Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 23, 2011

23 September 2011 — Stop NATO

  • Washington And The Middle East: Almost All Small Nations Challenging U.S. Hit By Strikes, Sanctions
  • American Military Delegation Visits Lebanon-Israel Border
  • Rasmussen: Chicago NATO Summit To Focus On Missile System, Afghan War
  • Russia To Counter NATO ABM With Sea-Based Missile Defense
  • FYI: Coming EU Collapse To Re-energize NATO
  • Chinese Foreign Minister Urges U.S. To Revoke Taiwan Arms Sales
  • European Union Global Military Operations Parallel NATO’s
  • NATO Wraps Up Multinational Exercise In Indiana
  • Russian UN Envoy Decries Double Standards On Conflicts

Washington And The Middle East: Almost All Small Nations Challenging U.S. Hit By Strikes, Sanctions


Global Times
September 21, 2011

US stands against public will in Mideast

-The US is running a risk in its Middle East diplomacy. Its support for Israel is in apparent conflict with global justice at times.
However, the world often has to tolerate this. One important reason is that the US gets the tacit agreement of the authorities in Middle East countries. These governments actually become a buffer for the confrontation between US policy and public will in the Middle East.
-Since the end of the Cold War, almost all small countries that have challenged the US have been hit by strikes or sanctions.

As the Arab Spring continues to sweep the Middle East, Israel appears increasingly isolated. Palestine is taking advantage of the chance and seeking full UN membership. The US has declared its intention to veto the Palestinian UN bid, whereas more than 100 countries support Palestine’s request.

Over the past few months, the US largely supported the revolution in the Middle East. But its current decision to block Palestine from entering the UN could drive the Middle East back to old geopolitical fights.

Palestine’s request to become a UN member state is in accordance with its public will and the democratic wave across the Middle East. The US may face overwhelming protests and hostility from the Arab world for standing by Israel.

The US is running a risk in its Middle East diplomacy. Its support for Israel is in apparent conflict with global justice at times.

However, the world often has to tolerate this. One important reason is that the US gets the tacit agreement of the authorities in Middle East countries. These governments actually become a buffer for the confrontation between US policy and public will in the Middle East.

The US is facing a diplomatic predicament in the Middle East. This is an example of its global diplomacy in which interests conflict with justice. US diplomacy has an increasing number of double standards. It stresses both pragmatism and idealism at the same time. One US habit that rarely changes is that it requires obedience by other countries, especially smaller ones. Since the end of the Cold War, almost all small countries that have challenged the US have been hit by strikes or sanctions.

But this time, Palestine’s firm request and the support of many countries is very embarrassing to the US. With wide support across the world, Palestine now has a strong political position. Palestine’s bid strikes exactly at the tender spot of US diplomacy in the Middle East.

The US deserves a clear lesson in diplomacy. It should reflect on its diplomatic ideology and practice. The US involves itself in transnational affairs across the world, although international politics are becoming increasingly multi-polar. The US has to be more humble.

The US policy toward Palestine is problematic not only on a humanitarian level, but also on the level of public democracy. The US has been led by domestic pro-Israeli forces, rather than being guided by the reality on the ground.

The US needs to either make diplomatic adjustments, or to pay for its refusal to adjust. Palestine’s goal is courageous. The international community, including China, should join hands together and support its request. The US may stay stubborn but we should make our standpoint clear.

China’s support of Palestine’s request for full UN membership does not mean hostility toward Israel. Nevertheless, China has the right to make its own judgments and express its views on such major issues.


American Military Delegation Visits Lebanon-Israel Border


Xinhua News Agency
September 23, 2011

American military delegation tours Lebanon-Israel border

BEIRUT: A U.S. military delegation toured the Lebanese-Israeli border Thursday after meeting earlier the day with Lebanese Army Commander Jean Kawhagi, Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA) reported.

The delegation, with a convoy of five armored U.S. vehicles, visited the Blue Line, a border demarcation between Lebanon and Israel, after talks with Kahwagi on tackling military cooperation and the implementation of U.S. military aid programs to Lebanon, NNA said.

The visit drew criticism from a lawmaker affiliated with Israel’s arch-foe, the Shiite armed group Hezbollah, according to the report.

‘There is no way that the visit was in the interest of Lebanon,’ Qassem Hashem, Lebanonese member of parliament, was quoted by NNA, adding that the delegation’s visit was a violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty.

The Blue Line between Lebanon and Israel was approved by the United Nations in 2000 for the purpose of determining whether Israel had fully withdrawn from Lebanon.


Rasmussen: Chicago NATO Summit To Focus On Missile System, Afghan War


Los Angeles Times
September 22, 2011

Next NATO summit to be in Chicago

NEW YORK: Officials of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have decided they will hold their next summit in Chicago on May 20-21, 2012, the same month that the Group of 8 industrialized nations will gather in the city.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO’s secretary-general, disclosed the dates in an interview. He said the alliance will be considering several issues, including its missile defense system and its mission in Afghanistan.

The NATO members will…discuss the future of their long-planned missile defense system, which they hope to be able to activate in May. Discussions may focus on NATO’s hopes for Russian collaboration in the system, though this remains only ‘a possibility,’ Rasmussen said.

Protest groups have promised they will turn out by the thousands to demonstrate against the G-8 and NATO meetings.


Russia To Counter NATO ABM With Sea-Based Missile Defense


Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 22, 2011

Russia to build sea-based ‘missile shield’ – diplomat

KIEV: Russia is planning to develop its own sea-based missile defense system, a Foreign Ministry official said on Thursday.

‘According to our analysis, this system will be very efficient and meet the norms of international maritime law,’ said Vladimir Kozin, a deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s information and press department.

Kozin did not give any further details on the future missile defense system. He was speaking at a video conference between Moscow and Kiev on European security.

The move is almost certain to be interpreted as Russia’s response to NATO’s European missile shield, which it says it needs to counter potential missile attacks from ‘rogue states,’ such as Iran and North Korea.

The NATO ‘shield’ includes U.S. warships equipped with Aegis ballistic missile defense systems capable of shooting down short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.

Russia has retained staunch opposition to the deployment of missile defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a threat to its national security.

Moscow has repeatedly warned NATO it would create both defensive and offensive means to counter any missile threat and to penetrate any missile defense if the sides did not agree to cooperate on the issue.


American Think Tank: Coming EU Collapse To Re-energize NATO


Defence Professionals
September 22, 2011

Coming EU Collapse Could Re-energize NATO
Daniel Goure, Ph.D.
Early Warning Blog, Lexington Institute

Could the EU collapse? Unthinkable! Impossible! Yet, that is what was being said just a few months ago about the possibility that Greece would default on its debt. Now, as Europe struggles to put together a second bailout package for that country, the conversation has increasingly focused not on how to save Greece – and with it the Eurozone – but when and how the default will happen. The consensus now is not only will Greece default but it will be messy. The unthinkable has become the base case.

A Greek default, albeit actually good for that country, will trigger a massive economic, political and existential crisis for the European Union (EU). A default will put enormous pressure on other weak European economies, particularly Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy. This will cause a crisis among the European banks. But more significantly, Europe will be faced with a choice: save the Euro or save the EU. There won’t be the time to forge a true single fiscal and political union. The only way both to protect the viable economies of Northern and Central Europe and allow the weaker ones in the South a chance to recover is by the former group of countries to allow, even insist that, the latter group exit the Eurozone. This will fundamentally and irrevocably alter the character and purpose of the EU. In fact, should the economic contagion reach France, the EU will certainly collapse.

It is ironic that the Euro’s decline and the EU’s possible demise is likely to be a boon for NATO. Absent a strong and expanding EU, NATO will be the sole gravitational force exerting a cohesive influence across the continent. NATO already includes several countries who are not members of the EU; this number will grow significantly if a Euro crisis occurs.

Most important, NATO will have to stand guard over Europe during a time that may come to resemble economic and even politically the 1930s. NATO can help stabilize weak European governments under tremendous stress. It also can deter outside powers from seeking to take advantage of Europe’s temporary weakness. Finally, NATO provides the best means for leveraging what is likely to be a shrinking stock of trans-Atlantic military capabilities.

Despite its contributions to the conflicts in Afghanistan and Libya, it has become fashionable in recent years in some circles to dismiss NATO as a quaint anachronism. It may well turn out that NATO will prove to be the most important US security relationship of the 21st Century.


Chinese Foreign Minister Urges U.S. To Revoke Taiwan Arms Sales


Xinhua News Agency
September 23, 2011

Chinese FM urges U.S. to revoke arms sales to Taiwan

NEW YORK: Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Thursday urged the United States to correct its error by immediately revoking its arms sales plan to Taiwan so as to safeguard the overall situation of Sino-U.S. relations as well as peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.

Yang made the remarks when he delivered a speech to members of the National Committee on United States-China Relations and the US-China Business Council here in New York on the sidelines of the annual general debate of the United Nations General Assembly.

Yang called on the U.S. to fully recognize the great sensitivity and gravity of arms sales to Taiwan, attach high importance to and seriously treat China’s solemn stance.

He also urged the U.S. side to stop selling arms to Taiwan and ceasing its military links with Taiwan.

Regardless of China’s repeated solemn representations, the U.S. administration announced Wednesday a new arms package worth 5.852 billion U.S. dollars to Taiwan, which includes the so-called ’ upgrading’ of F-16A/B fighter jets.

Yang said respecting each other’s core interest is the principle underpinning China-U.S. cooperation.

‘We should cherish our cooperation, as it embodies the important common interests of our two countries,’ said the foreign minister, adding ‘When it comes to major issues concerning China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, the United States should handle them with extreme care so as to prevent interference and setbacks in China-U.S. relations.’

The Taiwan issue concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, concerns China’s core interest and bears on the sentiments of the 1.3 billion Chinese people. It is always the most important and sensitive issue at the core of China-U.S. relationship, he said.

The United States, Yang said, once again took the wrong decision of making large-scale arms sales to Taiwan in disregard of China’s strong opposition and ignoring the improvement and peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.

‘This has gravely violated the principles of the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques, particularly the August 17 Communique, grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs and seriously undermined China’s security, its endeavor to achieve peaceful reunification and China-U.S. relations. It runs counter to the serious commitment made by the U.S. side itself. China is firmly opposed to this decision,’ said the foreign minister.

‘The Chinese side urges the U.S. side to take China’s solemn position very seriously, correct the mistake of selling weapons to Taiwan, immediately revoke the above-mentioned wrong decision, stop arms sales to Taiwan and U.S.-Taiwan military contacts, and take real actions to uphold the larger interest of China-U.S. relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits,’ Yang noted.


European Union Global Military Operations Parallel NATO’s


September 22, 2011

Informal Defence Council
Cooperation and assessment of military missions on agenda
By Eric van Puyvelde

-Apart from the EU ministers, also participating are the commanders of EU military operations and representatives of the EU Military Staff, EU Military Committee, the European Defence Agency, the External Action Service and NATO Headquarters.

On the first day of the informal Defence Council, on 22 September in Wroclaw, Poland, the 27 ministers discussed the Union’s current engagement in military missions and operations carried out in the framework of the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). These include the EU NAVFOR Atalanta naval operation in Somali waters, the EUTM training mission in Uganda and the EUFOR Althea mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They also debated questions related to the Southern neighbourhood, in particular support for Libya.

The second day’s agenda will focus on evaluation of the ‘Weimar initiative’ (to relaunch European defence, initiated by Poland, Germany and France in December 2010) and the ‘Pooling and sharing initiative’, based on the pooling and sharing by member states of military capabilities needed to carry out operational activities.

After the meeting, Polish Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak planned to meet representatives of the NATO member states and EU applicant states (Albania, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Iceland, Norway and Turkey) to brief them on the debates.

The two-day meeting is chaired by the Polish minister on behalf of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, who is attending the UN General Assembly. Apart from the EU ministers, also participating are the commanders of EU military operations and representatives of the EU Military Staff, EU Military Committee, the European Defence Agency, the External Action Service and NATO Headquarters.


NATO Wraps Up Multinational Exercise In Indiana


Camp Atterbury Public Affairs
September 22, 2011

Bold Quest 2011 wraps up
Story by Michael Maddox

EDINBURGH, Ind. – Camp Atterbury-Muscatatuck Training Complex is no stranger to hosting soldiers with a multitude of unit patches from a wide variety of locations, but recently the installation has also been hosting military members from foreign services across the globe.

Currently, Atterbury-Muscatatuck Complex is hosting Bold Quest 2011, a joint staff lead military coalition combat assessment exercise designed to test the interoperability of target identification systems of 12 NATO member nations to reduce friendly fire incidents. The exercise, which involves more than 700 foreign and U.S. military members, began Sept. 8 and will wrap up Sept. 23.

During Bold Quest military members from nations including Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Poland, the United Kingdom, the United States and NATO, have been working together to test equipment to ensure they are all speaking the same ‘language’ during real-world coalition missions.

Bold Quest is an exercise that has been progressively grown in mission aspects and participants all working together toward one goal – keeping Soldiers safe, said John Miller, Bold Quest operational manager.

‘Bold Quest is a recurring series of operational demonstrations in which we bring coalition war fighters, technicians and analysts together in problem solving partnerships that ultimately result in a major operational demonstration in the field. It’s testing under operational conditions to the maximum extent that we can replicate,’ he explained. ‘This year we have expanded the work in the human dimension of coalition combat identification.’

Technology training and testing is one major part of Bold Quest 2011, according to Maj. Tommy Myrvoll, with the Norwegian Battle Lab, and Bold Quest project officer.

Maj. Markus ‘Starbuck’ Stury, a pilot for the German military from the 33rd Fighter Bomber Wing, said Bold Quest has also allowed the Germans to fine tune coalition communication skills to prevent any friendly fire incidents.

‘We fly our aircraft with the (identification) system, and we circle around in an orbit, then we run our system. As the computers are connected to the ground station and they send us information back, we can then make sure all of our data is correct before we deploy our ordnance,’ Stury said. ‘With a bombing run, you don’t want to have errors, especially with friendlies close by.’

The training area, support and accommodations at Camp Atterbury-Muscatatuck have been the perfect venue for the Bold Quest team to accomplish their missions, said Miller.

‘The venue meets all of our needs. It’s rare to find a place that does that,’ said Miller. ‘It’s not just the air and ground space, but it’s the event control facilities that are available to us here at Atterbury as well as the proximity of the airfield.’

Hosting events such as Bold Quest just reinforces the capabilities of Atterbury-Muscatatuck Complex, said Maj. Gen. Cliff Tooley, assistant Adjutant General for the state of Indiana.

‘Bold Quest is sort of a prototype of what we are designed to support, and that is the blending and training of forces with testing and technology with the intent of taking technology and making it more rapidly deployable to the field by interfacing it with the soldiers as early as possible,’ said Tooley.

Tooley added, that adding in the coalition element just makes soldiers that much more prepared for future missions.

‘Very seldom will we deploy upon our own, we’ll always engage with our partners in coalition efforts. When we respond to the emergencies of the world, we’ll do it with our partner nations,’ he said. ‘All of those emergencies require that you come together as team quickly and you can only do that if you practice and rehearse before the event.’

Miller said this is the first time that the National Guard has provided the majority of the U.S. support to the event, and that the Guard members have exceeded all expectations.


Russian UN Envoy Decries Double Standards On Conflicts


Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 23, 2011

Double standards inadmissible in conflict prevention – Russian envoy to UN

UNITED NATIONS: There is no place for double standards, dictated by the political situation or preferences of any countries, in conflict prevention, the Russian envoy to the United Nations said on Thursday.

‘Why are efforts to get political process and national dialogue underway made in respect to some countries, like Yemen, and sanctions are adopted against other countries’ authorities and the opposition there is set for confrontation?’ Vitaly Churkin said at a UN Security Council session.

‘The experience of Iraq and Libya shows that ultimately only nations themselves can determine the fate of their countries, while exterior armed intervention in domestic conflicts creates the risk that the antagonism spiral will uncoil in certain parts of the world,’ Churkin said.

The Russian envoy suggested that a complex strategy be developed to prevent the reasons for conflicts and ensure long-term political stability and economic development.

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