26 November 2011 — Stop NATO
- Nuclear Carrier Leads U.S. Strike Force Into Syrian Waters
- NATO Conceals Preparations For Military Action Against Syria
- Video And Text: Kosovo Serbs Make Last Stand Against NATO
- Poland: EU Military Committee Meets On Balkans, Somalia
- Kuwaitis Graduate From NATO Defense College
- NATO: Azerbaijan Faithful Partner On The Caspian Sea
- Britain Stops Exchanging Military Information With Russia Under CFE
- Bulgaria: NATO Deputy Secretary General Pushes Regional Integration
- Turkey Welcomes GCC-Engineered Regime Change In Yemen
- Pakistan Defies U.S. Over Iran Gas Deal
Nuclear Carrier Leads U.S. Strike Force Into Syrian Waters
November 25, 2011
Nuke carrier leads US strike force into Syrian waters
Nuclear aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush has reportedly anchored off Syria. As an Arab League deadline to allow observers into the country passes with no response from Damascus, the possibility of intervention in Syria seems to be growing.
The George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group along with additional naval vessels are to remain in the Mediterranean to conduct maritime security operations and support missions as part of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn. The US 6th Fleet is also patrolling the area, Interfax news agency reports.
Meanwhile, America and Turkey are urging their citizens to leave Syria. The US released a statement on Wednesday urging American citizens to ‘depart immediately while commercial transportation is available.’
Against this backdrop, the prospect of humanitarian intervention in Syria no longer looks like such an impossible scenario. And pressure is growing on the issue.
Paris is urging the creation of a secure zone to protect civilians ‘that would allow aid groups and observers into Syria’ and is seeking support from the US, the UN and the Arab League. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said he was speaking with partners in the United Nations, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Arab League on the issue. However the EU stopped short of endorsing a French proposal for EU-backed humanitarian corridors on Thursday, acknowledging, however, that protection of civilians in Syria remains a top priority.
The imposition of a no-fly zone over Syria by the Arab League with US logistical support is also being discussed, according to the Jordan-based Al Bawaba news website. A strong sense of déjà vu prevails, with the specter of a Libyan scenario repeating itself.
Rumors about the no-fly zone over Syria came in the wake of Tuesday’s United Nations General Assembly resolution which condemned human rights abuses by the Syrian regime…
Meanwhile, an Arab League deadline for Syria to allow an observer mission into the country or suffer crippling sanctions passed on Friday without a response from Damascus, a League source told AFP.
‘Until now, there has been no response from the Syrian government,’ the source said after the 1 pm (1100 GMT) deadline. Damascus has been given until the end of the day to respond, if it is to avoid sanctions.
Earlier this month Russia, the most powerful opponent of the West’s push for ‘international intervention,’ also anchored its warships in the Syrian port of Tartus. According to unconfirmed reports, the warships were carrying technical advisors who will help Syria set up and run advanced S-300 missiles supplied by Russia. However, there is no official confirmation that the S-300 missiles have actually been delivered to Syria by any side.
Meanwhile, Moscow has announced it opposes a military scenario for resolving the Syrian problem and the use of a human rights argument as an excuse for foreign intervention in the affairs of a sovereign state. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich said that ‘under no circumstances must human rights issues be used as a pretext for interfering in the internal affairs of a state.’
Moscow has also abstained from voting on the resolution by the UN General Assembly Human Rights Committee thanks to ‘the humanitarian focus of the draft’s text,’ said Lukashevich.
Patrick Henningsen, a political analyst from the US-based Infowars.Com online magazine, believes that the escalation of tensions over Syria between the world’s major powers may lead to a new chilling in world politics.
‘I think we are going to see a new Cold War emerge in the next two years, and we are seeing the initial steps of that new Cold War right now,’ he told RT.
‘If the Western powers think they are going to get away with a no-fly zone in Syria, this is a very different prospect than Libya. This will be the first time, in Syria, and also, if you look forward, with Iran, that the West, actually, is engaging a country that has the ability to fight back,’ Henningsen said referring to Russia’s close military co-operation with the two countries, as well as rumors of S-300 installations having been supplied from Moscow.
Experts say that even the armed opponents of Bashar al-Assad’s regime would strongly oppose any interference from outside.
And Dr Marcus Papadopoulos, an analyst from Britain’s ‘Politics First’ online magazine, told RT that any hopes of bringing peace to the region by toppling the current Syrian government are delusional.
‘I can’t see how they can possibly believe that peace will come to the Middle East with president Assad falling, I mean if we have a look at some of the people that the Syrian government is fighting against at the moment, they’re actually armed militants, they’re criminal gangs, and many of these armed militants have links to religious extremism, so once again, I think it’s a reckless, negligence, short-sighted approach that the West is taking.’
Earlier this month, Arab League foreign ministers suspended Syria in response to its violent suppression of anti-government rallies.
NATO Conceals Preparations For Military Action Against Syria
November 24, 2011
NATO conceals preparations for military action against Syria
The United States has decided to disengage itself from certain obligations under the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE). In particular, the USA will no longer inform Russia about plans connected with the redeployment of its forces. Those restrictions are not touching upon any other country.
‘Today the United States announced in Vienna, Austria, that it would cease carrying out certain obligations under the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty with regard to Russia. This announcement in the CFE Treaty’s implementation group comes after the United States and NATO Allies have tried over the past 4 years to find a diplomatic solution following Russia’s decision in 2007 to cease implementation with respect to all other 29 CFE States. Since then, Russia has refused to accept inspections and ceased to provide information to other CFE Treaty parties on its military forces as required by the Treaty,’ State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said on Tuesday.
The remarks from the US diplomat look like another attempt to turn everything upside down again. It is worth mentioning here that the first version of the CFE Treaty was signed in 1990, during the existence of both NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The document stipulated a reduction of the number of tanks, armored vehicles, artillery (larger than 100 mm in caliber), combat planes and helicopters, as well as information exchange.
A renewed variant of the treaty was signed in 1999. The new edition reflected such changes in Europe as the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the expansion of NATO. However, only Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan ratified the new treaty. Russia moved a big part of its arms behind the Ural mountains, but the Western countries did not even want to execute it. The expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance continued, and NATO neared Russian borders.
At the end of 2007, Vladimir Putin decided to suspend Russia’s participation in the CFE until the USA and its European allies ratified the renewed variant of the treaty. The Americans did not want to make any moves in that direction. Now they have decided not to inform Russia about the redeployment of its forces. This is obviously another violation of the treaty which the United States committed.
What consequences may Russia face as a result of the US decision? Pravda.Ru asked an expert opinion from the director of the Center for Military Forecasts, Anatoly Tsyganok.
‘The USA will stop informing Russia about military redeployments. The Americans can technically send their troops to Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia, which did not sign the treaty. Will the Baltic states turn into an uncontrollable military center near Russia’s borders?’
‘When Russia suspended its participation in the CFE Treaty, she had the right to say that some NATO’s newcomers, such as the Baltic states and Slovenia, had never signed the treaty. Now NATO eyes Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and all other former members of the Warsaw Pact.
‘When they were deciding on the unification of Germany in 1990, Germany and France said in the appendix to the agreement that NATO would not move beyond the Oder River (the river separates Germany and Poland – ed.). However, the West does not take this appendix into consideration. They only follow the agreement itself, which does not say a word about the non-expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance. It just so happens that the USA and its allies played a trick on Russia.
‘Why did it take the United States four years to decide not to inform Russia about military redeployments?’
‘Apparently, it is connected with the situation in the Mediterranean Sea. One may assume that NATO will create a military group near Russia’s southern borders to strike Syria. They will most likely raise this issue at a NATO meeting in December. They will try to analyze Syria’s actions in case NATO conducts a military operation against the country, like it already happened in Libya.’
‘Is Russia a big obstacle for conducting NATO’s operation against Syria? Does the USA have anything to conceal from us at this point?’
‘Russia is an obstacle, yes. We have a naval base in Syria’s Tartus. The base is protected with air defense complexes, so the chances for aggression from NATO or Israel from the sea are slim. If they decide to attack, it will most likely happen from the side of Saudi Arabia. So the USA has something to conceal.
‘There is another aspect to this. There are approximately 120,000 Russian citizens living in Syria. Presumably, a lot are Russian women who married local men. Russia can use this detail to interfere into the events in Syria.
In addition, 20 percent of the Russian defense complex will simply tip off the perch in case Russia loses the Syrian market. It is not ruled out that they are regrouping NATO forces to get ready for a war against Syria, and they don’t want to notify Russia of that.’
Video And Text: Kosovo Serbs Make Last Stand Against NATO
November 26, 2011
Northern Kosovo: Serbs make their last stand
Tensions run high on Serbia’s border with northern Kosovo, as neither of the conflicting sides is prepared to rule out a further escalation of violence.
Local Serbs say NATO forces are to blame, for breaking an agreement by trying to remove a barricade blocking the way to one of a number of disputed checkpoints.
The move prompted violent clashes that left dozens injured on both sides.
Last night in Northern Kosovo passed without violence though this does not mean that the source of tensions has disappeared.
On November 23 the NATO’s KFOR forces attempted to remove a barricade put up by ethnic Serbian minority of the region. The resistance was tense so the soldiers used tear gas. More than 20 people were injured but the Serbs got it their way and the KFOR operation was ceased.
RT crew traveled around the area and saw the barricades that have been there for the last four months still up. They are constantly maintained and people there say they are not going to abandon them in any case and in fact are planning to build more of them.
To an untrained eye those barricades seem to be mere piles of rubble, amateurishly constructed. One would never say they could become a cause of armed conflict.
But in order to comprehend why the barricades appeared in the first place, the developments in July in Kosovo must be remembered.
The Serbian minority, that constitutes 10 per cent of the Kosovo population, lost any kind of legal status once Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia in 2008. The Kosovo Serbs still consider themselves the citizens of Serbia. Needless to say that the Kosovo Albanians do not consider Northern Kosovo to be independent and expect Serbs to leave their homes and move to Serbia.
Until July the Serbs in northern Kosovo were allowed a measure of self-independence and an ability to be in free contact with mainland Serbia. But then the official Pristina (Kosovo capital) decided to take the border with Serbia under control, to install customs stations to administrate the goods flow and all the cars and trucks coming into the area.
The Serbs did not see that as a mere formality, but as an infringement of their remaining freedoms. They called it a slippery slope, first comes the customs control – then they become hostages of a political will of Albanian Pristina.
To prevent that from happening they erected barricades.
Then it appeared a compromise was found when it was announced that the customs stations will be controlled not by Albanians, but by KFOR forces.
The only matter is that the Serbs never trusted KFOR, seeing it as a force that conducts NATO policies in the region, making the separation of Kosovo from Serbia possible in the first place and protecting Albanian interests only.
And Serbs have every right to stick to their opinion since KFOR has never been evinced any sympathies with Serbs.
This time it was exactly the same. Once the tensions ran high and an attempt to remove the barricades was made, KFOR opened fire at protestors with live ammunition, later claiming they were using rubber bullets.
But doctors in the region who were treating the wounded have seen enough to tell the difference between a rubber bullet wound and a real one. Luckily enough, no one was killed.
In November KFOR started another operation to remove the barricades and again Serbs born in Kosovo made a stand, clearly understanding this might be their last one, saying firmly they will not leave their land.
Poland: EU Military Committee Meets On Balkans, Somalia
General Staff of Polish Armed Forces
Ministry of Defense
November 22, 2011
The EU Military Committee session
Brussels: A EU Military Committee session in the formula of chiefs of staff/defence took place. Poland was represented by Gen. Mieczys?aw Cieniuch, chief of General Staff.
At the meeting General Cieniuch presented among other things activities undertaken during the Polish presidency within the CSDP. Moreover, he summarised results of discussions carried out within the wide range of enterprises organised by Polish presidency, aiming at giving new momentum to the most important issues shaping the CSDP.
During the session the most important subjects shaping the present dimension of the EU engagement in the Western Balkans were also discussed.
Furthermore, the comprehensive activity of the international community regarding counter piracy at the coast of Somalia and the assumptions of the strategy concerning that region of Africa were analysed.
Chiefs of staff discussed also the state of works and the prospect of the Pooling and Sharing initiative and activities aiming at reaching synergy of civilian-military capabilities as well as the possibility of the most effective use of defence systems of member states.
An important part of the meeting was a choice of the new chairman of the Military Committee. The chiefs of staff/defence chose the inspector general of the Armed Forces of the Republic of France General Patrick de Rousiers for this post.
Kuwaitis Graduate From NATO Defense College
Kuwait News Agency
November 25, 2011
Two Kuwaitis receive graduation certificates from NATO Defense College
By Mahdi Al-Nemr
-The NRCC [NATO Regional Cooperation Course] is a 10-week course that focuses on the study of security challenges in the Middle East and North African regions. Course Members included government and military officials from NATO, Mediterranean Dialogue (MD), Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), and other interested nations.
-Al-Saeedi stressed the importance of dialogue and cooperation with international organizations such as NATO on key issues related to common interests, especially the security and stability, similar to what occurred during the Libyan crisis…
-NRCC-6 saw the graduation of 25 participants from 14 different nations.
ROME: Showing Kuwait’s interest in enhancing and upgrading skills of security and diplomatic personnel, two Kuwaitis graduated Friday from the prestigious NATO Defense College (NDC).
In a big ceremony held here at the NDC headquarters, the two Kuwaitis, head of the VIP Security Department at the Ministry of Interior Colonel Saleh Matar Al-Enezi and First Secretary of Kuwait Diplomatic Institute of the Foreign Ministry Meshal Jassem Al-Shehab, received their graduation certificates.
In statements to KUNA, the two trainees applauded the course and its great benefits.
The sixth NATO Regional Cooperation Course (NRCC-6) took place at NDC in Rome.
The NRCC is a 10-week course that focuses on the study of security challenges in the Middle East and North African regions. Course Members included government and military officials from NATO, Mediterranean Dialogue (MD), Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), and other interested nations.
The Commandant of the NDC, Lieutenant General Arne Bord Dalhaug, delivered the graduation remarks and mentioned the importance of the NRCC during the current events taking place in the MENA regions. NRCC-6 was a significant course because it ran simultaneously alongside the Arab Spring as it took shape.
For his part Charge d’Affaires of the Kuwaiti Embassy here, Eyadah Al-Saeedi, who attended the graduation ceremony, underlined the importance of Kuwaiti cadres’ joining such courses.
Al-Saeedi stressed the importance of dialogue and cooperation with international organizations such as NATO on key issues related to common interests, especially the security and stability, similar to what occurred during the Libyan crisis…
He added that Kuwait was interested in expanding dialogue with all organizations and countries to reach mutual understanding and constructive cooperation to promote common security and face risks that threaten the stability, both in the Gulf or the Arab region and the region as well as on the international level.
Lecturers from the Middle East and NATO countries are invited throughout the course give presentations on various topics dealing with the security and political challenges of the region. The last week of the course is dedicated to the Crisis Management Exercise (CMX), where participants have the opportunity to apply all of the knowledge that they had gained over the ten-week course.
NRCC-6 saw the graduation of 25 participants from 14 different nations.
NATO: Azerbaijan Faithful Partner On The Caspian Sea
Azeri Press Agency
November 28, 2011
NATO Assistant Secretary General: Azerbaijan is a good partner in the cooperation with NATO
Baku: ‘Within these years Azerbaijan has improved the relations with NATO.
‘Azerbaijan is a good partner in bilateral relations. The operations in Afghanistan and other projects implemented jointly with NATO can be given as an example,’ NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Policy and Planning Huseyin Dirioz told journalists in Baku, APA reports.
Dirioz said the organization’s new strategy had been recently determined at the meeting of NATO in Lisbon.
‘The new strategy envisages NATO’s joint activity with partner countries…of the world. NATO foreign ministers passed a decision in Berlin in April to improve that cooperation. Joint activity has already become more important for NATO. Of course, it also includes the relations with Azerbaijan,’ he said.
Britain Stops Exchanging Military Information With Russia Under CFE
November 25, 2011
UK stops exchanging military information with Russia under CFE Treaty
LONDON: The United Kingdom will stop exchanging military information with Russia due to the latter’s suspension of the fulfillment of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), British Minister for Europe David Lidington said in a written message to the House of Commons on Friday.
The Russian president suspended Moscow’s fulfillment of the CFE Treaty and related international agreements in 2007.
Bulgaria: NATO Deputy Secretary General Pushes Regional Integration
Sofia News Agency
November 25, 2011
Bisongniero Welcomes Bulgaria’s Smart Defense Push in Sofia
-Bisogniero has praised Bulgaria’s joint Air Policing agreements with Greece and Romania within NATO’s integrated air defense system NATINADS as working examples of NATO’s Smart Defense approaches.
The introduction and development of so-called ‘smart defense’ should not be used as an excuse to downsize military budgets, NATO Deputy Secretary-General Claudio Bisogniero declared in a lecture in Bulgaria’s capital of Sofia.
NATO’s smart defense initiative is supposed to build up capabilities through multinational approaches,’ Bisogniero stated further in Sofia, as cited by BNR and BGNES.
He stressed that smart defense would work only if all NATO member states act together.
According to the deputy head of NATO, defense budgets will likely see further reductions because of the economic crisis but they should be apportioned more rationally rather than being reduced.
Bisogniero explained that NATO’s Smart Defense initiative focuses on projects in five fields: development and organization of armed forces; acquisition of equipment and technologies; military missions and support; military training; innovative solutions.
Bulgaria is…part of the project for creating a Center for Research and Development of NATO’s Capabilities for crisis response that will be located in Bulgaria’s Charalitsa.
Bisogniero has praised Bulgaria’s joint Air Policing agreements with Greece and Romania within NATO’s integrated air defense system NATINADS as working examples of NATO’s Smart Defense approaches.
Turkey Welcomes GCC-Engineered Regime Change In Yemen
Azeri Press Agency
November 26, 2011
Turkey welcomes Yemeni president’s power transfer deal
-Turkey has ‘deeply appreciated invaluable contributions’ made by the United Nations, the GCC and Saudi Arabia to the penning of the deal, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.
Baku: Turkey on Friday welcomed an agreement that allows Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to remain in office for three more months yet requires him to transfer power to his deputy.
‘We call on all sides in Yemen to fully comply with the provisions of this agreement and act in harmony and unity to secure the prosperity and peace among the nation as well as the welfare of the country,’ Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The landmark signing of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)- brokered deal, which came after a 10-month-old political deadlock in Yemen, took place in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday.
Under the deal, Saleh handed power to his deputy Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in return for immunity from prosecution.
Turkey has ‘deeply appreciated invaluable contributions’ made by the United Nations, the GCC and Saudi Arabia to the penning of the deal, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.
Pakistan Defies U.S. Over Iran Gas Deal
Trend News Agency
November 25, 2011
Pakistan defies US over Iran gas deal
Pakistan says it will press ahead with its Iran gas pipeline deal despite strong opposition by the United States, Press TV reports.
Pakistan’s Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Friday that Islamabad will not accept any dictation regarding its internal affairs from any foreign country, adding that importing gas from Iran is in the country’s best interest.
The remarks came as a reaction to earlier pleas by Washington’s ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter that the Pakistani government abort its multi-billion dollar gas pipeline project with Iran.
‘The Pak-Iran gas pipeline is not a good idea…However, the plan to get gas from Turkmenistan is a better idea,’ Press TV correspondent quoted Munter as saying on Friday.
The USD 7.6 billion gas pipeline deal, which was signed in June 2010, aims to export a daily amount of 21.5 million cubic meters (or 8.7 billion cubic meters per year) of Iranian natural gas to Pakistan.
Last month, Pakistan’s Minister of Oil and Natural Resources Asim Hussain said the Iran-Pakistan natural gas pipeline would be inaugurated before the end of 2013, one year ahead of the original schedule.
Maximum daily gas transfer capacity of the 56-inch pipeline, which runs over 900 km of Iran’s soil from Asalouyeh in Bushehr Province to the city of Iranshahr in Sistan and Baluchestan Province, has been given at 110 million cubic meters.
Iran and Pakistan finalized the details of the deal during bilateral talks held in Tehran in October 2007.
The deal comes in the face of Washington’s efforts to isolate Iran economically through UN Security Council sanctions and its own unilateral penalties over Tehran’s nuclear programs.
Iran ranks second in the world in natural gas resources after Russia with available gas reserves estimated at over 33 trillion cubic meters.
In addition to exporting gas to Turkey, Armenia, and Pakistan, the country is currently negotiating gas exports to Iraq.