Stop NATO news: November 24, 2011

24 November 2011 — Stop NATO

  • NATO Encirclement: Russia Strikes Back With Missile Warning
  • Chicago NATO Summit Can Be Point Of No Return For Missile Crisis
  • Russia’s Tough Talk On Missile Defense Reveals Impatience With U.S.
  • Syria: France, Turkey Push Foreign Intervention
  • Russia Determined Not To Repeat Libyan Scenario In Syria
  • NATO Troops Launch Fresh Assault On Kosovo Serbs
  • Russia To Find Way To Support Kosovo Serbs: Envoy
  • U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer In Portugal For Antisubmarine Warfare Drills
  • Full Spectrum Operations: U.S. Trains Botswana Armed Forces
  • Pakistan: NATO Tanker Bombed, Main Road Blocked
  • Saakashvili: Reagan More Urgent In Georgia Than Ever Before

NATO Encirclement: Russia Strikes Back With Missile Warning

http://rt.com/politics/ballistic-russia-strikes-missile-041/

RT
November 23, 2011

Going ballistic: Russia strikes back with missile warning

-[F]ormer commander of the missile attack prevention army Lt. Gen. Nikolay Rodionov said the measures voiced by President Medvedev are capable of neutralizing the threats resulting from the deployment of the American missile defense system…These measures ‘are aimed at wrecking the US plans to strike Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles deployed in the European parts of the country,’ he said.
-According to political analyst Igor Khokhlov, this policy of surrounding Russia and the former Soviet Union with missile bases actually dates back to the 50s and 60s.
-Despite the fact that the US calls for an anti-missile defense system, Moscow’s concern is that Russia will be totally encircled and that it has the potential be used as an offensive system…’Such threats actually increase the chances of a nuclear war or even accidental nuclear war. And the further way we get from that doctrine, which assured the peace, the more dangerous the whole international environment is becoming.’

Russia proceeds from the necessity to maintain its strategic defense potential, says Russia’s Ambassador to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin.

Russia’s primary interest is in protecting its citizens, says the NATO envoy.

‘We cannot afford to trade on the security of our citizens,’ Rogozin said.

‘So if anyone puts an eye on it or casts a doubt on it, counter measures should certainly be worked out. And today the president named those measures.’

Rogozin went on to predict that there would be some tough talking during the forthcoming meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on December 8.

‘Our colleagues from NATO will have to respond to the question: Why, if you call Russia a partner, are you building the potential to undermine Russia’s security?’

Meanwhile, former commander of the missile attack prevention army Lt. Gen. Nikolay Rodionov said the measures voiced by President Medvedev are capable of neutralizing the threats resulting from the deployment of the American missile defense system, according to Interfax.

These measures ‘are aimed at wrecking the US plans to strike Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles deployed in the European parts of the country,’ he said. ‘At the same it, it is a signal to our western partners to do everything possible in order to avoid a new arms race, which is inevitable given the implementation of US missile defense plans.’

Rodionov noted that when speaking about the deployment of strike systems in Russia’s west and south, Medvedev ‘undoubtedly’ meant Iskander missile systems – ‘a high-precision weapon’ which is ‘practically invulnerable to air defense systems.’

America says it is concerned with protecting its own homeland, yet it is deploying missiles along the Russian border. According to political analyst Igor Khokhlov, this policy of surrounding Russia and the former Soviet Union with missile bases actually dates back to the 50s and 60s.

He added the United States has pulled the rug out from under its European allies by surrounding Russian territory with missile bases.

‘Russia has adequate responses, especially with its new generation of missiles like Iskander, which can be put in Europe and will endanger the European allies of the US. The European allies of the US, who joined this program, are putting their own populations at risk because before these events there was no danger from Russia, and now Russia has a response to America putting its missile bases around its territory,’ he said.

Russian political analyst Dmitry Babich told RT the timing of President Medvedev’s statement was not accidental.

‘There are several reasons why the statement was made now. First, we should not forget that we are in the midst of an election campaign right now in Russia and also the American electoral campaign, so probably Russia could view this as the last moment when something can be renegotiated on missile defense and on the START treaty,’ he stated.

According to Babich, the Republican opposition in the US will push Obama to be tougher on Russia.

‘They have already threatened to renegotiate the START treaty. They think that it is too beneficial for Russia, though I would argue that it is correct,’ he added.

Despite the fact that the US calls for an anti-missile defense system, Moscow’s concern is that Russia will be totally encircled and that it has the potential be used as an offensive system. According to political analyst Aleksandar Pavic, verification is very hard in these things.

‘They can very easily and quickly be turned into offensive systems. We have to remember in 2002 US president George Bush unilaterally withdrew from the anti-ballistic missile treaty. This was the treaty that kept stability, not just in Europe but throughout the world for more than 30 years. Such threats actually increase the chances of a nuclear war or even accidental nuclear war. And the further way we get from that doctrine, which assured the peace, the more dangerous the whole international environment is becoming,’ he stressed.

Alice Slater from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation told RT it is unlikely the situation will lead to a new Cold War style arms race.

‘I hope somebody will have some good sense because basically the US is a crumbling empire – it is in debt, it cannot fund its roads, it has wasted its national treasure on the military, and it is almost like it has to have a total shift into the 21st century. War is not the answer anymore and there are many problems America has to deal with. Hopefully this is a wake-up call,’ she said.

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Chicago NATO Summit Can Be Point Of No Return For Missile Crisis

http://www.rbcnews.com/free/20111123184122.shtml

RosBusinessConsulting
November 23, 2011

Meeting with Obama triggers Medvedev’s missile shield statement

Moscow: President Dmitry Medvedev made his statement regarding the European missile defense shield today after his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama during the APEC summit in Honolulu, Hawaii, in early November, the Russian president’s special envoy for missile defense issues Dmitry Rogozin said.

At the meeting, Russia again received no assurances that the missile defense system being deployed in Europe would not be targeted against it, he added.

Russian-U.S. antimissile shield negotiations could go on until May 2012 when the structure of the European anti-missile system is finalized at the NATO’s summit in Chicago, Rogozin said. Medvedev instructed to continue the talks until the no-return point, which this summit could be, he added.

Russia’s counter measures proposed by Medvedev will be taken gradually in accordance with progress in the deployment of the U.S. missile defense system. ‘Should our Western partners have second thoughts, part of our plans will not be implemented.’

====

Russia’s Tough Talk On Missile Defense Reveals Impatience With U.S.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2011-11/24/c_131266230.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 24, 2011

Russia’s tough rhetoric on missile defense shows impatience with U.S.

MOSCOW: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday announced with unusual rhetoric that Moscow may move offensive missile systems to its borders with Europe if missile defense talks with the United States and NATO fail.

Medvedev’s statement could mean that Moscow is losing patience with Washington on the missile shield issue, local observers said.

LOSING PATIENCE?

‘Medvedev wants to demonstrate he is tough, determined, and ready to protect national interests. Earlier, only his envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin used such rhetoric,’ said Alexei Makarkin, analyst from the Center for Political Technologies in Moscow.

‘Now Medvedev formally made it clear that Moscow has been disappointed with the ‘reset’ of Russia-U.S. relations, which has failed to find common language on missile defense issue,’ Makarkin said.

Local experts noted that reaching common understanding on missile defense should be a key component of the reset process, but the U.S. side has ignored Moscow’s demand for written legal guarantees that the U.S. missile shield in Europe will not target Russia.

Rogozin said Medvedev’s statement was intended to prompt Washington and NATO to take Russia seriously at the missile defense talks.

‘We won’t allow them to treat us like fools…Nuclear deterrent forces aren’t a joke,’ he said.

The Russian president also warned Wednesday that Russia may withdraw from the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with the United States if the situation with the European missile shield develops in an unfavorable way.

‘If Russia really withdraws from the START treaty, this would be an exceptional move that may result in unleashing a new arms race,’ said Igor Korotchenko, member of the Russian Defense Ministry’s Public Council.

‘So it will be the last resort,’ he added.

Many Russian senior officials, including Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, have repeatedly said that if the anti-missile talks with the U.S. and NATO fail, Russia would take measures, including the deployment of its strategic offensive arms.

The major difference this time is that Medvedev deliberated on the military measures, analysts explained.

====

Syria: France, Turkey Push Foreign Intervention

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=160171

Azeri Press Agency/Reuters
November 23, 2011

France calls for humanitarian zone in Syria

-’The French have tried to position themselves in a position of leadership, first with Libya and now here,’ said Hayat Alvi, a lecturer in National Security studies, at the U.S. Naval War College. ‘Military intervention in Syria is a very different prospect of that in Libya, but we could well see an increase in covert action.’
-Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan criticized the ‘cowardice’ of Assad, once a close ally, for turning guns on his own people. Erdogan spoke of the fate of defeated dictators from Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini to Muammar Gaddafi, and bluntly told Assad to quit.

                 
Baku: France called on Wednesday for a ‘securitized zone to protect civilians’ in Syria, the first time a major Western power has suggested international intervention on the ground in the eight-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, APA reports quoting Reuters.

Foreign Minister Alain Juppe also described Syria’s exiled opposition National Council as ‘the legitimate partner with which we want to work,’ the biggest international endorsement yet for a nascent opposition body that seeks Assad’s overthrow.

Asked at a news conference after meeting the SNC president if a humanitarian corridor was an option for Syria, Juppe said: ‘It is a point which we have examined and I will propose putting it on the agenda of the next European Council.

Further details of the proposal were not immediately available. Until now, Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Syria but have shown no appetite for intervention on the ground in the country…

‘The French have tried to position themselves in a position of leadership, first with Libya and now here,’ said Hayat Alvi, a lecturer in National Security studies, at the U.S. Naval War College. ‘Military intervention in Syria is a very different prospect of that in Libya, but we could well see an increase in covert action.’

Syria’s bloodshed could pitch the Muslim world into ‘the darkness of the Middle Ages,’ Turkish President Abdullah Gul said, some of the strongest language yet showing global anxiety as one of the core Mid-East countries slides toward civil war.

A day earlier, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan criticized the ‘cowardice’ of Assad, once a close ally, for turning guns on his own people. Erdogan spoke of the fate of defeated dictators from Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini to Muammar Gaddafi, and bluntly told Assad to quit.

In Brussels, an EU diplomat said European Union governments were considering a new range of sanctions against Syria that would bar investment in Syrian banks, trading its government bonds and selling insurance to state bodies.

Ground forces commander Hayri Kivrikoglu inspected troops near the border on Tuesday, Turkish state television reported.

—————————————————————————

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=160086

Azeri Press Agency/Agence France-Presse
November 23, 2011

PM warns of ’full-scale civil war’ in Syria

Baku: Britain warned Tuesday that Syria is sliding towards ‘full-scale civil war,’ the latest country to raise the spectre of the eight-month revolt escalating into full-blown conflict, APA reports quoting AFP.

Speaking after talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul in London, Prime Minister David Cameron said: ‘Today we have had important discussions on Syria where now a full-scale civil war is a real possibility.’

Following Tuesday’s talks on the first day of Gul’s state visit to Britain, Cameron thanked Turkey and the Arab League for showing ‘welcome leadership,’ according to a statement released by his Downing Street office.

‘That gives us a way to stop the brutality of this morally bankrupt regime,’ he said.

‘The world now needs to get behind this with concerted pressure on the regime and positive engagement with the opposition movements who can represent Syrians in an inclusive transition, and we specifically discussed that today.’

Foreign Secretary William Hague on Monday urged Syrian opposition groups to unify to become stronger as he met their representatives for the first time in London.

====

Russia Determined Not To Repeat Libyan Scenario In Syria

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-11/23/c_131265557.htm

Xinhua News Agency
November 23, 2011

Russia determined not to repeat Libyan scenario in Syria
by Igor Serebryany, Zhang Dailei

-Due to Western sanctions on Iran and regime changes in Iraq and Libya, Russia has seen a drastic decline in both its arms sales and number of allies in the Mideast in recent years. Moscow apparently does not want to lose Syria as well, local experts say.
-Observers note meanwhile that Russia maintains a navy base in the Syrian port of Tartus. The installation is Russia’s only overseas military base outside the Commonwealth Independent States (CIS) countries and in the Mediterranean sea.
Therefore, to defend Syria is, in fact, to defend Russia’s own geo-strategic interests in the Mideast, said Syrian presidential advisor Bassam Abdullah.

MOSCOW: As the UN Security Council prepares to discuss a new resolution concerning Syria, Russia keeps trying to define its own tough stance on the issue.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reaffirmed Friday that Russia opposes any military strike against Syria and its position in the Security Council on the issue would be ‘restrained and prudent.’

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday criticized Western calls for the Syrian opposition to refrain from dialogues with the government, describing the effort as ‘political provocation.’

Local experts believe that Russia should now mend the shortcomings of its diplomacy in the Libyan crisis and try to avoid stepping twice into the same river.

LEARNING FROM LIBYA LESSON

‘Russian leadership attempts to distance itself from the Western position, partly because Moscow’s neutrality in the early stage of the Libyan crisis has born no fruits for Russia eventually,’ Guren Gukasyan, a Mideast expert from the Russian Academy of Science, told Xinhua.

Irina Zvegelskaya, a professor at the Moscow-based Oriental Studies Institute, agreed that the Kremlin has learned from its unsuccessful diplomatic efforts during the similar crisis in Libya.

‘Now Moscow would read the UN draft resolutions with double attention,’ Zvegelskaya said.

The analysts pointed out that although Russia has less direct economic interests in Syria than in Libya, it considers Syria its key ally and a major Mideast weapons market.

Ties between Syrian and Russia were established during the Soviet era, when a large number of Syrians went to study at Russian universities. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia maintained its close relations with Syria.

Due to Western sanctions on Iran and regime changes in Iraq and Libya, Russia has seen a drastic decline in both its arms sales and number of allies in the Mideast in recent years. Moscow apparently does not want to lose Syria as well, local experts say.

Observers note meanwhile that Russia maintains a navy base in the Syrian port of Tartus. The installation is Russia’s only overseas military base outside the Commonwealth Independent States (CIS) countries and in the Mediterranean sea.

Therefore, to defend Syria is, in fact, to defend Russia’s own geo-strategic interests in the Mideast, said Syrian presidential advisor Bassam Abdullah.

Russia knows, however, that it has limited tools to influence the situation in Syria, so it has to make two-handed preparations, analysts said, noting that Moscow invited the Syrian opposition to visit in June, September and November.

Russia fears that if Assad is gone, he would be replaced by ‘not-so-moderate Islamists,’ and Syria would become a ‘permanent source of tension,’ Zvegelskaya said.

But so far the Syrian opposition has not listened to Russian calls to start political negotiations with Assad, Zvegelskaya said, because it feels like it has strong support in the West.

Gukasyan agreed that Russia’s influence on the Syrian opposition is weaker than that of the West.

‘The failure of the talks between Russian top diplomats and Syrian opposition held in Moscow in the last week demonstrated this weakness clearly,’ Gukasyan said.

The UN General Assembly Third Committee adopted a resolution Tuesday condemning Syria for human rights violations.

====

NATO Troops Launch Fresh Assault On Kosovo Serbs

http://rt.com/news/nato-dismantle-barricade-kosovo-093/

RT
November 23, 2011

NATO forces dismantle Serb barricade in Kosovo

Video

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http://ap.stripes.com/dynamic/stories/E/EU_KOSOVO_TENSE_NORTH?SITE=DCSAS&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

Associated Press
November 23, 2011

NATO in Kosovo moves to dismantle Serb barricade

RUDARE, Kosovo: NATO troops in Kosovo fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of Serbs resisting the dismantling of a concrete barricade put up to block Kosovo authorities from controlling the Serb-dominated area.

An AP reporter witnessed NATO soldiers in riot gear attempting to remove a concrete barrier late Wednesday and stretching barbed wire on the road. Tear gas was fired after several hundred Serb protesters removed the barbed wire. NATO did not immediately comment.

Serbs in Kosovo’s north have been blocking roads since summer angered by Kosovo authorities’ attempt to send ethnic Albanian customs and police officers into the Serb area.

Many Serbs that live there reject the country’s 2008 secession from Serbia and say NATO is supports Kosovo institutions.

====

Russia To Find Way To Support Kosovo Serbs: Envoy

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/11/23/60927581.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 23, 2011

Russia to find way to support Kosovo Serbs – Rogozin

The application of more than 20,000 of Kosovo Serbs for the Russian citizenship is an unprecedented and very alarming situation, Russia’s envoy in NATO Dmitri Rogozin said Wednesday.

‘Russia will find a way to support the nation which is spiritually close to us and which found itself in such a difficult situation’,  Rogozin said.

Earlier this month 22,000 Kosovo Serbs put their signatures under collective application for the Russian citizenship as they find that Serbia is not providing them with the required support.

====

U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer In Portugal For Antisubmarine Warfare Drills

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=63993

U.S. Navy
November 23, 2011

USS Mitscher Pulls Into Lisbon
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Deven B. King, USS Mitscher Public Affairs

LISBON, Portugal: Guided-missile destroyer USS Mitscher (DDG 57) arrived in Lisbon, Portugal, for a regularly scheduled port visit, Nov. 23.

The port visit comes after almost seven months of deployment, five of which were spent conducting operations in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR).

The visit also serves as a beginning point for an antisubmarine warfare exercise Mitscher is scheduled to participate in with the Portuguese navy, beginning shortly after the ship departs Lisbon.

Mitscher is deployed as part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWBCSG) to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and support missions.

The strike group consists of Carrier Strike Group 2 staff, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8, Destroyer Squadron 22 staff, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), guided-missile cruisers USS Gettysburg (CG 64), and USS Anzio (CG 68) and the guided-missile destroyers Mitscher and USS Truxtun (DDG 103).

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Full Spectrum Operations: U.S. Trains Botswana Armed Forces

http://www.africom.mil/getArticle.asp?art=7457&lang=0

U.S. Africa Command
U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs
November 22, 2011

USARAF Officer Leads a Bilateral Military Intelligence Training for Botswana Defense Force soldiers

GABORONE, Botswana: Twenty-eight instructors from the U.S. and Botswana worked together to train 115 officers and Non-Commissioned Officers from the Botswana Defense Forces (BDF) during the second iteration of the Botswana Tactical Intelligence Course (BTIC-II), Oct. 5 – Nov. 18.

Maj. Bob Blair, the course’s Officer-In-Charge from U.S. Army Africa military intelligence, or G2 section, said this is the second stage of a three-stage capability build for the BDF. The first iteration ran from December 2010 to January 2011.

‘BTIC is designed for junior military officers and NCOs with little to no military intelligence experience. This course prepares officers to serve as MI professionals on a staff or in an operational HQ [headquarters]. In addition, BTIC also promotes partner nation cooperation and coordination and provides a standard military process within the partner community,’ Blair said.

Petty Officer 1st Class Rory Rankin, intelligence specialist in the U.S. Navy, and one of the course instructors, said the course is featuring many firsts: The first use of multiple Joint Military Intelligence Instructors, the first shared responsibility of instruction between U.S. and partner nation instructors and the first integrated officers/NCO final exercise, all of which make this course a more memorable experience for instructors.

Thirty-five officers participated in a five-week program while 80 NCOs followed an 18-day program in consecutive groups of 40. All 115 students came together for a week-long final exercise…

Headquartered in Vicenza, Italy, U.S. Army Africa is the Army Service Component Command for U.S. Africa Command…U.S. Army Africa enables full spectrum operations while conducting sustained security engagement with African land forces…

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Pakistan: NATO Tanker Bombed, Main Road Blocked

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011%5C11%5C24%5Cstory_24-11-2011_pg7_8

Daily Times
November 24, 2011

NATO oil tanker bombed

LANDIKOTAL: A NATO supply oil tanker hit an explosive device in Landikotal on Torkham Road near the Michni checkpost here on Wednesday.

According to Khasadar sources, the driver and the conductor of the oil tanker fled unhurt from the scene. The superintendent of the Khasadar Force, Lahore Khan, along with his guards rushed to the site and supported firefighters to extinguish the fire.

According to a few sources, forty-four thousand litres of fuel were burnt in the fire after the explosion…

The traffic remained suspended for many hours on the main road due to the high intensity of fire…

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Saakashvili: Reagan More Urgent In Georgia Than Ever Before

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/georgia/1960974.html

Trend News Agency
November 23, 2011

Saakashvili: Reagan deserves place in downtown Tbilisi
N. Kirtskhalia

-The monument’s opening ceremony was…attended by visiting US Congressmen.
-[T]he Reagan Freedom Center…will be the first center outside the US to officially bear the name of Reagan and operate as an official partner of the Reagan Presidential Fund….’The Center promotes formation of a policy, which will…support further strengthening of Georgian-US relations and the process of Georgia’s integration with Euro-Atlantic medium,’ the Center’s founders said.

Tbilisi: President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili today opened a monument to the US 40th President Ronald Reagan in Park Rike. Saakashvili says many, especially politicians ask: why Reagan and why in Tbilisi?

‘Reagan broke the Soviet Union down 20 years ago and, as no one else, deserves a place in downtown Tbilisi, the heart of Georgia. Reagan is as urgent in Georgia today as never before. The leader of a country, which enslaved us, thinks the Soviet Union’s breakdown is the greatest geopolitical tragedy. Several days ago, there was the announced establishment of a Eurasian Union, unequivocally described as a new variant of the USSR. They restored the anthem of the Soviet Union but we placed the Reagan monument as a sign of difference between our values and theirs and we do not do it to spite anyone,’ Saakashvili noted.

He noted that many generations of Georgians fought occupation. Saakashvili recalled that Georgians sent a letter to the US president in the beginning of last century but received no reply.

‘The first President who replied to Georgia’s call was Reagan,’ he said.

The monument’s opening ceremony was also attended by visiting US Congressmen.

Before the monument was opened in Tbilisi, there was the official opening of the Reagan Freedom Center. The Center was created on the basis of a partnership agreement between a Georgian initiative group and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Fund.

It will be the first center outside the US to officially bear the name of Reagan and operate as an official partner of the Reagan Presidential Fund.

‘The Reagan Freedom Center is a non-profit, politically neutral organization that promotes realization of principles of freedom, democracy, effective government, and free entrepreneurship. The Center promotes formation of a policy, which will strengthen democratic institutes, stimulate democratic development and strengthen security, and support further strengthening of Georgian-US relations and the process of Georgia’s integration with Euro-Atlantic medium,’ the Center’s founders said.

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