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Archive for November, 2011

Stop NATO news: December 1, 2011

November 30, 2011 3 comments

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Russia: Obama Refuses To Sign Legally Binding Agreement On Missiles

Russia Activates Space Defense Troops Against U.S.-NATO ABM

Pakistan: Nationwide Protests Against NATO Attack Continue

Vietnam-Style Exit: Russia Could Deliver Death Blow To NATO

224 Iranian MPs Condemn NATO Attack On Pakistan

NATO Reports Fresh Clash With Pakistani Military

Pakistan: Tribal Elders, Civil Society Back Government Against NATO

West’s Military Obsession Leads To Economic Decline

Russia Disapproves Of U.S. Sending Aircraft Carrier Off Syrian Coast

Russian Aircraft Carrier Headed To Mediterranean

U.S. Beefs Up Asia-Pacific Military Bases

Chinese Defense Ministry Denounces U.S.-Australian Military Alliance

Kazakhstan: U.S. Military Partner On Chinese, Russian Borders

After Exercise, U.S. Amphibious Assault Ship Visits Philippine Capital

U.S., Cambodia Strengthen Military Ties With Joint Exercise

New Military Client, Base: U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer In East Timor

First Trilateral U.S.-Japan-India Meeting On Asian Maritime Security

Russia Condemns NATO Power Play In Kosovo

Photograph: NATO In Kosovo: German, Austrian Troops And Tanks Versus Serbian Woman

Russia May Cancel Chicago NATO Meeting Over Interceptor Missiles

In New Cold War Climate, Russia And Cuba Strengthen Military Cooperation

EU Foreign Ministers To Extend Sanctions Against Belarus, Iran, Syria

Germany To Provide Israel With Sixth Nuclear-Capable Submarine

Former Mossad Chief: Israeli Strike On Iran Will Cause Regional Tragedy

New NATO Division Hosts 200 Experts From Member, Partner States

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Russia: Obama Refuses To Sign Legally Binding Agreement On Missiles

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/286619.html

Itar-Tass
December 1, 2011

Medvedev says Obama refuses to sign legally binding agreements on missile defence

MOSCOW: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama had refused to sign any legally binding documents to guarantee that the U.S. missile defence system in Europe is not targeted against Russia.

At talks with the president of the United States “we heard that they had lent an ear to our concerns,” Medvedev said at a meeting with his supporters, recalling his meeting with Barack Obama in Honolulu on November 14. “The American side was utterly candid – we are not going to sign any legally binding documents,” Medvedev said.

According to the Russian president, the United States is reluctant to sign such an agreement either in the Russia-suggested sectoral ABM format or in whatever other formats. “Because today it is not advantageous politically for the United States, and such an agreement with Russia will not pass through the crucible of the U.S. Congress or other European structures,” he added.

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Russia Activates Space Defense Troops Against U.S.-NATO ABM

http://rt.com/politics/space-forces-military-russia-625/

RT
December 1, 2011

Russian Space Defense Troops launched

Moscow has launched a team of Space Defense Troops. The corps is a reply to the US and NATO’s constant push towards creating the European Missile Defense system with components stationed near the Russian border.

Space Defense Troops are a brand new combat arm aimed at providing Russia’s security in air and space.

The troops are made up of space, air and missile defense commands, as well as the Plesetsk spaceport near Arkhangelsk in northern Russia and Kura testing area in Kamchatka in the Far East.

In technical terms, they comprise space control systems, orbit groups control installations and missile alert systems. In addition, new radar stations have been put in operation. According to the commander of the Russian Space Defense Troops, Lieutenant-General Oleg Ostapenko, this raises their efficiency and significantly strengthens Russia’s missile defense.
From now on, more than 3,000 servicemen and civilian staff enter on duty on a daily basis.

On Tuesday, President Dmitry Medvedev ordered operational the newest Russian radar station, Voronezh-DM, which is located in Kaliningrad and protects from missile attacks and covers all Europe and Atlantic.

Another Voronezh-DM radar station located in near Irkutsk in Siberia is scheduled for launch in 2012.

Earlier, the Russian leader made a tough statement about lack of progress in talks on missile defense with American and European partners. He stressed that they have not so far provided any guarantees that the European anti-missile defense system in the making is not aimed at Russia.

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http://en.rian.ru/news/20111201/169210478.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
December 1, 2011

Russian Air Force to get 60 air defense systems in 2012

MOSCOW: The Russian Air Force is planning to acquire about 60 new and modernized air defense systems in 2012, Air Force spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik said on Thursday.

“The new acquisitions include S-400 long-range air defense missile systems, Nebo-U radars and Pantsir-S1 short range missile/gun systems,” Drik said.

The Air Force will receive up to 10 Su-34 Fullback fighter-bombers, about 10 Su-25SM Frogfoot attack fighters, and an unspecified number of Su-35S Flanker-E multirole fighters.

The Su-35S is Russia’s advanced “Generation 4++” fighter.

New acquisitions will also include over 20 attack helicopters, such as the Mi-28N Night Hunter and the Ka-52 Alligator, as well as “highly modernized” Mi-35 Hind helicopters.

The Air Force will also receive about 30 Mi-8 transport and five Mi-26T heavy lift helicopters.

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Pakistan: Nationwide Protests Against NATO Attack Continue

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C12%5C01%5Cstory_1-12-2011_pg7_20

Associated Press of Pakistan
December 1, 2011

Nationwide protest against NATO attack continues

ISLAMABAD: Nation-wide protests against a lethal NATO attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers continued on Wednesday.

The Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly adopted a unanimous resolution against the attack, a private news channel reported. Later, AJK assembly members also held a rally in Muzaffarabad and presented a memorandum at the UN office.

The resolution said that the NATO attack was in violation of international laws and was an assault on Pakistan’s sovereignty. The resolution demanded the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to take serious notice of this aggression.

In Peshawar, schoolchildren held a demonstration and sang the national anthem.

Thousands of students of Punjab University also took part in a protest rally in Lahore against NATO.

The Lahore High Court (LHC) allowed lawyers to hold a rally on the Mall Road.

In Multan, students of various colleges gathered at Katchehry Chowk and condemned the NATO attack.

In addition, protests were witnessed all over the country, including in areas such as Sukkur, Dera Ghazi Khan and Kandhkot.

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Vietnam-Style Exit: Russia Could Deliver Death Blow To NATO

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=10685&Cat=13

News International
December 1, 2011

Russia could deliver death blow to Nato, say analysts

ISLAMABAD: With the Russian threat to cut land routes for supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan, the Afghan battleground may turn into a cold death trap for NATO, defence analysts believe. They say that Pakistan should utilise the opportunity for a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan by pulling it out of the American war.

Russia has threatened to cut off NATO supply routes to Afghanistan if the alliance doesn’t compromise on its missile defence plans. “If NATO doesn’t give a serious response, we have to address matters in relations in other areas,” Russian news services reported. Russia’s cooperation on Afghanistan may be an area for review, the news services reported.

Pakistan has already cut NATO supply routes after the Mohmand Agency attack by NATO troops that killed twenty-six Pakistani soldiers. Lt General (retd) Hameed Gul, while talking to The News, said that Russia would utilise every option to take revenge on the Americans and the time has come for the Russians to do this. He said that Russia wants to join hands with Pakistan and Pakistan should re-consider its policy towards Russia. “Americans and NATO troops have been strangled in Afghanistan and the time has come for Pakistan to avail itself of the opportunity that it missed on 9/11 to regain respect and sovereignty”, Gul said.

He mentioned that Americans will have to leave Afghanistan and will ask for concessions and Pakistan should negotiate with them on their exit. If Russia cuts its supply routes then the route will be from Georgia to Baku and then to Azerbaijan, which means NATO will never get the supplies, said Gul.

“Now NATO troops will have to exit Vietnam-style, and that too by using Pakistan’s airspace because Iran will never let the USA use its airspace”, the retired General said. He mentioned that the war against terror that was started with our own people will come to an end at once and there will be peace in no time once the Americans leave Afghanistan. He said that Indian interests in Afghanistan were growing but India will get nothing from Afghanistan.

Maria Sultan, defence analyst, while talking to this correspondent said that if the Russians also cut the supply line of NATO then it will turn out to be a cold death for NATO troops. “They will literally be strangled in Afghanistan with 90,000 troops, and as they admit that they have reserves for three months, which actually means they have reserves for two months, then NATO will have to airlift the troops and during the airlift only 15 to 20 percent can get out alive out of the 90,000 troops”, Maria said.

She mentioned that in Afghanistan everything comes from outside and the insurgency this year has been very high as 700 [NATO] causalities have been reported. Therefore, after the Russian decision, Afghanistan will turn into a reverse Kargil for NATO. “They will have weapons but no bullets to fire; and if Pakistan shuts the air corridors to NATO then it would be a cold death for them and America will have to renegotiate with Pakistan”, she said.

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224 Iranian MPs Condemn NATO Attack On Pakistan

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/International/01-Dec-2011/224-Iranian-MPs-deplore-Nato-attack-on-Pakistan

The Nation
December 1, 2011

224 Iranian MPs deplore Nato attack on Pakistan

TEHRAN: Iranian parliamentarians in a statement issued on Wednesday condemned the lethal cross-border NATO attack on Pakistan, and called on Islamabad to show a decisive reaction to the US crimes, reported Fars News Agency.

In a joint statement signed by 224 lawmakers, they condemned criminal U.S. acts including its recent airstrike on Pakistan which claimed the lives of the Muslim state’s soldiers. “We ask our counterparts in the Pakistani parliament to review their ties with the U.S.,” the statement read.

“It is the time to give a positive response to the demands of Pakistan’s vigilant nation and prevent the United States’ future crimes and violation of Pakistan’s territorial integrity through a decisive move by the Pakistani MPs,” the statement added.

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NATO Reports Fresh Clash With Pakistani Military

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C12%5C01%5Cstory_1-12-2011_pg1_2

Daily Times
Agencies
December 1, 2011

New clash between NATO, Pak forces

KABUL: A cross-border incident involving NATO and Pakistani forces was quickly defused early on Wednesday with no loss of life, The New York Times quoted Brig Gen Carsten Jacobson, the spokesman for the American-led international coalition, as saying.

The incident apparently involved heavy artillery fire across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in Afghanistan’s Paktika province, the report said, adding that few other details were available.

Pakistan’s military, however, refuted the report, saying no such incident took place. “There was no fresh clash between Pakistani troops and NATO force on Pak-Afghan border on Wednesday,” an Inter Services Public Relations spokesman said…

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Pakistan: Tribal Elders, Civil Society Back Government Against NATO

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C12%5C01%5Cstory_1-12-2011_pg7_24

Daily Times
December 1, 2011

Tribal elders, civil society laud govt’s tough stand on NATO aggression

PESHAWAR: Tribal elders, political workers, lawyers, students and journalists from the Musa Khel tribe of Mohmand Agency condemned the NATO attack on Pakistan’s border security posts and appreciated the bold stance taken by the government of Pakistan in response to these unwarranted and unprovoked attacks.

They vowed to stand by the Pak-Force in the wake of any eventuality across the border and to protect the motherland from any foreign aggression and intrusion, a communiqué from the Governor’s House read.

This announcement was made during a tribal Jirga comprising peoples from different walks of life, which was led by Senator Muhammad Idrees Khan Safi, and called on Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Masood Kausar here at Governor’s House on Wednesday to record their resentment and offer support to the government against cross-border attacks.

…The Jirga was of the view that the tribesmen would never tolerate such attacks and were united to safeguard the frontiers of the country at any cost. Governor Kausar, while appreciating the sentiments of the Jirga members, assured them that the government would never compromise on the security and sovereignty of the country. He said that such attacks would neither be ignored nor tolerated.

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West’s Military Obsession Leads To Economic Decline

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/686483/Wests-military-obsession-claws-back-economic-growth.aspx

Global Times
November 30, 2011

West’s military obsession claws back economic growth
By John Ross

The US is mired in an unemployment crisis, Europe faces double-dip recession, and Japan’s economy has experienced two decades of stagnation. Under such circumstances a logical policy by governments in developed countries would concentrate all efforts on improving their domestic situation. However in reality, economic resources have been diverted into costly military issues.

In the US, military expenditure has risen 10 times as fast as household consumption, while government non-military expenditure has fallen. This continues a longer trend. Since the beginning of the 21st century, US GDP, in inflation-adjusted terms, has increased by 21 percent, US government non-military spending by 11 percent, and US personal consumption by 28 percent, while military expenditure increased by 52 percent.

Such a military buildup appears illogical. The US is the world’s strongest military power. It states its economy is the world’s most competitive, although it clearly faces current difficulties. Increased productive expenditure on R&D, innovation and infrastructure would therefore seem called for rather than higher military expenditure financed by large and destabilizing US budget deficits.

But instead of US government investment rising, it has fallen as a percentage of GDP since the beginning of the financial crisis in parallel with rising military spending. Similarly the UK government spent $450 million on military action in Libya at the same time as it made massive cuts at home.

Such economic steps are in line with “neo-con” thinking. This school of thought, despite its protestations to the contrary, actually lacks confidence in US ability to compete in peaceful economic development. It notes that on World Bank data the US economy has fallen from 39 percent of global GDP in 1960 to 23 percent in 2010 and a parallel decline of large US companies – in the last seven years the share of revenue of US corporations in the Forbes Global 2000, the world’s largest companies, has fallen from 39 percent to 31 percent.

Rather than concluding resources should be diverted into boosting the US economy, the neo-cons argue that as the US is losing its once-dominant position in economic competition, questions should be transferred from the economy to the military field where the US is strongest. China is the main enemy in such thinking, as it is the country which has been most successful economically.

But these ideologues now consider they face internal as well as external enemies. Opinion polls show a majority of the US population believe the Iraq war was a mistake and want a withdrawal from Afghanistan. The logic of the Occupy Wall Street movement, by calling for increased spending on US job creation, supports reductions in military expenditure. For that reason Occupy Wall Street has come in for abuse by the same figures and institutions, such as Fox News and the Tea Party, that are most hostile to China.

A parallel logic operates in Europe. Sections of the media attempt to blame the continent’s debt crisis on “lazy Europeans.” But in fact the crisis is worst in southern Europe which has longer working weeks and lower social protection than in north European countries such as Germany.

A lot of confusion exists in the US and Europe about China. Their populations know China is growing economically and is becoming an increasingly important factor in the world. But as this is a recent development they do not yet know what China wants. Overcoming this, making clear the “win-win” outcomes that are possible, will take time.

Despite such confusion, and while these economic and political developments in the US and Europe center on domestic issues, they will affect China. “Neo-con” policies would face China with a military buildup. But if movements seeking to redirect resources from military spending to job creation and social welfare are successful, this will benefit everyone.

The author is currently visiting professor at Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. From 2000 to 2008 he was London’s director for economic and business policy.

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Russia Disapproves Of U.S. Sending Aircraft Carrier Off Syrian Coast

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=3&id=291652

Interfax
December 1, 2011

Moscow disapproves of U.S. decision to send aircraft carrier toward Syrian coast

MOSCOW: Sending U.S. warships to the Syrian coast will not facilitate the search for a peaceful solution to the Syrian problem, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukeshevich said.

“All these measures are making it more difficult to find ways to settle the situation, add tensions to the already overheated region and contribute absolutely nothing to the search for political means of settlement,” he said at a briefing in Moscow on Thursday.

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Russian Aircraft Carrier Headed To Mediterranean

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/12/01/61307651.html

Interfax
December 1, 2011

Russian flotilla heads for Mediterranean

       
The U.S. George Bush aircraft carrier has approached Syrian waters, the Arab Al Jazeera TV channel reports.

The Pentagon has refused to confirm the report but admitted that the ship is in the Mediterranean in what analysts see as part of preparations for a possible no-fly zone over Syria.

Meanwhile, a Russian flotilla led by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier is heading for the Mediterranean. It will drop anchor at the Syrian port of Tartus.

The Russian Navy says the flotilla has nothing to do with the anti-government protests in Syria.

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U.S. Beefs Up Asia-Pacific Military Bases

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90883/7660894.html

China Daily
November 30, 2011

US beefs up Asia-Pacific army bases
By Ma Liyao

BEIJING: The US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region is currently experiencing major changes…

During his visit to Australia this month, US President Barack Obama announced a new security agreement to position more US military personnel and equipment there.

According to the agreement, about 250 US Marines will be stationed in the northern Australian port of Darwin, which is known as Australia’s gateway to Southeast Asia due to its close proximity to Indonesia, which is 820 kilometers away.

A full force of 2,500 military personnel will be stationed there over the next few years.

Compared with the US presence in Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK), Darwin is nearer the South China Sea.

Obama sidestepped questions about whether the move was aimed at containing China, but said the US would keep sending a clear message that China needs to accept the responsibilities that come with being a world power.

He added that the US was stepping up its commitment to the entire Asia-Pacific region.

However, “nothing says the United States supports Asia like sending a small marine regiment to Darwin in Australia’s northern territory. Australia is hardly threatened by another foreign invasion from the north – by China or any country”, said the Bangkok Post.

An article published on the Washington Post’s website said the US Navy is close to basing warships in Singapore, on the edge of the disputed waters of the South China Sea.

Negotiations on a deal are in their final stages to base some of the US Navy’s new littoral combat ships, designed to operate in shallow coastal waters and travel at a top speed of more than 40 knots, at the Changi Naval Base in Singapore, the article said.

And to the east of China, US forces in the ROK are relocating their headquarters and combat units to new military facilities in Pyeongtaek, a port city 70 km south of the capital Seoul, and around 340 km from the eastern Chinese city of Rongcheng.

The relocation, due to be completed in 2016, will make Pyeongtaek the main hub of the US military in the ROK, as well as the largest US overseas military base, taking up around 14.6 sq km and housing about 44,000 US troops.

At the same time, a plan was released a week ago to relocate around 8,000 US Marines, including fighting forces, from Okinawa, an island in southwestern Japan, to Guam.

Whether Washington is aiming to contain China or not, what can be sure is that it is accelerating the adjustment of its military deployment in order to “step up its commitment” in the Asia-Pacific.

“The strategy means the US has to ensure its Asian allies of its security commitments to them, and at the same time, gain more economic interests and maintain its leadership in the area,” Xu said.

“Now with the decline in its economic influence, it has to play up its military advantage either as a policy instrument or a bargaining chip,” he added.

No official statements have ever linked these deployments directly to China, but this was an opinion held by some observers.

Japan’s Mainichi Daily News said the plan to relocate US forces on Okinawa aimed to spread out US Marines so they are not overly concentrated in one spot to become easy targets.

The Los Angeles Times said the US president was taking every opportunity during his Asian trips to tell countries neighboring China that Washington is their most reliable “counterweight” to Beijing.

AP contributed to this story.

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Chinese Defense Ministry Denounces U.S.-Australian Military Alliance

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90883/7661733.html

Xinhua News Agency
November 30 , 2011

Chinese spokesman rebukes US-Australian military alliance

BEIJING: A Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman on Wednesday criticized the United States’ decision to strengthen its military alliance with Australia.

During US President Barack Obama’s visit to Australia earlier this month, the two states agreed to increase joint military initiatives in order to enhance their alliance.

“Any consolidation or expansion of a military alliance that was forged in history is of the Cold-War model,” said Spokesman Geng Yansheng at a monthly press briefing.

Moves that run contrast to the current trend of peace and cooperation are not helpful in building mutual trust and cooperation among regional countries and will damage their common interests, he said.

Any other military theory aimed at provoking confrontation and safeguarding one’s security at the price of another’s is also backward-thinking, he said.

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Kazakhstan: U.S. Military Partner On Chinese, Russian Borders

http://en.trend.az/regions/casia/kazakhstan/1963602.html

Trend News Agency
November 30, 2011

Kazakhstan, U.S. discuss defense cooperation
K. Konyrova

Astana: Kazakh Defense Minister Adilbek Dzhaksybekov and U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Asian and Pacific Security Affairs discussed future cooperation on Wednesday, the Kazakh Defense Minister reported.

“Cooperation with the United States is one of the most important directions of our foreign policy,” Dzhaksybekov said.

According to Dzhaksybekov, Kazakhstan and the U.S. have a highly dynamic and genuine partnership based on mutual interests in various areas, including defense.

Further cooperation between the countries will be developed within the framework of a bilateral military cooperation plan for the upcoming five-year period (2013-2017).

According to Dzhaksybekov, Kazakhstan is interested in joint defense ventures in its territory to resist the threats of today’s world.

“The threats of today’s world require new methods to counter: the active introduction of digital technology in the Armed Forces, the creation of an appropriate level of protection of information and digital infrastructure,” Dzhaksybekov said.

Edited by E. Kosolapova

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After Exercise, U.S. Amphibious Assault Ship Visits Philippine Capital

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=64073

Navy NewsStand/U.S. Navy
November 30, 2011

Essex Arrives in Manila for Port Visit
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eva-Marie Ramsaran, USS Essex Public Affairs

MANILA, Republic of the Philippines: Forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) arrived in Manila, Republic of the Philippines Nov. 30 for a port visit.

The port visit will allow Essex Sailors and embarked Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit the opportunity to enjoy some rest…

“The Sailors and Marines aboard Essex have worked hard during PHIBLEX (Amphibious Landing Exercise) and the 31st MEU’s certification exercise earlier in the fall,” said Capt. David Fluker, Essex commanding officer…

Essex departed its forward-deployed port of Sasebo, Japan Sept. 23 and has participated in a certification exercise with the 31st MEU and in PHIBLEX with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which ran from Oct. 20-30. PHIBLEX is a bilateral training exercise designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and continue to build professional and personal relationships with the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Essex is part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, which reports to Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. J. Scott Jones, who is headquartered in Okinawa, Japan.

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U.S., Cambodia Strengthen Military Ties With Joint Exercise

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=160611

Azeri Press Agency
November 30, 2011

Cambodia, U.S. boost military ties with joint exercise

Baku: Cambodia’s military police and United States marines on Wednesday began a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise here, aimed at strengthening the two countries’ military ties, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Speaking at the opening of the exercise, Jeff Daigle, Charg d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy to Cambodia, said some 23 U.S. marines from the III Marine Expeditionary Force have joined the exercise.

“This partnership is a tribute to our combined commitment to strengthen the relationship between the U.S. Marines and the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, and provides another opportunity for the U.S. government to assist with enhancing the overall capacity of Cambodian Armed Forces,” he added.

Brigadier General That Chantha, deputy chief of Cambodia’s Military Police’s planning department [said] “The exercise is also to create closer cooperation between Cambodian armed forces and their U.S. counterparts.”

The exercise will last until Dec. 9.

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New Military Client, Base: U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer In East Timor

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=64033

Navy NewsStand/U.S. Navy
November 30, 2011

USS Stethem Hosts Reception in Timor-Leste
By Lt. Nicole Schwegman, Amphibious Squadron 11 Public Affairs

DILI, Timor-Leste: The crew of guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) hosted an informal reception for senior military and civil officials from the United States, Timor-Leste and other foreign nations Nov. 27.

Cmdr. Michael DeVore, commanding officer of Stethem, welcomed Brig. Gen. Filomeno da Paixao de Jesus, deputy chief of Defense Force, and Judith Fergin, U.S. ambassador to Timor-Leste as the honored guests.

During the evening, the ambassador spoke about the importance of the two nation’s strong military ties.

“The United States and Timor-Leste enjoy an excellent military to military relationship,” said Fergin. “We are proud that we enjoy a permanent partnership across the range of international interaction.”

The Essex Expeditionary Strike Group consists of forward-deployed amphibious assault ship, USS Essex (LHD 2) and Stethem, which report to Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Rear Adm. J. Scott Jones, who is headquartered in Okinawa, Japan.

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First Trilateral U.S.-Japan-India Meeting On Asian Maritime Security

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90777/7661272.html

People’s Daily
November 30, 2011

Japan to discuss sea safety with US, India
By Yu Qing

In order to discuss a number of issues, the foremost of which is securing Asia’s sea areas, Japan, the United States and India began preparations on Nov. 28 for the director-level meeting that is to be held in December in Washington.

It will be the first meeting of its kind among the three countries.

The three countries hope that they can hold the meeting periodically in turn and upgrade the exchange to the ministerial level in the future. Japan and the United States also hope to strengthen their economic cooperation with India.

Japan is set to establish a strategic partnership with India according to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which became effective in August 2011 and discuss Japanese Premier Yoshihiko Noda’s upcoming visit to India at the end of 2011. In 2012, the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force and Indian navy will hold their first joint military drill too.

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Russia Condemns NATO Power Play In Kosovo

http://rt.com/politics/churkin-kosovo-serbs-security-537/

RT
November 30, 2011

Moscow slams NATO power games in Kosovo

Russia is concerned with the exacerbation of the situation in northern Kosovo, where NATO forces are pursuing their power politics targeted against Serbs, Russian envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin is convinced.

­Violence could have been prevented, the diplomat said during a Security Council meeting devoted to the Kosovo settlement, if “KFOR focused on providing security of the region’s residents, as stipulated in their mandate, rather than on eliminating Serbian barricades, which are a response to Pristina’s attempts to take under control the administrative border with Serbia.”

The Russian diplomat also said that Moscow has supported the Serbian government’s appeal to the UN secretary-general to thoroughly investigate an incident on September 27, when KFOR resorted to force, leading to a number of civilian casualties.

Russia also insists on a full and objective probe into cases of human organ trafficking revealed by member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Dick Marty.

The process of the return to Kosovo of displaced people, most of whom are Serbs, is unsatisfactory, Vitaly Churkin went on to say. And one of the main reasons for this is that those people are not confident of their security. In addition, “incidents of looting and theft of Kosovo Serbs’ property remain unpunished.”

He also demanded that all necessary measures be taken for the defense of Orthodox shrines and believers.

“The UN mission to Kosovo should play a most active role in Kosovo settlement,” the Russian envoy to the UN stressed.

On November 29, at least two Kosovan Serbs and two NATO peacekeepers were injured in a fresh wave of violence near the town of Zubin Potok in the north of Kosovo. Serbs were protesting NATO’s attempts to remove a barricade made of buses and trucks that was blocking a main road in the region. NATO responded by firing rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons at the demonstrators. Churkin called the incident “outrageous.”

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Photograph: NATO In Kosovo: German, Austrian Troops And Tanks Versus Serbian Woman

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=11&dd=30&nav_id=77573


Serbs are seen at the barricade at Jagnjenica with German and Austrian troops in the background (Beta)

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Russia May Cancel Chicago NATO Meeting Over Interceptor Missiles

http://rt.com/politics/nato-summit-chicago-russia-577/

RT
November 30, 2011

Russia may drop NATO summit over missile defense

Russia is uncertain as to whether or not it will take part in the NATO-Russia summit in Chicago in May next year due to a deadlock in missile defense talks.

Moscow’s consent for the gathering “should not be taken as predetermined,” said Deputy Director of the Department for Security and Disarmament of the Russian Foreign Ministry Vladimir Leontyev, cites Itar-Tass. The diplomat stressed though that Russia is not closing the door on co-operation.

“Our partners should view current problems fairly and responsibly,” Leontyev said. “Otherwise, Russia will have to give adequate responses as the US missile defense system is being created in Europe.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Yury Gorlach, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department on European Cooperation, said that Moscow is waiting for “a clear political signal” from the military bloc indicating that it is ready to continue the dialogue on the matter…

The Russia-NATO negotiations on the US planned missile defense system have been going on for months, but yielded few results so far, as the sides are standing firm in their positions. Russia said it would accept the invitation to participate in the project, but only as an equal partner and if Washington provides legally-binding guarantees that the proposed missiles would not threaten its national security. The US declined to do so.

On Tuesday, President Dmitry Medvedev ordered operational the newest Russian radar system that protects from missile attacks and covers all Europe and Atlantic. Medvedev said that it was a sign to Western partners that Russia was ready to adequately respond to possible threats to its strategic nukes that might appear with the launch of the European missile defense.

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http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20111130_8656.php

Global Security Newswire
November 30, 2011

Russia Could Cancel Summit With NATO Due to Antimissile Impasse

Russia could cancel a planned summit next spring in Chicago with NATO over continued differences with the Western military bloc’s plans for European missile defenses, Russia Today reported on Wednesday (see GSN, Nov. 29).

The Kremlin’s intention to attend the summit “should not be taken as predetermined,” Russian Foreign Ministry security and disarmament Deputy Director Vladimir Leontyev said. He emphasized, however, that the government was not taking off the table possible cooperation with NATO on missile defense, ITAR-Tass reported.

Russia objects to a U.S. plan to over the course of the decade deploy increasingly advanced sea- and land-based missile interceptors around Europe as a declared shield against a feared ballistic missile strike from the Middle East. Moscow suspects the interceptors would secretly also be aimed at undermining its long-range nuclear weapons – a charge that Washington adamantly denies. NATO and Russia have failed in a year of talks to reach agreement on a cooperative missile shield for Europe.

“Our partners should view current problems fairly and responsibly. Otherwise, Russia will have to give adequate responses as the U.S. missile defense system is being created in Europe,” Leontyev said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned recently that should differences on the missile shield persist his nation could withdraw from the New START nuclear arms control accord with the United States and deploy short-range Iskander missiles in the Kaliningrad region, which borders several NATO states.

Talks between NATO and Russia have run aground over differing views about what potential antimissile collaboration would involve. Moscow favors a unified approach while NATO would like to see two separate but connected missile shields.

Moscow is also frustrated by its inability thus far to obtain a binding guarantee that U.S. missile interceptors in Europe would not be aimed at Russia’s strategic forces.

Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin in January is scheduled to travel to China and Iran for discussions about U.S. plans to deploy missile shield elements in Poland, Romania and Turkey, the FARS News Agency reported.

“We are planning to visit both Tehran and Beijing soon under the Russian president’s directive, to discuss the planned deployment of a global missile defense network,” Rogozin said to Russian lawmakers (Fars News Agency, Nov. 29).

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In New Cold War Climate, Russia And Cuba Strengthen Military Cooperation

http://www.rbcnews.com/free/20111130185120.shtml

RosBusinessConsulting
November 30, 2011

Russia and Cuba to strengthen military cooperation

Moscow: Moscow is considering strengthening its military relations with Cuba ahead of parliamentary elections in Russia.

Against the backdrop of a renewed Cold War climate, Russia and Cuba are planning to sign a deal for the construction of a plant where ammunition for both AK-47 assault rifles and other Russian-made assault rifles will be produced. The plant will be located within the Ernesto Che Guevara military base in Cuba.

—————————————————————————

http://rt.com/news/russian-arms-cuba-deal-567/

RT
November 30, 2011

Russian arms in US backyard: Back in Cuba

Russia has launched a military partnership project with its Cold War ally Cuba, amid rising tensions over US plans to deploy an anti-missile system in Europe.

Russian contractors are to supply production equipment for manufacturing 6.52-mm rifle rounds, Kommersant daily reports. Cuban arms plant called Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara will also receive a license and technology for recycling used ammo.

The daily cites its sources as saying that Havana officials decided to purchase the equipment after visiting a similar production line in Venezuela. The insider did not reveal any details on the financial terms of the future deal, but said it was close to being sealed.

Russian arms producers further hope to win a contract for upgrading the whole ammunition plant in the future. It was built in late 1970s early 1980s with the help of Soviet specialists.

The United States are maintaining a decades-old trade blockade of Cuba. Russian companies, which would supply military equipment there, risk sanctions by the US.

Communist Cuba was a major ally of the Soviet Union during the Cold War era, with an estimated gross value of arms supplied to Havana reaching $16 billion. The USSR delivered tanks, Mig fighter jets, helicopters, rocket air defense systems, submarines, small arms, communication equipment among other things. The close military collaboration resulted in the most serious tension of the period, when Moscow deployed its missiles on the island in response to a similar move by the US in Turkey.

The collapse of the USSR and the economic perils new Russia faced weakened its trade and military ties with Cuba. In 2001 Russia shut down the radio reconnaissance base in Cuba, the last of its military facilities there.

However in the late 2000s Moscow and Havana began to re-establish relations on many levels. In September 2008 two Russian strategic bombers carrying top Air Forces brass visited Venezuela. The aviation generals also visited Cuba and later voiced possible plans for renting and upgrading an air base on the La Orchila Island, which would allow Russian military aircraft patrol the Caribbean.

Also in 2008, Russian Army generals visited Cuba to inspect its air defense forces. Possible upgrade of the old equipment and supply of spare parts was on the table. The moves were viewed by many observers as Russian response to the Bush administration plans to deploy an anti-ballistic missile system in Europe.

The news on the upcoming round production deal comes as Moscow and Washington are reaching new heights of tension over AMD system. The US refuses to provide guaranties that the system would not be used against Russia.

Russia’s latest move in the row was to open a new early warning radar in its western exclave, the Kaliningrad Region. President Medvedev has also threatened deployment of short-range ballistic missiles capable of destroying American ABM facilities, should it be required.

Vladimir Anokhin, the vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, does not believe that signing the military contract with Cuba is some kind of Russian geopolitical answer to US plans to deploy an anti-ballistic missile system in Europe.

“This is a common business deal by Rosoboronexport,” Anokhin said.

Anokhin however noted that Cuba has always been in Russia’s “area of interest” and said that at this moment no one can hamper the improvement of Russia-Cuba military cooperation.

“As a sovereign state we will not fall under any sanctions from the US,” Anokhin said. “At this point the US is not in a position [to ban Russia trade with Cuba]. It will be more trouble for the US than it is worth.”

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EU Foreign Ministers To Extend Sanctions Against Belarus, Iran, Syria

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111201/169192686.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 30, 2011

EU foreign ministers to extend sanctions on Iran, Syria, Belarus – source

The foreign ministers of the 27 European Union member states are expected to approve the extension of sanctions against Iran, Syria and Belarus during their regular meeting in Brussels on Thursday, a source in the Council of the European Union said.

A total of 179 Iranian officials and institutions linked to the government are expected to be added to the European blacklist over Tehran’s controversial nuclear program, the source said.

The EU ministers are also expected to approve the tenth set of sanctions against Syria…The sanctions will affect a number of Syrian financial, banking and energy enterprises, as well as officials and institutions believed to be linked to the Assad regime.

The list of 245 Belarusian officials who have been banned from travelling to the EU and whose foreign assets have been frozen over their alleged involvement in the crackdown on the country’s opposition is also expected to be extended.

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Germany To Provide Israel With Sixth Nuclear-Capable Submarine

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/europe/1963865.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
December 1, 2011

Germany approves sale of sixth nuclear-capable submarine to Israel

Germany has approved the sale of a sixth Dolphin submarine to Israel and will pay for a third of its cost, government sources told dpa on Wednesday.

Israel already has three German-made Dolphin submarines, which are capable of carrying missiles with nuclear warheads. Berlin paid for two of the submarines and the cost of the third was shared between the two countries. Two more are being constructed.

The government sources said Germany had allocated up to 135 million euros (180 million dollars) in next year’s budget to pay for its share of the cost for the sixth submarine, the sale of which is part of a deal finalized in 2005.

The submarines are seen as a strategic asset for Israel in any future confrontation with Iran…Israel is believed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, a claim it neither confirms nor denies.

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Former Mossad Chief: Israeli Strike On Iran Will Cause Regional Tragedy

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=160671

Azeri Press Agency
November 30, 2011

MOSSAD’s former chief: “Israel’s strike on Iran will lead to regional tragedy”
Konul Jafarli

Baku: Former MOSSAD chief Meir Dagan warned on Iran, APA reports. Dagan said that Israel’s strike on Iran can lead to tragedy in the region.

According to him, if Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear establishments, Iran can answer Israel: “Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas will respond with massive rocket attacks on Israel, and it can cause many human losses”.

Dagan said Syria also can join this war, and it means that Israel will be isolated.

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New NATO Division Hosts 200 Experts From Member, Partner States

http://www.defpro.com/news/details/30246/?SID=95f5c5ce17bfc3609c36a1ba528617b8

Defence Professionals
November 30, 2011

NATO and Partner Countries discuss New Challenges to Global Security

About 200 experts from NATO and partner countries gathered in Brussels on 28 November 2011 for the first conference on “New Challenges to Global Security” organised by NATO’s new Emerging Security Challenges Division.

“Many of these challenges cannot be kept at bay by the mere threat of military retaliation; and many require a much stronger focus on prevention and on enhancing the resilience of our infrastructure”, said the head Emerging Security Challenges Division, Assistant Secretary General Gabor Iklódy, welcoming participants from NATO and partner countries and from academic institutions.

The conference was an opportunity for security matter experts to look closely at the new Division’s agenda, ranging from threats to cyber networks and international terrorism to securing energy supplies and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. During the discussions, participants encouraged NATO’s Emerging Security Challenges Division to expand partnerships and enhance capabilities in dealing with modern threats. Assistant Secretary General Iklódy noted the importance of working together with partners…

The conference was sponsored by the Alliance’s “Science for Peace and Security” Programme and Carnegie Europe.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Rubén Darío: You think the future is wherever your bullet strikes

November 30, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Rubén Darío
To Roosevelt (1904)

Translated by Lysander Kemp

The voice that would reach you, Hunter, must speak
in Biblical tones, or in the poetry of Walt Whitman.
You are primitive and modern, simple and complex;
you are one part George Washington and one part Nimrod.
You are the United States,
future invader of our naive America
with its Indian blood, an America
that still prays to Christ and still speaks Spanish.

You are strong, proud model of your race;
you are cultured and able; you oppose Tolstoy.
You are an Alexander-Nebuchadnezzar,
breaking horses and murdering tigers.
(You are a Professor of Energy,
as current lunatics say).

You think that life is a fire,
that progress is an irruption,
that the future is wherever
your bullet strikes.
No.

The United States is grand and powerful.
Whenever it trembles, a profound shudder
runs down the enormous backbone of the Andes.
If it shouts, the sound is like the roar of a lion.
And Hugo said to Grant: “The stars are yours.”
(The dawning sun of the Argentine barely shines;
the star of Chile is rising..) A wealthy country,
joining the cult of Mammon to the cult of Hercules;
while Liberty, lighting the path
to easy conquest, raises her torch in New York.

But our own America, which has had poets
since the ancient times of Nezahualcóyolt;
which preserved the footprint of great Bacchus,
and learned the Panic alphabet once,
and consulted the stars; which also knew Atlantic
(whose name comes ringing down to us in Plato)
and has lived, since the earliest moments of its life,
in light, in fire, in fragrance, and in love -
the America of Moctezuma and Atahualpa,
the aromatic America of Columbus,
Catholic America, Spanish America,
the America where noble Cuauthémoc said:
“I am not in a bed of roses” – our America,
trembling with hurricanes, trembling with Love:
O men with Saxon eyes and barbarous souls,
our America lives. And dreams. And loves.
And it is the daughter of the Sun. Be careful.
Long live Spanish America!
A thousand cubs of the Spanish lion are roaming free.
Roosevelt, you must become, by God’s own will,
the deadly Rifleman and the dreadful Hunter
before you can clutch us in your iron claws.

And though you have everything, you are lacking one thing:
God!

*****

A Roosevelt

Es con voz de la Biblia, o verso de Walt Whitman,
que habría que llegar hasta ti, Cazador!
Primitivo y moderno, sencillo y complicado,
con un algo de Washington y cuatro de Nemrod.
Eres los Estados Unidos,
eres el futuro invasor
de la América ingenua que tiene sangre indígena,
que aún reza a Jesucristo y aún habla en español.

Eres soberbio y fuerte ejemplar de tu raza;
eres culto, eres hábil; te opones a Tolstoy.
Y domando caballos, o asesinando tigres,
eres un Alejandro-Nabucodonosor.
(Eres un profesor de energía,
como dicen los locos de hoy.)
Crees que la vida es incendio,
que el progreso es erupción;
en donde pones la bala
el porvenir pones.
No.

Los Estados Unidos son potentes y grandes.
Cuando ellos se estremecen hay un hondo temblor
que pasa por las vértebras enormes de los Andes.
Si clamáis, se oye como el rugir del león.
Ya Hugo a Grant le dijo: «Las estrellas son vuestras».
(Apenas brilla, alzándose, el argentino sol
y la estrella chilena se levanta…) Sois ricos.
Juntáis al culto de Hércules el culto de Mammón;
y alumbrando el camino de la fácil conquista,
la Libertad levanta su antorcha en Nueva York.

Mas la América nuestra, que tenía poetas
desde los viejos tiempos de Netzahualcoyotl,
que ha guardado las huellas de los pies del gran Baco,
que el alfabeto pánico en un tiempo aprendió;
que consultó los astros, que conoció la Atlántida,
cuyo nombre nos llega resonando en Platón,
que desde los remotos momentos de su vida
vive de luz, de fuego, de perfume, de amor,
la América del gran Moctezuma, del Inca,
la América fragante de Cristóbal Colón,
la América católica, la América española,
la América en que dijo el noble Guatemoc:
«Yo no estoy en un lecho de rosas»; esa América
que tiembla de huracanes y que vive de Amor,
hombres de ojos sajones y alma bárbara, vive.
Y sueña. Y ama, y vibra; y es la hija del Sol.
Tened cuidado. ¡Vive la América española!
Hay mil cachorros sueltos del León Español.
Se necesitaría, Roosevelt, ser Dios mismo,
el Riflero terrible y el fuerte Cazador,
para poder tenernos en vuestras férreas garras.

Y, pues contáis con todo, falta una cosa: ¡Dios!

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO news: November 30, 2011

November 30, 2011 1 comment

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NATO To Kosovo Serbs: “If Your Trucks Unload Gravel Here, We Will Shoot”

Kosovo In UN Security Council: NATO Quad Versus Russia And China

Senior U.S. Commander In Kosovo, Weighs In Against Serbs

Russia Concerned Over Calls For NATO To Become Global Policeman

U.S. Involved In Murder Of Russian Peacekeepers, Citizens In South Ossetia

Report: New Libyan Regime Sends 600 Troops To Fight In Syria

Libya Poised To Be NATO’s 14th Middle East/North African Partner

Videos And Text: Cold War And Crusades Never Ended

NATO Cross-Border Attacks Killed 72 Pakistani Troops, Injured 250 In Past Three Years: Army Spokesman

Sustained NATO Attack Was Deliberate: Pakistan Army

China: U.S. And NATO Have Trampled On International Law

Notice Sent To U.S. To Vacate Pakistani Air Base: Foreign Minister

Balochistan Government Endorses Ban On NATO Supplies

NATO Attack: Pakistan Pulls Out Of Afghanistan Talks

Local Officials: NATO Helicopters Killed Three Afghan Women

NATO Loses Another Soldier In Southern Afghanistan

Most Russians See NATO’s Drive East As Threat: Poll

Russia Commissions New Radar Against U.S.-NATO Missile System

Kaliningrad Radar A Signal To The West

Myanmar: U.S. Intensifies Isolation, Encirclement Of China

Canada To Complete High Arctic Military Center

50 Per Cent Export Increase Last Year: Germany Now Major Middle East Arms Supplier

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NATO To Kosovo Serbs: “If Your Trucks Unload Gravel Here, We Will Shoot”

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=11&dd=29&nav_id=77551

Beta News Agency/Tanjug News Agency
November 29, 2011

KFOR: We’ll shoot; Serbs start building new road

JAGNJENICA: KFOR members used loud speakers on Tuesday to warn local Serbs that they would “shoot” if they built a new barricade at Jagnjenica.

KFOR at Jagnjenica on Tuesday (Tanjug)The locals ignored the warning and started hauling in earth and gravel, dumping it on the road, thus constructing a new barricade. KFOR reacted by throwing tear gas at the Serbs, who are also this Tuesday building a new road nearby.

This latest maneuver by the locals left KFOR troops “partially blocked”, Tanjug is reporting.

The vehicles the soldiers used on Monday to break up the old barricade are now located between two new road blocks, set up on both sides of the Zubin Potok-Zvečan road this afternoon.

KFOR vehicles can at present only retreat to Čabra, an ethnic Albanian village where they had set up camp, according to this report.

Earlier in the day, the talks between the NATO troops in Kosovo and local Serb leaders, held earlier in the day, did not produce any results.

“If your trucks unload gravel here, we will shoot,” it was heard from the KFOR loud speakers.

The citizens gathered on the roads reacted with dissatisfaction, but no incidents were reported from the scene.

During the meeting on Tuesday, KFOR again asked Serbs to leave the road, while Zubin Potok Mayor Slaviša Ristić said that the troops should return to the positions they held before they moved to remove the barricade at Jagnjenica, and added that KFOR enjoyed freedom of movement.

A KFOR commander, who reports said “did not wish to introduce himself”, accused Ristić of being “directly responsible for yesterday’s violence against KFOR” – an accusation which the mayor rejected as false.

Ristić also said he woud call on citizens to remain calm.

After the meeting, KFOR again used lound speakers to warn the Serbs to disperse, and threaten that tear gas would be used against them.

New road

Meantime, local Serbs have decided to build a new road near Jagnjenica.

On Tuesday afternoon, they brought machines to the location and started building an “alternative” road, in a bid to circumvent the barricade that is now held by KFOR.

The aim is to make sure that the town of Zubin Potok, now cut off from other towns in the north of the province, is once again connected to Zvečan and Kosovska Mitrovica.

The citizens are hauling in gravel and building the road, while KFOR troops are observing the developments.

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Kosovo In UN Security Council: NATO Quad Versus Russia And China

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=11&dd=30&nav_id=77557

Tanjug News Agency
November 30, 2011

UN SC voices different views on Kosovo

-“KFOR and EULEX allegedly acted so as to ensure freedom of movement, but this is an shifting argument. According to the Resolution 1244, Kosovo is a special area within Serbia, and therefore we oppose the selective implementation of KFOR and EULEX’s mandate,” Churkin said.
“The use of force in order to establish the government of the so-called state of Kosovo is neither status neutral nor in keeping with their mandate,” Churkin pointed out, and added that Russia advocated a detailed investigation into developments from September 27, when KFOR used weapons and wounded civilians.
“Russia also demands that a full and objective investigation into allegations on organ trafficking be launched, under the auspices of the UN Security Council,” he said.

NEW YORK: U.S., Great Britain, France and Germany’s representatives in the UN Security Council supported on Tuesday removal of the barricades in northern Kosovo.

Russia and China, on the other hand, backed Serbia’s integrity.

Serbia’s Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremić requested from the UN Security Council to prevent further unilateral actions. The UN Security Council permanent members strongly condemned violence but remained divided regarding who was responsible for it.

Commenting on the recent incidents in northern Kosovo, the German representative said that violence against KFOR soldiers had to be fiercely condemned because attacks on KFOR…

Pointing out that putting up roadblocks was unacceptable, Wittig called on all sides to refrain from violence and asked Serbian authorities to use their influence to prevent violence. He also appealed to Priština officials to get involved in the search for a solution to the problems of organized crime and attacks on minorities.

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Rosemary DiCarlo said that the violence in northern Kosovo had been caused by few extremists, adding that her country was still optimistic regarding solving of the issues between Belgrade and Priština.

She called on the Serbian government to cooperate with KFOR and EULEX on removal of the barricades and arrest of suspected criminals in northern Kosovo.

DiCarlo said that Kosovo was a unique customs market and that it therefore had the right to control its borders. She accused the Serbian security structures of being in northern Kosovo illegally.

British Ambassador to the UN Michael Tatham strongly condemned the attacks on KFOR and called for an immediate removal of the barricades.

He also called for continuation of the Belgrade-Priština dialogue, adding that Great Britain supported Serbia’s EU integration.

French and German representatives voiced similar views. French Ambassador Gerard Araud said that the biggest victims of the barricades in the north were the people living there.

The German ambassador said that the violence was organized by the Serbs who kept protesting and called for full freedom of movement in the entire Kosovo.

He added that Serbia needed to implement the agreements that had been reached and that it was one of the conditions for the EU candidate status.

Russian and Chinese ambassadors had completely different views regarding Kosovo, pointing out that Priština was responsible for the violence in the north.

Russia’s Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the UN body had to send a clear message to everyone in Kosovo that they had to restrain from violence and continue the dialogue.

Pointing out that Russia shared the concern of the Serbian foreign minister over the situation in Kosovo, Churkin reiterated that official Moscow did not recognize the unilaterally proclaimed independence of Kosovo and that this stance would not change.

“The UNSC Resolution 1244 is in effect and represents an international and legal basis for the resolving of the Kosovo issue. We believe it is important that the dialogue is resumed, in order to find a solution to the problem,” the Russian ambassador said.

“Unilateral actions by Priština are unacceptable,” he stressed.

“Russia is concerned over the deterioration of the situation in northern Kosovo,” Churkin said, stressing that certain incidents were very brazen.

When it comes to the clashes between KFOR and Kosovo Serbs, he stated it would be best if KFOR concentrated not on the removal of barricades but rather on what the concerns of the people living in that part of the province were.

“KFOR and EULEX allegedly acted so as to ensure freedom of movement, but this is an shifting argument. According to the Resolution 1244, Kosovo is a special area within Serbia, and therefore we oppose the selective implementation of KFOR and EULEX’s mandate,” Churkin said.

“The use of force in order to establish the government of the so-called state of Kosovo is neither status neutral nor in keeping with their mandate,” Churkin pointed out, and added that Russia advocated a detailed investigation into developments from September 27, when KFOR used weapons and wounded civilians.

“Russia also demands that a full and objective investigation into allegations on organ trafficking be launched, under the auspices of the UN Security Council,” he said.

“Moreover, Moscow is concerned because the key witnesses in important proceedings have been eliminated and because the number of returnees in Kosovo is unsatisfactory,” the Russian representative concluded.

The Chinese ambassador stressed that Serbia’s integrity and territorial sovereignty needed to be respected and said that a dialogue should be a solution to the crisis.

He expressed concern over the human organ trafficking case in Kosovo, pointing out that Beijing requested a full and an unbiased investigation.

Colombia, Brazil, South Africa and Bosnia-Herzegovina’s representatives also stressed that the Belgrade-Priština dialogue was the only possible solution.

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Senior U.S. Commander In Kosovo, Weighs In Against Serbs

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66279

U.S. Department of Defense
November 29, 2011

U.S. Commander Condemns Attacks on Kosovo Force
By Donna Miles

-To prepare for the mission, the KFOR 15 troops trained in realistic scenarios at Camp Atterbury, Ind., and most recently, at U.S. Army Europe’s Joint Multinational Training Center in Hohenfels, Germany.

WASHINGTON: A senior U.S. military leader in Europe condemned recent violence against NATO troops in Kosovo just as a Wisconsin Army National Guard unit prepares to take command of the 15th rotation of peacekeeping forces there.

Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples, visited Pristina, Kosovo, today to assess the situation a day after attacks by Serb demonstrators wounded more than two dozen NATO Kosovo Force members. No U.S. troops were wounded in the clashes.

The attacks occurred after the KFOR troops removed blockades that had shut off a main road in northern Kosovo.

“The use of violence against KFOR troops is unacceptable,” Locklear said in a statement released today…

About 180 members of the Wisconsin National Guard’s 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade are now preparing to assume authority for the next KFOR rotation in December. They will serve as the brigade headquarters unit for Multinational Battle Group East, also known as Task Force Falcon. In that role, the 157th will oversee operations for the entire Multinational Battle Group East.

The group includes National Guard and Reserve soldiers from Wisconsin, Mississippi, Georgia, Nebraska, Vermont, North Dakota, New Jersey, Wyoming, Massachusetts and Puerto Rico. It also includes international forces from Armenia, Greece, Poland, Turkey, Romania and the Ukraine.

To prepare for the mission, the KFOR 15 troops trained in realistic scenarios at Camp Atterbury, Ind., and most recently, at U.S. Army Europe’s Joint Multinational Training Center in Hohenfels, Germany.

Observer-controllers at both training sites strived to make the training as realistic as possible, he said, based on tactics, techniques and procedures taking place on the ground.

“Early on in our training, the focus was on a relatively steady state and calm environment in Kosovo,” Liethen said earlier this month at Hohenfels.

“Things have drastically changed,” he said. “It’s very obvious that the training program here at Hohenfels has been modified to replicate what is actually going on in Kosovo right now so that will definitely be a help in us conducting our mission.”

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Russia Concerned Over Calls For NATO To Become Global Policeman

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/30/61244336.html

Voice of Russia
November 30, 2011

Moscow concerned over calls for NATO to become global cop

       
Moscow is concerned about calls by western politicians to turn NATO into a global cop.

This comes in a statement made by an official of the Russian Foreign Ministry Yuri Gorlach at an international conference in Moscow on Euro-Atlantic security architecture.

According to the diplomat, some politicians have an illusion that the world’s political problems could be settled through the use of force.

But an effective military operation does not necessarily entail settlement of internal problems in any given country.

A reliance on military force is counterproductive and serves to exacerbate crisis situations, Yuri Gorlach said.

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U.S. Involved In Murder Of Russian Peacekeepers, Citizens In South Ossetia

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/285243.html

Itar-Tass
November 30, 2011

US involved in murder of Russian peacekeepers in S Ossetia

MOSCOW: Deputy Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Vladimir Nazarov said Russia has concrete proofs that the USA was involved in the murder of Russian peacekeepers, servicemen and citizens in South Ossetia. Nazarov said so at the international conference in Moscow on Euroatlantic security architecture on Wednesday.

“The USA was directly involved in the murder of Russian peacekeepers, servicemen and citizens in South Ossetia,” Nazarov stressed, “we have concrete proofs.”

“We’d like to remind our NATO partners about the role the alliance played in arming the Saakashvili regime, pushing it towards that war, and dragging Georgia toward NATO in 2007 and 2008,” the deputy Security Council secretary underlined.

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Report: New Libyan Regime Sends 600 Troops To Fight In Syria

http://rt.com/news/libya-syria-fighters-smuggled-475/

RT
November 29, 2011

600 Libyans ‘already fighting in Syria’

-The Syrian government…is likely to see them as mercenaries, which NATO member Turkey allowed into their country as an alternative to a full-scale military campaign, which is impossible without the sanction of the United Nations Security Council.

The Libyan government apparently wants to share its successful experience of overthrowing the Gaddafi regime with like-minded Syrians. It has sent 600 of its troops to support local militants against the Assad regime, according to media reports.

The fighters have joined the Free Syria Army, the militant group carrying out attacks on government forces in Syria, reports the Egyptian news website Al-Ray Al-Arabi citing its sources. The report says the troops entered Syria through Turkish territory.

The alleged incursion happened with the consent of the chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) Mustafa Abdul Jalil. The NTC allegedly welcomed volunteers to join the surge.

Last Friday British media reported a secret meeting between NTC envoys and Syrian rebels had been held in Istanbul. The Libyan governing body reportedly pledged to supply arms, money and fighters to the Syrians.

Bashar Assad’s government has repeatedly accused foreign forces of smuggling armed groups and weapons into Syria and thus fueling the ongoing violence.
In mid-October the Libyan NTC was the first government to recognize the rebel Syrian National Council as the legitimate representatives of the Syrian people.

The Libyan population is in possession of many weapons, which they received during the civil war by plundering military depots, through smuggling or as aid from NATO members and countries like Qatar, which took part in the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi. The NTC has difficulties in disarming the ex-rebels, who want to keep their firearms, either for personal protection or as means to make their living.

In November, the Libyan capital, Tripoli, saw a mass protest by the rebels, who demanded that the NTC pay their wages. Some even threatened to overthrow the new government the way they did with the previous one, unless their demands are met.

Funneling armed, underemployed and eager-to-fight youngsters to another country could be a convenient move for the NTC. The Syrian government, however, is likely to see them as mercenaries, which NATO member Turkey allowed into their country as an alternative to a full-scale military campaign, which is impossible without the sanction of the United Nations Security Council.

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Libya Poised To Be NATO’s 14th Middle East/North African Partner

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/285343.html

Itar-Tass
November 30, 2011

NATO ready to take part in programme for security in Libya

MOSCOW: NATO is ready to take part in a programme for strengthening security in Libya, NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Stefanie Babst said.

Speaking at an international conference devoted to European security architecture on Wednesday, Babst said if the new Libyan government declared about the programme, which was related to strengthening security, NATO would be able to take concrete steps.

Babst also noted that NATO discussed the strengthening of cooperation with the Persian Gulf countries and the Middle East states. “Our allies would like to analyse partnership with the region. We did our work and held the corresponding consultations,” she said.

Deputy director of the Foreign Ministry Department for All European Cooperation Yuri Gorlach said Russia voiced concern over Western politicians’ calls for making NATO a “global policeman”.

Speaking at the conference, Gorlach said, “Certain Western politicians had an illusion that world political issues could be solved by military means. But a successful military operation cannot always help resolve internal issues in any country.”

“We all should react in order to help stabilise the situation in the countries. But the use of force is not effective and only slow down the dialogue and lead to internal contradictions in any country,” the Russian diplomat stressed.

For his part, head of the NATO Information Office in Moscow Robert Pszcel said the Alliance needed new approaches and ideas towards its relationship with Russia. “Of course, today we need new approaches and new ideas to develop further dialogue,” Pszcel said.

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Videos And Text: Cold War And Crusades Never Ended

http://rt.com/news/syria-un-condemnation-crimes-523/

RT
November 30, 2011

‘Cold War and crusades never finished’

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Videos

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Pressure on the Syrian regime continues to intensify as do divisions among the UNSC members. Meanwhile, the UN human rights forum is expected to condemn Syria for crimes against humanity.

European and Arab diplomats have told Reuters that a UN human rights forum will on Wednesday announce an emergency session is to take place on Friday to condemn Damascus.

They also say the move is also designed to put pressure on Russia and China. Russia continues to insist on a compromise to end the crisis without any ultimatums.

It comes days after a UN commission of inquiry said Syrian security forces had committed murder, torture and rape during their crackdown on the anti-government uprising.

“This is very much being led by the Arab group. Some Arab ambassadors are at least as concerned as the European Union and United States – and possibly more,” Britain’s ambassador Peter Gooderham told Reuters.

Peter Eyre, a Middle East consultant, told RT that the Arab League is a “puppet of America and the United Nations.”

“You’ve got to understand that Cold War has never finished, the crusades have never finished,” he stated.

Eyre stresses that despite the idea of a movement uniting Islam, the Arab states have consistently turned their backs on each other in the Balkans, Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq, Afghanistan and, most recently, in Libya.

He also underlined that further sanctions will not help Western states to end the violence in Syria.

“Obviously the people of Syria are the ultimate victims. What we have here is the tip of the iceberg of the Arab Spring which is over-influenced by the West infiltrating into Syria,” he explained.

“Sanctions are a blunt instrument which ultimately affect the population more than they affect the ruling elites,” Middle East expert Edmund Ghareeb told RT.

As the peaceful protests did not have the kind of impact that its organizers had hoped for, Syria is sliding towards a civil war, he added.

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NATO Cross-Border Attacks Killed 72 Pakistani Troops, Injured 250 In Past Three Years: Army Spokesman

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=160494

Azeri Press Agency
November 29, 2011

72 troops killed by NATO cross-border attacks in Pakistan over last three years: army spokesman

Baku: A total of 72 Pakistani troops were killed and over 250 others injured by NATO cross-border attacks in Pakistan over the last three years, said an army spokesman on Monday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

In an interview with local media Geo TV, Major General Athar Abbas, spokesman of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), a Pakistani army mouthpiece, said that the recent attacks by NATO forces on two Pakistani army checkposts in the country’s northwest tribal area of Mohmand Agency, which killed 24 Pakistani troops and injured 13 others, could lead to serious consequences.

He said that Pakistani authorities can not accept the lame excuses made by NATO forces that the attack was not deliberate or it was an act of misunderstanding.

To a question about a possible apology by NATO, the spokesman said that the apology by NATO is not enough. “We don’t accept any apology,” he said.

The ISPR spokesman denied NATO’s claim that Pakistani forces initiated the fire and said that no fire was opened from the Pakistani side and the troops retaliated only after the killing of their soldiers by the NATO attack.

He said that if NATO and ISAF were claiming that firing was started from the Pakistani side then they should present proof of the loss which they met by the firing from Pakistani troops and they should tell how many ISAF soldiers were injured or killed by the firing carried out by Pakistani troops.

According to the spokesman, when the attack was initiated, the Pakistani soldiers deployed on the checkposts immediately informed senior officers at the regional headquarters of Peshawar and main headquarters at GHQ Rawalpindi. The senior officials in army headquarters took up the issue with ISAF headquarters that an attack was being launched at Pakistani Army checkposts. They asked them to stop the firing immediately, but the NATO officials concerned did not halt the attack.

He said that after the attack reports came that 24 soldiers have been killed in the attack that continued around two hours even after the Pakistan Army informed NATO.

He said the spokesperson of NATO should explain why they continued to attack army checkposts after Pakistani officials clearly told them that their target was Pakistani troops and no terrorists were present in the area.

He said that to ensure safety and to rule out the presence of terrorists in the Mohmand Agency a large number of military checkposts were set up in the area and NATO was well aware of the presence of these posts and ISAF officials were informed whenever a new post was created so that they could have map references of these posts.

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Sustained NATO Attack Was Deliberate: Pakistan Army

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\11\30\story_30-11-2011_pg1_4

Associated Press of Pakistan
November 30, 2011

NATO raid was deliberate: army

* DGMO tells journalists positions of posts were already conveyed to ISAF through map references and it is impossible that they did not know these to be our posts

RAWALPINDI: The NATO attacks on border checkposts in Mohmand Agency were deliberate and were carried out in violation of coordination procedures, Director General Military Operations (DG MO), Maj Gen Ishfaq Nadeem, said on Tuesday.

Terming the strikes as unprovoked act of blatant aggression during a briefing to newsmen and defence analysts at the GHQ, Gen Nadeem said, “The positions of the posts were already conveyed to the ISAF through map references and it was impossible that they did not know these to be our posts.” Chief of General Staff, Lt General Waheed Arshad, was also present during the briefing.

The DG MO said that there were four border communication centres to coordinate operations against militants but, unfortunately, all standard operating procedures were violated by ISAF and NATO forces on the night of attack. The area where the attacks were carried out was already cleared of the militants by Pakistani forces and there was no cross-border movement of terrorists from Pakistan to Afghanistan, he added.

Prior to the incident, there had been three attacks which were carried out from across the border in 2008, 2010 and 2011, killing 14 Pakistani soldiers and injuring another 13, the senior military officer said. “No information regarding inquiry of these attacks was shared or provided to us despite our repeated requests, and when provided, it was inaccurate and incomplete,” he added.

Giving details of the incident, Gen Nadeem said after midnight on November 26, two to three helicopters arrived in the area and engaged the border post named Volcano, breaking down all communication systems there. In response, another post, Boulder, engaged the intruding helicopters with anti-aircraft guns and other weapons. The helicopters then attacked this post.

He said all channels of coordination methods were immediately activated. “We informed them about the attack. But, the helicopters reappeared and also engaged the Boulder post.” In the attacks, 24 soldiers, including two officers, embraced martyrdom while 15 others sustained injuries, he added. When asked why did the ISAF and NATO attacked the Pakistani posts and what type of advantage they wanted to gain, Gen Nadeem said that people could better analyse the situation in the backdrop of the post-May 2 operation.

To a query, he said the response of the government was adequate and mentioned the Defence Cabinet Committee (DCC) meeting and notice to the US for vacation of the Shamsi airbase. The DG MO said the Pakistan Air Force was not asked to respond to the attack because the situation on the ground was not clear. Commenting on Afghan media reports about shelling from the Pakistani side of the border into Afghanistan, he said the reports were totally incorrect and there was no truth in them.

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China: U.S. And NATO Have Trampled On International Law

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\11\30\story_30-11-2011_pg7_5

Daily Times
Agencies
November 30, 2011

US fanning terror, flouting international laws: China

* State newspaper says attack proves US will not show the slightest hesitation to violate sovereignty of another nation to ensure its ‘absolute security’

BEIJING: China’s top state newspaper on Tuesday accused the United States of flouting international law and fanning terrorism after a NATO attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, and it warned that the Islamabad’s grip on security could be dangerously weakened.

The condemnation in the People’s Daily, the main newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, kept up Beijing’s angry words in support of its partner, Pakistan, as Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has said that “business as usual” with the United States has been over after the attack on Saturday.

NATO called the killings a “tragic, unintended incident”, and the US officials said NATO and American investigations would determine what happened in the attack in northwest Pakistan.

But the People’s Daily said the attack already laid bare deeper problems in the US approach to militant threats.

“Above all, we must be clear that the United States and NATO have trampled on international laws and rules,” said a commentary in the newspaper.

“The United States and NATO have violated international law and international norms,” the paper said in an editorial condemning the attacks.

“This shows…that at crucial moments, the United States will not show the slightest hesitation to violate the sovereignty of another nation to ensure its ‘absolute security’.”

“The risk in fighting terror this way is that it will ignite latent sympathy and support for terrorism, as well as hurting many innocent people and damaging international law,” said a commentary in the Chinese-language newspaper.

“The soil nurturing terrorism will become even more fertile, and the space for terrorism to spread even broader,” it said.

The commentary came after the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei voiced shock over the assault, and the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi offered Beijing’s firm support to his Pakistani counterpart, Hina Rabbani Khar.

The close ties between China and Pakistan reflect…a desire to hedge against US influence across the region.

The People’s Daily commentary said the killings of the soldiers could inflict lasting damage.

“Islamabad’s grip on domestic security will also be weakened,” it said. “This will not only work against the war on terror, it could also leave the risk of long-term turmoil.”

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Notice Sent To U.S. To Vacate Pakistani Air Base: Foreign Minister

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\11\30\story_30-11-2011_pg1_9

Associated Press of Pakistan
November 30, 2011

Notice sent to US for vacating Shamsi: FM

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said on Tuesday that in line with the decisions of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet, a notice has been sent to the US for vacating the Shamsi airbase within 15 days.

Terming the NATO/ISAF attack on border posts in Mohmand Agency as a breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty and violation of international law, the foreign minister said, “The time has come to review our relations.”

Talking to the state television channel, the foreign minister said Pakistan has supported the international community in the war against terrorism and has rendered great sacrifices.

She said Pakistan’s positive cooperation must be recognised at an international level and should not be taken as a weakness.

Khar said Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected at all cost.

She categorically stated that the nation and the government would not tolerate such incidents in future. “We don’t want any aid or assistance, but we want to live with dignity and honour.”

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Balochistan Government Endorses Ban On NATO Supplies

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=127893

Pakistan Observer
November 30, 2011

Balochistan govt endorses ban on entrance of NATO supplies

Quetta: The Balochistan government has endorsed the decision to ban the entrance of NATO supplies into the jurisdiction of Balochistan province.

According to a handout issued here, the decision was taken in a meeting of the provincial cabinet held with Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani in chair. The Balochistan cabinet offered Fateha for the security forces officials and soldiers who embraced martyrdom in the attack by NATO helicopters. It strongly condemned the NATO attack and termed it a violation of sovereignty of Pakistan.

Nawab Raisani said the entire nation was standing with the Pakistan military to combat the nefarious designs of the enemy. The provincial cabinet emphasized the need to initiate comprehensive measures to halt such attacks in future. It is reported from Multan that MQM leaders and members of the Rabta Committee Raza Haroon, Waseem Akhtar, Iftekhar Akbar Randhawa and other members on Monday strongly condemned the NATO attack on the Pakistan army and paid tribute to the martyred soldiers.

Raza Haroon said that in line with the direction of MQM leader Altaf Hussain, the party has replaced party flags with the national flag at all the regional office of MQM to show unity with the Pakistan army. He said that an election is the only way to get change in the country.

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NATO Attack: Pakistan Pulls Out Of Afghanistan Talks

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\11\30\story_30-11-2011_pg1_1

Daily Times
Agencies
November 30, 2011

Pakistan pulls out of Afghan talks

* Cabinet decides to boycott Bonn conference in anger over Mohmand attack

* Endorses DCC decisions to cut NATO supply and get the Shamsi airbase vacated from US

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday decided to boycott a key international conference on Afghanistan next month, widening its protest over lethal cross-border NATO strikes and exacerbating a deep crisis in US ties.

“Pakistan looks forward to the success of this conference but in view of the developments and prevailing circumstances has decided not to participate in the conference,” a government statement said. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting, which termed the attack an assault on the sovereignty of Pakistan. The cabinet gave its approval to and appreciated the decisions of the DCC to immediate close NATO/ISAF logistic supply lines and asking the US to vacate the Shamsi Airbase within fifteen days. The meeting was of the view that actions such as these attacks were contrary to the spirit of partnership and business as usual was no longer possible.

Prime Minster Yousaf Raza Gilani, who chaired the meeting, announced to summon a joint session of parliament after the recommendations of the parliamentary committee on National Security to discuss the NATO attack and the controversial memo affair. Addressing the meeting at the Punjab Governor’s House, the prime minister said there could be no compromise on Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity nor on the nation’s resolve to safeguard its frontiers.

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Local Officials: NATO Helicopters Killed Three Afghan Women

http://news.antiwar.com/2011/11/29/local-officials-nato-helicopters-killed-three-afghan-women/

Antiwar.com
November 29, 2011

Local Officials: NATO Helicopters Killed Three Afghan Women
Attack on Civilian Homes in Kandahar District
by Jason Ditz

At least three women were killed today and two men were wounded when NATO helicopters attacked a civilian neighborhood in Kandahar Province’s Zhari District, according to the provincial governor’s office.

NATO has so far declined comment on the attack one way or another to the press, but the governor’s spokesman said they had acknowledged the incident to their office.

The attack is the second major NATO strike on the district in as many weeks, as an attack last week on Zhari killed nine civilians, including six children.

There was no indication of any activity around the area that would be expected to lead to “air support” being called in, and the governor’s office says at least four rockets were fired at the civilian houses.

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NATO Loses Another Soldier In Southern Afghanistan

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h1CzYltzV6ZI90zmXVOR0p_iScFA?docId=a15e61a4f8b343b3869db0c0af768004

Associated Press
November 30, 2011

NATO service member dies in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan: NATO says a roadside bomb has killed a service member with the international military coalition in southern Afghanistan.

NATO says the service member was killed Wednesday. It did not disclose the nationality of the service member or provide other details.

So far this year, 515 international troops have been killed in Afghanistan, including at least 386 Americans.

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Most Russians See NATO’s Drive East As Threat: Poll

http://en.rian.ru/society/20111129/169146770.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 29, 2011

Most Russians see NATO eastward expansion as threat – poll

MOSCOW: Most Russians don’t see NATO as Russia’s partner and are convinced that the bloc’s eastward expansion is a threat to the country’s security, show the results of a poll by a state-run pollster released on Tuesday.

34 percent of respondents are convinced that the bloc is a threat to Russia’s security, down 7 percentage points from 2009. An equal number of respondents said they though the bloc is not Russia’s partner but that it poses no real threat to Russia.

Only 8 percent of respondents said NATO was Russia’s partner.

“Most of those who consider NATO a threat are supporters of the A Just Russia party (47 percent), the Communist Party of Russia (42 percent), as well as Muscovites and residents of St. Petersburg. Those who don’t see NATO as a threat are mostly residents of towns (41 percent),” the pollster said in a report.

The respondents who are worried about NATO expansion are mostly A Just Russia supporters (79 percent), residents of large cities (73 percent) and people of pre-retirement age or older (62-65 percent).

Those who don’t see NATO’s eastward expansion as a threat support non-parliamentary parties (26 percent) and are mostly young people.

The poll was conducted on October 22-23 among 1,600 respondents from 138 cities and towns in 46 Russian regions.

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Russia Commissions New Radar Against U.S.-NATO Missile System

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/284423.html

Itar-Tass
November 29, 2011

Kaliningrad radar commissioned as part of missile warning system

KALININGRAD: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday ordered to commission the Voronezh-DM-class Kaliningrad radar as part of the missile warning system.

Medvedev, who arrived at the military unit where the radar is located, proceeded to the command quarters. Commander of the aerospace defense (VKO) troops Lt-Gen Oleg Ostapenko reported to the head of state about the radar’s readiness to go on line, and Medvedev issued the order to add the facility to the VKO assets.

Medvedev said he would chair a conference later in the day with the leadership of the armed forces within the framework of the instructions he had issued last week in connection with the situation involving U.S. missile defense facilities in Europe.

The Kaliningrad radar went on line ahead of schedule after the Russian president’s statement.

Radars of this class are Russian factory-assembled over-the-horizon, long-range warning facilities…

In addition, Voronezh-DM functions in decimal waveband, which provides for higher accuracy. Its energy consumption is lower by 40 percent, and it utilizes less equipment than previous models. The range of Voronezh-dm reaches 6,000 kilometers.

At present, similar facilities are on experimental and combat duty in Armavir and the Leningrad region (village of Lekhtusi). In 2012, another Vornozeh-DM radar will be commissioned in the Irkutsk region.

The Kaliningrad radar was built to improve the missile warning system in Russia’s northeastern air/space direction and covers the western sector, which was monitored by the stations in Mukachyovo and Baranovichi in Soviet times.

“It considerably expands the range of information tasks for subsequent decision-making by our country’s top leadership,” VKO troops commander Lt-Gen Oleg Ostapenko noted in this connection on November 25.

The Russian Defense Ministry plans to replace all Russian long-range radars with Voronezh-DM facilities and build several new ones. Using these radars, Russia will fully restore its monitoring of airspace in its territory and far beyond.

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http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/29/c_131277494.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 29, 2011

Russia activates missile warning system in Kaliningrad

MOSCOW: Russia has activated a radar warning system in Kaliningrad in response to a planned U.S. missile shield in Europe, Russian news agencies reported Tuesday.

“I expect that this step will be seen by our partners as the first signal of the readiness of our country to make an adequate response” to the U.S. shield, President Dmitry Medvedev told senior defense officials in Kaliningrad.

Russia is ready to listen to Western partners’ proposals on the missile defense issues, Medvedev said.

“If other steps are taken, we will naturally be prepared to listen,” he said, but “in any case only verbal statements will not suffice.”

Medvedev said last week that Russia might station missile defense systems, including the Iskander, in western and southern sections of the country if there were any additional U.S. missile deployments in Europe.

Moscow has long opposed the deployment of U.S.-led NATO missile defense facilities near its borders. It wants legally binding guarantees from the United States and NATO that the missile defense shield is not targeting Russia.

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http://rt.com/politics/opens-kaliningrad-radar-station-459/

RT
November 29, 2011

Russia launches new missile defense to cover Atlantic

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Video

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered operational the newest Russian radar system that protects from missile attacks and covers all Europe and Atlantic.

Medvedev personally arrived in Russia’s westernmost exclave of Kaliningrad and received a report from the Space Defense Troops commander that the radar station was fully ready for the launch. After this, the president gave the order to put the radar on combat duty.

At the ceremony Medvedev said that the radar launch was a sign to the Western partners that Russia was ready to promptly respond to threats that arise with the start of the European missile defense. “I expect that this step will be regarded by Western partners as the first signal of our country’s readiness to appropriately respond to the threats posed by the missile defense system to our strategic nuclear forces,” the Russian President said.

After the launch the president held a conference with top commanders of the Russian Military Forces. There he said that Russia was ready to listen to proposals on missile defense, but repeated that “verbal statements alone will not suffice.”

“If our signal is not heard, as I said on November 23 we will deploy other means of defense, including approving harsh counter-measures and the deployment of a strike group,” Medvedev said. “If other steps are taken, we are ready to listen to them, but in any case, verbal statements alone will not suffice,” the president said.

“When they tell us ‘this is not meant against you,’ I would like to say the following today – dear friends, this radar station that started its work today is also not meant against you. But it is meant for us and for the tasks that we set before us,” Medvedev said.

The Voronezh-DM station has been working in test mode for the whole of 2011. There were no technical failures over this period, Interfax news agency reported, quoting a source in the Defense Ministry. The source also said that the Kaliningrad station will be the third of its kind, with the first two already working in Leningrad and Krasnodar Regions.

With the effective detection range of 6,000 kilometers, the Voronezh-DM is processing the reports of missile strikes on military and civilian combat posts. The station is capable of working in connection with Moscow’s missile defense system.

The commander of the Russian Space Defense Troops, Lieutenant-General Oleg Ostapenko has said earlier that the new station in Kaliningrad would allow control of the entire European and Atlantic regions.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last week said that Russia would strengthen its defenses and deploy missiles and anti-missile components to Kaliningrad as a reply to the US and NATO constant push towards creating the European Missile Defense system with components stationed near the Russian border.

Russia opposes the program, saying it threatens the balance of nuclear forces and demands legally-binding guarantees that the system will not be used against it. The Western side says the new missile defense it built against the threat from rogue states, but so far provided no such guarantees to Russia.

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Kaliningrad Radar A Signal To The West

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/29/61226419.html

Voice of Russia
November 29, 2011

Kaliningrad radar a signal to the West
Svetlana Andreyeva

       
A long-range anti-missile radar has been put on combat duty in Russia’s northwestern region of Kaliningrad.

President Dmitry Medvedev, who personally inaugurated the Kaliningrad radar on Tuesday, said that its key task was to provide early warning of possible missile attacks and to protect national security in the most missile-dangerous directions. He did not rule out the possibility of integrating the Kaliningrad radar into a joint Russian-NATO missile defense shield in the future but complained that Western partners were reluctant to cooperate in this sphere.

The Voronezh-DM radar in Kaliningrad is a signal to the West that Russia will respond adequately to potential threats emanating from the U.S. anti-missile system in Europe, President Medvedev said:

“The Voronezh-DM radar is an instrument of aerospace control. It does not pose any threat to our neighbors. Its creation does not shut the door to dialogue on the issues we have been discussing with our colleagues. Its capabilities allow it to be used in the interests of a common European missile defense system. But this will depend on the ultimate approaches we expect NATO, the United States and European partners to formulate. The usual statements that the system of a phased and adaptive transition to European missile defense, which is currently being created, is not directed against Russia no longer suits us. Unfortunately, verbal assurances do not guarantee the protection of our interests. If other proposals are put forward, naturally we are ready to listen to them. But verbal statements are not enough. The radar that was put into operation today is not against you – it is for you and for addressing the tasks we are setting ourselves.”

The up-to-date decimeter-band Kaliningrad radar will carry out aerospace surveillance across a vast territory from the North Pole to North Africa. It is capable of tracking a target at a distance of 6,000 km and consumes 40% less power than its predecessors. Another of its advantages is that it is easily movable and rapidly assembled.

The Kaliningrad radar is the first of the counter-measures announced by President Medvedev on November 23 in response to the unilateral deployment of the U.S. missile defense shield in Europe.

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Myanmar: U.S. Intensifies Isolation, Encirclement Of China

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/686292/China-Myanmar-ties-challenged-by-US-moves.aspx

Global Times
November 29, 2011

China-Myanmar ties challenged by US moves
By Li Xiguang

-Myanmar ports would be able to shorten the distance between Western China and the Indian Ocean by 3,000 kilometers by not passing through the Strait of Malacca and the ports in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Myanmar is also looked as a crucial alternative route in China’s long-term goal of securing a safe conduit of its much-needed fuel from Middle East and Africa.
-In the worst case crisis scenario in China-US relations, a blockade of the Chinese coast and the Malacca Strait could be the cards the US is most likely to play. In late September, Myanmar made a surprising announcement that it would halt the construction of the $3.6 billion Myitsone hydropower station invested by a Chinese company.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Myanmar, starting today, will further unnerve China, which has recently been increasingly worried that the aim of the new US Asian policy is to isolate and encircle China.

Historically and geographically, Myanmar has been a close neighbor to China. For centuries, the two countries have enjoyed a family tie known as “pauk-phaw (brotherhood)” in Myanmese because of intermarriage between border inhabitants.

China’s former premier Zhou Enlai visited Myanmar nine times while his counterpart, Myanmar leader Ne Win visited China 12 times. During Zhou’s first visit to Myanmar in 1954, the two countries stressed the five principles of peaceful coexistence in international relations. The five principles are still the foundation of China’s handling of international relations today.

For centuries, the two peoples have traveled freely across the border on dirt roads and forested mountains. Chinese late foreign minister Marshal Chen Yi composed a poem which reads, “I (China) am upstream and you (Myanmar) are downstream. We share water from the same river with friendship.”

Today, Myanmar is the pivot of China’s grand strategy to achieve its economic growth goal.

The development of Western China depends on a secured shorter trade and fuel routes to the ocean. Close to the key shipping lanes of the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia, Myanmar is important for China to develop its southwestern inland provinces, which have a population of about 200 million people.

These backward provinces want to trade with the growing economies of Southeast Asia, India, the Arab world and Europe. Chinese academics and the government have been discussing using Myanmar as a bridge to revive the legendary “Southwest Silk Road” from Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces to Myanmar and westward to India, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

Myanmar ports would be able to shorten the distance between Western China and the Indian Ocean by 3,000 kilometers by not passing through the Strait of Malacca and the ports in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Myanmar is also looked as a crucial alternative route in China’s long-term goal of securing a safe conduit of its much-needed fuel from Middle East and Africa.

China in recent decades has been constructing an oil pipeline and highway in Myanmar to obtain access to a port by the Indian Ocean. With the 2,000-kilometer Myanmar-Yunnan-Chongqing oil pipeline, China has now almost secured an outlet to the Indian Ocean for its landlocked southwestern provinces.

But recently, this route appears to be under increasing uncertainty. As early as 2010, Clinton declared that the South China Sea was vital to US interests. In September of this year, Clinton announced a new US policy in South Asia of building a new Silk Road bypassing China. In the November issue of Foreign Policy magazine, Clinton published a lengthy article in which she declared the coming of the US’s Pacific Century. And two weeks later, at a forum in Honolulu, Obama announced that “The US is a Pacific power and we’re here to stay.”

In the worst case crisis scenario in China-US relations, a blockade of the Chinese coast and the Malacca Strait could be the cards the US is most likely to play. In late September, Myanmar made a surprising announcement that it would halt the construction of the $3.6 billion Myitsone hydropower station invested by a Chinese company.

A month later, Clinton announced that she would visit Myanmar, perhaps as a kind of reward to the country’s new leadership. Chinese media speculate that the US government was behind the Myanmar decision to halt the dam.

Obama and Clinton’s latest moves to isolate and encircle China have made the country more eager than ever to vary its routes for transporting fuel from the Middle East and Africa. China cannot afford to lose the Myanmar route.

The author is director of International Center for Communication, Tsinghua University.

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Canada To Complete High Arctic Military Center

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/story/2011/11/27/north-high-arctic-military-centre.html

CBC News
November 27, 2011

Ottawa moves ahead with High Arctic military centre
The new military facility will be built on to the existing Polar Continental Shelf Project research base in Resolute, Nunavut. It is scheduled to be complete by 2013

The federal government will move ahead with its planned military facility in Resolute, Nunavut.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised an Arctic warfare training facility in 2007. The facility looks like it will now become reality, but with a few changes to the original plan.

[The Department of National Defence's Major Bill Chambré said] “My focus is mainly building a training facility but to also have a facility where we can conduct operations.”

The facility will be built on to the existing Polar Continental Shelf Project research base, which is already the largest in the community.

The building’s price tag is $18 million and the final design is expected to be complete by next month.

Chambré insists it is not the permanent search and rescue base northerners have called for because it’s unlikely the military will use the facility year round.

The government plans to work out of the facility mostly during winter, with people from other government departments working there mainly in summer.

“I certainly don’t see this going idle, especially when we have two government departments sharing,” said Chambré.

Building materials will arrive in Resolute on the next sealift, and construction is scheduled to be complete by 2013.

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50 Per Cent Export Increase Last Year: Germany Now Major Middle East Arms Supplier

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2011/11/29/Germany-now-major-Mideast-arms-supplier/UPI-38651322594985/

United Press International
November 29, 2011

Germany now major Mideast arms supplier

BEIRUT, Lebanon: The German government is under fire for its $2 billion sale of 270 Leopard 2 tanks to Saudi Arabia but the fact is that Germany is now a key arms supplier to the Middle East.

Its customers include Israel, which has ordered three more Dolphin class submarines from Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG, and Algeria, which in June was cleared for frigates, armored vehicles and border security systems that newsmagazine Der Spiegel says are worth $14 billion.

German opposition parties and critics within Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right coalition, as well as peace and church groups, are up in arms over the secretive Saudi deal because it underlines a fundamental shift in Germany’s long-restrictive export regulations.

“In her eagerness to support the German defense industry, Merkel is breaking with a traditional doctrine of German foreign policy,” Der Spiegel reports.

“The fundamental principle used to be that weapons produced in Germany couldn’t be delivered to countries engaged in a conflict.

“Now, the government is justifying its deals with strategic arguments, saying the government in Riyadh is needed as a stabilizing force in the Middle East,” Der Spiegel noted.

The previous German government sanctioned arms sales to Saudi Arabia as well but these totaled around $400 million, chickenfeed compared to Berlin’s current military exports to the Middle East.

“This latest tank deal overshadows everything that went before,” Der Spiegel observed. “And no other administration has so blatantly taken on the role of sales representative for the German defense industry.”

The Germans are battling hard for military contracts in the Middle East, where conflict has been a constant since World War II and the post-colonial period. These have long been dominated by the United States, Britain, France and Russia.

[T[he government maintains that while the kingdom is a problematic partner, Saudi Arabia plays a key role in mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is a crucial ally in the battle against Islamic terrorism.

But most importantly, it says, Saudi Arabia is in the front line against Iran…

This, supporters of arms sale argue, is why the Jewish state didn’t oppose the sale of the 270 Leopard 2A7+ tanks built by Munich’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall to Saudi Arabia.

The German government’s annual Defense Exports Report, released in early November, said German arms exports grew by 50 percent in 2010.

The report said Germany exported arms and military equipment worth $2.66 billion, including big-ticket items such as submarines, warships and tanks. In 2009, the total was $1.79 billion.

In addition, the report noted, German armaments manufacturers like KMW, almost half of whose sales involve Leopard tanks; naval shipbuilders ThyssenKrupp; firearms-maker Heckler and Koch; and Cassidian, an offshoot of the giant EADS European aerospace consortium, sealed contracts in 2010 with a total value of $6.66 billion.

The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co., which includes Germany’s DaimlerChryslerAerospace AG, manufactures the Eurofighter Typhoon. The Saudis bought 72 in 2006 for $6 billion.

“Growth doesn’t come from Europe anymore,” explained Cassidian Chief Executive Officer Stefan Zoller.

Defense budgets in Europe are stagnating, he says, and now the biggest opportunities are to be had in the Middle East, along with India and Brazil, both with expanding economies and military forces.

Cassidian recently secured a $2.6 billion contract to build a security system along Saudi Arabia’s 5,600 miles of land border as well as air and seaports, comprising radars, sensors, cameras and other electronic systems.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Adam Mickiewicz: The transient glory of military conquerors

November 30, 2011 1 comment

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

Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1855)
The Ruins of the Castle at Balaklava
Translator unknown

These castles heaped in shattered piles once graced
And guarded you, Crimea, thankless land!
Today like giant skulls set high they stand
And shelter reptiles, or men more debased.
Upon that tower a coat of arms is traced,
And letters, some dead hero’s name, whose hand
Scourged armies. Now he sleeps forgotten and
The grapevine holds him, like a worm, embraced.
Here Greeks have chiseled Attic ornament,
Italians cast the Mongols into chains
And pilgrims chanted slowly, Mecca bent:
Today the black-winged vulture only reigns
As in a city, dead and pestilent,
Where mourning banners flutter to the plains.

Categories: Uncategorized

Rampant Militarization of the World: West Risks New Arms Race In Europe

November 29, 2011 6 comments

Voice of Russia
November 29, 2011

Audio

Does the West want to start arms race in Europe?
John Robles

Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to GlobalResearch.ca


Collage: Voice of Russia

About a month ago, NATO tested first-strike capabilities by using a mobile radar in Turkey. Why would a defensive system need to test offensive capabilities? We have the cyber warfare center. You said it also can be used as an offensive tool by the U.S. We have hypersonic missile tests and the Prompt Global Strike system. I think these are pretty good reasons for the Russian Federation to be worried, to put it mildly, as to the intentions of the West. Why would the West want to start an arms race in Europe? Why would this be profitable? Why not include Russia as part of the sectoral approach system? It’s probably a rhetorical question but can you touch upon it?

There is no rational answer to it, certainly not a persuasive one from the West. For example, as you mentioned, Russia is far from simply arbitrarily and firmly opposing the creation of a unilateral U.S. interceptor missile system in Europe. The entire western flank of Russia is affected by this, of course: From the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.

Russia went out of its way, Russian political leadership went out of its way to be accommodating; to offer, for example, the use of the Gabala radar site it maintains in Azerbaijan to be employed in conjunction with NATO. It offered a sectoral approach in which Russia would cover part of the affected area and NATO the other and so forth, for purposes of integration and communication. But we know that several things have occurred this week, and so far this month – the advanced hypersonic weapon test earlier this month, the statement by Anatoly Serdyukov, the defense minister of Russia, the day before Medvedev’s statement stating that Russian Air Defenses will be equipped to protect Russian nuclear strategic capabilities in the European part of the Russian Federation, and also that the U.S. announced – and was soon followed by 14 NATO allies in doing so – that it is effectively pulling out of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, blaming Russia for it because Russia suspended its activities within the CFE, as it’s known, in 2007 – but did so because the U.S. and its NATO allies refused to ratify amendments to the treaty. The U.S. has used the presence of a comparatively small contingent of Russian peacekeepers in Transdniester and, before Mikhail Saakashvili launched an assault against South Ossetia and began the 5-day war with Russia in August of 2008, the existence at that time of, again, small contingents of Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, using that as an excuse for basically suspending, for not ratifying amendments to, the CFE Treaty.

And we have, as you know, President Medvedev’s statement on Wednesday, the fact that Russia may be compelled to suspend its activities in or withdraw from the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). This is a very momentous week in terms of security in Russia with the fear of not only a new arms race, a new missile race, but something perhaps even more ominous than that.

What we are looking at is brinkmanship, lawlessness – I don’t know what other words to use to describe it – very bold and threatening actions by the U.S. and its NATO partners to move missiles up to Russia’s borders, in the case of Poland, which adjoins Kaliningrad, and perhaps Aegis-class warships equipped with Standard Missile-3 interceptors in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Russia and, of course, the 24 Standard Missile-3 land-based interceptors that are going to be placed in Romania, directly across the Black Sea from Russia.

I believe that President Medvedev mentioned precisely that – “on our borders and in waters bordering Russia” and so forth. What we are seeing is an almost calculated provocation, as I would characterize it. That’s the best interpretation.

The worst is that the U.S. and NATO are building up the military capability for neutralizing Russia’s strategic deterrent capability in the west and the south of the country. And I suspect that, having this year a military budget of some $730 billion, which in constant dollars is at a World War II level, the highest since 1945, I’m reminded of the old expression that the abuse of power inevitably results from the power to abuse. As long as the U.S. has built itself into, in Obama’s terms, “the world’s sole military superpower,” it feels it can operate with impunity.

Would you say it’s time for the world to be very concerned here?

It’s way past time to be very concerned. I don’t know if it occurred at this year’s General Assembly session at the UN but I know that in preceding years Russia and China jointly went to the General Assembly and introduced resolutions addressing yet another threat, which is the militarization of space by the U.S. This is the ultimate facet of the so-called global missile shield. So there will be a space component to this in addition to land-, air- and sea-based interceptor missiles and radar. The world has sounded the alarm, at least major nations have. But I would like to see both the Security Council and the General Assembly convene on an emergency basis, to be honest about it, to demand that this rampant militarization of the world stop. Two years ago, the Financial Times talked about a $123 billion arms package for Saudi Arabia and three of its Persian Gulf allies with the U.S. The Saudi portion of that is estimated at $60-67 billion, which is the single largest bilateral military deal in human history.

We’ve seen comparable buildups with countries like Canada, Australia and Japan. You don’t build up this kind of military capability unless, at the very least, you are going to use it to blackmail somebody.

We should recall that on Wednesday President Medvedev’s statements were very tempered. He was mentioning certain contingency plans that would only be put into operation if the U.S. didn’t eventually heed the plea by Russia to notify it of its missile deployment plans and not pose a threat, or a potential threat, to Russian strategic interests and so forth. This wasn’t a threat. This was rather stating that Russia would be compelled to introduce certain defensive measures if the U.S. and NATO continued to turn a deaf ear to Russia’s offers of cooperation but was also an expression of its concern. One major Russian official – it may have been Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, I’m not sure – says the U.S. claims to be defending its own territory by building up a missile defense system, but that missile defense system is encroaching on Russian borders.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO news: November 29, 2011

November 29, 2011 3 comments

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Will America’s New Hypersonic Weapon Cause A Global Arms Race?

Russian Warships Head For Syria

Syria: Russia Rejects Arms Embargo, Repeat Of Libyan Scenario

Turkey Ready For Military Option In Syria

SCO Partners: China, Russia Say NATO Attacks On Pakistan Unacceptable

China Backs Pakistan’s Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity

Russian Foreign Minister Condemns Deadly NATO Air Attack In Pakistan

NATO Exceeds All Limits In Pakistan

Pakistan Army Refuses To Accept NATO “Expressions Of Regret”

Black Day: Anti-NATO Protests Spread Across Pakistan

Pakistan To Boycott Bonn Afghan Conference Over Deadly NATO Strike

Balochistan Bans Entry Of NATO Vehicles

Kyrgyz Air Base: Over 100,000 U.S., NATO Troops Transit Yearly

Russia Considers Blocking NATO’s Afghan Supply Routes Over Missiles

Russian Radar In Kaliningrad Response To U.S.-NATO Missiles

Russian Envoy: U.S.-NATO Missile Deployment Like 1962 Cuban Crisis

Video And Text: NATO Orders Use Of Live Ammunition Against Kosovo Serbs

50 Serb Civilians, 25 NATO Troops Injured In Kosovo Clashes

NATO Shouldn’t Intervene In Arctic Disputes: Russian Foreign Minister

NATO Military Commanders Push Bosnia’s Integration Into Bloc

NATO Official, Azeri Defense Chief Discuss Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

NATO Intensifies Military Partnership With Iraq

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Will America’s New Hypersonic Weapon Cause A Global Arms Race?

http://www.policymic.com/articles/2590/will-america-s-new-hypersonic-weapon-cause-a-global-arms-race

PolicyMic
November 28, 2011

Will America’s New Hypersonic Weapon Cause a Global Arms Race?
Georgi Ivanov

On November 18, the Army ran a field test of a new hypersonic flight weapon, specifically testing for technologies that would boost the vehicle’s speed and help it glide smoother, as well as seeing how well it maneuvres and how precisely it could strike a target.

This new weapon has implications for Pacific and global strategic balances. It can deliver a conventional strike anywhere in the world within an hour. If put fully into use, it puts America in an advantageous position relative to China and Russia, not only in the Pacific, but also globally, in respect to the capacity for global strike capability.

The purpose of Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) program is to develop “a first-of-its-kind glide vehicle, designed to fly within the earth’s atmosphere at hypersonic speed and long range.” It is also interesting to note that not only the Army is pursuing the development of such a vehicle. The Air Force and the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) are undertaking similar research that would provide this branch of the military with a similar hypersonic flight weapon.

The collapse of the USSR left America without a comparable international rival, and while China’s spectacular growth may be a prelude to Beijing’s future predominance, as of today the Asian giant’s military is not considered a rival to American hard power capacities. In effect, AHW could give Washington a political and technological edge over potential rivals for some time.

Russia’s BULAVA project, a submarine-launched missile with multiple warheads that can be independently targeted, can be considered a competitor to Washington’s hypersonic project in terms of having global delivery capability with similar precision. However, with approximately half of the trials having been failures, it is probable that the technological maturation of the project may take longer than anticipated. Namely, because America seemingly has the capacity to run parallel research programs on the same project, it will likely achieve a quality final product sooner.

New weapons will raise the question of a global regulatory regime to prevent stockpiling or the establishment of Mutal Assured Destruction-like doctrines between the major powers. But there is no space for this kind of simplistic strategic thinking in a multi-polar world. In Asia, China finds itself in a much more intricate regional position than does America half a world away; this condition is enough to enforce a nuance to Chinese foreign policy that also must be applied by Beijing’s military policy planners in respect to developing new weapons…

New weapons will change the capabilities of the armed forces of the major states, and it is possible to say that more states will have global reach capability via hypersonic, or other yet to be developed weapons. A state’s strategic position is relatively enhanced, but at the expense of global vulnerability. It is precisely that mutual interdependence we need to keep when we talk about advanced weaponry because nobody has an interest in a hypersonic war.

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Russian Warships Head For Syria

http://rt.com/news/russian-aircraft-carrier-syria-363/

RT
November 28, 2011

Sea alert: Russian warships head for Syria

Moscow is deploying warships at its base in the Syrian port of Tartus. The long-planned mission comes, providentially, at the very moment when it could help prevent a potential conflict in the strategically important Middle Eastern country.

The Russian battle group will consist of three vessels led by the heavy aircraft-carrying missile cruiser, Admiral Kuznetsov.

Russian military officials insist that the move has no connection with the ongoing crisis in the region and was planned a year ago, the Izvestia newspaper reports. Apart from Syria, the aircraft carrier and its escort ships are set to visit the Lebanese capital, Beirut, Genoa in Italy and Cyprus, says the former Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Viktor Kravchenko.

Nevertheless, he added that the presence of a military force other than NATO’s is very useful for this region, because “it will prevent the outbreak of an armed conflict,” Izvestia quoted Kravchenko as saying.

The Soviet Union, the Admiral recalled, created a special naval squadron to deter Western military forces in the Mediterranean Sea. To repair and supply its ships, Moscow needed its own maintenance base in the region, and that was how the base in Tartus came into being.

At present, the base is mostly used to support vessels of Russia’s Black Sea fleet. Some 600 military and civilian personnel of the Defense Ministry serve there.

News of Russia’s naval deployment in Tartus came shortly after the US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush anchored off Syria, along with additional naval vessels. The US battle group is to remain in the Mediterranean, allegedly to conduct maritime security operations and support missions as part of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. The US 6th Fleet is also patrolling the area, Interfax reports.

“Of course, the Russian naval forces in the Mediterranean will be incommensurate with those of the US 6th Fleet, which includes one or two aircraft carriers and several escort ships,” Admiral Kravchenko explained.

“But today, no one talks about possible military clashes, since an attack on any Russian ship would be regarded as a declaration of war with all the consequences.”

The mission is set to start in early December, when the Admiral Kuznetsov begins its journey in the Barents Sea, accompanied by another vessel of Russia’s Northern Fleet, the heavy ASW ship Admiral Chabanenko. The group will then skirt the European continent from the west and enter the Mediterranean through the Strait of Gibraltar.

Later, they will be joined by frigate Ladny of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet. It will travel through the Bosphorus, with a stop-over in Malta’s Valletta.
Admiral Kuznetsov will be carrying eight Sukhoi Su-33 all-weather fighters, two Kamov Ka-27 anti-submarine helicopters and several brand new Mig-29K fighters. The Mig fighters were built for India’s air force and are supposed to be “tested” during their first assignment.

Military officials have stressed that all flights will be performed in open waters, away from the Syrian coast.

Unlike American aircraft carriers, designed largely as floating runways, Admiral Kuznetsov is a heavily-armed aircraft-carrying cruiser. Its primary armaments, among others, are 12 long-range surface-to-surface anti-ship Granit cruise missiles, a six-gun short-range surface-to-air missile system Kinzhal, eight close-in air defense Kashtan gun-missile systems and two UDAV-1 anti-submarine systems.

The Admiral Kuznetsov has already been twice to the port of Tartus during its assignments in the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean in 1995 and 2007.

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Syria: Russia Rejects Arms Embargo, Repeat Of Libyan Scenario

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/29/c_131277527.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 29, 2011

Russia rejects arms embargo on Syria: FM

MOSCOW: Russia rejects any arms embargo imposed on Syria and Moscow would try to avoid a repeat of the Libyan scenario in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.

After his meeting with Arab countries’ ambassadors to Russia, Lavrov told a news conference that lessons should be learnt from the situation in Libya, where an embargo on arms supplies was “only applied to the Libyan army.”

“Groups, including those formed by citizens who penetrated to Syria from other states, have been actively supplied with arms,” he said. “That is why proposals to introduce a ban on any arms supplies to Syria are quite unfair.”

Lavrov said Moscow also rejects ultimatum-like words on the Syria issue, adding that the ultimatums would not help resolve the problem.

“The Syrian problem requires the same approach, as ultimatums, which some states try to use, including members of the Arab League, cannot resolve this problem,” Lavrov said.

“We hope our friends in the Arab League…will show maximum responsibility for what is going on in the region…and they will observe the same rules the Arab League worked out, while making relevant decisions,” he added.

After meeting with his visiting Icelandic counterpart Ossur Skarphedinsson, Lavrov also warned that armed opposition was provoking conflicts in Syria.

“The unrest is not so much related to the authorities but armed groups, who are provoking the unrest,” Lavrov said.

In November, Lavrov warned that external forces are seeking to deteriorate the situation in Syria in order to justify their interference in Syria’s internal political affairs.

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Turkey Ready For Military Option In Syria

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1963034.html

Trend News Agency
November 29, 2011

Turkey says ready for any scenario on Syria

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday that Turkey did not want to consider a military option for intervention in Syria but that it was ready for any scenario Today`s Zaman reported.

In an interview with the television broadcaster Kanal 24, Davutoglu said on Syria that a regime which tortures its own people had no chance of survival.

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http://www.todayszaman.com/news-264106-an-eventual-military-intervention-in-syria-and-its-reflections.html

Today’s Zaman
November 27, 2011

An eventual military intervention in Syria and its reflections
TARIK OĞUZLU

ORSAM: The views which advise the use of military force in order to depose the Assad regime from power have been heard more frequently as international pressure on Damascus has increased. Parallel to this, it has been often suggested that Turkey should play a leadership role in this process.

The ultimatum of the Arab League that Syria’s membership might be suspended shows that the legitimacy of the Assad regime in international platforms has now been under under strong doubts. It is known that some Western countries, particularly the U.S.A and France, are trying to manifacture consent for a military intervention indirectly. Besides, in the recent days, some articles read that the time of sending the Assad regime away has finally arrived and they put forward that this would seriously restrict Iran’s influence in the region. Russia, China and Iran which have thus far supported the Assad regime may not be able to continue their policies for long. The circles who think that the Assad regime would rather be imploded through internal dynamics may not easily resist a military intervention if a civil war spreads to neighbouring countries and causes serious human losses.

In such an atmosphere the most important question which occupies Turkish foreign policy makers is undoubtly whether Turkey should participate in a military operation and in which way its participation should occur. Under which conditions should Turkey join an international military operation and should it lead such a formation? The answers that will be given to these questions will not only offer important clues about the future projection of Turkish foreign policy but also shed light on how Turkey will be perceived from outside.

According to the declarations of some high level authority figures, Turkey’s eventual military intervention in Syria seems to depend on the realization of some conditions….[I]t would be easier for Turkey to take part in an international military operation if the majority of Arab countries and all of the permanent members of United Nations Security Council lent their support.

…Turkey might fight itself taking part in a military intervention.

Apart from this, it is for sure that Turkey’s participation in an eventual military intervention, without waiting for the necessary conditions to arise, will inflict remarkable damages on Turkish foreign policy. In this case, the perception that Turkey is now following a foreign policy that leans on more hard than soft power elements will be strengthened. Relations with the countries in the region, especially with Iran, will grow worse. The rivalry between Tehran and Ankara over Damascus will increase and this will inevitably fuel Iran’s eagerness to get nuclear weapons. It should not be overlooked that the circles which defend Assad’s ouster by the use of force try to justify their views by underlining that this will certainly help weaken the Iranian regime. Therefore, it would not be difficult to guess that Iran will act irrationally should it feel cornered.

In this context, the views that what happen in Syria are not Turkey’s business and they do not affect Turkey’s internal security negatively should also be taken into account. It is likely that the oppostion parties in the parliament will argue against Turkey’s participation in an eventual military intervention. Some of the views that have been so far expressed by the opposition are the following: the conditions of 1998 have not occured yet; Syria’s efforts to give harm to Turkey by using the PKK card is still tolerable; siding with the Sunni forces against the Alewite in Syria may fuel the sectarian tension in Turkey; an intervention in Syria will disract Turkey’s attention and energy from more urgent problems at home, such as the Kurdish dispute and the writing of a new constitution; and intervening in other states’ internal affairs, despite the humanitarian concerns, might expose Turkey to more external pressure concerning domestic problems. Besides, an intervention might help strengthen the perception that Turkey has been after a regional hegemony by using force and the AKP government has been trying to resusciate the Ottoman Empire.

However, any Turkish intervention will likely bring Turkey closer to U.S. and the relations between these two countries will likely unfold more in bilateral than multilateral mechanisms in the years ahead. The United States has already begun to shift its strategic attention away from Europe and the Middle East towards South and Far Esat Asia. This will increase the need on its part to guarantee security cooperation with such countries as Turkey to make sure that its interests in the Middle East be achieved.

Against the background of the recent rapproachment in Turkish-American relations, one could put forward the argument that bilateral relations will further improve in the years to come. Although it is not a negative development by itself, this might help strengthen the perception that Turkey act as a protege of the U.S. in the Middle East. And this perception will likely dilute the authencity, legitimacy and originality of Turkey’s leadership claims in the region. It should not be forgotten that despite all the public diplomacy efforts during the Obama presidency, the current image of the U.S. in the Middle East is not better than the Bush period. The pragmatic and utilitarian approach of the Obama administration during the course of the developments associated with the so-called Arab Spring has further weakened the US’ image.

»» Assoc.Prof.Dr. Tarık Oğuzlu, ORSAM Advisor, Middle East – Bilkent University Department of International Relations

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SCO Partners: China, Russia Say NATO Attacks On Pakistan Unacceptable

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\11\29\story_29-11-2011_pg1_4

Daily Times
Agencies
November 29, 2011

Violation of Pak sovereignty not acceptable: China, Russia

MOSCOW/BEIJING: Russia and China on Monday said that violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity was unacceptable. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar spoke to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi to brief them on the unprovoked NATO/ISAF attack on Pakistani territory and the decisions taken by the Defence Committee of the Cabinet.

She underscored that besides being a gross violation of established international norms, such attacks pose a threat to regional peace and stability as well.

The Russian foreign minister said that a nation’s sovereignty should always be upheld, even when hunting “terrorists”.

“Leaders of NATO in Afghanistan should carry out a meticulous investigation into this incident,” Lavrov told Khar. The Russian foreign minister underscored that Pakistan and Russia were partners in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and also partners in promoting regional cooperation.

A statement issued by the foreign ministry said, “The Russian foreign minister emphasised the unacceptability of violating the sovereignty of states, including during the planning and carrying out of counter-terrorist operations.”

Separately, Hina Rabbani Khar spoke to Jiechi and had a 40-minute conversation in which she informed him of the extreme outrage in Pakistan on the unprovoked attacks, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Jiechi expressed deep shock and strong concern over the incident and extended condolences to the aggrieved families. He said that Pakistan’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected, and called for a thorough and serious investigation into the matter. The deadly strikes on Saturday have raised tensions between Islamabad and Washington.

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China Backs Pakistan’s Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2011-11/28/c_131275303.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 29, 2011

China backs Pakistan’s efforts in safeguarding independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity: FM

BEIJING: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Monday that China will consistently support Pakistan’s efforts in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Yang made the remarks in a phone call with Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar concerning NATO bombing on two Pakistani border posts in a northwest tribal area bordering Afghanistan early Saturday morning.

Twenty-four Pakistani soldiers were killed and 13 others injured in the NATO action.

Yang said China was deeply shocked by the incident, noting that all countries and international organizations should earnestly respect Pakistan’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

He also called for a thorough investigation of the incident.

The two ministers also exchanged views on China-Pakistan relations and issues of common concern.

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Russian Foreign Minister Condemns Deadly NATO Air Attack In Pakistan

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=290731

Interfax
November 28, 2011

Lavrov condemns NATO air strike on army posts in Pakistan

MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called for an investigation into NATO air strikes on army posts in Pakistan.

Talking to his Pakistani counterpart by telephone on Monday, he stressed that “violations of countries’ sovereignty, including during counter-terrorist operations, are inadmissible”.

Lavrov called on the NATO command in Afghanistan to “thoroughly investigate the incident,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

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NATO Exceeds All Limits In Pakistan

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=127474

Pakistan Observer
November 28, 2011

Nato crosses limits
SRH Hashmi

Karachi: For some time now, American leaders have been threatening Pakistan witgh dire consequences for not obeying their order to immediately launch a full-scale operation in North Waziristan, and looks like they have implemented it in part, with more such attacks to follow in case Pakistan limits its reaction to the familiar ‘strong’ protests and expression of indignation, with the maximum being the stoppage of NATO supplies for a few days.

This time, through, with a completely unprovoked attack on a Pakistani check post in the Mohmand agency, the Americans have martyred 25 soldiers and injured another 15, and the Pakistani government response is also proportionately stronger but still it is nowhere near what Pakistanis want.

All Pakistanis are incensed at the arrogance and uncalled-for brutality and it seems unlikely that they will accept letting the Americans off with a routine apology, a promise to try to avoid the recurrence of such incidents in future, and perhaps an offer of compensation. They will accept nothing short of a complete revision of our relations with the US, starting with the complete stoppage of NATO supplies going through Pakistan. There is not much point in letting NATO supplies, including fuel that they use to bomb us recklessly, pass through Pakistan. And here is US ambassador, Munter, apologizing over the incident.

A bit earlier, he apologized over the incident at the Sunehri Mosque where an American in his delegation violated the sanctity of the mosque by stepping in with his shoes on. He is not doing much these days except offering his apologies and trying to assure us as to what affectionate, sincere and helping friends we have in the form of the United States.

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Pakistan Army Refuses To Accept NATO “Expressions Of Regret”

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\11\29\story_29-11-2011_pg1_2

Daily Times
Agencies
November 29, 2011

Army refuses to accept ‘expressions of regret’

* ISPR says strikes lasted two hours and continued even after commanders at bases pleaded with coalition forces to stop

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday denied provoking NATO air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and refused to accept expressions of regret over the cross-border attack that has inflamed US-Pakistani ties.

While rejecting NATO’s claim that Pakistan forces initiated fire, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Athar Abbas said, “NATO forces should present proof if they were claiming that firing was started from the Pakistani side.”

Talking to a private television channel he said, “No fire was opened from our side and we responded only after the martyrdom of our soldiers.”

Abbas said that NATO had been provided maps of all Pakistani checkposts as reference and they had also been informed about their positions.

He also said that the attack took place 200-300 metres within Pakistan’s borders, adding that the area had been cleared of militants.

When the attack was initiated, the soldiers deployed on these posts immediately informed senior officers who took up the issue with regional headquarters at Peshawar and GHQ Rawalpindi.

“They reported that the posts were being attacked. We received information of the martyrdom of 24 soldiers after mortar shelling was stopped from across the border,” he added.

Abbas said the attack lasted almost two hours and that commanders had contacted their NATO counterparts while it was going on, asking that “they get this fire to cease, but somehow it continued.”

“This could have serious consequences on the level and extent of our cooperation,” he said.

He said that NATO could not make the excuse that they were chasing terrorists across the border because the area where the attack took place had been cleared. He said that the investigations were still going on about the two posts, namely Volcano and Golden beyond Salala.

He denied that any NATO soldier was injured as result of firing from the Pakistani side.

Responding to a question, he said that he would not speculate regarding the apology of NATO.

“Our leadership is reviewing whether it was an unprovoked attack,” he added.

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Black Day: Anti-NATO Protests Spread Across Pakistan

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=10615&Cat=13

News International
November 29, 2011

Nato attack protested across the country
 

ISLAMABAD: People called on the government Monday to end its alliance with the United States and get out of the US war on terrorism as protests against a Nato strike pushed into a third day. Twenty-four Pakistani soldiers were killed in the cross-border attack early on Saturday by Nato helicopters and fighter jets.

Members of civil society, lawyers, traders and students organised the rallies…in major cities of the nuclear-armed country of 167 million people, where opposition to the US alliance is rampant.

Lawyers went on strike across the country on the call of Pakistan Bar Council, demonstrating outside court buildings, chanting slogans against Nato and the United States, officials from bar associations across the country said.

“We marched at the Islamabad High Court premises and expressed our anger against this attack, none of us went to the courts today,” Ashraf Gujjar, president of Islamabad High Court Bar Association, told AFP after one rally.

“The government should cut Nato supplies permanently, take back military bases from the US and plead that this case violates the borders in the UN Security Council,” he quoted from a resolution passed by lawyers.

The Peshawar High Court Bar Association (PHCBA) staged a protest demonstration terming the Nato strikes on Pak security checkposts an assault on Pakistan’s sovereignty and international human rights laws.

The members of the PHCBA and Peshawar District Bar Association took out a demonstration from the PHCBA Bar Room and staged a protest in front of the provincial assembly to condemn the Nato strike.

They burnt the effigy of US President Barack Obama and chanted anti-US slogans. The demo was led by PHCBA General Secretary Ameenur Rehman Khan. The lawyers also boycotted courts proceedings on this occasion.

In Lahore, the Supreme Court and Lahore High Court Bar associations held a joint protest rally at GPO Chowk against the Nato forces’ attack. The lawyers were chanting slogans against the US government and demanding the Pakistani government ensure the complete sovereignty of the country.

The Bars condemned the attack on the Pakistani checkposts and demanded the government approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against such brazen attacks.

The lawyers’ bodies held a joint session and unanimously passed a resolution demanding the Pakistani government permanently block the Nato supply line. They also urged the government to implement the decision taken by the Defence Committee of Cabinet in letter and spirit – including blocking Nato supply routes and getting the Shamsi airbase vacated.

The Bars also resolved that drone attacks must be stopped immediately; otherwise the drone aircraft must be targeted. The Lahore Bar Association (LBA) observed Monday as a black day to condemn the Nato strikes on Pakistani forces, demanding immediate action against the attackers.

The strike call was completely endorsed by the LBA. Lawyers wore black armbands and did not join proceedings of the cases. In Karachi, members of Karachi Bar Association and Malir District Bar Association also observed a complete boycott of legal proceedings at subordinate courts as protest.

The lawyers also blocked the national highway to Karachi, chanting slogans in the favour of the Pakistani Army, police said. Sindh High Court Bar Association President Anwar Mansoor Khan presided over a meeting that followed the boycott of legal proceedings by lawyers at the Sindh High Court and all subordinate courts.

“This general body strongly condemns the purposive, motivated and unprovoked attack by Nato on the post at Salala, Mohmand Agency. This illegal action is an attack on the sovereignty of Pakistan,” a resolution said.

“This body further strongly condemns the Western media, especially the BBC and Fox News, for maliciously airing uncalled-for and provocative programmes and maligning the armed forces of Pakistan and the government of Pakistan, stating facts incorrectly, aimed at discrediting the Muslims of the world and Pakistanis in particular.”

The meeting demanded of the government to take forceful action against intruders, the murderers of 24 Shaheed [martyr] soldiers, and permanently stop supplies through Pakistan to Nato troops. It further demanded to stop cooperation with Nato at all levels, the closure of the Shamsi Airbase and other bases, and the cancellation of all defence agreements with them. The meeting called upon all Pakistanis to disinvest their investment from all Nato countries.

In Daska, lawyers staged out a rally in protest against Nato forces. Daska Bar President Muhammad Asif Bajwa led the rally that ended at Fawara Chowk. The protesting lawyers were wearing black armbands and carrying banners and placards.

They chanted slogans against the Pakistani government and USA-led Nato forces in Afghanistan. They expressed complete solidarity with the armed forces of Pakistan. Judicial work at all the courts remained suspended in Bahawalpur where lawyers showed solidarity with the Pak armed forces.

The Multan District Bar Association (DBA), led by its president Arbab Ahmad Syed, offered Ghaibana Namaz-e-Janaza of the martyred soldiers and held a protest demonstration at Chowk Katchery.

In Peshawar several hundred students blocked a main road, chanting “Death to the US” and “Quit the war on terror”, an AFP reporter saw.

Scores of tribesmen also gathered in Mohmand to protest against the attack and demand that the government change its pro-US policy, Khalid Khan, an administration official in the district told AFP.

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) also demonstrated against the Nato forces’ attack and conducted rallies in Hyderabad, Multan and Mirpur Khas expressing support and solidarity with the Pakistan Army.

Meanwhile, addressing a press conference at the Multan Press Club, MQM leader Raza Haroon said that in line with a directive of MQM leader Altaf Hussain, the party has replaced party flags with the national flag at all the regional office of MQM to show unity with the Pakistan Army.

In Multan, Jamat-ud-Dawa gathered a crowd of several hundred, burning an effigy of US President Barack Obama and US flags, an AFP photographer said.

In Azad Jammu and Kashmir, around 600 people in the town of Garhi Dupatta joined the relatives of a soldier killed in the attack, and chanted slogans against the US, police official Ishtiaq Gilani told AFP.

“The government must retaliate and should suspend relations with the US until there is a fair and free investigation,” Zafar Iqbal, 25, the brother of fallen soldier Tahir Iqbal told AFP from the protest.

Islami Jamiat Talbaba (IJT), Mardan chapter, held a protest rally outside the Mardan Press Club against the Nato forces. Addressing the protesters, speakers strongly condemned the Mohmand attack. The Awami National Party (ANP), Mardan chapter, also staged a protest rally against the attack.

Protesters chanted slogans against the US and Nato forces. Addressing the protesters, speakers strongly condemned the attack. PML-Q Khyber Pakhtunkhwa staged a protest rally to strongly condemn the Nato forces’ strike and supported the decisions of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC).

The Mehsud and Barki tribes in Fata also strongly condemned the Nato strike and vowed to fight shoulder to shoulder with the army in case of foreign aggression from any quarter in future.

A representative jirga of these tribes attended by maliks and chieftains was held at a political compound here where tribesmen termed the Nato aggression a complete violation of international laws and reiterated their pledge to fight till their last breath.

They jirga urged the government to revisit its anti-terror policy in light of parliament’s resolution on national security and the APC declaration. They also supported the DCC decisions. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Islamabad chapter, held a protest demo against the Nato attack at the Salala checkpost.

Pakistan turned back 300 trucks carrying Nato supplies and fuel into Afghanistan on Monday, government officials Syed Ahmed Jan and Mutahir Zeb told CNN. The main Pakistani association that delivers fuel to Nato forces in Afghanistan said it would not resume supplies anytime soon in protest against the air attack.

Nawab Sher Afridi, general secretary of the All Pakistan Oil Tanker Owners Association, said the association would reconsider only if the Islamabad government and the military accept an apology for the incident.

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Pakistan To Boycott Bonn Afghan Conference Over Deadly NATO Strike

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpps/news/pakistan-to-boycott-conference-over-nato-strike-dpgonc-20111129-fc_16152499

Agence France-Presse
November 29, 2011

Pakistan to Boycott Conference Over NATO Strike

Pakistan on Tuesday decided to boycott a key international conference on Afghanistan next month, widening its protest over lethal cross-border NATO strikes and exacerbating a deep crisis in US ties.

The Pakistani cabinet made the decision at a meeting in the eastern city of Lahore, just days after Islamabad confirmed it was mulling its attendance in the German city of Bonn, where Pakistan was considered a key player.

“The cabinet has decided not to attend the Bonn meeting,” a government official said condition of anonymity. Tuesday’s talks also decided to call a joint session of parliament to discuss the fallout.

The cabinet branded “unilateral action” such as Saturday’s NATO strike and the May 2 killing of Usama bin Laden by American forces, which brought the US relationship to its lowest level in years, “unacceptable”, the prime minister’s office said.

Pakistan already closed the Afghan border to NATO convoys, a lifeline for 140,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan, ordered American personnel to vacate an air base reportedly used by CIA drones and ordered a review of the alliance.

US-Pakistani ties have been in free fall since a CIA contractor killed two Pakistanis in Lahore in January. Saturday’s attack raises questions about the extent to which the two terror allies can cooperate with each other.

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Balochistan Bans Entry Of NATO Vehicles

http://paktribune.com/news/Balochistan-bans-entry-of-Nato-tankers-245479.html

Pakistan Tribune
November 29, 2011

Balochistan bans entry of Nato tankers

QUETTA: The Balochistan cabinet on Monday endorsed the decision of banning the entry of trailers and oil tankers carrying Nato goods into the province.

The cabinet, which met with Chief Minister Nawab Muhammad Aslam Khan Raisani in the chair, discussed the situation that arose following the Nato forces’ attack on Pakistani security forces checkpost in Mohmand agency. The supply to Nato forces in Afghanistan had been cut off from Balochistan.

Condemning the Nato forces attack on the checkpost, the Balochistan cabinet termed it an attack against the sovereignty of the country. The cabinet also offered Fateha for the Pakistani soldiers who had been martyred in the attack. The cabinet also discussed matters relating to the abolishment of the Criminal Procedural Code and adopted a joint resolution regarding the five years term of the assemblies.

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Kyrgyz Air Base: Over 100,000 U.S., NATO Troops Transit Yearly

http://en.trend.az/regions/casia/kyrgyzstan/1962929.html

Trend News Agency
November 29, 2011

Fate of U.S. air base in Kyrgyzstan to be solved taking into account situation in Afghanistan

The decision on the withdrawal of the U.S. air base from Kyrgyzstan, which is lobbied by Kyrgyzstan’s newly elected President Almazbek Atambayev, should be taken with the consideration of the inner situation in Afghanistan, said acting President of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbayeva, whose presidential term is expiring on Dec. 31, 2011, RIA News reported.

A U.S. Air Force base was placed at the international airport Manas, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan in 2001. Later it was renamed the Transit Center (TC) at Manas, which is a key point of technology and U.S. troops transfer to combat locations in Afghanistan.

According to Otunbayeva, 2000 troops and a large amount of cargo pass weekly through Manas, which, in her opinion, is an important tool in stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan.

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Atambayev said earlier that he considers it necessary to withdraw the U.S. military base from the country. “The presence of U.S. bases isn’t in the interests of Kyrgyzstan, and I don’t want any country to inflict on Kyrgyzstan. However, all existing agreements will be strictly enforced.”

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Russia Considers Blocking NATO’s Afghan Supply Routes Over Missiles

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204753404577066421106592452.html

Wall Street Journal
November 28, 2011

Russia Considers Blocking NATO Supply Routes
By Alan Cullison

MOSCOW: Russia said it may not let NATO use its territory to supply troops in Afghanistan if the alliance doesn’t seriously consider its objections to a U.S.-led missile shield for Europe, Russia’s ambassador to NATO said Monday.

Russia has stepped up its objections to the antimissile system in Europe, threatening last week to deploy its own ballistic missiles on the border of the European Union to counter the move…

If NATO doesn’t give a serious response, “we have to address matters in relations in other areas,” Russian news services reported Dmitri Rogozin, ambassador to NATO, as saying. He added that Russia’s cooperation on Afghanistan may be an area for review, the news services reported.

Threats to the NATO supply line through Russia come at an awkward time for the alliance. NATO has become increasingly reliant on the Russian route as problems in Pakistan — its primary supply route — have escalated. Over the weekend, Pakistan closed its border to trucks delivering supplies in response to coalition airstrikes Saturday that killed 25 Pakistani soldiers.

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Russian Radar In Kaliningrad Response To U.S.-NATO Missiles

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=3&id=290880

Interfax
November 29, 2011

Medvedev calls new radar a signal of Russian readiness to respond to Europe missile defense threat

KALININGRAD: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said he hopes that the commissioning of a new radar station in Kaliningrad will be treated by Western partners as a signal of Russia’s readiness to appropriately respond to threats linked to the European missile defense shield.

“I expect that this step will be regarded by Western partners as the first signal of our country’s readiness to appropriately respond to the threats posed by the missile defense system to our strategic nuclear forces,” Medvedev said in Kaliningrad on Tuesday.

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http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20111129/169142667.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 29, 2011

Russia’s radar to counter missile shield, says Medvedev

-“We can no longer be satisfied with a common statement that the phased and adaptive [missile defense] system that is being created is not directed against Russia,” Medvedev said. “Those are empty words, which unfortunately do not guarantee the protection of our interests.”

KALININGRAD: The launch of a new anti-missile radar station in the Russian Baltic Sea region of Kaliningrad should be treated by the West as the “first signal” of Russia’s readiness to counter “threats” posed by NATO’s missile defense plans, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.

The radar, which is capable of monitoring missile launches from the North Atlantic, as well as the United States’ future European missile shield, was put into operation earlier during the day. A source in the Russian Defense Ministry earlier said that the radar will go on combat duty starting December 1.

Addressing the Russian Armed Forces commanders after the radar’s inauguration ceremony, Medvedev said its launch was intended to demonstrate Russia’s “readiness for an adequate response to the threats posed by [NATO’s] European missile defense system to out strategic nuclear forces.”

“If our signal is not heard, as I said on November 23, we will continue deploying other defense means,” he said.

Medvedev said in his address to the nation on November 23 that he had ordered the launch of the radar as part of Russia’s reaction to the United States’ missile shield plans. Russia may also deploy Iskander tactical missiles in the Kaliningrad region in the near future, he said.

At the same time, the Kaliningrad radar, which is located at Russia’s western-most border, is “not directed against our Western partners” and “could be used for joint defense,” Medvedev said on Tuesday.

Russia is seeking written, legally binding guarantees that the missile shield will not be directed against it. However, Washington has refused to provide those guarantees to Moscow and said it will not alter its missile defense plans despite increasingly tough rhetoric from Moscow.

“We can no longer be satisfied with a common statement that the phased and adaptive [missile defense] system that is being created is not directed against Russia,” Medvedev said. “Those are empty words, which unfortunately do not guarantee the protection of our interests.”

He added, however, that “if other steps are made,” Moscow will “certainly” take them into consideration.

“But anyway, oral statements are not enough,” he said.

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http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20111129/169140891.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 29, 2011

Russia’s Baltic radar station put into service

KALININGRAD: A new radar station capable of monitoring missile launches from the North Atlantic, as well as the future European missile defense system, was put into operation in Russia’s Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad on Tuesday.

President Dmitry Medvedev observed its inauguration ceremony during his visit to the city.

“I hope this station will operate well and fulfill the tasks assigned to it hand,” Medvedev told the station team.

The radar is able to monitor simultaneously up to 500 targets at a distance of up to 6,000 kilometers, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said.

As of December 1, the station will officially become part of the national missile early warning system.

In addition, Iskander tactical missiles will be deployed in the Kaliningrad region “in the near future,” military officials said.

Russia’s air defense system will have the capability to intercept any type of missiles, any targets at any speed, including hypersonic ones.

The new system, comprising air defense, missile defense, missile early warning attack and space control systems, should be up and running by Thursday.

Medvedev said last week Russia would move “advanced offensive weapon systems” to its European borders in response to a planned U.S.-backed NATO missile shield if talks on the project fail.

Moscow is seeking written, legally binding guarantees that the shield will not be directed against it. Washington, however, has refused to put its verbal assurances in writing.

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http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/29/61203549.html

Voice of Russia
November 29, 2011

New radar station on combat duty in Russia’s Kaliningrad
Polina Chernitsa, Daria Manina

A new radar station, capable of monitoring aerospace from the North Pole to Northern Africa, is due to be put on combat duty in Russia’s western exclave of Kaliningrad on November 29. The Voronezh-DM station has a range of up to 6,000 kilometers and its launching was earlier ordered by President Dmitry Medvedev in response to the deployment of elements of the US missile shield in Europe.

Unlike previous generation radar stations, the Voronezh-DM is more energy efficient and can be quickly relocated in case of emergency.

Maintaining old generation radar stations was a tricky task because they all were stationary. As for the Voronezh-DM, its long-term maintenance specifically stipulates a quick replacement of parts if necessary. 

Putting the new radar station into operation in Kaliningrad was initiated by President Medvedev in response to Washington’s decision not to adhere to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe. In a statement on November 23, Medvedev outlined a spate of steps which he said would be made if Washington continued to stick to its planned course.

“Protective cover of Russia’s strategic nuclear weapons will be reinforced as a priority measure under the program to develop our air and space defenses. Plus, the new strategic ballistic missiles commissioned by the Strategic Missile Forces and the Navy will be equipped with advanced missile defense penetration systems and new highly-effective warheads. Also, I have instructed the Armed Forces to draw up measures for disabling missile defense system data and guidance systems if need be,” Medvedev says.

The Kremlin has repeatedly warned the White House of these plans.

Right now, only Russia and the US have three missile defense segments, including space vehicles, radar stations and missile systems. In 2010, the Russian President urged the US to create a joint missile defense system. The answer never saw the light of day which finally led to Russia’s taking an array of purely military measures.

Thus far, this has been a preventive action, says Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee.

“This is a reminder for our partners that reaching such agreements is still possible, Kosachev says. If Washington changes its position, there will be a chance to preserve cooperation in the sphere of strategic stability between Russia and the US, as well as Russia and NATO.”

Earlier this month, Azerbaijan pushed for more rent from Russia for the use of the Gabala radar station.  In this regard, Russia will certainly benefit from using the new radar station in Kaliningrad, analysts said. Given the ongoing operation of two more radar stations in Russia’s Krasnodar and Irkutsk Regions, paying Baku may well be scrapped, believes Alexander Khramchikhin, a Moscow-based political scientist.

“The Voronezh-DM is not a competitor of the Gabala station because their tasks differ, Khramchikhin explains. In this sense, Russia may well use the radar station in Armavir in the Krasnodar Region instead of one in Gabala. This is why I’m surprised about such a spat over ground rent in Azerbaijan.”

It is worth bearing in mind that Azerbaijan’s military doctrine only stipulates a short-term presence of foreign troops on Azeri territory.

Last week, Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s permanent envoy to NATO and the Russian President’s special representative to the missile defense talks, said that the US should have understood that by promoting strategic defensive systems it provokes a new arms race. President Medvedev, for his part, pledged that aside from the Voronezh-DM radar station, Russia may soon deploy sophisticated offensive weapon systems in the west and south of the country.

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Russian Envoy: U.S.-NATO Missile Deployment Like 1962 Cuban Crisis

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=7&id=290766

Interfax
November 29, 2011

Russia’s reply to missile defense deployment will not jeopardize U.S. security – Rogozin

MOSCOW: Measures Russia could take in response to a U.S. missile defense shield will not jeopardize U.S. security, Russia’s NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin said.

“Our military-technical response will not threaten the security of the United States. Our military-technical answer will only offset the gap the American missile defense shield wants to make in our security system,” Rogozin told Russia’s NTV television station on Monday.

The present situation resembles the Caribbean Crisis of the 1960s, he said.

“Americans are effectively doing today what [Soviet leader Nikita] Khrushchev did in the 1960s – they are moving their missiles, their weapons closer to our borders,” Rogozin said.

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Video And Text: NATO Orders Use Of Live Ammunition Against Kosovo Serbs

http://rt.com/news/kosovo-clashes-violence-victims-421/

RT
November 29, 2011

NATO troops shot, wounded in brutal Kosovo clashes

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Video

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At least two Kosovo Serbs and two NATO peacekeepers were injured in a fresh wave of violence in northern Kosovo, casting doubts on whether the conflict could be resolved in the near future.

The skirmishes occurred near the town of Zubin Potok, where Serbs were protesting NATO’s attempts to remove a barricade made of buses and trucks that was blocking a main road in the region. NATO peacekeeping troops responded by firing rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons at the demonstrators. They also used pepper spray and batons against the protesters while the latter hit the NATO peacekeepers with clubs and pelted them with rocks.

NATO has been claiming the two injured peacekeepers were under fire from the Serb demonstrators and is now instructing its soldiers to fire live ammunition if they come under attack.

Violence between Kosovo Serbs and NATO troops and Kosovar police flared up this summer after the self-proclaimed Kosovo government sought set up customs and border posts in the north of the country, where the overall minority Serbs make up a majority.

The Serb population responded by burning one of the posts and attacking Kosovar police. NATO troops were then called in, but Serbs began setting up barricades made of mud, soil, rock and concrete barriers to block the main road arteries leading to the border. This led to several skirmishes over the past months involving NATO peacekeepers and Kosovo Serbs.

Just last week more than 20 Portuguese and Hungarian soldiers were injured in another operation to remove the barricades.

Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008 but it was only recognized by 85 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom and France, but not most of the countries, including Russia and Serbia itself.

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50 Serb Civilians, 25 NATO Troops Injured In Kosovo Clashes

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/29/61193442.html

Itar-Tass
November 29, 2011

25 NATO servicemen injured in clashes with Kosovo Serbs

       
25 NATO servicemen have been injured in clashes with Serbs in Northern Kosovo, according to a statement that the KFOR international security force for Kosovo released earlier today. According to the Serbian mass media, up to 50 civilians were injured in the clashes.

NATO servicemen used rubber bullets, water cannons and tear gas to disperse the raging crowd, and also heavy military hardware to unblock the motorway that the protesters cut off with their buses and trucks in the area of the town of Zubin Potok.

The situation in Northern Kosovo was aggravated in the middle of September, when the Albanian authorities of the self-proclaimed state assumed control over the Jarinje and Brnjak checkpoints on the administrative border with Serbia. Kosovo Serbs have since started erecting barricades to protest the move.

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NATO Shouldn’t Intervene In Arctic Disputes: Russian Foreign Minister

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/29/61197944.html

Interfax
November 29, 2011

NATO shouldn’t meddle in disputes about Arctic – Lavrov

       
There is absolutely no reason why NATO should meddle in disputes about and conflicts over Arctic resources, said the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

He feels that it is those who have an eye on the Arctic resources and get a grip of what does not belong to them that are trying to provoke this kind of interference by the alliance.

Lavrov made the statement during a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday following the talks with his Icelandic counterpart Össur Skarphedinsson.

Russia’s topmost diplomat stressed that decisions on Arctic development should be made exclusively by the regional nations that are members of the Arctic Council, on the basis of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

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NATO Military Commanders Push Bosnia’s Integration Into Bloc

http://www.aco.nato.int/nato-addresses-federation-of-bosnia-and-herzegovina-parliament-.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
November 28, 2011

NATO ADDRESSES FEDERATION OF BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA PARLIAMENT

How fast Bosnia and Herzegovina will join NATO depends on political will and fulfillment of remaining requirements, one of which is resolution of the issue of registration of prospective defence property, which is a condition for the activation of Membership Action Plan (MAP), said NATO HQ Sarajevo Commander General Gary Huffman and Deputy Commander Colonel John Andreas Olsen during their address to members of the House of Representatives of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) Parliament, on November 24th.

Senior NATO officials sent a message that BiH must be ready to make compromises, to develop a sense for moving forward and to forget the past. They presented a new Strategic Concept of the Alliance for the next ten years.

During a half an hour Q&A period, guests from NATO had to spend most of the time explaining provisions of the Dayton Peace Accords and role of NATO and OHR bestowed to them by annexes to the agreement.

FBiH Parliamentarians expressed high level of support for BiH’s NATO integrations processes, and urged NATO HQ Sarajevo to continue its support on the country’s NATO integration path.

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NATO Official, Azeri Defense Chief Discuss Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

http://www.news.az/articles/politics/49447

Azeri Press Agency
November 25, 2011

Azerbaijani Minister, NATO official discuss Karabakh conflict

Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Colonel-General Safar Abiyev received NATO Deputy Secretary General for Defense Policy and Planning Huseyn Dirioz.

Press service of the Defense Ministry reported that they exchanged views on the development prospects of NATO-Azerbaijan military cooperation and the military and political situation in the region and the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

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NATO Intensifies Military Partnership With Iraq

http://www.arrc.nato.int/training_mission_iraq/page168503820.aspx

NATO Training Mission-Iraq Headquarters
November 23, 2011

Joint Training Coordination Cell Implementation Working Group meets at the NATO Training Mission-Iraq Headquarters

Baghdad, Iraq: The Joint Training Coordination Cell (JTCC) Implementation Working Group met for the first time on Wednesday 23 November at the NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) Headquarters.

NTM-I Deputy Commander, Maj. Gen. Giovanni Armentani, opened the session on behalf of NTM-I Commander, Lt. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, Jr.. “I thank you very much for coming here today and let me say what a great pleasure and honour it is for me to warmly welcome you all to this first Joint Training Coordination Cell Implementation Working Group,” he said.

The aim of the Working Group is to establish the conditions for the successful formation of an effective JTCC…that has to act as an Iraqi focus for coordinating training activities with NATO. The JTCC will be the future means by which the Iraqi authorities coordinate training needs, and eventually all Partnership requirements with NATO.

When fully implemented, the JTCC will coordinate pan-ministerial involvement in all NATO-sponsored activities, both inside and outside Iraq and will manage all aspects of administration for training courses, seminars, conferences and symposia.

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….

NTM-I is…a distinct training mission, under the political control of NATO’s North Atlantic Council. Its operational emphasis is on training and mentoring. The activities of the mission are coordinated with Iraqi authorities and the Office for Security and Cooperation-Iraq (OSC-I) Chief, 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 12 member nations (as of November 2011): Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine (Partner for Peace), the UK and the USA.

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Categories: Uncategorized

John Greenleaf Whittier: The Peace Convention at Brussels

November 29, 2011 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

John Greenleaf Whittier: If this be Peace, pray what is War?

John Greenleaf Whittier: Nobler than the sword’s shall be the sickle’s accolade

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John Greenleaf Whittier
The Peace Convention at Brussels (1848)

*****

Then, o’er Earth’s war-field, till the strife shall cease,
Like Morven’s harpers, sing your song of peace;
As in old fable rang the Thracian’s lyre,
Midst howl of fiends and roar of penal fire,
Till the fierce din to pleasing murmurs fell,
And love subdued the maddened heart of hell.

Not vain the vision which the prophets saw,
Skirting with green the fiery waste of war,
Through the hot sand-gleam, looming soft and calm
On the sky’s rim, the fountain-shading palm.

*****

Still in thy streets, O Paris! doth the stain
Of blood defy the cleansing autumn rain;
Still breaks the smoke Messina’s ruins through,
And Naples mourns that new Bartholomew,
When squalid beggary, for a dole of bread,
At a crowned murderer’s beck of license, fed
The yawning trenches with her noble dead;
Still, doomed Vienna, through thy stately halls
The shell goes crashing and the red shot falls,
And, leagued to crush thee, on the Danube’s side,
The bearded Croat and Bosniak spearman ride;
Still in that vale where Himalaya’s snow
Melts round the cornfields and the vines below,
The Sikh’s hot cannon, answering ball for ball,
Flames in the breach of Moultan’s shattered wall;
On Chenab’s side the vulture seeks the slain,
And Sutlej paints with blood its banks again.

“What folly, then,” the faithless critic cries,
With sneering lip, and wise world-knowing eyes,
“While fort to fort, and post to post, repeat
The ceaseless challenge of the war-drum’s beat,
And round the green earth, to the church-bell’s chime,
The morning drum-roll of the camp keeps time,
To dream of peace amidst a world in arms,
Of swords to ploughshares changed by Scriptural charms,
Of nations, drunken with the wine of blood,
Staggering to take the Pledge of Brotherhood,
Like tipplers answering Father Matthew’s call;
The sullen Spaniard, and the mad-cap Gaul,
The bull-dog Briton, yielding but with life,
The Yankee swaggering with his bowie-knife,
The Russ, from banquets with the vulture shared,
The blood still dripping from his amber beard,
Quitting their mad Berserker dance to hear
The dull, meek droning of a drab-coat seer;
Leaving the sport of Presidents and Kings,
Where men for dice each titled gambler flings,
To meet alternate on the Seine and Thames,
For tea and gossip, like old country dames!
No! let the cravens plead the weakling’s cant,
Let Cobden cipher, and let Vincent rant,
Let Sturge preach peace to democratic throngs,
And Burritt, stammering through his hundred tongues,
Repeat, in all, his ghostly lessons o’er,
Timed to the pauses of the battery’s roar;
Check Ban or Kaiser with the barricade
Of “Olive-leaves” and Resolutions made,
Spike guns with pointed Scripture-texts, and hope
To capsize navies with a windy trope;
Still shall the glory and the pomp of War
Along their train the shouting millions draw;
Still dusty Labor to the passing Brave
His cap shall doff, and Beauty’s kerchief wave;
Still shall the bard to Valor tune his song,
Still Hero-worship kneel before the Strong;
Rosy and sleek, the sable-gowned divine,
O’er his third bottle of suggestive wine,
To plumed and sworded auditors, shall prove
Their trade accordant with the Law of Love;
And Church for State, and State for Church, shall fight,
And both agree, that “Might alone is Right!”
Despite of sneers like these, O faithful few,
Who dare to hold God’s word and witness true,
Whose clear-eyed faith transcends our evil time,
And o’er the present wilderness of crime
Sees the calm future, with its robes of green,
Its fleece-flecked mountains, and soft streams between, -
Still keep the path which duty bids ye tread,
Though worldly wisdom shake the cautious head;
No truth from Heaven descends upon our sphere,
Without the greeting of the skeptic’s sneer;
Denied and mocked at, till its blessings fall,
Common as dew and sunshine, over all.”

Then, o’er Earth’s war-field, till the strife shall cease,
Like Morven’s harpers, sing your song of peace;
As in old fable rang the Thracian’s lyre,
Midst howl of fiends and roar of penal fire,
Till the fierce din to pleasing murmurs fell,
And love subdued the maddened heart of hell.
Lend, once again, that holy song a tongue,
Which the glad angels of the Advent sung,
Their cradle-anthem for the Saviour’s birth,
Glory to God, and peace unto the earth!
Through the mad discord send that calming word
Which wind and wave on wild Gennesareth heard,
Lift in Christ’s name his Cross against the Sword!
Not vain the vision which the prophets saw,
Skirting with green the fiery waste of war,
Through the hot sand-gleam, looming soft and calm
On the sky’s rim, the fountain-shading palm.
Still lives for Earth, which fiends so long have trod,
The great hope resting on the truth of God, -
Evil shall cease and Violence pass away,
And the tired world breathe free through a long Sabbath day. 

Categories: Uncategorized

Franz Liszt: Bellum et Pax

November 29, 2011 Leave a comment

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Musical selections

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

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Music by Franz Liszt
Illustrations by Gustave Doré

Categories: Uncategorized

Hypersonic Missiles: Who Is The Target?

November 28, 2011 3 comments

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/28/61168605.html

Voice of Russia
November 28, 2011

Hypersonic missile: who is the target?
John Robles

Interview with Rick Rozoff, the manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list and a contributing writer to Global Research.ca.

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The first thing that is on everybody’s minds is President Medvedev’s statement regarding NATO. Why at this late date exactly, at this juncture?

In a rather alarming manner we’ve seen an expanding recruitment for the U.S. missile system in Europe, through the mechanism of NATO, in the last couple of months where, in addition to the countries where we know there are going to be US interceptor missiles stationed, the deployment of a Forward-Based X-Band Radar facility in Turkey has been confirmed.

We’ve also seen the recruitment of nations like Spain, the Netherlands and others into what the White House and the Pentagon refer to as the European Phased Adaptive Approach missile system, one that is going to proceed in four phases, the third and fourth phases with the introduction of very advanced-stage Standard Missile-3 land-based interceptors, with the understanding that these can be employed not strictly for defensive purposes but to target all Russian strategic deterrent forces and capabilities in Europe.

Recently, the U.S. and NATO conducted tests for their new hypersonic missile. Could you tell the listeners a little bit about that?

Earlier this month, the US DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) did just that. It’s actually an interdepartmental weapon system, its part of what’s called Conventional Prompt Global Strike, or sometimes simply Prompt Global Strike.

Last year, for example, the Obama administration asked for somewhere in the neighbourhood of a quarter of a billion dollars for this year to develop the capacity. It’s meant to deliver conventional weapon attacks to any site on the planet within no more than 60 minutes. And what happened earlier this month was that the U.S. Army tested the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW), which traveled an estimated 7,400 km/h, which is over six times the speed of sound.

In August, an unsuccessful test of an AHW-related component was to have traveled at 27,000 km/h, which is over MACH 20 – that is 20 times the speed of sound. To be hypersonic one has to exceed MACH 5, or five times the speed of sound.

The day before President Medvedev’s statement about moving mobile ISKANDER missiles into the Kaliningrad District, but also potentially into Belarus and into the southern Krasnodar region, which would be closer to US missiles in Romania and to the NATO radar facility in Turkey, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov mentioned that Russia’s new air-defense systems are capable of intercepting any kind of missiles, including U.S. interceptor missiles but also, he explicitly mentioned, hypersonic weapons.

He said that explicitly? Hypersonic?

Yes, he said it specifically in reference to the test that had been conducted a week earlier by the U.S.

You mentioned earlier this was a part of the Prompt Global Strike system? Is this a first-strike system?

I’ll read you a comment that was made a couple of years ago by a person who is now retired, then-Vice Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Cartwright, who stated that the proclaimed intent of the Prompt Global Strike program was to deliver strikes by conventional missiles or heavy bombers – long-range bombers – anywhere on the face of the Earth within an hour.

Marine General James Cartwright stated: “At the high end, strikes could be delivered in 300 milliseconds,” which is a fraction of a second.

There was also a comment by another person who is now retired, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Defense William Lynn, who stated roughly the same thing a year and a half ago. He said: “The next air warfare priority for the Pentagon is developing a next-generation, deep-penetrating strike capability that can overcome air defenses,” meaning again that a first-strike capability or part of a general first-strike capability that would permit the US to strike fast, deep and undetected presumably into the interior of countries that have advanced air defense systems. I can only think of three countries that would match that description – Iran, to a lesser extent, and Russia and China, to a greater.

How would this all tie in with the Cyber Warfare Center that’s been active recently in Estonia?

Yes, in 2008, NATO set up one of what they call, what NATO calls, a Center of Excellence, a Cyber Defense Centre in the capital of Estonia, in reaction to cyber attacks, real or alleged.

So we have three components being integrated, one of them being the so-called global missile shield. But, first of all, there is no real assurance that the missiles in fact pack a non-explosive warhead. They are supposed to be what are called kinetic or hit-to-kill missiles, but at any time that the U.S. chooses I suspect it can put a strategic warhead on one of these missiles after they are deployed in Poland or Romania and no one would be the wiser.

We know that the momentous statement by President Medvedev on Wednesday cited the fact that Russia was not consulted about anything. In his own words, the U.S. rather blithely announces developments after the fact or rather the president or defense minister of Russia have to read in Western newspapers information concerning U.S. plans to deploy, under NATO auspices, 48 Standard Missile-3 interceptors in Romania and Poland, 24 each, and, as he put it, it’s presented to Russia as an accomplished fact.

With that lack of consultation, with that lack of openness, transparency, one would be justified in fearing the ultimate purpose of U.S. missiles in nations like Poland and Romania or ship-based versions of Standard Missile-3 interceptors that will be deployed in the Baltic Sea and may well find their way into the Barents, Norwegian and Black Seas.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO news: November 28, 2011

November 28, 2011 1 comment

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Russia To Hold Talks In China, Iran On Global NATO-U.S. Missile Shield

NATO Attack: Pakistan On The Boil

Pakistan Buries Soldiers; U.S., NATO Flags, Obama Effigy Burned

Pakistan To Completely Review Relations With U.S., NATO

Pakistan: Several Thousand Protesters Surround U.S. Consulate In Karachi

Hundreds Of NATO Containers Blocked At Crossing Points

NATO Supply Line Has Been Cut Permanently: Interior Minister

Government: 83 Percent Of Pakistanis Killed In Drone Strikes Innocent Civilians

U.S. Drone Strike Kills At Least 39 In Somalia

Russia Could Cut U.S.-NATO Afghan War Transit Over Missiles

Putin Warns West Against Interfering In Russian Election

Dark Clouds Of War Shroud Syria

France Says Assad’s Days Numbered, Russia To Deploy Warships

Video And Text. Mideast Regime Change: 21st Century Energy Strategy

NATO Soldiers Wounded In Clash With Serb Protesters

Chicago NATO Summit To Boost Georgia’s Accession Bid

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Russia To Hold Talks In China, Iran On Global NATO-U.S. Missile Shield

http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/1962755.html

Trend News Agency
Nobember 28, 2011

Russian rep to NATO to hold global missile defense talks in China and Iran

Permanent Representative of Russia to NATO Dmitry Rogozin plans to visit China and Iran in the middle of January to discuss problem of deploying the global missile defense system, RIA Novosti reported.

“On behalf of the president’s instructions, we plan to visit Beijing and Tehran, to discuss the issues related to the promotion plan for a global missile defense,” said Rogozin during a round table in the State Duma on Monday.

In China, meetings with Minister of Foreign Affairs and authorities of the General staff are scheduled, and in Iran with the Secretary of National Security Council, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In October, Moscow’s NATO envoy Dmitry Rogozin said Russian talks with the United States on missile defense had hit a dead end.

The Kremlin says the U.S. expansion of an anti-missile system in Europe is a potential threat to Russia’s nuclear arsenal, while Washington has been trying to convince Moscow that the system poses no threat to Russia and is needed to protect against missiles that could be fired from countries with smaller arsenals such as Iran.

The missile shield dispute between Russia and the United States has undermined efforts to build on improvements in relations between the former Cold War foes and is intensified by Russia’s uncertainty of U.S. policy after the November 2012 presidential elections.

Edited by: S. Isayev

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http://en.rian.ru/world/20111128/169117562.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 28, 2011

Russia’s NATO envoy to visit China, Iran over missile defense

MOSCOW: Russian envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin will visit China and Iran in mid-January to discuss a U.S.-backed global missile defense network.

“We are planning to visit both Beijing and Tehran soon under the Russian president’s directive, to discuss the planned deployment of a global missile defense network,” Rogozin said during a roundtable meeting at the lower house of the Russian parliament.

Rogozin said he would meet with Foreign Ministry and General Staff officials in China, and hold talks with the head of the Supreme National Security Council and diplomats in Iran.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev outlined on Wednesday a series of possible “appropriate measures” if missile defense talks between Moscow and Washington result in failure, including the deployment of “advanced offensive weapon systems” targeting the European component of the missile defense network.

Russia and NATO tentatively agreed to cooperate on the European missile defense network at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010 but differences in approaches toward the project led to a deadlock in negotiations.

The Kremlin says the U.S. expanding anti-missile system in Europe is a potential threat to the Russian nuclear arsenal, while Washington is trying to convince Moscow that the system poses no threat to Russia, that it is needed to protect against attack from “rogue states” such as Iran.

Rogozin called the U.S. proposals to jointly monitor missile threats over Europe and to allow Russian experts to take part in the first tests of the global missile shield next spring as “absurd” on Monday.

“It looks more like propaganda than a serious proposal…Our specialists might have been interested in monitoring the tests if they could use telemetric equipment but Washington will not allow that,” he said.

“They said our experts could look through binoculars from some sort of a barge from a long distance…We have a planetarium in Moscow and it is very exiting to watch the stars there, so they might well have invited us to visit this planetarium,” Rogozin quipped.

The United States and NATO plan to place elements of the proposed global missile shield in Poland, Romania and Turkey.

Moscow is seeking written, legally-binding guarantees that the shield will not be directed against it but Washington has refused to put its verbal assurances in writing.

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NATO Attack: Pakistan On The Boil

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2665908.ece

The Hindu
November 27, 2011

NATO attack: Pakistan on the boil
By Anita Joshua

The helicopter attack on Pakistan Army border posts in Mohmand tribal agency could further strain the already tense relations between Islamabad and Kabul that ran into rough weather in September following the assassination of Afghan High Peace Council chairman Burhanuddin Rabbani.

Islamabad on Sunday protested to the Afghan government about the use of its soil by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) for attacking Pakistan…

Given that this attack comes in the wake of several cross-border incursions into Pakistan from Afghanistan through the summer despite heavy coalition force presence west of the Durand Line, Pakistan was up in arms and the anger was primarily directed against the U.S.

Protest marches were held in various parts of the country including near the U.S. consulate in Karachi, even as funeral prayers were offered for the 24 soldiers killed in the attack. The combined funeral prayer organised in Peshawar before the bodies were sent to their respective native places was attended by Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and the provincial leadership.

Apprehensive of attacks, the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad issued an alert asking Americans to be vigilant. While the U.S. Embassy maintained it was not aware of any specific threat, employees have been advised to reduce non-essential travel and use “buddy systems” to account for the whereabouts of colleagues. As a matter of caution, the Embassy has asked some of its personnel employed outside Islamabad to return to the federal capital.

With the closure of supply lines for NATO troops in Afghanistan, trucks were lined up at the two border crossing points of Chaman in Balochistan and Torkham in the Khyber agency. The closure is not expected to affect NATO troops drastically as attackson these trucks had forced the U.S. and its allies to shift movement of the bulk of non-military supplies through Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus.

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Pakistan Buries Soldiers; U.S., NATO Flags, Obama Effigy Burned

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\11\28\story_28-11-2011_pg1_1

Daily Times
Agencies
November 28, 2011

Pakistan buries troops as rage spreads

* Thousands of enraged Pakistanis take to streets across country, burning an effigy of Obama and setting fire to US, NATO flags

* Kayani attends troops’ funeral prayer in Peshawar

PESHAWAR: Pakistan on Sunday buried 24 troops killed in a NATO cross-border air attack that has pushed a crisis in relations between the United States and an ally it needs to fight militancy towards rupture.

Television stations showed the coffins of the soldiers draped in national flags in a prayer ceremony at the Corp Headquarters in Peshawar attended by Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani. Pakistan shut down NATO supply routes into Afghanistan – used for sending in nearly half of the alliance’s land shipments – in retaliation for the worst such attack since Islamabad uneasily allied itself with Washington following the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

About 500 members of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) staged a protest in Mohmand tribal area, where the NATO attack took place. “Down with America” and “Jihad is The Only Answer to America”, they yelled. In Karachi, the port city used by the US to ship supplies to troops fighting in Afghanistan, thousands gathered outside the US consulate. They shouted: “down with America, stay away Americans, Pakistan is ours, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our army”, while riot police were deployed near the consulate. Outside the press club in Karachi, dozens of political activists burnt an effigy of President Obama.

In the central city of Multan, more than 300 activists loyal to the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, as well as local traders took to the streets, burning US and NATO flags. They carried placards and banners, and shouted: “down with America,” “down with NATO,” “Yankees go back”, “vacate Afghanistan and Pakistan” and “stop drone attacks”. Speaking at the rally, opposition lawmaker Javed Hashmi demanded that the government end its alliance in the US-led “war on terror”.

In Islamabad, at least 200 activists of the JI held a rally. “We strongly condemn the attack and the killing of our soldiers,” local JI chief Mian Aslam told the rally, as protesters chanted “Pakistan is America’s graveyard.”

In Karachi, dozens of truck drivers who should have been transporting supplies to Afghanistan were idle. Taj Malli braves the threat of Taliban attacks to deliver supplies to Afghanistan so that he can support his children. But he thinks it is time to block the route permanently in protest. “Pakistan is more important than money. The government must stop all supplies to NATO so that they realise the importance of Pakistan,” he said.

Pakistan is reviewing whether it will go ahead with plans to attend a major international conference in Bonn next month on the future of Afghanistan in light of the NATO attack. Around 40 troops were stationed at the outposts at the time of the attack, military sources said. “They without any reasons attacked on our post and killed soldiers asleep,” said a senior Pakistani officer.

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Pakistan To Completely Review Relations With U.S., NATO

http://rt.com/news/nato-attack-pakistan-us-305/

RT
November 27, 2011

Pakistan to ‘completely review’ ties with US

Pakistan says it is reviewing its relations with the US and NATO and has taken “urgent action” after a NATO attack on Friday killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. A key Afghan border has been sealed and the US ordered to quit an air-base in the country.

NATO helicopters allegedly fired on a checkpoint in northwest Pakistan’s Mohmand tribal area near the Afghan border.

The decision to review relations was taken at an urgent meeting of Pakistan’s government defense committee with the participation of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and top military and government leaders.

In a statement, officials said “the government will revisit and undertake a complete review of all programs, activities and co-operative arrangements with US/NATO/ISAF, including diplomatic, political, military and intelligence.”

Islamabad condemned what it called an “unprovoked attack” by NATO helicopters. The statement called for “strong and urgent action against those responsible for this aggression.”

Pakistan has cut a key NATO supply route to Afghanistan in the wake of the strike. Islamabad has also demanded that the US Air Force abandon Shamsi military airbase in Belujistan within 15 days in an official memorandum of the defense committee headed by Pakistan’s prime minister. 

Pakistani truck drivers carrying supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan say they are now worried about militant attacks following the border closure.

Nearly 300 trucks were stranded at the country’s two Afghan border crossings on Sunday after Islamabad decided to block the coalition’s supplies. Drivers say they hardly slept all night, fearing possible attacks. Suspected militants destroyed about 150 trucks a year ago after Pakistan closed the Torkham crossing for about 10 days following a similar incident.

The 24 soldiers killed in the assault were buried on Sunday, with a prayer ceremony for the deceased at the headquarters of the regional command in Peshawar being televised. The coffins were draped in green and white Pakistani flags. Two officers were reported to be among the dead.

About 500 members of Jamaat-e-Islami – Pakistan’s most influential religious party – staged a protest, yelling “Down with America” and “Jihad is the only answer to America”, Reuters reports. The rally took place in the Mohmand tribal area where the attack occurred.

“They attacked our post and killed soldiers while they were asleep without any reason,” a senior Pakistani officer told Reuters.

Around 40 troops were stationed at the outposts at the time of the attack, military sources said.

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Pakistan: Several Thousand Protesters Surround U.S. Consulate In Karachi

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/27/61119020.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 27, 2011

Pakistanis angered by US attack on border checkpoint

Several thousand Pakistanis have staged a rally near the US consulate in Karachi, a port city in the country’s south.

They were protesting against the recent attack of US helicopters on a Pakistani checkpoint on the border with Afghanistan, as a result of which 24 Pakistani servicemen were killed.

The crowd surrounded the consulate and chanted anti-US slogans.

The shelling of the checkpoint caused a tough reaction from Pakistani authorities, which have threatened to review Pakistan’s plans of cooperation with the US and NATO.

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Hundreds Of NATO Containers Blocked At Crossing Points

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\11\28\story_28-11-2011_pg1_7

Daily Times
November 28, 2011

Hundreds of NATO containers blocked at Torkham, Chaman

TORKHAM/CHAMAN: Long queues of NATO supply tankers have been formed on the Torkham and Quetta-Chaman highways as Pakistan closed the crossing points for NATO supplies after helicopter attacks in Mohmand Agency on Saturday.

According to reports, NATO supply containers entering from Punjab were stopped at Nowshera and all clearance points were sealed.

After the decision of the Cabinet Committee on Defence, all the routes for NATO supply have been closed for the supply vehicles. Owners of the containers have been directed to take them to secure points.

Hundreds of containers were also parked at the Chaman crossing point and heavy contingents of police and FC have been deployed there for security purposes.

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NATO Supply Line Has Been Cut Permanently: Interior Minister

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=10583&Cat=13

News International
November 28, 2011

Supply line permanently stopped: Malik
Shakeel Anjum

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Sunday said the Nato supply line had not been suspended but permanently stopped, making it clear that containers that had been stopped would not be allowed to cross the Pak-Afghan border.

Talking to the media here at the National Crisis Management Cell of the Ministry of Interior, he strongly condemned the Nato attack on Pakistani forces and said Nato should respect the feelings of the Pakistani nation. The minister said the nation and the government mourned the death of 26 personnel of the Pakistani security forces caused by Nato aggression on the Salala post in Mohmand Agency.

He said the decisions of the Defence Cabinet Committee (DCC) on the Nato attack would be implemented in letter and spirit. “The decisions of the DCC are final and will be implemented,” the minister said. “The democratic government of Pakistan will not take dictation from anyone.”

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http://ftpapp.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=167031&It\

emid=2

Associated Press of Pakistan
November 27, 2011

NATO supply stopped permanently: Malik

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Sunday said that the supply of NATO has not been suspended rather it has been stopped permanently. Talking to reporters here at National Crisis Management Cell of Ministry of Interior, he strongly condemned the NATO attack on Pakistani forces. “The NATO force should respect the feelings of the Pakistani nation.”

He said the nation and the government were aggrieved on the death of 24 officials of Pakistani security forces in the wake of NATO aggression on Salala post in Mohmand Agency. He said the decisions of the Defence Cabinet Committee (DCC) on the NATO forces attack inside Pakistan would be implemented in letter and spirit. “The decisions of the DCC are final and would be implemented,” he added.

The Minister said that NATO containers which have been stopped would not be allowed to cross the Pak-Afghan border.

Malik said that the democratic government of Pakistan would not take dictation from anyone.

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Government: 83 Percent Of Pakistanis Killed In Drone Strikes Innocent Civilians

http://www.sananews.net/english/2011/11/pak-terms-83-percent-people-killed-during-drone-attacks-in-past-seven-years-%E2%80%98innocent%E2%80%99/

South Asian News Agency
November 25, 2011

Pak terms 83 percent people killed during drone attacks in past seven years ‘innocent’

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has termed 83 percent of people killed in US drone attacks in the tribal areas of the country during the past seven years as “innocent”.

According to a private TV channel it is revealed from the intelligence sources that most of the drone attacks happened during the era of the present government which are over 200; meanwhile the US has carried out 285 drone attacks in Pakistan so far from 2004 to till this date.

During the current year 72 drone strikes has been carried out and from 2004 nearly 2,780 people has been killed; meanwhile the intelligence institutions in their latest research report said that only 17 percent has been killed during these attacks of those killed were terrorists belonging to al-Qaeda and Taliban.

Most of the people killed in the drone attacks were innocent and include women, children and aged people, and during the current year 46 drone attacks were carried out in North Waziristan Agency, 22 in South Waziristan Agency and two attacks were carried out in FATA and other areas of KPK.

[M]eanwhile the it has also been decided to take up the issue in the United Nations and in this regard the data is being collected and the issue would be raised in front of the UN Human Rights Council.

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U.S. Drone Strike Kills At Least 39 In Somalia

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=160403

Azeri Press Agency
November 27, 2011

US terror drones kill 39 more in Somalia

Baku: At least 39 people have been killed after US assassination drones launched aerial attacks on southern Somalia near the Indian Ocean coast, APA reports quoting Press TV.

Dozens of others were also injured after the remote-controlled aerial vehicles fired several missiles, Somali tribal elders told Press TV on Saturday evening.

The incident took place on the outskirts of Kismayo, a strategically important port city on the Somali coast located some 500 kilometers (310 miles) south of the country’s capital Mogadishu.

Somalia is the sixth country where the United States has used assassination drones to launch missile strikes. The US military has also used drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen.

On October 28, Washington admitted to flying the terror aircraft from a base in Ethiopia.

The confirmation appeared a day after The Washington Post revealed in a report that the US flies ’armed’ drones from an airfield in Ethiopia’s southern city of Arba Minch.

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Putin Warns West Against Interfering In Russian Election

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20111127/169086652.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 27, 2011

Putin warns West against interfering in Russia’s votes

-“It would be better if they used this money to pay off their national debt and stop conducting an ineffective and costly foreign policy.”

MOSCOW: Russia’s prime minister, Vladimir Putin, has warned Western powers against meddling in Russia’s forthcoming elections after agreeing to stand for president in March 2012.

Addressing a glitzy congress of the ruling United Russia party on Sunday, Putin said any attempts by “foreign states” to influence Russia’s political process would be “futile.”

Russia will hold a crucial parliamentary vote next week, followed by presidential elections in March next year.

“Representatives of some foreign states” were paying politically-active NGOs in Russia to “influence the course of the election campaign in our country,” Putin said to a roar of approval and applause.

“It would be better if they used this money to pay off their national debt and stop conducting an ineffective and costly foreign policy,” he said in a clear reference to the debt-ridden United States.

“It’s a wasted effort, like throwing money to the wind,” he added.

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Russia Could Cut U.S.-NATO Afghan War Transit Over Missiles

http://rt.com/politics/nato-afghanistan-missile-defense-365/

RT
November 28, 2011

Missile defense sparks diplomatic offensive

Russia could review its relations with NATO on the critically-important issue of Afghanistan if it does not react to Moscow’s statements made in response to America’s missile defense plans, Russia’s envoy to the alliance has said.

“If our partners do not react to the statements [which were] predictable and proportionate to risks and threats, we will have to reconsider our relations with our partners in other areas as well,” Dmitry Rogozin said, as cited by Interfax.

Such a review could apply to Russia’s co-operation over the transit corridor used by NATO to move equipment and supplies into Afghanistan. Moscow’s permanent representative to NATO noted that he supports a systematic approach when it comes to addressing the problem.

Earlier last week, President Dmitry Medvedev outlined a raft of military and diplomatic measures in response to the US deploying its missile defense shield in Europe and failing to provide any legal guarantees that the system would not be targeted against Russia.

On Monday, speaking at a roundtable at the State Duma, Rogozin underlined that when it comes to national security, Moscow must think globally, “just as our partners do.”

He stressed that Russia would only be respected if its partners see it as a power that is capable of an adequate response to “any aggressor or group of aggressors.” The diplomat pointed out that the US plans all its military operations based on the concept of a lightning strike. NATO can simultaneously fight two large wars and six medium-scale ones.

“It’s a good question, especially for us, who would be enemies in large wars,” Rogozin noted.

The president of the Council for Strategic Priorities, Aleksey Pushkov, also believes that Russia should review its relations with NATO in the case that the alliance does not react to Moscow’s statements. If the military bloc pushes ahead with its projects despite Russia’s harsh rhetoric, the latter would lose credibility and cease to be taken seriously.

Meanwhile, Washington and its NATO allies were only going through the motions of holding a dialogue with Moscow, while pushing ahead with their plans for a European missile defense shield without reference to Russia’s concerns.

Earlier in the day, Dmitry Rogozin met with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss preparations for next week’s ministerial session of the Russia-NATO Council, due to be held in Brussels.

Further efforts to reach an agreement on building the missile defense shield close to Russia’s western border will be made at the NATO summit in Chicago next May.

====

Dark Clouds Of War Shroud Syria

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-11/28/c_131274625.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 28, 2011

Dark clouds of war shrouding Syria
By Li Hongmei

-[U.S.]activities are reminiscent of a similar initiative when a group of NATO vessels were concentrated near Libya. Washington wants to collect a maximum dividend from the series of revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa. With this aim in mind, Washington is likely to start a military intervention even without UN approval…[A] possible encounter between USS George HW Bush and Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov off the Syrian shores could finally ignite the tinderbox, threatening the already brittle tranquility in the region.
-The Sarkozy administration, having reaped a string of “firsts” in Libya attack, has once again become the first Western nation to suggest an international intervention on the ground in Syria with its calls for a “secure zone to protect civilians”, and first to endorse the exiled opposition Syrian National Council.

BEIJING: In…an unprecedented move against an Arab nation, the Arab League has voted to impose economic sanctions on Syria.

On Sunday, Damascus slammed the sanctions as a betrayal of Arab solidarity and insisted a foreign conspiracy was behind the revolt, all but alluding to more bloodshed could follow.

This has not only sent thousands of pro-government Syrians to street rallying against the sanctions which are interpreted as the clearest sign to leave Syria in the cold and more vulnerable to the outside assault, but has raised fears of civil war – a worst-case scenario in a country that is a geographical and political keystone in the heart of the Middle East.

Syria borders five countries with whom it shares religious and ethnic minorities. And its web of allegiances extends to Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah movement and Iran’s Shiite theocracy. Chaos in Syria could send unsettling ripples across the region.

As a latest sign of Western intervention, the nuclear aircraft-carrier USS George HW Bush has reportedly anchored off Syria. The ship is capable of carrying up to 70 aircraft, including 48 attack jets. The aircraft-carrier is escorted by a group of vessels which contains a destroyer.

As the deadline set by Arab league to allow observers into the country meets with no response from Damascus, the possibility of a direct military intervention in Syria seems to be augmented.

In this connection, experts are giving both a pessimistic and comparatively moderate prospect of the latest developments near the Syrian sea border. Many believe the U.S. redeployment of its carrier from the Persian Gulf to the Syrian shores is part of preparations for a military operation against Syria.

After all, these activities are reminiscent of a similar initiative when a group of NATO vessels were concentrated near Libya. Washington wants to collect a maximum dividend from the series of revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa. With this aim in mind, Washington is likely to start a military intervention even without UN approval.

Meanwhile, whipping-up tension around Syria is taking place along different lines as well. The day before The George Bush was redeployed near the Syrian coastline, the Al-Arabiya Saudi TV channel reported that three Russian Navy ships entered Syrian territorial waters, although the information is as yet to be confirmed by the Russian Defense Ministry.

However, Russia has voiced its opposition to any move to target Syria as the next Libya, say, foreign military interventions into the country, with whom Russia would consistently kept arms deals with. There is a Russian naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus, which is the only Russian military base abroad at present.

It is also reported that, due to increasing tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, Russia has sent its “Admiral Kuznetsov”, the only aircraft carrier on active duty, and it is now on the way to the…zone off Syria. This also gives rise to some speculations that the possible encounter between USS George HW Bush and Russia’s Admiral Kuznetsov off the Syrian shores could finally ignite the tinderbox, threatening the already brittle tranquility in the region.

It is still a mooted point whether Russia could look back from the plow and come to a halt at the critical juncture.

America and Turkey are urging their citizens to leave Syria. The US released a statement last week urging its citizens to “depart immediately while commercial transportation is available.”

France is urging the creation of a secure zone to protect civilians “that would allow aid groups and observers into Syria” and it is seeking support from the US, UN and the Arab League. The imposition of a no-fly zone over Syria by the Arab League with US logistical support, is also being discussed, according to the Jordan-based Al Bawaba news website. A strong sense of déjà vu prevails, with the specter of a Libyan scenario repeating itself.

Rumors about the no-fly zone over Syria came in the wake of the UN resolution last Tuesday which condemned human rights abuses by the Syrian regime.

The Sarkozy administration, having reaped a string of “firsts” in Libya attack, has once again become the first Western nation to suggest an international intervention on the ground in Syria with its calls for a “secure zone to protect civilians”, and first to endorse the exiled opposition Syrian National Council.

With Libya now in the rearview mirror, Syria appears to be the next stop.

There is already criticism saying the “secure zone” proposal is a French fig leaf, and it could be a pretext for intervention, in an echo of the NATO bombing campaign in Libya. It is might as well taken as an attempt by France to regain some prestige on the international arena.

On this analysis, things would possibly turn out to be that: Bashar al-Assad is irreversibly to go, and a tacit agreement involving all the concerned parties will be finally clinched on the verge of bloodshed or, if al-Assad would never yield to the mounting pressure to step down, Western allies would replicate what they did in Libya, and Russia then would make an about-face from its current standpoint, Syria would be grilled over flames of war, with its people more suffering.

What’s more, once the Syrian regime is overthrown, a Pandora’s box might be opened.

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France Says Assad’s Days Numbered, Russia To Deploy Warships

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1962676.html

Trend News Agency
November 28, 2011

Assad’s days are numbered, Russia to send warships to Syria in 2012 – French FM

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Monday that time was running out for the regime in Syria as Russia said it will send a flotilla of warships led by its only aircraft carrier to its naval base in Syria for a port call next year, Al Arabiya reported.

A report said Monday that Russia will send a flotilla of warships led by its only aircraft carrier to its naval base in Syria for a port call next year amid tensions with the West over the Syrian crisis. The ships, headed by the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier, will dock at the little-utilized Russian base in the Syrian port of Tartus in spring 2012, the Izvestia daily said, quoting the Russian navy.

Juppe’s remarks came after the Arab League agreed sweeping sanctions against Damascus over its deadly crackdown on protesters.

“Its days are numbered, that is obvious. It is totally isolated today,” Juppe told France Info radio, while acknowledging that efforts to try to stem the bloodshed in Syria were moving slowly.

“Things are going slowly unfortunately … but they are advancing since the Arab League, which carries considerable political weight, has just decided on some sanctions which will isolate the Syrian regime a bit more.”

He also voiced hope that the idea of humanitarian corridors had not been ruled out for Syria, where well over 3,500 people have been killed since protests erupted in March.

Last week, Juppe said France would ask its EU partners to consider setting up protected escape routes…

“We have done this in other situations and it is the only way in the short term to ease the plight of the population,” he said Monday.

The United Nations said at the weekend that international help was needed to feed 1.5 million people in crisis-torn Syria, but that humanitarian corridors were not yet justified.

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Video And Text. Mideast Regime Change: 21st Century Energy Strategy

http://rt.com/news/regime-iran-us-oil-347/

RT
November 28, 2011

Regime change: the 21st century energy source

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Video

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The US and Europe are to hammer out harsh penalties for Syria and Iran at a joint summit in Washington on Monday, but their objectives are being widely seen as far from democratic.

The summit comes as the US and Europe seek new ways to strengthen their global position, with the two Arab countries proving a tempting source of fortification as hawks call for regime change in one nation and a megaton of discipline in the other.

Observers believe European politicians are joining with the US president in turning tensions around Syria and Iran to economic gain. After all, the decision on whether or not to meddle in a foreign country’s affairs is never entirely selfless. Looking at Iran, for example, a country with vast natural resources, it is not hard to see the benefits of such a venture.

Iran is the world’s third-largest oil exporter. It is second in gas reserves.

And the US is not getting any of the Iranian oil.

Europe, on the other hand, accounts for a significant proportion of Iran’s crude exports.

Despite facing severe energy problems, it has recently stopped buying oil from Syria and might stop buying crude from Iran as well if the EU decides to impose an oil embargo on the Islamic Republic.

But analysts say the West will not be able to do without Egyptian oil for long.

“They would need more oil, more gas, a lower price for oil and gas, a more steady supply,” financial analyst Max Wolff told RT.

How to make it happen?

“What they would like to do is make the population so economically miserable that they would seek to change the regime,” believes Professor Lawrence Davidson, a MidEast expert from West Chester University.

“The second way is to isolate the country from its neighbors to the point where you can safely, without too many complications, go in and simply attack Iran and destroy the regime through destroying the country.”

The US and the EU are trying to press Iran’s biggest trade partner, China, to do less business with Tehran. And the US is now calling on Pakistan to stop building a gas pipeline with Iran.

Isolation seems to be the strategy – regime change, the endgame. And the benefits could be enormous.

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NATO Soldiers Wounded In Clash With Serb Protesters

http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/2011/11/28/nato-soldiers-wounded-in-clash-with-serb-protesters/

Voice of America News
November 28, 2011

NATO Soldiers Wounded in Clash With Serb Protesters

A NATO spokesman says two soldiers serving with NATO’s Kosovo Force were wounded Monday during a confrontation with Serb protesters in north Kosovo.

The violence erupted when NATO troops began removing several earthen roadblocks put in place by the Serbs who reject the authority of the Kosovo government. The ethnic Albanian-dominated Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008.

A KFOR spokesman said the wounded soldiers condition is not known.

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Chicago NATO Summit To Boost Georgia’s Accession Bid

http://www.ceskenoviny.cz/news/zpravy/nato-2012-summit-to-ease-georgia-s-bid-czech-pm-necas/721027

Czech News Agency
November 28, 2011

NATO 2012 summit to ease Georgia’s bid – Czech PM Necas

Prague:The May 2012 summit of NATO in Chicago may bring progress to Georgia’s NATO bid, Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said after meeting his Georgian counterpart Nika Gilauri today.

Necas said Prague supported Georgia’s euro-Atlantic aspirations.

Necas said when the talks on NATO accession had been held with the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland in the late 1990s, one could also hear a “very similar rhetoric” from Russia about the unacceptability of the step and its serious consequences.

Necas said time had clearly demonstrated that the step has succeeded…

Since then, NATO was been enlarged to include the three Baltic countries, former parts of the Soviet Union, Necas said.


Necas said Georgia’s NATO bid had also been backed by the NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008 and that there was no need to backpedal on its conclusions.

While on a visit to the Russian part of Caucasus a week ago, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said if Russia had not won the 2008 war with Georgia, NATO would have been widened to include some more former Soviet countries.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO news: November 27, 2011

November 27, 2011 2 comments

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NATO Forces Attack Pakistani Soil

NATO Reveals Troops Were On The Ground In Pakistan

Pakistan Orders U.S. To Shut Down Major Air Base

NATO Attack: U.S. Given 15 Days To Vacate Pakistani Air Base

Pakistani Opposition Leader Strongly Condemns NATO

Iran To Target NATO Missile Site In Turkey If Attacked

Modern Germany’s Longest War: Troops In Afghanistan Past 2014

Number Of Kosovo Serbs Applying For Russian Citizenship Tops 50,000

Yemen: U.S. To Supervise GCC-Engineered Regime Change

After Yemen: GCC, West Move Against Syria…Iraq, Lebanon, Algeria

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NATO Forces Attack Pakistani Soil

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=127248

Pakistan Observer
November 27, 2011

NATO forces attack Pakistan soil
26 Pakistani soldiers including two officers martyred, dozen injured, KP Governor blasts strike
Tariq Saeed

Peshawar: American-led NATO and ISAF forces on Saturday attacked two Pakistan security forces check posts in the Mohmand agency, killing at least 26 Pakistani troops including officers and wounding more than 12 others. Aircraft of NATO and the ISAF forces operating inside troubled Afghanistan under US supervision, came deep into the Salala area of Tehsil Baizai some 25 kilometers west of Ghalanai, the headquarters of the Mohmand agency, Saturday early morning. The two security check posts were destroyed completely.

While the American embassy as well as NATO and ISAF spokesmen said they were investigating the matter, the government of Pakistan and high command of the Pakistan Army have taken strong exception to this naked aggression on the part of US-led forces.

Reports say a few helicopters of NATO and ISAF forces Saturday morning crossed into Mohmand agency from Afghanistan and struck two Pakistani security posts in the Salala area in Tehsil Baizai in the Mohmand agency. The check posts of the security forces were set up to stop cross-border violation and infiltration of terrorists from Afghanistan into the Pakistani area.

The posts were located on difficult hilly terrain but the Army troops rushed to the site of the attack and carried out rescue operations.

It would be pertinent to mention that this was not the first incident of its kind, as the NATO and the ISAF off and on resort to border violations and have killed scores of innocent Pakistanis including men in a uniform in a number of attacks, particularly in the Waziristan agencies, in the past.

Governor of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (KP) Masood Kausar condemned the incident in strong words. Addressing a news conference in Islamabad and in a statement issued in Peshawar the KP governor said it was an open violation of the border which is a very serious issue.

He said that the attack took place in FATA [Federally Administered Tribal Areas] and it has hurt the sentiments of the entire nation. He called for a reaction against this act so that such incidents should not happen in future. “It’s an act against the sovereignty and territorial security of the country”. The governor said the incident was being viewed very seriously and such unprovoked attacks would not be tolerated anymore. “The matter is being taken up at the highest level and will be probed”, the governor added.

In the meanwhile the political administration of the Khyber Agency has halted supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan on the federation’s order.

Hundreds of containers and oil tankers were seen parked at a check post in Tehsil Jamrod where supplies were stopped after the orders. Likewise, NATO supplies to Afghanistan en-route through Chaman, Balochistan have been halted till further orders.

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NATO Reveals Troops Were On The Ground In Pakistan

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=10562&Cat=13

News International
November 27, 2011

ISAF reveals coalition troops were in Mohmand

ISLAMABAD: An ISAF spokesman made the startling revelation on Saturday that the Mohmand attack by Nato-Isaf helicopters was in response to a call by “ISAF ground forces” in the area who called for help when they were attacked.

“It was an operation of the Afghan national security forces and coalition forces close to the border in eastern Kunar very early in the day in the darkness. In the situation that developed on the ground, close air support was called by the ground force and it is highly likely that this air support that was then brought forward caused the incident,” spokesman Carlston Jacob told the Geo TV anchor Sana Bucha from Kabul.

Spokesman Jacob made the disclosure while refusing to give details of the incident.

If his statement is correct it means that US/NATO ground forces were already in the area and when they were trapped or confronted they called for air support which came and killed Pakistan Army troops and officers.

He repeatedly said that he was waiting for the result of investigations and once the full picture was available he would comment.

He also declined to give a time line for concluding the investigation and said it will take its time. “We have to go through the process and have to talk with Pakistani side and find out what led to the incident,” he said.

He said he regretted the loss of life but did not offer any apologies until the probe was completed.

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Pakistan Orders U.S. To Shut Down Major Air Base

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57331576/pakistan-orders-u.s-to-shut-major-down-air-base/

CBS News
November 26, 2011

Pakistan orders U.S. to shut major down air base
By Whit Johnson

America’s already troubled relationship with Pakistan is under new strain on Saturday. Pakistan is accusing NATO helicopters of killing at least 25 Pakistani soldiers in an attack on army outposts along the border with Afghanistan. In response, Pakistan has ordered the U.S. to shut down a major air base. CBS News correspondent Whit Johnson is in Washington Saturday with more.

…NATO aircraft hit two Pakistani outposts.

“Close air support was called in, in the development of the tactical situation, and it is what highly likely caused the Pakistan casualties,” said ISAF spokesman Gen. Carsten Jacobson, who immediately promised an investigation.

“We don’t know numbers,” he said, “we don’t know the magnitude of the incident…”

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Gilani condemned what he called an attack on the nation’s sovereignty. In the first ultimatum of its kind, his government gave the United States 15 days to vacate Shamsi air base, the unofficial hub for U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan.

The country also sealed off crucial overland supply routes, which in recent months accounted for 30 percent of all cargo bound for U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

“It is like putting a finger at the jugular vein of a human being, literally in terms of the war machine,” according to Akbar Ahmed, chair of Islamic studies at American University. He said the killing of Pakistani soldiers risks angering the nation as much as the bin Laden raid – a surprise attack on Pakistani soil.

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NATO Attack: U.S. Given 15 Days To Vacate Pakistani Air Base

http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20111126/169061394.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 26, 2011

Pakistan orders US to close Shamsi airbase

MOSCOW: Pakistani authorities on Saturday gave the United States 15 days to leave the Shamsi airbase, and closed NATO supply lines into Afghanistan in response to a deadly NATO air strike, the DawnNews TV channel reported.

The Federal Cabinet’s Defense Committee said no compromise would be made on the country’s sovereignty and security.

“The people and the army will ensure Pakistan’s sovereignty and integrity at any cost,” it said.

It said the attacks were completely unacceptable.

Earlier in the day several NATO helicopters had reportedly violated Pakistani airspace from Afghanistan and attacked a checkpoint in the Mohmand tribal area in northwest Pakistan. At least 25 soldiers were killed and 14 injured.

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Pakistani Opposition Leader Strongly Condemns NATO

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/26-Nov-2011/Imran-condemns-Nato-attack-on-Pakistani-checkpost

The Nation
November 27, 2011

Imran condemns Nato attack on Pakistani checkpost

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has strongly condemned the Nato airstrike on a military checkpost in Mohmand Agency and said that the attack was not carried out by Pakistan’s enemies instead it was launched by its ally.

He was addressing a public gathering in Shujabad. Khan said that the so-called war against terror was launched by a man who was greedy for dollars.

He added that the war unleashed suicide blasts and act of terrorism in Pakistan. “I have warned seven years ago that the war on terror does not belong to Pakistan,” he said and added there was no military solution to the militancy. “Now the time has come for government to withdraw from the war,” the cricketer-turned politician said.

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Iran To Target NATO Missile Site In Turkey If Attacked

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9007274969

Fars News Agency
November 26, 2011

IRGC Commander: Iran to Target NATO Missile Shield if Attacked

TEHRAN: Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh underlined Iran’s crushing response to any enemy aggression, and warned that Tehran will target the NATO missile shield in Turkey in case it comes under attack.

“We have prepared ourselves, if any threat is staged against Iran, we will target NATO’s missile shield in Turkey and will then attack other targets,” General Hajizadeh said addressing a congregation of 10,000 Basij (volunteer forces) members in the Western town of Khorramabad on Saturday.

He further described deployment of the NATO missile defense system in Turkey as a deceitful move, saying that the NATO is misusing Turkey to save the Zionist regime.

“We are sure that the missile system is deployed by the US for the sake of the Zionist regime, but to deceive the world people, specially the Turkish people, they allege that the system belongs to the NATO,” the general stated.

“Turkey is a member and cover for the NATO. Today NATO has become a cover for the US (moves) while the US itself has turned into a cover for the Zionist regime.

“Yet, the Turkish people are aware (of everything) and we are sure that Turkey’s Muslims will stop this plot by themselves,” he added.

“We are sure that the Muslim people of Turkey will promptly cut these systems into pieces under threatening conditions,” he added.

Many analysts believe that the NATO’s anti-missile system to be deployed in Turkey will be aimed at Iran.

Iranian officials have called on Turkey to reverse its decision for hosting the missile shield and withdraw from the plan. Tehran officials have repeatedly cautioned Ankara that the system is meant to create a shield for Israel and is thus seen as a threat to Iran.

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Modern Germany’s Longest War: Troops In Afghanistan Past 2014

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hp-aBfffkjv3fh8rrQNffk64qAzw?docId=CNG.d2cb7fcead198fb5fcf3ea88ef8ea035.6c1

Agence France-Presse
November 26, 2011

German troops to stay in Afghanistan after NATO goes

-The decade-long war was the first major deployment of German troops abroad since the Second World War and has not been welcomed by a majority of public opinion.

BERLIN: Germany will keep troops in Afghanistan after NATO forces leave the country at the end of 2014, German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere told the Bild am Sonntag paper in an interview to be published Sunday.

Troops remaining would concentrate on the training of Afghan forces, the minister said.

They “would be sufficiently armed so as to be able to defend themselves” but “it won’t be about having troops for combat,” said De Maiziere.

Berlin currently has 5,350 soldiers in Afghanistan, a number which will reduce to 4,900 as Germany starts withdrawing its forces ahead of NATO’s 2014 deadline for the transferral of security control to Afghan forces.

After the US and Britain, German soldiers are the third largest NATO troop contingent in Afghanistan.

The decade-long war was the first major deployment of German troops abroad since the Second World War and has not been welcomed by a majority of public opinion.

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Number Of Kosovo Serbs Applying For Russian Citizenship Tops 50,000

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20111127/169067155.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 27, 2011

Number of Kosovo Serbs seeking Russian citizenship tops 50,000

MOSCOW: Over 50,000 Kosovo Serbs have applied for Russian citizenship, Serbia’s B92 television reported citing Zlatibor Djordjevic, a spokesman for the Old Serbia movement.

The number of applications sent to the Russian Embassy in Belgrade has more than doubled since the beginning of November as more and more Kosovo Serbs
become disillusioned with Belgrade’s ability to defend the ethnic minority.

“We are not satisfied with the progress in talks in Brussels [between Belgrade and Pristina], which, if they conclude with the same outcome as in the beginning, will mean the end of Kosovo Serbs,” Djordjevic said on Saturday.

Djordjevic said that Kosovo authorities applied pressure on elderly Serbs and Serbs living in poverty to swap their Serbian citizenship for the Kosovo one by promising them pensions and other social benefits.

He also stressed that most of Kosovo Serbs seeking Russian citizenship were not planning to relocate to Russia, but simply wanted political protection from Moscow.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Russia intended to defend the rights of Serbs wherever they live, taking into account all options derived from international and Russian law.

He did not say, though, how Moscow was planning to respond specifically to Kosovo Serbs’ applications for Russian citizenship.

Kosovo, a landlocked region with a population of mainly ethnic Albanians, declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008. Up to 10 percent of Kosovo two-million-people population are ethnic Serbs.

Both Serbia and Russia have refused to recognize Kosovo’s independence.

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Yemen: U.S. To Supervise GCC-Engineered Regime Change

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/27/c_131271781.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 27, 2011

U.S. says to oversee implementation of power transfer deal in Yemen

SANAA: The United States said Saturday that it will directly oversee the implementation of a Gulf-brokered deal for the power transfer in Yemen, the Yemeni official news agency Saba reported.

“The Unites States will directly and closely oversee the implementation of the UN-backed Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative and its executive mechanism that agreed upon by the entire international community,” the assistant to the U.S. president for counterterrorism, John Brennan, told Yemeni Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in a phone conversation on Saturday evening.

The conversation was reported by Saba immediately following the declaration of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s return from Riyadh three days after he signed the GCC deal.

“Brennan conveyed warm congratulations from U.S. President Barack Obama to Hadi on the signing of the GCC deal and the break of Yemeni political standoff, reaffirming that the United States will work along with its allies in Europe and the world to directly help Yemen…,” Saba said.

Saleh’s return also came almost simultaneously with the issuance of a republican decree by Hadi, in which he declared Feb. 21, 2012 as the date for the early presidential elections in line with the GCC initiative.

Government officials said that according to the GCC deal Saleh will retain the title of honorary president until a new leader is elected.

One of the official told Xinhua that “Saleh will take part in overseeing the implementation of the power-transfer deal.”

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After Yemen: GCC, West Move Against Syria…Iraq, Lebanon, Algeria

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/27/c_131272382.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 27, 2011

Power-transfer deal inked for Yemen, sanctions loom over Syria

-It was reported that Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said his country and some other Arab neighbors of Syria had reservations about the sanctions.

SANNA/DAMASCUS: Yemen regained sorts of stability Saturday after President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed a Gulf-brokered deal to transfer power, while the Syrian government was under mounting pressure as the Arab League (AL) proposed economic sanctions.

Saleh arrived in Sanaa Saturday evening after a three-day trip to Saudi Arabia, where he signed the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative to transfer power, the official state news agency Saba reported.

Saleh’s return was announced hours after Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi issued a decree, declaring Feb. 21, 2012 as the date for the early presidential elections in line with the GCC initiative.

“Based on the UN-backed Gulf Cooperation Council initiative and its implementation mechanism, which both were signed in Riyadh on Nov. 23, we call for early presidential elections to be held on Feb. 21 next year to elect a new president for the country,” a decree issued by Hadi said.

Following Saleh’s return, Saba immediately reported that the United States said after talking with Hadi that it will directly oversee the implementation of the Gulf-brokered deal for the power transfer in Yemen.

“The United States will directly and closely oversee the implementation of the UN-backed Gulf Cooperation Council initiative and its executive mechanism…,” chief counterterrorism adviser to the U.S. president John Brennan told Hadi.

“Brennan conveyed warm congratulations from U.S. President Barack Obama to Hadi on the signing of the GCC deal and the break of the Yemeni political standoff, reaffirming that the United States will work along with its allies in Europe and the world to directly help Yemen to end its political, security and economic crises, as well as in combating terrorism,” Saba said.

In Syria, the unrest was still simmering as the AL proposed economic sanctions against the country Saturday at a meeting of finance ministers in Cairo.

The proposals included freezing the Syrian government’s funds, halting commercial business with the Syrian government except for strategic commodities that affect people’s livelihood, and suspending flights to Syria, according to a statement issued after the meeting.

The proposed sanctions also included the suspension of financial exchanges with the Syrian government.

The package of sanctions will be submitted to a meeting of foreign ministers Sunday for approval.

The recommended sanctions came after Syria failed to sign an AL observe mission agreement within the deadline set by the League.

The Syrian government had pledged to withdraw its troops from cities and allow monitors in…

On the eve of the AL meeting, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem urged the AL to show its rejection of foreign intervention, urging the organization to announce a clear-cut stand to show this.

Syria’s official news agency Sana said the message sent by al-Moallem dealt with some important points that had remained unanswered over the protocol and some decisions issued by the AL ministerial meetings, such as Thursday’s decision to give Syria a deadline to sign the protocol.

It was reported that Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said his country and some other Arab neighbors of Syria had reservations about the sanctions.

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Categories: Uncategorized

D.H. Lawrence: Future War, Murderous Weapons, Refinements of Evil

November 27, 2011 Leave a comment

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

D.H. Lawrence: All modern militarism is foul

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D.H. Lawrence

Future War

After our industrial civilisation has broken, and 
the civilisation of touch has begun
war will cease, there will be no more wars.
The heart of man, in so far as it is budding, is budding warless
and budding towards infinite variety, variegation
and where there is infinite variety, there is no interest in war.
Oneness, makes war, the obsession of oneness.

*****

Murderous Weapons

So guns and strong explosives
are evil, evil
they let death upon unseen men
in sheer murder.

And most murderous of all devices
are poison gas and air-bombs
refinements of evil.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO news: November 26, 2011

November 26, 2011 3 comments

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NATO Helicopter Attack Kills 26 Pakistani Soldiers, Wounds 14

Pakistan Closes Key NATO Supply Route After Deadly Air Strike

Pakistani Army Warns Of Retaliation Against NATO Attack

NATO Strike Direct Assault On Pakistan’s Sovereignty: Minister

Nuclear Carrier Leads U.S. Strike Force Into Syrian Waters

NATO Conceals Preparations For Military Action Against Syria

Video And Text: Kosovo Serbs Make Last Stand Against NATO

NATO Commander’s Statement Disturbing: Kosovo Serb Mayor

Poland: EU Military Committee Meets On Balkans, Somalia

Ambassador: Serbia Mulls Increased Military Cooperation With Russia

Kuwaitis Graduate From NATO Defense College

NATO: Azerbaijan Faithful Partner On The Caspian Sea

Britain Stops Exchanging Military Information With Russia Under CFE

Bulgaria: NATO Deputy Secretary General Pushes Regional Integration

Turkey Welcomes GCC-Engineered Regime Change In Yemen

Pakistan Defies U.S. Over Iran Gas Deal

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NATO Helicopter Attack Kills 26 Pakistani Soldiers, Wounds 14

http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/26/world/asia/pakistan-nato-attack/

CNN
November 26, 2011

Pakistan official: NATO attack kills 26 Pakistani soldiers
From Nick Paton Walsh

Pakistan’s prime minister calls an emergency meeting of services chiefs
Pakistan closed NATO supply routes across the border to Afghanistan
The attack is likely to damage strained relations between Pakistan and the U.S.

NATO helicopters opened fire on a Pakistani checkpoint early Saturday, killing 26 soldiers, a provincial governor said.

At least 14 soldiers were wounded in the attack in the Mohmand Agency area, said Syed Masood Kausar, governor of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Mohmand Agency is one of seven districts of the volatile region bordering Afghanistan.

“It’s a huge incident; the reaction is obvious,” he said at a news conference in Islamabad.

The death toll could rise as many of the injuries are critical, military officials said. The officials did not want to be named because they are not allowed to talk to the media.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has called an emergency meeting of military services chiefs to formulate his country’s response, his spokesman said. The Defense Committee of the Cabinet will meet later Saturday.

In a statement, Gilani said he “strongly condemned the NATO/ISAF attack on the Pakistani” checkpoint.

The matter is being taken up by the Foreign Ministry “in the strongest possible terms” with NATO and the United States, the statement from his office said.

Pakistan closed both NATO’s supply routes into Afghanistan Saturday in response to the attack, Pakistani military and intelligence officials said.

NATO trucks use the routes, in Khyber Agency and Balochistan, to supply U.S. and international forces fighting in Afghanistan.

About 50 containers and trucks carrying supplies for NATO were stopped at the town of Jamrud in Khyber Agency on Saturday morning, said Jamil Khan, a senior government official in Khyber Agency, bordering Afghanistan.

They were ordered to turn back toward Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, he said.

A second route from Pakistan into Afghanistan, the Chaman border crossing in Balochistan province, was open to NATO supply trucks earlier Saturday but was then shut in the afternoon, the military and intelligence officials said.

Roughly 40% of nonlethal NATO supplies and fuel go through Pakistan, with hundreds of supply trucks using the two routes into Afghanistan.

About 130,000 troops are deployed in Afghanistan with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, 90,000 of them American, according to NATO figures.

Pakistani politicians responded angrily to the incident in Mohmand.

Ahmed Khan Bahadur, a provincial lawmaker from the Awami National Party, the ruling party of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, told CNN that people had had enough.

“This is the time to be united as a nation and to punch NATO with a fist,” he said. “NATO could never dare if we were united.”

Former international cricketer turned politician Imran Khan, who heads the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, condemned the incident and said it was time for Pakistan to pull out of the U.S.-led “war on terror.”

If confirmed, the incident could be the deadliest for Pakistani soldiers involving NATO since a U.S. airstrike in June 2008, which Pakistan said killed 11 of its forces who were cooperating with the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.

That airstrike, also in Mohmand Agency, prompted the government in Islamabad to summon the U.S. ambassador and lodge an official protest.

CNN’s Reza Sayah and Nasir Habib in Islamabad contributed to this report.

====

Pakistan Closes Key NATO Supply Route After Deadly Air Strike

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111126/169051277.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 26, 2011

Pakistan closes key NATO supply route to Afghanistan after alliance’s airstrike

NEW DELHI: Islamabad authorities said on Saturday they were closing one of NATO’s key supply routes to Afghanistan after the alliance’s airstrike in Pakistan, which killed 25 people, Pakistani TV channels said.

According to media, the authorities have closed the so-called northern supply route through the Khyber Pass and Torham border post. This route is considered the most convenient out of two NATO’s Pakistani routes to Afghanistan.

Local media earlier said, quoting the Pakistani army sources as saying, that several NATO helicopters violated the airspace of Pakistan from the territory of Afghanistan on Friday and attacked a check post in Mohmand tribal area in northwest Pakistan. At least 25 soldiers were reported killed, while 14 people were injured.

A representative of the local authorities told journalists that 40 tankers and trucks have already returned from the check post.

This is not the first time NATO helicopters attack Pakistani soldiers. On September 30, 2010, NATO helicopters attacked a Pakistani border post in Orkazai province killing two people, while four people were injured.

Currently over 70 percent of all NATO’s supplies are shipped to the NATO troops in Afghanistan through Pakistan.

====

Pakistani Army Warns Of Retaliation Against NATO Attack

http://nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Regional/Islamabad/26-Nov-2011/Pak-Army-warns-of-retaliation-for-future-Nato-attack

The Nation
November 26, 2011

Pak Army warns of retaliation for future Nato attack

Pakistan’s military will take serious action if any Nato attack took place in its territory, said a statement issued here on Saturday.

The statement noted that Army Chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani has strongly condemned the Nato attack in Mohmand Agency and ordered the military to make arrangements to retaliate against such irresponsible action befittingly.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in the statement that as many as 24 military officials were killed and 13 others injured in the Nato strike. The statement noted that the Nato choppers and jets opened unprovoked fire on a Pakistan military check-post in the midnight.

—————————————————————————-

http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=27354&title=COAS-slams-NATO-%E2%80%98unacceptable-act%E2%80%99

News International
November 26, 2011

COAS slams NATO ‘blatant and unacceptable act’

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani strongly condemned the NATO/ISAF ‘blatant and unacceptable act’ resulting in the loss of Pakistani soldiers’ lives, according to the ISPR press release issued on Saturday.

While lauding the effective response by the soldiers of Pakistan Army in self-defence, Gen Kayani directed that all necessary steps be under taken for an effective response to the irresponsible act.

A strong protest has been launched with NATO/ISAF in which it has been demanded that strong and urgent action be taken against those responsible for the aggression, the press release added.

====

NATO Strike Direct Assault On Pakistan’s Sovereignty: Minister

http://ftpapp.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=166865&Itemid=2

Associated Press of Pakistan
November 26, 2011

NATO strike, a direct assault on national sovereignty: Firdous   

          
LAHORE: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan on Saturday that NATO aggression on two Pakistani Army boder posts, was a direct assault on the sovereignty of the country. Talking to media persons at Rafi Peer Theatre after the launch of a TV series for children here, she said the Pakistan government would take up the issue on an appropriate forum as Armed Forces were not only the defenders of national geographical boundaries but also “constitutional” borders…

The sovereignty of the country was the top priority of government, she said, and added no government could tolerate any attack its territories. “We are working with our coalition partners for the implementation of resolutions of Parliament on terrorism,” she said.

To a question, Dr Firdous ruled out any understanding on the NATO assault and assured the nation that such incidents would never be tolerated.

She said that whenever the peace process was launched, such incidents happened which hampered the process.

====

Nuclear Carrier Leads U.S. Strike Force Into Syrian Waters

http://rt.com/news/syria-intervention-us-warship-229/

RT
November 25, 2011

Nuke carrier leads US strike force into Syrian waters

Nuclear aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush has reportedly anchored off Syria. As an Arab League deadline to allow observers into the country passes with no response from Damascus, the possibility of intervention in Syria seems to be growing.

The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group along with additional naval vessels are to remain in the Mediterranean to conduct maritime security operations and support missions as part of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. The US 6th Fleet is also patrolling the area, Interfax news agency reports.

Meanwhile, America and Turkey are urging their citizens to leave Syria. The US released a statement on Wednesday urging American citizens to “depart immediately while commercial transportation is available.”

Against this backdrop, the prospect of humanitarian intervention in Syria no longer looks like such an impossible scenario. And pressure is growing on the issue.

Paris is urging the creation of a secure zone to protect civilians “that would allow aid groups and observers into Syria” and is seeking support from the US, the UN and the Arab League. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said he was speaking with partners in the United Nations, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Arab League on the issue. However the EU stopped short of endorsing a French proposal for EU-backed humanitarian corridors on Thursday, acknowledging, however, that protection of civilians in Syria remains a top priority.

The imposition of a no-fly zone over Syria by the Arab League with US logistical support is also being discussed, according to the Jordan-based Al Bawaba news website. A strong sense of déjà vu prevails, with the specter of a Libyan scenario repeating itself.

Rumors about the no-fly zone over Syria came in the wake of Tuesday’s United Nations General Assembly resolution which condemned human rights abuses by the Syrian regime…

Meanwhile, an Arab League deadline for Syria to allow an observer mission into the country or suffer crippling sanctions passed on Friday without a response from Damascus, a League source told AFP.

“Until now, there has been no response from the Syrian government,” the source said after the 1 pm (1100 GMT) deadline. Damascus has been given until the end of the day to respond, if it is to avoid sanctions.

Earlier this month Russia, the most powerful opponent of the West’s push for “international intervention,” also anchored its warships in the Syrian port of Tartus. According to unconfirmed reports, the warships were carrying technical advisors who will help Syria set up and run advanced S-300 missiles supplied by Russia. However, there is no official confirmation that the S-300 missiles have actually been delivered to Syria by any side.

Meanwhile, Moscow has announced it opposes a military scenario for resolving the Syrian problem and the use of a human rights argument as an excuse for foreign intervention in the affairs of a sovereign state. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich said that “under no circumstances must human rights issues be used as a pretext for interfering in the internal affairs of a state.”

Moscow has also abstained from voting on the resolution by the UN General Assembly Human Rights Committee thanks to “the humanitarian focus of the draft’s text,” said Lukashevich.

Patrick Henningsen, a political analyst from the US-based Infowars.Com online magazine, believes that the escalation of tensions over Syria between the world’s major powers may lead to a new chilling in world politics.

“I think we are going to see a new Cold War emerge in the next two years, and we are seeing the initial steps of that new Cold War right now,” he told RT.

“If the Western powers think they are going to get away with a no-fly zone in Syria, this is a very different prospect than Libya. This will be the first time, in Syria, and also, if you look forward, with Iran, that the West, actually, is engaging a country that has the ability to fight back,” Henningsen said referring to Russia’s close military co-operation with the two countries, as well as rumors of S-300 installations having been supplied from Moscow.

Experts say that even the armed opponents of Bashar al-Assad’s regime would strongly oppose any interference from outside.

And Dr Marcus Papadopoulos, an analyst from Britain’s ‘Politics First’ online magazine, told RT that any hopes of bringing peace to the region by toppling the current Syrian government are delusional.

“I can’t see how they can possibly believe that peace will come to the Middle East with president Assad falling, I mean if we have a look at some of the people that the Syrian government is fighting against at the moment, they’re actually armed militants, they’re criminal gangs, and many of these armed militants have links to religious extremism, so once again, I think it’s a reckless, negligence, short-sighted approach that the West is taking.”

Earlier this month, Arab League foreign ministers suspended Syria in response to its violent suppression of anti-government rallies.

====

NATO Conceals Preparations For Military Action Against Syria

http://english.pravda.ru/world/asia/24-11-2011/119733-nato_syria-0/

Pravda.Ru
November 24, 2011

NATO conceals preparations for military action against Syria
Vadim Trukhachev

The United States has decided to disengage itself from certain obligations under the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE). In particular, the USA will no longer inform Russia about plans connected with the redeployment of its forces. Those restrictions are not touching upon any other country.

“Today the United States announced in Vienna, Austria, that it would cease carrying out certain obligations under the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty with regard to Russia. This announcement in the CFE Treaty’s implementation group comes after the United States and NATO Allies have tried over the past 4 years to find a diplomatic solution following Russia’s decision in 2007 to cease implementation with respect to all other 29 CFE States. Since then, Russia has refused to accept inspections and ceased to provide information to other CFE Treaty parties on its military forces as required by the Treaty,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday.

The remarks from the US diplomat look like another attempt to turn everything upside down again. It is worth mentioning here that the first version of the CFE Treaty was signed in 1990, during the existence of both NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The document stipulated a reduction of the number of tanks, armored vehicles, artillery (larger than 100 mm in caliber), combat planes and helicopters, as well as information exchange.

A renewed variant of the treaty was signed in 1999. The new edition reflected such changes in Europe as the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the expansion of NATO. However, only Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan ratified the new treaty. Russia moved a big part of its arms behind the Ural mountains, but the Western countries did not even want to execute it. The expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance continued, and NATO neared Russian borders.

At the end of 2007, Vladimir Putin decided to suspend Russia’s participation in the CFE until the USA and its European allies ratified the renewed variant of the treaty. The Americans did not want to make any moves in that direction. Now they have decided not to inform Russia about the redeployment of its forces. This is obviously another violation of the treaty which the United States committed.

What consequences may Russia face as a result of the US decision? Pravda.Ru asked an expert opinion from the director of the Center for Military Forecasts, Anatoly Tsyganok.

“The USA will stop informing Russia about military redeployments. The Americans can technically send their troops to Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia, which did not sign the treaty. Will the Baltic states turn into an uncontrollable military center near Russia’s borders?”

“When Russia suspended its participation in the CFE Treaty, she had the right to say that some NATO’s newcomers, such as the Baltic states and Slovenia, had never signed the treaty. Now NATO eyes Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and all other former members of the Warsaw Pact.

“When they were deciding on the unification of Germany in 1990, Germany and France said in the appendix to the agreement that NATO would not move beyond the Oder River (the river separates Germany and Poland – ed.). However, the West does not take this appendix into consideration. They only follow the agreement itself, which does not say a word about the non-expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance. It just so happens that the USA and its allies played a trick on Russia.

“Why did it take the United States four years to decide not to inform Russia about military redeployments?”

“Apparently, it is connected with the situation in the Mediterranean Sea. One may assume that NATO will create a military group near Russia’s southern borders to strike Syria. They will most likely raise this issue at a NATO meeting in December. They will try to analyze Syria’s actions in case NATO conducts a military operation against the country, like it already happened in Libya.”

“Is Russia a big obstacle for conducting NATO’s operation against Syria? Does the USA have anything to conceal from us at this point?”

“Russia is an obstacle, yes. We have a naval base in Syria’s Tartus. The base is protected with air defense complexes, so the chances for aggression from NATO or Israel from the sea are slim. If they decide to attack, it will most likely happen from the side of Saudi Arabia. So the USA has something to conceal.

“There is another aspect to this. There are approximately 120,000 Russian citizens living in Syria. Presumably, a lot are Russian women who married local men. Russia can use this detail to interfere into the events in Syria.

In addition, 20 percent of the Russian defense complex will simply tip off the perch in case Russia loses the Syrian market. It is not ruled out that they are regrouping NATO forces to get ready for a war against Syria, and they don’t want to notify Russia of that.”

====

Video And Text: Kosovo Serbs Make Last Stand Against NATO

http://rt.com/news/kosovo-serbs-barricades-kfor-267/

RT
November 26, 2011

Northern Kosovo: Serbs make their last stand

Video

Tensions run high on Serbia’s border with northern Kosovo, as neither of the conflicting sides is prepared to rule out a further escalation of violence.

Local Serbs say NATO forces are to blame, for breaking an agreement by trying to remove a barricade blocking the way to one of a number of disputed checkpoints.

The move prompted violent clashes that left dozens injured on both sides.
Last night in Northern Kosovo passed without violence though this does not mean that the source of tensions has disappeared.

On November 23 the NATO’s KFOR forces attempted to remove a barricade put up by ethnic Serbian minority of the region. The resistance was tense so the soldiers used tear gas. More than 20 people were injured but the Serbs got it their way and the KFOR operation was ceased.

RT crew traveled around the area and saw the barricades that have been there for the last four months still up. They are constantly maintained and people there say they are not going to abandon them in any case and in fact are planning to build more of them.

To an untrained eye those barricades seem to be mere piles of rubble, amateurishly constructed. One would never say they could become a cause of armed conflict.

But in order to comprehend why the barricades appeared in the first place, the developments in July in Kosovo must be remembered.

The Serbian minority, that constitutes 10 per cent of the Kosovo population, lost any kind of legal status once Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia in 2008. The Kosovo Serbs still consider themselves the citizens of Serbia. Needless to say that the Kosovo Albanians do not consider Northern Kosovo to be independent and expect Serbs to leave their homes and move to Serbia.

Until July the Serbs in northern Kosovo were allowed a measure of self-independence and an ability to be in free contact with mainland Serbia. But then the official Pristina (Kosovo capital) decided to take the border with Serbia under control, to install customs stations to administrate the goods flow and all the cars and trucks coming into the area.

The Serbs did not see that as a mere formality, but as an infringement of their remaining freedoms. They called it a slippery slope, first comes the customs control – then they become hostages of a political will of Albanian Pristina.

To prevent that from happening they erected barricades.

Then it appeared a compromise was found when it was announced that the customs stations will be controlled not by Albanians, but by KFOR forces.

The only matter is that the Serbs never trusted KFOR, seeing it as a force that conducts NATO policies in the region, making the separation of Kosovo from Serbia possible in the first place and protecting Albanian interests only.

And Serbs have every right to stick to their opinion since KFOR has never been evinced any sympathies with Serbs.

This time it was exactly the same. Once the tensions ran high and an attempt to remove the barricades was made, KFOR opened fire at protestors with live ammunition, later claiming they were using rubber bullets.

But doctors in the region who were treating the wounded have seen enough to tell the difference between a rubber bullet wound and a real one. Luckily enough, no one was killed.

In November KFOR started another operation to remove the barricades and again Serbs born in Kosovo made a stand, clearly understanding this might be their last one, saying firmly they will not leave their land.

====

NATO Commander’s Statement Disturbing: Kosovo Serb Mayor

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=11&dd=25&nav_id=77496

B92/Beta News Agency/KiM Radio
November 26, 2011

KFOR commander’s statements “worrying”

ČAGLAVICA: A Serb mayor in northern Kosovo on Friday commented on a statement made by KFOR commander Erhard Drews, who warned about “a possible escalation of violence”.

The German general who commands NATO’s troops in Kosovo commented on the situation in the northern part of the province in an interview reported on Thursday.

Today, Zvečan Mayor Dragiša Mišović told KiM Radio in Čaglavica that “KFOR does as Priština (K. Albanian authorities) decide”, while Serbs in the north – where they are a majority rejecting the authority of the government in Priština – “will not jeopardize security or aggravate the already difficult situation”.

For the past several months, local Serbs have been putting up barricades blocking the roads leading to the administrative line crossings between central Serbia and Kosovo, after the Priština authorities tried to install their customs and police at the checkpoints. Local Serbs and official Belgrade also reject the unilateral proclamation of independence of Kosovo, made by ethnic Albanians in early 2008.

Mayor Milović said on Friday that he believed Drew’s statement meant that “obviously these announcements are coming from Priština”:

“As he himself has said, Priština is getting increasingly nervous, but we expect him and all KFOR officials to act in line with their mandate and in line with (UNSC) Resolution 1244, in maintaining the stability and security of all people who live in Kosovo and Metohija.”

According to the mayor, claims that the barricades were limiting KFOR’s ability to move freely were “not true”.

“KFOR enjoys full freedom of movement, and we have agreed with their representatives that there must not be any unilateral moves. On the other hand, we receive the answer in the form of an attempt to use force to remove the barricade in Dudin Krš,” Milović said, referring to the incident at one of the road blocks, that took place earlier this week.

====

Poland: EU Military Committee Meets On Balkans, Somalia

http://www.mon.gov.pl/en/artykul/12150

General Staff of Polish Armed Forces
Ministry of Defense
November 22, 2011

The EU Military Committee session

Brussels: A EU Military Committee session in the formula of chiefs of staff/defence took place. Poland was represented by Gen. Mieczysław Cieniuch, chief of General Staff.

At the meeting General Cieniuch presented among other things activities undertaken during the Polish presidency within the CSDP. Moreover, he summarised results of discussions carried out within the wide range of enterprises organised by Polish presidency, aiming at giving new momentum to the most important issues shaping the CSDP.

During the session the most important subjects shaping the present dimension of the EU engagement in the Western Balkans were also discussed.

Furthermore, the comprehensive activity of the international community regarding counter piracy at the coast of Somalia and the assumptions of the strategy concerning that region of Africa were analysed.

Chiefs of staff discussed also the state of works and the prospect of the Pooling and Sharing initiative and activities aiming at reaching synergy of civilian-military capabilities as well as the possibility of the most effective use of defence systems of member states.

An important part of the meeting was a choice of the new chairman of the Military Committee. The chiefs of staff/defence chose the inspector general of the Armed Forces of the Republic of France General Patrick de Rousiers for this post.

====

Ambassador: Serbia Mulls Increased Military Cooperation With Russia

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=290338

Interfax
November 26, 2011

Serbia wants more intensive military-technological cooperation with Russia – diplomat

MOSCOW: Serbia is interested in more intensive military-technological cooperation with Russia and could sign contracts on arms supplies with Russia, Serbian Ambassador to Russia Jelica Kurjak said.

“We need to improve our armed forces. Perhaps possible purchases of Russian weapons will also be discussed,” Kurjak said in an interview with Interfax when asked whether Serbia is interested in buying new Russian weapons.

Kurjak said at the same time that Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov will not visit Serbia, contrary to what was reported in June this year.

“This visit will not take place, because we haven’t managed to do everything we agreed upon over the year,” she said.

“But, thank God, cooperation is continuing. It is not as dynamic as we would like it to be, but it is continuing,” she added.

The two countries are cooperating in the military education field, Kurjak said. In addition, they are completing the implementation of a contract under which Russian specialists are repairing MiG jets and Mi helicopters on the inventory of the Serbian armed forces, she said.

“There has been talk about some other types of cooperation, but unfortunately, financing remains an issue because of the crisis,” she said.

Col. Gen. Miloje Miletic, the Serbian armed forces chief of staff, said while visiting Moscow in early June 2011 that Serdyukov’s visit to Serbia was planned in the second half of 2011.

====

Kuwaitis Graduate From NATO Defense College

http://www.kuna.net.kw/NewsAgenciesPublicSite/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2204785&Language=en

Kuwait News Agency
November 25, 2011

Two Kuwaitis receive graduation certificates from NATO Defense College
By Mahdi Al-Nemr

-The NRCC [NATO Regional Cooperation Course] is a 10-week course that focuses on the study of security challenges in the Middle East and North African regions. Course Members included government and military officials from NATO, Mediterranean Dialogue (MD), Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), and other interested nations.
-Al-Saeedi stressed the importance of dialogue and cooperation with international organizations such as NATO on key issues related to common interests, especially the security and stability, similar to what occurred during the Libyan crisis…
-NRCC-6 saw the graduation of 25 participants from 14 different nations.

ROME: Showing Kuwait’s interest in enhancing and upgrading skills of security and diplomatic personnel, two Kuwaitis graduated Friday from the prestigious NATO Defense College (NDC).

In a big ceremony held here at the NDC headquarters, the two Kuwaitis, head of the VIP Security Department at the Ministry of Interior Colonel Saleh Matar Al-Enezi and First Secretary of Kuwait Diplomatic Institute of the Foreign Ministry Meshal Jassem Al-Shehab, received their graduation certificates.

In statements to KUNA, the two trainees applauded the course and its great benefits.

The sixth NATO Regional Cooperation Course (NRCC-6) took place at NDC in Rome.

The NRCC is a 10-week course that focuses on the study of security challenges in the Middle East and North African regions. Course Members included government and military officials from NATO, Mediterranean Dialogue (MD), Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), and other interested nations.

The Commandant of the NDC, Lieutenant General Arne Bord Dalhaug, delivered the graduation remarks and mentioned the importance of the NRCC during the current events taking place in the MENA regions. NRCC-6 was a significant course because it ran simultaneously alongside the Arab Spring as it took shape.

For his part Charge d’Affaires of the Kuwaiti Embassy here, Eyadah Al-Saeedi, who attended the graduation ceremony, underlined the importance of Kuwaiti cadres’ joining such courses.

Al-Saeedi stressed the importance of dialogue and cooperation with international organizations such as NATO on key issues related to common interests, especially the security and stability, similar to what occurred during the Libyan crisis…

He added that Kuwait was interested in expanding dialogue with all organizations and countries to reach mutual understanding and constructive cooperation to promote common security and face risks that threaten the stability, both in the Gulf or the Arab region and the region as well as on the international level.

Lecturers from the Middle East and NATO countries are invited throughout the course give presentations on various topics dealing with the security and political challenges of the region. The last week of the course is dedicated to the Crisis Management Exercise (CMX), where participants have the opportunity to apply all of the knowledge that they had gained over the ten-week course.

NRCC-6 saw the graduation of 25 participants from 14 different nations.

====

NATO: Azerbaijan Faithful Partner On The Caspian Sea

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=160290

Azeri Press Agency
November 28, 2011

NATO Assistant Secretary General: Azerbaijan is a good partner in the cooperation with NATO
Ramil Mammadli

Baku: “Within these years Azerbaijan has improved the relations with NATO.

“Azerbaijan is a good partner in bilateral relations. The operations in Afghanistan and other projects implemented jointly with NATO can be given as an example,” NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Policy and Planning Huseyin Dirioz told journalists in Baku, APA reports.

Dirioz said the organization’s new strategy had been recently determined at the meeting of NATO in Lisbon.

“The new strategy envisages NATO’s joint activity with partner countries…of the world. NATO foreign ministers passed a decision in Berlin in April to improve that cooperation. Joint activity has already become more important for NATO. Of course, it also includes the relations with Azerbaijan,” he said.

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Britain Stops Exchanging Military Information With Russia Under CFE

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/281929.html

Itar-Tass
November 25, 2011

UK stops exchanging military information with Russia under CFE Treaty

LONDON: The United Kingdom will stop exchanging military information with Russia due to the latter’s suspension of the fulfillment of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), British Minister for Europe David Lidington said in a written message to the House of Commons on Friday.

The Russian president suspended Moscow’s fulfillment of the CFE Treaty and related international agreements in 2007.

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Bulgaria: NATO Deputy Secretary General Pushes Regional Integration

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=134277

Sofia News Agency
November 25, 2011

Bisongniero Welcomes Bulgaria’s Smart Defense Push in Sofia

-Bisogniero has praised Bulgaria’s joint Air Policing agreements with Greece and Romania within NATO’s integrated air defense system NATINADS as working examples of NATO’s Smart Defense approaches.

The introduction and development of so-called “smart defense” should not be used as an excuse to downsize military budgets, NATO Deputy Secretary-General Claudio Bisogniero declared in a lecture in Bulgaria’s capital of Sofia.

NATO’s smart defense initiative is supposed to build up capabilities through multinational approaches,” Bisogniero stated further in Sofia, as cited by BNR and BGNES.

He stressed that smart defense would work only if all NATO member states act together.

According to the deputy head of NATO, defense budgets will likely see further reductions because of the economic crisis but they should be apportioned more rationally rather than being reduced.

Bisogniero explained that NATO’s Smart Defense initiative focuses on projects in five fields: development and organization of armed forces; acquisition of equipment and technologies; military missions and support; military training; innovative solutions.

Bulgaria is…part of the project for creating a Center for Research and Development of NATO’s Capabilities for crisis response that will be located in Bulgaria’s Charalitsa.

Bisogniero has praised Bulgaria’s joint Air Policing agreements with Greece and Romania within NATO’s integrated air defense system NATINADS as working examples of NATO’s Smart Defense approaches.

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Turkey Welcomes GCC-Engineered Regime Change In Yemen

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=160349

Azeri Press Agency
November 26, 2011

Turkey welcomes Yemeni president’s power transfer deal

-Turkey has “deeply appreciated invaluable contributions” made by the United Nations, the GCC and Saudi Arabia to the penning of the deal, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

Baku: Turkey on Friday welcomed an agreement that allows Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to remain in office for three more months yet requires him to transfer power to his deputy.

“We call on all sides in Yemen to fully comply with the provisions of this agreement and act in harmony and unity to secure the prosperity and peace among the nation as well as the welfare of the country,” Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The landmark signing of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)- brokered deal, which came after a 10-month-old political deadlock in Yemen, took place in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday.

Under the deal, Saleh handed power to his deputy Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in return for immunity from prosecution.

Turkey has “deeply appreciated invaluable contributions” made by the United Nations, the GCC and Saudi Arabia to the penning of the deal, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

====

Pakistan Defies U.S. Over Iran Gas Deal

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/ocountries/1961984.html

Trend News Agency
November 25, 2011

Pakistan defies US over Iran gas deal

Pakistan says it will press ahead with its Iran gas pipeline deal despite strong opposition by the United States, Press TV reports.

Pakistan’s Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Friday that Islamabad will not accept any dictation regarding its internal affairs from any foreign country, adding that importing gas from Iran is in the country’s best interest.

The remarks came as a reaction to earlier pleas by Washington’s ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter that the Pakistani government abort its multi-billion dollar gas pipeline project with Iran.

“The Pak-Iran gas pipeline is not a good idea…However, the plan to get gas from Turkmenistan is a better idea,” Press TV correspondent quoted Munter as saying on Friday.

The USD 7.6 billion gas pipeline deal, which was signed in June 2010, aims to export a daily amount of 21.5 million cubic meters (or 8.7 billion cubic meters per year) of Iranian natural gas to Pakistan.

Last month, Pakistan’s Minister of Oil and Natural Resources Asim Hussain said the Iran-Pakistan natural gas pipeline would be inaugurated before the end of 2013, one year ahead of the original schedule.

Maximum daily gas transfer capacity of the 56-inch pipeline, which runs over 900 km of Iran’s soil from Asalouyeh in Bushehr Province to the city of Iranshahr in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, has been given at 110 million cubic meters.

Iran and Pakistan finalized the details of the deal during bilateral talks held in Tehran in October 2007.

The deal comes in the face of Washington’s efforts to isolate Iran economically through UN Security Council sanctions and its own unilateral penalties over Tehran’s nuclear programs.

Iran ranks second in the world in natural gas resources after Russia with available gas reserves estimated at over 33 trillion cubic meters.

In addition to exporting gas to Turkey, Armenia, and Pakistan, the country is currently negotiating gas exports to Iraq.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Radio interview: NATO’s expanding horizons

November 26, 2011 Leave a comment

http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/55918

NATO’s expanding horizons
November 21st, 2011
Featured Guest: Rick Rozoff

CIUT 89.5 FM

The Taylor Report
November 25, 2011

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Audio

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Program Description:

NATO is more and more becoming the center of all things in every quarter of the globe, so Phil speaks with a very important news source: Rick Rozoff, of “Stop NATO.” They cover the whole gamut: from Eastern Europe to the Northwest Passage to Libya. And while NATO appears to be receding from the Libyan story, even Saif Gaddafi’s current trial was enabled by NATO airpower. Rozoff suggests that NATO now wishes to avoid a trial for Saif because of the earlier embarrassment of Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic mounting a legal defense after the Kosovo war. It would be more convenient for Gaddafi to die at the hands of the new “independent” Libyan government.

Meanwhile, the guiding objectives are the same, whether in NATO’s East European frontiers in Kosovo and Georgia, or the shores of Tripoli. In Libya, NATO spokespeople are forecasting “NATO interoperable forces,” and kings and dictators are supported in Georgia and elsewhere. NATO also seeks a “Middle Eastern Partnership” to bring that area into their fold.

While NATO and clients commit acts of aggression around the world, only those who “resist assault” end up on the docket. The U.S. plays with fire, engaging in brinkmanship with Syria, Iran, and North Korea. We could wake up any day to terrifying news of a new war. So why does Harper want to be a wolf in this wolfpack?

Categories: Uncategorized

John Davidson: Blood in torrents pour in vain, for war breeds war again

November 26, 2011 2 comments

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

John Davidson
War Song (1899)

johndavidson

In anguish we uplift
A new unhallowed song:
The race is to the swift;
The battle to the strong.

Of old it was ordained
That we, in packs like curs,
Some thirty million trained
And licensed murderers,

In crime should live and act,
If cunning folk say sooth
Who flay the naked fact
And carve the heart of truth.

The rulers cry aloud,
“We cannot cancel war,
The end and bloody shroud
Of wrongs the worst abhor,
And order’s swaddling band:
Know that relentless strife
Remains by sea and land
The holiest law of life.
From fear in every guise,
From sloth, from lust of pelf,
By war’s great sacrifice
The world redeems itself.
War is the source, the theme
Of art; the goal, the bent
And brilliant academe
Of noble sentiment;
The augury, the dawn
Of golden times of grace;
The true catholicon,
And blood-bath of the race.”

We thirty million trained
And licensed murderers,
Like zanies rigged, and chained
By drill and scourge and curse
In shackles of despair
We know not how to break -
What do we victims care
For art, what interest take
In things unseen, unheard?
Some diplomat no doubt
Will launch a heedless word,
And lurking war leap out!

We spell-bound armies then,
Huge brutes in dumb distress,
Machines compact of men
Who once had consciences,
Must trample harvests down -
Vineyard, and corn and oil;
Dismantle town by town,
Hamlet and homestead spoil
On each appointed path,
Till lust of havoc light
A blood-red blaze of wrath
In every frenzied sight.

In many a mountain pass,
Or meadow green and fresh,
Mass shall encounter mass
Of shuddering human flesh;
Opposing ordnance roar
Across the swaths of slain,
And blood in torrents pour
In vain – always in vain,
For war breeds war again!

The shameful dream is past,
The subtle maze untrod:
We recognise at last
That war is not of God.

*****

Battle

The war of words is done;
The red-lipped cannon speak;
The battle has begun.

The web your speeches spun
Tears and blood shall streak;
The war of words is done.

Smoke enshrouds the sun;
Earth staggers at the shriek
Of battle new begun.

Poltroons and braggarts run:
Woe to the poor, the meek!
The war of words is done.

“And hope not now to shun
The doom that dogs the weak,”
Thunders every gun;

“Victory must be won.”
When the red-lipped cannon speak,
The war of words is done,
The slaughter has begun.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO news: November 25, 2011

November 25, 2011 2 comments

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Reward For Russian Appeasement Of U.S., NATO Is Futility

GCC-Controlled Arab League Issues Syria 48-Hour Ultimatum

Turkey, GCC-Led Arab League, NATO, EU Plot Syrian Intervention

Britain, Turkey: NATO Partners Bound By Collective Defense

EU Appoints Turkey To “Stabilize” Middle East, North Africa

BRICS Nations Demand No External Interference In Syria, Iran

NATO Tightens Ties With Finland, Gulf States

NATO Missile Shield In Turkey “Israel’s Eye” Over Middle East: Iranian Official

Russia Readies New Radar Station, Missiles Against U.S.-NATO Shield

Kosovo: NATO Troops Retreat, Serbs At Barricades

NATO-Ukraine Committee Charts Further Cooperation, Integration

Azerbaijan: NATO “Interoperationalizes” South Caucasus Countries

Armenia: NATO Experts Group “Assists” Ministry Of Defense

U.S. Senator Calls On U.S., NATO To Support Kenya’s Invasion Of Somalia

Ethiopia To Join Expanded Military Intervention In Somalia

Ohio: Predator Drones New Mainstay For Local Economy

U.S. Blocks Iranian Gas Exports To The East, Russian To The West

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Reward For Russian Appeasement Of U.S., NATO Is Futility

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/685675/Reward-for-Russian-appeasement-is-futility.aspx

Global Times
November 25, 2011

Reward for Russian appeasement is futility

-The Russians realized that the US and the whole Western world did not truly wish to embrace Russia. What they want is to take advantage of Russia’s difficulties and extend their influences into the area Russia formerly controlled.
-The ups and downs between Moscow and the West are a vivid lesson for non-Western countries who hope to align themselves with the Western world. It demonstrates that for powers like Russia and China, they cannot obtain sincerity from the West through concessions and obedience.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent a harsh warning to the US over its missile defense installations in Eastern Europe on Wednesday. Despite these strongly-toned remarks, the White House firmly insists on keeping its missile shield, risking the destruction of easing tensions and improving relations.

Moscow has been making efforts to reduce hostility with the US since Mikhail Gorbachev was in office. However it is frustrated because the dissolution of the Warsaw Treaty Organization and the collapse of the Soviet Union did not remove US vigilance. Former US president Bill Clinton initiated NATO’s eastward expansion in the 1990s, which smashed the Russian dream of emerging into the West. The Russians realized that the US and the whole Western world did not truly wish to embrace Russia. What they want is to take advantage of Russia’s difficulties and extend their influences into the area Russia formerly controlled.

To avoid being isolated, Russia joined the G7, developing a partnership with NATO. It even considered joining NATO. This did not work. Russia is too big and has very strong national pride, so the West decides to keep it out.

Entering the Putin era, Russia was further alienated from the West. The West again began to criticize Russia from an ideological perspective, redefining Russia as an autocracy. Although strategic confrontations between the Soviet Union and the US have ceased, it is no easier for Russia to improve relations with the West than 20 years ago.

If Moscow really wants to please the US and the West, it needs to do the following things: implementing a Western-styled democracy, accepting US arrangements on nuclear disarmament, opening its energy to the West at low prices, allowing self-determination for the Russian people, and cooperating fully with the West in international affairs such as the Iran nuclear issue. Only such a Russia would no longer be seen as a threat by the West and would contribute to maintaining Western centralism. However, this might cause the second round of disintegration of the country. Responding to pressure from the West, Putin chose to be tough and Medvedev, known for being comparatively moderate, has also made strong reactions sometimes.

The ups and downs between Moscow and the West are a vivid lesson for non-Western countries who hope to align themselves with the Western world. It demonstrates that for powers like Russia and China, they cannot obtain sincerity from the West through concessions and obedience. They need to work out some innovative ways to see good relations with the West.

China in particular should learn lessons from Russia. It cannot initiate confrontation with the US but must develop some deterrents at the same time. China cannot be as innocent as Russia in the 1990s. The US will not give China outward respect, but China could force it to. As long as China is not naive, it can avoid confrontation with the US and not let itself be easily infuriated by any frustration in bilateral relations. China should learn to be patient when dealing with the US. Chinese philosophy, such as tai chi, will offer much help.

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GCC-Controlled Arab League Issues Syria 48-Hour Ultimatum

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/25/c_122332626.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 24, 2011

AL gives Syria 48 hours to sign observer mission protocol

CAIRO: The Arab League (AL) foreign ministers on Thursday gave Syrian government a 48-hour deadline to sign the protocol of the AL observers mission to the country.

The AL said, at the conclusion of an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, if Syria rejected to sign the protocol, the Arab Economic and Social Council will convene on Saturday to discuss economic sanctions against Syria.

The sanctions include halting Arab transactions with the Syrian Central Bank as well as trade exchange with the government. Assets of the government will also be frozen and flights to the country will be cancelled.

The pan-Arab body decided to immediately send an Arab observers mission to the country in accordance with the protocol’s terms when Syria signs it.

The AL also called on Syrian government and the opposition to hold a national dialogue to stop violence and solve the Syrian crisis.

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Turkey, GCC-Led Arab League, NATO, EU Plot Syrian Intervention

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/turkey-says-ready-to-act-with-arab-league-to-stop-syria-violence-1.397678

Ha’aretz
Reuters and Associated Press
November 25, 2011

Turkey says ready to act with Arab League to stop Syria violence
Turkey Foreign Minister Davutoglu says Turkey ready to attend meeting of Arab League foreign ministers that could take place Sunday; also consulting EU, NATO and UN Security Council members over Syria action.

   
Turkey is ready to act in unison with the Arab League if Syria fails to show good intentions to end an eight-month-old bloody crackdown, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Friday.

He told a joint news conference with his Italian counterpart Giulio Terzi that he was ready to attend a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers that could take place on Sunday and that he was continuing consultations with the European Union, NATO and UN Security Council members.
   
Davutoglu said Syria “must open its doors to observers,” and that the patience of Turkey and Arab countries is “running out over the bloodshed in Syria.”

Giulio Terzi described the situation in Syria as a “worrying tragedy.”

The Arab League has threatened to impose sanctions on Syria unless it signs a deal on Friday to allow monitors into the country.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently hardened his stance against Assad and suggested for the first time the possibility of foreign intervention in Syria.

Israeli security forces officials said Wednesday that they believe Turkey is nearing a military intervention in Syria, in order to create a secure buffer zone for opposition activists.

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Britain, Turkey: NATO Partners Bound By Collective Defense

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/turkey/1961552.html

Trend News Agency
November 25, 2011

Turkey, Britain sign military cooperation agreement

Turkey and Britain signed a military cooperation agreement during a three-day visit by President Abdullah Gul to London, a news report has said, Today’s Zaman reported.

The report, which appeared in Jane’s Defence Weekly, said details of the agreement were not available but that it followed the signing of a strategic partnership agreement in Ankara by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his British counterpart, David Cameron, in July 2010. The 2010 agreement commits the two countries to strengthen their defense ties through regular talks and cooperation in defense manufacturing.

The latest agreement was signed on Nov. 23 by British Defense Secretary Phillip Hammond and Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff Hulusi Akar.

“Turkey is an important ally of the UK and as NATO partners we [the UK and Turkey] are bound by a pledge of collective defense. This bilateral treaty will take our defense co-operation to a new level,” the British Ministry of Defense said after the signing of the accord.

Britain has historically been a significant supplier of military material to Turkey, accounting for 8 percent of Ankara’s military imports since 2000. Current British export efforts in relation to Turkey center on the BAE Systems-led Global Combat Ship (GCS) program, with Ankara seen as a potential partner, according to Jane’s Defence, which described Turkey as one of the world’s fastest growing defense markets.

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EU Appoints Turkey To “Stabilize” Middle East, North Africa

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/turkey/1961551.html

Trend News Agency
November 25, 2011

EU says looks to Turkey to help stabilize Mideast

The president of the European Parliament has said the European Union is looking to Turkey to help stabilize the region shaken by instability and uprising since the start of this year, Today’s Zaman reported.

Jerzy Buzek, who is visiting Turkey this week, told Turkish deputies in Parliament on Thursday that he knows from his own experiences that a falling dictatorship is both dangerous and unpredictable, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad…He said across the Eastern Mediterranean, not just in Syria, there are multiple flashpoints and that the 27-nation bloc is looking to Turkey to help stabilize the region.

He said in recent months, Turkey’s leadership has stressed Turkey’s support for the struggle for freedom across the North Africa and the Middle East and many in the Middle East regard Turkey as a source of inspiration of a successfully modernising society. He said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was the first Muslim leader to tell Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak to step down.

“Your leaders have travelled to Egypt, Libya and Tunisia…And, more recently, you opened your doors, and hearts, to the Syrian opposition,” he said.

Buzek said Turkey has a lot to offer the international community, stating that yet it is essential that Turkey and the EU work together to better co-ordinate foreign policies of Turkey and the EU.

…”Your secular democracy has become an inspiration for millions across Northern Africa and the Middle East seeking freedom from the authoritarian rule,” he stressed.

Speaking about relations between the EU and Turkey, Buzek remained optimistic despite deadlock in membership talks in the past few years. He said Turkey has an important role to play and Greek Cyprus remains the last divided country in the European Union, adding that the EU also looks to Turkey to constructively help end this dispute.

Buzek said a solution to the Cyprus problem would bring a welcome boost to Turkey’s accession negotiations but he said it will also guarantee a bright future for all Cypriots. “This is in everyone’s interest,” he added.

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BRICS Nations Demand No External Interference In Syria, Iran

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/24/60992747.html

Voice of Russia
November 24, 2011

BRICS countries against external interference into Syria’s affairs

       
The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) have demanded the ruling out of external interference into Syria’s affairs.

The communiqué adopted in Moscow on Thursday on the results of the meeting of BRICS’ Deputy Foreign Ministers states that immediate talks involving all parties are the only option to resolving the crisis in Syria.

The deputy ministers also stressed that additional and unilateral sanctions against Iran would be counterproductive and would only lead to aggravation of the situation.

The diplomats have also spoken for the settlement of the Iranian nuclear problem only by political and diplomatic means.

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NATO Tightens Ties With Finland, Gulf States

http://www.defpro.com/news/details/30022/?SID=539dfce4a4489006458137aaffdc98c9

Defence Professionals
November 25, 2011

Finland signs multi-year programme of work with NATO C3 Agency

-Several other nations have expressed interest in establishing multi-years programmes of work, including Istanbul Cooperation partners, such as Qatar…“The Libya campaign has demonstrated the need for NATO and its Partners to join ‘one’ mission network for operations and it is only possible with proven interoperability achieved through cooperative capability development.”

On 15 November, senior Finnish officials visited the NATO C3 Agency to discuss the details of a multi-year programme of work for cooperation on advanced technology.

The agreement was signed on 12 October. This is the first multi-year programme of work signed between a country, be it NATO or Partner, and the Agency. The Agency runs about 150 bilateral projects with Nations each year, but the aim is to translate these into multi-year programmes of work.

“The Agency’s strategy is to move from annual to multi-year programmes of work, as this will facilitate resource planning and ensure that we deliver to Nations’ satisfaction,” said Georges D’hollander, NC3A General Manager. “Longer-term commitments facilitate resource and facility planning, so that we are able to respond rapidly to increasing demand from Nations for bilateral and multinational cooperation, in line with the Secretary General’s smart defence policy.”

The five-year programme of work will address C4ISR domains such as: force support, battlespace awareness, force application, logistics, command and control, net-centric warfare and protection.

“Cooperation with NC3A is important to Finland in many ways,” said Brigadier General Harri Ohra-aho, ACOS C4 FDF. “…Interoperability will be achieved with more coherent manner and with fewer resources when we are able to approach it in a systematic way. Working together with NC3A specialists helps us better to understand multinational approach and standards in the development of our C4 systems. The FDF is very pleased to be the first country to sign multi-year programme of work with the Agency.”

GROWING TREND

Several other nations have expressed interest in establishing multi-years programmes of work, including Istanbul Cooperation partners, such as Qatar. The Cooperation with Nations is led by the Directorate Sponsor Account NATO and Nations.

“The Libya campaign has demonstrated the need for NATO and its Partners to join ‘one’ mission network for operations and it is only possible with proven interoperability achieved through cooperative capability development,” said Dr. Velizar Shalamanov, Director of the Account. “We have a very robust range of products: off-the-shelf NATO capabilities that can be passed on to Partners, and advanced laboratories to test interoperability. This will be even more visible in the new edition of the Agency’s Catalogue of Products and Expertise.”

The visit was led by the Finnish Ambassador to The Netherlands, His Excellency Klaus Korhonen; Finland’s Military Representative to NATO, Major General Pertti Salminen; and Brigadier General Harri Ohra-aho, ACOS C4 Division (J6).

NATO C3 Agency (NC3A)

   
Company or Organisation Portrait:

The NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) is a customer funded Agency and, as a part of the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Organization (NC3O), reports to the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Board (NC3B).

The Agency comprises around 700 staff, of which around 500 are located in The Hague and 200 in Brussels. The Agency is organized using a balanced matrix model, with four main areas: the Production area, Sponsor Accounts, Core Segment and Resources Division. The Production area comprises nine Capability Area Teams (CATs) under the Director of Production (DOP) within which projects are executed with each CAT defined according to its area of expertise.

The agency is the lead NATO body for the acquisition and development of Consultation, Command, Control, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) capabilities in support of NATO missions and operations.

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NATO Missile Shield In Turkey “Israel’s Eye” Over Middle East: Iranian Official

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=160241

Azeri Press Agency
November 24, 2011

Iran says NATO missile shield system in Turkey to be “Israel’s eye”: lawmaker

Baku: Chairman of Iran’s Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said Thursday that NATO’s plan to establish a missile shield system in Turkey will serve as Israel’s eye over regional countries, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

“NATO’s missile or radar system in Turkey is in fact the eye of Israel in the region and this will not help the security of Turkey and the regional countries,” Boroujerdi was quoted as saying.

NATO’s radar in Turkey is aimed at enhancing the Israeli regime’s surveillance over the Middle East, said Boroujerdi according to Press TV.

Iranian officials have called on Turkey to withdraw from the plan to deploy a NATO missile shield system in its territory.

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Russia Readies New Radar Station, Missiles Against U.S.-NATO Shield

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111125/169029488.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 25, 2011

Russia’s Baltic radar to monitor missile launches across Europe, Atlantic

MOSCOW: Russia’s radar station in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad will monitor missile launches from the North Atlantic, as well as the future European missile defense system, the Aerospace Defense Forces chief said on Friday.

“We will be able to control the entire European continent and the Atlantic, including the European missile defense system,” Lt. Gen. Oleg Ostapenko said.

The radar station is ready to go into operation as part of the national missile early warning attack system, he said.

In addition, Iskander tactical missiles will be deployed in the Kaliningrad region “in the near future,” the general said.

Russia’s air defense system will have the capability to intercept any type of missiles, any targets at any speed, including hypersonic ones, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Tuesday.

The new system, comprising air defense, missile defense, missile early warning attack and space control systems, should be up and running by December 1.

Ostapenko’s remarks come after President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday that Russia would move “advanced offensive weapon systems” to its European borders in response to a planned U.S.-backed NATO missile shield if talks on the project fail.

Moscow is seeking written, legally binding guarantees that the shield will not be directed against it. Washington, however, has refused to put its verbal assurances in writing.

Washington responded by saying it would not alter its plans for a European missile defense project, despite increasingly tough rhetoric from Moscow.

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Kosovo: NATO Troops Retreat, Serbs At Barricades

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=11&dd=24&nav_id=77469

Beta News Agency/Serbian Radio and Television/Tanjug News Agency
November 24, 2011

KFOR troops withdraw, Serbs at barricades

ZVEČAN: KFOR troops withdrew about an hour and a half after midnight from a barricade in the village of Dudin Krš which they attempted to remove on Wednesday night.

Serbs built a new barricade at Dudin Krš during the night (Tanjug)
The local Serbs additionally reinforced the barricade last night by adding new amounts of gravel.

KFOR troops withdrew toward southern Kosovska Mitrovica while the Serbs continued to reinforce the barricade.

The barricades made of dirt, sand and large boulders are around two meters high and are blocking both lanes on a bridge near Zvečan.

When the Serbs started unloading the large amounts of gravel and building new barricades KFOR troops used tear gas to disperse them. Some of the citizens had gasmasks on and ambulance arrived to the scene to treat those did not have them.

Shots were heard in the area around 00:30 CET but it is still unknown who fired them. Majority of citizens left home around 02:00 and only a small number of them stayed at the barricade.

The barricade in the village of Dudin Krš was built almost four months ago and it is blocking the road leading to the Jarinje administrative crossing.

KFOR has already tried to remove the barricade near Dudin Krš twice, on October 18 and 22 but they were stopped by the citizens both times.

Explosion rocks Kosovska Mitrovica

A powerful explosion took place about 01:00 CET in northern Kosovska Mitrovica. Nobody was injured but two cars were damaged in the blast.

The explosion took place near the Faculty of Economy and police immediately came to the scene.

“So far we have neither motive nor suspects for the bomb attack,” Kosovo police regional Spokesman Besim Hoti has stated.

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NATO-Ukraine Committee Charts Further Cooperation, Integration

http://www.interfax.com.ua/eng/main/86729/

Interfax-Ukraine
November 24, 2011

Ukraine and NATO to hold joint conference on problems of new challenges

Ukraine and NATO are planning to hold a joint conference on the problems of new challenges and bilateral cooperation in this sphere next year, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin told journalists at the end of the sitting of the Ukraine-NATO Committee in Brussels.

“Next year we, together with NATO, will hold a conference on new threats, starting with security of energy supplies and finishing with cyber security. This event will be of great importance to our presidency of the OSCE from 2013…,” the deputy minister said.

He said that the conference would be devoted to the problems of new challenges, and cooperation with NATO in this sphere.

“The idea of the event is to discover in which spheres and directions there is extra potential for cooperation, and how to work with it,” Klimkin said.

The time and place of the event have not been determined yet. The conference will be held in Ukraine in the second half of the year, “perhaps in September, but this is something we have to discuss,” the deputy minister said.

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Azerbaijan:NATO “Interoperationalizes” South Caucasus Countries

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1961759.html

Trend News Agency
November 25, 2011

NATO Assistant Secretary: NATO supports defence reforms in Azerbaijan
E. Mehdiyev

Baku: NATO stands ready to support Azerbaijan’s defence reforms, NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning Hüseyin Diriöz said during a NISA-organized conference on the topic of “Celebrating the 20th anniversary of Independence: Evaluation of Azerbaijan’s foreign policy” in Baku on Nov. 25.

As a key player in the energy sector, Azerbaijan is important, is a champion for cooperation in the energy security, Diriöz stated.

NATO’s cooperation with the South Caucasian countries – Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia – is based on the programmes Partnership for Peace, Individual Partnership Action Plans and Planning and Analysis.

These documents define the goals and objectives of the Alliance to render consultative aid to partner countries in the reforms made in the sphere of defence, security and military policy.

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Armenia: NATO Experts Group “Assists” Ministry Of Defense

http://news.am/eng/news/83115.html

Armenian News-NEWS.am
November 24, 2011

NATO experts to assist Armenian MOD

YEREVAN: A NATO-sponsored international expert group is in the Armenian capital Yerevan, from Wednesday to Saturday, within the framework of assistance to Armenia’s reforms in military education. The group comprises military and civil representatives from the US, Canada, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Romania, Switzerland, and NATO, the MOD Press Service informed Armenian News-NEWS.am.   

On the first day of the group’s visit, discussions were held at the MOD, which were presided over by Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan and Education and Science Minister Armen Ashotyan.

Ohanyan noted that Armenia underscores the establishment of an educational institution that provides military and defensive security education. He also stressed the Armenian side’s readiness to continue cooperation with its American partners along the lines of this program.

In his turn, Education and Science Minister Armen Ashotyan noted that his Ministry is ready to provide necessary educational and organizational assistance to establishment of the National Defense University.       

On the same day, the expert group also met with Davit Tonoyan, Armenia’s First Deputy Minister of Defense.

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U.S. Senator Calls On U.S., NATO To Support Kenya’s Invasion Of Somalia

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000047277&cid=4&ttl=US%20Senator%20asks%20US%20and%20NATO%20to%20support%20Kenya’s%20Somalia%20incursion

The Standard (Kenya)
November 25, 2011

US Senator asks US and NATO to support Kenya’s Somalia incursion
By Chris Wamalwa in USA

Pressure mounted on the US and NATO to recognize and support Kenya’s incursion into Somalia..when a US Senator rose on the floor of the senate to applaud Kenya’s move.

Addressing his colleagues in the Senate in Washington, DC, Senator Mark Kirk (IL) thanked the Government of Kenya and President Mwai Kibaki in particular for the difficult and bold decision made to invade Somalia to get rid of Al Shabaab.

The senator said he supported Kenya’s move and called on the US and NATO to support Kenya’s action.

“I rise today to thank the Kenya government and President Mwai Kibaki for the difficult move made with regards to Somalia. I support Kenya’s move and ask the US government and NATO to support Kenya’s action. We all recall Somalia as the site of ‘Black Hawk Down’ tragedy in 1993 and as much as Americans might wish to ignore that troubled country, I think we can’t,” he said.

Kenya deployed tanks and troops to the Al Shabaab-controlled southern Somalia on October 14…

Senator Kirk said…‘Somalia represents a new 21st century threat of piracy across America’s Persian Gulf supply oil lines, it is evident that the East Africa region deserves attention and support from the United States,” he said.

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Ethiopia To Join Expanded Military Intervention In Somalia

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/africa/Ethiopia-May-Join-Alliance-Against-Somalias-Al-Shabab-134124988.html

Voice of America News
November 24, 2011

Ethiopia May Join Alliance Against Somalia’s Al-Shabab
Peter Heinlein

Addis Ababa: An alliance of mostly East African nations is preparing a coordinated military campaign in Somalia to finish off the embattled al-Shabab…The plan includes possibly sending Ethiopian troops back to Somalia.
-Uganda and Burundi currently contribute the bulk of the nearly 10,000 AMISOM troops, with tiny Djibouti adding a small contingent. Kenya is said to be ready to contribute several thousand, and AU officials say Sierra Leone is preparing a few battalions that could be ready to join the operation within months.

[H]eads of state from the six-nation Horn of Africa regional bloc known as IGAD will meet next Friday to discuss a military strategy aimed at greatly expanding the control of Somalia’s weak Transitional Federal Government.

Planners say the Addis Ababa summit will encourage all IGAD countries, including Ethiopia, to contribute to the effort.

Dina said a decision on Ethiopia’s role in the offensive would probably be announced at next Friday’s summit.

Ethiopian troops are regarded unfavorably by many Somalis, who remember them for brutality during a previous incursion from 2006 to 2009, made to support the Somali government…

Uganda and Burundi currently contribute the bulk of the nearly 10,000 AMISOM troops, with tiny Djibouti adding a small contingent. Kenya is said to be ready to contribute several thousand, and AU officials say Sierra Leone is preparing a few battalions that could be ready to join the operation within months.

The United Nations, which funds a large portion of AMISOM, and several other countries are said to be ready to provide what are called “force enablers,” such as helicopters and other equipment to support the mission.

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Ohio: Predator Drones New Mainstay For Local Economy

http://ysnews.com/news/2011/11/drones-projected-to-be-new-force-in-regional-economy

Yellow Springs News
November 24, 201

Drones projected to be new force in regional economy
By Diane Chiddister

-“All relevant organizations must adapt to new realities, and here, the reality is an insatiable demand for UAS–borne capabilities…”
-[T]his country currently has 7,000 aerial drones, compared to about 50 a decade ago.
The 2012 Department of Defense budget includes $4.8 million for drones, and that number is expected to more than double, to $15.1 billion, over the decade, according to the Teal Group, a defense analysis firm.
-The Springfield Air National Guard’s new Predator project came after the end of the base’s previous mission of training F-16 pilots, most recently for the Royal Netherlands Air Force.
-Defense Department Predators have seen combat in at least six countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and recently Libya.

They go by a variety of acronyms, including UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) RPA (remote piloted aircraft) and, most recently, UAS (unmanned aerial system) However, most people know the pilotless jets as drones. Whatever they’re called, they are the fastest growing weapons systems for the Department of Defense, and a growing economic driver in southwestern Ohio.

In 2010, the Springfield Air National Guard base, recently threatened with closure, was awarded a new mission by the Department of Defense and Air Force. The mission was for ground control operations for the MQ-1 Predator, the model of drone most frequently used by this country in both the war on terrorism and undeclared combat in several countries.

“All relevant organizations must adapt to new realities, and here, the reality is an insatiable demand for UAS–borne capabilities, and an evolving relationship between people, machines and the sky,” said General Norton Swartz, Air Force chief of staff at a 2009 graduation of UAS operators in Nevada, according to the Ohio Air National Guard Web site. And at a 2010 ceremony honoring the Springfield base’s new mission, Ohio National Guard Adjutant General Gregory Wayt stated, “You are on the cutting edge of new missions coming into the Air National Guard.”

Drones have become the weapon of choice in this country’s war…

First developed in the 1990s for gathering information over Bosnia, drones were initially brought into the American war…by President George W. Bush, but President Obama has significantly increased the number of drone attacks. According to an Oct. 21, 2011 New York Times article, this country currently has 7,000 aerial drones, compared to about 50 a decade ago.

The 2012 Department of Defense budget includes $4.8 million for drones, and that number is expected to more than double, to $15.1 billion, over the decade, according to the Teal Group, a defense analysis firm.

Drones are preferable to manned planes because they are less expensive to operate, and because, according to Ohio National Guard public relations head Dr. Mark Wayda, “You’re not putting [American] people at risk.”

However, some dispute that statement. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a London-based nonprofit organization, there have been 2,300 to 2,900 people killed in all by U.S. drones since 2003. That number includes from 392 to 781 civilians, including 175 children, according to the BIJ Web site.

Asked to clarify his statement that drone strikes don’t put people at risk, Dr. Wayda said, “Certainly targets are struck and those may include enemy combatants. When I’m talking about not putting people at risk, I’m talking about U.S. personnel.”

Local drone jobs

The Springfield Air National Guard’s new Predator project came after the end of the base’s previous mission of training F-16 pilots, most recently for the Royal Netherlands Air Force. That mission was discontinued as a result of the Base Closure and Realignment Commission, or BRAC, and the base was expected to be closed. However, National Guard leaders and Ohio politicians, including Senator Sherrod Brown, worked to find a new mission for the Springfield base and its 860 employees.

In February, 2011, Senator Brown, who stated that he led a bipartisan effort to keep the base open, announced that the 2012 federal budget included $6.7 million for the construction of a new Predator ground control operations center at the Springfield base.

“The Predator mission will maintain positions for more than 800 Ohioans and preserve southwest Ohio’s position as a stronghold for our nation’s security viability,” Brown stated in a press release.

Along with the continuation of current jobs, the new Predator program is expected to generate new jobs in the area. That job growth has already begun, and last month the state of Ohio Controlling Board announced a grant of $550,000 to Science Applications International Corporation, or SAIC, to add 180 jobs to its Beavercreek office and 35 in the Springfield area in the next three years in support of the UAS program.

SAIC’s expanded presence in the Dayton area is a result of the new emphasis on UAS research and development at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, according to the press release.

“Due to the prolific growth in demand for UAS technology…SAIC is consolidating many aspects of the UAS business in the Dayton region — aligning it with the Air Force UAS research and development and testing vision in rapid UAS technology transition to the warfighter,” according to SAIC Dayton Regional Executive Director Dennis Andersh in an e-mail.

SAIC’s project partners on the UAS project include the Wright State University Research Institute, the Ohio Department of Development, the cities of Springfield and Beavercreek and the Dayton Development Coalition.

How it works

The Springfield Predator control center has not yet been built, and is scheduled to begin construction in 2012, according to Communications Director James Sims of the Ohio National Guard. Out of the base’s 866 employees, about 300 will be involved in the Predator control center. Some of the Springfield guard employees are already performing Predator operations control work, but in locations that Sims said he could not disclose.

“Overall this mission is not a secret, but there are some aspects that I can’t talk about for reasons of operational security,” he said.

According to Sims, at the control center each drone has an operations team of three specialists who study real-time images taking place thousands of miles away. The pilot controls the plane, the sensor operator operates the various cameras on board and a mission intelligence operator gathers the information.

The number of Predators controlled by the Springfield base operators will vary according to the daily needs of the commanders on the ground, Sims said.

For security reasons Sims said he could not say where the Predators controlled by the Springfield guard members are actually flying. Asked if the Predators controlled by Springfield operate in Pakistan, Sims said, “I can’t say specifically, I can only say they include Iraq and Afghanistan and other parts of the world.”

Defense Department Predators have seen combat in at least six countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and recently Libya.

Sims said he was also not sure if the operators are aware of the location of the Predators that they control.

The operators “can provide information to others to direct fire based on what the UAV is seeing,” according to Wayda of the National Guard.

Asked who makes the decisions based on the data — which involves dropping bombs on suspected enemy combatants — Sims said he did not know. After checking with National Guard employees, Sims stated that those who work in control operations were not sure who made the decisions to bomb targets.

“Our folks say they’re not sure who makes this decision,” Sims said. “All they know is that decisions to take actions on targets are made at a higher level.”

Protest growing

In Pakistan, protest about civilian deaths from drone strikes is growing, according to a Nov. 2 BBC news report. That day the BBC reported on an Oct. 28 Islamabad protest against drones, attended by several thousand people.

In that report Pakistani lawyer Mirza Shahzad Akbar spoke about why civilians as well as terrorists have been killed.

“A Taliban or non-Taliban would be dressed in the same way,” he said. “Everyone has a beard, a turban and an AK-47 because every person carries a weapon in that area, so anyone could be target.”

In a separate meeting that weekend, about 60 tribal elders met with Western representatives to talk about their concerns over civilian deaths, and the terror unleashed on innocent lives by the American effort, according to the Nov. 4 New York Times, in an op ed piece by American lawyer Clive Smith, who attended the meeting. The elders were told that physical evidence would help make the case that there have been civilian deaths from drone strikes.

One teen-ager offered to take on the dangerous job of collecting evidence. But he was not able to do so, according to the article. Only a few days later the boy, 16-year-old Tariq Khan, and his 12-year-old cousin, who were walking along a road to see a relative, were killed by Hellfire missiles dropped by drones overhead, according to Smith.

Asked about his response to the growing protest in Pakistan around civilian deaths from drones, Sims said he was not able to answer the question.

“The question you’re talking about is on a policy level and I’m not qualified to answer,” he said.

====

U.S. Blocks Iranian Gas Exports To The East, Russian To The West

http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/1961875.html

Trend News Agency
November 25, 2011

US Ambassador: Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline not a good idea

“The Pak-Iran gas pipeline is not a good idea, as Iran is unreliable,” said US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter on Friday, according to Pakistani news sources.

The ambassador added that the plan to get gas from Turkmenistan is a “better idea”. Addressing students at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Ambassador’s Forum, Munter said, that making a deal with Iran would be a bad idea and Pakistan should work with Turkmenistan instead. He added that a strong Pakistan was in the interest of the US.

Earlier, it has been reported that Turkmenistan had agreed with Pakistan on the price of gas it plans to send via an ambitious pipeline from its prospective natural gas fields through Afghanistan.

Turkmenistan, which sits on the world’s fourth-largest natural gas reserves, wants to build the trans-Afghan pipeline as part of its plans to diversify sales from Russia [that is, substitute for Russian natural gas] to energy markets in Asia and Europe. It aims to supply natural gas from its South Iolotan field, the world’s second-largest, to Pakistan and India. The idea of the pipeline, known as TAPI, was first raised in the mid-1990s, but construction has yet to begin.

The proposed 1,700-km pipeline could carry 1 trillion cubic metres of Turkmen gas over a 30-year period, which would work out at 33 billion cubic metres a year.

edited by: S. Isayev

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Lowell on Lamartine: Highest duty of man, to summon peace when vulture of war smells blood

November 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

====

James Russell Lowell
From To Lamartine (1848)

I did not praise thee when the crowd,
‘Witched with the moment’s inspiration,
Vexed thy still ether with hosannas loud,
And stamped their dusty adoration;
I but looked upward with the rest,
And, when they shouted Greatest, whispered Best.

….

Now thou’rt thy plain, grand self again,
Thou art secure from panegyric,
Thou who gav’st politics an epic strain,
And actedst Freedom’s noblest lyric;
This side the Blessed Isles, no tree
Grows green enough to make a wreath for thee.

….

The highest duty to mere man vouchsafed
Was laid on thee, – out of wild chaos,
When the roused popular ocean foamed and chafed
And vulture War from his Imaus
Snuffed blood, to summon homely Peace,
And show that only order is release.

Categories: Uncategorized

Sandy Denny: Peace in the End

November 25, 2011 1 comment

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Musical selections

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

====

*****

Fotheringay
Peace in the End (1970)

*****

Sandy Denny and the Strawbs
Who Knows Where the Times Goes? (1967)

*****

Sandy Denny
Late November (1971)

*****

Sandy Denny
Fhir A Bhata (1966)

*****

Fairport Convention
Crazy Man Michael (1969)

Within the fire and out upon the sea
Crazy Man Michael was walking
He met with a raven with eyes black as coals
And shortly they were a-talking

“Your future, your future, I will tell to you
Your future, you often have asked me
Your true love will die by your own right hand
And Crazy Man Michael will cursed be”

Michael he ranted and Michael he raved
And beat at the four winds with his fists-oh
He laughed and he cried, he shouted and he swore
For his mad mind had trapped him with a kiss-oh

“You speak with an evil, you speak with a hate
You speak for the devil that haunts me
For is she not the fairest in all the broad land?
Your sorcerer’s words are to taunt me”

He took out his dagger of fire and of steel
And struck down the raven through the heart-oh
The bird fluttered long and the sky it did spin
And the cold earth did wonder and start-oh

“Oh, where is the raven that I struck down dead
That here did lie on the ground-oh?
I see but my true love with a wound so rare,
Where her lover’s heart it did pound-oh”

Crazy Man Michael he wandered as a corpse,
And talks to the night and the day-oh
But his eyes they are sane and his speech it is plain
And he longs to be far away-oh

Michael he whistles the simplest of tunes
And asks the wild woods their pardon
For his true love is flown into every flower grown
And he must be keeper of the garden

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO news: November 24, 2011

November 24, 2011 Leave a comment

====

Thanksgiving: Happy Holiday 1936, 2011

NATO Encirclement: Russia Strikes Back With Missile Warning

Chicago NATO Summit Can Be Point Of No Return For Missile Crisis

Russia’s Tough Talk On Missile Defense Reveals Impatience With U.S.

Not Even Possibility Of NATO Dialogue With Russia On Missiles: CSTO Secretary General

Russian Opposition: NATO Biggest Evil On Earth, Sack Defense Minister Over U.S. Missile Shield

Syria: France, Turkey Push Foreign Intervention

NATO, Arab Powers Ready To Impose Libya-Style No-Fly Zone Over Syria

Syria: U.S. Deploys Aircraft Carrier, NATO Prepares For War

Russia Determined Not To Repeat Libyan Scenario In Syria

Analysis: Syria Is Not Libya

NATO Air Strike Kills Seven Afghan Civilians, Six Children

Videos And Text: Kosovo Serbs Repulse Latest NATO Attack

21 NATO Soldiers Injured In Assault On Kosovo Serbs

Deputy Prime Minister: Serbia Should Prepare For War Over Kosovo

NATO Attack On Kosovo Serbs Attack On Serbia: Interior Minister

NATO Troops Launch Fresh Assault On Kosovo Serbs

Russia To Find Way To Support Kosovo Serbs: Envoy

U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer In Portugal For Antisubmarine Warfare Drills

Full Spectrum Operations: U.S. Trains Botswana Armed Forces

Pakistan: NATO Tanker Bombed, Main Road Blocked

Saakashvili: Reagan More Urgent In Georgia Than Ever Before

Georgia To Enlarge Military Budget Again

U.S. Congressman Taunts Russia On Georgia’s NATO Membership

NATO Deputy Secretary General In Azerbaijan

Pakistan To Take Up Deadly U.S. Drone Strikes In United Nations

====

Thanksgiving: Happy Holiday 1936, 2011

====

NATO Encirclement: Russia Strikes Back With Missile Warning

http://rt.com/politics/ballistic-russia-strikes-missile-041/

RT
November 23, 2011

Going ballistic: Russia strikes back with missile warning

-[F]ormer commander of the missile attack prevention army Lt. Gen. Nikolay Rodionov said the measures voiced by President Medvedev are capable of neutralizing the threats resulting from the deployment of the American missile defense system…These measures “are aimed at wrecking the US plans to strike Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles deployed in the European parts of the country,” he said.
-According to political analyst Igor Khokhlov, this policy of surrounding Russia and the former Soviet Union with missile bases actually dates back to the 50s and 60s.
-Despite the fact that the US calls for an anti-missile defense system, Moscow’s concern is that Russia will be totally encircled and that it has the potential be used as an offensive system…”Such threats actually increase the chances of a nuclear war or even accidental nuclear war. And the further way we get from that doctrine, which assured the peace, the more dangerous the whole international environment is becoming.”

Russia proceeds from the necessity to maintain its strategic defense potential, says Russia’s Ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin.

Russia’s primary interest is in protecting its citizens, says the NATO envoy.

“We cannot afford to trade on the security of our citizens,” Rogozin said.

“So if anyone puts an eye on it or casts a doubt on it, counter measures should certainly be worked out. And today the president named those measures.”

Rogozin went on to predict that there would be some tough talking during the forthcoming meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on December 8.

“Our colleagues from NATO will have to respond to the question: Why, if you call Russia a partner, are you building the potential to undermine Russia’s security?”

Meanwhile, former commander of the missile attack prevention army Lt. Gen. Nikolay Rodionov said the measures voiced by President Medvedev are capable of neutralizing the threats resulting from the deployment of the American missile defense system, according to Interfax.

These measures “are aimed at wrecking the US plans to strike Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles deployed in the European parts of the country,” he said. “At the same it, it is a signal to our western partners to do everything possible in order to avoid a new arms race, which is inevitable given the implementation of US missile defense plans.”

Rodionov noted that when speaking about the deployment of strike systems in Russia’s west and south, Medvedev “undoubtedly” meant Iskander missile systems – “a high-precision weapon” which is “practically invulnerable to air defense systems.”

America says it is concerned with protecting its own homeland, yet it is deploying missiles along the Russian border. According to political analyst Igor Khokhlov, this policy of surrounding Russia and the former Soviet Union with missile bases actually dates back to the 50s and 60s.

He added the United States has pulled the rug out from under its European allies by surrounding Russian territory with missile bases.

“Russia has adequate responses, especially with its new generation of missiles like Iskander, which can be put in Europe and will endanger the European allies of the US. The European allies of the US, who joined this program, are putting their own populations at risk because before these events there was no danger from Russia, and now Russia has a response to America putting its missile bases around its territory,” he said.

Russian political analyst Dmitry Babich told RT the timing of President Medvedev’s statement was not accidental.

“There are several reasons why the statement was made now. First, we should not forget that we are in the midst of an election campaign right now in Russia and also the American electoral campaign, so probably Russia could view this as the last moment when something can be renegotiated on missile defense and on the START treaty,” he stated.

According to Babich, the Republican opposition in the US will push Obama to be tougher on Russia.

“They have already threatened to renegotiate the START treaty. They think that it is too beneficial for Russia, though I would argue that it is correct,” he added.

Despite the fact that the US calls for an anti-missile defense system, Moscow’s concern is that Russia will be totally encircled and that it has the potential be used as an offensive system. According to political analyst Aleksandar Pavic, verification is very hard in these things.

“They can very easily and quickly be turned into offensive systems. We have to remember in 2002 US president George Bush unilaterally withdrew from the anti-ballistic missile treaty. This was the treaty that kept stability, not just in Europe but throughout the world for more than 30 years. Such threats actually increase the chances of a nuclear war or even accidental nuclear war. And the further way we get from that doctrine, which assured the peace, the more dangerous the whole international environment is becoming,” he stressed.

Alice Slater from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation told RT it is unlikely the situation will lead to a new Cold War style arms race.

“I hope somebody will have some good sense because basically the US is a crumbling empire – it is in debt, it cannot fund its roads, it has wasted its national treasure on the military, and it is almost like it has to have a total shift into the 21st century. War is not the answer anymore and there are many problems America has to deal with. Hopefully this is a wake-up call,” she said.

====

Chicago NATO Summit Can Be Point Of No Return For Missile Crisis

http://www.rbcnews.com/free/20111123184122.shtml

RosBusinessConsulting
November 23, 2011

Meeting with Obama triggers Medvedev’s missile shield statement

Moscow: President Dmitry Medvedev made his statement regarding the European missile defense shield today after his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama during the APEC summit in Honolulu, Hawaii, in early November, the Russian president’s special envoy for missile defense issues Dmitry Rogozin said.

At the meeting, Russia again received no assurances that the missile defense system being deployed in Europe would not be targeted against it, he added.

Russian-U.S. antimissile shield negotiations could go on until May 2012 when the structure of the European anti-missile system is finalized at the NATO’s summit in Chicago, Rogozin said. Medvedev instructed to continue the talks until the no-return point, which this summit could be, he added.

Russia’s counter measures proposed by Medvedev will be taken gradually in accordance with progress in the deployment of the U.S. missile defense system. “Should our Western partners have second thoughts, part of our plans will not be implemented.”

====

Russia’s Tough Talk On Missile Defense Reveals Impatience With U.S.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-11/24/c_131266230.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 24, 2011

Russia’s tough rhetoric on missile defense shows impatience with U.S.

MOSCOW: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday announced with unusual rhetoric that Moscow may move offensive missile systems to its borders with Europe if missile defense talks with the United States and NATO fail.

Medvedev’s statement could mean that Moscow is losing patience with Washington on the missile shield issue, local observers said.

LOSING PATIENCE?

“Medvedev wants to demonstrate he is tough, determined, and ready to protect national interests. Earlier, only his envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin used such rhetoric,” said Alexei Makarkin, analyst from the Center for Political Technologies in Moscow.

“Now Medvedev formally made it clear that Moscow has been disappointed with the ‘reset’ of Russia-U.S. relations, which has failed to find common language on missile defense issue,” Makarkin said.

Local experts noted that reaching common understanding on missile defense should be a key component of the reset process, but the U.S. side has ignored Moscow’s demand for written legal guarantees that the U.S. missile shield in Europe will not target Russia.

Rogozin said Medvedev’s statement was intended to prompt Washington and NATO to take Russia seriously at the missile defense talks.

“We won’t allow them to treat us like fools…Nuclear deterrent forces aren’t a joke,” he said.

The Russian president also warned Wednesday that Russia may withdraw from the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with the United States if the situation with the European missile shield develops in an unfavorable way.

“If Russia really withdraws from the START treaty, this would be an exceptional move that may result in unleashing a new arms race,” said Igor Korotchenko, member of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Public Council.

“So it will be the last resort,” he added.

Many Russian senior officials, including Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, have repeatedly said that if the anti-missile talks with the U.S. and NATO fail, Russia would take measures, including the deployment of its strategic offensive arms.

The major difference this time is that Medvedev deliberated on the military measures, analysts explained.

====

Not Even Possibility Of NATO Dialogue With Russia On Missiles: CSTO Secretary General

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=4&id=289830

Interfax
November 24, 2011

CSTO countries could merge air defense systems

-“I can state that we have been unable to engage NATO in a constructive dialogue. There is not even a desire to consider such a possibility.”
Legally binding agreements are necessary because Russia earlier saw noncompliance with oral agreements regarding NATO’s enlargement following the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact…

MOSCOW: The member-states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) plan to unify the potential of their regional air defense systems, but the establishment of a common missile defense system has not been discussed so far, CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha told journalists in Moscow on Thursday.

“There are plans to unify our regional air defense systems into a common system. The issue of a common missile defense system has not so far been discussed,” Bordyuzha said when asked whether a common missile defense system could be set up within the CSTO in the context of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s Wednesday statement on Russia’s steps in response to the deployment of U.S. missile defense elements in Europe.

Russia and Belarus have already set up a regional air defense system, and a Russian-Armenian regional air defense system should be set up soon, Bordyuzha said. “There is also an agreement to set up a Russian-Kazakh air defense system, which provides the possibility for other CSTO countries to join it,” he said.

Taking more questions, Bordyuzha said Medvedev made his statement after Russia had tried for a long time to persuade NATO and the U.S. to hold a constructive dialogue on these matters, with relevant agreements on missile defense legally formalized. However, he said, there was not even a hint of the other side’s desire to conclude such agreements.

“I can state that we have been unable to engage NATO in a constructive dialogue. There is not even a desire to consider such a possibility,” he said.

Legally binding agreements are necessary because Russia earlier saw noncompliance with oral agreements regarding NATO’s enlargement following the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, he said.

====

Russian Opposition: NATO Biggest Evil On Earth, Sack Defense Minister Over U.S. Missile Shield

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=8&id=289727

Interfax
November 24, 2011

Zyuganov suggests dismissing defense minister to freely reply to European missile defense project

-NATO “is the biggest evil on earth,” he said. “The alliance’s conduct in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya cannot be described other than an absolutely cynical outrage of the U.S.-NATO military clique. Now this machine is rolling toward Russia and placing its missile defense in direct proximity to the Russian western borders. Even an idiot can see that all this is being done against Russia.”

MOSCOW: Russian Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov has called correct but late the reaction of President Dmitry Medvedev to the deployment of U.S. and NATO missile defense in Eastern Europe and has urged the dismissal of the Russian defense minister.

“The president made an absolutely correct statement, but he was several years too late. We, the Communists, had been insisting on such measures of Russia for a long time,” he told Interfax on Wednesday.

Now the chief of state must dismiss the defense minister for taking the planned steps without any impediments, he said.

“It is necessary to reshuffle the Defense Ministry administration, to do the utmost for the modernization of the defense sector and to assign additional funds for defense orders, in short, to turn today’s declarations into reality,” Zyuganov said.

NATO “is the biggest evil on earth,” he said. “The alliance’s conduct in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya cannot be described other than an absolutely cynical outrage of the U.S.-NATO military clique. Now this machine is rolling toward Russia and placing its missile defense in direct proximity to the Russian western borders. Even an idiot can see that all this is being done against Russia.”

“This country has been playing with the U.S. and NATO for too long. We have been making concessions everywhere and got military bases close to our borders in exchange,” the communist leader said, recalling an old maxim, “Russia has only two reliable allies – its Army and Navy.”

The State Duma communist group was inspired with Medvedev’s speech. “We have finally heard from the president of our country what we have wanted to hear for a long time and what the Communist Party had demanded from the Russian administration,” First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, Communist Party Central Committee Secretary Leonid Kalashnikov told Interfax.

He recalled that the State Duma communists bluntly opposed the ratification of the New START Treaty but it was ratified by the majority. “We warned back then that the missile defense actively promoted by the U.S. and NATO in Europe would nullify any commitment the sides undertook under the New START Treaty, but, alas, no one would listen.”

Russia should stop trying to persuade the U.S. and NATO that it needs a legally binding document to confirm that the European missile defense is not a threat to it, the deputy said. “We must behave with dignity at the negotiations with the U.S. and NATO. We must realize that they understand nothing but the language of force, the language of a strong state, and Russia is still a great nuclear power no matter what internal difficulties it may be experiencing,” Kalashnikov said.

He pledged the communists’ support to the steps planned by the Russian president.

====

Syria: France, Turkey Push Foreign Intervention

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=160171

Azeri Press Agency/Reuters
November 23, 2011

France calls for humanitarian zone in Syria

-“The French have tried to position themselves in a position of leadership, first with Libya and now here,” said Hayat Alvi, a lecturer in National Security studies, at the U.S. Naval War College. “Military intervention in Syria is a very different prospect of that in Libya, but we could well see an increase in covert action.”
-Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan criticized the “cowardice” of Assad, once a close ally, for turning guns on his own people. Erdogan spoke of the fate of defeated dictators from Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini to Muammar Gaddafi, and bluntly told Assad to quit.

                 
Baku: France called on Wednesday for a “securitized zone to protect civilians” in Syria, the first time a major Western power has suggested international intervention on the ground in the eight-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, APA reports quoting Reuters.

Foreign Minister Alain Juppe also described Syria’s exiled opposition National Council as “the legitimate partner with which we want to work,” the biggest international endorsement yet for a nascent opposition body that seeks Assad’s overthrow.

Asked at a news conference after meeting the SNC president if a humanitarian corridor was an option for Syria, Juppe said: “It is a point which we have examined and I will propose putting it on the agenda of the next European Council.

Further details of the proposal were not immediately available. Until now, Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Syria but have shown no appetite for intervention on the ground in the country…

“The French have tried to position themselves in a position of leadership, first with Libya and now here,” said Hayat Alvi, a lecturer in National Security studies, at the U.S. Naval War College. “Military intervention in Syria is a very different prospect of that in Libya, but we could well see an increase in covert action.”

Syria’s bloodshed could pitch the Muslim world into “the darkness of the Middle Ages,” Turkish President Abdullah Gul said, some of the strongest language yet showing global anxiety as one of the core Mid-East countries slides toward civil war.

A day earlier, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan criticized the “cowardice” of Assad, once a close ally, for turning guns on his own people. Erdogan spoke of the fate of defeated dictators from Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini to Muammar Gaddafi, and bluntly told Assad to quit.

In Brussels, an EU diplomat said European Union governments were considering a new range of sanctions against Syria that would bar investment in Syrian banks, trading its government bonds and selling insurance to state bodies.

Ground forces commander Hayri Kivrikoglu inspected troops near the border on Tuesday, Turkish state television reported.

—————————————————————————

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=160086

Azeri Press Agency/Agence France-Presse
November 23, 2011

PM warns of ’full-scale civil war’ in Syria

Baku: Britain warned Tuesday that Syria is sliding towards “full-scale civil war,” the latest country to raise the spectre of the eight-month revolt escalating into full-blown conflict, APA reports quoting AFP.

Speaking after talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul in London, Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Today we have had important discussions on Syria where now a full-scale civil war is a real possibility.”

Following Tuesday’s talks on the first day of Gul’s state visit to Britain, Cameron thanked Turkey and the Arab League for showing “welcome leadership,” according to a statement released by his Downing Street office.

“That gives us a way to stop the brutality of this morally bankrupt regime,” he said.

“The world now needs to get behind this with concerted pressure on the regime and positive engagement with the opposition movements who can represent Syrians in an inclusive transition, and we specifically discussed that today.”

Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday urged Syrian opposition groups to unify to become stronger as he met their representatives for the first time in London.

====

NATO, Arab Powers Ready To Impose Libya-Style No-Fly Zone Over Syria

http://rt.com/news/syria-no-fly-zone-121/

RT
November 24, 2011

Specter of no-fly zone darkens Syrian skies

-In March, the Arab League moved to suspend Libya and called for a no-fly zone as Muammar Gaddafi moved to counter a full-scale uprising against Tripoli. Later that month, the United Nations Security Council passed UN resolution 1973, which allowed the international community to establish a no-fly zone and paved the way for the NATO bombing campaign that ultimately toppled the Gaddafi regime.

Arab states are reportedly set to impose a no-fly zone over Syria with US logistical support. But as the drive to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on “humanitarian grounds” continues, the Libyan scenario seems to be repeating itself.

Turkish warplanes with US logistical backing are reportedly set to implement the no-fly zone once the Arab League issues a decree calling for the protection of Syrian civilians in accordance with its charter.

Senior European sources told Kuwait’s al-Rai daily that the plan is designed to cripple the country’s military forces “in less than 24 hours.”

The no-fly zone would include a ban on the movement of Syrian military vehicles including tanks, personnel carriers and artillery, Albawaba news reports. The scheme is designed to neutralize Syria’s ability to carry out air strikes on cities.

Rumors about imposing a no-fly zone over Syria come in the wake of Tuesday’s United Nations General Assembly resolution which condemned human rights abuses by the Syrian regime…

Although Russia abstained from voting on the resolution, its deputy envoy to the UN, Sergey Karev, said “a human rights issue should in no circumstances be used as a pretext for interfering in a country’s internal affairs.”

And while Western powers have long accused the Syrian regime of brutally suppressing its own citizens, Damascus has countered that the country is embroiled in a civil war.

Russia has long called for both sides in the conflict to lay down their arms, stressing that the international community has an obligation to facilitate dialogue between both sides.

However, critics fear that much as in Libya, the West will use the framework of humanitarian intervention to justify a full-scale invasion of Syria.

In March, the Arab League moved to suspend Libya and called for a no-fly zone as Muammar Gaddafi moved to counter a full-scale uprising against Tripoli. Later that month, the United Nations Security Council passed UN resolution 1973, which allowed the international community to establish a no-fly zone and paved the way for the NATO bombing campaign that ultimately toppled the Gaddafi regime.

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Syria: U.S. Deploys Aircraft Carrier, NATO Prepares For War

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/24/60966368.html

Voice of Russia
November 24, 2011

The George Bush aims at Bashar Al-Assad
Vladimir Fedoruk

The latest multipurpose nuclear aircraft carrier The George Bush of the US Navy has been redeployed from the Persian Gulf to the Syrian shores. The ship is capable of carrying up to 70 aircraft, including 48 attack jets. The aircraft-carrier is escorted by a group of vessels which contains a destroyer.

In this connection, experts are giving both a pessimistic and comparatively moderate prospect of developments near the Syrian sea border. Maxim Minayev from the Russian analytical Centre of Political Situations says:

“This is preparation for a military operation against Syria. These activities are reminiscent of a similar initiative when a group of NATO vessels were concentrated near Libya. Washington wants to collect a maximum dividend from the series of revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa. With this aim in mind, Washington is likely to start a military intervention even without UN sanctions. Now we are witnessing the first stage of NATO naval contingents drawing up near the Syrian shorelines.”

Oleg Kulakov, an expert in Oriental studies from the Armed Forces University, is not inclined to feel too emotional about the situation.

“The reinforcement of the US aircraft-carrier fleet in the Mediterranean is more likely to be a threat. They are building up muscle in the region and this is undoubtedly an element of strong political intimidation. Military pressure is likely to be augmented by possible diplomatic demarche. However, all this does not mean direct military intervention.”

Meanwhile, whipping up tension around Syria is taking place along different lines as well. The day before The George Bush was redeployed near the Syrian coastline, the Al-Arabiya Saudi TV channel circulated a piece of news from the Russians Are Coming! set. It reported that three Russian Navy ships entered Syrian territorial waters. The TV channel referred to a source close to Syrian top authorities.

This news published by a Saudi newspaper was carried on by the Haaretz Israeli news source and a number of other regional media. The Russian Defence Ministry did not confirm this information in a conversation with The Voice of Russia.

However, there is a Russian naval base in the Syrian port of Tartus, so it is small wonder that Russian Navy ships could be seen there. That port is the only Russian military base abroad at present. The agreement on keeping Soviet facilities there was signed by the Syrian government 40 years ago. At present there are only 50 Russian Black Sea Fleet sailors there. They have three piers, a floating repair shop, a peripherals warehouse and some utility rooms.

During last year’s campaign against Somali pirates the Russian aircraft-carrier The Admiral Kuznetsov called at the base in Tartus. The crew of The Neustrashimy destroyer spent several days at the base before their return from the Gulf of Aden to the home port of Baltiysk. There is a plan to upgrade the base in Tartus, so that it could receive heavy ships after 2012.

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Russia Determined Not To Repeat Libyan Scenario In Syria

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/23/c_131265557.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 23, 2011

Russia determined not to repeat Libyan scenario in Syria
by Igor Serebryany, Zhang Dailei

-Due to Western sanctions on Iran and regime changes in Iraq and Libya, Russia has seen a drastic decline in both its arms sales and number of allies in the Mideast in recent years. Moscow apparently does not want to lose Syria as well, local experts say.
-Observers note meanwhile that Russia maintains a navy base in the Syrian port of Tartus. The installation is Russia’s only overseas military base outside the Commonwealth Independent States (CIS) countries and in the Mediterranean sea.
Therefore, to defend Syria is, in fact, to defend Russia’s own geo-strategic interests in the Mideast, said Syrian presidential advisor Bassam Abdullah.

MOSCOW: As the UN Security Council prepares to discuss a new resolution concerning Syria, Russia keeps trying to define its own tough stance on the issue.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reaffirmed Friday that Russia opposes any military strike against Syria and its position in the Security Council on the issue would be “restrained and prudent.”

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday criticized Western calls for the Syrian opposition to refrain from dialogues with the government, describing the effort as “political provocation.”

Local experts believe that Russia should now mend the shortcomings of its diplomacy in the Libyan crisis and try to avoid stepping twice into the same river.

LEARNING FROM LIBYA LESSON

“Russian leadership attempts to distance itself from the Western position, partly because Moscow’s neutrality in the early stage of the Libyan crisis has born no fruits for Russia eventually,” Guren Gukasyan, a Mideast expert from the Russian Academy of Science, told Xinhua.

Irina Zvegelskaya, a professor at the Moscow-based Oriental Studies Institute, agreed that the Kremlin has learned from its unsuccessful diplomatic efforts during the similar crisis in Libya.

“Now Moscow would read the UN draft resolutions with double attention,” Zvegelskaya said.

The analysts pointed out that although Russia has less direct economic interests in Syria than in Libya, it considers Syria its key ally and a major Mideast weapons market.

Ties between Syrian and Russia were established during the Soviet era, when a large number of Syrians went to study at Russian universities. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia maintained its close relations with Syria.

Due to Western sanctions on Iran and regime changes in Iraq and Libya, Russia has seen a drastic decline in both its arms sales and number of allies in the Mideast in recent years. Moscow apparently does not want to lose Syria as well, local experts say.

Observers note meanwhile that Russia maintains a navy base in the Syrian port of Tartus. The installation is Russia’s only overseas military base outside the Commonwealth Independent States (CIS) countries and in the Mediterranean sea.

Therefore, to defend Syria is, in fact, to defend Russia’s own geo-strategic interests in the Mideast, said Syrian presidential advisor Bassam Abdullah.

Russia knows, however, that it has limited tools to influence the situation in Syria, so it has to make two-handed preparations, analysts said, noting that Moscow invited the Syrian opposition to visit in June, September and November.

Russia fears that if Assad is gone, he would be replaced by “not-so-moderate Islamists,” and Syria would become a “permanent source of tension,” Zvegelskaya said.

But so far the Syrian opposition has not listened to Russian calls to start political negotiations with Assad, Zvegelskaya said, because it feels like it has strong support in the West.

Gukasyan agreed that Russia’s influence on the Syrian opposition is weaker than that of the West.

“The failure of the talks between Russian top diplomats and Syrian opposition held in Moscow in the last week demonstrated this weakness clearly,” Gukasyan said.

The UN General Assembly Third Committee adopted a resolution Tuesday condemning Syria for human rights violations.

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Analysis: Syria Is Not Libya

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-11/24/c_131266683.htm

China Daily
November 24, 2011

Syria is not Libya

BEIJING: The resolution approved by the United Nations General Assembly’s third committee, which is in charge of humanitarian affairs, on Tuesday, condemning “grave and systematic human rights violations by the Syrian authorities” is of little help in solving the ongoing Syrian crisis.

The prolonged clashes between Syrian security forces and anti-government protesters, which broke out in March, have resulted in thousands of deaths, including those of civilians and soldiers.

With the help of external forces, the opposition has been growing increasingly stronger in its confrontation with the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Army defectors and protesters have begun fighting back at government forces and even assaulted military bases. It seems that a civil war, which is the last thing the international community wants, is just around the corner.

With this in mind, regional or international endeavors must concentrate on the goal of easing tensions in the country and maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East.

Western-sponsored sanctions, or the threat of sanctions, against Damascus will only pour oil on the flames and grease the way for future military intervention in Syria.

By calling on the Syrian opposition to refrain from dialogue with the government, Western countries are sending the signal that they back the opposition to topple the government by means of violence.

Trying to repeat the “Libya model” in Syria is dangerous considering the geostrategic importance of the country in the Middle East and its intricate and delicate relations with neighboring countries, especially its close ties with Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, all of which are hostile to the West.

Syria has long been seen as the region’s most combustible geopolitical flashpoint. President Assad has warned that Western powers risk causing an “earthquake” and that “any problem in Syria will burn the whole region”.

Prolonged instability in Syria, not to mention regime change and a subsequent shift in diplomacy, will lead to the formation of new regional alliances and change the current balance of power in the Middle East.

The Syrian crisis is far more complicated than the Libyan one, and the international community should show extra caution in resolving it.

China has always believed that constructive dialogue and cooperation is the only approach to the restoration of domestic order and the protection of human rights.

Both the authorities and the armed groups among the opposition in Syria should first immediately put an end to the violence. The Syrian government should keep its promises to move forward on a process of comprehensive reforms.

To ensure an inclusive and balanced political process, compromise and concessions from both sides are of vital importance, and external mediation can play its due role in this regard.

The international community can play a constructive role in creating conditions for the easing of tensions in Syria. Any outside force inciting an escalation of violence will only further deteriorate the humanitarian situation in Syria.

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NATO Air Strike Kills Seven Afghan Civilians, Six Children

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-15877558

BBC News
November 24, 2011

Afghan children in Kandahar ‘killed by Nato’

Seven civilians, including six children, have been killed in a Nato air strike in southern Afghanistan, local officials say.

District Governor Niaz Mohammad Sarhadi told the BBC the civilians died late on Wednesday in the Zheray district of Kandahar province.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the bombing.

The issue of civilian casualties at the hands of Nato forces is highly sensitive in Afghanistan.

A Nato spokesman Isaf, Sgt Christopher DeWitt, confirmed there had been a “firefight” between insurgents and Nato forces in Kandahar province, and that civilians had been killed.

The country saw 1,462 civilian deaths in January to June this year – a 15% increase on the same period last year.

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Videos And Text: Kosovo Serbs Repulse Latest NATO Attack

http://rt.com/news/nato-dismantle-barricade-kosovo-093/

RT
November 24, 2011

Tear gas, barbed wire, isolation: NATO tools for Kosovo raid

Videos

-“The red line for Belgrade would be Hashim Thaci’s decision to initiate an armed attack on Serbs in Kosovo. Thaci must know that any attack against Kosovar Serbs means an attack on Belgrade.“

Serbs protesters have thwarted attempts by NATO to dismantle a barricade in Northern Kosovo. And while NATO claims their decision to fire tear gas came as 21 of their soldiers were injured, Belgrade has warned Pristina against any further violence.

The Serbian Minister of Internal Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic has called on the Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci to restrain his NATO-led forces from attacking Serbian civilians.

“The red line for Belgrade would be Hashim Thaci’s decision to initiate an armed attack on Serbs in Kosovo. Thaci must know that any attack against Kosovar Serbs means an attack on Belgrade,“ Dacic said in a statement aired on local television Thursday.

Dacic went on to warn Pristina it would be mistaken to think that fears of upsetting the current balance of power would exclude the possibility of war.
Dacic was quick to point out “historically, we’ve lost Kosovo several times, and then it’s returned to us.”

The Serbian minister’s strongly worded appeal is a response to overnight clashes in Northern Kosovo which NATO claims injured 21 of its soldiers.

NATO released a statement Thursday saying Serb protesters threw stones and drove trucks loaded with gravel into its troops. The alliance also claims one soldier was seriously injured, as the decision to fire tear gas and end the operation was taken…

Wedensday night’s disturbances came as Serbs thwarted attempts by a Kosovo Force (KFOR) contingent under NATO command from dismantling a barricade near the town of Zvecan in Northern Kosovo.

Late on Wednesday, KFOR forces stretched barbed wire across a road near Zvecan – a town located near the de facto Serbian capital of Kosovska Mitrovica -as they moved to dismantle the concrete barricade.

Shortly after NATO forces arrived, a siren went off which alerted local Serbs, who soon rushed to the area and began tearing down the barbed wire.

KFOR troops then deployed tear gas in a failed attempt to repel the hundreds of Serbs who had gathered to protect the barricades.

After the NATO troops withdrew from the area, the Serbs moved to further reinforce the concrete blocks.

According to RT’s Aleksey Yaroshevksy, some sources have said NATO forces also used rubber bullets, though no injuries have been reported.

Tensions in Northern Kosovo have been on the rise for months over disputed border crossings.

The government of the breakaway province wants to control the border with Serbia to enforce an import ban – a move resisted by ethnic Serbs in Kosovo.
In July, a policeman was shot dead whilst Kosovo police were trying to take control of the border posts.

At the time a temporary deal was reached between Pristina and Belgrade to allow the international peacekeepers to guard the border, but was rejected by local Serbs.

Kosovo proclaimed independence in 2008, though Serbia never recognized the breakaway move.

Political analyst Aleksandar Pavic told RT that NATO had destabilized the region by taking Pristina’s side in the conflict, a decision which overstepped their role as a peace keeping force under UN Security Resolution 1244.

“In 2008 Pristina unilaterally declared independence and NATO countries recognized that independence so the root of the problem is that we have Western Powers who are recognizing an illegally declared state and they are trying to make the Serbs down there live in this illegally declared state, and that’s why practically every day now, especially over the past several months, they’re overstepping their UN mandate,“ he said.

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21 NATO Soldiers Injured In Assault On Kosovo Serbs

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1677297.php/LEAD-NATO-soldiers-injured-in-attempt-to-clear-Serb-barricades

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
November 24, 2011

NATO soldiers injured in attempt to clear Serb barricades

Pristina/Belgrade – NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo (KFOR) said Thursday that 21 soldiers were injured in clashes with a crowd of ethnic Serbs when the soldiers tried to dismantle a roadblock in the northern Kosovo enclave.

The incident comes amid heightened tensions in the Serb-dominated north of Serbia’s former province…

The soldiers took control over the roadblock and began dismantling it late Wednesday. But they withdrew under a hail of stones thrown by a crowd that continued to grow and approach ever closer, despite tear gas canisters lobbed their way.

KFOR command in Pristina said its soldiers withdrew…Nonetheless, KFOR reported 21 injuries sustained.

In recent months, Serbs have erected around 20 roadblocks in the north to prevent the government in Pristina from taking control over the borders to Serbia proper.

…Serbs fiercely resist any authority from Pristina and, nearly four years since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, still consider Belgrade their capital.

In a tense cat-and-mouse game, KFOR has dismantled several roadblocks since the Serbs put them up at crossings in September. Each time the barricades were renewed.

Serbian leaders promised never to recognize Kosovo’s independence and have backed their compatriots’ resistance to Pristina’s rule.

The most prominent turnaround was made by the Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic, who told Thursday’s edition of the daily Press that a new war over Kosovo ‘cannot be excluded.’

Dacic leads the Socialist Party, a junior partner in President Boris Tadic’s ruling coalition.

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Deputy Prime Minister: Serbia Should Prepare For War Over Kosovo

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=11&dd=24&nav_id=77468

B92/Press
November 24, 2011

“We should go to war over Kosovo if necessary”

-“Dačić’s position is hard, but right in my opinion. Not a single state diplomacy is successful if it is not supported by military force. It takes two to have a war and there is a question what we would do if someone attacked us. If NATO does not want to go over the barricades by force, what would happen if Serbia set a clear line regarding some other issues as well?”

BELGRADE: Kosovo PM Hashim Thaci needs to know that by attacking Serbs in Kosovo he is also attacking Belgrade, Serbian Deputy PM Ivica Dačić told daily Press.

He added that Serbia could not stand by peacefully and watch that.

Dačić on Wednesday stated that nobody in Serbia must say that Kosovo was lost and that they would not go to war over it.

“A red line for Belgrade is Hashim Thaci’s armed assault on Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija,” he was quoted as saying.

“Thaci needs to know that by attacking Serbs in Kosovo he is attacking Belgrade as well. Serbia cannot and will not watch it peacefully,” the deputy PM pointed out.

He stressed that if Turkey could say that an attack on Sarajevo was an attack on Istanbul, then there was no reason “the attack on Kosovska Mitrovica is not an attack on Belgrade”.

Dačić assessed that rejection of a possibility of war would be a wrong message to Thaci because a “balance of fear” was necessary for the sake of security in the region. He explained that the “balance of fear” was the only reason why a war never broke out between the U.S. and the USSR.

Military-political analyst Miroslav Lazanski believes that the use of force is a part of diplomacy and points out that “this is one in a scale of statements in which Dačić is expressing his position on the situation in Kosovo”.

“Dačić’s position is hard, but right in my opinion. Not a single state diplomacy is successful if it is not supported by military force. It takes two to have a war and there is a question what we would do if someone attacked us. If NATO does not want to go over the barricades by force, what would happen if Serbia set a clear line regarding some other issues as well? If the Americans say ‘stick and carrot’, because the carrot itself is not enough, which in translation means that we need to show that we are ready to use the force we have at our disposal,” Lazanski was quoted as saying.

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NATO Attack On Kosovo Serbs Attack On Serbia: Interior Minister

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/24/60962772.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 24, 2011

Attack on Kosovo serbs is attack on Belgrade – Serbia’s interior minister

Serbia’s Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dacic has said that an attack on ethnic Serbs in Kosovo would actually mean an attack on Belgrade.

In his statement broadcast on the B92 TV channel, he reminded Kosovo’s Prime Minister Hashim Thaci that throughout its history Serbia had lost and then regained Kosovo several times.

Earlier, Mr. Dacic called for dividing Kosovo into Albanian and Serb parts.

Tensions in the Serb-populated northern Kosovo have been running high since early September when Kosovo’s Albanian authorities deployed their policemen and customs officers at the Jarinje and Brniak border checkpoints on the border with Serbia, which led to armed clashes between police and local Serbs.

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NATO Troops Launch Fresh Assault On Kosovo Serbs

http://rt.com/news/nato-dismantle-barricade-kosovo-093/

RT
November 23, 2011

NATO forces dismantle Serb barricade in Kosovo

Video

—————————————————————————-

http://ap.stripes.com/dynamic/stories/E/EU_KOSOVO_TENSE_NORTH?SITE=DCSAS&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Associated Press
November 23, 2011

NATO in Kosovo moves to dismantle Serb barricade

RUDARE, Kosovo: NATO troops in Kosovo fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of Serbs resisting the dismantling of a concrete barricade put up to block Kosovo authorities from controlling the Serb-dominated area.

An AP reporter witnessed NATO soldiers in riot gear attempting to remove a concrete barrier late Wednesday and stretching barbed wire on the road. Tear gas was fired after several hundred Serb protesters removed the barbed wire. NATO did not immediately comment.

Serbs in Kosovo’s north have been blocking roads since summer angered by Kosovo authorities’ attempt to send ethnic Albanian customs and police officers into the Serb area.

Many Serbs that live there reject the country’s 2008 secession from Serbia and say NATO is supports Kosovo institutions.

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Russia To Find Way To Support Kosovo Serbs: Envoy

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/23/60927581.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 23, 2011

Russia to find way to support Kosovo Serbs – Rogozin

The application of more than 20,000 of Kosovo Serbs for the Russian citizenship is an unprecedented and very alarming situation, Russia’s envoy in NATO Dmitri Rogozin said Wednesday.

“Russia will find a way to support the nation which is spiritually close to us and which found itself in such a difficult situation”,  Rogozin said.

Earlier this month 22,000 Kosovo Serbs put their signatures under collective application for the Russian citizenship as they find that Serbia is not providing them with the required support.

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U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer In Portugal For Antisubmarine Warfare Drills

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=63993

U.S. Navy
November 23, 2011

USS Mitscher Pulls Into Lisbon
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Deven B. King, USS Mitscher Public Affairs

LISBON, Portugal: Guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) arrived in Lisbon, Portugal, for a regularly scheduled port visit, Nov. 23.

The port visit comes after almost seven months of deployment, five of which were spent conducting operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).

The visit also serves as a beginning point for an antisubmarine warfare exercise Mitscher is scheduled to participate in with the Portuguese navy, beginning shortly after the ship departs Lisbon.

Mitscher is deployed as part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWBCSG) to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and support missions.

The strike group consists of Carrier Strike Group 2 staff, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, Destroyer Squadron 22 staff, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), guided-missile cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG 64), and USS Anzio (CG 68) and the guided-missile destroyers Mitscher and USS Truxtun (DDG 103).

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Full Spectrum Operations: U.S. Trains Botswana Armed Forces

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=7457&lang=0

U.S. Africa Command
U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs
November 22, 2011

USARAF Officer Leads a Bilateral Military Intelligence Training for Botswana Defense Force soldiers

GABORONE, Botswana: Twenty-eight instructors from the U.S. and Botswana worked together to train 115 officers and Non-Commissioned Officers from the Botswana Defense Forces (BDF) during the second iteration of the Botswana Tactical Intelligence Course (BTIC-II), Oct. 5 – Nov. 18.

Maj. Bob Blair, the course’s Officer-In-Charge from U.S. Army Africa military intelligence, or G2 section, said this is the second stage of a three-stage capability build for the BDF. The first iteration ran from December 2010 to January 2011.

“BTIC is designed for junior military officers and NCOs with little to no military intelligence experience. This course prepares officers to serve as MI professionals on a staff or in an operational HQ [headquarters]. In addition, BTIC also promotes partner nation cooperation and coordination and provides a standard military process within the partner community,” Blair said.

Petty Officer 1st Class Rory Rankin, intelligence specialist in the U.S. Navy, and one of the course instructors, said the course is featuring many firsts: The first use of multiple Joint Military Intelligence Instructors, the first shared responsibility of instruction between U.S. and partner nation instructors and the first integrated officers/NCO final exercise, all of which make this course a more memorable experience for instructors.

Thirty-five officers participated in a five-week program while 80 NCOs followed an 18-day program in consecutive groups of 40. All 115 students came together for a week-long final exercise…

Headquartered in Vicenza, Italy, U.S. Army Africa is the Army Service Component Command for U.S. Africa Command…U.S. Army Africa enables full spectrum operations while conducting sustained security engagement with African land forces…

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Pakistan: NATO Tanker Bombed, Main Road Blocked

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C11%5C24%5Cstory_24-11-2011_pg7_8

Daily Times
November 24, 2011

NATO oil tanker bombed

LANDIKOTAL: A NATO supply oil tanker hit an explosive device in Landikotal on Torkham Road near the Michni checkpost here on Wednesday.

According to Khasadar sources, the driver and the conductor of the oil tanker fled unhurt from the scene. The superintendent of the Khasadar Force, Lahore Khan, along with his guards rushed to the site and supported firefighters to extinguish the fire.

According to a few sources, forty-four thousand litres of fuel were burnt in the fire after the explosion…

The traffic remained suspended for many hours on the main road due to the high intensity of fire…

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Saakashvili: Reagan More Urgent In Georgia Than Ever Before

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/georgia/1960974.html

Trend News Agency
November 23, 2011

Saakashvili: Reagan deserves place in downtown Tbilisi
N. Kirtskhalia

-The monument’s opening ceremony was…attended by visiting US Congressmen.
-[T]he Reagan Freedom Center…will be the first center outside the US to officially bear the name of Reagan and operate as an official partner of the Reagan Presidential Fund….”The Center promotes formation of a policy, which will…support further strengthening of Georgian-US relations and the process of Georgia’s integration with Euro-Atlantic medium,” the Center’s founders said.

Tbilisi: President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili today opened a monument to the US 40th President Ronald Reagan in Park Rike. Saakashvili says many, especially politicians ask: why Reagan and why in Tbilisi?

“Reagan broke the Soviet Union down 20 years ago and, as no one else, deserves a place in downtown Tbilisi, the heart of Georgia. Reagan is as urgent in Georgia today as never before. The leader of a country, which enslaved us, thinks the Soviet Union’s breakdown is the greatest geopolitical tragedy. Several days ago, there was the announced establishment of a Eurasian Union, unequivocally described as a new variant of the USSR. They restored the anthem of the Soviet Union but we placed the Reagan monument as a sign of difference between our values and theirs and we do not do it to spite anyone,” Saakashvili noted.

He noted that many generations of Georgians fought occupation. Saakashvili recalled that Georgians sent a letter to the US president in the beginning of last century but received no reply.

“The first President who replied to Georgia’s call was Reagan,” he said.

The monument’s opening ceremony was also attended by visiting US Congressmen.

Before the monument was opened in Tbilisi, there was the official opening of the Reagan Freedom Center. The Center was created on the basis of a partnership agreement between a Georgian initiative group and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Fund.

It will be the first center outside the US to officially bear the name of Reagan and operate as an official partner of the Reagan Presidential Fund.

“The Reagan Freedom Center is a non-profit, politically neutral organization that promotes realization of principles of freedom, democracy, effective government, and free entrepreneurship. The Center promotes formation of a policy, which will strengthen democratic institutes, stimulate democratic development and strengthen security, and support further strengthening of Georgian-US relations and the process of Georgia’s integration with Euro-Atlantic medium,” the Center’s founders said.

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Georgia To Enlarge Military Budget Again

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=3&id=289871

Interfax
November 24, 2011

Georgian government to enlarge this year’s defense budget to $427 million

TBILISI: The Georgian government plans to enlarge this year’s defense budget by 44.6 million lari to almost 705 million lari (slightly more than $427 million), Finance Minister Dimitri Gvindadze said at a parliament plenary meeting on Thursday.

The budget surplus amounted to 219 million lari this year and some of the funds might be spent on the armed forces, he said.

“We view as mandatory the additional funding of the Armed Forces for the sake of Georgian security,” he said.

The opposition demanded detailed reasoning of the government’s decision on the defense budget surge.

“We think that the Defense Ministry will be simply unable to use the additional allocations within a month, because the money is mostly meant for procurement and that cannot be done without tenders. So we do not rule out that the government has spent 44.6 million lari on its own pastimes and the spent funds need to be legalized now,” opposition deputy Jondi Bagaturia said.

He said it would be much better to spend the surplus on social needs and education instead of the armed forces and the police.

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U.S. Congressman Taunts Russia On Georgia’s NATO Membership

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/georgia/1961098.html

Trend News Agency
November 24, 2011

Congressman: U.S. unequivocally supports Georgia’s NATO hopes
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: “The United States strongly supports Georgia’s hopes to join NATO,” member of the U.S. Congress David Dreier told journalists in Tbilisi.

“The United States strongly supports Georgia’s accession to NATO and I hope that Russian President Medvedev’s objection will not come true from this point of view,” he stressed.

Mr Medvedev said two days ago that if there had been no Russian intervention in 2008, Georgia and several other countries today would be NATO members.

“The day will come, and I hope it will happen soon, when we will see Georgia in NATO, and if President Medvedev doesn’t wish to see Georgia as a NATO member and that is his goal, I would like his wish to fail,” Mr Dreier said.

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NATO Deputy Secretary General In Azerbaijan

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1961481.html

Trend News Agency
November 24, 2011

Azerbaijani Defense Minister receives NATO Deputy Secretary General

Baku: Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar Abiyev on Thursday received Hussein Dirioz, NATO Deputy Secretary General for Defense Policy and Planning.

The sides exchanged opinions on the prospects of development of military cooperation between Azerbaijan and the NATO, the  military-political situation in the region, and the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, the Defense Ministry’s Press Service told Trend on Thursday.

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Pakistan To Take Up Deadly U.S. Drone Strikes In United Nations

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/24/c_122332575.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 24, 2011

Pakistan to take up U.S. drone strikes in UN

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to take up the issue of strikes by the CIA-run unmanned aircraft in the country’s tribal regions, which the government, rights groups and tribesmen said killed innocent people, reported local TV channel Dawn on Thursday.

The U.S. drones routinely fire missiles into Pakistani tribal regions which American officials have claimed to be bases for the militants who launch cross-border attacks into Afghanistan.

Pakistan repeatedly asks the United States to stop the drone strikes but Americans have ruled out any change in the policy. The issue of drone attacks is one of the irritants in their bilateral relationship.

After the U.S. refusal to halt the strikes, Pakistan has decided to approach the UN to seek its help to stop these attacks, which Pakistan insists is counter-productive in the war on terror.

Dawn reported that the Pakistani government has started collecting data about the U.S. drone attacks and casualties.

The government has directed administrative officials in the tribal regions to provide details about the strikes to vigorously pursue the case.

Pakistan is discussing its new strategy to be adopted in the UN, the report said.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Lamartine: The republic of peace

November 24, 2011 1 comment

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

Alphonse de Lamartine
From Manifesto to Europe (1848)
Translator unknown

The proclamation of the French republic is not an act of aggression against any form of government in the world. Forms of government have diversities as legitimate as the diversities of character – of geographical situation – of intellectual, moral, and material development among nations.

War, therefore, is not now the principle of the French republic, as it was the fatal and glorious necessity of the republic of 1792. Half a century separates 1792 from 1848. To return, after the lapse of half a century, to the principle of 1792, or to the principle of conquest pursued during the empire, would not be to advance, but to regress. The revolution of yesterday is a step forward, not backward. The world and ourselves are desirous of advancing to fraternity and peace…

The republic pronounced at its birth, and in the midst of a conflict not provoked by the people, three words, which have revealed its soul, and which will call down on its cradle the blessing of God and man: liberty, equality, fraternity. It gave on the following day, in the abolition of the punishment of death for political offences, the true commentary on those three words, as far as regards the domestic policy of France; it is for you to give them their true commentary abroad. The meaning of these three words, as applied to our foreign policy, is this: the emancipation of France from the chains which have fettered her principles and her dignity; her reinstatement in the rank she is entitled to occupy among the great powers of Europe; in short, the declaration of alliance and friendship to all nations. If France be conscious of the part she has to perform in the liberal and civilising mission of the age, there is not one of those words which signifies war. If Europe be prudent and just, there is not one of those words which does not signify peace.

Categories: Uncategorized

Francis Poulenc: Banish war which destroys all

November 24, 2011 1 comment

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Musical selections

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

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Francis Poulenc
Priez pour paix

Priez pour paix

Priez pour paix,douce vierge Marie,
Reine des cieux et du monde maîtresse,
Faites prier, par votre courtoisie,
Saints et saintes et prenez votre adresse
Vers votre fils, requéreant sa hautesse
Qu’il lui plaise son peuple regarder.
Que de son sang a voulu racheter,
En déboutant guerre qui tout dévoie.
De prières ne vous veuillez lasser.
Priez pour paix, priez pour paix,
Le vrai trésor de joie

Pray for peace

Pray for peace, sweet Virgin Mary,
Queen of Heaven and mistress of the world.
In your courtesy, have
the saints pray too,
and address your Son,
begging His Highness to deign to look on His people,
whom He redeemed with His blood,
and to banish war which destroys all.
Do not weary of our prayers.
Pray for peace, pray for peace,
the true treasure of joy.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO news: November 23, 2011

November 23, 2011 4 comments

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Russian President’s Special Statement On Missile Defense

Russia May Target U.S.-NATO Missile Shield With Missiles

Russia Devises Plans To Counteract U.S.-NATO Interceptor Missile System

Obama Curtails “Reset,” Sanctions NATO-Russia War

14 NATO Allies Join U.S. In Suspending Participation In CFE Treaty

START, CFE Endangered, New Missile Buildup In Europe Possible

Russia To Leave START If U.S. Expands European Missile System

U.S. Halts Cooperation With Russia On European Arms Treaty

Russia Could Field Missiles Over Failure To Reach Antimissile Deal

Western Elites Turn Focus On Chicago NATO, G-8 Summits

West Uses Middle East Events To Regain Lost Positions: Russian Foreign Minister

Video And Text: Former Senator Says U.S. Is Drunkard Charging To War With Anyone

NATO Command Uses Asian, African War Experience For 21st Century Global Missions

U.S. State Department Sets Up “Conflict and Stabilization Operations” Bureau

Pushing Entire System Of International Relations Into Chaos: Russia Criticizes Western Military Intervention In Troubled Countries

U.S. Non-Compliant With European Arms Treaty

Georgia’s Mikheil Saakashvili: Call Kosovo’s Hashim Thaci

U.S. Pursues Confrontation Policy Toward China At Worst Possible Time

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Russian President’s Special Statement On Missile Defense

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/23/60905583.html

Voice of Russia
November 23, 2011

Medvedev’s special statement on missile defense

Dear citizens of Russia!

My address to you stems from the current situation around the missile defense system NATO is currently building in Europe.

The history of our relations with the United States and NATO member states in missile defense has been a long and difficult one. When in September 2009 President Barack Obama revised the European missile defense plans of his predecessor, we reacted positively. This decision helped sign an important treaty on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive weapons, which clearly stated the inextricable connection between strategic offensive weapons and missile defense. It was a great achievement.

But then the United States embarked on a new, so-called “phased” missile defense plan. It worries us, because it stipulates the deployment of relevant U.S. potential near the Russian borders and in water areas adjoining Russia.

At the Russia-NATO Council summit in Lisbon a year ago, I initiated the creation of joint missile defense based on the “sectoral” principle. Moreover, we were ready to modify it, taking the opinions of our NATO partners into account, but do it in such a way as to preserve the main thing: Europe does not need dividing lines, it needs a single security perimeter with Russia having an equal and legally confirmed role in it.

I am convinced that this approach offers unique opportunities for Russia and NATO to build genuine strategic partnership. Frictions and confrontation in our relations must be replaced by the principles of equality, indivisibility of security, mutual trust and predictability.

Unfortunately, the United States and other NATO member states have failed to manifest sufficient readiness to move in this direction. They do not intend to heed our concerns over the European missile defense architecture at the current stage. They just keep convincing us that their plans are not directed against Russia. But when we ask for clear-cut, legally binding and written commitments, a tough refusal follows. We are ready to discuss the status and content of these commitments. These must not be empty words, but commitments formulated in such a way as to enable Russia to judge not from promises or assurances but from objective military-technical criteria how the United States and NATO’s actions in the missile defense area correlate with their declarations, whether they hurt our interests or threaten to break the strategic nuclear parity.

We will not participate in a program capable of weakening our deterrence potential in 6-8 years. This program (European missile defense) has already been launched. Its implementation is gathering pace in Poland, Romania, Turkey and Spain. And we are informed about it as an accomplished fact.

We will certainly continue the missile defense dialogue with the United States and NATO, as we agreed with President Barack Obama during our recent meeting at the APEC summit in Honolulu where I again spelled out our concerns in a precise and clear-cut way. There still is time to achieve understanding. Russia has the political will to move towards agreements that could open a new chapter in our relations with the United States and NATO.

If our partners are prepared to take into account Russia’s legitimate security interests in an honest and responsible way, I am sure we will manage to come to agreement. But if we are offered to “cooperate” against our own interests, we will fail to find common ground. In this case, we will have to look for other options. We will build our actions depending on real developments at each new phase of the American plan.

Therefore, I have made the following decisions:

3. I order the Ministry of Defense to deploy radar missile warning system in the city of Kaliningrad.

4. A  strategic missile facilities shield will be the first to be strengthened as part of setting up Russia’s Air and Space defense system.

3. Russia’s  Navy and strategic  missiles troops will be equipped with a cutting-edge ABM penetration device and super efficient warheads.

4. I have ordered the country’s military  to develop measures enabling the troops to destroy ABM control and information systems in the event of an attack. The abovementioned measures are relevant, efficient and low-cost,

5. If the abovementioned are not enough, Russia will deploy cutting –edge ballistic missile systems providing for total destruction  of US ABMs in Europe. One of the measures will be deploying. The 9K720 Iskander mobile theater ballistic missile system  in a special area in Kaliningrad.

Hereafter.

Russia has the right  to halt further disarmament and arms control efforts if it doesn’t reach an agreement with the US on the ABM issue .

Moreover, taking into account the fact that offensive and defensive weapons are closely interconnected, Russia may have legal grounds to walk out of the START-3 and this  is stipulated by the Treaty.

However, I would like to emphasize that Russia is not shutting the door on the ABM dialogue with the US and NATO and on practical partnership in this area. Nevertheless, this can be reached only via creating a specific legal basis for such cooperation that will provide for the protection of Russia’s legitimate interests and concerns.  We’re open for a dialogue. We’re counting on a reasonable and constructive approach from our Western partners.

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Russia May Target U.S.-NATO Missile Shield With Missiles

-Russia will deploy the 9K720 Iskander mobile theater ballistic missile system in a special area in Kaliningrad if the US continues to deploy its ABMs in Europe.
If the abovementioned are not enough, Russia will deploy cutting–edge ballistic missile systems providing for total destruction of US ABMs in Europe. One of the measures will be deploying 9K720 Iskander mobile theater ballistic missile system in a special area in Kaliningrad, Medvedev added.

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111123/168969932.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 23, 2011

Russia may target European missile shield with own missiles – Medvedev

GORKI (Moscow region): Russia will deploy, if necessary, offensive weaponry in the southern and western parts of the country to target elements of the U.S.-backed European missile shield, President Dmitry Medvedev said on Wednesday.

Medvedev outlined a series of possible “appropriate measures” against the U.S. interceptor missiles and radars being deployed in Europe if missile defense talks between Moscow and Washington resulted in failure.

“If the measures listed [in the statement] are not sufficient, Russia will deploy in the west and the south of the country advanced offensive weapons systems which will target the European component of the [U.S.] missile defense network,” Medvedev said.

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http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/23/60907768.html

Itar-Tass
November 23, 2011

Medvedev: Russia to strengthen its strategic missile facilities

Russia’s Navy and strategic missiles troops will be equipped with a cutting-edge ABM penetration device and super efficient warheads over the current situation with NATO ABMs being deployed in Europe, Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev stated in Moscow on Wednesday. He also stated that Russia will deploy the 9K720 Iskander mobile theater ballistic missile system in a special area in Kaliningrad if the US continues to deploy its ABMs in Europe.

If the abovementioned are not enough, Russia will deploy cutting–edge ballistic missile systems providing for total destruction of US ABMs in Europe. One of the measures will be deploying 9K720 Iskander mobile theater ballistic missile system in a special area in Kaliningrad, Medvedev added.

He has also ordered to strengthen a strategic missile facilities shield as part of setting up Russia’s Air and Space defense system.
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http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=8&id=289357

Interfax
November 23, 2011

European missile-defense system could spoil Euro-Atlantic dialogue – Lavrov

CHISINAU: The creation of a European missile-defense system is a problem that is most likely to spoil the relations between the Euro-Atlantic states, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“If we try to single out one problem that is most capable of poisoning the atmosphere of the Euro-Atlantic dialogue, then certainly, this will be the unilateral plans to deploy parts of the U.S. global missile-defense system in European states under the NATO aegis,” he told the alumni of the International Free University in Chisinau on Tuesday.

“These plans are being implemented with no consideration for Russia’s legitimate concerns, thus undermining the principle of indivisibility of security,” Lavrov said.

“The dialogue on this subject has stalled, with the parties’ positions being far from one another,” he said.

The search for mutually acceptable solutions to this problem will continue, but Russia still insists on obtaining reliable guarantees that the European missile-defense system will not target Russia and also demands to be allowed to make sure that the parameters of the systems being deployed are consistent with the stated goals, the Russian foreign minister said.

“Otherwise, it can turn out that instead of strengthening the security of the U.S. and those European countries, which cooperate with it in this project, the opposite will happen – the weakening of the global and European security and stability,” Lavrov said.

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Russia Devises Plans To Counteract U.S.-NATO Interceptor Missile System

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/23/60890065.html

Voice of Russia
November 23, 2011

Plans to counteract the US missile defense shield
Igor Levkov

-When the US refused to cooperate with this country on the missile defense shield, President Dmitry Medvedev warned of “another arms race”. He was not heard, though. It may be too soon to speak about the restart of the Cold war, but the ghost of it is wandering, and not only across Europe.

Russia warns it will deploy Iskander missile systems in the Kaliningrad and Krasnodar regions, and in the neighboring Belarus if there is no agreement over the planned American missile defense shield in Europe between Russia and the US. A spokesman for Russia’s Defense Ministry told this to reporters in Moscow on Wednesday. He also announced that by the 1st of December Russia will raise Aerospace Defense Forces that will be able to effectively handle potential missile threats.

Russia-US missile defense negotiations have hit an impasse, as the US has refused to give legally-binding guarantees that the system would not be aimed at Russia’s strategic nuclear defenses under any circumstances. The US claims the shield is to protect Eastern Europe from a rogue missile strike.

In September 2009, the Obama administration decided to scrap the initial plan for a missile defense shield to be deployed in Poland and the Czech Republic for another one. After 2015, the US wants to install missile defense elements across the countries of Eastern Europe. At a summit in Lisbon a year ago President Dmitry Medvedev proposed a common missile defense network, but NATO refused to accept this plan assuring that it will continue to work on a solution in the future.

Until then the US signed an agreement to deploy missile defense elements in Romania and Turkey and plans to build a tracking station in Georgia and a base for its fleet in Spain. The US stressed that the system will be deployed in any case, together with Russia or without it. Russia promised an adequate military response.

Military experts say it is not time for a war of words right now. The US is unwilling to give up its plans, so Russia has to take reciprocal steps, the military observer of Komsomolskaya Pravda Viktor Baranets says.

“We are pinned down to facts. If we deploy our forces in the above-mentioned locations, we will be targeting all the missile defense elements installed in Eastern Europe.”

Iskander tactical missile systems have a range of 500 kilometers (according to Mr. Baranets, some at a range of 2 thousand kilometers). The missile was reported to be able to carry multiple warheads, both conventional and nuclear.

The deployment of mobile missile systems with a range of 500 km the Leningrad and Kaliningrad regions would allow Russia to target almost anywhere in Eastern Poland and the Baltic region, and in Germany.

At the same time the proposed missile defense system is a multidivisional one. It is clear that Iskanders deployment is just a part of Russia’s “asymmetric” response, military expert Konstantin Sivkov said in an interview with the Voice of Russia.

“We should understand that no weapons can solve all the problems. The system deployment is one of the measures taken to counteract the US plans. The Defense Ministry said that it plans to move ships to the region, to stop the ongoing disband of one of strategic rocket forces divisions, and to expand aviation forces. There are a bunch of measures to wipe out the possible US threat.”

By the 1st of December, Russia is planning to increase Aerospace Defense Forces that will be able to effectively handle potential missile threats. This country’s Defense Minister Anatoly Serdukov told this to reporters in Moscow. He said that the forces will be capable of destroying enemy targets in near space and in the future could be used for defense from stray asteroids.

When the US refused to cooperate with this country on the missile defense shield, President Dmitry Medvedev warned of “another arms race”. He was not heard, though. It may be too soon to speak about the restart of the Cold war, but the ghost of it is wandering, and not only across Europe.

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Obama Curtails “Reset,” Sanctions NATO-Russia War

http://abc.az/eng/news/main/59823.html

Azerbaijan Business Center
November 23, 2011

Barack Obama curtails ‘reloading’ and sanctions NATO-Russia war

-The refusal from commitment before Russia withdraws from the agenda the issue of “flank limitations”, which indirectly hindered the U.S. to begin active military operations in Syria and Iran and strengthen its presence in the Caucasus. Reloading curtailing was announced last week…In parallel, Russia increases military construction and modernization of the army. Historically, such processes were always accompanied by the beginning of war against it.

Baku: Shadows of a new continental war are looming again over Europe: the participant is the same Western part of the mainland against Russia. It is unclear if it will be of the “cold” or the most real variety.

The U.S. State Department has declared termination of certain obligations to Russia within the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE).

The State Department cites that with four years of futile attempts, along with its NATO allies, to persuade Moscow to abandon the moratorium on the above-listed treaty.

On 13 July 2007, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev declared a moratorium on the CFE Treaty in connection with U.S. plans to deploy missile defense systems in Europe and non-implementation of the Treaty by a number of European countries.

The condition for lifting the moratorium was the rejection of European missile defense and compensation of the combat potential of the parties.

In fact, by its decision the U.S. curtailed “reloading” of relationships with Russia, launched by President Obama after entering the White House. The refusal from commitment before Russia withdraws from the agenda the issue of “flank limitations”, which indirectly hindered the U.S. to begin active military operations in Syria and Iran and strengthen its presence in the Caucasus. Reloading curtailing was announced last week.

In turn, President Medvedev also announced last week a statement about Russia’s response to EUROPRO. In parallel, Russia increases military construction and modernization of the army. Historically, such processes were always accompanied by the beginning of war against it.

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14 NATO Allies Join U.S. In Suspending Participation In CFE Treaty

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1677030.php/LEAD-14-NATO-members-and-US-suspend-European-arms-control-pact

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
November 23, 2011

14 NATO members and US suspend European arms control pact

Brussels: Fourteen NATO countries have followed the United States in stopping implementation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), by halting the flow of armament information to Russia, NATO diplomats said Wednesday.

The step was aimed at focusing Russia’s attention on the long-standing conflict over the treaty, which also limits the numbers of non-nuclear arms that can be deployed, diplomats in Vienna said.

The group of NATO countries, which includes Germany, notified the Vienna-based Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) of their decision Tuesday.

More members of the 28-member military alliance were planning the same move, according to the NATO sources.

Moscow stopped implementing the pact because the West did not ratify amendments to the treaty.

NATO countries had demanded that Russia withdraw from Moldova and Georgia first.

The stalemate continued at a treaty review conference in October.

The step by NATO countries ‘puts the CFE treaty on the table,’ one diplomat said in Vienna.

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START, CFE Endangered, New Missile Buildup In Europe Possible

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/23/60906794.html

Voice of Russia/Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 23, 2011

Russia may halt disarmament due to disagreements in ABMs issue

       
As it has no agreements on ABMs with the US, Russia reserves the right to suspend any further disarmament steps, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev declared in connection with the situation around ABMs in Europe.

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http://www.rbcnews.com/free/20111123163853.shtml

RosBusinessConsulting
November 23, 2011

Kremlin threatens to withdraw from START treaty

Moscow: Russia could withdraw from the Russian-U.S. strategic arms reduction treaty (START), which took effect on February 5, 2011 if the U.S. does not abandon its plan to deploy a missile defense shield in Europe, President Dmitry Medvedev said.

The eventual deployment of missiles and other defense shield elements close to Russia’s borders and its adjacent offshore areas raises serious concerns, Medvedev went on to say.

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http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/23/60905639.html

Voice of Russia/Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 23, 2011

Medvedev warns Russia could abandon START treaty

       
Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev said any that further deployment of the US missile defense system in Europe entitles Russia to withdraw from the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty as a response to the planned American missile defense shield in Europe.

Russia-US missile defense negotiations have reached an impasse, as the US has refused to give legally binding guarantees that the system would not be aimed at Russia’s strategic nuclear defenses under any circumstances. The US claims the shield is to protect Eastern Europe from a rogue missile strike.

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http://www.rbcnews.com/free/20111123174026.shtml

RosBusinessConsulting
November 23, 2011

Russia to ratchet up missile defense

Moscow: President Dmitry Medvedev has instructed the Defense Ministry to deploy an early warning radar system in Kaliningrad, its westernmost territory, addressing the issue of missile defense.

The new strategic and ballistic missile delivered to the Russian army and navy will be equipped with a state-of-the-art solution capable of overcoming missile defense systems and highly efficient warheads, Medvedev noted.

Should these measures prove to be insufficient, Russia could deploy advanced strike systems in the proximity of its Western and Southern borders capable of defeating the European component of the U.S. missile defense shield, Medvedev went on to say, adding that Russia could dispatch the Iskander (SS-26 Stone) missiles to Kaliningrad.

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http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/23/60905111.html

Voice of Russia/Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 23, 2011

Russia is to reinforce the defense of its strategic nuclear objects as a response to the planned US missile defense shield

       
Russia is to reinforce the defense of its strategic nuclear objects as a response to the planned US missile defense shield.

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev has specified the steps that should be taken as a response to the planned American missile defense shield in Europe.

These include measures to strengthen missile defense of Russia’s strategic nuclear objects, equip strategic ballistic missiles with cutting-edge complexes enabling them to hit missile defense shield, and deploy in the west and south of the country missiles that will target the defense system in Europe.

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http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/23/60903366.html

Voice of Russia/Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 23, 2011

Russia may deploy systems to counter ABMs in the west and south of the country

       
If necessary, Russia will deploy cutting-edge systems capable of defeating attacks from European ABMs in the west and south of the country, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has declared.

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http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/11/177630.htm

U.S. Department of State
November 22, 2011

Implementation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces In Europe
Press Statement
Victoria Nuland
Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC

Today the United States announced in Vienna, Austria, that it would cease carrying out certain obligations under the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty with regard to Russia. This announcement in the CFE Treaty’s implementation group comes after the United States and NATO Allies have tried over the past 4 years to find a diplomatic solution following Russia’s decision in 2007 to cease implementation with respect to all other 29 CFE States. Since then, Russia has refused to accept inspections and ceased to provide information to other CFE Treaty parties on its military forces as required by the Treaty.

The United States will continue to implement the Treaty and carry out all obligations with all States Parties other than Russia…

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Russia To Leave START If U.S. Expands European Missile System

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/279672.html

Itar-Tass
November 23, 2011

Russia to quit START if USA builds on Europe missile defense

GORKI: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stated in case the situation with the U.S. missile defense takes a turn for the worse, Russia will renounce further moves in the field of disarmament and arms control.

“In case of unfavorable development of the situation, Russia reserves the right to renounce further moves in the field of disarmament and arms control,” Medvedev said in a televised address to the nation.

“Aside from that, taking into account the indissoluble connection between strategic offensive and defensive armaments, there may appear grounds for withdrawing from the START treaty. The bilateral treaty envisions it,” the president underlined.

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U.S. Halts Cooperation With Russia On European Arms Treaty

http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20111123/168957689.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 23, 2011

United States halts cooperation with Russia on CFE arms treaty

-The treaty was updated in 1999, but NATO members states refused to ratify it citing the fact that Russia was keeping troops in Georgia [Abkhazia and South Ossetia] and the breakaway Moldovan region of Transdnestr as a pretext.
Russia imposed a unilateral moratorium on the CFE treaty in December 2007, citing concerns over NATO’s eastward expansion, U.S. missile defense plans for Europe, and the refusal of alliance members to ratify the adapted treaty. Moscow has repeatedly said it will resume its participation in the CFE if NATO member states ratify the adapted treaty.

WASHINGTON: The United States has curbed its cooperation with Russia on the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday.

The restriction means that the United States will no longer exchange information on conventional weapons and troops with Russia four years after Russia stopped implementing the treaty in 2007.

“Today the United States announced in Vienna, Austria, that it would cease carrying out certain obligations under the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty with regard to Russia,” Nuland said in a statement.

“This announcement in the CFE Treaty’s implementation group comes after the United States and NATO Allies have tried over the past 4 years to find a diplomatic solution following Russia’s decision in 2007 to cease implementation with respect to all other 29 CFE States,” she said.

“Since then, Russia has refused to accept inspections and ceased to provide information to other CFE Treaty parties on its military forces as required by the Treaty,” she said.

The original CFE Treaty was signed in 1990 by 16 NATO countries and six Warsaw Pact members and came into force in 1992. The treaty set equal ceilings for each bloc on five key categories of conventional armaments and military hardware, including tanks, combat armored vehicles, artillery, assault helicopters and combat aircraft.

The CFE Treaty played a crucial stabilizing role during the breakup of the Soviet Union and its satellite states in Eastern Europe. However, later the document became largely outdated and irrelevant amid large-scale changes in the military and political environment.

The treaty was updated in 1999, but NATO members states refused to ratify it citing the fact that Russia was keeping troops in Georgia and the breakaway Moldovan region of Transdnestr as a pretext.

Russia imposed a unilateral moratorium on the CFE treaty in December 2007, citing concerns over NATO’s eastward expansion, U.S. missile defense plans for Europe, and the refusal of alliance members to ratify the adapted treaty. Moscow has repeatedly said it will resume its participation in the CFE if NATO member states ratify the adapted treaty.

Nuland also said her country will continue implementing the treaty and carrying out all “obligations with all States Parties other than Russia, including not exceeding the numerical limits on conventional armaments and equipment established by the Treaty.”

“We will resume full Treaty implementation regarding Russia if Russia resumes implementation of its Treaty obligations,” she said.

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Russia Could Field Missiles Over Failure To Reach Antimissile Deal

http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20111122_7909.php

Global Security Newswire
November 22, 2011

Russia Could Field Missiles Over Failure to Reach Antimissile Deal

-[A] former top U.S. envoy to Ukraine called for the former Soviet state to determine soon whether it would join NATO’s planned antimissile framework, Interfax reported.
“If Ukraine does not hurry, it may fail to find a place in this architecture. In recent years, we have seen that Ukraine gives conflicting signals on whether it will participate or will not participate (in the European missile defense system),” former U.S. Ambassador Steven Pifer said.

Russia has warned it might field nonstrategic missiles along its territorial boundaries as well as in Belarus should negotiations with the United States on participation in a planned European antimissile framework prove unsuccessful, a high-level diplomatic insider said on Monday in remarks reported by Reuters (see GSN, Nov. 21).

Moscow fears that a U.S. plan to field increasingly advanced sea- and land-based missile interceptors around Europe over the next decade could undermine Russia’s nuclear deterrent; it has sought from Washington a legally enforceable pledge that its missile interceptors would not be aimed at Russian nuclear forces. The United States maintains that the antimissile systems are focused on thwarting potential ballistic missile attacks from the Middle East. Both Washington and NATO have demurred from offering the pledge sought by Russia.

Krasnodar, an area in far western Russia, and Belarus could host Iskander missiles if the dispute is not resolved through dialogue, the insider told Interfax. Moscow in the past indicated it could place missile firing units in Kaliningrad, a Russian jurisdiction on the Baltic Sea (see GSN, Nov. 5, 2008; Reuters, Moscow Times, Nov. 22).

“Earlier, only the Kaliningrad region was slated for Iskander missiles’ deployment. But the possibility of deploying these complexes in Belarus and also in the Krasnodar region is also being considered. This would enable Russia to ward off threats to its strategic nuclear forces in case components of the United States’ missile defense system are deployed near our borders,” Interfax quoted the insider as saying Moscow’s response might also include additions to its air and aerospace defenses and to its space-based missile detection apparatus, the insider added.

Russia could also implement moves previously announced by President Dmitry Medvedev in response to a since-abandoned Bush-era missile defense plan involving Poland and the Czech Republic. “These include suspending the dismantling of missile regiments in the Kozelsk division of the strategic [missile] forces, creating radar capable of suppressing U.S. antimissile defense radars and strengthening the Russian navy,” the insider said (Interfax I, Nov. 21).

Meanwhile, a former top U.S. envoy to Ukraine called for the former Soviet state to determine soon whether it would join NATO’s planned antimissile framework, Interfax reported (see GSN, Oct. 5).

“If Ukraine does not hurry, it may fail to find a place in this architecture. In recent years, we have seen that Ukraine gives conflicting signals on whether it will participate or will not participate (in the European missile defense system),” former U.S. Ambassador Steven Pifer said.

Ukraine might first want Moscow to take a stance regarding involvement in the system, but the nation should make its own assessment of potential dangers, Pifer said, adding that missile-tracking systems in Ukraine could benefit the alliance’s defenses.

====

Western Elites Turn Focus On Chicago NATO, G-8 Summits

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-g8-nato-chicago-sacks-20111123,0,4988790.story

Chicago Tribune
November 23, 2011

Focus turning to NATO, G-8 summits in Chicago

Michael Sacks is vice chairman of World Business Chicago, which will be in charge of much of the high-level schmoozing that goes on between a host city and world leaders at May’s NATO and G-8 gatherings.
By David Heinzmann and Jeff Coen

-World Business Chicago, a group of executives headed by Sacks, will act as the host committee…The business group’s importance to City Hall has grown since Emanuel took office, and its leaders have had to address questions about the closed-door nature of their operations…
-Earlier this fall, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security gave Chicago $55 million to begin preparing for the summits…

The team Mayor Rahm Emanuel assembled to host the G-8 and NATO summits here in May knows there are important unsettled questions about costs, security and other logistics, but decisions on such key issues have been held up by a gathering 4,000 miles away in Hawaii.

Although Chicago is hosting the events at the request of President Barack Obama, the White House and the State Department are in charge of running the summits. And for the last several months, those federal officials have been focused on staging the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that took place Nov. 12-13 in Honolulu.

Now that the Hawaiian conference is finished, federal officials will turn their attention to the nitty-gritty of programming and locations for the G-8 and NATO, which will bring political and financial leaders from around the world to Chicago for overlapping meetings May 15-22.

“Things will now…really kick into high gear,” said Michael Sacks, the investment banker Emanuel chose to lead Chicago’s hosting duties.

The most pressing issues for Chicagoans are disruptions to life and business downtown for the better part of a week, as well as the potential costs in police and other city employee overtime. Planning for events will depend largely on security concerns, both in terms of protecting the foreign delegations and in managing the thousands of demonstrators who are often attracted to events like the G-8. The federal government traditionally pays the local security costs, but there has been no guarantee everything will be covered.

World Business Chicago, a group of executives headed by Sacks, will act as the host committee, including planning an array of events to promote the city as a global business hub. That role includes raising millions of dollars for parties, meetings and other related costs.

The business group’s importance to City Hall has grown since Emanuel took office, and its leaders have had to address questions about the closed-door nature of their operations…

The main sessions of the summits will be held at McCormick Place, but the locations for housing dozens of world leaders, as well as social events, have yet to be planned.

Until those pieces are in place, planners can’t map out exactly how police will be deployed, where barricades and traffic management will disrupt access to the city or what any of it will cost, said Rick Jasculca, a Chicago public relations executive who has advised Democratic White House administrations for decades on planning such events, including the APEC summit in Hawaii and multiple G-8 meetings.

“What is going to happen now that APEC is over in Honolulu is that these guys are going to be spending a lot of time in Chicago,” said Jasculca, whose firm is also advising World Business Chicago.

The Secret Service and the State Department are the lead agencies in running security and protecting the foreign delegations. The Secret Service is already coordinating with the Police Department, the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications and other local agencies, but few details have emerged.

Summits involving global economic policies typically draw political demonstrations…

The Occupy movement, here and in other cities, has offered law enforcement officials a glimpse into how some of the ***fringe groups are infiltrating otherwise legitimate demonstrations***, said William Bratton, a former police chief of both New York and Los Angeles who is now chairman of the Kroll corporate security firm.

The difference for Chicago, he said, is that the G-8 and NATO will probably concentrate agitators and demonstrators who are now spread across the country at various Occupy demonstrations.

“With the G-8, there’s nothing else like it going on, so this becomes the hot spot,” Bratton said. “And that’s been the history.”

Earlier this fall, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security gave Chicago $55 million to begin preparing for the summits, but the ultimate costs depend on how much scrambling police will need to do to keep up with demonstrations. Bratton and others said it could get messy and costly.

“From a policing perspective, these events, like the G-8 or the G-20, they bring a lot of attention, but for most of contemporary history over the last 20 years, they also bring a phenomenal risk,” said Bratton. His firm is advising several Chicago companies about how to protect their employees and offices during the summits.

Like many law enforcement experts, he points to the 1999 World Trade Organization summit in Seattle, which turned into a nightmare when thousands of demonstrators rioted and caught local police flat-footed.

“Seattle was all about, here’s the opportunity to showcase: ‘We’re the Northwest United States, we’re the entrance way for Asia,’ and instead they ended up with a phenomenal black eye, lawsuits, litigation,” Bratton said. “So there’s always that potential risk from a policing perspective, but there’s always then the hope for positive benefits.”

====

West Uses Middle East Events To Regain Lost Positions: Russian Foreign Minister

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=289324

Interfax
November 22, 2011

Foreign countries use provocation in Syria to regain lost positions – Lavrov

CHISINAU: Foreign countries’ actions in Syria are prompted by their desire to use provocative steps to return positions they are losing on the international arena, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“What we are witnessing in the Middle East nowadays might be the desire, you know, to compensate for losing their positions in the economic and financial area through provocative steps,” Lavrov said in taking questions from students of the Moldovan International Free University in Chisinau on Tuesday.
—————————————————————————-

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111122/168948148.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 22, 2011

Mideast events may show West’s wish to make up for lost grip – Lavrov

CHISINAU: Western powers’ attempt to compensate for the continuing loss of economic influence could be behind the recent uprisings in the Middle East, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.

“I do not rule out that underlying economic processes are shifting the axis of the global development to another region, namely the Asia-Pacific region where there are new powerful centers of economic growth, with the inclusion of China, India, and Brazil,” he said.

“Probably, some people in the West consider this a negative tendency…And, maybe, the present events in the Middle East are an attempt to compensate for the loss of influence in the global economy by reckless and provocative actions,” Lavrov said during his working visit to Moldova.

The situation in the Middle East and North Africa deteriorated early this year, when an uprising in Tunisia led to overthrow of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Protests subsequently flared up in Egypt, where President Hosni Mubarak was ousted.

In February, protests spread to Libya and resulted in a fierce nine-month fight between rebels and supporters of Muammar Gaddafi, who was captured and killed in October. Protests also erupted in Yemen and Syria, where violence continues.

====

Video And Text: Former Senator Says U.S. Is Drunkard Charging To War With Anyone

http://rt.com/news/us-wars-corporations-gravel-925/

RT
November 22, 2011

‘We have lost respect’ – former US Senator

Video

-“Iran is neither Syria nor Lebanon. Iran is a proud nation and they have missile capabilities – not nuclear-capable – that can rain down on Tel Aviv. I can tell you: if they are attacked – they would attack back. And [because] Israel is so vulnerable and so small that it [Israel] would retaliate with nukes – because they cannot suffer to be destroyed,” Mike Gravel predicts, adding that Pakistan and China would join in, with the US to follow – and that is a ready scenario for a nuclear WWIII.

The US is like a drunkard who charges to war with anyone who might pose a threat, ex-Senator and former US presidential candidate Mike Gravel says.
“I like the US. But at the same time I think my country is an imperial country that is going downhill, and our leadership does not even acknowledge the problem,” confesses Gravel.

“Phony triumphalism has turned into a device to make Americans live in fear of a terrorist attack, yet you are a thousand times more likely to catch cancer than ever be hurt by that,” he points out.

“All I can say about what the US is doing – it‘s immoral,” Gravel says, explaining that “as a result of 9/11, we have altered our moral compass. And people began to get used to brutalizing each other.”

“We Americans used to think ‘oh, what happened in Germany could never happen with us!’ Well, it is happening with us. And it is happening to the detriment of our global position.”

“In Afghanistan, in Iraq and in Vietnam at the era, all American soldiers died in vain,” Gravel claims, recalling the millions of war victims in Vietnam, which is now developing along its own path, regardless.

New American policies enable US military or security officials to take a decision and dispatch a drone to kill a suspect without trial – together with all civilians who happen to be close to the target, Gravel says.

“The morality of that is removing responsibility – those who drop bombs [from remotely operated robot drones] do not see people die,” he says.

“We have not matched the progress in the private sector of technology and science with the ability to govern ourselves in a proper fashion. We do not have a democracy. We have a system of representative governments worldwide, and that is not good enough for people to govern themselves in the 21st century,” argues the former Senator.

“I like the US. But at the same time I think my country is an imperial country that is going downhill, and our leadership does not even acknowledge the problem,” confesses Gravel.

“Phony triumphalism has turned into a device to make Americans live in fear of a terrorist attack, yet you are a thousand times more likely to catch cancer than ever be hurt by that,” he points out.

“All I can say about what the US is doing – it‘s immoral,” Gravel says, explaining that “as a result of 9/11, we have altered our moral compass. And people began to get used to brutalizing each other.”

“We Americans used to think ‘oh, what happened in Germany could never happen with us!’ Well, it is happening with us. And it is happening to the detriment of our global position.”

“In Afghanistan, in Iraq and in Vietnam at the era, all American soldiers died in vain,” Gravel claims, recalling the millions of war victims in Vietnam, which is now developing along its own path, regardless.

New American policies enable US military or security officials to take a decision and dispatch a drone to kill a suspect without trial – together with all civilians who happen to be close to the target, Gravel says.

“The morality of that is removing responsibility – those who drop bombs [from remotely operated robot drones] do not see people die,” he says.

“We have not matched the progress in the private sector of technology and science with the ability to govern ourselves in a proper fashion. We do not have a democracy. We have a system of representative governments worldwide, and that is not good enough for people to govern themselves in the XXI century,” argues the former Senator.

President Barack Obama is “guilty of crimes against humanity after the operation in Libya and the continuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq” – and Mike Gravel has got proof.

“He [Obama] was asked whether or not there would be a possibility that we begin an investigation of the invasion in Iraq by George Bush – which was an absolute crime. What was Barack Obama’s response? ‘We don’t look back’. That means we do not want you, the American citizens, to see what happened, because you may turn around and accuse us of the same thing,” Mike Gravel says, “it’s even worth than that. It is not an accusation. He has been doing exactly the same thing as George Bush did.”

“Most people are unaware of the fact that over the last year, the Obama administration chased out of the United States…over 500,000 people. If we had a media that is all honest – this would have been front page and hotly discussed,” he reveals.

“Obama is raising a billion dollars for his re-election campaign, and he has made a statement which demonstrates what respect he has for the people. He made the statement ‘We’re not going to take any money from special interests’. I tell you – the billion dollars come from special interests,” ex-Senator Gravel accuses.

He believes beating the drums about attacking Iran is very dangerous and marks the irresponsibility of the Israeli leadership.

“I’m not saying anything new – Sarkozy says Netanyahu is a liar – so in my humble status as a private citizen – I tell you Netanyahu is a liar, because he has made statements about Iran that are absolutely ridiculous – all this to create fear among people in Israel.”

Mike Gravel recalled the Bush-created syndrome of ‘bunker mentality’ that rules people with fear.

“Iran is neither Syria nor Lebanon. Iran is a proud nation and they have missile capabilities – not nuclear-capable – that can rain down on Tel Aviv. I can tell you: if they are attacked – they would attack back. And [because] Israel is so vulnerable and so small that it [Israel] would retaliate with nukes – because they cannot suffer to be destroyed,” Mike Gravel predicts, adding that Pakistan and China would join in, with the US to follow – and that is a ready scenario for a nuclear WWIII.

“The best way to solve the problem with Iran is to leave it alone to build a democracy of its own.”

Asked about the power of corporations said to ‘own the government’, Mike Gravel pointed out that corporations are designed to be responsible only to their shareholders, not to the government or the people.

“Corporations need to be regulated, they are not democracies,” he says. “In fact corporations have no morality and no memory – they are just designed to make money. They should not be in command of society – which they are, worldwide, today.”

“That has to change, because this is going to lead to the destruction of our planet,” insists Gravel. “Irresponsible corporate activity must be controlled.”

“People are free if they participate in power. I know of no country in the world today where the people are really free,” he concluded.

====

NATO Command Uses Asian, African War Experience For 21st Century Global Missions

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66205

U.S. Department of Defense
November 22, 2011

NATO Command Pushes Alliance into New Fields, Capabilities
By Jim Garamone

-The command is a focal point for many aspects of the alliance. Being in the United States, it can tap into U.S. capabilities while also representing NATO’s other 27 nations to the American military.
-“Everyone is talking already about the experience of Libya. We know what we need to do better. Now how do we do better?”
-Allied Command Transformation also is involved in cyber defense, another new mission to grow out of the Lisbon summit. The issue is not new to NATO…The command is working on specific initiatives for approval by heads of state and government at NATO’s Chicago summit in May.

WASHINGTON: NATO’s Allied Command Transformation is helping the alliance adjust to new strategies, new constraints and new ideas, the command’s top officer said here today.

Gen. Stephane Abrial of the French air force leads the Norfolk, Va.-based command as it sorts through the lessons learned from Operation Unified Protector over Libya, and as a result of NATO operations in Afghanistan.

“We are working in support of current operations, preparing forces of the alliance nations to meet the challenges of tomorrow and the day after, and we are also working on partnerships and outreach,” he said during a news conference with Pentagon reporters.

The command has three main pillars: strategic thinking, capability development and training, the general explained. All this is fed by the lessons learned processes now in place.

The command is a focal point for many aspects of the alliance. Being in the United States, it can tap into U.S. capabilities while also representing NATO’s other 27 nations to the American military.

The command is implementing the decisions made during the alliance’s summit last year in Lisbon, Portugal, and is working to implement “smart defense,” a strategy NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced in February.

The command is working on priorities, cooperation and specialization, Abrial said. It prioritizes the capabilities needed and recommends where the alliance needs to invest. Cooperation is simple: how to better do things together. Specialization means looking at specific strengths nations have and seeing how to develop those strengths and make them available for the whole alliance.

Training is a good example for smart defense, the general said.

Smart defense also is looking at intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets, – including drones – and sharing of the information these assets provide. “How do we improve our capabilities?” he said.

“Everyone is talking already about the experience of Libya. We know what we need to do better. Now how do we do better?”

The command has a series of projects addressing these and other aspects, so long as the nations are willing to cooperate and fund them, the general said.

Allied Command Transformation also is involved in cyber defense, another new mission to grow out of the Lisbon summit. The issue is not new to NATO…

“We had developed the concept and a center of excellence in Tallinn, Estonia,” he said. “Now it is an official NATO mission, and we need to develop the capabilities in accordance. We work on increasing the capabilities for the center of excellence, we work on training and the capabilities that need to be developed.”

The command is working on specific initiatives for approval by heads of state and government at NATO’s Chicago summit in May.

====

U.S. State Department Sets Up “Conflict and Stabilization Operations” Bureau

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111123/168955051.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 23, 2011

U.S. State Department establishes conflict operations bureau

WASHINGTON: The U.S. State Department on Tuesday established a new Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO).

The bureau, to subsume the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS), will focus on conflict prevention, crisis response, and stabilization activities, the department said in a press release.
The new structure will advance U.S. national security by driving “integrated, civilian-led efforts to prevent, respond to, and stabilize crises in priority states, setting conditions for long-term peace,” it said.

The bureau will highlight “sustainable solutions guided by local dynamics and actors,” as well as promote “unity of effort, the strategic use of scarce resources, and burden-sharing with international partners.”

“The bureau’s comprehensive approach will help the State Department anticipate and adapt to the security challenges of the 21st century, while supporting America’s leadership in emerging crises,” the State Department said.

====

Pushing Entire System Of International Relations Into Chaos: Russia Criticizes Western Military Intervention In Troubled Countries

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/22/60857564.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 22, 2011

Lavrov slams foreign intervention in troubled countries

       
Foreign intervention cannot be an effective way to address internal problems in troubled countries.

The statement came from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in his speech to university students in Chisinau, Moldova, on Tuesday.

Given the current instability in Afghanistan and Iraq, and now also in Libya, embarking on new interventions would mean pushing individual regions and the entire system of international relations towards chaos.

Sanctions, let alone military operations, lead to a deadlock, Mr. Lavrov said. He emphasized that political and economic reforms should be carried out through broad and peaceful dialogue involving all political and social groups.

The same applies to Syria and other countries of the Middle East or any other region.

====

U.S. Non-Compliant With European Arms Treaty

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/23/60863401.html

Voice of Russia/Itar-Tass/Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 22, 2011

US in non-compliance with arms treaty

       
The U.S. has ceased to comply with a number of obligations under the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe in relation to Russia according to U.S. State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland. According to her Washington will resume compliance if Moscow does so as well.

The diplomat stressed that the U.S. would voluntarily notify Russia about changes in its Armed Forces in Europe.

The Treaty provides for the limitation of conventional armaments and equipment, as well as for the exchange of military information.

In 2007, Russia imposed a moratorium on participation in the agreement due to the planned deployment of the U.S. missile defense system in Eastern Europe.

====

Georgia’s Mikheil Saakashvili: Call Kosovo’s Hashim Thaci

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111122/168948407.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 22, 2011

Saakashvili ready to donate his organs for Georgian integrity

TBILISI: Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on Tuesday said he was ready to donate to Russian politicians any part of his body to restore Georgian integrity.

“I am ready to send any part of my body with great pleasure so that they [Russian politicians] return at least a part of our territories,” Saakashvili said, adding that he would take back as many territories as he has organs.

The former Georgian republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia broke away from Georgia in the early 1990s. Georgian forces attempted to bring South Ossetia back under central control in August 2008, but were repelled by the Russian military in what is called the 5-day Russia-Georgian war.

Saakashvili has already amused world media when he was caught by cameras nervously chewing his necktie during the days of the 2008 conflict. He was then called mentally-ill.

After the tie-chewing video, a group of foreign psychologists unveiled a document which says that the Georgian president had “a strong paranoid disorder in hysteroid personality type with a narcissistic complex.”

====

U.S. Pursues Confrontation Policy Toward China At Worst Possible Time

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/685193/Terrorism-US-top-priority-not-return-to-Asia.aspx

Global Times
November 22, 2011

Terrorism US top priority, not ‘return to Asia’
By Luo Yuan
The author is a major general at the PLA Academy of Military Sciences

-[T]he present disgruntlement voiced by a few on the economic rise of China was taken by the current administration as a well-stated fact that China’s mere presence would be a threat to US security.
-The US engagement in the Middle East is far from complete. Although the withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan feels like a conclusion, the US political engagements in the aftermath of the war is no less challenging than its military engagement was…
-“Peaceful development” is what everyone’s aiming for, except the US, which seems oblivious of the general trend but is single-mindedly targeting the wrong country, at a wrong time, using the wrong approach.
-[A] reason for the US to think hard about a “return to Asia” is that almost all previous US aggression in the region ended badly. At the moment it is possibly the worst time for the US to flex its muscles, considering its economy is facing the biggest crisis since the Great Depression, social discontent is rife, and its international reputation is under great strain.

The recent moves made by the US in the Asia-Pacific region sent a clear message to China that the US would not hesitate to subject China to a new containment strategy.

While still busy engaging in political outreach, the Obama administration has made a series of strategic miscalculations. We feel the urge to advise the US to be more observant of the current situation, be more careful in identifying allies and opponents, be aware of priorities; and be more cautious with its approach.

First of all, the US should realize its enemy is still international terrorism, not China. It was not a coincidence that the 9/11 attacks took place right after then President George W. Bush declared the US rivalry with China.

And the present disgruntlement voiced by a few on the economic rise of China was taken by the current administration as a well-stated fact that China’s mere presence would be a threat to US security. This deliberately ignores the many benefits brought by the Chinese, such as job creation, cheap consumer products, and investment opportunities.

China has never intended to use its military power to threaten or invade other countries, but only for self-defense. There is no reason for China to challenge US might unless its sovereignty and territorial integrity are threatened.

The US engagement in the Middle East is far from complete. Although the withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan feels like a conclusion, the US political engagements in the aftermath of the war is no less challenging than its military engagement was. If the various issues of post-war construction are not carefully handled, the result could be a return to the pre-war state of affairs.

Compared to the Middle East, the threat posed by the Asia-Pacific region is significantly less worrisome. Scanning the region, we don’t see any country which could possibly be a hotbed of terrorism, or which could pose an immediate threat to US national security. The safety of maritime transport and the national security of ally countries are the US’ chief proclaimed interests. Yet, weighing those two against the national safety of the US territory, it is obvious which and where is more important.

Also, regarding foreign policy the US takes need to be more reflective of the current situation. Living in the present-day global village, cooperation is the key word. “Peaceful development” is what everyone’s aiming for, except the US, which seems oblivious of the general trend but is single-mindedly targeting the wrong country, at a wrong time, using the wrong approach.

The containment strategy the US has been using against China has yet to have any effect on the country’s growing power. Through trying to lock China out of the UN, then the WHO, and then shutting-off of technology transfer and military equipment, the US has created arbitrary hurdles and barriers only to see China became the second largest world economy and build up considerable military might.

The US should realize that the old-fashioned containment strategy does not work well on China, and seeking cooperation and partnership is by far the best option. Instead of meddling until China acquires the power to say no to the US’ on-and-off goodwill, the US should be aware of the long-term consequences of its decisions.

Another reason for the US to think hard about a “return to Asia” is that almost all previous US aggression in the region ended badly. At the moment it is possibly the worst time for the US to flex its muscles, considering its economy is facing the biggest crisis since the Great Depression, social discontent is rife, and its international reputation is under great strain.

The switching of strategic focus to the Asia-Pacific region is inevitably introducing gaps in the attention paid to international terrorism, which is the real threat. We simply want to point out the loopholes of the US diplomatic strategy out of goodwill to help it avoid another 9/11.

====

Categories: Uncategorized

Fénelon: War is the most dreadful of all evils by which heaven has afflicted man

November 23, 2011 Leave a comment

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

François de Salignac de La Mothe-Fénelon
From The Adventures of Telemachus (1699)
Translated by John Hawkesworth

“‘We hold, as thou seest, king, in one hand the sword, and an olive-branch in the other. Here are peace and war; make your choice. Peace has the preference in our estimation; it is for peace that we have yielded to thy people the delightful borders of the sea, where the sun renders the earth fertile, and matures the most delicious fruits. Peace is still more sweet than these fruits; and for peace we have retired to the mountains that are covered with eternal snow, where spring is decorated with no flowers, and autumn is enriched with no fruit. We abhor that brutality, which, under the specious names of ambition and glory, desolates the earth and destroys mankind. If thou hast placed glory in carnage and desolation, we do not envy, but pity the delusion, and beseech the gods that our minds may never be perverted by so dreadful a phrensy. If the sciences which the Greeks learn with so much assiduity, and the politeness of which they boast with such a conscious superiority, inspire them with desires so sanguinary and injurious, we think ourselves happy to be without these advantages. It will be our glory to continue ignorant and unpolished, but just, humane, faithful, and disinterested; to be content with little, and to despise the false delicacy which makes it necessary to have much. We prize nothing but health, frugality, freedom, and vigor both of body and of mind; we cultivate only the love of virtue, the fear of the gods, benevolence to our neighbors, zeal for our friends, integrity to the world, moderation in prosperity, fortitude in distress, courage to speak truth in every situation, and a just abhorrence and contempt of flattery. Such are the people whom we oflTer thee as neighbors and alUes. If thou shalt be so blinded by the gods in their displeasure as to reject them, experience shall teach thee, when it is too late, that those whose moderation inclines them to peace, are most to be dreaded when compelled to war…'”

*****

“All the misfortunes that you have suffered hitherto have not taught you what should be done to prevent a war. What you have yourself related of the candid integrity of these barbarians, is sufficient to show that you might have shared with them the blessings of peace; but pride and arrogance necessarily bring on the calamities of war.

“You have been afraid of making your enemies proud; but you have, without scruple, made them powerful, by an arrogant and injurious conduct, which has united innumerable nations against you. To what purpose are these towers, of which you have so pompously displayed the advantages, but to reduce all the surrounding nations to the necessity, either of perishing themselves, or of destroying you to preserve their freedom? You erected these towers for your security, but they are really the source of your danger.

“By attempting to appear powerful, you have subverted your power; and, while you are the object of enmity and terror to your neighbors from without, your strength is exhausted within, to maintain a war which this enmity and terror have made necessary…”

****

“Among other princes in this assembly I see Nestor. Thy years and wisdom, O Nestor, have acquainted thee with the calamities of war, even when it is undertaken with justice, and is favored by the gods. War is the most dreadful of all evils by which heaven has afflicted man. Thou canst never forget what was suffered by the Greeks, during the ten years they spent before the walls of Troy — what divisions among their chiefs! what caprices of fortune! what carnage from the hand of Hector! what calamity in distant cities, during the long absence of their kings! and what misfortunes at their return!”

Categories: Uncategorized

Jimi Hendrix Experience: Though war is here to stay, peace is bold as love

November 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Musical selections

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

====

*****

1983… (A Merman I Should Turn To Be) (1968)

Hurrah, I awake from yesterday
Alive, but the war is here to stay
So, my love Catherina and me
Decide to take our last walk
Through the noise to the sea
Not to die, but to be re-born
Away from land so battered and torn…
Forever…

Oh, say can you see, it’s really such a mess
Every inch of earth is a fighting nest
Giant pencil and lipstick-tube-shaped things
Continue to rain and cause screaming pain

And the Arctic stains
From silver blue to bloody red
As our feet find the sand and the sea…
Is straight ahead
Straight ahead…

Well, it’s too bad
That our friends
Can’t be with us today
(Well, that’s too bad)
The machine that we built
Would never save us
That’s what they’d say
(That’s why they ain’t coming with us today)
And they also said “Its impossible
for man to live and breath underwater
forever” was their main complaint

And they also threw this in my face:
They said “Anyway, you know good well
it would be beyond the will of God -
and the grace of the King”
Grace of the King…

So my darling and I make love in the sand
To salute the last moment ever on dry land
Our machine has done its work, played its part well
Without a scratch on our body
Come and bid it farewell
Starfish and giant flumes greet us with a smile
Before our heads go under, we take a last look
At the killing noise
Of the out of style…

*****

Bold As Love (1967)

Anger, he smiles tow’ring in shiny metallic purple armour.
Queen jealousy, envy waits behind him.
Her fiery green gown sneers at the grassy ground.
Blue are the life-giving waters taken for granted,
they quietly understand.

Once happy turquoise armies lay opposite ready,
but wonder why the fight is on.
But they’re all bold as love.
Yeah, they’re all bold as love.
Just ask the Axis.

My red is so confident he flashes trophies of war
and ribbons of euphoria.
Orange is young, full of daring but very unsteady for the first go ’round.
My yellow in this case is not so mellow.
In fact I’m trying to say it’s frightened like me.

And all of these emotions of mine keep holding me
from giving my life to a rainbow like you.

But I’m bold as love,
Well, I’m bold, bold as love.

I’m bold as love.
Just ask the Axis.

He knows everything.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO news: November 22, 2011

November 22, 2011 1 comment

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West’s UN Draft Is Declaration Of War: Syrian Envoy

NATO Warships Conduct Security Patrol In Eastern Mediterranean

After Libyan War, U.S. Focuses On Global Submarine Forces

Defense Minister: Russian Air Defenses Can Counter U.S. Hypersonic Missiles

U.S. Shifts Military Forces, Interceptor Missiles Closer To China

China Reacts To New U.S. Military Base In Australia

U.S. Uses Pentagon To Squeeze China In Asia-Pacific

Interoperability: U.S. Gives, Not Sells, F-16s To Indonesia

Philippines Seeks South Korean Arms Amid Row With China

Russia Could Deploy Missiles To Belarus Against NATO Interceptors

Western Missile Firm Moves Into United Arab Emirates

U.S. Expands Military Ties With Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan: U.S. Navy To Expand Role In Caspian Sea

U.S., Swedish Warplanes In Joint Training

Romanians Prepare For Influx Of U.S. Troops And Missiles

U.S. Thanks Bulgaria For NATO Asian, African War Efforts

Georgia: U.S. Congressional Delegation To Reaffirm Support Against Russia

Two NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

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West’s UN Draft Is Declaration Of War: Syrian Envoy

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1960181.html

Trend News Agency
November 22, 2011

UN draft is a ‘declaration of war’ on Syria – envoy

-The Arab co-sponsors are Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Syria’s erstwhile ally Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country that has become increasingly critical of Damascus, is also co-sponsoring it.
-“Since 1918, women can vote in Syria,” he said, apparently comparing his country with Saudi Arabia. “We have a parliament. Women can be physicians. Women can drive a car.”
He also accused Western powers of supplying the opposition with weapons and funds to attack government security forces.

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari referred to a draft resolution on Syria which Germany submitted to the UN General Assembly’s human rights committee, calling it a “declaration of war.” The draft, which was crafted by Germany, Britain and France, has five Arab states among its 61 co-sponsors, Reuters reported.

“This was tabled in the context of declaring a political and media and diplomatic war on my country,” Ja’afari told the committee, which is comprised of the 193 UN member states.

“It is a declaration of war that aims to affect the independence of our political decision-making and stop us from moving ahead on our national political agenda,” he said.

If adopted as expected, the resolution would urge Syria to implement an Arab League plan that called for it to halt military operations against civilians and to allow foreign observers into the country.

The committee is scheduled to vote on the draft resolution on Tuesday. If approved, the resolution will go to the General Assembly for a repeat vote in a plenary session next month.

German Ambassador Peter Wittig urged the General Assembly’s human rights committee to vote for the resolution.

In an interview with Reuters, Ja’afari had sharp words for the five Arab co-sponsors of the resolution, whom he dismissed as “lackeys.”

The Arab co-sponsors are Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Syria’s erstwhile ally Turkey, a predominantly Muslim country that has become increasingly critical of Damascus, is also co-sponsoring it.

“Since 1918, women can vote in Syria,” he said, apparently comparing his country with Saudi Arabia. “We have a parliament. Women can be physicians. Women can drive a car.”

He also accused Western powers of supplying the opposition with weapons and funds to attack government security forces.

The Arab League has threatened Syria with sanctions. If the league imposes sanctions on Damascus, Western diplomats on the UN Security Council have suggested that they would try to resurrect their efforts to impose UN sanctions on Syria.

Last month Russia and China vetoed a European-drafted resolution that would have condemned the crackdown, which has killed over 3,500 civilians since March according to UN figures, and threatened Syria with possible sanctions.

Western diplomats say European and US officials are encouraging Russia and China not to block council action on Syria, but so far Moscow has signaled that it could not support UN moves against Damascus out of fear that it would escalate into a Libya-style military operation aimed at ousting Assad.

====

NATO Warships Conduct Security Patrol In Eastern Mediterranean

http://www.dvidshub.net/news/80322/nato-warships-conduct-security-patrol-eastern-mediterranean#.Tsr6PmM6tEo

NATO Maritime Command Naples
November 21, 2011

NATO Warships Conduct Security Patrol In Eastern Mediterranean
Story by David Taylor

NAPLES, Italy: Four NATO warships – Turkish frigate TCG Orucreis, German frigate FGS Schleswig-Holstein, Romanian frigate ROS Regina Maria and a French corvette and the Canadian frigate HMCS Vancouver (in associated support) – have conducted a security sweep throughout the Eastern Mediterranean. During this surge operation, Maritime patrol aircrafts have also rendered their support.

Operation Active Endeavour…The combined sea and air operation forms part of “OAE” which is designed to safeguard the waters of the Mediterranean.

The Task Group commander, Turkish navy Rear Adm. Sinan Azmi Tosun, said, “Whilst NATO maintains a continuous watch throughout the Mediterranean with a supporting network and sophisticated technology, from time to time we concentrate our efforts to a specific area for an unpredictable period…”

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After Libyan War, U.S. Focuses On Global Submarine Forces

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66183

U.S. Department of Defense
November 21, 2011

Undersea Forces Critical to Future Defense, Commander Says
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.

-“The USS Florida was called upon to be one of the shooters in Operation Odyssey Dawn against Libya,” he said. “They launched over 90 Tomahawk cruise missiles with eye-watering, flawless performance. Never before in the history of the United States of America has one ship conducted that much land attack strikes, conventionally, in one short time period. And we did it from undersea.”
-“The reality is, from my viewpoint … [that] as we remove our land forces from that region, the only thing that is going to provide stability in the future from a potential aggressor, like say an Iran, is going to be our maritime forces.”

GROTON, Conn.– Undersea forces will become increasingly important to the nation’s defense and in exerting military influence in the future, the commander of Submarine Group 2 said here last week.

Navy Rear Adm. Rick Breckenridge provided his insights after a Nov. 17 visit here from Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, who called Groton “the home of our submarine force” and the “submarine capital of the world.”

“It’s the original home of the Nautilus, and it is, from my point of view, one of the very important elements of our national defense that you guys are doing,” Panetta said.

Breckenridge ultimately has operational authority of all attack submarines in the Atlantic region.

“There are three squadrons here in Groton, Conn., and there’s one squadron in Norfolk, Va.,” the admiral said…

Breckenridge also oversees the building of additions to the undersea force and ensures the manning, training and equipping of submarines for availability to U.S. combatant commanders.

Submarines have been used in operations as recently as Operation Odyssey Dawn, Breckenridge noted. “With the United Nations charter, our forces were sent in to soften up the air defenses of Libya to allow the flow of other forces,” he said.

“This gets back [to the] principle [that if] we don’t have superiority in the air to have our way at the onset of a crisis, we’re going to need somebody who can penetrate the defenses and soften up the adversary so then we can flow those other forces in to establish air dominance,” he said. “So in the onset of that campaign, we, the undersea forces, were called upon to attack land targets in Libya.”

Breckenridge lauded the performance of one of the Navy’s attack submarines during the NATO-led operation.

“The USS Florida was called upon to be one of the shooters in Operation Odyssey Dawn against Libya,” he said. “They launched over 90 Tomahawk cruise missiles with eye-watering, flawless performance. Never before in the history of the United States of America has one ship conducted that much land attack strikes, conventionally, in one short time period. And we did it from undersea.”

In addition to the USS Florida, the USS Providence and USS Scranton, both Submarine Group 2 boats, also participated in the Libyan strike, Vice Adm. William E. Gortney, director of the Joint Staff, said March 19.

Breckenridge noted that undersea forces have provided a presence during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he spoke about future challenges due to declining force structure.

“If we pull out of Afghanistan, does that mean I don’t need as many submarines in [U.S. Central Command]?” he asked. “You might say, ‘Yes this is going to be good, even for the undersea forces…It’s time for us to pull back and send those submarines to other areas they need to go.’

“The reality is, from my viewpoint … [that] as we remove our land forces from that region, the only thing that is going to provide stability in the future from a potential aggressor, like say an Iran, is going to be our maritime forces,” Breckenridge added.

The admiral referred to this concept as “regional maritime denial.”

“The need to have undersea forces, not only remains, but perhaps, increases to provide a counterbalance to make sure no aggressive action is taken in theater as we withdraw from Afghanistan,” he said. “So there’s going to be a greater burden placed on the Navy, at large, and again, from an undersea, asymmetric value perspective, I think there’s going to be a greater demand for undersea forces to provide a counterbalance there.”

====

Defense Minister: Russian Air Defenses Can Counter U.S. Hypersonic Missiles

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/russia/1960247.html

Trend News Agency
November 22, 2011

Russian air defenses can counter ‘even hypersonic missiles’

Russia’s air defense system will have the capability to intercept any type of missiles, Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov said on Tuesday, RIA Novosti reported.

“The integration of [aerospace defense] systems will make it possible to intercept any targets at any speed, including hypersonic ones,” he said.

The new system should be up and running by December 1, he said, adding that it will comprise “air defense, missile defense, missile early warning attack and space control systems.”

Serdyukov’s remarks come shortly after the U.S. Army conducted the first flight test of a new weapon concept designed to fly within the earth’s atmosphere at hypersonic speed and long range.

The U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command launched the Advance Hypersonic Weapon (AHW), “a first-of-its-kind glide vehicle,” on November 16 from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Hawaii.

The DoD said it is using AHW to develop and demonstrate technologies for Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS).

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U.S. Shifts Military Forces, Interceptor Missiles Closer To China

http://www.allgov.com/US_and_the_World/ViewNews/US_Shifting_Military_Forces_Closer_to_China_111121

AllGov
November 21, 2011

U.S. Shifting Military Forces Closer to China

In an effort to counterbalance China’s growing military prowess, the U.S. is working to station naval and Marine forces in the Asia-Pacific region.

The most controversial move, as far as the Chinese are concerned, is the decision to base some of the U.S. Navy’s most modern combat ships, littoral combat ships, in Singapore, which possesses strategic importance for shipping.

Singapore sits along the Straits of Malacca, through which thousands of ships pass each year between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It’s also located on the southern edge of the South China Sea, over which Vietnam, the Philippines and other countries have ongoing territorial disputes.

The Department of Defense is still negotiating with Singapore officials to station Littoral Combat Ships at the seven-year-old Changi Naval Base. The vessels can handle missions ranging from anti-piracy to submarine tracking to special operations.

In addition to the naval plans, the U.S. is preparing to permanently base anywhere from 250 to 2,500 Marines in northern Australia. The decision will allow the U.S. to more quickly deploy front-line military forces in the region in the event of a crisis.

The U.S. has already deployed anti-missile systems in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

====

China Reacts To New U.S. Military Base In Australia

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90883/7651434.html

People’s Daily
November 21, 2011

China reacts to new US military base in Australia
Li Zhenyu

-Starting next year, a total of 2,500 U.S. military personnel and staff will be stationed in northern Australia over the next few years.
It will be American’s first long-term military expansion in the region since the Vietnam War.

Beijing: China reacted to America’s move to expand its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, saying that one should consider other regional countries’ interests when developing ties in that region.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin on Nov. 17 responded to a question at a briefing on US President Barack Obama’s recent announcement of the new military agreement between the U.S. and Australia.

“When developing state-to-state relations, one should take into account the interests of other countries as well as the whole region, and peace and stability of the region,” said Liu.

The military agreement provides that the U.S. will expand its military presence in Australia by positioning more US military personnel and equipment. Starting next year, a total of 2,500 U.S. military personnel and staff will be stationed in northern Australia over the next few years.

It will be American’s first long-term military expansion in the region since the Vietnam War.

When asking about whether the military agreement will affect the China-US and China-Australia relationships, Liu responded: “China has been actively promoting peaceful development and cooperative relationships with other countries.”

“We think we should further deepen and enhance the cooperation between China and the United States, as well as China and Australia, because it is not only in the interests of our three countries, but of all countries in the region.”

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U.S. Uses Pentagon To Squeeze China In Asia-Pacific

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/cndy/2011-11/19/content_14122984.htm

China Daily
November 19, 2011

US to step up influence in East Asia
By Cui Haipei
Obama wants to boost military, economic foothold in the region

-Shi Yinhong, an expert on US studies with Renmin University of China, said the US is using the East Asia Summit and the APEC summit meeting to “squeeze” China, saying the US views its relationship with China as a zero-sum game and regards it as the main challenger in the region. The US’ view of China explains why the US wants to be involved in the disputes over the South China Sea, Shi said.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared last year that the US has a “national interest” in the South China Sea, and recently called the South China Sea the “West Philippine Sea”.

BEIJING: The United States aims to strengthen its economic and military foothold in the Asia-Pacific region, analysts said, following announcements made by US President Barack Obama during the APEC meetings last week and before Saturday’s East Asia Summit.

Obama on Thursday declared in a speech to the Australian Parliament that “the United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay”.

Several hours before his speech, he announced the US will send military aircraft and up to 2,500 US marines to northern Australia to establish a training hub to help allies and protect US interests across Asia.

With military bases and tens of thousands of troops in Japan and South Korea, the US has maintained a significant military presence in Asia for decades, said Tao Wenzhao, a senior fellow at the Institute of American Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

He added that the northern shores of Australia will give the US easier access to the South China Sea, which is a vital commercial route.

Tao said the US’ latest moves also benefit some Asia-Pacific countries, notably the Philippines and Vietnam, which have close economic ties with China but rely on the US for security issues and have sought closer ties with the US to enforce territorial claims.

Another source of regional tension is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free-trade pact promoted by the US during the APEC forum in Hawaii last weekend.

Tao said the US hopes the TPP will be a US-dominated counterbalance to a rival trade bloc of Southeast Asian countries, China, Japan and South Korea, known as ASEAN+3.

Tao said the US’ moves indicate the country intends to be the dominant force in the Asia-Pacific region.

“However, what Asian countries really need of the US is to be an equal partner of mutual trust rather than a leader or an arbitrator,” he said, adding that Obama called himself “America’s first Pacific president”.

Shi Yinhong, an expert on US studies with Renmin University of China, said the US is using the East Asia Summit and the APEC summit meeting to “squeeze” China, saying the US views its relationship with China as a zero-sum game and regards it as the main challenger in the region. The US’ view of China explains why the US wants to be involved in the disputes over the South China Sea, Shi said.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared last year that the US has a “national interest” in the South China Sea, and recently called the South China Sea the “West Philippine Sea”.

Also on Friday, Obama said that he will send Clinton to Myanmar next month in the first visit by a US secretary of state for 50 years to promote “flickers” of democratic reform.

In the two-day visit, Clinton will “explore whether the United States can empower a positive transition” in Myanmar, Obama said.

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Interoperability: U.S. Gives, Not Sells, F-16s To Indonesia

http://www.wnep.com/news/sns-rt-us-indonesia-usa-f-16tre7ak1bs-20111121,0,2493740.story

Reuters
November 21, 2011

U.S. says giving, not selling, F-16s to Indonesia
By Jim Wolf

-With arms transfers come training, closer military establishments and other ties…The transfer of advanced U.S. weapons will help establish a longterm security relationship, partly because the complex technology of U.S. equipment requires regular collaboration between the United States and its partners…U.S. assistance creates “strong incentives for recipient countries to maintain good ties with the United States,” Andrew Shapiro, who heads the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, told a Washington audience earlier this month.

WASHINGTON: The United States is giving, not selling, two dozen second-hand F-16 fighter planes to Indonesia to strengthen security ties with an “important U.S. partner,” the Defense Department said on Monday.

Elaborating on an announcement on Friday by the presidents of the two countries, the department said Jakarta would cover an estimated up to $750 million to refurbish the late-model fighters and overhaul their engines.

The F-16 C/D models are decommissioned and no longer part of the U.S. Air Force inventory. Retooled and upgraded, they will contribute to Indonesia’s “interoperability” with the United States, Navy Commander Leslie Hull-Ryde, a Defense Department spokeswoman, added in an email to Reuters.

Interoperability is the extent to which military forces are able to communicate with each other and share information to achieve a common goal.

“Indonesia is an important U.S. partner and a leader in Southeast Asia,” Hull-Ryde said. “The Department of Defense is working to support the Indonesian military in their efforts to modernize the force.”

Developing ties with Indonesia, the largest country in Southeast Asia and the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, is a priority for the Obama administration as it seeks to shape the economies and security of the region.

With arms transfers come training, closer military establishments and other ties.

The United States granted Indonesia, “without cost,” the Lockheed Martin Corp aircraft and United Technologies Corp Pratt & Whitney engines, Hull-Ryde said, and the fix-up bill “is not expected to exceed $750 million.”

President Barack Obama and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono announced the planned F-16 transfer in a joint statement near the end of a nine-day Asia-Pacific tour that Obama used to reassert U.S. interests in the region.

The planes will give Indonesia a “much-needed” capability to protect its sovereign airspace “without compromising the defense budget and other national priorities,” the White House said on Friday.

The Defense Department said the C/D Block 25 models will be brought back to “essentially the same capabilities they once had when actively flying in the U.S. Air Force.”

The airframes are expected to be upgraded to meet the Indonesian Air Force’s current needs, Hull-Ryde said. They are coming from the U.S. Air Force’s Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group in Tucson, Arizona.

The transfer of advanced U.S. weapons will help establish a longterm security relationship, partly because the complex technology of U.S. equipment requires regular collaboration between the United States and its partners.

U.S. assistance creates “strong incentives for recipient countries to maintain good ties with the United States,” Andrew Shapiro, who heads the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, told a Washington audience earlier this month.

(Editing by Jackie Frank)

====

Philippines Seeks South Korean Arms Amid Row With China

http://www.chinapost.com.tw/asia/regional-news/2011/11/22/323674/Philippines-asks.htm

China Post
November 22, 2011

Philippines asks South Korea for military equipment amid row over disputed sea

MANILA: Philippine President Benigno Aquino asked his visiting counterpart from South Korea on Monday for aircraft, boats and other hardware to help boost his country’s military, amid rising tensions with China.

Aquino said he and South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak discussed their respective regional security concerns, which for the Philippines is the disputed South China Sea…

“On defense cooperation, I expressed to President Lee the interest of the Philippines to gain some specific defense articles such as military-grade helicopters, boats and aircraft,” Aquino said in a joint forum.

“This is in consonance with the upgrading and modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.”

Lee did not disclose any response to the specific request but said South Korea wanted to cooperate with the Philippines to resolve its maritime problems.

Aquino has this year begun upgrading the Philippines’ military, which is one of the weakest in the region with its navy made up of mostly World War II-era ships and its air force consisting of Vietnam War-vintage planes.

He has said the Philippines needs to be able to defend its claims to waters and islands of the South China Sea.

China and Taiwan claim the South China Sea in full, while the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei have claims to parts of the area, which is believed to hold vast oil and gas deposits.

====

Russia Could Deploy Missiles To Belarus Against NATO Interceptors

http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=246424

Reuters
November 21, 2011

Report: Russia says may deploy missiles in Belarus

MOSCOW: Moscow has threatened to deploy tactical missiles in Belarus and on its own borders if talks with Washington on European missile defense plans fail, a senior diplomatic source told Interfax news agency on Monday.

The source said that Moscow might set up Iskander missiles in Belarus and in Russia’s Krasnodar region. It has previously threatened to deploy missile launch pads in Russia’s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad.

“This would allow us to counter the threats to Russia’s strategic forces in case US missile defense components are deployed close to our borders,” the source said.

Russia sees the US missile defense system in Europe, which is not due to be fully installed until 2020, as a threat to its strategic nuclear potential. Moscow has threatened a new ‘arms race’ with Washington if its concerns are ignored.

Russia said it would deploy Iskander missiles during the George W. Bush administration, but suspended those plans in 2009 after US President Barack Obama scaled down his predecessor’s plans. Russia still says the revised system threatens its security.

====

Western Missile Firm Moves Into United Arab Emirates

http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/industry-insights/the-life/missile-firm-to-help-emirates-rocket-ahead

The National
November 22, 2011

Missile firm to help Emirates rocket ahead
Gillian Duncan

As part of its Economic Vision 2030, the Abu Dhabi Government is trying to diversify away from oil to grow the emirate’s economy. Florent Duleux, the vice president for Middle East export sales for the missile systems company MBDA, talks about the company’s push to be a part of the local defence industry.

q&a

q MBDA has had a presence in the region for 30 years. How has the business here changed over time?

a The first contract initiated here was following the equipment of platforms, either aircraft or ships. Over recent years, the need has evolved much more into systems not necessarily associated with platforms, which are still part of the needs – obviously, either for aircraft or ships – but also in the air defence systems for which MBDA can refer a complete multi-layer system. That is to say from a range of brands up to medium-range air defence, fully adaptive to the threats in the region.

q And you are going to set up a factory?

a Absolutely, we’re having very deep discussions at the moment with the UAE authorities. We started that process a while ago and we are very hopeful that 2012 will be the ending of that process and a decision [will be] taken by both parties to launch the … factory.

q What will the factory produce?

a We make missiles and missile systems, and the discussions we have are for both. A good example is the air defence systems: you have multi-layers of missiles and site launchers, but you have one system to launch it and to coordinate all that, and MBDA is manufacturing the whole of it. We have already set up some local companies which could do some subcontracting for us as well.

q How big is the gap in knowledge at the moment, and do UAE universities offer anything similar already?

a They have some ongoing programmes, which are being developed at the same time. The technology we will transfer here took us 50 years to build. The European industry has been built in 50 years and MBDA is the fruit of this 50 years of international cooperation. This is unique. The gain in time to welcome such technology is huge for the UAE.

====

U.S. Expands Military Ties With Azerbaijan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/22/c_122315054.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 22, 2011

Azerbaijan and U.S. promise to expand military ties

-Azerbaijan is of interest to the Pentagon as it is an important energy supplier for the Europe and hosts supply routes for equipment moving in and out of Afghanistan, including thousands of military and commercial flights that cross its airspace and hundreds that fly in and out of Baku airport.
Earlier in Sept., 2011, the US defense department reportedly offered Azerbaijan 10 million U.S. dollars of military aid…

BAKU: Azerbaijan and the United States will continue to expand military ties between them, according to a statement released by Azerbaijan President’s press service on Monday.

According to the statement, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev met with visiting U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus earlier in the day and both sides expressed satisfaction with development of bilateral relations between the two countries in various fields.

Both sides stressed that the two countries have been successfully cooperating in the military field as well and such cooperation would continue to expand.

Mabus, who concluded a three-day visit to Azerbaijan on Monday, also discussed with Aliyev security, energy and transport security issues. The U.S. official praised the participation of Azerbaijan in the international peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan and the role of the country in provision of transport for international peacekeepers.

In Baku, Mabus also met with Azerbaijan’s Minister of Defense Safar Abiyev and Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Shahin Sultanov.

Azerbaijan is of interest to the Pentagon as it is an important energy supplier for the Europe and hosts supply routes for equipment moving in and out of Afghanistan, including thousands of military and commercial flights that cross its airspace and hundreds that fly in and out of Baku airport.

Earlier in Sept., 2011, the US defense department reportedly offered Azerbaijan 10 million U.S. dollars of military aid to help the maritime effort against terrorism.

The funding is part of a 44 million dollars Pentagon aid package to a number of countries including Tunisia, Malta, Lithuania and Hungary.

====

Azerbaijan: U.S. Navy To Expand Role In Caspian Sea

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1959824.html

Trend News Agency
November 21, 2011

Azerbaijan, US examine naval cooperation
M. Aliyev

Baku: Gen.-Colonel Safar Abiyev, Defense Minister of Azerbaijan, on Monday met the visiting US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus in Baku.

Minister Safar Abiyev spoke about the current state of links between US and Azerbaijani naval forces, the Press Service of the Defense Ministry told Trend on Monday.

For his part, Ray Mabus said his visit should be appreciated as a constituent part of the importance the US attaches to Azerbaijan.

The situation in the region was examined, and opinions on the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno Karabakh were exchanged at the meeting.

The meeting was also attended by Mathew Bryza, US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Azerbaijan.

====

U.S., Swedish Warplanes In Joint Training

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123280520

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
November 21, 2011

Liberty Wing maintains friendship, trains with Swedish Air Force
by Staff Sgt. Connor Estes
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, ENGLAND: A Swedish JAS-39 Gripen jet takes off from the Royal Air Force Lakenheath flight line followed directly by an F-15 Eagle. The two aircraft engage in simulated combat to train and learn from each other.

Swedish Air Force crews participated in a week-long squadron exchange program with the Liberty Wing concluding Nov. 18.

The 493rd Fighter Squadron “Grim Reapers”, operating the F-15C Eagle aircraft, acted as hosts for the Gripen fighters and their crew. The 492nd Fighter Squadron “Madhatters” and 494th Fighter Squadron “Panthers”, operating the F-15E Strike Eagle also participated in the training.

“I thought the training was a huge success and to work with our sister wing from Sweden was outstanding,” said Capt. Mike Culhane, 493rd FS C-flight commander. “We executed our mission along with the Swedish pilots seamlessly. We were very impressed with the Gripen; it’s a very capable aircraft.”

For the Swedish pilots it was a great opportunity to learn and fly in a different location.

“It’s really good for our new guys to be in a new environment and see how things work at another base, a whole other country,” said 2nd Lt. Jonas Eriksson, Swedish Gripen pilot.

The training centered on air-to-air exercises between the American F-15s and Swedish JAS-39s to gain experience with dissimilar aircrafts. Some of the training consisted of basic fighting maneuvers against the F-15s and large force employments scenarios.

“The aim for us is to improve our interoperability and to fly against aircraft different than ours,” said Lt. Col. Joergem Marqvardsem, Swedish Air Force 211 commander and pilot. “For most of our pilots this is the first time flying against F-15s, so the training was superb in attaining that experience.”

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Romanians Prepare For Influx Of U.S. Troops And Missiles

http://www.economist.com/blogs/easternapproaches/2011/11/anti-missile-defence-romania

The Economist
November 7, 2011

Anti-missile defence in Romania
The great shield of Deveselu
By V.P.

BUCHAREST: As the world frets about a possible military strike on Iran, villagers in a remote part of southern Romania are taking English lessons. Why? Because they want to be able to talk to the American soldiers who will soon be stationed in Deveselu, where the United States army is renting an abandoned airport. By 2015, there should be up to 500 of them, securing 24 anti-ballistic missiles.

Not everyone is as enthusiastic about the deal, sealed in September during a visit by Traian Băsescu, Romania’s president, to Washington DC. “I feel betrayed… we were not asked if we want this shield,” says Valerică Jumugă, a former pilot.

In 2007, when the idea of Romania hosting part of the US anti-ballistic missile shield first came up, the Social Democratic opposition said it would demand a referendum on the issue…Last week Mircea Geoană, the Social Democratic chairman of Romania’s Senate, said that parliament should ratify the missile-shield deal as soon as possible, to reinforce the US-Romanian “strategic partnership.”

If the United States is seeking to intercept rockets from the Middle East, southern Romania and Turkey (where the radar will be stationed) make more geographical sense than Mr Bush’s plans did. And happily, neither country shares a border with Russia. (Poland is next to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.)

Still, Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, is demanding “written guarantees” that the shield will not be used against Russia. And Ukraine, which stretches between Russia and Romania, has said that it would only be interested in a system that included Russia. It is unhappy that it was not consulted by Romania over the deal.

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U.S. Thanks Bulgaria For NATO Asian, African War Efforts

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=134033

Sofia News Agency
November 17, 2011

US Navy Secretary Conveys Obama’s Special Thanks to Bulgaria

-“The high-level meetings between Bulgaria and the USA underscore the importance of our relations,” Mabus commented with respect to last year’s visit in Sofia of then CIA head and current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the recent visit in Bulgaria by Secret Service head Marc Sullivan, and the talks that Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov had in the USA recently.

US President Barack Obama has sent special thanks to Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov for Bulgaria’s military mission in Afghanistan, US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus said in Sofia.

Mabus was received Thursday by Borisov and Bulgarian Defense Minister Anyu Angelov, the government press service announced.

The US Secretary of the Navy also noted Bulgaria’s participation in NATO’s Unified Protector Mission off the Libyan coast during the civil war in Libya where Bulgaria took part with the Drazki frigate patrolling in the Mediterranean.

According to Mabus, the Bulgarian armed forces have demonstrated their high capabilities during their missions in Afghanistan, where some 600 Bulgarian troops are still serving within the ISAF, and off the Libyan coast.

Afghanistan is at a decisive juncture in its history and it is extremely important for the Allies to help improve the situation there including with respect to the training of the Afghan security forces that are supposed to take over from ISAF, the US Secretary of the Navy pointed out in Sofia.

“The high-level meetings between Bulgaria and the USA underscore the importance of our relations,” Mabus commented with respect to last year’s visit in Sofia of then CIA head and current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the recent visit in Bulgaria by Secret Service head Marc Sullivan, and the talks that Bulgaria’s Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov had in the USA recently.

Bulgaria’s Defense Minister Angelov and the US Navy Secretary have praised the effects of the joint military drills of the Bulgarian and US armed forces.

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Georgia: U.S. Congressional Delegation To Reaffirm Support Against Russia

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/georgia/1960029.html

Trend News Agency
November 22, 2011

U.S. Congress delegation arrives in Georgia
N. Kirtzkhalia

Tbilisi: A delegation of U.S. congressmen will visit Georgia on Tuesday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze stated in the traditional briefing that the three-day visit will come as the seventh visit of the U.S. congressmen and reaffirm U.S. support of Georgia.

The U.S. Congress plans to adopt in January a statement in support of Georgia. The document, which will be similar to the previous U.S. Senate resolution, will recognize the occupation of Georgia’s territory by Russia and call Russia to an immediate de-occupation.

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Two NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/2-NATO-troops-killed-in-southern-Afghanistan-2280146.php

Associated Press
November 22, 2011

2 NATO troops killed in southern Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan: Two NATO service members were killed in southern Afghanistan…the coalition said Tuesday.

One service member died in an insurgent attack and the other was killed in a roadside bombing. No other details were disclosed about the deaths, which occurred on Monday.

According to an Associated Press tally, 512 international troops have been killed so far this year in Afghanistan. At least 382 of those killed were Americans.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Zuhair: Accursed thing, war will grind you between millstones

November 22, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Zuhair/Zuhayr (520-609)
From The Poem of Zuhair
Translated by F. E. Johnson

“And war is not but what you have learnt it to be, and
what you have experienced, and what is said concerning it,
is not a story based on suppositions.

“When you stir it up, you will stir it up as an accursed
thing, and it will become greedy when you excite its greed
and it will rage fiercely.

“Then it will grind you as the grinding of the upper millstone
against the lower…”

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO news: November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011 1 comment

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Canada Transfers Warship From NATO’s Libya War To NATO’s Active Endeavor

Canada Orders Warships To Stay In Mediterranean

Canada Eyes Role In NATO Action Against Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Decries West’s Global Provocation In Syria

Syria: Arab League Provides Pretext For Western Military Intervention

U.S. Works Through NATO, Gulf Cooperation Council In Euro-Mediterranean Region

George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group Arrives In Mediterranean

“Time Has Come”: Israeli Defense Minister Calls For Actions Against Iran

Caspian Sea: U.S. Navy Secretary In Azerbaijan

Africa Command Chief: Troops To Stay In Central Africa

Troops In Uganda: Is U.S. After Joseph Kony – Or Oil?

United Arab Emirates, Gulf Cooperation Council To Aid Kenyan-Ethiopian Fighting In Somalia

NATO Soldier Killed In Southern Afghanistan

Balochistan: At Least Three NATO Tankers Burned

Bali: U.S. Expeditionary Strike Group Arrives In Indonesia

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Canada Transfers Warship From NATO’s Libya War To NATO’s Active Endeavor

http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/11/20/canada-to-maintain-mediterranean-naval-presence-through-2012-mackay/

National Post
November 20, 2011

Canada to maintain Mediterranean naval presence through 2012: MacKay
By Lee Berthiaume

-HMCS Vancouver, which was recently involved in NATO’s air-and-sea campaign against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in Libya, will be reassigned to NATO’s Operation Active Endeavour until early 2012, the minister said. It will then be relived by the HMCS Charlottetown, which will remain in the region until the end of the year.

HALIFAX: The Conservative government will post a naval frigate in the Mediterranean through the end of next year to ensure a Canadian presence in the region, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Sunday.

“Having a frigate in the Mediterranean, in my view, is a signal to our allies that Canada continues its leadership role on the world stage,” MacKay told reporters at the end of a major three-day defence conference.

HMCS Vancouver, which was recently involved in NATO’s air-and-sea campaign against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in Libya, will be reassigned to NATO’s Operation Active Endeavour until early 2012, the minister said. It will then be relived by the HMCS Charlottetown, which will remain in the region until the end of the year.

Operation Active Endeavour is a decade-long…mission in the Mediterranean that was established after 9/11.

While MacKay said the frigates’ primary responsibility will be to locate and board vessels suspected of being linked to terrorism, he said they will be available in the event the situation in Syria spirals further out of control.

“There’s no question having a ship in the region in the event that Canadians need direct assistance or evacuation (from Syria) gives us that utility, gives us that capability to respond should certain things transpire,” he said.

Syria was a major issue of discussion among the 300 high-level delegates from 39 countries who gathered in Halifax over the weekend to talk about world defence and security issues.

Key officials here over the weekend appeared unclear on the best way to proceed. Most agreed that the Arab League’s decision to suspend Syria and press for the deployment of monitors to ensure Assad’s forces stopped their crackdown was a positive development.

They also criticized China and Russia for blocking the adoption of strong measures at the UN Security Council.

U.S. Senator John McCain noted Saturday that opponents of Assad’s regime now include breakaway elements of the Syrian military, and he predicted the violence will only increase as a result.

When asked what the international community can do, McCain said it should recognize the opposition Syrian National Council, but then pointed to ongoing meetings and dialogue between the Obama administration and officials in Turkey and other countries in the region.

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Canada Orders Warships To Stay In Mediterranean

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gsKlbM2YWn40vYd1ebwGCBLWA7Vw?docId=CNG.360c84408fa25159d81d78fd77f0edd2.1a1

Agence France-Presse
November 20, 2011

Canada orders warships to stay in Mediterranean

HALIFAX, Canada: Canada will maintain warships in the Mediterranean Sea until the end of 2012, Defense Minister Peter MacKay announced Sunday.

The HMCS Vancouver frigate was originally deployed as part of NATO’s mission in Libya. It will remain in the Mediterranean Sea until early 2012, when it will be relieved by the HMCS Charlottetown, MacKay said.

…MacKay also said “there’s no question having a ship in the region… gives us the capability to respond should certain things transpire” in Syria or other hotspots.

…MacKay speculated that “further action will be required,” noting Canada was in talks with its allies over the crisis.

The 134-meter (440-feet) HMCS Vancouver has a complement of 225 sailors and a Sea King helicopter on deck.

From August to the end of the NATO mission in Libya last month, it patrolled the waters off the embattled Libyan ports of Misrata, Tripoli, Tobruk and Sirte with other allied warships.

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Canada Eyes Role In NATO Action Against Syria

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-eyes-military-role-in-syria-if-diplomacy-sanctions-fail/article2242729/

Globe and Mail
November 20, 2011

Canada eyes military role in Syria if diplomacy, sanctions fail
By Steven Chase and Les Perreaux

-Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak suggested Mr. Assad’s downfall is well underway and may be complete without much Western help…“There is an acceleration toward the end of the regime. The signals are there. It’s good, not just for Israel but the entire Middle East.”

OTTAWA AND HALIFAX: Canada is prepared to join international military intervention in Syria if sanctions and diplomacy fail but says such a decision by the United Nations is neither imminent nor inevitable.

The Harper government, however, announced Sunday it would keep a patrol frigate in the Mediterranean region until 2013 – a ship that gives Canada an asset to contribute to a naval blockade of Syria should the need ever arise.

The Conservative government said HMCS Vancouver, which helped patrol the waters off Libya, will remain in the region as part of a NATO counter-terrorism effort [sic], Operation Endeavour, until relieved by HMCS Charlottetown in early 2012.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay, who warned this past weekend of the dangers of creating a “world police” force that is tasked with righting wrongs around the world, told journalists Sunday that Ottawa would nevertheless be ready for whatever is asked of it.

He told CTV’s Question Period that Canada’s armed forces are “prepared for all inevitabilities” but said in the case of Syria, there are a “cascading number of [international] sanctions that would have to happen before there would be any type of intervention.”

Asked if he would take military intervention against Syria off the table, Canada’s defence minister told Global TV’s The West Block that he would not.

The generals and defence ministers who met at the Halifax forum on the weekend shared many congratulatory slaps on the back for their role in [pverthrowing and murdering] Mr. Gadhafi.

Senator John McCain said he favours recognizing Syria’s transitional council, a move favoured by Mr. Ziadeh and a number of other experts. Sen. McCain also called on Russia and China to join in sanctions.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak suggested Mr. Assad’s downfall is well underway and may be complete without much Western help.

“I think that (Assad) went beyond the point of no return, there’s no way he will resume his authority or legitimacy over his people,” Mr. Barak said during an on-stage interview at the forum.

The Saudi king has directly criticized Mr. Assad and Turkey, one of Syria’s biggest trading partners, have steadily increased pressure.

“There is an acceleration toward the end of the regime. The signals are there. It’s good, not just for Israel but the entire Middle East.”

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Russian Foreign Minister Decries West’s Global Provocation In Syria

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/277538.html

Itar-Tass
November 21, 2011

Situation in Syria can lead to destabilisation in Arab world – Lavrov

MOSCOW: The situation in Syria can lead to destabilisation of the situation in other Arab countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

After the talks with his Kazakhstani counterpart Yerzhan Kazykhanov on Monday, Lavrov said, “Tension continues to heighten in the region. The public stirs up in Egypt. Disorders have begun in Bahrain. Attacks on government buildings have been made in Kuwait.”

“I don’t rule out that these processes are conditioned by the atmosphere that is being created in Syria when certain foreign players call on the Syrian opposition not to start dialogue with the authorities,” the minister said. At the same time, he noted, “Foreign countries’ policy towards Syria gives in to the temptation by neighbouring states in order to use the situation for their benefit and stir up tension in their states.”

Lavrov said he is hopeful that the countries of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference “will take a responsible approach while other states will also act in a very responsible way, in compliance with the norms of international law under which the peoples themselves should decide on their fate”.

Lavrov said the West’s and the Middle East’s calls for overthrowing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad looked like a global provocation.

“Western colleagues want the U.N. Security Council to hold discussions on the protection of civilians in Syria. Our position is that Russia backed the LAS initiative, which envisages ceasing violence whatsoever it came from and deploying observers of Arab countries, and to intensify the dialogue between Syrians themselves on ways towards democratic reforms,” Lavrov said.

In his view, in order to stop violence it is necessary to convince Syrian authorities and armed groups, who are trying to use peaceful protests to instigate violence, to give up disproportionate use of force. “A certain Liberation Army has emerged in Syria. It created a military interim council, which proclaimed itself the supreme military power and set the task of overthrowing the regime in Syria. Certain Western capitals believe that military actions by Syrian detectors prove the democratic aspirations of the people,” he said.

“If democracy is interpreted as grenade-launcher attacks on the buildings of the Baath Party and on administrative facilities, Moscow cannot agree with this.

“Both the authorities and armed groups, who penetrated into the Syrian opposition, should be pressured to cease violence,” Lavrov said on Monday.

“Till now we’ve watched, when the LAS called for ceasing violence and starting a dialogue, Western capitals and certain countries of the Middle East region back calls for advising the opposition to avoid such dialogue,” the Russian minister said. “This looks like a global provocation,” Lavrov stressed.

“If everyone wants to give Syrians an opportunity to exercise their right to decide their fate themselves, it is necessary to take a fair and responsible approach,” the minister stressed.

Commenting on the request to ensure the security of peaceful civilians, Lavrov noted, “Everyone remembers the events that preceded the Libyan tragedy. It’s this slogan that had been used by those who grossly violated the U.N. Security Council resolutions by delivering missile strikes instead of protecting peaceful civilians,” he said, adding, “So, the most important right – the right to life – was infringed upon.”

“One must not admit abuse of and outrage upon international law,” Lavrov said.

Russia believes that the League of Arab States initiative on the settlement in Syria should be concretised, Lavrov said.

Lavrov said Russia wanted LAS observers and foreign mass media to work in Syria. “We uphold an idea of involving unbiased observers in the settlement. We also want mass media to get open access to Syria,” the Russian minister said. “The idea of sending LAS observers to Syria is not new. The LAS put forth this initiative on November 2. We actively supported this idea,” he stressed.

“We can note many contradictory facts about the events in the country. The presence of observers, like as of journalists, would help clarify the situation,” Lavrov pointed out.

He also said, “Several days ago the Syrian government agreed to accept LAS observers and allow them access to any area of the country.”

Russia urges Syrian authorities and the opposition to start talks as soon as possible, Lavrov said. The talks are expected to take place at the LAS headquarters in Cairo, the minister said. “We believe it necessary to send LAS observers to Syria in order to keep a close watch on the fulfilment of obligations by all parties,” he stressed.

“We think that it is necessary to start talks on the peaceful settlement in Syria by all parties. It is important to organise such talks at the LAS headquarters in Cairo,” Lavrov pointed out.

“This is not our fantasy. These are components that the LAS initiative contains. But we believe that they should be concretised,” the minister said.

The events in Syria resemble a real civil war, he added. “The LAS initiative of November 2 [we supported this initiative] contains several components. The first point is that it is necessary to stop violence wheresoever it comes from. It is important because violence in Syria comes not only from government structures,” the minister said.

“Today I’ve watched television commentaries saying a new force – the Liberated Syrian Army – organised attacks on government buildings, i.e.  buildings owned by the Syrian Armed Forces. This resembles a real civil war,” Lavrov noted.

“The LAS position on the need to cease violence wherever it came from requires details and concrete facts. In order to realise the Arab initiative we call on all interested parties to demand the Syrian authorities and the opposition stop violence. This should be done on behalf of the LAS and on behalf of the countries where the opposition works,” Lavrov stressed.

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Syria: Arab League Provides Pretext For Western Military Intervention

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/21/c_131260752.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 21, 2011

Syrian president says AL rejection of amendments provides cover for West’s intervention

DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accused the Arab League (AL) of trying to internationalize the crisis in his country to find a cover for a foreign military intervention in Syria, as the latter rebuffed Damascus’ proposals regarding regional observers’ monitoring mission to Syria.

During an interview with the British Sunday Times published Sunday, al-Assad said that the AL initiative was aimed at giving the international community an excuse to meddle in his country.

“It’s been done to show that there’s a problem between the Arabs, thus providing western countries with a pretext to conduct a military intervention against Syria,” he was quoted as saying.

He, however, warned that the consequence of any such intervention would be an earthquake that would shake the entire Middle East.

The AL rejected on Sunday Syria’s proposed modifications on the mission of a 500-member delegation to visit the country, saying that the proposals introduced “drastic changes” to the mission of the observers.

The Syrian proposals changed the nature of the mission’s task that aims to solve the Syrian crisis and protect civilians, the AL said in a statement.

But Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem accused shortly after the AL’s rejection that the regional body of being used as a tool to take the Syrian crisis to the UN Security Council.

He, however, said that “I will reply to the AL Secretary General’s message and I will ask a group of questions that are based on our national sovereignty and that have emerged from our desire to clarify the reality of the monitoring mission and how to assure its members’ safety, because, the protocol ignores the coordination with the Syrian side.”

The AL suspended Syria’s membership Wednesday in Rabat of Morocco, citing its failure to honor an agreed-upon peace plan that called on the Syrian leadership to withdraw the government’s tanks from the streets and release political prisoners in addition to halt attacks against civilians.

It also issued a draft deal to send an Arab mission of 500 observers to monitor the situation in Syria from the ground and gave the Syrian government three days to sign it.

The Syrian government has proposed modifications to the AL just inside given the three-day deadline. Media reports claimed that Syria has accepted the observers’ visit but asked for a smaller delegation.

Al-Assad’s administration is facing swelling international pressures to end his alleged crackdown on anti-regime movement, and internally as alleged army defectors have been carrying out assaults against security and army bases.

The AL said on Sunday that it will hold an emergency meeting of foreign ministers in Cairo on Thursday to continue discussions on the Syrian crisis.

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U.S. Works Through NATO, Gulf Cooperation Council In Euro-Mediterranean Region

http://gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/end-to-unilateralism-1.934113

Gulf News
November 21, 2011

End to unilateralism
Americans will not abandon their interests in the Euro-Med region but will seek to protect them by indirect involvement
By Ayman Mustafa

[Excerpts]

-Working more through Nato to protect American interests in Euro Med region is consistent with the new trend of internal-focussing rather than foreign outreach at a time of American economic hardship. That would definitely give way to some peripheral powers such as France or Turkey or even small regional ones like Qatar to play a role — even within the American framework.

US President Barack Obama went home from ailing Europe — after attending the G20 summit at the start of November — to start an Asian-Pacific campaign by hosting Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit.

After Apec, he embarked on a week-long tour of Australia and Asia. In Australia, he boosted American military presence, a few hundred miles from Asia. Though the expected permanent military presence in Australia is small compared to American bases in Japan and South Korea, it’s symbolic of US intent to counterbalance China and its influence in the Pacific Rim.

The Americans are keen to group the Pacific Rim into a trade bloc that might, along with Africa, relieve the pain of US economy resulting from a faltering Europe. The military boost in Australia is intended to diffuse the impact of military withdrawal from Iraq and soon from Afghanistan.

[D]isengagement does not mean the Americans are abandoning their interests in the region [the Middle East]. They are just seeking to protect it by means other than direct involvement — especially military involvement.

Europe’s problems

Though American warships are still in the Gulf, troops and armour scattered in other parts of the Arabian Peninsula, direct action is no longer an option.

The war on Libya to topple Muammar Gaddafi’s regime was left to Nato and some Arabs, and the American involvement was part of Nato’s. Now in Syria, it’s totally left to Arabs to do the job. Even if Iran is to be attacked, it’ll be Israel in the lead.

Economically, Europe is becoming a source of anxiety for the Americans. The US has got a sovereign debt problem not much less than that of the Eurozone. American financial institutions, especially money-market funds, are heavily exposed to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. Disengagement is not simple, but US has to hedge itself against any contagion from Europe.

Seeking alternative trade partners in Asia and Africa can’t replace the role of Europe in American foreign trade and economic cooperation. Yet, it might be a good hedge, if Europe managed to overcome its problems and prevent a global double-dip recession.

Working more through Nato to protect American interests in Euro Med region is consistent with the new trend of internal-focussing rather than foreign outreach at a time of American economic hardship. That would definitely give way to some peripheral powers such as France or Turkey or even small regional ones like Qatar to play a role — even within the American framework.

Dr Ayman Mustafa is a London-based Arab writer.

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George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group Arrives In Mediterranean

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=63928

U.S. Navy
November 20, 2011

USS George H.W. Bush Arrives in 6th Fleet
By Mass Communication Specialist Third Class (SW/AW) Greg Wilhelmi, USS George H.W. Bush Public Affairs

MEDITERRANEAN SEA: Aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), along with embarked squadrons and staffs of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22, arrived in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), Nov. 20.

George H.W. Bush completed five months of combat operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet AOR and was relieved by USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).

While in the Mediterranean Sea, George H.W. Bush will conduct a full range of maritime operations and theater security cooperation efforts in concert with coalition, joint, interagency and other partners to improve operational proficiency, and maintain maritime safety and security.

The ship will continue through the Mediterranean Sea and make its seventh scheduled port visit on its return to homeport in Norfolk.

George H.W. Bush departed from Norfolk May 11, for a regularly scheduled deployment as part of the ongoing rotation of forward-deployed forces to support maritime security operations and operate in international waters across the globe, along with other coalition maritime forces.

George H. W. Bush is the flag ship of George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWB CSG). Additional ships deployed with the strike group are guided-missile cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG 64) and USS Anzio (CG 68), and the guided-missile destroyers of Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22 – USS Truxtun (DDG 103) and USS Mitscher (DDG 57).

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“Time Has Come”: Israeli Defense Minister Calls For Actions Against Iran

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/21/c_122309411.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 21, 2011

Israeli defense minister calls for actions against Iran

WASHINGTON: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday called for actions against Iran to stop it from acquiring nuclear weapons, saying “the time had come.”

However, he declined to say directly whether his country would attack Iran, noted “I don’t think that that is a subject for public discussion.”

“But I can tell you that the IAEA report has a sobering impact on many in the world leaders, as well as the publics, and people understand that the time had come,” he told the CNN TV network in an interview.

He was referring to the report released on Nov. 8 by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which outlined alleged activities pointing to clandestine nuclear bombs making by Iran, prompting the U.S. and some European nations to mull expanded sanctions on the Middle East country.

Days before the release of the IAEA report, Israeli media reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Barak were seeking cabinet support for a military strike on Iran.

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Caspian Sea: U.S. Navy Secretary In Azerbaijan

http://en.trend.az/news/politics/1959784.html

Trend News Agency
November 21, 2011

Azerbaijani President receives U.S. Secretary of Navy

Baku: President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has today received the United States Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus.

During the meeting, they expressed satisfaction with development of bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and U.S. in various fields.

The parties underlined that the two countries were successfully cooperating in the military field for many years.

They expressed confidence that these relations would continue to expand.
U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus praised the participation of Azerbaijan in the international peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan and the role of the country in the provision of transport for international peacekeepers.

They also discussed security, energy and transport security issues between Azerbaijan and the United States.

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Africa Command Chief: Troops To Stay In Central Africa

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/general-us-troops-uganda-mission-likely-to-last-until-rebel-leader-is-caught/2011/11/18/gIQAOKeScN_story.html

Washington Post
November 20, 2011

General: U.S. troops’ Uganda mission likely to last until rebel leader is caught
By Craig Whitlock and Greg Jaffe

-It is the largest deployment of U.S. forces to an African conflict zone since Marines landed in Liberia in 2003.

About 100 U.S. troops President Obama ordered to Uganda last month to help crush the…Lord’s Resistance Army will probably remain deployed until the group’s leader is captured or dead, according to the top U.S. commander for Africa.

Army Gen. Carter F. Ham, the head of the U.S. military’s Africa Command, said most of the American forces have landed in Uganda and are beginning to coordinate the efforts of four central African countries as they comb a huge expanse of jungle for Joseph Kony, the…founder of the Lord’s Resistance Army….

Obama administration officials have been vague about how long U.S. forces will remain in central Africa…

Ham said the plan is to keep troops in the region until Kony is killed or brought to justice.

“That’s the mission,” Ham said in an interview during a visit to Washington last week.

…Kony and his ***core group of about 250 fighters*** have dodged their pursuers by retreating to jungle hideouts across central Africa.

A smaller group of U.S. military advisers assisted a previous Ugandan-led offensive against the Lord’s Resistance Army in late 2008 and early 2009…

It is the largest deployment of U.S. forces to an African conflict zone since Marines landed in Liberia in 2003.

Ham said that most of the U.S. forces are based in Uganda but that a “small number” are working at a joint operations center in the Democratic Republic of the Congo…Ham said U.S. trainers will…formaliz[e] communications links among the regional forces.

Ham and other U.S. officials have said they believe Kony and his senior deputies are in the Central African Republic.

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Troops In Uganda: Is U.S. After Joseph Kony – Or Oil?

http://bostonglobe.com/opinion/2011/11/19/ugandans-wonder-after-kony-oil/RsLO6lx7ShWe6J7PfcYuhP/story.html

Boston Globe
November 19, 2011

Ugandans wonder: Is US after Kony, or oil?
By Jackee Budesta Batanda

-The Obama administration’s use of military action ignores, undermines, and unravels the work of local players seeking to end the conflict through the resumption of peace talks. Previous military interventions have always resulted in retaliatory attacks on the communities where the rebels have operated.

Ugandans greeted President Obama’s decision last month to deploy 100 US military advisers to central Africa to assist in the manhunt for rebel leader Joseph Kony with mixed feelings. Immediately, social media outlets were abuzz with the fear that the United States was only interested in Uganda’s nascent oil sector.

In addition, Obama’s announcement could not have come at a worse time in Uganda’s political history. The country has been rocked by corruption scandals in the oil sector, with parliament calling for the country’s ministers to resign while it investigated charges that they took bribes from a British oil company. The scandal also exposed the deepening rift within the ruling National Resistance Movement government, which has been in power for over 26 years, as well as the public’s dissatisfaction at the corruption-marred “liberation government.’’

Many people questioned why America was giving support now, when it could have intervened much earlier in the fight against Kony’s guerrilla group, the Lord’s Resistance Army, or LRA, which is accused of widespread atrocities…

Peace activists on the ground are skeptical of a move that seems to champion military approaches over finding peaceful resolutions to the conflicts. Stephen Oola, a Kampala-based human rights lawyer and interim coordinator of the Advisory Consortium on Conflict Sensitivity, said, “it is unfortunate that President Obama’s first tangible action under the LRA Disarmament Act is to send military advisers instead of a credible peace delegation. It is a typical Washington solution.’’

Since 2008, the US government has invested more than $40 million to help hunt down Kony, who remains on the run and continues to commit atrocities in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Oola credits the current peace in Northern Uganda as a direct result of the peace talks held in 2006, and sees peace processes as a more viable option to military efforts.

Ugandans remember other unsuccessful military campaigns – backed with US money – that the Ugandan army has embarked upon in trying to take out Kony. They question how effective this new strategy will be.

In terms of the impact of the US deployment of troops, Oola asks, “What message is the American government sending to Ugandans disgruntled by the regime’s performance? I have no doubt in my mind that for many Ugandans, if there is a need for America’s help, it would be to get rid of corrupt government officials siphoning billions of shillings in oil contracts to their foreign bank accounts, [not] for advisers to hunt Joseph Kony and his abductees.’’

The Obama administration’s use of military action ignores, undermines, and unravels the work of local players seeking to end the conflict through the resumption of peace talks. Previous military interventions have always resulted in retaliatory attacks on the communities where the rebels have operated. What will this intervention do differently to ensure that there are limited civilian casualties?

Jackee Budesta Batanda is the 2011-2012 IWMF Elizabeth Neuffer fellow at the Center for International Studies at MIT. Follow her on Twitter @jackeebatanda.

====

United Arab Emirates, Gulf Cooperation Council To Aid Kenyan-Ethiopian Fighting In Somalia

http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/InsidePage.php?id=2000047026&cid=4&ttl=Somalia:%20Kibaki%20seeks%20support%20from%20Arab%20world

The Standard (Kenya)
November 21, 2011

Somalia: Kibaki seeks support from Arab world

President Kibaki is wooing Arab support for Operation Linda Nchi against Al Shabaab…

Kibaki will be adding his voice to that of Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula who has been on a diplomatic offensive in the Middle East.

The President flew out on Sunday for a four-day official visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is seen as crucial in the Arab world.

Even though a statement from State House said Kibaki would hold bilateral talks with the President of UAE who is also the ruler of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed, insiders said he is also there to seek their support for the ongoing offensive.

The President will later hold talks with the Prime Minister of UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashid Al Makhtoum and later meet the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed.

He will open Kenya’s Consulate General in Dubai and conclude his tour with an address to the Kenyan Diaspora in UAE.

On Saturday, Mr Lindsay Kiptiness, the Deputy Director, Horn of Africa Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Kenya had rallied the international community behind the military operation and that a crucial statement will come from the Arab world this week.

“Expect something to come from the Arab world before the end of the week,” said Kiptiness.

Well-placed security sources said there were initially concerns that the engagement of the Israeli government to strengthen the response ability of the Kenya Police Force could have sent wrong signals to the Arab world.

But on Sunday, a senior Government official dispelled the fears and said the Government was working with all countries it considers friends of Kenya. The assurance came despite media reports that sharp divisions had emerged in Government over the security deal Prime Minister Raila Odinga sealed with the Israeli government.

The KDF is working with Somali militias in what appears to be an effort to push Al Shabaab away from the border and possibly out of the lucrative port of Kismayu.

The question of whether or not Ethiopia has inserted troops into Somalia looms large as the operation to flush out Al Shabaab continues.

Dismissed reports

Although the Addis Ababa-based government of President Meles Zenawi has vehemently dismissed the reports as “absolutely not true”, independent witnesses claim to have spotted Ethiopian troops.

Regardless, the presence of Ethiopia would sandwitch Al Shabaab between its troops and those of Kenya and Somalia, including militia friendly to the Addis Ababa regime.

The operation against the insurgents by the KDF and troops of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) enters a crucial phase this week with credible reports that an attack on the strategic Kismayu port is imminent.

Local elders told French news agency AFP that several hundred Ethiopian troops crossed into southern and central Somalia on Saturday.

Since its withdrawal from Somalia in 2009, Ethiopia has kept a wary eye over its border with Somalia due to an ongoing insurgency in its Ogaden region, where its troops are battling rebels of the Ogaden National Liberation Front.

“There are several hundred Ethiopian troops here in lorries and some armoured vehicles too,” said elder Abdi Ibrahim Warsame, speaking by telephone from Gurel town, in Somalia’s central Galgudud region.

Ethiopian forces were also reported in the Hiran region at the town of Beledweyne, some 30km (18 miles) into Somalia, an area where militia supporting the TFG are battling Al Shabaab…

“They are here, the Ethiopian soldiers in trucks have reached Beledweyne with many forces,” said elder Ahmed Liban.

Ethiopia pulled out three years later, but left a scarred and lawless country over which the TFG…has struggled to extend its authority, until the recent entry of Kenyan troops.

AU officials and members of the regional peacekeeping body, Igad, held talks last week on bolstering the 9,700-strong African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).

Kenya has also offered troops for the force. Sources told The Standard yesterday there is a build up of military personnel in the southern sector of Jubaland, which is near the Kismayu port.

“We are now entering the second phase of the operation and that is the most crucial point of the exercise for the military,” said the source based in the military. Al Shabaab militants have a huge military arsenal positioned at strategic positions in the southern Somali town with reports indicating they had mounted anti-aircraft launchers on tall buildings.

Other residents told the Reuters news agency that the Ethiopians had set up a base in Guriel and moved troops to other towns nearby.

Residents and officials in northeast Kenya said that Ethiopian troops had also crossed through their towns and taken up positions near bases from where the Kenyan military is launching its offensive.

Some analysts say Ethiopia may want to take advantage of Al Shabaab’s withdrawal from the capital Mogadishu in August to wipe out a group it sees as a threat to its stability.

…Other people in the area, including some Ethiopian businessmen, told Reuters that Ethiopian army officers had been meeting elders in central Somalia for weeks.

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NATO Soldier Killed In Southern Afghanistan

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2011-11/21/content_14134322.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 21, 2011

One NATO soldier killed in S Afghanistan

KABUL: A soldier with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed in a blast in restive Afghanistan’s southern region on Sunday, the military alliance confirmed on Monday.

“An International Security Assistance Force service member died following an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in southern Afghanistan yesterday,” ISAF said in a statement.

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

Troops mainly from the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia have been stationed in the restive southern Afghan provinces within the framework of ISAF to fight Taliban militants there.

Taliban insurgents have stepped up their attacks on Afghan and NATO-led troops since a spring rebel offensive was launched in May this year in the insurgency-hit country.

Over 520 NATO soldiers, most of them Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan since beginning this year.

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Balochistan: At Least Three NATO Tankers Burned

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/11/20/nato-supply-vehicles-set-alight-balochistan

Pajhwok Afghan News
November 20, 2011

NATO supply vehicles set alight in Balochistan
By Hijratullah Kharoti

QUETTA: Three NATO supply vehicles were burnt in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Baluchistan near the Afghan border on Sunday afternoon, an official said.

Four assailants on motorbikes set fire to the NATO containers in the Dasht area of Mastung district, police officer Mohabbat Khan told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The containers were destroyed but there were no causalities, he said.

The NATO supply containers were on their way from the port city of Karachi to Afghanistan, he added. After gunfire, the attackers sprinkled petrol on the vehicle and set them alight. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
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http://en.rian.ru/world/20111120/168871799.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 20, 2011

Militants burn at least three tankers of fuel for NATO in Pakistan

NEW DELHI: Unidentified gunmen attacked a convoy of NATO oil tankers in Pakistan headed to Afghanistan and burned at least three of them, the Nation newspaper reported on Sunday.

The accidents occurred in the Dasht area, south western Balochistan Province. The extremists drove there on motorcycles and opened fire on trucks with automatic weapons, causing a fire. No one was injured during the attack.

The military immediately cordoned off the area and drove the place for the attackers.

Attacks on fuel trucks have become common in Pakistan as militants try to cut off supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan.

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Bali: U.S. Expeditionary Strike Group Arrives In Indonesia

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=63926

U.S. Navy
November 20, 2011

USS Essex, Stethem Arrive in Bali
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eva-Marie Ramsaran

BALI, Indonesia: Amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) and guided missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) arrived in Bali, Indonesia, Nov. 20, for a port visit during their deployment to the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean.

During the visit, Fluker and the commander of Amphibious Squadron 11, Capt. Bradley Lee, will host an evening reception on the flight deck for Balinese dignitaries.

Essex departed its forward deployed port of Sasebo, Japan, Sept. 21, for a patrol of the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean. Since leaving Japan, Essex and the embarked 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) has completed a Marine certification exercise and participated in Amphibious Landing Exercise (PHIBLEX) with the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Essex also embarked four officers from the Indonesian navy, marine corps and air force to serve as liaison officers to build relationships and exchange ideas about how the two militaries could work together in the future.

The Essex Expeditionary Strike Group consists of Essex and Stethem which report to Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Rear Adm. J. Scott Jones, who is headquartered in Okinawa, Japan.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Dylan Thomas: The Hand That Signed the Paper

November 21, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Dylan Thomas
The Hand That Signed the Paper (1936)

The hand that signed the paper felled a city;
Five sovereign fingers taxed the breath,
Doubled the globe of dead and halved a country;
These five kings did a king to death.

The mighty hand leads to a sloping shoulder,
The finger joints are cramped with chalk;
A goose’s quill has put an end to murder
That put an end to talk.

The hand that signed the treaty bred a fever,
And famine grew, and locusts came;
Great is the hand that holds dominion over
Man by a scribbled name.

The five kings count the dead but do not soften
The crusted wound nor stroke the brow;
A hand rules pity as a hand rules heaven;
Hands have no tears to flow.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO news: November 20, 2011

November 20, 2011 Leave a comment

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Obama Doctrine, Expanding NATO Zone And Potential Opposition

American Elites Mulling How To “Take China Down”

U.S., NATO Repeat Of Libyan Model In Iran, Syria Not So Simple: Chinese Analyst

Over 3,000 Afghans Protest Against Long-Term U.S. Military Presence

Ethiopian Troops Invade Somalia

Syria: Western Military Attack Will Destabilize Entire Middle East

Kazakhstan Warns Against Repeating NATO Libyan War In Syria

Turkish Activists Protest NATO Missile System

United Arab Emirates To Be Provided First Advanced Missile Interceptors Outside U.S.

Georgia: U.S. To Install New Radar Systems, Upgrade Navy

Germany: NATO Holds Tenth Baltic Aerial Warfare Training Events

Saakashvili Erects Monument To Reagan In Georgian Capital

BRICs Set To Overcome U.S.: Goldman Sachs Chairman

Tolstoy Commemorated On 101st Anniversary Of His Death

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Obama Doctrine, Expanding NATO Zone And Potential Opposition

http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist-263355-the-obama-doctrine-nato-and-turkey.html

Today’s Zaman
November 20, 2011

The Obama Doctrine, NATO and Turkey
Gokhan Bacik

-It would not be wrong to describe the huge area from Spain to eastern Turkey, including North Africa, as the “NATO zone.” NATO is the most important rule-maker in this large geographical area. This colossal and still-expanding zone transforms the traditional diplomacy and strategy of the West. The present-day NATO reminds us that, as in the early ’50s, NATO is working to consolidate its zones of influence.
-However, there is one important question here: Where is the anti-NATO zone being formed? Soon, states like China, insecure about what is happening in the Middle East, will react. This reaction will determine the new politico-tectonics of global politics.

The US has spent more than $4 trillion on the Iraqi War. It is argued that more than 4,000 American soldiers have been killed. The number of civilian deaths is not less than 250,000. In other words, US foreign policy under the Bush Doctrine was a kind of disaster. It was very costly, and bloody. Worse, it ruined US prestige in the Muslim world. Yet, the usual pace of US foreign policy was also very slow, so much so that it tended to take decades for it to realize anything.

But things are different today. In sharp contrast, the former regimes and rulers of Libya, Tunisia and Egypt were ousted in less than eight months. I am not saying that the US was behind the Arab Spring, but the US successfully oriented it to move in line with US interests. US-educated academic Abdurrahim El-Keib was appointed the new Libyan prime minister. Prominent Ennahda figures have been talking positively of the US. Since President Harry Truman, with the mild exception of Bill Clinton’s time, it is only now that the US has acquired the capacity to generate some level of soft power in the Middle East. Consequently, the US is now forming effective coalitions with states such as Turkey and France on the matter of the Arab Spring, as well as with the various factions of the opposition, including Islamists and seculars. All such developments make it possible to talk about a new doctrine prevailing in US foreign policy: the Obama Doctrine.

One can identify certain characteristics of the Obama Doctrine, such as (1) the prioritizing of the domestic opposition: Unlike in the past, foreign intervention is no longer the “agent” of regime change. Instead, that agent is now support for the domestic opposition. This support, we are all sure, includes military issues as well. (2) Rapid contact with the opposition: This contact quickly ends up as official recognition of the opposition as the new-regime. (3) There is room for Islamist groups: Some effort is made to persuade them that they will not be excluded. (4) Keeping the Israeli profile lower: Israel is still very influential, but it is no secret that Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu hate each other. The Obama Doctrine does not constitute a serious deviation from the traditional American-Jewish alliance. However, it certainly requires Israel to maintain a low profile while Arab politics heat up. (5) Using Arab politics to exclude or isolate Russia, China and Iran in the Middle East: The shadow agenda of excluding these states coincides with all major issues on the US agenda regarding Arab politics. (6) The return of NATO as an influential instrument.

The NATO issue deserves more attention. It would not be wrong to describe the huge area from Spain to eastern Turkey, including North Africa, as the “NATO zone.” NATO is the most important rule-maker in this large geographical area. This colossal and still-expanding zone transforms the traditional diplomacy and strategy of the West. The present-day NATO reminds us that, as in the early ’50s, NATO is working to consolidate its zones of influence. This rise of NATO is somehow about the failure of the EU in global politics. For instance, convinced of this failure, Turkey has upgraded its relations with the US and NATO. It is not surprising to see that, during the Arab Spring, the US and Turkey became close allies once again.

However, there is one important question here: Where is the anti-NATO zone being formed? Soon, states like China, insecure about what is happening in the Middle East, will react. This reaction will determine the new politico-tectonics of global politics.

Although everything has gone almost well between Turkey and the US during the Arab Spring, Turkey may yet surprise the US when it comes to relations with the anti-NATO zone, notably with China. True, Turkey is historically part of the Western system. But it has also been the historic “zone broker” state. Thus, Turkey has been both part of one zone, and the contact broker for it and the other zone. Turkish foreign policy jargon – full of binaries such as “dialogue between East and West,” “Islam and the West,” “Iran and the West” – should be read as the language of a zone-brokering state.

Consistent with this, Turkey will seek to be the zone broker in the upcoming competition between NATO (mainly the US) and China, in order to profit from that competition.

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American Elites Mulling How To “Take China Down”

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/684720/US-elites-mulling-how-to-take-China-down.aspx

Global Times
November 19, 2011

US elites mulling how to ‘take China down’

China-bashing is nothing new in the ongoing race for the Republican presidential candidacy. Former Utah governor and US ambassador to China Jon Huntsman has decided to blaze a trail to attract public attention, unintentionally giving away a secret among US politicians.

China has 500 million Web users and 80 million bloggers, who “are bringing about change, the likes of which is going to take China down,” said the candidate in a CBS debate with candidate Mitt Romney. “We should be reaching out to our allies and constituencies within China.”

By “taking China down,” Huntsman described a rosy picture to the electorate: “We have an opportunity to go up and win back our economic manufacturing muscle. That’s all I want to do as president.”

Even taking into account the complexity of the context of the comment, “taking China down” should not be simply seen as a slip of tongue. It perhaps reflects the real thinking of many US political elites.

The Internet era has brought some change to China, and has led to all kinds of interpretations. Some people in China have made public their willingness to cooperate with anti-China forces in the West and do not even bother to conceal such intentions. Huntsman’s words show that some Western politicians have openly joined forces with them.

Chinese society has to make a decision when confronted with such encouragement to take down China from the outside.

If Huntsman’s wish to “take China down” continues to be integrated into US national policy and becomes a collective belief for Americans, and if they think the US will only fare well at the expense of China, the 21st century will hardly be a peaceful century – another Cold War may be the best we can expect.

The collapse of the Soviet Union was considered to have contributed to the prosperity of the US and its global hegemony. Now, Huntsman is encouraging Americans to bring about the disintegration and collapse of China’s current political system. He doesn’t care how risky it is for the US to do so or whether China will slide into chaos. What he wants is very simple: reinvigoration of the US and its economic manufacturing muscle.

Huntsman’s way of thinking gives us a clearer picture of the political wisdom and morality of the US presidential candidates. World peace and prosperity have no place on their agenda.

Perhaps Huntsman’s words can also serve as a blessing in disguise for the Chinese people. They let us know that some hostility from the outside cannot be dissolved by our good will. We must develop our own strength to break their wild ambition of “taking China down.”

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U.S., NATO Repeat Of Libyan Model In Iran, Syria Not So Simple: Chinese Analyst

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90780/7649601.html

China Military Online
November 18, 2011

Use of force in Iran, Syria not so simple
By Gao Jiquan
Edited and translated by People’s Daily Online

Beijing: Following the killing of Muammar Qaddafi, Western powers appear to be moving to tighten the rope around Syria and Iran. Signs evidently point to an impending attack against Syria and Iran.

Sun Lixin, an expert on the Middle East and vice director of the Research Center for Developing Countries under the China Institute of International Studies, said in an interview with People’s Daily that the use of force is not such a simple proposition, is not as easy, as it seems.

Difficult to copy ‘Libya pattern’

Reporter: Western countries are applying more and more pressure on Syria, and some have even forecasted that Syria would become the “second Libya.” What is your view?

Sun: It is difficult for the West to copy the “Libya pattern” when it comes to Syria.

Reporter: Why is it difficult?

Sun: For instance, prior to the use of force against Libya, the United States and other Western countries prompted the United Nations to pass U.N. Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973, which directly caused NATO to use force against Libya.

When the West attempted to use force against Syria through the United Nations, China and Russia voted against the proposal, which has at least made a repeat of the “Libya pattern” through normal procedures impossible.

Reporter: What are the differences between the regimes of Syria and Libya?

Sun: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad still enjoys considerable public support, so his regime remains relatively stable. By contrast, Muammar Gaddafi had lost international and domestic support before the Libyan civil war started. A case in point is the Arab League’s strong support for U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973.

In addition, Syria’s social structure is different from that of Libya. Libya is a tribal society, while Syria’s ruling Baath Party has a more solid social foundation for governing the country

Reporter: Will war break out in Syria and Iran?

Sun: I do not think Western countries will launch a war against Syria. First, Western countries put up a good front during the Libyan civil war. They appeared quite united but were actually riddled with insurmountable internal contradictions.

Second, Syria and Iran are much more powerful than Libya — not to mention their greater influence in the Middle East. After the International Atomic Energy Agency issued a damning report on Iran’s nuclear program, the United States took a tougher stance on Iran-related affairs, and senior officials including Hillary Clinton warned of a possible strike against the country. However, a war against Iran remains unlikely in the short term.

Reporter: It seems that the United States has been sharpening its knife to take military action against Iran since the International Atomic Energy Agency published the latest report on Iran’s nuclear issue. What is your opinion on this tense situation?

Sun: The situation has a background. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has fallen from power, which was a welcome sight for many Iranians because Mubarak was a pro-U.S. president and many Iranians feel that Iran has become freer in the Middle East after his downfall.

A short time ago, Iranian warships went through the Suez Canal for the first time in 32 years, and Iran is carrying out nuclear research in a high-profile way. Currently, the Middle East is turbulent, and the United States does not want Iran to benefit but wants to pressure and warn it. The point of penetration chosen by the United States is the nuclear issue.

Reporter: Can we say that the United States is currently aimed at warning Iran by pressuring it, but not overthrowing the Iranian government?

Sun: The United States’ main purpose is still to warn Iran, because it is still unable to overthrow the Iranian government. Of course, it wants to overthrow it because it hates it very much. The Islamic Revolution of 1979 changed Iran from an ally into an enemy to the United States. At that time, 52 U.S. diplomats were detained as hostages for 444 days, directly ruining the diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Reporter: The current chaotic situation in the Middle East makes many people believe that it will not be a question of whether or not the West will take military action, but a question of which the West will attack first: Syria or Iran.

Sun: I believe it is very hard for the West to take military action against Iran, especially at the current moment. Since the presidential election of United States will soon start in 2012, it is almost impossible for the United States to do it now. If the United States indeed takes the action now and the results are not ideal, the election will be ruined. Currently, there are a lot of economic and election issues on Obama’s schedule, and taking military action against Iran is a not thing that Obama will do as a priority.

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Over 3,000 Afghans Protest Against Long-Term U.S. Military Presence

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111120/168864182.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 20, 2011

Some 3,000 Afghans protest against long-term U.S. deal

KABUL: Over three thousand people, mostly students, protested on Sunday in eastern Afghanistan against a deal that would allow a long-term presence of U.S. troops in the country.

A gathering of some 2,000 tribal elders known as a loya jirga approved the idea of such a long-term partnership deal at a conference that ended on Saturday.

The demonstrators gathered near the capital of the eastern province of Nangarhar and shouted “Death to America! Death to the Government of Hamid Karzai!” to protest against any partnership with the United States allowing for the stay of U.S. troops in the country.

All international combat troops are expected to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, with security to be passed to the Afghan police and army. However, the proposed security agreement envisages the keeping of U.S. troops in the country past this deadline.

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Ethiopian Troops Invade Somalia

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111120/168853714.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 20, 2011

Ethiopian troops cross into Somalia – media

Several hundred Ethiopian troops with military vehicles have crossed into Somalia’s southern and central part, news networks reported citing local elders.

BBC quoted eyewitnesses as saying there were at least 20 vehicles carrying Ethiopian troops.

The Ethiopian authorities dismissed the reports.

Ethiopian soldiers withdrew from Somalia in 2009 after a three-year presence.

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http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/20/c_131257715.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 20, 2011

Ethiopian troops amass at common border with Somalia

MOGADISHU: Hundreds of Ethiopian troops have gathered along the common frontier with Somalia…

Residents in the central Somali town of Beledweyne in Hiran province along the border with Ethiopia said that there has been a visible increase in the Ethiopian troops at the border and that rebel fighters in the towns near the border are getting ready for a possible incursion.

“We still don’t have troops over the border yet but many trucks full of troops arrived at the border and the fighters here are preparing for any eventuality,” Daahir Adde, an elder in Beledweyne told Xinhua by phone.

Reporters from other areas in the central Somalia provinces said that troops from Somalia’s neighbor Ethiopia were seen along the common frontiers of the two countries and that rebel fighters’ battle wagons were seen heading towards the frontier.

This news comes as joint military operations are being undertaken by Kenyan and Somali troops against rebel militants in the southern provinces…

Ethiopian troops withdrew from Somalia in 2009 after two years of presence during which they fought with an insurgency led by the radical Islamist group of Al-Shabaab.

The Al-Shabaab fighters currently control much of the south and center of the wear ravaged horn of African nation while the internationally-recognized Somali government runs only the capital and a few parts of the south of the country.

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Syria: Western Military Attack Will Destabilize Entire Middle East

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=159908

Azeri Press Agency
November 20, 2011

Assad: Syria war will destabilize all ME

Baku: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned against any foreign attack against his country, saying military action will cause instability in the whole Middle East, APA reports quoting Press TV.

Speaking to Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper, Assad said the Arab League’s intervention could provide a pretext for a Western military action, warning that a war against Syria would create an “earthquake” across the region, AFP reported on Saturday.

“If they are logical, rational and realistic, they shouldn’t do it because the repercussions are very dire. Military intervention will destabilize the region as a whole, and all countries will be affected,” he said.

The Syrian president referred to the mounting foreign pressure on his government, but vowed that his country “will not bow down and that it will continue to resist the pressure being imposed on it.”

The remarks come in response to a decision by the Arab League which set a deadline of Saturday for Syria to comply with its peace plan, threatening to impose sanctions if Damascus failed to end the months-long unrest in the country.

The Arab bloc, which had earlier suspended Syria’s membership over the unrest, called on the Syrian government to allow in teams of observers to help establish calm in the country, a move Damascus has described as “illegitimate and dangerous.”

Damascus also says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country and that security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians.

In addition, Syrian state TV has broadcast reports showing seized weapons caches and confessions by terrorist elements describing how they obtained arms from foreign sources.

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Kazakhstan Warns Against Repeating NATO Libyan War In Syria

http://www.sana.sy/eng/337/2011/11/20/382563.htm

Syrian Arab News Agency
November 20, 2011

Kazakh President Warns against Repeating Libyan Scenario in Syria

MOSCOW: Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev expressed rejection of any foreign intervention in Syria and the repetition of the Libyan scenario in the country.

In statements to the Russian press in Moscow on Saturday, President Nazarbayev said that there was a complete interference in Libya’s internal affairs, and this can’t be repeated against any other independent country such as Syria.

He considered that the UN took a decision on monitoring what was taking place in Libya, yet the decision degenerated into air strikes and falsifying the resolution of the UN Security Council and violating what it stipulated.

He indicated that the global financial crisis intensified the existing contradictions, indicating that the living standards in Europe and North Africa are deteriorating due to current events.

He asserted that the main issue today is to guarantee social justice and to better living standards.

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Turkish Activists Protest NATO Missile System

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/211032.html

Press TV
November 19, 2011

Turkish activists protest NATO missile system ‎

Turkish activists in the city of Malatya in eastern Turkey have staged a protest rally to voice their opposition to Turkish government’s decision to establish a NATO radar base in Malatya province.

The protesters said they don’t want their country to host a system that would protect Israel and the US. The activists also called on NATO to leave their country. This is not the first time that Turkish people have opposed the establishment of the NATO missile system.

The planned radar base has provoked concerns in Turkey and also in some other countries in the region, including in Iran, that it could destabilize the region.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of Iran’s Parliament Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, during his Ankara visit, said Iranian lawmakers see the NATO missile system as a negative development. Boroujerdi, however, stated that Iran is still determined to upgrade its friendly relations with Turkey.

The Turkish government had been pursuing a policy of zero-tension towards the country’s neighbors, but experts say the missile system could create tensions between Turkey and some of its neighbors.

It seems that Turkey’s agreement to host the NATO radar base has opened up a complicated chapter in relations between Iran and Turkey…

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United Arab Emirates To Be Provided First Advanced Missile Interceptors Outside U.S.

http://gulfnews.com/business/general/uae-continues-talks-on-advanced-missile-defence-1.933693

Gulf News
November 20, 2011

UAE continues talks on advanced missile defence
Lockheed expects more Mideast contracts
By Iman Sherif

-“The governments of the United States and the UAE are having discussions about Theatre High Altitude Area Defence [THAAD] systems making the UAE the first customer for this system outside the United States. We look forward to providing this unique technology to the UAE.” The programme is initially valued at about $7 billion (Dh25.69 billion).
-The UAE’s military expenditure was about $15 billion in 2010, making the UAE second in the GCC after Saudi Arabia (Dh139 billion), and 18th worldwide.
In comparison, the military expenditure of the US in 2010 was about $700 billion.

Abu Dhabi: The UAE is likely to become the first country outside the US to have an advanced ballistic missiles defence system developed by US weapons giant Lockheed Martin, a senior executive of the company has said.

Gulf News had a candid discussion with the Chief Executive Officer of Lockheed Martin’s Middle East division, Willy Moore, during the Dubai Airshow, which was attended by a large contingent of the company’s executives.

“Lockheed Martin looks at the Middle East as an important region. Approximately 30 per cent of our international sales come from the Middle East, and we expect that we will continue to have a strong presence here in the years to come,” Moore said.

The UAE Airforce operates about 80 F-16 fighter planes made by Lockheed Martin.

“We were so pleased to see UAE pilots flying demonstration flights in Lockheed Martin F-16s at the Dubai Airshow. They are the result of over a decade of engagement in the UAE from the signing of the initial contract to the delivery of the aircraft and up to today,” said Moore.

Regional programmes

Several regional programmes are in development in which Lockheed will be a major contractor.

“The governments of the United States and the UAE are having discussions about Theatre High Altitude Area Defence [THAAD] systems making the UAE the first customer for this system outside the United States. We look forward to providing this unique technology to the UAE,” added Moore. The programme is initially valued at about $7 billion (Dh25.69 billion).

Lockheed Martin’s regional headquarters is in Abu Dhabi…

Security environment

Lockheed Martin is a 30 per cent shareholder in a local joint venture for aircraft maintenance and support.

The company, Advanced Military Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Centre (Ammroc) is owned by Mubadala Aerospace, Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky to provide maintenance services for fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft of the UAE Armed Forces.

The nations of the region are constantly adapting to the changing global security environment.

The UAE’s military expenditure was about $15 billion in 2010, making the UAE second in the GCC after Saudi Arabia (Dh139 billion), and 18th worldwide.
In comparison, the military expenditure of the US in 2010 was about $700 billion.

“Many nations see the need to enhance their capabilities in a number of areas, including tactical aircraft and integrated air and missile defence.

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Georgia: U.S. To Install New Radar Systems, Upgrade Navy

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=159868

Azeri Press Agency
November 19, 2011

US to help Georgia install new radar systems
Rashad Suleymanov

Baku: The US will help Georgia install new radar systems, Georgian Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili said at the press conference after a meeting with US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, APA reports.

The minister said the sides discussed the issues of the coast guard and security. Vano Merabishvili said modern radar systems will be installed in Georgia with the help of the US. It will allow Tbilisi to fully control the country’s air space.

“Our Navy needs support,” he said.

Mabus said Washington will continue to support Georgia. The US will help Georgia with security issues, including the renewal of the infrastructure of the Navy.

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Germany: NATO Holds Tenth Baltic Aerial Warfare Training Events

http://baltic-review.com/2011/11/nato%E2%80%99s-allied-air-command-ramstein-germany-will-hold-the-10th-baltic-region-air-training-event/

Baltic Review
November 19, 2011

NATO’s Allied Air Command Ramstein (Germany) will hold the 10th Baltic Region Air Training Event

On November 21 and 22 NATO’s Allied Air Command Ramstein (Germany) will hold the 10th Baltic Region Air Training Event (BRTE X). The event will demonstrate NATO commitments to international security, solidarity between the allies and confidence.

“It is our pleasure to receive NATO partners in Lithuania for a joint exercise in the Baltic skies for the tenth time. We work together to have a shared security. BRTE is an excellent opportunity to display solidarity between NATO and the Baltic States,” Commander Lithuanian Air Force Brig Gen Edvardas Mažeikis said.

BRTE X will focus on the interoperability of regional capabilities. Real and simulated situations will be used to train both deployable and static NATO air command and control centers.

The event will involve two of the four Danish fighters conducting the Baltic Air-policing mission, L-39 light assault aircraft and Mi-8 helicopter of the Lithuanian Air Force, two US F-15 fighters, three Poland’s Mig-29 fighters, and US Air Force’s KC-135 aerial refueling military aircraft. Air operations will be controlled from the Baltic Joint Command and Reporting Centre in Karmėlava, Joint Air Operations Centre in Uedem (Germany), and Air Operations & Control Station Nieuw Milligen (Netherlands) which will be deployed for the training event.

Aircraft will take part in an aerial warfare situations, simulate mid-air loss of communication and interception, and emergency landing in the Vilnius International Airport. BRTE X will also involve imitational weapons jettisoning and ejection tasks over the Rukla Training Area, and aerial refueling is also foreseen.

Headquarters Allied Air Command Ramstein (HQ AC Ramstein, Germany) plans and conducts air training events to improve command and control of NATO’s airspace surveillance and control, air policing, and other air capabilities deployed in the Baltic region. With the program, NATO aims at improving interoperability and integration of the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian Air Forces in line with valid NATO standards as well as demonstrating the solidarity of the allies with the Baltic States. Introduced in 2008 as a series of training for air-policing over the Baltics, BRTEs have grown into wide-range air exercises that train for various aspects of air operations. The training events are coordinated with respective civilian institutions and departments. Participants of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program are also invited to train in BRTEs.

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Saakashvili Erects Monument To Reagan In Georgian Capital

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/georgia/1959366.html

Trend News Agency
November 20, 2011

Monument to 40th U.S. president to be erected in Tbilisi
N. Kirtskhalia


Photograph from Rustavi 2

Tbilisi: A monument to the 40th U.S. president Ronald Reagan will be erected in the Park Rica in Tbilisi on Sunday. The monument was created in the original style, the Tbilisi City Hall told Trend.

A bronze Reagan sits on the bench. Anyone can also sit and take pictures with the sculpture.

A quotation from Ronald Reagan’s speech – “Each generation must take care to preserve freedom” – was engraved on the monument in Georgian and English.

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BRICs Set To Overcome U.S.: Goldman Sachs Chairman

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/20/60719979.html

Itar-Tass
November 20, 2011

BRIC set to overtake US

       
According to a report by the chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management Jim O’Neil, the combined GDP of the BRIC members Brazil, Russia, India and China is set to top that of the United States before the end of this decade.

In his report, Dr. O’Neill also supports proposals to give the BRIC group a bigger say in world economic bodies and to invite Russia to join what is now the Financial G-7.

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Tolstoy Commemorated On 101st Anniversary Of His Death

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/20/60718246.html

Interfax
November 20, 2011

Tolstoy remembered on death anniversary

Tolstoy: Two Wars and Carthago Delenda Est

Events in the family estate of Leo Tolstoy have marked 101 years since the death of the Russian philosopher and novelist.

The place is called Yasnaya Polyana. Tolstoy spent 50 years there, working on novels including War and Peace and Anna Karenina.

He died at 82 at a small railway station after catching pneumonia.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Cervantes: Everything then was friendship, everything was harmony

November 20, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Miguel de Cervantes
From Don Quixote
Translated by Tom Lathrop

“What a happy time and a happy age were those that the ancients called Golden! And not because gold — which in this our Age of Iron is so valued — was gotten in that fortunate time without any trouble, but rather because the people who lived then didn’t know the two words yours and mine! In that holy age all things were commonly owned. To find their daily sustenance, they had only to raise their hands and take it from the robust oaks, which liberally offered their sweet and ripe fruit to them. Crystal clear fountains and running rivers, in magnificent abundance, offered them their delicious and transparent water. In the fissures of boulders and in the hollows of trees, the diligent and prudent bees formed their republics and offered to any hand, without recompense, the fertile harvest of their very sweet work. The robust cork trees shed their lightweight bark without any artifice other than their own courtesy, with which people began to cover their rustic houses, built only for protection against the rigors of the heavens. Everything then was friendship, everything was harmony. The heavy plow had not yet dared to open nor visit the pious bowels of our first mother, for she, without being forced, gave everywhere from her fertile and broad bosom that could fill, sustain, and delight the children that possessed her then.

“It was then that the simple and beautiful young shepherdesses could travel from valley to valley and from hill to hill, either in braids or with their hair flowing behind, with only enough clothing to cover modestly what decency requires, and has always required. And their ornamentation was not like the Tyrian purple and silk woven in a thousand different ways that women esteem nowadays, but rather it was of intertwined green-dock and ivy, with which they carried themselves with perhaps as much dignity and composure as our courtesans do nowadays, strutting about in extravagant dresses. In those days, literary expressions of love were recited in a simple way, without any unnatural circumlocution to express them.

“Fraud, deceit, and wickedness had not as yet contaminated truth and sincerity. Justice was administered on its own terms and was not tainted by favor and self-interest, which now impair, overturn, and persecute it. Arbitrary law had not yet debased the rulings of the judge, because in those days there was nothing to judge, nor anyone to be judged.

“Young women, with their chastity intact, traveled about on their own anywhere they wanted, as I’ve said, without fearing the damaging boldness or lust of others, and if they suffered any ruination it was born of their own pleasure and free will. Nowadays, in our detestable age, no young woman is secure, even though she be hidden and locked in a new labyrinth of Crete, for even there, through the cracks or borne in the air, the plague of lust finds its way in with the zeal of cursed importunity, and brings her to ruin in spite of her seclusion. As time went by and as wickedness grew, the order of knight errantry was instituted to defend young women, protect widows, and help orphans and needy people.

“I am a member of this order, brother goatherds, and I’m grateful for the hearty welcome and reception you’ve given me and my squire. For, although under natural law all living souls are obliged to show favor to knights errant, it’s still fitting that — knowing as I do you received and entertained me with no knowledge of this obligation — I should acknowledge your good will with utmost gratitude.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Musical selections

November 20, 2011 Leave a comment
Categories: Uncategorized

In the Western World: Ten Songs

November 20, 2011 Leave a comment

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Musical selections

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

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Spirogyra
In the Western World (1972)

I wake my days, look at the world
How it laughs at a man who can have no place
Put on a smile, into the streets
How they ache for the smell of a sunny field
But still machines they grind
And life is harder now than it has been before

They say you’re mad
Look at the wealth in the western world
For a boy with brains
Please come with us
We’ll buy your soul
With the privilege of a chosen few
And so machines they grind
And life is harder now
Than it has been before

We came away from the sea
There was you, there was me
There were others
We made a home on the land
Where we found we could stand
In the sunlight
Nearly there, nearly there

We fought for life in the gap
Where we found we’d a knack, for survival
All forms of live were controlled
They were bought, they were sold
They were smothered
Nearly there, nearly there

If life is a plight
In a jungle fight
Must we now turn on our brothers?
If life is a case
Of strong and weak
Will the strong now devour all the others
Or themselves?

There is no room anymore
Nowhere left to escape, no evasion
There is no choice anymore
We must now learn to live with each other
Or implode, or implode

If life is a plight
In a jungle fight
Must we now turn on our brothers?
If life is a case
Of strong and weak
Will the strong now devour all the others
Or themselves?

Hey look at the race
I wonder who is winning
I wonder if they know
It doesn’t mean a thing
Hey look at the pace
Stability is spinning
But then it doesn’t matter to a clown
A clown

A knight in arms, a knight in dark
As he turns we are digested
A face lit up, beyond despairing
This voice that was rejected

Give it back to the shores of Albion
Where the mills were first abused
Give it back to the folk in search of hope
Give it back the will to live

A strange recluse, this thought elusive
We cheated with excuses
Amid the rush of evil forces
Abusing our resources

Coming back the tide
That can’t be stopped
The wheels that always roll
Coming back beyond the eyes of greed
Coming back inside your soul

A nearer man has never feared
Than the one Who is within you
The voice you heard before you died
When your mind was most receptive

Coming back from below
Through all these years
At last I hear the bells
Coming back with winds
That fill the sails
Of rags, defeat and fools
Coming back the tide that can’t be stopped
The wheels that always roll
Coming back with winds to fill the sails
Of rags, defeat and fools

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Principal Edward’s Magic Theatre (1971)

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Claire Hamill (1971)

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Bridget St John (1971)

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Curved Air (1972)

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The Watersons (1972)

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Fuchsia (1971)

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Anne Briggs (1971, 1973)

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO news: November 19, 2011

November 19, 2011 2 comments

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Pentagon Pushes 21st Century Global NATO “Security Architecture”

Pentagon “To Spread Out Through All Of Asia” Openly Now

Superpower Expands Military Deployments In Asia-Pacific

Report: Iran Begins Air Defense Drill Simulating Israeli Attacks

U.S., Allies To Hold Largest Amphibious Assault Exercise In Ten Years

NATO As “Guarantor Of Energy Security” In Europe, Black Sea

NATO Training Mission-Iraq Briefs Allied Military Attachés In Baghdad

U.S. Submarine Force’s No. 2 Inspects NATO Mediterranean Operations

Pentagon Chief Panetta: NATO Must Join Us In Mideast, Asia-Pacific, Western Hemisphere

Depression Aside: U.S., Canadian Defense Chiefs Push Joint Strike Fighter

NATO’s North American War Ministers Tout Joint Global Military Vision

U.S. Troops Trained For Action Against Kosovo Serbs

Russia Reiterates Call For Restraint On Syria

U.S. Navy Secretary Visits Georgian Defense Ministry, Training Center

NATO Tanker Bombed In Northwest Pakistan

West Builds Nordic-Baltic, Georgia-Ukraine Front Against Russia

Nordic Battle Group, Baltic-Nordic “Mini-NATO” Progress

Sierra Leone: U.S. Holds Combat Training Ahead Of Somali Deployment

NATO Kills Afghan Policemen In Night Raid

British Foreign Secretary To Meet With Syrian Rebels

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Pentagon Pushes 21st Century Global NATO “Security Architecture”

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66165

U.S. Defense Department
November 18, 2011

Panetta: Future Rests on Partnerships, Modernization
By John D. Banusiewicz

-“It must be complemented by a full range of America’s national security capabilities: strong intelligence, strong diplomacy, a strong economy, strong technology, developments in cyber capabilities – using that great experience we gained from 10 years of war to be innovative, to be creative about the kind of force that we need for the future.
“But it must also be complemented by strong alliances, partnerships [and] regional efforts at cooperation – all have to be part of the answer.”
-No global alliance has been more successful than NATO, the secretary said…Revitalizing NATO, he added, is a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s administration’s efforts to build stronger alliances and partnerships….“We have seen the payoff in Afghanistan where 49 countries have come together largely under a NATO umbrella…”
-Modernizing NATO also means ensuring that investments focus on the most likely future threats, particularly those posed by countries like Iran…The United States has been leading the way in NATO’s missile defense efforts, most recently by announcing it will deploy four Aegis ships to the Mediterranean Sea…
-“[W]e must build on our success with the trans-Atlantic alliance and further enhance our collective security by building enduring and capable 21st-century security architecture in other critical regions of the globe…”
-“[E]ven as we enhance our presence in the Pacific, we will not surrender our status as a global power and a global leader. As a country with global interests and responsibilities, and with a military with unique global strength and reach, America will remain committed to global security.”

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia: Partnerships and modernization hold the key to meeting the challenges facing the United States and its allies as they near a turning point after a decade of war and adapt to new challenges and priorities, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said here today.

In a speech at the Halifax International Security Forum, the secretary said the alliance system remains the bedrock of the U.S. approach to world security and is “an enduring advantage and force multiplier that no rival possesses.”

“As we in the United States confront the fiscal realities of limited resources, we believe that we have the opportunity to establish a force for the future that, while smaller, is agile, flexible, deployable and technologically equipped to confront the threats of the future,” he said.

“It must be complemented by a full range of America’s national security capabilities: strong intelligence, strong diplomacy, a strong economy, strong technology, developments in cyber capabilities – using that great experience we gained from 10 years of war to be innovative, to be creative about the kind of force that we need for the future.

“But it must also be complemented by strong alliances, partnerships [and] regional efforts at cooperation – all have to be part of the answer,” he added.

The U.S. military alone, Panetta said, cannot be all things to all nations.
“We will maintain our excellence. We will maintain our leadership,” he said. “But in the effort to maintain our excellence and our leadership, we also have to meet our security commitments around the world. And in doing that, we must – and we will – sharpen the application of our resources, better deploy our forces in the world, and share our burdens more and more effectively with our partners. And frankly, all of our allies need to do the same.”

“Such transnational threats demand a shared response,” he said. “That’s why I have made it a priority to build and maintain partnerships across the globe. It’s a theme I reiterated extensively during the international travel that I made last month in Europe, in Asia and in the Middle East. It has thus loomed large in our strategic review of the Department of Defense. This review is an effort not only to grapple with new budgetary realities, but also to adapt the force to better confront current and future security challenges.”

No global alliance has been more successful than NATO, the secretary said, crediting that success to decades of investment in capabilities and joint training and the determination of leaders in the trans-Atlantic community.

Revitalizing NATO, he added, is a centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s administration’s efforts to build stronger alliances and partnerships. He noted that NATO has expanded from being an alliance geared toward collective territorial defense to take on expeditionary operations outside its area.
“We have seen the payoff in Afghanistan,” he said, “where 49 countries have come together largely under a NATO umbrella, expending both blood and treasure…To all our [International Security Assistance Force] partners, we are profoundly grateful for your sacrifice and for your steadfast partnership.”

Panetta praised Canada in particular for its decade of contributions in Afghanistan, noting that Canadian soldiers fought in the Taliban heartland of Kandahar province, and he also praised Canada for its leadership in NATO’s recent success in Libya.

As it works to help in forging a stronger NATO, the United States will continue to play a decisive role in safeguarding its partners’ shared interests, Panetta said. Part of doing so, he added, is enabling allies and partners to contribute their share to the common defense.

“To do that, however, the alliance needs to develop new capabilities to keep pace with emerging threats – even in an era of fiscal austerity,” the secretary said. “As I said [at a NATO defense ministers conference] in Brussels last month, these challenging economic times cannot be an excuse for walking away from our security responsibilities. I refuse to believe that we have to choose between fiscal responsibility and national defense. Instead, we must commit to ensuring NATO addresses key shortfalls in areas such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; precision strike munitions; and aerial refueling and lift capabilities.”

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s “Smart Defense” initiative provides a framework for allied nations to pool their declining defense funds more efficiently and effectively, Panetta said, adding that the alliance plans to make more progress in that regard at its upcoming summit in Chicago.

Modernizing NATO also means ensuring that investments focus on the most likely future threats, particularly those posed by countries like Iran that are developing intermediate-range missiles capable of targeting Europe. The United States has been leading the way in NATO’s missile defense efforts, most recently by announcing it will deploy four Aegis ships to the Mediterranean Sea, the secretary said…

But while missile defense is a tangible sign of NATO modernization efforts, the alliance also must constantly assess the forms of engagement that are most appropriate for the alliance’s capabilities and the threats it faces. These, he said, are the kinds of discussions taking place in the Defense Department’s strategy and global posture review, as officials try to be disciplined in setting priorities to maintain the U.S. global leadership role while meeting the department’s fiscal responsibility to the nation’s taxpayers.

Addressing concerns about the effect those discussions may have on the future of the U.S. military presence in Europe, Panetta offered assurances.
“Let me be clear at the outset that the United States will always ensure that we maintain the right mix of forces and capabilities, including those stationed in Europe, prepared to meet the full range of security challenges acting in concert with our allies – including instability on its periphery and unforeseen developments,” he said. “At the same time, we must build on our success with the trans-Atlantic alliance and further enhance our collective security by building enduring and capable 21st-century security architecture in other critical regions of the globe, beginning right here in this part of the world.”

The United States has worked with Canada to encourage new partnerships in the Pacific and in the Western Hemisphere, Panetta said…

Two regions of the world stand out as posing particularly vexing challenges, the secretary said.

“It is apparent to all that the Asia-Pacific region is going to be a principal force behind world economic growth, with lines of commerce and trade that are constantly expanding and security challenges that are growing in complexity,” he said. “In the Middle East – another region crucial to the global economy and U.S. interests – we’ve seen dramatic changes as a result of the Arab Spring. We see continuing violence. We see continuing extremism. We see continuing instability. And the threat from Iran continues to pose challenges.

“So as the United States draws down its forces in Iraq and begins to draw down its surge forces in Afghanistan,” he continued, “we will also have to maintain a strong presence in the Middle East and work closely with our allies and partners to bolster multilateral cooperation in countering threats emanating from al-Qaida, from Iran, and elsewhere.”

The global nature of security challenges and the interests at stake require building multilateral structures that enable all allies and partners to improve cooperation in countering common threats, Panetta said. “That includes encouraging Canada and our European allies to join us in meeting common challenges – whether it’s in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East or throughout the Western Hemisphere, and enabling them to do so through NATO when appropriate,” he added.

The United States can and will do more than one thing at a time, the secretary said. “U.S. security commitments are not zero-sum,” he added. “And even as we enhance our presence in the Pacific, we will not surrender our status as a global power and a global leader. As a country with global interests and responsibilities, and with a military with unique global strength and reach, America will remain committed to global security.”

American and Canadian leadership have built a system of alliances and partnerships…Panetta said.

“And as we move forward – as we make the tough decisions needed to ensure a better life for our children and our grandchildren – we will not back away from these alliances and partnerships. Indeed, they are a key to our ability to provide that strong defense for the future. We will strengthen them, and in so doing, we will strengthen our two great nations…”

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Pentagon “To Spread Out Through All Of Asia” Openly Now

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66147

U.S. Department of Defense
November 18, 2011

Pacific Engagement Fosters Better Understanding
By Ian Graham
Defense Media Activity

-Next year, rotations of 200 to 250 Marines will begin deploying to Australia’s Northern Territory. Over the next several years, the number of Marines deployed there will grow to 2,500.
“It’s a rotational concept in which we will just not focus on the northeast Asia portion,” Keltz said, “but [also] start to spread out through all of Asia as we have been doing quietly, but a little bit more openly now.”

WASHINGTON: Senior U.S. military leaders met recently with their counterparts from across the Asia-Pacific region to discuss how military-to-military agreements and increased security cooperation can foster better relationships and bolster commerce and trade.

The leaders gathered Oct. 17-20 in Honolulu to attend the 14th annual Chiefs of Defense Conference. Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael A. Keltz, U.S. Pacific Command’s director of strategic planning and policy, discussed the conference at a Nov. 16 DoDLive Bloggers Roundtable.

With operations in Afghanistan drawing down and troops leaving Iraq this year, Keltz said, the U.S. military is strengthening its relationships in the Asia-Pacific region, and Pacom is repositioning its forces.

A major part of that mission, Keltz said, is the movement of U.S. Marines to Australia for training. Next year, rotations of 200 to 250 Marines will begin deploying to Australia’s Northern Territory. Over the next several years, the number of Marines deployed there will grow to 2,500.

Moving troops to Australia, the general said, demonstrates America’s commitment to the Asia-Pacific region.

Until now, Northeast Asia – primarily Korea and Japan – have been U.S. focal points in the region, he added.

“It’s a rotational concept in which we will just not focus on the northeast Asia portion,” Keltz said, “but [also] start to spread out through all of Asia as we have been doing quietly, but a little bit more openly now.

Pacom has special capabilities thanks to its area of responsibility, Keltz said. It covers a wide region and requires land, air and sea forces to carry out its mission. New agreements to have a Navy presence in Singapore and the new Marine station in Australia increase its versatility, he added.

“We do have … quite frankly, the luxury of being able to react very quickly being able to move forces internally within the Pacom area of responsibility,” Keltz said. “Being able to have Marines in the southeastern Asia area…gives us incredible flexibility.”

Military-to-military, diplomatic and economic engagement between the United States and Asia-Pacific nations is important, Keltz said, “so that we can understand each other better, which decreases the potential for a misunderstanding or a miscalculation.”

Such an approach, “just reinforces how important mil-to-mil engagements are,” he added.

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Superpower Expands Military Deployments In Asia-Pacific

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-11/19/c_131256990.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 19, 2011

U.S. “return” to Asia raises more questions than it can answer
by Wei Jianhua

-The superpower expanded military deployment to Australia and was actively involved in East Asian cooperation mechanisms while attempting to court several East Asian countries and interfere in long-standing disputes between countries in the region.
It clarified its nature as an Asia-Pacific power to seek “America’s Pacific century” and secure the Asia-Pacific’s security and prosperity.
-If the United States sticks to its Cold War mentality and continues to engage with Asian nations in a self-assertive way, it is doomed to incur repulsion in the region.
It is also called upon to guard against sparking disputes and encroaching on others’ interests.

BEIJING: U.S. President Barack Obama joins other East Asian leaders Saturday at an ASEAN summit for the first time ever.

The move is widely seen as a landmark step to proclaim the United States’ high-profile return to the “once-omitted” region, a region it has largely disregarded for decades.

In the 1990s, former Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mahathir proposed to establish an East Asian economic forum. The idea was strongly opposed by Washington over concerns that such a measure could jeopardize its interests and challenge its hegemony.

Though the United States set up a dialogue relationship with the Association Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in as early as the 1970s, it was not until in July 2009 did Washington finally sign the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.

For a long period, Washington saw the East Asia Summit as a redundant mechanism whose goal and significance were unclear.

Then surprisingly, the United States made a U-turn in its Asia strategy with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declaring a policy shift.

The top U.S. diplomat said prior to the APEC summit meeting in Hawaii last week that “there are challenges facing the Asia-Pacific right now that demand America’s leadership” and the 21st century will be “America’s Pacific century.”

On top of that, Washington took a series of steps to promote its pivot strategy by declaring a high-profile “return” to Asia.

The superpower expanded military deployment to Australia and was actively involved in East Asian cooperation mechanisms while attempting to court several East Asian countries and interfere in long-standing disputes between countries in the region.

It clarified its nature as an Asia-Pacific power to seek “America’s Pacific century” and secure the Asia-Pacific’s security and prosperity.

The U.S. move has fueled strong suspicions from the region. Many countries wonder what kind of “leadership” America aspires to assume in the future.

The hard fact is that the Pacific Ocean belongs to all countries sharing its shores, not just the United States.

By claiming a return, Washington is confronted with questions it is hardly able to answer: How can the United States earn Asian countries’ trust? How will it help maintain regional stability and promote common prosperity? And what steps it will take to get along with the rising regional power China?

Actually, China as well as other Asian nations never considered the United Sates had left the Asia Pacific and had never tried to squeeze it out of the region. They are also unlikely to approve of the U.S. attempt to impose its values on them or the so-called “leadership” it aspires to exercise in Asia.

What they need right now is a reliable partner, not a country that yearns for leadership and intends to act as an arbitrator.

After years of cooperative endeavors with the rest of the world, southeast Asia has undergone significant changes. Mutually beneficial cooperation and peaceful development have become the region’s main theme.

If the United States sticks to its Cold War mentality and continues to engage with Asian nations in a self-assertive way, it is doomed to incur repulsion in the region.

It is also called upon to guard against sparking disputes and encroaching on others’ interests. Otherwise, the region’s stability and prosperity will become an impossible dream.

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Report: Iran Begins Air Defense Drill Simulating Israeli Attacks

http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/1959075.html

Trend News Agency/Deutsche Presse-Presse
November 19, 2011

Iran to start air defence drill simulating Israeli attacks

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards will carry out an air defence drill simulating an Israeli attack on its nuclear sites, the official news agency IRNA said Friday, DPA reported.

The Revolutionary Guards said in a statement that the drill was aimed at ensuring Iran was ready for any attacks on its nuclear facilities and other strategic sites.

The announcement came shortly after the United Nations nuclear agency adopted a resolution calling on Iran to respond to a report by the watchdog indicating that Tehran had made tests on designs used for making a nuclear weapon.

Iran denies it is seeking a nuclear bomb and says its programme is peaceful. Israel considers a nuclear armed Iran an existential threat.

There has been mounting speculation in the media that Israel would strike Iran’s nuclear facilities if Iran continues to defy international demands that it allay western concerns over it nuclear activities.

Iranian military officials have warned that Israel would regret such any preemptive strike on its nuclear facilities.

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http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/1959172.html

Trend News Agency
November 19, 2011

Iran launches military drills

Baku: Iran has launched the first stage of defense drills in the country’s eastern part in the form of tactical practice, ISNA reported.

The first phase of the war game which was opened Friday night was conducted in pre-determined points in the area of 800 km vast. The drill included operational, intelligence and combatant units of Iranian army, Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, disciplinary forces and trained popular troops.

The extent of coordination between units of the armed forces in public and operational places was evaluated by the military experts in the drill.

The four-staged drills “Saminul Hujaj” are aimed at demonstrating the Iranian latest military achievements and increased might of all Iranian Army’s defensive structures.

The drills will last for four days.

Edited by T.Konyayeva

====

U.S., Allies To Hold Largest Amphibious Assault Exercise In Ten Years

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=63908

U.S. Navy
November 18, 2011

Planning Continues for Largest Amphibious Assault Exercise in 10 Years
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Phil Beaufort, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Public Affairs

-Bold Alligator 2012…will be largest multinational naval amphibious exercise conducted in the past 10 years. It will focus on the planning and execution of a brigade-sized amphibious assault from a seabase in a medium threat environment. The underlying scenario of this exercise is designed to emphasize the Navy/Marine Corps capabilities in undeveloped and immature theaters of operations.
-…”In addition to 20,000 Sailors and Marines participating in the live exercise, we are incorporating a number of synthetic scenarios that will broaden the amount of participation and training opportunities to a much wider audience.

NORFOLK: Commander, United States Fleet Forces Command hosted the second operational planning team conference (OPT) at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek/Fort Story, the week of Nov. 14-18 for Exercise Bold Alligator 2012 (BA-12), scheduled to take place during January and February 2012.

Bold Alligator 2012 represents the Navy and Marine Corps’ revitalization of the fundamentals of amphibious operations, strengthening their traditional role as fighters from the sea.

The focus of BA-12 is based on the common goal of Navy and Marine Corps leadership to revitalize, refine and strengthen core amphibious competencies, which are critical to maritime power projection and are a cost-effective option for a wide range of military operations.

Bold Alligator 2012, to be conducted under the purview of U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command (MARFORCOM), will be largest multinational naval amphibious exercise conducted in the past 10 years. It will focus on the planning and execution of a brigade-sized amphibious assault from a seabase in a medium threat environment. The underlying scenario of this exercise is designed to emphasize the Navy/Marine Corps capabilities in undeveloped and immature theaters of operations.

Scott said that after ten years of continuous combat operations ashore, the blue-green team is at risk of losing vital amphibious assault corporate knowledge.

“When we were getting ready to send USS Bataan (LHD 5) over to Libya during Operation Odyssey Dawn, I had the opportunity to meet and speak to a lot of the young Marines who embarked aboard, and I couldn’t find very many of them that had been on a ship before,” said Scott. “It’s the flexibility that the amphibious Navy gives us that we can’t live without. We were on the precipice of losing that corporate knowledge. We have to reinvigorate our tactics, techniques and procedures to align with our current force structure and technical innovations.”

According to Brig. Gen. Chris Owens, Commander, 2d Marine Expeditionary Brigade, the Marines are also using BA 12 as a proof of concept to plan what the Marine force of tomorrow will look like.

“Amphibious forces are kind of like a Swiss Army knife,” said Owens. “We’re able to respond quickly to a variety of situations. Seabasing gives us the ability and the agility to reset quickly after each operation. BA-12 will allow us to explore all these capabilities in a complex but realistic scenario.”

Expected to participate in the exercise are an amphibious task force (led by ESG-2) consisting of 10 amphibious ships and four to six combatants; a Marine expeditionary brigade-sized landing force (2d MEB); a carrier strike group (aircraft carrier, embarked air wing and four combatant ships); mine counter measure forces, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) forces, Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships; coalition force elements from several allies, and other commands in the support of amphibious operations.

…”In addition to 20,000 Sailors and Marines participating in the live exercise, we are incorporating a number of synthetic scenarios that will broaden the amount of participation and training opportunities to a much wider audience.

“It’s important to recognize that while our forces are fairly stressed after 10 years of continuous operations in the Middle East, we recognize that future operations are most likely to take place at sea. If we don’t maintain and improve our amphibious capability, we are severely limiting the operational options we can offer the country. This really is the culmination of planning that began in 2007. The commandant of the Marine Corps recognized the need to get Marines back to sea and rebuild our amphibious capability, so this has been a long time coming,” said Owens.

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NATO As “Guarantor Of Energy Security” In Europe, Black Sea

http://milaz.info/en/news.php?id=6787

MilAz.info
November 17, 2011

NATO as guarantor of Energy Security of Europe and Black Sea region

-“The ability of NATO’s involvement in the energy security of Europe and the United States in the region was announced by Senator Lugar in 2006,” said the head of the Center for National and International Studies, Leila Aliyeva.
Subsequently, the idea has been reflected and developed in several official documents, including the last three NATO summits. The problem crystalised after the gas crisis between Russia and Ukraine.

“Energy security in the Black Sea Region: National and regional approaches,” was the theme of an international meeting in the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv. The participants discussed the role of NATO in energy security in Europe and, in particular, in the Black Sea region.

The event was organized by the Centre for Black Sea Security Studies (Sofia) and the Centre for National and International Studies (Baku) with financial support from the NATO Department of Science.

In particular, they touched on the military and political security components and the possible assistance of NATO in their provision.

The workshop brought together experts and government representatives from 13 countries – NATO members and partners.

“The ability of NATO’s involvement in the energy security of Europe and the United States in the region was announced by Senator Lugar in 2006,” said the head of the Center for National and International Studies, Leila Aliyeva.

Subsequently, the idea has been reflected and developed in several official documents, including the last three NATO summits. The problem crystalised after the gas crisis between Russia and Ukraine.

…The seminar in Plovdiv is an attempt to study the specific possible role of NATO in energy security and the definition of its scope. Thus, the participants discussed the understanding of energy security-producing countries, transit countries and consumers of oil and gas.

It was noted that NATO needs to start spreading a strategic approach to energy security and EU new programs can serve as a basis for dialogue with the countries – partners. Also, they highlighted the increasing role of the gas market of Southern and Eastern Europe, as well as the importance of diversification of energy security.

In her presentation, Leila Aliyeva stressed Azerbaijan”s role in the regional and international energy security, including the Black Sea region, Europe and the USA. She discussed the relationship of energy security with the general security of Azerbaijan and the Karabakh conflict.

Referring to the political implications of energy security, it was proposed to include political risks, as well as the influence of oil revenues…

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NATO Training Mission-Iraq Briefs Allied Military Attachés In Baghdad

http://www.aco.nato.int/nato-training-missioniraq-briefs-the-military-attaches-to-iraq-.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
November 18, 2011

NATO Training Mission-Iraq Briefs the Military Attachés to Iraq

Baghdad, Iraq: The Military Attachés to Iraq from 8 Nations (France, Italy, Poland, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine, UK, USA) received a briefing from the NATO Training Mission-Iraq (NTM-I) Chief of Staff, Col. Michael Russell, on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Headquarters of the NATO mission.

This event was organized to acquaint the Defense Attaché Association of Iraq with the nature of the NTM-I mission, its achievements and its current activities in support of the Iraqi Security Forces.

During the meeting, Col. Russell briefed the guests about the important role and achievements of NTM-I in training, advising and mentoring the Iraqi Security Forces. He also described the contribution of NATO nations to NTM-I projects.

At the end of the meeting the Defense Attaché of Italy, Col. Giovanni Marchese, on behalf of the Association, presented to Col. Russell the flag of the organization as a sign of appreciation for the hospitality enjoyed.

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…

NTM-I is…a distinct training mission, under the political control of NATO’s North Atlantic Council. Its operational emphasis is on training and mentoring. The activities of the mission are coordinated with Iraqi authorities and the Office for Security and Cooperation-Iraq (OSC-I) Chief, 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 12 member nations (as of November 2011): Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine (Partnership for Peace), UK, USA.

====

U.S. Submarine Force’s No. 2 Inspects NATO Mediterranean Operations

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=63903

U.S. Navy
November 18, 2011

Vice Commander, Submarine Force, Visits 6th Fleet Headquarters
By Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

NAPLES, Italy: Vice Commander, Submarine Force, visited senior leadership at the U.S. 6th Fleet headquarters on the Naval Support Activity in Naples, Italy, Nov. 16-18.

During the visit, Rear Adm. Robert J. had multiple office calls with senior leadership, was briefed on current operations and toured the U.S. 6th Fleet Maritime Operations Center.

Kamensky met with Vice Adm. Frank C. Pandolfe, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet; and discussed strategic planning within the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

“This was my first visit to the European theater; most of my career has been spent in the U.S. or in the western theater,” said Kamensky. “It was great to be able to see how the U.S., NATO and our allies conduct operations in the region.”

U.S. 6th Fleet headquarters is located in Naples, Italy, and conducts a full range or maritime security operations and theater security cooperation missions in concert with coalition, joint, interagency and other parties in order to advance security and stability in Europe and Africa.

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Pentagon Chief Panetta: NATO Must Join Us In Mideast, Asia-Pacific, Western Hemisphere

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/canada-in-afghanistan/expects+NATO+allies+step+Defense+Secretary+Panetta/5734935/story.html

Postmedia News
November 18, 2011

U.S. expects NATO allies to step up: Defense Secretary Panetta
By Lee Berthiaume

-Panetta [said] that the U.S. has no intention of giving up its status as the world’s top military power, but he said a new era has arrived.
“The reality is that the United States military alone cannot be all things to all nations,” he said.
-“I refuse to believe we have to choose between fiscal responsibility and national security. Instead we must commit to ensuring that NATO addresses key shortfalls.
“The alliance needs to develop new capabilities to keep pace with emerging threats, even in an era of fiscal austerity.”

HALIFAX: U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta praised Canada’s contributions in Afghanistan and Libya in a speech here Friday, even as he put NATO allies on notice that they will be expected to step up as the U.S. military wrestles with major budget cuts.

“That includes encouraging Canada and our European allies to join us in meeting common challenges, whether it’s in Asia-Pacific or in the Middle East, or throughout the Western Hemisphere,” Panetta said. “And enable them to do so through NATO when appropriate.”

Panetta cited Canada as an example for NATO members to emulate, even as he highlighted some of the shifts that are already quietly taking place within the Canadian military, including an increased presence in and focus on the western hemisphere.

However, Panetta also exposed very real challenges Canada will face in a world where the U.S. can’t be counted upon to take up the slack when other NATO allies are unwilling to do their fair share.

Panetta delivered his comments at the start of a major three-day international security conference that has brought to Halifax about 300 military and security officials from 39 countries, many of which are facing similar financial issues as the U.S.

With an annual Defense Department budget of nearly $700 billion, the U.S. has stood as the unquestioned global military power for decades. Canada, by comparison, spends about $22 billion.

But as Washington struggles with a $1.2-trillion federal deficit, the U.S. military has been asked to cut spending by $450 billion over 10 years, with perhaps more slashing to come.

“As we in the United States confront the fiscal realities of limited resources,” he said, “we believe that we have the opportunity to establish a force for the future that, while smaller, is agile, flexible, deployable and technologically equipped to confront the threats of the future.”

Panetta added that the U.S. has no intention of giving up its status as the world’s top military power, but he said a new era has arrived.

“The reality is that the United States military alone cannot be all things to all nations,” he said.

“We will sharpen the application of our resources. Better deploy our forces in the world. And share our burdens more and more effectively with our partners. And frankly, all our allies need to do the same.”

In that respect, Panetta went out of his way to hold Canada up as an example for others.

“We all owe a deep debt of gratitude to the more than 150 fallen Canadian heroes from the Afghanistan campaign,” he said. “Brave men and women who have paid the ultimate price and whose names are etched in black granite at Kandahar airfield. Alongside the United States, Canada’s contribution to NATO’s Libya operations also proved critical to our success.”

Panetta also said Canada and the U.S. have been working closely to cement ties with countries in the hemisphere and the Asia-Pacific region, which he said is now a priority for his government.

“Working with Canada, we are encouraging new partnerships,” he said. “In the Pacific, but also in the Western Hemisphere. Recognizing that regional challenges in our hemisphere…requires stronger regional institutions that can deliver regional solutions.”

Panetta said members must be willing to step forward and do more, including contributing more money to acquire assets despite severe financial restrictions.

“These challenging economic times cannot be an excuse for walking away from our security responsibilities,” Panetta said. “I refuse to believe we have to choose between fiscal responsibility and national security. Instead we must commit to ensuring that NATO addresses key shortfalls.

“The alliance needs to develop new capabilities to keep pace with emerging threats, even in an era of fiscal austerity.”

Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former U.S. State Department director of policy planning, said the U.S. will still be ready to assist allies when needed.

However, it will no longer be at the forefront of trying to solve the world’s problems, but instead will be relying on other countries to take the lead, as the U.K., France, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates did in Libya.

University of Ottawa defence expert Philippe Lagasse said Canada is among a small number of NATO allies which have been willing to loosen the restrictions placed on the use of their forces while playing a respectable role in Libya and Afghanistan relative to their overall strength and capabilities.

“If the U.S. wants more allies to follow Canada’s lead, praising the Canadian effort shows that Washington takes note of such efforts,” he said.

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Depression Aside: U.S., Canadian Defense Chiefs Push Joint Strike Fighter

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66154

U.S. Department of Defense
November 18, 2011

U.S., Canadian Defense Leaders Call F-35 Crucial
By John D. Banusiewicz

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia: Calling it crucial to the defense of North America, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Canadian Defense Minister Peter G. MacKay today emphasized that both nations are committed to developing the F-35 joint strike fighter.

At a news conference here in conjunction with the Halifax International Security Forum, the defense leaders said budget pressures should not stand in the way of fielding the next-generation fighter jet.

Panetta said he’s seen media reports that the United States is not committed to the joint strike fighter.

“Let me make very clear that the United States is committed to the development of the F-35, and to a cooperative relationship with the F-35 with our Canadian friends,” he said. “The F-35 is going to be an essential fighter that will help in [the North American Aerospace Defense Command] and will be the future in helping us with security challenges that we face.”

Despite looming budget cuts, Panetta said, the F-35’s capabilities are essential.

“I feel very confident that we’ll get funding for the F-35 program,” he said. “This is the fighter plane for the future, and in some ways, we really have no alternative. This is the plane that is going to be able to provide the technology [and] the capabilities for the future.

“We need to have this [aircraft],” Panetta continued. “It’s true for us. It’s true for our partners – not only Canadians, but others – who are going to work with us and participate with us in the development of the F-35.”

Making budget decisions involves looking for savings, the secretary said, citing areas such as procurement reform.

“But we also have to look at areas where we continue to invest in the future, and the F-35 is one of those areas,” he added.

MacKay said the “eye-watering technology aboard the F-35” is why Canada has chosen to participate in the program.

“It’s the ability to dominate and own the airspace over continental North America,” he said. “There is no fifth-generation aircraft other than the F-35 available to Canada and the United States, so ***all of the hypothetical discussions – and quite negative discussions, quite frankly – about this program are really just clatter and noise***.

“This program is going ahead,” he continued. “Clearly, budgetary pressures are going to lead to speculation. We are dealing with our budgets, as all countries are dealing with this budget, but we are not wavering on our commitment to this program.”

Every defense department has certain pillars, MacKay said.

“This is one of those pillars: having the ability to ***protect your sovereignty***. And there is a direct link – a direct link – between our national sovereignty and our ability to protect our airspace,” he said.

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NATO’s North American War Ministers Tout Joint Global Military Vision

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66149

U.S. Department of Defense
November 18, 2011

Panetta, MacKay Reaffirm U.S.-Canada Partnership
By John D. Banusiewicz

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia: Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Canadian Defense Minister Peter G. MacKay today reaffirmed the ties between their nations in the defense of North America and in multinational endeavors around the world.

In a news conference after meeting here in conjunction with the Halifax International Security Forum, the two leaders noted that the United States and Canada share in a variety of cooperative and international efforts.

Panetta said that while this is his first visit to Canada as defense secretary, he has visited before as a member of Congress, as President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, and as CIA director.

“I believe very deeply that this is a special relationship – a very special relationship between our two countries,” Panetta said…

“We share a vision…through a very broad alliance structure,” he continued, “both as NATO allies and as advocates for an enduring, multilateral engagement, both here in North America and around the globe.”

NATO’s summit, scheduled to take place in Chicago in May, was another area of discussion between the two defense leaders, Panetta said.

“Our efforts there will be to declare an interim capability for NATO’s European territorial missile defense, the next steps on Afghanistan,” he said, “and, obviously, further ways to strengthen the trans-Atlantic alliance that we enjoy.”

But military cooperation between the United States and Canada isn’t limited to North America, Panetta said.

“Our troops have stood shoulder to shoulder not only here, but in Afghanistan and elsewhere throughout the world,” he said. “In Libya…”

The secretary noted that he offered thanks to MacKay when they met two months ago in Washington, and that he wanted to do the same today, for Canada’s contributions in Afghanistan – where 150 Canadian service members have died – and Libya.

“All of that reflects the fact that we fight together, and we bleed together as one,” Panetta said.

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U.S. Troops Trained For Action Against Kosovo Serbs

http://www.stripes.com/news/europe/kosovo-disturbances-mimicked-in-training-scenario-1.161166

Stars and Stripes
November 18, 2011

Kosovo disturbances mimicked in training scenario
By Steven Beardsley

HOHENFELS, Germany: The chaos arrived in the early afternoon, hours after negotiations failed.

As soldiers in riot gear approached a makeshift roadblock and the mob that erected it, they were met with taunts and jeers. “U.S. go home!” the crowd began to chant. Then someone hurled a rock.

The riot that ensued was a training simulation – the “rocks” were sandbags, the mob was a group of role-playing Germans, retired soldiers and an active-duty platoon.

Yet it was a mimic of real events in Kosovo, the newly independent Balkan state — and the destination of a National Guard unit that recently trained at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels. This summer, ethnic Serbs erected barriers on roads in the country’s north, in a dispute over border crossings into Serbia, forcing violent confrontations with local police and a tense standoff with NATO peacekeepers.

Officials at JMRC, which regularly prepares U.S. and multinational soldiers for the NATO force known as KFOR, or Kosovo Force, decided to re-create the events as a training tool after a visit to the country last month.

Important tasks during a civil disturbance include holding formation in a line, minding flanks, responding with appropriate force and generally keeping composure at a time when emotions run high, said Lt. Col. Eric McFadden, a training leader at JMRC.

Judging by the action on Thursday, that’s easier said than done.

The Guard unit, a maneuver company from Georgia, arrived with a track vehicle posing as a tank and several Humvees.

The roadblock — an assemblage of plywood planks, stacked wooden pallets and old tires — was easy enough to handle. The tank pushed through, slowly advancing on the mob, which backed away. Soldiers then formed a line the width of the road, their shields held together to form a barrier.

That’s when the rioters emerged from the crowd, a dozen or so civilians played by a platoon with 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army Europe’s opposition force. Harassment was their tactic, 1st Lt. Todd Pitt, the platoon leader, advised his men before the exercise began.

“Try to steal batons, try to steal shields,” he said. “Don’t go jumping into their lines.”

Platoon members taunted the soldiers. They grabbed at shields while dodging baton swipes, threw sandbags and rolled tires with smoke grenades inside. Someone suddenly hurled a smoking tire into the crowd.

In a pattern that repeated itself several times, the Guard line surged forward with abandon, an apparent effort to push the rioters back. Each time, the 1-4 took advantage of the resulting disorder in the line, gaining clean hits with sandbags and grabbing shields or batons.

Some soldiers seemed to take things personally. Several times, a soldier dropped his shield and baton to tackle one of the rioters. JMRC observer-controllers, referees in the exercise, broke each scuffle up to resume the scenario.

They also appeared to improve over the course of the exercise. Soldiers began to move in lock-step, counting out each step forward. They moved to protect their flanks, keeping shields up and preventing individual soldiers from lurching forward. They learned to hold their shields properly, preventing them from being pushed against them and causing injuries.

The rioters were eventually thinned out at the discretion of the observer-controllers, taken out by a range of nonlethal weapons — among them rubber bullets — that KFOR soldiers might actually use, but didn’t use in the exercise. The company eventually reached the boundary line that was its goal.

McFadden said the simulation achieved what trainers wanted, making the company adjust to the situation around them.

“It’s better to learn the hard lessons here than have to deal with the hard lessons once you deploy,” he said.

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Russia Reiterates Call For Restraint On Syria

http://www.rbcnews.com/free/20111118185424.shtml

RosBusinessConsulting
November 18, 2011

Moscow reiterates call for restraint on Syria

Moscow: Russia calls on the international community for restraint towards Syria, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at a press conference after meeting his French counterpart Francois Fillon in Moscow.

“We are ready to work with the global community and we will do so, while pressing for moderation and caution,” Putin said, when asked whether Russia would vote for a new U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria.

The situation in the Middle East remains uncertain, Putin went on to say, welcoming the recent declaration by the French government which stated that the country was not ready for military intervention.

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U.S. Navy Secretary Visits Georgian Defense Ministry, Training Center

http://www.mod.gov.ge/index.php?page=77&lang=1&type=&Id=1200

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
November 18, 2011

Secretary of the U.S. Navy Ray Mabus at the Defence Ministry

Secretary of the U.S. Navy Ray Mabus is paying an official two-day visit to Georgia. The Secretary of the U.S. Navy was hosted by the Georgian Defence Minister Bacho Akhalaia today.

At the meeting, the Georgian Defence Minister briefed the American official about the ongoing defence reforms in Georgia. U.S.–Georgian bilateral cooperation in the defence sphere, Georgia’s NATO integration prospects and Georgia’s participation in the ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) were the topics of discussion at the meeting. Tomorrow, Secretary of the U.S. Navy Ray Mabus will visit the Krtsanisi National Training Center and attend the military trainings of the Georgian and U.S. military servicemen.

In the framework of the official visit, Secretary of the U.S. Navy Ray Mabus will hold meetings with the President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili and Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia Ivane Merabishvili.

Ray Mabus leads America’s Navy and Marine Corps. It is his first official visit to Georgia. Secretary of the U.S. Navy will leave Georgia tomorrow.

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NATO Tanker Bombed In Northwest Pakistan

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/210852.html

Press TV
November 19, 2011

NATO tanker bombed in NW Pakistan

Two people have been injured in a bombing that targeted a NATO fuel tanker in the Khyber agency of northwestern Pakistan’s tribal areas, Press TV reports.

On Friday, a bomb attack carried out by unidentified militants targeted an empty oil tanker that was returning from Afghanistan via the Torkham border crossing town, a Press TV correspondent reported.

The tanker was on the way back from its mission to supply oil to foreign forces in Afghanistan.

The US military and NATO rely heavily on the Pakistani supply route into landlocked Afghanistan, more so now that Taliban attacks are increasing.

Other routes, largely through Russia and the Central Asian states, have proved to be too costly, both politically and economically.

Militants in the tribal areas have carried out numerous attacks in recent months, torching hundreds of NATO vehicles and containers destined for foreign troops in Afghanistan.

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West Builds Nordic-Baltic, Georgia-Ukraine Front Against Russia

http://www.defpro.com/news/details/29887/?SID=88c0b94f3b89377144f90a38188543bf

Defence Professionals
November 18, 2011

Nordic-Baltic region needs to deepen defence cooperation, Lithuanian Defence Minister says

-The results of Lithuania’s chairmanship of the Nordic-Baltic Initiative were also presented in the meeting. According to the Lithuanian Minister of National Defence, Lithuania has set its priorities on support to Georgia and Ukraine.

Minister of National Defence Rasa Jukneviciene attended the Baltic Defence Ministers’ meeting which was held on November 15 and 16 in Orebro (Sweden) and discussed with her counterparts further defence cooperation, energy security, the Nordic-Baltic initiative, etc.

“We seek closer and more concrete practical cooperation with Nordic countries in the defence sector, so in my opinion the armed forces of our countries need as many joint training events as possible to increase interoperability”, the Minister of National Defence said.

She also stressed that Lithuania maintains a positive view of joint capabilities, such as the EU Nordic Battle Group.

According to the Minister, joint efforts of the countries in cyber defence and energy security sectors are particularly important.

When addressing energy security problems in Lithuania, R. Jukneviciene stressed that energy security is a priority of Lithuania’s government. “We pay particular attention to regional cooperation – electricity bridges with Sweden and Poland, nuclear energy plant, etc. Energy independence is linked to influences on the political system…”, R. Jukneviciene said…

According to the Minister of Defence, there are still many unused possibilities to strengthen the military energy security dimension in the EU through the fields of scientific fellowship, military exercises, more efficient operations, etc.

The Ministers also discussed Estonia’s advice on cyber defence development.

“Lithuania values Estonia’s initiative to improve the EU’s cyber defence capabilities and proposes to analyze Estonia’s offers in a variety of contexts”, said R. Jukneviciene in the meeting. “It should also come handy for the development of our national cyber defence capabilities.”

The results of Lithuania’s chairmanship of the Nordic-Baltic Initiative were also presented in the meeting. According to the Lithuanian Minister of National Defence, Lithuania has set its priorities on support to Georgia and Ukraine. The main focus in Georgia’s case was paid to public relations, personnel and doctrine development.

Under the NATO professional development programme to Georgia, several consultations and work seminars were organised, valuable experience shared and practical offers rendered on improving work activities. Ukraine offered to develop cooperation in supporting the public relation sector and decisions were approved on launching collaboration in environmental protection, regional cooperation and internal audit.

Cooperation with Ukraine is developed under the programme of the NATO-Ukraine Joint Working Group on Defence Reform.

The Nordic-Baltic Defence Ministers meeting is an annual event.

The Defence Minister’s delegation will return to Lithuania on Thursday night.

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Nordic Battle Group, Baltic-Nordic “Mini-NATO” Progress

http://www.defpro.com/news/details/29946/?SID=b1b7f3ccd26ea21693315ee8215b897c

Defence Professionals
November 17, 2011

Estonian Defence Minister: Nordic Battle Group important for Nordic-Baltic Cooperation

-Minister Laar participated at the Nordic-Baltic Defence ministers meeting in Örebro on 15-16 November. Additionally, the Nordic-Baltic ministers met with the US Assistant Deputy Secretary of Defence as well as representatives of the United Kingdom, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands.

The Estonian minister of defence Mart Laar met with Swedish minister of defence Sten Tolgfors on the sidelines of the Nordic-Baltic defence ministers’ meeting in Örebro to discuss issues concerning Estonian-Swedish bilateral cooperation and regional cooperation as well as cooperation within the European Union.

On Estonian-Swedish relations, the ministers noted the positive increase in the countries’ bilateral defence cooperation. “Estonia and Sweden share interests and values. It is of utmost importance that we increase our bilateral cooperation in as many practical areas as possible,“ stated minister Laar.

The ministers also noted the positive developments in Nordic-Baltic defence cooperation, and pointed at many promising cooperation areas like joint procurements, military education and training.

Minister Laar stressed the importance of the EU Nordic Battle Group in the development of our defence cooperation, and thanked Sweden for its leadership role. Minister Laar stated that Estonia hopes that Sweden will be able to continue this crucial role, and said that Estonia remains committed to contributing to a Swedish-led Nordic Battle Group in 2014.

“The Nordic Battle Group is important not only for the EU, but for Nordic-Baltic cooperation and our bilateral relations in general. It is important that we continue with this very successful project,“ said Laar.

Both sides concurred that experience gained from the previous Nordic Battle Groups has been rewarding.

Minister Laar participated at the Nordic-Baltic Defence ministers meeting in Örebro on 15-16 November. Additionally, the Nordic-Baltic ministers met with the US Assistant Deputy Secretary of Defence as well as representatives of the United Kingdom, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands.

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Sierra Leone: U.S. Holds Combat Training Ahead Of Somali Deployment

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=7445&lang=0

U.S. Africa Command
U.S. Army Africa
November 18, 2011

U.S. Army Africa Partners with Sierra Leone Armed Forces in Combat Skills Training
By Rich Bartell
U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs 

HASTINGS, Sierra Leone: For Sergeant 1st Class Grady Hyatt, training combat skills to African partner nation soldiers is a full time job. Hyatt works as a military mentor for U.S. Army Africa (USARAF) with the U.S. Department of State’s African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program known as ACOTA.

Recently, Hyatt assisted in training Sierra Leone soldiers in a series of combat skills over a two-week period at the Peace Mission Training Center and the Armed Forces Training Center near Hastings, Sierra Leone. Hyatt’s instruction was focused on teaching Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces soldiers to become trainers. In the U.S. Army, it is known as train the trainer.

Hyatt, working with…partners from the United Kingdom, instructed future trainers in various combat skills to include land navigation, map reading, first aid stations, basic rifle marksmanship, enhanced marksmanship, countering improvised explosive devices and mortar training.

Hyatt is a former Marine infantryman and a Virginia National Guardsman assigned to 1st Battalion, 183rd Regimental Training Institute, currently on active duty with USARAF.

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NATO Kills Afghan Policemen In Night Raid

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-15803316

BBC News
November 19, 2011

Afghan police killed during Nato night raid

Two Afghan police officers have been killed in a clash with Nato-led forces who were conducting a night-time raid, say officials in Afghanistan.

The “friendly fire” incident happened in Ghazni province, southwest of Kabul.

Two other Afghan soldiers were injured, according to the provincial governor.

President Hamid Karzai has called repeatedly for an end to night raids, which are used by international forces to search for insurgents hiding in civilian homes.

The police chief in Ghazni, Dilawar Zahid, said the shooting happened when a convoy from the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) refused to obey police orders to stop.

“A convoy of foreign forces from Kabul were heading towards Ghazni when they were stopped by Afghan police. They opened fire on the police checkpoint, killing two police,” he said.

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British Foreign Secretary To Meet With Syrian Rebels

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/19/c_131257388.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 19, 2011

British foreign secretary to meet Syrian rebel leaders

LONDON: The British Foreign Office said that Foreign Secretary William Hague will meet Syrian rebel leaders in London on Monday.

Hague’s meeting with leaders of the Syrian National Council and the National Co-ordination Committee for Democratic Change comes at a time when Britain is ratcheting up pressure on the Syrian government.

“We have been having regular contacts with a variety of figures in the Syrian opposition for several months. We are now intensifying these,” a Foreign Office spokeswoman said.

Hague has appointed Frances Guy, a former ambassador to Lebanon, as an envoy to deal with the exiled Syrian opposition.

Advisers for Prime Minister David Cameron will also meet the Syrian rebel leaders in Downing Street.

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Categories: Uncategorized

J.B. Priestley: Insane regress of ultimate weapons leads to radioactive cemetery

November 19, 2011 Leave a comment

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

J.B. Priestley
Britain and the Nuclear Bombs (1957)

jbpriestley

*****

The prospect now is not one of countries without navies but navies without countries. And we have arrived at an insane regress of ultimate weapons that are not ultimate.

For that matter, why should it be assumed that the men who create and control such monstrous devices are in their right minds? They live in an unhealthy mental climate, an atmosphere dangerous to sanity. They are responsible to no large body of ordinary sensible men and women, who pay for these weapons without ever having ordered them, who have never been asked anywhere yet if they wanted them.

It is possible, as some thinkers hold, that our civilisation is bent on self destruction, hurriedly planning its own doomsday. This may explain matters better than any wearisome recital of plot and counter plot in terms of world powers. The curious and sinister air of somnambulism there is about our major international affairs, the steady drift from bad to worse, the speeches that begin to sound meaningless, the conferences that achieve nothing, all the persons of great consequence who somehow feel like puppets.

It will be universal catastrophe and apocalypse…And it is not hard to believe that this is what some of our contemporaries really desire, that behind the photogenic smiles and cheerful patter nothing exists but the death wish.

*****

Two events of this autumn should compel us to reconsider the question of Britain and the nuclear bombs. The first of these events was Mr Aneurin Bevan’s speech at the Labour Party conference, which seemed to many of us to slam a door in our faces. It was not dishonest but it was very much a party conference speech, and its use of terms like ‘unilateral’ and ‘polarisation’ lent it a suggestion of the ‘Foreign Office spokesman’. Delegates asked not to confuse ‘an emotional spasm’ with ‘statesmanship’ might have retorted that the statesmanship of the last 10 years has produced little else but emotional spasms. And though it is true, as Mr Bevan argued, that independent action by this country, to ban nuclear bombs, would involve our foreign minister in many difficulties, most of us would rather have a bewildered and overworked Foreign Office than a country about to be turned into a radioactive cemetery. Getting out of the water may be difficult, but it’s better than drowning.

The second event was the successful launching of the Soviet satellite, followed by an immediate outbreak of what may fairly be called satellitis, producing a rise in temperature and delirium. In the poker game where Britain still sits, nervously fingering a few remaining chips, like a Treasury official playing with two drunk oil millionaires, the stakes have been doubled again. Disarmament talks must now take place in an atmosphere properly belonging to boys’ papers and science fiction, though already charged with far more hysterical competitiveness. If statesmanship is to see us through, it will have to break the familiar and dubious pattern of the last few years. Perhaps what we need now, before it is too late, is not statesmanship but lifesmanship.

One ‘ultimate weapon’, the final deterrent, succeeds another. After the bombs, the intercontinental rockets; and after the rockets, according to the First Lord of the Admiralty, the guided-missile submarine, which will ‘carry a guided missile with a nuclear warhead and appear off the coasts of any country in the world with a capability of penetrating to the centre of any continent.’ The prospect now is not one of countries without navies but navies without countries. And we have arrived at an insane regress of ultimate weapons that are not ultimate.

But all this is to the good; and we cannot have too much of it, we are told, because no men in their right minds would let loose such powers of destruction. Here is the realistic view. Any criticism of it is presumed to be based on wild idealism. But surely it is the wildest idealism, at the furthest remove from a sober realism, to assume that men will always behave reasonably and in line with their best interests? Yet this is precisely what we are asked to believe, and to stake our all on it.

For that matter, why should it be assumed that the men who create and control such monstrous devices are in their right minds? They live in an unhealthy mental climate, an atmosphere dangerous to sanity. They are responsible to no large body of ordinary sensible men and women, who pay for these weapons without ever having ordered them, who have never been asked anywhere yet if they wanted them. When and where have these preparations for public warfare ever been put to the test of public opinions? We cannot even follow the example of the young man in the limerick and ask who does what and with which and to whom? The whole proceedings take place in the stifling secrecy of an expensive lunatic asylum. And as one ultimate weapon after another is added to the pile, the mental climate deteriorates, the atmosphere thickens, and the tension is such that soon something may snap.

The more elaborately involved and hair-triggered the machinery of destruction, the more likely it is that this machinery will be set in motion, if only by accident. Three glasses too many of vodka or bourbon-on-the-rocks, and the wrong button may be pushed. Combine this stock-piling of nuclear weapons with a crazy competitiveness, boastful confidence in public and a mounting fear in private, and what was unthinkable a few years ago now at the best only seems unlikely and very soon maybe inevitable. Then western impatience cries ‘Let’s get the damned thing over!’ and eastern fatalism mutters ‘If this has to be, then we must accept it’. And people in general are now in a worse position every year, further away from intervention; they have less and less freedom of action; they are deafened and blinded by propaganda and giant headlines; they are robbed of decisions by fear or apathy.

It is possible, as some thinkers hold, that our civilisation is bent on self destruction, hurriedly planning its own doomsday. This may explain matters better than any wearisome recital of plot and counter plot in terms of world powers. The curious and sinister air of somnambulism there is about our major international affairs, the steady drift from bad to worse, the speeches that begin to sound meaningless, the conferences that achieve nothing, all the persons of great consequence who somehow feel like puppets. We have all seen people in whom was sown the final seed of self-destruction, people who would sit with us making sensible plans and then go off and quietly bring them to nothing, never really looking for anything but death. Our individual civilisation, behaving in a similar fashion, may be under the same kind of spell, hell-bent on murdering itself. But it is possible that the spell can be broken. If it can, then it only will be by an immensely decisive gesture, a clear act of will. Instead of endless bargaining for a little of this in exchange for a little of that, while all the time the bargainers are hurried down a road that gets steeper and narrower, somebody will have to say ‘I’m through with all of this’.

In plain words: now that Britain has told the world she has the H-bomb she should announce as early as possible that she has done with it, that she proposes to reject, in all circumstances, nuclear warfare. This is not pacifism. There is no suggestion here of abandoning the immediate defence of the island. Indeed, it might be considerably strengthened, reducing the threat of actual invasion, which is the root fear in people’s minds, a fear often artfully manipulated for purposes far removed from any defence of hearth and home. (This is of course the exact opposite of the views expressed at the Tory conference by Mr Sandys, who appears to believe that bigger and bigger bombs and rockets in more and more places, if necessary, thousands of miles away, will bring us peace and prosperity.) No, what should be abandoned is the idea of deterrence by the threat of retaliation. There is no real security in it, no faith, hope, nor charity in it.

But let us take a look at our present policy entirely on its own level. There is no standing still, no stalemates, in this idiot game; one ‘ultimate weapon’ succeeds another. To stay in the race at all, except in an ignominious position, we risk bankruptcy, the disappearance of the Welfare State, a standard of living that might begin to make communist propaganda sound more attractive than it does at present. We could in fact be so busy, inspired by the indefatigable Mr Sandys, defending ourselves against communism somewhere else, a long way off, that we would wake up one morning to hear it knocking on the back door. Indeed this is Moscow’s old head-I-win-tails-you-lose policy.

Here we might do well to consider well Western strategy, first grandiloquently proclaimed by Sir Winston in those speeches he made in America just after the war. The Soviet Union was to be held in leash by nuclear power. We had the bomb and they hadn’t. The race would be on but the West had a flying start. But Russia was not without physicists, and some German scientists and highly trained technicians had disappeared somewhere in eastern Europe. For the immediate defence of West Germany, the atom bomb threat no doubt served its turn. But was this really sound long-term strategy? It created the unhealthy climate, the poisonous atmosphere of our present time. It set the Russians galloping in the nuclear race. It freed them from the immense logistic options that must be solved if large armies are to be moved everywhere, and from some very tricky problems of morale that would soon appear once the Red Army was a long way from home. It encouraged the support of so-called peoples’ and nationalistic and anti-colonial wars, not big enough to be settled by nuclear weapons. In spite of America’s ring of advanced air bases, the race had only to be run a little longer to offer Russia at least an equally good set-up, and, in comparison with Britain alone, clearly an enormously better set-up.

We are like a man in a poker game who never dares cry ‘I’ll see you’. The Soviet Union came through the last war because it had vast spaces and a large population and a ruthless disregard of losses, human and material. It still has them. Matched against this overcrowded island with its intricate urban organisation, at the last dreadful pinch – and party dictators who feel unsure of their power can pinch quicker than most democratic leaders – the other side possesses all the advantages. If there is one country that should never have gambled in this game, it is Britain. Once the table stakes were being raised, the chips piling up, we were out. And though we may have been fooling ourselves, we have not been fooling anyone else.

This answers any gobbling cries about losing our national prestige. We have none in terms of power. (The world has still respect and admiration for our culture, and we are busy reducing that respect and admiration through starving it. The cost of a few bombs might well have made all the difference.) We ended the war high in the world’s regard. We could have taken over its moral leadership, spoken and acted for what remained of its conscience; but we chose to act otherwise – with obvious and melancholy consequences both abroad, where in power politics we cut a shabby figure, and at home, where we shrug it all away or go to the theatre to applaud the latest jeers and sneers at Britannia. It has been said we cannot send our ministers naked to the conference table. But the sight of a naked minister might bring to the conference some sense of human situation. What we do is something much worse: we send them there half-dressed, half-smart, half-tough, half-apologetic, figures inviting contempt. That is why we are so excited and happy when we can send abroad a good looking young woman in a pretty new dress to represent us, playing the only card we feel that can take a trick – the queen.

It is argued, as it was most vehemently by Mr Bevan of Brighton, that if we walked out of the nuclear arms race then the world will be ‘polarised’ between America and the Soviet Union, without any hope of mediation between the fixed and bristling camps. ‘Just consider for a moment’ he cried, ‘all the little nations running, one here and one there, one running to Russia, one to the US, all once more clustering under the castle war…’ But surely this is one of those ‘realistic’ arguments that are not based on reality. The idea of the Third Force was rejected by the very party Mr Bevan was addressing. The world was polarised when, without a single protest from all the guardians of our national pride, parts of East Anglia ceased to be under control and became an American airbase. We cannot at one and the same time be an independent power, bargaining on equal terms, and a minor ally or satellite. If there are little nations that do not run for shelter to the walls of the White House or the Kremlin because they are happy to accept Britain as their nuclear umbrella, we hear very little about them. If it is a question of brute power, this argument is unreal.

It is not entirely stupid, however, because something more than brute power is involved. There is nothing unreal in the idea of a third nation, especially one like ours, old and experienced in world affairs, possessing great political traditions, to which other and smaller nations could look while the two new giants mutter and glare at each other. But it all depends what the nation is doing. If it is still in the nuclear gamble, without being able to control or put an end to the game, then that nation is useless to others, is frittering away its historical prestige, and the polarisation, which Mr Bevan sees as the worst result of our rejection of nuclear warfare, is already an accomplished fact. And if it is, then we must ask ourselves what we can do to break this polarity, what course of action on our part might have some [chance] of changing the world situation. To continue doing what we are doing will not change it. Even during the few weeks since Mr Bevan made his speech the world is becoming more rigidly and dangerously polarised than ever, just because the Russians have sent a metal football circling the globe. What then can Britain do to de-polarise the world?

The only move left that can mean anything is to go into reverse, decisively rejecting nuclear warfare. This gives the world something quite different from the polarised powers: there is not a country that can make H-bombs but decides against them. Had Britain taken this decision years ago the world would be a safer and saner place than it is today. But it is still not too late. And such a move will have to be ‘unilateral'; Domesday may arrive before the nuclear powers reach any agreement; and it is only a decisive ‘unilateral’ move that can achieve the moral force it needs to be effective.

It will be a hard decision to take because all habit is against it. Many persons of consequence and their entourages of experts would have to think fresh thoughts. They would have to risk losing friends and not influencing people. For example, so far as they involve nuclear warfare, our commitments to NATO, SEATO and the rest, and our obligations to the Commonwealth, would have to be sharply adjusted. Anywhere from Brussels to Brisbane, reproaches would be hurled, backs would be turned. But what else have these countries to suggest, what way out, what hope for man? And if, to save our souls and this planet, we are willing to remain here and take certain risks, why should we falter because we might have complaints from Rhodesia and reproaches from Christchurch, N.Z.? And it might not be a bad idea if the NATO peoples armed themselves to defend themselves, taking their rifles to the ranges at the weekend, like the Swiss.

American official and service opinion would be dead against us, naturally. The unsinkable (but expendable) aircraft carrier would have gone. Certain Soviet bases allotted to British nuclear attack would have to be included among the targets of the American Strategic Air Service. And so on and so forth. But though service chiefs and their staff go on examining and marketing their maps and planning their logistics, having no alternative but resignation, they are as fantastic and unreal in their way as their political and diplomatic colleagues are in theirs. What is fantastic and unreal is their assumption that they are traditionally occupied with their professional duties, attending in advance to the next war, Number Three in the world series. But what will happen – and one wrong report by a sleepy observer may start it off – will not be anything recognisable as war, and an affair of victories and defeats, something that one side can win or that you can all call off when you have had enough. It will be universal catastrophe and apocalypse, the crack of doom into which Communism, western democracy, their way of life and our way of life, may disappear forever. And it is not hard to believe that this is what some of our contemporaries really desire, that behind the photogenic smiles and cheerful patter nothing exists but the death wish.

We live in the thought of this prospect as if we existed in a permanent smog. All sensible men and women – and this excludes most who are in the V.I.P.–Highest-Security-Top-Secret-Top-People Class, men now so conditioned by this atmosphere of power politics, intrigue, secrecy, insane invention, that they are more than half-barmy – have no illusions about what is happening to us, and know that those responsible have made two bad miscalculation. First, they have prostituted so much science in their preparations for war and they have completely changed the character of what they are doing, without any equivalent change in the politics of and relations between states. Foreign affairs are still conducted as if the mobilisation of a few divisions might settle something [if they] are not backed with push-button arrangements to let loose earthquakes and pestilences and pronounce the death sentences of continents. This leaves us all in a worse dilemma than the sorcerer’s apprentice. The second miscalculation assumed that if the odds were multiplied fast enough, your side would break through because the other side would break down. And because this has not happened, a third illusion is being welcomed, namely, that now, with everything piling up, poker chips flung on the table by the handful, the tension obviously increasing, now at last we are arriving at an acknowledged drawn game, a not-too-state stalemate, a cosy old balance of power. This could well be the last of our illusions.

The risk of our rejecting nuclear warfare, totally and in all circumstances, is quite clear, all too easy to understand. We lose such bargaining power as we now possess. We have no deterrent to a nuclear threat. We deliberately exchange ‘security’ for insecurity. (And the fact that some such exchange is recommended by the major religions, in their earlier and non-establishment phases, needs not detain us here.) But the risk is clear and the arguments against running it irrefutable, only if we refuse, as from the first too many of us here have refused, to take anything but short-term conventional views, only if we will not follow any thought to its conclusion. Our ‘hard-headed realism’ is neither hard-headed nor realistic just because it insists on our behaving in a new world as if we were living in an old world, the one that has been replaced.

Britain runs the greatest risk just by mumbling and muddling along, never speaking out, avoiding any decisive creative act. For a world in which our deliberate ‘insecurity’ would prove to be our undoing is not a world in which real security could be found. As the game gets faster, the competition keener, the unthinkable will turn into the inevitable, the weapons will take command, and the deterrents will not deter. Our bargaining power is slight; the force of our example might be great. The catastrophic antics of our time have behind them men hag-ridden by fear, which explains the irrationality of it all, the crazy disproportion between means and ends. If we openly challenge this fear, then we might break this wicked spell that all but a few uncertified lunatics desperately wish to see broken, we could begin to restore the world to sanity and lift this nation from its recent ignominy to its former grandeur. Alone, we defied Hitler; and alone we can defy this nuclear madness into which the spirit of Hitler seems to have passed to poison the world. There may be other chain-reactions besides those leading to destruction; and we might start one. The British of these times, so frequently hiding their decent, kind faces behind masks of sullen apathy or sour, cheap cynicism, often seem to be waiting for something better than party squabbles and appeals to the narrowest self-interest, something great and noble in its intention that would make them feel good again. And this might well be a declaration to the world that after a certain date one power able to engage in nuclear warfare will reject the evil thing forever.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO news: November 18, 2011

November 18, 2011 1 comment

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Pentagon’s New Hypersonic Missile Kills Long Before It’s Heard

NATO Holds First Live-Fire Test Of Interceptor Missile System

First NATO MEADS Interceptor Missile Test Held In U.S.

Video And Text: Cameron of Arabia, Sarkozy of Damascus And Libya Model For Syria

Britain, France, Germany Push UN Resolution On Syria

U.S. Seeks News Blackout Of Afghan Strategic Deal

Two British Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

Northwest Pakistan: U.S. Drone Strikes Kill 32 In Three Days

India Headed For Full SCO Membership: Russian Foreign Minister

U.S. Air Force Trains NATO, EU For Interoperability

U.S. Asia-Pacific Strategy Comes Brings Steep Price

U.S. Army Successfully Tests Top Secret Hypersonic Weapon

Romania: NATO Deputy Secretary General To Discuss Missiles

Pentagon Redistributing Forces For Asia-Pacific Buildup

Warships, Training: U.S. Expands Military Cooperation With Georgia

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Pentagon’s New Hypersonic Missile Kills Long Before It’s Heard

http://rt.com/news/pentagon-new-bomb-681/

RT
November 18, 2011

Pentagon’s new bomb kills long before you hear it

The US Army has tested a hypersonic missile, which travels six times faster than the speed of sound. It is part of a larger plan to have the capability to strike any place on the planet within an hour.

The missile, called the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW), was launched from Hawaii on Thursday, the Pentagon reported. A rocket delivered it to suborbital altitude, after which the glider went for its target on the Marshall Islands, some 3,700 kilometers away.

It hit less than 30 minutes later, which means its speed was at least 7,400 kilometer per hour, or about Mach 6. An aircraft must be able to fly faster than Mach 5 to qualify as hypersonic.

A Mach number is used to describe the speed of an object or a fluid in comparison to the speed of sound in that medium. Mach 1 means the object travels at the same speed as sound. However the speed of sound may vary depending on such conditions as temperature and composition, so the speed expressed in Mach number is also variable. The now-retired Concorde supersonic passenger planes used to fly at a cruising speed of about Mach 2.

The test was aimed at gathering data on “aerodynamics, navigation, guidance and control, and thermal protection technologies,” the Pentagon said.

The AHW is one of several projects of the Prompt Global Strike program. It is aimed at developing several weapons which can be launched from American territory and reach their destinations within an hour.

On August 11 the US Air Force tested another hypersonic glider called the HTV-2. It is faster than the AHW, with speeds reaching 27,000 kilometer per hour. But unlike the Army’s vehicle, it does not work well – the test was aborted due to a technical failure.

The Soviet Union developed ramjet engines capable of hypersonic locomotion and even tested one design, which successfully reached Mach 5.7. The work was stalled by the collapse of the USSR, and no weapon using this technology was ever produced.

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NATO Holds First Live-Fire Test Of Interceptor Missile System

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-CE417992-A75DB383/natolive/news_81041.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
November 17, 2011

NATO’s Missile Defence – the first live-fire test

During the German-led exercise Rapid Arrow 2011, the NATO Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence Interim Capability (ALTBMD) was succesfully tested. Until now ballistic missile threats were only simulated and did not include firing a real interceptor missile. This time an actual interceptor missile was launched against a target area.

Speed is of the essence

During the exercise the radar of the US ship The USS Sullivans picked up a target missile and passed that information to a German Patriot Battery at the NATO Missile Firing Installation in Crete, to help it conduct an intercept. Since this communication involves the NATO Command and Control structure, the exercise showed that there’s no delay in the information flow between the US and the NATO Missile Defence systems.

Missile Defence network

The live fire test, in which the target was successfully acquired and destroyed, is an important step in the development of NATO’s Missile Defence capability. The system consists of the sum of national missile defence assets, networked together. According to Major General (ret) Alessandro Pera, head of NATO’s Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence (ALTBMD) Program, it is a good example of NATO’s multinational approach:

“Together it is more effective than the single sum of the individual assets that the nations provide. So, this is a real example of how we can perform a better mission with the contributions of the single individual countries that by themselves would not be able to perform the entire spectrum of the mission to defend NATO from ballistic missiles,” Says Major General Pera.

According to Pera the live fire exercise operationally validated NATO’s Missile Defence system. The next step is to improve and broaden the Missile Defence protection from protecting NATO military forces to also protecting its territory and populations.

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First NATO MEADS Interceptor Missile Test Held In U.S.

http://www.militaryaerospace.com/index/display/article-display/5131395223/articles/military-aerospace-electronics/online-news-2/2011/11/meads-completes_first.html

Military & Aerospace Electronics
November 18, 2011

MEADS completes first flight test, demonstrates ability to defeat target at White Sands Missile Range
Posted by Courtney E. Howard

ORLANDO: The Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) has completed its first flight test at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The test employed not only the PAC-3 Missile Segment Enhancement (MSE) MEADS Certified Missile Round, but also the MEADS lightweight launcher and battle manager.

An over-the-shoulder launch of the MSE missile executed both unique sideways maneuver and a planned self-destruct sequence after engaging the simulated threat, a target attacking from behind. MEADS — featuring a 360-degree defensive capability, advanced MEADS radars, and the MSE missile — is designed to defend up to eight times the coverage area with fewer system assets and reduce demand for deployed personnel, equipment, and the need for airlifts.

“MEADS demonstrated its ability to engage and defeat a target coming from anywhere using just a single launcher,” says Gregory Kee, NATO MEADS management agency general manager. “MEADS lightweight launcher is one of the most advanced mobile launchers in existence today and was designed to be easily adaptable to a variety of vehicles.”

“Today’s flight test is an important validation for the continuing MEADS development,” explains Dave Berganini, president of MEADS International.
“MEADS’ advanced capabilities detect, track, and intercept tomorrow’s threats from farther away and without blind spots. The MEADS digital design ensures high reliability and significantly reduced operational and support costs.”

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Video And Text: Cameron of Arabia, Sarkozy of Damascus And Libya Model For Syria

http://rt.com/news/uk-france-diplomatic-assault-579/

RT
November 17, 2011

Cameron of Arabia, Sarkozy of Damascus

Video

The UK is reportedly being urged by Jordan’s king to lead a “diplomatic drive” to remove the Assad regime in Damascus. France, a key partner in the campaign to kill the Gaddafi regime, is also on the list of would-be captains of an anti-Assad push.

“The West needs to lead and the international community needs to talk about what to do when the dam bursts in Syria,” senior Arab diplomatic sources told British media – a sign that no peaceful solution is expected to what Russian FM Lavrov says is now a civil war in Syria.

The news emerged following the talks between British PM David Cameron and the Jordanian King, the first Arab leader to publicly call for Syrian President to step down.

London and Paris were behind a draft UN Security Council resolution, which would have condemned Assad for the bloody crackdown on the opposition in Syria. Russia and China said the proposal was one-sided and failed to mention increasingly deadly violence by the anti-Assad opposition, and vetoed the text.

Recently the Syrian Free Army, a Sunni opposition paramilitary organization claiming 15,000 members, claimed to have attacked a Syrian Army military base in one of the bloodiest days of unrest to date.

The Syrian government blames extremist bandit groups armed with weapons smuggled in by foreign government agents of whipping up the bloodshed and derailing efforts to begin political reforms pledged by Assad.

The European Union has issued several rounds of sanctions against Damascus in a bid to force it stop its crackdown on the opposition. But this has done little to stop the bloodshed which has cost at least 3,500 lives.

Assad now has until Saturday to convince the Arab League he is halting crackdowns on protesters, while radical armed opposition grows against him, lest he face more isolation and sanctions.

At the moment the diplomatic offensive on Syria is verbal and no military activity has been mentioned. But a British/French-led offensive was key to the operation in Libya, where military intervention followed similar diplomatic choreography.

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Britain, France, Germany Push UN Resolution On Syria

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1958542.html

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
November 18, 2011

Britain, France, Germany push for UN resolution on Syria

Germany, Britain and France were trying Thursday to secure a United Nations resolution to condemn human rights violations in Syria and call for an immediate halt to violence in the country, dpa reported.

The draft resolution calls on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad to stop its violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters…It also calls on Syria to implement an Arab League plan to end the violence.

In October, Russia and China vetoed a similar European-backed resolution threatening sanctions on Syria it failed to stop its military campaign against protesters.

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U.S. Seeks News Blackout Of Afghan Strategic Deal

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/usa/1958547.html

Trend News Agency
November 18, 2011

US wants news blackout on Afghan deal

A senior Afghan official says that Washington wants a complete media blackout over the conditions set in its strategic long-term deal with Kabul, Press TV reported.

Speaking at a press conference in the capital Kabul on Thursday, loya jirga spokeswoman Safia Sediqi said the common complaint among participants of the traditional gathering on the second day of the event was that they were not been provided with any information about the terms and conditions the United States has set out for its long-term deal with Afghanistan, state-funded BBC Persian news network reported.

The loya jirga, called by President Hamid Karzai, kicked off in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday. The four-day meeting discusses Afghanistan’s relationship with the United States, and is mainly centered on long-term US bases in Afghanistan after US-led foreign troops withdraw in 2014.

Afghan religious and political figures have voiced strong opposition to US plans to set up long-term or permanent military bases in the war-torn country.

The United States has failed to achieve its goals after 10 years of war in Afghanistan. Many parts of the Asian country still remain insecure despite the presence of nearly 150,000 US-led foreign forces there.

Experts believe Washington’s new strategy of establishing long-term military bases will only serve to raise anti-US sentiment among Afghans and neighboring countries.

Afghan people are against the plan, dismissing it as a ploy for indefinite neo-colonial occupation.

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Two British Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

http://www.rttnews.com/landingpage.aspx

RTT News
November 18, 2011

Two British Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

Two NATO soldiers were killed in an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in south-western Afghanistan on Thursday, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

Task Force Helmand spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Mackenzie said the victims were British soldiers, who died when their armored vehicle struck a makeshift bomb in Nahr-e-Saraj region in the southern province of Helmand.

Another British service member had died in a similar attack by militants in the same region the previous day.

Serving as part of the NATO-led ISAF, Britain has the second largest foreign military contingent in Afghanistan. The south-western province of Helmand continues to be a Taliban stronghold, where most of the 9,500 British soldiers fight the militants as Task Force Helmand.

With this week’s incidents, the number of British military casualties in Afghanistan has risen to 386 and those of ISAF 529 so far this year.

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Northwest Pakistan: U.S. Drone Strikes Kill 32 In Three Days

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=125565

Pakistan Observer
November 18, 2011

NW Agency 7 killed, several injured in drone strike

Peshawar: American planes in a third missile attack killed at least seven tribals and wounded many others in the North Waziristan agency late Thursday afternoon, bringing the death toll to 32 in the short span of three days.

This drone attack was conducted on the third consecutive day as on Wednesday. The predator planes killed as many as eighteen people when they targeted a house in the Sararogha area, situated at the confluence of the North and South Waziristan agencies, with a barrage of Hellfire missiles. Likewise, the CIA-operated pilotless planes had targeted a house in the Miram Shah Bazaar in the North Waziristan agency Tuesday morning, razing the compound to the ground killing at least seven inmates of the house.

While officials claimed many Taliban insurgents were killed in the three missile hits, the locals believe a large number of innocent tribals also fell prey to American adventurism this week.

Reports reaching here from the North Waziristan agency say the unmanned US aircraft or drones targeted a compound in the Razmak subdivision of the North Waziristan agency some sixty kilometers south of NWA headquarters Miranshah Thursday afternoon and killed seven people on the spot.

“The American planes in a missile attack on Thursday fired four missiles at a house in the Shawaal area that flattened the compound allegedly used by Taliban insurgents and killed up to seven people with injuries to a few others,” official sources said, adding there was no report of the killing of any known personality in the fresh attack.

Local sources said US planes kept hovering in the skies, sending a wave of harassment and anxiety among already-terrified residents of the area with panic-ridden locals finding it hard to get closer to the site of the missile strikes to conduct rescue operations.

The North and South Waziristan agencies have been the main targets of the drone attacks initiated since August 2008, with over ninety percent of more than two thousand tribals killed in almost 250 drone strikes in these two agencies.

Though the US administration managed to gun down a few of their wanted men during this period, a big majority of those falling prey to the American adventurism were innocent tribals as admitted by even international watchdogs.

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India Headed For Full SCO Membership: Russian Foreign Minister

http://www.rbcnews.com/free/20111117160429.shtml

RosBusinessConsulting
November 17, 2011

India headed for full SCO membership, minister claims

Moscow: India could soon join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as a full member, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters at a press conference after meeting his Indian counterpart Somanahalli Krishna.

“Russia endorses upgrading India’s status within the SCO from an observer to a full member,” Lavrov said.

SCO currently counts Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan among its full members.

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U.S. Air Force Trains NATO, EU For Interoperability

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123280320

U.S. Air Force
November 17, 2011

Air Force Negotiation Center of Excellence conducts EU, NATO training
by Jodi Jordan
Air Force Culture and Language Center

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. (AFNS) –

[At the ] Air Force Negotiation Center of Excellence, part of Air University’s Spaatz Center for Officer Education, here…Dr. Stef Eisen is the Air Force’s authority on negotiation. He recently teamed with the Air Force General Counsel Office Dispute Resolution Division to bring a one-day course on the negotiations skill set to an international audience at the first-ever European Union/NATO Negotiations Training event in Brussels, Belgium, in October.

The event was hosted by the Air Force General Counsel’s International Law Division and is the latest in a series of collaborations between AU, NCE and the General Counsel office.

It was the positive reaction to NCE training at the Pentagon Action Officer Course that led to the request for Eisen to travel to Brussels, O’Sullivan said.

During the two, one-day executive-level seminars, more than 20 top-level decision makers from EU and NATO staffs participated in discussions and exercises designed to hone their negotiating ability. Each seminar examined negotiating strategies, decision-making, conflict management and the cross-cultural challenges presented when negotiating in the EU and NATO environments.

Dr. Octavia Froto, a senior adviser in EU affairs, was one of the participants. She cited the unique nature of the training, which she characterized as “critical” in the international environment.

“In today’s context, military leaders work in an inherently joint, coalition, host nation, and/or civilian agency environment. This means military leaders are often charged with mission success working with people they have no direct authority over,” he said. “Successfully accomplishing the mission in this environment demands the ability to collaborate and influence, in short, the ability to negotiate.”

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U.S. Asia-Pacific Strategy Comes Brings Steep Price

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/684596/US-Asia-Pacific-strategy-brings-steep-price.aspx

Global Times
November 18, 2011

US Asia-Pacific strategy brings steep price

The latest East Asia Summit will be held on November 19 in Bali, Indonesia. Taking it to signify its return to Asia-Pacific, the US seeks to turn the Summit into a forum concerning the South China Sea dispute. China has showed strong opposition to this move.

Coupled with strengthened US-Australia and US-Philippines military alliances, this move is only a part of US new Asia-Pacific strategy. These acts bring great pressure to China and it is now expected that China will take some countermeasures.

The US is carrying out smart power diplomacy that takes China as its target in Asia. Stopping it is not realistic, but it is equally unrealistic to expect China to stand idly by and indulge Asian countries as they join the US alliance to guard against China one by one. Confronted with such frictions, which has the most resources and means at its disposal? Is an all-out confrontation possible? These should be the real concerns.

A prominent change is that the US is intensifying action in the Asia-Pacific region and is encouraging China’s neighboring countries to challenge China. This is a new application of soft power.

If an “anti-China alliance” is really built in Asia, the US should provide more economic benefits to its followers. It should convince those countries that joining the US is more profitable. Only providing verbal support for sovereignty issues in disputed waters and signing agreements to provide security protection is far from enough.

A new impetus for economic growth is absent from the stagnant US economy. Its strategic demand to contain China conflicts with the realistic view of using China to stimulate economic recovery.

The strategic nature of competition between China and the US in the Asia-Pacific will be murky for the time being. However, China has gained more stakes when dealing with the US. It is hard to say whether the US holds more advantages in China’s neighboring area. The potential for economic cooperation between China and its neighboring countries is great. China should learn to use this to protect its political interests. Any country which chooses to be a pawn in the US chess game will lose the opportunity to benefit from China’s economy. This will surely make US protection less attractive.

Naval disputes are only a small part of East Asian affairs. The US and other countries seek to defend private interests by taking advantage of them. As long as China increases its input, it will make countries either pay the price for their decision or make them back the doctrine of solving maritime disputes through cooperation.

East Asian affairs should be handled under the coordination of relevant countries. No one dominant force is wanted. China has more resources to oppose the US ambition of dominating the region than US has to fulfill it. As long as China is patient, there will no room for those who choose to depend economically on China while looking to the US to guarantee their security.

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U.S. Army Successfully Tests Top Secret Hypersonic Weapon

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/dod-army-successfully-tests-top-secret-hypersonic-weapon/story?id=14975275#.TsZhzMM6tEo

ABC News
November 17, 2011

DoD: Army Successfully Tests Top Secret Hypersonic Weapon
By Lee ferran

Should President Obama want to strike any target in the world from the homeland in just a couple hours, that capability could soon be at his fingertips thanks to a top secret weapon successfully tested today, the Army said.

The Army’s own version of a hypersonic, long-range weapon system blasted off from the Pentagon’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii, early Thursday morning and – in less than half an hour – reached its destination approximately 2,500 miles away at Kwajalein Atoll. The Army would not say exactly how fast the weapon can go, but does describe it as a hypersonic weapon, meaning it reaches speeds of at least five times the speed of sound, or Mach 5.

It was the first ever test for the Army’s Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW), part of a Conventional Prompt Global Strike capability in development by the military. The AHW is described by the Department of Defense as a “first-of-its-kind glide vehicle” that uses a three-stage booster system to launch the glider slicing through the air.

“The objective of the test [today was] to collect data on hypersonic boost-glide technologies and test range performance for long-range atmospheric flight,” the Department of Defense said in a statement. “Mission emphasis is aerodynamics; navigation, guidance, and control; and thermal protection technologies.”

A Defense spokesperson would not say how similar the Army’s AHW program is to the hypersonic jet tested – and momentarily lost – by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in August. That jet was designed to travel at a blistering Mach 20, fast enough to travel from Los Angeles and New York in just 12 minutes.

According to an environmental report from June describing the test flight for the Army’s AHW, the weapon is meant to “provide the President, Secretary of Defense, and Combatant Command with the ability to quickly destroy, delay, or disrupt key enemy targets within a few hours.”

The Defense spokesperson said that due to the project’s sensitivity, no images of the weapon will be made public, but the environmental report, first referenced by the DefenseTech blog, shows what appears to be a computer-generated rendering of the craft. Based on that image, the design appears much different from DARPA’s version – more in the shape of a cone with stabilizing fins, rather than the arrow-head style of the DARPA project.

The Department of Defense said that the results from DARPA’s failed test in August, along with a previous test in April 2010, were used in the planning for today’s flight.

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Romania: NATO Deputy Secretary General To Discuss Missiles

http://www.actmedia.eu/2011/11/18/top+story/nato+deputy+secretary+general+bisogniero+to+pay+visit+to+romania+on+monday+/36783

Romanian News Agency
November 18, 2011

NATO Deputy Secretary General Bisogniero to pay visit to Romania on Monday

NATO Deputy Secretary General Claudio Bisogniero will pay a visit to Romania on Monday, Nov. 21 for talks with Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi on priority issues on the agenda of NATO Summit due in May 2012 in Chicago, the Romanian Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Doris Mircea announced at a news conference on Thursday.

The topics of the Bucharest talks include a declaration of the Alliance interim missile defence capability, NATO-Russia relations, a review of NATO defence and deterrence stand, [and] smart defence, Mircea announced.

The visit is a follow-up to NATO-Romania contacts, after the visit paid by Alliance Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen to Romania, and it takes place after Bisogniero was named the Secretary General’s special envoy on smart defence issues. The initiative is aimed at the cooperative use of the defence resources with a view to covering the deficits of capabilities amid the difficult financial situation in most NATO members, the ministry official said.

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Pentagon Redistributing Forces For Asia-Pacific Buildup

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/18/60608374.html

Voice of Russia
November 18, 2011

US redistributing forces to beef up military presence in Asia

Audio at URL above

President Barack Obama announced this week that the United States planned to deploy 2,500 Marines in Australia to shore up alliances in Asia.

The move prompted a sharp response in Beijing, which accused Obama of escalating military tensions in the region.

The agreement with Australia amounts to the first long-term expansion of the US military’s presence in the Pacific since the end of the Vietnam War.

Richard Weitz, Senior Fellow and Director at the Center for Political-Military Analysis at the Hudson Institute, talks about this plan and what it means for relationships with Australia and China. Mr. Weitz says Asia is now becoming more important for the US economically and politically, so they are trying to beef up military presence there to respond to what they see as a rise of China etc, while traditionally base-hosting countries – that is Japan and South Korea – will have as many forces as they can hold.

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Warships, Training: U.S. Expands Military Cooperation With Georgia

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/georgia/1958948.html

Trend News Agency
November 18, 2011

Georgia, US examine military cooperation issues
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: Vano Merabishvili, the Interior Minister of Georgia, and Ray Maybas, the US Secretary of the Navy, today examined coastguard cooperation issues. The meeting was held at the Office of the Interior Ministry behind the closed doors.

The question was about development of bilateral cooperation and security issues, Vano Merabishvili told journalists after the meeting.

“While different divisions of the Interior Ministry are financed from the state budget, the Georgia’s coastguard service is rendered substantial financial aid by the United States,” he said.

Merabishvili said Georgia will enjoy US assistance to install radar systems to control its space fully.

In addition, the two sides explore the opportunity of a closer cooperation in the field of prevention of marine smuggling of arms, drugs, and weapons of mass destruction, the Georgian Interior Chief said.

The US Secretary of the Navy underscored partner relations between Georgia and the US and said the US and Georgian militaries are trained together and serve in Afghanistan hand in hand.

“Our and Georgian naval infantrymen serve jointly in the Afghan province Helmand and show their best,” he said.

The US Secretary of the Navy also noted that US warships will continue to arrive in the Black Sea to carry out military training jointly with Georgia’s coastguard ships.

“Georgia is a good partner of America so cooperation, including the military one, should get stronger,” he noted.

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Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Arms Persian Gulf Allies For Conflict With Iran

November 18, 2011 1 comment

Stop NATO
November 18, 2011

U.S. Arms Persian Gulf Allies For Conflict With Iran
Rick Rozoff

Rumors and reports of, speculation over and scenarios for attacks against Iran’s civilian nuclear power facilities and military sites by the United States, Israel or both have flared up periodically over the past several years, especially since early 2005.

However, recent statements by among others the president and defense minister of Israel and a leading candidate for the American presidency in next year’s election – Shimon Peres, Ehud Barak and Mitt Romney respectively – before and after the latest International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report on Iran’s nuclear program manifest a more stark and menacing tone that has been heard in a long time. Standing U.S. head of state Barack Obama recently stated, “We are not taking any options off the table.”

The above threats and others of the same tenor have been noted in the capitals of countries around the world.

Last week the Global Times, a publication of the Communist Party of China, featured an unsigned editorial entitled “Winds of war start blowing toward Iran,” which contained these excerpts:

“The financial crisis is showing cracks in the Western lifestyle, making people anxious and irritable. History teaches us that war can quickly raise its ugly head at such times. There are always those who think wars can be a catalyst to move past a crisis.”

“While the US and other Western countries are struggling economically, their military power reigns supreme. This contrast is inevitably tempting in their strategic thinking but would have a profoundly negative impact on world peace.”

“Military rhetoric is usually heard from Western mouths. Where will the next war happen? War first exists in the minds of those obsessed with military might. If war is treated as a tool to solve problems, new excuses for it can easily be found.”

“The last few days have seen tensions over Iran take a sharp turn for the worse. Some feel that the US and Israel should combine to strike at Iranian nuclear facilities. This is reminiscent of those who encouraged NATO to hit Syria a few weeks ago.” [1]

On November 14 former Cuban president Fidel Castro warned that “a U.S.-Israeli attack on Iran would inevitably unleash a bloody war,” adding that because of the country’s size and comparative military strength “an attack on Iran is not like the previous Israeli military adventures in Iraq and Syria.” In fact, with a population as high as 75-77 million, Iran is larger in that regard than the last four nations attacked by the U.S. and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies combined: Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

Four days earlier Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Russian Duma Committee for International Affairs, in casting grave doubts on the accuracy and purpose of the recent IAEA report on Iran, said:

“A military operation against Iran could have grave consequences. And Russia should make every effort to control emotions, bring negotiations back into the field of political and expert discussion, and not allow any such action against Iran.” [2]

The following day it was announced that Iran was pursuing full membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, whose members are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (Iran’s fellow observers in the group are India, Pakistan and Mongolia), with the Supreme National Security Council’s Secretary Assistant Ali Bageri stating, “We have already submitted a relevant application.” [3]

Slightly over two years ago the U.S, and Israel held the world’s largest-ever live-fire anti-ballistic missile drills in the second country, Juniper Cobra 10. [4]

Over a thousand U.S. and an equal amount of Israeli troops participated in the war games which included three of the four tiers of rapidly the evolving American global interceptor missile network: The Patriot Advanced Capability-3, Standard Missile-3 and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense systems.

Early next year Juniper Cobra 12 will be held in Israel with the involvement of over 5,000 U.S. and Israeli troops, the largest joint military exercise ever conducted by the two nations.

Last summer the Jerusalem Post ran a feature with the title “Israel, US to hold massive missile defense drill next year,” which stated:

“Called Juniper Cobra, the exercise will be held in early 2012 and will include the Arrow 2 and Iron Dome as well as America’s THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) and the ship-based Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. The exercise will likely include the actual launching of interceptors from these systems.”

The Israeli daily added:

“The purpose of the exercise is to create the necessary infrastructure that would enable interoperability between Israeli and American missile defense systems in case the US government decided to deploy these systems here in the event of a conflict with Iran, like it did ahead of the Gulf War in Iraq in 1991.” [5]

Another major Israeli newspaper, Ha’aretz, ran a story last week under the title “Israel, U.S. to embark on largest joint exercise in allies’ history,” which cited Andrew Shapiro, Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, stating that the upcoming missile drills will represent the “largest” and “most significant” joint military maneuvers ever held by the U.S. and Israel.

The account added:

“‘Our security relationship with Israel is broader, deeper and more intense than ever before,’ said Shapiro, adding that Israel’s military edge was a ‘top priority’ for himself, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. President Barack Obama.” [6]

The intensification of already unprecedented missile interception coordination between two of the world’s main military powers indicates preparation for withstanding potential Iranian retaliation following Israeli, American or joint strikes against Iran.

The deployment of a U.S. Forward-Based X-Band Radar in Israel’s Negev Desert three years ago and this past summer’s first deployment of an Aegis class guided missile warship, USS Monterrey, to the Eastern Mediterranean as part of the U.S.-NATO Phased Adaptive Approach interceptor missile system endorsed at NATO’s summit in Portugal a year ago, which will further entail the stationing of missiles and radar in Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, Turkey and other, as yet undisclosed, countries, are further signs of systematic plans for guaranteeing that the U.S. NATO allies and partners (like Israel) are invulnerable to counterattacks. [7]

The withdrawal of American and allied troops from Iraq and the beginning of a drawdown of their counterparts in Afghanistan can also be seen in this context, as removing targets for possible retaliation should a large-scale attack be staged against Iran.

In the last three weeks features have appeared in two of America’s major newspapers, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, which reveal another source for prospective attacks against Iran: The six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). All are close military allies of and recipients of weapons from the U.S. and are linked with NATO through the eponymous Istanbul Cooperation Initiative launched at the 2004 NATO summit in Turkey. [8] A recent headline in Britain’s Guardian alluded to a “mini-NATO” in the Persian Gulf and Voice of Russia featured an article with the title of “US envisions NATO of the Gulf.”

A New York Times report of October 29 mentioned that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently confirmed the Pentagon currently has 40,000 troops in the Persian Gulf region (excluding Iraq), including 23,000 in Kuwait. The daily stated that new U.S. plans could include the deployment of more combat troops to the latter state and a heightened presence of American warships in the area.

The account further detailed that the Obama administration “is also seeking to expand military ties with the six nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. While the United States has close bilateral military relationships with each, the administration and the military are trying to foster a new ‘security architecture’ for the Persian Gulf that would integrate air and naval patrols and missile defense.” [9]

On November 11 the Wall Street Journal revealed that the White House will provide the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with “thousands of advanced ‘bunker-buster’ bombs and other munitions, part of a stepped-up U.S. effort to build a regional coalition to counter Iran.” The weapons will “vastly expand the existing capabilities of the country’s air force to target fixed structures, which could include bunkers and tunnels — the kind of installations where Iran is believed to be developing weapons.” [10] Another source mentioned 500 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles in addition to the other munitions. A news story four days later disclosed that the U.S. Air Force has received “super-heavy bunker buster bombs” from Boeing to be carried by B-2 bombers. The new bunker-busters weigh “13.6 tons and [have] a built-in satellite navigation system, with “experts not[ing] that this type of bomb which is capable of breaking 18-meter-thick concrete walls is a perfect weapon for attacking nuclear facilities in Iran.” [11]

The Wall Street Journal report, echoing that of the New York Times earlier, added:

“The Obama administration is trying to build up the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which comprises Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, U.A.E. and Kuwait, as a unified counterweight to Iran.

“In recent months, the U.S. has begun holding a regular strategic dialogue with the GCC bloc. And the Pentagon has been trying to improve intelligence-sharing and military compatibility among the six countries.”

The newspaper reminded its readers of a $67 billion arms deal initiated by the White House with Saudi Arabia in 2010 to supply the second nation with 84 F-15 fighter jets and 2,000-pound bunker-busting bombs, 72 Black Hawk and 70 Apache Longbow attack helicopters, Patriot Advanced Capability-2 and other missiles, and warships. The largest bilateral weapons sale in history. Two years ago a Financial Times feature estimated that Washington plans to sell $123 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

The Wall Street Journal also reported that the U.S. Defense Department plans to supply Stinger missiles and medium-range air-to-air missiles to Oman.

Citing Pentagon officials, the paper added:

“The U.A.E. has a large fleet of advanced U.S.-made F-16 fighters that could carry the bunker-busters. The U.A.E. currently has several hundred JDAMs [joint direct attack munitions/bunker-busters] in its arsenal, and the 4,900 in the new proposal would represent a massive buildup [of] direct attack munitions.”

“Proponents of the deal point to the U.A.E.’s support for U.S. efforts to isolate Iran, and its critical backing to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization air campaign in Libya. Officials said providing JDAMs and other U.S. weapons systems to the U.A.E. will make it easier for the country to participate in similar missions in the future.” [12]

The role of the UAE and its GCC partners this year in NATO’s war against Libya and in interventions in Bahrain and Yemen and against Syria will be addressed later. [13]

A Russian expert, Professor Sergei Druzhilovsky at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, characterized the intensification of American arms sales to its Gulf clients in the following words:

“Clearly, the aim is to provoke Iran to respond by some inadequate moves, which would enable the Americans to justify subsequent violence and military force. Because no further arming of U.S. allies in the Arab Middle East will make them any stronger. It’s not the strength of its allies, which simply doesn’t exist, but its own military bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain and its own fleet in the Persian Gulf that Washington relies upon. So, this is a pure provocation.” [14]

The Wall Street journal article also discussed the integration of the six GCC states into U.S. plans for an international interceptor missile system:

“The U.S. has also sought to build up missile-defense systems across the region, with the goal of building an integrated network to defend against short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles from Iran. [15]

Last year Washington announced the sale of land-based interceptor missiles to Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, mainly of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 model.

With land- and ship-based interceptor missiles in the Persian Gulf, Washington will link the NATO system in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean with that being developed in the Asia-Pacific region with partners Australia, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan and, with what of late has been an initiative of U.S. permanent representative to NATO Ivo Daalder, India joining the NATO missile interception system [16] to increasingly surround Iran, Russia and China.

On November 13 Aviation International News reported that Washington is planning to provide Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries to the United Arab Emirates, adding to nine Patriot Advanced Capability-3 units on order. The Pentagon has deployed two THAAD active batteries to date, both in the U.S., so the stationing of the interceptors (96-144 missiles) in the UAE would be the first time they have been deployed overseas.

The news site supplied these details:

“[T]he UAE was the first export customer to be cleared to receive the system. THAAD has completed 12 successful flight tests, nine of which involved target engagements. The latest test, FTT-12, was undertaken on October 5 at the Pacific Missile Test Range at Barking Sands, Hawaii. Two interceptors were launched successfully against two targets in a near-simultaneous engagement.”

“[T]here is significant interest in upgraded Patriot and THAAD systems [in the region]. Kuwait and Qatar have both reported interest in the latter.

“As well as anticipating finalization of the THAAD contract, Lockheed Martin is awaiting the outcome of another UAE decision concerning an air defense battle management system.” [17]

According to Press TV earlier this month, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad warned that the NATO missile system, particularly the deployment of an X-Band radar unit in Turkey, “jeopardizes the interests of the country and the entire region.”

This year has seen the emergence of Persian Gulf monarchies grouped in the Gulf Cooperation Council as a military adjunct to NATO, as a combat-ready and -proven force ready to collaborate with their Western arms suppliers and allies to intervene and wage war in the Middle East and North Africa.

The United Arab Emirates provided six U.S. F-16 and six French Mirage warplanes for NATO’s Operation Unified Protector and its 26,000 air missions and nearly 10,000 combat flights over Libya. Qatar supplied six Mirage fighter jets and two C-17 military transport planes. News reports at the time remarked that the above represented the first time Gulf Cooperation Council states had joined a NATO combat mission. (Although the UAE has a contingent of troops serving under NATO in the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.)

In June Robert Gates, while still U.S. defense secretary, praised the role of the UAE, Jordan ad Morocco in the war against Libya – Jordan and Morocco have since applied for membership in the GCC – stating, “In Libya, the involvement of Jordan, Morocco, the UAE and others in the Middle East have been hugely important.”

The then-Pentagon chief added this significant comment:

“I am not sure we would have moved forward to the UN, even undertaking this enterprise, had it not been for the vote in the Arab League that then paved the way for the UN Security Council resolutions.” [18]

Gates paralleled repeated statements by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the war citing the Arab League initiative against Libya on February 22 when the organization, then dominated by the GCC as Tunisia, Egypt and Libya were in turmoil and Syria soon to join them, condemned and suspended the membership of the North African country, a move recently repeated in relation to Syria.

The GCC’s participation in NATO’s naval blockade and air war against Libya was accompanied by its first armed intervention in a member state, the deployment of 1,500 Saudi and Emirati troops to Bahrain in the middle of March in an operation called Peninsula Shield. [19]

After Libya, Bahrain and Afghanistan, GCC members, severally and collectively, have been prepared for a military conflict closer to home, in the Persian Gulf.

In May Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski announced after meeting with his UAE counterpart that the Gulf state will “become the first Arab country to open an embassy at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation,” according to Agence France-Presse.

The following day the Kuwait News Agency quoted a statement from the French Foreign Ministry supporting the initiative:

“The United Arab Emirates has just asked for the accreditation of an ambassador to NATO.

“We fully support this request.

“This is a new step in our relations, which have witnessed an intensity and quality in cooperation between the UAE and the Alliance, notably in the framework of Operation Unified Protector in Libya.”

The Iranian response was, according to Press TV, that “This move by the UAE sets the stage to officially authorize the presence of an uninvited guest in the region.”

The preceding month five NATO warships visited the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait “under the 2004 Istanbul Cooperation Initiative” as an Agence France-Presse dispatch phrased it.

In commenting on the earlier-cited New York Times article on the Persian Gulf, a Voice of Russia commentary stated:

“[W]ith Qatar and the United Arab Emirates participating in the latest NATO-led campaign against Libya, this new ‘security architecture’ will mostly likely expand to carry out a similar function throughout the Middle East.

“[A]s the United States moves towards integrating the six states of the Gulf Co-operation Council into a security alliance that would increase both US and Saudi domination in the region, Iran could very well find itself the next victim of a US-led ‘humanitarian intervention.'” [20]

In addition to the escalation of U.S. military presence in the region, in 2009 French President Nicolas Sarkozy opened a military complex – with a navy base, air base, and training camp – in the United Arab Emirates, his country’s first permanent base in the Persian Gulf. In doing so Paris joined the U.S., Britain, Canada, the Netherlands. Australia and New Zealand in maintaining a military presence in the country. (Canada has since abandoned Camp Mirage in the UAE.)

The UAE has recently reopened negotiations with France for a military surveillance satellite, which “could also be linked to the protracted negotiations to buy 60 Dassault Aviation Rafale multi-role fighter jets, a deal that could be worth up to $10 billion.”

According to a United Press International story of late last month, “On April 24, the emirates launched its fifth communications satellite into orbit, the first to provide secure and independent telecommunications for its armed forces amid a drive by Arab states in the gulf to boost their military capabilities against Iran.

“The Emirates’ Y1A satellite was launched from the European Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, atop an Ariane 5 rocket.”

Another report by the same agency a month before said that “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 story mentioned that “The emirates’ military says it wants missiles capable of reaching targets deep inside Iran,” and offered this description of current UAE air capabilities:

“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.”

The arming of the GCC by the U.S., France and other NATO powers at an exponential rate is, in addition to providing an economic boon to crisis-ridden Western countries, transparently and exclusively directed against Iran.

The advantages accruing to the U.S. and Israel in having a regional grouping of its neighbors attack Iran in lieu of doing so themselves are sufficiently evident not to warrant being belabored.

Washington is using the Persian Gulf Arab monarchies to act as surrogates for its own interests against Iran as it is with Georgia against Russia [21] and the Philippines vis-a-vis China. (NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the North Atlantic Council just returned from Georgia, the second such visit a NATO chief and the bloc’s 28 ambassadors have paid, the first occurring the month after Georgia invaded South Ossetia in August 2008, provoking a five-day war with Russia. Late last month 2,000 U.S. and 1,000 Filipino marines participated in combat drills near the Spratly Islands, which are contested by the Philippines and China.

Even if the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and their GCC partners don’t launch unprovoked strikes against Iranian nuclear and military sites, a provocation staged, say, by the UAE around the oil-rich island of Abu Musa in the Persian Gulf (frequently referred to by U.S. officials as the Arabian Gulf in a direct affront and challenge to Iran), administered by Iran but claimed by the UAE, will be casus belli enough for the GCC and through it the Arab League it controls. From there, as with Libya earlier this year, the U.S. and its NATO allies will take up cudgels on behalf of the “threatened” Arab Gulf states and enter the lists against Iran.

The Obama Doctrine [22], like the Nixon Doctrine of forty years earlier, emphasizes the role of proxies (identified as allies and victims) in doing what the U.S. chooses not to do, not to do alone or to be seen doing alone. It justifies military aggression in the name of decisions reached by organizations it doesn’t belong to, like the Arab League and the African Union in regards to Libya, and settles geopolitical scores with independent-minded rivals under the guise of intervening on behalf of aggrieved and injured third parties. A lesson that Russia has already learned, China is now learning and Iran may be taught next.

 

1) Winds of war start blowing toward Iran

Global Times, November 9, 2011

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/683060/Winds-of-war-start-blowing-toward-Iran.aspx

2) ‘Russia can prevent military operation against Iran’
RT, November 10, 2011

http://rt.com/politics/nuclear-military-iran-russia-011

3) Tehran applies for full membership in SCO
Trend News Agency, November 11, 2011
4) Israel: Forging NATO Missile Shield, Rehearsing War With Iran
Stop NATO, November 5, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/israel-forging-nato-missile-shield-rehearsing-war-with-iran/

5) Israel, US to hold massive missile defense drill next year
Jerusalem Post, July 26, 2011

http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=230974

6) Israel, U.S. to embark on largest joint exercise in allies’ history
Ha’aretz, November 11, 2011

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-u-s-to-embark-on-largest-jo\

int-exercise-in-allies-history-1.393878
7) Israel: Global NATO’s 29th Member
Stop NATO January 17, 2010

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/israel-global-natos-29th-member

8) NATO In Persian Gulf: From Third World War To Istanbul
Stop NATO, February 6, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/08/26/nato-in-persian-gulf-from-third-world-war-to-istanbul

9) U.S. Planning Troop Buildup in Gulf After Exit From Iraq
New York Times, October 29, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/world/middleeast/united-states-plans-post-iraq-troop-increase-in-persian-gulf.html?pagewanted=all

10) U.S. Plans Bomb Sales in Gulf to Counter Iran
Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204358004577030392418491690.html

11) US Air Forces get super-heavy bunker buster bombs
Itar-Tass, November 15, 2011

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/15/60453467.html

12) U.S. Plans Bomb Sales in Gulf to Counter Iran
Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204358004577030392418491690.html

13) Gulf State Gendarmes: West Backs Holy Alliance For Control Of Arab World And Persian Gulf
Stop NATO, May 25, 2011

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2011/05/25/gulf-state-gendarmes-west-backs-holy-alliance-for-control-of-arab-world-and-persian-gulf

14) Profitable provocation
Voice of Russia, November 11, 2011

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/11/60236281.html

15) U.S. Plans Bomb Sales in Gulf to Counter Iran
Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204358004577030392418491690.html

16) NATO and India to build joint missile defense system?
Voice of Russia, September 2, 2011

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/02/55583082.html


NATO in India overtures
Voice of Russia, September 2, 2011

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/09/02/55583082.html


India may agree to deploy NATO missile system
Pakistan Observer, September 6, 2011

http://pakobserver.net/detailnews.asp?id=112723

17) THAAD on Target for UAE
Aviation International News, November 13, 2011

http://www.ainonline.com/?q=aviation-news/dubai-air-show/2011-11-13/thaad-target-uae

18) World Tribune, June 12, 2011
19) Bahrain: U.S. Backs Saudi Military Intervention, Conflict With Iran
Stop NATO, March 16, 2011

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/bahrain-u-s-backs-saudi-military-intervention-conflict-with-iran

20) US envisions NATO of the Gulf
Voice of Russia, October 31, 2011

http://rt.com/news/us-military-iraq-iran-171

21) Washington To Rearm Georgia For New Conflicts
Stop NATO, January 14, 2011

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/u-s-to-rearm-georgia-for-new-conflicts

22) Obama Doctrine: Eternal War For Imperfect Mankind
Stop NATO, December 10, 2009

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/obama-doctrine-eternal-war-for-imperfect-mankind

Categories: Uncategorized

William Dean Howells: Editha

November 18, 2011 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

William Dean Howells to Henry James: The most stupid and causeless war

William Dean Howells: Spanish Prisoners of War

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William Dean Howells
Member of the Anti-Imperialist League
Editha (1905)

(Thanks to and in memory of Geoff Berne)

The air was thick with the war feeling, like the electricity of a storm which had not yet burst. Editha sat looking out into the hot spring afternoon, with her lips parted, and panting with the intensity of the question whether she could let him go. She had decided that she could not let him stay, when she saw him at the end of the still leafless avenue, making slowly up towards the house, with his head down and his figure relaxed. She ran impatiently out on the veranda, to the edge of the steps, and imperatively demanded greater haste of him with her will before she called him aloud to him: “George!”

He had quickened his pace in mystical response to her mystical urgence, before he could have heard her; now he looked up and answered, “Well?”

“Oh, how united we are!” she exulted, and then she swooped down the steps to him, “What is it?” she cried.

“It’s war,” he said. and he pulled her up to him and kissed her.

She kissed him back intensely, but irrelevantly, as to their passion, and uttered from deep in her throat. “How glorious!”

“It’s war,” he repeated, without consenting to her sense of it; and she did not know just what to think at first. She never knew what to think of him; that made his mystery, his charm. All through their courtship, which was contemporaneous with the growth of the war feeling, she had been puzzled by his want of seriousness about it. He seemed to despise it even more than he abhorred it. She could have understood his abhorring any sort of bloodshed; that would have been a survival of his old life when he thought he would be a minister, and before he changed and took up the law. But making light of a cause so high and noble seemed to show a want of earnestness at the core of his being. Not but that she felt herself able to cope with a congenital defect of that sort, and make his love for her save him from himself. Now perhaps the miracle was already wrought in him. In the presence of the tremendous fact that he announced, all triviality seemed to have gone out of him; she began to feel that. He sank down on the top step, and wiped his forehead with his handkerchief, while she poured out upon him her question of the origin and authenticity of his news.

All the while, in her duplex emotioning, she was aware that now at the very beginning she must put a guard upon herself against urging him, by any word or act, to take the part that her whole soul willed him to take, for the completion of her ideal of him. He was very nearly perfect as he was, and he must be allowed to perfect himself. But he was peculiar, and he might very well be reasoned out of his peculiarity. Before her reasoning went her emotioning: her nature pulling upon his nature, her womanhood upon his manhood, without her knowing the means she was using to the end she was willing. She had always supposed that the man who won her would have done something to win her; she did not know what, but something. George Gearson had simply asked her for her love, on the way home from a concert, and she gave her love to him, without, as it were, thinking. But now, it flashed upon her, if he could do something worthy to have won her – be a hero, her hero – it would be even better than if he had done it before asking her; it would be grander. Besides, she had believed in the war from the beginning.

“But don’t you see, dearest,” she said, “that it wouldn’t have come to this if it hadn’t been in the order of Providence? And I call any war glorious that is for the liberation of people who have been struggling for years against the cruelest oppression. Don’t you think so, too?”

“I suppose so,” he returned, languidly. “But war! Is it glorious to break the peace of the world?”

“That ignoble peace! It was no peace at all, with that crime and shame at our very gates.” She was conscious of parroting the current phrases of the newspapers, but it was no time to pick and choose her words. She must sacrifice anything to the high ideal she had for him, and after a good deal of rapid argument she ended with the climax: “But now it doesn’t matter about the how or why. Since the war has come, all that is gone. There are no two sides any more. There is nothing now but our country.”

He sat with his eyes closed and his head leant back against the veranda, and he remarked, with a vague smile, as if musing aloud, “Our country – right or wrong.”

“Yes, right or wrong!” she returned, fervidly. “I’ll go and get you some lemonade.” She rose rustling, and whisked away; when she came back with two tall glasses of clouded liquid on a tray, and the ice clucking in them, he still sat as she had left him, and she said, as if there had been no interruption: “But there is no question of wrong in this case. I call it a sacred war. A war for liberty and humanity, if ever there was one. And I know you will see it just as I do, yet.”

He took half the lemonade at a gulp, and he answered as he set the glass down: “I know you always have the highest ideal. When I differ from you I ought to doubt myself.”

A generous sob rose in Editha’s throat for the humility of a man, so very nearly perfect, who was willing to put himself below her.

Besides, she felt, more subliminally, that he was never so near slipping through her fingers as when he took that meek way.

“You shall not say that! Only, for once I happen to be right.” She seized his hand in her two hands, and poured her soul from her eyes into his. “Don’t you think so?” she entreated him.

He released his hand and drank the rest of his lemonade, and she added, “Have mine, too,” but he shook his head in answering, “I’ve no business to think so, unless I act so, too.”

Her heart stopped a beat before it pulsed on with leaps that she felt in her neck. She had noticed that strange thing in men: they seemed to feel bound to do what they believed, and not think a thing was finished when they said it, as girls did. She knew what was in his mind, but she pretended not, and she said, “Oh, I am not sure,” and then faltered.

He went on as if to himself, without apparently heeding her: “There’s only one way of proving one’s faith in a thing like this.”

She could not say that she understood, but she did understand.

He went on again. “If I believed – if I felt as you do about this war – Do you wish me to feel as you do?”

Now she was really not sure; so she said: “George, I don’t know what you mean.”

He seemed to muse away from her as before. “There is a sort of fascination in it. I suppose that at the bottom of his heart every man would like at times to have his courage tested, to see how he would act.”

“How can you talk in that ghastly way?”

“It is rather morbid. Still, that’s what it comes to, unless you’re swept away by ambition or driven by conviction. I haven’t the conviction or the ambition, and the other thing is what it comes to with me. I ought to have been a preacher, after all; then I couldn’t have asked it of myself, as I must, now I’m a lawyer. And you believe it’s a holy war, Editha?” he suddenly addressed her. “Oh, I know you do! But you wish me to believe so, too?”

She hardly knew whether he was mocking or not, in the ironical way he always had with her plainer mind. But the only thing was to be outspoken with him.

“George, I wish you to believe whatever you think is true, at any and every cost. If I’ve tried to talk you into anything, I take it all back.”

“Oh, I know that, Editha. I know how sincere you are, and how – I wish I had your undoubting spirit! I’ll think it over; I’d like to believe as you do. But I don’t, now; I don’t, indeed. It isn’t this war alone; though this seems peculiarly wanton and needless; but it’s every war – so stupid; it makes me sick. Why shouldn’t this thing have been settled reasonably?”

“Because,” she said, very throatily again, “God meant it to be war.”

“You think it was God? Yes, I suppose that is what people wi11 say.”

“Do you suppose it would have been war if God hadn’t meant it?”

“I don’t know. Sometimes it seems as if God had put this world into men’s keeping to work it as they pleased.”

“Now, George, that is blasphemy.”

“Well, I won’t blaspheme. I’ll try to believe in your pocket Providence,” he said, and then he rose to go.

“Why don’t you stay to dinner?” Dinner at Balcom’s Works was at one o’clock.

“I’ll come back to supper, if you’ll let me. Perhaps I shall bring you a convert.”

“Well, you may come back, on that condition.”

“All right. If I don’t come, you’ll understand.”

He went away without kissing her, and she felt it a suspension of their engagement. It all interested her intensely; she was undergoing a tremendous experience, and she was being equal to it. While she stood looking after him, her mother came out through one of the long windows onto the veranda, with a catlike softness and vagueness.

“Why didn’t he stay to dinner?”

“Because – because – war has been declared,” Editha pronounced, without turning.

Her mother said, “Oh, my!” and then said nothing more until she had sat down in one of the large Shaker chairs and rocked herself for some time. Then she closed whatever tacit passage of thought there had been in her mind with the spoken words: “Well, I hope he won’t go.”

“And I hope he will,” the girl said, and confronted her mother with a stormy exaltation that would have frightened any creature less unimpressionable than a cat.

Her mother rocked herself again for an interval of cogitation. What she arrived at in speech was: “Well, I guess you’ve done a wicked thing, Editha Balcom.”

The girl said, as she passed indoors through the same window her mother had come out by: “I haven’t done anything – yet.”

In her room, she put together all her letters and gifts from Gearson, down to the withered petals of the first flower he had offered, with that timidity of his veiled in that irony of his. In the heart of the packet she enshrined her engagement ring which she had restored to the pretty box he had brought it her in. Then she sat down, if not calmly yet strongly, and wrote:

“George: – I understood when you left me. But I think we had better emphasize your meaning that if we cannot be one in everything we had better be one in nothing. So I am sending these things for your keeping till you have made up your mind.

“I shall always love you, and therefore I shall never marry any one else. But the man I marry must love his country first of all, and be able to say to me,

“‘I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not honor more.’

“There is no honor above America with me. In this great hour there is no other honor.

“Your heart will make my words clear to you. I had never expected to say so much, but it has come upon me that I must say the utmost. Editha.”

She thought she had worded her letter well, worded it in a way that could not be bettered; all had been implied and nothing expressed.

She had it ready to send with the packet she had tied with red, white, and blue ribbon, when it occurred to her that she was not just to him, that she was not giving him a fair chance. He had said he would go and think it over, and she was not waiting. She was pushing, threatening, compelling. That was not a woman’s part. She must leave him free, free, free. She could not accept for her country or herself a forced sacrifice.

In writing her letter she had satisfied the impulse from which it sprang; she could well afford to wait till he had thought it over. She put the packet and the letter by, and rested serene in the consciousness of having done what was laid upon her by her love itself to do, and yet used patience, mercy, justice.

She had her reward. Gearson did not come to tea, but she had given him till morning, when, late at night there came up from the village the sound of a fife and drum, with a tumult of voices, in shouting, singing, and laughing. The noise drew nearer and nearer; it reached the street end of the avenue; there it silenced itself, and one voice, the voice she knew best, rose over the silence. It fell; the air was filled with cheers; the fife and drum struck up, with the shouting, singing, and laughing again, but now retreating; and a single figure came hurrying up the avenue.

She ran down to meet her lover and clung to him. He was very gay, and he put his arm round her with a boisterous laugh. “Well, you must call me Captain now; or Cap, if you prefer; that’s what the boys call me. Yes, we’ve had a meeting at the town-hall, and everybody has volunteered; and they selected me for captain, and I’m going to the war, the big war, the glorious war, the holy war ordained by the pocket Providence that blesses butchery. Come along; let’s tell the whole family about it. Call them from their downy beds, father, mother, Aunt Hitty, and all the folks!”

But when they mounted the veranda steps he did not wait for a larger audience; he poured the story out upon Editha alone.

“There was a lot of speaking, and then some of the fools set up a shout for me. It was all going one way, and I thought it would be a good joke to sprinkle a little cold water on them. But you can’t do that with a crowd that adores you. The first thing I knew I was sprinkling hell-fire on them. ‘Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war.’ That was the style. Now that it had come to the fight, there were no two parties; there was one country, and the thing was to fight to a finish as quick as possible. I suggested volunteering then and there, and I wrote my name first of all on the roster. Then they elected me – that’s all. I wish I had some ice-water.”

She left him walking up and down the veranda, while she ran for the ice-pitcher and a goblet, and when she came back he was still walking up and down, shouting the story he had told her to her father and mother, who had come out more sketchily dressed than they commonly were by day. He drank goblet after goblet of the ice-water without noticing who was giving it, and kept on talking, and laughing through his talk wildly. “It’s astonishing,” he said, “how well the worse reason looks when you try to make it appear the better. Why, I believe I was the first convert to the war in that crowd to-night! I never thought I should like to kill a man; but now I shouldn’t care; and the smokeless powder lets you see the man drop that you kill. It’s all for the country! What a thing it is to have a country that can’t be wrong, but if it is, is right, anyway!”

Editha had a great, vital thought, an inspiration. She set down the ice-pitcher on the veranda floor, and ran up-stairs and got the letter she had written him. When at last he noisily bade her father and mother, “Well, good-night. I forgot I woke you up; I sha’n’t want any sleep myself,” she followed him down the avenue to the gate. There, after the whirling words that seemed to fly away from her thoughts and refuse to serve them, she made a last effort to solemnize the moment that seemed so crazy, and pressed the letter she had written upon him.

“What’s this?” he said. “Want me to mail it?”

“No, no. It’s for you. I wrote it after you went this morning. Keep it – keep it- and read it sometime -” She thought, and then her inspiration came: “Read it if ever you doubt what you’ve done, or fear that I regret your having done it. Read it after you’ve started.”

They strained each other in embraces that seemed as ineffective as their words, and he kissed her face with quick, hot breaths that were so unlike him, that made her feel as if she had lost her old lover and found a stranger in his place. The stranger said: “What a gorgeous flower you are, with your red hair, and your blue eyes that look black now, and your face with the color painted out by the white moonshine! Let me hold you under the chin, to see whether I love blood, you tiger-lily!” Then he laughed Gearson’s laugh, and released her, scared and giddy. Within her wilfulness she had been frightened by a sense of subtler force in him, and mystically mastered as she had never been before.

She ran all the way back to the house, and mounted the steps panting. Her mother and father were talking of the great affair. Her mother said: “Wa’n’t Mr. Gearson in rather of an excited state of mind? Didn’t you think he acted curious?”

“Well, not for a man who’d just been elected captain and had set ‘em up for the whole of Company A,” her father chuckled back.

“What in the world do you mean, Mr. Balcom? Oh! There’s Editha!” She offered to follow the girl indoors.

“Don’t come, mother!” Editha called, vanishing.

Mrs. Balcom remained to reproach her husband. “I don’t see much of anything to laugh at.”

“Well, it’s catching. Caught it from Gearson. I guess it won’t be much of a war, and I guess Gearson don’t think so either. The other fellows will back down as soon as they see we mean it. I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. I’m going back to bed, myself.”

Gearson came again next afternoon, looking pale and rather sick, but quite himself, even to his languid irony. “I guess I’d better tell you, Editha, that I consecrated myself to your god of battles last night by pouring too many libations to him down my own throat. But I’m all right now. One has to carry off the excitement, somehow.”

“Promise me,” she commanded, “that you’ll never touch it again!”

“What! Not let the cannikin clink? Not let the soldier drink? Well, I promise.”

“You don’t belong to yourself now; you don’t even belong to me. You belong to your country, and you have a sacred charge to keep yourself strong and well for your country’s sake. I have been thinking, thinking all night and all day long.”

“You look as if you had been crying a little, too,” he said, with his queer smile.

“That’s all past. I’ve been thinking, and worshipping you. Don’t you suppose I know all that you’ve been through, to come to this? I’ve followed you every step from your old theories and opinions.”

“Well, you’ve had a long row to hoe.”

“And I know you’ve done this from the highest motives -“

“Oh, there won’t be much pettifogging to do till this cruel war is -“

“And you haven’t simply done it for my sake. I couldn’t respect you if you had.”

“Well, then we’ll say I haven’t. A man that hasn’t got his own respect intact wants the respect of all the other people he can corner. But we won’t go into that. I’m in for the thing now, and we’ve got to face our future. My idea is that this isn’t going to be a very protracted struggle; we shall just scare the enemy to death before it comes to a fight at all. But we must provide for contingencies, Editha. If anything happens to me -“

“Oh, George!” She clung to him, sobbing.

“I don’t want you to feel foolishly bound to my memory. I should hate that, wherever I happened to be.”

“I am yours, for time and eternity – time and eternity.” She liked the words; they satisfied her famine for phrases.

“Well, say eternity; that’s all right; but time’s another thing; and I’m talking about time. But there is something! My mother! If anything happens -“

She winced, and he laughed. “You’re not the bold soldier-girl of yesterday!” Then he sobered. “If anything happens, I want you to help my mother out. She won’t like my doing this thing. She brought me up to think war a fool thing as well as a bad thing. My father was in the Civil War; all through it; lost his arm in it.” She thrilled with the sense of the arm round her; what if that should be lost? He laughed as if divining her: “Oh, it doesn’t run in the family, as far as I know!” Then he added gravely: “He came home with misgivings about war, and they grew on him. I guess he and mother agreed between them that I was to be brought up in his final mind about it; but that was before my time. I only knew him from my mother’s report of him and his opinions; I don’t know whether they were hers first; but they were hers last. This will be a blow to her. I shall have to write and tell her -“

He stopped, and she asked: “Would you like me to write, too, George?”

“I don’t believe that would do. No, I’ll do the writing. She’ll understand a little if I say that I thought the way to minimize it was to make war on the largest possible scale at once – that I felt I must have been helping on the war somehow if I hadn’t helped keep it from coming, and I knew I hadn’t; when it came, I had no right to stay out of it.”

Whether his sophistries satisfied him or not, they satisfied her. She clung to his breast, and whispered, with closed eyes and quivering lips: “Yes, yes, yes!”

“But if anything should happen, you might go to her and see what you could do for her. You know? It’s rather far off; she can’t leave her chair -“

“Oh, I’ll go, if it’s the ends of the earth! But nothing will happen! Nothing can! I -“

She felt her lifted with his rising, and Gearson was saying, with his arm still round her, to her father: “Well, we’re off at once, Mr. Balcom. We’re to be formally accepted at the capital, and then bunched up with the rest somehow, and sent into camp somewhere, and got to the front as soon as possible. We all want to be in the van, of course; we’re the first company to report to the Governor. I came to tell Editha, but I hadn’t got round to it.”

She saw him again for a moment at the capital, in the station, just before the train started southward with his regiment. He looked well, in his uniform, and very soldierly, but somehow girlish, too, with his clean-shaven face and slim figure. The manly eyes and the strong voice satisfied her, and his preoccupation with some unexpected details of duty flattered her. Other girls were weeping and bemoaning themselves, but she felt a sort of noble distinction in the abstraction, the almost unconsciousness, with which they parted. Only at the last moment he said: “Don’t forget my mother. It mayn’t be such a walk-over as I supposed,” and he laughed at the notion.

He waved his hand to her as the train moved off – she knew it among a score of hands that were waved to other girls from the platform of the car, for it held a letter which she knew was hers. Then he went inside the car to read it, doubtless, and she did not see him again. But she felt safe for him through the strength of what she called her love. What she called her God, always speaking the name in a deep voice and with the implication of a mutual understanding, would watch over him and keep him and bring him back to her. If with an empty sleeve, then he should have three arms instead of two, for both of hers should be his for life. She did not see, though, why she should always be thinking of the arm his father had lost.

There were not many letters from him, but they were such as she could have wished, and she put her whole strength into making hers such as she imagined he could have wished, glorifying and supporting him. She wrote to his mother glorifying him as their hero, but the brief answer she got was merely to the effect that Mrs. Gearson was not well enough to write herself, and thanking her for her letter by the hand of someone who called herself “Yrs truly, Mrs. W. J. Andrews.”

Editha determined not to be hurt, but to write again quite as if the answer had been all she expected. Before it seemed as if she could have written, there came news of the first skirmish, and in the list of the killed, which was telegraphed as a trifling loss on our side, was Gearson’s name. There was a frantic time of trying to make out that it might be, must be, some other Gearson; but the name and the company and the regiment and the State were too definitely given.

Then there was a lapse into depths out of which it seemed as if she never could rise again; then a lift into clouds far above all grief, black clouds, that blotted out the sun, but where she soared with him, with George – George! She had the fever that she expected of herself, but she did not die in it; she was not even delirious, and it did not last long. When she was well enough to leave her bed, her one thought was of George’s mother, of his strangely worded wish that she should go to her and see what she could do for her. In the exaltation of the duty laid upon her – it buoyed her up instead of burdening her – she rapidly recovered.

Her father went with her on the long railroad journey from northern New York to western Iowa; he had business out at Davenport, and he said he could just as well go then as any other time; and he went with her to the little country town where George’s mother lived in a little house on the edge of the illimitable cornfields, under trees pushed to a top of the rolling prairie. George’s father had settled there after the Civil War, as so many other old soldiers had done; but they were Eastern people, and Editha fancied touches of the East in the June rose overhanging the front door, and the garden with early summer flowers stretching from the gate of the paling fence.

It was very low inside the house, and so dim, with the closed blinds, that they could scarcely see one another: Editha tall and black in her crapes which filled the air with the smell of their dyes; her father standing decorously apart with his hat on his forearm, as at funerals; a woman rested in a deep arm-chair, and the woman who had let the strangers in stood behind the chair.

The seated woman turned her head round and up, and asked the woman behind her chair: “Who did you say?”

Editha, if she had done what she expected of herself, would have gone down on her knees at the feet of the seated figure and said, “I am George’s Editha,” for answer.

But instead of her own voice she heard that other woman’s voice, saying: “Well, I don’t know as I did get the name just right. I guess I’ll have to make a little more light in here,” and she went and pushed two of the shutters ajar.

Then Editha’s father said, in his public will-now-address-a-few-remarks tone: “My name is Balcom, ma’am – Junius H. Balcom, of Balcom’s Works, New York; my daughter -“

“Oh!” the seated woman broke in, with a powerful voice, the voice that always surprised Editha from Gearson’s slender frame. “Let me see you. Stand round where the light can strike on your face,” and Editha dumbly obeyed. “So, you’re Editha Balcom,” she sighed.

“Yes,” Editha said, more like a culprit than a comforter.

“What did you come for?” Mrs. Gearson asked.

Editha’s face quivered and her knees shook. “I came – because – because George -” She could go no further.

“Yes,” the mother said, “he told me he had asked you to come if he got killed. You didn’t expect that, I suppose, when you sent him.”

“I would rather have died myself than done it!” Editha said, with more truth in her deep voice than she ordinarily found in it. “I tried to leave him free -“

“Yes, that letter of yours, that came back with his other things, left him free.”

Editha saw now where George’s irony came from.

“It was not to be read before – unless – until – I told him so,” she faltered.

“Of course, he wouldn’t read a letter of yours, under the circumstances, till he thought you wanted him to. Been sick?” the woman abruptly demanded.

“Very sick,” Editha said, with self-pity.

“Daughter’s life,” her father interposed, “was almost despaired of, at one time.”

Mrs. Gearson gave him no heed. “I suppose you would have been glad to die, such a brave person as you! I don’t believe he was glad to die. He was always a timid boy, that way; he was afraid of a good many things; but if he was afraid he did what he made up his mind to. I suppose he made up his mind to go, but I knew what it cost him by what it cost me when I heard of it. I had been through one war before. When you sent him you didn’t expect he would get killed.”

The voice seemed to compassionate Editha, and it was time. “No,” she huskily murmured.

“No, girls don’t; women don’t, when they give their men up to their country. They think they’ll come marching back, somehow, just as gay as they went, or if it’s an empty sleeve, or even an empty pantaloon, it’s all the more glory, and they’re so much the prouder of them, poor things!”

The tears began to run down Editha’s face; she had not wept till then; but it was now such a relief to be understood that the tears came.

“No, you didn’t expect him to get killed,” Mrs. Gearson repeated, in a voice which was startlingly like George’s again. “You just expected him to kill some one else, some of those foreigners, that weren’t there because they had any say about it, but because they had to be there, poor wretches – conscripts, or whatever they call ‘em. You thought it would be all right for my George, your George, to kill the sons of those miserable mothers and the husbands of those girls that you would never see the faces of.” The woman lifted her powerful voice in a psalmlike note. “I thank my God he didn’t live to do it! I thank my God they killed him first, and that he ain’t livin’ with their blood on his hands!” She dropped her eyes, which she had raised with her voice, and glared at Editha. “What you got that black on for?” She lifted herself by her powerful arms so high that her helpless body seemed to hang limp its full length. “Take it off, take it off, before I tear it from your back!”

The lady who was passing the summer near Balcom’s Works was sketching Editha’s beauty, which lent itself wonderfully to the effects of a colorist. It had come to that confidence which is rather apt to grow between artist and sitter, and Editha had told her everything.

“To think of your having such a tragedy in your life!” the lady said. She added: “I suppose there are people who feel that way about war. But when you consider the good this war has done – how much it has done for the country! I can’t understand such people, for my part. And when you had come all the way out there to console her – got up out of a sick-bed! Well!”

“I think,” Editha said, magnanimously, “she wasn’t quite in her right mind; and so did papa.”

“Yes,” the lady said, looking at Editha’s lips in nature and then at her lips in art, and giving an empirical touch to them in the picture. “But how dreadful of her! How perfectly – excuse me – how vulgar!”

A light broke upon Editha in the darkness which she felt had been without a gleam of brightness for weeks and months. The mystery that had bewildered her was solved by the word; and from that moment she rose from grovelling in shame and self-pity, and began to live again in the ideal.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO news: November 17, 2011

November 17, 2011 1 comment

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Obama Announces Expanded U.S. Military Presence In Australia

Australia: Pentagon Builds “Security Architecture” In Asia-Pacific

U.S. Military Base In Australia: China On Notice

Opposition, Protesters Oppose U.S. Military Buildup In Australia

Philippines: Clinton Visits U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer

Russia: NATO Missile System Could End New START Treaty

Russian Military Chief Warns Of NATO Expansion, Nuclear War Threats

Russia Alarmed By U.S. Military Plans In Central Asia, Afghanistan

Afghan War: Three NATO Soldiers Killed

Pakistan: U.S. Drones Strikes Kill 543 So far This Year

Pakistan: Opposition Condemns Latest Deadly U.S. Drone Attack

Pakistan: High Court Accepts Plea Against Drone Strikes

U.S. Drone Strike Kills 17, Wounds 67 In Somalia

Canada: Pentagon Chief To Meet Canadian, Israeli Defense Ministers, NATO Commander

U.S. Joins NATO Cyber Warfare Operations In Baltic

Pentagon Reserves Right To Bomb Countries Hosting Hackers

Foreign Minister: Russia Understands Kosovo Serbs’ Request

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Obama Announces Expanded U.S. Military Presence In Australia

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66098

U.S. Department of Defense
November 16, 2011

Obama Announces Expanded U.S. Military Presence in Australia
By Donna Miles

-“As of today’s deal, U.S. Marines will be for the first time conducting exercises by themselves on Australian soil,” Obama said…“But it also allows us to meet the demands of a lot of partners in the region” in terms of training, exercises and “the presence that’s necessary to maintain the security architecture of the region,” he added.

WASHINGTON President Barack Obama joined Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard today to announce expanded military-to-military relationships between the two countries as they commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Australia-New Zealand-U.S. alliance.

Speaking at a joint news conference in the Australian capital of Canberra, the leaders announced closer collaboration between the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force and the Australian Defense Force.

Beginning in mid-2012, company-size rotations of 200 to 250 Marines will begin deploying near Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory for six-month rotations. Gillard said the presence will expand to a force of 2,500 over the next several years.

“As of today’s deal, U.S. Marines will be for the first time conducting exercises by themselves on Australian soil,” Obama said.

This rotational deployment is significant because it allows the United States and Australia to build capacity and cooperation, the president said.

“But it also allows us to meet the demands of a lot of partners in the region” in terms of training, exercises and “the presence that’s necessary to maintain the security architecture of the region,” he added.

Obama and Gillard also agreed to provide U.S. military aircraft greater access to Royal Australian Air Force facilities in northern Australia.

The expanded relationship will ensure “we’re going to be in a position to more effectively strengthen the security of both of our nations and this region,” Obama said.

The expanded U.S.-Australia military relationship also “sends a clear message of our commitment to this region, a commitment that is enduring and unwavering” the president said.

“I am making it clear that the United States is stepping up its commitment to the entire Asia-Pacific [region],” the president said, thanking Australia for its leadership role in the region.

“As it has been for six decades” he continued, “our alliance is going to be indispensable to our shared future, the security we need and the prosperity that we seek, not only in this region, but around the world.”

The talks in Australia spanned a range of challenges that extend beyond the region, including the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan, the president said.

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Australia: Pentagon Builds “Security Architecture” In Asia-Pacific

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66119

U.S. Department of Defense
November 16, 2011

Australia Mission Reflects Asia-Pacific Commitment, Officials Say
By Karen Parrish

WASHINGTON: Defense officials detailed new military-to-military operations involving the United States and Australia that the two nations’ leaders announced today.

President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that next year, groups of 200 to 250 U.S. Marines will begin rotational six-month deployments near Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory. Gillard said the presence will expand to a force of 2,500 over the next several years.

Obama is in Australia in part to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Australia-New Zealand-U.S. alliance.

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said the new agreement “is a very important initiative that we’ve been working with our Australian allies on for some time.”

Both Obama and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta have emphasized during recent travels that the Asia-Pacific region is a U.S. top priority.

“We have a 60-year alliance with the Australians, and this is an effort to further our ties to the Australian military,” Little said. “This is a training and exercise presence that will be based over time.”

The focus of the Australia-based mission is to work closely with the Australian military on training and exercises, he added.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. John Kirby said the announcement reflects the U.S. commitment to allies and partners throughout the Asia-Pacific and to that part of the world.

“This is about our broader point, too: building a security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region that provides for the protection of U.S. interests and the interests of … our allies,” Little added.

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U.S. Military Base In Australia: China On Notice

http://rt.com/news/us-troops-australia-china-471/

RT
November 16, 2011

US base in Australia: China on notice

Up to 2,500 US marines will be permanently stationed in Australia within the next six years under a new agreement between the two countries. The move comes as Pacific region’s major player, China, is rapidly boosting its military might.

The news was announced jointly by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and President Barack Obama, who is on a nine-day diplomatic tour of the Asia Pacific.

“This region is of great strategic importance to us” said Obama. “We will make sure we are able to fulfill our leadership role in the Asia Pacific region.”

“Our alliance has been a bedrock of stability in our region, so building on the alliance through this new initiative is about stability,” said Julia Gillard.

Although Obama said he welcomed China’s rise, he also issued a warning: “We will send a clear message to them that we think they may need to be on track, in terms of accepting the rules and responsibilities of being a world power.”

Although the US has voiced no plans to construct its own base in Australia, and the initial marine contingent will be only 250, the agreement includes plans for a greater presence of US Navy and Air Force.

The marines are also expected to provide combat training not just for Australian soldiers, but those from other countries from the Pacific Basin.
In an interview with the Sidney Morning Herald, Hugh White, the former Deputy Defense Secretary labeled the deployment “very significant and very risky” for Australia.

[A]fter a decade where US attention has been absorbed by the Middle East and Afghanistan, this is yet another sign that the country is turning its eye to the Pacific Basin.

Obama has pushed for a greater role for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade alliance of mostly Western-leaning economies that has aroused the suspicions of China.

It has also beefed up its existing bases and naval presence, largely in anticipation of ever-growing disagreements around the lucrative shipping lanes in the South China Sea, which are subject to wrangles between China and other regional powers.

The marine deployment is merely the latest step in a strategy that has been termed the “Comeback to Asia.”

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Opposition, Protesters Oppose U.S. Military Buildup In Australia

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/17/c_131253614.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 17, 2011

No need for American military buildup in Asia Pacific — Australian Greens, protesters
By Vienna Ma

CANBERRA: U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday received warm welcome in Australia, but the Australian Greens and some protesters disagreed with his statement that there is a need for an American military buildup in the Asia-Pacific region.

In a joint media conference with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Obama and Gillard announced the two countries have agreed to increase joint military initiatives to enhance the alliance, which will see the U.S. boost its military activities in Australia from 2012.

Senator Robert Brown, Parliamentary leader of the Australian Greens, said such move means Australia has given up the alternative of an independent foreign policy and independent future in the region.

Brown said the president had served the United States well in his speech, but he said the agreement might not be in Australia’s interest, as Australia as a middle-order power with growing influence had a “big potential for good” in the Asia-Pacific region and should not be “taking sides”.

He said such move means Australia has given up the alternative of an independent foreign policy and independent future in the region.

“We have a need to get on well in our own neighbourhood,” he told reporters in Canberra. “The United States is obviously doing what President Obama said himself is what he set out to do – that was to establish a very significant military foothold in Australia.

“That’s what he’s done in the last 48 hours and that’s what the prime minister and the leader of the opposition have acquiesced to. “

Senator Brown said there should be a parliamentary debate on the expansion of joint training and exercises with U.S. forces and flagged a possible Senate inquiry.

Meanwhile, a small group of 12 Australians, holding signs include “No Bases” “Pine Gap is too much” and “Gillard is a puppet to the U.S. war machine”, started a protest against U.S. military presence in Australia near Northern Territory Parliament, ahead of Obama’s arrival.

According to former Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) member Greg Chapman, there is already too many military personnel were seen in the city, and the rise in the number of U.S. troops would not help Australia.

It is all about American interests, Chapman said.

Lawyer Diana Rickard said an influx in the number of U.S. troops in Darwin would make the community less safe.

“We do not want American marines in Australia doing the same things they have done in the Philippines, in Japan, in Germany and probably in most parts of the world where they have a military base,” she said. “We do not want the violence to spread.”

Under an agreement signed recently by U.S. president and Australian leader, the United States will place some 2,500 mariner troops, military equipment and warplanes in its military base located in Australia’s city of Darwin.

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Philippines: Clinton Visits U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66105

U.S. Department of Defense
November 16, 2011

Clinton Visits USS Fitzgerald in Manila
By Donna Miles

-The United States and its Philippine allies are evaluating ways to update the alliance – like other alliances in the region – to ensure they are “nimble, adaptive [and] flexible” to “deliver results in this new world,” [Clinton] said.
-“We must ensure that this alliance remains strong, capable of delivering results for the people of the Philippines, the United States and our neighbors throughout the Asia-Pacific [region],” Clinton said.

WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited the crew of the USS Fitzgerald in Manila today as she commemorated the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.

Clinton noted the vastly different world the two countries faced when the treaty was signed in 1951. Their soldiers had fought together in World War II, and the two countries again were united against the spread of communism.

“This treaty was a testament that we stood united against the challenges of a dangerous world,” Clinton said…

The United States and its Philippine allies are evaluating ways to update the alliance – like other alliances in the region – to ensure they are “nimble, adaptive [and] flexible” to “deliver results in this new world,” she said.

Clinton underscored the need as part of that effort for the treaty to provide the collective defense capabilities and communications infrastructure capable of deterring provocation from a full spectrum of state, as well as nonstate, actors.

She noted, for example, the need to support the Philippines in the maritime domain as it improves its territorial and interdiction capabilities. In August, the United States transferred a Coast Guard cutter to the Philippines and is considering transferring a second one, she said.

“We must ensure that this alliance remains strong, capable of delivering results for the people of the Philippines, the United States and our neighbors throughout the Asia-Pacific [region],” Clinton said.

The secretary paid tribute to the Fitzgerald crew as an example of the close relationship between the two countries’ militaries.

The Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer transited with the Philippine navy’s new flagship, Gregorio del Pilar, during its maiden voyage across the Pacific this summer, she noted…

“By the end of the exercises, the officers and crews onboard both vessels achieved new levels of proficiency and partnership,” Clinton said.


Clinton called it an honor to meet the Fitzgerald crew and thank them on behalf of the American people.

“You protect us faithfully and courageously, often from faraway cities or remote corners of the ocean,” she said…

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Russia: NATO Missile System Could End New START Treaty

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1675815.php/Kremlin-NATO-missile-shield-could-end-US-Russia-nuke-limits-treaty

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
November 17, 2011

Kremlin: NATO missile shield could end US-Russia nuke limits treaty

Moscow: A senior Russian general on Thursday said a missile shield planned for the NATO region could force Moscow to quit a strategic nuclear arms treaty with the US, possibly triggering a nuclear arms race.

Army General Nikolai Makarov, chief of Russia’s general staff, made the remarks, which were reported by the Interfax news agency, in a Moscow speech.

‘The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) has several points that allow us, if necessary, to quit the agreement,’ Makarov said. ‘And you know, the problem of the European missile shield is quite serious.’

Makarov’s comments marked the first time a top Kremlin official has, in a public statement, linked a planned NATO missile shield with Russia’s participation in a nuclear arms limitation treaty with the US.

The European missile defence network would give NATO the ability to shoot down elements of Russia’s nuclear deterrence force, and so give Washington a dangerous advantage in a confrontation with Moscow, Russian officials have said.

The New Start treaty, signed in Prague in April 2010 by US President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, established maximum numbers of nuclear-capable missiles and bombers both sides might keep in inventory, and set out a rigorous inspection regime to monitor compliance.

Article 14 of the agreement allows either signer to quit the agreement ‘if extraordinary events related to the subject matter of this treaty have jeopardized its supreme interests.’

An abrogation of the New Start treaty would allow Russia and the US to field new nuclear weapons in unlimited quantity – a situation similar to the early years of the Cold War.

Other threatened Russian retaliatory measures for the NATO missile shield have included: deployment of nuclear weapons to the Baltic region; construction of a missile defence network across Russia; and an increase of conventional forces in Russia’s western provinces.

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Russian Military Chief Warns Of NATO Expansion, Nuclear War Threats

http://rt.com/politics/makarov-nuclear-russia-nato-575/

RT
November 17, 2011

Border Alert: Nuke risk rising, Russia warns
By Robert Bridge

The danger of local armed conflicts along Russia’s borders exploding into full-scale nuclear war has grown following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia’s chief of staff said on Thursday.

General Nikolai Makarov told the Russian Public Chamber there is a dangerous level of mistrust with former Soviet states that border the country.

“The possibility of local armed conflicts virtually along the entire perimeter of the border has grown dramatically,” Makarov said. “I cannot rule out that, in certain circumstances, local and regional armed conflicts could grow into a large-scale war, possibly even with nuclear weapons.”

Makarov mentioned NATO’s steady encroachment toward Russia’s borders as one of the key reasons for the heightened level of mistrust in the region since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

“Almost all countries formerly belonging to the Warsaw Pact have become NATO members, and the Baltic States that were earlier a part of the USSR have also joined the alliance,” Russia’s top military official said.

Moscow has often criticized the western military bloc for going back on its word not to expand following the collapse of the USSR.

“At time of the withdrawal from Eastern Europe, the NATO Secretary General promised the USSR it could be confident that NATO would not expand beyond its current boundaries,” Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in a past comment. “So where is it now?” I asked them [the NATO officials]. They have nothing to say. They deceived us in the rudest way.”

Meanwhile, the comments by Chief of Staff Makarov did contain a silver lining in the nuclear cloud.

Speaking on the prospects of the New START treaty, signed by President Dmitry Medvedev and his US counterpart Barack Obama, Makarov was optimistic.
“The previous START treaty was flawed, but there were attempts to extend it,” he said. “The new START is the first treaty that satisfies us.”

On the US missile defense system planned for Eastern Europe, the Russian general said the new START gives Moscow the flexibility its new defense measures require.

“This treaty gives us the ability to secede in certain cases,” he said, specifically mentioning the “European missile defense problem” as a national security threat that could force Moscow to breach the treaty.

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Russia Alarmed By U.S. Military Plans In Central Asia, Afghanistan

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/17/c_131253687.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 17, 2011

Russia concerned by U.S. military plans in Central Asia, Afghanistan

MOSCOW: Russia was concerned by U.S. plans to expand its military presence in Central Asia and to set up large military bases in Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Thursday.

“It is still unclear how the (U.S.) troops’ withdrawal scheduled in 2014 after the end of anti-terrorism operations corresponds to the U.S. plans to set up in Afghanistan quite big military bases,” Lavrov told reporters after his talks with visiting Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna here.

Lavrov said Moscow had discussed the issue with Afghan and U.S. representatives, but “there are more questions than answers so far.”

“Moreover, information comes in periodically that our American colleagues want to expand their military presence in Central Asia,” he said.

Lavrov said, from the start of the operations against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, Russia was told that the foreign presence in Afghanistan and its transit centers in central Asia would be used purely to fight that particular terrorism threat.

“Russia was told there were no long-term geopolitical calculations,” Lavrov said, adding these principals should be respected in full.

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Afghan War: Three NATO Soldiers Killed

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/210491.html

Press TV
November 16, 2011

Three US-led troops killed in Afghan war

Three soldiers serving with the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have been killed in two separate bomb explosions in troubled southern Afghanistan.

“Two ISAF service members died following an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in southern Afghanistan today,” Xinhua cited a brief statement released by the Western military contingent on Wednesday.

Another ISAF soldier was killed in a similar incident in southern Afghanistan earlier in the day.

The military force, however, did not provide details of the incidents, and did not announce the name or nationality of the victims.

According to official figures released by the website icasualties.org, a total of 525 foreign troops have lost their lives in war-battered Afghanistan so far this year.

Last year, nonetheless, remains the deadliest year for foreign military casualties with a death toll of 711. The number eclipsed the previous record of 521 set in 2009.

The increasing number of military casualties in Afghanistan has caused widespread anger in the US and other NATO member states, undermining public support for the Afghan war.

Insecurity continues to rise across Afghanistan despite the presence of nearly 150,000 US-led forces in the Asian country.

A United Nations report on Afghanistan issued on September 28 said that the monthly average number of security incidents recorded for the year through the end of August has risen nearly 40 percent.

The report also said civilian casualties, already at record levels in the first six months of the year, rose 5 percent between June and August 2011 compared with the same three-month period in 2010.

Around 130,000 people were displaced by the conflict in the first seven months of the year, up nearly two-thirds from the same period one year earlier.

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Pakistan: U.S. Drones Strikes Kill 543 So far This Year

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/17/c_131253723.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 17, 2011

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

ISLAMABAD: At least nine people were killed in a U.S. drone strike launched Thursday afternoon in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of North Waziristan which borders Afghanistan, reported local Urdu TV channel ARY.

According to the report, four missiles were fired by U.S. drones at a house suspected of being a militant hideout in the Razmak area of North Waziristan, a haven of militants along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area.

This is the fourth strike by U.S. drones in Pakistan since this month and the 63rd of its kind (both counted on daily basis) in 2011. To date, a total of 543 people, most of whom are believed to be militants, have been killed so far this year.

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Pakistan: Opposition Condemns Latest Deadly U.S. Drone Attack

http://www.onlinenews.com.pk/details.php?id=185911

News International
November 16, 2011

Imran condemns US drone attack

ISLAMABAD: Chairman of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan has strongly condemned the US drone strike in South Waziristan that has resulted in the death of thirteen people.

In a statement released from the Central Secretariat of the PTI in Islamabad, Imran Khan said that the attack reflected a continuation of the US belligerence in stark violation of the Joint Parliamentary Resolution and the unanimous All Parties Resolution that were adopted some time ago.

It also reflected the criminal duplicity of the government of Pakistan that had failed in bringing an end to these inhuman attacks that have killed scores of innocent civilians including women and children. It was also further proof of the government’s complicity in facilitating these attacks, which were a serious infringement of Pakistan’s security and sovereignty. He also said that the government, having lost its moral authority, had no rationale to continue.

Imran Khan reiterated his firm conviction that, once voted into power, he would undertake immediate steps to put an end to these inhuman attacks. He said that, for him, there was nothing more important than restoring Pakistan’s sovereignty and safeguarding its security interests.

He called upon the people to demonstrate their feelings over these attacks and mount pressure on the government to change course.

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Pakistan: High Court Accepts Plea Against Drone Strikes

http://www.sananews.net/english/2011/11/phc-accepts-plea-against-drone-attacks/

South Asian News Agency
November 15, 2011

PHC accepts plea against drone attacks

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) accepted an application against drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas for hearing.

The Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court asked the government to make public if any deal has been made with the United States.

A two-member bench comprised of PHC Chief Justice Ejaz Aslam Khan and Justice Yahya Afridi heard the petition on Tuesday.

After early hearing the plea the court issued notices to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Secretary, Interior Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary over the petition filed by S.M. Sabir, Advocate.

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U.S. Drone Strike Kills 17, Wounds 67 In Somalia

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/210237.html

Press TV
November 15, 2011

US drone strike kills 17 in Somalia

A US assassination drone strike has killed at least 17 people and wounded nearly 67 others in southern Somalia, Press TV reports.

The attack occurred in a civilian region near the town of Dhobley in southern Somalia on Tuesday.

Somalia is the one of the countries where the United States has used remote-controlled drones to launch deadly missile strikes.

In October, Washington admitted to flying unmanned aerial vehicles from Ethiopia over some North African countries.

The US military has used assassination drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen.

Washington claims the airstrikes, which are authorized by the Central Intelligence Agency, target militants, though most such attacks have resulted in civilian casualties.

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Canada: Pentagon Chief To Meet Canadian, Israeli Defense Ministers, NATO Commander

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66116

U.S. Department of Defense
November 16, 2011

Panetta to Visit Groton Before Halifax Forum
By Jim Garamone

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta will leave tomorrow to speak with sailors and civilians in Groton, Conn., and then move on to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for a defense ministerial conference.

In Canada, the secretary also will meet with Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Navy Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said during a news conference today with Pentagon Press Secretary George Little.

In Groton, the secretary will visit General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyards where Virginia-class submarines are built, Kirby said, where he will be briefed on submarine construction. His visit highlights the importance of a robust defense industrial base that can quickly meet future challenges, he added.

Panetta also will meet with the submariners of the pre-commissioning unit of the Mississippi, and will visit the forward engine room of another pre-commissioning unit, the North Dakota, where he will speak with shipyard workers and Navy personnel, Kirby said.

Following the visit, the secretary will fly to Nova Scotia for the Halifax International Security Forum, which brings together defense ministers from around the world to discuss key defense and security issues.

Panetta will discuss America’s strong bilateral defense relationship with Canada, and meet with French Gen. Stephane Abrial, the NATO allied commander for transformation, Kirby said. The forum will allow Panetta to have his fourth meeting with Barak.

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U.S. Joins NATO Cyber Warfare Operations In Baltic

http://www.stripes.com/news/u-s-joining-nato-s-fight-against-cyber-threats-1.160957

Stars and Stripes
November 16, 2011

U.S. joining NATO’s fight against cyber threats
By John Vandiver

-Cyber security emerged as a central part of the NATO mission when it was included in the alliance’s new “Strategic Concept,” which was agreed to at the 2010 NATO summit in Lisbon. And in June, NATO defense ministers approved a revised cyber policy with a more centralized approach to cyber defense…

STUTTGART, Germany: The United States will join the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence during a formal ceremony scheduled for Thursday at the center’s headquarters in Estonia…

The cyber center, which was established [in 2008] now includes 10 nations. The center’s objective is to help NATO’s efforts to bolster defense capabilities in the face of cyber threats.

“Our vision is to be the main source of expertise in the field of cooperative cyber defense by accumulating, creating and disseminating knowledge in related matters within NATO, NATO nations and partners,” according to the center’s mission statement.

For the past three years, the center has aimed to accomplish that goal by hosting technical courses, workshops and cyber defense exercises.

In addition to the U.S., Poland also is a new partner at the cyber center. As one of the 10 sponsoring nations, the U.S. must provide experts to work at the center and contribute to a shared budget. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Spain also are contributors.

U.S. European Command has had one officer assigned to the center since 2008 on a voluntary basis, according to U.S. officials. However, now that the U.S. has officially joined, it is looking at ways to bolster its contribution.

Cyber security emerged as a central part of the NATO mission when it was included in the alliance’s new “Strategic Concept,” which was agreed to at the 2010 NATO summit in Lisbon. And in June, NATO defense ministers approved a revised cyber policy with a more centralized approach to cyber defense…

As a result, the alliance plans to accelerate its efforts in training and education through its existing schools and the cyber defense center in Estonia, according to NATO.

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Pentagon Reserves Right To Bomb Countries Hosting Hackers

http://rt.com/news/pentagon-report-hackers-retaliation-481/

RT
November 16, 2011

Pentagon could bomb enemy hackers

-One can only wonder what US officials would say if, say, Iran authorized its Revolutionary Guard to strike in retaliation to a Stuxnet worm cyber-attack.

A US Department of Defense report has outlined how the American military plans to respond to foreign hacker attacks. We’re talking all-out retaliation, both in cyberspace, and in real life.

­The 12-page document sent to Congress was made public on Tuesday. Legislators had wanted the Pentagon to deliver the report on new cyber-warfare policy by March 1 this year, but the top brass were a few months late.

“When warranted, we will respond to hostile attacks in cyberspace as we would to any other threat to our country,” the report said as cited by Reuters. “We reserve the right to use all necessary means – diplomatic, informational, military and economic – to defend our nation, our allies, our partners and our interests.”

The warrant for such an operation would come from the President, and he will decide what “use of force” in cyberspace will constitute. Stand-alone operations would not trigger a Congressional notification requirement under the War Powers Resolution, reports the Washington Post.

The biggest problem with reacting to a hacker attack is identifying the guilty. A number of security experts and intelligence have pointed to Chinese and Russians as the key perpetrators of cyber-attacks on American computers. However no accusations have been officially pressed against those governments.

The Pentagon plans to tackle the issue by employing behavior and cyber forensics experts, who would point to the individuals responsible.

The report also points out the need for an automated response to internet hostilities, which raised the alarm with some cyber security experts.

“The question is, how, and to what extent, are they thinking about automated responses?” Herbert Lin, a cyber expert at the US National Academy of Sciences, told the Washington Post. Such responses, he said, “are fraught with danger. Without people in the loop, you’re much more likely to do unintended stuff.”

One can only wonder what US officials would say if, say, Iran authorized its Revolutionary Guard to strike in retaliation to a Stuxnet worm cyber-attack. The virus crippled Iranian uranium enrichment facilities last year and is believed to have been created by highly skilled hackers. Some reports pointed to Israel and the US as being behind the malware.

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Foreign Minister: Russia Understands Kosovo Serbs’ Request

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=6&id=288044

Interfax
November 17, 2011

Russia understands motives behind Kosovo Serbs’ request – Lavrov

MOSCOW: The Russian Foreign Ministry has familiarized itself with the request of several thousand Kosovo Serbs for Russian citizenship and it understands the reasons behind it, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

“We have read this request attentively, of course, and we will have to act guided by a number of factors,” Lavrov said at a joint news conference with his Indian counterpart Somanahalli Krishna on Thursday.

Concerning the legal aspect of this problem, we have a law in Russia which regulates instances when Russian citizenship is granted to foreign nationals, he said.

“From the political point of view, we very well understand the motives behind the Kosovo Serbs’ request of this kind,” Lavrov said.

It was reported earlier that more than 20,000 Kosovo Serbs had applied for Russian citizenship.

“They have found themselves in a desperate situation and they have the feeling of hopelessness in conditions when they are being forced to obey the Pristina dictate in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and when they can even lose the right to local self-government. Too bad that all this is happening with connivance and direct support from the Kosovo Force, led by NATO, and the European Union’s so-called Rule of Law Mission,” Lavrov said.

These “international presences” are operating in violation of the “neutral-status mandate they have,” he said.

“We will be firmly opposing this in the future and we think that no one should usurp the role of ruler of the destinies of nations, especially Kosovo Serbs, wherever they live, using opportunities provided by international or Russian law,” he said.

Russia has been actively assisting the Kosovo Serbs for the past few years in humanitarian programs and in saving their culture, ethnic identity and traditions. This work will be continued,” the Russian foreign minister said.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Juvenal: Mighty warriors and their tombs are circumscribed by Fate

November 17, 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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Juvenal
From Satire X
Rendered into English by William Popple

There are whom Martial Glory only charms,
Who place their chief felicity in Arms.
The blood-stain’d Casque, the Chariot arm’d with Steel,
The waving Pendant, and the broken Keel,
The shatter’d Breastplate and the blunted Spear,
The mournful Captive foll’wing in the rear,
Inspire with Joy – By these urg’d on to Fame,
Greek, Roman, and Barbarian gain’d a Name.
But let unbiass’d reason trace the cause,
Why Thirst of Glory more than Virtue draws;
The wonder ceases when the cause is shown,
“Glory gives recompense, but Virtue none.”
For from the virtuous act, the Palm but take,
And who will follow Virtue for its sake?
Yet let this Passion in the Hero reign,
And ev’ry Hero proves his Country’s Bane.
But what’s the recompense which Virtue gives?
The mighty Warrior on a Tomb-stone lives;
The pompous Epitaph his Toil rewards,
The Sculptur’d Stone his sacred ashes guards;
The stately Monument attracts all Eyes,
And the vain Hero thinks he never dyes.
But let some barren Fig-tree’s ample root
Beneath the Base its spreading branches shoot,
(For Tombs, like Heroes, have their certain date,
Their periods both are circumscribed by Fate,)
Down drops the brittle Marble on the floor,
And the vain Hero dies to live no more.

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO news: November 16, 2011

November 16, 2011 2 comments

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Iran Strikes: U.S. Air Force Gets Super-Heavy Bunker-Buster Bombs

Persian Gulf Arms, Missile Build-Up Boon To U.S. Weapons Companies

Nuclear Madness: Iran, Kuwait Or The IAEA?

Clinton, Obama Visits Shore Up Asian NATO Against China

Obama: U.S. To Increase Military Activities In Australia Next Year

Australia Could Be Caught In U.S.-China Crossfire

Eyeing China, Obama Drives Eastward

Pentagon To Test Hypersonic Prompt Global Strike Missile This Week

Abkhazia Condemns NATO’s Arming, Remilitarization Of Georgia

Estonia: U.S., Poland Join NATO Cyber Warfare Center

Turkey Threatens To Cut Off Power To Syria

Kosovo Serbs Turn To Russia Over Belgrade’s Negligence

NATO Container Torched In Balochistan

U.S. Global Empire May Crumble Under Its Own Weight

Caspian: U.S. Secretary Of Navy To Visit Azerbaijan

U.S. Challenges Russia, Iran Over Trans-Caspian Pipeline

Russian Envoy: Kosovo Serbs Should Be Granted Russian Citizenship

Washington Maintains Belligerent Stance On European Missiles

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Iran Strikes: U.S. Air Force Gets Super-Heavy Bunker-Buster Bombs

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/15/60453467.html

Itar-Tass
November 15, 2011

US Air Forces get super-heavy bunker buster bombs

The US Air Force has received super-heavy bunker buster bombs, a spokesman for the Pentagon, lieutenant-colonel Jack Miller, told reporters Tuesday.

He said that Boeing had begun to supply the bombs to the Air Force Global Strike Command in September.

The bombs will be carried by B-2 bombers. Each bomb weights 13.6 tons and has a built-in satellite navigation system.

Some experts note that this type of bomb which is capable of breaking 18-meter-thick concrete walls is a perfect weapon for attacking nuclear facilities in Iran.

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Persian Gulf Arms, Missile Build-Up Boon To U.S. Weapons Companies

http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2011/11/15/Gulf-arms-sales-vital-for-US-companies/UPI-41161321381562/?spt=hs&or=si

United Press International
November 15, 2011

Gulf arms sales vital for U.S. companies

-In 2010, Saudi Arabia finalized an unprecedented deal with Boeing and other U.S. majors for advanced F-15 combat jets, helicopters, missiles and warships worth around $67 billion.
It was the biggest single U.S. defense package ever, and it came in the nick of time for American defense companies.
-The emirates, which currently have a powerful air force that is challenging the Saudis’ long domination of GCC air power, is also moving toward a $7 billion contract for the Theater High Altitude Air Defense system or THAAD.
The system, designed to shoot down short-, medium- and long-range missiles, is developed, built and integrated by Lockheed Martin Space Systems.
-Kuwait has reportedly speeded up plans to deploy a ship-based outer defense ring and to procure land-based interceptions systems like THAAD, while upgrading its 40 Raytheon Patriot MIM-104 PAC-2 air-defense missile units.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: The Pentagon’s reported plan to sell the United Arab Emirates nearly 5,000 bunker-buster bombs to counter Iran is part of a move to strengthen Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf as the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq nears completion.

But it’s also a lifesaver for U.S. defense contractors who’re having to rely on exports to keep assembly lines running because of hefty cuts in military spending at home after the feeding frenzy of the post-Sept. 11 era.

“The defense industry is coming to the end of what many of its senior figures regard as a golden decade,” The Financial Times reported in a September assessment of the sector.

“Ten years ago, in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, the U.S. government began a huge injection of cash into the Pentagon budget.

“Over the course of the decade, the U.S. annual defense budget has doubled in cash terms to reach nearly $700 billion in 2010.

“The profits of the U.S. defense industry have quadrupled over that period,” the FT reported. “The country has come to dwarf all other nations in the amount it spends on military equipment.

“Now, however, the tap has been turned off and defense companies in the United States – as well as in Europe – face more challenging times.

U.S. strategists see China emerging as a military power capable of challenging the United States, so countries fearful of the Dragon’s fire, such as India, Japan, South Korea and Australia, are in the market for fifth-generation weapons systems.

The Iran threat has also been providential. Major purchases there by Saudi Arabia and its partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council – the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain – are likely to continue for some years.

These sales are critical to U.S. defense sector efforts to boost exports.

The GCC states have been preparing to make major arms purchases from the United States, and to a lesser extent from Britain and France, since 2007.

In 2010, Saudi Arabia finalized an unprecedented deal with Boeing and other U.S. majors for advanced F-15 combat jets, helicopters, missiles and warships worth around $67 billion.

It was the biggest single U.S. defense package ever, and it came in the nick of time for American defense companies.

The emirates, which currently have a powerful air force that is challenging the Saudis’ long domination of GCC air power, is also moving toward a $7 billion contract for the Theater High Altitude Air Defense system or THAAD.

The system, designed to shoot down short-, medium- and long-range missiles, is developed, built and integrated by Lockheed Martin Space Systems.

Key subcontractors include Boeing, Raytheon, Honeywell, BAE Systems and Aerojet.

The Americans are expected to provide early warning systems and an outer screen of missile interceptors, largely on ships from the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, in the gulf, the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea.

Kuwait has reportedly speeded up plans to deploy a ship-based outer defense ring and to procure land-based interceptions systems like THAAD, while upgrading its 40 Raytheon Patriot MIM-104 PAC-2 air-defense missile units.

Western defense company executives attending the Dubai Air Show last week said that there could be big orders from the United Arab Emirates for early-warning systems manufactured by Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Swedish aerospace group Saab.

The tiny gulf emirate of Qatar is upgrading its air strike capabilities, so there could be orders from Doha in the coming months.

Meantime, the emirates and France are locked in what are billed as final negotiations for the sale of up to 60 Dassault Aviation Rafale multi-role strike jets worth an estimated $10 billion.

If Dassault pulls off the deal, the United Arab Emirates will be the jet’s first foreign buyer.

The French have been struggling for years to sign up a major export order to help keep Rafale’s production line going to provide aircraft for France’s Armee de l’Air.

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Nuclear Madness: Iran, Kuwait Or The IAEA?

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27687

Global Research
November 15, 2011

Nuclear Madness: Iran, Kuwait or the IAEA?
by Felicity Arbuthnot

“The Public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men.” (Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, 1775.)

As the sabre rattling against Iran becomes more deafening, week on week, with threats of the nuclear insanity of potentially, deliberately, creating a few Chernobyls or a Fukushima, by bombing working nuclear power plants, another potential nuclear madness is planned, geographically “next door.”

The IAEA appears to be behaving in as partisan, shameless way regarding Iran as it did with Iraq. Then, accusations, with considerable justification, were that the inspection teams were more about spying than neutral observation. “The way back to (the UN) was via Tel Aviv”, remarked one former inspector, memorably.

Gareth Porter has meticulously, comprehensively trashed (i) the IAEA’s latest Report on Iran, showing disturbing parallels with the tragic Iraq fiasco. Iraq had Ahmed Chalabi, Iyad Allawi and “Curveball” selling fairy stories. Iran, seemingly, has an expert in nanodiamonds, Vyacheslav Danilenko, apparently doubling as a nuclear weapons expert, and a plethora of unidentified spokespersons for “Member States.” Hardly rigid, verifiable scholarship.

Previous “concerns” expressed have been that Iran has vast oil reserves, so there must be a weapons-related reason to expand nuclear power. However Iran has been under increasingly stringent sanctions since 14th November 1979, ironically necessitating additional sources of energy – for which it is now being threatened with Iraq’s fate.

Yet headlines in the Middle East, warning: “Most volatile region in the world is going nuclear”, one with a helpful map of “volatile” countries with advanced nuclear ambitions, seem to have escaped IAEA notice. Iran, of course, has no history of belligerence towards its neighbours, for decades. Indeed, in 2003, in spite of the terrible cost of the eight-year war after the 1980 (Western driven) invasion by Iraq, told that the country was still a “threat to its neighbours” by Washington, Tehran repeatedly responded that it was not.

Consider then the case of Kuwait: “Blessed with an abundance of natural petroleum resources …” (Gulf News 25th February 2011) which has advanced plans for up to four nuclear power stations – two apparently to be built on two islands, Warba and Bubiyan, which have been the source of conflict for nearly a century – many scholars contend longer – the dispute over which contributed to the disaster of Iraq’s invasion and that country’s subsequent decimation – of 2nd August 1990.

Theodore Draper outlined the vast complexities in 1993(ii.)

“The suddenness of the [Iraqi] action [invading Kuwait] and the coverage it has received should not disguise the fact that Iraqi claims to Kuwaiti territory have been pursued with remarkable consistency over the last half-century, through Hashemite and revolutionary rule alike.

“There is some justification for the argument (which) predates by a considerable length of time, the accession of Saddam Hussain to the Iraqi Presidency.

“These claims will not disappear with a settlement of the present Kuwait Crisis, whether or not this involves a change of regime in Baghdad.

“It is necessary to take these historical roots into account because they left such an explosive legacy in the Gulf region — the Iraqi quest for a coastal outlet, the obstruction of the Kuwaiti barrier islands of Warba and Bubiyan, the dispute over Kuwait’s exploitation of the Rumaila oil field, the precarious borders…”

But as Richard Schofield (iii) points out:

“Thus there was more to Saddam Hussein’s attempt to annex Kuwait than one man’s evil character. Whatever may happen to him, the Iraqi grievances will not go away.

“For more than two centuries, Kuwait managed to survive by playing off one major power against another. As a nation, it did not have the ancient roots that Iraq has in Mesopotamia.

“Throughout the 1930s, Iraq refused to agree to a demarcation of the boundary with Kuwait unless the latter was willing to give up control of the islands, Warba and Bubiyan, and thus secure the narrow Iraqi Persian Gulf coastline. Despite its vulnerability, Kuwait refused to make concessions.

“By 1935, Iraqi propaganda openly called for the incorporation of Kuwait. Three years later, Iraq made this claim official, with the same justification used by Saddam Hussein five decades later — that Kuwait had once been attached to the Ottoman province of Basra. “ (Emphasis mine.)

Swimming distance from Iraq, which Patrick Markey has described as: “… a flash point, a country still struggling with violence, sectarianism and pressure from neighbours in an unstable region”, $20 Billion is to be spent on the Warba Island nuclear reactor, just 500 metres from the nearest Iraqi inhabited area, at the port of Umm Qasr. It is 30 miles from Kuwait. (Bubiyan nestles next to Warba…” (v.)

Pointing out that it is on the still disputed border between Iraq and Kuwait arising from further boundary tinkering after 1991s hostilities, politician Ms. Alya Naseef has demanded of Prime Minister Nuri Maliki he strongly represents that the plans be halted.

The main contractors are French giant AREVA, in which in December 2010 the Kuwaiti Investment Authority invested $794 million and Kuwait acquired a 4.8% stake, making it the third largest investor, the French State being the largest. AREVA has extensive contracts and mutual interests with the United States.(vi)

Further, in September last year, Kuwait signed a “… a bilateral agreement with Japan for cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, covering issues such as expertise exchange, human resource development, nuclear safety, following similar deals with France and the US earlier this year.”

The five-year deal with Japan, includes “…preparation, planning and promotion of nuclear power development… safety and security.

“The scope of the cooperation includes training, human resources and infrastructure development, and the appropriate application of nuclear power generation and related technology.”

I wonder if Fukushima’s radioactive airborne or seaborne fallout has reached the Gulf yet.

The UK Foreign Office website states of Kuwait: “There is a general threat from terrorism. Attacks cannot be ruled out and could be indiscriminate

“These include references to attacks on Western interests…military, oil, transport and aviation interests.”

What a prize a nuclear power station would be.

“Many areas of the Gulf are highly sensitive, including near maritime boundaries and the islands of Bubiyan and Warbah…” Further: “The area in the northern Gulf, between Iran, Iraq and Kuwait has not been demarcated…” reminds the Foreign Office.

It would be hard to find a more volatile place to build a nuclear installation. Oh, and the land is low-lying and subject to silting and shifting.

With the IAEA berating Iran for its nuclear programme, it seems bewildering that the very real and present dangers of these terrifying, madcap projects have passed them by.

Heaven forbid that the fifty years of fruitful trade relations between Japan and Kuwait, celebrated in May this year,(viii) have tempted Japan’s Mr Yukiya Amano, heading the IAEA, to put country before nuclear madness.

And don’t forget the suicide bombers.

Notes

i. http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27599

ii. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1992/jan/16/the-gulf-war-reconsidered-2/?pagination=false

iii. Islands and Maritime Boundaries in the Gulf 1798-1960, pub: 1990: R Schofield. ISBN: (13) 978-1-85207-275-9

iv. http://analysis.nuclearenergyinsider.com/weekly-brief/weekly-intelligence-brief-14-21-july-2011

v. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ku-map.gif

vi. http://www.constructionweekonline.com/article-13040-iraq-20bn-kuwait-nuclear-plant-will-harm-iraqis/

vii. http://www.arabtimesonline.com/NewsDetails/tabid/96/smid/414/ArticleID/159399/reftab/36/t/Kuwait-Japan-sign-pact-on-nuclear-energy/Default.aspx

See also:

http://www.nationalsecuritywatch.com/2011/03/french-nuclear-giant-areva’s-multi-billion-dollar-strategic-partner-american-taxpayers/

viii. http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/middle_e/kuwait/index.html

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Clinton, Obama Visits Shore Up Asian NATO Against China

http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=748579&publicationSubCategoryId=63

The Philippine Star
November 16, 2011

Hillary to hold talks with Noy on US support

-Officials accompanying Clinton…said she would hold talks today with President Aquino and tour a warship at a time of high tension between Manila and Beijing over disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea.
The US recently provided the Philippines with a warship and Clinton will discuss offering a second one, the officials said.
-In a speech last week, Clinton said that the US was “updating” relationships with its five treaty-bound regional allies – the Philippines, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Thailand.
“These five alliances are the fulcrum for our efforts in the Asia-Pacific,” Clinton said at the East-West Center in Honolulu.
-“January 2012 will mark 10 years of US troops’ permanent presence in Mindanao. While US troops in Iraq are set to leave at the end of 2011, US troops in Mindanao appear to be staying indefinitely. There is no known timetable or duration for their presence. Secretary Clinton’s visit will likely reinforce this illegal arrangement.”

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to announce new support for the Philippines and flood-hit Thailand as she shores up ties with key US allies, officials said Tuesday.

After her Manila visit, Clinton will head later this week to Thailand, part of a renewed US focus on Asia. President Barack Obama is traveling separately to Australia, another longtime ally in the region.

Officials accompanying Clinton, whose plane made a brief refueling stop in the US territory of Guam, said she would hold talks today with President Aquino and tour a warship at a time of high tension between Manila and Beijing over disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea.

The US recently provided the Philippines with a warship and Clinton will discuss offering a second one, the officials said.

They said Clinton will also look for ways to step up cooperation at sea. Recent US military efforts with its former colony have focused on fighting Islamic militants in Mindanao.

“We are now in the process of diversifying and changing the nature of our engagement. We will continue those efforts in the south, but we are focusing more on maritime capabilities,” a senior State Department official said on condition of anonymity.

[R]elations between the US and China have been uneasy, with Obama pressing President Hu Jintao during a weekend summit on a range of issues from intellectual property rights to the exchange rate level of the Chinese yuan.

Obama welcomed leaders from 20 other Pacific Rim economies to the weekend summit in his native Hawaii where he built momentum for an emerging free trade agreement that would span the Pacific – but does not include China.

Clinton and Obama have vowed to put a new focus on the Asia-Pacific…

In a speech last week, Clinton said that the US was “updating” relationships with its five treaty-bound regional allies – the Philippines, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Thailand.

“These five alliances are the fulcrum for our efforts in the Asia-Pacific,” Clinton said at the East-West Center in Honolulu.

“They leverage our regional presence and enhance our regional leadership at a time of evolving security challenges,” she said.

Admiral Robert Willard, head of the US Pacific Command, also stressed that the five treaty alliances “form in many ways the basis for security in the region.”

“One of our endeavors is to improve those alliances and strengthen those alliances along the way,” Willard told reporters in Honolulu.

Zenia Rodriguez, head of the political science office at the University of Santo Tomas, said that Clinton’s trip was timely in light of the tensions in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, including over the Spratly Islands.

“When you face China in the Spratlys, the most the Philippines can do is lean towards a stronger nation, which in our case is the US,” Rodriguez said.

“Her visit underlines the enduring alliance and responsive strategic partnership between the Philippines and US and is the latest concrete manifestation of US action and reengagement in the most dynamic region in the world – the Asia Pacific,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said for his part.

Protests

Protests by militants greeted Clinton’s Manila visit which was also in observance of the 60th anniversary of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT).

“The MDT continues to be invoked to justify US intervention in our country. There are no benefits from this. In the last 40 years, the MDT was used to justify US military bases in the Philippines, as well as Philippine involvement in US conflicts abroad. To this day, the MDT is being wrongly used to justify the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) even if the MDT predates the VFA by 48 years,” said Renato Reyes, secretary-general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan).

“The US government wants us to be content with receiving US military junk. The MDT has not modernized our armed forces. If anything, the MDT and similar military agreements have made us dependent on the US,” Reyes said.

“They have made us weak and unable to stand on our own,” he added.

“How can we expect fair and equal treatment from the US, especially after what we learned from Wikileaks? In 2009, Secretary Clinton herself ordered US diplomats to spy on UN officials and other UN representatives, even ordering the gathering of biometric and IT-related information,” he said.

“As revealed in Wikileaks, the US embassy in the Philippines undermined Philippine sovereignty on many issues. That’s the kind foreign policy that the US carries out even with its so-called ‘allies’.”

Bayan said the VFA should also be scrapped as it has been used to justify not just brief visits but extended or even permanent stationing of US troops in the Philippines.

“The Aquino government should stand for sovereignty and do away with mendicancy in its foreign relations,” Reyes said.

“January 2012 will mark 10 years of US troops’ permanent presence in Mindanao. While US troops in Iraq are set to leave at the end of 2011, US troops in Mindanao appear to be staying indefinitely. There is no known timetable or duration for their presence. Secretary Clinton’s visit will likely reinforce this illegal arrangement,” Reyes said.

Bayan said that after more than a year in office, the Aquino administration has yet to make good its promise to make public the results of its review of the VFA.

The Senate has passed a resolution calling for the renegotiation or termination of the VFA because of some questionable provisions.

Labor groups also protested Clinton’s visit and demanded the abrogation of the MDT.

“This treaty is based on the lie that the US is a real friend of the Philippines. It is the US, not the Philippines, which benefits the most from it. The Aquino government, which is so proud of welcoming Clinton, is far from scrapping this treaty and ending US supremacy over the country,” Kilusang Mayo Uno vice chairman Lito Ustarez said.

He added that Clinton’s visit is proof of the Aquino administration’s commitment to preserve or even strengthen US hold over the country.

“This has meant nonstop violations of our country’s sovereignty so we urge the Filipino workers and people to be critical of and fight US domination of our country. It is responsible not only for the dragging of the country into US-sponsored wars but for the country’s poverty,” he said.

Anakpawis executive vice president Joel Maglunsod, for his part, said the MDT and the VFA have allowed the US to trample on the country’s sovereignty.

The group also criticized US President Obama’s Partnership for Growth initiative, saying it would further open the Philippine economy to US control.

“We have been opening up our economy for almost a century and what has it caused us? Nothing but a backward economy, destroyed hopes for national industrialization and a spectacularly high poverty rate,” Maglunsod said.

Mayen Jaymalin, Rhodina Villanueva, Christina Mendez, Pia Lee-Brago

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Obama: U.S. To Increase Military Activities In Australia Next Year

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/16/c_131250838.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 16, 2011

U.S. to increase military activities in Australia from 2012: Obama

CANBERRA: The United States is stepping up its commitment in the Asia-Pacific, with U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday announcing the United States will boost military activities in Australia from 2012.

In a joint press conference held here after a meeting between Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, the pair announced the two countries have agreed to increase joint military initiatives to enhance the alliance between the two nations.

From 2012, the United States will boost its military activities in Australia in stages. A force of around 250 marines will be accommodated and begin training in the Northern Territory of Australia next year.

The U.S. forces, which will bring with them vehicles, ships and aircraft, will then be increased to a battalion strength group of 1,000 by 2014 and will have a 2,500-strong Marine Air-Ground Task Force by 2016.

Exercises will involve joint training and combat operations, live firing…

Also over the next two years, more U.S. aircraft will come to the Tindal base in Northern Territory for training and exercises.

“The U.S. has no stronger ally than Australia, bound by common values and rights,” Obama said. “With my visit, I am making it clear that the U.S. is stepping up its commitment in the Asia Pacific.”

Gillard said “the increased U.S. presence would reinforce stability in the Asia-Pacific.”

“It will be good for our Australian Defense Force to increase their capabilities, by joint training with the U.S. Marines and personnel,” she said. “It will mean that we are postured to better respond together, along with other partners in the Asia-Pacific, to any regional contingency…”

Currently, there are around 300 U.S. military personnel posted in Australia for two to three years at a time.

Obama arrived in Canberra of Australia on Wednesday afternoon. He will visit Australian War Memorial, and address the parliament on Thursday morning, before visiting Darwin, Northern Territory of Australia. He will then leave for Indonesia on Thursday afternoon.

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Australia Could Be Caught In U.S.-China Crossfire

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/684097/Australia-could-be-caught-in-Sino-US-crossfire.aspx

Global Times
November 16, 2011

Australia could be caught in Sino-US crossfire

US President Barack Obama arrived in Australia today for a long-delayed visit. It is reported that Obama is going to announce an expanded US military presence in Australia. The move is widely seen as a renewal of the US-Australia alliance to keep China in check.

It is also interpreted as a choice made by Australia between the US and China, the two largest Asia-Pacific powers. Prime Minister Julia Gillard refuted the interpretation Tuesday, saying that “it is well and truly possible for us, in this growing region of the world, to have an ally in the US and to have deep friendships in our region, including with China.”

Nevertheless, both Chinese and Australian media outlets know that this is merely diplomatic parlance. Some Australians worry that this unfriendly move will harm their country’s relationship with China, its largest trade partner.

Apparently, Australia aspires to a situation where it maximizes political and security benefits from its alliance with the US while gaining the greatest economic interests from China. However, Gillard may be ignoring something – their economic cooperation with China does not pose any threat to the US, whereas the Australia-US military alliance serves to counter China.

Australia surely cannot play China for a fool. It is impossible for China to remain detached no matter what Australia does to undermine its security. There is real worry in Chinese society concerning Australia’s acceptance of an increased US military presence. Such psychology will influence the long-term development of the Australia-China relationship.

Some Australians have been arguing that China does need Australian resources to fuel its own economy, and thus the two countries rely on each other. It is true that China does not have many cards to play to respond to Australia. The US military presence in Australia will not change matters in the short-term. It remains to be seen how Australia will behave in the future and how China is going to respond.

But one thing is certain – if Australia uses its military bases to help the US harm Chinese interests, then Australia itself will be caught in the crossfire. Australia should at least prevent things from growing out of control.

China values its friendship with Austria, and people here understand Australia’s difficulty in seeking the balance between two powers. However, there is a certain line that neither side should cross. Australia should cherish its friendship with China and show this, not merely spout soothing words.

Australia is nimble at navigating between great powers. We believe Australia has the wisdom of dealing with the US-China game and guarantee its own prosperity and security.

Australia should make endeavors to defuse, rather than increase, misgivings between the US and China. This will bring greater interests to both Australia’s interests and to regional peace. In this regard, Australia can be a huge force for good.

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Eyeing China, Obama Drives Eastward

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-11/16/c_131250185.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 16, 2011

Eyeing China, Obama drives eastward
By Li Hongmei

-The last time the remote Australian city of Darwin played a significant role in American military planning was during the early days of World War II. So it is with considerable symbolism that Washington intends to use Darwin as a new center of operations in Asia as it seeks to reassert itself in the region and grapple with China’s rise.
-Technically, Obama’s aggressive step venturing into Asia is not merely a premature but a risky move, even if he insists this would do some good to his 2012 campaign. But to his Asian allies, it is more of a hindrance than a help.

As the U.S. looks toward Asia, it is mindful of China. President Obama, who was born in Hawaii and calls himself “America’s first Pacific president”, has overseen a shift in focus away from the Middle East to the Asia Pacific.

At the just wrapped-up APEC Summit he hosted in Hawaii, Obama tried to push his framework agreement for a smaller trade group, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) under the leadership of the U.S., which is expected to act as a replacement for APEC. This somewhat aroused concerns of China which believes the TPP is supposed to be complementary to APEC, rather than its replacement.

“Pacific president” Obama this weekend will kick start his Asian trip to Australia, and then Indonesia where he will attend the 19th ASEAN Summit. His visit is designed to re-assert Washington’s Pacific priorities, which is said to be welcome by his allies, as “China’s increasingly assertive posture has unnerved several neighbors.”

In Australia, Obama is expected to announce a major boost in military ties, giving U.S. forces permanent access to Australian bases in northern Australia, close to Indonesia. That would make it much easier for them to reach key shipping lanes in the South China Sea.

President Obama’s trip comes at a crucial time back home, as he continues his struggle to jolt the U.S. economy out of recession. By touring Asia, Obama will also be sending a message to Americans back home: He has got to make the case that if the embattled economy is to move out of nightmare Asia is part of the answer.

Also, complex economic and security relationships with China, including regional rivalries over the South China Sea are a backdrop to Obama’s travels.

Noteworthily, the plan to station marines at an existing base outside the northern Australian city of Darwin, on the doorstep of South East Asia, would allow the U.S. to disperse its forces more widely in the region — in particular, away from Japan and the U.S. territory of Guam, which are said to be “within range of the new generation of Chinese ballistic missiles.”

The last time the remote Australian city of Darwin played a significant role in American military planning was during the early days of World War II. So it is with considerable symbolism that Washington intends to use Darwin as a new center of operations in Asia as it seeks to reassert itself in the region and grapple with China’s rise.

The United States is taking steps, at least bold in rhetoric, to materialize its “Comeback to Asia” strategy, and to convince its Asian allies that it intends to remain a crucial military and economic power in the region as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan draw to a close.

Still, the U.S. plan to expand its military presence in Australia has raised concerns among some analysts that it could complicate the already volatile situation, escalate regional tensions and damage relations with China.

Hugh White, a former senior Australian defense official, said a dramatic expansion of U.S. troops in the country was “a very significant and potentially very risky move for Australia”.

Technically, Obama’s aggressive step venturing into Asia is not merely a premature but a risky move, even if he insists this would do some good to his 2012 campaign. But to his Asian allies, it is more of a hindrance than a help.

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Pentagon To Test Hypersonic Prompt Global Strike Missile This Week

http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20111114_8724.php

Global Security Newswire
November 14, 2011

U.S. Army to Test “Global Strike” Technology This Week
By Martin Matishak

-The Pentagon is interested in developing a nonnuclear, prompt-strike capability to attack a target anywhere around the world with just an hour’s notice. This type of weapon might be used in the event that U.S. naval vessels or land-based aircraft are not located close enough to strike a target under urgent conditions…

WASHINGTON: The U.S. Army on Wednesday will test missile technology that could eventually be incorporated into the development a conventional “prompt global strike” weapon, according to Defense Department officials (see GSN, Dec. 14, 2010).

Army Space and Missile Defense Command and Army Forces Strategic Command will conduct a flight test of the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon, which is to use an advanced-technology glide body built to endure high-speed flight in the upper atmosphere en route to a target.

“This test is designed to collect data on hypersonic boost-glide technologies and test-range performance for long-range atmospheric flight,” Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Melinda Morgan told Global Security Newswire last week by e-mail.

The test vehicle is slated to be launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the island of Kauai, Hawaii, and is to fly to the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site, located more than 2,000 miles southwest on the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

The data gleaned from the test will be used by the Defense Department to develop future capabilities for conventional prompt global strike, she told GSN.

The Pentagon is interested in developing a nonnuclear, prompt-strike capability to attack a target anywhere around the world with just an hour’s notice. This type of weapon might be used in the event that U.S. naval vessels or land-based aircraft are not located close enough to strike a target under urgent conditions…

AHW technologies, if proven successful, might be incorporated into the Air Force Conventional Strike Missile, which could be the first such prompt-attack capability to be fielded (see GSN, June 24).

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Abkhazia Condemns NATO’s Arming, Remilitarization Of Georgia

http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/272081.html

Itar-Tass
November 15, 2011

Georgia’s arming at variance with settlement appeals – Abkhazia

SUKHUMI: Georgia’s arming with the support of NATO in conditions of unsettled conflicts with Abkhazia and South Ossetia is at variance with appeals of the Alliance for a peaceful settlement of conflicts, the Foreign Ministry of Abkhazia said in a statement of Tuesday.

“Statements by high-ranking NATO officials as to commitments to a peaceful settlement of conflicts do not look convincing,” said a commentary on a statement of the NATO-Georgia Commission.

NATO, which makes appeals for a peaceful settlement of conflicts, is a key organization that directly supports the continuing intensive militarization of Georgia, it stressed.

“In conditions of unsettled conflicts with Abkhazia and Georgia it becomes obvious that the armament, re-equipment and training of the Georgian army with the support of NATO is by no means aimed at the settlement of conflicts peacefully,” the Foreign Ministry stressed.

“Georgia’s aggression against South Ossetia in August 2008 and analogous plans against Abkhazia were stopped owing to the timely interference of the Russian Federation” is a clear example of that, it said.

NATO’s appeals to Russia to “give up the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which are independent states, and whose sovereign status is recognized by the Russian Federation and five more U.N. member countries” are “absolutely inadequate,” it continued.

According to the Abkhazian Foreign Ministry “such a step demonstrates the biased approaches of that organization and an absolute unwillingness to regard the existing political realities in the region.”

NATO ambassadors led by Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited Tbilisi on November 9-10. On the results of the visit the ambassadors made a statement, in which they once again confirmed their commitment to the so-called “territorial integrity” of Georgia and once again urged Russia to give up the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The statement also contained an appeal to look for peaceful ways to settle the conflicts.

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Estonia: U.S., Poland Join NATO Cyber Warfare Center

http://news.err.ee/politics/a1af1752-c667-42cf-813f-7d9327735b32

Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR)
November 15, 2011

US, Poland Join NATO’s Cyber Defense Center
By Ott Tammik

NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Tallinn will hold a flag raising ceremony on Thursday, as the United States and Poland officially join the institution.

A press conference will be held by Defense Minister Mart Laar, Polish Ambassador Grzegorz M. Poznański, US Ambassador Michael C. Polt and the NATO agency director, Col. Ilmar Tamm.

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves will also address guests at the ceremony.
Estonia has taken a lead role in advocating cyber security among its allies since becoming the first country to undergo a full-scale cyber attack in 2007. NATO’s cyber defense agency in Tallinn was established in 2008.

Having already launched an IT unit in the Defense League – a voluntary military reserve force – the former defense minister proposed a military draft specializing in cyber defense in January.

The headquarters of the EU’s IT security agency in Tallinn – housing the Schengen information center and a large-scale fingerprint database – will begin operations in 2012.

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http://baltic-review.com/2011/11/us-poland-join-natos-cyber-defense-center/

Baltic Review
November 15, 2011

US, Poland Join NATO’s Cyber Defense Center
By Ott Tammik

NATO’s Cooperative Cyber Defense Center of Excellence in Tallinn will hold a flag raising ceremony on Thursday, as the United States and Poland officially join the institution, reported ERR.

A press conference will be held by Defense Minister Mart Laar, Polish Ambassador Grzegorz M. Poznański, US Ambassador Michael C. Polt and the NATO agency director, Col. Ilmar Tamm.

President Toomas Hendrik Ilves will also address guests at the ceremony.

…NATO’s cyber defense agency in Tallinn was established in 2008.

Having already launched an IT unit in the Defense League – a voluntary military reserve force – the former defense minister proposed a military draft specializing in cyber defense in January.

The headquarters of the EU’s IT security agency in Tallinn – housing the Schengen information center and a large-scale fingerprint database – will begin operations in 2012.

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Turkey Threatens To Cut Off Power To Syria

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/15/60453959.html

Reuters
November 15, 2011

Turkey threatens to cut off power to Syria

Turkey may cut off power supply to neighboring Syria if the relations between the two countries fail to improve, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Tuesday.

Earlier, crowds of outraged Syrians attempted to storm the Turkish embassy in Damascus and consulates in Aleppo and Latakia, prompting Ankara to start evacuating the families of its diplomatic staff in Syria.

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Kosovo Serbs Turn To Russia Over Belgrade’s Negligence

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20111115/168720849.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 15, 2011

Kosovo Serbs turn to Russia over Belgrade’s negligence

BELGRADE: At least 20,000 Kosovo Serbs, who applied for Russian citizenship last week, were acting out of despair and disillusion in Belgrade’s ability to defend the ethnic minority, a Serbian leader in Kosovo, Marko Jaksic, said on Tuesday.

Last week, Kosovo Serbs handed over a petition with signatures to the Russian Embassy in Belgrade, asking for Russian citizenship.

“Those who turned in the petition live mostly in the southern enclaves in Kosovo, further away from the administrative border between Kosovo and Serbia,” Jaksic said. He added this showed how hard their lives were.

“As Russian citizens they would be more secure compared to their current status when Belgrade has turned its back on them,” Jaksic said.

Serbs constitute 5-10% of the 2-million population and Albanians make up the majority of Kosovo.

Albanian authorities proclaimed Kosovo’s independence from Belgrade with support from the United States and the European Union in 2008.

Both Serbia and Russia have refused to recognize Kosovo’s independence. Ethnic Serbs in Kosovo are bluntly opposed to the Albanian authorities in Pristina.

Tensions flared in Kosovo’s ethnic Serbian enclave in October after Albanian Kosovars installed their customs officers at the Jarinje and Brnjak border crossings with Serbia.

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NATO Container Torched In Balochistan

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C11%5C16%5Cstory_16-11-2011_pg7_5

Daily Times
November 16, 2011

NATO container torched in Mastung

QUETTA: Unidentified armed men torched a container carrying military hardware for NATO forces stationed in Afghanistan on Tuesday, Balochistan Levies said.

The assailants came on motorcycles and opened fire on the container near Dasht area of Mastung district, about 45 kilometres off provincial capital.

As result of firing, driver Abdul Majeed suffered bullet injuries and stopped the containers. The assailants set the container on fire before making good their escape. “The driver sustained injuries while the container was completely gutted,” a local officer said.

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U.S. Global Empire May Crumble Under Its Own Weight

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/683879/US-rule-may-crumple-under-its-own-weight.aspx

Global Times
November 15, 2011

US rule may crumble under its own weight

-Some in the US have forgotten that no empire lasts forever, and believe that superior firepower, a strong economy and unmatched soft power will lead to perpetual dominance status…US public opinion cannot bear any small country going against Washington’s will. The stronger it becomes, the more obscure the line between “leading the world” and “ruling the world” becomes.
-The world does not belong to the US as some of its leaders might think. Neither China, nor any other country, are to blame for that.

Public opinion in the US concerns every detail of the Obama administration’s China policy, including its “tough” stance that has seemingly become political mainstream. 

In fact, a deliberately “tough” US is unnecessary since China has never doubted the country’s power. Instead, it is Americans and Europeans that seem to believe more in the decline of the US.

The national strength of the US will remain first and foremost for a long time. However, this has led to over-confidence since the Cold War. Some in the US have forgotten that no empire lasts forever, and believe that superior firepower, a strong economy and unmatched soft power will lead to perpetual dominance status. The US never expresses the intention to “rule the world,” but its desire to be the world leader is obvious. US public opinion cannot bear any small country going against Washington’s will. The stronger it becomes, the more obscure the line between “leading the world” and “ruling the world” becomes.

A worry that the US will lose its global position has resulted from the country’s current crisis. The Obama administration enhances strategic deployment in the Asian-Pacific region to safeguard this global presence. This will burden and drag down the US. The country is not really becoming weak, but its strategic demand surpasses its real capacity. In the Cold War era, the strength of the US could easily protect the Western world. However, as its economy is declining, it is not realistic for the US to regulate the world order along as before.

The US attempts to mobilize global political and economic resources to refuel its capacity but this has worsened the country’s financial straits. The US has tried to subdue the world by its military and economic power and system in the past, but nowadays, it is pursuing private interests. Due to a worsened economy, the US is returning to a mixture of military and political power. However, such shortcuts do not guarantee success as seen in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The US intends to solve economic problems by exerting political pressure on China. Congressmen and politicians take the task of CEOs, blindly interfering politically in the marketplace.

Such a mission is hollow, and ultimately doomed to failure. Maybe the US should learn to accept the reality of a multi-polar world and change its mentality. As long as it lowers its defensive posture, it will remain a key player in the world. The difficulties the US faces today are controllable and will not lead to its decline.

It is understandable that the US feels insecure in front of a rising China, but if this insecurity becomes extreme, it will clash with this unrealistic ambition of dominating the world. The world does not belong to the US as some of its leaders might think. Neither China, nor any other country, are to blame for that.

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Caspian: U.S. Secretary Of Navy To Visit Azerbaijan

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/azerbaijan/1957803.html

Trend News Agency
November 16, 2011

U.S.-Azerbaijani security cooperation to be mulled
V. Zhavoronkova

Baku: Secretary of the US Navy Ray Mabus will visit Azerbaijan on Nov. 20-21, the U.S. embassy reported.

During his visit, Secretary Mabus will meet with government of Azerbaijan officials to discuss U.S.-Azerbaijani security cooperation.

Subordinate to the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Navy is responsible for the conduct of all the affairs of the Department of the Navy as its Chief Executive Officer. The Department of the Navy consists of two Uniformed Services: the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps.

The Secretary of the Navy is responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies and programs that are consistent with the national security policies and objectives established by the President or the Secretary of Defense.

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U.S. Challenges Russia, Iran Over Trans-Caspian Pipeline

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1957718.html

Trend News Agency
November 16, 2011

US says if Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan agree on Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, no other country has veto power over that decision
H. Hasanov

-[T]he Obama Administration has worked to support the establishment of a new pathway, the Southern Corridor, to bring natural gas to Europe through Turkey, from the Caspian and potentially other sources, including Iraq.
Just last month, Turkey and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on transit of gas across Turkey to Europe, a significant step forward in realization of the Southern Corridor.

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat: If Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan agree on construction of a Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, no other country has veto power over that decision, Senior Adviser to the U.S. State Department’s special envoy for Eurasian energy Daniel Stein said in his speech at the International Oil and Gas Conference in Ashgabat today.

The EU, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan are currently negotiating an agreement that…would the basis for a Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline, he added.

“In this respect, I should state our view – if Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan agree on construction of such a pipeline, no other country has veto power over that decision,” he said.

The Trans-Caspian route would become a part of trans-national projects of “the Southern Gas Corridor”. Gas may be delivered for the Trans-Caspian project through the 1,000-km East-West gas pipeline which is under construction on the territory of Turkmenistan.

The South Corridor is a priority EU energy project, diversifying energy supply routes and sources and increasing EU energy security. The Southern Corridor includes the Nabucco gas pipeline, TAP and ITGI (Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline). The gas produced within the second phase of the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz Field is considered to be the main gas source for these projects.

Regarding additional gas supplies for the Southern Corridor, Mr. Stein said President Gurbangulu Berdimuhammedov has talked positively about providing gas to Europe as part of Turkmenistan’s efforts to diversify its export routes.

He believes by expanding export routes, these countries can increase competition for their resources, demand a higher price, and create strong links to the global economy.

“The producer countries, including Turkmenistan, should be able to make their own independent choices regarding how they deal with energy resources,” he noted

In line with this approach, Mr. Stein said, the Obama Administration has worked to support the establishment of a new pathway, the Southern Corridor, to bring natural gas to Europe through Turkey, from the Caspian and potentially other sources, including Iraq.

Just last month, Turkey and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on transit of gas across Turkey to Europe, a significant step forward in realization of the Southern Corridor.

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http://en.trend.az/regions/casia/turkmenistan/1957563.html

Trend News Agency
November 16, 2011

Turkmenistan’s role in strengthening global energy security is growing – EU envoy
G. Hasanov

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat: Turkmenistan has a growing role in strengthening global energy security, said the EU Special Representative for Central Asia Pierre Morel at a meeting in Ashgabat with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said on Wednesday the Turkmen government.

“Pierre Morel focused on various aspects of energy cooperation, stressing it is purely forward-looking, taking into account the gigantic economic and resource potential of Turkmenistan and its increasing role in enhancing global energy security,” said the media.

The European diplomat, as the report says, “has expressed interest in strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation, including within the framework of the long-term strategy of cooperation with EU countries of Central Asia.”

As stressed by the EU Special Representative for Central Asia, “in Europe warmly welcomed consistently put into practice the strategy of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on the creation of multi-variant system for Turkmen energy to international markets.”

In turn, Berdimuhamedov said that, “speaking an active supporter of a new approach to global energy security, Turkmenistan has taken concrete steps to enhance its export potential, creating an extensive, modern and efficient running network delivery of energy to world markets.”

Turkmenistan and the EU in May 2008 signed a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation in the field of energy.

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Russian Envoy: Kosovo Serbs Should Be Granted Russian Citizenship

http://www.rbcnews.com/free/20111116170147.shtml

RosBusinessConsulting
November 16, 2011

Russian envoy pledges support for Kosovo Serbs

Moscow: Russia’s ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin called upon authorities to grant Russian citizenship to 20,000 Kosovo Serbs after this group filed a relevant petition, claiming that its security was in jeopardy in a region dominated by ethnic Albanians.

“This opportunity should be discussed, including with the Russian president, and we should assist them in relocating to Russia,” Rogozin said, adding that Kosovo Serbs should be included in Russia’s repatriation program.

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Washington Maintains Belligerent Stance On European Missiles

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20111116/168747917.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 16, 2011

Washington maintains its stance on European missile shield

MOSCOW: Washington will not provide Moscow with any legally binding guarantees on the European missile shield because the U.S.-led NATO project does not involve Russia in any way, a senior U.S. State Department official said.

Recently-appointed Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman reiterated in an interview with Russia’s Kommersant newspaper published on Wednesday that the shield is designed solely to defend NATO members against ballistic missiles from “rogue states” such as North Korea and Iran, and would not be directed at Russia.

Sherman, who is known as a North Korean expert and diplomatic troubleshooter, visited Moscow last week to discuss bilateral relations, including missile defense, with Russian officials.

Russia and NATO tentatively agreed to cooperate on the European missile defense network at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010, but the differences in approaches toward the project’s architecture led to a deadlock in negotiations.

NATO insists there should be two independent networks that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system with full-scale interoperability.

Russia maintains staunch opposition to the planned deployment of U.S. missile defense systems in the Mediterranean, Poland, Romania and Turkey, claiming they would be a security threat.

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Categories: Uncategorized

La Fontaine: When shall Peace pack up these bloody darts?

November 16, 2011 Leave a comment

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

Jean de La Fontaine
From An Animal in the Moon (1677)
Translator unknown

Some change had taken place on high,
Presaging earthly changes nigh;
Perhaps, indeed, it might betoken
The wars that had already broken
Out wildly over the Continent.

A mouse, between the lenses caged,
Had caused these wars, so fiercely waged!
No doubt the happy English folks
Laughed at it as the best of jokes.
How soon will Mars afford the chance
For like amusements here in France!

We wish for peace, but do not sigh.
The English Charles the secret knows
To make the most of his repose.
And more than this, he’ll know the way,
By valour, working sword in hand,
To bring his sea encircled land
To share the fight it only sees today.
Yet, could he but this quarrel quell,
What incense-clouds would grateful swell!
What deed more worthy of his fame!
Augustus, Julius, pray, which Caesar’s name
Shines now on story’s page with purest flame?
O people happy in your sturdy hearts!
Say, when shall Peace pack up these bloody darts,
And send us all, like you, to softer arts?

*****

From the translation by Edward Marsh

And though we pray for peace, we do not sigh.
Charles has his choice of Peace and War:
Well graced to shine in both, will he resolve
T’indulge his prowess, and his Isle involve
In these fierce sports she watches from afar?
Nay, could his mediation bring surcease
Of rage and strife, ’twere worthier of his fame.
Think you Augustus left a lower name
Than the first Caesar with his conquering star?
Too happy England! When shall we
Like you with single mind have liberty
To follow undistraught the arts of Peace?

Categories: Uncategorized

Stop NATO news: November 15, 2011

November 15, 2011 2 comments

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Australia: Obama To Announce Expanded U.S. Military Presence

Clinton Boosts Ties With Asia-Pacific Military Treaty Allies Against China

U.S. May Use Force Against Iran

Attack On Iran Would Unleash Blood War: Fidel Castro

Malta: U.S.-NATO Gateway From Europe To Africa

New NATO: U.S. Sixth Fleet Command Flagship Modernized In Croatia

Afghan War: France Loses 76th Soldier

U.S. Drone Strike Kills Three In Pakistan

Pakistan: Opposition Blocks Road To Protest Drone Attacks

State Department Taunts Russia Over South Ossetian Elections

U.S. Approves Super Cobra Attack Helicopter Sale To Turkey

Pentagon Shifts Predator Drones From Iraq To Turkey

South Korea Builds Barracks For U.S. Marines On Islands Near North

Azerbaijan Important Energy And Military Ally: Think Tank

State Department Special Envoy For Eurasian Energy In Azerbaijan

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Australia: Obama To Announce Expanded U.S. Military Presence

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/obama-visits-australia-to-announce-expanded-us-military-presence/2011/11/14/gIQADLT9LN_story.html

Washington Post
November 14, 2011

Obama visits Australia to announce expanded U.S. military presence
By David Nakamura

HONOLULU: President Obama will touch down on Australian soil for the first time Wednesday morning for a whirlwind two-day visit that the administration will use to unveil an expanded military presence that is part of its shifting focus on security in the Asian Pacific region.

During a stop at a military facility in Darwin, in Australia’s remote Northern Territory, Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard are expected to announce a plan to allow U.S. Marines to use local bases for training and amphibious exercises.

Before his Australia trip, President Obama outlined a vision for a broader U.S. role overseas the APEC 2011 summit.

White House aides declined Monday to provide details of the visit, but analysts cast the move as a modest first step as the United States reconsiders its “force posture” in a fast-changing region…

…Australia is located close to Southeast Asia, an area of economic growth and emerging economies that the United States would like to influence…

Furthermore, analysts said, having access to military bases in Australia would allow the United States another staging area outside the range of China’s increasingly sophisticated ballistic missiles.

During his stay, Obama is scheduled to deliver an address to Australia’s parliament in Canberra in what the White House is billing as his “anchor speech” to lay out his vision for American presence in the region. Obama also will tour a military facility in Darwin, where he and Gillard are expected to announce the new partnership.

China is watching the U.S. movement in the region and the two countries engaged in some diplomatic jousting over economic policy at the weekend Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hawaii.

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Clinton Boosts Ties With Asia-Pacific Military Treaty Allies Against China

http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/clinton-philippines-us-asia-drive

Agence France-Presse
November 15, 2011

Clinton to Philippines in US Asia drive

-Amid concern in several Asian countries about China’s growing clout, Clinton said the United States was “updating” relationships with its five treaty-bound regional allies – Australia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand.
“These five alliances are the fulcrum for our efforts in the Asia-Pacific,” Clinton said in a speech last week at the East-West Center in Honolulu.
“They leverage our regional presence and enhance our regional leadership at a time of evolving security challenges.”
-Admiral Robert Willard, head of the US Pacific Command, also stressed that the five treaty alliances “form in many ways the basis for security in the region.”
“One of our endeavors is to improve those alliances and strengthen those alliances along the way,” Willard told reporters in Honolulu.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton headed Monday to the Philippines on a trip that will also include Thailand as the United States steps up efforts to reassure Asian allies of its staying power.

The visit comes a day before President Barack Obama leaves for another longtime ally, Australia, on the heels of playing host to Asian leaders in Hawaii for a summit that moved forward on an ambitious Pacific trade pact.

Obama and Clinton will head at the end of the week to an East Asia Summit in Bali, hoping to show an active role in a forum where some countries earlier sought to exclude the United States.

Clinton was expected to hold talks Wednesday with Philippine President Benigno Aquino and sign a formal declaration that looks to lay out a path for future relations between Manila and its former colonial power.

Amid concern in several Asian countries about China’s growing clout, Clinton said the United States was “updating” relationships with its five treaty-bound regional allies – Australia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand.

“These five alliances are the fulcrum for our efforts in the Asia-Pacific,” Clinton said in a speech last week at the East-West Center in Honolulu.

“They leverage our regional presence and enhance our regional leadership at a time of evolving security challenges,” she said.

Clinton and Obama have vowed to put a new focus on the Asia-Pacific region, saying that the United States wants to help build the emerging institutions of the fast-growing region which is vital both for the US economy and security.

Despite looming budget cuts, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently pledged that Asia would be the military’s priority as he visited Japan, South Korea and emerging US ally Indonesia.

Clinton said that the United States wanted to ensure that its alliances enjoy political support and that its defense cooperation with each country was enough for “deterring provocation.”

“We want our alliances to be nimble and adaptive so they can continue to deliver results,” she said.

Admiral Robert Willard, head of the US Pacific Command, also stressed that the five treaty alliances “form in many ways the basis for security in the region.”

“One of our endeavors is to improve those alliances and strengthen those alliances along the way,” Willard told reporters in Honolulu.

The Philippines has accused the Chinese military of aggressive acts in Philippine-claimed areas, including firing on Filipino fishermen, laying buoys and harassing an oil exploration vessel.

Zenia Rodriguez, head of the political science office at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, said that Clinton’s trip was timely in light of the tensions in the South China Sea, including over the Spratly islands.

“When you face China in the Spratlys, the most the Philippines can do is lean towards a stronger nation, which in our case is the US,” Rodriguez said.

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U.S. May Use Force Against Iran

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/14/60386209.html

Interfax
November 14, 2011

US may use force against Iran

US president Barack Obama is considering a new military operation against Iran, the Wall Street Journal writes.

“We are not taking any options off the table”, Obama said adding that the current economic sanctions against the country have had “enormous bite”.

Earlier at the APEC summit Obama had said that he is looking for new ways to put pressure on Iran and is ready to discuss this with Russia and China.

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Attack On Iran Would Unleash Blood War: Fidel Castro

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/15/c_131247227.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 15, 2011

Attack on Iran would unleash “bloody war”: Fidel Castro

HAVANA: Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro warned Monday that “a U.S.-Israeli attack on Iran would inevitably unleash a bloody war.”

“Because of its ability to fight, the number of inhabitants and the size of the country, an attack on Iran is not like the previous Israeli military adventures in Iraq and Syria,” Castro wrote in an article.

“A bloody war would inevitably start. There should be no doubt about it,” the 85-year-old former leader added, speculating that Israel intends to attack Iran as it did when targeting the nuclear facilities in Syria in 2007 and in Iraq in 1981.

Castro also cited U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice as saying that an attack on Iran is a real growing option and that the U.S. government is considering putting an end to the current Iranian leadership to prevent it from creating a nuclear arsenal.

Western countries are ratcheting up pressure on Iran after a report by the international nuclear watchdog IAEA said the country’s nuclear program had an agenda to develop weapons.

Tehran has completely rejected the report, calling it “unbalanced, unprofessional and politically-motivated.”

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Malta: U.S.-NATO Gateway From Europe To Africa

http://www.eucom.mil/article/22905/naveur-navaf-commander-visits-malta

U.S. European Command
November 10, 2011

NAVEUR-NAVAF Commander Visits Malta

LUQA, Malta: Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, and Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, visited Luqa, Malta, Nov. 9-10, for a two-day visit with U.S., Maltese, and Armed Forces of Malta officials.

Maltese Brig. Gen. Martin Xuereb, commander of the Armed Forces of Malta, greeted Locklear with full military honors, including a review of troops at the Armed Forces of Malta headquarters in Valletta. He also met with Vanessa Frazier, director of Defense Matters, and U.S. Embassy Chargé de Affaires Rick Mills.

During the meetings, Locklear thanked Maltese security officials for their contributions toward increasing maritime security throughout the region.  With more than 33% of the world merchant traffic passing between Malta and Sicily, and more than 80% of Europe’s energy resources traveling near the island nation, Malta’s role in maintaining maritime domain awareness is critical.

Locklear also thanked Xuereb and Mrs. Frazier for their role in facilitating cooperation between the U.S., European, and African countries. Malta’s assistance in bringing nations from both continents together to work on common goals contributes greatly to international maritime security.

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New NATO: U.S. Sixth Fleet Command Flagship Modernized In Croatia

http://www.eucom.mil/article/22906/us-ambassador-and-6th-fleet-commander-commemorate-us-croatia-partnership

U.S. European Command
November 9, 2011

US Ambassador and 6th Fleet Commander Commemorate US-Croatia Partnership

RIJEKA, Croatia – U.S. Ambassador to Croatia, the Honorable James Foley and Vice Adm. Frank C. Pandolfe, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet, visited Rijeka, Croatia, Nov. 9, to commemorate the near completion of the 60-day maintenance availability for USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) in the Viktor Lenac Shipyard. The visit also served to strengthen the bonds between the U.S. and Croatia.

“Two months ago, more than 300 skilled professionals from this shipyard came aboard Mount Whitney and joined with American Sailors and Civilian Mariners to modernize our command ship,” Pandolfe said to a group of U.S. and Croatian dignitaries gathered to commemorate the event…

…The extensive dry-dock work package included upgrading the ship’s Close-In Weapons System, replacing 26 tons of steel, inspecting and cleaning 82 tanks and voids, and a complete inspection and preservation of the ship’s hull.

Viktor Lenac was selected from among several regional shipyards in a competitive bidding process and selection [the contract] represents a substantial increase in the extent of services performed by a Croatian company for a U.S. military client.

“The most important aspect of this event is not its scale, but the precedent it sets and the promise it holds for potential future visits,” Foley explained. “We hope that future operations and Mediterranean-basing of U.S. ships will provide regular opportunities for Croatian shipyards to bid for similar contracts.”

Pandolfe looks forward to working closely with his Croatian counterparts in the future.

“This joint effort represents a mutual success for Croatia and the United States,” Pandolfe said.  “It illustrates our growing efforts together at sea and ashore; teamwork that we will expand in the future.”

USS Mount Whitney is jointly operated by the U.S. Navy and Military Sealift Command as a command ship that provides command and control for fleet commanders and serves as the flagship for U.S. 6th Fleet. The ship provides the capacity for a joint staff to plan a full range of U.S. military options.

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Afghan War: France Loses 76th Soldier

http://www.rttnews.com/Content/GeneralNews.aspx?Id=1761151&SM=1

RTT News
November 14, 2011

French Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

One French soldier has been killed and another injured in fighting with Taliban insurgents in northeastern Afghanistan, the French President’s office said in a statement.

The deceased soldier was “mortally wounded by insurgent fire during a protection mission for a logistical convoy for the Afghan army in Kapisa,” the statement said, adding that another French soldier was also injured in the exchange of fire.

The death of the soldier on Monday takes the total number of French troops killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 76. France currently has some 4,000 troops on ground in Afghanistan as part of an international military coalition fighting insurgency in the country.

France is the fourth largest contributor to the NATO-led coalition of international forces fighting insurgency in Afghanistan. The troops are mainly based in the Kapisa and Sorobi districts of capital Kabul and operates under the command of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.

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U.S. Drone Strike Kills Three In Pakistan

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/US-drone-strike-kills-three-militants-in-Pakistan-Officials/articleshow/10735297.cms

Agence France-Presse
November 15, 2011

US drone strike kills three militants in Pakistan: Officials

MIRANSHAH: A US drone strike targeting a militant compound killed three rebels in Pakistan’s tribal region of North Waziristan near the Afghan border on Tuesday, security officials said.

The strike took place in Miranshah Bazaar, part of the town of Miranshah, in the troubled North Waziristan region…

“A US drone fired two missiles on a militant compound in the bazaar killing three militants,” a security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

He said that thick smoke was seen coming out of the compound after the strike, adding the identities of those killed could not be immediately verified.

Another security official also confirmed the strike and casualties, saying that four to five drones were still flying in the area.

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Pakistan: Opposition Blocks Road To Protest Drone Attacks

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=77528&Cat=2

News International
November 15, 2011

NWA PTI blocks road against drone attacks

MIRAMSHAH: Activists of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Monday staged a protest against US drone strikes in North Waziristan on the Bannu-Mir Ali Road and blocked the road for several hours, tribal sources said.

The protesters, led by Dr Shabbir Ahmad, the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (Fata) chapter chief organizer for PTI, carried placards and chanted slogans against the drone strikes and asked the government to put an end to these attacks.

Addressing the protesters, Dr Shabbir Ahmad said common tribespeople including children and women were being killed in the drone strikes. He said the drone attacks were not only a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty but also the Geneva Convention.

He lamented the government high-ups’ silence over these strikes. The PTI leader said the protest was staged on the call of their party chief Imran Khan and would continue till the end of drone strikes in the tribal region.

He also flayed government policies with regard to the so-called “war on terror” and ways of dealing with internal and external issues. The PT leader asked the government to provide compensation to the victims of the military offensives against the militants in FATA to end their miseries.

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State Department Taunts Russia Over South Ossetian Elections

http://en.rian.ru/world/20111115/168700593.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 14, 2011

U.S. says presidential elections in South Ossetia illegitimate

WASHINGTON: U.S. Department of State Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said Sunday’s presidential elections in Georgia’s former republic of South Ossetia were illegitimate.

Russia recognized the independence of South Ossetia and another former Georgian region – Abkhazia – in 2008, following a five-day war with Georgia, which began when Georgia attacked South Ossetia, where most residents are Russian passport holders.

Referring to South Ossetia as a “Georgian region,” Toner said that his country continues to support Georgia’s territorial integrity within the internationally accepted borders and would not recognize the results or legitimacy of the polls.

“The United States does not recognize the legitimacy or the outcome of these so-called presidential elections and referendum that were held in Georgia’s South Ossetia region on November 13th,” Toner said.

“And we again urge Russia to fulfill all of its obligations under the 2008 cease-fire agreement, including withdrawal of its forces to pre- conflict positions and free access to humanitarian assistance to the Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia,” the deputy spokesman added.

The polls to choose a successor for Eduard Kokoity were held on Sunday. Russian observers monitoring the elections and referendum described voting as free and open.

No candidate received the necessary plus 50 percent of the vote in the first round. The second round of presidential polls in South Ossetia will be contested by Emergency Minister Anatoly Bibilov and former Education Minister Alla Dzhioyeva.

Biblov took 25.44 percent and Dzhioyeva 25.37 percent. Turnout was 67.5 percent.

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U.S. Approves Super Cobra Attack Helicopter Sale To Turkey

http://en.trend.az/regions/met/turkey/1957075.html

Trend News Agency
November 15, 2011

Super Cobra helicopter sale to Turkey cleared in US Congress

Congressional approval process for the sale of three AH-1W Super Cobra attack helicopters to Turkey has completed by Monday, Today’s Zaman reported.

The Obama administration formally notified the US Congress on Oct. 28 of an unusual proposal to take three AH-1W “Super Cobra” attack helicopters from the US Marine Corps inventory and sell them to Turkey.

According to US laws, the administration needs to notify the Congress over the sale of arms to other countries and seek its authorization. If an arms sale is to a NATO member country, the Congress has 15 days to reject or the sale will be automatically authorized.

Turkey has a long-standing request for Super Cobras helicopters. It has a shortage of these helicopters, required in its ongoing fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)…

The Congressional approval process of the sale of the $111-million helicopters to Turkey completed as no motion that would block the sale was brought up to the agenda of the Congress.

The attack helicopters are believed to be delivered in couple months after technical screening.

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Pentagon Shifts Predator Drones From Iraq To Turkey

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/usa/1957071.html

Trend News Agency
November 15, 2011

United States brings predators to Turkey from Iraq

The U.S. Department of Defense said on Monday that U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles, Predators, had been shifted to Turkey from Iraq, Anadolu agency reported.

Department spokesperson John Kirby said four predators, used in intelligence sharing in fight against [the] PKK, had been deployed at the Incirlik Base in the southern province of Adana.

Kirby told reporters that four predators were shifted to Turkey from Iraq upon Turkey’s demand, and this would contribute to intelligence sharing in Turkish army’s fight against the specific threat the…PKK had posed in its southern border.

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South Korea Builds Barracks For U.S. Marines On Islands Near North

http://www.stripes.com/news/s-korea-to-build-barracks-on-island-near-north-border-for-u-s-troops-1.160746

Stars and Stripes
November 14, 2011

S. Korea to build barracks on island near north border for U.S. troops
By Jon Rabiroff

-South Korean military officials said Monday that barracks capable of accommodating up to 160 U.S. servicemembers will be built on Baengnyeong, with a projected completion date of 2013.

A variety of experts on the two Koreas have suggested in recent months that the Northwest Islands are a likely location of future military conflict between the North and South given their location and history.
-Adding to the potential for armed conflict is the new shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later approach being taken by the South Korean military on and around the islands.

SEOUL: South Korea plans to build accommodations for U.S. servicemembers on one of the Yellow Sea islands near the disputed maritime border it shares with North Korea…

“The Republic of Korea is building a transient barracks for the (South Korean) Marine Corps on (Baengnyeong) Island for use during training or in a crisis,” U.S. Forces Korea spokesman Jason Chudy said Monday. “It could also be used as temporary billeting for any U.S. forces training with our (South Korean) counterparts on the island, which increases our readiness and strengthens our alliance.

Baengnyeong Island is west of Yeonpyeong Island, which almost a year ago was shelled by North Korea…

[T]he South Korean military was restructured with the creation of the Northwest Islands Defense Command, which reports directly to the chairman of the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff and is tasked with defending the South’s five westernmost islands from attacks by the North.

The South Korean military said it also has increased its manpower, firepower and equipment on and around the islands. For example, helicopter hangars will reportedly be built on Baengnyeong Island to accommodate an undisclosed number of attack helicopters.

South Korean military officials said Monday that barracks capable of accommodating up to 160 U.S. servicemembers will be built on Baengnyeong, with a projected completion date of 2013.

A variety of experts on the two Koreas have suggested in recent months that the Northwest Islands are a likely location of future military conflict between the North and South given their location and history.

The North has long disputed where the maritime border between the two countries was drawn in the wake of the Korean War, suggesting it should be farther to the south. In addition, the five westernmost islands are actually closer to the North Korean mainland than the South’s.

Adding to the potential for armed conflict is the new shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later approach being taken by the South Korean military on and around the islands.

That more-aggressive approach was on display June 17 when two South Korean marines mistakenly fired 99 rounds from a Byondong Island guard post at an Asiana Airlines plane enroute to landing at the South’s Incheon International Airport.

No one was injured in the incident, and the marines were not reprimanded for their actions because officials said they had followed the new rules of engagement.

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Azerbaijan Important Energy And Military Ally: Think Tank

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=159490

Azeri Press Agency
November 15, 2011

Former intelligence assessment director in the Office of the Secretary of Defense: “Azerbaijan is still an important part of US interests in the region”
Isabel Levine

Washington: In its latest research, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) said Azerbaijan continues to maintain close ties with the US and such ties will continue to weigh on Iranian perceptions, and limit Tehran’s influence in the country”.

One of the authors, Anthony H. Cordesman, CSIS analyst and former director of intelligence assessment in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and as civilian assistant to the deputy secretary of defense, recalls that Azerbaijan is not a critical component of US-Iranian strategic competition, but it is still an important part of US interests in the region.

He recalls that Azerbaijan is a significant component of the US logistical effort to sustain military operations in Afghanistan. “It offers one of the main overflight, refueling and landing routes for US and coalition troops bound for Afghanistan, and a major land route for military fuel, food and construction supplies”.

“Azerbaijan’s oil wealth is a potential focal point in the contest between the US and Iranian interests in the Caucasus. Since independence, Azerbaijan, with access to the most readily retrievable oil reserves in the Caspian Sea, was an attractive destination for Western corporations”, the research shows, “The US and Azerbaijan have signed a bilateral trade agreement, which entered into force in April 1995 and confers upon Azerbaijan the status of most favored nation. US companies are involved in offshore oil development projects with Azerbaijan and have been exploring the emerging investment opportunities. Bilateral trade amounted to about $2.3 billion in 2010”.

According to the authors, “much will depend on US dialogue with Azerbaijan, US aid, and Azeri confidence that the US will remain a key player in the region”.

Compared to Azerbaijan, the report says, in Armenia, meanwhile, Iran plays a significant economic role and has bolstered its influence by playing on a mutual wariness of Azerbaijan and Turkey. “Desperately needing a regional ally, Armenia has welcomed Iranian support.”

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State Department Special Envoy For Eurasian Energy In Azerbaijan

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=159504

Azeri Press Agency
November 15, 2011

Azerbaijani President receives Special Envoy of the U.S. Secretary of State for Eurasian Energy

Baku: On November 15, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received Special Envoy of the U.S. Secretary of State for Eurasian Energy Richard Morningstar.

APA reports that they expressed satisfaction with the development of bilateral relations as well as cooperation between Azerbaijan and the U.S and exchanged view on prospects of energy cooperation.

Morningstar said that his country welcomed the last agreement on energy cooperation achieved between Azerbaijan and Turkey.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Syria In Western Strategy For Global Military Supremacy

November 15, 2011 1 comment

Stop NATO
November 15, 2011

Syria In Western Strategy For Global Military Supremacy
Rick Rozoff

The League of Arab States (Arab League) suspended the membership of Syria in the organization on November 12 as it had with Libya on February 22 of this year. In the case of Libya, whose membership was reinstated after NATO bombed proxy forces into power in late August, reports at the time indicated that member states Algeria and Syria had been opposed to the action but folded under pressure for a consensus from the eight Arab states governed by royal families – Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which to all intents and purposes now are the Arab League, with the other formal members either victims of recent regime change of one sort or another or likely targets for such a fate.

With the replication of the February move this past weekend, Algeria, Lebanon and Yemen voted against the suspension of Syria and Iraq abstained through some combination of principled opposition and self-interest, as the four may well be the next nations to be suspended by the monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) and Jordan and Morocco (the latter two having recently applied for membership though not in the Persian Gulf, Morocco bordering the Atlantic Ocean) should the U.S.-NATO-Arab monarchs entente demand it.

Washington is pressuring Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign as he being shown the door courtesy of a plan devised by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), as well as demanding the same of Syrian President Bashar Assad. The GCC deployed troops to Bahrain in March, in that instance to prop up the government, that of the Al Khalifa dynasty. 

Qatar and the United Arab Emirates supplied NATO with warplanes and the Transitional National Council with weapons and special forces personnel for the almost 230-day blockade and bombardment of Libya, and Jordan and Morocco joined the two Gulf states at the Paris summit on March 19 that launched the war against Libya.

The four Arab nations are both close bilateral military allies of the Pentagon and members of NATO partnership programs, the Mediterranean Dialogue in the case of Jordan and Morocco, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Jordan and the UAE are to date the only official Arabic Troop Contributing Nations for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

On October 31, eleven days after the murder of former Libyan head of state Muammar Gaddafi, NATO’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen flew into Tripoli and offered the services of the world’s only military bloc in reconstituting the battered nation’s military and internal security forces as NATO is doing in Iraq and Afghanistan with the NATO Training Mission-Iraq and the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan. Rebuilding, transforming and modernizing the armed forces of Libya, as with those of the other two countries, to achieve NATO standards and interoperability.

A week later Ivo Daalder, long-time proponent and architect of Global NATO [1], now empowered to put his plans into effect as the Obama administration’s ambassador to the military alliance, offered the inevitable complement to Rasmussen’s offer in reiterating that “NATO is prepared, if requested by the new Libyan authorities, to consider ways in which it could help the Libyan authorities, particularly in the area of defense and security reform.”

According to the same Agence France-Presse account, “Daalder also said Libya could bolster its ties with the transatlantic alliance by joining NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue, a partnership comprising Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, Jordan and Israel.” (The new regimes in Egypt and Tunisia are fully honoring previous military commitments to the U.S. and NATO.)

The exact scenario that a Stop NATO article warned about on March 25, six days after U.S. Africa Command launched Operation Odyssey Dawn and the beginning of the over seven-month-long war against Libya:

“If the current Libyan model is duplicated in Syria as increasingly seems to be the case, and with Lebanon already blockaded by warships from NATO nations since 2006 in what is the prototype for what NATO will soon replicate off the coast of Libya, the Mediterranean Sea will be entirely under t