British warplanes and other military assets will be handed over to European Union countries under sweeping plans to create what Conservative MPs believe will become a “Euro Army”.
David Cameron is under pressure to block the EU’s growing military ambitions, which Tories say pose a threat to Nato and could undermine Britain’s “special relationship” with the United States.
In what Conservatives fear could be an irreversible step, the Prime Minister is preparing to commit Britain to deeper military cooperation across the EU at a summit in Brussels later this month.
The deal would pave the way for developing a new fleet of unmanned drones, promoting the deployment of EU rapid response “battlegroups”, and drawing up new cyber warfare and maritime security strategies next year.
Kerry was a major proponent of the New START treaty with Russia, which the Senate ratified after a long debate in December 2010. As secretary of state, he has supported negotiating a follow-on treaty with Russia that could place further limits on the two countries’ stockpiles of strategic and tactical deployed nuclear weapons.
But Kerry knew last year that Russia was in violation of the INF Treaty. That pact, signed by President Reagan, bars development, testing, or deployment of missiles or delivery systems with a range of between 500 and 5,500 kilometers.
[...] The exact manner of the Russian cheating remains unclear and highly classified, although there have been several reports that Russia has tested and plans to continue testing two missiles in ways that could violate the terms of the treaty: the SS-25 road mobile intercontinental ballistic missile and the newer RS-26 ICBM, which Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has called “the missile defense killer,” a reference to U.S. plans to expand ballistic missile defense in Europe.
The State Department declined to confirm or deny that it believes Russia is in violation of the treaty and declined to comment on the 2012 briefing with Kerry.
NATO is constructing a bold, new headquarters in Brussels, but the $1 billion project is raising eyebrows at a time of economic hardship and military spending cuts. It also suggests the Western military bloc is here to stay.
The sprawling steel-and-glass complex, which features four extending claw-like structures extending on both sides and a grandiose 105-foot-high (32 meters) entrance, will be headquarters for more than 4,000 NATO staff from the 28 member states starting in 2016.
Although the old NATO headquarters was built in 1967, and is said to have outlived its usefulness, critics are questioning the timing of the lavish new construction, coming as it does amid a deep economic crisis for many European nations.
[...] Matthew Klimow, a NATO deputy assistant secretary-general, said the new headquarters was “far from extravagant.”
“It is a functional building that will allow us to say to the world that NATO is ready for 21st-century challenges,” he told Reuters during a media tour of the new complex.
Poland and the Baltic states are hosting the largest strategic war games the defense alliance has held in ten years. The NATO Response Force will practice defending the Baltics from an unidentified foreign invader.
The ‘Steadfast Jazz’ exercise, launching on Saturday, gathers some 6,000 troops from all NATO members as well as non-member states – Finland, Sweden and Ukraine. Around half of them will participate in live exercise training, which will involve dozens of armor, aircraft and naval vehicles. The other half of the personnel are headquarters staff, who will take part in command and control drills.
The week-long war games are designed “to make sure that our rapid-reaction force, the NATO Response Force (NRF), is ready to defend any ally, deploy anywhere and deal with any threat,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Eastern European members of NATO have been seeking to host large-scale alliance drills for years, and ‘Steadfast Jazz’ is the largest since 2006. The scenario of the games involve an unidentified foreign nation invading Estonia over a territorial dispute, and the alliance deploying its rapid-response force to fend off the aggressor.
- JFCBS conducts Main Planning Conference for Exercise Steadfast Jazz 2013 (NATO)
- U.S. Offers Dialogue But No Legal Pledge to Russia on Missile Defense (NTI)
- General Breedlove: Europe a proxy for projecting US force (Voice of Russia)
- Russia Slams ‘Cold War’ Spirit NATO Exercise (RIA Novosti)
- Russian Missile Forces Holding Snap-Check Drills (RIA Novosti)
- Putin inspects biggest post-Soviet war games (BBC)
- Russia builds up, U.S. down (Washington Times)
- Russia test-fires range of nuclear-capable missiles (Space Daily)
- Russia threatens Nato with military strikes over missile defence system (Telegraph)
- U.S.-NATO Missile System: First-Strike Potential Aimed At Russia (Moscow Times and Stop NATO)
Russian President Vladimir Putin has nullified a 2011 order that created an interagency working group inside the Kremlin that focused on fostering missile defense collaboration with NATO, the Voice of Russia reported on Thursday.
The Russian leader also revoked a April 2012 presidential degree that created a special envoy for missile shield discussions with NATO — a position formerly held by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who also led the Kremlin working group. The elimination of the interdepartmental group and the special envoy position signal that Moscow is moving further away from resolving its longstanding concerns with the implications of NATO’s plan for European ballistic missile defense.
Moscow, meanwhile, this week moved forward agreements to deepen air defense cooperation with two former Soviet republics in accordance with efforts to develop countermeasures to the evolving NATO missile shield.
Construction has begun on a U.S. base in Romania that will form part of a ballistic missile defense system that has angered Russia.
The Deveselu base in southern Romania is expected to be operational in 2015. It will house SM-3 interceptor missiles and radar equipment.
James Miller, U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy, attended a ceremony Monday at the base.
He said that “as the (NATO) Alliance has entered new times, it has also addressed new threats. One of these is the threat of ballistic missile attack.”
The U.S. government says the missiles will have no offensive capability and will only target incoming ballistic missiles launched by a hostile country.
Russia considers the interceptors a threat and has cited them in blocking cooperation on nuclear arms reductions and other issues.
The United States is “seriously concerned” about Turkey’s decision to counter possible missile threats from Syria and elsewhere with the help of a Chinese defence system.
The declaration by Francis Ricciardone, the US ambassador in Ankara, is the latest sign of tensions between Turkey and its Nato allies and shows concern in western capitals about a growing distance from its traditional partners in Europe and the US.
Ankara said last month it would enter into talks with a Chinese corporation about co-production of a long-range air and missile defence system.
In doing so, Turkey turned down bids by companies from the US, Europe and Russia for the deal, valued at US$4 billion (Dh14.7bn) according to reports. The reports said the Chinese company won because it offered a competitive price and the possibility of a technology transfer during the joint production of the missile defence system known as FD-2000.
But Turkey’s preference to deal with the China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CPMIEC) is threatening to create problems with the West.
Technocracy is slowly replacing Democracy in the West. In debt crippled countries, such as Italy, Greece and Spain, no politician dares press the default reset button, so the Anaconda debt is delivering slow inexorable death.
Because our political representatives lack the spine to bite that bullet, elections have become a charade. Financial markets, the shadowy Gnomes of Zurich, have begun choosing our political leaders.
But these Goldman Sachs friendly, loan shark, technocrats are only one arm of an octopus that is emerging as the real power in the Western world. Lesser known are the companies that own valuable patents and, like conjurers, roll out dazzling new scientific gadgets. This is the technology which, in public hands, should now be liberating us all from drudgery and freeing up our leisure time, but in private hands it is doing precisely the opposite.
When our MPs, journalists and lawyers store their phone contact book data using a ‘Synch’ service, or back up documents in ‘The Cloud’ they have no idea where their precious work will end up. They share that data unthinkingly with businesses that can quietly copy it, sell it on, or even corrupt it before they let them have it back.
These technocrats of the ‘digital revolution’ are planning decades ahead. They steal a march on elected governments using ‘commercial confidentiality’ to keep press, politicians and the public in the dark. In the age of mass surveillance and communication trawling, they can buy intelligence on what elected politicians are about to do, or even thinking of doing, and pour vast resources into counter-moves.
Ukraine and Georgia will not join NATO next year, the trans-Atlantic alliance’s top official said Tuesday.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Ukraine decided to end its long-standing bid to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization while Georgia remained interested but would not become a member in 2014, Russia’s RIA Novosti news service reported.
Both countries will still have partnership action plans with the alliance and will still work together, Rasmussen said before a two-day NATO defense ministers’ meeting began in Brussels.
Ukraine and Georgia, lobbying to become NATO members for years, both enjoy full support for their bids from the United States, but alliance members rejected a proposal to offer them membership in 2008, RIA Novosti said.
Russia has opposed eastward expansion by NATO, particularly when it involves former Soviet Union republics.
Rasmussen also said the alliance does not plan to create any new formal coalitions with the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a loose Eurasian military alliance based in Russia.
European Union states should work together in four areas of defense technology, including developing drones, the bloc’s foreign policy chief said in a report.
In a report commissioned ahead of an EU summit in December, Catherine Ashton said European governments should commit to cooperative projects in drones, a new satellite communications system, cyber defense and plugging a shortfall in air tankers.
Though primarily a civilian organization, the EU plays a growing military and security role, ranging from an anti-piracy naval force off Somalia to training the army in Mali, and the December summit aims to strengthen that role.
Weaknesses in areas such as air-to-air refueling planes and surveillance drones were shown up during NATO’s bombing campaign of Libya in 2011.
Ashton’s report said drones would be increasingly important for both military and civilian uses such as border control and agriculture. The report said there was an urgent need to prepare a program for the next generation of Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) drones.
Three European aerospace companies called on Europe in June to launch its own independent drone program to reduce reliance on foreign-made equipment.
More Americans view Russia as an enemy than as an ally, according to a recent poll that also revealed growing disdain for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Gallup poll, released Wednesday, shows that only 44 percent of Americans view Russia as a friend to the United States, compared to 50 percent who view the country as unfriendly. The favorability rating is down from 52 percent in June and marks the first time since 1999 that more Americans have viewed Russia as a foe rather than as an ally.
The poll also showed that 54 percent of those surveyed view Putin himself negatively, with only 19 percent of Americans holding a favorable opinion of the Russian President.
- Militarization in Russia (The International)
- Russia to deploy ‘star wars’ defences in 2017 (AFP)
- Latvia: U.S. NATO Outpost On Russian Border (Stop NATO)
- EU loses Armenia to Russia’s Customs Union (EuarActiv)
- U.S.-Russian Ties Still Fall Short of ‘Reset’ Goal (NY Times)
- Russia warns citizens against visiting countries that extradite to the US (RT)
- Retired U.S. Navy Specialist Found Guilty Of Attempted Spying For Russia (Radio Free Europe)
In this study, we decided to identify in detail the people on the boards of directors of the top ten asset management firms and the top ten most centralized corporations in the world. Because of overlaps, there is a total of thirteen firms, which collectively have 161 directors on their boards. We think that this group of 161 individuals represents the financial core of the world’s transnational capitalist class. They collectively manage $23.91 trillion in funds and operate in nearly every country in the world. They are the center of the financial capital that powers the global economic system. Western governments and international policy bodies work in the interests of this financial core to protect the free flow of capital investment anywhere in the world.
A Brief History of Research on the American Power Elite
A long tradition of sociological research documents the existence of a dominant ruling class in the United States, whose members set policy and determine national political priorities. The American ruling class is complex and competitive, and perpetuates itself through interacting families of high social standing with similar lifestyles, corporate affiliations, and memberships in elite social clubs and private schools.1
The American ruling class has long been determined to be mostly self-perpetuating,2 maintaining its influence through policy-making institutions such as the National Association of Manufacturers, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Business Council, Business Roundtable, the Conference Board, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Council on Foreign Relations, and other business-centered policy groups.3 These associations have long dominated policy decisions within the US government.
In his 1956 book, The Power Elite, C. Wright Mills documented how World War II solidified a trinity of power in the US that comprised corporate, military, and government elites in a centralized power structure motivated by class interests and working in unison through “higher circles” of contact and agreement. Mills described how the power elite were those “who decide whatever is decided” of major consequence.4 These higher-circle decision makers tended to be more concerned with interorganizational relationships and the functioning of the economy as a whole, rather than with advancing their particular corporate interests.5
The higher-circle policy elites (HCPE) are a segment of the American upper class and are the principal decision makers in society. Although these elites display some sense of “we-ness,” they also tend to have continuing disagreements on specific policies and necessary actions in various sociopolitical circumstances.6 These disagreements can block aggressive reactionary responses to social movements and civil unrest, as in the case of the labor movement in the 1930s and the civil rights movement in the 1960s. During these two periods, the more liberal elements of HCPE tended to dominate the decision-making process and supported passing the National Labor Relations and Social Security Acts in 1935, as well as the Civil Rights and Economic Opportunities Acts in 1964. These pieces of national legislation were seen as concessions to the ongoing social movements and civil unrest, and were implemented instead of instituting more repressive policies.
However, during periods of threats from external enemies, as in World Wars I and II, more conservative/reactionary elements of the HCPE successfully pushed their agendas. During and after World War I, the United States instituted repressive responses to social movements, for example through the Palmer Raids and passage of the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918. After World War II, the HCPE allowed and encouraged the McCarthy-era attacks on liberals and radicals and, in 1947, passage of the National Security Act and the anti-labor Taft-Hartley Act. In the past twenty-five years, and especially since the events of 9/11, the HCPE in the US has been united in support of an American empire of military power that maintains a repressive war against resisting groups—typically dubbed “terrorists”—around the world. This war on terror is much more about protecting transnational globalization, the free flow of financial capital, dollar hegemony, and access to oil, than it is repressing terrorism. Increasingly, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a partner with US global dominance interests.7
Finland’s Armed Forces’ commander in chief, President Sauli Niinistö, has entered the debate over whether the Nordic nation should join NATO as a long-term solution to meeting its future defense needs.
The Finnish NATO debate mirrors a similar and even more robust discussion in neighboring non-aligned Sweden, where a number of government and opposition parties see closer ties and membership in the alliance as pivotal to bolstering the country’s overall defense capability and guaranteeing long-term security in the face of Russia’s rearming in the High North.
The NATO debates in Finland and Sweden are taking place against a backdrop of cost-reduction-driven military reform programs. While these are designed to create more compact, modernized and cost-efficient fighting forces, military chiefs are faced with falling or stagnating budgets, which are straining the ability to maintain core units and fund procurement programs.
In Niinistö’s view, while Finland should keep the door open to NATO membership, the preferred solution is to build a stronger national defense capability outside of any military alliance.
Europe should create a civilian and military crisis operations HQ under EU command, according to a report by centre-right MEPs.
The proposal, contained in a policy paper published on Tuesday (3 September), by deputies from the European People’s Party, the largest group in the assembly, said EU “heads of state and government have to start building stand-by forces under Union command.”
It called for EU leaders to commit themselves to defining the union’s security interests, prioritising its strategic objectives and linking these with operational deployments.
They said this should include a definition of European defence interests and its geographical priority zones.
Launching the paper, deputies Michael Gahler, Arnaud Danjean and Krzysztof Lisek, all members of the Eparliament’s security and defence sub-committee, noted that “deepening the EU’s security and defence co-operation will help slash procurement costs and allow the EU to react faster to international crises.”
Leaders will debate the idea of EU-level military integration at a summit in December.
For the time being, defence and security policy remains exclusively in the hands of national governments, many of which are reluctant to increase the EU’s role in the field.
So, was there serious evidence of a Serbian campaign of Genocide in Kosovo? It’s an important issue, since the NATO powers, fortified by a chorus from the liberal intelligentsia, flourished the charge of genocide as justification for bombing that destroyed much of Serbia’s economy and killed around 2,000 civilians, with elevated death levels predicted for years to come.
Whatever horrors they may have been planning, the Serbs were not engaged in genocidal activities in Kosovo before the bombing began. They were fighting a separatist movement, led by the KLA, and behaving with the brutality typical of security forces, though to a degree infinitely more restrained than those backed by the United States in Central America. One common estimate of the number of Kosovar Albanians killed in the year before the bombing is 2,500. With NATO’s bombing came the flights and expulsions and charges that the Serbs were accelerating a genocidal plan; on some accounts, as many as 100,000 were already dead. An alternative assessment was that NATO’s bombing was largely to blame for the expulsions and killings.
After the war was over, on June 25, Bill Clinton told a White House press conference that on Slobodan Milosevic’s orders “tens of thousands of people” had been killed in Kosovo. A week before, from the British Foreign Office came the statement from Geoff Hoon that “according to the reports we had gathered, mostly from the refugees, it appeared that around 10,000 people [that is, Kosovar Albanians] had been killed in more than 100 massacres.” Of course, the US and British governments had an obvious motive in painting as horrifying a picture as possible of what the Serbs had been up to, since the bombing had come under increasingly fierce attack, with rifts in the NATO alliance.
The NATO powers had plenty of reasons to rush charges of genocide into the headlines. For one thing, it was becoming embarrassingly clear that the bombing had inflicted no significant damage on the Serbian Army. All the more reason, therefore, to propose that the Serbs were collectively guilty of genocide and thus deserved everything they got.
- NATO Chief: No Plans for Alliance Action in Syria (The State)
- Hollande: France and US Want to Send ‘Strong Message’ (TDS)
- Paid Off?: France wins Saudi Arabia defence contract (Economic Times)
- Erdogan wants Syria regime change, not limited strikes (Al Arabiya)
- Denmark Backs Military Strike in Syria (TDS)
- Germany: No Plans to Join Syria Military Action (AP)
- Iran vows ‘immediate destruction’ of Israel if Syria attacked (RT)
- Obama Hypes Case for War, But Won’t Talk Strategy (Antiwar)
- Experts warn Syria attack could escalate violence and further destabilize region (Raw Story)
- Eight things to consider before intervening in Syria (Juan Cole)
- Sixth US Ship Now in Eastern Mediterranean ‘As Precaution’ (Reuters)
- Russia Honors Pre-2011 Contracts With Syria (UPI)
- Syria Pays for Russian Weapons to Boost Ties With Moscow (Daily Times)
- Jordanians Protest Proposed Military Action Against Syria (Washington Post)
- Amid Syria Tensions, Israel Deploys Iron Dome Battery in Greater Tel Aviv Area (Jerusalem Post)
- Syrian Strikes Would Battle-Test Chinese Radars (Defense News)
- Syrian Army Moves Scud Missiles to Avoid Strike (Reuters)
Editor’s Note: Obama said this in response to a question in 2007 about the circumstances in which he would have the constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking authority from Congress: ’The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.’ Adding that, ‘it is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action’.
With no UN authorization and not even the relative rubber-stamp of a NATO authorization the legal justification for the upcoming Syrian War under international law is on extremely shaky ground. Both British and US officials are tackling that question, but in very different ways.
For Britain the question is a pretty huge one. With ongoing investigations over Tony Blair’s involvement in the illegal attack on Iraq, Prime Minister David Cameron is drawing uncomfortable comparisons.
That’s led Britain to seek parliamentary approval for the war, something which is liable to delay the war an extra day or two, but which will provide Cameron at least a little cover to argue that there was some legal process.
That may sound like a ticket to another protracted investigation in another 10 years, but it’s a lot more seriously than the Obama Administration is taking the matter, as US officials have no intention of asking Congress and seem to be placing the sum total of their legal argument on the idea that the attacks are going to be relatively small, at least to start with, and therefore its no big deal that there isn’t an endorsement.
MORE SYRIA NEWS:
- White House Downplays Seeking UN or Congressional Approval for War (Antiwar)
- Britain drafts military plans for Syria, recalls parliament (Reuters)
- Obama Pushes for Attack on Syria, But US Media ‘Beats the Drums of War’ (Common Dreams)
- White House PR Push: ’US to release report in coming days justifying Syria strike’ (Jerusalem Post)
- White House spotlights major diplomatic push on Syria (Politico)
- As Syria war escalates, Americans cool to U.S. intervention (Reuters/Ipsos)
- U.S. Neocon Hawks Take Flight Over Syria (Jim Lobe)
- The Neocon March on Damascus (National Interest)
- Israel lobby silent on Syria (Politico)
- 33 lawmakers: Congress must approve Syria action (Politico)
- Potential military strike in Syria sparks concern in Congress (CBS)
- Biden says ‘no doubt’ Assad behind chemical attack (France 24)
- McCain Says Obama Gave ‘Green Light’ to Syria to Use Chemical Weapons (Daily Beast)
- Peter King: Obama has ‘right’ to act on Syria (Politico)
From an August 3, 1981 Newsweek article titled, ‘A Plan to Overthrow Kaddafi’:
‘The details of the plan were sketchy, but it seemed to be a classic CIA destabilization campaign. One element was a “disinformation” program designed to embarrass Kaddafi and his government. Another was the creation of a “counter government” to challenge his claim to national leadership. A third — potentially the most risky — was an escalating paramilitary campaign, probably by disaffected Libyan nationals, to blow up bridges, conduct small-scale guerrilla operations and demonstrate that Kaddafi was opposed by an indigenous political force.’
Barack Obama is unlikely to have much trouble mustering a Nato coalition of the willing if Washington opts for military intervention in Syria in response to the alleged chemical weapons atrocities by the Assad regime.
There is, however, no prospect of a UN mandate for international military action over Syria – with the Kremlin, enraged at what it saw as abuse of a UN mandate to topple Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, certain to keep wielding its veto.
Turkey, which accounts for Nato’s second largest army after the US, and which is on the frontline with Syria, bearing the brunt of the massive refugee crisis, is already a key conduit for arms supplies to, and a safe haven for, the sundry groups of fighters at war with Damascus.
It has been the loudest critic of the Assad regime, clamouring for the west to do more. In any international coalition Turkey would be likely to play a key role – with a potential impact on the country’s own ethnic balance, especially the relations between the Sunni Muslim majority and the sizeable Alevi minority concentrated in the south near the Syrian border.
Britain and France, the EU’s only military powers with the capacity and will to project military muscle abroad, look certain to line up with the US.
Since last week’s reports of chemical weapons use, Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, has been among the loudest arguing that “something must be done”.
On Sunday he repeated, while visiting Israel, France’s demand for a strong response to the chemical weapons allegations. In meetings last week that echoed the run-up to the Anglo-French-led campaign in Libya, Fabius also discussed options with William Hague, the British foreign secretary.
Israel, another neighbour with a huge interest in Syria, is also likely to support the US, although intensely worried about the form and substance of a post-Assad Syria.
Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, after meeting Fabius, on Sunday called for an international operation to remove chemical weapons from Syria.
- Britain and US pledge to use force within two weeks (Antiwar)
- Report: Syrian rebel forces trained by West are moving towards Damascus (Jerusalem Post)
- Poll: About 60 Percent Of Americans Are Against Intervention (Reuters/Ipsos)
- Qatar’s Hefty Investment and Pipeline Hopes Depend on Removal of Assad (Zero Hedge)
- Prince Bandar: Is This Man the Key to Taking Down Assad? (Newser)
- FLASHBACK: Saving Syria: Assessing Options for Regime Change (Brookings Institute)
- Lavrov: Hysteria around chemical attack suits those who want military intervention in Syria (RT)
- Russia Compares Syria War Drums to Iraq Invasion, Warns of Consequences of Intervention (ABC)
- Israel to US: Respond to Syria (Politico)
- Iran Warns US Over Military Move Against Syria (The State)
- Eyes on Syrian border, US troops stand ready to defend Turkey’s skies (Stars and Stripes)
- Amid Concerns Over Syria, US and Jordan to Host Mideast Defense Chiefs (AP)
- US Syria intervention could help al Qaeda (DW)
- Syrian rebels claim receipt of major weapons shipment (Guardian)
- Hama province governor assassinated: Syria state TV (TNI)
- US Set to Launch ‘Iraq, The Sequel’, in Syria (Ron Paul Institute)
- Sens. McCain, Graham Call for Attacking Syria (Washington Times)
- Corker on Syria: ‘We Will Respond’ (Newser)
- ‘We Have To Make It Clear We Will Not Tolerate The Use Of These Weapons Of Mass Destruction’ (Face the Nation)
- Reed, McCaul Caution Against US Offensive in Syria (Politico)
The United States and its allies should immediately announce how many troops will stay on in Afghanistan after 2014, former NATO supreme commander Admiral James Stavridis argued on Wednesday.
Stavridis, who recently finished a four-year stint as the alliance’s top military leader, said it was vital to unveil the troop plans quickly to counter Taliban propaganda claiming foreign troops are abandoning the country.
In a commentary, Stavridis wrote that he supported keeping 15,000 US and allied forces in the country after the bulk of coalition troops withdraw as planned in 2014.
[...] If Washington succeeds in installing Georgia into NATO, then an attempt by Georgia to recover what it regards as lost territories would escalate the conflict. An attack by Georgia would comprise an attack by the US and NATO against Russia. Despite the risk to Europe of being pulled into a war with Russia, this month the chief of Denmark’s Home Guard was in Georgia on Washington’s mission discussing cooperation between the defense ministries of Denmark and Georgia on regional security issues.
Georgia lies to the East of the Black Sea. What “regional security issues” does Georgia have with Denmark and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization? NATO was established to defend Western Europe against Soviet attack.
Finland and Sweden remained neutral during the Cold War, but both are now being recruited by NATO. NATO lost its purpose with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yet, it has been greatly expanded and now includes former constituent parts of the Soviet Empire. NATO has become a cover for US military aggression and supplies troops for Washington’s wars. Georgia’s troops are fighting for Washington in Afghanistan and fought for Washington in Iraq.
Washington kept NATO alive and made it into a mercenary army that serves Washington’s world empire.
In a provocation to both Russia and China, the US is currently conducting military exercises in Mongolia. Troops from Korea and Tajikistan, formerly part of the Soviet Union, are also participating. Washington calls such operations “building interoperability between peacekeeping nations.” Obviously, foreign military forces are being incorporated into the Empire’s army.
Are Americans aware that Washington is conducting military exercises all over the world, is surrounding Russia and China with military bases, and now has an Africa Command? Have Congress and the American people signed off on Amerika Uber Alles? Shouldn’t Washington and the military/security complex be reined in before Washington’s aggression triggers a nuclear war?
The seven-day visit of the Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan Safar Abiyev to the United States of America except for the military issues included also political elements. As reported by the Yeni Musavat newspaper, “the sides discussed issues related to the military and technical cooperation between the two countries, security in the Caspian Sea, training of marine military officers, increase of antenna and military navy ships in the Sea, US assistance to the State Border Service and the Ministry of Emergency Situations, transport of American troops withdrawn from Afghanistan, via Azerbaijan, the Iranian issue, as well as the presidential elections to be held on October 9”.
[...] In the interview given to the Yeni Musavat newspaper, Azerbaijani military expert Uzeir Jafarov stated that the most important agreement made during the visit of the Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan Safar Abiyev to the United States of America is the establishment of a NATO military base in Nakhchivan. “The issue of passing the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan to Turkey’s guardianship to protect it is in the agenda. It is possible that during the next year Turkey will establish a military base in Nakhchivan or open a military representative unit. The entrance of Turkey to Nakhchivan is also provided by the NATO presence in that territory”, said Azerbaijani military expert Uzeir Jafarov.
[...] The Kremlin wants Ukraine to integrate economically with Russia by joining a Moscow-led customs union and then go on to become part of Putin’s grand “Eurasian Union” of former-Soviet states, which would have an eastward-looking focus.
The Kremlin wants Ukraine to integrate economically with Russia by joining a Moscow-led customs union and then go on to become part of Putin’s grand “Eurasian Union” of former-Soviet states, which would have an eastward-looking focus.
[...] Ukraine was on a pro-Western path following the 2004 Orange Revolution, but that movement was reversed after the Russian-speaking Mr. Yanukovych won a hard-fought 2010 election, in part on pledges to repair Ukraine’s tattered relations with Russia.
In the months that followed Yanukovych’s election, he largely succeeded in reversing the Orange Revolution and, in particular, derailed Ukraine’s bid to join the Western military alliance NATO. He also sealed good ties with Moscow by extending Russia’s lease on Sevastopol, headquarters of the Russian navy’s Black Sea fleet, by another 25 years.
However, Yanukovych has been unable – or unwilling – to deliver Ukrainian agreement to join the customs union, whose main members are Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, a step that might forever cement Ukraine into a Russian-led economic and political union of ex-Soviet countries. At the same time, he has insisted that Ukrainian cooperation with Europe shouldn’t close the door to better relations with Moscow.
A UN report documents 1,319 civilian deaths and 2,533 injuries in Afghanistan in the first six months of 2013, a 23 percent increase over the same period in 2012. The study finds “a 14 percent increase in deaths, 28 percent increase in injuries and 23 percent increase in total civilian casualties.”
Most of the civilian casualties, according to the report, came from what are called “Anti-Government Elements” (74 percent). But civilian casualties by U.S.-NATO forces can be hard to substantiate when these authorities flatly deny accusations.
- After Two Year High, Insider Attacks Levelling Off (AP)
- Scores Killed in Bombings as Afghan Military Touts ‘Progress’ (Antiwar)
- US air strike kills five Afghan police (The Australian)
- NATO vows better cleanup of unexploded munitions as it closes Afghan bases (McClatchy)
- U.S. to investigate Afghan’s accusations troops murdered civilians (Reuters)
Defence Minister Karin Enstrom declared Sweden’s interest in a letter to the Nato chief of staff, stating that the purpose is to deepen cooperation with Nato and especially to participate in advanced training.
“Nato has said it will happen in the context of the NRF,” says Enstrom.
The government has wanted Swedish troops to join the Response Force since 2008 but it has hitherto been impossible as there was insufficient support in parliament, although Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has claimed that it was more a question of “technology over politics”.
Neighbouring Finland has already joined the force.
by MIGUEL GONZÁLEZ
Spain and the US are expected to formalize an agreement in the coming weeks over the stationing of four destroyers at the naval base in Rota, Cádiz, for an initial period of over four years. The deal is worth 200 million euros to Spanish public company Navantia, which will be responsible for the maintenance of the four Arleigh Burke class vessels. The destroyers form part of the NATO missile defense shield and are equipped with Aegis combat systems capable of intercepting ballistic missiles.
Report: Turkish, Qatari, Saudi, British, US, French, Jordanian Intelligence Meet Behind Closed Doors To Discuss Syrian Rebel Defeat At Al Qusseir ~ Michel Chossudovsky
by Prof Michel Chossudovsky
According to a Fars News Agency report, senior intelligence officials from US-NATO and allied countries including the US, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Qatar met on June 7, behind closed door at the residence of the British Ambassador in Ankara.
The topic for discussion was the defeat of the US-NATO sponsored Al Nusrah rebels following the battle of Al Qusseir which led to the victory of Syrian forces. The planning of a renewed rebel offensive was envisaged:
“Top intelligence officials of the US, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan convened in an urgent meeting at the British ambassador’s residence in Ankara on June 7 to discuss an immediate rebel attack on the Syrian government and army positions in reprisal for the Syrian army’s recent victory in Al-Qusseir,” a liaison officer coordinating the meeting told FNA.
According to the report, the participants of this Ankara secret meeting included (with the exception of Jordan) the regional intelligence directors of the seven countries directly involved in supporting the insurrection.
The source, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of his information and for fear of his life, said, “All the aforesaid countries sent their regional directors to the meeting, except for Jordan which was represented at a lower level.”
The meeting acknowledged the lack of morale among rebel forces and the need “to assess the psychological impacts of the Syrian army’s victory in Al-Qusseir on rebel groups and work out a morale-boost response to Damascus.”
The formulation of a renewed and coordinated rebel offensive was outlined, including the channeling of additional sources of financing, the delivery of weapons to the Al Qaeda affiliated “opposition” rebels (in defiance of international law and US anti-terrorist legislation).