Eastern Partnership: U.S. Applauds Death Of CIS, Isolation Of Russia

Trend News Agency
May 23, 2015

US supports EU towards closer cooperation with Eastern Partnership member states

images (1)

“The United States expressed strong support for the efforts of the EU towards closer cooperation and partnership with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine,” US deputy department spokeswoman Marie Harf said on the results of the recent Riga summit, TASS Russian news agency reported.

“We are committed to supporting further initiatives that promote democracy and good governance, strengthen energy security, the fight against corruption and support economic and social development in the countries of “Eastern Partnership”,” she said.

In her view, “this is especially important during a time of increased Russian pressure and disinformation in the region.”

The US State Department claimed that Russia is putting pressure on the countries of “Eastern Partnership”.

“The United States congratulates Latvia for hosting a successful summit as the Presidency of the Council of the European Union,” Harf said.

Eastern Partnership envisages the political association and economic integration of the EU with Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The last three countries signed an agreement on associated partnership with the EU in 2014.

Categories: Uncategorized

Sidney Lanier: The wind blew all the vanes in the country in one way – toward war

====

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

American writers on peace and against war

Sidney Lanier: Blood-red flower of war, whose odors strangle a people, whose roots are in hell

Sidney Lanier: Death in Eden

Sidney Lanier: Dialogue on the war-flower

Sidney Lanier: War by other means

====

Sidney Lanier
From Tiger-Lilies (1867)

Portrait of Sidney Lanier

An afflatus of war was breathed upon us. Like a great wind, it drew on and blew upon men, women, and children. Its sound mingled with the solemnity of the church-organs and arose with the earnest words of preachers praying for guidance in the matter. It sighed in the half-breathed words of sweethearts conditioning impatient lovers with war-services. It thundered splendidly in the impassioned appeals of orators to the people. It whistled through the streets, it stole in to the firesides, it clinked glasses in bar-rooms, it lifted the gray hairs of our wise men in conventions, it thrilled through the lectures in college halls, it rustled the thumbed book-leaves of the school-rooms.

This wind blew upon all the vanes of all the churches of the country, and turned them one way – toward war. It blew, and shook out, as if by magic, a flag whose device was unknown to soldier or sailor before, but whose every flap and flutter made the blood bound in our veins.

Who could have resisted the fair anticipations which the new war-idea brought? It arrayed the sanctity of a righteous cause in the brilliant trappings of military display; pleasing, so, the devout and the flippant which in various proportions are mixed elements in all men. It challenged the patriotism of the sober citizen, while it inflamed the dream of the statesman, ambitious for his country or for himself. It offered test to all allegiances and loyalties; of church, of state; of private loves, of public devotion; of personal consanguinity; of social ties. To obscurity it held out eminence; to poverty, wealth; to greed, a gorged maw; to speculation, legalized gambling; to patriotism, a country; to statesmanship, a government; to virtue, purity; and to love, what all love most desires – a field wherein to assert itself by action.

***

In a battle, as far as concerns the individual combatants, the laws and observances of civilization are abandoned, and primitive barbarism is king pro tem. To kill as many as possible; – this, at the actual shock of arms, is the whole duty of man. If indeed there be generals of genius managing the thing behind the lines, it is not less barbarism, but only more powerful barbarism; it is genius manœuvring the interests of brute strength; it is Apollo tending swine.

When the battle is over, to emerge from this temporary barbarism is difficult and requires a little time. Kind Heaven! To see a beautiful woman, to hear her soft tones of voice, to say pleasant things to her, seems so strange, just after you have uttered those strange, hoarse cries that men do utter, not knowing why, in battle; – just after you have killed a man, and perhaps felt the sickening warmth of his blood, and turned away from the terrible odor that rises like a curse from the wound…

***

He fell asleep, and dreamed that he saw big wars standing up in ranks, like men, and fighting with thunders and wild-fires. On the flanks hovered airy pestilences skirmishing, and anon loud worldcalamities exploded, jarring all space. Which dissolved; and he was walking upon an immeasurable plain where lay old dead universes, like skulls whitening on a deserted battle-field…

Categories: Uncategorized

Confronting Russia, Global NATO Eyes Africa

U.S. Department of Defense
May 22, 2015

NATO Alliance Stands Firm, Adapts to Challenges
By Jim Garamone

WASHINGTON: The NATO alliance is standing firm and adapting to the challenges on its eastern and southern flanks, military officials said during a press conference following the alliance’s Military Committee meeting here.
The chiefs of defense from all 28 alliance member nations met to discuss the new and constantly evolving security environment, said Danish Gen. Knud Bartels, the chairman of the committee. The chiefs discussed ways to ensure the safety of all members of the alliance, he said.

With challenges from Russia and from nonstate actors, the alliance agreed to change its procedures and defenses last year at the Wales Summit, Bartels said.

“We have improved our situational awareness and intelligence, we are speeding up our decision making, exploring new ways of working with our international partners and we are implementing the biggest reinforcement of our collective defense since the end of the Cold War with the Readiness Action Plan,” the general said.

The alliance has substantially increased the number of troops in the Eastern part of NATO and is establishing six command and control centers in the region. NATO also is developing a Spearhead Force that will be able to deploy in 48 hours to reach any trouble spot.

Bartels said the alliance must strengthen its outreach to partner nations.

“Partnerships are and will continue to be essential, essential to the way NATO works,” he said. “Partners have served with us in Afghanistan, Kosovo, and other operations, sacrificing alongside alliance troops, and working with us in combating terrorism and piracy.

Bartels added, “It is by training and exercising together with our partners that interoperability increases, and this in turn makes everyone’s neighborhood more secure as it is easier to plug into military operations or coalitions when nations and organizations work to the same standards.”

NATO’s Changing Role in Africa

Partners will play a large role also in the south, Breedlove said.

“To the south, we face a different set of challenges that involve multiple state and nonstate actors,” he said. “Our members are facing the consequences of instability in North Africa, Sahel and sub-Sahara as well as other regions which is driving migration and proving fertile ground for extremism, violence and terrorism.”

NATO unity is highlighted in the exercises alliance forces are participating in, said French Air Force Gen. Jean-Paul Palmieros, the supreme allied commander for transformation.

“The scope of the exercises, the realism of the exercises, has been improved dramatically, including hybrid threats, including cyber,” he said.

In the fall, NATO will host the Trident Juncture 15 exercise throughout the southern nations of the alliance, officials said. More than 35,000 troops will deploy from 33 countries. The exercise will include international organizations and non-governmental organizations.

“That will not only be a high-visibility exercise; that will be a highly credible exercise,” Palmieros said.

Categories: Uncategorized

Richard Aldington: It was a war of missiles, murderous and soul-shaking explosives, like living in the graveyard of the world

====

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

Richard Aldington: Selections on war

====

Richard Aldington
From Death of a Hero (1929)

NPG x10306; (Edward Godfree) Richard Aldington by Howard Coster

He found that the real soldiers, the front-line troops, had had no more delusions about the War than he had. They hadn’t his feelings of protest and agony over it all, they hadn’t tried to think it out. They went on with the business, hating it, because they had been told it had to be done and believed what they had been told. They wanted the War to end, they wanted to get away from it, and they had no feeling of hatred for their enemies on the other side of No Man’s Land. In fact, they were almost sympathetic to them. They also were soldiers, men segregated from the world in this immense barbaric tumult. The fighting was so impersonal as a rule that it seemed rather a conflict with dreadful hostile forces of Nature than with other men. You did not see the men who fired the ceaseless hail of shells on you, nor the machine-gunners who swept away twenty men to death in one zip of their murderous bullets, nor the hands which projected trench-mortars that shook the earth with awful detonations, nor even the invisible sniper who picked you off mysteriously with the sudden impersonal “ping!” of his bullet. Even in the perpetual trench raids, you only caught a glimpse of a few differently-shaped helmets a couple of traverses away; and either their bombs got you, or yours got them. Actual hand-to-hand fighting occurred, but it was comparatively rare. It was a war of missiles, murderous and soul-shaking explosives, not a war of hand-weapons.

***

But what were they really against? who were their real enemies? He saw the answer with a flood of bitterness and clarity. Their enemies – the enemies of German and English alike – were the fools who sent them to kill each other instead of help each other. Their enemies were the sneaks and the unscrupulous; the false ideals, the unintelligent ideas imposed on them, the humbug, the hypocrisy, the stupidity…Maybe he was all wrong, maybe it was “right” for men to be begotten only to murder each other in huge, senseless combats. He wondered if he were not getting a little insane through this persistent brooding over the murders, by striving so desperately and earnestly to find out why it had happened, by agonising over it all, by trying to think how it could be prevented from occurring again. After all, did it matter so much? Yes, did it matter? What were a few million human animals more or less? Why agonise about it? The most he could do was die. Well, die, then. But O God! O God! is that all? To be born against your will, to feel that life might in its passing be so lovely and so divine, and yet to have nothing but opposition and betrayal and hatred and death forced on you! To be born for the slaughter like a calf or a pig! To be violently cast back into nothing – for what? My God! for what? Is there nothing but despair and death? Is life vain, beauty vain, love vain, hope vain? “The war to end all wars!” Is anyone so asinine as to believe that? A war to breed wars, rather…

***

The company were billeted in the ruins of a village behind the reserve trenches, over a mile from the front line. The landscape was flat, almost treeless except for a few shell-blasted stumps, and covered with snow frozen hard. Every building in sight had been smashed, in many cases almost level with the ground. It was a mining country with great queer hills of slag and strange pit-head machinery in steel, reduced by shell-fire to huge masses of twisting rusting metal. They were in a salient, with the half-destroyed, evacuated town of M- in the elbow-crook on the extreme right. The village churchyard was filled with graves of French soldiers; there were graves inside any of the houses which had no cellars, and graves flourished over the bare landscape. In all directions were crosses, little wooden crosses, in ones and twos and threes, emerging blackly from the frozen snow. Some were already askew; one just outside the ruined village had been snapped short by a shell-burst. The dead men’s caps, mouldering and falling to pieces, were hooked on to the tops of the crosses – the German grey round cap, the French blue-and-red kepi, the English khaki. There were also two large British cemeteries in sight – rectangular plantations of wooden crosses. It was like living in the graveyard of the world – dead trees, dead houses, dead mines, dead villages, dead men…

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Trains Georgian Army For NATO Wars At Home, Abroad

U.S. Army Europe
May 22, 2015

Georgian partnership strengthened with Exercise Noble Partner
By Sgt. A.M. LaVey, 173rd Airborne Brigade Public Affairs

size0

TBILISI, Georgia: A staff mentorship team from the U.S. state of Georgia is wrapping up a short tour to the European country of Georgia in support of the U.S. Army Europe Exercise Noble Partner.

Noble Partner is a bilateral exercise focused on enhancing U.S. and Georgian NATO Response Force interoperability in the context of military-to-military relationships.

The three-man Georgia Army National Guard team from the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team travelled to the Vaziani training area, near the capital of Tbilisi, under the auspices of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program.

The U.S. European Command’s State Partnership Program, a component of the larger National Guard program, partners U.S. states with European countries to support the command’s security cooperation objectives. Currently, 22 partnerships exist with former Soviet, Yugoslav and Warsaw Pact countries in the EUCOM area of responsibility.

“The Georgia-Georgia is a 17-year old partnership program set up to share with the Georgian army American best practices and methodology, as well as unifying NATO doctrine,” said Capt. Paul Rothenbuhler, a training officer with the 48th IBCT and the team officer-in-charge. “It’s a special relationship.”

Members of both forces fought side-by-side in Afghanistan and Iraq, and often train together.

“We have experience together, so our relationship is strong” said Georgian Lt. Col. Beka Ambroladze, the exercise executive officer. “Every time we collaborate with the American Georgians, they bring us new experience, which helps to synchronize our planning and operations.”

The main task of the team is to share U.S. and NATO doctrine in support of the (country of) Georgia’s contribution of an infantry company to the NATO Response Force.

“Their army is configured a little differently than ours,” said Master Sgt. Lonnie Teal, the team operations noncommissioned officer. “Since I’ve been here I’ve been working with the operations section, showing them how we do battle tracking in the U.S. Army style and helping with operations orders, but have also assisted with some of the other sections like the [personnel] section to help get their products together.”

Since Georgia isn’t a member of the alliance, the U.S. is serving as the sponsor of Georgia’s participation in the NRF. So the American team is assisting the Georgians with NATO compliance.

“Mentoring, in regards to NATO staff operations, is important,” said Teal. “The alliance requires all business to be conducted in English, so we have an opportunity here to get their staff trained up on the complexities of the language, when it comes to staff products.”

The Georgian armed forces have only been around in their current form since 1991, providing a unique experience for the American team.

“It’s a young military, only since 1991, but in that short time they have already put a lot of things in place that will assist them going forward,” said Silva. “Their desire to learn goes a long way – it really has propelled their military into a modern, professional force.

An exercise like Noble Partner allows Soldiers from both Georgias to put into practice the skills that they have learned from each other.

“The Georgian units here are gaining a lot of experience and learning new approaches to the planning and operations process,” said Ambroladze. “I hope that Noble Partner will continue every year so that we can continue enriching our knowledge and strengthening our relationship.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Southern Front: U.S. Leads Bulgarian-Romanian War Games

May 22, 2015 1 comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

May 21, 2015

NATO allies demonstrate defence of Eastern Europe

1_Platinum%20Eagle%202

BABADAG TRAINING AREA, Romania: Romania is hosting Bulgarian and U.S. forces during a multinational exercise designed to demonstrate a collective capability among NATO allies to defend Eastern Europe, May 18-28.

Exercise Platinum Eagle occurs annually between Marines and sailors from the Black Sea Rotational Force (BSRF), and Romanian and Bulgarian forces. This year the training will take place at the Babadag Training Area in Romania. Functional areas consisting of basic-infantry skills, advanced marksmanship, company-level command and control, and use of anti-armour weapon systems will be rehearsed.

The Black Sea Rotational Force is a contingent of Marines and sailors in the Black Sea, Balkans, and Caucasus regions that maintain proven partnerships, build military capacity, promote regional security, and provide the capability for rapid crisis response as directed by U.S. European Command and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa.

Story by: Black Sea Rotational Force Public Affairs Officer.

Categories: Uncategorized

Norwegian Warplanes Take Over NATO Baltic Air Patrols

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

May 21, 2015

Norway repeats leading role in NATOs Baltic Air Policing mission

2_BAP%203
Norwegian F-16s fly over the Baltic States alongside Italian Eurofighter Typhoons. NATO Photo by Jake Tupman.

Norway is currently leading NATO’s Baltic Air Policing mission in the Baltic States. Operating four F-16 fighters out of Šiauliai, Lithuania, Norway’s forces are augmented by four Italian Eurofighters at the same airbase, as well as four British Typhoons based in Ämari, Estonia and four Belgian F-16s stationed in Malbork, Poland. Norway has been designated lead nation from May through August 2015, repeating a role it held during periods in 2004/2005 and 2008.

Stressing the importance of NATO solidarity, Lieutenant Colonel Ivar Magne Stene, Commander of the Norwegian Air Force detachment, said “it’s important to stand together and offer our capabilities to the 3 Baltic States.” Noting that his pilots have already conducted scrambles in response to Russian air activity, he added “it is important that we help [the Baltics] out and show unity in the Alliance.”

Italian detachment commander Colonel Vito Cracas explained the mission as follows: “when an unknown aircraft approaches NATO airspace, we launch fighter jets to intercept, identify and escort the aircraft.” He added, “this is a standard procedure and such a sequence of events is not uncommon.”

While NATO jets routinely conduct scrambles, the Alliance has seen a steady increase in Russian military aircraft activity since 2012. In the first 3 months of 2015, NATO observed a moderate increase in Russian military flight activity over the same period in 2014.

Throughout 2014, NATO aircraft conducted over 150 scrambles to intercept Russian military aircraft in the Baltic region, approximately four times as many as in 2013.

NATO’s Baltic members, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, do not have the means necessary to provide air policing of their own territory. Since the Baltic nations joined NATO in 2004, other Allies have taken turns protecting the integrity of their sovereign airspace, enhancing their collective security.

Story by: SHAPE Public Affairs Office.

Categories: Uncategorized

Ukrainian Commander-In-Chief Summoned To NATO Military Headquarters

May 22, 2015 1 comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe

May 21, 2015

Ukrainian Chief of the Armed Forces visits SHAPE

"Colonel General Viktor Muzhenko (left), Ukrainian Chief of General Staff, and General Werner Freers (right), Chief of Staff at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, render honours during the Welcome Ceremony at SHAPE, Belgium on May 21, 2015. During this visit, they discuss the situation in Ukraine, the possible fields of cooperation and necessary reforms. (NATO photo by Edouard Bocquet)"

Casteau, Belgium. Today, Thursday 21 May 2015, the Chief of General Staff – Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Colonel General Viktor Muzhenko visited the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). He was accompanied by the Ukrainian Military Representative to SHAPE Major General Anatolii Petrenko, and a delegation of high ranking Ukrainian officers.

The Purpose of the visit was to discuss the current situation in Ukraine, areas for cooperation and reforms. SHAPE Chief of Staff, General Werner Freers DEU A, hosted the visit which included a welcome ceremony and an office call and working lunch with the Ukrainian delegation.

A round table discussion was chaired by SHAPE Vice Chief of Staff Lt Gen Michel Yakovleff FRA A and was attended by the SHAPE staff that is involved in the present crisis in East Ukraine and Crimea.

“I had a very fruitful discussion with the Allied Command Operations team today, on the way ahead in cooperating with Allied support, regarding the crisis situation in my home country” said the visiting General Muzhenko. “My team and I were able to explain the ongoing situation and talk about the necessary reforms we have to establish.”

A visit to the SHAPE Comprehensive Crisis and Operations Management Centre (CCOMC) was hosted by Brigadier General Nico Tak NLD A. General Tak stated “Ukraine is a valued partner for NATO, a founding member of the Partnership for Peace, and regularly contributes to NATO operations and exercises.”

Story by: SHAPE Public Affairs Office.

Categories: Uncategorized

Memorial Day: 1,200 anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Deploys Guided Missile Destroyers To Black, Baltic Seas

UNIAN
May 22, 2015

US to send missile destroyer to Black Sea

061106-N-4515N-051 Norfolk, Va. (Nov. 6, 2006) Ð Sailors man the rails as the guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) returns to her homeport of Naval Station Norfolk. Ross, part of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two, was deployed in support of Operation Active Endeavor in the Mediterranean Sea. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Joshua Adam Nuzzo (RELEASED)
USS Ross

The U.S. Navy is planning to work closely with its allies to improve security in the Black Sea region, with the USS Ross (DDG-71) guided missile destroyer scheduled to enter the Black sea on Saturday, May 23, the U.S. Sixth Fleet has said in a report.

According to the headquarters of the U.S. Sixth Fleet, the deployment of the USS Ross in the Black Sea is aimed to maintain peace and stability in the region, Ukrainian newspaper Zerkalo Nedeli reported on Friday.

The fleet said the presence of a destroyer in the Black Sea reaffirms the commitment of the United States to strengthen allied relations and joint operational capabilities of NATO.

According to Ted Gorman, the captain of the USS Ross, the U.S. Navy intends to work closely with its allies to improve security in the Black Sea region and to maintain combat readiness.

As reported earlier, the USS Jason Dunham (DDG-109) destroyer was recently deployed to the Baltic Sea.

untitled
USS Jason Dunham

Categories: Uncategorized

EU’s Eastern Partnership Backs Ukraine in 400-Day War

May 22, 2015 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
May 22, 2015

Riga summit participants confirm sovereignty, territorial integrity of Eastern Partnership countries

Eastern Partnership: The West’s Final Assault On the Former Soviet Union

1119-eu-nato

The participants of the Eastern Partnership summit in Riga have confirmed the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the members of the Eastern Partnership initiative.

“In this declaration, we have confirmed that the EU adheres to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Eastern Partnership countries,” Latvian Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma said at the summit on Friday.

The Eastern Partnership initiative involves six countries (Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Belarus).
====================================================================

Ukrinform
May 22, 2015

Merkel warns Russia of attempts to interfere with Eastern Partnership

KYIV: The Eastern Partnership is not directed against anyone, especially not against Russia. At the same time, Merkel called on Moscow not to stand in the way of other countries in their desire to become closer to Europe.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said this on Thursday in the Bundestag on the eve of her departure to Riga Eastern Partnership summit, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.

“If our eastern partner-states want to move closer to the values of the European Union, then it is and remains their sovereign decision, and no one has the right to prevent them from their chosen path,” Merkel said.

In particular, speaking about Ukraine, Merkel said: “We in Europe will not accept the way of thinking at the level of the spheres of influence, and this also applies to the situation in Ukraine.”

She called Russia’s annexation of Crimea a cause of “a large-scale destabilization in the east of Ukraine.” A lot of time is needed to stabilize the situation, Merkel noted, adding that the partners have enough patience, as well as determination. Merkel considers the Minsk agreements are an appropriate benchmark.

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

Ukrinform
May 22, 2015

Poroshenko: President of European Parliament to visit Kyiv in early July

KYIV: A number of world leaders will pay their visits to Ukraine in the coming months.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko told reporters on Friday in Riga, Latvia, the Ukrinform own correspondent reported.

“During our bilateral encounters we have agreed on the extremely intensive schedule of visits to Ukraine in the coming months. This is not only of practical, but also of political significance,” he noted.

He said that President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz will visit Kyiv on July 2-3. The Prime Minister of Canada is scheduled to visit Ukraine in early June.

Moreover, Poroshenko stated that Prime Minister of Croatia and other distinguished guests are expected to visit Ukraine during the summer months.

“This is a convincing demonstration of the support provided to Ukraine in its difficult situation from the whole world,” he said.

Categories: Uncategorized

Pentagon Incorporates Sweden Into NATO

U.S. Department of Defense
May 20, 2015

Work, Swedish Defense Minister Discuss NATO, Military Cooperation

WASHINGTON: Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work discussed ways to deepen military-to-military cooperation, NATO partnership initiatives, regional security and other defense priorities with Sweden’s Minister of Defense Peter Hultqvist at the Pentagon today according to a DoD news release.

During the 30-minute meeting, Work assured Hultqvist of the U.S. commitment to bilateral cooperation, NATO’s Enhanced Opportunity Partner Initiative as it relates to Sweden, and deterring Russian aggression, the release said.

The deputy secretary lauded Sweden’s continued leadership in the Nordic-Baltic region, and voiced support for joint training and exercises designed to sustain Sweden’s interoperability with NATO.

According to the release, Work ended by affirming the U.S. and Sweden have a strong defense relationship underpinned by robust cooperation in areas such as joint training, exercises and information exchange.

Categories: Uncategorized

Émile Zola: Selections on war

Categories: Uncategorized

Top Ukrainian Commander Leads Delegation To NATO Headquarters

Ukrinform
May 21, 2015

Muzhenko discusses practical cooperation with NATO in Brussels

KYIV: Delegation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces led by Chief of the General Staff Viktor Muzhenko took part in the meetings of the NATO Military Committee at the level of chiefs of general staffs.

The press service of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry reported this.

“Today, May 20, the delegation of the Ukrainian Armed Forces led by Chief of the General Staff Viktor Muzhenko took part in the meetings of the NATO Military Committee at the level of chiefs of general staffs at the NATO headquarters,” the statement said.

The issues on development of security situation, plans of optimization and restructuring of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as prospects of cooperation with NATO in the military field were discussed during the meeting in the format of Ukraine.

In addition, Muzhenko held several bilateral meetings with the heads of general staffs of the Armed Forces of Great Britain, Georgia, Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, the United States and the commander of the Joint Operational Command of the Australian Defense Force.

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Preparing “Ukraine 2015″ Exercise

May 21, 2015 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
May 21, 2015

Ukraine’s Emergency Service, NATO preparing for “Ukraine 2015″ exercise

A conference to plan the joint international exercise of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine and the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC) to respond to emergencies, “Ukraine 2015,” is being held in Lviv.

“The event took place in the format of a plenary meeting. During the sitting, the participants discussed the main scenario, services’ schedule, provided instructions on conducting training and discussed time indices for teams to come and participate,” reads a statement issued by the press service of the Emergency Service on Thursday.

According to Director of the Emergency Response Department at the Service, Hryhoriy Marchenko, “during the discussion we planned the joint exercise, where Ukrainian rescuers would work together with their foreign colleagues on eliminating an emergency in real conditions.”

He said that nearly 600 rescuers and 200 pieces of equipment from 30 countries are planned to be used the exercise.

In turn, Head of EADRCC Guenter Bretschneider thanked the Ukrainian representatives for his organization being invited to the exercise. He said that this will be the third time EADRCC has cooperated with Ukrainian colleagues and his organization is happy to return.

He said that some countries have already announced the participation of their teams in the training, and other participants are expected to confirm their participation soon. These teams will work together with Ukrainian rescuers despite the different languages and training standards.

The Ukrainian Emergency Service said the international exercise will be held as part of the annual national program of Ukraine-NATO cooperation for 2015 to deepen the cooperation of NATO and Ukrainian Emergency Service in civil protection of the population and procedures on preventing and responding to natural and anthropogenic emergencies.

Categories: Uncategorized

Top U.S. Army Commander In Europe Inspects Ukrainian Proxies

May 21, 2015 1 comment

173rd Airborne Brigade
May 18, 2015

US Army commander visits Fearless Guardian in Ukraine
Story by Sgt. Alex Skripnichuk

b48b81477cea412ee0556a645b61d719_M

YAVORIV, Ukraine: Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe visited the International Peacekeeping and Security Center here May 18, 2015, with Ukrainian Land Forces Commander Lt. Gen. Anatoliy Pushniakov and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary Dr. Evelyn Farkas to assess the first month of training between U.S. paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade and the Ukrainian National Guard’s 3029th Regiment as part of Fearless Guardian.

Fearless Guardian is the name for the Congress-approved, Departments of State and Defense initiative under the Global Security Contingency Fund-Ukraine to train and equip the newly-formed Ukrainian national guard…

“I came here to see the training,” said Hodges. “I want to see how it can be improved in the future.”

The training is a continuation of the more than 20 year-old strong training relationship between the U.S. and Ukraine, said Farkas.

In the fourth week of training, the paratroopers provided instruction on squad-level patrolling skills, as well as urban operations. The visit included observing Ukrainian guardsmen conducting a patrol in the woods and reacting to simulated contact, all while American instructors coached and offered feedback.

“The [Ukrainian] soldiers are eager to learn and have improved greatly over the last three weeks,” said Sgt. Anthony Wilson, a paratrooper assigned to 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regt., 173rd Abn. Bde.

During the visit, Hodges not only met and spoke with paratroopers and Ukrainian guardsmen, but toured the training area and viewed current capabilities and future construction plans to facilitate both training of Ukrainian forces, NATO allies and partners in future exercises.

258w_q75

“I am impressed at the size of the investment Ukraine has made in the development of the IPSC,” said Hodges.

At the conclusion of the tour, Hodges met with British, Ukrainian and German media at the training site. When asked whether the presence of U.S. troops would disrupt the ceasefire under the Minsk Agreement, Hodges replied that “the U.S. is here at the invitation of the Ukrainian government. Russia is in Ukraine at no one’s invitation.”

The paratroopers from 173rd Abn. Bde. are in Ukraine for the first of several planned rotations to train Ukraine’s newly-formed national guard as part of Fearless Guardian, which is scheduled to last six months.

Categories: Uncategorized

Joint War: U.S. Paratroopers Support Wounded Ukrainian Soldiers

May 21, 2015 1 comment

U.S. Army Europe
May 16, 2015

Paratroopers visit wounded Ukrainian soldiers
By Sgt. Alex Skripnichuk

size0

YAVORIV, Ukraine: Paratroopers with the U.S. Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade visited Ukrainian wounded soldiers at the Main Military Clinical Hospital of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine May 13, 2015, in Kiev, Ukraine during a two-day visit to the U.S. Embassy.

The visit was part of a community outreach program as the paratroopers train soldiers from the Ukrainian national guard here as part of Fearless Guardian. Fearless Guardian is the name for the Congress-approved, Departments of State and Defense initiative under the Global Security Contingency Fund-Ukraine to train and equip the newly-formed Ukrainian national guard. The mission and the program of instruction come at the request of the Ukrainian government.

As a show of support for the soldiers of Ukraine, the paratroopers visited several Ukrainian soldiers wounded in the country’s anti-terrorism operations in eastern Ukraine.

“The soldiers we visited were very supportive of our presence in Ukraine,” said Capt. Kyle Robinson, a civil affairs officer with the 173rd Abn. Bde…

According to Robinson the visit is a step forward in the ongoing initiative to partner the paratroopers from the brigade with wounded soldiers of Ukraine during their time training in western Ukraine.

“I am reminded of the patriotism our Soldiers showed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jason Fisher, a civil affairs platoon sergeant with the 173rd Abn. Bde. “Even after being injured, the Ukrainian soldiers were eager to return to their comrades.”

The paratroopers from 173rd Abn. Bde. are in Ukraine for the first of several planned rotations to train Ukraine’s newly-formed national guard as part of Fearless Guardian, which is scheduled to last 6 months.

The staff at the 1,100-patient-capacity medical facility treated more than 5,000 patients during the height of anti-terrorism operations, according to Lt. Col. Roman Kaschenko, a senior officer of the department of personnel at the hospital.

“We did more than 14,000 surgical operations in the last year,” said Kaschenko. “80 percent of which were trauma related.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Germany: U.S., NATO Hold 13-Nation Exercise

U.S. Army Europe
May 19, 2015

Interoperability Includes Vehicle Recovery
By PFC Chenelle Brady

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany: Soldiers participating in Combined Resolve IV came together for multinational vehicle recovery training at Hohenfels Training Area, May 16.

Utilizing different military vehicles from all over Europe gave soldiers a unique hands-on experience that they couldn’t receive at home.

Over 4,700 participants from 13 NATO and partner countries are training in Combined Resolve IV. The Combined Resolve series of exercises incorporates the U.S. Army’s Regionally Aligned Force with the European Activity Set to train with European Allies and partners. The 7th Army JMTC is the only training command outside the continental United States, providing realistic and relevant training to U.S. Army, Joint Service, NATO, allied and multinational units, and is a regular venue for some of the largest training exercises for U.S. and European Forces.

Categories: Uncategorized

Transdniester Blockaded: Ukraine Cancels Five Military Accords With Russia

Xinhua News Agency
May 21, 2015

Ukraine withdraws from 5 military accords with Russia

053A537C-320C-4054-91D8-8BDA7122795A_mw1024_s_n

KIEV: The Ukrainian Parliament on Thursday voted to unilaterally scrap five agreements with Russia on military cooperation, the Parliament’s press service said.

The lawmakers voted to withdraw from the agreement on cooperation in military intelligence and in mutual protection of classified information.

In addition, the parliament also backed Ukraine’s withdrawal from the agreements that regulate military transportation between Ukraine and Russia and payments for those transportation.

The Ukrainian lawmakers have also approved a bill to cancel the intergovernmental agreement between Kiev and Moscow on military transit to Moldova.

Under the deal on military transit, Russian troops had the right to travel through the Ukrainian territory to the location of their peacekeeping mission in Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria.

Russia has not yet officially commented on the potential impact of Kiev’s move on the bilateral relations.

Vladimir Komoedov, head of the defense committee in the Russian Parliament, told the Interfax news agency that Moscow hopes to find a compromise with Kiev over the deal on military transit to Moldova.

Categories: Uncategorized

Alexander Kuprin: The whole science of war exists only because humanity will not, or cannot, or dare not, say, ‘I won’t.’

====

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

Russian writers on war

Alexander Kuprin: Deciphering the military metaphysic

Alexander Kuprin: Mounds and mountains of corpses under which moan the dying

====

Alexander Kuprin
From The Duel (1905)
Translator not identified

10178638_135476761821

Romashov sat down by the table, put his elbows on it, and leaned his head on his hands. It was hard work for him to keep in check these wild thoughts which raced through his mind.

“H’m! – my friend Romashov, what a lot you have forgotten – your fatherland, the ashes of your sire, the altar of honour, the warrior’s oath and discipline. Who shall preserve the land of your sires when the foe rushes over its boundaries? Ah! when I am dead there will be no more fatherland, no enemy, no honour. They will disappear at the same time as my consciousness. But if all this be buried and brought to naught – country, enemies, honour, and all the other big words – what has all this to do with my Ego? I am more important than all these phrases about duty, honour, love, etc. Assume that I am a soldier and my Ego suddenly says, ‘I won’t fight,’ and not only my own Ego, but millions of other Egos that constitute the whole of the army, the whole of Russia, the entire world; all these say, ‘We won’t!’ Then it will be all over so far as war is concerned, and never again will any one have to hear such absurdities as ‘Open order,’ ‘Shoulder arms,’ and all the rest of that nonsense.

“Well, well, well. It must be so some day,” shouted an exultant voice in Romashov. “All that talk about ‘warlike deeds,’ ‘discipline,’ ‘honour of the uniform,’ ‘respect for superiors,’ and, first and last, the whole science of war exists only because humanity will not, or cannot, or dare not, say, ‘I won’t.’”

“What do you suppose all this cunningly reared edifice that is called the profession of arms really is? Nothing, humbug, a house hanging in midair, which will tumble down directly mankind pronounces three short words: ‘I will not.’ My Ego will never say, ‘I will not eat,’ ‘I will not breathe,’ ‘I will not see,’ But if any one proposes to my Ego that it shall die, it infallibly replies: ‘I will not.’ What, then, is war with all its hecatombs of dead and the science of war, which teaches us the best methods of murdering? Why, a universal madness, an illusion. But wait. Perhaps I am mistaken. No, I cannot be mistaken, for this ‘I will not’ is so simple, so natural, that everybody must, in the end, say it. Let us, however, examine the matter more closely. Let us suppose that this thought is pronounced this very moment by all Russians, Germans, Englishmen, and Japanese. Ah, well, what would be the consequence? Why, that war would cease for ever, and the officers and soldiers would go, every man, to his home. And what would happen after that? I know: Shulgovich would answer; Shulgovich would immediately get querulous and say: ‘Now we are done for; they can attack us now whenever they please, take away our hearths and homes, trample down our fields, and carry off our wives and sisters.’ And what about rioters, socialists, revolutionaries? But when the whole of mankind without exception has shouted: ‘We will no longer tolerate bloodshed,’ who will then dare to assail us? No one! All enemies would be reconciled, submit to each other, forgive everything, and justly divide among themselves the abundance of the earth. Gracious God, when shall this dream be fulfilled?”

Categories: Uncategorized

Next Stage Of NATO’s Strategic Adaptation: Massive Troop Buildup In Eastern Europe

Polish News Agency
May 20, 2015

Polish defence minister forecasts NATO reboot

epa04756707 US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter (R) and Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak listen to the Polish national anthem during an honor cordon ceremony at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, USA, 19 May 2015.  EPA/SHAWN THEW  Dostawca: PAP/EPA.

Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak outlined the need for ‘a new NATO’ during a speech in Washington on Tuesday, looking ahead to the organisation’s 2016 summit in Warsaw.

“Our decision to host the NATO summit in 2016 springs from the deep conviction that there is a need for a new NATO and an accompanying adaptation strategy,” the minister stressed during his speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Referring to the conflict in Ukraine, he argued that “the deterioration of the security situation, especially on the eastern flank of the Alliance, has an enduring character” and that NATO needs to be altered so as to adapt to this reality.

“We would like the summit in Warsaw to initiate the next stage of NATO’s strategic adaptation,” he underlined.

“Its main aim should be to strengthen the Alliance’s forces in their entirety, and not just units for immediate action.

“The profile of the NATO structure has to be changed so that it gives the Alliance the ability to respond not only at the level of brigades (3,000-6,000 soldiers), but also at the level of divisions (5000-15,000) and corps (15,000-45,000).”

In an allusion to Ukraine’s lack of NATO membership, Siemoniak said that “the Alliance cannot be limited just to activities that concern the security of its members.

“I think that some European allies have shown excessive caution here,” he added.

Siemoniak also met with Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, and the two discussed NATO, bilateral relations as well as Poland’s recent decision to purchase American patriot missiles.

According to a Department of Defense press release, Secretary Carter “welcomed Poland’s decision to purchase the Patriot missile defense system and thanked Minister Siemoniak for Poland’s pledge to increase its defense spending to two percent GDP and its commitment to defense modernization.”

The pair also discussed recent rotational exercises by US forces on Polish soil and in the region, part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Categories: Uncategorized

Georgia In NATO: Connecting Europe And Asia Without Russian Permission

Civil Georgia
May 18, 2015

Usupashvili to NATO: ‘Either Give Georgia a MAP or Say MAP is No Longer Needed’

untitled

Tbilisi: Georgian Parliament Speaker, Davit Usupashvili, said that Georgia is now as ready for NATO membership as some of its members were at the time they were invited and NATO should either give Georgia a Membership Action Plan (MAP) during the next NATO summit in Warsaw in 2016 or declare that MAP is no longer a precursor to eventual full membership.

Addressing delegates at a NATO Parliamentary Assembly session in Budapest on May 18, Usupashvili said that such a decision at the NATO Warsaw summit next year would be a “decisive step” and “the most adequate response” to Georgia’s NATO aspirations.

Speaking at the same event in Budapest earlier on May 18, NATO Deputy Secretary General, Alexander Vershbow, said that although Georgia currently has all the tools to prepare the country for membership, previous decisions that MAP should be the next stage on Georgia’s path towards eventual membership still stand.

“But in substantive terms, Georgia can advance very far towards the threshold of [NATO’s] open door with the NATO-Georgia Commission, with ENP [Annual National Programme] process and with substantial package agreed in Wales,” Vershbow said, referring to those main instruments through which NATO-Georgia relations are currently carried out.

At the NATO summit in Wales in September, 2014 Georgia was again left without long-sought MAP; instead the Alliance offered Georgia “substantial package” of cooperation, which, among other components, includes establishing the joint NATO-Georgia training and evaluation center in Georgia and deploying team of resident advisers at the Georgian Ministry of Defense.

Vershbow also said that NATO is giving “active support” to Georgia and the Alliance cannot be considered passive. However, he added that he “cannot give any timeline for when the open door will be reached.”

Georgian parliament speaker Usupashvili told NATO parliamentarians that although Georgia is not a NATO member, “legally, politically, and practically we have been a valuable and willing contributor to the collective security”, noting that Georgia is the second largest troop contributor to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan.

“NATO’s open door policy has proven to be a real success story,” Usupashvili said.

“However, it is critical that the open door policy does not become a revolving door policy – where aspirant countries are stuck in a rotation,” he said, adding that the aspirant countries would not be the only ones who would suffer from such approach.

“During the Bucharest summit [in 2008] NATO sent out a strong message – Georgia will become a NATO member,” he said. “Today, politically and tactically, Georgia is as prepared for the Alliance as several current full members have been when they were invited.”

“In 2014 we heard in Wales that Georgia’s relationship with the Alliance ‘contains the tools necessary to continue moving Georgia forward towards eventual membership’. Many in Georgia interpreted these words as Georgia being given de facto MAP,” the Georgian parliament speaker said.

“After more than 12 years of journey I do not want those people to be disappointed with prolonged talks [on] whether Georgia deserves MAP or not,” he said.

“Russia must be engaged, but for the Euro-Atlantic security architecture to retain its integrity there must be deterrence,” Usupashvili said, adding that upholding the open door policy should be the one such deterrence.

“The time has come for another step to be made on Georgia’s NATO integration process, but it has to be a decisive step in this direction and the upcoming [NATO] summit in Warsaw [next year] is the right place for that. The time has come for responsible political decisions about Georgia,” he said.

“Therefore during the Warsaw summit we expect very clear decision about giving Georgia a MAP or making it clear that Georgia does not need a MAP anymore and the membership is not preconditioned to MAP – that is our expectation,” Usupashvili said.

“MAP or declaration that there is no need for MAP – I believe this will be the most adequate response of the NATO not only to Georgia’s NATO aspirations, but also to the challenges that we are facing now worldwide,” he added.

Usupashvili also told NATO parliamentarians that the Alliance “cannot afford not to be engaged in our region.” He said that a glance at the map is “enough to realize…that Georgia is vital for keeping Europe and Asia connected without Russian permission.”

In the end of his speech Usupashvili reiterated Georgia’s invitation to host NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s session in 2017 and said: “There is no MAP or any other conditionality attached to this invitation.”

Last year NATO Parliamentary Assembly, which unites lawmakers from the Alliance member states and associate delegates from the NATO partner countries, accepted Georgia’s invitation to hold its spring session in Georgia in 2017.

Categories: Uncategorized

Alfred Noyes: Selections on war

Categories: Uncategorized

Interceptor Missiles: NATO’s Top Military Commander In Turkey

May 19, 2015 1 comment

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

May 18, 2015

Breedlove visits NATO forces in Turkey
By Airman 1st Class Cory W. Bush
39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

150514-F-VJ293-164

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey: Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe and commander of U.S. European Command, visited the Spanish Patriot Unit deployed to Adana, Turkey in support of the NATO-led Patriot missile augmentation of Turkish air defenses, May 14, 2015.

As part of the visit, Breedlove toured Adana’s Patriot missile site and spoke with Spanish soldiers and local Turkish media about the importance of NATO’s mission.

“The deployment of these forces, at the request of the Turkish government, is about NATO’s core mission – the protection and defense of our members,” Breedlove said. “Security remains crucial to our mission because Turkey’s border is also NATO’s border and I’m appreciative that our allies remain committed to this vital mission.”

Furthermore, Breedlove discussed the importance of Turkey’s contributions to the combined defense efforts.

“Turkey is a tremendous ally contributing to the Alliance’s collective defense and the stability of the region,” he said.

Breedlove also expressed his gratitude to the NATO allies that have remained committed to the mission.

“I would like to recognize Spain, Germany, Netherlands and the United States for their contributions and support to Turkey’s border by reinforcing Turkey’s air defenses against the threats posed by Syria,” Breedlove said.

Previously maintained by the 1st Netherlands Ballistic Missile Defense Task Force, the Spanish Patriot Unit assumed control of the air defense mission in Adana, Turkey during a change of responsibility ceremony January 26, 2015.

Along with the Spanish operated battery, NATO forces also operate additional batteries in two other locations respectively in Turkey: Gaziantep and Kahramanmaras. The Patriot missile augmentation program, which began in January 2013, is currently under the control of Breedlove.

Categories: Uncategorized

Wartime Interoperability: U.S. Deploys Warplanes To Slovakia

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

May 19, 2015

A-10s, Airmen deploy to Slovakia as part of TSP
By Senior Airman Dylan Nuckolls
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

150518-F-LX214-291

SLIAC AIR BASE, Slovakia: A small contingent of approximately 40 Airmen and four A-10 Thunderbolt II’s from the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron deployed to Sliac Air Base, Slovakia, May 16, 2015, in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Of the 12 A-10s deployed to Europe as a theater security package, these four will train with the Slovakian air force May 18-22 to improve interoperability in allied air operations and multinational close-air-support operations.

“The U.S. Air Force’s forward presence in Europe, augmented by a rotational force like the TSP, allows us to work with our allies to develop and improve ready air forces capable of maintaining regional security,” said U.S. Air Force Gen. Frank Gorenc, U.S. Air Forces Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, in a news release.

The 354th EFS is deployed to Campia Turzii, Romania, but participates in these micro deployments across Europe to show NATO allies the U.S. commitment to a peaceful and stable Europe.

“The biggest thing is we’re going to first work with the Slovakian air force and especially the L-29s and make sure we’re providing the joint close air support training,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Hayde, 354th EFS commander. “We’ve done training all throughout Europe with the joint terminal attack controllers and we’re going to continue that in Slovakia … so we look forward to doing that next week as we travel out there.”

The TSP serves as part of a routine deployment of additional fighter squadrons, support personnel and equipment aimed to bolster U.S. forces in Europe on a rotating basis. Theater security package rotations have been occurring in the Pacific region since 2004.

Categories: Uncategorized

Ukrainian Junta Certifies Almost 50,000 Troops As Combatants

Ukrinform
May 19, 2015

More than 47,000 soldiers already receive status of combatant

KYIV. 47,406 military soldiers, who have participated in the anti-terrorist operation, have already received the status of combatant.

Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Petro Mehed said this at a briefing in Kyiv, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.

“47,406 servicemen and employees of the Armed Forces, who have participated in the anti-terrorist operation, have received the status of combatant,” he said.

According to the deputy defense minister, the mechanism was developed to simplify the granting of the status of combatant, and the draft of relevant order and instructions on procedure to issue certificates was worked out.

Categories: Uncategorized

Ukrainian Defense Ministry Demands 7.7 Billion More Hryvnia For War

Ukrinform
May 19, 2015

Ukraine’s Defense Ministry asks for another 7.7 bln

KYIV: The Defense Ministry of Ukraine has appealed to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine with the request to provide additional funding in the amount of UAH 7.7 billion in 2015.

“In view of increasing number of personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine after the adoption of the Law of Ukraine ‘On the Armed Forces of Ukraine’ and conduct of partial mobilization, the Defense Ministry of Ukraine asks to provide UAH 7.7 billion to meet the immediate needs in 2015,” the Ministry notes.

Of this sum, UAH 3.9 billion are to be allocated to pay money allowances to the servicemen, UAH 1.8 billion – to provide clothing and equipment supply, UAH 1.3 billion – to provide feeding support to servicemen. In addition, another UAH 432.5 million are needed to pay assistance to the families of the dead and wounded soldiers, who took part in the anti-terrorist operation, UAH 181.8 million – to arrange training centers, landfills, field camps and checkpoints, as well as UAH 120 million – to pay compensation for hiring military premises.

Categories: Uncategorized

Libya: Latest NATO Proxy Army

May 19, 2015 1 comment

Xinhua News Agency
May 19, 2015

NATO to help Libya with defense capacity-building

BRUSSELS: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday that NATO was ready to help Libya build it’s defense capacity when conditions allowed for it.

He made the remarks before attending a European Union (EU) foreign affairs meeting during which EU ministers were to discuss intervening in human smugglers’ attempts to pirate people across the Mediterranean Sea from Libya.

Speaking on the situation in Libya, Stoltenberg said, “I strongly support the efforts by the United Nations (UN) to reach a political agreement which can establish a unity government in Libya and to establish ceasefire.”

He added that NATO would help Libya increase it’s ability to defend and to create stability.

Stoltenberg stated he also welcomed dialogue between the EU and the UN to create necessary mandates for operation at sea to dismantle the criminal networks that are responsible for the smuggling.

Categories: Uncategorized

Bulgaria: EU-NATO Frontline State For Wars In East, South

Xinhua News Agency
May 19, 2015

Bulgarian defense minister calls for raised budgets amid “real challenges”

SOFIA: Bulgarian Defense Minister Nikolay Nenchev here on Tuesday said he wanted more money to develop the rapid defense capabilities of the country’s armed forces amid “real challenges” from the east and south.

“The challenges from the eastern and southern flank of NATO are real, not hypothetical, and we must be adequately prepared for them,” Nenchev said while addressing an international conference.

For this purpose, his country should have means for protection in case of need, and to work for the accelerated construction and development of defense capabilities of its armed forces, Nenchev said.

Nenchev said he understood the difficult situation of state finances and the acute shortage in other sectors such as health, education and social activities.

“At the same time, we want more money for defense, led by concrete and clear needs, namely to stop the capabilities degradation process, and to make the Bulgarian army a highly respected member of NATO and a participant in the common security and defense policy of the European Union,” Nenchev said.

At the beginning of May, Nenchev said Bulgaria was perhaps the only country in NATO that is almost 100 percent dependent on Russia for its military equipment.

Meanwhile, a program for the development of defense capabilities worth about 2.28 billion U.S. dollars has been submitted for approval to the government.

Despite programs such as National Program Bulgaria in NATO and European Defense 2020 being approved by the Bulgarian caretaker government last October, Nenchev said that the 2010-2014 budget of the Ministry of Defense was less than the “minimal necessary level” of 1.5 percent of GDP, and remained at a “dangerously low point.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Black Sea Rotational Force: U.S. Marines Lead Drills In Romania

U.S. Department of Defense
May 18, 2015

NATO Allies U.S., Bularia Demonstrate Capabilities in Eastern Europe
By Terri Moon Cronk

download

WASHINGTON: U.S. and Bulgarian military personnel began an exercise today in the host country of Romania, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters today.

Exercise Platinum Eagle 2015 is a multinational exercise at Babadag Training Area, Romania, designed to demonstrate the capabilities of NATO allies in Eastern Europe, Warren said.

Approximately 150 U.S. Marines and sailors from the Black Sea Rotational Force will participate in the preplanned, annually scheduled exercise, which concludes May 28, he said.

“[Platinum Eagle events] will consist of basic infantry skills, advanced marksmanship, company-level command and control and the use of anti-armor weapons systems,” the colonel said.

The Black Sea Rotational Force is a contingent of U.S. Marines and sailors in the Black Sea, Balkans and Caucasus regions that maintain proven partnerships, build military capacity, promote regional security and provide the capability for rapid crisis response as directed by U.S. European Command and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa, officials said.

Categories: Uncategorized

Sidney Lanier: Dialogue on the war-flower

====

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

American writers on peace and against war

Sidney Lanier: Blood-red flower of war, whose odors strangle a people, whose roots are in hell

Sidney Lanier: Death in Eden

Sidney Lanier: War by other means

====

Sidney Lanier
From Tiger-Lilies (1867)

small

This was the blood-red flower of war, which grows amid thunders; a flower whose freshening dews are blood and hot tears, whose shadow chills a land, whose odors strangle a people, whose giant petals droop downward, and whose roots are in hell.

***

It is a spreading plant, like the banyan, and continues to insert new branch-roots into the ground, so as sometimes to overspread a whole continent. Its black-shadowed jungles afford fine cover for such wild beasts as frauds and corruptions and thefts to make their lair in; from which, often, these issue with ravening teeth and prey upon the very folk that have planted and tended and raised their flowery homes!

Now, from time to time, there have appeared certain individuals (wishing, it may be, to disseminate and make profit upon other descriptions of plants) who have protested against the use of this war-flower.

Its users, many of whom are surely excellent men, contend that they grow it to protect themselves from oppressive hailstorms, which destroy their houses and crops.

But some say the plant itself is worse than any hailstorm; that its shades are damp and its odors unhealthy, and that it spreads so rapidly as to kill out and uproot all corn and wheat and cotton crops. Which the plant-users admit; but rejoin that it is cowardly to allow hailstorms to fall with impunity, and that manhood demands a struggle against them of some sort.

But the others reply, fortitude is more manly than bravery, for noble and long endurance wins the shining love of God; whereas brilliant bravery is momentary, is easy to the enthusiastic, and only dazzles the admiration of the weak-eyed since it is as often shown on one side as the other.

But then, lastly, the good war-flower cultivators say, our preachers recommend the use of this plant, and help us mightily to raise it in resistance to the hailstorms.

And reply, lastly, the interested other-flower men, that the preachers should preach Christ; that Christ was worse hailed upon than anybody, before or since; that he always refused to protect himself, though fully able to do it, by any war-banyan; and that he did, upon all occasions, not only discourage the resort to this measure, but did inveigh against it more earnestly than any thing else, as the highest and heaviest crime against Love — the Father of Adam, Christ, and all of us.

Friends and horticulturists, cry these men, stickling for the last word, if war was ever right, then Christ was always wrong; and war-flowers and the vine of Christ grow different ways, insomuch that no man may grow with both!

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO, Sweden Complete Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercise Off Norway

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Maritime Command

May 18, 2015

NATO Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercise Concludes

image_thumbnail

ATLANTIC OCEAN: Thursday May 15th , ships, submarines, and maritime patrol aircraft successfully completed the annual NATO anti-submarine warfare (ASW) Exercise DYNAMIC MONGOOSE, in which 10 Allied nations participated alongside partner nation Sweden.

The exercise was run by Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM) through NATO Submarine Command (COMSUBNATO), in close coordination with the host nation Norwegian Navy. Surface forces participating in the exercise were led by Rear Adm. Brad Williamson (USA N), Commander of Standing NATO Maritime Group TWO.

DYNAMIC MONGOOSE was conducted off the west coast of Norway, in waters known to be challenging for ASW operations due to the topography of the area, with the Norwegian coastal waters offering plenty of places for submarines to hide. Within the exercise, surface ships were divided into multiple task units, each responsible for devising their own tactical approach to tracking and engaging a submarine playing the role of adversary.

“This exercise tested our forces’ abilities in a highly challenging operational environment, with equally challenging weather conditions,” said Captain Iain Breckenridge, Assistant Chief of Staff for COMSUBNATO. “It confirms the resolve of NATO maritime forces to keep their warfare skills at the highest level. We will share the lessons we have learned with all Allied navies to ensure they benefit fully in reinforcing their ability to address threats to Alliance security.”

During the exercise, units practiced advanced warfare techniques in detection and classification, surface engagement, air engagement, and tactical coordination. In turn, the submarines participating in the exercise honed their ability to evade detection.

“DYNAMIC MONGOOSE was an excellent opportunity for our sailors to improve proficiency in Allied procedures and tactics,” said VICKSBURG Operations Officer, Lt. James Hostetler. “Our ability to bring ships and submarines together while operating within 1,500 yards of each other is a testament to our strong interoperability. This exercise tested the skills of our combat watch teams and strengthened the teamwork not only within each ship, but also across the force.

Each task unit also employed the use of their organic air assets, helicopters, and utilized fixed-wing maritime patrol aircraft also participating in the exercise. According to Standing NATO Maritime Group-Two (SNMG2) Staff Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer, Lt. Cmdr. Tomas Cordon, the most important tools to track a submarine are the air assets. From the air, helicopters and other aircraft are used to locate the submarine and the surface ships then coordinate an attack. The exercise also provided a great opportunity for the participating submarines to learn how to evade the surface and air units, and presumably launch an attack.

“I think that DYNAMIC MONGOOSE has proven to be a very successful exercise,” said Cordon…

Story by: Allied Maritime Command Public Affairs Office.

Categories: Uncategorized

Collective Defense: NATO Chief Addresses EU Subordinates

May 18, 2015 1 comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 18, 2015

Doorstep statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg prior to the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in the format of Ministers of Defence and Ministers of Foreign Affairs

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg talking to the media prior to the meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in the format of Ministers of Defence and Ministers of Foreign Affairs
Good morning.

I’m glad to be back at the European Council.

And I think it is an expression of the close cooperation between the European Union and NATO.

Last week High Representative vice president Mogherini participated in the NATO Foreign Ministerial meeting in Antalya.

Today I will meet with the Defence Ministers and Foreign Ministers of the European Union.

And I think this close cooperation is very natural because we are facing the same security environment, the same challenges.

To the east we see more assertive Russia, responsible for aggressive actions in Ukraine.

And the important thing now is to make sure that the Minsk agreements are fully implemented. And I call all parties to respect the ceasefire and to allow the OSCE monitors full access so they can monitor the ceasefire and the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.

To the south we see turmoil, we see violence.

And I strongly support the efforts by the UN to reach a political agreement which can establish a unity government in Libya and to establish ceasefire.

NATO stands ready to help the government of Libya to build defence capacity, to increase their ability to defend themselves, and to create stability when conditions allow for such defence capacity building efforts by NATO in Libya.

I also welcome the decision that the European Union will take today on establishing an operation at sea to dismantle the criminal networks that are responsible for smuggling people across the Mediterranean.

And I welcome these efforts by the European Union.

And also the dialogue between the European Union and the United Nations to create necessary mandates for such operation.

Lastly, I am looking forward to the EU Council on defence in June. I think that would be a new opportunity to develop the close cooperation between the European Union and NATO. And also an opportunity to address defence capabilities, and also defence industry, and how we can work together to augment and to increase our collective defence.

Categories: Uncategorized

Ellen Glasgow: His vision of the future only an endless warfare and a wasted land

====

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

American writers on peace and against war

Ellen Glasgow: The Altar of the War God

Ellen Glasgow: The Reign of the Brute

Ellen Glasgow: Then the rows of dead men stared at him through the falling rain in the deserted field

====

Ellen Glasgow
From The Battle Ground (1902)

004-ss-11-wthoma_lg

Dan, fevered, pallid, leaning heavily upon Big Abel, passed unnoticed amid a throng which was, for the most part, worse off than himself. Men with old wounds breaking out afresh, or new ones staining red the cloths they wore, pushed wildly by him, making, as all made, for the country roads that led from war to peace. It was as if the hospitals of the world had disgorged themselves in the sunshine on the bright September fields.

Once, as Dan moved slowly on, he came upon a soldier, with a bandage at his throat sitting motionless upon a rock beside a clump of thistles, and moved by the expression of supreme terror on the man’s face, he stopped and laid a hand upon his shoulder.

“What’s the trouble, friend – given up?” he asked, and then drew back quickly for the man was dead. After this they went on more rapidly, flying from the horrors along the road as from the screaming shells and the dread of capture.

***

Gradually the stars went out above the dim woods, and the dawn whitened along the eastern sky. With the first light Dan went to the open door and drew a deep breath of the refreshing air. A new day was coming, but he met it with dulled eyes and a crippled will. The tragedy of life seemed to overhang the pleasant prospect upon which he looked, and, as he stood there, he saw in his vision of the future only an endless warfare and a wasted land.

***

Farther away three hoarse voices, the remnant of a once famous glee club, were singing in the endeavour to scare off sleep: –

“Rally round the flag, boys, rally once again!”

And suddenly he was fighting in the tangles of the wilderness, crouching behind a charred oak stump, while he loaded and fired at the little puffs of smoke that rose from the undergrowth beyond. He saw the low marshland, the stunted oaks and pines, and the heavy creepers that were pushed aside and trampled underfoot, and at his feet he saw a company officer with a bullet hole through his forehead and a covering of pine needles upon his face. About him the small twigs fell, as if a storm swept the forest, and as he dodged, like a sharpshooter from tree to tree, he saw a rush of flame and smoke in the distance where the woods were burning. Above the noise of the battle, he heard the shrieks of the wounded men in the track of the fire; and once he met a Union and a Confederate soldier, each shot through the leg, drawing each other back from the approaching flames. Then, as he passed on, tearing at the cartridges with his teeth, he came upon a sergeant in Union clothes, sitting against a pine stump with his cocked rifle in his hand, and his eyes on the wind-blown smoke. A moment before the man may have gone down at his shot, he knew – and yet, as he looked, an instinct stronger than the instinct to kill was alive within him, and he rushed on, dragging his enemy with him from the terrible woods. “I hope you are not much hurt,” he said, as he placed him on the ground and ran back to where the line was charging. “One life has been paid for,” he thought, as he rushed on to kill – and fell face downward on the wheel-ruts of the old road.

“Rally round the flag, boys, rally once again,” sang the three hoarse voices, straining against the wind.

Categories: Uncategorized

Turkey Offers To Lead New NATO Anti-Russian Strike Force

Trend News Agency
May 16, 2015

Turkey wants to lead high-level NATO task force in 2021

Turkey wants to preside over NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force in 2021, a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday, Anadolu Agency reported.

NATO allies decided to enhance its NATO Response Force in 2014 by creating a “spearhead force” within it known as the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.

In remarks made at weekly press briefing Friday in Ankara, spokesman Tanju Bilgic said: “The Readiness Action Plan was one of the most concrete results of the Wales Summit in 2014. Within the scope of this plan, one of the issues raised was how to prevent new dangers around Europe. One of the action plans is Very High Readiness Joint Task Force.”

“Turkey has placed its bid to preside this task force in 2021 during the Antalya Foreign Ministers’ meeting,” Bilgic said.

During the NATO Wales Summit in September 2014, the allied countries approved a “Readiness Action Plan to ensure the alliance is ready to respond swiftly and firmly to new security challenges,” NATO said on its official website.

“The plan provides a comprehensive package of measures to respond to the changes in the security environment in and near Europe. It responds to the challenges posed by Russia. It also responds to threats emanating from the Middle East and North Africa,” it added.

During the recently held Antalya Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said the organization was increasing its presence in the East.

“We are significantly expanding the size of the NATO response force, and we are developing a spearhead force with lead elements ready to deploy within as little as 48 hours. We are enhancing our ability to deter and prevent hybrid threats,” he said.

He added: “At the same time, we are helping to make our neighbors more resilient because if they are more stable, we are more secure.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Following NATO Foreign Ministers Meeting, Turkey Shoots Down Syrian Helicopter

Trend News Agency
May 17, 2015

Turkish air force shoots down Syrian helicopter

Turkish air force has shot down a Syrian helicopter after it violated Turkey’s airspace, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Saturday, Anadolu reported.

“The power the Turkish government has granted to the Turkish Armed Forces is extremely clear and whoever violates Turkish borders will be punished,” Davutoglu said in the capital Ankara.

“I congratulate our armed forces who gave the due response to Syrian forces that breached our airspace,” Yilmaz said in Sivas province. “Let our people be rest assured that our armed forces are on guard 24 hours a day to protect the rights of the Turkish nation.”

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. on Wrong Side of History

Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
May 16, 2015

U.S. on Wrong Side of History
Bruce Gagnon

This is what it has all come down to…. the US and the corrupt, dictatorial Gulf monarchies meeting at Camp David Thursday and agreeing on a plan to flood the Middle East with ‘missile defense’ (MD) systems.

These Gulf monarchies are the essential allies of the US in the world now (in addition to a few other fascist-leaning nations). Together they are destabilizing and creating chaos in Syria, Yemen, Ukraine and beyond. This meeting is evidence of the desperation and the moral decay of the USA.

Obama announced that that he would streamline weapon sales and increase joint military exercises with Bahrain (home to US Navy Central Command and the Fifth Fleet), Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as part of an “iron-clad commitment” that the United States will help protect them against their neighbor and rival Iran. The Gulf states claim they fear Iran’s nuclear weapons even after recent successful negotiations to ensure they don’t build any.

In fact Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program several years ago – the CIA has even reported as much as has the IAEA. But truth and reality don’t matter much anymore.

What this new deal with the Gulf states really mean is unrestrained US and Arab extremism throughout the Middle East. The plan is to build a region-wide MD system including Patriot and THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) along with MD radars. It’s also likely that Aegis ship or land-based MD systems will be added to sweeten the pot as well.

The US weapons production corporations will make lots of money. It’s important to remember that weapons are the #1 industrial export product of our country. When weapons are your #1 export product, what is the global marketing strategy for that product line? Endless war. What does that say about the soul of the USA?

All of these MD systems will be “interoperable” with the Pentagon’s existing programs. It will all be run through the US military space satellite system. That means the Gulf states will pay for the US to build a region-wide MD system that is actually aimed at Iran, Syria, and Russia and fully controlled by Washington.

MD is a key element in US first-strike attack planning – its the shield that is used after a Pentagon sword is thrust into the heart of another nation’s military forces. When the attacked nation attempts to fire a retaliatory strike it is then that the MD systems are used to pick off the remaining military capability thus giving the Pentagon a “successful” first-strike. The whole system works best if you can get real close to the ‘offending nation’ and hit their missiles soon after launch rather than waiting for them to reach deep space – or hit them as they descend from space as they approach their targets.

This new Gulf states agreement is dangerous, provocative, destabilizing and very expensive. The US has once again betrayed its revolutionary roots against British monarchy as it snuggles up with the Arab right-wing feudal monarchies. Nothing good can come from this new agreement.

Bruce K. Gagnon
Coordinator
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
PO Box 652
Brunswick, ME 04011
(207) 443-9502
http://www.space4peace.org
http://space4peace.blogspot.com (blog)

Categories: Uncategorized

Siegfried Sassoon: The foul beast of war that bludgeons life

====

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

Siegfried Sassoon: Selections on war

====

Siegfried Sassoon
The Dream

I

Moonlight and dew-drenched blossom, and the scent
Of summer gardens; these can bring you all
Those dreams that in the starlit silence fall:
Sweet songs are full of odours.
While I went
Last night in drizzling dusk along a lane,
I passed a squalid farm; from byre and midden
Came the rank smell that brought me once again
A dream of war that in the past was hidden.

II

Up a disconsolate straggling village street
I saw the tired troops trudge: I heard their feet.
The cheery Q.M.S. was there to meet
And guide our Company in…
I watched them stumble
Into some crazy hovel, too beat to grumble;
Saw them file inward, slipping from their backs
Rifles, equipment, packs.
On filthy straw they sit in the gloom, each face
Bowed to patched, sodden boots they must unlace,
While the wind chills their sweat through chinks and cracks.

III

I’m looking at their blistered feet; young Jones
Stares up at me, mud-splashed and white and jaded;
Out of his eyes the morning light has faded.
Old soldiers with three winters in their bones
Puff their damp Woodbines, whistle, stretch their toes:
They can still grin at me, for each of ’em knows
That I’m as tired as they are…
Can they guess
The secret burden that is always mine? —
Pride in their courage; pity for their distress;
And burning bitterness
That I must take them to the accursèd Line.

IV

I cannot hear their voices, but I see
Dim candles in the barn: they gulp their tea,
And soon they’ll sleep like logs. Ten miles away
The battle winks and thuds in blundering strife.
And I must lead them nearer, day by day,
To the foul beast of war that bludgeons life.

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Congress Approves Lethal Weapons For Ukraine War

Ukrinform
May 16, 2015

US House of Representatives approves supply of lethal weapons to Ukraine

KYIV: The lower chamber of the US Congress has passed a bill that approves defense budget in the amount of $612 billion in the new fiscal year. The budget provides $200 million of aid to Ukraine, in particular in the form of lethal weapons.

The vote in the House of Representatives was held on Friday, an Ukrinform correspondent reported from the United States.

In particular, 269 congressmen voted for adoption of this document, while 151 ones were against its adoption. However, the US Presidential Administration has promised to put a veto if the document is submitted to the President for signing, mainly because of excess costs. To do this, a similar bill has to be voted in the Senate.

Categories: Uncategorized

Finland Supplies 16 Of 100 Warplanes For 12-Day NATO Arctic War Games

Finnish Broadcasting Company
May 14, 2015

16 Finnish jets join NATO-dominated exercise over Arctic

Sixteen Hornet fighter jets from the Finnish Air Force will take part in a multinational aviation exercise in the northern Nordic region beginning May 25.

Planes from 10 countries will fly over northern parts of Finland, Sweden and Norway during the 12-day Arctic Challenge Exercise. The Finnish Air Force announced details of its involvement in the maneuvers on Wednesday. The Finnish Air Force has 62 Boeing F/A-18 C/D Hornet jets.

Dubbed Cross Border Training North, the exercise is one of the most important events of the year for the Air Force.

Altogether, some 100 aircraft are to participate, from the three Nordic host countries as well as Switzerland, the Netherlands, Britain, France, Germany, the United States — and NATO. All are NATO members except Finland, Sweden and Switzerland, traditionally non-aligned states that are now part of the alliance’s Partnership for Peace program.

Most of the flight operations will take place over northern Sweden. The Finnish Hornets will fly out of bases in Rovaniemi and Bodø on Norway’s north-west coast.

The exercise will involve dropping weapons onto targets in Sweden and Norway. However, the Finnish planes will not carry out these delivery missions.

According to the Norwegian Air Force, the exercise will also include weapon delivery against airborne targets, combating simulated anti-air artillery, low-level flying and mid-air refueling.

Sweden will take part with 16 Jas Gripen fighters and Norway with about 10 F-16 jets. The U.S. will also send F-16s, which will fly alongside German Eurofighter Typhoons, French Mirage 2000s and Swiss Hornets.

NATO will also supply AWACS jets, transportation jets and tankers, and DA-20 Jet Falcons.

The exercise is to conclude on June 5.

Categories: Uncategorized

Iraq Attends Three-Day Global Security Conference In Hungary

May 16, 2015 2 comments

Rudaw
May 16, 2015

Iraq attends NATO conference in Hungary

download

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region: A top parliamentary delegation from Iraq arrived in Budapest, the capital of Hungary, on Friday to participate in a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) conference to discuss global and regional security issues, the media office of the deputy speaker of Iraqi parliament announced.

“The purpose of the delegation is to discuss global matters in general and complex issues of the Middle East in particular. We will also highlight the risks and obstacles faced by NATO and world security, especially now that we are all under the threat of terror,” said the statement on Friday.

The delegation includes members of the parliamentary security and defense committees under the supervision of Deputy Parliament Speaker Aram Sheikh Mohammed.

The three-day conference, to begin May 16, will be led by NATO’s top agencies. Iraq’s deputy parliament speaker is expected to deliver a speech on the security crisis in the Middle East and the issue of terror that jeopardize Iraq and the region.

Categories: Uncategorized

Turkey Among States To NATO’s Global Strike Force

Today’s Zaman
May 16, 2015

NATO chief says Turkey to lead rapid response force

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has said Turkey will be one of seven countries that will lead a rapid reaction force as part of a NATO high readiness force planned for 2021.

Speaking to reporters after a two-day summit of foreign ministers of NATO countries in the southern city of Antalya on Thursday, Stoltenberg said he welcomed Turkey’s decision to take part in forming a spearhead unit as part of the high readiness force.

Allies decided to enhance the NATO Response Force (NRF) in 2014 by creating a “spearhead force” within it, known as the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). The unit is expected to comprise 5,000 special unit forces from member countries, and will be able to respond to alerts within 48 hours.

According to NATO, “The NRF is a highly ready and technologically advanced multinational force made up of land, air, maritime and Special Operations Forces (SOF) components that the Alliance can deploy quickly, wherever needed.” NATO also describes the force as a response to security challenges in Eastern Europe.

Baltic nations ask for permanent NATO presence

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are preparing an appeal to NATO command for a permanent presence of NATO troops in their territories to counter increased Russian air and naval activity, the Lithuanian army said on Thursday.

“In reaction to the security situation in the region, as a measure of deterrence, chiefs of defense of the Baltic states will apply officially to Supreme NATO Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) about permanent stationing of a brigade-sized NATO unit in the Baltic States,” Lithuanian Army spokesman Mindaugas Neimontas said.

The Baltic states would ask, in a joint letter, for the brigade to consist of battalion-sized deployments of NATO troops in each of the countries, which would rotate on a NATO-approved schedule. A NATO brigade typically numbers between 3,000 and 5,000 troops, and is made up of several battalions.

Waiting for the letter

Stoltenberg said NATO had increased its air policing in the region, as well as its naval and ground presence. “When we receive the letter, we will go carefully through it and assess the different proposals … but I think it is a bit too early to comment on details and specifics.”

NATO has recorded heightened activity by Russian military aircraft near their air space and there have been reports of suspected Russian submarines in Swedish and Finnish waters.

A NATO summit in Wales last year agreed to beef up rotation of allied troops and their equipment in the region, but shied away from setting up permanent bases of NATO troops in the three Baltic countries and in Poland. The US has kept a rotating presence of 150 troops in each of the Baltic States and in Poland since April 2014, augmented occasionally by shifts of similar-sized units from other NATO allies. The alliance remains divided on setting up permanent bases in the east, as some states see this move as counter to an existing agreement with Moscow.

The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania…have been members of the European Union and NATO since 2004.

Turkey seeks cooperation with NATO to combat ISIL

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, speaking at the opening of the summit, said there should be better coordination among NATO allies, after referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL),,,

Turkey’s concerns were not lost on its allies, as Stoltenberg told reporters at the beginning of the meeting, “One of the important issues at this meeting, in different formats, will be how NATO can do even more when fighting terrorism and when fighting ISIL.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Aldous Huxley: How are we to get rid of war when we celebrate militarists?

====

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

Aldous Huxley: Selections on war

====

Aldous Huxley

download

From Writers and Readers

Consult a library catalogue and you will find that more books have been written on the career of Napoleon than on any other single subject. This fact casts a strange and rather terrifying light on the mentality of modern European writers and readers. How are we to get rid of war, so long as people find their keenest bovaristic satisfaction in the story of the world’s most spectacular militarist?

From Justifications

There are plenty of pious churchmen who consider that God approves of men killing their fellows in war, but who would be horrified at the suggestion that fornication and adultery can ever be anything but detestable in His eyes.

From The Olive Tree

I like them [trees] all, but especially the olive. For what it symbolizes, first of all – peace with its leaves and joy with its olive oil. True, the crown of olive was originally worn by Roman conquerors at ovation; the peace it proclaimed was the peace of victory, the peace which is too often only the tranquillity of exhaustion or complete annihilation. Rome and its customs have passed, and we remember of the olive tree only the fact that it stood for peace, not the circumstances in which it did so.

Incertainties now crown themselves assur’d,
And peace proclaims olives of endless age. (Shakespeare)

Categories: Uncategorized

More World War Two Nostalgia In Eastern Europe: Romania

United States European Command
May 15, 2015

Cavalry March – Sinaia, Romania
By Sgt. William Tanner

The precedent: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romania_in_World_War_II#The_war_on_the_Eastern_Front

untitled

Command Sgt. Maj. Peter D. Johnson (bottom middle left), Squadron command sergeant major assigned to 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, stands with Vlad Oprea (bottom middle), mayor of Sinaia, along with Brig. Gen. Michael J. Tarsa (bottom middle), 4th Infantry Division deputy commanding general, and Lt. Col. Theodore A. Johnson (bottom middle right), 2nd Squadron commander, as they pose with other leaders from the Romanian Land Forces and 2nd Squadron, at Peles Castle located in Sinaia, Romania, during the unit’s Cavalry March from Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base to the Cincu Training Center, May 14, 2015. This event will not only focus on transporting troopers and their equipment to a new Romanian training facility, but it will also give the unit a chance to interact with the local populace while improving on relations with their host nation in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve-South. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. William A. Tanner/released)

Categories: Uncategorized

Obverse, Reverse: NATO, EU Fold Ranks Against Russia

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 15, 2015

NATO Foreign Ministers discuss boosting cooperation with EU, other partners


View of the room

Allies must build closer cooperation with partners and organisations like the European Union, to better address the security challenges to the east and south, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday (14 May 2015). “The challenges we all face demand a comprehensive response, so all of us need to work even closer together,” he said at the end of a two-day meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Antalya, Turkey.

The Foreign Ministers were joined by the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini to discuss the long-term security implications of a more assertive and unpredictable Russia, as well as the challenges posed by extremism and violence in the Middle East and North Africa. They discussed how NATO and the EU could better cooperate in countering hybrid threats, which combine conventional attacks with subversion, cyber attacks, deception and disinformation. “Both Federica Mogherini and I have decided to task our teams to intensify NATO-EU cooperation in countering hybrid warfare,” the Secretary General said. “We will ensure that the strategies we are developing are complementary, so that we can work together quickly and effectively in case of a hybrid threat against our members,” he added.

Mr. Stoltenberg said that NATO “must continue to adapt” to ensure that it is ready for any challenge. He stressed that the Alliance is already implementing the biggest reinforcement of its collective security since the end of the Cold War, which includes boosting the size and speed of the NATO Response Force with a high readiness Spearhead Force at its core. “We are also speeding up our decision-making, sharpening up our intelligence sharing and strengthening our cyber defence,” said the Secretary General.

The ministers also discussed how to further develop cooperation with partners Finland and Sweden. NATO is looking at how it can hold more consultations and share more information about developments in the Baltic Sea region and beyond. “We will also look at how we can conduct more joint exercises,” said Mr. Stoltenberg.

Categories: Uncategorized

1939-2015: Finnish President Invites Poroshenko To Visit Mannerheim Line

Interfax-Ukraine
May 15, 2015

Finnish president invites Ukrainian counterpart to visit Mannerheim Line

Mannerheim-line

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has reiterated the need for the deployment of a peacekeeping mission in Donbas.

During a meeting with President of Finland Sauli Niinisto in Aachen on Thursday, Poroshenko put an emphasis on Finland’s experience of participation of the international peacekeeping operations, the Ukrainian president’s press service reported.

“Sauli Niinisto has invited Petro Poroshenko to visit the Mannerheim Line at his convenience. The Ukrainian president for his part also invited the president of Finland to make a visit to Ukraine,” the press service reported.

Poroshenko has obtained support of Finland in the issue of further consolidation of the EU’s position on Ukraine, the press service said.

The two presidents also discussed the situation in Donbas and the progress of the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

The Mannerheim Line was a defensive fortification line on the Karelian Isthmus built by Finland in the 1920s-1930s to protect it against the Soviet Union. It was a location of the largest fights during the Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland in 1939–1940.

Categories: Uncategorized

Ukraine To Spend $200 Million For Military Infrastructure On Russian Border

Interfax-Ukraine
May 15, 2015

Ukraine to spend approx. $200 million on defensive facilities along border with Russia

The Ukrainian government has approved a plan of engineering equipment of the border with Russia in 2015-2018.

The government resolution No 439-r dated May 14 “On the Approval of the Plan of Engineering Equipment of the Ukrainian-Russian State Border and Territories Adjoining the Antiterrorism Operation Area and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea” was published on the government website on Thursday.

The three-year plan of the government envisages anti-vehicle and anti-tank ditches (4×2 meters in size), non-explosive engineering obstacles, fortifications to be built at tactical localities and positions, exclusion zones and belt roads.

It is also planned to procure and install 17-meter-tall metal observation towers, video surveillance systems, communication towers, combat remote control modules and surveillance posts.

The budget will allot over UAH 4 billion for the works.

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Armored Troops Give Romanians Preview Of War With Russia

U.S. Army Europe
May 14, 2015

2d Cav. Regt. continues Cavalry March through Romania
By U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

060526-M-0036Y-009
Stryker combat vehicles in earlier work in Iraq

MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU AIR BASE, Romania: Soldiers, of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment’s 2nd Squadron, began Operation Cavalry March, a 400-kilometer movement across Romania that involved nearly 100 combat vehicles and more than 300 Soldiers, May 12.

Cavalry March is a demonstration of NATO’s ability to move freely within the alliance, and is a part of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

The movement culminated with a community outreach event in the city of Ploiesti, Romania, May 13, when Soldiers interacted with the community and allowed the residents to see the equipment to include the Stryker combat vehicle and Apache attack helicopter. Nearly 2,000 people attended the event.

In light of Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine, Operation Atlantic Resolve is a visible demonstration of U.S. commitment to the security of NATO allies. In meeting global security commitments, the United States must have strong, committed and capable allies, which is why it has fought, exercised and trained with its European allies for the past 70 years. The U.S.-European strategic partnership is built on a foundation of shared values, experiences and interests in a Europe, which is stable and prosperous.

images
Apache attack helicopters

About us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51 country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships we build during more than 1,000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships and enhance global security.

Categories: Uncategorized

Top U.S. General Visits Finnish Army Commander

U.S. Army Europe
May 15, 2015

USAREUR commanding general visits Finnish Army commander
By U.S. Army Europe Office of the Commanding General

size0

WIESBADEN, Germany: Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commanding general, U.S. Army Europe, visited the Finnish Army, May 12-14.

During his visit, Hodges met with Lt. Gen. Seppo Toivonen, commander, Finnish Army, and his staff, as well as with the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defense, Lt. Gen. Arto Räty.

Hodges also visited the Finnish troops at MECHEX 2015, to include the Pori and Armored brigades at the Pohjankanges Training area.

Hodges was invited to speak at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, one of Finland’s main foreign policy think tanks, May 13. In attendance were more than 100 diplomats, politicians and university representatives.

About us: U.S. Army Europe is uniquely positioned in its 51 country area of responsibility to advance American strategic interests in Europe and Eurasia. The relationships we build during more than 1,000 theater security cooperation events in more than 40 countries each year lead directly to support for multinational contingency operations around the world, strengthen regional partnerships and enhance global security.

Categories: Uncategorized

“Hybrid Warfare”: EU, NATO Pledge Common Efforts Against Russia

Xinhua News Agency
May 15, 2015

NATO, EU agree to enhance cooperation in fighting “hybrid warfare”

download

ANTALYA: NATO and the European Union (EU) on Thursday agreed to enhance cooperation in countering “hybrid warfare” combining conventional attacks with non-conventional methods, such as subversion, cyber-attacks, deception and disinformation that the alliance says Russia has used against Ukraine.

The NATO foreign ministers and EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini gathered in Turkey’s southern Antalya province, discussing the long-term security implications of Russia’s actions which the alliance describes as “assertive and unpredictable,” as well as the challenges posed by extremism and violence in the Middle East and North Africa.

“Both Federica Mogherini and I have decided to task our teams to intensify NATO-EU cooperation in countering hybrid warfare,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference.

“We will ensure that the strategies we are developing are complimentary, so that we can work together quickly and effectively in case of a hybrid threat against our members,” he added.

Mogherini briefed NATO foreign ministers on the Union’s plans for an EU operation to destroy vessels used to smuggle thousands of illegal migrants going to Europe from Africa and the Middle East, which have led to thousands of deaths.

“If the European Union presents requests to NATO, of course, we will seriously consider them and assess them,” Stoltenberg said, adding that “but so far, there has been no request from the EU for any specific assistance.”

Categories: Uncategorized
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 558 other followers