Author Archive

Unprecedented NATO Integration: German General To Lead U.S. Army Europe

Stars And Stripes
August 1, 2014

In historic first, German Army general appointed USAREUR chief of staff

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany: For the first time since U.S. troops arrived in Europe during World War II, a German general has been appointed to serve as the next chief of staff of U.S. Army-Europe, the military said.

Brig. Gen. Markus Laubenthal will synchronize the activities of the USAREUR staff in much the same manner as his American predecessors have done, a U.S. Army statement said. Laubenthal, who is receiving initial briefings from the USAREUR staff, is expected to take up his post on or about Aug. 4, it said.

“This is a bold and major step forward in USAREUR’s commitment to operating in a multinational environment with our German allies,” said Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell Jr., USAREUR’ commanding officer. “U.S. and German senior military leaders have been serving together in NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan for years. Sustaining the shared capability from this experience will benefit both U.S. and German armies.”

Laubenthal, who currently commands the Bundeswehr’s 12th Armored Brigade in Amberg, served as chief of staff for ISAF Regional Command North in Afghanistan. Among other command and staff assignments in Germany, he also served as military assistant to the deputy commander of operations and assistant chief of staff for operations for NATO’s Kosovo force.

“As the commander of Panzerbrigade 12…I have always valued the joint exercises with our partnership unit, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Vilseck.” Laubenthal said, according to the Army’s statement. “I am sure that I can use the experience I gained in the German Army supporting the training of ready army forces, in my new position with USAREUR,”

Laubenthal’s formal appointment ceremony will be held later this month.

A German army spokesman called the move “a clear sign for a good German-American cooperation.“

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Kiev To Spend Billions More On Arms For 109-Day War

August 1, 2014

Money allowance to servicemen, new types of armament and fuel are main expense items, says prime minister


Billions of hryvnias as a part of the state defense order will be sent to get new types of armament for the Ukrainian army, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk has said.

“The key article of expenditure is first the allowance and real money to people. Secondly, this is new types of armament. I’ve signed the state defense order, under which we’re spending billions of budget funds on new types of armament,” he said at a briefing in Kyiv on Thursday.

Yatseniuk said that another article of expenditure is the provision of the Ukrainian army with fuel and lubricants, including the preparation for the winter period.

“Everything will depend on how the campaign will go on, but we foresee these funds,” the premier said.

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Isaac Rosenberg: Break of Day in the Trenches

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

Isaac Rosenberg
Break of Day in the Trenches


The darkness crumbles away
It is the same old druid Time as ever,
Only a live thing leaps my hand,
A queer sardonic rat,
As I pull the parapet’s poppy
To stick behind my ear.
Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew
Your cosmopolitan sympathies,
Now you have touched this English hand
You will do the same to a German
Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure
To cross the sleeping green between.
It seems you inwardly grin as you pass
Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes,
Less chanced than you for life,
Bonds to the whims of murder,
Sprawled in the bowels of the earth,
The torn fields of France.
What do you see in our eyes
At the shrieking iron and flame
Hurled through still heavens?
What quaver – what heart aghast?
Poppies whose roots are in men’s veins
Drop, and are ever dropping;
But mine in my ear is safe,
Just a little white with the dust.

In the Trenches

I snatched two poppies
From the parapet’s ledge,
Two bright red poppies
That winked on the ledge.
Behind my ear
I stuck one through,
One blood red poppy
I gave to you.

The sandbags narrowed
And screwed out our jest,
And tore the poppy
You had on your breast…
Down – a shell – O! Christ,
I am choked…safe…dust blind, I
See trench floor poppies
Strewn. Smashed you lie.

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Top Military Commander: Revamp NATO For Ukraine-Type War

July 31, 2014 1 comment

Stars and Stripes
July 31, 2014

Breedlove: NATO must redefine responses to unconventional threats
By John Vandiver


SACEUR calls for more nimble NATO fighting force to counter Russia

GAZIANTEP, Turkey: NATO’s top military commander on Thursday said the alliance should redefine its core commitment to defend its members from external aggression by factoring in new and unconventional threats such as cyberwarfare and irregular militia operations.

“We need to mature the way we think about cyber, the way we think about irregular warfare, so that we can define in NATO what takes it over that limit by which we now have to react,” Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO supreme allied commander, said during a stop at a U.S. Patriot antimissile site in southern Turkey. For NATO, Article 5 of the alliance’s founding treaty has long served as the bedrock of the 28-nation pact, ensuring that an attack on one member demands a collective response from all. Its roots are in the Cold War when the threat was singular — overt military action from the Soviet Union. Now, Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and its involvement in eastern Ukraine show how threats in Europe have morphed, Breedlove said.

Though Ukraine is not a NATO member state, Russia’s arming and backing of separatists there as a way to create instability must be factored into how NATO plans its responses in future, said Breedlove, who also serves as head of the U.S. European Command.

“We see Russian leadership in Ukraine. Russian supplies, armament, financing, everything inside Ukraine. What does that mean as it relates to how we define Article 4 and Article 5?” Breedlove asked. “It is illustrative for us to look at this form of warfare we’re seeing from Russia and how we will react to it in the future.” Article 4 of the NATO treaty allows members to ask for consultations on any issue it feels may affect security.

Breedlove’s comments come as NATO is preparing for a major summit in September, when heads of state will assemble in Wales with the aim of restructuring elements of the military alliance to better prepare for potential threats emanating out of Russia.

Russia denies that it has intervened in the conflict in Ukraine. Moscow has also dismissed as “ridiculous” allegations that it represents a threat to the security of any NATO country.

Still, a report from a British parliament defense committee, looking ahead of the NATO summit Britain is hosting, said NATO must take swift action to transform itself, especially in light of unconventional Russian tactics in Ukraine.

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Poland: U.S. Air Force’s Forward Presence

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
U.S. Air Forces Africa

July 31, 2014

Crossroads: Legend of the white eagle
By Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


POWIDZ AIR BASE, POLAND… [T]he skies above Poland are alive with another magnificent beast. Twenty miles from where Lech founded the former capital of Poland, two C-130J Super Hercules’ from the 37th Airlift Squadron out of Ramstein Air Base, Germany broke through the clouds above Powidz Air Base – their matted gray frames glistening white in the afternoon sun, July 28.

“We represent America’s forward presence, postured alongside our proven indispensible European partners,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Bill Tice, detachment commander at Powidz. “Together, we are ensuring our security, protecting our global interests and bolstering economic bonds.”

Continuing the long-standing tradition of shared commitment and close cooperation, Airmen are diligently working with the Polish Air Force throughout this flying-training deployment to maintain joint readiness and build interoperability capabilities.

“The Polish are modernizing their air force and we are here to assist as we can,” said Maj. Micah Chollar, 52nd Operations Group Detachment 1 director of operations. “The border between the east and west has moved and Poland is the new edge. We are working together to develop Poland into a stronger ally and NATO partner. By strengthening them, we strengthen ourselves.”

From a bird’s eye view, the unique terrain of Poland offers Airmen an opportunity to proficiently develop airdrop training and paratrooper skills, while simultaneously training pilots to safely touch down on unimproved landing zones.

As Airmen of the 37th AS continue to build partnerships with the people of Poland, and hone their skills through intense training, they also represent something more.

“Through strengthened relationships and engagements with our Allies, the United States and NATO demonstrate a shared commitment to a peaceful, stable and secure Europe,” said Tice.

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War Tax: Ukrainian Junta Plans Escalation Of 108-Day War

July 31, 2014

Poroshenko discusses situation in military operation area in eastern Ukraine

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is meeting with representatives of Ukraine’s defense, security and law enforcement agencies on Thursday to discuss the current situation in the area of the military operation in eastern Ukraine.

“The president of Ukraine has begun a meeting with defense, security and law enforcement officials to discuss the current situation in the area of the anti-terrorist operation,” the presidential administration said on Twitter.


National Radio Company of Ukraine
July 31, 2014

Parliament approves introduction of temporary 1.5% war tax from wages

The Ukrainian parliament has supported a proposal of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to introduce a temporary war tax of 1.5% on the wage fund until January 1, 2015, Batkivschyna parliamentary faction leader Serhiy Sobolev said at a briefing on Thursday.

The tax will be collected at the rate of 1.5% from incomes of individuals in the form of wages, other bonuses and compensation payments which are accrued, paid or issued to the taxpayers in regard with the labor relations and under civil legal agreements.

According to the Finance Ministry of Ukraine, the introduction of the war tax will allow accumulating UAH 2.9 billion as one of the measures to ensure the financing of defence.

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NATO’s Top Military Commander Inspects Kosovo

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

July 31, 2014



Pristina, KOSOVO: Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), General Philip Breedlove visited HQ KFOR at Camp “Film City” in Pristina on Wednesday, 30 July 2014 where he met with KFOR Commander General Salvatore Farina and soldiers assigned to Kosovo Force.

General Breedlove was briefed by COM KFOR and the international HQ Staff on the latest developments in the current security and political situation in Kosovo as well as the wider Balkans region.

General Breedlove also met soldiers assigned to the force and emphasized the importance of their role in the delicate and complex context of the Balkans as well as the need to continue to accomplish the mission promoting progress and dialogue in the region.

During the visit General Breedlove, accompanied by General Farina, had the opportunity to meet the “Quint Ambassadors” of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States and the Representatives of the International Community in Kosovo, namely the EU Special Representative, EULEX Head of Mission, UNMIK Special Representative of Secretary General and the OSCE Head of Mission.

Story by KFOR Public Affairs Office

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Franz Werfel: War is the cause and not the result of all conflicts


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

Franz Werfel: Selections on war


Franz Werfel
From Star of the Unborn (1946)
Translated by Gustave O. Arlt


War was not the result but the cause of all conflicts. War was the subconscious craving for bloodshed, no matter on what pretexts it was waged. War was Adam’s son, the Cain in man. In frightful passion the roosters tore to shreds the hens whose blood they had seen.


We did not shrink from audacious calculations regarding the strange universes of star nebulae but we managed only to penetrate a scant three miles into the interior of the earth. This proves beyond a doubt that man stands much less in awe of the world around him than of the world within him and that he is much less afraid of the distant infinite than of the immediate infinite enclosed within himself.


An old proverb say: “Veritas vincit,” truth is victorious. Unfortunately this adage is an idealistic overestimate and misjudges life’s realities. By the end of the days of mankind, of course, truth will have conquered. Until then, however, the opposite is usually the case: “Victoria verifacit,” victory makes truth.

Every historical era reflects the face of the most recent victor…

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Franz Werfel: Leaders’ fear of their people drives them to war


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

Franz Werfel: Selections on war


Franz Werfel
From Star of the Unborn (1946)
Translated by Gustave O. Arlt


“And for what reason was the First World War fought, Seigneur? What was it all about?”

As I formulated my answer I was uncomfortably aware that I was not doing justice to the Second World War…

“Well, now that you ask this question, my dear Monsieur, it’s not so easy to say why the two World Wars that took place in my lifetime were really fought. It was all mixed up with a murky hogwash about unemployment and ersatz-religions. You know, the more fraudulent a religion, the more fanatically its adherents strike out in all directions. My former contemporaries had firmly made up their minds that they didn’t want to have any souls or any personalities; they wanted to be egoless atoms in a material macrocomplex…And so most people of both groups didn’t have the slightest idea why they had to kill each other. They really did it out of fear. But they were less afraid of each other than of their own leaders, and these leaders, again, were so afraid of the people whom they led or misled that they forced them to kill each other.”

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Atlantic Council Of The US: Ukraine Foreign Minister Says 107-Day War Worst Threat To World Since Cuban Missile Crisis

July 30, 2014 1 comment

July 30, 2014

Conflict in Ukraine the most serious since Cuban missile crisis – Klimkin

Russia is waging an undeclared war on Ukraine, punishing the country for its European choice, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said.

“It is an undeclared war, with an unfair price, because we are fighting for justice and democracy on our own land. We are attacked for our European choice,” he said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on Tuesday.

“In my opinion, the world faces the biggest threat since the Cuban crisis of 1962,” he said.

Klimkin said that in order to resolve this conflict, it was necessary to have a deep understanding of the situation and respond to it not only in terms of de-escalation, but also in terms of the consequences for the future.

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Kiev’s Other War: Ukrainian Troops Remain In Afghanistan

July 30, 2014 2 comments

Southeast European Times
July 29, 2014

Ukrainian soldiers support NATO mission in Afghanistan
By Rati Mujiri

Ukrainian soldiers, despite the unrest in the eastern part of the country, are contributing to global peace and security [?!} by serving in Afghanistan as a part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

“I believe that our mission here is much more important than someone can assume,” Lieutenant Colonel Pavlo Savchenko, 33, said in an exclusive interview with SETimes.

“Each of us is placing a small piece of puzzle to the common picture of regional security and prosperity. We have different specialists here. I would like to highlight the professionalism of our engineers, who make a tremendous job of clearing routes in the western part of Afghanistan, and our medics, who daily save lives of coalition partners and Afghans. Also, we are part of the team, I mean coalition forces. Thus, our mission is to contribute to the common success.”

Savchenko, who has been in Afghanistan for more than eight months, said for him and his friends, it is hard to hold emotions in check while observing ongoing conflict in their homeland from such a long distance.

“As every single citizen and patriot of his or her state, we feel anger and pain, looking on what is happening in our country — especially when we look at events from a distance,” he said.

“I came here in September 2013. Thus, I was here when revolutionary events started in Ukraine. We are proud of our people who appeared so strong to overthrow the previous regime, who have consolidated in the face of a new threat. I believe Ukrainian society has never been as consolidated as it is now. I’m proud of our military, which is performing like real heroes in the face of an overwhelming enemy. And I’m looking forward to redeployment and to be with my people in such tough hours,” Savchenko said.

Savchenko said it is very important that Ukraine’s new leadership supports international military missions. He said working with NATO soldiers is a great experience that helps him and other Ukrainian soldiers to grow professionally.

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Interview: U.S. Is Effectively A Belligerent In Gaza Attack

July 30, 2014 2 comments

Press TV
July 29, 2014


US is ‘effectively a partner to’ Israel’s war on Gaza: Rozoff

An American anti-war activist says the US is “effectively a partner to” Israel’s deadly campaign against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, but is just trying to appear “even-handed.”

“The US Middle Eastern policy, particularly that in relation to Israel and Palestine, is in the American perspective, on the world stage at any rate, public relations enterprise more than anything else. That the US wants to appear to be even-handed as absurd as that is,” said Rick Rozoff with the Stop NATO International Network.

“The fact that Israel is the largest recipient of US foreign aid, and certainly of military aid, automatically disqualifies the United States as an honest broker in any conflict between” Palestinians and Israel, he added.

Rozoff made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Tuesday as he commented on recent remarks made by US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who said Israel needs more financial aid from the United States for its offensive against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. 

Reid, a member of the Democratic Party, warned that the Obama administration’s $225 million request to aid Israel during its current war may not be enough, as the Zionist regime continues to massacre Palestinians in Gaza.

The US role appears to “be kind of a quartermaster that supplies, in this instance, military materiel and hardware to Israel and they deplete their largely-US-acquired military stockpiles during the course of a war such as that they’re conducting in the Gaza Strip currently,” Rozoff told Press TV.

Israel has been relentlessly pounding the Gaze Strip for 22 consecutive days now. About 1,200 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks and over 6,700 others have been injured.

Israel’s brutal atrocities against Palestinians are heavily funded by Washington as US annual military aid to Israel has been elevated from $2.4 billion to $3.1 billion through 2017 under an existing agreement.

“We see the US far from being a fair-minded negotiator between the two sides; [the US] as being in essence a belligerent that is supporting Israel so unequivocally and so extensively as to be effectively a partner to the war in Gaza right now. That’s really the role of the United States, as it is in many other places from Syria to Ukraine,” Rozoff noted.

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Siegfried Sassoon: Repression of War Experience


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

Siegfried Sassoon: Selections on war


Siegfried Sassoon
Repression of War Experience

Now light the candles; one; two; there’s a moth;
What silly beggars they are to blunder in
And scorch their wings with glory, liquid flame —
No, no, not that, — it’s bad to think of war,
When thoughts you’ve gagged all day come back to scare you;
And it’s been proved that soldiers don’t go mad
Unless they lose control of ugly thoughts
That drive them out to jabber among the trees.

Now light your pipe; look, what a steady hand.
Draw a deep breath; stop thinking; count fifteen,
And you’re as right as rain…
Why won’t it rain?…
I wish there’d be a thunder-storm to-night,
With bucketsful of water to sluice the dark,
And make the roses hang their dripping heads.
Books; what a jolly company they are,
Standing so quiet and patient on their shelves,
Dressed in dim brown, and black, and white, and green,
And every kind of colour. Which will you read?
Come on; O do read something; they’re so wise.
I tell you all the wisdom of the world
Is waiting for you on those shelves; and yet
You sit and gnaw your nails, and let your pipe out,
And listen to the silence: on the ceiling
There’s one big, dizzy moth that bumps and flutters;
And in the breathless air outside the house
The garden waits for something that delays.
There must be crowds of ghosts among the trees, —
Not people killed in battle, — they’re in France, —
But horrible shapes in shrouds — old men who died
Slow, natural deaths, — old men with ugly souls,
Who wore their bodies out with nasty sins.


You’re quiet and peaceful, summering safe at home;
You’d never think there was a bloody war on!…
O yes, you would…why, you can hear the guns.
Hark! Thud, thud, thud, — quite soft…they never cease—
Those whispering guns — O Christ, I want to go out
And screech at them to stop — I’m going crazy;
I’m going stark, staring mad because of the guns.

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Pentagon Mulls Yet Further Boost To Ukrainian War Effort

July 29, 2014 1 comment

National Radio Company of Ukraine
July 29, 2014

United States to consider Ukraine’s request for additional military aid

This was stated by the Pentagon’s chief Chuck Hagel during a telephone conversation with Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Geletey, the press service of the U.S. Defense Department said.

Valery Geletey informed Chuck Hagel that despite considerable strengthening of the Ukrainian army, the situation in the east remains challenging. The reason is, as the Ukrainian minister said, in direct support of fighters from Russia.

The head of the Pentagon assured: the U.S. government will continue its consideration of requests for additional assistance on a level of broad interagency cooperation. Ealier to this an act was submitted for considerationn of the US Congress that proposes granting Ukraine a special status – as to Israel, Australia and Philippines, which are allies outside the NATO block – in order to resolve the security issue.

And on July 25 it was announced about an increase of the U.S. military assistance to Ukraine to USD 33 million.

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Robert Graves: War’s ultimate victors, the rats


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

Robert Graves: A certain cure for lust of blood

Robert Graves: Even its opponents don’t survive war

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


Robert Graves
From Good-Bye to All That (1929)

Picture 015

The first trenches we went into on arrival were the Cuinchy brick-stacks…

Cuinchy-bread rats. They came up from the canal, fed on the plentiful corpses, and multiplied exceedingly. While I fought here with the Welsh, a new officer joined the Company and, in token of welcome, was given a dug-out containing a spring-bed. When he turned in that night, he heard a scuffling, shone his torch on the bed, and found two rats on his blanket tussling for the possession of a severed hand…

We planned our rushes from shell-hole to shell-hole, the opportunities being provided by artillery or machine-gun fire, which would distract the sentries. Many of the craters contained the corpses of men who had been wounded and crept in there to die. Some were skeletons, picked clean by the rats.

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Hagel Consults With New Ukrainian Defense Chief On Ongoing War

U.S. Department of Defense
July 28, 2014

Hagel Speaks With Ukraine’s New Defense Minister
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke by phone today with Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said.

In a statement summarizing the call, Kirby said Hagel congratulated Heletey on his recent appointment and asked for his assessment of developments in Ukraine.

“Minister Heletey conveyed that despite steady progress by the Ukrainian military, the situation in eastern Ukraine continues to worsen,” Kirby said. The minister attributed the increasing levels of violence, including the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, to direct Russian support for separatists, he added.

Heletey expressed his nation’s interest in additional security assistance from the United States, the press secretary said.

“Secretary Hagel assured him that the U.S. government will continue to review all such requests within a broad interagency process,” he added, beginning with discussions through the U.S. Embassy in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.

The two defense leaders exchanged mutual thanks for the level of defense cooperation between the United States and Ukraine, and pledged to continue developing the bilateral relationship, Kirby said.

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Ukraine War: Britain To Join NATO War Games In Baltic

July 28, 2014 2 comments

Xinhua News Agency
July 29, 2014

Britain to join NATO military exercise to “reassure” eastern European allies

LONDON: Britain will send a battle group to take part in a major military training in October as part of a NATO package to reassure its allies in eastern Europe, the British Ministry of Defense (MoD) announced Monday.

The new deployment is Britain’s largest to the region since 2008 and is one of a planned series of NATO maneuvers due to take place throughout the autumn in support of allies in eastern Europe and the Baltic states, the MoD said in a statement.

The full battle group to be sent to the NATO exercise, dubbed Exercise Black Eagle, will comprise of 1,350 personnel and more than 350 armored and other vehicles.

Britain has deployed RAF Typhoon jets to the NATO Baltic Air Policing mission, as well as participating in smaller scale army exercises across Europe, as part of a sustained commitment since Russia’s “illegal annexation” of Crimea, the ministry said.

At the end of August, light infantry troops from 1st Battalion of The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment will take part in Exercise Sabre Junction, a U.S.-led exercise involving 16 NATO and partner nations which will take place in Poland.

“It is right that NATO members and partners demonstrate our commitment to the collective security of our allies in Eastern Europe, so I am pleased to confirm our participation in these exercises,” British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said.

“In particular, the commitment of a battle group to Exercise Black Eagle shows our sustained and substantial support to NATO’s eastern border,” he added.

Britain is to hold a NATO summit in Wales scheduled for Sept. 4-5 to discuss “how to equip the alliance to respond to future threats and agree more reassurance measures.”

“The summit will be one of the most important in NATO’s history, coming at a significant moment for the Alliance as the combat mission in Afghanistan draws to a close and, as events in Ukraine and Iraq have shown, the world faces more complex threats than ever before,” the MoD noted in the statement.

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Ukraine To Impose Military Tax For Ongoing 105-Day War

July 28, 2014 3 comments

July 28, 2014

Ukraine plans to introduce temporary 1.5% military law – Yatseniuk

The Ukrainian government intends to introduce a temporary 1.5% military duty, which will be an addition to the personal income tax.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk told a briefing on Monday the duty, if introduced, will stay in effect until the end of this year.

“There will be another temporary tax, a 1.5% military duty, which will be an addition to the personal income tax. It will only be until the end of this year. This 1.5% will go directly to the Armed Forces,” he said.

The Ukrainian Finance Ministry estimates that the introduction of this military duty will help accumulate UAH 2.9 billion, which will be used for financing the defense sector.


July 28, 2014

Government proposes allocating UAH 9.1 bln to finance army and UAH 3.3 bln to rebuild Donbas

The proposed government amendments to Ukraine’s state budget for 2014 envisage the allocation of UAH 9.1 billion as additional funding for Ukrainian security forces engaged in the anti-terrorist operation, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk has said.

“In the draft amendments to the state budget we offer additional funding for the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the National Guard and all those engaged in the anti-terrorist operation in the amount of UAH 9.1 billion,” he said at a briefing at the Cabinet of Ministers on Monday.

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UN: Over 4,600 Killed, Wounded, 100,000 Displaced In Ukraine War

Azeri Press Agency
July 28, 2014

UN says over 1,100 killed, nearly 3,500 wounded in Ukraine since mid-April

Baku: 1,129 people have been killed and 3,442 wounded in eastern Ukraine since the start of the Kiev’s military operation in April, according to UN estimates, APA reports quoting RT news.

The report also states that these are the minimum casualty toll estimates by the UN monitoring mission and WHO.

The report says that the cause of the rising death toll is intensified artillery shelling of the civilian residential areas and the so-called “collateral damage” of the armed actions in the heavily-populated areas.

Also, 100,000 people were forcibly displaced in eastern Ukraine.

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Franz Werfel: Twenty thousand well-preserved human skulls of the Last War


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

Franz Werfel: Selections on war


Franz Werfel
From Star of the Unborn (1946)
Translated by Gustave O. Arlt


“This is the Monument of the Last War,” said someone near me, and I craned my neck to see something in the broad excavation within or below the railing that might resemble an equestrian statue or a group of heroically muscle-bound figures à la Rodin. But I discovered nothing of the sort. Finally my unfortunately naked eye settled upon a spherical, rusty framework, about six feet in diameter. At first I could not make the slightest sense out of this sphere consisting of warped metal bands. Then it suddenly dawned on me that it must be an ancient celestial globe, manufactured long after my death but still in darkest antiquity. As my eyes became more and more accustomed to the ruddy twilight in the excavation, which now seemed to me to resemble not so much a mine as the basin of a great pond from which the water had been drained, I perceived that the dilapidated and warped celestial globe surmounted a gigantic pedestal made of skulls, similar to but larger than the so-called cairns which are founds in valleys of the Styrian and Carpathian Alps. My understanding of the psychology of the present had by now become so keen that I clearly felt the mythical horror that the sight of this foundation of skulls must have provoked in the hearts of these contemporaries who had deleted the word “death” from their vocabulary.


“{M]any, many more eons passed and many changes took place in the constellations before man finally…attained that mild freedom and dignity which made war and the concept of physical hostility an absurd nightmare that modern man regards as a tissue of lies of eccentric historians rather than as a hellishly real torment to which his own race was subject millennia ago…

“And this monument of hammered metal, erected upon the twenty thousand well-preserved human skulls of the Last War…”

At the words “human skulls” many children began to cry and wail. Their mothers tried to quiet them by soft words or by singing lullabies. A sorrowful buzzing ran through the crowd. The great throng retreated shyly from the fenced space about the monument as though no one had the courage to bear the sight of human skulls.

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NATO Restructures Georgia’s Civilian Sector As Well

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
July 25, 2014

Third Phase of NATO PDP Program Launched


NATO-Georgia Professional Development Programme (PDP) has moved to a new phase. Starting of a new stage of the PDP program has been solemnly marked today. Deputy Minister of Defence Tamar Karosanidze attended the event. She addressed the audience and stressed importance of the program.

Head of the NATO Liaison Office in Georgia William Lahue, representatives of non-governmental organizations and Diplomatic Corps accredited to Georgia attended the presentation of a new phase of the program.

This part of the program aims at the implementation of system reforms in the public sector and supporting realization of priorities of Georgia with regard to NATO. Special attention will be attributed to security sector as well. The following stage of the PDP Program envisages the recommendations based on assessment of the second phase.

Within the frames of the program, organizational development and system reforms will be supported in different public organizations within the frames of the program. The third phase also envisages development of the capabilities of professional development organizations operating in Georgia’s public agencies and streamlining public servants’ skills through special programs and practical consultations.

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German Military Delegation Visits Georgian General Staff

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
July 22, 2014

German delegation visits General Staff


The delegation of German Armed Forces Command and General Staff College pays a three -day working visit to Georgia. The German guests visit Georgia in frames of 2014 Bilateral Cooperation Plan between Georgian and German Defence Ministries.

Today, First Deputy Chief of the General Staff of GAF, Brigadier General Vladimer Chachibaia hosted the German Delegation led by Real Admiral Karsten Shneider. The sides discussed bilateral cooperation issues in defence sphere and talked about the future plans. Exchanging experience in education field and deepening cooperation between Germany and Georgia were considered at the meeting as well.

Within the visit to Georgia the delegation members will meet with Rector of the National Defence Academy Zurab Agladze and talk about the further development of cooperation between Georgian and German military institutions.

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Erckmann-Chatrian: In war belligerents conspire against their own citizens

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

The Story of the Plebiscite
Told By One of the Seven Million Who Voted “Yes”
Translator unknown


I am writing this story for sensible people. It is my own story during the calamitous war we have just gone through. I write it to show those who shall come after us how many evil-minded people there are in the world, and how little we ought to trust fair words…

Could anyone have imagined that there are so many deceivers in the world? No, indeed; it requires to be seen with one’s own eyes to be believed.

In the end we have had to pay dearly. We have given up our hay, our straw, our corn, our flour, our cattle; and that was not enough. Finally, they gave up us, our own selves…


What a miserable thing is war! The Germans have lost more men than we have; but we will not be so cruel as to rejoice over this.


The less you speak the more you think; and your indignation, your disgust, your hatred for violence, force, and injustice is ever on the increase. You conceive a horror for those who have been the cause of such sufferings…Abject wretches alone accept injustice as a final dispensation; and we have ever God over us all, who forbids us to believe that murder, fire, and robbery may and ought to prevail over right and conscience.


“There now,” said George, “look at that ! ” Placiard was passing the house arm-in-arm with a Landwehr officer, followed by a few men; they were making requisitions and entered the house opposite.

“There is the Plebiscite in flesh and blood. Now that scoundrel is working for his Imperial Majesty William I., for the Germans have their emperor as we have had ours: they will soon learn the cost of glory; each has his turn!”

George exclaimed: “How miserable to be surprised and deluged as we have been daily by six hundred thousand Germans, and to have our hands bound like culprits, without arms, munitions, orders, chiefs or anything! Ah! the deputies of the majority who voted for war would not demand compulsory service; they feared to arm the nation. They would not risk the bodies of their own sons…Miserable self-seekers! they are the cause of our ruin! their names should he exposed in every commune, to teach our children to execrate them.’*

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NATO Commander In Hungary To Discuss War In Ukraine

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

July 25, 2014


Budapest, HUNGARY: Increased readiness measures and future exercise support were key topics of discussion between Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) General Sir Adrian Bradshaw and senior Hungarian military officials during meetings in Budapest on Friday, 25 July. Discussions reflected NATO’s continuing assurance measures and its collective resolve in dealing with the Russian/Ukraine crisis.

“Hungary is a valued NATO member that continues to perform a key role in operations,’’ said General Bradshaw. “Their contribution of over 200 soldiers to the KFOR Mission, as well as their recent contribution to ISAF have been crucial in achieving Alliance objectives,’’ he said.

“I have appreciated today’s frank discussions on how to enhance levels of engagement supporting NATO assurance measures and our future plans to enhance alliance readiness,’’ said General Bradshaw. “It is vital that all 28 nations work closely together to clearly demonstrate NATO’s resolve and commitment to collective defence,’’ he said.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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Nathanael West: They haven’t the proper military slant


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

American writers on peace and against war

Nathanael West: One live recruit is better than a dozen dead veterans


Nathanael West
From Good Hunting (1938)



Do you play cribbage?




Then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be popular. Only don’t talk shop.




The war.

(Puzzled frown)

Really, I don’t understand.

(Smiling wryly)

Good. You’ll be very well liked. My trouble is that I don’t like cribbage.

(Quite innocently)

Then why did you choose the army as a career?


I didn’t. I’m in the soap business. I supplied all the army posts. Years ago I joined up – out of sheer patriotism.

(The snob shows slightly)

Oh, I see…you’re a reserve officer.


And a Colonial from a very unfashionable colony – Canada.

(Throwing a dog a bone)

I’ve heard some reserve officers make excellent soldiers.


Very few. They haven’t the proper military slant.


Yes – of course – tradition and training are extremely important.


Much more than intelligence!

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Romania: NATO Continues Black Sea Buildup For Ukraine War

July 25, 2014 1 comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

July 24, 2014

Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe visits Romania


Bucharest, ROMANIA: Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) General Sir Adrian Bradshaw reinforced NATO’s commitment to collective defence with a visit to Bucharest, Romania on Thursday, 24 July. In light of the Ukraine Crisis, NATO continues to implement a series of comprehensive assurance measures on land, sea and air in which Romania has played a vital role.

“Romania has supported NATO AWACs aircraft conducting surveillance orbits over Eastern Europe and has contributed professional and interoperable land forces to recent exercises,’’ said General Bradshaw. “NATO, and indeed many nations outside of NATO continue to be very concerned by the crisis in Ukraine, and it is essential to maintain our force readiness in order to provide a balanced response,” he said.

During the visit, General Bradshaw met with the Chief of the General Staff of the Romanian Armed Forces, Lieutenant General Stefan Danila, and discussed further security and stability measures. “Romania is a highly valued member of NATO whose military contribution is widely recognized,’’ said DSACEUR. “In particular, Romania’s long standing participation to the ISAF mission has been commendable.’’

“I have also been very impressed on this visit with our discussions and the mutual aims of continuing support to this crisis and other areas of interest,’’ he added.

In addition to Romania’s support to the Air Surveillance Mission, the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2 has been operating in the Black Sea and received extensive support from the Romanian port of Constanta.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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Strengthen Combat Capabilities: U.S. Military Aid To Ukraine Soars To $33 Million

July 25, 2014 2 comments

July 25, 2014

U.S. military aid for Ukraine soars to $33 mln

The United States has increased its military aid for Ukraine, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt said.

Our military aid for the Ukrainian forces has risen significantly, to $33 million, Pyatt said at a briefing in Kyiv on Friday.

He also said that the U.S. intends to continue providing expert advice and technological assistance to the Ukrainian military to strengthen the army’s combat capabilities.


July 25, 2014

Ukrainian foreign minister to visit Washington

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin is due to visit the United States next week, a diplomatic source told Interfax-Ukraine on Friday.

“The minister will visit Washington where he will hold meetings in the presidential administration, the Department of State and the Congress,” the source said.

The visit will be taking place as the European Union is expected to make a decision to significantly toughen its sanctions against Russia and a group of U.S. senators have suggested designating the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic as a terrorist organization.

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NATO Plans New Mechanism For Georgia’s Membership

Trend News Agency
July 25, 2014

NATO countries look for alternative ways for Georgia’s joining alliance
By Nana Kirtzkhalia


Tbilisi: The foreign ministers of NATO member-states are looking for alternative ways for Georgia’s joining the alliance.

NATO PA president Hugh Bayley made this statement at the Tbilisi International Airport.

“The NATO Parliamentary Assembly has already appealed to the leaders of 28 member-states of the alliance with the proposal to determine Georgia’s ways of integration into NATO,” he said.

“We support Georgia’s integration into NATO,” he said. “In this regard, the Parliamentary Assembly adopted a resolution in support of this integration. We expect for the mechanisms to be worked out to implement this commitment.”

A NATO PA representative delegation arrived in Georgia. Besides the president of the Parliamentary Assembly, it includes vice-presidents Daniel Bacquelaine, Karl Lamers and Secretary General of the assembly David Hobbs.

NATO PA representatives will meet with Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, Speaker of the Parliament David Usupashvili and Defense Minister Irakli Alasania on July 25.

Moreover, the delegation members will meet with the head of the NATO liaison office in Tbilisi William Lahue and Georgian NGO representatives.

A NATO PA delegation’s visit to Georgia will last until July 26.

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Wildred Owen: Rushed in the body to enter hell and there out-fiending all its fiends and flames


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

Wildred Owen: Selections on war


Wilfred Owen
Spring Offensive

Halted against the shade of a last hill,
They fed, and, lying easy, were at ease
And, finding comfortable chests and knees
Carelessly slept. But many there stood still
To face the stark, blank sky beyond the ridge,
Knowing their feet had come to the end of the world.
Marvelling they stood, and watched the long grass swirled
By the May breeze, murmurous with wasp and midge,
For though the summer oozed into their veins
Like the injected drug for their bones’ pains,
Sharp on their souls hung the imminent line of grass,
Fearfully flashed the sky’s mysterious glass.

Hour after hour they ponder the warm field —
And the far valley behind, where the buttercups
Had blessed with gold their slow boots coming up,
Where even the little brambles would not yield,
But clutched and clung to them like sorrowing hands;
They breathe like trees unstirred.

Till like a cold gust thrilled the little word
At which each body and its soul begird
And tighten them for battle. No alarms
Of bugles, no high flags, no clamorous haste —
Only a lift and flare of eyes that faced
The sun, like a friend with whom their love is done.
O larger shone that smile against the sun, —
Mightier than his whose bounty these have spurned.

So, soon they topped the hill, and raced together
Over an open stretch of herb and heather
Exposed. And instantly the whole sky burned
With fury against them; and soft sudden cups
Opened in thousands for their blood; and the green slopes
Chasmed and steepened sheer to infinite space.

Of them who running on that last high place
Leapt to swift unseen bullets, or went up
On the hot blast and fury of hell’s upsurge,
Or plunged and fell away past this world’s verge,
Some say God caught them even before they fell.

But what say such as from existence’ brink
Ventured but drave too swift to sink.
The few who rushed in the body to enter hell,
And there out-fiending all its fiends and flames
With superhuman inhumanities,
Long-famous glories, immemorial shames —
And crawling slowly back, have by degrees
Regained cool peaceful air in wonder —
Why speak they not of comrades that went under?

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Pacific: NATO Participates In World’s Largest Multinational Maritime Drills

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

July 23, 2014

NATO participates in largest international maritime exercise: RIMPAC 2014

The biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), the world’s largest international maritime exercise, is ongoing in and around the Hawaiian Islands.

Twenty-three nations, including NATO ally and partner nations, 49 surface ships, 6 submarines, more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are participating in the month-long U.S.-led exercise.

Among units from Australia, Brunei, Chile, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, the People’s Republic of China, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Tonga, six NATO countries are participating with ships and aircraft from the United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, Norway, Canada and the United States.

RIMPAC 2014 is the 24th such exercise since 1971 and for the first time includes Brunei and China.

“Throughout RIMPAC, we are building military relationships with some countries for the first time, and I can tell you that on a military-to-military level, we see eye-to-eye,” said Rear Adm. Gilles Couturier, Royal Canadian Navy Combined Forces Maritime Component Commander. “We know the value of working together to ensure the safety of the high seas. With 90 percent of commerce travelling over the oceans, regional military forces need to understand each other and work together to ensure that we can operate safely. The best way to do that is to practice now. In some ways, the military forces represent an insurance policy for governments, ready to respond to any government tasking. An exercise like RIMPAC is essential to maintain that readiness on the international front.”

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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100-Day War: Ukraine Launches Third Stage Of Mobilization

July 24, 2014 3 comments

July 24, 2014

Ukraine to increase number of army bases, create rotation conditions – General Staff


During the third stage of partial mobilization in Ukraine conscripts will not be sent to the anti-terrorist operation zone in the east of the country straight away, Col. Oleksandr Pravdyvets, deputy chief of the mobilization unit at the Ukrainian Army General Staff Mobilization Department, has said.

“No one will be sent to the ATO (anti-terrorist operation) zone without proper training,” he said at a briefing in Kyiv on Thursday.

For his part, Col. Mykhailo Scherbyna, who is in charge of introducing reservists into service, said that an additional 15 army bases and 44 combat-support units are expected to be put on alert during the third wave of mobilization.

“The aim of the third phase of mobilization is to increase the number of army units, bolster national border security and create rotation conditions,” Scherbyna said.

The first two mobilizations saw the mobilization of 53 army bases and 18 bases related to other government departments, he said.

Whereas earlier the focus during mobilization was on conscripts trained for army jobs – paratroopers, grenadiers and so on, now preference will be given to the support provision for the bases located in the security-operation zone, the official said.

Mobilization will last for 45 days, but that is a period set for recruitment offices, not for the military service proper.

He also said mobilization will be conducted in all Ukrainian regions “proportionally” without an exception. ”It’s not that we’ll be recruiting from one region only,” the General Staff representative said.

He would not say how many conscripts will be mobilized now, citing confidentiality such information.

The law on the third stage of partial mobilization took effect on Thursday, July 24.


July 24, 2014

Eighteen soldiers return to Ukraine after medical treatment in Russia

Eighteen Ukrainian servicemen have returned home after undergoing medical treatment at hospitals in the Russian southern city of Rostov-on-Don, Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman Vasyl Zvarych told Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday.

The dead body of a Ukrainian soldier who died from his injuries has been turned over to the Ukrainian authorities as well, he said.

“With the help of Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry and Consulate General in Rostov-on-Don, 18 servicemen who received medical treatment in Russia and the dead body of one serviceman who died from his injuries were delivered from Russia to Ukraine by airplanes of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry this morning. Another four Ukrainian soldiers have stayed in Russia for further treatment,” he said.

All issues concerning their return to Ukraine will be sorted out soon, Zvarych said.

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Mediterranean: Canada Adds Ship To NATO Buildup Around Ukraine

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
July 24, 2014

HMCS Toronto crew set to join NATO in Mediterranean


Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Toronto will depart this morning to join NATO reassurance measures in the Mediterranean.

HMCS Toronto is heading to a very tense area, replacing HMCS Regina, which has been part of Standing NATO Maritime Forces since May 2014.

HMCS Regina was on another mission in the Arabian Sea when the conflict in the Ukraine started to escalate three months ago. The ship was then sent to the eastern Mediterranean.

The Toronto will be headed to the same area in the eastern Mediterranean, where it can be quickly deployed to the Black Sea, if needed.

On Wednesday, a pair of Ukraine fighter jets were shot down in the same area where a Malaysian airliner was brought down last week.

The last mission for HMCS Toronto was also in the Arabian sea and it was 12 months long.

It’s not known how long this mission will be. Families will be at the dockyard in Halifax Thursday morning as the vessel departs.

HMCS Toronto will be leaving for the Mediterranean Sea from the CFB Halifax Dockyard with a ceremony Thursday at 10 a.m.

Defence Minister Rob Nicholson will also be at the navy jetty to send off the Toronto’s crew of 250.

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Charles Yale Harrison: We have learned who our enemies are


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

American writers on peace and against war

Charles Yale Harrison: Bombardment, maniacal congealed hatred

Charles Yale Harrison: War’s whispered reminder, you must come back to my howling madness


Charles Yale Harrison
From Generals Die In Bed (1928)

We have learned who our enemies are – the lice, some of our officers, and Death.

Of the first two we speak continually, the last we rarely refer to.

Strangely, we never refer to the Germans as our enemy. In the week-old newspaper which comes from the base we read of the enemy and the Hun, but this is newspaper talk and we place no stock in it. Instead we call him Heinie and Fritz. The nearest we get to unfriendliness is when we call him “square-head.” But our persistent and ever present foe is the louse.


Six days in reserve near the light artillery, six days in supports, six days in the front trenches – and then out to rest. Five or six days out on rest and then back again; six days, six days, rest.

Endlessly in and out. Different sectors, different names of trenches, different trenches, but always the same trenches, the same yellow, infested earth, the same screaming shells, the same comet-tailed “minnies” with the splintering roar. The same rats, fat and sleek with their corpse-filled bellies, the same gleaming gimlet eyes. The same lice which we carry with us wherever we go. In and out, in and out, endlessly, sweating, endlessly, endlessly…Somewhere it is summer, but here are the same trenches. The trees here are skeletons holding stubs of stark, shell-amputated arms towards the sky. No flowers grow in this wasteland.

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Latin America As Next War Zone: U.S. Leads 21-Nation Special Forces Exercise In Colombia

July 23, 2014 1 comment

Department of Defense
July 22, 2014

Multinational Exercise to Test Special Operations Forces

WASHINGTON: Security forces from 21 countries will participate in Fuerzas Comando 2014 in Colombia tomorrow through Aug. 1, Defense Department officials announced today.

Fuerzas Comando is a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercise that has been conducted in Central and South America and the Caribbean since 2004, officials said.

The Colombian military is hosting the multinational special operations skills competition. About 700 military, law enforcement and civilian personnel from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, and Uruguay will participate.

Through friendly competition, officials said, the exercise promotes military-to-military relationships, increases training knowledge and improves regional security. The nine-day event will demonstrate and test participants’ skills through special operations forces competitions, they added, and will include an executive combating terrorism fellowship program focused on topics such as combating terrorism, organized crime and illicit trafficking.

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Global NATO’s African Military Partner: Tanzania

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Maritime Command

July 23, 2014



Dar es Salaam, TANZANIA: NATO’s counter-piracy Operation OCEAN SHIELD warship ITS MIMBELLI has concluded a port visit to Dar es Salaam designed to deepen ongoing cooperation with the Tanzanian Navy in a common effort to eradicate piracy off the coast of eastern Africa, protect maritime trade and ensure safe navigation in the Indian Ocean.

MIMBELLI’s boarding teams performed maritime cooperation activities with the Tanzanian Navy, sharing experiences and knowledge on counter-piracy procedures, Maritime Interdiction Operations, force protection capabilities, fire fighting and damage control procedures.

During the port visit, ITS MIMBELLI’s Commanding Officer, Captain Davide Berna, met with the Acting Commander Tanzanian Navy, Brigadier General H. Majumba to discuss enhanced cooperation and training opportunities between NATO and Tanzanian naval forces.

…The visit to Dar es Salaam proved to be highly beneficial in solidifying cooperation between NATO naval forces and the Tanzanian Navy, while enhancing regional security.

Story by HQ MARCOM Public Affairs Office

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Eastern European Janissaries Want NATO Buildup In Balkans, Black Sea Region

Voice of America News
July 23, 2014

Bulgaria Calls for More NATO Troops in Southeastern Europe

WARSAW: Bulgaria called for more NATO troops in southeastern Europe and the Black Sea, as well as more joint military exercises, to improve security in the region after Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea.

An ex-communist state on the Black Sea, Bulgaria was a close Cold War ally of Moscow but joined NATO in 2004 and the European Union three years later.

“The events in Ukraine proved that we cannot take peace and security in Europe for granted,” President Rosen Plevneliev said at a meeting in Warsaw of heads of state of NATO countries in central and eastern Europe, according to a statement from his office.

“Increasing NATO forces in southeastern Europe and the Black Sea, carrying out more joint military exercises, as well as the more active use of joint military facilities in Bulgaria, were among the proposals put forward by President Plevneliev,” the statement said.

He also said Bulgaria will raise its defense spending to 1.5 percent of GDP by 2015 and then gradually raise it further to 2 percent of GDP.

Poland, which already spends 1.95 percent of GDP on defense, joined Bulgaria’s calls, and said the region should improve military infrastructure so it can get help from NATO if it is needed, the Polish President said.

Bronislaw Komorowski said in a statement on his website that a NATO summit planned for September should bring decisions aimed at improving the defense capabilities of the Eastern wing of the alliance.

On Monday, Romania’s President Traian Basescu criticised the EU for a soft stance toward Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, after the downing of a Malaysian airliner with nearly 300 people on board in separatist-held territory in Ukraine last week.

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Maxim Gorky: War permits destruction of every kind: losing limbs fighting for our country


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

Russian writers on war

Maxim Gorky: Selections on war


Maxim Gorky
From The Specter (1938)
Translated by Alexander Bakshy


“They cut off Dudarov’s leg for the ‘glory of the Church and the country,’ as the children recite at school. And now they’re beginning all over again to blow off the heads and legs and arms of the peasants…”


“We are already practically a colony. Our metal industry is almost sixty-seven per cent in French hands. French capital controls seventy-seven percent of our ship-building industry. The stock capital of our banks amounts to five hundred and eighty-five million, and of these four hundred and thirty-four are foreign capital, including two hundred and thirty-two million rubles representing the French investment.”

“We are fighting because M. Poincaré is eager for revanche for 1871, and because he wants to recover the mineral-bearing lands seized by the Germans forty-three years ago. Our army is playing the role of mercenaries – “


Three square windows, blanketed with snow, let in a very little light…

“I hope it lasts all winter, so that it will kill the Germans,” the gendarme growled; looking around, he added: “You burned the partition?”

“We used the partition for coffins.”

“You’ll have to answer for the destruction of somebody else’s property.”

“We’ll answer for it. It’s easy to answer in this obvious matter – war permits destruction of every kind.”

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Ukrainian Junta Moves Toward Universal Conscription, Total Mobilization

July 22, 2014 1 comment

July 22, 2014

Maximum age of Ukrainians able for military service goes up to 60


The Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada has increased the maximum permissible age of soldiers, sergeants and petty officers to 60. The top age for senior officers is 65.

The bill adjusting article 28 of the Ukrainian Law “On Military Duty and Military Service” dedicated to reservists and their maximum age was approved by 232 out of 242 deputies present at the session.


July 22, 2014

Verkhovna Rada approves Poroshenko’s partial mobilization decree

The Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada has passed a bill endorsing the “Partial Mobilization” decree of President Petro Poroshenko by 232 votes.

The bill approved on Tuesday takes effect on the day of publication.

Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council Secretary Andriy Parubiy who introduced the bill said the third phase of partial mobilization “would mobilize extra 15 combat units and 44 combat support units.”

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Atlanticist Think Tank: Time For NATO To Absorb Ukraine

German Marshall Fund
July 21, 2014

It is Time for Ukraine to Join NATO
Allen Wan is the Deputy Shanghai Bureau Chief at Bloomberg News and a 2002 Marshall Memorial Fellow.

While the U.S. is still regarded as the world’s superpower, the reality is that America’s zone of influence increases when it is coupled with European support on economic, diplomatic and military action globally. America’s gravitas decreases when it decides to go it alone.

The transatlantic relationship has been instrumental in promoting democracy in former Soviet satellites, halting conflicts in places as far flung as Afghanistan and helping states recover from the ravages of the global financial crisis at a time when the world has split into two main camps with the rise of a prosperous China and Russia. NATO has been a key reason for the success of the alliance [!], binding 28 disparate nations in a desire for peace through collective security. I was able to witness this firsthand traveling through Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy and Poland as a Marshall Memorial Fellow in 2002.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, some have called into question whether NATO’s raison d’être is still pertinent today. In fact, it has only grown more important as wealthier, non-democratic powers serve as an alternative to poorer nations with weak governments who favor the idea of financial aid with little political interference. China’s purported largesse has enabled the nation to develop military infrastructure in Pakistan and tap resources in Africa. Putin’s Russia stifles domestic opposition and acts with impunity in independent nations like Ukraine, sending military hardware to rebels that has only escalated the conflict and made the world a more dangerous place.

In the wake of global outrage over the downing of Malaysia flight MH17, which killed 298 people, the world is looking for leadership in confronting Putin. NATO is uniquely qualified to serve that purpose given its history as a bulwark against Soviet expansionism. NATO should, at the very least, send its observers to gather evidence on the atrocity at the behest of the government of Ukraine. In the long term, NATO should consider full Ukrainian membership at a time when public support has reached the highest levels ever in the aftermath of a revisionist Russia. NATO must evolve to confront new challenges as it has been the hallmark of a successful transatlantic relationship built on a desire for world peace.

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Edgar Quinet: The soul of man has vanished, nations and races are doomed to combat and destroy each other

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

Edgar Quinet
From address delivered at the Congress of Peace in Geneva in 1867
Translated by Constance Garnett


In the worst days of the ancient Caesarism, when every one was dumb except the sovereign, there were men who left their refuge in the wilderness to utter a few words of truth in the face of the fallen peoples. For sixteen years I have been living in the wilderness, and I in my turn should like to break the deadly silence to which our age has grown accustomed.

You have no conscience…it is dead, crushed under the heel of the mighty, it has disowned itself. For sixteen years I have been seeking traces of it and have not found it.

It was the same under the Caesars in the ancient world. The soul of man has vanished. The peoples aided their own enslavement, applauded it, showing neither regret nor remorse. As the conscience of mankind vanished, it left an emptiness which was felt in everything as it is now, and to fill it a new god was needed.

Who will in our day fill the abyss opened by modern Caesarism?

In the place of the worn-out, abolished conscience has come night; we wander in the darkness not knowing whence to seek aid, to whom to turn. All have helped to bring about our fall: church and law-court, the nations and society…Deaf is the earth, deaf conscience, deaf the peoples; right has perished with conscience; only might rules…

What have you come for, what are you seeking in these ruins of ruins? You answer that you are seeking peace. Whence do you seek it? You are lost among the broken ruins of the fallen edifice of justice. You seek peace, you are mistaken, it is not here. Here is war. In this night without dawn, nations and races are doomed to combat and destroy each other at hazard in obedience to the will of the rulers who have fettered their hands and their minds in bondage.

The nations will rise again only when they are conscious of the depth of their fall!

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Ukrainian Minister Wants NATO Involvement In 100-Day “Terrorist” War

National Radio Company of Ukraine
July 21, 2014

New Ukraine-NATO cooperation plan should include current terrorist threats to Ukraine – Minister


“The new annual plan of cooperation between Ukraine and NATO should take into account the current terrorist threats to Ukraine,” Cabinet Minister Ostap Semerak said at a news briefing in Kyiv on Monday.

According to him, the government considered the draft Ukraine-NATO cooperation plan for 2015 last week but didn’t approve it, because the plan didn’t fully correspond with the actual situation in certain parts of Ukraine and the real terrorist threats there. “The document was sent for improvement,” Semerak said, adding that before the adoption the Ukraine-NATO cooperation plan would have to be agreed with NATO.

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Ukrainian Junta Restores Several Military Airfields In The South

July 21, 2014

Ukraine starts restoring southern air bases


The Ukrainian Air Forces have started restoring three former military airfields in the country’s southern region: Martynivka (Voznesensk, Mykolaiv region), Buyalyk and Chervonohlynske (both in Odesa region).

Currently, the runways on the airfields are being covered with Dyckerhoff monolithic concrete, the Ukrainian Military Portal said on Monday.

In the previous years, the airfield in the Mykolaiv region hosted the 642nd Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter aircraft regiment, the Buyalyk – Sukhoi Su-24MR reconnaissance aircraft from the 511th reconnaissance aviation regiment, and the Chervonohlynske – the 737th fighter aviation regiment.

A military commandant’s office already reopened at the Kanatove air base (Kirovohrad region) in June.

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry also contemplated the possibility of restoring air bases in Bolhrad and Lymanske (Odesa region) but discarded the idea due to their closeness to the border, the statement said.

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Afghanistan: U.S. Trains Georgian Troops For War In Caucasus

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
July 21, 2014

Georgian Military Servicemen Welcomed Home


Military servicemen of the 23rd Battalion of the II Infantry Brigade returned from Afghanistan. 150 battalion members were welcomed back home by the Deputy Defence Ministry Irakli Gegechkori, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces Col. Roman Jokhadze, Sergeant Major of the Georgian Armed Forces Aluda Kopaliani, the U.S. Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland and the U.S. Military Attaché Col. Matthew Dimmick at the Alekseevka military airfield.

23rd Battalion of the II Infantry Brigade was serving at the Camp Leatherneck under the ISAF mission during four months. The 23rd Battalion is the last Georgian unit that has served at the military camp along with other Georgian units who served under the Georgian flag during four years on a rotation basis. A few days ago accomplishment of ISAF mission was marked with a solemn ceremony at Camp Leatherneck. Military base under the U.S. command has been closed related to transition of security responsibility to the Afghan National Security forces due to be completed at the end of 2014, when ISAF’s mission will end.

Under the U.S. Command the Georgian military servicemen were carrying out the full spectrum of operations during four months. The 23rd Battalion returned home without suffering any casualties. All personnel of the battalion will arrive in Georgia in a few weeks.

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Charles Yale Harrison: War’s whispered reminder, you must come back to my howling madness


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

American writers on peace and against war

Charles Yale Harrison: Bombardment, maniacal congealed hatred

Charles Yale Harrison: We have learned who our enemies are


Charles Yale Harrison
From Generals Die In Bed (1928)

For the past few days it has been raining ceaselessly. We are soaked and chilled.

It is near dawn..

As the smudge of gray appears in the east, the odors of the trenches rise in a miasmal mist on all sides of us. The soaked earth here is nothing but a thin covering for the putrescence which lies underneath; it smells like a city garbage dump in mid-August. We are sunk in that misery which men fall into through utter hopelessness.


At last we come to a narrow-gauge railhead. It is still dark. We are ordered to halt. The heat of our exhausted bodies loosens the foul trench odors which cling to us. We never escape the ominous thunder. It is the link which binds us to our future. Out on rest, miles behind the lines, we hear it. It is a reminder to us that the line is still there; that we must return. We lie prostrate, still…

Nearby the tiny narrow-gauge engine puffs energetically, giving off little clouds of white feathery steam which float slowly over us. We look about us with hungry eyes.

Smoke that is not the harbinger of death!

A field which is not the hiding place of thousands of men lurking in trenches to tear each other apart!

The dark, silent, brooding sky above us which does not pour shrieking, living steel upon our heads…!

Who can describe the few moments of peace and sunshine in a soldier’s life? The animal pleasure in feeling the sun on a naked body. The cool, caressing, lapping water. The feeling of security, of deep inward happiness…

In the distance the rumble of the guns is faint but persistent like the subdued throbbing of violins in a symphony. I am still here, it says. You may sleep quietly at night in sweet-smelling hay, you may lay sweating under a tree after drill and marvel at the fine tracings on a trembling leaf over your head, but I am here and you must come back to my howling madness, to my senseless volcanic fury.

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U.S., Polish Puppet Regime Internationalize Ukrainian War

July 20, 2014 3 comments

Radio Poland
July 19, 2014

Malaysian airliner tragedy ‘a global problem’

From Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski’s American wife Anne Applebaum

Both Barack Obama and President Komorowski have said the downing of a Malaysian jetliner in eastern Ukraine should be a “wake-up call for Europe and the world”.

President Barack Obama said Friday that the US was preparing tougher sanctions against Russia after it has failed to stop the violence in eastern regions of Ukraine, which has led to the death of 298, half them Dutch, on board the downed Malaysian Airline’s Boeing 777.

“This certainly will be a wake-up call for Europe and the world that there are consequences to an escalating conflict in eastern Ukraine; that it is not going to be localized, it is not going to be contained,” Obama told reporters in Washington after talks with Germany’s Angela Merkel, British PM David Cameron, among other world leaders.

In Poland, Ukraine’s western neighbour, President Bronislaw Komorowski said after an emergency meeting with Prime Minister Donald Tusk that what was once a problem for Ukrainians is now “a global problem”.

Komorowski called for an immediate ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, but this must be accompanied by action “to deter attempts to destroy the Ukrainian state and create a permanent conflict in the region”.

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Estonia, Poland: U.S. Paratroopers Train For War In Europe

July 20, 2014 1 comment

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
U.S. Air Forces Africa

July 15, 2014

Airmen, soldiers team up for airdrop
By Senior Airman Christine Griffiths


POWIDZ AIR BASE, Poland: A C-130J Super Hercules from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, airdropped U.S. Army paratroopers from Grafenwoehr over Estonia during an initial training mission July 8.

Aircrews from the 37th Airlift Squadron flew from Powidz Air Base, Poland to pick up more than 50 soldiers from the 1-91 Cavalry Regiment, 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), at Amari Air Base, Estonia.

“We went over our basic sustain airborne training where we go over exiting the bird and proper parachute landing falls,” said Cpl. Brian James Rushford, B Troop Senior Line Medic, 1-91 CAV, 173rd IBCT (A). “All in preparation for today where we rig up, load up into the bird and do a couple passes and exit the bird.”

“This training helps us maintain our proficiencies and just being ready for any real world operations that we may have to do,” said Airman 1st Class Ralph Colas, 37th AS loadmaster. “Out of today’s training, I was able to log off some currencies that we have to maintain for our semi-annual and as well as seeing all the rigging and all the things we have to do again and again. It helps keep it fresh in my mind.”

Three C-130Js from the 37th AS are based out of Powidz AB to conduct training and focus on maintaining joint readiness while strengthening interoperability. Through these relationships and engagements with our allies, the U.S. and NATO demonstrate their shared commitment to a peaceful, stable and secure Europe.

“Without the Air Force we can’t do our operations, they have a crucial part to this,” Rushford said…

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Robert Graves: Even its opponents don’t survive war


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

Robert Graves: A certain cure for lust of blood

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

Robert Graves: War’s ultimate victors, the rats


Robert Graves
From Good-Bye to All That (1929)


My mother used to tell us stories of inventors and doctors who gave their lives to the service of humanity…She kept off the subject of war as much as possible; always finding it difficult to explain how it was God permitted wars. The Boer War clouded my early childhood…

One of my last recollections at Charterhouse is a school debate on the motion ‘that this house is in favour of compulsory military service.’ The Empire-Service League, with Earl Roberts of Kandahar, V.C., as its President, sent down a propagandist in support. Only six votes out of one hundred and nineteen were noes. I was the principle opposition speaker against the motion, having recently resigned from the Officers’ Training Corps in revolt against the theory of implicit obedience to orders. And during a fortnight spent the previous summer at the O.T.C. camp near Tidworth on Salisbury Plain, I had been frightened by a special display of the latest military fortifications: barbed-wire entanglements, machine-guns, and field artillery in action. General, later Field-Marshall, Sir William Robertson, who had a son at the school, visited the camp and impressed upon us that war with Germany must inevitably break out within two or three years, and that we must be prepared to take our part in it as leaders of the new forces which would assuredly be called into being. Of the six noes, Nevill Barbour and I are, I believe, the only ones who survived the war.

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Azerbaijan: NATO’s Outpost On Iranian, Russian Borders

Trend News Agency
July 19, 2014

Azerbaijan continues reforms for integration with NATO standards, deputy minister says
By Elchin Huseynov

Baku: Azerbaijan continues cooperating with NATO and is holding reforms to integrate its standards, Azerbaijani Deputy Defense Minister, Lieutenant-General Kerem Valiyev said at a meeting with heads of leading Azerbaijani media on July 18.

Valiyev thus dismissed some media reports that Azerbaijan does not intend to integrate into the NATO and is returning to the post-Soviet, Russian military system.

“We are cooperating with NATO and moving in this direction,” Valiyev said. “So far, seven representatives of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry have served at the NATO headquarters, and soon their number will be increased to ten,” he noted.

“Overall, 237 Azerbaijanis are receiving military training at various levels abroad. Most of them are being trained in NATO countries, including Turkey and the United States. Only a few of them are being trained in Russia,” Valiyev said.

The deputy minister explained that Azerbaijan is using Russian military equipment, so there is a need of Azerbaijani servicemen to receive the Russian military education. This is while Azerbaijan continues to cooperate with NATO.

“We are acquiring new NATO systems, and use its tactics. We are definitely cooperating with NATO,” the deputy minister said.

Commenting on the issue that Turkish military consultants are no longer working in the military structures of Azerbaijan, Valiyev said noted that the country continues its cooperation in Turkey at the highest level.

“Today, there is no need for Turkish consultants, but when necessary, we address to Turkish colleagues,” Valiyev explained.

Edited by S.I.

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Thomas Mann: Selections on war

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Russian Aggression Prevention Act: U.S. Declares Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova Major Non-NATO Allies

July 18, 2014 6 comments

The Messenger (Georgia)
July 18, 2014

U.S Congress gives Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova support to receive major non-NATO ally status
By Ana Robakidze

[Note: The so-called Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014 was introduced in Congress but was not, or at any rate has not to date, been passed.]

The Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014, adopted by the US Congress, provides major non-NATO ally status for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova.

The Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014, adopted by the US Congress, provides major non-NATO ally status for Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova (during the period in which each of such countries meets specified criteria) for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services. The congress said the act was adopted in order to prevent further Russian aggression towards Ukraine and other sovereign states in Europe and Eurasia.

Congress said that in order to be treated as a major non-NATO ally the country must…fully cooperate with the United States on matters of mutual security concern, including counterterrorism matters.

The progress of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova will be monitored by the U.S government. Once a year the U.S President should provide to the appropriate congressional committees a report assessing whether Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova should continue to be treated, for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services, as major non-NATO allies and whether the treatment should be expanded or reduced.

The act directs the president Barack Obama to increase U.S. Armed Forces interactions with the armed forces of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia and the U.S. and NATO security assistance to such states. Accordingly, the act considers countries of the former Soviet Union to be in need of strengthening democratic institutions, political and civil society organizations, as well as the independent media. They also need to increase educational and cultural exchanges with countries of the former Soviet Union.

Congress directed the Secretary of State to hold former Soviet Countries to increasing democratic standards. Also it ruled out that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Trade and Development Agency, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the World Bank Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction should provide Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova with assistance in exploiting natural gas and oil reserves and to developing alternative energy sources.

Georgian military expert Giorgi Tavdgiridze welcomes the U.S Congress’ decision to make Georgia one of its close military allies. Speaking to Frontnews agency, Tavdgiridze said the Russian Aggression Prevention Act of 2014 is a very important document for Georgia and it will help to simplify military cooperation between the two states. However, the expert says Georgia should remain focused on its own sources of defense and should not rely only on its partners.

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