May 22, 2013
Uzbek quest for US weapons could dent Central Asia
2014 is approaching, and so is the deadline for the withdrawal of US-led coalition forces from Afghanistan. Leon Panetta, the then-US Defense Secretary, in 2012 announced that by the end of 2014 coalition forces would cease any combat operations and would be limited to normal military duties in the country. Moreover, [Afghan President] Hamid Karzai, in a recent interview, gave approval to allowing nine US military bases even after the pullout.
With the United States wary of transporting heavy weaponry out of Afghanistan, offers have been made by the Central Asian states, such as Uzbekistan, in return for some of the latest arms and equipment that they lack. According to a report by The New York Times, policy makers in Washington took Uzbekistan’s offer so seriously that the United States has partially lifted a set of arms sales restrictions that has been in place for about a decade.
Last year, in June, reports started to surface that Uzbekistan that faces international arms embargoes due to widespread human rights violations, started negotiations for a possible arms-transit and military base deal with the USA, that would help the coalition forces take its equipment out of Afghanistan, whereas Tashkent would benefit by acquiring the state-of-the-art weaponry. Kazakhstan’s newspaper Liter, on August 15 last year, predicted that a possible deal for a US base in Uzbekistan could be reached when US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake visited Tashkent.
Uzbekistan, for long has been indicating shifting its alliances and partners. One of such indications was its withdrawal from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military cooperation initiative between Russia and Central Asian states [as well as Armenia and Belarus]. It would have been difficult for Tashkent to enter into military negotiations with the United States if it were a member of the CSTO, but abandoning the CSTO freed it from coming under any pressure.
In terms of geostrategic importance, the most feasible gateway for cargo withdrawal is Pakistan, yet it seems that the coalition forces want as many alternatives as possible, such as Uzbekistan, in case Islamabad decides to go against its deals with NATO and close the NATO supply line, or even ask for more money.
Such a move by Uzbekistan would mean it wants to turn its back on Russia, a neighbour that supports much of the Uzbek workforce. Russia, even after the Soviet disintegration, has maintained a substantial influence over some of the Central Asian states, but this influence has mostly been in the form of mutual cooperation and better relations.
In another move, NATO’s representative for Central Asia James Appathurai held meetings with Uzbek ministers in March this year, in what seemed to be a move to gain Uzbek support against Russia.
James Appathurai, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy and NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, in Uzbekistan on March 27, 2013
If the United States is successful in establishing a military base in Uzbekistan, it would entail bad political consequences, and hence play a role in destabilising not only Central Asia, but also South Asia, as the anti-US sentiment and motivation for radical Islamists could fuel a wave of militancy that could also spill over into Russia, one of the most important states in the region. Such concerns were raised by a Russian military expert, Lt Gen Leonid Sazhin¸ saying, “Although Americans claims that they are fighting against the Taliban in Afghanistan today, it will be them who, by deploying their facility in Uzbekistan, will lead Taliban members there.”
A base in Uzbekistan, that neighbours Afghanistan, could also be used for surgical strikes, and even drone attacks, into neighbouring Afghanistan, that could also raise major human rights concerns and sour relations with Kabul.
If the United States is successful in establishing a fully operational base in Uzbekistan, this would also worry China, another regional power, as it has already shown concerns over the bases surrounding it, known as the ‘ring of fire’. In any case, Uzbekistan needs to decide whether such a venture would be beneficial for the country and the region or will bring chaos in the long run.
The writer is a Programme consultant and Content Editor at the Centre for Research and Security Studies, Islamabad, belonging to Frontier Region of Pakistan. He is currently pursuing his higher Studies in Public Policy and Conflict Management in Germany. He tweets as @faruqyusaf and can be reached at email@example.com
Voice of Russia
May 22, 2013
NATO has never offered to cooperate with Russia – Rozoff
Western support for KLA terrorists and support for the self-declared independence of Kosovo are part of a pan-Albanian plan for the region, NATO is reaching its tentacles into space and there has never been any real offer of cooperation by NATO to Russia, all of these issues were recently discussed with regular Voice of Russia contributor Rick Rozoff, the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list.
You’re listening to an interview in progress with Rick Rozoff, the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and mailing list. You can find part 1 of this interview on our website at english.ruvr.ru.
Robles: So they needed a base somewhere in that area, geographically, and Kosovo fit the bill, right?
Rozoff: Fairly much that. Again, I think we have to understand that there’s no supervision, there’s no oversight in terms of what’s going on in Kosovo. Certainly there’s no real government in Pristina. I mean the Thaçis and Haradinajs and these other terrorist cutthroats from the former Kosovo Liberation Army are neither able to question the US, nor would they have any desire to. I mean they are simply puppets.
Robles: Right. That was a terrorist organization and it always was. It never was anything else.
Rozoff: An American official in 1998, Robert Gelbard, actually at the time, and he reversed himself subsequently, but at the time stated that the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army was a terrorist organization in his estimate. In fact it was and is. I mean it’s formally disbanded, but in effect I’m sure there are late night meetings where they get together and reminisce over dragging people on barbed wire and murdering them to harvest their organs and dealing in narcotics and women and weapons and body parts and so forth. This is the nature of the monsters that the U.S. and its NATO allies have waged war on behalf of.
Robles: That would explain, I think, to a lot of people who might not understand why the U.S. would have supported, what I could describe as Muslim terrorists against Christian victims.
Rozoff: I would de-emphasize the religious aspect, I truly would, in this sense: Kosovo was an amazingly rich and diverse mosaic of ethnic and religious cultures prior to the U.S. and NATO intervening. That is, in addition to ethnic Albanians who comprise the majority and ethnic Serbs…
Robles: I just mentioned that because even at the time a lot of Americans themselves couldn’t understand why the US was supporting Muslims against Christians.
Rozoff: We have to recall that other ethnic minorities – Roma (so-called Gypsies), Egyptians, Ashkalis, Bosnians, Gorans, Turks and others who are predominantly Muslim have also been harassed and killed and driven out of the province by Thaçi and his former KLA officials. So, it seems to be more racial, in terms of pan-Albanian than it is religious.
Robles: Do you really think there’s that angle there? Or is it just whoever cut a better deal with the United States?
Rozoff: There is an Albanian American Civic League, former U.S. Congressman Joseph DioGuardi is the godfather of that. And he’s been amazingly successful at lobbying, and I use that term loosely and perhaps charitably, but influencing American politicians: everyone from Robert Dole to the current Vice President Joseph Biden, who is someone who has appeared at the Albanian American Civic League functions and fundraisers, with hefty honoraria I am sure. And I’m sure Mr. Biden walked away with a lot of money.
I’ve heard them, I’ve seen the videos on YouTube, and some amazingly provocative statements, openly calling for the use of military force against the government of Yugoslavia and Serbia at that time but clearly on behalf of a pan-Albanian agenda. And I think that’s very important to realize. That the five stars on the Kosovo flag supposedly represent five different ethnic groups within the province, but I think the more seasoned observer realizes that that means five different nations in which ethnic Albanians reside and which are envisioned by the likes of Hashim Thaçi to be united in one greater Albania.
Those would of course be not only Kosovo and Albania itself, but parts of Montenegro, other parts of Serbia and Macedonia and Greece. So, you have an irredentist, expansionist mindset there and you have NATO go to war for 78 days on behalf of that project.
Robles: I see, Rick, we have to move on because I want to ask you a little bit about the US Strategic Command. Now it appears that NATO and the US are planning to not only take over the world, but take over the universe.
Rozoff: Very good. That’s it. Do you want me to comment on that?
Robles: Sure, can you give our listeners some details about what is going on with NATO and space, if you would?
Rozoff: That’s true, nott content with expanding its tentacles around the earth, now the heavens are going to be an area for NATO expansion. And I’m thinking particularly about a story that came out yesterday. It was issued by the press wire service of the U.S. Armed Forces, what’s called American Forces Press Service from the Pentagon. And a deputy commander of the US Strategic Command, and it is one of nine unified combatant commands the Pentagon has, and most of them tend to be regional in nature: Northern Command, Southern Command, Africa Command and so forth. But this one is strategic and as you are indicate covers not only the entire world, but reaches into space.
Strategic Command was actually…replaced the former Strategic Air Command during the Cold War period. In 1992 it was renamed Strategic Command and then in 2002 it merged with US Space Command. So, it is a command that takes in all nuclear weapons, you know, strategic forces, the so-called missile defense, which we’ve talked about many a time before, that is encircling the planet with interceptor missile systems. But also takes in the heavens, takes in space.
And the statement was made by the deputy commander of the Strategic Command or at least the the report on it was two days ago – he is actually the Deputy Director of Global Operation – and he talked about building an alliance in space, partnerships in space comparable to what the U.S. has on earth. So, I think we’d be safe in understanding that being some approximation or a parallel to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other military alliances the US has.
And again, when you read the Pentagon’s own accounts of these things, oftentimes the statements are amazingly candid; I mean they would be cleaned up appreciably by the time they got to the mainstream media. But this fellow in question, the Deputy Commander of Global Operations, actually this is a paraphrase, but he said that space is vital to military operations providing an array of capabilities that give space-faring nations’ forces a military advantage. In other words, if you control space you could win a war on earth, I think it is essentially what he was saying.
And you know, he again drew the parallel that just as on, paraphrasing again on this of the same account, he said, recognizing the value of multinational coalitions for operations in the land, maritime and air domains, the officials of U.S. Strategic Command here hope to forge a coalition that shares assets and capabilities in space. That’s the opening sentence of the article.
Robles: Listen, one more question, I just recalled this, now, the U.S. made a statement a couple of weeks ago, I don’t know if you recall this, that they were thinking of declassifying some missile parameters to assuage Russia’s concerns regarding the ABM shield. Have you heard anything about that? Can you comment on that? Do you think that’s sincere and…any ideas?
Rozoff: I’m vaguely familiar with that. Is it sincere? No it’s not. I mean they’ll try to assuage Russian concerns by giving them a sense of false confidence, perhaps, but there’s no indication that the United States intends to fully incorporate Russia as a partner even in regional missile defense systems, such as that in Europe, much less into a global missile system, which Russia would be kept quite clearly outside of.
So, assuaging Russian concerns, that sounds like more talk to me and we’ve had several years of that talk without any results.
Robles: I see. This was after the recent Russia-NATO Council meeting. And that was supposed to be one of the results from it, but you think that’s just hot air, right?
Rozoff: It is. It is window dressing, it’s cosmetic and it is meant to make the U.S. and NATO look like they are trying to reach some understanding with a “paranoid” or “recalcitrant” Russia that “refuses to work with them”. We know how these propaganda tricks work and this is simply another indication of it.
So that U.S. and NATO officials can go back and say: “We’ve made repeated offers to our Russian partner which, unfortunately, misinterprets what the intent of the global interceptor missile system is.”
Even though, every now and again Ronald Reagan is invoked or evoked as the inspiration for this program, which means Strategic Defense Initiative, which means Star Wars.
Robles: I’ve read a news item last week titled something like: “Russia refuses NATO offer of cooperation.” Do you know of any NATO offers of cooperation that Russia has refused?
Rozoff: None whatsoever. There are no such offers. Again, when Russia has asked to, if you will, compartmentalize the missile defense of Europe, to engage into what is called sectoral or regional components where Russia takes responsibility for a certain area, what we hear time and again is: “NATO will not outsource its security to a non-NATO member”, meaning Russia. So, that Russia will have no role whatsoever in any joint or collaborative efforts to create a genuine missile shield, but instead it will be consulted, as you were alluding to at the beginning of the discussion on this subject. Russia will be consulted or, in other words, the U.S. and NATO will tell Russia damn well what they want to tell them and nothing else.
Robles: What exactly would you say to someone who says: “NATO has offered to cooperate with Russia?”
Rozoff: John, we are next-door neighbors and I’m building a shield over my house as I’m arming myself to the teeth. And I’m telling you: “Don’t worry about it because I’m not your enemy”. And your weapons very shortly will not be able to retaliate against me if I should open fire on you first, but “Don’t worry about it because we are friends and partners.” I mean nobody falls for something like that.
Rozoff: I mean, if you make yourself impregnable, if you make yourself invulnerable as you are moving – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov again, just three or four days ago, said NATO military hardware is moving up to the Russian border, as indeed it is. And this includes the fact that just a couple of days ago the U.S. moved the first squadron of F-16 strategic fighter jets into Poland for permanent deployment, in a country that borders Russian territory, the Kaliningrad district. And already, as of three years ago, the U.S. moved interceptor missiles into Poland, maybe 35-40 miles from the Russian border.
Robles: I wanted to underline that fact for some people who may not really follow NATO and maybe don’t really know what they are really doing. And people might actually believe that for some reason Russia refused to cooperate. That’s why I just wanted to get that point very well across.
Rozoff: Russia has been begging for genuine cooperation and has been rebuffed at every turn, as, again, the U.S. and NATO are saying “This is our operation and we’ll tell you what we want to about it, but you are not going to influence it in any way or form.”
Robles: Okay. I know that. You know that. I just want to make sure our listeners know that as well.
Robles: Rick, thank you very much. Unfortunately, we are out of time.
Rozoff: I understand. But thanks again John, I appreciate it.
You were listening to an interview with You’re listening to an interview in progress with Rick Rozoff, the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list. You can find the part 1 of this interview on our website at english.ruvr.ru.
From Mother and Son (1926)
Translated by Van Wyck Brooks
Since 1900 Roger Brissot had enjoyed a brilliant career. His resounding case, his success in the Palais de Justice and then in Parliament, had carried him to the first rank. In the Chamber, he kept within the limits of the radical and Socialist parties, watchful lest either spring a leak, always ready to pass from one boat to the other. Minister several times and of all portfolios, public instruction, labor, justice and even, once, the Navy. Like his colleagues, he was as comfortable in one seat as another, they fitted every one. After all, whatever the department may be, it is all the same machine under the same management. When one knows how to handle it, the rest – the personnel under one’s administration – is of little importance. The only thing that counts is the administration.
In treating so many subjects, he had enriched his store of ideas, or, more exactly, his repertory of words – without learning much that lay beneath them, for he was too busy talking to have the time to listen. But he talked very well. On one point, however, his knowledge was really profound, the breeding of the electoral cattle and their exploitation. On this subject several statesmen of the Third Republic were past masters; they had the keyboard of the masses at their fingers’ ends, they had the secret of touching its weaknesses, passions, and manias. But no one was a more accomplished virtuoso, no one could set vibrating with more sumptuous sonorities the sovereign chords of democracy, the brazen-tongued ideologies that overlaid, evoked and over-excited the virtues of the race and its hidden vices, than the honorable Brissot. He was the greatest parliamentary pianist. His party, his parties – for he permitted himself to claim more than one! – appealed to his talents on every occasion for resounding discourses, those chamber concerts, the music of which, spread out on the great white placards (voted by acclamation, at the expense of the electors), made the tour of France. He never refused; he was always ready. He was equally competent on all subjects – aided, of course, by active and well-informed secretaries. (He had a whole crew of them.) His devotion to his party – to his parties – and to his own glory was only paralleled by his lungs. The latter never tired.
This zeal and this voice, equally magnificent, were very useful to the Republic during the Great War. The war mobilized them. Roger Brissot was charged with convincing the world and the people of France of the high truths for which they were driving themselves to ruin. He was sent on missions to distant parts. He had taken the precaution to resume, at the beginning of the war, his stripes as a Major of Reserves in the cavalry; and in this quality he was even attached for some time to the General Headquarters…But they led him to understand that he would serve the country more efficaciously in the trenches of America; and he had lavished his breath there without ever exhausting it.
Brissot’s career had been unclouded – save for the clouds that envious rivals tried to throw over his oratorical past, which was marred by a few ardent flights, certainly a little imprudent, towards the empyrean of international pacifism. But it is fatal for a man who is always talking to talk about everything, and one cannot expect him to be bound by every one of his words: he would be drawn and quartered by more than four horses. And then pacifism is, as its name indicates, a harmless potion the use of which is lawful in times of peace – prohibited only when war has sounded: for only then would it be efficacious. That was what the great orator had no difficulty in demonstrating – except to his faithless enemies whom nothing could convince, not even the burning zeal that Brissot used in denouncing his former companions as infatuated pacifists, disguised Germans, who maintained their right to pursue their game in times of war at the risk of unnerving a fatigued people and taking away from them the costly fruit of victory.
Stars and Stripes
May 22, 2013
US to continue supporting French air force ops in Mali
By Adam L. Mathis
As soon as French President Francois Hollande announced his country’s military intervention, the Armee de l’Air (air force) started bombing rebels in strategic locations across the country. Since then, the 351st has flown more than 200 missions and provided more than 8.8 million pounds of fuel to the French.
In addition to fuel, the U.S. flew more than 1,000 people and 1,500 tons of equipment and supplies for French and Chadian forces from January 21 to March 7…
RAF MILDENHALL, England: Although France is withdrawing its ground troops from Mali, there is no indication its air force will stop requesting U.S. aid in support of operations there.
The Department of Defense announced Friday that the U.S. will continue to provide mid-air refueling to French planes. The refueling operation has been going on since January, almost immediately after the French intervened in Mali…
To support French air power used in that operation, the 351st Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron was deployed to Morón Air Base, Spain, to fly KC-135 Stratotankers over Mali and refuel French planes.
“We’re here as long as they need us,” squadron commander Lt. Col. Tim Kuehne said. “So, I don’t have a projected end date.”
French warplanes must transit significant distances to reach Mali. Consequently, they’re operating at the edge of their range once they arrive in its airspace and don’t have enough fuel to patrol or conduct attack missions.
“Without our gas, they basically would have to turn around as soon as they got there,” said Capt. Tim Gerne, an aircraft commander with the 351st who flies over Mali. “They couldn’t even make it back all the way back to the place that they left.”
…France intervened in January, when…rebels appeared poised to advance on the capital.
Since the start of the conflict, France relied heavily on air power to defeat the militants and retake the occupied territory. As soon as French President Francois Hollande announced his country’s military intervention, the Armee de l’Air (air force) started bombing rebels in strategic locations across the country. Since then, the 351st has flown more than 200 missions and provided more than 8.8 million pounds of fuel to the French.
In addition to fuel, the U.S. flew more than 1,000 people and 1,500 tons of equipment and supplies for French and Chadian forces from January 21 to March 7, said an official with U.S. Army Africa command. Troops from Chad have also fought in Mali against the militants.
Despite an announcement that France will withdraw the majority of its troops from Mali by the end of the year, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said his country was committed to staying in Mali for an “undetermined period” to prevent a “revival of terrorism.”
May 22, 2013
Romania to further support Azerbaijan’s cooperation with NATO
Bucharest has a significant role in enhancing the relations between Azerbaijan and NATO, and it is aimed at further development of this trend.
“Romania will continue to support development of cooperation between Azerbaijan and NATO,” Romanian ambassador in Baku Cristian Ciobanu said.
Addressing the conference “Emerging Challenges: Improving Energy Security in XXI Century” in Baku, the ambassador emphasized Azerbaijan’s active participation in peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan.
Ciobanu also pointed to high level Azerbaijani-Romanian cooperation in the political and energy spheres.
Energy security issues are of great importance for Azerbaijan and partner countries around the Black and Caspian seas. The region will continue to play an even more important role in ensuring the energy security of Europe, Ciobanu believes.
From Light (1918)
Translated by Fitzwater Wray
They are motionless at last, they who forever marched, they to whom space was so great! I see their poor hands, their poor legs, their poor backs, resting on the earth. They are tranquil at last. The shells which bespattered them are ravaging another world. They are in the peace eternal.
All is accomplished, all has terminated there. It is there, in that circle narrow as a well that the descent into the raging heart of hell was halted, the descent into slow tortures, into unrelenting fatigue, into the flashing tempest. We came here because they told us to come here. We have done what they told us to do. I think of the simplicity of our reply on the Day of Judgment.
The gunfire continues. Always, always, the shells come, and all those bullets that are miles in length. Hidden behind the horizons, living men unite with machines and fall furiously on space. They do not see their shots. They do not know what they are doing. “You shall not know; you shall not know.”
But since the cannonade is returning, they will be fighting here again. All these battles spring from themselves and necessitate each other to infinity! One single battle is not enough, it is not complete, there is no satisfaction. Nothing is finished, nothing is ever finished. Ah, it is only men who die! No one understands the greatness of things, and I know well that I do not understand all the horror in which I am.
The clouds are crowning themselves with sheaves of stars. It is an aviary of fire, a hell of silver and gold. Planetary cataclysms send immense walls of light falling around me. Phantasmal palaces of shrieking lightning, with arches of star-shells, appear and vanish amid forests of ghastly gleams.
While the bombardment is patching the sky with continents of flame, it is drawing still nearer. Volleys of flashes are plunging in here and there and devouring the other lights. The supernatural army is arriving! All the highways of space are crowded. Nearer still, a shell bursts with all its might and glows; and among us all whom chance defends goes frightfully in quest of flesh. Shells are following each other into that cavity there. Again I see, among the things of earth, a resurrected man, and he is dragging himself towards that hole! He is wrapped in white, and the under-side of his body, which rubs the ground, is black. Hooking the ground with his stiffened arms he crawls, long and flat as a boat. He still hears the cry “Forward!” He is finding his way to the hole; he does not know, and he is trailing exactly toward its monstrous ambush. The shell will succeed! At any second now the frenzied fangs of space will strike his side and go in as into a fruit. I have not the strength to shout to him to fly elsewhere with all his slowness; I can only open my mouth and become a sort of prayer in face of the man’s divinity. And yet, he is the survivor; and along with the sleeper, to whom a dream was whispering just now, he is the only one left to me.
A hiss — the final blow reaches him; and in a flash I see the piebald maggot crushing under the weight of the sibilance and turning wild eyes towards me.
No! It is not he! A blow of light — of all light—fills my eyes. I am lifted up, I am brandished by an unknown blade in the middle of a globe of extraordinary light. The shell – I! And I am falling, I fall continually, fantastically. I fall out of this world; and in that fractured flash I saw myself again — I thought of my bowels and my heart hurled to the winds — and I heard voices saying again and again—far, far away — “Simon Paulin died at the age of thirty-six.”
DE PROFUNDIS CLAMAVI
I am dead. I fall, I roll like a broken bird into bewilderments of light, into canyons of darkness. Vertigo presses on my entrails, strangles me, plunges into me. I drop sheer into the void, and my gaze falls faster than I.
Through the wanton breath of the depths that assail me I see, far below, the seashore dawning. The ghostly strand that I glimpse while I cling to my own body is bare, endless, rain-drowned, and supernaturally mournful. Through the long, heavy and concentric mists that the clouds make, my eyes go searching. On the shore I see a being who wanders alone, veiled to the feet. It is a woman. Ah, I am one with that woman! She is weeping. Her tears are dropping on the sand where the waves are breaking! While I am reeling to infinity, I hold out my two heavy arms to her. She fades away as I look.
For a long time there is nothing, nothing but invisible time, and the immense futility of rain on the sea.
May 21, 2013
Two senior officials to take part in Georgia-NATO commission
The Prime Minister`s Special Representative in Relations with Russia Zurab Abashidze and the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia Davit Zalkaniani have left for Brussels, where they will participate in the session of the NATO-Georgia Commission.
The main issue of the meeting will be preparation of the visit of the [North] Atlantic Council to Georgia. The sides will also discuss the Geneva negotiations on Georgia-Russia conflict and the process of restoration of relations between the two countries.
May 17, 2013
Georgia mourns its soldiers
By Salome Modebadze
May 16 is a day of mourning for Georgia. The bodies of Junior Sergeant Zviad Davitadze, Corporal Alexandre Kvitsinadze and Corporal Vladimer Shanava, who were killed earlier this week in Afghanistan, arrived in Georgia for burial on Thursday.
Georgian Minister of Defence Irakli Alasania visited the 4th Infantry Brigade in Vaziani where the late soldiers had served in the 42nd Battalion. After a moment of silence in respect of the memory of those slain, the Minister addressed their brothers-in arm stressing that this is the heaviest day for the Georgian Armed Forces and the country as a whole.
US charge d’affaires Bridget Brink expressed condolences towards the families of the fallen soldiers on behalf of the U.S. Embassy. Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Georgia William Lahue also expressed his respect towards the Georgian heroes who he said have sacrificed their lives not only for the security of Georgia, but for the entire world.
National flags were lowered at every state building in Georgia to honor the three Georgian soldiers as well as at all Georgian embassies abroad.
With its 1,560 servicemen Georgia is the largest non-NATO troop contributor in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. 22 Georgian soldiers have been killed as part of the ISAF mission.
From Sowing and Harvest (1953)
Translated by Lily Duplaix
Amelie wouldn’t listen to the idea of war. Amid the uproar around her, she held the child she bore as a pledge of security. A world prepared for birth, she thought, could not welcome death.
“France doesn’t want war,” said the painter. “It’s Russia. They have too many strikes there. They don’t know what to do with the workmen so they send them to the slaughterhouse.”
Amelie looked at a newspaper stand lighted by a lamp. Big headlines jumped from the page: “ARMED VIGIL IN EUROPE!” “CIVILIZATION AT EDGE OF A CRATER!” She walked heavily, clutching Pierre’s arm. Around them the multitude breathed regularly and patiently trod the ground. Where were all these people going? No one seemed to know. They were hurrying along, not strolling. They were in the street because they could no longer stay home. They were all talking of the same thing.
The ringing sound of hammers on iron broke through her profound sleep. For a moment she thought she was a little girl again. The lavender lozenges on the faded yellow paper, the ray of sunshine through the disjointed shutters, the small table covered with ink and school notebooks – all confirmed the illusion. She rubbed her eyes and sat up in bed. The noise of the hammers sounded louder. Jerome and Denis were at work in the forge. She felt happy. Then her thoughts stopped with a shock: War! she hung on that terrible word.
Wasn’t it strange that they had taken Abbé Pradinas and that he, Jerome, was left? The priest they had sent as a substitute was old and half deaf…He felt stronger at fifty than a lot of young puppies they were sending to the front. He had been too young for the war of seventy and he was too old for the war of fourteen. But what did age mean? He detested the Army, but he felt uncomfortable in his privileged position – almost as if he had stolen Pierre’s place beside Amelie. He was being foolish and he knew it. Amelie herself would never have such a thought. But, all the same, he felt guilty in her presence. He thought of her alone in that room, waiting for her child to be born, while the father might already be dead. He clenched his fists. His uselessness, his impotence were hateful to him. He wished he could complain to Abbé Pradinas. He would have liked to ask a few questions about this slaughter which so dishonoured the Christian world. If there were a God, why did He allow this?
“My poor Antonin! They’ve taken you away and you will never be among us again. And I can not even see you in death. We must have the wake without you. We will weep your absent body. Nothing is left for your poor mother.
“Calm down, Matilde,” mumbled M. Ferriere. “It doesn’t do any good upsetting yourself like that.”
“You must remember it’s for France!” whispered Calamisse.
She raised her head and sniffled loudly. “Yes, of course.”
“You have given your son to France,” said M. Calimisse more loudly.
“I gave nothing. They took him.”
Missile Defense Agency
May 16, 2013
Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System Completes Successful Intercept Flight Test
This test exercised the latest version of the second-generation Aegis BMD Weapon System and Standard Missile, providing capability for engagement of longer-range and more sophisticated ballistic missiles.
Other Aegis BMD intercepts have employed the ABMD 3.6 and 4.0 with the SM-3 Block IA missile, which is currently operational on U.S. Navy ships deployed across the globe.
The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and U.S. Navy sailors aboard the USS LAKE ERIE (CG-70) successfully conducted a flight test today of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system, resulting in the intercept of a separating ballistic missile target over the Pacific Ocean by the Aegis BMD 4.0 Weapon System and a Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) Block IB missile.
At 5:25 p.m. (Hawaii Time, 11:25 p.m. EDT), May 15, a separating short-range ballistic missile target was launched from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, on Kauai, Hawaii. The target flew northwest towards a broad ocean area of the Pacific Ocean. Following target launch, the USS LAKE ERIE (CG-70) detected and tracked the missile with its onboard AN/SPY-1 radar. The ship, equipped with the second-generation Aegis BMD weapon system, developed a fire control solution and launched the SM-3 Block IB missile. The SM-3 maneuvered to a point in space based on guidance from Aegis BMD Weapons Systems and released its kinetic warhead. The kinetic warhead acquired the target reentry vehicle, diverted into its path, and, using only the force of a direct impact, engaged and destroyed the target.
Initial indications are that all components performed as designed. Program officials will assess and evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.
This test exercised the latest version of the second-generation Aegis BMD Weapon System and Standard Missile, providing capability for engagement of longer-range and more sophisticated ballistic missiles.
Last night’s event, designated Flight Test Standard Missile-19 (FTM-19), was the third consecutive successful intercept test of the Aegis BMD 4.0 Weapon System and the SM-3 Block IB guided missile. Previous successful ABMD 4.0 SM-3 Block IB intercepts occurred on May 9, 2012 and June 26, 2012. Other Aegis BMD intercepts have employed the ABMD 3.6 and 4.0 with the SM-3 Block IA missile, which is currently operational on U.S. Navy ships deployed across the globe.
FTM-19 is the 25th successful intercept in 31 flight test attempts for the Aegis BMD program since flight testing began in 2002. Across all Ballistic Missile Defense System programs, this is the 59th successful hit-to-kill intercept in 74 flight tests since 2001.
Aegis BMD is the naval component of the MDA’s Ballistic Missile Defense System. The Aegis BMD engagement capability defeats short- to intermediate-range, unitary and separating, midcourse-phase ballistic missile threats with the Standard Missile-3 (SM-3), as well as short-range ballistic missiles in the terminal phase with the SM-2 Block IV missile. The MDA and the U.S. Navy cooperatively manage the Aegis BMD program.
From Under the Rose (1926)
Translated by J. Lewis May
“War is a crime, for which victory brings no atonement.”
“Man is not more intelligent to-day than he was of old…He has more industry, not more brains. He makes war with more devices, but not with more intelligence, than the savage.”
“It is a certain fact that men will continue to be cruel and blood-thirsty so long as they go on eating the flesh of animals. Killing animals and killing men – there is but a step betwixt the two.”
It was toward the end of 1919 that Anatole France conceived the idea of writing a novel to be entitled The Cyclops – a tragi-comic satire on mankind after the style of The Revolt of the Angels and Penguin Island…
“How comes it that they find a Cyclops in Trinacria, just as in the fabulous times? The explanation is that the Cyclopes, who had disappeared before civilization, reappear now that war has plunged the world back into barbarism.”
In November of that same year  he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature; and on that occasion he was interviewed by certain journalists to whom he made known his intention to write a book against war.
The last time he put in an appearance at the Academy, a certain Marshal told him he read, admired and loved his work, and then added: “You’ll never be so anti-militarist as I am, for, you see, I know what military people are.”
Later generations must know the unparalleled violence, the savage hatred and envy, the mad injustice with which the writings and the memory of Anatole France were assailed as soon as he had breathed his last…Truly it is a tremendous piece of irony that the war, the war which Anatole France so bitterly hated, should have loaded his memory with this missing link in the chain of monsters – the unadulterated cad.