25 September 2011 — Stop NATO
- Societies Cannot Be Reordered By Outside Military Force: Indian Prime Minister
- Canada: Libya War ‘Success,’ Extend Mission To End Of Year
- Offshore Bases, Proxy Armies: New U.S. War Strategy
- U.S., NATO Move Missile Shield Toward Russia’s Southern Borders
- U.S., Bangladesh In First Major Joint Naval Exercise
- Shooting In Northern Kosovo, Barricades Remain
- Three Italian Soldiers Killed In Afghan Road Accident
- Troops, F-16s Remain: Dutch Defense Chief In Afghanistan
- Eastern Partnership: West’s Duplicitous Drive To Absorb Ex-Soviet States
- Arctic: Russia To Increase Military Presence, Wants NATO To Stay Out
Societies Cannot Be Reordered By Outside Military Force: Indian Prime Minister
Press Trust of India
September 24, 2011
Societies Cannot be Reordered by Military Force: PM
UNITED NATIONS: In a veiled reference to certain events in the Mideast and North Africa, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said societies cannot be reordered from outside through military force.
Singh also said the international community has a role to play in assisting in the processes of transition and institution building, but the idea that prescriptions have to be imposed from outside is ‘fraught with danger.’
The Prime Minister made these remarks while addressing the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA) session.
‘The observance of the rule of law is as important in international affairs as it is within countries. Societies cannot be reordered from outside through military force. People in all countries have the right to choose their own destiny and decide their own future,’ he said.
Singh further said actions taken under the authority of the United Nations must respect the unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of individual states.
Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai told reporters the Prime Minister’s views that societies cannot be reordered from outside through military force was not intended to any one specific situation.
It was a generalised response to a trend that was seen in Libya when the UNSC passed a resolution where there was an intended campaign of extending one-sided support, he added.
Canada: Libya War ‘Success,’ Extend Mission To End Of Year
Vancouver Sun/Postmedia News
September 24, 2011
Commons to vote Monday on whether to extend Libya mission
By Lee Berthiaume
Parliament will vote Monday on whether to grant another extension to Canada’s involvement in the NATO-led Libya mission.
Government House leader Peter Van Loan made the extension request in the House of Commons on Friday, asking that ‘given the current military situation and the success of the National Transitional Council and anti-Gadhafi forces to date,’ parliamentarians support an extension of up to three months. Approval is considered a foregone conclusion as the Conservatives have a majority in the House and cabinet can approve military deployments without parliamentary approval. In addition, the Liberal party is expected to support the motion.
‘We’re almost done,’ Liberal House leader Marc Garneau said Friday.
Offshore Bases, Proxy Armies: New U.S. War Strategy
ADN Kronos International
September 23, 2011
Somalia, Libya may be sign of US military action to come, expert says
The toppling of Muammar Gaddafi’s [government] was an apparent victory for rebels who fought together for six months with Nato support. Less obvious is that its success may signal Washington’s military strategy of minimising the risk of losing American lives by using naval and air forces in conjunction with ‘proxy’ militaries during global interventions, according to a report by independent military correspondent David Axe published on the website of The Diplomat, a current-affairs magazine.
Dubbed ‘offshore balancing,’ the strategy has been used for years in Somalia in the wake of the US withdrawal from the African country after the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu when 19 US and UN troops died during a disastrous humanitarian mission. The televised images of dead American servicemen being dragged through the streets of Mogadishu and the protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has caused the war-fatigued American public to sour on dropping troops into new conflicts.
‘Instead, the United States pursued separate air, naval and proxy ground campaigns that, today, have combined into a major demonstration of offshore balancing – but not without some serious hiccups along the way,’ according to Axe.
…Washington…backed Ethiopia with air cover when it invaded Somalia in 2006. The move radicalised the Islamist movement…
The US shifted tactics. While supporting a coalition of African troops led by Uganda, it used offshore special forces to fly in to Somalia and strike…
‘Make no mistake: The United States is at war in Somalia, and will likely only deepen its involvement as the present famine worsens. But that won’t mean large troop deployments as in 1992. Today’s intervention is unlike anything that was possible 19 years ago.’
The use of proxy armies and offshore bases for special forces has cost the US little in terms of its own blood, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a protracted conflict.
The US’ offshore balancing in Somalia is five years old and ‘could continue for years,’ according to Axe. But this is one US conflict that seems like it might never end. As an exercise in offshore balancing, US assistance for Libyan rebels might end up seeming deceptively easy, inexpensive and, at just six months, shockingly brief.’
The apparent lesson from Libya is that offshore balancing is easy for Washington. Somalia reminds us that it’s not always so – that even wars fought mostly by ships, planes, Special Forces and foreign proxies are still wars. They’re ugly, complicated and risky.’
U.S., NATO Move Missile Shield Toward Russia’s Southern Borders
Voice of Russia
September 24, 2011
-The recent steps towards the deployment of a missile defense system in Europe and moving it closer to Russian borders meets the needs of the US military-industrial complex, which plans to make a gold mine out of this program, so devastating for the country’s economy.
Hopes for reasonable and realistic policies from the Washington big-league are dwindling, despite the ‘reset’ in US-Russian relations and a number of constructive steps in this direction. A few days ago, the United States and Romania signed an agreement to deploy a US missile base on the territory of Romania. Simultaneously, Washington and Ankara signed a memorandum on the deployment of an American radar station in Malatya in the southeast of Turkey. The United States has thereby put finishing touches to the legal procedures behind a considerable expansion of American military presence at the southern approaches to the Russian borders.
Assurances on the part of Washington politicians that a missile defense shield, created despite Russia’s objections, poses no threat to Russia don’t impress anyone in Moscow. Russia is not so naïve as to doubt the anti-Russian nature of a string of American military bases in close proximity to Russian borders. Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had good reason to express disappointment about this so-called ‘reset’ recently by saying that after Russia had made its position on missile defense crystal clear several times and the two countries agreed that there would be no anti-missiles in Poland and the Czech Republic, Washington announces the deployment of such missiles in other countries of Europe.
The ‘reset’ declared by the Democratic administration as it took office three years ago was prompted by the demands of the day, rather than Washington’s well-wishing intentions towards Russia.
President Obama acted on the assumption that despite years-long efforts, the American missile defense system proved inefficient. The US leader was fully aware of a government report which concluded that missile defense experts had failed to achieve the results they had been paid for and that the missile defense system they had been trying to create was a flop.
The sum paid exceeded 1.5 trillion dollars, which set off government auditors. Judging by the outcome, this money landed in the bank accounts of military and industrial corporations, rather than in outer space. At first, Obama admitted that. Breaking the unwritten rules of the Washington elite, he said openly that the Pentagon’s current demands reflected the needs of the military-industrial complex and its lobbyists in the corridors of power, rather than the genuine needs of the country and its people.
He was never forgiven this lapse. Today, he keeps silent on this issue, pressured by the lobbyists. The Republican majority in Congress are forcing him into discarding what he used to proclaim. He had to make hefty concessions to the right-wing Republicans to avoid a financial default at the beginning of August. And his agenda in the run-up to presidential elections in November next year looks defensive.
The recent steps towards the deployment of a missile defense system in Europe and moving it closer to Russian borders meets the needs of the US military-industrial complex, which plans to make a gold mine out of this program, so devastating for the country’s economy.
But dropping one’s principles and going profit is a short-sighted policy, doomed to failure.
U.S., Bangladesh In First Major Joint Naval Exercise
September 24, 2011
US, Bangladesh Navies Complete At-Sea Portion of CARAT Bangladesh
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Lowell Whitman, Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training
BAY OF BENGAL: U.S. and Bangladesh Sailors completed the at-sea portion of the first Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) held in Bangladesh on Sept. 23.
Guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd (DDG 100), guided-missile frigate USS Ford (FFG 54) and mine countermeasures ship USS Defender (MCM 2) participated in exercises at sea with Bangladesh navy ships (BNS) Bangabandhu (F 25), BNS Bijoy (F 35) and BNS Sangu (P 713).
…The at-sea period culminated with a mock naval battle between two surface action groups (SAGs), each composed of U.S. and Bangladesh ships.
‘The SAG vs. SAG underway was a highlight,’ said Capt. William Lovely, deputy commodore, Task Group 73.1. ‘Two SAGs are competing against each other, trying to ‘kill’ each other and it became a very competitive event that was very, very special to the group.’
CARAT Bangladesh began Sept. 18 and is the first dedicated naval exercise between the U.S. and Bangladesh, and represents a milestone between the two countries…
CARAT 2011 is a series of bilateral exercises held annually in Southeast Asia to strengthen relationships and enhance force readiness between the U.S. and partner nations.
Shooting In Northern Kosovo, Barricades Remain
Tanjug News Agency
September 24, 2011
Shooting in Kosovska Mitrovica, barricades remain
KOSOVSKA MITROVICA: A fight broke out in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica Friday night involving at least six persons, two of whom suffered serious injuries.
The incident also involved shooting and the police qualified the event as a serious violation of public peace and order.
46-year-old A. ?. was arrested and remanded in 48-hour custody for the use of weapon, while the police are still searching for two more persons.
Kosovo Police Deputy Regional Director Ergin Medi? told Tanjug that one of the two persons, who were seriously injured in the fight, was taken in the Kosovska Mitrovica Hospital for treatment.
According to him, the police found six 7.62 mm caliber bullet casings at the scene and the investigation into the incident will continue.
The situation in other parts of northern Kosovo and near the barricades was peaceful during Friday night. The administrative crossings in north Kosovo are still blocked. Besides EULEX, Kosovo customs officers were also deployed at the checkpoints but with no operational role.
Kosovska Mitrovica Municipal Court judge Zehra Vrbovci remanded 13 Serbian truck drivers in a 15-day custody late Friday.
The drivers were arrested under suspicion they entered Kosovo illegally and took part in setting up the barricades.
Vrbovci stated that there was a reasonable suspicion that the 13 suspects had illegally crossed an administrative crossing, and that therefore they were likely to pay a fine not less than EUR 250 or spend up to three months in prison. She said that the main hearing would be held early next week.
Three Italian Soldiers Killed In Afghan Road Accident
September 24, 2011
Three Italian soldiers killed in Afghanistan road accident
KABUL: Three Italian soldiers were killed in a road accident in western Afghanistan Friday, media reports said after Italy’s defence ministry announced one dead and two seriously injured.
The accident ‘took place near their base’ in Herat around 0930 GMT and the causes of the incident ‘were being examined,’ said General Massimo Fogari, a military spokesman, by telephone from Afghanistan, according to Sky TG24 television.
The names of the soldiers, who were involved in training Afghan forces, would not be released until their families have been notified, the ministry said.
Italy expects to reduce its forces in Afghanistan starting next year. Rome has deployed some 3,800 soldiers as part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force which totals 130,000, two-thirds of them American.
Troops, F-16s Remain: Dutch Defense Chief In Afghanistan
September 24, 2011
Defence minister visits Dutch troops in Kunduz
Defence Minister Hans Hillen has visited Dutch troops in on a police training mission in the Afghan province of Kunduz. The objective of the visit is to demonstrate his support for the Dutch troops and their work.
Minister Hillen travelled with the Dutch Chief of the Netherlands Defence Staff General Peter van Uhm. It was the first time either of the two men had been in Kunduz.
The minister and general also visited Dutch troops in the Afghan capital Kabul and in Mazar-e-Sharif, from where four Dutch F-16 fighter planes and 120 soldiers will support the training mission.
Eastern Partnership: West’s Duplicitous Drive To Absorb Ex-Soviet States
September 24, 2011
Belarusian FM invited to Warsaw Eastern Partnership summit
The Belarusian foreign minister, Sergei Martynov has been invited to the Eastern Partnership summit billed for the end of next week in Warsaw, Poland’s head of diplomacy Radoslaw Sikorski has announced.
‘In leading the [EU Council] rotating presidency, and in agreement with the High Representative for EU External Affairs [Catherine Ashton], I have invited Sergei Martynov,’ Sikorski told journalists at the close of this week.
Poland’s foreign minister underlined, however, that a condition for dialogue with Belarus is the release of all political prisoners. ‘Poland wants Belarus to join the family of free, European nations,’ Sikorski underlined.
Ahead of the Eastern Partnership summit, Radoslaw Sikorski met, Friday, with opposition activist Andrzej Poczobut, an ethnically Polish journalist from Grodno.
Poczobut underwent trial in Belarus this year for alleged defamation of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko in a number of articles the journalist had written for Poland’s Gazeta Wyborcza daily, among others.
This week, courts in Grodno upheld its sentence of a three-year suspended sentence for Poczobut.
Speaking to journalists, Sikorski said that only the freedom of Andrzej Poczobut and other anti-regime activists would allow for dialogue between Minsk and Brussels.
Summit to create conditions for EU-Belarus round table
The Eastern Partnership summit is billed for 29-30 September, and is one of the chief events of Poland’s six-month EU Council presidency, which began in July.
Inaugurated by Poland with the backing of Sweden in the EU arena, the Eastern Partnership was launched in 2009 to bring six ex-Soviet states closer to the workings of the 27-nation bloc.
The countries which are part of the Eastern Partnership – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine – are not slated to become EU members, but are open to integrate with the politics, economy, and law of the EU.
Prime Minister Donald Tusk informed on Wednesday that he had been given the go-ahead from German Chancellor Angela Merkel as to the summit’s objective.
‘I am persuading European leaders – and convincing Berlin has not been as easy – that in cooperating with the Belarusian [political] opposition we may create the conditions for possible round table talks in Belarus,’ Tusk declared.
The Prime Minister also added that Poland is best prepared to help in the creation of such a round table forum in the country’s eastern neighbour.
Arctic: Russia To Increase Military Presence, Wants NATO To Stay Out
September 20, 2011
Russia to up military presence in Arctic, wants EU to stay out
Moscow: Russia will increase its military presence in the Arctic – a region NATO should stay out of, a senior Kremlin official said Tuesday.
‘Our northern border used to be closed because of ice and a severe climate,’ said Anton Vasilev, a special ambassador for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
‘But the ice is going away we cannot leave 20,000 kilometres unwatched. We can’t leave ourselves in a position where we are undefended,’ Vasilev said, in an interview with the Interfax news agency.
Global warming and demand for new energy sources make necessary new and clearer international agreements on the division of Arctic region’s resources and usage he said.
Only Arctic Council nations – and not outside agencies like NATO or the European Union – should set the groundwork, he said.
‘The Arctic should be for the use of all … but should be up to those of us who live there to establish the rules of the game,’ he said.
The Arctic Council is a inter-governmental forum including Canada, Denmark, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the US.
The Kremlin in 2007 asserted a claim to Arctic Ocean mineral exploitation limits extending almost to the North Pole. If approved by the United Nations, Russia would gain exclusive undersea drilling rights to an area roughly the size of the United Kingdom.
The UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf is studying the Russian claim, and counter-claims by non-Arctic nations saying national borders should only extend 200 miles into the Arctic Sea, and that sea bottom northwards should be international waters.
‘We are hoping for an early resolution of this,’ Vasiliev said. ‘We (the world) need these issues settled.’
Russia’s government led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has called developement of the Arctic, particularly its off-shore oil and gas fields, a top national priority. The region is thought to contain more energy resources than Saudi Arabia.
Putin on August 30 presided over the signing of a deal between the Russian state-owned company Rosneft and the international energy giant Exxon on a half-trillion dollar Arctic Ocean oil and gas project.
The Russian Prime Minister was scheduled on Tuesday afternoon to speak at an international forum on Arctic territorial issues in Arkhangelsk, a Russian Arctic Sea port.
Russian army officials in July announced plans to field two brigades of marine infantry to the Arctic, which would become the largest ground force deployed to the region by any nation.