Home > Uncategorized > Stop NATO news: January 12, 2012

Stop NATO news: January 12, 2012

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Beyond Star Wars, War On Terror: Obama’s Cyber Warfare Strategy

Russian Official: Real Danger Of U.S., NATO Strikes On Iran, Syria

NATO Backs Military Partner Kuwait Against Iran In Gulf

U.S. Soon To Have Two Aircraft Carriers In Persian Gulf

True U.S. Iran Strategy: Regime Change Not Nuclear Canard

Russian Security Official: No Proof Of Iran Nuclear Bomb Program

Missile Defense Chief: U.S. To Intercept Iranian Missiles…From Alaska

NATO Intensifies Integration Of Azerbaijan

Think Tank Urges U.S. To Challenge Russia In South Caucasus, Other Former Soviet Republics

Georgia: NATO’s Pet Despot Saakashvili In Latest Maniacal Rant

NATO Partnership: Armenian Troops Rotated In Afghanistan

NATO Chief To Visit Baltic Outposts

Belgium: NATO SHAPE Launches New International School Complex

Dutch Defense Chief Visits Troops At Texas Military Base

2012: Global Conflict Simmers Despite Lack Of Open War

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Beyond Star Wars, War On Terror: Obama’s Cyber Warfare Strategy

http://rt.com/politics/cyberspace-defense-us-panarin-543/

RT
January 11, 2012

Supremacy in cyberspace: New strategy by US

-The NSA performs clandestine surveillance of Russia’s electronic communications through Echelon elements stationed in Norway, Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan and the Baltic states.
The US Cyber Command, aka CYBERCOM, plans to employ cyber warfare for purposes of land-based, naval and aerial military operations.
-[O]n 5 January 2012 President Obama and the DoD released a defense strategic guidance titled “Sustaining US Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st-century Defense.” The document formulates the United States’ top strategic priority as securing the nation’s global dominance through aggressive action in cyberspace. Herein, the White House and the Pentagon explicitly state their intention to enhance America’s global posture by securing its domination in cyberspace through information and cyber warfare tactics.
Thus, the Obama administration is laying out its own ambitious global-domination project, superseding Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” and George Bush Junior’s “War on Terror”: a global war in cyberspace.

US President Obama delivered a public address in the Pentagon on 5 January this year introducing the “defense strategic review.” Writer and political analyst Igor Panarin believes Washington’s new military doctrine will focus on cyberspace supremacy.

In the article below, Panarin explains his view.­

The United States was first to approach cyberspace as a new sphere of military action, along with the existing military domains such as land, sea, air and space. The concept dates back to 1998, but it was only developed into a concrete action plan following the war in South Ossetia in August 2008, which did not play out well for the US and its Georgian proxy.

Late in May 2009, President Barack Obama instituted the post of Cyberspace Coordinator within his administration, with the coordinator sitting on both the National Security Council and the National Economic Council. The same month saw the establishment of the US Cyber Command, headquartered at Fort Meade, Maryland, and headed by Army General Keith Alexander, who also happens to be the head of the National Security Agency, America’s most powerful intelligence service.

The National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) is the United States’ centermost intelligence agency. It was formally established on 4 November 1952. The agency is responsible for the collection of foreign communications and signals intelligence, employing the Echelon eavesdropping system as its key technical asset. The NSA performs clandestine surveillance of Russia’s electronic communications through Echelon elements stationed in Norway, Cyprus, Kyrgyzstan and the Baltic states.

The US Cyber Command, aka CYBERCOM, plans to employ cyber warfare for purposes of land-based, naval and aerial military operations. Special information and cyber warfare units and command structures have been set up within the US armed forces, including the Army Cyber Command/Second Army. Naval cyber warfare is to be directed through the Fleet Cyber Command, based on the once-disbanded and specially reestablished US 10th Fleet. The air force component of CYBERCOM is the 24th Air Force, aka Air Forces Cyber. The US Marine Corps also has its own Cyberspace Command.

The US Department of Defense’s technical research branch, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is currently finalizing its National Cyber Range: a miniature version of the internet meant as a testing ground for cyber intelligence and warfare. The Cyber Range is intended for testing new tactics and techniques through cyber war games, as well as for training cyber troops. The new strategy also includes developing new cyber weapons and tools, such as passive viruses, cyber beacons, etc.

US lawmakers have already developed new legislation regulating government and military activities aimed at securing America’s cyberspace supremacy.

One of the notable trends is simplified decision making for offensive cyber warfare operations and activities. In the past, launching a cyber attack required stage-by-stage authorization from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, then the defense secretary, and then the US president. Under the new rules, decision making on such an action will take no more than 10 minutes. This primarily concerns psychological operations targeting any specific audience of Internet users.

CYBERCOM held a simulation exercise early in December 2011, which eventually earned praise from Gen. Alexander. The exercise involved 300 cyber specialists designated respectively as CYBERCOM elements and “the enemy,” practicing offensive and defensive tactics and coordination. The simulated US cyber defense operation was centered at the Air Force’s Nevada Test and Training Range at Nellis, Nevada, while the designated aggressors sought to penetrate the American cyber network from remote locations.

In just over a week, both sides sought to win the initiative and counter each other’s moves, analyzing their own progress and performance through daily operational briefings. The exercise served to try out various real-time scenarios based on the probable action and counter-action of a potential adversary. DoD officials commended the exercise as highly successful, complimenting CYBERCOM specialists for their proficiency and excellent teamwork.

Rather mysteriously, the CYBERCOM exercise took place at the same time as Russia experienced an unprecedented surge in street protests following its parliamentary election last December. It seems rather telling that the protest rallies that drew thousands of people in some of Russia’s major cities were mainly organized and dispatched through web-based social networks such as Facebook.

Finally, on 5 January 2012 President Obama and the DoD released a defense strategic guidance titled “Sustaining US Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st-century Defense.” The document formulates the United States’ top strategic priority as securing the nation’s global dominance through aggressive action in cyberspace. Herein, the White House and the Pentagon explicitly state their intention to enhance America’s global posture by securing its domination in cyberspace through information and cyber warfare tactics.

Thus, the Obama administration is laying out its own ambitious global-domination project, superseding Ronald Reagan’s “Star Wars” and George Bush Junior’s “War on Terror”: a global war in cyberspace.

­Prof. Igor Panarin, Doctor of Political Sciences, for RT

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Russian Official: Real Danger Of U.S., NATO Strikes On Iran, Syria

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/1176281/1/.html

Agence France-Presse
January 12, 2012

Real danger of US military strike on Iran: Russia

-”There is information that NATO members and some Arab states of the Persian Gulf, acting in line with the scenario seen in Libya, intend to turn the current interference with Syrian affairs into a direct military intervention.”

MOSCOW: Russian Security Council secretary Nikolai Patrushev warned that military escalation is likely in Iran, with “real danger” of a US strike, in an interview published Thursday.

He added that Syria, which has refused to break its ties with Tehran, could also be a target for Western intervention.

“There is a likelihood of military escalation of the conflict, and Israel is pushing the Americans towards it,” Patrushev said in an interview published on the website of the daily Kommersant.

“There is a real danger of a US military strike on Iran,” the senior Russian security official said.

“At present, the US sees Iran as its main problem. They are trying to turn Tehran from an enemy into a supportive partner, and to achieve this, to change the current regime by whatever means,” he added.

“They use both economic embargo and massive help to the opposition forces.”

Patrushev said that “for years we have been hearing practically next week that the Iranians are going to create an atomic bomb, (but) still nobody has proved the existence of a military component of Iran’s nuclear programme.”

Iran said Wednesday it had firm evidence that “foreign quarters” were behind the killings of Iranian nuclear experts and demanded UN Security Council condemnation of the deaths.

Patrushev said the current tension over Syria was linked to the Iran issue.

“They want to punish Damascus not so much for the repression of the opposition, but rather for its refusal to break off relations with Tehran,” he insisted.

“There is information that NATO members and some Arab states of the Persian Gulf, acting in line with the scenario seen in Libya, intend to turn the current interference with Syrian affairs into a direct military intervention.”

In this instance, the Russian official said, “the main strike forces will be supplied not by France, Britain and Italy, but possibly by neighbouring Turkey.”

Washington and Ankara may already be working on plans for a no-fly zone to enable armed Syrian rebel units to build up, he said.

The United States said Wednesday it would reduce the number of staff at its embassy in Damascus…

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NATO Backs Military Partner Kuwait Against Iran In Gulf

http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2214091&language=en

Kuwait News Agency
January 11, 2012

NATO MP urges Italian, European backing to Kuwait”s frontier sovereignty

FLORENCE, Italy: A NATO Parliamentary Assembly member called here Wednesday on his Italian country’s government to press for European action against Iranian threats targeting the ***Arabian*** Gulf and Kuwait’s border sovereignty.

In a statement to KUNA on Iran’s recent threats to close the Strait of Hormuz and remarks on the offshore Durrah oilfield, Deputy Chairman of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Defense and Security Committee Francesco Buzzi urged Tehran to observe international treaties and laws and to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and borders of its Gulf neighbors, “mainly the friendly State of Kuwait.”

The veteran NATO MP voiced total solidarity with the State of Kuwait versus the Iranian move.

He also emphasized that the European Union (EU) should adopt a strong political and diplomatic initiative towards Tehran, and that the Italian government should play a more active role in this respect.

He even urged his country’s government to press for a European strategy involving, if necessary, economic sanctions against Iran.

Kuwaiti-Italian Friendship Society President Pieradrea Vanni had called on the Italian government to support an EU initiative for a decisive action against Iran, which he said is seeking to destabilize the Gulf region.

He even said Iran’s recent threats for closing the Strait of Hormuz necessitates a diplomatic response from the EU.

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U.S. Soon To Have Two Aircraft Carriers In Persian Gulf

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012/01/11/63690602.html

Interfax
January 11, 2012

US aircraft carrier sets course for Gulf

       
The US “Abraham Lincoln” aircraft carrier with a group of combat ships has set a course for the Persian Gulf, an official with the US’ 7th fleet based at the Japanese port of Yokosuka said Wednesday.

The aircraft group is sailing to the Gulf zone to support efforts in the zone of operational responsibility of the 5th fleet, based in Bahrain.

On Monday, the US Karl Wilson aircraft carrier with guarding ships entered the zone of the Gulf.

The situation in the Gulf tensed after Iran had threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz strait if the EU introduced a ban on oil supplies to Iran. The US said it would not allow the blockade of the Strait of Hormuz which is the route for 40 percent of all oil shipments.

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True U.S. Iran Strategy: Regime Change Not Nuclear Canard

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012/01/11/63669811.html

Voice of Russia
January 11, 2012

Sanctions are about regime change, not about nukes
Boris Volkhonsky

-Iran has always been the staunchest obstacle for the establishment of complete U.S. dominance in the vast region from Morocco to Pakistan. Now that the “Arab Spring” has been successfully implemented in a number of countries, why not try it on Iran?
-The nuclear scarecrow is something that can divert the Europeans’ attention from the euro crisis and restore U.S. dominance.
-[I]t is no longer about the semi-mythical Iranian nuclear weapons, but rather about the future of U.S. dominance in regional and global affairs. For that end, regime change in Iran seems a much more appropriate target than just forcing Iranian leaders “to change their ways.”

       
On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported with a reference to an anonymous senior U.S. intelligence official that the real goal of sanctions against Iran was to “create hate and discontent at the street level so that the Iranian leaders realize that they need to change their ways.”

The peculiar thing is that an earlier version stated that the “intelligence official had described regime collapse as a goal of U.S. and other sanctions against Iran.” Later, the paper had to disavow this statement and present a corrected version.

In fact, the “corrected” wording does not sound much different from the original one. “Creating hate and discontent at the street level” is hardly a means to force Iranian leaders “to change their ways.” It is an obvious and necessary prerequisite for the course of events demonstrated last year in a number of Arab countries and being imposed at the moment on Syria.

In fact, the statement exposes the overall U.S. strategy in the “Greater Middle East”. Iran has always been the staunchest obstacle for the establishment of complete U.S. dominance in the vast region from Morocco to Pakistan. Now that the “Arab Spring” has been successfully implemented in a number of countries, why not try it on Iran?

As is well known, economic sanctions rarely directly affect governments. But their immediate effect is always felt by the majority of the population facing increasing hardships. This really does create public ire and may well result in street protests of the kind tried and implemented in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria.

While absolutely no unambiguous and conclusive evidence of Iran’s nuclear program pursuing military ends has been presented, the whole story of sanctions and Iranian countermeasures resembles a kind of arguments two boxers exchange before the fight. The real aim is to produce an impression on outside observers.

For the U.S., the “nuclear story” is a two-fold weapon. Internationally, it aims at drawing the attention of its European allies who lately, being preoccupied with their internal problems, were not too eager to obey the orders coming from Washington. The nuclear scarecrow is something that can divert the Europeans’ attention from the euro crisis and restore U.S. dominance.

Even more important is the internal American aspect of the issue. While global issues rarely matter more than domestic ones in U.S. elections, the “Iranian nuclear program” has been publicized enough to scare the average American. President Barack Obama has been often criticized by his Republican rivals for his presumably “soft” stance on the issue. Mitt Romney went as far as saying, “if we reelect Barack Obama, Iran will have a nuclear weapon.” Therefore, for Obama it is the right time to demonstrate his firmness.

On the other hand, most observers note that Iran’s threats to blockade the Hormuz Strait are unlikely to be implemented. The consequences of such action could be much more damaging for Iran than the sanctions themselves. Still, this does not exclude “asymmetrical” countermeasures. And the current voyage of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Latin America also bears a symbolic importance. In fact, it is Venezuela and not Iran which accounts for a large portion of U.S. oil imports, and if Hugo Chavez decides to stand by his Iranian counterpart in times of hardship, the sanctions against Iran may well backfire.

But what remains the most important unknown quantity in the “Iranian equation” is the possible reaction of China, the biggest importer of Iranian oil. At present, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is on a hard mission trying to persuade China of the common need to impose stricter sanctions on Iran. But, despite polite remarks about “a positive working relationship” and “important cooperation in the multilateral and global arena”, Chinese officials, as usual, have been evasive on the issue of sanctions. Definitely, Iranian oil plays too big a role in the Chinese economy to risk the side effects of the sanctions.

In any case, the matter has gone too far from what it originally was. And now it is no longer about the semi-mythical Iranian nuclear weapons, but rather about the future of U.S. dominance in regional and global affairs. For that end, regime change in Iran seems a much more appropriate target than just forcing Iranian leaders “to change their ways.”

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Russian Security Official: No Proof Of Iran Nuclear Bomb Program

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=300758

Interfax
January 11, 2012

No proof of nuclear bomb development by Iran – Patrushev

MOSCOW: Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev has said that Western countries have no evidence that Tehran is trying to create a nuclear weapon.

“All this talk about Iranians being almost a week away from creating a nuclear bomb, we have been hearing it for many years now. The presence of a military aspect in Tehran’s nuclear program has never been proved by anyone,” Patrushev said in an interview with Interfax.

“However, it did not stop U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta from stating confidently that there will still be a strike against Iran,” Patrushev added.

The United States and other NATO countries are talking about Iran’s nuclear threat as an accomplished fact, he said.

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Missile Defense Chief: U.S. To Intercept Iranian Missiles…From Alaska

http://www.alaskapublic.org/2012/01/11/missile-defense-will-have-long-presence-in-alaska/

Alaska Public Radio Network
January 11, 2012

Missile Defense Will Have Long Presence In Alaska
By Dan Bross

Fairbanks: Missile defense will have a long presence in Alaska. That was the message of Missile Defense Agency Director, Lieutenant General Pat O’Reilly to the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce in an address Tuesday. The Ft. Greely Missile Base with 26 interceptors is the center piece of the nation’s Ground Based Midcourse Missile Defense System. The $18 billion Ft. Greely facility is nearing completion, and O’Reilly said his agency is committed to operate and maintain it for the long term.

General O’Reilly said a dangerous political climate in the world is driving the long term commitment. O’Reilly cited smaller nations, like North Korea and Iran, which possess thousands of missiles that Alaska is in a key place to intercept.

O’Reilly said the ideal location of Ft. Greely means continued commitment to maintain the site as part of the multi element missile defense system, that includes another missile launch site in California.

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NATO Intensifies Integration Of Azerbaijan

http://www.rferl.org/content/azerbaijan_cooperation_nato/24448824.html

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
January 11, 2012

Azerbaijan Steps Up Cooperation With NATO

-Azerbaijan’s renewed cooperation with NATO is presumably intended to enhance the military’s capability to make good on Aliyev’s periodic warnings that if diplomacy fails, Azerbaijan will have no choice but to resort to force to bring Nagorno-Karabakh back under its control.

Just seven months after joining the Non-Aligned Movement, Azerbaijan is now revitalizing its engagement with the NATO alliance.

Does this apparent inconsistency reflect diverging priorities within the upper echelons of the country’s leadership? Or are both moves part of a complex and far-reaching strategy focused on winning back control over Nagorno-Karabakh?

The “National Security Concept” approved by President Ilham Aliyev in 2007 affirms that “Integration into the European and Euro-Atlantic political, security, economic, and other institutions constitutes the strategic goal of the Azerbaijan Republic. The Azerbaijan Republic views its partnership with the Euro-Atlantic structures as a means for contributing to security, economic prosperity and democracy in the whole Euro-Atlantic area.”

Azerbaijan has successfully implemented two successive Individual Partnership Action Plans (IPAP) with NATO, in 2005-07 and 2008-09…

Azerbaijan’s third two-year IPAP, for the period 2012-13, was approved only last month. Armenia’s was approved one month earlier. Within days, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry published a list of three NATO training courses in which Azerbaijani servicemen will participate during the first six months of 2012. There will also be a working meeting in Brussels next week, and talks in Baku with German defense specialists.

If Baku regards the Non-Aligned Movement primarily as a forum for exerting diplomatic pressure on Armenia, then by the same token Azerbaijan’s renewed cooperation with NATO is presumably intended to enhance the military’s capability to make good on Aliyev’s periodic warnings that if diplomacy fails, Azerbaijan will have no choice but to resort to force to bring Nagorno-Karabakh back under its control.

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Think Tank Urges U.S. To Challenge Russia In South Caucasus, Other Former Soviet Republics

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=163367

Azeri Press Agency
January 11, 2012

US analysts urge Obama Administration to pay more attention to Caucasus in 2012
Isabel Levine

Washington: The Washington, DC-based foreign policy think tank, Center for Strategic and International Studies -CSIS – senior analysts on the Caucasus and European countries urge the Obama Administration to pay more attention to the Caucasus region in the year of 2012, APA’s correspondent reports.

“The White House must not neglect the opportunity to develop closer ties with Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia in the year of 2012”, Janusz Bugajski, Director of New European Democracies Project at the CSIS said.

He believes that the US also needs to promote the independence of Belarus and Ukraine, and to be better prepared for political turbulence in both those countries.

According to the analyst, Vladimir Putin’s return to the Kremlin could presage new conflicts with Russia’s neighbors if he seeks to mobilize ***nationalist and imperialist sentiments to undermine public protests and justify his authoritarian methods***.

He says, in Central-Eastern Europe, Washington must remain steadfast in pursuit of the missile shield program and closer U.S. military ties with each NATO member, regardless of threats from Moscow.

Another analyst Heather Conley, Director of the Europe Program, mentions that 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the end of the Soviet Union. For the past two decades, Russia attempted to stabilize and reunify internally based on the construct of the Soviet Union…

However, the analyst is concerned that although Europe adopted a common currency and common defense and security, these efforts, like Russia’s, have largely failed.

“Looking to the past for strategic guidance, Europe and Eurasia are ill-prepared for the future.

If the United States abandons its role as a European power and does not reassert its leadership, we will be watching an unfolding set of crises and new relationships across Europe and Eurasia that the US will be unable to affect”, he says.

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Georgia: NATO’s Pet Despot Saakashvili In Latest Maniacal Rant

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24345

Civil Georgia
January 11, 2012

Saakashvili: ‘We Live in the Epoch of Revival’

-“It took him [David the Builder] 34 years to regain Tbilisi. Occupied territories [Abkhazia, South Ossetia] are now the same [for Georgia] that Tbilisi was at that time [during David the Builder’s rule].”
-“Never since the epochs of Davit and [Queen] Tamar [in late 12th and early 13th centuries] have so many things been built in Georgia than in last 2, 3 or 4 years, especially after the [August 2008] war.”
-”[I]n Georgia’s political reality political vampires, mummies and various monsters will not be able to return until Georgia is moving forward.”
-Saakashvili also said…that Russia was now “like crazy”, because Georgia not only survived but also further developed since the August war.

Tbilisi: In terms of “revival” and reforms, President Saakashvili compared modern day Georgia to Georgia of nine centuries ago, when it was ruled by probably its most revered King David the Builder, who reunited Georgia in the twelfth century.

“The course of our rebuilding is irreversible,” he said on January 11. “The course of our freedom is irreversible. We are standing on the road, which will definitely unite the country, because the empire [Russia] will inevitably fall.”

He said that Georgia was “now at the stage similar to the one in which Davit the Builder was” in a period prior to regaining control over Tbilisi in 1122.

“It took him [David the Builder] 34 years to regain Tbilisi. Occupied territories [Abkhazia, South Ossetia] are now the same [for Georgia] that Tbilisi was at that time [during David the Builder’s rule],” he said.

“But we should remember that before he [David the Builder] regained Georgian capital, he implemented a lot of reforms, he built many things in the places, which were under his control,” Saakashvili said.

“Never since the epochs of Davit and [Queen] Tamar [in late 12th and early 13th centuries] have so many things been built in Georgia than in last 2, 3 or 4 years, especially after the [August 2008] war,” he continued…

Saakashvili, who took a spiritual oath at the tomb of Davit the Builder in the Gelati Cathedral when was first elected as President in 2004, made the remarks while speaking to a group of locals outside the newly built hospital in Gori, the town in Shida Kargli region.

Opening of new hospitals in provinces, built by insurance companies, and then addressing locals gathered outside these hospitals have turned into a campaign-style event during which Saakashvili stresses on importance of infrastructure development and repeatedly emphasizes that despite of attempts by unspecified forces it won’t be possible to throw Georgia back into the past, particularly referring to the pre-Rose Revolution period.

He said on January 11 in Gori, that there were people in Georgia “who want to get us back into the past, including with Russian money.” He also said that “someone” had managed to get together some of the former officials from ex-President Eduard Shevardnadze’s administration, those, as Saakashvili put it, “the Georgian people got rid of several years ago” as a result of the 2003 Rose Revolution.

“These mummies will never be able to come back; mummies come back only in films; in Georgia’s political reality political vampires, mummies and various monsters will not be able to return until Georgia is moving forward,” he said.

Although he did not specify, but in these remarks Saakashvili was apparently alluding to an inaugural session of billionaire opposition politician Bidzina Ivanishvili’s public movement, Georgian Dream, when some former officials from ex-president Eduard Shevardnadze’s administration, no longer involved in politics, were seen among the invited guests at the event last month. It was seized upon by government supporters for use in attacks against Ivanishvili, arguing that the billionaire was relying, among others, on “corrupt” ex-officials from Shevardnadze’s administration.

Saakashvili also said in Gori, the town which along with Tskhinvali suffered most during the August, 2008 war, that Russia was now “like crazy”, because Georgia not only survived but also further developed since the August war.

“Look where they [referring to Russia] are and where we are less than four years after the war; look what is happening in their capital; look at their economic growth; they have so much oil and gas… but despite of all these factors every fourth person there wants to run away from [Russia]. Georgia, which they have declared dead and they have declared me ‘a political corpse’, is gaining foothold and today people in Ukraine, Moldova, Central Asia and in the Caucasus states are dreaming not about the Russian model, but about what is in Georgia,” Saakashvili said.

“For those people who fight for freedom in Russia, Georgia is an example. What can be a humiliation bigger than that for those, who thought that it was all over about Georgia?” he said.

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NATO Partnership: Armenian Troops Rotated In Afghanistan

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/armenia/1979100.html

Trend News Agency
January 12, 2012

Armenia sends next group of peacekeepers to Afghanistan

A 40-strong detachment of Armenian peacekeepers is set to leave the country for Germany on Wednesday and then to Afghanistan, a Defense Ministry spokesperson told Tert.am.

“Usually, for 20 days the troops remain in Germany where they are trained. And only after that will the group go to Afghanistan to replace the Armenian troops removed from Kunduz (province),” said Davit Karapetyan.

The Armenian troops currently on mission in Afghanistan will complete it and return to Armenia in February.

Davit Karapetyan also said that number of the troops to be sent on a peacekeeping mission depends on necessity.

Only contractors serving in peacekeepers qualify for the peacekeeping mission abroad, he added.

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NATO Chief To Visit Baltic Outposts

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-C6679AB4-36865716/natolive/news_82597.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
January 10, 2012

NATO Secretary General to visit the Baltic States

NATO Secretary General, Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen will pay an official visit to Vilnius, Tallinn and Riga on 19 and 20 January 2012.

During his visit to the Baltic States, Mr. Rasmussen will meet with senior officials.

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Belgium: NATO SHAPE Launches New International School Complex

http://www.stripes.com/news/ground-broken-for-new-shape-international-school-complex-1.165685

Stars and Stripes
January 11, 2012

Ground broken for new SHAPE International School complex
By Mark Patton

-Nine NATO nations will have schools on the campus, and Students from 13 non-NATO nations also will attend school there…

WIESBADEN, Germany: Students at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe near Mons, Belgium, will soon have a state-of-the-art campus to call home as a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday marked the beginning of construction for the SHAPE International School complex.

The $167.5 million U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District project includes three Department of Defense Dependents Schools — an elementary, middle and high school — as well as facilities for international students.

Adm. James Stavridis, commander of U.S. European Command, noted the value of education, “… particularly of this kind of international environment, where so many different nations come together…”

More than 1,100 DODDS students will attend the SHAPE schools, and the overall student population is expected to be more than 2,300, according to Jerome.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District spokeswoman Rachel Goodspeed said construction on the three DODDS schools is expected to be complete in 2014 with the international schools expected to be finished by 2018.

Goodspeed said $102.5 million is appropriated for the American schools, and the other $65 million costs will be funded by the other NATO nations operating schools there.

Nine NATO nations will have schools on the campus, and Students from 13 non-NATO nations also will attend school there, Jerome said.

The new complex, which Jerome said architects modeled after a college campus, will have some facilities that are shared by all students, such as sports facilities, an auditorium and the cafeteria.

Jerome praised the coordination of all the nations committing funds, adding that some countries were in a state of hold until NATO’s strategic footprint was validated.

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Dutch Defense Chief Visits Troops At Texas Military Base

http://www.kdhnews.com/news/story.aspx?s=63495

Killeen Daily Herald
January 10, 2012

Dutch defense minister visits troops at Fort Hood
By Colleen Flaherty

-Hillen’s U.S. trip began Sunday with a stop at a Nellis Air Force Base outside Las Vegas to explore developing the Netherlands’ unmanned aerial surveillance program, and continued with a visit to Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth.
The Dutch military recently ordered two test F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, according to ministry staff.
-The Netherlands formally pulled out of Iraq in 2005 and still has about 600 service members training police in Afghanistan. Dutch military personnel participated in NATO’s engagement in Libya.
The partnership between Fort Hood and the Dutch military is expected to grow, with the planned addition of Dutch-owned Chinook helicopters to the joint training program.

FORT HOOD: The Netherlands’ minister of defense, Hans Hillen, made his first trip to Texas in that role Tuesday to get a firsthand look at joint U.S.-Dutch air and ground force training.

Dutch air force Apache helicopter pilots have been training at Fort Hood regularly since 1999, due to its expansive training areas and good flying weather. Royal Netherlands Army personnel began rotating through five-week combined air and ground training sessions at Fort Hood more than a year ago.

The program is supported by about 30 Dutch Joint Netherlands Training Detachment staff members and Fort Hood’s own 21st Air Cavalry Brigade.

Dutch soldiers are supposed to rotate through the five-week Fort Hood training circuit every two years. In addition to combined exercises with U.S. and Dutch air crews, the infantrymen complete an urban warfare course and a shooting range.

Before meeting with leaders of the detachment, Hillen spoke with some of the Dutch infantrymen currently at Fort Hood in a hangar at Robert Gray Army Airfield.

Hillen’s U.S. trip began Sunday with a stop at a Nellis Air Force Base outside Las Vegas to explore developing the Netherlands’ unmanned aerial surveillance program, and continued with a visit to Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth.

The Dutch military recently ordered two test F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, according to ministry staff.

The defense minister will meet with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday in Washington to compare notes on both countries’ budget restraints.

Despite the removal of Dutch combat forces from Afghanistan in 2010, Hillen called the relationship between the U.S. and Dutch militaries “great,” second only to the United Kindgom’s “special” relationship with the U.S.

The Netherlands formally pulled out of Iraq in 2005 and still has about 600 service members training police in Afghanistan. Dutch military personnel participated in NATO’s engagement in Libya.

The partnership between Fort Hood and the Dutch military is expected to grow, with the planned addition of Dutch-owned Chinook helicopters to the joint training program.

Maj. Matt Ketchum, 21st Air Cavalry Brigade’s executive officer, said the minister’s visit was exciting and a first in his career.

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2012: Global Conflict Simmers Despite Lack Of Open War

http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid/99/ID/691787/Global-conflict-simmers-despite-lack-of-open-war.aspx

Global Times
January 11, 2012

Global conflict simmers despite lack of open war
By Dai Xu*

-As summarized in 1986 by Zbigniew Brzezinski, former US national security advisor, the national interest of the US lies in three fronts…Today, the US has been carrying out strategies on all the three fronts. It has further squeezed Russia’s space through NATO expansion. The “return to Asia” has stirred up huge waves of tension around China.
In the Islamic world, the US has brought down Iraq, Libya, Sudan, and Yemen. Now it is pressuring Syria and Iran, as well as Pakistan.

Lately in the discussion of international affairs and China’s response, voices advocating “hiding one’s capabilities and biding one’s time” still dominate.

But as I see it, national strategy should not be a static matter. It should be subject to changes, particularly to the changes of the global political sphere.

It is absolutely right for China to stick to the path of peaceful development. Meanwhile, however, we should still keep a cool and watchful mind when dealing with international affairs.

Contrary to what many people had expected, conflict remained after the end of the Cold War, and many confrontations escalated into warfare years after.

As summarized in 1986 by Zbigniew Brzezinski, former US national security advisor, the national interest of the US lies in three fronts. The first is the far west where Eastern Europe is the focal point. The second is the far east, where conflicts are centered in countries such as Japan, China and North Korea, and key points of interest lie in South Korea, the Philippines, and Taiwan Island. The third lies in the southwest, where the strategic focuses of the US are Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan.

Today, the US has been carrying out strategies on all the three fronts. It has further squeezed Russia’s space through NATO expansion. The “return to Asia” has stirred up huge waves of tension around China.

In the Islamic world, the US has brought down Iraq, Libya, Sudan, and Yemen. Now it is pressuring Syria and Iran, as well as Pakistan.

I’d like to call this perpetual state of global conflicts “warm war.”

It is more heated and noticeably obvious than the silent confrontation of the cold war, despite lacking blatant display of open fire.

However, it can still be regarded as a type of warfare in a broader sense.

I believe a US war with Iran is likely to happen this year.

The US is trying to achieve its ultimate goal as one of its global strategies. Both US and Europe need to get rid of the current financial mire. Israel worries that its national security is at stake. The current sanctions the West has forced upon Iran can actually be seen as a declaration of war.

The preparation for this war has been going on for years in the form of espionage, Internet attacks, assassinations, and all sorts of manipulations the US has played on the country’s psyche.

To be fair, not only the US but also Israel and Iran are preparing for this war. So is Russia, which sees great potential in this conflict. Pakistan may also be drawn into trouble by the US as the US has much to gain if Pakistan is mired in social unrest.

The US has wanted for years to take over Pakistan, which is the only Islamic country that has nuclear weapons.

Another hidden agenda the US has is to cut off China’s access to the Indian Ocean so as to stop the trading activities China has with the Islamic world. The strategy of the US may also involve North Korea, which is in its post Kim Jong-il era, and Myanmar, which is strategically important to China.

As one can see, due to the strategic manipulations of the US, 2012 will not be a year of world peace. It’s possible that the world can’t walk out of the shadow of war in the following years.

Alarmingly, US Republican candidate Jon Huntsman said in the CBS TV debate that “We should be reaching out to our allies and constituencies within China [...who] are bringing about change, the likes of which is gonna take China down.”

It cannot be clearer that US politicians are never in favor of allying with China for mutual interest.

Since China’s reform and opening-up, China has rarely mentioned the idea of “three worlds,” and it always favors the policy of not forming cliques and non-confrontations.

The purpose of this article is not to provoke conflict or encourage confrontation, but to remind our fellow countrymen to be more clear-headed about the US’ hidden agenda, and to have a firm grasp of the global picture.

*The author is a research fellow at the China Center for Strategic Studies at Peking University.

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