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NATO, Japan Intensify Naval Integration In Gulf Of Aden

November 28, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Maritime Command

November 28, 2014

NATO and Japan Counter-Piracy Forces Strengthen Relations

GULF OF ADEN: NATO and Japanese maritime forces continued to strengthen relations and enhance interoperability by conducting a combined exercise in the Gulf of Aden, on Wednesday, 26 November. It was a follow-on to the first-ever exercise between the two counter-piracy forces that took place two months ago.

Like the first exercise, the participants were the destroyer JS TAKANAMI, operating as part of Combined Task Force 151, and HDMS ESBERN SNARE, the Task Force 508 flagship of NATO’s counter-piracy Operation OCEAN SHIELD.

The exercise focused on further enhancing the skills that were tested during the first exercise: communications, the use of tactical data links and tactical operations. Live firing gunnery exercises were also conducted.

During the exercise, Commander of the NATO Task Force 508, Commodore Aage Buur Jensen, visited JS TAKANAMI to observe part of the action from the Japanese ship.

“Japan is a valued partner for NATO, and it is a pleasure to see how cooperation between the Japan Maritime Self Defence Forces (JMSDF) and NATO is being consolidated,” said Commodore Jensen. “Coordinating our activities and sharing information are cornerstones in the counter-piracy effort in this region. By conducting combined exercises as we did two months ago and again today, doing exactly that becomes much easier.”

Following the end of the exercise and the transfer of personnel between JS TAKANAMI and HDMS ESBERN SNARE, the two ships continued their counter-piracy operations off Somalia.

Story by HQ MARCOM Public Affairs Office

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Infantry Division To Join Anti-Russian Mission In Europe

November 28, 2014 Leave a comment

United States European Command
November 26, 2014

4th Infantry Division to support Operation Atlantic Resolve
By Media Operations Division
United States European Command

STUTTGART, Germany:- Approximately 100 Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado, will deploy to Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve early next year.

The 4th ID will provide division-level command and control for Army forces supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve, and is the first division-level headquarters to deploy to Europe as part of the Regional Alignment concept.

The 4th ID will continue to train alongside our NATO allies and partner nations in the region, which will continue to strengthen our interoperability and partner capacity. Operation Atlantic Resolve is a continued demonstration of the United States’ commitment to the collective security of our NATO allies and support for our partners in Europe, in light of the on-going Russian intervention in Ukraine. The operation will remain in place as long as required to reassure our allies.

Categories: Uncategorized

Tbilisi: EU Military Commander Meets Georgian Defense Chief

November 28, 2014 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
November 28, 2014

Minister of Defence meets General Patrick de Rousiers

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Minister of Defence of Georgia met the Chairman of the European Union Military Committee. Mr. Mindia Janelidze received the General Patrick de Rousiers in the Ministry of Defence. The sides discussed ongoing cooperation between Georgia and EU and the future plans of relationship. The significance of signing EU Association Agreement (AA) and Georgia`s engagement in EU crisis management operations within the framework of Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) were highlighted during discussions. Minister underlined that the Georgian side is resolved to further intensify reform efforts and successfully implement commitments defined in EU Association Agenda. One of the key topics of the meeting was Georgian troops` involvement in the peacekeeping operation led under the auspices of EU in the Central African Republic. General Patrick de Rousiers thanked Mr. Janelidze for the contribution the Georgian military are providing to the peacekeeping mission. Minister stated that Georgia stands ready to take part in the joint efforts of building peace and security worldwide. The sides highlighted the critical role of the EUMM in Georgia which is the only international monitoring mechanism. The sides expressed hope that this visit will provide the basis for strengthening ongoing partnership between Georgia and EU.

The EU high military representative arrived in Georgia yesterday. General Patrick de Rousiers has already met the Chief of the GS of GAF Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze. The EU Military Committee delegation laid wreath on the memorial of heroes who died in action for the territorial integrity of Georgia [The war with Russia in 2008] and paid tribute to their memory by holding a minute of silence.

In the framework of the visit meetings are planned with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili and President Giorgi Margvelashvili.

Towards the end of the visit, the Chairman of the EU Military Committee will visit Davit Agmashenebeli National Defence Academy. After viewing infrastructure, General will deliver the [Cuts off in the original]

Categories: Uncategorized

Isaac Rosenberg: O! ancient crimson curse! On receiving news of the war

November 28, 2014 Leave a comment

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

Isaac Rosenberg: Break of Day in the Trenches

Isaac Rosenberg: Dead Man’s Dump

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Isaac Rosenberg
On Receiving News of the War

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Snow is a strange white word.
No ice or frost
Has asked of bud or bird
For Winter’s cost.

Yet ice and frost and snow
From earth to sky
This Summer land doth know.
No man knows why.

In all men’s hearts it is.
Some spirit old
Hath turned with malign kiss
Our lives to mould.

Red fangs have torn His face.
God’s blood is shed.
He mourns from His lone place
His children dead.

O! ancient crimson curse!
Corrode, consume.
Give back this universe
Its pristine bloom.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO’s Top Military Commander In Ukraine To Discuss 227-Day War

November 27, 2014 2 comments

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europ
e
November 27, 2014

Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Philip Breedlove, visits Ukraine

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KIEV, Ukraine: Gen. Phil Breedlove, Supreme Allied Commander Europe and Commander, U.S. European Command (EUCOM), visited Kiev, Ukraine November 26-27 to speak with senior political and military leaders.

Breedlove, in his U.S. capacity, met with President Poroshenko, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, Minister of Defence, General-Colonel Stepan Poltorak and others to discuss the security situation in eastern Ukraine, support from the United States and reforms planned in the defense sector.

“Ukraine’s preservation of its sovereignty, which is under immediate threat from Russia, is the top priority of the country’s leadership and one that the international community fully supports,” said Breedlove.

While speaking with the press, Breedlove addressed the friends, families and loved ones of Ukrainian troops who have perished fighting Russian-backed forces in East Ukraine, and said he was deeply moved by the memorials to the fallen on Institutska St. in Kiev where many civilians gave their lives for the freedom of their country.

The U.S., NATO allies and the international community will remain committed to pursuing a diplomatic solution that respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, he said.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

Categories: Uncategorized

William Dean Howells: Warmongers should tremble when they remember that God is just

November 27, 2014 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

William Dean Howells: Editha

William Dean Howells to Henry James: The most stupid and causeless war

William Dean Howells: Spanish Prisoners of War

William Dean Howells to Mark Twain: War for humanity turned into war for coal-stations

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William Dean Howells
Member of the Anti-Imperialist League

From a letter to his sister Aurelia H. Howells
September 5, 1897

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On Wednesday we came to Weimar, and spent two days there. Goethe and Schiller lived there, you know, in the favor and friendship of the grand dukes, and literature was glorified as much there as war is elsewhere.

***

From a letter Aurelia H. Howells
May 1, 1898

The war seems to be taking its bloody course. Who wanted it? That is the mystery. I met a man last night who had been through Kansas, and that part of the West, where Eastern people think the war-feeling prevails; but he found only the greatest indifference and reluctance. The most we can hope for, now, is a clean fight-through with Spain, and no outside trouble; but this is uncertain, and in the meantime our wretched victories seem only a little less hateful than our defeats would be.

***

From a letter to Aurelia H. Howells
July 17, 1898

Yesterday Elinor and I went over to Kittery Point to see the Harvard, which had just come in with 1000 Spanish prisoners. We took a cat-boat and sailed out to her, where she laid in the stream; but the prisoners had been taken off in the morning, and we went up the Piscataqua river to Seavey’s Island where they are put – now 1700 in all. There we saw them lying on the grass, or crowding the doors of their long barracks, guarded by sentries twenty feet apart, and in peril of death if they passed a certain line within their high board fence; Gatling guns overlooked them from three heights above. It was better than fighting, but what must such captivity be to those poor boys! Just what it would be to ours in Spain. It seemed impossible that we should have entered upon this abominable business. If we were still in the habit of fearing God we might well tremble when we remember that he is just, as Jefferson did when he thought of slavery.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Conducts Naval Exercise In The Persian Gulf

November 26, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Maritime Command

November 26, 2014

NATO and Royal Navy of Oman conduct exercise

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ARABIAN SEA: The NATO counter-piracy flagship of Task Force 508 (CTF 508) HDMS ESBERN SNARE and the Royal Navy of Oman corvette RNOV AL-RASIKH have conducted a naval exercise in the Arabian Sea off Salalah. The exercise, which was held on Monday, 24 November, was designed to improve interoperability and strengthen relations between the forces.

The exercise focused mainly on communication, navigational exercises and demonstration of boarding capabilities. Prior to the exercise, personnel from the Royal Navy of Oman visited HDMS ESBERN SNARE while in port in Salalah to complete the planning of the exercise and get an introduction to the Special Maritime Insertion Unit (SMIU), one of HDMS ESBERN SNARE’s specialised assets for counter-piracy.

During the exercise, members of the CTF 508 staff and crew members from HDMS ESBERN SNARE and RNOV AL-RASIKH took turns visiting the other’s ship. Chief of Staff for CTF 508, Commander s.g. Jens Bjørnsteen, led the group of visitors to RNOV AL-RASIKH.

“It was a great experience to visit the AL-RASIKH during the exercise,” said Commander s.g. Bjornsteen…

Story by HQ MARCOM Public Affairs Office

Categories: Uncategorized

Brussels: NATO Tightens Ties With Iraq

November 26, 2014 1 comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
November 25, 2014

National Security Advisor from Iraq visits NATO

Iraqi National Security Advisor visits NATO

Iraq’s National Security Advisor, Mr. Falih Al Fayyadh, visited NATO Headquarters on Tuesday, 25 November 2014. He met with the NATO Deputy Secretary General, Ambassador Alexander Vershbow, and briefed NATO Permanent Representatives during a meeting of the North Atlantic Council chaired by NATO Secretary General, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg.

During his visit, Mr. Al Fayyadh and NATO Ambassadors shared views on the current security situation in Iraq and the region. They also discussed ways to enhance the NATO-Iraq cooperation, within the framework of the existing Individual Partnership Cooperation Programme (IPCP) between NATO and Iraq.

Categories: Uncategorized

Russia Top “Threat” To NATO: U.S. Troops In Eastern Europe Indefinitely

November 26, 2014 2 comments

U.S. Army News Service
November 24, 2014

Eastern Europe Troop Rotations Could Continue, Commander Says
By David Vergun

WASHINGTON: Soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Division and later replacement units will rotate to locations in Eastern Europe through the end of next year as part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, and those rotations could continue after next year and for the foreseeable future, the commander of U.S. Army Europe said today.

Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges spoke to reporters at the Pentagon from Vilnius, Lithuania, via a video teleconference.

The rotations — part of the Army’s regionally aligned forces concept — are taking place in Eastern Europe to provide “important assurance” to NATO allies of U.S. commitment and “deterrence to Russian aggression,” Hodges said. Also, the presence of U.S. forces in Eastern Europe will ensure a more rapid response, should aggression occur, he added.

Forward-stationed Forces With Rapid-response Capability

Because the United States no longer has a massive military presence as it had in West Germany during the Cold War, the current strategy is to provide forward-stationed forces with a rapid-response capability. The strategy also relies on training with local NATO forces, he said.

The other part of the strategy is to pre-position equipment in Eastern Europe, Hodges said. While there are logistical assets already in Germany, the idea is eventually to move a heavy brigade combat team with its tanks and Bradley vehicles to an area further east, such as Poland, Romania, or one of the Baltic countries, he added. The Defense and State departments, as well as NATO countries, are now discussing the location, he said.

Although “the footprint in Europe is much smaller than it used to be, we can still provide the needed capabilities,” the general said, adding that he’s hopeful that overseas contingency operations money will be approved for all of the necessary expenses that come with ramping up Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Two Reasons for Optimism

The reason for optimism is two-fold, he said. First, the U.S. has committed to a strategy to defend Eastern Europe’s NATO countries through the European Reassurance Initiative.

Second, NATO itself is now on board. “I’ve never seen the NATO alliance more unified than coming out of the [September] summit in Wales,” he said, explaining that the heads of NATO nations “recognized Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and its illegal activities inside eastern Ukraine.”

Hodges said he believes that with NATO resolve, Russia would not dare to engage in a conventional attack…

That NATO agreed to sanctions against Russia and declared its resolve against its aggression is all the more impressive, he said, because not all of the 28 NATO allies agree that Russia is the No. 1 threat the alliance faces. For example, some southern NATO countries see illegal immigration from North Africa as the bigger threat, and Turkey looks across its border at Iraq and Syria and sees the trouble there as its chief concern.

‘Strong Europe’ Slogan

That the U.S. Army is committed to standing alongside its European allies is reflected in a new slogan: “Strong Europe,” which is a take on the “Army Strong” slogan, Hodges said. The strength of the Army is its dedicated soldiers and their leaders, he said, many of whom will be spending Thanksgiving in Eastern Europe.

“I’m extremely proud of them,” he said, noting that he had spent time earlier in the day with soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Division in Lithuania. Later this week, he said, he’ll visit soldiers in Estonia and Poland.

Hodges said the United States and NATO will not be intimidated by Russian aggression, and that any aggression will be met with a firm and rapid response. He noted that a few months ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, “We can be in Vilnius in two days.”

“Well, I got here in three hours, coming from Wiesbaden,” Germany, Hodges said.

Categories: Uncategorized

Sherwood Anderson: War destroys brotherhood

November 26, 2014 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

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Sherwood Anderson
From The Marching Men (1916)

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In the world of men nothing is so rare as a knowledge of men. Christ himself found the merchants hawking their wares even on the floor of the temple and in his naive youth was stirred to wrath and drove them through the door like flies. And history has represented him in turn as a man of peace so that after these centuries the temples are again supported by the hawking of wares and his fine boyish wrath is forgotten. In France after the great revolution and the babbling of many voices talking of the brotherhood of man it wanted but a short and very determined man with an instinctive knowledge of drums, of cannons and of stirring words to send the same babblers screaming across open spaces, stumbling through ditches and pitching headlong into the arms of death. In the interest of one who believed not at all in the brotherhood of man they who had wept at the mention of the word brotherhood died fighting brothers.

***

Something is wrong with modern American life and we Americans do not want to look at it. We much prefer to call ourselves a great people and let it go at that. It is evening and the people of Chicago go home from work. Clatter, clatter, clatter, go the heels on the hard pavements, jaws wag, the wind blows and dirt drifts and sifts through the masses of the people. Every one has dirty ears. The stench in the street cars is horrible. The antiquated bridges over the rivers are packed with people. The suburban trains going away south and west are cheaply constructed and dangerous. A people calling itself great and living in a city also called great go to their houses a mere disorderly mass of humans cheaply equipped. Everything is cheap. When the people get home to their houses they sit on cheap chairs before cheap tables and eat cheap food. They have given their lives for cheap things. The poorest peasant of one of the old countries is surrounded by more beauty. His very equipment for living has more solidity.

***

McGregor began to read books of history and became absorbed in the figures of certain men, all soldiers and leaders of soldiers who stalked across the pages wherein was written the story of man’s life. The figures of Sherman, Grant, Lee, Jackson, Alexander, Caesar, Napoleon, and Wellington seemed to him to stand starkly up among the other figures in the books and going to the Public Library at the noon hour he got books concerning these men and for a time lost interest in the study of law and devoted himself to contemplation of the breakers of laws.

***

America is the land of murders. Day after day in cities and towns and on lonely country roads violent death creeps upon men. Undisciplined and disorderly in their way of life the citizens can do nothing. After each murder they cry out for new laws which, when they are written into the books of laws, the very lawmaker himself breaks. Harried through life by clamouring demands, their days leave them no time for the quietude in which thoughts grow. After days of meaningless hurry in the city they jump upon trains or street cars and hurry through their favourite paper to the ball game, the comic pictures and the market reports.

***

Men have not learned that we must come to understand the impulse toward order, have that burned into our consciousness, before we move on to other things. There is in us this madness for individual expression. For each of us the little moment of running forward and lifting our thin childish voices in the midst of the great silence. We have not learned that out of us all, walking shoulder to shoulder, there might arise a greater voice, something to make the waters of the very seas to tremble.

Categories: Uncategorized

War Footing: Stoltenberg Tells NATO States To Boost Military Spending

November 25, 2014 Leave a comment

UNIAN
November 24, 2014

Stoltenberg again urges NATO to increase defense spending

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has again urged the member countries of the alliance to increase defense spending, according to Russian information agency RIA Novosti.

“That which was decided at the summit in Wales was a significant increase in collective security,” Stoltenberg said at a meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in The Hague.

“This will help us to deal with any threats wherever they come from: from the east or from the south. It is important that we implement the plan on time and in full,” Stoltenberg said.

“All these efforts and priorities should be properly funded. All member countries should contribute to the implementation of the NATO Action Plan on preparedness,” he said.

“We can cut our defense spending in more peaceful times, and this could be right, but we do not live in peace now. It is necessary to stop cuts and to increase investment in our defense,” he added.

“All allies of the NATO should contribute their share,” the secretary general said.

He said that during the summit in Wales NATO member countries decided to increase defense spending to 2% of GDP the for 10 years. According to him, the United States, the United Kingdom, Greece and Estonia have already done so.

“I expect all of us will achieve this goal,” he said.

As reported earlier, on September 5 during the NATO summit in Wales, NATO member countries adopted a plan to strengthen a collective defense of the alliance, and agreed on the creation of a rapid reaction force. NATO said the moves were in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Categories: Uncategorized

Theodore Dreiser: The logic of military victory, an apologue

November 25, 2014 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

Theodore Dreiser: If he went he might be shot, and what would his noble emotion amount to then? He would rather make money, regulate current political, social and financial affairs

Theodore Dreiser and Smedley Butler: War is a Racket

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Theodore Dreiser
From The Financier (1912)

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There was a fish-market not so very far from his home, and there, on his way to see his father at the bank, or conducting his brothers on after-school expeditions, he liked to look at a certain tank in front of one store where were kept odd specimens of sea-life brought in by the Delaware Bay fishermen. He saw once there a sea-horse – just a queer little sea-animal that looked somewhat like a horse – and another time he saw an electric eel which Benjamin Franklin’s discovery had explained. One day he saw a squid and a lobster put in the tank, and in connection with them was witness to a tragedy which stayed with him all his life and cleared things up considerably intellectually. The lobster, it appeared from the talk of the idle bystanders, was offered no food, as the squid was considered his rightful prey. He lay at the bottom of the clear glass tank on the yellow sand, apparently seeing nothing – you could not tell in which way his beady, black buttons of eyes were looking – but apparently they were never off the body of the squid. The latter, pale and waxy in texture, looking very much like pork fat or jade, moved about in torpedo fashion; but his movements were apparently never out of the eyes of his enemy, for by degrees small portions of his body began to disappear, snapped off by the relentless claws of his pursuer. The lobster would leap like a catapult to where the squid was apparently idly dreaming, and the squid, very alert, would dart away, shooting out at the same time a cloud of ink, behind which it would disappear. It was not always completely successful, however. Small portions of its body or its tail were frequently left in the claws of the monster below. Fascinated by the drama, young Cowperwood came daily to watch.

One morning he stood in front of the tank, his nose almost pressed to the glass. Only a portion of the squid remained, and his ink-bag was emptier than ever. In the corner of the tank sat the lobster, poised apparently for action.

The boy stayed as long as he could, the bitter struggle fascinating him. Now, maybe, or in an hour or a day, the squid might die, slain by the lobster, and the lobster would eat him. He looked again at the greenish-copperish engine of destruction in the corner and wondered when There was a fish-market not so very far from his home, and there, on his way to see his father at the bank, or conducting his brothers on after-school expeditions, he liked to look at a certain tank in front of one store where were kept odd specimens of sea-life brought in by the Delaware Bay fishermen. He saw once there a sea-horse – just a queer little sea-animal that looked somewhat like a horse – and another time he saw an electric eel which Benjamin Franklin’s discovery had explained. One day he saw a squid and a lobster put in the tank, and in connection with them was witness to a tragedy which stayed with him all his life and cleared things up considerably intellectually. The lobster, it appeared from the talk of the idle bystanders, was offered no food, as the squid was considered his rightful prey. He lay at the bottom of the clear glass tank on the yellow sand, apparently seeing nothing – you could not tell in which way his beady, black buttons of eyes were looking – but apparently they were never off the body of the squid. The latter, pale and waxy in texture, looking very much like pork fat or jade, moved about in torpedo fashion; but his movements were apparently never out of the eyes of his enemy, for by degrees small portions of his body began to disappear, snapped off by the relentless claws of his pursuer. The lobster would leap like a catapult to where the squid was apparently idly dreaming, and the squid, very alert, would dart away, shooting out at the same time a cloud of ink, behind which it would disappear. It was not always completely successful, however. Small portions of its body or its tail were frequently left in the claws of the monster below. Fascinated by the drama, young Cowperwood came daily to watch.

One morning he stood in front of the tank, his nose almost pressed to the glass. Only a portion of the squid remained, and his ink-bag was emptier than ever. In the corner of the tank sat the lobster, poised apparently for action.

The boy stayed as long as he could, the bitter struggle fascinating him. Now, maybe, or in an hour or a day, the squid might die, slain by the lobster, and the lobster would eat him. He looked again at the greenish-copperish engine of destruction in the corner and wondered when this would be. To-night, maybe. He would come back to-night.

He returned that night, and lo! the expected had happened. There was a little crowd around the tank. The lobster was in the corner. Before him was the squid cut in two and partially devoured.

“He got him at last,” observed one bystander. “I was standing right here an hour ago, and up he leaped and grabbed him. The squid was too tired. He wasn’t quick enough. He did back up, but that lobster he calculated on his doing that. He’s been figuring on his movements for a long time now. He got him to-day.”

Frank only stared. Too bad he had missed this. The least touch of sorrow for the squid came to him as he stared at it slain. Then he gazed at the victor. “That’s the way it has to be, I guess,” he commented to himself. “That squid wasn’t quick enough.” He figured it out.

“The squid couldn’t kill the lobster – he had no weapon. The lobster could kill the squid – he was heavily armed. There was nothing for the squid to feed on; the lobster had the squid as prey. What was the result to be? What else could it be? He didn’t have a chance,” he concluded finally, as he trotted on homeward.

The incident made a great impression on him. It answered in a rough way that riddle which had been annoying him so much in the past: “How is life organized?” Things lived on each other – that was it. Lobsters lived on squids and other things. What lived on lobsters? Men, of course! Sure, that was it! And what lived on men? he asked himself. Was it other men? Wild animals lived on men. And there were Indians and cannibals. And some men were killed by storms and accidents. He wasn’t so sure about men living on men; but men did kill each other. How about wars and street fights and mobs?…

***

There is a certain fish, the scientific name of which is Mycteroperca Bonaci, its common name Black Grouper, which is of considerable value as an afterthought in this connection, and which deserves to be better known. It is a healthy creature, growing quite regularly to a weight of two hundred and fifty pounds, and lives a comfortable, lengthy existence because of its very remarkable ability to adapt itself to conditions. That very subtle thing which we call the creative power, and which we endow with the spirit of the beatitudes, is supposed to build this mortal life in such fashion that only honesty and virtue shall prevail. Witness, then, the significant manner in which it has fashioned the black grouper. One might go far afield and gather less forceful indictments – the horrific spider spinning his trap for the unthinking fly; the lovely Drosera (Sundew) using its crimson calyx for a smothering-pit in which to seal and devour the victim of its beauty; the rainbow-colored jellyfish that spreads its prismed tentacles like streamers of great beauty, only to sting and torture all that falls within their radiant folds. Man himself is busy digging the pit and fashioning the snare, but he will not believe it. His feet are in the trap of circumstance; his eyes are on an illusion.

Mycteroperca moving in its dark world of green waters is as fine an illustration of the constructive genius of nature, which is not beatific, as any which the mind of man may discover. Its great superiority lies in an almost unbelievable power of simulation, which relates solely to the pigmentation of its skin. In electrical mechanics we pride ourselves on our ability to make over one brilliant scene into another in the twinkling of an eye, and flash before the gaze of an onlooker picture after picture, which appear and disappear as we look. The directive control of Mycteroperca over its appearance is much more significant. You cannot look at it long without feeling that you are witnessing something spectral and unnatural, so brilliant is its power to deceive. From being black it can become instantly white; from being an earth-colored brown it can fade into a delightful water-colored green. Its markings change as the clouds of the sky. One marvels at the variety and subtlety of its power.

Lying at the bottom of a bay, it can simulate the mud by which it is surrounded. Hidden in the folds of glorious leaves, it is of the same markings. Lurking in a flaw of light, it is like the light itself shining dimly in water. Its power to elude or strike unseen is of the greatest.

What would you say was the intention of the overruling, intelligent, constructive force which gives to Mycteroperca this ability? To fit it to be truthful? To permit it to present an unvarying appearance which all honest life-seeking fish may know? Or would you say that subtlety, chicanery, trickery, were here at work? An implement of illusion one might readily suspect it to be, a living lie, a creature whose business it is to appear what it is not, to simulate that with which it has nothing in common, to get its living by great subtlety, the power of its enemies to forefend against which is little. The indictment is fair.

Would you say, in the face of this, that a beatific, beneficent creative, overruling power never wills that which is either tricky or deceptive? Or would you say that this material seeming in which we dwell is itself an illusion? If not, whence then the Ten Commandments and the illusion of justice? Why were the Beatitudes dreamed of and how do they avail?

Categories: Uncategorized

Lithuania: NATO Chief Stresses War Readiness In Northeast Europe

November 24, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
November 21, 2014

Secretary General stresses NATO’s commitment to collective security in visit to Lithuania

The Alliance’s Air Policing Mission over the three Baltic States was hailed as a concrete example of NATO solidarity in action by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a visit to the Karmelava Airspace Control Centre in Lithuania on Friday (21 November 2014). ”Collective defence is our core task,” Mr Stoltenberg said, “NATO stands with Lithuania – as we do with each and every Ally.”

At Karmelava, the Secretary General and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaité were briefed on the air policing mission at the control centre’s operations room.

They also met troops from Lithuania, Denmark, Hungary and the United States, currently training at Karmelava.

Meeting with President Grybauskaite, Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius and Defence Minister Juozas Olekas, Mr Stoltenberg discussed current security challenges and the implications of Russia’s continued aggressive actions in Ukraine. He outlined ongoing work to implement the Readiness Action Plan agreed at the NATO Wales Summit, stressing that “this plan is the key to ensuring we are capable to deal with the challenges that we face.”

Mr Stoltenberg thanked Lithuania for its operational contributions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, as well as for its leadership on energy security. He welcomed Lithuania’s commitment to increase its defence spending. “In these turbulent times, this commitment is more precious than ever,” the Secretary General said.

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Special Operations Troops Conduct Training In Ukraine

November 24, 2014 Leave a comment

United States European Command
November 21, 2014

SOCEUR medical team coaches and mentors Ukrainian soldiers
By Media Operations Division

Stuttgart, Germany: U.S. European Command spokesman Navy Capt. Greg Hicks, director of Communication and Engagement, provided the following statement:

“A medical team from Special Operations Command Europe has deployed from Stuttgart, Germany to Western Ukraine in order to coach and mentor Ukrainian Ministry of Defense personnel on basic battlefield medical procedures in order to enhance point of injury care.

The decision to deploy this coaching and mentoring team is based on requests from the Ukrainian Government for assistance and feedback from assessments that were conducted over the last several months which identified a need for enhanced individual medical capabilities.

Initially the mission will focus on coaching and mentoring close to 600 Ukrainian Ministry of Defense personnel (military) to develop a pool of individuals who are capable of conducting basic battlefield medical care.

“The medical team from Special Operations Command Europe is working in close coordination with the NGO Patriot Defense on this mission. Patriot Defense has conducted similar events for Ukrainian military forces since May 2014 in addition to providing the attendees with Individual First-Aid Kits (IFAK) upon completion.”

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U.S. To Ramp Up Military Aid To Ukraine

November 24, 2014 Leave a comment

UNIAN
November 24, 2014

US ‘to step up military aid to Ukraine’

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Sources at the U.S. presidential administration have said the United States will ramp up its military aid to Ukraine and that they expect that the U.S. Congress will allocate additional funds from the budget for this purpose.

This was reported by U.S. officials at a briefing on the results of the visit of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden to Morocco, Ukraine and Turkey, Russian information agency TASS has reported.

“We are expanding our assistance to Ukraine in the area of security,” a U.S. official said.

“Our first radars for the detection and suppression of mortar detachments have been already delivered there, with a few more expected soon. We are also delivering [to Ukraine] military equipment and technology surplus, particularly, high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (Humvees) and other vehicles. We have already allocated $100 million for these purposes and hope we will be able to spend tens of millions [of dollars] on training [Ukrainian military personnel]. We’re discussing the provision of funds with Congress.”

At the same time, regarding the financial and economic assistance to Ukraine, U.S. officials said these should come from many countries and international organizations.

“We’re not able to provide sufficient funds alone. There is a need for the participation of the IMF and the European countries,” a source in the Obama administration said.

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Ukrinform
November 24, 2014

U.S. delivers first counter-mortar radar systems to Ukraine

KYIV: The U.S. military have delivered the first three lightweight, counter-mortar radar systems for the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren told this to reporters on November 21, a Ukrinform correspondent reported.

“The radar systems see incoming mortar fire and quickly calculate the point of origin of a mortar round fired by the enemy, and allows friendly forces to react appropriately,” Warren said.

He added that the Ukrainian Armed Forces would determine how, where and when they will employ the systems.

According to the press service of the Pentagon, the radar systems are the first few of 20 that will be delivered during the next several weeks and U.S. military members will begin training Ukrainian armed forces in mid-December.

The radar systems are part of the $118 million in equipment and training the United States has committed to assisting Ukraine’s armed forces.

“We’re working closely with the Ukrainians through the interagency process,” Warren said.

As for military aid to Ukraine, prior to Biden’s trip Washington announced that this would be increased. Moscow immediately said this would include the supply of offensive military weapons, which runs contrary to the Geneva agreements regarding Ukraine reached on April 17.

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Ukrainian Junta Chief: Hold Vote For NATO Membership

November 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Ukrinform
November 24, 2014

Stoltenberg confirms that Ukraine could become NATO member

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KYIV: Ukraine will become a member of NATO if it fulfills the criteria required for membership of the alliance.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said this at a meeting of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in The Hague on Monday, a Ukrinform correspondent reported.

“Our policy is the same. The door is open for countries which fulfill the criteria for becoming NATO allies. That’s also valid for Ukraine,” he said.

Stoltenberg said that the open-door policy had been successful for NATO and the countries that joined the alliance.

“I remember the summit in Bucharest where we decided that Ukraine will become a member, and that decision still stands, of course, providing that Ukraine fulfills the criteria for membership and providing that Ukraine so will,” he said.

As reported, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that in the short term the partnership between Ukraine and NATO was possible, but not the membership.

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http://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/235920.html

Interfax-Ukraine
November 21, 2014

Ukraine to hold referendum on Ukraine’s accession to NATO – Poroshenko
 

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said a decision on Ukraine’s accession to NATO will be made at a referendum.

“The decision on accession to NATO lies solely in the competence of the people of Ukraine […] We have made the criteria according to which Ukraine will meet NATO requirements. The people of Ukraine will only be able to decide whether to enter NATO or not at a referendum after they are achieved,” Poroshenko said at a joint press conference with Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite in Kyiv on Monday.

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NATO Nations To Boost Support To Ukraine, Confront Russia

November 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Interfax-Ukraine
November 24, 2014

NATO nations urge to boost Ukraine support, stand firm on Russia

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NATO nations must boost support to Ukraine and take a firm stance with Russia as “a very difficult winter” looms for the government in Kyiv, parliamentarians and experts warned Sunday at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s Annual Session.

In a draft resolution adopted by the assembly’s Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security, allied governments were urged to consider fresh political, economic, material and technical backing to help Ukraine protect its territory and build a strong and accountable state.

The resolution, which is expected to be adopted by a full plenary session in The Hague on Monday, calls for continued sanctions against Russia until it abides by international law and helps wind back all illegal territorial gains.

NATO should take a tough line, confirming that it will never recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea and, the text said, that the “Alliance’s door would remain open for further enlargement.”

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Robert Graves: War’s path of death, decay and decomposition

November 24, 2014 Leave a comment

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

Robert Graves: Selections on war

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

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We had no blankets, greatcoats or waterproof sheets, not any time or material to build new shelters. The rain continued. Every night we went out to fetch in the dead of the other battalions. The Germans continued indulgent and we had very few casualties. After the first day or two the corpses swelled and stank. I vomited more than once while superintending the carrying. Those we could not get in from the German wire continued to swell until the wall of the stomach collapsed, either naturally or when punctured by a bullet; a disgusting smell would float across. The colour of the dead faces changed from white to yellow-grey, to red, to purple, to green, to black, to slimy.

***

The next two days we went in bivouacs outside Mametz Wood. We were in fighting kit and felt the cold at night, so I went into the wood to find German overcoats to use as blankets. It was full of Prussian Guards Reservists, big men, and dead Royal Welch and South Wales Borderers of the New Army Battalions, little men. Not a single tree in the wood remained unbroken. I collected my overcoats and hurried out as quickly as I could, climbing out as quickly as I could, climbing through the wreckage of green branches. Going and coming, by the only possible route, I passed by the bloating and stinking corpse of a German with his back propped against a tree. He had a green face, spectacles, close-shaven hair; black blood was dripping from the nose and beard. I came across two other unforgettable corpses: a man of the South Wales Borderers and one of the Lehr Regiment had succeeded in bayoneting each other simultaneously. A survivor of the fighting told me later that he had seen a young soldier of the Fourteenth Royal Welch bayoneting a German in parade-ground style, automatically exclaiming: ‘In, out, on guard!’

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Nuland In Riga: U.S. Ready For War Over Latvian NATO Satrap

November 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Xinhua News Agency
November 20, 2014

U.S. supports Latvia as NATO ally: visiting US official

RIGA: The United States is strongly committed to providing support to Latvia as a NATO ally, Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State, told the press during her visit to Latvia, Baltic News Service reported.

She said that presence of American soldiers not only demonstrated the U.S. support to Latvia but also was an excellent chance for the young Americans to gain knowledge about the Baltic states.

Nuland met with Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics and they discussed Latvia’s upcoming Presidency of the Council of the EU, the EU-US trade agreement, energy independence and various aspects of bilateral cooperation.

It was agreed to continue close cooperation towards strengthening security in the region. Rinkevics voiced hope that progress will be made in the talks about the EU-US free trade agreement during Latvia’s EU Presidency.

Nuland and Rinkevics also discussed the developments in Ukraine.

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Interview On Afghanistan: U.S. Troops To Have Combat Troops Indefinitely

November 23, 2014 1 comment

Press TV
November 22, 2014

US troops to have combat role indefinitely: Analyst
The Obama administration will continue combat operations in Afghanistan indefinitely, Rick Rozoff said.

Audio

The United States will “continue combat operations” in Afghanistan for an indefinite period, says a political analyst.

“The Obama administration, with or without the knowledge of Congress, but certainly without revealing this to the American populace, has decided to continue combat operations by US military forces in Afghanistan beyond this year, into the next and presumably indefinitely,” Rick Rozoff, manager at Stop NATO International, told Press TV on Saturday.

According to a new report, President Barack Obama has secretly signed an order allowing US troops to be involved in combat operations in Afghanistan throughout 2015.

The order will authorize American forces to continue their missions against the Taliban and other militant groups, the New York Times reported on Friday.

Rozoff said the secret order is another startling indication of how “condescending and disrespectful” the US is towards the agreement reached with the new government of Afghanistan as well as “the international community.”

Obama claims the 10,000 troops remaining in Afghanistan will only be involved in training Afghan forces, but Rozoff said they will engage in combat operations.

“We’re told that the remaining 10 to 15 thousand troops would be limited to ‘train and equip’ operations but anyone with any historical memory in the United States or worldwide realizes that was the official explanation for the introduction of American armed forces in Indochina in 1960s, into Laos and Vietnam, and the role rapidly grew from alleged training to commanding and ultimately half a million troops fighting the war,” he noted.

“There is always a possibility of the US having a foundation of 10 to 15 thousand troops, many of those participating in active combat roles,” he explained.

Rozoff concluded that the US “wants to maintain military presence in that very strategically vital part of the world and even if the troop levels have been reduced… the US and its NATO allies maintain several major air bases in Afghanistan.”

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Franz Werfel: War behind and in front, outside and inside

November 23, 2014 Leave a comment

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

Franz Werfel: Selections on war

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

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…I wan’t afraid of the infantry attack of the reinforced Russian army that was to drive us across the endless beet fields of this countryside in disorderly retreat only a few hours later. I was not even afraid of captivity, although I mechanically felt for the leather pouch that hung from a cord around my neck. In this pouch my mother had sewed a few gold pieces in case I should be taken captive. I distinctly remembered falling asleep again, cheerful and carefree, my head on my arms.

And I remembered just as distinctly that much had changed when I awakened, or rather, when I was wakened, an hour later. The dial of my clock no longer glowed, for the moon shone into the room even more brightly than before. But that was not all. Not only the moon and the ticking time shared Pani Pozñanskà’s hole-in-the-wall with me. Someone had climbed in through the open window, had moved one of the wooden chairs next to my bed, and sat there looking at me. It was a soldier. Who else could it have been? Outside of Mrs. Pozñanskà and a couple of ancient Jews there were no civilians in this front-line town. It was a mud-bedaubed infantryman who had come straight out of the trench that ran along the edge of the village. The man had a typical trench-beard, the kind that grew even on the youngest men, stubby, bushy, matted, blond in spots, brown in others, and both in the same square inch. Such uninhibited, luxuriant facial vegetation always reminded me of rolled-up, rusty barbed wire.

The soldier sitting on my bed was in full kit. His rolled pack bulged above his shoulders. Suspended from two dirty bands crossed over his chest his canteen hung on the left, his ration bag on the right. He held his rifle between his knees. He had drawn the short, sharp bayonet from its scabbard and, much to my surprise, he carved off a good solid hunk from a loaf of sour-smelling black bread. The remainder of the loaf he stowed away methodically in the ration bag. Now he held the thick slice of bread in his left hand, and with the bayonet in his right he made painstakingly regular incisions in the slice. I was fascinated by the skillfull manner in which he handled the dry, crumbly, rye-and-corn war bread so that not a particle feel on the floor. And now he pushed the first cube of bread into his mouth and began to chew slowly and thoughtfully. At the same time he kept staring at me intently, unwaveringly, from two very deep-set eyes. Or rather, he didn’t stare at me with any kind of eyes, but with two attentive, shadowy, black spots. It was a horrible dismal stare. I felt the man’s hatred in every slow, taunting motion. More than hatred. The man was a reproach personified. And this nameless reproach was directed against me personally, as though I were responsible for everything, for the grime, the war, the barrage, and death. I remembered with great clarity that I accepted the intruder’s reproach with all my soul as I lay there in the moonlight, I, who wasn’t any more than he, a common ordinary soldier. I didn’t wonder a bit why he had climbed in my window, of all people, instead of into that of the commanding general, or at least of a major or a lieutenant-colonel. Without shifting his gloomy, eyeless stare from me he shoved the next cube of bread into his mouth with the same hand that held the bayonet. The man stank of filth and mud and weeks of unwashedness and also of iodoform, as though he had been wounded and had a bandage under his uniform. His overcoat was no longer fieldgray, or rather fieldblue, as Austro-Hungarian Army regulations prescribed, but yellowish brown, like a plowed field or an open grave.

I tried to break the spell that held me, to utter a word, to move my hand. I couldn’t. Then I was almost certain that the soldier here beside me was a dream soldier. Despite the consciousness of danger I closed my eyes for a few seconds in order to give the dream a chance to dissolve. When I opened them again the infantryman had leaned his rifle against my bed and had risen to his full skinny height, as though the time for action had come. He was no longer chewing. He was only staring. But his stare was no longer the horribly dismal stare of personified reproach; it was an objective, calculating stare from small, pale, real eyes. His right hand was behind his back. His left hand lay on my chest. It was fingering the leather pouch with the gold pieces. It was tugging at the cord.

Then I understood at last. I was lying under the knife of a murderer. And then I managed to scream, “Who are you? What do you want?”

It was a terrible thing to be lying under the murderer’s knife. Anyone who hasn’t experienced it and survived the experience cannot possibly comprehend it. I lay helpless in the sleeping bag that prevented me from struggling. As I screamed I knew perfectly well that my scream forced the murderer’s hand, that it compelled him to plunge the concealed bayonet into my breast. I expected the thrust with a deadly certainty.

But the soldier turned his head toward the window. He had heard something that I had not yet heard. “Military patrol. Room inspection,” he said briefly with a foreign accent.

“Military patrol” was our word for Military Police. I recalled that I heard these words with relief. My window had been open and the Military Police on their rounds had checked to see who was sleeping here. Everything was in order. But in the next second I knew that this man in the filthy, stinking uniform, in front-line kit, without a brassard and corporal’s insignia, could never be in command of a military patrol. At last I untangled myself from the sleeping bag. I leaped to my feet. To the window. He could only be a few feet away. Many soldiers were running around outside, buttoning their coats, strapping on their pack-rolls, shouldering their rifles. “Military patrol,” I shouted, but no one paid any attention, for the Russian barrage had already begun. A few moments later it had grown into an unbroken, inarticulate roar. The first shells began to drop. The black trees that were explosions grew out of the ground. A house at the other end of the street received a full hit.

I dressed calmly. General Brusilov, whose shells whined through the air, had saved me from the hand of a murderer. It was really quite illogical that the murderer should have been frightened off by the artillery fire…

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State Department: U.S. Will Welcome Truncated Ukraine In NATO

November 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Interfax-Ukraine
November 21, 2014

U.S. open-door policy with respect to Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic prospects unchanged – State Department

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Washington does not object to Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership, U.S. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said at a briefing on Friday.

“With respect to their security policy and their calls for ties with NATO, our policy is that the door remains open, and the countries that are willing to contribute to security in the Euro-Atlantic alliance, in the Euro-Atlantic space are welcome to apply for membership,” he said.

When asked by a journalist, how Washington assesses Moscow’s objection to Ukraine’s joining the Alliance, the spokesman said: “Ukrainians have the right to make their own decisions about what policies they want to pursue [sic]. That’s really their responsibility.”

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Estonia: NATO Conducts Largest-Ever Cyber Warfare Exercise

November 22, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation

November 21, 2014

NATO’s largest Cyber Defence Exercise Concludes

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NATO’s largest annual Cyber Defence exercise concluded today in Tartu, Estonia. Exercise “Cyber Coalition 2014″ (CC14) included participants from 26 NATO member nations as well as five Partnership for Peace (PfP) nations.

As the exercise was being held in Estonia, this year’s event was NATO’s first official use of the Estonian Defence Force’s Cyber Range since the Wales Summit. There, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT) and the Estonian Minister of Defence signed a Memorandum of Understanding which formalised NATO’s use of the Estonian capability.

While this was a cyber-defence exercise, the exercise objectives went far beyond items such as malware analysis and other strictly technical challenges.

The specific objectives for this year’s exercise were to hold decision-making and exercise coordination between NATO entities and national cyber defence capabilities, also in PfP nations, information sharing, and to challenge collective technical capabilities…

In response to the recognised need to garner increased industry involvement in NATO Cyber Defence measures, the exercise was opened up to representatives form industry, academia, and scientific institutes as observers.

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Ambrose Bierce: Selections on war

November 22, 2014 Leave a comment
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Poland: 1,000 British Troops, 100 Armored Vehicles In NATO War Games

November 21, 2014 Leave a comment

BBC News
November 21, 2014

British army in Nato Black Eagle exercise

The British army is taking part in its largest armoured deployment to Eastern Europe in six years, in a show of support, the Ministry of Defence says.

More than 1,000 military personnel and 100 armoured vehicles have joined Nato’s Black Eagle exercise in Poland.

The MoD said it showed the British army’s ability to deploy “at short notice anywhere in the world” in support of its allies.

The exercise comes amid tensions with Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

The British army’s “lead armoured battle group” of 1,350 troops and 100 armoured vehicles from the 3rd UK Division are taking part – making it the UK’s largest commitment to the region since 2008.

It’s been almost a decade since British tanks were last seen rolling across the plains of Eastern Europe.

In northern Poland they have been back in force in a scene reminiscent of the Cold War era.

This is the furthest east in Europe British tanks have been.

And it’s a direct response to the actions of a near neighbour – Russia’s intervention in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

But Defence Secretary Michael Fallon says it’s not Nato but President Putin who’s fuelling talk of a new Cold War by violating international law.

Britain is planning more exercises like this, as part of a Nato response to reassure allies on its eastern flank.

The irony is that it comes at a time when British forces that were stationed in Germany to deal with the threat of the former Soviet Union are slowly pulling out.

As part of the exercise, The King’s Royal Hussars (KRH) have operated 20 Battle Tanks and conducted live battlefield scenarios alongside Polish counterparts.

Meanwhile the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh have provided troops on the ground.

The MoD said the exercise marked “a significant demonstration of the UK’s support to the region” as well as “the British army’s ability to deploy an armoured battle group at short notice anywhere in the world in support of the nation’s allies”.

Exercise Black Eagle follows the early departure of Russian President Vladimir Putin from the G20 summit of world leaders in Australia on Sunday.

Prime Minister David Cameron said those at the summit had sent a “very clear message” to President Putin about the West’s readiness to ramp up sanctions unless he took action to defuse the current crisis in Ukraine.

When the UK announced its commitment to the exercise in July this year, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon criticised Russia’s “illegal annexation of Crimea and its destabilisation of eastern Ukraine”.

He said: “It is right that Nato members and partners demonstrate our commitment to the collective security of our allies in Eastern Europe.”

The exercise will finish later on Friday when the Chief of the General Staff, Commander Land Forces Lieutenant and high-ranking Polish officials will be shown a display of battlefield manoeuvres.

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Ukraine: U.S.-Appointed Coaltion Makes NATO Membership Priority

November 21, 2014 2 comments

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
November 21, 2014

New Ukraine Coalition Agreed, Sets NATO As Priority

Ukraine’s newly agreed five-party ruling coalition has reportedly set the country’s membership of NATO as its major goal.

The coalition comprises the Petro Poroshenko Bloc, the Popular Front, Samopomich (Self-Rule), the Radical Party, and Batkivshchyna (Fatherland).

The five pro-Western parties that passed the 5 percent threshold in last month’s parliamentary elections control a total of 288 seats in 421-seat parliament.

They reportedly hammered out a draft agreement early on November 21, after hours — and indeed weeks — of negotiations.

The official signing of the coalition agreement is expected to take place at the first session of the new parliament scheduled for November 27.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said at a ceremony to initial the document that the coalition would be made up of 300 legislators out of a total of 450 seats.

He also said that new Cabinet would be established in 10 days, adding that preparation of the agenda of the new government was under way.

Ukrainian media reports cite participants as saying that besides joining NATO the coalition also agreed that the return of Russian-occupied Crimea under Ukrainian control will be one of its major goals.

It also mentioned as a priority the protection of the legal interests of Crimean Tatars, as well as all Ukrainian citizens living in “occupied territories.”

The parties also agreed on working together toward Ukraine’s integration into the European Union.

The coalition also called for permanent military bases in the country’s east, where the Ukrainian army is fighting a pro-Russia insurgency,and for the allocation of at least 3 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product for defense.

The agreement is expected to be officially presented in parliament later on November 21.

Out of a total of 421 candidates elected to the Verkhovna Rada in the October 26 polls, 225 were elected based on party lists, and 196 in districts using a first-past-the-post electoral system.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who arrived to Kyiv on November 20, is holding talks with President Petro Poroshenko in the Ukrainian capital on November 21.

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Biden Orders Ukrainian Vassals To Hasten Formation Of New Junta

November 21, 2014 Leave a comment

Interfax-Ukraine
November 21, 2014

U.S. expects Ukraine to form new govt in next few days – Biden

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United States Vice President Joe Biden has said that the new Ukrainian government must be formed over the next few days.

At a press conference held jointly with Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko in Kyiv on Friday he told Ukrainians to create a new government over the next few days, not weeks.

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Ukrinform
November 21, 2014

Yatseniuk meets with Biden

KYIV: Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk has held talks with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who is on a visit to Kyiv, the press service of the Cabinet of Ministers has told Ukrinform.

According to the press service, Yatseniuk told Biden that a coalition agreement had already been initialed and that Ukraine expected the speedy formation of a new Cabinet of Ministers “to implement the association and free trade agreement with the EU, move forward, change the country and implement real reforms.”

The U.S. vice president stressed the importance of yesterday initialing of the coalition agreement. He said that it was important for the whole world to see that Ukraine had completed this process, appointed all ministers appointed and started to work.

He said that Ukraine had already made significant steps in the fight against corruption and in attempts to stabilize the economy in this very difficult situation. The United States wants to help Ukraine, Biden said.

In the afternoon Biden is to hold talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

Categories: Uncategorized

Baltics: NATO Chief Tours Next Projected War Zone

November 21, 2014 1 comment

Stars and Stripes
November 20, 2014

NATO chief reassures allies on Baltic tour
By Matt Millham

Touring through the Baltics for the first time as NATO’s civilian chief, Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday that Russian military activity in the region was reminiscent of the Cold War, noting that the number of intercepts of Russian planes this year had dramatically increased.

Stoltenberg was in Estonia on the first leg of a tour through NATO countries most concerned about the spread of Russian aggression from Ukraine to the alliance’s eastern reaches.

The U.S. deployed paratroopers to the Baltics in April, sending a company each to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. NATO and alliance leaders have made regular stops in the region to offer reassurances as Moscow’s meddling in Ukraine and aggressive maneuvers on NATO’s borders continue.

NATO aircraft have already intercepted Russian military planes in the Baltics more than 100 times this year, Stoltenberg said at a news conference at Estonia’s Amari air base. That is a threefold increase over the previous year, he said.

I would say [Russia’s] military posture right on the alliance borders has been a very powerful wake-up call for us all,” said Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas, who met with Stoltenberg Thursday.

Stoltenberg, who took over as NATO’s secretary-general Oct. 1, said his top priority is implementing the action plan alliance members agreed to at a summit in September. The plan includes building a quick-reaction force capable of deploying within days.

Stoltenberg declined to take a position on France’s sale of amphibious assault ships to Russia — a deal that was postponed after the downing in July of a civilian airliner over an area held by pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine.

A group of U.S. lawmakers last month urged Stoltenberg to buy the ships to prevent an alliance member from bolstering Russia’s military capabilities.

“NATO doesn’t possess, NATO doesn’t sell military equipment,” Stoltenberg said. “That’s something the nations are doing or not doing.”

Categories: Uncategorized

“Defending NATO Territory” German Warplanes Deployed Near Russian Border

November 21, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

November 21, 2014

German Eurofighters Assigned to NATO Air Policing Busy In Estonia

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Having completed half their rotation, German pilots and crew assigned to NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission have been extremely busy. NATO’s Baltic Air Policing Mission has conducted over 100 intercepts in 2014 to date, which is about three times more than were conducted in 2013. The vast majority of these intercepts occurred in international air space, over the Baltic Sea, in the air corridor between Kaliningrad and mainland Russia.

“We have seen a large increase in Russian Aircraft in international Airspace, said Lieutenant-Colonel Rauno Sirk, the Commander of Amari Air Base in Estonia, who believes that the Russian military may be trying to send a message by increasing flights over the Baltic Sea. “As a result, we have executed numerous defensive intercepts,” he added.

…When an unknown aircraft approaches NATO airspace the Alliance launches fighter jets to intercept, indentify and escort the aircraft.

“It is very important to demonstrate our responsiveness and our reaction on all aspects of the Air Policing Mission,” said Lt. Col Gordon Schnittker, the Mission leader of the German Air Detachment . “[It] is very important that our presence has reinforced our resolve to defend NATO territory,” he added.

Since the arrival of the German Eurofighters, the Wing has also been able to conduct various types of aviation training with Canadian and Dutch fighters currently on assignment in the region. This training has included advanced air-to-air flying between Allies as well as additional training for ground crews and support staff.

The German detachment is scheduled to complete its rotation at the end of the year, and will be replaced by a Spanish detachment in January 2015.

Story by: SHAPE Public Affairs

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Cornwall: 22-Nation NATO Rapid Reaction Corps War Games (Video)

November 21, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

November 20, 2014

Video: Review of Exercise ARRCADE FUSION 2014

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George Bernard Shaw: Soldiering is the coward’s art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong, and keeping out of harm’s way when you are weak

November 21, 2014 Leave a comment

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

George Bernard Shaw: Selections on war

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George Bernard Shaw
From Arms and the Man (1894)

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MAN. You never saw a cavalry charge, did you?

RAINA. How could I?

MAN. Ah, perhaps not — of course. Well, it’s a funny sight. It’s like slinging a handful of peas against a window pane: first one comes; then two or three close behind him; and then all the rest in a lump.

RAINA (her eyes dilating as she raises her clasped hands ecstatically). Yes, first One! — the bravest of the brave!

MAN (prosaically). Hm! you should see the poor devil pulling at his horse.

RAINA. Why should he pull at his horse?

MAN (impatient of so stupid a question). It’s running away with him, of course: do you suppose the fellow wants to get there before the others and be killed? Then they all come. You can tell the young ones by their wildness and their slashing. The old ones come bunched up under the number one guard: they know that they are mere projectiles, and that it’s no use trying to fight. The wounds are mostly broken knees, from the horses cannoning together.

***

CATHERINE. You look superb — splendid. The campaign has improved you. Everybody here is mad about you. We were all wild with enthusiasm about that magnificent cavalry charge.

SERGIUS (with grave irony). Madam: it was the cradle and the grave of my military reputation.

CATHERINE. How so?

SERGIUS. I won the battle the wrong way when our worthy Russian generals were losing it the right way. That upset their plans, and wounded their self-esteem. Two of their colonels got their regiments driven back on the correct principles of scientific warfare. Two major-generals got killed strictly according to military etiquette. Those two colonels are now major-generals; and I am still a simple major.

***

SERGIUS. I am no longer a soldier. Soldiering, my dear madam, is the coward’s art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong, and keeping out of harm’s way when you are weak. That is the whole secret of successful fighting. Get your enemy at a disadvantage; and never, on any account, fight him on equal terms. Eh, Major!

PETKOFF. They wouldn’t let us make a fair stand-up fight of it. However, I suppose soldiering has to be a trade like any other trade.

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Georgia: U.S. Marine Commander Oversees New NATO Integration Plan

November 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
November 19, 2014

Lieutenant General Robert B. Neller visits MoD

Commander of the U.S. Marines Corps Europe Lieutenant General Robert B. Neller paid a three-day official visit to Georgia. Today, the Defence Minister of Georgia Mindia Janelidze and Chief of General Staff of GAF Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze hosted the U.S. General. The Deputy Chief of Staff Colonel Giorgi Kbiltsetskhlashvili, The United States Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland, U.S. Defence Attaché Colonel Matthew Dimmick and high-level official attended the meeting as well.

The sides discussed significance of the NATO Substantial Package for Georgia and perspectives of future cooperation. During discussions, a special attention was attributed to Georgia’s participation in the ISAF operation and engagement in the “Resolute Support” mission from 2015. Lieutenant General Neller thanked the Georgian side for its contribution to the NATO operation in Afghanistan as well as expressed desire about maintaining a close cooperation between the U.S. Marine Forces and the Georgian military in future.

The sides also discussed different aspects of bilateral cooperation in defence sphere between Georgia and the United States. One of the topics of discussion was also a regional security and Ukrainian crisis.

Commander of the U.S. Marines Corps Europe Lieutenant General Robert B. Neller will leave Georgia tomorrow.

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U.S. Air Force Returns Georgian Mountain Troops From NATO’s Asian War

November 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
November 20, 2014

Special Mountain Battalion Returned to Homeland

Military servicemen of the Special Mountain Battalion returned home from Afghanistan today. Georgian battalion was carrying out ISAF mission in Kandahar province during 7 months.

Commander of Special Operation Forces welcomed 146 military servicemen home on Alekseevka Airfield. LTC DImitri Kiknadze congratulated them on peaceful completion of their service and thanked them for successful mission.

Military servicemen were performing full spectrum of operations along with the coalition forces in Afghanistan. The battalion did not suffer any casualties. Special Mountain battalion is the last Georgian unit that carried out ISAF mission under the Georgian flag on the Kandahar Base.

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Estonia: NATO Chief Touts War Resolve On Russian Border

November 20, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
November 20, 2014

‘’All for one, one for all’’: NATO Secretary General stresses solidarity in Estonia

The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg started a trip to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with a visit to Estonia’s Ämari Airbase on Thursday (20 November 2014), where he stressed Alliance solidarity. “NATO’s greatest responsibility is to protect and defend our Allies. And NATO is here to protect and defend Estonia,” he said. On his way, Mr Stoltenberg’s plane was escorted by two Dutch fighter jets based in Poland as part of NATO’s air policing mission, while at Amari, he met with US, German and Estonian troops. He made clear the presence of jets and troops from many nations demonstrates “the resolve of all Allies to stand with the Baltic nations. All for one. One for all.”

During their meeting, the Secretary General and Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas discussed security challenges to the East stemming from Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine.

Referring to increase Russian air activity, Mr Stoltenberg said: “Our Baltic air police mission has conducted over 100 intercepts this year – three times more than last year. In fact, Russian air activity has increased all over Europe. As a result, NATO jets have been scrambled over 400 times close to NATO airspace – 50 percent more than last year. This pattern is risky and unjustified. So NATO remains vigilant. We are here. And we are ready to defend all Allies against any threat.”

Mr Stoltenberg described the Readiness Action Plan agreed at the Wales Summit as “the biggest reinforcement of our collective defence since the end of the Cold War” and stressed that the Alliance is working to implement it in full and on time.

Secretary General Stoltenberg also praised Estonia for spending 2% of its GDP on defence – a key NATO benchmark – despite tough economic circumstances. “Estonia is leading by example,” he said. Calling Estonia “a strong and committed Ally,” Mr Stoltenberg also thanked Estonia for its role in NATO operations, and praised the country’s “leading role in strengthening the Alliance’s cyber defences”.

The Secretary General’s agenda also includes a visit to the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in Tallinn, as Estonia holds this week Cyber Coalition 2014, NATO’s biggest ever cyber exercise, as well as meetings with President Toomas Henrik Ilves, Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, and Defence Minister Sven Mikser.

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Poroshenko: 220-Day War No Obstacle To European Path

November 20, 2014 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
November 20, 2014

Poroshenko: War in Donbas doesn’t stop Ukrainian progress along European path

Ukraine will carry on its European integration course, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said.

“The ongoing war in Ukraine is not an excuse for stopping reforms. There is the presidential strategy, Ukraine 2020, which aims at further integration between Ukraine and the European Union. This strategy has been partially included in the document setting up a ruling coalition in Ukraine. I am confident we can succeed. Ukraine is on the verge of drastic transformations which will create a clear European prospect for the country,” Poroshenko said in Chisinau on Thursday at a joint press conference with the presidents of Moldova and Poland.

It is important for Ukraine that Moldova continues its progress along the European integration path after the Moldovan parliament election on November 30, he stated.

“Ukraine is forming a coalition. The government will support the policy of reforms. I am confident that Moldova will stay by our side. We have lots of problems to solve together, among them the Transdniestrian settlement, the promotion of European integration and the joint fulfillment of regional and international cooperation projects,” Poroshenko said.

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Strategic Partners: NATO, EU To Wage War Jointly

November 20, 2014 Leave a comment

NATO Review
November 20, 2012

Deterring hybrid warfare: a chance for NATO and the EU to work together?
Peter Pindják

Edited by RR

In response to the conflict in Ukraine, NATO has decided to take on an ambitious task: developing a set of tools to deter and defend against adversaries waging hybrid warfare.

As the conflict in Ukraine illustrates, hybrid conflicts involve multilayered efforts designed to destabilise a functioning state and polarize its society…Without a credible smoking gun, NATO will find it difficult to agree on an intervention.

Undoubtedly, prevailing in hybrid warfare presents NATO with an institutional challenge. To effectively counter irregular threats, the Alliance will need to strengthen cooperation with international organisations, particularly with the EU.

NATO has a wide range of instruments at its disposal. The Alliance has expended a great deal of effort in recent years to stay abreast of new threats, especially in cyberspace. Nevertheless, NATO, as a military alliance, will never embrace the full spectrum of challenges embodied in hybrid warfare.

Why two is better than one

The current NATO deterrence policy for hybrid warfare is based on a rapid military response…To deal with irregular threats, NATO cannot simply revive the strategy of massive retaliation, or rely exclusively on one course of action.

…By partnering with the EU and expanding its set of instruments, the Alliance will be able to tackle the threat from multiple angles…

The EU seems the organisation best suited to complement NATO’s crisis management efforts, as it offers a diversity of instruments that can be employed in hybrid warfare. NATO and the EU could create an effective institutional tandem that has a wide range of both political and military instruments at its disposal. The NATO Summit in Wales acknowledged the EU as a strategic partner of the Alliance. And the common threat of hybrid warfare within the Euro-Atlantic area presents a solid opportunity to develop this partnership even further.

NATO and the EU should intensify consultations and engage in joint planning, especially in implementing the EU Council decisions on security in December 2013. The inter-institutional cooperation should become more systematic and pragmatic.

Events in Ukraine have changed the threat perception in Europe. Recent pledges to reverse declining defence budgets confirm this. NATO and the EU should take advantage of this momentum. Through close coordination in defence planning, both organisations can avoid duplication and achieve greater convergence. The European Council meeting in June 2015 will offer a good opportunity to review and possibly adjust the future course of cooperation. NATO’s Secretary General should not miss the opportunities this meeting will bring.

An opportunity not to be missed

To effectively defend against hybrid warfare, I believe the Alliance will need to expand its capabilities and strengthen its cooperation with the EU. Through a comprehensive approach, NATO and the EU will be able to employ an entire palette of instruments to an emerging conflict…The two organisations should not miss out on this chance to advance their partnership to a new level. By more closely coordinating their efforts, NATO and the EU could not only avert irregular threats, but could help secure peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area for the foreseeable future.

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Homer: The great gods are never pleased with violent deeds

November 20, 2014 Leave a comment

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

Greek and Roman writers on war and peace

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Homer
From The Odyssey
Translated by William Cullen Bryant

Homer_British_Museum

The great gods are never pleased
With violent deeds; they honor equity
And justice. Even those who land as foes
And spoilers upon foreign shores, and bear
Away much plunder by the will of Jove,
Returning homeward with their laden barks,
Feel, brooding heavily upon their minds,
The fear of vengeance.

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Georgia: NATO Stronghold On Russia’s Southern Border

November 19, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
November 17, 2014

NATO Secretary General hails Partnership with Georgia

The NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili to NATO Headquarters on Monday (17 November). After their meeting, the Secretary General thanked Prime Minister Garibashvili for his nation’s valuable contributions to the Alliance, saying Georgia, a country that aspires for NATO membership ”is one of our most committed partners” and ”plays an outstanding role in our operations.”

Mr. Stoltenberg also praised Georgia’s reform efforts and promised continuing Allied support: “Georgia has made impressive progress in recent years. And we will support you as you continue to take forward democratic reforms. That includes further strengthening the rule of law, including the independence and professionalism of the judiciary. The Georgian people has made it clear that they want Euro-Atlantic integration to continue”.

During their meeting, the Secretary General and Prime Minister Garibashvili discussed the package of support for Georgia agreed at the Wales Summit. “The Substantial NATO-Georgia Package will strengthen your country’s defence capabilities. And it will help you to move closer to NATO,” Mr Stoltenberg said. The Secretary General welcomed Georgia’s agreement to host a new NATO-Georgia Training Centre, and noted that the Alliance will support defence capacity-building with embedded trainers. The Secretary General underlined that Georgia has also been invited to join NATO’s initiative to enhance interoperability with key partners who make significant contributions to the Alliance.

The Secretary General reiterated that NATO will stand by Georgia’s side as it works towards membership in the Alliance. “Georgia has moved closer to NATO in recent years. We stand by the decision we took at the NATO Summit in Bucharest in 2008. Georgia will be a member of NATO, provided it fulfils the necessary criteria. And we will continue to assist you in on this path.”

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NATO Trains Strike Force For Article 5 War-Fighting In Europe

November 19, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation

November 18, 2014

Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 14 concludes
Inci Kucukaksoy, JWC PAO

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NATO’s Exercise TRIDENT JUNCTURE 14 concluded November 17th following nine days of intense training with Joint Force Command Naples (JFC Naples) and its subordinate Component Commands.

TRIDENT JUNCTURE 14 (TRJE 14) is a three-level (strategic, operational and tactical) Command Post Exercise/Computer Assisted Exercise (CPX/CAX), with the primary purpose of certifying command and control elements of the NATO Response Force 2015 (NRF 15).

Led by JFC Naples, participating HQs included one German/Netherlands Corps, French Joint Force Air Component Command, Spanish Maritime Force and Polish Special Operations Forces Command. All in all, a total of 1,455 military and civilian personnel, coming from 33 Nations, participated to the exercise.

German Army Major General Reinhard Wolski, Commander Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) and Exercise Director said TRJE 14 had been very productive and thought provoking; “TRJE 14 fully reflected NATO’s Level of Ambition to fulfil Collective Defence, Crisis Management and Cooperative Security. It will contribute significantly to NATO’s new readiness requirements and ensure our forces are more efficient and effective into the future,” he added.

Training aims at high readiness to deal with any situation in any environment. Led by Allied Command Transformation (ACT), coordinated by JFC Naples and directed by JWC, exercise TRJE 14, which began on 8 November tested NATO’s ability to coordinate and execute a NATO-led Article 5 Collective Defence operation in a multinational environment.

It tested NRF 15 under high-intensity, war-fighting conditions and demonstrated Visible Assurance that NATO is committed to the defence of its Member States against a potent and technically advanced peer adversary.

TRJE 14 was conducted at various locations across Europe, in Belgium, Italy, Norway, France, Poland and at sea, on board the Spanish Landing Platform Dock Castilla (L52).

The conceptual premise of the exercise was the fictitious SKOLKAN scenario where the focus of effort was on the territorial defense of NATO member states in the Baltic Sea region, particularly Estonia, which was seriously attacked by a fictional country and required large-scale assistance from the Alliance for the restoration of its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

The scenario exposed the NRF 15 Training Audience to many challenges in a variety of areas, including hybrid warfare, theatre-ballistic missile defence, cyber defence, Strategic Communications, and chemical, biological and radiological defence.

Structured around three major themes derived from the exercise Training Objectives, TRJE 14 resulted in over 850 injects drafted by 300 participants, all using the Joint Exercise Management Module (JEMM), which is a Master Events List/ Master Incidents List (MEL/MIL) database that allows Exercise Control (EXCON) to control the tempo of exercise play.

Lieutenant Colonel Rick Williams, Chief TRJE 14 MEL/MIL, said: “The EXCON team delivered a MEL/MIL which focused on meeting all the Training Objectives for the Joint Headquarters in their preparation to support all NRF tasks.”

“The exercise has given us the opportunity to demonstrate both the NRF’s readiness to provide Collective Defence to a threatened Alliance Member and JFC Naples’ ability to Command and Control forces in excess of a Major Joint Operation,” Lieutenant Commander Scott “Taz” Simpson, TRJE 14 Officer of Primary Responsibility (OPR) for JFC Naples, noted.

“Exercises like TRJE 14 enhance the interoperability of NATO Members and improve our ability to integrate non-NATO forces should the need arise,” he added.

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Kiev: Cardinal Biden (U.S. Grey Eminence), “Dr. Jill,” Expletive Deleted Nuland To Give New Marching Orders To Puppetshenko Regime

November 19, 2014 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
November 19, 2014

Biden to visit Ukraine, to hold talks with Poroshenko, Yatseniuk

imageResize

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden will visit Ukraine on November 20-21, the U.S. embassy to Kyiv reported.

A statement available on the embassy website says that Biden will meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk on November 21.

“In these meetings, the Vice President will convey his congratulations for Ukraine’s successful democratic elections while also noting the need to quickly move ahead with forming a new government. The Vice President will also discuss Russia’s ongoing violations of the September 5th Minsk agreement,” it said.

Before departing the country, Biden will take part in an anti-corruption roundtable with Verkhovna Rada and civil society members “to discuss the challenges of fighting corruption in Ukraine,” it said.

The vice president’s wife, Dr. Jill Biden, will visit a local Adventist Development and Relief Agency (“ADRA”) site, where she will meet with internally displaced persons. “Then, she will drop by and deliver brief remarks at a Humanitarian Assistance Working Group meeting,” it said.

Jill Biden and First Lady of Ukraine Maryna Poroshenko also plan to visit wounded Ukrainian soldiers at a military hospital in Kyiv.

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Interfax-Ukraine
November 19, 2014

Biden to signal U.S. support for Ukraine’s territorial integrity – Pyatt

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, during his visit to Ukraine, will give a signal to the Ukrainian authorities on continuing U.S. support for the Ukrainian authorities and the territorial integrity of Ukraine, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt has said.

He told reporters in Kyiv on Wednesday that Biden would focus on a decisive signal on continuing to express U.S. support for the Ukrainian people, the president and the Ukrainian government.

Pyatt said that Biden’s visit would also be dedicated to cases of the constant violation by Russia of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, the holding by the Ukrainian authorities of economic reform and the fight against corruption.

As reported, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden will visit Ukraine on November 20-21. He will meet with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk on November 21. Biden will also take part in an anti-corruption roundtable with Verkhovna Rada and civil society members to discuss the challenges of fighting corruption in Ukraine.

The U.S. Department of State reported that Biden, during his trip to Kyiv and Istanbul on November 20-23, would be accompanied by Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland.

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Video: U.S., NATO Cover Own Buildup With Russia Accusations

November 19, 2014 Leave a comment

Press TV
November 19, 2014

US, NATO lie about Russia military buildup in, near Ukraine: Analyst

Video

The US and NATO “lie” about the deployment of Russian military forces inside and near Ukraine in order to provide a smokescreen for their own buildup of forces targeted against Russia, a commentator tells Press TV.

Rick Rozoff, the manager of Stop NATO Network, said in an interview with Press TV from Chicago on Tuesday that reports of a Russian military buildup in Ukraine are “lies” and that “it is camouflage to disguise what is in fact an incontestable buildup by the United States and NATO along Russia’s entire Western border.”

He pointed to examples of US and NATO buildup by referring to “the rotation of F-16s capable of carrying a nuclear payload… accompanied by US paratroopers; the deployment of US Special Forces; Operation Atlantic Resolve, which is aimed specifically at Russia; the development of a 25,000-troop NATO Response Force aimed at Russia; and coming out of the NATO Wales Summit a high-readiness task force to be deployed in eastern Europe aimed at Russia.”

Rozoff added, “What we see is a monumental buildup against Russia… and at the same time accusing the victim of being the perpetrator.”

The US-led NATO has expressed concern over what it described as a “very serious” buildup of Russian troops and equipment inside Ukraine and on the border with the east European country.

The West has accused Moscow of having sent troops to Ukraine to support pro-Russia forces in the east of the country.

Tensions between Russia and the West heightened after Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea separated from Ukraine and joined the Russian Federation following a referendum in March 2014.

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Frank Swinnerton: Aerial bombardment, the most stupid and futile aspect of war

November 19, 2014 Leave a comment

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

Frank Swinnerton
From Young Felix (1923)

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It was already the time for air-raids, and Felix lived in the studio with the glass roof nearly in the centre of London. He was very frightened when the air-raids occurred; but he went on working in his studio during their course because he was still more frightened if he was in company with other people in a shelter. The crowd, the fears, the smells and discomforts, were worse to him than the danger of annihilation. In the studio he could die once; in these crowds he died a thousand times. And so when the first bangs of the defensive guns sounded, Felix swore explosively and continued to work. The whole of the war seemed to him stupid and futile; and in no particular was it more stupid and futile than in that of air-raids. But in that matter Felix was conventional, and thought no differently from those directly above from whose houses all the air-battles regularly and by miracle took place. He knew nothing about the war but the details which were published in the newspapers and those which received even greater publicity by word of mouth – until the time when he was used by the Government as a military artist, when he knew even less than he had known before.

***

And as they sat thus, above the music and racketting of the orchestra, Felix’s sharp ears caught a sinister thud. Almost at that instant, Mary turned to him and said:

“What’s the time? D’you think we better go now?”

As they were at the end of a row near one of the exit doors it was easy to creep out unobserved; and by the time they reached the door they had both heard another ominous thud, and a third. They turned to each other. Felix’s heart was like water, not from personal fear but from fear upon Mary’s account. He was horrified at the thought that he had brought her into danger. He trembled.

“Was that…something?” Mary whispered, as if she dared not think it true.

“Afraid so,” Felix acknowledged. He in turn did not dare to look at her for an instant. Mary’s face turned white. As they were now beyond the auditorium they could stop and listen. Thud, thud…thud, thud, thud…thud…Unmistakable. Felix turned to a commissionaire. Other people were walking unconcernedly upon the stairs, evidently deaf to these noises, or without fear of their significance.

“Is there a raid on?” he asked, in a low voice.

The commissionaire backed to the wall, looking surreptitiously at those who were near, and giving cautious glances of warning at Felix. He was a little alarmed, but his duty was to prevent a panic; and he was upheld by his duty.

“I’ll tell you,” he muttered. “Keep it dark. See? Yes, there is. You can’t go out. Best thing’s to go up to the saloon. Part of the roof’s concrete. You’ll be all right there…Only, don’t make a…see what I mean?”

In his heart, Feliz was afraid…afraid. He must not be afraid. His heart was fluttering; his mouth was dry. But the fear was physical only: his head was clear.

“Damn it, I mustn’t be afraid,” he muttered. “Simply mustn’t

“May as well make ourselves comfortable,” he said, with painstaking unconcern.

“Yes – oh, what was that?” She half sprang to her feet as a deep roaring crash, which seemed near at hand, drowned everything. Felix knew that it must be a bomb. He knew that at any instant such another crash might end their lives. It was intolerable. He saw horror growing in Mary’s eyes, a fear, a panic. At all costs that must be stopped. At all costs.

“The whole thing’s ridiculous,” he cried. “It’s such a farce, isn’t it? All this uncomfortable feeling we have, because of a bang. Only nerves: nothing decently in the way of alarm. It’s only the noise really, not the danger, that makes us sick. There’s practically no danger at all, you know.”

“No?” Again she looked at him like a child, and their hands sprang together. The warmth began to steal back to her cheeks, and the trustfulness to her eyes. She was caught up in the inexhaustible loquaciousness of Felix. Thud, thud, thud…overhead…thud…thud, thud. Louder, louder…Felix was desperate. He must go on talking. He must go on talking and talking until the bomb fell that might destroy both and mash them to bloody fragments.

“I will now,” he said, with a supreme effort to master his excitement, “I will now tell you the story of my life.”

Entirely absorbed, Mary frowned for an instant, forgetful of the thuds.

“Oh, but haven’t I heard that?” she objected.

“This is another one,” said Felix. “Listen!”

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NATO Moves More Personnel, Infrastructure Into Georgia

November 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Civil Georgia
November 17, 2014

Georgian PM, NATO Chief Discuss Implementation of ‘Substantive Package’

Nato_Georgia_flags_Album

Tbilisi: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met Georgia’s PM Irakli Garibashvili in Brussels on November 17 and discussed implementation of the “substantive package” of cooperation, which NATO offered to Georgia at its summit in Wales in September.

Speaking at a news conference after the meeting, Stoltenberg said that the plan is to start implementing various elements of the package by the NATO defense ministerial meeting in February, 2015. He also said that more details would also be available by that time.

Among those elements of the package are assisting defense capacity building in Georgia through, as Stoltenberg put it, “embedded trainers” and setting up of a joint training center in Georgia.

“Today we discussed how to translate these initiatives into actions,” Stoltenberg said.

“We are pleased that Georgia will also host NATO-Georgia Training Center. The Center will help the Georgian forces to maintain their ability to work with NATO and it will prepare Georgia and other partners for future contributions to NATO Response Force,” the NATO Secretary General said.

Asked about Russia’s concerns over planned NATO-Georgia Training Center, the NATO Secretary General responded: “We have decided to establish the training center, it’s going to be established, because Georgia is a sovereign nation and NATO is an organization that works together with a strong and committed partner, Georgia.”

“We are going to continue to impalement the package we agreed in Wales,” Stoltenberg.

PM Garibashvili said that the Georgian government is “committed to timely and effectively implement the substantial NATO-Georgia package.”

At the press conference, Georgian journalists asked twice the NATO Secretary General if he had any “concerns” or “doubts” about Georgia’s commitment to NATO integration. The question stems from a recent cabinet reshuffle, which involved firing of defense minister Irakli Alasania and resignations of foreign minister and state minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

“The Prime Minister was very strong, very clear” about Georgia’s NATO integration commitment, Jens Stoltenberg responded and added that he has “no reason to doubt” about it.

“I want to underline that the Prime Minister strongly underlined in talks that we had that Georgia is continuing on its path towards more Euro-Atlantic integration and I very much welcome this commitment; it is a strong commitment and it is an important commitment,” the NATO Secretary General said.

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Interview: U.S. Unleashes Dogs Of War Against Syria

November 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Press TV
November 18, 2014

US unleashes the dogs of war upon Syria: Rick Rozoff

Audio

An American peace activist says the United States has unleashed “the dogs of war” upon Syria by officially announcing the training and arming of anti-government militants.

Rick Rozoff, manager of the Stop NATO International Network, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Tuesday.

The Pentagon said on Monday that the US will train thousands of “moderate” militants in Turkey to fight against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

According to a recent report in the Hurriyet Daily News, US and Turkish military officials reached an agreement that the Pentagon would begin training and arming some 2,000 insurgents from the so-called Free Syrian Army at a training center in central Turkey in December.

Rozoff said that it is “the latest in a series of gross infringements of international law, of the territorial integrity and certainly the national sovereignty of the nation of Syria and its people; and it’s an outrage that demands global condemnation.”

“In the midst of the horror [that] is being wreaked in Iraq and Syria by the so-called Islamic State, for the US to officially announce that it’s training – what I am sure will be several thousand – armed figures in Syria, who knows of which nationality, incidentally, we have to recall that even so-called moderate groups like the Free Syrian Army, certainly the al-Nusra Font, and some others include the mercenaries from around the world, these are what used to be called not too flatteringly but perhaps accurately the dogs of the war, which is to say the paid soldiers of fortune, and extremists of almost of every stripe — that the US/the Pentagon is officially training them and its NATO ally Turkey is hosting the training of these forces, could only further contribute to the destabilization of the Levant – Syria and Iraq,” he added.

“It is an armed belligerent in the war within Syria, that’s arming and training and deploying terrorist forces against a legitimate government; the government, that is, of Syria,” the anti-war activist said. “Again, that’s an outrage and it’s one that in a saner and a better world would be roundly denounced in the United Nations and in the press of countries around the world.”

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since March 2011. Nearly 200,000 people have reportedly been killed and millions displaced due to the violence fueled by the militants.

The United States and its regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey — have been supporting the militants operating inside Syria since the beginning of the crisis.

The Obama administration has already outlined a $500 million program to train and arm 5,000 “moderate” militants in Syria to fight against ISIL and the Assad government, but according to the Pentagon, the number would be something between 12,000 and 15,000.

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Global NATO Gears Up For Conflicts In “Eastern, Southern Neighborhoods”

November 18, 2014 Leave a comment

U.S. Department of Defense
November 17, 2014

NATO Official Discusses Southern Flank, Mediterranean Dialogue
By Jim Garamone

[Edited by RR]

WASHINGTON: Russia’s blatant disregard of international norms in Ukraine is just one example of its attempts to reject an international order that promotes democracy, sovereignty and the rule of law, NATO’s deputy secretary general said in La Hulpe, Belgium, today.

Alexander Vershbow told the conference on NATO-Israel cooperation that challenges from Russia and from NATO’s southern flank share many of the same attributes.

Russia’s continued attempts to destabilize Ukraine “have blatantly breached international agreements and confidence-building measures,” Vershbow said.

And on NATO’s southern flank, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant continues to spew its hatred, “pouring oil on the fire of extremism and sectarianism that is already burning across the Middle East and North Africa,” he said.

ISIL is working to overthrow rules-based and values-based order that is the guarantor of freedom, security and prosperity for all nations, Vershbow said, and NATO is determined to play its part to defeat this threat and those like it.

“The capabilities and forces that we are now developing are very clearly aimed at enhancing NATO’s overall resilience,” the deputy secretary general said. “We want to be able to deploy them quickly not only whenever, but also wherever, threats emerge – whether it’s in our eastern or our southern neighborhoods.”

At NATO’s summit held in Wales in September, the alliance also decided to strengthen cooperation with partner nations. The summit also launched an initiative to help partners strengthen their ability to address security challenges.

“This initiative builds upon NATO’s extensive expertise in defense capacity building – for instance, in Kosovo and Afghanistan,” Vershbow explained. “And we made clear that we stand ready to assist Iraq in strengthening its security sector, if the new government so requests.”

Risk of Extremism Has Grown on NATO’s Southern Flank

The risk of extremism on NATO’s southern flank has grown and produced more fertile territory since the Arab Spring, the deputy secretary general said. The Mediterranean Dialogue – a NATO initiative celebrating 20 years – is more valuable than ever, he added.

“The Mediterranean Dialogue [is] the only structured framework where the 28 NATO allies, Israel and key Arab countries sit together on a regular basis,” he said.

More Focus on Capability Building

Vershbow said he would like to see more focus on capability building. “We want to help the countries of the region to be better able both to address security concerns in their own region and to participate in international peacekeeping and crisis management operations – including those led by NATO,” he said.

This, he added, could involve greater military-to-military cooperation, and invitations to participate in NATO training, exercises and education programs.

“But it could also involve more structured cooperation between NATO and organizations like the African Union and the Arab League,” he said.

Categories: Uncategorized

Upton Sinclair: After war, the color revolution cleanup

November 18, 2014 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

Upton Sinclair: Selections on war

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Upton Sinclair
From Boston (1928)

Upton Sinclair

“…From this time on , I take the dear ‘mob’ to my heart; I am only afraid of dashing young gentlemen in gaudy uniforms, and elderly diplomats and business men in dinner-jackets. There isn’t a country in Central Europe where the Whites haven’t killed ten for every one the Reds have killed, and in many cases it has been a hundred for one.

“And the worst is, Grannie, these White dictatorships are all American-made – with guns and uniforms from our army and dollars from our bankers. They have got an American loan here in Hungary, and I am wondering if father is in on it…”

***

…Rupert Allen had to interview agents of the banking and manufacturing interests of Italy, and listen to plans for the coup d’eat which was to turn that country into a dictatorship of big capital. No possible way to avoid it – unless the money that had been loaned to Italy during and since the war was to be lost. The bankers of Boston and New York and Philadelphia and Chicago had to get together and do for Italy what they had already done for Hungary and Roumania and Czechoslovakia and Finland ans Esthonia and Latvia and Lithuania – so many miserable bonded states that it gave a hundred percent American a headache to learn their names.

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Estonia: U.S., NATO Practice Bombing Runs Near Russia Border

November 17, 2014 Leave a comment

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

November 15, 2014

Estonian JTACs take lead in historic training
By Senior Airman Matthew Lotz
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

AMARI AIR BASE, Estonia: With grey clouds flooding the skies overhead and poor visibility, Estonian air force joint tactical air controllers, or JTACs, communicated coordinates for airstrikes to U.S. pilots during the first-ever Estonian-led close air support exercise, Nov. 13-14, here.

This latest round of interoperability training under the umbrella of Operation Atlantic Resolve enabled two 555th Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots to execute air-to-ground training with Estonian JTACs. While the JTACs honed their proficiency at calling in simulated precision airstrikes, the pilots leveraged this new milestone in interoperability training to enhance the readiness of NATO combat air forces.

“The U.S. is committed to international security and through this bilateral training with our NATO partners, we are able to counter a range of regional and global threats,” said Maj. Benjamin Couchman, 555th FS pilot and exercise mission commander. “We will continue participating in these joint readiness training events that build partnership capacity and at the same time ensure the security of our allies and partners.”

Although cloud cover restricted visibility between ground and air, according to the Estonian JTACs, the training was highly successful.

“We are training daily to stay proficient with Estonian aircraft, but the capabilities of a U.S. F-16 bring a whole new dimension to our efforts to train like we fight,” said an Estonian air force JTAC. “It’s so important for us to be able to work with U.S. forces and we look forward to additional opportunities in the future.”

As was the case during recent exercises Platinum Eagle and Ample Strike, this deployment of Aviano’s F-16s to Estonia was in keeping with America’s commitment to ensuring the security of U.S. and NATO allies. While transiting to Estonia, the pilots were also able to train with a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 100th Air Refueling Wing, RAF Mildenhall, England.

“All of the training we were able to accomplish in these two days strengthened our relationships within NATO, enhanced our interoperability and reassured our European allies of our commitment to peace and stability in the region,” Couchman said. “Because we are ‘forward, ready, now,’ we can support our allies and quickly respond to emerging threats.”

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Romania: U.S. Paratroopers In NATO Military Exercise

November 17, 2014 Leave a comment

Romanian News Agency
November 12, 2014

Over 400 Romanian military participate in the ‘RUBICON 2014′ training module

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Military of units and large units under the command of the General Staff of Land Forces and of units of the US 173rd Airborne Brigade participate in the ‘RUBICON 2014′ training module, led by ‘Mihai Viteazul’ Special Operations Brigade 6, in Campia Turzii and Cincu, in the period November 11 – 24.

‘The over 400 military who will be training together will participate in flying and parachuting drills, firing drills with different weapon categories and tactical exercises,’ informs a National Defence Ministry (MApN) release remitted to AGERPRES on Tuesday.

“RUBICON 2014′ represents a major activity of the Atlantic Resolve operation, meant to prove the commitment of the United States of America and Romania for supporting NATO’s collective security and is aimed at increasing the interoperability level between the participating forces, the experience exchange and the harmonisation of techniques, tactics and procedures in the area.

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George Santayana: If dreadful outer world became troublesome, it would be necessary to make war on it and teach it a lesson

November 17, 2014 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

George Santayana on war and militarism

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George Santayana
From The Last Puritan: A Memoir in the Form of a Novel (1935)

Santayana_2

Her moral ideal was democracy, but a democracy of the elect. There could be no oppression in imposing uniformity on people who were really all alike; and such a society exacted from its members only what, if they were honourable, they would exact from themselves. She couldn’t conceive life except in a clan, where all the peers should have equal rights and similar virtues. Beyond the pale there could be nothing but utter darkness – an alien, heathen, unintelligible world, to be kept as remote as possible. If they couldn’t grow tea at home, she supposed they must get it from China or Ceylon. And she supposed that if occasionally that dreadful outer world became troublesome, it would be necessary to make war on it and teach it a lesson: but by far the best thing was to ignore it altogether. It ought never to have existed.

***

“It is unfortunate to have been born at a time when the force of human character was ebbing, while the tide of material activity and material knowledge was rising so high as to drown all moral independence. I have been a victim of my environment: but I have not surrendered to it. I have surrendered only to my own limitations.”

***

“Poor prodigal world, let us not insult it: let us pray for it. But meantime, we must remain ourselves, as Emerson remained himself, only not on those stilts of his, not with that self-worship; because the world was no more made to serve us by illustrating our philosophy than we were made to serve the world by licking its boots…

“Boston and Harvard have need now of fresh blood, of fresh spiritual courage. They are becoming too much like the rest of the country, choked with big business, forced fads, and merely useful knowledge. Our fearless souls of other days have left no heirs. We need to break away again – were we not always come-outers? – from intellectual professionalism, from the slough of wholesale standardised opinion, from the dulcet mendacity of the pulpits, from the sheepish, ignorant, monotonous, epidemic mind of our political rulers…America is the greatest of opportunities and the worst of influences…

“You look shocked and a bit offended: why do I say that America is the worst of influences? Because it imposes vices which regard themselves as virtues, from which therefore there is no repentance at hand. It imposes optimism, imposes worldliness, imposes mediocrity. Bur our mediocrity, with our resources, is a disgrace, our worldliness a sin, our optimism a lie…”

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New Ukrainian Junta Pushes NATO Membership, War Budget Boost, Conquest Of Crimea

November 16, 2014 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
November 15, 2014

Draft coalition agreement stipulates annulment of Ukraine’s non-aligned status

Participants in negotiations on setting up a coalition at the Ukrainian parliament are considering the annulment of Ukraine’s non-aligned status and the country’s membership of NATO in a draft coalition agreement.

The Petro Poroshenko Bloc’s website reported that the draft coalition agreement envisions the development and adoption of new versions of the Ukrainian National Security Strategy and Military Doctrine.

The draft agreement says that, among other things, “the Military Doctrine should contain the term ‘potential enemy’ and clearly determine criteria for recognizing a certain state or a group of states as a potential enemy.”

In addition, the draft coalition agreement suggests amending the laws on the foundations of domestic and foreign policy and on the foundations of national security, including “the annulment of Ukraine’s non-aligned status, the resumption of a political course toward integration into the Euro-Atlantic security space and membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and also the restoration of Ukraine’s national sovereignty over the territory of Crimea as one of the strategic goals.”

The draft coalition agreement stipulates that Ukraine’s defense expenses must amount to at least 3% of its GDP.

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