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Article 5 A Religion: U.S. Shifts Military Assets In Europe Toward Russian Border

United States European Command
April 30, 2013

United States is committed to Europe
Ambassador Stephen Mull

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Militarily, even though there have been some cutbacks, there are more American troops in Europe than in any other place in the world…Even as we are cutting back in places like Germany, in Poland we’re actually establishing a larger military presence.

In 2018, we will open a new, much bigger base in northern Poland, in Redzikowo, as part of the NATO missile defense system for Europe. That will bring about 100 American naval personnel, based in Poland, to establish that system.

Article 5 is like a religion, it’s absolutely sacred, and the United States is very serious about it.

There are many American defense manufacturers who are coming quite regularly to Poland.

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From Warsaw Voice: In an era of changing threats, the United States is still committed to Europe, while in terms of bilateral business between Poland and America, there is huge potential for improvement, Stephen Mull, the U.S. ambassador to Warsaw, tells the Voice’s Andrzej Jonas.

Since the collapse of communism, Poland has looked to the United States as the main guarantor of its security. With America now preoccupied with problems in other parts of the world, how strong are ties between Poland and the U.S.?

The ties are very strong and, in fact, getting stronger. Militarily, even though there have been some cutbacks, there are more American troops in Europe than in any other place in the world. With one exception — the United States, of course. After that, the largest concentration of U.S. military power is in Europe…Even as we are cutting back in places like Germany, in Poland we’re actually establishing a larger military presence. In November, we opened an air force detachment in Łask airbase [in central Poland.] It is small, only 10 people, but these 10 people will be coordinating joint exercises between the United States and Poland four times a year.

In 2018, we will open a new, much bigger base in northern Poland, in Redzikowo, as part of the NATO missile defense system for Europe. That will bring about 100 American naval personnel, based in Poland, to establish that system.

Militarily, the United States is going to participate in NATO’s Steadfast Jazz exercise in November. I think all of this is a sign that our military relationship is as strong as ever.

So Poland can still count on Article 5 — an attack on one NATO member will be regarded as an attack on all members?

Article 5 is like a religion, it’s absolutely sacred, and the United States is very serious about it. Everybody is talking about China, Brazil, South Africa and all of these growing economies, but if you look at the trading relationship between the United States and the EU, it amounts to more than one-third of all of the trade in the world.

The GDP of the United States and Europe together accounts for one half of all of the wealth in the world. We are starting a new free trade initiative that President Barack Obama announced back in February. It will make this already very profitable trading zone even more unified in the standards that apply to trade. So this is a very strong relationship that I think is going to get stronger…

On the diplomatic front, the United States does not have any closer friends in the world than our European friends.

In view of the problems with North Korea, is the United States still fully committed to building a missile defense system in Europe?

Absolutely, because the NATO shield for all of Europe — and the United States — is going to be built primarily to defend against the threat of missiles from the Middle East, mostly Iran, and not so much North Korea.

The threat from North Korea is quite serious now and we are making adjustments to our own National Missile Defense System to deal with that.

But in terms of the system in Poland, a new base will be opened in 2018 — there is money in the American budget for it. In the five months since I’ve been here, we’ve had three visits from teams that are going to prepare the site in northern Poland. I am completely convinced that it will open on time.

There are a couple of promising things. Poland is one of a few countries in Europe that consistently spends a good amount of money on its own defense. It is guaranteed in the constitution that the Polish government has to spend 1.95 percent of GDP on it. The United States strongly welcomes that and very strongly supports it and very strongly wants to participate in that program. There are many American defense manufacturers who are coming quite regularly to Poland.

Shale gas changed the American economy. Do you think it could transform the Polish economy?

We love shale gas in the United States. It’s laid out a way for us to become energy independent in less than 10 years. It has a very exciting strategic dimension, because the more diversified supplies of gas are, the cheaper the gas will be. Strategically, it is a good thing for all of us economically. I’m not a geologist so I am hesitant to predict things, but I do know that while Exxon Mobil left last year, the rest of the American companies which are here are staying and seem to be very excited about the possibilities that they have here. ConocoPhillips is here, Chevron is here, as is Marathon Oil. They are communicating with the government, which is introducing new amendments to the law on how this shale gas will be regulated.

Is there room for more scientific corporation between Poland and America?

Absolutely. In the United States, we have already hosted dozens of Polish scientists, business people and government executives to study shale gas, how you regulate it, how you develop it, the technology, science, the economics of that. We are going to continue the program. Later this year, we’re bringing a group of academics from the University of West Virginia who are coming here to share their expertise on shale gas with their Polish academic counterparts…

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Anatole France: “He left us impoverished and depopulated, but he gave us glory”

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

Anatole France: Selections on war

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Anatole France
From Penguin Island (1908)
Translated by A.W. Evans

Anatole-France-mai1923

TRINCO

The sovereign Nation had taken possession of the lands of the nobility and clergy to sell them at a low price to the middle classes and the peasants. The middle classes and the peasants thought that the revolution was a good thing for acquiring lands and a bad one for retaining them.

The legislators of the Republic made terrible laws for the defence of property, and decreed death to anyone who should propose a division of wealth. But that did not avail the Republic. The peasants who had become proprietors bethought themselves that though it had made them rich, the Republic had nevertheless caused a disturbance to wealth, and they desired a system more respectful of private property and more capable of assuring the permanence of the new institutions.

They had not long to wait. The Republic, like Agrippina, bore her destroyer in her bosom.

Having great wars to carry on, it created military forces, and these were destined both to save it and to destroy it. Its legislators thought they could restrain their generals by the fear of punishment, but if they sometimes cut off the heads of unlucky soldiers they could not do the same to the fortunate soldiers who obtained over it the advantages of having saved its existence.

In the enthusiasm of victory the renovated Penguins delivered themselves up to a dragon, more terrible than that of their fables, who, like a stork amongst frogs, devoured them for fourteen years with his insatiable beak.

Half a century after the reign of the new dragon a young Maharajah of Malay, called Djambi, desirous, like the Scythian Anacharsis, of instructing himself by travel, visited Penguinia and wrote an interesting account of his travels. I transcribe the first page of his account:

ACCOUNT OF THE TRAVELS OF YOUNG DJAMBI IN PENGUINIA

After a voyage of ninety days I landed at the vast and deserted port of the Penguins and travelled over untilled fields to their ruined capital. Surrounded by ramparts and full of barracks and arsenals it had a martial though desolate appearance. Feeble and crippled men wandered proudly through the streets, wearing old uniforms and carrying rusty weapons.

“What do you want?” I was rudely asked at the gate of the city by a soldier whose moustaches pointed to the skies.

“Sir,” I answered, “I come as an inquirer to visit this island.”

“It is not an island,” replied the soldier.

“What!” I exclaimed, “Penguin Island is not an island?”

“No, sir, it is an insula. It was formerly called an island, but for a century it has been decreed that it shall bear the name of insula. It is the only insula in the whole universe. Have you a passport?”

“Here it is.”

“Go and get it signed at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

A lame guide who conducted me came to a pause in a vast square.

“The insula,” said he, “has given birth, as you know, to Trinco, the greatest genius of the universe, whose statue you see before you. That obelisk standing to your right commemorates Trinco’s birth; the column that rises to your left has Trinco crowned with a diadem upon its summit. You see here the triumphal arch dedicated to the glory of Trinco and his family.”

“What extraordinary feat has Trinco performed?” I asked.

“War.”

“That is nothing extraordinary. We Malayans make war constantly.”

“That may be, but Trinco is the greatest warrior of all countries and all times. There never existed a greater conqueror than he. As you anchored in our port you saw to the east a volcanic island called Ampelophoria, shaped like a cone, and of small size, but renowned for its wines. And to the west a larger island which raises to the sky a long range of sharp teeth; for this reason it is called the Dog’s Jaws. It is rich in copper mines. We possessed both before Trinco’s reign and they were the boundaries of our empire. Trinco extended the Penguin dominion over the Archipelago of the Turquoises and the Green Continent, subdued the gloomy Porpoises, and planted his flag amid the icebergs of the Pole and on the burning sands of the African deserts. He raised troops in all the countries he conquered, and when his armies marched past in the wake of our own light infantry, our island grenadiers, our hussars, our dragoons, our artillery, and our engineers there were to be seen yellow soldiers looking in their blue armour like crayfish standing on their tails; red men with parrots’ plumes, tattooed with solar and Phallic emblems, and with quivers of poisoned arrows resounding on their backs; naked blacks armed only with their teeth and nails; pygmies riding on cranes; gorillas carrying trunks of trees and led by an old ape who wore upon his hairy breast the cross of the Legion of Honour. And all those troops, led to Trinco’s banner by the most ardent patriotism, flew on from victory to victory, and in thirty years of war Trinco conquered half the known world.”

“What!” cried I, “you possess half of the world.”

“Trinco conquered it for us, and Trinco lost it to us. As great in his defeats as in his victories he surrendered all that he had conquered. He even allowed those two islands we possessed before his time, Ampelophoria and the Dog’s Jaws, to be taken from us. He left Penguinia impoverished and depopulated. The flower of the insula perished in his wars. At the time of his fall there were left in our country none but the hunchbacks and cripples from whom we are descended. But he gave us glory.”

“He made you pay dearly for it!”

“Glory never costs too much,” replied my guide.

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Bosnia: European Union, NATO Consolidate Military Integration

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

April 30, 2013

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During the second part from 21 to 25 April EUFOR, under a fictitious Peace Support Operation (PSO) scenario, the EUFOR multinational battalion, composed with UK, Hungarian, Austrian and Turkish companies, joined with a unit from the Armed Forces (AF) of BiH with the aim to further enhance their professional training and international interoperability. This phase of the exercise…was designed to ensure the AF BiH would gain further experience in working with international military units and would continue to develop as a modern armed force at the level required for Euro-Atlantic integration.

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General Sir Richard Shirreff, OPERATION ALTHEA Commander, inspects Exercise “QUICK RESPONSE 2013

The Exercise “QUICK RESPONSE 2013” was held between 15th and 28th of April 2013 and demonstrated the ability of EUFOR to successfully activate, quickly deploy and integrate companies held at readiness within its Intermediate Reserve Forces normally stationed outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

Exercise “QUICK RESPONSE 2013” was the biggest EUFOR exercise within the last 5 years and showed EUFOR and AFBiH training together. A total of approximately 800 personnel were actively involved in the conduct of this exercise.

Since EUFOR took over from SFOR in December 2004…When in September 2012 the number of troops deployed in EUFOR Operation ALTHEA was reduced it was done in recognition of the significant improvement to internal security and the increasing role played by the BiH authorities. Secondly, those reductions were conducted in the knowledge that, if needed, EUFOR could rapidly deploy over-the-horizon forces to sustain security and safety; in order to train and test this key capability, such deployments are rehearsed on a regular basis.

The Exercise “QUICK RESPONSE 2013” was divided into 3 main parts:

1. The first part showed a successfully activation and a quick deployment and integration of two light-infantry companies, one from the UK and the other from Hungary, into the EUFOR structure between 18 and 20 April in the location of Camp BUTMIR, SARAJEVO and nearby at RAJLOVAC barracks.

2. During the second part from 21 to 25 April EUFOR, under a fictitious Peace Support Operation (PSO) scenario, the EUFOR multinational battalion, composed with UK, Hungarian, Austrian and Turkish companies, joined with a unit from the Armed Forces (AF) of BiH with the aim to further enhance their professional training and international interoperability. This phase of the exercise took place in the areas of KALINOVIK and PAZARIC and was designed to ensure the AF BiH would gain further experience in working with international military units and would continue to develop as a modern armed force at the level required for Euro-Atlantic integration.

3. The third part consisted of a Distinguished Visitors Day held on Thursday 26 April at PAZARIC “Zaim Imamovic Barracks”. An impressive military display took place in the presence of the Operational Commander of EUFOR ALTHEA, General Sir Richard Shirreff, the Deputy Defence Minister of BiH, Mr Mirko Okolic, Commander EUFOR, Major General Dieter Heidecker and Chief of the Joint Staff Armed Forces BiH, Major General Anto Jelec. Also present was a wide variety of distinguished visitors from BiH, EUSR, NATO and the International Community.

Following the military demonstration the Operational Commander General Sir Richard Shirreff added that two remarkable achievements had been delivered from the demonstration that were worthy of particular note.

– The first was the highly effective teamwork and levels of co-operation clearly in evidence between soldiers from the armed forces of Austria, BiH, Turkey, Hungary, the United Kingdom and the multi-national team at EUFOR Headquarters.

– The second remarkable achievement was the visible increase in both the capacity and capability of the AF BiH. The demonstration had shown the great professionalism of the AF BiH and that they are, without doubt, soldiers of quality.

[1] The military EU-lead operation ALTHEA in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is carried out with recourse to NATO assets and capabilities, under the “Berlin Plus” arrangements.

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Sweden: A Special NATO Partner

Atlantic Community
April 30, 2013

Sweden: A Special NATO Partner?
Ryan C. Hendrickson

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[I]t was during NATO’s Operation Unified Protector in Libya that Sweden reached a new level of partnership, which has no parallels among partner states.

The Swedish parliament authorised the contribution of eight Swedish Gripen aircraft, a C-130 “Hercules” refuelling aircraft, and one Gulfstream IV surveillance aircraft.

In all, Sweden provided 2,770 reconnaissance reports to NATO.

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Among the policy agendas advanced during his tenure as NATO’s Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen has been a robust advocate for the creation of new and enhanced partnerships for the Alliance. Many states have cultivated closer ties to NATO during his leadership, including Australia, Ireland, South Korea, New Zealand and Mongolia. But Sweden certainly ranks near the top among those whose bonds have been strengthened and improved.

Sweden and NATO share many priorities. [T]hese priorities have become increasingly evident during Secretary General Fogh Rasmussen’s tenure.

But Sweden is no newcomer to NATO. Since the onset of NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme in 1994, of which Sweden was an initial member, this “neutral” ally has been anything but ambivalent to NATO or its transition to a post-Soviet world.

In NATO’s operational environment, Sweden has been consistently present too, whether on the ground with peacekeepers in Bosnia and Kosovo, or in the Indian Ocean in EU and NATO anti-pirate policing operations.

Since 2006, Sweden has had civilian and military professionals on the ground in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. It has played a leadership role in a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Mazir-e-Sharif…As it works on the transition to Afghan-led teams, Sweden will work with NATO Allies Norway and Latvia, as well as with NATO partner Finland. In doing so, Sweden not only advances democratic development abroad, but also gains a seat at the table in shaping Alliance policy directions.

But it was during NATO’s Operation Unified Protector in Libya that Sweden reached a new level of partnership, which has no parallels among partner states.

The first notable aspect was how quickly Sweden responded to the 2011 Libyan crisis. After the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1973 and NATO requested Swedish assistance to the operation, the Swedish parliament quickly authorised Sweden’s participation in the mission, in a vote of 240 to 18 with 5 abstentions. Though public opinion polls across Europe varied, most Swedes strongly favoured of their country’s engagement. The domestic political debate in Sweden over its military engagement for the mission was quite limited.

The Swedish parliament authorised the contribution of eight Swedish Gripen aircraft, a C-130 “Hercules” refuelling aircraft, and one Gulfstream IV surveillance aircraft. In addition, 130 Swedes helped carry out the mission. Within two days of Sweden’s parliament’s decision, the Gripens were ready in place at Signolla Air Base in Sicily.

Over the course of the entire operation, which was Sweden’s first air deployment since the 1960s United Nations operation in the Congo, Swedish planes flew 570 operations. Some of these missions were simply police enforcement of the no-fly zone. Its C-130s also carried out refueling operations.

More importantly, by midway through the operation, the Swedes had provided at least 30 per cent of all reconnaissance sorties. It was here, along with the diplomatic significance and benefit of having Sweden’s cooperation, where Sweden provided the most meaningful and substantive assistance to the Allies.

In all, Sweden provided 2,770 reconnaissance reports to NATO. Due to past training exercises with the Allies, and because of the excellent capabilities evident in its Gripen aircraft, Sweden deserves high marks for the quality of its interoperable defences and excellent troops. Sweden’s defence investments and industry have clearly kept pace, at least on this measure, with military advancements within the Alliance. Such a military contribution has few peers among partner nations, and for NATO and the Allies, again demonstrates just how valuable a partner can be.

In a forthcoming publication, Swedish defence expert Robert Egnell makes a strong case that it was partly Sweden’s activities in the EU’s Nordic Batttle Group that allowed it to respond so rapidly to NATO’s request for assistance. When the crisis unfolded, Sweden was participating in its rotational training exercises with the Battlegroup, which helped foster a rapid response to NATO’s request for assistance. Sweden’s previous participation in other NATO operations and training exercises also paved the way for a relatively easy transition into Unified Protector.

Despite domestic political concerns over full membership of NATO, Sweden and its public have demonstrated how a NATO partner can truly assist the Alliance…This partnership allows Sweden to excel where its strengths are evident, and gives Sweden a place in NATO’s diplomatic and operational settings. Put simply, both sides benefit.

Ryan C. Hendrickson is professor of political science at Eastern Illinois University and author of Diplomacy and War at NATO: The Secretary General and Military Action After the Cold War.

This article was originally published in the NATO Review under the theme: “Partners – Who Needs Them?” The opinions in this article are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the NATO Alliance or any of its member states.

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Unprecedented Militarization Of Georgia Alarms South Ossetia

Interfax
April 30, 2013

Current Georgian army much larger than in August 2008 – South Ossetian President

TSKHINVAL: Solid protection of South Ossetia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity remains the most important sphere of the country’s foreign policy, South Ossetian President Leonid Tibilov said on Tuesday while delivering his first statement to the people and parliament since he took office.

The president said that diplomatic efforts alone were not enough to protect the country because regardless of the change in authority, Georgia did not give up its territorial claims against South Ossetia.

“According to the available information, the current Georgian army exceeds considerably by any definition the one our opponents had in August 2008. The recent joint drills at the base in Vaziani show the continuing militarization of the neighboring country. And this means that we should keep our powder dry,” Tibilov said.

At the same time, the South Ossetian president said that the country was under double protection – on the one hand, the Russian base and their forces deployed in South Ossetia and units of border control from Russia’s Federal Security Service, and on the other hand the South Ossetian army.

“I can assure the country’s residents that the forces protecting us are equipped with the latest weapons and means necessary to protect our country. We do not keep secret that in accordance with the agreements signed with Russia, Russia is a guarantor of South Ossetian people’s security and integrity of its borders,” Tibilov said.

The South Ossetian president said that the previously made decision to decrease the number of its forces was the gravest mistake. “This caused negative strategic as well as social consequences. So I thought that my main task as commander-in-chief was to correct the mistake. And I can say today that we have succeeded. As of now, the number of forces of South Ossetian Defense Ministry remains unchanged,” he said.

Tibilov said that the efforts to equip servicemen technically, train them and protect socially would be continued.

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Biden, Saakashvili Discuss Georgia’s NATO Accession

Civil Georgia
April 27, 2013

Saakashvili Meets Biden

Biden-Saakashvili-1
Sociopaths sharing a smile (file photograph)

Tbilisi: President Saakashvili met U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on April 26 at the Sedona Forum, an annual event organized by the McCain Institute for International Leadership in Sedona, Arizona.

“I had a lengthy conversation with the U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on the issues related to acceleration of Georgia’s NATO integration, free trade agreement with the United States – these are the pledges and agreements that we had when I met President Obama last year; the Vice President reaffirmed that the United States has not abandoned [Georgia] and will continue supporting us; that’s very important for me,” President Saakashvili said.

“In overall I think that we are ready to continue working on these issues together with the Georgian government in order to help Georgia in my remaining presidential term [till October 2013 presidential elections] in advancing and accelerating these issues,” he said.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported, quoting a statement from the White House, that during the meeting with President Saakashvili, Vice President Joe Biden “encouraged Georgia’s presidency, government, and parliament to work constructively together in the months ahead to maintain positive momentum on Georgia’s path of progress.” He also “underscored the United States’ strong and enduring commitment to Georgia and its people, and that we look forward to deepening our partnership in the years to come.”

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Leo Tolstoy: Christian cannot be a murderer and therefore cannot be a soldier

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

Russian writers on war

Leo Tolstoy: Selections on war

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Leo Tolstoy
Notes for Officers (1901)
Translated by V. Tchertkoff and A. C. Fifield

Leo-Tolstoy-Painting-by-Repin
Painting by Ilya Repin

“It is impossible but that offenses will come, but woe unto him through whom they come.”
LUKE xvii. l, 2.

In all Russian barracks there hang, nailed to the wall, the so-called Notes for Soldiers composed by General Dragomiroff.

These notes are a collection of stupidly braggart sentences intermixed with blasphemous citations from the Gospels, and written in an artificial barrack slang, which is, in reality, quite strange to every soldier. The Gospel citations are quoted in order to corroborate the statements that soldiers should kill and tear with their teeth the enemy: “If your bayonet breaks, strike with your fists; if your fists give way, bite with your teeth.” The notes conclude with the statement that God is the soldier’s General: “God is your General.”

Nothing illustrates more convincingly than these notes that terrible degree of unenlightenment, servile submissiveness, and brutality which Russian men have attained to at present. Since this most horrible blasphemy appeared and was first hung up in all the barracks (a considerable time ago), not one commander, nor priest – whom this distortion of the meaning of the Gospel texts would seem to concern directly – has expressed any condemnation of this obnoxious work and it continues to be published in millions of copies and to be read by millions of soldiers who accept this dreadful production as a guide to their conduct.

These notes revolted me long ago, and now, being afraid I may otherwise miss the opportunity of doing so before my death, I have now written an appeal to soldiers, in which I have endeavoured to remind them that as men and Christians they have quite other duties toward God than those put forward in the notes. And a similar reminder is required, I think, not only by soldiers, but still more so by officers (by “officers” I mean all military authorities, from Subalterns to Generals), who enter the military service or continue in it, not by compulsion as privates do, but by their own free will. It was pardonable a hundred or fifty years ago, when war was regarded as an inevitable condition of the life of nations, when the men of the country with whom one was at war were regarded as barbarians, without religion, and evil-doers, and when it did not enter the mind of military men that they were required for the suppression and “pacification” of one’s own people – it was pardonable then to put on a multicoloured uniform trimmed with gold braid and to saunter about with a clashing sword and jingling spurs, or to caracole in front of one’s regiment, imagining oneself a hero, who, if he has not yet sacrificed his life for the defence of his fatherland, is nevertheless ready to do so. But at the present time, when frequent international communications, commercial, social, scientific, artistic, have so brought nations in touch with one another that any contemporary international war is like a dispute in a family, and breaks the most sacred human ties – when hundreds of peace societies and thousands of articles, not only in special but also in the ordinary newspapers, unceasingly demonstrate from every side the senselessness of militarism, and the possibility, even necessity, of abolishing war – at the present time, when, above all, the military are more and more often called out, not against foreign foes to repel invasions, or for the aggrandizement of the glory and power of their country, but against unarmed factory workmen or peasants – at the present time to caracole on one’s little horse in one’s little embroidered uniform and to advance dashingly at the head of one’s company, is no longer a silly, pardonable piece of vanity as it was before, but something quite different.

In past times, in the days say of Nicholas I (1825-1855), it entered into no one’s head that troops are necessary chiefly to shoot at unarmed populaces. But at present troops are permanently stationed in every large town and manufacturing centre for the purpose of being ready to disperse gatherings of workmen; and seldom a month passes without soldiers being called out of their barracks with ball cartridges and hidden in secret places in readiness to shoot the populace down at any moment.

The use of troops against the people has become indeed not only customary – they are mobilized in advance to be in readiness for this very purpose; and the Governments do not conceal the fact that the distribution of recruits in the various regiments is intentionally conducted in such a way that the men are never drafted into a regiment stationed in the place from which they are drawn. This is done for the purpose of avoiding the possibility of soldiers having to shoot at their own relations.

The German Emperor, at every fresh call for recruits, has openly declared and still declares that soldiers who have been sworn in belong to him, body and soul; that they have only one foe – his foe; and that this foe are the Socialists (that is, workmen), whom the soldiers must, if he bids them, shoot down (niederschiessen), even if they should be their own brothers or even parents.

In past times, moreover, if the troops were used against the people, those against whom they were used were, or at all events were supposed to be, evil-doers, ready to kill and ruin the peaceful inhabitants, and whom therefore it might be supposed to be necessary to destroy for the general good. But at present everyone knows that those against whom troops are called out are for the most part peaceful, industrious men, who merely desire to profit unhindered by the fruits of their labors. So that the principal permanent function of the troops in our time no longer consists in an imaginary defence against irreligious and in general externa foes, and not against internal foes in the persons of riotous evil-doers, but in killing one’s own unarmed brothers, who are by no means evil-doers, but peaceful, industrious men whose only desire is that they shall not be deprived of their earnings. So that military service at the present time, when its chief object is, by murder and the threat of murder, to keep enslaved men in those unjust conditions in which they are placed, is not only not a noble but a positively dastardly undertaking. And therefore it is indispensable that officers who serve at the present time should consider whom they serve, and ask themselves whether what they are doing is good or evil.

I know that there are many officers, especially of the higher grades, who by various arguments on the themes of orthodoxy, autocracy, integrity of the State, eternal inevitableness of war, necessity of order, inconsistency of socialistic ravings, and so on, try to prove to themselves that their activity is rational and useful, and contains nothing immoral. But in the depths of their soul they themselves do not believe in what they say, and the more intelligent and the older they become the less they believe.

I remember how joyously I was struck by a friend and old comrade of mine, a very ambitious man, who had dedicated his whole life to military service, and had attained the highest honours and grades (General Aide-de-Camp and Major-General) , when he told me that he had burnt his “Memoirs” of the wars in which he had participated because he had changed his view of the military activity, and now regarded every war as an evil deed, which should not be encouraged by participation, but, on the contrary, should be discredited in every way. Many officers think the same, although they do not say so while they serve. And indeed no thoughtful officer can think otherwise. Why, one has only to recall to mind what forms the occupation of all officers, from the lowest to the highest – to the Commandant of an Army Corps. From the beginning to the end of their service – I am alluding to officers in the active service – their activity, with the exception of the few and short periods when they go to war and are occupied with actual murder, consists in the attainment of two aims: in teaching soldiers the best methods of killing men, and in accustoming them to an obedience which enables them to do mechanically, without argument, everything their commander orders. In olden times it used to be said, “Flog two to death, and train one,” and so they did. If at present the proportion of flogged to death is smaller, the principle nevertheless is the same. One cannot reduce men into that state, not of animals but of machines, in which they will commit the deed most repulsive to the nature of man and to the faith he professes, namely, murder, at the bidding of any commander – unless not only artful frauds but also the most cruel violence have been perpetrated on them. And so it is in practice.

Not long ago a great sensation was created in the French press by the disclosure by a journalist of those awful tortures to which soldiers in the Disciplinary Battalions are submitted on the Island of Obrou, six hours’ distance from Paris. The men punished have their hands and feet tied together behind their back and are then thrown to the ground; instruments are fixed on their thumbs while their hands are twisted behind their backs, and screwed up so that every movement produces a dreadful pain; they are hung with their legs upward; and so forth. When we see trained animals accomplishing things contrary to nature: dogs walking on their forelegs, elephants rolling barrels, tigers playing with lions, and so on, we know that all this has been attained by the torments of hunger, whip, and red-hot iron. And when we see men in uniforms with rifles standing motionless, or performing all together with the same movement – running, jumping, shooting, shouting, and so on – in general, producing those fine reviews and manoeuvres which emperors and kings so admire and show off one before the other, we know the same. One cannot cauterize out of a man all that is human and reduce him to the state of a machine without torturing him, and torturing not in a simple way but in the most refined, cruel way – at one and the same time torturing and deceiving him. And all this is done by you officers. In this all your service consists, from the highest grade to the lowest, with the exception of those rare occasions when you participate in real war.

A youth transported from his family to the other end of the world comes to you, after having been taught that that deceptive oath forbidden by the Gospel which he has taken irretrievably binds him – as a cock when laid on the floor with a line drawn over its nose and along the floor thinks that it is bound by that line – he comes to you with complete submissiveness and the hope that you his elders, men more intelligent and learned than he, will teach him all that is good. And you, instead of freeing him from those superstitions which he has brought with him, inoculate him with new, most senseless, coarse, and pernicious superstitions: about the sanctity of the banner, the almost divine position of the Tsar, the duty of absolute obedience to the authorities. And when with the help of the methods for stultifying men which are elaborated in your organization you reduce him to a position worse than animal, ” to a position where he is ready to kill everyone he is ordered to kill, even his unarmed brothers, you exhibit him with pride to your superiors, and receive in return their thanks and rewards. It is terrible to be a murderer oneself, but by cunning and cruel methods to reduce one’s confiding brothers to this state is the most terrible crime of all. And this you accomplish, and in this consists the whole of your service.

It is therefore not astounding that amongst you more than amongst any other class everything which will stifle conscience flourishes: smoking, cards, drunkenness, depravity; and that suicides occur amongst you more frequently than anywhere else.

“It is impossible but that offenses will come, but woe unto him through whom they come.”

You often say that you serve because if you did not the existing order would be destroyed and disturbances and every kind of calamities would occur. But firstly, it is not true that you are concerned with the maintenance of the existing order: you are concerned only with your own advantages. Secondly, even if your abstinence from military service did destroy the existing order, this would in no way prove that you should continue to do what is wrong, but only that the order which is being destroyed by your abstinence should be destroyed. Were establishments of the most useful kind -hospitals, schools, homes, to depend for their support on the profits from houses of ill-fame, no consideration of the good produced by these philanthropic establishments would retain in her position the woman who desired to free herself from her shameful trade.

“It is not my fault,” the woman would say, “that you have founded your philanthropic institutions on vice. I no longer wish to live in vice. As to your institutions, they do not concern me.” And so should every soldier say if the necessity of maintaining the existing order founded on his readiness to murder were put before him. “Organize the general order in a way that will not require murder,” the soldier should say. “And then I shall not destroy it. I only do not wish to and cannot be a murderer.” Many of you say also: “I was educated thus. I am tied by my position, and cannot escape.” But this also is not true.

You can always escape from your position. If, however, you do not, it is only because you prefer to live and act against your conscience rather than lose certain worldly advantages which your dishonest service affords. Only forget that you are an officer and recall to mind that you are a man, and the way of escape from your position will immediately disclose itself to you. This way of escape in its best and most honest form would consist in your calling together the men of whom you are in command, stepping in front, and asking their pardon for all the evil you have done them by deception – and then cease to serve in the army. Such an action seems very bold, demanding great courage, whereas in reality much less courage is required for such an action than to storm a fortification or to challenge a man to a duel for an insult to the uniform – which you as a soldier are always ready to do, and do.

But even without being capable of acting thus you can always, if you have understood the criminality of military service, leave it and give preference to any other activity though less advantageous. But if you cannot do even this, then the solution for you of the question whether you will continue to serve or not will be postponed to that time – and this will soon appear for each one of you – when you will stand face to face with an unarmed crowd of peasants or factory workers, and be ordered to shoot at them. And then, if anything human remains in you, you will have to refuse to obey, and, as a result, to leave the service.

I know that there are still many officers, from the highest to the lowest ranks, who are so unenlightened or hypnotized that they do not see the necessity of either the one, the other, or the third solution, and quietly continue to serve even in the present conditions, ready to shoot at their brothers and even priding themselves upon this; but happily public opinion punishes such people with more and more repulsion and disapproval, and their number continually becomes smaller and smaller. So that in our time, when the fratricidal function of the army has become evident, officers not only can no longer continue in the ancient traditions of military self-complacent bravado – they cannot continue the criminal work of teaching murder to simple men confiding in them, and themselves to prepare for participation in murdering unarmed populaces, without the consciousness of their human degradation and shame.

It is this which should be understood and remembered by every thinking and conscientious officer of our time.

Notes for Soldiers (1901)

“Be not afraid of them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body.” MATT. x. 28.

“We must obey God rather than men.” ACTS v. 29.

You are a soldier. You have been taught to shoot, to stab, to march, to do gymnastics. You have been taught to read and write, led to exercise and reviews; perhaps have been in a campaign and have fought with the Turks or Chinese, obeying all your orders. It has not even entered your head to ask yourself whether what you were ordered to do was good or bad.

But suddenly an order is received that your company or squadron shall march out, taking ball cartridges. You go without asking where you are being led.

You are brought to a village or factory, and you see before you gathered in an open space a crowd of villagers or factory hands – men, women with children, aged folk. The governor and public prosecutor approach the crowd with policemen and say something. The crowd is at first silent, then begins to shout louder and louder; and the authorities retreat. And you guess that the peasants or factory hands are rioting, and that you have been brought to “pacify” them. The authorities several times retreat from the crowd and again approach it, but the shouts become louder and louder, and the authorities consult each other and at last give you the order to load your rifles with the ball cartridges. You see before you men such as those from amongst whom you have been taken – men in peasants’ coats, sheepskin overcoats, and bark shoes, and women in kerchiefs and jackets – women like your wife and mother.

The first shot is ordered to be fired above the heads of the crowd. But the crowd does not disperse, and shouts even louder; and you are then ordered to shoot in earnest, not over the heads, but straight into the middle, of the crowd. It has been instilled into you that you are not responsible for the consequences of your shots. But you know that the man who falls bleeding from your shot is killed by you and by no one else, and you know that you could have refrained from shooting and that then the man would not have been killed.

What are you to do?

It would not be enough to lay down your rifle and refuse in this instance to shoot your brothers; for tomorrow the same thing could reoccur. And therefore, whether you wish it or not, you have to recollect yourselves and ask, “What is this soldier’s calling which has brought me to the necessity of shooting my unarmed brothers?”

You are told in the Gospel that one should not only refrain from killing his brothers, but should not do that which leads to murder: one should not be angry with one’s brothers, nor hate one’s enemies, but love them. In the law of Moses you are distinctly told, “Thou shalt not kill,” without any reservations as to whom you can and whom you cannot kill. Whereas in the regulations which you have been taught you are told that a soldier must fulfill any order whatsoever of his superior, except an order against the Tsar; and in explanation of the Sixth Commandment you are told that although by this commandment killing is forbidden, yet he who kills an enemy during war does not sin against, this commandment.*

[*In your regulations you are told: “By the Sixth Commandment God forbids the taking of man’s life by violence or cunning, and the disturbance in any way of one’s neighbour’s peace and safety; and therefore this commandment also forbids quarrels, anger, hatred, jealousy, cruelty. But he who kills the enemy in war does not sin against the Sixth Commandment, because in war we defend our faith, sovereign, and country.]

And in the Notes for Soldiers which hang in your barracks, and which you have many times read and listened to, it is explained how a soldier should kill men: “If three fall on you, shoot one, stab another, and finish the third with the bayonet…If your bayonet breaks, strike with the stock; if the stock gives way, hit with your fists; if your fists are hurt, bite with your teeth.”

You are told that you must kill, because you have taken the oath, and that not you but your commanders will be responsible for your actions. But before you took the oath, that is, before you promised men to obey their will, it was your duty, without need of oaths, to obey in everything the will of God, of Him who gave you life; and God forbids killing.

So that you could by no means swear that you would obey everything men might command. This is why it is distinctly stated in the Gospel, Matt. v. 34-37: “Swear not at all…But let your speech be, Yea, yea; nay, nay: and whatsoever is more than these is of the evil one.”

And in the Epistle of James, chap. v. 12, the same thing is said, “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by the heaven, nor by the earth.” So that to take the oath is a sin. As to what they say about your commanders, not yourselves, being responsible for your deeds, this is obviously a falsehood. Is your conscience not in you, but in your sergeant, captain, colonel, or some one else? No one can decide for you what you can and must, and what you cannot and should not do. And a man is always responsible for what he does. Is not the sin of adultery much easier than that of murder? And yet can one man say to another: “Go and commit adultery. I shall bear your sin, because I am your commander”?

According to the Biblical narrative Adam sinned against God, and then said that his wife told him to eat the apple, while his wife said she was tempted by the devil. God exonerated neither Adam nor Eve, but told them that because Adam listened to the voice of his wife he would be punished, and that his wife would be punished for listening to the serpent. And neither was excused, but both were punished. Will not God say the same to you also when you kill a man and say that your captain ordered you to do it?

The deceit is apparent already, because in the regulation obliging a soldier to obey all his commander’s orders, these words are added, “Except such as tend toward the injury of the Tsar.”

If a soldier before obeying the orders of his commander must first decide whether it is not against the Tsar, how then can he fail to consider before obeying his commander’s order whether it is not against his supreme King, God? And no action is more opposed to the will of God than that of killing men. And therefore you cannot obey men if they order you to kill. If you obey, and kill, you do so only for the sake of your own advantage – to escape punishment. So that in killing by order of your commander you are a murderer as much as the thief who kills a rich man to rob him. He is tempted by money, and you by the desire not to be punished, or to receive a reward. Man is always responsible before God for his actions. And no power, whatever the authorities desire, can turn a live man into a dead thing which one can move about as one likes. Christ taught men that they are all sons of God, and therefore a Christian cannot surrender his conscience into the power of another man, no matter by what title he may be called: King, Tsar, Emperor. As to those men who have assumed power over you, demanding of you the murder of your brothers, this only shows that they are deceivers, and that therefore one should not obey them. Shameful is the position of the prostitute who is always ready to give her body to be defiled by anyone her master indicates; but yet more shameful is the position of a soldier always ready for the greatest of crimes – the murder of any man whom his commander indicates.

And therefore if you do indeed desire to act according to God’s will you have only to do one thing – to throw off the shameful and ungodly calling of a soldier, and be ready to bear any sufferings which may be inflicted upon you for so doing. So that the true “Notes” for a Christian Soldier are not those in which it is said that “God is the Soldier’s General” and other blasphemies, and that the soldier must obey his commanders in everything, and be ready to kill foreigners and even his own unarmed brothers – but those which remind one of the words of the Gospel that one should obey God rather than men and fear not those who can kill the body but cannot kill the soul.

In this alone consists the true, unfraudulent “Notes for Soldiers.”

In Dragomiroff’s Notes for Soldiers three passages are quoted from the Gospels: John xv. 10-13 and Matthew x. 22, 39. From John the words of the 13th verse are quoted: “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends;” evidently for the purpose of implying that soldiers fighting in battle should defend their comrades to the utmost of their strength.

These words however cannot possibly refer to military action, but mean exactly the reverse. In verses 10-13 it is said: “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be fulfilled. This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” So that the words, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” do not at all mean that a soldier should defend his comrades, but that a Christian should be ready to surrender his life for the fulfilment of Christ’s commandment that men should love one another, And therefore he should be ready to sacrifice his life rather than consent to kill men.

From Matthew the end of the 22nd verse of the 10th chapter is quoted, “He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved,” evidently in the sense that a soldier who fights bravely will be saved from the enemy. But again the meaning of this passage is not at all what the compiler wishes to attribute to it, but a contrary one.

The complete verse is: “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.”

So that obviously this verse cannot relate to soldiers, soldiers not being hated by anyone for Christ’s name: and it is clear therefore that only those people can be hated for Christ’s name who refuse in his name to do what the world demands of them, and, in the case in point, soldiers who disobey when murder is demanded of them.

Again, the end of the 39th verse of the 10th chapter of Matthew is quoted: “He that loseth his life shall find it,” also in the sense that he who is killed in war will be rewarded in Heaven. But the sense is obviously not this. In the 38th verse it is said, “He that doth not take his cross and follow after me, is not worthy of me,” and after this is added, “He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth this life for my sake shall find it;” that is, that he who desires to safeguard his corporal life rather than fulfil the teaching of love will lose his true life, but he who does not safeguard his corporal life, but fulfils the teaching of love, will gain the true, spiritual, eternal life.

Thus all the three passages assert, not, as the compiler desired, that in obedience to the Authorities one should fight, and crush, and rend men with one’s teeth, but, on the contrary, they all, like the whole Gospel, express one and the same thing – that a Christian cannot be a murderer and therefore cannot be a soldier. And therefore the words, “A soldier is Christ’s warrior,” placed in the “Notes” after the Gospel verses, do not at all mean what the compiler imagines. It is true that a soldier, if he be a Christian, can and should be Christ’s warrior, but he will be Christ’s warrior, not when, obeying the will of those commanders who have prepared him for murder, he kills foreigners who have done him no harm, or even his own unarmed fellow-countrymen, but only when he renounces the ungodly and shameful calling of a soldier, in the name of Christ – and fights not with external foes but with his own commanders who deceive him and his brothers, and fights them, not with a bayonet, nor with his fists or teeth, but with humble reasonableness and readiness to bear all suffering and even death rather than remain a soldier – That is, a man ready to kill anyone whom his commanders indicate.

Notes for Soldiers by General Dragomiroff:

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend.” – JOHN xv. 13.

“He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.” – MATT. x. 22.

“He that loseth his life shall find it.” – MATT. x. 39.

A soldier is Christ’s warrior. As such he should regard himself, and so he should behave. Consider your corps as your family; your commander as your father; your comrade as your brother; your inferior as a young relative. Then all will be happy and friendly and easy.

Don’t think of yourself, think of your comrades; they will think of you. Perish yourself, but save your comrade.

Under fire advance in open order; attack together. Strike with your fist, not with your open hand.

One leg helps the other, one hand strengthens the other. Stick together.

One evil is not an evil; two evils are half an evil; separation is the evil.

Don’t expect relief. It won’t come. Support will come. When you’ve thrashed them well, then you’ll rest.

Only he is beaten who is afraid.

Always attack, never defend.

If your bayonet breaks, strike with the stock; if the stock gives way, hit with your fists; if your fists are hurt, bite with your teeth. Only he wins who fights desperately, to the death.

In action a soldier is like a sentinel; even dying he should not let his rifle go.

Keep your bullet for three days, even for a whole campaign, when you can’t get more. Shoot seldom, but well. With the bayonet strike hard. The bullet may miss the mark, but the bayonet will not. The bullet is stupid, the bayonet is the plucky one.

Aim every bullet; to shoot without care only amuses the devil. Only the careful not the chance bullet finds the culprit. Hold your cartridges. If you spend them a long way off, when you get near, just when you want them, you’ll have none. For a good soldier, thirty cartridges are enough for the hottest engagement.

From the dead and wounded take their cartridges.

If you knock up against the enemy unexpectedly or he against you, hit without hesitation. Don’t let him collect himself. The plucky one is he who first cries “Hurrah.” If three fall on you, shoot one, stab another, and finish the third with your bayonet. God defends the brave.

Where a bold one will get through, God will trip up the timid one.

For a good soldier there are neither flanks nor rear, but all is front, where the foe is.

Always keep your face toward the cavalry. Let it come to two hundred yards, give it a volley, put the bayonet into position, and freeze there.

In war a soldier must expect short commons, short sleeps, and sore feet. Because it is war. Even an old soldier finds it difficult, and for a green one it is hard. But if it’s hard for you it isn’t easier for the enemy; maybe harder still. Only you see your own hardships, but don’t see the enemy’s. Yet they are always there. So don’t grow stale, but the harder it is, the more doggedly and desperately fight; when you’ve won you’ll feel better at once, and the enemy worse. “He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.”

Don’t think that victory can be won straight off. The enemy can also be firm. Sometimes one can’t succeed even the second and third times. Go at it a fourth, a fifth, a sixth time, till you win.

When fighting help the sound men. Only think of the wounded when you have won. The man who bothers about the wounded during the fight and leaves the ranks is a bad soldier and not a kind-hearted man. It is not his comrades who are dear to him but his own skin. If you win it will be well for all, both sound and wounded.

Don’t leave your place on the march. If you stop for a minute and fall behind, hurry up and don’t lag.

When you reach the bivouac all can’t rest. Some must sleep, others guard. He who sleeps, let him sleep in peace till he is wakened; comrades are on guard. He who is on guard, let him watch alertly, though he has marched seventy miles.

When you are an officer, keep your men well in hand. Give your orders intelligently; don’t merely cry “Forward, March.” First explain what is to be done, so that every man can know where and why he has to go.

Then “Forward, March” is all right. Every soldier should understand his actions.

“The chief gets the drink first, and the stick first.”

Die for the Orthodox faith, for our father the Tsar, for Holy Russia. The Church prays to God. “He who loses his life will find it.” He who survives, to him honour and glory.

Do not offend the native; he feeds and supports. A soldier is not a thief.

Keep yourself clean, your clothes and ammunition in order. Guard your rifle, your biscuits, and your feet as the apple of your eye. Look after your socks (leg bands) and keep them greased. It’s better for the foot.

A soldier should be healthy, brave, hardy, determined, just, pious! Pray to God! From Him is the victory! Noble heroes, God leads you, He is your General!

Obedience, education, discipline, cleanliness, health, tidiness, vigour, courage, dash, victory!

Glory, glory, glory!

Lord of Hosts, be with us! We have no other helper than Thee in the day of our trouble!

Lord of Hosts have mercy on us!

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Germany Pushes European Union Battlegroups, Military Training Corps

Deutsche Presse-Agentur
April 23, 2013

Germany proposes rapid-response EU military training corps
Helen Maguire

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Luxembourg: European Union defence ministers expressed interest Tuesday in a German proposal for the bloc‘s rapid-response battlegroups to run military training missions such as those conducted in Mali and Somalia, a top EU diplomat said.

“The German proposal is informed by real-life concepts, because we see that we do a lot of training,” said Maciej Popowski of the European External Action Service.

Battlegroups were launched in 2007 to provide a quick military EU intervention in crisis situations, but have never been deployed in practice, prompting a rethink about how they could be used.

“These battlegroups have established themselves,” said German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere ahead of Tuesday‘s meeting with his EU counterparts. “They are a strong element of joint European security policy.”

The fact that they had not yet been deployed did not speak against the concept, he said.

“We see now that there are many situations in which the EU is challenged in different ways, for example in the rapid provision of training,” the minister added.

Such a training corps could be involved in “observation, advice or support missions,” either under the EU umbrella or on behalf of the United Nataions, he said.

Popowski said the concept still had to be discussed with EU member states, adding, “It was very well received, in the sense that it would fit into a potential reflection on the adjustment of the battlegroup concept.”

The training element would not be at the expense of other battlegroup tasks but to “enhance the potential field of application,” the diplomat said.

General Patrick de Rousiers, the chairman of the EU Military Committee, said the German idea was one of several member state proposals on the future of the battlegroups.

EU leaders are to discuss the bloc‘s defence policy and military capabilities at their summit in December.

EU-Battlegroups

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NATO Warship To Dock At Kenyan Port

The Standard
April 29, 2013

Nato warship set to dock at Mombasa port
By Philip Mwakio

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ITS San Marco

A naval warship belonging to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato), which is part of allied forces combating piracy off the Horn of Africa, is expected to dock at the port of Mombasa on Labour Day.

ITS San Marco is part of the Nato Forces currently in Operation Ocean Shield alongside two other vessels, TCG Gokova (Turkey) and USS Nicholas of the United States of America Navy. A communiqué from Nato’s Allied Maritime Command Public Affairs Officer Lt Gwenn Laine dated April 26 says the warship, which also serves as Nato Forces flagship, ITS San Marco (contributed by the Italian Navy) will be in Kenyan waters for one week.

A tour will take place at sea on May 5 with ITS San Marco departing port with journalists on board. They will be transferred back to Mombasa by helicopter later in the afternoon. Nato is a key player in the collective endeavor of the international community to protect waterways in the Indian Ocean…

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Georg Brandes: War not fight for ideals but fight for concessions

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

Georg Brandes: Selections on war

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Georg Brandes
From The Conquest of Basra (1914)
Translated by Catherine D. Groth

GeorgBrandes

The story of the Bagdad road is an example of the way in which the fate of nations depends on a few men — diplomats and ministers — who, in reality, are but the mouthpieces of the large banking and industrial concerns. The masses have not the slightest voice in directing the policy of their country, in making war or peace, and this is as true of a parliamentary country like England, a democratic country like France, as of Germany, Russia, or Turkey.

In olden days when nations lived by agriculture they went to war to gain territory, to wrest land away from their neighbours. Now that the nations have become industrial states and are in reality ruled by financial oligarchies even if they nominally appear to have emperors, kings, or presidents, the purpose of war is no longer to conquer land or peoples but markets. Each nation wants a wider outlet for its products, greater investment for its capital. The real character of war today is not a fight for ideals but a fight for concessions.

Japan made war on China in 1895 in order to dominate Korea; the United States fought Spain in 1898 to gain access to the riches of Cuba; England attacked the Boers in 1899 because of the Transvaal mines; the Powers stormed China in 1900 in order to force railways upon her; Japan declared war on Russia in 1904 to gain certain advantages in Manchuria. The conquest of territory was an incident; what the victor sought was railroads, loans, tariffs.

***

It must be remembered that in France, as in all other countries, the financial and industrial interests are centred in the hands of a very few men who practically control the nation. As a Frenchman writing under the pseudonym Lysis proved in a remarkable series of articles published in 1906-7 in La Revue, France is practically governed by three or four affiliated banks and establishments of credit who control the wealth of the nation and invest it without giving any real account of their operation and without taking into consideration the interest of the nation or any but their own. Ministers of finance never attempt to interfere because the few men who control the banks also control the Government. They have made the good-will of the politicians worth while and have won the press over to their side.

***

It seems as if the conquest of Basra is England’s first step to thwart Germany’s plans in Asia Minor. The outcome of the war alone will decide whether the Bagdad Railway is to be completed by Germany or the other Powers.

The Bagdad Railway — incidentally — is one of the many threads which, bound together, have forged the cable which brought on the war, — this war for business, for enriching bank directors and kings of industry. It rages madly while Europe’s unhappy and peace-loving peoples, artificially stirred by national hatred, believe they are fighting for ideals of liberty and justice.

The war for trade is costumed as a defense of the fatherland — of that fatherland which statesmen in every instance could have guarded, strengthened, enriched, and developed to the highest degree of civilisation without the use of a single torpedo, mine or grenade.

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Interview: NATO’s Global Expansion Unparalleled In History, Fraught With Catastrophe

Voice of Russia
April 27, 2013

NATO’s global expansion unparalleled in history and fraught with catastrophe – Rozoff
Recorded on April 21, 2013

AUDIO

US-controlled NATO dangerously and relentlessly continues its global expansion, “something unparalleled in history and something fraught with, not only danger, but with catastrophe.” In order to further hide the fact that the United States is taking over the world militarily through NATO, cleverly designed and marketed “programs” such as the Partnership for Peace, the Mediterranean Dialogue, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, the Partners Across the Globe and the newly created aspirant country category, are being used to hasten their, for the most part quiet, yet massive expansion.

Hello! This is John Robles, I’m speaking with Mr Rick Rozoff, the owner and editor of the stop NATO website and mailing list.

Robles: Hello Rick! How are you this afternoon, I suppose it is?

Rozoff: It’s evening here, and is probably morning there, but I’m doing fine. It’s good to talk to you again John.

Robles: Yes, it’s a pleasure to be speaking with you again. NATO’s push into East Asia and Balkan marine training exercises. Can you fill us in on the latest?

Rozoff: Yes, I’m glad you chose those two examples in relation to the formerly North Atlantic Treaty Organization, now essentially redefined by itself and by its main sponsor and director, the United States, the Pentagon, as a global military force.

By the Balkans [should be Baltics] we’re of are of course talking about Russia’s northwest border, and with the parts of Asia that the Secretary-General of NATO went to last week, South Korea and Japan, we are talking about northeast Asia. So, you see on either side of the Eurasian landmass, on either side of Russia, indeed, the fact that the US is employing NATO as a global military intervention force.

I’ll start with the second one first, perhaps. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Secretary General of NATO, made the first-ever visit by a NATO Secretary General to the nation of South Korea, the Republic of Korea, where he signed a special partnership program with that nation. This is a country, of course, which is still in a, “technically” a state of war with its northern neighbor, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. And it is one where the Deputy Secretary General of NATO, as we discussed in your program not too long ago, Alexander Vershbow, recently mentioned, or alluded to the fact, and pretty strongly asserted it in fact that, should a military conflict erupt between North and South Korea and the US intervene on behalf the South, that NATO could activate its Article 5 mutual military assistance clause and enter the fray against North Korea, which almost inevitably would have to pull China into the vortex and you might have a global conflagration.

But also, Rasmussen, after he visited South Korea, went to Japan where he signed a partnership arrangement, or understanding, with Japan as well. And I should mention, something we’ve had occasion to talk about before John, but I don’t think it sunk in properly with a lot of listeners around the world, is that roughly a year ago, immediately preceding the NATO summit in Chicago, from where I’m speaking, NATO announced the launching of its latest military partnership program which is called, and this is a rare bit of candor, it’s called Partners Across the Globe. And it includes four countries in the Asia-Pacific region which formerly had been referred to by NATO as Contact Countries, capital C in both cases, who had lent military support and are still doing so to this day by the way for the war in Afghanistan. Those four countries are exactly South Korea and Japan, and also Australia and New Zealand.

But the new Partners Across the Globe, which is just in its infant state, it is likely if NATO has its way to expand pretty substantially, includes in addition to the four countries I’ve just mentioned Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mongolia and Iraq; that is, all countries in the broader Asia-Pacific region.

Robles: If I understand this correctly, South Korea, Japan, you said, New Zealand and Australia, they are now de facto NATO members and they fall under Article 5?

Rozoff: Not quite. They are NATO partners, now officially NATO partners, under the category of the new Partners Across the Globe, and there is discussion within NATO, particularly within the ruling circles in the United States, I should add; those in the White House, but particularly in the US Senate, the likes of John McCain come to mind. People who are saber-rattling warmongers, to be frank with you, and ones who have mooted the point quite openly, particularly with the five-day war between Georgia and Russia, when Georgia invaded South Ossetia in August of 2008, that what these architects of US and of general Western foreign policy have been advocating is the application of the Article 5 NATO mutual defense clause to NATO partners as well as NATO members.

So, in this case it would in fact apply to Japan or to South Korea, or for that matter to Afghanistan or Pakistan in various scenarios. But what I was laying out earlier was something a little different: that if conflict erupted between the two Koreas and the United States inevitably intervened on behalf of its military client, South Korea, and then North Korea responded in any way to the United States, then NATO would do what it did in 2001 after the attacks in New York and Washington DC on September 11th and invoke its Article 5 mutual defense clause ostensibly to defend the United States against North Korea.

Robles: Is this official now, they can use Article 5?

Rozoff: Since the creation of NATO they can always use Article 5 supposedly in defense of any NATO member state. But the discussion now is in terms of partners as well as members. But let me give you an idea of the extent to which things are going on.

At the end of the last month, March, NATO held what it referred to as a Military Partnership Coordination Workshop in Bosnia, in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia. Bosnia is currently, this is another new category, and there is a proliferation of new NATO categories and partnerships and so forth, but this one is called aspirant nations [or countries], those nations aspiring to NATO membership. And they currently are Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Georgia.

These are the four countries that NATO has clearly indicated are going to be the next full member states. Of course one could argue that Georgia is not technically in Europe is all. At the end of March this workshop, or event, was held in Bosnia. It included 28 partnership nations from the Partnership for Peace, the Mediterranean Dialogue, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative and the new Partners Across the Globe.

So, in addition to the 28 NATO member states these are 28 more states. These are, by the way, not all of NATO’s partners around the world by any stretch of the imagination, but 56 nations from around the world under one military command, that US-dominated of course.

Again, I hope it gives your listeners an understanding of how the expanding international NATO network is something unparalleled in history and something fraught with, not only danger, but with catastrophe if its momentum is not arrested.

As we’ve talked about several times in this show and you have initiated the discussion on more than one occasion, Russia has been seeking assurances from the United States and NATO for at least a decade that the joint US-NATO interceptor missile system that is already in Phase 1, and it is to go through three more phases to take in almost the entire European continent, ostensibly against Iran, and if you believe what Brussels and Washington say, North Korea, which is ludicrous, it’s an absurdity, but in fact it is targeting Russia.

Russia has sought assurances that the missile system is not aimed at it. It’s received verbal assurances to that effect but nothing else. And the US and NATO have adamantly refused to engage in what is called sectoral, or any sort of joint missile defense enterprise with Russia, which is what Russia has been seeking. Particularly through the NATO-Russia Council, which had been in abeyance for several years after the war with Georgia in 2008, with NATO of course supporting Georgia before, during and after the war. And Russia had then not participated in the council but has resumed its participation.

I should mention that with Russia being involved in that bilateral partnership with NATO, that means that every country in Europe, and I really wish your listeners would take this in, that every country in Europe, excluding the five micro-states, is either a member of NATO or a member of NATO partnership program.

This is John Robles, you were listening to part one of an interview with Rick Rozoff – the owner of the stop NATO website and mailing list.

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NATO’s Worldwide Expansion in the Post-Cold World Era

April 26, 2013 4 comments

NATO’s Worldwide Expansion in the Post-Cold World Era
Rick Rozoff

One of the most significant developments of the post-Cold War era, and certainly the most ominous, is the transformation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military bloc created by the United States during the genesis of the Cold War in 1949, into one that has grown to encompass the entirety of Europe, has expanded military partnerships throughout the world and has waged war on three continents.

In 2006 Kurt Volker, at the time with the State Department and two years afterwards U.S. ambassador to NATO, boasted that the year before NATO had been “engaged in eight simultaneous operations on four continents.”

Two years later the State Department’s Daniel Fried told the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Europe:

“When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, NATO was an Alliance of 16 members and no partners. Today, NATO has 26 members – with 2 new invitees, prospective membership for others, and over 20 partners in Europe and Eurasia, seven in the Mediterranean, four in the Persian Gulf, and others from around the world.”

Although then-Secretary of State James Baker had assured Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at the time of German reunification in 1990 that NATO would not be moved one inch eastward, the very act of merger occurring as it did led to the German Democratic Republic being absorbed not only into the Federal Republic but NATO and hence the latter immediately moving east to the borders of Poland and Czechoslovakia and closer to that of the Soviet Union.

The two invited nations Fried mentioned above are Albania and Croatia, which became full members of the military bloc in 2009, completing a decade of expansion that saw NATO membership grow by 75 percent from 16 to 28. NATO expansion to the east has provided the Pentagon and its Western allies with air bases and other military facilities in Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland and Romania for wars to the east and south.

Macedonia, which would also have been absorbed in 2009 except for the name dispute with NATO member Greece, is now in a new category of nations being groomed for full NATO membership the alliance refers to as aspirant countries. The others currently are Bosnia, Georgia and Montenegro.

With the Partnership for Peace program that was used to promote twelve new Eastern European into NATO between 1999 and 2009 – every non-Soviet member of the Warsaw Pact and three former Soviet republics (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) – the Mediterranean Dialogue, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative and, as of last year, the newly formed Partners Across the Globe (whose initial members are Afghanistan, Australia, Iraq, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Korea), NATO members and partners number at least 70 nations, well over a third of those in the world.

In January of 2012 a meeting of NATO’s Military Committee Chiefs of Defense Staff was conducted with top military representatives of 67 nations.

The Partners Across the Globe and longer-standing military partnerships are slated to grow in all parts of the world. Among the more than 50 nations that have provided NATO with troop contingents for the war in South Asia are additional Asia-Pacific states not covered by other international NATO partnership formats like the Partnership for Peace (22 nations in Europe, the South Caucasus and Central Asia), the Mediterranean Dialogue (seven nations in North Africa and the Middle East, with Libya to be the eighth) and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, which targets the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates).

Those Asian states – Malaysia, Singapore and Tonga – are likely the next candidates for the new global partnership, as are Latin American troop providers like El Salvador and Colombia. The inclusion of the last-named marks the expansion of NATO, through memberships and partnerships, to all six inhabited continents.

Iraq and Yemen are likely prospects for inclusion in the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. Mediterranean Dialogue members Jordan and Morocco applied for membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council (which is composed of the Arab world’s other six monarchies) during NATO’s war against Libya in 2011, for which Gulf Cooperation Council and Istanbul Cooperation Initiative members Qatar and the United Arab Emirates supplied dozens of warplanes.

If the West succeeds if effecting the overthrow of the Syrian government, Syria and Lebanon will be targeted for membership in NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue.  (As will Palestine if and when it is recognized by the United Nations.) With the new administration in Cyprus confirming its intention to immediately join the Partnership for Peace, every nation in the Mediterranean Sea Basin will be a NATO member and partner. The integration of Cyprus will also complete the process of recruiting every European nation (excluding mini-states Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican) into the NATO orbit.

In the past three years there also has been discussion about NATO establishing a collective partnership arrangement, which could include individual partnerships as well, with the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which are, in addition to Malaysia and Singapore, mentioned above, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand.

Similar efforts have been made by NATO to forge a collective partnership with the 54-member African Union. All African nations are members of the African Union except for Morocco and the fledgling state of South Sudan. All African countries except Egypt are in the area of responsibility of U.S. Africa Command, which before achieving full operational capacity in 2008 was created and developed by U.S. European Command, whose top military commander is simultaneously that of NATO.

The current NATO secretary general has bruited the intention to cultivate formal relations with India and China, likely to be based on the bilateral NATO-Russia Council model.

There has been discussion in recent years, including an explicit call by a Portuguese foreign minister for precisely such an initiative, for NATO to expand into the South Atlantic as well by building military partnerships with countries like Brazil and South Africa. (Six warships with the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 held exercises with the South African navy in 2007 in the course of circumnavigating the African continent. Also in that year the same NATO naval force conducted operations in the Caribbean, the first time alliance warships entered that sea.)

In conjunction with the U.S., NATO is striving to assemble the remnants of defunct or dormant Cold War-era military blocs in the Asia-Pacific region, all modeled after NATO itself – the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) and the Security Treaty between Australia, New Zealand and the United States of America (ANZUS) – to replicate in the east against China what NATO expansion has accomplished in Europe over the past 14 years in relation to Russia: its exclusion, isolation and encirclement by military bases, naval forces and interceptor missile installations.

As the Pentagon and NATO are implementing plans to deploy land-based interceptor missiles in Romania and Poland and sea-based equivalents on guided missile warships in, first, the Mediterranean and plausibly afterward in the  Black, Baltic and Norwegian Seas, so the U.S. has recruited Japan, South Korea and Australia into its global sea- and land-based missile shield grid, with a recent report indicating the Pentagon plans to add the Philippines to the list with the deployment there of an Army Navy/Transportable Radar Surveillance interceptor missile mobile system of the sort already stationed in Japan, Israel and Turkey.

Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and other NATO leaders routinely assert that the European Phased Adaptive Approach missile system is aimed not only against Iran but North Korea – and Syria. In April of this year Rasmussen became the first NATO secretary general to visit South Korea. Days earlier his second-in-command, Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, spoke of the possibility of invoking NATO’s Article 5 mutual military assistance clause against North Korea.

Since 1999 the North Atlantic bloc has waged air and ground wars in Europe (Yugoslavia), Asia (Afghanistan and across the border in Pakistan) and Africa (Libya), as well as running comprehensive naval surveillance, interdiction, boarding and assault operations in the Mediterranean Sea (Active Endeavor) and in the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean (Ocean Shield) and airlift operations for African troops into the Darfur region of western Sudan and into war-torn Somalia.

Post-Cold War NATO has repeatedly and without disguise identified its purview and its area of operations to be international in scope, and over the past 22 years its efforts to achieve that objective have steadily accelerated to the point where the military alliance is well poised to supplant the United Nations as the main, indeed the exclusive, arbiter of conflicts not only between but within nations throughout the world. A U.S.-dominated armed bloc which includes three nuclear powers and accounts for an estimated 70 percent of global military spending has expanded deployments, operations and partnerships around the planet.

Four years ago Hans von Sponeck, former UN Assistant Secretary General and UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, wrote a scathing denunciation called The United Nations and NATO: Which security and for whom? for a Swiss journal in which, in a section called “21st century NATO incompatible with UN Charter,” he stated:

“In 1999, NATO acknowledged that it was seeking to orient itself according to a new fundamental strategic concept. From a narrow military defense alliance it was to become a broad-based alliance for the protection of the vital resources needs of its members. Besides the defense of member states’ borders, it set itself new purposes such as assured access to energy sources and the right to intervene in ‘movements of large numbers of persons’ and in conflicts far from the boarders of NATO countries. The readiness of the new alliance to include other countries, particularly those that had previously been part of the Soviet Union, shows how the character of this military alliance has altered.”

“[T]he United Nations monopoly of the use of force, especially as specified in Article 51 of the Charter, was no longer accepted according to the 1999 NATO doctrine.

“NATO’s territorial scope, until then limited to the Euro-Atlantic region, was expanded by its member to encompass the whole world in keeping with a strategic context that was global in its sweep.”

For the past 18 years NATO has been attempting to supersede and ultimately replace the United Nations, as von Sponeck warned, initially by promoting itself as the military wing of the UN by leading multinational military forces under post-conflict mandates in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia – 60,000 troops in the first and 50,000 in the second case at peak strength. (The first two missions followed, respectively, a NATO bombing campaign against the Bosnian Serb Republic and 78-day air war against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to be sure.) A comparable situation existed in Iraq, with NATO supporting the foreign occupation of the nation from 2004-2011. In fact all the post-Cold War NATO inductees – Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia – were compelled to supply troops for Iraq as proof of their loyalty to NATO before and shortly after their accession.

And for Afghanistan. But unlike the NATO missions in the above former Yugoslav territories, that in Afghanistan was to an active war zone, constituting NATO’s first ground war and first war outside Europe.

After the military alliance took over the International Security Assistance Force, it came to command almost all of the 152,000 foreign troops in the nation and soldiers from over 50 Troop Contributing Nations (the official designation). Armed forces from that many nations had never before fought in one war, much less under a single command and in one nation.

Those nations are:

All 28 current NATO members: The U.S., Albania, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.

Partnership for Peace adjuncts: Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia, Finland, Georgia, Ireland, Macedonia, Montenegro, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine.

Others: Australia (Partners Across the Globe), Bahrain (Istanbul Cooperation Initiative), El Salvador, Jordan (Mediterranean Dialogue), Malaysia, Mongolia (Partners Across the Globe), New Zealand (Partners Across the Globe), Singapore, South Korea (Partners Across the Globe), Tonga and the United Arab Emirates (Istanbul Cooperation Initiative).

Several additional nations supplied military and security personnel to serve under NATO command in Afghanistan without being formal Troop Contributing Nations such as Colombia, Egypt (Mediterranean Dialogue), Japan (Partners Across the Globe), Moldova (Partnership for Peace) and no doubt others. Efforts were made by the U.S. and NATO to secure troop contributions from such nations as Bangladesh and Kazakhstan.

The governments and militaries of Afghanistan itself and neighboring Pakistan are linked to NATO under the Afghanistan-Pakistan-International Security Assistance Force Tripartite Commission.

NATO has air and other military bases in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Those three nations have also been used by NATO as part of the Northern Distribution Network and other transit routes that include as well Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Iraq, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Oman, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, etc.

The war in Afghanistan, the longest in the nation’s history as well as in that of the U.S., has supplied NATO with an almost 12-year opportunity to consolidate an international military network and to develop the operational and command integration of the armed forces of almost 60 nations. This is the global NATO that among others the Obama administration’s first ambassador to the alliance, Ivo Daalder, has openly touted under that exact name since the beginning of this century.

Many NATO members and partners, particularly former Soviet federal republics in the Baltic Sea region and in the South Caucasus, have used the Afghan war to gain combat experience for their armed forces to be used in conflicts in their own neighborhoods: Georgia, for example, in preparing for any resumption of armed conflict with South Ossetia and Russia such as occurred in August 2008.

Just as NATO has followed the U.S. into the Balkans and Afghanistan, into the global interceptor missile system and so-called energy security (in fact energy war) initiatives, so it has joined Washington in the new scramble in the Arctic Ocean, cyber warfare operations and the attempt to command the world’s strategic shipping lanes and choke points.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, its name now archaic as most of its members and all of its dozens of partners do not border the Atlantic Ocean, north or south, is well advanced in its U.S.-crafted mission to expand into history’s largest and first international military bloc and an unprecedented threat to world peace.

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Persian Gulf: U.S. Leads Multinational War Games With NATO Partners

April 26, 2013 1 comment

U.S. Department of Defense
April 26, 2013

Eagle Resolve Promotes Gulf Region Cooperation, Interoperability
By Donna Miles

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WASHINGTON: The field training segment of U.S. Central Command’s three-part Eagle Resolve exercise is slated to kick off this weekend, bringing together participants from 12 nations – most from the Gulf region – to promote cooperative regional defense capabilities, the lead planner reported today.

Hosted by Qatar, the 11th iteration of the annual, multilateral naval, land and air exercise began April 21 with a command post exercise that wrapped up yesterday, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Gerald Lowe, a member of Centcom’s Exercise and Training Directorate, said during a telephone interview from Doha.

Many of the 2,000 U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines participating in Eagle Resolve 13 are arriving at locations throughout Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain for the field training exercise that begins April 28 and runs through most of next week, he reported.

Operating with about 1,000 of their counterparts, many from Gulf Cooperative [Cooperation] Council member nations, exercise participants will tackle scenarios that cross the land, air and maritime domains. The exercise’s scenarios range from hostage situations to naval and theater ballistic missile attacks to toxic chemical spills, Lowe said.

The exercise supports several key focus areas: integrated air and missile defense, consequence management, critical infrastructure protection, counterterrorism, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear-passive defense, and interdiction and border security, he said.

Senior leaders will come together to review lessons learned during the command post and field training portions of the exercise, and to discuss ways to further enhance their cooperation, Lowe said.

Eagle Resolve has evolved significantly since it began in 1999 as a seminar among Gulf Cooperation Council nations, Lowe said. It remains Centcom’s premier exercise with its Gulf partner nations, he said, with participants continuing to enhance their own capabilities while gaining better understanding of each other’s ways of operating.

While promoting the spirit of collaboration between U.S. Central Command and the Gulf Cooperative Council nations, Eagle Resolve underscores U.S. commitment to the region, Lowe said.

“The focus is on demonstrating our continued dedication to the region and our regional partners,” he said…

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U.S. Department of Defense
April 26, 2013

Hagel, Crown Prince Discuss U.S.-U.A.E. Defense Cooperation
By Cheryl Pellerin

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“The additional F-16s will increase both nations’ interoperability and enhance their ability to perform joint and coalition security operations,” Little added.

Hagel expressed appreciation for United Arab Emirates’ contributions to NATO missions in Afghanistan and Libya.

They also discussed a range of regional challenges, he said, including the need for Iran to meet its international obligations with respect to its nuclear program, the ongoing conflict in Syria…

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ABOARD A MILITARY AIRCRAFT: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s first trip to the Middle East included a visit and official dinner with Gen. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the United Arab Emirates armed forces.

The two men met last night and reaffirmed the strong U.S. commitment to defense and security cooperation between their countries, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said today in a statement.

In particular, he said, they discussed the United Arab Emirates’ purchase of 25 F-16 Block 60 aircraft and the U.S. decision to release standoff weapons for sale to defend the United Arab Emirates. The smart standoff weapons can navigate to their targets and are more precise and can be fired at further distances than conventional weapons.

“The additional F-16s will increase both nations’ interoperability and enhance their ability to perform joint and coalition security operations,” Little added.

Hagel expressed appreciation for United Arab Emirates’ contributions to NATO missions in Afghanistan and Libya.

“The secretary and the crown prince concurred on the need to build on the already robust defense ties, which include bilateral exercises and training, to expand cooperation in such areas as ballistic missile defense,” Little said.

The United States and the United Arab Emirates agreed to hold regular bilateral defense consultations to further coordinate expanding military activities, the press secretary said.

They also discussed a range of regional challenges, he said, including the need for Iran to meet its international obligations with respect to its nuclear program, the ongoing conflict in Syria, and countering the threat of violent extremism.

Hagel’s trip to the Middle East, which began April 20 and ends later today, also took the secretary to Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to discuss common issues and interests in the region.

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Henri Barbusse: “You understand, I’m against all wars”

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

Henri Barbusse: Selections on war

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Henri Barbusse
From Light (1918)
Translated by Fitzwater Wray

237 - HENRI BARBUSSE, LES HOMMES VERITABLES_Photos_237-Henri_Barbusse-2

“You understand, I’m against all wars.”

“All wars! But there’s times when war’s good. There’s defensive war.”

“No,” said Termite again, “there’s only offensive war; because if there wasn’t the offensive there wouldn’t be the defensive.”

***

We were not the only regiment in movement in these latitudes. The twilight depths were full. Across the spaces that surrounded the quarry men were passing without ceasing and without limit, their feet breaking and furrowing the earth like plows. And one guessed that the shadows also were full of hosts going as we were to the four corners of the unknown. Then the clay and its thousand barren ruts, these corpse-like fields, fell away. Under the ashen tints of early day, fog-banks of men descended the slopes. From the top I saw nearly the whole regiment rolling into the deeps. As once of an evening in the days gone by, I had a perception of the multitude’s immensity and the threat of its might, that might which surpasses all and is impelled by invisible mandates.

***

The waterlogged open country, with its dispirited pools and their smoke-like islets of trees, seemed nothing but a reflection of the leaden, cloud-besmirched sky. The walls of the trenches, pallid as ice-floes, marked with their long, sinuous crawling where they had been slowly torn from the earth by the shovels. These embossings and canals formed a complicated and incalculable network, smudged near at hand by bodies and wreckage; dreary and planetary in the distance. One could make out the formal but hazy stakes and posts, aligned in the distance to the end of sight; and here and there the swellings and round ink-blots of the dugouts. In some sections of trench one could sometimes even descry black lines, like a dark wall between other walls, and these lines stirred — they were the workmen of destruction. A whole region in the north, on higher ground, was a forest flown away, leaving only a stranded bristling of masts, like a quayside. There was thunder in the sky, but it was drizzling, too, and even the flashes were gray above that infinite liquefaction in which each regiment was as lost as each man.

We entered the plain and disappeared into the trench. The “open crossing” was now pierced by a trench, though it was little more than begun. Amid the smacks of the bullets which blurred its edges we had to crawl flat on our bellies, along the sticky bottom of this gully. The close banks gripped and stopped our packs so that we floundered perforce like swimmers, to go forward in the earth, under the murder in the air. For a second the anguish and the effort stopped my heart and in a nightmare I saw the cadaverous littleness of my grave closing over me.

At the end of this torture we got up again, in spite of the knapsacks. The last star-shells were sending a bloody aurora borealis into the morning. Sudden haloes drew our glances and crests of black smoke went up like cypresses. On both sides, in front and behind, we heard the fearful suicide of shells.

***

Through the heavy distant noise of our tramping, through the funereal consolation of our drowsiness, we heard the adjutant’s ringing voice, violently reprimanding this or the other. “Where have you seen, swine, that there can be patriotism without hatred? Do you think one can love his own country if he doesn’t hate the others?”

When some one spoke banteringly of militarism — for no one, except Termite, who didn’t count, took the word seriously — Marcassin growled despairingly, “French militarism and Prussian militarism, they’re not the same thing, for one’s French and the other’s Prussian!”

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Grooms Georgia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro For Membership

Civil Georgia
April 24, 2013

Georgian FM Visits Brussels

Tbilisi: Georgia’s Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze participated in NATO and ISAF partner nations’ foreign ministerial meeting on Tuesday and will meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday in Brussels.

Panjikidze said that Georgia, which now has over 1,600 troops in Afghanistan, making the country highest per capita troop contributor to ISAF, reiterated its commitment to NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and reaffirmed its intention to continue its contribution after 2014, when the NATO combat mission is due to end.

She said that Georgia was also offering NATO to use its territory as a route for reverse transit of ISAF forces and cargoes from Afghanistan, in particular by using railway link, which is due to be completed later this year and which will link Azerbaijan and Turkey via Georgia.

In a declaration adopted after a trilateral meeting in Batumi in March, 2013 foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey underscored “the necessity of timely conclusion of construction” of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in order to put the link into service as a “central, the shortest and the most effective route for reverse transit of the ISAF forces and cargoes from Afghanistan in 2014.”

Also on April 23, the Georgian Foreign Minister participated together with counterparts from three other NATO aspirant countries – Bosnia and Herzegovina; Montenegro and Macedonia, in a meeting with three NATO-member states – Poland, Romania and Turkey.

Panjikidze said it was an initiative of these three NATO-member states to initiate the new 3+4 format to engage more actively with four aspirant countries.

On Wednesday Panjikidze is expected to meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Brussels to discuss “important details” of bilateral relations, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.

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U.S. Marine Strike Force, Ospreys To Spain En Route To Africa

Stars and Stripes
April 25, 2013

550 Marines head to Spain in support of AFRICOM
By John Vandiver

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“Right now, they’re temporarily going to Morón, Spain, as a placeholder. I think they are going to move sometime. It wouldn’t surprise me to find them moving around the African continent.”

For several years, the Marine Corps has been developing plans for a Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force to bolster the capabilities of AFRICOM.

“If something happens you now have an asset you can move very quickly, along with the C-130s, tankers and MV-22s, you can move very quickly to the African continent…”

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Osprey being loaded at Stuttgart, Germany where U.S. Africa Command headquarters are located.

STUTTGART, Germany: An Africa-focused Marine rapid reaction force is bound for Morón, Spain, which will serve as a temporary base for the 550-strong unit, Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos told Congress on Wednesday.

Amos said the unit, which will serve the needs of U.S. Africa Command boss Gen. David Rodriguez, also could eventually be repositioned on the African continent if U.S. diplomatic officials make such an arrangement.

“Right now, they’re temporarily going to Morón, Spain, as a placeholder,” Amos said during testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee. “I think they are going to move sometime. It wouldn’t surprise me to find them moving around the African continent.”

For several years, the Marine Corps has been developing plans for a Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force to bolster the capabilities of AFRICOM.

Last year, Marines based a MAGTF in Sigonella, Italy, that conducts a range of training missions in Africa, including the training of friendly forces for counter-terrorism missions in places such as Somalia. The new Spain-based MAGTF also will have the ability to conduct training, though its primary purpose will be to serve as a crisis reaction force, Amos said.

The need for such a force was underscored in September when the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, came under attack leaving four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. The attack exposed AFRICOM’s lack of crisis-response capability.

Since then, AFRICOM has steadily been bolstering its capacities. In October, for example, AFRICOM finally received its so-called Commander’s in-Extremis Force comprised of Green Berets who function as crisis responders.

The new Marine MAGTF, which comes equipped with significant airlift capability, provides additional firepower for AFRICOM.

On Monday, six MV-22 Ospreys began their journey to Spain, Amos said.

“If something happens you now have an asset you can move very quickly, along with the C-130s, tankers and MV-22s, you can move very quickly to the African continent in response to a crisis.”

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NATO Deputy Commander Inspects New Land Command HQ In Turkey

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

April 25, 2013

NATO Deputy Commander: Allied Land Command’s “wheels are burning”

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LANDCOM’s main purpose [is] standardizing doctrine and procedures aimed at making all NATO land forces interoperable to transform toward a contingency paradigm by 2015.

When LANDCOM was activated, the SACEUR told Lt. Gen. Hodges to prepare his headquarters for a possible scenario in which LANDCOM would deploy to help lead a major joint operation (MJO), which would require augmentation with integrated capabilities.

By the fall of 2014, LANDCOM is also required to train and certify the NATO Rapid Deployment Corps for Italy and Spain, as well as the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps…

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AIRCOM Commander, U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Ralph Jodice, II, shows British Army General Sir Richard Shirreff, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander for Europe how the Army is taking over the NATO headquarters compound there as Turkish Army Maj. Gen. Ugur Tarcin, LANDCOM Chief of Staff, looks on.

IZMIR, Turkey: The Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) visited Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) Headquarters Apr. 19, to receive an update on the command’s progress since it was activated Nov. 30, 2012.

Gen. Sir Richard Shirreff met with the LANDCOM command group and staff, led by Lt. Gen. Frederick “Ben” Hodges, U.S. Army.

Gen. Sherriff said the establishment of LANDCOM was the “most exciting development in NATO in the last 20 years.” He said he was impressed by how LANDCOM had progressed so quickly since its inception that its “wheels are burning.”

Assistant Chief of Staff for Operations, Col. Gordon Falconer of the British Army, explained LANDCOM’s vision and the command’s campaign plan comprised of three lines of operation (LOO): achieving operational readiness as a component headquarters, ensuring NATO land force operational capability, and advocating on behalf of land power to the public.

“As you can see, our main effort is outward-focused,” said Falconer, referring to LANDCOM’s main purpose for standardizing doctrine and procedures aimed at making all NATO land forces interoperable to transform toward a contingency paradigm by 2015.

As Gen. Shirreff was briefed about LANDCOM’s timeline to reach full operational capability (FOC) by Dec. 2014, Lt. Gen. Hodges told him that the command was actively working with the Supreme Headquarters for Allied Powers in Europe (SHAPE) to define the conditions for initial operational capability (IOC) and FOC.

Hodges replied, “We need to get 70% of the personnel the nations have committed to providing us by IOC, and I’m thrilled by the quality of the people we are receiving. It is not just about getting a body, but the right person for the job to perform the tasks and functions of the position.”

This, he explained, illustrates the importance of land advocacy, and why he visits the military staff colleges, like the NATO Defence College in Naples, Italy and Combined General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS, where future LANDCOM headquarters staff officers are educated.

When LANDCOM was activated, the SACEUR told Lt. Gen. Hodges to prepare his headquarters for a possible scenario in which LANDCOM would deploy to help lead a major joint operation (MJO), which would require augmentation with integrated capabilities. So the staff quickly devised a concept and introduced the proposal during the Land Component Commanders’ Conference here last March in order to understand the requirements and reach consensus on how to form a land-centric JTF.

“This is exactly what this alliance needs,” stated Gen. Shirreff, who then advised LANDCOM’s leadership to continue to steer the debate toward “a pragmatic and practical solution.” He complimented them on presenting a “brilliant piece of work.”

By the fall of 2014, LANDCOM is also required to train and certify the NATO Rapid Deployment Corps for Italy and Spain, as well as the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. But LANDCOM’s road to FOC has many speed bumps along the way.

By the briefing’s conclusion, Lt. Gen. Hodges told him that all nine corps commands in the NFS have said that they are glad there is a LANDCOM will provide standards and advocacy for NATO’s land forces and ensure they retain effectiveness and interoperability post-ISAF.

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Romain Rolland: The life that would have been, the life that was not going to be

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

Romain Rolland: Selections on war

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Romain Rolland
From Mother and Son (1927)
Translated by Van Wyck Brooks

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They did not understand things. They were the victims of words. As long as the words made a fine noise, they paid no attention to the meaning. Annette had asked them to write down their ideal of life. Bran wanted to be an officer, as one of his great uncles had been. He wrote proudly: “Does not the river always rise again to its source?”

They swaggered about the war. The older ones, those who, if it lasted one or two years more, might be called, repeated the blusterings they had heard proclaimed by a few old veterans: “The bullets go through you, but they don’t hurt! Up, you dead!…”

Annette tried an experiment. She dropped a sounding-lead. She let them read a chapter of War and Peace – the death of little Petia – those beautiful pages, drenched with October mist and the dreams of the young tree that was never to awaken. “It was an autumn day, mild and rainy; the heavens and the horizon melted into a single tint of dull grey. A few big drops were falling…”

At first they scarcely listened. They laughed at the Russian names. That of the small hero had the gift of throwing them into convulsions of merriment. Then, little by little, the swarm of flies settled on the edge of the bowl; they became silent, and made the chatterers keep still. One single boy, who blew out his cheeks every time the name recurred, persisted in this same course pleasantry to the end. The others were held. When it was ended, a few yawned. A few roused themselves from their trance with a noisy commotion. A few, awkwardly dissatisfied, tittering, played the connoisseur: “Those Russians are half-wits!” A few, without being able to explain, said, “It’s stunning…” Some said nothing. Those were the ones who had been touched. But how far, and why? It was very hard to tell. One couldn’t get them to say a single word out of their hearts. It was their own affair. They weren’t going to hand it over!

Annette looked eagerly at one listener, a thin, fair little fellow, with a long nose, fine, well-cut features and a narrow chest, who coughed and looked the other way. He was intelligent, timid and not very frank, like children who know they are weak and are afraid of exposing themselves. She suspected that his soul had been stirred. During the reading, when she lifted her eyes from the book, she had met the saddened eyes of the child who hastened to thrust his nose back among his papers. This little fellow had often thought of suffering because he himself was sickly and nervous, and egotism is often a key to pity. He who suffers himself has a chance of awakening to the suffering of others.

Annette detained him after the class. She asked him if he liked Petia, that younger brother. He blushed, he was disturbed. She recalled the dream of the sensitive child’s last night. How beautiful life was, vigorous, fragile life! The life that would have been, the life that was not going to be…Had he understood? He shook his head and turned away his eyes. But she had caught sight of them, the light had burned in them.

“Did you think, suppose you were in Petia’s place?”

He protested: “Oh, I shan’t have to go. I’m not well. They’ve told me that I am to stay in the rear.”

He was comforted and proud of his poor health.

“How about the others, your comrades?”

He was quite indifferent to them! He hastened to find in his memory the phrases that he ought to think. To die for one’s country. The others could go and get themselves killed. He had found his balance again. The light had gone out…

Who knew?

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Video Interview: NATO Has Become Global Expeditionary Force

RT
April 25, 2013

‘NATO has become a global expeditionary military force’

NATO buys the loyalty of sovereign states and in return demands fighting forces that have been engaged on three continents in the last decade, Rick Rozoff, from STOP NATO has told RT.

RT: The terror threat around the world seems to only be growing. Is this the time countries should be relying on NATO?

Rick Rozoff: I don’t think countries have ever relied on NATO for their own security. I think we have to draw a distinction between armed forces as we have traditionally known them, whose main purpose is for territorial defense of their respected homelands, and what has now been fashioned, at least over the last 14 years since the war against Yugoslavia, where NATO has become a global expeditionary military force.

NATO has now waged war on three continents, in Europe in Yugoslavia, in Asia in Afghanistan and in Libya in Africa. So what we’re talking about its not a local, regional North Atlantic military organization that is meant to defend collectively or individually the homelands of the constituent members of NATO. This is now a US-crafted attempt to build history’s first, first of all largest, military bloc of 28 members, with three nuclear powers – nothing like this has ever existed before. When you add the partnership programs with NATO and countries on almost every continent you have something in the neighborhood of 70 nations that are either NATO members or partners; that is well over a third of nations in the world.

The secretary general of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen recently made a trip to South Korea. That is the first time ever the head of NATO has visited South Korea and he also went to Japan to consolidate military partnerships with those two countries. Roughly a week ago, Rasmussen’s second-in-command, Deputy Secretary General of NATO Alexander Vershbow openly discussed the possibility of invoking the Article 5 mutual military assistance clause, against North Korea in the event of conflict between the two countries, the United States and North Korea.

RT: Washington is paying some 75 per cent into the Alliance’s coffers. But isn’t that fair, considering the US is usually calling the shots?

RR: If you’re stating that the US can purchase the political loyalties of countries in conditions of economic destitution, particularly those in Eastern Europe particularly after the collapse of the socialist bloc; let’s recall all the 12 new members of NATO in the post-Cold War period, all incorporated into NATO within one decade, from 1999-2009, are in Eastern Europe. And these are countries have been forced to send troops not only to Afghanistan, to an active war zone where their sons and daughters have killed and died, but were also forced to send troops to Iraq as an indication of their loyalty to NATO.

The fact the US is paying 75 percent of the expenses of NATO is not so surprising considering what the US gets out of it. Other countries have a very dubious claim to be protected by the US, against whom one may ask, except as we notice the rash of military war games occurring in the Baltic Sea, I don’t think we have to ask against whom. It is clear that the build-up in Eastern Europe is aimed particularly at Russia.

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Romania: U.S. Leads Bilateral Military Exercises

April 24, 2013 1 comment

U.S. Air Force
April 24, 2013

Ramstein Airmen train with Romanian counterparts
By Airman 1st Class Hailey Haux
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

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RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany: More than 80 Airmen from Ramstein participated in exercise Carpathian Spring in Romania April 12 through 21.

The exercise was designed for aircrew to receive upgrade training as well as building partnership capacity with Romanians.

“Sequestration has forced us to be more efficient with our training funds and hours,” said Capt. Michael Trimble, 37th Airlift Squadron C-130J Super Hercules aircraft commander. “We have come to Romania to maximize the training available to us. They have great airspace and terrain.”

While in Romania, executing effective C-130J Super Hercules aircrew training was a priority.

“Aircrew conducted low-level flying and assault landings, while the 435th Contingency Response Group operated drop zones and manned foreign jumpers,” said Capt. Bradley Buinicky, 86th Operations Support Squadron chief of current operations…

“This is our fifth year of training with the 37th [Airlift Squadron],” said Romanian Brig. Gen. Adrian Ciolponea, 6th Special Operation Brigade commander…

Condensing what would have been a month or two of training in Germany, the aircrew was able to get all the training needed in a little more than a week in Romania.

Six pilots were upgraded and two loadmasters met all qualifications to drop personnel during the training. Overall more than 250 Romanian paratroopers were airdropped, with about 350 night-vision goggle events over the course of the 10 days.

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H.G. Wells: Massacres of boys! That indeed is the essence of modern war.

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

H.G. Wells: Selections on war

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H.G. Wells
From Mr. Britling Sees It Through (1916)

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Certain things had to be forced upon Mr. Britling because they jarred so greatly with his habits of mind that he would never have accepted them if he could have avoided doing so.

Notably he would not recognise at first the extreme bitterness of this war. He would not believe that the attack upon Britain and Western Europe generally expressed the concentrated emotion of a whole nation. He thought that the Allies were in conflict with a system and not with a national will. He fought against the persuasion that the whole mass of a great civilised nation could be inspired by a genuine and sustained hatred. Hostility was an uncongenial thing to him; he would not recognise that the greater proportion of human beings are more readily hostile than friendly. He did his best to believe — in his “And Now War Ends” he did his best to make other people believe — that this war was the perverse exploit of a small group of people, of limited but powerful influences, an outrage upon the general geniality of mankind. The cruelty, mischief, and futility of war were so obvious to him that he was almost apologetic in asserting them. He believed that war had but to begin and demonstrate its quality among the Western nations in order to unify them all against its repetition. They would exclaim: “But we can’t do things like this to one another!”

***

“You see,” said Mr. Britling, trying to get it into focus, “I have known quite decent Germans. There must be some sort of misunderstanding…I wonder what makes them hate us. There seems to me no reason in it.”

“I think it is just thoroughness,” said his friend. “They are at war. To be at war is to hate.”

***

If you think that these two boys have both perished, not in some noble common cause but one against the other in a struggle of dynasties and boundaries and trade routes and tyrannous ascendancies, then it seems to me that you must feel as I feel that this war is the most tragic and dreadful thing that has ever happened to mankind.

He sat thinking for some minutes after he had written that, and when presently he resumed his writing, a fresh strain of thought was traceable even in his opening sentence.

If you count dead and wounds this is the most dreadful war in history; for you as for me, it has been almost the extremity of personal tragedy…Black sorrow…But is it the most dreadful war?

I do not think it is. I can write to you and tell you that I do indeed believe that our two sons have died not altogether in vain. Our pain and anguish may not be wasted — may be necessary. Indeed they may be necessary. Here am I bereaved and wretched — and I hope. Never was the fabric of war so black; that I admit. But never was the black fabric of war so threadbare. At a thousand points the light is shining through.

Mr. Britling’s pen stopped.

He took a fresh sheet and made three trial beginnings.

“War is like a black fabric.”…

“War is a curtain of black fabric across the pathway.”

“War is a curtain of dense black fabric across all the hopes and kindliness of mankind. Yet always it has let through some gleams of light, and now — I am not dreaming — it grows threadbare, and here and there and at a thousand points the light is breaking through. We owe it to all these dear youths —”

His pen stopped again.

Our boys, he wrote, have died, fighting one against the other. They have been fighting upon an issue so obscure that your German press is still busy discussing what it was. For us it was that Belgium was invaded and France in danger of destruction. Nothing else could have brought the English into the field against you. But why you invaded Belgium and France and whether that might have been averted we do not know to this day. And still this war goes on and still more boys die, and these men who do not fight, these men in the newspaper offices and in the ministries plan campaigns and strokes and counter-strokes that belong to no conceivable plan at all. Except that now for them there is something more terrible than war. And that is the day of reckoning with their own people.

What have we been fighting for? What are we fighting for? Do you know? Does any one know? Why am I spending what is left of my substance and you what is left of yours to keep on this war against each other? What have we to gain from hurting one another still further? Why should we be puppets any longer in the hands of crowned fools and witless diplomatists? Even if we were dumb and acquiescent before, does not the blood of our sons now cry out to us that this foolery should cease? We have let these people send our sons to death.

It is you and I who must stop these wars, these massacres of boys.

Massacres of boys! That indeed is the essence of modern war. The killing off of the young. It is the destruction of the human inheritance, it is the spending of all the life and material of the future upon present-day hate and greed. Fools and knaves, politicians, tricksters, and those who trade on the suspicions and thoughtless, generous angers of men, make wars; the indolence and modesty of the mass of men permit them. Are you and I to suffer such things until the whole fabric of our civilisation, that has been so slowly and so laboriously built up, is altogether destroyed?

When I sat down to write to you I had meant only to write to you of your son and mine. But I feel that what can be said in particular of our loss, need not be said; it can be understood without saying. What needs to be said and written about is this, that war must be put an end to and that nobody else but you and me and all of us can do it. We have to do that for the love of our sons and our race and all that is human. War is no longer human; the chemist and the metallurgist have changed all that. My boy was shot through the eye; his brain was blown to pieces by some man who never knew what he had done. Think what that means!…It is plain to me, surely it is plain to you and all the world, that war is now a mere putting of the torch to explosives that flare out to universal ruin. There is nothing for one sane man to write to another about in these days but the salvation of mankind from war.

Now I want you to be patient with me and hear me out. There was a time in the earlier part of this war when it was hard to be patient because there hung over us the dread of losses and disaster. Now we need dread no longer. The dreaded thing has happened. Sitting together as we do in spirit beside the mangled bodies of our dead, surely we can be as patient as the hills.

Forgive me for writing “you.” You are as little responsible for that Germany as I am for — Sir Edward Grey. But this happened over you; you did not do your utmost to prevent it — even as England has happened, and I have let it happen over me…

“It is so dry; so general,” whispered Mr. Britling. “And yet — it is this that has killed our sons.”

He sat still for a time, and then went on reading a fresh sheet of his manuscript.

At this point there was a break in the writing, and Mr. Britling made, as it were, a fresh beginning.

Politically the British Empire is a clumsy collection of strange accidents. It is a thing as little to be proud of as the outline of a flint or the shape of a potato. For the mass of English people India and Egypt and all that side of our system mean less than nothing; our trade is something they do not understand, our imperial wealth something they do not share. Britain has been a group of four democracies caught in the net of a vast yet casual imperialism; the common man here is in a state of political perplexity from the cradle to the grave.

But that we do struggle confusedly, with pitiful leaders and infinite waste and endless delay; that it is to our indisciplines and to the dishonesties and tricks our incompleteness provokes, that the prolongation of this war is to be ascribed, I readily admit. At the outbreak of this war I had hoped to see militarism felled within a year…

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Pentagon Official Receives Ronald Reagan Missile Defense Award

April 24, 2013 1 comment

U.S. Department of Defense
April 24, 2013

Deputy Defense Secretary Receives Missile Defense Award

GMD1
Ground-based midcourse interceptor missile system launch

WASHINGTON: Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter received the 2013 Ronald Reagan Missile Defense Award yesterday for his contributions in advancing missile defense as a critical U.S. defense capability.

Navy Vice Adm. James D. Syring, Missile Defense Agency director, and retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James A. Abrahamson, previous director of the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization and recipient of the 2004 Reagan Award, presented Carter with the award during the Ronald Reagan Missile Defense Forum at Fort Belvoir, Va.

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Ronald Reagan and Edward Teller, father of the hydrogen bomb, promoting so-called missile defense

As missile defenses have expanded to play a vital role in the national defense strategy, Carter has been instrumental in defining the relationship between the Missile Defense Agency, the developer, and the military services, which operate the ballistic missile defense system. His perspective has shaped thinking on a national level to meet a real-world evolving threat, officials said in a Pentagon news release announcing the award.

While serving as undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics from April 2009 to October 2011, officials said, Carter led the department’s efforts to accelerate the fulfillment of urgent operational needs, increase the department’s buying power and strengthen the nation’s defenses against emerging threats.

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28-story Sea-Based X-Band Radar

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Georgia Offers NATO Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway For Afghan War Transit

Civil Georgia
April 24, 2013

Georgian FM Visits Brussels

Tbilisi: Georgia’s Foreign Minister, Maia Panjikidze, participated in the NATO and ISAF partner nations’ foreign ministerial meeting on Tuesday and will meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday in Brussels.

Panjikidze said that Georgia, which now has over 1,600 troops in Afghanistan, making the country highest per capita troop contributor to ISAF, reiterated its commitment to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and reaffirmed its intention to continue its contribution after 2014, when the NATO combat mission is due to end.

She said that Georgia was also offering NATO to use its territory as a route for reverse transit of ISAF forces and cargoes from Afghanistan, in particular by using a railway link, which is due to be completed later this year and which will link Azerbaijan and Turkey via Georgia.

In a declaration adopted after a trilateral meeting in Batumi in March, 2013 foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey underscored “the necessity of timely conclusion of construction” of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway in order to put the link into service as a “central, the shortest and the most effective route for reverse transit of the ISAF forces and cargoes from Afghanistan in 2014.”

Also on April 23, the Georgian Foreign Minister participated together with counterparts from three other NATO aspirant countries – Bosnia and Herzegovina; Montenegro and Macedonia, in a meeting with three NATO-member states – Poland, Romania and Turkey.

Panjikidze said it was an initiative of these three NATO-member states to initiate the new 3+4 format to engage more actively with four aspirant countries.

On Wednesday Panjikidze is expected to meet U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Brussels to discuss “important details” of bilateral relations, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.

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Hungary: NATO Backs World’s First Multinational Strategic Airlift Hub

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Tranformation

April 23, 2013

SACT on visit to Hungary: A key NATO ally in Central Europe
Written by ACT PAO

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Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (SACT), French Air Force General Jean-Paul Paloméros, visited Hungary on April 19.

General Paloméros praised Hungary as “…an invaluable member of the Alliance that has shown its full capability to fulfil duties and obligations of a NATO member”. Paloméros also expressed his appreciation for Hungary’s support to Smart Defence and CFI.

During his visit, which was hosted by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Tibor Benkő he also met the Minister of Defence, Mr Csaba Hende and Mr Peter Sztaray, Deputy State Secretary responsible for security policy. Additionally, SACT took part in a roundtable meeting with senior Defence Staff to discuss the national transformation and planned modernisation of the Hungarian Defence Forces, ‘Smart Defence’, and the Connected Forces Initiative (CFI).

Regarding Smart Defence, he explained that “Multinational cooperation already exists and is sometimes working very well,” praising the success of the Strategic Airlift Capability consortium of 12 nations (10 allies and 2 partners) in which Hungary is fully involved as the host nation for Pápa Air Base.

Speaking about CFI, General Paloméros thanked Hungary for the involvement in Steadfast Jazz, a live training event that will take place in the fall of 2013 in Poland and the Baltic states.

The discussion was also the opportunity to highlight the active role of Hungary in the development of regional partnerships in both central Europe and through the Visegrád Group (an alliance of four Central European states: The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia).

[He] saluted the Hungarian Defence Forces (HDF) for having proven their commitment and expertise, particularly in Afghanistan and Kosovo.

SACT also took the opportunity to visit the HDF Non Commissioned Officers (NCO) Academy where he discussed the involvement of Hungary in support of ongoing operations. General Paloméros praised Hungary for the country’s continuous involvement – especially with the support to C-IED [Counter Improvised Explosive Devices] training and as the host nation of the Military Medical Centre of Excellence, which aims to improve medical capacity and capability through multinational interoperability and standardisation.

Before departing, General Paloméros expressed satisfaction with the productive talks and said that he looked forward to increased cooperation between Hungary and ACT.

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Frank Harris: Soulless selfishness of war; Anglo-Saxon domineering combativeness greatest danger to Humanity

April 23, 2013 1 comment

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

American writers on peace and against war

Frank Harris: Henri Barbusse and the war against war

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Frank Harris
From his autobiography (1922)

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My journalism during the war and after the Armistice brought me prosecutions from the Federal Government. The authorities at Washington accused me of sedition and though the third Postmaster General, Ex-Governor Dockery, of Missouri who was chosen by the Department as the Judge, proclaimed my innocence and assured me I should not be prosecuted again. My magazine (Pearson’s) was time and again held up in the post, and its circulation reduced thereby to one-third. I was brought to ruin by the illegal persecution of President Wilson and his Arch-Assistant Burleson, and was laughed at when I asked for compensation. The American Government, it appears, is too poor to pay for its dishonorable blunders.

***

Ever since our conquest of natural forces began, towards the end of the eighteenth century, and material wealth increased by leaps and bounds, our conduct has deteriorated. Up to that time we had done the gospel of Christ mouth-honor at least; and had to some slight extent shown consideration if not love to our fellowmen: we did not give tithes to charity; but we did give petty doles till suddenly science appeared to reinforce our selfishness with a new message: progress comes through the blotting out of the unfit, we were told, and self-assertion was preached as a duty: the idea of the Superman came into life and the Will to Power and thereby Christ’s teaching of love and pity and gentleness was thrust into the background.

And our public acts as nations are paralleled by our treatment of our fellows within the community. For the small minority the pleasures of living have been increased in the most extraordinary way while the pains and sorrows of existence have been greatly mitigated, but the vast majority even of civilised peoples have hardly been admitted to any share in the benefits of our astounding material progress. The slums of our cities show the same spirit we have displayed in our treatment of the weaker races. It is no secret that over fifty per cent of English volunteers in the war were below the pigmy physical standard required and about one half of our American soldiers were morons with the intelligence of children under twelve years of age: “vae victis” has been our motto with the most appalling results. Clearly we have come to the end of a period and must take thought about the future.

The religion that directed or was supposed to direct our conduct for nineteen centuries has been finally discarded. Even the divine spirit of Jesus was thrown aside by Nietzsche as one throws the hatchet after the helve or to use the better German simile, the child was thrown out with the bath-water.

***

At once we men gave ourselves over to wrong doing and our iniquity took monstrous forms.

The creed we professed and the creed we practised were poles apart. Never I believe in the world’s history was there such confusion in man’s thought about conduct, never were there so many different ideals put forward for his guidance. It is imperatively necessary for us to bring clearness into this muddle and see why we have gone wrong and where.

For the world-war is only the last of a series of diabolical acts which have shocked the conscience of humanity. The greatest crimes in recorded time have been committed during the last half century almost without protest by the most civilised nations, nations that still call themselves Christian. Whoever has watched human affairs in the last half century must acknowledge that our progress has been steadily hellward.

The hideous massacres and mutilations of tens of thousands of women and children in the Congo Free State without protest on the part of Great Britain who could have stopped it all with one word, is surely due to the same spirit that directed the abominable blockade (continued by both England and America long after the Armistice) which condemned hundreds and thousands of women and children of our own kith and kin to death by starvation. The unspeakable meanness and confessed fraud of the Peace of Versailles with its tragic consequences from Vladivostock to London and finally the shameless, dastardly war waged by all the Allies and by America on Russia, for money, show us that we have have been assisting at the overthrow of morality itself and returning to the ethics of the wolf and the polity of the Thieves’ Kitchen.

***

Anglo-Saxon domineering combativeness is the greatest danger to Humanity in the world today. Americans are proud of having blotted out the red Indian and stolen his possessions and of burning and torturing negroes in the sacred name of equality. At all costs we must get rid of our hypocrisies and falsehoods and see ourselves as we are — a domineering race, vengeful and brutal, as exemplified in Haiti; we must study the inevitable effects of our soulless, brainless selfishness as shown in the world-war.

The Germanic ideal which is also the English and American ideal, of the conquering male that despises all weaker and less intelligent races and is eager to enslave or annihilate them, must be set aside. A hundred years ago, there were only fifteen millions of English and American folk; today there are nearly two hundred millions and it is plain that in another century or so, they will be the most numerous, as they are already by far the most powerful, race on earth.

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Russian Pacific Fleet Naval Force May Dock In Syria Next Month

Itar-Tass
April 23, 2013

Pacific Fleet naval force to enter Mediterranean Sea in mid-May

MOSCOW: The naval force of the Russian Pacific Fleet consisting of the big anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleyev, big landing ships Peresvet and Admiral Nevelskoy will round off a routine visit in the Iranian port Bandar Abbas on April 24, will enter the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal in May and may probably call at the Syrian port Tartus, spokesman for the Russian Pacific Fleet Captain First Rank Roman Martov told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

“On April 24 upon the end of the visit to the port Bandar Abbas these three warships will set out in the Indian Ocean, they will meet with auxiliary ships from the Pacific Fleet naval force, namely the tanker Pechenga and the sea-going rescue ship Fotiy Krylov in the designated area. In this designated area the warships will stay for some time to undergo the technical maintenance and a minor repairs with the diving works, and if it is needed, for the struggle against the pirates. Then, according the action plan, the Pacific Fleet naval force will enter the Mediterranean Sea through the Suez Canal in the middle of May. The Pacific Fleet task force will be acting within the Russian inter-fleet naval force at least for 1–2 months,” Martov said.

He admitted a possible call of the Pacific Fleet warships in the Syrian port of Tartus, where the Russian naval logistic base is deployed. “If it is needed and if such task is set, our warships will certainly fulfil it and will call at Tartus,” the spokesman said.

The Pacific Fleet warships set out from Vladivostok on March 19 for a combat duty mission in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. During the voyage the Russian naval task force was temporarily divided in two parts – the big anti-submarine ship Admiral Panteleyev, the big landing ships Peresvet and Admiral Nevelskoy that have been on a visit in the Iranian city Bandar Abbas since April 22, the tanker Pechenga and Fotiy Krylov called at the port Salalah in the Sultanate of Oman to replenish the stocks of fresh water, fuel and food on April 18. The ships are to meet on April 24.

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NATO Border: Russia To Deploy Fighter Jets, Missiles To Belarus

Russian Information Agency Novosti
April 23, 2013

Russia to Deploy Fighter Jets in Belarus – Defense Minister

MINSK: Russia plans to base fighter jets at a military airbase in Belarus, with a first wing due to arrive there later this year, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.

“In 2013 we will establish a military commandant’s office and provide a wing of combat fighters on alert duty,” he said, adding more jets could be based there later.

“We hope that an Air Force regiment will be here by 2015 to protect our borders,” he said.

Russia will also deliver four battalions of S-300 surface-to-air missiles to Belarus in 2014, Shoigu said.

The decision to deliver the missiles was made at a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, Shoigu said.

Belarus borders NATO nations Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. NATO nations now fly combat air patrols from the Baltic states close to Russian airspace, an issue that has previously been viewed with concern in Moscow.

The Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Russian-led military alliance of six former Soviet republics, plans to build an integrated air and missile defense system, the chief of the Russian military’s General Staff said in December.

So far Russia has signed agreements on creation of joint regional air defense systems with Belarus and Kazakhstan.

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Interfax
April 23, 2013

Russian Defense Ministry to deploy airbase in Belarus in 2015, first wing to arrive in 2013 – Shoigu

MINSK: Russia plans to deploy an airbase in Belarus in 2015. The first wing of fighters will be stationed there in 2013, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk on Tuesday.

“We started to consider the deployment of a Russian airbase with fighter jets and hope to station an air regiment there in 2015. We will open an air commandant’s office and bring the first duty wing of fighters in 2013,” the Russian defense minister said.

Shoigu said the joint board of the Russian and Belarusian defense ministries would meet in Minsk on Tuesday to discuss a broad range of bilateral cooperation issues.

“The main item, first and foremost, is that Russia will supply four S-300 squadrons by 2014 under your [the Belarusian president’s] agreement with Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin to protect the airspace,” Shoigu said.

“We intend to continue the consideration of issues essential for building up the defensive capacity of our Belarusian colleagues and brothers,” Shoigu said.

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Asia-Pacific Shift: U.S. Deploys First Combat Ship To Singapore

April 22, 2013 1 comment

Stars and Stripes
April 18, 2013

First littoral combat ship arrives in Singapore
By Matthew M. Burke

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The Freedom is slated to participate in the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference in Singapore next month, the statement said. In the months that follow, the ship is scheduled to join other 7th Fleet units and regional navies in select phases of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training and Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training exercises.

By the end of 2021, the Navy expects to have 24 littoral ships under contract, with 16 assigned to the Pacific Fleet.

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image
USS Freedom

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan: The U.S. Navy’s first littoral combat ship USS Freedom arrived in Singapore on Thursday to officially begin its maiden overseas deployment.

The first-in-class ship departed San Diego on March 1 and had port visits in Hawaii, Guam and the Philippines en route to its new home, according to a Logistics Group Western Pacific statement.

The Freedom will participate in exercises, visit foreign ports, conduct maritime security operations and allow the LCS Council — a working group established in August by chief of naval operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert — to evaluate crew rotation, maintenance plans and the program as a whole.

“We plan on spending most of our time here in Southeast Asia — this will be Freedom’s neighborhood for the next eight months,” commanding officer Cmdr. Timothy Wilke said in the statement…

Littoral combat ships have a shallow draft so they can operate where bigger ships cannot. They are fast and can be fitted with different mission modules, such as surface warfare, minesweeping and anti-submarine warfare, depending on the mission.

The Freedom arrives in Singapore fitted with a surface-warfare mission package and maritime-security module, Navy officials said. The 91 sailors include mission package personnel and an aviation detachment to operate an embarked MH-60 helicopter.

The Freedom is slated to participate in the International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference in Singapore next month, the statement said. In the months that follow, the ship is scheduled to join other 7th Fleet units and regional navies in select phases of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training and Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training exercises.

By the end of 2021, the Navy expects to have 24 littoral ships under contract, with 16 assigned to the Pacific Fleet.

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William Morris: War abroad but no peace at home

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

William Morris: No man knew the sight of blood

William Morris: Protecting the strong from the weak, selling each other weapons to kill their own countrymen

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William Morris
Sending to the War (1885)

220px-William_Morris_age_53

It was down in our far-off village that we heard of the war begun,
But none of the neighbours were in it save the squire’s thick-lipped son,
A youth and a fool and a captain, who came and went away,
And left me glad of his going. There was little for us to say
Of the war and its why and wherefore – and we said it often enough;
The papers gave us our wisdom, and we used it up in the rough.
But I held my peace and wondered; for I thought of the folly of men,
The fair lives ruined and broken that ne’er could be mended again;
And the tale by lies bewildered, and no cause for a man to choose;
Nothing to curse or to bless – just a game to win or to lose.

But here were the streets of London – strife stalking wide in the world;
And the flag of an ancient people to the battle-breeze unfurled.
And who was helping or heeding? The gaudy shops displayed
The toys of rich men’s folly, by blinded labour made;
And still from naught to nothing the bright-skinned horses drew
Dull men and sleek-faced women with never a deed to do;
While all about and around them the street-flood ebbed and flowed,
Worn feet, grey anxious faces, grey backs bowed ‘neath the load.
Lo the sons of an ancient people! And for this they fought and fell
In the days by fame made glorious, in the tale that singers tell.

We two we stood in the street in the midst of a mighty crowd,
The sound of its mingled murmur in the heavens above was loud,
And earth was foul with its squalor – that stream of every day,
The hurrying feet of labour, the faces worn and grey,
Were a sore and grievous sight, and enough and to spare had I seen
Of hard and pinching want midst our quiet fields and green;
But all was nothing to this, the London holiday throng.
Dull and with hang-dog gait they stood or shuffled along,
While the stench from the lairs they had lain in last night went up in the wind,
And poisoned the sun-lit spring: no story men can find
Is fit for the tale of their lives; no word that man hath made
Can tell the hue of their faces, or their rags by filth o’er-laid:
For this hath our age invented – these are the sons of the free,
Who shall bear our name triumphant o’er every land and sea.
Read ye their souls in their faces, and what shall help you there?
Joyless, hopeless, shameless, angerless, set is their stare:
This is the thing we have made, and what shall help us now,
For the field hath been laboured and tilled and the teeth of the dragon shall grow.

But why are they gathered together? what is this crowd in the street?
This is a holiday morning, though here and there we meet
The hurrying tradesman’s broadcloth, or the workman’s basket of tools.
Men say that at last we are rending the snares of knaves and fools;
That a cry from the heart of the nation against the foe is hurled,
And the flag of an ancient people to the battle-breeze unfurled.
The soldiers are off to the war, we are here to see the sight,
And all our griefs shall be hidden by the thought of our country’s might.
‘Tis the ordered anger of England and her hope for the good of the Earth
That we to-day are speeding, and many a gift of worth
Shall follow the brand and the bullet, and our wrath shall be no curse,
But a blessing of life to the helpless – unless we are liars and worse –
And these that we see are the senders; these are they that speed
The dread and the blessing of England to help the world at its need.

Sick unto death was my hope, and I turned and looked on my dear,
And beheld her frightened wonder, and her grief without a tear,
And knew how her thought was mine – when, hark! o’er the hubbub and noise,
Faint and a long way off, the music’s measured voice,
And the crowd was swaying and swaying, and somehow, I knew not why,
A dream came into my heart of deliverance drawing anigh.
Then with roll and thunder of drums grew the music louder and loud,
And the whole street tumbled and surged, and cleft was the holiday crowd,
Till two walls of faces and rags lined either side of the way.
Then clamour of shouts rose upward, as bright and glittering gay
Came the voiceful brass of the band, and my heart beat fast and fast,
For the river of steel came on, and the wrath of England passed
Through the want and the woe of the town, and strange and wild was my thought,
And my clenched hands wandered about as though a weapon they sought.

Hubbub and din was behind them, and the shuffling haggard throng,
Wandering aimless about, tangled the street for long;
But the shouts and the rhythmic noise we still heard far away,
And my dream was become a picture of the deeds of another day.
Far and far was I borne, away o’er the years to come,
And again was the ordered march, and the thunder of the drum,
And the bickering points of steel, and the horses shifting about
‘Neath the flashing swords of the captains – then the silence after the shout –
Sun and wind in the street, familiar things made clear,
Made strange by the breathless waiting for the deeds that are drawing anear.
For woe had grown into will, and wrath was bared of its sheath,
And stark in the streets of London stood the crop of the dragon’s teeth.
Where then in my dream were the poor and the wall of faces wan?
Here and here by my side, shoulder to shoulder of man,
Hope in the simple folk, hope in the hearts of the wise,
For the happy life to follow, or death and the ending of lies,
Hope is awake in the faces angerless now no more,
Till the new peace dawn on the world, the fruit of the people’s war.

War in the world abroad a thousand leagues away,
While custom’s wheel goes round and day devoureth day.
Peace at home! – what peace, while the rich man’s mill is strife,
And the poor is the grist that he grindeth, and life devoureth life?

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H.G. Wells: Selections on war

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

03-30-22_hg-wells_original

H.G. Wells: The abolition of war will be a new phase in the history of life

H.G. Wells: Armaments: Vile and dangerous industry in the human blood trade

H.G. Wells: Either man will put an end to air war or air war will put an end to mankind

H.G. Wells: For the predetermined losing side, modern wars an unspeakable business

H.G. Wells: Mars will sit like a giant above all human affairs and his speech is blunt and plain

H.G. Wells: Massacres of boys! That indeed is the essence of modern war.

H.G. Wells: Nearly everybody wants peace but nobody thinks out the arrangements needed

H.G. Wells: No more talk of honour and annexations, hegemonies and trade routes, but only Europe lamenting for her dead

H.G. Wells: None so detestable as the god of war

H.G. Wells: A number of devoted men and women ready to give their whole lives to great task of peace

H.G. Wells: The progressive enslavement of the race to military tyranny

H.G. Wells: A time will come when a politician who has wilfully made war will be as sure of the dock and much surer of the noose than a private homicide

H.G. Wells: Universal collapse logically follows world-wide war

H.G. Wells: War is a triumph of the exhausted and dying over the dead

H.G. Wells: War, road to complete extinction or to degradation beyond our present understanding

H.G. Wells: War will leave the world a world of cripples and old men and children

H.G. Wells: When war comes home

H.G. Wells: Why did humanity gape at the guns and do nothing? War as business

H.G. Wells: The world is weary of this bloodshed, weary of all this weeping

H.G. Wells: The young are the food of war

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

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Baltics: 5,000 Troops In NATO Article 5 Exercise

Baltic News Service
April 22, 2013

Collective defence war games in the Baltic region to involve 5,000 NATO soldiers

Up to 5,000 NATO soldiers will attend Steadfast Jazz 2013, an exercise to be held in the Baltic States and Poland this fall, a NATO officer has said.

Steadfast Jazz 2013 will be the so-called Article 5 exercise; i.e., a training of a joint NATO response against aggression against any member of the Alliance. The exercise should follow a special scenario to practically implement the defence plans for Poland and the Baltic states.

“This year, our Baltic partners have offered to host the exercise in that part of the world. So we’re going to see activity in some of the Baltic countries, as well as in Poland. There’s going to be a naval component to the exercise and an air component. So it is going to be encompassing a number of different countries a lot of different territories…,” the NATO official said.

Asked whether it was merely a coincidence that Steadfast Jazz 2013 would take place at the same time as the large-scale strategic exercise Zapad 2013 in Russia and Belarus, he replied that Russia also had to train and prepare its soldiers.

“In addition I believe that it’s quite likely that Ukraine may be joining us in the exercise,” he noted.

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U.S. To Base Marines, Aircraft In Spain For African Interventions

Press TV
April 21, 2013

Spain approves deployment of US Marines

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Spain also granted the US another temporary deployment from March to November 2011, in which up to 45 US aircraft were stationed at the Moron and Rota airbases in the southwestern parts of the country. [And Spain has agreed to host four U.S. guided missile destroyers for the U.S.-NATO European Phased Adaptive Approach interceptor missile program.]

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Spain has authorized the temporary deployment of US Marine forces to an airbase in the southwestern city of Moron de la Frontera, Seville Province.

The Spanish government granted the air base to the US forces on Friday for a period of one year for 500 Marines and eight aircraft.

The United States Embassy in the capital, Madrid, stated that it needed a force able to respond quickly to crises in northwest Africa…

Africa has experienced a surge in the US military involvement recently.

On February 14, Army General David Rodriguez, the head of US military’s African Command, said in a Senate hearing that the military needed to boost its “intelligence-gathering and spying missions in Africa by nearly 15-fold.”

In December 2012, the Pentagon announced that the “Dagger Brigade” consisting of 3,500 combat troops was set up to be deployed to as many as 35 African nations to train local forces.

The US Africa Command has been based in Stuttgart, Germany, since it was established in 2007. Efforts to move the headquarters to an African country faced hurdles as numerous nations expressed concern that the Pentagon was seeking to militarize US policy or infringe on their sovereignty.

Spain also granted the US another temporary deployment from March to November 2011, in which up to 45 US aircraft were stationed at the Moron and Rota airbases in the southwestern parts of the country.

Spain’s authorizations originate from a 1988 defense cooperation agreement between Spain and the United States.

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Anatole France: “What you call murder and robbery may really be war and conquest, sacred foundations of empires”

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

Anatole France: Selections on war

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Anatole France
From Penguin Island (1908)
Translated by A.W. Evans

AnatoleFrance

“Do you see, my son,” he exclaimed, “that madman who with his teeth is biting the nose of the adversary he has overthrown and that other one who is pounding a woman’s head with a huge stone?”

“I see them,” said Bulloch. “They are creating law; they are founding property; they are establishing the principles of civilization, the basis of society, and the foundations of the State.”

“How is that?” asked old Mael.

“By setting bounds to their fields. That is the origin of all government. Your penguins, O Master, are performing the most august of functions. Throughout the ages their work will be consecrated by lawyers, and magistrates will confirm it.”

Whilst the monk, Bulloch, was pronouncing these words a big penguin with a fair skin and red hair went down into the valley carrying a trunk of a tree upon his shoulder. He went up to a little penguin who was watering his vegetables in the heat of the sun, and shouted to him:

“Your field is mine!”

And having delivered himself of this stout utterance he brought down his club on the head of the little penguin, who fell dead upon the field that his own hands had tilled.

At this sight the holy Mael shuddered through his whole body and poured forth a flood of tears.

And in a voice stifled by horror and fear he addressed this prayer to heaven:

“O Lord, my God, O thou who didst receive young Abel’s sacrifices, thou who didst curse Cain, avenge, O Lord, this innocent penguin sacrificed upon his own field and make the murderer feel the weight of thy arm. Is there a more odious crime, is there a graver offence against thy justice, O Lord, than this murder and this robbery?”

“Take care, father,” said Bulloch gently, “that what you call murder and robbery may not really be war and conquest, those sacred foundations of empires, those sources of all human virtues and all human greatness. Reflect, above all, that in blaming the big penguin you are attacking property in its origin and in its source. I shall have no trouble in showing you how. To till the land is one thing, to possess it is another, and these two things must not be confused; as regards ownership the right of the first occupier is uncertain and badly founded. The right of conquest, on the other hand, rests on more solid foundations. It is the only right that receives respect since it is the only one that makes itself respected. The sole and proud origin of property is force. It is born and preserved by force. In that it is august and yields only to a greater force. This is why it is correct to say that he who possesses is noble. And that big red man, when he knocked down a labourer to get possession of his field, founded at that moment a very noble house upon this earth. I congratulate him upon it.”

***

The direct posterity of Brian the Good was extinguished about the year 900 in the person of Collic of the Short Nose. A cousin of that prince, Bosco the Magnanimous, succeeded him, and took care, in order to assure himself of the throne, to put to death all his relations. There issued from him a long line of powerful kings.

One of them, Draco the Great, attained great renown as a man of war. He was defeated more frequently than the others. It is by this constancy in defeat that great captains are recognized. In twenty years he burned down more than a hundred thousand hamlets, market towns, unwalled towns, villages, walled towns, cities, and universities. He set fire impartially to his enemies’ territory and to his own domains. And he used to explain his conduct by saying:

“War without fire is like tripe without mustard: it is an insipid thing.”

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Unending wars between the Penguins and the Porpoises filled the close of this period. It is extremely difficult to know the truth concerning these wars, not because accounts are wanting, but because there are so many of them. The Porpoise Chronicles contradict the Penguin Chronicles at every point. And, moreover, the Penguins contradict each other as well as the Porpoises. I have discovered two chronicles that are in agreement, but one has copied from the other. A single fact is certain, namely, that massacres, rapes, conflagrations, and plunder succeeded one another without interruption.

Under the unhappy prince Bosco IX. the kingdom was at the verge of ruin. On the news that the Porpoise fleet, composed of six hundred great ships, was in sight of Alca, the bishop ordered a solemn procession. The cathedral chapter, the elected magistrates, the members of Parliament, and the clerics of the University entered the Cathedral and, taking up St. Orberosia’s shrine, led it in procession through the town, followed by the entire people singing hymns. The holy patron of Penguinia was not invoked in vain. Nevertheless, the Porpoises besieged the town both by land and sea, took it by assault, and for three days and three nights killed, plundered, violated, and burned, with all the indifference that habit produces.

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UN Silent On U.S./NATO Crimes, Targets Small Nations And Their Leaders

Lankaweb
April 20, 2013

UN silent on US/NATO crimes but goes after Third World nations and leaders
Shenali Waduge

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The former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in an interview in 1998 summed up exactly what the US thinks of the UN : “The UN plays a very important role. But if we don’t like it, we always have the option of following our own national security interests, which I assure you we will do if we don’t like what’s going on.” That’s how the Gulf War happened in 1991, Iraq was invaded, the US/NATO bombed Serbia in 1999 and invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

Pentagon policy revealed to the media was that any strikes that result in 50 or more civilian deaths was “unavoidable collateral damage”. That means the US administration is well aware of targets and given its policy it simply excuses all civilian deaths above 50 as “collateral damage.” It is classified information as to whether this policy still continues. By virtue of this authorization the US is committing a crime and that crime is murder.

International justice simply does not exist; justice is when the perpetrator become the jury and judge as we see happening and the targets are Third World nations and their leaders.

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The West has a history of invading nations, forcibly occupying them, plundering nations of their resources and saying thank you by designing systems that would keep people divided and dependent on them because they make the laws and they are the judges for the very crimes they have committed. For over 500 years nations were forcibly occupied and plundered – this was called colonialism. Country after country was forcibly invaded on the excuse of sheltering terrorists – this they called military intervention. The grounds for this have been subtly camouflaged in a theory approved by the UN called R2P [Responsibility to Protect]. To add to their list of crimes has been the assassination of leaders who are a threat to them and replacing them with puppets. The “Status of Forces Agreement” has guaranteed that US cannot be held accountable for their crimes in any country that the US has bases in. Are we wrong to accuse the West and with all the evidence against the West for their crimes either direct or as covert operations while the UN is prepared to only hound the nations that the West are against and leaders that stand in the way of the West. Are we wrong to accuse the UN of being a puppet of the West and suggest an alternate organization for World Peace?

Not many countries can overthrow foreign governments and get away with it – the US can and they are masters at it.

Overt Military Interventions

· From 1798-2001 a total of 330 interventions (Congressional Research Service)
· From 1946-1975 a total 218 occasions where US used its armed forces “as a political instrument” (Force without war: US armed Forces as a Political Instrument – Blechman and Kaplan)
· From 1899 to 1990 – 60 Low Intensity Conflicts (LICs) – America’s Small Wars: Lessons for the Future, J M Collins.
· Since World War 2 the US has conventionally bombed 28 countries (William Blum – Rogue State)
· A total of 560 US covert military interventions have taken place between 1798-2008.
· 170 of these interventions was between 1798 to 1945.
· 390 military interventions between 1945 and 2008 – 391 with Libya.
· 20 million civilian deaths by US interventions
· In the past 40 years itself 6 million people are said to have been killed because of CIA secret wars. The 6 million dead belong to the Third World.
· Over 200 US military interventions in the Third World by the US.
· In the past 40 years all the “WARS” the US is involved in has been in the Third World with millions killed
· 60 countries have been victim of at least ONE MAJOR WAR since 1945 where an estimated 20 million people have died.
· There have been 200 proxy “undeclared wars” from World War 2 to 1980s in 80 countries with the involvement of armed forces of 90 states.
· Between 1869 and 1897 US sent warships into Latin American ports an unbelievable 5980 times
· From mid 19th century to 20th century US military had conquered all lands and original inhabitants to the western edge of its continent, stolen half of Mexico, invaded Korea, annexed Hawaii, conquered Philippines, Puerto Rico and Cuba.
· By 1930 US sent military gunboats to Latin America over 6000 times and invaded Cuba and Mexico once again, invaded Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Columbia and protracted wars in the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Haiti – ALL these was to ensure US corporations and financial houses to dominate the economies of most of Mexico, Caribbean, Central America and much of South America.
US regime change – last 50 years

1963 – South Vietnam : CIA backs coup against President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam paying USD40,000 to kill him
1964 – Brazil : Democratic Government of President Goulart overthrown in March 1964
1966 – Ghana : overthrow of Kwame Nkrumah by the CIA because of his non-aligned Marxist economic perspective.
1970-3 – Chile : Marxist President Salvador Allende overthrown and murder planned by US with President Nixon personally authorizing $700,000 for the covert operation. General Pinochet took over on 1973 – US installs a dictator!
1979-89 – Afghanistan : Carter Doctrine that the US would not allow any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf. US armed Afghan insurgents provided weapons and training to the Mujahideens (an affiliated leader of whom was Osama bin Laden) to fight the Russians a covert operation costing over $3 billion.
1980 – Turkey : 3000 US troops landed before the 12 September coup.
1980-81 – Poland : US supports Solidarity movement
1981-90 – Nicaragua : CIA overthrows Sandinista government of Daniel Ortega through a group tasked to sabotage ports, refineries, boats and bridges/arming Contras despite Boland Amendment.
1980-95 – Cambodia : Reagan Doctrine of aiding anti-Soviet resistance movements abroad applied to Cambodia under Vietnam occupation following Khmer Rouge genocide.
1980s – Angola : Reagan administration helps anti-communist rebels led by Jonas Sayimbi who was supported by the Heritage Foundation. Savimbi was killed by Angolan military in February 2002.
1986 – Philippines : US pressurized President Marcos to step down and hand over power to Corazon Aquino
1992-1996 – Iraq : CIA indirectly supports sabotage campaigns between 1992 and 1995 but fails to topple Saddam Hussein.
2001 – Afghanistan : Plan to invade Afghanistan developed by CIA Special Activities Division on pretext of 9/11
2002-3 – Iraq : CIA Special Activities Division enter Iraq in July 2002 before the main invasion and prepare ground for the arrival of US special forces. Turkey bans use of US forces across its territory.
2002 – Venezuela : Coup and installing Pedro Carmona as President
2006 to present – Palestinian authority : Hamas and Fatah win 2006 election and form Palestinian Authority National Unity Government in 2007 headed by Ismail Haniya and takes control of Gaza Strip. Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization.
2006-2007 – Somalia : CIA funds coalition of anti-Islamic warlords
2005 to present – Iran : CIA authorized to undertake black operations against Iran $400m was authorized as covert operation to create unrest in Iran in 2007.
2011 – Libya : following Arab Spring overthrowing of rulers in Tunisia and Egypt, Libya was next target with US/NATO airstrikes, arming of rebels/mercenaries and killing of Gaddafi
2012 – Syria : President Obama authorizes to support regime change in Syria and overthrow Government of President Assad – rebels and mercenaries again being armed and trained.
Installing puppet states – is when sovereign states become controlled by foreign powers though externally it looks independent and acts independent the decisions that these leaders take are almost always taken on the instructions of the foreign powers ruling it from behind the scenes.

Origins of CIA

On 18 June 1948, US President Harry Truman signed the National Security Directive 10/2 (NSC-10/2) defining covert operations.

CIA – Central Intelligence Agency was created prior to this directive, answerable to the President through a National Security Council to carry out covert operations.

Their scope covers assassination attempts, government overthrows, paramilitary operations, concerted propaganda efforts, interference in free elections, economic destabilization campaigns.

1976 Church Committee Report on CIA activities published by US Sen. Frank Church stated from 1961 to 1974, 900 major and 3000 minor operations had been undertaken by CIA (President’s Secret Wars: CIA and Pentagon Covert Operations from World War 2 through the Persian Gulf – Prados)
Former CIA officer John Stockwell extrapolated in 1990 that the CIA had initiated and overseen about 3000 major and over 10,000 minor covert operations.

Pentagon acknowledges that there are Special Operations Forces deployed in missions across 200 plus nations. At virtually all these foreign missions are assigned CIA case officers working under the State Department cover.

US Government has provided both military and economic aid to more than 150 countries and protects the assets and operations of thousands of transnational corporations because it is their trillions of dollar investments that the US Government are looking after.

CIA’s 10,000 covert operations of which 3000 are major and have killed 6 million people has made the entire world unstable.

US and UN

In 2002 when the International Criminal Court was launched the US government did not take part nor did it ratify it.

US has also refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.

US has withdrawn from 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

US walked out of the 1972 biological and toxic weapons convention.

US refused to comply with the Land Mine Treaty.

US has withdrawn from the International Conference on Racism.

When Jose Bustami, Director General of Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, offered membership to Iraq the Bush administration ousted him.

The former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in an interview in 1998 summed up exactly what the US thinks of the UN : “The UN plays a very important role. But if we don’t like it, we always have the option of following our own national security interests, which I assure you we will do if we don’t like what’s going on.” That’s how the Gulf War happened in 1991, Iraq was invaded, US/NATO bombed Serbia in 1999 and invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

Western Bases in Foreign Nations

US is said to have over 1000 foreign military bases in over 120 nations and territories.

US has 293 bases in Germany – why is it necessary for the US and UK to have bases in Germany or Japan 65 years after World War with over 70,000 US troops currently in Germany, more than 45,000 US soldiers in Japan and close to 30,000 US troops in South Korea?

The UK and France have a further 200 in their former colonies.

US personnel currently stationed number over 160,000 and excludes US personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Kwajalein Atoll. All bases function as storage facilities for weapons including nuclear arms, training, intelligence gathering; “Echelon” bases monitor all email, phone and data communication traffic; extra-judiciary transport, imprisonment and torture of which Guantanamo Bay is the best example.

US bases in Iraq (505) revealed only after US troops prepared to leave Iraq. Officially, we are told that the US has removed troops from Iraq but does this not include Department of Defense staff currently in Iraq? The bases in Afghanistan are over 1500 counting all the forward operating bases, checkpoints, mega-bases, military installations and other logistical support facilities. The number of US troops stands at over 100,000 if not more.

Why the US occupies Afghanistan

Not because of 9/11 or Osama – the hijackers were mostly Saudis.

The US occupies Afghanistan because it is a strategic hub in Central Asia. (Afghanistan borders the former Soviet Union, China and Iran.)

US is building a 1900km-long $8 billion oil and gas pipeline through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

The entirety of US bases in Afghanistan are all located along the route of the gas/oil pipeline.

Afghanistan has over 1400 mineral outcroppings and 70 viable deposits worth over $1 trilion (including iron, Hajigak iron, coal, copper, cobalt, gold, lithium – raw material to make batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys).

The US government and business elites were well aware of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth and energy resources as far back as 1979 when it supported the Mujahideen “freedom fighters” which we know today as the Al Qaeda and Osama.

In 2001, before US occupation, opium production was 200 tons. By 2009 opium production had reached 6900 tons, generating cash earnings of more than $200 billion annually.

Opium production has increased by a staggering 3100% (from 185 tons before arrival of US in 2001 and now 5800 tons in 2011).

Afghanistan accounts for 90% of opium and cannabis supplies to the world.

Opium, morphine, cannabis, heroin, codeine, thebaine are all sought after by pharmaceutical companies.

Why the US invaded Iraq

The 9/11 attackers were not Iraqis nor had they links to Al Qaeda; neither did Iraq have WMDs, but Iraq was attacked.

The US attacked Iraq to secure 115 billion barrels of oil reserves! The US spends $900 billion per year on destruction when 49 million Americans live in poverty and 46 million depend on food stamps to survive and 4 million are homeless.

Collateral damage

New York Times reported in 2003 that US Secretary Rumsfeld personally approved over 50 US airstrikes in Iraq which killed many innocent Iraqi civilians.

Pentagon policy revealed to the media was that any strikes that result in 50 or more civilian deaths was “unavoidable collateral damage”. That means the US administration is well aware of targets and given its policy it simply excuses all civilian deaths above 50 as “collateral damage.” It is classified information as to whether this policy still continues. By virtue of this authorization the US is committing a crime and that crime is murder.

Sanctions

Former US Secretary of State Madeline Albright was asked about the deaths of Iraqi children (quoted as 500,000) and her response was, “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it”

Use of nuclear and chemical weapons

The US used depleted uranium bombs on Iraqi towns where no tanks and no armored Iraqi vehicles existed. ”They changed the rules of engagement, and we went in and we shot everything that moved…that was an order given from our high command and in direct violation of the Geneva Convention”:

In 1998 a John Hopkins University study estimated that if cancers continued on the current curve, 44% of the population would develop it by 2000. The US has since dropped a further 2000-3000 more tons of depleted uranium (DU) which will mean a future generation of children born with birth defects.

Reconciliation

The buzzword is today “reconciliation” the theme is “accountability” and the pressure is on Sri Lanka from all corners – cooked up reports, books quoting from terrorist sources, funding of NGO spokesmen, former UN heads reversing and contradicting themselves, yet not a hum when Winston Churchill declared “We should never allow ourselves to apologize for what we did to Germany.” !

International justice simply does not exist; justice is when the perpetrator become the jury and judge as we see happening and the targets are Third World nations and their leaders. But some of these leaders are not helping the cause in the least. Though not puppet leaders, by virtue of the mismanagement and corrupt policies that they uphold they help these international criminals to bully the nations.

Leaders that defy the status quo end up assassinated like Patrice Lumumba and there are many such assassinations: the perpetrators have the audacity to talk human rights and freedoms and we listen and applaud them. Perhaps people remain still ignorant of the US and the West’s record.

If a foreign leader is branded or labeled, he is definitely on the list of being ousted, but then some of these leaders deserve what’s coming but the tragedy is that they are pulling the innocent people of the country down with them and they have only themselves to blame.

Like it or not what post-colonial governments are guilty of is not following the indigenous pattern of culture that was the reason for the colonials to arrive and divide the people. So why did these native leaders turn away from what was good to adopt the Western style of rule that see hallmarks of division everywhere we turn. The rich-poor gap is widening, the debt of these Third World nations is rocketing, the rich are leading ultra-rich lives and the politicians don’t care two hoots about people’s suffering while public servants meekly say “yes, sir” and do not even make any effort to think of ways that people’s burdens can be relieved.

The people do not get much in return for the people they vote into power and then the eagles await for the correct opportunity to take over.

The hour-glass appears to be fast closing in on us.

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Persian Gulf Buildup: NATO Strengthens Military Ties With Bahrain

Arabia News Service
April 21, 2013

BDF, Nato to boost ties

Manama: The Kingdom of Bahrain and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) have agreed to boost cooperation and expand relations to serve common interests…in the region.

Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) Commander-in-Chief Field Marshall Shaikh Khalifa Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa and Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (DSACT), Polish General Mieczyslaw Bieniek, stressed the significance of Bahrain’s military coordination and reviewed issues of common interest.

At the meeting, the Nato delegation was briefed on the BDF’s participation and role in international missions [Afghanistan and Libya] contributing to global security and peace [sic], a statement from an official said.

Bahrain has been a major non-Nato ally since 2002, and has often expressed an interest in forming closer ties with the military alliance.

Bahrain and fellow GCC countries have been pushing for closer ties with Nato since 2004 when the alliance launched the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.

The ICI was launched to contribute to long-term regional security and offered GCC countries practical bilateral security cooperation with Nato.

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Kosovo: Clearest Example Of West Flouting International Law

April 21, 2013 3 comments

Voice of Russia
April 21, 2013

Kosovo is Serbia, territorial integrity must be respected
John Robles

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States that have supported and promoted the secession of Kosovo from Serbia should, in reality, face sanctions from the UN and member countries. However the United Nations has shown, time and time again, that it is merely an instrument of the West and will continue to be thus as long as it is funded by and based in the United States of America.

[I]f the international community continues to support the independence of Kosovo and the violations of international law that are ongoing there, then they should do the same if, for example, the State of Texas decides to secede from the United States. If you think this sounds ludicrous then you understand the hypocrisy of the situation in Serbia with regards to Kosovo.

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Serbia is on the verge of recognizing the legitimacy of the illegal breakaway territory of Kosovo and expanding Kosovo’s authority. According to many Serbians and analysts this may lead to the eventual disintegration of Serbia as a sovereign state. Kosovo’s declaration of independence was an illegal act and the support by the West in redefining Serbian borders is a clear act of international aggression. Whether a forced border change in Serbia is carried out by economic pressure from the European Union or by the military aggression of NATO, it is still illegal and contrary to international law.

The maintaining of the territorial integrity of sovereign nations is enshrined in international law and the United Nations Charter and is an integral part of every country’s right to security, self-government and maintaining its existence. Every country has the right to use force if necessary to protect its sovereign territory both from internal and external threats and under international law the imposition by force of a border change is an act of aggression. Therefore the campaign by the West in attempting to bring about an independent state in Serbia runs contrary to the United Nations Charter and international law and is illegal and must no longer be supported.

With regards to Serbia and the self-declared “independent state” of Kosovo, the fact that the West is imposing a forced border change, militarily through its surrogates NATO and KFOR, extra-legally through its police arm EULEX, extra-judicially through the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and economically and politically through the European Union, is an affront to all the principles of international law and international conventions with regard to territorial integrity.

All of these bodies together, acting under the cover of law, are in fact acting illegally to impose a Western-conceived plan for the Balkans and a reassignment of territory which also runs counter to all agreements reached after World War II with regard to territorial changes.

Of course when dealing with the issue academically, the West’s hypocrisy is none the more clear than it is when looking at the situation surrounding Kosovo and the fallacy of the West’s entire adventure in the former Yugoslavia. This hypocrisy can be seen when it comes to sovereign territories such as Las Malvinas, Palestine, Puerto Rico, the Koreas and a host of other locations.

Forcing a border change or outright denying the sovereignty of nation states is an extreme example of Western meddling but it is the clearest example of Western flaunting of international law when it comes to promoting its own interests.

The international community and United Nations member countries should be up in arms over Serbia being forced by the European Union into accepting and recognizing the forceful border change taking place within its sovereign territory. Whether that force be military or economic (it is a matter for academic debate which is more illegal when the goal is forced border change) it must not be allowed to continue and all parties placing pressure on Serbia to accept an internal border change to its sovereign territory must cease and desist immediately.

If the world community allows the West and its geopolitical architects to get away with redefining the borders of Serbia it is allowing a dangerous precedent that will make it much easier the next time they target a country for territorial transformation.

Serbia is a broken and devastated country which makes the leadership more susceptible to western manipulation and it has been kept unstable and marginalized for so long by an ongoing and conscious Western effort that the Serbian people have little recourse to defend themselves against this attack by the West.

The united Nations and the international community must pull together and support Serbia and support its right to maintain its territorial integrity, otherwise the whole concept of the United Nations and international law is a farce and the two are in fact only tools for use by the West when they see fit to use them for their own ends.

Western hypocrisy is also clear when it comes to allowing Israel to continue building illegal settlements in Palestinian territory, arming terrorists to bring about regime change in Syria and in countries such as Puerto Rico, that the U.S. deems are not intelligent enough to govern themselves.

States that have supported and promoted the secession of Kosovo from Serbia should, in reality, face sanctions from the UN and member countries. However the United Nations has shown, time and time again, that it is merely an instrument of the West and will continue to be thus as long as it is funded by and based in the United States of America.

In my opinion the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, Venezuela and all other countries that have independent foreign policies must pull together and do more to assist the Serbian government and the Serbian people in saving their country from the eventual complete destruction of their sovereign state which a recognition of Kosovo will lead to.

If there was more economic and political assistance perhaps Serbian politicians would not be forced to look to the European Union to solve the country’s economic woes and more energetic moves could be made to return Kosovo to Serbia.

With regard to the current residents of Kosovo claiming it is their nation state, they must be integrated into Serbian society and the international community should aid in that integration, not allow for the separation and breaking up of the country. This was not done by the West because Serbia was aligned with Russia and therefore was a “problem” country that they had to destroy.

Lastly if the international community continues to support the independence of Kosovo and the violations of international law that are ongoing there, then they should do the same if, for example, the State of Texas decides to secede from the United States. If you think this sounds ludicrous then you understand the hypocrisy of the situation in Serbia with regards to Kosovo. Kosovo is Serbia and territorial integrity must be respected and protected, no matter how small or weak a country may be.

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Rasmussen Formalizes NATO’s Push Into East Asia

April 20, 2013 1 comment

U.S. Department of Defense
April 19, 2013

NATO Secretary General Details Asia Trip, Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.

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“This was the first-ever trip by a NATO secretary general to the Republic of Korea,” he said. “I met with President Park [Geun-hye], ministers and members of parliament. I also visited the Korean Demilitarized Zone…”

The secretary general also noted another first during his visit to Japan.

“I signed the first NATO-Japan joint political declaration with Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe, a declaration which will chart the future course of our partnership.”

Although they all are separated by geography, Rasmussen noted, Japan and South Korea are important partners for NATO.

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WASHINGTON: NATO’s partnerships with Japan and South Korea are key to facing security challenges and ensuring stability in the region, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said today in Brussels.

In a news conference at NATO headquarters, Rasmussen discussed his recent trip to Asia and the agenda at the alliance’s upcoming foreign ministers meeting.

“This was the first-ever trip by a NATO secretary general to the Republic of Korea,” he said. “I met with President Park [Geun-hye], ministers and members of parliament. I also visited the Korean Demilitarized Zone, where I was briefed on the current state of affairs by the United Nations Command.”

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The secretary general also noted another first during his visit to Japan.

“I signed the first NATO-Japan joint political declaration with Prime Minister [Shinzo] Abe, a declaration which will chart the future course of our partnership,” he said. “I also met members of the government and parliament.”

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Although they all are separated by geography, Rasmussen noted, Japan and South Korea are important partners for NATO.

…“We share the need to face common security challenges that go well beyond borders…”

With the growing tensions surrounding the statements and actions of North Korea, the NATO secretary general said it is “understandably” a major concern for Japan and South Korea.

“I recalled NATO’s strong condemnation of North Korea’s missile launches and nuclear tests…,” he said…

[T]he alliance seeks to engage with the Asia-Pacific region and already is doing valuable work with its partners in the region, noting efforts by South Korea and Japan alongside the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

“In Afghanistan, hundreds of troops from the Republic of Korea serve alongside their partners in ISAF in the east of the country,” Rasmussen noted. “Japan has given great support to the Afghan forces…”

“And we are also working together to counter the threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden,” he continued. “I thanked the leaders of both countries for all they are doing.”

Rasmussen said all three looked at what more they can do in the future in the areas of counterterrorism, counterpiracy, nonproliferation, disaster relief and cyber defense. “All these are challenges which reach across borders, and we can deal with them much more effectively if we do it together,” he added.

The secretary general also talked about the foreign ministers meeting set to take place April 23 at NATO headquarters, where representatives from 22 non-NATO countries will join the alliance’s top diplomats to discuss contributions to ISAF.

The NATO secretary general said he expects a full agenda at the foreign ministers meeting.

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Pentagon, NATO Allies View Missile Test Over New York State

The Post-Standard
April 19, 2013

Pentagon, NATO allies witness missile defense test in skies over Central New York
By Mark Weiner

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MEADS and Lockheed Martin officials said they could not release photos or videos of the test because of the classified nature, nor could they disclose the names of the NATO officials who witnessed the demonstration.

[T]he test in Central New York was among the last big milestones before a full missile intercept test for MEADS planned this fall at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

In March, Congress approved spending $380 million to pay for the final year of MEADS development.

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MEADS surveillance radar prototype

Washington:Military leaders from the Pentagon, Italy and Germany were in Central New York this week to witness a classified test of a missile defense system.

As part of the test, a small plane and a simulated tactical ballistic missile were detected and tracked by the Medium Extended Air Defense System, or MEADS, its developers said today.

MEADS, developed in part by Lockheed Martin with partners in Italy and Germany, was tested using radars placed at Lockheed’s test range in Cazenovia and on its campus at Electronics Park in Salina.

Marty Coyne, business development director for MEADS International, said the test conducted Wednesday was a success by all measures.

MEADS and Lockheed Martin officials said they could not release photos or videos of the test because of the classified nature, nor could they disclose the names of the NATO officials who witnessed the demonstration.

“We had visitors from all three nations,” Coyne said today. “By all accounts, all of the parties came out quite impressed with both the capability and maturity of those radar assets.”

The MEADS 360-degree surveillance radar, developed at Lockheed’s campus in Salina, was placed at a testing range in Cazenovia for the demonstration, Coyne said.

The radar in Cazenovia simultaneously tracked and relayed the location of the simulated missile and test aircraft that took off from Syracuse’s Hancock International Airport to the MEADS battle manager.

In turn, the system cued a fire-control radar located more than 10 miles away in Salina to acquire and track the target aircraft, Coyne said. In the battlefield, an interceptor missile would have been fired to destroy the target.

Coyne said the test in Central New York was among the last big milestones before a full missile intercept test for MEADS planned this fall at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

In March, Congress approved spending $380 million to pay for the final year of MEADS development.

The Pentagon says it has no intention to deploy MEADS, originally designed as a successor to the Patriot missile defense system, because of cost overruns and early development problems. The United States, Germany and Italy have spent a combined $4 billion on the program.

Pentagon officials have said they intend to “harvest” promising technologies developed as part of the MEADS project, including the 360-degree surveillance radar developed by Lockheed Martin engineers and technicians in Central New York.

Coyne said the purpose of Wednesday’s test was to demonstrate the capabilities of MEADS. “All three nations are looking to harvest this investment in MEADS in future modernization plans,” he said.

The MEADS project is the largest radar contract in the history of the Lockheed Martin facility at Electronics Park in Salina, which has about 1,900 employees. Lockheed is the major partner in the United States for MEADS International, a multinational joint venture headquartered in Orlando, Fla.

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Victor Hugo: Brute war, dire birth of hellish race

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

Victor Hugo: Selections on war

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Victor Hugo

victor_hugo

Brute War (1872)
Translated by N.R. Tyerman

Toiler sans eyes, dull-brained Penelope,
Cradler of chaos, powerless to create;
War, whom the clash of iron fires to glee,
The furious blast of clarions makes elate;
Quaffer of blood; foul hag that to thy feast
Lur’st men and madden’st them with vile delight ;
Cloud, swollen with thunder north, south, west, and
east,
Fulfilled with rage darker than darkest night;
Vast madness, that for swords keen lightnings wieldest:
What is thy use, dire birth of hellish race,
If, while thou ruinest sin, crime thou upbuildest,
Setting the monster i’ the beast’s pride of place;
If with thine awful darkness thou dost smother
One emperor, but to yield earth thence another?

***

From Count Félibien (1859)
Translator unknown

Around the cannons’ lips the curling smoke doth play;
The horror of the charge and of the combat wild
Is visible in all, — the brooks with blood defiled.
And even in the dead men’s wild and staring eyes,
Upon their opened lips still seem their savage cries;
The lightning in their eyes still flashes fiery red,
So live and furious seem the cold and slaughtered dead.

***

Prayer for France (1832)
Translated by J.S. MacRae

O God! if France be still thy guardian care,
Oh! spare these mercenary combats, spare!
The thrones that now are reared but to be broke;
The rights we render, and anon revoke;
The muddy stream of laws, ideas, needs,
Flooding our social life as it proceeds;
Opposing tribunes, even when seeming one–
Soft, yielding plaster put in place of stone;
Wave chasing wave in endless ebb and flow;
War, darker still and deeper in its woe;
One party fall’n, successor scarce preludes,
Than, straight, new views their furious feuds;
The great man’s pressure on the poor for gold,
Rumors uncertain, conflicts, crimes untold;
Dark systems hatched in secret and in fear,
Telling of hate and strife to every ear,
That even to midnight sleep no peace is given,
For murd’rous cannon through our streets are driven.

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Poland: U.S. Advances Global NATO Interceptor Missile System

United States European Command
April 19, 2013

Implementation of the European Phased Adaptive Approach
Frank A. Rose. Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance

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EPAA [European Phased Adaptive Approach] Phase One gained its first operational elements in 2011 with the start of a sustained deployment of an Aegis BMD-capable multi-role ship to the Mediterranean and the deployment of an AN/TPY-2 radar in Turkey. With the declaration of Interim Operational Capability at the NATO Summit in Chicago, this radar transitioned to NATO operational control.

Spain agreed in 2011 to host four U.S. Aegis-capable ships at the existing naval facility at Rota.

[T]he SM-3 IIB interceptor will no longer be developed or procured. The United States will instead…procur[e] additional Ground Based Interceptors – GBIs- for deployment at our existing missile defense site in Fort Greely, Alaska.

As Secretary Hagel announced, we will increase the number of deployed GBIs from the current 30 to 44, providing a nearly 50 percent increase in our capability.

[O]n May 20-21 of 2012, the NATO Heads of State and Government met in Chicago for a NATO Summit and announced that NATO had achieved an interim BMD capability. This means that the Alliance has an operationally meaningful, standing peacetime BMD capability.

President Bush chose Warsaw as the site of his May 2003 public call to create a common global effort to stop WMD- and missile-related shipments to and from states of proliferation concern. Poland and the United States then worked closely to heed that call by establishing the Proliferation Security Initiative. Over the following decade, 100 other nations from every part of the world joined our two countries in the PSI…

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At the State Department, I am responsible for overseeing a wide range of defense policy issues, including missile defense policy. In that capacity, it was my responsibility and privilege to negotiate the details of the Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) agreements with Poland, Romania, and Turkey that will enable the United States to implement the European Phased Adaptive Approach (or EPAA), the U.S. contribution to NATO missile defense. Poland is a strong ally and valued friend of the United States. Our bilateral defense ties run deep and are growing – our new Aviation Detachment and Poland’s agreement to host an EPAA missile defense site are but two recent examples of our partnership.

ftm17hopper
Sea-based Standard Missile-3 launch

Implementation of the European Phased Adaptive Approach

Since 2009, the United States Government has focused on carrying out the vision articulated by President Obama when he announced that the EPAA would “provide stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America’s Allies,” while relying on “capabilities that are proven and cost-effective.”

As you know, we have made great progress in implementing the President’s vision in Europe.

EPAA Phase One gained its first operational elements in 2011 with the start of a sustained deployment of an Aegis BMD-capable multi-role ship to the Mediterranean and the deployment of an AN/TPY-2 radar in Turkey. With the declaration of Interim Operational Capability at the NATO Summit in Chicago, this radar transitioned to NATO operational control.

Demonstrating their support for both NATO and the EPAA, Spain agreed in 2011 to host four U.S. Aegis-capable ships at the existing naval facility at Rota. These ships will arrive in the 2014-2015 timeframe, in time for EPAA Phase Two.

For Phase Two of the EPAA, we have an agreement with Romania that was ratified in December of 2011 to host a U.S. land-based SM-3 interceptor site beginning in the 2015 timeframe. This site, combined with BMD-capable ships in the Mediterranean, will enhance coverage of NATO from short- and medium-range ballistic missiles launched from the Middle East [sic].

And finally there is Phase 3, which is centered on the first of the three host nations to ratify their hosting agreement – Poland. The Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement between the U.S. and Poland entered into force in September of 2011. This agreement places a land-based interceptor site, similar to Phase 2, in Redzikowo, and includes the SM-3 Block IIA interceptor. This EPAA Phase 3 site is on schedule and on budget for deployment in the 2018 timeframe. The interceptor site here in Poland will be key to the EPAA. Not only will it protect Poland itself, but when combined with the rest of the EPAA assets, Phase 3 will be able to protect all of NATO Europe against ballistic missile threats from the Middle East.

On March 15, Secretary Hagel announced changes to U.S. missile defense policy to strengthen U.S. homeland missile defenses due to the growing ballistic missile threat from Iran and North Korea. One of these policy changes is that the SM-3 IIB missile defense interceptor program – the core element of EPAA Phase 4 – is being restructured into a technology development program.

With the SM-3 IIB interceptor, Phase 4 would have provided an intercept capability against ICBMs launched at the U.S. homeland from the Middle East. But the SM-3 IIB program also experienced significant delays, in part due to the U.S. Congress underfunding this interceptor. So as you know, the SM-3 IIB interceptor will no longer be developed or procured. The United States will instead strengthen its homeland defense by procuring additional Ground Based Interceptors – GBIs- for deployment at our existing missile defense site in Fort Greely, Alaska.

GMD
Ground-based Midcourse missile launch

As Secretary Hagel announced, we will increase the number of deployed GBIs from the current 30 to 44, providing a nearly 50 percent increase in our capability.

The other two steps that Secretary Hagel announced include:

Deploying, with the support of the Japanese Government, an additional AN/TPY-2 radar in Japan…and conducting studies for a potential additional GBI site in the United States. While the Obama Administration has not made any decision on whether to proceed with an additional site, conducting these studies would shorten the timeline for construction should that decision be made.

Finally, let me emphasize that the U.S. commitment to Phases One through Three of the EPAA and NATO missile defense remains ironclad, including the planned sites in Poland and Romania. Like the Administration, the U.S. Congress has supported, and continues to support full funding for Phases 1 through 3.

These U.S. missile defense deployments to Europe will provide the necessary capabilities to provide ballistic missile defense coverage of all NATO European territory in the 2018 timeframe.

[T]he radar deployed in Turkey as part of EPAA can provide important early tracking data on any Iranian missile launches against the United States [!]. The interceptor site to be deployed in Poland, as well as BMD-capable ships at sea, will also be key to protecting the U.S. radar at Fylingdales, which is important to the defense of the U.S. homeland.

Cooperation With NATO Allies

Beyond our bilateral cooperation, we have also worked with our NATO Allies, including Poland, to implement a NATO missile defense effort.

After thorough and steady progress within NATO, on May 20-21 of 2012, the NATO Heads of State and Government met in Chicago for a NATO Summit and announced that NATO had achieved an interim BMD capability. This means that the Alliance has an operationally meaningful, standing peacetime BMD capability. NATO also agreed on the BMD-related command and control procedures, designated the Supreme Allied Commander Europe as the commander for this mission, and announced an interoperable command and control capability.

To support this interim BMD capability, the United States has offered EPAA assets to the Alliance as our voluntary national contributions to the BMD mission. The AN/TPY-2 radar deployed in Turkey is under NATO operational control. In addition, U.S. BMD-capable Aegis ships in Europe are also now able to operate under NATO operational control when threat conditions warrant.

These decisions have created a framework for allies to contribute and optimize their own BMD assets for our collective self-defense, and the United States welcomes and encourages such contributions from Allies. NATO BMD will be more effective should Allies provide sensors and interceptors to complement the U.S. EPAA contributions. Several NATO Allies already possess land- and sea-based sensors that could potentially be linked into the system, as well as lower tier systems that can be integrated and used to provide point defense such as PATRIOT. It is important that the systems contributed by Allies be interoperable with NATO’s Active Layered Theater Ballistic Missile Defense – or ALTBMD – command and control capability.

Cooperation With the Russian Federation…

While we seek to develop ways to cooperate with Russia on missile defense, it is important to remember that in keeping with its collective security obligations, NATO alone bears responsibility for defending the Alliance from ballistic missile threats. This is why the United States and NATO cannot agree to Russia’s proposals for “sectoral” or “joint” missile defense architectures…NATO cannot and will not outsource its Article 5 commitments. As ballistic missile threats continue to evolve, we cannot place limits or constraints on our ability to defend ourselves, our allies, and our partners. This includes any limitations on the operating areas of our BMD-capable multi-mission Aegis ships.

Cooperation With Poland

We can’t talk about BMD cooperation without talking about our cooperation right here with the Republic of Poland.

We also now have an enduring Aviation Detachment deployed in Lask, which supports the joint training of U.S. and Polish Air Forces. And I also have to mention our vibrant and longstanding cooperation with Poland on other efforts to combat the threat of WMD and their missile delivery systems. For example, former President Bush chose Warsaw as the site of his May 2003 public call to create a common global effort to stop WMD- and missile-related shipments to and from states of proliferation concern. Poland and the United States then worked closely to heed that call by establishing the Proliferation Security Initiative. Over the following decade, 100 other nations from every part of the world joined our two countries in the PSI to improve our common efforts to take action against WMD shipments. Next month, Acting Under Secretary Gottemoeller will have the great pleasure of leading the U.S. delegation to the PSI Tenth Anniversary meeting in Warsaw not only to mark the occasion, but to continue efforts to meet the call that President Obama made in the 2009 Prague speech to ensure the PSI is a durable international effort.

I commend my Polish colleagues for their leadership within NATO and domestically on defense modernization which will lead to new and valuable skill sets for NATO. As everyone knows, Poland is leading by example. Where many NATO countries are reducing their defense modernization, Poland is focusing on it – and the “it” that I follow most closely is the Polish efforts to upgrade its Integrated Air and Missile Defense System. This has been a topic of considerable discussion with my Polish counterparts. I expect it will be a topic of continued discussion. It is clear to me that the Government of Poland intends to embark upon a substantial effort that will provide for a greater national expertise which can contribute to NATO air and missile defense capabilities.

And Poland is not only working on defense modernization – it is also a participant in the U.S. Strategic Command’s NIMBLE TITAN multinational missile defense wargame. Polish military, Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials are working closely with over 20 countries and NATO to collaboratively think through how regional and global coalitions might be able to innovate with equipment, tactics, techniques and procedures to provide the best and most agile defense…

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Poland: NATO Escalates Military Role On Belarus, Russia Borders

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation

April 19, 2013

SACT pointed out Poland’s strong commitment to Connected Forces Initiative

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As the lead nation and the main contributor to the next live NATO exercise ‘Steadfast Jazz’ that will take place mostly on Polish soil in the fall of 2013 with 19 nations and 3,500 participants on one hand, and with the continuous support given to the JFTC in Bydgoszcz on the other, Poland is one of the most engaged nations in the implementation of the Connected Forces initiative – a priority for the SACT.

SACT, French Air Force General Jean-Paul Paloméros had this impression re-confirmed during his official visit to Poland and the following visit to the NATO-centre.

After a meeting with the Minister of Defence, Tomasz Siemonak in Warsaw, General Paloméros highlighted the necessity for NATO to emphasize joint, multinational exercises that would “allow to maintain the proper dynamics of development of joint interoperable forces in the years to come when the operational tempo will likely decrease”.

During other meetings in the capital with the Chief of Defence staff, Major General Mieczlaw Cienuch and other Polish military representatives, views on other key NATO topics like Smart Defence, partnerships and NATO-EU cooperation were shared.

Wednesday 17 April, general Paloméros visited JFTC for the first time. He was shown around by the centre’s Commander, Czech Army Major General Pavel Macko and had a chance to talk to several of the staff.

After his visit, Palomers declared: “JFTC is one of our poles of excellence for training – it has a key role in support of ISAF [the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan] by high value training at the tactical level (training of the trainers) both for the NATO and partner forces. And it will continue to provide training support for the post 2014 era”

During discussions at the centre, General Palomeros agreed on the continued importance of JFTC in conducting pre-deployment training for current operations and at the same time training for the NATO command and force structures and the NATO Response Force (NRF).

Upon conclusion of his visits, SACT expressed full satisfaction for the productive talks and said that he was looking forward to continue the fruitful cooperation between Poland and ACT.

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NATO Conducts Air Exercise Over Baltics And Scandinavia

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

April 19, 2013

NATO Air Forces Hone Skills in Baltics

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In the new NATO Command Structure, HQ AIRCOM is the Alliance single air command responsible for all Air Power issues across the entire NATO airspace from the Northern Norway to Southern Italy and from the Azores to Eastern Turkey. In addition to the Air Policing mission throughout this area of responsibility, AIRCOM is also in charge of NATO’s Ballistic Missile Defence.

HQ AIRCOM is currently providing operational control for the Allied real-world deployment at its south-eastern flank, in Turkey, protecting the NATO member with PATRIOT systems against the potential missile threat posed by Syria.

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The fourteenth Baltic Region Training Event (BRTE XIV) took place on 16 and 17 April 2013 in the skies over the Baltic Region, Sweden and Poland to sharpen skills of aircrews and air controllers in responding to unexpected events in Alliance airspace.

During the first day, a Lithuanian C-27J transport aircraft took off from Šiauliai, Lithuania, and flew into Swedish airspace heading for Finland and started to fly a triangular pattern indicating that it had lost its radio communications. Sweden launched a two-aircraft patrol called Quick Reaction Alert (Intercept) or QRA (I) that was tasked to approach the C-27J and that subsequently escorted it towards Baltic airspace. The C-27J was then handed over to two Danish F-16s from the NATO QRA (I) tasked with the Baltic Air Policing mission. On the return flight all three aircraft conducted a low approach at Kaunas airfield in the early afternoon before returning to Šiauliai airbase.

On day two a similar lost communications scenario took place with a Polish C-295M transport aircraft, which the Danish F-16s met in Baltic airspace. The C-295M was escorted back to the Polish border, where it was handed over to Polish MiG-29 fighters and accompanied back to Krakow, Poland. Following this one Danish F-16 simulated an air emergency, a weapons jettison and a crew ejection in the area of Rukla Range, Lithuania.

The scenario in BRTE XIV allowed aircrews to practice Air Policing skills and techniques. It also offered air controllers in the various civilian and military Air C2 centres an opportunity to cooperate and liaise with one another.

“Three BRTEs are planned and organised each year by Headquarters Allied Air Command (HQ AIRCOM) at Ramstein, Germany, and the Combined Air Operations Centre at Uedem, Germany. The fact that we have been conducting this series for almost five years now – together with the Baltic Air Policing that started in 2004 – reflects NATO’s continued commitment to the Baltic States at the north-eastern flank of the Alliance,” said Squadron Leader Antony Jackson, GBR Air Force, the project officer for the BRTE series at HQ AIRCOM.

In the new NATO Command Structure, HQ AIRCOM is the Alliance single air command responsible for all Air Power issues across the entire NATO airspace from the Northern Norway to Southern Italy and from the Azores to Eastern Turkey. In addition to the Air Policing mission throughout this area of responsibility, AIRCOM is also in charge of NATO’s Ballistic Missile Defence.

HQ AIRCOM is currently providing operational control for the Allied real-world deployment at its south-eastern flank, in Turkey, protecting the NATO member with PATRIOT systems against the potential missile threat posed by Syria.

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Massive Formation: U.S. Marines Begin Combat Training In Baltics

Marine Corps Forces Europe
U.S. European Command
USAG Stuttgart, Germany
April 19, 2013

BSRF-13, Latvian land forces kick-off training
By Lance Cpl. Michael Dye

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“Calling for fire is when a unit is downrange and they need support from air, artillery or mortars to seize or eliminate a target or objective,” said Lance Cpl. Justin Conlen, a Barre, Mass. native, operations clerk with BSRF-13. “We are going to achieve this by employing several scenarios which require the military forces to effectively communicate with the command to call-in for additional support.”

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CAMP ADAZI, Latvia: Ninety-four U.S. Marines and sailors with Black Sea Rotational Force 13 marked the beginning of Exercise Summer Shield 10, a two-week military engagement with the Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Soldiers, during an opening ceremony at Camp Adazi, Latvia, April 15, 2013.

The three military forces will be working with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force BSRF-13 during Summer Shield to enhance interoperability…

The units gathered on the parade deck aboard Camp Adazi and held a massive formation…

Summer Shield 10 focuses on integration of fires and maneuver in a joint environment to build partner nation capacity while enhancing our interoperability.

“BSRF-13 is here to strengthen and further our bond with the Latvian land forces,” said Capt. Scott Helminski, BSRF-13’s weapons company commander, and Rockford, Ill. native.

Critical to the exercise will be a training package focused on call for fire techniques.

“Calling for fire is when a unit is downrange and they need support from air, artillery or mortars to seize or eliminate a target or objective,” said Lance Cpl. Justin Conlen, a Barre, Mass. native, operations clerk with BSRF-13. “We are going to achieve this by employing several scenarios which require the military forces to effectively communicate with the command to call-in for additional support.”

Following Summer Shield, the Marines and sailors with BSRF-13 will re-deploy to Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania where they will continue to serve as a crisis response force of more than 250 Marines conducting a 6-month theater security cooperation deployment with 21 partner nations. The self-contained Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force provides EUCOM the ability to quickly respond to a regional crisis within the unit’s capabilities while building military capacity, providing regional stability, and developing lasting partnerships.

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Leo Tolstoy: “Thou Shalt Not Kill”

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

Russian writers on war

Leo Tolstoy: Selections on war

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Leo Tolstoy
“Thou Shalt Not Kill” (1900)
Translator unknown

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‘Thou shalt not kill.’ – EXOD. xx. 13.

‘The disciple is not above his master: but every one when he is perfected shall be as his master.’ – LUKE vi. 40

‘For all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.’ – MATT. xxvi. 52.

‘Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.’ – MATT. vii. 12.

When Kings are executed after trial, as in the case of Charles I, Louis XVI, and Maximilian of Mexico; or when they are killed in court conspiracies, like Peter III, Paul and various Sultans, Shahs, and Khans, little is said about it; but when they are killed without a trial and without a court conspiracy – as in the case of Henry IV of France, Alexander II, the Empress of Austria, the late Shah of Persia, and, recently, Humbert [King Umberto I] – such murders excite the greatest surprise and indignation among Kings and Emperors and their adherents, just as if they themselves never took part in murders, nor profited by them, nor instigated them. But, in fact, the mildest of the murdered Kings (Alexander II or Humbert, for instance), not to speak of executions in their own countries, were instigators of, and accomplices and partakers in, the murder of tens of thousands of men who perished on the field of battle; while more cruel Kings and Emperors have been guilty of hundreds of thousands, and even millions, of murders.

The teaching of Christ repeals the law, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth’; but those who have always clung to that law, and still cling to it, and who apply it to a terrible degree – not only claiming ‘an eye for an eye,’ but without provocation decreeing the slaughter of thousands, as they do when they declare war – have no right to be indignant at the application of that same law to themselves in so small and insignificant a degree that hardly one King or Emperor is killed for each hundred thousand, or perhaps even for each million, who are killed by the order and with the consent of Kings and Emperors. Kings and Emperors not only should not be indignant at such murders as those of Alexander II and Humbert, but they should be surprised that such murders are so rare, considering the continual and universal example of murder that they give to mankind.

The crowd are so hypnotized that they see what is going on before their eyes, but do not understand its meaning. They see what constant care Kings, Emperors, and Presidents devote to their disciplined armies; they see the reviews, parades, and manoeuvres the rulers hold, about which they boast to one another; and the people crowd to see their own brothers, brightly dressed up in fools’ clothes, turned into machines to the sound of drum and trumpet, all, at the shout of one man, making one and the same movement at one and the same moment but they do not understand what it all means. Yet the meaning of this drilling is very clear and simple: it is nothing but a preparation for killing.

It is stupefying men in order to make them fit instruments for murder. And those who do this, who chiefly direct this and are proud of it, are the Kings, Emperors and Presidents. And it is just these men – who are specially occupied in organizing murder and who have made murder their profession, who wear military uniforms and carry murderous weapons (swords) at their sides – that are horrified and indignant when one of themselves is murdered.

The murder of Kings – the murder of Humbert – is terrible, but not on account of its cruelty. The things done by command of Kings and Emperors – not only past events such as the massacre of St. Bartholomew religious butcheries, the terrible repressions of peasant rebellions, and Paris coups d’ etat, but the present-day government executions, the doing-to-death of prisoners in solitary confinement, the disciplinary battallions, the hangings, the beheadings, the shootings and slaughter in wars – are incomparably more cruel than the murders committed by Anarchists. Nor are these murders terrible because undeserved. If Alexander II and Humbert did not deserve death, still less did the thousands of Russians who perished at Plevna, or of Italians who perished in Abyssinia. Such murders are terrible, not because they are cruel or unmerited, but because of the unreasonableness of those who commit them.

If the regicides act under the influence of personal feelings of indignation evoked by the sufferings of an oppressed people, for which they hold Alexander or Carnot or Humbert responsible; or if they act from personal feelings of revenge, then – however immoral their conduct may be – it is at least intelligible; but how is it that a body of men (Anarchists, we are told) such as those by whom Bresci was sent, and who are now threatening another Emperor – how is that they cannot devise any better means of improving the condition of humanity than by killing people whose destruction can no more be of use than the decapitation of that mythical monster on whose neck a new head appeared as soon as one was cut of? Kings and Emperors have long ago arranged for themselves a system like that of a magazine-rifle: as soon as one bullet has been discharged another takes its place. Le roi est mort, vive le roi! So what is the use of killing them?

Only on a most superficial view, can the killing of these men seem a means of saving the nations from oppression and from wars destructive of human life.

One only need remember that similar oppression and similar war went on, no matter who was at the head of the government – Nicholas or Alexander, Frederick or Wilhelm, Napoleon or Louis, Palmerston or Gladstone, McKinley or anyone else – in order to understand that it is not any particular person who causes these oppressions and these wars from which the nations suffer. The misery of nations is caused not by particular persons, but by the particular order of society under which the people are so tied up together that they find themselves all in the power of a few men, or more often in the power of one single man: a man so perverted by his unnatural position as arbiter of the fate and lives of millions, that he is always in an unhealthy state, and always suffers more or less from a mania of self-aggrandizement which only his exceptional position conceals from general notice.

Apart from the fact that such men are surrounded from earliest childhood to the grave by the most insensate luxury in an atmosphere of falsehood and flattery which always accompanies them, their whole education and all their occupations are centred on one object: learning about former murders, the best present-day ways of murdering, and the best preparations for future murder. From childhood they learn about killing in all its possible forms. They always carry about with them murderous weapons – swords or sabres; they dress themselves in various uniforms; they attend parades, reviews and manoeuvres; they visit one another, presenting one another with orders and nominating one another to the command of regiments, and not only does no one tell them plainly what they are doing or say that to busy one’s self with preparations for killing is revolting and criminal, but from all sides they hear nothing but approval and enthusiasm for all this activity of theirs. Every time they go out, and at each parade and review, crowds of people flock to greet them with enthusiasm, and it seems to them as if the whole nation approves of their conduct. The only part of the press that reaches them, and that seems to them the expression of the feelings of the whole people, or at least of its best representatives, most slavishly extols their every word and action, however silly or wicked they may be. Those around them, men and women, clergy and laity, all people who do not prize human dignity, vying with one another in refined flattery, agree with them about anything and deceive them about everything making it impossible for them to see life as it is. Such rulers might live a hundred years without ever seeing one single really independent man or ever hearing the truth spoken. One is sometimes appalled to hear of the words and deeds of these men; but one need only consider their position in order to understand that anyone in their place would act as they do. If a reasonable man found himself in their place, there is only one reasonable action he could perform, and that would be to get away from such a position. Any one remaining in it would behave as they do.

What, indeed, must go on in the head of some Wilhelm of Germany – a narrow-minded, ill-educated, vain man, with the ideals of a German Junker – when there is nothing he can say so stupid or so horrid that it will not be met by an enthusiastic ‘Hoch!’ and be commented on by the press of the entire world as though it were something highly important. When he says that, at his word, soldiers should be ready to kill their own fathers, people shout ‘Hurrah !’ When he says that the Gospel must be introduced with an iron fist – ‘Hurrah!’ When he says the army is to take no prisoners in China, but to slaughter everybody, he is not put into a lunatic asylum, but people shout ‘Hurrah!’ and set sail for China to execute his commands. Or Nicholas II (a man naturally modest) begins his reign by announcing to venerable old men who had expressed a wish to be allowed to discuss their own affairs, that such ideas of self-government were ‘insensate dreams,’ – and the organs of the press he sees and the people he meets, praise him for it. He proposes a childish, silly, and hypocritical project of universal peace, while at the same time ordering an increase in the army – and there are no limits to the laudations of his wisdom and virtue. Without any need, he foolishly and mercilessly insults and oppresses a whole nation, the Finns, and again he hears nothing but praise. Finally, he arranges the Chinese slaughter, terrible in its injustice, cruelty and incompatibility with his peace projects and from all sides people applaud him, both as a victor and as a continuer of his father’s peace policy.

What, indeed, must be going on in the heads and hearts of these men?

So it is not the Alexanders and Humberts, nor the Wilhelms, Nicholases, and Chamberlains – though they decree these oppressions of the nations and these wars – who are really the most guilty of these sins, but it is rather those who place and support them in the position of arbiters over the lives of their fellow-men. And, therefore, the thing to do is not to kill Alexanders, Nicholases, Wilhelms, and Humberts, but to cease to support the arrangement of society of which they are a result. And what supports the present order of society is the selfishness and stupefaction of the people, who sell their freedom and honour for insignificant material advantages.

People who stand on the lowest rung of the ladder – partly as a result of being stupefied by a patriotic and pseudo-religious education, and partly for the sake of personal advantages – cede their freedom and sense of human dignity at the bidding of these who stand above them and offer them material advantages. In the same way – in consequence of stupefaction, and chiefly for the sake of advantages – those who are a little higher up the ladder cede their freedom and manly dignity, and the same thing repeats itself with those standing yet higher, and so on to the top most rung, to those who, or to him who, standing at the apex of the social cone have nothing more to obtain, for whom the only motives of action are love of power and vanity, and who are generally so perverted and stupefied by the power of life and death which they hold over their fellow-men, and by the consequent servility and flattery of those who surround them, that, without ceasing to do evil, they feel quite assured that they are benefactors to the human race.

It is the people who sacrifice their dignity as men for material profit that produce these men who cannot act otherwise than as they do act, and with whom it is useless to be angry for their stupid and wicked actions. To kill such men is like whipping children whom one has first spoilt.

That nations should not be oppressed, and that there should be none of these useless wars, and that men may not be indignant with those who seem to cause these evils, and may not kill them, it seems that only a very small thing is necessary. It is necessary that men should understand things as they are, should call them by their right names, and should know that an army is an instrument for killing, and that the enrollment and management of an army – the very things which Kings, Emperors, and Presidents occupy themselves with so self-confidently – is a preparation for murder.

If only each King, Emperor, and President understood that his work of directing armies is not an honourable and important duty, as his flatterers persuade him it is, but a bad and shameful act of preparation for murder and if each private individual understood that the payment of taxes wherewith to hire and equip soldiers, and, above all, army-service itself, are not matters of indifference, but are bad and shameful actions by which he not only permits but participates in murder – then this power of Emperors, Kings, and Presidents, which now arouses our indignation, and which causes them to be murdered, would disappear of itself.

So that the Alexanders, Carnots, Humberts, and others should not be murdered, but it should be explained to them that they are themselves murderers, and, chiefly, they should not be allowed to kill people, men should refuse to murder at their command.

If people do not yet act in this way, it is only because governments, to maintain themselves, diligently exercise a hypnotic influence upon the people. And, therefore, we may help to prevent people killing either Kings or one another, not by killing – murder only increases the hypnotism – but by arousing people from their hypnotic condition.

And it is this I have tried to do by these remarks.

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NATO Consolidates Military Partnerships in the Persian Gulf

April 19, 2013 1 comment

Kuwait News Agency
April 19, 2013

Rasmussen welcomes closer NATO-Gulf cooperation

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Brussels: NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen Friday welcomed steps to boost cooperation between the Alliance and the Gulf states which are members of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI).

Speaking at a press conference in Brussels today he “warmly welcomed” the opening of an UAE [United Arab Emirates] mission in NATO headquarters.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the UAE, opened his country’s office in NATO in the Belgian capital on 12 April.

“It is a significant step in strengthening the bonds between NATO and our partners,” he stressed.

Moreover, a high-ranking NATO delegation held talks in Kuwait on Thursday.

“More generally one would welcome such steps forward in our relations with our partners within the ICI in the coming years,” added Rasmussen.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE are members of the ICI which was launched in 2004 to promote defence cooperation between NATO and countries of the Middle East.

Meanwhile, he said that foreign ministers of the 28-member Alliance during their regular spring meeting on Tuesday, 23 April, in Brussels will examine developments in the Middle East and North Africa.

He noted that the situation in Syria continues to pose a grave risk for the region…

The NATO foreign ministers will also take stock of the Alliance’s Patriot deployment in Turkey.

Rasmussen described the recent resumption of contacts between Israel and Turkey as “positive news” after a period of political tension.

He said that NATO has political contacts with the new administration in Libya…

He said that NATO is ready to help Libya in the transition process if requested.

NATO foreign ministers will also meet with their counterparts from the 22 non-NATO countries which contribute to the ISAF mission in Afghanistan on Tuesday afternoon.

Rasmussen, who just visited Japan and South Korea, said North Korea’s missile launches and nuclear tests “pose a serious threat to regional and international peace, security and stability.”…

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Interview: Militarism Reigns Supreme in the United States

April 19, 2013 3 comments

Press TV
April 19, 2013

‘US should attend to people instead of military’

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Rick Rozoff, manager of Stop NATO, said on Thursday that the United States needs to attend more to the American people, who are in desperate need of assistance, rather than expanding its military.

“The fact that, plagued with internal economic crises as it is, the United States government persists in maintaining a string of military bases around the world at the cost of an estimated 30 billion dollars a year is an indication to what degree militarism reigns supreme in the United States,” he told Press TV.

“Bread will be taken off families’ table in order to fuel the Pentagon’s expansion internationally,” Rozoff added.

A new Congressional report details the rising costs of keeping massive U.S. bases overseas at a time when the Pentagon is looking to reduce its footprint in many of those countries. Reports say the U.S. spends more than $10 billion a year on overseas bases.

“We have to keep in mind that never before in history has one nation divided up the world into military commands as the United States does,” Rozoff said.

“It has six overseas military commands that take in every part of the world. It has six naval fleets that encompass the entire world. It also has bases in most every continent in the world,” the analyst said.

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Expeditionary Army: First U.S. Troops In Jordan For Syria Operations

U.S. Department of Defense
American Forces Press Service

April 18, 2013

Advance Headquarters Elements Operating in Jordan
By Donna Miles

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The division is regionally aligned with U.S. Central Command, and Pittard and most of his headquarters staff worked alongside their Jordanian counterparts during Exercise Eager Light in October, he said. Exercise Eager Lion, also in Jordan, is slated for June. Another portion of the headquarters is in Saudi Arabia for Exercise Earnest Leader, and others will participate in Exercise Bright Star in Egypt in September…

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Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Jordan’s King Abdullah II at NATO headquarters a year ago

WASHINGTON: Elements of the 1st Armored Division headquarters at Fort Bliss, Texas, are preparing for what’s expected to be a year-long mission in Jordan to help the Jordanian military deal with consequences of the Syrian conflict, Army Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard, the division commander, told reporters today.

Members of the element, to be led by Army Maj. Gen. Wayne Grigsby Jr., deputy division commander for operations, are expected to rotate during the mission, Pittard said. Details are still being worked out, he added, estimating that deployments would be in the six-month range.

About 110 soldiers will deploy from Fort Bliss, with liaison officers and other augmentees to increase the element’s size closer to 200, he said.

On the ground, the element will coordinate with U.S. military forces operating in Jordan and provide assistance “in everything from humanitarian assistance to stability [operations] to other things in support of Jordan,” Pittard said. The operational role, however, is expected to be “very, very limited,” he said, adding that the headquarters is prepared to expand the mission and the scale of the mission as necessary.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the deployment during testimony yesterday before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The contingent will enhance efforts of a small U.S. military team that has been working in Jordan since last year on planning related to chemical weapons and preventing a spillover of violence across Jordan’s borders, the secretary told the Senate panel.

“These personnel will continue to work alongside Jordanian armed forces to improve readiness and prepare for a number of scenarios,” he said.

Pittard reported today that the advance party already is on the ground in Jordan preparing for the mission.

The division is regionally aligned with U.S. Central Command, and Pittard and most of his headquarters staff worked alongside their Jordanian counterparts during Exercise Eager Light in October, he said. Exercise Eager Lion, also in Jordan, is slated for June. Another portion of the headquarters is in Saudi Arabia for Exercise Earnest Leader, and others will participate in Exercise Bright Star in Egypt in September, he said.

The deployment comes just two weeks after the announcement that missile defenders based at Fort Bliss would deploy to Guam as a precautionary move to protect against North Korean missiles.

Members of the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense System battery deployed last week and are in place and operational in Guam, Pittard reported.

Pittard said he’s proud that Fort Bliss “has really become one of our premier installations” in the expeditionary Army.

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New Command Integrates U.S.,NATO Special Forces For Global Interventions

April 18, 2013 1 comment

U.S. Department of Defense
American Forces Press Service

April 18, 2013

New Command Structure Fortifies Special Operations Partnerships
By Amaani Lyle

WASHINGTON: The commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command yesterday lauded a new command structure that aligns various NATO and U.S. special operations forces elements under two-star headquarters.

In testimony before the House Armed Services Committee’s emerging threats and capabilities subcommittee, Navy Adm. William H. McRaven said the new structure supports the defense strategic guidance, which outlines efforts to build partnership capacity.

“Socom is working to strengthen these international partnerships and to build lasting networks, both formally and informally, so that we or our allies can create a secure environment in unstable areas and, if necessary, react to emerging crises rapidly and effectively,” McRaven said.

U.S. special operations forces are in about 78 countries around the world, helping to build partner capacity…the admiral said.

McRaven recalled recent visits to Colombia and the Philippines, where he said the long-term U.S. investment with those nations’ special operations forces has helped to change the security situation dramatically.

“Building allied [special operations forces] capacity and capability represents the best approach to dealing with some of the world’s more complex security problems,” he said. “In all cases, those special operations forces deployed to foreign lands are working for the geographic combatant commander, with the approval of the chief of the mission and always in support of U.S. policy goals.”

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Afghan War: Germany Offers NATO Troops Beyond 2014

Stars and Stripes
April 18, 2013

Germany offers troops for Afghan training mission

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Afghanistan: First German ground combat since World War II

SHAPEBERLIN: Germany offered Thursday to provide up to 800 soldiers for a NATO training mission in Afghanistan after U.S. and other foreign combat troops leave the country by the end of next year.

Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Berlin is offering to station between roughly 600 and 800 soldiers in Kabul and the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif for a two-year period starting in 2015. They would provide training, advice and support to local forces but not engage in combat missions.

After that period ends, plans call for training and advisory help by foreign soldiers to be concentrated on Kabul, and Germany would then be prepared to contribute 200-300 troops, de Maiziere said.

The final decision must be taken by the next German government following national elections in September, but polls show Chancellor Angela Merkel is likely to win a third four-year term – with or without her current center-right coalition. Germany’s main center-left opposition party, which took the country into Afghanistan when it was in government, has continued to support the mission there.

Germany now has about 4,170 troops in Afghanistan, mostly in the north, which has been a relatively calm region.

The U.S. is expected to keep between 9,000 and 10,000 troops in Afghanistan as a residual force after 2014, but no final decision has been made.

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NATO Conducts Largest-Ever Naval War Games Off Coast Of Scotland

April 18, 2013 3 comments

The News (Portsmouth)
April 18, 2013

Navy at heart of NATO exercise

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Involving more than 40 warships, 40 fixed-wing aircraft and 30 helicopters from the UK, Netherlands, Canada, France, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Germany, over 12,000 personnel will be taking part in Exercise Joint Warrior.

A training exercise for Response Force Task Group, which is designed to respond at a moment’s notice to rapidly unfolding world events, this takes place twice a year in a vast arena off the coast of Scotland.

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Last Operation Jade Warrior in September 2012

Royal Navy warships are at the heart of the largest ever NATO exercise to take place off the coast of Scotland.

The ‘war games’ began today as the Navy, Army and RAF put their warfighting skills to the test.

Seven warships from the UK, Netherlands and Canada sailed in formation from the East coast of Scotland round to the West today where they will join up with the rest of the task group on Tuesday.

Involving more than 40 warships, 40 fixed-wing aircraft and 30 helicopters from the UK, Netherlands, Canada, France, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Germany, over 12,000 personnel will be taking part in Exercise Joint Warrior.

A training exercise for Response Force Task Group, which is designed to respond at a moment’s notice to rapidly unfolding world events, this takes place twice a year in a vast arena off the coast of Scotland.

Events began on Friday at Barry Buddon beach in Barry, Carnoustie where 42 Commando Royal Marines launched an aviation assault to practise landing on the shores of a hostile nation and being ready to fight. Viking vehicles were also brought onto the shores via landing craft from HMS Bulwark, demonstrating how they would bring their equipment and support to back up the marines landed from the air.

For the Commander UK Task Group based on HMS Bulwark, Commodore Paddy McAlpine this is a chance to put into practise lessons learnt from the Royal Navy’s key exercise last year, Cougar 12. That exercise, spearheaded by HMS Bulwark and HMS Illustrious, saw the task group work first with the French off Toulon and Corsica, then with the Albanians in the Adriatic.

Cdre McAlpine said: “During Joint Warrior we will practise fighting at sea as well as fighting from the sea. We’ll practise against a demanding air, surface and submarine threat, entering a hostile environment and then deliver our landing force of Royal and Dutch marines to the right area.”

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