U.S. Paratroopers To Train Ukrainian Troops For Second Year Of War

Stars and Stripes
March 19, 2015

US training of Ukraine forces to go forward
By Jon Harper

WASHINGTON: The U.S. military is moving forward with plans to deploy U.S. paratroopers to war-torn Ukraine to train local forces, the Pentagon said Thursday.

The training will likely begin in late April, Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren told reporters.

The mission, which was scheduled to occur this month, was delayed due to concerns that the training effort would undermine the Minsk II cease fire agreement between Kiev’s forces and Russia-backed insurgents, according to Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the commander of U.S. Army forces in Europe.

That deal was brokered in February, but fighting has continued in eastern Ukraine.

Approximately 290 U.S. soldiers from the Army’s 173rd “Sky Soldiers” Airborne Brigade, based in Vicenza, Italy, will deploy to western Ukraine to train three battalions of the Ukrainian national guard, Warren said.

When asked why the training was moving forward, Warren said, “As the situation in Ukraine continued to develop and evolve … we put this training event under some review” and “the decision [was] made that conducting this exercise is a good idea.”

At a breakfast with defense reporters in Washington on Tuesday, Hodges said he anticipated that the training would go forward next month, but he had not received any orders to that effect.

Hodges said that U.S. troops will try to improve the Ukrainian national guard’s ability to conduct route security, protect critical infrastructure, provide emergency medical care, survive artillery and rocket fire, and operate in an electronic warfare environment.

“Beginning of the training absolutely does not signify an assessment that [the Minsk agreement] has failed,” Hodges said.

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NATO Partners: U.S. Warplanes In Romanian Exercise Within Striking Distance Of Crimea

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

March 18, 2015

USAFE, Romanian Airmen kick off Dacian Warhawk
By Staff Sgt. Armando A. Schwier-Morales
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

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CAMPIA TURZII, Romania: More than 100 personnel and six F-16 Fighting Falcons landed at Campia Turzii, Romania, to kick off a bilateral Romanian and U.S. Air Force training event March 10 to 27.

Exercise Dacian Warhawk featured U.S. and Romanian Airmen working side-by-side to establish a base and conduct both ground and air operations with NATO partners.

“It’s been a great experience to work alongside the 52nd Fighter Wing to strengthen our alliance with the Romanian air force,” said Col. Steven Edwards, 435th Contingency Response Group commander. “I’m extremely proud of all the 435th AGOW Airmen helping to make this exercise a success–from the 2nd Air Support Operations Squadron joint terminal attack controllers supporting operations on Cincu Range, to the 435th Construction and Training Squadron installing aircraft arresting systems here, to 1st Combat Communications Squadron supporting all players with a robust communications capability. Not to mention the air advisors from Detachment 1 working a multitude of events designed to build partnerships with our Romanian counterparts–everyone is stepping-up.”

The 435th Air Ground Operations Wing hosted a series of events designed to build partnerships by sharing knowledge, skills and best practices. Airmen from airfield operations, air traffic control, medical and logistics developed training plans to effectively share knowledge between the two nations.

“I believe the next two weeks will be a great opportunity, not only to increase our efficiency, but mostly to tighten up the bonds between the U.S. and Romanian air force,” said Romanian air force Col. Marious Oatu, 71st Air Base commander. “So fly safe and good luck.”

As Airmen passed along knowledge and best practices on the ground, U.S. F-16CJ Fighting Falcon pilots and Romanian Mig-26 pilots took to the skies to hone their skills.

“It’s an honor to be here and train side-by-side with the Romanians,” said Lt. Col. David Berkland, 480th Fighter Squadron commander. “We hope by being here we can increase the cooperation between our countries and NATO partners and be able to provide increased security [sic] in the Eastern Europe region.”

The training event will continue through March 27 and continue to improve the interoperability between the two nations, while further increasing relations as NATO partners.

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Military Vehicles On The Way, Biden Says U.S. Troops To Train Ukrainian National Guard Soon

March 19, 2015 1 comment

UNIAN
March 19, 2015

Biden: US military to train Ukraine’s National Guard soldiers soon

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has discussed the situation in the Donbas with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, and informed him about the latest laws adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to implement the Minsk agreements, the Ukrainian president’s press service reported on Wednesday.

Speaking by phone with Poroshenko, Biden said U.S. President Barack Obama had decided to send U.S. servicemen to conduct the training of 780 Ukrainian soldiers of the Ukrainian National Guard in the near future.

The Vice President also said that a first shipment of U.S. military vehicles, which Washington is sending to enhance the country’s defense, would arrive in Ukraine in late March.

Ukrainian President thanked the United States for its strong stance with regard to Crimea and consistent support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

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340-Day War: British Military Begins Training Ukrainian Army

Interfax-Ukraine
March 19, 2015

British military begin training Ukrainian army – media

A group of 35 trainers of British military personnel have already begun training members of the Ukrainian army fighting pro-Russian rebels, the BBC learned.

The 35 trainers are working in the southern city of Mykolaiv and will spend about two months in the country.

According to BBC, Ukrainian forces will learn medicine aid algorithm and defensive tactics.

The decision to send British military men to Ukraine was announced by UK Prime Minister David Cameron last month.

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NATO Survey Team Assesses Georgia’s War Readiness

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
March 19, 2015

Visit of NATO Survey Team

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Georgia is hosting the NATO survey team. The scoping team arrived in Georgia to conduct initial assessment of Georgia’s capabilities and exiting infrastructure in order to identify the requirements and plan specific actions to successfully implement the Joint Training and Evaluation Center’s Project. The team is led by the representative of Norway, with officers from Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark and Germany, supported by the United States of America.

Establishment of the Joint Training and Assessment Center (JTEC) in Georgia is one of the most ambitious and key initiatives under the NATO-Georgia Substantial Package. One of the aims of the JTEC is to train and evaluate military representatives of the Georgian Armed Forces and NATO member and partner countries. The Centre will be designed to conduct a pre-deployment training and certification of units assigned to the NATO-led and other international operations. The Centre will have capabilities to host multinational, joint and combined exercises and training in support of the Connected Forces Initiative (CFI).

Deputy Minister of Defence of Georgia Levan Girsiashvili and Head of NATO Liaison Office William Lahue held a briefing for the representatives of media to inform them about establishment of the JTEC.

“We do acknowledge the significance of establishing the Center in Georgia and are committed to invest all available resources to effectively and timely implement this project along with other initiatives of the Package. We see the Center as the institution with its own office that will use all existing training capabilities of the Defence Ministry. We do also appreciate NATO and the member countries’ dedication to contribute to successful implementation of the JTEC project that is essential to meet the targets.

Finally, I would like to emphasize that upon completion of the NATO Team visit we will have initial ideas on possible location of the Centre and rough estimates for the project implementation,” declared Levan Girsiashvili.

“The Center is one of the components of the Substantial NATO-Georgia Package endorsed at the NATO Summit in Wales last September. The Center will provide training to support Georgia, other partners and Allies in maintaining and increasing interoperability. NATO experts will support the Georgian Armed Forces in developing this training facility and provide advice on its possible location,” stated William Lahue.

In the framework of the visit the NATO survey team will have a tour around the Krtsanisi Training Area and Vaziani. Upon completion of the NATO Team visit, the sides will have initial ideas on possible location of the Centre and rough estimates for the project implementation.

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Richard Aldington: All the decay and dead of battlefields entered his blood and seemed to poison him

March 19, 2015 1 comment

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

Richard Aldington: Selections on war

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Richard Aldington
From Death of a Hero (1929)

NPG x10305,(Edward Godfree) Richard Aldington,by Howard Coster

Winterbourne felt sleepless. He was so much accustomed to being alert and awake at night and sleeping by day, that he found a difficulty in breaking the habit. He spent the night aimlessly wandering about the streets and sitting on Embankment benches. He notice that there were very few occupants of the benches – the War found work for every one. Odd, he reflected, that in War-time the country could afford five million pounds sterling a day in trying to kill Germans, and that in peace-time it couldn’t afford five million a year to attack its own destitution…

There was very little to do in Etaples, even with the more extended opportunities of an officer. They messed in a large, draughty marquee, but there was a camp cinema where he spent part of each evening. There were numbers of women at the Base, and he noticed that some of them were pregnant. Apparently there was no attempt at concealment; but then the birth-rate was declining rapidly in England, and babies were urgently needed for the Next War…

The days passed into weeks, the weeks into months. He moved through impressions like a man hallucinated. And every incident seemed to beat on his brain Death, Death, Death. All the decay and dead of battlefields entered his blood and seemed to poison him. He lived among smashed bodies and human remains in an infernal cemetery. If he scratched his stick idly and nervously in the side of a trench, he pulled out human ribs. He ordered a new latrine to be dug out from the trench, and thrice the digging had to be abandoned because they came upon terrible black masses of decomposing bodies…

For three days in succession Winterbourne’s company formed the advance-guard, and he led it in the darkness over unknown ground, by compass-bearing, in a kind of dazed delirium. Pressing on through falling shells in a blank night, with the ever-present dread of falling into a machine-gun ambush, became an agony. They fought their way into inhabited villages, which had been held by the Germans for over four years. The terrified people crouched in cellars or ran distractedly into the fields. They took the village of F-, after a brief but fierce bombardment, an hour after dawn. The roads leading in and out were encumbered with dead Germans, smashed transport, the contorted bodies of dead horses. Dead German soldiers lay about the village street, which was cluttered with fallen tiles and bricks. In a garden a war-demented peasant was digging a grave to bury his wife, who had been killed by a shell-burst. In a ruined village school Winterbourne picked up a book – it was Pascal’s Thoughts on Christianity.

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Intercepting ICBMs: Pentagon Moves Toward Final Stage Of Star Wars

U.S. Department of Defense
March 18, 2015

Missile Agency Director: Budget Request Supports Development
By Claudette Roulo

bmdo-mkr-bg

WASHINGTON: The Missile Defense Agency’s fiscal year 2016 budget request continues the development of defenses for the nation, deployed forces and allies and international partners against increasingly capable ballistic missile threats, the agency’s director told Congress today.

Navy Vice Adm. James D. Syring told members of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s defense subcommittee that the $8.127 billion request will also continue his agency’s support of the needs of warfighters and combatant commanders.

The agency’s budget request maintains its commitment to operate and sustain national defenses, he said, including the planned deployment of ground-based interceptors: 40 to Fort Greely, Alaska, and four to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, for a total of 44 by the end of 2017.

Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle

In June, the CE-II Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle successfully intercepted an intermediate-range ballistic missile target. The demonstration proved that earlier vibration problems affecting the system’s inertial measurement unit have been overcome, Syring said.

The EKV is the heart of the ground-based midcourse defense, or GMD, interceptor program, which uses land-based missiles to intercept ballistic missiles before they reenter the atmosphere. Tracking begins in the boost phase, and uses data from numerous long-range sensors — including satellites, early-warning radars and the sea-based X-band radar.

“Our budget request this year will support test requirements as we continue to enhance our stockpile reliability program and undertake component aging testing,” Syring said.

The $1.76 billion request for GMD is an increase of $613 million from fiscal 15, but it supports an expanded deployment of interceptors, flight testing, research and development and software and system upgrades.

Testing for 2016 includes a nonintercept flight test to evaluate alternate thrusters intended to divert the vehicle as it refines the target flight path, he said, as well as to support algorithm development for better target discrimination.

“In the following year, we will attempt to intercept an [intercontinental ballistic missile] target for the first time,” Syring said.

“We will also continue development for the redesigned kill vehicle … for improved reliability, availability, performance and producibility,” he added.

According to the agency’s fiscal year 2015 budget overview, the redesigned kill vehicle will be built with a modular, open architecture and designed with common interfaces and standards to make upgrades easier and broaden the vendor and supplier base.

“The first flight test of the [redesigned kill vehicle] is planned in 2018, with an intercept test in 2019 and initial deployment then in 2020,” the admiral said.

Long-range Discrimination Radar

Technical trade studies are complete for the long-range discrimination radar, Syring said. The radar will be used for midcourse tracking and will provide persistent coverage and improved target discrimination.

Requirements have been defined and acquisition planning and pre-construction activities are starting, he said, noting, “We anticipate contract award for the development, deployment and the initial operation of the LRDR before the end of [fiscal] 2015.”

Additional Programs

“Our [fiscal 2016] budget continues the development and deployment of short-, medium- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles,” the admiral said.

“Phases 2 and 3 of the European Phased Adaptive Approach are on schedule, and we will expand the Phase 1 protection of our European NATO allies against attacks from Middle East,” he continued.

Phases 2 and 3 of the EPAA include the deployment of Standard Missile-3 Block IB’s on ships and at Aegis Ashore sites in Romania in 2015 and in Poland in 2018 and, also in 2018, the deployment of SM-3 Block IIA missiles.

“We plan to procure 209 SM-3 [Block] IB’s by the end of 2016 and will be requesting multiyear procurement authorization,” he told the subcommittee.

“In support of EPAA Phase 3 … [the agency] is codeveloping the SM-3 [Block] IIA missile with the government of Japan, and upgrading the Aegis [ballistic missile defense] weapons system to increase the defended area and the probability of defeating larger and more complex threats,” Syring said.

“We also plan to deliver 48 additional [Terminal High Altitude Area Defense] interceptors to the Army, for a total of 155 delivered by 2016 to support the THAAD battery deployment, based on warfighter demand and operational need,” the admiral added.

Research and Investment

Advanced technology research and development is critical to addressing gaps in the ballistic missile defense system, he said.

“It is vital we continue to provide the warfighters the most advanced, cost-effective and reliable weapons systems they need to do their jobs,” Syring said.

These investments will help the agency deploy a future ballistic missile defense architecture that is more capable of “discriminating and killing reentry vehicles with a high degree of confidence,” the admiral said.

MDA’s budget request balances investment in national and regional missile defense capabilities while pursuing advanced technology to outpace the emerging threat, he said.

“MDA will continue to aggressively pursue cost-reduction measures through competition, partnering and cooperation, as we deliver the best missile defense capabilities to protect our nation, our deployed forces, and our friends and allies at the lowest cost to the American taxpayer,” Syring said.

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NATO Excoriates Russia Over Abkhazia, South Ossetia

March 18, 2015 2 comments

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
March 18, 2015

Statement by the NATO Secretary General on the so-called treaty between the Russian Federation and the South Ossetia region of Georgia

NATO does not recognize the so-called treaty on alliance and integration signed between the South Ossetia region of Georgia and Russia on 18 March.

This so-called treaty is yet another move by the Russian Federation that hampers ongoing efforts by the international community to strengthen security and stability in the region.

It violates Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and blatantly contradicts the principles of international law, OSCE principles and Russia’s international commitments.

….

South Ossetia and Abkhazia are integral parts of Georgia. NATO fully supports Georgia’s sovereignty, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders. We continue to call on Russia to reverse its recognition of the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of Georgia as independent states and to withdraw its forces from Georgia.

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Transdniester Targeted: NATO Strengthens Ties With Moldova

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
March 16, 2015

NATO and Moldova discuss ways to strengthen partnership

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova visits NATO

Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Moldovan Prime Minister Chiril Gaburici to NATO on Monday (16 March 2015) for talks on strengthening the partnership between the Alliance and Chișinău. Calling Moldova “a valued NATO partner”, the Secretary General underlined that “all NATO Allies support Moldova’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity, and respect its constitutional neutrality.”

During their meeting, the Prime Minister and the Secretary General took the next step towards establishing a Defence Capacity Building Initiative for Moldova. “This initiative will help your country modernize the defence and security sectors,” Mr. Stoltenberg said. He further noted that Moldova has agreed to an “impressive” Individual Partnership Action Plan with the Alliance, and the NATO remains committed “to support Moldova in all reform areas it has chosen.”

“We believe that developing our cooperation further will benefit both Moldova and NATO,” the Secretary General said; adding “through cooperation with NATO, Moldova can make its armed forces even more professional, and make a stronger contribution to peace.”

Mr. Stoltenberg also thanked the Prime Minister for Moldova’s contribution to NATO’s KFOR mission in Kosovo. “Everything you do shows that Moldova is a real contributor to peace and stability and cooperation in the Euro-Atlantic area,” he said.

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“Dangerous Areas”: Ukraine To Fortify Borders With Russia, Transdniester

March 18, 2015 2 comments

Ukrinform
March 18, 2015

Government to allocate 865 mln to build fortified border with Russia

KYIV: The Ukrainian government will allocate UAH 865 million from the reserve fund to build fortifications on the border between Ukraine and Russia.

Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatseniuk has said this at the government’s meeting on Wednesday, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“Today the government should urgently decide on the allocation of 865 million from the reserve fund to build the fortifications, which will help to save the lives of Ukrainian military and provide security throughout the border,” the PM said.

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Ukrinform
March 18, 2015

Ukraine to strengthen border with Transnistria

KYIV: Ukraine has developed the program to strengthen the borders in “dangerous areas”, particularly in Odesa and Kherson regions.

First deputy head of the Presidential Administration Vitaliy Kovalchuk has said this at a briefing in Kyiv, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

“Today it is necessary to distinguish between construction of fortifications and strengthening the border areas, where we can expect the risk. It is clear that the program to strengthen dangerous border areas in certain regions of the country, including in Odesa and Kherson regions, has been developed,” Kovalchuk said.

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Ukraine: U.S.-NATO Proxy Army To Reach 250,000 Within Month

March 18, 2015 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
March 18, 2015

Ukrainian army to grow to 250,000 within month – minister

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The Ukrainian Armed Forces will grow to 250,000 men within a month, Defense Minister Stepan Poltorak said.

“This will happen within a month,” Poltorak said in Kyiv on Wednesday. The reporters asked when the army size might grow to 250,000 men.

Ukraine has approximately 230,000 army servicemen at present but the 250,000 man target will be achieved through mobilization, the minister noted.

The Verkhovna Rada passed a presidential bill increasing the size of the army to 250,000 men, including 204,000 military servicemen, on March 5.

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Italy: NATO Trains For Air War In Europe

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations

March 18, 2015

Exercise Ramstein Dust I 2015 is underway in Italy

nato-planes

RAMSTEIN, Germany: NATO is continuing to develop deployable air surveillance and tactical air mission control capabilities with the “DARS”. This is the Deployable Air Control Centre, Recognised Air Picture Production Centre and Sensor Fusion Post. This capability currently includes 100 NATO Airmen from 16 Allied nations ready to deploy with their equipment on short notice.

From 4 to 30 March 2015, the DARS is deployed for Exercise RAMSTEIN DUST I 2015 to exercise and validate these operational tasks. In the early hours of 9 March 2015, some 100 DARS Airmen embarked on a 750-km move from the home base at Poggio Renatico in the north east of Italy to Gioia del Colle Air Base on the country’s eastern coast.

After setting-up and conducting integration testing, the DARS conducted both live and simulated control of various aircraft missions. The majority of training was supported by the Eurofighter Typhoon jets of 36th Stormo Fighter Squadron collocated at Gioia del Colle Air Base.

“RAMSTEIN DUST is a semi-annual exercise during which the DARS deploys to a remote location,” stated DARS Director, Colonel Christof Heite, German Air Force. “This allows our men and women to train in different environments with realistic mission scenarios. We gather valuable hands-on experience for future DARS deployments and have so far proven we are ready for such missions.”

On Monday, 16 March 2015, during the first day of live mission controls, the DARS staff demonstrated their capabilities to General Frank Gorenc, Commander of Allied Air Command at Ramstein, Germany.

“The DARS is an important capability for future NATO Air Operations,” said General Gorenc. “This unit provides forward and persistent air surveillance. It provides the critical communications link between our various weapons systems and higher headquarters. Most importantly, it provides our NATO Forces and our Joint Force Air Component with situational awareness and the ability to command and control 24/7 NATO air operations from almost any location on very short notice.

”The Heads of State and Government, during the NATO Summit at Wales in September 2014, agreed to revitalize the NATO Response Force with an increased focus on readiness and responsiveness. Capabilities such as the DARS will complement this initiative and may become increasingly important during any deployment of the NATO Response Force.

The DARS will continue to conduct live and simulated control of aircraft missions until the conclusion of RAMSTEIN DUST I 2015 during the last week of March. The lessons learned during this deployment are a major milestone along the unit’s road to reaching Full Operational Capability.

Story by HQ AIRCOM Public Affairs Office

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“Freedom Shock”: U.S. Ready For War In Eastern Europe At Moment’s Notice

March 18, 2015 1 comment

U.S. Army Europe
March 17, 2015

Freedom Shock: Army Europe, ready at a moment’s notice
By Sgt. Daniel Cole, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs

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Soldiers, assigned to the 1-214th Aviation Regiment, load a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, assigned to the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, onto a C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, Dec. 8, 2015, as part of an emergency deployment readiness exercise.

WIESBADEN, Germany: Moving a Soldier from one location to another can be a relatively simple task, but when real-world events arise and an entire unit is called to action, not to mention hundreds of pieces of equipment, how does Army Europe stay ready?

“Freedom Shock” is Army Europe’s name for emergency deployment readiness exercises, or EDRE, the program that enables commanders to activate units at a moment’s notice and move Soldiers and equipment anywhere in the European operational field, often within hours.

A unit, from the 173rd Airborne Brigade, recently participated in an EDRE in October 2014. In less than two days, the paratroopers were packed up, had drawn weapons, secured chutes and were headed to Romania on an Air Force C-130 Hercules.

“We started with a warning order at [6 a.m.],” said Maj. Matthew Work, the brigade’s executive officer, referring to the surprise notification. “This is part of building the readiness culture we have in the 173rd [Airborne Brigade], and building upon what we’ve been asked to do for U.S. Army Europe in expanding our EDRE capability.”

In December 2014, the 1-214th Aviation Regiment, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, was also “shocked” into action.

The unit, alongside Soldiers and airmen from Sweden and Hungary, loaded equipment into a C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane, including a handful of UH-60 Blackhawks.

Cargo was loaded at Clay Kaserne in Wiesbaden, Germany, and was flown to a training site in Poland, more than 700 kilometers away.

The 2nd Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment, is deployed to Romania, initiated under the program. The unit is scheduled to participate in training alongside the 173rd Airborne Brigade, which is already training in the area.

Future scheduled exercises include a battery from the 10th Army Air and Missile Defense Command deploying from its home station to a training area in Poland, and a tank company assigned to 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, from Grafenwoehr, to a training area near Berlin.

As Army Europe continues to participate in these exercises, the partnerships between ally and partner nations continue to grow stronger.

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

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U.S. A-10 Thuderbolts Arrive In England For NATO’s Anti-Russian Mission

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

March 13, 2015

A-10s arrive at Lakenheath

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U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Trevor T. McBride

An A-10C Thunderbolt II sits on the flightline as an F-15E Strike Eagle flies over at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, March 13, 2015. The A-10s and Airmen are deployed out of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., as part of a Theater Security Package in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

While deployed, they have conducted training alongside NATO allies to strengthen interoperability and demonstrate U.S. commitment to the security and stability of Europe.

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No 2 NATO Commander: Must Shift To Article 5 War Clause

March 18, 2015 2 comments

Focus Information Agency
March 18, 2015

General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, NATO: We will not allow aggression by a state to any of our allies

Sofia. NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander for Europe General Sir Adrian Bradshaw is on an official two-day visit to Bulgaria, the press office of the Bulgarian Ministry of Defence announced.

In the frames of his visit to Bulgaria the deputy commander of NATO forces in Europe met with Bulgarian Deputy Minister of Defence Dimitar Kyumyurdzhiev, Head of the Defence Vice-Admiral Rumen Nikolov, and will visit tomorrow the 68th Special Operations Brigade.

“Russia’s actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine demonstrated the readiness of Russia to begin a process of change in the sovereign borders of sovereign states by force, which was a major deviation from internationally accepted legal norms.” That is what Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Sir Adrian Bradshaw, said at a briefing, a reporter of FOCUS News Agency announced.

“This would have implications not only for Bulgaria, but for all EU member states of the Alliance, particularly those of the eastern flank. We need to show clearly that we are steadfast in that we stand behind the provisions of Article 5. Our response so far has been entirely defensive…but again it is necessary to assure our allies, especially those from the Eastern flank that we stand firmly behind the principles laid down in Article 5, the principles of collective defence and that we will not allow aggression by a state to any of our allies,” he said.

“The headquarters of NATO will be located in Sofia with 40 people staff, half of them Bulgarians and the rest of the Alliance countries.” That is what Chief of Defence Admiral Rumen Nikolov, said during a briefing.

The Chief of Defence explained what the headquarters, which will be located in Bulgaria will be and what the command posts. “The second centre or as you say the command centre is a communication centre. It will be located in the formation that exists at the moment and some of it already took part in the operation against the jihadists, as a component of the NATO command in Turkey,” he added.

In his words, the third centre is for the exchange of information between ships: “It will be located in Varna. The beginning of its formation began in 2008, but its final construction will be completed this year, and the adoption of the certification next year. “

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James Shirley: Some men with swords may reap the field and plant fresh laurels where they kill

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

James Shirley
The Glories of our Blood and State

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The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings:
Sceptre and Crown
Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill:
But their strong nerves at last must yield;
They tame but one another still:
Early or late
They stoop to fate,
And must give up their murmuring breath
When they, pale captives, creep to death.

The garlands wither on your brow;
Then boast no more your mighty deeds;
Upon Death’s purple altar now
See where the victor-victim bleeds:
Your heads must come
To the cold tomb;
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet, and blossom in their dust.

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Anti-Submarine, Anti-Air Warfare: NATO Holds Drills In Black Sea

euronews
March 16, 2015

NATO holds naval exercises in the Black Sea

NATO has held a series of naval exercises in the Black Sea off the Romanian coast, ahead of the one year anniversary of Russia’ annexation of Crimea.

Warships of from six NATO countries – the US, Canada, Turkey, Germany, Italy and Romania – took part just 300 kilometers of Crimea.

However NATO is sending a serious message by not cancelling the exercises, euronews’ Andrei Beketov reports.

The Romanian air force work with the vessels to simulate anti-air and anti-submarine warfare. The whole operation is led from the USS Vicksburg.

“Obviously the situation here is very unfortunate. And so coming here demonstrate that three NATO allies that we have in the Black Sea – Turkey Bulgaria and Romania – are very valuable members of the alliance. And its just as important that we come and train with them,” said US Rear Admiral Brad Williamson.

The exercise sees a Russian jet flying over at low altitude.

Russian air and naval approaches are closely monitored by ships radars and sonars.

Moscow has accused NATO of “war games”, saying that they could have serious consequences for the settlement of the Ukraine conflict.

Last week, Russia’s defence ministry said it had begun large scale military exercises.

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Irish writers on peace and war

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

Irish writers on peace and war

George Farquhar: What induced you to turn soldier?

Oliver Goldsmith: A thousand hecatombs for mere trumperies. Imperial contest that no honest man can wish either side wins.

Oliver Goldsmith on war: Hundreds of thousands killed without consequence

Oliver Goldsmith: I am an enemy to nothing in this good world but war

Oliver Goldsmith: War and its servile press

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

Frank Harris: Henri Barbusse and the war against war

Charles Lever: The self-serving drunken oblivion of war

Samuel Lover: The demon of war casts his shadows before

Samuel Lover: The trumpet and the sword

George Moore: Murder pure and simple, impossible to revive the methods of Tamburlaine

Thomas Moore: Famine comes to glean all that the sword had left unreap’d. A banquet, yet alive, for ravening vultures.

Sean O’Casey: Battles of war changed for battles of peace

Sean O’Casey: The dead of wars past clasp their colder arms around the newer dead

Sean O’Casey: The Prince of Peace transformed into the god of war

Liam O’Flaherty: The foul horror of war

Liam O’Flaherty: Sounds from a dead world. Nothing but worms and rats feeding on death.

George Bernard Shaw: Selections on war

George Bernard Shaw: The earth is still bursting with the dead bodies of the victors

George Bernard Shaw: Gadarene swine running violently into a hell of high explosives

George Bernard Shaw: Little Minds and Big Battles

George Bernard Shaw: The Long Arm of War

Militarist myopia: George Bernard Shaw’s Common Sense About the War

George Bernard Shaw: Rabid war maniacs reversed the order of nature

George Bernard Shaw: Religion of ruthless competition inevitably leads to war

George Bernard Shaw: The shallowness of the ideals of men ignorant of history is their destruction

George Bernard Shaw: Soldiering is the coward’s art of attacking mercilessly when you are strong, and keeping out of harm’s way when you are weak

George Bernard Shaw: War and frivolous exultation in death for its own sake

George Bernard Shaw: War and the sufferings of the sane

George Bernard Shaw: War Delirium

George Bernard Shaw: War, governments and munitions manufacturers

George Bernard Shaw: War, the Yahoo and the angry ape

George Bernard Shaw: The way of the soldier is the way of death

Jonathan Swift: Lemuel Gulliver on War

Oscar Wilde: Antidote to war

Oscar Wilde: Crimson seas of war, Great Game in Central and South Asia

William Butler Yeats: The Rose of Peace

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NATO’s Eastern Campaign: U.S. To Hold Patriot Missile Drill In Poland

U.S. Department of Defense
March 13, 2015

U.S., Poland to Conduct Patriot Missile Exercise
By Nick Simeone

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WASHINGTON: U.S. and Polish forces will conduct an exercise later this month involving a U.S. Patriot missile battery and Poland’s 3rd Warsaw Air Defense Missile Brigade, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren announced today.

The exercise will involve some 100 U.S. soldiers and 30 vehicles at a location on Polish territory.

Warren called the exercise part of Operation Atlantic Resolve, which is designed to reassure allies, demonstrate freedom of movement and deter regional aggression on the eastern flank of NATO. The mission began in response to Russia’s armed support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea a year ago.

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NATO Warhawks: U.S. F-16s Depart For Romanian War Games

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

March 13, 2015

F-16s depart for Romanian-US exercise
By Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden
52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs

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SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany: Airmen and aircraft assigned to the 480th Fighter Squadron departed Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, March 13 to participate in Dacian Warhawk 2015, a bilateral flying training deployment with the Romanian air force.

The exercise will take place at Campia Turzii, Romania, March 16-27 and aims to strengthen interoperability between the U.S. and Romanian air forces while enhancing their readiness to conduct combined air operations.

Approximately 100 Airmen and six F-16s from the 52nd Fighter Wing will participate in the training alongside the 435th Air Ground Operations Wing from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, which will exercise a full spectrum of capabilities to support the 480th FS’s air operations.

“Participation in Dacian Warhawk 2015 is another outstanding training opportunity for the 480th Fighter Squadron,” said Lt. Col. John Gallemore, 480th FS director of operations. “It affords the Warhawks the ability to train along-side our Romanian NATO partners and represent the pride, precision and professionalism of U.S. combat air forces in Europe.”

The deployment will also build upon the U.S. Air Force’s “Forward-Ready-Now!” presence in Europe by working with allies to develop and improve ready air forces capable of maintaining regional security.

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Bulgaria: U.S. Leads NATO Drills Across Black Sea From Crimea

Ukraine Today
March 16, 2015

Bulgaria and the US holding joint military drills

Over the weekend Bulgaria held military drills jointly with the US; the first in a series of exercises to be conducted over the next three and a half months according to the Bulgarian defence ministry.

This comes following exercises earlier this week in which NATO’s Black Sea members Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey joined four other NATO states – the United States, Canada, Germany and Italy – in a multi-national naval drill in the Black Sea.

The NATO drills took place just across the water from Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.

Tensions between the US-led military alliance and Russia have escalated significantly in the past year following Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and its subsequent support for militants in east Ukraine. As a result of the Kremlin’s actions NATO has stepped up its presence in eastern Europe and has sought especially to reassure the Baltic states, which border Russian and are home to significant Russian-speaking minorities.

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E.M. Forster: Wars spurred on by persistent talk of war, amplified by the gutter press

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

E.M. Forster
From Howards End (1910)

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The remark would be untrue, but of the kind which, if stated often enough, may become true; just as the remark, “England and Germany are bound to fight,” renders war a little more likely each time that it is made, and is therefore made the more readily by the gutter press of either nation…

A hint of the truth broke on him after Sedan, when he saw the dyed mustaches of Napoleon going grey; another when he entered Paris and saw the smashed windows of the Tuileries. Peace came – it was all very immense, one had turned into an Empire – but he knew that some quality had vanished for which not all Alsace-Lorraine could compensate him. Germany a commercial Power, Germany a naval Power, Germany with colonies here and a Forward Policy there, and legitimate aspirations in the other place, might appeal to others, and be fitly served by them; for his own part, he abstained from the fruits of victory…

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Poroshenko: EU Lifts Official Embargo On Arms To Ukraine

Ukrinform
March 14, 2015

Ukraine to be immediately given lethal weapon in case of increasing aggression – Poroshenko

EU-nato_0

KYIV: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is confident that the EU, the U.S. and other countries will continue to support Ukraine in its struggle for sovereignty and territorial integrity, inter alia with weapons, if necessary.

He announced this in an exclusive interview on 1+1 TV Channel, the presidential press service reported.
“If there is a new round of aggression against Ukraine, I can surely say that we will immediately receive both lethal weaponry and new wave of sanctions against the aggressor. We will act firmly and in a coordinated manner,” Poroshenko said.

The president said that Ukraine had contracts with some EU countries on the supply of weapons, including lethal ones. He said that the official embargo of the EU on arming Ukraine had been lifted.

Poroshenko described a decision by U.S. President Barack Obama to supply defensive weapons to Ukraine as crucial. According to him, this armament will increase preciseness and efficiency of the Ukrainian weapons.

In addition, thermal imagers and radars that detect motion help counteract reconnaissance and subversive groups of the enemy.

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War Games In Ukraine: Bill To Allow U.S., Polish Troops To Enter

March 15, 2015 1 comment

Interfax-Ukraine
March 14, 2015

Ukraine plans joint military exercises with U.S., Poland for 2015 – bill

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Polish and Ukrainian troops in last year’s U.S.-led Rapid Trident NATO war games

President Petro Poroshenko has introduced a bill to parliament to let foreign armed forces into Ukraine to take part in five joint exercises with Ukrainian forces.

According to the draft law, Ukraine plans three Ukrainian-American command post exercises, Fearless Guardian 2015, Sea Breeze 2015 and Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident 2015, and two Ukrainian-Polish exercises, Secure Skies 2015, and Law and Order 2015, for this year.

Fearless Guardian will take place in Yavoriv district, Lviv region, in the period from March to November and will bring together a maximum of 2,200 troops. Ukraine is providing up to 200 armed forces troops and up to 1,000 National Guard personnel, and the U.S. will be represented by a maximum of 1,000 servicemen.

Sea Breeze will be a 25-day exercise held between June and October in the Black Sea and at training sites in the regions of Odesa, Mykolaiv and Kherson. A maximum of 2,500 troops will take part in it.

Ukraine and the United States will each be represented by a maximum of 1,000 troops. The rest of the personnel will come from other NATO countries and member countries of NATO’s Partnership for Peace program (up to 500 troops).

Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident will also take place in Yavoriv district. The 25-day exercise, to be held between July and October, will bring together up to 2,100 troops, with up to 1,000 representing Ukraine, up to 500 the United States, and up to 600 other NATO and Partnership for Peace member countries.

Secure Skies is a 14-day tactical air force exercise in which a maximum of 250 Ukrainian and 100 Polish servicemen will take part.

Law and Order is a one-week military police exercise in Yavoriv that will together 50 Ukrainians and 50 Poles.

Permission from parliament is needed to allow foreign military personnel into Ukraine.

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Sean O’Casey: Battles of war changed for battles of peace

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

Sean O’Casey: The dead of wars past clasp their colder arms around the newer dead

Sean O’Casey: The Prince of Peace transformed into the god of war

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Sean O’Casey
From Drums Under the Windows (1946)

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The bell branch of Ireland may chime again,
To charm away the merchant from his guile,
And turn the farmer’s memory from his cattle,
And hush to sleep the roaring ranks of battle,
And all grow friendly for a little while.

No; for ever. Battles of war changed for battles of peace. Labour in all its phases the supreme honour of life, broadening the smile on the world’s creased face daily.

***

Beyond the veil of these posturing purseline figurines, and the crowd of roaring, adoring, sons of Guile, the leaden sky with its clouds and red splotches, looking like the savage face of an angry yahoovah, English shadows of men and women were bent and bruised wiring guns, making shells, hammering ships together, burying their dead in their minds by thousands, and taking their wounded to bloody beds in tens of thousands; while queues of the very old and very young waited grouseously for food from morn till midnight, sleeping then that they might be able to begin again at daybreak; too tired to feel fear of the faint purr of a Zeppelin sailing by overhead, their ears stirred soon by the hiss of a falling bomb, to be at once cracked with the concussion of its explosion, then stuffed with the cut-short squeal of a housemaid, on her knees washing a doorstep, as a lump of jagged metal knocked her frillied head to bits; then came the rumbling, cracking zoom as houses split asunder, their frightened walls lurching for a moment before they crashed face downwards, the uproar stabbed by the scream of a woman yelling out to Heaven, Oh, save my little one who’s been buried under it all!

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Bulgaria: NATO To Station Battalion And Control, Ship Command Centers

Sofia News Agency
March 13, 2015

Cabinet Tables Bill for Stationing of NATO Battalion in Bulgaria

The government tabled to parliament a bill for the stationing of NATO battalion on Bulgarian territory.
The bill, which was adopted at the sitting of the Council of Ministers on Wednesday, was tabled in the last minutes of the parliament’s working day on Friday, daily Sega reports.

The bill is entitled ratification of the Garrison Support Arrangement (GSA) between Bulgaria, represented by its Defence Ministry, and the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE).

The bill concerns the maintenance of Communication and Information Systems (CIS) Deployable Communications Module (DCM), 2nd NATO Signal Battalion (2NSB).

This comes after it was announced that NATO is to station a command and control centre in Bulgaria’s capital Sofia as well as a ship command centre near the seaside city of Varna.

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Brussels: NATO Holds 50-Nation Meeting On Ukraine War

March 14, 2015 1 comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
March 11, 2015

NATO Allies and partners discuss Ukraine crisis

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Ambassadors of NATO Allies and twenty-two partners met in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council on Wednesday (11 March 2015) for an exchange of views on the current situation in Ukraine. Chaired by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the session was convened at the request of Ukraine.

The meeting, attended by Russia’s Ambassador to NATO, took place almost one year after the illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea by Russia, which NATO Allies do not recognise.

Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) nations expressed deep concern over the ongoing conflict in Eastern Ukraine, urging Russia to withdraw its forces and its support for the separatists. All members of the EAPC agreed that the full implementation of the Minsk agreement is the only path to a lasting and peaceful solution. Secretary General Stoltenberg stressed that the ceasefire remains fragile and sporadic violations continue. He said that all parties should fully implement the Minsk agreement in good faith, including Russia, whose support for the separatists has further fuelled the conflict. As a first step, he called for a “withdrawal of heavy weapons from the line of contact in a transparent and verifiable manner”, with full access to the OSCE monitors.

Allies and other EAPC participants also condemned Russia’s illegal and illegitimate annexation of Crimea, and called on Moscow to reverse course.

The NATO Secretary General said that “the stability of the entire Euro-Atlantic region have been undermined, as have the values of national sovereignty and peaceful conflict resolution, values which all members of the EAPC have committed to uphold”. Mr. Stoltenberg underlined that the Basic Document of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council contains a joint pledge to promote peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area. He called on all EAPC members to respect this fundamental commitment.on all EAPC members to respect this fundamental commitment.

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James Fenimore Cooper: War’s victory not worth the sacrifice of human life

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

American writers on peace and against war

James Fenimore Cooper: Is there a star where war and bloodshed aren’t known?

James Fenimore Cooper: Oppression and injustice the natural consequences of military power uncurbed by restraints of civil authority

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James Fenimore Cooper
From The Spy (1821)

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Dunwoodie had lingered in front of the cottage, after he paid his parting compliments, with an unwillingness to return, that he thought proceeded from his solicitude for his wounded friends. The heart which has not become callous, soon sickens with the glory that has been purchased with a waste of human life. Peyton Dunwoodie, left to himself, and no longer excited by the visions which youthful ardor had kept before him throughout the day, began to feel there were other ties than those which bound the soldier within the rigid rules of honor. He did not waver in his duty, yet he felt how strong was the temptation. His blood had ceased to flow with the impulse created by the battle. The stern expression of his eye gradually gave place to a look of softness; and his reflections on the victory brought with them no satisfaction that compensated for the sacrifices by which it had been purchased…The friend of his youth was a prisoner, under circumstances that endangered both life and honor. The gentle companion of his toils, who could throw around the rude enjoyments of a soldier the graceful mildness of peace, lay a bleeding victim to his success. The image of the maid who had held, during the day, a disputed sovereignty in his bosom, again rose to his view with a loveliness that banished her rival, glory, from his mind.

***

The day had been mild and clear, and the sun was shining brightly in a cloudless sky. The tumult, which so lately disturbed the valley, was succeeded by the stillness of death, and the fair scene before her looked as if it had never been marred by the passions of men. One solitary cloud, the collected smoke of the contest, hung over the field; and this was gradually dispersing, leaving no vestige of the conflict above the peaceful graves of its victims. All the conflicting feelings, all the tumultuous circumstances of the eventful day, appeared like the deceptions of a troubled vision. Frances turned, and caught a glimpse of the retreating figure of him who had been so conspicuous an actor in the scene, and the illusion vanished.

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Black Sea: NATO Warships Dock In Romanian Port

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Maritime Command

March 13, 2015

NATO Maritime Group Visits Constanta

SNMCG2 exercising with Turkish Navy

CONSTANTA, Romania: Ships assigned to Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) arrived in Constanta today for a scheduled port visit during the Group’s deployment to the Black Sea.

Led by Rear Adm. Brad Williamson (USA N), SNMG2 is currently comprised of the flagship USS Vicksburg (CG 69), HMCS Fredericton (FFH 337), TCG Turgutreis (F 241), FGS Spessart (A 1442), ITS Aliseo (F 574) and ROS Regina Maria (F 222).

SNMG2 is in the Black Sea as part of a regularly scheduled deployment to the region to assure Allies of NATO’s commitment to collective defense. During the deployment, SNMG2 ships are training with ships from the Bulgarian, Romanian and Turkish Navies.

During the port visit, SNMG2 leadership will meet with local Romanian authorities and Navy officials to discuss maritime issues, to include multinational exercises in the Black Sea.

Romania became a member of NATO Mar. 29, 2004, along with Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Slovenia.

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Ukraine: U.S. May Start Joint War Games Next Week

Interfax-Ukraine
March 13, 2015

Ukraine, U.S. may start joint drills next week – Avakov

Ukraine and the United States may begin joint military exercises next week with the consent with the Ukrainian parliament, Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov has said.

The U.S. government is ready to start the drills next week, he said at a press briefing in Kyiv on Friday.

“If the Verkhovna Rada votes for this decision on Tuesday – and I hope it will do so – regular units of the U.S. Armed Forces will come to us. They will have a long practice together with our National Guards in Yavoriv in Lviv region,” Avakov said.

As reported, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has tabled a bill in parliament to admit foreign servicemen for multinational exercises in Ukraine in 2015.

In keeping with the scheduled of the exercises, Yavoriv district in Lviv region will host the Ukrainian-U.S. Fearless Guardian 2015 drills March through November 2015. Up to 2,200 servicemen with weapons and military hardware are to participate: up to 200 men from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, up to 1,000 men from the National Guard of Ukraine, and up to 1,000 men from the U.S. Armed Forces.

From July to October 2015, the international center for peacekeeping and security in Yavoriv district in Lviv region will host the Ukrainian-U.S. Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident 2015 exercises. The total number of participants will be up to 2,100 servicemen with weapons and military hardware. Namely, there will be up to 1,000 men from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, up to 500 men from the U.S. Armed Forces, and up to 600 from NATO member states and countries participating in the Partnership for Peace program.

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U.S. Names Russia Hand, Former NATO Official New Ambassador To Georgia

Civil Georgia
March 13, 2015

Obama Names New U.S. Ambassador to Georgia

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Tbilisi: President Barack Obama nominated career diplomat Ian C. Kelly as next U.S. ambassador to Georgia to replace Richard Norland, who has been serving in Tbilisi since September, 2012, the White House said on March 12.

Kelly, who has been in the foreign service for about 30 years, served as State Department spokesman in 2009-2010 and was U.S. ambassador to the OSCE in 2010-2013; he also served as a co-chair of the Minsk Group on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution in December, 2012-September, 2013.

His previous assignments, among others, also included director of office of Russian affairs at the Department of State in 2007-2009; public affairs adviser at the U.S. mission in NATO; press attaché at the U.S. embassies in Italy and Turkey.

As a director of Democratic Initiatives to the Newly Independent States at the State Department in 1994-1996, he was coordinating the activities of about dozen federal agencies involved in democracy programs in the former Soviet Union countries.

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Baltic: U.S. Army Unloads Battle Tanks, Combat Fighting Vehicles

March 13, 2015 2 comments

U.S. Army
March 10, 2015

Allied port ops in Riga reinforce Atlantic Resolve
By Staff Sgt. Warren W. Wright, 21st Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

Operation Iraqi Freedom
M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks

RIGA, Latvia: Allied logisticians off-loaded more than 100 pieces of military equipment, including M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks, M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and assorted military cargo from the vessel “Liberty Promise” March 9 at the Riga Universal Terminal docks in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

The equipment will support 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division training missions at sites across Eastern Europe.

The brigade’s training rotation, in turn, supports Operation Atlantic Resolve, a demonstration of continued NATO commitment…throughout the region.

“The equipment from the 3rd Infantry Division and the Soldiers participating in Atlantic Resolve demonstrates our commitment to this collective security,” said Maj. Gen. John R. O’Connor, the commanding general of the Kaiserslautern, Germany-based 21st Theater Sustainment Command. “Today we are here to partner, to train, to show our resolve and, on short notice, to launch U.S. forces and cargo to demonstrate our reach, our agility and our expeditionary capabilities.”

Operations reinforce NATO allies’ enduring commitment…

“The concept of collective security is the foundation of the NATO agreement, and we take that very seriously,” said Sharon Hudson-Dean, the Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. at the U.S. Embassy in Riga. “Doing the training exercises together, having the Soldiers here and having the equipment is all further evidence of how critical that collective security foundation is for the alliance.”

Senior U.S. and Latvian military, political and diplomatic leaders were on-hand for the arrival of the vehicles and equipment. More than 40 journalists from Latvia, the U.S. and other nations also covered the arrival of the weapons systems and gear.

“It’s another visual that adds to the many experiences that we’re doing together with Latvia as such a good partner,” said Hudson-Dean. “All of this together really shows that this partnership is strong and growing stronger every day.”

Iraqi Freedom
M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicle

According to participating senior officials, the logistical mission sent a powerful message.

“Our message to the Latvian people, U.S. allies and partner nations is that the U.S. Army Europe can and will provide prompt support as needed from the air, from the sea, and from the land,” said O’Connor. “Together with Latvia and our NATO allies, we can and will meet our global security commitments.”

The coordination and planning for the movement of the vehicles and equipment took logisticians months, and it required synchronization of multiple agencies and partnership with allied nation representatives to make the move work.

“There are multiple layers to any major move like this,” said Capt. Robert Yauger, the commander of the 624th Movement Control Team, 39th Transportation Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade. “Working with the Latvians has been absolutely amazing. We’ve built a great partnership with them and we really have started a strong foundation for the ‘Strong Europe’ movement network.”

Atlantic Resolve has been an outstanding opportunity for my Soldiers to really learn in one of the best environments in the world,” Yauger added…

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NATO Prepares For New Wars In East, South

March 13, 2015 1 comment

U.S. Department of Defense
March 12, 2015

NATO Prepares for Challenges From East, South
By Jim Garamone

WASHINGTON: NATO commanders are putting in place the infrastructure that will allow the alliance to adapt to new threats, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told the press yesterday at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons, Belgium.

Stoltenberg spoke alongside Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, NATO’s supreme allied commander, after NATO commanders briefed the secretary general on progress toward meeting the goals of the Wales Summit.
Both men noted the security environment in Europe has grown complicated and that the alliance must change to deal with these new threats. While the alliance continues the train, advise and equip mission in Afghanistan and the peacekeeping operation in Kosovo, it is changing to confront new issues.

Threats From East, South

“We see threats both from the East with the more aggressive actions of Russia in Ukraine, [and] also from the South with violence and turmoil spreading to the Middle East and North Africa,” Stoltenberg said.

The answer to both challengers is a boost to collective security, he added.

The alliance is more than doubling the size of the NATO Response Force from 13,000 to 30,000 troops.

“We are setting up a new 5,000-strong quick reaction Spearhead Force, with some units ready to move within as little as 48 hours,” Stoltenberg said. “And we are also creating six command-and-control centers in the Baltic states and three other eastern allied states.”

‘Deliberative and Unified’ Changes

Breedlove said those moves are on track. “We’re in full swing moving forward with our assurance and our adaptation measures and these will make our alliance even more ready and responsive in the future,” the general said.

The United States is sending 3,000 troops and equipment to the Baltic region for training,” Stoltenberg said. “And in the south, we are preparing to hold this autumn our biggest exercise for many years, expected to include over 25,000 troops in this exercise.” NATO also has ships exercising in the Black and Baltic seas, he added.

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Siegfried Sassoon: Murdering the livid hours that grope for peace

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

Siegfried Sassoon: Selections on war

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Siegfried Sassoon
Prelude: The Troops

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Dim, gradual thinning of the shapeless gloom
Shudders to drizzling daybreak that reveals
Disconsolate men who stamp their sodden boots
And turn dulled, sunken faces to the sky
Haggard and hopeless. They, who have beaten down
The stale despair of night, must now renew
Their desolation in the truce of dawn,
Murdering the livid hours that grope for peace.

Yet these, who cling to life with stubborn hands,
Can grin through storms of death and find a gap
In the clawed, cruel tangles of his defence.
They march from safety, and the bird-sung joy
Of grass-green thickets, to the land where all
Is ruin, and nothing blossoms but the sky
That hastens over them where they endure
Sad, smoking, flat horizons, reeking woods,
And foundered trench-lines volleying doom for doom.

O my brave brown companions, when your souls
Flock silently away, and the eyeless dead
Shame the wild beast of battle on the ridge,
Death will stand grieving in that field of war
Since your unvanquished hardihood is spent.
And through some mooned Valhalla there will pass
Battalions and battalions, scarred from hell;
The unreturning army that was youth;
The legions who have suffered and are dust.

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Poroshenko Thanks Biden For Additional U.S. Military Aid

Ukrinform
March 12, 2015

Poroshenko thanks U.S. for additional military aid

KYIV: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko thanked the United States for an additional non-lethal assistance in the field of security in a telephone conversation with U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, the presidential press service has reported.

“The president has thanked for additional non-lethal U.S. security assistance to Ukraine, particularly drones, radios, counter-mortar radars, night vision devices and other equipment worth $75 million, as well as 230 Humvees,” the press service said.

Poroshenko and Biden also discussed the issue of extending and strengthening the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and encouraging the active involvement of the peacekeeping mission to resolve the situation in Donbas.

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National Radio Company of Ukraine
March 12, 2015

U.S. to send more nonlethal aid to Ukraine

The United States has announced 75 million dollars in nonlethal military aid to Kyiv and blacklisted more pro-Russian separatists and others, plus a Russian bank, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports.

Radios, unmanned aerial vehicles, counter-mortar radars, night-vision devices, first-aid kits, ambulances, and other medical supplies are included in the aid package. About 200 unarmed Humvees and 30 with armour will also be delivered.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko about the new aid by telephone on March 11. The announcement comes after NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia continued to arm and train rebel forces in eastern Ukraine despite a cease-fire agreement signed in Minsk on February 12.

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Ukraine Transforming Security, Defense Sectors To Meet NATO Standards

Interfax-Ukraine
March 12, 2015

Ukraine to reform security and defense to meet NATO standards – Klimkin

Ukraine is working on reforming the security and defense sector to meet NATO standards, Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Pavlo Klimkin has said.

The Cabinet has approved an annual program on cooperation with NATO, Klimkin said in Kyiv on Thursday, while giving a report on the Ukrainian government’s work in its first 100 days.

“These are not just 50 pages of some text. Every word has its practical change and meaning. We will work over the implementation of every definition,” he said.

He also mentioned five trust funds set up with NATO, “which are doing everything – from logistics support of our armed forces to assistance for our wounded heroes.”

“We’ve got a unique program of inter-compatibility, and our goal is simple – to reform security and defense the way this sector could work in keeping with NATO standards and meet these standards because NATO’s standards are the ones that are used by the civilized world,” Klimkin said.

As of today, Ukraine feels the support of the European Union, the international community, the G7, Japan and other countries, “which have realized that not supporting Ukraine and the entire civilized world, they betray two simple things – own values and own principles,” he said.

Klimkin pointed out the current European and Transatlantic unity on the Ukrainian question, a unique bailout package designed for Ukraine, readiness to continue supporting reform in Ukraine, and a package of humanitarian aid (EUR 100 million from the EU in recent months alone).

The international community imposed sanctions against Russia over Ukraine, and they can only be lifted after the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty in Donbas and Crimea, he said.

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Troops, Armor To Begin 1,100-Mile Convoy Through Eastern-Central Europe

March 12, 2015 1 comment

Stars and Stripes
March 12, 2015

Dragoon Ride will send US troops through eastern Europe in show of support
By John Vandiver

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STUTTGART, Germany: U.S. Army soldiers with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment will soon begin a 1,100-mile convoy through six countries en route to their home station in Vilseck, Germany as they wrap up months of training with allies in Poland and the Baltics, Army officials said.

Troops will be taking their Strikers on a “road march,” dubbed Dragoon Ride. They will be accompanied by aerial reconnaissance support provided by the Army’s 12th Combat Aviation Brigade, U.S. Army Europe said.

Normally, military vehicles would be shipped back to their home base by rail after such a training mission, not by road in a high profile convoy.

To reassure countries on Russia’s western periphery, the U.S. and other NATO allies have been training continuously in the Baltics and Poland since Moscow annexed Crimea from Ukraine last year

“This is a complex mission involving a significant amount of international diplomatic and military cooperation,” Lt. Col. Craig Childs, a USAREUR spokesman, said in a statement. “It will allow all units involved an opportunity to test their unit maintenance and leadership capabilities while simultaneously providing a highly visible demonstration of U.S, commitment to its NATO allies and demonstrating NATO’s ability to move military forces freely across allied borders in close cooperation.”

The journey will take soldiers with the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, from separate training locations in Estonia, Lithuania and Poland and convoy them through Latvia, the Czech Republic and finally to their home base at Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany, according to USARUER.

The 4th Infantry Division deployed a headquarters element to Europe in February to command and control U.S. land forces supporting Operation Atlantic Resolve, the military’s effort to train and reassure allies while sending a message of deterrence to Russia. The 4th Infantry Division will be responsible for overseeing the road march from the Joint Multinational Training Command at Grafenwöhr, Germany, and from mobile command group locations forward in operational area, USAREUR said.

Before Dragoon Ride begins, troops will hand over responsibility for USAREUR’s land force training mission in the Baltics and Poland to soldiers with the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, from Ft. Stewart, Georgia, USAREUR said.

On Monday, hundreds of tanks and other military vehicles arrived in Latvia. They will be followed by 3,000 troops from the Georgia-based unit. Their rotation is expected to last until June.

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Abrams Tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles Arrive in Latvia

March 12, 2015 6 comments

Xinhua News Agency
March 12, 2015

U.S. military equipment for Baltics, Poland delivered to Riga port

RIGA: The biggest batch of U.S. military equipment as part of the Operation Atlantic Resolve arrived in the port of Riga on Monday, the local media reported.

Six Abrams tanks, six Bradley armoured vehicles, as well as combat support and logistics equipment were unloaded at the port in the Latvian capital to support the latest rotation of U.S. troops in Latvia, representatives of the Latvian Defence Ministry has said.

The soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division who are replacing the U.S. Army’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment will remain in Latvia for approximately three months, the ministry said.

Latvian Defence Minister Raimonds Vejonis indicated that the more than 120 pieces of military equipment delivered to Riga by the vehicle carrier Liberty Promise would be deployed not only in Latvia, but also Lithuania, Estonia and Poland.

“Six Abrams tanks, six Bradley fighting vehicles and about 180 troops will be stationed in Latvia,” the minister said, adding that the U.S. soldiers would be involved in military exercises scheduled in Latvia this spring, including Summer Shield ’15.

The U.S. launched Operation Atlantic Resolve to demonstrate its continued commitment to…in the Baltic states and Poland…to reassure NATO’s Eastern European allies in light of the crisis in east Ukraine.

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Deploys First Of 3,000 Troops, 750 Vehicles To Baltic States

March 12, 2015 1 comment

Xinhua News Agency
March 12, 2015

U.S. military unit heads to E. Europe for training

WASHINGTON: The United States will deploy about 3,000 soldiers to Eastern Europe starting next week for training exercises with forces from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to reassure its European allies that are concerned about potential Russian aggression, the Pentagon said Monday.

Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters that about 750 U.S. military tanks, helicopters and other military vehicles and equipment arrived in Latvia on Monday, adding that the military equipment was part of a regular armored brigade combat team set.

Warren said the upcoming deployment of the unit from the Georgia-based 3rd Infantry Division would replace the leaving U.S. Army-Europe’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment to continue land forces training mission with its allies within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The U.S. Defense Department has earlier announced plans to trim down its permanent basing in Europe.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military is stepping up short-term deployments across Europe for training purposes.

Warren said the rotation was aimed at demonstrating commitment to NATO allies due to Russia’s aggression in Ukrainian crisis.

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Georgian Armed Forces Being Further NATOized

Ministry of Defence of Georgia
March 12, 2015

Meeting with Defence Attachés

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Defence Attachés of foreign countries accredited to Georgia received information about the transformation process of the Military Police of the Georgian Armed Forces today. Chief of Military Police Department, LTC Levan Gabunia presented the reorganization plan of the unit to the representatives of diplomatic corps at the meeting held at the Defence Ministry. The First Deputy Defence Minister Gocha Ratiani and Chief of General Staff of the Georgian Armed Forces, Major-General Vakhtang Kapanadze attended the meeting.

According to LTC Levan Gabunia, transformation process is aimed at achieving the NATO interoperability and is based on experience of the Alliance member countries. Structural changes envisages establishment of integrated unit compatible with the structure of the GAF. Two combat battalions of the Military Police will be created oriented at implementation of tactical tasks the Georgian Armed Forces faces. Their mission will be participation in full spectrum of military operations and involvement in NATO Military Police multinational battalions. Along with the law-enforcement activities, new functions will be added to the unit, like implementation and support of the maneuver and mobility operations, securing the area of operations and rear operations during peacetime, wartime and crisis.

Chief of MP underlined that optimization process does not mean the staff reduction. The battalions will be manned in full compliance with existing requirements of the Georgian Armed Forces. All military policemen who will meet the established criteria will continue service in the unit. In the future, Military Police will pay attention to raising qualification of its servicemen.

The presentation was followed by the question and answer session. Foreign partners expressed readiness to provide expert assistance to the Military Police Department in the transformation process.

The transformation process of the Military Police is based on recommendation and implementation plan of the Substantial Package; considers the experience of Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Czech Republic, USA, etc, also, recommendations of the “Strategic Defence Review 2013-2016” that suggests the revision of structure and analysis of existing capabilities. The basis of the process is the commitments undertaken by the PARP process and “Minister’s Vistion 2015”. Reorganization of the MP Department is also defined in the 55th article of 2014 National Action Plan of the Georgia-EU Association Agreement.

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Graham Greene: He carried the war in his heart, infecting everything

March 12, 2015 2 comments

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

Graham Greene: A hundred English Guernicas

Graham Greene: Letter On NATO Threat To Cuba

Graham Greene: None of us can hate any more – or love. You have to feel something to stop a war.

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Graham Greene
From The Confidential Agent (1939)

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He carried the war in his heart: give me time, he thought, and I shall infect anything…I ought to wear a bell like the old lepers…

He had indeed brought the war with him: the infection was working already. He saw beyond the lounge – sitting with his back turned at the first table inside the restaurant – the other agent. His hand began to shake just as it always shook before an air raid…

It had not been an unexpected day: this was the atmosphere in which he had lived for two years. If he had found himself alone on a desert island, he would have expected to infect even the loneliness with violence. You couldn’t escape a war by changing your country; you only changed the technique – fists instead of bombs, the sneak thief instead of the artillery bombardment. Only in sleep did he evade violence; his dreams were almost invariably made up of peaceful images from the past…

He went over to the window and looked down: the buses moved slowly along Oxford Street like gigantic beetles. Across the top of the opposite building a sky-sign spelt out slowly the rudimentary news: 2 goals to one. Far away, foreshortened on the pavement, a squad of police moved in single file towards Marlborough Street. What next? The news petered out and began again. ‘Another advance reported…5,000 refugees…four air raids…’ It was like a series of signals from his own country…His territory was death; he could love the dead and dying better than the living…

You had to have something in common with people you killed, unless death was dealt out impersonally from a long-range gun or a plane.

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Invoking Article 5, Polish Defense Chief Says NATO Can Defeat Russia

March 11, 2015 1 comment

Polish Radio
March 11, 2015

MoD Siemoniak: Poland ‘cannot ignore threats’

Atlantic Resolve exercise

Poland’s Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak has said that despite the unstable situation in eastern Ukraine, Poles should feel safe.

“However, we cannot ignore any threats and we have to remember that after years of peace, suddenly one country decides to the change the borders of another,” Siemoniak told the public broadcaster TVP on Monday evening.

“[Poland is] a member of EU and NATO and as such we are safe,” Siemoniak maintained, adding that “let us not forget that NATO is much stronger than Russia in military terms”.

Siemoniak underlined that Poland’s security is maintained by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty – the founding charter of the military alliance – which calls for mutual defence in case of an attack on one of its members.

“US forces have been stationed in Latvia precisely for this reason, to underline their presence,” Siemoniak said.

The comment comes as the United States on Monday sent heavy armour to Latvia and also announced that it will send some 3,000 troops to the Baltic states for joint exercises over the coming months.

“The deliveries are intended to “demonstrate resolve to President (Vladimir) Putin and Russia that collectively we can come together,” US Major General John O’Connor told the AFP news agency in the Latvian capital, Riga.

O’Connor added that the equipment would remain there “for as long as required to deter Russian aggression”.

Meanwhile, Minister Siemoniak said that a Polish training mission for Ukrainan army officers and NCOs will be finalised later this month.

We would like to undertake this mission in Poland, although there an idea to conduct these exercises in Ukraine has also surfaced,” he said. “Our decision will made regardless of what the Russians think, what’s more important is that this cooperation is effective”.

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Polish Radio
March 11, 2015

Kopacz: Europe faces greatest security crisis since Cold War

Prime Minister of Poland Ewa Kopacz has stated that the Ukrainian crisis has triggered an unprecedented security threat to contemporary Europe.

”We have the greatest security crisis in Europe since the Cold War,” she affirmed in an interview with public broadcaster TVP. ”To disregard this would be irresponsible,” she added.

”Yet sending signals that spark anxiety among our citizens would also be too much.

”So we need to have a balanced position,” she said. Kopacz claimed that Poland’s membership of NATO is the country’s guarantee of security.

To date, Poland has been one of the most vigorous defenders of the new Kiev government. ”We need to protect our own interests, but at the same time to fight for something that Ukraine is fighting for today.

”For the first time, blood is actually being shed for the European Union, or for an attempt at integration into the European Union.”

Categories: Uncategorized

East And South: NATO Chief, Commanders Expand Rapid Strike Forces

March 11, 2015 1 comment

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
March 11, 2015

Secretary General discusses security challenges with top NATO military commanders
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Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg discussed security challenges with NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Philip Breedlove, and participated in a conference of senior military commanders during a visit to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe on Wednesday (11 March 2015). The Secretary General thanked the commanders for the remarkable work of Allied forces in the face of a highly complex and uncertain security environment…

The Secretary General warned that Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine have undermined the post-Cold War security order in Europe

In response to challenges both to the east and the south, NATO is implementing the strongest reinforcement of its collective defence since the end of the Cold War, Mr. Stoltenberg said. “We are doubling the size of the NATO Response Force from 13,000 to 30,000 troops” and “setting up a new 5,000-strong quick reaction Spearhead Force, with some units ready to move within as little as 48 hours.” He added that NATO is establishing six command and control centres in the Baltic States and three other eastern Allies, in order to coordinate training and exercises, and facilitate rapid reinforcements.

The Secretary General said the Alliance would “keep up the momentum”, noting a current exercise of NATO ships in the Black Sea, a major U.S. deployment to the Baltic region for training, and an upcoming exercise in the autumn – expected to be the Alliance’s largest in many years – with over 25,000 troops participating. “These measures are defensive, proportionate, and in line with our international commitments,” Mr. Stoltenberg said, adding: “these Headquarters and our Supreme Commander Europe, General Breedlove, play a key role in these efforts.”

Categories: Uncategorized

JenPsak: U.S. To Report On Sending Lethal Weapons To Ukraine

Ukrinform
March 11, 2015

Psaki says when U.S. government reports on providing weapons to Ukraine

jen-psaki

KYIV: The United States plans to submit a report to Congress on possible providing defense lethal assistance to Ukraine, envisaged by the requirements of Ukraine Freedom Support Act “as soon as possible”.

U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said this during a daily press briefing on Tuesday, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.

“The reports are currently undergoing an interagency review. We’re committed to delivering these reports to Congress as soon as possible,” she said.

According Psaki, the delay in submitting the report is due to the “extremely volatile” situation in Ukraine, which is discussed on a daily basis. “We want to ensure that Congress has the most complete and up-to-date information,” she assured.

The Speaker added that the U.S. President delegated to the State Department certain reporting requirements in the Ukraine Freedom Support Act, but there are several agencies who weigh in on the content.

As reported, one of the sections of Ukraine Freedom Support Act, adopted in mid-December, provides reporting by the President of the United States on possible deliveries of defensive weapons to Ukraine, conducting exercises and training of military personnel. The deadline set by this law passed on February 15.

Categories: Uncategorized

Polish Prime Minister On Ukraine War: For First Time Blood Being Shed For European Union

Interfax-Ukraine
March 11, 2015

Kopacz: Europe faces greatest security crisis since Cold War

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

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The Prime Minister of Poland Ewa Kopacz has said that the Ukrainian conflict has triggered an unprecedented security crisis in Europe.

”We have the greatest security crisis in Europe since the Cold War,” she said in an interview with Polish media, adding that it would be irresponsible to disregard this threat.

According to Kopacz, for the first time “blood is actually being shed for the European Union, or for an attempt at integration into the European Union.”

”We need to protect our own interests, but at the same time fight for something that Ukraine is fighting for today,” she said, adding that Europe should condemn those who don’t respect Ukraine’s desire for European integration.

On March 11, Warsaw will host the annual conference of Poland’s military leadership. The main topics will include the conflict in Ukraine and preparations for the 2016 NATO summit in Warsaw.

Last night, Polish National Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said that the conference will undoubtedly will be guided by the events in eastern Ukraine.

Categories: Uncategorized

Former Co-Triumvir: U.S. Blatantly Insults Georgian Sovereignty Over Saakashvili

Civil Georgia
March 10, 2015

Burjanadze Slams U.S. for ‘Insulting Georgia’s Sovereignty’

Visit to NATO by Chairperson of Georgian Parliament, Ms Nino Burjanadze and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, David Bakradze
Happier (or more deluded) times: Nino Burjanadze with then NATO secretary general Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, “friend of Georgia”

Tbilisi: Nino Burjanadze, ex-parliament speaker and leader of Democratic Movement–United Georgia opposition party, accused the United States of “blatant insult of Georgia’s sovereignty” and criticized the Georgian authorities for not reacting on appearance of ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili, wanted by Tbilisi, at a hearing in the U.S. Senate’s foreign relations committee.

“This is an insult of our state; this is a continuation of the insulting policy, which was also demonstrated by inviting wanted ex-president as a main guest at [the European Parliament] during ratification of [the Association] Agreement,” she said on March 10.

In his capacity as Ukrainian president’s adviser and chairman of Ukraine’s International Advisory Council on Reforms, Saakashvili testified before Senate foreign relations committee’s subcommittee on Europe and regional security cooperation on March 4, when it held a hearing on “Russian aggression in Eastern Europe.”

“What do declarations by the western states, including by the United States, mean about respecting Georgia’s sovereignty? Respecting Georgia’s sovereignty first and foremost mean that one has to respect the authorities of this country and its decisions and one should not be receiving wanted person,” Burjanadze said.

“I wonder what the United States’ reaction would be if [Ukraine’s ex-president Viktor] Yanukovych was invited in Georgia’s parliamentary committee for foreign affairs. I don’t really respect Yanukovych, but Saakashvili is no better than Yanukovych – the only difference is that Saakashvili is swearing at Russia. So should you be exonerated from everything if you swear at Russia, as if respecting western values? Can one make declarations about respecting sovereignty on the one hand and on the other inviting wanted person in legislative body’s foreign relations committee?” she said.

The party led by Burjanadze, who says that contrary to her opponents’ claims she is not a pro-Russian politician, but “pro-Georgian”, garnered slightly over 10% of votes in last year’s local elections.

“I want to tell U.S. ambassador [to Georgia Richard Norland] that such action will not be perceived as a friendly gesture towards the Georgian people and the Georgian state. I want to assure you that if this situation does not change, stance of the Georgian people towards the United States will change further towards negative direction,” she said.

She said that she was not surprised that the Georgian authorities “failed to voice their protest” over the issue.

“Of course they would not dare, because, unfortunately, they look at the United States not as equal partner, but as a master to whom they should serve obediently. It’s not in Georgia’s interests,” Burjanadze said.

Categories: Uncategorized

Alfred Neumann: War is not ambiguous after all, but a horribly intelligent affair

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

Alfred Neumann: Selections on war

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Alfred Neumann
From Empire (1936)
Translated by Eden and Cedar Paul

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…War is a damnably uncertain business. The sun, nearing the horizon far behind, throws an ensanguined light upon the disastrous waters, so that just before the rim dips, one might fancy that the good earth was bleeding out of many wounds. War is not ambiguous after all, but a horribly intelligent affair. Who has won the day? In the gathering darkness, Kepi rides back to San Martino. As far as his staff can make out, from the embankment which has been so hotly contested he looks neither to right nor left into the hollows where corpses lie in heaps, covered by the shades of night…

***

Are you so keen for the coming of the morrow, which will drink blood once more, and which can only thus reel into history, heavy, bloated, between long lines of corpses, finding its way by a horrible chance into the great affirmation or the great negation? Minié rifles against Lorenz rifles, rifles on both sides as the material for the decision that still hangs in the wind. How can one endure this indeterminate waiting, which is also bloodstained, also vile, and which one would gladly spew out like this evil day equally devoid of affirmation and negation?

Categories: Uncategorized

NATO Land Forces Prepare For New Article 5 Collective War

Stars and Stripes
March 10, 2015

NATO country leaders meet to hone response to future threats
ByJennifer H. Svan

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany: High-level NATO leaders met this week at Ramstein to consider the future of the alliance’s ground forces in the wake of the conflict in Ukraine and events in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization-LANDCOM Corps Commanders’ Conference drew more than 140 participants from nearly every country in the 28-member alliance, including NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove.

He and Army Lt. Gen. John Nicholson Jr., the commander of NATO Allied Land Command, spoke of the broader security environment facing NATO post-Afghanistan and the challenges ground forces, in particular, must address to hone and ready a land component that could respond to an international crisis at a moment’s notice.

“We are adapting to some of the most significant changes to the security environment here in Europe since the Cold War,” Breedlove said, “and I am pleased to say that NATO is adapting as rapidly as its 21st Century challenges are also evolving.”

Breedlove said NATO’s land forces headquarters — established in 2012 at Izmir, Turkey, to ensure the interoperability of NATO ground forces — “is focused on matching our readiness to the environment” and working with nations on contingency planning “in support of NATO’s readiness action force,” as outlined at the pivotal NATO Wales Summit last fall. Interoperability has been a constant, if elusive, goal for the alliance since the early 1950s.

At the Wales summit in September, allied leaders approved a response plan that addresses challenges posed by Russia and threats emanating from the Middle East and North Africa.

Neither Nicholson nor Breedlove mentioned Ukraine or Russia on Tuesday. But in speaking about collective defense, Nicholson mentioned the threat of so-called hybrid warfare, which NATO officials have accused Russia of employing in Ukraine, unnerving NATO’s eastern members.

NATO’s land forces would be one element of any collective defense measure, including if Article 5 were invoked. Article 5 is the cornerstone of the military alliance, which commits each member to consider an armed attack against one member state to be an armed attack against them all.

Nicholson said his command is focused “on our own ability to respond to the political guidance that we receive.”

“If there was an Article 5 declaration with an attributable threat … and then we were deployed to deal with that, then we’re looking at militarily, what do we need to be able to do? For us, this is a very important topic because we spent the last decade in Afghanistan, where we’re fighting counterinsurgency, but as we look to the future, we’re looking at the hybrid threat.”

Hybrid warfare is seen as conventional warfare that employs unidentified regular forces and insurgents, cyberwarfare and disinformation.

In melding the alliance’s diverse land forces on the scale of a potential Article 5 response, NATO faces a host of challenges, including “logistics, communications, integration with the air, with the maritime, with the special operations,” Nicholson said. “The nature of the military challenge is different. That’s what we’re focused on.”

Categories: Uncategorized

U.S. Military Moves To Russian Borders For First Time Ever

March 10, 2015 2 comments

[In the “frontline’ states of Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania. And also in Azerbaijan, Finland, Georgia, Norway and Ukraine.]

United States European Command
March 10, 2015

3rd Infantry Division arrives to support Operation Atlantic Resolve
By Media Operations Division
United States European Command

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RIGA, Latvia: Soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Division offload an M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank from the transportation vessel “Liberty Promise” March 9 at the Riga Universal Terminal docks. More than 100 pieces of equipment, including the tanks, M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and assorted military cargo, will move on to sites in other areas of Latvia as well as Estonia and Lithuania in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve.

Approximately 750 U.S. Army and military vehicles and equipment, including tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, artillery pieces and helicopters from the 3rd Infantry Division arrived in Riga, Latvia, on Monday by ship to support Operation Atlantic Resolve and planned Army-Europe multinational training exercises in that region. This equipment will be used for training of NATO allies in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

First Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Rock of the Marne, is assuming responsibility as the land-force training mission from Army-Europe’s 2nd Cavalry Regiment, who will depart in March. First Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, is based in Fort Stewart, Georgia, and they are the Army’s current regionally aligned force for Europe. They will follow in on their equipment beginning next week, and are expected to remain in the region for approximately 90 days.

Categories: Uncategorized

Serbia: NATO Victim In 1999, NATO Military Colony In 2015

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Military Liaison Office Belgrade

March 9, 2015

Allied Joint Force Command Naples Commander visits Serbia

Adm%20Ferguson%20visits%20MLO%20Belgrade

BELGRADE, Serbia: Commander JFC Naples, Admiral Mark Ferguson, paid an official visit to Serbia during which he met with Minister of Defense Bratislav Gasic and Chief of Defense Ljubisa Dikovic to discuss mutual relations and future activities.

Admiral Ferguson said that NATO and Serbia are successfully cooperating through various Partnership of Peace mechanisms, and noted that the recently adopted IPAP agreement provides space for deepening relations and practical cooperation. The Serbian officials noted that Serbia appreciates NATO’s assistance in improving capacities for participation of its soldiers in EU and UN peacekeeping missions, and added that the Serbian Armed Force’s cooperation with KFOR is excellent on all levels.

Admiral Ferguson also met with Chief of NATO MLO Belgrade, Brig. Gen. Lucio Batta, to discuss the most recent developments in NATO-Serbia relations and the role of the office in supporting Serbiaćs defense sector reform and future IPAP-related initiatives.

This was Admiral Ferguson’s first visit to Serbia since assuming command of JFC Naples in July 2014. In addition to his NATO responsibilities, Admiral Ferguson is also Commander U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa.

Categories: Uncategorized
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