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Archive for September, 2011

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 30, 2011

September 30, 2011 4 comments

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Libya: Over 9,000 NATO Combat Flights, 24,346 Sorties

With Libya Still Smouldering, BRICS Opposes NATO States On Military Operations Against Syria

Rasmussen On Chicago Summit: Libya To Join Global NATO Network

NATO Missile System Interim Capability By May Summit: Chief

Exploiting R2P To Bomb Nations, Overthrow Regimes Unacceptable: Russian Foreign Ministry

Russian Envoy Accuses NATO Of Gross Violation Of UNSC Kosovo Resolution

NATO: Afghan Civilian Deaths Caused By Air Strikes Up 19 Percent

Afghan War: NATO 2011 Death Toll Continues To Rise

Pakistani Parties Show Rare Unity In Opposition To U.S. Threats

Video/Song: “Humanitarian NATO”

Obama, Uzbek President Discuss Afghan War Supply Routes

Clinton: Uzbekistan Key Supply Hub For Afghan War

Czech Republic: 225,000 Attend 18-Nation “NATO Days”

Estonia Pursues “Total Defense” Against Russia

Adjutant General Of Illinois Receives Polish Army Medal

Germany Hosts Warplanes For NATO Response Force 2012 Exercise

NATO, Oil/Gas: GUAM Ministerial Held During Eastern Partnership Summit

NATO Trains Azerbaijan’s Officer Corps

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Libya: Over 9,000 NATO Combat Flights, 24,346 Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110930_110930-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 24,346 sorties, including 9,082 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 29 SEPTEMBER: 110

Strike sorties conducted 29 SEPTEMBER: 42

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With Libya Still Smouldering: BRICS Oppose NATO States On Military Operations Against Syria

http://rt.com/politics/russia-un-security-council-libya-resolutions-769/

RT
September 30, 2011

With Libya still smoldering, Russia rejects UN resolution on Syria
Robert Bridge

-European member states of the Security Council, with implicit support from the United States, were hoping to “fast-track” this latest resolution, which calls for the immediate imposition of a weapons embargo and other sanctions against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
Russia, Brazil, China, India and South Africa, however, which together make up the so-called BRICS economic bloc, spoke out against the document, expressing concerns that the Western countries may use this resolution to carry out another military operation.

Russia, wary of more military intervention, has rejected the latest version of a UN Security Council draft resolution on Syria, where the government of President Bashar al-Assad is cracking down on violent anti-government protests.

The four European member states of the UN Security Council, Britain, France, Germany and Portugal, were hoping to put the draft resolution to a vote on Friday, but Russia rejected the document.

During consultations held in the UN on Thursday, Russia’s UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin said he was “disappointed” with the provisions of the draft resolution, in which he says the proposals made by Russia were not taken into account.

“I’m not optimistic,” Churkin said before the meeting. “And we are not the only ones in this position.”

China has also threatened to use its veto power, as a permanent member of the council, against any UN resolution against Syria that leaves room for “punitive measures.”

There is also disagreement over whether violence by protesters should be given the same importance as that by the government.

India’s UN envoy Hardeep Singh Puri said there must include a reference to violence by “extremist elements” in any resolution.

Initially, the European member states of the Security Council, with implicit support from the United States, were hoping to “fast-track” this latest resolution, which calls for the immediate imposition of a weapons embargo and other sanctions against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia, Brazil, China, India and South Africa, however, which together make up the so-called BRICS economic bloc, spoke out against the document, expressing concerns that the Western countries may use this resolution to carry out another military operation.

Indeed, with Libya still smoldering from its ongoing civil war, which saw forces loyal to ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi battling anti-government forces, who received heavy aerial support courtesy of NATO fighter jets and cruise missiles, Russia and others states are taking extra precautions in handling the Syrian crisis.

Churkin said members of the UN Security Council had “a good discussion” and Russia is expecting a new edition of the resolution to be presented soon.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton demanded that Syria “take every possible step” to protect US diplomats after supporters of President Bashar al-Assad tried to attack US ambassador Robert Ford in Damascus.
Amid rising US-Syrian tensions, Damascus earlier accused the United States of inciting “armed militias” into violence against its army, which is trying to contain a six-month anti-government movement.

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Rasmussen On Chicago Summit: Libya To Join Global NATO Network

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/opinions_78600.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 30, 2011

Towards NATO’s Chicago Summit
Speech by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the European Policy Centre, Brussels

-I would like the summit to reaffirm our commitment to the Euro-Atlantic integration of our partners here on this continent. But also to send a strong signal to countries across the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. That we continue to share an interest in the stability and security of their region. And I hope that by the time of our Chicago summit, a new, democratic Libya will be among our partners in the region.

…I was particularly happy to accept the European Policy Centre’s invitation to speak to you today. Because it gives me an early chance to set out my vision of the Alliance’s future. And to look ahead with you to the NATO Summit, in Chicago, next May.

As I said NATO is busier than ever…

Although the [Libyan] mission is not yet complete, it has already shown that NATO can make a difference…Operation Unified Protector has shown that…NATO is the indispensable alliance.

We must make sure that it remains the indispensable Alliance. Especially at a time when nothing can be taken for granted.

The backdrop to our NATO summit in Chicago is the global economic crisis. And there is no contradiction between being concerned about the economy and being concerned about security. Because economy and security are interlinked. Huge deficits and growing debt make nations vulnerable. Therefore, sound fiscal policies are also sound security policies. Both require that we get the most out of every euro, pound and dollar that we spend on defence and security.

Security is not an optional extra – even in times of austerity. It’s not a luxury – it’s a vital necessity. Because security problems don’t wait while we come to terms with our economic difficulties. And they certainly don’t solve themselves.

…And the argument for transatlantic commitment is more compelling than ever.

So in Chicago, I am confident that you will see a NATO Alliance demonstrating its strong solidarity even in difficult economic times…

We are an Alliance committed to transatlantic solidarity and cooperation…

In fact, the Libya operation shows the strength and the solidarity of our Alliance even in the middle of an economic crisis…

NATO acted within 6 days – faster than ever before. And we acted successfully. All Allies took part, directly or indirectly, through our common command structure and common funding.

In Libya, European Allies and Canada took the lead. In Afghanistan, the United States has been the leading nation from the start. And in Kosovo, Germany is currently playing the leading role.

These are all demanding operations. NATO’s operational flexibility allows each and every Ally to play to its particular strengths…

It is this operational flexibility that allows the Alliance to carry out several different operations at the same time. And to do so effectively.

In Libya, European Allies and Canada provided most of the assets. But the success of that operation depended on unique and essential capabilities which only the United States could offer. Capabilities such as drones, surveillance and intelligence assets.

Missile defence is a case in point…

That brings me to the final element of my vision for NATO – an Alliance that is even better connected to its partner nations and the rest of the international community.

Libya has been another demonstration of the importance of NATO’s network of partnerships. At the start of the Libya crisis, many said we had an image problem in the Arab world. But our operation proves the contrary…

Our security is best assured through a wide network of partnerships with countries and organisations around the globe…

We aim to deepen political dialogue and practical cooperation with the United Nations. The European Union is another unique and essential partner for NATO. And we will continue to promote the Euro-Atlantic integration of countries in the Western Balkans and to our East.

Finally, building on the success of our Libya operation, the Alliance should also be much better connected with its southern neighbours – across the Mediterranean and into the Middle East and Gulf regions…

That is my vision for NATO. An Alliance that is committed, capable, and connected. And in Chicago next May, we can help transform that vision into reality.

[M]issile defence. Poland, Romania and Turkey have already agreed to host key elements of this system. And my goal for Chicago is that we declare an interim operational capability for NATO’s territorial missile defence…

Finally – partnerships. I would like the summit to reaffirm our commitment to the Euro-Atlantic integration of our partners here on this continent. But also to send a strong signal to countries across the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. That we continue to share an interest in the stability and security of their region. And I hope that by the time of our Chicago summit, a new, democratic Libya will be among our partners in the region.

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NATO Missile System Interim Capability By May Summit: Chief

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/30/c_131170077.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 30, 2011

NATO missile defense to get interim capability by next May

BRUSSELS: NATO leaders will announce an interim operational capability for the military alliance’s missile defense system in Europe at the Chicago summit in May, 2012, the head of NATO said on Friday.

“Poland, Romania and Turkey have already agreed to host key elements of this system. And my goal for Chicago is that we declare an interim operational capability for NATO’s territorial missile defense. We will then be able to receive early warning of missile launches directed against us,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen said during a think tank breakfast meeting.

NATO’s vision on missile defense cooperation has been rejected by Russia that warned NATO’s moves would undermine its nuclear deterrent, upset the balance of power and trigger a new arms race in Europe.

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Exploiting R2P To Bomb Nations, Overthrow Regimes Unacceptable: Russian Foreign Ministry

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=6&id=276995

Interfax
September 30, 2011

Interference in internal affairs must not be covered by concept of protecting civilians – Lukashevich

MOSCOW: Attempts to justify foreign interference in internal affairs by compliance with the concept of the responsibility to protect civilians are unacceptable, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.

“We cannot side-step the polemics [at the 66th session of the UN general Assembly] on the concept of responsibility for the protection [of civilians], which some speakers cited while justifying the use of force in internal conflicts, including in Libya,” he said at a press briefing in Moscow on Friday.

“Russia is convinced that using this concept as a cover for interference in internal affairs and for regime change in the UN member-states is unacceptable,” he said.

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Russian Envoy Accuses NATO Of Gross Violation Of UNSC Kosovo Resolution

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=2&id=277104

Interfax
September 30, 2011

Rogozin accuses NATO of gross violation of UNSC resolution on Kosovo

MOSCOW: In another conflict in Kosovo, NATO has openly sided with Pristina and acted in breach of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution, said Russia’s Ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin.

“In this situation, NATO has unequivocally sided with Pristina,” he said in an interview with the Rossiya 24 television channel on Friday.

During the conflict, soldiers from the NATO Force for Kosovo used firearms against the Serbs, he said.

“Essentially, it was shooting against a peaceful civilian demonstration. This is absolutely against all of the norms written down in the UN Security Council Resolution No. 1244,” the ambassador said.

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NATO: Afghan Civilian Deaths Caused By Air Strikes Up 19 Percent

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/09/29/civilian-deaths-caused-airstrikes-isaf

Pajhwok Afghan News
September 29, 2011

Civilian deaths caused by airstrikes up: ISAF

KABU: Civilian deaths caused by NATO-led airstrikes increased from 57 to 67, or by 18 percent, over the past eight months, compared to the same period in 2010, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force said on Thursday.

A day earlier, the United Nations said that Afghanistan had emerged as more insecure during the current year, with a sharp spike in security incidents and the number of civilian casualties, civilian displacement and complex suicide attacks.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his report to the Security Council that the number of security incidents during the first eight months of the year was nearly 40 percent higher than in the corresponding period of 2010.

Civilian casualties, at an all-time high for the first half of the year, rose by five percent in the June-August period compared with last year, with militants linked to three quarters of the deaths and injuries, the UN report said.

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Afghan War: NATO 2011 Death Toll Continues To Rise

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/30/c_131168434.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 30, 2011

4 ISAF armymen killed in Afghanistan: news release

KABUL: Three NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service members were killed in an attack and another died in a non-battle related injury in Afghanistan, according to ISAF press releases issued on Thursday.

“Three International Security Assistance Force service members died following an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in southern Afghanistan yesterday,” an ISAF news release issued on Thursday said.

On Wednesday, another three ISAF soldiers were also killed in an IED attack in eastern Afghanistan, a former news release said.

In a separate Thursday statement, the ISAF said “an International Security Assistance Force service member died as a result of a non-battle related injury in southern Afghanistan today”.

Both Thursday news releases read as usual, “It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.”

Afghan Taliban has launched massive IED attacks against ISAF and Afghan national security force in recent years.

The fatalities of NATO-led forces this year, according to iCasualties, have been registered 463 till Thursday, out of which 397 killed in IED attacks, 342 of which from the United States and 34 from the United Kingdom.

Forty nine countries are contributing 130,000-strong forces in Afghanistan with over 90,000 of them American mainly stationed in the east and south, followed by 9,500 from UK mainly based in southern Afghanistan.

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Pakistani Parties Show Rare Unity In Opposition To U.S. Threats

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-09/29/c_131168356.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 29, 2011

Pakistani parties show rare unity to U.S. threats
By Tahir Khan

ISLAMABAD: Politically divided and insurgency-hit Pakistan is showing rare unity at a time when top U. S. military leaders are issuing threatening statements of unilateral military action in Pakistan’s tribal region against the armed militant groups…

Pakistani leaders have complained that senior U.S. officials have unleashed verbal attacks on its intelligence agencies that they supported Taliban-linked groups in recent attacks on the U.S. embassy and a military base in Afghanistan.

Pakistan angrily rejected U.S. claims as unfortunate and also dismissed the threats of unilateral action as contrary to the spirit of bilateral cooperation in the war on terror.

…The U.S. routinely uses unmanned aircraft to target the hideouts of suspected militants in the Waziristan region, bordering Afghanistan.

…Pakistani leaders said that the CIA had created the Haqqanis and had been once the U.S. “blue-eyed boys”.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said this week that several countries have contacts with the Haqqanis and rejected as unfair the U.S. policy of singling out Pakistan. As there is no let-up in the U.S. pressure on Pakistan and its leaders are issuing threats of strikes, Pakistanis have shown unity to meet any challenge. The prime minister has called an All-Parties Conference (APC) to get support from all political and religious parties at the critical juncture of Pakistan’s history.

Nearly 60 political leaders, including the main opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, will attend the conference. Top military leaders and the ISI chief will brief the leaders and will respond to their questions about what measures have been taken to defend the country.

Tribesmen in Waziristan and other regions have also declared support to the Pakistani government and elders have vowed armed resistance if the United States launched any attack, a tribal elder who attended a meeting in Miranshah, the center of North Waziristan, this week said. Two nationalist groups in southwestern Balochistan province have refused to attend the APC. They cited political differences over the government policies in Balochistan for decision to stay away from the APC but said they would strongly oppose any U.S. military intervention.

It is the third time in three years that the government has called an APC to adopt a united stand to what the majority believes is the aggressive U.S. posture towards its close ally, which has lost nearly 30,000 civilians and about 5,000 security personnel in bomb blasts, suicide attacks and military operations since late 2001.

…Thursday’s APC was convened as Pakistani political and military leaders have realized gravity of the situation.

Pakistanis are annoyed at the U.S. allegations against its military and security organizations, who had been the main target of the militant groups.

FOCUS ON FRIENDS AND REGIONAL COUNTRIES

Pakistan has approached its close friends and regional countries in the wake of continued U.S. threats and sent its intelligence chief to Saudi Arabia to win its support in the current circumstances. Pakistan is happy over the recent supportive statements from time-trusted friend China, and the Iranian Interior Minister Mohammad Najar threw support to Pakistan when he met President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar warned this week that the United States will lose its close ally if it continued allegations against her country and its security agencies.

Pakistani analysts, foreign experts, defense experts and the media are also advising the government to review its foreign policy vis-a-vis the United States and to promote ties with friendly and regional countries. They also ask the government to reject conditional U.S. aid and focus on trade, not aid. The united stand in Pakistan to U.S. threats would send a strong message to the American military that coercive tactics will not work as the whole Pakistani population is in rare unity.

There are no positive signals coming from Washington to ease tensions and the outgoing Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said in his latest statement on Wednesday that the Americans will now take a tougher line against Pakistan. Senior Republican U.S. senator, Senator Lindsey Graham, has warned that U.S. lawmakers might support military options beyond drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions.

He said options available include using U.S. bomber planes within Pakistan. These threatening American statements have forced the government to show unity and win the support of the opposition parties, and a tough and united response is likely at the end of the APC later Thursday.

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“Humanitarian NATO”
Bob A. Feldman

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Obama, Uzbek President Discuss Afghan War Supply Routes

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20119\30\story_30-9-2011_pg7_7

Reuters
September 29, 2011

Obama, Uzbek leader discuss Afghan supply routes

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama and Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov discussed the Central Asian country’s role as a supply route for US troops in Afghanistan, a US official said on Thursday, amid growing concern about the stability of Pakistan as a transit point.

The White House said Obama spoke to Karimov late Wednesday to congratulate the former Soviet republic on its 20th anniversary of independence and that they talked about shared interests in a ‘secure and prosperous’ Afghanistan.

Obama’s outreach to Karimov, who has faced US criticism in the past over his human rights record, came as the United States and Pakistan are locked in a diplomatic crisis over US accusations linking Pakistan’s chief intelligence agency to attacks on Americans in Afghanistan. The rising tensions between Washington and Islamabad, at times awkward partners in the fight against militancy, have raised questions about Pakistan’s role as a major US supply route for its forces fighting in Afghanistan. That has sent US officials scrambling to consider expanding alternatives to reduce reliance on Pakistan.

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Clinton: Uzbekistan Key Supply Hub For Afghan War

http://en.trend.az/regions/casia/uzbekistan/1938648.html

Trend News Agency
September 30, 2011

U.S: Uzbekistan greatly assists U.S. military cargo transportation to Afghanistan

Baku: Uzbekistan greatly assists the U.S. by transporting U.S. military cargo to Afghanistan via the so-called Northern Distribution Network, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday, Itar-TASS reported.

Supplies for the U.S. troops are transported through this network to Afghanistan by transit from the Baltic countries through Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Tashkent greatly assists the Northern Distribution Network, Clinton said.

“We appreciate our ties with Uzbekistan,” she said. “Certainly, we would like to intensify our relations in all spheres.”

Earlier on Thursday, Clinton held talks with Uzbek Foreign Minister Elyor Ganiev, who was on a visit to Washington.

Clinton said that the U.S. thinks that the continuation of a dialogue with Uzbek officials is significant.

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Czech Republic: 225,000 Attend 18-Nation “NATO Days”

http://praguemonitor.com/2011/09/26/record-225000-people-saw-nato-days-%C4%8Dr

Czech News Agency
September 26, 2011

Record 225,000 people saw NATO Days in ČR

-This year’s NATO Days were participated in by 18 countries. Israel, Norway, Sweden and Turkey took part for the first time.

Mosnov, North Moravia: A record number of 225,000 people attended the two-day NATO Days and Czech Military Air Force Days held at Leos Janacek airport in Mosnov, on Saturday and Sunday, event spokesman Jaromir Krisica told CTK Sunday.

He said 185,000 people came to the event last year.

NATO Days are the biggest aviation-military-security event in Central Europe, according to the organisers.

Visitors could see military aircraft, including an AWACS plane and the U.S. B-52 strategic bomber, as well as other military and rescue equipment.

The performances by two aerobatics groups, the four-member Baltic Bees and the eight-member Turkish Stars, were among the biggest attractions.

“The visitors could see at the airport 246 pieces of equipment, including almost 90 planes,” said Zbynek Pavlicek, head of the Jagello 2000 association, the event’s chief organiser.

The Saturday programme included the ceremonial admission of the Czech Republic to the AWACS early warning system.

This year’s NATO Days were participated in by 18 countries. Israel, Norway, Sweden and Turkey took part for the first time.

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Estonia Pursues “Total Defense” Against Russia

http://news.err.ee/politics/9467f47e-46c1-46fe-b4d6-a7afe1e00fbf

Estonian Public Broadcasting
September 29, 2011

Laar Ponders How to Make Most of Defense Capability
Kristopher Rikken

-With an increase in Russian forces along the western borders and a reported dropoff in military capability in Estonia’s southern neighbors, military topics have been more prominent recently. Head of Laar’s advisory board, retired Lt. Col. Leo Kunnas minced no words, saying that the priority for the next ten years is to increase combat capability in light of developments in Russia. He said the three gaps that must be closed are coastal defense, medium range air defense, and armored maneuvering capability.

Defence Minister Mart Laar has emphasized the need for Scandinavian-style total defense, in which all of society participates in countering security threats.

His remarks came at the opening of the ABCD defense policy conference in Tallinn on September 29.

The Nordic model is not incompatible with NATO, which, as Laar also said in an opinion piece in Postimees on September 27, will remain one of the two pillars of defense, the other being the reserves based on general compulsory military service.

At the conference, Laar said the Nordics “realized long ago” that military forces alone were not enough but that the entire civilian sector should participate in national defense.

…”Instead we need 21st century total defense – a truly broad-based approach to security, where government agencies, private sector and civic society engage in cooperation for national defense.”

Held since 2006, the Annual Baltic Conference on Defence is organized by the Defense Ministry and the Estonian think tank International Center for Defense Studies.

Total defense has been a hallmark of Estonian defense policy. A more specific ten-year strategy is currently being prepared at the Defense Ministry, and despite Laar’s focus on intangible and asymmetric threats at the conference, there is a good deal of thinking going on about concrete military scenarios. 

With an increase in Russian forces along the western borders and a reported dropoff in military capability in Estonia’s southern neighbors, military topics have been more prominent recently. Head of Laar’s advisory board, retired Lt. Col. Leo Kunnas minced no words, saying that the priority for the next ten years is to increase combat capability in light of developments in Russia. He said the three gaps that must be closed are coastal defense, medium range air defense, and armored maneuvering capability.

Defense spending has risen to a promised 2 percent in next year’s budget, but with the recession having slightly shrunk the economy, Laar has voiced concern about how to make that money go further.

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Adjutant General Of Illinois Receives Polish Army Medal

http://www.illinois.gov/PressReleases/ShowPressRelease.cfm?SubjectID=1&RecNum=9763

Illinois Government News Service
September 29, 2011

Illinois’ Top Military Officer Receives Prestigious Polish Army Medal
Illinois Adjutant General William Enyart Honored With Polish Army’s Highest Award to a Foreign Officer

-Aside from military-to-military and military-to-civilian exchanges and co-training, the Illinois National Guard also co-deploys troops with Polish forces, first to Iraq and now to Afghanistan.

WARSAW, Poland: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s top military officer, Maj. Gen. William L. Enyart, the Adjutant General of Illinois, received the Polish Army Medal during an official visit to Poland last week. U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Thomas Lamont accompanied Enyart to the ceremony, which included a military parade, a performance by a Polish Army band, and a “dress and review” march in which 100 Polish soldiers saluted and honored the officer.

In receiving the Gold grade of the medal, Enyart joins a short list of American generals to receive the award including former Army Chief of Staff Gen. (ret.) George W. Casey, former Central Command Commander and current CIA Director Army Gen. (ret.) David Petraeus, African Command Commander Army Gen. Carter Ham, and Marine Gen. John R. Allen, the Commander of International Security Assistance Force- Afghanistan and United States Forces – Afghanistan.

The medal was signed by Polish Minister of National Defense Obrony Narodowej and was approved by the Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.

Enyart commands the 13,000-member Illinois National Guard, which has maintained a State Partnership Program with Poland since 1993. Aside from military-to-military and military-to-civilian exchanges and co-training, the Illinois National Guard also co-deploys troops with Polish forces, first to Iraq and now to Afghanistan. The Illinois National Guard’s Bilateral Embedded Support Team (BEST) has approximately 20 servicemembers serving with a Polish brigade in Afghanistan today. Poland has served as a staunch ally of the United States in Europe and throughout the world.

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Germany Hosts Warplanes For NATO Response Force 2012 Exercise

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123273779

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
September 29, 2011

Exercise Brilliant Arrow hits bulls-eye on international relations
by Senior Airmen Ethan Morgan and Jerilyn Quintanilla
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

ROYAL AIR FORCE MILDENHALL, England: Germany hosted Exercise Brilliant Arrow, an international multi-service exercise designed as a live flying and command post exercise, Sept. 12 – 23.

Exercise Brilliant Arrow 2011 provided force integration and mission readiness training in preparation for NATO Response Force 2012.

Military Services from Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Lithuania and the United States were among the participating countries. More than 30 aircraft and 1,200 people, operating from 15 different locations, made for a diverse and elaborate operation.

The exercise is specially designed to enhance the professional preparation of multinational air forces…

Editor’s note: Information courtesy of Lutwaffe press office was used in this article.

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NATO, Oil/Gas: GUAM Ministerial Held During Eastern Partnership Summit

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1938689.html

Trend News Agency
September 30, 2011

GUAM countries’ foreign ministers define organizational priorities
S. Agayeva

-GUAM was established by Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine in 1997 during the EU presidential summit in Strasbourg.

Baku: The 15th meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of GUAM was held in Warsaw during the “Eastern Partnership” summit.

The ministers discussed a further deepening of regional cooperation, even at the sectoral level, the GUAM Secretariat said in a statement on Friday.
The meeting’s participants stressed an increase in mutual trade and considered priority tasks for cooperation in GUAM, including prospects for deepening cooperation with the European Union.

Following the meeting, the “Warsaw Declaration of GUAM Council of Foreign Ministers on cooperation prospects and European integration” was signed and the “GUAM Action Plan to enhance sectoral cooperation” approved.
The next meeting’s venue and date for the Ministerial Council will be decided via diplomatic channels.

GUAM was established by Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine in 1997 during the EU presidential summit in Strasbourg. In 1999 Uzbekistan joined the organization for four years.

At the organization’s first summit in Kiev in 2006 it was decided that GUAM was to have the new name “Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM.”

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NATO Trains Azerbaijan’s Officer Corps

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1938585.html

Trend News Agency
September 30, 2011

Azerbaijani officers to attend NATO events
K. Zarbaliyeva

Baku: Azerbaijani officers will take part in a NATO courses on peacekeeping operations in Germany on Oct. 3-7, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported.

Another group of Azerbaijani officers will attend courses on military exercises in Germany.

A courses on logistics troops will be held in Baku on Oct. 3-7. The courses will be led by mobile instructor teams of the NATO Combined Forces Command in Brunssum.

Azerbaijani Armed Forces’ officers will take part in the NATO standardization courses in Poland on Oct. 4-12 and the budget management training in Belgium on Oct. 5-7.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Aristophanes: Rescuing Peace

September 30, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

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Aristophanes
From Peace
Unknown translator

HERMES
Ah! ah! you are a long way yet from reaching the gods, for they moved yesterday.

TRYGAEUS
To what part of the earth?

HERMES
Eh! of the earth, did you say?

TRYGAEUS
In short, where are they then?

HERMES
Very far, very far, right at the furthest end of the dome of heaven.

TRYGAEUS
But why have they left you all alone here?

HERMES
I am watching what remains of the furniture, the little pots and pans, the bits of chairs and tables, and odd wine-jars.

TRYGAEUS
And why have the gods moved away?

HERMES
Because of their wrath against the Greeks. They have located War in the house they occupied themselves and have given him full power to do with you exactly as he pleases; then they went as high up as ever they could, so as to see no more of your fights and to hear no more of your prayers.

TRYGAEUS
What reason have they for treating us so?

HERMES
Because they have afforded you an opportunity for peace more than once, but you have always preferred war. If the Laconians got the very slightest advantage, they would exclaim, “By the Twin Brethren! the Athenians shall smart for this.” If, on the contrary, the latter triumphed and the Laconians came with peace proposals, you would say, “By Demeter, they want to deceive us. No, by Zeus, we will not hear a word; they will always be coming as long as we hold Pylos.”

TRYGAEUS
Yes, that is quite the style our folk do talk in.

HERMES
So that I don’t know whether you will ever see Peace again.

TRYGAEUS
Why, where has she gone to then?

HERMES
War has cast her into a deep pit.

TRYGAEUS
Where?

HERMES
Down there, at the very bottom. And you see what heaps of stones he has piled over the top, so that you should never pull her out again.

TRYGAEUS
Tell me, what is War preparing against us?

HERMES
All I know is that last evening he brought along a huge mortar.

TRYGAEUS
And what is he going to do with his mortar?

HERMES
He wants to pound up all the cities of Greece in it…But I must say good-bye, for I think he is coming out; what an uproar he is making!
He departs in haste.

TRYGAEUS
Ah! great gods let us seek safety; I think I already hear the noise of this fearful war mortar.
He hides.

WAR enters, carrying a huge mortar
Oh! mortals, mortals, wretched mortals, how your jaws will snap!

TRYGAEUS
Oh! divine Apollo! what a prodigious big mortar! Oh, what misery the very sight of War causes me! This then is the foe from whom I fly, who is so cruel, so formidable, so stalwart, so solid on his legs!

WAR
Oh! Prasiae! thrice wretched, five times, aye, a thousand times wretched! for thou shalt be destroyed this day.
He throws some leeks into the mortar.

TRYGAEUS to the audience
This, gentlemen, does not concern us over much; it’s only so much the worse for the Laconians.

WAR
Oh! Megara! Megara! utterly are you going to be ground up! what fine mincemeat are you to be made into!
He throws in some garlic.

TRYGAEUS aside
Alas! alas! what bitter tears there will be among the Megarians!

WAR throwing in some cheese
Oh, Sicily! you too must perish! Your wretched towns shall be grated like this cheese. Now let us pour some Attic honey into the mortar.
He does so.

*****

TRYGAES
Yes, certainly. So therefore, Hermes, my friend, help us with your whole heart to find and deliver the captive and we will celebrate the great Panathenaea in your honour as well as all the festivals of the other gods; for Hermes shall be the Mysteries. the Dipolia, the Adonia; everywhere the towns, freed from their miseries, will sacrifice to Hermes the Liberator; you will be loaded with benefits of every kind, and to start with, I offer you this cup for libations as your first present.

HERMES
Ah! how golden cups do influence me! Come, friends. get to work. To the pit quickly, pick in hand, and drag away the stones.

LEADER OF THE CHORUS
We go, but you, cleverest of all the gods, supervise our labours; tell us, good workman as you are, what we must do; we shall obey your orders with alacrity.
They begin to lift the stones.

TRYGAEUS
Quick, reach me your cup, and let us preface our work by addressing prayers to the gods.

HERMES
Libation! Libation! Silence! Let us offer our libations and our prayers, so that this day may begin an era of unalloyed happiness for Greece and that he who has bravely pulled at the rope with us may never resume his buckler.

TRYGAEUS
Aye, may we pass our lives in peace, caressing our mistresses and poking the fire.

HERMES
May he who would prefer the war, oh Dionysus…

TRYGAEUS
Be ever drawing barbed arrows out of his elbows.

HERMES
If there be a citizen, greedy for military rank and honours, who refuses, oh, divine Peace! to restore you to daylight…

TRYGAEUS
May he behave as cowardly as Cleonymus on the battlefield.

HERMES
If a lance-maker or a dealer in shields desires war for the sake of better trade…

TRYGAEUS
May he be taken by pirates and eat nothing but barley.

HERMES
If some ambitious man does not help us, because he wants to become a General, or if a slave is plotting to pass over to the enemy…

TRYGAEUS
Let his limbs be broken on the wheel, may he be beaten to death with rods!

*****

PEACE is drawn out of the pit. With her come OPORA and THEORIA.

TRYGAEUS
Oh! venerated goddess, who givest us our grapes, where am I to find the ten-thousand-gallon words wherewith to greet thee? I have none such at home. Oh! hail to thee, Opora, and thee, Theoria! How beautiful is thy face! How sweet thy breath! What gentle fragrance comes from thy bosom, gentle as freedom from military duty, as the most dainty perfumes!

TRYGAEUS
Oh! hateful soldier! your hideous satchel makes me sick! it stinks like the belching of onions, whereas this lovable deity has the odour of sweet fruits, of festivals, of the Dionysia, of the harmony of flutes, of the tragic poets, of the verses of Sophocles, of the phrases of Euripides…

TRYGAEUS
Listen, good folk! Let the husbandmen take their farming tools and return to their fields as quickly as possible, but without either sword, spear or javelin. All is as quiet as if Peace had been reigning for a century. Come, let everyone go and till the earth, singing the Paean.

LEADER OF THE CHORUS to PEACE
Oh, thou, whom men of standing desired and who art good to husbandmen, I have gazed upon thee with delight; and now I go to greet my vines, to caress after so long an absence the fig trees I planted in my youth.

TRYGAEUS
See, how their iron spades glitter and how beautifully their three-pronged mattocks glisten in the sun! How regularly they align the plants! I also burn to go into the country and to turn over the earth I have so long neglected. Friends, do you remember the happy life that Peace afforded us formerly; can you recall the splendid baskets of figs, both fresh and dried, the myrtles, the sweet wine, the violets blooming near the spring, and the olives, for which we have wept so much? Worship, adore the goddess for restoring you so many blessings.

CHORUS singing
Hail! hail! thou beloved divinity! thy return overwhelms us with joy. When far from thee, my ardent wish to see my fields again made me pine with regret. From thee came all blessings. Oh! much desired Peace! thou art the sole support of those who spend their lives tilling the earth. Under thy rule we had a thousand delicious enjoyments at our beck; thou wert the husbandman’s wheaten cake and his safeguard. So that our vineyards, our young fig-tree woods and all our plantations hail thee with delight and smile at thy coming.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 29, 2011

September 29, 2011 2 comments

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Libya: 24,236 NATO Air Missions, 9,040 Combat Sorties

Libya: NATO Air Strikes Destroy Central Sirte

NATO Continues To Bombard Sirte, Though Resistance Holds Out

U.S. Warplanes In Iraq Till 2020; $3 Billion F-16 Deal Signed

Defense Minister: Turkey Mulls Ground Operations In Iraq

Skopje: Turkey Backs Macedonia’s NATO, EU Integration

UN Security Council Session On Kosovo: West Versus The Rest

NATO Deploys Armored Vehicles Against Kosovo Serbs

Tensions Remain At Serbia-Kosovo Border

Video And Text: NATO Provoking New Balkans, European, World Conflict – Russian Envoy

Russian Ambassador On NATO Firing At Kosovo Serbs: Irresponsibility Of This Sort Leads To War

U.S. Condemns “Violent Attack By Serb Mob” On NATO Troops

UN Security Council To Meet On Kosovo Violence

Kosovo Protected War Crimes Witness Found Dead In Germany

Kosovo: Another War Crimes Witness Fears For His Life

Women, Children Among 19 Killed In NATO-Led Afghan Operation

Five NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

More U.S. Military Actions In Pakistan Possible: Senator Graham

U.S.-Pakistan Crisis: Watershed Or Waterloo?

Pakistan: U.S. Seeks Scapegoat For Failed Afghan Policy

NATO Acknowledges First Strike Interceptor Missile Plans

U.S. ABM Options: Destabilizing Pre-Emptive Strike, Retaliation, Interception

Georgia Prepared To Host U.S.-NATO Interceptor Missile Radar

Tense Atmosphere At NATO-Russia Talks On Missile Shield

Netherlands To Join NATO Interceptor Missile System

NATO Implements Second Layer Of Continental Missile Shield

U.S.-Led Team Wins European Theater Interceptor Missile Contract

Netherlands Extends Libya War Mission

40 Aircraft: Attack Helicopter In Scotland Ahead Of Major NATO Exercise

NATO Formalizes Complete Absorption Of Bulgaria

U.S. Marks 19th Anniversary Of Restructuring Bulgarian Military For NATO

Florida: Pentagon Trains Balkans, Caucasus, Eastern European Navies

Poland Slams Belarus For Foreign Minister’s No-Show At Eastern Partnership Summit

Eastern Partnership: EU Targets “Frozen Conflicts,” “Color” Changes

20 Million Tons Of Azeri, Kazakh Oil For Caspian-Baltic Pipelines

Bryza: U.S. To Protect Caspian Energy Infrastructure

British Energy Minister: Caspian Gas To Europe Soon As Possible

West Completes Caspian Energy War Plans

====

Libya: 24,236 NATO Air Missions, 9,040 Combat Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110929_110929-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 24,236 sorties, including 9,040 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 28 SEPTEMBER: 96

Strike sorties conducted 28 SEPTEMBER: 30

====

Libya: NATO Air Strikes Destroy Central Sirte

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/28/56895822.html

Itar-Tass/Voice of Russia
September 28, 2011

Sirte destroyed by NATO raid


Photo: EPA

Fresh NATO air raids have all but destroyed the central part of Gaddaf’s home city Sirte, where his loyalists are still holding out.

The anti-Gaddafi side is bringing in troops to reinforce its siege of the Mediterranean port.

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NATO Continues To Bombard Sirte, Though Resistance Holds Out

http://www.cadenagramonte.cu/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7292:nato-bombs-sirte-resistance-persists-in-some-fronts&catid=3:world&Itemid=14

Prensa Latina
September 28, 2011

NATO Bombs Sirte; Resistance Persists in Some Fronts           

Tripoli: NATO warplanes strengthened on Wednesday air raids over Sirte backing the rebels´ land offensive, although those loyal to leader Muammar Gaddafi continue resisting in this city and two other southern strongholds.
Reports coming from Sirte, Gaddafi´s hometown, noted that pro-Gaddafi forces controls the downtown of the city despite NATO´s four-day-in-a-row air raids.

Rebels have captured many territories but are still facing a strong pro-Gaddafi resistance, according to numerous contradictory press reports that differ from the deliberately conflicting and triumphalist statements of the National Transitional Council though.

A NTC military source claimed that the rebels fully controlled the harbor in Sirte and some downtown areas as part of a strategy to advance from the eastern periphery and join the brigades deployed in the western flank.

Despite the fact that the NTC claimed that Bani Walid succumbed to its attacks, the rebels only control some outlying neighborhoods, but pro-Gaddafi artillery response prevents them from approaching the city´s downtown, where locals support Gaddafi.

Sabha, which was also declared as “liberated” a week ago, is still not fully controlled by the rebels, who are not backed by the people, even though they set up a NTC headquarter in the Al-Gurtha neighborhood and checkpoints in the roads that lead to the city´s downtown.

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U.S. Warplanes In Iraq Till 2020; $3 Billion F-16 Deal Signed

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/09/28/501364/main20112723.shtml

CBS News/Associated Press
September 28, 2011

U.S.: Iraq inks $3B deal for F-16 fighter jets

-The deal has been in the works for years, but was shelved in February when Iraq decided to spend more on food rations for its poor before buying the fighter jets. In August, however, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced Iraq would buy 32 fighter jets — twice as many as originally planned.
-Iraq has said its air force is not ready to protect its air space alone, and the country’s top-ranked military officer last year said U.S. help may be needed until 2020.

BAGHDAD – Iraq has signed an estimated $3 billion deal to buy 18 fighter jets from the United States, officials said Tuesday…

The F-16s aren’t expected to arrive in Iraq until next fall at the earliest, and more likely not until 2013 — meaning U.S. troops may still be asked to patrol the country’s skies and train its air force for months, if not years, to come.

But U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter called the F-16 deal “a game-changing capability.”

Iraq has said its air force is not ready to protect its air space alone, and the country’s top-ranked military officer last year said U.S. help may be needed until 2020.

Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told The Associated Press in an interview on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York that the importance of the deal is “for the world to know that Iraq is an ally of the United States in the region.”

The deal has been in the works for years, but was shelved in February when Iraq decided to spend more on food rations for its poor before buying the fighter jets. In August, however, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced Iraq would buy 32 fighter jets — twice as many as originally planned.

Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh cited a recent push to revive the F-16 deal “because the country’s security is important, and the air force is the backbone for Iraq’s defense.”

The jets come with a package to train Iraqi pilots for up to 18 months and is valued at $3 billion, according to another senior U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the security deal. Al-Dabbagh said $1.4 billion has already been transferred as a partial payment.

Ferriter said it’s still up to Iraq’s government to decide if it wants U.S. forces to do some of the training, or leave it all to private contractors.

Zebari, the Iraqi foreign minister, said “the idea, the policy, is to reach some training mission arrangements, agreement” with the United States.

At least some of the training — including English-language classes — will be done in the United States, he said.

Washington is especially concerned about Iran’s extended influence in Baghdad and instability throughout the region. Negotiations to keep a few thousand American troops in Iraq next year are ongoing, although officials on both sides say little progress has been made.

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Defense Minister: Turkey Mulls Ground Operations In Iraq

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/turkey/1938445.html

Trend News Agency
September 29, 2011

Minister: Turkey considers launching ground raid in northern Iraq
A. Taghiyeva

Baku: Turkey is considering launching a ground raid in northern Iraq, and if the country’s security forces decide that a ground raid is necessary the authorities will take appropriate action, the Anadolu news agency quotes the Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz as telling journalists on Thursday.

Air strikes were conducted after [an] attack in southeastern Turkey on Aug. 17, in which nine Turkish servicemen were killed.

These were the first strikes by Turkey in northern Iraq in more than a year.

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Skopje: Turkey Backs Macedonia’s NATO, EU Integration

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-258365-pm-erdogan-supports-macedonias-eu-nato-bid.html

Zaman
September 29, 2011

PM Erdoğan supports Macedonia’s EU, NATO bid

-Erdoğan is going to visit several cities in Macedonia as his visit coincides with the 20th anniversary of Macedonia’s independence and the 10th anniversary of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, the [NATO-EU-U.S.] peace deal signed by the government of the Republic of Macedonia and ethnic Albanian representatives on Aug. 13, 2001. The agreement ended an armed conflict between the National Liberation Army and the Macedonian security forces…

İSTANBUL: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said Macedonia will enter the European Union soon and that Turkey supports its integration into NATO during a trip to the country this week.

Answering questions in Skopje on Thursday at a joint press conference with Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, Erdoğan said the country is likely to enter the EU before Turkey since its accession process is proceeding quickly.

Turkey’s prime minister said he sees Macedonia as an important actor for maintaining peace, stability and prosperity in the Balkans. Erdoğan said Turkey hoped Macedonia would become a NATO member as soon as possible.

Erdoğan was critical of the Greek government’s attitude, which has been blocking the country’s NATO membership over a name dispute. Greece does not allow Macedonia to be called the Republic of Macedonia because of its own region of Macedonia. Greece claims that Macedonia, if it keeps the name, might territorially claim the Greek northern province of Macedonia.

“Turkey has always supported Macedonia, particularly its bid to integrate into Euro-Atlantic institutions, since it gained its independence, and will continue to do so,” Erdoğan told a press conference before he left Ankara for Macedonia.

Turkey, a NATO member which became one of the first countries to recognize Macedonia by its constitutional name, is a staunch supporter of Skopje becoming a member of NATO. Macedonia gained independence from Yugoslavia with little bloodshed in 1991.

Erdoğan, who is visiting Macedonia from Sept. 29-30 as a guest of PM Gruevski, said Turkey and Macedonia shared a common history and culture for almost six centuries. The prime minister will meet with ethnic Turks living in Macedonia and listen to their expectations and demands.

Erdoğan is going to visit several cities in Macedonia as his visit coincides with the 20th anniversary of Macedonia’s independence and the 10th anniversary of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, the [NATO-EU-U.S.] peace deal signed by the government of the Republic of Macedonia and ethnic Albanian representatives on Aug. 13, 2001. The agreement ended an armed conflict between the National Liberation Army and the Macedonian security forces…

The agreement also included provisions for altering the official languages of the country, with any language spoken by over 20 percent of the population becoming co-official with the Macedonian language on a municipal level. Currently, only Albanian with an approximate 25 percent of the population fulfils this criterion.

Upon arrival to Macedonia, Erdoğan visited Skopje Alexander the Great Airport, constructed by the Turkish firm TAV Construction, together with his Macedonian counterpart. Erdoğan is accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ and Education Minister Ömer Dinçer.

Meanwhile, İstanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş is in Skopje, a sister city of İstanbul, to meet with his counterpart, Trifun Kostovski. Erdoğan and Topbaş will attend a graduation ceremony at the International Balkan University on Friday.

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UN Security Council Session On Kosovo: West Versus The Rest

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110929/167243844.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 29, 2011

UN Security Council fails to agree on Northern Kosovo

SARAEVO: Member states of the UN Security Council failed to find a common approach to the situation in Northern Kosovo, the Belgrade-based Tanjug news agency said on Thursday.

At Russia’s request, the Security Council gathered for emergency consultations in New York late on Wednesday to discuss the recent flare-up of tension in Kosovo.

Four NATO soldiers and seven Serb protesters were wounded on Tuesday in clashes between locals and the military at the disputed Kosovo northern border crossing with Serbia known as Jarinje. The incident disrupted a regular round of consultations between Belgrade and Pristina.

“Most UN Security Council members showed they understood the severity of the situation [in Kosovo],” diplomatic sources told Tanjug.

Western countries in the UN Security Council believe the situation in northern Kosovo is under control, and the EULEX and KFOR security forces are acting in line with their UN mandate. They said the Kosovo issue should be solved only through dialog with the mediation of the European Union.

The United States condemned the incident, describing it as a “violent attack by a Serb mob,” and called on all the sides to remain calm and resume dialog.

The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed concern about the rising tensions in Kosovo, saying that “indulging the Kosovo-Albanian side promotes the growth of its aggression, its unwillingness to seek compromise solutions and to consider the legitimate interests of all ethnic groups living in Kosovo.”

The ministry also reiterated its appeal to the international presence to “strictly stick to the principle of neutrality status.”

Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic met with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in New York on the sidelines of the 66th UN General Assembly in New York and provided him with all information about the border incident, the BETA news agency said.

—————————————————————————-

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=09&dd=29&nav_id=76609

Tanjug News Agency
September 29, 2011

Security Council again without common stance on Kosovo

NEW YORK: The UN Security Council finished consultations late Wednesday without a common stance on the situation in northern Kosovo, Tanjug has learned.

In the closed-doors meeting held at Russia’s request, Western countries reiterated their earlier position that the problems in northern Kosovo could only be solved through dialogue, with the mediation of the EU, said the sources.

Western countries in the UN Security Council believe the situation in northern Kosovo is under control, and EULEX and KFOR are acting in line with the mandate given to them by the UN.

Most UN Security Council members showed they understood the severity of the situation in the Serbian province, the sources said.

The consultations were held at the request of Russia, which expressed concern Tuesday over the violence against the Serb population permitted by the international KFOR troops, at the same time urging KFOR and EULEX to remain strictly status-neutral.

The consultations followed a confrontation which erupted Tuesday at the Jarinje administrative crossing between KFOR troops and local Serbs, in which 11 people were wounded – seven Serbs and four KFOR members.

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NATO Deploys Armored Vehicles Against Kosovo Serbs

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=09&dd=29&nav_id=76616

B92
September 29, 2011

KFOR starts demolishing alternative road

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA: KFOR troops exited their base at the Jarinje checkpoint and blocked the road with two armored cars on Thursday.

They have started demolishing an alternative Kosovska Mitrovica-Raška road with dredgers.

The two KFOR armored vehicles are parked only several hundred meters from the Jarinje checkpoint, a B92 reporter has said.

The situation in Kosovo is otherwise peaceful. Serbs reinforced a barricade in Kosovska Mitrovica last night.

Kosovo police arrested a Serb under suspicion of taking part in an incident in Kosovska Mitrovica yesterday, when three persons were injured, Kosovo police Spokesman Besim Hoti.

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Tensions Remain At Serbia-Kosovo Border

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/29/56935628.html

Voice of Russia
September 29, 2011

No calm at Serbian-Kosovo border
Lyudmila Morozova

The UN Security Council has held closed-door consultations on the situation in northern Kosovo but its member states have once again failed to work out a single stand. On September 28th, Russia initiated an emergency session following clashes between locals and troops of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) near the Yarine checkpoint at the administrative Serbia-Kosovo border. 

What is meant here is a conflict at two checkpoints controlled by the northern Kosovo Serbs. Back in July this year, the self-proclaimed republic’s Albanian authorities attempted to get them under control but failed in their endeavors. Today, the support of NATO forces and European police finally helped the Albanians appoint their customs and police officers at the two disputed checkpoints of Yarine and Brnyak. In response, the local Serbs blocked both of them, says head of the Institute of Europe’s group of ethno-political conflicts Dr. Pavel Kandel:

“The Serbs are opposed to the presence of Kosovo customs officers there and naturally try to force them out. The Kosovo authorities, in their turn, seek to bring their own officials to the checkpoints, thus making the best use of KFOR peacekeepers’ support and tearing off northern Kosovo from Serbia. It is quite natural that the indignant local Serbs arranged a demonstration resulting in clashes with the KFOR and subsequent injuries,” Pavel Kandel explains.

Seven Serbs and four KFOR servicemen were injured in the incident. In response to accusations of violence on the part of NATO, the peacekeepers were said to have only shot for self-defense purposes.

Speaking at the latest Russia-NATO Council session, Russian envoy to the Alliance Dmitry Rogozin demanded an inquiry into the shooting of Kosovo Serbs near the Yarine checkpoint. “Irresponsibility of this sort leads to a war,” the official said.

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Video And Text: NATO Provoking New Balkans, European, World Conflict – Russian Envoy

http://rt.com/news/kosovo-nato-conflict-603/

RT
September 28, 2011

NATO provoking another conflict in Balkans – Rogozin

Video

The NATO peacekeeping force KFOR has sent more troops to the Serbian-Kosovo border following bloody clashes there. But as Russia’s envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin told RT, the alliance is creating a new conflict in the region.

“It’s another mistake that NATO is making by provoking another conflict in the Balkans,” Dmitry Rogozin said.

According to witnesses, KFOR has deployed armored vehicles, sandbags and barbed wire around the Jarinje border crossing, about 100 km (60 miles) from Kosovo’s capital, Pristina, on Wednesday.

“It seems my NATO colleagues don’t have a clue what the consequences of their involvement in the conflict could be,” Dmitry Rogozin said. “Instead of taking a neutral position in accordance with the UN Security Council resolution, they took the side of Kosovo-Albania. Basically, NATO is blocking the only road of life between the Kosovan Serbs and Serbia. It’s the international peacekeepers who are involved in the civil conflict in the north of the region.”

NATO reinforced the border a day after clashes which left 16 Kosovo Serbs and four KFOR members injured.

Milan Jakovljević, the director of Kosovska Mitrovica Health Center, said six people sustained serious injuries from live rounds and one person had been taken to the ophthalmology ward due to eye problems caused by tear-gas, Serbian radio and television broadcaster B92 reported.

Both sides blame each other for starting the violence, in which rubber bullets and tear-gas were used by NATO forces.

It is believed the clashes took place when alliance peacekeeping forces tried to dismantle a roadblock set up by Serbs. NATO’s spokesperson insists that KFOR troops had fired on Serb protesters in the Mitrovica region in response to an attack by the crowd.

Meanwhile, according to Rogozin, NATO does not want to discuss the situation in Kosovo or to investigate the latest bloody accident. 

“They are hiding behind formal phrases that mean nothing,” he said.

“We are witnessing outright lies about what kinds of measures have been used against the civilian population in Kosovo. We have been told that only rubber bullets and tear-gas were used. But according to the information from the hospital, all the injured have gunshot wounds. And physicians from Mitrovica complained about the bombardment of ambulances, which were transporting the wounded from the conflict zone,” Rogozin told Interfax news agency.

Russia has demanded that NATO creates a commission to investigate what happened in the region.

“I have just asked for an objective investigation into what the so-called NATO peacekeepers are doing in Kosovo. But they just ignored my question,” Rogozin said. “If NATO is concerned about its reputation they should stop this immediately, become neutral again, and investigate the crimes that have taken place against the civilians in northern Kosovo,” he added.

He stressed that Russia would support and protect civilians, and would also protect decisions made by the UN Security Council. 

John Laughland of the Paris-based Institute for Democracy and Cooperation agrees the deployment of KFOR troops has reactivated a ‘frozen conflict.’

“If they took away their newly sent force from the borders between the northern Kosovo and the rest of Serbia, then yes, I do think that the region would go back to being peaceful,” John Laughland told RT.

====

Russian Ambassador On NATO Firing At Kosovo Serbs: Irresponsibility Of This Sort Leads To War

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/235813.html

Itar-Tass
September 28, 2011

Ambassador demands investigation of NATO’s firing at Kosovan Serbs

BRUSSELS: Russia’s ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin has issued a demand that NATO officials investigate the incident, in which NATO forces opened fire at Kosovan Serbs near the Jarinje check-post in Kosovo.

He wrote about his demand at his Twitter microblog.

“I’ve demand an investigation of the fact of fire by NATO servicemen at Kosovan Serbs, who protested against the blocking of the administrative border between Kosovo and Serbia,” Rogozin said.

“What I’ve heard in response is apologies only,” he said. “Irresponsibility of this sort leads to a war.”

Earlier, a demand to investigate the incident was made by Serbia’s President Boris Tadic, who had a telephone conversation with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Tuesday, KFOR servicemen made an attempt to pull down the barricades that the Kosovan Serbs had put up in front of the Jarinje check-post. They opened fire with rubber bullets and used teargas after the Serbs had thrown several stones at them.

In retaliation, the Serbs hurled a few improvised bombs at the troops.
The incident left four KFOR soldiers and seven Serbs wounded.

====

U.S. Condemns “Violent Attack By Serb Mob” On NATO Troops

http://www.focus-fen.net/index.php?id=n260507

Focus News Agency
September 29, 2011

US condemns violence in Kosovo

Washington: The United States on Wednesday condemned what it called a “violent attack by a Serb mob” against NATO peacekeepers at a checkpoint in northern Kosovo, calling for calm from Pristina and Belgrade, AFP reported.

The State Department said that nine members of the alliance’s KFOR peacekeeping force were injured in Tuesday’s incident on the disputed border. An earlier toll said four peacekeepers were hurt.

“The United States condemns the violent attack by a Serb mob against the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) on September 27th,” it said in a statement.

“We encourage the governments of Kosovo and Serbia to remain committed to the EU-facilitated dialogue process, to encourage calm, and to find agreements that improve the lives of the ordinary citizens in both countries,” it said.

Those talks – the latest round in a six-month bid by the European Union to help settle friction between the two neighbors – were shelved on Wednesday.

====

UN Security Council To Meet On Kosovo Violence

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/28/56888906.html

Voice of Russia
September 28, 2011

Russia calls for discussion on Kosovo

       
Russia hopes the NATO contingent in Kosovo will prevent separatist violence against the Kosovo Serbs.

The Russian NATO Ambassador was speaking about this Wednesday after the Alliance refused to discuss regional instability from the Kosovo crisis on its joint council with Russia.

Two weeks ago, there were clashes and casualties after the separatist authorities seized two crossing points from Serb-populated northern Kosovo to southern Serbia.

KFOR attacks Kosovo Serbs

Representatives of the Serbian community in Macedonia are indignant at the groundless attack of the KFOR international security force in Kosovo against Kosovo Serbs, Ivan Stoilkovic,  leader of the Democratic Party of Serbs in Macedonia, declared to the ITAR-TASS news agency on Wednesday.

“According to its status, KFOR is to remain neutral and protect citizens rather than get into conflicts with them,” he pointed out. “There can be no excuse for the outrageous behaviour of KFOR servicemen who tried to cold-bloodedly kill people only for being Serbian.”

The clash occurred at the security check-point on the administrative border between Serbia and the self-proclaimed republic. The Serbs were protesting against the Kosovo administration establishing control over the security check-point.

The UN Security Council will meet to discuss the Kosovo issue over clashes between KFOR troops and Serbian forces.

The UN press-service says the session will be held behind closed doors.

====

Kosovo Protected War Crimes Witness Found Dead In Germany

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/crimes-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=09&dd=28&nav_id=76608

Tanjug News Agency
September 28, 2011

Protected witness in ex-KLA trial found dead

PRIŠTINA: A protected witness in the village of Klecka war crimes case was found dead, EULEX Spokeswoman Irina Gudeljević told Tanjug.

According to her, the protected witness was found dead in a park in Germany.

The German authorities are investigating the case. The protected witness was Kosovo Albanian Agim Zogaj. He was supposed to testify in the trial of ex-Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) member Fatmir Limaj and nine more persons for war crimes in Klečka. The trial is expected to begin by the end of October.

Limaj, who has been under house arrest since last week, will be tried on an indictment charging him with war crimes against civilians and prisoners of war.

The Priština District Court, headed by a EULEX judge, prolonged custody to the group of nine accused for another two months.

Limaj and other defendants are charged with murders, torture and health endangerment of Albanian and Serb civilians from Kosovo and prisoners of war.
—————————————————————————-

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/28/us-kosovo-war-crimes-idUSTRE78R5O320110928

Reuters
September 28, 2011

Kosovo war crimes witness found dead in Germany

PRISTINA: A witness in a war crimes case against a member of Kosovo’s parliament has been found dead in Germany, an EU police and justice mission (EULEX) spokesman said on Wednesday.

Ruling party parliamentarian Fatmir Limaj, who was put under house arrest last week, and nine other people arrested in March are accused of committing murder, torture and violations of the human rights of ethnic Albanians, Serbs and prisoners during Kosovo’s 1998-99 war with Serbia.

Agim Zogaj, known as witness X in the war crimes case, was found dead in a German park, said EULEX spokesman Blerim Krasniqi, adding: “The German authorities are conducting the necessary investigation to determine the circumstances of his death.”

A German police spokesman said investigators suspected that Zogaj killed himself but the investigation was still in progress and the police were waiting for the coroner’s report.

“There are no indications it was anything else,” the police spokesman said. He added an autopsy would be carried out on Thursday.

Zogaj, who was a soldier under Limaj’s command during Kosovo’s war for independence, was sent to Germany as a protected witness. Police would not confirm media reports in Kosovo that he had killed himself.

Those charged are former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which fought Serb forces for independence.

Limaj, an ally of Prime Minister Hashim Thaci, was a leading figure in the KLA.

…Limaj was acquitted by The Hague war crimes tribunal in 2005, two years after he was indicted on similar charges.

Limaj also faces corruption charges relating to his time as transport minister in a previous government.

(Additional reporting by Joseph Nasr in Berlin; Editing by Myra MacDonald)

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Kosovo: Another War Crimes Witness Fears For His Life

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/crimes-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=09&dd=29&nav_id=76621

Beta News Agency
September 29, 2011

Witness in ex-KLA trial fears for safety, won’t testify

BELGRADE: A potential witness of the prosecution in ex-Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) commander Fatmir Limaj has said that he does not want to testify for safety reasons.

The witness informed the deputy prosecutor on Thursday, after learning of protected witness Agim Zogaj’s death, that he did not want to testify in the Klečka case for safety reasons.

“The Serbian War Crimes Prosecution believes that justice in the region is jeopardized by Agim Zogaj’s death and expresses concern over the information that Zogaj, a protected witness in the EULEX Prosecution’s case against Fatmir Limaj, was found dead in a park in Duisburg, Germany,” it was announced on Thursday.

The Serbian prosecution stressed that its 2008 investigation against Limaj and 28 more KLA members had greatly contributed to EULEX Prosecution’s case.

Aside from Limaj, the EULEX indictment charges nine more persons with war crimes against Serb and Albanian civilians in the village of Klečka in 1999.

—————————————————————————-

http://rt.com/news/kosovo-crimes-witness-dead-647/

RT
September 29, 2011

Key Kosovo war crimes witness found dead

A key witness in a war crimes trial in Kosovo has been found dead in Germany. He had apparently committed suicide.

Nicholas Hawton, an EU spokesman in Kosovo, said on Wednesday Agim Zogaj’s body was discovered in a city park in Duisburg, reports Associated Press.

Police believe that he hanged himself late on Tuesday.

Zogaj was a protected witness in the trial of Fatmir Limaj. The ethnic Albanian and former transport minister under Prime Minister Hashim Thaci is suspected of unlawfully killing and torturing Serb prisoners during the 1998-99 Kosovo war. Many of the charges were based on Zogaj’s witness statements.

Limaj, who remains an influential political figure in Kosovo, is also under investigation over alleged embezzlement of budget money during his time in the cabinet.

Last week, the former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army was put under a month-long house arrest by a judge of the EU Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo pending his trial for war crimes. 

Limaj was cleared of similar charges by a UN court in 2005 which ruled there was insufficient evidence to convict him.

====

Women, Children Among 19 Killed In NATO-Led Afghan Operation

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/09/28/19-civilians-killed-nuristan-operation-mps

Pajhwok Afghan News
September 28, 2011

19 civilians killed in Nuristan operation: MPs
By Abasin Zaheer

KABUL: Afghan and foreign forces killed 19 civilians, including women and children, during an operation on Sept. 20 in eastern Nuristan province, a parliamentarian said on Wednesday.

Militants had fled the Want Waigal district before the operation was launched, a Wolesi Jirga member from the province, Maulvi Ahadullah Mowahid, told a press conference in Kabul.

“For two days, foreign forces did not allow locals to collect the dead bodies that were eaten by animals,” the legislator alleged, claiming provincial authorities were not taken into confidence over the operations.

Mowahid said a hospital and several shops in the remote district also came under attack during the offensive, he said.

Another member of the assembly from Nuristan, Hazrat Shah Nuristani, said tribal elder Juma Gul was stabbed to death and several locals were arrested by NATO-led troops. “Such actions only widen the gap between the government and the people.”

Provincial council chief, Qazi Inayatullah Mazhabyar, said the district had been under the Taliban’s control for the past six months but the fighters left it as a result of the operation.

“The combined force came to the district, killed innocent people and once again left Want Waigal to militants,” he remarked.

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Five NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/southasia/news/article_1665686.php/Five-foreign-soldiers-killed-in-Afghanistan

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
September 28, 2011

Five foreign soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Kabul: Five soldiers with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed Wednesday in separate incidents in Afghanistan, the military coalition said.

Three ISAF service members died following an improvised explosive device attack in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, ISAF said in a statement.

In a separate incident, one soldier died as a result of a non-battle related injury in southern Afghanistan.

ISAF did not release details about the deceased or exactly where the incidents took place.

Earlier in the day, ISAF said one soldier had died following an insurgent attack in Wardak province, bordering Kabul.

Even though military officials have projected a fragile gain, violence has erupted recently in much of Afghanistan, including the capital.

The United Nations said Wednesday Afghanistan was witnessing ‘considerable political volatility and disconcerting levels of insecurity’ with average monthly ‘security incidents’ up by 39 per cent through August, compared to the same period in 2010.

Last month was the deadliest for US and NATO allies in Afghanistan, according to an independent tally website, iCasualties.org.

At least 81 international soldiers died in Afghanistan, the highest this year, of which 70 were Americans, the highest casualties in a month for the US forces since the war started in 2001.

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More U.S. Military Actions In Pakistan Possible: Senator Graham

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/29/us-pakistan-usa-graham-idUSTRE78S0CZ20110929

Reuters
September 28, 2011

More U.S. military action in Pakistan possible: Graham
By Missy Ryan and Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON: Support is growing in the U.S. Congress for expanding American military action in Pakistan beyond drone strikes already used to target militants in Pakistani territory, a senior Republican U.S. senator says.

The comments by Senator Lindsey Graham, an influential Republican voice on foreign policy and military affairs, follow remarks by the top U.S. military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, accusing Pakistan last week of supporting the militant Haqqani network’s September 13 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

With growing calls for a tougher stance on militants accused of such high-profile attacks, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that Washington was closer to deciding whether to label the Haqqanis a terrorist group.

Graham said in an interview on Tuesday that U.S. lawmakers might support military options beyond drone strikes that have been going on for years inside Pakistani territory.

Those options may include using U.S. bomber planes within Pakistan. The South Carolina Republican said he did not advocate sending U.S. ground troops into Pakistan.

“I would say when it comes to defending American troops, you don’t want to limit yourself,” Graham said. “This is not a boots-on-the-ground engagement — I’m not talking about that, but we have a lot of assets beyond drones.

“A perfect world … would be Afghan, Pakistan and (U.S. and NATO) coalition forces working jointly on both sides of border to deny safe havens, inside of Afghanistan and on the other side,” in Pakistan’s western tribal regions from which the Haqqani network and other militants are believed to operate, Graham said.

Graham said U.S. lawmakers will think about stepping up the military pressure. “If people believe it’s gotten to the point that that is the only way really to protect our interests, I think there would be a lot of support,” he said.

Increased U.S. military action on Pakistani soil, including the idea of U.S. soldiers crossing the porous border from Afghanistan, would be deeply unpopular in Pakistan. Pakistan viewed the U.S. military raid in May that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden as a grievous breach of its sovereignty.

The tense ties between Pakistan and the United States worsened last week after Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the Haqqani network as a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s ISI spy agency.

Graham, known as a hawk, said on Sunday that the United States must consider all options “including defending our troops” in confronting Pakistani support for militant networks active in Afghanistan.

Such remarks from the U.S. Congress, where patience has worn thin with Pakistan, have intensified speculation that the United States might resort to another cross-border raid such as the one that killed bin Laden, intensify drone attacks in Pakistan’s lawless tribal regions or send in bomber planes to attack militant hide-outs.

Lawmakers are proposing to restrict U.S. aid with stricter conditions under which Pakistan, which possesses nuclear arms but is desperately poor, can access U.S. military and economic assistance.

The unusually public criticism from Washington has provoked anger among Pakistani leaders who warn that the United States may lose a key ally in an unstable region.

(Additional reporting by Andrew Quinn; editing by Will Dunham and Anthony Boadle)

====

U.S.-Pakistan Crisis: Watershed Or Waterloo?

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=69976&Cat=9#;

News International
September 29, 2011

Watershed or Waterloo?
Raoof Hasan

-Since the initiation of wars by the US has been part of a jaundiced but unchanging strategy of cultivating strife to keep its arms industry going and to physically occupy all sources of energy, there has been no let-up in its scope or intensity, and there will not be any. Region after region has been mercilessly subjected to US brutality.
-The manner in which governance has been abdicated; state institutions brutalised; rule of law subverted; apex court’s injunctions rubbished; parliament marginalised with its unanimous resolutions consigned to the bin; alleged acts of subversion overlooked; and crooks, criminals and those given reprieve through presidential pardons appointed at key government positions, are just some of the manifestations of a captive political leadership doing America’s job in Pakistan.

The inherent artificiality of US-Pakistan relations was bound to assert itself as it has now. After a spate of bellicose statements from the US military hierarchy directly targeting the military and the ISI, it was the COAS who showed the grit to defend Pakistan’s legitimate strategic interests. The responsibility for doing so rested on the shoulders of the political leadership, but they constitute an important component of the problem that Pakistan is faced with today.

The US is losing the war in Afghanistan just like all previous invaders have. It has lost wars in the past that it started with intention of stamping its illegitimate hegemony on various regions. In the process, it destabilised the world, causing untold mayhem and impoverished millions of people who are still struggling to cope. Since the initiation of wars by the US has been part of a jaundiced but unchanging strategy of cultivating strife to keep its arms industry going and to physically occupy all sources of energy, there has been no let-up in its scope or intensity, and there will not be any. Region after region has been mercilessly subjected to US brutality.

Today, at the receiving end of the US pounding stands Pakistan – a country that has repeatedly compromised its sovereignty considerations to serve an alien cause. I call it alien because there are numerous inherent factors that separate US interests from those of Pakistan.

The US preoccupation with establishing effective control over political and economic developments in Central Asia, to the exclusion of China, is not congruent with Pakistan’s interests while the latter’s strong relations with China and their potential to expedite Pakistan’s development are not convergent with US strategic interests.

The frenetic US endeavour to establish Indian hegemony in this region, as its proxy flag bearer, runs counter to Pakistan’s priorities. Pakistan’s desire to promote reconciliatory initiatives aimed at bringing peace to Afghanistan do not tally with the US aim of securing long-term presence in that country. Pakistan’s nuclear capability is viewed by the US as a threat to its interests and that of its principal ally in the region, India, while Pakistan and its allies view this as an essential requisite for stability in the region.

If Pakistan’s leadership thought that the US would stand down in the face of its military’s increasing assertiveness once its immediate interests had been secured, it was a fatal fallacy. US interests run permanently counter to those of Pakistan and are not likely to change with the passage of time. To force total and unconditional capitulation, the US has wantonly used its vast network of non-state militant collaborators and paid agents to destabilise Pakistan as has been evident from scores of incidents in the recent past.

It is here that one begins to understand the need for crafting the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) and the induction of a tainted and servile political leadership to replace a pliant dictator. The manner in which governance has been abdicated; state institutions brutalised; rule of law subverted; apex court’s injunctions rubbished; parliament marginalised with its unanimous resolutions consigned to the bin; alleged acts of subversion overlooked; and crooks, criminals and those given reprieve through presidential pardons appointed at key government positions, are just some of the manifestations of a captive political leadership doing America’s job in Pakistan. In this, it has been extended support by those who are complicit in endeavours to denude this country of its wealth, employing fraudulent means and push it into permanent enslavement and those who, because of an unmitigated hatred for the armed forces, would tolerate even the most corrupt and complicit government to the exclusion of the army. While it may serve their bloated egos, it is doing no service to Pakistan and its strategic interests.

It may sound trite to state that Pakistan faces its most gruesome existential challenge, but it really does. There is widespread internal strife due to the government’s inability and unwillingness to control the vitiating factors. Pakistan also confronts external threats from many directions. Across the eastern border is an unfriendly India and across its western border is a belligerent Afghanistan ruled by a US stooge who will do as commanded. Then there is this adversary garbed as an ally who is pounding Pakistan with incessant drone strikes in connivance with its political leadership and is now threatening to go for over 300 targets inside Pakistan’s territory. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s economy is on a life-support system while it is being systematically stripped of its wealth by a vast network of corrupt and complicit political mafias.

Pakistan’s ailment is discernable and there may even be doctors to write a prescription, but there is no one who would like to perform the bitter procedure. The army looks patently disinterested and the judiciary hides behind a heavy pile of cases that lie in pendency. There is no easy cure. It is a complicated operation involving numerous vital organs that need serious attention, even replacement. The system is corrupt beyond repair and those who have done the trick still have the reins in their hands.

Pakistan is precariously perched at the edge: on one side is a government that is complicit and on the other are a string of vultures with their mouths open. One false step and there is no rescue. Watershed or Waterloo? Pakistan’s plunge can only be stopped through a display of raw courage. It is time for people to stand up for their country that may not have given them anything, but that remains their only source of hope and inspiration.

The writer is a political analyst and an adviser to the PTI.

====

Pakistan: U.S. Seeks Scapegoat For Failed Afghan Policy

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=20119\29\story_29-9-2011_pg11_8

Daily Times
September 29, 2011

‘US looking for scapegoat for their failed Afghan policy’

ISLAMABAD: Pak-China Institute Chairman Mushahid Hussain Sayed, on Wednesday, said the Americans were looking for a scapegoat for their flawed and failed policy on Afghanistan.

“We should be grateful to the US administration as their blame-game and baseless accusations have united all Pakistanis. This unity and resolve by Pakistanis is reflected in today’s All-Parties Conference (APC),” said Mushahid while addressing the participants of the book-launching ceremony of Yan Lijin, a distinguished Chinese scholar among modern Chinese entrepreneurs and philosophers.

The launching ceremony of the book titled “Harmony”, held under the aegis of Pak-China Institute, was also addressed by Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, former foreign secretary Akram Zaki, former ISI chief and chairman joint chiefs of staff committee General (retd) Ihsanul Haq and Yan Lijin.

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NATO Acknowledges First Strike Interceptor Missile Plans

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=aerospacedaily&id=news/asd/2011/09/29/03.xml&headline=Guidance%20Needed%20For%20NATO%20Missile%20Defense%20Ops

Aviation Week
September 29, 2011

Guidance Needed For NATO Missile Defense Ops
By Amy Butler

-An actual flight test pitting a German Patriot terminal defense battery against a short-range missile target is scheduled for November. During the trial, which will take place in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a U.S. Aegis cruiser will provide target tracking.
-“Many nations have capabilities that would allow us to go in and strike a missile site before it launches an attack, if NATO ever made that decision.”

NATO missile defense officials are awaiting approval of a plan to lay out guidance for unified alliance missile defense in advance of a key interim operational capability declaration for the system slated for May.

The North Atlantic Council is reviewing this plan, which includes weapons release authority, contingency response, rules of engagement and weapons control status guidelines, says U.S. Air Force Gen. Mark Welsh, who oversees American air forces in Europe. He says approval is needed by December to conduct proper testing in advance of the May milestone. Welsh is confident that with the North Atlantic Council’s approval, the interim operational capability goal is achievable.

This interim capability encompasses the exchange of data between the disparate command-and-control systems operated by NATO and the U.S.

“We have done data transfer of all types. We have worked email — which sounds minor but isn’t — [but] we have not done active voice testing yet across the system. That is the next set along with the [Internet] chat,” Welsh tells Aviation Week. “We are very close to being able to transfer an air tasking order and an airspace coordination order for missile defense across this system.”

This coordination order provides guidance to forces on which systems and shooters operate in which airspace areas; it also outlines which terminal engagement systems are responsible for acting in the event of an attack.

Welsh acknowledges that the interim milestone planned for May is one of many steps needed to stand up a NATO missile defense in Europe. “We are at step zero right now trying to build this; the first step is connectivity…We still have to prove that,” Welsh says. “The next step is once we do have that, we will have a very small capability to actually intercept and destroy an incoming missile.”

Declaration of an initial operational capability was originally planned for 2014-15, with full operational capability to follow in 2018. The general acknowledges these dates are up for debate now at NATO. But “we are not far off” that plan, he says.

An actual flight test pitting a German Patriot terminal defense battery against a short-range missile target is scheduled for November. During the trial, which will take place in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a U.S. Aegis cruiser will provide target tracking.

[Welsh] outlines four “pillars” for missile defense: active defense (intercepting a missile); passive defense (warnings to populations and consequence management); offensive operations (including preventing a launch and/or striking a launch site); and command and control.

“There are lots of things they can do if they would look at things with a little bit broader scope than they have,” Welsh says. “Many of the nations can contribute in [various] ways, for example, in offensive operations. Many nations have capabilities that would allow us to go in and strike a missile site before it launches an attack, if NATO ever made that decision.”

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U.S. ABM Options: Destabilizing Pre-Emptive Strike, Retaliation, Interception

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/28/opinion/28iht-edlet28.html

New York Times
September 29, 2011

Letters to the International Herald Tribune

In Defense of U.S. Missile Defense

Regarding “The delusion of missile defense” (Views, Sept. 21), Yousaf Butt claims, erroneously, that the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense System depends on “essentially rigged tests, where the intercept team knew the precise timing and trajectory of the incoming missile.”

He ignores the fact that such tests must occur within a certain “window” due to air and sea traffic. In recent tests launch crews did not know when the target missile was to be launched, although they knew they were in a “period of interest.”

In a real world situation they would also know the “period of interest,” and, due to the physics of ballistic missiles, the trajectory of the target. Since 2001 the missile defense system has had an 83 percent success rate.

Moreover, despite what Mr. Butt implies, it would not be simple for our enemies to launch decoys. Even in recent test failures, the missile system’s kill vehicles accurately locked onto enemy warheads amid decoys, countermeasures and debris.

Should a missile be pointed toward the United States, the options are to inflict a destabilizing pre-emptive strike, retaliate, or intercept an attack with our Ballistic Missile Defense System.

Lt. Gen. Henry A. Obering III (ret.), Rebeccah Heinrichs, Washington General Obering is the former director of the Missile Defense Agency. Ms. Heinrichs is an adjunct fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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Georgia Prepared To Host U.S.-NATO Interceptor Missile Radar

http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20110929_3752.php

Global Security Newswire
September 29, 2011

Georgia Prepared to House U.S. Missile Defense Radar

Georgia is prepared to host a long-range U.S. radar system on its soil as part of NATO plans to establish a European missile defense system, the nation’s president said in an interview with Newsweek published on Monday (see GSN, Feb. 4).

The Caucasus nation is not a member of the Western alliance but it has close military ties with the United States.

President Mikhail Saakashvili said his government would be agreeable to providing information collected by the early warning X-band system with any nation, including Israel.

The Obama administration earlier this month struck a deal to deploy an X-band radar in Turkey as part of allied efforts to counter a potential ballistic missile attack from the Middle East. That arrangement, however, has not sat well with a number of senators, who have requested White House assurances that data collected by the system would be quickly shared with Israel.

Separately, Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin was expected on Wednesday to air complaints to the Russia-NATO council on alliance missile defense plans, Interfax reported.

Rogozin said NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen would use the meeting to “outline NATO’s vision of the course of missile defense negotiations between Russia and the U.S., as well as between Russia and the alliance.”

The diplomat who represents the Kremlin in missile defense negotiations with NATO said he would therefore “express certain complaints in relation to our partners that emerged during recent talks.”

Russia is also upset with the Obama administration for moving to implement its program for European missile defense while negotiations are ongoing.

Meanwhile, NATO intends to pay $3.4 million to a private consortium to spell out initial actions for a program to broaden the alliance’s existing battlefield antimissile capabilities into a system capable of protecting both military troops and civilians across the continent, Aviation Week reported .

“The results will then be taken forward for implementation in the NATO command and control network to broaden the capabilities of the NATO commander well beyond those demonstrated recently in missile defense testing between the United States and NATO elements last month,” the alliance said in a statement issued last week.

The consortium consists of Science Applications International of Virginia, TNO of the Netherlands, Qinetiq of the United Kingdom, Selex SI of Italy, EADS Astrium of France and IABG of Germany.

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Tense Atmosphere At NATO-Russia Talks On Missile Shield

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=6&id=276611

Interfax
September 29, 2011

Russia to insist U.S., NATO take realistic approach to missile threats – envoy to NATO

BRUSSELS: Problems of negotiations on missile defense aspects were discussed in a tense atmosphere at an ambassadorial meeting of the Russia-NATO Council on Wednesday, Russian permanent envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin told Interfax.

“I presented findings by American researchers from the University of Massachusetts, which confirm the Russian Federation’s concerns that the U.S. plans of deploying its missile defense group in the northern seas and on Polish territory on the third and fourth stages will pose a real threat to the Russian strategic nuclear forces,” he said.

“If our NATO partners do not believe our Russian researchers and experts, the Defense Ministry and the Foreign Ministry, then they should at least listen to their own experts. They virtually have nothing to parry such information,” Rogozin said.

Russia will continue “to use authority, opportunities, and goodwill of our partners, researchers from Europe and the U.S., to ensure that the United States and those who support it in NATO regarding the missile defense deployment plans in Europe take an appropriate approach, which presumes that, if there are missile threats, then a system opposing them should be absolutely proportional to these risks,” he said.

“And when all plans are being sewn together and all agreements are being signed already now, including with Warsaw, on deploying U.S. missile defense elements right near Russia’s northwestern borders on the pretext of the so-called much talked-about Iranian missile threat, there should be no illusions that Russia will silently swallow such propagandistic moves. We won’t swallow this, and if we don’t obtain coherent reaction from our partners in the negotiations, we will have to resort to the best guarantee of which Czar Alexander III said calling the army and the navy Russia’s only allies,” Rogozin said.

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Netherlands To Join NATO Interceptor Missile System

http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110928/167228879.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 28, 2011

Netherlands to join NATO missile defense program

The Netherlands will contribute to the NATO missile shield to protect Europe against missile attacks from countries such as Iran, the NRC Handelsblad newspaper said.

The Defense Ministry has approved a 250 million euro program to modernize the air-defense radar system and frigates for the sea-based defense system, the paper said.

The system will allow missiles to be spotted and tracked, NATO officials say.

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NATO Implements Second Layer Of Continental Missile Shield

http://www.presseurop.eu/en/content/news-brief-cover/1000091-second-anti-missile-shield-europe

NRC Handelsblad
September 27, 2011

Second anti-missile shield in Europe

“The Netherlands is contributing towards a missile shield,” announces NRC Handelsblad. On September 26, the country’s minister of defence announced the installation of the Smart-L radar system on the Netherlands’ four frigates and in its air defence command. These systems are part of NATO’s ALTBMD (Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence), intended to protect the territory of Europe from incoming hostile missiles.

The range of the ultra-modern systems is very high: two frigates, one in the Baltic Sea and one in the Mediterranean, would be enough to cover all of Europe’s airspace. But the project has a price: for the Netherlands, 250 million euros, which be set off against “savings for the ministry of one billion euros” writes the daily.

The Netherlands is “the first European country in NATO to contribute significantly” to NATO’s missile shield over the continent, which is independent of the shield that the United States has installed in Romania, Poland and Turkey.

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U.S.-Led Team Wins European Theater Interceptor Missile Contract

http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_channel.jsp?channel=defense&id=news/asd/2011/09/28/04.xml&headline=U.S.-Led%20Team%20Wins%20NATO%20Missile%20Shield%20Work

Aviation Week
September 28, 2011

U.S.-Led Team Wins NATO Missile Shield Work
By Amy Svitak

PARIS: NATO has awarded a contract worth €2.5 million ($3.36 million) to a U.S.-led industry team to define the first steps of a plan that would expand NATO’s theater missile defense system to form a broader shield over the alliance’s territory and population in Europe, as well as for deployed forces.

The industry team, led by McLean, Va.-based Science Applications International Corp., comprises EADS Astrium of France, IABG of Germany, Selex SI of Italy, TNO of the Netherlands, U.K.-based Qinetiq and the British arm of Raytheon. Work under the yearlong effort is to be performed at the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency in The Hague.

“The results will then be taken forward for implementation in the NATO command and control network to broaden the capabilities of the NATO commander well beyond those demonstrated recently in missile defense testing between the United States and NATO elements last month,” the international organization said in a Sept. 20 statement.

The NATO contract follows a November 2010 decision at the Lisbon Summit to provide the alliance with an additional layer of capability to protect Europe.

Astrium Space Transportation, the prime contractor for France’s missile defense program, has already proposed a plan to validate the underlying technology for a €1 billion missile defense system dubbed Exoguard. The unsolicited proposal aims to achieve the flight test of an in-space interceptor around mid-decade at a cost of €225 million.

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Netherlands Extends Libya War Mission

http://www.rnw.nl/africa/bulletin/dutch-mps-extend-nato-libya-mission

Radio Netherlands
September 28, 2011

Dutch MPs to extend NATO Libya mission

A large majority of Dutch MPs has voted in favour of extending the NATO mission in Libya by another three months. Six F-16 fighter planes, a mine sweeper and more than 200 Dutch troops have participated in the mission since it began at the end of March. Dutch military personnel have also flown in AWACS radar planes.

The minority VVD and Christian Democrat (CDA) coalition decision was supported by the Labour Party (PvdA) Green Left, Christian Union and SGP in parliament. The government’s support party the Freedom Party and opposition party the Socialist Party (SP) opposed extending the military operation.

The Christian Democrats said this extension had to be the last one. But Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said it would be a bad sign to indicate at this stage that the mission could not be extended a third time.

The SP said the objective of the mission had been continually stretched. MP Harry van Bommel said NATO has turned into an air force for Libya’s new leaders…

There was criticism in parliament that MPs had only been informed by letter about the decision to extend the mission one day ahead of the previous mandate expiring…

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40 Aircraft: Attack Helicopter In Scotland Ahead Of Major NATO Exercise

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-15091998

BBC News
September 28, 2011

Chinook low flying ahead of Exercise Joint Warrior

Military helicopter crews have been training in low flying over the Highlands ahead of a major UK-led Nato exercise.

A Chinook has been flying low over Loch Ness, Inverness and Ullapool as part of what the Ministry of Defence (MoD) called a medium scale exercise.

The training has been held ahead of Exercise Joint Warrior, which will take place from 3-17 October.

Joint Warrior is held twice a year, with the first staged in spring.

According to an MoD website, the sea, air and land training will mostly take place in the Highlands, Western Isles, the Borders and north east England.

The public have been told to expect large formations of fast jets.

Up to 40 Nato aircraft may take part in training simultaneously, the MoD said.

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NATO Formalizes Complete Absorption Of Bulgaria

http://www.defpro.com/news/details/28271/?SID=be757f60109e5d96226db9e96694b3fe

Defence Professionals
September 28, 2011

Bulgaria and NATO Sign a Declaration for Concluding Integration Program into NATO

On September 27th, General Simeon Simeonov, Chief of Defence of the Republic of Bulgaria, and Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, USN, Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, signed a Declaration for concluding the Program for Integration of BU Armed Forces into NATO.

“The Declaration we signed today is a confirmation that Bulgaria has accomplished the Integration Plan objectives. The Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria have gone through a period of comprehensive transformation. We have brought our regulations and procedures in line with those of NATO,” Defence Chief General Simeon Simeonov said in his address. He emphasized that the experience gathered by the Bulgarian Army will be of great importance to future joint activities and cooperation.

“The Bulgarian declared units have gone through intensive training in order to achieve interoperability with NATO forces. The certification and affirmation process has proved their readiness to participate in NATO operations. During the last several years the Bulgarian Armed Forces managed to create a pool of sufficient number of evaluators capable of conducting both national certification and NATO affirmation. Their experience is of great importance to our efforts to enhance the training of the Bulgarian declared units and make it more efficient and effective. With these units, as part of a single set of forces, Bulgaria has been successfully participating in NATO, UN and EU operations,” General Simeonov added.

In turn, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, USN, Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, said, “You have demonstrated the requisite operational capabilities necessary for inclusion in the NATO Force Structure and Integrated Air Defense System. We are honored to sign the “Declaration on the Bulgarian Armed Forces’ Integration into NATO”,” emphasized Admiral Locklear. “We are confident that the affirmation of Bulgarian units and their addition to the NATO Pool of Forces will increase the Alliance’s operational capability and significantly contribute to regional and global security,” Admiral Locklear pointed out.

Earlier today, Defence Minister Anu Anguelov met with Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, USN, Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples. Minister Anguelov underlined that the accomplishment of the objectives of integration and interoperability of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria into NATO is a result of the good interaction we have had for many years now. He introduced his guest to the documents, recently adopted by the National Assembly: the new National Defence Strategy, the White Paper on Defence, as well as with the Plan for the Development of the Armed Forces, elaborated on the basis of the Defence Strategy and the White Paper. Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III thanked our country for the participation of the Bulgarian military in ISAF, the deployment of the Drazki frigate to support the embargo of Libya, and the conduct of the annual Exercise BREEZE, which has improved interoperability among NATO units in the Black Sea.

Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, USN, Commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples was received earlier today with full military honors at the Monument of the Unknown Soldier.

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U.S. Marks 19th Anniversary Of Restructuring Bulgarian Military For NATO

http://www.sofiaecho.com/2011/09/28/1164601_us-security-assistance-programme-marks-19th-anniversary

Sofia Echo
September 28, 2011

US security assistance programme marks 19th anniversary

The Office of Defence Cooperation at the US embassy in Sofia marked the 19th anniversary of its security assistance programmes with Bulgaria with a ceremony and reception hosted by ambassador James Warlick at the US embassy on September 27 2011.

The security assistance programmes consist of the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programme and the Combined Education and Training (CETP) programme, which incorporates the International Military Education and Training (IMET) Program, the Counter terrorism Fellowship Program (CTFP), specialised training via FMF, all of which involve English-language training, as well as academics and training at the George C. Marshall Center in Garmisch, Germany. All of these programmes are made possible through U.S. Security Assistance grant funding as mandated by the US congress.

Since 1992, the Office of Defence Cooperation has spent more than 22 million dollars to train more than 1400 Bulgarian military officers, Ministry of Defence civilians and Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) who have benefited from educational programmes and training offered under the security assistance programme.

Over the same period, Bulgaria has been allocated approximately 143 million dollars under the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) programme to assist with the modernisation of its armed forces, as well as to enhance interoperability within Nato and with US forces.

In recognition of the programme’s success, ambassador Warlick welcomed many of the Bulgarian graduates of the education and training programmes, as well as other defence officials, including SSG Deyan Madin of the 61st Mechanized Brigade in Karlovo, an honour graduate of the Warrior Leaders Course held at the US 7th Army NCO Academy in Grafenwoehr, Germany.

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Florida: Pentagon Trains Balkans, Caucasus, Eastern European Navies

http://jacksonville.com/military/jax-air-news/2011-09-28/story/ukrainian-officers-learn-about-nas-jax-operations

Florida Times-Union
September 28, 2011

Ukrainian officers learn about NAS Jax operations
By Kaylee LaRocque
NAS Jax Deputy PAO

-Th[e] program provides cooperative relationships with maritime nations and is key to regional stability and security. MPP Det 513 works directly with Commander, 6th Fleet Headquarters in Naples, Italy coordinating, engaging and executing military to military events with Eastern European countries. These countries include: Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, Poland and the Ukraine.

Four Ukrainian naval officers and their civilian interpreter visited NAS Jacksonville Sept. 18-23 to gain insight into aviation survival and safety, search and rescue (SAR) capabilities, and squadron operations.

The group began day one with a visit to the NAS Jax Air Traffic Control Tower where they witnessed air traffic controllers directing pilots using the airfield and learned about daily operations in the tower and radar room.

The afternoon was spent visiting Hangar 1000 to learn about fleet logistics squadron missions and responsibilities at VR-62 and VR-58.

The group also visited VP-30 to learn how patrol squadron pilots are trained for the fleet…and HSM-74 and HSL-42 to talk with pilots about the capabilities and mission of the SH-60B Seahawk and the new MH-60R Romeo helicopters.

On the final day of the visit, the Ukrainian officers spent several hours “flying” the Romeo helicopter flight simulator.

The visit was sponsored through the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, Commander 6th Fleet, Maritime Partnership Program (CNE-C6F MPP) and coordinated by Naval Reserve officers from CNE-C6F MPP Detachment 513 based at Navy Operations Support Center (NOSC) Great Lakes, Ill.

This program provides cooperative relationships with maritime nations and is key to regional stability and security. MPP Det 513 works directly with Commander, 6th Fleet Headquarters in Naples, Italy coordinating, engaging and executing military to military events with Eastern European countries. These countries include: Albania, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Romania, Turkey, Poland and the Ukraine.

“The Ukrainian and U.S. Navies jointly participate in exercises and operations so this trip will help enhance our capabilities during these international evolutions. By learning about search and rescue procedures, it will allow our military to better assist during emergency situations for our aviators and those participating in joint operations,” said [Capt. Yurii Zabolotskyi, deputy navigator, Ukraine Aviation Squadron, Naval Aviation Brigade].

CNE-C6F MPP Det 513 is comprised of approximately 60 reservists with a variety of skill sets. Some of the unit’s personnel live and work in Europe and speak foreign languages which benefits the CNEP allowing U.S. and foreign military members better interaction and success in their missions.

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Poland Slams Belarus For Foreign Minister’s No-Show At Eastern Partnership Summit

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110929/167247458.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 29, 2011

Poland condemns Belarus minister no-show at Eastern Partnership summit

[The Eastern Partnership program, complemented by a European Union initiative aimed at the former Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - largely intended to replace Russian oil and gas supplies to the European Union, the world's second-largest energy consumer - will destroy the Commonwealth of Independent States, leaving Russia isolated in the so-called Former Soviet Space.]

WARSAW: Poland has criticized the refusal by the Belarusian foreign minister to attend an Eastern Partnership summit in Warsaw.

Warsaw is hosting a two-day summit (September 29-30) on the Eastern Partnership, an initiative to bring the EU’s eastern neighbors closer to the 27-nation bloc.

Belarusian Foreign Minister Sergei Martynov declined the invitation. The country will be represented at the summit by the Belarusian ambassador to Warsaw.

Belarus’ decision is yet another step toward the country’s “self imposed isolation,” Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said on Thursday.
The Eastern Partnership program, initiated by Poland and Sweden in 2008, seeks to bring the six post-Soviet countries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine closer to the democratic and economic workings of the EU.

The summit is expected to produce a declaration on the “European aspirations” of the EU’s partners in the program.

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http://en.trend.az/regions/world/europe/1938440.html

Trend News Agency
September 29, 2011

Poland sees EU path for democratic states in East

Poland’s foreign minister says European Union membership could become more realistic for nations on the bloc’s eastern periphery in the next decade if they become “a little bit like Norway or Switzerland.”

Radek Sikorski spoke Thursday ahead of a summit on the Eastern Partnership, an initiative aimed at deepening EU integration with Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Armenia and Azerbaijan, AP reported.

Sikorski said EU membership “at this point is distant” for the countries. But he urged them to adopt Western-style laws and democratic standards, saying that was their only hope for eventual membership, Kyiv Post reported.

He said, “if you become legally speaking and commercially speaking a little bit like Norway or Switzerland, then things become possible. Of course if you don’t, you won’t (join).”

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http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1938047.html

Trend News Agency
September 29, 2011

Georgian President to attend the “Eastern Partnership” summit
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili will participate in the summit of the “Eastern Partnership” which will be held September 29-30 in Warsaw. As reported to Trend with reference to the Georgian presidential administration, Saakashvili is already in Warsaw.

The leaders of the program participants – Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Ukraine, and EU leaders and the leaders of several EU countries will attend the summit of the “Eastern Partnership”.

The summit will begin tonight at 19.00, and a briefing will be given summit on September 30.

As stated by the president’s spokesman Manana Manjgaladze, Saakashvili will hold several bilateral meetings, including with the High Commissioner for Foreign Policy Catherine Ashton, at the summit.

As Manjgaladze noted, at the summit, along with other issues topics of regional security will be discussed. According to her, it’s planned to adopt a joint communique. “We also have the opportunity to present 27 EU member states and five countries members of the “Eastern Partnership” our vision, priorities and initiatives that will make us closer to the EU”, she said.

Georgia hopes to specifically define the date of commencement of negotiations with EU on free trade.

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Eastern Partnership: EU Targets “Frozen Conflicts,” “Color” Changes

http://en.trend.az/news/karabakh/1938031.html

Trend News Agency
September 29, 2011

Conflicts in the region are the most concerning obstacles to progress – EU
E. Aliyev

Baku: In Warsaw, the EU and its Eastern partners will be meeting in the context of strong relationships, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton has said ahead of the Eastern Partnership summit in the Polish capital on 29-30 September, reported Trend with reference to an ENPI press release.

Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Ashton said, “We are all committed to making the Warsaw Summit a success, and to giving renewed momentum to building the closest possible relations with our Eastern partners and neighbours.”

Progress has been made on mobility, the High Representative said, citing the implementation of Visa Action Plans with Ukraine and Moldova and the new Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements with Georgia that had entered into force earlier this year. The EU aims to launch negotiations on similar agreements with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus in the near future, said Ashton.

Citing the recent Review of the Neighbourhood Policy, Ashton said the EU would provide more support to civil society in the partner countries, in particular through a new Neighbourhood Civil Society Facility. She also said the EU would establish a new European Endowment for Democracy to support democratic change in the neighbourhood.

Turning to the conflicts in the region (in Nagorno Karabakh, in Transistria, in Abkhazia and South Ossetia) the High Representative said they were “perhaps the most concerning obstacles to progress.”

“We expect our Eastern partners in the region to do their utmost to make progress towards peaceful settlement,” said Ashton, adding: “Progress here will mean progress in our relationship as a whole.”

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20 Million Tons Of Azeri, Kazakh Oil For Caspian-Baltic Pipelines

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1938276.html

Trend News Agency
September 29, 2011

Minister: Azerbaijan may place up to 20 million tons of oil from eastern Caspian Sea
E. Ismayilov

Baku: Azerbaijan could easily transport 20 million tons of oil from Kazakhstan and other Caspian countries in its pipelines, Azerbaijan, Industry and Energy Minister Natig Aliyev said today.

Aliyev said the Eurasian oil transportation corridor project deserves special attention.

Azerbaijan is actively involved in the construction project of the Odessa-Brody-Plock-Gdansk oil pipeline, which is a part of the corridor. SOCAR is one of the participants of the Sarmatia international pipeline company.
At present, Ukraine and Poland agree on the issues of financing the oil pipeline construction from the European Union.

Kazakh oil may be one of the sources for this route. It may be delivered to Azerbaijan through the Caspian Sea by tankers. It is necessary to build the Eskene-Kuryk pipeline in Kazakhstan to create this system, as well as the terminals on both sides of the Caspian Sea to transport oil.

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Bryza: U.S. To Protect Caspian Energy Infrastructure

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1938238.html

Trend News Agency
September 29, 2011

U.S. assists Azerbaijan in protecting Caspian energy infrastructure
N. Ismayilova

Baku: The U.S. is working with the Azerbaijani government on ensuring that the Caspian energy infrastructure is protected from a wide variety of risks, U.S. Ambassador to Baku Matthew Bryza told journalists on Thursday.

He said some problems relate to natural disasters such as big storms, some relate to technological, like a major oil problem in the Gulf of Mexico and, of course, some are caused by terrorism.

“Azerbaijan and the U.S. work together to understand these risks and extend our experience in reducing risks,” Bryza underscored.

The West is interested in cooperating with Azerbaijan in energy sphere, particularly within the Southern Corridor Project.

The Southern Corridor is a priority EU energy project. It will diversify energy supply routes and resources, and increase EU energy security. The Southern Corridor includes the Nabucco gas pipeline, Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), White Stream, and ITGI (Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline).

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British Energy Minister: Caspian Gas To Europe Soon As Possible

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1938465.html

Trend News Agency
September 29, 2011

UK energy minister: Azerbaijani gas should be supplied to Europe as soon as possible
A. Badalova

Baku: Today the transportation of the Azerbaijani gas to the European market is an urgent issue, UK Minister of State for Energy and Climate Change Charles Hendry told journalists in Baku on Thursday.

He said this issue requires a prompt solution. “The Shah Deniz field is one of the largest gas fields, and it is very important to deliver gas from this field to the European market as soon as possible,” he said.

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West Completes Caspian Energy War Plans

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=156126

Azeri Press Agency
September 29, 2011

US analyst: “Moscow has less and less leverage in the energy realm”
Isabel Levine

-[T]he Absheron discovery is a potentially strategically important event for European consumers. It means that there is more confirmed alternative natural gas available in the Caspian, to be developed by Western companies and piped to Western countries…[T]he EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan should and will likely continue negotiations on a Trans-Caspian gas option irrespective of Russian bullying. Moscow has less and less leverage in the energy realm over all three actors and gone are the days when Russian bluster could alter the course of the winds of change on the Caspian.

Washington: APA US correspondent’s interview with Alexandros Petersen, Advisor to the European Energy Security Initiative (EESI) at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in Washington DC. An internationally recognized scholar of grand strategy and energy geopolitics, he is the author of The World Island: Eurasian Geopolitics and the Fate of the West.

- Just recently the French Total has announced discovering a major gas field in the Caspian Sea, in Azerbaijan’s sector. What could be the Absheron field’s contribution to Azerbaijan’s energy security?

- In general, the Absheron discovery is a potentially strategically important event for European consumers. It means that there is more confirmed alternative natural gas available in the Caspian, to be developed by Western companies and piped to Western countries. Azerbaijan was already the focal point of European energy security opportunities and Absheron’s development will only confirm that top spot. Although it will take a decade or so for Absheron gas to become available, this timeline probably fits well with those of the Southern Energy Corridor projects under consideration.

- A lot is being said about the Nabucco project and Azerbaijan’s role in it, but no real steps were taken, why is that? Will the discovery of Absheron improve Nabucco’s chances?

- The real question is what are the implications for the expansion of the Southern Energy Corridor. Nabucco is just one of three major projects competing to bring gas from the Caspian to European markets through the Corridor. The first of October is in fact a milestone in moving the Corridor’s vision forward, when each of the projects: IGI, Nabucco and TAP will be submitting tariff and commercial transit terms to the Shah Deniz consortium with a view towards the consortium picking a project before the end of the year. The Absheron gas field will certainly factor into these considerations – especially as it shares stakeholders with Shah Deniz – but the consortia developing the two projects are different. For now, a Southern Energy Corridor project will probably move forward based on Shah Deniz II development. The real question is about whether the next stage will be to link in Absheron gas or build a Trans-Caspian gas option – or both.

- Russia says EU’s decision to give a mandate to the European Commission to negotiate on the legal framework for a Trans-Caspian gas pipeline with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan as third party intervention in the Caspian Sea sector. Does this sound like there could be an energy war in the Caspian Sea?

- Russia’s reaction to the EU announcement was regrettable, not only because it was antagonistic, but because it was short-sighted. There will not be an “energy war” in the Caspian any time soon, mainly because the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan should and will likely continue negotiations on a Trans-Caspian gas option irrespective of Russian bullying. Moscow has less and less leverage in the energy realm over all three actors and gone are the days when Russian bluster could alter the course of the winds of change on the Caspian.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Theocritus: May spiders spin their slender webs over weapons of war

September 29, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

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Theocritus
Idylls
From Number 16
Translated by Bariss Mills

And may all our towns spoiled by enemy hands
be peopled by their former citizens
again. May they work the fertile fields,
and may countless thousands of sheep fatten
in pastures and go bleating over the plain,
and may cattle coming home in herds
warn the late traveler to hurry
on his way. And may the fallow ground
be plowed at seed-time when the cicada
sings overhead in the treetops, watching
the shepherds in the sun. And may spiders
spin their slender webs over battle-weapons,
and the battle-cry be heard no more.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 28, 2011

September 28, 2011 3 comments

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NATO’s Libya War: Almost 25,000 Sorties, Over 9,000 Strike Sorties

Venezuela Condemns U.S., NATO, UN Over Libya War

NATO To Remain In “Fluid” Libya Indefinitely

NATO Decision: Polish President Signs Martial Law Bill Into Law

Syria May Fall Victim To New Cycle Of Colonial Wars: Venezuela

Russia, China Oppose NATO States’ New Draft Resolution On Syria

France Threatens Military Action Against Iran

NATO Troops Attack Kosovo Serbs

Destabilizing Balkans: Russia Upset With NATO Over Kosovo

Russia Urges NATO To Abide By UN Resolution On Kosovo

NATO Troops Fire On Serbs, Seven Wounded

Serbia Breaks Off EU Talks With Kosovo To Protest Violence

53 U.S. Drone Strikes Kill 467 In Pakistan This Year

Attacking Nuclear Pakistan Won’t Be A Cakewalk

NATO Oil Tankers Torched In Balochistan

Pakistani Bar Association: Cut NATO Supply Lines

U.S. “Reviewing Aid” To Pakistan

Afghan War: NATO Loses Over 450 Soldiers This Year

New Zealand Special Forces Soldier Killed In Afghan Firefight

Afghanistan: Most Of $70 Billion In Foreign Aid Spent On Security

Top NATO Commander In Turkey For Missile Talks

Turkish Opposition Parties Oppose NATO Missile Radar Base

Baltic Sea: NATO Warships Bring “Regional Security In Pescadia”

Death Knell For CIS: Eastern Partnership Conference In Warsaw

U.S.’s Bryza Continues 17-Year Trans-Caspian Pipeline Advocacy

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NATO’s Libya War: Almost 25,000 Sorties, Over 9,000 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110928_110928-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 24,140 sorties, including 9,010 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 27 SEPTEMBER: 100

Strike sorties conducted 27 SEPTEMBER: 35

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Venezuela Condemns U.S., NATO, UN Over Libya War

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2011-09/28/content_13808818.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 28, 2011

Venezuela slams US, NATO’s involvement in Libya

-“It’s worth wondering: what has the no-fly zone established by the Security Council resolution become?” said Moros. “How could NATO perform more than 20,000 missions against the Libyan people if there was a no-fly zone? After the Libyan Air Force was completely annihilated, the continued ‘humanitarian’ bombing shows that the west, through NATO, intends to impose their interests in North Africa, turning Libya into a colonial protectorate.”

UNITED NATIONS: Nicolas Maduro Moros, foreign minister of Venezuela on Tuesday lashed out at the involvement of the US, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the UN in recent events in Libya.

Moros’statement came as he was addressing the general debate of the UN General Assembly at its 66th session to transmit a message from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias.

“Right now there is a very serious threat to global peace: a new cycle of colonial wars, which started in Libya, with the sinister goal of refreshing the capitalist global system, within a structural crisis today, but without any limit to its consumer and destructive voracity,” Moros said.

“It is necessary to remember and to recur to our immediate memory: Venezuela, alongside the member countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of the Americas (ALBA), was actively advocating for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the Libyan conflict,” said Moros.

The Venezuelan foreign minister said that peaceful resolution of the Libyan situation was derailed by the US and NATO and claimed that reports of attacks on the Libyan people by the Libyan Air Force were unfounded in truth.

“However, after all, the logic of war decreed by the UN Security Council and put into practice by NATO, the armed wing of the Yankee Empire, was imposed,” he said. “The logic of war having its spearhead in transnational mass media: let us bear in mind that the ‘Libyan Case’ was brought before the Security Council on the basis of intense propaganda by the western mass media, who lied about the alleged bombing of innocent civilians by the Libyan Air Force, not to mention the grotesque media setting of the Green Square of Tripoli.”

He said that a “premeditated bunch of lies” were used to justify “military regime change policy” by NATO.

“It’s worth wondering: what has the no-fly zone established by the Security Council resolution become?” said Moros. “How could NATO perform more than 20,000 missions against the Libyan people if there was a no-fly zone? After the Libyan Air Force was completely annihilated, the continued ‘humanitarian’ bombing shows that the west, through NATO, intends to impose their interests in North Africa, turning Libya into a colonial protectorate.”

Moros said that Venezuela questions the legitimacy of the arms embargo placed on Libya through Security Council resolution 1970 and strengthened by resolution 1973.

“How can we say that an arms embargo was imposed on Libya, when it was NATO itself that introduced thousands of heavy weapons to support a violent upheaval against that country’s legitimate government?” Moros said. “The embargo was, of course, meant to prevent the Libyan government from defending its sovereignty. This shows, once again, the cruel logic of international relations, where the law only applies to the weak.”

Moros called for an immediate end to the NATO bombings in Libya.

The UN, according to Moros, must reform in order to serve its purpose.
He called the current state of the international organization a “crisis,” a point he said Venezuela has made previously.

“Since then and until now, nothing has been done: the political will of the most powerful ones has prevailed,” said Moros. “Sure, the UN, as for its current functioning, docilely pledges to their interests. For us it is obvious that the UN is not improving and will not improve from the inside.”

“If its secretary-general, along with the president of the International Criminal Court (ICC), take part in an act of war, as in the case of Libya, nothing can be expected from the current structure of this organization and there is no longer time for reforms: the UN does not accept any reform whatsoever, the illness within it is deadly,” he added.

Moros criticized the Security Council, saying that a first step to re-founding the UN as a whole would be to eliminate the permanent member category and veto power from the peace and security body. He said that the General Assembly’s power must be democratically maximized and that a comprehensive review of the UN charter, with the aim of redrafting a new one, should be imposed.

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NATO To Remain In “Fluid” Libya Indefinitely

http://www.defense.gov/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=65463

U.S. Department of Defense
American Forces Press Service
September 27, 2011

Libya Operations Remain Fluid, NATO Official Says
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.

WASHINGTON: NATO’s decision to extend the alliance’s mission in Libya shows its work there is not yet done, a NATO spokeswoman said today.

NATO’s North Atlantic Council extended Operation Unified Protector by 90 days during a meeting in New York last week that coincided with a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly.

“In New York, the message was clear: a new day is dawning for Libya, and the international community is rallying around the new Libya,” Oana Lungescu told reporters during a briefing at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.

Lungescu reiterated NATO’s commitment…

“The situation remains fluid. And while threats persist, NATO will continue…”

Col. Roland Lavoie of the Canadian air force, military spokesman for Operation Unified Protector, discussed operations against remaining forces in the country loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.

“Recent developments in Surt and Bani Walid have been our main area of attention over the last few days,” he said…

Lavoie stressed that NATO will continue to monitor ground conditions…

“Operation Unified Protector is not over yet,” he said…

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NATO Decision: Polish President Signs Martial Law Bill Into Law

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/27/c_131163568.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 27, 2011

Polish president signs bill on state of emergency into law

WARSAW: Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski Tuesday signed into law a bill on the introduction of martial law, states of emergency and disaster in case of cyber threats, local media reported.

Under the new law, the president, at the motion of the government, can introduce one of the three exceptional states in case of hostile actions in cyberspace.

“This is a law which has been awaited by the Polish security system and NATO; it actually is the implementation of a NATO decision from its Lisbon summit,” said Komorowski after signing the law.

The Presidential National Security Bureau (BBN) head Stanislaw Koziej told local media that national security system should include hackers’ attacks and intentional or unintentional IT systems failure.

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Syria May Fall Victim To New Cycle Of Colonial Wars: Venezuela

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=39844&Cr=syria&Cr1=

UN News Centre
September 28, 2011

Syria may fall victim to ‘new cycle of colonial wars’ – UN debate hears

-“Were it not for some permanent members showing a firm stance, everything would be defined within the Security Council to authorize shooting missiles and sending bombardiers against Syria.”

Syria runs the risk of falling victim to the same “new cycle of colonial wars” that was imposed on Libya, Venezuela told the General Assembly’s annual general debate today.

In a message delivered by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro Moros, President Hugo Chávez Frías said that the real reason for military intervention in Libya this year was to take over its wealth, and that the same imperialist tactics are being exercised in Syria.

“It is intolerable that the powers of the world intend to claim for themselves the right to direct the lawful rulers to resign immediately. This was the case in Libya and they want to proceed in the same way in Syria,” he said.

Mr. Chávez called for the immediate cessation of the bombing operation in Libya, and spoke strongly against any form of intervention in Syria.

“The ‘Libyan Case’ was brought before the Security Council on the basis of an intense propaganda by the Western mass media, who lied about the alleged bombing of innocent civilians by the Libyan air force, not to mention the grotesque media setting of the Green Square of Tripoli,” he said.

“After the Libyan air force was completely annihilated, the continued ‘humanitarian’ bombing shows that the West, through North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), intends to impose their interests in North Africa, turning Libya into a colonial protectorate,” he added.

Mr. Chávez stressed that the same should not happen in Syria, and that military intervention should not be an option for the country.

“Only the Syrian people can solve their problems and decide their fate in the light of the right to self-determination of the peoples, an inalienable right in all respects,” he said.

“Were it not for some permanent members showing a firm stance, everything would be defined within the Security Council to authorize shooting missiles and sending bombardiers against Syria,” he added.

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Russia, China Oppose NATO States’ New Draft Resolution On Syria

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110928/167223881.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 28, 2011

Russia against new draft resolution on Syria – source

United Nations: Russia is against a new draft resolution on Syria put forward by Britain, France, Germany and Portugal and backed by the United States, a diplomatic source told RIA Novosti.

“Articles on sanctions included in the new draft cannot satisfy Russia,” he said.

The scaled-down UN draft resolution sent to UN Security Council members threatens the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with sanctions only if violence against protesters does not end.

The 15-nation Security Council “expresses its determination, in the event that Syria has not complied with this resolution, to adopt targeted measures, including sanctions,” the document reads. An earlier draft resolution called for sanctions against Assad, his family and his aides.

The new draft resolution was put forward after Russia and China threatened to veto any sanctions against the Syrian authorities.

Representatives of the UN Security Council member countries are expected to discuss the document later in the day, another source said.

Last week, the European Union stiffened its sanctions against Syria to include a ban on investment in the country’s oil industry as well as asset freezes and travel bans for a number of senior Syrian officials. Sanctions have also been imposed on a Syrian TV network and a telecom firm over their suspected links to the government.

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France Threatens Military Action Against Iran

http://rt.com/news/military-strike-iran-france-567/

RT
September 28, 2011

France threatens military action against Iran

The French envoy to the UN has warned Iran that it risks a military strike if it continues pursuing its nuclear program.

“If we don’t succeed today to reach a negotiation with the Iranians, there is a strong risk of military action,” Ambassador Gerard Araud said on Tuesday during a panel discussion at the UN’s New York headquarters,  AFP reported.

The strike, he said, “would be a very complicated operation. It would have disastrous consequences in the region…all the Arab countries are extremely worried about what is happening.”

Last Sunday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on Iran to “freeze the production of centrifuges,” saying that such a step would prevent fresh sanctions against it.

“In response we will abstain from imposing more sanctions, both at the UN Security Council and unilaterally,” the diplomat said in a CNN interview.

On Tuesday, Mr. Lavrov stressed the need to find a diplomatic solution to the issue.

“We don’t see any alternative to a political and diplomatic solution and taking concrete steps towards renewing of talks,” he said in an address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Earlier this month, the UN nuclear watchdog published a report on developments after Teheran allowed an inspector to enter some of its nuclear facilities which had previously been closed. Moscow believes that Iran’s latest moves show positive changes in its attitude to the UN’s control of its nuclear program, which the international community should encourage.

On Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi called on the European Union to resume nuclear talks with Tehran.

“There have been new developments with regard to Iran’s nuclear issue and also other issues,” Salehi said in a meeting with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Earlier this month, former US Vice President Dick Cheney said he believed Israel would attack Iran to prevent it from achieving nuclear weapons capacity.

Cheney told Newsmax TV that “Iran represents an existential threat and [the Israelis] will do whatever they have to do to guarantee their survival and their security.”

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NATO Troops Attack Kosovo Serbs

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/28/56888906.html

Voice of Russia/Itar-Tass
September 28, 2011

KFOR attacks Kosovo Serbs

Representatives of the Serbian community in Macedonia are indignant at the groundless attack of the KFOR international security force in Kosovo against Kosovo Serbs, Ivan Stoilkovic, leader of the Democratic Party of Serbs in Macedonia, declared to the ITAR-TASS news agency on Wednesday.

“According to its status, KFOR is to remain neutral and protect citizens rather than get into conflicts with them,” he pointed out. “There can be no excuse for the outrageous behaviour of KFOR servicemen who tried to cold-bloodedly kill people only for being Serbian.”

The clash occurred at the security check-point on the administrative border between Serbia and the self-proclaimed republic. The Serbs were protesting against the Kosovo administration establishing control over the security check-point.

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Destabilizing Balkans: Russia Upset With NATO Over Kosovo

http://en.ria.ru/russia/20110928/167220907.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 28, 2011

Russia ‘disappointed’ with NATO’s reluctance to discuss Kosovo

BRUSSELS: Russia is upset by NATO’s unwillingness to discuss the situation in Kosovo at NATO-Russia Council sessions, Russia’s NATO envoy said on Wednesday.

“Russia’s permanent mission to NATO is disappointed with the reluctance of its partners to discuss the situation in Kosovo at the NATO-Russia Council,” Dmitry Rogozin said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

Moscow regards the Kosovo problem as a “serious destabilizing factor in the Balkans situation, which directly affects European security,” he said.

Four NATO troops and six Serb protesters were wounded in fresh violence on the disputed Serbia-Kosovo border on Tuesday.

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Russia Urges NATO To Abide By UN Resolution On Kosovo

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/27/56836385.html

Voice of Russia/Russian Information Agency Novosti
Septembre 27, 2011

Lavrov urges compliance with UN resolution on Kosovo

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called on the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) to strictly abide by UN Security Council resolution 1244.

Meeting his Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremic in New York, Mr. Lavrov cautioned against moves fraught with further destabilization on the administrative border between Serbia and Kosovo.

Tension broke out in the middle of this month after the ethnic Albanian authorities of Kosovo deployed their customs and police officers at the Jarinje and Brnjak border crossings with the assistance of KFOR servicemen despite fierce protests from local Serbs.

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NATO Troops Fire On Serbs, Seven Wounded

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=09&dd=27&nav_id=76572

Beta News Agency/Tanjug News Agency/B92
September 27, 2011

KFOR fires at Serbs, seven injured


KFOR troops at the Jarinje checkpoint (Tanjug)

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA: Kosovska Mitrovica Health Center Director Milan Jakovljević says seven persons who were injured at the Jarinje checkpoint earlier today have been hospitalized.

According to him, six persons sustained serious injuries from live rounds and one person has been taken to the ophthalmology ward due to eye problems caused by tear gas.

“Nobody is in a life-threatening condition so far,” Jakovljević stressed.

Jakovljević added that shots had also been fired at the ambulance but that the medical team that had been giving medical attention to the injured Serbs had not been injured.

KFOR troops threw flash bombs and tear gas and fired rubber bullets at local Serbs who gathered at the Jarinje checkpoint around 13:00 CET.

U.S. KFOR troops used tear gas early on Tuesday to disperse Serbs and remove a barricade from an alternative road that leads from Jarinje to central Serbia.

Local Serbs, who spent the night at the barricades, told Beta news agency earlier on Tuesday that the troops had been brutal, that they had used tear gas and that they tied up young men who had been present.

One of them received medical attention at the Raška hospital. Four Serbs have been arrested and later released. The U.S. troops threaten to shoot anyone who comes close to the barbed wire at the Jarinje administrative checkpoint.

KFOR troops removed the barricades made of dirt and gravel.

They have also announced that starting from Tuesday morning they will arrest anyone who uses the alternative road around Jarinje. German troops arrested and soon after released two people at the alternative road around 7:00 CET on Tuesday.

An incident broke out around 10:30 CET when several citizens threw rocks at KFOR troops who responded by using tear gas. The clash quickly ended when Leposavić Mayor Branko Ninić called on the citizens to remain calm and to peacefully fight for their legitimate requests.

The night was peaceful at the other barricades in northern Kosovo.

KFOR removed a sand barricade from Jarinje last night, but Serbs who came to the administrative checkpoint in great numbers managed to set up a new barricade on the main road leading to Rudnica and kept watch at an alternative road that connects this part of Kosovo with central Serbia.

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Serbia Breaks Off EU Talks With Kosovo To Protest Violence

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/europe/1937542.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
September 28, 2011

Belgrade breaks off talks with Kosovo to protest violence

Serbia on Tuesday broke off talks held with Kosovo under European Union auspices to protest an operation by NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo against Serbs blocking a contested border, DPA reported.

“For the time being, the priority is the situation at border crossings, and for us no other topic exists,” Serbia’s chief negotiator, Borko Stefanovic, was quoted by Belgrade media as saying.

“I think in this situation it is unrealistic to talk about energy, telecommunications and regional initiatives,” he said in Brussels, where he was meeting with EU mediator Robert Cooper and US representative Philip Reeker.

The seventh round since March of EU-facilitated talks between Serbia and Kosovo to resolve issues stemming from Kosovo’s secession were scheduled without the disputed border crossings on the agenda.

The EU has set progress in the talks as a crucial condition for Serbia to be formally recognized as an EU membership candidate already this year. Belgrade officials had hoped that a date for the start of accession talks would be set at the same time.

The negotiations were already interrupted in July, when Serbia refused to lift a de-facto trade embargo on Kosovo goods.

That escalated into a trade war and tensions in northern Kosovo, when Pristina attempted to take control of border crossings in the north, one of few areas where Serbs outnumber ethnic Albanians.

Tensions in the area again erupted into violence on Tuesday, when NATO peacekeepers (KFOR) moved to dismantle roadblocks that the Serbs erected in their enclave in protest at their loss of control over the borders in mid-September.

KFOR sealed several “alternate” routes, which the Serbs had opened toward Serbia proper to circumvent controls at the official border crossings.

At least four peacekeepers and seven demonstrators were injured in clashes.

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53 U.S. Drone Strikes Kill 467 In Pakistan This Year

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=156006

Azeri Press Agency
September 28, 2011

4 killed in U.S. drone strike in NW Pakistan

                      
Baku: At least four suspected militants were killed and another two injured in a U.S. drone strike launched Tuesday night in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of South Waziristan, reported local media ARY, APA reports.

According to the local media reports, two missiles were fired by a U.S. drone at a house suspected of being a militant’s hideout at the Azam Warsak area of South Waziristan which borders Afghanistan.

Details about the identities of the killed in the strike are not immediately available.

Tuesday night’s U.S. drone strike is the 53rd of its kind (counted on a daily basis) in Pakistan in 2011. To date, a total of 467 people…have reportedly been killed in such strikes.

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Attacking Nuclear Pakistan Won’t Be A Cakewalk

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Opinions/Columns/28-Sep-2011/Pakistan-served-Miranda

The Nation
September 28, 2011

Pakistan served Miranda
By S.M. Hali

-The countries that plan wars in order to capture resources, conquer territories, or advance their strategic interests or hegemonic designs never lack noble-sounding pretexts: Self-defence, defending civilisation, rescuing threatened national minorities, and so on.
-The US, therefore, should take cognisance that attacking Pakistan won’t be a cakewalk. It is a nuclear-equipped and battle hardened country, which will defend itself or go down fighting.

The US administration has virtually read out the Miranda warning to Pakistan. Miranda is the formal warning given by the police in the United States to criminal suspects in a custodial situation before they are interrogated to make the accused aware of and remind him of his constitutional rights.

Admiral Mike Mullen, Leon Panetta and Jay Carney have virtually issued Miranda warnings to Pakistan accusing it of supporting attacks by the Haqqani network on US targets in Afghanistan, including the September 13 assault on the American Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul.

While briefing the US Senate, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen categorically stated: “The Haqqani network, for one, acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan’s intelligence agency.” In a similar tone, US Defence Secretary Panetta told Senators that “the presence of safe havens in Pakistan is giving the insurgents advantages they have otherwise lost.”

White House Spokesman Carney called on Pakistan to “break any link they have” with the Haqqani network. The synchronised blame game has, however, been refuted vehemently by Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Defence and Foreign Ministers and the Chief of Army Staff.

History is replete with wrongful US indictments. The US attacked both Afghanistan and Iraq with apparent UN approval, but under trumped-up charges. In the case of Afghanistan, it invoked the self-defence clause, insisting that the Taliban regime was harbouring Osama bin Laden – the purported perpetrator of the 9/11 attacks.

Despite the Taliban’s insistence that the US provide evidence pertaining to the allegations after which Osama would be tried under the Afghan law, America invaded Afghanistan that has led to the death of over 40,000 innocent civilians. But it must be understood that “self-defence”, firstly, in both international and US law, must be clearly distinguished from the use of force for revenge or punishment; States, like people, must not act as vigilantes.

Secondly, in criminal law, “self-defence” may be invoked in the face of an imminent threat of death or grave bodily harm. In general, the threat must be immediate and the response must not be pushed beyond what is reasonably required to repel that threat. Thus, the invasion of Afghanistan was not a legitimate act of “self-defence” by the US post-9/11.

There is no UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution that authorises it, whether alone or in coalition with other countries, to attack Afghanistan.

Between September 11 and October 7, 2001, when the Afghanistan invasion began, the Council adopted only one resolution concerning the 9/11 attacks. Resolution 1368 (September 12) condemned the attack, while Resolution 1378 (November 14) adopted – after the bombardment of Afghanistan commenced – only condemns the Taliban and supports “the efforts of the Afghan people to replace the Taliban regime!”

The countries that plan wars in order to capture resources, conquer territories, or advance their strategic interests or hegemonic designs never lack noble-sounding pretexts: Self-defence, defending civilisation, rescuing threatened national minorities, and so on.

After no weapons of mass destruction had been found to justify the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration argued that it was legitimate to overthrow a brutal dictatorship in order to free the Iraqi people. But to allow any country to make war entirely on false pretexts means throwing out international law and replacing it with “might is right.”

Now, the US is threatening to throw its erstwhile “most non-NATO ally” Pakistan to the dogs of war. It has already violated our sovereignty on two accounts: First, by launching the drone attacks, and secondly, the May 2 attack to “eliminate” Osama. Pakistan needs to take its case to the UN; however, this step may yield no results if former US Permanent Representative to the UN John Bolton is to be believed: “There is no such thing as the UN. There is only the international community, which can only be led by the only remaining superpower, which is the United States, when it suits our interest and we can get others to go along…When the United States leads, the UN will follow.”

The US, therefore, should take cognisance that attacking Pakistan won’t be a cakewalk. It is a nuclear-equipped and battle hardened country, which will defend itself or go down fighting. It is hoped and prayed that good sense prevails in the US administration!

The writer is a political and defence analyst.

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NATO Oil Tankers Torched In Balochistan

http://www.pakistantimes.net/pt/detail.php?newsId=25371

Pakistan Times
September 28, 2011

NATO oil tankers torched in Balochistan

QUETTA: Three NATO oil tankers were torched by unknown men in the Mastung area of Balochistan, a report said on Tuesday.

The tankers were on their way from Karachi to Quetta when unknown men riding on motorcycles fired at them.

The unknown men fled the scene after the firing. One of the drivers was injured during the attack. Upon receiving information, rescue teams of the police and levies rushed to the scene. NATO oil tankers carrying supplies to troops in Afghanistan are often targeted by militants.

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Pakistani Bar Association: Cut NATO Supply Lines

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=69755&Cat=5

News International
September 28, 2011

Cut Nato supply: Bar

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court Bar Association on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution demanding that the government sever Nato forces’ supply lines in wake of US threats to Pakistan.

The House said the USA had humiliated 170 million Pakistanis whose lives, honour and property were under threat; therefore, the lawyers’ community would stand by its government in this hour of need despite having differences with it on many issues. They urged the government to give a strong message to the USA that Pakistanis were brave and would not compromise on their sovereignty. They said Pakistan should withdraw from the so-called war on terror. LHCBA president Asghar Ali Gill presided over the meeting.

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U.S. “Reviewing Aid” To Pakistan

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=156018

Azeri Press Agency
September 28, 2011

U.S. reviewing aid to Pakistan: White House

Baku: The White House said on Tuesday that Washington is reviewing its aid to Pakistan, urging its government to take action in cracking down on the Haqqani network, as the two countries’ relations keep deteriorating this year, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

“We obviously are always reviewing our aid programs,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters in a press gaggle, adding that the U.S. takes it seriously and discusses these matters with its Pakistani counterparts, without providing further details.

The White House remarks came at a time when U.S.-Pakistani ties have hit a new low after senior U.S. officials, including chairman of the U.S. Joint Chief of Staff Mike Mullen, publicly accused Pakistan of backing the Haqqani network which was blamed for the recent attacks on the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

Carney reiterated the U.S. position that the Haqqani network was responsible for the attacks on Sept. 13, urging the Pakistani government to take action to “deal with the things that exist there.”

On the same day, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said that the U.S. has slowed military aid to Pakistan until desired results are seen.

Nuland said that some of the military aid cannot go forward “unless the programs that it funds go forward and until we can evaluate with Pakistan where we’re going to go together.”

U.S.-Pakistani relations had already been substantially damaged in May this year over a secret U.S. commando mission that killed al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan without the permission from Islamabad.

The U.S. has been giving out signals that it will cut military aid to Pakistan, while shifting more focus on the civilian aid in order to ease the strong anti-American sentiment among the majority of Pakistani population.

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Afghan War: NATO Loses Over 450 Soldiers This Year

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/28/c_131165042.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 28, 2011

NATO soldier killed in eastern Afghanistan

KABUL: A NATO soldier was killed Wednesday in an insurgent attack in eastern Afghanistan’s Wardak province, the military alliance said.

“An International Security Assistance Force service member died following an insurgent attack in Wardak province located in eastern Afghanistan today,” said the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in a statement.

However, the brief statement did not release the nationality of the victim under the ISAF policy.

Troops mostly from the U.S. and Turkey, within the framework of the ISAF, are stationed in Wardak province, with Maidan Shar as its capital, 35 km west of capital city of Kabul.

Over 450 NATO service members, with the majority of them Americans, have been killed in the insurgency-hit country since the beginning of this year.

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New Zealand Special Forces Soldier Killed In Afghan Firefight

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/28/c_131164611.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 28, 2011

Second New Zealand special forces soldier killed in Afghanistan

WELLINGTON: A second New Zealand special forces soldier has been killed in a military operation in Afghanistan, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced Wednesday.

The soldier with the Special Air Service Group (SAS) was shot while the SAS were mentoring the Afghan Crisis Response Unit during an operation in Wardak Province near Kabul, said Key.

“I am saddened by the loss of this SAS soldier, the second from the unit to die in Afghanistan. It is a reminder of the volatile and dangerous conditions that our Defence Force personnel face in Afghanistan,” said Key.

The SAS were reacting to information about a team preparing to launch an attack on Kabul.

A child and a “fighting-aged” male were also injured in the operation, which had involved 15 SAS and 50 Afghan soldiers.

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Afghanistan: Most Of $70 Billion In Foreign Aid Spent On Security

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/09/27/51pc-aid-spent-security-forces

Pajhwok Afghan News
Se5ptember 27, 2011

51pc of aid spent on security forces
By Abdul Qaddir Siddiqui

KABUL: Of the $69 billion (3.3 trillion afghanis) pledged in aid by the international community, the Afghan government has received and spent $57 billion over the past decade, the minister of economy said on Tuesday.

Fifty-one percent of the foreign aid was spent on the security sector and the rest on agriculture, rural rehabilitation and development, infrastructure, health, education and good governance, Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal said.

One main obstacle to ANDS implementation was the huge allocation to the security sector and under-funded government budget, the minister said.

Arghandiwal said other impediments included widespread unemployment, lack of funds for securing development projects implemented by foreigners and the absence of a mechanism to monitor the use of funds.

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Top NATO Commander In Turkey For Missile Talks

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=nato-official-makes-missile-trip-to-ankara-2011-09-27

Hürriyet Daily News
September 27, 2011

NATO official makes missile trip to Ankara
Sevil Küçükkoşum

ANKARA: The visit of a senior NATO commander to Ankara on Tuesday for talks regarding a radar system in southeastern Turkey as part of the alliance’s missile shield project came as Iran increased its criticism of Turkey’s recent attitude toward Israel.

“Landing in Ankara, Turkey, for discussions on missile defense, Afghanistan, Libya, and NATO reform,” NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe John Stavridis said in a post on Twitter late Monday.

Adm. Stavridis held talks in Turkey after visits to Israel and Romania. Stavridis met with Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel and Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz. Although the admiral requested an appointment with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, he could not meet Turkey’s premier due to Erdoğan’s busy schedule. The core of the discussions was the U.S.-led NATO missile shield project, whose early-warning radar system will be deployed in Turkey.

Ankara decided to host the radar at a military facility base near Malatya as part of NATO’s defense architecture. The discussions also included Turkey’s objections to Israel’s attempt to open a representation office at NATO headquarters, the Daily News has learned.

Turkey blocked a recent Israeli attempt to open an office at NATO headquarters when Tel Aviv submitted a request in early September.

Israel has made requests to open a representation office at NATO headquarters under NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue program that was launched in 1994 with seven Mediterranean countries.

The Iranian supreme leader’s top advisor for military affairs, Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim, played down the current tension between Turkey and Israel, characterizing it as a political gesture.

“Turkey’s gestures against the Zionists are political and they [the Turks] have maintained their relations [with the Zionist regime] behind the scenes,” he said on Monday, according to the Iranian news agency Fars.

Adm. Stavridis last visited Turkey in March to discuss Turkish participation in NATO-led operations in Libya.

Meanwhile, pro-Turkish chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ foreign affairs committee’s sub-committee on Europe and Eurasia Dan Burton met Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and was scheduled to meet with President Abdullah Gül and Erdoğan when the Daily News went print.

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Turkish Opposition Parties Oppose NATO Missile Radar Base

http://www.tehrantimes.com/world/2980-opposition-parties-oppose-nato-radar-base-in-turkey/

Tehran Times
September 28, 2011

Opposition parties oppose NATO radar base in Turkey

Opposition parties in Turkey have expressed their disagreement with the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan government’s decision to host an early-warning radar as part of NATO’s missile defense system on the country’s soil.

The leader of Turkey’s Democratic Party (DP), Namik Kemal Zeybek, voiced his opposition to the Turkish government’s decision and warned about its negative consequences, Press TV reported on Monday.

In an interview with Turkey’s TV 8 on Friday, Zeybek said NATO’s decision to deploy its missile-tracking radar system on Turkish soil is aimed at monitoring Iran’s moves and pitting the two neighboring countries against each other.

He added that the West is seeking to cause rifts in the world of Islam as Iran has resisted its dominance in spite of heavy pressure.

This comes as other opposition parties in Turkey have similarly disagreed with the plan, expressing concerns about its negative impact on the country’s relations with its neighbors.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP), headed by Kemal Kilicdaroglu, criticized the plan and stated that it is aimed at protecting Israel in the face of Iran’s missiles.

The leader of People’s Voice Party, Numan Kurtulmus, was also among the critics of the plan, saying that Erdogan’s government opposes Israel on the one hand while agreeing to a plan that is chiefly intended to defend Israel on the other.

Another Turkish politician, Mustafa Kamalak, who is the leader of Felicity Party, has additionally pointed out that Turkey’s agreement with the deployment of a NATO missile defense system on its soil will distance it from its neighbors.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal recently announced Ankara’s plan to host the Western military alliance’s radar system.

The Turkish official said the plan, which would “boost NATO’s defense capacity and strengthen [Turkey's] national defense system,” is in line with the alliance’s “New Strategic Concept” adopted in a summit in Lisbon last year.

Some in Iran say that Turkey’s hosting an early-warning radar system is to protect Israel, IRNA cited the defense minister as saying on Thursday.

“Installation of the radar system is to defend the Zionist regime since this regime is on a downhill trajectory and America has been forced to get involved directly to save it,” Ahmad Vahidi said.

“We will not allow any foreign forces to threaten our interests and we will strongly confront any threat,” he added on the sidelines of a military parade marking the 31st anniversary of the start of a bloody eight-year war with Iraq.

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Baltic Sea: NATO Warships Bring “Regional Security In Pescadia”

http://www.aco.nato.int/danexnoco-2011-concludes.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation
September 27, 2011

DANEX/NOCO 2011 CONCLUDES

After 11 days of outstanding cooperation and combined operations in Exercise DANEX/NOCO 11, the “Multinational Maritime Task Group‟ under Commander Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2), Rear Admiral (LH) Sinan Azmi TOSUN’s command, ensured the safe sea lines of communication so as to create sustainable regional security in “Pescadia”.

The realistic exercise scenario, took place in the artificial region of “Pescadia” (the Baltic Sea) and involved sovereign nations, illegal activities like smuggling, piracy, terrorist movement and resolving territorial disputes.

Exercise DANEX/NOCO 11 took place over two weeks and developed through a period of military and political tension into simulated hostilities.

After deterring and disrupting piracy, protecting sea lines of communication, fighting air, surface and subsurface threats with numerous international partners, SNMG2 flagship, TCG ORUCREIS, sailed to Gothenburg/SWEDEN (a Partnership for Peace (PfP) country) to conduct a port visit between 23rd and 27th of September, 2011.

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Death Knell For CIS: Eastern Partnership Conference In Warsaw

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1937566.html

Trend News Agency
September 28, 2011

Speaker of the Georgian Parliament goes went to Warsaw to attend the “Eastern Partnership” conference of the EU
N. Kirtskhali

Tbilisi: Chairman of Georgian Parliament David Bakradze leaves early this morning for Warsaw, where he will attend the conference as part of the “Eastern Partnership” on “The Path to European democratic society, prosperity and a strong civil society.”

According to Bakradze, Georgia attaches great importance to partnership with the EU and aims to become part of united Europe as soon as possible. “In this way, we still have much to do and our government is taking all steps for the rapid European integration”, he stressed.

On October 1, the Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia will travel to Sweden, where he will host a “EU Eastern Neighbourhood – the transition from authoritarianism to democracy” conference.

He will participate in a panel discussion on “What can and should make the EU”.

As part of his tour Bakradze also visit the UK, where he will visit the Congress of the Conservative Party at the invitation of its leaders.

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U.S.’s Bryza Continues 17-Year Trans-Caspian Pipeline Advocacy

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1937832.html

Trend News Agency
September 28, 2011

U.S.: Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan should independently decide on gas cooperation with Europe
V. Zhavoronkova

Baku: Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan should independently decide on how they are going to cooperate with Europe in the energy issues, U.S. Ambassador Matthew Bryza said on Wednesday during the meeting of Caspian European Integration Business Club (CEIBC).

“Our view is very strong that is no one else’s business how Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan decide to cooperate with Europe,” he added.

He underscored that the U.S. and its European allies are very interested in diversifying the natural gas supply…

He voiced the U.S. support to Azerbaijan in the framework of bilateral [agreements], saying that the country offers strong support to the implementation of the Trans-Caspian pipeline project.

“I am very glad that this interconnection between Europe and Turkmenistan makes absolute commercial sense. It will be implemented unless one does something really strong to block it. But the European Union decided on it and stated that all its machinery will do everything possible to execute this decision,” Bryza said.

He underscored that the U.S. cares about the implementation of the whole Southern Energy Corridor…

Early in September the EU adopted a mandate to negotiate a legally binding treaty between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to build a Trans-Caspian Pipeline System.

Later, Iran and Russia expressed a negative attitude toward this project. Tehran and Moscow think that the pipeline construction will damage the Caspian Sea environment.

The pipeline, with a length of 300 kilometers, will be laid from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan, where it will be connected to the Southern Gas Corridor.

Talks between Turkmenistan and the EU and other countries on the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline have been conducted since late 1990s. Its construction is now difficult because of unresolved status of the Caspian Sea.

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Categories: Uncategorized

José-Maria de Heredia: Drunk with dreams that brutal conquests bring

September 28, 2011 Leave a comment

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

José-Maria de Heredia
From The Trophies (1893)
Translated by John Myers O’Hara and John Hervey

The Conquistadores

As from their native eyries hawks take wing,
Spurred by the miseries they proudly share,
Bravos and chiefs from Palos de Moguer
Sail drunk with dreams that brutal conquests bring.
They seek the treasures fabulous to wring
From the far mines Cipango’s mountains bear,
The trade winds fill their sails and waft them where
Mysterious western shores lie beckoning.
Each evening for an epic dawn they yearn,
The phosphorescent seas that round them burn
Enchant their restless sleep with phantom gold;
And as from white-winged caravels they lean,
In unknown skies their wondering eyes behold
Strange stars ascend from Ocean’s depths unseen.

*****

To a Cuban Fountain

Beside the fountain, at the close of day,
I love to lie, by its sweet coolness wooed,
And from my heart rise in that solitude
Thoughts like the drops that wreathe its urn with spray.
Oft the white splendors of the moonlight play
Upon its sculptured shape and half delude;
Living it seems – fond error of my mood,
Its form endowed with charms that melt away.
O my fair Indian, the sun’s own love,
From maiden dreams awakened by the dove
That lulls thee with her vague and tender song;
Cuba, my land, beneath thy palms so fair,
Whose sweet-voiced streams murmur of passion where
Through radiant nights their music they prolong.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 27, 2011

September 27, 2011 1 comment

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Sirte: Fleeing Civilians Accuse NATO Of Massacre, Genocide

193 Days Of Bombing: 24,040 NATO Sorties, 8,975 Strike Sorties

Canada Extends Libyan War Mission To End Of Year

Russia Blasts NATO For Ignoring, Undermining United Nations

U.S. Global Missile Shield Affects World Strategic Balance: Russia

Afghan Officials: NATO Forces Kill 19 Civilians

Afghan War: NATO Triples Size Of Air Base Near Iranian Border

Pentagon Deploying 800 More Trainers To Afghanistan

U.S., NATO Withdrawal To Stabilize Afghanistan: Russian Official

Pakistan Warns U.S. Against Unilateral Actions

Cuban Foreign Minister At United Nations: New U.S., NATO Military Doctrines More Aggressive Than Ever, Target Entire Planet

Four NATO Soldiers, Seven Serbs Injured In Kosovo Clash

Kosovo: NATO Removes Roadblocks, Tear Gases Serbs, Who Erect New Roadblocks

U.S. To Sell Iraq 18 F-16 Warplanes

U.S. Drone Crashes In Somalia

Drones Make War Too Easy

Israel: Top NATO/EUCOM Military Chief In Secretive Talks

U.S., Turkey Agree On Delivery Schedule For Predator Drones

Missiles, Cyprus: Top NATO Commander Arrives In Turkey From Israel

Turkish F-16s Bomb Northern Iraq

Bulgaria Provides Legionaries For NATO, EU Operations Abroad

Clinton, Georgian Counterpart Plan Further Development Of Strategic Partnership

U.S.-Polish Missile Deployment Agreement In Force

New U.S. Air Force Missile To Disable Enemy Electronics

“Enemy Airfield”: Largest Dutch War Games In 15 Years

Clinton, Georgian Foreign Minister Discuss NATO Integration

EU’s Eastern Partnership Conference Begins In Two Days

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Sirte: Fleeing Civilians Accuse NATO Of Massacre, Genocide

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/civilians-accuse-nato-of-massacre-in-sirte-raids/story-e6frg6so-1226148378383

The Australian/The Times
September 28, 2011

Civilians accuse NATO of massacre in Sirte raids

The civilians pouring out of the besieged city of Sirte accused NATO of genocide yesterday as rebel forces called in reinforcements and prepared for a fresh assault on Muammar Gaddafi’s home town.

Long lines of civilian vehicles were leaving after a night of NATO air attacks on the town. Rebel forces fighting for the National Transitional Council added artillery and mortar fire.

The people leaving the town, many looking scared, said conditions inside Sirte were disastrous. They made claims which, if verified, are a challenge for NATO – which operates under a UN mandate to protect civilians – saying the NATO bombing raids hit homes, schools and hospitals.

“It was worse than awful,” said Riab Safran, 28, as his car was searched by rebel fighters outside Sirte. His family had slept on the beach because the houses were being bombed, he said. “They hit all kinds of buildings – schools, hospitals,” he said.

He could not distinguish between the NATO bombs and the rebels shells, he said, but believed it was a NATO bomb that destroyed his home on Saturday.

Residents said power and water had run out and petrol was 88 Libyan dinars ($72) a litre. The water shortage has produced an epidemic of diseases, according to medical staff at a clinic in the town of Harawa, 40km east of Sirte.

Additional reporting: AP

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193 Days Of Bombing: 24,040 NATO Sorties, 8,975 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110927_110927-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 24,040 sorties, including 8,975 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 26 SEPTEMBER: 102

Strike sorties conducted 26 SEPTEMBER: 34

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Canada Extends Libyan War Mission To End Of Year

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/09/26/ottawa-extends-libya-military-mission

Toronto Sun
September 26, 2011

Ottawa extends Libya military mission
By Jessica Murphy

OTTAWA: Canada’s involvement in the NATO mission in Libya has been extended another three months.

Following a day of debate in the House of Commons, MPs voted 189-98 to keep Canada’s hand in the military mission in the North African country.

In a speech to the House, Defence Minister Peter Mackay argued it’s no time to ease pressure as Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s forces make their final stand and that Canada’s armed forces have played a key role…over the past six months.

“Canada was in at the start,” he said. “We should be there until job is done.”

Canada joined the mission last March and extended it for three months in June, with only Green Party Leader Elizabeth May opposing Canada’s continued military involvement.

NATO, which is heading the UN mandated mission, okayed a 90-day extension of the mission in Libya last week.

Fighting is still ongoing in Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte and in other parts of south-central Libya.

Meanwhile, at the UN on Monday, Libya’s de facto prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, called on NATO to continue its mission…

-With files from Reuters

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Russia Blasts NATO For Ignoring, Undermining United Nations

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/27/56829408.html

Voice of Russia/Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 27, 2011

Lavrov criticizes the West for ignoring UN

In his interview to “Russia 24” TV channel, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov sharply criticized NATO for violating UN Security Council’s resolutions.

“This is the first time in history that UN’s resolutions are being ignored so outwardly,” Mr. Lavrov said. “Such actions undermine the UN’s authority.”

The UN Security Council’s resolution # 1970 introduced a total ban on supplying arms to any of the Libyan warring sides, Mr. Lavrov reminded. However, several countries, both European and Arab ones, have sold weapons to Libyan rebels.

There is also evidence that some Western instructors have trained Libyan oppositionists, and some servicemen from Western special forces have fought in the Libyan opposition’s formations, the Russian minister said.

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U.S. Global Missile Shield Affects World Strategic Balance: Russia

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/27/56833667.html

Voice of Russia/Itar-Tass
September 27, 2011

Missile defense factor affects global stability – Lavrov

The deployment of missile defense elements in various parts of the world changes the configuration of international security, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the UN General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

“This is a serious matter and verbal declarations that the buildup of global missile defense opportunities will not jeopardize strategic stability are not enough,” he said.

Mr. Lavrov called for legal guarantees that the missile defense potential will match the stated goals and will not disturb global or regional balances. This equally applies to Europe and the Asian-Pacific region.

The missile defense factor is beginning to influence the strategic situation, the Russian minister said.

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http://en.rian.ru/world/20110927/167190601.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
Septmber 27, 2011

Strategic missile defense affects global security – Lavrov

The deployment of strategic missile defense systems in various parts of the world will alter the international security configuration, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

“Statements to the effect that the build-up of global missile defense capabilities will not undermine the foundations of strategic stability are not enough,” Lavrov told the 66th session of the UN General Assembly in New York. “The issue is far too serious.”

He reiterated Russia’s position on the issue, saying “solid legal guarantees are needed that the missile defense potential will measure up to the declared goals and not violate global and regional balances.”

“This is relevant both for Europe and the Asia-Pacific region where the missile defense factor has started affecting the strategic situation.”

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said earlier in the day that no progress had been made in Russia-U.S. talks on the projected deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in Europe. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said last week he expected Russia and NATO to agree on missile defense at the alliance’s summit in Chicago due on May 20-21, 2012.

Russia has maintained a strong opposition to the deployment of missile-defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a threat to its own nuclear deterrent.

NATO says it needs the shield, which will be eventually deployed in the Mediterranean, Poland, Romania and Turkey, to counter the potential threat of missile attacks from the Middle East, particularly Iran.

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so-called European missile shield during the NATO-Russia Council summit in Lisbon in November 2010. NATO insists there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system with full-scale interoperability.

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http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/234721.html

Itar-Tass
September 27, 2011

No progress at Russia-US missile defense negotiations

TASS-TVCHEBARKUL, Chelyabinsk region: There is no progress at the Russia-U.S. missile defense negotiations, and the United States continues the rapid implementation of its plans, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Tuesday.

“No breakthroughs have been made. The American partners continue to implement their plans in the deployment of the European segment of the U.S. missile defense network,” he said.

The opinion that a NATO missile defense network is being created in Europe is erroneous, he said. “In fact, the Americans are fulfilling their own plans in Europe. Alas, these works are far ahead of the [missile defense] dialog of Russia, the United States and NATO,” he said.

Russia is ready for compromises but they must be reasonable, the deputy minister observed. “There is a certain red line, the questions of defense, and any compromises are impossible there,” he said. The Russian Defense Ministry has computed “the entire range of military and technical measures to deter threats close to the Russian borders,” he said.

Russia keeps explaining its proposals, including the sectorial defense, to the partners, among them Romania and Turkey, but to no avail, Antonov said.

“I would not say that the reset policy has come into a deadlock. I think our American and NATO partners realize that stubbornness will lead to nothing. We need solutions, we need a search. We clearly declare our problems and say why the implementation of the American plans causes our concerns, and we offer solutions. They smile at us and carry on their plans,” he said.

Earlier this month Russian military strategy expert Alexei Arbatov has called ‘a political mistake’ the deployment of the U.S. missile defense system in Europe in disregard of the opinion of Moscow.

“Such actions cannot be taken without coordination with Russia,” he told reporters on September 20.

“The U.S. course is absolutely destructive,” said Arbatov, who heads the International Security Center of the World Economy and International Affairs Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. “In fact, the Americans suggest that no matter what Russia may say they will implement their plan [of the missile defense network deployment], which has been coordinated with NATO.”

The course of U.S. President Barack Obama is practically similar with the position of the George W. Bush administration, he said. “This applies not only to missile defense but also to other aspects of the relations with Russia,” the expert noted.

The U.S. agreements with Bucharest (the deployment of an interceptor missile base by 2015) and Ankara (the deployment of a NATO missile warning radar station) “have no strategic role, because U.S. missiles based in Romania will never be able to intercept Russian intercontinental missiles, especially those based on submarines,” Arbatov said.

The expert said that the Russian aerospace defense program for the period until 2020 was a reply to the U.S. global missile defense initiative.

He does not think that the U.S. “may be interested in the new arms race, which is a suicidal act of self-exhaustion, but it wants to get on Russia’s nerves.”

Russian Permanent Representative to NATO, Presidential Envoy for Missile Defense Interaction with the Alliance Dmitry Rogozin said two weeks before West European leaders hoped that the election campaigns in the United States and Russia would have no effect on the missile defense dialog.

He told Itar-Tass on September 16 he had been visiting European capitals in the past month to listen to the response of European leaders to the message President Dmitry Medvedev sent early this year to spell out Russian ideas and concerns in the missile defense project.

“Certainly, I cannot disclose these answers fully, but I would like to say that European leaders hope for mutual understanding of Russia and the United States in the missile defense issue. They also hope that the election campaigns, which have begun in the United States and Russia, will have no effect on the missile defense dialog and will not narrow the space for maneuver in the search for consent,” he said.

“West European members of NATO are not interested in the construction of ballistic missile interception sites in Europe. Actually, they agree only to the first and second phases of the missile defense project [that is the protection from tactical missiles of the medium and shorter range]. That plan is focused on the creation of a missile defense perimeter in Southern Europe, including the deployment of Aegis BMD-equipped ships in the Mediterranean Sea. The USS Monterey has been on mission there since March 2011. The construction of a radar station in Turkey and a base in Romania also belong to this phase. As for the third and fourth stages [the protection from intercontinental ballistic missiles], the need to deploy such systems in Northern Europe, among them the missile interceptor base in Poland, is not quite obvious to West European states,” he said.

The U.S. has a different view and pushes “not only the first two stages of the missile defense project but also the third and fourth stages of ballistic defense,” he said.

Washington and Warsaw put the cart before the horse with their agreement to deploy a missile interceptor base in Poland, Rogozin said. “The missile interceptor base in Poland is a part of the third and fourth phases of the deployment of the missile defense network in Europe aimed to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles,” he said.

“The agreement of the United States and a number of East European countries presents the other European NATO members with a fait accompli. That is being done at the time when the diplomatic influence on states suspected of a wish to breach the non-proliferation regime has not been exercised fully. We are witnessing an attempt to accelerate the missile defense project and to put the cart before the horse, a large geopolitical horse,” Rogozin said.

“As for the Russian position at the negotiations, it is subject to evolution. That is what the craft of diplomacy is about – one finds solutions in the balance of possibilities, the junction of interests and the coincidence of views. First of all, NATO has its zone of responsibility and Russia has its zone. They must not clash. Secondly, we continue to insist on the signing of a legally binding treaty, which will lift Russia’s subjective concerns related to the missile defense plans of the United States,” Rogozin said.

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Afghan Officials: NATO Forces Kill 19 Civilians

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/afghanistan/1937024.html

Trend News Agency
September 26, 2911

US-led forces kill 19 Afghan civilians

Afghan officials say at least 19 civilians have been killed during a military operation carried out by US-led forces in troubled eastern Afghanistan, Press TV reports.

The head of the provincial council of Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nuristan said on Monday that the deadly operation had been conducted by foreign forces last Wednesday.

Similar operations by US-led troops in the eastern provinces of Wardak, Logar and Paktia left at least 12 people dead and injured several others on Sunday.

In another deadly incident on Sunday, five Afghan people were killed in a US-led airstrike, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

Hundreds of civilians have lost their lives in US-led airstrikes and ground operations in various parts of Afghanistan over the past few months, with Afghans becoming more and more outraged over the seemingly endless number of deadly assaults.

Civilian casualties caused by NATO attacks have been a major source of tension between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the US-led military alliance.

Afghans have held several protests against NATO over the issue of civilian casualties.

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Afghan War: NATO Triples Size Of Air Base Near Iranian Border

http://www.aco.nato.int/shindand-air-base-rising-on-the-wings-of-national-efforts–international-support.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
September 26, 2011

Shindand Air Base rising on the wings of national efforts, international support

What provides the capability for combat forces to travel greater distances by acting as a conduit to the resupply of soldiers, ammunition, equipment and fuel? What system can move forces faster and farther than their own means can carry them? And what can destroy targets no longer in range of army and naval units? An air force, and in the Herat Province, Afghanistan, work is fervently underway to develop a premier air base to execute these missions.

“Shindand has come a long way over the past year, and will continue to develop immensely,” said Capt. Gregory Ward, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officer in charge of engineering and advisor at Shindand.

The air base has already tripled its original size, becoming the second largest air installation in Afghanistan next to Bastion Field in Helmand Province. So far, eight miles of fence line has expanded the base by 2,900 acres to make room for new living and working areas for 3,000 personnel.

In July, Shindand also saw the opening of a strategic taxiway which allowed for simultaneous traffic of fixed-wing aircraft, greatly improving mission capabilities. And, this August, a 112,000 square meter rotary-wing apron was opened to park dozens of UH-60 Blackhawks, CH-47 Chinooks and AH-64 Apache helicopters. Growth does not stop there: a myriad of construction projects are currently in progress to support the burgeoning air base, its airmen and support personnel.

When it comes to training, NATO and Afghan forces have learned from history, and understand that it takes more than just the building of facilities and the providing of equipment to create an air force…

“We won’t finish building the Afghan air force until about 2016,” said Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV, NTM-A commander…

“From a sleepy forward operating base in the middle of nowhere, Shindand has grown into an air base that will support the Afghan National Army and Afghan Air Force for years to come,” said Captain Ward.

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Pentagon Deploying 800 More Trainers To Afghanistan

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/us-commander-says-800-more-us-trainers-heading-to-afghanistan-by-march/2011/09/26/gIQAs8lPzK_story.html

Associated Press
September 26, 2011

US commander says 800 more US trainers heading to Afghanistan by March

WASHINGTON: The number of American military trainers in Afghanistan will increase by 800 by next March, a jump of nearly 25 percent in the U.S. commitment there, the top commander in charge of training said Monday.

Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, who heads NATO’s training mission in Afghanistan, told Pentagon reporters that even as the number of combat troops begins to drop, more trainers are needed…

Caldwell said NATO and the U.S. expect that it would cost up to $6 billion annually to support and train the Afghan forces after 2014…

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U.S., NATO Withdrawal To Stabilize Afghanistan: Russian Official

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/27/56812870.html

Voice of Russia/Interfax
September 27, 2011

Western troop withdrawal will stabilize Afghanistan – Russian anti-drug chief

The withdrawal of Western coalition troops from Afghanistan will stabilize the situation in the country, chief of Russia’s federal drug control agency Viktor Ivanov has told reporters.

He said that the escalation of tension in Afghanistan is in direct proportion to the number of foreign troops deployed there.

Moscow is concerned over massive drug flows from Afghanistan to Russia.

Ninety percent of Afghan heroin is smuggled into the Russian territory, mostly through Kyrgyzstan.

Russia and Kyrgyzstan signed an agreement on cooperation to curb drug trafficking.

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Pakistan Warns U.S. Against Unilateral Actions

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/27-Sep-2011/America-warned-against-any-unilateral-action

The Nation
September 27, 2011

America warned against any unilateral action

ISLAMABAD – Amid heightened tension, the United States is making hectic diplomatic efforts to win back Pakistan’s crucial cooperation for secured NATO supplies as well as safe withdrawal of its overstretched troops from Afghanistan by 2014.

This has transpired after a flurry of interactions of senior US military officials and diplomats with Pakistani authorities ostensibly as a damage control exercise after some key US government functionaries launched efforts to make Pakistan a scapegoat largely to cover up its decade-long failure in Afghanistan.

In response to a question relating to the statement of US Senator Lindsey Graham that ‘all options are on table against Pakistan’, [US Embassy spokesperson Mark] Stroh said that this was in line with the statements of other US functionaries that Pakistan needs to take actions against those using its soil and attacking US forces in Afghanistan. “The US reserves the right to take action when its troops are targeted and attacked in Afghanistan,” the spokesperson said without naming Haqqani Network.

Although there was no Foreign Office input about the meeting, it was learnt that [ Foreign Secretary] Salman Bashir told the US envoy that any aggression or unilateral action against Pakistan would be disastrous for both the countries…

However, some sources were of the view that US has been seeking Pakistan’s cooperation in a meaningful engagement with some of the resistance groups in Afghanistan to ensure safe withdrawal of international troops.

This stems from the US fears that the rate of casualties of its troops would increase manifoldly in the course of withdrawal as the pace of insurgency in Afghanistan was on an gradual increase. These notions have been reinforced after the recent attacks on the US Embassy in Kabul as well as the local NATO Headquarters. Moreover, the US is seeking to ensure that NATO/ISAF logistic supplies through Pakistan remain unhindered till withdrawal of the international forces from Afghanistan by 2014.

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Cuban Foreign Minister At United Nations: New U.S., NATO Military Doctrines More Aggressive Than Ever, Target Entire Planet

http://www.cadenagramonte.cu/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7254:cuban-fm-slams-most-recent-us-and-nato-doctrines&catid=2:cuba&Itemid=14

Radio Cadena Agramonet
September 26, 2011

Cuban FM Slams Most Recent US and NATO Doctrines

-Rodriguez said it was unacceptable that the UN remain impassive at such practice and warned over the danger that that the military intervention strategy in Libya could also be applied in other cases.
This new change of regime operations model shows that the current US and NATO military doctrines are ever more aggressive than the previous ones, and that the so called “Euro-Atlantic periphery” comprises the entire planet.

Havana, Cuba: “The current US and NATO military doctrines are ever more aggressive than the previous ones,” Cuban Minister for Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla denounced on Monday during the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Cuban diplomat slammed the warlike policy imposed in the world by Washington and western powers through the so-called Atlantic Alliance, exemplified in the military intervention in Libya and the growing threat against Syria.

Rodriguez said that as early as February 21 of this year, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro “had warned that NATO was irremissibly preparing a war against Libya.”

He said that since then, “Cuba has been engaged indefatigably not in the defense of a government, but of a principle: the assassination of thousands of innocent people with the dubious objective of protecting other civilians is something unacceptable.”

“History has eloquently shown that peace can not be imposed either by war or by force,” Rodriguez went on to add.

He also noted that prior to the war against Tripoli, NATO imposed on the Security Council a dubious resolution supporting the attack.

Rodriguez said it was unacceptable that the UN remain impassive at such practice and warned over the danger that that the military intervention strategy in Libya could also be applied in other cases.

This new change of regime operations model shows that the current US and NATO military doctrines are ever more aggressive than the previous ones, and that the so called “Euro-Atlantic periphery” comprises the entire planet.

He cited the re-deployment of the Fourth Fleet, the installation of military bases and the sending of troops and military means to intervene anywhere in the region; the coup d’etat against Venezuela in 2002, followed by an oil coup; the sedition in Santa Cruz, Bolivia; the military coup in Honduras and the attempted coup in Ecuador fit perfectly well in the new strategy.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez defined the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America and the merging Community of Latin American and Caribbean States as mechanisms of integration of the region.

In the face of a growing and universal threat of a war, a new distribution of the world and climate change, Rodriguez called on the South to act together as an indispensable condition to be safe.

Rodriguez also called on the General Assembly to avoid military action against Syria and accused the United States and Europe of waging wars to secure huge reserves of oil and water and confiscate financial assets in times of global economic and social crisis.

The Cuban foreign minister referred to the history of crimes of fascism against the Jewish and reiterated that Cuba only harbors fraternal feelings towards the Israeli people, while condemning the occupation on the part of Tel Aviv’s government of Palestinian territories.

“The General Assembly has the inescapable moral, political and legal obligation to ensure the recognition of an independent Palestinian State, with the boundaries established before 1967 and with East Jerusalem as its capital, as a full member of the United Nations Organization,” he stated and went to add: “It should do so with or without the approval of the Security Council, with or without the US veto, with or without new peace negotiations.”

Rodriguez urged President Barack Obama to make use of the power vested on him by the U.S. constitution to release the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters unfairly sentenced to harsh terms.

He recalled that Cuba condemned the 9/11 terrorist attacks and noted that meanwhile, Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labañino and Fernando Gonzalez were sentenced for having monitored Miami-based anti-Cuba groups.

“Once again, with all due respect, I urge President Obama to make use of his prerogatives to set them free as an act of justice or as a humanitarian gesture which will be highly appreciated by their children, wives, mothers, fathers and all of our people,” he said.

Likewise, he referred to the U.S. economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed against Cuba for nearly 50 years now, which has brought about losses valued at 975 billion dollars.

However, he reiterated the Cuban government’s willingness and interest in moving towards normalizing relations with Washington.

Rodriguez also referred to the current Cuban efforts to update the domestic economic model “so that our economy is more efficient and our socialism is better, in order to conquer all the justice and be able to fully preserve our independence.

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Four NATO Soldiers, Seven Serbs Injured In Kosovo Clash

http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/2011/09/27/4-nato-peacekeepers-wounded-in-kosovo-border-fight/

Voice of America News
September 27, 2011

4 NATO Peacekeepers Wounded in Kosovo Border Fight

Four NATO peacekeepers have been wounded in a fight at a Kosovo-Serbia border crossing after weeks of tensions in the region.

Seven Serbs were also hurt in Tuesday’s violence, which erupted when international forces began taking down Serb barricades at the disputed border point. Witnesses say NATO troops fired rubber bullets…at Kosovo Serbs, who threw stones toward the soldiers at the checkpoint.

Earlier this month, ethnic Serbs in northern Kosovo blocked roads leading to the border to protest a decision to put Kosovo customs officials at the crossing points in Brnjak and Jarinje.

Pristina, with the support of the [NATO] peacekeepers and the European Union, has moved to extend its government control in northern Kosovo. Ethnic Serbs in that area have refused to recognize Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence.

Belgrade considers Kosovo a part of Serbia and says it will not support the presence of Kosovo officials at the border crossings.

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Kosovo: NATO Removes Roadblocks, Tear Gases Serbs, Who Erect New Roadblocks

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Security/Kosovo-NATO-removes-roadblocks-Serbs-erect-new-ones-as-tensions-rise_312490657362.html

ADN Kronos International
September 27, 2011

Kosovo: NATO removes roadblocks, Serbs erect new ones as tensions rise

Belgrade: Nato forces stationed in Kosovo began removing barricades in northern Kosovo overnight and local Serbs erected new ones as tensions flared again Tuesday at one of two border crossings at the centre of a two-month-old dispute.

Nato’s KFOR force used teargas to disperse local Serbs holding a vigil at the roadblocks and arrested several people at the Jarinje border crossing with Serbia. One man had to be treated in hospital for his injuries, Serbian media reported.

The crisis broke out two months ago when Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian dominated government sent special police and customs officers to take over two border crossings with Serbia, Brnjak and Jarinje, amid a trade dispute.

Belgrade opposes Kosovo’s independence, declared by majority Albanians in 2008 and local Serbs, who form the majority of the population in the north, don’t recognise Pristina’s authority and object to Kosovo police and customs officers being placed at border crossings with Serbia.

A local Serb leader Branko Ninic said KFOR blocked all local roads in the north, cutting off several villages and making it impossible for people to reach work and children to go to school. Serbian television said the situation was tense with sirens sounding in the northern town of Leposavic early Tuesday and local Serbs massing at the disputed border crossings.

Ninic described KFOR’s action as “another provocation” ahead of a new round of European Union-sponsored talks between Belgrade and Pristina which were due to resume in Brussels on Tuesday.

Belgrade has accused KFOR and the EU mission in Kosovo (EULEX) of siding with majority Albanians and of overstepping its “status neutral mandate” as defined by the United Nations Security Council.

Pristina and Belgrade negotiators reached an agreement on customs seals to be used on border crossings with Serbia, but the two sides failed to reconcile their differing interpretations of who should control the crossings.

The crisis broke out in late July when Kosovo prime minister Hashim Thaci controversially sent special police to Kosovo take over two northern border crossings with Serbia from KFOR and European Union police.

Kosovo police seized the border crossings to enforce a ban on imports from Serbia. Kosovo’s government imposed the ban in July in retaliation for Serbia’s blocking of Kosovo imports.

Serbia is expecting to become an official candidate for EU membership in October, but EU officials have said it must first establish “good neighbourly relations” with Kosovo and resolve the crisis in the Serb-populated north.

Kosovo’s independence has been recognised by more than eighty countries, including the United States and 22 out of 27 EU members so far.

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U.S. To Sell Iraq 18 F-16 Warplanes

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/27/56780481.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 27, 2011

Iraq to purchase F-16s

       
The Government of Iraq has signed a contract for the purchase of 18 multi-purpose F-16 fighters from the Americans who are supposed to leave their country before the end of this year.

The total cost of the transaction and the amount of money already paid for the combat aircraft has not been reported.

According to some reports, the amount of the Iraq contract is about $3 billion.

Negotiations between the U.S. and Iraq on the purchase of the F-16s have been ongoing for several years.

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U.S. Drone Crashes In Somalia

http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/2011/09/26/alleged-us-drone-crashes-in-somalia/

Voice of America News
September 26, 2011

Alleged US Drone Crashes in Somalia

An alleged U.S. spy drone has crashed in the Somali city of Kismayo, which is controlled by the militant group al-Shabab.

Witnesses in Kismayo told VOA that the unmanned drone crashed Sunday near the airport of the southern Somali city.

An al-Shabab website says the drone belongs to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. It says the drone carried large cameras with long-distance lenses attached.

There are conflicting reports from witnesses and al-Shabab itself whether the drone was shot down or crashed on its own.

Last week, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. is expanding a drone surveillance program in east Africa and the Arabian peninsula to gather intelligence and attack al-Qaida-linked militants in Somalia and Yemen.

The report said the U.S. is building a new installation for the drones in Ethiopia and has already flown drones over both Somalia and Yemen from a base in Djibouti.

The U.S. has used drones to attack al-Shabab targets in Somalia in the past. The militant group is battling the Somali government and controls large sections of southern and central Somalia.

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Drones Make War Too Easy

http://www.vindy.com/news/2011/sep/24/drones-make-war-too-easy/?newswatch

Youngstown Vindicator/McClatchy-Tribune
September 24, 2011

Drones make war too easy
By John B. Quigley

-If some other country were sending pilotless aircraft over Nebraska to shoot and kill people they regard as threats, the Nebraska citizenry might not be too happy.

COLUMBUS: Armed pilotless drone aircraft are the weapon of choice these days in our military forays into the Middle East.

President Obama approved use of drones in Libya last spring. He said they have “unique capabilities.” A target is identified through intelligence sources. The information is sent to the command center. Someone sitting in front of a computer screen fires a missile.

Drones can fly low. Gen. James Cartwright of the Joint Chiefs of Staff explained that for Libya, their “ability to get down lower” gave them better visibility, thereby getting a better bead on a target. And of course with no pilot the only risk is loss of the aircraft.

We are also now using drones in Yemen to target insurgents. In Pakistan we have been using them even longer.

But there is a downside. Drones, say critics, make war too easy. If a president doesn’t have to be concerned about putting our youth “in harm’s way,” it becomes much easier to go to war. Congress may lose control.

The information about the whereabouts of a “militant” may or may not be accurate. Last year the U.N. official responsible for tracking extrajudicial executions questioned the drone killings as arbitrary executions. When a drone attack occurs, typically the U.S. officials claim that those killed were “militants,” while local officials often claim that civilians were hit.

Killing without trial

Killing with drones means killing without a trial. But going back to the 1960s, the United States has signed on to human rights treaties that outlaw arbitrary killing. Drone killings skirt these safeguards. No indictment. No judge or jury. No defense.

But, says the Obama administration, in war one can kill without a trial. The drone killings are premised on the “militants” being participants in the “war on terror,” even though Obama avoids that Bush-era term.

If some other country were sending pilotless aircraft over Nebraska to shoot and kill people they regard as threats, the Nebraska citizenry might not be too happy. Negative reaction to our drone attacks has been strongest in Pakistan, where drones are regarded as a terror weapon. Residents of certain regions in Pakistan say they never know when a missile might fall on them out of the sky.

John B. Quigley is a professor of law at at Moritz College Law, Ohio State University. Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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Israel: Top NATO/EUCOM Military Chief In Secretive Talks

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=239676

Jerusalem Post
September 27, 2011

EUCOM chief visits Israel for talks with Gantz
By Yaakov Katz

-Next spring…the two armies will hold a massive ground forces exercise in spring of 2012 called “Austere Challenge,” which will seek to increase inter-operability between the IDF and the US Army.
The drill, which is unprecedented in its size, will include the establishment of US command posts in Israel and IDF command posts at EUCOM headquarters in Germany – with the ultimate goal of establishing joint task forces for the event of a future large-scale conflict in the Middle East.

Commander of the United States European Command (EUCOM) Admiral James Stavridis visited Israel on Monday for high-level talks with IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz.

Stavridis has visited Israel a number of times in recent years since Israel is under the jurisdiction of EUCOM, as opposed to the United States Central Command, which is responsible for American military operations throughout the Middle East.

The IDF and the US Embassy in Tel Aviv refused to comment on the visit, which for some reason was held under a media blackout. Stavridis met with a number of top IDF officers including OC Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan and OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo.

Stavridis’s visit came a month after Lt.-Gen. Mark Hertling, commander of the US Army in Europe, visited Israel. Talks with Stavridis were expected to focus on US-Israeli military cooperation, which includes a number of major military exercises that will be held over the coming year.

Next spring, for example, the two armies will hold a massive ground forces exercise in spring of 2012 called “Austere Challenge,” which will seek to increase inter-operability between the IDF and the US Army.

The drill, which is unprecedented in its size, will include the establishment of US command posts in Israel and IDF command posts at EUCOM headquarters in Germany – with the ultimate goal of establishing joint task forces for the event of a future large-scale conflict in the Middle East.

Shortly before Austere Challenge, scheduled for May, EUCOM and the IDF will also hold the Juniper Cobra missile defense exercise, which will include the Arrow 2 and Iron Dome systems as well as America’s THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) and the ship-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. The exercise is expected to include the actual launching of interceptors from these systems.

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U.S., Turkey Agree On Delivery Schedule For Predator Drones

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-257859-us-turkey-agree-on-delivery-schedule-for-predators.html

Zaman
September 25, 2011

US-Turkey agree on delivery schedule for Predators

Ankara: Turkey is expecting the delivery of Predators in June 2012, the Turkish defense minister said a day after the country’s prime minister announced that Turkey has agreed with the US on a deal involving the transfer of US-engineered unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that could prove crucial in combat…

“We have agreed in principle [on the delivery of Predators]. Negotiations will continue,” Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was quoted as saying by the Cihan news agency on Saturday in New York, where the Turkish leader was visiting on the occasion of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly. Erdoğan also noted that Turkey had offered to either purchase or lease the drones and that the two countries were still settling the details regarding the delivery of the Predators.

Following up on the agreement, Turkish Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz told reporters on Saturday that the drones to be received from the US would be delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in June of next year, reported the Anatolia news agency.

“These [Predators] are UAVs with better qualities and features than the Herons,” Yılmaz said, and added that the Turkish-made Anka would also be ready for the TSK around the same time, as an alternative to Israeli-made Herons.

Turkey was disappointed by Israel’s failure to return six Herons it had sent to the country for maintenance, as it relies heavily on spy aircraft for surveillance missions that gather data on the activities of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) across the country’s borders in the Southeast.

Yılmaz did not give any details on the number of Predators the US would deliver to Turkey but acknowledged that Ankara had presented a request for the UAVs in line with the TSK’s needs. The minister added that the US and Turkey have been strategic partners and are cooperating in combating terrorism, which necessitated that both “support each other with no conditions or prejudice.”

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Missiles, Cyprus: Top NATO Commander Arrives In Turkey From Israel

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/turkey/1937312.html

Trend News Agency
September 27, 2011

Senior NATO commander visits Turkey
A. Isgandarov

Baku: A senior NATO commander arrived in Ankara on Monday evening for a previously unannounced visit, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has said, Today’s Zaman reported.

James Stavridis, commander of the United States European Command (USEUCOM) and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), came to Ankara for a “routine visit,” Foreign Ministry officials said. He is due to have talks with Turkish officials on Tuesday, but there was no information regarding who he was schedule to meet with.

Stavridis arrived in Turkey right after talks in Israel. The NATO commander had talks with Israeli Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and other top military officials, but there was no information about what was discussed in meetings there.

Turkish media speculated that Stavridis is expected to discuss the planned deployment of US radar on Turkish soil as part of a NATO-backed missile defense program…A row between Turkey and Greek Cyprus over gas and oil exploration rights in the Eastern Mediterranean and the future status of a NATO base in the western Turkish province of İzmir are also expected to be discussed in Stavridis’ talks in Ankara.

After Nicosia began working to develop the shelf near the shores of the island, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara will explore for oil and gas in the exclusive economic zone of Northern Cyprus along with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Erdogan and President Dervis Eroglu of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) signed in New York on Wednesday an agreement on the delineation of the continental shelf between two countries in the East Mediterranean.

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Turkish F-16s Bomb Northern Iraq

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/turkey/1937161.html

Trend News Agency
September 27, 2011

Turkish Air forces strike Kandil Mountain
A. Tagiyeva

Baku: The Turkish Air Force struck blows on Monday night in the Kandil Mountain in northern Iraq, the Sabah newspaper reported.

F-16 aircraft bombed Kurdish separatist positions in the Kandil Mountain within two hours.

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Bulgaria Provides Legionaries For NATO, EU Operations Abroad

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=132411

Sofia News Agency
September 26, 2011

Bulgarian Military Set to Complete NATO Interoperability Program

Bulgaria’s military is completing its program for interoperability with NATO forces, Defense Minister Gen. Anyu Angelov and Head of Defense Gen. Simeon Simeonov have announced.

Gen. Simeonov presented at a news conference Monday a report for the completion of the so-called “Program for the Accession of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria to NATO” and about Bulgaria’s cooperation with the Allied Joint Force Command based in Naples, Italy.

The Program in question has been implemented in order to increase the interoperability of the Bulgarian armed forces with those of Bulgaria’s NATO allies.

To mark the completion of the Program, the Commander of the Allied Joint Force Command Naples, US Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, will arrive in Bulgaria on Tuesday for the signing of a joint declaration with the Bulgarian Head of Defense, Gen. Simeonov.

“The Plan for the Development of the Armed Forces does not need to have substantial modifications at the moment. In early 2012, the Plan will be analyzed since there will be reorganization and restructuring of the military detachments of the Bulgarian Army,” the Defense Minister explained.

Angelov also revealed information about his participation in the latest informal meeting of EU Defense Ministers in Wroclaw, Poland.

He said the meeting was marked by the efforts of the Polish EU Presidency to find common ground among the various positions of the 27 EU member states in three areas: the planning and management of EU military operations withing the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP); the future of EU missions abroad, and especially of the EUFOR Althea mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina; and the increase of the role of the so called EU battle groups.

The Polish EU Presidency has marked out the closer integration with respect to EU Common Security and Defense Policy as one of its major priorities.

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Clinton, Georgian Counterpart Plan Further Development Of Strategic Partnership

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/georgia/1937007.html

Trend News Agency
September 26, 2011

US Secretary of State, Georgian FM discuss bilateral relations
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze discussed in Washington Georgian-American relations.

According to the Georgian Foreign Ministry, the sides discussed the possibility of a Georgian-American meeting within the Charter on strategic partnership.

“The sides agreed to hold talks within the Charter with the participation of all four groups,” Georgian Foreign Ministry said.

Now a venue of the meeting within the Charter is being specified. If it is decided to hold such a meeting in Tbilisi, then Clinton’s visit to Georgia will be scheduled. Clinton will head the U.S. delegation.

Clinton and Vashadze discussed the further deepening of Georgian-American relations. The U.S. Secretary of State reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia.

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U.S.-Polish Missile Deployment Agreement In Force

http://www.voanews.com/policy/editorials/europe/US—Polish-Missile-Defense-Agreement-In-Force–130571008.html

Voice of America News
September 24, 2011

U.S.-Polish Missile Defense Agreement In Force
Defensive system is designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles before they reach their targets

President Barack Obama announced approximately two years ago plans to pursue a new approach to missile defense in Europe – one that provides more comprehensive protection for NATO Allies and forces…

“To put it simply, our new missile defense architecture in Europe will provide stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America’s Allies,” said President Barack Obama on September 17, 2009. “It is more comprehensive than the previous program; it deploys capabilities that are proven and cost-effective; and it…enhances the protection of all our NATO Allies.”

In October 2009, Poland was the first country to commit, in principle, to host a land-based missile defense base on its territory. Poland was also first to conclude negotiations and sign a basing agreement in July 2010. Now with the Polish ratification process complete, the two countries issued a statement announcing that they are ready to take the next step…

“The United States and Poland are pleased to jointly announce that the Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement of 2008 and its Amending Protocol of 2010 on deployment of the land-based SM-3 system within Poland has entered into force, effective September 15, 2011.”

The Standard Missile-3, or SM-3 interceptor which will be deployed in Poland was originally mounted on U.S. naval ships. It is a…system designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles before they reach their targets. It is composed of a network of sensors for target detection and tracking; interceptors which will destroy incoming missiles by colliding with them; and a command and control system.

According to the joint statement, the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense system will be deployed by 2018 at the Redzikowo Base.

“This base,” notes the statement, “represents a significant contribution by our two nations to a future NATO missile defense capability.”

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New U.S. Air Force Missile To Disable Enemy Electronics

http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/09/26/new-air-force-missile-could-disable-enemy-electronics/

InnovationNewsDaily.com
September 26, 2011

New Air Force Missile Could Disable Enemy Electronics

Modern armies rely on a wide range of electronics to help detect their enemies, coordinate their forces and aim their weapons. Today, knocking out those electronics requires sophisticated jamming aircraft, targeting the people using the electronics or the tech-frying side effects of a nuclear blast. But in the future, disabling enemy electronics may only take a single rocket totally harmless to humans, thanks to a new microwave missile developed by the U.S. Air Force.

The missile showed its ability to take aim at many targets and locations during a first flight test at the Utah Test and Training Range at Hill Air Force Base earlier this year. Upcoming tests could demonstrate its disabling power with high-power microwaves capable of burning out the electronics of even the most sophisticated air defenses, command and control centers, fighter jets and drones.

That first test of the Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) was recently unveiled by Boeing and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.

The three-year, $38 million program could deploy up to five prototype missiles, according to the Air Force solicitation issued in December 2008. A fully functional missile would have the capability to take out multiple targets and take multiple shots with high-power microwaves by itself.

The missiles might even help knock out swarms of enemy drones or manned aircraft before they ever get off the ground. It’s unclear if they could also target such aircraft in flight.

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“Enemy Airfield”: Largest Dutch War Games In 15 Years

http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/public-join-major-dutch-army-exercise

Radio Netherlands
September 26, 2011

Public to join in major Dutch army exercise

The Dutch armed forces are holding the largest military exercise in the Netherlands for 15 years.

Dubbed Falcon Autumn, the exercise will be taking place chiefly in the rural eastern province of Drenthe until 7 October.

Unusually, civilians will also be able to join in the exercise. They may be approached by military patrols, and participate at checkpoints in various locations where soldiers will be inspecting cars.

Falcon Autumn will involve 2500 military personnel, and 400 ground vehicles and attack ortransport helicopters. The climax will take place on Wednesday when a combined air and ground attack will be staged at motorsport racetrack playing the role of an enemy airfield.

It is the first operation in years to involve the entire Dutch airborne brigade, as at least one battalion has always been in action overseas.

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Clinton, Georgian Foreign Minister Discuss NATO Integration

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=43251&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2
September 27, 2011

Grigol Vashadze met with Hillary Clinton

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Grigol Vashadze, met with the US Secretary of State Mrs. Hillary Clinton in Washington on Monday to discuss the issues of cooperation in the framework of the US-Georgia Partnership Charter.

The sides agreed that a omnibus meeting would be held soon but the venue of the meeting has not been specified. If the sides decide to hold the meeting in Tbilisi, apparently, US Secretary of State will visit Georgia.

`We discussed the issues tied with Georgia`s integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures, how our relations with NATO should develop and how shall we continue cooperation in the security sector with the United States,` Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergi Kapanadze said.

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EU’s Eastern Partnership Conference Begins In Two Days

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=155959

Azeri Press Agency
September 27, 2011

Eastern Partnership summit program was announced
Victoria Dementieva

Baku: The program of Eastern Partnership summit of heads of states and governments of EU countries and the Eastern Partnership countries, which will be held in Warsaw on September 29-30, was known.

APA reports that leaders of delegations will attend a dinner on September 29. Two plenary sessions will be held next day. The leaders of member countries and EU officials will discuss prospects of the Eastern Partnership.

The negotiations on signing association agreements with every country, visa facilitation will be highlighted during the summit. Then the summit’s final declaration will be adopted and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, EU President Herman Van Rompuy, Chairman of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso will hold joint press conference.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev was also invited to the summit.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Audio Interview: Afghan Civilians Victims Of U.S. Night Raids

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Press TV
September 21, 2011

‘Afghan civilians often victims of US night raids’

Audio

Night raids conducted by U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan create the perception among Afghan civilians – who are the main victims of such raids – that foreign troops are “lawless, renegade forces that can perpetrate crimes at will,” anti-war activist Rick Rozoff says.

“Even though the identified or alleged targets are al-Qaeda or most likely Taliban fighters, the raids as often as not result in the death and wounding of innocent Afghan civilians,” Rozoff told Press TV’s U.S. Desk in an interview on Tuesday.

“So of course they are going to have a deleterious effect in terms of popular opposition to the presence of U.S. and other NATO troops in Afghanistan, who are going to be seen not only as occupation forces – which they are – but as lawless, renegade forces that can perpetrate crimes at will.”

“And the infamous night raids which are increasing in intensity as are the drone strikes across the border in Pakistan are an indication of the shift to what the Pentagon refers to as counterinsurgency rather than counterterrorist activities, a doctrine that has been elaborated by former ISAF commanders Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus and now John R. Allen who is in charge of all the U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan,” Rozoff added.

Categories: Uncategorized

Xenophon: Socrates’ war sophistry; civil crimes are martial virtues

September 27, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

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Xenophon
From Memorabilia or Recollections of Socrates
Translated by H. G. Dakyns

I see (replied Euthydemus) you are afraid I cannot expound the works of righteousness! Why, bless me! of course I can, and the works of unrighteousness into the bargain, since there are not a few of that sort within reach of eye and ear every day.

Shall we then (proceeded Socrates) write the letter R on this side, and on that side the letter W; and then anything that appears to us to be the product of righteousness we will place to the R account, and anything which appears to be the product of wrong-doing and iniquity to the account of W?

By all means do so (he answered), if you think that it assists matters.

Accordingly Socrates drew the letters, as he had suggested, and continued.

Soc. Lying exists among men, does it not?

Euth. Certainly.

To which side of the account then shall we place it? (he asked).

Euth. Clearly on the side of wrong and injustice.

Soc. Deceit too is not uncommon?

Euth. By no means.

Soc. To which side shall we place deceit?

Euth. Deceit clearly on the side of wrong.

Soc. Well, and chicanery or mischief of any sort?

Euth. That too.

Soc. And the enslavement of free-born men?

Euth. That too.

Soc. And we cannot allow any of these to lie on the R side of the account, to the side of right and justice, can we, Euthydemus?

It would be monstrous (he replied).

Soc. Very good. But supposing a man to be elected general, and he succeeds in enslaving an unjust, wicked, and hostile state, are we to say that he is doing wrong?

Euth. By no means.

Soc. Shall we not admit that he is doing what is right?

Euth. Certainly.

Soc. Again, suppose he deceives the foe while at war with them?

Euth. That would be all fair and right also.

Soc. Or steals and pillages their property? would he not be doing what is right?

Euth. Certainly; when you began I thought you were limiting the question to the case of friends.

Soc. So then everything which we set down on the side of Wrong will now have to be placed to the credit of Right?

Euth. Apparently.

Categories: Uncategorized

Update on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011 3 comments

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Background On Haqqani Network

NATO Bombers “Soften Up” Libyan Cities For Ground Assaults

Libya: Nearly 24,000 NATO Air Missions, 9,000 Strike Sorties

Did NATO Attack Libya Because Of Oil?

Report: Russia, China, Iran Plan Counterweight To NATO Missile Shield

Missile Targets Afghan President’s Palace, Shooting At CIA Compound

Two NATO Soldiers Killed In Eastern Afghanistan

Afghan War: U.S. Boasts Of Success Belied By Debacle On The Ground

Top U.S. Senator: Consider Military Action Against Pakistan

Pakistani Commanders Prepare Response To U.S. Onslaught

Not Pakistan’s Job To Protect NATO Forces: Prime Minister

Pentagon In Virtual Declaration Of Hostilities Against Pakistan

Worst Case Scenario: U.S., NATO Troops Crossing Durand Line

U.S. Attack On Waziristan Will Be Met By United Response: Opposition

Foreign Minister: Kabul Attack Perpetrators Product Of CIA, Not Pakistan

Interior Minister: CIA, Not Pakistan, Created Haqqani Network

Haqqani Network: CIA Offshoot

Party Leader: NATO Backs Attacks, U.S. Bent On Breaking Up Pakistan

Has Pakistan Decided To Respond To Direct U.S. Attack?

Poland To Host European Partnership Conference

Russia Eyes Arctic Oil And Gas

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Background On Haqqani Network

For history of the Haqqani Network as a component of the CIA’s Operation Cyclone in the 1980s and early 1990s, see:

NATO Expands Afghan War Into Pakistan

Afghanistan: Charlie Wilson And America’s 30-Year War

New War Rumors: U.S. Plans To Seize Pakistan’s Nuclear Arsenal

Christmas 2009: U.S., NATO To Expand New Millennium’s Longest War

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NATO Bombers “Soften Up” Libyan Cities For Ground Assaults

http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/nato-blasts-gaddafi-home-town/story-e6frfku0-1226146151358

Agence France-Presse
September 25, 2011

NATO blasts Gaddafi home town

NATO warplanes pounded Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte for the second straight day as new regime forces held back on the ground after a major push into the heart of the coastal city.

A day after entering Sirte in a surprise assault, National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters pulled back on the western side on Sunday, while east of Sirte others awaited their marching orders, AFP correspondents said.

Deadly fighting also raged in the oasis of Ghadames near the Algerian border in the west, a local official said, while further north, and south of Sirte, NTC forces gathered outside Bani Walid for a fresh assault on the town.

…NTC chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil said…”We were ordered to leave downtown Sirte because NATO has a mission to do there. We left after 7pm last night (Saturday),” he told AFP. Other fighters said the attack on Sirte will come on Monday.

NATO aircraft launched at least a dozen air strikes around Sirte on Sunday morning, an AFP correspondent said.

On Saturday, planes plastered 29 armed vehicles, a firing position, two command and control nodes and three ammunition storage facilities in the area, the alliance said in an operational update.

East of Sirte, fighters cleaned their weapons in preparation as dozens were ferried by pick-up trucks to the city gate.

“We have been told by our commanders to keep our guns ready. We expect fierce urban battle once we fully enter Sirte,” fighter Maatiz Saad told AFP.

Misrata Military Council spokesman Abdel Ibrahim said seven NTC fighters were killed and 145 wounded.

The assault on Ghadames, 600km southwest of Tripoli, came at dawn, killing at least five NTC fighters and wounding more than 30, said Muhandes Sirajeddin, deputy chief of the local council.

Heavy fighting also raged in Bani Walid…with NTC fighters coming under fire from inside the town, an AFP correspondent said.

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Libya: Nearly 24,000 NATO Air Missions, 9,000 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110926_110926-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 23,938 sorties, including 8,941 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 25 SEPTEMBER: 104

Strike sorties conducted 25 SEPTEMBER: 42

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Did NATO Attack Libya Because Of Oil?

http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Opinion+++Analysis/Did+Nato+members+attack+Libya+because+of+oil/-/539548/1242704/-/8fv3dlz/-/

Business Daily (Kenya)
September 26, 2011

Did Nato members attack Libya because of oil?
By Kamau Mbugwa*
 
   
Nato member states a have had their way in Libya. With China, the African Union and the United Nations having now recognised the Transitional National Council as the legitimate authority in Libya, Muammar Gaddafi has no chance of making a comeback.

While the Arab Spring revolution was locally driven in Tunisia and Egypt, the intervention in Libya by Nato has created a raging debate as to what exactly happened.

An argument has been advanced that Nato bombed its way into Libya because of its oil and did not care much about bringing democracy to the people. The fact that some of the rebels have had connections to al Qaeda fortifies this argument. Depending on whether Nato will move in to assist the NTC in stabilising the country and in creating an enabling environment for free and fair elections to take place, this argument cannot casually be dismissed. The fact that Syria (which has little oil resources) presented a similar situation but attracted no bombing from Nato further reinforces that thinking.

Some commentators have advanced another argument to the effect that Gaddafi had to be stopped because he was about to achieve his long-stated desire for a politically united Africa which Europe apparently would not like to see happening any time soon. This theory has other elements such as Gaddafi having finalised plans for creating an African bank, which would have put the World Bank and IMF out of business in Africa.

Further, that an African currency pegged to gold reserves rather than the dollar was underway, irked America into action against Gaddafi. This thinking is espoused mainly by those who have a romantic view of Gaddafi and those who believe that the West is never honest in its dealings.

The killing of black Africans who are perceived to have been hired by Gaddafi will alienate the ‘new’ Libya from Sub Saharan Africa. With the West increasingly losing investment opportunities to Asia, South America and Africa, the new Libyan leadership will soon understand Gaddafi’s wisdom in investing less and less in the West and more heavily in other regions and particularly in Black Africa.

If ethnic cleansing directed at black Africans continues under the leadership of the NTC, it will be easy to predict that sooner rather that later that the economy of Libya as well as its stability will be heading south.

*Mbugwa is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya.

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Report: Russia, China, Iran Plan Counterweight To NATO Missile Shield

http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/1936522.html

Trend News Agency
September 26, 2011

Report: Iran, Russia, China mulling joint missile shield

Unofficial sources have announced that Iran, Russia, and China are currently holding talks on a proposal to establish a joint missile defense shield as a counterweight to a NATO defense shield, Mehr news agency reported.

The report, which was published in the Iranian daily newspaper Kayhan on Sunday, said that the sources cited two reasons why serious consultations have been held on the initiative.

First, all three states have come to the conclusion that U.S. officials’ assertion that their concern over the alleged missile and nuclear capabilities of Iran and North Korea is the reason for the decision to establish a NATO missile defense shield is just a pretext and the true objective of the shield is to threaten Russia and China.

In addition, now that the proposal to establish an early warning radar system in southeast Turkey, which is one component of the NATO missile defense shield, appears to be a done deal, the U.S. is now planning to establish other components of the new system in South Korea and Taiwan, which clearly shows that Washington is using the alleged threat from Iran and North Korea as a pretext to target China and Russia.

An informed expert believes China, which has not taken any action on the issue so far, is beginning to comprehend the level of danger posed by the new system, Mehr quoted the report as saying.

Russia’s analysis of the situation is similar to Iran’s view, which was expressed during Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev’s recent visit to Tehran.

Therefore, it seems the three countries have realized that the time has come to seriously start discussions on the plan.

Some sources say Dmitry Rogozin, the Russian envoy to NATO, who is scheduled to travel to Iran before the end of September, will probably hold operational discussions on the plan with Iranian officials.

According to RIA Novosti, Rogozin is going to discuss “strategic issues” in Tehran.

Military experts are of the opinion that since Iran, Russia, and China have made great progress in designing anti-aircraft defense systems, the construction of such a missile shield system will not be a difficult task for them.

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Missile Targets Afghan President’s Palace, Shooting At CIA Compound

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/afghanistan/1936529.html

Trend News Agency
September 26, 2011

Missile targets Afghan president palace

A huge explosion has reportedly taken place near the presidential palace in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul, injuring at least three people, Press TV reported.

The incident occurred Sunday night when a missile was reportedly launched from an unidentified location, targeting the palace. The rocket attack was followed by gunfire, according to local reports.

Other wire reports, however, have quoted Afghan officials as saying that some shots were heard from a compound used by the main US spy network, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Kabul.

Afghan interior ministry spokesman Siddiq Siddiqui said the gunfire took place in Ariana Hotel compound which is part of the US embassy facility in Kabul.

A US official in Washington confirmed that there was an attack on a building used by American officials in Kabul. However, the CIA and the US embassy in Kabul have so far failed to comment on the incident.

The heavily secured building, only blocks away from the Afghan presidential palace, was occupied by the CIA in late 2001 following the US-led invasion of the Asian country, according to former US intelligence officials.

The attack came two weeks after Taliban militants fired rocket-propelled grenades and assault rifles at the US embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul in a 19-hour siege of the buildings that left four civilians and two Afghan police officers dead.

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Two NATO Soldiers Killed In Eastern Afghanistan

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/09/26/2-isaf-soldiers-killed-bombings

Pajhwok Afghan News
September 26, 2011

2 ISAF soldiers killed in bombings
By Mohammad Farid Karimi

MAIDAN SHAHR: Two International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers were killed in seperate explosions in eastern Afghanistan, the alliance said on Monday.

In a statement, the ISAF said two its soldiers perished in two seperate improvised explosive device (IED) blasts, but it neither disclosed the victims’ nationalities nor the exact locations of the incidents.

A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed that eight US troops were killed and four others injured in a Taliban attack in the Syedabad district in central Maidan Wardak province.

Dr. Muslim, the Syedabad district chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News a US soldier was killed and three others were wounded in the Shiekhabad bazaar, where the Taliban targetted a US forces’ tank late on Sunday.

A tank was also destroyed, he said, adding one person had been detained in connection with the attack.

So far this year, 454 international troops, including 340 Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan. In 2010, the deadliest for ISAF, 711 foreign servicemembers were killed in the war-hit country.

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Afghan War: U.S. Boasts Of Success Belied By Debacle On The Ground

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/26/56763414.html

Voice of Russia
September 26, 2011

American promises questioned in Afghanistan
Vladimir Gladkov

The Sunday shooting in Kabul reported by the BBC became another link in a chain of daring attacks in Afghanistan. An Afghan employee started shooting at a Kabul compound believed to be a CIA station, killing one US citizen and wounding another before being shot dead.

The shooting followed a series of recent insurgent assaults, including a siege of the US embassy and government buildings in Kabul and a suicide bomber’s attack at a NATO military base. Coming after the praise of the progress being made in a pursuit of stability in the region, the Kabul attack once again disproved the promises of American leaders. Considering the latest reports of human rights groups, giving Afghanistan’s own troops an extremely low assessment, America has a very small chance to get out of the region in the near future.

According to the BBC, the latest attack took place on Sunday night in the Ariana hotel, which is now believed to be a CIA compound. The reasons behind the shootings are unknown yet and there is no clear information whether the attacker was a Taliban recruit or if the violence started as a result of a personal dispute. The situation could easily have ended up much worse since the shooting started near the US embassy and almost provoked massive panic. A BBC source in the nearby Afghan presidential palace reports: “After the explosion was heard, an Afghan National Army (ANA) vehicle was passing. CIA-employed guards opened fire on the vehicle, thinking it had attacked them.” As a result, two ANA soldiers, one presidential guard and one CIA employee were injured.

The situation once again demonstrated that US commanders as well as Barack Obama himself should abandon the idea of even mentioning plans of troop withdrawal. The stability praised so much during the latest speeches of US leaders that has nothing to do with the current state.

“We have reversed the momentum of the insurgents”, said General John Allen, the commander of foreign military forces in Afghanistan, at a ceremony dedicated to the anniversary of 9/11. “On this sacred day of remembrance, I can say with confidence that, together, we’re on the path of success in Afghanistan.” This questionable claim was soon answered with a Taliban attack on a NATO military base in the eastern province of Wardak, when a suicide bomber drove a truck full of explosives into a compound wall, wounding nearly 77 NATO soldiers.

A few days ago Burhanuddin Rabbani, the chief of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, was killed in a suicide bomb attack in Kabul.

The facts make it hard to take withdrawal promises serious. Meanwhile, another hope of America has also proved to be false. According to the plans of US commanders, after the withdrawal of NATO troops the role of law enforcement would be taken by the local militia. But the latest reports of the prominent human rights groups clearly demonstrate that the plan has completely failed.

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Top U.S. Senator: Consider Military Action Against Pakistan

http://news.yahoo.com/senator-consider-military-action-against-pakistan-164625239.html

Associated Press
September 25, 2011

Senator: Consider military action against Pakistan

WASHINGTON: A Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee said Sunday that the U.S. should consider military action against Pakistan if it continues to support terrorist attacks against American troops in Afghanistan.

“The sovereign nation of Pakistan is engaging in hostile acts against the United States and our ally Afghanistan that must cease, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told “Fox News Sunday.”

He said if experts decided that the U.S. needs to “elevate its response,” he was confident there would be strong bipartisan support in Congress for such action.

“They’re killing American soldiers,” he said. “If they continue to embrace terrorism as a part of their national strategy, we’re going to have to put all options on the table, including defending our troops.”

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Pakistani Commanders Prepare Response To U.S. Onslaught

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2011/09/us-might-opt-for-air-strikes-in-north-waziristan-warn-defence-experts/

Pakistan Today
September 26, 2011

US might opt for air strikes in Waziristan, warn experts
By Tahir Niaz

Corps commanders exploring options if US attempts attacks inside Pakistan; Ask civil, military leadership to present united front

-“Pakistan has to see whether the US wants to isolate it on the diplomatic front, capture its nukes, is preparing ground to impose economic sanctions against it, table an anti-Pakistan resolution in the UN or wants to launch a military action against it.”…Pakistan must view itself as vulnerable and prepare a concrete strategy to bear a US onslaught.

ISLAMABAD – Defence and security experts have forewarned the civilian and military leadership of Pakistan that the US might opt for air strikes in North Waziristan. However, they believe that the US would not take out a ground offensive inside Pakistan.

Commenting on Pak-US relations against the backdrop of mounting US pressure on the Pakistani government and allegations against the Pakistan Army, former ISI Chief, Lt. General (r) Javed Ashraf Qazi, said Pak-US tension was a serious issue for Pakistan. He said the US had mounted a baseless campaign against Pakistan, which was not without ulterior motives.

He said, “Pakistan has to see whether the US wants to isolate it on the diplomatic front, capture its nukes, is preparing ground to impose economic sanctions against it, table an anti-Pakistan resolution in the UN or wants to launch a military action against it,” he said. Qazi said Pakistan must view itself as vulnerable and prepare a concrete strategy to bear a US onslaught.

Asked how significant the two corps commanders meetings held last month were, Qazi said the forum discussed the situation and discussed a military field strategy to counter any US offensive. He warned the US might opt for air strikes in North Waziristan and take out selective helicopter operations inside Pakistani territory.

However, he said the US will not dare a ground offence inside Pakistan.

However, he said blocking NATO supplies would be an extreme step, which should be chosen if UN sanctions were imposed against it. Prominent security analyst Dr. Hassan Askari Rizvi said if the US continues its public denunciation, it will irreparably damage Pak-US relations and undermine US efforts to control terrorism in the region.

He said the two corps commander meetings this month suggested military officials were weary of the direct and blunt US campaign. He said the US might use their military might in North Waziristan and the corps commanders wanted to discuss the options available to Pakistan in such a situation. He said the US had two options but neither would ensure US success in the region.

However, he said, exercising these options will destroy Pak-US relations in all fields. He said a US attack on Pakistan will strengthen religious hardliners. On the question of blocking NATO supplies, Rizvi said Pakistan could opt for the strategy if the US decided to use military power inside Pakistan. Former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the political and military leadership should evolve a joint strategy to face mounting US pressure on Pakistan.

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Not Pakistan’s Job To Protect NATO Forces: Prime Minister

http://paktribune.com/news/Its-not-Pak-job-to-protect-Nato-forces-PM-Gilani-243878.html

Pakistan Tribune
September 25, 2011

It’s not Pak job to protect Nato forces: PM Gilani

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, vehemently denying US allegations, said Islamabad strongly rejects accusations of complicity with the Haqqani network or of a proxy war.

“The blame game is self-defeating as it will only benefit the enemies of peace. Only terrorists and militants will gain from any fissures and divisions. Pakistan’s credentials and sacrifices in the counter-terrorism campaign are impeccable and unquestionable,” the prime minister said in a policy statement made at a gathering of ambassadors, diplomats and donors on the occasion of a briefing on the flood situation in Pakistan here on Saturday.

He said the allegations portray confusion and policy disarray within the US establishment on the way forward in Afghanistan. Clearly, there is concern over the deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan, he said.

The prime minister said Pakistan cannot be held responsible for the security of Nato/Isaf forces in Afghanistan.

“While there have been terrorist attacks in Kabul and Wardak, there have also been numerous attacks in Pakistan launched from sanctuaries and safe havens in Nooristan and Kunar in Afghanistan,” he said.

The prime minister said it was also the responsibility of the Afghan National Army, Nato and Isaf forces not to allow such cross-border militancy.

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Pentagon In Virtual Declaration Of Hostilities Against Pakistan

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Opinions/Columns/24-Sep-2011/A-feckless-leadership-invites-aggression

The Nation
September 24, 2011

A feckless leadership invites aggression
By Inayatullah*

-According to one estimate, 30,000 civilians and 5,000 security forces have lost their lives. These numbers have exceeded the total American casualties in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And as against $15 billion or so reported to have been received from the USA, Pakistan’s losses during the period in question are reckoned to be more than $60 billion. Interestingly enough all along the American administration has been pressing Pakistan to “do more”.
It is, indeed, ironic that USA’s failure in Afghanistan is, to a considerable extent, attributed to Pakistan’s military for not doing enough, bringing to mind how Cambodia was scapegoated when Washington’s war in Vietnam had come to an ignominious end.
Presently, Pakistan is being targeted for the debacle in the neighbouring country.
-The latest statements of Panetta and Mullen are a virtual declaration of hostilities against Pakistan. Seldom is such a strong language used against a declared ally.

It all started with a selfish, egotistic and insecure military dictator’s abject surrender to a threat from a superpower.

Primarily for personal gain and strengthening the military’s hold on power in the country, he succumbed to do Uncle Sam’s bidding and agreed to place Pakistan’s resources at its disposal.

Airbases were handed over. Ground and airspace was open to NATO forces. The Pakistani army was ordered to break the time-tested policy of not militarily taking on the armed Pathan tribes in FATA. Thus, funds started trickling in for the services rendered. But while the dictate was readily complied with, no conditions or quid pro quo were secured in return for the commitments made.

Before he was pushed out, the general-president left the legacy of a political deal midwifed by Washington and London, which was based on a preposterous law that legitimised corruption and criminal offences committed by thousands of wayward politicians.

However, these politicians later assumed the reins of power at the federal level. With the passage of time they have proved to be the wily dictator’s worthy successors. In fact tainted, weak and vulnerable as they are, they let the overbearing superpower escalate pressure and unwholesome intervention on the country.

The unwarranted drone attacks increased enormously, despite unanimous resolutions passed by the Pakistani Parliament to stop the violation of the country’s sovereignty. These attacks have not only resulted in the killing of hundreds of civilians (along with a few Al-Qaeda leaders), but have also given rise to horrendous suicide bombings all over the country spreading terror and misery in all the four provinces.

The military operations in FATA and adjoining places have also taken a heavy toll on the displacement of civilians in the tribal areas. More than 100,000 Pakistani troops for the last seven or so years have remained engaged with the militants, forcing thousands of local inhabitants to leave their homes and hearths.

According to one estimate, 30,000 civilians and 5,000 security forces have lost their lives. These numbers have exceeded the total American casualties in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And as against $15 billion or so reported to have been received from the USA, Pakistan’s losses during the period in question are reckoned to be more than $60 billion. Interestingly enough all along the American administration has been pressing Pakistan to “do more”.

It is, indeed, ironic that USA’s failure in Afghanistan is, to a considerable extent, attributed to Pakistan’s military for not doing enough, bringing to mind how Cambodia was scapegoated when Washington’s war in Vietnam had come to an ignominious end.

Presently, Pakistan is being targeted for the debacle in the neighbouring country.

But some major questions are: With all the might of the NATO forces equipped as they are with state-of-the-art war military machinery, how come they have performed so poorly when it comes to taking care of the Taliban entering Afghanistan from Pakistan?

Why are there so few check posts on the Afghan side as compared to the number on the Pakistani side of the border?

Indeed, there are limits and constraints to capacity and national interests, which Pakistan has to keep in view while agreeing to extend operations as coerced by the US.

Instead of recognising Pakistan’s point of view, Washington has been hectoring Islamabad and threatening to take unilateral action on its soil.

After the Abbottabad strike, the possibility of such an operation has increased. The American media, Congressmen, the State Department and the Pentagon had been building up a case against the republic (Pakistan), accusing its military and intelligence services of complicity with the Haqqani group of Taliban considered to be residing in North Waziristan.

Pakistan denies any such complicity; the ISI has also been accused of backing up the Taliban in their activities in Afghanistan.

But little has been done by the federal government to engage the American administration and media to discuss the above mentioned contentious issues. Influential visitors have descended from Washington frequently to put pressure on our political and military rulers.

It virtually has been a one-way traffic. Some isolated visits by the COAS and DG ISI, but practically nothing has been done by our civilian leaders to engage their counterparts. There has been total absence of public diplomacy. This scribe in his columns has repeatedly highlighted this lapse with little response from Islamabad.

In the meantime, the anti-Pakistan lobby in Washington has been raising the temperature in the Congress, the Pentagon, the State Department and in the media in various ways. Any attack in Kabul is straightaway traced to the ISI. The latest statements of Panetta and Mullen are a virtual declaration of hostilities against Pakistan. Seldom is such a strong language used against a declared ally.

Unfortunately, our feckless leadership is utterly unprepared and till recently unconcerned with the ominous developments. So the whole burden of dealing with the threat has fallen on the GHQ. The Foreign Office’s denials and the discredited Interior Minister’s specious warning, as a reaction to sharp declarations by top American functionaries, carry little weight.

Pakistan presently is beset with natural disasters and internal strife, both mismanaged by an inept and profligate national government, also lacking spine and sagacity. The opposition is weak and fragmented. Will the foreign threat of an external attack stir up and bring it together? Why can’t our senior leaders led by Nawaz Sharif fly over to Washington and engage the authorities there to address the issues bedevilling US-Pakistan relations?

It is time Pakistan takes up these issues at the highest political level. Most instructive, in this context, is a report jointly prepared by the US Council on Foreign Relations and Aspen Institute India, which inter alia speaks about “possible contingencies” regarding the developments in Pakistan, including the possibility of the country’s nuclear complex “being” penetrated by terrorists. According to the study, Pakistan is facing a systemic decline. It asks India and the US to work jointly in dealing with the emerging situation in Afghanistan.

*The writer is an ex-federal secretary and ambassador, and political and international relations analyst.

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Worst Case Scenario: U.S., NATO Troops Crossing Durand Line

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Opinions/Columns/26-Sep-2011/The-mother-of-all-follies

The Nation
September 26, 2011

The mother of all follies
Imran Malik*

The US and Pakistan have an intrinsic clash of strategic interests in the South-Central Asian Region (SCAR). They have managed to remain reluctant and unwilling allies thus far in the global war on terror, but now face the moment of truth.

The issue of the Haqqani Network (HN) has assumed decisive proportions in the wake of the Taliban attack on the US Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul recently. The US blamed Pakistan for waging a proxy war against it and the HN and the ISI for direct involvement in this attack. They seek vengeance and just retribution. Pakistan’s assertions to the contrary have predictably been rejected. Some analysts conclude that the US-Pakistan embroilment is escalating exponentially – from a veritably Low Intensity Conflict (LIC) to a Low Intensity War (LIW) and now potentially to a full-fledged one.

Operationally, the US has a number of options/combinations to tackle this situation. It could increase the frequency, ferocity, reach and spread of its deadly drone attacks. It could also carry out hot pursuit operations chasing down the supposed HN militants into Pakistan or try to snatch its top leader (like one of the senior Haqqanis) a la Osama bin Laden. It could also re-energise the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to increase violent attacks from Kunar and Nooristan into Dir and Bajaur. It could also carry out blistering strategic bombings – cruise and ballistic missile strikes on the HN hideouts/installations – collateral damage be damned!

However, the worst case scenario would be if the US/NATO/ISAF/Afghan forces were to cross the Durand Line. Pakistan will contest this incursion with matching ferocity, violence, willpower and determination. It is further likely to squeeze and block USA’s critical logistics supplies and completely stop all intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism/military cooperation with it. Once both belligerents join the battle in earnest, ironically, a point of no return will be reached, a critical threshold will be breached and a decades-old relationship would come to a sorry and unpleasant end. The biggest irony would be that in this strategic equation, despite its losses in men and material, Pakistan would be erroneously perceived to be on the HN’s side; though it would solely be defending its own territorial integrity and sovereignty! And such a perception would have dire strategic implications for it.

Were the US and Pakistan forces to get embroiled with each other it would lead to a strategic mayhem. Would the other nations in the US-led coalition also attack Pakistan? Whether they dither or attack, would there be dire implications for their relations with the US, Pakistan and in their respective internal domestic politics? In case the engagement prolongs, then the US would need to draw additional troops from within Afghanistan inviting violent Al-Qaeda and Taliban attacks on those weakened positions. That will cause the withdrawal of US forces to be delayed beyond 2014. Could all this be a ploy for such a desired end state?

Could all this be deliberate? Were this adventure to misfire, (likely) Obama’s re-election bid will be irretrievably botched! Could this yet be a hidden agenda of some elements/factions within the US body politic/establishment?

The operational dividends of such a US adventure will be meagre. It might capture a few leaders (assuming they would still be around even after all these public ultimatums) and destroy some of their training and administrative infrastructure. They might also dissipate them to obviate their operations as a cohesive group, albeit temporarily, but would still not be able to exterminate them completely. The group may have already dispersed to concentrate again once the threat has receded.

The downside of such a strategic folly would be that Pakistan as an ally would be alienated and lost forever. The terrorists would get further radicalised, attracting more recruits to their cause! Pakistan would face the brunt of the militant backlash countrywide. The country’s economy will nosedive further and FATA would get more radicalised. The government will face existential challenges. The HN reprisals would be swift, ferocious, widespread and unforgiving; setting the AfPak region afire! A peaceful resolution of the Afghan conundrum will thus become more unattainable.

Pakistan and the US have difficult choices to make now. They can choose to defy and attack one another and end up committing mutual harakiri. Nothing would please the militants more, except to see the two ostensible allies take on one another rather than them. Alternatively, they could cool things down, carry out a rational assessment and come out with a win-win solution.

A joint US-Pak military option – perhaps, a classic hammer and anvil operation – can be ruled out. The saner choice would be for the US and Pakistan to create the desired strategic environment, offer the right inducements and encourage the HN to come to the negotiating table and help reach an acceptable-to-all solution. It gives the US (and its allies) a face-saving exit that they so desperately yearn for, saves Pakistan the trouble of carrying out further operations in the FATA, obviates the need for any cross-border operations by the US and its allies and, most importantly, helps find a peaceful solution to the Afghan imbroglio.

Leon Panetta’s many follies as CIA chief have led to this impasse and breakdown in the Pak-US ties. He continues in the same vein at the Pentagon. Better counsel should have prevailed. Such a misadventure will potentially sound the death knell for his President’s re-election bid, threaten the Gilani-Zardari government and inextricably and needlessly embroil the US-Pak forces on the battlefield. It is a patently lose-lose situation. It will only hasten the final split, ending this painfully unilateral under-achieving non-relationship with a bang!

If sanity does not return to this region soon, such a misadventure will tragically and most eminently become “the mother of all strategic follies”.

*The writer is a retired brigadier and former defence attaché in Australia and New Zealand.

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U.S. Attack On Waziristan Will Be Met By United Response: Opposition

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C09%5C26%5Cstory_26-9-2011_pg7_12

Daily Times
September 26, 201

US attack on Waziristan will result in united response: Imran

* PTI chief says after coming to power, his party will liberate country from shackles of US, establish peace, harmony in Karachi and other cities of country

GUJRANWALA: If the US army attacked Waziristan, the whole nation would give a united response and counter it, and separation from the so-called US “war on terror” would end suicide attacks and jihad in Pakistan, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan said on Sunday.

Addressing a rally in connection with his “Remove rules and save country” campaign attended by 50,000 PTI activists and members at the Liaqat Park, Khan said that he had asked General (r) Pervez Musharraf to refrain from launching an army operation in Waziristan but he did so on the behest of the US and as a result we have lost 35,000 men. He blamed the “dollar-loving Pakistani rulers” for the mass killings of Pakistanis.

He said that the war on terror belongs to the US and not Pakistan, adding that the policies of the country were not in favour of national sovereignty, as a result of which American Army head Mike Mullen was issuing threats to our country today.

He asked President Asif Ali Zardari to inform the nation about his role under such crucial circumstances and said that our nation needed leaders and not ‘geedars’.

The PTI chief said that after coming to power, the PTI would liberate the country from the shackles of the US besides establishing peace and harmony in Karachi and other cities of the country. He said that the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Pakistan People’s Party, Awami National Party all had armed wings in Karachi and it was only the PTI that was working peacefully in the port city and had the capacity to establish peace in the densely populated city of the country.

He said that the country had fallen prey to the recent floods and President Zardari had gone to Dubai for shopping.

He urged the people of Gujranwala not to vote for those leaders in the upcoming general elections who were subservient to US officials, adding that the country would soon experience a positive change, which will help Pakistan, stand on a firm footing besides strengthening its economy. Imran said that self-respecting Pakistanis garner respect from outside. He blamed the US for suicide attacks and terrorist activities on Pakistani soil.

The PTI chief said that the US was bombing the Afghan people, instead of fighting against the Taliban in the neighbouring country.

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Foreign Minister: Kabul Attack Perpetrators Product Of CIA, Not Pakistan

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110926/167146550.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 26, 2011

Kabul attack militants product of CIA, not Pakistan – minister

Islamabad: The Haqqani group that the United States holds responsible for last week’s attack against the American embassy in Kabul was the CIA’s creation, Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said.

“If we talk about links, I am sure the CIA also has links with many terrorist organizations around the world, by which we mean intelligence links,” Khar said in an interview with al Jazeera.

“And this particular network, which [the United States] continues to talk about, is a network which was the blue-eyed boy of the CIA itself for many years.”

Scapegoating and blame games would not help and Pakistan wanted to be a partner of the United States, Khar said.

U.S. Adm Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, alleged last week that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency had backed the Haggani network in carrying out several attacks in Afghanistan.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Sunday rejected the allegations as “not based on facts”.

“Any intelligence agency would like to maintain contact with whatever opposition group, whatever terrorist organization for some positive outcome,” chief military spokesman Maj Gen Athar Abbas told CNN.

“Such contacts do not mean the ISI supports or endorses the organization,” he said.

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Interior Minister: CIA, Not Pakistan, Created Haqqani Network

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C09%5C26%5Cstory_26-9-2011_pg7_9

Associated Press of Pakistan
September 26, 2011

CIA, not Pakistan, created Haqqani network: Malik

ISLAMABAD: The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) created the Haqqani network and trained its members, not Pakistan, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Sunday.

Talking to journalists at a ceremony held to laud the Islamabad police over the recovery of a huge cache of weapons, the interior minister said that the Haqqani network was present in Afghanistan and those claiming otherwise should give evidence of its presence in Pakistan.

To a question about the visit of a Chinese delegation, Malik said that several areas, including cooperation in the fight against terrorism, capacity building, drug smuggling and other issues would be discussed with the Chinese deputy prime minister and other officials.

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Haqqani Network: CIA Offshoot

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C09%5C26%5Cstory_26-9-2011_pg7_22

Daily Times
September 26, 2011

Haqqani network, a US offshoot

LAHORE: The much-decried ‘Haqqani network’ that has put the state of Pakistan in hot waters, like many other ‘freedom fighter’ groups of Afghanistan, had close links with the US supreme intelligence agency, the CIA.

During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the network was like the Hikmatyar group [Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin], that developed links with the ‘outsiders’ to get support for establishing their military writ against the USSR, and CIA was the major financer of its activities in Afghanistan and its confidence level with the Americans raised to such a level that its head Maulvi Haqqani is thought to have even visited the White House to enjoy the hospitality of Ronald Reagan.

The American military and civil leadership today blaming the Pakistan government and country’s top intelligence organisation, ISI, for patronising, sharing and co-operating with the once blue-eyed darling of the US guys is considered to be the most fatal group for US and NATO forces ‘fighting’ in Afghanistan.

US military commanders believe that the “group is one of Afghanistan’s most experienced and sophisticated insurgent organisations” and “one of the biggest threats to NATO and United States forces…” Here is the brief introduction and history of its activities. The report is based on information gathered from different sources.

The group is still believed to be led by Maulavi Jalaluddin Haqqani. Maulavi Haqqani is a former anti-Soviet resistance commander known for ruthless effectiveness as a fighter. His ties to Pakistan, and his base in and around Miranshah go as far back as his exile during the Republican government of Sardar Daud in early 1970s. He was initially associated with many mujahideen leaders that formed Hizb-e-Islami. When Hizb-e-Islami fractured in the late 1970s, Haqqani followed Younis Khalis rather than Hekmatyar, and became one of the most important commanders in the Hizb-e-Islami (Khalis) or HIK.

When Soviet forces invaded Afghanistan, Haqqani was in Pakistan with the other key mujahideen leaders. Haqqani later became a field commander in Maulavi Younis Khalis’s Hizb-e-Islami. He received significant support from the CIA and from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Directorate, and built up a sizable and competent militia force by the mid-1980s. Haqqani is believed to be influenced by radical Islamist principles drawn from the early Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which were prevalent among many of the religiously motivated Afghan mujahideen of that time. Maulvi Haqqani and his son Sirajuddin Haqqani run a number of madrassas and training camps in North Waziristan. Due to his father’s ill health, Sirajuddin Haqqani is reported to be in charge of the day-to-day operations of the movement.

The Haqqanis hail from the Zadran tribe, who are mostly based in Paktia and Khost provinces in the east of Afghanistan. “Their support base has always been in that area with a base in North Waziristan,” reads a report of the Institute for the Study of War.

The group proved its dominance in Khost area as the battles for Khost were fought in 1985-1987 by Haqqani men isolating the Soviet forces’ garrison at Khost early in the war, taking advantage of the fact that there was only one major road linking Khost with the rest of Afghanistan — the Khost-Gardez road that runs through the Satekandav Pass. In summer 1985, Haqqani gathered several thousand fighters and assaulted the city of Khost itself, overrunning Soviet forces’ outposts and requiring a significant Soviet counter-attack to save the city.

In 1987, the Soviet leadership decided to undertake a major effort to open the Khost-Gardez road long enough to get supplies in to the town and its garrison. Operation Magistral (Mainline), as it was called, was the major Soviet military effort of that year, overseen directly by Colonel General Boris Gromov, commander of Soviet forces in Afghanistan. Gromov made numerous attempts to negotiate with Haqqani and Zadran tribal elders to secure safe passage for supplies to Khost without fighting. It is not clear whether or not Haqqani himself participated in negotiations, but Zadran tribal elders certainly did and they drew out the discussions intentionally to allow time for their forces to react. Two weeks of hard fighting allowed the Soviet forces to secure the Satekandav Pass. The arrival of Soviet reinforcements and the elimination of a key insurgent base convinced Haqqani to withdraw his forces temporarily. The Soviets re-supplied the garrison and then withdrew from the area. By 1989, all Soviet forces had withdrawn from the country.

The available information reveals that the top leadership of the group consists of Jalaluddin Haqqani, Sirajuddin Haqqani, Badaruddin Haqqani – (younger brother of Sirajuddin), Sangeen Zadran, Nasiruddin Haqqani and others.

Different studies speak differently about the strength of this group as a report published in an American newspaper indicates that “they are thought to have about 4,000 to 12,000 Taliban under their command” while a 2011 report from the Combating Terrorism Centre places its strength roughly at 10,000-15,000.

The Haqqani network is considered to be the pioneer of suicide attacks in Afghanistan and tend to use mostly foreign bombers whereas the Taliban tend to rely on locals in attacks.

The following activities are being attributed to the group:

January 14, 2008: Kabul Serena Hotel attack, March 2008: Kidnapping of British journalist Sean Langan, April 27, 2008: Assassination attempts on Hamid Karzai. July 7, 2008: US intelligence blamed the network for 2008 Indian embassy bombing in Kabul. November 10, 2008: The Kidnapping of David Rohde, December 30, 2009: Camp Chapman May 18, 2010: Kabul bombing, February 19, 2011: Kabul Bank in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, June 28, 2011:

According to ISAF, elements of the Haqqani network provided “material support” in the 2011 attack on the Hotel Inter-Continental in Kabul. The Pentagon blamed the network for the September 10 attack. A massive truck bomb explodes outside combat outpost in Sayed Abad in Wardak province, killing five Afghans, including four civilians, and wounding 77 US soldiers. US Ambassador in Afghanistan Ryan Crocker blamed the Haqqani network for a September 12 attack on the US embassy and nearby NATO bases in Kabul. The attack lasted 19 hours and resulted in the deaths of four police officers and four civilians. At least 17 civilians and six NATO soldiers were injured. Three coalition soldiers were killed.

According to a July 2011 report published by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Centre, the network acts as a key facilitator of negotiations between the Pakistani government and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and as the “primary conduit” of many Pakistani Taliban fighters into Afghanistan.

According to US Special Envoy and Ambassador to Afghanistan (1989-1992) Peter Tomsen, the ISI has maintained its jihad era ties with Haqqanis.

====

Party Leader: NATO Backs Attacks, U.S. Bent On Breaking Up Pakistan

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=69518&Cat=2

News International
September 26, 2011

US playing double game with Pakistan, says Muqam
Delawar Jan

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) Provincial Chief Amir Muqam on Sunday said the US was playing a double game with Pakistan by negotiating with the Taliban itself and pressuring Pakistan for operations against them.

“The US is bent upon breaking Pakistan,” he said while speaking at the Peshawar city workers’ convention. “Attacks by militants from Afghanistan into Pakistan are being carried out with Nato’s support,” he alleged.

These attacks, he added, were intolerable He said the time had come to rid the nation of American slavery. The US, he added, was conspiring against the country and the army. “But they must know we the nation and the army are united and could ward off any threat,” he warned.

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Has Pakistan Decided To Respond To Direct U.S. Attack?

http://paktribune.com/articles/Pakistan-Decided-to-respond-US-direct-Attack+-242788.html

Pakistan Tribune
September 26, 2011

Pakistan Decided to Respond to U.S. Direct Attack?
By Zaheerul Hassan

-General Athar Abbas acknowledged that the Pakistani intelligence…do have contacts with certain Taliban groups but don’t favour their activities. He also disclosed that certain other countries including America too have links with Haqqani and other groups. It is also added here that Haqqani and certain other groups have been created by CIA. During the 1980s, the CIA funneled arms and cash to the Haqqanis to counter Soviet forces…

The already strained Pak-U.S. relationship went further under a cloud when in mid-September, 2011 the American civil and military leadership made abrasive statements against the ISI and Pakistani security agencies. US military chief, Admiral Mike Mullen, accused the ISI of supporting the Haqqani network in carrying out an assault on the US embassy in Kabul on September 13, 2011. He further said that the Haqqani network is a powerful faction of the Taliban and a “veritable arm” of Pakistan’s spy agency.

He also claimed that they have credible evidence about ISI involvement behind the June 28th attack against the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul. During the last few days, CIA and ISI chiefs have also met each other to discuss the Haqqani Network and its presence in Pakistan. ISI Chief General Pasha strongly rejected the Americans’ allegations and denied supporting Haqqani against Americans. But, U.S. officials did not agree with the Islamabad stance and started urging Pakistan to take action.

In this connection, the U.S. defence secretary and top White House officials revealed that the U.S. believes Pakistan is “actively supporting the Haqqanis.” U.S. Officials warned that Pakistan is heading towards international isolation. “If it keeps going like this, it could end up like Syria – before the Arab spring.” President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and the Chief of Staff of the Pakistan Army strongly rejected the U.S. allegations on ISI and the Pakistan Army. Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar lashed out at America for accusing the country’s powerful spy agency ISI of ties with terror groups, warning it risked losing Islamabad as its ally. “We have conveyed to the US that you will lose an ally.”

On September 25, 2011 an extraordinary meeting of corps commanders was held under the chairmanship of General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani in the GHQ. The general chaired this important meeting after cancelling his previous night’s departure to London. He was to address the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Royal College of Defence Studies. According to an ISPR statement, a Special Corps Commanders Conference reviewed the prevailing security situation in the country.

Yesterday, US Central Command chief General James Mattis met the COAS at the General Headquarters.

General Kayani expressed grave concern over infiltration of militants from the Afghanistan side and made it clear that Pakistan would not tolerate any such incursions in the future. He asked General Mattis to make sure that the Afghan soil is not used against Pakistan.

The COAS also lodged a strong protest with Gen Mattis over the statements of US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta and Admiral Mullen calling the statements contrary to ground realities.

While talking to the media, in a separate question, General Athar Abbas acknowledged that the Pakistani intelligence…do have contacts with certain Taliban groups but don’t favour their activities. He also disclosed that certain other countries including America too have links with Haqqani and other groups. It is also added here that Haqqani and certain other groups have been created by CIA. During the 1980s, the CIA funneled arms and cash to the Haqqanis to counter Soviet forces…

At the same time, American and NATO military forces physically remain unsuccessful in controlling the situation and continuously are facing defeats in fighting against Taliban. According to reliable estimates, Americans suffered heavy losses in terms of finances and loss of life in the war against terror like: (One) total cost of War in Iraq & Afghanistan since 2001 is $1,254,566,897,296, (two) Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (officially acknowledged) In America’s War on Iraq: 4,792 (three) Number of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered in Afghanistan: 2,718.

Therefore, before heading into the next U.S. presidential elections, the Obama administration has to start the implementation of Obama’s exit strategy since the administration needs to justify its failures in the war on terror to the general public. Thus, now American military leadership has planned to gamble on launching some physical attacks in North Waziristan against Pakistani interests and will. In fact, Obamas’ government is trying to use Pakistan as her scapegoat to hide her failures. Probably, a U.S. direct attack on Pakistan would prove a blunder and fatal for herself, since Islamabad’s top civil and military brass is not in a position to go for a “do more policy” particularly after the U.S. unilateral May 2, 2011 action in Abbottabad.

…270 drone attacks killed 2,601 persons in FATA since 2004.

Therefore, planning misadventure instead of acknowledging Pakistani sacrifices will further tarnish the U.S. image and ensure the ultimate failure of the U.S. in Asia…

American military pundits should also be mindful that Pakistan is a nuclear power and has also carried out tactical nuclear missile system tests successfully in its recent years. It has an organized, disciplined, well-trained force that is capable of striking with its full strength. In short, I would like to suggest to American leadership instead asking of “do more policy” rather should try to implement on a “roll back policy”. She must realize that Pakistan is a sovereign nuclear Islamic power that deserves to protect its interests around the globe and will never surrender to illogical US demands.

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Poland To Host European Partnership Conference

http://en.trend.az/capital/business/1936752.html

Trend News Agency
September 26, 2011

Warsaw will host Eastern Partnership Conference

Baku: “The Eastern Partnership Conference: Towards a European Community of democracy, prosperity and a stronger civil society” will be held in Warsaw on Sept. 29, 2011.

More than 200 participants are expected to attend the international conference about the EU’s relations with its Eastern partners, including prominent representatives of EU institutions, EU member states and partner countries. Radosław Sikorski (Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland), Jerzy Buzek (President of the European Parliament), Stefan Fule (European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighbourhood Policy), David Bakradze (Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia) and Nick Clegg (Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) have confirmed their intent to attend. Others planning to attend include civil society representatives, experts on the region and 30 EaP Civil Society Forum representatives from partner countries.

Trend News Agency provides information support to the conference.

The aim of the conference is to develop recommendations for the inclusion of civil society activities in the Eastern Partnership. It is an accompanying event to the Polish EU Presidency and the Eastern Partnership summit (scheduled for Sept. 30, 2011). It is organised by the Centre for Eastern Studies (OSW, http://www.osw.waw.pl), the EaP Civil Society Forum (www.eap-csf.eu) and the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM, http://www.pism.pl) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland is a conference partner. The conference is co-funded by the European Union.

The Eastern Partnership was launched at the initiative of Poland and Sweden at the summit in Prague in May 2009. Its goal is to deepen political cooperation and economic integration of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine with the European Union.

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Russia Eyes Arctic Oil And Gas

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/25/56714048.html

Voice of Russia
September 25, 2011

Russia eyes Arctic oil, gas

       
While considering renewable energy, Russia continues to heavily rely on oil and natural gas. Its Barents Sea border agreement with Norway boosts its reserves by 5 billion tons, in terms of standard fuel equivalent. This brings its oil and gas reserves offshore to the level of those on land. The country should enjoy a plentiful supply of oil and gas for about 150 years.

Environment and Resources Minister Yuri Trutnev was speaking about this at a media forum of the United Russia party in Moscow on Sunday. He said that in 2013 Russia will approach the UN for securing exclusive economic rights to more chunks of the Arctic Shelf.

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Categories: Uncategorized

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

September 26, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Eugenio Montale
From Nobel Prize in Literature lecture (1975)

The register of the names of those who, having given something to humanity, have received the coveted recognition of the Nobel Prize would be long. But infinitely more numerous and practically impossible to identify would be the legion, the army of those who work for humanity in infinite ways even without realizing it and who never aspire to any possible prize because they have not written works, acts or academic treatises and have never thought of “making the presses groan”, as the Italian expression says. There certainly exists an army of pure, immaculate souls, and they are an obstacle (certainly insufficient) to the spread of that utilitarian spirit which in various degrees is pushed to the point of corruption, crime and every form of violence and intolerance. The academicians of Stockholm have often said no to intolerance, cruel fanaticism and that persecuting spirit which turns the strong against the weak, oppressors against the oppressed. This is true particularly in their choice of literary works, works which can sometimes be murderous, but never like that atomic bomb which is the most mature fruit of the eternal tree of evil.

****

Evidently the arts, all the visual arts, are becoming more democratic in the worst sense of the word. Art is the production of objects for consumption, to be used and discarded while waiting for a new world in which man will have succeeded in freeing himself of everything, even of his own consciousness. The example I cite could be extended to the exclusively noisy and undifferentiated music listened to in those places where millions of young people gather to exorcize the horror of their solitude. But why more than ever has civilized man reached the point of having horror of himself?

…It alarms me that a sort of general Doomsday atmosphere accompanies an ever more wide-spread comfort, that well-being (there where it exists, that is in limited areas of the world) has the livid features of desperation. Against the dark background of this contemporary civilization of well-being, even the arts tend to mingle, to lose their identity. Mass communication, radio, and especially television, have attempted, not without success, to annihilate every possibility of solitude and reflection. Time becomes more rapid, works of a few years ago seem “dated” and the need the artist has to be listened to sooner or later becomes a spasmodic need of the topical, of the immediate. Whence the new art of our time which is the spectacle, a not necessarily theatrical exhibition in which the rudiments of every art are present and which effects a kind of psychic massage on the spectator or listener or reader as the case may be. The deus ex machina of this new heap is the director. His purpose is not only to co-ordinate scenic arrangements, but to give intentions to works which have none or have had other ones. There is a great sterility in all this, an immense lack of confidence in life. In such a landscape of hysterical exhibitionism what can be the place of poetry, the most discrete of arts, be? So-called lyrical poetry is work, the fruit of solitude and accumulated impressions. This is still true today but in rather limited cases. We have however more numerous cases in which the self-proclaimed poet falls into step with new times. Poetry then becomes acoustic and visual. The words splash in all directions, like the explosion of a grenade, there is no true meaning, but a verbal earthquake with many epicenters.

=============

The Lemon Tree
Translated by Lee Gerlach

Hear me a moment. Laureate poets
seem to wander among plants
no one knows: boxwood, acanthus,
where nothing is alive to touch.
I prefer small streets that falter
into grassy ditches where a boy,
searching in the sinking puddles,
might capture a struggling eel.
The little path that winds down
along the slope plunges through cane-tufts
and opens suddenly into the orchard
among the moss-green trunks
of the lemon trees.

Perhaps it is better
if the jubilee of small birds
dies down, swallowed in the sky,
yet more real to one who listens,
the murmur of tender leaves
in a breathless, unmoving air.
The senses are graced with an odor
filled with the earth.
It is like rain in a troubled breast,
sweet as an air that arrives
too suddenly and vanishes.
A miracle is hushed; all passions
are swept aside. Even the poor
know that richness,
the fragrance of the lemon trees.

You realize that in silences
things yield and almost betray
their ultimate secrets.
At times, one half expects
to discover an error in Nature,
the still point of reality,
the missing link that will not hold,
the thread we cannot untangle
in order to get at the truth.

You look around. Your mind seeks,
makes harmonies, falls apart
in the perfume, expands
when the day wearies away.
There are silences in which one watches
in every fading human shadow
something divine let go.

The illusion wanes, and in time we return
to our noisy cities where the blue
appears only in fragments
high up among the towering shapes.
Then rain leaching the earth.
Tedious, winter burdens the roofs,
and light is a miser, the soul bitter.
Yet, one day through an open gate,
among the green luxuriance of a yard,
the yellow lemons fire
and the heart melts,
and golden songs pour
into the breast
from the raised cornets of the sun.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 25, 2011

September 25, 2011 1 comment

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Societies Cannot Be Reordered By Outside Military Force: Indian Prime Minister

Canada: Libya War “Success,” Extend Mission To End Of Year

Offshore Bases, Proxy Armies: New U.S. War Strategy

U.S., NATO Move Missile Shield Toward Russia’s Southern Borders

U.S. Missiles In Romania Pose Threat To Serbia, Russia: Professor

U.S., Bangladesh In First Major Joint Naval Exercise

Shooting In Northern Kosovo, Barricades Remain

Afghan War: NATO 2011 Death Toll Rises To 440

Three Italian Soldiers Killed In Afghan Road Accident

Troops, F-16s Remain: Dutch Defense Chief In Afghanistan

Eastern Partnership: West’s Duplicitous Drive To Absorb Ex-Soviet States

Arctic: Russia To Increase Military Presence, Wants NATO To Stay Out

Are U.S. And NATO Forcing Pakistani Army Into A Trap?

Pakistan Turns To China In Face Of U.S.-NATO Threats

U.S. And NATO Planning Massive Military Onslaught In Northwest Pakistan?

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Societies Cannot Be Reordered By Outside Military Force: Indian Prime Minister

http://news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?736131

Press Trust of India
September 24, 2011

Societies Cannot be Reordered by Military Force: PM

UNITED NATIONS: In a veiled reference to certain events in the Mideast and North Africa, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said societies cannot be reordered from outside through military force.

Singh also said the international community has a role to play in assisting in the processes of transition and institution building, but the idea that prescriptions have to be imposed from outside is “fraught with danger.”

The Prime Minister made these remarks while addressing the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) session.

“The observance of the rule of law is as important in international affairs as it is within countries. Societies cannot be reordered from outside through military force. People in all countries have the right to choose their own destiny and decide their own future,” he said.

Singh further said actions taken under the authority of the United Nations must respect the unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of individual states.

Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai told reporters the Prime Minister’s views that societies cannot be reordered from outside through military force was not intended to any one specific situation.

It was a generalised response to a trend that was seen in Libya when the UNSC passed a resolution where there was an intended campaign of extending one-sided support, he added.

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Canada: Libya War “Success,” Extend Mission To End Of Year

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Commons+vote+Monday+whether+extend+Libya+mission/5453476/story.html

Vancouver Sun/Postmedia News
September 24, 2011

Commons to vote Monday on whether to extend Libya mission
By Lee Berthiaume

Parliament will vote Monday on whether to grant another extension to Canada’s involvement in the NATO-led Libya mission.

Government House leader Peter Van Loan made the extension request in the House of Commons on Friday, asking that “given the current military situation and the success of the National Transitional Council and anti-Gadhafi forces to date,” parliamentarians support an extension of up to three months. Approval is considered a foregone conclusion as the Conservatives have a majority in the House and cabinet can approve military deployments without parliamentary approval. In addition, the Liberal party is expected to support the motion.

“We’re almost done,” Liberal House leader Marc Garneau said Friday.

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Offshore Bases, Proxy Armies: New U.S. War Strategy

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Security/Terror-Somalia-Libya-may-be-sign-of-US-military-action-to-come-expert-says_312475544469.html

ADN Kronos International
September 23, 2011

Somalia, Libya may be sign of US military action to come, expert says

The toppling of Muammar Gaddafi’s [government] was an apparent victory for rebels who fought together for six months with Nato support. Less obvious is that its success may signal Washington’s military strategy of minimising the risk of losing American lives by using naval and air forces in conjunction with “proxy” militaries during global interventions, according to a report by independent military correspondent David Axe published on the website of The Diplomat, a current-affairs magazine.

Dubbed “offshore balancing,” the strategy has been used for years in Somalia in the wake of the US withdrawal from the African country after the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu when 19 US and UN troops died during a disastrous humanitarian mission. The televised images of dead American servicemen being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu and the protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has caused the war-fatigued American public to sour on dropping troops into new conflicts.

“Instead, the United States pursued separate air, naval and proxy ground campaigns that, today, have combined into a major demonstration of offshore balancing – but not without some serious hiccups along the way,” according to Axe.

…Washington…backed Ethiopia with air cover when it invaded Somalia in 2006. The move radicalised the Islamist movement…

The US shifted tactics. While supporting a coalition of African troops led by Uganda, it used offshore special forces to fly in to Somalia and strike…

“Make no mistake: The United States is at war in Somalia, and will likely only deepen its involvement as the present famine worsens. But that won’t mean large troop deployments as in 1992. Today’s intervention is unlike anything that was possible 19 years ago.”

The use of proxy armies and offshore bases for special forces has cost the US little in terms of its own blood, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a protracted conflict.

The US’ offshore balancing in Somalia is five years old and “could continue for years,” according to Axe. But this is one US conflict that seems like it might never end. As an exercise in offshore balancing, US assistance for Libyan rebels might end up seeming deceptively easy, inexpensive and, at just six months, shockingly brief.”

The apparent lesson from Libya is that offshore balancing is easy for Washington. Somalia reminds us that it’s not always so – that even wars fought mostly by ships, planes, Special Forces and foreign proxies are still wars. They’re ugly, complicated and risky.”

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U.S., NATO Move Missile Shield Toward Russia’s Southern Borders

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/24/56548936.html

Voice of Russia
September 24, 2011

Short-sighted policy
Valentin Zorin

-The recent steps towards the deployment of a missile defense system in Europe and moving it closer to Russian borders meets the needs of the US military-industrial complex, which plans to make a gold mine out of this program, so devastating for the country’s economy.

Hopes for reasonable and realistic policies from the Washington big-league are dwindling, despite the “reset” in US-Russian relations and a number of constructive steps in this direction. A few days ago, the United States and Romania signed an agreement to deploy a US missile base on the territory of Romania. Simultaneously, Washington and Ankara signed a memorandum on the deployment of an American radar station in Malatya in the southeast of Turkey. The United States has thereby put finishing touches to the legal procedures behind a considerable expansion of American military presence at the southern approaches to the Russian borders.

Assurances on the part of Washington politicians that a missile defense shield, created despite Russia’s objections, poses no threat to Russia don’t impress anyone in Moscow. Russia is not so naïve as to doubt the anti-Russian nature of a string of American military bases in close proximity to Russian borders. Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had good reason to express disappointment about this so-called “reset” recently by saying that after Russia had made its position on missile defense crystal clear several times and the two countries agreed that there would be no anti-missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic, Washington announces the deployment of such missiles in other countries of Europe.

The “reset” declared by the Democratic administration as it took office three years ago was prompted by the demands of the day, rather than Washington’s well-wishing intentions towards Russia.

President Obama acted on the assumption that despite years-long efforts, the American missile defense system proved inefficient. The US leader was fully aware of a government report which concluded that missile defense experts had failed to achieve the results they had been paid for and that the missile defense system they had been trying to create was a flop.

The sum paid exceeded 1.5 trillion dollars, which set off government auditors. Judging by the outcome, this money landed in the bank accounts of military and industrial corporations, rather than in outer space. At first, Obama admitted that. Breaking the unwritten rules of the Washington elite, he said openly that the Pentagon’s current demands reflected the needs of the military-industrial complex and its lobbyists in the corridors of power, rather than the genuine needs of the country and its people.

He was never forgiven this lapse. Today, he keeps silent on this issue, pressured by the lobbyists. The Republican majority in Congress are forcing him into discarding what he used to proclaim. He had to make hefty concessions to the right-wing Republicans to avoid a financial default at the beginning of August. And his agenda in the run-up to presidential elections in November next year looks defensive.

The recent steps towards the deployment of a missile defense system in Europe and moving it closer to Russian borders meets the needs of the US military-industrial complex, which plans to make a gold mine out of this program, so devastating for the country’s economy.

But dropping one’s principles and going profit is a short-sighted policy, doomed to failure.

====

U.S. Missiles In Romania Pose Threat To Serbia, Russia: Professor

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=09&dd=25&nav_id=76551

Vecernje Novosti
September 25, 2011

NATO shield poses threat to Serbia, expert says

BELGRADE: The U.S. missile bases in Romania could represent a threat to Serbia since it could end up being collateral damage in a possible missile attack.

Only two days after the agreement had been signed to set up the U.S. missile shield in the U.S. Deveselu Air Base, Washington signed an agreement on September 15 to build an identical base in Poland.

Russia has stated it will take reciprocal measures and direct its missiles toward the bases hosting the NATO missiles.

“We are living in a period when a new cold war is being waged. There are numerous reasons to set up the missile shield along Russia’s borders, and the most important one is to prove the economic and military power of the U.S. and NATO countries to everybody in the international community. A strategic consequence of the missile shield is to impose a need on Russia to build a new missile defense system which costs a lot, with an aim to economically drain it. The second important goal is an internal polarization of population in Russia,” Faculty of Security Studies Professor Slobodan Mišović told daily Večernje novosti.

“Setting up the missile shield less than 200 kilometers from Serbia has a large negative affect on security and increases our country’s vulnerability,” the professor explained.

“This is especially the case because our antiaircraft defense systems are outdated. The setting up of the missile shield is a provocation to all the countries in Southeast Europe and the Balkans, because it requires far bigger financial expenses if you want to maintain security at the necessary level. It will probably create additional conditions and pressures in our country because of the membership in NATO and in the European collective security and defense system,” he pointed out.

Mišović believes that the missile shield in Romania will force Serbia to make a difficult choice – to decide not to invest in defense and additionally reduce security or to increase financial expenses.

“NATO will not pressure Serbia into formally joining the Alliance after the missile shield is set up in Romania,” he said, adding that the purpose of the missile shield was to exert psychological and economic pressure on Russia, not to start a nuclear war.

“However, the one that has power has a big problem because it is always tempting them to use it. In case of a large-scale conflict Serbia could easily become collateral damage, not only because of the missile shield in Romania but also because of the U.S. bases in Kosovo. However, much a bigger danger for the entire Southeast Europe in that case would be if the Klozoduy Nuclear Power Plant was hit,” the professor was quoted as saying.

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U.S., Bangladesh In First Major Joint Naval Exercise

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=62903

Navy NewsStand
September 24, 2011

US, Bangladesh Navies Complete At-Sea Portion of CARAT Bangladesh
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Lowell Whitman, Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training

BAY OF BENGAL: U.S. and Bangladesh Sailors completed the at-sea portion of the first Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) held in Bangladesh on Sept. 23.

Guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100), guided-missile frigate USS Ford (FFG 54) and mine countermeasures ship USS Defender (MCM 2) participated in exercises at sea with Bangladesh navy ships (BNS) Bangabandhu (F 25), BNS Bijoy (F 35) and BNS Sangu (P 713).

…The at-sea period culminated with a mock naval battle between two surface action groups (SAGs), each composed of U.S. and Bangladesh ships.

“The SAG vs. SAG underway was a highlight,” said Capt. William Lovely, deputy commodore, Task Group 73.1. “Two SAGs are competing against each other, trying to ‘kill’ each other and it became a very competitive event that was very, very special to the group.”

CARAT Bangladesh began Sept. 18 and is the first dedicated naval exercise between the U.S. and Bangladesh, and represents a milestone between the two countries…

CARAT 2011 is a series of bilateral exercises held annually in Southeast Asia to strengthen relationships and enhance force readiness between the U.S. and partner nations.

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Shooting In Northern Kosovo, Barricades Remain

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=09&dd=24&nav_id=76541

Tanjug News Agency
September 24, 2011

Shooting in Kosovska Mitrovica, barricades remain

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA: A fight broke out in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica Friday night involving at least six persons, two of whom suffered serious injuries.

The incident also involved shooting and the police qualified the event as a serious violation of public peace and order.

46-year-old A. Đ. was arrested and remanded in 48-hour custody for the use of weapon, while the police are still searching for two more persons.

Kosovo Police Deputy Regional Director Ergin Medić told Tanjug that one of the two persons, who were seriously injured in the fight, was taken in the Kosovska Mitrovica Hospital for treatment.

According to him, the police found six 7.62 mm caliber bullet casings at the scene and the investigation into the incident will continue.

The situation in other parts of northern Kosovo and near the barricades was peaceful during Friday night. The administrative crossings in north Kosovo are still blocked. Besides EULEX, Kosovo customs officers were also deployed at the checkpoints but with no operational role.

Kosovska Mitrovica Municipal Court judge Zehra Vrbovci remanded 13 Serbian truck drivers in a 15-day custody late Friday.

The drivers were arrested under suspicion they entered Kosovo illegally and took part in setting up the barricades.

Vrbovci stated that there was a reasonable suspicion that the 13 suspects had illegally crossed an administrative crossing, and that therefore they were likely to pay a fine not less than EUR 250 or spend up to three months in prison. She said that the main hearing would be held early next week.

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Afghan War: NATO 2011 Death Toll Rises To 440

http://arabnews.com/world/article506272.ece

Associated Press
September 25, 2011

NATO service member killed in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan: NATO forces say an insurgent attack has killed one service member in Afghanistan.

The alliance says the attack occurred Saturday in the south of the country. NATO did not release other details.

The death brings to 440 the number of international troops killed so far this year in Afghanistan.

Also, Afghan officials say four Afghans were wounded in suicide bombings in eastern and northern Afghanistan.

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Three Italian Soldiers Killed In Afghan Road Accident

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C09%5C24%5Cstory_24-9-2011_pg14_6

Agence France-Presse
September 24, 2011

Three Italian soldiers killed in Afghanistan road accident

KABUL: Three Italian soldiers were killed in a road accident in western Afghanistan Friday, media reports said after Italy’s defence ministry announced one dead and two seriously injured.

The accident “took place near their base” in Herat around 0930 GMT and the causes of the incident “were being examined,” said General Massimo Fogari, a military spokesman, by telephone from Afghanistan, according to Sky TG24 television.

The names of the soldiers, who were involved in training Afghan forces, would not be released until their families have been notified, the ministry said.

Italy expects to reduce its forces in Afghanistan starting next year. Rome has deployed some 3,800 soldiers as part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force which totals 130,000, two-thirds of them American.

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Troops, F-16s Remain: Dutch Defense Chief In Afghanistan

http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/defence-minister-visits-dutch-troops-kunduz

Radio Netherlands
September 24, 2011

Defence minister visits Dutch troops in Kunduz

Defence Minister Hans Hillen has visited Dutch troops in on a police training mission in the Afghan province of Kunduz. The objective of the visit is to demonstrate his support for the Dutch troops and their work.

Minister Hillen travelled with the Dutch Chief of the Netherlands Defence Staff General Peter van Uhm. It was the first time either of the two men had been in Kunduz.

The minister and general also visited Dutch troops in the Afghan capital Kabul and in Mazar-e-Sharif, from where four Dutch F-16 fighter planes and 120 soldiers will support the training mission.

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Eastern Partnership: West’s Duplicitous Drive To Absorb Ex-Soviet States

http://www.thenews.pl/9/7/Artykul/55695,Belarusian-FM-invited-to-Warsaw-Eastern-Partnership-summit

Polish Radio
September 24, 2011

Belarusian FM invited to Warsaw Eastern Partnership summit

The Belarusian foreign minister, Sergei Martynov has been invited to the Eastern Partnership summit billed for the end of next week in Warsaw, Poland’s head of diplomacy Radoslaw Sikorski has announced.

“In leading the [EU Council] rotating presidency, and in agreement with the High Representative for EU External Affairs [Catherine Ashton], I have invited Sergei Martynov,” Sikorski told journalists at the close of this week.

Poland’s foreign minister underlined, however, that a condition for dialogue with Belarus is the release of all political prisoners. “Poland wants Belarus to join the family of free, European nations,” Sikorski underlined.
Ahead of the Eastern Partnership summit, Radoslaw Sikorski met, Friday, with opposition activist Andrzej Poczobut, an ethnically Polish journalist from Grodno.

Poczobut underwent trial in Belarus this year for alleged defamation of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko in a number of articles the journalist had written for Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza daily, among others.
This week, courts in Grodno upheld its sentence of a three-year suspended sentence for Poczobut.

Speaking to journalists, Sikorski said that only the freedom of Andrzej Poczobut and other anti-regime activists would allow for dialogue between Minsk and Brussels.

Summit to create conditions for EU-Belarus round table

The Eastern Partnership summit is billed for 29-30 September, and is one of the chief events of Poland’s six-month EU Council presidency, which began in July.

Inaugurated by Poland with the backing of Sweden in the EU arena, the Eastern Partnership was launched in 2009 to bring six ex-Soviet states closer to the workings of the 27-nation bloc.

The countries which are part of the Eastern Partnership – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine – are not slated to become EU members, but are open to integrate with the politics, economy, and law of the EU.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk informed on Wednesday that he had been given the go-ahead from German Chancellor Angela Merkel as to the summit’s objective.

“I am persuading European leaders – and convincing Berlin has not been as easy – that in cooperating with the Belarusian [political] opposition we may create the conditions for possible round table talks in Belarus,” Tusk declared.

The Prime Minister also added that Poland is best prepared to help in the creation of such a round table forum in the country’s eastern neighbour.

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Arctic: Russia To Increase Military Presence, Wants NATO To Stay Out

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1663947.php/Russia-to-up-military-presence-in-Arctic-wants-EU-to-stay-out

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
September 20, 2011

Russia to up military presence in Arctic, wants EU to stay out

Moscow: Russia will increase its military presence in the Arctic – a region NATO should stay out of, a senior Kremlin official said Tuesday.

‘Our northern border used to be closed because of ice and a severe climate,’ said Anton Vasilev, a special ambassador for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

‘But the ice is going away we cannot leave 20,000 kilometres unwatched. We can’t leave ourselves in a position where we are undefended,’ Vasilev said, in an interview with the Interfax news agency.

Global warming and demand for new energy sources make necessary new and clearer international agreements on the division of Arctic region’s resources and usage he said.

Only Arctic Council nations – and not outside agencies like NATO or the European Union – should set the groundwork, he said.

‘The Arctic should be for the use of all … but should be up to those of us who live there to establish the rules of the game,’ he said.

The Arctic Council is a inter-governmental forum including Canada, Denmark, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US.

The Kremlin in 2007 asserted a claim to Arctic Ocean mineral exploitation limits extending almost to the North Pole. If approved by the United Nations, Russia would gain exclusive undersea drilling rights to an area roughly the size of the United Kingdom.

The UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf is studying the Russian claim, and counter-claims by non-Arctic nations saying national borders should only extend 200 miles into the Arctic Sea, and that sea bottom northwards should be international waters.

‘We are hoping for an early resolution of this,’ Vasiliev said. ‘We (the world) need these issues settled.’

Russia’s government led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called developement of the Arctic, particularly its off-shore oil and gas fields, a top national priority. The region is thought to contain more energy resources than Saudi Arabia.

Putin on August 30 presided over the signing of a deal between the Russian state-owned company Rosneft and the international energy giant Exxon on a half-trillion dollar Arctic Ocean oil and gas project.

The Russian Prime Minister was scheduled on Tuesday afternoon to speak at an international forum on Arctic territorial issues in Arkhangelsk, a Russian Arctic Sea port.

Russian army officials in July announced plans to field two brigades of marine infantry to the Arctic, which would become the largest ground force deployed to the region by any nation.

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Are U.S. And NATO Forcing Pakistani Army Into A Trap?

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=69216&Cat=2

News International
September 24, 2011

Is US forcing our army into a trap?
Brig (R) Farooq Hameed Khan

-If after spending billion of dollars that brought the US economy to the verge of collapse and the much-trumpeted Obama’s surge strategy, Kabul and Afghan countryside still remain vulnerable to daring Taliban daylight attacks, then Pentagon has a lot to answer for to the angry American public.

US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s latest warning that his country will do everything it can to defend US forces from Pakistan-based militants staging attacks in Afghanistan reflects the growing US frustration over its failure to overcome Afghan resistance even after ten years of waging a bloody war in Afghanistan.

Coming in the wake of the September 13 deadly attack by Afghan militants against the heavily fortified US embassy, NATO/ISAF HQ and the country’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) in Kabul’s high security zone, Panetta’s threat pointed towards heightened Pak-US mistrust and the possibility of unilateral US retaliation against the alleged Haqqani Network in North Waziristan.

While Taliban claimed responsibility for Kabul strike, the Americans were quick to blame the Haqqani group. US ambassador Cameron Munter’s unprecedented statement about evidence linking the Haqqani network to the Pakistan government, which blamed the ISI indirectly for Kabul attacks, openly violated diplomatic norms.

Admiral Mike Mullen during his meeting with Army Chief General Kayani on the sidelines of a NATO conference in Spain also called for action against the Haqqani Network. In a speech at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington DC, Mullen was more direct in asking the ISI to sever ties with the Haqqani group and said that the presence of Haqqani sanctuaries in North Waziristan potentially jeopardised the outcome of the war.

While Americans basked in the glory of the May 2 Abbottabad strike, the recent spate of militant attacks against US/NATO troops in and around Kabul exposed the poor security situation in the Afghan capital. It also raised questions regarding the ability and effectiveness of the Afghan National Army (ANA) and police to defend Kabul and other parts of the country against Taliban /militant attacks.

The Bagram Air Base, said to be the most secure place for US troops in Afghanistan, was attacked by Taliban on May 19 this year. A day earlier, a suicide bomber targeted a NATO convoy in Kabul, killing five US troops, taking the death toll of American soldiers past the 1,000 mark. A Taliban bomb attack on September 11 against a coalition base in the eastern province of Wardaq left at least 77 American soldiers wounded.

If after spending billion of dollars that brought the US economy to the verge of collapse and the much-trumpeted Obama’s surge strategy, Kabul and Afghan countryside still remain vulnerable to daring Taliban daylight attacks, then Pentagon has a lot to answer for to the angry American public.

The US obsession for action against the Haqqani Network is not new. The Pak Army has resisted the US demand for a crackdown on the Haqqanis in North Waziristan for almost two years now. The Army believes that it would decide its operational priorities in FATA keeping in view ground realities, act according to its own timeframe and will not accept US dictation in this respect.

With its resources already overstretched, the Army’s emphasis remains on consolidating its operational gains in South Waziristan, Bajaur and other FATA agencies like Mohmand and Orakzai where anti-militant operations and sporadic skirmishes with militants’ remnants still continue.

The Army recently completed Operation Koh-e-Sufaid in the Kurram agency aimed at clearing the region of militants involved in kidnapping and suicide attacks on security forces and installations as well as re-opening the strategic Thall-Parachinar road.

The top US military leadership’s accusation of Pakistan influencing the Haqqani group’s actions is perhaps an exaggeration. It goes against our security interests to guide the Haqqanis to attack US/NATO Headquarters in Kabul at a time when Pakistan seeks earnest efforts to remove obstacles in the complex peace process and help bring stability to war-torn Afghanistan.

It is strange that the US is bent upon blaming the Haqqanis when Taliban claimed responsibility for the latest Kabul strike. If the US drones could kill Al Qaeda militants in North Waziristan, what stops them from targeting Haqqani fighters operating within Afghan territory? It is also incomprehensible that Haqqani fighters could travel all the way to attack US/NATO forces deep within Afghanistan and return to their bases on the Pakistan side without being intercepted or challenged by allied troops.

Sirajuddin Haqqani recently announced his group’s willingness to join the Afghan peace process if the Taliban joined the same, which should be a positive signal to the Americans. He also declared that Haqqani fighters no longer operated from North Waziristan and had moved their bases inside Afghanistan. This appears plausible in view of the US drone attacks that reportedly targeted Haqqani leadership in North Waziristan in the past as well as pressure from Pakistan’s security establishment to make a total shift.

But Pakistanis are also furious over the ‘deliberate failure’ of US/NATO and Afghan forces to stop a series of cross-border attacks by Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants into Dir and Chitral, in which dozens of our paramilitary troops, government officials and innocent civilians were killed. The US/NATO forces’ withdrawal from Kunar and Nuristan facilitated the TTP militants’ regrouping across the Pak-Afghan border. In effect, US/NATO succeeded in activating another front for the Pak Army, forcing it to deploy additional troops in Dir and Chitral.

The Pakistani civil and military leadership appears in no mood to budge under US pressure. Rather, the Americans were warned to refrain from another Abbottabad-style unilateral military action on Pakistan’s soil, as it would have disastrous ramifications for the already heavily-strained bilateral ties between Islamabad and Washington. Any US attempt to escalate the situation would neither serve the cause of peace in Afghanistan nor facilitate an honourable US exit from the region.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, too, has rejected US media reports that in her latest meeting with Secretary of State in New York, Hillary Clinton gave an ultimatum to Islamabad to launch an anti-Haqqani offensive. However Pak-US political and diplomatic engagements must continue to restore trust and confidence between the two ‘most allied allies.’

If the US desires to bring the Taliban and Haqqanis to the negotiating table, it must weaken or defeat them within Afghanistan to the point that the Americans can deal with them from a position of strength. With the increased intensity of Afghan resistance witnessed in recent months, such a situation seems nowhere visible on the horizon.

Why is the US making Pakistan the scapegoat to cover up its own strategic failures and blunders in Afghanistan? Why should the Pak Army attack and alienate the Haqqanis with whom we have no dispute? Any offensive in North Waziristan could also endanger Pak Army’s peace agreements with various tribal groups, thereby disrupting the Army’s strategy to isolate the TTP and other hostile militant bodies.

Washington’s targets are undoubtedly both the Pak Army and the ISI, its old allies that it now perceives as stumbling blocks in its grand designs. The Haqqani hype provides yet another opportunity to defame both. The Pak Army must not fall into the American trap in North Waziristan, which could get it entangled into a complex situation with heavy blowback in our cities/towns.

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Pakistan Turns To China In Face Of U.S.-NATO Threats

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Opinions/Editorials/25-Sep-2011/A-friend-indeed

The Nation
September 25, 2011

A friend, indeed!

As always, China, our genuine, age-old friend and a towering world power that does not throw its weight around for the recognition of its status, has asked the US to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Beijing deemed it necessary to remind the US of this basic principle of international law following the steep rise in tension between Washington and Islamabad, which unless defused could give the US an excuse to take an irrational step that could have dangerous consequences.

In utter disregard of Pakistan’s role in the fight against terror, Admiral Mike Mullen had levelled the baseless charge of ISI’s active support to the Haqqani Network militants, who the US wants the world to believe are operating from North Waziristan against the NATO forces across the border, and Defence Secretary Panetta had warned Pakistan that if it did not take armed action against these ‘militants’, it would itself do so.

The Chinese are also sending their Deputy Prime Minister, accompanied by a high-level delegation, to express their solidarity with Pakistan at this critical time.

At the same time, it seems quite clear now that, as Prime Minister Gilani had told Iranian President Ahmedinejad in a recent visit to Tehran, the government has finally made a paradigm shift in its policy towards the US.

Recent events have laid bare the American designs in the region that are indisputably against Pakistan’s national interests, leaving no room for Islamabad to continue with the policy of a close alliance with the US.

Following Foreign Minister Khar’s blunt warning that if accusations against the ISI of waging a proxy war did not stop, the US stood in danger of losing Pakistan as its friend and ally, COAS General Kayani has given vent to his anger and resentment against such statements.

Obviously, recalling the discussions he has had with Admiral Mullen on scores of occasions they had met, the General revealed that the Admiral knew very well which countries had contacts with the Haqqanis. He categorically denied that the ISI was fighting a proxy war against the NATO-led forces as well as the allegation of its support to the Haqqanis, and wished that the blame game came to an end.

We have had enough of the American trickeries – commitments of abiding friendship alternating with threats of aggression and even actual violation of sovereignty. It is high time we changed the course of foreign policy and unhesitatingly committed ourselves to the revival of the spirit of deep understanding and economic and military equation with Beijing that had previously prevailed between the two countries. China has never been found wanting and has invariably lent its support to us. With this message and a nation determined to defend its sovereignty against the US aggressive designs, the present danger will pass off in course of time.

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U.S. And NATO Planning Massive Military Onslaught In Northwest Pakistan?

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=116143

Pakistan Observer
September 25, 2011

Panetta’s warning to Pakistan
Column from Dallas
Saeed Qureshi

-It may be instructive to know that Haqqani group was in the lead of the American proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. But when the United States turned against Taliban, they joined the latter to liberate Afghanistan from NATO, branding it as an occupation force.

The newly appointed United States’ Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has castigated Pakistan for not taking military action against the so-called Haqqani group now arrayed against NATO military forces in Afghanistan. In his hard-hitting statement, the American defense secretary displayed an overly aggressive posture that was loaded with dire consequences for Pakistan if she did not abide by the dictates of the United States. Leon Panetta in his September 15 stunning dictation has sternly asked Pakistan to cut off ties with the Haqqani network and help eliminate its leaders. He warned that if Pakistan did not comply, the United States would act unilaterally against the group.

Mr. Panetta’s assertive statement can be termed as a veiled warning in that he implied that if Pakistan was reluctant to oblige the United States, then NATO would extend its fight to North Waziristan.

They would not mind if it would be a grave infringement of international law and a violation of the territorial integrity of an ally.

Unmindful of the sovereignty and national interests of Pakistan, America seems to be poised to bomb North Waziristan, a sector of FATA that has remained immune so far from the military operations of the Pakistan army.

The Pakistan army is already fighting in South Waziristan to flush out Taliban insurgents. Such a military onslaught by the United States and NATO might drag on for an indefinite period of time. It would, however, result in further undermining the already precarious security situation in Pakistan, because of incessant terrorism on her soil by the militants. Even the Haqqani group might join the militant Taliban in an unmitigated spree of vendetta attacks throughout the length and breadth of Pakistan. In the event of a full-scale war that NATO and United States would launch, terrorist attacks and suicide bombing on Pakistan’s mainland would be accentuated. Pakistan is already under unremitting terrorism from anti-Pakistan Taliban, wreaking havoc all over and destroying its social peace and economy.

The United States considers the North Waziristan-based Haqqani network run by Mualvi Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son Sirajuddin Haqqani to be a resilient adversary of United States and at the same time an ally of Taliban and pro-Pakistan. Presumably Pakistan has been reluctant to expand her anti-Taliban military operations to North Waziristan because of the fond hope that in the event of American withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Haqqani group would protect Pakistan’s interests in that war-ravaged country. But of late, the group is reported to be operating from Afghanistan as it feels safer there than staying in North Waziristan situated within the so-called FATA (federally administered areas). The Haqqani network is believed to be behind the series of brutal attacks that were launched against the NATO forces including the September 12, 2011 attack on the US Embassy and nearby NATO bases in Kabul that lasted for 19 hours.

…It may be instructive to know that Haqqani group was in the lead of the American proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. But when the United States turned against Taliban, they joined the latter to liberate Afghanistan from NATO, branding it as an occupation force. Instead of resorting to a knee-jerk reaction and punitive retaliation through military means, the United States could cultivate the Haqqani group for liaison, rapport and link with the anti-American Taliban. This has become all the more pressing a need for America after the assassination of Burhanuddin Rabbani on 20 September 2011, by Taliban.

Burhanuddin was trying to bring about a kind of rapprochement between the Taliban and the United States to pave the way for a face-saving exit of NATO and the United States from Afghanistan. The United States should realize that there is a limit to Pakistan obliging the United States and endure pressure from the NATO commanders to keep fighting for the sake of the occupation alliance. If Pakistan cannot expand her anti-Taliban war to North Waziristan and the United States in concert with NATO embarks upon a solo fight, then the exit of the United States from Afghanistan would be stalled indefinitely. It is not the Haqqani group that was responsible for 9/11 attacks on American soil but Al-Qaida that has been considerably mauled by the United States in the aftermath of that horrendous happening. The Haqqani group can be won over and used for forging a link with Taliban and thus end their hostilities against the occupation forces.

It is high time for the United States to use the carrot rather than the stick and try to woo the rival factions of Taliban to get out of the quagmire of Afghanistan well in time. To use Pakistan as a scapegoat for the military failures of NATO and American troops is a fallacious approach and cannot be rewarding in the longer run. Pakistan as a mercenary or ally of the United States against terrorism has already rendered supreme sacrifices by way of its shattered economy, the high death toll of its soldiers and the massive disruption of peace within.

To put more burden on her and harp on the tune to “do more” would be counterproductive. Such a pressure tactic would be tantamount to forcing Pakistan to continue fighting against her own people and making them an eternal enemy that might result in the break-up of Pakistan. Pakistan cannot and must not expand the war theatre beyond South Waziristan. Rather, Pakistan should also withdraw from South Waziristan as a gesture of goodwill and reconciliation towards Taliban and to signal that it was time for the cessation of hostilities. This policy of pacifism would also benefit the United States because a friendly, cohesive and united Afghanistan under a national government would also be friendly towards the United States. Why should Taliban be perpetually punished for a crime that was committed by Al-Qaida? The United States in return can win the people of Afghanistan through aid and by joining reconstruction efforts of that massively ravaged country like it did in Germany in the post World War II era.

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Categories: Uncategorized

‘U.S. military mindset produces monsters’

September 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Press TV
September 24, 2011

‘US military mindset produces monsters’

Interview with Rick Rozoff, Manager for Stop NATO, Chicago
An analyst believes the actions of the US “kill team” charged with murdering Afghan civilians for sport is not isolated, but part of a systemic military mindset

Press TV talks with Rick Rozoff, manager of Stop NATO in Chicago, about the mindset of the US military leadership and U.S. government indiscretion that is cultivating a carte blanche impunity toward the value of the lives of the civilians of Afghanistan and Iraq. The attitude filters from the top down, resulting in atrocities against innocent people by ground forces. Following is a transcript of the interview.

Press TV: Certainly this whole episode has been embarrassing for the U.S. Does that mean these “kill teams” still won’t pop up in Afghanistan, in Iraq?

Rick Rozoff: There’s all too much reason to believe that this is not an isolated incident, that in fact U.S. and other Western troops in Afghanistan have been given carte blanche to operate with comparative impunity. I fear that we may see more again along the lines of the monstrous and grotesque story you’ve just described.

Press TV: How much of the mentality, which allows soldiers to act out in such ways, is based on the leadership’s opinions of Iraqis and Afghanis?

Rick Rozoff: That’s a very astute question. Rather than singling out a 21-year-old infantryman for being solely responsible for this horrendous crime – and degradation and mutilation of the corpse of the teenager, the youth, he killed – the blame rests much higher up.

If the situation were reversed I can assure you that the U.S. would invoke so-called command responsibility and make sure the military commanders responsible for the troops in this sort of situation were held accountable.

We have to keep in mind, for example, that in the past two years, since 2009, U.S. special operations – so-called night raids, in particular – in Afghanistan have tripled, over the last two years.

There was also a report in June from a US-based non-governmental organization called Refugees International that stated, over the same period of time – over the last two years – 250,000 Afghan civilians have been displaced from their towns and villages because of similar special operations and attacks on the villages and the towns – these are helicopter gunships attacks; so-called night raids and so forth.

So, what we’re witnessing unfortunately is widespread and systematic abuse of Afghan civilians and the case in point we’re discussing now is one of the more atrocious, but I fear not a completely isolated development.

Press TV: Do cases like this provide hope that private contractors such as those from Blackwater, now known as Xe, will be held to account more often in cases where they do kill innocent people?

Rick Rozoff: One would hope so, but I live in Chicago in the U.S., the president of the US went to the White House from Chicago, and we might recall in his Nobel Peace prize acceptance speech in December of 2009, on the occasion of receiving a prize for peace, he openly boasted of the fact that the US is “the world’s military superpower.”

And I’m afraid that kind of arrogant attitude of being above the law, and obeying the law when one chooses, filters down through the ranks into occupation troops in countries like Afghanistan and Iraq and the inevitable implication I suspect is that we can get away with it because we are Americans.

Categories: Uncategorized

Frank Harris: Henri Barbusse and the war against war

September 25, 2011 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

Henri Barbusse: Selections on war

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Frank Harris
Excerpts from Henri Barbusse
From Latest Contemporary Portraits (1927)

The World War with its twenty millions of murdered human beings needed an avenging spirit, some one who would tell the truth and picture the horror, some great soul flaming with pity. Le Feu (“Under Fire”) of Henri Barbusse is the book we needed. Sensational books are nearly always bad books: this is a sensational book that is great because of its truth.

One would have thought that such a war would have produced a hundred reporters who would have shocked the world by merely telling what they had seen – the plain facts; yet only one man has attempted to do so.

***

This man could surely stand in our time as the best type of the reformer. To him the war against war is the highest object of life. He told me that he wanted a big International of all former soldiers in all countries; it seems that there are a quarter of million members already in England and Germany and even more in Italy. “I want,” he says, “to create a pacifist organisation which shall embrace the whole world: I want to touch the soul of all peoples, and so create a friendly and brotherly feeling even among our late enemies; a solidarity of enthusiasm which shall make any future war impossible.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 24, 2011

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment

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Libya: 23,682 NATO Air Missions, 8,865 Strike Sorties

EU Defense Chiefs: Learn Lessons Of Libya War For Future Operations

BRICS Insist On Central Role Of UNSC In Libyan, Syrian Settlements

Pakistan: 52 Drone Strikes Kill 463 So Far This Year

U.S. To Deploy Predator Drones In Turkey: Prime Minister

Security Threat: Iran Calls For NATO Naval Forces To Leave Persian Gulf

GUAM: Azerbaijan-Georgia-Moldova-Romania Pipeline Plans

42 New Warplanes: U.S. Commander Eyes “Interoperable” Japanese Fighter Fleet

NATO Not Welcome: Russia Bolsters Arctic Forces

Five NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghan Attacks

Afghan War Casualty: U.S. Has Lost Pakistan To China

Australian Experts: NATO Has Lost South Asian War

Might Of Powerful Nations Cannot Prevail: Sri Lanka

EU-U.S. Trans-Caspian Pipeline Keeps Iranian, Russian Gas Out Of Europe

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Libya: 23,682 NATO Air Missions, 8,865 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110924_110924-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 23,682 sorties, including 8,865 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 23 SEPTEMBER: 111

Strike sorties conducted 23 SEPTEMBER: 36

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EU Defense Chiefs: Learn Lessons Of Libya War For Future Operations

http://english.ahram.org.eg/~/NewsContent/2/9/22278/World/International/EU-must-learn-lessons-from-Libyan-crisis-defence-m.aspx

Agence France-Presse
September 23, 2011

EU must learn lessons from Libyan crisis: defence ministers

European Union defence ministers urged the 27-member bloc Friday to learn lessons from the Libyan conflict which revealed several glaring weaknesses in European armies.

The Libyan war is a “success” but it “has highlighted the limitations of Europe’s capabilities,” Polish Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said at a two-day meeting with his EU counterparts in Wroclaw, south-eastern Poland.

“Lessons have to be learned from Libya, about what capabilities need to be invested in, given there have been some shortfalls,” added Gerald Howarth, Britain’s Minister for International Security Strategy.

His French counterpart Gerard Longuet said it was necessary to “draft without delay a list of what we know and don’t know how to do, of what we can or cannot do.”

He added that officials from Britain and France, two leading countries in the conflict, would meet October 12 to “exchange mutual experience.”

The weak spots most often mentioned at the meeting in Poland, which holds the six-month rotating EU presidency, included a lack of in-flight refuelling aircraft, a shortage of ammunition, and shortfalls in information about the conflict.

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BRICS Insist On Central Role Of UNSC In Libyan, Syrian Settlements

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/24/56668150.html

Voice of Russia
September 24, 2011

BRICS favours UNSC central role in Libyan, Syrian settlement

       
The Russian delegation to the ongoing session of the UN General Assembly continues making active diplomatic efforts on the fringes of the world forum in New York. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has met his counterparts from the BRICS countries (Brazil, India, China and South Africa). The Voice of Russia has the details.

The BRICS foreign ministers focused on the situation in Libya and Syria, but also took up other issues of foreign policy interaction by the informal alliance of the five countries.

The parties to the meeting agreed that the UN Security Council should play the central role in dealing with a post-conflict settlement in Libya, with the BRICS nations due to learn a lesson from the Libyan crisis. According to Sergei Lavrov, it is important to strongly insist on the Security Council’s central role in guaranteeing international peace and security. To avoid abuse of sanction resolutions, the Council should press for utmost clarity in such issues as the nature of resolutions and the terms of their imposition, Lavrov said.

“We aren’t happy about the developments in Libya, Sergei Lavrov says. The basic objective that the UN Security Council set was to protect the civilian population. But civilians in Libya continue to be killed in great numbers. I think it is in the interests of the Libyan people to find ways of ending their strife and start negotiating a settlement. We proceed from the assumption that it is necessary to speedily start making efforts to attain the basic objective, set by the Security Council, that of protecting the civilian population. Russia and our BRICS partners have repeatedly pointed out that we are concerned about the way resolutions 1970 and 1973 are being implemented.”

The BRICS countries’ concern about the way NATO was implementing the resolutions in question, and more importantly, about the lateral [liberal, open-ended] interpretation of these resolutions by the western countries was specifically prompted by the fact that the current situation in Syria is likely to follow the Libyan scenario. That is why the BRICS foreign ministers pointed out their resolve to remain as one, at the Security Council, about their stand on the Syrian issue. Imposition of sanctions on Damascus may provoke the Syrian opposition into stepping up their confrontation with the authorities. But Sergei Lavrov also pointed out the need for an urgent implementation of the Syrian government-promised reforms, so the population could see the results of declared intentions in practical terms.

The BRICS foreign ministers have urged the UN Security Council to come out against any violence in Syria and insist that all parties to the Syrian conflict should sit down at the negotiating table.

The foreign ministers agreed that the dialogue among the BRICS countries is growing more intensive and concrete in character. Russia sees its participation in the alliance as one of its top foreign policy priorities and will actively contribute to consolidating BRICS, the Russian Foreign Ministry says in its statement.

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Pakistan: 52 Drone Strikes Kill 463 So Far This Year

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/24/c_131156676.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 24, 2011

8 killed in U.S. drone strike in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: At least eight suspected militants were killed when two missiles were fired by U.S. drones in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of North Waziristan on Friday night, reported the local Urdu TV channel WAQT.

According to local media reports, the strike took place at about 9:30 p.m. local time in the Mir Ali area of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, one of the seven tribal areas in northwest Pakistan, which borders Afghanistan.

….

Friday’s U.S. drone strike is the 52nd of its kind (counted on daily basis) in Pakistan in 2011. To date, a total of 463 people…have reportedly been killed in such strikes since this year.

The strike came shortly after the Pakistani leadership including the prime minister and Army chief expressed on Friday discontent with the recent remarks made by a top U.S. military official’s accusation that Pakistan’s secret agency ISI is supporting the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network in Afghanistan.

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U.S. To Deploy Predator Drones In Turkey: Prime Minister

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=155786

Azeri Press Agency
September 24, 2011

Turkey: US likely to deploy Predator drones

Baku: The U.S. will likely deploy some Predator drones on Turkish soil, the Turkish prime minister said Friday. Turkey has been pressing for the drones in an escalating war against Kurdish rebels, APA reports quoting AP.

The U.S. shares drone surveillance data from northern Iraq with Ankara to aid its fight against Kurdish rebels who have bases in Iraq. The two countries have been negotiating the possible deployment of Predator drones after the U.S. leaves Iraq.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday the two allies have agreed “in principle” over the deployment of the drones in Turkey, the state-run Anatolia news agency said.

Turkey has offered to purchase or lease the drones, Erdogan said.

“Our negotiations will continue,” Anatolia quoted Erdogan as saying. “The developments are moving toward an agreement.”

Turkey is operating Israeli-made Heron drones against the Kurdish rebels who have been fighting for autonomy in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast since 1984. They have stepped up attacks on security forces in recent months, who have retaliated with airstrikes in the rebels’ suspected bases in northern Iraq.

In a nationwide crackdown on alleged Kurdish rebel sympathizers, police on Friday detained the mayors of the towns of Sirnak, Silopi and Idil in the Kurdish-dominated southeast, increasing the number of Kurdish suspects captured so far this week to more than 80, NTV television reported.

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Security Threat: Iran Calls For NATO Naval Forces To Leave Persian Gulf

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-filipino/world/09/23/11/ahmadinejad-calls-western-navies-leave-gulf

Agence France-Presse
September 24, 2011

Ahmadinejad calls for western navies to leave Gulf
Agence France-Presse

NEW YORK: Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Friday called on NATO naval forces to withdraw from the Gulf, calling them a threat to security.

Ahmadinejad was asked about the potential for conflict in the Gulf at the final press conference of his trip to New York for the annual UN General Assembly.

“Any tool that can prevent clashes and potential conflict will be welcome. And I don’t think there is any need for confrontation,” he said.

“But I think the best long term solution to this problem is for the foreign forces to leave the Persian Gulf. There is no need in the Persian Gulf for the presence of the NATO forces,” the Iranian leader told journalists.

The United States and European navies have stepped up their presence in the Gulf in recent years. The United States has a naval base in Bahrain and France opened a base in Abu Dhabi, within 250 kilometers (155 miles) of Iran’s coastline, in 2009.

“The nations of the region are fully capable of establishing and providing their own security,” said Ahmadinejad.

“Perhaps some will pretend that energy security is at risk. For decades the countries in the region have been able to shoulder their responsibility for that security.

“I tell you in no uncertain terms today that NATO – Great Britain and American forces – if they leave the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, Iran will guarantee the route of energy trade in the region and the security in the region at large,” the president added.

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GUAM: Azerbaijan-Georgia-Moldova-Romania Pipeline Plans

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=155759

Azeri Press Agency
September 23, 2011

Moldova has a strategic interest in the AGRI project
Victoria Dementyeva

Baku: The Republic of Moldova has a strategic interest in the AGRI project due to bring natural gas from Azerbaijan via Georgia to Romania, Moldova prime minister said in an interview with HotNews.ro. He also said that early elections would be catastrophic for his country, discussed the 5+2 negotiations over Transdniester and dismissed the possibility to bring the communists into the Moldovan government.

Asked whether there was a possibility for the Republic of Moldova to be linked to the interconnecting project AGRI, as talks were held recently over Ukraine’s being connected to the future project, Filat said he had discussed the issue repeatedly and he was about to discuss it again with Romanian President Traian Basescu on Thursday. He said Moldova had a strategic interest in the project and that Moldova authorities were looking into the possibility of joining it.

Filat said that depending on a single source of natural gas supplies or electricity leads to serious issues including the energy security of the country. He said two projects to inter-connect the natural gas networks of Romania and Moldova and of energy networks should be worked on fast, so that they become operational by mid-2013.

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42 New Warplanes: U.S. Commander Eyes “Interoperable” Japanese Fighter Fleet

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/24/us-japan-fighter-usa-idUSTRE78N03X20110924

Reuters
September 23, 2011

U.S. commander eyes “interoperable” Japan fighter fleet

WASHINGTON: The head of U.S. military forces in Asia and the Pacific predicted Friday that Japan’s choice of a new multibillion-dollar fighter fleet would reflect plans to stay “very complementary” with U.S. air forces.
Proposals are due in Tokyo on Monday from the three rivals for Japan’s so-called F-X deal – Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp of the United States and Europe’s Eurofighter GmbH consortium, made up of Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Japan is expected to buy 42 planes, a deal experts say could be worth $6 billion to $8 billion, including spares, pilot training and related gear.

U.S. Navy Admiral Robert Willard, head of the Hawaii-based, U.S. Pacific Command, stopped short of predicting that Tokyo would pick Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet or Lockheed’s radar-evading F-35 Lightning II over the Eurofighter Typhoon.

But he said Japanese defense forces “understand the importance of remaining interoperable with the United States, their ally that is home based in Japan or being hosted in Japan, as well as U.S. forces that are deployed in the region.”

Pressed to say whether the Americans would best the Europeans, Willard replied: “No, I wouldn’t go that far.”

But he said he was confident that Japanese commanders will make sure that whichever plane they buy “remains interoperable and very complementary to our capabilities.”

(Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)

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NATO Not Welcome: Russia Bolsters Arctic Forces

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/09/23/russia-canada-arctic.html

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
September 23, 2011

Russians move to bolster Arctic forces
Gen. Walt Natynczyk meets Russians in Moscow for 3 days but no details released
By Brian Kemp

Just days after Gen. Walt Natynczyk, Canada’s chief of defence staff, left Moscow after meeting his counterpart last weekend, a Russian official announced that the country would be increasing its Arctic military presence, a move that could increase tensions in the resource-rich area.

Anton Vasilev, a special ambassador for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was quoted this week by the Interfax news agency as saying his country would be beefing up its presence in the Arctic, and that NATO was not welcome there.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was in Iceland this week meeting with the country’s leaders, with the Arctic being at the top of the agenda, local media reported. Putin, according to the Moscow Times, then announced that Russia would be ordering three nuclear and six diesel icebreakers to be delivered by 2020, with the goal of expanding transportation in the Arctic.

In July, Russia said it would create two specialist brigades to be based in the Arctic. It’s not known if the latest announcement is tied to that declaration or if additional forces will be moved to the region.

Arctic a priority for Harper

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made a priority of increasing Canada’s presence in the North, as the countries that border the Arctic region eye the vast amount of oil and other resources in the area.

The North Pole itself is considered an international site and is administered by the International Seabed Authority. But if a country can prove its underwater shelf is an extension of its continental border, then it can claim an economic zone based on that.

There has been tension as countries wait for the UN to rule on legal claims in the resource-rich area. In that vein, a military presence is also seen as a way to stake an even higher claim in the Arctic region.

Since 1994, the Russians have staffed year-round a research base called Ice Station Borneo on the deep Arctic ice, only 60 kilometres from the pole. Their planes have sometimes approached Canadian airspace and jets have been scrambled to shadow them.

The Canadian Forces, on its website, said it has a “real, growing, and long-term presence in its Arctic region,” and has been in the North since 1898.

In August, Canada held one of its largest military exercises, dubbed Operation Nanook, in the North. The month-long operation involved more than 1,000 troops.

Canada, along with Russia, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the U.S. belong to a group called the Arctic Council, which was created by the Arctic nations in 1996 and is billed as a high level intergovernmental forum.

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Five NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghan Attacks

http://channel6newsonline.com/2011/09/five-nato-soldiers-killed-in-western-and-eastern-afghanistan/

BNO News
September 23, 2011

Five NATO soldiers killed in western and eastern Afghanistan

KABUL: Five coalition service members were killed as a result of two separate incidents in western and eastern Afghanistan on Friday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

ISAF said three of its service members were killed as a result of non-battle related injuries in western Afghanistan while two others died as a result of an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in the country’s east. As usual, the multinational force gave no other details about the incidents, including the exact locations.

The nationalities of the service members were also not immediately disclosed by ISAF. “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…

So far this year, at least 454 coalition service members have been killed in Afghanistan. Most troops are American and are killed in the country’s south, which is plagued by IED attacks on troops and civilians. The deadliest incident happened last month when a U.S. helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan, killing 30 U.S. troops, seven Afghan troops and an Afghan interpreter.

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Afghan War Casualty: U.S. Has Lost Pakistan To China

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/24/56621921.html

Voice of Russia
September 24, 2011

U.S. lost to China – expert

Interview with Ahmed Quraishi senior research fellow at an Independent Pakistani think-tank Project Pakistan 21.

Since in this program we are discussing Pakistani-US relations, I have the impression that as the US is laying all the blame on Pakistan for its failures in Afghanistan, it is hardly convincing and it also gives me an impression that US positions in the region are becoming increasingly shaky. Is my understanding correct, do you support this, or perhaps I am wrong?

There is a clear understanding right now that the Americans are desperate in Afghanistan and they are very embarrassed after a series of security lapses in Afghanistan, when you had an attack on both NATO headquarters and the US embassy on the same day and a few days earlier you had a series of assassinations of senior Afghan officials who were allied with the US military in Afghanistan ‑ this is a huge security lapse and it is very interesting to see how the US government and the US military, and also the US intelligence community, have to lead forward and sort of undercut any potential questioning within the United States ‑ whether in the US Congress or in the US media ‑ about the performance of the US military in Afghanistan and lay the entire blame at Pakistan’s door.

It is very much clear for Pakistani officials that the American military and intelligence are Afghanistan is trying to use this series of attacks, these lapses which are a direct result of whatever the various Afghan militant groups or resistance groups – whatever you want to call them ‑ are doing in Afghanistan.

The Americans are using all of this to try to settle scores with the Pakistani government and the Pakistani military especially, and the ISI which is the Pakistani intelligence service.

Of course, the Afghans present a problem for the Americans, but somehow US officials are trying to create the impression that all of their problems in Afghanistan are the result of the Haqqani group and once this group is eliminated Afghanistan would somehow turn into a paradise, which is an oversimplification, and I am very much surprised to see that some very credible people in US public discourse ‑ whether in the media or in the think tanks ‑ not one of them is really questioning the certainty of the US military and of the CIA about the Haqqani group; it seems that the Americans are exaggerating the impact and effect of the Haqqani group.

I would like just to share with you an incident that occurred last week when the US ambassador here, in Pakistan, Mr. Cameron Munter, met a senior Pakistani official and again repeated these accusations that there is a proxy connection between the Haqqani group and the Pakistani ISI, and the Pakistani official – and this was reported a couple of days ago in the Pakistani media – the Pakistani official responded to the US ambassador by saying: “If we assume and if we believe for a second that the Haqqani group is really responsible for all of the troubles that your military is facing in Afghanistan, I have a simple question and the question is this – if the Haqqani group is based inside Pakistani territory, there is a lot of distance between the Pakistani territory and Kabul where all of these attacks and assassinations have taken place. So, my question is: when these terrorists were moving from the Pakistani border to Kabul, where was NATO, where
was the US military, where were the Afghan National Police, where was the Afghan National Army – where are all these people, where is the CIA, where are other allied intelligence agencies working with the coalition forces in Afghanistan?”

So, there is a huge security lapse over there and it just appears that somehow the US government is trying to shift the blame. Now, the Pakistani government somehow has been trying ever since the accusations started coming against the American side, it has trying to resolve this matter quietly, but firmly, in private. But as of yesterday we are now seeing government officials, the Pakistani foreign ministry and the Pakistani military, openly saying that we do not consider whatever the Americans are saying as incontestable, we do not even have evidence and it would be better for the American side to present any evidence that would show – number one, that the Haqqani group is actually on Pakistani soil, and number two, that there is actually a connection between the recent attacks in Kabul – the major, the huge, the embarrassing security lapses in Kabul – a connection between them and the Haqqani network as well, because it seems to us that the Americans
are trying to use this opportunity, these attacks, to put more pressure on the Pakistani government.

There is one issue between Pakistan and the United States which never is addressed openly or publicly by US officials and that is visas for CIA agents – the real contention between Pakistan and the United States is actually the question of giving visas to CIA agents – Pakistan does not want to do that. Pakistan unfortunately has been doing that during ten years of former president Pervez Musharraf and there was no written understanding on that – the agents just simply kept coming and when the issue became problematic a year or a couple of years ago, the Pakistani government and the Pakistani military restricted issuing such visas to CIA agents who normally come carrying diplomatic passports, so they are basically pretending to be diplomats posted to their embassies and various consulates when they are actually agents, working without the knowledge of the Pakistani government.

This is the real issue and the entire reason why the Americans are upset, why they are holding up military assistance throughout the country is basically this – they want to return to whatever arrangements existed five years ago, but that is no longer possible. Pakistani interests and policy direction are quietly changing, there is a growing realization – of course, the Americans call it anti-Americanism, but I do not think it is anti-Americanism, I think this is a misleading term American officials use normally to put their counterparts on the defensive.

It is not anti-Americanism; it is very simply that there is a growing realization in Islamabad that over the past eight years we have supported the Americans, at our own expense sometimes, but we have not seen in return a real appreciation from the American side. Of course, the US government keeps repeating that we are given billions of dollars in aid, much of this actually is not even aid, in fact, anything between 50 to 80 percent of that money was actually reimbursement for using Pakistani facilities and so forth in the American war in Afghanistan.

Of course, the Pakistanis believe that for the kind of support we have been giving the Americans over the eight years we did not receive at least, not money – it is not a question of money, it is a question of appreciating Pakistan’s goal and strategic interest. If there are two allies and they are working on a similar, on a single issue, both countries need to respect the interest of each other: the Americans are not doing that, they think the Pakistani government, the Pakistani military need to follow whatever policy lines given by Washington without questions asked – that is not possible.

Pakistan has its own interests and obviously in recent months those interests have been diverging more and more and they will not end anytime soon, but the Americans have begun to appreciate the fact that this is a country that has its own interests and if the Americans want cooperation with Pakistan, they would also have to respect Pakistani interests. You cannot send diplomats, CIA agents disguised as diplomats, and allow them free roaming and operation facilities in Pakistan and you cannot do whatever you want in a country that is a neighbor to Pakistan without consulting with all those people who are supposed to be your allies.

From what I have been reading and from what I have been hearing from you I get an impression that the frustration with the current US policy in Pakistan is really high and at the same time I know very well that the US has always been competing for Pakistan with China. So, is US losing to China in the region?

I think the United States has already lost to China quite a long time back. I can give you a very simple example: the current situation of flash floods in Pakistan this year and last year – the Americans have stepped forward with aid; in fact last year they did a lot, they are not doing the same, but they did a lot last year. So did the Chinese, and the Saudis, and the Turks, and others, but Pakistani public opinion actually highlighted more what, for example, the Turks, and the Saudis, and the Iranians, and the Chinese specially have done, more than highlighting what the Americans have been doing, and last year the United States initially was reluctant to intervene but later they did send helicopters and that was very helpful during the floods to save people in distant areas.

Then there was not really much appreciation for that in the public, mainly because of the other issues. They did deserve appreciation for that, they did send helicopters – no one can deny that. They really became frustrated, the US diplomats here, and quite later, I think, maybe two or three months after they started operations ‑ they were very frustrated, they were not receiving the kind of media attention they thought they deserved, so we saw the US ambassador personally visiting newspaper newsrooms and distributing photographs and videos and so forth. This is one example that gives the answer to your question: despite several positive things that the Americans have been doing in Pakistan, they do not receive any appreciation because they already have lost the battle for people’s minds and hearts.

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Australian Experts: NATO Has Lost South Asian War

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/24/c_131157972.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 24, 2011

Australia is wasting resources in Afghanistan: experts
By Vienna Ma

CANBERRA:  Australia’s military campaign in Afghanistan is a serious policy failure with no serious prospect of achieving, defense experts said in an interview with Xinhua recently, adding that the on-going spending on the war will constitute a drain on resource.

The comment came following the assassination of former Afghan president and Afghan peace negotiator, Burhanuddin Rabbani. The killing was the latest high-profile attack by insurgents, who are currently engaged in back-channel peace talks with the U.S. via Pakistani intermediaries.

An Australian foreign and defense policy expert at University of Newcastle, Associate Professor Wayne Reynolds, said the recent assassinations and the rising death toll among coalition soldiers indicated the insurgency is gathering pace and sophistication in Afghanistan.

He said it is possible that there is a much broader and uncoordinated insurgency then applying the Taliban label would suggest, and he expected the coalition force will continue to struggle with insurgents, who are motivated not only by opposition to North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO’s) presence, but a plethora of local issues that have been long neglected in the strife-torn nation.

As of the prospects for peace in the country, Professor Reynolds casted a shadow over it, saying that it is considerable diminished by the uncertainty surrounding the profile of the Taliban leadership.

“It is also clear that there is considerable uncertainty about the negotiating framework for peace,” he told Xinhua in an interview. “While the elimination by the U.S. and NATO of Taliban leaders suggests a hierarchy it does not seem to extend to intelligence about the chain of command with respect to negotiators.”

Meanwhile, former senior Defense Department official and government advisor, Professor Hugh White, said the latest assassination showed that chances of Australian Defense Force completing its objectives in Afghanistan are “very low”.

“I don’t think we are likely to succeed in preventing the Taliban taking a prominent position. Even if they don’t completely overtake Afghan politics, they are going to regain a prominent position there after we leave,” he said. “I don’t think we are going to succeed in ensuring that Afghanistan doesn’t become a kind of destabilizing factor in the wide south Asian strategic balance.”

With the barely noticeable process has been done since the coalition force entered Afghanistan in 2001, Professor Reynolds said the occupying force is not only wasting human and financial resources, but also create ongoing co-lateral damage in Afghanistan and increasingly in Pakistan. “The events in Afghanistan suggest that on-going spending on ‘ boots on the ground’ will constitute a drain on resources, and come at the expense of developing other defense options such as aircraft, submarines and industrial infrastructure,” he said.

Australia currently has 1,500 troops in Afghanistan, mainly based in Oruzgan Province. So far, 29 Australian soldiers have died and 194 others have been wounded in Afghanistan since 2001.

Since Australia scheduled to hand security arrangements back to Afghanistan from 2014, Professor White said based on recent casualty rates, as many as 40 more Australians could lose their lives in the war before it ends.

“If when we leave in 2014 Afghanistan looks just as it looks today, which I think is the most likely outcome, then it is hard to see that any lives we lose between now and then will not have been lost in vain,” he said.

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Might Of Powerful Nations Cannot Prevail: Sri Lanka

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/24/c_131156758.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 24, 2011

Might of powerful nations cannot prevail: Sri Lanka

UNITED NATIONS: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Friday called upon the United Nations to build a more equal international order, saying that “the might of powerful nations cannot prevail.”

Rajapaksa made the remarks here as he was speaking at the general debate of the 66th session of UN General Assembly, with the theme of the role of mediation in settling disputes by peaceful means.

“The might of powerful nations cannot prevail against justice and fair play,” the president said, adding that at the heart of dramatic changes of world order lies “the need to protect smaller countries in the developing world and to advance their interests vigorously.”

Rajapaksa said every country’s values, traditions and religious convictions cannot be diluted or distorted by the imposition of alien cultures under the guise of human rights.

“If this were done, it would amount to a violation of human rights in a fundamental sense,” Rajapaksa said.

By saying this, the president referred to cases of Palestine and Cuba. He said that it is a “profound disappointment” that the Palestinian people have not had a state of their own within secure borders, and expressed once again his solidarity with the people of Cuba.

“Even where sanctions are imposed, extreme care has to be taken to ensure that the people at large are not harmed by such action,” Rajapaksa said.

He urged the international community to take into account the vulnerability of developing nations and protect them by means of appropriate institutional arrangements.

“Dumping of commercial and industrial goods manufactured in developed countries imperils the economies of many Asian and African countries represented here,” Rajapaksa said.

He pointed out that developed countries’substantial subsidies to support agricultural production and other forms of protectionism, have caused serious distortion of the interplay of market forces, and reduced to a great extent the ability of farmers in many developing countries to access international markets for their export products on an equitable basis.

Rajapaksa also talked about the disproportionate environmental pollution by industrialized countries and the resultant impact on global warming and climate change.

He said that these impacts “cannot be remedied with any semblance of justice by imposing harsh restraints on developing countries which have contributed very little to aggravation of the problem.”

“These circumstances heighten the importance of social equity at the international level,” Rajapaksa said.

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EU-U.S. Trans-Caspian Pipeline Keeps Iranian, Russian Gas Out Of Europe

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1936211.html

Trend News Agency
September 24, 2011

Trans-Caspian pipeline to prevent Iranian gas from reaching Europe
T. Konyayeva

-“[T]he project does not involve Iran and Russia although Russia has the largest proven gas reserves and Iran the second largest. Thus, they feel that they are left out of a significant gas project feeding Europe…This would have been an opportunity for Iran to break into the market. But of course the problem is international sanctions and the opposition of the United States and some European countries to Iran’s participation…The gas project extending a pipeline under the water without the participation of Iran would be de facto recognition of the usage of the sea by Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan without regard for Iran’s right.”

Baku: The Trans-Caspian gas pipeline will reduce Iran’s chances to become a gas exporter for Europe, experts believe.

“Protecting its national interest, as a potential gas exporter, Iran naturally cannot be supportive of other exporters in the market,” Professor Reza Taghizadeh, a member of the Trend Experts Council, wrote in an email. “The Trans-Caspian pipeline limits Iran’s capability to become Europe’s energy partner. Iran will support such a project only if its own supply of gas will be taken on board.”

Last week, the EU adopted a mandate to negotiate a legally-binding treaty between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to build a Trans-Caspian Pipeline System.

Later, Iran and Russia expressed a negative attitude toward this project. Tehran and Moscow think that the pipeline construction will damage the Caspian Sea environment.

The pipeline, with a length of 300 kilometers, will be laid from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan, where it will be connected to the Southern Gas Corridor.

Talks between Turkmenistan and the EU and other countries on the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline have been conducted since the late 1990s. Its construction is now difficult because of the unresolved status of the Caspian Sea.

In addition to economic reasons, Taghizadeh thinks Iran’s opposition to the Trans-Caspian pipeline has both political and environmental dimensions.

“The environmental concerns are undeniable because the Caspian Sea’s unique ecological system is excessively fragile. The Caspian Sea is closed, and vulnerable towards manmade hazards, such as excessive pollution resulting from further oil and gas productions,” he said.

Besides, the Caspian basin is located right on the earthquake belt, Taghizadeh added.

“Therefore, any quake under the sea water and around the region could break the pipe, releasing poisonous gases into the sea water and endangering marine life gravely before being controlled. The depth of the sea near the Iranian coastlines, which is about 980 meters, makes it no more palpable to take,” he said.

As regards to the political reasons, Taghizadeh believes that the Trans-Caspian pipeline would definitely compromise common ownership of the sea status, and in a way, could divide boundaries of the littoral states.

“However, Russia and Iran both prefer to stay connected and enjoy the benefits of being neighbours,” he said.

Taghizadeh thinks Iran would do its best to stand firmly against the Trans-Caspian pipeline before the legal status of the Caspian Sea is determined.

“At this stage Iran demands the assumption of a dynamic role in the Caspian Sea energy economy plus a fair share of its sea water and natural resources…,” he said.

In November 2003, the Caspian littoral countries (Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan) signed the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea.

As to finalizing the legal status of the Caspian Sea, consultations are under way on this issue.

U.S. Northeastern University Professor Kamran Dadkhah also believes that the real reasons for Iranian and Russian opposition to the Trans-Caspian pipeline are economic benefits and political motives.

“First, the project does not involve Iran and Russia although Russia has the largest proven gas reserves and Iran the second largest. Thus, they feel that they are left out of a significant gas project feeding Europe,” Dadkhah wrote Trend in an email.

He believes Iran feels it is left out of this project as well as the Nabucco pipeline.

“This would have been an opportunity for Iran to break into the market. But of course the problem is international sanctions and the opposition of the United States and some European countries to Iran’s participation,” Dadkhah said.

A second reason for both countries to oppose the project is that the legal framework and boundaries of sovereignty over the Caspian Sea are not finalized, the expert believes.

“Iran feels that it has been cheated out of its rightful share in the resources of the sea. The gas project extending a pipeline under the water without the participation of Iran would be de facto recognition of the usage of the sea by Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan without regard for Iran’s right,” Dadkhah said.

The European Union’s talks with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the project of laying Trans-Caspian pipeline will begin in October, European External Action Service (EEAS) Director for Eastern Partnership Gunnar Wiegand told journalists in Baku on Sept. 23.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Tibullus: War is a crime perpetrated by hearts hardened like weapons

September 24, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

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Tibullus: Elegies
Book I, Number XI
Translated by Theodore C. Williams

War is a Crime

Whoe’er first forged the terror-striking sword,
His own fierce heart had tempered like its blade.
What slaughter followed! Ah! what conflict wild!
What swifter journeys unto darksome death!
But blame not him! Ourselves have madly turned
On one another’s breasts that cunning edge
Wherewith he meant mere blood of beast to spill.

Gold makes our crime. No need for plundering war,
When bowls of beech-wood held the frugal feast.
No citadel was seen nor moated wall;
The shepherd chief led home his motley flock,
And slumbered free from care. Would I had lived
In that good, golden time; nor e’er had known
A mob in arms arrayed; nor felt my heart
Throb to the trumpet’s call! Now to the wars
I must away, where haply some chance foe
Bears now the blade my naked side shall feel.
Save me, dear Lares of my hearth and home!
Ye oft my childish steps did guard and bless,
As timidly beneath your seat they strayed.

Deem it no shame that hewn of ancient oak
Your simple emblems in my dwelling stand!
For so the pious generations gone
Revered your powers, and with offerings rude
To rough-hewn gods in narrow-built abodes,
Lived beautiful and honorable lives.
Did they not bring to crown your hallowed brows
Garlands of ripest corn, or pour new wine
In pure libation on the thirsty ground?
Oft on some votive day the father brought
The consecrated loaf, and close behind
His little daughter in her virgin palm
Bore honey bright as gold. O powers benign!
To ye once more a faithful servant prays
For safety! Let the deadly brazen spear
Pass harmless o’er my head! and I will slay
For sacrifice, with many a thankful song,
A swine and all her brood, while I, the priest,
Bearing the votive basket myrtle-bound,
Walk clothed in white, with myrtle in my hair.

Grant me but this! and he who can may prove
Mighty in arms and by the grace of Mars
Lay chieftains low; and let him tell the tale
To me who drink his health, while on the board
His wine-dipped finger draws, line after line,
Just how his trenches ranged! What madness dire
Bids men go foraging for death in war?
Our death is always near, and hour by hour,
With soundless step a little nearer draws.

What harvest down below, or vineyard green?
There Cerberus howls, and o’er the Stygian flood
The dark ship goes; while on the clouded shore
With hollow cheek and tresses lustreless,
Wanders the ghostly throng. O happier far
Some white-haired sire, among his children dear,
Beneath a lowly thatch! His sturdy son
Shepherds the young rams; he, his gentle ewes;
And oft at eve, his willing labor done,
His careful wife his weary limbs will bathe
From a full, steaming bowl. Such lot be mine!
So let this head grow gray, while I shall tell,
Repeating oft, the deeds of long ago!
Then may long Peace my country’s harvests bless!
Till then, let Peace on all our fields abide!
Bright-vestured Peace, who first beneath their yoke
Led oxen in the plough, who first the vine
Did nourish tenderly, and chose good grapes,
That rare old wine may pass from sire to son!
Peace! who doth keep the plow and harrow bright,
While rust on some forgotten shelf devours
The cruel soldier’s useless sword and shield.
From peaceful holiday with mirth and wine
The rustic, not half sober, driveth home
With wife and weans upon the lumbering wain.

But wars by Venus kindled ne’er have done;
The vanquished lass, with tresses rudely torn,
Of doors broke down, and smitten cheek complains;
And he, her victor-lover, weeps to see
How strong were his wild hands. But mocking Love
Teaches more angry words, and while they rave,
Sits with a smile between! O heart of stone!
O iron heart! that could thy sweetheart strike!
Ye gods avenge her! Is it not enough
To tear her soft robe from her limbs away,
And loose her knotted hair?—Enough, indeed,
To move her tears! Thrice happy is the wight
Whose frown some lovely mistress weeps to see!
But he who gives her blows!—Go, let him bear
A sword and spear! In exile let him be
From Venus’ mild domain! Come blessed Peace!
Come, holding forth thy blade of ripened corn!
Fill thy large lap with mellow fruits and fair!

*****

Translated by A.S. Kline as Book I, Number X

Make Peace Not War

Who was he, who first forged the fearful sword?
How iron-willed and truly made of iron he was!
Then slaughter was created, war was born to men.
then a quicker road was opened to dread death.
But perhaps it’s not the wretch’s fault we turn to evil
what he gave us to use on savage beasts?

That’s the curse of rich gold: there were no wars
when the beech-wood cup stood beside men’s plates.
There were no fortresses or fences, and the flock’s leader
sought sleep securely among the diverse sheep.
I might have lived then, Valgius, and not known
sad arms, or heard the trumpet with beating heart.
Now I’m dragged to war, and perhaps some enemy
already carries the spear that will pierce my side.
Lares of my fathers, save me: you are the same
that reared me, a little child running before your feet.
Don’t be ashamed that you’re made from ancient wood:
so you were when you lived in my grandfather’s house.
Then faith was better kept, when a wooden god
poorly dressed, stood in a narrow shrine.
He was placated, if someone offered the first grapes
or placed the garland of wheat-ears on his sacred head:
and whoever gained his wish brought the honey-cakes
himself, his little daughter behind, with the pure comb.
Turn the bronze spears away from me, Lares,
and (accept) a sacrifice of a hog from the full sty.
I will follow in pure clothing, carrying the basket
bound with myrtle, myrtle binding my own head.
So I may please you: let another be brave in war,
and topple hostile generals with Mars’ help,
then he can tell me his military deeds while I drink,
and draw his camp on the table with wine.
What madness to summon up dark Death by war!
It menaces us, and comes secretly on silent feet.
There are no cornfields down there, no trim vineyards,
only bold Cerberus, and the foul ferryman of Styx’s stream.
There, with eyeless sockets and scorched hair,
a pallid crowd wanders by the lakes of darkness.
No he’s more to be praised whom, blessed with children,
a long old age keeps occupied in his humble cottage.
He tends the sheep, and his son the lambs,
and his wife provides hot water for weary limbs.
So let me be, and may my head whiten with snowy temples,
and recall old things from ancient deeds.
Meanwhile let peace tend the fields. Bright peace first
bowed the oxen for ploughing under the curved yoke.
Peace nurtured the vines and laid up the juice of the grape
so the son’s wine might pour from the father’s jar.
Hoe and ploughshare gleam in peace, but rust seizes
the grim weapons of the cruel soldier in darkness.
The countryman drives home from the wood,
himself half-sober, with wife and children in his cart,
but then they summon love’s war, and the woman
bewails her torn hair and the broken doors.
The bruised girl weeps for her tender cheeks, but the victor
weeps himself that his hands were so strong in his madness.
And impudent Love supplies evil words to the quarrel,
and sits indifferent between the angry pair.
Ah, he’s stone and iron, whoever would strike his girl:
that action draws down the gods from the heavens.
let it be enough to have torn the thin cloth from her limbs,
enough to have disordered the arrangement of her hair,
enough to have caused her tears: he’s four times blessed
whose anger can make a tender girl weep.
But he whose hands are cruel, should carry shield and pike,
and stay far away from gentle Venus.
Then come, kindly Peace, hold the wheat-ear in your hand,
and let your radiant breast pour out fruits before us.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 23, 2011

September 23, 2011 3 comments

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NATO To Stay In Libya For A Long Time

Libyan Air War Continues: 23,571 NATO Sorties, 8,829 Strike Missions

Washington And The Middle East: Almost All Small Nations Challenging U.S. Hit By Strikes, Sanctions

American Military Delegation Visits Lebanon-Israel Border

Rasmussen: Chicago NATO Summit To Focus On Missile System, Afghan War

Russia To Counter NATO ABM With Sea-Based Missile Defense

FYI: Coming EU Collapse To Re-energize NATO

Chinese Foreign Minister Urges U.S. To Revoke Taiwan Arms Sales

U.S.-Trained Georgian Troops Ready For More “Newly Liberated Lands”

European Union Global Military Operations Parallel NATO’s

NATO Wraps Up Multinational Exercise In Indiana

Russian UN Envoy Decries Double Standards On Conflicts

State Department Officials Headed To South Caucasus

European Union To Finalize Plans For Trans-Caspian Pipeline

Saudi Arabia Calls For “Liberation” Of Nagorno-Karabakh

Belarus-Russia Drills Prelude To CSTO Air Defense System

NATO Loses Drone In Northwestern Afghanistan

Russia Warns Against Turkey-Cyprus Conflict

Ahmadinejad Criticizes U.S. And NATO Policy Of Perpetrating Wars

Why Are NATO Countries So Nervous About Iran?

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NATO To Stay In Libya For A Long Time

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/23/56617171.html

Voice of Russia
September 23, 2011

NATO to stay in Libya
Igor Siletsky

-[A] lengthy war in Libya can destabilize the situation in neighboring countries, like it was in Afghanistan and Iraq – the more so, because the whole north of Africa is now gripped with revolutions.

NATO has prolonged its mandate for staying in Libya for another 90 days.

This was done without asking any permission from the UN or any other similar organization. It looks like NATO commanders just consider it unnecessary to waste time on asking for the UN’s permission. Why all this “bureaucracy”, if the war, as they claim, is very close to an end? At least, NATO’s official reports say that now, Gaddafi’s supporters are incapable of serious resistance.

However, analysts believe that the real reason why NATO has prolonged its mandate is that, in reality, it is too early to say that the Gaddafi regime is living its last days.

It is not the first time that NATO’s commanders say that the Libyan war is very close to an end – and, then, do something which shows that they have realized that they’d hurried a bit to say so. Still, they try to put a brave face on the sorry business. Recently, Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, who commands the NATO operation in Libya, said that NATO’s mission in Libya is not yet over, but it continues quite successfully. According to Mr. Bouchard, only three regions in Libya are still controlled by Gaddafi’s supporters, including isolated enclaves around the towns of Bani Walid and Sirte (the latter is Muammar Gaddafi’s birthplace).

NATO commanders don’t know where Gaddafi himself is. However, he keeps on ordering his supporters not to surrender.

According to NATO’s estimates, in total, 200,000 Libyans are living on territories which are still controlled by Gaddafi’s supporters. At the same time, all Libya’s major cities have already returned to normal life, and law and order have been re-established there.

NATO does not intend to supply the Libyan oppositionists (who now in fact rule Libya) with weapons – this is not envisioned by the mandate. However, Lieutenant General Bouchard says, NATO would have nothing against this if any country, on its own initiative, supplies them with weapons.

NATO also doesn’t intend to persecute Gaddafi’s supporters who are retreating to neighboring Niger and Sudan. This is Niger and Sudan’s internal problem, Mr. Bouchard says.

However, many analysts say that NATO’s official reports about the success of Gaddafi’s opponents and their Western helpers are too optimistic.

“This is already the second time that NATO has prolonged its stay in Libya,” Russian analyst Veniamin Popov says. “This speaks of the fact that NATO is still far from reaching its aims in Libya.”

“It is too early to say that Gaddafi’s regime is already done with,” Mr. Popov believes. “His supporters are still resisting. At the same time, there is no unity between the members of the Transitional National Council, which also hampers their full victory.”

It looks like NATO has drawn no lessons from its unsuccessful operation in Afghanistan – in the Libyan operation, they are following the same dubious scenario.

Another analyst, Stanislav Tarasov, says:

“Let us remember the beginning of the Afghan operation. At first, international forces were introduced there on a resolution from the UN Security Council. Then, the UN announced that the command over the international forces in Afghanistan belongs to NATO. Now, these forces in Afghanistan are still being commanded by NATO – and hardly anyone can say that they have achieved great success. However, in Libya, NATO is acting according to the same scenario – and the fact that it is prolonging its mandate for another three months says that it is still far from success.”

Most analysts agree that, most probably, NATO will stay in Libya for a long time. Gaddafi’s supporters, weak as they may seem, still may keep resisting for long. Moreover, a lengthy war in Libya can destabilize the situation in neighboring countries, like it was in Afghanistan and Iraq – the more so, because the whole north of Africa is now gripped with revolutions.

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Libyan Air War Continues: 23,571 NATO Sorties, 8,829 Strike Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110923_110923-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 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

Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR air assets continue monitoring missions over Libya.

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 06.00GMT) a total of 23,571 sorties, including 8,829 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 22 SEPTEMBER: 97

Strike sorties conducted 22 SEPTEMBER: 34

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NATO Chief Names Chicago Summit Dates; “Won’t Leave Afghanistan”

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-2B3F9DAB-859B9747/natolive/news_78426.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 23, 2011

NATO Secretary General announces Chicago summit dates

-In Chicago, “I hope and expect we’ll be able to declare interim operational capability. This will be a significant step forward, because we have been discussing the development of a NATO-based missile defence system for many many years,” the Secretary General said…Rasmussen said that he hopes to break new ground in NATO’s partnership with other countries and organisations, especially in North Africa and the Middle East…

NATO’s forthcoming summit in Chicago will take place on May 20-21, 2012, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced during a visit to the United States.

“We’ll have the next NATO summit in Chicago on May 20-21 next year. This will be an important summit, following up on the decisions taken at Lisbon last year, but also breaking new ground,” the Secretary General said on the margins of the United Nations general Assembly in New York. NATO’s last summit was held in Lisbon in November 2010.

The full Chicago summit agenda has not yet been finalised, but NATO’s Enduring Partnership with Afghanistan – agreed in Lisbon – will be a key point…

The Chicago summit will make clear that, even after that date, NATO “will not leave Afghanistan behind: we’ll stay committed, with a focus on continuing to train and educate Afghan security forces, to continue to improve their capacity,” Rasmussen said.

In Lisbon, NATO heads of state and government agreed to create a system to defend NATO European territories and populations against ballistic-missile threats, and to begin talks on possible missile-defence cooperation with Russia.

In Chicago, “I hope and expect we’ll be able to declare interim operational capability. This will be a significant step forward, because we have been discussing the development of a NATO-based missile defence system for many many years,” the Secretary General said…

The summit is also expected to agree on new ways for NATO nations to prioritise, specialise and share multinational projects so that they can keep and improve their security capabilities, even in times of economic austerity – an approach known as “Smart Defence”.

And Rasmussen said that he hopes to break new ground in NATO’s partnership with other countries and organisations, especially in North Africa and the Middle East – a partnership which plays an important role in the NATO-led operation [against] Libya.

“There are many positive lessons learnt from our Libya operations. We’d also like to broaden the perspective and further strengthen these partnerships,” the Secretary General said.

The Chicago meeting will be the first NATO summit in the United States since 1999 when the Alliance celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in Washington.

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Washington And The Middle East: Almost All Small Nations Challenging U.S. Hit By Strikes, Sanctions

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/676205/US-stands-against-public-will-in-Mideast.aspx

Global Times
September 21, 2011

US stands against public will in Mideast

-The US is running a risk in its Middle East diplomacy. Its support for Israel is in apparent conflict with global justice at times.
However, the world often has to tolerate this. One important reason is that the US gets the tacit agreement of the authorities in Middle East countries. These governments actually become a buffer for the confrontation between US policy and public will in the Middle East.
-Since the end of the Cold War, almost all small countries that have challenged the US have been hit by strikes or sanctions.

As the Arab Spring continues to sweep the Middle East, Israel appears increasingly isolated. Palestine is taking advantage of the chance and seeking full UN membership. The US has declared its intention to veto the Palestinian UN bid, whereas more than 100 countries support Palestine’s request.

Over the past few months, the US largely supported the revolution in the Middle East. But its current decision to block Palestine from entering the UN could drive the Middle East back to old geopolitical fights.

Palestine’s request to become a UN member state is in accordance with its public will and the democratic wave across the Middle East. The US may face overwhelming protests and hostility from the Arab world for standing by Israel.

The US is running a risk in its Middle East diplomacy. Its support for Israel is in apparent conflict with global justice at times.

However, the world often has to tolerate this. One important reason is that the US gets the tacit agreement of the authorities in Middle East countries. These governments actually become a buffer for the confrontation between US policy and public will in the Middle East.

The US is facing a diplomatic predicament in the Middle East. This is an example of its global diplomacy in which interests conflict with justice. US diplomacy has an increasing number of double standards. It stresses both pragmatism and idealism at the same time. One US habit that rarely changes is that it requires obedience by other countries, especially smaller ones. Since the end of the Cold War, almost all small countries that have challenged the US have been hit by strikes or sanctions.

But this time, Palestine’s firm request and the support of many countries is very embarrassing to the US. With wide support across the world, Palestine now has a strong political position. Palestine’s bid strikes exactly at the tender spot of US diplomacy in the Middle East.

The US deserves a clear lesson in diplomacy. It should reflect on its diplomatic ideology and practice. The US involves itself in transnational affairs across the world, although international politics are becoming increasingly multi-polar. The US has to be more humble.

The US policy toward Palestine is problematic not only on a humanitarian level, but also on the level of public democracy. The US has been led by domestic pro-Israeli forces, rather than being guided by the reality on the ground.

The US needs to either make diplomatic adjustments, or to pay for its refusal to adjust. Palestine’s goal is courageous. The international community, including China, should join hands together and support its request. The US may stay stubborn but we should make our standpoint clear.

China’s support of Palestine’s request for full UN membership does not mean hostility toward Israel. Nevertheless, China has the right to make its own judgments and express its views on such major issues.

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American Military Delegation Visits Lebanon-Israel Border

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/23/c_131154739.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 23, 2011

American military delegation tours Lebanon-Israel border

BEIRUT: A U.S. military delegation toured the Lebanese-Israeli border Thursday after meeting earlier the day with Lebanese Army Commander Jean Kawhagi, Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA) reported.

The delegation, with a convoy of five armored U.S. vehicles, visited the Blue Line, a border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel, after talks with Kahwagi on tackling military cooperation and the implementation of U.S. military aid programs to Lebanon, NNA said.

The visit drew criticism from a lawmaker affiliated with Israel’s arch-foe, the Shiite armed group Hezbollah, according to the report.

“There is no way that the visit was in the interest of Lebanon,” Qassem Hashem, Lebanonese member of parliament, was quoted by NNA, adding that the delegation’s visit was a violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty.

The Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel was approved by the United Nations in 2000 for the purpose of determining whether Israel had fully withdrawn from Lebanon.

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Rasmussen: Chicago NATO Summit To Focus On Missile System, Afghan War

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2011/09/nato-summit-chicago.html

Los Angeles Times
September 22, 2011

Next NATO summit to be in Chicago

NEW YORK: Officials of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have decided they will hold their next summit in Chicago on May 20-21, 2012, the same month that the Group of 8 industrialized nations will gather in the city.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO’s secretary-general, disclosed the dates in an interview. He said the alliance will be considering several issues, including its missile defense system and its mission in Afghanistan.

The NATO members will…discuss the future of their long-planned missile defense system, which they hope to be able to activate in May. Discussions may focus on NATO’s hopes for Russian collaboration in the system, though this remains only “a possibility,” Rasmussen said.

Protest groups have promised they will turn out by the thousands to demonstrate against the G-8 and NATO meetings.

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Russia To Counter NATO ABM With Sea-Based Missile Defense

http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110922/167048033.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 22, 2011

Russia to build sea-based ‘missile shield’ – diplomat

KIEV: Russia is planning to develop its own sea-based missile defense system, a Foreign Ministry official said on Thursday.

“According to our analysis, this system will be very efficient and meet the norms of international maritime law,” said Vladimir Kozin, a deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s information and press department.

Kozin did not give any further details on the future missile defense system. He was speaking at a video conference between Moscow and Kiev on European security.

The move is almost certain to be interpreted as Russia’s response to NATO’s European missile shield, which it says it needs to counter potential missile attacks from “rogue states,” such as Iran and North Korea.

The NATO “shield” includes U.S. warships equipped with Aegis ballistic missile defense systems capable of shooting down short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.

Russia has retained staunch opposition to the deployment of missile defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a threat to its national security.

Moscow has repeatedly warned NATO it would create both defensive and offensive means to counter any missile threat and to penetrate any missile defense if the sides did not agree to cooperate on the issue.

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American Think Tank: Coming EU Collapse To Re-energize NATO

http://www.defpro.com/news/details/28104/?SID=50824a11d84c46b49aa469947308327b

Defence Professionals
September 22, 2011

Coming EU Collapse Could Re-energize NATO
Daniel Goure, Ph.D.
Early Warning Blog, Lexington Institute

Could the EU collapse? Unthinkable! Impossible! Yet, that is what was being said just a few months ago about the possibility that Greece would default on its debt. Now, as Europe struggles to put together a second bailout package for that country, the conversation has increasingly focused not on how to save Greece – and with it the Eurozone – but when and how the default will happen. The consensus now is not only will Greece default but it will be messy. The unthinkable has become the base case.

A Greek default, albeit actually good for that country, will trigger a massive economic, political and existential crisis for the European Union (EU). A default will put enormous pressure on other weak European economies, particularly Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy. This will cause a crisis among the European banks. But more significantly, Europe will be faced with a choice: save the Euro or save the EU. There won’t be the time to forge a true single fiscal and political union. The only way both to protect the viable economies of Northern and Central Europe and allow the weaker ones in the South a chance to recover is by the former group of countries to allow, even insist that, the latter group exit the Eurozone. This will fundamentally and irrevocably alter the character and purpose of the EU. In fact, should the economic contagion reach France, the EU will certainly collapse.

It is ironic that the Euro’s decline and the EU’s possible demise is likely to be a boon for NATO. Absent a strong and expanding EU, NATO will be the sole gravitational force exerting a cohesive influence across the continent. NATO already includes several countries who are not members of the EU; this number will grow significantly if a Euro crisis occurs.

Most important, NATO will have to stand guard over Europe during a time that may come to resemble economic and even politically the 1930s. NATO can help stabilize weak European governments under tremendous stress. It also can deter outside powers from seeking to take advantage of Europe’s temporary weakness. Finally, NATO provides the best means for leveraging what is likely to be a shrinking stock of trans-Atlantic military capabilities.

Despite its contributions to the conflicts in Afghanistan and Libya, it has become fashionable in recent years in some circles to dismiss NATO as a quaint anachronism. It may well turn out that NATO will prove to be the most important US security relationship of the 21st Century.

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Chinese Foreign Minister Urges U.S. To Revoke Taiwan Arms Sales

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-09/23/c_131154718.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 23, 2011

Chinese FM urges U.S. to revoke arms sales to Taiwan

NEW YORK: Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Thursday urged the United States to correct its error by immediately revoking its arms sales plan to Taiwan so as to safeguard the overall situation of Sino-U.S. relations as well as peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.

Yang made the remarks when he delivered a speech to members of the National Committee on United States-China Relations and the US-China Business Council here in New York on the sidelines of the annual general debate of the United Nations General Assembly.

Yang called on the U.S. to fully recognize the great sensitivity and gravity of arms sales to Taiwan, attach high importance to and seriously treat China’s solemn stance.

He also urged the U.S. side to stop selling arms to Taiwan and ceasing its military links with Taiwan.

Regardless of China’s repeated solemn representations, the U.S. administration announced Wednesday a new arms package worth 5.852 billion U.S. dollars to Taiwan, which includes the so-called ” upgrading” of F-16A/B fighter jets.

Yang said respecting each other’s core interest is the principle underpinning China-U.S. cooperation.

“We should cherish our cooperation, as it embodies the important common interests of our two countries,” said the foreign minister, adding “When it comes to major issues concerning China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, the United States should handle them with extreme care so as to prevent interference and setbacks in China-U.S. relations.”

The Taiwan issue concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, concerns China’s core interest and bears on the sentiments of the 1.3 billion Chinese people. It is always the most important and sensitive issue at the core of China-U.S. relationship, he said.

The United States, Yang said, once again took the wrong decision of making large-scale arms sales to Taiwan in disregard of China’s strong opposition and ignoring the improvement and peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.

“This has gravely violated the principles of the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques, particularly the August 17 Communique, grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs and seriously undermined China’s security, its endeavor to achieve peaceful reunification and China-U.S. relations. It runs counter to the serious commitment made by the U.S. side itself. China is firmly opposed to this decision,” said the foreign minister.

“The Chinese side urges the U.S. side to take China’s solemn position very seriously, correct the mistake of selling weapons to Taiwan, immediately revoke the above-mentioned wrong decision, stop arms sales to Taiwan and U.S.-Taiwan military contacts, and take real actions to uphold the larger interest of China-U.S. relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits,” Yang noted.

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U.S.-Trained Georgian Troops Ready For More “Newly Liberated Lands”

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/georgia/1935707.html

Trend News Agency
September 23, 2011

President: Georgia has borne more than its share in the international effort in Afghanistan
E. Tariverdiyeva

Baku: Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is proud that Georgia has borne more than its share in the international effort in Afghanistan – over a thousand soldiers are fighting in the dangerous Helmand Province.

Georgia has become a provider, not just a consumer, of international security, Saakashvili said.

According to Saakashvili, Georgia is ready once again to take on more than its share in this international effort.

“Our experience of radical post-revolutionary transformation over the past eight years could well be useful for the newly liberated lands,” President Saakashvili underscored.

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European Union Global Military Operations Parallel NATO’s

http://www.europolitics.info/sectorial-policies/cooperation-and-assessment-of-military-missions-on-agenda-art313603-13.html

Europolitics
September 22, 2011

Informal Defence Council
Cooperation and assessment of military missions on agenda
By Eric van Puyvelde

-Apart from the EU ministers, also participating are the commanders of EU military operations and representatives of the EU Military Staff, EU Military Committee, the European Defence Agency, the External Action Service and NATO Headquarters.

On the first day of the informal Defence Council, on 22 September in Wroclaw, Poland, the 27 ministers discussed the Union’s current engagement in military missions and operations carried out in the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). These include the EU NAVFOR Atalanta naval operation in Somali waters, the EUTM training mission in Uganda and the EUFOR Althea mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They also debated questions related to the Southern neighbourhood, in particular support for Libya.

The second day’s agenda will focus on evaluation of the ‘Weimar initiative’ (to relaunch European defence, initiated by Poland, Germany and France in December 2010) and the ‘Pooling and sharing initiative’, based on the pooling and sharing by member states of military capabilities needed to carry out operational activities.

After the meeting, Polish Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak planned to meet representatives of the NATO member states and EU applicant states (Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Iceland, Norway and Turkey) to brief them on the debates.

The two-day meeting is chaired by the Polish minister on behalf of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, who is attending the UN General Assembly. Apart from the EU ministers, also participating are the commanders of EU military operations and representatives of the EU Military Staff, EU Military Committee, the European Defence Agency, the External Action Service and NATO Headquarters.

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NATO Wraps Up Multinational Exercise In Indiana

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/77482/bold-quest-2011-wraps-up

Camp Atterbury Public Affairs
September 22, 2011

Bold Quest 2011 wraps up
Story by Michael Maddox

EDINBURGH, Ind. – Camp Atterbury-Muscatatuck Training Complex is no stranger to hosting soldiers with a multitude of unit patches from a wide variety of locations, but recently the installation has also been hosting military members from foreign services across the globe.

Currently, Atterbury-Muscatatuck Complex is hosting Bold Quest 2011, a joint staff lead military coalition combat assessment exercise designed to test the interoperability of target identification systems of 12 NATO member nations to reduce friendly fire incidents. The exercise, which involves more than 700 foreign and U.S. military members, began Sept. 8 and will wrap up Sept. 23.

During Bold Quest military members from nations including Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Poland, the United Kingdom, the United States and NATO, have been working together to test equipment to ensure they are all speaking the same “language” during real-world coalition missions.

Bold Quest is an exercise that has been progressively grown in mission aspects and participants all working together toward one goal – keeping Soldiers safe, said John Miller, Bold Quest operational manager.

“Bold Quest is a recurring series of operational demonstrations in which we bring coalition war fighters, technicians and analysts together in problem solving partnerships that ultimately result in a major operational demonstration in the field. It’s testing under operational conditions to the maximum extent that we can replicate,” he explained. “This year we have expanded the work in the human dimension of coalition combat identification.”

Technology training and testing is one major part of Bold Quest 2011, according to Maj. Tommy Myrvoll, with the Norwegian Battle Lab, and Bold Quest project officer.

Maj. Markus “Starbuck” Stury, a pilot for the German military from the 33rd Fighter Bomber Wing, said Bold Quest has also allowed the Germans to fine tune coalition communication skills to prevent any friendly fire incidents.

“We fly our aircraft with the (identification) system, and we circle around in an orbit, then we run our system. As the computers are connected to the ground station and they send us information back, we can then make sure all of our data is correct before we deploy our ordnance,” Stury said. “With a bombing run, you don’t want to have errors, especially with friendlies close by.”

The training area, support and accommodations at Camp Atterbury-Muscatatuck have been the perfect venue for the Bold Quest team to accomplish their missions, said Miller.

“The venue meets all of our needs. It’s rare to find a place that does that,” said Miller. “It’s not just the air and ground space, but it’s the event control facilities that are available to us here at Atterbury as well as the proximity of the airfield.”

Hosting events such as Bold Quest just reinforces the capabilities of Atterbury-Muscatatuck Complex, said Maj. Gen. Cliff Tooley, assistant Adjutant General for the state of Indiana.

“Bold Quest is sort of a prototype of what we are designed to support, and that is the blending and training of forces with testing and technology with the intent of taking technology and making it more rapidly deployable to the field by interfacing it with the soldiers as early as possible,” said Tooley.

Tooley added, that adding in the coalition element just makes soldiers that much more prepared for future missions.

“Very seldom will we deploy upon our own, we’ll always engage with our partners in coalition efforts. When we respond to the emergencies of the world, we’ll do it with our partner nations,” he said. “All of those emergencies require that you come together as team quickly and you can only do that if you practice and rehearse before the event.”

Miller said this is the first time that the National Guard has provided the majority of the U.S. support to the event, and that the Guard members have exceeded all expectations.

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Russian UN Envoy Decries Double Standards On Conflicts

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110923/167053528.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 23, 2011

Double standards inadmissible in conflict prevention – Russian envoy to UN

UNITED NATIONS: There is no place for double standards, dictated by the political situation or preferences of any countries, in conflict prevention, the Russian envoy to the United Nations said on Thursday.

“Why are efforts to get political process and national dialogue underway made in respect to some countries, like Yemen, and sanctions are adopted against other countries’ authorities and the opposition there is set for confrontation?” Vitaly Churkin said at a UN Security Council session.

“The experience of Iraq and Libya shows that ultimately only nations themselves can determine the fate of their countries, while exterior armed intervention in domestic conflicts creates the risk that the antagonism spiral will uncoil in certain parts of the world,” Churkin said.

The Russian envoy suggested that a complex strategy be developed to prevent the reasons for conflicts and ensure long-term political stability and economic development.

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State Department Officials Headed To South Caucasus

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/azerbaijan/1935892.html

Trend News Agency
September 23, 2011

U.S. top officials to discuss regional stability in Baku
V. Zhavoronkova

Baku: Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Eric S. Rubin will travel to Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia on Oct. 16-22, the Information Officer of the U.S. Embassy in Baku Keith Bean told Trend.

Moreover, the Director of the Office of Caucasus Affairs and Regional Conflicts in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, Justin Friedman, will travel to Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia from Sept.28 until Oct.8.

During the trip, the top officials will meet with the government officials and civil society leaders to discuss bilateral issues, as well as issues related to regional peace and stability.

During their stay in Azerbaijan, Rubin and Friedman will discuss the U.S.-Azerbaijan bilateral relations, stressing the strategic and shared interests underlying bilateral cooperation in security, energy and democratic reform.

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European Union To Finalize Plans For Trans-Caspian Pipeline

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1935711.html

Trend News Agency
September 23, 2011

Negotiations to lay Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline scheduled for October
A. Akhundov

Baku: The European Union’s talks with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on the project of laying a Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline will begin in October, European External Action Service (EEAS) Director for Eastern Partnership Gunnar Wiegand told journalists in Baku.

“This project is important both in terms of diversification of energy resources import routes by the EU, and in terms of diversification of export routes for Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan,” Wiegand said.

Earlier, the EU adopted a mandate to start negotiations with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline. It caused dissatisfaction with Russia and Iran, who are against the construction of gas pipelines on the Caspian Sea.

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Saudi Arabia Calls For “Liberation” Of Nagorno-Karabakh

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=155760

Azeri Press Agency
September 23, 2011

Saudi Deputy Minister: “The occupied territories must be liberated unconditionally because it is a right of Azerbaijan”
Parvin Abbasov

Baku: Chairman of the Azerbaijan’s State Committee for Work with Religious Associations Hidayat Orujov met with Saudi Arabian Under Secretary of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Da’wah and Guidance Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Ammar and Saudi Ambassador to Azerbaijan Fahad bin Ali Al-Dawsari, the press service of the State Committee told APA.

Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Ammar said Saudi Arabia has an unchanged and univocal position on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. He said the occupied territories of Azerbaijan must be liberated unconditionally because it is a right of Azerbaijan and “truth will triumph”.

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Belarus-Russia Drills Prelude To CSTO Air Defense System

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/231304.html

Itar-Tass
September 22, 2011

Belarus-RF drilled air defence may turn in CSTO joint air defence

THE FIRING RANGE ASHULUK (Astrakhan region): A unique air defence system, which was created at the joint operative military exercises between the Armed Forces of Russia and Belarus, may become a prototype of a joint air defence system of the CSTO countries, Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Thursday.

“The military exercises at the Ashuluk firing range are unique that a multilayer air defence system was created and tested. This air defence system is made up of modern combat systems S-400, S-300, Tor, Pantsir and Buk,” the minister said after the Russian-Belarusian military exercises on Thursday.

Under the scenario of the exercises, “cruise missiles, airplanes and ballistic targets of the mockup enemy were seeking” to break through this multilayer air defence system, the minister said. “Amid strong radioelectronic jams all attacks were rebuffed thanks to qualified actions of the combat teams. The air defence system created at the military exercises may turn into a prototype of a future joint CSTO air defence system,” Serdyukov underlined.

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NATO Loses Drone In Northwestern Afghanistan

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/09/23/isaf-drone-crashes-sar-i-pul

Pajhwok Afghan News
September 23, 2011

ISAF drone crashes in Sar-i-Pul
By Yaqub Ali Madani

KABUL: An unmanned International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) plane crashed in the Suzma Qala district of northwestern Sar-i-Pul province, officials said on Friday.

…Police visited the area and saw parts of the aircraft, according to Inayatullah Azizi, the district police head.

With the NATO-led force yet to comment on the incident, the Taliban claimed shooting down the aerial vehicle, the first to crash in the province.

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Russia Warns Against Turkey-Cyprus Conflict

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/21/56470613.html

Voice of Russia
September 23, 2011

Moscow calls on Cyprus and Turkey to avoid any sharp steps – Lavrov

Moscow calls on Cyprus and Turkey to avoid any actions which might aggravate the situation in relations between the two countries. This was announced Tuesday in New York by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov emerging from talks with the President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias.

“In the context of geological prospecting works on the shelf in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus, our position is based on international law. The issue should be addressed within the legal framework of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea dated 1982,” Lavrov said.

The U.S. company Noble Energy has begun exploratory drilling in the Mediterranean Sea off Cyprus’ southern coast in search of hydrocarbons. Ankara responded saying the move could destabilize the situation in the region, reports ITAR-TASS.

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Ahmadinejad Criticizes U.S. And NATO Policy Of Perpetrating Wars

http://www.sana.sy/eng/22/2011/09/23/371083.htm

Syrian Arab News Agency
September 23, 2011

Ahmadinejad Criticizes US and NATO Policy in Perpetrating Wars
R. Raslan/ al-Ibrahim

NEW YORK: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday criticized US and NATO policy in perpetrating wars, indicating the catastrophic situation of the Iraqi and Afghani people under occupation.

The Iranian News Agency (IRNA) quoted President Ahmadinejad in his speech at the UN General Assembly as saying that it is not allowed to undermine the UN position and turn it into a tool for certain parties.

The Iranian President raised questions about the powers behind imposing colonialism for over four centuries, triggering the First and Second World Wars, occupying land and imposing Zionism and over sixty years of war, homelessness, terror and mass murder on the Palestinian people and on countries of the region.

Ahmadinejad condemned the US use of nuclear weapons against innocent people, and its stockpiling thousands of warheads in arsenals.

He pointed out that Washington used the September 11 incidents as a pretext to attack Afghanistan and Iraq, killing, injuring, and displacing millions with the ultimate goal of bringing into its domination the Middle East and its oil resources.

What is the justification for the presence of hundreds of US military and intelligence bases in different parts of the world other than military occupation, President Ahmadinejad asks.

Some parties look for their progress and prosperity through destroying other countries and spreading poverty. They use power, proclaim themselves the custodians of all governments and abuse the international law. They weaken countries through military intervention and destroy their infrastructures in order to plunder their resources by making them all the more dependent, he said.

On September 11 attacks, Ahmadinejad said that “instead of assigning a fact-finding team, the US Administration killed the main perpetrator and threw his body into the sea.”

“Would it not have been reasonable to bring him to trial in order to identify the elements behind the safe space provided for the invading aircraft to attack the twin world trade towers!”, President Ahmadinejad concluded.

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Why Are NATO Countries So Nervous About Iran?

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/23/56623477.html

Voice of Russia
September 23, 2011

Why is the West so nervous about Ahmadinejad?
Boris Volkhonsky, senior research fellow, Russian Institute for Strategic Studies

-When Mr. Cameron mentioned “violent prevention of demonstrations” and “detention and torture of those who argue for a better future,” should he not have put a mirror in front of himself? After Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons any mention of torture by a Western leader sounds at least dubious.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech WAS blunt, which was, at the same time, its weakest and strongest point. But isn’t it the blunt truth that is really getting on the Western leaders’ nerves?

Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech at the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, as usual, sparked a mass walkout. 30 delegations including those of the U.S. and all European Union members left the audience in a demonstration of protest. This has not been the first incident of the kind – last year the U.S. delegation also left the General Assembly during Ahmadinejad’s speech. And taking into account that his presidential term ends in two years this is likely not to be the last occasion of the kind.

What angered the Western diplomats?

In his speech, Ahmadinejad called the West, primarily the U.S., arrogant powers, questioned their ability to “run or govern the world”, also questioned whether Islamist terrorists were behind the 9/11 attacks, called for scrapping the “prevailing world order” – including the U.N. Security Council as currently structured – in favor of a more evenly balanced system, and condemned military crackdowns on all those who do not succumb to the West’s pressure.

“Can the flower of democracy blossom from NATO’s missiles, bombs and guns?” asked Iranian President addressing an almost half-empty audience hall.

Later, in an interview to Associated Press, Mr. Ahmadinejad further elaborated on some theses of his speech. He accused the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, of being in the pocket of the U.S. and actually being guilty of the murder of three Iranian nuclear scientists allegedly killed by Israel-trained agents.

He also expressed doubts that two planes alone could bring down the WTC twin towers on September 11, 2001, and lashed at the U.S. policies across the Middle East – from Libya to Afghanistan.

At the same time, the Iranian President said that it was not too late for the U.S. president Barack Obama to fulfill his pre-election promises and improve ties with Iran.

Western powers were quick to react.

The spokesman for the US mission at the United Nations Mark Kornblau condemned Ahmadinejad’s remarks. “Mr Ahmadinejad had a chance to address his own people’s aspirations for freedom and dignity, but instead he again turned to abhorrent anti-Semitic slurs and despicable conspiracy theories,” he said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, addressing the U.N. General Assembly just minutes after Ahmadinejad’s speech and the Western walkout, derided Mr. Ahmadinejad probably as fiercely as the latter had criticized the West.

“He (Ahmadinejad – B.V.) didn’t remind us that he runs a country where they may have elections of a sort but they also repress freedom of speech, do everything they can to avoid the accountability of a free media, violently prevent demonstrations and detain and torture those who argue for a better future,” said British Premier.

Further on, he called on the U.N. to be more prepared to take action against oppressive regimes.

In fact, the whole dispute has not demonstrated anything in any way new. The war of words between the West and Iran has been going on for years. Lately, the West resorted to the language of sanctions, but stopped short of a direct intervention in order to protect “those who argue for a better future.” Everyone understands that however strong the West’s desire for a regime change in Iran might be, such intervention would be disastrous and ruinous for both the attacker and the attacked country. Hence, both sides keep on balancing on the brink of a direct confrontation, never crossing the “red line”.

But certain things need commenting.

First, until now, there has not been a conclusive and comprehensive explanation of how the twin towers actually collapsed 10 years ago and who exactly, apart from the half-mythical Al Qaeda, operated and orchestrated the attacks. What angers the West, is the simple fact that somebody raises such questions contradicting the counter-myth created by the Western special services and media. And if this someone is the leader of a state only recently labeled as “rogue”, this only adds to the anger.

Second. When Mr. Cameron mentioned “violent prevention of demonstrations” and “detention and torture of those who argue for a better future,” should he not have put a mirror in front of himself? After Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons any mention of torture by a Western leader sounds at least dubious.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech WAS blunt, which was, at the same time, its weakest and strongest point. But isn’t it the blunt truth that is really getting on the Western leaders’ nerves?

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Categories: Uncategorized

Virgil: Age of peace

September 23, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

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Virgil
Eclogue IV
Translated by A. S. Kline

Pollio

Muses of Sicily, let me sing a little more grandly.
Orchards and humble tamarisks don’t please everyone:
if I sing of the woods, let the woods be fit for a Consul.

Now the last age of the Cumaean prophecy begins:
the great roll-call of the centuries is born anew:
now Virgin Justice returns, and Saturn’s reign:
now a new race descends from the heavens above.
Only favour the child who’s born, pure Lucina, under whom
the first race of iron shall end, and a golden race
rise up throughout the world: now your Apollo reigns.
For, Pollio, in your consulship, this noble age begins,
and the noble months begin their advance:
any traces of our evils that remain will be cancelled,
while you lead, and leave the earth free from perpetual fear.
He will take on divine life, and he will see gods
mingled with heroes, and be seen by them,
and rule a peaceful world with his father’s powers.
And for you, boy, the uncultivated earth will pour out
her first little gifts, straggling ivy and cyclamen everywhere
and the bean flower with the smiling acanthus.
The goats will come home themselves, their udders swollen
with milk, and the cattle will have no fear of fierce lions:
Your cradle itself will pour out delightful flowers:
And the snakes will die, and deceitful poisonous herbs
will wither: Assyrian spice plants will spring up everywhere.
And you will read both of heroic glories, and your father’s deeds,
and will soon know what virtue can be.
The plain will slowly turn golden with tender wheat,
and the ripe clusters hang on the wild briar,
and the tough oak drip with dew-wet honey.
Some small traces of ancient error will lurk,
that will command men to take to the sea in ships,
encircle towns with walls, plough the earth with furrows.
Another Argo will arise to carry chosen heroes, a second
Tiphys as helmsman: there will be another War,
and great Achilles will be sent once more to Troy.
Then when the strength of age has made you a man,
the merchant himself will quit the sea, nor will the pine ship
trade its goods: every land will produce everything.
The soil will not feel the hoe: nor the vine the pruning hook:
the strong ploughman too will free his oxen from the yoke:
wool will no longer be taught to counterfeit varied colours,
the ram in the meadow will change his fleece of himself,
now to a sweet blushing purple, now to a saffron yellow:
scarlet will clothe the browsing lambs of its own accord.
‘Let such ages roll on’ the Fates said, in harmony,
to the spindle, with the power of inexorable destiny.
O dear child of the gods, take up your high honours
(the time is near), great son of Jupiter!
See the world, with its weighty dome, bowing,
earth and wide sea and deep heavens:
see how everything delights in the future age!
O let the last days of a long life remain to me,
and the inspiration to tell how great your deeds will be:
Thracian Orpheus and Linus will not overcome me in song,
though his mother helps the one, his father the other,
Calliope Orpheus, and lovely Apollo Linus.
Even Pan if he competed with me, with Arcady as judge,
even Pan, with Arcady as judge, would account himself beaten.
Little child, begin to recognise your mother with a smile:
ten months have brought a mother’s long labour.
Little child, begin: he on whom his parents do not smile
no god honours at his banquets, no goddess in her bed.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libya war/Stop NATO news: September 22, 2011

September 22, 2011 1 comment

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Pentagon, NATO Plot “Next Steps” In Libya

Endless War Against Libya: 23,474 NATO Sorties, 8,795 Strike Sorties

Bolivia’s Morales Sees Oil, Greed Behind NATO Mission In Libya

Ghana: 24 US/NATO Hands Off Libya, Hands Off Africa Members Arrested

U.S., NATO Allies To Shower $23 Billion On Libyan Clients

Obama’s Speech To UN Outrages Palestinians

U.S. To Provide F-16s To Iraq, Keep Military Trainers In Country: Foreign Minister

Northrop Wins Missile Defense Agency’s Precision Tracking Space System Bid

Turkish Opposition: NATO Missile Radar Part Of Shield For Israel

U.S. Drones Kill Ten As Yemen Heads Toward Civil War

Pakistan Lodges Complaint At UN Against Drone Attacks

Pan-Albanian Separatists Spread Kosovo Unrest To South Serbia

Romanian President On NATO-Russia Armed Conflict Over Moldova, Transdniester

China Protests New U.S. Arms Sales To Taiwan

Cross-Strait Stability Under Shadow Of U.S. Arms Sales

Russia To Refit Nuclear Missile Cruisers

U.S. Air Force’s Expanding NATO-European-African-Asian Nexus

U.S. Military Targets Africa: Interview

Pentagon Building Secret Bases In Indian Ocean, Horn Of Africa

Troubling News From Africa: AFRICOM Hatches New Operations

850 U.S.-Trained Mongolian Troops Headed To South Sudan

Contra Russia, Iran: Azerbaijan And “Europe’s Energy Security”

NATO Boosts Cyberwarfare Investments, Launches Multinational Effort

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Pentagon, NATO Plot “Next Steps” In Libya

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65395

U.S. Department of Defense
September 20, 2011

Panetta Begins Next-step Discussions with NATO Partners
By Cheryl Pellerin

WASHINGTON: As Operation Unified Protector winds down in Libya, the Defense Department and its NATO partners have had early discussions about future roles in that embattled nation, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said today.

Panetta briefed reporters here along with Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“Our view is that this mission went well [and] that the role that NATO performed there was the right one,” Panetta said.

In the meantime, Panetta said, four military personnel arrived in Libya last week to help the State Department assess damage to the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli.

“Within the last few days, we’ve deployed another 12,” the secretary said, to try to reopen the embassy “within the next few weeks…

As to NATO’s future role there, “that’s something we’re going to be discussing with NATO as we see events unfold in Libya,” Panetta said, adding that he’s begun discussions with his NATO partners, “trying to decide … what should be the next steps.”

Mullen met with the NATO chiefs of defense over the weekend. “A number of them went out of their way to thank the United States for the support to enable them to be able to succeed to this point,” he said.

“The decision was made, obviously, to put us in a support role,” Mullen said. “That was, clearly, critical.”

NATO, he added, is “a critical alliance, has been, is and will be for the future.”

In New York today, at the first meeting of the “Friends of Libya,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO is committed to continuing its mission in Libya for as long as [it sees fit].

“The days of the former regime are clearly numbered,” Rasmussen said. “The recent positive developments in Libya are irreversible.”

He also welcomed the adoption of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2009, which establishes a U.N. mission in Libya, according to NATO…

“Our operation has been a success,” Rasmussen said.

“Allies and partners [Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Morocco, Sweden, Malta, etc.] alike have made a difference by mounting a complex operation in very little time…,” he said.

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Endless War Against Libya: 23,474 NATO Sorties, 8,795 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110922_110922-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 22, 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 23,474 sorties, including 8,795 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 21 SEPTEMBER: 124

Strike sorties conducted 21 SEPTEMBER: 44

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Bolivia’s Morales Sees Oil, Greed Behind NATO Mission In Libya

http://www.talkradionews.com/news/2011/9/21/bolivias-morales-sees-oil-greed-behind-nato-mission-in-libya.html

Talk Radio News
September 21, 2011

Bolivia’s Morales Sees Oil, Greed Behind NATO Mission In Libya

Evo Morales, Bolivia’s socialist president, says NATO’s intervention in Libya is an act of “imperialism” motivated by the West’s desire to control natural resources.

In a press conference ahead of his address to the UN General Assembly this afternoon, Morales argued that the NATO bombing campaign against forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was part of a new strategy deployed by capitalist countries.

“They are trying to overcome their financial problems by whatever means [necessary to control] the natural resources of other countries.” he told reporters.

Morales says NATO and the UN Security Council’s refusal to intervene in the Israel-Palestine crisis – a conflict he maintains is comparable to that of Libya, without the important oil reserves –is evidence of the West’s double standard for military intervention.

“There have been efforts in Libya to remove the government, drop bombs,” he said “And what about in Palestine, where is NATO? Where Palestine is concerned where is the Security Council?”

Morales said he was disappointed by President Brack Obama’s opening remarks at the General Assembly.

“I see a double standard on the part of President Obama which is disappointing. He talked about lasting peace, durable peace – but that can’t be through [American] bases or military intervention.”

President Morales also referred to the America’s failure to move forward on the Kyoto Protocols and the continued existence of a large US nuclear arsenal as evidence that the American President was insincere in his commitment to climate change and nuclear disarmament.

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Ghana: 24 US/NATO Hands Off Libya, Hands Off Africa Members Arrested

http://edition.myjoyonline.com/pages/news/201109/73356.php

Joy Online
September 22, 2011

‘24 arrested demonstrators still in BNI custody’
Isaac Essel

-“The number of police officers they brought to effect the arrest, the water cannons, the armour tanks and those things that they brought, show you that the excuse they gave that because they are stretched in terms of manpower was not true….US/NATO bombardment of Libya is a bombardment of Ghana.”

Members of the US/NATO Hands off Libya, Hands off Africa Coalition whose procession was quelled by the police have denied reports that 24 of their members arrested on Wednesday have been released.

The coalition comprising some CPP youth, members of the Socialist Forum and the All African Revolutionary Party chose Dr Kwame Nkumah’s birthday which fell on Wednesday to protest the US/NATO bombardment of Libya.

Midway through their demonstration, the group clashed with the police who said the group had defied a court order against the demonstration, which led to the arrest of the 24.

Although earlier reports suggested that they have been released, a member of the coalition, Grandfather Ayitomeka, confirmed to Joy FM that the people were still being kept under detention at the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI).

“I am in the company of lawyers, we are heading to the BNI headquarters as we speak now, so what the police said [that the people have been released] was not true,” he told sit-in host of Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Bernard Saibu on Thursday morning.

The police, who claimed they would be overstretched on the planned date, secured a prohibition order from court to stop the demonstration.

But Grandfather suspected foul play on the part of the Accra regional police command, saying their claim should be taken with a pinch of salt.

“The prohibition notice was served when they went to arrest the people…they got this prohibition order on the 16th of this very month. Five clear days, they kept it under locked and keyed, they have never served the group, never…they should prove to us [if they served us the notice].”

He said that as law-abiding people they would not have embarked on the demonstration if the police had served them with the notice.

“This is why we are suspicious of certain underhand motives; we are highly suspicious.”

He further noted: “The number of police officers they brought to effect the arrest, the water cannons, the armour tanks and those things that they brought, show you that the excuse they gave that because they are stretched in terms of manpower was not true.”

Grandfather further alleged that the action by the police “smacks of some ill motives on the part of the regional police commander”.

He explained that the demonstrators had a genuine cause for taking to the streets.

“US/NATO bombardment of Libya is a bombardment of Ghana,” Grandfather maintained, and enumerated the huge amount Ghana had spent to evacuate its nationals from Libya and other effects on the nation, adding “the war in Libya directly impact on the Ghanaians”.

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U.S., NATO Allies To Shower $23 Billion On Libyan Clients

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1935388.html

Trend News Agency/Deutsche Presse-Agentur
September 22, 2011

New Libyan rulers to enjoy an unexpected windfall of assets
A. Isgandarov

-On February 25, 2011, President Obama signed an executive order declaring such an emergency with respect to Libya, finding that…the risk that Libyan state assets would be misappropriated…undermined Libya’s security and stability, constituting an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”

Baku: Libya’s future rulers will be able to enjoy an unexpected windfall of 23 billion dollars worth of assets which were unspent by the regime of Moamer Gaddafi, dpa cited the Financial Times.

The unspent assets were found in Libyan state coffers this month, said the FT, quoting officials in Tripoli and London.

“These are internal assets found on the Central bank of Libya balance sheet that should put them in gravy until well into next year. It takes the pressure off them to get overseas assets unfrozen,” a British official told the FT.

For Libya’s new rulers, it was “the equivalent of discovering several billion dollars under the mattress,” the official added. The find would come close to doubling the domestic assets which have hitherto been estimated at 25 billion dollars.

Much of Libya’s estimated 160 billion dollars of foreign assets remains frozen under sanctions imposed against the Gaddafi regime.

On February 25, 2011, President Obama signed an executive order declaring such an emergency with respect to Libya, finding that…the risk that Libyan state assets would be misappropriated…undermined Libya’s security and stability, constituting an “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”

The president ordered a freeze on “all property and interests in property” of the government of Libya, its agencies, instrumentalities, controlled entities, and the Central Bank of Libya in the United States or otherwise in the custody or control of U.S. persons. (The order also blocked the assets of certain individuals.)

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Obama’s Speech To UN Outrages Palestinians

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/22/c_131154562.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 22, 2011

Obama’s speech to UN outrages Palestinians
by Emad Drimly, Saud Abu Ramadan

RAMALLAH: Palestinians expressed on Thursday outrage and protest against U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday, accusing him of defending Israel and neglecting Palestinians’ rights.

Dozens of Palestinian youths demonstrated in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Thursday in protest of the speech of Obama, who had clearly opposed the Palestinian intention to submit a request to the UN Security Council for a full UN membership of an independent Palestinian state.

In a meeting between Obama and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in New York early Thursday, Obama informed Abbas that the United States would veto the Palestinian request, while Abbas tried to convince Obama that the bid for a statehood is not an alternative to peace negotiations.

The demonstrators waved Palestinian flags in Ramallah and held banners with slogans accusing Obama of being biased in favor of Israel.

Issam Bakker, spokesman of a West Bank-based organization, told Xinhua that the U.S. attitude towards the Palestinian cause and their decision to get a state “shows the clear American bias to the Israeli occupation.”

In the northern West Bank city of Nablus, Palestinian demonstrators protested against Obama’s speech and considered him “a partner with Israel in keeping the military occupation of the Palestinian territories going on.”

They called on the world “to give the Palestinians their freedom and independence.”

Amjad Abu Ra’ed, member of the Palestinian government employees’ union, said the union decided to go on a one-day strike in all ministries of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in protest of Obama’s biased speech.

Female demonstrators, members of the Palestinian Democratic Union Party (Feda), also waved Palestinian flags in the city and carried banners calling for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and rejecting Obama’s speech “which was a slap in the face of the Statue of Liberty in NY.”

Amal Hamad, a member of the Feda party who joined the demonstration in Nablus, said that “the Palestinian people have a consensus of rejecting Obama’s speech and the way how he was so biased to Israel, which denies our legitimate rights and carries out aggressive practices against us.”

In his speech, Obama said the Palestinians deserve a Palestinian state, but this can only be achieved through the talks with Israel. He also said he is convinced that there is no short way to end the conflict going on for decades and that peace can’t be made through speeches and resolutions in the United Nations.

Qais Abdul Karim, a leading member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and member of the Palestinian delegation to the United Nations, slammed Obama’s speech, saying that “he neglected the rights of the Palestinians in gaining freedom and getting rid of the occupation.”

On Wednesday, the Palestinian presidency also slammed Obama’s speech. It said in a statement that the Palestinians would only be able to resume talks with Israel if the latter halts settlement construction and accepts an international reference for peace and the two-state principle.

Meanwhile, Reyad al-Malki, the PNA minister of foreign affairs, told Xinhua in an interview from New York that Obama’s speech “was unilateral,” adding that “we knew in advance Obama’s stance, but the surprise was that his speech was one-sided and was part of his election campaign addressed to Americans.”

Palestinian President Abbas’ Fatah Party said in a statement emailed to reporters that Obama’s speech “was very much disgusting and a withdrawal from his earlier oath he made. It was clear that he was under a heavy pressure of the Jewish lobby in the United States.”

“It was clearly understood from Obama’s speech that the Palestinian leadership, which earned the support of all the Palestinians, Arab nations and the world, was right to go to the UN and demand an independent Palestinian State,” said the Fatah statement.

Fawzi Barhoum, spokesman of the Hamas movement in Gaza, said in a statement sent to reporters that the U.S. president gives the Israeli occupation another opportunity “to continue its project of establishing the racist Jewish state on the lands of Palestine.”

The left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) also issued a statement slamming Obama’s speech. Its central committee member Abdel Hamid Abu Jayab said in the statement that the slogans in favor of democracy and human rights chanted by Obama to the world “are just lies.”

====

U.S. To Provide F-16s To Iraq, Keep Military Trainers In Country: Foreign Minister

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1935215.html

Trend News Agency
September 22, 2011

FM: Iraq needs U.S. military trainers
A. Isgandarov

Baku: Iraq still needs U.S military trainers, even after the U.S troops’ withdrawal from the country by the end of the year, Al Jazeera quoted Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari as saying.

“Discussions are underway over signing a new agreement on military training between the U.S. and Iraq, as Iraq plans to buy F-16 multirole fighter aircraft and other U.S weaponry.

====

Northrop Wins Missile Defense Agency’s Precision Tracking Space System Bid

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/northrop-grumman-receives-systems-engineering-contract-for-missile-defense-agencys-precision-tracking-space-system-2011-09-21

Northrop Grumman Corporation
September 21, 2011

Northrop Grumman Receives Systems Engineering Contract for Missile Defense Agency’s Precision Tracking Space System

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – Northrop Grumman Corporation has received a contract from the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), a division of The Johns Hopkins University, to perform manufacturing and production readiness systems engineering for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) Precision Tracking Space System (PTSS).

The company is one of six contractors selected by APL for the PTSS Integrated Systems Engineering Team (ISET). Northrop Grumman is working with APL in Laurel, Md., and other ISET member companies on systems engineering activities for the future space-borne sensor of the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) designed to track ballistic missiles shortly after launch and through midcourse.

“As prime contractor for the MDA’s Space Tracking and Surveillance System demonstration program, we bring extensive systems engineering and integration experience in midcourse missile tracking to PTSS ISET,” said Doug Young, vice president, missile defense and warning, for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector in Redondo Beach.

“The STSS satellites currently are participating in integrated BMDS testing, meeting all test objectives and providing significant risk reduction for a future missile defense operational constellation,” he added.

The [Missile Defense Agency] said a system requirements review was completed in March 2011, and that a preliminary design review is scheduled for fall 2012. Launch of the first two development satellites is planned for 2016.

This news release was distributed by GlobeNewswire, http://www.globenewswire.com

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Turkish Opposition: NATO Missile Radar Part Of Shield For Israel

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=79206

Cihan News Agency
September 21, 2011

Turkey’s CHP calls NATO radar “shield for Israel’, plans protests

-”This is not a two sided agreement. This is entirely oriented towards NATO, this is a NATO program. The agreement was not made a subject of negotiation with Turkey.”

Calling the plans for a radar in the Kürecik district of Malatya province a “shield for Israel,” CHP [Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi/Republican People's Party] leaders are planning to hold protests throughout the country this week in an attempt to raise controversy over the government’s recent agreement with NATO.

The CHP’s opposition to the plan has been spearheaded by the stiff words of CHP chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who has accused the prime minister of kowtowing to NATO and signing a deal that would share the radar’s strategic data with Israel. Kılıçdaroğlu recently promised protests throughout 81 provinces and vowed support for a referendum on the issue through the party’s Kürecik chapter.

A long debate, at home and abroad

The newest controversy over the site is just one chapter in a now lengthy debate, throughout which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has sought to assuage fears over NATO plans at home while negotiating terms for the radar abroad.

Erdoğan has faced particularity strong criticism from Kılıçdaroğlu, who in a press conference stated, “The intelligence that the radar will provide will be used for Israel’s defense.” Elaborating on his belief that information sharing was part of the agreement, he asked rhetorically, “Who is saying this? American officials themselves.”

Kılıçdaroğlu has also criticized the government for supposedly stepping in line with NATO orders without substantial debate. “This is not a two sided agreement,” the chairman said as he answered questions from reporters. “This is entirely oriented towards NATO, this is a NATO program. The agreement was not made a subject of negotiation with Turkey.”

Controversy over Kürecik

Amidst a nationally escalating campaign to resist the proposal, the CHP has also been busy rallying the residents of Kürecik. Head of the CHP Malatya branch Veli Ağbaba has denounced the agreement and demanded that the radar plan be put up for referendum. On Wednesday, Ağbaba raised further alarm bells by stating that the site might make the community a target for missiles and could even expose residents to heightened cancer risk.

NATO has long viewed the radar installation as crucial to expanding its defense strategy in Eastern Europe. According to the NATO plan, missile interceptors in Romania and Poland combined with the radar in Turkey will create a broad system of protection for every NATO country against mid-range missile attacks.

====

U.S. Drones Kill Ten As Yemen Heads Toward Civil War

http://www.arabmonitor.info/news/dettaglio.php?idnews=34838&lang=en

Arab Monitor
September 21, 2011

US drones kill at least 10 while Yemen’s conflict heads toward civil war

Sanaa: Yemeni Republican Guards shelled districts of the capital held by defected armed forces, the Yemeni First Armoured Brigade commanded by General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar as well as the Brigade’s headquarters located near the central Change (former Tahrir) Square, where demonstrations against President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s government are taking place. At least nine people are reported killed today by Republican Guards – the Yemeni special forces trained by US experts and commanded by President Saleh’s son Ahmed – during their shelling of a funeral.

Abdul Latif al-Zayani, the head of the Gulf Cooperation Council, wrapped up his mediation efforts and left Yemen today saying neither the Saleh camp nor that of al-Ahmar were ready for any agreement to prevent the conflict from escalating toward civil war. The other international mediator, UN envoy Jamal Benomar, said he would remain in Yemen and continue his efforts to reach a consensus between the two camps.

Meanwhile in southern Yemen US drones carried out two air raids on the town of Al-Mahfad in the Abyan province and two more on the village of Shaqra killing at least ten people, allegedly members of the al-Qaeda network. Late on Tuesday, the Washington Post said that the United States is building an array of secret new drone bases on the Arabian peninsula and in Djibuti to conduct strikes against al-Qaeda targets in Somalia and Yemen.

====

Pakistan Lodges Complaint At UN Against Drone Attacks

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C09%5C20%5Cstory_20-9-2011_pg7_2

Associated Press of Pakistan
September 20, 2011

Pakistan to lodge complaint with UN against drones

* Human Rights Ministry decides to file an official complain to Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions

ISLAMABAD: The Human Rights Ministry (HRM) has decided to take up the matter of drone attacks with the United Nations under international humanitarian law and file an official complain to the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

Addressing a media briefing on Monday, Adviser to Prime Minister Mustafa Nawaz Khokar said the matter would be discussed with all stakeholders of the government. After taking them on board an official complain will be lodged.

He categorically made it clear that drone strikes are not acceptable. He said so far the debate has only circled around loss of collateral damage and not about the specific legislation of the strikes in the light of international humanitarian law (law of war).

He explained that apart from being in violation of Pakistan’s territorial sovereignty, there was growing consensus among international law experts that these strikes can be aptly described as “Target Killing”, or “Extrajudicial Killing” primarily because the targets are being ‘taken out’ without giving them the opportunity to defend themselves in a court of law.

This view is gaining ground in the international legal fraternity and is supported by various international treaties as well as the United States’ own constitution.

Giving a brief description of the history of drone attacks, Mustafa Khokar said the first drone attack was struck at Jordan and the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings took serious notice and conveyed to the government of the US an explanation of their position in this regard. He opined that military action should be proportionate.

Mustafa mentioned that one does not have to be a legal expert to see that there is blatant disregard of international law, customary law, treaties and conventions by the American administration.

Moral and legal obligations are being flouted by the US administration, he said, adding that a complaint regarding drone attacks has already been lodged with the US several times but unfortunately it had not proved fruitful and the HRM has decided to take up this matter with UN.

Mustafa Khokar further said that a photo exhibition would start in London on Tuesday (today) titled “Gaming in Waziristan”, in which snapshots of drone attacks victims, including corpses of children and women, clothes, shoes and other belongings of these people would be displayed to unveil the reality in front of international forums.

The adviser said that the record of America and its allies is questionable, ranging from disrespecting environmental treaties to torturing detainees and now extrajudicial killings. He hoped that as the UN Special Rapporteur is considering the matter, Pakistan’s official communication in this regard might prove to be highly productive.

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Pan-Albanian Separatists Spread Kosovo Unrest To South Serbia

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=132302

Sofia News Agency
September 21, 2011

Tensions Rise in Southeast Serbia as Ethnic Albanians Rally

-Back in 1999-2001, a paramilitary group called Liberation Army of Presevo, Medveda and Bujanovac modeled after the Kosovo Liberation Army was active in the region….In 2010, a poll found that a majority of the ethnic Albanians in Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia were in favor of a “Greater Albania.”

Tensions in Southeastern Serbia have grown after several thousand ethnic Albanians rallied to protest against discrimination in the town of Presevo.

Residents of the three predominantly ethnic Albanian towns Presevo, Bujanovac, and Medveda took part in the rally, BGNES reported.

The demonstrators carried Albanian, US, and EU flags, and vast banners with their demands for the Serbian state authorities…

Wednesday’s demonstration is a follow-up of a rally organized in Bujanovac on September 13 that demanded the use of Albanian language by the administration and the recognition of diplomas acquired from the ethnic Albanian university in Kosovo’s capital Prishtina.

Presevo, Bujanovac, and Medveda are municipalities bordering Kosovo, the ethnic Albanian republic which declared independence in 2008.

Back in 1999-2001, a paramilitary group called Liberation Army of Presevo, Medveda and Bujanovac modeled after the Kosovo Liberation Army was active in the region.

The Liberation Army of Preševo, Medveđa and Bujanovac even has a Facebook fan page…

In 2010, a poll found that a majority of the ethnic Albanians in Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia were in favor of a “Greater Albania.”

====

Romanian President On NATO-Russia Armed Conflict Over Moldova, Transdniester

http://www.nineoclock.ro/wikileaks-basescu-was-worried-about-possible-russian-romanian-conflict/

Nine O’Clock News
September 20, 2011

WikiLeaks: Basescu was worried about possible Russian-Romanian conflict

In a meeting with US Senator Richard Lugar on August 27, 2008 in Bucharest, President Traian Basescu voiced serious worries that Romania could have been drawn in a military conflict with Russia in Transdniester, according to a US Embassy cable released by WikiLeaks and made public by Gandul.info.

If Russia made a move in Trans­dniester as it did in Georgia at the beginning of August 2008, Romania would have to face “tough options,” Basescu said.

In the cable, then US Ambassador Nicholas Taubman noted that “Basescu clearly worries that Russians may trigger a similar provocation in Moldova, which would practically require a Romanian military response, with broad implications for the EU and NATO.”

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China Protests New U.S. Arms Sales To Taiwan

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110922/167024335.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 22, 2011

China protests against U.S. arms sales to Taiwan

BEIJING: China expressed its “strong indignation and resolute opposition” to the new round of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, Xinhua said on Thursday.

U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke was summoned to the Chinese Foreign Ministry late on Wednesday, where Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun lodged protest over the U.S. administration’s decision to sell weapons worth $5.85 billion to Taiwan.

However, the U.S. cancelled its previous decision to sell F-16C/D fighter jets to Taiwan, saying it would instead upgrade the Taiwan’s F-16 fighter jets.

“China strongly urges the United States to be fully aware of the high sensitivity and serious harm of the issue, seriously treat the solemn stance of China, honor its commitment and immediately cancel the wrong decision,” Xinhua quoted Zhang Zhijun as saying.

“The wrongdoing by the U.S. side will inevitably undermine bilateral relations as well as exchanges and cooperation in military and security areas,” he said.

The deal violates three U.S.-Chinese communiques, including the August 17, 1972 joint statement in which Washington said it would gradually reduce its arms sales to Taiwan, which Beijing considers a rebel region to be reunited with the mainland.

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Cross-Strait Stability Under Shadow Of U.S. Arms Sales

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-09/22/c_131154350.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 22, 2011

Cross-Strait stability under shadow of U.S. arm sales

BEIJING: U.S. arms sales to Taiwan might not only trigger a new round of rows between two big countries but also make for tensions in the region.

More weapons being sold to Taiwan will definitely have a negative impact on cross-Strait relations, and may erode trust built up over the past three years following more than six decades of separation.

From a direct flight agreement to the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), both sides of the Strait have overcome a lot of barriers, political and economic, to create a peaceful and favorable environment since 2008.

These efforts might be undermined, however, by the shadow of a big power from across the Pacific, which has always sought to engage with Asia – claiming it has national interests here.

In the past three years, the U.S. has signed off three arm sales to Taiwan, first in October 2008, then in January 2010 and now on Wednesday.

The United States repeatedly claims that the deals are to maintain a military balance across the Strait and security of Taiwan. But there is no doubt for others that the world’s biggest arms exporter is simply doing so to ensure its political and military stake in the Taiwan Strait, and pursue economic interests from the arms sales as well.

On several occasions the Chinese mainland has argued that Taiwan has exaggerated the military threats from the mainland so to help it lobby Washington for weapons.

And, provided the different size and population, military confrontation is not an effective or correct way to balance cross-Strait relations.

With 15 pacts signed in three years, people on the two sides have proven their wisdom and capability to settle problems between them.

The two sides of the Strait need to reach a common understanding that the security can not depend on how many weapons they have but the will and resolve to maintain peace and build up trust.

====

Russia To Refit Nuclear Missile Cruisers

http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110921/167012600.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 21, 2011

Russia to refit nuclear missile cruisers – media

-The ships’ armament will get a major boost, with installation of advanced multi-module missile systems capable of firing a wide range of missiles and torpedoes, including P-800 Yakhont (SS-N-26) anti-ship cruise missiles.
The ships will also receive advanced air defense missile systems based on the land-based S-400 Triumf, and new point-defense systems.
Each cruiser will have a total missile carrying capacity of 300 missiles, making the ships among the best armed in the world.

The Russian Defense Ministry is planning to refit three mothballed nuclear-powered Kirov-class missile cruisers in a major boost for the Russian Navy’s combat strength, Izvestia newspaper said on Wednesday.

The Admiral Nakhimov, Admiral Lazarev and Admiral Ushakov nuclear missile cruisers were built in the Soviet era but have been decommissioned and laid up in dock for over a decade. The only active Kirov class cruiser is the Pyotr Veliky, the flagship of Russia’s Northern Fleet.

Izvestia cited a source in the Russian defense industry as saying the overhaul would include the hull and nuclear power plant repairs as well as a significant modernization of the ships’ electronics and weaponry.

“All these measures will allow us to extend the service life of these ships until 2030-2040,” the source said.

The ships’ armament will get a major boost, with installation of advanced multi-module missile systems capable of firing a wide range of missiles and torpedoes, including P-800 Yakhont (SS-N-26) anti-ship cruise missiles.

The ships will also receive advanced air defense missile systems based on the land-based S-400 Triumf, and new point-defense systems.

Each cruiser will have a total missile carrying capacity of 300 missiles, making the ships among the best armed in the world.

After the refit, the Kirov class cruisers will most likely be deployed with Russia’s Northern and Pacific fleets as part of large task forces set up to carry out a variety of combat missions – from “hunting” the adversary’s aircraft carriers and submarines to massive land assaults.

Work on the Admiral Nakhimov has already started and the cruiser is expected to re-enter service with the Russian Navy in 2015, according to sources quoted in the media.

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U.S. Air Force’s Expanding NATO-European-African-Asian Nexus

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123272959

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
American Forces Press Service
September 21, 2011

USAFE commander highlights US, NATO partnership
by Staff Sgt. Mareshah Haynes

-”Every year in USAFE, we conduct about 1,765 military-to-military engagement activities with air forces of Europe and Africa,” said Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, who is also the commander of the NATO Air Component Command and director of the Joint Air Power Competence Centre. “It has become the principle stay at home mission of Air Forces in Europe when we’re not helping to fight and win the war in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – The commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe shared his views on the evolution of the partnership between U.S. and European Airmen during the Air Force Association’s 2011 Air & Space Convention and Exposition here Sept. 20.

Since World War I and the days of the Lafayette Escadrille, and even before, Airmen have trained and fought alongside service members from other countries and that practice remains today.

“Every year in USAFE, we conduct about 1,765 military-to-military engagement activities with air forces of Europe and Africa,” said Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, who is also the commander of the NATO Air Component Command and director of the Joint Air Power Competence Centre. “It has become the principle stay at home mission of Air Forces in Europe when we’re not helping to fight and win the war in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Welsh explained how the U.S.-European partnership translates to expanded capabilities on the battlefield. Out of 48 coalition partner nations fighting in Afghanistan, 37 of them are European.

“The last time I was in Afghanistan, I talked to an Estonian (joint terminal attack controller) who was supporting a Czech infantry battalion,” he said. “The day before, they had been operating as perimeter security for a Bulgarian security force that was operating in support of a U.S. counter-terror task force. They called in Dutch F-16s and Polish gunships for close-air support during the mission. “

The general said the battlefield looks a lot different now in terms of the countries who are on the ground in the fight.

The partnership continues outside of the battle space and the nations pooled their resources to be more effective and efficient. One such venture is the Strategic Airlift Consortium. Twelve NATO partners purchased three C-17 Globemaster IIIs and activated the multinational C-17 Heavy Airlift Wing based in Papa, Hungary.

“The first time I went (to the HAW) I met a Bulgarian aircrew member and he talked to me about how proud he was to be in this wing,” Welsh said…

Welsh said these joint capabilities potentially could expand into other areas like tactical airlift, air refueling and remotely piloted aircraft.

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U.S. Military Targets Africa: Interview

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/22/56540098.html

Voice of Russia
September 22, 2011

US military targets Africa
Interview with Alexander Burilkov, researcher with the GIGA, Hamburg, Germany
Ekaterina Kudashkina

What could be political implications of the use of drones?

The biggest implications are that it dramatically lowers the cost of initiating a conflict, because it removes human casualties from the equation and also makes it much easier to deploy forces in an unfriendly territory. So what you are going to see from a political standpoint is that it is going to be the same argument as it was during the 1990s about firing cruise missiles instead of sending US marines, at least in the US. So it makes it more attractive to use force because it doesn’t require to actually expend any kind of “blood and treasure,” as they say.

How efficient, do you think, has this strategy been?

It’s not so easy to say, but at least in Afghanistan and Pakistan it seems that this had some impact on the psychological level. As you can probably see, it hasn’t actually been able to impact the course of the war on a strategic level. I mean at this point NATO is talking about negotiating with the Taliban, while in Somalia and in Yemen it really hasn’t had much of an impact. It helped Ethiopian forces in Somalia to fight back against the militants but too much so. Again, it seems that this impact is rather negligible in terms of results, but rather has an impact in terms of policy-making and deciding where to use force.

Does it somehow complicate the security situation on the ground?

It can, definitely. It makes it much harder to reach out to people and engage hearts and minds that are supposed to be the ground for any kind of strategy, because you have American forces who are claiming to provide security and at the same time people on the ground see these drone strikes not just on soldiers or Taliban or whatever, but often on civilians as well, because it’s really hard to actually choose targets correctly. And when you mix that with the fact that, at least in the view of American policy-makers, it’s much cheaper to deploy these, I think you are going to see a lot of ethical problems with this in the near future, as they are applied not just in Afghanistan or in Yemen but also elsewhere.

Does it somehow complicate the objective of intelligence gathering on the ground?

It is actually something that is always a problem in American intelligence circles – their obsession with technology. So if you look at it as a question of allocating resources, it certainly will, because it is seen as an easy option, putting an eye in the sky instead of actually engaging in intelligence gathering. At the same time, if you are talking about the kind of intelligence assets that would consist of people in organizations hostile to the US, which have proven to be very useful to have, these people might be less willing to cooperate and might actually be killed themselves by accident. So this is something that doesn’t make life easier. I mean it helps but it has its limits as well.

Do I get it right that it helps in a short-term perspective but it complicates things in a longer-term perspective? Is my understanding correct?

Certainly. And I think it is going to become even more controversial in the future because now they are talking about removing humans from the equation altogether, making these drones able to pilot themselves without any kind of input and actually deciding to fire the weapons on their own. So I think this is something that is going to become quite controversial, perhaps on the level of the use of land mines in the near future.

With new bases created in such places as Somalia and Yemen, do I get it right that we are now facing a prospect of the US military expansion in Africa?

I would certainly say so, and one thing that’s unique to drones is that they actually don’t require bases to be very close, because these planes are really light and cheap. They are actually made from paper and plastic rather than any kind of metals. You can deploy them maybe a thousand kilometers from where they will actually be active. So, again, from the perspective of cost, it’s much cheaper to deploy bases that field these drones rather than conventional aircraft. So, yes, I would definitely argue that you will see more US involvement in Africa through this.

Are we actually facing a new generation of warfare?

I would certainly argue so. Robots like drones, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, an ever increasing involvement of private military companies. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see private military companies offering drones to the highest bidder in the near future. I actually think that’s happening at the moment as well. I think it’s definitely a new type of war that is outside of state control, which has never been seen before.

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Pentagon Building Secret Bases In Indian Ocean, Horn Of Africa

http://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/u-s-building-secret-mideast-region-drone-bases-officials-say-1.155721

Stars and Stripes
September 21, 2011

U.S. building secret Mideast region drone bases, officials say

The U.S. reliance on drones in the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa is growing, with a network of clandestine bases being used to strike al-Qaida cells in Somalia and Yemen, The Washington Post reports.

The U.S. government is known to have carried out drone attacks against high-value targets in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

One of the more interesting locations for these secret drone bases is the Seychelles, an Indian Ocean archipelago, the Post reported. The pilotless drones showed in an experimental mission earlier this month that it could reach Somalia from this island nation located about 800 miles to the southeast.

Leaked WikiLeaks cables revealed the presence of these secret drone bases in the Seychelles and elsewhere, the Post reports.

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Troubling News From Africa: AFRICOM Hatches New Operations

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11264/1176224-374-0.stm

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
September 21, 2011

Troubling news from Africa
By Dan Simpson*

[Edited]

Africa appears to be in the process of throwing up two new alarming problems, one of them piracy on the west coast, to add to that already rampant on the east coast, and generational fracturing within South Africa’s ruling party.

A third disturbing problem is that the approach to Africa by the administration of President Barack Obama is becoming increasingly dominated by the U.S. military, in the form of the U.S. Africa Command, created in 2008 during the administration of former President George W. Bush.

AFRICOM’s latest maneuver, undoubtedly part of an effort to prevent Defense Department budget cuts in upcoming cost-trimming exercises, has been the claim of its commander, Gen. Carter F. Ham, that al-Qaida seeks to coordinate its efforts in Africa. Gen. Ham’s contention is at variance with analysis of other observers. They see the pieces of al-Qaida acting increasingly independently of each other.

Gen. Ham says that the Shabab in Somalia in East Africa, Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb in North Africa and Boko Haram in Nigeria present a threat to the United States as they work to coordinate their activities. He cited no evidence to support his contention.

A quick glance at the map to see the distances between the three organizations’ areas of operation, the different characters of their memberships and their greatly varying objectives make Mr. Ham’s claim, at best, in need of documentation and, at worst, an indication that he is making his own Africa policy, independent of the rest of the U.S. government.

The U.S. Navy should in no case become involved [in the Gulf of Guinea]. A large number of American and other nations’ ships have been unable to end or even reduce east coast piracy much. Such deployments are very expensive and the United States cannot afford them at this point. Secondly, African oil-producing nations have the resources to tackle the problem without U.S. involvement.

There might be a temptation on the part of some Americans – including the Defense Department – to see the U.S. Navy today as somehow like the British Navy in the 18th and 19th centuries as it tried to suppress the Atlantic slave trade. This isn’t that. It’s protection of oil, with no humanitarian aspect.

We also should get over any idea that we are the British Empire of our times. Think, $15 trillion in national debt. Think, government divided to the point of impotence. Think, rusted American bridges, potholed roads and understaffed schools.

*Dan Simpson, a former U.S. ambassador, is a Post-Gazette associate editor

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850 U.S.-Trained Mongolian Troops Headed To South Sudan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/21/c_131152467.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 21, 2011

Mongolia to send 850 peacekeepers to South Sudan

See:
Mongolia: Pentagon Trojan Horse Wedged Between China And Russia

ULAN BATOR: The Mongolian government would send 850 soldiers to South Sudan as peacekeepers, Mongolian Defense Minister Luvsanvandan Bold said Wednesday.

“Sending soldiers to South Sudan, which is a newly independent country with a civil war, is a matter of honor,” the minister said.

Mongolia had been engaged in U.N. peacekeeping missions since 2002 and was now seeking a bigger role in U.N. peacekeeping missions around the world, he said, adding a total of 5671 Mongolian soldiers had served in peacekeeping missions worldwide.

In the past, Mongolian peacekeepers had served in conflict zones such as Iraq, Sierra Leone, Chad, Sudan, Kosov0 and Afghanistan, according to the defense minister.

“The responsibilities of Mongolian soldiers are also increasing. Previously, our soldiers were guarding military bases. Now they are guarding airports,” he said.

The country is upgrading its military rehabilitation center, with the assistance of China and cooperating with the U.S., Germany, South Korea and Turkey, he said.

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Contra Russia, Iran: Azerbaijan And “Europe’s Energy Security”

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/22/c_131152497.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 22, 2011

Azerbaijian plays vital role as Europe’s energy supplier

BAKU: Azerbaijan was playing an increasingly important role in Europe as a gas supplier, the president of a state-owned oil company told an annual gas conference here Wednesday.

“Azerbaijan’s role in ensuring Europe’s energy security will increase every year,” Rovnag Abdullayev, from the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), said at Gas Infrastructure World Caspian 2011.

The Umid and Absheron gas fields, which had recently been discovered by leading European gas group Gas de France, showed the Caspian region possessed rich gas reserves, which enabled Azerbaijan to meet not only its domestic demand but also exports in the coming decades, he said.

Abdullayev said the company attached great importance to diversifying its gas export routes, such as via the planned Nabucco pipeline.

“We hope negotiations with Turkey will reach a successful conclusion, which will boost the construction of a new exporting route to Europe,” the president said.

SOCAR’s annual output would grow to 30 billion cubic meters in 2017-2018 and reach 50 billion by 2025 thanks to the latest discoveries of gas in Azerbaijan.

The Central Asian country, known as the oldest oil producing region in the world, witnessed an oil boom at the beginning of the 20th century.

Abdullayev said Azerbaijan had proved reserves of about 2.5 trillion cubic meters natural gas, however, the actual reserves might be much higher.

SOCAR, the 68th largest company in the world, runs the country’s two oil refineries and oil and natural gas pipelines throughout the country.

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NATO Boosts Cyberwarfare Investments, Launches Multinational Effort

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-8C2102D9-787AB4F4/natolive/news_78418.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 22, 2011

NATO boosts cyber defence investments, launches multinational effort

On 20 September, NATO formally launched the procurement process for the full operational capability of NATO’s cyber defences, due to be up and running by the end of 2012, as well as a multinational project that aims to lower the costs of cyber defence for NATO Allies.

The new cyber defence capability is one of 11 priority projects agreed at NATO’s Lisbon Summit in November last year, and – at a cost of over 28 million Euro – represents nearly a tripling of the Alliance’s investment in protecting its networks, as well as a strengthened ability to support NATO member countries.

“In Lisbon, NATO Heads of State agreed on a new strategic vision of modern defence, and agreed on key supporting investments,” said Ambassador Gábor Iklódy, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges.

“Importantly, the new capabilities will also strengthen our ability to support Allies in case of cyber attacks, when requested, with improved information sharing, and strengthened rapid reaction teams.”

Industry is now being invited to submit their best-value offers for the project, with more information available on the Web site of the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A), which is the NATO agency responsible for building the new cyber defences. The project includes the provision of innovative technologies as well as operational support.

“This is a complex project, with a short deadline – end of 2012,” said Georges D’hollander, NC3A General Manager, “We have given Industry 90-days to compile their bids – thirty days longer than the minimum required period – and will be hosting a bidder’s conference within the next thirty-days.

Sharing the burden of national capability development

A workshop, held on 19 September at the NC3A Agency in Brussels, agreed a number of areas in which nations are considering to work together to share the costs of cutting-edge research and development, as well as the development of new capabilities.

Under the project, nations will work to pool their efforts in the areas of cyber defence information sharing and cyber situational awareness, with a number of other nations expressing interest in joining the effort.

ACT (Allied Command Transformation) is the lead driver for multinational projects in the Alliance.

“Allied Command Transformation’s vision for this initiative is to bring the NATO and national capability development activities together, to work collaboratively, to share the results“, said General Jaap Willemse, from NATO’s Allied Command Transformation (ACT), “So the challenge to nations is: Can we, today and over the next months – work together to improve everybody’s cyber defence for the future?” 

Finally, national capability development will ultimately strengthen Alliance defences.

“In the spirit of the Secretary General’s call for “smart defence” through multinational efforts, the aim is to lower the cost of and facilitate national capability development,” said Suleyman Anil, from the NATO HQ Emerging Security Challenges Division, “In the interconnected world of cyber space, we are only as strong as the weakest link.”

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Categories: Uncategorized

Catullus: Appalled by fratricide, gods turned from man

September 22, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

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Catullus
From The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis, Poem 64
Translated by Thomas Banks

Often in the death-bringing struggle of war, Mars
or Minerva, ruler of the swift river Triton, or Nemesis
in person urged on the armed hordes of men.

But after the earth was stained with unspeakable crime
and all chased justice from their desirous minds,
and brothers suffused their hands with brother’s blood,

then all things speakable, unspeakable, jumbled in evil madness,
turned the gods’ mind of justice away from us.

Therefore they do not deign to visit such throngs
nor allow themselves to be touched by day’s bright light.


Eteocles and Polynices
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 21, 2011

September 21, 2011 1 comment

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NATO Extends Libya War Mission To End Of Year

NATO Members Squabbling Over Spoils Of Libya War

NATO To Remain In Libya, End The Mission When It Chooses

187 Days Of Bombing: 23,350 NATO Sorties, 8,751 Strike Missions

Testing Ground: France Used Libya War To Push Warplane Sales To United Arab Emirates And India Against Iran And China

Libya: Loyalist Fighters Continue Resistance In Capital

China: Expert Warns Of NATO’s Use Of R2P For Military Interventions

Sarkozy Urges Libya-Style UN Process Against Syria

Libya: Canada To “See NATO Mission Through”

NATO Chief Vows To “Stay The Course” In Afghanistan

Two NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghan Attack

Nine To Twelve Spacecraft: Lockheed Supplies Pentagon With Space-Based Anti-Ballistic Missile Tracking System

Raytheon Promotes Interceptor Missiles For 25 NATO Allies’ Warships

Top NATO Commander Pressures Congress Over MEADS European Missile System

NATO Signs First Contract For ALTBMD Interceptor System

Turkish Opposition To Protest Against NATO Missile Radar

Russia Concerned About U.S. Missile Shield Bases In Romania, Turkey

Pentagon To Strike East Africa, Yemen From Seychelles And Djibouti

The World Of Drone Warcraft

U.S. Destroyer Squadron Leaves For NATO Naval Exercise Off Scotland

MSNBC Grants Saakashvili Forum For Anti-Russian Diatribe

NATO Troops Remove Barricade Erected By Besieged Kosovo Serbs

Large-Scale CSTO Maneuvers In Wake Of “Arab Spring”

Turkish Air Force Struck 152 Sites In Northern Iraq Since August 17

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NATO Extends Libya War Operations To End Of Year

http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/09/21/idINIndia-59471820110921

Reuters
September 21, 2011

NATO extends Libya mission another 90 days

BRUSSELS: NATO agreed on Wednesday to a three-month extension of its air-and-sea campaign in Libya as the country’s new rulers try to dislodge well-armed Gaddafi loyalists holding out in several towns.

The agreement to extend the…mission, which NATO took over on March 31, came at a meeting of ambassadors of the 28 NATO states in Brussels, a NATO diplomat said.

The current operations mandate was due to expire on Sept. 27, and it was the second 90-day extension to the mission…that has involved a campaign of air strikes and a naval mission to enforce a U.N. arms embargo against ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi’s government.

“We are all pretty clear we are in the final stages of the old regime’s [status],” another NATO diplomat said.

“But for some time now everyone has been united behind the idea that we need to keep the mission going…”

Eight of the 28 NATO nations have taken part in air strikes since the mission began and have flown 23,350 sorties, including 8,751 strike sorties…

Fourteen ships under NATO command are patrolling the central Mediterranean Sea to enforce a U.N. arms embargo.

Gaddafi, who is on the run, taunted the Western alliance in a speech broadcast by a Syrian-based television station on Tuesday, saying: “The bombs of NATO planes will not last.”

Libya’s new rulers are trying to dislodge well-armed Gaddafi loyalists from several towns and have yet to start a countdown toward writing a constitution and holding elections.

Sabha – deep in the Sahara desert – had been holding out along with Bani Walid and Gaddafi’s hometown Sirte since the fall of the capital Tripoli a month ago.

(Editing by Michael Roddy)

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NATO Members Squabbling Over Spoils Of Libya War

http://www.tehrantimes.com/index.php/opinion/2808-nato-members-squabbling-over-spoils-of-libya-war

Tehran Times
September 21, 2011

NATO members squabbling over spoils of Libya war
Ali Akbar Farazi*

From the very beginning of the uprising in Libya, it was quite clear that NATO members had various objectives they sought to realize in the country.

This could be understood from their differences in the definition of the NATO mission in Libya, which led to many disagreements between the United States and its European allies and even sometimes between European member states as well.

For example, while French President Nicolas Sarkozy was insisting on holding negotiations with the Libyan opposition, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was secretly communicating with members of the Gaddafi family.

Meanwhile, at the height of the battle, the Libyan intelligence chief sought refuge in London, and then Downing Street’s policy on dealing with Muammar Gaddafi became more ambiguous.

Thus, the differences between the European NATO members on the collective Libya policy became obvious from the very beginning of the military operations in the country.

[T]he establishment of the Libyan National Transitional Council was a prelude for stabilizing the position of the Western powers and increasing their influence on the country.

That is why the French president and the British prime minister hurried to Tripoli to congratulate the Libyan interim government and to present themselves as the heroes of the Libyan revolution. The two European allies even bypassed Italy, which has always been regarded as a traditional player in Libyan affairs.

But the conflict of interest between France, Britain, Italy, and the United States is not going to be easily resolved since U.S. officials seem to be seeking greater influence over the new Libya.

In addition, it seems that NATO wants to extend its presence in Libya, and the delay in apprehending Gaddafi is a part of this plot.

And the main reason that NATO members, and especially the U.S., are seeking to extend their presence in the country is to gain greater control over Libya’s energy reserves.

*Ali Akbar Farazi formerly served as Iran’s ambassador to Hungary and Romania

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NATO To Remain In Libya, End The Mission When It Chooses

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/africa/news/article_1664094.php/NATO-to-carry-on-mission-progress-in-Libya-irreversible

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
September 30, 2011

NATO to carry on mission, progress in Libya irreversible

New York: NATO said Tuesday it will carry on…and will end the mission when conditions allow.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told a high-level conference on Libya at UN headquarters in New York that the mandate will remain in place until revoked by the UN Security Council.

Rasmussen said the Western military alliance had been effective in its Operation Unified Protector to assist the armed rebels against the former regime.

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187 Days Of Bombing: 23,350 NATO Sorties, 8,751 Strike Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110921_110921-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 23,350 sorties, including 8,751 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 20 SEPTEMBER: 102

Strike sorties conducted 20 SEPTEMBER: 32

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Testing Ground: France Used Libya War To Push Warplane Sales To United Arab Emirates And India Against Iran And China

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2011/09/20/Dassault-uses-Libya-war-to-boost-Rafale/UPI-99061316540157/

United Press International
September 20, 2011

Dassault uses Libya war to boost Rafale

-After scores of missions against Gadhafi’s forces by French Rafales, as part of the NATO air campaign to aid the Libyan rebels, Dassault feels it’s on a roll…India has shortlisted the Rafale, along with the Eurofighter Typhoon, for an $11 billion purchase of 126 combat jets…The emirates’ military says it wants missiles capable of reaching targets deep inside Iran. While the AM-39 has a range of 65 miles, the SLAM ER/2 can travel up to 160 miles…”The Mirages could in turn be sold to the new regime in Tripoli, Libya’s air fleet having largely been destroyed during the conflict.”

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Dassault Aviation hopes to capitalize on France’s participation with the United Arab Emirates in the air campaign against Moammar Gadhafi’s crumbling regime in Libya to promote the sale of 60 Rafale multi-role jets to the Persian Gulf state.

The leading French aircraft builder sent a team of executives to Abu Dhabi, the emirates’ capital, Sept. 3 to kick start negotiations that have dragged on for three years. The deal is potentially worth $9 billion-$10 billion and Dassault is desperate to sign its first foreign buyer for the twin-engine fighter.

It’s been in service with France’s air force and navy since 2006 but it needs a big overseas sale to keep the production line going to provide the 286 jets ordered by the French forces.

In 2007, the French bungled negotiations for the Rafale with Morocco, which bought Lockheed Martin’s F-16s.

After scores of missions against Gadhafi’s forces by French Rafales, as part of the NATO air campaign to aid the Libyan rebels, Dassault feels it’s on a roll.

“We really feel like we’ve turned a corner and we’re at a level of extreme performance,” Laurent Collet-Billon, head of the French defense procurement agency DGA, said at the Paris Air Show in June.

India has shortlisted the Rafale, along with the Eurofighter Typhoon, for an $11 billion purchase of 126 combat jets.

The Rafale’s up against Sweden’s Saab Gripen NG and Boeing’s F-18 Super Hornet in a competition for a $5 billion 36-fighter deal by Brazil.

Negotiations with the emirates hit a roadblock in February 2010 when Abu Dhabi demanded the Rafales had to be armed with Boeing’s SLAM ER/2 missile instead of the European-made MBDA AM-39 they’re fitted to carry.

The SLAM – for stand-off land-attack missile – is a spinoff from the radar-guided air-launched Harpoon anti-ship missile. It’s a high-precision guided munition for surgical strikes against fixed land targets and ships in port or at sea.

The AM-39 is a version of France’s Exocet anti-ship missile first used with considerable effect by Argentina’s air force against Britain’s navy in the 1982 Falklands War.

The emirates’ military says it wants missiles capable of reaching targets deep inside Iran. While the AM-39 has a range of 65 miles, the SLAM ER/2 can travel up to 160 miles.

The United Arab Emirates has built up what is widely viewed as the most formidable air force in the Persian Gulf. It has 184 combat aircraft, including 155 ground-attack fighters, mainly 55 Lockheed F-16E Block 60 Desert Eagles, 25 F-16F Block 60 Eagles and 18 French Dassault Mirage 2000-9DADs and 44 Mirage 2000-9RADs.

These Mirages could play a critical role in Dassault’s negotiations.

The Intelligence Online Web site reported this month that Dassault was now more open to an emirates’ proposal to take back the 2000-9s in part exchange for the Rafales.

“The Mirages could in turn be sold to the new regime in Tripoli, Libya’s air fleet having largely been destroyed during the conflict,” Intelligence Online noted.

“By happy coincidence, the civil servant who is in charge of ensuring that the new regime (in Tripoli) gets access to Libya’s frozen funds is Frenchman Jacques-Emmanuel Lajugie, former director of international development at France’s military procurement agency, the DGA,” Intelligence Online reported.

“Before the Libyan uprising began, Lajugie had looked into selling the Rafale to Tripoli.”

Abu Dhabi has opened negotiations with Lockheed, which has offered to provide F-16s until it can deliver the fifth-general F-35 Joint Strike Fighter currently under development.

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Libya: Loyalist Fighters Continue Resistance In Capital

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/21/c_131150234.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 21, 2011

Clashes between NTC fighters, Gaddafi remnants in central Libyan capital

TRIPOLI: Clashes took place between the fighters of the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) and members of the security troops of the fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi around nightfall on Tuesday in central Tripoli, a Xinhua witness said.

The witness on the scene said four pro-Gaddafi members were arrested by the NTC after the exchange of fire.

The names of the captured could not be confirmed, but they were arrested from a building believed to be the house of a senior military official of the collapsed Gaddafi regime. Some witnesses said the arrested are all sons of the official.

Before the four were arrested, they fired rocket-propelled grenades from inside the building towards the NTC fighters, who received information about their location from the intelligent sources, the Xinhua witness said, adding that the NTC fighters immediately fired back, and the clashes lasted for about half an hour.

The building, close to the Bad Al-Azizya military compound, was set ablaze after the clashes, which killed no one, but caused slight injuries to some NTC fighters.

Sporadic gunshots are still common in the Libyan capital, especially at night, ahead of the NTC’s announcement of the formation of a new government, which they have said will be within days.

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China: Expert Warns Of NATO’s Use Of R2P For Military Interventions

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90883/7601371.html

Xinhua News Agency
September 21, 2011

Expert worries about ramification of NATO’s military operations in Libya

BEIJING: A Chinese human rights expert on Wednesday said he was concerned about the aftermath of NATO’s military operations in Libya and its ramification on future international intervention to solve conflicts within a sovereign country.

“Military operations can quickly change a country’s government, but history tells us that new conflicts and tensions will soon emerge in the aftermath,” said Wang Zaibang, vice dean of the University of International Relations, at a Beijing human rights forum.

“Stability is usually hard to secure in an intervened country or region,” he said.

From early on, China said it was concerned about increasing tensions in Libya which had caused many casualties and hoped involved parties would quickly reach a cease fire and resolve the crisis through dialogue and negotiation.

It was the third time NATO launched a military intervention after it sent troops to former Yugoslavia in 1999 and to Iraq in 2003, Wang said, adding that both of the previous interventions failed to achieve the stated goals and left many troubles behind.

In pushing to realize the “responsibility to protect,” NATO military operations can derail their original good motive and even cause new humanitarian crises, Wang said.

Agreed to by world leaders at the 59th UN General Assembly in 2005, the “responsibility to protect” – sometimes known as “R2P” – holds states responsible for shielding their own populations from genocide and other major human rights abuses and requires the international community to step in if this obligation is not met.

Wang said the “responsibility to protect” primarily falls on the sovereign country’s government while the international community should only “constructively intervene” by supporting dialogue between the conflicting sides and helping to avoid military action.

The fourth Beijing Forum on Human Rights opened in Beijing on Wednesday with the focus on human dignity as well as on the diversity of culture and values. Over 100 Chinese and foreign human rights experts attended the forum.

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Sarkozy Urges Libya-Style UN Process Against Syria

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1934508.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
September 21, 2011

France’s Sarkozy urges UN to support Syrian people

French President Nicolas Sarkozy took a swipe at Syria on Tuesday for its harsh military repression of pro-democracy protesters, calling on the UN to give the Syrian people the same assistance given to the Libyans, dpa reported.

“I wish the Security Council would assume all responsibilities for the protection, using appropriate methods, for the Syrian people against the repression of the condemned regime (in Damascus),” Sarkozy told a high-level meeting on Libya in New York.

“The Syrian people also have the right to take their destiny into their own hands,” he said in a renewed demand to support democracy and freedom in Syria.

Contrary to forceful actions taken against the Moamer Gaddafi regime, division within the council has so far prevented it from authorizing sanctions and military action against the regime of Syrian President Bashir Assad. Russia and China opposed sanctions against Syria, citing Damascus’s important contribution to the Middle East peace process.

Sarkozy joined 21 heads of state and government, and dozens of government ministers, at UN headquarters to celebrate and to embrace the Transitional National Council, headed by Mustafa Abdel Jalil.

The new flag of Libya, adopted by Libyan rebel freedom fighters, was raised alongside the UN in New York for the first time.

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Libya: Canada To “See NATO Mission Through”

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5igiXlgHuOtv3Um7-4kZPP97G10xg?docId=CNG.f3113c68bbb87031c65b6d08521fa4f6.4d1

Agence France-Presse
September 20, 2011

Canada to see NATO Libya mission through: PM

UNITED NATIONS: Canada will see the NATO mission in Libya through to its conclusion, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday, as pro-Kadhafi elements continued to engage in armed resistance.

“Canada will see the NATO mission through to its conclusion,” Harper said after a meeting in New York on Libya hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

The mission is led by a Canadian general and Canada is one of the leading nations in the alliance that has conducted an aerial bombing campaign against Moamer Kadhafi’s regime since March…

Ottawa last week renewed its ties with Libya, now led by an interim government following the overthrow of Kadhafi, and freed up $2.2 billion of Libyan assets frozen in Canadian banks.

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NATO Chief Vows To “Stay The Course” In Afghanistan

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/20/us-afghanistan-nato-idUSTRE78J5LR20110920

Reuters
September 20, 2011

NATO chief vows to stay course in Afghanistan

NEW YORK: NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Tuesday condemned an attack in Afghanistan that killed the head of the country’s peace council and vowed that the alliance would not leave before completing its mission.

He added: “We will stay the course.”

(Reporting by John Irish, writing by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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Two NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghan Attack

http://channel6newsonline.com/2011/09/insurgent-attack-kills-2-nato-soldiers-in-afghanistan/

BNO News
September 21, 2011

Insurgent attack kills 2 NATO soldiers in Afghanistan

KABUL: Two coalition service members were killed as a result of an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

ISAF said two of its service members were killed as a result of an insurgent attack in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday morning. As usual, the multinational force gave no other details about the incident, including the exact location.

The nationalities of the service members were also not immediately disclosed by ISAF. “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…

So far this year, at least 447 coalition service members have been killed in Afghanistan. Most troops are American and are killed in the country’s south, which is plagued by IED attacks on troops and civilians. The deadliest incident happened last month when a U.S. helicopter crashed in eastern Afghanistan, killing 30 U.S. troops, seven Afghan troops and an Afghan interpreter.

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Nine To Twelve Spacecraft: Lockheed Supplies Pentagon With Space-Based Anti-Ballistic Missile Tracking System

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/lockheed-martin-is-leveraging-satellite-and-missile-defense-expertise-on-precision-tracking-space-system-team-2011-09-20

Lockheed Martin
September 20, 2011

Lockheed Martin Is Leveraging Satellite and Missile Defense Expertise on Precision Tracking Space System Team

-Following the current prototype phase, the MDA has announced that it plans to competitively select one contractor for system development and production of an operational PTSS, consisting of nine to 12 spacecraft with associated ground control and processing equipment.

SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Lockheed Martin is leveraging its satellite and missile defense expertise on the Manufacturing and Production Readiness Integrated Systems Engineering Team for the Precision Tracking Space System (PTSS). PTSS will provide the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) with a space-based system for post-boost tracking of ballistic missile threats in a global infrastructure.

Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory awarded Lockheed Martin Space Systems a contract in February for $1.2 million covering a 24-month period of performance…

“Lockheed Martin has extensive experience in advanced sensors, satellite surveillance systems, and missile defense systems, which is ideally suited to help address this critical fire control sensor capability for the Ballistic Missile Defense System,” said Doug Graham, vice president of advanced programs, Strategic and Missile Defense Systems, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. “We are partnering with the Missile Defense Agency and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab to provide the best integrated satellite solution for the agency’s network of sensors and weapon systems.”

Following the current prototype phase, the MDA has announced that it plans to competitively select one contractor for system development and production of an operational PTSS, consisting of nine to 12 spacecraft with associated ground control and processing equipment.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.

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Raytheon Promotes Interceptor Missiles For 25 NATO Allies’ Warships

http://www.ainonline.com/news/single-news-page/article/raytheon-pitches-sm-3-to-european-countries-for-ballistic-missile-defense-31102/

Aviation International News
September 19, 2011

Raytheon Pitches SM-3 to European Countries for Ballistic Missile Defense
By Chris Pocock

-[I]n addition to Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain, Australia and Korea are also interested in acquiring the SM-3.

Raytheon has proposed that 10 European warships be equipped with the company’s standard SM-3 missile, so that the burden of providing a missile defense shield over Europe can be shared more equally among the NATO countries.

The alliance has crafted a Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA) to extending the shield, so that it covers the entire European continent. But the U.S. is providing the only system that can currently perform the exo-atmospheric interception of incoming missiles required to defend an entire region.

That system is the Aegis onboard U.S. Navy warships, which fires the SM-3 Block 1A.

Wes Kramer, vice president for air and missile defense, said that Raytheon had invested its own funds over the past 18 months to add an X-band datalink to the SM-3’s existing S-band datalink. This enables guidance of the SM-3 by the Smart-L or Active Phased Array Radars (APARs) carried by the 10 European warships – three German F124 frigates, three Danish patrol vessels and four Dutch ADCF frigates.

The SM-3 missile fits in the Mk41 launchers that are carried by all these warships, Kramer said. He noted that a further 15 European warships are capable of ballistic missile defense. They are the five Spanish Aegis destroyers, six British Type 45 destroyers, and four Horizon-class frigates operated by France and Italy (two each). European missile house MBDA has ambitions to equip at least the Horizon and Type 45 warships with a ballistic missile defense capability, by adapting the Aster missiles that they already carry.

Kramer said that the SM-3 is the most widely tested exo-atmospheric kill vehicle, despite a recent failed flight of the latest Block 1B. This version is slated for ground-based deployment in Romania from 2015 in the second phase of the PAA. The company has invested in a new factory at Huntsville that can produce up to eight SM-3s per month. Kramer said that in addition to Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands and Spain, Australia and Korea are also interested in acquiring the SM-3.

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Top NATO Commander Pressures Congress Over MEADS European Missile System

http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/fedbiz_daily/2011/09/defense-officials-urge-congress-to.html

Washington Business Journal
September 20, 2011

Defense officials urge Congress to fund MEADS development
Jill R. Aitoro

-The total price tag to develop MEADS is about $3.4 billion, with the U.S. contributing 58 percent of the funding and Italy and Germany making up the rest, as established under a 2005 memo of agreement among the countries. The U.S. is on the hook to contribute $806 million more in the next two years.

Officers from both the Army and Navy are the latest to voice their disapproval of Congress’ attempts to halt funding for development of a new international defense system.

Letters from Army General Peter Chiarelli and Navy Admiral J. Stavridis, which were obtained by Washington Business Journal, expressed strong support for funding development of the Medium Extended Air Defense System — or MEADS — which the U.S. is funding jointly with Italy and Germany. The new missile defense system is under development by Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin Corp.

Chiarelli, who sent eight letters to various members of House and Senate committees, pointed to the significant costs associated with a unilateral withdrawal from the agreement with the international partners, most of which “would likely fall upon the Army and consume resources currently programmed for other important Air and Missile Defense” efforts, he wrote in the letter. Even the planned modernization of the current Patriot System — which some members of Congress have called for as a more cost-effective alternative to replacement — could be affected, he added.

Stavridis, who sent a letter to Sen. Thad Cockran, R-Miss., of the the Senate Appropriations Committee, argued that the U.S. government should honor its commitment to Germany and Italy, both of which sent their own letters in recent months, urging defense officials to convince Congress to support the program.

“Over the past two years, the U.S. has repeatedly urged our Allies to share in the cost burdens associated with ballistic missile defense,” Stavridis wrote. “An early termination of this program would prevent our Allies (specifically Germany and Italy) from receiving the necessary technology to acquire a system capable of enhancing their national military capabilities.”

These letters continue a debate that first erupted when the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to eliminate $406.6 million that Defense requested for MEADS in its version of the 2012 defense authorization bill that passed June 16.

The total price tag to develop MEADS is about $3.4 billion, with the U.S. contributing 58 percent of the funding and Italy and Germany making up the rest, as established under a 2005 memo of agreement among the countries. The U.S. is on the hook to contribute $806 million more in the next two years. Some argue that eliminating funding for the program would be a waste of valuable development and an embarrassment in the eyes of foreign government.

In August, Rep. Anne Marie Buerkle, R-N.Y., requested that the Government Accountability Office conduct a cost comparison for purchasing MEADS or upgrading and maintaining the current Patriot System.

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NATO Signs First Contract For ALTBMD Interceptor System

http://www.nc3a.nato.int/news/Pages/20110920-ALTBMD.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 21, 2011

NATO signs first contracts for territorial missile defence
By ​Alessandro Pera (Programme Manager, NATO ALTBMD Programme Office) and Russ Mayhew (Deputy Contracts Director, SAIC Enterprise and Mission Solutions Business Unit)

The NATO Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence Programme Office contracted today with an industry team led by SAIC an effort worth 2.5 million Euro to analyze in detail the technical requirements to transform NATO’s Theatre Missile Defence Programme into a programme to protect the NATO territory…as well as deployed forces.

Industry engineers from France (EADS Astrium), Germany (IABG), Italy (SELEX SI), The Netherlands (TNO), UK (QINETIQ) and US (SAIC, Raytheon) will form the core of a technical team that will work in support of the ALTBMD Programme Office(who retains the product delivery responsibility) in its facilities at the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) in The Hague. It will be a year-long analytic effort that will define the additional requirements to expand the existing Theatre Missile Defence into a Ballistic Missile Defence for NATO Europe. 

The results will then be taken forward for implementation in the NATO command and control network to broaden the capabilities of the NATO commander well beyond those demonstrated recently in missile defence testing between the United States and NATO elements last month.

“The initiation of this work marks a significant step by the technical community to implement the decision taken at the Lisbon Summit to develop a NATO capability to defend NATO Europe…,” said Alessandro Pera, Programme Manager for the NATO ALTBMD Programme Office, the organization charged with developing this capability for NATO,  “We will work as a team with our industry and national partners, in close consultation with both the NATO military and relevant NATO Committees, to ensure we get the job done.”​

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Turkish Opposition To Protest Against NATO Missile Radar

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/turkey/1934626.html

Trend News Agency
September 21, 2011

Turkish opposition is against NATO’s radar
A. Tagiyeva

Baku: Turkey’s opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has strongly condemned plans to deploy a NATO early-warning radar system in the country, the CNN Turkish TV channel reported today. CHP stated that it will oppose the authorities’ decision.

CHP Deputy Chairman Nihad Matkab said the party will today discuss the issue of holding rallies against the radar deployment in the Turkish territory.

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone and Adviser to the Turkish Foreign Minister Firuddin Sinirlioglu earlier signed an agreement to deploy the European missile defense system (MDS) in the Kurecik base, in the Turkish city of Malatya.

An early-warning radar system will be deployed in Turkey, the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s official representative Selcuk Unal, said earlier.

He said the decision on deploying an anti-missile defense system was adopted at the NATO summit in Lisbon in 2010. Turkey initially supported the initiative.

The already established anti-missile defense systems, including Aegis, are planned to be deployed in Europe at the first stage of creating European MDS. According to the plan, the missile deployment must be complete this year. The radar is an offshore radar detection system AN/TPY-2…

The second phase will be completed by 2015.

The third phase will begin in 2018. It involves the development, testing, and deployment of the advanced SM-3 (Block IIA).

The fourth phase is planned to be completed by 2020. It involves SM-3 (Block IIB) deployment.

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Russia Concerned About U.S. Missile Shield Bases In Romania, Turkey

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/21/56480108.html

Voice of Russia
September 21, 2011

US missile defense bases cause Russia concern

Russia is concerned about US plans to deploy missile defense bases in Romania and Turkey but has no intention of overdramatizing the situation, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

Moscow is concerned over the fast pace of the deployment of missile defense bases and a complete disregard for the position of Russia.

Missile defense talks between Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York on Monday yielded no results.

The US is ready to provide security guarantees on paper but only in the form of non-binding declarations, Ryabkov said.

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Pentagon To Strike East Africa, Yemen From Seychelles And Djibouti

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904106704576583012923076634.html

Wall Street Journal
September 21, 2011

U.S. Expands Drone Flights to Take Aim at East Africa
By Julian E. Barnes

-The new MQ-9 Reapers deployed to the Seychelles, officials said, can be configured for both reconnaissance and strike missions. The Reapers can fire Hellfire missiles, as well as guided 500-pound bombs…Officials declined to specify what countries could be reached from the Seychelles base. However, based on the official range, an aircraft could conduct missions in Somalia and other countries in eastern Africa. A Reaper could also likely reach Yemen, if it were to land in Djibouti rather than return to the Seychelles.

WASHINGTON: The U.S. military is deploying a new force of armed drones to eastern Africa in an escalation of its campaign…officials said.

The military has reopened a base for the unmanned aircraft on the island nation of Seychelles to intensify attacks…in Somalia, defense officials told The Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. has used the Seychelles base for flying surveillance drones, and for the first time will fly armed MQ-9 Reapers from the Indian Ocean site, supplementing strikes from a U.S. drone base in Djibouti.

The U.S. military has long operated a base in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa, and has already used drones against militants in Somalia.

The new Seychelles base, with the Reaper deployment, will allow for more flights and improved operational security, giving the military a better chance…in East Africa, officials said. Militants can sometimes spot and track drones that fly over land from the base at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti—something that will be more difficult at an island base.

The Seychelles’ capital, Victoria, is about 920 miles east of the southern tip Somalia, and about 650 miles northeast of Madagascar…A senior defense official said the U.S. hasn’t yet used the Reapers deployed to the Seychelles to conduct armed reconnaissance on pirate ships, but the option is open to use the drones to strike at pirates who have mounted attacks.

The U.S. stationed Reaper drones in the Seychelles from September 2009 until this past spring, when they were withdrawn…

The new MQ-9 Reapers deployed to the Seychelles, officials said, can be configured for both reconnaissance and strike missions. The Reapers can fire Hellfire missiles, as well as guided 500-pound bombs.

A Reaper can fly 1,150 miles from base, conduct missions and return home, military officials said. The time a drone can stay aloft depends on how heavily armed it is.

The MQ-9s are operated by the Air Force from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada and Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. An Air Force team on the ground in the Seychelles launches and lands the drones as they start and finish their missions.

Officials declined to specify what countries could be reached from the Seychelles base. However, based on the official range, an aircraft could conduct missions in Somalia and other countries in eastern Africa. A Reaper could also likely reach Yemen, if it were to land in Djibouti rather than return to the Seychelles.

It would also be able to fly widely over the Indian Ocean to hunt for pirates. “It gives us reach into different areas,” the senior defense official said.

The Central Intelligence Agency operates the U.S.’s best known drone campaign against militants in Pakistan. Drone strikes in Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere in Africa are currently conducted by the U.S. military.

Gen. Carter Ham, the commander of U.S. Africa Command, said he has seen ties between al Shabaab in Somalia, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in North Africa, and Boko Haram in northern Nigeria.

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The World Of Drone Warcraft

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/21/56505254.html

Voice of Russia
September 21, 2011

The World of Drone Warcraft
Boris Volkhonsky

U.S. officials have disclosed plans for further deployment of its drone planes in East Africa. A base on the Seychelles for Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles existed from September 2009 to spring 2011. Now, the U.S. has decided to reopen it. Another one is to be established in Ethiopia in addition to the existing one in Djibouti.

The need for further deployment of drone aircraft is explained by the growing fears in Washington that after the elimination of Osama bin Laden, the Al Qaeda network is swiftly spreading out its positions, and its base is shifting to East Africa. In recent years, it was Yemen that was considered Al Qaeda’s main haven, but with the uncertainty surrounding Yemen’s future, the terrorist network might look for other places which are beyond the control of U.S. intelligence.

The drones to be stationed on the Seychelles will not only perform intelligence surveillance functions, they are going to be equipped with Hellfire missiles (each carrying up to 8 kg of explosives) and satellite-guided bombs.

In recent months, the U.S. has acquired enough experience in using drones against suspected terrorists and other kinds of its foes in at least six countries – Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. Now, with the deployment of new and the reopening of previously existing bases, the whole region of East Africa and the Gulf of Aden is going to be covered by U.S. drones. The area for this relatively new type of combat is expanding, and one could only wonder whether there is going to be an end to it.

The plans disclosed by the U.S. officials in simultaneous interviews to several leading American papers are alarming and questionable from both military and ethic points of view. As previous experience shows, one of the most common and ethically questionable consequences of the drone strikes is their non-discriminatory and unselective nature. In Afghanistan and Pakistan the drone strikes resulted in numerous casualties among civilians with a ratio of militants to civilians being hard to determine…

The political consequences are also well known. The U.S. has spoilt its relations with long-time allies in the region – both Pakistan and the present government of Afghanistan led by Hamid Karzai, who has always been looked upon as American minion.

Another consideration in regard to the proposed drone operations in East Africa and the Western part of the Indian Ocean can also be derived from previous experience. There are serious doubts that closer surveillance and intensified strikes over suspected terrorist bases in any new region of the world will really yield significant success in the fight against Al Qaeda. The whole network is a loose structure that can easily shift its operations and bases from one area to another, as it did when Afghanistan and Pakistan came under constant fire. Therefore, shifting the fire to East Africa will only mean further dissemination of the terrorist network.

What the plans do disclose, is the new tactics used by the U.S. military and likely to become the most widely used tactics in the 21st century warcraft. The difference between a drone aircraft and, say, an F-16 fighter is that the former is operated from a computer which can be located hundreds and even thousands miles from the actual battlefield. This reduces the number of casualties among the military, but not among the local population. For any U.S. president this will definitely mean additional points in the public opinion.

But, on the other hand, all this looks like turning a real war (which is always a tragedy) into a kind of computer game when the operator of a drone aircraft can easily confuse a virtual picture with reality. Thus, any new war will be simply turned into a game, which it definitely isn’t.

And this is what is really alarming.

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U.S. Destroyer Squadron Leaves For NATO Naval Exercise Off Scotland

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=62827

Navy NewsStand
September 20, 2011

Destroyer Squadron 26 Departs for Joint Warrior 11-2
By Ensign Joe Keiley, Destroyer Squadron 26 Public Affairs

-The participating ships have been divided into forces that represent fictional regions engaged in territorial disputes. Ships and aircraft will participate in scenarios including small boat attacks, boarding operations, air defense, anti-submarine warfare and ship maneuvers.

USS ARLEIGH BURKE, At Sea: Commander, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, embarked aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51), departed Naval Weapons Station Yorktown Sept. 16 to participate in the multinational exercise Joint Warrior 11-2 off the coast of Scotland.

Arleigh Burke and Fleet Replenishment Oiler USNS Kanawha (T-AO 196), based out of Norfolk, Va., will work alongside navies from the United Kingdom and other NATO allied partners.

“We will be operating in a multi-warfare, multi-platform coalition environment with 12 other nations,” said Capt. Peter DeMane, commodore of Destroyer Squadron 26…

Joint Warrior is a United Kingdom-led, multi-warfare exercise designed to improve interoperability between allied navies and prepare participating crews to conduct combined operations during deployment.

The exercise, scheduled from Oct. 1-17, promotes Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet’s three focus areas: conducting safe and effective fleet operations to achieve mission success, providing ready maritime forces for global assignment and teaming with allies and partners in execution of the maritime strategy.

Joint Warrior allows Arleigh Burke and British ships to work together with maritime, land and air units from allied nations while providing each other with key services and logistical support.

“Interoperability with, and tactical employment of, the warfighting capabilities provided by non-U.S. navies is a perishable competency. When we come together for Joint Warrior, U.S. ships are able to become more proficient at working in future real-world deployments with the other participating nations,” said DeMane.

The participating ships have been divided into forces that represent fictional regions engaged in territorial disputes. Ships and aircraft will participate in scenarios including small boat attacks, boarding operations, air defense, anti-submarine warfare and ship maneuvers.

Joint Warrior serves as a certifying event for U.S. ships that will deploy with coalition forces in the future.

Other nations participating in the exercise are Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

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MSNBC Grants Saakashvili Forum For Anti-Russian Diatribe

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=43179&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2
September 20, 2011

Saakashvili interviewed by MSNBC

President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili was invited to the morning talk-show broadcast on American television MSNBC. The president arrived in the United States today to attend the UN General Assembly.

Mikheil Saakashvili spoke about Georgia-Russian relations and said that even twenty years after the collapse of the Soviet Union the mentality of the Kremlin is unchanged and that Vladimir Putin strives to restore the Soviet Union.

Georgian President also gave a brief review of the reforms carried out in Georgia in recent years adding the country continued to build a democratic state despite permanent pressure and dangers.

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NATO Troops Remove Barricade Erected By Besieged Kosovo Serbs

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=09&dd=20&nav_id=76477

Tanjug News Agency
September 30, 2011

KFOR removes barbed wire at Brnjak

BRNJAK: KFOR members removed on Tuesday morning barbed wire from the Brnjak administrative crossing, which was shut down on September 16.

German and French troops of the NATO forces in the province removed the barbed wire from the checkpoint.

A barricade of gravel and soil was put up by local Serbs in reaction to the closing of the crossing remains in front of it.

KFOR members told Tanjug that the crossing has been open for traffic as of late Monday, but that the barricade prevents vehicles from passing.

The barbed wire was completely removed in the direction towards central Serbia and partly from the lane from central Serbia towards Kosovo.

Members of KFOR and EULEX stated that “as far as they are concerned the crossing is open”.

Besides KFOR soldiers, EULEX customs officers and policemen and Kosovo customs and police officers, sent by the Kosovo Albanian authorities in Priština, are also deployed at the Brnjak checkpoint.

Their arrival last week prompted Serbs to put up barricades on roads leading to both Brnjak and Jarinje.

The citizens near the barricades, who sought shelter from the rain in nearby facilities this morning, did not react to this move by KFOR.

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Large-Scale CSTO Maneuvers In Wake Of “Arab Spring”

http://en.ria.ru/analysis/20110920/166981766.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 21, 2011

Center-2011 exercises echo Arab Spring
Konstantin Bogdanov

-[L]ast week Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov [said], “The processes taking place in North Africa and the Middle East were difficult to forecast. What will happen next? What leadership will come to power? This has to be a warning to all states. We have similar questions for the Central Asian countries. We must be prepared for anything. This is why we are practicing with these drills,” Makarov said, commenting on the objectives of Center-2011. He added that “Russia’s military organization must be ready for a worst-case scenario.”

Center-2011 exercises kicked off Monday in Russia and Central Asia. Center-2011 is a contingency plan for Russia and its Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) counterparts to practice the use of armed force “to stabilize the situation” in Central Asia. This outspoken position taken by some officials indicates that the drills will practice armed support for Russia-friendly regimes.

Big exercise in Central Asia

This year’s largest strategic military exercise called Center-2011 will be held in Russia and in Central Asian states from September 19 through 26. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will command the maneuvers.

Russia’s Chief of the General Staff Nikolai Makarov said no large army units will be involved. “Brigades at most, not armies” will be set in motion.

Nevertheless, about 12,000 troops and some 1,000 pieces of combat equipment, including 70 aircraft, will take part in the exercise. The Caspian Military Flotilla will also be involved at almost full strength.

The purpose of the joint drills is stated rather bluntly: training and using mixed forces to stabilize a situation and conduct military operations in a Central Asian strategic sector. So the areas set aside for combat training are all mostly in Central Asia and southern Russia.

In Tajikistan, operations will be limited to command and staff exercises by the Collective Rapid Reaction Force (KSOR) at Russian military base No. 201. In Kyrgyzstan, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Tajik troops, supported by Russian aircraft from Kant Air Base, will conduct full-scale tactical drills. Over a thousand Russian troops and two hundred pieces of combat equipment are heading for the Oimasha proving grounds in Kazakhstan.

Updated Russian combat manuals and corresponding changes in army control chain will be a new feature of the drills. Lower level commanders will be given a greater degree of freedom in decision-making.

“Previously, senior commanders would describe every step to be taken by their subordinates two levels down. A battalion commander would issue instructions not only to the company, but also to platoon commanders. Now nobody will impede anyone’s initiative, and officers will have to think through their tactical moves themselves,” Makarov said, commenting on the new manuals.

Other means

Top officials – both in Russia and outside – have already expressed concerns over the possible echoes of the Arab Spring in the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States). Last month, for example, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko spoke openly that the Rapid Reaction Force could be used not only against an external aggression, but also against the threat of a “constitutional coup.”

Sergei Prikhodko, Russian presidential aide, supported Lukashenko’s stand. CSTO Secretary Nikolai Bordyuzha noted soon after the Belarusian leader’s fairly loud statement: “The events in North Africa have opened our eyes to many things. What is happening there calls for analysis, and for appropriate methods to protect each state.”

Later, Bordyuzha explained that his words, as well as Lukashenko’s wish, did not mean using the KSOR for interference in the domestic political affairs of the organization’s member-states. “We are categorically against the CSTO taking up policing functions or participating in a political struggle on the side of any political force,” Bordyuzha said.

It should be noted, however, that a number of amendments made to CSTO documents in December 2010 that are aimed at “improving the response mechanism to crisis situations and strengthening the CSTO’s potential to counter threats and challenges to security” make use of the KSOR in such cases unlikely, but – given a broader interpretation – possible. The former approach specifically ruled out any legitimate interference by the organization’s armed forces in the internal affairs of CSTO member-countries.

Literally last week Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov also spoke in the same vein. “The processes taking place in North Africa and the Middle East were difficult to forecast. What will happen next? What leadership will come to power? This has to be a warning to all states. We have similar questions for the Central Asian countries. We must be prepared for anything. This is why we are practicing with these drills,” Makarov said, commenting on the objectives of Center-2011. He added that “Russia’s military organization must be ready for a worst-case scenario.”

These similarities in statement and allusion made openly by high-ranking officials can mean only one thing: the CSTO has acknowledged that the KSOR (read Russian armed forces, which make up the bulk of the CSTO united army), can be used to support the stability of political regimes in the organization’s member-states. “By other means, means of extreme violence,” as Clausewitz said in his day, describing the relationship between war and politics.

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Turkish Air Force Struck 152 Sites In Northern Iraq Since August 17

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/turkey/1934823.html

Trend News Agency
September 21, 2011

Air Force bombs 152 terrorist objects in northern Iraq
A. Tagiyeva

Baku: The General Staff has made an official statement today, the Sabah newspaper reported. The statement says that Turkish Air Force has destroyed 152 objects of Kurd separatists in operations on the Kandil Mountain since Aug.17.

According to the statement, The Turkish Air Force aircraft conducted air strikes to the positions and arsenals…

Air strikes were conducted after the militants’ terror attack in southeastern Turkey on Aug.17, killing nine Turkish servicemen.

This was Turkey’s first attack on northern Iraq in over a year.

The conflict between Turkey and the PKK has lasted for over 25 years, claiming over 40,000 lives…

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Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 20, 2011

September 20, 2011 3 comments

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Obama: NATO Operation In Libya To Continue

Air War In Libya: 23,248 NATO Sorties, 8,719 Strike Sorties

Eastern European Model: NATO Will “Support Tunisian Democracy”

Target China: Pentagon Pushes NATOization Of Ten-Nation ASEAN

Missiles, Troops, Energy: U.S., Romania Sign Declaration On Strategic Partnership

Black Sea: U.S. Leads NATO Special Forces Exercises In Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine

Romania: U.S., NATO Hold Largest Special Operations Drills In Europe

Russia And Iran Targeted: Local Turks To Protest Against NATO Missile Radar Deployment

NATO Forces Not Welcome In Arctic: Russian Diplomat

Kosovo: Serbs Fortify Barricades, NATO Deploys Troops

Kosovo: West Continues To Coddle Cutthroat Clients

Kosovo: Serbs Continue To Resist, Thwart NATO Troops

Iran Opposes U.S.-NATO Hegemony

Afghan War: 150 Percent Increase In Bomb Attacks On German Troops

U.S. Monitors Asia From Secret Australian Base

Moldova: Israeli Military Leads NATO Emergency Exercise

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Obama: NATO Operation In Libya To Continue

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110920/166987818.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 20, 2011

NATO operation in Libya to continue – Obama

Washington: The NATO-led operation in Libya will continue until the defeat of forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, U.S. President Barack Obama said at a meeting with Libya’s interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil.

“So long as the Libyan people are being threatened, the NATO-led mission to protect them will continue,” Obama said. “And those still holding out must understand-the old regime is over, and it is time to lay down your arms and join the new Libya.”

Obama said the U.S. will reopen its embassy in Libya.

“Our ambassador is on his way back to Tripoli, and this week, the American flag that was lowered before our embassy was attacked will be raised again, over a reopened American embassy,” the U.S. president said.

…The international NATO-led military operation began on March 19 following a UN resolution on “targeted measures” to protect civilians.

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Air War In Libya: 23,248 NATO Sorties, 8,719 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110920_110920-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 23,248 sorties, including 8,719 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 19 SEPTEMBER: 91

Strike sorties conducted 19 SEPTEMBER: 32

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Eastern European Model: NATO Will “Support Tunisian Democracy”

http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=1711716

Associated Press
September 19, 2011

Official: NATO will support Tunisia democracy
   
               
A top NATO official says the alliance will support Tunisia as it transitions to democracy.

Karl Lamers, the head of the organization’s parliamentary assembly, said Monday that NATO could help based on its experience with Eastern Europe’s democratic transition.

Lamers spoke following a meeting with Tunisian Minister of Defense Abdelkrim Zbid.

Lamers said Tunisia’s experience will impact the success of democratic experiments across the region.

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Target China: Pentagon Pushes NATOization Of Ten-Nation ASEAN

http://the-diplomat.com/new-leaders-forum/2011/09/20/a-nato-like-asean/

The Diplomat
September 20, 2011

A NATO-Like ASEAN?
By Eddie Walsh

-From an operational perspective, the adoption of NATO standards by ASEAN would advance long-term plug-and-play interoperability between NATO and ASEAN militaries. While this would improve joint-military action across numerous mission spaces, it also would allow Pentagon defence planners to view ASEAN militaries as potential forward-based force multipliers for some regional scenarios with potential adversaries, including China.

Speaking with The Diplomat, a US Pacific Command spokesperson recently suggested that ASEAN’s pursuit of regional defence industry collaboration would help advance US national interests in the Asia-Pacific as it would usher in a new ‘set of standards, similar to NATO, (that) will facilitate interoperability among ASEAN and US militaries.’

But this reasoning seems peculiar because it not only fails to address the impact of ASEAN Defense Industry Collaboration’s (ADIC) accepted raison d’être – to lower ASEAN dependence on defence imports – but because it also emphasizes ADIC – NATO-like standards, which is a shift from previous discussions.

For military analysts, PACOM’s statement therefore raises the serious question of whether the US military perceives ADIC as a mechanism through which to drive adoption of NATO standards by ASEAN member states. If this is the case, there are some genuine operational and defence implications for the broader Asia-Pacific region that should be considered.

From an operational perspective, the adoption of NATO standards by ASEAN would advance long-term plug-and-play interoperability between NATO and ASEAN militaries. While this would improve joint-military action across numerous mission spaces, it also would allow Pentagon defence planners to view ASEAN militaries as potential forward-based force multipliers for some regional scenarios with potential adversaries, including China.

On the defence trade side, Guy Ben-Ari, deputy director of the Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group and a fellow with the International Security Programme at CSIS, believes NATO standards could make importing weapon systems and platforms from non-Western suppliers less viable. ‘NATO standards would greatly diminish the ability of countries like China and Russia to win ASEAN competitions,’ he said. This would strengthen the market position of Western companies and also provide them with more efficient supply chains than their strategic competitors.

While these considerations impart clear benefits for US and Western security interests in Asia-Pacific, adoption of NATO-standards by ASEAN could advance their defence collaboration interests as well, including the stated goal of reducing ASEAN dependency on military imports.

According to Ben-Ari, ASEAN countries continue to lag major suppliers in the production of ‘large platforms such as tactical fighters and submarines.’ If platform supplier countries, including the United States, would be willing to permit ASEAN members to develop their own weapon systems, then ASEAN could move away from the all-inclusive purchasing arrangements that ADIC seeks to redress.

Faced with declining budgets in the West, and fierce global competition, Ben-Ari believes that US and its NATO allies probably are willing to cleave weapon systems from platform sales in order to strengthen their position in the Southeast Asian and Indian arms markets. ‘While this would mean losing pieces of the contract (to indigenous production), it also increases (US) chances of winning competition in an increasingly contested global arms market,’ he said. ‘With Western defence companies less and less able to rely on sales at home and within NATO, this is a trade-off they can take.’

Eddie Walsh is The Diplomat’s Pentagon (accredited) correspondent. His work has been featured by Gulf News, ISN Insights, CSIS, The East Asia Forum, The Jakarta Globe and The Journal of Energy Security. He blogs at Asia-Pacific Reporting, can be reached at asiapacificreporting@gmail.com, and followed @aseanreporting.

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Missiles, Troops, Energy: U.S., Romania Sign Declaration On Strategic Partnership

http://business-review.ro/news/basescu-s-official-us-visit-takes-bilateral-relationship-into-new-stage/12334/

Business Review (Romania)
September 19, 2011

Basescu’s official US visit takes bilateral relationship into new stage
Ovidiu Posirca

The Romanian President, Traian Basescu, met last week with his US counterpart Barack Obama in the White House’s Oval Office. The high-level meeting lasted about 25 minutes and was part of a one-day meeting involving a Romanian delegation that flew to Washington in an effort to consolidate the traditional ties between the two countries.

Other local participants in this state visit included the heads of intelligence services SIE (Foreign Intelligence Service) and SRI (Romanian Intelligence Service), the national defense minister Gabriel Oprea and presidential counselor Iulian Fota, together with foreign affairs minister Teodor Baconschi and the US Ambassador in Romania Mark Gitenstein. During the work visit, each member of the delegation had talks with his American counterpart.

Teodor Baconschi and Hillary Clinton, heads of Romanian and US diplomacy, signed an agreement on the deployment of the US ballistic missile defense system in Romania.

The official document was finalized after eight bilateral meetings. It states that 26 ground rocket interceptors will be hosted in Deveselu Airbase, Olt County, with deployment expected to occur in 2015.

Basescu said at the end of the official visit that once put into practice, this agreement will see Romania achieve the highest level of security in its history.

Basescu also signed with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden a joint declaration on strategic partnership for the 21st century between the United States of America and Romania.

The areas where the US and Romania should strengthen their cooperation include the military, politics, security and the economy.

The two countries will also collaborate in the energy sector, on the development of smart grids and alternative energy sources and transport routes such as the Southern Corridor, it was said during the official visit.
Romania will continue its efforts to liberalize its energy market to attract new investments and will also research unconventional sources of energy, including shale gas.

Chevron, an American energy company with extensive experience in shale gas projects, has already concessioned four blocks in Romania, covering 2.1 million acres, in Barlad and the Dobrogea region, which contain significant deposits of shale gas. Exploitation works in these areas may commence after prior agreement from the Romanian government is secured.

A foreign investment made by IBM, an American multinational technology and consulting firm, was also confirmed during talks between Baconschi and Clinton.

The company will create a new unit in Romania, expected to create 3,000 jobs.

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Black Sea: U.S. Leads NATO Special Forces Exercises In Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine

http://www.defpro.com/news/details/27936/?SID=7508add9d88c4a603ccc174bf843bf78

Defence Professionals
September 19, 2011

Bulgaria hosts Multinational Special Operations Forces Exercise for the first time

“For the first time Bulgaria has hosted a Multinational Special Operations Forces Exercise in which European NATO member states and partner states participate,” said Bulgarian Defence Minister Anu Anguelov after demonstrations on the VIP day of the Jackal Stone 2011 Multinational Special Operations Forces Exercise at the Novo Selo training range.

The exercise takes place in the period September 6th–30th on the territories of three states – Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine – simultaneously and is coordinated by U.S. Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR).

“The exercise allows us to enhance interaction and improve the results of the units’ preparation,” emphasized Minister Anguelov.

The performance of the Bulgarian Special Forces was commended by Mr. Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria who followed the demonstrations together with Minister Anguelov and H.E. James Warlick, Ambassador of the USA to Bulgaria.

The Special Forces performed “fast rope” airborne landing from Air Force Cougar helicopters where the aircraft hovered in close proximity to the target..

More than 1500 Special Operations Forces troops from nine states – Bulgaria, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, the USA, Croatia, Ukraine and Hungary take part in it. Jackal Stone-2011 is coordinated by U.S. Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR). Chief of the Multinational Joint Special Operations Forces Component Command HQ is Colonel Yavor Mateev, head of the Bulgarian MoD “Joint Facilities” department. 

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Romania: U.S., NATO Hold Largest Special Operations Drills In Europe

http://www.eucom.mil/english/fullstory.asp?article=Jackal-Stone11-kicks-Romania

United States European Command
September 17, 2011

Jackal Stone11 kicks off in Romania
Spc. Bethany L. Little, 40th Public Affairs Detachment

MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU AIRBASE, Romania: Special operations forces personnel from nine partner nations came together for the opening ceremony of Jackal Stone 11 held Sept. 17 at the Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base, Romania.

Jackal Stone, hosted this year by Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine, is an annual multinational special operations forces (SOF) exercise coordinated by U.S. Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR). With 1,400 SOF and support enablers from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania and Ukraine participating, Jackal Stone is the largest SOF exercise of its kind in Europe.

Welcoming the participants on behalf of the Romania Ministry of Defense to his homeland, Maj. Gen. Illie Botos, the Chief of Romanian Intelligence Directorate, thanked members of the formation for coming to train together and strengthen their relationships.

Romania has participated in the annual event since its inception in 2008, which Botos highlighted during his remarks.

“For Romanian Special Operations Forces, Jackal Stone was and still is the perfect tool to build the required capabilities and achieve interoperability between the participating forces,” Botos said. “Jackal Stone has become critically important for national SOF development that meets North Atlantic Treaty Organization standards of interoperability.”

Botos added that lessons identified and learned from his country’s participation in Jackal Stone has been beneficial in developing SOF capabilities, combat readiness and the ability to prepare, plan, conduct and assess full spectrum SOF specific missions.

Repass particularly emphasized how this year’s rendition of Jackal Stone features some very important firsts for the exercise.

“It will be the first time we will have four tactical operating locations. This adds another layer of complexity to this exercise’s command and control relationships, but is very realistic in what we have experienced,” said Repass.

Another change for this years exercise, Repass explained, is how the exercise planners moved to a combined joint force special operations component command framework, which will better align their processes with NATO.

Other firsts for Jackal Stone 11 include: incorporating changeable tactical scenarios and using forensic-enabled intelligence to positively identify targets.

“We are certainly building on last year’s success,” said Repass.

After the ceremony, the official party observed a live-tactical demonstration conducted by a maritime Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) consisting of Naval SOF from Norway, Romania, Ukraine and the U.S. at the Constanta Military Harbor.

The demonstration featured the SOTG fast-roping from a Romanian Puma IAR330 helicopter and conducting a Vehicle, Board, Search and Seizure operation from rigid inflatable boats on board a Romanian ship to clear the ship of enemy targets.

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Russia And Iran Targeted: Local Turks To Protest Against NATO Missile Radar Deployment

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-257314-kurecik-to-protest-deployment-of-nato-early-warning-radar-system-in-turkey.html

Zaman
September 20, 2011

Kürecik to protest deployment of NATO early warning radar system in Turkey

-Residents of Malatya’s Kürecik district staged a protest on Sunday against the deployment of a NATO early warning radar system in the region that will protect NATO countries against potential missile threats from ***Russia*** and Iran.

İSTANBUL: The deployment of a NATO warning system in Malatya’s Kürecik district has come under harsh criticism by opposition parties and the residents of the region.

Residents of Malatya’s Kürecik district met on Sunday to announce that on Oct. 2 they will hold a protest against the NATO radar system that is to be deployed within the boundaries of their town.

Residents of Malatya’s Kürecik district staged a protest on Sunday against the deployment of a NATO early warning radar system in the region that will protect NATO countries against potential missile threats from Russia and Iran. The Kürecik Mutual Benefit and Relief Association held a meeting in which the decision to organize a protest was accepted by residents and is expected to be widely attended.

Association President İbrahim Duman declared, “We, the residents of Kürecik, announce that we are against all variety of things that can harm humanity.” He added, “We are against war and any type of mechanism that serves war.”

It was agreed last week that Turkey will station an early warning radar system as part of NATO’s missile defense system in Kürecik, which is widely opposed not just by residents but by many others in the region. The US-operated early warning radar system, to be implemented under NATO’s umbrella, will be protected by 50 US soldiers who will be responsible for internal security at the Kürecik radar base.

Turkish and American officials engaged in feasibility studies for the deployment of the radar system in the eastern region of the country and agreed on Wednesday that Kürecik in Malatya would be the ideal location.

US officials were concerned that it was too isolated a location for security personnel to provide adequate protection for the radar system from attacks to sabotage the base, particularly from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Hezbollah and even Iran. However, Ankara responded to their concerns with the promise to implement extensive security measures in the zone surrounding the base.

According to the NATO plan, missile interceptors in Romania and Poland combined with the radar in Turkey will create a broad system of protection for every NATO country against mid-range missile attacks…

He said Turkey is a NATO member country and that previously there was a base in Kürecik…

Erdoğan said…that deploying the radar system in Kürecik is not based on bilateral agreement, Erdoğan said it is a part of the NATO program and that cities such as Adana, Diyarbakır and Erzurum were examined as well. He added that as there was a NATO base before in Kürecik, the site was decided on as the best place to host the radar system.

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NATO Forces Not Welcome In Arctic: Russian Diplomat

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=6&id=274300

Interfax
September 20, 2011

NATO forces are not needed in Arctic region – Russian diplomat

MOSCOW: There are no problems in the Arctic whose solution requires the presence of NATO forces, said Russian special envoy Anton Vasilyev.

There are no problems at all there whose solution needs military force, he said. “Problems do exist in the Arctic, but we have no questions there which require military force. We do not need the presence of military-political blocs in the Arctic,” the diplomat said in an interview with Interfax.

————————————————————————

http://rt.com/politics/russia-arctic-nato-oil-putin-947/

RT
September 20, 2011

Russia gives NATO cold shoulder on Arctic militarization
Robert Bridge

As the race to lay claim to the Arctic region and its huge oil reserves heats up, Russia tells the Western military bloc that its presence is not required.

With Prime Minister Vladimir Putin expected to take part in an international forum devoted to the subject of Arctic transport routes, Russian special envoy Anton Vasilyev says that there are no problems in the Arctic to which a military presence would be a solution.

“Problems do exist in the Arctic, but we have no questions there which would require military force. We do not need the presence of military-political blocs in the Arctic,” the diplomat said in an interview with Interfax.

Vasilyev rebuked claims that one of the coldest spots on the planet is being militarized.

“Some (observers) are writing about an arms race allegedly occurring in the Arctic. But, mildly speaking, this is an exaggeration, in my opinion,” he said.

While agreeing that the Arctic states – comprised of Canada, Denmark (by way of Greenland), Norway, Russia and the United States – have been paying more attention to their military presence in the region, Vasilyev said the military build-up is not large-scale and should not cause alarm.
“It is a logical and natural occurrence, in my opinion. It is of limited scope and is not a factor of instability, or a symptom of an arms race. We are talking about conventional armaments in the Arctic,”
the diplomat told Interfax.

It should be noted that all of the Arctic countries except Russia are NATO members.

Meanwhile, Vasilyev emphasized that the Arctic must be declared a nuclear-free zone, but then went on to say that NATO’s nuclear doctrine could present certain difficulties.

“In principle, we support the idea of a nuclear-free zone,” the special envoy said. “It is one of the most important instruments for spreading the regime of nonproliferation of nuclear weapons in the world.”

Vasilyev, raising the question of the Arctic’s non-military stature, went on to ask how Russia should respond to a situation when the other Arctic states, as full-fledged NATO members, are bound to comply with the military bloc’s nuclear doctrine.

“How can this idea be organized, specifically in the Arctic, where, alongside Russia, NATO countries are present and each of them is bound by NATO’s nuclear doctrine? This is a big issue,” he said.

The Russian diplomat went on to mention that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is expected to take part in a international forum, entitled “Arctic a Territory of Dialogue,” which begins in the Far North Russian city of Arkhangelsk on Thursday.

Putin addressed the first forum, which was held in Moscow in September 2010.

This year’s forum will focus on the development of transport routes in the Arctic region, noted Vasilyev, who also represents Russia in the Arctic Council.

“We will discuss all issues. But transport routes, first of all the Northern Sea Route, will be given priority,” he said.

In the opinion of other members of the Arctic Council, which also includes the United States, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland, the Moscow forum was very successful, Vasilyev said.
“This forum gained respect very soon and Russia asserted its reputation of leader in the Arctic region, which is not surprising. After all, half of the Arctic region is Russia,” he said.

Vasilyev reiterated the forum’s central concept, which is to “exchange information and views on development trends in the region, to establish contacts between people and, most importantly, to exchange ideas about how the Arctic region can be developed in co-operation.”

On the question of addressing Russia’s right to expand the borders of the Arctic continental shelf with the UN, the special envoy said Russia is still collecting the necessary scientific data to forward its claim.
“It’s difficult to say exactly when we will submit this bid to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf and when it will make the decision. First, we must get the entire package of scientific data and, second, we must process these data into concrete terms and formulas, and convince the Commission that we are right. We are sure we will manage to do this,” he said.

“But we will not have the sovereign right to lay cables or pipelines in this territory,” Vasilyev stressed.

On August 2, 2007, a Russian expedition led by Artur Chilingarov, an explorer and member of the State Duma, made history when they successfully descended to the floor of the North Pole in a submersible vehicle. There, the team took soil and water samples, and even planted a titanium Russian flag on the seabed for posterity.

The mission went a long way towards proving that the eastern section of seabed known as the Lomonosov Ridge is in fact an extension of Russia’s landmass.

If the claim is verified, “Russia will be able to increase its continental shelf by 1.2 million square kilometers [460,000 square miles] with potential hydrocarbon reserves of not less than 9,000 to 10,000 billion tonnes of conventional fuel beyond the 200-mile [322 kilometer] economic zone in the Arctic Ocean,” Viktor Posyolov, an official with Russia’s Agency for Management of Mineral Resources, told Itar-Tass.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters: “The aim of this expedition is not to stake Russia’s claim but to show that our shelf reaches to the North Pole.”

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Kosovo: Serbs Fortify Barricades, NATO Deploys Troops

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/20/56439039.html

Voice of Russia
September 20, 2011

Kosovo Serbs fortify barricades

Kosovo Serbs are fortifying barricades on the roads linking the north and the south of the province, as well as fortifying the checkpoints in the built-up areas Jarinje and Brnjak.

Last night, trucks again brought gravel and stones to the makeshift checkpoints despite a warning by the KFOR international force in Kosovo.

Earlier, the Command of the KFOR German contingent took the decision to send riot squads to disperse demonstrations, and heavy machinery to tear down the barricades.

The situation in the province was drastically aggravated following Pristina’s unilateral moves to assume control over the Jarinje and Brnjak checkpoints on the dividing line between Serbia and its former autonomy.

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Kosovo: West Continues To Coddle Cutthroat Clients

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Politics/Kosovo-Witness-gets-two-months-jail-for-contempt-of-UN-court_312457106352.html

ADN Kronos International
September 16, 2011

Kosovo: Witness gets two months jail for contempt of UN court

The Hague: A witness for the in the trial of former Kosovo prime minister Ramus Haradinaj was sentenced to two months in jail on Friday by the United Nation War Crimes Tribunal for contempt of court.

Sefcet Kabashi, a key witness against Haradinaj, who is accused of war crimes against Serb, Roma and non-loyal Albanian civilians during 1998/99 conflict, refused to testify in 2007, saying several witnesses had been killed.

He was arrested by Netherlands authorities in August and handed over to the tribunal. But he again refused to answer questions by the prosecution at Haradinaj’s retrial which is currently going on in The Hague.

Haradinaj, a former military commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army, which fought against Serbian rule, was acquitted in the first trial for “lack of evidence”. But the tribunal’s appeals panel said the first trial was conducted in an “atmosphere of intimidation of witnesses” and ordered a retrial.

Kabashi could have been sentenced up to seven years in jail and/or 100,000 euros for contempt of court. But the tribunal said it took into account Akashi’s “family situation and post-traumatic problems” as mitigating circumstances.

He has already served one month in jail and will be freed after serving another thirty days.

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Kosovo: Serbs Continue To Resist, Thwart NATO Troops

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=09&dd=19&nav_id=76458

B92/Beta News Agency/Tanjug News Agency
September 19, 2011

Kosovo: Serbs in north continue to block roads

ZUBIN POTOK: There were no incidents last night in northern Kosovo as local Serbs continued to block and monitor all major roads leading toward administrative checkpoints.

They are determined to maintain a total blockade of roads in that part of the province until ethnic Albanian customs workers and members of the police sent by the government in Priština have been removed from Brnjak and Jarinje.

During the day, KFOR troops threw leaflets printed in Serbian and English from helicopeters, warning that the barricades were “illegal, and do not represent peaceful protest”.

Serbs in Kosovska Mitrovica responded to this by hauling in more rocks and sand to the main bridge over the Ibar River, reinforcing their barricade there.

Several hundred citizens are gathered near the bridge where they say they are “monitoring the situation”.

The situation in the ethnically divided town and elsewhere in the north was peaceful but tense throughout Monday, said reports.

Also on Monday, EULEX head Xavier de Marnhac visited the administrative crossings at Jarinje and Brnjak in northern Kosovo and called for the removal of barricades.

Marnhac said that both posts, which EULEX refers to as “gates 1 and 31″ were “technically ready to be fully operational, but that the barricades that were placed on nearby roads impair their opening”.

Meanwhile there have been reports about shortages of food and fuel in the north, leading to reduced traffic and expensive taxi services.

NATO troops in Kosovo, KFOR, on Monday morning started carrying out detailed checks of all passengers and cars traveling from Kosovska Mitrovica to Zubin Potok.

They set up a checkpoint on the road leading toward the ethnic Albanian village of Čabar, where a large number of Serbs also gathered this morning.

After Serb representatives negotiated with those of KFOR for an hour and a half, reports said that “it was agreed that the soldiers would withdraw from this part of the road, but would remain on the part of the road leading toward Čabar”.

A Tanjug news agency report also says that KFOR tried to set up a new traffic checkpoint on Zvečan-Zubin Potok road in the village of Jagnjenica, the Zubin Potok municipality.

Local Serbs, who were upset by this move, quickly rallied in the village and blocked KFOR.

KFOR retreated about 20 meters away from the checkpoint, thus leaving the Zvečan-Zubin Potok road open for traffic after a one-hour halt.

The largest barricade set up by Serbs in the area is near Zupče, on the road leading from Zubin Potok to southern Kosovska Mitrovica.

In Belgrade, the daily Politika writes that the government decided during a telephone session on Friday to “reintegrate northern Kosovo into the country’s tax system”, cancel a decree related to customs procedures at control checkpoints, and start collecting VAT.

According to Belgrade’s chief negotiator in the Kosovo talks Borislav Stefanović, the reason for the decision was “to prove that the north is not in the hands of criminals”.

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Iran Opposes U.S.-NATO Hegemony

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110919/166963776.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 19, 2011

U.S. hegemony should end – Iranian security chief

The period of global domination of the United States should come to an end, the head of Iran’s Supreme National Council said on Monday.

“We should say goodbye to the period of U.S. hegemony,” Saeed Jalili said at a news conference at the Moscow State University of International Relations.

“The Islamic Republic is against the hegemony of the U.S. and NATO,” he continued.

Iran and the United States broke off diplomatic relations in 1979.

The U.S. and other Western nations accuse Iran of attempting to build weapons under the guise of peaceful nuclear energy generation and demand Teheran suspend its controversial uranium enrichment program. Tehran has repeatedly rejected the demand, insisting it is pursuing a purely civilian program.

“If we are talking about democracy, if we’re talking about relationships in the world, they too must be democratic,” Jalili said.

Iran is currently under four sets of UN sanctions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment.

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Afghan War: 150 Percent Increase In Bomb Attacks On German Troops

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1663606.php/Surge-in-bombings-targeting-German-military-in-Afghanistan

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
September 18, 2011

Surge in bombings targeting German military in Afghanistan

Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan: The German military has registered a dramatic surge in bombings targeting them in Afghanistan, while attacks with small arms or rockets have dropped slightly, a regional German military commander said Sunday.

Such attacks increased by 150 per cent this year, said Major General Markus Kneip, the commander of German troops in Afghanistan. He was speaking during a visit to the country by Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere.

By comparison, other forms of attack had dipped by around 10 to 15 per cent, he said.

Maiziere, on his third trip to Afghanistan since becoming defence minister earlier this year, deviated from the usual trail of politicians heading to Kunduz, instead visiting Meymaneh, Hazrat-e-Soltan and Mazar-e-Sharif in the north.

The Norwegian units commanding military operations in Meymaneh showed de Maiziere maps tracing the advance of insurgents across the province since 2006. ‘Bad news,’ came the minister’s response.

For the time being, Berlin must wait for the US to decide how many troops should withdraw from the north. Next, the 18 countries stationed in northern Afghanistan must agree on the next steps. Once this has happened, the German government and parliament will vote on troop withdrawal.

German public opinion is overwhelmingly in favour of an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan…

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U.S. Monitors Asia From Secret Australian Base

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hesLI6Xh3IacafEYtOIi0h43kq6A?docId=CNG.28c11c361d6e2f8ba96e2eaaacdd26f8.3e1

Agence France-Presse
September 19, 2011

US eyes Asia from secret Australian base
By Amy Coopes

SYDNEY: Deep in the silence of Australia’s Outback desert an imposing American spy post set up at the height of the Cold War is now turning its attention to Asia’s growing armies and arsenals.

Officially designated United States territory and manned by agents from some of America’s most sensitive intelligence agencies, the Pine Gap satellite station has been involved in some of the biggest conflicts in modern times.

But its role in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans, and in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, had been little recognised until one of its most senior spies broke ranks recently to pen a tell-all account.

Intelligence analyst David Rosenberg spent 18 years at the base, 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) south of Alice Springs, working with top-secret clearance for the National Security Agency (NSA), home to America’s code-cracking elite.

Formally known as the “Joint Defence Space Research Facility”, Pine Gap is one of Washington’s biggest intelligence collection posts, intercepting weapons and communications signals via a series of satellites orbiting Earth.

Former prime minister Gough Whitlam was sensationally sacked by the British monarchy – allegedly at American urging – not long after he threatened to close Pine Gap in 1975…

Its futuristic domes were originally built as a weapon in America’s spy war with Russia, officially starting operations in 1970, but Rosenberg says it is now targeting the US-led “war on terror” and Asia’s military boom.

The career spy is under a lifetime secrecy agreement with the NSA, meaning he cannot reveal classified information and is limited in what he can say about his time at Pine Gap, but said North Korea and China were among its targets.

“I think any country that has a large military, is a large weapons producer, is always going to be a focus for the intelligence community and China of course is growing and it’s growing rapidly,” he said.

“There are developments there that we are looking at.”

India and Pakistan were also “very much of a concern”, he added…

The latter half of his time at the mysterious station known to locals as the “Space Base” was dominated by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan…

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Moldova: Israeli Military Leads NATO Emergency Exercise

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4124645,00.html

Ynetnews
September 20, 2011

IDF oversees NATO emergency drill
Yoav Zitun

Reputation precedes them – Representatives of the Home Front Command, Magen David Adom emergency services, the Israel police and the Health Ministry trained over 1,000 soldiers and rescue delegations from dozens of countries – including Turkey, Holland, Greece, Italy, and Britain – in a NATO emergency drill held in Moldova.

The one-week training exercise is held annually and simulates different disaster scenarios.

This year for the first time, 17 members of the Israeli team headed by Home Front Command’s Northern District Chief Colonel Anwar Saab were tasked with training some 1,000 soldiers, paramedics, police officers, and search and rescue personnel, critiquing their performance and assigning grades.

The main scenario in this year’s drill simulated a strong earthquake in the center of the country, resulting in heavy damage and thousands of injuries. Other scenarios included floods, leakage of hazardous substances and a civilian plane crash.

IDF officials stated that choosing Moldova for this year’s drill and Azerbaijan for next year was not incidental, and was meant to challenge weaker states that might need to call for help from a neighboring country.

“The Moldovans are behind in resources, knowledge and transmission of information to the public in real time,” one of the officials stated.

Categories: Uncategorized

Propertius: Elegy on war

September 20, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

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Sextus Propertius
From Elegies, Book III, 12
Translated by J.P. McCulloch

Postumus, can you leave her, tears in her face,
Galla, your wife,
and follow the soldier’s trade,
behind Caesar’s flags?
What good is Parthian plunder,
you wife’s prayerful cry unheeded?
If the law allows it,
let them all be damned equally,
who go abroad looking for gold,
along with any man who prefers
the arms of the camp
to those awaiting him in his bed.
You must be unhinged,
to drink from distant rivers
at day’s end,
helmet for a bucket, mantle thrown over your arm,
while she, meanwhile,
will toss in her bed with each hollow rumor,
afraid your manly valor
will bring you to a bitter end;
afraid the Median arrows will sing
at your riddled death,
or that you will fall by iron
at the hand of some cataphract
on a gold-trimmed horse;
afraid you will be brought back in a jar,
something to cry over;
and that is how they bring them home.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 19, 2011

September 19, 2011 Leave a comment

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NATO’s Air War Persists: 23,157 Sorties, 8,687 Strike Missions

184 Days Of Bombing: Over 23,000 NATO Air Missions

Will NATO Play Major Military In Libya?

Spain: NATO Military Commanders Discuss Libyan, Afghan, Kosovo Operations

Report: Turkey Blocks Israeli Bid To Open NATO Office

Israel: Still Intent On Opening NATO Office

Iran Renews Concerns Over NATO Missile Radar In Turkey

Georgia: Host, Turkey, Azerbaijan In Pipeline Military Exercise

NATO Approves India’s United Nations Action On Libya

Polish Activist: Missile System Proof Of Global U.S. Geopolitical Role

NATO Representative: U.S. Missiles In Romania To “Protect” Moldova

Afghanistan: NATO 2011 Death Toll At 443

CSTO Holds Large-Scale War Games

U.S., Bangladeshi Navies Hold First-Ever CARAT Military Exercise

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NATO’s Air Persists: 23,157 Sorties, 8,687 Strike Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110919_110919-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 23,157 sorties, including 8,687 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 18 SEPTEMBER: 113

Strike sorties conducted 18 SEPTEMBER: 42

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184 Days Of Bombing: Over 23,000 NATO Air Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110918_110918-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 23,044 sorties, including 8,645 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 17 SEPTEMBER: 106

Strike sorties conducted 17 SEPTEMBER: 42

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Will NATO Play Major Military In Libya?

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/18/56273656.html

Voice of Russia
September 18, 2011

Will NATO agree to play special role in Libya?

Yevgeny Satanovsky, President of the Institute of the Middle East:

They [rebels] are not sure about their own possibility to control the territory of the country, and they need Europeans and Americans to control the tribes which are not part of the anti-Gaddafi alliance.

That means that the North Atlantic Alliance will be the major military force in Libya for a long time, and all these al-Qaeda, criminal groups will put the most difficult part of the war on the Europeans and the United States.

Will NATO agree to play some special role in Libya? The only man in the world who knows this would be Rasmussen, who knows that this is a very rich country, with a lot of oil interests and maybe the military reality will be destroyed under the attack of the economic and financial reality.

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Spain: NATO Military Commanders Discuss Libyan, Afghan, Kosovo Operations

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2011/09/18/NATO-looks-ahead-in-Libya-Afghanistan/UPI-89281316365828/

United Press International
September 18, 2011

NATO looks ahead in Libya, Afghanistan

SEVILLE, Spain: NATO commanders said they looked at the near- and long-term future of operations at their weekend meetings in Spain.

The alliance wrapped up two days of discussions in Seville with discussions on the immediate prospects for Afghanistan, Kosovo and Libya, and the longer-term prospects for operations that are better coordinated and more cost-effective.

The current NATO operations in Libya and the overall “Arab Spring” movement were of particular interest. Spanish Adm. Giampaolo Di Paola, chairman of the Military Committee, said in a written statement the Libyan operation was being carried out in a professional manner that “contributed to set the conditions for a political solution of the Libyan crisis.”

The meeting in Seville was the first high-level NATO conference since the withdrawal from Afghanistan began and precedes next month’s ministerial meeting in Brussels.

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Report: Turkey Blocks Israeli Bid To Open NATO Office

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkey-blocks-israeli-bid-for-opening-nato-office-2011-09-18

Hürriyet Daily News
September 18, 2011

Turkey blocks Israeli bid for opening NATO office

ANKARA: Turkish objections have thwarted Israel’s attempt to open a NATO office, says Turkish FM, stressing determination to also keep Israel out of data-sharing after a high-powered US radar system is deployed in Turkey.

Turkey has blocked an Israeli move to open a representation office at NATO headquarters, its foreign minister said Sunday, adding that data collected by a radar system in eastern Turkey would not be shared with Israel.

“Israel recently made an attempt to open an office at NATO [headquarters] in Brussels. We said we would veto this attempt and the issue was not even put on the agenda,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said in an interview with the CNNTürk news channel.

A Foreign Ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News that Israel made the request under NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue program, launched in 1994 with seven Mediterranean countries.

Israel attempted to have its request approved earlier this month after Ankara downgraded ties with Tel Aviv over its failure to apologize for a deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship, the official said, adding that the issue could not even make its way onto NATO’s agenda after Turkey threatened to use its veto.

The minister dismissed as “manipulation” a newspaper report that quoted an unnamed U.S. official as saying that data collected by the radar would be used to help defend Israel, stressing that Washington had assured Ankara that no such official existed.

According to a Wall Street Journal report Friday, U.S. officials said they planned to fuse data from radars in Turkey, Israel and other sites to create a comprehensive picture of the missile threat to the region. Turkey, for its part, could also benefit from real-time data from radar the United States already operates in Israel, the report said.

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Israel: Still Intent On Opening NATO Office

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=238541

Jerusalem Post
September 19, 2011

Opening NATO office still on table despite Turkish claims
By Yaakov Katz

-Earlier this year, NATO extended invitations to all of the countries involved in the Mediterranean Dialogue and other non-membership forums to open offices at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Gov’t officials deny Ankara’s assertion that Turkey had blocked Israeli attempt to open office in western military alliance’s headquarters.

The possibility of opening an Israeli mission at NATO headquarters in Brussels is still “on the table” government officials said on Monday in response to Turkish claims that Ankara had succeeded in vetoing the initiative.

On Sunday night, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told the CNNTürk news channel that Turkey had succeeded in blocking an Israeli attempt to open an office in the western military alliance’s headquarters.

“Israel recently made an attempt to open an office at NATO [headquarters] in Brussels. We said we would veto this attempt and the issue was not even put on the agenda,” Davutoğlu said.

But Israeli officials involved in relations with NATO said that the option of opening an office at NATO headquarters in Brussels was “realistic” and was currently under consideration within the Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry.

“We do not know of any veto or of the possibility that one country can veto an offer that was made by NATO,” one government official said.

In recent years, Israel has significantly boosted its cooperation with NATO and regularly participates in workshops and seminars organized by the western military alliance and member countries. In 2010, the Israel Navy and NATO signed an agreement to deploy a missile ship with Active Endeavour, a NATO mission to patrol the Mediterranean Sea and prevent terror and weapons smuggling.

Israeli is also seeking to receive an upgraded status following the conclusion of a Strategic Concept review the military alliance is currently conducting that will enable Israeli officials to participate in top NATO forums even though Israel is not a member of the alliance but is a member of the Mediterranean Dialogue, which was created in 1994 to foster ties with Middle Eastern countries like Israel, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco

Earlier this year, NATO extended invitations to all of the countries involved in the Mediterranean Dialogue and other non-membership forums to open offices at NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Defense officials said that the offer was still relevant and that it was being “positively considered” by the government. It is still unclear what the rank of the Foreign Ministry or Defense Ministry official will be who would man the mission if established.

“We could gain from having an office in NATO headquarters which could eventually lead to a more significant increase in cooperation,” one defense official said.

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Iran Renews Concerns Over NATO Missile Radar In Turkey

http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/1933674.html

Trend News Agency
September 19, 2011

Iran: NATO radar system in Turkey not to benefit region
T. Konyayeva

Baku: Deploying NATO’s early-warning radar system in Turkey will not benefit the region, Iran’s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said, IRNA reported.

“The deployment of the system is not acceptable, as it will not favor the regional countries,” Vahidi said.

The presence of foreign forces in the region could damage relations between the nations of the region, he added.

Earlier, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said a decision to deploy NATO’s radar should be carefully considered.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal announced the country’s intention to host the apparatus on Sept. 2. Following Ankara’s announcement, Russia criticized the plan and denounced NATO’s efforts to advance eastward.

In September 2010, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen proposed to develop a 200-million-euro (253-million-dollar) US-backed missile system around Europe against possible attacks by “rogue states.”

The NATO chief then named Iran’s nuclear program as one of the reasons that justify the necessity of a missile system.

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Georgia: Host, Turkey, Azerbaijan In Pipeline Military Exercise

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=155318

Azeri Press Agency
September 19, 2011

Eternity-2011 computer-supported command post exercise starts in Tbilisi
Rashad Suleymanov

Baku: The “Eternity-2011” computer-supported command post exercise has started in Tbilisi, Georgia, APA reports quoting Georgian news agencies.

Representatives of the Azerbaijani, Georgian and Turkish defense ministries, Turkish Armed Forces, Gendarmerie General Command, Georgian police, Azerbaijani Armed Forces and Special State Protection Service, as well as the BTC and BOTAS companies joined the exercises.

The main topic of the simulative exercise is to arrange the security of the main pipelines. The exercise attendees consider possible attack mechanisms on the pipelines, the elimination of these threats and results as well as preventive measures.

“Eternity” is organized once a year in one of the participating countries.

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NATO Approves India’s United Nations Action On Libya

http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/nato-sees-indias-abstention-on-libya-positively/827770.html

Press Trust of India
September 18, 2011

NATO sees India”s abstention on Libya positively
By Sanjeev Chopra

Brussels: The US-led NATO has taken a positive view of India’s abstention on the UN Security Council vote on military intervention in Libya, saying it showed the world was united in opposing the actions of Muammar Gaddafi.

India had also supported the United Nations Resolution for recognising the former rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) and for handing over Libya’s UN seat to it.

Giving an unexpected positive spin to India’s abstention, a NATO official said, “India voted with knowledge that its abstention would lead to the passage of the resolution.”

“Every country has to decide for itself. India’s decision was to abstain and not to vote. That decision contributed to the fact that the resolution was through,” the NATO official said, adding that “What happened subsequently was clearly indicative at the time the people were voting, which is one of the reasons that certain countries had abstained.

He said, “I think India’s vote to abstain reflected an agreement on that fundamental reality as indeed was already clear by 1973 previous UN Security Council Resolution provision when India voted in favour.”

The NATO official said, “Russia, which does have a veto, knew that its abstention would mean that the resolution passed and it was comfortable with that.”

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Polish Activist: Missile System Proof Of Global U.S. Geopolitical Role

http://rt.com/news/missile-defense-us-poland-773/

RT
September 16, 2011

Missile defense meant to show US ‘still in the game’ – activist

Video

With parts of the American missile defense shield set to be deployed in Poland by 2018, some in Poland are saying the system is meant to help Washington keep its imperial presence in the world.

Earlier this week, the US also agreed to a deal with Romania under which land-based interceptor missiles and over 100 military personnel will be based in the country. This was followed by another deal with Turkey on the deployment of an American radar station in the country’s east.

With US economic dominance on the decline, the Obama administration intends to cut costs, argued Philip Ilkovsky, an activist from the Polish Stop the War initiative. At the same time, however, the US does not want to be seen as retreating from the global geopolitical scene, Ilkovsky added.

“Of course the missile defense program is being cut compared to the Bush administration’s, but it still exists,” Ilkovsky told RT. “The Obama administration wants to show that it is doing something… [that] it’s still in the game.”

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NATO Representative: U.S. Missiles In Romania To “Protect” Moldova

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=3&id=273942

Interfax
September 16, 2011

Missile defense site in Romania will improve Moldova’s security – NATO representative in Chisinau

CHISINAU: The deployment of missile defense elements in Romania will positively affect regional security, the NATO center in Moldova says.

“First, a missile shield is an absolutely safe element, and second, as Moldova’s partners become more secure, this will surely have a positive effect on regional security and Moldova’s national security,” Vitalie Grosu, the director of the Information and Documentation Center on NATO in Moldova, told Interfax on Friday.

“Criticism of Romania’s and the U.S.’ decisions with a reference to so-called possible negative implications for third countries, including Moldova, is not a consistent approach to regional and international security,” he said.

Moscow believes that the agreement between Washington and Bucharest on deploying a base of U.S. interceptor missiles and the deployment of an early-warning radar station in Turkey makes it even more important that Russia should be given legally-binding guarantees that these missile defense elements are not targeted against its strategic forces.

It was reported earlier that NATO plans to deploy SM-3 interceptors and a ground command center at the Deveselu Air Base in Romania. The site will be located on an area of about 175 hectares and will employ 200 U.S. servicemen plus civilian personnel.

The site’s deployment will cost $400 million, and the funding will be provided by the U.S.

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Afghanistan: NATO 2011 Death Toll At 443

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/09/18/3-isaf-soldiers-killed-southern-afghanistan

Pajhwok Afghan News
September 18, 2011

3 ISAF soldiers killed in southern Afghanistan

KABUL: Three International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) soldiers were killed in Taliban attacks in southern Afghanistan, the alliance said on Sunday.

Two soldiers died as a result of roadside bombings while the third was killed in a clash with militants, the statements said, without giving details about the victims’ nationalities and exact locations of the incidents.

The death brings to 443 the number of foreign troops killed so far this year in Afghanistan. Last year, 711 NATO-led troops were killed in the country.

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CSTO Holds Large-Scale War Games

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/19/56365112.html

Voice of Russia
September 19, 2011

CSTO countries start major war games

The Center-2011 strategic military exercises kick off on territories of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on Monday, a Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said.

He added that at least 12,000 servicemen from Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) countries are set to take part in what he said will be the biggest war games in 2011.

Russian security agencies’ task forces will also participate in the drills, due to wrap up in early October.

The CSTO brings together Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

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U.S., Bangladeshi Navies Hold First-Ever CARAT Military Exercise

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=62806

Navy NewsStand
September 18, 2011

U.S., Bangladesh Launch First CARAT Naval Exercise
By MC2(SW/SCW) Jessica Bidwell, Task Force 73 Public Affairs

See:
Bangladesh: U.S. And NATO Forge New Military Partnership In South Asia

-CARAT participants now include Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh: The Bangladesh and U.S. navies begin eight days of maritime safety and security exercises Sept. 18, during the first-ever Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Bangladesh 2011.

The event began with a ceremony at Bangladesh Navy Base Issa Khan. It marks the first time Bangladesh has participated in the 17 year-old CARAT exercise series, which the U.S. Navy conducts with navies of seven other Southeast Asian nations. CARAT participants now include Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

“The fact that CARAT attracts navies from the region is a particularly important point,” said Rear Adm. Tom Carney, Commander, Task Force 73 and the executive agent for the exercise. “I look at 2011 as the first of many successful years of engagement between the U.S. and Bangladesh Navies.”

There are four U.S. Navy ships and approximately 500 U.S. personnel participating in the exercise. The ships include the guided missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100); the frigate USS Ford (FFG 54); mine countermeasures ship USS Defender (MCM 2); and the dive and salvage rescue ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50).

CARAT Bangladesh combines training events ashore and at sea, with shore events focused on dive training, riverine warfare, ship boarding training…Training events at sea will occur between U.S. and Bangladesh Navy ships, and includes helicopter operations, shipboard communications and maneuvering drills, surface gunnery exercises and tactical freeplay events.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 17, 2011

September 17, 2011 3 comments

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Report: NATO Air Strikes Kills Over 700 In Sirte, 354 Overnight

NATO Continues Libyan Air War: 22,938 Sorties, 8,603 Strike Missions

European Commission Head: NATO War In Libya “Moral Duty”

NATO Chief: Libya War Model; “Dialogue” With China, Other World Powers

U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer Headed To Mediterranean, Persian Gulf

Turkey Radar Deployment: Iran, Russia Blast Global Missile System

Afghan Experts: U.S. Presence, Bases To Perpetuate War

Kosovo: War Of The North

Raising Profile In Region: NATO To Hold Two Exercises In Latvia

NATO Chieftain In Kosovo: Press Conference With Client Thaci

Pentagon: South Caucasus Belongs To NATO, No Russian “Privileged Sphere”

State Department Discusses Ossetia Conflict, Georgia’s “European Integration”

Georgia’s Saakashvili To Military: Russia Doomed To Collapse

Saakashvili: NATO Trains Georgian Army In Afghanistan For War With Russia

Georgia, Ukraine Will “Absolutely” Join NATO: Saakashvili

Georgian Delegation Hosted By Pentagon, Pushes NATO Integration

Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey Hold Exercises For Guarding Pipelines

Trans-Eurasian Energy War: Sarkozy To Visit South Caucasus

Poland Pushes Caspian-To-Baltic Oil Pipeline

U.S. Intensifies Drone Attacks In Yemen

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Report: NATO Air Strikes Kills Over 700 In Sirte, 354 Overnight

http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/09/17/idINIndia-59399720110917

Reuters
September 17, 2011

NATO air strikes kill 354 in Sirte – Gaddafi’s spokesman

TUNIS: Muammar Gaddafi’s spokesman told Reuters on Saturday that NATO air strikes on Sirte overnight had hit a residential building and a hotel, killing 354 people.

NATO comment was not immediately available.

Moussa Ibrahim, in a call from a satellite phone to Reuters office in Tunis, said: “NATO attacked the city of Sirte last night with more than 30 rockets directed at the city’s main hotel and the Tamin building, which consists of more than 90 residential flats.

“The result is more than 354 dead and 89 still missing and almost 700 injured in one night.”

Ibrahim said Gaddafi was personally directing loyalist fighters who are holding back provisional government forces at his remaining strongholds in Libya.

“He is leading all aspects of this struggle. He is talking to the people, he is lecturing, he is discussing, he is looking after all matters of the resistance,” he said.

Ibrahim said Gaddafi was in Libya and confident of victory.

“We will be able to continue this fight and we have enough arms for months and months to come,” he said.

“In the last 17 days more than 2,000 residents of the city of Sirte were killed in NATO air strikes,” he said.

(Reporting by Barry Malone)

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NATO Continues Libyan Air War: 22,938 Sorties, 8,603 Strike Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110917_110917-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 22,938 sorties, including 8,603 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 16 SEPTEMBER: 121

Strike sorties conducted 16 SEPTEMBER: 43

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European Commission Head: NATO War In Libya “Moral Duty”

http://www.thenewage.co.za/29232-1019-53-EU’s_Barroso_calls_NATO_campaign_in_Libya_a_’moral_duty’

Agence France-Presse
September 16, 2011

EU’s Barroso calls NATO campaign in Libya a ‘moral duty’

European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso defended NATO’s campaign in Libya as a “moral duty”, against criticism in South Africa over the bombing.

“Libya is very close to Europe, and when the leader is going to massacre his people, it created indignation,” he said at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg.

“We have a moral duty” to step in, he said.

Barroso appeared at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg along with South Africa’s last white president, FW De Klerk, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Mandela for ending the racist apartheid regime.

Libya figured prominently in discussions on Thursday at the EU-South Africa summit, which Barroso attended.

President Jacob Zuma has harshly criticised NATO’s bombing campaign, saying the alliance overstepped the mandate of a no-fly zone imposed by the United Nations.

South Africa has so far refused to recognise Libya’s new leadership following the ouster of Muammar Gaddafi…

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NATO Chief: Libya War Model; “Dialogue” With China, Other World Powers

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-09/17/c_131143960.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 17, 2011

NATO hopes to strengthen dialogue with China: NATO Chief

-The bombing campaign in Libya where the United States for the first time took a backseat in a mission spearheaded by European nations could be a template for future NATO operations despite weaknesses in Europe’s military capabilities, Rasmussen said.

BRUSSELS: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) hopes to see a strengthened dialogue and closer ties with China and other international powers, NATO chief said here on Friday.

“I would very much like to see a strengthened dialogue between China and NATO,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Xinhua in an exclusive interview at the headquarters of the trans-Atlantic alliance.

“China has the largest population in the world and the second-largest economy. China is playing a still stronger role on the international scene…,” Rasmussen said.

He described as “historic” China’s attendance, along with countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Japan, at a meeting at NATO headquarters on Wednesday to discuss international efforts to fight piracy in the Indian Ocean.

Over the past decade, NATO has increasingly sought to build a network of international relations, ranging from the “partnership for peace” program, which has been used to prepare countries from the former Soviet bloc for NATO membership, to military and political cooperation with countries in North Africa and the Middle East, and a looser dialogue on issues of security with Asian and Pacific nations.

Indicating wide differences on some thorny international issue between China and NATO, including the Libyan conflict, Rasmussen reiterated that the Atlantic alliance wants to build closer ties with Beijing.

During the interview, the top NATO diplomat also elaborated on the new framework of the alliance.

The bombing campaign in Libya where the United States for the first time took a backseat in a mission spearheaded by European nations could be a template for future NATO operations despite weaknesses in Europe’s military capabilities, Rasmussen said.

“This model, in which European allies take on more responsibility, could serve as a framework also in the future,” he said.

Rasmussen also touched on some other issues, including NATO’s desire to build closer ties with other international powers, the prospect for transition in Afghanistan and the alliance’s controversial missile defense plans.

“The Libya operation is a positive story, about increased European responsibility within our alliance,” Rasmussen said, stressing “the operation has also made it visible that European allies are lacking some necessary and critical capabilities.”

Rasmussen recognized that the U.S. support, which included cruise missiles that took out Gaddafi’s air defenses, mid-air refueling and intelligence from pilotless aircraft, had been crucial to the Libyan mission, but he hoped that the fact that European nations had eventually led the mission to a successful conclusion would allay American concern about Europe’s commitment to security in its region.

As NATO winds down its mission, he said, the Afghan authorities would need more support from neighbors such as China to build stability in the region.

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U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer Headed To Mediterranean, Persian Gulf

http://www.wavy.com/dpp/military/uss-donald-cook-to-deploy

WAVY
September 15, 2011

USS Donald Cook to deploy
Guided missile destroyer has crew of 275

NORFOLK, Va. – USS Donald Cook (DDG 75) will depart Naval Station Norfolk Sept. 19.

The guided-missile destroyer is leaving for the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. There, it will support the Navy’s Maritime Strategy.

The crew of nearly 275 will be commanded by Cmdr. J. Lee Bennet.

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Turkey Radar Deployment: Iran, Russia Blast Global Missile System

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1933201.html

Trend News Agency
September 17, 2011

Iranian FM warns NATO’s radar in Turkey
D. Khatinoglu

-The Russian Foreign Ministry said Turkey’s collaboration would mark another step in the direction of the deployment “of the European segment of a global US missile defense system.”

Baku: Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi warned against installing NATO’s missile defence system in Turkey, IRNA reported.

Salehi said to a press conference with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nadbandian in Tehran that the Western countries do not see the unified policy amongst the region’s countries and the decision of Turkey to allow NATO’s missile defence system is doubtable.

The US Defense Department has said an ‘early warning’ radar system belonging to the Washington-led military alliance of NATO will become operational in Turkey by the end of 2011.

Earlier, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal announced the country’s intention to host the apparatus on Sept. 2. Following Ankara’s announcement, Russia criticized the plan and denounced NATO’s efforts to advance eastward.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Turkey’s collaboration would mark another step in the direction of the deployment “of the European segment of a global US missile defense system.”

In September 2010, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen proposed to develop a 200-million-euro (253-million-dollar) US-backed missile system around Europe against possible attacks by “rogue states.”

The NATO chief then named Iran’s nuclear program as one of the reasons that justify the necessity of a missile system.

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Afghan Experts: U.S. Presence, Bases To Perpetuate War

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/09/15/us-presence-seen-perpetuating-war

Pajhwok Afghan News
September 15, 2011

US presence seen as perpetuating war
by Abasin Zaheer

KABUL: A long-term US military presence in Afghanistan in the wake of the strategic cooperation pact could perpetuate the war, with increased meddling from neighbouring countries, political analysts warned on Thursday.

Speaking at a day-long seminar at the Mahr Media Centre in Kabul, analyst Wahid Muzhda said China, Russia and India would not tolerate a long-term presence of US soldiers in Afghanistan.

“After the signing of the strategic cooperation document, then US will set up bases in Afghanistan, which is not acceptable to our neighbours and they will try to fuel instability,” Muzhda believed.

Only “historically defeated” nations would sign accords with the US and allow it to have bases on their soil, remarked a professor of economy at the Kabul University, Saifuddin Saihun. “We are not yet defeated and hence no need for signing the accord.”

In addition to other neighbours of Afghanistan, Iran was dead-set against the signing of the agreement, Saihun said, urging the US to focus on strengthening Afghan forces, implementing fundamental reconstruction projects and installing a responsible government in Kabul.

The US had done nothing over the past decade to stabilise the war-crippled country and it would take no such measures in the future, alleged the chairman of the centre, Hussaini Madani. Their 10-year stay showed US soldiers would not respect Afghan laws and tradition even after the pact was signed, he said.

“Also, the Taliban are fighting against the American military presence. If they extend their stay, Afghanistan will face more problems,” Madani said, without elaborating.

Contradictory and inconsistent American statements on the issue were aimed to mislead the Afghans, the professor said, calling the agreement a threat to Afghanistan’s sovereignty.

Afghanistan should sign the pact in its own interest, stressed Aziz Ahmed Rehmand, a professor of political science. “Once our neighbours know that the US is in for the long haul, their interference will decrease,” Rehmand believed.

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Kosovo: War Of The North

http://rt.com/news/kosovo-serbs-barricades-kfor-793/

RT
September 17, 2011

Ethnic Serbs battle isolation as Kosovo reinforces northern border

Video at URL above

A stand-off between KFOR forces and ethnic Serbs is underway on the Kosovo–Serbia border after Pristina took full control over the only two border crossings that link an ethnic Serb enclave in northern Kosovo with Serbia proper.

Kosovan police assisted by NATO’s KFOR have taken over two border crossings with Serbia in the north of the breakaway region.­

The locals are mostly ethnic Serbs, and they have been trying to prevent the takeover by blocking roads to the checkpoints and staging protests.

The unrest started when the authorities in Kosovo announced they were introducing customs controls on the border with Serbia. For Kosovan Serbs, the move has increased their isolation in a region dominated by Muslim Albanians.

RT’s Sara Firth has been to the disputed Jarinje border crossing and reports that all roads leading there are still blocked by protesting ethnic Serbs.

The border crossing facility is currently under KFOR control. It has been ringed with barbed wire and helicopters are coming and going, bringing international forces to the border checkpoint.

The Albanian Kosovan police, who currently only have observer status here, are deploying just two officers at each disputed checkpoint.

It appears that a transfer of authority from KFOR to Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians is planned for the border crossings.

A first attempt by the Kosovan government to take control of the crossings came back in July. However, the move sparked clashes that resulted in the death of a policeman. Since then, it has been relatively quiet.

A huge number of Serbs have gathered at the barricades around the checkpoint in what looks increasingly like a stand-off, with the Serbs saying they are ready to stay to the bitter end. Ethnic Serbs fear that once Pristina controls the border crossings with Serbia, their days in northern Kosovo will be numbered.

The stand-off has already been called the “War of North,” but neither KFOR personnel at the border crossings nor the Serb protestors at the barricades are making any moves to either break through the barricades or re-capture the checkpoints for fear of being accused of provoking violence.

The UN Security Council has called an emergency meeting at the request of Serbia and Russia, but no final decision has been made on how to resolve the situation, with member countries apparently reluctant to make any concrete statements.

KFOR is pushing ahead with its takeover of the border crossings despite warnings from Moscow and Belgrade that the move carries a real risk of a serious escalation of the conflict.

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Raising Profile In Region: NATO To Hold Two Exercises In Latvia

http://www.aco.nato.int/exercises-steadfast-pyramid–steadfast-pinnacle-2011-2.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
September 16, 2011

EXERCISES STEADFAST PYRAMID / STEADFAST PINNACLE 2011

NATO continues to deliver more capable NATO senior staff and commanders to conduct operations

SHAPE, Mons, Belgium: Between 26 and 30 September 2011, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) will conduct exercise “STEADFAST PINNACLE 2011” (STPE11) in Riga, Latvia. The exercise is built on a fictitious scenario with special operational requirements to model likely crisis situations. The exercise is closely connected to exercise STEADFAST PYRAMID11, also conducted in Riga during 19-23 September.

Latvia is a valued member of NATO who makes a vital contribution to the Alliance and particularly its mission in Afghanistan. The multinational exercise is …raising NATO`s profile in the region…Such level NATO exercise takes place in the Baltic States for the first time.

This is NATO…exercise that assures the readiness of Latvia to develop the joint operational capability as a host nation and to benefit from these exercises by improving abilities to work with other NATO nations and other key regional partners what will be useful in participating in ISAF and other multinational contingency operations around the world.

NATO regularly exercises to maintain readiness to provide the early establishment of NATO military presence. The NATO exercise programme is under continual review. Holding regular exercises – across the Alliance nations – provides tangible proof of NATO’s readiness and capabilities.

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NATO Chieftain In Kosovo: Press Conference With Client Thaci

NATO Community
September 16, 2011

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Pentagon: South Caucasus Belongs To NATO, No Russian “Privileged Sphere”

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1932392.html

Trend News Agency
September 15, 2011

U.S. respects defense choices of S.Caucuses countries
M. Assenova

-Ms. Walsh outlined major aspects of U.S. defense cooperation with Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. In Azerbaijan, the DoD focuses on reforms of the military institutions, building a NATO interoperable unit, and ensuring protection of the energy infrastructure. In Armenia, DoD focuses on peacekeeping training, reforming the military, and training and education of military personnel. In Georgia, DoD supports defense reforms and modernization, and the country¹s NATO aspirations.

Washington: Russia will have a role in the South Caucasus, but no country should have the right to a privileged sphere of influence in the region, said today Jennifer Walsh, Principle Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) at a conference on 20 years of independence of the South Caucasus. The conference is hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.

“We do not agree with this position of Russia,” she added.

Ms. Walsh stressed that the Defense Department respects the political and defense choices made by each of the South Caucasus countries.

“We welcome the aspirations of Georgia to join NATO, this right is mandated by international law,” she said. “We respect the choice of Azerbaijan to partner with NATO and also Armenia¹s membership in NATO’s Partnership for Peace,” she said.

Ms. Walsh said that the importance of the region to U.S. security interests is based on its geographical proximity to Iran and countries that are possible suppliers of weapons of mass destruction. The South Caucasus plays a critical role in the logistics to sustain the supply lines to NATO¹s military operations in Afghanistan. The region is also an important energy producer and energy corridor to Europe. Jennifer Walsh pointed out that the United States has a national interest in promoting stability and conflict resolution, particularly in a region prone to violence where the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has not been resolved for two decades. Last but not least, the South Caucasus is a part of the larger Euro-Atlantic space and each country in the region is free to join the Euro-Atlantic institutions.

Ms. Walsh outlined major aspects of U.S. defense cooperation with Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. In Azerbaijan, the DoD focuses on reforms of the military institutions, building a NATO interoperable unit, and ensuring protection of the energy infrastructure. In Armenia, DoD focuses on peacekeeping training, reforming the military, and training and education of military personnel. In Georgia, DoD supports defense reforms and modernization, and the country¹s NATO aspirations.

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State Department Discusses Ossetia Conflict, Georgia’s “European Integration”

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1932877.html

Trend News Agency
September 16, 2011

Georgia, U.S. discuss solution of South Ossetian conflict
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: Vice Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Baramidze discussed in the U.S. the need for peaceful settlement of the South Ossetian conflict with the Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon and his assistant Eric Rubin, a source at the Vice Prime Minister’s office said.

The sides also discussed prospects of European integration in light of the NATO Summit in 2012, as well as the need to develop cooperation between Georgia and U.S.

Baramidze thanked the U.S. for the support for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia and the resolution adopted by the Senate regarding the occupied territories of Georgia.

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Georgia’s Saakashvili To Military: Russia Doomed To Collapse

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23939

Civil Georgia
September 16, 2011

Saakashvili: Russia will Collapse if Continues Aggressive Policy

Tbilisi: Russia is doomed for “collapse” if it continues its current “19th century aggressive policy”, President Saakashvili said, also stressing that Tbilisi was aware of the need to show “strategic patience”.

Speaking before Georgian soldiers in Gori at an opening ceremony of a new complex for the MoD’s National Defense Academy, Saakashvili said Georgia was “in a difficult geopolitical situation.”

“Several kilometers from here invaders prepared military a foothold against rest of Georgia,” he said. “But let’s take a broader look. This place [Shida Kartli region, which under Georgia’s official administrative division also involves breakaway South Ossetia] is the heart of Georgia.”

“The Russian empire is in fact in a very difficult situation and if this crisis, which they have, continues, if its attempts to carry out the 19th century aggressive policy [it will] continue Russia’s further weakening and collapse – like it previously happened to the Seljuq Turks Empire, then to the Mongol Empire, then to the Ottoman Empire and the Persian Empire. It’s irreversible,” Saakashvili said.

He, however, also said that “this collapse [of Russia] will not solve our problems in itself”, because from the historical experience Georgia knew that “one invader was then replaced with another and one problem was always then replaced with another.”

“So we should look at this [process] from the historic perspective; even after this empire of the invader collapses we should be careful, because it may be followed with all kinds of chaotic developments and that’s [the moment] when the strength of the Georgian state and the consolidation and effectiveness of the Georgian armed forces will be decisive.”

“It’s better to repel bear with a stick, or even better with a gun – of course the best option is to avoid a bear, but if it anyway meets you, licking bear’s one place will not help,” Saakashvili said and immediately added: “By bear I mean a bear and not any of the states.”

In the same speech Saakashvili also said: “We also know it very well, that we need strategic patience – that’s what we’ve learned from our history.”

Calling on the Georgian authorities to exercise “strategic patience” in respect of breakaway regions is part of the U.S. administration’s policy; as one senior U.S. diplomat once explained, the approach implies Georgia showing itself “to be an attractive place, a stronger, democratic” country.

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Saakashvili: NATO Trains Georgian Army In Afghanistan For War With Russia

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23938

Civil Georgia
September 16, 2011

Saakashvili Defends Georgia’s Afghan Mission

-“But let’s think more thoroughly – does Georgia face a threat and a huge challenge? Yes it does. Does Georgia need the army? Of course it needs it; the country can’t live otherwise. Should this army have experience? Of course it should. Do we need the support of our much stronger allies? Of course we need it. Where does this experience and solidarity from our allies come from? First and foremost on the Afghan front.”
-“In a decisive moment, soldiers and officers, who have gone through this experience [of serving in Afghanistan], will serve Georgia, will protect Georgia and will save Georgia.”

Tbilisi: Georgia’s military contribution to the Afghan operation gives the Georgian army “invaluable combat experience” and to the country the “solidarity and support” of its allies, President Saakashvili said on September 16.

In a televised speech before Georgian soldiers at a ceremony of the opening of a new complex of the MoD’s National Defense Academy in the town of Gori, Saakashvili said: “If we want to have the country, we should have the army; if we want to have the army, we should be in Afghanistan.”

“Many people question what Georgian soldiers are doing in Afghanistan and I often hear that the Georgian government wants to score political points [before its western allies] and Saakashvili wants to keep his chair and that’s why he sacrifices the lives of our soldiers…,” Saakashvili said.

Ten Georgian soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan since joining the NATO-led operation in November, 2009; currently Georgia has up to 950 soldiers in Afghanistan and intends to send an additional battalion next year.

“The Georgian soldiers are in Afghanistan because it makes the Georgian armed forces stronger, because this is invaluable combat experience,” Saakashvili said. “I have personally heard from Gen. Petraeus [now CIA Director and previously commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan], that the Georgian militaries were the best among those which he had ever worked with, except for the U.S. forces.”

He said that the first reaction to the question whether the Georgian troops should be in Afghanistan or not “of course will be ‘no, they should not’.”

“But let’s think more thoroughly – does Georgia face a threat and a huge challenge? Yes it does. Does Georgia need the army? Of course it needs it; the country can’t live otherwise. Should this army have experience? Of course it should. Do we need the support of our much stronger allies? Of course we need it. Where does this experience and solidarity from our allies come from? First and foremost on the Afghan front,” he said.

“In a decisive moment, soldiers and officers, who have gone through this experience [of serving in Afghanistan], will serve Georgia, will protect Georgia and will save Georgia.”

He said that in a condition when parts of Georgia were occupied, “we have no right to sleep calmly.”

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Georgia, Ukraine Will “Absolutely” Join NATO: Saakashvili

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23935

Civil Georgia
September 15, 2011

Saakashvili Expects Progress in NATO Integration

Tbilisi: Georgia expects to make a progress on its path of NATO integration next year, President Saakashvili said in an interview with the Russian-language Ukrainian newspaper, Segodnya, published on September 15.

“I think we will have progress in respect of NATO, especially next year. I hope that the summit of [NATO leaders] in Chicago [in May, 2012] will appreciate the progress made by Georgia in reforms,” Saakashvili said in the interview recorded last week.

“I am absolutely sure that Georgia and Ukraine will join NATO sooner or later and I think it will happen much sooner than many can imagine it. I am realistic and optimistic at the same time. Life has taught me not to be overwhelmed with excessive optimism, but in fact there is a good chance. Of course much depends on global processes… I have both very optimistic and pessimistic scenarios, but chances are good in fact,” Saakashvili said.

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Georgian Delegation Hosted By Pentagon, Pushes NATO Integration

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=43139&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2
September 16, 2011

Georgian delegation continues visit to US

Representatives of the Georgian delegation will hold a meeting with Alexander Vershbow, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.

Georgia`s State Minister for European Integration Issues Giorgi Baramidze and Vice Speaker Gigi Tsereteli already talked to Republican Congressman Austin Scott, who is a member of the Committee of Armed Forces in the House of Representatives.

The Georgian delegation also took part in a forum on issues of democracy held in the Congress.

A meeting with Californian Congressman Howard Berman was also held.

Giorgi Baramidze discussed issues of possible integration into NATO in his speech delivered at Johns Hopkins University.

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Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkey Hold Exercises For Guarding Pipelines

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/georgia/1933224.html

Trend News Agency
September 17, 2011

Tbilisi hosts staff exercises for guarding pipelines
N.Kirtskhali

Tbilisi: Staff exercises with computer support, “Eternity-2011,” will take place in Tbilisi on Sept. 18-25.

The exercises will be attended by the military of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, as well as the organizations and companies responsible for guarding pipelines, a source at the Defence Ministry of Georgia told Trend.

The exercises, held every year in one of the countries, are aimed at protecting the pipelines. Exercises are held in the form of simulation.

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Trans-Eurasian Energy War: Sarkozy To Visit South Caucasus

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1933052.html

Trend News Agency
September 17, 2011

Date of French President’s visit to South Caucasus announced
S. Agayeva

-[T]his is the first official visit of a French president to Azerbaijan in the history of diplomatic relations.
-Azerbaijan announced the discovery of large gas reserves on the Absheron field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea last week.
Participants in Absheron are SOCAR (40 percent), Total (40 percent), and Gaz De France Suez (20 percent).

Baku: French President Nicholas Sarkozy will pay a visit to the South Caucasus region on Oct.6-7, Reuters reported.

Azerbaijani Ambassador to Paris Elchin Amirbekov confirmed that Sarkozy will visit Azerbaijan on Oct.7.

He said this is the first official visit of a French president to Azerbaijan in the history of diplomatic relations.

During his regional visit, Sarkozy will visit Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia. He will discuss cooperation prospects.

On the eve of Sarkozy’s visit, opportunities to develop Azerbaijan-France trade and economic relations will be discussed in Paris in late September.

The sixth meeting of the Azerbaijani-French intergovernmental commission on trade-economic cooperation will be held in Paris on Sept. 23, Azerbaijani Ambassador Elchin Amirbekov told Trend on Friday.

The Azerbaijani delegation will be headed by Finance Minister Samir Sharifov and the French delegation will be headed by Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pierre Lellouche, he said.

Based on the Azerbaijani State Statistics Committee, bilateral trade amounted to $2.2 billion in January-June 2011.

Azerbaijan announced the discovery of large gas reserves on the Absheron field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea last week.

Participants in Absheron are SOCAR (40 percent), Total (40 percent), and Gaz De France Suez (20 percent).

The contract on the Absheron Field was signed on Feb. 27, 2009, between SOCAR and Total. Later Total sold 20 percent of its equity participation to Gaz De France Suez.

The field’s potential reserves hit 350 billion cubic meters of gas and 45 million ton of condensate.

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Poland Pushes Caspian-To-Baltic Oil Pipeline

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1932794.html

Trend News Agency
September 16, 2011

Polish president to recommend making decision on Odessa-Brody-Plotsk
E. Ismayilov

Baku: Recently Poland hosted a meeting of the National Security Bureau (NSB), dedicated to the project on Odessa-Brody-Plotsk oil pipeline construction, said Director General of Sarmatia International Pipeline Company Sergei Skripka.

The Odessa-Brody-Plotsk pipeline is part of the Eurasian oil transportation corridor, of which participants are Azerbaijan, Georgia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine.

During the meeting, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economy and Ministry of State Property of Poland delivered reports on the pipeline project.

According to Skripka, after the meeting, the President of Poland Bronislaw Komorowski said he was going to recommend the new government to be formed as a result of parliamentary elections in October to make a final decision on the implementation of Odessa-Brody-Plotsk oil pipeline project.

The basis for making specific decisions should be created by the outcome of negotiations with leaders of other countries – participants of the project – which Komorowski plans to conduct soon.

The National Security Bureau’s Stanislav Kozeya said following the meeting that the realization of the project by 2016 is still possible. So, now the task is to get confirmation of partners from other countries that the project will be repaid.

Skripka expressed confidence that the attention and support by the Polish President will enable the future government of this country take a positive and unambiguous decision regarding the project on Odessa-Brody-Plotsk oil pipeline construction.

“Not only Sarmatia, but also all participants of the project from other countries have been expecting such a decision for a long time,” said Skripka.

Sarmatia was created by Ukrtransnafta and the Polish PERN Przyjazn company on July 12, 2004 to attract investments to design and complete the Odessa-Brody oil pipeline to Plotsk.

Sarmatia’s participants include SOCAR, the Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation Ltd. (GOGC), Ukrainian Ukrtransnafta, Polish Przedsiebiorstwo Eksploatacji Rurociagow Naftowych Przyjazn SA and Lithuanian AB Klaipedos Nafta.

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U.S. Intensifies Drone Attacks In Yemen

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-increases-yemen-drone-strikes/2011/09/16/gIQAB2SXYK_story.html

Washington Post
September 16, 2011

U.S. increases Yemen drone strikes
By Karen DeYoung

The Obama administration has significantly increased the frequency of drone strikes and other air attacks…in Yemen in recent months amid rising concern about political collapse there.

Some of the the strikes, carried out by the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have been focused in the southern part of the country, where insurgent forces have for the first time conquered and held territory as the Yemeni government continues to struggle against escalating opposition to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule.

Unlike in Pakistan, where the CIA has presidential authorization to launch drone strikes at will, each U.S. attack in Yemen — and those being conducted in nearby Somalia, most recently on Thursday near the southern port city of Kismayo — requires White House approval, senior administration officials said.

Although several unconfirmed strikes each week have been reported by local media in Yemen and Somalia, the administration has made no public acknowledgment of the escalated campaign, and officials who discussed the increase declined to provide numbers.

From its initial months in office, the administration has debated whether to extend the air attacks…in Pakistan to the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. Military and intelligence officials have long argued in favor of attacks against al-Shabab camps in Somalia, which have been under overhead surveillance for years. Other officials have questioned the legal and moral justification for intervening in what, until recently, has been a largely domestic conflict.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Video: European Missile System Component Of First Strike Strategy

September 16, 2011 2 comments

RT
September 16, 2011

AMD ‘un-resets’ Washington’s relations with Moscow

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Video

Or second video screen at:
http://rt.com/news/amd-moscow-race-russia-683/

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Ship-based Standard Missile-3 launch (Missile Defense Agency)

The recent spike in activity has highlighted Washington’s commitment not only to press ahead with the European missile defense shield project, but also to extend and reinforce it, despite indicating two years ago that it wanted to abandon the scheme. That is the view of Rick Rozoff, an international affairs expert from the “Stop NATO” movement.

Rozoff adds that American claims of a threat from North Korea or Iran are purely fictitious.

“What we’re talking about is a potential adjunct to a first-strike system,” the expert says. “This means that in the event the US and its NATO allies would launch what they would describe as a ‘pre-emptive’ strike – but in reality a first strike – against a nation like Russia, an integrated missile defense system will be in place to ensure that any missiles surviving this ‘pre-emptive’ attack would be knocked out by kinetic interceptor missiles,” he explains.

“It is not defensive,” Rick Rozoff concludes, meaning that from the geographical standpoint, the positioning of the rockets makes no sense as they will not effectively intercept threats from either Pyongyang or Tehran.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 16, 2011

September 16, 2011 3 comments

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Libya: AFRICOM Draws Lessons From Its First War

Libya: NATO Air Missions Near 23,000, Strike Sorties At 8,560

Libyan Lessons: Global NATO And Recolonization Of Africa

NATO Chief Applauds Basing Of U.S. Interceptor Missiles In Poland

Obama’s Cold War: Raytheon Missiles On Russia’s Borders

Missile Radar: “Biggest Strategic U.S.-Turkey Decision In 15-20 Years”

White House, NATO Forge Ahead With European Missile Shield

U.S.-NATO Interceptor Missile Anaconda Coils Around Russia

U.S. To Launch Nuclear-Capable Missile On International Day Of Peace

U.S. Marine Black Sea Force Integrates 13 Regional Armies For NATO

Video: NATO “Humanitarian” Wars: Libya, Syria… Algeria?

Kosovo Showdown: NATO, Serbs Block Competing Checkpoints

UNSC Emergency Session On Kosovo On Russian, Serbian Initiative

Video And Text…Russian UN Envoy: NATO Connives With Separatists In New Kosovo Threat

Video: NATO Ready To Intervene In Northern Kosovo

Russian Envoy Storms Out Of Kosovo Security Meeting

Australia: U.S. To Deploy Troops, Gain Bases

U.S. “Cautions” Russia Over Joint Naval Drills With North Korea

Border With NATO: New Russian Air Defense Systems In Joint Drills With Belarus

Russia, Belarus: 12,000-Troop Drills On NATO-Union Border

NATO’s Top Military Chief Awarded For “Contributions To Global Peace”

Dutch Troops Held Accountable For War Crimes In Indonesia

Official Hails Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline

U.S. Pressures Pakistan To Abandon Iranian For TAPI Pipeline

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Libya: AFRICOM Draws Lessons From Its First War

http://www.defense.gov/News/NewsArticle.aspx?ID=65344

U.S. Department of Defense
September 15, 2011

Africa Command Learns from Libya Operations
By Jim Garamone

-“[M]ost of the intelligence analysts, most of the targeteers across the United States military have done this in previous deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and other places,” Ham said. “They know how to do it but, collectively, Africa Command had not previously done this.”
Ways to sustain this expertise is something the command must look at in the future, the general said. The same is true, he added, in the maritime environment.

WASHINGTON: Libya was the first major combat operation for U.S. Africa Command, and its men and women responded well, the unit’s commander said.
Still, Africom – the military’s newest combatant command – is assessing the lessons learned from Libya and will make necessary changes, said Army Gen. Carter F. Ham.

Ham spoke to the Defense Writers’ Group here yesterday.

In March, Africom participated in Operation Odyssey Dawn…Later, the operation was transferred to NATO’s Operation Unified Protector.
Officials have to examine the Libya operations closely to draw lessons, the general said.

“It would be wrong in my mind to say ‘this is the template, this is the model’ we will follow,” Ham said. “As all military operations are, they are conditions-specific.”

Africom was able to respond quickly to aid Libya, he said, because of the U.S. military’s flexible air and maritime forces based in Europe.

“There was great support from NATO nations for basing and overflight and, in many cases, contributions of forces,” he said. “It was a great international effort, and there is something to be learned from that.”

Operation Odyssey Dawn was able to build on the NATO framework, and other non-NATO allies also were able to fall in on that framework.

“How you do that in other parts of the world where you don’t have that standing alliance is something we need to think seriously about,” Ham said.
Officials, he added, also have to look at how to bring together a multinational coalition without NATO standing agreements and interoperability that played such a great role in the Libya campaign.

Inside Africom, the general said, the greatest learning curve involved kinetic targeting.

“It was not something we had practiced; we didn’t have great capability honed and refined inside the organization, and Odyssey Dawn really caused us to work in that regard,” Ham said.

The command had to define what effects it needed, and what specific targets would contribute to achieving those effects – a precise endeavor, Ham said. If attacking a communications node, planners must ask themselves what does that particular node do? How does it connect to other nodes? What’s the right munition to use?…What’s the right time of day to hit it? What’s the right delivery platform? And finally, how to synchronize attacks.

“That level of detail and precision … was not something the command had practiced to the degree that we were required to do in Odyssey Dawn,” Ham said.

The expertise came very quickly, the general added.

“It’s unsurprising to you that most of the intelligence analysts, most of the targeteers across the United States military have done this in previous deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and other places,” Ham said. “They know how to do it but, collectively, Africa Command had not previously done this.”

Ways to sustain this expertise is something the command must look at in the future, the general said. The same is true, he added, in the maritime environment.

Ham said interoperability with non-NATO allies is another aspect that needs to be strengthened. Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, the African Union and others participated in the Libyan operation.

Going forward, Africom has to stress interoperability with partners on the continent…

The United States has to craft those practices with African partners, he added.

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Libya: NATO Air Missions Near 23,000, Strike Sorties At 8,560

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110916_110916-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 22,817 sorties, including 8,560 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 15 SEPTEMBER: 116

Strike sorties conducted 15 SEPTEMBER: 40

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Libyan Lessons: Global NATO And Recolonization Of Africa

http://allafrica.com/stories/201109160956.html

Pambazuka News
September 15, 2011

Africa: Global Nato and the Recolonisation of Africa – Lessons From the Libyan Intervention
Horace Campbell

[Edited]

-Using the War on Terror and the wars in Afghanistan as the justification, the rationale of the militarists for a global role of NATO began to take shape and the idea of NATO was debated in military journals. One of the writers on this concept was Ivo Daalder, the US ambassador to NATO. This was an ambassador who had understood the long history of financial and military cooperation between the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. In an era when capital was truly transnational, and the hedge fund managers and oil companies had no loyalty to a particular country, international capitalists wanted a new military force, mobile and well equipped for the new scramble for African resources.
This discussion under the idea of the ‘institutional globalization of NATO’ maintained that the security threats to capitalism were global and that NATO should consider itself as a ‘concert of democracies’ keeping order internationally. Within these journals the idea was floated that NATO should be expanded to include Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and possibly Brazil.

If there was any uncertainty about the real mission of the United States, France, Britain and other members of NATO in Libya, these doubts were clarified with the nature of the military campaign against the people of Libya that had been orchestrated under the mandate of the United Nations Security Council. It was a new kind of war, using third party forces in order to silence the global peace forces who were opposed to further military intervention. A robust propaganda and disinformation campaign by the corporate media covered up the real content of what was happening.

The economic crisis inside the Eurozone was too deep, however, and some of the members of NATO were hesitant about this recolonisation of Africa. France was desperate to get in on the act of intensifying the exploitation of African resources. France had not been a big player in Libya (a former colony of Italy) which until recently was Africa’s fourth-largest oil producer, and possessing one of the continent’s largest oil reserves of some 44 billion barrels – more than Nigeria or Algeria. France was also aware that Libya sits on the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer, an immensely vast underground sea of fresh water. The government of Libya had invested US$25 billion in the Great Man-made River Project, a complex 4,000km long water pipeline buried beneath the desert that could transport two million cubic metres of water a day

The energetic activities of Nicolas Sarkozy in guiding the military intervention took centre stage, while the US military could claim to ‘lead from behind.’ When France called a celebratory conference of ambassadors to rally them for the new imperial vision, Mr Sarkozy said Libya proved ‘a strong contrast’ to past European weakness, and justified his decision to integrate France into NATO’s military command in 2009. The nature of this war organised from the air with proxy armies and private military contractors showed the way for dictatorships like Qatar and Saudi Arabia to fight for ‘democracy.’

This intervention clarified for many African military forces that their alliance with the United States and France will not spare them when it is in the interest of the NATO forces to dispense with former allies…

But the crux of the matter of the relationship between Africa and Libya can now be seen in the killing of Africans in Libya on the grounds that they were and are mercenaries. These racist actions by the so-called ‘rebels’ were reported from the start of this ‘humanitarian’ intervention but at the point when these hodge-podge forces entered Tripoli, there was fresh evidence of the wanton killings of black Africans.

Africans who escaped the pogroms reported the killings and this information had been in the public domain for months. Now it seems the world is paying attention after Amnesty International put out a report that Africans are being killed in racist attacks. So pronounced have been these racist killings that liberal organs such as the New York Times had to write an editorial on the killings. There has been no word from the United States or the information section of the AFRICOM. Though there have been with small stories in the British press, when British prime minister David Cameron, French president Nicolas Sarkozy and other NATO celebrants made their flying victory visit to Libya, they were silent on these racist attacks against black Africans as they shuttled between Tripoli and Benghazi trying to iron out how to cut French oil companies into the restructuring of the oil industry in Libya.

The African Union has condemned the racist attacks and maintained that political negotiations are still necessary. Jean Ping, chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, decried the attacks on black Africans and reiterated the reasons why the African Union wanted to see an inclusive government in Libya. Jean Ping declared, the ‘Blacks are being killed. Blacks are having their throats slit. Blacks are accused of being mercenaries. Do you think it’s normal in a country that’s a third black that blacks are confused with mercenaries?’

Ping continued, ‘There are mercenaries in Libya, many of them are black, but there are not only blacks and not all blacks there are mercenaries. Sometimes, when they are white, they call them “technical advisors”.’

This reminder, that Libya is in Africa and that a third of the country is black is for those forces who are celebrating the success of a NATO mission to protect Africans which has ended up killing Africans. Africans do not consider the NATO mission a success. In fact, this has been a disaster for peace and reconstruction in Africa. The Russians and Chinese do not consider this operation a success but the leaders of Africa and the leaders of the BRICS societies have awoken too late to the new form of imperial intervention using Global NATO.

The one positive impact of this new imperial adventure is to send alarm bells among all of the military forces in Africa aligned to the West. The other impact is to alert the popular forces to the reality that governments with big armies are literally ‘paper tigers.’…There is a new scramble for Africa and the progressive forces will have to learn the lessons from the new multilateral imperial interventions that are now being planned by Global NATO.

GLOBAL NATO AND THE INTERVENTION IN LIBYA

The history of NATO and the history of Libya are intertwined in many ways. It was two years after the formation of the North American Treaty Organization that Libya became independent in 1951. However, for the Europeans the strategic importance of Libya during the Second World War and the memory of the siege of Tobruk were too fresh in their minds for NATO to give up Libya entirely. The compromise was that NATO and the US would maintain a military presence.

The US established a base called Wheelus Air Base in Libya. This base was called a ‘Little America’ until the US was asked to leave after Gaddafi seized power in 1969. The US had been scheming to get back into Libya since then. For a short while Gaddafi was supported as an anti-communist stalwart, but later he became a useful nuisance shifting as friend and foe over the years. As the US fabricated the myth of al Qaeda in the Maghreb, cooperation was extended to this leader but Gaddafi was opposed to the establishment of US and French military bases in Africa. Now we are informed through the military gossip sheet Stars and Stripes that NATO is considering the establishment of an air squadron in Africa to assist African governments. This is how it was reported in ‘Stars and Stripes’ (29 August 2011).

‘While not formally assigned to AFRICOM, the squadron has been formed to conduct missions primarily in Africa, with a focus on building the air mobility capacity of African militaries.’

The next question that was posed by peace activists was whether this was a prelude for the building of another AFRICOM and NATO facility in Africa.

NATO had been formed as an alliance ostensibly to defend Western Europe against the Soviet Union. Charles De Gaulle had pulled France out of this alliance in 1966 after it became clear that this military alliance was dominated by the USA and Britain (supporting their military industries). Usually, when an alliance is formed for a specific purpose such as halting the spread of communism, that alliance is folded when the mission is complete. Hence, after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, it was expected that the mission of NATO would be scaled down.

Instead, NATO has expanded, seeking to encircle Russia by expanding its membership to include former members of the Warsaw Pact countries. For over 79 days NATO bombed Kosovo in 1999 as it gave itself a new mission to expand US military power right up to the doorstep of Moscow. Gingerly, NATO expanded under President Clinton from 12 members to 16, then to 19, then to 26 by 2004, and by 2009 to 28 members. Despite vocal opposition from Russia, the discussion of expanding NATO proceeded to develop the idea of Global NATO.

After Charles De Gaulle had left NATO in 1966, Nicolas Sarkozy rejoined in 2009. France had been working within Europe to challenge the dollar and the US on a global scale but after the reactions about ‘freedom fries’ during the Iraq war, French military planners retreated and decided to throw their lot in with the crusaders in Washington. This new posture towards the crusaders and neoconservatives in the USA was also a nod to the growing strength of the Jean-Marie le Pen and the National Front-type organisations in France and Europe.

Using the War on Terror and the wars in Afghanistan as the justification, the rationale of the militarists for a global role of NATO began to take shape and the idea of NATO was debated in military journals. One of the writers on this concept was Ivo Daalder, the US ambassador to NATO. This was an ambassador who had understood the long history of financial and military cooperation between the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. In an era when capital was truly transnational, and the hedge fund managers and oil companies had no loyalty to a particular country, international capitalists wanted a new military force, mobile and well equipped for the new scramble for African resources.

In one such musing by the new defence specialists is the thinking that, ‘The concept of a Global NATO is used above all in connection with two leitmotifs – on the one hand the idea of the alliance becoming a global strategic actor (functional globalization) and on the other the notion of a NATO whose membership is in principle global (institutional globalization). The two dimensions can, however, scarcely be separated from one another but instead are intertwined.’

This discussion under the idea of the ‘institutional globalization of NATO’ maintained that the security threats to capitalism were global and that NATO should consider itself as a ‘concert of democracies’ keeping order internationally. Within these journals the idea was floated that NATO should be expanded to include Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and possibly Brazil.

After encircling Russia the clear posture was for the encirclement of China.

The rationale was simply that the ‘operational level of NATO is the entire globe.’ In 2002, NATO had declared, ‘to carry out the full range of its missions, NATO must be able to field forces that can move quickly to wherever they are needed, sustain operations over distance and time, and achieve their objectives.’

Despite these lofty positions of the strategic planners, NATO was bogged down in Afghanistan. The prolonged crisis of capitalism inside the Western world meant that citizens had no appetite for an expanded imperial role, until Gaddafi gave NATO the excuse to seek to operationalise the idea of Global NATO by promising to kill the citizens of Benghazi who he called rats and vermin.

ENTER SARKOZY – THE NEW SAVIOUR OF NATO

After the embarrassment of the support for the genocidaires in Rwanda in 1994, the French military establishment had taken a low profile and sought to gain respectability for its military interventions in Africa by seeking international mandates. For over forty years France had intervened militarily in Africa, because Africa was central to its entire military strategy. Without the wealth of Africa, France would be a minor power with as much influence as Austria. French imperialism was particularly aggressive in Africa. When the United States decided to compete with France by establishing the Africa Crisis Response Initiative (a precursor to the US Africa Command), France objected. Soon, the French understood the hegemonic intentions of Rumsfeld and Cheney so the French cooperated in operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, all the while seething that Rwanda had left the umbrella of francophonie. By the time of the establishment of the US Africa Command, France was cooperating fully with the United States while stepping up its cultural and commercial presence in Africa.

One golden opportunity for France…came in Cote D ‘Ivorie when France sought a UN mandate to maintain its military forces in that country, a force that had occupied that African country for 40 years…Sarkozy eagerly went in to ‘restore democracy.’

…The Libyan intervention served many purposes, gaining more unlimited access to oil and water in Libya while standing poised to stab the Egyptian revolution in the back.

For decades, France had mooted the idea of a Mediterranean Union to extend the power of France in North Africa. France had worked closely with the monarchy in Morocco to block the independence of Western Sahara and coveted the wealth of the region. More importantly, French oil companies had been left behind after Gaddafi opened up the petroleum sector of Libya for western firms. Italian, British and US oil majors were competing with Russian, Chinese, Indian and Turkish interests. German industrial and financial power was stronger in Libya than French. Sarkozy wanted to change all of that when faced with the most serious banking crisis in France.

When the February 17 uprisings erupted in Libya, French intelligence was alert and Sarkozy mobilised the British and later the US Africa Command to intervene using the UN formulation of Responsibility to Protect, under the cover of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. China, Russia and Brazil acted irresponsibly, by either abstaining in the vote or sanctioning the vote with their silence. South Africa and Nigeria (under heavy pressure from the Obama White House) voted for the resolution to establish a no-fly zone. South Africa later backtracked opposing the bombing of Libya claiming that the NATO forces had gone beyond the mandate of the UN Security Council Resolution. Better late than never, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of South Africa maintained a principled position and led the position that the roadmap of the African Union was the only way forward for a resolution of the internal political problems in Libya. But France and Britain were salivating over a re-division of the oil resources of Libya.

This intervention was under the umbrella of the UN and so this was another foray of Global NATO. Yet, most NATO members understood the reasons for Sarkozy’s energy. Of the 28 members of NATO, the majority refused to participate in this attack. The Prime Minister of Poland declared that the attack on Libya was for oil. There were only eight members (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Spain, UK and the United States) that participated in this operation (called United Protector). The members could not even agree on a command structure so the US put up the Africa Command as the Front and called their operation, Operation Odyssey Dawn. The French called their action, Opération Harmattan. The British called their involvement Operation Ellamy while the Canadians termed theirs Operation Mobile.

Space does not allow for a full examination of the thousands of sorties of NATO in Libya after seven months. The full day-to-day roster of their military and naval operations to oust Gaddafi is in the public domain on the internet. African popular leaders can read the day-to-day strategic operations to see the full weakness of NATO. The Chinese have written on the dysfunction of NATO and one writer An Huihou wrote that the operation in Libya was ‘Not a real success for NATO.’ This Chinese writer called for negotiations but the Chinese political leadership publicly support the roadmap of the African Union. More importantly, while the Chinese pulled their citizens out of Libya, there was not even a word of protest from China over the killing of Africans in Africa when the imperial forces were using a UN mandate called Responsibility to Protect. In order to pacify the Chinese leadership, the energetic Sarkozy had a flying visit to Beijing, promising that Chinese contracts would be honoured.

We will have to revisit this aspect of the war at another moment, but for this submission it is important to understand the new forms of intervention.

A NEW KIND OF IMPERIAL INTERVENTION

It must be stated that the mobilisation of the international peace forces against NATO has always been a consideration for the planning of Operation Unified Protector. It is now time to place the opposition to militarism with clear focus on the private military corporations who act outside of the law. Inside the United States, the then Defense Secretary, Robert Gates told West Point cadets in March that, ‘In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should have his head examined’. The Pentagon was afraid of being bogged down and although the peace movement had the Obama administration on the defensive, some sections of this movement did not distance itself from Gaddafi while they condemned the killing of innocent civilians by NATO jets.

European workers, faced with the double dip recession where the banks were calling on the governments to impose austerity measures, were lukewarm toward the Libyan operation, so the invaders had to find a novel way for intervening. This intervention then took the form of bombings by NATO, on the ground special forces from the French and British commandos with air and ground support from Qatar.

On 4 September 2011, the New York Times reported the coordination in this way, ‘The United States provided intelligence, refueling and more precision bombing than Paris or London want to acknowledge. Inevitably, then, NATO air power and technology, combined with British, French and Qatari “trainers” working “secretly” with the rebels on the ground, have defeated the forces of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi.’ Other newspaper accounts reported that ‘former soldiers from an elite British commando unit, the Special Air Service, and other private contractors from Western countries were on the ground in the Libyan city of Misrata.’

The Guardian in England said contractors were helping NATO identify possible targets in the heavily contested city and passing this information, as well as information about the movements of Gaddafi’s forces, to a NATO command centre in Naples, Italy. The newspaper reported that ‘a group of six armed Westerners had been filmed by the Al Jazeera TV network talking to rebels in Misrata; the men fled after realizing they were being filmed.’

Initially, the United States Africa Command took credit for the NATO operations in Libya, but when it seemed as if the entire operation was bogged down, there were efforts to bring in Special Forces and private security personnel using Qatar as the front and paymaster. Indeed, the use of fronts such as the Emir of Qatar pointed to a new form of global militarism. Blackwater, (now called Xe) the US private military firm for hire, had moved to establish its headquarters in the Emirates, specifically Abu Dhabi. In a detailed article in the New York Times entitled, ‘Blackwater World Wide’, we were given one window into the various front companies of Blackwater and the integrated nature of the CIA/Blackwater operations. We were then told that Blackwater did not want to recruit Muslims because Muslims would be reluctant to kill other Muslims. When the rebels entered Tripoli, the same talking heads in Washington that were opposed to the intervention were now praising this new kind of cooperation between the US military and Global NATO

Future researchers on the ‘special operators on the ground’ in Libya will be able to list the names of the Private Military Contractors who were involved in this war. When the leaders of the National Transitional Council needed money to pay the private contractors and to bribe regional leaders, the Global Nato diplomats promptly called for the unfreezing of the assets of Libya, even while the African Union was protesting the killing of black Africans.

LESSONS FOR PROGRESSIVE AFRICANS

In less than three weeks, the General Assembly of the United Nations will meet and the leaders of Global NATO will seek to silence the members of the African Union. The African Union has been lobbying the Group of 77 as they seek to bring to the attention of the world the reality that the UN Security Council mandate of responsibility to protect did not extend to black Africans.

Even at this late moment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in South Africa is correct to stick to the call for the African Union roadmap. Experience elsewhere in Burundi and Uganda after wars of intervention showed that it is only the long-term and pedantic work for peace that can end the fighting.

There must be negotiations with an international peacekeeping force that excludes the eight NATO countries that violated the mandate of the Security Council. The National Transitional Council is deeply divided and negotiations will be needed so that they do not kill each other as they already started to do when they killed Abdel-Fattah Younis, the general who had defected from Gaddafi to the Benghazi side. It is only a matter of time before it becomes clear how Abdelhakim Belhadj (sometimes written Belhaj) of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), graduated from detention at Guantanamo Bay to be one of the ‘rebel’ leaders and leader of the Tripoli Military Council. Anyone who followed the US destabilisation of Somalia can understand how those who are one day called the worst terrorists are the next day the best allies of the USA.

Ultimately, it is not in the interests of Global NATO for the fighting to end in Libya insofar as the lack of clarity on the future of the Egyptian revolution will require imperial forces to stab the revolution in the back. This is where Qatar and Saudi Arabia have proven their use for the western ‘concert of democracies.’ Qatar in Libya and Saudi Arabia in Bahrain have shown the world that the intervention of the West was not for humanitarian reasons.

In another offering it will be necessary to fully examine the lessons of the NATO intervention for the African freedom struggle. It will be necessary, then, to sum up the Gaddafi role in Africa and the African Union. Until that time, it is sufficient to say that the operations of Global NATO has awakened many leaders to the reality of the ways in which third parties and private military forces will be used to invade Africa. Even the former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo has had to speak out forcefully against NATO in Libya. While these leaders are speaking, the rank and file in Africa are paying attention to the fact that France, Britain and the USA will go to all lengths to invade Africa in the new scramble for resources. General Carter Ham of AFRICOM has already travelled to Nigeria to enact the drama on the stage that had been set up by former US ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell who predicted that Nigeria will break up within 16 years. General Carter Ham urged partnership between the government of Nigeria and AFRICOM knowing full well that such a partnership would be to fulfil the wishes of those who do not want to see the unity and peace of Nigeria and Africa.

China, Russia, Brazil and India will have to make a choice. They will either be integrated into the spoils of the current scramble for land, oil water and seeds or will join with the people of Africa to democratise the United Nations and support the forces of peace and reconstruction. China has sent one signal by becoming the principal paymaster for Europe becoming the stopgap for the crisis in the Eurozone.

Africans may believe in Ubuntu but they will never forget. The day will arise when the idea of Responsibility to Protect will be used by a democratised United Nations.

Horace Campbell is professor of African-American studies and political science at Syracuse University. He is the author of ‘Barack Obama and 21st Century Politics: A Revolutionary Moment in the USA’.

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NATO Chief Applauds Basing Of U.S. Interceptor Missiles In Poland

http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110916/166891921.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 15, 2011

NATO welcomes U.S.-Polish start of missile defense agreement

BRUSSELS: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has welcomed an agreement on missile defense deployment that has come into force between the United States and Poland.

The United States will deploy elements of a missile defense shield in Poland by 2018. The United States and Poland said in a joint statement on Thursday that the Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement of 2008 and its Amending Protocol of 2010 on deployment of the land-based SM-3 system within Poland has entered into force, effective as of September 15, 2011.

“This agreement is yet another sign of progress for NATO’s missile defense system which will defend against current and emerging ballistic missile threats,” Rasmussen said in a statement on the NATO website.

“The missile defense base will significantly contribute to NATO’s capability to provide protection to its European territory, populations and forces against the growing threat posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles.”

The system will be located at the Redzikowo Military Base, the statement added, calling it “a significant contribution by our two nations to a future NATO missile defense capability.”

Russia has retained staunch opposition to the deployment of missile-defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a security threat.

NATO says it needs the shield, which will be eventually deployed in the Mediterranean, Poland, Romania and Turkey…

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Obama’s Cold War: Raytheon Missiles On Russia’s Borders

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2011/09/15/obamas-cold-war-raytheon-missiles-on-russias-border-by-2018/

Forbes
September 16, 2011

Obama’s Cold War? Raytheon Missiles On Russia’s Border By 2018
Kenneth Rapoza

It’s not the Cuban missile crisis, but the last time the U.S. was setting up interballistic missiles on the Russian border was when John F. Kennedy was in power back in 1961. At the time, the U.S. had intermediate range ballistic missiles in Turkey. The move prompted the Soviet Union under Nikita Kruschev to build missile bases in Cuba in order to protect the island from U.S. overthrow, setting off a Cold War between the two superpowers.

This time, president Barack Obama’s Defense Department will bring new missiles even closer than JFK’s Turkey base. The U.S. will set up it new Raytheon (RTN) SM-3 missile defense systems in Poland, roughly 50 miles from the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad in seven years. A Russian spokesperson at the Foreign Ministry said his government was not pleased to hear about the U.S. military decision for a permanent base missile defense base so close to home. Kaliningrad is a unique piece of Russian real estate. It is not connected to mainland Russia.

The SM-3s system will be located at the Redzikowo military base in Poland, close to the Baltic Sea and Lithuania.

“Regarding the U.S. plans to deploy missile defenses elements and air force units in Poland, we are certainly concerned and agitated,” Alexander Lukashevich told reporters on Thursday.

The State Department confirmed U.S. military plans in Poland as early as March. But now the plan is moving along with Poland signing the required agreements Thursday for the 2018 timeline for deployment, the U.S. and Poland said in a joint statement.

The Poland-based interceptor sites is part of the president’s European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) for missile defense to provide protection to NATO allies in Europe. EPAA was launched in 2009 and will be implemented in four phases. The program’s first phase began this year. The Poland bases for medium to intermediate range anti-ballistics and an additional land base are part of phase III of the EPAA.

“Poland agreed to host the interceptor site in October 2009, and today, with the Polish ratification process complete, this agreement has entered into force,” the White House said in a fact sheet for the public on Thursday.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry should not be surprised by the decision, the White House implied.

Raytheon developed the SM-3 as part of the Missile Defense Agency’s Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, and more than 130 SM-3s have been delivered to date. The missiles are deployed with both the U.S. and Japanese navies to defend against short- to intermediate-range ballistic missile threats.

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Missile Radar: “Biggest Strategic U.S.-Turkey Decision In 15-20 Years”

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-256948-washington-hails-nato-radar-deal-with-turkey.html

Zaman
September 16, 2011

Washington hails NATO radar deal with Turkey

İSTANBUL: US officials have called a recently signed agreement between Turkey and the United States on the deployment of a US radar as part of a NATO-backed missile defense system…as “the most significant military cooperation between Washington and Ankara since 2003,” a US daily reported on Thursday.

The US officials emphasized the year 2003 in apparent reference to the Turkish Parliament’s refusal to allow US troops to use Turkish territory as a route into Iraq during the war launched in March 2003.

“This is probably the biggest strategic decision between the US and Turkey in the past 15 or 20 years,” a senior administration official was quoted as saying by The New York Times on Thursday at a White House briefing meant to call attention to the developments.

A top US military commander has, meanwhile, expressed confidence in the strength of bilateral relations between the US and Turkey as two NATO allies.

Remarks by Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, came earlier this week during a town hall meeting at the University of Miami.

“Are we in danger of losing Turkey as a NATO ally?” Mullen was asked, according to the transcript of the meeting posted on official website of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“Specifically, with Turkey – I mean, I think our relationship with Turkey is absolutely vital. The geography, from my perspective, demands that – they’ve been a staunch ally and friend of ours for many, many years,” Mullen said.

“Their membership in NATO is critical, and our relationship with them is very strong, particularly on the mil-to-mil [military-to-military] side,” Mullen, who will be retiring in October, added.

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White House, NATO Forge Ahead With European Missile Shield

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/15/fact-sheet-implementing-missile-defense-europe

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release September 15, 2011

Fact Sheet: Implementing Missile Defense in Europe

-At the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, NATO made the historic decision to endorse a missile defense capability whose aim is to provide full coverage and protection for all NATO European populations, territory, and forces…
-In March of this year the USS Monterey was the first in a sustained rotation of ships to deploy to the Mediterranean Sea in support of EPAA. Phase One also calls for deploying a land-based early warning radar, which Turkey recently agreed to host as part of the NATO missile defense plan.

“To put it simply, our new missile defense architecture in Europe will provide stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America’s Allies. It is more comprehensive than the previous program; it deploys capabilities that are proven and cost-effective; and it sustains and builds upon our commitment to protect the U.S. homeland against long-range ballistic missile threats; and it ensures and enhances the protection of all our NATO Allies.”

– President Obama, September 17, 2009

President Obama is committed to protecting the United States, U.S. deployed forces, our European Allies and partners against the growing threat of ballistic missiles. In September 2009, on the recommendation of the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the President announced the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) for missile defense to provide that protection sooner and more comprehensively. Over the past two years, working together with our NATO Allies, the Administration has achieved significant progress in implementing that approach, and we are on a path to achieve the milestones the President outlined.

Since the announcement of EPAA, the Administration has made clear its desire to implement EPAA in a NATO context. At the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, NATO made the historic decision to endorse a missile defense capability whose aim is to provide full coverage and protection for all NATO European populations, territory, and forces against the increasing threats posed by the proliferation of ballistic missiles. This decision is consistent with our efforts to broaden and strengthen NATO’s deterrence posture against the range of 21st century threats the Alliance faces. NATO also agreed to expand its current missile defense command, control, and communications capabilities to protect NATO European populations, territory, and forces. Allies at Lisbon welcomed the EPAA as the U.S. national contribution to NATO’s missile defense capability, as well as welcoming additional voluntary contributions from other Allies.

There are four phases of the EPAA to be implemented over the rest of this decade. We have made progress on each phase and are on a path to meet the goals the President set forth in 2009.

Phase One (2011 timeframe) will address short- and medium-range ballistic missile threats by deploying current and proven missile defense systems. It calls for the deployment of Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD)-capable ships equipped with proven SM-3 Block IA interceptors. In March of this year the USS Monterey was the first in a sustained rotation of ships to deploy to the Mediterranean Sea in support of EPAA. Phase One also calls for deploying a land-based early warning radar, which Turkey recently agreed to host as part of the NATO missile defense plan.

Phase Two (2015 timeframe) will expand our coverage against short- and medium-range threats with the fielding of a land-based SM-3 missile defense interceptor site in Romania and the deployment of a more capable SM-3 interceptor (the Block IB). This week, on September 13, the United States and Romania signed the U.S.-Romanian Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement. Once ratified, it will allow the United States to build, maintain, and operate the land-based BMD site in Romania.

Phase Three (2018 timeframe) will improve coverage against medium- and intermediate-range missile threats with an additional land-based SM-3 site in Poland and the deployment of a more advanced SM-3 interceptor (the Block IIA). Poland agreed to host the interceptor site in October 2009, and today, with the Polish ratification process complete, this agreement has entered into force.

Phase Four (2020 timeframe) will enhance our ability to counter medium- and intermediate-range missiles and potential future inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) threats to the United States from the Middle East, through the deployment of the SM-3 Block IIB interceptor. Each phase will include upgrades to the missile defense command and control system.

Moving forward, the Administration will continue to consult closely with Congress and with our NATO Allies to implement the vision the President set forth in September 2009. We will also continue to rigorously evaluate the threat posed by ballistic missiles and the technology that we are developing to counter it. The United States remains committed to cost-effective and proven missile defenses that provide flexibility to address emerging threats.

For more information on U.S. missile defense policy, please see the Ballistic Missile Defense Review (BMDR):

http://www.defense.gov/bmdr/

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U.S.-NATO Interceptor Missile Anaconda Coils Around Russia

http://english.pravda.ru/world/europe/15-09-2011/119052-romania_usa_missile_defense-0/

Pravda.Ru
September 15, 2011

USA and NATO tighten Anaconda loop around Russia
Vadim Trukhachev

-“Their task is to neutralize our nuclear weapons and push us out of the major areas of the world’s oceans. In this case – even from the Black Sea.
Turkey, of course, has its own views on the missile defense system, but Romania is a pawn in the hands of the U.S., and its elite exist only because of American support. The same can be said about Poland. As a result, there is a chain of U.S. missile defense sites along the Russian border, stretching from Turkey through Romania and Poland to Norway.”


The U.S. and Romania signed an agreement on deployment of the elements of a U.S. missile defense system. Earlier it was reported that some elements of the EUROPRO system will appear in Turkey. Everything indicates that the U.S. military machine and NATO are inexorably approaching the Russian borders.


The US-Romanian agreement was signed on September 13 during a visit to Washington of Romanian President Traian Basescu. The document was signed by the foreign ministers of the two countries – Hillary Clinton and Theodore Baconschi. Later Barack Obama met with the participants of the talks, although initially he was not planning to meet with Basescu.

According to the document, by 2015 elements of a U.S. ground-based missile defense system will appear at the former Romanian Air Force Base in Deveselu. They will include a radar (SAR) complex Aegis, an operational control center, and mobile missile batteries with Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) interceptor missiles. Approximately 200 U.S. military personnel will reside at the base, but if necessary this number will be increased to 500.

Nothing was said with regard to the fact of who the missile base will be directed against. Earlier, U.S. officials and Basescu had repeatedly reiterated that the missile defense is not directed against Russia. However, recently there was another event that made the Russian side doubt that statement.


Some time ago the United States and Turkey announced that Turkish territory would host an early warning radar system, EUROPRO. Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry Selcuk Unal said that the decision to implement a projected system of protection against missile attacks by the U.S. and NATO was adopted at the Lisbon summit in 2010. Turkey has actively contributed to these original plans and made a significant contribution to the work. He added that there have been negotiations on the extent of Turkey’s participation in this system, which have finally entered into the final stage.

According to the Turkish diplomat, the radar will be located in the southeastern part of the country. This will allow “scanning” the area with a radius of several thousand kilometers. Turkey insists that the new object is not directed against anyone, especially against Russia. This will only allow the country to contribute to the development of a new security system of NATO.


According to the American plans, Turkey will first host a mobile radar detection system AN/TPY-2. By 2015 there will be a new sea-and land-based modification of the SM-3. Subsequently, the system will be improved further so that it successfully reflects the threat against the United States and Europe from missiles of medium and long range.

The appearance of the two similar objects in the immediate proximity of Russian borders could not but worry the leadership of the country. In his statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry stressed the need to sign a special agreement clearly stipulating that the elements of a U.S. missile defense are not directed against Russia. “The developments only increase the urgency of the need to obtain solid, legally binding assurances from the U.S. and NATO that missile defense facilities being deployed in Europe are not directed against Russia’s strategic nuclear forces,” commented MFA.


“The agreement with Romania to deploy a ground-based version of SM-3 missile system and Aegis at the former air base at Deveselu, as well as the recent announcement of the impending deployment of the U.S. forward based anti-missile radar AN/TPY-2 in Turkey, suggests that the implementation of U.S. and European missile plans is quick and smooth. This is happening amid a lack of progress in the NATO-Russian and Russian-American dialogue on the subject of missile defense,” the Ministry commented.

“Scheduled for deployment in Romania by 2015, regardless of the evolution of real missile challenges,a missile defense base is another link in the strategic infrastructure of the global missile defense system developed by the U.S. The NATO-Russia Council needs to develop effective and targeted decisions about the purpose and architecture of the missile defense in the region”, stressed the Russian Foreign Ministry.


It may be added that the objects in Romania and Turkey are not the only ones of this kind. The United States and Poland agreed to deploy Patriot interceptor missiles at a Polish base in the town of Morag. The distance from this object to Kaliningrad is no more than 100 kilometers. As in the case of Romania, the Polish authorities also have repeatedly stated that Russian missile defense is not threatened. Initially it was planned to place these missiles near Warsaw, but they were eventually “pushed” to the Russian border. 
Finally, further north there is an American radar in Norway, in the town of Varde, located near the Russian border.

Although officially its function is to monitor space debris, the Russian military and diplomats suspect that it was placed in violation of the ABM Treaty of 1972. Russia conducts regular talks on the operation of this facility with both the U.S. and Norway.

What does the emergence of a chain of objects of a U.S. missile defense system at the Russian borders mean? Military expert and senior vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Issues Konstantin Sivkov spoke on this subject in an interview with Pravda.ru:
 “The U.S. and NATO continue the policy of encirclement of Russia with their bases in the framework of the project ‘Anaconda loop.’ Our country is still perceived by the Americans as the main strategic adversary, and they do not even make any secret of it.

“Their task is to neutralize our nuclear weapons and push us out of the major areas of the world’s oceans. In this case – even from the Black Sea.
Turkey, of course, has its own views on the missile defense system, but Romania is a pawn in the hands of the U.S., and its elite exist only because of American support. The same can be said about Poland. As a result, there is a chain of U.S. missile defense sites along the Russian border, stretching from Turkey through Romania and Poland to Norway.”


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U.S. To Launch Nuclear-Capable Missile On International Day Of Peace

http://www.independent.com/news/2011/sep/15/us-launch-nuclear-capable-missile-vandenberg-inter/

Santa Barbara Independent
September 15, 2011

US to Launch Nuclear-Capable Missile from Vandenberg on International Day of Peace

The United States has selected September 21, 2011, the United Nations International Day of Peace, for its next launch of a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile.

The launch will take place at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California with a target in the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

An annual International Day of Peace was declared by the United Nations General Assembly as a day for “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.” In 2001, the General Assembly declared in its Resolution 55/282 that “the International Day of Peace shall henceforth be observed as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence, an invitation to all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities for the duration of the Day.”

David Krieger, President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, said, “Missile testing is a provocative act, not a peaceful one, and is particularly inappropriate on the International Day of Peace. Rather than testing one of its nuclear-capable missiles, the US should be taking steps to further the goals of peace and nuclear disarmament on this important day. To build a more peaceful world, US leadership is critical.”

As Air Force Colonel David Bliesner has pointed out, “Minuteman III test launches demonstrate our nation’s ICBM capability in a very visible way, deterring potential adversaries while reassuring allies.” Such a test will send a strong message to the world that the US places its nuclear missile testing program above the cooperative spirit of the International Day of Peace.

The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation has initiated an Action Alert in which thousands of citizens around the country have sent messages to President Obama urging him to cancel the planned missile test and take other steps that would contribute to the International Day of Peace, including taking all US nuclear weapons off of high-alert status.

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U.S. Marine Black Sea Force Integrates 13 Regional Armies For NATO

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/76989/bsrf-11-officially-comes-close-romania

Black Sea Rotational Force
September 14, 2011

BSRF-11 officially comes to a close in Romania
Story by Cpl. Tatum Vayavananda

-The Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force has been operating in Eastern Europe since April, participating in the security cooperation between American and regional partner nations to build military capacity, provide regional stability, and develop lasting partnerships with the allied countries, to include: Romania, Bulgaria, the Republic of Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Macedonia, Serbia, Azerbaijan, Greece, Bosnia, Albania, Montenegro and Croatia.
Along with the closing ceremony was combined-forces counterinsurgency demonstration between U.S. Marines and Romanian Marines to display the interoperability aspect of the mission.

MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU, Romania: U.S. Marines and sailors stood alongside Romanian sailors, naval infantry and soldiers in a large formation to commemorate Black Sea Rotational Force 11’s deployment in the Black Sea, Balkan and Caucasus regions.

The closing ceremony was attended by Brig. Gen. Charles Chiarotti, deputy commander of Marine Forces Europe and Africa, Brig. Gen. James Lariviere, commanding general, 4th Marine Division, and Romanian Vice Adm. Aurel Popa, chief of Navy staff, as well as other officers of other nations that participated in BSRF.

“[The ceremony] was put together to highlight the five-and-a-half months of engagements here in the [European] theater with all these countries,” said Chiarotti.

“We had [dignitaries] from Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Ukraine present at the ceremony. They represent only a fraction who we’ve reached out to; there was a total of 13 countries,” he added.

The Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force has been operating in Eastern Europe since April, participating in the security cooperation between American and regional partner nations to build military capacity, provide regional stability, and develop lasting partnerships with the allied countries, to include: Romania, Bulgaria, the Republic of Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Macedonia, Serbia, Azerbaijan, Greece, Bosnia, Albania, Montenegro and Croatia.

Along with the closing ceremony was combined-forces counterinsurgency demonstration between U.S. Marines and Romanian Marines to display the interoperability aspect of the mission.

“We’ve been building relationships but we also want to make sure they are proficient at conducting COIN operations if they have to,” said Lt. Col. Nelson S. Cardella, commanding officer, BSRF-11.

“They’ve been training in COIN and peacekeeping operations before, so they were very familiar [with operating together] at the squad and platoon level,” added Cardella.

The Marines traveled throughout the region conducting military-to-military engagements to advise and work with partner nations in COIN and PKO as well as a non-commissioned officer academy that spent the tour helping allied nations understand the importance of a strong non-commissioned officer corps…

BSRF-11 is slated to redeploy back to the states this month. BSRF-12 is slated to return for the next iteration of the Black Sea Rotational Force program next year.

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Video: NATO “Humanitarian” Wars: Libya, Syria… Algeria?

http://tv.globalresearch.ca/2011/09/humanitarian-wars-libya-syria-algeria

Global Research
September 15, 2011

Video

Julie Tiel examines in-depth the background, context and disinformation around the political situations in Libya and Syria in light of US/NATO intervention and crimes against humanity being committed in these regions, as well as the potential implications for Algeria.

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Kosovo Showdown: NATO, Serbs Block Competing Checkpoints

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=09&dd=15&nav_id=76412

B92/Beta News Agency
September 15, 2011

KFOR blocks one checkpoint, Serbs another


German members of KFOR are seen at Jarinje (Tanjug)

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA: NATO troops in Kosovo, KFOR, tonight used barbed wire to shut down the Jarinje administrative line checkpoint between Kosovo and central Serbia.

As a consequence of this, the traffic at the checkpoint has come to a complete halt.

A little after 19:00 CET,, local Serbs in northern Kosovo used trucks to block the second administrative crossing, Brnjak.

The trucks are placed on both sides of the administrative line.

Serbs also blocked access to Jarinje with one truck.

At the same time, the main bridge in the ethnically divided town of Kosovska Mitrovica remains blocked with large quantities of gravel the Serbs placed on the road.

Serbs also completely blocked the Kosovska Mitrovica-Ribarić road in several places in the Zubin Potok municipality. Near Zupče they created a barricade out of tree trunks, stopping the traffic in both directions.

A large number of cars are seen parked nearby, while Serbs from the Ibarski Kolašin region also joined the local residents at the barricades.

The situation in Zubin Potok is described as peaceful but tense.

All this comes as tensions are running high after the Kosovo Albanian authorities in Priština announced they would on Friday install their police and customs at the two checkpoints in the north.

Local Serbs reject the authority of the government in Priština, as well as the unilateral declaration of independence made by ethnic Albanians in Kosovo in early 2008.

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UNSC Emergency Session On Kosovo On Russian, Serbian Initiative

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/15/56234178.html

Voice of Russia
September 15, 2011

UNSC to hold emergency session on Kosovo

The UN Security Council will hold its emergency session on Kosovo on Thursday, Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s permanent envoy to the UN said earlier in the day.

The gathering was earlier initiated by Russia and Serbia, which has repeatedly expressed regret over the ongoing cross-border check points spat between Pristina and Kosovo Serbs, which Churkin said contributes to fueling tensions in the region.

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Video And Text…Russian UN Envoy: NATO Connives With Separatists In New Kosovo Threat

http://rt.com/news/north-kosovo-unsc-clashes-601/

Video

RT
September 15, 2011

Fears rise of Pristina subduing North Kosovo by force

Tensions are growing in North Kosovo, as the UN plans emergency debates over a possible repeat of recent clashes on the Serbian border. Russia’s ambassador to the UN is worried the international peacekeeping forces are taking sides in the conflict.

­The UN Security Council will focus on a July incident in which Kosovo’s authorities sent police to border posts in the north to enforce a ban on imports from Serbia.

This move, widely criticized as provocative, resulted in clashes with local residents, who are mostly ethnic Serbs unwilling to acknowledge Kosovo’s independence from Serbia. In these clashes, a border post with Serbia was burned down, a Kosovo policeman was killed and several others were wounded.

NATO had to deploy peacekeepers in the area to break up the two parties.

But Vitally Churkin, Russia’s ambassador to the UN, is worried that NATO, instead of fulfilling its peacekeeping function, is siding with the Albanian authorities.

“Another very disturbing element in this situation is the international presence, which is there to preserve peace,” Churkin told RT in an exclusive interview. “They seem to be cooperating with this very dangerous plan of the Albanian authorities.”

The Albanian plans for northern Kosovo are far from democratic, he added.

“The intension was announced by the Kosovo-Albanian authorities in Pristina basically to take over northern Kosovo by force,” Churkin stated. “They are citing all sorts of arrangements about the customs situation at the administrative border between Serbia proper and the province of Kosovo. Potentially it may create clashes and a crisis there.”

Watch RT’s full interview with Vitally Churkin:

http://rt.com/news/russian-un-ambassador-churkin-615/

Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority declared independence from Serbia in 2008. The northern area of the newly proclaimed country, along with Serbia itself, has refused to accept the mandate of the Pristina government.

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Video: NATO Ready To Intervene In Northern Kosovo

Euronews
September 15, 2011

Video: NATO on standby for unrest in Mitrovica

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Russian Envoy Storms Out Of Kosovo Security Meeting

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/16/56238917.html

Voice of Russia
September 16, 2011

Russian envoy storms out of Kosovo security meet

The Russian ambassador on Thursday stormed out of a regional security forum in Belgrade that brought together ministers of several European countries, foreign policy and security experts.

Alexander Konuzin was angered by the participants’ reluctance to discuss the situation in Kosovo, where he said NATO-backed Albanian separatists were poised to overrun two checkpoints on the border, separating the province from Serbia.

The UN Security Council is holding an emergency session in New York to discuss the situation Serbia’s breakaway province.

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Australia: U.S. To Deploy Troops, Gain Bases

http://m.smh.com.au/world/us-australia-inch-towards-troops-military-deal-20110916-1kcsb.html

Sydney Morning Herald
September 16, 2011

US, Australia inch towards troops, military deal
Simon Mann

-[Defence Minister Stephen] Smith added that the new arrangements would denote the “single largest change to the day to day working arrangements of the alliance since the establishment of those joint facilities”.
-A communiqué issued by the parties elaborated on their decision to include cyber attacks within the treaty, committing them to going to war in the event of a massive cyber attack against either nation.

Australia and the US are edging closer to a deal that would see more US troops using Australian facilities for training and joint exercises, as well as the positioning of US military equipment in Australia.

Concluding a day of ministerial talks marking the 60th anniversary of the Australia-US alliance, both nations reported progress on their plan to deepen military ties amid a fast-evolving Asia Pacific.

The ramping up of co-operation “should present no difficulty at all” for regional players, the foreign minister, Kevin Rudd, assured reporters at a joint news conference, citing America’s stabilising influence in the region and the fact the US had been invited to join the East Asia Summit.

Newly confirmed US defence secretary Leon Panetta was more blunt: “Our goal is basically to build on a very strong relationship … as best we can so that we can send a clear signal to the Asia Pacific region that the United States and Australia are going to continue to work together to make very clear to those that would threaten us that we’re going to stick together.”

The US has clashed recently with China over rights in crucial international shipping lanes, with Beijing rejecting a US proposal to host talks between China and Japan on the issue…

The extent and terms of the new cooperation between the ANZUS partners could be ready for unveiling during President Obama’s two-day visit to Australia in November.

Mr Smith added that the new arrangements would denote the “single largest change to the day to day working arrangements of the alliance since the establishment of those joint facilities”.

The so-called Australia and US Ministerial consultations (AUSMIN) talks were held in San Francisco’s sprawling former military base-cum-national park the Presidio, beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, where the ANZUS treaty was signed in 1951.

A communiqué issued by the parties elaborated on their decision to include cyber attacks within the treaty, committing them to going to war in the event of a massive cyber attack against either nation.

The parties, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, exchanged compliments over the nations’ enduring partnership.

She added: “The communiqué we have produced today is forward-looking and action-oriented, and it reflects our confidence in this alliance and what our two countries can, and will, accomplish together.”

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U.S. “Cautions” Russia Over Joint Naval Drills With North Korea

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110916/166877169.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 16, 2011

U.S. cautions Russia over joint naval drills with N. Korea

Washington: Any form of cooperation with North Korea should not jeopardize international efforts to convince Pyongyang to halt its nuclear weapons program, the U.S. State Department said.

The Russian military said on Tuesday Russia and North Korea could hold joint naval drills in the Yellow Sea in 2012 with the focus on sea rescue and humanitarian missions.

The plans were outlined during the visit of Russia’s Eastern Military District Commander Admiral Konstantin Sidenko to Pyongyang in August.

“We are aware from press reports that Russia and North Korea have announced their intention to hold joint naval exercises next year,” the State Department commented on Thursday.

“Any engagement with the North Koreans should be conducted in a way that does not detract from the international community’s clear message of concern about the North’s weapons programs, and the necessity for Pyongyang to do what is necessary to return to the Six-Party talks,” the State Department said.

The Six-Party talks on Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions involving the two Koreas, China, the United States, Russia and Japan came to a halt in April 2009 when North Korea walked out of negotiations to protest the United Nations’ condemnation of its missile test.

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Border With NATO: New Russian Air Defense Systems In Joint Drills With Belarus

http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110916/166879603.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 16, 2011

Russia to deploy S-400 air defense systems in joint drills with Belarus

-The joint Russian-Belarusian regional military force was formed 10 years ago. Its main objective is to defend the Union State’s western border and the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

Russia will deploy advanced S-400 air defense systems during joint military exercises with Belarus in September, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The Union Shield 2011 drills will be held in central and southern Russia on September 16-22. The exercises are aimed at improving combat readiness of the Belarus-Russian regional joint force, as well as raising interoperability between the units of the two countries.

Col. Vladimir Drik said on Thursday that S-400 and Pantsir-S air defense systems will be deployed during the operational phase of the exercises at the Ashuluk firing range in the Astrakhan Region.

The Union Shield 2011 drills will involve a total of 12,000 troops, as well as up to 50 aircraft and 200 combat vehicles, including 100 tanks.

Defense and security cooperation is an important part of the Russian-Belarusian Union State’s activities. The joint Russian-Belarusian regional military force was formed 10 years ago. Its main objective is to defend the Union State’s western border and the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

Moscow and Minsk also signed an agreement in February 2009 on the joint protection of the Russia-Belarus Union State’s airspace and the creation of an integrated regional air defense network.

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Russia, Belarus: 12,000-Troop Drills On NATO-Union Border

http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110916/166895048.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 16, 2011

Russia, Belarus hold joint military exercise

MOSCOW: A joint Russian-Belarusian military exercise started near north Russia’s port city of Arkhangelsk on Friday.

The seven-day exercises involve 12,000 personnel and dozens of tanks, armored vehicles and aircraft.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the decision to hold the drills in Russia was made “in order to reduce large-scale military activity on the border of NATO and the Union State [of Russia and Belarus].”

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NATO’s Top Military Chief Awarded For “Contributions To Global Peace”

http://www.aco.nato.int/afcea-david-sarnoff-award-banquet-2011.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 15, 2011

Adm Stavridis receives 2011 David Sarnoff Award

September 14, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) presented Admiral James G. Stavridis, U.S. Navy, Commander, U.S. European Command and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, with the 2011 David Sarnoff Award.

AFCEA established the David Sarnoff Award, its highest honour, to recognize individuals who have made lasting and significant contributions to global peace. Recipients have demonstrated a sustained and personal commitment to furthering communications, electronics, and information technologies toward achieving a more secure tomorrow.

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Dutch Troops Held Accountable For War Crimes In Indonesia

http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/dutch-held-accountable-war-crimes-indonesia

Radio Netherlands
September 14, 2011

Dutch held accountable for war crimes in Indonesia

A court in The Hague has held the Netherlands accountable for damage caused by war crimes in the Java village of Rawagede in 1947. The court said on Wednesday that the case is not subject to any statute of limitations.

Relatives of the victims had claimed damages for the suffering caused by the Dutch army.

The war crimes were committed by Dutch troops in a retaliatory exercise in the village. In the massacre 431 villagers were killed. The Dutch government has never acknowledged guilt or responsibility for the crimes.

At the time the Dutch army was attempting to counter revolutionary forces which were striving for Indonesian independence from the Netherlands.

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Official Hails Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1932557.html

Trend News Agency
September 16, 2011

UN: TAPI to ensure stable relations in Asia
H. Hasanov

Ashgabat: The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project will provide stability to political and economic ties in the Asian continent, Chief of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Ambassador Miroslav Jenca said in an interview with the Neytralniy Turkmenistan newspaper.

He believes an intergovernmental agreement signed on TAPI in Ashgabat in December 2010 “showed a new quality and level of cooperation throughout the region.”

The above document is a basic document for the promotion of TAPI.

The length of TAPI could reach 17,000 kilometers, with a design capacity of 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. The pipeline will have a diameter of 56 inches (1,420 mm) and a working pressure of 100 atmospheres.

The route is planned from the Turkmen Dovletabat fields through Herat and Kandahar (Afghanistan), via the districts of Quetta (Pakistan), to Fazlaka on the India-Pakistan border.

Today the interested parties agree the fuel cost, safety, transit, and consider the financing and creation of an international consortium.

Turkmenistan may serve to the interests of ***peace*** in Afghanistan, using its current presidency in the UN Special Program for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) with a view to promote closer ties and cooperation between the Central Asian states and Afghanistan, Jenca told the Turkmen media.

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U.S. Pressures Pakistan To Abandon Iranian For TAPI Pipeline

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1932556.html

Trend News Agency
September 16, 2011

US offers to Pakistan to change Iran’s gas to Turkmenistan’s

-The IPI project was initiated in 1994 after bilateral talks between Pakistan and Iran and a preliminary agreement between both the countries was signed in 1995, while after four years in 1999, when Iran made a proposal to extend this project towards India both ties each other in a agreement.
-Detailed discussions were also held on various regional energy initiatives like import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India gas pipeline project (TAPI), CASA and discussion with Uzbekistan for over the energy trade.

A US energy team on Thursday expressed its serious reservations over the billions-dollar Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, the Pakistani Daily Times reported.

However, energy managers from Pakistan assured that the nation would execute the project keeping in view the international obligations regarding curtailment of energy crisis in future.

Sources in the Ministry of Water and Power informed Daily Times that during the last day of the Pak-US energy dialogue, which was jointly chaired by Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs Carlos Pascual and Federal Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar, the US team raised their reservations over the IP gas pipeline project and stressed adherence to international obligations under the United Nations resolution.

Sources said that the US team offered Pakistani energy managers assistance in the TAPI project as an alternate to the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. While, on the other side, addressing the objections raised by the US team over the said project, the federal minister for water and power assured the US envoy that Pakistan would go ahead with the IP gas pipeline project within international obligations.

According to a well-informed official in the energy sector, construction work on the 750 km long pipeline in the country meant to import natural gas from Iran would likely be completed by the end of November, while the 42-inch diameter pipeline would be laid down to connect Balochistan, Sindh and Punjab through Khuzdar to Karachi at the cost of $1.5 billion.

However, the main pipeline would move towards Multan with joint venture of major gas distributors ‘Sui Northern Gas Pipeline Limited and Sui Southern Gas Company.’

Accumulated demand of natural gas in the country has been estimated at 6 billion cubic feet (BCFD) against the availability of gas reserves for consumption up to four BCFD across the country.

However, the federal government is committed to utilise all natural and imported resources to overcome the deficiency of 2BCFD in the country.

The IPI project was initiated in 1994 after bilateral talks between Pakistan and Iran and a preliminary agreement between both the countries was signed in 1995, while after four years in 1999, when Iran made a proposal to extend this project towards India both ties each other in a agreement.

However, India decided to withdraw from this project in 2009 and took the plea of high purchasing price and security issues, while, earlier, both Pakistan and India agreed to pay Iran $4.95 per MMBTU.

The second and last day of Pak-US Energy Dialogue concluded with a reaffirmation from the US side for its commitment to help Pakistan in its endeavors to resolve the energy crises, which is affecting socio-economic progress of the country.

US offered its support to establish a commercially viable and sustainable power sector in Pakistan.

The federal minister said that dearth of sufficient energy resources had emerged as one of biggest impediments in the growth of Pakistan’s economy, as energy resources happened to be the fuel for any economy.

According to the statement issued by the ministry, matters hampering the progress on various reforms were also discussed in detail, but not limited to circular debt, fuel availability constraints, soaring high prices of oil, and worsening fuel mix due to more dependence of thermal projects, especially based on oil due to fastly depleting natural gas reserves.

A detailed presentation was also given on the role of IPPs in Pakistan power sector and various incentives offered by the government to enhance private sector’s role in the power sector.

Detailed discussions were also held on various regional energy initiatives like import of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India gas pipeline project (TAPI), CASA and discussion with Uzbekistan for over the energy trade.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Interview: US after military strength at all costs

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment
 

Press TV
September 15, 2011

  
Audio:
 
 

Rick Rozoff, manager of Stop NATO, says the there is a “political quest” in the United States to maintain the country’s military supremacy even at the cost of “taking food off the table of ordinary Americans.”

“There is a sort of hubristic or arrogant attitude that for the past generation, for the last 20 years, the U.S. has grown into the role of the world’s first uncontested military superpower,” Rozoff told Press TV’s U.S. Desk on Thursday.

“Even at the risk of taking food off the table of the average American, the political class in the United States seems intent on maintaining that role.”

When asked what the huge defense budget has brought for the ordinary Americans, he said: “It’s brought misery, it’s brought increased poverty.”

He said according to the latest reports, “15 percent of Americans are not currently living in poverty as defined by the U.S. government. Some analysts would double that percentage, and twenty percent of Americans under 18 years of age are now living in poverty.”

He added, “The impact is not only on the economy, which is rather an abstract question, but on the day-to-day lives of average Americans.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 15, 2011

September 15, 2011 1 comment

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State Department: NATO In Libya Model Of Euro-U.S. Cooperation

181 Days Of Bombing: 22,701 NATO Sorties, 8,520 Strike Sorties

Sarkozy And Cameron In Tripoli: France, Britain To Continue Military Operations In Libya – TNC

Canada To Extend Libya War Mission To End Of Year

U.S., NATO To Deploy Ballistic Missiles In Poland By 2018

NATO Moving Missile Shield Into Black Sea, Asiatic Turkey

U.S. Recruits Australia Into Global Missile Shield System, Asian NATO

Boeing To Double Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Interceptor Missile Production

U.S., NATO Allies Ready To Test MEADS Interceptor System

AFRICOM Commander Wants “More Special Operation Forces Now”

Africa Partnership Station: U.S. Ship’s Crew Leads Training In Gambia

Afghan, Iranian Border Guards Exchange Fire

U.S./NATO Commander: Attack On Afghan Capital Act Of “Desperation”

Longest Sustained Attack In Capital In Ten-Year War: NATO-Assigned New Zealand Special Forces In Kabul Fighting

Kosovo: Russia Calls On NATO To Prevent New Provocations

Russia Backs Urgent UN Session Over Kosovo Conflict Escalation

NATO Chief To Visit Kosovo As Tensions Mount

Azerbaijani Drone Destroyed Over Nagorno-Karabakh

New Strategic Concept: NATO Hosts 47 States, Blocs On Naval Mission

Morocco, Jordan, GCC: Pro-West Arab Monarchies Form Unholy Alliance

Battlefield Of The Future: U.S., Australia Add Cyberwarfare Facet To Growing Military Cooperation

Washington: Georgian Delegation In NATO Accession, Conflict Talks

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State Department: NATO In Libya Model Of Euro-U.S. Cooperation

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Canada To Extend Libya War Mission To End Of Year

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/8764812/NATO-in-Libya-a-model-for-Euro-US-cooperation-US-official.html

Daily Telegraph
September 15, 2011

NATO in Libya a ‘model’ for Euro-US cooperation: US official

A senior US State Department official hailed NATO’s air strike campaign in Libya as a “model” for future cooperation between European members of the military alliance and the US

The operation in Libya was “in many ways a model on how the United States can lead the way that allows allies to support,” Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Philip Gordon said at an event in Washington.

“What is new about Libya is the approach that the United States would do an initial phase that only the United States could do, and then that Europeans were playing a leading role in certain aspects,” he said.

Britain and France spearheaded the air war.., launching the first salvos under a coalition led by the United States on March 19.

But with the United States bogged down in Afghanistan, US President Barack Obama handed command of Libya operations to Nato on March 31.

At the outset, Obama called on Nato to take action and deployed “very unique capabilities no one else could deploy,” Gordon said.

“Once the United States had done its job by suppressing the air defences in Libya, we saw the strike missions carried out in the lead by other allies,” he said – evidence that “it is possible to successfully conduct a Nato operation” without the US taking centre stage.

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181 Days Of Bombing: 22,701 NATO Sorties, 8,520 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110915_110915-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 15, 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 22,701 sorties, including 8,520 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 14 SEPTEMBER: 123

Strike sorties conducted 14 SEPTEMBER: 49

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Sarkozy And Cameron In Tripoli: France, Britain To Continue Military Operations In Libya – TNC

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/15/56218258.html

Voice of Russia
September 15, 2011

France, Britain to continue military operation in Libya – TNC

       
France and Britain will continue the military operation in Libya by the request of the Transitional National Council of the country, the head of TNC’ s executive committee Mahmoud Jibril said Thursday.

He was speaking after the talks with the French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the British Prime Minister David Cameron who are now in Tripoli.

They have become the first European leaders who visited Libya after the change of power in the country.

From Tripoli Cameron and Sarkozy will head to the city of Benghazi the former fortress of the opposition forces, where they are to deliver speeches at the central square in front of local residents.

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http://winnipeg.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110914/libya-mission-extension-110914/20110914/?hub=WinnipegHome

CTV News
September 14, 2011

Canada to extend Libya mission by three months

CTV News has learned Canada will extend its military mission to Libya by up to three months…

CTV’s Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife reported the development, which is expected to be formally announced next week when Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets with other NATO leaders in New York.

Canada has been participating in a NATO-led air campaign in Libya since…earlier this year…

Harper, who attended meetings on Libya in Paris recently, has said he received assurances that the NTC would honour existing contracts with Canadian companies.

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U.S., NATO To Deploy Ballistic Missiles In Poland By 2018

http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110915/166871665.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 14, 2011

U.S. to deploy ballistic missiles in Poland by 2018

The United States will deploy elements of a missile defense shield in Poland by 2018, the U.S. and Poland said in a joint statement on Thursday.

“The United States and Poland are pleased to jointly announce that the Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement of 2008 and its Amending Protocol of 2010 on deployment of the land-based SM-3 system within Poland has entered into force, effective of September 15, 2011,” the statement said.

The system will be located at the Redzikowo military base, the statement added, calling it “a significant contribution by our two nations to a future NATO missile defense capability.”

Russia has retained staunch opposition to the deployment of missile-defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a security threat.

NATO says it needs the shield, which will be eventually deployed in the Mediterranean, Poland, Romania and Turkey…

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NATO Moving Missile Shield Into Black Sea, Asiatic Turkey

http://rt.com/news/missile-defense-system-nato-555/

RT
September 14, 2011

Building missile shield: unclear threat, unknown cost

NATO plans for a phased deployment of a European anti-missile defense system are moving forward, with Turkey and Romania having signed deals to host crucial elements of the system.

The US and Turkey signed a memorandum on Wednesday on the deployment of an American radar station in the east of the country as part of the NATO-backed missile defense system (AMD).

The AN/TPY-2 THAAD radar will be deployed in the southeastern Turkish province of Malatya by the end of the year. It will later become part of the anti-ballistic missile system which the US and NATO are building to protect Europe, supposedly from missile attacks by rogue states.

The news comes just a day after Romania agreed to a deal with Washington under which land-based SM3 interceptor missiles and over 100 military personnel will be based on Romanian soil. The deal also includes the deployment of American Navy cruisers with naval versions of the interceptors along the Romanian coast.

The project has caused concern in Russia, which believes the system may be targeted against its nuclear deterrence capabilities. Washington refused to build a joint Russian-NATO anti-missile system to protect Russia, as suggested by Moscow.

Apart from the potential to tip the strategic military balance, the AMD system may prove costly once you count in the maintenance, argued Ludo de Brabander, spokesman for the Belgium peace movement Verde.

“The US and NATO are arguing that this is small cost for big advantage,” he told RT. “It is estimated that this project will last 10 years and cost 200 million euros shared by all 28 NATO countries. So it seems little investment for each country. But maintaining this kind of system could cost much more. So it will not be easy to sell this project to the public.”

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http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110914/166843361.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 14, 2011

Turkey agrees to host powerful U.S. radar

Turkey and the United States signed on Wednesday a memorandum on the deployment of a U.S. radar on Turkish territory as part of a “missile shield” to protect NATO allies from potential ballistic missile threats.

An X-band AN/TPY-2 radar, which is part of the THAAD system designed to intercept medium-range missiles at very high altitudes, will be deployed at a military base in the eastern province of Malatya.

…The system is expected to become operational by the end of this year.

According to Turkish media, the radar will be operated from a NATO control center in Germany, but the allies will share data with Turkey.

NATO members agreed to install a missile shield over Europe to protect against ballistic missiles launched by so-called “rogue states” at a summit in Lisbon, Portugal, last year.

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U.S. Recruits Australia Into Global Missile Shield System, Asian NATO

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/treasury/missile-defence-on-agenda-of-us-australia-talks/story-fn8gfmqz-1226138254699

The Australian
September 16, 2011

Missile defence on agenda of US-Australia talks
Brad Norington

San Francisco: Senior US government officials have confirmed that Washington intends to step up co-operation with Australia on missile defence.

US State Department officials also said yesterday that development of new cyber-warfare technology would be a priority.

The issues were flagged ahead of alliance talks today in San Francisco involving Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd, Defence Minister Stephen Smith and their US counterparts Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Leon Panetta. A senior US State Department official said efforts were being made to improve co-operation on tactical and theatre missile defence systems.

“There are substantial elements where the US and Australia are going to increase our co-operation in the military arena in cyber, missile, and other capabilities,” the official said.

Three Australian Navy air warfare destroyers under construction are expected to be fitted with Aegis missile defences.

Their radar systems would be able to detect and shoot down ballistic missiles.

Another key to the defence system is the Jindalee over-the-horizon radar system capable of detecting missile launches deep in North Asia.

The talks today – the US-Australia ministerial meeting, known as Ausmin – are being held in San Francisco to mark the 60th anniversary of the Anzus treaty signed by the US and Australia in the west coast city on September 1, 1951.

An agreement at the last annual Ausmin meeting in Melbourne on co-operation on cyber-warfare will be taken a step further with an acknowledgement that a cyber-attack on either the US or Australia would activate the Anzus alliance.

“That is one of the battlefields of the future,” Mr Smith said.

In a preview of the Ausmin talks, Mr Smith raised concerns about the possibility of a massive cyber-attack to thwart communications of either nation as a precursor to a military attack.

China was not named as the source of such possible attacks, but security experts said cyber-disruption of large corporations and some government agencies had come from the region.

The prelude to the Ausmin talks yesterday was the Australian government’s award of an honorary Order of Australia to George Shultz, secretary of state during the Reagan presidency.

Australian Ambassador to the US Kim Beazley announced the award and Mr Rudd praised Mr Shultz’s contribution.

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Boeing To Double Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Interceptor Missile Production

http://www.waaytv.com/news/local/story/Boeing-Boosts-PAC-3-Missile-Production/JNTx0VFrc0mplM5l5fbTnQ.cspx

WAAY TV
September 14, 2011

Boeing Boosts PAC 3 Missile Production
By Chad Rose

Huntsville, Ala. – A big boost for Boeing in the rocket city.
The company has completed a $50 million expansion to its Strategic Missile & Defense Systems facilities in Huntsville.

The work was done in support of Boeing’s seeker production team, which builds the eyes and brains of the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missile for the Army.

This missile is currently deployed abroad with our warfighters.

Boeing began deploying the PAC-3 missile 10 years ago.

Boeing says production will double from 15 to now 30 seekers a month.

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U.S., NATO Allies Ready To Test MEADS Interceptor System

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2011/09/14/MEADS-testing-moves-forward/UPI-41861316006417/?spt=hs&or=si

United Press International
September 14, 2011

MEADS testing moves forward

-MEADS is a next-generation, ground-mobile air and missile defense system that incorporates the hit-to-kill Patriot Advanced Capability-3, 360-degree radars, netted and distributed battle management and high-firepower launchers.

ORLANDO, Fla. – MEADS International’s air defense system is progressing to test flight stage beginning in November in New Mexico, the company said.

Progress in development follows a simulated launch by the Medium Extended Air Defense System’s integrated launcher electronics system.

“The ILES tests confirm increasing readiness for our upcoming flight tests, which will demonstrate the greater defensive coverage and 360-degree capability unique to MEADS,” said MEADS International Vice President Volker Weidemann. “No other air and missile defense system provides the protection and lethality of MEADS.”

MEADS is a next-generation, ground-mobile air and missile defense system that incorporates the hit-to-kill Patriot Advanced Capability-3, 360-degree radars, netted and distributed battle management and high-firepower launchers.

The system combines superior battlefield protection with new flexibility to protect forces and critical assets against tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles and aircraft.

Earlier this year, the ILES was delivered to a Lockheed Martin laboratory where it was evaluated for flight test readiness. Within the first two months at the lab, the ILES was able to power up a simulated PAC-3 MSE missile, check the missile’s health status and fire the missile batteries, MEADS said.

Less than four months after arriving at the laboratory, the ILES and missile performed the complete pre-launch sequence for the first time. Then the ILES powered up a MEADS missile, ignited the batteries, and gave the motor ignition command, enabling the missile to execute a simulated launch.

MEADS International, a multinational joint venture with headquarters 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.

====

AFRICOM Commander Wants “More Special Operation Forces Now”

http://www.stripes.com/news/africom-commander-i-d-like-more-special-operations-forces-now-1.155066

Stars and Stripes
September 14, 2011

AFRICOM commander: ‘I’d like more special operations forces now’
By Kevin Baron

-Ham…declined to give details about the levels of U.S. counterterrorism operations, including the military’s use of armed drones over Somalia. But he acknowledged Special Operations Command-Africa has grown…The biggest U.S. military activity under AFRICOM so far has been its participation in NATO’s Libya mission. Ham expects the U.S. will send a normal contingent to protect the embassy in Tripoli, once re-established, and later maybe some trainers for exercises…At Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, the U.S. presence for a spectrum of missions is also expanding, in acreage, housing and other facilities designed to meet an influx of additional troops.

WASHINGTON — The commander of U.S. troops in Africa said he wants more special operations forces to handle a growing demand for counterterrorism operations…and to help build up Africa’s own militaries.

“I’d like more special operations forces now,” said Army Gen. Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, at a defense writer’s breakfast Wednesday in Washington.

Ham said he expects to see incremental increases in the numbers of U.S. special operations forces in Africa over the next couple of years, but doesn’t expect to see a large-scale change until the U.S. draws down in Afghanistan after 2014.

The general is the latest U.S. defense leader to call for more special operations forces, as Washington heads into a budget-slashing exercise. Already this year, several of President Barack Obama’s new crop of top commanders told Congress those elite forces were in high demand, and warned any budget cuts to special operations would threaten national security.

Those comments follow Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s warning this summer that…the U.S. expected the group to shift its center of gravity to Yemen, Somalia, and across the Middle East and North Africa.

When the U.S. started the specific combatant command for Africa in 2007, opponents were concerned the U.S. was seeking to militarize America’s presence in Africa, move its headquarters from Germany to the continent and eventually set up permanent U.S. bases.

The biggest U.S. military activity under AFRICOM so far has been its participation in NATO’s Libya mission. Ham expects the U.S. will send a normal contingent to protect the embassy in Tripoli, once re-established, and later maybe some trainers for exercises…

Ham…declined to give details about the levels of U.S. counterterrorism operations, including the military’s use of armed drones over Somalia. But he acknowledged Special Operations Command-Africa has grown, he works closely with U.S. Special Operations Command and has a “wonderful relationship” with SOCOM’s Adm. William McRaven.

Ham said he is confident other commands will support AFRICOM whenever they have “high-priority assignments.”

At Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, the U.S. presence for a spectrum of missions is also expanding, in acreage, housing and other facilities designed to meet an influx of additional troops.

“In Djibouti, we have grown. It’s a little bit larger. It’s a very, very interesting and important hub, not only for U.S. Africa Command, but for Central Command, of course Special Operations Command, for Transportation Command,” Ham said, “It’s a very, very important place for us.”

Ham said special operations forces require enablers, but not a large infrastructure base, so small teams that are out training in countries like Mali are a “pretty bare bones operation,” where host nations provide barracks and other sustainment.

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Africa Partnership Station: U.S. Ship’s Crew Leads Training In Gambia

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=62734

Navy NewsStand
September 14, 2011

APS West: HSV Swift Kicks off Training in The Gambia

BANJUL, The Gambia: High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV) 2 kicked off the first day of Africa Partnership Station (APS) West training engagements with The Gambian navy in Banjul, Sept. 13.

This APS platform will support sustained and focused maritime training facilitated by instructors from Swift’s crew and the Maritime Civil Affairs and Security Training (MCAST) command from Dam Neck, Va.

In addition to maritime training, Swift leadership will participate in key leader engagements with The Gambian senior military personnel and government officials…

HSV Swift is a catamaran and operates with a hybrid crew of both U.S. Navy Sailors and civilian mariners chartered by Military Sealift Command.

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Afghan, Iranian Border Guards Exchange Fire

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/09/14/afghan-iranian-border-guards-trade-fire

Pajhwok Afghan News
September 14, 2011

Afghan, Iranian border guards trade fire
By Ramin

ZARANJ: Afghan and Iranian border police traded fire in southwestern Nimroz province on Wednesday, a police officer said.

The 30-minute clash, which caused Afghan border guards no casualties, ended after the Iranians retreated, Nimroz police chief Brig. Gen Abdul Jabbar Purdali told Pajhwok Afghan News.

He said the fire exchange erupted at 10:30am, when Iranian border guards violated Afghanistan’s border. The Iranians wanted to set up a check-post, a transit road, and a canal in a disputed area.

Both countries stake claims to the Guzar-i-Khwaja area, two kilometers from Zaranj — the capital of Nimroz. But a timely response from Afghan border police, forced the Iranians to pull back.

A local border police official said on condition of anonymity that a 9.7-kilometre area from Lakhshak to Brechi has been the subject of dispute between the neighbours since 1973 when five Afghan policemen were killed in a clash.

As Col. Qasimkhel, the provincial border police chief, refused to comment on the incident, resident Juma Khan said: “Four mortar shells fired by Iranian forces landed in the area, causing no casualties.”

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U.S./NATO Commander: Attack On Afghan Capital Act Of “Desperation”

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65332

U.S. Department of Defense
American Forces Press Service
September 14, 2011

Allen: Kabul Attack Shows Enemy’s Desperation
By Donna Miles

WASHINGTON: Warning of the likelihood of more high-profile attacks like yesterday’s on the U.S. Embassy in Kabul as insurgents grow increasingly desperate, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan declared the attack a military failure…,Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen said today during a news briefing in the Afghan capital.

In the meantime, Allen warned that more insurgent attacks are likely to follow.

“This is not the first such attack by the insurgents, and we do not expect that it will be the last,” he said….

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Longest Sustained Attack In Capital In Ten-Year War: NATO-Assigned New Zealand Special Forces In Kabul Fighting

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/africa/5625107/NZ-SAS-in-Kabul-fighting

Fairfax NZ and Reuters
September 15, 2011

NZ SAS in Kabul fighting

-Afghan security forces backed by Nato and Afghan attack helicopters fought Taleban insurgents floor-by-floor in the building in the longest sustained attack on the capital since the US-led invasion a decade ago.

Elite New Zealand troops backed up Afghan forces during a 20 hour shoot-out with Taleban insurgents in the Afghanistan capital, Kabul.

Nine insurgents were killed in the attack, which began on Tuesday, along with four Afghan policemen and at least two civilians.

A spokeswoman for Defence Minister Wayne Mapp said…SAS troops took a mentoring role throughout, advising the Afghan Crisis Response Unit (CRU) during the assault on the heavily-defended area around the United States Embassy and Nato headquarters.

But she could not rule out that the New Zealanders fired their weapons during the battle.

The attack was the boldest since the assault on the British Council last month in which 41-year-old NZ SAS soldier Corporal Doug Grant was killed.

The CRU led that engagement but called in the SAS when they were overwhelmed.

In July two SAS soldiers were injured after the CRU was forced to call for help to deal with an attack on the InterContinental Hotel.

FIGHTING FLOOR-BY-FLOOR

Afghan security forces backed by Nato and Afghan attack helicopters fought Taleban insurgents floor-by-floor in the building in the longest sustained attack on the capital since the US-led invasion a decade ago.

One or two fighters held out overnight in the high-rise building, site of the most spectacular of four coordinated attacks across the city. Suicide bombers had targeted police buildings in other parts of the city.

The ability of the Taleban to penetrate Kabul’s vaunted was a clear show of strength ahead of a handover of security to Afghan forces slated for 2014.

A squad of insurgents were armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers, AK-47 assault rifles and suicide bomb vests, a Taleban spokesman said, but the amount of time they held off foreign and Afghan troops prompted speculation they had weapons and ammunition hidden in the building before the attack.

Gunfire continued throughout the night, with residents of nearby buildings staying indoors with their lights off, as children panicked and helicopters flew low overhead.

”It would go silent for 30 to 35 minutes and then there were explosions and the sound of heavy machine guns,” he said.

Explosions were interspersed with gunfire all afternoon on Tuesday (local time) and several rockets landed in the upmarket Wazir Akbar Khan district, near the British and other embassies…

”There was almost certainly either a break-down in security among the Afghans with responsibility for Kabul or an intelligence failure,” said Andrew Exum, fellow at the Center for a New American Security.

Violence is at its worst since US-backed Afghan forces toppled the Taleban government in late 2001, with high levels of foreign troop deaths and record civilian casualties.

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Kosovo: Russia Calls On NATO To Prevent New Provocations

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=09&dd=14&nav_id=76390

Tanjug News Agency
September 14, 2011

Moscow calls on KFOR to prevent provocations

MOSCOW: Russia has voiced serious concern over information that the Kosovo Albanian authorities intend to take unilateral violent actions against Serbs in the north.

A statement issued by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday evening said that such a move would be aimed at assuming control over administrative crossings, and called on KFOR to prevent the provocations in line with its mandate.

A similar violent act directed at resolving the “customs issues” in the north of the province in July caused a serious crisis, which put the lives of several hundred people at risk, stressed the statement.

“We are of the opinion that the international forces stationed in Kosovo (KFOR) which are responsible for security in the province, should resolutely prevent the provocations,” the release adds.

Russia counts on a more active role of EULEX in preventing an escalation of tensions and violence towards civilians, the statement reads.

All issues relating to the stability and security in Kosovo should be discussed based on fundamental principles of the international law and the UN decisions, particularly UN SC Resolution 1244, as well as within the Belgrade-Priština dialogue, the Russian MFA concluded.

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Russia Backs Urgent UN Session Over Kosovo Conflict Escalation

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/15/56212560.html

Voice of Russia
September 15, 2011

Russia warns of Kosovo conflict escalation

       
The Kosovo conflict is highly probable to escalate, warns Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin talking to the Russia Today channel.

He referred to Albanian authorities in Pristina who intend to get North Kosovo under their control saying that it’s in line with customs agreements reached at the volatile border between Serbia and Kosovo.

Albanians are ready to resort to violence to make Kosovo customs officers control border posts. Another point of concern is that peacekeepers seem to support this dangerous plan.

Russia, in its turn supports Serbia’s claim for an urgent UN session preventing further conflict, the envoy said.

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NATO Chief To Visit Kosovo As Tensions Mount

http://www.rferl.org/content/nato_chief_due_in_kosovo_amid_tensions_/24328807.html

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
September 14, 2011

NATO Chief Due In Kosovo Amid Tensions

-Hashim Thaci…said the plan would go ahead on September 16 with the help of the European Union police force in Kosovo, EULEX, and NATO peacekeepers.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is due to visit Kosovo today amid rising tensions.

Ethnic Serbs in the north of Kosovo oppose plans by Kosovo’s mainly ethnic Albanian leaders to man two border crossings there.

Serbian President Boris Tadic has warned the plan could spark violence. The country has also sent an official complaint to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

For his part, Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, has accused the Serbs of preparing to use violence to block the move.

He also said the plan would go ahead on September 16 with the help of the European Union police force in Kosovo, EULEX, and NATO peacekeepers.

A statement by the head of EULEX, Xavier bout de Marnhac, said “operational work” at the border crossings “will be done by EULEX.”

On September 14, Serbs in the north were reported to have halted a convoy of German NATO soldiers heading north to the border.

Serbs in the divided town of Mitrovica set up barricades of buses, rocks and trucks loaded with stones.

Kosovo tried in July to station police and customs officials at the two crossings with Serbia.

Serbs responded by setting up roadblocks and stopped NATO peacekeepers from reaching bases in the north.

With backing from the West, Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Today, [only] 80 countries recognize it as an independent country.

Serbia is under pressure from the EU to work out its problems with Pristina if it wants to gain EU candidate status.

compiled from agency reports

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Azerbaijani Drone Destroyed Over Nagorno-Karabakh

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=2&id=273174

Interfax
September 14, 2011

Nagorno-Karabakh claims destroying Azeri reconnaissance drone

STEPANAKERT: The armed forces of the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh republic have destroyed an Azeri military unmanned aerial vehicle on Wednesday, Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Ministry press secretary Senor Asratian told Interfax.

“I can confirm that an Azeri reconnaissance drone has been destroyed. More detailed official information will be reported soon,” Asratian said.

The drone was shot down near the village of Vazgenashen in the Martuni district of Nagorno-Karabakh, the ministry told Interfax.

The Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army has recorded numerous flights of Azeri drones along the self-proclaimed republic’s borders in the past several days, and they have even flown into Nagorno-Karabakh airspace several times, it said.

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New Strategic Concept: NATO Hosts 47 States, Blocs On Naval Mission

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-9C97296D-C8A4B0B3/natolive/news_78064.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 14, 2011

NATO engages Partners around the globe in counter-piracy dialogue

Representatives from 47 nations and organisations involved in counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean met at NATO Headquarters today to exchange views, share experiences and discuss ways to ***enhance synergies*** between their respective efforts in the Indian Ocean.

Participants included representatives from Australia, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden and the United Arab Emirates. The European Union, which runs Operation Atalanta, the United Nations and the African Union also attended the meeting.

Launched in 2009, NATO’s Operation Ocean Shield complements other international and national counter-piracy efforts off the coast of Somalia and in the wider Indian Ocean. Its current mandate runs until 2012.

This meeting, the first in such format, marks NATO’s new engagement with partners across the globe on functional issues of shared interest, as laid out in the new Strategic Concept.

‘This meeting is a demonstration of the new NATO…Anders Fogh Rasmussen underlined…

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Morocco, Jordan, GCC: Pro-West Arab Monarchies Form Unholy Alliance

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1931837.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
September 14, 2011

Jordan, Morocco in coordination talks ahead of GCC admission

Moroccan Foreign Minister Taieb Fassi Fehri held coordination talks with Jordanian leaders on Wednesday in the run-up to the two countries’ planned admission to the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), dpa reported.

Fehri discussed with King Abdullah II the “latest developments in the Middle East, particularly the political changes in the region,” a royal court statement said in reference to the uprisings in several Arab states.

The discussions also tackled means of boosting bilateral ties as well as steps being taken in preparation for the admission of Jordan and Morocco to the GCC.

Fehri and his Jordanian counterpart, Nasser Judeh, on Sunday met in Jeddah with the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman to try work out a roadmap for the admission of Jordan and Morocco to the Arab political bloc in response to an offer made in May by the GCC leaders.

The Moroccan foreign minister was briefed during his meetings with the monarch and Judeh on the political reforms adopted by Jordan, including a revision of the constitution.

Fehri pointed out that Jordan’s reformist steps were “identical” with those adopted by King Mohammad VI of Morocco.

The reforms carried out by the two hereditary monarchies in Jordan and Morocco over the past five months are seen to have been inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

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Battlefield Of The Future: U.S., Australia Add Cyberwarfare Facet To Growing Military Cooperation

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44527648/ns/technology_and_science-security/

Associated Press
September 14, 2011

Cyber security added to US-Australia treaty
‘Cyber is the battlefield of the future,’ Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says

-U.S. and Australian leaders are also expected to make progress on an agreement to allow the United States to expand its military presence in Australia, including positioning U.S. equipment there, increasing American access to bases, and conducting more joint exercises and training. The plan could allow the U.S. to use port facilities.

SAN FRANCISCO: U.S. and Australian officials have decided to include cooperation on cyber security as part of their defense treaty, marking the first time the Obama administration has formally carved out that kind of partnership with a country outside NATO.

“Cyber is the battlefield of the future,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday. “We are all going to have to work very hard not only to defend against cyber attacks, but to be aggressive with regards to cyber attacks as well.”

The best way to accomplish that goal is to work with allies such as Australia, Panetta told reporters traveling with to California. Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton were to meet Thursday in San Francisco with their Australian counterparts for their annual talks on security cooperation.

Cyber security is just one element of the efforts by U.S. and Australian officials to expand their defense cooperation in the tumultuous Pacific region, where both China and North Korea have moved aggressively to increase their military posture.

Officials expect to announce the expanded cooperation during the bilateral meetings.

U.S. and Australian leaders are also expected to make progress on an agreement to allow the United States to expand its military presence in Australia, including positioning U.S. equipment there, increasing American access to bases, and conducting more joint exercises and training. The plan could allow the U.S. to use port facilities.

The decision to add cyber space to the two nations’ bilateral treaty, along with every other warfighting domain, would clarify that the two allies will work together in the event of a computer-related attack.

A senior defense official said the move would underscore that the existing security cooperation between the U.S. and Australia would apply in a digital attack, just as it would in a bombing or other kinetic assault. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision has not yet been announced.

NATO allies have already included cyber space in their security framework.

The White House released its international cyber security strategy in May, as part of an effort to improve cooperation on global cyber crime and set guidelines for Internet oversight.

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Washington: Georgian Delegation In NATO Accession, Conflict Talks

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=43133&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2
September 15, 2011

Georgian delegation visits Washington

Russia-Georgia relations, Georgia`s occupation, the country`s possible integration into NATO and the resolution supporting Georgia the U.S. Congress intends to sign – these issues were stressed at meetings held by the Georgian delegation headed by vice Prime Minister Giorgi Baramidze in the U.S.

The delegation’s first meeting was held in Washington`s International Republican Institute, and the next one in the National Democratic Institute.

The delegation members met U.S. congressmen and talks were also held with Philip Gordon, the deputy secretary of state.

As reported, Giorgi Baramidze intends to deliver a speech at Johns Hopkins University today.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Joseph Addison: Already have our quarrels fill’d the world with widows and with orphans

September 15, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Joseph Addison
From Cato (1713)

Cato.

Let not a torrent of impetuous zeal

Transport thee thus beyond the bounds of reason:

True fortitude is seen in great exploits

That justice warrants, and that wisdom guides,

All else is towering phrenzy and distraction.

Are not the lives of those who draw the sword

In Rome’s defence intrusted to our care!

Should we thus lead them to a field of slaughter,

Might not the impartial world with reason say

We lavish’d at our death the blood of thousands,

To grace our fall, and make our ruin glorious!

Lucius, we next would know what’s your opinion?

Lucius.

My thoughts, I must confess, are turn’d on peace.

Already have our quarrels fill’d the world

With widows and with orphans: Scythia morns

Our guilty wars, and earth’s remotest regions

Lie half unpeopled by the feuds of Rome:

‘Tis time to sheath the sword, and spare mankind.

It is not Caesar, but the gods, my fathers,

The gods declare against us, and repel

Our vain attempts. To urge the foe to battle,

(Prompted by blind revenge and wild despair)

Were to refuse th’ awards of Providence,

And not to rest in heaven’s determination.

Already have we shown our love to Rome,

Now let us show submission to the gods.

We took up arms, not to revenge ourselves,

But free the commonwealth; when this end fails,

Arms have no farther use; our country’s cause,

That drew our swords, now wrests them from our hands,

And bids us not delight in Roman blood

Unprofitably shed; what men could do

Is done already: heaven and earth will witness,

If Rome must fall, that we are innocent.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 14, 2011

September 14, 2011 2 comments

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Libya: 22,578 NATO Air Missions, 8,471 Combat Sorties

Africa’s Shame: NATO-Serving Uncle Toms

Russian Foreign Ministry: Libya, Syria Can Become Terrorist Strongholds

Canadian Firms, NATO Allies Reap Fruit Of Libyan Bombardment

South Africa To Host African Union Meeting On Libya

U.S. Envoy Not Pleased With Brazil, India, South Africa On UNSC

U.S., Turkey Sign Agreement On Interceptor Missile Radar Deployment

U.S. Missiles, Hundreds More Troops Slated For Romania

NATO Welcomes Deployment Of Interceptor Missiles In Romania

U.S./NATO Missiles In Romania: Countdown To New Arms Race?

Leading Russian MP: START Treaty At Risk

Poland: U.S. Air Force In Exercise As Air Base Massively Expanded

Video: Ten Years On, NATO At War In Afghan Capital

Afghan Official Hints At American Bases In Country

NATO-Conducts 12-Nation Combat Exercise In Indiana

Ex-NATO Envoy: State Department Applauds Turkey’s War Against Kurds

2012 Decisive Year For NATO Integration: Georgian Foreign Ministry

Russia Opposes Militarization Of Arctic, “Mini-NATO” In North

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Libya: 22,578 NATO Air Missions, 8,471 Combat Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110914_110914-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 14, 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 22,578 sorties, including 8,471 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 13 SEPTEMBER: 122

Strike sorties conducted 13 SEPTEMBER: 44

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Africa’s Shame: NATO-Serving Uncle Toms

http://news.peacefmonline.com/features/201109/68485.php

Peace FM Online (Ghana)
September 13, 2011

Libya: Ghana Joins Nigeria and Does Obeisance To NATO
Prince Akyeampong

After what recently happened in Libya, one is apt to wonder what democracy really stands for. If democracy is the keyword used to justify the destruction of human lives and property, then God help us all!

Yes, the NATO-aided NTC rebels have apparently managed to do away with Muammar Gaddafi, and Ghana, among other African countries has, after a little hesitation, decided to do obeisance to the western powers by recognizing these anti-Gaddafi miscreants. The question now remains: does a post-Gaddafi Libya hope to become a land of milk and honey? Believe me, that would be a very tall order because actually, whether you like Gaddafi or not, Libya, by all appreciable standards, had the highest standard of living in Africa, under Gaddafi. If western-style democracy was a yardstick for determining developmental success, Ghana, Nigeria and other countries in Africa would not be in their present predicaments. Let’s take a look at some of the comforts and benefits Libyans enjoyed under Gaddafi and draw our own conclusions.

When Gaddafi took over, Libyans had an average annual income of about $60. His government brought Libya from poverty and debt to prosperity and debt-free status education from the kindergarten stage through college was free. Health care was free as well. Under Gaddafi’s oil-revenue-sharing program, each Libyan had $500 (five hundred US dollars) deposited into his or her bank account each month. After marriage, each couple was given as much as $60,000 (sixty thousand US dollars) to spend. Libya gave free land and seeds to anyone who wanted to take up farming as an occupation.

Water and electricity were free in Libya. Petrol/fuel was sold at 75 cents a gallon under Gaddafi. There was virtually no homelessness as everyone was given a home. Undernourishment in Libya under Gaddafi was as low as 2% – a figure lower than that of the world center of “democracy,” the USA. For any medical care or health treatments that were unavailable in Libya, the Libyan citizen’s full expenses for travel, treatment and accommodation to wherever was required for treatment were borne by the Libyan government. Before Gaddafi, literacy in Libya was only 10%. Under Gaddafi’s leadership, literacy has risen to over 80%. Unlike some Arab states, women in Libya under Gaddafi had equal rights; not only as a philosophy, but in practice.

Libyans had a direct participatory democracy based on people’s conferences. The Gaddafi regime invested billions to bring fresh water from southern Libya’s desert to coastal areas like Tripoli and Benghazi. This man-made river is a worldwide acclaimed achievement that stands as a testimony to Gaddafi’s huge contribution to the economic development of Libya. Folks, note that this project which cost Libya about $35 billion (US dollars) was exclusively financed by Libya’s Central Bank without borrowing a cent from abroad.

So, if these eye-popping achievements are not enough, then what exactly is the NATO agenda? What are they bringing to Libya that is better than what Gaddafi achieved? I sympathize with Libyans – and why not? In the name of western-style “democracy,” a hitherto affluent African nation has decided to take a dangerous u-turn and thus join the large group of third world countries in Africa.

The western propaganda machine is so deadly that they pick and choose what to report to the outside world with regards to the situation in Libya. Whatever event goes against their interests and machinations is not reported. How can NATO bomb roads, ports, buildings and oil fields’ equipment and yet claim to be assisting in a just cause? It’s about democracy, they contend; and some of us have ignorantly bought into that nonsense! If this maze of confusion and corruption in Ghana is what democracy is about, I’d rather take a Gaddafi-type system any day. Ultimately, life is about the search for the best means of achieving improved and quality lifestyles. Did Gaddafi fail Libyans in that regard?

For NATO, it’s been a job “well executed.” They have managed once again to bring a strong and thriving economy to its knees. Even as these ignorant rebels chant and wave flags, they are yet to come to grips with reality; they do not realize that they are now in the full clutches of the west – they have now become YES-MEN; and would listen to and obey their NATO masters. As Ghanaians and Africans, we must honestly ask ourselves whether our so-called leaders have what it takes to stand up to the west when it comes to issues that are not in our interest. The usual “Uncle Tom” attitude exhibited by our leaders does not bode well for the African continent. What is the essence of the AU if our leaders cannot take an emphatic stand and come to the aid of one of their own in times of need? A bunch of “Uncle Toms,” that’s what they are!

Ghanaian and African leaders had better wake up and get their act together! If the Libyan situation has not served as an eye-opener to our recalcitrant and NATO-serving leaders, I don’t know what will. God bless mother Ghana!

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Russian Foreign Ministry: Libya, Syria Can Become Terrorist Strongholds

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/14/56178086.html

Voice of Russia
September 14, 2011

Libya, Syria can become terrorist strongholds – FM

The worst case scenario for Libya and Syria is turning into terrorist strongholds in North Africa and the Middle East, head of the threats and challenges department of Russia’s Foreign Ministry Ilya Rogachev sated in St.Pete.

He said that Libya may follow Iraq where terrorists gained power after Saddam Hussein whose reign posed no threats.

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Canadian Firms, NATO Allies Reap Fruit Of Libyan Bombardment

http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Canadian+companies+will+benefit+from+military+intervention+Libyan/5394089/story.html

Montreal Gazette/Postmedia News
September 13, 2011

Canadian companies will benefit from military intervention: Libyan official
By Lee Berthiaume

OTTAWA: Libya’s top diplomat in Ottawa expects Canadian companies to benefit from the goodwill earned by this country’s active military involvement in the effort to topple Moammar Gadhafi’s regime.

“The Libyan people do see a country (Canada) that stood by them and helped them and answered their call when they needed them,” Abubaker Karmos said Tuesday. “They see those countries as better partners probably than some of those other countries that didn’t show as much interest.”

Karmos was speaking hours after Foreign Minister John Baird announced Canada was reopening its embassy in Tripoli, with a particular focus on strengthening business ties between the two countries.

“Having now taken stock of the situation, we are starting the work of refurbishing and securing our embassy in Tripoli,” Baird told reporters in the House of Commons foyer. “We have also brought in a team of staff members who will enable us to liaise directly with officials of the new government of Libya. The team will also prepare for a larger complement of diplomats that will allow us to resume commercial services to Canadians.”

A senior French official recently estimated it could cost $200 billion over 10 years to rebuild Libya after six months of civil war between rebels and pro-Gadhafi forces.

The North African nation possesses Africa’s largest oil reserves.

Calgary-based energy giant Suncor was producing an estimated 35,000 barrels of oil per day in the country in a joint venture with a state-owned oil firm. Montreal engineering firm SNC-Lavalin had secured Libyan government contracts to build an airport in Benghazi, a water pipeline and a jail in Tripoli.

Karmos reaffirmed agreements that were signed between foreign companies and Libya prior to the war will be honoured. But he said more will be coming down the pipeline.

“There’s a lot of work to be done in the country in terms of infrastructure and the oil sector,” the diplomat said, “and we are looking for Canadian companies to take a leading role in that.”

French and British companies are already rushing to the door so they can get a piece of the major business opportunities that will be made available in Libya’s post-Gadhafi era.

A Reuters report said 400 executives from such French firms as oil giant Total and carmaker Peugeot met with French officials in Paris last week to discuss the situation in the North African country. Reports indicate the same is happening in the United Kingdom. Both were major proponents of international military intervention in Libya.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce president Perrin Beatty said the Canadian government and private sector must be on the ground and ready to compete sooner rather than later.

“It’s going to be very important for us to be there, both at the governmental and at the private sector level,” he said, “because the new government of Libya is going to want to be making decisions as rapidly as possible to get their economy moving again.”

Beatty said there are huge opportunities in Libya for Canadian firms, and he had no doubt Canada’s military intervention will result in positive results for business.

Baird also announced that a United Nations Security Council sanctions committee had agreed to unfreeze — with conditions — about $2.2 billion in Libyan funds held by Canadian banks and other institutions since March.

The move comes weeks after the sanctions committee freed up billions held by Canada’s closest allies in the NATO-led military mission — the U.S., France and the United Kingdom. More recently, the Netherlands and Austria were allowed to begin disbursing frozen Libyan assets.

A Canadian naval frigate is still enforcing an arms embargo off the Libyan coast and Canadian fighter jets are continuing to conduct missions over the country…

The NATO and Canadian missions are set to expire on Sept. 27, but NATO is expected to decide over the next week or so whether an extension is necessary. The Conservative government has indicated Canada will continue contributing military assets as long as NATO requires them.

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South Africa To Host African Union Meeting On Libya

http://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2011/09/13/sa-to-host-au-meeting-on-libya

The Times/South African Press Association
September 13, 2011

SA to host AU meeting on Libya

South Africa will host a meeting of the African Union’s committee on Libya on Wednesday, says the presidency.

Spokesman Bongani Majola could not elaborate on Tuesday on what would be discussed.

Mauritania’s president General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz heads the committee, which, apart from South Africa, includes leaders of Uganda, Mali and the Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville).

South Africa and the African Union (AU) have so far refused to recognise the National Transitional Council (NTC) as the new legitimate authority in Tripoli, Libya.

The AU has attempted to mediate a peace deal between the NTC and the government of former Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Last week, the South African cabinet reconfirmed the country’s commitment to the AU road map as the best option to resolve the conflict in Libya.

Earlier this month, South Africa boycotted a Paris conference on rebuilding the war-torn country, in protest against the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation’s military intervention in Libya. Asked if recognition of the NTC would be discussed at the meeting, Majola said he could only confirm the meeting was taking place.

He referred further inquiries to the International Relations and Co-operation Department. Department spokesman Clayson Monyela could not be immediately reached comment.

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U.S. Envoy Not Pleased With Brazil, India, South Africa On UNSC

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-13/south-africa-brazil-india-fail-to-impress-u-s-with-their-un-performance.html

Bloomberg News
September 12, 2011

U.S. ‘Not Encouraged’ by India, South Africa, Brazil at UN
By Nicole Gaouette

-“Whether in the context of Libya, or Cote d’Ivoire or Sudan even,” Rice said, the countries have taken positions “that one might not have anticipated, given that each of them come out of strong and proud democratic traditions.”
-The IBSA countries have pointed out that while there was an arms embargo and a call for a cease-fire, it applied to Qaddafi’s forces, while France sent arms to the Libyan rebels.
An oil embargo was put in place against Qaddafi and his officials, while Qatar helped the rebels sell oil with the NATO-led coalition’s awareness.

The U.S. has not been encouraged by the performance of India, Brazil and South Africa during their temporary tenure on the UN Security Council, Ambassador Susan Rice said yesterday.

Splits between the so-called IBSA group of countries and the U.S. arose as protest movements swept the Middle East. India and Brazil, along with Russia, China and Germany, abstained from a UN resolution that formed the legal basis for military intervention in Libya.

As Syria sent troops out to suppress protesters, Brazil, India and South Africa blocked UN moves to pressure the Assad regime and sent diplomats to Damascus last month to engage leaders there. All three countries are serving two-year temporary terms on the Security Council and aspire to permanent seats, a goal the U.S. may block.

“It’s been a very interesting opportunity to see how they respond to the issues of the day, how they relate to us and others, how they do or don’t act consistent with their own democratic institutions and stated values,” Rice said at a briefing with reporters. “Let me just say, we’ve learned a lot and, frankly, not all of it encouraging.”

Rice said that issues related to the protection of human rights, democracy and the protection of civilians raised U.S. concerns about the IBSA group.

“Whether in the context of Libya, or Cote d’Ivoire or Sudan even,” Rice said, the countries have taken positions “that one might not have anticipated, given that each of them come out of strong and proud democratic traditions.”

Post-Colonial Viewpoints

That criticism is simplistic, said Fabienne Hara, the vice president of multilateral affairs at the International Crisis Group. Hara, who recently returned from meetings in Brazil and consults widely with other diplomats, said the IBSA countries approached the Libya situation with their own set of concerns.

“They were all quite surprised that this turned into a NATO-led operation with a bombing campaign, with a variety of targets including Tripoli,” Hara said.

For countries with colonial histories that now champion non-interference, as India and Brazil do, the NATO action had ugly historical echoes, said Mark Quarterman, director of the program on Crisis, Conflict and Cooperation at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

“There’s almost a third-world sense, a post-colonial sense, that they were meddled in, in ways that didn’t redound to their benefit, and now the same countries are claiming humanitarian reasons for meddling,” Quarterman said.

Embargoes

The IBSA countries have pointed out that while there was an arms embargo and a call for a cease-fire, it applied to Qaddafi’s forces, while France sent arms to the Libyan rebels.

An oil embargo was put in place against Qaddafi and his officials, while Qatar helped the rebels sell oil with the NATO-led coalition’s awareness.

All this led to concern about what the UN would do when Syrians began taking to the streets. “The reason why there is no resolution on Syria now is because of Libya,” Hara said, “the aftermath of this very bitter debate that members of the Security Council had after the Libya bombing.

‘‘They were extremely reluctant to authorize any kind of resolution that could be the first step to’’ another Western intervention, Hara said.

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U.S., Turkey Sign Agreement On Interceptor Missile Radar Deployment

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-256744-turkey-us-sign-agreement-on-nato-radar-deployment.html

Zaman
September 14, 2011

Turkey, US sign agreement on NATO radar deployment

Turkey and US officials have signed a memorandum on the deployment of US radar as part of a NATO-backed missile defense system designed to protect European members of the alliance from missile threats.

According to the memorandum, the X-band radar will be deployed at a military base in the eastern province of Malatya, private NTV television reported on Wednesday. The agreement was signed by Undersecretary of Foreign Ministry Feridun Sinirlioğlu and US Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone at the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Wednesday morning.

NATO members agreed to an anti-missile system over Europe…at a summit in Lisbon last year. A compromise was reached with Turkey…

At the NATO summit of heads of state and government in Lisbon last year, Turkey formally backed NATO plans to build a missile defense system…

Turkey and the US held months of discussions over the proposed shield, most notably whether countries such as Turkey’s neighbors Iran and Syria should be named as potential threats. Ankara insisted that the proposed system should provide protection for all territories of member states and that reference to any country would undermine the defensive nature of the shield by antagonizing countries singled out as a threat. Turkish insistence paid off in the end as the NATO summit endorsed the missile defense system plans without naming any country as a potential threat.

Ankara on Sept. 2 announced its decision to host the early-warning radar system as a contribution to NATO’s missile defense system. Turkey’s decision annoyed Iran, which said Tehran would not tolerate any aggression against its national interests. “The West claims the radar system [in Turkey] is to confront Iranian missiles, but they should be aware that we will not tolerate any aggression against our national interests,” Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi was quoted as saying by Iranian state TV.

The Turkish and US governments say the radar system will help spot missile threats coming from outside Europe, including potentially from Iran. The system, provided by the United States, is to become operational later this year.

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U.S. Missiles, Hundreds More Troops Slated For Romania

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/13/us-usa-romania-missiles-idUSTRE78C62N20110913

Reuters
September 13, 2011

U.S., Romania sign missile deal that irked Russia

WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday signed an agreement to base anti-missile interceptors in Romania under a NATO missile defense plan that has angered Russia.

Clinton signed the agreement with Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi and said the United States expected to deploy the interceptor missiles at a Romanian air force base in approximately four years.

“The agreement we have just signed will position Romania as a central player in NATO’s evolving missile defense capability,” Clinton said, noting that the agreement must still be ratified by the Senate.

The Romania deal is part of a larger NATO missile defense plan for Europe that has caused friction with Moscow, which wants a bigger role.

At a NATO summit last November, the allies agreed to develop a new missile defense shield linking systems in the United States and Europe to protect member states against long-range attacks from states such as Iran.

The plans involve the stationing of ship-based interceptors in the Mediterranean beginning this year, followed by land-based interceptors in Romania from 2015 and in Poland from 2018.

Russia has agreed to cooperate on the initiative but disagrees over its implementation, saying it should be a single integrated shield rather than two separate defense systems.

The U.S.-Romania deal calls for the United States to construct, maintain and operate a facility at the Deveselu Air Base near Caracal in southern Romania for the land-based SM-3 ballistic missile defense system.

The facility is expected to house between 150 and 200 U.S. military personnel as well as government and civilian contractors.

(Editing by Eric Beech)

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NATO Welcomes Deployment Of Interceptor Missiles In Romania

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110914/166832331.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 14, 2011

NATO ‘welcomes’ Romania agreement to host U.S. interceptors

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has welcomed Romania’s agreement to host missile interceptors as part of a new U.S. missile defense shield for Europe.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi signed the agreement to deploy a U.S. land-based SM-3 ballistic missile defense at an air base near south Romania’s town of Caracal.

“I welcome the signing of the agreement under which the United States will deploy anti-missile interceptors in Romania,” Rasmussen said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The deployment of these defensive interceptors will be an important element of NATO’s missile defense capability, which was agreed at the Lisbon summit last November.”

Russia complained on Tuesday of the “absence of progress” in its talks with NATO and the United States on the new scheme.

In 2009, Washington scrapped a previous missile shield, based in Poland and the Czech Republic, which had angered Russia.

Moscow has agreed to cooperate on the new plan, but warned it may strengthen its own defenses if it is not made a full partner in the U.S.-led shield.

The U.S. State Department said its missile defense site in Romania will occupy approximately 175 hectares when the deployment is completed by 2015.

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U.S./NATO Missiles In Romania: Countdown To New Arms Race?

http://rt.com/politics/us-missile-defense-romania-russia-531/

RT
September 14, 2011

Countdown to an arms race? Romania agrees to host US interceptor missiles
Robert Bridge

-“The plans to deploy a missile defense base in Romania by 2015, and regardless of the evolution of real missile challenges, is just another link in a strategic global missile defense infrastructure being built by the United States of America,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Moscow reiterates its demand for guarantees that the system will not be “even theoretically capable of targeting Russia.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry is demanding “firm and legally binding guarantees” that the US-NATO missile defense system will not pose a national security threat to Russia.

“We note that the developments (the agreement between Romania and the US) make it even more important that we receive firm and legally binding guarantees from the US and NATO that the missile defenses they are deploying in Europe will not be aimed against Russia’s strategic nuclear forces,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary posted on its official website.

Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met in Washington where they signed an agreement for the deployment of a ballistic missile defense system in Romania. Under this legally-binding agreement, a US land-based SM-3 ballistic missile defense system will become operational at the Deveselu air base in southern Romania.

The Russian ministry provided a detailed description of the system that the US and NATO, in cooperation with Romania and Turkey, are “swiftly and consistently implementing” in Eastern Europe, just miles from the Russian border.

“The agreement with Romania on the deployment of a ground version of the SM-3 interceptor missiles and the Aegis system at the former Air Force base of Deveselu, as well as the recent announcement on the upcoming deployment of the US forward-based missile defense radar AN/TRY-2 in Turkey, show that the US is swiftly and consistently implementing its missile defense plans in Europe,” the statement read.

This is happening in the absence of progress in Russian-NATO and Russian-US dialogue on missiledefense, it added.

The ministry stressed that it is not just concerned about the isolated developments occurring in Romania and Turkey, but rather the long-term expansion of the system, which many Russian military analysts warn could “surround Russia” in a matter of years.

“The plans to deploy a missile defense base in Romania by 2015, and regardless of the evolution of real missile challenges, is just another link in a strategic global missile defense infrastructure being built by the United States of America,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Moscow insists on “forging efficient and substantive solutions within the Russia-NATO Council regarding the design and architecture of the missile defense system being deployed in the region,” it said.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Romanian President Traian Basescu denied that close cooperation with the United States over missile defense and the war on terror had stoked tensions in and around Europe.

Asked about allegations from the Council of Europe that Bucharest allowed the CIA to set up a secret “black hole” prison where suspected terrorists were interrogated and possibly tortured, Basescu responded through an interpreter: “We have no knowledge of this subject.”

Meanwhile, Russian permanent envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin met with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen upon returning to Brussels from negotiations in Rome to address Moscow’s concerns with a European missile defense system.

Rogozin expressed his frustration over European NATO members’ unwillingness to cooperate with Russia on the system.

“What primarily concerns Russia is the position assumed not by the Americans but by the European NATO members regarding chances of cooperation between Russia and the alliance on plans to build a missile defense project exclusively on an equal basis, with strict observance of the parties’ strategic interests,” Rogozin, who is on something of a European crisis-control tour, told Interfax.

The NATO envoy said it was vital that the system, which is moving ahead, cannot “even theoretically” threaten Russia’s vital interests.

“It is in our strategic interest that the NATO missile defense potential being created in Europe should be unable – even theoretically – to block any Russian strategic nuclear forces,” Rogozin stressed.

In May, following the conclusion of the G-8 Summit in Deauville, France, President Medvedev warned of a possible arms race unless the US and NATO can prove the system does not threaten Russia’s national security.

“After 2020, if we do not come to terms, a real arms race will begin,” Medvedev warned.

Given Moscow’s real concerns over the construction of this sophisticated system, which has shown an ability for spreading both spatially and technologically (not to mention financially), and the arms race it may spawn, it would seem logical that NATO members re-think their current position.

Otherwise, the peace they think they are preserving will come at an unsustainable price for everybody.

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Leading Russian MP: START Treaty At Risk

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/14/56156354.html

Voice of Russia
September 14, 2011

Konstantin Kosachev: START treaty at risk

-At the same time, the US tells us to address NATO, while the alliance sends us to Washington again. The negotiations with Russia are being delayed, while the US is making steps to implement third and fourth stages of its European missile shield, which will certainly affect the Russian strategic potential. And this is the scenario what we are trying to avoid but which will be implemented within 5-8 years.

On September 14th the US and Romania signed an agreement to house a missile defense shield in southern Romania. The document was signed in Washington by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Romania`s Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi. Also on Tuesday the US President Barack Obama had an unplanned meeting with his Romanian counterpart Traian Băsescu. A statement released by the White House says Obama congratulated Băsescu on signing a missile defense agreement with the US. Both countries insist that the agreement is not aimed to undermine the Russian security.

Mr. Konstantin Kosachev, Head of the Russian Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, commented on the issue in an interview with the VoR.

The US-Romanian missile defense agreement should be viewed from both military and political angles. In military terms, this agreement allows placing a missile defense shield, which will ensure protection against medium-range missiles, which Russia simply does not have.

This shield cannot protect against ICBMs. So, I`d like to stress that this shield won`t upset the strategic balance. However, we know that Russia, the US and NATO have been discussing the prospects for joint anti-missile cooperation.

And in view of this, any unilateral steps, which are obviously aimed to undermine the strategic balance, impede the Russia-US talks on this sensitive issue and thus put the earlier achieved strategic arms reduction treaty at risk.

Before ratifying the new START treaty, Russia said that it might quit the treaty in case Washington`s plans to deploy its missile elements in Europe would pose a threat to Russia`s security. I think this is exactly the case with Romania.

What was the reaction of our European partners? Do you think that plans to set up an autonomous missile defense shield in Europe prevent Russia and NATO from productive cooperation on security?

We still have not received a more or less clear explanation from our partners on the future of the European missile defense. We are aware of the US plans but who can tell how they will affect Europe, or whether they will be transformed into some NATO-run projects.

I think that NATO is not aware of it, too, which makes the situation even more complicated. So, we have to negotiate the issue with both Washington and Brussels. At the same time, the US tells us to address NATO, while the alliance sends us to Washington again. The negotiations with Russia are being delayed, while the US is making steps to implement third and fourth stages of its European missile shield, which will certainly affect the Russian strategic potential. And this is the scenario what we are trying to avoid but which will be implemented within 5-8 years.

Unfortunately, time is wasted as long as our American partners are not ready to take Russia`s concerns seriously.

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Poland: U.S. Air Force In Exercise As Air Base Massively Expanded

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123271584

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
September 13, 2011

Airmen train in Poland at coalition exercise
by Staff Sgt Michael Davis
86th Airlilft Wing Public Affairs

-Operations like this one and the one planned for next February prepare both wings for future operations. As Powidz transitions to becoming a larger base, team Ramstein continues to build on the already strong partnership with their sister wing.
“They’re building up to make Powidz a mobility hub,” said Stikeleather. “This could be a huge base in the future. There is construction everywhere. It also helps that the Polish are very engaged in all of the operations that we’re doing. They’re with us every step of the way.”

POWIDZ, Poland: Ramstein Airmen took part in Operation Screaming Eagle here for 10 days of off-station training.

The operation provided valuable practice for 42 of Ramstein’s Airmen, including C-130J Super Hercules pilots, aircrew, maintainers and airborne personnel. It also offers the opportunity to share knowledge and build relationships with their Polish counterparts.

“There are a lot of reasons for coming to Poland,” said Capt Aaron Stikeleather, 37th Airlift Squadron C-130J pilot, and mission commander. “Number one is the 3rd Airlift Wing in Powidz is our sister wing so we get to practice operating in a coalition environment with them. They also have a lot of air space here that allows us to fly at lower altitudes and at night.”

He added that the less restrictive airspace also makes it easier to conduct personnel drops onto the airfield. The 435th Security Forces personnel completed static line jumps during the day and at night, keeping them up to date on their qualifications and prepared for real-world missions.

For the first half of the operation, the Grupa Reagowania Operacyjno-Manewrowego, the primary special forces unit for the Polish armed forces, participated in high altitude low opening, or HALO, jumps. There was also one freefall jumpmaster from Ramstein, who took advantage of the opportunity to jump and train with the GROM.

“This training is mutually beneficial for the U.S. military and for the Polish GROM,” said Tech. Sgt. Ed Dawejko, U.S. Air Forces in Europe survival, evasion, resistance, and escape program manager, 603rd Air Operations Center. “Training together enhances both military forces’ capabilities to perform the HALO missions.”

Although this training helps their proficiency on a tactical level, it also contributes to the big picture objective of strengthening the international partnership.

“If we have to execute this mission operationally, it will not be the first time we’ve jumped together as allies,” said Dawejko. “I was very impressed with the capability that these forces bring to our mission and it definitely built confidence in our capability for combined operations.”

Operations like this one and the one planned for next February prepare both wings for future operations. As Powidz transitions to becoming a larger base, team Ramstein continues to build on the already strong partnership with their sister wing.

“They’re building up to make Powidz a mobility hub,” said Stikeleather. “This could be a huge base in the future. There is construction everywhere. It also helps that the Polish are very engaged in all of the operations that we’re doing. They’re with us every step of the way.”

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Video: Ten Years On, NATO At War In Afghan Capital

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/nato-soldiers-fight-back-taliban-attack/2011/09/13/gIQAJ9YGQK_video.html

Washington Post
September 13, 2011

NATO soldiers fight back Taliban attack

In this NATO video footage, soldiers from the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force), the NATO-led security force in Afghanistan, defend NATO headquarters in Kabul from a Taliban attack that used rockets, small-arms fire and suicide bombers. (NATO TV)

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Afghan Official Hints At American Bases In Country

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/09/13/spanta-hints-us-bases-afghanistan

Pajhwok Afghan News
September 13, 2011

Spanta hints at US bases in Afghanistan
By Khwaja Basir Ahmad

KABUL: The United States may set up military bases in Afghanistan after the signing of a strategic cooperation agreement, President Hamid Karzai’s national security advisor said on Tuesday.

Testifying before senators, Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta…recently returned from a visit to the US…

[T]o train and assist Afghan forces, Americans might establish military centres in the country, he indicated.

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NATO-Conducts 12-Nation Combat Exercise In Indiana

http://www.wishtv.com/dpp/news/local/south_central/nato-forces-learn-to-identify-friendlies-at-atterbury

WISH TV
September 13, 2011

NATO forces learn to identify ‘friendlies’ at Atterbury
By: Jay Hermacinski

CAMP ATTERBURY: Soldiers and Airmen from 12 NATO countries are at Camp Atterbury for a joint forces exercise aimed at clearing up “the fog of war” by improving combat identification.

This is the first time NATO forces have trained at Camp Atterbury. The goal is to improve the troop’s ability to identify one another in order to eliminate friendly fire.

Using current and prototype technologies, the soldiers and airman are learning ways to digitally identify who is friendly so they can correctly target enemy forces.

In all there are 750 representatives from 12 countries and the United States participating in the exercise.

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Ex-NATO Envoy: State Department Applauds Turkey’s War Against Kurds

http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/77983/

PanArmenian.net
September 13, 2011

U.S. State Department justifies Turkey’s war against Kurds

Тhe spokesperson for the United States Department of State commented on Turkey’s request to base U.S. Predator drones on its territory.

“Hope springs eternal. You know where we are on the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party). We believe that Turkey has a right to defend itself, that the PKK is a terrorist organization, and we continue to urge and try to facilitate good dialogue between Turkey and Iraq,” Victoria Nuland said during a briefing in Washington, AA reported.

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2012 Decisive Year For NATO Integration: Georgian Foreign Ministry

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/europe/1931463.html

Trend News Agency
September 14, 2011

FM: Georgia should take decisive steps for NATO and EU integration
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: Georgia should take decisive steps for integration into NATO and Europe next year, Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Tornike Gordadze, who supervises Georgia’s relations with the EU, told Trend.

He said the step is crucial as 2012 is expected to be a difficult year for Georgia.

“Difficulties for Georgian diplomacy in 2012 are associated with Russia’s presidential elections,” Gordadze said.

He said that the situation in Russia is difficult to predict.

Gordadze underlined that existing challenges indicate that “one cannot relax” next year.

Military actions were launched in the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia in August 2008. Georgian troops entered Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia. Russian troops later occupied the city and drove the Georgian military back to Georgia. Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on Aug. 26 and established diplomatic relations with them on Sept. 9, 2008.

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Russia Opposes Militarization Of Arctic, “Mini-NATO” In North

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/14/c_131138800.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 14, 2011

Russia sees no need for Arctic militarization: official

See:
Britain Spearheads “Mini-NATO” In Arctic Ocean, Baltic Sea

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/britain-spearheads-mini-nato-in-arctic-ocean-baltic-sea

MOSCOW: Russia sees no need for military troops’ presence in the Arctic region, a high-ranked official said here Wednesday.

Russia’s ambassador-at-large for Arctic issues Anton Vasiliev told a news conference ahead of the Second International Arctic Forum that Moscow sees no unresolvable problems in the region that require use of military forces.

“We have an effective international judicial base to resolve all potential problems,” Vasiliev said.

He said Moscow has not seen any practical follow-up proposals to create a “mini-NATO” comprised of circumpolar countries. The idea of a “mini-NATO” was voiced out during a summit of Northern European countries in London in January 2011.

The forum entitled “Arctic the territory of dialogue” is to start on Sept. 22 in the northern Russian city of Arkhangelsk.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Wole Soyinka: Africa victim, never perpetrator, of theo/ideological wars

September 14, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Wole Soyinka
From Nobel Prize in Literature speech (1986)

Once we…overcome the temptation to contest the denial of this feat of imaginative projection to the African, we find ourselves left only with the dispassionate exercise of examining in what areas we encounter differences between the histories of societies which, according to Hegel and company, never conceived of [an] Omnipotent Extrusion into Infinite Space, and those who did – be these differences in the areas of economic or artistic life, social relations or scientific attainment – in short, in all those activities which are empirically verifiable, quite different from the racial consequences of imprecations arising from that post Adam-and-Eve nudist escapade in the Old Testament.

When we do this, we come upon a curious fact. The pre-colonial history of African societies – and I refer to both Euro-Christian and Arab-Islamic colonization – indicates very clearly that African societies never at any time of their existence went to war with another over the issue of their religion. That is, at no time did the black race attempt to subjugate or forcibly convert others with any holier-than-thou evangelizing zeal. Economic and political motives, yes. But not religion. Perhaps this unnatural fact was responsible for the conclusions of Hegel – we do not know. Certainly, the bloody histories of the world’s major religions, localized skirmishes of which extend even to the present, lead to a sneaking suspicion that religion, as defined by these eminent philosophers, comes to self-knowledge only through the activity of war.

When, therefore, towards the close of the Twentieth Century, that is, centuries after the Crusades and Jihads that laid waste other and one another’s civilizations, fragmented ancient cohesive social relations and trampled upon the spirituality of entire peoples, smashing their cultures in obedience to the strictures of unseen gods, when today, we encounter nations whose social reasoning is guided by canonical, theological claims, we believe, on our part, that the era of darkness has never truly left the world. A state [Apartheid South Africa] whose justification for the continuing suppression of its indigenes, indigenes who constitute the majority on that land, rests on claims to divine selection is a menace to secure global relationship in a world that thrives on nationalism as common denominator. Such a society does not, in other words, belong in this modern world. We also have our myths, but we have never employed them as a base for the subjugation of others.

Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 13, 2011

September 13, 2011 1 comment

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Libya: 22,456 NATO Air Missions, 8,427 Strike Sorties

Racist Killings In Libyan “Regime Change”

Georgia Ready For Full NATO Membership: Speaker

OSCE Chairman Pushes Georgia NATO Accession At Chicago Summit

Chicago Summit, North Atlantic Council Visit To Boost Georgia’s NATO Prospects: Lithuanian Foreign Minister

Rasmussen: NATO Focuses On Interceptor Missile System, Cyber Warfare, Expeditionary Wars

Clinton, Romanian Foreign Minister To Sign Interceptor Missile Agreement

Raytheon Upgrades NATO Role In Ship-Based Interceptor Missile System

Russian Military Chief: Prepare For Worst-Case Scenarios In Unravelling World

France, U.S. Use NATO To Boost European Military Capability

Saigon 1968, Kabul 2011: U.S. Embassy, NATO Headquarters Attacked

Poland: Polish, Canadian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian Troops Train For Afghan War

Northern Arctic Warfare Center Trains Troops For Afghan War

Africa Partnership Station: U.S. Warship Departs Fifth African Nation

West Plans Caspian Submarine Pipeline For Eurasian Energy War

West Advances Trans-Caspian Pipeline Versus Russia, Iran

Carl Bildt: Eastern Partnership Push Into Ex-USSR At Top Of EU Agenda

Pakistan Betrayed By NATO “Ally”

Iraq: NATO To Continue Operation To End Of 2013

NATO Trains Senior Iraqi Officers

ANZUS’ 60th Anniversary: Pentagon Returns To South Pacific

Afghanistan, Iraq: Australia Spends $36 Billion On “War On Terror”

Syrian Opposition: “Take To The Streets Against Russia”

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Libya: 22,456 NATO Air Missions, 8,427 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110913_110913-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 22,456 sorties, including 8,427 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 12 SEPTEMBER: 114

Strike sorties conducted 12 SEPTEMBER: 37

====

Racist Killings In Libyan “Regime Change”

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/commentaries/_Racist__killings_in_Libya_s__regime_change_-129201213.html

Trinidad & Tobago Express
September 3, 2011

‘Racist’ killings in Libya’s ‘regime change’
Ricky Singh

While the war planes of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) continue to facilitate the anti-Moammar Gadaffi rebel forces to take full control of Libya, there are increasing reports of racist killings and torture against black Africans accused of being mercenaries of the deposed Libyan president.

The atrocities had become widespread enough by early last week for the African Union (AU) to officially refuse to recognise the NATO-backed National Transitional Council (NTC) currently in the process of transforming itself as the “new government” of Libya, functioning from the capital, Tripoli.

Last Tuesday, The Guardian (UK) posted an articled by Richard Seymour titled “Libya’s spectacular revolution has been disgraced by racism” in which he lamented that “the murder of black men in the aftermath of the rebellion speaks of a society deeply divided for decades by Gadaffi…”

And by Friday (September 1) the well known Caribbean thinker and economist, Prof Norman Girvan, was noting on his respected website the disturbing concern that “we do not know what is Caricom” in reference to the racist-fuelled killings of black Africans in Libya a nation of North Africa.

But nine days earlier, on August 23, the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) was reporting Caricom’s current chairman, Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas of St Kitts and Nevis, as observing that the “international community also welcomed the rebels dramatic advance after six months of fighting and (he) urged Gaddafi to surrender and avoid a bloodbath. …

“The situation in Libya (said Dr Douglas) provides a lesson in democracy for the Caribbean. We have seen in countries where democracy has been absent, where people have been yearning for full freedom of expression from the government that they would want to represent them, and eventually this has led to bloodshed as we have seen over the last six months in various Arab countries….”

It is challenging observation from Prime Minister Douglas and it is to be wondered whether there had been any prior consultation with his fellow Heads of Government given the controversial circumstances on NATO’s involvement in “regime change” in Tripoli following the subsequently established abuse of a so-called “no-fly zone” resolution approved by the UN Security Council by majority vote.

Dr Douglas, who hosted the 32nd annual summit of Caricom Heads of Government last July in Basseterre, would have been fully conscious of the Community’s general sentiment on the Libyan crisis as briefly summaried in a single paragraph in the official communiqué.

Under the title “The Situation in Libya” the communiqué stated: “Heads of Government deplored the increasing loss of innocent life as the conflict in Libya becomes drawn out. They called for a ceasefire as well as the early convening of negotiations. In this regard, they expressed support for the African Union in the search for a peaceful resolution of the dispute…”

It is not known whether this stated position was formally drawn to the attention of the UN Secretary General, or was simply done for the record. The reality, however, is that none of the governments that chose to make use of NATO’s military power to achieve ‘regime change’ in Tripoli — under the fig-leaf explanation of “protecting civilians” — had shown ANY interest in a ceasefire to give “peaceful resolution” a chance. Instead, in the face of the “war” rhetoric of the governments in London and Paris in particular — where, incidentally, racism against black immigrants has become a more controversial issue — total contempt has been demonstrated by the western powers for any tide of “peaceful negotiations” in preference for “regime change” — even if meant taking out Gadaffi dead or alive.

Caricom, after all, includes member governments that have diplomatic relations with Libya under Gadaffi.

It also has a collective institutional relationship with the AU.

Consequently, there seems to be a moral obligation on Caricom’s part to now also speak out against the racist killings and atrocities against black Africans in Libya – even if our Community does not wish to side with the AU in withholding recognition of the NATO-backed Transitional Council as the new government in Tripoli.

Many of the victims, according to media reports (some with graphic images), have been savagely wounded and murdered purely because of their physical appearance and with no proof of being, as claimed, “mercenaries” fighting to maintain Gadaffi’s…power.

As reported by the Guardian’s Richard Seymour, “this is a bad time to be a black man in Libya”. He was quoting a report by “Channel 4 News” last Sunday, even as Ken Sengupta of the Independent newspaper was commenting on some 30 bodies lying decomposed in Tripoli, the majority of them black, allegedly “mercenaries of Gadaffi”.

For his part Chika Onyeani, publisher and editor-in-chief of the African Sun Times, in analysing last Wednesday why the African Unon “is right not to recognise the Libyan rebels”, declared that “the rebels need to accounrt for the killings of black Africans, not for the pretensions of ‘confusing them as mercenaries hired by Gadaffi’, but because of the anti-black, racist and innate hatred of black Africans, even though there are a million dark Africans who are Libyan citizens and are maltreated as well…”

None of this may be of interest to Caricom governments if they do not take time to properly inform themselves on some of the harsh, unpleasant realities of the NATO-backed Transitional Council and foreign armed rebels that have spent the past six months to achieve a very costly, bloody “regime change” in Libya.

The Community’s latest position as articulated by its chairman, Dr Douglas, appears quite flawed and ought to be revisited.

====

Georgia Ready For Full NATO Membership: Speaker

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23926

Civil Georgia
September 12, 2011

Bakradze: ‘Georgia Ready for NATO Membership’

Tbilisi: Georgia’s parliamentary speaker, Davit Bakradze, indicated on September 12 that Tbilisi now wanted from NATO more than just reiteration of its 2008 Bucharest summit decision that the country would one day join the Alliance.

In an interview with the Georgian TV station Rustavi 2, Bakradze said that he was expecting the NATO North Atlantic Council (NAC) and Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to reiterate the Bucharest summit decision when the NAC visits Georgia on November 9-10.

“But at the same time, naturally, our expectations are not limited to only the Bucharest [decisions]; our expectations are that this process [of NATO integration] will be accelerated and Georgia will become a NATO member; we are ready for that,” Bakradze said.

“We have worked a lot for that in recent years. I can state it boldly today, that Georgia meets actually all the requirements which can be put before a [NATO membership] candidate country.”

“There are the Bucharest commitments, which clearly state that Georgia will become a NATO member. So we believe that situation is ripe now to think about further steps,” Bakradze said.

He, however, also added, that decisions of that type “are not taken fast and easily.”

“We will try to speed up this process. We hope that the visit of the Secretary General and a session of the NAC in Tbilisi will help us to speed up this process in order to achieve our goal soon,” Bakradze said.

====

OSCE Chairman Pushes Georgia NATO Accession At Chicago Summit

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/georgia/1931121.html

Trend News Agency
September 13, 2011

OSCE chairman: Georgia deserves strong signal on its integration into NATO
N. Kirtskhalia 

Tbilisi: Georgia deserves a “very strong signal” on its integration into NATO at the alliance’s summit in Chicago in May 2012, OSCE Chairman, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis said in Tbilisi at a press conference today.

“Georgia deserves a very strong signal on its integration into NATO at the summit,” he said.

The OSCE chairman said taking into account democratic and military reforms in Georgia, the share of financing of military development in the GDP, as well as its significant participation in peacekeeping operation in Afghanistan (ISAF), Georgia deserves a signal at the NATO summit.

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Chicago Summit, North Atlantic Council Visit To Boost Georgia’s NATO Prospects: Lithuanian Foreign Minister

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23929

Civil Georgia
September 13, 2011

Lithuanian FM: ‘Georgia Deserves Strong Signal from NATO’

Tbilisi: Georgia “deserves” to get “a very strong, a very powerful signal” from NATO when the leaders of the alliance member states gather in Chicago next spring for their annual summit, Audronius Ažubalis, the Lithuanian foreign minister, said on September 13.

He said he would not go into specifics on the format of the possible next stage of NATO-Georgia ties.

“But having in mind what Georgia did in performing military reforms, in performing democratic reforms… and [having in mind Georgia’s] exceptionally strong [participation] in ISAF operation in Afghanistan, it leaves no doubt for me that we should do everything to prove to all NATO-member states that Georgia deserves a very strong and substantial signal in NATO summit in Chicago,” Ažubalis said after meeting with his Georgian counterpart in Tbilisi.

He also said that a visit of NATO’s senior decision-making body, North Atlantic Council (NAC), to Georgia in November would be an important part of those efforts.

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Rasmussen: NATO Focuses On Interceptor Missile System, Cyber Warfare, Expeditionary Wars

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/news_77936.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 12, 2011

NATO Secretary General calls for new approach to defence spending

The NATO Secretary General, Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, attended in London the ACT Industry Day (NATO’s Allied Command Transformation) on 12 September 2011.

“It is my intention that, by the time of the next NATO Summit, in Chicago, in May, we will be able to agree a package of specific multinational projects that provides better value for money. And more security for the money we invest in defence”, the Secretary General said in the speech delivered today.

“I see three imperatives – to prioritize; to specialise, and to seek multinational solutions”. On the first imperative, he focused on “areas where we have the most critical need. Areas such as missile defence. Cyber defence. Countering roadside bombs. Medical support. Transport capacity. Command and control. Intelligence and surveillance.”

He wanted also to stress that “Prioritising also means spending money on operations and deployable equipment, instead of on static structures.”

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Clinton, Romanian Foreign Minister To Sign Interceptor Missile Agreement

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/09/172188.htm

U.S. Department of State
September 12, 2011

Secretary Clinton and Romanian Foreign Minister Baconschi to Sign U.S.-Romanian Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement on September 13

Notice to the Press
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC

On Tuesday, September 13, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi will sign the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Romania on the Deployment of the Ballistic Missile Defense System in Romania, at the Department of State. This legally-binding agreement will allow for the establishment and operation of a U.S. land-based SM-3 ballistic missile defense system in Romania.

The signing and a joint press availability will take place at approximately 12:15 p.m. following a bilateral meeting.

————————————————————————–

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/13/c_131135253.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 13, 2011

U.S., Romania to sign ballistic missile defense agreement

WASHINGTON: The United States and Romania are scheduled to sign a ballistic missile defense agreement on Tuesday, allowing for the deployment of SM-3 interceptors in the East European nation that target short and medium-range missiles, the State Department said on Monday.

It said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her Romanian counterpart Teodor Baconschi will sign the accord at the U.S. State Department, noting that “this legally-binding agreement will allow for the establishment and operation of a U.S. land-based SM-3 ballistic missile defense system in Romania,” a NATO member.

In September 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama revamped the missile defense plan adopted by the George W. Bush administration for a radar site and interceptor rockets in the Czech Republic and Poland, which had met vehement opposition from Russia.

In their summit in Lisbon, Portugal last November, NATO leaders agreed to develop a missile defense shield, linking systems in the United States…

The shield, which will be deployed in stages from 2011 until 2020 and involves the deployment of U.S. interceptor missiles and radar in Europe, will be capable of intercepting long-range and intercontinental ballistic missiles.

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Raytheon Upgrades NATO Role In Ship-Based Interceptor Missile System

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/new-raytheon-datalink-will-allow-nato-ships-to-employ-all-standard-missiles-2011-09-13-10000

Raytheon
September 13, 2011

New Raytheon Datalink Will Allow NATO Ships to Employ All Standard Missiles
Datalink could facilitate broader NATO involvement in Phased Adaptive Approach

LONDON: Raytheon Company completed design and testing of a prototype dual-band datalink that will enable interoperability between the Standard Missile family of interceptors and a wider variety of radars and ships.

“The dual-band datalink will allow for greatly expanded NATO participation in the European Phased Adaptive Approach,” said Dr. Taylor Lawrence, president of Raytheon Missile Systems. “This advancement bridges a critical technology gap in air defense interoperability between U.S. and allied nations.”

Raytheon’s dual-band datalink will allow ships that use AEGIS and SMART-L/APAR variants to employ the full range of Standard Missiles. Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain and the United Kingdom operate more than 20 naval vessels that utilize a variant of the SMART-L/APAR radar system.

“NATO allies operate naval vessels that could play a major role in ballistic missile surveillance and engagement,” said Lawrence. “Raytheon’s dual-band datalink will enable our allies to contribute more comprehensively to the full spectrum of ballistic missile defense and frees up U.S. Navy ships to focus on other critical missions around the globe.”

In 2009, a joint U.S.-Netherlands study concluded SM-3 could be integrated on a SMART-L/APAR platform, providing non-AEGIS ships a viable missile defense capability. Germany and the Netherlands have seven frigates that utilize the SMART-L/APAR system, and Denmark will add three more by 2013. Norway and Spain operate AEGIS frigates. France, Italy and the United Kingdom have large surface combatants with the S1850 radar, which is a variant of the SMART-L.

+===

Russian Military Chief: Prepare For Worst-Case Scenarios In Unravelling World

http://rt.com/politics/chief-urges-high-alertness-347/

RT
September 12, 2011

Russian military chief urges high alert after Mid-East turmoil

Russia’s chief of general staff has said that the country’s military must be ready to the worst possible scenarios as the political situation in the world is taking complicated and unexpected turns.

Speaking at a Monday press conference in Moscow, Army General Nikolay Makarov said that Russian military organizations must be ready for the worst possible developments. “The situation in the world is complicated and it is constantly changing, especially in North Africa and the Middle East. What happened in these regions was difficult to predict and the events developed at a tremendous speed,” the general said. “No one can tell now what will happen there. However, this is a signal for all states. We, the military, must be ready for the worst scenarios.”

The top Russian military official also said that the countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) would soon develop a joint approach to the use of national military forces.

“We want to develop a single approach within the CSTO framework to the use of military force,” the Russian general said while speaking about the Center-2011 joint military exercise of the military forces of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

“Apart from the military, all other power structures of the CSTO countries that are included in the state military structure will take part in these exercises. As far as Russia is concerned, we want to check the military organization of the country as a whole, to launch a complex of mobilization moves, including the industry,” Makarov said. “Today we start a separate plan to deploy a number of mobilized military units,” the general said.

The mentioned military exercise will start in late September with participation of over 12,000 servicemen, 70 aircraft, 1,000 combat vehicles and the Caspian Flotilla in full force.

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France, U.S. Use NATO To Boost European Military Capability

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-13/france-u-s-should-push-europe-to-strengthen-military-capabilities-view.html

Bloomberg News
September 12, 20111

France, U.S. Should Push Europe to Strengthen Military: View

French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s embrace of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization might be the last best chance to reverse the decline in Europe’s defense capabilities.

In an Aug. 31 address to French ambassadors, Sarkozy said that in Libya, NATO “turned out to be a crucial tool in the service of our military operations.” This is a dramatic change from the traditional French ambivalence toward the alliance. But this new attitude doesn’t change the disproportionate share of the burden that the U.S., France and the U.K. bear for NATO’s operations. The good news is that by making NATO an important part of his national-security strategy, Sarkozy now has a powerful reason to push other Europeans to contribute their fair share.

Sarkozy understands the problem. In the speech, he forcefully decried Europe’s declining defense capacity and lack of political will. “Europeans,” he said, “must assume more of their responsibilities,” or “experience a rude awakening.” France and the U.K., he noted, account for half of combined defense spending by all members of the European Union.

Defense Spending

Sarkozy’s words are music to the ears of U.S. and NATO officials…Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the alliance’s secretary-general and a former prime minister of Denmark, has said Europe’s unwillingness to pay for defense means it will have less influence internationally and less capability to resolve cross- border disputes.

Most Europeans still don’t see a threat that justifies increased defense spending, nor are they yet comfortable with the idea that NATO should become an expeditionary force able and willing to send troops far from the alliance’s borders.

…Sarkozy should develop a strategy with President Barack Obama to change the way European alliance members spend their money, aimed at improving defense capabilities. The two leaders should try to persuade the Europeans to allocate their budgets more efficiently by pooling resources, sharing procurement, and having the smaller allies specialize in particular tasks.

For example, the Czechs have taken on the task of providing a defense against chemical, nuclear and biological weapons for all NATO forces; other allies don’t have to duplicate that capability. By having a group of countries buy the same equipment, the alliance can get lower prices from defense contractors.

…Twelve allies formed a consortium to buy three C-17 air transports that none of them could afford on their own. The Netherlands and Belgium share a naval headquarters.

NATO has been unable to resolve this fundamental issue for many years. A joint French-American plan has a chance to break this deadlock. The irony is that Sarkozy will soon find out that it isn’t the U.S., but his fellow Europeans who are the biggest obstacle to his vision of France as a leader of NATO.

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Saigon 1968, Kabul 2011: U.S. Embassy, NATO Headquarters Attacked

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/14/world/asia/14afghanistan.html

New York Times
September 13, 2011

Militants Launch Attack on U.S. Embassy in Kabul
By Alissa J. Rubin and Jack Healy

KABUL, Afghanistan: Insurgents launched a complex assault against the United States Embassy and the nearby NATO headquarters on Tuesday, pelting the heavily guarded compounds with rockets in an assault that raised new questions about the security of Afghanistan’s capital and the Westerners working there.

At least 10 explosions — apparently from rockets launched by militants — and waves of automatic weapons fire were reported amid the drone of sirens and English-language warnings telling Americans inside the embassy to take cover.

It was unclear whether anyone — Western or Afghan — had been hurt or killed…

Two explosions were also reported near the Afghan Parliament, but it was unclear whether militants were specifically trying to attack the government building, or other targets.

The embassy assault, which began around 1:15 p.m., was the latest in a string of attacks that have chipped away at a tenuous sense of security in the capital. In August, militants killed eight people in an attack on a British cultural center, and in June, nine suicide bombers breached layers of security to attack the hillside Intercontinental Hotel.

By 3:10 p.m., two Blackhawk helicopters circled the building, but did not immediately open fire.

The streets surrounding the site of the attack, normally choked with the traffic of minibuses, bicycles and Toyotas, were deserted on Monday afternoon of all but security forces and people racing for cover.

“We don’t know what’s happening,” one Afghan soldier said. “Everywhere you can hear shooting.”

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force confirmed there were ongoing attacks against the embassy and ISAF headquarters, and said in a Twitter message there were “forces responding quickly,” but provided no other details. The attack came less than two months after Afghan forces assumed formal responsibility for security in the capital, one of several corners of the country where security was officially handed over in July.

Sharifullah Sahak and Ray Rivera contributed reporting.
————————————————————————–

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/09/13/blasts-rock-kabul-gunbattle-ongoing

Pajhwok Afghan News
September 13, 2011

Blasts rock Kabul; gunbattle ongoing

KABUL): Three back-to-back explosions rocked Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Tuesday, a witness said. The blasts triggered a fierce exchange of fire.

The explosions happened in the Abdul Haq Square, Hakim told Pajhwok Afghan News. He had no information regarding casualties.

After the blasts, several gunmen entered an under-construction building in the area, he said, adding the militants were firing at the National Directorate of Security (NDS) office, a slaughterhouse and government printing press.

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Poland: Polish, Canadian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian Troops Train For Afghan War

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/12/c_131134347.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 12, 2011

Poland starts military exercise as drill for Afghan mission

WARSAW: The Maple Arch 2011 international military excercises involving Canada, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine began in Zagan-Swietoszow, western Poland, on Monday, according to local media.

The exercises, attended by 200 soldiers, are part of preparations of the new shift of the Polish military contingent in Afghanistan, which is expected to to start its mission in the spring of next year.

The goal of the exercise, to last until Friday, is to boost the capacity of the Polish troops in conditions similar to those in Afghanistan, Marcin Gil, the press officers of the Krakow 6th Airborne Division told the PAP news agency.

Poland currently has 2,600 soldiers in Afghanistan…

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Northern Arctic Warfare Center Trains Troops For Afghan War

http://newsminer.com/view/full_story/15484511/article-Lathrop-alumnus-teaches-soldiers-about-mountaineering?instance=home_news_window_left_top_2

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
September 11, 2011

Lathrop alumnus teaches soldiers about mountaineering
By Sam Friedman

-Soldiers from all branches of the military, including special forces, take classes at the Northern Warfare Training Center. Notkin also has taught a contingent from the Indian army.

FAIRBANKS: Staff Sgt. Peter Notkin teaches soldiers how to be Arctic tough by showing them around his backyard.

The Lathrop alumnus teaches mountaineering at the Northern Arctic Warfare Center in Black Rapids. His students learn to climb, ski, snowshoe, build rope bridges across crevices and fire weapons at subzero temperatures.

Mountaineering has been a skill prized by the Army since soldiers in World War II began training on Mount Rainier in Washington state to prepare for fighting in Europe. Since 2001, it has been an essential skill for soldiers fighting at high elevations in eastern Afghanistan, he said.

“If you ever take a picture of the Afghanistan mountains, the Hindu Kush, and then you take a look at our back door, we have the facility to accommodate that type of training,” he said. “Soldiers like Stryker soldiers here who just work on general flatland training don’t have the skills to battle up in the mountains.”

Notkin played hockey at Lathrop and for two years at the University of Kentucky before joining the Army in 2003. He has been able to see a good part of the world in his seven years of service. He deployed twice to Iraq and went to Vietnam with the joint MIA-POW Accountability Command, which searches for remains of soldiers from former wars. He’s been to Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California to learn technical rock climbing techniques. He’s been stationed in Germany and Washington state and will be assigned to a Stryker brigade out of Hawaii.

Soldiers from all branches of the military, including special forces, take classes at the Northern Warfare Training Center. Notkin also has taught a contingent from the Indian army.

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Africa Partnership Station: U.S. Warship Departs Fifth African Nation

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=62693

Navy NewsStand
September 12, 2011

USS Samuel B. Roberts Departs Mauritius
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Felicito Rustique, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

PORT LOUIS, Mauritius: USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) departed Mauritius after an eight-day goodwill port visit as part of their involvement with Africa Partnership Station (APS) East’s hub, Sept. 12.

The visit concluded with an at-sea evolution during the final day, which incorporated a visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) communications and helicopter exercise with the Mauritius Police Force Coast Guard.

The visit to Mauritius marked Roberts´ fifth East African port visit in the past eight weeks. The other stops were in Mombasa, Kenya; Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; Victoria, Seychelles; and Maputo, Mozambique.

Samuel B. Roberts is an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate that is homeported in Naval Station Mayport, Fla., and is currently on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

APS is an international security cooperation initiative, facilitated by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities in order to improve maritime safety and security in Africa.

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West Plans Caspian Submarine Pipeline For Eurasian Energy War

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=132026

Sofia News Agency
September 12, 2011

EU Sets Out to Lure Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan into Trans-Caspian Pipeline

-The project for the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, whose gas transit can be included in the so-called Southern Gas Corridor developed by the EU around Russia, has been stalled largely by opposition on part of Russia and Iran.
-The Southern Gas Corridor entails the construction of several pipelines, such as Nabucco (running from Turkey to Austria and Germany via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary), ITGI (Interconnection Turkey-Greece-Italy), White Stream (known also as the Georgia-Ukraine-EU pipeline) and TAP (the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline), aiming to bring gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe.

The EU has adopted a mandate to negotiate with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan the building of the long-anticipated Trans-Caspian oil and gas pipeline, the EC has announced.

“Today the European Union has adopted a mandate to negotiate a legally binding treaty between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to build a Trans Caspian Pipeline System. This is the first time that the European Union has proposed a treaty in support of an infrastructure project. The treaty will be concluded by the EU after decision by all 27 Member States that the European Commission should lead the negotiations on behalf of them all,” the European Commission said in a statement Monday.

It pointed out that the decision for the Trans-Caspian pipeline is a direct follow-up of the visit of President José Manuel Barroso and Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger to Baku and Ashgabat in January 2011 and their meetings with Presidents Ilham Aliyev and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

“It constitutes a milestone in the realisation of the Southern Energy Corridor and is the first operational decision as part of a co-ordinated and united external energy strategy, as proposed in the European Commission’s Communication on security of energy supply and international cooperation – “The EU Energy Policy: Engaging with Partners beyond Our Borders” – adopted on 7 September,“ according to the European Commission.

“Europe is now speaking with one voice. The trans-Caspian pipeline is a major project in the Southern Corridor to bring new sources of gas to Europe. We have the intention of achieving this as soon as possible,” EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger is quoted as saying.

The Trans-Caspian Pipeline agreement will set the basis for the construction of a submarine pipeline connecting Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan, and in turn link this pipeline to infrastructure that will bring gas from Central Asia to the EU.

According to the EC, discussions with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan will focus on inter alia a treaty setting out legal commitments between the European Union, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, the bilateral arrangements necessary for Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan to achieve the commissioning, building, and operation of the trans-Caspian pipeline itself, and the legal framework that will apply to filling the pipeline with gas from Turkmenistan, including an appropriate recognition of commercial arrangements

The Commission reminds that Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan have expressed the availability of substantial gas volumes and a clear willingness to sell it to Europe. The European Union is ready to give the political and legal support for the gas deliveries to take place.

The Southern Energy Corridor (also called the Southern Gas Corridor) aims at supplying Europe with gas coming directly from the Caspian basin and the Middle East. It intends to increase security of supply for European households and industry by diversifying gas sources and routes, thus minimising dependence on few suppliers and potential gas cuts, the EC says.

Over the last months, the EU has engaged in a regular dialogue with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, which figure among the key potential gas suppliers for Nabucco, ITGI (Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy) and TAP (Trans-Adriatic Pipeline).

In January 2011, President Barroso signed a Joint Declaration with President Aliyev which supports the swift allocation of available gas resources in Azerbaijan. At the time, the document was described as a “breakthrough” deal with Azerbaijan on the supply of natural gas to the Union from the Caucasus country and on the development of the so called Southern Gas Corridor with several major pipelines including Nabucco.

In March 2011, the Bulgarian government encouraged the government of Turkmenistan for the construction of the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, as it did in April 2010 as well.

The project for the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, whose gas transit can be included in the so-called Southern Gas Corridor developed by the EU around Russia, has been stalled largely by opposition on part of Russia and Iran.

Short of declaring outright political reasons, Russia and Iran have objected to the project on technically environmental and legal grounds – with respect to the status of the Caspian Sea and the littoral states. They claim that a potential pipeline project, regardless of the route, should need the consent of all five Caspian littoral states.

The Southern Gas Corridor entails the construction of several pipelines, such as Nabucco (running from Turkey to Austria and Germany via Bulgaria, Romania, and Hungary), ITGI (Interconnection Turkey-Greece-Italy), White Stream (known also as the Georgia-Ukraine-EU pipeline) and TAP (the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline), aiming to bring gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe.

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West Advances Trans-Caspian Pipeline Versus Russia, Iran

http://en.trend.az/capital/analytical/1930571.html

Trend News Agency
September 12, 2011

Turkmen gas: in several steps from Europe
Azer Ahmedbeyli, an expert of Trend Analytical Center

-[T]he discovery of large gas reserves on the Absheron field could accelerate the arrival of western companies in the Caspian Sea as a whole…The subtext of various comments and statements on this issue is clear: in addition to strengthening Azerbaijan’s role as a key provider for the South Corridor project, the urgency to connect Turkmenistan’s gas to the project is increasing. In this regard, it would be not superfluous to note how things are going in Iraq…The Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, with a length of 300 kilometers, will be laid from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan, where it will be connected to the Southern Gas Corridor. Talks between Turkmenistan and the European Union and other countries on the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline have been conducted since the late 1990s.
At a meeting today, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi and Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko expressed their opposition to the construction of any gas pipeline in the Caspian Sea…

Baku: Strategic plans of the representatives of the Euro-Atlantic space “to fasten” the raw material base of Central Asian countries to Europe cause negative reactions from neighbors – Russia and Iran, who consider such a scenario inconsistent with their national interests.

Last week, the French Total Company announced the discovery of large reserves of natural gas and condensate on the Absheron field in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.

Today it was announced that the potential reserves of this field are 350 billion cubic meters of gas and 45 million tons of condensate. The comments and expert assessments regarding this event reflect an idea that the discovery of large gas reserves on the field Absheron field can play a positive role in realization of Nabucco project.

For example, according to experts and international observers in Turkmenistan, the discovery of large gas reserves on the Absheron field could accelerate the arrival of western companies in the Caspian Sea as a whole. Total’s announcement of discovering large natural gas and gas condensate at the Absheron field in Azerbaijan is great news for Total, for Azerbaijan, and for the Southern Corridor, which will help Europe to diversify its supplies of natural gas, U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza told Trend.

The subtext of various comments and statements on this issue is clear: in addition to strengthening Azerbaijan’s role as a key provider for the South Corridor project, the urgency to connect Turkmenistan’s gas to the project is increasing. In this regard, it would be not superfluous to note how things are going in Iraq – a country that was initially considered one of the sources of supply as part of the Nabucco project. Recently the government of Iraqi Kurdistan – the semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq – stopped oil exports without describing the reasons. It is not a secret that the regional and the central government in Baghdad have sharp disagreements over the distribution of revenues from exports of hydrocarbons. Such facts do not make glad, but alarm, the participants of the Southern Corridor that need to guarantee security of supply.

In support of its seriousness, today the European Union has adopted a mandate to negotiate a legally binding treaty between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to build a Trans Caspian Pipeline System. “The Trans-Caspian pipeline is a major project of the Southern Gas Corridor that is necessary to deliver gas from new sources in the Caspian region to Europe,” said EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger. “We intend to achieve this as soon as possible.”

Providing a mandate constitutes a milestone in the realisation of the Southern Corridor and is the first operational decision as part of a coordinated and united external energy strategy, the EU statement says. Discussions with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan will focus on inter alia a treaty setting out legal commitments between the European Union, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, the bilateral arrangements necessary for Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan to achieve the commissioning, building, and operation of the trans-Caspian pipeline itself, and the legal framework that will apply to filling the pipeline with gas from Turkmenistan, including an appropriate recognition of commercial arrangements.

The Trans-Caspian gas pipeline, with a length of 300 kilometers, will be laid from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan, where it will be connected to the Southern Gas Corridor. Talks between Turkmenistan and the European Union and other countries on the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline have been conducted since the late 1990s.

At a meeting today, Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi and Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko expressed their opposition to the construction of any gas pipeline in the Caspian Sea because of environmental hazards, the Iranian SHANA news agency reported. This is a very negative reaction…

Meanwhile, in November 2010, President Berdimuhamedov made a public statement that was firmly convinced that the consent of those countries, through whose sea sections the pipeline will pass, is sufficient for the implementation of pipeline projects via the Caspian Sea, saying that it is not necessary to wait for a final decision on the status of the Caspian by all littoral countries.

Turkmenistan also expressed its readiness to supply the Nabucco project with 40 billion cubic meters of gas per year, of which 10 billion can be provided by Malaysian Petronas operating on the offshore block of Turkmenistan, and the remaining volume can be provided through the East-West gas pipeline.

Construction of an only 300-kilometers export pipeline may change the entire future situation on the international oil and gas market, beginning from gas prices to creation of a precedent for the implementation of other trans-Caspian projects such as the Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan oil pipeline. Having a stable and lasting source of Caspian gas supply, Europe in many ways removes the exciting issue of energy security.

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Carl Bildt: Eastern Partnership Push Into Ex-USSR At Top Of EU Agenda

http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/77863/

PanArmenian.net
September 12, 2011

Carl Bildt: Eastern Partnership countries on top of EU agenda

[The Eastern Partnership is a a Western project to wean all former Soviet republics not already in the EU - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - (except for the five in Central Asia) away from Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The targeted nations are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. Armenia and Belarus are members of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, the only security and defense alliance in the former Soviet Union.]

The Eastern Partnership aims to strengthen and deepen contacts and cooperation with the six Eastern European countries, according to Sweden’s Foreign Minister.

“The EaP – with EU integration at the core – is a clear expression of solidarity and long-term engagement from the EU’s side. Moreover, the EaP has helped mobilize attention to the Eastern neighborhood amongst EU’s 27 member states. With the EaP, the EU as a whole has renewed its focus on Eastern Europe and has rallied around an ambitious agenda for the countries in question. The EaP has firmly placed the Eastern partners at the top of the EU agenda,” APA quoted Carl Bildt as saying.

The minister also stressed that with the EaP, the countries in question are offered greater political and economic integration with the EU. “In return, the countries must adhere to the values that underpin the European cooperation and progress on internal reforms. The up-coming second Eastern Partnership Summit on November 29-30 in Warsaw will be a good opportunity to take stock of progress made so far, and to set new policy goals for the future,” he said.

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Pakistan Betrayed By NATO “Ally”

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/12-Sep-2011/PakNato-cooperation-waning

The Nation
September 12, 20111

Pak-Nato cooperation waning
By Maqbool Malik

ISLAMABAD: The ordeal of scores of Pakistani children abducted by militants in Afghanistan on August 31 and militants’ frequent cross-border raids in Pakistan have exposed the waning cooperation among Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Nato, The Nation learnt on Sunday.

According to diplomatic sources, there has been no result of Pakistan’s efforts to secure safe release of the victims are now being used as a bargain chip, while Nato/ISAF has just absolved itself, saying it has no presence in that region to help ensure release of the Pakistani hostages.

Sources privy to these developments believed that Islamabad’s efforts through the Afghan government are not bearing fruit, as the militants have made it a conditional deal. The militants, informed sources said, have proposed a swap under which they would release the children if Pakistan releases some of their fellows they arrested in the course of the fight against terrorism. According to the sources, the Afghan security forces have no capacity to secure the safe release of the Pakistani children, nor they were able to take effective action against the militants using Afghan soil.

Moreover, the US-led Nato forces in Afghanistan were least interested in combating the militants largely operating out from Afghanistan’s Kunar and Nuristan provinces.

There has been no offer made by new Nato/ISAF commander Gen John R Allen to help its so-called strategic ally during his recent visit to Pakistan. According to sources, General Allen, who visited Pakistan Thursday and Friday to meet with Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, did not make a positive response for reciprocity in cooperation despite General Kayani’s pleas to tackle these challenges.

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Iraq: NATO To Continue Operation To End Of 2013

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/12/us-iraq-nato-idUSTRE78B5XU20110912

Reuters
September 12, 2011

NATO to continue Iraq training mission to end: 2013
By Serena Chaudhry

BAGHDAD: NATO will continue a small training mission in Iraq until the end of 2013, an alliance official said on Monday, in what could signal flexibility from Baghdad over the presence of foreign troops months before a deadline for all U.S. forces to withdraw.

Colonel Michael Russell, chief of staff for NATO’s Iraq training mission, said the alliance had agreed to keep its small team, now numbering 160 staff, in Iraq after Baghdad agreed not to extend the mission beyond 2013 and to pay part of the costs.

Iraq had also offered the NATO trainers “protection privileges” such as the right to self defense, although the details were still being hammered out, Russell said.

U.S. officials have said they would require similar safeguards if Washington is to keep any of its own troops in Iraq beyond this year.

NATO’s…operation is largely under the radar…

NATO has operated a training mission since 2004, providing expertise in areas such as logistics and policing for nascent Iraqi security forces. The team now includes about 12 Americans, Russell said.

Iraqi security forces say they still need training for their air and naval defences. NATO has been working with U.S. forces to identify gaps in Iraq’s security forces, Russell said.

“Our teams have been working with the Iraqi training assistance missions and in anticipation of the American drawdown of forces, all this year, we’ve been working with the Americans to identify where these capability gaps will remain,” he said.

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NATO Trains Senior Iraqi Officers

http://www.arrc.nato.int/training_mission_iraq/page168505237.aspx

NATO Training Mission – Iraq
September 8, 2011

Iraqi War College Course No 1 graduates with NTM-Iraq assistance

On Sept. 8, 30 officers graduated from the Iraqi War College course No 1 at the Iraqi Ministry of Defence.

Acting Iraqi Minister of Defence, Dr. Saadoun al-Dulaimi, and the Iraqi Chief of the Defence Staff, General Babakir Zebari, oversaw the event.

Maj. Gen. Giovanni Armentani, NTM-I Deputy Commander, Col. Christopher Rider, Chief NTM-I Officer Education, Training and Advisory Branch, and NTM-I advising and mentoring personnel represented NATO.

NTM-I provided advice and mentoring assistance during the 12 month Iraqi War College course. The course focused primarily on developing students’ broader understanding of the art of warfare at the operational and strategic level.

The Iraqi War College, commanded by Staff Maj. Gen. Mahmood Ziad Tarek, can be considered a gateway course with a maximum capacity of 40 students, including civilians, for those identified with the potential to hold Brigadier General rank appointments and beyond.

The syllabus is designed to educate Staff Lieutenant Colonels and Staff Colonels from all three armed services who have already commanded at battalion level to assume the appointments of Brigade Commander, Divisional Chiefs of Staff or Department Director.

Staff Maj. Gen. Ziad, opened the ceremony by thanking the Ministry of Defence, NTM-I and USF-I for the support granted in the successful conduct of this course.

Maj. Gen. Giovanni Armentani said: “I am really impressed by the Iraqi War College and by the quality of this course which is a significant milestone in the formation of Officers selected to occupy influential senior positions in the military and government institutions. I am very proud of the close collaboration with NTM-I.”

The NATO Training Mission in Iraq (NTM-I) was established in 2004…The aim of NTM-I is to assist in the development of Iraqi security forces training structures and institutions…

Its operational emphasis is on training and mentoring.

The activities of the mission are coordinated with Iraqi authorities and the US-led Deputy Commanding General Advising and Training (DCG (A&T)) who is also dual-hatted as the Commander of NTM-I. NATO has an enduring commitment to Iraq.

NTM-I advises and supports the Defence University for Military Studies, National Defence College, War College, and the Defence Language Institute with the other institutions in Baghdad. Other cooperation projects for NATO in Iraq are out-of-country training courses for Iraqi nationals at NATO schools as well as the Iraqi Police (Iraqi Federal Police and Oil Police) training led by Italian Carabinieri.

Currently, NTM-I is a small tactical force of NATO/PfP personnel, representing 14 member nations (as at August 2011): Albania, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine (Partner for Peace), UK, USA.

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ANZUS’ 60th Anniversary: Pentagon Returns To South Pacific

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=154870

Azeri Press Agency
September 13, 2011

U.S. to have security talks with Australia

Baku: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will meet their counterparts from Australia this week in San Francisco for security talks, the Pentagon announced Monday, APA reports.

Clinton and Panetta will attend the Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN), said Pentagon Press Secretary George Little, and the main topics on the agenda will include a discussion of challenges in the Asia-Pacific region, ways to improve and deepen alliance cooperation, and issues affecting global security, according to Little.

The meetings are scheduled from Wednesday to Friday, and attendees will celebrate the 60th anniversary of a security treaty signed in 1951 by the United States, Australia and New Zealand, known as ANZUS, added Little.

The treaty is a military alliance binding Australia and New Zealand, and separately, Australia and the United States to cooperate on defense matters. According to the U.S. State Department, the treaty is Australia’s preeminent formal security treaty alliance.

Little said Clinton and Panetta will greet Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Defense Minister Stephen Smith on Thursday in San Francisco, where the ANZUS treaty was signed.

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Afghanistan, Iraq: Australia Spends $36 Billion On “War On Terror”

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10751494

New Zealand Herald
September 13, 2011

Doubts grow with cost of ‘war on terror’
By Greg Ansley

The cost of Australia’s role in the American-led “war on terror” and its own precautions against attacks at home is climbing towards A$30 billion ($36 billion) amid growing doubts of its value.

The Government remains committed to military operations in Afghanistan that have so far cost more than A$6 billion and says the threat of terrorism continues to justify measures that have accelerated in the past decade.

These include an enormous beefing-up of counter-terrorism laws and agencies – the domestic Australian Secret Intelligence Organisation has trebled in size – and security measures ranging from transport and infrastructure to business.

In Afghanistan – a commitment longer than the nation’s war in Vietnam and opposed by most Australians – the human and financial toll has been rising. Australia first entered combat in Afghanistan with the US-led invasion in 2001, mainly with Special Forces units that were withdrawn the next year as the emphasis moved towards reconstruction. Combat and reconstruction forces returned in 2005 and have increased to about 1500 troops committed to remain until at least 2014, when under present planning most will be withdrawn. The war has killed 29 Diggers and injured 192.

Defence budget papers put spending on the war since 2001 at more than A$6 billion, rising from A$320 million in the first year of the conflict to a projected A$1.2 billion in 2011-12.

Australia has also spent about A$4 billion on military operations in Iraq and aid to both countries – with A$420 million allocated to aid in Afghanistan in the past three Budgets.

According to a book launched yesterday by Foreign Affairs Secretary and former ASIO chief Dennis Richardson, many of the claimed gains in Afghanistan will evaporate when foreign forces withdraw.

The book’s editor, Professor Amin Saikal of the Australian National University’s Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, said it was unlikely the allies would leave behind a stable, secure and peaceful country.

“This is something the US-led coalition originally promised, but they will have enormous difficulty in achieving it by 2014 when they are scheduled to end their combat operations,” he said.

Saikal said Australia had made some useful contributions to improving Afghanistan’s infrastructure, security, education and health services but at a very high human and financial cost. The gains would also be reversible when Australia withdrew.

“It is easy for a power to get militarily involved in Afghanistan, but very difficult to disentangle itself from conflict with any degree of victory and vindicate its involvement in the first place. The US and its allies should have learned from their Vietnam experience and previous British and Soviet involvements in Afghanistan which had resulted in defeat.”

The cost of Australia’s “war on terror” has also been questioned by Mark Thomson, an expert on the defence budget with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. He told Fairfax newspapers that Australia had spent an extra A$21.3 billion on defence and security since 2001, on top of what would normally have spent.

As well as Iraq and Afghanistan, a further A$10.4 billion had been directed to extra security at home, mainly on the federal police and ASIO. Thomson’s estimates did not include spending by state and local governments, nor the cost of additional security introduced by business and other non-government organisations.

But Athol Yates, executive director of the Australian Security Research Centre, told Fairfax Australia had spent about A$10.5 billion on homeland security, which, with a further A$5.5 billion from state and local governments, and private industry, had pushed the total domestic security bill to about A$16 billion.

Although none of the more than 100 Australian victims of terrorism have been killed at home, the Government says the threat remains real.

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Syrian Opposition: “Take To The Streets Against Russia”

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1930719.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
Septemebr 13, 2011

Syrian opposition calls for anti-Russia protests

The Syrian opposition Tuesday called for a “day of anger” against Russia for backing President Bashar al-Assad…DPA reported.

In a post on the social networking website Facebook, the activists called on “all the free people of Syria” to “take to the streets and protest against Russia” for “supporting the killers.”

Russia has supported al-Assad’s regime by blocking attempts at the United Nations to impose sanctions against Damascus.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 12, 2011

September 12, 2011 3 comments

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178-Day Air War: 22,342 NATO Sorties, 8,390 Combat Missions

United Nations Accomplice To NATO’s Aggression Against Libya

Russian Military Chief Warns Of Libya-Syria Scenario In Central Asia

Daalder: 9/11 “NATO’s Finest Hour,” Genesis Of Global Expansion

Afghan Official: U.S. Used 9/11 To Penetrate South And Central Asia

Pakistan: 51 Drone Strikes Kill 455 People In 2011

Pakistan: New Target Of U.S.-NATO South Asian War

Report: U.S. To Provide Turkey Predators For Deadly Attacks Inside Iraq

NATO Chief, North Atlantic Council To Visit Georgia

Gulf Cooperation Council: Arab World’s Eight Monarchies To Unite

United Armed Forces Could Make EU Superpower: Polish Party Leader

Endless “War On Terror” Or How America Exposed Itself

Southern Corridor: EU Negotiates Caspian Gas Pipeline Treaty

Pentagon Chief Panetta Brands BRICS National Security Threat

Cambodia: U.S., Australia To Conduct Trilateral Exercise

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178-Day Air War: 22,342 NATO Sorties, 8,390 Combat Missions

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_09/20110912_110912-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 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, 06.00GMT) a total of 22,342 sorties, including 8,390 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 11 SEPTEMBER: 114

Strike sorties conducted 11 SEPTEMBER: 44

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United Nations Accomplice To NATO’s Aggression Against Libya

http://thecitizen.co.tz/sunday-citizen/43-sunday-citizen-opinion-editorial/14614-hard-talkthe-un-was-an-accomplice-to-nato-aggression-on-libya.html

The Citizen (Tanzania)
September 10, 2011

THE UN WAS AN ACCOMPLICE TO NATO AGGRESSION ON LIBYA 
By Evarist Kagaruki

-The cynical behaviour of the Security Council in the face of Nato’s mission of removing a legitimate government…by military force, leaves no one in doubt that the world organization no longer respects its own charter; that it has become the absolute instrument of the sole superpower and its allies; and that it has lost credibility, moral strength and validity as the conscience of the world.

Superficially, the establishment of the no-fly zone over Libyan territory in March by the UN Security Council Resolution 1973 looked well-intentioned: to “protect civilians against attacks” by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s forces that had been unleashed to quell the uprising in Benghazi – the stronghold of the rebel National Transition Council (NTC) – against the Tripoli regime. But, in actual fact, the no-fly zone was meant to provide air cover for ground rebel troops which, on their own, could not dislodge Gaddafi’s forces.

The insurgents were assisted with arms, cash, and logistics by the Nato alliance to enable them to keep up the fight to the end, something which was totally against the spirit and letter of the said resolution. But the same weapons have killed and maimed hundreds of innocent civilians the resolution sought to “protect” in the first place. The Western media propaganda, not surprisingly, deliberately skipped this grim fact of the conflict in Libya.

There is now no doubt that Gaddafi, who is hated by some and loved by others (for different reasons), has been ousted – not, of course, by the NTC but by the Western powers with the tacit approval of the UN. The world body had, to the consternation of many, allowed Nato to go beyond its mandate and take sides in a civil war! Libya is now firmly in the hands of Western imperialists whose main interest there is essentially the control of the country’s flow of oil to the industrial capitals. As the fighting ends, there are already signs of an emerging scramble among the allies and foreign firms for access to the oil wealth.

As we anxiously watch the unfolding scenario on the political horizon in Libya, there is a ten-million dollar question yet to ponder: Is the UN still an organization that serves the purpose for which it was established? Or, put another way: Is the world body still useful and relevant to the people of the Third World? My answer is a big No! The cynical behaviour of the Security Council in the face of Nato’s mission of removing a legitimate government (even if it was a dictatorship) by military force, leaves no one in doubt that the world organization no longer respects its own charter; that it has become the absolute instrument of the sole superpower and its allies; and that it has lost credibility, moral strength and validity as the conscience of the world.

The UN is obliged by its Charter to maintain peace and security and make the world a better place for the whole of mankind. It is has been entrusted with the responsibility of preventing and removing threats to peace and suppressing (not encouraging) acts of aggression or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace – a noble task shouldered by the Security Council.

But at the behest of the Western powers, led by America, the UN has jettisoned its own aims and principles as these powers sought to dominate the rest of the world in pursuit of their hegemonic and predatory ambitions. This had been clearly demonstrated in the case of the American/British unilateral decision to attack Iraq in order to remove Saddam Hussein and when Israel invaded Lebanon and Gaza and committed atrocities there as the world body stood idly by in total despair and embarrassed silence.

Now we have witnessed, yet again, the UN’s abdication of its responsibilities in Libya. It went against its own charter when it became part of the insurgency against Gaddafi’s regime. For the first time, we have seen the organistion embracing an invidious policy of regime change in a member state. To everybody’s surprise and indignation, the Security Council did not hide its passion for supporting a rebellion to remove a lawful government from power!

Frankly speaking, the ouster of the Gaddafi regime by the Western/UN-backed insurgents was clearly aggression against Libya’s sovereignty, which sets a dangerous precedent and calls into question the credibility of the UN as the guardian of the member countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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Russian Military Chief Warns Of Libya-Syria Scenario In Central Asia

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/12/56040825.html

Voice of Russia
September 12, 2011

Russian general urges Central Asia to stay alert

Speaking to reporters in Moscow on Monday, General Nikolai Makarov, Russia’s military chief of staff, said that he does not exclude a repeat of the Libyan or Syrian scenario in Central Asian countries.

“It was impossible to foresee processes currently under way in Northern Africa and the Middle East, something that should become an alarm signal for other countries”, Makarov said.

“We should brace ourselves for any situation, which is why we conduct war games”, he added, referring to the Combat Commonwealth-2011 drill that wrapped up at the Ashuluk firing range in Russia’s Astrakhan region on Monday .

The drill brought together more than 2,000 servicemen from Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

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Daalder: 9/11 “NATO’s Finest Hour,” Genesis Of Global Expansion

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903285704576559422200245388.html

Wall Street Journal
September 12, 2011

NATO’s Finest Hour
The day the Alliance stood up for America
By Ivo Daalder

-NATO had to stop thinking regionally and begin thinking globally…Today, five of NATO’s six current operations are outside of the alliance’s territory…[NATO] made clear that real security in an era of global threats and challenges requires NATO to work in close cooperation with the widest possible range of partners — both near and far…Ten years after 9/11, NATO remains the most powerful and successful military alliance in history.

The shock and horror of 9/11 is burned into all our memories. I was on an aircraft over the Atlantic that day, flying back to Washington from Brussels, when the pilot gave us the awful news and turned the plane back. I well remember the terrible feeling I had, as many people around the world did at that moment — that I could have been on one of those planes, or that I could have been in one of those buildings. None of us was safe anymore.

Yesterday we all remembered that day 10 years ago…But we should also remember what happened the following day. Sept. 12, 2001, the North Atlantic Council, the NATO Alliance’s governing body, met in special session. For the first time since NATO’s founding in 1949, the council decided unanimously to invoke Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, saying that the attack on 9/11 was not just an attack on the United States, but an attack on all the members of NATO.

Within hours of this historic meeting, NATO’s Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft were alerted for deployment in the skies over America. They patrolled our vast airspace for the next five months.

The invocation of Article 5 was a defining moment for NATO. Until that moment, everyone had assumed that this commitment of the treaty was designed to involve the U.S. in the defense of Europe. No one imagined that it would first be used to bring Europe to the defense of the U.S. But with this one act, NATO signaled a fundamental change in its mission. All of us now recognized that security in Europe and in the U.S. was inextricably connected to events far beyond NATO’s traditional areas of operation. NATO had to stop thinking regionally and begin thinking globally.

Today, five of NATO’s six current operations are outside of the alliance’s territory. NATO’s soldiers are fighting in the very territories of Afghanistan…NATO ships are taking part in an anti-piracy mission in the Indian Ocean, and NATO forces are training Iraqi soldiers, stabilizing the situation in Kosovo, and still protecting Libyan civilians…

To respond to the evolving security environment following 9/11, the leaders of NATO countries agreed in Lisbon last year on a new Strategic Concept for the alliance. NATO reaffirmed the centrality of collective defense and made clear that today’s threats to alliance territory are more likely to come atop a long-range missile, over the internet or from suicide bombers than from armies marching across borders. It also made clear that real security in an era of global threats and challenges requires NATO to work in close cooperation with the widest possible range of partners — both near and far.

The new Strategic Concept laid the foundation for a series of decisions, from employing cyber defenses and deploying territorial missile defenses, to deepening NATO’s partnership with Russia and strengthening our relationships with countries such as Australia and Japan, which share our values.

Next May, the leaders of NATO will meet in Chicago to review and update our strategy, and to see how we can meet our security challenges in this time of economic austerity.

Ten years after 9/11, NATO remains the most powerful and successful military alliance in history…On Sept. 12, 2001, NATO made clear in words and deeds that an attack against one is an attack against all. That is why, today and for the past 62 years, NATO is, as President Obama said, an alliance that “remains the cornerstone of our engagement with the world, and a catalyst for global cooperation.”

Mr. Daalder is the U.S. ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

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Afghan Official: U.S. Used 9/11 To Penetrate South And Central Asia

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/09/11/911-gave-us-chance-achieve-goals-region

Pajhwok Afghan News
September 11, 2011

9/11 gave US a chance to achieve goals in region
by Mir Agha Samimi

-“The war is not a big issue for the US, which eyes future economic control over the entire region.”
-Muhammad Ameen Wakman, professor of political science at Kabul University, said the US had planned to come to the region before 9/11. It sought to monitor Central Asian states and contain Chinese and Iranian influence.

KABUL: Some political analysts say the 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan was aimed at protecting and promoting its interests in the region, not defeating Al Qaeda and Taliban.

Nearly 3,000 people were killed and many others wounded when four hijacked passenger planes were crashed into the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

Adviser to the Finance Ministry, Najeeb Manli, said the US had come to Afghanistan in its own interest. He said if the US was able to achieve its goals, it would abandon Afghanistan without caring for its people and international concerns.

“The US has no plan to eliminate Al Qaeda and Taliban, liberate Afghanistan or establish a democracy here,” he said. Afghanistan’s crucial geographical location makes it strategically important to the US. Manli said it was the time for Afghans to take advantage of the situation.

The ongoing conflict was a legacy of mismanagement and a non-serious approach on the part of the US, he added. In order to reduce casualties among US troops, the country in initials days of the war hired warlords, causing the situation to slip out of control.

Another political analyst, Ahmad Saeedi, described Sept. 11 a terrible incident that jolted the US out of its slumber and conveyed the message that terrorism knew no borders.

Saeedi said the US plan was not only to crush its opponents and bring peace to Afghanistan, but to use Afghan soil for achieving its goals in the region. The attacks provided a chance to the US to give practical shape to its strategic designs.

Though peace in Afghanistan is in the interest of the US, yet the war is necessary to continue, he said. “The war is not a big issue for the US, which eyes future economic control over the entire region.”

The US objectives in the region include “access to untapped natural resources in Afghanistan and Central Asian countries and control over other regional countries. He saw the US as an occupying force attacking any country it considers a threat to peace.

Human rights activist Kabir Ranjbar said the US invaded Afghanistan to seek revenge on Al Qaeda. “There is no visible shift in the US aims, but it has been unable to achieve anything worthwhile, except killing Osama bin Laden. In my view, Al Qaeda is still functional and even more strengthened.”

Muhammad Ameen Wakman, professor of political science at Kabul University, said the US had planned to come to the region before 9/11. It sought to monitor Central Asian states and contain Chinese and Iranian influence.

He opined the US would not leave Afghanistan even after 2014, when the security transition process from foreign troops to local forces is scheduled to be complete.

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Pakistan: 51 Drone Strikes Kill 455 People In 2011

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-09/11/c_131133084.htm

Xinhua News Agency
September 11, 2011

4 killed in U.S. drone strike in NW Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: At least four suspected militants were killed in a U.S. drone strike launched on Sunday night in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of North Waziristan, reported the local Urdu TV channel Geo.

According to the report, the U.S. drones fired two missiles at a house and a vehicle in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan, a place bordering Afghanistan and believed to be a stronghold of militants from different groups along Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The identities of the killed are not immediately available.

Sunday’s U.S. drone strike is the 51st of its kind in Pakistan in 2011. To date, a total of 455 people, most of whom believed to be militants, have reportedly been killed in such strikes since this year.

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Pakistan: New Target Of U.S.-NATO South Asian War

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Regional/Islamabad/10-Sep-2011/PPP-gamble-fails-to-stop-drones-rain

The Nation (Pakistan)
September 10, 2011

PPP gamble fails to stop drones rain
By Maqbool Malik

ISLAMABAD: The US-led war against terror continues unabated even after ten years in Afghanistan, the main theatre of this war. However, the objectives of this war remain illusive despite relentless use of bombing, including sophisticated bombs and drones.

Pakistan, which played the role of a frontline ally of the US and NATO forces, has suffered the most. Breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty by the US/NATO forces remained the most depressing aspect. There have been major violations of Pakistan’s territorial sovereignty in the course of the war against terrorism and extremism. The violation of Pakistan’s airspace by the US/Nato’s aircraft and helicopters and incessant drone attacks on one hand and the operation of CIA contractor Raymond Davis and the US unilateral raid on the OBL [Osama bin Laden] compound in Abbottabad on the other have compounded the situation that left the relations between the so-called strategic allies in tatters.

A cursory analysis of the developments suggests that PPP[Pakistan Peoples Party]-led ruling coalition continued with the same policies followed by former military ruler President Pervez Musharraf. This was largely because of the PPP’s selfish policy to formally own the US-led war against terror largely for economic benefits.

What the PPP leadership had done was to secure civil economic assistance in the garb of the Kerry-Lugar Act to the tune of $1.5 billion a year, and left part of the country to the mercy of CIA-operated drone attacks. Instead of pulling out of the war, the PPP leadership preferred the KLB lollypop, which resulted in major ramifications.

The CIA’s drone war on Pakistan that started in 2004 and should have been stopped by the civilian democratic dispensation continues unabated to humiliate Pakistan.

This mockery of Pakistan’s sovereignty has been going on since the PPP-led government came into power, and the drone war against so called Al-Qaeda and Taliban targets in Pakistan has been going on despite the intervention of the sovereign parliament of the country.

The Parliament of Pakistan had adopted two resolutions against the drone attacks put into cold storage by the ruling party. According to some estimates, hundreds of innocent people in the FATA region have been killed while thousands have been injured and displaced as result of drone hits, which the US claims as its ‘weapon of choice’. This is in contrast to the US claims that the CIA has killed nearly 600 high-valued Qaeda and Taliban targets. Publicly, Prime Minister Gilani and his cabinet colleagues have so far failed to convince the people of Pakistan on the issue of US drone attacks.

Except condemning every new attack, the government has failed to implement the resolutions adopted by the parliament. Many believe that the government has a tacit understanding with the US has allowed this unholy drone war.

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Report: U.S. To Provide Turkey Predators For Deadly Attacks Inside Iraq

http://ap.stripes.com/dynamic/stories/U/US_US_TURKEY_IRAQ?SITE=DCSAS&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-09-11-15-39-38

Associated Press
September 2011

Report: US considers basing Predators in Turkey
By Robert Burns

WASHINGTON: The U.S. and Turkey are discussing how to continue cooperation against…targets in northern Iraq after U.S. forces leave Iraq in December, including the possibility of basing Predator drones in Turkey, a U.S. official said Sunday.

The U.S. currently is sharing Predator surveillance data with Turkey as part of a joint effort to combat the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group…The Predators, capable of transmitting full-motion video, are flow from bases in Iraq.

The Washington Post was first to report Sunday that the Obama administration is considering a request from Turkey to base Predators on its territory.

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NATO Chief, North Atlantic Council To Visit Georgia

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=23921

Civil Georgia
September 12, 2011

NATO NAC to Visit Georgia in November

-The North Atlantic Council, comprising the 28 NATO permanent representatives and the Secretary General, first visited Georgia in September, 2008 – a month after the war between Georgia and Russia.

Tbilisi: NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and diplomats from NATO’s senior decision-making body, North Atlantic Council (NAC), will visit Georgia on November 9-10, Grigol Vashadze, the Georgian foreign minister, said on Monday.

The visit will be an opportunity for NATO officials “to ascertain on the ground how fast our country is developing and how our macroeconomic parameters, our democratic reforms, our defense budget and our participation in peacekeeping missions are in line with NATO standards,” Vashadze said.

He was speaking with journalists on the sidelines of the annual ambassadorial conference in Tbilisi, which gathered Georgian diplomats accredited abroad to discuss the country’s foreign policy priorities.

The North Atlantic Council, comprising the 28 NATO permanent representatives and the Secretary General, first visited Georgia in September, 2008 – a month after the war between Georgia and Russia.

At the time Russia condemned the visit saying it was “untimely, which does not correspond to the interests of stabilization in the region.”

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Gulf Cooperation Council: Arab World’s Eight Monarchies To Unite

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1929941.html

Trend News Agency/Deutsche Presse-Agentur
September 12, 2011

Jordan, Morocco open admission talks with Gulf Cooperation states

Jordan, Morocco and the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on Sunday decided to set up two working groups and specialized panels to discuss the admission roadmap of the two pro-West monarchies to the oil-rich Arab political bloc, according to Jordan’s official Petra news agency.

The decision came during the first round of admission talks in Jeddah that involved the foreign ministers of Jordan and Morocco and their counterparts in the GCC countries – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman, dpa reported.

The meeting also recommended to the GCC leaders in their next meeting later th