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.

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Lytton Strachey: After the battle, who shall say that the corpses were the most unfortunate?

September 29, 2014 Leave a comment

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

Robert Graves: Men at arms and men of letters, the birth of English pacifism in the First World War

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Lytton Strachey
From Eminent Victorians (1918)
Florence Nightingale

Miss Nightingale arrived at Scutari – a suburb of Constantinople, on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus – on November 4th, 1854; it was ten days after the battle of Balaclava, and the day before the battle of Inkerman. The organisation of the hospitals, which had already given way under the stress of the battle of the Alma, was now to be subjected to the further pressure which these two desperate and bloody engagements implied. Great detachments of wounded were already beginning to pour in. The men, after receiving such summary treatment as could be given them at the smaller hospitals in the Crimea itself, were forthwith shipped in batches of two hundred across the Black Sea to Scutari. This voyage was in normal times one of four days and a half; but the times were no longer normal, and now the transit often lasted for a fortnight or three weeks. It received, not without reason, the name of “the middle passage.” Between, and sometimes on the decks, the wounded, the sick, and the dying were crowded – men who had just undergone the amputation of limbs, men in the clutches of fever or of frostbite, men in the last stages of dysentery and cholera – without beds, sometimes without blankets, often hardly clothed. The one or two surgeons on board did what they could; but medical stores were lacking, and the only form of nursing available was that provided by a handful of invalid soldiers, who were usually themselves prostrate by the end of the voyage. There was no other food beside the ordinary salt rations of ship diet; and even the water was sometimes so stored that it was out of reach of the weak. For many months, the average of deaths during these voyages was seventy-four in the thousand; the corpses were shot out into the waters; and who shall say that they were the most unfortunate? At Scutari, the landing-stage, constructed with all the perverseness of Oriental ingenuity, could only be approached with great difficulty, and, in rough weather, not at all. When it was reached, what remained of the men in the ships had first to be disembarked, and then conveyed up a steep slope of a quarter of a mile to the nearest of the hospitals. The most serious cases might be put upon stretchers – for there were far too few for all; the rest were carried or dragged up the hill by such convalescent soldiers as could be got together, who were not too obviously infirm for the work. At last the journey was accomplished; slowly, one by one, living or dying, the wounded were carried up into the hospital. And in the hospital what did they find?

Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate: the delusive doors bore no such inscription; and yet behind them Hell yawned. Want, neglect, confusion, misery – in every shape and in every degree of intensity – filled the endless corridors and the vast apartments of the gigantic barrack-house, which, without forethought or preparation, had been hurriedly set aside as the chief shelter for the victims of the war. The very building itself was radically defective. Huge sewers underlay it, and cess-pools loaded with filth wafted their poison into the upper rooms. The floors were in so rotten a condition that many of them could not be scrubbed; the walls were thick with dirt; incredible multitudes of vermin swarmed everywhere. And, enormous as the building was, it was yet too small. It contained four miles of beds, crushed together so close that there was but just room to pass between them. Under such conditions, the most elaborate system of ventilation might well have been at fault; but here there was no ventilation. The stench was indescribable. “I have been well acquainted,” said Miss Nightingale, “with the dwellings of the worst parts of most of the great cities in Europe, but have never been in any atmosphere which I could compare with that of the Barrack Hospital at night.” The structural defects were equalled by the deficiencies in the commonest objects of hospital use. There were not enough bedsteads; the sheets were of canvas, and so coarse that the wounded men recoiled from them, begging to be left in their blankets; there was no bedroom furniture of any kind, and empty beer-bottles were used for candlesticks. There were no basins, no towels, no soap, no brooms, no mops, no trays, no plates; there were neither slippers nor scissors, neither shoebrushes nor blacking; there were no knives or forks or spoons. The supply of fuel was constantly deficient. The cooking arrangements were preposterously inadequate, and the laundry was a farce. As for purely medical materials, the tale was no better. Stretchers, splints, bandages – all were lacking; and so were the most ordinary drugs.

To replace such wants, to struggle against such difficulties, there was a handful of men overburdened by the strain of ceaseless work, bound down by the traditions of official routine, and enfeebled either by old age or inexperience or sheer incompetence. They had proved utterly unequal to their task. The principal doctor was lost in the imbecilities of a senile optimism. The wretched official whose business it was to provide for the wants of the hospital was tied fast hand and foot by red tape. A few of the younger doctors struggled valiantly, but what could they do? Unprepared, disorganised, with such help only as they could find among the miserable band of convalescent soldiers drafted off to tend their sick comrades, they were faced with disease, mutilation, and death in all their most appalling forms, crowded multitudinously about them in an ever increasing mass. They were like men in a shipwreck, fighting, not for safety, but for the next moment’s bare existence — to gain, by yet another frenzied effort, some brief respite from the waters of destruction.

In these surroundings, those who had been long inured to scenes of human suffering – surgeons with a world-wide knowledge of agonies, soldiers familiar with fields of carnage, missionaries with remembrances of famine and of plague – yet found a depth of horror which they had never known before. There were moments, there were places, in the Barrack Hospital at Scutari, where the strongest hand was struck with trembling, and the boldest eye would turn away its gaze.

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U.S., NATO Allies Hold Largest-Ever Exercise In Poland

September 28, 2014 Leave a comment

Polish Radio
September 26, 2014

‘Anaconda 14′ military exercises begin in Poland

Two-week military exercises known as Anaconda 14 have begun involving around 12,500 troops from Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Netherlands, UK and US.

US troops from the Illinois National Guard’s 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team arrived in Orsyz, north east Poland on 24 September to take part in the exercises, which will include 120 armoured personnel carriers, 50 rocket launchers, 17 vessels, including submarines, plus 25 aircraft, including helicopters, fighters and multi-purpose aircraft, according to the PAP news agency.

This year’s bi-annual exercises will be the largest ever staged in Poland, according to defence minister Tomasz Siemoniak, and carry special significance in the shadow of the conflict in Ukraine.

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C.P. Snow: As final product of scientific civilization, nuclear bomb is its ultimate indictment

September 28, 2014 Leave a comment

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

C.P. Snow: Even if moral judgments are left out, it’s unthinkable to drop the bomb

C.P. Snow: Hope it’s never possible to develop superbomb

C.P. Snow: Worse than Genghiz Khan. Has there ever been a weapon that someone did not want to let off?

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C.P. Snow
From The New Men (1954)

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Some of them gave an absolute no to the use of the bomb for reasons which were too instinctive to express. For any cause on earth, they could not bear to destroy hundreds of thousands of people at a go.

Many of them gave something near to an absolute no for reasons which, at root, were much the same; the fission bomb was the final product of scientific civilization; it of were used at once to destroy, neither science nor the civilization of which science was bone and fibre, would be free from guilt again.

***

The news of Hiroshima had sickened them; that afternoon had left them without consolation. Luke said: “If anyone had tried to defend the first bomb, then I might just have listened to him. But if anyone dares try to defend the second, then I’ll see him in hell before I listen to a single word.”

They all assumed, as Martin had done, that the plutonium bomb was dropped as an experiment, to measure its ‘effectiveness’ against the other.

“It had to be dropped in a hurry,” said someone, “because the war will be over and there won’t be another chance.”

***

How long can you sustain grief, guilt, remorse, for a horror far away?

If it were otherwise, if we could feel public miseries as we do private ones, our existence in those years would have been hard to endure. For anyone outside the circle of misery, it is a blessing that one’s public memory is so short; it is not such a blessing for those within.

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Rasmussen’s Parthian Shot: Belittling, Threatening Russia

September 27, 2014 1 comment

Ukrinform
September 26, 2014

Rasmussen: Russia sees NATO as adversary, alliance needs strong force

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KYIV: Russia considers the North Atlantic Alliance not as a partner but as an adversary, and NATO needs a strong force given the challenges posed by Russia.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said this in an interview with USA Today.

“It’s quite clear that, today, Russia doesn’t consider us a partner, but an adversary. And, obviously, we will have to adapt to that,” he said.

He recalled that the alliance intended to deepen partnership with Russia in the missile defense sphere, but Moscow’s aggression against Ukraine had changed the situation. He called Russian behavior his biggest disappointment since becoming secretary general in 2009.

Beyond Ukraine, Rasmussen said he suspects Russia has a “master plan” to “establish a zone of Russian influence in their near neighborhood, covering the former Soviet space.” He said Russian intimidation of Georgia and Moldova are other examples.

The Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia feel especially threatened by Russian President Vladimir Putin, he said. Officials there cited the recent detentions of an Estonian officer and a Lithuanian fishing vessel, as well as Russian pledges to protect the rights of Russian speaking communities in other countries.

Meanwhile, Rasmussen said: “I don’t think there is an imminent threat against NATO allies. Russia knows that if they were to attack a NATO ally, the response would be firm and fast.”

According to the NATO secretary general, the challenges of Russia and the Islamic State have created “an arc of crisis” around NATO nations, Rasmussen said. “We need a strong force for freedom,” he said. “That’s why we need a strong NATO.”

As reported, former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen is leaving the post of NATO secretary general on October 1, and this post will be taken up by former Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

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Ukraine: U.S.-NATO War Game Simulated War With Russia

September 27, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

September 26, 2014

RAPID TRIDENT 2014 COMES TO A CLOSE

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The Ukrainian-led joint exercise Rapid Trident concluded its battalion-level field training exercise in western Ukraine on Thursday, 25 September. For four days and in any direction within the 360-kilometer training range at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre near Yavoriv, Ukraine, sounds of simulated improvised explosive devices (IED), armoured vehicle convoys and small-arm firing filled the air.

After Rapid Trident 2014 (RT14) began with a week of simulated training and command post exercises focusing on countering IEDs, convoy operations and patrolling, the field-training portion put their communication, tactical, and operational skills to the test.

Within the exercise scenario, the simulated country ‘Fogland’ crossed the border into simulated-country ‘Yazirland’ in an effort to aid the ethnic ‘Foglanders’ within ‘Yazirland’ and to disrupt the stability in the region. A simulated UN-mandated multinational taskforce deployed in order to identify the destabilizing actors, develop an intelligence picture and to restore the border province within ‘Yazirland.’

Rapid Trident made huge strides this year, said James Ellingwood, RT14 simulation cell deputy chief and U.S. Army Europe counter-IED training program manager. “We’re pushing a multinational staff to actually maneouver multinational companies without scripting, and we have Ukrainian officers in most of the key positions on the staff; it’s great. I don’t think Rapid Trident is ever going to be the same.”

The training between more than 1,200 military personnel from 15 nations marked the first major exercise in the country since tensions with Russia spilled over earlier this year. The exercise was originally scheduled to take place in July but was pushed back because early planning was disrupted by the crisis in the eastern part of the country.

While the U.S. European Command scheduled exercise involves many NATO members as well as countries such as Ukraine, who are part of NATO’s broader “Partnership for Peace,” the exercise is not formally a NATO drill. Ukraine doesn’t enjoy the collective security guarantee that comes with Alliance membership: the NATO principle that an attack on one is an attack on all. But training partnerships with the U.S. and other allies help prepare Ukrainian troops for the fight in the east, Ukrainian officers said.

Rapid Trident is an annual exercise and was planned well before the current situation in Ukraine. The last Rapid Trident exercise was held in July 2013.

Story by U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Josh Keim, SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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F. Scott Fitzgerald: War comes to Princeton

September 27, 2014 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

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F. Scott Fitzgerald
From This Side of Paradise (1920)

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In Princeton every one bantered in public and told themselves privately that their deaths at least would be heroic. The literary students read Rupert Brooke passionately; the lounge-lizards worried over whether the government would permit the English-cut uniform for officers; a few of the hopelessly lazy wrote to the obscure branches of the War Department, seeking an easy commission and a soft berth.

***

…The war seemed scarcely to touch them and it might have been one of the senior springs of the past, except for the drilling every other afternoon, yet Amory realized poignantly that this was the last spring under the old regime.

“This is the great protest against the superman,” said Amory.

“I suppose so,” Alec agreed.

“He’s absolutely irreconcilable with any Utopia. As long as he occurs, there’s trouble and all the latent evil that makes a crowd list and sway when he talks.”

“And of course all that he is is a gifted man without a moral sense.”

“That’s all. I think the worst thing to contemplate is this – it’s all happened before, how soon will it happen again? Fifty years after Waterloo Napoleon was as much a hero to English school children as Wellington. How do we know our grandchildren won’t idolize Von Hindenburg the same way?”

“What brings it about?”

“Time, damn it, and the historian. If we could only learn to look on evil as evil, whether it’s clothed in filth or monotony or magnificence.”

***

Long after midnight the towers and spires of Princeton were visible, with here and there a late-burning light – and suddenly out of the clear darkness the sound of bells. As an endless dream it went on; the spirit of the past brooding over a new generation, the chosen youth from the muddled, unchastened world, still fed romantically on the mistakes and half-forgotten dreams of dead statesmen and poets. Here was a new generation, shouting the old cries, learning the old creeds, through a revery of long days and nights; destined finally to go out into that dirty gray turmoil to follow love and pride; a new generation dedicated more than the last to the fear of poverty and the worship of success; grown up to find all Gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken….

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U.S. Paratroopers Finish War Games In Ukraine

September 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Stars and Stripes
September 26, 2014

173rd Airborne wraps up Rapid Trident exercise in Ukraine
By John Vandiver

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The U.S. Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade on Friday concluded nearly two weeks of training in Ukraine, where more than 1,000 troops from 15 nations conducted a series of military drills and war games.

The U.S. Army Europe-led Rapid Trident exercise came during a time of turmoil for Ukraine, which has been fighting a Russia-backed insurgency in its eastern region since a revolution in February and Moscow’s annexation of the Crimea peninsula in March.

The exercise’s focus was on improving the combat capabilities of allies and ensuring they are capable of fighting together on the battlefield. The exercise was also meant to send a signal to Russia that the U.S. and allies stand with Ukraine, U.S. Army officials said.

From a military standpoint, officials say, the war games achieved their aim.

“I think it was extremely successful in terms of achieving interoperability between the nations, which worked very well together during the exercise,” said Capt. Royal Reff, a U.S. Army spokesman.

While Rapid Trident is a long-standing exercise in Europe, U.S. military officials have said it is part of an overall effort to increase the U.S. military presence in the broader region.

The Vicenza, Italy-based 173rd has been at the center of the effort, having spent nearly six months rotating through Poland, the Baltics and most recently Ukraine.

Now, the 173rd will get some relief as the U.S. Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, will begin deploying as part of Atlantic Resolve, which is focused on ensuring a ongoing force presence in eastern Europe in response to Russian actions in Ukraine. The 1st Cavalry will operate in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland with tanks, mechanized vehicles and other heavy military equipment.

The deployment demonstrates the United States’ commitment to its NATO Allies, Navy Capt. Greg Hicks, EUCOM spokesman, said in a news release.

“The intent is to reassure allies and adapt the alliance’s strategic military posture in response to regional security challenges,” he said.

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NATO War Clause: U.S. Sends Combat Troops, Armor To Baltic, Poland

September 26, 2014 Leave a comment

United States European Command
September 25, 2014

Statement on arrival of 1-1CD for Operation Atlantic Resolve
By U.S. European Command Media Operations Division

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

“Over the coming weeks, as part of the next bilateral Operation Atlantic Resolve (OAR) land force rotation, elements of the U.S. Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division will begin deploying to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland with tanks, mechanized vehicles, and other heavy military equipment.

“The new rotation replaces U.S. Army Europe’s 173rd Airborne Brigade, which has been training with Polish and Baltic forces since April 23, 2014. The units from 1st Cavalry Division are in the Baltics and Poland to continue the U.S. Army’s land force assurance training and to enhance multinational interoperability, strengthen relationships, and demonstrate the United States’ commitment to NATO Allies.

These OAR rotations are the next phase in the continuous presence that NATO Allies have committed to in Poland and the Baltics as a result of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. The intent is to reassure Allies and adapt the Alliance’s strategic military posture in response to regional security challenges.

“Operation Atlantic Resolve is a clear demonstration of NATO’s Article 5 commitment to collective defense. As part of that unwavering commitment, the United States remains dedicated to maintaining a persistent rotational presence of air, ground, and naval resources in Poland and the Baltic states.

“U.S. European Command is pleased that other NATO Allies have joined in conducting training and exercise activity in the region; we encourage other Allies to do so as well. Through such cooperative exercises and activities, the U.S., and the Alliance as a whole, will increase the readiness and interoperability of NATO.”

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Britain Prepares NATO Partner Georgia For Next Caucasus War

September 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
September 26, 2014

Meeting with the 160th Brigade Commander

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Commander of the Wales 160th Brigade hold three-day long working visit to Georgia. Defence Minister of Georgia Irakli Alasania and Chief of general Staff of the GAF, Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze hosted Brigadier Martyn Gamble at MoD today.

At the beginning of the meeting Irakli Alasania expressed gratitude to the British guest for UK’s support of Georgia’s aspirations towards European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Bilateral defence cooperation between Georgia and the UK, as well as further deepen cooperation were one of the topics of the discussion. Defence Minister stressed on the importance of UK-Georgia joint military drills in Georgia.

Irakli Alasania delivered information to Brigadier Martyn Gamble on the fulfilled reforms in Georgian defence sphere and expressed gratitude for the UK support provided to military and civilian Human Resource Management reformation process.

At the meeting the sides also referred to the Substantial Package Georgia received at NATO Summit in Wales. Irakli Alasania underlined the importance of the role of UK high-rank military official in the core team within the implementation process of the Substantial Package.

Chief of general Staff of the GAF, Major-general Vakhtang Kapanadze also met with Commander of the Wales 160th Brigade today.

Brigadier Martyn Gamble pays the first working visit to Georgia. Within the visit he has already met with Deputy Defence Ministers Mikheil Darchiashvili and Tamar Karosanidze, Deputy Chief of General Staff, Colonel Giorgi Kbiltsetskhlashvili. Brigadier visited Vaziani IV Mechanized Brigade, National Defence Academy and National Training Center “Krtsanisi” as well.

Working visit of the Commander of the Wales 160th Brigade will come to an end today.

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Poland: U.S. Leads Large-Scale War Games With NATO Allies

September 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Polish Radio
September 26, 2014

‘Anaconda 14′ military exercises begin in Poland

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Two-week military exercises known as Anaconda 14 have begun involving around 12,500 troops from Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Netherlands, UK and US.

The ORP Baltic tanker departs from the port of Gdynia as part of the international “Anaconda-14″ training exercises: PAP / Adam WARZAWAUS troops from the Illinois National Guard’s 33rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team arrived in Orsyz, north east Poland on 24 September to take part in the exercises, which will include 120 armoured personnel carriers, 50 rocket launchers, 17 vessels, including submarines, plus 25 aircraft, including helicopters, fighters and multi-purpose aircraft, according to the PAP news agency.

This year’s bi-annual exercises will be the largest ever staged in Poland, according to defence minister Tomasz Siemoniak, and carry special significance in the shadow of the conflict in Ukraine.

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U.S. Advisers To Modernize Ukrainian Army For 165-Day War

September 26, 2014 1 comment

Xinhua News Agency
September 26, 2014

U.S. advisers to assist Ukraine with army modernization: ambassador

KIEV: A group of American advisers will come to Ukraine in the near future to assist the country with the modernization of its army, the United States Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt said in an interview to a local newspaper published Thursday.

“We believe that Ukraine needs to be able to defend itself, and we will support that,” Pyatt was quoted as saying in the interview to the “Day” newspaper.

The U.S. has increased its security sector assistance to Kiev by 15 times to 116 million dollars during the crisis in Ukraine’s eastern regions, Pyatt said, who explained that extra assistance was also offered to add new programs, which would “help the Ukrainian forces defend themselves.”

The assistance includes programs to provide Ukraine with counter-mortar radar systems, as well as military advices to the security establishment and technical support on combat medicine. There is an initiative aimed at helping the Ukrainian forces deal more effectively with their injured personnel.

While stressing there is no military solution to conflict in eastern Ukraine, Pyatt said that the U.S. is going to continue its support for the peace plan proposed by President Petro Poroshenko and desire of the Ukrainian people to “define their own future.”

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Latvia: U.S., NATO Allies To Hold Yet Another Baltic War Game

September 26, 2014 Leave a comment

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.

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Latvia: NATO Builds Up Air Capabilities

September 26, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

September 26, 2014

A MILESTONE FOR LATVIAN MILITARY CAPABILITIES

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LIELVARDE AIRFIELD, Latvia: Latvia’s Lielvarde Airfield is now open to conduct day and night visual flight operations. The opening ceremony marking the occasion was held on Thursday, 25 September. The event was attended by H.E. Ms Laimdota Straujuma, Latvian Prime Minister, Mr Raimonds Vejonis, Minister of Defence, LTG Raimonds Graube, Chief of Defence and General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe.

“Taking into consideration latest events in the international arena, as well as our national security priorities, this base is required for National Armed Forces to ensure national defence, as well as to implement all necessary measures to support NATO operations and carry out NATO air patrol maintenance”, Latvian Prime Minister, Ms Straujuma stated.

As Mr. Vejonis, Minister of Defence, highlighted, “Development of the Air Force Base reaffirms that our priority is not just to establish new military bases, but to develop, improve and adapt our infrastructure to meet NATO’s high standards and insure our allies’ presence in the region”.

“It is a tremendous set of development of operational capabilities, in an extremely important time, when the security situation in Europe has significantly changed”, said General Bradshaw, adding, “This restoration is the first of many more investments to improve NATO’s capabilities, to guarantee NATO is rock solid regarding collective defence”.

After the chaplain blessed the airfield, there was a short dynamic demonstration, namely “fly by” and “touch and go”, by Canadian, Portuguese and American jets.

This year marks ten years since Latvia joined NATO and the opening ceremony symbolised the significant amount of work that has been undertaken since 2005 in order to bring this co-financed project to fruition.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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Gulf Of Aden: NATO, Japan Conduct First Joint Naval Maneuver

September 26, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Maritime Command

September 26, 2014

NATO and Japan conduct first ever joint counter-piracy drill

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NATO and Japan conducted a joint counter-piracy drill in the Gulf of Aden on Thursday (25 September 2014) to test communications and tactical skills. It was the first such joint naval exercise between the two maritime fleets. “By synchronizing our activities and sharing information we stand a much better chance to secure the waters in the region and thereby keeping the sea lanes safe and secure,” said Commodore Aage Buur Jensen, the commander of NATO’s counter-piracy mission, Operation Ocean Shield.

The exercise involved the Japanese destroyer JS Takanama and the Danish frigate HDMS Ebern Snare, currently the flagship of the NATO mission. Thursday’s drills included a range of tasks including the boarding and securing of ships and communication procedures. “There is no doubt that the Japan Maritime Self Defence Forces are an important and very capable actor in the region and I am truly looking forward to expanding the fine cooperation NATO has with Japan,” said the Danish Commodore.

NATO ships have patrolled the waters off the Horn of Africa since 2009…NATO’s Ocean Shield operation as well as European Union…

Japan is a valued partner for NATO. In May 2014 NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Prime Minister Shinzō Abe of Japan signed an agreement to further political dialogue and practical cooperation between NATO and Japan, including in the areas of counter piracy, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance.

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Ellen Glasgow: The Altar of the War God

September 26, 2014 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

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Ellen Glasgow
From The Battle-Ground (1902)

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VIII. The Altar of the War God

Through the warm spring weather she sat beside the long window that gave on the street, or walked slowly up and down among the vegetable rows in the garden. The growing of the crops became an unending interest to her and she watched them, day by day, until she learned to know each separate plant and to look for its unfolding. When the drought came she carried water from the hydrant, and assisted by Mammy Riah sprinkled the young tomatoes until they shot up like weeds. “It is so much better than war,” she would say to Jack when he rode through the city. “Why will men kill one another when they might make things live instead?”

Beside the piazza, there was a high magnolia tree, and under this she made a little rustic bench and a bed of flowers. When the hollyhocks and the sunflowers bloomed it would look like Uplands, she said, laughing.

Under the magnolia there was quiet, but from her front window, while she sat at work, she could see the whole overcrowded city passing through sun and shadow. Sometimes distinguished strangers would go by, men from the far South in black broadcloth and slouch hats; then the President, slim and erect and very grave, riding his favourite horse to one of the encampments near the city; and then a noted beauty from another state, her chin lifted above the ribbons of her bonnet, a smile tucked in the red corners of her lips. Following there would surge by the same eager, staring throng — men too old to fight who had lost their work; women whose husbands fought in the trenches for the money that would hardly buy a sack of flour; soldiers from one of the many camps; noisy little boys with tin whistles; silent little girls waving Confederate flags. Back and forth they passed on the bright May afternoons, filling the street with a ceaseless murmur and the blur of many colours.

And again the crowd would part suddenly to make way for a battalion marching to the front, or for a single soldier riding, with muffled drums, to his grave in Hollywood. The quick step or the slow gait of the riderless horse; the wild cheers or the silence on the pavement; the “Bonnie Blue Flag” or the funeral dirge before the coffin; the eager faces of men walking to where death was or the fallen ones of those who came back with the dead; the bold flags taking the wind like sails or the banners furled with crepe as they drooped forward — there was not a day when these things did not go by near together. To Virginia, sitting at her window, it was as if life and death walked on within each other’s shadow.

***

That afternoon the sound of the guns rolled up the Williamsburg road, and in the streets men shouted hoarsely of an engagement with the enemy at Seven Pines. With the noise Virginia thrilled to her first feeling of danger, starting from a repose which, in its unconsciousness, had been as profound as sleep. The horror of war rushed in upon her at the moment, and with a cry she leaned out into the street, and listened for the next roll of the cannon.

A woman, with a scared face, looked up, saw her, and spoke hysterically.

“There’s not a man left in the city,” she cried. “They’ve taken my father to defend the breastworks and he’s near seventy. If you can sew or wash or cook, there’ll be work enough for you, God knows, to-morrow!”

She hurried on and Virginia, turning from the window, buried herself in the pillows upon the bed, trying in vain to shut out the noise of the cannonading and the perfume of the magnolia blossoms which came in on the southern breeze. With night the guns grew silent and the streets empty, but still the girl lay sleepless, watching with frightened eyes the shadow of Mammy Riah’s palm-leaf fan.

At dawn the restless murmur began again, and Virginia, looking out in the hot sunrise, saw the crowd hastening back to the hospitals lower down. They were all there, all as they had been the day before – old men limping out for news or returning beside the wounded; women with trembling lips and arms filled with linen; ambulances passing the corner at a walk, surrounded by men who had staggered after them because there was no room left inside; and following always the same curious, pallid throng, fresh upon the scent of some new tragedy. Presently the ambulances gave out, and yet the wounded came – some walking, and moaning as they walked, some borne on litters by devoted servants, some drawn in market wagons pressed into use. The great warehouses and the churches were thrown open to give them shelter, but still they came and still the cry went up, “Room, more room!”

Virginia watched it all, leaning out to follow the wagons as they passed the corner. The sight sickened her, but something that was half a ghastly fascination, and half the terror of missing a face she knew, kept her hour after hour motionless upon her knees. At each roll of the guns she gave a nervous shiver and grew still as stone.

***

The sun was already high above, and the breeze, which had blown for three days from the river, had dropped suddenly since dawn. Down the brick pavement the relentless glare flashed back into the sky which hung hot blue overhead. To Virginia, coming from the shade of her rooms, the city seemed a furnace and the steady murmur a great discord in which every note was one of pain.

Into the rude hospitals, one after one, she went without shuddering, passing up and down between the ghastly rows lying half clothed upon the bare plank floors. Her eyes were strained and eager, and more than one dying man turned to look after her as she went by, and carried the memory of her face with him to death. Once she stopped and folded a blanket under the head of a boy who moaned aloud, and then gave him water from a pitcher close at hand. “You’re so cool – so cool,” he sobbed, clutching at her dress, but she smiled like one asleep and passed on rapidly.

When the long day had worn out at last, she came from an open store filled with stretchers, and started homeward over the burning pavement. Her search was useless, and the reaction from her terrible fear left her with a sudden tremor in her heart. As she walked she leaned heavily upon Mammy Riah, and her colour came and went in quick flashes. The heat had entered into her brain and with it the memory of open wounds and the red hands of surgeons. Reaching the house at last, she flung herself all dressed upon the bed and fell into a sleep that was filled with changing dreams.

At midnight she cried out in agony, believing herself to be still in the street. When Mammy Riah bent over her she did not know her, but held out shaking hands and asked for her mother, calling the name aloud in the silent house, deserted for the sake of the hospitals lower down. She was walking again on and on over the hot bricks, and the deep wounds were opening before her eyes while the surgeons went by with dripping hands. Once she started up and cried out that the terrible blue sky was crushing her down to the pavement which burned her feet. Then the odour of the magnolia filled her nostrils, and she talked of the scorching dust, of the noise that would not stop, and of the feeble breeze that blew toward her from the river. All night she wandered back and forth in the broad glare of the noon, and all night Mammy Riah passed from the clinging hands to the window where she looked for help in the empty street. And then, as the gray dawn broke, Virginia put her simple services by, and spoke in a clear voice.

“Oh, how lovely,” she said, as if well pleased. A moment more and she lay smiling like a child, her chin pressed deep in her open palm.

In the full sunrise a physician, who had run in at the old woman’s cry, came from the house and stopped bareheaded in the breathless heat. For a moment he stared over the moving city and then up into the cloudless blue of the sky.

“God damn war!” he said suddenly, and went back to his knife.

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Ukraine To Obtain Cutting-Edge U.S. Weapons System For 164-Day War

September 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Ukrinform
September 25, 2014

Ukraine will buy US newest weapons systems – media

KYIV: Ukraine will buy one of the newest weapons systems in the United States in the near future – funds are provided in the budget.

Journalist Yuriy Butusov writes on Facebook.

“According to the source Tsenzor.Net, Ukraine will buy one of the newest weapons systems in the United States in the near future – funds are provided in the budget. A group of Ukrainian military personnel will be trained at one of the training centers of the United States – this agreement has been achieved. This is still a small step, but it may be the beginning of great positive changes. Arms are not of a lethal character, but the value is important. Analogues are not made in Ukraine,” Butusov writes.

As reported by Ukrinform, President Barack Obama has allocated USD 25 million in military aid to Ukraine: USD 5 million will be spent on training of Ukrainian soldiers for direct military assistance to the Ukrainian government in the crisis conditions. USD 20 million will be used to provide non-lethal weapons Ukraine, produced by the U.S. companies.

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NATO Interoperability: U.S. Rotates Air Force Commander In Poland

September 25, 2014 Leave a comment

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

September 25, 2014

Lt. Col. Harman takes command of Aviation Detachment in Poland
By Airman 1st Class Kyle Gese
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Lask Air Base, Poland: U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jack Harman took command of Aviation Detachment 1, 52nd Operations Group at Lask Air Base, Poland, from U.S. Air Force Maj. Matthew Spears Sept. 18, 2014 after serving two years as the commander.

“You’ve dedicated a year of your lives to improve the mission to increase NATO interoperability, support regional security and build a lasting impression on such a key area of the world,” Harman said. “I look forward to working with you and our professional colleagues to continue building partner capacity.”

The U.S. Air Force Aviation Detachment in Poland, or Av-Det, is a nine-person team that facilitates the U.S. Air Force service members and aircraft in Poland. They continually train with Polish air forces to strengthen bilateral ties and increase interoperability.

Recent involvement in Exercises Eagle Talon and BALTOPS 14 in June 2014 was among many training opportunities aimed at fostering NATO partnerships and bolstering readiness for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces in Africa’s “Forward. Ready. Now!” priority. The detachment completes four annual rotations primarily of F-16 Fighting Falcon, but also includes C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft.

Harman shared his gratitude to his predecessor for creating the foundation as the first commander of the detachment upon assuming command. As for the next year, he will continue to establish a constant presence in Europe and execute the mission to foster bilateral defense ties, enhance regional security, and increase interoperability among NATO allies.

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NATO Delegation In Georgia To Oversee Military Upgrade

September 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
September 24, 2014

Visit of NATO Allied Command Transformation

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NATO Allied Command Transformation representatives are paying a two-day introductory visit to Georgia. Deputy Minister of Defence Tamar Kasoranidze and Deputy Chief of the GS of GAF Colonel Giorgi Kbiltsetskhlashvili hosted the NATO National Liaison Representatives under the headship of Brigadier-General Michael Bygholm.

The sides discussed the areas set out in the substantial package adopted by Georgia at the NATO Summit. The role of NATO Allied Command Transformation in the effective implementation of the substantial package was also focused during the meeting.

One of the main topics of discussion was ongoing cooperation between the Ministry of Defence of Georgia and NATO Allied Command Transformation in the field of military education as well as the prospects of deepening bilateral cooperation. Deputy Minister Tamar Karosanidze thanked the NATO visitors for their assistance in the development of military education sector and briefed them about the implemented reforms.

Within the frames of the visit to Georgia, NATO National Liaison Representatives will visit National Training Centre “Krtsanisi”, Sachkhere Mountain Training Centre and Cadets Military Lyceum.

The NATO National Liaison representatives’ first visit in Georgia will be over tomorrow.

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Georgia: NATO Director Of Force Planning Accelerates Integration

September 25, 2014 Leave a comment

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
September 23, 2014

Meeting with Frank Boland

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Director of Force Planning, NATO Defence Policy and Planning Directorate Frank Boland is paying an official visit to Georgia. Minister of Defence Irakli Alasnaia hosted the NATO official.

At the meeting held in the Ministry of Defence the implementation plan of the substantial package granted to Georgia at the NATO Summit was discussed. The sides also evaluated fulfillment of the commitments by Georgia under Planning and Review Process (PARP) and Annual National Program (ANP).

“This visit had two main purposes – one was to complete the work on the planning and review process assessment with Georgia which we do every two years and looking at implementation of partnership goals which we agreed last year. That’s gone very smoothly and I think we are very happy with the outcome. So we will for date, I believe in November for discussion of that with the allies in Brussels. The other major purpose was to discuss the implementation plan for the substantial package of cooperation that was agreed at the Wales Summit a few weeks ago. We spent the afternoon going through this in its final form and I have just spoken with the Minister about this. We’ve been working with the staff here in Tbilisi on continuing bases on this over the past three months. I think we’ve put together between this something which is very ambitious but realistic and likely to be accepted in the major part by Allies when it’s discussed next month. That will cover the full range of issues which was set out in the summit declaration in relation to the substantive package to Georgia. I’m looking forward to taking that work forward and to see further improvements in interoperability and cooperation between Georgian and rest of the allies,” declared Frank Boland.

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George Ade: The dubious rights granted a people “liberated” through war

September 25, 2014 Leave a comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

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George Ade
Two Rebellions (1899)

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“I just wanted to ask you about a certain passage in the school history,” said Mr. Kakyak, the Tagalo, addressing the American missionary.

Washington Conner – “Yes?”

Kakyak – “Here it is. (Reads) ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it – ‘”

Conner – “I remember the passage perfectly. You are reading from the second paragraph of the declaration of independence. What of it?”

Kakyak – “Well, do the people of your country still indorse the sentiments contained in that declaration?”

Conner – “I don’t suppose we are legally bound by anything contained in the declaration of independence. In a general way, however, we still agree with what it says there.”

Kakyak – “Do you still maintain that ‘governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed’?”

Conner – “Nothing in that declaration of independence applies to the Malay division of the human race. That declaration was prepared by white men.”

Kakyak – “Then it should read: ‘All men (except Malay) are created equal’ or perhaps ‘all white men are created equal’?”

Conner – “For a great many years that passage was supposed to mean ‘all white men,’ just as you suggest. Stephen A. Douglas, an eminent statesman, maintained that the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and the privileges of self-government belonged to the white race alone. Abraham Lincoln claimed that the word ‘men’ had a more general application and included negroes as well. We had a very bitter and destructive civil war in America, and after it was all over we reached the conclusion that the negro has the same unalienable rights as the white man. But we would never admit that the Tagalo has these rights, if that’s what you’re driving at.”

Kakyak – “I am simply seeking information – trying to find the exact status of my countrymen. You see the Filipino insur – rebels, I mean – have set up the claim that they have the same rights as the Americans claimed in 1776. They have organized a provisional government, just as the colonies did. They are fighting for – well, what they conceive to be their rights. In what respect are they different from the thirteen colonies that rebelled against Great Britain?”

Conner – “The situation is entirely different. Our forefathers in America threw off the British yoke because they had been made the victims of a long train of abuses which you will find set forth in the declaration of independence in front of you – two whole pages. The Tagalos, on the other hand, are resisting a government which is wise, humane and just, with charity for all.”

Kakyak – “How do we know this?”

Conner – “Because we tell you so.”

Kakyak – “You say the thirteen colonies resisted British authority because they had been persecuted and unjustly taxed. Suppose that after they had issued this declaration of independence and founded a provisional government of their own, Great Britain had relented and promised to correct all the abuses of which there had been complaint. Do you think the colonists would have been willing to go back and accept British rule?”

Conner – “Perhaps not, but -“

Kakyak – “Another question. I read in here that France helped the colonies in their war against Great Britain, just as the Americans last year helped us in our revolt against the Spanish, here in this island. Now, suppose that before the British had been driven from the colonies, Great Britain and France had made a treaty in which Great Britain, in consideration of a large sum of money, had transferred the colonies to France. Do you think the colonists would have accepted French rule simply because the French had been their friends during the war?”

Conner – “Your questions are preposterous, Mr. Kakyak. It is evident that you are trying to demonstrate that the present rebellion in this island bears some resemblance to the revolutionary uprising in America in 1776. You seem to forget that the colonial fathers were an intelligent, high-minded body of patriots while the Tagalos are simple islanders who have a vague longing to govern themselves and mistake this longing for genuine patriotism.”

Kakyak – “Whether it is patriotism or not, a great many of them have been willing to die for it. Your colonial fathers could not do more than that.”

Conner – “Look here, Mr. Kakyak, do you realize that your conversation to-day borders very closely on treason?”

Kakyak – “Perhaps so. I have become rather inflamed from reading the declaration of independence.”

Conner – “I can see that you still cling to the idea that the Tagalos ought to have a government of their own.”

Kakyak – “I think they ought to be given a chance to govern themselves.”

Conner – “But the Tagalos are only one tribe.”

Kakyak – “We number one and a half millions. There were only three million colonists.”

Conner – “But they were a different kind of people.”

Kakyak – “They held slaves. We are too civilized to do that.”

Conner – “Don’t you see that it would be impossible, under prevailing conditions, to give you Tagalos a separate and independent government? You are only one of many tribes. Why, there are tribes right on this island who are ready and willing to accept American rule.”

Kakyak – “Those are the bow men who live in the remote jungles. They do not have schools and churches and printing presses as we do, and so they have not been educated to a desire for liberty. I read in this history that when the colonists rebelled against the British the Indians who lived on the British possessions that surrounded the colonies did not join in the rebellion or the revolution, but continued to be friendly with the British. If I am not mistaken, they helped the British on more than one occasion, and massacred whole villages of the rebels – I mean the colonists. So, you see, the colonists did not have the sympathy of the savage tribes any more than we have. I’ll admit that the Tagalos do not hold all the territory in Luzon, but they occupy all that part of the island which is civilized and under cultivation. As far as that’s concerned, the thirteen colonies were only a little patch of North America. They occupied less than one-forth of the British holdings in North America, yet they presumed to found a government of their own without the consent or co-operation of the inhabitants of the Indian country and the province acquired from the French.”

Conner – “I don’t know what you hope to accomplish by all these parallels. Suppose you do satisfy yourself that your countrymen are real liberty-loving patriots, the same as our forefathers in America were. What are you going to do about it?”

Kakyak – “I don’t know, I’m sure.”

Conner – “Did you expect us to come over here and destroy the Spanish fleet and afterwards pay out $20,000,000 for the mere satisfaction of permitting you people to govern yourselves?”

Kakyak – “That’s what we thought.”

Conner – “Then you have very elementary notions of business.”

Kakyak – “Let me begin at the beginning and tell how and why we have been deceived.”

Conner – “Mistaken, you mean.”

Kakyak – “Perhaps that would be a better word. When your fleet under Admiral Dewey came to Manila we were under the impression that the Americans had come to help us drive out the Spanish and set up a government of our own. That’s what my people have been fighting for and praying for ever since I can remember. Some of my neighbors said: ‘If the Americans come in here and defeat the Spanish they will take the island for themselves instead of letting us have a republic of our own.’ Then Aguinaldo and other leaders who had talked with the Americans assured us that the war against Spain was a war of humanity, that the Americans had gone into it because they believed in the rights of men and could no longer endure the spectacle of Spanish cruelties in Cuba. We were told that the Americans were willing to spend any amount of money to enforce justice and confer the blessings of liberty on a struggling people. We know that your countrymen were pledged to drive the Spanish out of Cuba and help the Cubans to establish a stable government of their own. We thought you would treat us the same as you treated the Cubans.”

Conner – “We didn’t promise you a stable government of your own. We have never conceded that you had a right to govern yourselves. Evidently you have jumped at conclusions.”

Kakyak – “But we hear such favorable reports of you that we believed you would give us a chance at self-government, even though you had made no specific promises. We thought that your conscience might help you to a conclusion.”

Conner – “Do you realize that we have paid $20,000,000 for these islands? Do you expect a business nation to go to work and throw away any such sum of money? You may rest assured that we will keep these islands. especially since President Schuman has reported so favorably on the good qualities of the Tagalos. I notice that he says in an interview that in two generations you Tagalos will be as far advanced, in all respects, as the Japanese.”

Kakyak – “When we are as far advanced as the Japanese do you still think we will consent to be governed by a foreign power?”

Conner – “I don’t like the terms you use. You talk of ‘government’ and ‘foreign power’ as if the United States intended to oppress you, instead of making you highly civilized through the workings of benevolent assimilation.”

Kakyak – “Well, I wish I knew just what going to become of us. After this war is over, Mr. Conner, after all the fighting rebels have been killed and peace has been restored, don’t you think your countrymen will relent somewhat and decide to give us a chance to govern ourselves?”

Conner – “I shouldn’t like to hold out false hopes, Mr. Kakyak. I think I can best answer your question by reading a newspaper clipping which I just received from the United States. It is an extract from a speech delivered by President McKinley at the Ocean Grove camp meeting. Here it is:”

(Reads)

“‘The flag does not mean one thing in the United States and another in Puerto Rico and the Philippines. There has been some doubt expressed in some quarters as to the purpose of the government in respect to the Philippines. I can see no harm in stating this in this presence. Peace first, then, with charity for all, an established government of law and order, protecting life, property and occupation, for the well being of the people in which they will participate under the stars and stripes.'”

Kakyak – “What does it mean?”

Conner – “Well, a true statesman is always indefinite, but as nearly as I can figure it out means, ‘You don’t get it.’ Note the word ‘occupation.’ That means that we are going to remain.”

Kakyak – “How about the word ‘participation’?”

Conner – “Participation is a beautifully copious word. That’s why McKinley used it. But it satisfied the people at the camp meeting, so you ought not to kick.”

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Fitter, Faster And More Flexible Against “Revanchist Russia”: Rasmussen Tells West Point Cadets To Serve Under NATO Flag Worldwide

September 24, 2014 2 comments

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
September 24, 2014

NATO: A long blue line for security
Speech by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the United States Military Academy West Point, New York

[Edited by RR]

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General Thomson, thank you for that kind introduction. And thank you, cadets for that warm welcome.

This is a visit I have wanted to make for a long time. During my five years as NATO Secretary General, I have had the privilege of working with many of this institution’s outstanding graduates.

Truly exceptional leaders and commanders such as the current commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, General John Campbell. As well as two of his predecessors.

Indeed, the history of West Point and of NATO are intimately linked. The very first NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Eisenhower, was a West Point graduate. And so were twelve of the sixteen SACEURs who followed him.

Two of my senior staff, Matt Klimow and EJ Herold, graduated from this academy. And so did your country’s current ambassador to NATO, Douglas Lute. He was a member of the class of 1975…

NATO Secretary General visits New York

Cadets,

When you graduate, you will leave here to serve your flag. And many of you will likely also serve under the flag of NATO. As American service men and women have done in Afghanistan, Kosovo, off the coast of Somalia, over Libya and in the Mediterranean Sea. And from the Baltic Sea to Turkeys south-eastern border.

NATO is a unique organization. It is an Alliance of 28 nations…

Our Alliance was founded 65 years ago, on the ruins of World War Two and in the shadow of the Cold War. It binds together North America and Europe to ensure our collective security…Article 5 of our founding Treaty states that we consider an attack against one to be an attack against us all. This remains our solemn pledge. All for one, and one for all.

Article 5 has only been invoked once. Not to protect Europe, as we expected during the Cold War. But in support of the United States, immediately after the 9/11 attacks.

So NATO remains vigilant. But we are also carrying out ongoing operations and preparing for the challenges we will face in the future.

Just a couple of weeks ago, President Obama, joined me and the other Allied leaders in Wales, in the United Kingdom, for a crucial NATO Summit.

We laid out the way ahead for our Alliance. A NATO that will be fitter, faster, and more flexible. I wont go through all the decisions that were made at the Summit. For those of you with interest, and some time, you can read the Summit Declaration on the NATO website. All 113 paragraphs of it. If any of you are suffering from insomnia, it will certainly cure it.

Instead, let me set out the threats we face. NATO’s responses. And the missions and operations that could be part of your future.

Today’s security challenges are more interconnected and more complex than ever before.

In Iraq and Syria, we see the rise of the so-called Islamic State…

With such groups, there is no negotiation. Only violence and destruction. So we can’t just talk. We need to act. And I welcome yesterday’s strikes, led by the United States and several regional partners….

Turning now to Europe, a revanchist Russia has rejected all the rules and commitments that have helped to keep peace since the end of the Cold War. From the Republic of Moldova to Georgia, and now in Ukraine, Russia has used economic pressure, military force and the most cynical propaganda. Hot conflicts and frozen conflicts. To forcibly rebuild its influence in the former Soviet space. And to deny countries in its neighbourhhod the right to choose their own path.

So the security landscape has dramatically changed. And we have to adapt. At our NATO Summit in Wales a few weeks ago we did exactly that. We approved a Readiness Action Plan that will increase our ability to respond swiftly and effectively to threats to our territory. Our priority is to provide for the collective defence of all our Allies. This means having the right forces in the right place with the right equipment.

We also agreed to create a special spearhead force. Ready and deployable at short notice. In the years ahead, some of you may exercise and train with other NATO soldiers as part of this force.

At the Summit, we also launched a Defence Capacity Building Initiative. Which is aimed at helping nations with security challenges…

As an initial step, we extended this Initiative to Georgia, Jordan and Moldova. And we are also considering how to provide this type of support to support Iraq, if the new government requests our help.

Here again, I would expect some of you might participate in these teams. To pass on your advice, your experience, and the wealth of knowledge that you acquire during your time in this academy and during your Army service.

For over 60 years, American soldiers, including many West Point graduates, continued to put their lives on the line. To preserve not just American security, but the security of the entire Euro-Atlantic region.

In recent years, many brave Americans have served in Afghanistan…We have done that together. In a coalition of over 50 nations. Led by NATO.

Today, members of the Long Gray Line can be found from Japan and the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea all the way to the Baltic states in northern Europe.

The Long Gray Line has stood firm. And you have not stood alone. NATOs flag is blue. So we must ensure that a long blue line of security continues to protect all our Allies and their freedom.

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Ukrainian Junta To Buy Foreign Drones, Helicopters For Nearly Six-Month War

September 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Interfax-Ukraine
September 24, 2014

Defense Ministry to buy Polish drones and Ukrainian helicopters for ATO forces – Turchynov

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry will purchase Polish drones and Ukrainian helicopters for the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) forces, Verkhovna Rada Chairman Oleksandr Turchynov has said.

“When visiting the exhibition [11th Arms and Security exhibition] we have already agreed on the immediate purchase of several of these helicopters for the National Guard. The Defense Ministry is also buying these helicopters along with armaments,” he told reporters when attending the exhibition in Kyiv on Wednesday.

In addition, according to Turchynov, the Ukrainian army and the police showed an interest in unmanned aerial vehicles.

“It’s very important to us, and our Polish colleagues want to supply these products to Ukraine,” he said.

He said that Polish drones have very serious specifications, in particular, they can lift up to 15 kilograms of cargo, including arms.

Turchynov noted that one of the problems in the area of the anti-terrorist operation for the Ukrainian military was to find targets, locate and neutralize them.

“There are several systems here that will leave for the ATO zone straight from the exhibition and will help fully realize the drones that are used by the Russian Armed Forces for precision-guided fire on our positions,” he said, adding that these products will be tested in the ATO zone.

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Interfax-Ukraine
September 24, 2014

Arms and equipment for National Guard and Armed Forces to be purchased this year – interior minister

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said that arms and equipment for the National Guard and the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the area of the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) will be purchased this year.

“Purchases will be made this year. They continue. The prime minister held a respective meeting… By the end of the year, as part of defense contracts, we will purchase a sufficient amount of BTR-4Es, BTR-3Es and Grads and domestically produced equipment for the National Guard and the Armed Forces alone,” he told journalists in Kyiv on Wednesday when attending an international specialized exhibition “Arms and Security 2014.”

“I think that following today’s exhibition and following conversations with our suppliers (we are working as part of the defense order, direct contracts and through government funding from the reserve fund)… we will modify the current contracts according to the latest achievements that they managed to demonstrate today,” Avakov said.

He also said that the work of defense enterprises in Ukraine today “is a big backlog for 2015, taking into account the challenges given to us by the war.”

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Contra Russia: NATO Naval Commander In Bulgaria, Romania

September 24, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Maritime Command

September 24, 2014

COMMANDER OF ALLIED MARITIME COMMAND VISITS BULGARIA AND ROMANIA

BUCHAREST, Romania: The Commander of NATO Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM), Vice Admiral Peter Hudson, CBE, has wrapped up three days of staff talks in Bulgaria and Romania. The official visits were held in conjunction with the conclusion of Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO Task Unit 02 (SNMG2 TU.02) port visit to Varna, Bulgaria, as part of ongoing NATO efforts to assure Allies on the eastern borders of the Alliance.

During the visit to Varna, Vice Admiral Hudson met with the Bulgarian Minister of Defence, Dr. Velizar Shalamanov, the Bulgarian Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Dimitar Denev, and the Bulgarian General Staff, followed by a visit to SNMG2 TU.02 ships HMCS TORONTO and ESPS ALMIRANTE JUAN DE BORBON.

In Bucharest, Vice Admiral Hudson met with the Romanian Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Stefan Danila, the State Secretary for Defence Policy and Planning, Mr. Valeriu Nicut, the Romanian Navy Chief of Training and Doctrine, Rear Admiral Constantin Ciorobea, and the Romanian Naval Staff.

Topics of discussion in both countries included maritime security in the Black Sea, increased NATO presence in the Black Sea, exercise participation (both national and NATO-led), participation in NATO’s counter-terrorism Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR and counter-piracy Operation OCEAN SHIELD, and force contributions to NATO’s Standing Naval Forces.

“Close coordination between MARCOM and individual Allied navies is critical to our ability to operate together, and Bulgarian and Romanian naval contributions to Allied Standing Naval Forces are of utmost importance,” said Vice Admiral Hudson. “Our Allies on the Black Sea are on the front line of an increasingly complicated maritime area following Russia’s destabilizing actions in Ukraine. NATO presence at sea is essential to assuring our Allies that NATO’s solidarity and commitment to collective defence are absolutes.”

Story by HQ MARCOM Public Affairs Office

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163-Day War In Ukraine To Be Priority For New NATO Chief

September 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Ukrinform
September 24, 2014

Situation in Ukraine to be a priority for new NATO secretary general

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KYIV: The situation in Ukraine triggered by Russian aggression will be a priority for Jens Stoltenberg, who takes up the post of the NATO secretary general on October 1.

He said this in an interview with the Norwegian Telegraph Bureau (NTB).

“The seriousness of the current situation in Ukraine is indicated by the fact that military force is used to change the borders of states. Ukraine is a NATO partner and, in addition, it borders the member states of the alliance,” ITAR-TASS quoted Stoltenberg as saying.

He also noted that a return to the old format of relations between Russia and NATO was not being considered.

“The return to the former [format] is not being considered as an option. Russia has decided to stand for a more aggressive line. Therefore, we cannot, as we previously hoped, continue strengthening the partnership with Russia…The case of Norway, as a country that is a NATO member and modernize its armed forces, shows that force and firmness are the necessary conditions for dialogue with Russia,” Stoltenberg said.

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Vittorio Alfieri: Thousands immolated on the altar of despotism, slaves born but to fertilize the soil

September 24, 2014 Leave a comment

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

Italian writers on war and militarism

Vittorio Alfieri: The infamous trade of soldier, the sole basis of all arbitrary authority

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Vittorio Alfieri
From Memoirs
Anonymous translation of 1810

VITTORIOALFIERI

I visited Zorndorff, a spot rendered famous by the sanguinary battle fought between the Russians and the Prussians, where thousands of men on both sides were immolated on the altar of despotism and thus escaped the galling yoke which oppressed them. The place of their interment was easily recognised by its greater verdure and by yielding more abundant corn than the barren and unproductive soil in its immediate vicinity. On this occasion I reflected with sorrow that slaves seemed everywhere only born to fertilize the soil on which they vegetate.

***

The trade of arms and the life of a soldier were never conformable to me character; but I relished them still less in a country where liberty and freedom are altogether unknown.

***

I would rather, I affirm, be unknown to my contemporaries than write in the deaf-mute French and English languages though their cannons and their armies have rendered these languages fashionable. I would rather write good Italian verses, even with the certainty of seeing them despised and neglected for the moment, than write in either English, French, or any other tyrant jargon, though assured that my productions would be immediately read, admired, and applauded. There is a great difference to our own ears in sounding a fine tuned harp even when no one is present to listen, and blowing a detestable bagpipe, however much an ignorant audience might applaud the performance.

***

Very few of our friends dared to visit us and that extremely seldom, lest it might awaken the suspicions of our legalistic military despotism, which of all monsters is the truly most ridiculous, cruel, and insupportable. It is a tiger led by a hare.

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Baltic: “Besieged” NATO Readies New Strike Force

September 23, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation

September 22, 2014

NATO Leaders meet in Vilnius for the Military Committee Conference

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At their recent Summit in Wales, NATO Allies agreed on a Readiness Action Plan that will strengthen NATO’s collective defence and re-ensure that the Alliance is ready to respond to any future security challenge.

At the Military Committee Conference 2014 which took place in Vilnius, Lithuania the military authorities have now taken the next step in guiding and directing the implementation of a Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), meant to be able to deploy at short notice.

NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), French Air Force General Jean-Paul Paloméros contributed to the discussions in the two main sessions:

During the “Geostrategic Update – Situational Understanding and Strategic Consequences” session, SACT presented some of the trends that will likely form the future security environment. General Paloméros presented three conclusions which might serve as the basis for how NATO approaches capability development in the future: Firstly, in light of present experiences, SACT thinks that our adversaries will not accept internationally established borders, treaties, rules of law or norms of behaviour; they will increase their use of asymmetric or irregular forms of warfare in order to counter our military superiority, and could seek to strike the Alliance within its own borders, in such a way to limit the possibility to adequately use of forces, and even the legitimacy to employ them.

Secondly, SACT is persuaded that NATO’s opponents will keep on increasing their capabilities and more and more aim to hinder NATO actions. SACT is of the opinion that “…the Alliance’s adversaries will seek to increase the lethality and diversity of threats in their operations in order to increase NATO’s dependency on force protection – and affect NATO nations’ perceptions of risk and therefore the public opinion and political will to intervene”. Thirdly, General Paloméros thinks that NATO’s ability to plan and prepare for possible contingencies will be more and more challenged. The project “Framework for Future Alliance Operations” (FFAO) will likely capitalise on those observations to propose orientations for the future, where a premium is placed on being agile enough to adapt, fostering innovation in operational planning – and on maintaining a clear margin of error in both sizing and structuring of the force.

During MC Conference Post-Wales-Deliverable (Session 3), SACT stressed that “our goals are always to keep taking forward the framework of transformation with continuity and consistency, with the necessity of carry on investing in capabilities (highlighted in the NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP) Capacities Review, in exercises and in the Connected Forces Initiative (CFI), to support and anticipate requirements of NATO’s current and future operations, by increasing the level of effective operational readiness of NATO forces. The session provided an opportunity for SACT to stress his key points on the role of CFI, and especially the exercise “Trident Juncture” in 2015: “…our Alliance interoperability, as well as its credibility and solidarity will be emphasised during this major exercise”, he said. SACT concluded on the enhancement of the Alliance’s responsiveness through the implementation of the VJTF and of the Readiness Action Plan (RAP), which will bring together the training and capability development efforts of the Alliance.

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Estonia: NATO Launches “Spearhead Force” On Russia’s Northwest Border

September 23, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

September 23, 2014

DSACEUR discusses ‘Spearhead’ Force during Official Visit to Estonia

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Tallinn, ESTONIA: Continued assurance measures and NATO’s Readiness Action Plan were a focus of discussions between Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) General Sir Adrian Bradshaw and senior Estonian political and military officials during meetings in Tallinn, Estonia on 22 and 23 September. The Readiness Action Plan was recently agreed to by Allies at the NATO Summit in Wales, and follow-on work and consultations are continuing across Europe.

During his official visit, General Bradshaw met with the Estonian Minister of Defence, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Defence Committee, and the Military Chief of Defence. One of the main topics of discussion was the generation of the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), or ‘Spearhead Force’. NATO is refining its response forces in order to enhance its capabilities to respond to the ambiguous warfare tactics such as those employed by Russia in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. The Spearhead Force will be provided by allies in rotation, and will include several thousand troops, ready to respond where needed with air, sea and special forces support.

“The ability of a Spearhead force to move quickly demands that NATO pre-position command and control and logistics experts at a number of sites on the territories of our Eastern European Allies,” said General Bradshaw. “These measures, along with possible upgrades to national infrastructure such as airfields and ports, will enhance our ability to respond to any threat in very short order,” he added.

On 18 September, Alexander Vershbow, NATO’s Deputy Secretary General, said that he expected the Spearhead Force to reach an initial operating capability by the Fall of 2015 and that military planners were now “working seven days a week” to finalize details of the force.

During the visit DSACEUR laid a wreath at the Estonian National Military Memorial and met a number of key officials and military officers.

“Estonia has played a central role in NATO’s assurance measures in response to the Ukraine crisis,” said General Bradshaw. The contribution of ships to our standing maritime forces, the hosting of exercises like STEADFAST JAVELIN I, and the use of Amari Air Base for enhanced air policing have all been essential in underscoring NATO’s rock solid resolve regarding our collective defence,” he added.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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Association Agreement With EU: Ukraine To Change Military Doctrine

September 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Ukrinform
September 23, 2014

Ukraine changing military doctrine

KYIV: The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine will draw up by December 2015 a new wording of Ukraine’s military doctrine and the program for the development of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

This is stated in a plan on the implementation of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the European Union, which the Cabinet of Ministers approved on September 17, 2014.

According to the plan on the implementation of the Association Agreement, the government instructed the Defense Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry, the Justice Ministry and central executive government agencies, as well as the Ukroboronprom State Concern, to draft a new wording of Ukraine’s military doctrine, the program for the development of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other defense planning documents.

The European External Action Service will help implement Ukraine’s strategy taking into account a European priority in Ukraine’s foreign policy.

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Hamlin Garland: Cog in a vast machine for killing men

September 23, 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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Hamlin Garland
From The Return of a Private (1891)

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The nearer the train drew toward La Crosse, the soberer the little group of “vets” became. On the long way from New Orleans they had beguiled tedium with jokes and friendly chaff; or with planning with elaborate detail what they were going to do now, after the war. A long journey, slowly, irregularly, yet persistently pushing northward. When they entered on Wisconsin Territory they gave a cheer, and another when they reached Madison, but after that they sank into a dumb expectancy. Comrades dropped off at one or two points beyond, until there were only four or five left who were bound for La Crosse County.

Three of them were gaunt and brown, the fourth was gaunt and pale, with signs of fever and ague upon him. One had a great scar down his temple; one limped; and they all had unnaturally large bright eyes, showing emaciation. There were no bands greeting them at the stations, no banks of gaily dressed ladies waving hand-kerchiefs and shouting “Bravo!” as they came in on the caboose of a freight tram into the towns that had cheered and blared at them on their way to war…

The station was deserted, chill, and dark, as they came into it at exactly a quarter to two in the morning. Lit by the oil lamps that flared a dull red light over the dingy benches, the waiting room was not an inviting place. The younger man went off to look up a hotel, while the rest remained and prepared to camp down on the floor and benches. Smith was attended to tenderly by the other men, who spread their blankets on the bench for him, and by robbing themselves made quite a comfortable bed, though the narrowness of the bench made his sleeping precarious. It was chill, though August, and the two men sitting with bowed heads grew stiff with cold and weariness, and were forced to rise now and again, and walk about to warm their stiffened limbs It didn’t occur to them, probably, to contrast their coming home with their going forth, or with the coming home of the generals, colonels, or even captains – but to Private Smith, at any rate, there came a sickness at heart almost deadly, as he lay there on his hard bed and went over his situation.

***

He thought of his chum, Billy Tripp. Poor Billy! A “mime” ball fell into his breast one day, fell wailing like a cat, and tore a great ragged hole in his heart. He looked forward to a sad scene with Billy’s mother and sweet-heart. They would want to know all about it. He tried to recall all that Billy had said, and the particulars of it, but there was little to remember, just that wild wailing sound high in the air, a dull slap, a short, quick, expulsive groan, and the boy lay with his face in the dirt in the plowed field they were marching across. That was all. But all the scenes he had since been through had not dimmed the horror, the terror of that moment, when his boy comrade fell, with only a breath between a laugh and a death groan. Poor handsome Billy!…

A few years ago they had bought this farm, paying part, mortgaging the rest in the usual way. Edward Smith was a man of terrible energy. He worked “nights and Sundays,” as the saying goes, to clear the farm of its brush and of its insatiate mortgage. In the midst of his Herculean struggle came the call for volunteers, and with the grim and unselfish devotion to his country which made the Eagle Brigade able to “whip its weight in wildcats,” he threw down his scythe and his grub ax, turned his cattle loose, and became a blue-coated cog in a vast machine for killing men, and not thistles. While the millionaire sent his money to England for safekeeping, this man, with his girl-wife and three babies, left them on a mortgaged farm and went away to fight for an idea…

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U.S. Military Chief On NATO Meeting: Wars In Europe, Middle East And Asia

September 22, 2014 Leave a comment

U.S. Department of Defense
September 21, 2014

Dempsey Recaps NATO Meetings in Lithuania

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WASHINGTON: Russia’s continuing aggression in Ukraine, vulnerabilities posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and other threats along NATO’s southern borders, and the alliance’s continuing commitments in Afghanistan were the chief topics in meetings with NATO’s chiefs of defense in Vilnius, Lithuania, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said today.

In a statement summarizing the meetings, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey added that today’s agreement between Afghanistan’s presidential candidates to form a new national unity government “puts us in a much better place than we were a week ago.”

“Now we need a signed security agreement and a NATO [status of forces agreement], both of which should be accomplished fairly quickly,” Dempsey said. The agreements are necessary for U.S. and NATO forces to have a role in Afghanistan beyond the current mission, which ends Dec. 31, and both candidates said during the election process that they would sign the agreements.

The chiefs of defense also elected Gen. Petr Pavel, the chief of staff of the Czech Republic’s armed forces, to be the next chairman of the NATO Military Committee, the chairman said. “His appointment is significant, because he will be the first Eastern European military leader to take the job,” he added.

Pavel will take the post in July, succeeding Danish Gen. Knud Bartels, whom Dempsey called “a trusted friend.”

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Black Sea: NATO Warships Dock In Bulgarian Port

September 22, 2014 Leave a comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Maritime Command

September 22, 2014

NATO SHIPS VISIT VARNA, BULGARIA

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Varna, Bulgaria: Last weekend from 19 till 22 September 2014, the two ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO (SNMG2) Task Unit TWO (TU.02) stayed in Varna for a scheduled port visit during their deployment to the Black Sea.

Led by Commander Jason Armstrong (Royal Canadian Navy), SNMG2 TU.02 is currently composed of HMCS TORONTO (Royal Canadian Navy) and SPS AMIRALTE JUAN de BORBON (Spanish Navy).

SNMG2 is visiting the port as part of the Group’s deployment to the Black Sea to enhance maritime security and NATO’s readiness in the region.

“This visit has been planned for quite some time, and in light of current events it; has become all the more significant,” said Commander Jason Armstrong, Commander SNMG2 TU.02. “We are delighted to come and train together, eager to enhance our mutual understanding, and eager to bring a strong message to Bulgarian people and to all Allied Nations regarding NATO’s resolve and commitment to collective defence.

”In conjunction with the port visit, Commander NATO Allied Maritime Command, Vice Admiral Hudson will visit with the Bulgarian Minister of Defence, Dr. Velizar Shalamanov, and Bulgarian Navy leaders to discuss maritime security and other issues of shared interest.

“I would like to extend my thanks to the Bulgarian Navy for their support in making this visit possible.” said Vice Admiral Hudson. “While this deployment to the Black Sea is reflective of our naval forces’ regular activities, it is also part of a broader set of military measures agreed upon by NATO’s highest political body, the North Atlantic Council, to reinforce our collective defence and demonstrate the strength of Allied solidarity.”

During the remainder of its deployment in the Black Sea, SNMG2 TU.02 will engage with ships and aircraft of the Bulgarian Navy and air and naval units from Turkey.

Story by: MARCOM Public Affairs Office.

Categories: Uncategorized
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