan on Tuesday – already the third unmanned
aircraft to go down in the past three days, RIA Novosti reports.

Tuesday’s crash was in Kunar province and the previous two in Kapisa and Gerat
provinces.

The ISAF confirmed the incidents in a press release, noting that none of the
drones had come under ground fire.

A Taliban spokesman, meanwhile, said all the three had been shot down by rebels.

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Two NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=150467

Azeri Press Agency
June 28, 2011

Two US-led troops killed in Afghan war

Baku: Two US-led foreign soldiers have been killed in separate incidents in troubled southern Afghanistan over the past 24 hours, NATO says, APA reports quoting Press TV.

The US-led military alliance says one of the soldiers was killed in a militant attack and the other one in a bomb blast.

The coalition has neither disclosed the nationality of the soldiers nor the exact location of the incidents.

At least 276 US-led foreign forces have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year.

Over 2,557 foreign troops have been killed since the US-led war began in Afghanistan a decade ago.

As the US-led forces casualties continue to rise in Afghanistan, public opinion in the United States and other Western countries is increasingly turning against the Afghan war.

The security situation has steadily deteriorated across Afghanistan over the past few years despite the presence of around 150,000 US-led foreign troops in the country.

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Next U.S./NATO Afghan War Commander: 100,000 Foreign Troops To Stay

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=64491

U.S. Department of Defense
June 28, 2011

Allen Vows to Emulate Petraeus’ Leadership
By Lisa Daniel

-Allen recently became a special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff after serving as deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, which oversees the Afghanistan and Iraq theaters. He was the deputy commanding general of Multinational Force Iraq – West and commanded the II Marine Expeditionary Force in Anbar province, Iraq, from 2006 to 2008.

WASHINGTON: If he becomes the new commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John R. Allen said he’ll seek to equal the strong leadership of his predecessor, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus.

“If confirmed, I will seek to emulate General Petraeus’ resolute leadership,” Allen said today during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Petraeus appeared before the committee last week for his confirmation hearing to become President Barack Obama’s CIA director, replacing Leon Panetta, who becomes defense secretary on July 1.

Allen noted that 68,000 U.S. troops and tens of thousands of NATO forces will remain in Afghanistan after the surge forces redeploy. He added under questioning that it will be enough to continue counterinsurgency operations there, and that if confirmed, he will monitor the drawdown closely.

“It is my intention, as commander, to monitor that progress,” he said. “Should I become concerned that our ability to accomplish our objectives is threatened, I will give forthright recommendations up the chain of command.”

Allen recently became a special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff after serving as deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, which oversees the Afghanistan and Iraq theaters. He was the deputy commanding general of Multinational Force Iraq – West and commanded the II Marine Expeditionary Force in Anbar province, Iraq, from 2006 to 2008.

If confirmed as commander in Afghanistan, Allen said he looks forward to serving again with Ryan Crocker, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq and the new ambassador in Afghanistan, and will “fully synchronize” military and civilian efforts there.

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NATO Chief, North Atlantic Council To Visit Georgia

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1897876.html

Trend News Agency
June 28, 2011

NATO official to arrive in Georgia in November
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: Issues of conducting the NATO Council in Tbilisi have been considered today by Chairman of the Georgian Parliament David Bakradze and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during a meeting at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

The parties discussed the issues of NATO ambassadors’ and the NATO Secretary General’s visits to Tbilisi, the First Channel of the Georgian Public Broadcasting reported.

According to the preliminary data, the NATO Council will be held in Tbilisi in November. The Secretary General will chair the meeting.

This will be Rasmussen’s second visit to Tbilisi as NATO Secretary General. He was in Tbilisi in September last year.

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NATO To Hold “Emerging Security Challenges” Conference In Georgia

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_75833.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 29, 2011

NATO-Georgia conference on ”Emerging Security Challenges”
7- 8 July

NATO and Georgia will co-host a conference on “Emerging Security Challenges” on 7 and 8 July in Tbilisi.

The purpose of this conference, which is supported by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme, is to bring together experts, academia, industry and policy makers from NATO and partner nations to discuss the cross-cutting nature of emerging security challenges (cyber defence, energy security and terrorism), identify measures to enhance the prevention and resilience to emerging security risks, and propose relevant research projects as part of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme.

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NATO, U.S. Experts, Training Group To Visit Azerbaijan

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=150498

Azeri Press Agency
June 29, 2011

NATO expert groups to visit Azerbaijan next month
Rashad Suleymanov

Baku: Experts and training groups from NATO’s various organizations will visit Azerbaijan in July, the press service of the Defense Ministry of Azerbaijan told APA.

NATO and US experts will visit Azerbaijan on July 5-6. During the visit they will discuss the continuation of expert assistance to the Military Academy of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces in the education sphere.

The mobile training group of NATO’s Naples Joint Forces Command will visit Baku on July 10-12.

The expert staff meeting will be held in Baku on July 20-23 with the participation of Izmir-based NATO Air Forces Command.

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Romania: U.S. Trains Azerbaijani Troops In “Marine Landing Operations”

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1898147.html

Trend News Agency
June 29, 2011

Azerbaijani soldiers to attend int’l events
K. Zarbaliyeva

Baku: Azerbaijani servicemen are to take part in events held in several foreign countries in July.

According to the Azerbaijani-Turkish bilateral military cooperation plan, officers will take part in exercises on the open sea in Turkey from July 17 to Aug.9, the Defense Ministry told Trend.

Azerbaijani servicemen will participate in a command and staff course with ground troops in Pakistan from July 18 to June 17, 2012 in accordance with the Azerbaijani-Pakistani bilateral cooperation plan.

According to the Azerbaijani-German bilateral cooperation program, officers will take part in the fourth international training workshop on the efficient training of medical personnel for peacekeeping operations in Munich on July 18-22.

According to the Azerbaijani-America worker plan, Azerbaijani officers are to take part in the “Marine landing operations” in Romania from July 27 to 31 July.

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American Ambassador: U.S., Azerbaijan Share Strategic Interests In Caspian

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1898065.html

Trend News Agency
June 29, 2011

Ambassador Matthew Bryza: US and Azerbaijan are sharing three sets of strategic interests
V. Zhavoronkova

Baku: US-Azerbaijani relations are strong and are growing stronger, the US ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza said in an interview with Trend on the eve of the U.S. Independence Day, celebrated on July 4.

“We did go through a difficult period for several months but I strongly feel that we not only have come out of the negative trend but we’ve built on an already existing strong foundation and we are moving forward,” he said.

He said the US and Azerbaijan share three sets of strategic interests: interests in security, in energy and in internal reforms.

“Not in any particular order, just three broad sets of interest we believe need to keep moving forward together at the same time so that we can achieve our broad strategic goals and so we can have a stable and deepening partnership,” he said.

Security dialogue

Last Friday’s bilateral security dialog was very positive and achieved several concrete results, said Bryza.

“One is that we are going to accelerate our cooperation to help Azerbaijan protect its critical energy infrastructure. Two, move ahead with some military exercises and cooperative programs including one that will take place in Romania in August, one other one will be in Germany involving a hundred or more Azerbaijani solders with NATO partners,” said the ambassador.

He said the sides also had a chance in depth to exchange US and Azerbaijani views on how to work together to achieve common strategic goals and even how to find those common strategic goals.

Cooperation in Caspian

The US has been working for years with Azerbaijan and international companies on investing in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and the South Caucasus gas pipeline to help ensure that the physical security of those projects will be maintained, the Ambassador said.

“Now we realize that offshore on the Caspian sea there are a limited number, small number of very important pieces of infrastructure like oil and gas platforms and underwater pipelines that are responsible for huge amount of wealth generated in this country,” said Bryza.

And they are also very responsible to our European allies as they diversify their supplies of natural gas as well as oil, he said.

Compared to where the overall question of exporting Caspian gas to Europe was in 2005 and 2006, he said.

“There has been a dramatic set of activities, set of changes the strategic map and a commercial map in this part of the world and in Europe in a profound way and that is great. That is great for everyone,” said Bryza.

Countries in Europe and companies from Europe are working with Azerbaijani partners to increase competition for European gas markets, he said.

“Similarly on [the] Trans-Caspian, we in the United States and our European Union allies who will consume the gas believe it makes sense for some volume of gas from the Eastern side of the Caspian Sea to come to Europe via the Southern Corridor, said the Ambassador.

“Of course, it doesn’t make sense for all of that gas to come Eastward, but some of it. Some of it is just situated in deposits in the Caspian Sea or near the Caspian Sea for which the most economical mode of export is across the Caspian Sea.

“And the United States will not consume any of the natural gas probably ever because it will all go to Europe,” said Bryza.

“But we have an interest in our friends who produce the natural gas being able to decide their own future, their own destiny as independent states that we respect. If they decide to send gas in one direction or another, we believe they should have a right to do so, and we hope some will make its way to Europe. And we can only hope that they will find a way to do this as the states themselves have said regardless of what they ultimately decide where to draw their boundary,” said Bryza.

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Baltic Assembly: Azerbaijan Is GUAM’s Leading Force

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=150539

Azeri Press Agency
June 29, 2011

Vice-Speaker of Baltic Assembly: “Azerbaijan is GUAM’s leading force”
Rashad Suleymanov

-A resolution on Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity was adopted in the organization in 2009.
Reirs noted that one of the important issues for Latvia was energy security…

Baku: The First Deputy Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament Ziyafet Asgarov received a delegation led by the president of the Baltic Assembly, Chairman of the Latvian delegation to this organization Janis Reirs, the press service of the Azerbaijani Parliament told APA.

Noting the greater strengthening of relations between the countries, Reirs said that Latvia intended to increase investment capital in Azerbaijan. The chances of the Azerbaijani side to invest capital in Latvia are broad.

Speaking about the GUAM [Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Moldova] forum which will be held in October, Reirs underlined that Azerbaijan was a leading force of this organization and noted the importance of broadening the relations between the Baltic Assembly and GUAM.

They noted the importance of public statements on the history of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and its peaceful solution. It was said that the processes in the South Caucasus are kept in the focus of attention in the Baltic Assembly. A resolution on Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity was adopted in the organization in 2009.

Reirs noted that one of the important issues for Latvia was energy security and wished the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan to open its representation in their country.

Vice-speaker Asgarov said that Azerbaijan was interested in cooperation with the Baltic Assembly.

====

Pentagon To Concentrate On Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

http://en.trend.az/news/karabakh/1898475.html

Trend News Agency
June 29, 2011

Pentagon to concentrate on separate areas of Nagorno-Karabakh settlement

The Pentagon cannot ignore the fact that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement is a major problem for Azerbaijan and Armenia. It causes significant problems in U.S. relations with these countries, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense on Russia, Ukraine and Eurasian Affairs Celeste Wallander said in an interview with the Armenian Service of “Liberty” radio.

She said that Pentagon intends to concentrate on those areas of the Nagorno-Karabakh where it can provide constructive assistance to Armenia and Azerbaijan, News.am. reported.

====

Germany: Fighter Jets Scream Overhead As NATO Rehearses Next War

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123261897

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
June 28, 2011

Extensive planning effort pays off at Allied Strike 2011
by Capt. Tristan Hinderliter
USAFE Public Affairs

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany: Fighter jets scream overhead here as the execution phase of Allied Strike 2011 is in full swing this week, capping months of extensive planning that has brought together nearly 350 people from the U.S. and 14 NATO partner nations for the largest Close Air Support exercise in Europe.

“The planning effort was massive,” said Capt. Ruven Yarbrough, exercise deputy director from the 4th Air Support Operations Group in Heidelberg, Germany. “It was a giant undertaking, but one that we could do…”

This is the fifth iteration of the annual exercise, which has grown exponentially each year. Planning for this year’s exercise really started right after last year’s exercise, although most of the planning has happened in the past nine months…

As part of the planning process, exercise organizers looked closely at the after-action reports from the previous year, building on the good and improving on or cutting the bad. In addition to the Joint Terminal Attack Controllers the exercise is designed to train, many other career fields integral to the exercise were involved in the planning process, including Weather, Security Forces, Combat Communications, Intelligence, Logistics, Transportation and others.

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Saudi Troops To Stay In Bahrain

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110629/164898915.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 29, 2011

No plans to pull out all Saudi troops from Bahrain – source

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has no plans to withdraw its entire security contingent from Bahrain “because the threats still remain,” a Bahrain government source told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

A 1,500-strong force from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, dubbed the Peninsula Shield, was sent to Bahrain in mid-March to help quell Shiite opposition protests that swept the country since February.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia was preparing to pull out its contingent from Bahrain starting next week because the situation in the country had stabilized.

“Part of the Peninsula Shield contingent will return to Saudi Arabia, but that does not mean all the troops will be pulled out because there are still some threats remaining,” the source said on the condition of anonymity.

The current political unrest in Bahrain started in February with opposition protesters demanding far-reaching democratic reforms in the mainly Shiite country which has been ruled by a Sunni Muslim dynasty for more than 200 years.

Bahrain, which is home to the United States’ 5th Fleet, and its Arab neighbors from the Gulf Cooperation Council have accused Shiite protesters of having links to foreign militant groups such as the Iranian-backed Hezbollah.

Since the arrival of the Saudi-led contingent in the country and the introduction of a three-month curfew, the opposition has faced waves of arrests and deadly crackdowns. The curfew was lifted on June 1.

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Pilots Trained In United States: Morocco Becomes 25th “F-16 Ally”

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123261739

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
June 28, 2011

First Moroccan F-16 pilots to complete training in Arizona
by Maj. Gabe Johnson
162nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

-“We are modernizing our fleet and we’ve chosen the F-16, not only because it is a high-quality airplane, but also because of the close relationship we have with the United States,” said Deputy Inspector of the Royal Moroccan Air Force, Brig. Gen. Abdelali Houari.
-As students, the pilots averaged three sorties per week and accumulated more than 150 F-16 hours each. Once home, they will be responsible not only for training others, but will also be instrumental in implementing F-16 operations at Ben Guerir Air Base.
Ben Guerir is a former U.S. air base located about 36 miles north of Marrakech and once served as a transatlantic abort landing site for the space shuttle. It’s currently undergoing upgrades that, according to Moroccan officials, are modeled after U.S. Air Force bases.

TUCSON, Ariz. – In July, the Kingdom of Morocco, a strategic partner for U.S. forces in North Africa, will become the 25th country to own and operate F-16s.

The pilots tapped to fly them are scheduled to finish training here in time to bring them home, July 30.

Four Royal Moroccan Air Force officers, former F-5 pilots, will conclude 15 months of instruction at the 162nd Fighter Wing, the international F-16 training unit at Tucson International Airport.

They are the first from their country to accomplish consecutive courses in basic qualification, flight lead upgrade and instructor pilot certification in the multi-role fighter.

A handful of Air National Guard pilots will accompany them as they deliver the first four of Morocco’s 24-aircraft purchase. The new planes, block-52 versions of the fighter, will be fresh off the assembly line and are a considerable step up in technology from the third generation fighters Morocco currently flies.

“We are modernizing our fleet and we’ve chosen the F-16, not only because it is a high-quality airplane, but also because of the close relationship we have with the United States,” said Deputy Inspector of the Royal Moroccan Air Force, Brig. Gen. Abdelali Houari.

“We are really happy to send our pilots here to be trained,” he said. “After a year and a half in the United States, our pilots are happy. Of course they want to return home, but they have gained a lot of experience here with the Arizona Air National Guard.”

Lt. Col. Steve Haase, the Morocco program manager for the 162nd FW, has worked with the Royal Moroccon Air Force for three years. He’s trained fighter pilots from all over the world and fully understands the scope of the students’ historic accomplishment.

“It’s all them,” he said. “It’s a big commitment to be the first F-16 pilots for Morocco. It’s a testament to their positive attitude and work ethic. They are excited about the F-16 and its capabilities; yet they understand how much work there will be to build up an F-16 base.”

As students, the pilots averaged three sorties per week and accumulated more than 150 F-16 hours each. Once home, they will be responsible not only for training others, but will also be instrumental in implementing F-16 operations at Ben Guerir Air Base.

Ben Guerir is a former U.S. air base located about 36 miles north of Marrakech and once served as a transatlantic abort landing site for the space shuttle. It’s currently undergoing upgrades that, according to Moroccan officials, are modeled after U.S. Air Force bases.

Six additional Moroccan pilots are in the basic F-16 course in Tucson with graduation planned for September. They too will return home to help manage Morocco’s growing F-16 fleet.

It’s unclear if more student pilots from Morocco will train in Tucson; however, according to Colonel Haase, the 162nd FW stands ready.

Since 1989, the 162nd FW has trained with virtually every nation that flies the F-16. In addition to Morocco, the wing trains with pilots from Singapore, Norway, Belgium, Chile, the South Korea, and the Netherlands.

====

Iran Denies Plans To Bomb NATO Bases In Turkey If Syria Attacked

http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/73501/

PanArmenian.net
June 29, 2011

Iran denies it plans to bomb NATO

Iran has denied claims that it threatened to hit NATO bases in Turkey in case the alliance launches an attack against Syria.

“Such reports fall within the media commotion, which is being fueled by certain Western media outlets,” Tehran Times quoted Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ramin Mehmanparast as saying.

“Our relations with Turkey are very good, and the reports that are being released about NATO’s actions have no basis in fact,” he stated.

“NATO is not able to enter a new game as it has faced many problems in Afghanistan. Turkish officials are wise enough not to engage themselves in games designed by the West.”

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Pakistan: NATO Accused Of Infiltrating Militants Into Border Areas

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=55041&Cat=7&dt=6/29/2011

News International
June 28, 2011

Nato accused of infiltrating militants into border areas

PESHAWAR: Amn Tehrik Chairman Syed Kamal Shah on Tuesday accused the Afghanistan-based Nato forces of sending trained militants into the border areas of Pakistan to create unrest.

“The US wants to pit the Pakhtuns living on both sides of the Durand Line against each other before pulling out troops of Afghanistan,” he said in a statement. Expressing concern over the recent infiltration of militants into Pakistan border areas, he said the US was executing a well-hatched conspiracy to weaken the Pakhtuns.

Kamal Shah alleged the Afghanistan-based Nato forces had trained the militants who infiltrated into Pakistan’s territory recently. He said a jirga of impartial elders belonging to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, tribal areas and Afghanistan would be convened after Ramazan to seek a solution to the problems being faced by the Pakhtun nation.

“It’s an unprecedented situation. We need to take bold steps to save the Pakhtuns from being killed,” he said, adding that it was also the responsibility of the Pakhtun leadership to come forward and save the future of the Pakhtuns. Kamal Shah said the youth also needed to contribute to the efforts being made to remove the sense of deprivation among the Pakhtuns.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Interview: Inversion of Humanitarian War

http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/52733

CKUW News
June 9, 2011

Inversion of Humanitarian War
Rick Rozoff and Scott Price

Summary: The current wars under the banner of the war on terror have all been justified under the notion of a humanitarian war.

Rick Rozoff goes through in inversion of a humanitarian war and the historical revisioning that goes with it.

Interview at:

Download File...
Categories: Uncategorized

Robert Graves: Recalling the last war, preparing for the next

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

Robert Graves: Selections on war

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Robert Graves

*****

The Next War (1917)

You young friskies who today
Jump and fight in Father’s hay
With bows and arrows and wooden spears,
Playing at Royal Welch Fusiliers,
Happy though these hours you spend,
Have they warned you how games end?
Boys, from the first time you prod
And thrust with spears of curtain-rod,
From the first time you tear and slash
Your long-bows from the garden ash,
Or fit your shaft with a blue jay feather,
Binding the split tops together,
From that same hour by fate you’re bound
As champions of this stony ground,
Loyal and true in everything,
To serve your Army and your King,
Prepared to starve and sweat and die
Under some fierce foreign sky,
If only to keep safe those joys
That belong to British boys,
To keep young Prussians from the soft
Scented hay of father’s loft,
And stop young Slavs from cutting bows
And bendy spears from Welsh hedgerows.
Another War soon gets begun,
A dirtier, a more glorious one;
Then, boys, you’ll have to play, all in;
It’s the cruellest team will win.
So hold your nose against the stink
And never stop too long to think.
Wars don’t change except in name;
The next one must go just the same,
And new foul tricks unguessed before
Will win and justify this War.
Kaisers and Czars will strut the stage
Once more with pomp and greed and rage;
Courtly ministers will stop
At home and fight to the last drop;
By the million men will die
In some new horrible agony;
And children here will thrust and poke,
Shoot and die, and laugh at the joke,
With bows and arrows and wooden spears,
Playing at Royal Welch Fusiliers.

*****

Recalling War
From Collected Poems (1938)

Entrance and exit wounds are silvered clean,
The track aches only when the rain reminds.
The one-legged man forgets his leg of wood,
The one-armed man his jointed wooden arm.
The blinded man sees with his ears and hands
As much or more than once with both his eyes.
Their war was fought these 20 years ago
And now assumes the nature-look of time,
As when the morning traveller turns and views
His wild night-stumbling carved into a hill.

What, then, was war? No mere discord of flags
But an infection of the common sky
That sagged ominously upon the earth
Even when the season was the airiest May.
Down pressed the sky, and we, oppressed, thrust out
Boastful tongue, clenched fist and valiant yard.
Natural infirmities were out of mode,
For Death was young again; patron alone
Of healthy dying, premature fate-spasm.

Fear made fine bed-fellows. Sick with delight
At life’s discovered transitoriness,
Our youth became all-flesh and waived the mind.
Never was such antiqueness of romance,
Such tasty honey oozing from the heart.
And old importances came swimming back -
Wine, meat, log-fires, a roof over the head,
A weapon at the thigh, surgeons at call.
Even there was a use again for God -
A word of rage in lack of meat, wine, fire,
In ache of wounds beyond all surgeoning.

War was return of earth to ugly earth,
War was foundering of sublimities,
Extinction of each happy art and faith
By which the world has still kept head in air,
Protesting logic or protesting love,
Until the unendurable moment struck -
The inward scream, the duty to run mad.

And we recall the merry ways of guns -
Nibbling the walls of factory and church
Like a child, piecrust; felling groves of trees
Like a child, dandelions with a switch.
Machine-guns rattle toy-like from a hill,
Down in a row the brave tin-soldiers fall:
A sight to be recalled in elder days
When learnedly the future we devote
To yet more boastful visions of despair.

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 28, 2011

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Reports Of U.S. Military Plans Against Libya, Syria Cause Concern

U.S. Aircraft Supercarrier Enters Mediterranean For “NATO Missions”

NATO’s Libyan War: Almost 13,000 Air Operations, Nearly 5,000 Combat Flights

Libya: International Criminal Court Cover For NATO Operations

All Freedom-Loving People Must Condemn NATO Action In Libya

Germany To Supply NATO With Arms For Assault On Libya

Standing NATO Maritime Group Surge Operations In Eastern Mediterranean

UN: U.S. Gets 4,200 Ethiopian Troops To Patrol North-South Sudan Border

U.S. Tests Cruise Missiles With Mock Nuclear Warheads

California: New Naval Strike Missiles Tested For Deployment To Norway, Poland

Turkmenistan: NATO To Patrol Eurasian Pipelines?

NATO Caucasus, Central Asia Representative In Armenia

NATO Assistant Secretary General To Visit Azerbaijan

NATO-Georgia Commission Meeting Held At NATO Headquarters

Serbia: U.S. Leads Joint Paratroop Training Exercises

Report: U.S. Missile Strike Kills 20 Pakistani Civilians, Wounds Several More

Pakistan: Three NATO Tankers Torched

U.S. Africa Partnership Station: 37 Stops In 14 Countries

U.S. AFRICOM Conducts Deployment Training In Burundi

Philippines: U.S. Launches Joint Naval Exercises

====

Reports Of U.S. Military Plans Against Libya, Syria Cause Concern

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15186523,00.html

Deutsche Welle
June 27, 2011

Rumors of US plans for Libya, Syria cause concern
The idea of US Army boots on Libyan soil is causing alarm

-If an invasion was being planned, the amount of naval firepower now available in the region would give more than adequate support for any land forces being deployed on Libyan soil.

Among the rumors circulating of US plans for expanded military operations in Libya and a possible intervention in Syria lie certain truths which are cause for concern – despite the dismissals of analysts.

When the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1973 on March 17 of this year, it authorized the use of force by UN member states, granting them the right to “take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in Libya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.”

In the three months that have followed, the rules of Resolution 1973 appear to have been bent to allow the NATO-led mission to not only protect civilians in Libya but actively pursue the forces of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, target his strongholds and effectively force him out of power.

This ‘mission creep’ has caused fractures and divisions within the international coalition that originally agreed to take on the UN’s Libyan operations.

The Arab League, whose involvement helped sell the mission to the Arab world, is becoming increasingly nervous about what it sees as NATO’s new goal of regime change. Meanwhile, those members of the Security Council that abstained from the Resolution 1973 vote are concerned by developments they fear may lead toward a land invasion of Libya and the contravening of the UN resolution.

Russia in particular has been angered by the deployment of military advisors and Special Forces operatives from the US, France and Britain to support the efforts of the Libyan opposition.

Russian warning

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters earlier this month after France and Britain had deployed attack helicopters to Libya for the first time that the prospect of land operations in Libya was against Moscow’s wishes. “We consider that what is going on is either consciously or unconsciously sliding toward a land operation,” he said. “That would be very deplorable.”

Lavrov’s comments came just days before NATO agreed to extend its mission in Libya for a further 90 days and less than a week after French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama agreed on the fringes of the G8 summit at the end of May that Gadhafi could not be negotiated with and that “the shadow of tyranny” must be lifted.

Soon after, a number of unsubstantiated reports based on anonymous military sources began flooding the Internet claiming that US forces were already being readied for a full-scale ground invasion of Libya.

The alleged military sources at the US Army’s Fort Hood base in Texas, where these preparations were said to be taking place, revealed to the Infowars.com website that the invasion was being planned for October. This report spawned a wave of similar extrapolations on the theme of a potential escalation in Libya

US Navy deployments

Whether it is part of a future invasion plan or not, the existence of a recently re-deployed US Navy strike group in the Mediterranean cannot be disputed and its arrival could certainly have helped generate the buzz about a possible escalation.

The group, led by the Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, along with the guided missile destroyers Truxtun and Mitscher, the missile cruisers Gettysburg and Anzio and eight squadrons of aircraft, has been sent to strengthen the US Sixth Fleet which is based in Naples, Italy. Most of the NATO missions in Libya to date have originated from bases in that country.

If an invasion was being planned, the amount of naval firepower now available in the region would give more than adequate support for any land forces being deployed on Libyan soil.

This is not the only US Navy strike group on the move. The USS Bataan, which alone can land more than 2,000 marines, equipped with helicopters and vertical takeoff planes, artillery and tanks, along with two other amphibious assault ships, anchored in Italy in mid-May. Reports suggest that the Bataan and its flotilla then left for an undisclosed location off the Syrian coast, prompting further rumors of a potential US intervention in Syria.

Battle group

The independent news site DEBKAfile, again quoting anonymous US military sources, reported that the Bataan was moving into position as part of a potential mission involving US and Turkish forces to stop the anti-opposition crackdown currently taking place in Syria and to counter any response from Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon to any such operations.

Author: Nick Amies
Editor: Rob Mudge

====

U.S. Aircraft Supercarrier Enters Mediterranean For “NATO Missions”

http://www.kuna.net.kw/NewsAgenciesPublicSite/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2176122&Language=en

Kuwait News Agency
June 24, 2011

US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier transits through Suez Canal

CAIRO: US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier “USS Enterprise” weighing 93,000 tons passed through the Suez Canal on Friday on its way to the Mediterranean Sea to take part in NATO missions.

The US aircraft carrier was accompanied by Pitcher-missile cruiser Light Golf, and a supply ship. It passed the canal under tightened security measures enforced by the Egyptian Suez Canal Authority including halting the traffic of ferryboats across the canal, securing roads parallel to the canal as well as the Peace Bridge across the Suez Canal at Al-Qanatra, west of Ismailia city, said a source from the Suaz Canal Authority.

“USS Enterprise,” is the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

—————————————————————————

http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/471103

Al-Masry Al-Youm 
June 24, 2011

US aircraft carrier crosses Suez Canal

Egyptian shipping sources said US aircraft carrier USS Enterprise crossed the Suez Canal on Friday coming from the Red Sea en route to the Mediterranean.

They added that the ship, which is the US Navy’s oldest and longest aircraft carrier, was accompanied by a guided missile destroyer and a supply ship.

Shipping sources said Egyptian authorities tightened security measures on both sides of the canal to secure the ship.

The USS Enterprise carries 60 aircraft, weighing about 93,000 tons, according to the same sources.

It was not made clear whether the aircraft carrier was on its way to the Libyan coast to participate in NATO air strikes against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

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NATO’s Libyan War: Almost 13,000 Air Operations, Nearly 5,000 Combat Flights

http://www.aco.nato.int/resources/3/images/2011/June/20110628oup-update%5B1%5D.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Otganization
Allied Command Operations
June 28, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 12,887 sorties, including 4,850 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 27 JUNE: 142
Strike sorties conducted 27 JUNE: 46

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Libya: International Criminal Court Cover For NATO Operations

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110628/164879369.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 28, 2011

Libya says it intends to persecute NATO in international courts

CAIRO: Libya intends to persecute NATO in international courts for the Western military alliance’s attempts to physically eliminate country’s leader Muammar Gaddafi and members of his family, the Libyan Justice Ministry said in a statement.

The statement comes after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued on Monday an arrest warrant for Gaddafi, accusing him of torturing and killing opponents of his regime.

“The so-called International Criminal Court is only a cover for operations of NATO, which repeatedly tried to physically eliminate the leader of the Revolution [Gaddafi] and his family members,” the statement said.

The ministry added that such actions of NATO are “war crimes,” which must be persecuted in international criminal courts.

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All Freedom-Loving People Must Condemn NATO Action In Libya

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2011-06/28/content_12789365.htm

China Daily
June 28, 2011

Condemn NATO action in Libya
Shi Qingli

Beijing: It has been more than three months since NATO began bombarding Libya. Bombs and missiles have blasted the soil of a sovereign country, killing thousands of civilians, and demolishing homes and workplaces. Libyans, to say the least, are living in horror.

I am pained by the brutal NATO attack and the misery of the Libyan people. I appeal to people across the world to unite against NATO’s action and join the efforts to restore peace in Libya.

Led by France, the United Kingdom and the United States, NATO’s military action against Libya is nothing but a terrorist attack. It is no different from the attack masterminded by Osama bin Laden against the US and its allies.

The bombardment of Libya on the pretext of restoring peace and justice has claimed thousands of innocent lives. The NATO attacks have killed not only Libyan government forces and rebel army members, but also civilians.

On May 23, for example, NATO carried out 21 air strikes on Tripoli, capital of Libya, killing and injuring many civilians. The NATO air raids have caused more than 20,000 casualties. NATO member states have committed a war crime and should be punished for their action.

The NATO air strikes have devastated Libya, traumatized Libyans and horrified people across the globe. NATO needs to realize that this open aggression will stir Libyans against the West and prompt righteous people around the world, including those in NATO member states, to hate it.

Every bomb and missile that has landed on Libyan soil is like a seed of hatred, which will sprout sooner than later. The hands of NATO leaders are covered with blood.

To promote world peace, countries trying to solve international problems should adhere to the principles of equality, sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-aggression and non-interference in other nation’s internal affairs, and peaceful coexistence.

Libya’s internal affairs are for the Libyan people to decide and no country has the right to interfere. If NATO member states assume the right to interfere in Libya’s matters, then Libya is also entitled to do the same in their affairs. But that would make war inevitable and result in the death of more innocent people, making global peace a mirage.

I appeal to all freedom-loving people across the world to oppose NATO’s military action against Libya and restore peace and save innocent lives.

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Germany To Supply NATO With Arms For Assault On Libya

http://af.reuters.com/article/libyaNews/idAFLDE75Q1PR20110627

Reuters
June 27, 2011

Germany to supply NATO arms for Libya strikes-media

BERLIN: Germany will supply bomb components and other military ordnance to aid NATO in Libya in a concession to allies after Berlin’s controversial opposition to flying air strikes, Spiegel Online reported on Monday.

Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere has approved the measure, according to government sources cited by the online media, which would still mean Germany would not participate directly in any military action.

Spiegel Online said it was not clear what supplies Berlin would provide, but it said it could include complete rockets and high-tech guidance systems.

A spokesman from the defense ministry told Reuters that a request for supplies came from the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency (NAMSA), but declined to give details about the nature.

“The general willingness to provide support was signalled,” he said.

Berlin hopes that providing arms will be seen as a gesture that it wants to end its isolation following its decision, which earned heavy criticism in Germany as well, according to Spiegel Online.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber and Christiaan Hetzner;
Editing by Michael Roddy)

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Standing NATO Maritime Group Surge Operations In Eastern Mediterranean

http://www.aco.nato.int/page424205240.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
June 28, 2011

SNMG2 Surge Operations in Eastern Med

Naples, Italy: The Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) has begun surge operations in the Eastern Mediterranean as part of Operation Active Endeavour.

SNMG2 flagship Turkish frigate TCG Orucreis and Greek frigate HS Kanaris recently finished their first work up for operations and are now working intensely in deterrent surge operations for a two-week period.

Unpredictable deterrent surge operations were foreseen by the revised OAE Operational Plan of January 2010 which directed that the overall approach to OAE would become less platform-based and increasingly network-based.

“This is a very interesting moment in what has been almost a decade of OAE,” according to Vice Admiral Rinaldo Veri, Commander of Maritime Command Naples the headquarters running the operation. “There is massive focus on the maritime operations taking place in support of the Security Council Resolutions regarding Libya. However Operation Active Endeavour has not stopped. Indeed due to Libya-related operations there is a large area of the Mediterranean saturate with assets and surveillance which, although not strictly part of the anti-terrorist mission, can act in associated support of OAE and clearly acts to diminish any ability terrorists have to maneuver in the maritime environment.”

The SNMG2 deterrent surge follows another surge recently carried out by the Standing NATO Mine Counter-measures Group 1 in the Western Mediterranean.

Background

Operation Active Endeavour (OAE) is part of NATO’s multi-faceted response to the terrorist threat [sic]. Its mission is to conduct maritime operations in the assigned area of operations to demonstrate NATO’s resolve to help deter, defend, disrupt and protect against terrorism. As the Alliance has refined its counter-terrorism role in the intervening years, the operation’s mandate has been regularly reviewed and its remit extended. OAE’s achievements through targeted maritime operations are highly impressive and constitute a significant deterrent to terrorist activity in the Mediterranean Sea. The Operation not only demonstrates NATO’s resolve but is also a vivid example of the added, essential value that NATO can bring to the complex, global fight against terrorism. The contribution/collaboration/co-operation with partners and Mediterranean Dialogue countries substantially improves the overall effectiveness of OAE.

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UN: U.S. Gets 4,200 Ethiopian Troops To Patrol North-South Sudan Border

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/27/52473945.html

Voice of Russia
June 27, 2011

Ethiopia to patrol Abyei peace

The United Nations Security Council has passed an American resolution to authorize Ethiopia to station 42 hundred peacekeepers in the disputed Abyei region on the border between North and South Sudan.

Meeting in Addis Ababa a week ago at the headquarters of the African Union, the sides in the conflict agreed to withdraw troops from Abyei.

This area is rich in oil. The dispute over it erupted after last January when a South Sudan referendum returned an overwhelming ‘yes’ to complete independence.

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http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=150371

Azeri Press Agency
June 27, 2011

Security Council votes to deploy Ethiopian peacekeepers in Sudan’s Abyei

Baku: Thw UN Security Council Monday unanimously adopted a resolution on sending 4,200 Ethiopian peacekeepers to Sudan’s Abyei area for six months, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

The force, with the name of the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), will take into account the Agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement on Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei Area, said the resolution.

The Security Council also decided that UNISFA shall comprise a maximum of 4200 military personnel, 50 police personnel, and appropriate civilian support.

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U.S. Tests Cruise Missiles With Mock Nuclear Warheads

http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20110627_5389.php

Global Security Newswire
June 27, 2011

U.S. Tests Cruise Missiles With Mock Warheads

The United States earlier this month carried out two separate flight tests involving a data-collecting Joint Test Assembly for the W-80 nuclear warhead, the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration said on Friday (see GSN, April 5).

A B-52 bomber from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota fired an Air Launched Cruise Missile carrying one of the non-nuclear assemblies in both tests, which each took place at the Utah Test and Training Range near Salt Lake City.

Various data collection components in the Joint Test Assembly verified that the mock warheads behaved as intended in what was described as a comprehensive analysis of the readiness of the cruise missile system.

“NNSA and DOD [the Defense Department] are committed to ensuring that all weapon systems perform as designed, and these successful tests continue to illustrate that commitment,” Brig. Gen. Sandra Finan, an NNSA principal assistant deputy administrator, said in a statement…

The National Nuclear Security Administration produced the mock weapon for the Joint Surveillance Flight Test Program, an effort that the agency oversees along with the Pentagon. Test-assembly trials seek to replicate real warhead configurations and employ the maximum amount possible of actual armaments. The mock bomb was built at the Pantex Plant in Texas (U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration release, June 24).

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California: New Naval Strike Missiles Tested For Deployment To Norway, Poland

http://www.defpro.com/daily/details/841/?SID=934f7d4123a9dcc7a3fe5eb7fe3d97c4

Defence Professionals
June 27, 2011

Kongsberg’s Naval Strike Missile Completes Final Milestone
By Nicolas von Kospoth

-Kongsberg and Lockheed Martin are developing a multi-role version of the NSM, dubbed Joint Strike Missile (JSM), which is to be integrated with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). Being air-launched, the missile will have a greater range, estimated to reach 240 kilometres.
-After this month’s successful test in California, the first deliveries of series-production missiles to the Royal Norwegian Navy and the Polish Navy later this year will be important milestones to underline the system’s operational fitness.

Kongsberg’s Naval Strike Missiles (NSM) anti-ship and land-attack missile has come one large step closer to entering service with the Royal Norwegian Navy after a series-production unit of the fifth-generation missile system performed successfully during a live-fire test earlier in June. The test firing was again conducted at the US Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division’s Point Mugu range in California, chosen because of the location’s versatile testing conditions over land and sea.

According to Norwegian defence manufacturer Kongsberg, the test “demonstrated the unrivalled capabilities of the missile,” resulting in a successful strike against a sea target. The missile was launched from a land-based canister and performed a pre-programmed flight, including a range of demanding manoeuvres such as sea-skimming flight patterns. After having located the sea target, the missile successfully engaged and destroyed it.

The US Navy’s Point Mugu test site had already been the location of several NSM test firings, including in early 2007 when the Norwegian Navy decided upon the final approval for the missile system’s development phase, as well as in February 2009, which resulted in a successful strike by a surface-launched NSM against a sea target.

According to Kongsberg, the NSM is the only fifth generation long range precision strike missile currently available. Further, the company explains: “The missile is completely passive, has proven its excellent sea skimming capabilities, and with its advance terminal manoeuvres it will survive enemy air defences. The Autonomous Target Recognition (ATR) of the seeker ensures that the correct target is detected, recognised and hit, at sea or on land.”

The NSM is currently in series production for Royal Norwegian Navy vessels of the Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates and Skjold-class littoral corvettes. Furthermore, the Polish Navy in December 2008 and December 2010 awarded contracts worth a total of NOK 1.46 billion (approx. $265 million / €187 million) to supply NSM systems to the country’s land-based coastal artillery forces. Poland is the first export customer for the NSM and is considered an important reference for additional foreign orders.

The missiles are now in series production and deliveries to the Polish Navy, as well as the Royal Norwegian Navy, are scheduled for late 2011 through 2014. The land-based systems for the Polish coastal artillery are to be integrated onto trucks built by Polish-based Jelcz SA.

Further, Kongsberg and Lockheed Martin are developing a multi-role version of the NSM, dubbed Joint Strike Missile (JSM), which is to be integrated with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). Being air-launched, the missile will have a greater range, estimated to reach 240 kilometres. The missile will receive significant modifications to fit into the aircraft’s internal weapons bay and will allow for engaging ground targets, in addition to naval targets.

In mid-April 2011, the Norwegian Government decided to present the continued development phase II of the JSM to Parliament in order to achieve approval of the system’s further development. JSM development began in 2008 and received official support from the Norwegian Defence Logistics Organisation (NDLO) in 2009 when a NOK 166 million contract was inked for continued development. According to Kongsberg, there is consensus between the company and the NDLO for a JSM phase II development contract worth NOK 535 million.

After this month’s successful test in California, the first deliveries of series-production missiles to the Royal Norwegian Navy and the Polish Navy later this year will be important milestones to underline the system’s operational fitness. Despite being an independently developed system for a more challenging purpose, the JSM air-launched variant might receive a vital push from the upcoming key events in the NSM programme…

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Turkmenistan: NATO To Patrol Eurasian Pipelines?

http://www.eurasianet.org/node/63753

EurasiaNet
June 27, 2011

Turkmenistan: NATO Official Visits Ashgabat
By Catherine A. Fitzpatrick

-[T]he Russian news agency regnum.ru are among Russian outlets that believe NATO is seeking actually to guard Eurasian pipelines and secure energy resources for its members, based on its experience running its own pipelines established during in the Cold War to secure fuel supplies for its operations.

A NATO representative visited Ashgabat last week, but the NATO website did not have any press statement and the State News Agency of Turkmenistan (TDH) stuck to the usual careful script.

No mention was made of any enhancement of the role of “neutral Turkmenistan” in providing transit access to Afghanistan, beyond the current re-fueling permission for NATO jets at Ashgabat international airport.

James Appathurai, the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia was received on June 24 by President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. Turkmenistan has participated in NATO’s Partnership for Peace Program since 1994. President Berdymukhamedov visited NATO headquarters in 2007, followed by the Turkmen Defense Minister in February 2010.

Appathurai discussed response to natural disasters, and combating illegal drugs trafficking, international terrorism and organized crime – all under the purview of NATO’s new Emerging Security Challenges Division opened last August.

He spoke of strengthening science and education contacts, which have been emphasized by the Turkmen government lately.

The NATO representative also expressed appreciation for Turkmenistan’s economic assistance to neighboring Afghanistan – and here the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline was mentioned, with the expectation that TAPI will “contribute profoundly to sustainable development of the Asian region,” said TDH.

Yes, NATO is in the pipeline business, too – up to a point. Although NATO has not exactly articulated this claim, the Russian news agency regnum.ru are among Russian outlets that believe NATO is seeking actually to guard Eurasian pipelines and secure energy resources for its members, based on its experience running its own pipelines established during in the Cold War to secure fuel supplies for its operations.

NATO discussed its own pipeline security role in more abstract terms at the Bucharest energy summit in 2008 and at the Security and Defense Agenda meeting in Brussels in 2009, then NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said, “NATO is not in the business of protecting pipelines. But when there’s a crisis, or if a certain nation asks for assistance, NATO could, I think, be instrumental in protecting pipelines on land.”

In 2008, regnum.ru and other Russian-language media quoted Robert Simmons, who at that time held the position of NATO’s Special Representative to the Caucasus and Central Asia, as saying that NATO has been involved in the problem of energy security for 40 years through its own pipeline agencies within its structure – and was therefore ostensibly lobbying for diversification of pipelines to circumvent Russia.

No mention was made of NATO’s assistance to Turkmenistan in cleaning up old radioactive materials from the Soviet era, a subject that was among the urgent concerns of a Turkish ambassador in an alleged cable published by WikiLeaks.

Turkmenistan has more than 21,000 tons of radioactive waste stored primarily at two sites, Khazar and Balkanabat, situated 600 kilometers and 400 kilometers from Ashgabat, respectively.

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NATO Caucasus, Central Asia Representative In Armenia

http://www.armradio.am/eng/news/?part=off&id=20323

Public Radio of Armenia
June 28, 2011

Minister Nalbandian meets NATO Special Representative

On June 28 Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian received James Appathurai, the Special Representative of the NATO Secretary General for the South Caucasus and Central Asia.

Minister Nalbandian congratulated James Appathurai on assuming the position of the Special Representative of the NATO Secretary General, expressing hope that he would contribute to the development of Armenia-NATO cooperation.

During the meeting the interlocutors dwelt on a number of issues on the agenda of Armenia-NATO partnership, particularly the cooperation within the framework of the Partnership for Peace Program, the Euro Atlantic Partnership Council and the Individual Partnership Action Plan.

Edward Nalbandian and James Appathurai discussed the preparation works of the sitting of the North Atlantic Council in 28+1 format, which will discuss and sum up the annual results of IPAP implementation.

Minister Nalbandian presented to the guest the latest developments in the process of settlement of the Karabakh conflict, particularly referring to the results of the Kazan meeting.

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NATO Assistant Secretary General To Visit Azerbaijan

http://en.trend.az/news/society/1897753.html

Trend News Agency
June 28, 2011

NATO’s Assistant Secretary General to visit Azerbaijan

Baku: NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, Ambassador Gabor Iklody will visit Azerbaijan next week, Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) told Trend.

NATO’s Assistant Secretary General will take part in the event to complete the “Saloglu Project” on cleaning the unexploded ordnance. It is one of the largest conversion projects supported by NATO.

Saloglu was the largest ammunition depot of the Soviet army in the South Caucasus. About 138 depots were destroyed as a result of explosion on the base in August 1991. The “Saloglu project” was launched in December 2005. More than 640,000 pieces of unexploded ordnance were found and destroyed up to now.

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NATO-Georgia Commission Meeting Held At NATO Headquarters

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1897480.html

Trend News Agency
June 28, 2011

Georgian parliamentary speaker to attend NATO-Georgia Commission meeting
N. Kirtzkhalia 

Tbilisi: Georgian Parliamentary Speaker David Bakradze is leaving for Brussels to attend a meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission at NATO headquarters.

During his visit, Bakradze will meet with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Parliament told Trend.

The meeting of the NATO-Georgia Commission will be attended by Bakradze, Rasmussen and ambassadors from member states.

Bakradze will present Lithuanian Ambassador to NATO Linas Linkevičius with a Presidential Order of Splendour.

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Serbia: U.S. Leads Joint Paratroop Training Exercises

http://www.eucom.mil/english/fullstory.asp?article=US-Serbian-Paratroopers-Joint-Mountaineering

United States European Command
Embassy of the United States of America, Belgrade
July 27, 2011

US and Serbian Paratroopers in Joint Mountaineering and Survival Training

U.S. and Serbian paratroopers engaged in joint training that consisted of two parts: survival training June 6-12 on the Mali Jastrebac and Radan mountains, and mountaineering training June 15-23 at the Jelasnicka gorge and on the Stol Mountain. The American paratroopers from the United States Army Europe 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, joined the Serbian Armed Force (SAF) 63rd battalion’s regular training and were given an opportunity to try their hand at some routine SAF training activities.

This event is part the two countries’ military-to-military cooperation and is the first training activity undertaken jointly by the American and Serbian paratroopers. Further cooperation between the two forces is planned in the months to come, both operationally (joint paratroop training in Nis and Germany) and on the command level (joint activities related to decision-making processes).

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Report: U.S. Missile Strike Kills 20 Pakistani Civilians, Wounds Several More

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/06/28/dozens-killed-waziristan-drone-attacks

Pajhwok Afghan News
June 28, 2011

Dozens killed in Waziristan drone attacks
By Wasim Yousufzai

ISLAMABAD: Up to 28 people have been killed in US drone strikes in the Pakistani tribal region of South Waziristan, according to officials and witnesses in the area.

The first strike on Monday evening targeted a vehicle in Nashtar Valley of the Shawal area in South Waziristan, a local official said on condition of anonymity.

Three foreigners were among eight fighters killed in the attack, he said.

Another drone fired two missiles on a house about two hours after the first incident, inflicting casualties on more than 10 people in the Manto area of the town, he added.

Another security official said the missile attack targeted a local Taliban commander named Adam Khan, and that several foreigners were among the insurgents killed.

However, a resident of the area, Hajji Malak Dildar, said that 20 civilians were killed and several others injured in the second attack.

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Pakistan: Three NATO Tankers Torched

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=54885&Cat=2&dt=6/28/2011

News International
June 28, 2011

Three Nato oil tankers torched in Mastung, Dasht 

MASTUNG: Unknown armed men set ablaze two more Nato oil tankers in Mastung and one in the Dasht area in separate incidents on Monday.

According to the police, an Afghanistan-bound oil tanker carrying fuel for Nato forces was on its way from Karachi when armed men intercepted and opened fire on it at the Ghanja Dhori outskirts of Mastung.

Meanwhile, another Nato oil tanker was also on its way when armed men riding a bike intercepted and sprayed bullets on it in the Dasht area some 25-km from Quetta. As a result, both oil tankers caught fire while one of drivers sustained bullet injuries. The injured was rushed to the hospital for medical aid.

In the Dasht area of Balochistan, unknown gunmen set ablaze another Nato oil tanker on Monday. According to police, a tanker carrying oil for the ISAF force stationed in Afghanistan was on it way from Karachi when unknown armed men intercepted and opened fire on it. Resultantly, the driver of the vehicle sustained bullet injuries.

Armed assailants later sprinkled petrol and set the oil tanker on fire.

Shortly after the incident, police reached the site and shifted the injured to the nearby hospital. The unknown armed men managed to escape. The Levies Force reached the site and started an investigation.

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U.S. Africa Partnership Station: 37 Stops In 14 Countries

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=61262

Navy NewsStand
June 27, 2011

Swift Crews Turnover in Preparation For APS
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ian Carver, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

ROTA, Spain: The Gold Crew of High Speed Vessel SWIFT (HSV 2) exchanged command June 21 with Swift’s Blue Crew at Naval Station Rota in preparation for its upcoming Africa Partnership Station (APS) 2011 deployment.

With a rotational manning concept, crew turnovers are a common occurrence aboard Swift, substituting crews every four months, allowing Swift to remain forward deployed nearly the entire year, thus enhancing its operational impact to the fleet.

Swifts’ Gold Crew recently completed a 122-day deployment, covering more than 15,000 nautical miles, 37 stops in 14 countries during its participation in Southern Partnership Station (SPS) 2011 and the multinational training exercise African Lion 2011.

Swift’s current mission is taking part in APS visiting eight West African countries to [host] maritime training courses for military and civilian members.

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U.S. AFRICOM Conducts Deployment Training In Burundi

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=6838&lang=0

U.S. Army Africa
June 27, 2911

USARAF Conducts Deployment Capability Training in Burundi
U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs

-ADAPT is a four phase program, that occurs every 12 months and USARAF has already conducted training in Rwanda, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Botswana, and Ghana.

Vicenza, Italy – …U.S. Army Africa’s Africa Deployment Assistance Partnership Team (ADAPT) conducted a deployment capability training event with uniformed members of the Burundian Defense Forces June 6-10, 2011 at the Bujumbura Military Airfield in Bujumbura, Burundi.

ADAPT is a U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) program managed and executed by USARAF. The team was in Bujumbura to share best practices on deploying personnel and equipment via aircraft, and to enhance force projection capabilities of African militaries…

“This is our first ADAPT with the Burundian military,” Menzies said. “This event was based off of a pre-deployment site survey we conducted last year so the lesson plan was specifically tailored to meet existing Burundi training requirements.”

Menzies said another focus of the training is to foster positive relationships between the U.S. and African military forces.

“This successful military-to-military ADAPT event demonstrates the important partnerships between U.S. Army Africa and African partner nations in increasing deployment capabilities and capacity,” Menzies said.

Increasing deployment interoperability with U.S. forces in joint/combined operations, training and exercises is a focal point of this military-to-military training opportunity.

“Training and having the capability to deploy personnel and cargo are crucial enabling components to a deploying force. As a matter of fact, Burundian forces soldiers are already applying the ADAPT training to their real world operations,” Febles said.

ADAPT is a four phase program, that occurs every 12 months and USARAF has already conducted training in Rwanda, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Botswana, and Ghana.

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Philippines: U.S. Launches Joint Naval Exercises

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/28/c_13954433.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 28, 2011

U.S., Philippine navies kick off 11-day joint exercise

MANILA: Navies from the United States and the Philippines kicked off an 11-day joint exercise Tuesday afternoon in waters off the southwestern Philippine island province of Palawan, showcasing the ties and interoperability between the two allies.

Dubbed the 17th “Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training” (CARAT), the exercise was held in the Sulu Sea east of Palawan and is expected to wind up on July 8, both navies said.

Guided missile destroyers USS Chung-Hoon, USS Howard and the diving and salvage ship USNS Safeguard are the U.S. Navy’s centerpieces for the exercise, the U.S. Navy said earlier in a statement, adding that in addition to the three ships, other participants include P-3C Orion aircraft, SH-60 Seahawk aircraft, U.S. Navy Seabees, a U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team, U.S. Navy Mobile Security Squadron, U.S. Navy Riverine Forces and Medical Support personnel.

On the Philippine side, patrol ships BRP Pangasinan and BRP Rizal are dedicated for the exercise, according to Lt. Noel Cadigal, spokesman of the Philippines’ Naval Forces West.

The at-sea phase of the exercise focuses on developing maritime security capabilities in areas such as maritime interdiction, information sharing, combined operations at sea, patrol operations, gunnery exercises, as well as anti-piracy and anti-smuggling exercises.

“The main purpose of the activity is to strengthen the ties and cooperation between the two navies by the exchange of knowledge and skills in the field of navigation and naval operations, particularly maritime defense, port security, resource protection and disaster response,” said Philippine Navy spokesman Lt. Col. Omar Tonsay, noting the exercise is among the bilateral trainings conducted under the auspices of the Mutual Defense Treaty, which was signed between the Philippines and the United States in 1951.

However, the exercise and the Mutual Defense Treaty were bombarded by a left-wing group in the Philippines.

In a statement issued prior to the exercise, the New Patriotic Alliance, known as Bagong Alyansang Makabayan in Filipino, said the fact that the joint naval exercise will be between modern U.S. warships and ageing Philippine patrol ships shows the entire concept of U.S. military assistance is a failure.

“After 60 years of the Mutual Defense Treaty, several decades of U.S. military bases and 12 years of the Visiting Forces Agreement, our AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) has not modernized. We were promised the same in exchange for approving all these one-sided agreements and yet here is our navy, still employing World War II-era ships,” said Renato Reyes, Jr., secretary general of the New Patriotic Alliance.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Harold Pinter: Art, Truth and Politics

June 28, 2011 2 comments

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

Harold Pinter
The Nobel Prize in Literature lecture (2005)
Art, Truth and Politics

In 1958 I wrote the following:

‘There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.’

I believe that these assertions still make sense and do still apply to the exploration of reality through art. So as a writer I stand by them but as a citizen I cannot. As a citizen I must ask: What is true? What is false?

Truth in drama is forever elusive. You never quite find it but the search for it is compulsive. The search is clearly what drives the endeavour. The search is your task. More often than not you stumble upon the truth in the dark, colliding with it or just glimpsing an image or a shape which seems to correspond to the truth, often without realising that you have done so. But the real truth is that there never is any such thing as one truth to be found in dramatic art. There are many. These truths challenge each other, recoil from each other, reflect each other, ignore each other, tease each other, are blind to each other. Sometimes you feel you have the truth of a moment in your hand, then it slips through your fingers and is lost.

I have often been asked how my plays come about. I cannot say. Nor can I ever sum up my plays, except to say that this is what happened. That is what they said. That is what they did.

Most of the plays are engendered by a line, a word or an image. The given word is often shortly followed by the image. I shall give two examples of two lines which came right out of the blue into my head, followed by an image, followed by me.

The plays are The Homecoming and Old Times. The first line of The Homecoming is ‘What have you done with the scissors?’ The first line of Old Times is ‘Dark.’

In each case I had no further information.

In the first case someone was obviously looking for a pair of scissors and was demanding their whereabouts of someone else he suspected had probably stolen them. But I somehow knew that the person addressed didn’t give a damn about the scissors or about the questioner either, for that matter.

‘Dark’ I took to be a description of someone’s hair, the hair of a woman, and was the answer to a question. In each case I found myself compelled to pursue the matter. This happened visually, a very slow fade, through shadow into light.

I always start a play by calling the characters A, B and C.

In the play that became The Homecoming I saw a man enter a stark room and ask his question of a younger man sitting on an ugly sofa reading a racing paper. I somehow suspected that A was a father and that B was his son, but I had no proof. This was however confirmed a short time later when B (later to become Lenny) says to A (later to become Max), ‘Dad, do you mind if I change the subject? I want to ask you something. The dinner we had before, what was the name of it? What do you call it? Why don’t you buy a dog? You’re a dog cook. Honest. You think you’re cooking for a lot of dogs.’ So since B calls A ‘Dad’ it seemed to me reasonable to assume that they were father and son. A was also clearly the cook and his cooking did not seem to be held in high regard. Did this mean that there was no mother? I didn’t know. But, as I told myself at the time, our beginnings never know our ends.

‘Dark.’ A large window. Evening sky. A man, A (later to become Deeley), and a woman, B (later to become Kate), sitting with drinks. ‘Fat or thin?’ the man asks. Who are they talking about? But I then see, standing at the window, a woman, C (later to become Anna), in another condition of light, her back to them, her hair dark.

It’s a strange moment, the moment of creating characters who up to that moment have had no existence. What follows is fitful, uncertain, even hallucinatory, although sometimes it can be an unstoppable avalanche. The author’s position is an odd one. In a sense he is not welcomed by the characters. The characters resist him, they are not easy to live with, they are impossible to define. You certainly can’t dictate to them. To a certain extent you play a never-ending game with them, cat and mouse, blind man’s buff, hide and seek. But finally you find that you have people of flesh and blood on your hands, people with will and an individual sensibility of their own, made out of component parts you are unable to change, manipulate or distort.

So language in art remains a highly ambiguous transaction, a quicksand, a trampoline, a frozen pool which might give way under you, the author, at any time.

But as I have said, the search for the truth can never stop. It cannot be adjourned, it cannot be postponed. It has to be faced, right there, on the spot.

Political theatre presents an entirely different set of problems. Sermonising has to be avoided at all cost. Objectivity is essential. The characters must be allowed to breathe their own air. The author cannot confine and constrict them to satisfy his own taste or disposition or prejudice. He must be prepared to approach them from a variety of angles, from a full and uninhibited range of perspectives, take them by surprise, perhaps, occasionally, but nevertheless give them the freedom to go which way they will. This does not always work. And political satire, of course, adheres to none of these precepts, in fact does precisely the opposite, which is its proper function.

In my play The Birthday Party I think I allow a whole range of options to operate in a dense forest of possibility before finally focussing on an act of subjugation.

Mountain Language pretends to no such range of operation. It remains brutal, short and ugly. But the soldiers in the play do get some fun out of it. One sometimes forgets that torturers become easily bored. They need a bit of a laugh to keep their spirits up. This has been confirmed of course by the events at Abu Ghraib in Baghdad. Mountain Language lasts only 20 minutes, but it could go on for hour after hour, on and on and on, the same pattern repeated over and over again, on and on, hour after hour.

Ashes to Ashes, on the other hand, seems to me to be taking place under water. A drowning woman, her hand reaching up through the waves, dropping down out of sight, reaching for others, but finding nobody there, either above or under the water, finding only shadows, reflections, floating; the woman a lost figure in a drowning landscape, a woman unable to escape the doom that seemed to belong only to others.

But as they died, she must die too.

Political language, as used by politicians, does not venture into any of this territory since the majority of politicians, on the evidence available to us, are interested not in truth but in power and in the maintenance of that power. To maintain that power it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.

As every single person here knows, the justification for the invasion of Iraq was that Saddam Hussein possessed a highly dangerous body of weapons of mass destruction, some of which could be fired in 45 minutes, bringing about appalling devastation. We were assured that was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq had a relationship with Al Quaeda and shared responsibility for the atrocity in New York of September 11th 2001. We were assured that this was true. It was not true. We were told that Iraq threatened the security of the world. We were assured it was true. It was not true.

The truth is something entirely different. The truth is to do with how the United States understands its role in the world and how it chooses to embody it.

But before I come back to the present I would like to look at the recent past, by which I mean United States foreign policy since the end of the Second World War. I believe it is obligatory upon us to subject this period to at least some kind of even limited scrutiny, which is all that time will allow here.

Everyone knows what happened in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe during the post-war period: the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought. All this has been fully documented and verified.

But my contention here is that the US crimes in the same period have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged, let alone recognised as crimes at all. I believe this must be addressed and that the truth has considerable bearing on where the world stands now. Although constrained, to a certain extent, by the existence of the Soviet Union, the United States’ actions throughout the world made it clear that it had concluded it had carte blanche to do what it liked.

Direct invasion of a sovereign state has never in fact been America’s favoured method. In the main, it has preferred what it has described as ‘low intensity conflict’. Low intensity conflict means that thousands of people die but slower than if you dropped a bomb on them in one fell swoop. It means that you infect the heart of the country, that you establish a malignant growth and watch the gangrene bloom. When the populace has been subdued – or beaten to death – the same thing – and your own friends, the military and the great corporations, sit comfortably in power, you go before the camera and say that democracy has prevailed. This was a commonplace in US foreign policy in the years to which I refer.

The tragedy of Nicaragua was a highly significant case. I choose to offer it here as a potent example of America’s view of its role in the world, both then and now.

I was present at a meeting at the US embassy in London in the late 1980s.

The United States Congress was about to decide whether to give more money to the Contras in their campaign against the state of Nicaragua. I was a member of a delegation speaking on behalf of Nicaragua but the most important member of this delegation was a Father John Metcalf. The leader of the US body was Raymond Seitz (then number two to the ambassador, later ambassador himself). Father Metcalf said: ‘Sir, I am in charge of a parish in the north of Nicaragua. My parishioners built a school, a health centre, a cultural centre. We have lived in peace. A few months ago a Contra force attacked the parish. They destroyed everything: the school, the health centre, the cultural centre. They raped nurses and teachers, slaughtered doctors, in the most brutal manner. They behaved like savages. Please demand that the US government withdraw its support from this shocking terrorist activity.’

Raymond Seitz had a very good reputation as a rational, responsible and highly sophisticated man. He was greatly respected in diplomatic circles. He listened, paused and then spoke with some gravity. ‘Father,’ he said, ‘let me tell you something. In war, innocent people always suffer.’ There was a frozen silence. We stared at him. He did not flinch.

Innocent people, indeed, always suffer.

Finally somebody said: ‘But in this case “innocent people” were the victims of a gruesome atrocity subsidised by your government, one among many. If Congress allows the Contras more money further atrocities of this kind will take place. Is this not the case? Is your government not therefore guilty of supporting acts of murder and destruction upon the citizens of a sovereign state?’

Seitz was imperturbable. ‘I don’t agree that the facts as presented support your assertions,’ he said.

As we were leaving the Embassy a US aide told me that he enjoyed my plays. I did not reply.

I should remind you that at the time President Reagan made the following statement: ‘The Contras are the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers.’

The United States supported the brutal Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua for over 40 years. The Nicaraguan people, led by the Sandinistas, overthrew this regime in 1979, a breathtaking popular revolution.

The Sandinistas weren’t perfect. They possessed their fair share of arrogance and their political philosophy contained a number of contradictory elements. But they were intelligent, rational and civilised. They set out to establish a stable, decent, pluralistic society. The death penalty was abolished. Hundreds of thousands of poverty-stricken peasants were brought back from the dead. Over 100,000 families were given title to land. Two thousand schools were built. A quite remarkable literacy campaign reduced illiteracy in the country to less than one seventh. Free education was established and a free health service. Infant mortality was reduced by a third. Polio was eradicated.

The United States denounced these achievements as Marxist/Leninist subversion. In the view of the US government, a dangerous example was being set. If Nicaragua was allowed to establish basic norms of social and economic justice, if it was allowed to raise the standards of health care and education and achieve social unity and national self respect, neighbouring countries would ask the same questions and do the same things. There was of course at the time fierce resistance to the status quo in El Salvador.

I spoke earlier about ‘a tapestry of lies’ which surrounds us. President Reagan commonly described Nicaragua as a ‘totalitarian dungeon’. This was taken generally by the media, and certainly by the British government, as accurate and fair comment. But there was in fact no record of death squads under the Sandinista government. There was no record of torture. There was no record of systematic or official military brutality. No priests were ever murdered in Nicaragua. There were in fact three priests in the government, two Jesuits and a Maryknoll missionary. The totalitarian dungeons were actually next door, in El Salvador and Guatemala. The United States had brought down the democratically elected government of Guatemala in 1954 and it is estimated that over 200,000 people had been victims of successive military dictatorships.

Six of the most distinguished Jesuits in the world were viciously murdered at the Central American University in San Salvador in 1989 by a battalion of the Alcatl regiment trained at Fort Benning, Georgia, USA. That extremely brave man Archbishop Romero was assassinated while saying mass. It is estimated that 75,000 people died. Why were they killed? They were killed because they believed a better life was possible and should be achieved. That belief immediately qualified them as communists. They died because they dared to question the status quo, the endless plateau of poverty, disease, degradation and oppression, which had been their birthright.

The United States finally brought down the Sandinista government. It took some years and considerable resistance but relentless economic persecution and 30,000 dead finally undermined the spirit of the Nicaraguan people. They were exhausted and poverty stricken once again. The casinos moved back into the country. Free health and free education were over. Big business returned with a vengeance. ‘Democracy’ had prevailed.

But this ‘policy’ was by no means restricted to Central America. It was conducted throughout the world. It was never-ending. And it is as if it never happened.

The United States supported and in many cases engendered every right wing military dictatorship in the world after the end of the Second World War. I refer to Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, and, of course, Chile. The horror the United States inflicted upon Chile in 1973 can never be purged and can never be forgiven.

Hundreds of thousands of deaths took place throughout these countries. Did they take place? And are they in all cases attributable to US foreign policy? The answer is yes they did take place and they are attributable to American foreign policy. But you wouldn’t know it.

It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

I put to you that the United States is without doubt the greatest show on the road. Brutal, indifferent, scornful and ruthless it may be but it is also very clever. As a salesman it is out on its own and its most saleable commodity is self love. It’s a winner. Listen to all American presidents on television say the words, ‘the American people’, as in the sentence, ‘I say to the American people it is time to pray and to defend the rights of the American people and I ask the American people to trust their president in the action he is about to take on behalf of the American people.’

It’s a scintillating stratagem. Language is actually employed to keep thought at bay. The words ‘the American people’ provide a truly voluptuous cushion of reassurance. You don’t need to think. Just lie back on the cushion. The cushion may be suffocating your intelligence and your critical faculties but it’s very comfortable. This does not apply of course to the 40 million people living below the poverty line and the 2 million men and women imprisoned in the vast gulag of prisons, which extends across the US.

The United States no longer bothers about low intensity conflict. It no longer sees any point in being reticent or even devious. It puts its cards on the table without fear or favour. It quite simply doesn’t give a damn about the United Nations, international law or critical dissent, which it regards as impotent and irrelevant. It also has its own bleating little lamb tagging behind it on a lead, the pathetic and supine Great Britain.

What has happened to our moral sensibility? Did we ever have any? What do these words mean? Do they refer to a term very rarely employed these days – conscience? A conscience to do not only with our own acts but to do with our shared responsibility in the acts of others? Is all this dead? Look at Guantanamo Bay. Hundreds of people detained without charge for over three years, with no legal representation or due process, technically detained forever. This totally illegitimate structure is maintained in defiance of the Geneva Convention. It is not only tolerated but hardly thought about by what’s called the ‘international community’. This criminal outrage is being committed by a country, which declares itself to be ‘the leader of the free world’. Do we think about the inhabitants of Guantanamo Bay? What does the media say about them? They pop up occasionally – a small item on page six. They have been consigned to a no man’s land from which indeed they may never return. At present many are on hunger strike, being force-fed, including British residents. No niceties in these force-feeding procedures. No sedative or anaesthetic. Just a tube stuck up your nose and into your throat. You vomit blood. This is torture. What has the British Foreign Secretary said about this? Nothing. What has the British Prime Minister said about this? Nothing. Why not? Because the United States has said: to criticise our conduct in Guantanamo Bay constitutes an unfriendly act. You’re either with us or against us. So Blair shuts up.

The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public; an act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading – as a last resort – all other justifications having failed to justify themselves – as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands and thousands of innocent people.

We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it ‘bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East’.

How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal? One hundred thousand? More than enough, I would have thought. Therefore it is just that Bush and Blair be arraigned before the International Criminal Court of Justice. But Bush has been clever. He has not ratified the International Criminal Court of Justice. Therefore if any American soldier or for that matter politician finds himself in the dock Bush has warned that he will send in the marines. But Tony Blair has ratified the Court and is therefore available for prosecution. We can let the Court have his address if they’re interested. It is Number 10, Downing Street, London.

Death in this context is irrelevant. Both Bush and Blair place death well away on the back burner. At least 100,000 Iraqis were killed by American bombs and missiles before the Iraq insurgency began. These people are of no moment. Their deaths don’t exist. They are blank. They are not even recorded as being dead. ‘We don’t do body counts,’ said the American general Tommy Franks.

Early in the invasion there was a photograph published on the front page of British newspapers of Tony Blair kissing the cheek of a little Iraqi boy. ‘A grateful child,’ said the caption. A few days later there was a story and photograph, on an inside page, of another four-year-old boy with no arms. His family had been blown up by a missile. He was the only survivor. ‘When do I get my arms back?’ he asked. The story was dropped. Well, Tony Blair wasn’t holding him in his arms, nor the body of any other mutilated child, nor the body of any bloody corpse. Blood is dirty. It dirties your shirt and tie when you’re making a sincere speech on television.

The 2,000 American dead are an embarrassment. They are transported to their graves in the dark. Funerals are unobtrusive, out of harm’s way. The mutilated rot in their beds, some for the rest of their lives. So the dead and the mutilated both rot, in different kinds of graves.

Here is an extract from a poem by Pablo Neruda, ‘I’m Explaining a Few Things':

And one morning all that was burning,
one morning the bonfires
leapt out of the earth
devouring human beings
and from then on fire,
gunpowder from then on,
and from then on blood.
Bandits with planes and Moors,
bandits with finger-rings and duchesses,
bandits with black friars spattering blessings
came through the sky to kill children
and the blood of children ran through the streets
without fuss, like children’s blood.

Jackals that the jackals would despise
stones that the dry thistle would bite on and spit out,
vipers that the vipers would abominate.

Face to face with you I have seen the blood
of Spain tower like a tide
to drown you in one wave
of pride and knives.

Treacherous
generals:
see my dead house,
look at broken Spain:
from every house burning metal flows
instead of flowers
from every socket of Spain
Spain emerges
and from every dead child a rifle with eyes
and from every crime bullets are born
which will one day find
the bull’s eye of your hearts.

And you will ask: why doesn’t his poetry
speak of dreams and leaves
and the great volcanoes of his native land.

Come and see the blood in the streets.
Come and see
the blood in the streets.
Come and see the blood
in the streets!*

Let me make it quite clear that in quoting from Neruda’s poem I am in no way comparing Republican Spain to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. I quote Neruda because nowhere in contemporary poetry have I read such a powerful visceral description of the bombing of civilians.

I have said earlier that the United States is now totally frank about putting its cards on the table. That is the case. Its official declared policy is now defined as ‘full spectrum dominance’. That is not my term, it is theirs. ‘Full spectrum dominance’ means control of land, sea, air and space and all attendant resources.

The United States now occupies 702 military installations throughout the world in 132 countries, with the honourable exception of Sweden, of course. We don’t quite know how they got there but they are there all right.

The United States possesses 8,000 active and operational nuclear warheads. Two thousand are on hair trigger alert, ready to be launched with 15 minutes warning. It is developing new systems of nuclear force, known as bunker busters. The British, ever cooperative, are intending to replace their own nuclear missile, Trident. Who, I wonder, are they aiming at? Osama bin Laden? You? Me? Joe Dokes? China? Paris? Who knows? What we do know is that this infantile insanity – the possession and threatened use of nuclear weapons – is at the heart of present American political philosophy. We must remind ourselves that the United States is on a permanent military footing and shows no sign of relaxing it.

Many thousands, if not millions, of people in the United States itself are demonstrably sickened, shamed and angered by their government’s actions, but as things stand they are not a coherent political force – yet. But the anxiety, uncertainty and fear which we can see growing daily in the United States is unlikely to diminish.

I know that President Bush has many extremely competent speech writers but I would like to volunteer for the job myself. I propose the following short address which he can make on television to the nation. I see him grave, hair carefully combed, serious, winning, sincere, often beguiling, sometimes employing a wry smile, curiously attractive, a man’s man.

‘God is good. God is great. God is good. My God is good. Bin Laden’s God is bad. His is a bad God. Saddam’s God was bad, except he didn’t have one. He was a barbarian. We are not barbarians. We don’t chop people’s heads off. We believe in freedom. So does God. I am not a barbarian. I am the democratically elected leader of a freedom-loving democracy. We are a compassionate society. We give compassionate electrocution and compassionate lethal injection. We are a great nation. I am not a dictator. He is. I am not a barbarian. He is. And he is. They all are. I possess moral authority. You see this fist? This is my moral authority. And don’t you forget it.’

A writer’s life is a highly vulnerable, almost naked activity. We don’t have to weep about that. The writer makes his choice and is stuck with it. But it is true to say that you are open to all the winds, some of them icy indeed. You are out on your own, out on a limb. You find no shelter, no protection – unless you lie – in which case of course you have constructed your own protection and, it could be argued, become a politician.

I have referred to death quite a few times this evening. I shall now quote a poem of my own called ‘Death’.

Where was the dead body found?
Who found the dead body?
Was the dead body dead when found?
How was the dead body found?

Who was the dead body?

Who was the father or daughter or brother
Or uncle or sister or mother or son
Of the dead and abandoned body?

Was the body dead when abandoned?
Was the body abandoned?
By whom had it been abandoned?

Was the dead body naked or dressed for a journey?

What made you declare the dead body dead?
Did you declare the dead body dead?
How well did you know the dead body?
How did you know the dead body was dead?

Did you wash the dead body
Did you close both its eyes
Did you bury the body
Did you leave it abandoned
Did you kiss the dead body

When we look into a mirror we think the image that confronts us is accurate. But move a millimetre and the image changes. We are actually looking at a never-ending range of reflections. But sometimes a writer has to smash the mirror – for it is on the other side of that mirror that the truth stares at us.

I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory.

If such a determination is not embodied in our political vision we have no hope of restoring what is so nearly lost to us – the dignity of man.

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011 1 comment

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South African President Again Blasts NATO’s War In Libya

NATO’s Air War In Libya: 12,745 Sorties, 4,804 Strike Missions

Libyan War Exceeds 100 Days: NATO Bombs Gaddafi Residence

Video And Text: Global Regime Change: Cash And Cyberware On U.S. Offensive

Tbilisi: NATO Representative Promotes Georgia’s Integration

Pakistan: U.S. Drone Strikes Kill At Least 26 People

Four U.S. Missiles Kill At Least Eight In Pakistan

Pakistan Tells Britain To Withdraw Military Trainers

U.S. Spy Plane Crashes, Falls Into Taliban Hands

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South African President Again Blasts NATO’s War In Libya

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1897178.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
June 27, 2011

Zuma: NATO mission is to protect civilians, not assassinate Gaddafi

South African President Jacob Zuma on Sunday severely criticized the NATO mission in Libya and warned against assassinating leader Moamer Gaddafi, dpa reported.

Expressing concern over the “continuing bombing by NATO and its allies,” he said the United Nations resolution that mandated the airstrikes to implement a no-fly zone was aimed at protecting civilians.

“The intention was not to authorize a campaign for regime change or political assassination,” Zuma told a meeting of the African Union (AU) in Pretoria called to discuss the conflict in Libya.

Zuma has led two AU delegations to Libya. Both diplomatic efforts failed to produce a ceasefire agreement between the regime and Libyan rebels, who want Gaddafi to step down after 42 years in power.

Zuma’s last mediating mission in May ended with the government and rebels entrenched in their positions.

Zuma said that in spite of efforts to broker peace, the crisis in Libya was escalating.

“On the ground, there is a military stalemate which we cannot and must not be allowed to drag on and on, both because of its horrendous cost in civilian lives and the potential it has to destabilize the entire sub-region,” he said.

Ever defiant, Gaddafi has vowed to defeat NATO as the military alliance continues bombing sites in the capital Tripoli and other regime strongholds.

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NATO’s Air War In Libya: 12,745 Sorties, 4,804 Strike Missions

http://www.aco.nato.int/resources/3/documents/Libya%20update%20June%2011/20110627oup-update%5B1%5D.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 27, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 12,745 sorties, including 4,804 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 26 JUNE: 138

Strike sorties conducted 26 JUNE: 56

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Libyan War Exceeds 100 Days: NATO Bombs Gaddafi Residence

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/27/52457843.html

Voice of Russia
June 27, 2011

NATO bombs Gaddafi’s residence

Two powerful explosions sounded in the Libyan capital Tripoli on Monday near the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s residence. The Associated Press says that they may have come from a NATO air raid. Several minutes after the explosions, jet plane engines could be heard in the city.

The news agency reports that Gaddafi is not in his residence at present. Nothing is reported about casualties.

Monday marks 100 days since the start of the NATO military operation in Libya.

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Video And Text: Global Regime Change: Cash And Cyberware On U.S. Offensive

http://rt.com/news/us-cash-regime-change/

RT
June 27, 2011

Cash and cyberware on the US offensive

Video

After the State Department announced its new programs aimed at spreading democracy around the world, some activists say the US is fostering regime change in countries not aligned with American foreign policy goals.

The State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor has requested proposals on how to foster change in a number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Cuba. The US claims the best of intentions, saying it wants to strengthen independent civil society groups in those countries.

Lawyer and journalist Eva Golinger believes differently: “It’s just really another form of provoking regime change. They’re just trying to do it under a different guise or different facade, saying that somehow with the best intentions they are promoting democracy, but in reality it’s just promoting the US agenda.”

Among other things, the State Department is financing the creation of stealth wireless networks that would enable activists to communicate outside the reach of governments in countries like Iran, Syria and Libya, according to participants in the projects.

Other programs include a so-called “internet in a suitcase,” a powerful portable wireless transmitter that activists can use to set up their own networks, in order to circumvent state control. But at the same time, American companies provide authorities in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait with the technology to effectively block websites.

“Those double standards do in fact exist and everybody should be fully aware of those things and understand that it’s an integral part of the US foreign policy. The United States government is fostering regime change, that’s what essentially the color revolutions are. And they have a geopolitical motive, and the geopolitical motive is different in every country they work in,” says Eric Pottenger, author and blogger.

Technology is not all the US provides to instigate change in certain countries. Some opposition movements get a direct cash supply. For example, WikiLeaks cables show that the State Department has for years secretly funded Syrian anti-government groups.

“It’s done in general to create a world that is more aligned – more specifically, more controllably aligned – with the views of the United States. Without having to land troops, without having to invade, bomb,” explains Luis Rumbaut from the educational fund Alianza Cubano-Americana.

There is a page on the State Department’s website promoting grants for those willing to bring about change in communist Cuba. One of the requirements says: “It is preferable for these personnel to speak Spanish fluently, possess solid understanding of the cultural context, and have prior experience on the island, in order to maximize their effectiveness in this unique operating environment.”

It sounds very much like recruiting agents. But instead of doing that the traditional stealth way, the US does that right out in the open, on their website.

America’s help most often comes with strings attached. Many say opposition leaders in Libya, who now get financial and political support from Washington, are sure to get instructions on how to return the favor.

“Essentially their behaviors end up being consistent with agents of the US government, even if they don’t necessarily think that’s what’s they are doing,” Eric Pottenger believes.

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Tbilisi: NATO Representative Promotes Georgia’s Integration

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1897218.html

Trend News Agency
June 27, 2011

NATO rep to visit Tbilisi workshop
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: The representative of the NATO Public Diplomacy Division, Despina Afendouli, will visit Tbilisi today.

Afentoul will attend a workshop organized by the NATO Information Center in Tbilisi at the Vere Palace, the Georgian Foreign Ministry told Trend.

The workshop is devoted to Georgia’s integration into NATO.

A NATO representative will leave Georgia on June 28.

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Pakistan: U.S. Drone Strikes Kill At Least 26 People

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/28/c_13952835.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 28, 2011

26 people killed in two U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: At least 26 people were killed in two U.S. drone strikes launched Monday in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of South Waziristan, reported local Urdu TV channel Geo.

According to the local media reports, the U.S. drones launched two strikes in the same afore-said area on Monday.

During the first strike launched on Monday afternoon, four missiles were fired by U.S. drones at a vehicle suspected of carrying militants in the Wana area of South Waziristan, reportedly killing 12 people.

The second strike, which was launched late Monday night in the Mantoi area of South Waziristan with a target at two houses, killing 14 people.

….

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Four U.S. Missiles Kill At Least Eight In Pakistan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/27/c_13952626.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 27, 2011

U.S. drone attack kills 8 in NW Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: At least eight people were killed Monday when a U.S. drone targeted the South Waziristan tribal area in northwest Pakistan, local sources said.

The pilotless aircraft fired four missiles at a vehicle in Wana, the main town in South Waziristan which borders Afghanistan, they said.

The identities of the killed are not immediately known…

So far this year, the U.S. drones have carried out almost 40 attacks in Pakistan’s northwest region, reportedly killing over 300 people.

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Pakistan Tells Britain To Withdraw Military Trainers

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/ocountries/1897317.html

Trend News Agency
June 27, 2011

Pakistan tells Britain to withdraw military trainers

Pakistan requested that Britain pull out a team of military advisors sent to train the country’s paramilitary troops, British media reports have said, DPA reported.

The Guardian newspaper on Sunday cited the British Ministry of Defence confirming that 18 advisors deployed to the southern province of Baluchistan to train the Frontier Corps had been withdrawn.

The move came after a raid by US special forces that killed Osama bin Laden in the north-western city of Abbottabad on May 2. The incident strained relations between Pakistan and its western allies in the fight against terrorism.

The United States have already pulled out more than 100 military trainers from Pakistan in the wake of the raid.

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U.S. Spy Plane Crashes, Falls Into Taliban Hands

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/06/27/nato-spy-plane-crashes-kapisa

Pajhwok Afghan News
June 27, 2011

NATO spy plane crashes in Kapisa

MEHMOOD RAQI: A pilotless surveillance drone used by NATO-led troops has crashed in the Tagab district of central Kapisa province, the alliance said on Monday, but the Taliban claimed to have shot down the aircraft.

The Tagab district chief, Abdul Hakim Akhunzada, confirmed the crash, saying the aircraft went down in the Zangali area late on Sunday. He said the Taliban seized the remains of the plane.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the drone was a spy plane and that the Taliban had taken its debris.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 26, 2011

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100 Days Of War: 12,607 NATO Air Missions, 4,478 Strike Sorties In Libya

Libya Seeks Nigeria’s Aid To End NATO Bombardments

Iraq: Deadliest Month For U.S. Soldiers In Over Two Years

U.S. Troops Deploy With Polish Counterparts For Afghan War

Afghanistan: Two Spanish Soldiers Killed, Three Wounded

NATO To Keep Slovak Troops In Afghanistan

Four NATO Sldiers Killed In Afghan Attacks

NATO Tanker Set On Fire In Pakistan

U.S., German Troops In “Unparalleled” Czech Border Exercise

Azerbaijan: President Vows Military Build-Up For New Caucasus War

Azerbaijani Army One Of The Strongest “In Europe”: MP

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100 Days Of War: 12,607 NATO Air Missions, 4,478 Strike Sorties In Libya

http://www.aco.nato.int/resources/3/documents/Libya%20update%20June%2011/20110626_110626-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 26, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 12607 sorties, including 4748 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 25 JUNE: 123

Strike sorties conducted 25 JUNE: 45

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Libya Seeks Nigeria’s Aid To End NATO Bombardments

http://news.in.msn.com/international/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5235344

Press Trust of India
June 26, 2011

Libya seeks Nigeria’s help to end NATO bombardments
From Paul Ohia

Abuja: Libya has sought Nigeria”s help to halt the air attacks by NATO forces which seeks to force the embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to quit.

Libyan Foreign minister Abdullahi Oubaidi met President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday and said he extracted a promise from the Nigerian leader to take up the issue at the forthcoming meeting of the African Union in Equatorial Guinea.

“The action of NATO is a strict violation of the sovereignty of Libya. The matter ought to have been allowed for internal resolution but has been blown out of control by NATO which has been bombing and killing innocent civilians”, Oubaidi said adding that infrastructure in the country was totally being destroyed.

Initial missile bombardments led by France was followed by a combination of attacks by other world powers with war planes trailed by combat helicopters.

The African Union has sent several emissaries including South African President Jacob Zuma to the country to seek a peaceful solution to the civil war.

During the India-Africa Forum Summit held recently in Addis Ababa, President Teodore Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea and the Chairman of the African Union lamented the backseat given to Africa in tackling such problems.

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Iraq: Deadliest Month For U.S. Soldiers In Over Two Years

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/27/52422049.html

Voice of Russia
June 27, 2011

2 US soldiers killed in Iraq

Two US soldiers were killed in northern Iraq on Sunday while conducting operations, France Presse reports citing Pentagon officials in Washington.

The deaths bring to 4,465 the overall number of American troops killed in Iraq since the start of the US-led invasion in 2003. Eleven American troops have died this month in combat related situations.

The casualty figure is the highest number of combat-related deaths since May 2009.

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U.S. Troops Deploy With Polish Counterparts For Afghan War

http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x898079368/18-Illinois-National-Guard-members-to-join-Polish-forces-in-Afghanistan

State Journal-Register
June 21, 2011

18 Illinois Guard members to join Polish forces in Afghanistan

Sgt. David Sworobowicz soon will be putting his Polish language skills to good use in Afghanistan.

Sworobowicz, a Springfield resident who grew up near Chicago, is one of 18 Illinois National Guard soldiers who are deploying to Afghanistan with a Polish army unit…

As part of his duties, Sworobowicz will translate between the Polish soldiers and Illinois Guard personnel.

While in Afghanistan, the Guard members will be working with the Poles on a variety of missions, including security operations.

The Illinois National Guard has had a partnership with Poland since 1993. Since then, the Illinois Army National Guard has participated in more than 30 exercises with Polish land forces.

Purple’s team represents the 14th rotation of Illinois Guard personnel supporting operations in either Afghanistan or Iraq.

The team will leave Thursday for two weeks of training at Camp Atterbury, near Edinburgh, Ind. They will then head to Poland where they will train with Polish forces for about two months and should arrive in Afghanistan in the fall for a six-month deployment.

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Afghanistan: Two Spanish Soliders Killed, Three Wounded

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/afghanistan/1897195.html

Trend News Agency
June 27, 2011

Two Spanish soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Two Spanish soldiers have been killed and three others injured in Afghanistan as their armored vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device, Press TV reported.

Spain’s Defense Minister Carme Chacon announced at a press conference that the incident took place on Sunday, some 20 kilometers north of the Qala i Naw city in the northwestern region of Badghia, when the soldiers were conducting a reconnaissance patrol.

The injured soldiers, who suffered from broken bones and bruises, had been taken to a hospital in the nearby town of Bala Murghab. Two of them had to amputate their legs, AFP reported.

Spain currently has some 1,500 troops in the NATO-led military operation in Afghanistan.

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NATO To Keep Slovak Troops In Afghanistan

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/25/52371475.html

Voice of Russia
June 25, 2011

Slovakia not withdrawing troops from Afghanistan

Slovakia does not plan to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by 2014 said the Press-Secretary of the Ministry of Defense of Slovakia, Ivan Rudolph.

“The armed forces of Slovakia will be in Afghanistan until the end of the process of transferring responsibility for security to local authorities in 2014. Gradually we will move to aiding in the training of Afghan security forces, “- he said.

Currently Slovakia has 323 troops in Afghanistan.

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Four NATO Sldiers Killed In Afghan Attacks

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1647664.php/Four-NATO-soldiers-killed-in-separate-attacks-in-Afghanistan

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
June 26, 2011

Four NATO soldiers killed in separate attacks in Afghanistan

Kabul: Four NATO soldiers have been killed in separate attacks by Afghan insurgents over the weekend, the military alliance said Sunday.

Two International Security Assistance Forces soldiers died in a roadside bomb attack in the west of the country, while another member died as result of a similar attack in the south, coalition forces said in a statement.

Both incidents took place on Sunday. The military did not reveal the nationalities of the deceased nor the exact location of the attacks.

On Saturday, another ISAF soldier was killed in an insurgent attack in the south.

More than 50 United States and NATO soldiers have been killed so far this month in Afghanistan, according to iCausalities.org, an independent website that tracks military fatalities in Afghanistan.

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NATO Tanker Set On Fire In Pakistan

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C06%5C26%5Cstory_26-6-2011_pg7_9

Associated Press of Pakistan
June 26, 2011

NATO container set ablaze

MASTUNG: Unidentified gunmen set ablaze a NATO container in Mastung on Saturday.

A police official said that a container carrying supplies for the NATO forces was on its way to Afghanistan from Karachi when unidentified armed men intercepted it and opened indiscriminate fire at it.

Resultantly, the container caught fire and was gutted, however, the driver and cleaner remained unhurt. Police have cordoned off the area and started search operation.

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U.S., German Troops In “Unparalleled” Czech Border Exercise

http://praguemonitor.com/2011/06/21/czech-us-german-soldiers-join-unique-border-exercise

Czech News Agency
June 21, 2011

Czech, US, German soldiers to join unique border exercise

Plzen, West Bohemia: Some 60 professional soldiers and military reserves from the Czech Republic, Germany and the United States will take part in the 12th border exercise in Plzen and Gare, Germany, this week, Plzen Regional Military Command chief Roman Kucera told reporters Monday.

The Patrouille-Hlidka-Euregio-Egrensis exercise, which is unparalleled in the Czech Republic, will focus on military tasks and rescue operations, Kucera said.

Soldiers will be divided into mixed international teams to fulfil several tasks…

The exercise is to extend cooperation of border regions and improve soldiers’ military and non-military skills, Kucera pointed out.

After the Czech part of the exercise ends and is assessed, the event will move to Germany where soldiers are to fulfill other tasks, Slavomir Tomcak, from the Regional Military Command, said.

The team competitions in the complex of the miliary shooting range in Plzen-Lobzy will be open to the public.

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Azerbaijan: President Vows Military Build-Up For New Caucasus War

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=254614

Interfax
June 26, 2011

Azerbaijan will restore its territorial integrity by any means – President Aliyev

BAKU: Azerbaijan must be strong in order to restore its territorial integrity, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has said.

“I am absolutely sure that our territorial integrity will be restored in any way. To this end we must be even stronger,” he said in Baku before the beginning of a military parade of the Day of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan.

He said that the occupation of 20% of Azerbaijani territory by Armenia is a temporary phenomenon and cannot last forever.

He stressed that Azerbaijan will continue building up its military might. “While in 2003 our military spending amounted to $160million, in 2010 – to $2.15 billion, this year the figure has reached $3.3 billion,” he said adding that today Azerbaijan’s military spending exceeds Armenia’s entire national budget by 50%.

Aliyev said that military speeding will continue to remain the top priority in the national budget until Armenia withdraws from Azerbaijani lands and signs a peace agreement.

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Azerbaijani Army One Of The Strongest “In Europe”: MP

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1897138.html

Trend News Agency
June 26, 2011

MP: Azerbaijani army proved to be one of strongest armies in Europe
M. Aliyev

Baku: In a Sunday military parade Azerbaijani Army demonstrated itself as one of the strongest armies of Europe, the deputy chairman of the Azerbaijani parliamentary committee on defense and security, Aydin Mirzazade, told Trend.

According to Mirzazade, the discipline of different divisions of the Armed Forces was demonstrated on a high level and the feeling was that arrangements for the parade were very substantial.

A military parade commemorating the Azerbaijani Armed Forces Day and the 20th anniversary of restoration of the country’s independence ended in Baku on Sunday.

“Today we witnessed updated technique – missiles, rifles, military equipment, as well as renewal of their technical characteristics – as compared to the parade held three years ago,” Mirzazade said.

The number of military airliners and helicopters has increased considerably, he added.

“It is well seen that the Azerbaijani Army’s maneuver capabilities are quite high in any battle conditions with such technique and training,” Mirzazade underscored.

Mirzazade noted that the ambassadors of foreign countries and military attaches were observing with great interests the parade, which made a deep impression on them.

The Azerbaijani Army is fully prepared to implement tasks set for it.

The military parade was attended by 6,000 servicemen of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces. About 400 military equipment and weapon systems, including 50 modernized military combat equipment, 60 weapons produced and upgraded in Azerbaijan, 14 armored transporters, 35 combat helicopters, 22 fighter jets, 8 training aircrafts, 28 ships, boats and other equipment were demonstrated at the parade.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Herodotus: No one is fool enough to choose war instead of peace

June 26, 2011 1 comment

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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

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Herodotus
From The Histories
Translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt

“Tell me Croesus, who was it who persuaded you to March against my country and be my enemy rather than my friend?”

“My lord,” Croesus replied, “the luck was yours when I did it, and the loss was mine. The god of the Greeks encouraged me to fight you: the blame is his. No one is fool enough to choose war instead of peace – in peace sons bury fathers, but in war fathers bury sons…”

****

“You know, my lord, that amongst living creatures it is the great ones that God smites with his thunder, out of envy of their pride. It is always the great buildings and the tall trees which are struck by lightning…”

****

“There is danger in insatiable desire, and I could not but remember the fate of Cyrus’ campaign against the Massagetae and Cambyses’ invasion of Ethiopia. Yes, and did I not march with Darius, too, against the Scythians? My memory of those disasters forced me to believe that the world would call you happy only if you lived in peace…”

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 25, 2011

June 25, 2011 2 comments

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Top U.S. Admiral: NATO Goal Is To Kill Gaddafi, Put Troops On Ground

Legal Acrobatics, Illegal War

NATO’s Libyan War: 12,347 Sorties, 4,660 Combat Missions

NATO Air Attack Kills Fifteen In Brega

Bulgaria Could Host U.S.-NATO Interceptor Missile Elements

NATO Coalition Warrior Interoperability Event Held In Poland For First Time

John Bolton: U.S. Must Embrace Azerbaijan To Counter Russia In Former Soviet Union

State Department: U.S. Committed To Azerbaijan “Energy Security”

U.S. Versus Russia: Trust Undermined By Countless Breaches Of International Treaties

Pentagon Strengthens Military Ties With Algeria

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Top U.S. Admiral: NATO Goal Is To Kill Gaddafi, Put Troops On Ground

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20074150-503544.html

CBS News
June 24, 2011

Top U.S. admiral: Goal in Libya is to kill Qaddafi
By Ken Millstone

It has been more than three months since President Obama told the nation that the U.S. was launching a humanitarian military mission in Libya, one that would last “days, not weeks.”

The mission was clear: “We are not going to use force to go beyond a well-defined goal – specifically, the protection of civilians in Libya and whose goal was to protect Libyan civilians in imminent danger in Benghazi.”

In the following weeks, Mr. Obama stressed that, although it would be desirable for Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi to step down, the U.S. would not pursue regime change.

“I, along with many other world leaders, have embraced that goal, and will actively pursue it through non-military means. But broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake,” Mr. Obama said March 28. “If we tried to overthrow Qaddafi by force our coalition would splinter. We would likely have to put U.S. troops on the ground to accomplish that mission or risk killing many civilians from the air.”

Someone should tell the president’s military commanders.

The top U.S. admiral in the NATO-led Libya war told a congressman last month that NATO is indeed trying to kill Qaddafi, Foreign Policy reports:

“House Armed Services Committee member Mike Turner (R-OH) told The Cable that U.S. Admiral Samuel Locklear, commander of the NATO Joint Operations Command in Naples, Italy, told him last month that NATO forces are actively targeting and trying to kill Qaddafi, despite the fact that the Obama administration continues to insist that ‘regime change’ is not the goal and is not authorized by the U.N. mandate authorizing the war.”

Turner also said Locklear told him that the Libya mission will require troops on the ground if and when Qaddafi falls, another scenario that Mr. Obama explicitly (and repeatedly) ruled out in March.

Of course, Turner’s (and Locklear’s) admission does not necessarily mean that U.S. troops would be committed or that U.S. is leading mission to kill Qaddafi because NATO – with extensive U.S. involvement – is now running the Libya operation. But it certainly provides fuel for critics who expressed early skepticism about any U.S. engagement in Libya and about the purported goals of the “humanitarian” mission.

The revelation comes as the House voted Friday to reject two competing resolutions on Libya – one backing a continued engagement in the face of mounting congressional condemnation and another that would have cut off most funding for the war in an even harsher rebuke. Congressional critics on both sides of the aisle are angry that Mr. Obama entered the war without approval from lawmakers – required under the decades-old War Powers Resolution except when the U.S. has been attacked or is under imminent threat.

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Legal Acrobatics, Illegal War

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/21/opinion/21Ackerman.html

New York Times
June 24, 2011

Legal Acrobatics, Illegal War
By Bruce Ackerman

-Allowing the trivialization of the War Powers Act to stand will open the way for even more blatant acts of presidential war-making in the decades ahead. Congress must confront the increasingly politicized methods White House lawyers are using to circumvent established law and stop them from transforming it into an infinitely malleable instrument of presidential power.

New Haven: It has now been over three months since the first NATO bombs fell on Libya, yet President Obama has failed to request Congressional approval for military action, as required by the War Powers Act of 1973. The legal machinations Mr. Obama has used to justify war without Congressional consent set a troubling precedent that could allow future administrations to wage war at their convenience — free of legislative checks and balances.

When Mr. Obama first announced American military involvement in Libya, he notified Congress within 48 hours, as prescribed by the War Powers Act. This initiated a 60-day period, during which he was required to obtain approval from Congress; if he failed to do so, the act gave him at most 30 days to halt all “hostilities.”

Last Sunday was the 90th day of bombing in Libya, but Mr. Obama — armed with dubious legal opinions — is refusing to stop America’s military engagement there. His White House counsel, Robert F. Bauer, has declared that, despite the War Powers Act, the president can continue the Libya campaign indefinitely without legislative support. This conclusion lacks a solid legal foundation. And by adopting it, the White House has shattered the traditional legal process the executive branch has developed to sustain the rule of law over the past 75 years.

Since the 1930s, it has been the job of an elite office in the Justice Department — the Office of Legal Counsel — to serve as the authoritative voice on matters of legal interpretation. The approximately 25 lawyers in this office write legal opinions after hearing arguments from the White House as well as other executive branch departments.

But not this time. After Caroline D. Krass, acting head of the Office of Legal Counsel, told the president that he had to abide by the act’s requirements, the White House counsel decided to pre-empt the Justice Department’s traditional role. As the war powers deadline approached, Mr. Bauer held a series of White House meetings at which he contested the Office of Legal Counsel’s interpretation and invited leading lawyers from the State Department and the Pentagon to join him in preparing competing legal opinions for the president.

This pre-emptive move was not unprecedented. During George W. Bush’s administration, shortly after 9/11, the White House counsel, Alberto R. Gonzales, led an ad hoc war council that included State and Defense Department officials. It was in this hyper-politicized setting that John Yoo, representing the Office of Legal Counsel, prepared his notorious “torture memos” for President Bush’s approval.

The players are different this time around, but the dynamic is the same. Mr. Obama is creating a decisive and dangerous precedent for the next commander in chief, who is unlikely to have the Harvard Law Review on his résumé.

[F]rom a legal viewpoint, Mr. Obama is setting an even worse precedent.

Although Mr. Yoo’s memos made a mockery of the applicable law, they at least had the approval of the Office of Legal Counsel. In contrast, Mr. Obama’s decision to disregard that office’s opinion and embrace the White House counsel’s view is undermining a key legal check on arbitrary presidential power.

This is a Beltway detail of major significance. Unlike the head of the Office of Legal Counsel, the White House counsel is not confirmed by the Senate — which means that the president can appoint whomever he likes. Some presidents have picked leading legal statesmen like Lloyd N. Cutler, who served both Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. But others have turned to personal friends to fill the office. In such cases, it is especially difficult for the White House counsel to say no to a top presidential priority on the grounds that the law prohibits it.

Mr. Bauer is not the only administration lawyer to conclude that the billion-dollar bombing campaign in Libya does not amount to “hostilities” under the War Powers Act. The State Department’s legal adviser and former Yale Law School dean, Harold H. Koh, has also taken this position. This is surprising, since Mr. Koh’s legal scholarship over the years has been highly critical of presidential overreach on matters of national security, emphasizing the importance of Congress’s constitutional powers over war and peace.

If the precedent Mr. Obama has created is allowed to stand, future presidents who do not like what the Justice Department is telling them could simply cite the example of Mr. Obama’s war in Libya and instruct the White House counsel to organize a supportive “coalition of the willing” made up of the administration’s top lawyers. Even if just one or two agreed, this would be enough to push ahead and claim that the law was on the president’s side.

Allowing the trivialization of the War Powers Act to stand will open the way for even more blatant acts of presidential war-making in the decades ahead. Congress must confront the increasingly politicized methods White House lawyers are using to circumvent established law and stop them from transforming it into an infinitely malleable instrument of presidential power.

If Congress does not act, the Constitution’s command that the president “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” will become nothing more than an unfulfilled hope on an old piece of parchment.

Bruce Ackerman, a professor of law and political science at Yale, is the author of “The Decline and Fall of the American Republic.”

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NATO’s Libyan War: 12,347 Sorties, 4,660 Combat Missions

http://www.aco.nato.int/resources/3/documents/Libya%20update%20June%2011/20110624_110624-oup-update%5B1%5D.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 25, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 12347 sorties, including 4660 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 23 JUNE: 149

Strike sorties conducted 23 JUNE: 47

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NATO Air Attack Kills Fifteen In Brega

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/25/c_13949883.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 25, 2011

15 killed in NATO air raid in Brega: Libya TV

TRIPOLI: Libyan state TV said on Saturday 15 people were killed in a NATO air attack on civilian sites in the costal oil city of Brega in Libya.

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Bulgaria Could Host U.S.-NATO Interceptor Missile Elements

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=129613

Sofia News Agency
June 24, 2011

Bulgaria to Host Elements of NATO Missile Defense if Turkey Refuses

Bulgaria is likely to host elements of the US/NATO missile defense system in Europe instead of Turkey if Turkey refuses to host them, according to Bulgarian Deputy Defense Minister Avgustina Tsvetkova.

Turkey’s position about hosting elements of the US and NATO missile shield, most likely its radar system, should be clear by the fall of 2011, Tsvetkova told journalists in Pamporovo Friday. Should Turkey decide against hosting part of the missile defense, then Bulgaria could start talks with NATO to host the same elements, she explained.

Tsvetkova did say that for the time being there are no plans to station elements of the US and NATO missile defense system in Europe on Bulgarian territory. She reiterated the official position of the government, which insists that Bulgaria’s entire territory must be covered by the future missile shield.

The past few months since the NATO summit in Lisbon in November 2010 took a decision to adopt the project for the US missile system in Europe as an Alliance-wide shield have seen occasional reports that Bulgaria might host elements the radar of the system.

The original missile defense in Europe plan of George W. Bush administration provided for stationing interceptors in Poland and the radar station in the Czech Republic. The modification of the plan by the Obama Administration switched it to sea-borne missiles and, later on, locations in southeastern Europe. Initially, there were reports and expectations that Romania and Bulgaria will replace Poland and the Czech Republic, respectively.

During its summit in November 2010 in Lisbon, NATO agreed to adopt the previously purely US missile shield project as its own. The summit did cast some serious doubts over Turkey’s participation in the missile defense system because it insisted that its Muslim neighbor Iran should not be mentioned as a source of threat in the respective documents, and eventually prevailed.

In May 2011, the US State Department and Romanian President Traian Basescu announced that the interceptor missiles of the future NATO/US missile shield in Europe will be stationed at the Deveselu Air Base near Caracal, Romania.

The System employs the SM-3 interceptor (also referred to as the “Aegis Ashore System”) while the deployment to Romania is anticipated to occur in the 2015 timeframe as part of the second phase of the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) – the US national contribution to a NATO missile defense architecture.

The US Ballistic Missile Defense site is approximately 430 acres (175 hectares) and is located within the existing Romanian Air Base at Deveselu.

Deveselu is about 50 km away from the Romanian-Bulgarian border. The closest Bulgarian location is the village of Zagrazhden between the towns of Oryahovo and Nikopol.

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NATO Coalition Warrior Interoperability Event Held In Poland For First Time

http://www.act.nato.int/multimedia/archive/42-news-stories/662-act-conducts-nato-cwix-2011-at-jftc

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation
June 22, 2011

ACT conducts NATO CWIX 2011 at JFTC

For the first time in its history, the NATO Coalition Warrior Interoperability exploration, experimentation and examination exercise (CWIX) was held at the Joint Forces Training Centre (JFTC) in Bydgoszcz, Poland from 30 May to 16 June 2011.

CWIX 2011 is the largest event JFTC has hosted to date and the intense coordination between the ACT CWIX Team, JFTC, the local NCSA team and Host Nation Poland led to a flawless execution.

During the execution period, about 900 participants representing seventeen NATO nations, three Partnership for Peace Nations, one contact nation, seven NATO Agencies and one Centre of Excellence (CoE) worked on improving the interoperability of NATO and National Command AND Control (C2) Systems. During peak days, about 650 people were present at JFTC to participate in or observe interoperability testing.

NATO CWIX 2011 attracted 104 C2 systems (an increase from 96 systems in 2010) and conducted 4316 tests over a two week period. The Coalition Information Assurance Team (CIAT) noted that there were more than 900 network hosts on the exercise network.

NATO CWIX broke ground in several areas this year. A few accomplishments in these areas are mentioned below:


Afghan Mission Network (AMN) related testing: One of the current AMN testing objectives is to make it possible for forces in Afghanistan to plan and do the targeting of missions without delays caused by manual transfer of data between systems. While further testing is still required, NATO CWIX successfully demonstrated that it is technically possible to exchange data between complex systems and disparate databases. The Joint Fires Focus Area significantly improved the capability to automate the one-way exchange of target data from USA systems to NATO systems. In addition to targeting, 23 AMN-related systems were tested for battle space management interoperability. All of the results will be forwarded to the appropriate working group in order to be certified and validated.


Cross Component Interactions: For the first time Cross Component interactions (e.g. Air Task Orders, Close Air Support etc.) were conducted to avoid the traditional Air/Land/Maritime stove piped focus.


Geospatial: NATO CWIX Geospatial testing continues to expand. The goal for this year was to have a single source location for all geospatial data using an enterprise service bus. This capability allows all users to access all geospatial data without having to query different national systems. This capability proved to be a big success and it showed that technically this can be done.


Logistics / Movement & Transportation (M&T) / Medical: For the first time, Logistics, M&T and Medical interoperability was tested at NATO CWIX from an Information/data exchange point of view. HQ SACT sponsored the involvement of NC3A developed logistics and medical prototype software tools and their availability acted as a hub around Nations and NATO could construct test cases for the exchange of data. At CIWC 2011 it was proven that automatic data transfer from 3 National Systems to the NATO Operational Logistic Chain Management prototype and then to the Joint Common Operational Picture was possible.

NATO CWIX is crucial for NATO and Nations to test systems before deploying them in real operations and to get ready for NRF certification…

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John Bolton: U.S. Must Embrace Azerbaijan To Counter Russia In Former Soviet Union

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=150305

Azeri Press Agency
June 25, 2011

Former US ambassador to UN: “US policy with regards to Azerbaijan does need to be modified”
“The US should be prepared to provide support and pay a significant attention to Azerbaijan”
Isabel Levine

Washington: John Bolton, former US ambassador to the United Nations and a possible presidential candidate, called for the US government to pay more attention to Azerbaijan and, especially, its conflict with Armenia, APA’s Washington DC correspondent reports.

“Our policy with regards to Azerbaijan does need to be modified. Obviously, this is complicated by the conflict with Armenia, but besides that, precisely, given Azerbaijan’s access to Caspian Sea oil and natural gas assets, the importance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline route, and its geographical location, I think this is a place where this frozen conflict needs more US attention”, Mr. Bolton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee answering questioning by Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX).

Mr. Bolton also mentioned that the US should be prepared to provide support and pay significant attention to Azerbaijan because Russia wants to regain its influence in the region. “We know there are a lot of things going on in the world, but this is in the space of the former Soviet Union and the most important significance it has.

“I think we mustn’t forget what the Russian Prime-Minister Vladimir Putin said when he still was president – that the collapse of the Soviet Union was one of the most [important] geopolitical catastrophes in the 20th century. Another thing is that it was a very good ending to the 20th century, which is of course, not Mr. Putin’s opinion, but with all these conflicts and also with Russia’s attack on Georgia in 2008 we see that Russia wants to regain its influence in the region, and therefore we must pay significant attention to Azerbaijan,” Bolton said.

In his speech at the testimony, Mr. Bolton sharply criticized the Obama administration’s handling of the Middle East. Bolton focused on Iran and Syria, laying out steps the United States should take to prevent the two governments from acquiring nuclear weapons. He also had strong words for current US policy toward Israel.

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State Department: U.S. Committed To Azerbaijan “Energy Security”

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=150272

Azeri Press Agency
June 24, 2011

Andrew Shapiro: US and Azerbaijan need to have close cooperation in the security of energy infrastructure
Viktoria Dementyeva

Baku: “We see the security of energy infrastructure as a sphere in which the US and Azerbaijan need to have close cooperation.

“We intend to achieve constant progress in this sphere,” Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro told journalists in Baku.

Assessing the probability of Azerbaijan’s cooperation with the US in the security of energy infrastructure, Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov said the notion of security is multiple-vectored.

“The notion of security includes the maintenance of security of the infrastructure, measures to prevent illegal shipment, and energy security. Azerbaijan can cooperate with the US in all these spheres. The US is also ready to help us in all these issues,” he said.

Araz Azimov said the two countries realized a number of joint programs in the abovementioned spheres.

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U.S. Versus Russia: Trust Undermined By Countless Breaches Of International Treaties

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/25/52288401.html

Voice of Russia
June 25, 2011

About trust
Valentin Zorin

-In August 1975, leaders of thirty four states, including US President Gerald Ford, gathered in Helsinki to sign the Helsinki Final Act on Security and Cooperation in Europe which reiterated the inviolability of post-war borders. In March 1999, President Clinton ordered bombardments of Belgrade which put an end to sovereign Yugoslavia.
In May 1989, I was present at a meeting where US President George Bush assured Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not move an inch closer to the Russian borders after the reunification of Germany.
-Instances of Washington ignoring international treaties are countless. This so-called “list of breaches” points to those responsible for undermining international trust who think that they are a law unto themselves.

The recent meeting of the Russia-NATO Council in Brussels failed to measure up to what had been expected of it and, to put it bluntly, ended in a flop.

After Georgia’s aggression against South Ossetia in August 2008 the activities of the Russia-NATO Council were frozen, not through Russia’s fault. The Council resumed work in November 2010 with what seemed a positive agenda. At that time, the participants in the Lisbon summit were discussing the vitally important issue of building a joint missile defense system. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said after the summit that Russia would be a fully-fledged member of the European missile defense system.

More than one year later, Washington and Brussels must have changed their minds, for the proposal by Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov to join efforts to build an anti-missile umbrella over Europe was openly and blatantly ignored by the June summit. The North Atlantic alliance is just turning a deaf ear to what Russia has to say, the minister said.

NATO’s high-ranking officials say that the failure of the Brussels summit to come to an agreement on missile defense was due to a high level of distrust. This is one of the rare occasions when the explanation provided by NATO cannot be more accurate.

Ever since old times, trust has been crucial in relations between peoples and a lack of trust has triggered conflicts. Many present-day conflicts stem from distrust. Unfortunately, the relationship between the United States and Russia, which in many respects form global policies and account for the situation worldwide, including in Europe, has been marred by mistrust.

Who is accountable for this lack of trust can be ascertained from facts of the not-so-distant past.

In August 1975, leaders of thirty four states, including US President Gerald Ford, gathered in Helsinki to sign the Helsinki Final Act on Security and Cooperation in Europe which reiterated the inviolability of post-war borders. In March 1999, President Clinton ordered bombardments of Belgrade which put an end to sovereign Yugoslavia.

In May 1989, I was present at a meeting where US President George Bush assured Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO would not move an inch closer to the Russian borders after the reunification of Germany. These assurances, however, did not stop George W. Bush from launching a program to deploy American missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic.

In March 2003, US troops invaded Iraq without the consent of the United Nations and in defiance of the UN Charter, which had been signed by the US too. In 2005, in violation of international nuclear treaties, US Congress introduced a law allowing the production of so-called mini-bombs.

Meanwhile, Russia’s opponents cannot cite a single instance of Moscow defying its international commitments.

Instances of Washington ignoring international treaties are countless. This so-called “list of breaches” points to those responsible for undermining international trust who think that they are a law unto themselves.

The failure of the Russia-NATO summit in June laid bare the dangerous deficit of international trust. Rebuilding trust is vital. To achieve this, we need good will and time. Trust is imperative, without it, the world will surely plunge into still more chaos and run into more trouble.

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Pentagon Strengthens Military Ties With Algeria

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=6830&lang=0

U.S. Army Africa
June 24, 2011

Algerian Land Forces Commander Visits U.S. Army Africa

VICENZA, Italy: Algerian Land Forces Commander Major General Ahcene Tafer met with U.S. Army Africa Commander Major General David R. Hogg and toured the command’s headquarters in Vicenza, Italy, June 15, 2011. Hogg visited Algeria in December 2010, so this was a chance for him to offer Tafer the same type of welcome he was given during his visit there.

In addition to meeting with Hogg, Tafer delivered a presentation on the Algerian land forces and toured some of the installation’s skills training facilities and Battle Command Training Center.

Tafer and his delegation were shown two of USARAF’s training devices – the Engagements Skills Trainer and the HMMWV Egress Assistance Trainer.

A tour of the headquarters…finished-up the day.

Lieutenant Colonel Ulises V. Calvo, USARAF’s North African Branch Chief, said that Algeria is one of USARAF’s major partners against counterterrorism, not only in North Africa but throughout Africa.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Thucydides: Admonitions against war

June 25, 2011 4 comments

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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

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Thucydides
From The Peloponnesian War
Translated by Richard Crawley

“Take time…in forming your resolution, as the matter is of great importance; and do not be persuaded by the opinions and complaints of others to bring trouble on yourselves, but consider the vast influence of accident in war, before you are engaged in it. As it continues, it generally becomes an affair of chances, chances from which neither of us is exempt, and whose event we must risk in the dark. It is a common mistake in going to war to begin at the wrong end, to act first, and wait for disaster to discuss the matter…

“I have not lived so long…without having had the experience of many wars, and I see those among you of the same age as myself who will not fall into the common misfortune of longing for war from inexperience or from belief in its advantage and its safety…”

“…To conceive extravagant pretensions from success in war is to forget how hollow is the confidence by which you are elated. For if many ill-conceived plans have succeeded through the still greater fatuity of an opponent, many more, apparently well laid, have on the contrary ended in disgrace…”

In peace and prosperity states and individuals have better sentiments, because they do not find themselves suddenly confronted with imperious necessities; but war takes away the easy supply of daily wants, and so proves a rough master, that brings most men’s character to a level with their fortunes…Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them. Reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation, specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness; ability to see all sides of a question inaptness to act on any. Frantic violence became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting, a justifiable means of self-defence. The advocate of extreme measures was always trustworthy; his opponent a man to be suspected.

“[If] great enmities are ever to be settled, we think it will be, not by the system of revenge and military success, and by forcing an opponent to swear to a treaty to his disadvantage, but [by according] peace on more moderate conditions than he expected. From that moment, instead of the debt of revenge which violence must entail, [the] adversary owes a debt of generosity to be paid in kind, and is inclined by honour to stand to his agreement…”

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 24, 2011

June 24, 2011 2 comments

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U.S. AFRICOM Chief Defends Drone Missile Attacks In Libya

98 Days Of Bombing: 12,347 NATO Air Missions, 4,660 Strike Sorties

Another U.S. Guided Missile Warship Headed To Mediterranean

NATO Headquarters: Bloc’s Number 2, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Discuss Libya War

Cuba Reiterates Need For Cease-Fire In Libya

Netherlands Extends Libya War Role By Three Months

U.S. Is Initiator Of Turmoil In Middle East: Russian General

EU Sanctions Are Declaration Of War: Syrian Foreign Minister

Syria “Destabilizing Issue On NATO’s Southern Border”

Baghdad: NATO Trains Senior Iraqi Military Leaders

Arab World: Turkey Aligns With NATO Allies

Turkey: NATO States, Arab Allies Hold Aerial Combat Exercise

Vietnam #2: U.S. Stepdown Proves Afghan War Is Lost

Afghan Officials Say NATO Killed Farmers

U.S. Intrudes Itself Into Russian-Japanese Territorial Dispute

NATO And UN: Military Interoperability For Global Interventions

Azerbaijan: Participation In 150 NATO Partnership For Peace Events, Ready For Next War

Germany: 15 NATO Nations In Expeditionary Combat Air Support Exercises

23,000 Troops In Joint U.S.-Australian War Games

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U.S. AFRICOM Chief Defends Drone Missile Attacks In Libya

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304569504576403953211942410.html

Wall Street Journal
June 23, 2011

U.S. General Opposes Bill to Curb Airstrikes
By Julian E. Barnes

WASHINGTON: The senior U.S. commander for Africa said a Republican-sponsored bill that would block American Predator drone strikes in Libya would hurt the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alliance.

Gen. Carter Ham, the head of Africa Command, said the impact of the legislation, if it becomes law, would extend beyond the NATO-led effort against forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The bill would allow the military to provide refueling, intelligence collection and other support, but would cut off funding for airstrikes, including those by the drones the U.S. currently deploys in Libya.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a pitch to a closed-door meeting of Democrats on Thursday, aiming to shore up support for continuing the current U.S. role in Libya. A poll of Democrats leaving the meeting suggested that her appeal had bolstered supporters and created some sympathy even among Democratic critics.

Gen. Ham predicted that NATO would be unable to replace certain key U.S. missions, including the drone strikes and attacks to neutralize Libyan air defenses that threaten allied planes, if proposed funding cuts are made.

Africa Command oversaw the early stages of the attacks in Libya, before handing operational control to NATO. Although Gen. Ham no longer has day-to-day responsibility for the war, the command still provides intelligence assets and other forces for the operation.

The U.S. ended its own offensive airstrikes with the NATO handover, but continued attacks against Libyan air defenses. Last month, the Pentagon announced it would begin conducting limited numbers of strikes by Predators.

—Siobhan Hughes contributed to this article.

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98 Days Of Bombing: 12,347 NATO Air Missions, 4,660 Strike Sorties

http://www.aco.nato.int/resources/3/documents/Libya%20update%20June%2011/20110624_110624-oup-update%5B1%5D.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 24, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 12347 sorties, including 4660 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 23 JUNE: 149

Strike sorties conducted 23 JUNE: 47

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Another U.S. Guided Missile Warship Headed To Mediterranean

http://www.eucom.mil/english/fullstory.asp?article=USS-Carr-Enters-6th-Fleet-AOR

United States European Command
June 24, 2011

USS Carr Enters 6th Fleet AOR
Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Gary Keen, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

ATLANTIC OCEAN: The guided-missile frigate USS Carr (FFG 52) began operating in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility as part of a scheduled three-month deployment, June 24.

While in 6th Fleet, the ship’s crew will be making routine port visits to strengthen the bonds between the U.S. and its partner countries.

Carr entered 6th Fleet’s area of operation on June 22, following an eight day transit across the Atlantic Ocean…

Carr is homeported out of Norfolk, Va., and is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

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NATO Headquarters: Bloc’s Number 2, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Discuss Libya War

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-76CE310C-A6E64AEA/natolive/news_75730.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 23, 2011

NATO and Iraq discuss further cooperation

The NATO Deputy Secretary General, Ambassador Claudio Bisognero, and the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Rowsh Noori Sideq Shaways, met today at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

They discussed the current training activities led by the Alliance in support of the Iraqi Security Forces and the possibility of expanding cooperation in that field.

They also exchanged views on possible areas of future long term cooperation between NATO and Iraq such as Counterterrorism, Capacity Building of the Defence Sector and Energy Security in the context of the Strucutre Cooperation Framework.

Ambassador Claudio Bisognero and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister also spoke about the NATO current led mission in Libya in implementation of the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 1973.

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Cuba Reiterates Need For Cease-Fire In Libya

http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=299525&Itemid=1

Prensa Latina
June 22, 2011

Cuba Reiterates Need for Cease-Fire in Libya

-Benitez described as unacceptable “the growing tendency of the Security Council to rush to threaten coercive action or to authorize it in certain cases, while remaining silent, indifferent and inactive in others.”

United Nations: Cuba on Wednesday reiterated its call for an immediate halt to military operations in Libya and for the start of a dialogue so that the Libyan people can peacefully solve their differences without foreign intervention.

The NATO bombings of Libya “are killing the very civilians they are supposed to protect,” said Rodolfo Benitez, the Cuban alternate representative to the UN.

Benitez spoke during a General Assembly session that passed a resolution on strengthening the role of mediation for peaceful conflict resolution and prevention.

In Libya, NATO is unjustifiably using its most modern deadly weapons, without having exhausted diplomatic channels or other peaceful means, Benitez said. War, confrontation, hostility and sanctions never have and never will be the way to preserve international peace and security, the Cuban diplomat said, highlighting the importance of dialogue and negotiations.

Neutrality, equality, impartiality and the full consent of all parties involved are basic conditions for effective mediation, which must respect international law and the UN Charter, Benitez said, emphasizing the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-intervention in internal affairs.

He also warned that no peaceful conflict resolution method would be successful “as long as certain states continue using or threatening to use force against the territorial integrity or political independence of others.”

Benitez described as unacceptable “the growing tendency of the Security Council to rush to threaten coercive action or to authorize it in certain cases, while remaining silent, indifferent and inactive in others.”

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Netherlands Extends Libya War Role By Three Months

http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/mps-support-longer-libya-mission

Radio Netherlands
June 23, 2011

MPs support longer Libya mission

Parliament has given its final approval to extend the Dutch contribution to the NATO mission in Libya. In the past few months, the Netherlands has helped enforce the no-fly zone over Libya and the UN arms embargo.

The Dutch participation in the mission has now been extended by three months. Coalition parties VVD (conservatives) and CDA (Christian democrats), and opposition parties PvdA (Labour), the democrat party D66, the Green Left party and the Christian Union were all in favour.

The Green Left party voted against the initial deployment in March, but says there is now more clarity about the objectives, strategy and means of the mission. According to Green Left MP Mariko Peters, “This is important to a small country that has little or no say in the decisions taken by the leading countries. What is important is that now there’s more of a focus on a political solution and a post-conflict plan. And that civilian victims will receive compensation, and physical damage will be paid for once the smoke has cleared.”

The Socialist Party and the Freedom Party – which provides parliamentary support to the VVD-CDA minority cabinet – voted against the extension.

On Thursday afternoon, parliament will vote on a proposal by D66 leader Alexander Pechtold which would bar the cabinet from any involvement in efforts to help suspected Libyan war criminals escape trial at the International Criminal Court. The proposal has the support of a majority in parliament.

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U.S. Is Initiator Of Turmoil In Middle East: Russian General

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/24/52350372.html

Voice of Russia
June 24, 2011

Who is behind turmoil in MidEast?
Gennady Yevstafyev, Lieutenant-General, PIR Center Senior Advisor:

Now Mr. Gates who is leaving his post on the 30th of June, of course, he is trying to invent all kinds of pretext and justifications for the American participation in the Libyan situation.

I believe that the initiators of the turmoil in the Middle East, and in Libya in particular and in Syria too, by the way, are the Americans.

Even 5-6 years ago there was a discussion of the so-called Middle East area, in which there should be undertaken serious democratic renovation, as they called it, this modernization, whatever you call it, was needed to put this area in line with the American overall global policy.

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EU Sanctions Are Declaration Of War: Syrian Foreign Minister

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/23/52300942.html

Voice of Russia
June 23, 2011

EU sanctions are a declaration of war – Syrian FM
Alexander Vatutin

[Excerpts]

The Syrian government views the introduction of EU sanctions against the country’s leadership as a declaration of war. This came from Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid Muallem in Damascus. The Syrian leadership will not tolerate any meddling in the country’s domestic affairs, including military interference, the country’s top diplomat said.

Syria has seen a several-month-long stand-off between the opposition and the government…

Assad faces massive international pressure. The French consider that he has lost legitimacy and must step down. The US shares this view, since in the context of their upcoming withdrawal from Iraq, only a changed Syrian regime can ensure the security of their interests.

The UN Security Council is vigorously debating a resolution on Syria that would be quite similar to that on Libya, in order to intervene militarily. A draft document has been introduced by France, the UK, Germany and Portugal and received US support. The search is on for a reason to interfere in Syria’s domestic affairs. President Assad is accused of using violence against his people. This is actively promulgated by western propaganda and when events in the country led to bloodshed, and Syrian refugees entered neighbouring Turkey, western media were quick to pick up unconfirmed information about the barbaric conduct of Assad’s law enforcers.

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Syria “Destabilizing Issue On NATO’s Southern Border”

http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist-248408-growing-instability-to-the-south-of-nato-syria.html

Zaman
June 24, 2011

Growing instability to the south of NATO: Syria
Hasan Kanbolat

-Syria is not an issue that Turkey is supposed to deal with alone. Syria is a significant destabilizing issue on NATO’s southern border.
What is the US doing with respect to Syria? What does it want to do? We have to think about this and do some brainstorming. There are reports indicating that the US has been drafting a Syrian plan and that it is considering all possibilities in the preparation of its new Syrian policy.
-The sound of US footsteps is getting louder and louder for Syria. The country needs to maintain internal peace and complete political and economic reforms before these footsteps turn into “bootsteps” for the sake of regional peace.

Turkey has started taking bolder steps to address the situation in Syria. On June 10, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs set up a coordination center in an attempt to discuss the developments in the Middle East and North African countries and to review the course of the events in the short, middle and long run.

The same committee also organized a meeting on June 16 in Ankara with the participation of Turkish ambassadors and senior diplomats serving in Middle Eastern and North African countries under the chairmanship of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. On June 21, the diplomatic corps in Ankara was briefed on the refugees flowing out of Syria and into Turkey and the overall situation in Syria at a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which also sponsored a daily trip on June 22 to Hatay and other border provinces.

The whole world is turning its eyes to Turkey with regard to the situation in Syria. The world is particularly curious about Turkey’s Syrian policy and Turkey’s influence in Syria.

In addition, other matters that attract a great deal of attention are the repercussions of the ongoing situation in Syria in terms of Turkey, whether the inflow of refugees from Syria to Turkey will continue, whether Turkey is influential within the Syrian deep state and military units, the tools that Turkey could use to ensure a peaceful transition in Syria, whether the Assad regime would be able to complete the reform process, the influence of Turkey and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the Syrian people during the process of transformation in this country, the influence of Turkey’s economic power upon Syria, whether the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is ready to receive messages from Turkey, whether the Brotherhood would agree to give assurances on minorities, whether a probable civil war would lead to violence against minorities and the regional impacts of an intervention in Syria, particularly upon Lebanon and Palestine.

As a neighboring country, Turkey is trying to fulfill its responsibilities. However, Syria is not an issue that Turkey is supposed to deal with alone. Syria is a significant destabilizing issue on NATO’s southern border.

What is the US doing with respect to Syria? What does it want to do? We have to think about this and do some brainstorming. There are reports indicating that the US has been drafting a Syrian plan and that it is considering all possibilities in the preparation of its new Syrian policy.

An American politician once said: “The US drafts policies with some delay. But once it does this, its policymakers reshape the store like an elephant barging into a glassware store because the things you had broken are all yours now.” Will the storeowner open the store to the public before the elephant arrives? Or will it claim possession after the elephant destroys everything?

The sound of US footsteps is getting louder and louder for Syria. The country needs to maintain internal peace and complete political and economic reforms before these footsteps turn into “bootsteps” for the sake of regional peace.

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Baghdad: NATO Trains Senior Iraqi Military Leaders

http://www.jfcnaples.nato.int/training_mission_iraq/page168504844.aspx

NATO Training Mission – Iraq
June 19, 2011

NTM-I trains senior Iraqi military leaders

Baghdad, Iraq: A one-day course in “The Development of Education and Training” for Iraqi Security Forces senior representatives was conducted by NATO Training Mission – Iraq’s Training, Education and Doctrine Advisory Division officers in the Iraqi Defence University for Military Studies (also known as the National Defense University) on 12 June 2011.

Iraqi Armed Forces Deputy Chief of Staff for Training, sLt. Gen. Hussein Dohi and sMaj. Gen. Salim Jasim Hussain, President of the Iraqi Defence University for Military Studies, along with nearly 30 general and senior officers from across the Iraqi MOD directorates, and the single service commands, attended the course.

After sLt. Gen. Hussain opened the day by emphasizing the importance of learning from other militaries, Brig. Mark Pountain, of the British Army and NTM-I, welcomed the attendees. Pountain delivered a short overview of the contemporary approach to training development and highlighted the UK systems approach to training and how it compared to the Iraqi system.

During the course NTM-I advisors Col. Anders Borgesen, Maj. Jason Hurndall and Maj. Katie Yardley delivered presentations on the Systems Approach to Training, including the training authorities’ responsibilities and purpose, the need for planning as well as the approach to training analysis and evaluation.

NTM-I advisors and Iraqi Armed Forces generals talked over the recommendations on how to further implement development of a fully integrated Iraqi Training, Education and Doctrine system. They also identified the necessary changes required in the current training process and organization to effectively meet the operational needs. SLt. Gen. Hussain agreed to NTM-I delivering a number of courses on the Systems Approach to Training.

NTM-I Deputy Commander, Maj. Gen Claudio Angelelli also visited the course. He commented that the course topics had encouraged such open debate of the significant issues. Additionally, he stressed the importance of developing a fully integrated training system.

…In the near future, NTM-I TEDAD will conduct several week-long courses in training education management for Iraqi officers, all designed to help further develop the Iraqis’ fledgling Training Management system…

The NATO Training Mission in Iraq (NTM-I) was established in 2004 at the request of the Iraqi Interim Government under the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1546. The aim of NTM-I is to assist in the development of Iraqi security forces training structures and institutions…

The Training, Education and Doctrine Advisory Division (TEDAD) is one of the key output divisions of the NATO Training Mission – Iraq. Its Mission is to assist the Government of Iraq in building effective Iraqi-led security forces through:

Advice and training support across the National Defence University (NDU) and all subordinate organizations to develop the officer education and training system.

Advice and training support to Iraqi senior enlisted personnel training

Planning and execution of out-of-country training events and coordination of NATO equipment donations in order to contribute to the development of self-sufficient, sustainable and effective Iraqi Security Forces.
TEDAD consists of approximately 45 personnel from 10 different countries and is led by a British Brigadier. The Division has 3 Branches:

- Officer Education and Training Advisory Branch (OETAB)

- Non-Commissioned Officer and Battle Staff Training Advisory Branch (NCO/BST)

- Training and Equipment Synchronization Cell (TESC)

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Arab World: Turkey Aligns With NATO Allies

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/06/24/turkey-aligns-with-west-regional-turbulence.html

Associated Press
June 24, 2011

Turkey aligns with West on regional turbulence
Christopher Torchia

Ankara: …The VIP treatment [of Turkish journalists], and the extensive reporing on Israeli views in the journalists’ newspapers back home, reflects a softening of tension between the two countries…The mood contrasts with a plunge in Turkey’s ties with Syria, an enemy of Israel whose troops occupied areas close to the Turkish border in crackdown on anti-government protests.

More broadly, the popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa have aligned Turkey, NATO’s biggest Muslim member, more closely with its traditional Western partners in shared calls for reform and an end to violence. The coordination, at least for now, undercuts a sense that Turkey had been turning “east” by forging ties with new friends such as Iran and Syria at the expense of Israel and other Western interests.

Turkey initially balked at the idea of a NATO operation against Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi. Now it is contributing ships and other military assets…

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, architect of the “zero problems” thinking and a driver of his country’s aspirations for regional leadership, signaled a major policy review when he summoned dozens of Turkish ambassadors to the capital, Ankara, last week.

Some analysts speculate there is a looming rivalry between Turkey and Iran, even though Erdogan has spoken in defense of the Iranian nuclear program to the consternation of the West. Iran labels the uprising in Syria as a US-led provocation…

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Turkey: NATO States, Arab Allies Hold Aerial Combat Exercise

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123261384

Navy NewsStand
June 24, 2011

Exercise readies U.S., international forces for cooperative efforts
by Senior Airman William A. O’Brien
39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

3RD MAIN JET BASE KONYA AIR BASE, Turkey: Anatolian Eagle, a multi-national, large-force employment exercise, was held here to provide a realistic, scenario-based training environment to test combined aerial combat skills June 13-24.

In its 10th year, the exercise involved participation from Turkish, U.S., Saudi Arabian, Jordanian and Spanish air forces.

“Anatolian Eagle is a large-force employment exercise similar to what we do at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, during Red Flag exercises,” said Lt. Col. Michael Thompson, commander of the 510th Fighter Squadron, Aviano Air Base, Italy…

As part of the exercise, each coalition partner’s skill sets and assets needed to be efficiently utilized to effectively complete each scenario.

“A key objective to this is putting each coalition partner’s unique capabilities in the best position to succeed,” said Colonel Thompson. “You try to package an entire force together with folks who have unique capabilities. As far as dropping bombs, certain munitions are better for certain targets so you try to allocate those targets to aircraft capable of carrying the munitions capable of destroying those targets or at least capable of achieving the acceptable level of destruction based on commander’s intent.”

“This gives us an opportunity to do training with our international partners the way we would like to operate in a real-world contingency,” said the colonel…

“We brought our Block 40 F-16s, the Saudis have the F-15S, the Jordanians have F-5s, the Turkish have the F-5s and the Spanish have F-18s here,” said Colonel Thompson…

“It also helps to build international relationships. We spend a lot of time with our foreign-service counterparts; and by virtue of being able to reach out to them and interact with them, we’re able to build camaraderie,” said the colonel. “Oftentimes what this translates into is, next time we do a Red Flag International at Nellis, we now have already built a level of understanding that will become apparent when we perform the training at Red Flag International.”

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Vietnam #2: U.S. Stepdown Proves Afghan War Is Lost

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/24/52348451.html

Voice of Russia
June 24, 2011

Afghan pullout plans: acknowledgement of defeat?
Boris Volkhonsky

-[T]he American pullout plans can be viewed only in one context. The war is lost, and Barack Obama’s speech is an indirect recognition of the fact.
-Was the ten-year campaign worth hundreds of billions of dollars spent on it, 1,500 lives sacrificed and 12,000 wounded, if the outcome is a trivial surrender to a former enemy?
History does not seem to have taught the Americans anything – neither the history of British and Soviet failures in Afghanistan, nor their own history. And now Afghanistan has every chance of becoming America’s Vietnam #2.

US President Barack Obama’s Wednesday speech on the pullout from Afghanistan has given rise to an array of various, often contradictory, appraisals.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy echoed his American counterpart’s initiative by declaring that a stage-by-stage pullout of 4,000 French soldiers will begin next month. British Defence Ministry officials have also said that the government will consider whether to withdraw more than just the 400 of the 10,000-strong British force, as was declared earlier.

Other NATO allies, including Canada, Germany and Italy, have even earlier set deadlines for their troop withdrawal. It seems that Barack Obama’s speech had been expected long ago, and now it has produced a “domino effect” with US NATO allies only too eager to get out of the mess they produced in Afghanistan.

As for the US itself, the reaction to Obama’s speech was a mixed one. State Secretary Hillary Clinton almost replicated the speech, repeating his idea that the US is withdrawing its forces “from a position of strength”. She also made it clear that reaching out to the Taliban is key to the overall success in Afghanistan.

President Obama’s Republican opponents by and large issued well-predicted criticism of the pullout plans. Senator John McCain said Obama had opted to deny military commanders in Afghanistan the ability to finally defeat “a battered and broken enemy”.

Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was a little bit more cautious in choosing his words, but he too opposed an “arbitrary timetable” for the troop withdrawal, also referring to some “significant progress” the US has achieved in Afghanistan.

The US military has found itself in an awkward position. On the one hand, they would definitely prefer the continuation of the campaign, since it would mean additional budget allocations for Pentagon needs. On the other hand, directly opposing the commander-in-chief is inconsistent with military ethics.

So, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said that he supported the President’s decision, but added that it was “more aggressive” and “incurring more risk” than he was originally prepared to accept, and also that leaving troops in place would be “the safer course”.

The top commander of US troops in Afghanistan and President Obama’s nominee for the position of CIA director General David Petraeus also said that the President’s decision “was a more aggressive formulation in terms of the timeline than what we had recommended,” but added that he would nevertheless stand by the President.

In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai, speaking to reporters in his heavily guarded palace in the capital, Kabul, described the announcement that American troops would depart as “a moment of happiness for Afghanistan.”

On the other hand, too many in Afghanistan, especially in the South, doubt the ability of Afghan National Army (ANA) to counter the insurgents after US and NATO troops leave the country.

At present, the US force in Afghanistan amounts to more than 100,000 servicemen with other allies contributing approximately 30,000. The ANA is predicted to reach a total of 170,000 by autumn this year. But the numbers are not what decide the outcome of the confrontation in the country. It is the ability and the morale of the troops that matters. And there is absolutely no guarantee that once the Western troops leave the country the ANA will not turn around and join the insurgents.

And therefore, the American pullout plans can be viewed only in one context. The war is lost, and Barack Obama’s speech is an indirect recognition of the fact. Reaching out to the Taliban is in no way a demonstration of a “position of strength”, as Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton would like to put it, but a clear sign of America’s weakness. Finally, it has dawned on them that the enemy they had been trying so hard to defeat is the only reliable force in Afghanistan.

But very unpleasant questions remain. Was the ten-year campaign worth hundreds of billions of dollars spent on it, 1,500 lives sacrificed and 12,000 wounded, if the outcome is a trivial surrender to a former enemy?

History does not seem to have taught the Americans anything – neither the history of British and Soviet failures in Afghanistan, nor their own history. And now Afghanistan has every chance of becoming America’s Vietnam #2.

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Afghan Officials Say NATO Killed Farmers

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/06/23/afghans-isaf-differ-over-two-killed-laghman

Pajhwok Afghan News
June 23, 2011

Afghans, ISAF differ over two killed in Laghman
By Obaidullah Bidar

MEHTARLAM: Afghan officials and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops differed over two people killed during an airstrike in the Alingar district of eastern Laghman province on Wednesday night.

Local officials and residents said the two killed were farmers and were killed by foreign troops while irrigating their fields in the Wat Jabbar village. ISAF insists the dead were armed militants.

The district chief, Syed Mohammad Sharif, on Wednesday said the helicopter-borne foreign troops raided the house of a farmer, Sher Mohammad Sahibzada, killing his two sons, Mohammad Aziz and Abdul Qahir.

Sharif on Thursday said the matter had been taken up with the provincial intelligence department. He said intelligence operatives had told him the two were not on the list of wanted individuals.

Abdul Aziz Khan, who is also resident of the district, said that foreign troops had killed two farmers, who had no relation with the Taliban.

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U.S. Intrudes Itself Into Russian-Japanese Territorial Dispute

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/24/52333254.html

Voice of Russia
June 24, 2011

Washington gets to Kuril Islands
Igor Siletsky

-“This is not the first situation related to territorial disputes that the US is interfering in. Since 2010, the Americans have been reproaching Beijing for its non-constructive policy towards the South China Sea Islands. Now we see that they are turning their attention to Russia.”

Russia’s sovereignty over the Southern Kuril Islands is beyond doubt.

Moscow is ready to keep negotiating a peace treaty with Tokyo without the interference of any “arbitrators”. The Russian Foreign Ministry thus commented upon a joint statement of the ministers of defense and foreign affairs of Japan and the US. Washington and Tokyo agreed to “contribute to full normalization of Russian-Japanese relations” by means of resolving the Southern Kuril conflict.

Among the initiators of this stellar idea were Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates, along with their Japanese colleagues Takeaki Matsumoto and Toshimi Kitazawa. The idea emerged following the latest American-Japanese security consultations, although it was not yet announced how exactly the politicians are going to solve the problem of disputed territories.

Just a reminder: Japan is claiming ownership of Iturup, Kunashir and Shikotan, as well as several other islands of the Lesser Kuril Ridge. Tokyo is referring to the bilateral Trade and Boundaries Treaty of 1855, whereas Moscow maintains its stand that the Southern Kuril Islands became part of the Soviet Union after the Second World War and there can be no doubt about Russia’s sovereignty over them.

The situation is exacerbated by the fact that the sides failed to sign a peace treaty following WWII and a state of war still exists between them from a legal point of view. Both Moscow and Tokyo seek to finally formalize the conflict settlement but Japan predicated the signing of the agreement on the Kuril issue.

The lingering dispute became more strained in November 2010, when President Dmitry Medvedev’s trip to the Kunashir Island caused a particularly negative response from the Japanese government. Moscow then tried to persuade Tokyo that the Russian head of state may visit any region of his country. The island was right away visited by Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov accompanied by a delegation of ministers and high-ranking officials.

And now Washington decided to interfere in this bilateral dispute. The US recently started losing authority in the Asia-Pacific Region, making its present-day statements nothing more than attempts to restore it, director of the Center for Japanese Studies Viktor Pavlyatenko believes.

“This is not the first situation related to territorial disputes that the US is interfering in. Since 2010, the Americans have been reproaching Beijing for its non-constructive policy towards the South China Sea Islands. Now we see that they are turning their attention to Russia. I guess Washington is displeased with the latest vicissitudes in Russian-Chinese relations as regards their deeper strategic partnership which obviously strengthens Beijing’s positions in the region. The US may have simply been driven by the desire to bring discord into the alliance when making its statement jointly with Japan. Such a complex combination very much resembles Washington’s traditional divide-and-conquer strategy worldwide,” Viktor Pavlyatenko said.

The US State Department is constantly reminding the world that Washington considers the Southern Kuril Islands a part of Japanese territories. What about the WWII results confirmed by the UN Charter then?

The Russian Foreign Ministry is sure it has a right to expect US partners to more respectfully treat agreements on the Kuril Islands reached by members of the anti-Hitler coalition. Moreover, peace treaty issues are a purely bilateral matter between Russia and Japan, with outside interference only hampering the establishment of calm. Russia is not going to shut the door on further talks – it only wants them to start without any preconditions.

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NATO And UN: Military Interoperability For Global Interventions

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_75727.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 23, 2011

UN ”Operational Readiness” mirrors NATO Interoperability

Today, Lt.Gen Babacar Gaye, the Military Advisor of the United Nations met with NATO’s Military Committee. This was the second visit of a UN Military Advisor to NATO headquarters for an exchange of views on NATO-UN cooperation.

Lt.Gen Gaye informed NATO Military Representatives on the current UN peacekeeping missions and the military capability challenges they face. In addition, he elaborated on the United Nations’ “Operational Readiness”-concept for military forces taking part in UN peacekeeping operations. The concept of “Operational Readiness” and NATO’s long standing efforts to increase interoperability between the different national forces and assets, share the same goal: increase efficiency among operational partners.

Lt.Gen Walter E. Gasking, Deputy Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, thanked Lt.Gen Gaye for the good coordination and cooperation between NATO and the UN at all levels. He also emphasized the continuing need for sharing information between the two organizations, leading to further transparency.

In addition Lt.-Gen Babacar Gaye met with the Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, Adm Giampaolo Di Paola, and the Director-General of the International Military Staff, Lt.-Gen Jürgen Bornemann.

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Azerbaijan: Participation In 150 NATO Partnership For Peace Events, Ready For Next War

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=150264

Azeri Press Agency
June 24, 2011

Head of department of Azerbaijani Armed Forces’ Military Academy: Signing of agreements and memorandums in military sphere with 28 more countries is being discussed
Parvin Abbasov

Baku: Azerbaijan signed agreements and memorandums in the military sphere with 28 countries, the head of the department of “Field engineer” of the Military Academy of Azerbaijani Armed Forces, Colonel Anar Karimov, said in his interview to the website of the New Azerbaijan Party (YAP), APA reports. He said that the signing of similar agreements with 28 more countries is being discussed.

Karimov said 276 various language and specialty courses, working meetings, seminars, conferences, familiarization visits, consultations and other events on bilateral military cooperation were held in Azerbaijan and foreign countries within a year.

“About 1300 representatives of the Armed Forces attended the events. About 1000 representatives of the Armed Forces attended 150 events held within the framework of Partnership for Peace Program. 128 servicemen of the Armed Forces attended foreign language and specialty courses in 2010. Moreover, about 100 servicemen attended English-language courses in the Teaching and Training Center of the Armed Forces. All this has a great influence on the successful development of the teaching,” he said.

Noting that the Azerbaijani Armed Forces are capable of liberating our occupied territories, Karimov also spoke about the parade to be held on June 26.

“The military parade is a very proud event for every citizen. One can not see all this modern hardware every day. Their examples are demonstrated in the military parade and this is the indicator of the power of our army,” he said.

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Germany: 15 NATO Nations In Expeditionary Combat Air Support Exercises

http://www.eucom.mil/english/fullstory.asp?article=Allied-Strike-2011-kicks-Grafenwoehr-Germany

United States European Command
June 24, 2011

Allied Strike 2011 kicks off in Grafenwoehr, Germany
Jun 24, 2011
Capt. Tristan Hinderliter USAFE Public Affairs

-Every day, NATO partners fight beside their U.S. counterparts in conflicts such as Afghanistan, which makes it critical to train together, Colonel Berry said.
“In order to be successful, we need to train like we fight..,” he said.

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany: Allied Strike 2011, the largest JTAC and Close Air Support exercise in Europe, kicked off here this morning with an opening ceremony which included three airmen jumping out of a C-130J aircraft and a welcome address by Col. Nick Vite, commander of the 4th Air Support Operations Group, the unit sponsoring the exercise.

Approximately 350 people from 15 NATO nations are participating in the exercise, which is designed to provide realistic training in all aspects of Tactical Air Control and CAS. Several training lanes are geared specifically toward Joint Terminal Attack Controllers, while other lanes provide training for non-JTACs.

Personnel from NATO partner nations are not only participating in the training – in some cases, they are leading it. In fact, two of the eight primary training lanes are led by the U.S.’s partner nations, including the Urban Lane, run by Danes, and the Combat Outpost Defense Lane, which is run by Belgians.

First Lieutenant Bart “Kojak” Vantomme is the Belgian JTAC instructor running the COP Defense lane, which requires JTACs to call in CAS to defend a base which is under attack by insurgents. Lieutenant Vantomme designed the scenario himself, which he said is based ona personal experience he had in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan, in 2009.

In addition to realistic scenarios, a measure of realism is added by the use of CCMCK simulation rounds. These “Close Combat Mission Capability Kit” rounds are low-velocity marking rounds fired from specially modified M4 and M16 rifles. The rounds fire a wax-based dye which visibly marks targets that have been hit.

Every day, NATO partners fight beside their U.S. counterparts in conflicts such as Afghanistan, which makes it critical to train together, Colonel Berry said.

“In order to be successful, we need to train like we fight, and we are absolutely committed to doing just that,” he said.

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23,000 Troops In Joint U.S.-Australian War Games

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=61199

Navy NewsStand
June 23, 2011

Essex ARG Departs for Talisman Sabre
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew R. Cole, USS Essex Public Affairs

SASEBO, Japan: Ships of the forward-deployed Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) got underway June 23 for a patrol of the Western Pacific region and to participate in the bilateral exercise Talisman Sabre 2011 (TS11).

Essex ARG includes amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) and amphibious dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42). These ships will embark elements of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), including the battalion landing force and aviation combat element enroute to the exercise operating area.

Talisman Sabre is a biennial, joint sponsored exercise by U.S. Pacific Command and Australian Defense Force (ADF) Joint Operations Command. With approximately 14,000 U.S. and 9,000 Australian personnel expected to participate, TS11 is the largest joint military exercise undertaken by the ADF. The exercise is conducted to improve bilateral operations between the U.S. and Australia.

U.S. and Australian forces will conduct land, sea and air training around the Australian coast…

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Categories: Uncategorized

Theodore Dreiser and Smedley Butler: War is a Racket

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

American writers on peace and against war

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Theodore Dreiser
From War is a Racket
(Undated manuscript)

[O]ur last and greatest war that was fought between 1914 and 1918 was nothing more than the outgrowth and the outcome of all the lunatic and base and petty vanities and jealousies and vainglories that have bestridden and tortured the world since history began. And more, it proved, and how clearly, how futile has been all the time and energy and invention and enthusiasm devoted to this wasteful and murderous pursuit of power and acclaim.

For now, and at long last, as you can read in any daily paper, our leading war powers – Japan, England, France, Italy, and even America – startled by the steady and terrific progress of their own machinery for fighting and what it means to them, as well as their enemies in their chase after power and dominance, are at last seeing and admitting that by their own plans and schemes to destroy each other, they have come to the place where they are as likely to destroy themselves as their enemies.

Indeed, the last war proved that well enough – only, suffering from the old war germ, they have gone on putting their faith in airplanes and submarines and the death ray and the gas bomb, only to find that now, with the airplane and the submarine to convey all of these things at three hundred miles an hour, they cannot really protect themselves, particularly while they are so busy seeking to destroy their enemies. They cannot protect their cities or their people. France cannot protect Paris or Lyon. England cannot protect London or Liverpool. The United States knows that New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, indeed any city you choose to name, cannot protect itself against the airplane, and that in hours, not in days, these will be in ashes…

[T]hat fact alone should establish my contention that war, predatory war as such, created and backed as it is by our present day insane and brutal rivalry for individual wealth and power, has run its course and if the world is to be saved, progress preserved, and man permitted to straighten out his life and make it something less than the hell it now is, war will have to be eliminated and the business of progress turned over to the people – the temperaments that have always done the most for it.

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Major General Smedley Butler
United States Marine Corps, Retired
War is a Racket (1935)

Chapter One

War is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

In the World War a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few – the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

And what is this bill?

This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out.

Again they are choosing sides. France and Russia met and agreed to stand side by side. Italy and Austria hurried to make a similar agreement. Poland and Germany cast sheep’s eyes at each other, forgetting for the nonce [one unique occasion], their dispute over the Polish Corridor.

The assassination of King Alexander of Jugoslavia complicated matters. Jugoslavia and Hungary, long bitter enemies, were almost at each other’s throats. Italy was ready to jump in. But France was waiting. So was Czechoslovakia. All of them are looking ahead to war. Not the people – not those who fight and pay and die – only those who foment wars and remain safely at home to profit.

There are 40,000,000 men under arms in the world today, and our statesmen and diplomats have the temerity to say that war is not in the making.

Hell’s bells! Are these 40,000,000 men being trained to be dancers?

Not in Italy, to be sure. Premier Mussolini knows what they are being trained for. He, at least, is frank enough to speak out. Only the other day, Il Duce in “International Conciliation,” the publication of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said:

“And above all, Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace…War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the people who have the courage to meet it.”

Undoubtedly Mussolini means exactly what he says. His well-trained army, his great fleet of planes, and even his navy are ready for war – anxious for it, apparently. His recent stand at the side of Hungary in the latter’s dispute with Jugoslavia showed that. And the hurried mobilization of his troops on the Austrian border after the assassination of Dollfuss showed it too. There are others in Europe too whose sabre rattling presages war, sooner or later.

Herr Hitler, with his rearming Germany and his constant demands for more and more arms, is an equal if not greater menace to peace. France only recently increased the term of military service for its youth from a year to eighteen months.

Yes, all over, nations are camping in their arms. The mad dogs of Europe are on the loose. In the Orient the maneuvering is more adroit. Back in 1904, when Russia and Japan fought, we kicked out our old friends the Russians and backed Japan. Then our very generous international bankers were financing Japan. Now the trend is to poison us against the Japanese. What does the “open door” policy to China mean to us? Our trade with China is about $90,000,000 a year. Or the Philippine Islands? We have spent about $600,000,000 in the Philippines in thirty-five years and we (our bankers and industrialists and speculators) have private investments there of less than $200,000,000.

Then, to save that China trade of about $90,000,000, or to protect these private investments of less than $200,000,000 in the Philippines, we would be all stirred up to hate Japan and go to war – a war that might well cost us tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives of Americans, and many more hundreds of thousands of physically maimed and mentally unbalanced men.

Of course, for this loss, there would be a compensating profit – fortunes would be made. Millions and billions of dollars would be piled up. By a few. Munitions makers. Bankers. Ship builders. Manufacturers. Meat packers. Speculators. They would fare well.

Yes, they are getting ready for another war. Why shouldn’t they? It pays high dividends.

But what does it profit the men who are killed? What does it profit their mothers and sisters, their wives and their sweethearts? What does it profit their children?

What does it profit anyone except the very few to whom war means huge profits?

Yes, and what does it profit the nation?

Take our own case. Until 1898 we didn’t own a bit of territory outside the mainland of North America. At that time our national debt was a little more than $1,000,000,000. Then we became “internationally minded.” We forgot, or shunted aside, the advice of the Father of our country. We forgot George Washington’s warning about “entangling alliances.” We went to war. We acquired outside territory. At the end of the World War period, as a direct result of our fiddling in international affairs, our national debt had jumped to over $25,000,000,000. Our total favorable trade balance during the twenty-five-year period was about $24,000,000,000. Therefore, on a purely bookkeeping basis, we ran a little behind year for year, and that foreign trade might well have been ours without the wars.

It would have been far cheaper (not to say safer) for the average American who pays the bills to stay out of foreign entanglements. For a very few this racket, like bootlegging and other underworld rackets, brings fancy profits, but the cost of operations is always transferred to the people – who do not profit.

Chapter Two

WHO MAKES THE PROFITS?

The World War, rather our brief participation in it, has cost the United States some $52,000,000,000. Figure it out. That means $400 to every American man, woman, and child. And we haven’t paid the debt yet. We are paying it, our children will pay it, and our children’s children probably still will be paying the cost of that war.

The normal profits of a business concern in the United States are six, eight, ten, and sometimes twelve percent. But war-time profits – ah! that is another matter – twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred, and even eighteen hundred per cent – the sky is the limit. All that traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has the money. Let’s get it.

Of course, it isn’t put that crudely in war time. It is dressed into speeches about patriotism, love of country, and “we must all put our shoulders to the wheel,” but the profits jump and leap and skyrocket – and are safely pocketed. Let’s just take a few examples:

Take our friends the du Ponts, the powder people – didn’t one of them testify before a Senate committee recently that their powder won the war? Or saved the world for democracy? Or something? How did they do in the war? They were a patriotic corporation. Well, the average earnings of the du Ponts for the period 1910 to 1914 were $6,000,000 a year. It wasn’t much, but the du Ponts managed to get along on it. Now let’s look at their average yearly profit during the war years, 1914 to 1918. Fifty-eight million dollars a year profit we find! Nearly ten times that of normal times, and the profits of normal times were pretty good. An increase in profits of more than 950 per cent.

Take one of our little steel companies that patriotically shunted aside the making of rails and girders and bridges to manufacture war materials. Well, their 1910-1914 yearly earnings averaged $6,000,000. Then came the war. And, like loyal citizens, Bethlehem Steel promptly turned to munitions making. Did their profits jump – or did they let Uncle Sam in for a bargain? Well, their 1914-1918 average was $49,000,000 a year!

Or, let’s take United States Steel. The normal earnings during the five-year period prior to the war were $105,000,000 a year. Not bad. Then along came the war and up went the profits. The average yearly profit for the period 1914-1918 was $240,000,000. Not bad.

There you have some of the steel and powder earnings. Let’s look at something else. A little copper, perhaps. That always does well in war times.

Anaconda, for instance. Average yearly earnings during the pre-war years 1910-1914 of $10,000,000. During the war years 1914-1918 profits leaped to $34,000,000 per year.

Or Utah Copper. Average of $5,000,000 per year during the 1910-1914 period. Jumped to an average of $21,000,000 yearly profits for the war period.

Let’s group these five, with three smaller companies. The total yearly average profits of the pre-war period 1910-1914 were $137,480,000. Then along came the war. The average yearly profits for this group skyrocketed to $408,300,000.

A little increase in profits of approximately 200 per cent.

Does war pay? It paid them. But they aren’t the only ones. There are still others. Let’s take leather.

For the three-year period before the war the total profits of Central Leather Company were $3,500,000. That was approximately $1,167,000 a year. Well, in 1916 Central Leather returned a profit of $15,000,000, a small increase of 1,100 per cent. That’s all. The General Chemical Company averaged a profit for the three years before the war of a little over $800,000 a year. Came the war, and the profits jumped to $12,000,000. a leap of 1,400 per cent.

International Nickel Company – and you can’t have a war without nickel – showed an increase in profits from a mere average of $4,000,000 a year to $73,000,000 yearly. Not bad? An increase of more than 1,700 per cent.

American Sugar Refining Company averaged $2,000,000 a year for the three years before the war. In 1916 a profit of $6,000,000 was recorded.

Listen to Senate Document No. 259. The Sixty-Fifth Congress, reporting on corporate earnings and government revenues. Considering the profits of 122 meat packers, 153 cotton manufacturers, 299 garment makers, 49 steel plants, and 340 coal producers during the war. Profits under 25 per cent were exceptional. For instance the coal companies made between 100 per cent and 7,856 per cent on their capital stock during the war. The Chicago packers doubled and tripled their earnings.

And let us not forget the bankers who financed the great war. If anyone had the cream of the profits it was the bankers. Being partnerships rather than incorporated organizations, they do not have to report to stockholders. And their profits were as secret as they were immense. How the bankers made their millions and their billions I do not know, because those little secrets never become public – even before a Senate investigatory body.

But here’s how some of the other patriotic industrialists and speculators chiseled their way into war profits.

Take the shoe people. They like war. It brings business with abnormal profits. They made huge profits on sales abroad to our allies. Perhaps, like the munitions manufacturers and armament makers, they also sold to the enemy. For a dollar is a dollar whether it comes from Germany or from France. But they did well by Uncle Sam too. For instance, they sold Uncle Sam 35,000,000 pairs of hobnailed service shoes. There were 4,000,000 soldiers. Eight pairs, and more, to a soldier. My regiment during the war had only one pair to a soldier. Some of these shoes probably are still in existence. They were good shoes. But when the war was over Uncle Sam has a matter of 25,000,000 pairs left over. Bought – and paid for. Profits recorded and pocketed.

There was still lots of leather left. So the leather people sold your Uncle Sam hundreds of thousands of McClellan saddles for the cavalry. But there wasn’t any American cavalry overseas! Somebody had to get rid of this leather, however. Somebody had to make a profit in it – so we had a lot of McClellan saddles. And we probably have those yet.

Also somebody had a lot of mosquito netting. They sold your Uncle Sam 20,000,000 mosquito nets for the use of the soldiers overseas. I suppose the boys were expected to put it over them as they tried to sleep in muddy trenches – one hand scratching cooties on their backs and the other making passes at scurrying rats. Well, not one of these mosquito nets ever got to France!

Anyhow, these thoughtful manufacturers wanted to make sure that no soldier would be without his mosquito net, so 40,000,000 additional yards of mosquito netting were sold to Uncle Sam.

There were pretty good profits in mosquito netting in those days, even if there were no mosquitoes in France. I suppose, if the war had lasted just a little longer, the enterprising mosquito netting manufacturers would have sold your Uncle Sam a couple of consignments of mosquitoes to plant in France so that more mosquito netting would be in order.

Airplane and engine manufacturers felt they, too, should get their just profits out of this war. Why not? Everybody else was getting theirs. So $1,000,000,000 – count them if you live long enough – was spent by Uncle Sam in building airplane engines that never left the ground! Not one plane, or motor, out of the billion dollars worth ordered, ever got into a battle in France. Just the same the manufacturers made their little profit of 30, 100, or perhaps 300 per cent.

Undershirts for soldiers cost 14¢ to make and uncle Sam paid 30¢ to 40¢ each for them – a nice little profit for the undershirt manufacturer. And the stocking manufacturer and the uniform manufacturers and the cap manufacturers and the steel helmet manufacturers – all got theirs.

Why, when the war was over some 4,000,000 sets of equipment – knapsacks and the things that go to fill them – crammed warehouses on this side. Now they are being scrapped because the regulations have changed the contents. But the manufacturers collected their wartime profits on them – and they will do it all over again the next time.

There were lots of brilliant ideas for profit making during the war.

One very versatile patriot sold Uncle Sam twelve dozen 48-inch wrenches. Oh, they were very nice wrenches. The only trouble was that there was only one nut ever made that was large enough for these wrenches. That is the one that holds the turbines at Niagara Falls. Well, after Uncle Sam had bought them and the manufacturer had pocketed the profit, the wrenches were put on freight cars and shunted all around the United States in an effort to find a use for them. When the Armistice was signed it was indeed a sad blow to the wrench manufacturer. He was just about to make some nuts to fit the wrenches. Then he planned to sell these, too, to your Uncle Sam.

Still another had the brilliant idea that colonels shouldn’t ride in automobiles, nor should they even ride on horseback. One has probably seen a picture of Andy Jackson riding in a buckboard. Well, some 6,000 buckboards were sold to Uncle Sam for the use of colonels! Not one of them was used. But the buckboard manufacturer got his war profit.

The shipbuilders felt they should come in on some of it, too. They built a lot of ships that made a lot of profit. More than $3,000,000,000 worth. Some of the ships were all right. But $635,000,000 worth of them were made of wood and wouldn’t float! The seams opened up – and they sank. We paid for them, though. And somebody pocketed the profits.

It has been estimated by statisticians and economists and researchers that the war cost your Uncle Sam $52,000,000,000. Of this sum, $39,000,000,000 was expended in the actual war itself. This expenditure yielded $16,000,000,000 in profits. That is how the 21,000 billionaires and millionaires got that way. This $16,000,000,000 profits is not to be sneezed at. It is quite a tidy sum. And it went to a very few.

The Senate (Nye) committee probe of the munitions industry and its wartime profits, despite its sensational disclosures, hardly has scratched the surface.

Even so, it has had some effect. The State Department has been studying “for some time” methods of keeping out of war. The War Department suddenly decides it has a wonderful plan to spring. The Administration names a committee – with the War and Navy Departments ably represented under the chairmanship of a Wall Street speculator – to limit profits in war time. To what extent isn’t suggested. Hmmm. Possibly the profits of 300 and 600 and 1,600 per cent of those who turned blood into gold in the World War would be limited to some smaller figure.

Apparently, however, the plan does not call for any limitation of losses – that is, the losses of those who fight the war. As far as I have been able to ascertain there is nothing in the scheme to limit a soldier to the loss of but one eye, or one arm, or to limit his wounds to one or two or three. Or to limit the loss of life.

There is nothing in this scheme, apparently, that says not more than 12 per cent of a regiment shall be wounded in battle, or that not more than 7 per cent in a division shall be killed.

Of course, the committee cannot be bothered with such trifling matters.

Chapter Three

WHO PAYS THE BILLS?

Who provides the profits – these nice little profits of 20, 100, 300, 1,500 and 1,800 per cent? We all pay them – in taxation. We paid the bankers their profits when we bought Liberty Bonds at $100.00 and sold them back at $84 or $86 to the bankers. These bankers collected $100 plus. It was a simple manipulation. The bankers control the security marts. It was easy for them to depress the price of these bonds. Then all of us – the people – got frightened and sold the bonds at $84 or $86. The bankers bought them. Then these same bankers stimulated a boom and government bonds went to par – and above. Then the bankers collected their profits.

But the soldier pays the biggest part of the bill.

If you don’t believe this, visit the American cemeteries on the battlefields abroad. Or visit any of the veteran’s hospitals in the United States. On a tour of the country, in the midst of which I am at the time of this writing, I have visited eighteen government hospitals for veterans. In them are a total of about 50,000 destroyed men – men who were the pick of the nation eighteen years ago. The very able chief surgeon at the government hospital; at Milwaukee, where there are 3,800 of the living dead, told me that mortality among veterans is three times as great as among those who stayed at home.

Boys with a normal viewpoint were taken out of the fields and offices and factories and classrooms and put into the ranks. There they were remolded; they were made over; they were made to “about face”; to regard murder as the order of the day. They were put shoulder to shoulder and, through mass psychology, they were entirely changed. We used them for a couple of years and trained them to think nothing at all of killing or of being killed.

Then, suddenly, we discharged them and told them to make another “about face” ! This time they had to do their own readjustment, sans [without] mass psychology, sans officers’ aid and advice and sans nation-wide propaganda. We didn’t need them any more. So we scattered them about without any “three-minute” or “Liberty Loan” speeches or parades. Many, too many, of these fine young boys are eventually destroyed, mentally, because they could not make that final “about face” alone.

In the government hospital in Marion, Indiana, 1,800 of these boys are in pens! Five hundred of them in a barracks with steel bars and wires all around outside the buildings and on the porches. These already have been mentally destroyed. These boys don’t even look like human beings. Oh, the looks on their faces! Physically, they are in good shape; mentally, they are gone.

There are thousands and thousands of these cases, and more and more are coming in all the time. The tremendous excitement of the war, the sudden cutting off of that excitement – the young boys couldn’t stand it.

That’s a part of the bill. So much for the dead – they have paid their part of the war profits. So much for the mentally and physically wounded – they are paying now their share of the war profits. But the others paid, too – they paid with heartbreaks when they tore themselves away from their firesides and their families to don the uniform of Uncle Sam – on which a profit had been made. They paid another part in the training camps where they were regimented and drilled while others took their jobs and their places in the lives of their communities. The paid for it in the trenches where they shot and were shot; where they were hungry for days at a time; where they slept in the mud and the cold and in the rain – with the moans and shrieks of the dying for a horrible lullaby.

But don’t forget – the soldier paid part of the dollars and cents bill too.

Up to and including the Spanish-American War, we had a prize system, and soldiers and sailors fought for money. During the Civil War they were paid bonuses, in many instances, before they went into service. The government, or states, paid as high as $1,200 for an enlistment. In the Spanish-American War they gave prize money. When we captured any vessels, the soldiers all got their share – at least, they were supposed to. Then it was found that we could reduce the cost of wars by taking all the prize money and keeping it, but conscripting [drafting] the soldier anyway. Then soldiers couldn’t bargain for their labor, Everyone else could bargain, but the soldier couldn’t.

Napoleon once said,

“All men are enamored of decorations…they positively hunger for them.”

So by developing the Napoleonic system – the medal business – the government learned it could get soldiers for less money, because the boys liked to be decorated. Until the Civil War there were no medals. Then the Congressional Medal of Honor was handed out. It made enlistments easier. After the Civil War no new medals were issued until the Spanish-American War.

In the World War, we used propaganda to make the boys accept conscription. They were made to feel ashamed if they didn’t join the army.

So vicious was this war propaganda that even God was brought into it. With few exceptions our clergymen joined in the clamor to kill, kill, kill. To kill the Germans. God is on our side…it is His will that the Germans be killed.

And in Germany, the good pastors called upon the Germans to kill the allies…to please the same God. That was a part of the general propaganda, built up to make people war conscious and murder conscious.

Beautiful ideals were painted for our boys who were sent out to die. This was the “war to end all wars.” This was the “war to make the world safe for democracy.” No one mentioned to them, as they marched away, that their going and their dying would mean huge war profits. No one told these American soldiers that they might be shot down by bullets made by their own brothers here. No one told them that the ships on which they were going to cross might be torpedoed by submarines built with United States patents. They were just told it was to be a “glorious adventure.”

Thus, having stuffed patriotism down their throats, it was decided to make them help pay for the war, too. So, we gave them the large salary of $30 a month.

All they had to do for this munificent sum was to leave their dear ones behind, give up their jobs, lie in swampy trenches, eat canned willy (when they could get it) and kill and kill and kill…and be killed.

But wait!

Half of that wage (just a little more than a riveter in a shipyard or a laborer in a munitions factory safe at home made in a day) was promptly taken from him to support his dependents, so that they would not become a charge upon his community. Then we made him pay what amounted to accident insurance – something the employer pays for in an enlightened state – and that cost him $6 a month. He had less than $9 a month left.

Then, the most crowning insolence of all – he was virtually blackjacked into paying for his own ammunition, clothing, and food by being made to buy Liberty Bonds. Most soldiers got no money at all on pay days.

We made them buy Liberty Bonds at $100 and then we bought them back – when they came back from the war and couldn’t find work – at $84 and $86. And the soldiers bought about $2,000,000,000 worth of these bonds!

Yes, the soldier pays the greater part of the bill. His family pays too. They pay it in the same heart-break that he does. As he suffers, they suffer. At nights, as he lay in the trenches and watched shrapnel burst about him, they lay home in their beds and tossed sleeplessly – his father, his mother, his wife, his sisters, his brothers, his sons, and his daughters.

When he returned home minus an eye, or minus a leg or with his mind broken, they suffered too – as much as and even sometimes more than he. Yes, and they, too, contributed their dollars to the profits of the munitions makers and bankers and shipbuilders and the manufacturers and the speculators made. They, too, bought Liberty Bonds and contributed to the profit of the bankers after the Armistice in the hocus-pocus of manipulated Liberty Bond prices.

And even now the families of the wounded men and of the mentally broken and those who never were able to readjust themselves are still suffering and still paying.

Chapter Four

HOW TO SMASH THE RACKET!

Well, it’s a racket, all right.

A few profit – and the many pay. But there is a way to stop it. You can’t end it by disarmament conferences. You can’t eliminate it by peace parleys at Geneva. Well-meaning but impractical groups can’t wipe it out by resolutions. It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war.

The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labor before the nations manhood can be conscripted. One month before the Government can conscript the young men of the nation – it must conscript capital and industry and labor. Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our munitions makers and our shipbuilders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all the other things that provide profit in war time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted – to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in the trenches get.

Let the workers in these plants get the same wages – all the workers, all presidents, all executives, all directors, all managers, all bankers –

yes, and all generals and all admirals and all officers and all politicians and all government office holders – everyone in the nation be restricted to a total monthly income not to exceed that paid to the soldier in the trenches!

Let all these kings and tycoons and masters of business and all those workers in industry and all our senators and governors and majors pay half of their monthly $30 wage to their families and pay war risk insurance and buy Liberty Bonds.

Why shouldn’t they?

They aren’t running any risk of being killed or of having their bodies mangled or their minds shattered. They aren’t sleeping in muddy trenches. They aren’t hungry. The soldiers are!

Give capital and industry and labor thirty days to think it over and you will find, by that time, there will be no war. That will smash the war racket – that and nothing else.

Maybe I am a little too optimistic. Capital still has some say. So capital won’t permit the taking of the profit out of war until the people – those who do the suffering and still pay the price – make up their minds that those they elect to office shall do their bidding, and not that of the profiteers.

Another step necessary in this fight to smash the war racket is the limited plebiscite to determine whether a war should be declared. A plebiscite not of all the voters but merely of those who would be called upon to do the fighting and dying. There wouldn’t be very much sense in having a 76-year-old president of a munitions factory or the flat-footed head of an international banking firm or the cross-eyed manager of a uniform manufacturing plant – all of whom see visions of tremendous profits in the event of war – voting on whether the nation should go to war or not. They never would be called upon to shoulder arms – to sleep in a trench and to be shot. Only those who would be called upon to risk their lives for their country should have the privilege of voting to determine whether the nation should go to war.

There is ample precedent for restricting the voting to those affected. Many of our states have restrictions on those permitted to vote. In most, it is necessary to be able to read and write before you may vote. In some, you must own property. It would be a simple matter each year for the men coming of military age to register in their communities as they did in the draft during the World War and be examined physically. Those who could pass and who would therefore be called upon to bear arms in the event of war would be eligible to vote in a limited plebiscite. They should be the ones to have the power to decide – and not a Congress few of whose members are within the age limit and fewer still of whom are in physical condition to bear arms. Only those who must suffer should have the right to vote.

A third step in this business of smashing the war racket is to make certain that our military forces are truly forces for defense only.

At each session of Congress the question of further naval appropriations comes up. The swivel-chair admirals of Washington (and there are always a lot of them) are very adroit lobbyists. And they are smart. They don’t shout that “We need a lot of battleships to war on this nation or that nation.” Oh no. First of all, they let it be known that America is menaced by a great naval power. Almost any day, these admirals will tell you, the great fleet of this supposed enemy will strike suddenly and annihilate 125,000,000 people. Just like that. Then they begin to cry for a larger navy. For what? To fight the enemy? Oh my, no. Oh, no. For defense purposes only.

Then, incidentally, they announce maneuvers in the Pacific. For defense. Uh, huh.

The Pacific is a great big ocean. We have a tremendous coastline on the Pacific. Will the maneuvers be off the coast, two or three hundred miles? Oh, no. The maneuvers will be two thousand, yes, perhaps even thirty-five hundred miles, off the coast.

The Japanese, a proud people, of course will be pleased beyond expression to see the United States fleet so close to Nippon’s shores. Even as pleased as would be the residents of California were they to dimly discern through the morning mist, the Japanese fleet playing at war games off Los Angeles.

The ships of our navy, it can be seen, should be specifically limited, by law, to within 200 miles of our coastline. Had that been the law in 1898 the Maine would never have gone to Havana Harbor. She never would have been blown up. There would have been no war with Spain with its attendant loss of life. Two hundred miles is ample, in the opinion of experts, for defense purposes. Our nation cannot start an offensive war if its ships can’t go further than 200 miles from the coastline. Planes might be permitted to go as far as 500 miles from the coast for purposes of reconnaissance. And the army should never leave the territorial limits of our nation.

To summarize: Three steps must be taken to smash the war racket.

We must take the profit out of war.

We must permit the youth of the land who would bear arms to decide whether or not there should be war.

We must limit our military forces to home defense purposes.

Chapter Five

TO HELL WITH WAR!

I am not a fool as to believe that war is a thing of the past. I know the people do not want war, but there is no use in saying we cannot be pushed into another war.

Looking back, Woodrow Wilson was re-elected president in 1916 on a platform that he had “kept us out of war” and on the implied promise that he would “keep us out of war.” Yet, five months later he asked Congress to declare war on Germany.

In that five-month interval the people had not been asked whether they had changed their minds. The 4,000,000 young men who put on uniforms and marched or sailed away were not asked whether they wanted to go forth to suffer and die.

Then what caused our government to change its mind so suddenly?

Money.

An allied commission, it may be recalled, came over shortly before the war declaration and called on the President. The President summoned a group of advisers. The head of the commission spoke. Stripped of its diplomatic language, this is what he told the President and his group:

“There is no use kidding ourselves any longer. The cause of the allies is lost. We now owe you (American bankers, American munitions makers, American manufacturers, American speculators, American exporters) five or six billion dollars.

If we lose (and without the help of the United States we must lose) we, England, France and Italy, cannot pay back this money…and Germany won’t. So…

Had secrecy been outlawed as far as war negotiations were concerned, and had the press been invited to be present at that conference, or had radio been available to broadcast the proceedings, America never would have entered the World War. But this conference, like all war discussions, was shrouded in utmost secrecy. When our boys were sent off to war they were told it was a “war to make the world safe for democracy” and a “war to end all wars.”

Well, eighteen years after, the world has less of democracy than it had then. Besides, what business is it of ours whether Russia or Germany or England or France or Italy or Austria live under democracies or monarchies? Whether they are Fascists or Communists? Our problem is to preserve our own democracy.

And very little, if anything, has been accomplished to assure us that the World War was really the war to end all wars.

Yes, we have had disarmament conferences and limitations of arms conferences. They don’t mean a thing. One has just failed; the results of another have been nullified. We send our professional soldiers and our sailors and our politicians and our diplomats to these conferences. And what happens?

The professional soldiers and sailors don’t want to disarm. No admiral wants to be without a ship. No general wants to be without a command. Both mean men without jobs. They are not for disarmament. They cannot be for limitations of arms. And at all these conferences, lurking in the background but all-powerful, just the same, are the sinister agents of those who profit by war. They see to it that these conferences do not disarm or seriously limit armaments.

The chief aim of any power at any of these conferences has not been to achieve disarmament to prevent war but rather to get more armament for itself and less for any potential foe.

There is only one way to disarm with any semblance of practicability. That is for all nations to get together and scrap every ship, every gun, every rifle, every tank, every war plane. Even this, if it were possible, would not be enough.

The next war, according to experts, will be fought not with battleships, not by artillery, not with rifles and not with machine guns. It will be fought with deadly chemicals and gases.

Secretly each nation is studying and perfecting newer and ghastlier means of annihilating its foes wholesale. Yes, ships will continue to be built, for the shipbuilders must make their profits. And guns still will be manufactured and powder and rifles will be made, for the munitions makers must make their huge profits. And the soldiers, of course, must wear uniforms, for the manufacturer must make their war profits too.

But victory or defeat will be determined by the skill and ingenuity of our scientists.

If we put them to work making poison gas and more and more fiendish mechanical and explosive instruments of destruction, they will have no time for the constructive job of building greater prosperity for all peoples. By putting them to this useful job, we can all make more money out of peace than we can out of war – even the munitions makers.

So…I say,

TO HELL WITH WAR!

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 23, 2011

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NATO To Use “Any Means Necessary” To Wage Libyan War: Rasmussen

NATO’s Libyan War: 12,198 Air Missions, 4,613 Strike Sorties

Libya: Thousands Mourn Victims Of NATO Bombing

Libya: Bitter Truth About The Fighting Country

Emanuel Uses Influential Friends To Land NATO, G-8 Summits In Chicago

Emanuel Seeks Corporate Donors For Chicago NATO Summit

U.S. Warship Enters Georgian Waters

Russia Condemns Arrival Of U.S. Warship In Georgia

Russian Black Sea Fleet Monitors U.S. Missile Ship Off Georgia

American General In Georgia For Joint Exercise

Pentagon Attaches Priority To Military Cooperation With Azerbaijan

NATO Caucasus, Central Asia Representative In Tajikistan

U.S. Expands Drone Warfare

American TV “News” Ignores Five Wars, Focuses On Celebrities, Scandals

Russia Angered By U.S. Role In Territorial Dispute With Japan

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NATO To Use “Any Means Necessary” To Wage Libyan War: Rasmussen

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/23/52265788.html

Voice of Russia
June 23, 2011

NATO to use any means – Rasmussen

NATO commanders are to develop new plans to fight against the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi according to an official statement made by the NATO secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

“We are allowed to use any means necessary. But I do not want to talk about what we are preparing,” he said.

Rasmussen said he was not surprised by the fact that Gaddaffi still continues to resist NATO and the opposition.

“It’s not a surprise, he is unpredictable,” said the general secretary.

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NATO’s Libyan War: 12,198 Air Missions, 4,613 Strike Sorties

http://www.aco.nato.int/resources/3/documents/Libya%20update%20June%2011/OUP%20Daily%20OMU_%2023June2011%5B1%5D.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 23, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 12198 sorties, including 4613 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 22 JUNE: 128

Strike sorties conducted 22 JUNE: 44

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Libya: Thousands Mourn Victims Of NATO Bombing

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/06/23/154511.html

Al Arabiya
June 23, 2011

Funeral for Victims of NATO Air Strikes
By Noora Faraj

On June 22nd, thousands of mourners gathered near the town of Surman, northwest of Libya, to bury 15 victims of the latest NATO air strikes which took place on June 20th.

On the same day, Danish Foreign Minister, Lene Espersen, announced that Denmark, a member of NATO, has acknowledged the National Transitional Council as the only legitimate body to represent Libyans.

The Libyan government, on the other hand, is criticizing NATO’s mission, and that the air raids are targeting civilians. Officials estimate that 700 have been killed…

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Libya: Bitter Truth About The Fighting Country

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/22/52254887.html

Voice of Russia
June 22, 2011

Libya – a bitter truth about the fighting country

Libyans entirely support Muammar Gaddafi – well-known Italian documentary film maker Fluvio Grimaldi has debunked the main myth about the situation in Jamahiriya.

The Ambassador to Rome turned out to be one of the few high-ranking Libyans who happily sided with the strong partner. “If you want a visa to Benghazi you will get it in no time. If you want to go to Tripoli there will be no visa for you,” the ambassador declared. I joined a group of British peace-makers who also wanted to know the truth about what’s going on in that country,” Grimaldi writes.

The expedition flew to Tunisia from where it proceeded to Libya by land. The itinerary was prompted by the western press – the group visited places where the situation was especially difficult, according to the media.

In Tripoli the foreign visitors were controlled by young functionaries of the current regime appointed to stay with the group. However, Grimaldi and his fellow-travellers were allowed to stop in any place and talk to anyone on any subject. This was a freedom unavailable to journalists accredited in Benghazi.

National unity and firm resolution to defend their country was what impressed the group most of all. School lessons have not stopped for a second, and now schools also provide additional training how to use weapons.

This training is both for boys and girls. The so-called human shields, which are in essence cannon fodder, turned out to be voluntary units.

Cities on the Mediterranean coast, ravaged and cut off by Gaddafi’s troops, according to the western media, in reality are very picturesque places with a good water supply system and strong agriculture. In any allegedly oppressed city, people told the Italian journalist that they heard about Muammar Gaddafi’s tyranny from their relatives and friends abroad, and a real disaster came only when NATO bombings began with the aim of protecting the people. Each interview, Fluvio Grimaldi says, gradually destroyed the western story of the horrible aggression of the Libyan leader.

The local Catholic church has become a place of pilgrimage. Muslim women visit the Roman priest every day and ask him to tell the world the truth about the situation in the country. Libyans asked Grimaldi’s group to do the same.

Libyan citizens have already been voluntarily defending their country for six months. The local people say that the army is doing its best to talk the civilian population out of taking part in the hostilities. The local people do not look like intimidated illiterate scamps, on the contrary, Grimaldi pointed out the dignity and honour of their bearing.

It has been mentioned before as well that the situation in Libya is not as black as Obama and his NATO allies are trying to paint it. However, now that the US Senate has given Obama permission to extend the operation in Libya for another year and the coalition is persistently looking for the proof of Gaddafi’s bloody crimes, an eye-witness’ report is very appropriate.

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Emanuel Uses Influential Friends To Land NATO, G-8 Summits In Chicago

http://www.suntimes.com/news/sneed/6115086-417/emanuel-uses-influential-friends-to-land-nato-g-8-summits-in-chicago.html

Chicago Sun-Times
June 22, 2011

Emanuel uses influential friends to land NATO, G-8 summits in Chicago
Michael Sneed

It’s no coincidence two major international summits — NATO and the G-8 — will be held in Chicago at the same time next May.

◆ To wit: Sneed is told Mayor Rahm Emanuel personally corralled President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley to set the location. It will be the first time the groups have met in the same city since London in 1978. If you are wondering how far Emanuel’s arm reaches, now you know.

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Emanuel Seeks Corporate Donors For Chicago NATO Summit

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/clout/chi-emanuel-wants-private-donors-to-help-cover-security-cost-of-nato-meeting-20110622,0,8828.story

Chicago Tribune
June 22, 2011

Emanuel wants private donors to help cover security cost of NATO meeting
By John Byrne

Mayor Rahm Emanuel today said that hosting meetings of NATO and the G-8 will be a great opportunity for Chicago to showcase itself to the world.

“For us, from a city perspective, this will be an opportunity to showcase what is great about the greatest city in the greatest country,” Emanuel said about the May 2012 meetings, which President Barack Obama will announce tonight. “And it’s an opportunity for the city of Chicago economically, but also to send a message internationally of why Chicago is a city on the move, and if you’re thinking of investing, Chicago is the place to invest.”

The new mayor said “there’s no doubt” the cost of security for the meetings, which often draw protests, will be huge.

“I’ll be working on raising the private resources necessary to supplement what we have to do,” Emanuel said. “But this is also – while there will no doubt be security needs – this is also an opportunity for the city that is unprecedented from an economic standpoint, a job creation standpoint.”

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U.S. Warship Enters Georgian Waters

http://rt.com/politics/us-georgia-russia-monterey/

RT
June 22, 2011

US warship enters Georgian waters
Robert Bridge

Moscow, saying that it wants to see Washington take a more constructive approach toward maintaining security in the Black Sea region, has slammed the visit of a US guided-missile cruiser to the Batumi port in Georgia.

­”The ongoing maneuvers of the USS Monterey, a guided-missile cruiser equipped with the Aegis system, within the Black Sea area are raising more and more serious questions,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Foreign Ministry had earlier expressed its concerns that as negotiations over a European missile defense shield are still in progress, it sends a disturbing signal that a reconnaissance operation is being conducted in close proximity to Russia’s southern flank.

“Now this warship has demonstratively docked at the Georgian port of Batumi,” the statement said.

Russia has warned its European partners and NATO in the past that the construction of a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe without Russia’s direct participation would be viewed as a threat to national security. The USS Monterey is an integral part of that missile defense system.

President Dmitry Medvedev told a press conference at the G-8 Summit in France that failure to come to an agreement on the missile defense question would ultimately result in an “arms race by 2020.”

The USS Monterey has hopscotched across the region before its arrival in Georgian waters. The warship was dispatched in March to the Mediterranean Sea as the first stage of the US-led missile defense shield.

Later, in June 2011, the Monterey – with 43 officers and 323 enlisted personnel onboard – arrived in the Black Sea to participate in multinational military exercises, codenamed “Sea Breeze 2011,” co-hosted by Ukraine and the US.

Those exercises will be followed up by joint exercises with Georgia as part of the “Phased Adaptive Approach” program, designed to coordinate the expansion of the European arm of the global missile defense system until the year 2020.

In addition to adding another hurdle to the missile defense talks, Moscow is concerned that an American warship docking at a Georgian harbor will only encourage Tbilisi’s reckless behavior.

“Whatever explanations are given as to the purpose of this visit, it is clear that the Georgian leadership will perceive it as a sign of approval for its revanchist aspirations in relation to Russia’s allies, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and so this will not help improve stability in the region,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“The matter doesn’t just pertain to a one-off visit of a U.S. ship to Georgia,” as the USS Anzio called at a Georgian port on June 9, it said.

The Foreign Ministry’s statement mentioned Washington’s delivery of “humanitarian aid” to Georgia following the latter’s brazen military assault on North Ossetia on August 7, 2008, which led to a 5-day conflict between Georgia and Russia.

“This is reminiscent of the large-scale delivery of so-called humanitarian aid on board US naval ships to the Georgian authorities by the George W. Bush administration after the Georgian attack on South Ossetia in August 2008 failed,” it said.

“Such maneuvers go against the current tenor of Russian-American relations,” the Ministry continued.

“We expect Washington to take a more constructive approach consistent with the goals of maintaining security in the South Caucasus and the Black Sea region on the whole while respecting the legitimate interests and concerns of all countries located here,” it said.

What the “Phased Adaptive Approach” means for Russia

The Bush administration enthusiastically pursued a ground-based missile defence system in Eastern Europe, going so far as to withdraw from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia in 2002. This ended the so-called “mutually assured destruction” guarantee that had existed between the former Cold War enemies .

In Sept. 2009, the Obama administration announced it had “shelved” his predecessor’s plans for a missile-defence radar in the Czech Republic and 10 interceptors in Poland, opting instead for land-based radars working in concert with Aegis missile-tracking ships. These would be armed with Standard Missile 3 (SM-3).

Over time, the program would get more powerful (according to the so-called “phased adaptive approach”), covering all of European territory by about 2018.

This “phased adaptive approach” is focused on advancing the currently sea-based Aegis system and its SM-3 interceptors, which are the anchor components of US President Barack Obama’s missile defense system for Eastern Europe.

The phased adaptive approach is a four-step program. Here is how the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing US think-tank, described ( http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/04/the-obama-administrations-ballistic-missile-defense-program-treading-water-in-shark-infested-seas ) how the system will grow till 2020:

1. Between now and FY 2011, procure more of the existing system.

2. Around 2015, develop more advanced versions of the SM-3 (the SM-3 Block IB) to provide broader coverage and deploy them on land. The initial emphasis will be to deploy these interceptors in southern Europe.

3. Around 2018, field SM-3 Block IIA interceptors, which are already under development, primarily to counter medium-range and intermediate-range missiles. This would include fielding interceptors in Northern Europe to protect U.S. NATO allies in Europe.

4. Around 2020, deploy SM-3 Block IIB interceptors to counter long-range ballistic missiles that could threaten the U.S. homeland as well as regional allies.

Heritage goes on to mention the possibility of Obama “buckling to Russia” as one of the ways that the missile defense system could be blocked or down-sized, which would automatically be translated in Washington policy circles as “weakening America’s defenses.”

“The most likely policy-related barriers would stem from arms control, including buckling to Russian demands to curtail the missile defense program in negotiations on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) follow-on treaty or in pursuing agreements on space arms.”

The USS Monterey will stay in Georgia’s Black Sea port till June 23, according to the US embassy in Tbilisi.

Incidentally, June 22nd marks the 70th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.

Certainly some Russians will not fail to see the coincidence of the arrival of the USS Monterey in Georgian waters happening on this Day of Memory and Grief.

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Russia Condemns Arrival Of U.S. Warship In Georgia

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23654

Civil Georgia
June 22, 2011

Russia Slams Arrival of U.S. Warship in Batumi

Tbilisi: The Russian Foreign Ministry has condemned arrival of the U.S. guided-missile cruiser Monterey in the Georgian port of Batumi, saying that the move will encourage Tbilisi’s “revanchist aspirations”.

“Whatever explanations are given for this entry, it is obvious that it will be perceived by the Georgian leadership as an encouragement for its revanchist aspirations in respect of Russia’s allies – Abkhazia and South Ossetia – and will not promote strengthening of stability in the region,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on June 21.

“We consider that such maneuvers are in contravention of the current nature of Russian-American relations. We expect more constructive approach from Washington, which will meet the goals of ensuring security in the South Caucasus and the Black Sea region, as a whole, and of respecting legal interests and concerns of all states located here,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The U.S. Navy cruiser, equipped with a ballistic missile defence system, docked in Batumi port on June 20 and will stay there till June 23.

The USS Monterey with 43 officers and 323 enlisted personnel arrived in the Black Sea more than a week ago to participate in multinational military exercises, Sea Breeze 2011, co-hosted by Ukraine and the U.S.

The move prompted Russia’s criticism with the Foreign Ministry saying on June 12, that the arrival of the U.S. warship, equipped with advanced Aegis antimissile weaponry, in the Black Sea was “a threat to our security.”

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Russian Black Sea Fleet Monitors U.S. Missile Ship Off Georgia

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/23/52313168.html

Voice of Russia
June 23, 2011

Russia cautious of US missile cruiser

Russia’s Black fleet vessels are monitoring the US guided missile cruiser the USS Monterey (CG-61), deployed off Georgia’s port of Batumi. The cruiser will be under surveillance until it traverses the Black Sea gulfs.

The vessel [earlier] headed to Ukraine to take part in the Sea Breeze 2011 exercises.

Earlier, Russia’s Foreign Ministry expressed its concern with US ABM reconnaissance near Russian borders.

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American General In Georgia For Joint Exercise

http://www.mod.gov.ge/index.php?page=77&lang=1&type=&Id=1055

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
June 22, 2011

American General’s Visit

Lieutenant General Mark Hertling from the U.S. Army Europe Command pays an official visit to Georgia. Today the Lieutenant General of U.S. Army Europe Command has held meetings with the Chief of the Joint Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces Major General Devi Chankotadze and First Deputy Defence Minister Nodar Kharshiladze. The sides [consulted] on bilateral cooperation issues between Georgia and the USA and spoke about the importance of the joint training exercise “Shared Horizons 2011” currently ongoing in Georgia.

One of the main goals of the American General’s visit is to attend the joint training that refers to respond effectively natural disasters. The combined bilateral, humanitarian assistance and response exercise “Shared Horizons 2011” began on June 20 at the Georgian National Guard Training Center and lasts during four days.

The combined exercise is led by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Defence. The joint training aims to prepare all parties to respond effectively and efficiently in the event of a natural disaster.

The training involves 20 soldiers from the U.S. state of Georgia’s Army National Guard along with the Georgian military servicemen.

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Pentagon Attaches Priority To Military Cooperation With Azerbaijan

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=150183

Azeri Press Agency
June 23, 2011

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense: We give priority to the military cooperation with Azerbaijan

Baku: Azerbaijan’s Defense Minister, Colonel-General Safar Abiyev, received US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Celeste Wallander, Defense Ministry’s press service told APA.

Underlining the importance of military cooperation between the countries, Safar Abiyev informed the guest about the military-political situation and problems created by Armenia concerning the resolution of Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

Celeste Wallander said the US gives priority to military cooperation with Azerbaijan and noted the necessity of improving the relations.

US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza also attended the meeting. He introduced the US newly-appointed military attaché to Minister Safar Abiyev.

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NATO Caucasus, Central Asia Representative In Tajikistan

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1895368.html

Trend News Agency
June 22, 2011

Tajik FM receives NATO Special Representative
V. Zhavoronkova

Baku: Tajik Foreign Minister Khamrokhon Zarifi has received Special Representative of the NATO Secretary General for Central Asia and Caucasus James Appathurai today, the Tajik Foreign Ministry said.

They discussed bilateral relations between Tajikistan and NATO and the Partnership for Peace Program.

The sides also discussed the events in Central Asia, border security and the restoration of peace in Afghanistan.

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U.S. Expands Drone Warfare

http://rt.com/news/us-drone-war-al-qaeda/

RT
June 22, 2011

US expands drone war, extremists expect new recruits

The US has stepped up its drone attacks against militants in the Middle East, but the growing number of civilian deaths in the strikes has sparked public anger, with concern the action is driving up the number of extremist recruits.

In Pakistan, CIA drone strikes aim at terrorists but end up killing mostly civilians. Public outrage is growing. Hatred and anger foster more terror.

“If you push them against the wall, then this militancy and terrorism is going to increase. It’s not the solution. If you are attacking them with drones and they are not part of the war, they have the Taliban on the other side, which they are going to join,” explains Mirza Shakhzad Akhtar, a Pakistani lawyer for drone attack victims.

In Pakistan in the one year, US strikes killed 700 civilians, but netted only five actual militant leaders.

Many Pakistanis are furious at their government for helping the Americans kill their own people. They accuse their leaders of doing that in exchange for billions of dollars from Washington.

Americans, on the other hand, are not too happy with what they get in return for their billions. In the wake of Osama Bin Laden’s assassination in Pakistan, the US all but accused the country’s military intelligence agency of sheltering the Al-Qaeda leader.

“How long do we support governments that lie to us? When do we say enough is enough?” Senator Patrick Leahy asked at hearings before the Senate Appropriations Committee last Thursday.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ position was: “Most of the governments lied to each other. That’s how the business gets done.”

Amid all the cheerleading about Bin Laden’s killing, the US has stepped up drone strikes in Pakistan.

“Drone strikes in Pakistan and the number of civilian casualties that result because of those drone strikes are allowing extremists like the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other groups present in Pakistan to recruit new members. They are doing it at an accelerating pace,” believes writer Matthew Alexander.

Washington now sees Yemen as the most dangerous Al-Qaeda outpost, and is planning to step up drone attacks on the country, establishing a base in the Persian Gulf specifically for that purpose. Especially now Bin Laden’s replacement, Ayman Al-Zawahri, is thought to be building up Al-Qaeda’s already significant presence in Yemen.

The US had been co-operating with Yemeni counter-terrorism forces in targeting Al-Qaeda, but they have since left the field, preoccupied instead with the nationwide turmoil against the Ali Saleh regime. That means the Americans are likely to have a freer hand going it alone, with the CIA to take a central role. As the agency is not subject to the accountability the US military is legally under, one can expect more bombs to fall on Yemen.

“When the US starts hitting people who are members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, then I think the real worry is that it expands this war to the point where so many people will join Al-Qaeda,” Gregory Johnsen, Near East studies scholar at Princeton University, said.

There is fury in Yemen over the killing of scores of civilians by the drone strikes. In one attack there, the American military presumably aiming at an Al-Qaeda training camp ended up killing dozens of women and children. In another strike a year ago, a drone mistakenly killed a deputy governor in Yemen, his family and aides.

With the expansion of the drone war it seems the US is seeking only a missile solution to fighting Al-Qaeda. Analysts say that some of the main features of this global chase are not having to take into account the voice of the nation that they are bombing and the lack of accountability when it comes to civilian deaths. These features add more paradox to the US strategy, with many asking whether America is fighting and fostering terror at the same time.

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American TV “News” Ignores Five Wars, Focuses On Celebrities, Scandals

http://rt.com/usa/columns/namenotfound/mainstream-media-brainless-drivel/

RT
June 22, 2011

Impending death of mainstream television news

­Mainstream media in the United States will be dead or in its death throes in the next five years and here is why.

Here, re-live the “most important stories” according to the cable news channels and their older network news siblings.

The Top 5 Stories MSM Thinks Should Interest You so far this year are…

- William and Kate get married. Why the country that prides itself on liberation from the yoke of the British monarchy would be interested we can not fathom. But allegedly there are people in existence who are ready and willing to watch 15 minute segments on “what Kate wore ever since the age of two”.

- Sarah Palin talking about Paul Revere helping the British (wrongly) while Bristol Palin talks S!@# on Meghan McCain, Levi Johnston and pretty much everybody else (jury is still out on how right she is on those counts).

- Schwarzenegger’s illegitimate (you’re suppose to say “love” these days) child. Hollywood star and conservative Republican politician in one – the nearly perfect non-story that TV News bosses dream about. The only thing that saved Arnold was the next sex scandal …

- …which is, of course Anthony Weiner and his bizarre adventures on Twitter – a new benchmark in stupidity of the MSM.

- Casey Anthony trial (ongoing) – the revolting wholesale exploitation of the death of a cute 2-year old.

If you think any of the above do qualify as news that matters, you can call us conspiracy theorist muckrakers in the employ of the KGB, stop reading further and retreat to your 50″ plasma to hear the latest on Casey Anthony – they just assembled an expert panel to analyze how hot looking she is.

We, meanwhile, would add in the spirit of fairness that the Sixth Big Story this year was a legitimate big story – the Arab Spring. How it was covered and what spins were spun by the corporate media is a different story – but at least they did not ignore it.

Here, however, are the Top 5 Ignored Or Severely Underplayed Stories That Should Have Been There Instead:

- the US of America fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia (yep, Somalia again), Pakistan and…surely somewhere else but it is even more top secret.

- the entire economy is in deep crap with all the data, from unemployment to foreclosure reports, pointing south.

- every day there is some news of police high-handedness or outright brutality -from SWAT breaking down doors for unpaid traffic tickets to killing the people in their homes.

- the US budget for 2012 with projected spending of 3.7 trillion dollars with 1.1 of that being deficit. That’s a gaping hole of 30% – but it’s supposed to be thrilling good news after the $1.645 trillion deficit this year. The Congress meanwhile more or less unanimously okays $ 650 000 000 000 for a military budget in that perfect “what’s a billion between friends” style.

- the transnational US corporations and Wall Street are doing well – by shipping production and jobs out of the country. At the same time, education is getting more expensive by the year while the same corporations complain they are unhappy neither with the quality nor the quantity of the contemporary American workforce – and accelerate the shipping of jobs abroad.

Anybody see a fraction of the attention given to Weiner being devoted to these stories? Totally nope.

Anybody surprised then that the mainstream media are hemorrhaging viewers like there’s no tomorrow? In fact, there might be NO tomorrow for them literally.

The young ones are the first to abandon TV – “… no one under 25 is watching TV”, Glenn Beck, the mercurial star of Fox News mused before migrating to the Internet with his show.

The things that concern the younger ones – massive unemployment, education costs, police high-handiness – are virtually non-existent on mainstream channels. Might that be the reason why a video of Iraq war vet – and RT show host – Adam Kokesh being roughed up by police is one of the most watched and commented uploads on YouTube this month? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jUU3yCy3uI. Reading the comments to that video shows one thing clearly – many people care – certainly more than those who care (why?) how Weiner’s penis looks.

So, is there a good reason to put up with the senseless drivel of mainstream television interrupted by the equally senseless advertisement that pays for this “news”? When there is (very well made in America) YouTube, where you chose who to watch and when?

Sounds like a no-brainer to us.

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Russia Angered By U.S. Role In Territorial Dispute With Japan

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110623/164787523.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 23, 2011

Moscow irked by U.S. role in territorial dispute with Japan

Moscow reacted angrily on Thursday to Washington’s possible involvement in the Russian-Japanese territorial dispute over to the Kuril Islands.

The reaction came in response to recent U.S.-Japanese consultations at the level of foreign and defense ministers who agreed to facilitate the normalization of Russian-Japanese relations by resolving the issue of “the Northern Territories.”

Both Japan and Russia have laid claims to the South Kuril Islands, called the Northern Territories by the Japanese, since they were annexed by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. The dispute has prevented the two countries from signing a peace treaty to formally end hostilities.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said U.S. interference in the dispute was “inappropriate.”

“Questioning Russia’s sovereignty over the South Kuril Islands, which are part of Russia’s territory as a result of World War II, as enshrined in the UN Charter, is inappropriate,” the ministry said in a statement.

The long-standing territorial dispute escalated last November following Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to one of the four South Kuril Islands. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan called Medvedev’s trip “inexcusable rudeness,” sparking an angry reaction from the Kremlin.

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http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/23/5228838

Voice of Russia
June 23, 2011

Moscow slams US meddling in Kurils dispute

Moscow deems as inappropriate U.S. interference in its dialogue with Japan on a peace treaty. The statement came in comments from the Russian Foreign Ministry in response to a joint statement by Washington and Tokyo, in which both pledge to seek a solution to the Russian-Japanese dispute over the South Kurils.

The ministry recommended the U.S. did not dispute Russia’s sovereignty of the islands. The case in point is four islands of the South Kuril mountain ridge, which became part of Russia under international treaties signed after the Second World War.

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http://rt.com/politics/russia-us-japan-kurils/

RT
June 23, 2011

Russia’s sovereignty over South Kurils irrefutable, Moscow tells US, Japan
Robert Bridge

In a response to a joint statement made by the US and Japan, Moscow is calling on Washington not to question the fact that the Southern Kuril Islands belong to Russia.

­”We consider inappropriate a situation in which Russia’s sovereignty over the Southern Kuril Islands is questioned one way or another,” the Russian Foreign Ministry information and press department said on Thursday.

The comments by the Foreign Ministry came in response to a statement put out by the US and Japan in which they say they are seeking the normalization of Russian-Japanese relations through settling the controversy over the so-called Northern Territories.

The US also pointed out in the statement that Washington considers the Southern Kurils to be Japanese territory.

“The problem of a peace treaty is a bilateral issue between Moscow and Tokyo,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said. “Any attempts to interfere do not help create a calm atmosphere for developing dialogue on this complicated and sensitive subject,”

The statement was drafted in the course of a security meeting between Japanese and US officials in Washington. The participants included US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Takeaki Matsumoto and Japanese Minister of National Defense Toshimi Kitazawa.

In November, Dmitry Medvedev became the first Russian president to visit the disputed Kuril Islands. Having met with local residents in Kunashir, the second-largest of the four islands, he pledged more investment for the region.

The visit sparked a diplomatic dispute with Tokyo.

Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan called Medvedev’s visit “regrettable,” and the Russian ambassador was summoned.

In return, Russia called Japan’s reaction to the visit “unacceptable”.

Meanwhile, Russian General Staff Chief General Nikolai Makarov recently confirmed that the construction of two military garrisons will begin in the second half of 2011 and finish next year, adding that military bases on Iturup and Kunashir – the largest of the island group – will accommodate new forces and provisions for the 18th machine gun-artillery division.

“The Defense Ministry’s plan for the Kuril Islands has been confirmed,” Makarov told Interfax-AVN. “It [the reconstruction] is intended to continue for four to five years.”

“Modern barracks, housing, parking lots and arms depots will be constructed in the Southern Kurils,” Russia’s highest ranking military officer said.

The Southern Kuril Islands – made up of Iturup, Kunashir, Shikotan and Khabomai – lie to the north of Japan’s Hokkaido Island and to the south of Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula. They are known in Russia as the Southern Kurils, while the Japanese refer to them as the Northern Territories.

Meanwhile, the US and Japan also acknowledged in their joint statement that they would miss a 2014 deadline for the relocation of the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on Okinawa.

“The force realignment plan aims to reduce the US military footprint on Okinawa, which hosts more than half of the 47,000 US troops in Japan,” the Taipei Times reported.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Sarkozy’s Libyan War

June 23, 2011 1 comment

June 23, 2011

Sarkozy’s Libyan War
By Robert Harneis

French President Nicolas Sarkozy started the Libyan war – what drove him to risk the effort?

It is clear that without his personal intervention there is very little chance it would have happened. Only small children and nice-minded little old ladies are inclined to believe it is solely about the welfare of the Libyan people. If it was, France and NATO would be at war with half the world, including themselves, for what they are doing to civilians in Afghanistan.

The history of Khadafy’s relationship with the West, and the United States in particular, is the stuff of pulp fiction. In 1969 the CIA under the newly elected President Nixon helped him overthrow the British puppet King Idris in the newly oil rich kingdom. They picked the wrong guy. The first thing he did was to close the US Wheelus airbase and invite in the Soviets. So naturally in due course he became President Reagan’s ‘mad dog’ and our unspeakable enemy. Eventually he cut a deal with the Bush 2 administration and became our friend.

All the nations of the West beat a path to his door to sell him everything that was not nailed down including the weapons we are now busy blowing up. In 2007 he was welcomed to Paris for five days and even allowed to pitch his tent in the gardens of the Elysée. Obama was mates with him and there are happy smiling photos of him shaking hands with Hilary Clinton in 2009. The Italians under Berlusconi signed a treaty of friendship with and actually apologised to him and paid compensation only three years ago for pre-war colonial savagery in which tens of thousands of Libyans died. Then in the twinkling of an eye he is the mad dog again and getting the Iraq treatment.

It was a belligerent (and selectively misquoted) speech directed at the rebels that gave the French President a fleeting opportunity to intervene in the uprising in Libya that he did not miss. His claim to be concerned about the people of Libya and ‘to protect the civil population’ sits uneasily with the report in the usually well-informed newspaper Canard Enchainé that French intelligence agents have been active in stirring up rebellion in Libya since well before the outbreak of hostilities. Khadafy has raised the standard of living of his people to one of the highest in Africa so the tenacious rebellion has come as something of a surprise. The “Brother leader” was not beloved of all his people but it sounds awfully like another case of a western use of the intelligence services lighting the blue touch-paper and then shrieking for the military fire brigade in the inevitable ensuing mayhem. At a very deep level was Sarkozy acting as a stalking horse for Obama or some other element in US governmental circles?

However that may be, Sarkozy seized a fleeting opening and, through the unorthodox medium of the intellectual Bernard Henri-Lévi, met and then granted the rebels in Benghazi diplomatic recognition. Resolution 1973 was then scrambled through the UN Security Council authorising a no-fly zone to protect the civilian population and calling for a ceasefire. Notably Brazil, India, China, Russia, and Germany abstained – a big chunk of international opinion.

Only nine days later the Sarkozy French initiative had morphed into a full-blown NATO aerial attack on Libya with the stated objective of the defence of the civil population, free movement of humanitarian aid and the forced return of the Libyan army to barracks. There have followed some pretty unsubtle attempts to assassinate Khadafy, which have resulted in the death of one of his sons and other members of his family. It was not long before NATO leaders and President Sarkozy were talking about the inevitability of regime change. All other considerations apart ‘return to barracks’ by the Libyan army and regime change, spiced with assassination attempts, seem a long way beyond a ‘ceasefire and protecting civilians’ as the Russian government has not been slow to point out.

They have been joined now by South Africa and others in the African Union. An uneasy awareness is growing that the colonialists are back with a vengeance whilst a real, if eccentric, ally and financial supporter is being lynched and lost for ever. Meanwhile much of the French media at least are brazenly putting out the idea that regime change was the original UN mission.

Khadafy’s first problem is that Libya is a big strategically placed country with weak defences, a small population, sitting on top of huge and much coveted oil and gas reserves. Since he overthrew King Idris in 1969, as a dashing young nationalist and socialist army officer, he has upset a lot of people and countries including calling the Gulf Arab monarchs ‘a lot of fat corrupt women,’ but he has survived determined attempts by the West to unseat him and, on one occasion at least, in 1986, to kill him. He has not hesitated to repay the compliments with terrorist attacks. In addition he would seem to have been deliberately smeared for certain acts of terrorism for which he was not responsible. His isolation is increased by his hostility to Islamic fundamentalists.

In addition, he has used his oil wealth to fund the African Union to the detriment of Sarkozy’s NATO/US neo-con-inspired Mediterranean Union and encouraged it to be as independent as possible of the West. Much of the huge sums of money seized by the western nations during this war was intended to fund initiatives in Africa. He has also funded an independent African satellite telephone system with a view to reducing the cost of telephone calls in Africa from the highest in the world. This has allegedly cost European companies 500 million Euros a year in revenues. He has considered nationalising the oil industry and renegotiated contracts. Perhaps worst of all he has proposed a new all-Africa currency backed by gold and threatened to demand payment for oil in it rather than the dollar.

This would have seriously embarrassed the already rickety United States dollar regime, but also the currency in former French West Africa the CFA Franc linked to the French Franc.

The United States, to say the least, does not easily tolerate defiant small countries and has a long memory. Never mind about the civilian population, the treatment NATO is dishing out to Libya, Khadafy and his family is an awful warning to other potentially independent-minded leaders who get ideas of excessive independence in the future. No doubt the Washington war hawks have not forgotten the years of defiance and the expulsion from Wheelus in 1969. If all goes well for NATO, U.S. ‘amour propre’ will be avenged and the inconvenient Colonel replaced by a more oil and currency compliant government à la Saudi Arabia.

Most deadly of all for the turbulent colonel, his two lead enemies, Sarkozy and Obama, face tough elections next year. At the head of a rickety coalition, Cameron in the UK could face one any day. Now that battle is joined, for that above all the “Brother leader” can expect to get the full treatment. It would not be desirable for the voters to get the idea that their leaders had been made fools of yet again by the wily Libyan. At the same time the question is worth posing whether the sudden outburst of the Arab Spring, so long ruthlessly and effectively suppressed with full western support, was essentially an attempt by Obama via his vast secret service organisation to improve his electoral chances with increasingly critical Democratic voters by having a clear-out of elderly and embarrassing dictator allies, whilst at the same time of course retaining remote political control? The determined effort to eliminate Khadafy would fit that pattern. As would the fact that the French secret services were clearly taken completely by surprise by the initial outbreak in Tunisia. Incidentally, the Libyan leader is not helped by the fact that both UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo are up for re-nomination in 2012 as well and hence particularly prone to pressure to be ‘helpful’.

But why such an obvious, sudden and potentially embarrassing Western U-turn? A more gradual and subtle double cross would certainly have exposed Western cynicism less brutally to an increasingly sceptical non-NATO international opinion and even within NATO. It could be that Sarkozy’s motivation for triggering this diplomatic and military coup when he did was an acute awareness of a unique opportunity to overthrow Khadafy but combined with an equally acute awareness of a gathering financial tsunami that may gravely impair the ability of the US and NATO to carry through such military political stunts in future, by which time the wily Libyan leader might well have got himself into a position where he was too strong to take down. The rise of the views of the Dr. Ron Paul and the recent vote in the US House of Representatives against the Libyan war would seem to support this idea.

More generally, Sarkozy as the instigator of all this gets brownie points with the still militarily all-powerful United States, which is important for French business and diplomatic interests world-wide. Plus everybody has now forgotten about his government’s embarrassing Tunisian performance and the Foreign Minister Alliot-Marie resignation fiasco. France gets rid of a troublesome influence in France Afrique. Finally at the risk of sounding a cynical note, if after all he loses the presidential election in 2012, he has set himself up for a Blair-style multi-million payoff from sympathetic neo-cons and business people in the U.S. He might even get to take over from the ex-British Prime Minister as the Middle Eastern Peace envoy or win the Nobel Peace prize.

Robert Harneis is a political journalist based in Strasbourg

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 22, 2011

June 22, 2011 1 comment

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96-Day Libyan War: Over 12,000 NATO Sorties, Over 4,500 Combat Missions

NATO Air Strikes Target Towns Near Libyan Capital

Spokesperson: U.S. Aid Essential To NATO’s Libyan War

Senate Opens Door For U.S. Troops To Fight In Libya

Iran Slams NATO’s Killing Innocent Libyans, Destroying Infrastructure

Obama Brings Week-Long NATO Summit To Chicago

Americans’ Support For Speedy Afghan Withdrawal At All-Time High

U.S. Cannot Afford Indefinite War In Afghanistan

260 NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan This Year

NATO Troops Kill Civilian In Northern Afghanistan

Australia: Over 22,000 U.S., Australian Troops In Joint Exercise

Asia-Pacific NATO: Australia Broadens Military Purview

Latvia To Request NATO Intervention Over Russian Warship Deployment

Hungary: New Commander For NATO Strategic Airlift Base/Operation

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96-Day Libyan War: Over 12,000 NATO Sorties, Over 4,500 Combat Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_06/20110622_110622-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 22, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 12070 sorties, including 4569 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 21 JUNE: 140

Strike sorties conducted 21 JUNE: 48

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NATO Air Strikes Target Towns Near Libyan Capital

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/22/c_13944251.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 22, 2011

NATO airstrikes hit towns near Tripoli

TRIPOLI: NATO warplanes conducted bombing raids Tuesday on Khoms and Nalut near the Libyan capital Tripoli, Libyan state TV reported.

There were no immediate reports of casualties. NATO targeted two civilian checkpoints in Khoms, nearly 100 km east of Tripoli.

NATO fighters also raided Tajoura, east of Tripoli, and Nalut in southwestern Libya.

Libyan state TV reported Tuesday that a NATO Apache attack helicopter was shot down in Zlitan, some 160 km east of Tripoli. It was the fifth helicopter reportedly downed since NATO started military operations in Libya in March.

A spokesman for NATO’s mission in Libya said later, however, that the alliance lost an unmanned helicopter rather than the Apache.

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Spokesperson: U.S. Aid Essential To NATO’s Libyan War

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/21/us-nato-libya-usa-idUSTRE75K3YP20110621

Reuters
June 22, 2011

NATO says U.S. contribution essential in Libya
By David Brunnstrom

BRUSSELS: NATO responded on Tuesday to a Congressional threat to cut off funding to the U.S. military involvement in Libya by saying the United States was providing unique assets essential for the success of the mission.

U.S. lawmakers have questioned the legality of continued use of the U.S. military in Libya and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said last week Congress could cut funding for the mission.

NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu said debates were normal…

“But what I can say is that we are very grateful for the assets that the U.S. is providing and those are unique and essential assets to the success of this mission,” she told a NATO news briefing.

While the United States has stepped back from a leading role in the strike mission NATO took over on March 31, it has continued to provide essential assets, including reconnaissance planes, air-to-air refueling planes and armed drones.

However, U.S. law prohibits U.S. armed forces from being involved in military actions for more than 60 days without congressional authorization, with a 30-day pullout period. Boehner says these 90 days are up on Sunday.

Criticism of the conflict has been fueled by unease in both U.S. political parties over a third war on top of Afghanistan and Iraq and worries about more costs in a time of massive debt.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged Congress on Sunday not to cut off funding for the mission and predicted that the operation against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces would “end OK.”

EUROPEAN WORRIES

The debate in Washington comes at a time when European participants in the bombing mission have questioned their ability to sustain it long-term, and NATO allies not currently taking part have been reluctant to offer support.

On Tuesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain could keep up its campaign in Libya as long as necessary, despite warnings by military chiefs that their forces are overstretched.

The Daily Telegraph quoted a briefing paper from Air Chief Marshall Simon Bryant, head of Royal Air Force combat operations, as saying its ability to deal with unforeseen events would be eroded if the campaign lasted beyond September.

France has indicated the mission’s only aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, will have to be withdrawn in the autumn. The rationale of the mission has been questioned in Italy.

Lungescu said NATO defense ministers had committed this month to sustain the mission as long as it took, while NATO military spokesman Wing Commander Mike Bracken said the military command would work with whatever assets were available.

Frustration has grown among allies at the failure of more than three months of bombing to dislodge Gaddafi and debate has been fueled by a series of negative incidents in recent days.

NATO has admitted it had struck a rebel military column last week and says a malfunctioning bomb appeared to blame for killing civilians in Tripoli on Sunday. On Tuesday, it had its first loss of the air campaign — an unmanned U.S. helicopter.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on Monday that civilian deaths risked NATO’s credibility in a mission supposed to protect civilians.

(Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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Senate Opens Door For U.S. Troops To Fight In Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/22/52223757.html

Voice of Russia
June 22, 2011

Senate opens door for US troops to fight in Libya

The US Senate has approved a resolution that allows US servicemen to fight in the NATO military operation in Libya for another year.

Although the resolution makes no mention of a land operation, this is not ruled out if the US has to defend American government officials or save NATO servicemen.

Earlier, President Barack Obama came under scathing criticism for launching military action in Libya without prior congressional approval.

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Iran Slams NATO’s Killing Innocent Libyans, Destroying Infrastructure

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/22/c_13942345.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 22, 2011

Iran slams NATO’s “deadly strikes” on Libya

TEHRAN: Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs Ali Ahani on Tuesday condemned the deadly strikes by NATO on Libya, saying the attacks are “killing innocent people and destroying the country’s economic infrastructure,” the English language satellite Press TV reported.

Ahani criticized NATO’s military intervention in Libya during a meeting with the Serbian Foreign Ministry’s special envoy Darko Tanaskovic in Tehran.

He said the intervention was a result of misinterpretation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973.

The Security Council adopted Resolution 1973 on March 17, authorizing member states to take all necessary measures to protect civilians under threat of attacks in Libya, including in the opposition base of Benghazi, while excluding foreign occupation of any form on any part of the Libyan territory.

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Obama Brings Week-Long NATO Summit To Chicago

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-chicago-to-host-nato-summit-next-year-on-afghanistan-20110622,0,7396489.story

Chicago Tribune
June 22, 2011

Chicago to host NATO summit next year on Afghanistan
By Christi Parsons

World leaders will gather in Chicago next spring to assess the situation in Afghanistan and discuss the future of the war effort there, President Barack Obama will announce in an address from the White House tonight

The NATO summit will serve as a chance to review goals laid out by the security alliance in Lisbon last fall…a senior administration official said.

The summit, to be held between May 15 and 22 of next year, will coincide with a meeting of the Group of Eight industrialized nations as they convene to focus on global economic issues.

The NATO summit – to be held in the president’s hometown – will be devoted to reviewing progress since the Portugal summit last November.

Obama will ask leaders to talk about how to “sustain our joint work to revitalize NATO to prepare it to effectively meet challenges of the 21st century,” an administration official said this morning.

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http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2011/06/obama_bringing_nato_meeting_to.html

Chicago Sun-Times
June 22, 2011

Obama bringing NATO, G-8 meetings to Chicago
By Lynn Sweet

WASHINGTON: President Obama will bring world leaders to Chicago next May for a “G-8″ summit and a NATO meeting, to discuss Afghanistan and the NATO alliance. Obama will announce the meetings during his Wednesday night speech on drawing down troops in Afghanistan.

An Obama White House administration official told the Chicago Sun-Times that the two distinct meetings will take place at the same time in Chicago, in locations to be determined. The 2012 summits in Chicago “will provide President Obama with opportunity to continue his leadership of our most important security alliance, to fulfill commitments made by allied leaders in Lisbon in November 2010, and to sustain our joint work to revitalize NATO to prepare it to effectively meet challenges of the 21st century.

“They will review the progress in Afghanistan since the Lisbon NATO Summit, and discuss the next phase of our transition to full Afghan security in 2014.”

The meeting will run from May 15-May 22, 2012 and will be an opportunity for Mayor Emanuel, Obama’s former White House chief of staff, to show off the city for the world.

But the meetings will also bring massive security and financial challenges to the cash strapped city. A gathering of world leaders attracts protestors. When Pittsburgh hosted the G-20 summit on global economies Sept. 24-25, 2009, a public-private host committee partnership was created to help share the costs, much as for a political convention.

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Americans’ Support For Speedy Afghan Withdrawal At All-Time High

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/22/c_13943048.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 22, 2011

Americans’ support for withdrawing from Afghanistan reaches all-time high

WASHINGTON: A record number of Americans favor withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan as soon as possible, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center.

The result comes one day ahead of President Barack Obama’s speech on a plan to draw down military forces from Afghanistan. Anti-war liberals, joined by some cost-sensitive Republicans, have recently pushed harder for a more rapid withdrawal as public support of the war has been subsiding since the killing of al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden.

Fifty-six percent of Americans say U.S. troops should be brought home as soon as possible, while 39 percent favor keeping troops in Afghanistan until the situation has stabilized, the survey showed.

This is the first time a majority of Americans support a quick withdrawal. The proportion has increased by eight points since last month, immediately after the killing of bin Laden.

The poll also showed 56 percent of Americans say it is unlikely that Afghanistan will be able to maintain a stable government after the U.S. military leaves.

There are approximately 100,000 U.S. forces in Afghanistan, including a so-called “surge” of 30,000 troops Obama ordered to the country in late 2009.

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U.S. Cannot Afford Indefinite War In Afghanistan

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/22/52242650.html

Voice of Russia
June 22, 2011

US cannot afford war in Afghanistan

Viktoria Zhuravlyova, senior research fellow at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences:

I think that the decision on drawing down the troops from Afghanistan is truly not unexpected.

Firstly, the withdrawal was scheduled and promised by President Obama when he was elected.

Secondly, the American economists feel stagnation, and White House had to agree on deep budget cuts, they just cannot afford this war in Afghanistan.

And thirdly, this war is very unpopular among the Americans. It means that all political forces will stand for withdrawal.

I suppose that if the economic situation is different in the United States, the withdrawal terms will be different, and if they have enough money, if not this economic crisis I think they will stay there for a longer period.

For now the situation within Afghanistan is still difficult, and the American troop withdrawal may provoke instability. So, it is a forced decision but the only one possible because of the economic situation.

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260 NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan This Year

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/22/c_13944406.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 22, 2011

One NATO soldier killed in attack in S. Afghanistan

KABUL: One NATO soldier was killed on Wednesday in an insurgent attack in restive southern Afghanistan, the military alliance confirmed in a statement.

“An International Security Assistance Force service member died following an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan today.” said the statement issued by NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) here.

However, the brief statement did not reveal the position and nationality of the victim, saying it is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.

Troops mainly from U.S., Britain, Canada and Australia have been stationed in the southern region within the framework of ISAF to fight Taliban militants.

A total of 260 NATO soldiers, most of them Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan since beginning this year.

The Taliban-led insurgency has been rampant since the militant group announced to launch spring offensive from May 1 against Afghan and NATO-led troops stationed in Afghanistan.

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NATO Troops Kill Civilian In Northern Afghanistan

http://bakhtarnews.com.af/en/index.php?news=5654

Bakhtar News Agency
June 22, 2011

NATO-led Troops Kills Civilian In Kunduz Raid

Kabul: Foreign troops killed a civilian and arrested three others during a night time operation in the Imam Sahib district of northern Kunduz province, an official said on Tuesday.

Foreign troops killed a civilian and arrested three others during a night time operation in the Imam Sahib district of northern Kunduz province, an official said on Tuesday.

The raid was conducted on a house in the Yakathoth area on Monday night, the district chief, Mohammad Ayub Haqyar, told BIA.

He said the operation was carried out by US Special Forces that killed a civilian and led to the arrest of three others. The Americans did not inform local authorities prior to launching the offensive, he said, adding there was no evidence that the dead person had any links with the Taliban.

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Australia: Over 22,000 U.S., Australian Troops In Joint Exercise

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=61163

Navy NewsStand
June 22, 2011

U.S., Australian Forces to Conduct Talisman Sabre 2011
From Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii: More than 22,000 U.S. and Australian personnel will participate in the military training exercise Talisman Sabre 2011 in Australia during the month of July.

Talisman Sabre, jointly sponsored by the U.S. Pacific Command and Australian Defence Force (ADF) Joint Operations Command, will train the U.S. 7th Fleet and Australian Deployable Joint Headquarters staffs as a designated Combined Task Force.

Approximately 14,000 U.S. and 8,500 Australian personnel will take part in the exercise. Talisman Sabre will be conducted July 11 – 29, with the main exercise commencing July 18 – 29.

Brigadier Bob Brown, the Australian spokesman for Talisman Sabre, said that the exercise provides an invaluable opportunity to conduct operations in a combined and joint environment that will increase both countries’ ability to plan and execute contingency responses, from combat missions to humanitarian assistance efforts.

“Talisman Sabre 2011 is a biennial training activity aimed at improving ADF and U.S. combat readiness and interoperability as a Combined Joint Task Force..,” Brown said.

United States and Australian forces will conduct land, sea and air training throughout various training areas.

The training will be concentrated in the Shoalwater Bay Training Area near Rockhampton in central Queensland, but will also include training locations at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Townsville, RAAF Base Darwin, RAAF Base Tindal, RAAF Base Amberley, Canungra and the maritime areas of the Coral, Timor and Arafura Seas.

“Talisman Sabre is a realistic and challenging exercise that brings us together with our Australian allies to improve our ability to work both bilaterally and multilaterally, and be poised to provide security for own citizens both regionally and globally,” said Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet and overall combined task force commander for Talisman Sabre.

The U.S. and Australia train and work together in a variety of exercises and missions throughout the year including Pacific Partnership, which is the largest humanitarian and civic assistance mission in the Asia-Pacific. Pacific Partnership began early April and will conclude in late July.

“This year marks the 60th anniversary of the ANZUS Treaty, an alliance which has played a vital role in defining our military cooperation in this region and beyond,” Van Buskirk said…

This exercise is a major undertaking which reflects the closeness of the Australian and U.S. alliance and the strength of the military-to-military relationship.

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Asia-Pacific NATO: Australia Broadens Military Purview

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/22/c_13943426.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 22, 2011

Australian DM orders review to consider relocating troops
by Vienna Ma

CANBERRA: Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith on Wednesday announced a large scale “force structure review” over where Australian forces are based.

Two former civilian leaders of the defense department, Ric Smith and Allan Hawke, will lead the review.

The review will examine the rise of the Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean rim, as well as how Australia is placed to respond to…new challenges, such as energy security.

“To ensure that our Australian Defence Force is geographically positioned correctly to meet our modern security and strategic challenges,” he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

Smith said Australia now had a growing petroleum resources belt across the north-west top of Australia that needed to be protected.

“There is a prospect that we (will) see more defense assets in Western Australia … more assets in the Northern Territory … and the potential for more assets in north-east Queensland,” Smith said.

The review is expected to consider moving many of the Defense Force’s warships and thousands of personnel to northern areas of Australia.

If this occurs, it would be a major shift of defense assets away from traditional bases in New South Wales and Victoria.

Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett welcomed Wednesday’s proposal, saying that Australia needed to reassess where its naval, army and air force assets were deployed.

Barnett said the oil and gas fields off Western Australia’s coast, asylum seeker boat arrivals, the terrorism attacks in Bali of Indonesia, the Indian Ocean tsunami and other humanitarian rescue concerns were all reasons for such a redeployment.

“There is no doubt we are being drawn ever closer to Asia and the problems of Asia are now our problems,” Barnett said.

Smith said the review is due to be finished by early next year, and will feed into the next Defence White Paper which is scheduled for 2014.

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Latvia To Request NATO Intervention Over Russian Warship Deployment

http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110622/164767283.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 22, 2011

Latvia says could seek NATO support over Mistral threat

Latvia will ask NATO for support if Russia deploys French-built Mistral warships in the Baltic Sea because it would change the balance of forces in the region, Defense Minister Artis Pabriks said on Wednesday.

Russia and France signed last Friday a $1.7 billion (1.2 bln euro) contract on two French-built Mistral class amphibious assault ships for the Russian Navy, which includes the transfer of sensitive technologies.

“If these helicopter carriers appear in the Baltic Sea, Latvia will ask France and NATO in general for military and political support,” Pabriks said. “The size of this support should be adequate to restore the balance of forces in the region.”

Latvia, a former Soviet republic, joined the 28-member bloc together with other Baltic states in 2004.

Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Tuesday that it was too early to determine the future deployment of the warships, as the first ship will be delivered to Russia in 2014 and the second in 2015.

“Let us build the ships first and then think about their use. We have some plans and we will make them public when the ships are almost ready,” he said.

A Mistral class ship is capable of carrying 16 helicopters, four landing vessels, 70 armored vehicles, and 450 personnel.

The Russian military insists that the use of Mistral class ships will significantly increase the effectiveness of peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.

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Hungary: New Commander For NATO Strategic Airlift Base/Operation

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123260828

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
June 22, 2011

High Praise for Heavy Airlift Wing at Change of Command Ceremony
by Tech. Sgt. Wayne Clark
Regional News Bureau AFN-Europe

PAPA AIR BASE, Hungary: U.S. Air Force Colonel Keith P. Boone assumed command of the Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) from U.S. Air Force Colonel John Zazworsky at a ceremony here June 17, becoming only the second commander of the unique wing since it was established in 2008…

“I thank the 12 nations that came together to make this Airlift avenger a reality,” said Colonel Zazworsky, who served as the Wing’s first Commander for nearly three years. Colonel Zazworsky next assignment will be Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

“When I began my career I couldn’t imagine I would be stationed in this part of Europe joining this team of nations flying global combat and humanitarian missions. This Wing started with one aircraft and it has grown into an incredible capability,” said Colonel Boone.

The HAW is the operational unit of the Strategic Airlift Capability (SAC) program, a multinational consortium that is designed to fulfill the strategic airlift requirements of the participating nations. HAW operates a fleet of three C-17 Globemaster III long-range cargo jets.

When it reaches full operational capability, the wing be a combat-capable C-17 airlift unit designed to perform the full spectrum of airlift missions. The HAW’s core competencies will include, for example, single ship airdrop, assault landings and all-weather operations day or night into low to medium threat environments.

Partner nations include: the U.S., Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and Finland.

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Categories: Uncategorized

La Bruyère on the lust for war

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

Jean de La Bruyère
From Characters (1688)
Of the Sovereign and the State
Translated by Henri Van Laun

Even in the most remote antiquity, and in all ages, war has existed, and has always filled the world with widows and orphans, drained families of heirs, and destroyed several brothers in one and the same battle.

****

In every age men have agreed to destroy, burn, kill, and slaughter one another, for some piece of land more or less; and to accomplish this with the greater certainty and ingenuity, they have invented beautiful rules, which they call “strategy.”

When any one brings these rules into practice, glory and the highest honours are his reward, whilst every age improves on the method of destroying one another reciprocally. An injustice committed by the first men was the primary occasion for wars, and made the people feel the necessity of giving themselves masters to settle their rights and pretensions. If each man could have been satisfied with his own property and had not infringed on that of his neighbours, the world would have enjoyed uninterrupted peace and liberty.

They who sit peaceably by their own firesides among their friends, and in the midst of a large town, where there is nothing to fear either for their wealth or their lives, breathe fire and sword, busy themselves with wars, destructions, conflagrations, and massacres, cannot bear patiently that armies are in the field and do not meet; or, if in sight, that they do not engage; or, if they engage, that the fight was not more sanguinary, and that there were scarcely ten thousand men killed on the spot.

They are sometimes so infatuated as to forget their dearest interests, their repose and security, for the sake of change, and from a liking for novelty and extraordinary events; some of them would even be satisfied with seeing the enemy at the very gates of Dijon or Corbie, with beholding chains stretched across the streets and barricades thrown up, for the satisfaction of hearing and of communicating the news.

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 21, 2011

June 21, 2011 3 comments

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Libya: NATO Air Missions Near 12,000 With Over 4,500 Combat Sorties

NATO Intensifies Deadly Bombing Of Civilian Targets In Libya

Libya Accuses NATO Of Targeting Civilians, Targeted Assassinations

Palestine Sends Protest Note To NATO Over Killing Of Family In Libya

NATO Air Strike Kills Syrian Family In Tripoli

Libya: U.S. Conducts Scores Of Air, Drones Strike Since Handoff To NATO

NATO Loses Helicopter In Libya

Canada: Top Military Commander Candidate For NATO Military Chief

64 Joint Events This Year: NATO Strengthens Ties With Ukraine

Afghanistan: NATO Loses Four Soldiers Since Yesterday

Russia Outraged By U.S. Missile Shield Warship Maneuvers Off Georgia

Another Georgian Soldier Killed In NATO’s Afghan War

Georgia: Pentagon Leads Joint Military Exercise

Opposition Party: Georgia Cannon Fodder Store For NATO And U.S.

NATO Recruits More Armenian Troops For Afghan War Front

Raytheon Wins $1.7 Billion Bid To Upgrade Saudi Missile Interceptors

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Libya: NATO Air Missions Near 12,000 With Over 4,500 Combat Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_06/20110621_110621-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 21, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

….

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 11930 sorties, including 4521 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 20 JUNE: 149

Strike sorties conducted 20 JUNE: 52

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NATO Intensifies Deadly Bombing Of Civilian Targets In Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/21/52172405.html

Voice of Russia
June 21, 2011

NATO kills innocents again

Libya has accused NATO forces of an airstrike that is said to have killed 9 civilians, including 4 children and injured 18 others over the weekend.

The early Sunday morning attack destroyed one apartment building, crashing residents beneath tones of debris while they were sleeping, Libyan authorities said. Have a dozen homes on a normally quiet street were also damaged. The rescue operation began immediately, but people on the ground expressed fear that there was little hope of anyone being found alive under the rubble. A Libyan rescue worker recounted his experience: “Under the rubble we were able to find four children and two adults – a man and a woman.”

Family members of those that were killed mourned at the site for hours. Mohammed al-Hurari lost 5 members of his family and barely survived himself.

“I woke up when I heard an explosion. Some stones and pieces of the roof fell on me. I ran immediately to see how my family was and many were dead. My mother survived, another brother is in a coma, and we don’t know when or if he will recover.”

Libyan government allowed international journalists to the bomb site as victims were still being pulled from the rubble. Typically, journalist movements are limited. Late Sunday Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi sent a message to the members of UN Security Council, holding them responsible for what he called ‘a methodical extermination process’. Government Spokesperson Moussa Ibrahim spoke to reporters near the site of the incident:

“They were attacked by rockets from the sky. People were killed, children. With my own hands, with my own eyes I saw and helped take out little girls who were killed and little boys, the father and the mother. Two whole families perished under this attack. You cannot justify this attack with anything. This is not protection of civilians. ”

Later, at a hospital, he denounced the strike in NATO’s presence in Libya.

“Basically, this is another night of murder, and terror, and horror in Tripoli, caused by NATO. You have seen with your own eyes the terrible disaster that is taking place every day in Tripoli.”

NATO later admitted that their forces are likely to blame the same mistake. This was their official announcement: “The intended target during last night air strike in Tripoli was a military missile site. However, from our initial assessment of the facts, it appears that one weapon did not strike the intended target due to a weapons system failure.”

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Libya Accuses NATO Of Targeting Civilians, Targeted Assassinations

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1894636.html

Deutsche Press-Agentur
June 21, 2011

Libyan government accuses NATO of targeting civilians

The Libyan government on Tuesday accused NATO of targeting civilians, and of so far killing 700, as heavy fighting continued between Moamer Gaddafi’s forces and rebels near the city of Misurata, DPA reported.

Libyan security forces claimed to have overheard a telephone conversation in which NATO officials said they planned to target the homes of all of Gaddafi’s children, a government official who chose to remain unnamed told the German Press Agency dpa.

“We accuse NATO of carrying out targeted assassinations and attacks against civilians in Libya,” the official said.

Government officials claim that NATO airstrikes, which began in late March with the aim of protecting civilians, have killed 700 civilians so far, according to regional broadcaster Al Jazeera.

A NATO attack also killed 15 civilians including relatives of former Interior Minister Khuwaylidi al-Hamidi, closely linked to Gaddafi, on Monday, the government said Monday.

The accusations came after NATO admitted on Sunday for the first time that civilians had been killed during a bombing raid over Tripoli.

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Palestine Sends Protest Note To NATO Over Killing Of Family In Libya

http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=398479

Ma’an News Agency
June 21, 2011

NATO airstrike kills Palestinian family in Tripoli

RAMALLAH: A Palestinian family of four was killed in a NATO airstrike Monday on the Libyan capital of Tripoli, according to the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The ministry explained in a statement published Tuesday on the government news agency Wafa, that the International Red Crescent Association had relayed the news.

The family, according to Wafa’s report, had lived in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, before moving to Tripoli.

Palestinian ambassador to Libya Atif Udah told Ma’an radio the family was in a three-story building targeted by a NATO air attack. He identified the victims as Abdullah Muhammad Ash-Shihab, his wife Karima and his 6-month-old twins Khalid and Jumanah.

He noted that President Mahmoud Abbas asked the foreign ministry and the embassy in Libya to send a protest note to NATO, the Red Cross, and the UN.

Earlier in June, Ma’an spoke to the PA’s Minister of Interior Sa’id Abu Ali about the status of Palestinian communities in Arab countries experiencing revolutions, such as Yemen and Libya.

He said that there was a special military committee that monitors Palestinian communities and provides help in moving them to safer areas.

Libyan officials reported that 15 civilians were killed on Monday in a NATO airstrike on Tripoli.

The treaty organization has been carrying out strikes against Libya since May, assisting rebel forces calling for the ouster of the country’s leader Mommar Gadhafi.

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NATO Air Strike Kills Syrian Family In Tripoli

http://www.sana.sy/eng/22/2011/06/19/353582.htm

Syrian Arab News Agency
June 19, 2011

A Four-Member Syrian Family Killed by NATO Raids in Tripoli, Libya
R. Milhem, R. Jazaeri 

TRIPOLI, Libya: A four-member Syrian family was killed in an air raid launched by NATO on the Orada neighborhood, Tripoli, early on Sunday.

Libyan Official Spokesman, Mousa Ibrahim, told journalists that the raid claimed the lives of the Syrian citizen Abdullah Namr Shihab, his Libyan wife Karima al-Gharari and their two children.

He pointed out that a rocket fell down directly on the family’s house in al-Orada neighborhood.

Ibrahim said that many people were injured as neighboring houses were also damaged by the rocket, stating that this sort of bombing shows that NATO military operations have entered a new phase which is devastating residential and populated areas.

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Libya: U.S. Conducts Scores Of Air, Drones Strike Since Handoff To NATO

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/21/world/africa/21powers.html

New York Times
June 21, 2011

Scores of U.S. Strikes in Libya Followed Handoff to NATO
By Charlie Savage and Thom Shanker 

WASHINGTON: Since the United States handed control of the air war in Libya to NATO in early April, American warplanes have struck at Libyan air defenses about 60 times, and remotely operated drones have fired missiles at Libyan forces about 30 times, according to military officials.

The most recent strike from a piloted United States aircraft was on Saturday, and the most recent strike from an American drone was on Wednesday, the officials said.

While the Obama administration has regularly acknowledged that American forces have continued to take part in some of the strike sorties, few details about their scope and frequency have been made public.

The unclassified portion of material about Libya that the White House sent to Congress last week, for example, said “American strikes are limited to the suppression of enemy air defense and occasional strikes by unmanned Predator” drones, but included no numbers for such strikes.

The disclosure of such details could add texture to an unfolding debate about the merits of the Obama administration’s legal argument that it does not need Congressional authorization to continue the mission because United States forces are not engaged in “hostilities” within the meaning of the War Powers Resolution.

Under that 1973 law, presidents must end unauthorized deployments 60 days after notifying Congress that they have introduced American forces into actual or imminent hostilities. That deadline for the Libyan mission appeared to pass on May 20, but the administration contended that the deadline did not apply because the United States’ role had not risen to the level of “hostilities,” at least since it handed control of the mission over to NATO.

The special anti-radar missiles used to suppress enemy air defenses are usually carried by piloted aircraft, not drones, and the Pentagon has regularly said that American military aircraft have continued to conduct these missions. Still, officials have been reluctant to release the exact numbers of strikes.

The administration’s legal position prompted internal controversy. Top lawyers at the Justice Department and the Pentagon argued that the United States’ military activities did amount to “hostilities” under the War Powers Resolution, but President Obama sided with top lawyers at the State Department and the White House who contended that they did not cross that threshold.

The House of Representatives may vote later this week on a proposal to cut off funding for the Libya mission. The proposal is backed by an odd-bedfellows coalition of antiwar liberals and Tea Party Republicans.

They are opposed by an equally unusual alignment of Democrats who support the White House and the intervention in Libya, and more hawkish Republicans.

On Monday, a group that includes prominent neoconservative figures — including Liz Cheney, Robert Kagan, William Kristol and Paul Wolfowitz — sent Republicans an open letter opposing efforts to cut off funds for the mission.

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NATO Loses Helicopter In Libya

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5iFZut-tOXl3J7iFvArO5hEmUGmxA?docId=CNG.9a529bd9225705d57efe330623713dcd.471

Agence France-Presse
June 21, 2011

NATO says lost drone helicopter in Libya

BRUSSELS: NATO said it lost radar contact with a drone helicopter conducting a reconnaissance flight over Libya on Tuesday, denying one of its attack helicopters had crashed.

The alliance’s command centre in Naples, Italy, lost track of the unmanned autonomous helicopter drone at 0720 GMT, NATO military spokesman Mike Bracken said in a statement.

The military alliance was looking into the reason behind the incident.

Libyan state television on Tuesday showed footage of a burnt-out helicopter it identified as an Apache, reportedly downed near Zliten, 160 kilometres (100 miles) east of the capital.

The caption on the television, which quoted military sources, read: “Images of the Apache helicopter shot down by the people’s army.”

It was not immediately possible to verify if the helicopter was an Apache.

Zliten is 40 kilometres west of the rebel-held port city of Misrata.

NATO has been using combat helicopters over Libya in an attempt to break the stalemate in the conflict.

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Canada: Top Military Commander Candidate For NATO Military Chief

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/06/20/canadas-top-soldier-in-running-for-highest-nato-job/

National Post
June 20, 2011

Canada’s top soldier in running for highest NATO job: source

-Alain Pellerin, a retired colonel who is executive director of the Conference of Defence Associations, said Canada has credibility at NATO because of its missions in Afghanistan and Libya. “That puts us in a front seat at NATO,” he said.
General Natynczyk is considered well-connected within NATO, particularly with the Americans. He deployed with U.S. forces in Iraq, leading III Corps’ 35,000 soldiers during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

OTTAWA: Canada’s top soldier is in the running to become NATO’s most senior military officer, according to sources within the alliance.

Walter Natynczyk, Canada’s Chief of Defence Staff, is said to be keen to become the alliance’s Chairman of the Military Committee, when the post becomes vacant this September.

General Natynczyk would need the Prime Minister’s blessing to run for the job of becoming principal military adviser to NATO’s Secretary General, since Canada has to pick up the multi-million-dollar tab to pay his salary, staff and security.

A government spokesman said it is “premature” to comment on the General’s prospective candidacy.

It is understood the Conservative government is concerned about another high profile loss of face, if the General’s candidacy becomes official and he loses. Canada lost its bid for a seat on the United Nations Security Council, while Defence Minister Peter MacKay was beaten to the job of NATO Secretary General by Denmark’s Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

If he does make a run for the job, General Natynczyk will face competition from Denmark’s chief of defence, Knud Bartels, in the secret vote by the top soldiers from NATO’s 28 members on Sept. 17. General Bartels has already been endorsed by his own government, but some NATO members have expressed their unease at both the Secretary General and Chair of the Military Committee coming from the same country.

There may be other entrants, but the Chairman has only ever come from 13 nations. The three-year position is currently held by an Italian admiral, Giampaolo Di Paola. A U.S. general traditionally holds the role of Supreme Allied Commander Europe, who heads military operations, but an American has never been Secretary General and only on two occasions has the Chairman of the Military Committee come from the U.S.

A Canadian, General Raymond Henault, held the post as recently as 2008…

Alain Pellerin, a retired colonel who is executive director of the Conference of Defence Associations, said Canada has credibility at NATO because of its missions in Afghanistan and Libya. “That puts us in a front seat at NATO,” he said. “Natynczyk is very popular amongst his colleagues and Canada has been very supportive of NATO missions, so that should help his case.”

General Natynczyk is considered well-connected within NATO, particularly with the Americans. He deployed with U.S. forces in Iraq, leading III Corps’ 35,000 soldiers during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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64 Joint Events This Year: NATO Strengthens Ties With Ukraine

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110621/164745239.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 21, 2011

Kiev-NATO ties should not surprise Moscow – Ukrainian diplomat

-“If someone in Russia had illusions in this respect – that is their problem, we never intended to cut ties with the most powerful military organization in the world.”

STRASBOURG: The continuing close cooperation between Ukraine and NATO should have been expected by Russia, an Ukrainian diplomat said on Tuesday, adding that Kiev’s ties with the alliance are not aimed against Moscow.

Commenting on media reports that Ukraine and NATO have strengthened cooperation by planning at least 64 joint events this year, the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told RIA Novosti that Kiev and Brussels applied an “everything but membership” formula in their relations.

“If someone in Russia had illusions in this respect – that is their problem, we never intended to cut ties with the most powerful military organization in the world,” he said.

The diplomat added that cooperation with the alliance helped Ukraine to conduct military reforms, modernization of its Armed Forces and training of military personnel, including staging military drills that would not be possible otherwise because of the lack of defense funds.

On June 6-18, Ukraine hosted Sea Breeze 2011, the largest multinational maritime exercise this year in the Black Sea.

“We openly inform our Russia colleagues about everything that we do with NATO,” the diplomat said.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has indicated that Ukraine will drop his predecessor Viktor Yuschenko’s plans to attempt to seek NATO membership, a proposal that infuriated Russia, but has also said he will try to maintain good ties with both Moscow and the West.

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Afghanistan: NATO Loses Four Soldiers Since Yesterday

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/21/c_13942201.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 21, 2011

1 NATO soldier killed in IED blast in S. Afghanistan

KABUL: A NATO soldier was killed in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in restive southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, bringing to four the number of casualties of military alliance in the country since Monday morning.

“An International Security Assistance Force service member died following an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in southern Afghanistan today,” said a statement issued by NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) here on Tuesday.

Earlier Tuesday, the multi-national ISAF also confirmed losing two soldiers in two separate insurgent attacks in the country’s volatile eastern provinces on Monday.

Another ISAF service member was killed in an IED attack also in southern Afghanistan on Monday.

The NATO-led ISAF generally does not disclose the identity of the casualties, saying “It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.”

Troops mainly from the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia have been stationed in the southern region within the framework of ISAF to fight Taliban militants there while U.S. forces mostly have been stationed in the eastern part of the insurgency-hit country.

Over 250 NATO soldiers, most of them Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan since beginning this year.

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Russia Outraged By U.S. Missile Shield Warship Maneuvers Off Georgia

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110621/164752516.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 21, 2011

Russia blasts U.S. Navy maneuvers near Georgia

Russia is outraged at the maneuvers of American USS Monterey cruiser carrying the AEGIS air defense system near the Georgian coast on the Black Sea, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The U.S. warship arrived for joint exercises with Georgia as part of the Phased Adaptive Approach program designed to shape the European segment of the U.S.-led project to build a global missile defense system, the Trend news agency said.

“The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier expressed concern that along with negotiations on cooperation in the global air defense system, [the U.S.] is conducting simultaneous ‘reconnaissance’ operations near the borders of our country,” the ministry said.

Russia has been deeply concerned over U.S. plans to deploy a European air defense system near the Russian borders, saying it threatened its national security. Washington said it needed the system as a shield against possible threats from Iran or North Korea.

“And now this American warship has demonstratively entered the Georgian port of Batumi,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Relations between Russia and Georgia have been complicated in the past decade. Russia has traditionally supported Georgia’s breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while Georgia has been looking to join NATO. In 2008, Russia and Georgia fought a five-day war over the two breakaway Georgian republics, after which Russia recognized them both as being independent states.

“Whatever the explanations are, it is clear that the Georgian authorities will see the incident as encouragement for their ambitions for revenge against the Russian allies of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which is unlikely to help stability in the region,” the ministry said.

Russian diplomats said they expected a more constructive approach from U.S. authorities, which would help provide security in the South Caucasus and the Black Sea region as a whole and respect the interests of all local countries.

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Another Georgian Soldier Killed In NATO’s Afghan War

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23646

Civil Georgia
June 21, 2011

Georgian Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

Tbilisi: Private Gia Goguadze died in hospital after being badly wounded in an attack in the Helmand province of Afghanistan, the Georgian Ministry of Defense said on June 20.

“The Georgian military serviceman was injured during the attack of the insurgents. He was hospitalized though the medics could not save his life due to seriousness of injuries,” the MoD said.

With this latest death, total number of Georgian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, since joining the NATO-led operation in November 2009, increased to nine.

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Georgia: Pentagon Leads Joint Military Exercise

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23648

Civil Georgia
June 21, 2011

U.S.-Georgia Joint Disaster Preparedness Training

Tbilisi: Twenty servicemen from the U.S. state of Georgia’s Army National Guard are holding joint training exercises with the Georgian personnel in effective response to natural disasters.

The combined bilateral, humanitarian assistance and response exercises, Shared Horizons 2011, are held at the Georgian National Guard Training Center in Tbilisi on June 20-24.

It also said that Lt. Gen. Mark P. Hertling, the U.S. Army Europe commanding general, would observe the joint exercises and would meet with Georgian government officials.

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Opposition Party: Georgia Cannon Fodder Store For NATO And U.S.

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110621/164749140.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 21, 2011

Georgian opposition party blasts Saakashvili for sending troops to Afghanistan

Tbilisi: The Georgian opposition Labor Party has strongly criticized the country’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, for sending soldiers to Afghanistan following the killing of a ninth soldier by Taliban militants.

“Georgia has long become a cannon fodder store for NATO and the United States,” party spokesman Kakha Dzagania told journalists on Tuesday.

Many NATO member countries have refused to send their troops to Afghanistan, he said, while President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia, seeking to join NATO, “does this to our children.”

By doing so, Dzagania said, the Georgian president is trying to “maintain [his] power.”

The Labor Party, which holds 6 out of 150 seats in the Georgian parliament, has urged NATO not to “make use of the tragedy of the Georgian people” and to reject Georgia’s participation in the military operation in Afghanistan.

Georgian Private Gia Goguadze, who had been serving in Afghanistan since 2010, died in a hospital after being seriously injured during an attack by Taliban militants in the volatile southern Helmand Province last week.

Goguadze became the ninth Georgian soldier to have been killed in Afghanistan since the country joined the international U.S.-led coalition fighting the Afghan insurgency in 2009.

More than 900 Georgian troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan, including some 750 in the Helmand Province and 175 in the capital, Kabul.

U.S. troops are scheduled to begin withdrawing from Afghanistan next month, followed by other contingents involved in the ISAF. Responsibility for security will be gradually handed over to Afghan military and security forces.

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http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=42105&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2
June 21, 2011

Labour Party calls for Georgian withdrawal from Agfhanistan

The Labour Party of Georgia calls for the withdrawal of Georgian military units from Afghanistan.

The ideological secretary of the party, Kakha Dzagania, introduced the address to NATO at a briefing today. Dzagania said many countries refused to send their units to Afghanistan and now the Georgian government is filling in this deficit with its soldiers.

Dzagania alleged the president of Georgia took responsibility to increase the Georgian contingent in the ISAF mission at the meeting with the US Vice President Joseph Biden. The opposition party calls on the Alliance to refuse Georgia sending its troops to Afghanistan.

`We address the NATO political-military organization not to use the `misfortune` of the nation, and say no to the victim sacrificed to them by Georgian dictator,` Dzagania said.

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NATO Recruits More Armenian Troops For Afghan War Front

http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/72976/

PanArmenian
June 21 2011

NATO thanks Armenia for expansion of ISAF Peacekeeping Mission in Afghanistan

The NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy thanked Armenia on behalf of the alliance for expansion of its ISAF…mission in Afghanistan.

As Stefanie Babst stated during Yerevan-Brussels TV spacebridge, “extending beyond the sphere of military reforms, Armenia-NATO cooperation also covers the struggle against terrorism and coping with natural disasters.”

On June 20, 81 members of Armenian Armed Forces’ peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan were deployed at the Mazar-e-Sharif military base. On June 21, Armenian peacemakers entered upon their duties, the Armenian Defence Ministry press service reported.

On May 11, the Armenian parliament ratified an agreement on regulation of legal issues with NATO in reference to the Armenian Armed Forces’ peacekeeping mission to Afghanistan.

The agreement envisages an extension of the deployment term till December 31, 2012 with the peacekeepers’ number to be increased to 130. At present, 45 peacekeepers are serving in Afghanistan.

As Armenian Defence Minister Seyran Ohanyan stated earlier, the increase of the Armenian peacekeepers number and the extension of their deployment serves the interests of the country, also promoting Armenia-NATO cooperation.

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Raytheon Wins $1.7 Billion Bid To Upgrade Saudi Missile Interceptors

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/raytheon-receives-17-billion-to-upgrade-patriot-for-saudi-arabia-2011-06-21?reflink=MW_news_stmp

Raytheon Company
June 21, 2011

Raytheon Receives $1.7 Billion to Upgrade Patriot for Saudi Arabia

TEWKSBURY, Mass. – Raytheon Company has received a $1.7 billion Direct Commercial Sales contract to upgrade Saudi Arabia’s Patriot Air and Missile Defense System to the latest Configuration-3. The award includes ground-system hardware, a full training package and support equipment upgrades.

“Raytheon is honored to provide the most technologically advanced air and missile defense system in the world to Saudi Arabia,” said Tom Kennedy, president of Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS). “We are pleased that, with this contract, they have shown further confidence in Raytheon and the superior air and missile defense capabilities of the Patriot system.”

The business partnership of Raytheon and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia spans 45 years and a number of programs. Raytheon first supplied the combat-proven Patriot system to Saudi Arabia in the 1990s to protect the nation’s critical assets. Subject to customary U.S. regulatory approvals, work under this contract will be performed by Raytheon at the Integrated Air Defense Center in Andover, Mass. and in Saudi Arabia.

Raytheon is the prime contractor for both domestic and international Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems and system integrator for Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Turkish Actions Designed To Trigger NATO Confrontation With Syria?

June 21, 2011 1 comment

Stop NATO
June 21, 2011

Turkish Actions Designed To Trigger NATO Confrontation With Syria?
Rick Rozoff

Last week a feature by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton excoriating the political leadership of Syria appeared in the London-based Arabic-language daily Asharq Al-Awsat. Saudi-supported and printed in twelve locations, it is considered to be among the most influential newspapers in the Arab world.

As such, her comments (in English and Arabic) were intended to signal to Arab readers and the world at large that the American position toward Damascus is becoming more stringent and confrontational, evoking Clinton’s statements toward the leadership of Ivory Coast and Libya earlier in the year.

Her characteristically imperious, contemptuous and inflammatory comments, indeed threats, included:

“In his May 19 speech, President Obama echoed demonstrators’ basic and legitimate demands…President Assad, he said, could either lead that transition or get out of the way.

“It is increasingly clear that President Assad has made his choice.”

“…President Assad is showing his true colors by embracing the repressive tactics of his ally Iran and putting Syria onto the path of a pariah state.

“By following Iran’s lead, President Assad is placing himself and his regime on the wrong side of history…”

“If President Assad believes he can act with impunity because the international community hopes for his cooperation on other issues, he is wrong about this as well. He and his regime are certainly not indispensable.”

The Wall Street Journal reported on June 18 that the Washington administration is preparing a case against Syrian President Bashar Assad and other government officials at the International Criminal Court in the Hague. The same newspaper feature added that “The U.S. is also exploring ways to more directly target Syria’s oil and gas revenue…”

On June 14 four members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, including the military alliance’s three European powerhouses – Britain, France, Germany and Portugal – proposed a draft resolution in the United Nations Security Council aimed at Syria. Three days later in Berlin German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed their governments would push for a new UN resolution targeting Syria. In Sarkozy’s words: “France, hand in hand with Germany, calls for tougher sanctions against Syrian authorities who are conducting intolerable and unacceptable actions and repression against the population.”

The USS George H.W. Bush nuclear-powered supercarrier and its assigned carrier strike group and carrier air wing – with 9,000 sailors, 70 aircraft and four guided missile destroyers and cruisers – is in the Mediterranean Sea not far from the Syrian coast. One of the destroyers, USS Truxtun, just left the Israeli port city of Haifa after a two-day stopover.

The USS Monterey guided missile cruiser is docked off the Georgian Black Sea city of Batumi currently and will re-enter the Mediterranean soon. Deployed as the first warship assigned to the U.S.-NATO potential first-strike pan-European interceptor missile system, it can launch Tomahawk cruise missiles as well as Standard Missile-3 interceptor missiles.

The guided missile destroyer USS Barry left Gaeta, Italy where nine other U.S. warships have been stationed, on June 17 after a five-day port visit. USS Barry is part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, headed by the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, used at the beginning of the U.S.-NATO Libyan campaign in March and currently in the Mediterranean.

The Pentagon and its allies – every nation in the Mediterranean is now a NATO member or partner except for Libya, Syria, Cyprus (under renewed and intensified pressure to join the bloc’s Partnership for Peace program) and Lebanon (whose coastline has been blockaded by NATO states’ military vessels since 2006) – have the military hardware in place for a replication of the 95-day war against Libya directed at Syria: Scores of warplanes on carriers and on bases in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey and guided missile ships ready to launch Tomahawk missiles.

On June 19 Ersat Hurmuzlu, senior adviser to Turkish President Abdullah Gul, told the United Arab Emirates-based Al Arabiya television channel that Syria has less than a week to respond to what Reuters described as “calls for change.” Hurmuzlu’s exact words were:

“The demands in this field will be for a positive response to these issues within a short period that does not exceed a week.

“The opposite of this, it would not be possible to offer any cover for the leadership in Syria because there is the danger …that we had always been afraid of, and that is foreign intervention.”

Although the last sentence can be read as either warning or threat, it is in fact the second. The statement as a whole is an ultimatum.

Since the war against Libya was launched by U.S. Africa Command under the codename Operation Odyssey Dawn to the present NATO-run Operation Unified Protector in place since March 31, air operations have been run from NATO’s Air Command Headquarters for Southern Europe in Izmir, Turkey.

In March Turkey supplied five ships and a submarine for the blockade of Libya’s coast and on March 28 Hurriyet Daily News announced that Turkey was “assuming control of the Benghazi airport, and sending naval forces to patrol the corridor between the rebel-held city and Crete,” quoting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan:

“Turkey said ‘yes’ to three tasks within NATO: the takeover of Benghazi airport for the delivery of humanitarian aid, the task about control of the air corridor and the involvement of Turkish naval forces in the corridor between Benghazi and Crete.”

In 2003 the U.S. ambassador to NATO at the time, Nicholas Burns, stated in testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

“NATO needs to pivot from its inward focus on Europe – which was necessary and appropriate during the Cold War – to an outward focus on the arc of countries where most of the threats are today – in Central and South Asia, and in the Middle East.

“NATO’s mandate is still to defend Europe and North America. But we don’t believe we can do that by sitting in Western Europe, or Central Europe, or North America. We have to deploy our conceptual attention and our military forces east and south. NATO’s future, we believe, is east, and is south. It’s in the Greater Middle East.”

Earlier this month Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul announced that Izmir will also be the new home of the Alliance’s Land Force Command, consolidating and transferring ground forces currently stationed in Germany and Spain to the Izmir Air Station.

On June 17 Turkey took over command of Standing NATO Maritime Group-2 which, with Standing NATO Maritime Group-1, is part of the NATO Response Force and centers its activities in the Mediterranean. Each group consists of between 4-8 warships – destroyers and frigates – and since 2005 has expanded its missions through the Suez Canal to the Gulf of Aden and the Somalia coast, circumnavigating the African continent in 2007 and traveling the length of the Atlantic coast of the U.S., then entering the Caribbean Sea the same year, the first time NATO had ever deployed to the Caribbean. The NATO naval groups have also sailed to Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, the Persian Gulf and the Baltic Sea among other locations.

Turkey hosted a conference of Syrian opposition forces called “Change in Syria” from May 1-June 2 in the city of Antalya. Although held under the sponsorship of the Egyptian-based National Organisation of Human Rights, logistics and security were provided by the host country.

Had Syria allowed a gathering of Turkish opposition groups whose express intention was the overthrow of the government in Ankara, one can only imagine the Turkish administration’s reaction.

On June 13 Britain’s The Guardian, since the Balkans crisis began in the early 1990s never slow to fan the flames of moral panic over humanitarian crises, with techniques ranging from hyperbole to hysterics, in order to alarm and neutralize its readership into acquiescence to Western military action (while claiming formally, if not convincingly, that it is not advocating the latter), ran an editorial titled “Syria: Butchery, while the world watches,” which let the cat out of the bag regarding the prospect of U.S. and NATO military intervention in Syria by stating:

“Turkey, a member of Nato, could yet drag the west in, if it decides its own interests require action to defend its borders from the [Syrian] refugees. The world would then pay a high price indeed for having pretended that Assad was somebody else’s problem.”

On June 19 the major Turkish daily newspaper Zaman quoted Veysel Ayhan of the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies harking back to the rationale for NATO’s first military actions 16 years ago:

“Remember when NATO was accused by the international media and public of not being able to prevent 8,000 Muslim Bosnians from being murdered in front of the world’s eyes? As a member of NATO and a country whose border is about to witness such a massacre by the Syrian army, Turkey will not allow such a thing to happen again, especially before its own eyes.”

Last week Turkey’s President Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu were reported to have toughened demands on Syria in a meeting with President Assad’s special envoy Hasan Turkmani in Ankara, and on January 18 Al Arabiya reported that Ankara had dispatched an envoy to Damascus to demand that Assad’s brother Maher relinquish his command of the Republican Guard and the Fourth Armored Division.

Zaman recently cited what was identified as a pro-government Syrian official saying to the United Arab Emirates-based daily The National:

“The West wants to put the region under Turkish control like in the Ottoman days. Turkey is a NATO member and embodies a safe kind of Islam for the West, so they have done a deal to give everything to Ankara.”

Should a conflict erupt between Turkey and Syria on their border, NATO will be obligated under its Article 5 collective military assistance clause to enter the fray on Turkey’s side. Should NATO intend opening hostilities against Syria, no better pretext could be devised than that scenario.

In February of 2003, on the eve of the U.S. and British invasion of Iraq, in NATO’s words “Turkey requested NATO assistance under Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty.”

“NATO’s Integrated Air Defence System in Turkey was put on full alert and augmented with equipment and personnel from other NATO commands and countries.”

Four Alliance Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft were deployed from their base in Germany to the Forward Operating Base in Konya, Turkey. Three Dutch and two American Patriot missile batteries were deployed to the country in March of that year, and “Preparations were made to augment Turkey’s air defence assets with additional aircraft from other NATO countries.”

Article 4 of the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty, NATO’s founding document, states:

“The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened.”

Article 5 says:

“The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”

If Turkey opens armed hostilities with its neighbor, the conflict will not remain a local one for long.

Categories: Uncategorized

Interview: Afghan war still expanding amid American election ploys

http://www.presstv.com/detail/185525.html

Press TV
June 20, 2011

Interview with Rick Rozoff
Manager, Stop NATO, Chicago

Video

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has confirmed that Washington is in direct talks with the Taliban, but said the US contacts with the militants are very preliminary at this point.

The remarks come a day after Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced that the US is in talks with the Taliban, the first official confirmation of such contacts after nearly 10 years of war.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Rick Rozoff, manager of Stop NATO in Chicago, who suggests that the White House is making a fuss about its direct talks with the Taliban plus the recent killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to pave the way for Obama to be reelected in next year’s presidential elections.

Press TV: Mr. Rozoff, what exactly is going on? If the United States could talk to the Taliban, then why did it take a decade for them to talk to them? What do you see happening? On the one hand, we have the United States saying that it has the upper hand; however, on the other hand, signs on the ground show something totally different. How do you read what is going on at this point in time there?

Rozoff: Yes, you are right about the developments on the ground. Yesterday, for example, no fewer than eight NATO soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, four in combat operations in the south. And German troops were attacked in the north of the country in Kunduz province. So there is fighting on the ground and we have to remember that the annual fighting season, as it were, is just getting underway in earnest. 721 foreign troops were killed last year. I think the number now is probably in the neighborhood of 260, so the fighting is intensifying.

Look, this is not the first time we have heard about talks, secret or otherwise, between the United States and Taliban. We have to keep in mind, of course, the Taliban is a very amorphous organization. It is not certain what the precise command structure is and so forth, but I think a salient point needs to be emphasized.

In the same statement that you cited earlier by Afghan President Hamid Karzai where he intimated that the United States was talking to Taliban more or less behind his back, as I read it, he also stated quite bluntly that the 152,000 foreign troops serving under the US’s Operation Enduring Freedom but overwhelmingly – I think 140,000 of them – under NATO’s International Security Assistance Force were there, and I am quoting him, “for their own national interests and not those of Afghanistan.”

Press TV: It is said that the goal of the Taliban in Afghanistan is not necessarily power. The first goal for them is actually driving out foreign entities. So if this is the case, do we have a problem of even the United States-led forces understanding the premise as far as why the Taliban are even fighting?

Rozoff: I think a couple of points need to be made. It is the presidential election here next year in the United States, one which has already begun in fact at the beginning of this year. It is going to be another billion dollar election extravaganza, and with the recent killing of Osama bin Laden and the fact that the US and NATO war in Afghanistan will reach its tenth anniversary on October 7, there is a certain amount of mission fatigue, if you will, in the United States. If not among the military then certainly among the electorate, the general populace.

This would be an ideal time for the White House or the State Department to make noise about negotiating a deal with the Taliban for strictly domestic political reasons in the United States. I think it should be taken with a grain of salt in that context alone.

Press TV: So, you think that it is just a political ploy as far as making sure that the Democrats do not lose any more support going into the election year?

Rozoff: Yes, that is exactly what I meant. You know, your viewers may know, for example, that the upper house of the parliament in Kazakhstan last week voted against a measure to send an initial deployment of Kazakhstani troops to serve under NATO’s ISAF in Afghanistan. Robert Gates, [US] defense secretary, you must recall was second-in-command of the Central Intelligence Agency in the 1980s when he helped finance and arm two of the three groups that the United States and ISAF state they are fighting in Afghanistan.

One of them is the Quetta Shura Taliban in the Baluchistan province of Pakistan, but the other two are the so-called Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the Haqqani Network of Jalaluddin Haqqani. We have to remember that Haqqani and Hekmatyar were CIA assets in the 1980s, and I think it is an irony to say the least that the head of the military right now, Robert Gates, is somebody who worked hand-in-glove with these people not too long ago.

There are a lot of byzantine and murky factors then involved in what we are talking about, but Robert Gates let out a couple of weeks ago that El Salvador has become the 49th of what NATO calls Troop Contributing Nations for the war in Afghanistan. So in addition to in the neighborhood of 150,000 foreign troops in the country, you have new national contingents being recruited by the United States.

Recently, countries like the South Pacific nation of Tonga, Malaysia and South Korea have sent troops, and also Japan has sent medics – military personnel. That does not look like retreat and that does not look like the West intends to leave Afghanistan in the immediate future.

The US just appointed a new commander for the Transit Center at Manas in Kyrgyzstan where a year ago a US military commander estimated that at least 50,000 US and NATO troops were transited in and out of that airbase every month, which is to say over two-thirds of a million troops per year.

I go back to President Karzai’s statement that Western military forces are in Afghanistan for their own purposes and not necessarily or at all for the reasons they state they are.

Categories: Uncategorized

Seneca on war: Deeds punished by death when committed by individuals praised when carried out by generals

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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

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Seneca
Moral Letters to Lucilius (Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium)
From Letter XCV
Translated by Richard M. Gummere

We are mad, not only individually, but nationally. We check manslaughter and isolated murders; but what of war and the much-vaunted crime of slaughtering whole peoples? There are no limits to our greed, none to our cruelty. And as long as such crimes are committed by stealth and by individuals, they are less harmful and less portentous; but cruelties are practised in accordance with acts of senate and popular assembly, and the public is bidden to do that which is forbidden to the individual. Deeds that would be punished by loss of life when committed in secret, are praised by us because uniformed generals have carried them out. Man, naturally the gentlest class of being, is not ashamed to revel in the blood of others, to wage war, and to entrust the waging of war to his sons, when even dumb beasts and wild beasts keep the peace with one another. Against this overmastering and widespread madness philosophy has become a matter of greater effort, and has taken on strength in proportion to the strength which is gained by the opposition forces.

Categories: Uncategorized

Das Afrika-Korps der NATO eskaliert den Abnutzungskrieg gegen Libyen

Stop NATO
18. Juni 2011

Das Afrika-Korps der NATO eskaliert den Abnutzungskrieg gegen Libyen
Rick Rozoff
Übersetzt von Luftpost

Der ohne Unterbrechung andauernde, sich ständig verschärfende Luftkrieg des Westens gegen Libyen wird bald in seinen vierten Monat eintreten. Er begann am 19. März als Ope­ration Odyssey Dawn (Odyssee Morgenröte) unter dem Kommando des US-AFRICOM (in Stuttgart) und wird heute als Operation Unified Protector (Vereinigte Beschützer) unter dem Kommando der North Atlantic Treaty Organization / NATO geführt; die Luftangriffe sind die zweitlängste bewaffnete Aggression in der Geschichte der NATO und dauern be­reits eine Woche länger als die 78-tägige Bombardierung Jugoslawiens im Jahr 1999. Nur der bald ein Jahrzehnt währende Krieg in Afghanistan übertrifft die Länge dieser Operati­on.

Das von den USA dominierte Militärbündnis gibt nicht nur zu, sondern prahlt sogar damit, seit dem 31. März fast 11.000 Luftoperationen und mehr als 4.000 Kampfeinsätze durch­geführt zu haben. Vorher hatten die USA, Großbritannien, Frankreich und andere NATO­Staaten (unter US-Kommando) bereits Hunderte von Luftangriffen geflogen und (von Schiffen aus) mehr als 160 Angriffe mit Cruise Missiles (Marschflugkörpern) gestartet.

Gemeinsam den Spuren der Eroberungsfeldzüge folgend, die Frankreich unter Napoleon Bonaparte, das britische Imperium, Italien unter Benito Mussolini und Deutschland unter Adolf Hitler (in Nordafrika) führten, haben die westlichen Nationen den längsten Krieg in neuerer Zeit und die intensivste bewaffnete Aggression aller Zeiten gegen ein afrikani­sches Land angezettelt.

Ende Mai gab ein libyscher Regierungssprecher bekannt, vom 19. März bis zum 26. Mai seien durch die NATO-Luftangriffe schon 718 Zivilisten getötet und 4.067 verletzt worden. In der Zwischenzeit hat das nordatlantische Militärbündnis die Bombardierung der Haupt­stadt und anderer Landesteile Libyens auf ein beispielloses Niveau gesteigert, britische und französische Kampfhubschrauber eingesetzt und lässt von unbemannten Predator­Drohnen Hellfire-Raketen verschießen.

Am 1. Juni erklärte NATO-Generalsekretär Anders Fogh Rasmussen, der Krieg werde um drei Monate bis Ende September verlängert, und eine Woche später teilte er mit, die Ver­teidigungsminister von 28 NATO-Staaten, einschließlich des US-Verteidigungsminsters Robert Gates aus dem Pentagon, hätten bei ihrem Treffen im NATO-Hauptquartier in Bel­gien die Entscheidung gebilligt, die Operation Unified Protector um 90 Tage auszuweiten.

Zusätzlich zum Einsatz französischer Kampfhubschrauber der Typen Gazelle und Tiger und britischer Kampfhubschrauber des Typs Apache, die nach einem Bericht der briti­schen Zeitung DAILY MIRROR “erstmals neuartige Antipersonen-Raketen vom Typ Min­cer (Fleischwolf) mit je 80 fünf Inches (12,7 cm) langen, Flechettes genannten Stahlpfeilen verschießen”, haben die USA ihren Giganten “USS George H. W. Bush” ins Mittelmeer entsandt. Dieser atomar angetriebene Superflugzeugträger wird von einer Kampfgruppe begleitet und soll dem nordafrikanischen Staat mit knapp über sechs Millionen Einwohnern wohl den Todesstoß versetzen.

Die “George H. W. Bush”, die gerade ihren ersten Kriegseinsatz absolviert, wurde kürzlich in einem Bericht der oben zitierten Zeitung über das damals gemeinsam mit den Kriegs­schiffen “HMS Dauntless” und “HMS Gloucester” der Royal Navy durchgeführte Seemanö­ver Saxon Warrior (Sächsischer Krieger) als “stärkstes Kriegsschiffschiff der Welt” be­zeichnet. In dem Bericht hieß es weiter: “Das 97.000-Tonnen-Schiff beherbergt acht Staf­feln mit 70 Kampfjets und eine aus Flugpersonal und Seeleuten bestehende Besatzung von 5.300 Personen.

Als das Schiff am 6. Juni bei der Stadt Cartagena vor der spanischen Mittelmeerküste an­kerte, gab die US-Navy bekannt, “der neueste Flugzeugträger der Nimitz-Klasse besuche zum ersten Mal Europa”.

Die “George H. W. Bush” befindet sich in Begleitung ihrer Kampfgruppe auf dem Weg zum Sitz des Oberkommandierenden der U. S. Navy in Europa und Afrika im Hauptquartier der 6. US-Flotte in Neapel im Süden Italiens; von dort aus können ihre Kampfjets jederzeit Li­byen angreifen.

Die seit 85 Tagen täglich ohne Unterbrechung durchgeführten Bombenangriffe summieren sich zur längsten Bombardierungskampagne seit dem Vietnam-Krieg; obwohl nicht nur jede Nacht, sondern jetzt auch schon fast jeden Tag Rauchwolken (von Bombenexplosio­nen) über Tripolis aufsteigen, hat die Zerstörung von Regierungsgebäuden und militäri­scher und ziviler Infrastruktur gerade erst begonnen.

Die NATO-Mächte – darunter auch Italien, dessen Kolonie Libyen früher einmal war – füh­ren ihren pausenlosen Luftkrieg auch gegen die Zivilbevölkerung weiter, obwohl die liby­sche Regierung die Friedensvorschläge der Afrikanischen Union akzeptiert hat.

Die großzügigste Interpretation des in der Resolution 1973 des UN-Sicherheitsrates einge­räumten Mandats zum Schutz der libyschen Bevölkerung weit überschreitend, versucht die NATO absichtlich und rücksichtslos der libyschen Regierung jede Möglichkeit zu neh­men, die Sicherheit und die Versorgung ihrer Bevölkerung aufrechtzuerhalten; mit ihrem brutalen Vorgehen will die NATO die Libyer so stark unter Druck setzen, dass sie sogar die Aufsplitterung und die Besetzung ihres Landes durch ausländische Trupppen der wei­teren Erduldung des Terrors aus der Luft vorziehen.

Mit Tod und Zerstörung will der Westen Libyen in die Knie und am liebsten zur Kapitulation zwingen, bis es nur noch zum Schein unabhängig ist. Mit Libyen wird versucht, was be­reits mit Jugoslawien, Afghanistan und dem Irak gemacht wurde – und weitere Länder sol­len folgen.

(Wir haben den Artikel komplett übersetzt und mit Ergänzungen in Klammern versehen. Wenn der Bundestag die Ankündigung unseres neuen Verteidigungsmisters de Maizière wahr macht und trotz des Afghanistan-Desasters eine weitere deutsche “Friedenstruppe” nach Libyen entsendet, könnten den Toten auf dem bei Tobruk angelegten Soldaten fried­hof des Deutschen Afrika-Korps aus dem Zweiten Weltkrieg bald neue deutsche Gefallene folgen.)

Categories: Uncategorized

La OTAN incorpora la experiencia libia al modelo de guerra global

Stop NATO
20 de junio 2011

La OTAN incorpora la experiencia libia al modelo de guerra global
Rick Rozoff
Traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Germán Leyens

Mientras la guerra de Occidente contra Libia entra a su cuarto mes y la OTAN ha realizado más de 11.000 ataques aéreos, incluidas 4.300 misiones de ataque sobre esa nación, el único bloque militar del mundo ya está integrando en el conflicto las lecciones aprendidas por su modelo internacional de intervención militar basado en anteriores guerras en los Balcanes, Afganistán e Iraq.

Lo que la OTAN llama Operación Protectora Unificada ha suministrado a la Alianza el marco para que pueda seguir reclutando a participantes en la Cooperación por la Paz como Suecia y Malta, los afiliados a la Iniciativa de Cooperación de Estambul como Kuwait y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos y los miembros de la cooperación del Diálogo Mediterráneo Jordania y Marruecos para la red mundial belicista del bloque. Suecia, Jordania y los Emiratos Árabes Unidos también tienen personal militar asignado a la Fuerza Internacional de Ayuda a la Seguridad de la OTAN en la guerra en Afganistán que ya dura casi diez años. En el primer caso, tropas de la nación escandinava han estado involucradas en su primer rol de combate en dos siglos, matando y muriendo en Afganistán, ha suministrado ocho aviones de guerra para el ataque a Libia y pronto se sumarán fuerzas marítimas.

Los conflictos militares librados y otras intervenciones realizadas por EE.UU. y sus aliados de la OTAN durante los últimos doce años –contra Yugoslavia, Afganistán, Macedonia, Iraq, Somalia, Sudán, Pakistán y Libia– han contribuido a que el presupuesto militar estadounidense sea más del doble en la última década y que las exportaciones de armas de EE.UU. casi se haya quintuplicado en el mismo período.

El Pentágono y la OTAN están concluyendo actualmente el ejercicio naval Brisa Marina 2011 en el Mar Negro frente a la costa de Ucrania, cerca de la sede de la Flota Rusa del Mar Negro basada en Sebastopol. Los participantes incluyen a EE.UU., Gran Bretaña, Azerbaiyán, Argelia, Bélgica, Dinamarca, Georgia, Alemania, Macedonia, Moldavia, Suecia, Turquía y la nación anfitriona, Ucrania. Todas, con la excepción de Argelia y Moldavia, son Naciones Contribuyentes de Tropas para la guerra afgana de la OTAN. Las maniobras anuales se reiniciaron el año pasado después de que el parlamento ucraniano las prohibió en 2009. El ejercicio de este año fue organizado por iniciativa del jefe del Estado Mayor Conjunto de EE.UU., el almirante Michael Mullen. Los ejercicios de Brisa Marina del año pasado, los mayores en el Mar Negro, incluyeron 20 navíos, 13 aviones y más de 1.600 militares de EE.UU., Azerbaiyán, Austria, Bélgica, Dinamarca, Georgia, Alemania, Grecia, Moldavia, Suecia, Turquía y Ucrania.

Este año, el crucero de misiles teleguiados USS Monterey se sumó al ejercicio. El barco de guerra es el primero desplegado en el Mediterráneo, y ahora en el Mar Negro, por el programa Enfoque Adaptativo por Fases del Pentágono de misiles interceptores, que en los próximos años incluirá por lo menos 40 interceptores Standard Missile-3 en Polonia y Rumania y en destructores y cruceros de la clase Aegis en el Mediterráneo y en los mares Negro y Báltico. Los analistas políticos y comandantes militares rusos ven las versiones actualizadas del misil, el Block IB, Block IIA y Block IIB, como amenazas para los misiles de largo alcance de Rusia y como tales para el potencial estratégico de la nación.

El ex diplomático indio M K Bhadrakumar escribió en un reciente artículo:

“No cabe duda de que EE.UU. aumenta la presión sobre la flota de Rusia en el Mar Negro. La provocación estadounidense tiene lugar ante el trasfondo de la situación en Siria. Rusia bloqueó obstinadamente los intentos de EE.UU. de justificar una intervención en Siria al estilo de la que tiene lugar en Libia. Moscú considera que un motivo importante para la presión estadounidense por un cambio de régimen en Siria es hacer que se cierre la base naval rusa en ese país.

“La base de Siria es el único punto de apoyo de Rusia en la región del Mediterráneo. La Flota del Mar Negro cuenta con la base en Siria para sustentar cualquier presencia en el Mediterráneo de la armada rusa. El cerco se estrecha con el establecimiento de bases militares de EE.UU. en Rumania y la aparición del barco de guerra estadounidense en la región del Mar Negro.”

El USS Monterey, cuya presencia en el Mar Negro se ha criticado como una violación de la Convención de Montreux de 1936, volverá al Mediterráneo donde el último super-portaaviones nuclear de EE.UU., USS George H.W. Bush, y su grupo de ataque de portaaviones con 9.000 militares y unos 70 aviones también están presentes, después de visitar recientemente las Fuerzas Navales Europa/África y la Sexta Flota de EE.UU., en su base en Nápoles, Italia, exactamente al norte de Libia.

La semana pasada el barco de ataque anfibio USS Bataan participó en un ejercicio de certificación con su contraparte francesa FS Tonnerre en el Mediterráneo. El sitio en la web de la Armada de EE.UU. declaró que la certificación “proveerá flexibilidad adicional al Tonnerre durante su apoyo a la Operación Protector Unificado dirigida por la OTAN”, el nombre de código para la guerra de la Alianza contra Libia. El Grupo Anfibio Preparado del USS Bataan incluye lo que se calcula como 2.000 Marines de la 22 Unidad Expedicionaria de Marines y docenas de aviones de guerra y de ataque y otros helicópteros, y está destinado a la acción en Libia y, si el modelo no cambia, Siria.

EE.UU. y los aliados y socios de la OTAN: Albania, Argelia, Croacia, Egipto, Grecia, Italia, Malta, Mauritania, Marruecos, España, Túnez y Turquía, realizaron el ejercicio marítimo Phoenix Express 2011 en el Mediterráneo Oriental y Central del 1 al 15 de junio, que incluyó maniobras en apoyo a la Iniciativa Global contra la Proliferación de EE.UU.

También anteriormente, en este mes, la OTAN realizó su ejercicio aéreo y Naval Northern Viking, el último de una serie de ejercicios bianuales bajo ese nombre, en Islandia con 450 militares miembros de la OTAN de EE.UU., Dinamarca, Islandia, Italia y Noruega. El sitio web del Comando Europeo de EE.UU. citó al comandante del destacamento noruego diciendo: “Los ejercicios como [Northern Viking 2011] permitieron a los pilotos prepararse para escenarios en el mundo real, como la Operación Amanecer de la Odisea”, el nombre de la campaña militar occidental en Libia del 19 al 30 de marzo.

Esta semana, el secretario general de la OTAN Anders Fogh Rasmussen, visitó Gran Bretaña y España, y se reunió en el primer país con el primer ministro David Cameron y el secretario de exteriores William Hague y en el segundo con el presidente del gobierno José Luis Zapatero, la ministra de exteriores, Trinidad Jiménez, y la ministra de defensa Carme Chacón.

Mientras estaba en Londres, Rasmussen se concentró en las guerras en Libia y Afganistán, ambas bajo comando de la OTAN, y promovió la implementación del ala europea del sistema internacional de misiles interceptores de EE.UU.

Alardeó, tal vez como respuesta parcial al rapapolvo que los Estados miembros de la OTAN recibieron recientemente del secretario de defensa de EE.UU., Robert Gates, a quien Rasmussen tiene que rendir cuentas real aunque extraoficialmente:

“La OTAN es más necesaria y deseada que nunca, de Afganistán a Kosovo, de la costa de Somalia a Libia. Estamos más activos que nunca.”

En España habló ante el Senado en un discurso titulado “La OTAN y el Mediterráneo: los cambios que vienen” y según el sitio web del bloque, subrayó “El rol cambiante de la OTAN en el Mediterráneo, concentrándose particularmente en la Operación Protectora Unificada y en el futuro papel de la OTAN en la región”. También prometió que “podemos ayudar a que la Primavera Árabe florezca bien y verdaderamente”. Uno piensa en Libia y Siria, y mañana en Argelia y el Líbano como objetos de la falsa solicitud de la OTAN, y también en Egipto y Túnez, como ya lo ha mencionado Rasmussen, respecto al entrenamiento de sus fuerzas armadas por la OTAN y a la reconstrucción de sus estructuras de comando de acuerdo a los estándares de la Alianza, tal como se hace en Iraq.

La guerra contra Libia, el primer conflicto armado de la OTAN en el Mediterráneo y en el continente africano, está solidificando el control del Mediterráneo ya establecido por la continua misión de vigilancia e interdicción Operación Esfuerzo Continuo lanzada en 2001 bajo el Artículo 5 de la provisión de ayuda militar colectiva.

Mientras Rasmussen se encontraba en Gran Bretaña, el embajador ruso en la OTAN Dmitri Rogozin dijo que “se está arrastrando a la Alianza Atlántica a una operación terrestre”, y afirmó: “La guerra en Libia significa… el comienzo de su expansión hacia el sur”.

Dos días antes, EE.UU. y la OTAN completaron Operaciones Bálticas (BALTOPS) 2011, que incluyeron 20 barcos de once naciones europeas y el buque insignia de la Sexta Flota de EE.UU. basada en el Mediterráneo, el USS Mount Whitney, otros buques de guerra estadounidenses y el comandante, Grupo de Ataque de Portaaviones 8.

Al mismo tiempo, en el Mar Báltico, se lanzó el ejercicio Amber Hope 2011, de 11 días, en Lituania el 13 de junio con la participación de 2.000 militares de miembros de la OTAN: EE.UU., Canadá, Estonia, Letonia, Lituania, Noruega y Polonia y los miembros de la Cooperación por la Paz, Georgia y Finlandia. Las antiguas repúblicas soviéticas afiliadas a la Cooperación por la Paz Armenia, Azerbaiyán, Belarús, Kazajstán, Moldavia y Ucrania asisten como observadores.

La segunda fase del ejercicio comenzará el 19 de junio y, según el Ministerio de Defensa de Lituania, “los soldados seguirán un plan establecido basado en lecciones aprendidas por Lituania y los Estados extranjeros en Afganistán, Iraq y frente a la costa somalí”; en este último caso una referencia a la actual Operación Escudo Oceánico de la OTAN. El bloque también ha aerotransportado miles de soldados ugandeses y burundeses a Somalia para combatir en la capital Mogadiscio.

Anteriomente, en esta semana, la OTAN también realizó una conferencia con los jefes de defensa de 60 Estados miembros y asociados en Belgrado, Serbia, bombardeada repetidamente por aviones de guerra de la OTAN hace 12 años, concentrándose también en la actual guerra del bloque de tres meses de duración en Libia.

La Conferencia Militar de Asociados Estratégicos escuchó, entre otros, al general francés Stephane Abrial, Comandante Supremo Aliado para Transformación de la OTAN basado en Norfolk, Virginia, quien dijo: “Estoy convencido de que la operación en Libia tendrá éxito”, aunque concedió en su declaración inicial que las hostilidades pueden prolongarse hasta bien avanzado el futuro.

La Fuerza Rotacional del Mar Negro, una Fuerza de Tareas Aire-Tierra de Propósito Especial de Marines tuvo lugar después de ejercicios de entrenamiento militar en Rumania con un ejercicio de dos semanas en Bulgaria el 13 de junio con soldados de la nación anfitriona y, por primera vez, Serbia, en una de las cuatro bases aéreas y de infantería del país en las que se ha instalado el Pentágono desde 2006. El anterior entrenamiento en Rumania tuvo lugar en una de otras cuatro bases adquiridas en esa nación.

La prensa local informó de que la mayoría de los Marines de EE.UU. involucrados llegaron al Campo de Entrenamiento Novo Selo “directamente desde Afganistán” en aviones de transporte Hercules-C-130.

El teniente coronel Nelson Cardella del Cuerpo de Marines de EE.UU. dijo sobre los ejercicios: “Entrenaremos a nuestros soldados para mejorar la ‘interoperabilidad’ de nuestro personal” para la guerra afgana y otras del futuro.

Standart News de Bulgaria anunció que “el próximo año el ejercicio de la Fuerza Rotacional del Mar Negro tendrá lugar en Serbia”.

La misión de la Fuerza Rotacional del Mar Negro, formada el año pasado, es integrar las fuerzas armadas de doce naciones en los Balcanes, la región del Mar Negro y del Cáucaso:

Albania, Azerbaiyán, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croacia, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldavia, Montenegro, Rumania, Serbia y Ucrania, a través de la OTAN para su despliegue en Afganistán y otras zonas de guerra y para situaciones posteriores a los conflictos.

Cada una de las guerras que EE.UU. y sus aliados de la OTAN han librado desde 1999 han hecho obtener nuevas bases militares y contingentes expedicionarios al Pentágono y a la Alianza, en naciones subyugadas y vecinas en el sudeste de Europa, el este del Mediterráneo y el Golfo Pérsico, y en Asia del sur y central.

Tal como las guerras yugoslava, afgana e iraquí contribuyeron a desarrollar una capacidad de intervención militar internacional de la OTAN, dirigida por EE.UU., para su uso actual contra Libia, la experiencia libia está siendo empleada para futuros conflictos.

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 20, 2011

June 20, 2011 1 comment

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13 Libyan Civilians Killed In Latest NATO Assault; 856 Civilians Killed In All

Libya Condemns NATO Raid On Residential Neighborhood

Libya: 11,781 NATO Sorties, 4,469 Strike Missions

Libya: NATO “Celebrates” Three Months Of Bombing With Fresh Carnage

Libyan War: Congress Accuses Obama Of Violating The Constitution

U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer Ends Italian Visit

Guided Missile Destroyer Assigned To U.S. Carrier Strike Group Ends Israel Visit

Pentagon: Israeli Interceptor Missile System To Be Integrated Into U.S. Regional Grid

MEADS Conducts European Interceptor Missile System Test

U.S. Guided Missile Cruiser Enters Georgian Port For Exercise

Ukraine: U.S., NATO Complete This Year’s Largest Black Sea Naval Exercises

U.S. Kills Seven In Pakistan In 36th Drone Strike Of The Year

Pakistan Voices Concerns To U.S. Over Border Incursions

NATO Installs New Joint Warfare Center Commander

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13 Libyan Civilians Killed In Latest NATO Assault; 856 Civilians Killed In All

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1894022.html

Trend News Agency
June 20, 2011

NATO hits house of historic leadership in Libya, killing at least 13: gov’t spokesman

NATO airstrikes hit in the wee hours of Monday morning the house of El-Khweldi el-Hamedi, a member of the historic leadership in Sebrata city, some 80 km west of Tripoli, said a Libyan government spokesman.

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim told Xinhua that at least 13 people were killed in the NATO airstrike, including Hamedi’s spouse and son and another ten civilians, adding that Hamedi has survived the NATO missile strike.

NATO has recently been ratcheting up military pressure on the regime of embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to quit.

Libyan officials have continually charged that NATO airstrikes have damaged civilian facilities and killed hundreds of civilians.

The most recent figures from Libya’s health ministry show 856 civilians have been killed in NATO air raids since they began in March. The figure could not be independently confirmed.

The world’s major powers, the UK, the U.S. and France, started on March 19 to launch strikes from the air and sea against Gaddafi’s forces after the UN Security Council passed a resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and authorize “all necessary measures” to protect civilians in Libya.

NATO formally taken over full command and control of military operations against Libya from the U.S. on March 31.

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Libya Condemns NATO Raid On Residential Neighborhood

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/20/c_13940024.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 20, 2011

Libyan gov’t slams NATO raids on civilian neighborhood

TRIPOLI: A Libyan government spokesman on Sunday condemned NATO air raids on a civilian neighborhood, calling the attack another “barbaric” crime “deliberately targeting civilians.”

Mussa Ibrahim said the leaders of the United States, Britain, France and Italy in charge of the military actions in Libya should take the moral and legal responsibility for the attack, which targeted a residential area with no military facilities or weapons installed nearby.

NATO warplanes struck the neighborhood early Sunday morning, killing 9 people, including five members of a family, and wounding 18 others. As a Xinhua reporter saw at the scene, a three-story building was reduced to a crumbling wreck, dozens of homes and scores of vehicles nearby damaged or destroyed, and windows of a school building shattered.

NATO warplanes were circling overhead for more than one hour after the raids, causing great panic to local residents.

In a statement issued later on Sunday, NATO admitted that civilian casualties were caused during the airstrikes – in the first such acknowledgement since the alliance began its air operations in March.

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Libya: 11,781 NATO Sorties, 4,469 Strike Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_06/20110620_110620-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 20, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 11781 sorties, including 4469 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 19 JUNE: 137

Strike sorties conducted 19 JUNE: 60

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Libya: NATO “Celebrates” Three Months Of Bombing With Fresh Carnage

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/20/52122380.html

Voice of Russia
June 20, 2011

NATO “marks” 90 days in Libya
Vladimir Fedoruk Vladimir

NATO has admitted civilian deaths during an air strike against Tripoli, a report said on Sunday. The air strike was carried out “in celebration of” 90 days of the alliance’s operation in Libya.

NATO has acknowledged civilian deaths in Libya for the first time since it launched an air operation against the country three months ago. A total of nine civilians were killed and 18 were injured during a raid on Saturday night. A family of five was buried under the rubble.

According to the coalition command, the missile fired at the wrong target due to a glitch in the tracking system. The target was a ground-to-air warehouse. Gaddafi-controlled sources report that as at the end of last week, 856 people died in coalition air strikes. NATO command denies the reports, brandishing a detailed “picture” supplied by drones and combat helicopters.

Andei Volodin, Director of the Oriental Research Center, describes the Libya operation as a fiasco:

“As regards Libya, the campaign has proved utterly abortive. The NATO command never thought that it would last that long with zero results.”

The “celebration” of three-months-long bombardments of Libya over the weekend was clouded by NATO’s so-called “friendly strikes” at the rebels which killed 16 people. A rebel convoy near Brega came under attack having been mistaken for Gaddafi troops. Russia’s former Ambassador to Libya Alexei Podtseraba has this opinion:

“There is clear evidence of the West’s failure in Libya. If NATO launches a ground operation, it will openly breach the UN Security Council resolution. A failure in Libya will leave NATO with two options – either to acknowledge defeat or ramp up its military presence. Given the circumstances, Russia’s current mediation attempts are more than welcome and could prove instrumental in reaching a settlement.”

The African Union and China are ready for mediatory missions too. Libyan opposition leader Mahmoud Jibril is arriving in Beijing on Tuesday. And earlier this month, Chinese diplomats met with other opposition leaders in Qatar. These meetings aim to negotiate a ceasefire and start talks. The rebel finance minister Ali Tarhuni had to admit that rebel forces have run out of funds to pursue the war with Muammar Gaddafi. The Al Arabiya Channel reports serious differences within NATO as a number of NATO countries say they have been drained by the war and the US accuses European allies of doing a bad job in Libya.

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Libyan War: Congress Accuses Obama Of Violating The Constitution

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/20/52138163.html

Voice of Russia
June 20, 2011

Congress accuses Obama оf violating the American constitution
Vladimir Gladkov

While the decline of the American economy was the only distinctive problem standing between Barack Obama and his next term, the US President managed to commit a serious mistake, which could easily ruin his plans for the reelection.

As the New York Times reports, Obama disregarded the advice of administration lawyers and decided that US could continue participating in the Libyan operation without the approval of Congress.

According to critics, the President’s move violates a Vietnam War-era law, which limits military action without congressional approval to 60 days. While the lawfulness of the president’s decision is still being debated, it’s hard to deny that Obama has committed probably the most serious fault since his election. While promises to withdraw troops from the areas of military conflicts had been the key element of his campaign, Obama managed to tangle America into another war. This unreasonable move could repel even the most loyal supporters and pave the road to success for Obama’s opponents in the upcoming election game.

According to the War Powers Resolution of 1973, Congress must authorize participation in hostilities of more than 60 days, although the president can seek a 30-day extension. Sunday marked 90 days since the US joined the Libya operation, whereas Congress was accusing Obama of being in violation of the law since May 20, when the 60-day deadline expired.

As The New York Times reports, Obama was advised to seek congressional approval by both Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson and acting head of the justice department’s Office of Legal Counsel Caroline Krass. However the White House counsel Robert Bauer and state department legal adviser Harold Koh argued that the US involvement in the conflict fell short of hostilities. Obama decided to operate on the take offered by the White House.

This week the Obama administration delivered a 32-page report, which argues that the US involvement in the NATO operation is limited to support activity and can’t be considered direct military action. “US military operations are distinct from the kind of ‘hostilities’ contemplated by the resolution’s 60-day termination provision,” claimed the document.

There was a “robust process through which the president received the advice he relied on in determining the application of the War Powers Resolution,“ said White House spokesman Eric Schultz on Thursday, “It should come as no surprise that there would be some disagreements, even within an administration, regarding the application of a statute that is nearly 40 years old to a unique and evolving conflict. Those disagreements are ordinary and healthy.”

Meanwhile, Congress doesn’t seem to find anything “healthy” in the continuation of US involvement in the Libyan conflict, especially since it costs the American budget about $10 million a day.

“The White House says there are no hostilities taking place. Yet we’ve got drone attacks under way,” said John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, “We’re spending $10 million a day. We’re part of an effort to drop bombs on Gaddafi’s compounds. It just doesn’t pass the straight-face test, in my view that we’re not in the midst of hostilities.”

Obama’s decision to continue the participation in the Libyan conflict has already resulted in a lawsuit in federal court. A bipartisan group of US lawmakers is suing the President for alleged violation of the US constitution.

Even if one views the Obama’s move as an attempt to support NATO’s peacekeeping mission, it must be admitted that the combined results of European and US commanders still remain fruitless. Libyan civilians are reported to keep suffering from the actions of both sides – the rebels and the government forces, and NATO is literally unable to stop the bloody chaos.

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U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer Ends Italian Visit

http://www.eucom.mil/english/fullstory.asp?article=Barry-Concludes-Gaeta-Italy-Port-Visit

U.S. European Command
June 20, 2011

Barry Concludes Gaeta, Italy Port Visit
Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Sunderman USS Enterprise (CVN 65) Public Affairs

GAETA, Italy: Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry (DDG 52) concluded its stay in Gaeta, Italy, June 17, after a five-day port visit to the city.

Nine ships have been stationed in Gaeta, with the primary mission of serving as the flagship for Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet. It is currently the homeport of 6th Fleet command ship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20).

Barry is part of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, conducting maritime security operations in U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

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Guided Missile Destroyer Assigned To U.S. Carrier Strike Group Ends Israel Visit

http://www.eucom.mil/english/fullstory.asp?article=Truxtun-Departs-Israel-Port-Visit

United States European Command
June 20, 2011

Truxtun Departs Israel after Port Visit
Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kevin J. Steinberg, USS Truxtun (DDG 103) Public Affairs

HAIFA, Israel: Guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103) departed Haifa, Israel, after a successful port visit, June 16.

“Haifa has enjoyed many years of successful visits by ships from the U.S. Navy,” said Cmdr. John H. Ferguson, USS Truxtun commanding officer. “It is a fantastic port for us to visit, and I think it will enjoy many future visits by U.S. ships.”

Truxtun is deployed as part of the George H.W. Bush Strike Group, comprised of Carrier Strike Group 2 staff, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, Destroyer Squadron 22 staff, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), guided-missile cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG 64) and USS Anzio (CG 68), and guided-missile destroyers Truxtun and USS Mitscher (DDG 57).

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Pentagon: Israeli Interceptor Missile System To Be Integrated Into U.S. Regional Grid

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/us-israeli-missile-defense-system-can-protect-our-mideast-bases-1.368755

Ha’aretz
June 20, 2011

US: Israeli missile defense system can protect our Mideast bases
Head of the Pentagon’s missile defense system says Israel’s Iron Dome and Arrow systems will be integrated into a regional defense array
By Anshel Pfeffer

The Israeli missile defense system will be integrated into a regional defense array planned by the US, General Patrick O’Reilly, head of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency, said Monday in an interview published in the American Defense News journal. According to the interview, the Israeli missile batteries may also protect Arab countries who are allies of the US but with which Israel has no diplomatic ties.

General O’Reilly said that the multi-layered defense system being developed by Israel – comprised of Iron Dome and Magic Wand systems on the lower levels and Arrow 2 and 3 systems on the atmospheric level and above – will strengthen the ability of the US to protect its forces in the Middle East.

Israel is the only country today employing operational missile systems that are capable of intercepting rockets and missiles of different sizes and ranges. The Arrow and Iron Dome systems were developed with American aid and in cooperation with American security companies. A large part of the systems’ trials were conducted in the US.

Iron Dome is also the only system in the world that has succeeded in intercepting rockets in a real-time theater, by shooting down eight Grad rockets launched from the Gaza Strip two months ago.

This week, the Israeli Air Force is conducting its largest interception exercise to date, deploying missile batteries on the ground and preparing for rocket launched from Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and Iran.

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MEADS Conducts European Interceptor Missile System Test

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/second-meads-launcher-passes-key-acceptance-test-124177539.html

MEADS International
June 20, 2011

Second MEADS Launcher Passes Key Acceptance Test

ORLANDO, Fla., MUNICH, and ROME: The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) successfully passed another hardware milestone when its second Launcher Platform Group (LPG) completed formal acceptance testing during March in Dello, Italy.

MEADS is a ground-mobile air and missile defense system that incorporates the hit-to-kill PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) Missile, 360-degree radars, netted-distributed battle management/communication centers and high-firepower launchers. The system combines superior battlefield protection with extensive flexibility…

Designed by MBDA Italia and produced by subcontractor ATIB, the tested LPG is carried on a German MAN Prime Mover. Following integration with an Integrated Launcher Electronics System, Launcher Power System and Internal Communication System (MICS), the completed launcher will begin system-level integration with other MEADS elements. MEADS is scheduled to begin flight tests at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. later this year.

The lightweight MEADS launchers are easily transportable and tactically mobile. Each carries up to eight PAC-3 MSE Missiles and achieves launch readiness in minimum time. A Palletized Load Handling and Elevation System allows MEADS launchers to autonomously and rapidly reload.

Through improvements in range, interoperability, mobility and full 360-degree defense capability against the evolving threat, MEADS improves capability…MEADS defends up to eight times the coverage area with far fewer system assets. This allows for a substantial reduction in deployed personnel and equipment, with less demand for airlift.

MEADS International, a multinational joint venture headquartered in Orlando, Fla., is the prime contractor for the MEADS system. Major subcontractors and joint venture partners are MBDA in Italy, LFK in Germany and Lockheed Martin in the United States.

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U.S. Guided Missile Cruiser Enters Georgian Port For Exercise

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23637

Civil Georgia
June 20, 2011

U.S. Warship Monterey Visits Batumi

Tbilisi: The U.S. Navy cruiser, equipped with a ballistic missile defence system, will stay in Georgia’s Black Sea port till June 23, according to the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi.

“The USS Monterey is operating in the Black Sea to conduct joint maritime training with several countries adjoining the Black Sea…,” the U.S. embassy said on June 17.

The USS Monterey’s arrival in Georgia comes less than two weeks after another U.S. guided-missile cruiser, Anzio, visited the port of Batumi on June 9-12 for a joint damage control exercises with the Georgian coast guard.

The USS Monterey with 43 officers and 323 enlisted personnel arrived in the Black Sea last week to participate in multinational military exercises, Sea Breeze 2011, co-hosted by Ukraine and the U.S.

Azerbaijan, Algeria, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Macedonia, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the UK and the U.S. take part in the exercises held from June 6 to June 18. Organizers said the training agenda included counter-piracy operations; non-combatant evacuation operations, as well as board, search and seizure trainings.

In a statement released on June 12, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed concern over arrival of the U.S. warship, equipped with advanced Aegis antimissile weaponry, in the Black Sea.

“The Russian side has repeatedly stressed that we will not overlook the appearance of any elements of US strategic infrastructure in the immediate vicinity of our borders and will consider any such steps as a threat to our security,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Russia and NATO have failed to agree on forms of cooperation on the missile shield in Europe and Russia says that its concerns are being ignored by the Alliance.

“If we are talking about the usual “visit” to this highly sensitive region, why did they choose a ship armed with this particular version of weapons? And what role was assigned to the Monterey anti-missiles by the scenario of the Sea Breeze 2011 exercise during which “an anti-piracy operation by NATO standards” was being tested and improved?” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
————————————————————————–

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1893759.html

Trend News Agency
June 20, 2011

U.S. ship enters Batumi Port
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: This morning the U.S. Monterey ship (CG-61) entered the port of Batumi, the Georgian Border Police told Trend.

A meeting ceremony was held at the port. The leader of of Adjara Levan Varshalomidze also attended the meeting. Today, officers of the Georgian Coast Guard will meet the ship’s crew to plan military exercises.

The joint military exercises in Batumi will be held on June 21.

The Georgian ship F-101 Coast Guard of Georgia will participate in the exercises.

“Monterey” has been regularly based in the Black Sea region for several years. It expresses support for stability and maritime security in the Black Sea region by holding joint naval exercises with the countries of the Black Sea basin.

Captain James Kilby runs the ship, with 43 officers and 323 sailors on board.

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Ukraine: U.S., NATO Complete This Year’s Largest Black Sea Naval Exercises

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=61116

Navy NewsStand
June 18, 2011

Sea Breeze 2011 Comes to a Close
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephen Oleksiak/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

ODESSA, Ukraine: Exercise Sea Breeze 2011 successfully finished after a closing ceremony and combined press conference at the Ukrainian Officer’s Club in Odessa, June 18.

Air, land and naval forces from Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Macedonia, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States participated in Sea Breeze, the largest multinational maritime exercise this year in the Black Sea, co-hosted by the Ukrainian and U.S. navies.

“We are honored to once again have co-hosted the annual multinational Sea Breeze exercise with our Ukrainian colleagues,” said U.S. Ambassador James McGee, political advisor to Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa. “Sea Breeze is about strengthening maritime partnerships in the Black Sea region in the spirit of Partnership for Peace, and I am happy to report that this year’s exercise was our most successful yet.”

“Sea Breeze gave us the opportunity to increase the interoperability of our forces in their actions in multinational peacekeeping, anti-terrorism and anti-piracy which are all threats we face in these times,” said Ukrainian Adm. Viktor Maksymov, commander in chief of Ukrainian naval forces. “I wish all of the participants of this year’s Sea Breeze all the best, good health, and fair winds and followings seas in all future activities until we meet again at next years’ exercise.”

Sea Breeze was conducted to improve maritime safety, security and stability actions in the Black Sea by enhancing the capabilities of Partnership for Peace and Black Sea regional maritime security forces.

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U.S. Kills Seven In Pakistan In 36th Drone Strike Of The Year

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/20/52107703.html

Voice of Russia
June 20, 2011

US drones kill 7 suspected insurgents in Pakistan

US drones have delivered strikes in Pakistan to eliminate at least seven people, believed to be rebel fighters.

The strikes were delivered in the Kurram region, on the Afghan border.

US drones have delivered a total of 36 strikes in Pakistan since early this year, drawing scathing criticism from the authorities over the loss of civilian life.

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Pakistan Voices Concerns To U.S. Over Border Incursions

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/20/c_13940191.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 20, 2011

Pakistan voices concerns to U.S. over border incursion

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday expressed serious concern to a visiting top U.S. diplomat over recent militant incursions from across the border with Afghanistan into Pakistan that led to loss of innocent lives.

Pakistan said that armed militants made at least four incursions into Pakistani territories, attacking checkposts and villages and killing soldiers and civilians.

Pakistani Deputy Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, while talking to U.S. Deputy Special Representative Frank Ruggiero, underscored the need for effective measures to prevent such incursions, the Foreign Ministry said.

Pakistan summoned Afghan envoys on two occasions and a strong protest was launched over a recent incursion of militants into its territory.

Pakistani officials said it is the fourth incursion of militants into its territories from Afghanistan within a month. The previous intrusions took place in Upper Dir, South Waziristan and Kurram Agency.

Pakistan also raised the issue with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who traveled to Pakistan on June 10 to 11. Karzai said it is the responsibility of his government to stop attacks if it happens from Afghan soil.

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NATO Installs New Joint Warfare Center Commander

http://www.aco.nato.int/page424201732.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
June 20, 2011

Major General Jean Fred Berger Assumed Duties as Commander JOINT WARFARE CENTRE

French Army Major General Jean Fred Berger assumed command of NATO’s Joint Warfare Centre today in a Change of Command ceremony, replacing German Army Lieutenant General Wolfgang Korte, who is retiring after a 42-year military career in the German Army.

Polish Army General Mieczyslaw Bienek, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Transformation, based at Norfolk, Virginia, USA, presided over the Change of Command ceremony.

The historical day brought together many civilian and military authorities, Joint Warfare Centre’s international staff and family members as well as several dignitaries and media from Stavanger. Mr Roger Ingebrigtsen, State Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, was the honoured guest representing the host nation.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Julien Benda: Military mysticism

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

Julien Benda
From The Betrayal of the Intellectuals (La Trahison des clercs) (1927)
Translated by Richard Aldington

The susceptibility developed by national sentiment as it has become popular makes the possibility of wars far greater today than in the past…And, in fact, how many times during the last hundred years has the world almost flamed up in war because some nation thought its honour had been wounded? To this must be added the fact that this national susceptibility provides the leaders of nations with a new and most effective method of starting the wars they need, whether it is employed at home or abroad…

The prophecy of the old Saxon bard is completely fulfilled: ‘In those days countries will be something they have not yet become – they will be persons. They will feel hatred, and these hatreds will cause wars more terrible than any that have yet been seen.’

The notion that political warfare involves a war of cultures is entirely an invention of modern times, and confers upon them a conspicuous place in the moral history of humanity.

[N]ational passions…assume the character of mysticism, of a religious adoration….There is first of all the spectacle of the military force and organization of modern States, which is something far more imposing than of old. And when these states are seen to make war for an indefinite period after they have no more men, and go on subsisting for long years after they have no more money, it is easy to understand why a man who has some tincture of religion in his mind may be led to believe that these States are of an essence different from that of ordinary natural beings.

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 19, 2011

June 19, 2011 1 comment

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NATO Strike In Libyan Capital Kills Entire Family

Video And Text: “Increasingly Desperate” NATO Targets Libyan Civilians, Children

NATO’s Air War Against Libya: 11,644 Air Missions, 4,409 Combat Sorties

Angolan Parliament Speaker: West’s Intervention In Africa Targets Energy Resources

The Libyan Crisis: The Point Of No Return

Why Regime Change In Libya?

U.S., NATO Frustrated As Libyan War Drags On Into Fourth Month

Turkish Helicopter Violates Syrian Airspace

Report: Turkey To Deliver “Warning Letter” To Syria

Turkey To Host NATO Ground Forces

Turkey Takes Over Command Of NATO Standing NATO Maritime Group

Four NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

Afghan War: Eight NATO Soldiers Killed In One Day

Georgia: Second U.S. Guided Missile Cruiser Visit In Less Than Two Weeks

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NATO Strike In Libyan Capital Kills Entire Family

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13826976

BBC News
June 18, 2011

Two killed in ‘Nato strike’ in Libya

Photograph of “apparent,” “alleged” “NATO strike” at URL above.

At least two people have died in an apparent Nato air strike that hit a house in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen was at the scene and he said rescue workers and residents were frantically trying to remove tonnes of rubble.

Our correspondent says a three-storey house was hit in the city’s Suq Al Juma residential area.

He says it will raise more questions about Nato’s mission in Libya, which began in March.

There has been no response yet from Nato, but it has acknowledged mistakenly hitting civilian areas in previous bombing raids.

Our correspondent was taken by Libyan government officials to a Tripoli hospital where he was shown the bodies of a dead woman, a dead man and a dead baby.

The officials said they were members of a family killed in the alleged Nato air strike.

Our correspondent was also shown the body of another man and a dead baby.

Seed of hatred

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said: “Nato is planting the seed of hatred in the hearts of Libyan people for years to come. They won’t allow foreign armies to decide their future.”

Libyan officials say Sunday’s attack, in one of the city’s poorer neighbourhoods, happened shortly after midnight.

Our correspondent was taken to the scene where he saw two dead bodies – one being pulled from the rubble and another being placed in an ambulance.

Scores of men were working alongside the emergency services, pulling at sections of rubble and looking for bodies.

Locals said an entire family had been killed, though our correspondent was unable to immediately verify either of these claims.

The level of damage, our he adds [sic], looked like the aftermath of an air strike, with concrete floors blown out on to the street.

Nato has flown more than 10,000 sorties since operations began, including almost 4,000 strike attacks against government targets across Libya.

On Saturday, Nato said one of its aircraft had mistakenly attacked rebel forces in eastern Libya during an air raid on Thursday.

Nato said it had hit a column of military vehicles near the oil town of Brega, and that the rebels had said there were injuries but no casualties.

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Video And Text: “Increasingly Desperate” NATO Targets Libyan Civilians, Children

http://rt.com/news/seven-civilians-killed-nato

RT
June 19, 2011

Seven civilians killed by NATO airstrike on Tripoli

Video

At least seven civilians in Libya have been killed by a NATO airstrike which hit a residential area overnight. Earlier, the Alliance confirmed it had mistakenly attacked rebel forces, but the number killed in that friendly-fire attack is not known.

­In the middle of the night, Tripoli’s Souk al-Juma district was woken up by a blast, when a bomb, or several bombs, landed in this residential area. Several three-story buildings have been destroyed as a result. According to initial reports, four families – 12 to 14 people – resided there, and at least seven inhabitants have been killed, while some are still missing.

The rescue operation began right away, in the middle of the night, but people on the ground fear there is little hope of anyone being alive under the rubble.

Buildings on the opposite side of the street have also been partially damaged, while nobody has been hurt there.

A spokesman for the Libyan government, Dr. Moussa Ibrahim, arrived at the scene shortly after the incident. He said the area was hit by a NATO strike.

“They were attacked by rockets from the sky. People were killed, children,” he told RT. “With my own hands, with my own eyes I saw and helped take out little girls who were killed and little boys, the father and the mother. Two whole families perished under this attack.”

“You cannot justify this attack with anything. This is not the protection of civilians,” Moussa Ibrahim added.

The latest incident comes amid intense bombardment of Libya by the NATO forces. As RT’s team reports from Tripoli, bombs are being dropped day and night and heavy explosions can be heard all the time.

Russia, which has always been against the military means of settling the conflict, has sent a peace mediator Mikhail Margelov to Libya, in order to try to persuade the warring sides to start talking.

After having spoken to representatives from both sides, Margelov said that everyone is ready for negotiations, but NATO should first stop the airstrikes. Tunisia has come up with a proposal to hold the talks on its soil.

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NATO’s Air War Against Libya: 11,644 Air Missions, 4,409 Combat Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_06/20110619_110619-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 19, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 11644 sorties, including 4409 strike sorties,have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 18 JUNE: 118

Strike sorties conducted 18 JUNE: 52

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Angolan Parliament Speaker: West’s Intervention In Africa Targets Energy Resources

http://www.portalangop.co.ao/motix/en_us/noticias/politica/2011/5/24/comments-military-intervention-Africa,d9bc9278-c7ce-4abc-ac21-c2cbe3891b24.html

Angola Press
June 17, 2011

Luanda
MP comments military intervention in Africa

Luanda: The military intervention of foreign powers in Africa has hidden interests different from humanitarian duties of defending the local population, an Angolan official has said.

This was said on Thursday by the First Speaker of the National Assembly, João Lourenço, when speaking at the opening of the Third Gathering of National Defence, held by the National Assembly.

“The financial crisis that hits mainly the world’s greatest powers can be the cause of this policy of plundering energy resources, mainly now after the tsunami in Japan, the world tendency points out to the abandonment of the nuclear as the source of power”, he explained.

Thus, João Lourenço called on the attention of the states of the African continent and the African Union, to assume their responsibilities with greater feeling and determination.

The official reminded that the African continent has been facing troubled moments since the beginning of this year, represented by a big foreign military intervention from the world powers, surpassing by a lot the powers provided by the United Nations Security Council.

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The Libyan Crisis: The Point Of No Return

http://www.modernghana.com/news/335279/1/the-libyan-crisis-the-point-of-no-return.html

Modern Ghana
June 18, 2011

The Libyan Crisis: The Point of No Return
By Michael J.K. Bokor, Ph.D.

-I have all along insisted that by launching this military campaign, the political leaders of the US, Britain, France (NATO, generally) have spun that crisis out of control. As the situation has unfolded so far, nothing but total devastation will be the result of the NATO aggression.
-The overarching question is: Why are the pro-Gaddafi forces still fighting despite all the NATO bombings and the certainty of their being killed — as they know and have seen their compatriots killed in the NATO bombardment in Misrata, Brega, and other areas?
-The Libyan military campaign dubbed as ”Operation Odyssey Dawn/Unified Protector” by the warmongers is indeed a test for the politically immature leaders of the US, Britain, and France who have stuck to only the military option as the solution.

By now, the reality of the situation in Libya must be clear to all that the political crisis cannot be resolved by NATO’s military campaign. All the Doubting Thomases must rise up to be counted. Those still deluded by NATO’s persistent bombardment of Tripoli and anything considered as pro-Gaddafi to think that the rebels are winning the war must be jolted by what is obviously evident.

Some glaring issues make it undeniably clear that the dynamics of the Libyan situation are becoming more complicated. At least, we can infer from some of the latest developments to suggest that those who think that the military campaign by NATO will resolve the Libyan crisis are deceived. The BBC has provided some of these events, which I state below and comment on.

Secret Talks Between Gaddafi And The Rebels

Libya has insisted that it is in talks with rebels, despite the rebels’ denials. Certainly, something is happening behind-the-scene that will either shock NATO and make nonsense of its choice of option to resolve the crisis or suggest that the two factions responsible for the crisis are themselves more interested in seeing the crisis as a purely Libyan one to be solved by none other but Libyans themselves.

Loss of Revenue

Most of Libya’s oil installations are in the rebel-held east but much of the infrastructure has been damaged by war. With this disruption in oil production and sale, neither the rebels nor the Gaddafi government can rake in any revenue to sustain the fight. The need to compromise on how to resolve the crisis without the military option is becoming a political imperative by the day.

Financial Problems Facing the Rebel Leadership

The rebels also say their administration is running out of cash as donors’ pledges have not materialized.

“All of these people we talk to, all of these countries, at all these conferences, with their great grand speeches — we appreciate [them] from the political side, but in terms of finances they are a complete failure,” the rebels’ top oil official, Ali Tarhouni told Reuters news agency. “Our people are dying.”

The rebels must by now be having a rude awakening that those backing them are more interested in empty rhetoric than giving them the material support they need to actualize their dream of removing Gaddafi from office and installing themselves in his place. They must now be waking up to the real intentions of those orchestrating the prolonged devastation of their country.

Accusation against NATO’s Bombing of Civilian Targets

On Friday, Libyan Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmudi said NATO was using a “new level of aggression” — deliberately hitting civilian buildings, even as NATO accuses Gaddafi of using civilians as human shields. Libya regards this form of aggression as “a crime against humanity,” which NATO has denied but which won’t persuade those who object to its presence in Libya.

Obama’s Problems Over the War Powers Resolution

Meanwhile, the New York Times has reported that US President Barack Obama overruled the advice of administration lawyers in deciding the US could continue participating in the Libya conflict without congressional authorization. Obama may be out there on the golf course today, interacting with the Republican Speaker of the House; but I don’t think the clouds darkening his political horizon over his handling of the US’ involvement in the Libyan crisis will disappear soon.

The Reality of the Libyan Situation

The Libyan crisis is not a problem that should have defied solution to this extent had the West not rashly taken sides to deepen it to the point of no return.

I have all along insisted that by launching this military campaign, the political leaders of the US, Britain, France (NATO, generally) have spun that crisis out of control. As the situation has unfolded so far, nothing but total devastation will be the result of the NATO aggression. But their solution in the form of devastation won’t be the answer to the problem. It will only be the genesis for other problems.

Can’t anybody see anything beyond his nose to realize that violence does nothing but begets violence? Even if Gaddafi is assassinated or forced out of Libya, the crisis won’t be over because of the fundamental understanding that his successors (the rebel leadership, if their ongoing insurrection succeeds) would have entered office through violence. That moment will be the genesis of another crisis, which will hurt Libya more than the so-called problems that Gaddafi is being held culpable for.

The Libyan crisis is a political problem that can be solved by only political and diplomatic means, not a military campaign. It is not a military problem for which NATO should be expending its resources attempting to solve. The logic is simple; military problems are solved militarily and political problems solved politically and diplomatically. Anything short of this strategy will worsen the situation, which is what we’ve seen happening in Libya.

But those who hate Gaddafi won’t see things that way. They see him as THE problem and are targeting him as if removing him from office will balance the equation. It won’t, I daresay. That’s been the nub of my arguments all this while.

The overarching question is: Why are the pro-Gaddafi forces still fighting despite all the NATO bombings and the certainty of their being killed — as they know and have seen their compatriots killed in the NATO bombardment in Misrata, Brega, and other areas? They are still pressing on in the face of this danger. What could be motivating them if not their dogged determination not to yield ground to the rebels whom they consider as threats to their country?

These fighters know the extent of danger to which they’ve been exposed — supply links being cut off and exposure of their columns to airstrikes by low-flying NATO jets and attack helicopters — but they are not deterred in their mission to defend their territories. These are soldiers fighting to keep the Gaddafi cause alive, regardless of the price they have to pay.

The Libyan military campaign dubbed as ”Operation Odyssey Dawn/Unified Protector” by the warmongers is indeed a test for the politically immature leaders of the US, Britain, and France who have stuck to only the military option as the solution. It won’t solve that problem and any further commitment that they make will only end up being their curse.

They can learn from a cunning Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi who is politically savvy enough to know how not to play any frontline role by pushing his country into this wild goose chase in the Saharan Desert. Italy has contributed only minimal help, not only because of its being haunted by the memories of its defeat by Libya in the heat of colonization, but also because it may not want to see the military campaign alone as the solution to the Libyan crisis.

The West’s choice of solution is indeed the main cause of the prolonging of this political problem in Libya, which is spinning out of control for nothing. NATO’s persistent devastation of Tripoli only confirms the stalemate situation that the war has reached.

As the NATO bombings continue and the fighting between the rebels and the pro-Gaddafi forces drags on from another angle, we will keep our eyes and ears open to follow the trend.

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Why Regime Change In Libya?

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25317

Global Research
June 19, 2011

Why Regime Change in Libya?
Ismael Hossein-zadeh

In light of the brutal death and destruction wrought on Libya by the relentless US/NATO bombardment, the professed claims of “humanitarian concerns” as grounds for intervention can readily be dismissed as a blatantly specious imperialist ploy in pursuit of “regime change” in that country.

There is undeniable evidence that contrary to the spontaneous, unarmed and peaceful protest demonstrations in Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain, the rebellion in Libya has been nurtured, armed and orchestrated largely from abroad, in collaboration with expat opposition groups and their local allies at home. Indeed, evidence shows that plans of “regime change” in Libya were drawn long before the insurgency actually started in Benghazi; it has all the hallmarks of a well-orchestrated civil war [1].

It is very tempting to seek the answer to the question “why regime change in Libya?” in oil/energy. While oil is undoubtedly a concern, it falls short of a satisfactory explanation because major Western oil companies were already extensively involved in the Libyan oil industry. Indeed, since Gathafi relented to the US-UK pressure in 1993 and established “normal” economic and diplomatic relations with these and other Western countries, major US and European oil companies struck quite lucrative deals with the National Oil Corporation of Libya.

So, the answer to the question “why the imperialist powers want to do away with Gathafi” has to go beyond oil, or the laughable “humanitarian concerns.” Perhaps the question can be answered best in the light of the following questions: why do these imperialist powers also want to overthrow Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Fidel Castro (and/or his successors) of Cuba, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Rafael Correa Delgado of Ecuador, Kim Jong-il of North Korea, Bashar Al-Assad of Syria and Evo Morales of Bolivia? Or, why did they overthrow Mohammad Mossadeq of Iran, Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala, Kusno Sukarno of Indonesia, Salvador Allende of Chile, the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti and Manuel Zelaya in Honduras?

What does Gathafi have in common with these nationalist/populist leaders? The question is of course rhetorical and the answer is obvious: like them Gathafi is guilty of insubordination to the proverbial godfather of the world: US imperialism, and its allies. Like them, he has committed the cardinal sin of challenging the unbridled reign of global capital, of not following the economic “guidelines” of the captains of global finance, that is, of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and World Trade Organization; as well as of refusing to join US military alliances in the region. Also like other nationalist/populist leaders, he advocates social safety net (or welfare state) programs—not for giant corporations, as is the case in imperialist countries, but for the people in need.

This means that the criminal agenda of Messrs Obama, Cameron, Sarkozy, and their complicit allies to overthrow or kill Mr. Gathafi and other “insubordinate” proponents of welfare state programs abroad is essentially part of the same evil agenda of dismantling such programs at home. While the form, the context and the means of destruction maybe different, the thrust of the relentless attacks on the living standards of the Libyan, Iranian, Venezuelan or Cuban peoples are essentially the same as the equally brutal attacks on the living conditions of the poor and working people in the US, UK, France and other degenerate capitalist countries. In a subtle (but unmistakable) way they are all part of an ongoing unilateral class warfare on a global scale—whether they are carried out by military means and bombardments, or through the apparently “non-violent” processes of judicial or legislative means does not make a substantial difference as far as the nature or the thrust of the attack on people’s lives or livelihoods are concerned.

In their efforts to consolidate the reign of big capital worldwide, captains of global finance use a variety of methods. The preferred method is usually non-military, that is, the neoliberal strategies of Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs), carried out by representatives of big business disguised as elected officials, or by the multilateral institutions such as the IMF and the WTO. This is what is currently happening in the debt- and deficit-ridden economies of the United States and Europe. But if a country like Libya (or Venezuela or Iran or Cuba) does not go along with the neoliberal agenda of “structural adjustments,” of outsourcing and privatization, and of allowing their financial system to be tied to the network of global banking cartel, then the military option is embarked upon to carry out the neoliberal agenda.

The powerful interests of global capitalism do not seem to feel comfortable to dismantle New Deal economics, Social Democratic reforms and welfare state programs in the core capitalist countries while people in smaller, less-developed countries such as Libya, Venezuela or Cuba enjoy strong, state-sponsored social safety net programs such as free or heavily-subsidized education and health care benefits. Indeed, guardians of the worldwide market mechanism have always been intolerant of any “undue” government intervention in the economic affairs of any country in the world. “Regimented economies,” declared President Harry Truman in a speech at Baylor University (1947), were the enemy of free enterprise, and “unless we act, and act decisively,” he claimed, those regimented economies would become “the pattern of the next century.” To fend off that danger, Truman urged that “the whole world should adopt the American system.” The system of free enterprise, he went on, “can survive in America only if it becomes a world system” [2].

Before it was devastated by the imperialist-orchestrated civil war and destruction, Libya had the highest living standard in Africa. Using the United Nations statistics, Jean-Paul Pougala of Dissident Voice reports,

“The country now ranks 53rd on the HDI [Human Development Index] index, better than all other African countries and also better than the richer and Western-backed Saudi Arabia. . . . Although the media often refers to youth unemployment of 15 to 30 percent, it does not mention that in Libya, in contrast to other countries, all have their subsistence guaranteed. . . . The government provides all citizens with free health care and [has] achieved high coverage in the most basic health areas. . . . The life expectancy rose to 74.5 years and is now the highest in Africa. . . . The infant mortality rate declined to 17 deaths per 1,000 births and is not nearly as high as in Algeria (41) and also lower than in Saudi Arabia (21).

“The UNDP [United Nations Development Program] certified that Libya has also made ‘a significant progress in gender equality,’ particularly in the fields of education and health, while there is still much to do regarding representation in politics and the economy. With a relative low ‘index of gender inequality’ the UNDP places the country in the Human Development Report 2010 concerning gender equality at rank 52 and thus also well ahead of Egypt (ranked 108), Algeria (70), Tunisia (56), Saudi Arabia (ranked 128) and Qatar (94)” [3].

It is true that after resisting the self-centered demands and onerous pressures from Western powers for more than thirty years, Gathafi relented in 1993 and opened the Libyan economy to Western capital, carried out a number of neoliberal economic reforms, and granted lucrative business/investment deals to major oil companies of the West.

But, again, like the proverbial godfather, US/European imperialism requires total, unconditional subordination; half-hearted, grudging compliance with the global agenda of imperialism is not enough. To be considered a real “ally,” or a true “client state,” a country has to grant the US the right to “guide” its economic, geopolitical and foreign policies, that is, to essentially forgo its national sovereignty. Despite some economic concessions since the early 1990s, Gathafi failed this critical test of “full compliance” with the imperialist designs in the region.

For example, he resisted joining a US/NATO-sponsored military alliance in the region. Libya (along with Syria) are the only two Mediterranean nations and the sole remaining Arab states that are not subordinated to US and NATO designs for control of the Mediterranean Sea Basin and the Middle East. Nor has Libya (or Syria) participated in NATO’s almost ten-year-old Operation Active Endeavor naval patrols and exercises in the Mediterranean Sea and neither is a member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue military partnership which includes most regional countries: Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania [4].

To the chagrin of US imperialism, Libya’s Gathafi also refused to join the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), designed to control valuable resources in Africa, safeguard trade and investment markets in the region, and contain or evict China from North Africa. “When the US formed AFRICOM in 2007, some 49 countries signed on to the US military charter for Africa but one country refused: Libya. Such a treacherous act by Libya’s leader Moummar Qaddafi would only sow the seeds for a future conflict down the road in 2011” [5].

Furthermore, by promoting trade, development and industrialization projects on a local, national, regional or African level, Gathafi was viewed as an obstacle to the Western powers’ strategies of unhindered trade and development projects on a global level. For example, Gathafi’s Libya played a leading role in “connecting the entire [African] continent by telephone, television, radio broadcasting and several other technological applications such as telemedicine and distance teaching. And thanks to the WMAX radio bridge, a low cost connection was made available across the continent, including in rural areas” [3].

The idea of launching a pan-African system of technologically advanced network of telecommunication began in the early 1990s, “when 45 African nations established RASCOM (Regional African Satellite Communication Organization) so that Africa would have its own satellite and slash communication costs in the continent. This was a time when phone calls to and from Africa were the most expensive in the world because of the annual $500 million fee pocketed by Europe for the use of its satellites like Intelsat for phone conversations, including those within the same country. . . . An African satellite only cost a onetime payment of $400 million and the continent no longer had to pay a $500 million annual lease” [3].

In pursuit of financing this project, the African nations frequently pleaded with the IMF and the World Bank for assistance. As the empty promises of these financial giants dragged on for 14 years,

“Gathafi put an end to [the] futile pleas to the western ‘benefactors’ with their exorbitant interest rates. The Libyan guide put $300 million on the table; the African Development Bank added $50 million more and the West African Development Bank a further $27 million – and that’s how Africa got its first communications satellite on 26 December 2007.

“China and Russia followed suit and shared their technology and helped launch satellites for South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Algeria and a second African satellite was launched in July 2010. The first totally indigenously built satellite and manufactured on African soil, in Algeria, is set for 2020. This satellite is aimed at competing with the best in the world, but at ten times less the cost, a real challenge.

“This is how a symbolic gesture of a mere $300 million changed the life of an entire continent. Gathafi’s Libya cost the West, not just depriving it of $500 million per year but the billions of dollars in debt and interest that the initial loan would generate for years to come and in an exponential manner, thereby helping maintain an occult system in order to plunder the continent” [3].

Architects of global finance, represented by the imperialist governments of the West, also viewed Gathafi as a spoiler in the area of international or global money and banking. The forces of global capital tend to prefer a uniform, contiguous, or borderless global market to multiple sovereign markets at the local, national, regional or continental levels. Not only Gathafi’s Libya maintained public ownership of its own central bank, and the authority to create its own national money, but it also worked assiduously to establish an African Monetary Fund, an African Central Bank, and an African Investment Bank.

The $30 billion of the Libyan money frozen by the Obama administration belong to the Central Bank of Libya, which “had been earmarked as the Libyan contribution to three key projects which would add the finishing touches to the African Federation – the African Investment Bank in Syrte (Libya), the establishment in 2011 of the African Monetary Fund to be based in Yaoundé (Cameroon) . . ., and the Abuja-based African Central Bank in Nigeria, which when it starts printing African money will ring the death knell for the CFA franc [the French currency] through which Paris has been able to maintain its hold on some African countries for the last fifty years. It is easy to understand the French wrath against Gathafi.

“The African Monetary Fund is expected to totally supplant the African activities of the International Monetary Fund which, with only $25 billion, was able to bring an entire continent to its knees and make it swallow questionable privatization like forcing African countries to move from public to private monopolies. No surprise then that on 16-17 December 2010, the Africans unanimously rejected attempts by Western countries to join the African Monetary Fund, saying it was open only to African nations” [3].

Western powers also viewed Gathafi as an obstacle to their imperial strategies for yet another reason: standing in the way of their age-old policies of “divide and rule.” To counter Gathafi’s relentless efforts to establish a United States of Africa, the European Union tried to create the Union for the Mediterranean (UPM) region. “North Africa somehow had to be cut off from the rest of Africa, using the old tired racist clichés of the 18th and 19th centuries, which claimed that Africans of Arab origin were more evolved and civilized than the rest of the continent. This failed because Gathafi refused to buy into it. He soon understood what game was being played when only a handful of African countries were invited to join the Mediterranean grouping without informing the African Union but inviting all 27 members of the European Union.” Gathafi also refused to buy into other imperialist-inspired/driven groupings in Africa such as ECOWAS, COMESA, UDEAC, SADC and the Great Maghreb, “which never saw the light of day thanks to Gathafi who understood what was happening” [3].

Gathafi further earned the wrath of Western powers for striking extensive trade and investment deals with BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), especially with China. According to Beijing’s Ministry of Commerce, China’s contracts in Libya (prior to imperialism’s controlled demolition of that country) numbered no less than 50 large projects, involving contracts in excess of $18 billion. Even a cursory reading of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) strategic briefings shows that a major thrust of its mission is containment of China. “In effect, what we are witnessing here,” points out Patrick Henningsten, “is the dawn of a New Cold War between the US-EURO powers and China. This new cold war will feature many of the same elements of the long and protracted US-USSR face-off we saw in the second half of the 20th century. It will take place off shore, in places like Africa, South America, Central Asia and through old flashpoints like Korea and the Middle East” [5].

It is obvious (from this brief discussion) that Gathafi’s sin for being placed on imperialism’s death row consists largely of the challenges he posed to the free reign of Western capital in the region, of his refusal to relinquish Libya’s national sovereignty to become another unconditional “client state” of Western powers. His removal from power is therefore designed to eliminate all “barriers” to the unhindered mobility of the US/European capital in the region by installing a more pliant regime in Libya.

Gathafi’s removal from power would serve yet another objective of US/European powers: to shorten or spoil the Arab Spring by derailing their peaceful protests, containing their non-violent revolutions and sabotaging their aspirations for self-determination. Soon after being caught by surprise by the glorious uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, the imperialist powers (including the mini Zionist imperialism in Palestine) embarked on “damage control.” In pursuit of this objective, they adopted three simultaneous strategies. The first strategy was to half-heartedly “support” the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia (of course, once they became unstoppable) in order to control them—hence, the military rule in those countries following the departure of Mubarak from Cairo and Ben Ali from Tunis. The second strategy of containment has been support and encouragement for the brutal crackdown of other spontaneous and peaceful uprisings in countries ruled by “client regimes,” for example, in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. And the third policy of sabotaging the Arab Spring has been to promote civil war and orchestrate chaos in countries such as Libya, Syria and Iran.

In its early stages of development, capitalism promoted nation-state and/or national sovereignty in order to free itself from the constraints of the church and feudalism. Now that the imperatives of the highly advanced but degenerate global finance capital require unhindered mobility in a uniform or borderless world, national sovereignty is considered problematic—especially in places like Libya, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Bolivia and other countries that are not ruled by imperialism’s “client states.” Why? Because unhindered global mobility of capital requires doing away with social safety net or welfare state programs; it means doing away with public domain properties or public sector enterprises and bringing them under the private ownership of the footloose-and-fancy-free global capital.

This explains why the corporate media, political pundits and other mouthpieces of imperialism are increasing talking about Western powers’ “responsibility to protect,” by which they mean that these powers have a responsibility to protect the Libyan (or Iranian or Venezuelan or Syrian or Cuban or …) citizens from their “dictatorial” rulers by instigating regime change and promoting “democracy” there. It further means that, in pursuit of this objective, the imperialist powers should not be bound by “constraints” of national sovereignty because, they argue, “universal democratic rights take primacy over national sovereignty considerations.” In a notoriously selective fashion, this utilitarian use of the “responsibility to protect” does not apply to nations or peoples ruled by imperialism’s client states such as Saudi Arabia or Bahrain. [6].

This also means that the imperialist war against peoples and states such as Libya and Venezuela is essentially part of the same class war against peoples and states in the belly of the beast, that is, in the United States and Europe. In every instance or place, whether at home or abroad, whether in Libya or California or Wisconsin or Greece, the thrust of the relentless global class war is the same: to do away with subsistence-level guarantees, or social safety net programs, and redistribute the national or global resources in favor of the rich and powerful, especially the powerful interests vested in the finance capital and the military capital.

There is no question that global capitalism has thus woven together the fates and fortunes of the overwhelming majority of the world population in an increasingly intensifying struggle for subsistence and survival. No one can tell when this majority of world population (the middle, lower-middle, poor and working classes) would come to the realization that their seemingly separate struggles for economic survival are essentially part and parcel of the same struggle against the same class enemies, the guardians of world capitalism. One thing is clear, however: only when they come to such a liberating realization, join forces together in a cross-border, global uprising against the forces of world capitalism, and seek to manage their economies independent of profitability imperatives of capitalist production—only then can they break free from the shackles of capitalism and control their future in a coordinated, people-centered mode of production, distribution and consumption.

Ismael Hossein-zadeh, author of The Political Economy of US Militarism (Palgrave-Macmillan 2007), teaches economics at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa.

References:

1. Michel Chossudovsky, “When War Games Go Live: Staging a ‘Humanitarian War’ against ‘SOUTHLAND’ Under an Imaginary UN Security Council Resolution 3003,” Global Research: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24351

2. D. F. Fleming, The Cold War and Its Origins (New York: Double Day, 1961), p. 436.

3. Jean-Paul Pougal, “Why the West Wants the Fall of Gathafi?” Dissident Voice: http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/04/why-is-Gathafi-being-demonized/

4. Rick Rozoff, “Libyan Scenario for Syria: Towards A US-NATO ‘Humanitarian Intervention’ directed against Syria?” Global Research: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24562

5. Patrick Henningsten, “WEST vs. CHINA: A NEW COLD WAR BEGINS ON LIBYAN SOIL,” 21st Century Wire: http://21stcenturywire.com/2011/04/12/2577/

6. For an insightful and informative discussion of this issue see (1) F. William Engdahl, “Humanitarian Neo-colonialism: Framing Libya and Reframing War—Creative Destruction Part III,” Global Research: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=24617; (b) Marjorie Cohn, “The Responsibility to Protect – The Cases of Libya and Ivory Coast,” Counter Punch: http://www.counterpunch.org/cohn05162011.html

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U.S., NATO Frustrated As Libyan War Drags On Into Fourth Month

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/19/c_13938210.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 19, 2011

U.S., NATO annoyed as Libya war drags on

BEIJING: Ninety days after they launched strikes against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces on March 19, the United States and its NATO allies seemed to be losing their initial confidence and become frustrated as the war wasn’t proceeding exactly as planned.

On June 12, Gaddafi, dressed all in black and wearing dark sunglasses, played chess in Tripoli with Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, visiting Russian head of the World Chess Federation. His “composure” seemed to be a deliberate show to embarrass his Western rivals.

In Washington, President Barack Obama has recently been at odds with many members of the Congress over his war power. The lawmakers, including both Republicans and Democrats, said the president should have sought congressional approval before ordering military actions against Libya.

On June 3, the House of Representatives voted to reprimand Obama for keeping a U.S. role in NATO’s Libya operations. House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, told the president Tuesday that his administration would violate the 1973 War Powers Resolution unless Libyan operations end by Sunday or the White House gets congressional mandate.

But the White House argued that as U.S. forces are merely playing a supporting role in the NATO-led mission, and therefore are not facing the hostilities that would require the president to seek such congressional consent under the War Powers Resolution.

The spars may eventually turn out to be just another formality of the intensified Washington power play ahead of the 2012 elections, but what makes U.S. decision makers more annoyed about Libya is the question of war funding.

The Obama administration has reportedly spent more than 700 million U.S. dollars in fighting Gaddafi. A ballooning war budget at a time of economic downturn would undoubtedly become a political liability to the president’s reelection bid.

Across the Atlantic, Washington’s NATO allies also fretted over the Libya war, with growing unwillingness to become the “subcontractor” of the war as the United States had wished.

In late March, the Obama administration thrust NATO to the center stage, hoping its European allies would “take more responsibilities.”

Washington, however, has found it difficult to turn its smug calculation into reality: NATO members either choose to just stand by or confine themselves to “limited participation.”

On June 10, U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates warned NATO allies that the bloc risked “collective military irrelevance” unless they bear more of the burden and boost military spending.

He said NATO-led operations and Libya had exposed significant shortcomings in “military capabilities” and “political will.”

It is true that the European allies have been slashing defense budgets since the end of the Cold War. Statistics show that the yearly defense budgets of NATO allies in Europe total no more than 220 billion U.S. dollars, less than one third of U.S. military spending.

Gates warned that there is “a real possibility for a dim, if not dismal future for the transatlantic alliance” if European allies fail to halt and reverse the current decline in their defence capabilities.

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Turkish Helicopter Violates Syrian Airspace

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/185342.html

Press TV
June 19, 2011

‘Turkish copter violates Syria airspace’

A Turkish military helicopter has violated Syrian air space, amid reports of a possible Turkish effort to establish a buffer zone in the Syrian soil, a report says.

The helicopter with a commander and several military troops onboard entered Syrian airspace to conduct a reconnaissance flight over the two states’ borderlines and to examine Syrian border regions, Turkish Kanal 7 reports.

Turkish TV channels are providing full media coverage of Syrian refugees’ departure to Turkey, encouraging the Syrian border dwellers to take refuge in neighboring Turkey.

A report published in the Turkish daily Posta on Thursday said Turkey is mulling over sending its military forces into Syrian soil to establish a “buffer zone” should the recent turmoil in Syria skyrocket into a refugee crisis that would pose a threat to Ankara.

Since mid-March, Syria has been struggling with unprecedented unrest that has left scores of people dead, including many soldiers and other members of its security forces.

Syrian authorities blame armed groups and foreign elements for the violence, saying security forces have been given clear instructions not to hurt civilians.

Many of the refugees come from the northern town of Jisr al-Shughour, where Syrian forces have reportedly engaged in heavy clashes with what the government has described as armed groups.

The developments come amid Ankara’s recent adoption of a toughened stance vis-à-vis Damascus.

Citing a classified report, informed sources in the Syrian capital recently said the “unprecedented intensification” of unrest in Syria stemmed from deals between Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and some unknown groups in the region.

The Syrian government also says the weapons used against Syrian forces during the Jisr al-Shughour clashes were smuggled into the country from Turkey.

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Report: Turkey To Deliver “Warning Letter” To Syria

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkey-to-send-warning-letter-to-damascus-report-says-2011-06-19

Hurriyet Daily News
June 19, 2011

Turkey to send warning letter to Damascus, report says

Ankara: A Turkish envoy will travel to Damascus in the coming days to deliver a “warning letter” to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, telling him to enact reforms and to remove his brother Maher Assad from the command of Syria’s Republican Guard and the Fourth Armored Division, Al-Arabiya reported on Saturday. Maher Assad is largely believed to be behind the three-month violent crackdown on anti-regime protesters.

The Turkish envoy will ask Assad to grant Syrians freedom to demonstrate, freedom of expression and to lift the ban on political parties, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the report.

Turkey is willing to give refuge to Maher Assad or organize a refuge for him in a European country and will promise that he will not face criminal prosecution, Al-Arabiya reported.

Turkish officials did not confirm the report, saying that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s special envoy, Hasan Turkmani, already held talks with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in Ankara last week.

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Turkey To Host NATO Ground Forces

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/185429.html

Press TV
January 19, 2011

Turkey to host NATO ground forces

Amid ongoing deadly unrest in Syria, NATO plans to turn its airbase in Turkey into a stronghold for the US-led military alliance’s ground forces.

The alliance would transfer its ground forces from a military base in the city of Heidelberg in southwestern Germany and another outpost in Spain to the Izmir Air Station in western Turkey, Journal of Turkish Weekly reported earlier in the month.

The base, NATO’s oldest stronghold in Turkey, currently accommodates 400 operational and technical forces.

The move constitutes a part of sweeping reforms in the alliance, which according to its Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen would ultimately “make NATO leaner, more flexible, and better able to deal with future challenges.”

Outlining the changes, Rasmussen has said, “We have agreed to reshape NATO’s command structure, making it more efficient, more deployable, and more compact.”

The reforms include effort to “streamline the agencies, which run individual NATO projects, such as ground surveillance and strategic airlift,” he added.

The developments come amid Turkey’s recent adoption of a toughened stance vis-à-vis its southern neighbor Syria, which has been grappling with unprecedented unrest since mid-March.

The turmoil, which the government blames on armed groups and foreign elements, has left scores of people dead, including many soldiers and other members of its security forces.

Ankara has, meanwhile, threatened Damascus with military intervention in the countrywide unrest, which has been troubling the latter since mid-March. It has also created an expansive military camp close to the common border.

Early June, armed groups, who had received their weapons from Turkey, killed 120 Syrian police and other members of the security forces in the northwestern town of Jisr al-Shughour before burying them in mass graves.

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Turkey Takes Over Command Of NATO Standing NATO Maritime Group

http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/116546/turkey-takes-over-command-of-nato-standing-nato-maritime-group.html

Anadolu Agency
June 17, 2011

Turkey Takes Over Command of NATO Standing NATO Maritime Group

Turkey took over on Friday the command of Standing NATO Maritime Group-2 (SNMG-2) from the Netherlands.

A handover ceremony took place at the Aksaz Naval Base in Turkey’s resort town of Marmaris.

“SNMG-2’s command rotates among countries taking part in the task group,” commander Admiral Sinan Azmi Tosun told reporters.

SNMG2 is a multinational, integrated maritime force – made up of vessels from various allied nations, training and operating together as a single team – that is permanently available to NATO to perform a wide range of tasks, from participating in exercises to crisis response and real world operational missions.

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Four NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/19/c_13937949.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 19, 2011

Four NATO soldiers die in Afghanistan

KABUL: Four NATO soldiers died in Afghanistan’s restive southern region on Saturday, the military alliance said on Sunday.

“Four International Security Assistance Force service members died as a result of non-battle related injuries in southern Afghanistan yesterday,” said a statement released by NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) here.

However, the brief statement did not provide more details.

ISAF generally does not disclose the identity of the casualties, saying “it is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.”

Troops mainly from the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia have been stationed in the southern region within the framework of ISAF to fight Taliban militants.

A total of 249 NATO soldiers, most of them Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan since the beginning of this year.

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Afghan War: Eight NATO Soldiers Killed In One Day

http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=117214&code=Ne2&category=2

Arirang News
June 19, 2011

8 NATO Troops Killed in 1 Day in Afghanistan

A NATO soldier was killed by insurgents in Afhanistan on Saturday, marking the eighth service member killed in a single day.

According to NATO, three other service members were killed earlier in fighting, and another four died in a vehicle accident.

The alliance didn’t give details on the incidents or nationality of the dead, keeping with its policy that allows national governments to release such information.

The deaths bring the number of NATO deaths this month to 38, and 244 so far this year.

Meanwhile, Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirmed on Saturday that his government and the United States have been holding talks with the Taliban on ending the nearly ten year-long war.

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Georgia: Second U.S. Guided Missile Cruiser Visit In Less Than Two Weeks

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23637

Civil Georgia
June 17, 2011

U.S. Warship Monterey to Arrive in Batumi

Tbilisi: The U.S. guided-missile cruiser, Monterey, whose arrival in the Black Sea last week provoked Russia’s protest, will visit Georgia’s port of Batumi on June 20.

The U.S. Navy cruiser, equipped with a ballistic missile defence system, will stay in Georgia’s Black Sea port till June 23, according to the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi.

“The USS Monterey is operating in the Black Sea to conduct joint maritime training with several countries adjoining the Black Sea. U.S. ships have regularly deployed in the Black Sea region for many years and represent the continuing U.S. commitment to Black Sea regional stability and maritime security,” the U.S. embassy said on June 17.

The USS Monterey’s arrival in Georgia will come less than two weeks after another U.S. guided-missile cruiser, Anzio, visited the port of Batumi on June 9-12 for a joint damage control exercises with the Georgian coast guard.

The USS Monterey with 43 officers and 323 enlisted personnel arrived in the Black Sea last week to participate in multinational military exercises, Sea Breeze 2011, co-hosted by Ukraine and the U.S.

Azerbaijan, Algeria, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Macedonia, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the UK and the U.S. take part in the exercises held from June 6 to June 18. Organizers said the training agenda included counter-piracy operations; non-combatant evacuation operations, as well as board, search and seizure trainings.

In a statement released on June 12, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed concern over arrival of the U.S. warship, equipped with advanced Aegis antimissile weaponry, in the Black Sea.

“The Russian side has repeatedly stressed that we will not overlook the appearance of any elements of US strategic infrastructure in the immediate vicinity of our borders and will consider any such steps as a threat to our security,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Russia and NATO have failed to agree on forms of cooperation on the missile shield in Europe and Russia says that its concerns are being ignored by the Alliance.

“If we are talking about the usual “visit” to this highly sensitive region, why did they choose a ship armed with this particular version of weapons? And what role was assigned to the Monterey anti-missiles by the scenario of the Sea Breeze 2011 exercise during which “an anti-piracy operation by NATO standards” was being tested and improved?” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Vladimir Odoevsky: City without a name, system with one

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

Russian writers on war

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Vladimir Odoevsky
From Russian Nights (1844)
The Fifth Night: A City Without Name
Translated by Olga Koshansky-Olienikov

“…Not far away from us there settled another colony, likewise on an uninhabited island. It consisted of common people, farmers, who did not come here to put any system into operation, but simply to provide for their existence…

“This neighboring colony seemed to us a rather convenient place for the so-called exploitation; we started trade relations with it, but guided by the word benefit, we didn’t consider it necessary to spare our neighbors. By various guises we detained the transport of things they needed and then sold them ours at three times the price. Many of us, using all the legal forms for our protection, undertook rather successful bankruptcies against our neighbors, which caused their factories to go to ruin, to our own benefit. We made them quarrel with other colonies, helped them in such cases with money, which, of course, returned to us a hundredfold. We enticed them into stock-jobbing and by means of clever manipulations we always came out ahead. Our agents lived with our neighbors uninterruptedly: by flattery, insidiousness, money, and threats, they constantly spread our monopoly. Our people grew wealthy – the colony prospered.

“When our neighbors were completely ruined, thanks to our wise, firm policy, our rulers summoned the elective officers and proposed to discuss whether it would not be for the benefit of our colony to acquire the land of our impoverished neighbors for good. Everybody’s answer was affirmative. This motion was followed by the other: how to acquire this land, by money or by force? It was suggested that money should be tried first, but if this means should not prove successful, to use force. Although some of the members of the council agreed that the population of our colony required new land, they thought it would be far more just to occupy some other uninhabited island rather than to encroach upon somebody else’s property. But these people were identified as harmful dreamers, idealists. By means of mathematical calculations it was demonstrated to them how many times more profitable it would be to use land already cultivated than land as yet untouched by human hands. A resolution was passed to propose to our neighbors to cede their land to us for a certain amount of money. The neighbors refused. Then, having balanced mercantile accounts of expenditures for the war with the profit which could be extracted from the land of our neighbors, we attacked them with our armed forces, destroying everyone who showed resistance; the rest of them we forced to leave for distant countries, and took possession of the island.

“Guided by our needs, we acted similarly in other cases. Unfortunate inhabitants of the surrounding lands seemed to be cultivating them only in order to become our victims at the end. Incessantly keeping only our own benefit in mind, we considered all means permissible in dealing with our neighbors: political shrewdness, deceit, and bribery. We made our neighbors quarrel with one another with the purpose of weakening their strength as we had done before; we supported the weak in order to raise the strong against them; we attacked the strong in order to set the weak against them. Little by little all the surrounding colonies fell under our domination one after another, and Benthamia became a rigorous and powerful state. We praised ourselves for our great deeds and we taught our children to uphold as an example those illustrious men who by weapons, and even more by deceit, added to the wealth of our colony. The colony prospered.

“Many long years passed again. Shortly after we subdued our neighbors, we met others whose subjugation was not quite so convenient. This led to arguments. The frontier cities of our state, enjoying sizable profit from trade with the foreigners, considered it useful to be on peaceful terms with them. On the other hand, the inhabitants of our internal cities, limited in space, sought an expansion of the state borders and found it rather profitable to start quarrelling with neighbors if only for the purpose of getting rid of their own surplus population. The vote was divided. Both sides had one and the same thing, the common benefit, in mind without noticing that each side used this word only to mean its own good. There were still others who thought of preventing this argument by starting to talk about self-sacrifice, about mutual concessions, about the necessity of sacrificing something now for the good of future generations. Both sides overwhelmed these people by irrefutable mathematical calculations. Both sides called them harmful dreamers, idealists, and the state split into two factions – one declared war against foreigners, the other signed a trade treaty with them.”

****

“Many years passed in these internecine and external wars, which would now stop for a while, now flare up again with added bitterness. Common and individual sorrows led to a common feeling of general despondence. Exhausted by the long struggle people gave themselves up to idleness. No one wanted to do anything for the future. All feelings, all thoughts, all man’s incentive were limited to the present moment…The divine, inspiring language of poetry was inaccessible to a Benthamite. Great phenomena of nature did not plunge him into lighthearted thought which diverts man from earthly sorrow. Mothers knew no songs they could sing at their babies’ cradles. The natural, poetical element was long since killed by selfish calculations of profit. The death of this element contaminated all other elements of human nature; all abstract, general thoughts which unite people seemed to be madness; books, knowledge, laws of morality – useless luxury. Only one word – benefit – had remained from former glorious times, but it, too, acquired an indefinite meaning; everyone interpreted it in his own way.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Albert Schweitzer: On nuclear weapons in NATO’s hands

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

From Statement by Albert Schweitzer with Reference to the Present Nuclear Crisis in the World (1958)

When America had its atomic monopoly, it was not necessary to equip its armies with nuclear weapons. Owing to the end of the monopoly, however, this situation is changing. A whole family of nuclear weapons now exists that can be fitted into the military capability of smaller nations.

As a result, the United States is considering deviating from its stated principle not to put atomic weapons into the hands of other countries. This is a decision that could have the gravest consequences. On the other hand, it is comprehensible that the United States wishes to supply the NATO countries with such new weapons for defense against the Soviet Union. The existence of such arms constitutes a new threat to the Soviet Union, one that did not exist before. Hereby the ground is laid open for an atomic war between the United States and the Soviet Union on European soil. This situation did not exist before. Now the Soviet Union can be reached with such long-range rockets from European soil, as far as Moscow and Kharkov, up to 2400 miles away.

Rockets of an average range could therefore be used for defense purposes by Turkey and Iran against the Soviet Union. They could penetrate deeply into its country with arms accepted from America.

The Soviet Union is countering these measures. Both America and the Soviet Union may now seek alliances with the Middle East by offering those countries various kinds of financial support. Therefore events in the Middle East could endanger the peace of the world.

****

Gone…is the time when NATO generals and European governments can decide on the establishments of launching sites and stockpiling of atomic weapons.

In view of the fact that the dangers of atomic war and its consequences cannot be avoided, a political procedure as employed hitherto can no longer be considered.

Only agreements that are sanctioned by public opinion are now valid.

=================================================================================

From Nobel Peace Prize lecture, 1952

It is pertinent to recall that the generation preceding 1914 approved the enormous stockpiling of armaments. The argument was that a military decision would be reached with rapidity and that very brief wars could be expected. This opinion was accepted without contradiction.

Because they anticipated the progressive humanization of the methods of war, people also believed that the evils resulting from future conflicts would be relatively slight. This supposition grew out of the obligations accepted by nations under the terms of the Geneva Convention of 1864, following the efforts of the Red Cross. Mutual guarantees were exchanged concerning care for the wounded, the humane treatment of prisoners of war, and the welfare of the civilian population. This convention did indeed achieve some significant results for which hundreds of thousands of combatants and civilians were to be thankful in the wars to come. But, compared to the miseries of war, which have grown beyond all proportion with the introduction of modern weapons of death and destruction, they are trivial indeed. Truly, it cannot be a question of humanizing war.

The concept of the brief war and that of the humanization of its methods, propounded as they were on the eve of war in 1914, led people to take the war less seriously than they should have. They regarded it as a storm which was to clear the political air and as an event which was to end the arms race that was ruining nations.

While some lightheartedly supported the war on account of the profits they expected to gain from it, others did so from a more noble motive: this war must be the war to end all wars. Many a brave man set out for battle in the belief that he was fighting for a day when war would no longer exist.

In this conflict, just as in that of 1939, these two concepts proved to be completely wrong. Slaughter and destruction continued year after year and were carried on in the most inhumane way. In contrast to the war of 1870, the duel was not between two isolated nations, but between two great groups of nations, so that a large share of mankind became embroiled, thus compounding the tragedy.

Since we now know what a terrible evil war is, we must spare no effort to prevent its recurrence. To this reason must also be added an ethical one: In the course of the last two wars, we have been guilty of acts of inhumanity which make one shudder, and in any future war we would certainly be guilty of even worse. This must not happen!

Let us dare to face the situation. Man has become superman. He is a superman because he not only has at his disposal innate physical forces, but also commands, thanks to scientific and technological advances, the latent forces of nature which he can now put to his own use. To kill at a distance, man used to rely solely on his own physical strength; he used it to bend the bow and to release the arrow. The superman has progressed to the stage where, thanks to a device designed for the purpose, he can use the energy released by the combustion of a given combination of chemical products. This enables him to employ a much more effective projectile and to propel it over far greater distances.

However, the superman suffers from a fatal flaw. He has failed to rise to the level of superhuman reason which should match that of his superhuman strength. He requires such reason to put this vast power to solely reasonable and useful ends and not to destructive and murderous ones. Because he lacks it, the conquests of science and technology become a mortal danger to him rather than a blessing.

In this context is it not significant that the first great scientific discovery, the harnessing of the force resulting from the combustion of gunpowder, was seen at first only as a means of killing at a distance?

The conquest of the air, thanks to the internal-combustion engine, marked a decisive advance for humanity. Yet men grasped at once the opportunity it offered to kill and destroy from the skies. This invention underlined a fact which had hitherto been steadfastly denied: the more the superman gains in strength, the poorer he becomes. To avoid exposing himself completely to the destruction unleashed from the skies, he is obliged to seek refuge underground like a hunted animal. At the same time he must resign himself to abetting the unprecedented destruction of cultural values.

A new stage was reached with the discovery and subsequent utilization of the vast forces liberated by the splitting of the atom. After a time, it was found that the destructive potential of a bomb armed with such was incalculable, and that even large-scale tests could unleash catastrophes threatening the very existence of the human race. Only now has the full horror of our position become obvious. No longer can we evade the question of the future of mankind.

But the essential fact which we should acknowledge in our conscience, and which we should have acknowledged a long time ago, is that we are becoming inhuman to the extent that we become supermen. We have learned to tolerate the facts of war: that men are killed en masse – some twenty million in the Second World War – that whole cities and their inhabitants are annihilated by the atomic bomb, that men are turned into living torches by incendiary bombs. We learn of these things from the radio or newspapers and we judge them according to whether they signify success for the group of peoples to which we belong, or for our enemies. When we do admit to ourselves that such acts are the results of inhuman conduct, our admission is accompanied by the thought that the very fact of war itself leaves us no option but to accept them. In resigning ourselves to our fate without a struggle, we are guilty of inhumanity.

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 18, 2011

June 18, 2011 3 comments

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Libyan War: 11,526 NATO Air Missions, 4,357 Combat Sorties

U.S. Seeks To Try Syria’s Assad In International Criminal Court

Clinton: Syria’s Assad “And His Regime Are Certainly Not Indispensible”

France, Germany Push UN Resolution Against Syria

Prompt Global Strike: U.S. Conducts Second Hypersonic Aircraft Test

U.S. Guided Missile Warship Headed To Georgian Port

“Georgia Will Surely Join NATO”: Italian NATO Parliamentary Assembly Head

Azerbaijan: NATO Strengthens Partnership On Caspian Sea

State Department Holds US-Azerbaijan Security Dialogue In Baku

Pakistan Lodges Protest With NATO Over Air Attack

62nd French Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

Four Spanish Soldiers Injured In Afghan Attack

NATO Deploys First Slovak Special Forces To Afghanistan

Germans To Build Combat Training Center In Russia

Cyberspace Should Be Platform For Peace, Not Battleground

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Libyan War: 11,526 NATO Air Missions, 4,357 Combat Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_06/20110618_110618-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 18, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 11526 sorties, including 4357 strike sorties*,have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 17 JUNE: 139

Strike sorties conducted 17 JUNE: 50

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U.S. Seeks To Try Syria’s Assad In International Criminal Court

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110618/164692337.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 18, 2011

U.S. seeks to try Syria’s Assad in Hague criminal court

MOSCOW: The White House is gathering information on alleged human rights abuses by Syrian security forces for possible consideration by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website, quoting U.S. officials.

“We’re consulting on that internally and regionally,” an unidentified U.S. official was quoted by the paper as saying.

The Obama administration is also exploring ways to more directly target Syria’s oil and gas revenues, a major source of income for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his inner circle, the paper said.

“Assad is pushing his country on the path of being a pariah state,” the U.S. official said. “We are operating in a number of ways to increase the pressure” on him, he added.

Syria has not signed the Rome Statute that governs the ICC, which makes the Court unable to independently exercise jurisdiction over crimes allegedly committed by the Syrian regime. But the United States and European powers could press the UN Security Council to refer the Syria case to the ICC, as it happened after Gaddafi sent his troops and tanks to fight protesters in Libya, the paper said.

Washington has not officially called on Assad, who has been ruling Syria for more than a decade, to step down as it did with former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Libya’s Col. Muammar Gaddafi. However, the United States, along with the European Union, has imposed sanctions on Assad and many of his family members.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Friday that the United States was trying to persuade Russia to work together on a resolution on Syria to be put to a vote at the UN Security Council.

Russia has opposed a resolution condemning violence in Syria and urged a diplomatic solution to the crisis, while France, Britain and Germany have been pushing for such a resolution to be passed by the Security Council to prevent further bloodshed.

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Clinton: Syria’s Assad “And His Regime Are Certainly Not Indispensible”

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/usa/1893424.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
June 18, 2011

Clinton: Brutality will not reverse change in Syria

-“By following Iran’s lead, President al-Assad is placing himself and his regime on the wrong side of history. He will learn that legitimacy flows from the consent of the people and cannot be forged through bullets.”
Clinton also said the United States “stands by the Syrian people and its international rights.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged a transition to democracy in Syria on Saturday saying that the government’s violent crackdown on protesters would not stop the change underway in the country.

“It is increasingly clear that President (Bashar) al-Assad has made his choice. While continued brutality may allow him to delay the change taking place in Syria, it will not reverse it,” Clinton wrote in the regional daily Asharq Al-Awsat, DPA reported.

“If President al-Assad believes the protests are instigated by foreign elements – as his government claimed – he is wrong,” she wrote. “He and his regime are certainly not indispensable.”

She said that Syria was heading towards a new political system and that “the Syrian people should be the one to shape it.”

“By following Iran’s lead, President al-Assad is placing himself and his regime on the wrong side of history. He will learn that legitimacy flows from the consent of the people and cannot be forged through bullets.”

Clinton also said the United States “stands by the Syrian people and its international rights.”

The United States said on Friday that it was exploring new measures to pressure the government to stop the violence, including a possible war-crimes referral against President al-Assad.

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France, Germany Push UN Resolution Against Syria

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/17/c_13936312.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 17, 2011

Germany, France to push Syria resolution in U.N.

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that Germany will continue its efforts with France to push a resolution on Syria in the U.N. Security Council.

France and Germany want a Security Council resolution on President Bashar al-Assad’s actions against Syrian citizens, saying “the use of violence against the people is unacceptable,” Merkel said at a joint press conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Considering Russia’s reluctance on the issue, she also said the two countries’ U.N. representatives will discuss the situation in Syria with their Russian counterpart.

Sarkozy said Germany and France have agreed to strengthen sanctions against Syria.

“France, hand in hand with Germany, calls for tougher sanctions against Syrian authorities who are conducting intolerable and unacceptable actions and repression against the population,” he said.

Since mid-March, Syria has witnessed unprecedented protests across the country.

Al-Assad who took office in 2000 succeeding his late father, responded to the unrest with a pack of reforms and by resorting to the army to quell mounting protests against his rule.

On Tuesday, France, Italy, Germany, Britain and Portugal proposed a draft resolution, calling for an end to the violence and starting political reforms in Syria.

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Prompt Global Strike: U.S. Conducts Second Hypersonic Aircraft Test

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123260529

American Forces Press Service
June 18, 2011

Second hypersonic flight ends prematurely, brings new flight test data

EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – The X-51A Waverider flew its second test flight at the Point Mugu Naval Air Test Range over the Pacific Ocean June 13, bringing significant hypersonic research data despite a less-than-successful flight.

The hypersonic aircraft was successfully boosted to just over Mach 5 and the scramjet engine lit, but failed to transition to full power.

Air Force Flight Test Center officials said after a flawless flight from Edwards Air Force Base the B-52H Stratofortress aircrew released the experimental vehicle from an altitude of approximately 50,000 feet. The X-51A initially was accelerated by a solid rocket booster to a speed just over Mach 5.

The experimental aircraft’s air breathing scramjet engine lit on ethylene and attempted to transition to JP7 fuel operation when the vehicle experienced an inlet un-start.

The hypersonic vehicle attempted to restart and oriented itself to optimize engine start conditions, but was unsuccessful. The vehicle continued in a controlled flight orientation until it flew into the ocean within the test range.

Boeing and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne built four X-51A flight test vehicles with the program goal of reaching Mach 6 in hypersonic flight. The next flight is tentatively scheduled for this fall.

(Courtesy of 95th Air Base Wing Public Affairs)

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U.S. Guided Missile Warship Headed To Georgian Port

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1893162.html

Trend News Agency
June 18, 2011

U.S. Navy vessel Monterey to arrive in Batumi Port
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: The U.S. Navy vessel Monterey will arrive in Batumi Port on June 22-23.

Monterey operates in the Black Sea basin to conduct joint naval exercises with the countries of the Black Sea basin, the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi told Trend. The vessel is regularly based in the Black Sea region for several years and expresses U.S. support for stability and maritime security in the Black Sea region.

The captain of the vessel, the length of which hits 173 meters, is James Kilby. Some 43 officers and 323 sailors are on board.

Before arriving in the Georgian territorial waters, the U.S. vessel took part in the exercises “Sea Breeze” in the Crimea, which caused the Russian Foreign Ministry’s protests.

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“Georgia Will Surely Join NATO”: Italian NATO Parliamentary Assembly Head

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1893161.html

Trend News Agency
June 18, 2011

Head of Italian delegation to NATO PA: Georgia will surely join NATO
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: Georgia will surely be admitted to NATO, the head of the Italian delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Sergio Di Gregorio, believes.

“Georgia is getting closer to the EU, and no one can weaken its aspiration for Europe,” Di Gregorio said after a meeting with Georgian Parliament Speaker David Bakradze on Friday.

He said those who want destabilization in Georgia, cannot achieve their goal. “It is an important country, which will surely be admitted to NATO,” he said.

The Italian delegation members thanked Georgia for its participation in peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan.

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Azerbaijan: NATO Strengthens Partnership On Caspian Sea

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1893123.html

Trend News Agency
June 17, 2011

NATO interested in further development of partnership with Azerbaijan
K. Zarbaliyeva

Baku: NATO is interested in further development of its partnership with Azerbaijan.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has today received the head of Azerbaijan’s permanent mission to NATO, Ambassador Khazar Ibrahim. Rasmussen expressed the intention to further develop a partnership with Azerbaijan, Azerbaijan’s permanent mission to NATO told Trend.

The Secretary General said an active partnership between Azerbaijan and NATO, as well as Azerbaijan’s merits in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, are commendable.

According to Ibrahim, Azerbaijan has been long and fruitfully cooperating with the Alliance. He also spoke about the country’s efforts to provide learning opportunities which are necessary for Afghanistan. The Ambassador also informed the Secretary General on its assessment of regional issues.

NATO’s cooperation with South Caucasus states – Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia – is mainly carried out within the Partnership for Peace programme, Individual Partnership Action Plan, and Planning and Review Process programme. These documents define the goals and intentions of the partner countries to hold consultations with NATO on reforms in the spheres of defense, security and military policy.

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State Department Holds US-Azerbaijan Security Dialogue In Baku

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=149773

Azeri Press Agency
June 18, 2011

US Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro to visit Azerbaijan on June 24
Isabel Levine

Washington: Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Andrew J. Shapiro is scheduled to visit Azerbaijan the coming week, APA’s Washington DC correspondent was told at the State Department.

Within the framework of the visit to take place June 24-25, Mr. Shapiro will meet with senior civilian and military officials and discuss diplomatic initiatives aimed at meeting shared security challenges, according to the State Department.

Assistant Secretary will lead the US delegation to the US-Azerbaijan Security Dialogue. The Dialogue will focus on international security issues and aim to enhance bilateral cooperation in the areas of maritime security, counterterrorism, border security, and nonproliferation.

Besides Azerbaijan, Shapiro is going to visit France June 19-20 and Germany June 21-22.

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Pakistan Lodges Protest With NATO Over Air Attack

http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/18/protests-lodged-with-nato-kabul.html

Dawn News/Agencies
June 18, 2011

Protests lodged with Nato, Kabul

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan lodged protests with the US and Afghanistan on Friday after it said Nato aircraft attacked one of its military posts in the northwest and militants from Afghan side of the border carried out a strike in the country.

Pakistan expressed “serious concern” to the US embassy and summoned a senior Afghan diplomat over the cross-border attack, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

It said Nato aircraft intruded around 2.5km inside Pakistani territory and attacked a military post.

“A joint inquiry of the incident has also been requested,” it said, without saying when did the incident take place.Local officials said it occurred early on Friday and that a few bombs were dropped but no casualties were reported.

Separately, Pakistan summoned Afghan ambassador in Islamabad Majnoon Gulab to the Foreign Ministry and lodged the protest over the attack by “100-150 terrorists” on three border villages in Bajaur on Thursday.

Several hundred militants crossed from Afghanistan and targeted civilians in the Mamond area of Bajaur, killing five people.

The Afghan diplomat was “summoned to the foreign office today. A strong demarche was lodged with him on the incident, which took place on June 16,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tehmina Janjua said in a statement.

The Afghan diplomat was told that “terrorists crossed the border with Afghanistan and attacked three Pakistani villages in Bajaur”.

She said the diplomat was told of the “serious concern of the government of Pakistan. The government of Afghanistan was asked to prevent such cross-border incidents from occurring in the future.”

Afghan officials had denied that any cross-border attack had taken place and accused Pakistani troops of killing six people in a rocket strike on Wednesday.

It was the third attack reportedly carried out by militants in northwest part of the country this month.

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62nd French Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/19/c_13937432.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 19, 2011

62nd French soldier killed in Afghanistan

PARIS: A French soldier was killed by local militants on Saturday in Afghanistan, marking the 62nd death of French servicemen in the central Asian country since 2001, the Elysee Palace confirmed in a statement.

The soldier was fatally wounded by local insurgents’ gunfire while conducting a reconnaissance mission on foot in Kapisa, the statement said.

The statement reaffirmed France’s support to Afghan authorities and people, saying France is determined to work with the U.S.-led International Force for Security Assistance to restore stability in the war-torn country.

Around 4,000 French soldiers are deployed to Afghanistan mainly in the district of Surobi and Kapisa province in the east of the country.

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Four Spanish Soldiers Injured In Afghan Attack

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/afghanistan/1893477.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
June 19, 2011

Four Spanish soldiers and interpreter injured in Afghanistan

Four Spanish soldiers and their interpreter were injured Saturday when their armoured vehicle hit an explosive device in Afghanistan, Defence Ministry sources said in Madrid, dpa reported.

The five were on a reconnaissance patrol near Ludina in north-western Badghis province.

Three of the victims suffered serious injuries. Two of them – a lieutenant and a female soldier – each had to have a leg amputated.

The vehicle had been designed to resist explosions. But the shielding was overwhelmed by the large amount of explosives contained in the device, media reported.

Spain has about 1,500 troops in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

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NATO Deploys First Slovak Special Forces To Afghanistan

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110618/164692718.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 18, 2011

Slovakia to send 20 special services officers to Afghanistan

Warsaw: Slovakia will send 20 special services officers to Afghanistan for the first time since the U.S.-led international coalition began its operation against Taliban a decade ago, the Slovak TASR news agency has reported quoting the country’s defense minister.

The soldiers, who will join the 346 Slovak troops already serving in the war-torn southern Central Asian country, will be involved both in special operations and in training Afghan security officers, Lubomir Galko was quoted as saying.

The Slovak troops are currently deployed in Kabul and the volatile southern province of Kandahar.

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Germans To Build Combat Training Center In Russia

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/18/52033130.html

Voice of Russia
June 18, 2011

Germans to build army training centre in Nizhny Novgorod

An army combat training center will be built in Nizhny Novgorod region by German experts. The relevant contract was signed in Germany by the Russian Defense Ministry chief Anatoly Serdyukov.

The minister said the new center will enhance quality and speed of military training, as well as cut down on budget and ammunition.

The centre will begin operating from mid-2014. The Minister expressed hope that by that year, there will not have appeared any such similar centers in the world, and the Russian center “would be the most impressive and sophisticated.”

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Cyberspace Should Be Platform For Peace, Not Battleground

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-06/18/c_13937226.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 18, 2011

Cyberspace should be platform for peace, not battleground
By Zhang Xiaojun

BEIJING: The United States recently took a series of aggressive actions related to the Internet, targeting other governments rather than terrorists or criminals.

These moves have undermined global trust, which is critical to build international consensus and carry out a coordinated policy response on cyberspace safety issues.

The United States is playing a “cat-and-mouse game” on the web, said Michael Posner, U.S. assistant secretary of state in charge of human rights, on May 10, adding the government would spend 19 million U.S. dollars to develop new tools to break online firewalls erected by other states.

“If you (a country) shut down our power grid (through the Internet), maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks,” an unnamed U.S. military official told the Wall Street Journal in late May, regardless of the fact that the hackers’ attack may have its origins in another country rather than the place where the smokestacks are located in.

Furthermore, British media reported that the United States was developing non-English software that will allow it to secretly manipulate social media to influence Internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

These moves, disrespectful of the sovereignty of other nations, have aroused the legitimate concern of other governments. The Internet has been an important platform for the global economy after its fast growth during the last 30 years. It is not surprising that few countries want to solely depend on a single state to maintain Internet safety and that most stakeholders expect a balance of power in cyberspace.

The U.S. unilateral actions to expand its online arsenal and flex muscles may push other players to resort to both offensive and defensive technology in cyberspace. And a cyber arms race could end up in a lose-lose situation, in which countries attack each other’s essential systems and the Internet would be fragmented, instead of forming one big cyber community.

In fact, governments, companies, organizations and individuals are all facing safety challenges on the Internet now. By effectively addressing the disputes, the priority of cyberspace governance should be to find common ground, build international consensus and encourage concerted efforts among stakeholders. Also, international cooperation on the Internet is possible since we all call for cracking down on cybercrime.

As in other areas, international cooperation in cyberspace has to be based on global trust, which helps stakeholders overcome the differences in cultures, ideologies and goals.

However, the United States, the only superpower in cyberspace like in the traditional domains, still seems to be stuck in a Cold War mentality. Instead of helping to make cyberspace an area where different countries can safely and peacefully interact, the United States has helped transform it into yet another battleground.

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Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Incorporates Libyan Experience For Global War Template

June 18, 2011 2 comments

Stop NATO
June 18, 2011

NATO Incorporates Libyan Experience For Global War Template
Rick Rozoff

As the West’s war against Libya has entered its fourth month and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has flown more than 11,000 missions, including 4,300 strike sorties, over the small nation, the world’s only military bloc is already integrating lessons learned from the conflict into its international model of military intervention based on earlier wars in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq.

What NATO refers to as Operation Unified Protector has provided the Alliance the framework in which to continue recruiting Partnership for Peace adjuncts like Sweden and Malta, Istanbul Cooperation Initiative affiliates Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates and Mediterranean Dialogue partnership members Jordan and Morocco into the bloc’s worldwide warfighting network. Sweden, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates also have military personnel assigned to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in the nearly ten-year-long war in Afghanistan. In the first case, troops from the Scandinavian nation has been engaged in their first combat role, killing and being killed, in two centuries in Afghanistan and has provided eight warplanes for the attack on Libya, with marine forces to soon follow.

The military conflicts waged and other interventions conducted by the United States and its NATO allies over the past twelve years – in and against Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Macedonia, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan and Libya – have contributed to the American military budget more than doubling in the past decade and U.S. arms exports almost quintupling in the same period.

The Pentagon and NATO are currently concluding the Sea Breeze 2011 naval exercise in the Black Sea off the coast of Ukraine, near the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet based in Sebastopol. Participants include the U.S., Britain, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Macedonia, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey and host nation Ukraine. All but Algeria and Moldova are Troop Contributing Nations for NATO’s Afghan war. The once-annual maneuvers resumed again last year after the Ukrainian parliament banned them in 2009. This year’s exercise was arranged on the initiative of chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen. Last year’s Sea Breeze drills, the largest in the Black Sea, included 20 naval vessels, 13 aircraft and more than 1,600 military personnel from the U.S., Azerbaijan, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey and Ukraine.

This year the guided missile cruiser USS Monterey joined the exercise. The warship is the first deployed to the Mediterranean, and now the Black, Sea for the Pentagon’s Phased Adaptive Approach interceptor missile program, one which in upcoming years will include at least 40 Standard Missile-3 interceptors in Poland and Romania and on Aegis class destroyers and cruisers in the Mediterranean, Black and Baltic Seas. Upgraded versions of the missile, the Block IB, Block IIA and Block IIB, are seen by Russian political analysts and military commanders as threats to Russia’s long-range missiles and as such to the nation’s strategic potential.

As former Indian diplomat M K Bhadrakumar wrote in a recent column:

“Without doubt, the US is stepping up pressure on Russia’s Black Sea fleet. The US’s provocation is taking place against the backdrop of the turmoil in Syria. Russia is stubbornly blocking US attempts to drum up a case for Libya-style intervention in Syria. Moscow understands that a major reason for the US to push for regime change in Syria is to get the Russian naval base in that country wound up.

“The Syrian base is the only toehold Russia has in the Mediterranean region. The Black Sea Fleet counts on the Syrian base for sustaining any effective Mediterranean presence by the Russian navy. With the establishment of US military bases in Romania and the appearance of the US warship in the Black Sea region, the arc of encirclement is tightening.”

USS Monterey, whose presence in the Black Sea has been criticized as a violation of the 1936 Montreux Convention, will return to the Mediterranean where the U.S.’s newest nuclear supercarrier, USS George H.W. Bush, and its carrier strike group with 9,000 service members and an air wing of 70 aircraft is also present, having recently visited U.S. Naval Forces Europe/Africa and Sixth Fleet headquarters in Naples, Italy, due north of Libya.

Last week the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan engaged in a certification exercise with its French counterpart FS Tonnerre in the Mediterranean. The U.S. Navy website stated that the certification “will provide Tonnerre with additional flexibility during their support to NATO-led Operation Unified Protector,” the codename for the Alliance’s war against Libya. The USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group includes an estimated 2,000 Marines from the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit and dozens of warplanes and attack and other helicopters, and is poised for action in Libya and, if the pattern holds, Syria.

The U.S. and NATO allies and partners – Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey – conducted the Phoenix Express 2011 maritime exercise in the Eastern and Central Mediterranean from June 1-15, which included maneuvers in support of the U.S.’s global Proliferation Security Initiative.

Also earlier this month NATO held this year’s Northern Viking air and naval exercise, the latest in a series of biennial drills under that name, in Iceland with 450 NATO military members from the U.S., Denmark, Iceland, Italy and Norway. The United States European Command website cited the Norwegian detachment commander saying, “exercises like [Northern Viking 2011] allowed the pilots to prepare for real-world scenarios, like Operation Odyssey Dawn,” the name for the Western military campaign in Libya from March 19-30.

This week NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited Britain and Spain, meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague in the first country and Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez and Defence Minister Carme Chacon in the second.

While in London Rasmussen focused on the wars in Libyan and Afghanistan, both under NATO command, and promoted the implementation of the European wing of the U.S. international interceptor missile system.

Perhaps in part responding to the dressing down NATO member states had recently received by the person Rasmussen truly, if unofficially, has to account to – U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates – he boasted:

“NATO is more needed and wanted than ever, from Afghanistan to Kosovo, from the coast of Somalia to Libya. We are busier than ever before.”

In Spain he addressed the nation’s upper house of parliament in a speech titled “NATO and the Mediterranean: the changes ahead” and, according to the bloc’s website, emphasized “NATO’s changing role in the Mediterranean, particularly focusing on Operation Unified Protector and NATO’s future role in the region.” He also pledged that “we can help the Arab Spring well and truly blossom.” Libya and Syria, tomorrow Algeria and Lebanon, come to mind as the objects of NATO’s false solicitude, and Egypt and Tunisia too, as Rasmussen has already mentioned, in regard to NATO training their militaries and rebuilding their command structures in accordance with Alliance standards, as is being done in Iraq.

The war against Libya, NATO’s first armed conflict in the Mediterranean and on the African continent, is solidifying control of the Mediterranean already established by the ongoing Operation Active Endeavor surveillance and interdiction mission launched in 2001 under NATO’s Article 5 collective military assistance provision.

While Rasmussen was in Britain, Russian ambassador to NATO Dmitri Rogozin said that the Atlantic Alliance “is being drawn into a ground operation,” and asserted “The war in Libya means…the beginning of its expansion south.”

Two days before, the U.S. and NATO completed Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2011, which included 20 ships from eleven European nations and the flagship of the Mediterranean-based U.S. Sixth Fleet, USS Mount Whitney, other American warships and Commander, Carrier Strike Group 8.

Concurrently in the Baltic Sea, the 11-day Amber Hope 2011 exercise was launched in Lithuania on June 13 with the participation of 2,000 military personnel from NATO members the U.S., Canada, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Poland and Partnership for Peace members Georgia and Finland. Former Soviet republics and Partnership for Peace affiliates Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Ukraine are attending as observers.

The second phase of the exercise will begin on June 19 and, according to the Lithuanian Defense Ministry, “troops will follow an established scenario based on lessons learnt by Lithuanian and foreign states in Afghanistan, Iraq and off the Somali coast,” in the last case an allusion to NATO’s ongoing Operation Ocean Shield. The bloc has also airlifted thousands of Ugandan and Burundian troops into Somalia for fighting in the capital of Mogadishu.

Earlier this week NATO also held a conference with military officials of 60 member and partner states in Belgrade, Serbia, which was bombed repeatedly by NATO warplanes 12 years ago, also focusing on the bloc’s current three-month-long war in Libya.

The Strategic Military Partner Conference was addressed by, inter alia, French General Stephane Abrial, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation based in Norfolk, Virginia, who said, “I’m convinced that the operation in Libya will be successful,” though conceding that the hostilities may be prolonged well into the future in his opening statement.

The Black Sea Rotational Force, a Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force, followed military training exercises in Romania with a two-week exercise in Bulgaria on June 13 with troops from the host nation and, for the first time, Serbia on one of the four air and infantry bases in the country the Pentagon has moved into since 2006. The earlier training in Romania was at one of another four bases acquired in that nation.

The local press reported that most of the U.S. Marines involved arrived at the Novo Selo Range “straight from Afghanistan” on Hercules-C-130 transport aircraft.

Lieutenant Colonel Nelson Cardella of the U.S. Marine Corps said of the drills, “Our troops will be trained to improve the interoperability of our staffs” for the Afghan and future wars.

Bulgaria’s Standart News announced that “next year the Black Sea Rotational Force exercise will take place in Serbia.”

The mission of the Black Sea Rotational Force, formed last year, is to integrate the armed forces of twelve nations in the Balkans, Black Sea region and Caucasus – Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine – through NATO for deployment to Afghanistan and other war zones and post-conflict situations.

Each of the wars the U.S. and its NATO allies have waged since 1999 has gained the Pentagon and the Alliance new military bases and expeditionary contingents in subjugated and adjoining nations in Southeastern Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean and Persian Gulf, and South and Central Asia.

Just as the Yugoslav, Afghan and Iraqi wars contributed to developing a U.S.-led NATO international military intervention capability for use against Libya today, so the Libyan experience is being employed for future conflicts.

Categories: Uncategorized

Halldór Laxness: In war there is no cause except the cause of war. A bitter disappointment when it turned out they could defend themselves

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

Halldór Laxness
From Under the Glacier (1968)
Translated by Magnús Magnússon

Embi: You sound as though you’re from America. Why have you come here?

Saknussemm II: We brothers are life-inducers. (NB: He actually said “bioinductors,” a word the undersigned has never heard before or seen in print. I hope this man is not a professor from Los Angeles.) We have come here to bioinduct Snæfellsjökull.

Embi: By killing birds?

Saknussemm II: Killing birds is a game, like war.

Embi: Why do you Americans travel to foreign countries in order to kill birds?

Saknussemm II: War has always been the chief amusement of humankind. Other amusements are a surrogate for war. What are the Olympic Games? Bullshit.

Embi: It is monstrous to amuse oneself by killing defenseless creatures.

Saknussemm II: It has always been popular to attack the weak. A great temptation to take them on – no matter whether they are white, black, or red. A bitter disappointment when it turned out they could defend themselves; tragic, it’s like pricking oneself on a rose.

Embi: Attacking the weak is considered cowardly and contemptible here in this country!

Saknussemm II: …Of all the creatures that man kills for his amusement there is only one he kills out of hatred – other men. Man hates nothing as much as himself. That is why war is called the leprosy of the human soul.

*****

Saknussemm II: … Why do we Americans travel halfway across the globe with the most complex guns in the history of the world to shoot naked peasants in a country we don’t even know? It is because we love these people as ourselves. We adore them. We gladly pay a million dollars to be able to shoot one peasant. We are prepared to spend the last gold coin in our treasury to be allowed to shoot a peasant.

Embi: I would advise you not to say that out loud.

Saknussemm II: You do not understand us because you forget in the depths of our souls we ourselves are naked peasants far beyond unknown oceans. We yearn to kill the naked peasant within ourselves. It is our belief that he who kills a naked peasant with a complex gun is the world’s greatest.

Saknussemm II: …In war there is no cause except the cause of war and that is to have a war…

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 17, 2011

June 16, 2011 4 comments

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Italy Wants NATO To Block African Migrants

Canadian Warplanes Join NATO Raids On Tripoli

War On Libya: Canada’s Parliament Endorses Military Escalation

NATO Partner Sweden Extends Libyan War Role By Three Months

NATO’s Libyan War: 11,387 Air Missions, 4,307 Strike Sorties

Libya: “The Right To Protect” Has Triggered A Humanitarian Disaster

U.S. Interceptor Missiles In Europe: Approaching Point Of No Return

Video And Text: Russia And China Can Build New World Order Versus U.S. And NATO

NATO To Help Arab Revolts “Blossom”: Rasmussen

U.S. Strengthens Ties With Syrian Insurgents

Russia Backs SCO Observer Status For Afghanistan

Georgian Opposition Asks U.S. Ambassador To Leave Country

Lithuania: NATO Holds Multinational War Games Based On Afghan, Iraqi And Somali Scenarios

U.S. Marines Leave Afghanistan For Bulgarian War Games, Serbia Next

Afghan War: Thirty NATO Soldiers Killed So Far This Month

NATO Aircraft Attack Pakistani Military Post

Pakistani Delegation Visits NATO Headquarters, SHAPE

U.S. Ambassador: NATO’s Door Open For Azerbaijan

U.S. Seventh Fleet Continues Integration Of Indonesian Navy

East Timor: U.S. Pacific Partnership, NATO Allies Hold “Humanitarian” Drills

Nuclear NATO Holds Weapons Of Mass Destruction, Non-Proliferation Conference

Poland And Hungary Are U.S. Military Strongholds In Europe: Belarus

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Italy Wants NATO To Block African Migrants

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1646140.php/Italy-may-ask-NATO-to-block-migrants-trying-to-flee-Libya

Deustche Presse-Agentur
June 17, 2011

Italy may ask NATO to block migrants trying to flee Libya

Rome/Brussels: Italy is considering asking NATO to extend its naval blockade in Libya to prevent migrants from reaching the country’s shores, Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said Friday.

‘I think it could be possible to intervene immediately by, for example, asking NATO, which is deploying ships in front of the Libyan coast to prevent goods from reaching Libya, to also block the (migrant) exits,’ Maroni was quoted as saying by the ANSA news agency.

Since March, when the ongoing conflict between rebels and forces loyal to leader Moamer Gaddafi began, thousands of mostly sub-Saharan African migrants have fled Libya for Italy – many of them arriving on the tiny island of Lampedusa.

Maroni was speaking ahead of a weekend mass rally by his party, the anti-immigration Northern League, which is the junior partner in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right government.

Italy is taking part in NATO’s military intervention in Libya…

However, the Northern League has repeatedly questioned the NATO mission, warning that it could result in an increase in migrant arrivals in Italy.

The party has recently complained about Berlusconi’s agenda following a string of electoral defeats by the ruling coalition.

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Canadian Warplanes Join NATO Raids On Tripoli

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1010342–canadian-jet-fighters-join-nato-raids-on-tripoli-target-armoured-vehicles

Canadian Press
June 16, 2011

Canadian jet fighters join NATO raids on Tripoli, target armoured vehicles
Mike Blanchfield

OTTAWA: Canadian warplanes have bombed the Libyan capital of Tripoli, the military confirmed Thursday.

CF-18 jet fighters took part in four days of targeted strikes over last weekend, said Col. Alain Pelletier, who commands Canada’s air contingent in Italy.

“I cannot say whether or not we got close to a specific person or not, unfortunately.”

The Canadian jets were involved in day and night raids on Tripoli, which has recently been the focus of more intense NATO bombing.

It’s the first time the Canadian Forces has given specific details about the CF-18s involvement in NATO’s stepped-up attacks on Tripoli. The military refused to confirm participation in the Tripoli offensive at its last briefing in late May, citing the need to protect operational security.

The Tripoli attacks have sparked criticism in some quarters that NATO is straying from the United Nations resolution that has authorized the mission by targeting Gadhafi directly.

Canadian jets had to be recalled to one target because the laser-targeting system on an allied jet failed. They were able to reset the required laser coordinates to help finish the attack, said Pelletier.

“It was a great demonstration of interoperability of our equipment and tactics with our partners.”

Canada has seven fighter jets taking part in the NATO-led bombardment, along with a warship, surveillance planes and aerial refuellers, some 650 military personnel in all.

As the mission enters its third month, Pelletier said the vote in Parliament this week that extended the mission to the end of September was a morale boost to Canadian personnel.

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War On Libya: Canada’s Parliament Endorses Military Escalation

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=25301

Global Research
June 16, 2011

The War on Libya: Canada’s Parliament Endorses Military Escalation
by Michel Chossudovsky

While the US Congress questions the legitimacy of the war on Libya, the Canadian parliament with one dissenting voice, votes in favor of extending Canada’s participation in an illegal and criminal military undertaking:

On Tuesday, after Canada recognized the NTC as Libya’s legitimate government, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said the rebels are the true representatives of the Libyan population and will therefore be a critical player in Canada’s efforts to provide assistance.

“Our government will engage with the institutions and representatives of the NTC,” Baird told Parliament on Tuesday before the evening vote. “I will be seeking a meeting with my counterparts on the NTC.

“We will identify members of the NTC responsible for domestic issues and propose meetings with their Canadian counterparts. We will also happily arrange meetings between NTC members and honourable members of this place.”

The announcement also came hot on the heels of Ottawa’s new commitment of $2 million in humanitarian assistance to civilians in Libya.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May was the only dissenting MP to vote against the extension of the mission for three-and-a-half months. (CTV, June 15, 2011)

The broader implications of this “humanitarian war” and Ottawa’s role in the US-NATO military alliance, not to mention the cost of this military operation to Canadian taxpayers has been barely mentioned in Canada’s media.

The New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Bloc Quebecois, which claim to be “progressive’ and “anti-war”, have given a blank cheque to the US-NATO sponsored war in North Africa.

We call upon the rank and file of all major political parties (except the Green Party) to question this diabolical political “consensus” in favor of war. Contact your MP. Raise this issue at the local level.

How could a party committed to the tenets of democracy such as the NDP endorse the continuation of a bombing campaign which is now in its third month, on the grounds that “civilian lives must be protected”?

Since when are civilian lives protected by B-2 Stealth Bombers and F-16 Fighter Jets?

There is ample evidence that this war has resulted in countless deaths and atrocities. The country’s civilian infrastructure is being destroyed.

And now NATO is preparing to launch a ground war in derogation of Libya’s sovereignty.

In substance, Canada has granted its support to the landing of NATO troops in Libya, virtually without debate.

When war is heralded as a mission of peace within the Canadian parliament, the very foundations of Canadian democracy are threatened.

Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party is the only committed anti-war voice in our House of Commons.

When the lie becomes the truth and war presented is presented as peace, there is no turning backwards.

The war on Libya is an integral part of the broader military agenda in the Middle East and Central Asia which until recently consisted of three distinct areas of conflict : Afghanistan and Pakistan (the AfPak War), Iraq, Palestine.

A fourth war theater has opened up in North Africa, which raises the issue of escalation over a vast geographical area.

These four war theaters are interrelated. They are part of a broader region of conflict, which extends from North Africa and the Middle East, engulfing a large part of the Mediterranean basin, to China’s Western frontier with Afghanistan, and Northern Pakistan.

We call upon people across Canada, from coast to coast, to challenge the decision of the House of Commons as well as question the legitimacy of this diabolical military agenda, carried out in our name.

Similarly, we must challenge Canada’s corporate media which has deliberately obfuscated the causes and consequences of the war on Libya.

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Defence Minister MacKay defends Libya extension

CTV.ca , June 15, 2011

One day after Parliament voted overwhelmingly to extend Canada’s mission to Libya by several months, Defence Minister Peter MacKay acknowledged many questions remain around what a future democratic government might look like in Libya.

Canada is part of a NATO mission that began in February to enforce a no-fly zone and protect civilians, but that has ultimately become a mission to remove leader Moammar Gadhafi from power.

Canada announced on Tuesday it was formally recognizing the rebel National Transitional Council as the legitimate government of Libya.

There have been questions, however, about who comprises the NTC and what its longterm goals for Libya might be.

MacKay told CTV’s Canada AM on Tuesday “there are still some unknowns” when it comes to the disparate rebel group, but the decision to back the NTC was the right one.

“Democracy isn’t always, shall we say, clearly defined,” MacKay told CTV’s Canada AM on Wednesday.

“But it is a reaction to the people of Libya who were in the streets, and as we’ve seen in other countries throughout the region they wanted a change. They were no logger going to accept the repression, the violence that their own government was perpetrating against them.”

Canada got involved in Libya under the premise of protecting civilians. The goal has now shifted dramatically, with Canada taking part in air strikes against compounds belonging to Gadhafi and his loyalists.

MacKay said that achieving the United Nations’ long-term goals for Libya, such as ensuring the safety of the population and allowing humanitarian aid to enter the country, can only occur after Gadhafi is removed.

“We are trying to attempt to stop an atrocity, that is what we are there to do,” MacKay said.

“We are there to protect human life and to allow this transitional council to do what they have to do to bring about a kind of functioning and stable society so that they can go forward without living under the heel of Gadhafi.”

Canada currently has 650 military personnel in the region, many of them aboard the HMCS Charlottetown.

Canada has so far spent about $23 million on the mission, but the cost could climb to an estimated $60 million if Canada remains in Libya until the end of September.

On Tuesday, after Canada recognized the NTC as Libya’s legitimate government, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said the rebels are the true representatives of the Libyan population and will therefore be a critical player in Canada’s efforts to provide assistance.

The policy echoes similar announcements from Germany and Australia in recent days, as more countries join the growing list of governments that officially recognize the rebels.

France, Spain, Italy, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have also formally recognized the council.

“Our government will engage with the institutions and representatives of the NTC,” Baird told Parliament on Tuesday before the evening vote. “I will be seeking a meeting with my counterparts on the NTC.

“We will identify members of the NTC responsible for domestic issues and propose meetings with their Canadian counterparts. We will also happily arrange meetings between NTC members and honourable members of this place.”

The announcement also came hot on the heels of Ottawa’s new commitment of $2 million in humanitarian assistance to civilians in Libya.

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May was the only dissenting MP to vote against the extension of the mission for three-and-a-half months.

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NATO Partner Sweden Extends Libyan War Role By Three Months

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1892994.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
June 17, 2011

Sweden extends participation in NATO Libya mission

The Swedish parliament Friday agreed to extend Sweden’s participation in NATO-led operations in Libya by three months, DPA reported.

As a result, five JAS Gripen jet fighters are to be deployed for reconnaissance missions, compared to the eight that Sweden contributed in April to help patrol a no-fly zone approved by the United Nations Security Council.

Sweden was also to contribute a marine boarding force.

The decision was backed by a broad majority in the legislature comprising the four parties in the centre-right minority government and the opposition Social Democrats and Greens.

The opposition Left Party and nationalist Sweden Democrats opposed extending the mission.

Just as under the terms of the previous parliamentary approval, Swedish jets are not allowed to attack ground targets.

Sweden is not a NATO member.

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NATO’s Libyan War: 11,387 Air Missions, 4,307 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_06/20110617_110617-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 17, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 11387 sorties, including 4307 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 16 JUNE: 146

Strike sorties conducted 16 JUNE: 51

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Libya: “The Right To Protect” Has Triggered A Humanitarian Disaster

http://williambowles.info/2011/06/16/william-hague-following-in-churchills-footsteps-by-william-bowles/

williambowles.info
June 16, 2011

Libya: “The Right to Protect” has Triggered a Humanitarian Disaster
The Legacy of Winston Churchill
by William Bowles

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“I do not understand this sqeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes.” — Winston Churchill 1920

****

Now let me get this straight: In order to save civilian lives (the infamous ‘Right to Protect’), the Empire, through its Rottweiller NATO, not only deindustrializes Libya but it also causes a mass exodus of refugees hundreds of whom drowned and many thousands more were left stranded, attacked and abused.

The Pirates attempted to assassinate Gaddafi but succeeded in killing women and children instead. The Pirates bomb educational infrastructure, communications, power, agriculture and terrorize the population from the air and sea with the combined military might of the most powerful countries on the planet. So this is what humanitarian intervention looks like?

The reality of it is that in the ‘good old days’ they made no bones about the issue of keeping the natives in their place, phrases like humanitarian intervention would have made Churchill laugh. Though perhaps, just as with our current leaders and its lapdog mass media, Churchill would have appreciated the propaganda value of ‘humanitarian intervention for domestic audiences.

And after all, the Libyans, Iraqis, Afghanis, Pakistanis, Somalians, Yemenis and Serbians don’t need to be told what ‘humanitarian intervention’ really is.

Check out the following to get an idea of how the Pirates viewed the ‘peasants’ back in 1920:

“On 19 February, 1920, before the start of the Arab uprising, Churchill (then Secretary for War and Air) wrote to Sir Hugh Trenchard, the pioneer of air warfare. Would it be possible for Trenchard to take control of Iraq? This would entail “the provision of some kind of asphyxiating bombs calculated to cause disablement of some kind but not death…for use in preliminary operations against turbulent tribes.”

“Churchill was in no doubt that gas could be profitably employed against the Kurds and Iraqis (as well as against other peoples in the Empire): “I do not understand this sqeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poison gas against uncivilised tribes.” Henry Wilson shared Churchill’s enthusiasm for gas as an instrument of colonial control but the British cabinet was reluctant to sanction the use of a weapon that had caused such misery and revulsion in the First World War. Churchill himself was keen to argue that gas, fired from ground-based guns or dropped from aircraft, would cause “only discomfort or illness, but not death” to dissident tribespeople; but his optimistic view of the effects of gas were mistaken. It was likely that the suggested gas would permanently damage eyesight and “kill children and sickly persons, more especially as the people against whom we intend to use it have no medical knowledge with which to supply
antidotes.”

“Churchill remained unimpressed by such considerations, arguing that the use of gas, a “scientific expedient,” should not be prevented “by the prejudices of those who do not think clearly”. In the event, gas was used against the Iraqi rebels with excellent moral effect “though gas shells were not dropped from aircraft because of practical difficulties.”

‘British Use of Chemical Weapons in Iraq’

So what’s the difference between the Pirates of today and those of yesteryear? None as far as I can see, all that’s changed is that these days, our rulers have to be more prudent and work a lot harder to sell us the idea of recolonization, disguising the entire sordid affair as ‘humanitarian intervention’. And, if it wasn’t for the direct collusion between the Pirates and the media, I’m certain it would be a lot more difficult to pull off such an outrageous stunt.

To bring it up to date, Churchill’s modern-day equivalent, British foreign secretary William Hague would no doubt be saying that the use of ‘bunker buster’ bombs on the people of Libya was a ‘scientific expedient’, though no doubt we’ll have to wait fifty years (if at all) before we get to read Hague’s private thoughts on the subject.

And what’s more, Churchill’s view that “only discomfort or illness, but not death” would result parallels the current notion that ‘precision targeting’ and ‘smart weapons’ somehow know the difference between military combatant and civilian. Aside from the sheer imbecility of the idea, it is, just as with ‘humanitarian intervention’, designed to make the notion of blowing people to bits, more palatable to domestic audiences.

In the meantime, we’ll have to make do with the BBC’s view of ‘humanitarian intervention’. In a puff piece for the invasion, the BBC tells us that following a visit to Benghazi William Hague was “‘inspired’ by Libyan rebels”. The piece goes on:

“”But we are also encouraging the National Transitional Council to put more flesh on their proposed transition, to lay out in more detail this coming week what would happen on the day that Gaddafi went. Who would be running what, how a new government would be formed.””– ‘William Hague ‘inspired’ by Libyan rebels’, BBC Website, 5 June 2011.

Hague’s statement that he needs to know “Who would be running what, [and] how [would] a new government be formed”? reveals the real nature of the invasion and especially of the Empire’s view of its so-called allies in Benghazi.

The bottom line is that in the ninety years that has passed since Churchill ranted on about gassing “uncivilized tribes” not a damn thing has changed except the language used to describe and justify such barbarism. The BBC is quite at home glorifying the use of such gruesome weapons as the following ‘news’ items illustrate:

The addition of 2,000lb “bunker busting” bombs to the weaponry of the Royal Air Force is set to boost capabilities for missions over Libya, the Ministry of Defence. BBC News 29/05/2011

How easily the warfare state’s mantras roll off the BBC’s slick tongue. Blowing people up is now “boost[ing] capabilities for missions”. Any idea that this means blowing people to pieces has been surgically removed by the slick media meisters in the BBC’s propaganda/editorial department, espousing views that would not be out-of-place in the England of the 1920s (or even the 1820s!).

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U.S. Interceptor Missiles In Europe: Approaching Point Of No Return

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/17/52011101.html

Voice of Russia
June 17, 2011

US ABMs in Europe – moving to the point of no return
Alexander Vatutin

-“The real goal of the establishment of the anti-missile defense system in Europe is not limited to the prevention of Iran’s missile threat. First of all, it concerns Russia’s missile nuclear potential and Russia’s long-range missiles. Now Americans are developing the idea of a global strike.”

The United States welcomes cooperation with Russia but will sign no agreements which would limit its missile defense options, Under Secretary of State Ellen Tauscher said. She made it clear that Moscow’s appeal to sign a juridically binding agreement that the anti-missile system in Europe is not targeted against Russia has been left unheard.

The high-ranking US diplomat took part in a conference on anti-missile defense issues in London, sponsored by the Royal College of Defense Studies. Mrs. Tauscher said that the US sees several spheres for cooperation with Russia on the anti-ballistic missile system (ABM) but did not elaborate.

The US and its allies in NATO consider the very fact that they invited Russia to cooperate on ABM as guarantees of the protection of its interests. But in reality it is different. Indeed, the first stage of the establishment of the anti-missile system in Europe implies no threat for Russia but after 2018 it is planned to deploy SM-3 Block IIB systems capable of intercepting intercontinental missiles and this will mean “the point of no return”, making Russia’s nuclear deterrence potentially vulnerable, Deputy Head of the Institute of the US and Canada Pavel Zolotarev says.

“The real goal of the establishment of the anti-missile defense system in Europe is not limited to the prevention of Iran’s missile threat. First of all, it concerns Russia’s missile nuclear potential and Russia’s long-range missiles. Now Americans are developing the idea of a global strike.”

This is what Moscow plans to avoid, proposing to divide Europe into sectors of responsibility within the single European ABM system.

But NATO does not want any division, referring to the 5th point [Article 5] of the Washington Treaty adopted back in 1949. It implies that the defense of the member-counties of NATO is ensured by the means and forces of its members.

The treaty was adopted in the context of a strong military and political standoff between the communist and ant-communist blocs and now it is an anachronism. But the US and its allies don’t want to see this. As a result, we a have a dead-locked situation because of disagreements in principle, according to Russia’s Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov. How can these disagreements be overcome? Here is the point of view of Vladimir Yevseyev, a political analyst and head of the Center of Political Studies.

“The way out for Russia is to create its own system of anti-missile defense. In this case, regardless of the interpretation of point 5 of NATO’s Charter or the presence of anti-Russian sentiments in the US, Poland or any other country the compatibility of military systems will become a necessity. But this could be the first step to the creation of a single system of the antimissile defense in Europe.”

So far we still have some time to come to an agreement. Otherwise the point of no return may push the world back to the epoch of the Cold War and the threat of nuclear weapons’ use will increase many times. In the 21st century with its threat of global terrorism, competition for the possession of nuclear resources and political radicalism this is simply inacceptable.

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Video And Text: Russia And China Can Build New World Order Versus U.S. And NATO

http://rt.com/news/russian-chinese-relations-expert/

RT
June 16, 2011

Russia and China can build new world order – political scientist

Video

As the leaders of two of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing emerging economies meet in Moscow, political analysts predict the strategic co-operation between the two nations could shift the balance of power in the world.

“I believe the world is now at a historic crossroads,” Dr Kiyul Chung told RT. “Or some may say the world is at the brink of either being subdued or overcoming the US/NATO military intervention in Libya, [which is] now moving possibly to Syria or even to Iran, if Russia and China, or [the] Shanghai Co-operation Organization are [too] weak to stop US-led NATO military aggression in [the] North African region So I hope Russia and China [can] lead this new global movement to balance the power in the world, so they can build new world order where no more unilateral, aggressive or even colonial methodology [is] being put into a sovereign nation such as Libya.”

“China-Russia trade and economic relationship and huge development between the two nations, I believe, is not only impacting the European continent, but also the global scene,” added Dr Kiyul Chung. “This economic and trade relationship is not limited only to economy, it is also a strategic relationship. So, it is going to have a huge impact on the world.”

­US are jealous of Russian-Chinese ties – political analyst

Chairman of the Russian-Chinese Centre of Trade and Economic Co-operation Sergey Sanakoev believes that China is one of the places where the real economy of the future lies, and choosing Beijing as Russia’s leading trade partner was a wise decision.

“We think that with this country we have a lot of opportunities. We are going to deal with China,” he said.

He agrees that this growing Russia-China alliance could become a threat to the economic and political interests of the US and its allies.

“I think that the US and China in the modern world are competitors,” he said. “And certainly, [the] US is a little bit jealous when they see how Russia and China co-operate.”

He also believes there is a possibility that US could try to hamper Russian-Chinese relationship at some point.

“China and US are the biggest economies in the world,” he explained. “And may be sometime they will have something like G2.”

As Russia, China and key Central Asian states were meeting once again for what is known as the Shanghai Co-operation Organization, some concerns arose about this group rivaling NATO in the future.

Sergey Sanakoev believes SCO is already a serious opponent to NATO in the region.

“[The] Shanghai Organization is already playing big role in the world,” he said. “And certainly the leaders of our countries also have intents to be original leaders in this area, and they do their best to show it to the whole world.”

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NATO To Help Arab Revolts “Blossom”: Rasmussen

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gb31jylqzI9Rsc4s21cTLzC7SLiA?docId=CNG.ec984e6b8c6fcefd728e15e284d2a12c.541

Agence France-Presse
June 16, 2011

NATO to help Arab revolts ‘blossom’ – Rasmussen

MADRID: NATO is ready to help the so-called Arab Spring revolts to “well and truly blossom”, the secretary general of the alliance, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said Thursday.

“The changes we have seen in North Africa and the Middle East were unexpected,” he said in a speech to Spain’s Senate entitled “NATO and the Mediterranean: the changes ahead.”

“But they are welcome. And they make me optimistic about the future,” he said.

“It is for the people of the region to shape the future of their nations.

“However, the international community should stand ready to assist them in the transition to freedom and democracy. The United Nations should coordinate and lead that work. And if called upon, NATO can help.”

The former Danish prime minister outlined changes he believed were necessary in order to make NATO’s help most effective.

These included improving its capabilities, increasing practical support to the region and enhancing political dialogue with those countries.

“I am confident that we can make those changes successfully. And by doing so, we can help the Arab Spring to well and truly blossom.”

“NATO member states form a unique community of values, committed to individual liberty, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

“We consider these to be universal principles that apply to all people of the world, including in North Africa and the Middle East. That’s why NATO Allies support the legitimate aspirations of people throughout the region.”

[T]he Arab Spring uprisings over the past six months have toppled Tunisia’s Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and then Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak.

But so far the leaders of Libya, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen have refused to step down…

NATO allies are conducting an 11-week aerial war against the Libyan regime.

The NATO chief earlier held talks with Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

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U.S. Strengthens Ties With Syrian Insurgents

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/17/51934729.html

Voice of Russia
June 17, 2011

US steps up ties with Syrian rebels

The United States is to expand contacts with Syrians who are counting on a regime change in the country.

This was stated by U.S. State Department official Victoria Nuland. “We started to expand contacts with the Syrians, those who are calling for change, both inside and outside the country,” she said.

Nuland also repeated that Barack Obama had previously called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to initiate reforms or to step down from power.

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Russia Backs SCO Observer Status For Afghanistan

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/06/16/russia-backs-afghan-bid-sco-observer-status

Pajhwok Afghan News
June 17, 2011

Russia backs Afghan bid for SCO observer status
by Hakim Basharat

KABUL: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has lent his weight to Afghanistan’s demand for the observer status at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), President Hamid Karzai’s office said on Thursday.

Karzai and his Russian counterpart met on Wednesday in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on the sidelines of the 10th SCO summit.

Karzai told the gathering: “So far Afghanistan has been participating in SCO summits as a guest state. Now we want Afghanistan to be declared as an observer state.”

Medvedev said the status of Afghanistan be upgraded to the observer level. He hoped a decision on the demand would be taken after consultations among member states. The Afghan president thanked Russia for supporting his call.

Karzai welcomed the formation of a joint economic commission between the two countries. “The creation of the commission is an important step towards economic development of Afghanistan strengthening relations with Russia.”

Medvedev pledged Russian support for reconstructing Afghanistan’s war-crippled infrastructure.

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Georgian Opposition Asks U.S. Ambassador To Leave Country

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/16/c_13934258.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 16, 2011

Georgian opposition leader asks U.S. ambassador to leave Tbilisi

TBILISI: An opposition leader in Georgia on Thursday demanded the U.S. ambassador leave the South Caucasus country for his alleged role in anti-government rallies.

U.S. ambassador John Bass had no moral right to stay in Georgia after May 26, when he sided with the Georgian authorities in clashes between protestors and police, said Goga Khaindrava, former state minister for re-integration and now a leader of the United Opposition, in a statement.

On May 26, Georgian law enforcement personnel dispersed demonstrators with water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets. Two persons were killed allegedly by hurriedly evacuating motor vehicles used by opposition leaders from the rally scene in front of the Georgian parliament.

“Mister Bass, you have to leave our country. You have to leave Georgia because a band of furious criminals, encouraged by you, suppressed the wish of a part of Georgian men and women to live in a fair state,” the statement said.

“The violence, injustice and illegality are represented by your favorite (Georgian President Mikheil) Saakashvili in Georgia,” the statement added.

“You have already lost your dignity. Please, do not deprive your country of it.”

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Lithuania: NATO Holds Multinational War Games Based On Afghan, Iraqi And Somali Scenarios

http://www.defpro.com/news/details/25365/?SID=297222992fcbea71a498fa5cc855863e

Defence Professionals
June 15, 2011

Multinational Exercise Amber Hope 2011 to officially kick off in Lithuania

-During the [second] phase of the exercise, from June 19 to 23, troops will follow an established scenario based on lessons learnt by Lithuanian and foreign states in Afghanistan, Iraq and off the Somali coast.
-It will involve more than 2,000 military and civilian personnel from seven NATO countries – Canada, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and the USA – and two partner countries under the Partnership for Peace program – Georgia and Finland. Observers for the exercise include: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, and Ukraine.

June 13 marked the official opening ceremonies for Amber Hope 2011, the largest multinational military exercise held in Lithuania this year. The ceremonies were held in Klaipeda, Naval Flotilla, and Pabrades Training Area – the latter accommodating the greater number of exercise participants.

Lithuanian Minister of Defence, Rasa Jukneviciene, Chief of Defence for Lithuania, Maj Gen Arvydas Pocius, Ordinary Bishop of the Lithuanian Armed Forces, Gintaras Grusas, Chairman of the Lithuanian Red Cross Society, Romualdas Konstantinas Dobrovolskis, component chiefs of the Lithuanian armed forces, military representatives of foreign states, and other honourable guests attended the opening event in Pabrade.

“It is a great honour and also a challenge to·organise this Exercise where both Lithuania’s allies and partners participate,” said Minister of National Defence, Rasa Jukneviciene. “Amber Hope has grown both in ambition and scope since 1995, testifying to the significance of the Exercise for security in the region, and for the Alliance and partner countries…The contemporary armed forces must be capable of, and maintain readiness for, responding instantly to a range of challenges in multinational operations. As such, the central goal of the exercise is to continue strengthening the interaction of NATO and partner countries in conducting crisis response operations, as well as strengthening multilateral military cooperation”, added the Lithuanian Minister of Defence.

“Despite the recession, a country must prepare for national defence. As a result it was decided that further delaying the Amber Hope would be unacceptable, so it was resurrected after a four-year absence,” stated the Chief of Defence for Lithuania, Maj Gen Arvydas Pocius.

The first phase of the exercise began as early in the afternoon of June 13, and will last until June 18…

During the following phase of the exercise, from June 19 to 23, troops will follow an established scenario based on lessons learnt by Lithuanian and foreign states in Afghanistan, Iraq and off the Somali coast.

The Exercise will take place from June 13 to 23 simultaneously in both the Pabrades Training Area, and the territorial sea and exclusive economic zone of Lithuania in the Baltic Sea. It will involve more than 2,000 military and civilian personnel from seven NATO countries – Canada, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland and the USA – and two partner countries under the Partnership for Peace program – Georgia and Finland. Observers for the Exercise include: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova, and Ukraine.

The Lithuanian Armed Forces have been organizing Amber Hope since 1995. The last series of Amber Hope was held in Klaipeda in 2007. This year, the Exercise is organized and conducted by the Joint Headquarters of the Lithuanian Armed Forces.

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U.S. Marines Leave Afghanistan For Bulgarian War Games, Serbia Next

http://paper.standartnews.com/en/article.php?d=2011-06-16&article=36543

Standart News
June 16, 2011

US Marines Come to Bulgaria from Afghanistan
Georgi Manginov

-In the last two years Serbia sent observers to the joint Bulgarian-US exercise. This year it will participate with proper subdivisions and it is expected that next year the Black Sea Rotation Force exercise will take place in Serbia.

Serbian troops that came to Bulgaria to take part in the joint US-Bulgarian military exercise were given brand new Kalashnikov automatic rifles.

The gala inauguration ceremony of the Black Sea Rotation Force 2011 was held in the Novo Selo base. For the first time a unit of the Serbian army will partake in such a large-scale military training in Bulgarian territory.

A platoon of the Bulgarian western neighbor, however, arrived without being armed. Bulgarian, Serbian and American marines lined up at one of the training grounds of Novo Selo. The flag hoisting ceremony was headed by current commander Lieutenant Colonel Nelson Cardella of the US Marines. “Our troops will be trained to improve the interoperability of our staffs,” he said.

The top USMC commanding officer underscored that most of the US SEALS have arrived in Novo Selo straight from Afghanistan.

“This is a very good range with excellent conditions for training and monoeuvring,” the US officer said.

The Standart daily learnt that US Marines arrived by Hercules-C-130 personnel carrier, which in the next two weeks will be at the disposal of paratroopers from the Bulgarian Army.

In the last two years Serbia sent observers to the joint Bulgarian-US exercise. This year it will participate with proper subdivisions and it is expected that next year the Black Sea Rotation Force exercise will take place in Serbia.

It is scheduled 2012 Bulgarian-US trainings to include subdivisions from some other Balkan countries.

During Black Sea Rotation Force 2011 several basic actions will be drilled, staff officers said.

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Afghan War: Thirty NATO Soldiers Killed So Far This Month

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/explosion-in-south-afghanistan-978465.html

Associated Press
June 17, 2011

Explosion in south Afghanistan kills NATO soldier
By Patrick Quinn

KABUL, Afghanistan: NATO says a coalition service member has been killed in a bomb attack in southern Afghanistan.

The coalition said Friday that the service member died a day earlier. NATO provided no other details.

Thirty international troops have died so far this month as the Taliban continues its spring offensive in Afghanistan to regain ground lost during the winter. Fighting has killed 236 coalition members this year.

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NATO Aircraft Attack Pakistani Military Post

http://ftpapp.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=142549&Itemid=2

Associated Press of Pakistan
June 17, 2011

Pakistan conveys serious concern to NATO over air incursion

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has conveyed its serious concern to United States over air incursion by ISAF/NATO aircraft, that attacked its military’s Ziarat post in South Mohmand located 2.5 kilometers away from Pak-Afghan border.

A Foreign Office Spokesperson in a statement here said a joint inquiry of this incident has also been requested.

She said, “this matter has been taken up with the US/NATO/ISAF on both
military and diplomatic tracks.”

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Pakistani Delegation Visits NATO Headquarters, SHAPE

http://ftpapp.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=142485&Itemid=38

Associated Press of Pakistan
June 17, 2011

Pakistani delegation visits SHAPE, NATO headquarters

ISLAMABAD: A 10-member delegation of spokespersons,public relations and communication experts led by Secretary information and Broadcasting, Taimur Azmat Osman, visited Supreme Headquarter Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and NATO Headquartesr. The delegation was on a three-day visit to Brussels from June 14-16 at the invitation from Public Diplomacy Division of NATO, said a press release issued here Friday. A comprehensive briefing was given to them on the ongoing NATO’s operation in Afghanistan. The discussions were devoted to the developments in Afghanistan and insurgency over the boarders.

Special emphasis was laid on NATO-Pakistan relations, especially close ties and collaboration with Pakistan…

NATO’s new strategic concept and emerging security challenges were discussed at length. Emphasis was made on NATO’s partnerships relations with special regards to Pakistan.

Terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, non-proliferation policy and NATO’s operations in Libya are the challenges NATO is confronted with these days.

During their stay in Brussels the delegation also visited Supreme Europe Allied Headquarters (SHAPE) and had a briefing on various functions of SHAPE in coordination with NATO…

Among the members of delegation were Maj. General Athar Abbas Director General ISPR; Munir Ahmed, Director Public Relations, President Secretariat, Sohail Ali Khan Director Public Relations, Khurram Agha Prime Minister Secretariat, Muhammad Tahir Hasan Director M/o Information & Broadcasting and Brig. Atiqur Rehman Deputy director ISPR.

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U.S. Ambassador: NATO’s Door Open For Azerbaijan

http://www.messenger.com.ge/issues/2379_june_17_2011/2379_econ_three.html

The Messenger
June 17, 2011

NATO door open for Azerbaijan as well

US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mathew Bryza stated on June 15 that NATO’s doors are open for Azerbaijan provided the country fulfills the appropriate criteria.

Bryza states that Azerbaijan’s position very much depends on its national security interests and its neighborhood, meaning Iran, Russia and of course the frozen conflict with Armenia.

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U.S. Seventh Fleet Continues Integration Of Indonesian Navy

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=61079

Navy NewsStand
June 17, 2011

7th Fleet Expands Partnership with Indonesian Navy
From U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs

-More than 1,500 U.S. Navy and Marine Corps personnel participated in CARAT Indonesia, to include the ships USS Howard (DDG 83), USS Reuben James (FFG 57) and USS Tortuga (LSD 46).

JAKARTA, Indonesia: Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet said, June 17, the U.S. Navy will expand its “strong and growing” friendship with the Indonesian Navy.

Vice Adm. Scott Van Buskirk, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, made the comments to about 100 students at the Indonesian Navy’s staff college in Jakarta.

His remarks came on the heels of a meeting with Indonesian Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Soeparno Djasmin. The two met June 16, to discuss areas of mutual concern, including piracy, maritime security, and territorial disputes around the region. It was their first meeting since Van Buskirk took command of the 7th Fleet in September 2010.

Van Buskirk said the annual exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training, or CARAT, which concluded in Indonesia earlier this month, would continue to be the centerpiece of U.S.-Indonesia navy-to-navy engagement, but the two sides would seek to “grow CARAT in scope and depth in the future, while looking for new opportunities outside of CARAT to work together.”

More than 1,500 U.S. Navy and Marine Corps personnel participated in CARAT Indonesia, to include the ships USS Howard (DDG 83), USS Reuben James (FFG 57) and USS Tortuga (LSD 46). The exercise featured joint…at-sea events including maritime interdiction, formation steaming, gunnery exercises, and anti-piracy drills.

“Our partnership at the navy-to-navy level is growing,” Van Buskirk said. “I believe that is a very good thing.”

Van Buskirk cited several recent examples of engagements between the two navies outside of CARAT, including a visit by USS Reuben James to Jakarta in February that featured combined seminars on anti-submarine warfare and surface warfare; a visit by USS Germantown (LSD 42) to Surabaya in March that included an amphibious warfare symposium; and combined mine countermeasures exercises with USS Guardian (MCM 5) in May.

“The U.S. and Indonesia have much in common,” Van Buskirk said. “We are both democracies; we both have a free and independent press; we both have multicultural and multi-ethnic societies; we have both been the victims of terrorism and we both rely on the seas for our livelihood.”

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East Timor: U.S. Pacific Partnership, NATO Allies Hold “Humanitarian” Drills

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=61054

Navy NewsStand
June 17, 2011

Pacific Partnership Arrives in Timor-Leste
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Farrington, Pacific Partnership 2011 Public Affairs

DILI, Timor-Leste: The Pacific Partnership 2011 team arrived in Dili, Timor-Leste, to begin the fourth phase of its humanitarian assistance/disaster response mission with representatives from Australia, Canada, France, Spain and the United States, June 16.

Pacific Partnership is an annual humanitarian assistance initiative sponsored by U.S. Pacific Fleet. Aimed at improving interoperability between host and partner nations, the team is comprised of volunteers from non-governmental organizations (NGO), representatives from partner nation militaries along with U.S. Sailors, Marines, Soldiers and Airmen.

Amphibious transport dock ship USS Cleveland (LPD 7) is the flagship for the mission. Also, Royal Australian Navy landing craft heavy HMAS Betano (L 133) and HMAS Balikpapan (L 126) will provide transportation services for the team to the more remote parts of Timor-Leste.

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Nuclear NATO Holds Weapons Of Mass Destruction, Non-Proliferation Conference

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_75428.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 17, 2011

NATO holds conference on non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament

-Participants will come from NATO Allies and partner nations across the globe, including from the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the Mediterranean Dialogue, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, as well as a number of countries from Asia.

The seventh annual NATO Conference on Weapons of Mass Destruction Arms Control, Disarmament and Non-proliferation is hosted this year by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the city of Bergen on 16 and 17 June. The event will gather senior officials from countries on four continents as well as from international organisations and academic institutions.

Presentations and panel discussions will allow open and in-depth informal debate on four general themes:

The future of multilateral non-proliferation regimes and initiatives,
Current regional proliferation threats and challenges,
Terrorism and WMD proliferation,
NATO’s contribution to international efforts in the area of WMD arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.

The conference will be opened by the State Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Espen Barth Eide, and NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, Amb. Gábor Iklódy.

Participants will come from NATO Allies and partner nations across the globe, including from the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the Mediterranean Dialogue, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, as well as a number of countries from Asia.

This is the first conference of its kind to be held since NATO adopted its new Strategic Concept at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010. The new Strategic Concept highlights “cooperative security” as one of NATO’s core tasks, stating that the Alliance will engage in enhancing international security through partnership with relevant countries and other international organisations and by contributing actively to arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament.

Previous events on the challenges of WMD proliferation were held in Rome (2004), Sofia (2005), Vilnius (2007), Berlin (2008), Warsaw (2009), and Prague (2010).

Participation is by registration only.

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Poland And Hungary Are U.S. Military Strongholds In Europe: Belarus

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=4&id=252720

Interfax
June 17, 2011

Poland, Hungary are U.S. strongholds in Europe – Lukashenko

MINSK: Poland and Hungary are the U.S. strongholds in Europe, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said.

“Poland claims to be the center of Europe, and Poland and Hungary are the U.S. stronghold in Europe. It’s a place of arms. Obama has visited there [Poland] for a reason,” Lukashenko told a press conference in Minsk on Friday.

Lukashenko believes Belarus has a good rapport with its neighbors, “especially the Lithuanians.”

“We have recently had many subtle signals, which did not come through the mass media, about the normalization of our relations,” he said, adding that “it is not normal when our administration and the administration of Poland have such relations.”

“We are an international people. It’s our brand. It’s not our fault the situation is the way it is,” Lukashenko said, adding that Belarus does not wish to be put “in a humiliating situation that is not good for us.”

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Categories: Uncategorized

William Morris: Protecting the strong from the weak, selling each other weapons to kill their own countrymen

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

William Morris: War abroad but no peace at home

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William Morris
From News From Nowhere (1892)

(Hammond) [F]or what other purpose than the protection of the rich from the poor, the strong from the weak, did this Government exist?

(I) I have heard that it was said that their office was to defend their own citizens against attack from other countries.

(H.) It was said; but was any one expected to believe this? For instance, did the English Government defend the English citizen against the French?

(I) So it was said.

(H.) Then if the French had invaded England and conquered it, they would not have allowed the English workmen to live well?

(I, laughing) As far as I can make out, the English masters of the English workmen saw to that: they took from their workmen as much of their livelihood as they dared, because they wanted it for themselves.

(H.) But if the French had conquered, would they not have taken more still from the English workmen?

(I) I do not think so; for in that case the English workmen would have died of starvation; and then the French conquest would have ruined the French, just as if the English horses and cattle had died of under-feeding. So that after all, the English workmen would have been no worse off for the conquest: their French masters could have got no more from them than their English masters did.

(H.) This is true; and we may admit that the pretensions of the government to defend the poor (i.e. the useful) people against other countries come to nothing. But that is but natural; for we have seen already that it was the function of the government to protect the rich against the poor. But did not the government defend its rich men against other nations?

(I) I do not remember to have heard that the rich needed defence; because it is said that even when two nations were at war, the rich men of each nation gambled with each other pretty much as usual, and even sold each other weapons wherewith to kill their own countrymen.

*****

Said I: “How about your relations with foreign nations?”

“I will not affect not to know what you mean,” said he, “but I will tell you at once that the whole system of rival and contending nations which played so great a part in the `government’ of the world of civilisation has disappeared along with the inequality betwixt man and man in society.”

“Does not that make the world duller?” said I.

“Why?” said the old man.

“The obliteration of national variety,” said I.

“Nonsense,” he said, somewhat snappishly. “Cross the water and see. You will find plenty of variety: the landscape the building, the diet, the amusements, all various. The men and women varying in looks as well as in habits of thought; the costume more various than in the commercial period. How should it add to the variety or dispel the dulness, to coerce certain families or tribes, often heterogeneous and jarring with one another into certain artificial and mechanical groups and call them nations, and stimulate their patriotism – i.e., their foolish and envious prejudices?”

“Well – I don’t know how,” said I.

“That’s right,” said Hammond cheerily; “you can easily understand that now we are freed from this folly it is obvious to us that by means of this very diversity the different strains of blood in the world can be serviceable and pleasant to each other, without in the least wanting to rob each other: we are all bent on the same enterprise, making the most of our lives. And I must tell you whatever quarrels or misunderstandings arise, they very seldom take place between people of different race; and consequently since there is less unreason in them, they are the more readily appeased.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 16, 2011

June 16, 2011 2 comments

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Libya: 11,241 NATO Sorties, 4,256 Strike Missions In 90-Day War

Three Months Later: NATO Military Machine Stuck In Sands Of Libya

War Powers Act Does Not Apply To Libya: Obama

African Leaders Demand Halt To NATO Bombing Of Libya

Libyan War Marks NATO’s Expansion Southward: Russian Envoy

NATO And Spain Push Libyan Endgame

Spain: Rasmussen Stresses NATO’s Expanded (Dominant) Role In Mediterannean

NATO Secretary General And British Prime Minister: “NATO Needed From Afghanistan To Kosovo, Somalia To Libya; Busier Than Ever Before”

Arms Exports At All-Time High As Pentagon Budget More Than Doubles In Decade

SCO Versus NATO: Neutral Afghanistan Serves Regional Stability

China, SCO Back Russia Against U.S.-NATO Global Missile Shield

Taunting Russia, NATO Chief Pushes Transatlantic Interceptor Missile System

Ukraine, Black Sea: U.S. Not Firing Ballistic Missiles Against “Pirates”

Moscow: Russia, Not NATO, To Decide On Its Weapons Needs

NATO Conducts Counterintelligence Exercises In Poland

Czech Republic: NATO Gives U.S. Military Ally In Eastern Europe

U.S. Missile Strikes Kill At Least 15 In Pakistan

Pakistan: More NATO Oil Tankers Set Ablaze

U.S.’s New Drone War: Yemen

Ollanta Humala Declared Winner Of Peruvian Presidential Election

NATO Commander Praises Military Integration Of Serbia, Balkans

Macedonia: Pentagon Continues Integration Of Balkans

Training Mission: Dutch Troops Return To Afghanistan

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Libya: 11,241 NATO Sorties, 4,256 Strike Missions In 90-Day War

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_06/20110616_110616-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 16, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 11241 sorties, including 4256 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 15 JUNE: 134

Strike sorties conducted 15 JUNE: 44

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Three Months Later: NATO Military Machine Stuck In Sands Of Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/16/51926098.html

Voice of Russia
June 16, 2011

NATO military machine stuck in Libya sand
Boris Volkhonsky, senior research fellow, Russian Institute for Strategic Studies

The statement made by the top naval officer of Great Britain, Admiral Stanhope, should be looked at in a wider context, because we can see that the United States is really reluctant to go on with the whole operation, with several congressmen filing a lawsuit against President Obama and demanding for total withdrawal from Libya.

What is most striking in the whole situation, and the statement by Admiral Stanhope shows it very obviously, is that the whole military machine of NATO has proved to be unable of toppling a rather relatively weak regime of a small country like Libya.

I am not speaking about the rebels who make more noise than do anything, but you see that the whole military machine has been launched against Libya for almost three months by now and with little or even no effect except for casualties among civilians, and no military results, no success is looming.

This shows that NATO without the United States or even with the limited participation of the United States is capable of doing nothing at all. And whether it will result in the total withdrawal of Great Britain from the operation is a big question. As we see, the political leadership of the country seems to be determined to go on with the operation, but the military force may be no better.

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War Powers Act Does Not Apply To Libya: Obama

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/16/us/politics/16powers.html

New York Times
June 15, 2011

War Powers Act Does Not Apply to Libya, Obama Argues
By Charlie Savage and Mark Landler

-Jack L. Goldsmith, who led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration, said the Obama theory would set a precedent expanding future presidents’ unauthorized war-making powers, especially given the rise of remote-controlled combat technology.
“The administration’s theory implies that the president can wage war with drones and all manner of offshore missiles without having to bother with the War Powers Resolution’s time limits,” Mr. Goldsmith said.
-[P]revious cases involved peacekeeping missions in which the United States had been invited in, and there were only infrequent outbreaks of violence — as in Lebanon, Somalia and Bosnia. The Libyan operation, by contrast, is an offensive mission involving sustained bombardments of a government’s forces.

WASHINGTON: The White House, pushing hard against criticism in Congress over the deepening air war in Libya, asserted Wednesday that President Obama had the authority to continue the military campaign without Congressional approval because American involvement fell short of full-blown hostilities.

In a 38-page report sent to lawmakers describing and defending the NATO-led operation, the White House said the mission was prying loose Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s grip on power.

In contending that the limited American role did not oblige the administration to ask for authorization under the War Powers Resolution, the report asserted that “U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve U.S. ground troops.” Still, the White House acknowledged, the operation has cost the Pentagon $716 million in its first two months and will have cost $1.1 billion by September at the current scale of operations.

The report came one day after the House Speaker, John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, had sent a letter to Mr. Obama warning him that he appeared to be out of time under the Vietnam-era law that says presidents must terminate a mission 60 or 90 days after notifying Congress that troops have been deployed into hostilities, unless lawmakers authorize the operation to continue.

Mr. Boehner had demanded that Mr. Obama explain his legal justification for passing the deadline. On Wednesday, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Mr. Boehner, said he was still reviewing the documents, adding that “the creative arguments made by the White House raise a number of questions that must be further explored.”

The escalating confrontation with Congress reflects the radically altered political landscape in Washington: a Democratic president asserting sweeping executive powers to deploy American forces overseas, while Republicans call for stricter oversight and voice fears about executive-branch power getting the United States bogged down in a foreign war.

“We are acting lawfully,” said Harold H. Koh, the State Department legal adviser, who expanded on the administration’s reasoning in a joint interview with the White House counsel, Robert Bauer.

The two senior administration lawyers contended that American forces had not been in “hostilities” at least since early April, when NATO took over the responsibility for the no-fly zone and the United States shifted to primarily a supporting role — providing refueling and surveillance to allied warplanes, although remotely piloted drones operated by the United States periodically fire missiles, too.

“We are not saying the president can take the country into war on his own,” said Mr. Koh, a former Yale Law School dean and outspoken critic of the Bush administration’s expansive theories of executive power. “We are not saying the War Powers Resolution is unconstitutional or should be scrapped or that we can refuse to consult Congress. We are saying the limited nature of this particular mission is not the kind of ‘hostilities’ envisioned by the War Powers Resolution.”

Jack L. Goldsmith, who led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration, said the Obama theory would set a precedent expanding future presidents’ unauthorized war-making powers, especially given the rise of remote-controlled combat technology.

“The administration’s theory implies that the president can wage war with drones and all manner of offshore missiles without having to bother with the War Powers Resolution’s time limits,” Mr. Goldsmith said.

It remains to be seen whether majorities in Congress will acquiesce to the administration’s argument, defusing the confrontation, or will fuel greater criticism…

Also on Wednesday, 10 lawmakers — led by Representative Dennis J. Kucinich, Democrat of Ohio, and Representative Walter B. Jones, Republican of North Carolina — filed a lawsuit asking a judge to order Mr. Obama to pull out of the Libya operation because Congress did not authorize it. That lawsuit faces steep challenges, however, because courts in the past have dismissed similar cases on technical grounds.

The administration had earlier argued that Mr. Obama could initiate the intervention on his own authority as commander in chief because its anticipated nature, scope and duration fell short of a “war” in the constitutional sense. Since then, the conflict has dragged on for longer than expected, and the goal of the NATO allies has all but openly shifted from merely defending civilians to forcing the Libyan leader, Colonel Qaddafi, from power…

Mr. Koh noted that there had been previous disputes about whether the 60-day clock portion of the War Powers Resolution applied to deployments in which — unlike in Libya — there were troops on the ground and American forces suffered casualties.

Still, such previous cases involved peacekeeping missions in which the United States had been invited in, and there were only infrequent outbreaks of violence — as in Lebanon, Somalia and Bosnia. The Libyan operation, by contrast, is an offensive mission involving sustained bombardments of a government’s forces.

Jennifer Steinhauer contributed reporting.

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African Leaders Demand Halt To NATO Bombing Of Libya

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2011/06/15/bloomberg1376-LMUHXR1A74E901-7C6LUKVI35PU9OJOR1RLMTRQT3.DTL

Bloomberg News
June 15, 2011

African Leaders Demand Halt to NATO Bombing Campaign in Libya

African leaders today demanded an immediate end to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s bombing campaign in Libya and called for the African Union and United Nations to take the lead in reaching a political solution.

“We have not voted for a substitute for bombing of one group by the other,” South Africa’s Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told reporters in New York, referring to the UN resolution authorizing military action against Libya leader Muammar Qaddafi’s regime, which her government supported. “All forms of military intervention and bombing must stop now.”

Nkoana-Mashabane and ministers of Mali, Mauritania, Uganda and the Republic of Congo, which formed the AU’s Ad Hoc Committee on Libya, expressed their concern about the NATO bombing campaign to the UN Security Council. Adoption of a draft statement demanding a “complete end to violence and all attacks against and abuses of civilians” was blocked by the U.S. and other Western nations.

“This was a meeting for expressions of frustration,” said Ambassador Nestor Osorio of Colombia, a Security Council member. Ambassador Jose Moraes Cabral of Portugal, also a council member, said Uganda’s Foreign Minister Ruhakana Rugunda suggested the NATO intervention amounted to “going back to colonialism” in Africa.

Call from Russia, China

The meeting in New York followed a statement today by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a security alliance led by China and Russia and including the former Soviet states of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan [and Kazakhstan], urging an end to the NATO campaign. “Domestic conflicts and crises have to be regulated exclusively by peaceful means, through political dialogue,” the group said in Astana, Kazakhstan, where it is holding a summit.

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma was more direct yesterday in Cape Town, saying the UN resolution authorizing military action was “being abused for regime change, political assassinations and foreign military occupation.”

[Mauritania's Foreign Minister Hamady Ould] Hamady called for an “immediate humanitarian pause” in the fighting and expressed the AU’s “surprise and disappointment at the attempts to marginalize the continent in the management of the Libyan conflict.”

Britain’s Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said a precondition of a halt to the NATO bombing was a cessation of attacks on civilians by the Qaddafi regime.

“The ball is in Qaddafi’s court,” Lyall Grant said.

–Editors: Steven Komarow, Terry Atlas

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Libyan War Marks NATO’s Expansion Southward: Russian Envoy

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110615/164636324.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 15, 2011

NATO seeking ‘southern expansion’ – Russian envoy

London: The NATO operation in Libya marks the end of the alliance’s eastward expansion policy and the beginning of a shift southward, Russia’s envoy to the alliance Dmitry Rogozin said on Wednesday.

Rogozin met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during a conference on missile defense in London on Wednesday.

“The war in Libya means the end of the process of the alliance’s expansion to the east and the beginning of its expansion south,” Rogozin said.

Rogozin said NATO “is being drawn into a ground operation” in Libya, and criticized the alliance for its free interpretation of a UN resolution allowing airstrikes in the war-torn country.

“My impression is that the UN Security Coouncil resolution is a slender, harmonious symphony, but NATO’s interpretation of it is more like jazz,” Rogozin said.

Fourteen of the 28 NATO countries are taking part in operation Unified Protector in Libya, which includes airstrikes, a no-fly zone and naval enforcement of an arms embargo…

Russia abstained from the Security Council vote authorizing the NATO-led military operation, and has strongly criticized the alliance’s handling of the operation.

Mikhail Margelov, who is leading Moscow’s mediation efforts in the Libyan conflict as President Dmitry Medvedev’s special envoy, said on Monday he would visit Tripoli next week for talks with top government officials.

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NATO And Spain Push Libyan Endgame

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1892440.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
June 18, 2011

NATO and Spain urge military pressure on Libya

NATO and Spain on Thursday stressed the need to maintain military, political and economic pressure on the Libyan regime of leader Moamer Gaddafi, DPA reported.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero also pledged continuing support for the Libyan Interim Transitional National Council in its attempts to topple Gaddafi, government sources said after the two held talks in Madrid.

In a speech given to the Spanish senate, Rasmussen expressed trust that the Gaddafi regime would fall.

“Gaddafi your time is over, you must go. It’s over,” Rasmussen said.

NATO’s military intervention in Libya had made “quite a bit of progress” since it began three months ago, the secretary-general said.

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Spain: Rasmussen Stresses NATO’s Expanded (Dominant) Role In Mediterannean

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_75061.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 16, 2011

Rasmussen stresses NATO’s changing role in the Mediterranean

NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, delivered a speech at the Spanish Senate on NATO’s changing role in the Mediterranean, particularly focusing on Operation Unified Protector and NATO’s future role in the region.

The Secretary General stressed that the progress made in its Libya operation over the past three months: “We have seriously degraded the ability of the Qadhafi regime…” He further highlighted that last week NATO Defence Ministers have made it clear that “there is a solid determination to fulfil the historic mandate of the United Nations Security Council.”

Fogh Rasmussen went on to outline the way forward for NATO in the Mediterranean region, focusing on three main areas: improving NATO’s own capabilities, increasing the practical support NATO offers to the countries of the region and enhancing NATO’s political dialogue with those countries.

The Secretary General highlighted the way forward for a post-conflict Libya: “The international community needs to start planning for that day. And I believe that planning should be led by the United Nations. Once the crisis is over, it will be necessary to reform the military and security sectors. NATO has extensive experience in this field. We should stand ready to respond to any calls for help. And that support should be available to other countries in the region too.”

During his visit to Madrid, the Secretary General met with Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez and Defence Minister Carme Chacon. They discussed NATO relations with Russia, NATO’s reform and the Alliance-led operations in Libya and Afghanistan.

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NATO Secretary General And British Prime Minister: “NATO Needed From Afghanistan To Kosovo, Somalia To Libya; Busier Than Ever Before”

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_75511.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 15, 2011

NATO Secretary General and Prime Minister Cameron exchange views on Libya and Afghanistan

-“NATO is more needed and wanted than ever, from Afghanistan to Kosovo, from the coast of Somalia to Libya. We are busier than ever before.”

NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, met on 15 June with UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague in London.

The Secretary General thanked Prime Minister Cameron for Britain’s significant contribution to NATO-led operations, notably the courage and sacrifice shown by British service personnel in Afghanistan and the dedication of the air force and naval personnel serving on Operation Unified Protector…

The Secretary General and Prime Minister Cameron discussed progress in fulfilling the United Nations mandate in Libya. They agreed that NATO was making steady and significant progress, that the Alliance…remain[s] fully committed to keep up the pressure for as long as it takes.

They also discussed transition in Afghanistan, which remains NATO’s top operational priority. Speaking to reporters in Downing Street, the Secretary General said:

“NATO is more needed and wanted than ever, from Afghanistan to Kosovo, from the coast of Somalia to Libya. We are busier than ever before.”

The Secretary General also made a speech at the Royal United Services Institute, arguing that missile defence is a vital capability for the Alliance, reinforcing transatlantic solidarity and providing an opportunity for closer cooperation with Russia.

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Arms Exports At All-Time High As Pentagon Budget More Than Doubles In Decade

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-weapon-exports-20110616,0,4979624.story

Los Angeles Times
June 15, 2011

U.S. arms makers look overseas as domestic demand shrinks
By W.J. Hennigan

As the U.S. government eyes cuts in military purchases, defense contractors’ sales overseas are likely to hit a record this year. The boom is drawing fire from arms-control advocates, who worry that weapons could end up in the wrong hands.

-Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the Pentagon budget has more than doubled, to $729 billion.
-Outgoing Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said last week that allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization need to spend more on defense, including weaponry.
-The Obama administration has embarked on an initiative to reform export control that will roll back many of the restrictions on the way weapons are sold to foreign countries.

With the Pentagon’s appetite for new weapons shrinking, U.S. arms makers are finding lucrative markets overseas as demand for American-made weaponry hits an all-time high.

Despite intense international competition, U.S. arms manufacturers are expected to sell a record $46.1 billion in military hardware to foreign governments in 2011, a nearly 50% jump from $31.6 billion last year.

The boom is drawing fire from arms-control advocates, who worry that weapons are going to volatile regions of the world and could end up in the wrong hands.

“As a country continues to strengthen its ability to defend its borders, to protect itself and, potentially, to operate with partners in the region or with the U.S. — all of that strengthens the U.S. from a security perspective,” Navy Vice Adm. William E. Landay III, who oversees foreign military sales, told reporters last week.

India signed a deal Wednesday for the purchase of 10 Boeing C-17 military cargo jets that will be built in Long Beach, highlighting the growing number of multimillion- and billion-dollar sales to foreign governments around the world.

The largest-ever U.S. foreign arms deal was announced last October, when Saudi Arabia ordered $60 billion in military hardware in a multiyear pact. The Saudis’ laundry list of weaponry included Raytheon Co.’s 2,000-pound bunker-busting bombs, Boeing’s F-15 fighter jets and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.’s Black Hawk helicopters.

More deals are in the works. Australia wants two dozen Navy Seahawk helicopters valued at $1.6 billion. Saudi Arabia is eager to get $330 million in thermal-imaging and night-vision equipment. And Britain is looking to purchase $137 million in upgrades for its U.S.-made ship-mounted guns. Orders are also in from Morocco, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates.

Egypt is one of the largest customers for U.S. arms. But questions about its purchases were raised by critics in recent months when a column of American-made Abrams tanks rolled into Tahrir Square as protesters rallied against President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. And both Bahrain and Tunisia bought U.S.-manufactured guns before their security forces fired on protesting crowds this spring.

Foreign sales currently make up 18% of Boeing defense sales, compared with 7% six years ago, he said. The company’s defense unit has a goal of making overseas sales hit 25% within the next five years. It also plans to beef up its international sales team to 100 by the end of the year. In 2005, it numbered just 10.

Boeing booked $6 billion in foreign military sales last year, compared with $7 billion for Lockheed Martin Corp. Century City-based Northrop Grumman Corp. reported nearly $2 billion.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, the Pentagon budget has more than doubled, to $729 billion. But now after one of the biggest military buildups in decades and amid growing concern about the federal budget deficit, defense companies are bracing for a long stretch of cuts in purchases by the U.S. government.

“Every defense contractor is looking at the international market and saying they need to be more aggressive,” Kronenberg said. “We spend hours in countries talking with everybody from military officers all the way to top leadership to see what their needs are.”

Outgoing Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said last week that allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization need to spend more on defense, including weaponry. “This is no longer a hypothetical worry,” he said. “We are there today. And it is unacceptable.”

Close U.S. allies get money to help pay for the military equipment they buy. For example, Israel received an estimated $2.78 billion in U.S. aid to purchase arms. Other countries, such as Iran and China, cannot buy U.S. military hardware. Pakistan, India and Indonesia were once on that blacklist but have since been taken off. Before that, the countries purchased more arms from Russia and other European countries.

France makes sought-after fighter jets. Britain is a leading tank builder, and Russia’s airplanes, cargo carriers, missiles and bombs have long been tough competition worldwide.

The Obama administration has embarked on an initiative to reform export control that will roll back many of the restrictions on the way weapons are sold to foreign countries. Northrop, which specializes in systems such as drones and cyber security, is supporting the change, saying it will help U.S. companies win contracts.

“We have been so focused on protecting our technological edge that we have actually done severe and unnecessary damage to our defense industrial base,” Northrop Chief Executive Wesley G. Bush said at a recent conference in London.

“To the credit of President Obama’s administration,” he said, “the U.S. has finally started serious attempts to reform the laws and regulations governing our export control.”

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SCO Versus NATO: Neutral Afghanistan Serves Regional Stability

http://www.hindu.com/2011/06/16/stories/2011061657901200.htm

The Hindu
June 16, 2011

Neutral Afghanistan serves regional stability
M.K. Bhadrakumar

The U.S. and NATO now acknowledge that a complete withdrawal from the South and Central Asian region by 2014 is not in the cards. Regional powers face a challenge

-It is a sad state of affairs that a once-proud nation is being traded in the bazaar. The core issue for the U.S. is that the Taliban should mellow on its uncompromising opposition to the long-term western troop presence as quid pro quo for what passes for “reconciliation.”
-Not much ingenuity is required to anticipate that India’s interests will be severely damaged if this region becomes the arena of a “new cold war” stemming out the long-term NATO military presence in South and Central Asia…The Indian move to seek membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) promises to provide a much-needed forum for New Delhi to partake in regional processes where India gets to work with Russia, China and Pakistan.

The Anglo-American project to craft an Afghan endgame that ensures long-term western military presence in the South and Central Asian region has entered a critical phase. The United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) now acknowledge that a complete withdrawal from the region by 2014 is not in the cards. Several stages of diplomatic and political deception concealed this “hidden agenda.” Regional powers — Pakistan and India, in particular — are sadder and wiser today.

Looking back, the military stalemate in Afghanistan provided a persuasive argument for the West to justify the opening of a political track. The U.S. and Britain literally shoved down the throat of regional countries at the London conference in January last year their idea of reconciliation with the Taliban. India was assured that what was being contemplated was mere “reintegration” — and not “reconciliation” — and was given a bit of tutoring in the subtle uses of the English language. Pakistan was in a triumphalist mood, having been assured privately that it would be the kingmaker in any peace process. Equally, Russia was basking in the sunshine of the newly-invented process of “reset” in relations with the U.S. Iran, which was consistently wise to the western game plan, boycotted the London conference. China, of course, kept its head below the parapet.

Following the London conference, which must stand out as a first-rate drama of diplomatic deception, the U.S. and Britain rightly proceeded to claim an “international mandate” for talking to the Taliban. With the help of Saudi Arabia, a series of secret meetings with the representatives of various insurgent groups commenced.

NATO aircraft provided transportation for Taliban participants in these meetings and according to Der Spiegel, Berlin got U.S. intelligence operatives and Taliban representatives to meet face-to-face on German soil more than once. All the while, the Anglo-American deception continued and a thick layer of fog surrounded the entire process. Mark Sedwill, U.K.’s special representative on Af-Pak, during last week’s visit to New Delhi, said with a delightfully airy vagueness that will be the envy of any diplomat: “There are channels of communication being explored… This outreach to the senior leaders is still in the very early stages. And we don’t know how serious they are… It is Afghan-led but that doesn’t mean that others are not involved. Others are involved. All initiatives are with Afghan consent and on their behalf.”

Meanwhile, former Afghanistan President and head of the Afghan High Council for Peace, Burhanuddin Rabbani, revealed that his members have held preliminary talks with the main Taliban group led by Mullah Mohammad Omar and the so-called Quetta Shura and that the “multiple channels” are indeed “getting momentum.” According to the Guardian, representatives of the Haqqani network visited Kabul “very recently.” Simultaneously, the U.S. is spearheading a move in New York for the removal of the Taliban from the United Nations’ list of terrorists so that they can travel and openly take part in talks. The idea has been floated that the Taliban be permitted to open “representative office” in a third country.

The U.S. is piloting a proposal to remove 20 Taliban figures from the U.N. list. Alongside, it is pushing for a range of changes to the U.N.’s so-called “1275 list,” which comprises around 450 terrorists belonging to al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The U.S. wants to “separate” the Taliban from al-Qaeda and the justification being given is that the al-Qaeda and the Taliban belong to two “different fields of action” as unlike the al-Qaeda which is a global organisation, the Taliban is “Afghanistan-centric.” The plain truth, however, is that the U.S. wants to hold out the tantalising prospect of lifting sanctions against select Taliban figures as a bargaining chip to get them to talk and cut deals directly with American negotiators. Unsurprisingly, having been caught unawares at the London conference, Russia, China and India are today on guard and view the U.S. moves at the U.N. Security Council with reserve.

The western propaganda has drummed up a grim scenario in Afghanistan, which provides the raison d’etre of long-term western military bases. The visiting French Foreign Minister, Alain Juppe, told journalists in Washington last week that the U.S. is engaged in tripartite talks with the Taliban and Pakistan, that it wants the Taliban to be part of the solution but has had difficulty so far finding credible interlocutors on the Taliban side who are willing to talk peace and that talks are under way “as we speak.” He said that despite the U.S.’ surge a year ago, and notwithstanding claims of progress by U.S. and NATO generals commanding the troops, actual progress against the Taliban is inadequate. “The strategy doesn’t succeed as well as we expected on the ground,” he said. He went on to doubt the feasibility of the “transition” through 2014 that is being planned in July, since the Afghan army and police are ill-prepared to assume responsibility for security.

Regional opposition

The sum and substance of what Mr. Juppe said is that despite the efforts to engage the Taliban and notwithstanding the “transition” that is being planned, the insurgency will not end in the near future. What he left unsaid was that continued western troop presence beyond 2014, therefore, is a must.

To be sure, Washington is secretly negotiating a ‘strategic partnership agreement’ with the Kabul government that provides for military bases on a long-term basis. Again, the U.S. is in denial but its doublespeak is increasingly getting exposed.

The regional powers oppose a long-term U.S.-NATO military presence but Washington counts on the Kabul government to deliver. The Kabul government is on the horns of a dilemma insofar as the American dollar holds its own attractions in the Hindu Kush but then, one has to be alive first to enjoy the good life and the bottom line is that Afghan people may not like the prospect of foreign military occupation and the regional powers are opposing it. In a fit of disgust, Pakistan reportedly advised the Kabul government to swap the American dollar for the Chinese yuan. The Afghan bazaar is agonising. Whereas the U.S. remains confident about the Afghan bazaari culture and estimates that the Afghan protagonists after some pretentious hard bargaining will ultimately settle for a deal that won’t burn a hole in America’s pocket.

Core issue

It is a sad state of affairs that a once-proud nation is being traded in the bazaar. The core issue for the U.S. is that the Taliban should mellow on its uncompromising opposition to the long-term western troop presence as quid pro quo for what passes for “reconciliation.”

To this end, Washington needs to deal with the Taliban directly, on a one-to-one basis without Pakistani or Afghani intermediaries — despite the U.S.’ proforma acknowledgement all through of Pakistan’s key role as ‘facilitator’ and despite paying lip-service that reconciliation with the Taliban ought to be “Afghan-led.”

This tussle lies at the core of the U.S.-Pakistan tensions, as Islamabad is credited with influence over the Quetta Shura. Pakistan’s military leadership resents that contrary to earlier pledges, when the crunch time approached, the U.S. bypassed the Inter-Services Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency operatives began networking directly with various militant organisations. Through two months of sustained grilling of the U.S.’s ace intelligence operative Raymond Davis in a Lahore jail by the ISI, Pakistani military leadership got to know a lot about the reach of the CIA’s penetration of Pakistan’s body polity.

A huge challenge faces Indian policymakers also. Quite obviously, New Delhi views these developments with concern. The good part is that it has measured the “big picture” while being what Washington fondly calls the U.S.’ “indispensable partner in the 21st century.” Thus, New Delhi persists with its far-sighted dialogue approach toward Pakistan although it is deeply disappointed by Pakistan’s lack or response on 26/11 investigations and on dismantling the terrorist infrastructure. New Delhi also takes care not to identify with the U.S.’s ‘containment’ strategy toward China.

Not much ingenuity is required to anticipate that India’s interests will be severely damaged if this region becomes the arena of a “new cold war” stemming out the long-term NATO military presence in South and Central Asia. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took the initiative to strengthen New Delhi’s ties with Kabul while judiciously leaving it to the latter to set the parameters in deference to Pakistani sensitivities.

The Indian move to seek membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) promises to provide a much-needed forum for New Delhi to partake in regional processes where India gets to work with Russia, China and Pakistan. India’s policymakers are doing extraordinarily well in navigating the country’s passage through a rather dangerous situation.

The Anglo-American enterprise capitalised on the absence of a regional initiative. The U.S.’ diplomacy brilliantly succeeded in creating disruptions in Russia’s and India’s traditional ties with Iran to isolate Tehran, which is an influential player in Afghanistan, apart from tapping into the contradictions in India’s relations with China and Pakistan. The U.S. selectively engaged Russia under the rubric of “reset.” On the whole, however, the regional powers are today a wiser lot about the criticality of a neutral Afghanistan.

(The writer is a former diplomat.)

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China, SCO Back Russia Against U.S.-NATO Global Missile Shield

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/15/us-security-usa-missiles-idUSTRE75E2JZ20110615?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews

Reuters
June 15, 2011

China and allies back Russia against U.S. missile shield
By Alexei Anishchuk

-Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said SCO members had been unanimous in their criticism of the missile shield and that the declaration referred not only to the European system.
“It is part of a global shield, and the global missile defense system being set up by the United States, which also covers East and South Asia,” he said.

ASTANA: Russia won the backing of China and other members of a regional security body in criticizing U.S. plans for a missile shield, saying on Wednesday it could undermine global security.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a security bloc grouping Russia, China and four ex-Soviet Central Asian states, signed a declaration condemning any unilateral build-up of missile defenses after their leaders met in the Kazakh capital.

“The unilateral and unlimited build-up of missile defense by a single state or by a narrow group of states could damage strategic stability and international security,” the six members of the SCO said in the declaration.

Apart from regional heavyweights China and Russia, the SCO also includes the mostly Muslim ex-Soviet Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Iran, Pakistan, India and Mongolia have observer status in the body, set up 10 years ago to promote regional cooperation.

Moscow has recently stepped up criticism of U.S. plans to deploy missile defenses in Europe and has pressed for binding guarantees that the system would not weaken Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has threatened a new Cold War-style arms race if Moscow and Washington fail to resolve the missile defense spat.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said SCO members had been unanimous in their criticism of the missile shield and that the declaration referred not only to the European system.

“It is part of a global shield, and the global missile defense system being set up by the United States, which also covers East and South Asia,” he said.

The United States says its planned shield is meant to reduce the threat of a missile attack by Iran. Moscow says it fears the true aim is to neutralize Russia’s own nuclear arsenal.

“The Russian bear sits in its lair, and the NATO huntsman comes over to his house and asks him to come hunt the rabbit….Why do your rifles have the caliber to hunt the bear, not the rabbit?” Russia’s NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin said at a panel talk at London’s Royal United Services Institute think-tank.

ANTI-WESTERN STAND

Russia and China have often voiced unity in opposition to perceived U.S. global dominance. As permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, they have expressed opposition to Western-led resolutions, including an effort to condemn Syria’s…crackdown on anti-government protests.

“The task of preserving global peace and promoting common development is getting more arduous and more onerous,” Chinese President Hu Jintao said.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has upstaged previous SCO meetings, delivered a fiery 10-minute speech calling on members of the bloc to unite against Western powers.

“I believe that, through concerted actions, it is possible to change the general course of the world order in favor of peace, justice and peoples’ prosperity,” Ahmadinejad said at the end of a tirade against Western countries.

Russian news agency Interfax quoted Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari as reiterating his country’s wish to become a fully fledged SCO member. A source in the Russian delegation, who asked not to be identified, said neither India nor Pakistan could join until they resolve their own territorial row.

(Additional reporting by Dmitry Solovyov, Ben Blanchard and Chris Buckley in Astana and Mohammed Abbas in London; Writing by Robin Paxton and Steve Gutterman; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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Taunting Russia, NATO Chief Pushes Transatlantic Interceptor Missile System

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_75564.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 15, 2011

Secretary General in London: Missile Defence – A Critical Capability

On 15 June 2011, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told an expert audience at the Royal United Services Institute in London that the development of a NATO ballistic missile defence capability is vital for the defence of the Alliance.

“Over 30 states either already have, or are developing missile technology. These missiles can be fitted with conventional warheads or with weapons of mass destruction”, Mr Fogh Rasmussen said.

The Secretary General emphasised the importance of transatlantic cooperation for the development of a missile defence architecture that can protect both European and American territories and populations.

“It is a strong signal that European and North America are committed to transatlanic security. It will bind them closer together. It achieves economies of scale. It offers far better protection than if Allies deployed their assets on a purely national basis”.

The Secretary General also stressed that cooperation in this area is a great opportunity for the Alliance and Russia to advance their relationship as they both face similar missile threats.

“What does not make sense is for Russia to talk about spending billions of rubels of a new offensive system to target the West. This type of rhetoric is unncessary. This type of thinking is out of date. This type of investment is a waste of money. We are not a threat to Russia”.

Mr Fogh Rasmussen said that “the best guarantee for Russia is to be part of the process. And to be connected to the system. This is the best way to enhance transparency and confidence”. Practical NATO – Russia cooperation on missile defence could envisage the setting-up of a joint centre to assess ballistic missile threats, share early warning data and exchange information, Fogh Rasmussen said. It will however not entail the development of a single missile defence system.

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Ukraine, Black Sea: U.S. Not Firing Ballistic Missiles Against “Pirates”

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/16/51907272.html

Voice of Russia
June 16, 2011

Does the US plan to shoot Tomahawks at pirates?
Konstantin Garibov

-“Ships of this class, especially if they are equipped with an anti-missile system, are not used to fight against pirates. This cruiser is a mobile element of a missile defence system during a war. This means that the USA is beginning to deploy this system in addition to the ground elements that are planned in Romania…”
-“The Monterrey surprise” in the Black Sea makes null and void all spoken US assurances that the European missile defence system will not be aimed against Russia.

The US and Ukrainian Navies are conducting the Sea Breeze-2011 anti-pirate manoeuvres, based on NATO standards, close to the Russian border.

The US cruiser the Monterrey, equipped with an Aegis ballistic missile defence system and loaded with Tomahawks, is taking part in the manoeuvres. It is clear that the USA is not going to shoot ballistic missiles at pirates. The appearance of a modern US cruiser in the Black Sea is political pressure on Russia of sorts, Konstantin Sivkov, the first Vice President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, told The Voice of Russia:

“The Monterrey is one of the most powerful cruisers in the US Navy, which is armed with an Aegis ballistic missile defence system, Tomahawks and antimissiles. Officially, The Monterrey is participating in the international anti-pirate manoeuvres The Sea Breeze-2011 in the Black Sea, which are conducted by Ukraine. Meanwhile, the choice of this class of ship was dictated by other considerations,” Konstantin Sivkov believes.

“Ships of this class, especially if they are equipped with an anti-missile system, are not used to fight against pirates. This cruiser is a mobile element of a missile defence system during a war. This means that the USA is beginning to deploy this system in addition to the ground elements that are planned in Romania. Russia has already expressed its concern about US activities in this region. The USA has not responded.”

This approach is hardly likely to contribute to establishing a joint concept and a structure for a future anti-missile system in Europe, which Moscow and Washington agreed to. “The Monterrey surprise” in the Black Sea makes null and void all spoken US assurances that the European missile defence system will not be aimed against Russia. Konstantin Chernov also pointed out the following:

“The Russian Black Sea fleet has only one ship on a par with The Monterrey. This is why the US cruiser is a serious threat to Russia’s national security in the region.”

Apart from that, the USA is violating the 1936 Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits. This document introduces considerable restrictions in class and tonnage for combat ships of non-Black Sea coastal states. In principle, only small US ships are allowed to pass through the Bosporus and Dardanelles, but not such a powerful cruiser as the Monterrey.

Konstantin Sivkov believes that the US ship in the Black Sea means that the USA is beginning to penetrate into this strategic region and under the pretext of practising pirate-fighting skills the Monterrey is gathering information about the region’s hydrology and hydrography, the location of foreign ships and the location of beacons.

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Moscow: Russia, Not NATO, To Decide On Its Weapons Needs

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/russia/1892479.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
June 16, 2011

Kremlin to NATO: Russia decides what weapons it needs, not Brussels

-If NATO wants to reduce tension with Russia, it should cancel the missile defence project, Rogozin said.
“We have always criticised these plans as deeply anti-Russian,” he said.

A suggestion by NATO’s secretary general that Russia should avoid improving its nuclear weapons arsenal drew an sharp response from the Kremlin on Thursday, with a senior official declaring Moscow would build whatever missiles it liked, DPA reported.

Dmitry Rogozin, the senior Russian government representative to NATO headquarters, in remarks to Interfax rejected recent suggestions by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen that the Kremlin should not develop a new intercontinental ballistic missiles.

“We will develop our defences in whatever way we see necessary, Rogozin said. “Russia always has and will continue maintain its national security, and that includes with the assistance of new weapons.”

The Kremlin official was responding to comments by Rasmussen reported by the British Telegraph newspaper in which he said Russia would waste its own resources and increase international tensions were it to develop a new generation of nuclear-capable missiles.

“What does not make sense is for Russia to spend billions of roubles on a new offensive system to target the West. This type of rhetoric is unnecessary. This type of thinking is out of date. This type of investment is a waste of money,” Rasmussen was quoted as saying.

Rogozin likewise dismissed Rasmussen’s claim NATO does not threaten Russia, noting NATO nations Poland, the Czech Republic and the US are planning to set up an missile intercept system which – Rogozin said – directly threaten Russian missile forces.

NATO officials have said the system is not aimed at Russia but at a missile which might possibly be developed by a rouge Middle Eastern power.

If NATO wants to reduce tension with Russia, it should cancel the missile defence project, Rogozin said.

“We have always criticised these plans as deeply anti-Russian,” he said.

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NATO Conducts Counterintelligence Exercises In Poland

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/16/c_13932041.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 16, 2011

NATO counterintelligence services in exercises in Poland

WARSAW: Almost 200 persons from 25 NATO member states and eight world’s most important international counterintelligence organisations took part in exercises which ended in Krakow of southern Poland on Wednesday.

“The exercises lasted about two weeks and several dozen top officials representing all participating institutions held a meeting Wednesday,” Polish Minister of Defense Bogdan Klich said, quoted by the PAP news agency.

Coordination of actions and ability to cooperate were crucial for effective operations and the Krakow exercises focused on exactly those matters: cooperation between various national services and reaching the set objectives, Klich went on.

The secretary of the Government Team for Special Services Jacek Cichocki explained further that the Krakow exercises were devoted to scenarios of permanent threats to NATO, such as espionage activity, organised crime and terrorist threats to NATO forces in foreign military missions.

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Czech Republic: NATO Gives U.S. Military Ally In Eastern Europe

http://www.defense.gov//News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=64334

U.S. Department of Defense
June 15, 2011

Lynn: ‘Unbreakable Bond’ Joins U.S., Czech Militaries
By John D. Banusiewicz

-The multiple areas of military cooperation between the United States and the Czech Republic are strong individually, the deputy secretary said, and they collectively build an unbreakable bond between the two nations that will continue to grow, especially as the Czech military implements the approach outlined in its White Book on Defense, a plan for improving and reforming the country’s military and its defense procurement system.

PRAGUE: The long-standing and growing military relationship between the United States and the Czech Republic has forged “an unbreakable bond,” Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said here today.

At a news conference following a 30-minute meeting with Czech Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra which Lynn described as “important and useful,” the deputy secretary said the growing U.S.-Czech strategic relationship has multiple strands and extensive contacts.

“As the minister mentioned, we have a relationship in the research and development area through the Office of Naval Research,” Lynn said. “We have strong relationships in terms of special operations forces [and] in terms of peacekeeping.”

In addition, he said, the two nations are working together on mutual improvement of their chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense capabilities.

“And I think one of the particular points in this meeting that we think we can build on is cooperation in terms of helicopter training, operations and maintenance,” Lynn said. “There is currently a Czech team in the United States that’s bringing some new ideas on that front forward, and we’re looking forward to evaluating those and looking at that as a basis for further cooperation.”

The multiple areas of military cooperation between the United States and the Czech Republic are strong individually, the deputy secretary said, and they collectively build an unbreakable bond between the two nations that will continue to grow, especially as the Czech military implements the approach outlined in its White Book on Defense, a plan for improving and reforming the country’s military and its defense procurement system.

“The area that’s most current in terms of exploration is the helicopter training, maintenance and operations,” Lynn said. “In that area, we greatly admire the Czech expertise, which is being very vividly demonstrated in Afghanistan, and we think that the ideas that are in the White Book, focusing on core competencies in these difficult fiscal times is exactly the right approach. And clearly, helicopter operations, training and maintenance is a core competency of the Czech Republic.”

The deputy secretary dispelled the notion that the United States withdrew an offer to have two computer terminals installed at Czech military facilities so that the Czech Republic could have near-real-time access to information about ballistic missile launches detected by U.S. early warning sensors. He noted that in his remarks at the news conference, Vondra pointed out that the offer the United States had made was overtaken by events, as NATO changed its approach to missile defense when its heads of state and government met in Lisbon, Portugal, in November.

“The Lisbon summit has, I think, changed the nature of the missile defense framework that we’re operating in,” Lynn said, “and the offer – while an interesting one and a good one – I think no longer fits either the missile defense framework or the Czech needs.”

After his arrival this morning on an overnight flight from the United States, Lynn met with U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic Norman Eisen and members of the U.S. country team here before his meeting with Vondra. Later in the day, he met privately with Czech Chief of Defense Gen. Vlastimil Picek.

—————————————————————————

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=64333

U.S. Department of Defense
June 15, 2011

Lynn Thanks Czech Republic for Afghan Help
By John D. Banusiewicz

PRAGUE: Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III met here today with Czech Republic officials, thanking them for stepping up their role in Afghanistan and discussing the way ahead in a growing military-to-military relationship between their countries.

After meeting with U.S. Ambassador to the Czech Republic Norman Eisen and members of the U.S. country team here, Lynn met for a half hour with Czech Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra, and later in the day he met with Czech Chief of Defense Gen. Vlastimil Picek.

During a news conference with Vondra after their meeting, Lynn said they discussed current operations in Afghanistan and the progress being made toward the transition to Afghan security control by the end of 2014, noting that the Czech contingent in Afghanistan will rise to more than 700 members this year.

“Additional Czech trainers and mentors will improve the capabilities of Afghan security forces and the Afghan military as we prepare them for this important transition,” Lynn said. “This contribution is vital.”

The deputy secretary added that he conveyed his gratitude to the Czech armed forces for their contributions to the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan, as well as in Kosovo and Iraq.

“The professionalism of Czech troops and civilian specialists in Afghanistan is highly valued by allied command and staff,” including ISAF Commander Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, Lynn said. He expressed condolences on behalf of the American people for the recent loss of a Czech soldier in Afghanistan.

“As someone who has met with many families of fallen warriors in my own country,” he said, “I can tell you that there is no more sobering reminder of the costs of establishing peace and security.”

In addition, Lynn said, he and Vondra discussed the Czech Republic’s White Book on Defense, a plan for improving and reforming the country’s military and its defense procurement system.

“The United States applauds these efforts,” he said, “because they make a good and capable ally an even better and stronger one.”

The deputy secretary noted that the United States is going through a similar effort, as all countries face difficult choices in seeking to spend their scarce resources wisely.

“A transparent and efficient procurement process ensures that taxpayers’ money is properly spent, that service members are well equipped, and that we as NATO allies are making the necessary contributions for our collective security and defense,” he said. “These improvements will lead to even more opportunities for defense cooperation.”

The United States has been able to provide the Czech armed forces with significant assistance in terms of training, communications modernization and air crew equipment, Lynn said.

“These opportunities to train together and to fight our adversaries using common tools are among the many mutual benefits of our strategic relationship,” he added.

Lynn noted that U.S.-Czech cooperation in helicopter operations and training is a particular area that is yielding important results.

“Not only is the Czech Republic preparing Afghan pilots as part of our NATO mission,” he said, “we also are working together on several current and future projects that will expand both U.S. and Czech capabilities to support a range of potential missions.”

Lynn also cited the National Guard’s State Partnership Program as an important area of cooperation between U.S. and Czech forces. Citizen-soldiers and –airmen from Texas and Nebraska have worked with the Czech armed forces toward mutual improvement of their disaster-relief and mass-casualty operations.

“As you can see, our strategic defense relationship is a broad one,” he said. “Minister Vondra and I are both committed to continuing and expanding our partnership.

“Together,” he added, “I am confident we can meet the critical security challenges of the 21st century.”

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U.S. Missile Strikes Kill At Least 15 In Pakistan

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1645701.php/US-missile-strikes-kill-15-in-Pakistan

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
June 15, 2011

US missile strikes kill 15 in Pakistan

Islamabad: At least 15 people were killed in three US missile strikes in northwestern Pakistan, along the border with Afghanistan, security officials said Wednesday.

In the first attack, an unmanned drone aircraft fired two missiles on a car near Wana, the main town in South Waziristan district. Minutes later two more missiles were fired on a compound in the same area.

‘Four people died in the vehicle while six bodies have so far been pulled from the rubble of the compound,’ said an intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The identity of those killed was not known.

Three drones hovered over the site of the attack for some time, the official said.

Also on Wednesday, a drone attack targeted a vehicle in the outskirts of Miranshah, the main town in the neighboring troubled district of North Waziristan.

‘All five people in the car have been killed. The locals have pulled out their charred bodies,’ said a second intelligence official. The identity of those killed were not determined yet.

The New York Times said in a report on Wednesday that Pakistan’s military has been distancing itself from US intelligence and counterinsurgency operations in over the past several weeks.

The article also called into question the future of US drone attacks, whose strikes on suspected militant hideouts on the Pakistani side of the Afghan border have also met with popular opposition.

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Pakistan: More NATO Oil Tankers Set Ablaze

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C06%5C16%5Cstory_16-6-2011_pg7_7

Daily Times
June 16, 2011

Two NATO oil tankers set on fire in Bolan

QUETTA: Two NATO oil tankers were set on fire by unidentified militants near the Qambari bridge area of Dhadar in the Bolan district on Wednesday, some 130 away from the provincial capital.

According to sources in levies, two oil tankers carrying fuel for the NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan were on their way from Karachi to Kandahar when unidentified armed men riding motorcycles opened indiscriminate fire at the tankers near Qambari bridge area of Dhadar.

Resultantly, a driver was injured while fire engulfed the oil tankers culminating in the complete destruction of tankers. Assailants managed to escape on motorbikes after the incident. Levies personnel rushed to the spot soon after the incident and cordoned off the area to launch manhunt for the culprits.

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U.S.’s New Drone War: Yemen

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/15/51801142.html

Voice of Russia
June 16, 2011

The US in Yemen: drone war
Vladimir Fedoruk

The US plans to set up a new air base in the Gulf targeting Yemen, while American servicemen are already engaged in a secret anti-Al-Qaeda operation in the south of the country.

The location is kept secret but some say this might be Bahrain as it already has a US base and provides the safest route to Yemen for US drones through American ally-Saudi Arabia.

Recently, drones have been actively involved in regional conflicts, drone expert Denis Fedutinov told the VoR:

“The US used drones already in the Balkans campaign, then in Iraq and Afghanistan and now in Libya. The US and Israel are the world drone leaders. Now America has several thousand drones of different classes.”

US servicemen in Yemen are using drones for intelligence and aiding jet fighters. Recently, drones destroyed several insurgent camps in southern Yemen…The country’s President Abdullah Saleh has given the US carte blanche for using any means to combat insurgents.

However, US drones have a bad reputation in the Arab world as they often strike civilians in Pakistan and Afghanistan and are considered sovereignty-breakers. Pakistan’s parliament even demanded that the US stopped using drones in the country. In Yemen, which is griped by civil war, any mistake can strengthen tension. Moreover, mistaken air strikes can be exploited by Al Qaeda.

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Ollanta Humala Declared Winner Of Peruvian Presidential Election

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/16/51823410.html

Voice of Russia
June 16, 2011

Left-winger Ollanta Humala wins Peru election

Left-wing former army commander Ollanta Humala has been declared the winner of Peru’s presidential election.

Humala garnered 51.4 percent of all votes cast in the June 5 poll, with rightwing politician Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori, trailing behind with 48.5 percent.

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NATO Commander Praises Military Integration Of Serbia, Balkans

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_75509.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 15, 2011

NATO and Serbia discuss progress on Military Cooperation

Belgrade: Following the Strategic Military Partnership Conference (SMPC) 2011, hosted by Serbia, the Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, Admiral Di Paola, on an official visit, called on the Serbian Minister of Defence Mr. Dragan Sutanovac, the Assistant Minister for Security Policy Mr. Zoran Vujic and the Chief of the General Staff, General Miloje Miletic.

Talks mainly focused on the evolution of the security situation in the Balkans, progress in military cooperation between NATO and Serbia, and on the reform of the Serbian Armed Forces. On partnership, specific attention was given to the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which was recently approved by the North Atlantic Council and which constitutes an important step forward in NATO-Serbia relations, allowing deeper political dialogue and practical cooperation.

Adm. Di Paola also participated with Professor Tanja Miscevic, State Secretary of the Serbian Ministry of Defense, in a roundtable discussion on “NATO in the New Security Environment” and on “Defence Reform in Serbia in light of Modern Security Challenges”, organized by the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy. Later, Adm. Di Paola elaborated on the new security threats, and their increasingly global and unpredictable nature with students of the Serbian Army General Staff.

Praising Serbia for the successful organisation of the Strategic Military Partnership Conference and for its progress in military cooperation with NATO, the Chairman emphasised: “the key word is flexibility, because things are changing too fast to remain a prisoner of patterns of the past. Only flexibility and cooperative approach to security can help us – Allies and Partners – to remain in line with the strategic environment. The complex realities we are and will be facing cannot be addressed by one player only. This is why Partnerships are a guarantee for peace and stability at regional level”.

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Macedonia: Pentagon Continues Integration Of Balkans

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123260134

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
June 16, 2011

Macedonian general officially closes MEDCEUR 11
by Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
MEDCEUR 11 Public Affairs

CAMP PEPELISHTE, Macedonia: The 2011 Medical Training Exercise in Central and Eastern Europe officially closed during a ceremony June 15.

An annual Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff-sponsored regional and multilateral exercise, MEDCEUR was designed to provide medical training and operational experience in a deployed environment for U.S. and partner nations. The countries that participated in this year’s MEDCEUR were Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia and Norway.

“Most of us have made many new lasting friendships and learned to work together much more effectively,” said Col. (Dr.) Charles Tedder, MEDCEUR co-director and 3rd Air Force command surgeon. “That is what this exercise is all about – building enduring partnerships and enhancing our interoperability.”

Brig. Gen. Kiro Galazovski, Republic of Macedonia Joint Operative Forces of Army deputy commander, concluded the ceremony expressing his appreciation to the participating countries and officially closed MEDCEUR 11.

“This exercise has contributed immensely to the preparedness of civilian and military structures of the Republic of Macedonia while handling crisis situations of all kinds, and to the increase of interoperability,” General Galazovski said….

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Training Mission: Dutch Troops Return To Afghanistan

http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/dutch-mission-troops-arrive-afghanistan

Radio Netherlands
June 16, 2011

Dutch mission troops arrive in AfghanistanPublished on 15 June 2011 –

The first Dutch troops have arrived in the north Afghan province of Kunduz to take part in a police training mission.

The Ministry of Defence says the around 100 army and marine personnel will acclimatise to the hot temperatures first. Then they will make preparations for the mission, taking over from 70 quartermasters, who have been staying at a German army base in the province.

In the next few weeks, other military personnel will join the group in Kunduz for a police training mission. Once the preparations have been completed, they will give cadets practical training outside the base. From January, the Dutch will give an eight-week basic training in the training centre itself.

The accommodation for the Dutch trainers in Kunduz is almost ready…

Equipment from the province of Uruzgan, where the Dutch NATO mission ended last August, has been transported to Kunduz. According to a defence spokesperson, the equipment includes armoured Bushmasters.

The Dutch mission only got through parliament with the support of opposition parties D66 and the GreenLeft on the condition that the training was eight weeks long rather than six and particular attention would be paid to human rights issues.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Oscar Wilde: Antidote to war

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

Oscar Wilde
From The Critic as Artist (1890)

The Manchester school tried to make men realise the brotherhood of humanity, by pointing out the commercial advantages of peace. It sought to degrade the wonderful world into a common market-place for the buyer and the seller. It addressed itself to the lowest instincts, and it failed. War followed upon war, and the tradesman’s creed did not prevent France and Germany from clashing together in blood-stained battle. There are others of our own day who seek to appeal to mere emotional sympathies, or to the shallow dogmas of some vague system of abstract ethics. They have their Peace Societies, so dear to the sentimentalists, and their proposals for unarmed International Arbitration, so popular among those who have never read history. But mere emotional sympathy will not do. It is too variable, and too closely connected with the passions; and a board of arbitrators who, for the general welfare of the race, are to be deprived of the power of putting their decisions into execution, will not be of much avail…

Criticism will annihilate race-prejudices, by insisting upon the unity of the human mind in the variety of its forms. If we are tempted to make war upon another nation, we shall remember that we are seeking to destroy an element of our own culture, and possibly its most important element. As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular. The change will of course be slow, and people will not be conscious of it. They will not say ‘We will not war against France because her prose is perfect,’ but because the prose of France is perfect, they will not hate the land. Intellectual criticism will bind Europe together in bonds far closer than those that can be forged by shopman or sentimentalist. It will give us the peace that springs from understanding.

*****

From A Chinese Sage (1890)

The accumulation of wealth is to him [Chuang Tsǔ] the origin of evil. It makes the strong violent, and the weak dishonest. It creates the petty thief, and puts him in a bamboo cage. It creates the big thief, and sets him on a throne of white jade. It is the father of competition, and competition is the waste, as well as the destruction, of energy. The order of nature is rest, repetition, and peace. Weariness and war are the results of an artificial society based upon capital; and the richer this society gets, the more thoroughly bankrupt it really is, for it has neither sufficient rewards for the good nor sufficient punishments for the wicked. There is also this to be remembered – that the prizes of the world degrade a man as much as the world’s punishments. The age is rotten with its worship of success…

*****

Marie Saltus
From Edgar Saltus: The Man (1925)

With Mr. Saltus, Wilde was driving to his home in Chelsea on a bleak and bitter night. Upon alighting a man came up to them. He wore a jacket which he opened. From neck to waste he was bare. At the sight Mr. Saltus gave him a gold piece, but Wilde, with entire simplicity, took off his own coat and put it about the man. It was a lesson Mr. Saltus never forgot.

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 15, 2011

June 15, 2011 1 comment

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89-Day War: Over 11,000 NATO Air Missions Over Libya

NATO Kills 12 Libyans In Air Strike On Bus

Huge Columns Of Smoke Over Tripoli After NATO Strikes

U.S. Carrier Strike Group, 70 Military Aircraft, 9,000 Forces In Naples

U.S., French Amphibious Assault Ships Link Up In Mediterranean

Top NATO Military Chief Hails Malta As Base For Libyan War

Britain Mulls Continuing War In Libya

Canada Extends Libyan War Mission By Three And A Half Months

Iceland: NATO Forces “Train As We Would Fight, Sustain Combat Capability” For Libya-Type Operations

Shanghai Cooperation Organization Calls For End To Libya Conflict

Shanghai Cooperation Organization Opposes U.S.-NATO Missile Plans, Militarization Of Space

Pakistan Expects Full Shanghai Cooperation Organization Membership Soon

Global Military Dominance Becoming Unaffordable

When Will U.S. And NATO Decide It’s Venezuela’s Turn?

Belgrade: NATO Conference Has Tri-Continental Military Significance

Overwhelming Majority Of Serbs Reject NATO

Serbian Patriarch Condemns NATO

Montenegro Being Prepared As NATO’s 29th Member

Pentagon Appoints New Military Command For Kyrgyz Transit Center

McCain Demands Russian Withdrawal From Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transdniester

Kazakhstan’s Parliament Rejects NATO Deal On Afghanistan

Human Organ Trafficking Scandal In Kosovo Disclosed

NATO Loses Another Soldier In Southern Afghanistan

NATO’s Global Role Analyzed In Azerbaijan

U.S. Carrier Strike Group In Baltic Sea NATO Exercise

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89-Day War: Over 11,000 NATO Air Missions Over Libya

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_06/20110615_110615-oup-update.pdf

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 11107 sorties, including 4212 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 14 JUNE: 136

Strike sorties conducted 14 JUNE: 48

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NATO Kills 12 Libyans In Air Strike On Bus

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/16/c_13932036.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 15, 2011

NATO air strike reportedly kills 12 in Libya: State TV

TRIPOLI: NATO air strike killed 12 people on a bus in Tripoli on Wednesday, Libyan State TV reported.

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Huge Columns Of Smoke Over Tripoli After NATO Strikes

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/15/c_13929665.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 15, 2011

Blast hits east Tripoli of Libya

TRIPOLI: A heavy explosion rocked the east of the Libyan capital of Tripoli late Tuesday evening, causing a big fire, with helicopters of the NATO forces hovering over the area, a Xinhua correspondent said.

Huge columns of smoke can be seen arising from the district of Fernaj, in east Tripoli, according to the Xinhua correspondent.

Libyan state TV later confirmed the blast, without indicating the casualties from the incident.

During the past several weeks, NATO forces have intensified strikes against Tripoli and the neighboring areas. Libyan authorities have continually accused NATO of killing hundreds of civilians and destroying civil facilities and infrastructures.

The world’s major powers, the UK, the U.S. and France, started on March 19 to launch strikes from the air and sea against Gaddafi ‘s forces after the UN Security Council passed a resolution to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and authorize “all necessary measures” to protect civilians in Libya.

NATO has formally taken over full command and control of military operations against Libya from the U.S. on March 31.

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U.S. Carrier Strike Group, 70 Military Aircraft, 9,000 Forces In Naples

http://www.stripes.com/news/navy/navy-s-newest-carrier-reaches-naples-during-first-deployment-1.146380

Stars and Stripes
June 11, 2011

Navy’s newest carrier reaches Naples during first deployment
By Geoff Ziezulewicz

-It’s…the first voyage for the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun, and the group features the debut of the EA-18G “Growler” surveillance aircraft among the more than 70 aircraft that comprise the carrier’s air wing.
There are about 9,000 sailors deployed with the carrier strike group.

The Navy’s newest aircraft carrier arrived in Naples, Italy, Saturday morning for a visit, one month into its maiden deployment.

It is one of many firsts for the USS George H.W. Bush and its carrier strike group during a seven-month deployment that will see it traveling the Mediterranean waters of the 6th Fleet en route to the Middle East and the 5th Fleet’s territory.

The 1,000-foot, 97,000-ton carrier is the newest and the last of the Nimitz class to be built. The strike group is led by Rear Adm. Nora Tyson, the first female to command a strike group.

It’s also the first voyage for the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun, and the group features the debut of the EA-18G “Growler” surveillance aircraft among the more than 70 aircraft that comprise the carrier’s air wing.

There are about 9,000 sailors deployed with the carrier strike group.

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U.S., French Amphibious Assault Ships Link Up In Mediterranean

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=60901

United States Navy
June 9, 2011

Bataan Helps Prepare Longtime U.S. Partner for Mission Ahead
By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman James Turner, USS Bataan Public Affairs

USS BATAAN, At Sea: Sailors and Marines aboard multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) embarked aboard FS Tonnerre (L9014) June 7 to assist the crew of the French amphibious assault ship with their successful well-deck certification while both ships were conducting operations in the Mediterranean Sea.

Bataan employed a landing craft, air cushioned (LCAC), from Assault Craft Unit (ACU) 4 and a team of amphibious operations subject matter experts to work side-by-side with their French counterparts.

The certification will provide Tonnerre with additional flexibility during their support to NATO-led Operation Unified Protector.

“This is a very beneficial capability to have for NATO,” said Captain Philippe Ebanga, Tonnerre’s commanding officer. “The French do not own LCACs, so the U.S. Navy is the only organization that is capable of providing us with a certification.”

This is Tonnerre’s first recertification since receiving an initial certification after being delivered to the French fleet five years ago. The certification expires every two years.

“The certification performed aboard Tonnerre is the same process done on any amphibious assault U.S. Navy vessel,” said Chief Warrant Officer (CWO3) Wes Mason, officer in charge of the ACU-4 detachment operating from Bataan.

Sailors and Marines from Bataan spent eight hours aboard Tonnerre working with the French sailors.

Bataan is the command ship of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group (ARG), supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

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Top NATO Military Chief Hails Malta As Base For Libyan War

http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=127120

Malta Independent
June 15, 2011

Nato Commander delivers message of thanks to Maltese
by Chiara Bonello

“My message is very simple, the purpose of my visit is to come and say thank you to the people of Malta,” Admiral James Stavidris, Commander US European Command and Nato‘s Supreme Allied Commander Europe said yesterday.

Addressing the press outside St John’s Co-Cathedral, during his short visit to Malta yesterday, Admiral Stavidris said they were grateful that they had been able to land Nato jets in Malta in emergency landings.

As a Senior Officer at Nato, Admiral Stavidris said he was very happy with the US engagement with Malta…during the time of operations in Libya.

Admiral Stavidris said he had held very productive talks with the Armed Forces of Malta Brigadier, Martin Xuereb and Director for Defence Matters, Vanessa Frazier…

Commenting on the fact that Admiral Stavidris is an avid historian, Dr Gonzi said that Malta is a case study of strategic locality, a fact which he said is recognised as both an asset and a responsibility.

The US and Malta have worked closely together, he said, adding that Malta was very grateful to the assistance offered in terms of illegal immigration and in the training offered to Maltese soldiers.

“I recognise that you are representing a country Malta has worked closely with,” he said, expressing an intention to continue to coordinate and work closely with the US, especially at such crucial times.

Admiral Stavidris arrived in Malta yesterday morning, and started with a tour of the AFM maritime base at Haywharf.

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Britain Mulls Continuing War In Libya

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/14/51706300.html

Voice of Russia
June 14, 2011

Britain mulls continuing war in Libya
Sergei Sayenko

The British Royal Navy will have to deal with consequences if the operation in Libya exceeds six months, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, the First Sea Lord, told reporters on Monday.

The escalation of the Libyan conflict has already prompted Britain to deploy more warships off the coast of Libya, including the Ocean assault ship, equipped with the Apache attack helicopters, which regularly launch air strikes on pro-Gaddafi forces. According to Sir Stanhope, “if the operation in Libya goes beyond the six-month mark, the government will have to reprioritize forces.”

Britain signaled its readiness to join Operation Unified Protector in Libya several months after Prime Minister David Cameron moved to cut his country’s military budget by 8 percent by 2015. The decision left Britain without the Ark Royal aircraft carrier and its fleet of the Harrier jump jets, which Sir Stanhope conceded “would have been useful in Libya”.

The First Sea Lord’s comments have already infuriated many highly placed officials in Britain, with Shadow Defense Secretary Jim Murphy describing them as “incredible.” He said that “the country will be dismayed to hear that the operation in Libya could have been conducted more cheaply and more effectively had the government taken a different approach. Now, it is vital that ministers tell us how they intend to equip the mission in Libya should it go beyond the six-month mark.”

Instead of answering this question, official London should better explain its decision to take part in Operation Unified Protector, which was, by the way, initiated by Britain and France, our political commentator says, citing the United States, which, he said, refrained from actively participating in the operation. Last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates made it plain that London and Paris should not rely on Washington’s help as far as their war-effort in Libya is concerned.

With plans for a ground operation in Libya already in the pipeline, London will certainly have tougher times ahead trying to find ways to continue to finance its military mission in this North African country. According to the Daily Mail newspaper, Britain has already injected about 75 million pounds into the mission, with analysts putting the figure at more than 300 million pounds – something that, they say, may increase at least three-fold by year-end. The question is whether the British economy will cope with the burden…

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Canada Extends Libyan War Mission By Three And A Half Months

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/15/c_13931677.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 15, 2011

Canada extends Libya mission

-Lewis MacKenzie, a former major-general with the Canadian Forces, said Canada’s goals in Libya have become murky since the mission began in February.
The objective has shifted from protecting civilians to an all-out war against Gadhafi and his supporters, MacKenzie said in an interview with local media.
MacKenzie told CTV’s Power Play Tuesday evening that continued bombing is only going to have negative impacts, such as destroying infrastructure, and won’t help secure a peaceful future in Libya.

OTTAWA: As a result of a day-long debate, the House of Commons Tuesday overwhelmingly voted to extend Canada’s participation in the NATO-led mission in Libya by three-and-a-half months.

The Conservative government’s resolution passed by a vote of 294-1, with Green Party Leader Elizabeth May being the lone member of parliament to vote against.

May said she was against giving “a blank cheque to a mission that doesn’t have an exit strategy.”

May, the only Green MP in Commons, said she was in favor of the original humanitarian mission, but does not support the shift toward a military mission to depose Gadhafi.

Canada has deployed about 650 armed personnel, assisted by CF-18 Hornet jet fighters and a Navy destroyer, working to enforce the no-fly zone as part of a NATO mission…

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said the mission isn’t over yet…

The vote came hours after Baird announced that the Canadian government is officially recognizing the National Transitional Council of Libya as the legitimate representative of Libyan citizens.

“Canada is embarking on an enhanced engagement strategy with the National Transitional Council of Libya,” Baird said, adding that Canada will provide governance expertise to the council.

The policy echoes similar announcements from Germany and Australia in recent days…

Lewis MacKenzie, a former major-general with the Canadian Forces, said Canada’s goals in Libya have become murky since the mission began in February.

The objective has shifted from protecting civilians to an all-out war against Gadhafi and his supporters, MacKenzie said in an interview with local media.

MacKenzie told CTV’s Power Play Tuesday evening that continued bombing is only going to have negative impacts, such as destroying infrastructure, and won’t help secure a peaceful future in Libya.

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Iceland: NATO Forces “Train As We Would Fight, Sustain Combat Capability” For Libya-Type Operations

http://www.eucom.mil/english/fullstory.asp?article=Reserve-Airmen-fuel-NATO-forces-Iceland-exercise

United States European Command
June 15, 2011

Reserve Airmen fuel up NATO forces in Iceland exercise
by Tech. Sgt. Steve Lewis, 459th Air Refueling Wing public affairs

-Capt. Vegar Johansen, RNAF pilot and NV11 Norwegian detachment commander said this is the first deployment for many of his younger pilots participating in the exercise. He said exercises like NV11 allowed the pilots to prepare for real-world scenarios, like Operation Odyssey Dawn.

KELAVIK, Iceland: Air Force Reserve Airmen and KC-135 Stratotankers from the 459th Air Refueling Wing, Joint Base Andrews, Md., took part in Northern Viking 11, a biennial NATO air-space and maritime protection exercise here June 3-10, 2011.

This year approximately 450 NATO military members from the U.S., Norway, Italy, Iceland and Denmark worked side-by-side, simulating operations that prepare the countries to respond quickly to international conflict or emergency situations.

Reserve crews delivered nearly 130,000 pounds of fuel to fighter aircraft from the Royal Norwegian Air Force and the 115th Fighter Wing, Wisconsin Air National Guard.

“This exercise allows a venue for NATO forces to come together, train as we would fight, operate within the European theater and this kind of training provides that continuity from year-to-year to sustain our combat capability,” said Air Force Col. Brian Vaughn, exercise director for NV11.

“It’s been really great training across the board, for both us and the NATO forces. Scenarios like setting up a tanker cell with Italy and working with a totally integrated group of Reserve, Air National Guard and NATO forces all were great experiences,” said Maj. Scott Clark, KC-135 pilot and 459th ARW detachment commander for the exercise.

For the Royal Norwegian Air Force especially, the exercise was an opportunity for new F-16 pilots to hone their skills in aerial refueling while working with the 459th ARW and the KC-135. In order to be combat-ready, RNAF pilots must stay current on tanker operations, which NV11 helps to provide.

Capt. Vegar Johansen, RNAF pilot and NV11 Norwegian detachment commander said this is the first deployment for many of his younger pilots participating in the exercise. He said exercises like NV11 allowed the pilots to prepare for real-world scenarios, like Operation Odyssey Dawn.

“Since we do not have any tankers in Norway, we have to rely on U.S. to get this type of training and allow our air force to be combat ready,” Captain Johansen said.

The Italian Air Force also played an important role in the exercise. Their Eurofighter Typhoon pilots flew for the first time alongside F-16 pilots from the 115th FW and the RNAF in conducting daily missions.

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Shanghai Cooperation Organization Calls For End To Libya Conflict

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/15/51767030.html

Voice of Russia
June 15, 2011

SCO leaders call for ending Libya conflict

SCO leaders have called for ending the Libya armed conflict and have urged that the UN Security Council resolutions on Libya should be strictly observed. This comes in a declaration that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization adopted following its 10th summit meeting in Kazakhstan’s capital city Astana.

The leaders of the member-states also signed a number of documents, including the Antiterrorist Strategy for 2011-2016, and said they would promote cooperation with the SCO observer nations, namely India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan, as well as with their partners in dialogue, Belarus and Sri Lanka.

The Presidents of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, and high-ranking UN, CIS, EurAsEC, CSTO and ASEAN officials have been invited to attend as guests.

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Shanghai Cooperation Organization Opposes U.S.-NATO Missile Plans, Militarization Of Space

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/15/51793330.html

Voice of Russia
June 15, 2011

SCO opposes US missile defence plans

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization categorically opposes unilateral American plans for a global missile defence system.

There were two separate statements about this Wednesday – one, from a SCO summit in Astana in Kazakhstan, and the other, from the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The Americans are mulling, among other things, interceptor rockets in Southeast Asia. These plans infringe on the CSO’s security interests.

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http://en.rian.ru/world/20110615/164624238.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 15, 2011

SCO slams U.S. missile defense plans

ASTANA: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) opposes Western missile defense plans that could jeopardize international stability, the regional security group said in a declaration on Wednesday.

“The member states believe that the unilateral and unrestricted buildup of a missile defense capability by one state or a group of countries can hurt strategic stability and international security,” the six-nation summit declaration said.

The leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan met in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana to discuss regional stability and security, including the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.

Moscow has been critical of U.S. plans to build a missile defense system in Europe in 2015-2020 in close proximity to its national borders.

The SCO leaders also spoke in favor of a nuclear weapons-free zone in Central Asia and the use of outer space exclusively for peaceful purposes.

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Pakistan Expects Full Shanghai Cooperation Organization Membership Soon

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110615/164623239.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 15, 2011

Pakistan counts on full-scale SCO membership ‘soon’
“We hope that our membership application will be put on a fast track. In the meantime, Pakistan will participate in all of the SCO’s peace and development programs.”

Astana: Pakistan expects to receive full-fledged membership at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization soon, President Asif Ali Zardari said on Wednesday.

“We hope that our membership application will be put on a fast track,” he told a six-nation summit in Astana. “In the meantime, Pakistan will participate in all of the SCO’s peace and development programs.”

The leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are meeting to discuss regional stability and security, including the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.

Iran, Mongolia, India and Pakistan have observer status in the organization.

Pakistan would like to join SCO initiatives to facilitate regional and trans-regional cooperation and trade, Zardari added.

“We would like to cooperate with regional countries in the financial and banking sector, the setting up of joint ventures, educational, infrastructural, and theological programs,” he said.

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Global Military Dominance Becoming Unaffordable

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2011/6/15/focus/8901154&sec=focus

The Star (Malaysia)
June 15, 2011

Global military dominance becoming unaffordable
By Bunn Nagara

Both ‘Britannia’ and the Western alliance are losing the means to perpetuate military-political hegemony worldwide

-After Iraq, the US has waded into Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya while straining to get stuck into Syria. Its challenge is to get a sizeable number of allies to go along to a significant degree.
-If the continued role of global policeman today seems dated, it is even more surreal given emerging major powers such as those in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa).
-[S]trategically Afgha­nistan is critically located in Central Asia next door to China, Pakistan and Iran. So long as it remains in that position, which it will, the great powers will play their “games” while the locals will fight a war to resist them.

Britain was once a proud maritime power, with a foremost Royal Navy that policed a global empire on which “the sun never set.”

These days the British Navy has trouble trying to pin down a single Third World country with a tottering regime: Libya. This incompatibility between present Western capacities and current intentions is, however, greater than any disjuncture with past glories.

This week Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, Britain’s First Sea Lord, announced that the Royal Navy would not be able to sustain the current campaign against Libya for more than six months. He also noted that the decline is in both equipment inventory and, consequently, morale.

Britain’s Strategic Defence and Security Review last year had cut 10,000 jobs in the Navy and Royal Air Force, and consigned the aircraft carrier Ark Royal, the frigate HMS Cumberland and the once-iconic Harrier jets to the storeroom or junkyard.

As the Libya military campaign suddenly loomed, the Cumberland was diverted there to help in evacuating British nationals. Yet for Downing Street, Britain remains a leading military power with the world’s fourth-largest defence budget.

Evidently like much of Europe, Britain’s lack of appetite for global patrolling work is not totally in sync with US interventionist moves. The “pole positions” occupied by Britain and France over Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya helps to conceal the incongruity, but not for long.

When US Defence Secretary Robert Gates reportedly blasted unnamed Nato partners in Brussels last week for not contributing their share, he ridiculed some for running out of ammunition at critical times in laying siege to a country. The Royal Navy now needs to purchase more Cruise missiles from the US after firing some of them.

The US provides more than 75% of Nato’s budget, with Gates wondering aloud whether this major contribution and Nato itself could be sustained. All of this has come at a time of budget squeezes, after Osama bin Laden’s death and a Cold War which ended 20 years ago.

Washington has been lobbying its European partners in Nato to raise their military commitment, much of it in vain. It is not that the latter do not share US concerns about global instability, but rather they prefer political, diplomatic, economic and social solutions rather than inordinately military ones.

After Iraq, the US has waded into Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya while straining to get stuck into Syria. Its challenge is to get a sizeable number of allies to go along to a significant degree.

For much of the world outside Washington, a propensity for unilateral military intervention abroad links these various armed adventures. It is not a popular indulgence, not even when the spectre of international terrorism is invoked as the alternative to inaction.

If the continued role of global policeman today seems dated, it is even more surreal given emerging major powers such as those in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). These are all fast-growing major economies, besides Russia and China being permanent members of the UNSC with veto power.

This week both Moscow and Beijing boycotted a UNSC meeting called by the Western powers to discuss a proposed resolution against Syria. The other BRICS countries are also unhappy with the prospect of further war against another oil-rich Muslim country.

Even in Western circles there is strong reluctance to rely on more military power. Germany, Europe’s leading economy and a major Nato partner, is still unconvinced by the campaign against Libya.

But if the interests of the military-industrial complex are any guide, efforts will continue towards war. Officially there are six major US military bases in Afghanistan, but on the ground US and other foreign forces are stationed at some 400 bases in the country.

Although the Obama White House is supposed to comply with its pullout schedule in Afghanistan, secret talks with Kabul are continuing over the actual outcome. There are reports that US forces may well remain in Afghanistan for decades after the 2014 complete pullout date.

On the surface the issue is a resurgent Taliban and their terror connections, but strategically Afgha­nistan is critically located in Central Asia next door to China, Pakistan and Iran. So long as it remains in that position, which it will, the great powers will play their “games” while the locals will fight a war to resist them.

Afghanistan meanwhile is pressing for better terms in a draft agreement that would reflect its sense of sovereignty. Whether that would work is another question.

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When Will U.S. And NATO Decide It’s Venezuela’s Turn?

http://www.vheadline.com/readnews.asp?id=101979

VHeadline
June 14, 2011

When will the USA and NATO decide that it’s Chavez’ turn?
Oscar Heck

Wow! Thanks to my good friend and writer (and translator), Franco Munini, another piece of the puzzle has fallen into place. He sent me the link to a very interesting article about why Libya and Gaddhafi are suddenly being attacked by the USA and its allies. The similarities between what is happening in Libya (or rather the reasons why it is happening in Libya) and what is happening in Latin America these days is eerie.

Basically, the USA, France, England, Italy and their NATO allies have to stop Gaddhafi from further spreading his ideas throughout the entire African continent. His ideas would weaken the US dollar and other non-gold-based currencies to the point that they could become worthless on the African continent.

Gaddhafi has been leading several efforts with the goal of creating an independent and autonomous Africa, non-reliant on western financial, lending and banking systems and institutions, and non-reliant on western-controlled telecommunication and military technology, amongst other things.

For example, he had led the movement that created an African joint organization that owns its own satellite … to avoid paying exorbitant rental fees to European countries, as was previously being done.

Coincidentally, in 2008, Venezuela launched its own satellite, using Chinese technology.

Gaddhafi was also leading two major moves to form the African Union and the African Investment Bank and the African Monetary Fund, which would replace financing for the African Union countries that have traditionally been financed by western institutions such as the IMF (International Monetary Fund).

Coincidentally, Venezuela (Chavez) along with concerted efforts on the part of Argentina (Cristina Fernandez), Cuba (Fidel and Raul Castro), Ecuador (Rafael Correa) and Bolivia (Evo Moralez), have been leading the process in putting together UNASUR, the Union of South American Nations and the formation of a common investment bank, Banco Del Sur, that would also replace the IMF and other western US-dollar-based lending institutions.

Gaddhafi has been proposing going a step further, by creating a common currency for the African Union.

UNASUR is proposing a common currency, the Sucre, to replace the US dollar for trade between UNASUR countries.

Gaddhafi has been proposing the unification of the military for the African Union.

A new, joint military school was recently inaugurated in Bolivia for UNASUR.

But the best is still to come. In July of this year, the announcement of the creation of CELAC will be announced (Community for Latin American and Caribbean States – which excludes Canada and the USA). The CELAC aims at replacing the OAS, which has been just as subservient and bootlicking to the USA and Canada as the UN is subservient and prostrate to the USA and its allies.

Venezuela has been considering changing the currency used for oil sales … and so has Gaddhafi.

For years, Libya was embargoed by the USA … and so is Venezuela in the military and oil sectors.

Venezuela is geographically in a strategic location, at the central top of South America, an excellent access point to the vast Amazonian resources, including its vast water supply. Libya is also central to Africa, and has access to some of the largest underground water resources in the world. And oil, of course.

Libya has been the main country leading the move toward African unity and independence from former colonizing countries … and Venezuela is the leader in the move toward South American unity and independence from former controlling countries such as the USA and Canada and its allies.

The USA and NATO are presently attacking Libya, trying to assassinate Gaddhafi and bring Libya back to colonization by western nations.

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Belgrade: NATO Conference Has Tri-Continental Military Significance

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=06&dd=14&nav_id=74904&version=print

B92/Tanjug News Agency
June 14, 2011

Minister: Conference has military significance

-The conference is attended by representatives of member states of NATO, the Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, as well as high EU and NATO officials.

BELGRADE: Defense Minister Dragan Šutanovac says the Strategic Military Partner Conference in Belgrade has considerable military, but not political significance.

Šutanovac stressed that, while making a decision to host the gathering, the Serbian Defense Ministry was aware of the emotions that NATO provokes in Serbia.

….

“The conference has an extremely important military, not political character,” Šutanovac stressed, adding that the goal of the meeting is to show that Serbia is a dependable partner that can be relied on not only by NATO, but also by other countries attending the conference.

Šutanovac said that Serbia will continue strengthening its defense forces and raising international reputation through its presence in peacekeeping missions.

He underscored that two recently signed agreements with the EU will establish the legal framework for Serbia’s participation in the EU peacekeeping operations.

“In this way, we will confirm our commitment to Serbia’s European perspective and the universal system of values fostered in the modern world,” he said.

The aim of the Strategic Military Partner Conference is to exchange experience and opinions on major strategic issues of common interest. The conference is attended by representatives of member states of NATO, the Partnership for Peace, Mediterranean Dialogue and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, as well as high EU and NATO officials.

The gathering, bringing together NATO and its partner countries, was opened today by NATO Commander of Allied Command Transformation Stephane Abrial.

Dragan Šutanovac and Miloje Miletić, chief of the VS general staff, were present.

Representatives of some 60 countries are taking part in the event that started at the Hyatt Hotel in Belgrade.

Ahead of the official start of the conference, participants attended a reception at the Guard House in Topčider.

The conference will last through June 15.

It is organized by NATO’s Allied Command Transformation, and gathered members of this western military alliance, its Partnership for Peace program, the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Initiative.

Security culture

Serbia is recognized as a partner country that shares a common security culture of the contemporary world Stephane Abrial has been quoted as saying ahead of the conference.

Abrial met with Dragan Šutanovac in Belgrade on Monday.

Abrial praised the Serbian Defense Ministry and the army (VS) for a successful organization and extraordinary cooperation in the preparation of the Strategic Military Partner Conference, co-organized with the Allied Command Transformation, the Defense Ministry said in a website release.

Šutanovac informed his guest about the results achieved in the defense system reforms that have been key conditions to put Serbia among countries with the capacity to contribute to international peace and security.

Trust is also being earned by such conferences, and credibility gained by readiness to reform a country’s defense system in a way that it can respond to national, regional and global security challenges, Šutanovac said.

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Overwhelming Majority Of Serbs Reject NATO

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/14/51703227.html

Voice of Russia
June 14, 2011

Serbians not too keen on joining NATO
Alexander Vatutin

-“NATO bombed Yugoslavia for 79 days. Over 800 children were killed, the number of cancer patients has increased by six times because the alliance used shells with depleted uranium, and the country suffered damage of more than $200 billion. In the end, it was due to NATO that Serbia lost Kosovo which makes up 15% of its territory. This is how the alliance contributed to the good of our country”.

An overwhelming majority of the Serbians have a negative opinion of the plans of their leadership to start the process of joining NATO. This was obviously demonstrated on Monday, ahead of the NATO conference on strategic military partnership in Belgrade. Hundreds of people went into the streets to protest against President Boris Tadic’s pro-NATO policy.

For ordinary Serbians NATO is first of all associated with devastating bombings of Belgrade in 1999. According to public opinion polls, 75% of Serbian citizens do not accept the policy of joining the alliance.

Many people believe that holding a NATO conference so soon after the extradition of General Ratko Mladic to the Hague is an act of national humiliation. Instead of suing NATO in the International Court for numerous victims and the collapse of Yugoslavia, the authorities are developing a close military cooperation with the bloc.

Moreover, the Serbian Defence Ministry has declared that “holding the conference will raise the clout of the country on the international arena”. This is not a very politically correct explanation for their own people, believes the head of the Centre for Studying the Current Balkan Crisis Yelena Guskova:

“People have not forgotten the bombings, deprivations, grief and isolation of the country. This is why they march in the streets protesting against NATO. The country’s leadership is sure that holding the conference in Belgrade is a sign of a good attitude to Serbia. But if Serbia, which was bombed in the past, joins NATO, this will be the justification of the NATO policy in that period and Serbia will pass its own indictment.”

Serbians who live in Kosovo and Metohija are also utterly disappointed. Serbia lost its lands exactly because of the NATO policy. Serbian politician Marko Jaksic calls the decision of the Serbian authorities to host the NATO conference “masochistic”:

“NATO bombed Yugoslavia for 79 days. Over 800 children were killed, the number of cancer patients has increased by six times because the alliance used shells with depleted uranium, and the country suffered damage of more than $200 billion. In the end, it was due to NATO that Serbia lost Kosovo which makes up 15% of its territory. This is how the alliance contributed to the good of our country”.

However, it would be wrong to say that all Serbians are against integration with Europe. They support cooperation with the EU and joining it in the future, but they do not want to join NATO. This is what Alexander Karasiov, the head of a department of the Institute of Slavonic Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences, says:

“There is a consensus about joining the EU. Most Serbians are in favour of this, joining the EU is important for both intellectuals and businessmen. As for relations with NATO, the problem is much more complicated. We can see a definite rift here. The majority of those who want the country to join the EU are against Serbia joining NATO”.

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Serbian Patriarch Condemns NATO

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/15/51720388.html

Voice of Russia
June 15, 2011

Serbian Patriarch condemns NATO

The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Irenaeus condemned the holding of a NATO conference in Belgrade. According to him, the wounds inflicted by the alliance on the Serbian people have not yet healed.

In March 1999, NATO countries, led by the United States, began a bombing campaign in Yugoslavia, mainly in Serbia and Montenegro.

Due to the fact that aircraft used shells with depleted uranium cores the local residents who were in the areas of the bombing have seen a dramatic increase in mortality rates and an increased number of congenital diseases in children.

The NATO operation, undertaken without UN sanctions, continued for about three months. Its purpose was to protect Kosovar Albanians from the Serbian authorities, who started a military operation against the militant Albanian terrorist organization “The Kosovo Liberation Army.”

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Montenegro Being Prepared As NATO’s 29th Member

http://www.balkans.com/open-news.php?uniquenumber=108494

Balkans Business News
June 14, 2011

Montenegro receives support to become the 29th NATO alliance member

“Montenegro is an important partner to NATO and you have our full support to become the 29th Alliance member,” the NATO Parliamentary Assembly president Karl Lamers told Montenegro’s Prime Minister Igor Lukšić at their meeting on 12 June in Budva, Montenegro.

Mr Lamers said he has deep appreciation for PM Lukšić’s policy and commended Montenegro’s commitment to EU and NATO integration. He welcomed Montenegro’s involvement in Afghanistan..

Mr Lamers also made a favourable assessment of Montenegro’s EU accession process, at the same time underlining that “Germany gives full support to both the EU and NATO integration of Montenegro.”

PM Lukšić stressed that Montenegro will continue to work diligently on venerating the European and Euro-Atlantic principles not only for the sake of joining the organisations but primarily to ensure better quality of life for its citizens.

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Pentagon Appoints New Military Command For Kyrgyz Transit Center

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/15/c_13929624.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 15, 2011

U.S. Transit Center in Kyrgyzstan appoints new commander

BISHKEK: The U.S. Transit Center at Manas airport in Kyrgyzstan will continue deliver cargo and military personnel to Afghanistan within the same scope, a new commander of the Center said on Tuesday.

The new commnander, James Jacobson, is replacing Dwight Sones, who will now command the Travis airbase in California, the United States, Interfax reported.

The base’s mission will continue on the same scale, Jacobson told journalists after the command handover ceremony.

The Transit Center’s main operations will not change and will be expressed in ground and aerial refueling of air transport and sending personnel to and from Afghanistan, the new commander said.

“We will fulfill a decision of higher-ranking authorities to increase or to decrease the scope of cargo and personnel transportation to this country,” Jacobson said.

On Tuesday, command over the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing deployed at the airbase, which changed its name to the Transit Center in 2009, was handed over to U.S. Air Force Col. J. Jacobson.

Jacobson started service in the United States Air Force in 1990. Prior to his appointment in Kyrgyzstan he had served as deputy foreign policy advisor at the U.S. Africa Command in Stuttgart in Germany. At his new job, he will command over 1,200 service people and around 900 civilians – U.S. and Kyrgyz citizens working under contract, according to Interfax.

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McCain Demands Russian Withdrawal From Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Transdniester

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=41998&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2
June 14, 2011

McCain calls for Russian withdrawal from Georgia, Moldova

U.S. Senator John McCain calls on Russia to…withdraw its forces from the occupied territories of Georgia and Moldova.

McCain made the statement during his visit to Chisinau. [Capital of Moldova.]

He said Washington supports calls for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova`s breakaway Transdniester region.

He said Moscow is violating the territorial integrity of Moldova and Georgia and one of the `fundamental norms` of `international behavior`.

According to McCain, territorial occupation is the problem which troubles these two nations similarly.

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Kazakhstan’s Parliament Rejects NATO Deal On Afghanistan

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110615/164619770.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 15, 2011

Kazakhstan’s parliament rejects NATO deal on Afghanistan

Astana: Kazakhstan’s parliament has decided to abstain from joining the NATO-led international coalition in Afghanistan, a member of the lower house said on Wednesday.

Nurtai Sabilyanov said the parliament would not consider a bill on ratifying the agreement with NATO at its joint session.

“Given the opinion of the senate and the public, the Majilis [lower house] will return the agreement to the government and it will have no legal effect because of the non-ratification by parliament,” Sabilyanov said.

Majilis ratified the agreement with NATO on May 18 but the upper house turned the bill down on June 9 pending a decision from a joint parliamentary session.

“We must not send [our] military to Afghanistan, it is clear to all,” he said.

On May 22, the Taliban circulated a statement warning Kazakhstan that if it sends troops to support the NATO contingent in Afghanistan, it would bear serious consequences as it contradicts the interests of all countries in the region.

The Kazakh Foreign Ministry then said that it was only going to send four officers into the International Security Assistance Force.

The international coalition in Afghanistan includes 47 nations, with 19 of them not NATO members and six of them belonging to the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

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Human Organ Trafficking Scandal In Kosovo Disclosed

http://english.ruvr.ru/radio_broadcast/25298789/51725153.html

Voice of Russia
June 15, 2011

Human organ trafficking scandal unveils in Kosovo
Yekaterina Kudashkina and Dan Moody

Today we shall talk about Kosovo and the investigation into the organ trafficking story dating back to the late 1990s.

Several people in Pristina have been charged with organ trafficking. “Similar offences,” the Council of Europe says, “have been committed in the late 1990s.” That was the subject of the report filed by Dick Marty, the reporter of the Council of Europe.

So, has there been any investigation into the facts unveiled in the Marty report? What consequences could the Kosovo leaders face and why?

We discussed these issues with some help from our guest speaker, Cedomir Antic, leading researcher with the Institute for Balkan Studies in Belgrade, Serbia.

In fact, we were reminded of the whole human organ trafficking scandal in Kosovo after today the news appeared that Kosovo’s European Union justice mission has charged a Turk and an Israeli citizen with illegally trafficking organs at a clinic in Pristina which is the capital of Kosovo, a Balkan state which declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

Now, according to the report which was filed by the EU’s police and justice mission EULEX, the District Court in Pristina has issued warrants for the arrest of a Turkish surgeon, called Yusuf Ercin Sonmez, and a citizen of Israel by the name of Moshe Harel.

So, now they are also subject to international wanted notices issued by Interpol.

These two people are charged with trafficking in persons, unlawful medical activity and organized crime, so it is like a full spectrum.

In fact, there is a whole group of people, and they are all Kosovo citizens, who have been charged by EULEX on the same case with similar offences, and they all are waiting for their trials to begin. But when I heard the news, my first thought was that those were the offences referred to by Dick Marty’s report.

You mean the one which actually made the news in December of last year?

That is right, but, however, it appeared that my impression was wrong, because these cases you have mentioned date back to the year 2008.

Which is obviously a different story.

We could remind our listeners of this report.

Back in December 2010 Swiss senator Dick Marty, who is also a reporter for the Council of Europe Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, presented a draft report which claimed that Prime Minister of Kosovo Mr. [Hashim] Thaçi had headed a mafia-style organized crime ring in the late 1990s that engaged in assassinations, beatings, organ trafficking and other crimes.

That are really serious offences.

This is an extremely serious offence, especially when we are talking about a head of state.

If we are talking about Dick Marty’s report, then things are moving quite slowly.

Now I suppose it is the right time to move to the Burning Point Press Desk.

Blic, which is a Serbian English-language daily, said that EULEX finally conducted “the tender for election of a seven-member team that shall investigate claims over body organ trade under the EULEX authority. The names of judges and prosecutors to investigate abductions, murders and organ trade as well as the involvement of the Kosovo Liberation Army leadership in those activities are still not known. However, as things are now, the former chief prosecutor of the Hague Tribunal, Carla Del Ponte, who recommended herself to lead the investigation and got support by Serbian prosecution, is not going to be a part of that team.” Which is quite strange, isn’t it?

It really takes them so long – almost six months after the facts have been made public.

This is not the first year that we have heard about these suspicious claims.

Then there were allegations, but I believe that Dick Marty has dug up some facts. So, he listed them in a report, and then it takes them almost six months to appoint judges.

According to Blic, this new team is going to have seven members including a special prosecutor. The special prosecutor is from one of the EU countries and has not been working within the EULEX until so far. That means that the prosecutor in question cannot be Del Ponte since Switzerland is not a member of the EU. The newly established team of prosecutors and judges would join the already formed EULEX team leading the preliminary investigation which has been going on since January.

This might actually mean that things are moving in the right direction, though slowly. But the reality is more complicated.

According to the same Blic, to its unofficial sources, “The investigation being led by the EULEX since January is stuck and is mainly focused on unsuccessful attempts of coming into possession of material pieces of evidence which would confirm doubts contained in the report by the Council of Europe. The success of the investigation depends on the testimony of eyewitnesses that Dick Marty talked with. That is why Marty insisted on several occasions that the EULEX should not lead the investigation because it does not have the capacity to protect witnesses. By the way, both Dick Marty and the Serbian side insisted on a team that should be capable of protecting witnesses in Kosovo.”

It is an important point, because if you cannot guarantee that witnesses are going to be protected even after the trial then you are not going to get people willing to testify.

If we remember the whole security situation in Kosovo is rather difficult and besides that some authorities at least used to belong to a mafia, do you think you could really protect witnesses in Kosovo?

I think if I was a witness in Kosovo I certainly would not be testifying.

It is interesting that Del Ponte was surprised at the whole issue because she actually publically brought the issue up in her book which was published three years ago. So, she is allegedly surprised by news that a competition was announced for the selection of a seven-member team which is obviously going to investigate the case within the UN mission in Kosovo. Mrs. Del Ponte said, “I know nothing about that but let us wait and see what is going to happen in the days to come.” She also added that she was ready to take part in that investigation at any time.

It is also interesting that she was not even aware of something that was going on in the case which she actually unveiled, [about which] she was the first one to ring the bell. It does seem a little bit inadequate. So, there is a whole series of inadequacies, something just does not fit. Besides there are also questions, as far as I know, related to EULEX.

There was something on Balkaninsight.com; they are saying that EULEX has not been efficient enough, particularly in the north. “The EULEX deputy head Andy Sparkes told Pristina daily newspaper Zeri that EULEX was not efficient enough, particularly in the north, but added that the biggest responsibility for success and failures falls on local institutions.”

“It’s not the job of the international community to achieve success or failure. This is the job that Kosovars have to do with our help,” Sparkes was quoted by Zeri as saying.

Again something is just not making sense.

It would seem logical that the international community should be a part of any investigation process.

Besides it is rather strange to me that the main responsibility should be assigend to local authorities. Responsibility in what? In investigating what the highest authorities actually did in 1990s?

It seems odd.

Serbian analysts actually talk of a double-standard policy that the international bodies have been applying to the Serbian region. And now we are joined by Cedomir Antic, researcher with the Institute for Balkan Studies in Belgrade.

I believe that international justice in the case of the latest Yugoslav wars is just perceived as some kind of war instrument, as regarding the parts in the war there was no understanding for punishing war crimes. I would say that in Serbia, in the former Yugoslavia, in Croatia, in Bosnia, in Kosovo, even though all governments were democratically elected they were not interested in prosecuting war crimes, especially those war crimes which were committed by their own national armies which were involved in those wars.

The international community was not inspired by some kind of universal Nuremberg justice, but they established a tribunal in the Hague which was only concentrated on the Yugoslav wars, and, as a matter of fact, it was obvious that the international court was actually involved in post-war efforts to reshape the outcome of the war.

And only the Serbian political leadership and Serbian high command was prosecuted. Ethnic Albanians and ethnic Bosnians were not prosecuted; there are only few of their people who were accused and later on sentenced for war crimes.

In Kosovo that situation was and actually is very obvious. Your audience might remember that at the beginning of NATO aggression against Serbia and the Serbian nation it was officially stated by high officials of the United States and its NATO allies that more than 100 thousand ethnic Albanians were killed and more than 500 thousand were banished from Serbia; later on it was revealed that out of 12 thousand people who were killed during the war more than 2600 were ethnic Serbs, which means that ethnic Serbs were victims twice more frequently according to total numbers than ethnic Albanians who were allegedly identified as the only victims.

When Carla Del Ponte revealed the affair related to internal organs [trafficking], she did it when she was no longer chief prosecutor; it was some kind of her last official address to the international public because she put it in her memoirs, and it was important for history but not for those victims and for the actual situation in Kosovo and in Serbia.

And then the Council of Europe asked Mr. Dick Marty to produce a report, that report was produced, and then Mr. Dick Marty was isolated, he was attacked from all sides, and now we are about to forget that report and EULEX would like to avoid greater instability in Kosovo region: Mr. Thaçi, who was mentioned in that report as someone who was involved, he is now the most influential person in Kosovo and he had full support from the United States and from the European Union.

I believe that this decision of EULEX to appoint some international judges to take this case it is a part of efforts to stop that course of events which was unintentionally published by Mrs. Del Ponte and which was in a very honest way presented to the international community by Mr. Dick Marty. I do not have much hope about EULEX justice because we have seen the deeds of EULEX in last three years. I do not believe that with Mrs. Del Ponte something would be better and would be different. Mr. Dick Marty was something of a bright spot of the European Union in the Kosovo situation, in the Kosovo crisis; Mrs. Del Ponte would not be, by my humble opinion, remembered as a good prosecutor and as a person who committed to reconciliation and justice in Serbia.

So, do I get you right that what we are witnessing now is again a case of double standards, because if we have sufficient evidence that the crime has been there and that some key officials, not only Hashim Thaçi, but also some of his closest allies, were involved in organ trafficking, and still the international bodies are just trying to cover it up? So, what is the point actually because what they are getting in a result is a small state run by criminals? So, what could be their logic?

That was an outcome of very narrow-minded policy of the United States in 1998-1999. They supported the extremists and semi-criminals in 1998.

Mr. Holbrooke was the one who negotiated with Milošević in those negotiations which led to bombing, and not only allies of Milošević were bombed but the entire nation was bombed, the nation which was against Milošević, which was involved possibly by support of the United States of America in elections which were forced. And what to say about those people? They established during the war the international court of law; only the main purpose of that court was political, not legal. And what now to say about their protégés? It was obvious even before they were involved in illegal activities.

Do I get you right now that you believe that no matter what the results could the investigation produce, the present team is likely to remain in power in Kosovo? Is my understanding correct?

By all means, because the entire nation is behind them, and you should know that in Kosovo during the last twelve years more than 940 Serbs have been killed while more than 250 Albanians, mostly political active, were killed as well. I believe that it was some kind of criminal engineering of political scene in Kosovo. The international community, especially the United States and some European states, even divided Serbs in Kosovo, and we now have one tiny minority, but this minority took part in parliamentary elections which attracted 20% of total lot among ethnic Serbs who support Thaçi. It was a great project, Mr. Thaçi and his party – they were a great project. We can see the same situation with Haradinaj, one of former Kosovo prime ministers, who was allegedly involved into war crimes, during his trial nine witnesses were killed, and he was released. When he was accused as a war criminal, he was prime minister, and then the international
representative in Kosovo received him, took a cup of coffee with him, said him farewell. Mrs. Del Ponte actually wrote it in her book that in Germany the federal government wanted even to make him reception of honor in the airport even though he was in his journey to The Hague. It was a part of political activity which is partially or even mainly aimed against vital interests of Republic of Serbia and the Serbian nation. It is obvious, and I do not say that ethnic Serbs were innocent; I do not say that the international community should not create international court of law, but this court of law is not the way. The nternational court of law which now exists for other countries which is financed by the United States while the United States decided not to hold its own citizens for that court, that court is not the way for international justice, because there is one great power which believes that it is above the international law.

But it is exceptional, right?

For me it is not.

It believes that it is exceptional?

Yes, it is exceptional.

Do you see that this strategy is still being applied to the region now?

I hope that the independence of Kosovo, the process which actually started in 1990, is stopped. However, it is obvious that in Northern and South-Western Serbia there are movements for autonomy and in future that would be the movements for independence which enjoy some kind of support of the international community. I would like to mention the region of Novi Pazar, so called Sanjak: there about 130 thousand ethnic Bosnians live, and they want to unite six municipalities in which more than 110 thousand ethnic Serbs live, and they would like to create some kind of autonomy and later on probably a federal republic inside of Serbia. They do not have an open support of the EU, but some European states and the USA created groups for Sanjak. And now I would ask why then for more than 110 thousand Serbs in Croatia who live in Krajina and who are much more threatened than Bosnians in Sanjak, why there is no group for Krajina, or group for Knin? It is the exact
truth that there are double standards. Not to mention Vojvodina. For example, in Vojvodina more than 70% of the population are ethnic Serbs, and there is a tiny group of ethnic Serbs predominantly who want autonomy because they want to have power, and they are supported by several institutions of the EU, even though they do not have support of people, but they use some kind of split which exists in ruling party of Serbia, Democratic Party, which was elected on the ground of some social and democratic issues, not national issues. In Vojvodina that tiny minority which represents maybe just 10% of electorate, when they want an independent electrical company for Vojvodina, when they want police, nobody said anything, while in Bosnia and Herzegovina where 90% of Serbs want to preserve the autonomy, when that autonomy is attacked by high representative of the United Nations, nobody with exceptions in some circles of Serbia and in Russia, nobody intervenes,
nobody reacts. Why? Because there are double standards, and we used to live with double standards, we do not want to accept that true is false.

What is your forecast? How do you see the security situation is going to develop in the region?

I hope that it will be better in future. As you know, we are now in the process of negotiating of technical issues between the government of Kosovo, so-called Republic of Kosovo, and Republic of Serbia. On the other hand, I believe that the majority of people in Serbia are firmly concentrated to our constitution of 2006. In Bosnia, even though the situation is fragile now, there is some kind of balance of power between Republic of Serbska and, on the other hand, higher representative of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I hope that the European Union would keep that balance of power, would not try to challenge it, because we should be a part of the European Union but with knowing the truth about the situation in this region. It is not only impossible, it is injustice to resolve Serbia as a state and, on the other hand, to establish some kind of unitary Bosnia – artificially and against the will of majority of its people. I believe that the European
Union and the United States of America should recognize and approve the situation which was established when the peace was established in this region, because even though this peace came after the wars, after heavy negotiations, after bitter compromise, I hope that this peace agreement and this peaceful period of 10 years and even 15 had some good points, had some good angles which should be preserved.

Right, let us hope that they finally abandoned their double standard approach.

It would be very nice, and I hope that now their attention would be attracted by Africa and Middle East, and that we would not be so interested for them.

Mr. Antic, thank you very much!

To sum up what we have been talking about in this program, it really looks like the international community is still pursuing a double-standard policy in regards to Serbia and other former Yugoslavian regions.

Their approach is not new, and it usually back fires. The famous saying “Somoza may be a son of a bitch but he is our son of the bitch” has been attributed to a number of US presidents but the message it sends is clear. We have seen that in Latin America, in Africa, in Iraq, in Afghanistan – just to name a few; we have seen some of that in the Middle East which is now scorching in the hit of Arab Spring revolutions.

However, Mr. Antic said that in a long-run security situation in former Yugoslavia might turn for the better for the simple reason that the US is now taking more interest in Africa than in the Balkans.

But could security situation really improve in countries ruled by former mafia leaders? I have my doubts, but time will tell.

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NATO Loses Another Soldier In Southern Afghanistan

http://channel6newsonline.com/2011/06/roadside-bomb-kills-nato-soldier-in-southern-afghanistan-2/

BNO News
June 15, 2011

Roadside bomb kills NATO soldier in southern Afghanistan

KABUL: A coalition service member was killed in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday when a roadside bomb exploded, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

ISAF said one of its service members was killed in southern Afghanistan as a result of an improvised explosive device (IED) attack, but provided no other details. The nationality of the service member was also not immediately disclosed. “It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities,” a brief statement said.

Coalition casualties in Afghanistan have been rising sharply in recent years, with a total coalition death toll of 709 in 2010, making it the deadliest year for international troops since the war began in response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

So far this year, at least 243 coalition service members have been killed in Afghanistan. Most troops are killed in the country’s south, which is plagued by IED attacks on troops and civilians. Most of the casualties are American.

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NATO’s Global Role Analyzed In Azerbaijan

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=149514

Azeri Press Agency
June 15, 2011

Azerbaijan hosts round table “NATO: a Political & Military Alliance of 21st Century”
Habil Suleymanzadeh

Baku: A round table entitled “NATO: a Political & Military Alliance of 21st Century” was organized by the Embassy of Romania, the NATO Contact Point Embassy in Azerbaijan, and the Center for National and International Studies in Baku on Wednesday.

In his opening remarks, Ambassador of Romania to Azerbaijan Nicolae Ureche said the round table had significant importance for public diplomacy. He said the public community should be informed about the missions and commitments of the North Atlantic alliance in details.

Member of the Azerbaijani Parliament Asim Mollazadeh gave a report on “Azerbaijan and NATO: sharing common values and principles”. He point out that such an event is topical while the alliance is conducting military operations in Libya and other regions of the world.

The head of the Delegation of the European Union to Azerbaijan, Ambassador Roland Kobia, spoke about the EU-NATO cooperation. He said in the very beginning, the EU targeted establishing peace on the continent. Later this mission and the continent’s comprehensive military security issues were delivered to NATO. “Most of the EU members joined NATO, which could solve conflicts and contradictions between the European countries as well”.

US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza also addressed the participants of the round table. His speech focused on a new NATO’s Partnership Policy after the Lisbon Summit. Bryza said after the summit the alliance policy aimed to eliminate new threats, to normalize relations with Russia, as well as to establish relations with the alliance’s neighbors…He said NATO is open to all new democratic countries.

Bryza also recalled that Azerbaijan allowed the western coalition to use its airspace for operations in Afghanistan. “Such factors are good examples of bilateral cooperation”.

The round table was continued with the speeches of other participants.

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U.S. Carrier Strike Group In Baltic Sea NATO Exercise

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=61024

United States Navy
June 15, 2011

Baltic Operations 2011 Tests Interoperability
From Commander Carrier Strike Group 8 Public Affairs

USS MOUNT WHITNEY, At Sea: Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 8, visited ships participating in the serial phase of Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2011, June 7-13.

Rear Adm. Clifford Sharpe, commander CSG 8, is in operational control of units participating in BALTOPS 2011, and his staff developed the scenario for the exercise.

Traveling by helicopter or rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) from USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), Sharpe visited 20 ships from 11 different European nations. During each visit, he met with commanding officers and crew members, toured the ship, and received a brief about its capabilities and missions.

Ensuring multinational interoperability is one of the key objectives of BALTOPS 2011…

In addition to visiting USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), and USNS John T. Bobo, Sharpe visited ships from Denmark, France, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Estonia, and Russia. His tour included an oiler, a squadron of minesweepers, a landing ship, corvettes, destroyers, frigates, and patrol boats. He also witnessed several gunnery exercises and a mine countermeasures demonstration.

BALTOPS 2011 is a multinational exercise focusing on ensuring peace and security in the Baltic Region. Maritime operations continue until June 17, when the ships return to Kiel, Germany.

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Categories: Uncategorized

William Godwin: Inventions of a barbarous age, deluging provinces with blood

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

William Godwin
From Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793)

War and conquest cannot be beneficial to the community. Their tendency is to elevate a few at the expence of the rest, and consequently they will never be undertaken but where the many are the instruments of the few. But this cannot happen in a democracy, till the democracy shall become such only in name. If expedients can be devised for maintaining this species of government in its purity, or if there be any thing in the nature of wisdom and intellectual improvement which has a tendency daily to make truth prevail more over falshood, the principle of offensive war will be extirpated…

Men were induced deliberately to seek each other’s lives, and to adjudge the controversies between them, not according to the dictates of reason and justice, but as either should prove most successful in devastation and murder. This was no doubt in the first instance the extremity of exasperation and rage. But it has since been converted into a trade. One part of the nation pays another part to murder and be murdered in their stead; and the most trivial causes, a supposed insult or a sally of youthful ambition, have sufficed to deluge provinces with blood.

We can have no adequate idea of this evil, unless we visit, at least in imagination, a field of battle. Here men deliberately destroy each other by thousands without any resentment against or even knowledge of each other. The plain is strewed with death in all its various forms. Anguish and wounds display the diversified modes in which they can torment the human frame. Towns are burned, ships are blown up in the air while the mangled limbs descend on every side, the fields are laid desolate, the wives of the inhabitants exposed to brutal insult, and their children driven forth to hunger and nakedness. It would be despicable to mention, along with these scenes of horror, and the total subversion of all ideas of moral justice they must occasion in the auditors and spectators, the immense treasures which are wrung in the form of taxes from those inhabitants whose residence is at a distance from the scene.

‘The vindication of national honour’ is a very insufficient reason for hostilities. True honour is to be found only in integrity and justice. It has been doubted how far a view to reputation ought in matters of inferior moment to be permitted to influence the conduct of individuals; but, let the case of individuals be decided as it may, reputation, considered as a separate motive in the instance of nations, can never be justifiable.

As defence is the only legitimate cause, the object pursued, reasoning from this principle, will be circumscribed within very narrow limits. It can extend no farther than the repelling the enemy from our borders…Declarations of war and treaties of peace are inventions of a barbarous age, and would never have grown into established usages, if war had customarily gone no farther than to the limits of defence.

All hostilities against a neighbouring people, because they are powerful, or because we impute to them evil designs which they have not yet begun to carry in execution, are an enormous violation of every principle of morality.

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 14, 2011

June 14, 2011 4 comments

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South Africa Condemns NATO Over Plans For Regime Change, Assassinations, Military Occupation Of Libya

Washington Using NATO For Proxy Conflict With China In Libya

Video And Text: Libyan Civilians: “NATO Damaged Our City, Destroyed Our Lives”

Video And Text: NATO Operation In Libya Is Collective Punishment: Ex-Congresswoman

Belgrade: NATO Conclave Focuses On War Against Libya

NATO Reserves Right To Bomb Roman Ruins In Libya

NATO’s Libyan War Air Campaign: 10,971 Flights, 4,164 Combat Sorties

Clinton: African Union Must Betray, Depose Founder Gaddafi

Video And Text: NATO Air Strike Hits Libyan Medical Factory

NATO’s Top Military Commander In Malta To Discuss Libyan War

NATO, South Korean Partner Discuss East Asia, Afghanistan, Libya

Pro-NATO Monarchies Push Syria’s Suspension From Arab League

U.S. Guided Missile Warship Headed To Baltic Sea

Poland: “Permanent Rotation Of American Military Aircraft”

Azerbaijan Meeting: “NATO: Political And Military Alliance For The 21st Century”

U.S. In Secret Talks To Prolong Afghan Military Presence Past 2014

Security Tightened In Belgrade Over NATO Conference

Caspian: Turkmenistan’s Vast Hydrocarbon Reserves Opened To U.S.

Rich Oil Deposit Found In Turkmenistan

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South Africa Condemns NATO Over Plans For Regime Change, Assassinations, Military Occupation Of Libya

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/14/libya-safrica-idUSJ8E7EP03220110614

Reuters
June 14, 2011

S.Africa says NATO abusing UN resolution on Libya

CAPE TOWN: NATO is abusing a United Nations resolution to protect Libyan civilians from Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in order to pursue regime change and political assassinations, South African President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

“We have spoken out against the misuse of the good intentions in Resolution 1973,” Zuma said during a budget speech in parliament.

“We strongly believe that the resolution is being abused for regime change, political assassinations and foreign military occupation.”

(Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by Marius Bosch)

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http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1891585.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
June 14, 2011

South Africa’s Zuma slams NATO operations in Libya

NATO’s bombing campaign contravenes a United Nations Security Council resolution on protecting civilians in Libya and was being used for regime change, South African President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday, dpa reported

“We strongly believe that the resolution is being abused for regime change, political assassinations and foreign military occupation,” Zuma told the National Assembly in Cape Town.

The president told the house of parliament that the NATO aerial operation in the North African country was undermining African Union efforts to find political solutions to problems on the continent.

“It also flies in the face of all efforts to promote the sanctity of international law,” said Zuma, who has headed two AU delegations to Libya, in failed efforts to strike a ceasefire agreement.

The president said the AU, founded in 2002, needed to strengthen its institutions, to better serve its 53 members’ interests.

AU ministers will present their own plan to the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Zuma said, to push for a non-military approach to the conflict in Libya.

“We are concerned about the ongoing conflict in Libya, which is resulting in the loss of innocent lives, the destruction of property and a deteriorating humanitarian situation,” Zuma said.

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Washington Using NATO For Proxy Conflict With China In Libya

http://oilprice.com/Geo-Politics/International/Is-NATO-Being-Used-by-Washington-In-Libya-to-Hurt-Chinese-Interests.html

OilPrice.com
June 14, 2011

Is NATO Being Used by Washington In Libya to Hurt Chinese Interests?
Written by John Daly

-Africans (which of course includes Libyans) apparently prefer Chinese goods and Chinese-built schools to hectoring human rights lectures, loans with interest fees and conditions that would make a Mafia don blanch and a hail of bombs and bullets.
Russia, which has not deployed its military outside its borders since the collapse of the USSR, is viewing events in North Africa with more dispassion and insight than the chattering punditry in Washington.

As U.S. Secretary of Defense continues his victory lap around U.S. foreign bases, scolding NATO allies along the way for failing to pull their weight in the alliance, it is well worth noting that many of the NATO member states committed only under intense U.S. pressure to operations in Afghanistan, while Libya has generated even less enthusiasm in European capitals.

One of the great advantages of the end of the Cold War two decades ago, coupled with the rise of the Internet is that readers worldwide now have an open window into the Russian press and society. Of course, there are ideological holdovers from the Soviet era, most notably Russian [concern] about hostile military groupings on their frontiers, most notably NATO, which Russia not unreasonably sees as dominated by the U.S.

Nowhere is the ideological gulf still separating Moscow and Washington more evident than in NATO’s mission in Libya. A leading Russian newspaper, Vedomosti, on 9 June published an editorial titled simply, “From the Editors: War With China.”

Lest an oilprice reader think that this is some covert cryto-Commie anti-Western screed, it might be noted that Vedomosti is owned by the Finnish Independent Media Company; published jointly with The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times.

After noting that congressmen questioning Libyan operations and their attendant costs are being criticized by Obama administration officials as “taking a non-constructive position,” the editorial then moves on to quote Paul Craig Roberts, who served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan, who wrote in the most recent issue of Foreign Policy Journal [an] article titled “Libya: The DC/NATO Agenda and the Next Great War” that commented, “judging by all, the protests against Qadhafi were organized by the CIA in the eastern part of Libya, where 80 percent of the oil reserves are concentrated and there are considerable Chinese investments into the energy sector.”

Whatever Washington’s ulterior motives, there is no doubt that NATO’s military operations in Libya are harming China’s fiscal interests. According to information from China’s Ministry of Trade, by March, when the military operation began, there were 75 major Chinese companies operating in Libya, and they had concluded $18 billion in contracts. Because of the NATO operations in Libya, the Chinese companies are expecting gigantic losses.

It is beyond dispute that China has targeted Africa for major investment, which trade figures bear out. While in 1995 China’s trade with Africa was $6 billion, in 2010 it exceeded $130 billion. According to estimates of the South African Standard Bank, by 2015 Chinese direct investments into African nations will reach $50 billion. China is today receiving 28 percent of its oil import from Africa, a figure that will grow in the future.

China has also acquired great political weight in Africa, and it not only is free of the colonialist baggage of the European powers, it does not subject African political leadership to harangues about human rights like Washington.

On a grassroots level, again unlike the U.S. and European nations, along with its business interests it is building infrastructure, such as roads, railroads and schools, much appreciated by the local populace. This presence gave the International Monetary Fund, headquartered in and dominated by Washington, a significant rebuff at the end of 2008, when, having spent several years discussing a loan agreement with Angola’s government, immediately prior to its signing IMF officials learned that Angola had already received a low interest $2 billion Chinese long-term loan and subsequently no longer needed IMF money. Similar things happened later in Chad, Nigeria, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Uganda.

So, is there any wonder that Moscow suspects Washington of using NATO as its muscle to demonstrate in Africa that uppity leaders had better take heed of American dictates and downgrade their business ties with the Celestial Empire?

It is notable that the Libyan operation is the Pentagon’s AFRICOM command’s first outing. It is also of note that no African nation has offered to host AFRICOM, leaving it to be run out of a U.S. base in Stuggart.

For reasons obvious to all but the most diehard American chickenhawks, Africans (which of course includes Libyans) apparently prefer Chinese goods and Chinese-built schools to hectoring human rights lectures, loans with interest fees and conditions that would make a Mafia don blanch and a hail of bombs and bullets.

Russia, which has not deployed its military outside its borders since the collapse of the USSR, is viewing events in North Africa with more dispassion and insight than the chattering punditry in Washington.

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Video And Text: Libyan Civilians: “NATO Damaged Our City, Destroyed Our Lives”

http://rt.com/news/fuel-libya-people-line/

RT
June 14, 2011

NATO attacks ordinary Libyans at petrol pump

Video

As NATO tells the world to prepare for a post-Gaddafi era, coalition bombs continue to blitz the Libyan capital. Gasoline queues snake through Tripoli with fuel in short supply. A scenario made worse with tankers a regular target for air strikes.

­It may have some of the largest oil reserves on the planet, but these days Libya has also got some of the longest queues at its petrol stations.

The international sanctions imposed on the embattled colonel’s regime do not include a fuel embargo. But NATO is targeting tanker-trucks if they suspect the fuel might be used by Gaddafi’s military forces.

With roads closed, factories at a stop and foreign workers long since gone from the war-stricken country, Libya is facing its worst-ever energy crisis.

The new reality is that ordinary Libyan drivers now spend vast amounts of time queuing for fuel.

Two months ago, hours – and even days – long lines to fill up the car became a common scene in Libya. But there are some lines that differ from most, they are for women only.

Embarka Muhammad Mansuri is a university student and has volunteered to help organize the process. She stamps fuel ration books, which allow individuals 35 liters a week. She believes it is a great idea to have women-only stations.

“Women have too many things to do,” says Embarka. “They don’t fight each other while queuing and never shoot into the air as men often do, so we are able to serve up to 900 cars per day.”

The line is long but others are even longer. Petrol is still cheaper than water – just a few cents for a liter. It is just that it is often in short supply.

“If there is no fuel we have to leave our cars and return when it reappears. That could be days,” says a woman in the queue.

Women-only gas stations are one of many “innovations” supposed to ease people’s lives in a country in chaos. There are also special pumps for ambulances and police cars.

“NATO surrounded us but we should move on,” says a man at a gas station. “We try to do our best to help people get by. If we give up, we’ll die.”

Those seeking to oust Colonel Gaddafi may have been hoping that hardships will incite people to rise up against their leader. Instead, it only seems to be fueling people’s hatred towards what they feel is Western imperialism.

“NATO damaged our city, destroyed our life,” complains another citizen. “They told us that they want to save people. Is that the way to save the people, tell me? This is just crime.”

While the warring sides try to find a way out of months of devastating conflict, ordinary people are looking for a way just to live their everyday lives, dreaming about times when this nightmare will be but a distant memory.

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Video And Text: NATO Operation In Libya Is Collective Punishment: Ex-Congresswoman

http://rt.com/news/nato-libya-mckinney-us/

RT
June 14, 2011

NATO operation in Libya is collective punishment – ex-congresswoman

Video

As NATO attacks continue in Libya, ex-US Congresswoman and former presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney went to the country on a non-governmental fact-finding mission to see what exactly is going on in the war-torn country.

­Cynthia McKinney believes the bombardments of Libyan cities and other measures taken by NATO, causing civilian casualties, represent the idea of “collective punishment”.

“NATO is preventing shipments of fuel, food and medicine to come in. There have been efforts to get medicine into the country that have been denied by NATO. It is impossible to go on any street and miss the huge queues – sometimes three or four deep – that go on and on, as they queue up to get gasoline from the service station,” McKinney says.

McKinney also told RT how universities and other civilian facilities are being bombed by NATO troops.

“I don’t know why NATO is choosing these targets, but these are civilian targets. Whenever you target a civilian population, you’re committing a crime,” she added.

Speaking of why the US has gone to the war in Libya, McKinney recalled how the US government already lied to its citizens and the world about the reasons to go to war in Iraq.

“So now, when our government says that they have a responsibility to bomb people in order to save them, I think it’s important for the American people to understand what the truth is,” she says.

McKinney presented her own idea of why the US is involved in the operation in Libya, quoting Ray McGovern, a retired CIA officer, now a political activist, who has said the US foreign policy is driven by O, I and L, which stand for “oil”, “Israel” and “logistics”. “Logistics”, as explained by McGovern, is the logistics needed by the neo-cons to carry out their policies on behalf of Israel.

“And if we look at the behavior of the NATO allies in Libya, the so-called rebels, what we see is they opened up a Central bank. So that means that the banking system that is independent here will be tied to the international banking system. They also have concluded agreements with Israel. One of those agreements is to provide a base for Israel in Libya,” she maintains.

McKinney also expressed concerns about the reports on the possible use of depleted uranium by NATO.

“If depleted uranium is being used here, then everything we see and breathe is contaminated,” she says.

“If we look at NATO and their use of weaponry, we know that NATO’s used the depleted uranium in Eastern Europe, in Afghanistan. They’re probably using it in Pakistan. Why would they not use it here,” McKinney told RT.

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Belgrade: NATO Conclave Focuses On War Against Libya

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Politics/Libya-Prolonged-Nato-operation-may-run-into-financial-problems_312130197082.html

ADN Kronos International
June 14, 2011

Libya: Prolonged Nato operation ‘may run into financial problems’

Belgrade: A high-ranking Nato official said on Tuesday said he believed in the success of the military coalition’s operation in Libya, but cautioned that a drawn out mission could cause the alliance to run into financial difficulty.

“At this point the allied forces have enough means and I’m convinced that the operation in Libya will be successful,” General Stephane Abrial, Nato’s Supreme Allied Commander for Transformation, told a Nato conference in Belgrade.

“But if the operation is prolonged, of course the question of finances will become an issue,” the French general said.

He echoed a concern expressed buy the US Secretary of defence Robert Gates last week that only eight Nato’s 28 members were actively taking part in the aerial operations against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Abrial opened the first Nato conference in Belgrade, attended by chiefs of general staff of member countries and participants in the Partnership for Peace program. The Partnership for Peace is a programme of practical bilateral cooperation between individual partner countries and Nato. A total of 56 countries, including Russia, are attending.

The meeting is held under tight security measures, amid opposition protests against Nato – which bombed Serbia for 78 days in 1999 – over what was called a “humanitarian catastrophe” and mass exodus of Albanians from breakaway Kosovo province, which declared independence in 2008.

Two thirds of Serbian citizens oppose the country’s membership in Nato…

But defence minister Dragan Sutanovac told the meeting Serbia was actively cooperating with Nato through the Partnership for Peace program and was ready to take part in peace-keeping missions under the umbrella of the United Nations.

“Fully aware of the emotions provoked by Nato in Serbia, we have assumed the responsibility to organize this meeting because we deeply believe that it is in the general interest and good for the future,” Sutanovac said.

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NATO Reserves Right To Bomb Roman Ruins In Libya

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/06/14/libya.war/

CNN
June 14, 2011

NATO refuses to rule out bombing Libyan Roman ruins

-British Minister of Defence Liam Fox said Tuesday the Libya mission showed “how capable we are” and emphasized that the United Kingdom has the fourth largest military budget in the world.

NATO refused to say Tuesday whether or not it would bomb ancient Roman ruins in Libya if it knew Moammar Gadhafi was hiding military equipment there.

“We will strike military vehicles, military forces, military equipment or military infrastructure that threaten Libyan civilians as necessary,” a NATO official in Naples told CNN, declining to give his name in discussing internal NATO deliberations.

But he said the alliance could not verify rebel claims that Libya’s leader may be hiding rocket launchers at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Leptis Magna, a Roman city between the capital Tripoli and rebel-held Misrata.

Wing Commander Mike Bracken, a spokesman for NATO’s Libya mission, later said it “would be a concern for us that Gadhafi and pro-Gadhafi forces would choose to contravene international law in hiding themselves in such a location.”

The Bracken briefing came a day after a top British military officer admitted that the bombing campaign was straining British resources.

“If we do it for longer than six months, then we have to reprioritize our forces,” Admiral Mark Stanhope said Monday.

“That does not mean we won’t be doing it,” he added.

NATO recently extended its mission…for another 90 days, into September.

British Minister of Defence Liam Fox said Tuesday the Libya mission showed “how capable we are” and emphasized that the United Kingdom has the fourth largest military budget in the world.

Concerns over British capabilities came as Germany’s foreign minister visited the de facto rebel capital of Benghazi…

Guido Westerwelle said Germany formally recognized the rebel Transitional National Council as the representative of the Libyan people, putting Berlin in line with the United States, France, Italy and a handful of other countries.

As Germany recognized the rebel leadership, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged countries in Africa on Monday to kick out diplomats representing Gadhafi’s government.

Clinton pressed for diplomatic support for the rebels at a meeting of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

She urged countries to “suspend the operations of Gadhafi’s embassies in your countries,” expel pro-Gadhafi diplomats and “increase contact and support” with the Transitional National Council, which represents the main opposition to Gadhafi’s rule.

The United States views the council “as the legitimate interlocutor for the Libyan people during this interim period,” Clinton said last week in the United Arab Emirates.

On Monday, the United Arab Emirates notified Gadhafi’s ambassador in that country that his diplomatic status there will expire in 72 hours, a diplomatic source in the country said. The UAE has recognized the Transitional National Council as the legitimate Libyan government.

World powers beefed up financial and moral support for the Libyan opposition last week at an international coalition meeting aimed at charting the course of a post-Gadhafi Libya.

At that meeting, in the UAE, Clinton announced an additional $26 million in U.S. aid…

Italy pledged up to $580 million to the Transitional National Council, which is facing a budget shortfall, to cover its expenses…Foreign Ministry spokesman Maurizio Massari said.

Kuwait will donate the $180 million it promised in April…said Sheikh Mohammed Sabah al Salman al Sabah, the Gulf nation’s deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs.

CNN’s Damien Ward, Laura Perez Maestro, Salma Abdelaziz, Frederik Pleitgen and Kareem Khadder contributed to this story.

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NATO’s Libyan War Air Campaign: 10,971 Flights, 4,164 Combat Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_06/20110614_110614-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 14, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ
(more information: http://www.jfcnaples.nato.int)

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 10971 sorties, including 4164 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 13 JUNE: 149

Strike sorties conducted 13 JUNE: 62

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Clinton: African Union Must Betray, Depose Founder Gaddafi

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/usa/1890930.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
June 13, 2011

Clinton: Africa must abandon Gaddafi, support democracy in Libya

-She noted that while Gaddafi had been instrumental in creating and funding the AU, which was founded in 2002, African states had the duty to help support his ouster from power.

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday called for African nations to abandon Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi, saying he was a menace to his people, dpa reported.

“For as long as Mr Gaddafi remains in Libya, the people of Libya will be in danger. Gadaffi must leave power. I urge all African states to call for a genuine ceasefire and to call for Gaddafi to step aside”, Clinton said in a speech to the African Union (AU) in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

In the first speech by a US secretary of state to the body, Clinton asked the 53-member organization to support the transition to democracy in Libya.

She noted that while Gaddafi had been instrumental in creating and funding the AU, which was founded in 2002, African states had the duty to help support his ouster from power.

The AU, which has sought a negotiated solution to the conflict, has condemned NATO airstrikes against Gaddafi’s power bases in the country.

Clinton made her remarks towards the end of a five-day trip to Africa, which began on Friday. Prior to her current stay in Ethiopia, the top US diplomat visited Zambia and Tanzania.

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Video And Text: NATO Air Strike Hits Libyan Medical Factory

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/video/2011-06/14/c_13928582.htm

Xinhua News Agency/CNTV
June 14, 2011

NATO air strike hits medical factory in Libya

Video

BEIJING: In Libya foreign media representatives were taken to a factory near Zawiya, hit by NATO airstrikes two days earlier.

According to Libyan government officials, the factory produces crucial medical supplies that could help save lives. Damaged military vehicles in a site next to the factory were seen through holes around the perimeter, leading to speculation that it WAS the target of the attack.

Meanwhile on Monday, government artillery fire rained down on rebel forces but failed to stop their advance into key grounds, west of their stronghold of Misrata, which they control as well the eastern third of Libya. The rebels also claim to have taken parts of the oil port of Zawiya, 30 kilometers west of the capital Tripoli.

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NATO’s Top Military Commander In Malta To Discuss Libyan War

http://www.di-ve.com/Default.aspx?ID=72&Action=1&NewsId=84000&newscategory=36

DI-VE
June 14, 2011

NATO commander in Malta for talks

NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, Admiral James Stavridis, is in Malta for talks with Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi, in a visit which was not formally announced by the Maltese government.

Adm. Stavridis confirmed that he was in Malta through his Twitter account, stating that Malta “provides superb help to NATO w/emergency landings & airspace & response to refugees as Libya ops continue” in a post.

The US Navy 4-star admiral – who is also the Commander of the US European Command – was taken to the Armed Forces of Malta’s maritime base in Haywharf soon after his arrival.

The talks with Dr Gonzi are expected to focus on the situation in Libya…

Malta has…been indirectly involved in military operations after 12 NATO aircraft which found themselves in difficulty made emergency landings at its airport…

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NATO, South Korean Partner Discuss East Asia, Afghanistan, Libya

http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2011/06/14/49/0301000000AEN20110614007300315F.HTML

Yonhap News Agency
June 14, 2011

S. Korea, NATO to hold fourth annual policy consultations

SEOUL: South Korea and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will hold their fourth annual policy consultations in Brussels Tuesday to discuss cooperation in regional and global security issues, the foreign ministry here said.

Though it is not a NATO member, South Korea has worked closely with the Brussels-based military alliance…through policy consultations, personnel exchanges and training programs, the ministry’s spokesman, Cho Byung-jae, said. South Korea has also stationed troops to protect its civilian reconstruction workers in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

“At this meeting, the two sides plan to discuss various international security issues and matters of mutual concern, including NATO’s new Strategic Concept; Korea-NATO cooperation and partnership-strengthening measures; regional issues in Northeast Asia, Afghanistan and Libya; cyber security, anti-piracy and anti-terrorism cooperation; as well as energy security,” Cho told reporters at a press briefing.

South Korea’s ambassador for international security, Lee Hyun-ju, and NATO’s assistant secretary general for political affairs and security policy, Dirk Brengelmann, will lead the talks, he said.

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Pro-NATO Monarchies Push Syria’s Suspension From Arab League

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110614/164609102.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 14, 2011

Arab League states call for suspension of Syria

-In March, the Arab League suspended Libya’s membership after Col. Muammar Gaddafi…

Several Arab League member countries have proposed suspending Syria’s membership in the organization over violent crackdowns on pro-democracy protests by the country’s government, the Egyptian Al Ahram newspaper said on Tuesday.

Sources in the Arab League told the paper that the proposed measure is intended to demonstrate a protest against the “Syrian army and security forces’ actions aimed at suppressing demonstrations in support of changes and reforms” in the Arab country.

The proposal has faced opposition from countries neighboring Syria, who have expressed concerns that the isolation of Damascus would lead to tensions between local political forces which would further deteriorate the situation in the country and hamper efforts to reestablish peace, the paper said.

The Arab League’s secretary general, Amr Moussa, said on Monday that Arab countries were very concerned over the continuing violence in Syria that has claimed hundreds of lives over the past three months.

He said, however, that there is no consensus among Arab states about measures to be taken in order to put an end to the unrest.

In March, the Arab League suspended Libya’s membership after Col. Muammar Gaddafi…The organization then asked the United Nations Security Council to authorize a no-fly zone over Libya to prevent Gaddafi’s planes from bombing rebels.

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U.S. Guided Missile Warship Headed To Baltic Sea

http://www.wavy.com/dpp/military/uss-carr-to-leave-for-baltic-sea

WAVY
June 13, 2011

USS Carr to leave for Baltic Sea
Carr to leave Tuesday for three-month deployment

NORFOLK, Va. – The guided missile frigate USS Carr will leave Tuesday for a three-month deployment.

Carr will be deploying to the Baltic Sea to support theater security cooperation efforts, a news release from the Navy said.

During its deployment, the crew of nearly 200 will conduct operations and exercises with various northern European countries.

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Poland: “Permanent Rotation Of American Military Aircraft”

http://arabnews.com/world/article454148.ece

Reuters
June 13, 2011

US, Poland sign aviation accord

WARSAW: NATO allies Poland and the United States signed a deal on Monday for the stationing of US Air Force personnel on Polish soil, a symbolically important move for Warsaw as it keeps a nervous eye on neighboring Russia.

The accord, endorsed by US President Barack Obama during his visit to Warsaw late last month, provides for the establishment of a small air detachment to train Polish pilots in use of F-16 warplanes and C-130 transport planes. “This memorandum of understanding means that by the end of 2012 we will have in Poland a detachment allowing for the permanent rotation of American military aircraft, both combat and transport aircraft,” Defense Minister Bogdan Klich said.

“From 2013 we plan the regular and periodic presence of aircraft and the training of pilots four times a year,” Klich told reporters after the signing ceremony with the US ambassador to Poland, Lee Feinstein.

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Azerbaijan Meeting: “NATO: Political And Military Alliance For The 21st Century”

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=149375

Azeri Press Agency
June 13, 2011

Baku to host roundtable “NATO: a Political & Military Alliance of 21st Century”
Victoria Dementieva

Baku: A round table entitled “NATO: a Political and Military Alliance of the 21st century” will be held in Baku on June 15, 2011, APA reports.

Participants of the round table will discuss Azerbaijan-NATO cooperation, NATO’s new policy after Lisbon Summit, the significance of this summit for the alliance’s future and NATO-European Union cooperation.

Romanian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Nicolae Ureche, MPs, diplomats accredited in Baku, and political analysts will participate at the round table.

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U.S. In Secret Talks To Prolong Afghan Military Presence Past 2014

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/14/51684388.html

Voice of Russia
June 14, 2011

US negotiates its military presence in Afghanistan after 2014

The United States and Afghanistan are secretly discussing the conclusion of a new agreement to retain the US military presence on Afghan territory after the year 2014, writes the British daily The Guardian in a report.

According to the periodical, the talks have been on for more than a month now.

Earlier Washington made repeated public pledges that it would pull its troops out of Afghanistan by 2014. India, China and Russia are opposed to foreign interference in the region and opt for observing the sovereignty of all nations.

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Security Tightened In Belgrade Over NATO Conference

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/06/14/51675975.html

Voice of Russia
June 14, 2011

Security tightened in Belgrade over NATO conference

Security has been tightened in Belgrade in view of a NATO conference on strategic military partnership that’s due to get under way in the Serbian capital today.

Hundreds of Serbs held a rally outside President Boris Tadic’s office yesterday night. The posters they held read “Never to NATO”.

They accused the Serbian leader of high treason and burnt down the NATO flag. The protesters see the arrival in Serbia of “criminals that bombed Serbia in 1999” and tore away Kosovo as inadmissible.

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Caspian: Turkmenistan’s Vast Hydrocarbon Reserves Opened To U.S.

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1891118.html

Trend News Agency
June 14, 2011

Turkmenistan ready to accelerate cooperation with U.S
H. Hasanov

Ashgabat: Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has recently received U.S. State Department Special Envoy for Eurasian energy issues Richard Morningstar this week.

He reaffirmed Turkmenistan’s readiness to further enhance mutually beneficial cooperation with the U.S.

The senior representative conveyed greetings from President Barack Obama, as well as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Morningstar said the United States attaches importance to the relations with Turkmenistan, conducting constructive internal and external policies, and contributing to the rapid development of the country’s and its prestige.

“Turkmenistan is always open for equal and effective cooperation with foreign partners,” the Turkmen President said.

He added that “having an enormous hydrocarbon potential, our country builds up its energy strategy on the principles of modernization of the national fuel and energy sector and diversification of the export routes for Turkmen energy resources to the world markets.

————————————————————————–

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1890918.html

Trend News Agency
June 14, 2011

U.S State Department: U.S appreciates Turkmen energy policy
H. Hasanov

Ashgabat: The U.S. praises Turkmenistan’s energy policy, the U.S. State Department Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy Richard Morningstar said during a meeting with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in Ashgabat.

“The U.S. praises the energy policy of Turkmenistan and its positive initiatives relating to global energy security and the development of broad international cooperation,” the U.S senior representative said.

The two sides exchanged views on opportunities for bilateral cooperation in the fuel and energy sector.

Morningstar also stressed the growing interest of world business circles, including leading U.S. companies, in the promising Turkmen market and major projects implemented by Turkmenistan in the oil and gas industry.

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Rich Oil Deposit Found In Turkmenistan

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=2&id=251530

Interfax
June 14, 2011

Turkmenistan finds rich oil deposit – company

ASHGABAT: Turkmenistan has discovered a highly productive oil reservoir in the offshore part of its Northern Goturdepe field in the Caspian Sea, Turkmen media said on Tuesday, citing state oil and gas company Turkmennebit.

Drilling in Well No. 147 in a bid to reach a depth of 4,400 meters produced a powerful oil fountain and would have an estimated daily yield of more than 800 tonnes. A reservoir discovered in February 2010 by deeper drilling in Well No. 29 in Northern Goturdepe’s onshore part has a daily output of 300 tonnes.

Well No. 147 is the first well to have been drilled in the shallower part of Turkmenistan’s waters.

Northern Goturdepe is the field where Turkmenistan has for the first time used the productivity-raising technique of drilling deep wells in different directions from the same point. Each well may have a deviation of between 300 and 400 meters from the wellhead.

In 2009, the Turkmen president issued a directive to speed up the development of Caspian oil and gas fields with the country’s own resources. The Northern Goturdepe project is part of efforts to put the dictum into practice.

Turkmennebit is operating in 25 oil and gas fields.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Voltaire: War

June 14, 2011 2 comments

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

Voltaire: Selections on war

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Voltaire: War
From Philosophical Dictionary
Translated by William F. Fleming

All animals are perpetually at war; every species is born to devour another. There are none, even to sheep and doves, who do not swallow a prodigious number of imperceptible animals. Males of the same species make war for the females, like Menelaus and Paris. Air, earth, and the waters, are fields of destruction.

It seems that God having given reason to men, this reason should teach them not to debase themselves by imitating animals, particularly when nature has given them neither arms to kill their fellow-creatures, nor instinct which leads them to suck their blood.

Yet murderous war is so much the dreadful lot of man, that except two or three nations, there are none but what their ancient histories represent as armed against one another. Towards Canada, man and warrior are synonymous; and we have seen, in our hemisphere, that thief and soldier were the same thing. Manichæans! behold your excuse.

The most determined of flatterers will easily agree, that war always brings pestilence and famine in its train, from the little that he may have seen in the hospitals of the armies of Germany, or the few villages he may have passed through in which some great exploit of war has been performed.

That is doubtless a very fine art which desolates countries, destroys habitations, and in a common year causes the death of from forty to a hundred thousand men. This invention was first cultivated by nations assembled for their common good; for instance, the diet of the Greeks declared to the diet of Phrygia and neighboring nations, that they intended to depart on a thousand fishers’ barks, to exterminate them if they could.

The assembled Roman people judged that it was to their interest to go and fight, before harvest, against the people of Veii or the Volscians. And some years after, all the Romans, being exasperated against all the Carthaginians, fought them a long time on sea and land. It is not exactly the same at present.

A genealogist proves to a prince that he descends in a right line from a count, whose parents made a family compact, three or four hundred years ago, with a house the recollection of which does not even exist. This house had distant pretensions to a province, of which the last possessor died of apoplexy. The prince and his council see his right at once. This province, which is some hundred leagues distant from him, in vain protests that it knows him not; that it has no desire to be governed by him; that to give laws to its people, he must at least have their consent; these discourses only reach as far as the ears of the prince, whose right is incontestable. He immediately assembles a great number of men who have nothing to lose, dresses them in coarse blue cloth, borders their hats with broad white binding, makes them turn to the right and left, and marches to glory.

Other princes who hear of this equipment, take part in it, each according to his power, and cover a small extent of country with more mercenary murderers than Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, and Bajazet employed in their train. Distant people hear that they are going to fight, and that they may gain five or six sous a day, if they will be of the party; they divide themselves into two bands, like reapers, and offer their services to whoever will employ them.

These multitudes fall upon one another, not only without having any interest in the affair, but without knowing the reason of it. We see at once five or six belligerent powers, sometimes three against three, sometimes two against four, and sometimes one against five; all equally detesting one another, uniting with and attacking by turns; all agree in a single point, that of doing all the harm possible.

The most wonderful part of this infernal enterprise is that each chief of the murderers causes his colors to be blessed, and solemnly invokes God before he goes to exterminate his neighbors. If a chief has only the fortune to kill two or three thousand men, he does not thank God for it; but when he has exterminated about ten thousand by fire and sword, and, to complete the work, some town has been levelled with the ground, they then sing a long song in four parts, composed in a language unknown to all who have fought, and moreover replete with barbarism. The same song serves for marriages and births, as well as for murders; which is unpardonable, particularly in a nation the most famous for new songs.

Natural religion has a thousand times prevented citizens from committing crimes. A well-trained mind has not the inclination for it; a tender one is alarmed at it, representing to itself a just and avenging God; but artificial religion encourages all cruelties which are exercised by troops — conspiracies, seditions, pillages, ambuscades, surprises of towns, robberies, and murder. Each marches gaily to crime, under the banner of his saint.

A certain number of orators are everywhere paid to celebrate these murderous days; some are dressed in a long black close coat, with a short cloak; others have a shirt above a gown; some wear two variegated stuff streamers over their shirts. All of them speak for a long time, and quote that which was done of old in Palestine, as applicable to a combat in Veteravia.

The rest of the year these people declaim against vices. They prove, in three points and by antitheses, that ladies who lay a little carmine upon their cheeks, will be the eternal objects of the eternal vengeances of the Eternal; that Polyeuctus and Athalia are works of the demon; that a man who, for two hundred crowns a day, causes his table to be furnished with fresh sea-fish during Lent, infallibly works his salvation; and that a poor man who eats two sous and a half worth of mutton, will go forever to all the devils.

Of five or six thousand declamations of this kind, there are three or four at most, composed by a Gaul named Massillon, which an honest man may read without disgust; but in all these discourses, you will scarcely find two in which the orator dares to say a word against the scourge and crime of war, which contains all other scourges and crimes. The unfortunate orators speak incessantly against love, which is the only consolation of mankind, and the only mode of making amends for it; they say nothing of the abominable efforts which we make to destroy it.

You have made a very bad sermon on impurity — oh, Bourdaloue! — but none on these murders, varied in so many ways; on these rapines and robberies; on this universal rage which devours the world. All the united vices of all ages and places will never equal the evils produced by a single campaign.

Miserable physicians of souls! you exclaim, for five quarters of an hour, on some pricks of a pin, and say nothing on the malady which tears us into a thousand pieces! Philosophers! moralists! burn all your books. While the caprice of a few men makes that part of mankind consecrated to heroism, to murder loyally millions of our brethren, can there be anything more horrible throughout nature?

What becomes of, and what signifies to me, humanity, beneficence, modesty, temperance, mildness, wisdom, and piety, while half a pound of lead, sent from the distance of a hundred steps, pierces my body, and I die at twenty years of age, in inexpressible torments, in the midst of five or six thousand dying men, while my eyes which open for the last time, see the town in which I was born destroyed by fire and sword, and the last sounds which reach my ears are the cries of women and children expiring under the ruins, all for the pretended interests of a man whom I know not?

What is worse, war is an inevitable scourge. If we take notice, all men have worshipped Mars. Sabaoth, among the Jews, signifies the god of arms; but Minerva, in Homer, calls Mars a furious, mad, and infernal god.

The celebrated Montesquieu, who was called humane, has said, however, that it is just to bear fire and sword against our neighbors, when we fear that they are doing too well. If this is the spirit of laws, it is also that of Borgia and of Machiavelli. If unfortunately he says true, we must write against this truth, though it may be proved by facts.

This is what Montesquieu says: “Between societies, the right of natural defence sometimes induces the necessity of attacking, when one people sees that a longer peace puts another in a situation to destroy it, and that attack at the given moment is the only way of preventing this destruction.”

How can attack in peace be the only means of preventing this destruction? You must be sure that this neighbor will destroy you, if he become powerful. To be sure of it, he must already have made preparations for your overthrow. In this case, it is he who commences the war; it is not you: your supposition is false and contradictory.

If ever war is evidently unjust, it is that which you propose: it is going to kill your neighbor, who does not attack you, lest he should ever be in a state to do so. To hazard the ruin of your country, in the hope of ruining without reason that of another, is assuredly neither honest nor useful; for we are never sure of success, as you well know.

If your neighbor becomes too powerful during peace, what prevents you from rendering yourself equally powerful? If he has made alliances, make them on your side. If, having fewer monks, he has more soldiers and manufacturers, imitate him in this wise economy. If he employs his sailors better, employ yours in the same manner: all that is very just. But to expose your people to the most horrible misery, in the so often false idea of overturning your dear brother, the most serene neighboring prince! — it was not for the honorary president of a pacific society to give you such advice.

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 13, 2011

June 13, 2011 1 comment

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Pentagon Chief Praises NATO’s Arab Monarch Allies For Libyan War Aid

U.S., NATO Hold Proliferation Security Initiative Drills In Mediterranean

Libya: NATO Conducts 10,822 Sorties, 4,102 Strike Missions

German Foreign Minister In Benghazi

Syria On The Boil, U.S. Warship In The Black Sea

Poland: Permanent U.S. Air Base, NATO Detachment Next Year

U.S. To Deploy Military Personnel To Maintain Air Base In Poland

NATO Conducts 70-Nation Military Conference In Belgrade

Returning To Scene Of The Crime: Serbs Protest NATO Meeting

Pentagon To Hold First Joint Military Drills With Bulgaria And Serbia

U.S. Air Force In First Direct Arctic Overflight For Afghan War

Revived 4th Fleet: U.S. Guided Missile Ships In War Games Off Chile

10-Member Pakistani Delegation To Visit NATO Headquarters

Bomb Destroys At Least Seven NATO Oil Tankers In Pakistan

NATO Continues Multinational Baltic Exercise

Ukraine: U.S. Leads NATO, Partnership Marines In “Interoperability” Drills

Western Myth To Overstate China’s Military Potential

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Pentagon Chief Praises NATO’s Arab Monarch Allies For Libyan War Aid

http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2011/me_libya0716_06_12.asp

World Tribune
June 12, 2011

Gates credits Morocco, Jordan, UAE for roles
in NATO’s Libya mission

-Both Arab League states [Jordan and Morocco] have been members of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue, established in 1994.

WASHINGTON: Jordan and Morocco have been identified as participants in the NATO mission in Libya.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said several Middle East states have joined the NATO mission against Libyan Col. Moammar Gadhafi. He cited Jordan, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates.

“In Libya, the involvement of Jordan, Morocco, the UAE and others in the Middle East have been hugely important,” Gates said.

In a June 10 address to the Brussels-based think tank Security and Defence Agenda, Gates did not provide details of the roles of Jordan and Morocco. Both Arab League states have been members of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue, established in 1994.

“I am not sure we would have moved forward to the UN, even undertaking this enterprise, had it not been for the vote in the Arab League that then paved for the UN Security Council resolutions,” Gates, in his last official policy address, said.

Officials said Jordan and Morocco have served support roles in the NATO mission in Libya. They said Qatar and the UAE were conducting air strike operations through their fleets of Mirage-2000 and F-16 fighter-jets.

Despite Arab support, Gates warned that NATO lacked combat support in the campaign against the Gadhafi regime…

….

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U.S., NATO Hold Proliferation Security Initiative Drills In Mediterranean

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=60945

Navy NewsStand
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet
June 11, 2011

Multinational Maritime Interdiction Teams Train during Phoenix Express
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Edward Vasquez, Navy Public Affairs Support Element-East Detachment Europe

-Since it was first proposed by President George W. Bush in May 2003, PSI has generated broad international cooperation resulting in endorsement by 98 nations. Pacific Protector ’03, led by Australia, was the first example of this cooperation and was a maritime interdiction training exercise conducted in the Western Pacific Ocean in September 2003…More than 40 exercises incorporating PSI-related activities have been conducted since the drafting of the Statement of Interdiction Principles in September 2003.
-U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa staff personnel are…participating in this exercise alongside navies and armed forces personnel from Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey.

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: An international maritime interdiction operations (MIO) team participating in Phoenix Express 2011 (PE-11), executed a boarding scenario that supported the aims of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), June 10.

PSI is a global cooperative effort that aims to stop trafficking in weapons of mass destruction (WMD), their delivery systems and related materials. PE-11 provided an opportunity to train multinational maritime interdiction operations (MIO) teams…

During PE-11, the MIO teams from the PSI-endorsing country of Morocco conducted a boarding to interdict a shipment of simulated dual use components on a target ship.

Lt. Amine Khalid, Royal Morocco armed forces, is an MIO team leader attached to RMS Hassan II.

In addition, nations also commit to work toward strengthening legal authorities in support of WMD-related interdictions. Since it was first proposed by President George W. Bush in May 2003, PSI has generated broad international cooperation resulting in endorsement by 98 nations. Pacific Protector ’03, led by Australia, was the first example of this cooperation and was a maritime interdiction training exercise conducted in the Western Pacific Ocean in September 2003.

“PSI participation is voluntary – each participating state decides on a case-by-case basis whether and how to engage, said Petty Officer 2nd Class David McClurg, assessment officer for PE 11. “To date, 98 countries have indicated their support of the PSI by endorsing the Statement of Interdiction Principles.”

More than 40 exercises incorporating PSI-related activities have been conducted since the drafting of the Statement of Interdiction Principles in September 2003.

“PSI exercises establish interoperability among PSI participants and impart useful skills and experience relevant to other duties for all international personnel involved,” said Ruppert.

U.S. units participating in Phoenix Express include USS Stephen W. Groves (FFG 29), USS Robert G. Bradley (FFG 49) and Military Sealift Command’s maritime prepositioning ship USNS LCPL Roy M. Wheat (T-AK 3016) and fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198).

Additional U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa staff personnel are also participating in this exercise alongside navies and armed forces personnel from Albania, Algeria, Croatia, Egypt, Greece, Italy, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey.

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Libya: NATO Conducts 10,822 Sorties, 4,102 Strike Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_06/20110613_110613-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 13, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 10822 sorties, including 4102 strike sorties,have been conducted.
Sorties conducted 12 JUNE: 136

Strike sorties conducted 12 JUNE: 52

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German Foreign Minister In Benghazi

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/europe/1890729.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
June 13. 2011

German foreign minister visiting Benghazi

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has arrived in the Libyan rebel-held city of Benghazi following a stopover in Malta, official sources in Valletta told the German Press Agency dpa.

Germany last week said it was opening a liaison office in Benghazi as Berlin wants to broaden its ties with members of the Libyan opposition who are seeking to topple Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi.

Germany abstained in a UN Security Council vote for the use of military force to protect civilians in Libya.

Westerwelle, who was accompanied by senior German government officials, arrived on an official German C-130 aircraft and transferred to a military transport airplane in Malta, the same sources said.

The German Minister is expected to return to Malta late Monday.

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Syria On The Boil, U.S. Warship In The Black Sea

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MF14Ak02.html

Asia Times
June 13, 2011

Syria on the boil, US warship in Black Sea
By M K Bhadrakumar

-Without doubt, the US is stepping up pressure on Russia’s Black Sea fleet. The US’s provocation is taking place against the backdrop of the turmoil in Syria. Russia is stubbornly blocking US attempts to drum up a case for Libya-style intervention in Syria. Moscow understands that a major reason for the US to push for regime change in Syria is to get the Russian naval base in that country wound up.
The Syrian base is the only toehold Russia has in the Mediterranean region. The Black Sea Fleet counts on the Syrian base for sustaining any effective Mediterranean presence by the Russian navy. With the establishment of US military bases in Romania and the appearance of the US warship in the Black Sea region, the arc of encirclement is tightening.
-[A]ny movement on the Israel-Palestine peace process on Israeli terms will be possible only if the US and Israel crack the hard Syrian nut. Washington and Tel Aviv have been trying to persuade Russia to fall in line and accept “defeat” over Syria. But Moscow has stuck to its guns. And now by sending the warship to the Black Sea, US has signaled that it will make Russia pay a price for its obduracy and pretensions as a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern power.

Seldom it is that the Russian Foreign Ministry chooses a Sunday to issue a formal statement. Evidently, something of extreme gravity arose for Moscow to speak out urgently. The provocation was the appearance of a United States guided missile cruiser in the Black Sea for naval exercises with Ukraine. The USS Monterrey cruiser equipped with the AEGIS air defense system is taking part in joint Ukrainian-US exercises, Sea Breeze 2011.

There is nothing extraordinary about a US-Ukraine naval exercise. Last year, too, an exercise took place. But, as Moscow posed, “While leaving aside the unsettled issue of a possible European missile shield architecture, Russia would like to know, in compliance with the Russia-NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] Lisbon summit decisions, what ‘aggravation’ the US command meant by moving the basic strike unit of the regional missile defense grouping being formed by NATO in the region, from the Mediterranean to the East?”

The Foreign Ministry statement then went on to give its own explanation that the Monterrey was sent to European waters as part of the US administration’s phased adaptive approach to building the European segment of the global missile shield. The program’s first stage envisages the deployment of a group of US warships in the Adriatic, Aegean and Mediterranean Seas to protect South Europe from possible missile strikes. The role of the US warship’s missiles in the Sea Breeze 2011 anti-piracy exercises is also unclear, the statement said.

“We have to state that our concerns continue to be ignored and under the guise of talks on European missile shield cooperation, efforts are under way to build the missile shield configuration whose consequences are dangerous and about which we have numerously informed our US and NATO partners,” the Russian statement added.

The US claims that this is a routine naval exercise. On the other hand, Moscow asks: “If this is an ordinary visit, then it is unclear why a warship with this type of armament was chosen to move to this quite sensitive region.”

Without doubt, the US is stepping up pressure on Russia’s Black Sea fleet. The US’s provocation is taking place against the backdrop of the turmoil in Syria. Russia is stubbornly blocking US attempts to drum up a case for Libya-style intervention in Syria. Moscow understands that a major reason for the US to push for regime change in Syria is to get the Russian naval base in that country wound up.

The Syrian base is the only toehold Russia has in the Mediterranean region. The Black Sea Fleet counts on the Syrian base for sustaining any effective Mediterranean presence by the Russian navy. With the establishment of US military bases in Romania and the appearance of the US warship in the Black Sea region, the arc of encirclement is tightening. It is a cat-and-mouse game, where the US is gaining the upper hand.

Ostensibly, the regime headed by Bashar al-Assad is repressive since almost everyday reports are coming out that more bloodshed has taken place. But the Western reports are completely silent as to the assistance that the Syrian opposition is getting from outside. No one is interested in probing or questioning, for instance, the circumstances in which 120 Syrian security personnel could have been shot and killed in one “incident”.

The Western, Saudi, Israeli and Turkish involvement in Syria’s unrest is almost crystal clear but that is beyond the zone of discussion when we speak of “Syria on the boil”. In short, Russia has lost the information war over Syria. Henceforth, its dilemma will be that it will be seen as being obstructionist and illogical when a laudable democratization process is unfolding in Syria and the “Arab Spring” is straining to make an appearance.

Moscow has made it clear that it will not brook a resolution at the United Nations Security Council over Syria, no matter its wording or contents. It also voted against the Western move at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last week to open a Syria nuclear file – similar to the Iran file – at the UN Security Council.

Moscow’s dilemma is that it cannot openly explain its side of the US’s geopolitical agenda toward Syria. Any such explanation will expose the hollowness of the US-Russia reset, which the Kremlin under President Dmitry Medvedev assiduously worked for. But Washington is not going to let Russia off the hook either. It is certain to tighten the noose around Assad’s neck.

Put simply, the US wants Russia to leave Syria alone for the West to tackle. But Russia knows what follows will be that the Russian naval base there would get shut down by a pro-Western successor regime in Damascus that succeeds Assad.

The stakes are very high. Last year, the deputy head of Russian military intelligence was killed in mysterious circumstances while on an inspection tour of the naval base in Syria. His body was found floating on the Mediterranean off the Turkish coast. To be sure, many intelligence agencies are deeply embroiled in the Syrian broth.

First and foremost, a regime change in Syria has become absolutely critical for breaking Israel’s regional isolation. The US-Israeli hope is that the back of the Hezbollah can be broken only if the regime of Assad is overthrown in Damascus and the Syrian-Iranian alliance is ended. Again, a regime change in Syria will force the Hamas leadership to vacate Damascus. Hamas chief Khalid Meshaal has been living in Damascus under Assad’s protection for several years.

All in all, therefore, any movement on the Israel-Palestine peace process on Israeli terms will be possible only if the US and Israel crack the hard Syrian nut. Washington and Tel Aviv have been trying to persuade Russia to fall in line and accept “defeat” over Syria. But Moscow has stuck to its guns. And now by sending the warship to the Black Sea, US has signaled that it will make Russia pay a price for its obduracy and pretensions as a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern power.

The parliamentary election result in Turkey ensuring another term for the ruling “Islamist” party AKP (Justice and Development Party) significantly strengthens the US position on Syria. Ankara has hardened its stance on Assad and has begun openly criticizing him. A more obtrusive Turkish role in destabilizing Assad and forcing a regime change in Damascus can now be expected in the coming weeks. Ironically, Turkey also controls the Bosphorous Straits.

By improving ties with Turkey in the past decade, Moscow had been hoping that Ankara would gradually move toward an independent foreign policy. The Kremlin’s expectation was that the two countries could get together and form a condominium over the Black Sea. But as events unfold, it is becoming clear that Ankara is reverting to its earlier priorities as a NATO country and US’s pre-eminent partner in the region. Ankara cannot be faulted: it made a shrewd assessment and drew a balance sheet concluding that its interests are best served by identifying with the Western move to effect a regime change in Syria.

Additionally, Ankara finds it profitable that it identifies with the Saudi approach to the upheaval in the Middle East. The wealth Arabs in the oil-rich countries of the Persian Gulf are willing to send their “green money” to Turkey. Ankara also shares Saudi misgivings about Iran’s rise as regional power.

In sum, the US is slowly but steadily getting the upper hand over its agenda of a regime change in Syria. Whether Moscow will buckle under this immense pressure and accept a rollback of its influence in Syria is the big question. Moscow has threatened to cooperate with Beijing and adopt a common stance over Syria. But Moscow’s ability to counter the American juggernaut over Syria is weakening by the day.

The course of events over Syria will certainly impact profoundly on the US-Russia reset. The Obama administration seems to have done its homework and concluded that it is worth taking that risk for the sake of ensuring Israel’s security. The warship that sailed into the Black Sea carries a blunt message to Russia to accept that it is a mere pale shadow of the former Soviet Union.

Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar was a career diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. His assignments included the Soviet Union, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Turkey.

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Poland: Permanent U.S. Air Base, NATO Detachment Next Year

http://www.thenews.pl/1/10/Artykul/25481,Permanent-NATO-detachment-in-Poland-from-2012

Polish Radio
June 13, 2011

Permanent NATO detachment in Poland from 2012?

A ‘memorandum of understanding’ was signed today in Warsaw on the stationing of a US Air Force base in Poland.

Polish Defence Minister Bogdan Klich and US Ambassador Lee Feinstein signed the agreement after a slight delay, as it was expected that US President Barack Obama would sign the agreement during his visit to Warsaw in May.

The details of the bilateral agreement are to be negotiated in 2012, with joint US-Polish military exercises expected to commence from 2013.

The memorandum establishes that joint Polish-American exercises may be carried out on Polish military training grounds, with the allowance for contingents from other countries to take part.

The US Air Force base is to be the first NATO detachment to be stationed in Poland, as when the country became a member of the pact in 1997, the North Atlantic Council issued a statement that there was no need to station large NATO detachments in new member states.

Three air bases which are to be used by the US Air Force are mentioned in the agreement: Krzesiny and Lask, where currently a combined total of 48 Polish F-16s are stationed, as well as Powidz, where eight C-130 Hercules transport aircraft are held.

According to unofficial information from Poland’s Defence Ministry, the number of aircraft and maintenance personnel may also increase thanks to the agreement.

Up until now, Polish pilots undertook training in the USA, as well as irregular training missions in Belgium, France, or more recently, in Spain.

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U.S. To Deploy Military Personnel To Maintain Air Base In Poland

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110613/164593286.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 13, 2011

Washington to send U.S. servicemen to maintain airbase in Poland

Warsaw: Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich and U.S. ambassador to Poland Lee Feinstein signed an agreement, stipulating deployment of 20 U.S. servicemen for maintaining fighters at the U.S. air detachment in Poland, Polish TV said on Monday.

In late May Washington and Warsaw agreed to create a permanent deployment of U.S. Air Force assets in Poland that would service F-16 fighter jets, Hercules transport planes, and land personnel periodically visiting Poland for the military exercises.

The first servicemen, responsible for maintaining F-16s and Hercules transport planes, are expected to arrive in Poland in 2012. The planes could arrive as early as in 2013.

Russia warned Poland against hosting U.S. fighter jets, saying it would counter the move.

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NATO Conducts 70-Nation Military Conference In Belgrade

http://en.trend.az/news/nato/1890945.html

Trend News Agency
June 13, 2011

NATO conference begins in Belgrade

-In 1999, NATO forces bombed Serbia, forcing its army to leave its southern province of Kosovo. In the aftermath, Kosovo unilaterally declared independence and has been recognized by most members of NATO. As many as 3,500 people were killed and 12,500 wounded; with damage to infrastructure estimated between 30 million and 100 million U.S. dollars.

NATO opened its annual Strategic Military Partner Conference on Monday in the Serbian capital of Belgrade. Military representatives of about 70 countries will participate in three days of workshops and discussions, aimed at sharing perspectives on strategic issues, Xinhua reported.

The agenda of the conference’s theme “Post Lisbon: Delivering Transformation” is expected to follow three major topics: Innovative Approaches to Effective Capability Development, Assured Access to the Global Commons, and finally Training, Partnerships and Outreach.

According to a NATO press release, this annual conference is a “core event” within its military engagement campaign. As a strategic level conference it will be used to inform members and partners of NATO’s transformational efforts and provide a forum for the discussion these ideas from national military points of view.

Serbia’s main opposition political parties held a rally on Monday to protest the conference. Members of the…Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) and the Serbian Radical Party (SRS), demanding that Serbia remain militarily neutral, hung banners “No to NATO” and “Never in NATO” from the bridges over the River Sava, linking the old town with the towers of New Belgrade.

As Serbia moves toward EU integration, membership in NATO remains an emotional and politically divisive issue.

In 1999, NATO forces bombed Serbia, forcing its army to leave its southern province of Kosovo. In the aftermath, Kosovo unilaterally declared independence and has been recognized by most members of NATO. As many as 3,500 people were killed and 12,500 wounded; with damage to infrastructure estimated between 30 million and 100 million U.S. dollars.

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Returning To Scene Of The Crime: Serbs Protest NATO Meeting

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Politics/Serbia-Opposition-protests-held-over-NATO-conference-in-Belgrade_312126044829.html

ADN Kronos International
June 13, 2011

Serbia: Opposition protests held over NATO conference in Belgrade

Belgrade: Several opposition parties protested on Monday against a NATO conference on a “strategic military partnership”, hosted by the Serbian ministry of defence, which opens in Belgrade on Tuesday.

About one hundred officials and members of parliament from the…Serbian Radical Party (SRS) protested in front of the Serbian state presidency building, burning NATO flags and calling pro-European President Boris Tadic a “traitor”.

Sunday evening several hundreds attended a protest rally organised by the opposition Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS), headed by former prime minister Vojislav Kostunica.

NATO bombed Serbia for 78 days in 1999 to push Serbian forces out of breakaway Kosovo province…

As a result, Kosovo declared independence in February 2008.

Apart from huge material damages, over 2,000 people were killed in the bombing and animosities are still high against western military alliance. Serbia is striving for membership in the European Union, but has taken a neutral stand towards any military bloc and two thirds of the population oppose membership in NATO.

SRS protesters said that holding a NATO conference in Belgrade was like a “criminal returning to the scene of crime”. They accused Tadic of “betraying state and national interests” and of having tacitly approved Kosovo independence.

The conference will be attended by chiefs of general staff of NATO countries and NATO’s Partnership for Peace, of which Serbia is a member. A total of sixty countries, including Serbia’s ally Russia, will attend Belgrade meeting.

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Pentagon To Hold First Joint Military Drills With Bulgaria And Serbia

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-06/13/c_13926980.htm

Xinhua News Agency
June 13, 2011

Bulgaria, Serbia, U.S. to hold first joint military drill

SOFIA: Bulgaria, the United States and Serbia will hold their first joint military training to improve interoperability and coordination, officials said here on Monday.

The two-week drill codenamed “Black Sea Rotation Forces – 2011″ will begin on Tuesday at the Novo Selo Training Range, one of the four U.S. military bases in Bulgaria, the Public Relations Directorate of the Bulgaria’s Defense Ministry said.

Units from the Bulgarian Land Forces, some 40 soldiers from the Serbian Land Forces and up to 100 troops with no more than 15 vehicles from the U.S. Marine Corps will participate in the drill, to improve interoperability among the participants and boost coordination in multinational operations, officials said.

Combat shooting, patrolling, escorting and medical evacuation will be some of the activities during the drill.

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U.S. Air Force In First Direct Arctic Overflight For Afghan War

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123259614

Air Mobility Command
American Forces Press Service
June 10, 2011

Mobility Airmen take C-5M on first direct Arctic overflight to Afghanistan
by Master Sgt. Scott T. Sturkol
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

-USTRANSCOM [U.S. Transportation Command and Air Mobility Command] planners said this flight is just the beginning of understanding new ways to strengthen the northern corridor.

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan: Fourteen mobility Airmen teamed together to fly a C-5M Super Galaxy on a direct, non-stop mission from Dover Air Force Base, Del., here June 5 and 6, 2011.

The flight was the first time a U.S. Air Force plane flew this northern route from the U.S., over Canada and into the Arctic Circle, then back down through Russian and Kazakhstan airspace to Afghanistan.

U.S. Transportation Command and Air Mobility Command officials at Scott AFB, Ill., said the mission was a “proof-of-concept” flight that will help establish future sustainment operations in Afghanistan.

AMC’s 618 Tanker Airlift Control Center planners at Scott AFB tasked and built the mission plans for the effort. It’s part of TACC’s continuing effort to support and control airlift and air refueling missions around the globe.

AMC officials said the flight was a culmination of months of diplomatic efforts and operational planning, and further illustrates the military’s commitment to finding innovative new ways to operate with increasingly constrained resources.

Maj. John Rozsnyai, a planner in USTRANSCOM operations at Scott AFB, said his command worked with the U.S. State Department, regional combatant commands, AMC, TACC and numerous other agencies to get this historic mission under way.

“This partnership was especially important in coordinating transit agreements with Russia and Kazakhstan,” Major Rozsnyai said, “While civilian airlines have been using the airspace, this was the first time an AMC plane took this direct delivery route.”

To make the entire 15-plus hour flight to Afghanistan, the C-5M was refueled by a KC-135R Stratotanker from the New Hampshire Air National Guard 157th Air Refueling Wing at Pease Air National Guard Base. The refueling took place over northern Canada.

USTRANSCOM planners said this flight is just the beginning of understanding new ways to strengthen the northern corridor.

“There will most likely be other flights that will originate from the western U.S. and won’t require the use of tankers,” Major Rozsnyai said.

“This route used by the C-5M may also be useful for swap-outs of deployed tankers and crews and for redeploying troops. The benefit might also allow for quicker trips saving days at home for deploying Airmen as well as requiring less stops for aircraft.”

The aircrew for the mission combined active-duty and Reserve Airmen.

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Revived 4th Fleet: U.S. Guided Missile Ships In War Games Off Chile

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=60956

Navy NewsStand
June 11, 2011

USS Boone, USS Thach Conduct Exercises with Chilean Sub
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Steve Smith

USS BOONE, At Sea: Guided-missile frigates USS Boone (FFG 28) and USS Thach (FFG 43) completed a series of exercises with Chilean navy submarine Carrera (SS-22), June 10.

During the four-day passing exercise (PASSEX), ships from both navies trained with each other in a series of antisubmarine warfare (ASW) and surface warfare exercises to promote communications, interoperability and partnership.

The exercises included unit-level training in submarine familiarization, passive and active tracking, coordinated tracking exercises and coordinated tactical exercises.

“It was important for Boone to work with an asset, the Chilean sub, which we do not get to see often,” said Ensign Loney Cason, Boone’s antisubmarine warfare officer. “It was great to track a sub in real-time, which helps train sonar technicians, operational watch standers and lookouts.”

This series of exercises also focused on coordination and effectiveness of tracking and hunting submarine threats.

Boone and Thach participated by leading the coordinated ASW exercises and alternately serving as the search and attack unit commander.

“One of our missions during Southern Seas 2011 is [to foster] theater security cooperation,” said Hoy. “We are learning the fundamentals of how other navies function, and learning how to work with them in a tactical environment and beyond.”

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports U.S. Southern Command joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space…in the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

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10-Member Pakistani Delegation To Visit NATO Headquarters

http://ftpapp.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=142050&Itemid=2

Associated Press of Pakistan
June 13, 2011

Secretary Information to visit NATO HQs on Tuesday

ISLAMABAD: A 10-member delegation of spokespersons, pubic relations and communication experts headed by Secretary Information and Broadcasting Taimur Azmat Osman will visit NATO Headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday.

The purpose of the visit on the invitation from Public Diplomacy Division of NATO, aims at strengthening political dialogue and creating greater awareness among media experts and bureaucrats from Pakistan about NATO’s role and engagements in Afghanistan.

The delegation will be meeting a number of high ranking NATO officials including the Head Partnerships Section Michael Duray, Colone Emmanual Chapy, Deputy Head of the Policy Planning Unit, Private office of NATO Secretary General; Diego Ruiz Palmer, Head Strategic Analysis Capability, Emerging Security Challenges Division; Oana Lungescu, NATO Spokesperson; Ambassador Jacek Bylica, Head of Weapons of Mass Destruction Centre, Defence Policy and Planning Division; and Ambassador Giampaolo Di Paola, Chairman of the Military Committee.

Besides a briefing on ‘NATO’s new strategic concept’ ‘NATO Partnership Relations with special regards to Pakistan’, and ‘NATO’s Weapons of Mass Destruction and Non- Proliferation Policy’ the delegation will also visit SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe).

The delegation will meet with the members of Pakistan Press Club in Brussels.

The other members of the delegation include Maj. General Athar Abbas Director General ISPR; Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad Additional Secretary, Prime Minister Secretariat; Munir Ahmed, Director Public Relations, President Secretariat; Sohail Ali Khan Director Public Relations, Khurram Agha Prime Minister Secretariat; Muhammad Tahir Hasan Director Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Brig. Atiqur Rehman Deputy Director ISPR.

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Bomb Destroys At Least Seven NATO Oil Tankers In Pakistan

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Bomb-destroys-seven-NATO-oil-tankers-in-Pakistan/Article1-709052.aspx

Agence France-Presse
June 13, 2011

Bomb destroys seven NATO oil tankers in Pakistan

Peshawar: At least seven tankers carrying fuel for Nato troops in Afghanistan were gutted on Monday when a bomb planted in one of the vehicles exploded at a terminal in Pakistan, officials said. “A bomb fitted with a timer blew up an oil tanker. It triggered fire that engulfed six more tankers,” local adminis tration official Shahar Yar Khan said. There were no reports of any casualties, he added.

Another official in the area said more than 30 fuel tankers were parked at a terminal in the Torkham border area of the troubled Khyber tribal region.

Most of them had been moved away but the raging blaze was threatening another 10 tankers still in the area, he said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast but the Taliban has in the past said it carried out such attacks to disrupt supplies for more than 130,000 US-led international troops fighting in Afghanistan.

Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants frequently launch attacks across northwestern Pakistan and the lawless tribal belt on the Afghan border, which Washington has branded the most dangerous place in the world.

Most supplies and equipment required by the soldiers in Afghanistan are shipped through Pakistan, although US troops increasingly use alternative routes through Central Asia.

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NATO Continues Multinational Baltic Exercise

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=60969

Navy NewsStand
June 13, 2011

Baltic Operations 2011 Transitions to Tactical Phase
From Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

BALTIC SEA: After a series of training events, the ship and air asset of Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2011 are transitioning to the tactical phase of the exercise, June 11.

During the initial phase, elements in the multinational exercise practiced seamanship, gunnery, and communications, testing and improving their ability to work jointly.

“Multinational exercises allow us to leverage the strengths of all our partners,” said Capt. Bob Cepek, chief of operations, Carrier Strike Group 8…

The exercise currently continues with elements of a complex scenario involving sea control, humanitarian assistance, and coalition peacekeeping operations in the Baltic region.

“The scenario is robust and challenging,” stated Capt. Cepek. “This exercise involves elements that will assist us in multi-national operations anywhere in the world.”

BALTOPS 2011 maritime operations that will continue through June 17. Nations participating include Belgium, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Sweden, and the United States.

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Ukraine: U.S. Leads NATO, Partnership Marines In “Interoperability” Drills

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=60977

Navy NewsStand
June 13, 2011

U.S. Navy, Multinational Partners Host Demonstration During Sea Breeze 2011
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Stephen Oleksiak, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

SHIROKILAN, Ukraine: Multinational partners hosted a joint land component demonstration for local media during exercise Sea Breeze 2011, June 11.

Marines from Denmark, Macedonia, Moldova, Ukraine and the U.S. demonstrated a variety of land-based countermeasure operations including convoy operations, counter improvised explosive device procedures, counter attack techniques, vehicle checkpoint protocol, non-lethal combat techniques and medical evacuation procedures.

Training evolutions conducted during Sea Breeze allow U.S. and multinational partners to be able to plan and operate proficiently when combating global threats.

“It’s about maritime safety and security,” said Schebler. “We face threats nowadays that cross national borders, and it’s important that we train and work together to counter those threats…in the Black and Mediterranean Seas and around the world.”

Air, land and naval forces from Azerbaijan, Algeria, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Macedonia, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States will participate in Sea Breeze 2011, the largest multinational maritime exercise this year in the Black Sea, June 6-18, and is co-hosted by the Ukrainian and U.S. navies.

Exercise Sea Breeze 2011 aims to improve maritime safety, security and stability actions in the Black Sea by enhancing the capabilities of Partnership for Peace and Black Sea regional maritime security forces.

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Western Myth To Overstate China’s Military Potential

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90776/90786/7408139.html

Xinhua News Agency
June 13, 2011

Western myth to play up China’s military threat

-Many Western observers assume a much higher spending for China’s military than official figures indicate, and some put the figure as much as some $150 billion. However, even that wild guess pales when compared with the staggering US figure of $729 billion.
In terms of real capabilities, China’s military is still regional in nature rather than global.
In contrast with the United States, the world’s uncontested sole military superpower, China lags far behind when it comes to global reach of military forces and the ability for their rapid deployment around the world.

A deadly killer jet that can take on the most advanced miliary fighters of the world’s sole superpower. A behemoth “ship” under construction that will project the military power of the “Middle Kingdom” further off its coast. An army of cyber hackers ready to wreak all havoc on the Internet.

These days, news stories by some Western media about China’s military strength tend to play up its increasing size and menacing potential. Some Western observers have tried to hint to readers that something “big and evil” is fast evolving in China.

It turns out that the killer jet is just a stealth fighter yet to complete its test flight. By comparison, the US military has put their own stealth fighters, the F22s, into active service for many years.

The behemoth “ship” is an aircraft carrier under construction, but it hardly makes a splash because not only traditional military powers like the United States and Russia have aircraft carriers, but even lesser powers, such as Thailand and Argentina, have their own carriers as well.

As for cyber hackers, they could be a bunch of web-savvy young people anxious to show off their skills, who have nothing to do with the Chinese military.

Myths about China’s military like this are not hard to find in the West and elsewhere. It underlines the fact that some countries are growing increasingly uneasy about China’s military capabilities as the country, supported by a booming economy, has loomed larger and larger on the world stage.

To get a true overall picture of China’s military, one needs to take a close look at real strategy and capabilities of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Any attempt to mystify its real strength and intention can get one nowhere.

Chinese political and military leaders have availed themselves of every opportunity to reiterate to outsiders China’s unswerving commitment to “peaceful development.” They do it so often that their remarks fall flat on some foreign ears, but the key message they try to get across has remained the same: China doesn’t want war; China needs peace.

With more than 1.3 billion people to feed and tough internal challenges like the widening income gaps and great strains on energy and environment by rapid economic growth, China has little choice but to make the most of a largely peaceful environment and seek business opportunities rather than make enemies with other countries.

For example, according to one estimate, China has to create some 20 million jobs a year in the next 20 years to keep tens of millions of migrant workers and college graduates employed. That is roughly one-third of Britain’s overall population.

Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie has recently said that the key to judging whether a country is a threat to world peace does not lie in the strength of its economy or military, but indeed the practical domestic and foreign policy it pursues.

Late last year, after a crucial meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Dai Bingguo, Chinese state councilor in charge of foreign policy, has expounded on several occasions China’s strategy of peaceful development.

In a long and detailed article under the title of Commitment to Peaceful Development, Dai said China believes win-win cooperation with other countries, instead of expansionism or hegemony, serves its national interests better.

In his words, China’s commitment to peaceful development “will not change in 100 or 1,000 years.”

Despite all the hype about China’s military strength, China’s defense spending, in proportion to its gross domestic product (GDP), has remained fairly low, compared to the world’s major developed countries.

China’s military spending is some $80 billion in 2010, roughly 1.4 percent of its GDP, while that of the major countries is around 3 percent to 4 percent, Chinese government figures show.

Many Western observers assume a much higher spending for China’s military than official figures indicate, and some put the figure as much as some $150 billion. However, even that wild guess pales when compared with the staggering US figure of $729 billion.

In terms of real capabilities, China’s military is still regional in nature rather than global.

In contrast with the United States, the world’s uncontested sole military superpower, China lags far behind when it comes to global reach of military forces and the ability for their rapid deployment around the world.

PLA Chief of the General Staff Chen Bingde, in a recent US tour, said China’s military strength is 20 years behind the United States.

For China, widespread myth about its military power underscores a need to communicate more often and more effectively with other countries on the issue. The increasingly frequent overseas tours of its top military officials probably herald China’s greater efforts for that end.

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Categories: Uncategorized

José Martí: Oscar Wilde on war and aesthetics

June 13, 2011 2 comments

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

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Oscar Wilde: Antidote to war

Oscar Wilde: Crimson seas of war, Great Game in Central and South Asia

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José Martí
From Oscar Wilde (1882)
Translated by Elinor Randall

…Wilde addressed the North American:

“…Beauty is the only thing that time cannot kill. Philosophies die, religious creeds vanish, but the beautiful lives forever. It is the gift of all the ages, the sustenance of all peoples everywhere, and an eternal treasure. Wars will be of little account when all men love the same things with equal intensity, when a common intellectual climate unites them.

“England is still a powerful sovereign by virtue of her military might; and our renaissance would give her a sovereignty to endure long after her yellow leopards tire of the roar of battle, and the rose upon her shield is no longer tinged with the blood of combat…”

Categories: Uncategorized

Libyan war updates/Stop NATO news: June 12, 2011

June 12, 2011 4 comments

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Libya: 10,686 NATO Air Missions, 4,050 Combat Sorties

NATO Wars Lead To Near Quintupling Of U.S. Arms Sales In Past Decade

Clinton In Africa: Libya, Ivory Coast…Syria

U.S. Congress Can End NATO’s Libya War Of Aggression

Russia: U.S. Interceptor Missile Ship In Black Sea Threat To National Security

U.S. Congressmen Demand Iraq Pay For Eight Years Of War, Occupation

Lithuania Hosts NATO Military Training For Iraq/Afghanistan/Somalia-Type Operations

Drive Southeast: NATO Oversees Balkans Chiefs Of Staff Conference

Ukraine: U.S. Marines, NATO Integrate Eastern European, Black Sea, Caucasus And North African Partners

NATO To Keep Hungarian Troops In Afghanistan Indefinitely

U.S. Subsidizes Czech Proxy Army For Afghan, Future Wars

Afghan War: Czech Death Toll Rises To Four

Analysis: Empire Games – But Who Writes The Rules?

Pakistani Opposition Party Blocks NATO Supplies In Balochistan

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Libya: 10,686 NATO Air Missions, 4,050 Combat Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_06/20110612_110612-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
June 12, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 10686 sorties, including 4050 strike sorties,have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 11 JUNE: 116

Strike sorties conducted 11 JUNE: 51

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NATO Wars Lead To Near Quintupling Of U.S. Arms Sales In Past Decade

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5giaxY6NDee1t39rItvfloCwTJAyQ?docId=CNG.aa14c6d16da2ae6f7555aa8e6cb5acad.191

Agence France-Presse
June 10, 2011

US foresees $46 billion in 2011 military sales

-[W]ith the war in Afghanistan and a higher operational tempo for many armed forces, clients are seeking quicker access to purchased progress, which explains the rise in the value of American exports, according to the admiral.
Several nations participating in the NATO-led air campaign on Libya have thus contacted the DSCA [Defense Security Cooperation Agency] to replenish their stocks of ammunition depleted by the operations.
-In all, over 13,000 contracts are currently underway with 165 countries for $327 billion…

WASHINGTON: The United States plans to export $46.1 billion in weapons this year, nearly doubling its 2010 figures, officials said.

During the fiscal year 2011, which ends September 30, Washington expects the sales of equipment and military services through its Foreign Military Sales process to grow. About 79 percent of these exports are financed by client countries and organizations, with the remainder funded by US aid programs.

US military equipment sales, confined to about $10 billion in the early 2000s, tripled to around $30 billion after 2005.

“From 2005 to 2010, we have delivered through the Foreign Military Sales process $96 billion worth of equipment, goods and services to partner countries,” said Defense Security Cooperation Agency Director Vice Admiral William Landay.

[W]ith the war in Afghanistan and a higher operational tempo for many armed forces, clients are seeking quicker access to purchased progress, which explains the rise in the value of American exports, according to the admiral.

Several nations participating in the NATO-led air campaign on Libya have thus contacted the DSCA to replenish their stocks of ammunition depleted by the operations.

Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway and the United Kingdom are all participating in the attacks on Moamer Kadhafi’s regime.

The rise in exports has led the DSCA to revise its procedures to ensure faster deliveries by determining what type of weapons or other military equipment should be delivered to which country before even being contacted by a client, and purchasing the equipment before it is sold.

In all, over 13,000 contracts are currently underway with 165 countries for $327 billion, according to Landay.

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Clinton In Africa: Libya, Ivory Coast…Syria

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/middle-east/Clinton-Syria-Engaging-in-Horrific-Attacks-Against-Own-People-123688954.html

Voice of America News
June 11, 2011

Clinton: Syria Engaging in ‘Horrific’ Attacks Against Own People
Scott Stearns

Dar Es Salaam: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Syria is engaging in what she calls “horrific” attacks against its own people, but the international community is not currently considering military action against the government in Damascus because regional leaders are working behind the scenes to resolve the crisis.

Secretary Clinton says the international community is concerned about what is going on in Syria as thousands of refugees cross into Turkey. But there are no plans at present to act militarily against President Bashar al-Assad because, unlike Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, Clinton says there is not a regional consensus against Syria.

“Syria, for example, is engaging in horrific, revolting attacks on its own people,” said Clinton. “The region, however, is trying to, behind the scenes, get the government to stop. And they believe that that at the time is the best way to go forward. So we listen very closely to what people in the neighborhood, in the region say.”

Secretary Clinton spoke in an interview with the television channel Africa 360 in which she was asked to explain how the international community decides to intervene militarily. She said the ongoing NATO campaign against Gadhafi came from both the Arab League and the United Nations.

“We knew that he had an incredible military capacity, so when the Arab League asked the United Nations to act, that was a very significant development,” added Clinton.

Secretary Clinton says there is no guidebook for justifying military intervention, but there are certain factors to consider.

“When there are situations that develop where the region itself says, ‘This is unacceptable. We have to do something.’ Or in Cote d’Ivoire where the United Nations was there to try to keep peace and unfortunately former President Gbagbo was intent upon waging war,” Clinton added.

Secretary Clinton is in Tanzania for talks with President Jakaya Kikwete before traveling to Ethiopia for an address Tuesday at the African Union.

State Department officials traveling with the Secretary say Libya will feature prominently in those remarks. They admit that African nations are divided over the revolt against the Gadhafi government, but the Obama administration is encouraged that all three African members of the U.N. Security Council – Nigeria, Gabon, and South Africa – voted for the resolution authorizing military force, and the leaders of Senegal and Mauritania have now joined calls for Gadafi to leave power.

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U.S. Congress Can End NATO’s Libya War Of Aggression

http://blackstarnews.com/news/135/ARTICLE/7440/2011-06-12.html

Black Star News
June 12, 2011

U.S. Congress Can End NATO’s Libya War Of Aggression

Opposition to the United States’ unconstitutional involvement in the immoral Western war of aggression on Libya being carried out through NATO continues to grow among U.S. lawmakers.

Several Republican members of Congress recently sided with a Democrat on a bill that seeks to end an American role and one of those detailed the reasons for his objection on the pages of The Wall Street Journal this weekend.

NATO, especially on behalf of France and Britain, is trying to instal a pliant regime in Libya and has ignored a peace plan on the table that would end the war and usher democracy.

Meanwhile, as the U.S. was busy focusing on the war of aggression on Libya, conditions have deteriorated in both Yemen and Syria, where dictators actually unleashed the national armies, with tanks, machine guns and helicopters against civilians. Syria is now on the brink.

So why the fixation on Libya?

The political leader of the Libya insurrection Mustafa Mohamed Abdel-Jalil, was Muammar al-Quathafi’s justice minister until early this year. In an interview with The Financial Times on March 14, 2011, he said new oil concessions would be granted based on the level of support each Western country provided the rebels in ousting al-Quathafi. Immediately thereafter Western countries led by France and Britain escalated attacks on Libya.

NATO hijacked what might have originated as a genuine anti-regime uprising and has now degenerated into a Western backed civil war.

U.S. lawmakers should force a halt to American participation. The U.S. pays almost 3/4 of NATO’s bills and without Washington sustaining the war, the combatants in Libya would be forced to come to the negotiating table.

On June 3, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 148-265 against a bill authored by Democratic lawmaker Rep. Dennis Kucinich–it demanded that the U.S. halt any involvement in the Libyan war.

The Kucinich measure would have passed had it not been for a devious ploy by Republican House speaker John Boehner. When he realized that enough Republicans were willing to vote with Rep. Kucinich, a Democrat, Boehner introduced his own bill.

Unlike Kucinich’s, the Boehner bill did not call for the withdrawal of U.S forces. It simply called for an accounting of the cost from President Barack Obama and an explanation from the president about the U.S. involvement in the Libyan civil war. So, lawmakers now had a face-saving option and many voted for Boehner’s watered down bill which passed 268-145.

Still, 87 Republicans voted for Kucinich’s bill, more than the 61 votes that he garnered from fellow Democrats. Ironically, Democrats – the so-called party of liberals – have now become the party of warmongers. Democrats condemned George W. Bush as a war criminal for launching the Iraq war eventhough unlike President Obama, Bush, to his credit did seek lawmakers’ approval.

At least Bush, at the end of the day, could argue that Sadam Hussein was a genocidal killer who gassed his own citizens.

As a candidate, President Obama was most vocal in criticizing Bush and Republicans for the Iraq war–in fact, it’s the main reason why he defeated Hillary Clinton for the nomination and eventually won the White House.

Now, President Obama is determined to pursue an unconstitutional war on Libya. NATO bombardments have destroyed billions of dollars of Libyan infrastructure and without a doubt, given the intensity, killed innocent people.

Just as in the Iraq war, Western media outlets are not eager to assess or investigate the deaths of civilians in the Libya war. The war is also supported by newspapers such as The New York Times which became very critical of Bush’s Iraq war but whose editors now seem to have lost their minds and become cheerleaders promoting U.S. involvement in France’s and Britain’s imperial war on Libya. On this score the Times see eye-to-eye with the right wing editorial pages of The Wall Street journal.

Only the United States Congress has the authority to declare war. Should the president engage U.S. forces in combat, under the War Powers Resolution, he is required to seek Congressional authority within 60 days. The U.S. has been in the Libyan war for 85 days now.

Rep. Kucinich should revamp his bill and introduce it again. He will find many Republican allies who are outraged that President Obama has ignored the War Powers Resolution.

One such prominent Republican lawmakers expressed his anger on the pages of the June 11 – June 12 issue of The Wall Street Journal.

Rep. Dan Burton writes that President Obama “argues that he couldn’t consult with Congress because immediate action was needed to protect civilians from massacre. If true, a surgical engagement in Libya might be justified.”

Burton continues, “But the president’s claim is false. He spent one month consulting with NATO, the Arab League and the U.N. Security Council. This fact is inescapable. The president sought permission from foreign leaders but not the U.S. Congress.”

He continued: “On September 11, 2001, our nation was attacked. President George W. Bush still sought authorization from Congress before going into Afghanistan. Similarly, President Bush sought congressional authorization before invading Iraq. President Bush respected the authority of Congress and the limitations of the Constitution. President Obama does not.”

Burton, the Republican from Indiana concludes, “The Constitution is not a list of suggestions; it is the law of the land.”

Perhaps realizing that the U.S. Congress could eventually rein in the American military role, NATO has escalated bombing attacks on Tripoli and on al-Quathafi’s residence. NATO hopes to assassinate the Libyan before Congress can vote again.

What makes the NATO bombardments, described by Russia’s Vladimir Putin as a call to a “medieval crusade” even more reprehensible, is the fact that the African Union has presented a viable peace plan. The proposal has been ignored by President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Western media.

The plan calls for a ceasefire, humanitarian relief, negotiations involving all Libyans for a constitution and democratic elections. Ironically, al-Quathafi has accepted this proposal, delivered to Libya by South African President Jacob Zuma, even though it might involve his being defeated at the polls.

NATO, the rebels in Benghazi and Washington have rejected the African Union plan – preferring war and more death and destruction in Libya.

Rep. Kucinich in addition to reintroducing his proposal should also lead a fact-finding Congressional mission to Libya to see whether Libyans prefer the AU plan or NATO’s destructive war whose sole aim is to instal the pro-Western rebels.

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Russia: U.S. Interceptor Missile Ship In Black Sea Threat To National Security

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20110612/164579761.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
June 12, 2011

Russia expresses concern over U.S. warship Black Sea visit

Moscow: Russia’s Foreign Ministry voiced concerns on Sunday over the entry of a U.S. guided missile cruiser into the Black Sea for naval exercises with Ukraine.

The Monterrey cruiser equipped with the AEGIS air defense system is taking part in the joint Ukrainian-U.S. naval exercises, Sea Breeze 2011.

“While leaving aside the unsettled issue of a possible European missile shield architecture, Russia would like to know, in compliance with the Russia-NATO Lisbon summit decisions, what ‘aggravation’ the U.S. command meant by moving the basic strike unit of the regional missile defense grouping being formed by NATO in the region, from the Mediterranean to the east,” the ministry said in a statement.

According to the ministry’s statement, Monterrey was sent to European waters as part of the U.S. administration’s phased adaptive approach to building the European segment of the global missile shield. The program’s first stage envisages the deployment of a group of U.S. warships in the Adriatic, Aegean and Mediterranean Seas to protect South Europe from possible missile strikes.

The U.S. says the warships can move to the Black Sea only in case of aggravation of the situation in the region.

“If this is an ordinary visit, then it is unclear why a warship with this type of armament was chosen to move to this quite sensitive region,” the statement said.

The role of the U.S. warship’s missiles in the Sea Breeze 2011 anti-piracy exercises is also unclear, the statement said.

Russia has said on many occasions that it will perceive the appearance of U.S. strategic infrastructure elements close to its borders as a threat to its security.

“We have to state that our concerns continue to be ignored and under the guise of talks on European missile shield cooperation, efforts are under way to build the missile shield configuration whose consequences are dangerous and about which we have numerously informed our U.S. and NATO partners,” the statement said.

This approach clearly discourages the work to jointly define the concept and the architecture for the future missile shield in Europe, on which the Russian and U.S. presidents agreed in Lisbon, the statement said.

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http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2098823.ece

The Hindu
June 12, 2011

Russia protests entry of US anti-missile cruiser into Black Sea
Vladimir Radyuhin

Russia has protested the entry of a U.S. anti-missile cruiser into the Black Sea calling it a threat to national security.

The U.S. Navy cruiser Monterey equipped with the Aegis anti-ballistic missile system sailed into the Black Sea to participate in the Ukrainian-U.S. Sea Breeze 2011 exercises, but Moscow said it saw the expedition as part of the “phased adaptive approach of the U.S. Administration towards building the European segment of a global missile shield.”

“The Russian side has repeatedly stressed that we will not let pass the appearance of elements of U.S. strategic infrastructure in the immediate proximity of our borders and will treat such moves as a threat to our security,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary posted on its website on Sunday.

The Russian protest was issued three days after NATO rejected Moscow’s proposals for building a joint missile defence or for providing legal guarantees that the system will not be directed against Russia.

Moscow said that the U.S. was pushing ahead with its own missile shield in Europe in blatant disregard of Russian concerns.

“It is being done demonstratively, as if to tell Russia that no-one is going to take its opinion into account,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Following the failure of his talks with NATO on Thursday Russia’s Defence Minister Antoly Serdyukov said that if Russia’s concerns about the European missile shield were not heeded, it “will be forced to look for ways of overcoming this shield.”

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http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=251194

Interfax
June 12, 2011

Moscow concerned about U.S. missile cruiser’s entry of Black Sea

MOSCOW: The emergence in the Black Sea of the U.S. guided missile cruiser Monterey, carrying Aegis missile systems, has aroused concerns in Russia, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“The Monterey was sent to the European waters under the plan to implement the U.S. administration’s step-by-step adaptive approach to the formation of the European segment of the global missile shield. The first stage in this program envisions the deployment in the Adriatic, Aegean and Mediterranean seas of an American naval force, tasked to defend the Southern European countries from hypothetical missile threats. In accordance with the official American version, the warships could also be sent to the Black Sea should the situation deteriorate in the region,” The Foreign Ministry said in a commentary on Sunday.

“Setting aside the remaining unagreed issues related to the architecture of the proposed European missile shield in compliance with the resolutions of the Russia-NATO Lisbon summit, it remains unclear what ‘deterioration’ the American command meant when it moved the backbone strike unit of the NATO territorial missile defense component currently under formation from the Mediterranean to the east,” it said.

“If a routine ‘visit’ to this extremely sensitive region is the issue, why was a warship with this particular type of weaponry chosen? What role was reserved for the Monterey’s anti-missiles in the scenario of the Sea Breeze 2011 drill, during which ‘an anti-pirate operation by NATO standards’ was exercised?” the Foreign Ministry said.

“The Russian side has said on many occasions that we will not leave without attention the emergence of elements of the U.S. strategic infrastructure in the direct vicinity of our borders and will take such steps as a threat to our security,” it said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry is compelled to state in this connection that, “our concerns have remained disregarded and that under the cover of the talks on cooperation in missile defense in Europe work is continuing to form a missile defense configuration fraught with dangerous consequences, of which we have warned our American and NATO partners many times. This is being done demonstratively, as if showing Russia that no one is going to take its opinion into account,” the Foreign Ministry said.

This sort of approach is counterproductive to the joint work to forge the concept and architecture of the future missile defense system in Europe, as agreed in Lisbon and at meetings between the Russian and American presidents, it said.

“Surprises, already emerging at the first stage in the implementation of the American ‘adaptive approach’ points to a high level of strategic uncertainty which the American missile defense system is creating,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“Still the more justifiable is the question about how reliable the verbal assurances are that it is not targeted against Russia,” it said.

“The reconnaissance of the Black Sea waters done by American missile warships confirms again that rigid legal guarantees must be worked out that the missile defense means to be deployed in Europe are not targeted against the Russian nuclear deterrence potential,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Such guarantees must rest on the objective criteria of assessing whether the missile defense systems comply with the declared goal of countering missile threats from beyond Europe, the ministry said.

It is no less important to guarantee Russia’s equitable role in the development of the concept and architecture of the European missile defense system and envision adequate confidence-building and transparency measures.

“We were prepared to finally negotiate all this in Deauville. Unfortunately, this did not happen. We will continue demanding complete clarity in these profoundly serious questions in further talks with the United States and NATO,” the Foreign Ministry said.

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U.S. Congressmen Demand Iraq Pay For Eight Years Of War, Occupation

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/iraq/1890273.html

Trend News Agency
June 12, 2011

Iraqi president to discuss U.S. troops presence in Iraq

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani will chair a meeting with Iraqi political leaders to discuss the presence of thousands of U.S. troops in Iraq beyond the deadline of 2011, Xinhua reported according to official newspaper reported on Sunday.

“There will be a meeting headed by Talabani very soon to discuss the issue related to the U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq,” the state-owned newspaper al-Sabah quoted government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh as saying.

Dabbagh’s announcement came amid tensions rose recently between the Iraqi government and the United States when Iraqi authorities asked for a U.S. congressional delegation to leave the country after the latter suggested that Iraq has to pay back the United States the money it has spent for the war in the country since the 2003 invasion.

“We have told the U.S. embassy Friday to ask the congressmen to leave Iraq,” Dabbagh said. “Those people are not welcome in Iraq, They are raising a controversial issue which affects the strategic relation between Iraq and the United States,” Dabbagh added.

The congressmen were also provocative in raising another controversial issue when they told Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that they were investigating whether forces under his command had committed a “crime against humanity” when they killed 35 Iranian dissidents at a camp north of Baghdad earlier in the year.

In April, the Iraqi security forces raided Camp Ashraf which houses more than 3,000 members of an Iranian opposition group named People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI).

The Iraqi forces clashed with the disarmed Iranians and there were reports said that some 35 unarmed people were killed in the clashes.

In mid-2010, U.S. troops in Iraq had been reduced to below 50,000 soldiers. Washington said that the remaining U.S. troops in Iraq are conducting support and training missions.

U.S. military forces are to pull out completely from Iraq by the end of 2011 according to the security pact named Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), signed late in 2008 between Baghdad and Washington.

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Lithuania Hosts NATO Military Training For Iraq/Afghanistan/Somalia-Type Operations

http://www.baltic-course.com/eng/baltic_news/?doc=7341

Baltic Course
June 10, 2011

Amber Hope 2011 to encompass Land, Air and Naval Forces in Lithuania

-The multinational exercise Amber Hope 2011 will involve around 2,2 thousand military and civilian personnel from nine NATO member countries – Estonia, the USA, Canada, Latvia, Poland, Lithuania and Norway – and two Partnership for Peace (PfP) countries NATO partners – Georgia and Finland. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Ukraine are expected to send delegates to the exercise.

Vilnius: Lithuania will host the multinational exercise “Amber Hope 2011″ on June 13-23 [which] will involve all the branches of the armed forces – land, naval, air and special operations. In the period of the exercise they will operate as an integrated multinational peace support force, reports BC [according to] the press service of the National Defence Ministry.

The land component during the exercise will train at the Lithuanian Armed Forces Pabrades Training Area; the maritime component at the Baltic Sea; the air component in the Kairiu and Pabrades Training Areas, and over the Baltic Sea, Special Operations troops will improve their skills at the Pabrades Training Area and seaside.

On the basis of the exercise scenario generated in close relation to the ongoing NATO and the EU operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia, and drawn to real-life conditions to the maximum extent, the training will put to the test readiness of troops to take part in contemporary NATO-led operations in multinational environments.

The land component of the exercise will consist of two multinational battalions….In Amber Hope 2011 it will be the biggest military unit in number.

Troops of the land component will train conducting live firing, suppressing riots, medical evacuation, escort, convoy, patrolling, and other tasks.

The air component will support participating units by integrated air operations. It will conduct close air support (CAS) operations, imitate air raids and air support operations, air surveillance, medical evacuation and airlift of the injured, search and rescue operations (SAR), tactical air lift (TAL). Air operations will involve two Mi-8 helicopters of the Lithuanian Air Force and two light assault L-39 ZA aircraft.

According to the maritime component plan of the Amber Hope 2011 scenario, six vessels of the Lithuanian Naval Force (LNF), harbour cutter H21, and the Sea and Coastal Surveillance Service will participate in the training.

The Exercise will also train for the readiness of ship crews and staff officers to respond to a changing situation in the process of naval operations at sea on the basis of a military conflict scenario.

Exercise “Amber Hope 2011″ will proceed in two phases. During the first phase from June 13 to 18 participating military personnel will improve procedures related to tactical warships manoeuvring in formations, water-surface object detection and observation, battle with above-water targets, search and neutralisation of naval mines, artillery fire at sea, etc. The aim of the phase is to coordinate ability of several ships to implement joint military operations in an integral unit. In this phase special operations and air components will train together with warships.

During the following stage on June 19-23 the maritime component will operate according to an established scenario. Personnel of the maritime component will act in two groups. One of them will conduct maritime assistance and at-sea defence operations, the other a fictitious assault and diversions.

The Sea and Coastal Surveillance Service of the Lithuanian Naval Force will execute reinforced maritime surveillance from naval observation posts [and] record suspicious actions of the fictitious enemy at sea. The maritime component will operate jointly with the special operations component, hostile forces at sea will be played by a H21 harbour cutter and the search and rescue vessel “Sakiai”.

The multinational exercise Amber Hope 2011 will involve around 2,2 thousand military and civilian personnel from nine NATO member countries – Estonia, the USA, Canada, Latvia, Poland, Lithuania and Norway – and two Partnership for Peace (PfP) countries NATO partners – Georgia and Finland. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Moldova and Ukraine are expected to send delegates to the exercise.

Lithuania will be represented by personnel from all the branches of the Lithuanian Armed Forces –the Land Force, the Air Force, the Naval Force and the Special Operations Forces…

The goal of the Exercise “Amber Hope 2011″ is to enhance cooperation among the military divisions of Partnership for Peace and NATO countries while training to take part in joint crisis response operations and strengthen military cooperation between NATO and partners of the Alliance.

“Amber Hope 2011″ will also improve and evaluate the readiness of the Lithuanian Armed Forces to deliver Host Nation Support (HNS) to incoming forces.

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Drive Southeast: NATO Oversees Balkans Chiefs Of Staff Conference

http://us.mc1117.mail.yahoo.com/mc/welcome?.gx=1&.tm=1307847100&.rand=97c24o39n4n7h#_pg=compose&&.rand=1555178537&clean&hash=cb843f95ad9887b74f5ec9aa8c445a5e&.jsrand=4747724

Macedonian Information Agency
June 8, 2011

Ohrid hosts 5. Conference of Balkan Chiefs of Staff

Ohrid: Ohrid hosts Wednesday the 5th Conference of Chiefs of Staff from Balkan countries.

Besides chairman, Chief of Macedonian Army (ARM) Staff, Lieutenant-General Miroslav Stojanovski, the meeting brings together his counterparts from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Montenegro, Brigadier-General Maksim Malaj, Lieutenant-General Miladin Milojcic, General Simeon Simeonov and Vice Admiral Dragan Samardzic respectively, as well as Deputy-Chiefs of Staff of Greece, Romania and Serbia, Lieutenant-General Georgios Nakopoulos, Lieutenant-General Dan Ghika-Radu and General Miloje Miletic respectively, along with Commander of the Third Turkish Army, General Yalcin Ataman.

Deputy-Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Lieutenant-General Walter Gaskin, Commander of the NATO Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Admiral Samuel Locklear, Deputy-Director for Planning of the U.S. Command Europe Michael Ryan, Slovenian Deputy-Chief of Staff, Counter Admiral Renato Petric and Croatian Deputy-Chief of Staff, Counter-Admiral Zdenko Simicic will also attend the conference as guests.

Moreover, President and Supreme Commander of Macedonia’s Armed Forces, Gjorge Ivanov will also address the meeting.

The first conference of the Balkan chiefs of staff was held in Thessaloniki (Greece) in 2007, followed by meetings in Antalya (Turkey), Belgrade (Serbia), and Brasov (Romania).

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Ukraine: U.S. Marines, NATO Integrate Eastern European, Black Sea, Caucasus And North African Partners

http://www.eucom.mil/english/fullstory.asp?article=US-Marines-Hold-NCO-Course-Multinational-Partners

Moldovan Ministry of Defense
June 10, 2011

U.S. Marines Hold NCO Course for Multinational Partners during Sea Breeze 2011
2nd Lt. Maria Arama, Moldovan Ministry of Defense Public Affairs

-Air, land and naval forces from Azerbaijan, Algeria, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Macedonia, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States are participating in Sea Breeze, the largest multinational maritime exercise this year in the Black Sea, June 6-18, and is co-hosted by the Ukrainian and U.S. Navies.

SHIROKYILAN, Ukraine: More than 30 non-commissioned officers (NCO) from Macedonia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, and the U.S. deployed to Exercise Sea Breeze 2011 attended a two-day training course on leadership development held at the Shirokyilan facility from Nicolaev.

According to Sgt. Maj. Steven Peck, 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division of the U.S. Marines, the training focused on such important issues as: developing a non-commissioned officer, rules of behavior, discipline, standards and expectations from NCOs, leadership styles, leading by example and others.

Vasily Chaicovski, a shooter within the Moldovan 22nd Peacekeeping Operation Battalion, felt the training was useful for Moldovan non-commissioned officers.

“This was a good chance to share our experiences of leader-subordinate relationship, leadership skills and discipline maintaining process with other militaries,” said Chaicovski.

Ukrainian Sgt. Anton Kornev considered the course to be very useful for his everyday service.

“This was new knowledge learned from our Macedonian, Moldovan, and U.S. partners,” said Kornev. “This was also a chance to apply all the acquired knowledge in our previous activities.”

The international contingent deployed to the Shirokyilan facility from Nicolaev is conducting tactical training exercises such as convoy escort, shooting, jump training, counter IED operations, and others.

Air, land and naval forces from Azerbaijan, Algeria, Belgium, Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Macedonia, Moldova, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States are participating in Sea Breeze, the largest multinational maritime exercise this year in the Black Sea, June 6-18, and is co-hosted by the Ukrainian and U.S. Navies.

Exercise Sea Breeze 2011 aims to improve maritime safety, security and stability actions in the Black Sea by enhancing the capabilities of Partnership for Peace and Black Sea regional maritime security forces.

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NATO To Keep Hungarian Troops In Afghanistan Indefinitely

http://www.politics.hu/20110610/defense-minister-says-no-changes-in-hungarys-afghanistan-mission/

Hungarian News Agency
June 10, 2011

Defense minister says no changes in Hungary’s Afghanistan mission

-That fact that NATO wants to gradually pass control over to local authorities does not mean that they would leave the country; the presence of international forces is just being restructured…

Hungary’s largest NATO mission in Afghanistan will continue with its…responsibilities in the country’s northern Baghlan province, Defence Minister Csaba Hende told a press conference following a meeting of his NATO counterparts in Brussels on Thursday.

Both the Afghan authorities and NATO think that “conditions are not met” for local forces to guarantee security in the area as yet, Hende said.

That fact that NATO wants to gradually pass control over to local authorities does not mean that they would leave the country; the presence of international forces is just being restructured, Hende said.

Changes to the structure of command in NATO, aimed at higher efficiency, do not have a direct impact on Hungary, Hende said.

The two-day meeting also focussed on cyber-attacks, and participants adopted a policy against such attacks, with emphasis on prevention.

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U.S. Subsidizes Czech Proxy Army For Afghan, Future Wars

http://praguemonitor.com/2011/06/09/czech-military-acquire-us-equipment

Czech News Agency
June 9, 2011

Czech military to acquire US equipment

-The Defence Ministry budget only covered a part of the supplies primarily destined for Czech members of the mission in Afghanistan, while the rest was financed by the U.S.

Prague: The Czech government Wednesday approved the Defence Ministry’s plan to acquire some military equipment from U.S. foreign aid programmes, the government’s press section has told reporters.

According to the plan, the Czech troops are to get deciphering equipment, radio stations, night vision goggles, ammunition and rifles from the USA, the Defence Ministry’s press service said.

The Czech military also wants to have 17 identification, friend or foe (IFF) systems.

Their purchase is to be funded from the Defence Ministry budget.

On the other hand, Czechs are not to pay anything for the military equipment. The Defence Ministry wants to make use of the U.S. foreign aid to acquire 100 Swiss-made Sig 516 rifles along with accessories, 11,000 pieces of ammunition, tens of GPS devices and radio stations.

The U.S. administration is also to deliver eight night vision sights for small arms.

This may not be the first use of the U.S. military aid.

At the end of March, the government approved the acquisition of night vision devices, ammunition and communication equipment.

The Defence Ministry budget only covered a part of the supplies primarily destined for Czech members of the mission in Afghanistan, while the rest was financed by the U.S.

The soldiers in Afghanistan received the radio communication system Harris, a laser telemeter, night vision equipment and some field military GPS systems.

Helicopter pilots operating in the Paktika province received air helmets, night vision goggles and oxygen devices.

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Afghan War: Czech Death Toll Rises To Four

http://www.praguepost.com/news/8958-slain-soldier-returns-home-to-high-honors.html

Prague Post
June 8, 2011

Slain soldier returns home to high honors
Vondra awards state medal to Vyroubal, killed in Afghanistan
By Gordon LaForge

The body of a Czech soldier killed in Afghanistan arrived at the Prague-Kbely military airport June 5 to a hero’s welcome.

Sergeant Robert Vyroubal was killed after the vehicle carrying him, an Afghan interpreter and two other soldiers struck an improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan’s Wardak province May 31, said Czech Army (AČR) spokeswoman Jana Růžičková.

Vyroubal, 31, is the fourth Czech service member to die in Afghanistan and the first in three years. The Afghan interpreter was also killed in the explosion.

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Analysis: Empire Games – But Who Writes The Rules?

http://williambowles.info/2011/06/11/empire-games-but-who-writes-the-rules-by-william-bowles/

Empire Games – but who writes the rules?
By William Bowles

The Western left’s abdication, nay abandonment of principles that go to the heart of the socialist liberation project has been long in the making, centuries even and made all the more obvious by the left’s take on events in Libya and now Syria. Critiques of the ‘humanitarian, socialist interventionists’ came thick and thin but for the most part the fundamental question of why the left had abandoned its historic mission has not been asked.

“I am confused by the analyses of the Anglophone left with regard to the social revolts in Libya. The only thing folks seem able to muster is a series of bifurcated abstractions. Thus certain metaphors in the analyses of Libya prevail such as, ‘greed and grievance’, ‘patron and client’, ‘rapacious rule vs innocent population ‘, ‘madness vs sanity’ etc. Absent from the discussion are: social forces, social base, achievements and contradictions of Libya’s Green revolution, contradictions of liberal democracy, and the contradictions of market dependency on specific social formations.” — Elleni Centime Zeleke, ‘Libya: The Poverty of Analyses’, MRZine, 11 June 2011

All true and not merely of the ‘Anglophone left’ but the Western left in general suffers from a shallowness of thinking and the inevitable retreat into slogans and automatic writing. And although I agree with pretty much everything Zeleke has to say on the subject of the Western left I have a problem with the language Zeleke uses.

Zeleke’s essay suffers from the disease of left writing in general, inherited from its middle-class, ‘intellectual’ university roots. The tendency to speak in a private language that only those ‘in the know’ are privy to eg, “the contradictions of market dependency on specific social formations”.

Yeah okay, nobody’s saying it’s easy to figure out what’s going on and why things happen, but who are we talking to here? People who already agree with us? If so, surely it’s pretty much a wasted effort insofar as the objective is to persuade people to get involved in making change happen, not preaching to the converted (some of whom may actually understand what Zeleke is saying). And surely isn’t that the point of writing with a specific objective in mind? To explain what is happening and why.

Zeleke puts the confusion (is that the right word?) down to:

“One of the results of such a skewed discussion is that liberal democracy is idealized as the only viable political order in Libya (or the rest of the world for that matter). This is because absent of an analysis of social processes (which the left seems incapable of doing), liberal democracy gets proffered as at least having the institutional checks and balances to keep evil at bay.”

Again true but Zeleke doesn’t ask the question, why?

Why is there no real opposition to the by now ‘normal’ actions of our governments, that bomb at will anywhere, all the time with total impunity, using increasingly flimsy pretexts (‘humanitarian intervention’)? Because they know that there will be no real opposition from the citizens of Empire. This is the essential point missing from Zeleke’s essay: the Western left is not merely trapped in the illusion of a liberal democracy, it has contributed to its creation and the Western left is itself a product of liberal democracy.

And this is not a new phenomenon, it is rooted in the simple fact that we are citizens of Empire and we have enjoyed the benefits for centuries using identical methods to those now directed at Libya. The Western left’s total debacle over Libya and now Syria reflects the innate contradictions, essentially trying to square the circle, as its confusion over ‘what to do’ about Gaddafi reveals. Having gotten onto the ‘human rights’ bandwagon, it’s really difficult to get off it, opportunism raises its head. Protest is not only hollow, it is compromised from the getgo.

“For the first thirteen days starting on March 19 under the control of U.S. Africa Command and Operation Odyssey Dawn and thereafter the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led Operation Unified Protector, the air