Stop NATO news: November 30, 2011: Sustained NATO Attack Was Deliberate: Pakistan Army

30 November 2011 — Stop NATO

  • NATO To Kosovo Serbs: ‘If Your Trucks Unload Gravel Here, We Will Shoot’
  • Senior U.S. Commander In Kosovo, Weighs In Against Serbs
  • Report: New Libyan Regime Sends 600 Troops To Fight In Syria
  • NATO Cross-Border Attacks Killed 72 Pakistani Troops, Injured 250 In Past Three Years: Army Spokesman
  • Sustained NATO Attack Was Deliberate: Pakistan Army
  • China: U.S. And NATO Have Trampled On International Law
  • Notice Sent To U.S. To Vacate Pakistani Air Base: Foreign Minister
  • NATO Attack: Pakistan Pulls Out Of Afghanistan Talks
  • Most Russians See NATO’s Drive East As Threat: Poll
  • Russia Commissions New Radar Against U.S.-NATO Missile System
  • Kaliningrad Radar A Signal To The West
  • Myanmar: U.S. Intensifies Isolation, Encirclement Of China
  • Canada To Complete High Arctic Military Center
  • 50 Per Cent Export Increase Last Year: Germany Now Major Middle East Arms Supplier

NATO To Kosovo Serbs: ‘If Your Trucks Unload Gravel Here, We Will Shoot’

Beta News Agency/Tanjug News Agency
November 29, 2011

KFOR: We’ll shoot; Serbs start building new road

JAGNJENICA: KFOR members used loud speakers on Tuesday to warn local Serbs that they would ‘shoot’ if they built a new barricade at Jagnjenica.

KFOR at Jagnjenica on Tuesday (Tanjug)The locals ignored the warning and started hauling in earth and gravel, dumping it on the road, thus constructing a new barricade. KFOR reacted by throwing tear gas at the Serbs, who are also this Tuesday building a new road nearby.

This latest maneuver by the locals left KFOR troops ‘partially blocked’, Tanjug is reporting.

The vehicles the soldiers used on Monday to break up the old barricade are now located between two new road blocks, set up on both sides of the Zubin Potok-Zve?an road this afternoon.

KFOR vehicles can at present only retreat to ?abra, an ethnic Albanian village where they had set up camp, according to this report.

Earlier in the day, the talks between the NATO troops in Kosovo and local Serb leaders, held earlier in the day, did not produce any results.

‘If your trucks unload gravel here, we will shoot,’ it was heard from the KFOR loud speakers.

The citizens gathered on the roads reacted with dissatisfaction, but no incidents were reported from the scene.

During the meeting on Tuesday, KFOR again asked Serbs to leave the road, while Zubin Potok Mayor Slaviša Risti? said that the troops should return to the positions they held before they moved to remove the barricade at Jagnjenica, and added that KFOR enjoyed freedom of movement.

A KFOR commander, who reports said ‘did not wish to introduce himself’, accused Risti? of being ‘directly responsible for yesterday’s violence against KFOR’ – an accusation which the mayor rejected as false.

Risti? also said he woud call on citizens to remain calm.

After the meeting, KFOR again used lound speakers to warn the Serbs to disperse, and threaten that tear gas would be used against them.

New road

Meantime, local Serbs have decided to build a new road near Jagnjenica.

On Tuesday afternoon, they brought machines to the location and started building an ‘alternative’ road, in a bid to circumvent the barricade that is now held by KFOR.

The aim is to make sure that the town of Zubin Potok, now cut off from other towns in the north of the province, is once again connected to Zve?an and Kosovska Mitrovica.

The citizens are hauling in gravel and building the road, while KFOR troops are observing the developments.


Senior U.S. Commander In Kosovo, Weighs In Against Serbs

U.S. Department of Defense
November 29, 2011

U.S. Commander Condemns Attacks on Kosovo Force
By Donna Miles

-To prepare for the mission, the KFOR 15 troops trained in realistic scenarios at Camp Atterbury, Ind., and most recently, at U.S. Army Europe’s Joint Multinational Training Center in Hohenfels, Germany.

WASHINGTON: A senior U.S. military leader in Europe condemned recent violence against NATO troops in Kosovo just as a Wisconsin Army National Guard unit prepares to take command of the 15th rotation of peacekeeping forces there.

Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, commander of Allied Joint Force Command Naples, visited Pristina, Kosovo, today to assess the situation a day after attacks by Serb demonstrators wounded more than two dozen NATO Kosovo Force members. No U.S. troops were wounded in the clashes.

The attacks occurred after the KFOR troops removed blockades that had shut off a main road in northern Kosovo.

‘The use of violence against KFOR troops is unacceptable,’ Locklear said in a statement released today…

About 180 members of the Wisconsin National Guard’s 157th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade are now preparing to assume authority for the next KFOR rotation in December. They will serve as the brigade headquarters unit for Multinational Battle Group East, also known as Task Force Falcon. In that role, the 157th will oversee operations for the entire Multinational Battle Group East.

The group includes National Guard and Reserve soldiers from Wisconsin, Mississippi, Georgia, Nebraska, Vermont, North Dakota, New Jersey, Wyoming, Massachusetts and Puerto Rico. It also includes international forces from Armenia, Greece, Poland, Turkey, Romania and the Ukraine.

To prepare for the mission, the KFOR 15 troops trained in realistic scenarios at Camp Atterbury, Ind., and most recently, at U.S. Army Europe’s Joint Multinational Training Center in Hohenfels, Germany.

Observer-controllers at both training sites strived to make the training as realistic as possible, he said, based on tactics, techniques and procedures taking place on the ground.

‘Early on in our training, the focus was on a relatively steady state and calm environment in Kosovo,’ Liethen said earlier this month at Hohenfels.

‘Things have drastically changed,’ he said. ‘It’s very obvious that the training program here at Hohenfels has been modified to replicate what is actually going on in Kosovo right now so that will definitely be a help in us conducting our mission.’


Report: New Libyan Regime Sends 600 Troops To Fight In Syria

November 29, 2011

600 Libyans ‘already fighting in Syria’

-The Syrian government…is likely to see them as mercenaries, which NATO member Turkey allowed into their country as an alternative to a full-scale military campaign, which is impossible without the sanction of the United Nations Security Council.

The Libyan government apparently wants to share its successful experience of overthrowing the Gaddafi regime with like-minded Syrians. It has sent 600 of its troops to support local militants against the Assad regime, according to media reports.

The fighters have joined the Free Syria Army, the militant group carrying out attacks on government forces in Syria, reports the Egyptian news website Al-Ray Al-Arabi citing its sources. The report says the troops entered Syria through Turkish territory.

The alleged incursion happened with the consent of the chairman of the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) Mustafa Abdul Jalil. The NTC allegedly welcomed volunteers to join the surge.

Last Friday British media reported a secret meeting between NTC envoys and Syrian rebels had been held in Istanbul. The Libyan governing body reportedly pledged to supply arms, money and fighters to the Syrians.

Bashar Assad’s government has repeatedly accused foreign forces of smuggling armed groups and weapons into Syria and thus fueling the ongoing violence.
In mid-October the Libyan NTC was the first government to recognize the rebel Syrian National Council as the legitimate representatives of the Syrian people.

The Libyan population is in possession of many weapons, which they received during the civil war by plundering military depots, through smuggling or as aid from NATO members and countries like Qatar, which took part in the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi. The NTC has difficulties in disarming the ex-rebels, who want to keep their firearms, either for personal protection or as means to make their living.

In November, the Libyan capital, Tripoli, saw a mass protest by the rebels, who demanded that the NTC pay their wages. Some even threatened to overthrow the new government the way they did with the previous one, unless their demands are met.

Funneling armed, underemployed and eager-to-fight youngsters to another country could be a convenient move for the NTC. The Syrian government, however, is likely to see them as mercenaries, which NATO member Turkey allowed into their country as an alternative to a full-scale military campaign, which is impossible without the sanction of the United Nations Security Council.


NATO Cross-Border Attacks Killed 72 Pakistani Troops, Injured 250 In Past Three Years: Army Spokesman

Azeri Press Agency
November 29, 2011

72 troops killed by NATO cross-border attacks in Pakistan over last three years: army spokesman

Baku: A total of 72 Pakistani troops were killed and over 250 others injured by NATO cross-border attacks in Pakistan over the last three years, said an army spokesman on Monday, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

In an interview with local media Geo TV, Major General Athar Abbas, spokesman of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), a Pakistani army mouthpiece, said that the recent attacks by NATO forces on two Pakistani army checkposts in the country’s northwest tribal area of Mohmand Agency, which killed 24 Pakistani troops and injured 13 others, could lead to serious consequences.

He said that Pakistani authorities can not accept the lame excuses made by NATO forces that the attack was not deliberate or it was an act of misunderstanding.

To a question about a possible apology by NATO, the spokesman said that the apology by NATO is not enough. ‘We don’t accept any apology,’ he said.

The ISPR spokesman denied NATO’s claim that Pakistani forces initiated the fire and said that no fire was opened from the Pakistani side and the troops retaliated only after the killing of their soldiers by the NATO attack.

He said that if NATO and ISAF were claiming that firing was started from the Pakistani side then they should present proof of the loss which they met by the firing from Pakistani troops and they should tell how many ISAF soldiers were injured or killed by the firing carried out by Pakistani troops.

According to the spokesman, when the attack was initiated, the Pakistani soldiers deployed on the checkposts immediately informed senior officers at the regional headquarters of Peshawar and main headquarters at GHQ Rawalpindi. The senior officials in army headquarters took up the issue with ISAF headquarters that an attack was being launched at Pakistani Army checkposts. They asked them to stop the firing immediately, but the NATO officials concerned did not halt the attack.

He said that after the attack reports came that 24 soldiers have been killed in the attack that continued around two hours even after the Pakistan Army informed NATO.

He said the spokesperson of NATO should explain why they continued to attack army checkposts after Pakistani officials clearly told them that their target was Pakistani troops and no terrorists were present in the area.

He said that to ensure safety and to rule out the presence of terrorists in the Mohmand Agency a large number of military checkposts were set up in the area and NATO was well aware of the presence of these posts and ISAF officials were informed whenever a new post was created so that they could have map references of these posts.


Sustained NATO Attack Was Deliberate: Pakistan Army

Associated Press of Pakistan
November 30, 2011

NATO raid was deliberate: army

* DGMO tells journalists positions of posts were already conveyed to ISAF through map references and it is impossible that they did not know these to be our posts

RAWALPINDI: The NATO attacks on border checkposts in Mohmand Agency were deliberate and were carried out in violation of coordination procedures, Director General Military Operations (DG MO), Maj Gen Ishfaq Nadeem, said on Tuesday.

Terming the strikes as unprovoked act of blatant aggression during a briefing to newsmen and defence analysts at the GHQ, Gen Nadeem said, ‘The positions of the posts were already conveyed to the ISAF through map references and it was impossible that they did not know these to be our posts.’ Chief of General Staff, Lt General Waheed Arshad, was also present during the briefing.

The DG MO said that there were four border communication centres to coordinate operations against militants but, unfortunately, all standard operating procedures were violated by ISAF and NATO forces on the night of attack. The area where the attacks were carried out was already cleared of the militants by Pakistani forces and there was no cross-border movement of terrorists from Pakistan to Afghanistan, he added.

Prior to the incident, there had been three attacks which were carried out from across the border in 2008, 2010 and 2011, killing 14 Pakistani soldiers and injuring another 13, the senior military officer said. ‘No information regarding inquiry of these attacks was shared or provided to us despite our repeated requests, and when provided, it was inaccurate and incomplete,’ he added.

Giving details of the incident, Gen Nadeem said after midnight on November 26, two to three helicopters arrived in the area and engaged the border post named Volcano, breaking down all communication systems there. In response, another post, Boulder, engaged the intruding helicopters with anti-aircraft guns and other weapons. The helicopters then attacked this post.

He said all channels of coordination methods were immediately activated. ‘We informed them about the attack. But, the helicopters reappeared and also engaged the Boulder post.’ In the attacks, 24 soldiers, including two officers, embraced martyrdom while 15 others sustained injuries, he added. When asked why did the ISAF and NATO attacked the Pakistani posts and what type of advantage they wanted to gain, Gen Nadeem said that people could better analyse the situation in the backdrop of the post-May 2 operation.

To a query, he said the response of the government was adequate and mentioned the Defence Cabinet Committee (DCC) meeting and notice to the US for vacation of the Shamsi airbase. The DG MO said the Pakistan Air Force was not asked to respond to the attack because the situation on the ground was not clear. Commenting on Afghan media reports about shelling from the Pakistani side of the border into Afghanistan, he said the reports were totally incorrect and there was no truth in them.


China: U.S. And NATO Have Trampled On International Law

Daily Times
November 30, 2011

US fanning terror, flouting international laws: China

* State newspaper says attack proves US will not show the slightest hesitation to violate sovereignty of another nation to ensure its ‘absolute security’

BEIJING: China’s top state newspaper on Tuesday accused the United States of flouting international law and fanning terrorism after a NATO attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, and it warned that the Islamabad’s grip on security could be dangerously weakened.

The condemnation in the People’s Daily, the main newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, kept up Beijing’s angry words in support of its partner, Pakistan, as Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has said that ‘business as usual’ with the United States has been over after the attack on Saturday.

NATO called the killings a ‘tragic, unintended incident’, and the US officials said NATO and American investigations would determine what happened in the attack in northwest Pakistan.

But the People’s Daily said the attack already laid bare deeper problems in the US approach to militant threats.

‘Above all, we must be clear that the United States and NATO have trampled on international laws and rules,’ said a commentary in the newspaper.

‘The United States and NATO have violated international law and international norms,’ the paper said in an editorial condemning the attacks.

‘This shows…that at crucial moments, the United States will not show the slightest hesitation to violate the sovereignty of another nation to ensure its ‘absolute security’.’

‘The risk in fighting terror this way is that it will ignite latent sympathy and support for terrorism, as well as hurting many innocent people and damaging international law,’ said a commentary in the Chinese-language newspaper.

‘The soil nurturing terrorism will become even more fertile, and the space for terrorism to spread even broader,’ it said.

The commentary came after the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei voiced shock over the assault, and the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi offered Beijing’s firm support to his Pakistani counterpart, Hina Rabbani Khar.

The close ties between China and Pakistan reflect…a desire to hedge against US influence across the region.

The People’s Daily commentary said the killings of the soldiers could inflict lasting damage.

‘Islamabad’s grip on domestic security will also be weakened,’ it said. ‘This will not only work against the war on terror, it could also leave the risk of long-term turmoil.’


Notice Sent To U.S. To Vacate Pakistani Air Base: Foreign Minister

Associated Press of Pakistan
November 30, 2011

Notice sent to US for vacating Shamsi: FM

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said on Tuesday that in line with the decisions of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet, a notice has been sent to the US for vacating the Shamsi airbase within 15 days.

Terming the NATO/ISAF attack on border posts in Mohmand Agency as a breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty and violation of international law, the foreign minister said, ‘The time has come to review our relations.’

Talking to the state television channel, the foreign minister said Pakistan has supported the international community in the war against terrorism and has rendered great sacrifices.

She said Pakistan’s positive cooperation must be recognised at an international level and should not be taken as a weakness.

Khar said Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected at all cost.

She categorically stated that the nation and the government would not tolerate such incidents in future. ‘We don’t want any aid or assistance, but we want to live with dignity and honour.’


NATO Attack: Pakistan Pulls Out Of Afghanistan Talks

Daily Times
November 30, 2011

Pakistan pulls out of Afghan talks

* Cabinet decides to boycott Bonn conference in anger over Mohmand attack

* Endorses DCC decisions to cut NATO supply and get the Shamsi airbase vacated from US

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday decided to boycott a key international conference on Afghanistan next month, widening its protest over lethal cross-border NATO strikes and exacerbating a deep crisis in US ties.

‘Pakistan looks forward to the success of this conference but in view of the developments and prevailing circumstances has decided not to participate in the conference,’ a government statement said. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting, which termed the attack an assault on the sovereignty of Pakistan. The cabinet gave its approval to and appreciated the decisions of the DCC to immediate close NATO/ISAF logistic supply lines and asking the US to vacate the Shamsi Airbase within fifteen days. The meeting was of the view that actions such as these attacks were contrary to the spirit of partnership and business as usual was no longer possible.

Prime Minster Yousaf Raza Gilani, who chaired the meeting, announced to summon a joint session of parliament after the recommendations of the parliamentary committee on National Security to discuss the NATO attack and the controversial memo affair. Addressing the meeting at the Punjab Governor’s House, the prime minister said there could be no compromise on Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity nor on the nation’s resolve to safeguard its frontiers.


Most Russians See NATO’s Drive East As Threat: Poll

Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 29, 2011

Most Russians see NATO eastward expansion as threat – poll

MOSCOW: Most Russians don’t see NATO as Russia’s partner and are convinced that the bloc’s eastward expansion is a threat to the country’s security, show the results of a poll by a state-run pollster released on Tuesday.

34 percent of respondents are convinced that the bloc is a threat to Russia’s security, down 7 percentage points from 2009. An equal number of respondents said they though the bloc is not Russia’s partner but that it poses no real threat to Russia.

Only 8 percent of respondents said NATO was Russia’s partner.

‘Most of those who consider NATO a threat are supporters of the A Just Russia party (47 percent), the Communist Party of Russia (42 percent), as well as Muscovites and residents of St. Petersburg. Those who don’t see NATO as a threat are mostly residents of towns (41 percent),’ the pollster said in a report.

The respondents who are worried about NATO expansion are mostly A Just Russia supporters (79 percent), residents of large cities (73 percent) and people of pre-retirement age or older (62-65 percent).

Those who don’t see NATO’s eastward expansion as a threat support non-parliamentary parties (26 percent) and are mostly young people.

The poll was conducted on October 22-23 among 1,600 respondents from 138 cities and towns in 46 Russian regions.


Russia Commissions New Radar Against U.S.-NATO Missile System

November 29, 2011

Kaliningrad radar commissioned as part of missile warning system

KALININGRAD: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday ordered to commission the Voronezh-DM-class Kaliningrad radar as part of the missile warning system.

Medvedev, who arrived at the military unit where the radar is located, proceeded to the command quarters. Commander of the aerospace defense (VKO) troops Lt-Gen Oleg Ostapenko reported to the head of state about the radar’s readiness to go on line, and Medvedev issued the order to add the facility to the VKO assets.

Medvedev said he would chair a conference later in the day with the leadership of the armed forces within the framework of the instructions he had issued last week in connection with the situation involving U.S. missile defense facilities in Europe.

The Kaliningrad radar went on line ahead of schedule after the Russian president’s statement.

Radars of this class are Russian factory-assembled over-the-horizon, long-range warning facilities…

In addition, Voronezh-DM functions in decimal waveband, which provides for higher accuracy. Its energy consumption is lower by 40 percent, and it utilizes less equipment than previous models. The range of Voronezh-dm reaches 6,000 kilometers.

At present, similar facilities are on experimental and combat duty in Armavir and the Leningrad region (village of Lekhtusi). In 2012, another Vornozeh-DM radar will be commissioned in the Irkutsk region.

The Kaliningrad radar was built to improve the missile warning system in Russia’s northeastern air/space direction and covers the western sector, which was monitored by the stations in Mukachyovo and Baranovichi in Soviet times.

‘It considerably expands the range of information tasks for subsequent decision-making by our country’s top leadership,’ VKO troops commander Lt-Gen Oleg Ostapenko noted in this connection on November 25.

The Russian Defense Ministry plans to replace all Russian long-range radars with Voronezh-DM facilities and build several new ones. Using these radars, Russia will fully restore its monitoring of airspace in its territory and far beyond.


Xinhua News Agency
November 29, 2011

Russia activates missile warning system in Kaliningrad

MOSCOW: Russia has activated a radar warning system in Kaliningrad in response to a planned U.S. missile shield in Europe, Russian news agencies reported Tuesday.

‘I expect that this step will be seen by our partners as the first signal of the readiness of our country to make an adequate response’ to the U.S. shield, President Dmitry Medvedev told senior defense officials in Kaliningrad.

Russia is ready to listen to Western partners’ proposals on the missile defense issues, Medvedev said.

‘If other steps are taken, we will naturally be prepared to listen,’ he said, but ‘in any case only verbal statements will not suffice.’

Medvedev said last week that Russia might station missile defense systems, including the Iskander, in western and southern sections of the country if there were any additional U.S. missile deployments in Europe.

Moscow has long opposed the deployment of U.S.-led NATO missile defense facilities near its borders. It wants legally binding guarantees from the United States and NATO that the missile defense shield is not targeting Russia.


November 29, 2011

Russia launches new missile defense to cover Atlantic




Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered operational the newest Russian radar system that protects from missile attacks and covers all Europe and Atlantic.

Medvedev personally arrived in Russia’s westernmost exclave of Kaliningrad and received a report from the Space Defense Troops commander that the radar station was fully ready for the launch. After this, the president gave the order to put the radar on combat duty.

At the ceremony Medvedev said that the radar launch was a sign to the Western partners that Russia was ready to promptly respond to threats that arise with the start of the European missile defense. ‘I expect that this step will be regarded by Western partners as the first signal of our country’s readiness to appropriately respond to the threats posed by the missile defense system to our strategic nuclear forces,’ the Russian President said.

After the launch the president held a conference with top commanders of the Russian Military Forces. There he said that Russia was ready to listen to proposals on missile defense, but repeated that ‘verbal statements alone will not suffice.’

‘If our signal is not heard, as I said on November 23 we will deploy other means of defense, including approving harsh counter-measures and the deployment of a strike group,’ Medvedev said. ‘If other steps are taken, we are ready to listen to them, but in any case, verbal statements alone will not suffice,’ the president said.

‘When they tell us ‘this is not meant against you,’ I would like to say the following today – dear friends, this radar station that started its work today is also not meant against you. But it is meant for us and for the tasks that we set before us,’ Medvedev said.

The Voronezh-DM station has been working in test mode for the whole of 2011. There were no technical failures over this period, Interfax news agency reported, quoting a source in the Defense Ministry. The source also said that the Kaliningrad station will be the third of its kind, with the first two already working in Leningrad and Krasnodar Regions.

With the effective detection range of 6,000 kilometers, the Voronezh-DM is processing the reports of missile strikes on military and civilian combat posts. The station is capable of working in connection with Moscow’s missile defense system.

The commander of the Russian Space Defense Troops, Lieutenant-General Oleg Ostapenko has said earlier that the new station in Kaliningrad would allow control of the entire European and Atlantic regions.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last week said that Russia would strengthen its defenses and deploy missiles and anti-missile components to Kaliningrad as a reply to the US and NATO constant push towards creating the European Missile Defense system with components stationed near the Russian border.

Russia opposes the program, saying it threatens the balance of nuclear forces and demands legally-binding guarantees that the system will not be used against it. The Western side says the new missile defense it built against the threat from rogue states, but so far provided no such guarantees to Russia.


Kaliningrad Radar A Signal To The West

Voice of Russia
November 29, 2011

Kaliningrad radar a signal to the West
Svetlana Andreyeva

A long-range anti-missile radar has been put on combat duty in Russia’s northwestern region of Kaliningrad.

President Dmitry Medvedev, who personally inaugurated the Kaliningrad radar on Tuesday, said that its key task was to provide early warning of possible missile attacks and to protect national security in the most missile-dangerous directions. He did not rule out the possibility of integrating the Kaliningrad radar into a joint Russian-NATO missile defense shield in the future but complained that Western partners were reluctant to cooperate in this sphere.

The Voronezh-DM radar in Kaliningrad is a signal to the West that Russia will respond adequately to potential threats emanating from the U.S. anti-missile system in Europe, President Medvedev said:

‘The Voronezh-DM radar is an instrument of aerospace control. It does not pose any threat to our neighbors. Its creation does not shut the door to dialogue on the issues we have been discussing with our colleagues. Its capabilities allow it to be used in the interests of a common European missile defense system. But this will depend on the ultimate approaches we expect NATO, the United States and European partners to formulate. The usual statements that the system of a phased and adaptive transition to European missile defense, which is currently being created, is not directed against Russia no longer suits us. Unfortunately, verbal assurances do not guarantee the protection of our interests. If other proposals are put forward, naturally we are ready to listen to them. But verbal statements are not enough. The radar that was put into operation today is not against you – it is for you and for addressing the tasks we are setting ourselves.’

The up-to-date decimeter-band Kaliningrad radar will carry out aerospace surveillance across a vast territory from the North Pole to North Africa. It is capable of tracking a target at a distance of 6,000 km and consumes 40% less power than its predecessors. Another of its advantages is that it is easily movable and rapidly assembled.

The Kaliningrad radar is the first of the counter-measures announced by President Medvedev on November 23 in response to the unilateral deployment of the U.S. missile defense shield in Europe.


Myanmar: U.S. Intensifies Isolation, Encirclement Of China

Global Times
November 29, 2011

China-Myanmar ties challenged by US moves
By Li Xiguang

-Myanmar ports would be able to shorten the distance between Western China and the Indian Ocean by 3,000 kilometers by not passing through the Strait of Malacca and the ports in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Myanmar is also looked as a crucial alternative route in China’s long-term goal of securing a safe conduit of its much-needed fuel from Middle East and Africa.
-In the worst case crisis scenario in China-US relations, a blockade of the Chinese coast and the Malacca Strait could be the cards the US is most likely to play. In late September, Myanmar made a surprising announcement that it would halt the construction of the $3.6 billion Myitsone hydropower station invested by a Chinese company.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Myanmar, starting today, will further unnerve China, which has recently been increasingly worried that the aim of the new US Asian policy is to isolate and encircle China.

Historically and geographically, Myanmar has been a close neighbor to China. For centuries, the two countries have enjoyed a family tie known as ‘pauk-phaw (brotherhood)’ in Myanmese because of intermarriage between border inhabitants.

China’s former premier Zhou Enlai visited Myanmar nine times while his counterpart, Myanmar leader Ne Win visited China 12 times. During Zhou’s first visit to Myanmar in 1954, the two countries stressed the five principles of peaceful coexistence in international relations. The five principles are still the foundation of China’s handling of international relations today.

For centuries, the two peoples have traveled freely across the border on dirt roads and forested mountains. Chinese late foreign minister Marshal Chen Yi composed a poem which reads, ‘I (China) am upstream and you (Myanmar) are downstream. We share water from the same river with friendship.’

Today, Myanmar is the pivot of China’s grand strategy to achieve its economic growth goal.

The development of Western China depends on a secured shorter trade and fuel routes to the ocean. Close to the key shipping lanes of the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia, Myanmar is important for China to develop its southwestern inland provinces, which have a population of about 200 million people.

These backward provinces want to trade with the growing economies of Southeast Asia, India, the Arab world and Europe. Chinese academics and the government have been discussing using Myanmar as a bridge to revive the legendary ‘Southwest Silk Road’ from Yunnan and Sichuan Provinces to Myanmar and westward to India, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

Myanmar ports would be able to shorten the distance between Western China and the Indian Ocean by 3,000 kilometers by not passing through the Strait of Malacca and the ports in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Myanmar is also looked as a crucial alternative route in China’s long-term goal of securing a safe conduit of its much-needed fuel from Middle East and Africa.

China in recent decades has been constructing an oil pipeline and highway in Myanmar to obtain access to a port by the Indian Ocean. With the 2,000-kilometer Myanmar-Yunnan-Chongqing oil pipeline, China has now almost secured an outlet to the Indian Ocean for its landlocked southwestern provinces.

But recently, this route appears to be under increasing uncertainty. As early as 2010, Clinton declared that the South China Sea was vital to US interests. In September of this year, Clinton announced a new US policy in South Asia of building a new Silk Road bypassing China. In the November issue of Foreign Policy magazine, Clinton published a lengthy article in which she declared the coming of the US’s Pacific Century. And two weeks later, at a forum in Honolulu, Obama announced that ‘The US is a Pacific power and we’re here to stay.’

In the worst case crisis scenario in China-US relations, a blockade of the Chinese coast and the Malacca Strait could be the cards the US is most likely to play. In late September, Myanmar made a surprising announcement that it would halt the construction of the $3.6 billion Myitsone hydropower station invested by a Chinese company.

A month later, Clinton announced that she would visit Myanmar, perhaps as a kind of reward to the country’s new leadership. Chinese media speculate that the US government was behind the Myanmar decision to halt the dam.

Obama and Clinton’s latest moves to isolate and encircle China have made the country more eager than ever to vary its routes for transporting fuel from the Middle East and Africa. China cannot afford to lose the Myanmar route.

The author is director of International Center for Communication, Tsinghua University.


Canada To Complete High Arctic Military Center

CBC News
November 27, 2011

Ottawa moves ahead with High Arctic military centre
The new military facility will be built on to the existing Polar Continental Shelf Project research base in Resolute, Nunavut. It is scheduled to be complete by 2013

The federal government will move ahead with its planned military facility in Resolute, Nunavut.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised an Arctic warfare training facility in 2007. The facility looks like it will now become reality, but with a few changes to the original plan.

[The Department of National Defence’s Major Bill Chambré said] ‘My focus is mainly building a training facility but to also have a facility where we can conduct operations.’

The facility will be built on to the existing Polar Continental Shelf Project research base, which is already the largest in the community.

The building’s price tag is $18 million and the final design is expected to be complete by next month.

Chambré insists it is not the permanent search and rescue base northerners have called for because it’s unlikely the military will use the facility year round.

The government plans to work out of the facility mostly during winter, with people from other government departments working there mainly in summer.

‘I certainly don’t see this going idle, especially when we have two government departments sharing,’ said Chambré.

Building materials will arrive in Resolute on the next sealift, and construction is scheduled to be complete by 2013.


50 Per Cent Export Increase Last Year: Germany Now Major Middle East Arms Supplier

United Press International
November 29, 2011

Germany now major Mideast arms supplier

BEIRUT, Lebanon: The German government is under fire for its $2 billion sale of 270 Leopard 2 tanks to Saudi Arabia but the fact is that Germany is now a key arms supplier to the Middle East.

Its customers include Israel, which has ordered three more Dolphin class submarines from Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG, and Algeria, which in June was cleared for frigates, armored vehicles and border security systems that newsmagazine Der Spiegel says are worth $14 billion.

German opposition parties and critics within Chancellor Angela Merkel’s center-right coalition, as well as peace and church groups, are up in arms over the secretive Saudi deal because it underlines a fundamental shift in Germany’s long-restrictive export regulations.

‘In her eagerness to support the German defense industry, Merkel is breaking with a traditional doctrine of German foreign policy,’ Der Spiegel reports.

‘The fundamental principle used to be that weapons produced in Germany couldn’t be delivered to countries engaged in a conflict.

‘Now, the government is justifying its deals with strategic arguments, saying the government in Riyadh is needed as a stabilizing force in the Middle East,’ Der Spiegel noted.

The previous German government sanctioned arms sales to Saudi Arabia as well but these totaled around $400 million, chickenfeed compared to Berlin’s current military exports to the Middle East.

‘This latest tank deal overshadows everything that went before,’ Der Spiegel observed. ‘And no other administration has so blatantly taken on the role of sales representative for the German defense industry.’

The Germans are battling hard for military contracts in the Middle East, where conflict has been a constant since World War II and the post-colonial period. These have long been dominated by the United States, Britain, France and Russia.

[T[he government maintains that while the kingdom is a problematic partner, Saudi Arabia plays a key role in mediating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is a crucial ally in the battle against Islamic terrorism.

But most importantly, it says, Saudi Arabia is in the front line against Iran…

This, supporters of arms sale argue, is why the Jewish state didn’t oppose the sale of the 270 Leopard 2A7+ tanks built by Munich’s Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall to Saudi Arabia.

The German government’s annual Defense Exports Report, released in early November, said German arms exports grew by 50 percent in 2010.

The report said Germany exported arms and military equipment worth $2.66 billion, including big-ticket items such as submarines, warships and tanks. In 2009, the total was $1.79 billion.

In addition, the report noted, German armaments manufacturers like KMW, almost half of whose sales involve Leopard tanks; naval shipbuilders ThyssenKrupp; firearms-maker Heckler and Koch; and Cassidian, an offshoot of the giant EADS European aerospace consortium, sealed contracts in 2010 with a total value of $6.66 billion.

The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co., which includes Germany’s DaimlerChryslerAerospace AG, manufactures the Eurofighter Typhoon. The Saudis bought 72 in 2006 for $6 billion.

‘Growth doesn’t come from Europe anymore,’ explained Cassidian Chief Executive Officer Stefan Zoller.

Defense budgets in Europe are stagnating, he says, and now the biggest opportunities are to be had in the Middle East, along with India and Brazil, both with expanding economies and military forces.

Cassidian recently secured a $2.6 billion contract to build a security system along Saudi Arabia’s 5,600 miles of land border as well as air and seaports, comprising radars, sensors, cameras and other electronic systems.

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