7 September 2011 — Stop NATO
- Indian Link To NATO ABM System Targets China, Pakistan, Iran, Russia
- Afghanistan: 1,645 Dead, 13,609 Wounded In America’s Longest War
- Afghan War: Czech Defense Minister Inspects New Special Forces Base
- Dutch Defense Minister: New Afghan Mission ‘Primarily Military’
- U.S. Carrier Strike Group Visits Malaysia
- Africa Partnership Station: U.S. Guided Missile Warship In Mauritius
- U.S. Firm Gets $46 Million To Build Third Egyptian Military Center
- CIA Increases Military Operations In Asia
- America’s Post-9/11 Legacy: Era Of Endless War
- War With China A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?
Indian Link To NATO ABM System Targets China, Pakistan, Iran, Russia
September 6, 2011
India may agree to deploy NATO missile system
Islamabad: Reports circulating in Russian media are warning of the possibility that India may allow the deployment of a NATO missile shield in order to win Western backing against rivals China and Pakistan.
The Voice of Russia’s senior analyst, Mikhail Berestov reported on September 2, 2011 ‘No great wonder, appropriate overtures are being made to New Delhi and India may join non-NATO powers like Australia and Russia in cooperating with NATO.’
The report suggested that India may be allowed a role ‘on normalizing Afghanistan, staging wargames, combating terrorism, drug trade and cyberspace crime and exploring possibilities for regional and global missile defence.’
U.S. NATO ambassador Ivo Daalder was quoted as suggesting that India should abandon its non-aligned role and join NATO. A Voice of Russia analyst quoted Robert Pshel, head of NATO’s Information Office in Moscow, as saying ‘I agree with Mr Daalder that many modern threats are global, and tackling them without emerging powers like India is hardly possible.’
Dr, Boris Volkonsky of the Russian Strategic Research Institute was quoted as seeing a link to the regional wars currently waged by NATO.
‘What next for Libya after Gaddafi is history and what next for Afghanistan after the announced pullout deadline of 2014 is fuel for guesswork. In the meantime, this August was America’s bloodiest month in Afghanistan. An ally like India would strengthen Washington’s hand in South and Southwest Asia and other world areas.’
One ulterior motive may also be at work, namely, that of shared Indian and American fear of the rising dragon of China, the report added.
According to the Voice of Russia report, ‘observers in Russia call attention to the fact that the American ABM overtures to India coincide with announcements about planned interceptor positions in Rumania and an early-warning radar in Turkey.’
The United States and India have already studied the possibility of a joint missile defence system but former Defence Secretary Robert Gates had stressed that ‘talks were only in their early stages.’
Until now, India’s policy had been to develop its missile shield domestically, closing a potential multibillion-dollar market with American manufacturers Boeing, Lockheed Martin Corp, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman Corp — the biggest players in the emerging ground, air, sea and space based U.S. missile defence system.
But this may be changing in line with a breakthrough Indian decision to buy Lockheed’s C-130J military transport aircraft.
According to regional defence observers the deployment of any NATO missile shield in India will set alarm bells ringing not only in China and Pakistan but also in Iran and Russia.
Afghanistan: 1,645 Dead, 13,609 Wounded In America’s Longest War
September 6, 2011
US military deaths in Afghanistan at 1,645
As of Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2011, at least 1,645 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.
Since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, 13,609 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department.
Afghan War: Czech Defense Minister Inspects New Special Forces Base
Czech News Agency
September 6, 2011
Defense minister visits new Czech military base in Afghanistan
Kabul/Prague: Czech Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra visited a brand-new base of the Czech military’s 601st special forced unit in the Afghan province the Nangarhar and met some members of the Afghan government yesterday, the ministry told CTK.
Vondra visits the Czech troops stationed in Afghanistan every half year. Now he has been accompanied by Czech chief-of-staff Vlastimil Picek, Czech military intelligence head Ondrej Palenik, Czech ambassador to the USA Petr Gandalovic and Czech lower house deputies.
In a speech to the soldiers, Vondra said demanding military tasks are ahead of them. Moreover, they will start training members of the Afghan police’s special unit…
The Czech unit’s commander Karel Rehka recalled that the unit arrived in Afghanistan in early July. It has carried out almost 50 military operations by now. The base was completed late in August.
The Czech 601st special forces unit, in charge of reconnaissance and shock operations, is deployed in Afghanistan for the sixth time now, but this is for the first time it operates under the direct command of the international forces, ISAF.
Before, it was deployed within the U.S.-led Enduring Freedom operation.
Vondra yesterday also met Afghan Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, Interior Minister Bismillah Mohammadi and deputy head of NATO training mission in Afghanistan Jack Kem.
He handed two SA 58 automatic rifle magazines to Kem and Mohammadi as a symbol of 2,000 such magazines the Czech Republic plans to send to Afghanistan.
‘I hope we’ll establish closer cooperation in Afghanistan that will be bilaterally beneficial. I’ve also given the defence minister an offer of some military materiel we could sell to them,’ Vondra said.
Dutch Defense Minister: New Afghan Mission ‘Primarily Military’
September 6, 2011
Dutch minister: Kunduz primarily military mission
The Dutch police training mission in the Afghan province of Kunduz is primarily a military mission.
Defence Minister Hans Hillen made this statement in an interview with this week’s issue of current affairs magazine Vrij Nederland. Until now the government has emphatically characterised the mission as being civilian in nature.
In the interview, the minister is quoted as saying:
‘I have repeatedly said: we must guard against superimposing our idealistic Dutch ideas on the hard realities of a war zone. Parliament may say it’s a civilian mission, but it’s primarily a military one.’
He said he was glad parliament had given the go-ahead for the mission.
‘But I wanted parliament to be well aware of what it approved. I still feel it’s strange that Kunduz cannot be called a military mission, while nearly all of them are soldiers. In the Netherlands we prefer just to look at the soft side of such an expedition, because we want to make the world a better place. But life is tough, and even more so in Kunduz.’
U.S. Carrier Strike Group Visits Malaysia
September 5, 2011
Stennis Strike Group Visits Port Klang
By USS John C. Stennis Public Affairs
PORT KLANG, Malaysia: Sailors from the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) arrived in Port Klang, Malaysia for a scheduled four-day port visit Sept. 4.
Sailors will have the opportunity to…host tours for national dignitaries and guests aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).
The deployment of JCSCSG exemplifies the Navy’s dedication to building partnerships across the globe, and this visit affords members of the strike group an opportunity to build and strengthen relationships between the Malaysian and U.S. militaries.
JCSCSG is comprised of John C. Stennis and embarked Carrier Air Wing 9, guided missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), and Destroyer Squadron 21; guided missile destroyers USS Pinckney (DDG 91), USS Kidd (DDG 100), USS Dewey (DDG 105) and USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108).
John C. Stennis departed homeport in Bremerton, Wash. July 25 for deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet in support of theater security cooperation engagement and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. John C. Stennis last deployed to the western Pacific Ocean in 2007.
Africa Partnership Station: U.S. Guided Missile Warship In Mauritius
September 6, 2011
USS Samuel B. Roberts Arrives in Port Louis, Mauritius
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Felicito Rustique, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa/Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs
PORT LOUIS, Mauritius: USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) arrived in Port Louis, Mauritius, for an 8-day goodwill port visit as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS) East’s hub, Sept. 5.
APS is an international security cooperation initiative, facilitated by
Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, aimed at strengthening global
maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities…in Africa.
The visit to Mauritius marks Roberts´ fifth East African port visit in the past seven weeks. The other stops were in Mombasa, Kenya; Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; Victoria, Seychelles; and Maputo, Mozambique.
Prior to its arrival in Mauritius, Roberts was underway supporting maritime
security operations and theater security cooperation in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.
Samuel B. Roberts is an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided-missile frigate that is homeported in Naval Station Mayport, Fla., and is currently on a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.
U.S. Firm Gets $46 Million To Build Third Egyptian Military Center
September 6, 2011
SAIC gets $46M deal for Egyptian military center
McLEAN, Va. — Science Applications International Corp. won a $46 million, 3-year contract to build a training center for Egypt’s military, the company said Tuesday.
Work will be done mostly in Orlando, Fla., and San Diego.
The company had built two other training centers for the Egyptian armed forces. The third center is designed to handle large training exercises.
CIA Increases Military Operations In Asia
Voice of Russia
September 2, 2011
CIA involved into military operations in Asia
Gennady Yevstafyev, retired Lieutenant-General of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service:
The CIA is a highly sophisticated agency because it possesses a fantastic number of technological instruments, starting from satellites, eavesdropping equipment and all kinds of gadgets, and now they are concentrating on cyber attacks and especially in their operations on disinformation.
In Afghanistan they have special operation units which started the operation against the Taliban movement and even now they operate on the territory of Pakistan.
Every day there are about 1,500 American Special Forces belonging to CIA operating on the territory of Pakistan trying to find the leaders of Taliban, and they operate numerous unmanned air vehicles (UAV) which they use for attacking particular targets.
The collateral damage is tremendous ? a huge number of peaceful people – while trying to pursue their targets on the territory of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
America’s Post-9/11 Legacy: Era Of Endless War
September 6, 2011
9/11: Decade later, weary nation sees no peace
This is the American era of endless war.
To grasp its sweep, it helps to visit Fort Campbell, Ky., where the Army will soon open a $31 million complex for wounded troops and those whose bodies are breaking down after a decade of deployments. The Warrior Transition Battalion complex, the only four-story structure on the base, towers over architecture from earlier wars.
‘This unit will be around as long as the Army is around,’ said Lt. Col. Bill Howard, the battalion commander.
As the new complex rises, bulldozers are taking down the last of Fort Campbell’s World War II-era buildings. The white clapboard structures were hastily thrown up in the early 1940s as the country girded to battle Nazi Germany and imperial Japan. The buildings, like the war the country was entering, were supposed to be temporary.
The two sets of buildings tell the story of America’s embrace of endless war in the 10 years since Sept. 11, 2001. In previous decades, America viewed war as an aberration and peace as the norm.
Today, radical religious ideologies, new technologies and cheap, powerful weapons have catapulted the world into ‘a period of persistent conflict,’ according to the Pentagon’s last major assessment of global security.
In the decades after Vietnam, the U.S. military was almost entirely focused on training for a big, unthinkable war with the Soviet Union. There were small conflicts, such as Grenada, Panama and the Persian Gulf War, but the United States was largely at peace.
After the Soviet collapse and America’s swift Gulf War victory, the military bet that it would be able to use big weapons and vastly better technology to bludgeon enemies into a speedy surrender. It envisioned a future of quick, decisive and overwhelming victories.
A decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan has crushed the ‘smug certainties’ of that earlier era, said Eliot Cohen, a military historian who served in the George W. Bush administration.
Most soldiers and Marines in today’s military have seen their entire careers consumed by combat.
The long stretch of war has also isolated the U.S. military from society. Senior Army officials worry that career soldiers have forgotten how to take care of their troops outside the war zones. A 2010 Army study partially blamed the service’s unusually high suicide rate on the ‘lost art of leadership in garrison.’
Other top military officials fret that the troops are developing a troubling sense that they are better than the society they serve.
‘Today’s Army, including its leadership, lives in a bubble separate from society,’ wrote retired Lt. Gen. David Barno, who commanded U.S. forces in Afghanistan, in an essay for the website of Foreign Policy magazine. ‘This splendid military isolation – set in the midst of a largely adoring nation – risks fostering a closed culture of superiority and aloofness. This must change if the Army is to remain in, of, and with the ever-diverse peoples of the United States.’
The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have not had the broad cultural impact of previous conflicts such as World War II or Vietnam. The new wars have not produced war bonds, internment camps, victory gardens or large-scale counterculture protests.
The endless conflict, however, has changed the way Americans view war and peace. Call of Duty, a series of video games, offers up a fun-house-mirror reflection of this new understanding of conflict. The popularity of the series soared in 2009 with the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which portrayed U.S. troops locked in a struggle with the Taliban. The game’s conflicts are unending.
‘You find yourself doubting why we fight,’ said Lee Brimmicombe-Wood, an industry veteran and game designer. ‘Villains are killed, but you are left in the end with a completely devastated world.’ Victory is unattainable.
Peace has also faded from any debate in Washington surrounding the wars.
In June, when President Barack Obama laid out his plans to begin reducing U.S. troops in Afghanistan, he sought to assure a weary American public that the country’s longest war was drawing to an end.
‘Tonight we take comfort in knowing that the tide of war is receding,’ he said. ‘And even as there will be dark days ahead in Afghanistan, the light of a secure peace can be seen in the distance.’
Obama was not promising an end to America’s wars. He was suggesting that the United States needed to find new, more cost-effective ways of fighting them.
Even as the Obama administration has started to cut troop numbers in Afghanistan, it has ramped up drone strikes and the use of special operations forces in places such as Yemen and Somalia.
One lesson of today’s endless war seems to be that Americans will have to learn to live with a certain amount of insecurity and fear.
‘In this world we will not ‘win wars,’’ Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former Obama administration official, wrote in the British foreign-policy journal RUSI. ‘We will have an assortment of civilian and military tools to increase our chances of turning looming bad outcomes into good – or at least better – outcomes.’
War With China A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?
September 6, 2011
Is worrying about war with China a self-fulfilling prophecy?
The US would pay dearly if it tried to rein in China’s rise, says an article on the website of Foreign Policy bimonthly magazine on Sept 2, 2011.
The article quotes ‘Asian Alliances in the 21st Century,’ a report published by the Project 2049 Institute, a conservative think tank that focuses on East Asia, as saying that Americans must regard China as a national security threat. The report believes that ‘China’s military ambitions threaten America’s Asian allies, raise questions about the credibility of US alliance pledges, and imperil the US military strategy that underpins its global primacy.’
The authors of ‘Asian Alliances’ tend to infer China’s intentions from its capacities, says the article. They describe China using missiles and bombers to launch a devastating attack on Taiwan and the United States responding with a missile strike against the mainland. The only way to preclude such a cataclysm, the authors argue, is to adopt much tougher counter-measures: rollback, in Cold War terms.
The ‘Asian Alliances’ report suggests that a military partnership should be established among the United States, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia, and others. But it’s hard to believe that these states would agree to join such an explicitly anti-Chinese coalition, says the article. And there’s also the danger that China would react by concluding that time was no longer on its side, thus turning the coalition into a devastatingly self-fulfilling prophecy.
The costs for the United States would be greater, it cautions. Americans are too obsessed with the economy right now to spare a thought for national security, but the debate is waiting in the wings. ‘The threat of terrorist attack is very real, but diminishing. Al Qaeda is not the national nightmare it once was. Are Americans going to replace it with a new nightmare — or rather, a recycled one from the depths of the Cold War? I certainly hope not. China’s regional ambitions do need to be checked. But if America bankrupts itself in the process, we’ll win the battle and lose the war.’