Interview: Ukraine Junta May Spark Civil War

April 14, 2014 3 comments

Press TV
April 14, 2014

Ukraine junta may spark civil war: Analyst

Audio

Press TV has conducted an interview with Rick Rozoff, from the Center for Research on Globalization, to get his views on the crisis in Ukraine.

Below is a rush transcript of the interview.

Press TV: Now, looking at the words used by [ousted Ukrainian President] Viktor Yanukovych, he noted that the CIA is involved in what is taking place in Ukraine right now as far as the crackdown on pro-Russia protesters go. What do you make of the role the CIA may be playing in Ukraine?

Rozoff: The deposed president of Ukraine, still the standing president legally, Viktor Yanukovych, made the accusation that the US CIA director, John Brennan, had given authorization to the junta, there is no more proper term for it, in Kiev to avoid not only armed force, but the military of Ukraine, in many ways trained by the United States and its NATO allies against peaceful civilian protesters in the east of the country.

An accusation was made today by a member of parliament, formerly of the Party of Regions, that is the ruling party of Viktor Yanukovych, and presidential candidate Oleg Tsarev, that an entire floor of the state security building of the government in Kiev is occupied by US intelligence officers and that it’s off limits even to Ukrainian personnel. This should not surprise us. This is the degree to which the West, the US in the first place, has engineered the bloody coup d’etat in Kiev and is now engineering what Yanukovych himself said is a civil war in his country, and this again is the use of all-out military force, not security personnel, not even riot police but military personnel against peaceful protesters in eastern Ukraine.

This signals bloodshed, has already resulted in deaths in Slavyansk and other cities in the east and Russia has called for convoking a meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to discuss what it truly looks like. Again, in the words of Viktor Yanukovych, entering the door of civil war.

Press TV: The interim government or the Junta, as you have called it in Kiev, has given a deadline of Monday morning to these pro-Russia protesters and that it will carry out large-scale counter-terrorism operations against these protesters. How do you see this planning out? More bloodshed on the streets of eastern and southern Ukraine?

Rozoff: I should sincerely clearly hope that the regime, the US-installed junta in Kiev, does not go through with that ultimatum. If it does and if it deploys more military forces and shoots down more peaceful protesters under the name – yet to make this even more diabolical – counter- or anti-terrorist operations, what you’re going to see is the eruption of full-scale civil war in Ukraine.

As it’s going to be occurring in the east of the country, that’s right on Russia’s border, that’s precisely what the United States’ intention is to do, which is to embroil Russia into an armed conflict in Europe and maybe to issue the US final play for global military domination by provoking confrontation between the two world’s two major powerss. Nothing less dramatic than that is at hand.

Press TV: And very quickly if you can Mr. Rozoff, we’re running out of time. How do you see the UNSC doing in this emergency meeting, which is to take place, as far as averting any potential disaster?

Rozoff: I wish I could say that the United Nations served any purpose other than being used by the United States as it chooses to and being ignored by the United States when it chooses to ignore it. So I don’t expect anything substantive to come out of the meeting of the United Nations Security Council itself, but I think Russia will succeed in sounding the alarm internationally, so the rest of the world understands the gravity, the severity of the situation obtaining in eastern Ukraine and throughout Ukraine right now, because this is something fully comparable with what the US engineered in Syria and currently in Venezuela. It’s an attempt to destabilize and plunge into bloody violence yet another country and it has to be stopped, because if it doesn’t stop here it will continue to spread to other nations.

Categories: Uncategorized

Prime Minister Calls For Finland To Join NATO

EurActive
April 14, 2014

Neutral Finland debates NATO membership option

Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen said that his country, which is not a member of any military pact, should consider NATO membership along with Sweden, “when the time is right”. He added that there was no acute security risk for Finland due to the Ukraine crisis.

“My personal opinion is that Finland should belong to NATO. It would strengthen Finland’s position. But I’m in the minority,” he said on Saturday (12 April), in an interview to the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle.

Katainen said that there is no acute security risk facing Finland because of the situation in Ukraine. But he also pointed out that Russia has said that it’s ready to defend its citizens outside of its own borders.

“This is a serious issue that should be discussed openly,” said Katainen, who especially thanked Yle for its Russian-language news service, Novosti, which allows Russian-speakers in Finland to follow the news in their own mother-tongue.

Katainen also said that the Finnish state was doing fine, rejecting accusations that he was leaving a sinking ship. On 5 April, Katainen said he was stepping down from his job of Prime Minister this summer, and that he was available for a EU top job [read more].

In light of Ukraine developments, Katainen is not the only one in his country to call for NATO membership. Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari (1994-2000), who won the Nobel peace prize in 2008 over his role in the Kosovo process negotiations, strongly advocated that his country should join NATO.

“I’d hope that at some point we’d be able to make that kind of decision and I hope that it would happen jointly with Sweden. I don’t see any reason why the Swedes wouldn’t also make a decision to join,” Ahtisaari said in a recent interview.

But Finnish foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja responded by saying Finland does not require NATO membership because it is already a member of the European Union and a NATO partner. Opposition Centre Party Chair Juha Sipilä says now is not the appropriate time to be considering the NATO question.

“NATO would bring no added benefit to Finnish security. It is not a solution, it would simply bring more problems of its own,” Tuomioja added.

Tuomioja estimates that Katainen is now speaking more freely as his term as Prime Minister draws to an end, more boldly representing his centre-right National Coalition Party views. The NCP party line has traditionally supported NATO membership, while Tuomioja’s Social Democratic Party has opposed it.

Sipilä said the NATO question shouldn’t be discussed during times of crisis.

“My own NATO position is exactly the same as that of the Centre Party. Finland does not belong to any military alliance, but we wish to maintain that option. If membership was to be considered, there would have to be a nationwide referendum arranged on the issue,” Sipilä said.

Categories: Uncategorized

Panaït Istrati: Warmakers and toadeaters

April 14, 2014 1 comment

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

Panaït Istrati
From Domnitza de Snagov (1929)
Translated by William Drake

images

“Sire, since I shall not twice in my lifetime encounter a man like Your Highness, I should like to be enlightened upon a matter that troubles me.”

“What is it?”

“This: by what I have heard from our elders and what I have lived through myself, in the Crimean War, I understand that the great powers have always fought with one another for the possession of weaker nations, like ours, which they crush, each in their turn. But the crushed nations notwithstanding do not die, and we Roumanians are proof of that fact. And the great powers, like Russia and Turkey, are content, in the end, to find themselves again where they were before they started to fight. Why, then, do they fight?”

Couza reflected an instant; then, he said:

“My lad, you embarrass me. I shall try to extricate myself by answering that the great powers act like those two men who ate the toad. Do you know the story?”

“No, Sire, I do not know it…”

“Then, listen! One fine morning, two peasants left their village to go to the market of a big town. One took a calf which he wished to sell. The other had only his arms, which he did not know what to do with. Passing a pond, the man with the calf, who was a foolish creature, said to his travelling companion, as he pointed to a disgusting toad:

“‘Look! If you eat that toad, I will give you my calf. Then it will be yours!’

“Fools love to make dares, and they always pick on the most foolish of their kind, who take the challenge on the wing. His companion, a lazy body who lived from hand to mouth, thought: ‘It must be frightening to eat a living toad; one does not even eat them cooked. But then, a calf – that makes it worth while!’ And, seizing the toad, he said to the first fool:

“‘You will give me the calf at once?’

“‘The instant you finish eating the toad!’

“The other took a bite, chewed quickly, and quickly tossed it down; but his heart was not in the business. ‘It will be hard work, by God!’ At the second mouthful, he thought he was vomiting out his entrails, and, perspiring with disgust, sat down on the grass.

“Seeing him almost halfway through the toad, the proprietor of the calf bethought himself:

“‘He is doing it, all right! He will eat it, and then I shall have lost my calf!’ And he, in turn, sweated. But the eater, after a third piece of toad, was at the end of his endurance, and made the following reflection: ‘No, I shan’t be able to finish it; but if I throw away the rest, he will scoff at me and that is all I will have for my trouble.’

“‘You know, old fellow,’ he remarked. ‘If you will eat the other half of the toad, why, I’ll let you keep your cow.’

“The pitiful instigator seemed only waiting for the word.

“‘As you wish, my friend. If that is how you put it, I accept.’

“And he had to swallow the remainder, with the same disgust. Then the two fools continued their journey, vomiting all along the road – one leading his calf, the other not knowing what to do with his arms, in just the same condition as he had been before they had shared the toad.”

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Senator Taunts Russia With Georgian NATO Membership

April 13, 2014 1 comment

Rustavi 2
April 11, 2014

U.S. Senator calls for granting MAP to Georgia

American Senator Chris Murphy calls on the NATO to grant the Membership Action Plan to Georgia. Murphy voiced his recommendations at the meeting of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate on Thursday, where the situation in Crimea, Russian aggression and its possible consequences from the point of view of European security was discussed. American lawmakers say this will be a sharp signal to Putin that aggression and threats can not be a way of achieving the goals.

The Senator has also voiced two other recommendations for ensuring security in Europe – growth of the presence of U.S. military forces in Europe and suspension of selling weapons to Russia.

Senator Murphy is one of those U.S. lawmakers, who support the position of suspending military cooperation with Russia and its weapon agency Rosoboronexport.

====================================================================

Civil Georgia
April 11, 2014

‘No Consensus’ within NATO on Georgia MAP

Tbilisi: The U.S. supports granting Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Georgia at the NATO summit in Wales in September, but there is no consensus within the allies on the issue, a senior U.S. State Department official said.

“Georgians are well aware that they do not have consensus in the Alliance and that they have work to do to convince, particularly some of our western European allies, of their worthiness for the Membership Action Plan,” Victoria Nuland, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, said.

We have been supporting them as they make this case directly to individual allies,” she said while speaking at a hearing of European subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 10.

Nuland also said that Georgia is on track of signing the Association Agreement with the EU, which “will deepen its relations with many of these same countries, so we are hopeful that will have a positive impact on how they assess its [Georgia’s] worthiness for MAP.”

Derek Chollet, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, told the same hearing that Georgia is “a terrific partner”, who fights in Afghanistan along with the U.S. troops without caveats.

“We are supportive of the Membership Action Plan,” he said. “But as you know very well this is an Alliance’s decision, that’s not a decision the United States will make alone. We work close with our Georgian partners through this process and it’s something that clearly will be a subject of conversation in months ahead as we lead up to the Wales summit.”

U.S. officials’ remarks followed a question from Senator Chris Murphy, who presided over the hearing and who said that although Georgia has yet to take some “serious steps” before it becomes a “full candidate for admission to NATO”, the Membership Action Plan would have lots of “hoops to jump through” and would represent a “very strong signal to both Russia and our allies that we are serious about keeping the opening door policy.”

Georgian Defense Minister, Irakli Alasania, said this week that Tbilisi has significantly intensified dialogue with some of the European states – those whom he described as “skeptics.”

In the course of last one month Alasania traveled to Italy, Spain and Slovakia, where he met his counterparts and raised the issue of MAP, according to the Georgian Ministry of Defense. He met his French counterpart in Paris in November, 2013. The Dutch Defense Minister visited Tbilisi earlier this month.

Georgian Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, met his German counterpart Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Berlin on April 10.

Speaking at a news conference after the meeting Steinmeier spoke about possibility of increasing “substantially” cooperation between Georgia and NATO through number of measures. “I think that would be a milestone,” he said.

But what these measures might be remains unclear.

“Intensive discussions are underway about what will be Georgia’s next step on its path to NATO integration. Everyone actually agrees that this step will be made. NATO allies are expected to take this decision perhaps in June, but it is not either ruled out that discussions on the issue to continue in months ahead of the September summit,” Georgian Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, said in Berlin.

NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said on April 2 that he expects Alliance’s foreign ministers to decide in June how to address at the summit in Wales open door policy, including in respect of Georgia.

At the Bucharest summit in 2008 NATO leaders decided that Georgia will join the NATO, but refused to grant MAP to Georgia. The Bucharest summit decision also says that MAP should be the next step for Georgia on its “direct way to membership”; references to the need of going through MAP phase before joining the alliance are also made in NATO’s subsequent decisions in respect of Georgia.

In an interview with the Georgian public radio on April 7, Defense Minister Irakli Alasania said that there “actually is a consensus” within NATO that Georgia deserves “next step” on its path to NATO integration, but what will be this “next step” has yet to be decided.

“We launched very dynamic bilateral relations especially with those countries, which were not supportive to [granting MAP to] Georgia in 2008. Compared to 2008 now we have absolutely different situation and it is acknowledged by our western partners – first of all, Georgia took a great leap forward since [2008] in defense reforms; we had peaceful transfer of power, which was a success of all the political forces and the entire Georgian society; third – Georgia is consistent in its policy towards Russia to de-escalate tensions,” Alasania said.

“Not only number of skeptics has decreased, actually there is a consensus among the members that Georgia deserves the next step. What this instrument, next step, might be it should be agreed in next few months,” he added.

Alasania hailed NATO beefing up its eastern European defenses due to tension with Russia over Ukraine and said the Alliance should go further by considering “gradual creation of defense elements, among them through deployment of military assets, in partner countries.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Alexander Herzen: Inhumanity of army discipline, flunky of a crowned soldier

====

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

Russian writers on war

Alexander Herzen: Selections on the military and war

====

Alexander Herzen
From My Past and Thoughts
Translated by Constance Garnett

Alexander_Herzen

Staraya Russa, the military settlements! Terrible words! Can it be that history…will never pull away the shroud under which the government has concealed the series of crimes coldly and systematically perpetrated in establishing the military settlements? There have been plenty of horrors everywhere, but in that case they were marked by the peculiar imprint of Petersburg and Gatchina, of German and Tatar influence. The beating with sticks and scourging with lashes for the insubordinate went on for months together…the blood was never dry on the floors of the rural offices…every crime that may be committed by the people against their torturers on that tract of land is justified beforehand.

The Mongolian side of the Moscow period which distorted the Slav character of the Russians, the inhumanity of army discipline which distorted the Petersburg period, are embodied in the full perfection of their hideousness in Count Arakcheyev. Arakcheyev was undoubtedly one of the most loathsome figures that rose to the surface of the Russian government after Peter the Great. That ‘flunky of a crowned soldier,’ as Pushkin said of him, was the model of an ideal corporal as seen in the dreams of the father of Frederick the Second; he was made up of inhuman devotion, mechanical accuracy, the exactitude of a chronometer, routine and energy, a complete lack of feeling, as much intelligence as was necessary to carry out orders, and enough ambition, spite, and envy to prefer power to money. Such men are a real treasure to the czars…

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. To Reap Whirlwind Of ‘Color Revolutions’ Worldwide

April 12, 2014 1 comment

Voice of Russia
April 12, 2014

First Tunisia, then Egypt and Libya, now Ukraine: Colour revolution scenario is a wrong one to use
Valentin Zorin

The date seems to have gone unnoticed by the western media, yet it was three years ago that the phenomenon that came to be known as the Arab Spring burst into life, first in Tunisia and then in Egypt, with pundits caught unawares by the collapse of some many-year long regimes in that important world region. The bloody death of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, civil unrest in Arab monarchies came in continuation of what politicians and political analysts have referred to as ‘colour revolutions’ in the past 20 years.

Ukraine’s Orange Revolution of 2004, the Rose Revolution in Tbilisi, and back to Kiev again, but this time the developments in Ukraine failed to avoid bloodletting. Causes may have been different in different countries, but the millions who took to the streets were all discontented with their ruling regimes and all hated the regime leaders.

But the colour revolution scenarios are suspiciously alike, as if they were written in the same place by the same person. And there is invariably an American connection to each such scenario. Each of these involved or involves US experts, politicians and generals.

Bombing attacks on Yugoslavia’s capital Belgrade, missiles that destroyed Libyan cities, the supplies of weapons to Syria’s antigovernment forces, visits by the US Vice President Dick Cheney to the raging Tbilisi, political and generous financial support for ‘orange revolutions’ are the links in the same chain.

While cynically using popular discontent with the corrupt regimes, the Washington-based politicians and security services bend every effort to harness the mass movement, and insert its people into it. This is exactly what is taking place in a most insolent way in Ukraine’s capital Kiev.

But the experience that’s been gained in recent years proves that Washington is sowing the wind, but will reap something different from what it expects. Egypt has spiralled out of control, Iraq is in its current failing state; Libya, plunged into internecine war; Syria fighting US aggression and the US disgraceful withdrawal from Afghanistan are all evidence of Washington’s strategic bankruptcy.

The situation in Ukraine has also failed to follow Washington’s scenario. Instead of a quick success, the US got another headache and fresh problems.

The days of US world domination are gone; the world has changed and hates to develop according to plans that have been drawn up on the banks of the Potomac River. Washington will have to take that into account sooner or later. Sooner is better for the world and for the US proper.

Categories: Uncategorized

Azerbaijan: NATO’s “Strategic Partner” On Russian, Iranian Borders

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
April 11, 2014

NATO Official Praises Azerbaijan’s Partnership In Alliance

A NATO official has praised the alliance’s relations with Azerbaijan while marking 20 years of closer cooperation between Baku and Brussels.

Sorin Ducaru, NATO’s assistant secretary-general for emerging security challenges, told journalists in Baku on April 11 that relations between NATO and Azerbaijan had reached the level of a “strategic partnership.”

Ducaru spoke at a conference marking the 20th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s participation in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program.

Ducaru called Azerbaijan one of NATO’s long-term partners and hailed Baku’s participation in peacekeeping efforts in Afghanistan, the fight against terrorism, and supporting energy security.

Based on reporting by Trend.az and Interfax

===================================================================

Trend News Agency
April 11, 2014

2014 is important stage in Azerbaijan-NATO cooperation
By Saba Agayeva

conference_nato_110414_01

The relations between NATO and Azerbaijan are fruitful, the organizations’ Deputy Secretary General Sorin Ducaru told the media on April 11.

Ducaru is taking part in the conference on the prospects of cooperation with NATO and the 20th anniversary of “Partnership for Peace”.

“2014 is an important milestone in the cooperation between Azerbaijan and NATO as this year the coalition forces will be withdrawn from Afghanistan,” he added.

“Azerbaijan has opened transit opportunities for us,” he added. “In particular, this year we will withdraw our forces from Afghanistan. After 2014, our presence in Afghanistan will differ from the previous one.”
He stressed that practical cooperation is also essential.

“We supported the reforms in Azerbaijan, particularly in the sphere of defense,” he added.

Ducaru stressed that the sides conducted about 80 joint activities, which raise the practical cooperation to a higher level.

“This meeting is an excellent platform for discussing the achievements, failures and future measures of cooperation between Azerbaijan and NATO, as well as achieving successful results,” Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov said at the conference.

“The 20th anniversary of the “Partnership for Peace” program is being celebrated today,” he added. “We will discuss the present, as well as the expectations connected with the future of NATO, the process settlement in the alliance.”

Translated by NH
Edited by CN

Categories: Uncategorized

Maurice Duplay: Imperative to uproot the passion of war

====

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

Maurice Duplay: Colloquy on science and war

====

Maurice Duplay
From Our Doctors (1926)
Translated by Joseph Collins

“Gentlemen, the future of science announces itself with a renewed and dazzling splendor. Less than a century hence our planet will no more resemble what it is to-day than it resembles what it was in the Middle Ages. But that the wondrous transformation may be accomplished, it is essential that man be neither bad nor mad, and that the passion of war does not seize him anew. It is imperative that we shall uproot or attenuate that antinomy in man first pointed out by Pascal which exists between his intellectual faculties, continually on the increase, and his moral qualities, always stationary. If he does not, civilization, deprived of its equilibrium, will crumble beneath the indignities that man thrusts upon it and the world will materialize the myth of Babel.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Top Marine In Japan: U.S. Could Retake Diaoyus/Senkakus From China

April 11, 2014 3 comments

Stars and Stripes
April 11, 2014

Top Marine in Japan: If tasked, we could retake the Senkakus from China
By Jon Harper

WASHINGTON: If the Chinese invaded the Senkaku Islands, U.S. Marines in the Pacific could recapture them, the commander of Marines in Japan said Friday.

The Senkakus have been administered by Japan for decades, but China now claims sovereignty over them. Amid other heated territorial disputes with its neighbors, China has deployed naval assets near the Senkakus in recent months.

During his recent trip to Asia, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel reiterated the U.S. position that the Senkakus fall under the scope of the U.S. defense treaty with Japan, and the U.S. would be obliged to come to the aid of its Japanese ally if the islands were attacked by a foreign power.

Hagel’s comments came after Adm. Samuel Locklear III, the commander of all U.S. forces in the Pacific, told lawmakers last month that the Navy and Marines don’t have enough transportation assets in the region to carry out amphibious operations in a contested environment.

“If we were directed to take the Senkakus, could we? Yes. [But] to tell you how it would take place or would it take place or any of that would be pure speculation,” Lt. Gen. John Wissler, the commander of the III Marine Expeditionary Force based in Japan, said at a breakfast with defense reporters in Washington.

“They’re not real big,” he said. “I think sometimes people get this idea that the Senkakus look like the island of Okinawa or, you know, any of the other major islands. It’s a very, very small collection of small islands.”

Wissler suggested that U.S. naval and air assets could take out the Chinese forces on their own, and a forcible entry probably wouldn’t be required.

“You wouldn’t maybe even necessarily have to put somebody on that island until you had eliminated the threat, so to speak. And that’s where that whole integration of our full capabilities as a Navy-Marine Corps team would be of value,” he said.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Interoperability: U.S. Begins Two-Week Air Exercise In Romania

U.S. Air Forces In Europe
U.S. Air Forces Africa

April 11, 2014

Dacian Viper 2014: US, Romanian air forces partner for 2-week exercise
By Staff Sgt. R.J. Biermann
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

800px-US_Air_National_Guard_F-16s_over_Kunsan,_ROK
F-16s

CAMPIA TURZII, Romania: U.S. and Romanian Airmen met during the Dacian Viper 2014 opening ceremony at the 71st Air Base in Campia Turzii, Romania, April 10, 2014.

Romanian air force Cmdr. Petrus Marian, 71st AB commander; Cmdr. Adrian Motorga, 711th Squadron commander; and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Christopher Austin, 510th Fighter Squadron commander, greeted the crowd as a dozen Romanian reporters captured the ceremony’s events.

From April 10-17, 71st AB and 31st Fighter Wing Airmen will conduct bilateral training to enhance interoperability and readiness through combined air operations, including air-to-air, air-to-ground and joint tactical air controller training.

“This exercise has been planned for over a year now,” said Austin. “We’re here to conduct range operations and joint exercise sorties with our NATO partners to enhance interoperability.”

Six 31st FW F-16 Fighting Falcons and several MiG-21 Lancers will be flown by their respective country’s pilots throughout the training. Team Aviano maintainers, crew chiefs, firefighters, aerospace ground equipment technicians, air traffic controllers, and supply, logistics and support personnel will also participate.

Dacian Viper 2014 will also aid the Romanian air force in gaining knowledge about the F-16 flying program. In 2013, Romania signed a contract to acquire 12 F-16s from Portugal to replace their MiG-21s.

The exercise is the latest example of the high level of military cooperation between the NATO partners and reflects the strength of the partnership, according to officials.

Categories: Uncategorized

Scores Of Afghan Children Killed, Crippled By U.S., NATO Explosives

RT
April 11, 2014

Scores of children killed, crippled by explosives left by US, NATO in Afghanistan

After 13 years of war, the US military and allies will leave thousands of square miles of unexploded grenades and other ordnance littered around Afghanistan. In recent years, most casualties from unattended explosives have been children, the UN found.

The United States and NATO forces have used 240 high-explosives ranges in Afghanistan since 2001, according to the Washington Post. One top range, for example, is 120 square miles, or about twice the size of Washington, DC.

The US will be responsible for cleaning 73 of those sites, which come out to around 800 square miles, US officials told the Post. This effort will cost about US$250 million. US officials say that each range has thousands of undetonated explosives.

Half of the total 240 ranges will be transferred to the Afghan army, and 40 belong to international coalition forces whose countries will be on the hook for cleanup.

In the meantime, casualties from these unmarked, randomly-scattered munitions will likely increase, as the US has only combed 3 percent of its domain in Afghanistan, officials said.

Since 2012, the United Nations’ Mine Action Coordination Center of Afghanistan has recorded 70 casualties around US or NATO firing ranges or bases, and the pace of explosions is increasing. Of these casualties, 88 percent were children. Victims were often taking animals to graze, gathering firewood, or searching for scrap metal.

Yet the Post reported that it found 14 casualties not included in the UN’s findings, indicating how difficult it is to track these incidents and how often they will occur as most foreign troops leave by the end of the year.

“We are anxious that the problem has arisen just as ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) is leaving,” said Abigail Hartley, director of the UN mine center. “It would have been much better to have had it addressed during the last eight years.”

Even if Congress approves funding to find and remove the ordnance, the task will be highly complicated without that troop presence. The US has shuttered around half of its 880 bases and facilities around the country already.

“There are less people to identify sites,” an anonymous US official told the Post. “And then if you decide you want to do the right thing and get them out there, how do you do it? Who protects them?”

A US military team was, in recent months, assigned to find which ranges exposed the most ordnance and which had caused the most casualties. Yet senior US officials have said little about the issue.

“It will take time and expense to complete this work, but it’s critical to the safety of the Afghan people and it is the right thing to do,” said Edward Thomas, a spokesman for Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Last year, 32,000 undetonated explosives were removed from a 60-square-mile area, the only spot cleared by the US thus far.

“Unfortunately, the thinking was: ‘We’re at war and we don’t have time for this,’ ” said Maj. Michael Fuller, the head of the US Army’s Mine Action Center at Bagram Airfield.

US officials pointed out to the Post that, since Afghanistan is not a signatory to the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, the US is not legally obligated to deal with the deadly ordnance they will leave behind.

In addition to US and ISAF explosives sprinkled throughout the country are 20 million pieces of ordnance left by the Soviet Union during its decade-long war and occupation in Afghanistan during the 1980s.

“We’re probably never going to be able to find [munitions], because who knows where they landed,” one US official told the Post.

Thus, Afghans will live with past wars for the foreseeable future. A report by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Afghanistan found that 2013 was the worst year for women and children.

Last year, 561 children were killed and 1,195 were wounded. Many were victims of roadside bombs or were caught in the crossfire of insurgent battles. US drone strikes are also responsible for an increasing amount of casualties.

Last month, two Afghan teenagers, Mohammed Yusef and Sayed Jawad, set out from their home to a nearby firing range used by US and Polish troops. Since the once-common blasts from the site had subsided as foreign forces left Afghanistan, the pair saw fit to look for scrap metal in the area.

Sayed Sadeq, Jawad’s father, said he heard an explosion and ran to the range where he found his son’s ravaged torso, both boys dead.

“The left side of his body was torn up. I could see his heart. His legs were missing,” the father said.

One of the boys had seemingly stepped on a 40mm grenade, which is made to kill anyone within five yards.

“If the Americans believe in human rights, how can they let this happen?” Sadeq said, the Post reported.

Categories: Uncategorized

Targets Transdniester, Gagauzia: Nuland Mulls More NATO Troops In Romania

Romania Insider
April 11, 2014

Romanian officials call for more NATO troops in Romania

Bogdan Aurescu, state secretary in the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE), has talked with US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland about the necessity to increase US and NATO presence in Romania and other allied states in Eastern Europe, according to an official statement of MAE. Aurescu also expressed his hope that the US will soon name a new ambassador in Romania.

Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean also called for more NATO troops in Romania and Eastern Europe, in an interview for AFP.

Duane Butcher, Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in Bucharest, said on Thursday (April 10) that US and NATO will protect Romania. On the same day, NATO published photos that show that about 35,000 to 40,000 Russian soldiers are stationed along the Ukrainian border, according to AFP. Moscow officials however said the pictures date back from August 2013.

======================================================

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
April 10, 2014

Romania Wants NATO Redeployment Over Ukraine Crisis

Romania is urging NATO to redeploy its forces in Eastern Europe and take a firm position to prevent a contagion of the Ukraine crisis.

Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean said on April 10 that Bucharest “has concrete expectations of a redeployment and an eastward repositioning of NATO’s naval, air and ground forces.”

Corlatean said Romania was “on the frontline,” adding, “The Black Sea region must be a top priority for NATO and the EU.”

Romania, a member of both the European Union and NATO, has a common border with Ukraine.

The US chargé d’affaire in Romania, Duane Butcher, told Romanian media that Washington is currently considering “a wide range of measures” to consolidate trust among its allies.

“We will defend Romania”, Butcher said.

Meanwhile, some 450 U.S. and Romanian troops and began joint military exercises in northwestern Romania on April 10, flying U.S. F-16 fighter jets alongside Romanian ones.

====================================================================

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 3, 2014

Moldovan Region Gagauzia Asks Russia to Open Consulate

CHISINAU: Authorities in Moldova’s autonomous region of Gagauzia are asking Russia to open a consulate office in its capital Comrat, head of the autonomous region Mikhail Formuzal said in a letter to Russian authorities.

“In accordance with the agreements reached at the meeting of the State Duma (Russia’s lower chamber of parliament) and the government of Russia during the visit of a delegation of the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia to Moscow, we ask you to consider a possibility of establishing a Consulate of the Russian Federation in Comrat, the capital of Gagauzia”, Formuzal said.

According to Formuzal, the move would give a new impetus to bilateral relationships in such areas like trade and education and also would be helpful for citizens not only of Gagauzia, but other southern regions of Moldova.

Earlier Moldovan region asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to simplify citizenship procedures for migrant workers.  Formuzal underlined that Gagauz people can easily integrate into Russian society, because they know the Russian language and Russian culture.

On Wednesday US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that Washington remains concerned about political situation in Moldova.

“We are providing an addition $10 million in assistance to Moldova…So obviously, we are working very closely with the Moldovan Government on a range of issues and are concerned, of course, about Russian escalatory moves anywhere in the region”, Harf said.

Gagauzia has a population of about 150,000, mostly ethnically Gagauz, Turkish-speaking Orthodox Christians. Gagauzia has three official languages: Romanian, Gagauz, and Russian. In February a referendum was held in Gagauzia in which an overwhelming majority called for Moldova to join a Russian-led Customs union rather than a political and trade pact with the EU. It also opted for the independence of Gagauzia if Moldova chooses to enter EU.

Categories: Uncategorized

Russia Slams NATO, “Elite Club,” Over Ukraine, Kosovo, Libya

Xinhua News Agency
April 10, 2014

Russia slams NATO over Ukraine

MOSCOW: Moscow said Thursday that NATO took the roles of a referee and a court-marshal in Kosovo and Libya, while turning a blind eye on extremist forces in Ukraine.

“In recent months, we have not heard from NATO Secretary General (Anders Fogh Rasmussen) any constructive agenda or care about sooner normalization of situation in Ukraine,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, blaming Rasmussen for his “active employment of double standards.”

NATO attempts to use the crisis in Ukraine to “close ranks” within the bloc, which, in its view, allegedly faces threat from Russia, said the statement.

NATO accents “increasing militarization of Russia” to prove the bloc is still needed in the 21st century, it added.

Russia said it was not surprised by NATO’s attempt to represent itself as an “elite club” bearing some special political legitimacy and ignoring international institutions, including the U.N. Security Council.

Earlier this month, Rasmussen highlighted the alliance’s steadfast commitment to collective defense and decided to suspend all civilian and military cooperation with Russia.

Categories: Uncategorized

Siegfried Sassoon: Atrocities

====

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

Siegfried Sassoon: Aftermath

Siegfried Sassoon: Arms and the Man

Siegfried Sassoon: At the Cenotaph

====

Siegfried Sassoon
Atrocities

Sassoon_1

You told me, in your drunken-boasting mood,
How once you butchered prisoners. That was good!
I’m sure you felt no pity while they stood
Patient and cowed and scared, as prisoners should.

How did you do them in? Come, don’t be shy:
You know I love to hear how Germans die,
Downstairs in dug-outs. ‘Camerad!’ they cry;
Then squeal like stoats when bombs begin to fly.

And you? I know your record. You went sick
When orders looked unwholesome: then, with trick
And lie, you wangled home. And here you are,
Still talking big and boozing in a bar.

Categories: Uncategorized

Interview: U.S.-NATO Military Buildup On Russia’s Borders Precarious, Formidable

Voice of Russia
April 10, 2014

US and NATO military presence along Russia’s borders is precarious and formidable – Stop NATO activist
Miguel Francis

Ukraine’s interim President Alexander Turchinov has ordered the local administration headquarters held by protesters in Donetsk to be taken under “state protection”.

Meanwhile, special forces and armored vehicles from other regions are reportedly moving into the east and south of the country. The buildup of the US and allied NATO military personnel and hardware along Russia’s western borders is already precarious and is becoming formidable, Rick Rozoff, an international affairs commentator and a manager of Stop NATO, told the Voice of Russia.

According to a decree signed by Turchinov, the local administration building in Donetsk and surrounding territory is an ‘important government facility’, which is subject to state protection.

Turchinov has already given Ukraine’s state security service appropriate directions, Russia’s ITAR-TASS news agency reports.

Ukraine’s acting interior minister Arsen Avakov confirmed on Wednesday that special police force had already arrived in the eastern cities of Donetsk, Lugansk and Kharkov from the Ukraine’s western regions.

He said an anti-terrorist operation was underway, adding that the situation would be resolved ‘within 24 hours’ by either political settlement through talks or the use of force.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry have urged all sides to refrain from violence in eastern and southern Ukraine.

The administrative buildings in Donetsk and Lugansk remain under the control of protesters. Activists continued to building barricades on Wednesday, preparing for possible attacks by government forces.

Protesters in Donetsk adopted an address in support of Crimea’s reintegration into Russia and expressed hope that Crimea would recognize the independence of self-proclaimed Donetsk people’s republic.

Does Mr. Breedlove’s statement attest to NATO’s readiness to deploy troops in Eastern Europe?

He would not have made this statement unless it was at least on the drawing board. And this is an indication of how severely the manufactured crisis, I would argue, over Ukraine, manufactured by the West, has escalated to the point where the top military commander of NATO, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe who is simultaneously, by the way, the top commander of the US European Command of the US military forces on and around the European continent, to have made such an abrasive and threatening statement.

He said, in fact, that NATO troops, including US contingents, could enter several Eastern European countries ostensibly to protect Ukraine or protect its neighbours, those who are NATO members. That’s a ludicrous assertion, of course. I mean, Ukraine is under no threat. Certainly, the Baltic state, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, who are presumably the countries about which Gen. Breedlove spoke, are under no threat. Quite the opposite, the buildup of the US and allied NATO military personnel and hardware along Russia’s western borders is already precarious and is becoming formidable.

Is deploying troops just a possibility now or a guide to action?

We have to keep in mind that the US has been incrementally and, I’m afraid, for the most part imperceptibly for most of the world’s news media building up steadily the presence of military personnel in the very countries we are talking about, Poland in the first place. Four years ago the US deployed a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 Interceptor missile battery to the Polish city of Morag, which is only some 35 to 42 km from the Russian territory of Kaliningrad. There are US personnel assigned to that battery, perhaps 100 soldiers.

The US is currently performing a paratroop operation with Polish forces outside the Polish air base at Powidz. The today’s news indicate that 18 US F-16 advanced jet fighters are flying into the Polish air base at Lask. And the words of government officiala and of the US and the Polish military are that the US will maintain presence in the area for years or decades, that’s a quote. And this has been building up incrementally also in Bulgaria and Romania, across the Black Sea from Ukraine, where in 2008-2009 the US signed agreements respectively with Romania and Bulgaria for securingthe use of 8 military bases, which it has used in the interim. It used them, for example, for the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

And these include bases outside Constanta in Romania and Burgas in Bulgaria on the Black Sea. They include major air bases and naval facilities. So, the US already has presence in the new NATO members in Eastern Europe. In fact, the NATO expansion from 1999 to 2009, during this period NATO expanded from 16 members to 28 (that is a 75% increase in membership), all of those 12 new members in Eastern Europe, it has been the mechanism by which US built up military presence along Russia’s western borders and it could not have been done without NATO.

This is interesting, because it contradicts the opinion that people still have, that the US is not an aggressively imperialistic superpower with so many invasions since 1776. And I think what you just mentioned attests to the opposite, that perhaps it is. Now, over to the Donald Cook warship that is due to enter the Black Sea today. What are the aims of this motion – to reassure Washington’s regional partners, as Pentagon’s officials say, or to issue a warning to Russia over its actions in Crimea? I mean, Russia is not Kosovo, Russia is a nuclear missile-capable nation, what is NATO and the West really trying to do here?

I’m glad you threw NATO into the equation, because, in fact, not only the USS Donald Cook – which is by the way an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer of the sort that is being used to install antiballistic missiles or what they call interceptor missiles under the European Phased Adaptive Approach program of the Obama administration, which was adopted by NATO. So, now it is throughout the European continent, excluding Russia and Belarus presumably.

And the US will ultimately, they have five such warships deployed at the Rota Naval Station in Spain to patrol the Mediterranean, but also, as clearly is the case with the Donald Cook, moving into the Black Sea, which could have been predicted. The Baltic Sea, Barents Sea, Norwegian Sea are the locations where these warships will later go. And the purpose of the so-called interceptor missiles is, in my estimate, to withstand a retaliatory strike by Russia should the US and its NATO allies launch a first strike against Russia. That’s the only conceivable explanation I have for the so-called missile defense system.

So, it is dangerous that this is the third such American guided missile warship that has entered the Black Sea since the Sochi Winter Olympics, in which point there were two, one of which incidentally ran aground off the coast of Turkey. Those two came out, the Donald Cook is coming in, but it’s being accompanied by a French surveillance ship; military, of course.

So, this once again indicates that it is a joint NATO endeavor and not simply a unilateral American one. And it is comparable, evocative, in fact, of what the US and NATO did immediately after the five-day war in the South Caucasus in the August of 2008 when Georgia invaded South Ossetia and provoked a war with Russia. The US had similarly sent the flagship of the Sixth Fleet, the USS Mount Whitney, to Georgia.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Leaders, Think Tank Elites Plan Future Operations Against Ukraine Backdrop

April 10, 2014 1 comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation

April 9, 2014

Transformation Seminar Charts Path to Summit

140407nts-400

More than 250 NATO military and civilian leaders along with important partners in Think-Tanks met in Paris, France, April 8-9 for the 2014 NATO Transformation Seminar (NTS) hosted by SACT.

The NTS is a core event within SACT’s strategic engagement campaign and serves as a precursor for leaders to inform and progress the dialogue leading up to the NATO Summit in Wales in September.

The two days included several plenary discussions and group breakout sessions that covered topics such as; The Future of Operations: a Post-Afghanistan Refocus on NATO Core missions, Addressing Military Requirements, Capability Challenges in the 21st Century, The Future of the Transatlantic Link, NATO in the 21st Century: How to Adapt NATO to Face Multiple and Complex Challenges.

In line with expectations, the current crisis in Ukraine also drove much of the discussion – as it remains a major concern for the entire Alliance. During his closing remarks, SACT said the situation further proved the importance of the Nations’ willingness to work together and continue to build bonds.

“…Ukraine didn’t overshadow the conference,” said SACT. “Ukraine highlighted the conference. Ukraine highlighted the need for a strong commitment as well as solidarity in what we should do to face this crisis. It highlighted as well the need for us to deliver on the major initiatives [that] we have enhanced.”

SACT thanked all the leaders for their contributions to the conversations and said that their input was invaluable as Allied Command Transformation continues to forge the future of the Alliance.

“The most important outcome of what we did is really – from my perspective – the individual takeaway,” said SACT. “And my own takeaway is that after the seminar, I feel much stronger – much stronger as far as our collective confidence in pushing forward the transformation of our Alliance and taking on the challenges of today.”

——————————————————————————–

Day One – NATO begins Two-day Transformation Seminar

7075

The annual NATO Transformation Seminar began today at the Intercontinental Le Grand Hotel in Paris, France, with keynote speeches from SACT, the SECGEN and the Defence Minister of France, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

More than 250 invitees among them NATO military leaders and ambassadors (PERMREPS) and important partners in Think-Tanks and defence managers are attending this two-day event hosted by SACT to support preparations for the upcoming NATO Summit. Particularly, the seminar is designed to identify steps for NATO’s transformation, continue the ongoing assessment of capabilities and risks, develop NATO initiatives, discuss the impact of the current crisis in Ukraine and address other top issues.

Speaking about current events that are of major concern for NATO, SACT said that nations must continue to commit to “transforming” the Alliance to help take on these challenges successfully.

“While a crisis develops at the eastern edges of our Alliance and at the crucial time of transition in Afghanistan, more than ever we have to prepare for NATO’s future,” SACT said. “I’m convinced that current events can only encourage us further to continue with the transformation of our military toolbox, continue to adapt our capabilities, improve our interoperability and our ability to react.”

SECGEN told the attendees that the situation in Ukraine “raises serious questions on Euro-Atlantic security” and that “now was the time for the right answer”.

“…and let me put forward three answers that I see are key for our Wales Summit in September,” SECGEN said: “We must prepare a readiness action plan, we must reinvest in our defence and we must reinforce the transatlantic bond.”

Over the next two days, the leaders attending the seminar will concentrate their efforts on these issues and more, as broader discussions at the NATO Summit in Wales are just five months away.

Categories: Uncategorized

Prague: NATO Chief Escalates Accusations Against Russia

April 10, 2014 2 comments

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 10, 2014

NATO Secretary General discusses collective defence, defence investment and Ukraine crisis in Prague

The NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen discussed the Ukraine crisis with the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Boshulav Sobotka during a visit to Prague on Thursday (10 April). “From Prague, I have this message to Russia. You have a choice. To stop blaming others for your own actions. To stop massing your troops. To stop escalating this crisis and start engaging in a genuine dialogue. If Russia is serious about a dialogue, the first step should be to pull back its troops”, the Secretary General said at a press conference with Prime Minister Sobotka.

Visiting the Czech Republic as it celebrates the 15th anniversary of its accession to NATO, Mr Fogh Rasmussen praised the Czech Republic’s commitment to the Alliance: “Your troops have made a valuable contribution to our missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo. You are fully involved in our Smart Defence efforts to develop modern military capabilities together.”

Referring to the crisis in Ukraine, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said:

“For the first time since countries like the Czech Republic won their freedom, and the Cold War ended, we see one state trying to grab part of another’s territory at gunpoint. As I speak, some 40,000 Russian troops are massed along Ukraine’s borders. Not training, but ready for combat. We have seen the satellite images, day after day. Russia is stirring up ethnic tensions in eastern Ukraine and provoking unrest. And Russia is using its military might to dictate that Ukraine should become a federal, neutral state. That is a decision which only Ukraine, as a sovereign state, can make. Nobody else”.

Mr Fogh Rasmussen stressed that NATO’s commitment to collective defence is unwavering and that the Alliance is taking legitimate steps to deal with the instability that Russia’s illegitimate actions have created.

Speaking about NATO’s Wales Summit in September, the Secretary General called on all NATO Allies to keep their capabilities strong and enhance training for their forces. “Above all, we must stop the decline of our defence budgets. And start reinvesting in our security. Investing in defence has a cost. But we see that insecurity has a much higher price”, he said.

Categories: Uncategorized

More U.S. Warplanes Head To Poland For “Years Or Decades”

Polish Radio
April 10, 2014

Ukraine crisis: More US jet fighters due in Poland

Amid rising tension in Ukraine, the Polish government has confirmed joint military exercises with the US will continue in June with the arrival of more F-16 jet fighters.

Aerial refuelling aircraft are also due to be dispatched to Poland from the UK over the same period.

“This is very strong evidence of Allied commitment, and the visible presence of the U.S,” Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak told the TVN24 news station.

“We are striving to ensure that the lessons of the [Russian-Ukrainian] crisis result in the enduring presence of NATO in the east,” the minister added.

“The armies within the Alliance are working on this, on behalf of their foreign ministers,” he said.
Asked about NATO’s readiness to intervene in the event of an attack on a member state, Siemoniak said that “these forces are prepared for immediate action.”

Siemoniak noted that the 18 US F-16 jet fighters will be stationed at an airbase in Lask, central Poland, where the US and Polish armed forces have been cooperating intermittently for over a year and a half.

“For several weeks now we’ve had 12 F-16 planes and transport aircraft there,” Siemoniak noted.

“The planes that are here at the moment will leave Poland in a few weeks and new ones from another base will take their place.”

The defence minister said that as far as NATO forces in region are concerned, attention is now focused on “long-term activities that could last years or decades,” although he acknowledged that such an arrangement cannot be finalised “in the space of a few days.”

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Exploits Ukraine To Consolidate Its Ranks: Russian Foreign Ministry

Interfax
April 10, 2014

Russian Foreign Ministry: NATO tries to use Ukraine crisis for its own consolidation in face of imaginary military threat

MOSCOW: The Russian authorities view NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen’s accusations against Moscow as an attempt to bolster the relevance of the alliance, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a commentary posed on its website on Thursday.

“The secretary general’s constant accusations against us suggest that the alliance is trying to use the crisis in Ukraine to “consolidate its ranks” in the face of some imaginary external threat allegedly facing NATO countries, as well as to reinforce the relevance of the alliance in these issues in the 21st century,” the ministry said.

=========================================

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 10, 2014

NATO Double Standard Undermines Ukraine’s Stability – Russian Foreign Ministry

MOSCOW: Recent statements by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the situation in Ukraine as well as the alliance’s double standard on Crimea have hindered a de-escalation of tensions in the country, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Thursday.

“Several times over the last few months we have heard nothing constructive in comments by the NATO Secretary General,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The use of double standards is a direct threat to security and stability in the region,” the statement said, referring to NATO members’ support of the coup-imposed regime in Kiev while calling the reunification referendum in Crimea illegitimate.

Earlier this week, the NATO chief voiced concerns about the situation in eastern Ukraine during a conference of the Atlantic alliance in Paris, stressing that Russia’s decision to intervene in Ukraine will turn into a historic mistake and might lead to the country’s international isolation.

“Events in eastern Ukraine are a great concern, I urge Russia to step back. Any further move to eastern Ukraine would represent a serious escalation rather than de-escalation,” Rasmussen said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that NATO is attempting to use the Ukrainian crisis as an imaginary threat to unite the alliance’s members.

“The constant accusations by the Secretary General directed at us confirm the fact that the alliance is attempting to use the crisis in Ukraine in order to ‘unite ranks’ before an imaginary external threat to NATO member states in order to secure the need for the alliance in the 21st century,” the ministry said.

In February, the Ukrainian parliament backed by far-right movements ousted President Viktor Yanukovych, amended the constitution and scheduled an early presidential election for May 25.

Moscow has described the uprising in Kiev as an illegitimate fascist coup and a military seizure of power, which resulted in it taking steps to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine, including the reunification of Crimea. It blames the ongoing crisis in the country on Ukrainian nationalists and their aggressive rhetoric.

Moscow has insisted that a federal form of government is the only way out of the protracted political stalemate in Ukraine, currently a unitary state which is de facto split into a Ukrainian-speaking west and a Russian-speaking east and south.

===================================================

Interfax
April 10, 2014

CSTO, NATO should not interfere in events taking place in Ukraine – Bordyuzha

MINSK: Nikolai Bordyuzha, general secretary of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), has expressed concerns about the statements made by the NATO administration on sending experts to Ukraine.

“CSTO and NATO should not interfere in the situation. I am concerned about the constant statements made by the NATO administration on sending experts there, etc. It’s counterproductive and it does not help stabilization of the situation” Bordyuzha told a press conference in Minsk on Thursday.

He recalled that Ukraine is not a member of CSTO. “We cannot influence events taking place there. However, we follow the tendencies. They are undesirable and they lead even further exacerbation of the situation,” Bordyuzha said.

Bordyuzha reiterated that “everything should be decided by the people. It’s the only thing needed to bring peace and calm there.”

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. And French Warships Entering Black Sea

April 10, 2014 1 comment

U.S. Department of Defense
April 9, 2014

USS Donald Cook Heads for Reassurance Mission in Black Sea
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON: The USS Donald Cook is scheduled to arrive in the Black Sea tomorrow as part of the U.S. commitment to mutual goals in the region, a Pentagon spokesman said today.

Army Col. Steven Warren explained the Navy vessel’s mission upon arrival to Pentagon reporters.

“The Donald Cook’s mission is to reassure NATO allies and Black Sea partners of America’s commitment to strengthen and improve interoperability while working towards mutual goals in the region,” Warren said.

The colonel noted that while in the Black Sea, the ship will participate in exercises and operations to improve interoperability, readiness and enhance relationships.

“It demonstrates our commitment to our … allies to enhance security, readiness and capabilities,” Warren said.

The vessel left Norfolk, Va., Jan. 31 as the first of four Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers to be stationed in Rota, Spain, to enhance security in the European region.
=================================================

http://en.ria.ru/world/20140410/189144489/US-French-Warships-Enroute-to-Black-Sea-Pass-Dardanelles.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 10, 2014

US, French Warships Enroute to Black Sea Pass Dardanelles

ANKARA, Turkey: The US guided-missile destroyer Donald Cook and French intelligence warship Dupuy de Lôme entered the Sea of Marmara on Thursday on their way to the Black Sea, the Turkish newspaper Jum Hurriyet reported.

The newspaper published a video online showing the US warship passing through the Dardanelles Strait early Thursday morning, accompanied by Turkish coastguard vessels.

The destroyer, equipped with the Aegis fire control system, entered the Sea of Marmara an hour later and will stay in the Black Sea for 21 days, according to the paper. The French intelligence ship followed an hour behind the US destroyer.

The USS Donald Cook is the third US warship sent to the Black Sea recently. In February, the US dispatched the missile frigate USS Taylor into the waters of the sea to provide security for the Olympic Games in Sochi [sic].

Last month, the USS Truxtun passed through the Bosphorus to enter the Black Sea to conduct joint exercises with Bulgaria and Romania.

According to the Montreux Convention on the status of the straits, warships of countries that do not have access to the Black Sea may remain no longer than 21 days in the sea.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier said that the presence of US ships in the Black Sea has often exceeded the limit under the convention.

Categories: Uncategorized

Miguel de Salabert: When they gave me a rifle to carry, I knew my life was over

====

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

Miguel de Salabert: I first learned about men from their bombs

Miguel de Salabert: “What have you done with my legs?”

====

Miguel de Salabert
From Interior Exile (1961)
Translated by Renaud Bruce and Herma Briffault

“They don’t even let us die in peace these days.”

“Listen to that clown! If you had as many bullet holes in you as I’ve got, you wouldn’t feel like cracking jokes.”

“But I’m going to die. Anyone can see I’m going to die,” the other man protested.

“Like me,” commented one of the wounded men lying on the floor. “When they gave me a rifle to carry, I knew my life was over. All the bullets were meant for me. Every time a bullet whistled, I was there to get it. And here I am, with more holes than meat on my body.”

***

The guards’ faces, sullen and threatening like the hungry muzzles of their guns, reflect the satisfaction of a job well done. These dogs of the System watch over the perfect functioning of money – or of what those who possess it call “society.” They are baring their teeth to that multitude whose poverty makes them suspect, subversive.

The children are heirs to the misery and hatred of the men locked up inside like wild animals. Their hands, now held by their mothers, will tomorrow be closed in fists of hatred. And when anger makes them cry out, they will find themselves facing the same guns their fathers faced, the same dogs trained to herd them into prison or into their graves. And for those who don’t like it, no pity. The guns are there as a warning. The pack is just waiting for an order to jump on that humiliated crowd trembling with fear like sheep before a wolf. They are the future targets for the bullets, now crouched inside guns, which will leap as always to the call of the System.

***

Politics were the concern of men…Until that terrible morning. A morning so full of sunlight, so brilliant and pure, an absolutely carefree morning. And within a few seconds, three hundred men machine-gunned in the plaza. Three hundred bodies, and the women rummaging among them to find their dead…The blood sparkled on the ground and steeped the air with a dense, hot, sticky, fetid odor.

The women howled their grief, shattering the silence that had followed the crackling of the machine guns. Bent over, they embraced the bodies of their men, forever lost to them. They had known those bodies in the act of love, proud of their strength, now empty, void, useless.

Categories: Uncategorized

Video: RT interview

Rick Rozoff exclusive interview with RT TV international
Mr. Rozoff is an International affairs commentator and a manager of Stop NATO

Categories: Uncategorized

Video: NATO in Europe

April 9, 2014 1 comment

RT TV international report: NATO in Europe

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Sending 18 Warplanes To Poland, Another Warship To Black Sea

April 9, 2014 1 comment

Stars and Stripes
April 9, 2014

Air Force to send more fighters to Poland, USS Cook headed to Black Sea
By Steven Beardsley and Jennifer H. Svan

The U.S. Air Force plans to send 18 Europe-based fighter jets to Poland in June for joint training at Lask Air Base, officials said Wednesday.

The F-16s from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, will also participate in a maritime exercise in the Baltic Sea, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa officials said.

Meanwhile, another U.S. warship is headed to the Black Sea for the third time in the past three months.

The guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook was slated to arrive Thursday after steaming in the Aegean Sea toward the Turkish Straits on Wednesday, according to a news release from U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa.

The immediate and longer-term bolstering of forces in eastern Europe comes amid expanded American efforts to reassure NATO allies after last month’s Russian invasion of Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula. Agitation by pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine and troop buildups on the Russian side of the border have upped tensions in the region and caused Washington to warn against further Kremlin incursions.

Currently, 12 F-16 fighter jets from Aviano Air Base’s 555th Fighter Squadron in Italy are deployed to Lask. The Pentagon ordered the warplanes there, at the request of Poland, after tensions with Russia began mounting in Ukraine last month. The jets augmented three C-130s from Ramstein that were already scheduled to train in Poland for several weeks. The C-130s — along with about 100 airmen — from the 37th Airlift Squadron are due to return to Ramstein on Saturday, USAFE-AFAFRICA officials said. No end date for the current fighter jet rotation has been announced, USAFE officials said.

The Germany-based F-16s will deploy to Lask from June 2 to 21. In addition, two KC-135 refueling tankers from the 100th Air Refueling Wing at Royal Air Force Mildenhall, U.K., will deploy to Powidz at the same time in support of the same mission, USAFE-AFAFRICA officials said.

During the rotation, the aircraft will participate in BALTOPS, an annual joint and combined maritime exercise in the Baltic Sea scheduled annually by European Command and led by NAVEUR, Capt. Michael Hertzog II, a USAFE-AFAFRICA plans officer, said in an email.

Meanwhile, the Cook’s operations in the Black Sea will be routine, suggests the Navy release, likely involving port visits or simple maneuvers with NATO nations. Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey are all members of the alliance.

Last month, the destroyer USS Truxtun exercised with Bulgarian and Romanian navies, and in February the command ship USS Mount Whitney and frigate USS Taylor entered before the Sochi Olympic Games. The Taylor later ran aground while attempting to port in Turkey. All those ships have since left the Black Sea.

Previous U.S. naval visits to the Black Sea were typically separated by months.

The consecutive visits send a clear message to Moscow. Russia, whose Black Sea Fleet is located in Sevastopol, frowned upon U.S. operations in the Black Sea even before recent events.

That the visiting ship is the Donald Cook carries added significance, as the vessel is the first of four Arleigh-Burke class destroyers to be stationed in southern Spain as part of a European ballistic missile shield widely opposed by Russia. The Donald Cook is on its first patrol since arrival in Spain in February.

Categories: Uncategorized

Real-World Situations: U.S. Leads Paratroop Exercise In Poland

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

April 8, 2014

Polish-US paratroopers jump together during Av-Det rotation
By Tech. Sgt. Daylena S. Ricks
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

140402-F-MA715-186

POWIDZ AIR BASE, Poland: U.S service members and Polish armed forces will continue to train together as combined paratrooper forces jump out of U.S. C-130J Super Hercules over Poland during an aircraft rotation at the U.S. Air Force Aviation Detachment, which ends April 12.

Polish armed forces train with U.S. Air Force paratroopers, along with a small contingent of U.S. Army paratroopers and a U.S. Navy freefall jumpmaster to build partnership capacity for real-world situations.

Polish land and special operations forces are able to jump from U.S. aircraft, as a result of training with a joint team of U.S. jumpmasters, or trained experts in parachuting from aircraft.

“Jumping with the Polish gave us insight on how they jump and on how they respond to our commands,” said U.S. Army Specialist Estevan Gonzales, 5th Quartermaster Theater Aerial Deliver Company. “It builds a great service partnership.”

United States and Polish service members will conduct static-line and high altitude, low-opening, or HALO, jumps together. During static-line jumps, the parachute is immediately opened when the paratrooper exits the aircraft; these jumps are used to deliver personnel at very low altitudes. During HALO jumps, the paratrooper opens the parachute at a low altitude after free-falling for some time; HALO is used to deliver equipment, supplies and personnel.

Amongst other things, military paratroopers are used to establish landing sites for aircraft and conduct drop zones for fuel and supplies in areas that may not be safe for an aircraft to land.

The U.S personnel are deployed to Poland March 31 through April 12, to strengthen bilateral defense ties with Polish armed forces.

“This aviation rotation is great because we can conduct our training under the supervision of the U.S., and learn better techniques and tactics to build partnership,” said Polish air force Lt. Col. Kyrsztof Szymaniec, 33rd Air Base C-130 squadron commander.

These combined training rotations increase cooperation between the U.S and Polish armed forces and strengthen interoperability as NATO allies, as a result of an agreement between U.S. President Barack Obama and Polish President Bronisław Komorowski.

There are two more scheduled Av-Det rotations this fiscal year.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Conducts Aerial Warfare Exercise In Netherlands

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

April 9, 2014

NATO NATIONS TAKE PART IN EXERCISE FRISIAN FLAG 2014

image_thumbnail

Leeuwarden, THE NETHERLANDS: NATO and Partnership for Peace Air Forces are exercising offensive and defensive missions over The Netherlands as part of Exercise Frisian Flag. The Dutch exercise, which is based at Leeuwarden Airbase, has been underway since 31 March and will continue until 11 April 2014.

Apart from the air manoeuvres, this exercise shows the cooperation between the various tactical air commands and tactical air control agencies. “Carrying out such exercises in an international spectrum is necessary in order to ensure sustainment of effective execution of our air defence tasks and missions as in Afghanistan and over Libya,” said Colonel Gerbe Verhaaf, Commander of Leeuwarden Airbase.

About 50 aircraft are participating in the exercise and they are flying two missions a day. Apart from the F-16’s from the Royal Netherlands Air Force, Belgian, Danish, Norwegian and Portuguese Air Forces are also using their F-16s. Other participants are the German and Spanish Air Force with Eurofighters as well as the Finnish Air Force with F-18s. The (K)DC-10 tanker of the Royal Netherlands Air Force and the NATO AWACS are also taking part in the exercise as tanker aircraft and airborne radar platform, respectively.

NATO Response Force

NATO has achieved an unprecedented level of cohesiveness amongst allies and partner forces in the past decade of combat operations and is operating as a seamless integrated team. Therefore, specific training remains essential in order to prepare both pilots and ground crews for possible future deployments, for example within the framework of the NATO Immediate Response Force (IRF). The NATO Response Force is the ‘tip of the spear’ in terms of NATO’s ability to respond to an emerging crisis, which is why realistic and demanding exercises are essential in maintaining and enhancing the effectiveness of our deployable forces.

Missions

The missions that are being flown during Frisian Flag 2014 include air defence missions, offensive missions, missions to protect other aircraft (e.g. air transport, AWACS or other aircraft that do not have self-protection equipment) and the elimination of static and dynamic targets on the ground or at sea.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office
Photo courtesy of The Royal Netherlands Air Force

Categories: Uncategorized

Audio: U.S. Drone Warfare Has Become A Global Phenomenon

Press TV
April 8, 2014

US drone warfare has become a global phenomenon in last decade: Rick Rozoff

Audio

A political commentator says the United States’ deadly drone warfare has become a global phenomenon in the last decade, adding that the CIA drone strikes inside Pakistan could continue for many years to come.

Rick Rozoff, a member of the Stop NATO International, made the remarks in a telephone interview with Press TV on Tuesday, commenting on reports saying that an end to the US occupation of Afghanistan would complicate the CIA drone war in neighboring Pakistan.

“Recent reports have indicated that the United States’ federal government, but particularly the Central Intelligence Agency, which is in charge of drone warfare in South Asia -in Afghanistan and Pakistan – is concerned that with the governmental transition in Kabul and with the prospect of a bilateral security agreement not looking as good as Washington would like them to look, and with eventual drawdown of the US and allied NATO troops from Afghanistan, that the US’ ability to continue conducting deadly drone warfare inside neighboring Pakistan could be severely affected, could be diminished,” Rozoff said.

“Since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, but particularly since the advent of the Barack Obama administration in Washington, for the last five years or so, the intensification of the drone warfare inside Pakistan has reached unprecedented levels,” he added.

“By some estimates, including those linked to the Pakistani military and intelligence services, somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 percent of the victims of the US drone attacks have been Pakistani civilians,” Rozoff stated.

“And of course we know that drone warfare has become a global phenomenon in the past decade, with the US also launching lethal drone attacks in Afghanistan as well as Pakistan, earlier for a brief period in Iraq, and fairly extensively in Libya, Yemen, Somalia and no doubt in Africa, perhaps without being acknowledged in countries like Mali and the Central African Republic,” he noted.

“But the foundation upon which the program was built, the precedent, was of course and is Pakistan, largely, where the largest amounts of drone strikes have been conducted and where the largest amount of civilian deaths have been registered. So there is a discussion at with the ascension to power of a new government in Afghanistan, and with the US eventually, if in fact it truly does, withdraws its military from Afghanistan, the ability of the Central Intelligence Agency working in the unison with the military to conduct the drone strikes inside Pakistan could be affected,” Rozoff said.

“However, there’s also discussion that the US, which has upgraded and modernized substantially air bases in Afghanistan, in Bagram, in Kandahar, in Shindand, and in other locations, could continue to wage effectively secretive drone warfare, either unbeknownst to the incoming government in Afghanistan or with their silent complicity or connivance. And this would represent a continued threat, of course, to the lives of Pakistani nationals, civilians in the first place, in Northwest Pakistan, perhaps in Baluchistan,” he stated.

The US military has used the unmanned aircraft in several Muslim countries, including Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Washington claims that its airstrikes target militants, but local sources say civilians have been the main victims of the attacks. The UN has called the US drone attacks targeted killings that flout international law.

Last month, a UN human rights investigator said that the death toll of civilians in US drone strikes in Afghanistan and Yemen continues to rise.

Ben Emmerson made the remarks during a press conference in Geneva on March 12 after he presented a report on dozens of US drone strikes where civilians allegedly perished to the UN Human Rights Council.

He stated that there was a threefold increase in drone-related civilian deaths between 2012 and 2013 in Afghanistan.

Emmerson also warned that the escalation in drone strikes and civilian casualties in Yemen is a cause for concern.

“And the picture in Yemen remains cause for serious concern. The frequency of armed drone strikes appears to have intensified, particularly during the closing months of 2013, with a sharp escalation in the number of reported civilian casualties,” he stated.

Emmerson said the US has de-escalated the use of drone strikes in Pakistan as a result of growing criticism in Pakistan and abroad.

Categories: Uncategorized

Lilika Nakos: The grandmother’s sin

====

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

Lilika Nakos: The dead man, the living, the house; all were smashed to bits

Lilika Nakos: “Surely God didn’t intend this butchery”

====

Lilika Nakos
From The Children’s Inferno (1946)
Translated by Allan Ross Macdougall

“‘I want a priest so that I can make my last confession before I face God.’

“‘Don’t get such ideas in your head, grandmother. Besides, what sin have you committed that has not been wiped out by all you’ve suffered? Do not torment your soul.’

“‘Do what I ask you, daughter. Do not damn me. It is difficult to understand the soul of another. You look like a serious woman and you ought to know. Do not charge your soul with my sins. I want a priest to hear my confession.’

“‘As you wish, grandmother. But listen; the priest we have here is an old man of eighty, weakened by hunger. He cannot go climbing up the stairs unless it’s absolutely necessary. You are going to live; the doctor said so. Don’t make the poor old father come up the stairs for nothing. If you wish, do this. Tell me your sin and if it’s great and terrible I will bring you the priest. Don’t be surprised. I was a nurse in the hospital near Jannina during the Albanian war. Many of the palikars died in my arms. They confessed to me what lay heavy on their hearts and I closed their eyes. Everything they asked me to do in that moment, I did.’

“‘May you be blessed a thousandfold, daughter, for what you have done. May God keep you and yours. I have no great secret to tell you. There is only one thing that torments me and I cannot disentangle it. That is what I want to do now. If you can explain this thing to me you need not bother the priest.’

“I sat down beside her to listen. The old lady raised herself up in her bed and spoke into my ear:

“‘Listen, daughter, you surely have heard tell of the martyrdom the Bulgarians have made our country suffer. You, too, have learned what the Greeks are suffering up there?’

“‘Of course! Certainly!’ And I wondered what the old lady was driving at.

“‘I, as a mother and a Greek, ought to hate and curse them.’

“‘That’s natural grandmother. Don’t vex yourself because of that.’

“‘No, daughter, you have not understood. Pay attention to what I tell you. I said: “I ought to hate them.” My daughter-in-law – God keep her soul – said to me: “You do not hate them; that’s a sin!” So that’s what I would like you to explain to me. That is what weighs heavy on my heart. Is the great pity I feel for them a sin? I say to myself that they know not what they do. They know not what awaits them when their eyes are closed forever. They know not how terrible is God’s wrath, and that not one of our actions here below is lost, either good or bad. The mind reels just thinking they will stand before God with soul and hands dripping blood. And I pity them, daughter; I feel sorry for them. They are men! I pray God to have pity of these wretches. That is what weighs heavy on my heart, daughter. I would like to know if the pity I feel for them is a sin. That is what torments me, and before God I swear that I have nothing else on my heart.’

“Worn out, the old lady stopped; she had spoken too long. Her breathing ceased and her eyes closed. While I went to get a syringe to give her an injection her head fell back on the pillow, and without agony she died like a bird.

So ended the story told by the head nurse, and we remained silent.

After a while the doctor, who had listened deeply moved, said: “Maybe now she knows if her great pity for men is a sin or not!”

Categories: Uncategorized

Sevastopol to Syria and the Sahel: NATO chief calls for war footing

April 8, 2014 2 comments

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 8, 2014

NATO Secretary General calls for readiness action plan

NATO Secretary General visits France

The NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen attended the NATO Transformation Seminar in Paris and thanked Defence Minister Le Drian and the French hosts for France’s contribution to the Alliance’s collective security. “From Central Africa to Eastern Europe, French forces are helping make our world safer – whether under the banner of NATO, the European Union, or of France”, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said at a press conference. “France has kept defence spending close to our agreed target of 2% of economic output. France has also shown a great commitment to invest in the capabilities we need, both in NATO and the European Union. This is a valuable example of European Allies choosing to invest the right resources in the right capabilities.

In his address to the Seminar organized by Allied Command Transformation, the Secretary General said that events in Eastern Ukraine are of great concern and urged Russia to step back.

“Any further move into Eastern Ukraine would represent a serious escalation, rather than the de-escalation that we all seek. We call on Russia to pull back the tens of thousands of troops it has massed on Ukraine’s borders, engage in a genuine dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities, and respect its international commitments “, he said.

The Secretary General said that the crisis raises serious questions for Euro-Atlantic security and now is the time for the right answers for key issues for the Wales Summit in September.

“We must prepare a readiness action plan. We must reinvest in our defence. And we must reinforce the transatlantic bond”, the Secretary General said.

The Secretary General highlighted that Allies must stand ready at all times to deal with the unexpected.

“Because from Sevastopol to Syria and the Sahel, we are facing a dangerous world. Where threats are complex, unpredictable and interconnected. Newer challenges, such as terrorism, failed states, cyber and missile attacks. And old challenges in new guises, such as attempts to redraw borders by force”, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said.

The Alliance must develop an action plan to strengthen readiness, and this requires the right training, the right posture, and the right capabilities.

The Secretary General highlighted the NATO Response Force as key element for an action plan.

“We have it, and we must use it. To do that, we should place parts of it at very high readiness. But this is not enough. We must review the readiness of all our forces”, he said. “We need to procure the high-end capabilities that we currently lack – joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; missile defence; air command and control; and air lift. Much work has already been done to fill these gaps. But we need to advance and expand our programmes”, the Secretary General noted.

The Secretary General said that the bond between North America and Europe remains vital for the Alliance’s shared security and must be reinforced.

“The current crisis poses a serious challenge to our common security. But North America and Europe stand together in facing up to it. And we stand united in our firm response. In recent weeks, we have seen the United States’ clear commitment to Europe’s security. From the Baltics to the Black Sea France and other European Allies are complementing that effort.“.

The Secretary General noted that the European Council in December showed that European nations are prepared to step up.

“So I encourage all Allies to play their full part. This is the time to find a better balance of costs and responsibilities between Allies. Both between the United States and Europe. And among Allies within Europe “,he said.

The Secretary General stressed that a better transatlantic balance is also based on better cooperation between NATO and the European Union.

Categories: Uncategorized

Latvian Port Able To Host NATO Warships: Mayor

Baltic Course
April 8, 2014

Mayor positive towards possibility of stationing NATO ships at Liepaja Port

Riga: Liepaja Mayor Uldis Sesks (Liepaja Party) is positive towards the possibility of stationing NATO ships at the Port of Liepaja, informs LETA.

”If we have the opportunity to station NATO ships here, this would be good,” Sesks said in an interview to ”Rietumu radio”.

Sesks also pointed out that the Port of Liepaja is already the headquarters of the Latvian Navy, and thus NATO ships are already docked at the port.

He said that the port has more than enough free territory which was formerly used for military purposes, adding that the city’s economy would also benefit from the stationing of NATO ships.

As reported, NATO is currently planning several measures important for the security of the Baltic countries – one more NATO air base, as well as a Baltic port would which would be rebuilt so as to facilitate access for NATO military vessels.

NATO leaders will appraise the best locations for these purposes and these measures are to be implemented by the end of the year, and they may be altered depending on how the situation unfolds.

According to unofficial information, the new air base could be built in Estonia, and one of the ports in Latvia could be upgraded so it could be accessed by NATO military vessels.

Liepaja Port is currently the main base of the Latvian Navy. The port itself actually served as a naval port during the Czarist and Soviet eras.

=====================================

Baltic Times
April 8, 2014

Liepaja offers port to NATO

RIGA: Liepaja Mayor Uldis Sesks is positive towards the possibility of stationing NATO ships at the Port of Liepaja, reports LETA. ”If we have the opportunity to station NATO ships here, this would be good,” Sesks said in an interview to Rietumu radio.

Sesks also pointed out that the Port of Liepaja is already the headquarters of the Latvian Navy, and thus NATO ships are already docked at the port.

He said that the port has more than enough free territory, which was formerly used for military purposes, adding that the city’s economy would also benefit from the stationing of NATO ships.

NATO is currently planning several measures important for the security of the Baltic countries – one more NATO air base, as well as a Baltic port would which would be rebuilt so as to facilitate access for NATO military vessels.

NATO leaders will appraise the best locations for these purposes and these measures are to be implemented by the end of the year, and they may be altered depending on how the situation unfolds.

According to unofficial information, a new air base could be built in Estonia, and one of the ports in Latvia could be upgraded so it could be accessed by NATO military vessels.

Liepaja Port is currently the main base of the Latvian Navy. The port itself served as a naval port during the Czarist and Soviet eras.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Week Launched In Georgia

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
April 7, 2014

NATO Week opened in Georgia

NATO Week was officially opened in the Hotel “Courtyard Marriot” today. A solemn ceremony was dedicated to the last three phases of North-Atlantic Alliance enlargement process. Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakli Alasania attended an opening ceremony.

Following the ceremony an international conference was unveiled. State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Georgia Alex Petriashvili and NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic opened the conference titled as “The Way Towards NATO: Sharing Experience of Central and Eastern European Countries”.

Irakli Alasania delivered a speech in the second panel of the conference-“Georgia On the Way to NATO Integration; Preparation for the Upcoming 2014 NATO Summit“. Minister of Defence briefed the conference participants on the reforms recently implemented within the armed forces of Georgia.

The minister stressed importance of Georgia`s involvement in international peacekeeping missions. He also outlined significance of Georgia`s membership of NATO. As Minister emphasized, Georgia expects that a progress would be achieved towards Georgia at the Summit-“everybody recognizes that Georgia is in the position to be offered the new instruments of integration. Beside that multilateral military-diplomatic works are planned for the coming months, including in June, in order to achieve the goals a big part of our society expects from the NATO Summit. What is more important, certain trends have been defined over which we will have a dialogue with our partner countries as well as with NATO representatives. I also want to mention that final Defence Reforms Assessment Document is due to be published by June of current year which should become one of the basis for our advancement at the NATO Summit”.

It is natural that military component is also very crucial.”

The high-ranking officials of NATO members nations, as well as the representatives of executive and legislative authorities of Georgia, the members of Diplomatic Corps accredited to Georgia, NGOs and media outlets are taking part in the conference.

On the second day of NATO Week, the presentation of Brochure “Participation of Georgia in Peacekeeping Missions” will be held. In the National Library of Parliament of Georgia an exhibition on the Georgian Armed Forces development history will be also arranged. NATO Week is led in Georgia under the organizational support of Information Center on NATO and European Union. Furthermore, informative-educational meetings are scheduled in Tbilisi and in the region too. NATO Week will be over on 16th of April. –

279584873NATOkvireuligaxsna1

Categories: Uncategorized

Alfred Neumann: War nights were never silent

====

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

Alfred Neumann: Selections on war

====

Alfred Neumann
From The Friends of the People (1940)
Translated by Nora Wydenbruck

images (1)

…Leonie would have had time to go to sleep again, but…there was something which awakened her fully, something quite unaccustomed – a deep silence. For the war-nights were never silent: they contained everything pertaining to nightmares, they were so close that they took one’s breath away, and so dark that they choked one, it was like a gag in one’s mouth and bonds around one’s limbs – but they were never quiet, they were always thundering and growling. There might have been other explanations for the complete silence, it might have been chance, a breathing space before or after a round of firing – she might have closed her eyes and attempted to go to sleep again if not every one of the five days after the terrible 22nd of January had not been a preparation for the fateful silence of the guns.

Now the great chiming of midnight began outside, a garland of chiming bells, near and distant, deep-toned and high, mingling their strokes in a strangely grave and portentous manner, unceasingly resuming the tale of the hours farther and farther away, with more and more unfamiliar bells – this was the near-by Notre Dame des Champs, this was the little bell of the Sisters of the Poor near the Luxembourg, that must be St. Sulpice, and from the east, St. Jacques and the Church of Val-de-Grâce, and from the far distance that might be from St.-Germain-des-Prés, perhaps from Notre-Dame – and it was not enough for the bells to chime twelve times, they were proclaiming overwhelming midnight over the city, over the world, endless, persistent, and terribly uninterrupted…

Then a cannon-shot burst through the midnight concert of the clocks. Leonie raised herself up in bed and murmured: “Thanks be to God…” Had this ever happened before, that a woman should thank God because the cannons were thundering again, annihilating the eager, chiming bells? Perhaps it was a sacrilege, which the Lord would punish then and there – though He rarely did that. Leonie opened her mouth, as though her ears alone were not sufficient for listening – but all she heard was a last distant chime which seemed to triumph into infinity – and then there was silence. There was no more shooting. The last shot had mingled with the strength of midnight, as though it were only stressing its importance – or God was answering Leonie’s sacrilegious thanksgiving by laying his almighty hand over the cannons’ mouths in their thousands.

Categories: Uncategorized

Drive To The East: U.S. Warplanes Shifted From Italy To Poland

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

April 4, 2014

Polish pilots take to the skies with US counterparts
By Airman 1st Class Ryan Conroy
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

140402-F-BH566-233

Lask Air Base, Poland: Poland continues to build its relationship with the U.S. as both nations’ air forces integrate their capabilities through training sorties in a joint theater capacity.

Since the Polish air force implemented the use of F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft to their inventory in the past ten years, they have been combining training exercises with U.S. Air Forces in Europe to strengthen bilateral defense ties as NATO allies.

Currently, more than 200 personnel and 12 F-16s assigned to the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base, Italy, have been conducting joint training out of the Aviation Detachment, marking the fourth rotation at the only enduring U.S. presence on Polish soil.

The AvDet optimizes the use of Poland’s ranges and airspace to enhance both countries’ flight tactics and maneuvers. The goal of this increased cooperation between the U.S. and Poland is to strengthen interoperability.

Categories: Uncategorized

Video interview: Afghanistan the last and greatest victim of the Cold War

Press TV
April 7, 2014

‘Increased drugs production sole outcome of US-led Afghan war’
Interview with Rick Rozoff, with the Stop NATO International Network

Video

Press TV has interviewed Stop NATO International Network’s Rick Rozoff to discuss the recent presidential election in Afghanistan.

What follows is a rough transcript of the interview.

Press TV: Given the situation that Afghanistan has, is it a success simply that they can even hold a presidential election there?

Rozoff: That’s I think a realistic interpretation. It’s definitely a historic watershed in that, of course, this marks the smooth transition from the administration of Hamid Karzai, who has been head of Afghanistan in the entire post-Taliban, post-invasion period, to either Dr. [Abdullah] Abdullah or Dr. [Ashraf] Ghani [Ahmadzai]. It’s important I suppose in its own right, but as some of the lead-in into the story indicated, were still talking about a nation that has undergone 35 years of armed conflict, that is in tatters and that really needs international assistance of a civilian and an economic nature, rather than a military nature.

Press TV: We’ve seen an increase in attacks leading up to the elections and some attacks since the elections. Does this mean that the Taliban can basically attack whenever they want after more than 13 years of American occupation?

Rozoff: Unfortunately, I suspect that is the case. At least in many parts, perhaps in most provinces of the country, Taliban remains a formidable military force and what will soon be 13 full years of US and NATO military occupation of the country has not politically or otherwise neutralized the Taliban opposition.

You know, in fact all we’ve seen, to be perfectly candid about it, over the past 13 years is 40-fold increase in opium cultivation and the explosion of a heroin epidemic in and around Afghanistan, which has affected the lives of millions of people in India, Pakistan, Iran, Russia, and elsewhere. This is all, I’m afraid, the West has to boast of in terms of accomplishment in Afghanistan.

Press TV: Is that a sign of improvement? In your perspective, what has the United States accomplished there in almost 13 years of being present in Afghanistan?

Rozoff: I mentioned before, the only thing they effectively have done is officiate over an explosion of opium cultivation, but also over the deaths of tens of thousands of Afghans, including thousands of civilians, and the displacement of not only hundreds of thousands but perhaps millions of Afghans, both internally displaced and those who have fled across the borders into Iran and Pakistan.

So, it’s been the latest chapter in a catastrophe, but truly, not to be too abstract about this, it goes back to 1839 when for the first time Britain intervened, in what subsequently became known as the Great Game in Central and South Asia to offset the influence of other powers in that part of the world, and this has gone on, you know, at the various interims up to the present day, where there were three wars that Britain was involved in, armed incursions into Afghanistan. You had the US supporting the Mujahideen out of Pakistan incidentally, as Mr. Korb alludes to. The fact that Taliban was harbored in Pakistan, apparently it was quite alright if other armed insurgents were also harbored for attacks inside Afghanistan with US assistance in the late 1970s through the early 1990s. This is the background against which we have to see the catastrophe that Afghanistan has become.

It is the greatest and the last victim of the Cold War and we cannot just arbitrarily begin…

Press TV: What about that Mr. Rozoff, basically saying that it depends on what the next president wants. Is it really up to Kabul to make that decision or is it definite that the United States is going to stay and would absolutely demand to do so?

Rozoff: We have to be realistic. The United States does not operate in the manner that Mr. Korb says, and God bless his idealistic interpretation of events in the world, but they’re simply not true. Let’s look at the Ukraine for example.

There is no doubt in my mind that the US embassy is working right now to get the third runner, Zalmay Rassoul, to throw his party support far behind whichever the two of the front running candidates the United States has determined should be the next head of state of Afghanistan. That’s how it works in the real world and that the US will play a not insubstantial role in engineering the outcome of the election in Afghanistan. That’s number one.

Number two, you know, the fact that as Mr. Korb alluded to, the US and its NATO allies stepped up military forces, actually to the number of 152,000 foreign troops from 50 nations in Afghanistan, which is a historic precedent: I mean we never had that many troops from that many nations occupied Afghanistan or any other nation, for that matter. And that what we’re looking at is a military network that the US and company have managed to build not only in Afghanistan but in neighboring Central Asian countries, like Uzbekistan and Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, and I think the US and its NATO allies who have a propensity for interfering militarily in any part of the world they see fit to do so in, are going to be very reluctant not to continue to apply pressure on whichever government takes power in Kabul for a Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA).

We have to recall that leading up to this election for several months, major US and NATO officials have used not only harsh, but threatening language, towards President Hamid Karzai, essentially tried to twist his arm to sign the BSA before the election.

Press TV: Well, what about this Mr. Rozoff? All of this is under UN OK, according to our guest in Washington? What exactly does this mean?

Rozoff: Yes, I mean that’s actually not true. Even as we talk, fifteen years ago, the 78-day air war was launched by the United States and its NATO allies against the unoffending Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a massive onslaught that destroyed civilian infrastructure, killed thousands of civilians without a United Nations mandate. Eleven years ago, a similar situation obtained in Iraq, where the US and Britain and other NATO allies attacked the country without a UN mandate. Even when there is a UN mandate, as in three years ago with Libya, UN Security Council Resolution 1973, it is taken way out of proportion to what was actually sanctioned or mandated and used as a pretense for an ongoing war.

I would also, if we had more time to discuss it, discuss the relevant UN mandates vis-a-vis the Afghanistan, and argue that in no way do those mandates envision much less authorize the stationing of 152,000 combat troops from the US and NATO in the country for 13 years.

Press TV: Why does the United States really want to stay in Afghanistan?

Rozoff: I discussed earlier the concept of the Great Game. The person most, in my estimate, most directly responsible for the 35-year catastrophe of Afghanistan is Polish-born, former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzeziński, self-styled geo-strategist, who is the person most deliberately and directly responsible for giving the Soviet Union “its Vietnam” in a rough paraphrase of his own words, and that if Afghanistan had to serve as the chessboard upon which he waged geopolitical battle for the United States and its Western allies, and if the Afghan people were ultimately the victims, it didn’t seem to mean much to Mr. Brzeziński. We’re talking about geopolitics and we’re talking about trying to thwart the emergence of a genuine multi-polar world, particularly one growing out of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization whose members and observers include first of all, Afghanistan itself now, with Hamid Karzai having attended the last several Shanghai Cooperation Organization heads of state summits and I’m sure his successors will attend this year’s, but also the fact that Russia, China, the Central Asian countries, and others involved, the US would like to put a spoke in that wheel.

Categories: Uncategorized

Maxim Gorky: War and Civilization

====

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

Russian writers on war

Maxim Gorky on Romain Rolland, war and humanism

Maxim Gorky to H.G. Wells: Cleanse from the hearts of children the blood-stained rust of horrible and senseless war

Maxim Gorky: Henri Barbusse and the mass of lies, hypocrisy, cruelty, dirt and blood called war

Maxim Gorky: The true motives of war

====

Maxim Gorky
War and Civilization (1916)
Translator unknown

505px-Maxim_Gorky_authographed_portrait_1

The effect of the war on the progress of civilization among the nations of the world will be strongly felt for generations to come. The development of civilization will be much less rapid after the war than heretofore. The world is becoming more and more permeated with ill-will, hatred, and passion. The noble emotions give way to the bestial. The infernal forces are awakened and the inhuman has pridefully raised its head.

I believe, however, in the common sense of the nations of Western Europe. I feel that that sense will yet conquer the world, and that the European civilization will become the civilization of all humanity.

The European nations must therefore see to it that the work of civilization is carried on by them in a friendlier and more co-operative spirit. The “must” is based on a very plain point of view: The Anglo-Saxons, Teutons and Latins, all together, constitute but a part of the world’s population.

And yet they are the ones that are and have been creating the spiritual treasures of all humanity. The right to the spiritual domination of the world belongs to Western Europe, as she is entitled to that right by virtue of her spiritual wealth, of her many generations of labor on the fields of science and art; she has won that right through her intellectual services to humanity.

This mad, bloody war affords the largest part of the world the opportunity of doubting the moral values of Western European progress, of denouncing her authority in matters spiritual, and of opposing her doctrines and principles. In a measure these doubts are justified. The slaughter in which the foremost European nations are now engaged will enhance barbarism on earth and will doubtless be the cause of many obstacles in the path of civilization’s progress in Africa and Asia.

As soon as the European nations end their present criminal activities, a safe and solid ground for common work in behalf of the world will be found by them. The great minds of the neutral countries could even now begin the work of reorganizing European civilization, they could start a campaign against a return to barbarism.

Several years ago Wilhelm Ostwald suggested a union of the great minds of the world. He pointed out the necessity for such a “world-brain,” representing all nations. Such a “world-brain” would bring into the political, social, and nationalistic chaos the healthy human thought. Ostwald has proved the possibility of creating such a scientific institution in international politics, an institution composed of the master minds of the age, of scholars and men of affairs. Such a union must become the nervous system of humanity, the brain of the world.

I believe that right now is the time for such a union. We must attempt to embody this idea even if it were only because it would raise us above the every-day struggle for life, ennoble and refine us.

Does it sound Utopian? Not so very long ago the people thought wireless telegraphy, flying machines, and many other facts of today Utopian. The properties of radium remind us of the “philosopher’s stone,” the dream of the alchemists. Are not all these the attainments of science?

These miracles of science are the products of the human mind, the results of the iron will of man. Why could not the same mind, the same will, work miracles on the field of social and nationalistic relations?

Would it be considered miraculous if all of us were to grasp fully the simple fact that through bloodshed, murder, and destruction our conditions of life will not improve?

It is high time for our mind and will to create the possibilities for a healthier, freer, and more rapid development of civilization. Only through the power of mind and will could man transform the earth into a place worthy of his aspirations and ideals. Only a rational will could create rational conditions of life. And now, when the war has caused us all so much suffering, let our common interests in the destinies of European civilization create a mutual spiritual bond, a union based on our devotion to civilization.

Categories: Uncategorized

Georgia: Ruling Regime Marks NATO’s 65th Anniversary

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
April 4, 2014

Debates Dedicated to NATO’s 65th Anniversary

321441714GIPANATO1
(Note the language on the pennant above)

“Debates about NATO“ was held at the exhibition hall of National Library. The event with the participation of GIPA students was dedicated to the NATO’s 65th anniversary.

Special jury estimated the participant teams of the “Debates about NATO“. Member of the jury – Deputy Defence Minister Mikheil Darchiashvili offered the GIPA students participated in the debates to visit National Training Center “Krtsanisi”, where Georgian military servicemen are undergoing pre-deployment training for NATO-led ISAF mission. The students thanked Defence Ministry for the invitation and outlined that visiting National Training Center will be very important and interesting for them.

The debates were organized by Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (GIPA) and Information Centre on NATO and EU. Within the framework of event, GIPA students held parliamentary type discussions and referred to the Georgia’s NATO membership and NATO policy issues. The jury revealed the winner team and the best debater from two teams. At the end, the students were given certificates and gifts.

State Minister of Georgia on European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Alex Petriashvili, Director of Information Centre on NATO and EU and GIPA Rector Maka Ioseliani were the members of the special jury.

Categories: Uncategorized

Georgi Karaslavov: War’s fratricide, how commonplace and yet how terrible

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

Georgi Karaslavov
From Tango (1964)
Translated by M. Todorov

200px-Georgi_Karaslavov

A terrible scene would occasionally crop up in his mind. It was in Macedonia, during the First World War. They had been ordered to attend an execution. Three soldiers had been tied to three separate stakes. They were ordinary, simple soldiers, whose lean bodies were shivering in the cold. A squad of men, chosen among their mates, stood near the stakes with loaded rifles. Then, after a sharp command, a volley of shots rang out, and when Todor finally opened his eyes he saw three riddled, crumpled bodies quivering on the stakes. How commonplace and yet how terrible all this had been! And it had been so terrible just because it was so commonplace. These dead soldiers had lovers, relatives and friends who knew nothing at the moment and who lived in the hope of seeing them, of meeting them again and taking them into their arms one day. As the years went by, the terrible scene of this execution – which had been ordered to “set an example to the others” – had gradually faded from his memory. Todor had hardly thought of it again until a year ago…He tried in vain to banish from his mind the vision of the three bodies quivering on the stakes, as though they still suffered from the cold…

Categories: Uncategorized

Argentine Leader: Falklands A Nuclear Base For NATO

April 5, 2014 1 comment

Agence France-Presse
April 2, 2014

Argentine leader claims Falklands a NATO nuclear base

Buenos Aires: Argentine President Cristina Kirchner claimed Wednesday that the Falkland Islands serve as a nuclear base for the NATO alliance in the South Atlantic.

Argentina, which calls the archipelago the Malvinas, claims the British overseas possession as its own, and fought a brief but bloody war for it in 1982.

The islands, she said, “constitute a NATO military nuclear base in the South Atlantic — this is the truth that they can’t continue to hide.”

She alleged the archipelago is “among the most militarized areas in the world,” saying some 1,500 soldiers and 2,000 civilian military personnel are stationed there amid a population of just 1,000.

Kirchner…said the British military manages its entire South Atlantic deployment and its electronic intelligence systems from there.

Kirchner made the claims during a ceremony honoring the Argentine dead on the 32nd anniversary of the start of the conflict.

Argentine forces invaded the islands on April 2, 1982 but were forced to surrender 74 days later after a British expeditionary force recaptured them.

The fighting left 649 Argentine soldiers — many of them conscripts — dead, along with 255 British personnel and three civilian islanders.

Categories: Uncategorized

Wilfred Owen: Pawing us who dealt them war and madness

====

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

Wilfred Owen: Arms and the Boy and Disabled

Wilfred Owen: 1914

Wilfred Owen: Soldier’s Dream

====

Wilfred Owen

wilfredowen

Cramped in That Funnelled Hole

Cramped in that funnelled hole, they watched the dawn
Open a jagged rim around; a yawn
Of death’s jaws, which had all but swallowed them
Stuck in the bottom of his throat of phlegm.

They were in one of many mouths of Hell
Not seen of seers in visions, only felt
As teeth of traps; when bones and the dead are smelt
Under the mud where long ago they fell
Mixed with the sour sharp odour of the shell.

Mental Cases

Who are these? Why sit they here in twilight?
Wherefore rock they, purgatorial shadows,
Drooping tongues from jays that slob their relish,
Baring teeth that leer like skulls’ teeth wicked?
Stroke on stroke of pain,- but what slow panic,
Gouged these chasms round their fretted sockets?
Ever from their hair and through their hands’ palms
Misery swelters. Surely we have perished
Sleeping, and walk hell; but who these hellish?

-These are men whose minds the Dead have ravished.
Memory fingers in their hair of murders,
Multitudinous murders they once witnessed.
Wading sloughs of flesh these helpless wander,
Treading blood from lungs that had loved laughter.
Always they must see these things and hear them,
Batter of guns and shatter of flying muscles,
Carnage incomparable, and human squander
Rucked too thick for these men’s extrication.

Therefore still their eyeballs shrink tormented
Back into their brains, because on their sense
Sunlight seems a blood-smear; night comes blood-black;
Dawn breaks open like a wound that bleeds afresh.
-Thus their heads wear this hilarious, hideous,
Awful falseness of set-smiling corpses.
-Thus their hands are plucking at each other;
Picking at the rope-knouts of their scourging;
Snatching after us who smote them, brother,
Pawing us who dealt them war and madness.

Categories: Uncategorized

Fraternal Genocide in Ukraine: U.S. Instigating Yugoslav Scenario

April 4, 2014 2 comments

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 4, 2014

US Instigating ‘Yugoslav Scenario’ of Fraternal Genocide in Ukraine

NEW DELHI: The US effort to turn Ukraine into a forward area for positioning NATO bases is paving the way for fraternal genocide and ethnic cleansing in the former Soviet state, repeating the Yugoslav scenario, Aijaz Ahmad, a famous Indian philosopher and political expert said in an article in a leading Indian newsmagazine, Frontline.

The conflict in Yugoslavia – a former European country that separated into Slovenia, Macedonia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro – culminated in a series of NATO bombings in March 1999 in response to alleged widespread atrocities by Serbian forces against ethnic Albanians in the province of Kosovo.

As a result of the 78-day NATO bombing campaign, Serbia, a nation with historic ties to Russia, lost control of Kosovo province, which declared independence in 2008. Moscow compared last month’s Crimea secession from Ukraine with Kosovo’s secession from Serbia, saying Kosovo established a precedent and Crimea followed suit.

In his article, “The ‘Great Game’ in Europe,” Ahmad wrote that in February the United States sponsored a Euro-Nazi coup in Kiev and, in response, the reunification of Crimea, formerly a Ukrainian region, with Russia in March signaled a “turning point and a watershed event” in the post-Soviet era.

Ahmad wrote that on the heels of US President Barack Obama’s China-containment strategy, known as the “Asian pivot,” Washington has started a European pivot with the goal of encircling Russia and abolishing a crucial buffer between Moscow and the advance of a network of NATO bases into territories formerly part of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union.

Ukraine, like the Serbo-Croatian region in the former Yugoslavia, is a borderland shared between the East and the West, categories developed by US political scientist Samuel Huntington, the philosopher wrote.
Croatia, with its Catholic majority, was encouraged to break its union with the predominantly Orthodox Serbia, “with murderous, even genocidal consequences all around.”

“In attempting to turn Ukraine into a forward country for positioning NATO bases against Russia, the US is paving the way, wittingly or unwittingly, for potentially that same kind of fraternal genocide and ethnic cleansing,” Ahmad wrote.

Commenting on an $18 billion promised IMF loan to Ukraine, Ahmad said he has doubts that the West’s economic assistance will indeed help the crisis-hit country. Kiev will need $24 billion to cover its budget deficit, debt repayment, natural gas bills and pension payments this year alone, according to Moody’s rating agency.

Over the past two decades, the Russian subsidy for Ukraine’s oil and gas purchases has reached about $200 billion. The West is offering little driblets of money, he said, adding that “without Russian generosity, the Ukrainian economy will be in ruins.”

“IMF-imposed austerity on a ruined economy and NATO-propelled militarization for eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation with Russian power is just the kind of combustible combination that may well lead to a civil war, a regional war, and heaven knows what else – in a country where 70 per cent in a recent Gallup poll voted against joining NATO,” he wrote.

Ahmad said China and India have supported Moscow in its actions in Ukraine, adding that a strategic alliance between Russia, which has vast mineral deposits, and China, the world’s second largest economy, could become one of the positive results of Washington’s fiasco in Ukraine.

Categories: Uncategorized

Rasmussen: NATO Ready To Go To War For Estonia

April 4, 2014 3 comments

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
April 3, 2014

Secretary General tells Estonia NATO is firmly committed to collective defence

The Prime Minister of Estonia visits NATO

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen welcomed the new Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Roivas in his first visit to NATO Headquarters and stressed the firm commitment of the Alliance to collective defense. “As we face the most serious security crisis in a generation, we are determined to keep NATO robust, ready and agile. Estonia, like every NATO member, can count on Allied solidarity at all times and against any threat”, the Secretary General said.

Speaking about the measures taken by NATO in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen underlined that NATO has more than doubled the number of fighter aircraft allocated to the Alliance’s air policing mission in the Baltic States.

“And we will make sure we have updated military plans, enhanced exercises and appropriate deployments”, he said.

The Secretary General also praised Estonia’s commitment to the Alliance. “It is now ten years since Estonia joined our Alliance. Throughout, Estonia has made NATO stronger, and NATO has made Estonia stronger”, the Secretary General said. ”Over the years, brave and professional Estonian troops have made a substantial contribution to our challenging mission in Afghanistan. Estonia has learnt tough lessons on cyber defence, and is now making a significant contribution to strengthen the Alliance efforts in this vital domain.”

The Secretary General said that Estonia is leading by example when it comes to investing the right amount of resources in the right defence capabilities.

“Despite the economic crisis, you are spending 2 percent of your gross domestic product on defence. This shows your commitment to collective defence. And it shows that if Estonia can do it, other Allies can do it too”, Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said.

Responding to journalists’ questions on claims by the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that NATO was not respecting its bilateral agreements with Russia, the NATO Secretary General said “no, of course we haven’t violated the Rome Declaration and I’m actually surprised that Russia can claim that NATO has violated its commitments, because Russia is violating every principle and international commitment it has made. First and foremost the commitment not to invade other countries. Russia has undermined all the principles of our relationship and therefore there can no longer be business as usual and to make it clear NATO’s core task is to defend our allies and this is what we are doing”.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO at 65: Photo gallery

April 4, 2014 1 comment

Itar-Tass
April 4, 2014

NATO’s large-scale military operations

The North Atlantic Treaty was signed 65 years ago on April 4, 1949

NATO is a military alliance with the purpose of collective defense. NATO conducts military operations of two kinds: peacekeeping and peace enforcing ones. The difference is that peace keeping actions are realized with the mutual agreement of the parties involved. The ground base for interference in peace enforcing operations is a resolution of the United Nations security council. In reality, however, such operations have taken place without UN’s approval: in 1995 NATO forces interfered in the conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina with no UN approval, neither was sanctioned the 1999 NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia. The most widely known large-scale military operations of the NATO in this photo gallery by ITAR-TASS

Captions for photographs:

NATO’s first operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1994-1995. Citizens are hiding behind a peacekeeper in Sarajevo in 1995 NATO’s first operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1994-1995.

NATO bombs a Serbian arsenal in Pale, near Sarajevo on August 30, 1995

NATO heads the KFOR peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, July 14, 1999 Operation ‘Allied Force’ in Yugoslavia, 1999

Operation ‘Allied Force’ in Yugoslavia, 1999. Photo: a power plant on fire in Belgrade on March 24, 1999

Operation ‘Allied Force’ in Yugoslavia, 1999. Photo: a brigde across the Danube destroyed by NATO bombing in Novi-Sad

Operation ‘Allied Force’ in Yugoslavia, 1999. Photo: a bridge across the Danube destroyed by NATO bombing in Novi-Sad

Operation ‘Allied Force’ in Yugoslavia, 1999. Photo: NATO bombardment results in the city of Surdulica, Yugoslavia

Operation ‘Allied Force’ in Yugoslavia, 1999. Photo: NATO bombardment results in the city of Aleksinac

Operation ‘Allied Force’ in Yugoslavia, 1999. A fuel tank of a NATO fighter jet in the village of Aleksandrovac, 80 kilometers from Belgrade

Operation ‘Active Endeavour’ in the Mediterranean Sea in 2001

Operation ‘Active Endeavour’ in the Mediterranean Sea in 2001

Operation ‘Active Endeavour’ in the Mediterranean Sea in 2001

NATO heads the ISAF international security mission in Afghanistan in 2003.

Photo: students stopping a NATO truck during a protest against introduction of troops

NATO heads the ISAF international security mission in Afghanistan in 2003.

Photo: NATO soldiers search a village NATO heads the ISAF international security mission in Afghanistan in 2003.

Photo: NATO soldiers firing a mortar in Kunar Province, Afghanistan NATO heads the ISAF international security mission in Afghanistan in 2003.

Photo: NATO soldier searching a child in the village of Host, Afghanistan NATO military training mission in Iraq started in 2005.

Photo: NATO instructor training an Iraqi recruit NATO military training mission in Iraq started in 2005.

Photo: NATO instructor training Iraqi recruits

NATO has participated in operations at the coast of the African Horn since 2008.

Photo: NATO officer searching a worker in Jibuti (Djibouti) NATO has participated in operations at the coast of the African Horn since 2008.

Photo: NATO military ships ‘Hamburg’ and ‘Köln’ leaving a base in Germany In 2011

NATO conducts operation ‘Unified Protector’ in Libya.

Photo: NATO soldier checks equipment if a fighter jet on a base in Sicily In 2011

NATO conducts operation ‘Unified Protector’ in Libya.

Photo: a NATO fighter jet taking off from the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle In 2011 NATO conducts operation ‘Unified Protector’ in Libya. In 2011 NATO conducts operation ‘Unified Protector’ in Libyia.

Photo: mass funeral of the NATO airstrikes victims In 2011 NATO conducts operation ‘Unified Protector’ in Libya.

Categories: Uncategorized

Nordic Defense Chiefs To Discuss Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria And Mali

Xinhua News Agency
April 4, 2014

Nordic defense ministers to discuss cooperation, security situation

OSLO: Defense ministers from the five Nordic countries will hold a two-day meeting from April 8 in the northern Norwegian city of Tromso to discuss cooperation and security situation in the region.

The ministers from Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden will discuss the situation in Ukraine, cyber defense plan, joint tactical air transport, capacity building and the status of various Nordic cooperation projects, said a press release issued on Thursday by the Norwegian Defense Ministry.

They will also exchange information and draw experiences from cooperation in international operations in Afghanistan, Syria and Mali.

“The Nordic countries cooperate closely in many areas and we are now in an era where constructive dialogue on regional and global issues is very important,” said Norwegian Defense Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide.

Norway holds the rotating presidency of the Nordic defense cooperation forum NORDEFCO in 2014.

NORDEFCO was established in 2009 to enhance the Nordic defense cooperation.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO: Georgia Is “Special Partner”

April 4, 2014 1 comment

Civil Georgia
April 2, 2014

NATO, Georgian FMs Hold Meeting

NATO-GeorgiaFlags

Tbilisi: NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said Georgia is a “special partner”, which made “remarkable progress” and added that upcoming local elections will be “another significant milestone” on the road to the mature democracy.

In opening remarks at the NATO-Georgia Commission on the level of foreign ministers in Brussels on April 2, Rasmussen said that Georgia “has proven itself to be a security exporter”, noting Georgia’s contribution to mission in Afghanistan, its commitment to continue its participation in the post-2014 mission and intention to join NATO Response Forces from 2015.

“Georgia can become a role model for whole region, a nation that provides security and stability, a nation that is undertaking real reforms and reaping real dividends and the nation that is on track to deliver on its sovereign choice of European and Euro-Atlantic integration,” Rasmussen said.

He also said that “crisis at our borders following Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine” will also be discussed at the NATO-Georgia Commission meeting and reiterated Alliance’s support to Georgia’s territorial integrity and its aspiration to join NATO.

========================================

Civil Georgia
April 2, 2014

NATO May Decide How to Address Georgia’s Aspirations in June

Tbilisi: NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, said he expects Alliance’s foreign ministers to decide in June how to address at the summit in Wales open door policy, including in respect of Georgia.

Asked during a press conference after a two-day NATO foreign ministerial meeting in Brussels on April 2, what Georgia’s chances are to get Membership Action Plan (MAP) in September, when NATO holds summit in Wales, Rasmussen responded that it’s now too early to say anything about how NATO will address the open door policy at the summit.

“Definitely we will address the open door policy. We have outlined a process leading up to the summit; we will update assessment reports on each of the four aspirant countries [Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Montenegro and Macedonia] and these reports will be discussed by foreign ministers when they meet in June and I would expect foreign ministers to take decisions in June as to how we will address the open door policy,” Rasmussen said.

He also said that Georgia “has made significant progress in its Euro-Atlantic aspirations.” An assessment team from NATO visited Georgia late last month.

“The Georgian government has carried through comprehensive reforms,” he said and commended Georgia’s contribution to NATO-led forces in Afghanistan and added that last year’s presidential election was “exemplary”.

“Georgia has really demonstrated strong commitment to our Alliance – we appreciate that, we welcome that. But still of course there is work to do,” the NATO Secretary General added.

He also reiterated 2008 NATO Bucharest summit decision that Georgia will join the alliance provided that it fulfills necessary criteria.

2008 NATO Bucharest summit decision also says that MAP should be the next step for Georgia on its “direct way to membership”; references to the need of going through MAP phase before joining the alliance are also made in NATO’s subsequent decisions in respect of Georgia.

Categories: Uncategorized

Rex Warner: These guns were sent to save civilisation

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

Rex Warner
From Arms in Spain (1937)

file

So that men might remain slaves, and the little good
they hoped for might be turned all bad and the iron lie
stamped and clamped on growing tender and vigorous truth
these machine guns were dispatched from Italy.
So that the drunken General and the Christian millionaire
might continue to rule in complete darkness,
that on rape and ruin order might be founded firm,
these guns were sent to save civilisation.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO: 65 Years Later

April 3, 2014 2 comments

Stop NATO
April 4, 2014

NATO: 65 Years Later
Rick Rozoff

When the U.S. recruited its Western European and Canadian military allies to jointly create the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949, it was with the purpose of perpetuating American military presence on the European continent and to introduce nuclear weapons in Europe for the first time.

Currently, sixty-five years afterward, the Pentagon continues to maintain air, infantry and naval bases in Britain, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Norway, Greece, Turkey and other older NATO member states and, in addition, courtesy of the past fifteen years’ NATO expansion, has acquired new bases directly and under NATO auspices in Kosovo, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. These military facilities include (the permanent use of) air bases in  Hungary (the world’s first multinational global strategic airlift operation in Papa), Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland, which the U.S. has spent millions of dollars modernizing and expanding over the past ten years.

Washington first deployed nuclear bombs to Europe in 1949 immediately after the founding of NATO, before the Soviet Union developed its first atomic bomb, and continues to this day to maintain B61 nuclear bombs on air bases in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey under the provisions of what is alternately called the NATO burden sharing or NATO nuclear sharing arrangement. The tactical nuclear bombs in question are American, but under the conditions of the NATO agreement they are to be delivered by the air forces of the respective host nations.

With the announcement by Washington of what it calls the European Phased Adaptive Approach interceptor missile system in 2009 and the subsequent endorsement of it by NATO, the Atlantic Alliance has become the Pentagon’s chief mechanism for the “Son of Star Wars” missile shield to be deployed in and cover all of Europe (except for Russia and Belarus) and the seas bordering the continent and as building blocks in a proposed global (and space-based) interceptor missile program.

NATO member states collectively spend over a trillion dollars a year on arms and the military.

***

When Turkey invaded North Cyprus in 1974, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization neither acted to prevent nor criticized that act of aggression because Turkey is a member of NATO and Cyprus was not. Forty years later when the people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to leave post-coup Ukraine and affiliate with the Russian Federation, a completely peaceful process, NATO in response has mounted a steady drumbeat of threats regarding its Article 5 provision concerning “collective defense,” which is to say concerted military efforts. In common parlance, war.

With the defeat of the ruling AKEL party in Cyprus last year and the formation of a pro-NATO government which immediately gave its American and other Western backers what they demanded – the express offer to join NATO’s Partnership for Peace transitional program, the program employed to prepare the 12 Eastern European nations that NATO absorbed as full members in the decade from 1999-2009 – now all of the 39 European nations (42 if the countries of the South Caucasus are included and excluding the mini- or micro-states of Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City) are either full NATO members or members of one or more NATO military partnership programs: The Partnership for Peace, the Adriatic Charter, the aspirant countries category, Individual Partnership Action Plan, Membership Action Plan, Annual National Programmes, etc.

With other partnership programs – the Mediterranean Dialogue (in north Africa and the Middle East), the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (in the Persian Gulf), the new Partners Across the Globe (Afghanistan, Australia, Iraq, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Korea to begin with) and evolving individual arrangements with nations in Latin America (Colombia and El Salvador to date) – NATO members and partners now constitute over 70 nations, more than a third of the countries in the world, on every inhabited continent.

In addition, in recent years NATO has been striving to establish partnerships with the ten-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the 54-nation African Union, India, China and other nations throughout the world. NATO, in short, has in the post-Cold War epoch expanded into the world’s largest and history’s first global military bloc. One which over the past fifteen years has waged full-fledged wars in three continents – Europe (Yugoslavia in 1999), Asia (Afghanistan to the present day) and Africa (Libya in 2011) – and which has subsequently incorporated the defeated and conquered nations, or fragments thereof, into its international network of military partnerships.

As with many workers in the U.S. and other nations, 65 years of age should be the age of mandatory retirement for this dangerous, most dangerous of all, threat to world peace.

Categories: Uncategorized

Black Sea: U.S. To Deploy Guided Missile Warship Against Russia

April 3, 2014 3 comments

Stars and Stripes
April 3, 2014

US warship heading to Black Sea
By Hendrick Simoes

800px-thumbnail
USS Donald Cook

300px-USS_Ramage_(DDG_61)
USS Ramage

A U.S. Navy warship is on its way to the Black Sea as part of the ongoing response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine, State Department officials said.

In the immediate aftermath of Russia’s takeover of Crimea, the guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun sailed into the Black Sea, where it conducted exercises with the Bulgarian and Romanian navies, practicing basic maneuvers and drills.

However, the Truxtun left the Black Sea March 21 to continue its scheduled deployment as part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group, currently in the Middle East. A new Navy warship in the Black Sea would be a replacement for the Truxtun, said officials.

The U.S. Navy would not confirm which ship it would be sending into the area. But two destroyers — the USS Donald Cook and the USS Ramage — are currently in the vicinity, taking part in an exercise in the eastern Mediterranean with the Greek and Israeli navies.

“We are making plans to meet the intent vocalized by (U.S. and NATO officials) to lay out a sustainable maritime presence in the eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, but we do not have anything to announce at this time,” said Capt. Gregory Hicks of the U.S. European Command. He said the Navy routinely operates ships in the Black Sea to demonstrate U.S. commitment to working closely with allies in the region.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov criticized the deployment of U.S. warships in the Black Sea during a joint press conference with Kazakhstan’s foreign minister.

According to Russian media reports, Lavrov accused the U.S. of violating the Montreux Convention — a 1936 international agreement that restricts the passage through the Bosporus Straits and the Dardanelles of naval ships not belonging to Black Sea states.

Meawnhile, U.S. and NATO leaders have expressed concern over Russia amassing tens of thousands of troops on its border with Ukraine.

Along with a set of sanctions against Russia, the U.S. has been bolstering its military presence throughout the region in a show of force to reassure allies and improve the military’s ability to respond to a crisis.

“Obviously, we’re working a diplomatic track, but we need to have things in place that do reassure our allies in case the diplomatic track takes longer than we want or while we try to make progress on it,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

In recent weeks the U.S. has sent six additional F-15s to augment NATO’s Baltic air policing mission, and a dozen F-16s to Poland to train with the Polish air force. Additionally, in the midst of increasing tensions, the Pentagon announced Wednesday that it was sending 175 more Marines to Romania, where 300 are already present. But officials said the move was unrelated to the current crisis between Ukraine and Russia.

In a sign that the crisis is deepening, NATO officials suspended all “practical civilian and military cooperation” with Russia Wednesday and announced that NATO would intensify its cooperation with Ukraine.

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Naval Buildup In Black Sea Violates International Treaty: Russia

April 3, 2014 1 comment

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 3, 2014

Deployment Extension of US Warships in Black Sea Exceeds International Terms – Lavrov

MOSCOW: Moscow has taken note that the extension of US warships deployed in the Black Sea has exceeded the set terms laid out in the international convention, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a joint press conference with Kazakhstan’s foreign minister on Thursday in Moscow.

“There exists the Montreux Convention, which gives extremely clear criteria limiting the deployment of warships not belonging to the Black Sea governments in regard to tonnage and length of stay,” Lavrov said.

“We have noticed that US warships have extended their deployment beyond the set terms a couple of times lately, and at times they did not always comply with the regulations that are set within the Montreux Convention.”

=========================================

Interfax
April 3, 2014

U.S. naval ships overstayed Montreux Convention limits in Black Sea – Russian foreign minister

MOSCOW: Russia will keep a close eye on how the United States and Turkey follow the principles of the Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits, which set the rules for warships’ presence in the Black Sea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“We have the Montreux Convention, which introduces absolutely clear-cut criteria that restrict the presence of naval vessels of foreign states that are not located in the Black Sea region in terms of tonnage and periods of presence. We have paid attention to the fact that recently American naval ships have twice prolonged their presence there beyond the set timeframe,” he said at a press conference in Moscow on Thursday.

“Furthermore, they have not always managed to obey the rules that exist as part of the Montreux Convention. We have also drawn the attention of the American side and Turkey, where these straits are located, to this fact. Our position is that all of the principles of the Convention should be rigorously obeyed. We will monitor this,” he said.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Inaugurates Deployable Special Operations Headquarters

April 3, 2014 3 comments

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

April 3, 2014

NATO SOF: BRIDGING THE GAP

Chievres Air Base, BELGIUM: NATO Special Operations Headquarters has conducted the first in a series of exercises arranged to test a new concept of deployable headquarters, at the NSHQ Training Campus.

The Special Operations Component Command Core is designed to provide NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe an assured deployable headquarters element that will serve as the initial command and control element for NATO special operations forces, deployed within a NATO Crisis Response Operation.

The SOCC Core is an additional sourcing option for SACEUR. It compliments existing capabilities provided by Nations to the Alliance. It ensures SACEUR has a deployable SOF command and control capability when a national capability is not yet designated or immediately available. In these instances, SOCC Core bridges the gap between first-response and the arrival of a fully operational headquarters.

“The SOCC Core approximates the initial capability of a special operations component command headquarters,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Bob Lyonnais, NSHQ SOCC Core Chief of Staff. “The SOCC Core is SACEUR’s assured, deployable, command and control capability for special operations.”

Service Members and Civilians from NATO Special Operations Headquarters assemble the components of the Special Operations Component Command Core Headquarters during an exercise to test the capabilities of the facility, 26 March 2014, at Chievres Air Base, Belgium. The Special Operations Component Command Core is designed to provide NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe an assured deployable headquarters element that will serve as the initial command and control element for NATO special operations forces, deployed within a NATO Crisis Response Operation. (RELEASED / NATO Photo by Edouard Bocquet, FRA)

In simple terms, the SOCC Core includes the basic capabilities found in many military deployed headquarters: operations center, satellite connectivity, medical facilities, and full communications array. Each of these capabilities allows the SOCC Core to reach back to the robust special operations network, throughout the NATO Alliance.

“The SOCC Core can be deployed relatively quickly to react to and support a wide array of humanitarian and combat operations, worldwide. The readiness standards of the SOCC Core closely resemble the readiness standards of the NATO Response Force,” said Lyonnais.

The SOCC Core capability is about the people and the training and expertise of those people, Lyonnais said. The SOCC Core staff is based and built around the Alliance Service Members working at the NATO Special Operations Headquarters, who will deploy in support of the command and control needs of the SOCC Core. These NSHQ personnel are joined by deployable intelligence personnel from the Special Operations Intelligence Branch of the NATO Intelligence Fusion Centre.

Throughout 2014, the SOCC Core will endure various levels of testing, culminating in Exercise Trident Jaguar. Upon successful completion of Trident Jaguar, it is expected the NSHQ Commander will be able to certify the SOCC Core as fully mission ready.

“You have to have command and control capabilities,” Lyonnais said, “The SOCC Core ensures SACEUR has one available for SOF.”

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

Categories: Uncategorized

Pentagon Suspends Interceptor Missile Talks With Russia Over Ukraine

April 3, 2014 1 comment

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 3, 2014

Pentagon Suspends Missile Shield Talks with Russia over Ukraine

MOSCOW: The Pentagon has halted all talks with Russia concerning its anti-missile defense shield in Europe over the Ukrainian crisis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear and Missile Defense Policy Elaine Bunn said.

“Russia’s intervention in Ukraine in violation of international law led to the suspension of our military-to-military dialogues, including civilians, and we have subsequently not continued to engage Russia on the topic of missile defense,” Ms. Bunn said.

Washington has also declined to introduce any restrictions on anti-missile defense as proposed by Russia, the US deputy defense chief said.

Ms. Bunn also added that Moscow will not have command and control capabilities in the project.

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the US-led ABM program in Europe at a Lisbon summit in 2010, but the dialog stalled after Washington refused to give Moscow guarantees that the project didn’t threaten Russian nuclear deterrence forces.

The Kremlin initially offered NATO to build a joint European missile defense system based on a sectoral principle. This scenario suggested that every partner would be responsible for a certain region, with Russia having control of the Baltic space. This plan was shot down citing Article 5 of the alliance’s collective security agreement.   

The Ukrainian coup has soured Russia’s cooperation with the United States and NATO on many levels, including their joint anti-drug and helicopter maintenance programs in Afghanistan.

======================================

Interfax
April 3, 2014

Ryabkov on U.S. plans to suspend missile defense cooperation with Russia: such cooperation does not exist

MOSCOW: Russia and the United States do not cooperate in missile defense issues because Washington refuses to provide Moscow with legally-binding guarantees that the U.S.-planned global missile defense shield will not be directed against Russia, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

“I need to say that cooperation does not exist in this sphere,” Ryabkov told Interfax on Thursday, when commenting on U.S. officials’ statements that such cooperation with Russia could be suspended.

“The American side is well aware of the fact that opportunities for such cooperation could emerge if Washington agreed to heed our demand to provide reliable and legally-binding guarantees that the global missile defense system being built by the U.S. together with its NATO allies and certain countries in the Asian region and the Middle East will not be directed against [Russia],” he said.

“Obviously, this way of putting this question is no longer relevant today because of the U.S. policy aimed at exacerbating bilateral relations with Russia,” Ryabkov said.

“Possibly, as time goes by, the American side will realize the absence of any alternative to such an approach, if certainly Washington’s policy is not totally dominated by the aspiration to secure the appearance of potential in the missile defense sphere that would start to devalue our strategic nuclear deterrence potential,” the high-ranking diplomat said.

======================================

Interfax
April 3, 2014

U.S. suspends cooperation with Russia on number of peaceful nuclear projects

MOSCOW: The United States has suspended the cooperation with Russia on a number of peaceful nuclear projects, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said in a statement.

It namely concerns a number of technical meetings, in particular on scientific topics, and what the U.S. refers to as Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

“We consider this step to be wrong and contradicting the constructive spirit we had formed with the U.S. Department of Energy in the recent years. Nuclear energy is a very subtle and serious matter. A responsible and professional approach is needed here from all participants in international cooperation. Politicization is inappropriate here,” Rosatom statement said.

“Any attempts to add some unilateral restrictions in this sector will first affect the initiators of such steps,” the document said.

======================================

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 3, 2014

Freeze on Russia-NASA Space Cooperation to Have Global Backlash – Expert

MOSCOW: Washington’s decision to freeze cooperation between the NASA space agency and its Russian counterpart on a slew of joint projects will hurt global space partnership but won’t be the end of the Russian space program, Director of the Space Policy Institute Ivan Moiseyev told RIA Novosti Thursday.

NASA issued a statement saying it put most of its joint missions with Russia on hold indefinitely. The only exception is the “operational International Space Station activities,” the agency’s associate administrator Michael O’Brien said in a memo.

“The statement was way too harsh,” Ivan Moiseyev told RIA Novosti. He warned NASA that its move would have a “rather significant” impact on space exploration projects globally.

“Modern space science is a global phenomenon that benefits all countries,” Moiseyev noted. “It means that many large-scale projects require an international effort. A freeze on cooperation will spur a serious backlash against the international space program.”

The space pundit added that, despite being something that Russia would never want for space science, this freeze was unlikely to have any catastrophic repercussions for its industry. Russia will simply have to adjust its projects to the new reality, he explained.

Russia’s senior space official said earlier in an interview with RIA Novosti that Russia didn’t depend much on the United States, as far as space industry goes.

This comes as the United States, European Union and their allies continue to ratchet up diplomatic pressure on Russia following its re-unification with the Russian-majority Crimea peninsula, which was taken over by Ukraine after the Soviet fall.

Measures include sanctions against Russian and Crimean officials and businesses, who had their foreign assets seized.

In a recent development, NATO member states suspended cooperation with Moscow allegedly until Russia changed its stand on the Ukrainian crisis, prompting the Russian Foreign Office to accuse the allies of trying to manhandle the country into accepting their viewpoint.

Categories: Uncategorized
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 439 other followers