Global Bloc: Japanese Delegation Visits NATO Military Headquarters

October 11, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

October 10, 2014

JAPANESE DELEGATION VISITS SUPREME HEADQUARTERS ALLIED POWERS EUROPE

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SHAPE, Belgium: A delegation of four high-ranking military officials from NATO Partner Japan visited SHAPE on Thursday, 9 October. Rear Admiral Hiroshi and his team provided SHAPE’s Military Partnership Delegation a briefing on Japan’s international military strategy. The delegation then headed for the CCOMC, SHAPE’s Crisis Management Centre, where they received complete explanations on how NATO analyses and assesses crisis situations.

Admiral Hiroshi raised important questions on NATO exercises and was particularly impressed by NATO’s quick implementation of Patriot missiles in Turkey. Most importantly, the Delegation stressed Japan’s willingness to strengthen its bonds with NATO by increasing Japan’s involvement in NATO exercises.

Although not a NATO Member, Japan has been a key partner of the Alliance since the early 1990s, when Japan’s important contribution to NATO operations in the Balkans…

More recently, Japan’s Navy and NATO ships have conducted exercises in the Gulf of Aden, within the Operation Ocean Shield. This was the first time ever that the two fleets had collaborated so extensively. Japan’s Maritime Self Defence Force’s expertise was a most valuable asset in the fight against piracy.

Story by Martin Gourgue, SHAPE

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Amy Lowell: A pattern called a war. Christ! What are patterns for?

October 11, 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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Amy Lowell
Patterns (1916)

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I walK down the garden paths,
And all the daffodils
Are blowing, and the bright blue squills.
I walk down the patterned garden paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
With my powdered hair and jewelled fan,
I too am a rare
Pattern. As I wander down
The garden paths.

My dress is richly figured,
And the train
Makes a pink and silver stain
On the gravel, and the thrift
Of the borders.
Just a plate of current fashion,
Tripping by in high-heeled, ribboned shoes.
Not a softness anywhere about me,
Only whale-bone and brocade.
And I sink on a seat in the shade
Of a lime tree. For my passion
Wars against the stiff brocade.
The daffodils and squills
Flutter in the breeze
As they please.
And I weep;
For the lime tree is in blossom
And one small flower has dropped upon my bosom.

And the plashing of waterdrops
In the marble fountain
Comes down the garden paths.
The dripping never stops.
Underneath my stiffened gown
Is the softness of a woman bathing in a marble basin,
A basin in the midst of hedges grown
So thick, she cannot see her lover hiding,
But she guesses he is near,
And the sliding of the water
Seems the stroking of a dear
Hand upon her.
What is Summer in a fine brocaded gown!
I should like to see it lying in a heap upon the ground.
All the pink and silver crumpled up on the ground.

I would be the pink and silver as I ran along the paths,
And he would stumble after,
Bewildered by my laughter.
I should see the sun flashing from his sword hilt and the buckles on his shoes.
I would choose
To lead him in a maze along the patterned paths,
A bright and laughing maze for my heavy-booted lover,
Till he caught me in the shade,
And the buttons of his waistcoat bruised my body as he clasped me,
Aching, melting, unafraid.
With the shadows of the leaves and the sundrops,
And the plopping of the waterdrops,
All about us in the open afternoon —
I am very like to swoon
With the weight of this brocade,
For the sun shifts through the shade.

Underneath the fallen blossom
In my bosom,
Is a letter I have hid.
It was brought to me this morning by a rider from the Duke.
“Madam, we regret to inform you that Lord Hartwell
Died in action Thursday se’nnight.”
As I read it in the white, morning sunlight,
The letters squirmed like snakes.
“Any answer, Madam?” said my footman.
“No,” I told him.
“See that the messenger takes some refreshment.
No, no answer.”
And I walked into the garden,
Up and down the patterned paths,
In my stiff, correct brocade.
The blue and yellow flowers stood up proudly in the sun,
Each one.
I stood upright too,
Held rigid to the pattern
By the stiffness of my gown.
Up and down I walked,
Up and down.

In a month he would have been my husband.
In a month, here, underneath this lime,
We would have broke the pattern;
He for me, and I for him,
He as Colonel, I as Lady,
On this shady seat.
He had a whim
That sunlight carried blessing.
And I answered, “It shall be as you have said.”
Now he is dead.

In Summer and in Winter I shall walk
Up and down
The patterned garden paths
In my stiff, brocaded gown.
The squills and daffodils
Will give place to pillared roses, and to asters, and to snow.
I shall go
Up and down,
In my gown.
Gorgeously arrayed,
Boned and stayed.
And the softness of my body will be guarded from embrace
By each button, hook, and lace.

For the man who should loose me is dead,
Fighting with the Duke in Flanders,
In a pattern called a war.
Christ! What are patterns for?

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U.S., NATO: Cyberspace Is Battlefield For 21st Century

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

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

October 9, 2014

Digital battlefield: 423rd CS shines during CCRI
By Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton
501st Combat Support Wing Public Affairs

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RAF ALCONBURY, United Kingdom:

U.S. Air Force Maj. John Riester, 423rd Communications Squadron commander, leaned back in his chair – allowing the gravity of his words to sink in. He was right. At any given moment a government, organization, terrorist group or hacker could launch a digital offensive against the United States.

…According to the U.S. Cyber Command, cyberspace is a battlefield for the 21st Century. Recently, Airmen from the 423rd CS scored a major victory in that battle when their network defense programs were tested and evaluated as the best among U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Africa bases, and third in the Air Force, during the fiscal year 2014 Command Cyber Readiness Inspection.

According to Riester, a large part of the inspection intent was to ensure the network at RAF Alconbury was monitored and protected at all times. This involved looking at both digital and physical aspects of the communication infrastructure.

Even though hardening the network and cyber-defense is typically passive at the squadron level, Riester said the Airmen involved in this inspection went above and beyond to ensure the hundreds of criteria for each device and machine at RAF Alconbury, United Kingdom, were well within compliance.

“This is the most dynamic environment you can work in,” Riester said. “There are both internal and external threats to our network that we guard against, because information is ultimately power. We need to leverage an adversary’s vulnerabilities while simultaneously securing our own.”

Through the innovative and dedicated efforts of 423rd CS Airmen, Riester said the squadron currently has the lowest vulnerability numbers in the entire Air Force. However, he also understands the nature of cyber-warfare – which means a cutting edge threat today could be obsolete tomorrow.

“Nothing will ever be perfect, because this landscape is ever-changing,” he said. “However, the Airmen at the 423rd have proven their steadfast commitment to securing our digital borders. This inspection showcased a phenomenal team effort that reaches back to each and every Airman coming to work with a desire to make things better every day.”

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NATO Aspirants: Top Swedish Military Commander Meets With Counterparts In Georgia

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
October 9, 2014

Visit of Chief of Swedish Staff Army

In the framework of bilateral cooperation Commander of Swedish Staff Army pays official visit to Georgia. Deputy Defence Minister Mikheil Darchiashvili and Deputy Chief of the GS of GAF Brigadier-General Vladimer Chachibaia hosted the Major-General Anders Brännström.

The sides discussed ongoing defence reforms, bilateral cooperation between two countries and prospects of future development between Georgian and Swedish Defence Ministries.

During visit a meeting was held with the rector and the leadership of the National Defence Academy. Swedish guest got acquainted with the work of academy and toured the campus. Today, Major-General Brännström plans to visit the Fourth Mechanized Brigade and the National Training Center “Krtsanisi”.

The two-day visit of the Chief of Swedish Staff Army will be over tomorrow.

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NATO Liaison Office, Member State Attaches Meet With Georgian Military

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
October 10, 2014

Meeting with defence attaches

Today, Director of LEPL Cyber Security Bureau of Ministry of Defence of Georgia Andria Gotsiridze hosted defence attaches of foreign countries accredited in Georgia. The representatives of NATO Liaison Office in Georgia attended the meeting.

Chief of the Bureau Projects Management Division Tamar Gamkhrelidze delivered the presentation about the Bureaus` functions and objectives. The need of developing cyber security capabilities in Georgia and sharing foreign experience in this direction were focused during the meeting.

The meeting went on in an interactive format. Leaders of the Bureau answered the attaches` questions and listened to their recommendations. The sides expressed desire of close cooperation in the cyber security sector.

The fight against cyber security threats is a critical challenge for the modern world. The cyber security thematic became actual in Georgia after the cyber attack carried out against Georgia in August 2008.

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Turkey: NATO Chief Inspects NATO Interceptor Missile Batteries

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 10, 2014

NATO Secretary General thanks Patriot crews protecting Turkey

NATO Secretary General visits Patriot unit in Turkey

Visiting the Patriot deployment at Gaziantep, the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked personnel from the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, host nation Turkey and other Allies on Friday (10 October) for their contribution to reinforcing Turkey’s air defence. “Your mission is more important than ever, and Allies remain committed to this vital mission,” the Secretary General said.

…”What you do keeps NATO strong. What you do keeps Turkey safe”, the Secretary General said.

The Secretary General received briefings from military commanders on NATO’s Patriot mission and had the opportunity to see batteries from the US Patriot Unit deployed at the Turkish military base in Gaziantep.

On Thursday, Mr Stoltenberg held talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and other senior Turkish officials focusing on the crisis on NATO’s southern border.

Since January 2013, NATO’s Patriot deployment has reinforced Turkey’s air defences to help protect Turkey’s territory and citizens against missile attacks from Syria. Germany, the Netherlands and the United States currently provide two Patriot batteries each for the mission, located in Kahramanmaras, Adana and Gaziantep.

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New NATO Chieftain Holds Talks In Turkey

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 9, 2014

NATO Secretary General shows Alliance solidarity in Turkey

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Thursday (9 October) in Ankara and said that he came to hear Turkey’s views and concerns on the situation in the region. At the start of his second trip as NATO Secretary General, Mr. Stoltenberg held a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu and said that NATO is closely monitoring events close to Turkey’s southern border.

“ISIL poses a grave threat to the Iraqi people, to the Syrian people, to the wider region, and to NATO nations”, the Secretary General said. “So it is important that the whole international community stays united in this long-term effort. I welcome the decisive actions taken by the United States, with many Allies and partners. And I welcome the recent vote in the Turkish Parliament to authorize an even more active role of Turkey in the crisis”.

Mr. Stoltenberg said that NATO is playing its role helping protect Turkish territory and citizens against missile attacks. “Our Patriot deployment reinforces Turkey’s air defences”, he said. “NATO stands ready to support all Allies in defending their security”.

The NATO Secretary General praised Turkey’s role as a steadfast Ally contributing to the Alliance’s collective defence and to the stability of the region and Turkey’s significant contribution in Kosovo and in Afghanistan.

“We will continue to count on Turkey in Afghanistan. Next year, you will be one of the framework nations as part of our new mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan forces. And we are working together to ensure that we can launch the mission on January 1st, as planned”, he said.

The Secretary General said that Allies took important decisions at the Wales Summit and are now turning those decisions into reality. “So I look forward to continue working with Turkey to keep NATO the bedrock of our security”, he added.

Mr. Stoltenberg also met with Defence Minister Yılmaz, with the Chief of General Staff General Necdet Őzel and with other high-level officials.

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Washington Irving: The renown not purchased by deeds of violence and blood

October 10, 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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Washington Irving
From Westminster Abbey (1820)
The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.

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It seems as if the awful nature of the place presses down upon the soul, and hushes the beholder into noiseless reverence. We feel that we are surrounded by the congregated bones of the great men of past times, who have filled history with their deeds, and the earth with their renown.

And yet it almost provokes a smile at the vanity of human ambition, to see how they are crowded together and jostled in the dust; what parsimony is observed in doling out a scanty nook, a gloomy corner, a little portion of earth, to those, whom, when alive, kingdoms could not satisfy…

I passed some time in Poet’s Corner, which occupies an end of one of the transepts or cross aisles of the abbey. The monuments are generally simple; for the lives of literary men afford no striking themes for the sculptor. Shakespeare and Addison have statues erected to their memories; but the greater part have busts, medallions, and sometimes mere inscriptions. Notwithstanding the simplicity of these memorials, I have always observed that the visitors to the abbey remained longest about them. A kinder and fonder feeling takes place of that cold curiosity or vague admiration with which they gaze on the splendid monuments of the great and the heroic. They linger about these as about the tombs of friends and companions; for indeed there is something of companionship between the author and the reader. Other men are known to posterity only through the medium of history, which is continually growing faint and obscure: but the intercourse between the author and his fellow-men is ever new, active, and immediate. He has lived for them more than for himself; he has sacrificed surrounding enjoyments, and shut himself up from the delights of social life, that he might the more intimately commune with distant minds and distant ages. Well may the world cherish his renown; for it has been purchased, not by deeds of violence and blood, but by the diligent dispensation of pleasure. Well may posterity be grateful to his memory; for he has left it an inheritance, not of empty names and sounding actions, but whole treasures of wisdom, bright gems of thought, and golden veins of language.

***

There is a sad dreariness in this magnificence; this strange mixture of tombs and trophies; these emblems of living and aspiring ambition, close beside mementos which show the dust and oblivion in which all must sooner or later terminate. Nothing impresses the mind with a deeper feeling of loneliness, than to tread the silent and deserted scene of former throng and pageant. On looking round on the vacant stalls of the knights and their esquires, and on the rows of dusty but gorgeous banners that were once borne before them, my imagination conjured up the scene when this hall was bright with the valor and beauty of the land; glittering with the splendor of jewelled rank and military array; alive with the tread of many feet and the hum of an admiring multitude. All had passed away; the silence of death had settled again upon the place, interrupted only by the casual chirping of birds, which had found their way into the chapel, and built their nests among its friezes and pendants – sure sign of solitariness and desertion.

When I read the names inscribed on the banners, they were those of men scattered far and wide about the world; some tossing upon distant seas; some under arms in distant lands; some mingling in the busy intrigues of courts and cabinets; all seeking to deserve one more distinction in this mansion of shadowy honors: the melancholy reward of a monument.

***

History fades into fable; fact becomes clouded with doubt and controversy; the inscription moulders from the tablet; the statue falls from the pedestal. Columns, arches, pyramids, what are they but heaps of sand; and their epitaphs, but characters written in the dust? What is the security of a tomb, or the perpetuity of an embalmment? The remains of Alexander the Great have been scattered to the wind, and his empty sarcophagus is now the mere curiosity of a museum…

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NATO Chief To Visit Ukraine To Discuss Membership

October 9, 2014 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
October 8, 2014

NATO secretary general to visit Ukraine after elections – foreign minister

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is interested in the attitude of Ukrainian politicians and the public to the issue of the country’s possible membership of the North Atlantic Alliance, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said.

“Mr. Stoltenberg showed an interest in sentiments in Ukraine’s political spectrum, and he will pay particular attention to this issue, in particular, after the [parliamentary] elections, when he plans to visit Ukraine,” he said after a meeting with Stoltenberg in Brussels on Wednesday.

Klimkin also said that Ukraine and NATO plan to further strengthen cooperation in the near future, including in the alliance’s military and technical aid to Ukraine, in the use of trust funds to help the country implement defense reform, as well as part of a program of enhanced opportunities .

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Romania: U.S. Navy Commissions NATO Interceptor Missile Base

October 9, 2014 Leave a comment

Stars and Stripes
October 9, 2014

Navy to commission missile defense base in Romania
By Steven Beardsley

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NAPLES, Italy: The Navy will commission its new missile defense base in southern Romania on Friday, one of two European land-based interceptor sites for a NATO missile shield vehemently opposed by Russia.

The base represents a rare expansion of the U.S. footprint in Europe, and the even rarer construction of a new Navy base from the ground up.

The base in Deveselu will be the first to feature the Aegis Ashore ballistic missile defense system, a land-based version of the sophisticated radar tracking system installed on U.S. warships since 2004. Scheduled to become operational by the end of next year, the base — which is housed within a larger Romanian military installation — will be staffed by several hundred U.S. military, civilian and contract employees. A second site, in Poland, is scheduled to become operational by 2018.

Capt. William Garren will become the site’s first commander on Friday, officials said.

The site is part of a NATO missile defense shield pursued by two U.S. administrations…Russia has long criticized the project, claiming it was aimed against its own ballistic missile arsenal. The dispute has taken on new significance with recent fighting between Ukraine and separatists near the Russian border and the sharp deterioration of relations between the West and Moscow.

First announced by the George W. Bush administration in 2007, plans for an extensive missile shield focused on long-range interceptor sites, were cut back by the Obama administration in favor of an emphasis on short- and medium-range missiles.

The current “phased, adaptive approach” for missile defense in Europe will be based on ship-borne interceptors until the permanent land sites in Romania and Poland become fully operational. It calls for regular upgrades to interceptor technology and relies on an improving network of land- and space-based sensors.

U.S. warships equipped with Aegis systems began making regular patrols in the Mediterranean in 2011, and the U.S. is moving four of the destroyers to Rota, Spain, for the missions. An advanced radar system in Turkey was completed in 2012.

The site at Deveselu, part of the second phase, will host an Aegis SPY-1 radar and hold 24 Standard Missile-3 interceptors of the Block IB variant. A four-story radar deckhouse, similar to those used on a warship, will be moved to the site from the U.S. East Coast as part of construction.

The third and fourth phases were to focus on medium- and longer-range missile threats, with construction of the second land-based site in Poland and development of two new SM-3 variants. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel canceled the fourth phase last year, which called for development of the long-range SM-3 variant by 2020.

The U.S. conducted the first test flight of its Aegis Ashore system on May 21 in Hawaii.

Naval Support Facility Deveselu officially entered the books last week with the start of the new fiscal year, according to Capt. Eric Gardner, officer in charge of the project in Naples. A small Friday ceremony will formally mark the turnover, he said. Construction at the site continues under a $134 million contract awarded by the military last year.

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U.S. To Provide Lethal Weapons To Ukrainian Client Regime

October 9, 2014 Leave a comment

Ukrinform
October 9, 2014

United States planning to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine – Lysenko

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KYIV: The United States is planning to provide lethal weapons to Ukraine.

National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) information and analytical center spokesman Andriy Lysenko said this at a briefing on Thursday, citing U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Derek Chollet, a Ukrinform correspondent reported.

“Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Derek Chollet said that the United States is working on a program to provide lethal assistance to Ukraine,” Lysenko said.

However, he did not mention what kind of weapons the United States is to send to Ukraine. “The issue does not currently concern the amount, quality and technical data of these weapons, at least in public, because negotiations are now underway,” he said.

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Moscow Belatedly Realizes NATO Buildup In Georgia A Dangerous Developemnt

October 9, 2014 1 comment

Civil Georgia
October 9, 2014

Moscow Warns Against ‘NATO Infrastructure’ in Georgia

Tbilisi: In response to Russian Foreign Ministry’s warning that deploying NATO “infrastructure” in Georgia would undermine stability in the region, Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said that the only “huge threat” to the region is Russia and “NATO infrastructure” will be created in Georgia “as agreed” by the alliance members at the Wales summit.

In a press statement on the twenty-ninth round of Geneva talks, held on October 8, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that at the meeting the Russian side “expressed concern in connection to the Georgian media reports about plans to deploy military infrastructure on the territory of Georgia in the interests of NATO.”

“Such actions would create threat to emerging stability in the Transcaucasus region,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The statement does not specify “infrastructure” in question, but reference is apparently made to a purported NATO training center on which Georgian and NATO officials were speaking about as part of the package that was offered to Georgia at the NATO Wales summit in September.

Commenting on Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement, Georgian Defense Minister Irakli Alasania told journalists on October 9 that “the only huge threat to the region is Russian occupying forces in our country”, stationed in breakaway Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and “ongoing aggression carried out by Russia against Ukraine.”

“NATO infrastructure will be created in Georgia,” Alasania said. “This is an agreement that was reached at the NATO summit [in Wales]. NATO-Georgia package serves this purpose – to open NATO infrastructure in Georgia in order to conduct joint military exercises and by doing so to boost deterrent factor against aggression, which is coming from Russia, and also to increase our defense capabilities. This is already decided and it will only contribute to the stability in our region,” he said.

He also said that Tbilisi has handed over its proposals on implementation of the package to NATO earlier this week and is now waiting for the response from the Alliance, expected within a month.

The Defense Minister said that the plan is to set up a “joint Georgian-NATO training center” which would be available for both Georgian and Alliance member states to provide training to their troops, as well as to servicemen from NATO partner states.

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David Graham Phillips: Captains of industry, industrial warfare, marauders and renegade generals

October 9, 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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David Graham Phillips
From The Deluge (1905)

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[O]nly a fool commits crimes that put him in the power of others. The crimes of the really big captains of industry and generals of finance are of the kind that puts others in their power.

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But while our country’s industrial territory is vast, the interests of the few great controllers who determine wages and prices for all are equally vast, and each plutocrat is tormented incessantly by jealousy and suspicion; not a day passes without conflicts of interest that adroit diplomacy could turn into ferocious warfare.

***

That small and exclusive circle, into which I was seeing myself admitted without the usual arduous and unequal battle, was what may be called the industrial ring – a loose, yet tight, combine of about a dozen men who controlled in one way or another practically all the industries of the country. They had no formal agreements; they held no official meetings. They did not look upon themselves as an association. They often quarreled among themselves, waged bitter wars upon each other over divisions of power or plunder. But, in the broad sense, in the true sense, they were an association – a band united by a common interest, to control finance, commerce and therefore politics; a band united by a common purpose, to keep that control in as few hands as possible. Whenever there was sign of peril from without they flung away differences, pooled resources, marched in full force to put down the insurrection. For they looked on any attempt to interfere with them as a mutiny, as an outbreak of anarchy. This band persisted, but membership in it changed, changed rapidly. Now, one would be beaten to death and despoiled by a clique of fellows; again, weak or rash ones would be cut off in strenuous battle. Often, most often, some too-powerful or too-arrogant member would be secretly and stealthily assassinated by a jealous associate or by a committee of internal safety. Of course, I do not mean literally assassinated, but assassinated, cut off, destroyed, in the sense that a man whose whole life is wealth and power is dead when wealth and power are taken from him.

Actual assassination, the crime of murder – these “gentlemen” rarely did anything which their lawyers did not advise them was legal or could be made legal by bribery of one kind or another. Rarely, I say – not never. You will see presently why I make that qualification.

I had my heart set upon membership in this band – and, as I confess now with shame, my prejudices of self-interest had blinded me into regarding it and its members as great and useful and honorable “captains of industry.” Honorable in the main; for, not even my prejudice could blind me to the almost hair-raising atrocity of some of their doings. Still, morality is largely a question of environment. I had been bred in that environment. Even the atrocities I excused on the ground that he who goes forth to war must be prepared to do and to tolerate many acts the church would have to strain a point to bless. What was Columbus but a marauder, a buccaneer? Was not Drake, in law and in fact, a pirate; Washington a traitor to his soldier’s oath of allegiance to King George? I had much to learn, and to unlearn.

***

[Y]ou don’t look for character in the proprietors, servants, customers and hangers-on of dives. No more ought you to look for honor among any of the people that have to do with the big gilded dive of the dollarocracy. They are there to gamble, and to prostitute themselves. The fact that they look like gentlemen and have the manners and the language of gentlemen ought to deceive nobody but the callow chaps of the sort that believes the swell gambler is “an honest fellow” and a “perfect gentleman otherwise,” because he wears a dress suit in the evening and is a judge of books and pictures. Lawyers are the doorkeepers and the messengers of the big dive; and these lawyers, though they stand the highest and get the biggest fees, are just what you would expect human beings to be who expose themselves to such temptations, and yield whenever they get an opportunity, as eager and as compliant as a cocotte.

***

In every office of the down town district – merchant, banker, broker, lawyer, man of commerce or finance – was not every busy brain plotting, not self-preservation but pillage and sack – plotting to increase the cost of living for the masses of men by slipping a little tax here and a little tax there on to everything by which men live? All along the line between the farm or mine or shop and the market, at every one of the toll-gates for the collection of just charges, these big financiers, backed up by the big lawyers and the rascally public officials, had an agent in charge to collect on each passing article more than was honestly due. A thousand subtle ways of levying, all combining to pour in upon the few the torrents of unjust wealth. I laugh when I read of laboring men striking for higher wages. Poor, ignorant fools – they almost deserve their fate. They had better be concerning themselves with a huge, universal strike at the polls for lower prices. What will it avail to get higher wages, as long as the masters control and recoup on the prices of all the things for which those wages must be spent?

***

I looked about me in Wall Street; in my mind’s eye I all in an instant saw my world as it really was. I saw the great rascals of “high finance,” their respectability stripped from them; saw them gathering in the spoils which their cleverly-trained agents, commercial and political and legal, filched with light fingers from the pockets of the crowd, saw the crowd looking up to these trainers and employers of pickpockets, hailing them “captains of industry”! They reaped only where and what others had sown; they touched industry only to plunder and to blight it; they organized it only that its profits might go to those who did not toil and who despised those who did. “Have I gone mad in the midst of sane men?” I asked myself. “Or have I been mad, and have I suddenly become sane in a lunatic world?”

***

Until I opened fire, the public thought, in a general way, that a bank was an institution like Thornley’s Discount and Deposit National – a place for the safe-keeping of money and for accommodating business men with loans to be used in carrying on and extending legitimate and useful enterprises. And there were many such banks. But the real object of the banking business, as exploited by the big bandits who controlled it and all industry, was to draw into a mass the money of the country that they might use it to manipulate the markets, to wreck and reorganize industries and wreck them again, to work off inflated bonds and stocks upon the public at inflated prices, to fight among themselves for rights to despoil, making the people pay the war budgets – in a word, to finance the thousand and one schemes whereby they and their friends and relatives, who neither produce nor help to produce, appropriate the bulk of all that is produced.

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NATO Chief To Visit Ukraine To Discuss Membership

October 8, 2014 Leave a comment

Interfax-Ukraine
October 8, 2014

NATO secretary general to visit Ukraine after elections – foreign minister

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is interested in the attitude of Ukrainian politicians and the public to the issue of the country’s possible membership of the North Atlantic Alliance, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said.

“Mr. Stoltenberg showed an interest in sentiments in Ukraine’s political spectrum, and he will pay particular attention to this issue, in particular, after the [parliamentary] elections, when he plans to visit Ukraine,” he said after a meeting with Stoltenberg in Brussels on Wednesday.

Klimkin also said that Ukraine and NATO plan to further strengthen cooperation in the near future, including in the alliance’s military and technical aid to Ukraine, in the use of trust funds to help the country implement defense reform, as well as part of a program of enhanced opportunities .

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S., NATO Step Up Aid For Ukraine’s 177-Day War

October 8, 2014 2 comments

Interfax-Ukraine
October 8, 2014

US to provide $46 mln in additional defensive security assistance to Ukraine – embassy

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U.S. President Barack Obama has approved more than $46 million in additional defensive security assistance to Ukraine since August, in addition to $70 million of security assistance announced earlier, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv said in a statement posted on its Web site on Wednesday.

“The United States is working to bolster Ukraine’s ability to secure its borders and preserve its territorial integrity and sovereignty in the face of Russian occupation of Crimea and a concerted effort by Russian-backed separatists to destabilize eastern Ukraine,” reads the statement.

It notes that this assistance includes funds for the provision of body armor, night vision goggles, armored SUVs and patrol vehicles, and additional communications equipment.

“This is in addition to the approximately 300,000 Meals Ready to Eat (delivered in March), as well as assistance for the provision of materiel using Foreign Military Financing to support Ukraine’s armed forces with medical supplies, service member equipment (e.g., helmets, sleeping mats, water purification units), explosive ordnance disposal equipment, and handheld radios,” the statement says.

In addition, the United States is providing equipment and training for a number of counter-mortar radar sets, intended to enhance the defensive capabilities of Ukrainian forces.

“Counter-mortar radars will help Ukrainian forces provide warning of incoming artillery fire,” the embassy said.

The United States has also allocated additional Cooperative Threat Reduction funding to support Ukraine’s State Border Guard Service with supplies.

“To date, Embassy Kyiv has purchased and delivered dozens of shelters, heavy engineering equipment (bulldozers, excavators, graders), diesel generators, fuel trucks, cargo trucks, small patrol craft, hand-held day/night optics, security fencing, patrol flashlights, perimeter alarm systems, fuel pumps, concertina wire, critical vehicle spares (tires, batteries, replacement engines), food storage freezers, field stoves, light armored patrol vehicles, secure communications, expert document search systems, passport inspection portable devices, technical endoscopes, handheld metal detectors/mirrors, camouflage suits, patrol caps, tactical boots, external (ballistic) knee and elbow protection pads, and waterproof suits to the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service for use in monitoring and securing their borders,” the report says.

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Interfax-Ukraine
October 8, 2014

Ukraine hopes NATO trust funds will start working this year – Klimkin

Some of the four NATO trust funds that were formed to help Ukraine reform the security sector are ready for practical cooperation, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin has said.

“We have four funds, and certain contributions will be made by the end of this year. But all trust funds, as we expect, will start working by the end of this year or early next year,” he said in Brussels on Wednesday after a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

He noted that Kyiv was currently trying to determine specific projects that will be implemented as part of these funds.

However, Klimkin declined to specify which amounts of money the issue may concern.

As reported, at the NATO summit in Wales in early September this year, it was decided to establish four trust funds to support reforms in Ukraine’s defense sector. The funds will work on projects in the field of logistics, defense sector management, cyber security and rehabilitation of wounded soldiers.

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Virginia: NATO Military Committee Advances Readiness Action Plan Against Russia

October 8, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation

October 8, 2014

NATO Military Committee discusses Transformation in Norfolk
Senior Chief Mass Communication Specialist Hendrick L. Dickson

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In Norfolk, Virginia, more than 100 of NATO’s most prominent military leaders met at Headquarters, Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT) October 7-8, to discuss the Alliance’s transformational agenda and plans to take on future security challenges.

Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), French Air Force General Jean-Paul Paloméros hosted NATO’s Military Committee (MC) as an opportunity to update the leaders on Allied Command Transformation’s (ACT) current and future programme of work and provide a platform for the MC to provide the most current direction and guidance for ACT’s future path.

Just a few months removed from the NATO Summit this past September, ACT will be influential in the implementation of many decisions from Wales, including the Readiness Action Plan (RAP) which will improve the collective defence of the Alliance and provide a very high readiness force able to deploy in short notice.

Discussions during the visit focused on how current programmes such as the Connected Forces Initiative (CFI), the NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP) and the Framework for Future Alliance Operations (FFAO) will be used to execute those decisions.

General Paloméros told the senior leaders that he and his staff are embracing the opportunity of laying the education and training framework that will shape the future of the military force.

“From my perspective the Wales Summit was a success,” said General Paloméros. “But now the real success will be to implement what came out of the Wales Summit. From ACT’s point of view it was a great acceptance to carry on a very dynamic transformation.”

The most senior NATO military official, the Chairman of the Military Committee, Danish Army General Knud Bartels, reiterated the importance of ACT carrying forward the Summit’s momentum through the initiatives that ACT has the lead on.

“We have to bring together CFI, the Smart Defence initiative and all those programmes in front of us, bring them together and align them with what we took away from the Wales Summit in order to take full advantage of our military capability and ensure we’re properly equipped to take on all challenges decisively,” General Bartels said.

The MC is composed of senior military officers from all 28 NATO member countries and headed by the Chairman. The committee advises NATO’s political leaders on military policy and strategy and direct NATO’s strategic commanders. The MC plays a key role in the development of NATO’s military policy and doctrine.

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Anaconda: NATO Completes Large-Scale War Games In Poland

October 8, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum

October 8, 2014

EXERCISE ANAKONDA 2014 COMES TO AN END

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BRUNSSUM, The Netherlands: Exercise Anakonda 2014 in Poland ended on 3 October after multiple live-fire demonstrations that highlighted the readiness and responsiveness of 12,500 Polish and 750 multinational forces from Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The first demonstration in Ustka, on the Polish shores of the Baltic Sea, took place 1 October and was attended by Brig. Gen. Torben Moller, the Director of Management at JFC Brunssum who served as the Anakonda Exercise Deputy Director of Coalition Forces and the leader of the JFC Brunssum NATO Exercise Integration Team who observed the exercise. The event, attended by defence attaches from more than a dozen countries around the world and international media, demonstrated defense capabilities and defensive tactics against enemy forces landing from the sea.

“This dynamic exercise demonstrated a wide spectrum of defense capabilities and it was extremely well executed by Poland and the other participating nations. It was very beneficial for myself and the NATO Exercise Integration Team to be here and observe the training firsthand in order to rapidly assess lessons learned and apply them to our upcoming NATO Response Force exercises,” said Brig. Gen. Torben Moller, JFCBS Director of Management. “I believe there is great potential to expand Exercise Anakonda even further for 2016 to include more nations and additional NATO support from Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum.”

The second demonstration in Orzysz, about 90 kilometers south of the border with Russia’s territory of Kaliningrad, was part of the Distinguished Visitor’s Day on 2 October that was attended by multinational officials including Poland’s President and the JFCBS Commander, General Hans-Lothar Domrose. The event featured a combined tactical arms scenario at the Battle Group level that highlighted close air support, search and rescue and other Polish Army assets.

“I was very impressed by the live-fire demonstration of ground forces and close air support that showed the capability, interoperability and readiness of multinational forces participating in this Polish led exercise,” said Gen. Hans-Lothar Domrose, JFCBS Commander. “I have already received positive feedback from our NATO Exercise Integration Team and I will meet with Polish military officials in the weeks ahead to discuss options for increasing NATO cooperation and participation for the next Anakonda exercise in 2016.”

Story and photos by Major Richard Komurek, JFCBS Public Affairs Office

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Poland: New Chief Praises NATO’s Air Forces Near Russian Border

October 8, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 7, 2014

NATO Secretary General thanks Allied pilots, crews in visit to Polish airbase

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked air force personnel from Poland and many other Allied countries on Monday (06 October 2014) for their service and for protecting the airspace over the Eastern part of the Alliance during a visit to the Łask airbase in central Poland. “You are doing an important job,” the Secretary General said. He stressed that “you come from many countries across the Alliance but you send one clear message: NATO is here. NATO is here to protect you. NATO is here to protect all Allies.”

At the airbase, Mr. Stoltenberg met pilots and air crews from across the Alliance. He had the opportunity to see several fighter jets used in NATO’s Baltic air-policing mission as well as tour a NATO E-3A ‘Sentry’ Airborne Warning & Control System (AWACS) aircraft. The Secretary General also received briefings from military commanders on NATO’s air-policing and AWACS missions. Earlier on Monday, Mr Stoltenberg was in Warsaw for talks with Polish President Bronisław Komorowski, Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz and other senior Polish government officials.

Since the start of the Ukraine crisis NATO has significantly strengthened the Alliance’s collective defence on its eastern borders. At the Wales Summit, Allies decided to maintain a continuous air, land, and sea presence and military activity in the eastern part of the Alliance on a rotational basis. This includes increased NATO air patrols over the Baltics, AWACS flights over Poland and Romania, and the rotation of forces throughout the region for exercises.

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Interview: White House Itching For Military Intervention In Middle East

October 8, 2014 Leave a comment

Press TV
October 8, 2014

President Obama itching for military intervention in Mideast: Activist

Audio

[Correction: Leon Panetta was Defense Secretary in the Obama administration]

An American peace activist says US President Barack Obama is “itching” for another military intervention in the Middle East by war against ISIL.

Obama is “itching for military intervention in another part of the world and this is particularly strategic, but also a sensitive part of the world, the Middle East,” Rick Rozoff, manager of the Stop NATO International Network, told Press TV on Tuesday.

“[T]he US has a large military presence in nations like Jordan [and] has increasingly been trying to insinuate itself militarily in Lebanon,” he added.

He also noted that the United States wants to increase its military presence throughout the region by using ISIL as “the pretext or as the excuse.”

Rozoff said the US and its allies are supporting armed groups against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Rozoff said “that’s what not be limited to Iraq and it certainly includes activities in Syria as I indicated may be up to including joining the ragtag army of mercenary and other opposition armed groups that the US and its NATO allies have been supporting against the legitimate government of Damascus.”

He made the comments after former defense secretary Leon Panetta, who is critical of Obama’s ISIL strategy, said that Washington could keep troops in Iraq beyond 2011 and start arming Syrian rebels even sooner than they did.

Panetta said the president’s backtrack harmed his credibility internationally, adding that confronting the ISIL terrorist group now could give Obama a chance to “repair the damage” after having “lost his way.”

Panetta said he still believes that Obama can still turn the situation around, not just for the country, but for himself during his remaining time in the White House.

“He may have found himself again with regards to this ISIS (or ISIL) crisis. I hope that’s the case,” Panetta said.

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Sinclair Lewis: Don’t much care what kind of war they prepare for

October 8, 2014 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

Sinclair Lewis: Selections on war

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Sinclair Lewis
From It Can’t Happen Here (1935)

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One of the few times when Mrs. Candy, their housekeeper, was permitted to enter his hermit’s cell was to leave there, on the long table, his mail. He picked it up and started to read briskly, standing by the table. (Time to go to bed! Too much chatter and bellyaching, this evening! Good Lord! Past midnight!) He sighed then, and sat in his Windsor chair, leaning his elbows on the table and studiously reading the first letter over again.

It was from Victor Loveland, one of the younger, more international-minded teachers in Doremus’s old school, Isaiah College.

DEAR DR. JESSUP:

(“Hm. ‘Dr. Jessup.’ Not me, m’ lad. The only honorary degree I’ll ever get’ll be Master in Veterinary Surgery or Laureate in Embalming.”)

A very dangerous situation has arisen here at Isaiah and those of us who are trying to advocate something like integrity and modernity are seriously worried – not, probably, that we need to be long, as we shall probably all get fired. Where two years ago most of our students just laughed at any idea of military drilling, they have gone warlike in a big way, with undergrads drilling with rifles, machine guns, and cute little blueprints of tanks and planes all over the place. Two of them, voluntarily, are going down to Rutland every week to take training in flying, avowedly to get ready for wartime aviation. When I cautiously ask them what the dickens war they are preparing for they just scratch and indicate they don’t care much, so long as they can get a chance to show what virile proud gents they are.

Well, we’ve got used to that. But just this afternoon – the newspapers haven’t got this yet – the Board of Trustees, including Mr. Francis Tasbrough and our president, Dr. Owen Peaseley, met and voted a resolution that – now listen to this, will you, Dr. Jessup – “Any member of the faculty or student body of Isaiah who shall in any way, publicly or privately, in print, writing, or by the spoken word, adversely criticize military training at or by Isaiah College, or in any other institution of learning in the United States, or by the state militias, federal forces, or other officially recognized military organizations in this country, shall be liable to immediate dismissal from this college, and any student who shall, with full and proper proof, bring to the attention of the President or any Trustee of the college such malign criticism by any person whatever connected in any way with the institution shall receive extra credits in his course in military training, such credits to apply to the number of credits necessary for graduation.”

What can we do with such fast exploding Fascism?

VICTOR LOVELAND.

And Loveland, teacher of Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit (two lone students) had never till now meddled in any politics of more recent date than A.D. 180.

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Ukrainian Junta Admits Losing Almost 1,000 Soldiers In 176-Day War

October 7, 2014 Leave a comment

National Radio Company of Ukraine
October 7, 2014

Over 700 Ukrainian servicemen killed in east Ukraine operation

The Ukrainian Armed Forces sustained the largest losses during the anti-terrorist operation in eastern Ukraine and three quarters of the fatalities are Ukrainian servicemen, Ukraine’s chief military prosecutor, Anatoliy Matios, has said. He also said at a press conference in Kyiv on October 7 that five Ukrainian servicemen had been killed and 28 others wounded over the past 24 hours.

Since the operation was launched in mid-April, 956 servicemen have been killed, among them 743 who served with the Armed Forces, 69 with the Interior Ministry, 58 with the State Border Service, ten with the Ukrainian Security Service and 65 with the National Guard, he said. As many as 3,627 servicemen have been wounded over this period, among them 2,619 troops, 273 Interior Ministry servicemen, 344 border guards, 358 National Guard members and ten Ukrainian Security Service personnel.

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Reposting: NATO’s military encirclement of Russia

October 7, 2014 Leave a comment

On March 11, 2009, Rick Rozoff was interviewed on Russia Today. He discussed the continued US policy of military encirclement of Russia during the new Obama administration.

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NATO Absorption: Georgian Chief Of General Staff In Germany

October 7, 2014 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defense of Georgia
October 7, 2014

Chief of General Staff of GAF Visits German Federation

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Chief of General Staff of the GAF, Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze pays three day official visit to the German Federation Republic. Chief of General Staff left for Germany under the invitation for his German counterpart General Volker Wieker. For the recent ten years the high military representative of the Georgian Armed Forces has visited Germany for the first time under the personal invitation of Chief of General Staff of Bundeswehr.

Within the official visit, the top military brass of Germany and Georgia has already held bilateral meeting. The sides discussed bilateral cooperation issues and future relation prospects. They also referred to the regional security environment.

Within the visit the visit, Major General Vakhtang Kapanadze will visit the Training Center in Hammelburg where the Georgian company is undergoing pre-deployment exercise for Afghanistan. Visit to Operative Command of Bundeswehr is scheduled as well.

Official visit of Chief of General Staff of the GAF to the German Federation republic will come to an end tomorrow.

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In Tandem With NATO, EU Concentrates On GUAM States

October 7, 2014 Leave a comment

Civil Georgia
October 7, 2014

Mogherini: ‘EU Needs Greater Attention to Eastern Neighbors’

[Collectively, the European Union's Eastern Partnership consists of Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Azerbaijan - the GUAM nations - and Armenia and Belarus (members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization). That is, all former Soviet federal republics in Europe and the South Caucasus except the three Baltic States, already members of the EU and NATO, and Russia. RR]

Tbilisi: Federica Mogherini, Italy’s foreign minister who is nominated as next EU foreign policy chief, told European Parliament members during a confirmation hearing on October 6 that in its eastern neighborhood the EU “will need to support” Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine

“We need a greater attention in different forms to the east – starting from support to Ukraine in terms of security, institutional reforms, political process, economic challenges and energy challenges. We will need to support Moldova and Georgia… We will need to work with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus on our way forward,” Mogherini said in his opening remarks during the hearing at the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee.

Georgia was mentioned in the context of the Eastern Partnership once again during the three-hour hearing when Mogherini was asked how she sees democratic transformation in the Eastern Partnership countries in the view of Russia’s attempts “to establish Soviet sphere of influence there.”

Mogherini responded: “I think the attempt that Russians trying to have is that of showing that the European choice is bad for the people in those countries… If we manage to show together that the European choice is good for the citizens of these countries – I think of Moldova, where difficult elections are coming now, I think of Georgia, I thing obviously of Ukraine – if the European choice is delivering concrete good results for the people, that would be an attractive pull factor also for parts of their societies that are probably thinking in different way today.”

In her opening remarks Mogherini said that Russia “might not be a partner at the moment – which is a picture of the situation today, still it is a strategic country in the world.”

“So I guess we will need to deeply re-assess together our relations [with] Russia,” she said.

Asked which tactic she would use if confronted by “Russia bear”, Mogherini responded: “I would say that we need mix of assertiveness and diplomacy – the balance will also depend on the reaction of the bear.”

When Estonian MEP Tunne Kelam told Mogherini that “you have yet to convince me how to stop Mr. Putin” and that EU’s sanctions are lagging behind Kremlin’s moves, Mogherini responded that the sanctions have been “effective” as the Russian economy “is starting to suffer quite a lot.” But she also added: “Are they [sanctions] effective on Russian political decisions? I think we still have a question mark there.” Mogherini said that her “point of reference” is to work with the Ukrainians and to support President Petro Poroshenko’s efforts “because in the end they are the ones who have to deal with conflict on their territory.”

She also said that the EU may need to work on increasing sanctions against Russia “if things get worse” in respect of Ukraine, and the EU “could lift the sanctions if things get better.”

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New NATO Chief Rattles Saber At Polish Air Base

October 7, 2014 Leave a comment

U.S. Defense Department
October 7, 2014

NATO secretary-general visits Poland
By Tech. Sgt. Eric Donner
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

LASK AIR BASE, Poland: The new NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg visited Lask Air Base, Poland, Oct. 6, to express his gratitude to NATO partners for their on-going dedication to the security of the region and commitment to NATO.

“We come together to deliver one clear common message, that NATO is here to protect all allies,” said Stoltenberg. “This is what NATO is all about, strong solidarity and strong defense.”

The secretary-general continued to stress the lasting dedication to NATO’s diplomatic and military partnerships.

“We face great challenges to the east and to the south, so we must keep NATO strong as a political alliance and as a military alliance,” said Stoltenberg. “Thank you for your steadfast commitment to the mission.”

Stoltenberg also spoke on the importance of implementing plans from the NATO Wales summit held last month, ensuring that NATO stays ready for all contingences.

“We need to implement the plans in full and on time,” said Stoltenberg. “The readiness action plan will ensure that we can respond even faster to fast moving crises, with a spirituous force that can deploy within days.”

He concluded by thanking the NATO allies in attendance to include the United States, Canada, Belgium, Poland, Netherlands, France and Germany in addition to all NATO partners for their dedication to the mission.

“Thank you all very much and all your comrades for what you are doing,” said Stoltenberg. “I am very privileged and proud to meet you and I wish you the best luck in your missions.”

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Edward Dyer: So that of war the very name may not be heard again

October 7, 2014 Leave a comment

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

Edward Dyer
From Extracts from Sixe Idillia: The Prayer of Theocritus for Syracuse

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Out of our island drive our enemies, our bitter fate,
Along the Sardine sea, that death of friends they may relate
Unto their children and their wives, and that the towns opprest
By enemies, of th’ old inhabitants may be possest:
That they may till the fields, and sheep upon the downs may bleat
By thousands infinite and fat, and that the herd of neat
As to their stalls they go may press the lingering traveller.
Let grounds be broken up for seed, what time the grasshopper
Watching the shepherds by their flocks, in boughs close singing lies,
And let the spiders spread their slender webs in armories,
So that of war the very name may not be heard again.

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Norway: NATO Trains For Next Kosovo/Afghanistan-Style Wars

October 6, 2014 2 comments

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation

October 4, 2014

Exploring the Future of Security Force Assistance through Experimentation

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NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT) Operational Experimentation supported by NATO ACT Operational Analysis Branch conducted a SFA LOE at the Norwegian Defence Command and Staff College in Oslo, Norway, 30 September – 2 October 2014.

SFA has consistently been identified as a key enabler for achieving success in NATO crisis response operations and this has been underscored during NATO’s International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan and Kosovo Force (KFOR) operations. The operational requirement to train and enable local security forces is a fundamental part of NATO’s comprehensive approach that is embedded within NATO’s approach to crisis response.

As part of the Concept Development and Experimentation (CD&E) process, ACT staff sought to assess select elements of the Allied Joint Doctrine for Security Force Assistance using Alternative Analysis techniques (AltA); an ACT OA developed technique that has now become a standard part of the experimenter’s toolset.

“The AltA techniques proved to be very beneficial in assisting the syndicates to identify the draft doctrine shortfalls and areas requiring greater focus and reevaluation,” said LTC James Johnston, participant from NATO Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC).

NATO SFA currently includes all NATO activities that assist the host-nation to develop and improve or provide direct support to the development of local security forces and their associated institution. The Allied Joint Doctrine, currently under development by the UK Doctrine, Concept and Development Centre (DCDC) in coordination with ACT and Allied Command Operations (ACO), specifically addresses the ways and means required to deliver SFA action.

Through a good use of well-designed analytical processes, the SFA experiment has delivered focused questions for the SFA Writing Team to consider,” said Wg Cdr Kevin Cowieson, DCDC Doctrine Developer. “Answering these questions will improve the depth of the doctrine and add clarity to several key elements.”

The event hosted subject matter experts and participants from the UK’s DCDC, Centre Interarmées de Concepts, de Doctrines et d’Expérimentations (CICDE), Crisis Management and Disaster Response (CMDR) COE, HQ KFOR, NATO Liaison and Advisory Team (NLAT), US Joint Center for International Security Force Assistance, HQ Panzerbrigade 21, NATO Special Operations Headquarters (NSHQ), Joint Analysis and Lessons Learned Centre (JALLC), SHAPE, CCOMC (ISAF), and Joint Force Training Centre (JFTC).

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Experts Discuss NATO Nuclear Policy In Poland

October 6, 2014 Leave a comment

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_113588.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 6, 2014

Experts discuss NATO nuclear policy issues in Wroclaw, Poland

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National experts and NATO officials involved in all aspects of NATO nuclear deterrence policy met in Wroclaw, Poland from 1-3 October (2014) for talks on current nuclear policy issues.

The annual NATO Nuclear Policy Symposium is an important forum for security consultation and cooperation in the nuclear policy field. This year’s event was held at the invitation of the Polish Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The meeting was part of regular NATO-led consultations on nuclear policy and arms control issues. The aim of the talks was to sustain and improve mutual understanding and national positions on nuclear policy issues. Participants included senior diplomatic, civilian and military officials with nuclear policy responsibilities and were drawn from across NATO nations, Alliance headquarters and from international organisations. The NATO Nuclear Policy Symposium has been held annually since 1992.

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New Chief: NATO Ready For War In Eastern Europe

October 6, 2014 1 comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 6, 2014

NATO will defend every Ally, NATO Secretary General stresses in Poland

NATO Secretary General visits Poland

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stressed that NATO would defend every Ally on a visit to Poland on Monday (6 October 2014). “NATO’s most important task is to protect and defend our nations against attack. We will defend our Allies, all Allies”, Mr Stoltenberg said after meetings with Polish President Bronisław Komorowski and Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz in Warsaw.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meets with the President of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski
International security challenges including Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine, progress in implementing the decisions taken at the NATO Summit in Wales, and preparations for the 2016 Summit in Poland were the main themes during the talks. The Secretary General expressed his commitment to implementing the Wales Summit decisions in full. He stressed that the steps being taken by NATO to reinforce collective defence are fully in line with NATO’s international commitments.

Mr Stoltenberg praised Poland for its significant contribution to the Alliance’s operations and its commitment to strong defence: “Polish troops serve with great distinction in Afghanistan, and in Kosovo. You are a key contributor to our Missile Defence system. Soon, Poland will spend 2% of its Gross Domestic Product on defence. And you are making the right decisions to invest in new equipment and capabilities”.

Mr Stoltenberg also held talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Tomasz Siemoniak, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Grzegorz Schetyna, before heading to Łask Air Base to meet with air force personnel from Poland and other Allied countries. The visit to Poland is NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s first official country visit since taking up his post as earlier this month.

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Iceland: Czech Republic Deploys Five Gripens For NATO Mission

October 6, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

October 6, 2014

CZECH JAS-39 GRIPEN DEPLOY TO ICELAND ON NATO MISSION

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The Czech Air Force has deployed five of its JAS-39 Gripen fighter aircraft and a total of 80 aircrew and ground personnel to Iceland for the last quarter of 2014. On Monday, 6 October 2014 the main body of the Czech contingent departed from 21st Tactical Air Force Base Čáslav. Five JAS-39 Gripen aircraft of the Czech Air Force will then take off from there on Thursday, 9 October. Their mission will be to provide Airborne Surveillance and Interception Capabilities to meet Iceland’s Peacetime Preparedness Needs (ASICIPPN) on behalf of NATO.

On their way up north, the Czech Gripen aircraft will be supported by an Italian KC-767 tanker aircraft. The KC-767 is scheduled to take off from Pardubice airport in eastern Bohemia and provide both transport capacity for personnel and material for the Czech contingent. It will also conduct air-to-air refuelling for the Gripen fighters on their flight to Iceland.

Until December 2014, the Czech Air Force will be conducting air defence flying training missions and provide the necessary degree of training of NATO and Icelandic support personnel. This will ensure that the Alliance could conduct a full-scale peacetime air policing mission at the shortest possible notice.

Since early 2008, when the United States Air Force withdrew their permanent forces from Iceland, NATO Allies have taken turns deploying their fighters to the Nordic Ally for a training period of several weeks. The Czech JAS-39 deployment is the third this year and was preceded by Norwegian F-16s and United States F-15 in February and June, respectively.

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Archibald MacLeish: The disastrous war, the silent slain

October 6, 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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Archibald MacLeish
The Silent Slain

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We too, we too, descending once again
The hills of our own land, we too have heard
Far off – Ah, que ce cor a longue haleine -
The horn of Roland in the passages of Spain,
the first, the second blast, the failing third,
And with the third turned back and climbed once more
The steep road southward, and heard faint the sound
Of swords, of horses, the disastrous war,
And crossed the dark defile at last, and found
At Roncevaux upon the darkening plain
The dead against the dead and on the silent ground
The silent slain –

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U.S. Marines Lead War Games In Romania

October 5, 2014 Leave a comment

U.S. Marine Corps
October 2, 2014

MARINES, ROMANIAN FORCES TRAIN TO THWART POTENTIAL ATTACK AT CINCU-14
By Lance Cpl. Ryan Young, Marine Corps Forces Africa

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CINCU, Romania: The roar of gunshots and explosions echoed through the mountains of Romania as Marines and the Romanian military moved forward together to bring the fight to the large enemy force waiting in the valley.

Machine gun fire ripped through the air and anti-tank missiles slammed into simulated targets at the height of the live-fire combined arms exercise.

The Black Sea Rotational Force 14 Marines were participating in CINCU-14, an exercise designed to promote interoperability with the Romanian military, Sep. 14-26 at Cincu, Romania.

The exercise consisted of military-to-military training, live-fire ranges, fire support coordination training and sharing tactics, techniques and procedures.

Prior to the live-fire attack a weapons familiarization course was held, where each military set up weapons systems for the other military’s troops to handle and practice with in a live-fire area.

It allowed us to become familiar with their weapons systems and show our capabilities for future exercises, said Capt. Matthew Deffenbaugh, 2/2 Weapons Co. commander.

The live-fire range, which concluded Cincu-14, had Marine rifle platoons, a Combined Anti-Armor Team and a platoon of 81 mm mortarmen firing weapons in synchronization with Romanian land and air forces. The troops of both countries moved in coordination with one another via rehearsed actions and quick communication. Anti-tank missiles, small-arms fire and Romanian armored vehicles and planes were just some of the weapons that pounded the range at Cincu.

“It was a good example of the partnership and capabilities that we built over the past two weeks to be able to integrate during a live fire evolution as complicated as this one was,” said Deffenbaugh.

Cincu-14 helped Marines and Romanian forces work together on a tactical level, building understanding of troop movements as well as weapons systems between the Marines and Romanian military.

“We had a lot of interoperability between Romanians and Marines,” said 1st Lt. Richard Benning, 2/2 CAAT platoon commander. “It exposed the marines to other tactics and [procedures] that our foreign nation partners use.”

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Harold Frederic: War inflicts stifling political conformity

October 5, 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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Harold Frederic
From The Damnation of Theron Ware (1896)

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His boyhood had been spent in those bitter days when social, political, and blood prejudices were fused at white heat in the crucible of war. When he went to the Church Seminary, it was a matter of course that every member of the faculty was a Republican, and that every one of his classmates had come from a Republican household. When, later on, he entered the ministry, the rule was still incredulous of exceptions. One might as well have looked in the Nedahma Conference for a divergence of opinion on the Trinity as for a difference in political conviction. Indeed, even among the laity, Theron could not feel sure that he had ever known a Democrat; that is, at all closely. He understood very little about politics, it is true. If he had been driven into a corner, and forced to attempt an explanation of this tremendous partisan unity in which he had a share, he would probably have first mentioned the War – the last shots of which were fired while he was still in petticoats…

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Joint Warrior: Lithuanian Navy Commands NATO Naval Forces

October 4, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Maritime Command

October 3, 2014

NATO MINE COUNTER MEASURES GROUP ARRIVES IN FASLANE IN ADVANCE OF JOINT WARRIOR EXERCISE

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FASLANE, UK: This morning, Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group ONE (SNMCMG1), under the leadership of Lithuanian Navy Commander Giedrius Premeneckas, arrived in Faslane, the United Kingdom, for a routine port visit in advance of the Royal Navy-led Exercise JOINT WARRIOR.

SNMCMG1‘s visit to Faslane is part of the Group‘s deployment programme. This deployment marks the first time that the Lithuanian Navy has taken command of one of NATO’s Standing Naval Forces.

“I look forward to this very challenging and beneficial exercise with our Royal Navy partners and the various forces participating,” said Commander Premeneckas. “I am convinced that JOINT WARRIOR will add significant value to further enhancing SNMCMG1’s training and professionalism. I view this exercise as a valuable contribution to NATO-provided package of assurance measures.”

JOINT WARRIOR is a UK tri-Service multinational exercise which runs twice a year involving numerous warships, aircraft, special operations and land forces in the coast of Scotland. Joint Warrior provides a complex environment in which UK and NATO partners units can go through training together in tactics and skills for use in a combined joint task force.

The exercise runs through a range of evolving crises and conflict scenarios that could be realistically encountered in real operations. They include maritime security, disputed territory, anti-terrorism, counter-piracy, combat operations and more. This massive multinational exercise delivers specialized maritime training, bringing together into theatre, air, surface, subsurface and amphibious forces.

Commander Premeneckas took command of SNMCMG1 August 7, during a port visit to Klaipeda, Lithuania. Since then, the Group has been conducting operations in the Baltic,providing enhanced maritime security and maritime situational awareness.

Story by: MARCOM Public Affairs Office.

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Ella Wheeler Wilcox: A Plea To Peace

October 4, 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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Ella Wheeler Wilcox
A Plea To Peace (1918)

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When mighty issues loom before us, all
The petty great men of the day seem small,
Like pigmies standing in a blaze of light
Before some grim majestic mountain-height.
War, with its bloody and impartial hand,
Reveals the hidden weakness of a land,
Uncrowns the heroes trusting Peace has made
Of men whose honor is a thing of trade,
And turns the searchlight full on many a place
Where proud conventions long have masked disgrace.
O lovely Peace! as thou art fair be wise.
Demand great men, and great men shall arise
To do thy bidding. Even as warriors come,
Swift at the call of bugle and of drum,
So at the voice of Peace, imperative
As bugle’s call, shall heroes spring to live
For country and for thee. In every land,
In every age, men are what times demand.
Demand the best, O Peace, and teach thy sons
They need not rush in front of death-charged guns
With murder in their hearts to prove their worth.
The grandest heroes who have graced the earth
Were love-filled souls who did not seek the fray,
But chose the safe, hard, high, and lonely way
Of selfless labor for a suffering world.
Beneath our glorious flag again unfurled
In victory such heroes wait to be
Called into bloodless action, Peace, by thee.
Be thou insistent in thy stern demand,
And wise, great men shall rise up in the land.

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U.S.-NATO Move Armored Vehicles Into Baltics

October 3, 2014 Leave a comment

U.S. Army Europe
October 3, 2014

WHAT IS OPERATION ATLANTIC RESOLVE?

Military vehicles from Fort Hood, Texas, arrive in Latvia

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Persistent presence land forces assurance exercises are the first in a series of expanded U.S. land force training activities in Poland and the Baltic region taking place for the next few months and beyond. The exercises, conducted by U.S. Army Europe Soldiers and host nation forces, are a demonstration of U.S. commitment to NATO and to our collective defense responsibilities through increased ground, air, and naval force presence.

The intent of the supplementary exercises is to reassure NATO allies that the U.S. commitment to meeting our nation’s Article 5 obligations is unwavering. Accordingly, U.S. Army Europe has deployed a company-sized contingent of U.S. paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, to Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia, roughly 600 Soldiers in all, to conduct the expanded land force training. This action comes at the request of the host nation governments.

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NATO Conducts Military Exercise In Hungary

October 3, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

October 3, 2014

DSACEUR ATTENDS EXERCISE ‘STEADFAST JAVELIN III’ DISTINGUISHED VISITORS DAY

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As part of a 2 day visit to Hungary Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR), General Sir Adrian Bradshaw attended the Distinguished Visitors day (DV day) for exercise ‘Steadfast Javelin-III’, on Thursday the 2 October 2014. The event took place at the Central Exercise and Shooting Range, Hungary and involved 344 troops and 64 vehicles as well as JAS-39 Gripen aircraft, in a coordinated fire and manoeuvre exercise to repel an invading enemy force.

The aim of the exercise in general was to prepare the Battalion Battle Group for the full spectrum of operations during day and night operations; to practice cooperation with Air and Supporting forces; and to enhance the troop leading capabilities of commanders and leaders.

DV day demonstration showcased all the capabilities that the Battalion had to offer and Gen Bradshaw was quoted as saying “I was impressed by the realistic scenario, the manoeuvres and the cooperation of Air Forces and supporting troops on the ground”. He then went on to say “This NATO exercise, with the participation of a number of member nations, presented real operational capabilities and interoperability. Additionally, it built deterrence while sending the primary message to any potential aggressor: NATO’s commitment to Collective Defence is still the top priority of the Alliance”.

During the event the Hungarian Chief of Defence (CHoD) offered Hungarian Special Forces to the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), also known as the ‘Spearhead’ Force that is being developed as part of the Readiness Action Plan (RAP). He stated that “they were extremely professional, fit, determined and ready to conduct joint operations with other NATO Special Force units”.

Story by: SHAPE Public Affairs Office.

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Estonia: NATO Trains Members, Partners For War Compatability

October 3, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Air Command

October 2, 2014

BALTIC REGIONAL TRAINING EVENT PROVIDES EXCELLENT INTEROPERABILITY TRAINING

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Ämari Air Base, Estonia: Interoperability and cooperation between NATO and Partnership for Peace (PfP) countries was the focus during the two day Baltic Region Training Event (BRTE) from September 30th to October 1st. Over 16 aircraft from five NATO Nations and two PfP Nations, Sweden and Finland, strengthened their cooperation in a variety of aerial scenarios. The training was supported by the NATO Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) and a US Air Force tanker aircraft.

Three times a year for the past six years, the Baltic Regional Training Event has taken place in the Baltic States. Due to the augmentation of NATO’s Baltic Air Policing (BAP) forces in the spring of this year it was possible, during this 19th iteration of the BRTE, to draw on more flying assets already deployed in the region.

“The increased number of fighters involved in the BAP offers a huge benefit for our training,” said Major Dimitrios Koukaras, Hellenic Air Force, who is the project officer for BRTE 19 at NATO’s Air Command in Ramstein, Germany. “This way we can exploit the areas of interoperability and cooperation more deeply. BRTEs are an established series of training events; however, they have nothing to do with the Allied air policing mission in the Baltic region.

”During the media event on September 30th, several journalists had the opportunity to see first-hand what BRTE 19 was about. In addition to a static aircraft display at Ämari Air Base, Estonia, the training included a ‘COMLOSS scenario’. An Estonian L-410 transport plane simulated a loss of communications and was intercepted by fighters from PfP member Finland, which in turn handed it over to the German NATO fighters currently flying out of Ämari. For the journalists on board of the Estonian L-410 this was a special situation. They witnessed the measures and procedures that have to take place in the air and on the ground to identify this aircraft. The media on board the L-410 transport saw the Finnish fighters flying in, handing over the plane to the German fighters which escorted it back to Ämari for a safe landing.

“It is a major benefit for us that Ämari Air Base is the venue for this established training event for the second time,” said the Colonel Jaak Tarien, the Commander of the Estonian Air Force. “This NATO base hosts BAP assets and is now involved in the two-day BRTE. We are very pleased that we can provide our contribution to both Allied projects as a Host Nation.”

BRTE 19 included the following air assets: Portuguese F-16 fighters, Canadian CF-188s, German Eurofighters, Dutch F-16 fighters, Estonian L-410, AN-2 transport aircraft, and a SAR helicopter. PfP nations provided F-18 and JAS-39 Gripen fighters. NATO AWACS and a US Air Force KC-135R tanker aircraft from the United Kingdom also flew in support of the training event. BRTE 19 command and control was provided by Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC) Uedem, Germany, Control and Reporting Centre (CRC) Karmelava, Lithuania, and Finland, Control and Reporting Point (CRP) Ämari, Estonia, as well as civilian Air Traffic Control agencies.

Story by: Air Command Public Affairs Office.

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NATO Integration: British Defence Staff In Georgia

October 3, 2014 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
October 2, 2014

UK Defence Staff Visit to Georgia

UK Defence staff pays a working visit to Georgia. Within two day visit, members of the delegation led by Deputy Head of Bilateral Relations NATO and EU Debbie Brothers held meetings with Deputy Defence Ministers Tamar Karosanidze and Mikheil Darchiashvili.

At the meetings Deputy Defence Ministers informed the British guests on the fulfilled and ongoing reforms in Georgian defence sphere. The sides also referred to the future cooperation prospects.

First Deputy Chief of general Staff of the GAF, Brigadier General Vladimer Chachibaia hosted the UK Defence staff as well. The sides talked about regional security issues and cooperation plans in military educational field.

Following the meetings at the MoD, Defence Cooperation Plan of 2015-2016 was signed between the Defence Ministries of Georgia and the UK.

Within the visit to Georgia, the UK Defence Staff visited NATO Liaison Office and Ministry of Internal Affairs.

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Malcolm Cowley: By day there are only the dead

October 3, 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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Malcolm Cowley
Ostel 1917

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By day
The town basks in the sun like some Aztec ruin.
There is quiet in the trenches nearby; quiet and strained watching.
The crumbling walls of the village are without habitant.

Everything changes with nightfall.
Hooded camions rumble up the street in convoy.
Out of holes in the ground come tired old men to unload them.
Artillery caissons strain towards the batteries
And trains of pack mules.
Down from the trenches stumble figures shrouded in mud.
Continually there are starshells
And the nervous hammer of machine guns
And ambulances.

Men work and talk; eat and dig graves;
The slow dawn comes and everything disappears
Machines and men and animals
Like old-fashioned ghosts
At midnight.

By day
There are only the dead
And like vultures
The aeroplanes circling above them.

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Spearhead East: NATO Deputy Military Commander In Hungary

October 2, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

October 2, 2014

DEPUTY SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER EUROPE IN HUNGARIAN ‘SPEARHEAD’ DISCUSSION

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The DSACEUR, Gen. Sir Adrian Bradshaw, recently visited Hungary for the second time in three months to discuss the new ‘Spearhead’ Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF).

Since his last stay, two important events have occurred, namely The Wales Summit and a Chiefs of Defence (CHOD) conference held in Vilnius, Lithuania. The summit gave political guidance to military leaders with reference to the way ahead post the Ukraine crisis, and the CHOD conference allowed for healthy discussion about how to implement the plan and, more specifically, what the size and shape of the VJTF would look like.

“Due to recent circumstances, it is well justified that NATO nations meet more often,” said Gen. Tibor Benkő, Hungarian CHoD, at a joint press conference Wednesday afternoon.

“The primary reason of my visit is really clear,” said Gen. Bradshaw in his statement, “and involves gaining support for the VJTF concept: The changed environment in Eastern Europe resulted in a changing of national borders and interior affairs of a sovereign country. After the assurance measures, which are defensive in nature and proportionate, we re-examined our deterrence force in order that no one could have any doubt about its capabilities.”

Hungary is closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine because it has a common border with the war-torn country and because there are ethnic Hungarian groups as well as strong economic and trade connections between the two nations.

“Hungary’s role at the moment is to help Ukraine carry on with their determined direction”, Benkő highlighted.

As well as having a plenary discussion with the Hungarian CHoD, Bradshaw also had a one-on-one discussion with Csaba Hende, Minister of Defence, and Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“Hungary has been a strong contributor to NATO and is determined to continue to be so,” he concluded after his meetings.

The second day of the visit, Thursday, Oct. 2, is dedicated to a military engagement: DSACEUR is slated to participate in the exercise during the distinguished visitor day, and during exercise Steadfast Javelin 3, the Live-exercise portion of the Hungarian series of exercises, Common Action 2014.

Story by: SHAPE Public Affairs Office.

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U.S., NATO Continue Large-Scale War Games In Poland

October 2, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Joint Forces Command Brunssum

October 1, 2014

ANAKONDA, A MULTINATIONAL AND JOINT LIVE DEFENSIVE EXERCISE TAKES PLACE IN POLAND

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Approximately 12,500 troops from Poland, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Great Britain and the United States will participate in a multi-national exercise called ‘Exercise Anakonda’. This bi-annual exercise began with an Opening Ceremony on 24th September in Warsaw.

This year, NATO will provide a NATO Exercise Integration Team (NEIT) which will observe and assess information and exercise procedures. This information will then be used to greatly develop future NATO Exercises and support such exercise frameworks.

The team leader for the NEIT, Brigadier General Torben Møller who is also the Director of Management at JFC Brunssum, has been designated as the Exercise Anakonda Deputy Commander.

“Exercise Anakonda 14 is a multinational effort led by the Polish Armed Forces Operational Command. This exercise will conduct joint defensive operations against a conventional attack from enemy forces’’ he said.

The aim of the exercise is also to create and rehearse conditions for any Allied Reinforcement and further enhance corporation with Polish non-military organizations’’ he added. Exercise Anakonda 14 has already provided important operational feedback, with interoperability already proving to be a success. In addition to monitoring this exercise, the NEIT will also begin to assess and prepare for Anakonda 16.

Story by: Joint Forces Command Brunssum Public Affairs Office.

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Maxim Gorky: Only time to train cannon fodder, not soldiers

October 2, 2014 Leave a comment

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

Russian writers on war

Maxim Gorky: Selections on war

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

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The streets and squares of the city had long since been in use for drilling soldiers, and everywhere rang the command:

“‘Tion!”

The command lingered in his memory from childhood, when, in the tranquillity of a provincial town, it had rung assured and imperious, although coming from a distance – from the field. Here in the city which commanded the forces of the enormous country, the life of a hundred and fifty million souls, this command sounded irritable, hopeless, sometime actually despondent and futile, like an appeal or a cry of despair.

Samghin, listening to the order, shook his head incredulously, and came to a stop. Before him, striding along the cobbled pavements of the street, he saw small men in faded uniforms, all of them ill-fitting. Many of the men were still in civilian clothes. They stepped out as if against their will, as if unable to believe that in order to go and kill they must stamp vigorously on the cobbled or wooden pavements.

“Left! Left!” admonished a tall soldier huskily. He had a cross on his chest, and stripes on his sleeves. He limped, supporting himself on a thick stick. The diverse faces of the little men in ranks were lined with the same expression of sullen boredom; their variously colored eyes were marked by an identical vacancy.

“‘Tion!” shouted at them officers wearied by ordering about a living, but sluggish, group of people who seemed to Samghin as crumpled and empty as deflated rubber balls. The humid, hillocky sky, shredded with clouds, hung over the ditches of the streets, over the squares. The withered sun, scattering murky light, expanded somewhere far behind the clouds.

“‘Tion!” commanded the officers.

The city was already waking and rattling. Men were removing the scaffolding from an unfinished house. A fire brigade was on its way back from work. The wet, crinkled firemen stared at the men who were being taught to walk on the earth shoulder to shoulder. From around a corner came an officer, riding on a pied horse. After him crawled small guns, cutting across the firemen’s path, rumbling metallically. Soldiers in steel helmets marched on. A small crowd of men variously costumed passed by, led by s black-bearded priest bearing an ikon, beside him a youth carrying a pole with the national flag across his shoulder, like a rifle.

Samghin stood on the sidewalk, smoking, aware that the whole business did not depress him so much as it embarrassed him – embarrassed and saddened him. The soldier with the cross and the stripes ordered, in a subdued voice,

“At ease – smoke – “

Limping, thrusting his stick at the pavement, he crossed to the sidewalk and and sat down on the curb, where he pulled a newspaper from his pocket and hid his face behind it. Samghin observed that the soldier, as he glanced his way, wanted to salute but thought better of it.

“Training them?” he asked. The soldier, reluctantly, looking at him over the paper, replied in a low voice:

“Yes. Rough-hewing them. But you can’t make a soldier in a month – as you can see for yourself.”

Samghin walked on. After this when he saw soldiers drilling, he stopped for a few minutes to watch, and to listen to the comments of passers-by, to other watchers like himself. The remarks were sarcastic, angry, glum, sullen.

“Small-caliber men – “

“The big ones, I suppose, have been destroyed.”

“Heroes like that won’t be able to thrash the Germans.”

And the women sighed:

“Oh, Lord, when will the end be?”

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U.S., NATO Troops To Remain In Afghanistan Indefinitely

September 30, 2014 1 comment

Xinhua News Agency
September 30, 2014

Afghan gov’t signs agreements with U.S., NATO

KABUL: The government of Afghanistan and the United States inked the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) here on Tuesday to allow limited number of troops to remain in Afghanistan after 2014 pullout of the NATO-led troops in the country.

Afghan Presidential Advisor on National Security, Mohammad Hanif Atmar and U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan James B. Cunningham signed the agreement on behalf of their respective governments.

Under the agreement, the United States would keep around 10,000 military service members in Afghanistan to train and advice the Afghan security forces.

Speaking after inking the agreement, Afghan president Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai described the agreement as a milestone in enhancing bilateral relations between Kabul and Washington, saying in the wake of inking the agreement, the international community would support Afghan national security forces.

Allaying the concerns of the neighboring states, the Afghan president said, “the security agreement with U.S. poses no threats to the neighboring countries.”

“No nuclear or chemical weapons will be deployed in the Afghanistan soil in the wake of the agreement,” president Ahmadzai categorically stated.

In his short speech after signing the agreement, Ambassador Cunningham stated that inking the agreement paves the way for further enhancing relations between Afghanistan and the United States.

In a similar step, the government of Afghanistan and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) inked Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) here on Tuesday.

Afghan Presidential Advisor on National Security, Mohammad Hanif Atmar and NATO’s senior civilian representative to Afghanistan Maurits R. Jochems signed the agreement.

Under the agreement, limited number of NATO forces would remain in Afghanistan after 2014 pullout of troops to provide training and advice to Afghan security forces.

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Slovakia: NATO Hosts Multinational Air Combat Exercises

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Xinhua News Agency
September 29, 2014

Slovakia hosts NATO air combat exercises

BRATISLAVA: Slovakia hosts NATO air combat exercises MACE XVI which starts from Monday.

According to Slovak Defence Ministry spokesperson Martina Ballekova, as many as 660 military personnel from 14 NATO countries and two countries of the Partnership for Peace are taking part in the air combat exercises in Slovakia.

The exercises are being used to train methods of overcoming anti-air defences by the use of tactical aircraft in conditions of radio-electronic interference and to practice air combat in fighters.

“All the air equipment is being looked after by Sliac Airbase, with the command located in Zvolen and the ground equipment stationed at the training facility at Lest in Central Slovakia,” said Slovak Lieutenant-Colonel Andrej Ulicny on Monday.

Apart from Slovakia’s MiG-29 fighters, F-16 jets (Belgium, Denmark, Norway), DA-20 Falcons (Norway), Learjet 40s (Germany), RAFALEs (France), Gripens (Sweden), EA 18Gs (USA), C 130Js (Denmark) and Typhoons (Spain) are also taking part.

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Ukraine: Video Of U.S.-NATO Military Exercise

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Opertations

September 30, 2014

VIDEO: UKRAINE HOSTS MULTINATIONAL EXERCISE IN WEST OF THE COUNTRY

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Mediterranean Dialogue: NATO Expands Interoperability With Algeria

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Maritime Command

September 29, 2014

NATO MINE COUNTER MEASURES GROUP VISITS ALGERIA

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ALGIERS, Algeria:This morning, Monday 29 September 2014, five NATO ships assigned to Standing NATO Mine Counter-Measures Group TWO (SNMCMG2) arrived in Algiers for a scheduled port visit, during the Group’s deployment to the Mediterranean to enhance maritime security and readiness, and in support of NATO counter-terrorism Operation ‘ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR’.

Building upon the operational framework offered by the port visit, Commander, NATO Maritime Air, Rear Admiral Thomas Ernst is meeting with Algerian leadership to discuss numerous issues of shared importance, to include operation Active Endeavour, mutually beneficial training opportunities, and partnership within the Mediterranean Dialogue framework.

During the port visit, the Group will share its experiences in mine warfare operations with Algerian Navy officers and cadets and participate in activities designed to enhance understanding and friendship between the Algerian Navy and NATO Sailors.

Upon conclusion of the port visit, SNMCMG2 will participate in a passing exercise and tactical navigation exercise with Algerian Navy ships, while embarking Sailors to observe the exercises from aboard the NATO ships. These activities at sea are designed to enhance interoperability and familiarity between naval partners.

“The Algerian Navy is a trusted and valuable partner in maintaining maritime security in the Mediterranean,” said Captain Piegaja. “With this visit, we hope to broaden NATO’s relationship with Algeria, identifying new opportunities to cooperate in operations and exercises at sea.”

Story by: MARCOM Public Affairs Office.

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O. Henry: The ethics of justifiable slaughter

September 30, 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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O. Henry
From The Moment of Victory (1909)

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“Our company got into a section of Cuban scenery where one of the messiest and most unsung portions of the campaign occurred. We were out every day capering around in the bushes, and having little skirmishes with the Spanish troops that looked more like kind of tired-out feuds than anything else. The war was a joke to us, and of no interest to them. We never could see it any other way than as a howling farce-comedy that the San Augustine Rifles were actually fighting to uphold the Stars and Stripes. And the blamed little señors didn’t get enough pay to make them care whether they were patriots or traitors. Now and then somebody would get killed. It seemed like a waste of life to me. I was at Coney Island when I went to New York once, and one of them down-hill skidding apparatuses they call ‘roller-coasters’ flew the track and killed a man in a brown sack-suit. Whenever the Spaniards shot one of our men, it struck me as just about as unnecessary and regrettable as that was.”

***

“‘Well, Ben,’ says the captain to me, ‘your allegations and estimations of the tactics of war, government, patriotism, guard-mounting, and democracy are all right. But I’ve looked into the system of international arbitration and the ethics of justifiable slaughter a little closer, maybe, than you have. Now, you can hand in your resignation the first of next week if you are so minded. But if you do,’ says Sam, ‘I’ll order a corporal’s guard to take you over by that limestone bluff on the creek and shoot enough lead into you to ballast a submarine air-ship. I’m captain of this company, and I’ve swore allegiance to the Amalgamated States regardless of sectional, secessional, and Congressional differences. Have you got any smoking-tobacco?’ winds up Sam. ‘Mine got wet when I swum the creek this morning.'”

***

“‘Well, Ben,’ says Sam, kind of hefting his sword out from between his knees, ‘as your superior officer I could court-martial you for attempted cowardice and desertion. But I won’t. And I’ll tell you why I’m trying for promotion and the usual honors of war and conquest. A major gets more pay than a captain, and I need the money.’

“‘Correct for you!’ says I. ‘I can understand that. Your system of fame-seeking is rooted in the deepest soil of patriotism…'”

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Air-Sea Battle Concept Risks Nuclear War With China

September 29, 2014 Leave a comment

Stars and Stripes
September 28, 2014

Analysts: Air-Sea Battle concept carries risks in possible conflict with China
By Erik Slavin

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam: While the United States may welcome China’s peaceful rise, last week’s Valiant Shield exercise over the western Pacific Ocean plainly showed that Washington is hedging its bets on the “peaceful” part.

The U.S. military training brought 18,000 U.S. servicemembers together to fight a sophisticated enemy trying to block U.S. access to international waters and airspace.

Exercise officials scrupulously avoided any indication that this imagined enemy was any particular nation. Such is the diplomatic dance involved with China, America’s second-largest trading partner behind Canada. However, China is the only nation in the Asia-Pacific region building the large-scale type of “anti-access, area-denial” capability that exercise participants fought against.

The exercise tested the Air-Sea Battle concept, a set of tactics that first blinds an enemy’s communications in space and cyberspace, then destroys land- and sea-based weapons platforms.

Combatants also attempt to shoot down or otherwise defeat the enemy’s deployed weapons.

The Defense Department’s 2013 unclassified summary of Air-Sea Battle never mentions China explicitly. However, the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on China’s military makes it clear that Beijing is developing the weapons its war planners believe will prevent the U.S. from safely sending its ships into the international waters of the East and South China seas. That would potentially complicate U.S. efforts to defend Taiwan, which China claims.

The U.S. also has alliances and agreements with some of China’s neighbors, a few of whom are entangled in territorial disputes with Beijing.

The Air-Sea Battle concept, which became official doctrine in 2010 and now has a dedicated Pentagon office, is focused on defeating China if it grows increasingly belligerent, according to security analysts.

“Air-Sea Battle is about China — no doubt,” said Aaron Friedberg, a Princeton University professor who published a book this year on Air-Sea Battle and its alternatives. “We have exaggerated concerns about offending the Chinese. I think at some point we have to be more candid.”

However, analysts differ over whether Air-Sea Battle’s existence deters China from potential aggression, or whether it increases the chances of a globally devastating war.

Among Air-Sea Battle advocates and detractors alike, few believe there is much good about a conflict between China and the United States. Choosing a deterrent is about choosing “the least bad strategy,” according to T.X. Hammes, a National Defense University senior fellow and retired Marine colonel.

Disrupt, destroy, defeat

China hasn’t fired a shot at any of its neighbors recently, but its attempts at what Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has deemed “force and coercion” have increased.

Chinese ships engaged in low-level standoffs with Vietnam and the Philippines over territorial sovereignty in the South China Sea; in Vietnam’s case, a fishing boat sank after a ramming incident with a larger Chinese vessel in May.

Japan and China have repeatedly scrambled jets over the Senkaku Islands, which Japan administers but China claims as its own.

China’s military is presently considered to be no match for the United States in a full-scale conflict, but that is expected to change in the coming decades as Beijing’s spending and technology continue their upward trend. What remains unclear — and is nerve-wracking for U.S. allies in the region — is whether China will grow to resolve its disputes diplomatically or wield its newfound military clout.

“I don’t see how we make decisions about the weapons we buy and how we reassure our allies unless we have a plausible story about how to fight and not lose a war against China,” Friedberg said. “I don’t think we have that right now.”

Air-Sea Battle is a set of tactics, but it is not a strategy by the military’s own definition. It provides a method for re-entering oceans and airspace after China tries to deny entry and maneuverability.

China is building missiles like the Dong Feng-21D, a ballistic missile with a maneuverable re-entry vehicle that is designed to strike a moving aircraft carrier. If it works, that could keep some of America’s most potent weapons out of striking range.

Although the U.S. military maintains ship and land-based interceptor missiles, shooting down a volley of advanced ballistic missiles is far from a guaranteed success. That is why the “tip of the spear” in an Air-Sea Battle isn’t made up of ground troops or pilots — it’s computer hackers or, in military terms, cyberwarriors.

At the beginning of the fight, the U.S. aims squarely at the web of networks and satellites controlling the enemy’s missiles and other weaponry in a “blinding campaign.” It is a critical component of Air-Sea Battle, but it is also the biggest unknown, Friedberg said.

The military keeps so much of its cyberdefense planning classified that it’s impossible for anyone on the outside to analyze it.

“We want others to believe that we have an ace up our sleeve — that we can make things go away with flip of a switch,” Friedberg said.

The blinding campaign also includes air and sea strikes on some of China’s softer targets, like over-the-horizon radar, Friedberg said.

The next phase involves striking ships, platforms and other armaments on land and sea. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft would potentially fly several missions, including bombing runs over China. Navy surface and undersea ships would also be heavily involved in that phase.

Navy ships, Army missile defense batteries and other methods would attempt to intercept any missiles that made it to launch.

Blockade and bargain

Supporters of Air-Sea Battle view its potential to cripple the People’s Liberation Army as so disruptive that it threatens the Chinese Communist Party’s survival. That deters the party leadership from taking any overly aggressive action in the Asia-Pacific region, thereby guaranteeing regional stability and the free flow of world commerce.

Hammes, the National Defense University scholar, views it as a dangerous, escalatory concept that could even lead to a nuclear war. “The Navy has stated categorically that Air-Sea Battle isn’t a strategy, and they’re right,” Hammes said. “It’s a concept without strategy, and that may be the most dangerous aspect.”

American strategy should instead seek to minimize a conflict with China, according to Hammes. Assuming China strikes first in space or cyberspace, it immediately gains an advantage in those domains and jeopardizes Air-Sea Battle’s chances of success, he said.

As for destroying China’s land-based weapons platforms, that’s a tough act to pull off. China is converting to solid-fuel missiles, which launch within minutes, he said. Meanwhile, China’s mobile missile launchers would be hard to find, Hammes said.

“The evidence we have is that it’s not doable,” Hammes said. “We hunted Scuds in the desert (in the Gulf War), and we still never killed one. Imagine shuttling around on the complex terrain of China.”

Conventional ballistic missile attacks on China could also be difficult to distinguish from nuclear ballistic missile attacks, which raises the possibility of a Chinese nuclear response, he said.

Hammes instead favors a less costly approach that analysts refer to by names like “offshore control” and “distant blockading.” They vary in their aggressiveness, but generally rule out bombing runs over Chinese land.

Hammes’ contends that the Chinese Communist Party fears economic threats more than anything else. In a 2003 speech, President Hu Jintao began a debate on the “Malacca Dilemma,” the position that China’s economic and energy security is compromised because so much if it passes through the narrow Malacca Strait.

If China attacked U.S. positions and launched an anti-access, area-denial campaign, Hammes advocates blockading everything surrounding those waters.

“They can have their near-shore waters,” Hammes said. “They need the rest of the ocean.”

By Hammes’ count, teams of 13 to 15 Marines could interdict the roughly 800 ships that carry bulk import and export goods to and from China’s main ports.

The blockade would economically strangle China but would not leave it in a position where the Communist Party couldn’t eventually sue for peace without losing face, Hammes said.

China is aware of this weakness and is building land links to its west to compensate. However, Hammes doesn’t believe that China wants to put its economy in the hands of the Russian and Kazakh rail networks. Even if it did, the railroads couldn’t handle anywhere near the same cargo capacity, he said.

Hammes’ strategy leaves out fighting in space and cyberspace and minimizes what he deems as the chance of a nuclear exchange.

Friedberg thinks the chance of China using its comparatively smaller nuclear arsenal against the U.S. in response to Air-Sea Battle is highly unlikely, since it would be akin to “contemplating national suicide.”

Defending against Air-Sea Battle also forces the Chinese to put more resources into defending their installations, which presumably takes some funding from things like hypersonic missiles, Friedberg added.

Proponents of Air-Sea Battle contend that while a blockade might be a good concurrent idea, it doesn’t do anything to gain access to the seas and air China has blocked. If blockading becomes America’s strategy, it may not reassure U.S. allies in the region who are within or bordering a Chinese-enforced no-go zone.

Analysts agree that a war between two nuclear nations, especially one involving the world’s two biggest economies, is inherently unpredictable. Great power wars historically have lasted for many years, which runs counter to apparent U.S. and Chinese planning for a short conflict, Hammes and Friedberg said.

Nevertheless, Friedberg argues that the U.S. must be prepared for conflict.

“I don’t think we can diminish that danger by not doing these things,” he said. “[China] is already making preparations to do that … so it’s not like we’re starting this competition.”

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Launches Military Exercises In Latvia

September 29, 2014 1 comment

Ukrinform
September 29, 2014

NATO military exercises start in Latvia

KYIV: Joint military exercises of the Allied forces «Silver Arrow 2014″ begin in Latvia today.

As the Ministry of Defense of Latvia writes on its website, it will be one of the largest exercises of the land forces. Participating in them will be the Armed Forces of Latvia, Estonia, Norway, the U.S. and the UK – generally more than 2,100 soldiers.

The exercises will last from September 29 to October 6, but the active phase will be held from October 3 to October 5.

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Xinhua News Agency
September 26, 2014

Over 2,100 troops to take part in military exercise in Latvia

RIGA: More than 2,100 troops from Latvia, the US, Estonia, Greece, the UK and Norway will join the Silver Arrow 2014 military exercise which is due to take place in Latvia next week, a military news website reported Friday.

The training exercise was scheduled to take place at Adazi Military Training Area outside Riga from September 29 to October 6, with Latvian Defence Minister Raimonds Vejonis and Chief of Defence Lt. Gen. Raimonds Graube expected to attend the opening ceremony, Latvian Defence Ministry told the Baltic News Service (BNS).

The active phase of the military exercise will take place from October 3-5 with the participation of the 1st and 2nd Infantry Brigades of the Latvian Ground Forces and the Combat Support Battalion, as well as Latvian home guard units. The drills are intended to enhance soldiers’ conventional warfare skills.

Commander of the Silver Arrow exercise Col. Martins Liberts indicated to BNS that from an annual national military training exercise, Silver Arrow has grown into multinational manoeuvres which are being held according to a plan worked out at the command headquarters of NATO’s Steadfast Jazz exercise in Latvia last year.

Categories: Uncategorized
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