1 December 2011 — Stop NATO
- Pakistan: Nationwide Protests Against NATO Attack Continue
- Vietnam-Style Exit: Russia Could Deliver Death Blow To NATO
- 224 Iranian MPs Condemn NATO Attack On Pakistan
- NATO Reports Fresh Clash With Pakistani Military
- Pakistan: Tribal Elders, Civil Society Back Government Against NATO
- West’s Military Obsession Leads To Economic Decline
- U.S. Beefs Up Asia-Pacific Military Bases
- Chinese Defense Ministry Denounces U.S.-Australian Military Alliance
- Kazakhstan: U.S. Military Partner On Chinese, Russian Borders
- After Exercise, U.S. Amphibious Assault Ship Visits Philippine Capital
- U.S., Cambodia Strengthen Military Ties With Joint Exercise
- New Military Client, Base: U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer In East Timor
- First Trilateral U.S.-Japan-India Meeting On Asian Maritime Security
- Russia Condemns NATO Power Play In Kosovo
- Photograph: NATO In Kosovo: German, Austrian Troops And Tanks Versus Serbian Woman
- Russia May Cancel Chicago NATO Meeting Over Interceptor Missiles
- In New Cold War Climate, Russia And Cuba Strengthen Military Cooperation
- EU Foreign Ministers To Extend Sanctions Against Belarus, Iran, Syria
- Germany To Provide Israel With Sixth Nuclear-Capable Submarine
- Former Mossad Chief: Israeli Strike On Iran Will Cause Regional Tragedy
- New NATO Division Hosts 200 Experts From Member, Partner States
Pakistan: Nationwide Protests Against NATO Attack Continue
Associated Press of Pakistan
December 1, 2011
Nationwide protest against NATO attack continues
ISLAMABAD: Nation-wide protests against a lethal NATO attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers continued on Wednesday.
The Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly adopted a unanimous resolution against the attack, a private news channel reported. Later, AJK assembly members also held a rally in Muzaffarabad and presented a memorandum at the UN office.
The resolution said that the NATO attack was in violation of international laws and was an assault on Pakistan’s sovereignty. The resolution demanded the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to take serious notice of this aggression.
In Peshawar, schoolchildren held a demonstration and sang the national anthem.
Thousands of students of Punjab University also took part in a protest rally in Lahore against NATO.
The Lahore High Court (LHC) allowed lawyers to hold a rally on the Mall Road.
In Multan, students of various colleges gathered at Katchehry Chowk and condemned the NATO attack.
In addition, protests were witnessed all over the country, including in areas such as Sukkur, Dera Ghazi Khan and Kandhkot.
Vietnam-Style Exit: Russia Could Deliver Death Blow To NATO
December 1, 2011
Russia could deliver death blow to Nato, say analysts
ISLAMABAD: With the Russian threat to cut land routes for supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan, the Afghan battleground may turn into a cold death trap for NATO, defence analysts believe. They say that Pakistan should utilise the opportunity for a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan by pulling it out of the American war.
Russia has threatened to cut off NATO supply routes to Afghanistan if the alliance doesn’t compromise on its missile defence plans. ‘If NATO doesn’t give a serious response, we have to address matters in relations in other areas,’ Russian news services reported. Russia’s cooperation on Afghanistan may be an area for review, the news services reported.
Pakistan has already cut NATO supply routes after the Mohmand Agency attack by NATO troops that killed twenty-six Pakistani soldiers. Lt General (retd) Hameed Gul, while talking to The News, said that Russia would utilise every option to take revenge on the Americans and the time has come for the Russians to do this. He said that Russia wants to join hands with Pakistan and Pakistan should re-consider its policy towards Russia. ‘Americans and NATO troops have been strangled in Afghanistan and the time has come for Pakistan to avail itself of the opportunity that it missed on 9/11 to regain respect and sovereignty’, Gul said.
He mentioned that Americans will have to leave Afghanistan and will ask for concessions and Pakistan should negotiate with them on their exit. If Russia cuts its supply routes then the route will be from Georgia to Baku and then to Azerbaijan, which means NATO will never get the supplies, said Gul.
‘Now NATO troops will have to exit Vietnam-style, and that too by using Pakistan’s airspace because Iran will never let the USA use its airspace’, the retired General said. He mentioned that the war against terror that was started with our own people will come to an end at once and there will be peace in no time once the Americans leave Afghanistan. He said that Indian interests in Afghanistan were growing but India will get nothing from Afghanistan.
Maria Sultan, defence analyst, while talking to this correspondent said that if the Russians also cut the supply line of NATO then it will turn out to be a cold death for NATO troops. ‘They will literally be strangled in Afghanistan with 90,000 troops, and as they admit that they have reserves for three months, which actually means they have reserves for two months, then NATO will have to airlift the troops and during the airlift only 15 to 20 percent can get out alive out of the 90,000 troops’, Maria said.
She mentioned that in Afghanistan everything comes from outside and the insurgency this year has been very high as 700 [NATO] causalities have been reported. Therefore, after the Russian decision, Afghanistan will turn into a reverse Kargil for NATO. ‘They will have weapons but no bullets to fire; and if Pakistan shuts the air corridors to NATO then it would be a cold death for them and America will have to renegotiate with Pakistan’, she said.
224 Iranian MPs Condemn NATO Attack On Pakistan
December 1, 2011
224 Iranian MPs deplore Nato attack on Pakistan
TEHRAN: Iranian parliamentarians in a statement issued on Wednesday condemned the lethal cross-border NATO attack on Pakistan, and called on Islamabad to show a decisive reaction to the US crimes, reported Fars News Agency.
In a joint statement signed by 224 lawmakers, they condemned criminal U.S. acts including its recent airstrike on Pakistan which claimed the lives of the Muslim state’s soldiers. ‘We ask our counterparts in the Pakistani parliament to review their ties with the U.S.,’ the statement read.
‘It is the time to give a positive response to the demands of Pakistan’s vigilant nation and prevent the United States’ future crimes and violation of Pakistan’s territorial integrity through a decisive move by the Pakistani MPs,’ the statement added.
NATO Reports Fresh Clash With Pakistani Military
December 1, 2011
New clash between NATO, Pak forces
KABUL: A cross-border incident involving NATO and Pakistani forces was quickly defused early on Wednesday with no loss of life, The New York Times quoted Brig Gen Carsten Jacobson, the spokesman for the American-led international coalition, as saying.
The incident apparently involved heavy artillery fire across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in Afghanistan’s Paktika province, the report said, adding that few other details were available.
Pakistan’s military, however, refuted the report, saying no such incident took place. ‘There was no fresh clash between Pakistani troops and NATO force on Pak-Afghan border on Wednesday,’ an Inter Services Public Relations spokesman said…
Pakistan: Tribal Elders, Civil Society Back Government Against NATO
December 1, 2011
Tribal elders, civil society laud govt’s tough stand on NATO aggression
PESHAWAR: Tribal elders, political workers, lawyers, students and journalists from the Musa Khel tribe of Mohmand Agency condemned the NATO attack on Pakistan’s border security posts and appreciated the bold stance taken by the government of Pakistan in response to these unwarranted and unprovoked attacks.
They vowed to stand by the Pak-Force in the wake of any eventuality across the border and to protect the motherland from any foreign aggression and intrusion, a communiqué from the Governor’s House read.
This announcement was made during a tribal Jirga comprising peoples from different walks of life, which was led by Senator Muhammad Idrees Khan Safi, and called on Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Masood Kausar here at Governor’s House on Wednesday to record their resentment and offer support to the government against cross-border attacks.
…The Jirga was of the view that the tribesmen would never tolerate such attacks and were united to safeguard the frontiers of the country at any cost. Governor Kausar, while appreciating the sentiments of the Jirga members, assured them that the government would never compromise on the security and sovereignty of the country. He said that such attacks would neither be ignored nor tolerated.
West’s Military Obsession Leads To Economic Decline
November 30, 2011
West’s military obsession claws back economic growth
By John Ross
The US is mired in an unemployment crisis, Europe faces double-dip recession, and Japan’s economy has experienced two decades of stagnation. Under such circumstances a logical policy by governments in developed countries would concentrate all efforts on improving their domestic situation. However in reality, economic resources have been diverted into costly military issues.
In the US, military expenditure has risen 10 times as fast as household consumption, while government non-military expenditure has fallen. This continues a longer trend. Since the beginning of the 21st century, US GDP, in inflation-adjusted terms, has increased by 21 percent, US government non-military spending by 11 percent, and US personal consumption by 28 percent, while military expenditure increased by 52 percent.
Such a military buildup appears illogical. The US is the world’s strongest military power. It states its economy is the world’s most competitive, although it clearly faces current difficulties. Increased productive expenditure on R&D, innovation and infrastructure would therefore seem called for rather than higher military expenditure financed by large and destabilizing US budget deficits.
But instead of US government investment rising, it has fallen as a percentage of GDP since the beginning of the financial crisis in parallel with rising military spending. Similarly the UK government spent $450 million on military action in Libya at the same time as it made massive cuts at home.
Such economic steps are in line with ‘neo-con’ thinking. This school of thought, despite its protestations to the contrary, actually lacks confidence in US ability to compete in peaceful economic development. It notes that on World Bank data the US economy has fallen from 39 percent of global GDP in 1960 to 23 percent in 2010 and a parallel decline of large US companies – in the last seven years the share of revenue of US corporations in the Forbes Global 2000, the world’s largest companies, has fallen from 39 percent to 31 percent.
Rather than concluding resources should be diverted into boosting the US economy, the neo-cons argue that as the US is losing its once-dominant position in economic competition, questions should be transferred from the economy to the military field where the US is strongest. China is the main enemy in such thinking, as it is the country which has been most successful economically.
But these ideologues now consider they face internal as well as external enemies. Opinion polls show a majority of the US population believe the Iraq war was a mistake and want a withdrawal from Afghanistan. The logic of the Occupy Wall Street movement, by calling for increased spending on US job creation, supports reductions in military expenditure. For that reason Occupy Wall Street has come in for abuse by the same figures and institutions, such as Fox News and the Tea Party, that are most hostile to China.
A parallel logic operates in Europe. Sections of the media attempt to blame the continent’s debt crisis on ‘lazy Europeans.’ But in fact the crisis is worst in southern Europe which has longer working weeks and lower social protection than in north European countries such as Germany.
A lot of confusion exists in the US and Europe about China. Their populations know China is growing economically and is becoming an increasingly important factor in the world. But as this is a recent development they do not yet know what China wants. Overcoming this, making clear the ‘win-win’ outcomes that are possible, will take time.
Despite such confusion, and while these economic and political developments in the US and Europe center on domestic issues, they will affect China. ‘Neo-con’ policies would face China with a military buildup. But if movements seeking to redirect resources from military spending to job creation and social welfare are successful, this will benefit everyone.
The author is currently visiting professor at Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. From 2000 to 2008 he was London’s director for economic and business policy.
U.S. Beefs Up Asia-Pacific Military Bases
November 30, 2011
US beefs up Asia-Pacific army bases
By Ma Liyao
BEIJING: The US military presence in the Asia-Pacific region is currently experiencing major changes…
During his visit to Australia this month, US President Barack Obama announced a new security agreement to position more US military personnel and equipment there.
According to the agreement, about 250 US Marines will be stationed in the northern Australian port of Darwin, which is known as Australia’s gateway to Southeast Asia due to its close proximity to Indonesia, which is 820 kilometers away.
A full force of 2,500 military personnel will be stationed there over the next few years.
Compared with the US presence in Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK), Darwin is nearer the South China Sea.
Obama sidestepped questions about whether the move was aimed at containing China, but said the US would keep sending a clear message that China needs to accept the responsibilities that come with being a world power.
He added that the US was stepping up its commitment to the entire Asia-Pacific region.
However, ‘nothing says the United States supports Asia like sending a small marine regiment to Darwin in Australia’s northern territory. Australia is hardly threatened by another foreign invasion from the north – by China or any country’, said the Bangkok Post.
An article published on the Washington Post’s website said the US Navy is close to basing warships in Singapore, on the edge of the disputed waters of the South China Sea.
Negotiations on a deal are in their final stages to base some of the US Navy’s new littoral combat ships, designed to operate in shallow coastal waters and travel at a top speed of more than 40 knots, at the Changi Naval Base in Singapore, the article said.
And to the east of China, US forces in the ROK are relocating their headquarters and combat units to new military facilities in Pyeongtaek, a port city 70 km south of the capital Seoul, and around 340 km from the eastern Chinese city of Rongcheng.
The relocation, due to be completed in 2016, will make Pyeongtaek the main hub of the US military in the ROK, as well as the largest US overseas military base, taking up around 14.6 sq km and housing about 44,000 US troops.
At the same time, a plan was released a week ago to relocate around 8,000 US Marines, including fighting forces, from Okinawa, an island in southwestern Japan, to Guam.
Whether Washington is aiming to contain China or not, what can be sure is that it is accelerating the adjustment of its military deployment in order to ‘step up its commitment’ in the Asia-Pacific.
‘The strategy means the US has to ensure its Asian allies of its security commitments to them, and at the same time, gain more economic interests and maintain its leadership in the area,’ Xu said.
‘Now with the decline in its economic influence, it has to play up its military advantage either as a policy instrument or a bargaining chip,’ he added.
No official statements have ever linked these deployments directly to China, but this was an opinion held by some observers.
Japan’s Mainichi Daily News said the plan to relocate US forces on Okinawa aimed to spread out US Marines so they are not overly concentrated in one spot to become easy targets.
The Los Angeles Times said the US president was taking every opportunity during his Asian trips to tell countries neighboring China that Washington is their most reliable ‘counterweight’ to Beijing.
AP contributed to this story.
Chinese Defense Ministry Denounces U.S.-Australian Military Alliance
Xinhua News Agency
November 30 , 2011
Chinese spokesman rebukes US-Australian military alliance
BEIJING: A Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman on Wednesday criticized the United States’ decision to strengthen its military alliance with Australia.
During US President Barack Obama’s visit to Australia earlier this month, the two states agreed to increase joint military initiatives in order to enhance their alliance.
‘Any consolidation or expansion of a military alliance that was forged in history is of the Cold-War model,’ said Spokesman Geng Yansheng at a monthly press briefing.
Moves that run contrast to the current trend of peace and cooperation are not helpful in building mutual trust and cooperation among regional countries and will damage their common interests, he said.
Any other military theory aimed at provoking confrontation and safeguarding one’s security at the price of another’s is also backward-thinking, he said.
Kazakhstan: U.S. Military Partner On Chinese, Russian Borders
Trend News Agency
November 30, 2011
Kazakhstan, U.S. discuss defense cooperation
Astana: Kazakh Defense Minister Adilbek Dzhaksybekov and U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Asian and Pacific Security Affairs discussed future cooperation on Wednesday, the Kazakh Defense Minister reported.
‘Cooperation with the United States is one of the most important directions of our foreign policy,’ Dzhaksybekov said.
According to Dzhaksybekov, Kazakhstan and the U.S. have a highly dynamic and genuine partnership based on mutual interests in various areas, including defense.
Further cooperation between the countries will be developed within the framework of a bilateral military cooperation plan for the upcoming five-year period (2013-2017).
According to Dzhaksybekov, Kazakhstan is interested in joint defense ventures in its territory to resist the threats of today’s world.
‘The threats of today’s world require new methods to counter: the active introduction of digital technology in the Armed Forces, the creation of an appropriate level of protection of information and digital infrastructure,’ Dzhaksybekov said.
Edited by E. Kosolapova
After Exercise, U.S. Amphibious Assault Ship Visits Philippine Capital
Navy NewsStand/U.S. Navy
November 30, 2011
Essex Arrives in Manila for Port Visit
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eva-Marie Ramsaran, USS Essex Public Affairs
MANILA, Republic of the Philippines: Forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2) arrived in Manila, Republic of the Philippines Nov. 30 for a port visit.
The port visit will allow Essex Sailors and embarked Marines from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit the opportunity to enjoy some rest…
‘The Sailors and Marines aboard Essex have worked hard during PHIBLEX (Amphibious Landing Exercise) and the 31st MEU’s certification exercise earlier in the fall,’ said Capt. David Fluker, Essex commanding officer…
Essex departed its forward-deployed port of Sasebo, Japan Sept. 23 and has participated in a certification exercise with the 31st MEU and in PHIBLEX with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which ran from Oct. 20-30. PHIBLEX is a bilateral training exercise designed to improve interoperability, increase readiness and continue to build professional and personal relationships with the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Essex is part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, which reports to Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet, Rear Adm. J. Scott Jones, who is headquartered in Okinawa, Japan.
U.S., Cambodia Strengthen Military Ties With Joint Exercise
Azeri Press Agency
November 30, 2011
Cambodia, U.S. boost military ties with joint exercise
Baku: Cambodia’s military police and United States marines on Wednesday began a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise here, aimed at strengthening the two countries’ military ties, APA reports quoting Xinhua.
Speaking at the opening of the exercise, Jeff Daigle, Charg d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy to Cambodia, said some 23 U.S. marines from the III Marine Expeditionary Force have joined the exercise.
‘This partnership is a tribute to our combined commitment to strengthen the relationship between the U.S. Marines and the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, and provides another opportunity for the U.S. government to assist with enhancing the overall capacity of Cambodian Armed Forces,’ he added.
Brigadier General That Chantha, deputy chief of Cambodia’s Military Police’s planning department [said] ‘The exercise is also to create closer cooperation between Cambodian armed forces and their U.S. counterparts.’
The exercise will last until Dec. 9.
New Military Client, Base: U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer In East Timor
Navy NewsStand/U.S. Navy
November 30, 2011
USS Stethem Hosts Reception in Timor-Leste
By Lt. Nicole Schwegman, Amphibious Squadron 11 Public Affairs
DILI, Timor-Leste: The crew of guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem (DDG 63) hosted an informal reception for senior military and civil officials from the United States, Timor-Leste and other foreign nations Nov. 27.
Cmdr. Michael DeVore, commanding officer of Stethem, welcomed Brig. Gen. Filomeno da Paixao de Jesus, deputy chief of Defense Force, and Judith Fergin, U.S. ambassador to Timor-Leste as the honored guests.
During the evening, the ambassador spoke about the importance of the two nation’s strong military ties.
‘The United States and Timor-Leste enjoy an excellent military to military relationship,’ said Fergin. ‘We are proud that we enjoy a permanent partnership across the range of international interaction.’
The Essex Expeditionary Strike Group consists of forward-deployed amphibious assault ship, USS Essex (LHD 2) and Stethem, which report to Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Rear Adm. J. Scott Jones, who is headquartered in Okinawa, Japan.
First Trilateral U.S.-Japan-India Meeting On Asian Maritime Security
November 30, 2011
Japan to discuss sea safety with US, India
By Yu Qing
In order to discuss a number of issues, the foremost of which is securing Asia’s sea areas, Japan, the United States and India began preparations on Nov. 28 for the director-level meeting that is to be held in December in Washington.
It will be the first meeting of its kind among the three countries.
The three countries hope that they can hold the meeting periodically in turn and upgrade the exchange to the ministerial level in the future. Japan and the United States also hope to strengthen their economic cooperation with India.
Japan is set to establish a strategic partnership with India according to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which became effective in August 2011 and discuss Japanese Premier Yoshihiko Noda’s upcoming visit to India at the end of 2011. In 2012, the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force and Indian navy will hold their first joint military drill too.
Russia Condemns NATO Power Play In Kosovo
November 30, 2011
Moscow slams NATO power games in Kosovo
Russia is concerned with the exacerbation of the situation in northern Kosovo, where NATO forces are pursuing their power politics targeted against Serbs, Russian envoy to the UN Vitaly Churkin is convinced.
Violence could have been prevented, the diplomat said during a Security Council meeting devoted to the Kosovo settlement, if ‘KFOR focused on providing security of the region’s residents, as stipulated in their mandate, rather than on eliminating Serbian barricades, which are a response to Pristina’s attempts to take under control the administrative border with Serbia.’
The Russian diplomat also said that Moscow has supported the Serbian government’s appeal to the UN secretary-general to thoroughly investigate an incident on September 27, when KFOR resorted to force, leading to a number of civilian casualties.
Russia also insists on a full and objective probe into cases of human organ trafficking revealed by member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Dick Marty.
The process of the return to Kosovo of displaced people, most of whom are Serbs, is unsatisfactory, Vitaly Churkin went on to say. And one of the main reasons for this is that those people are not confident of their security. In addition, ‘incidents of looting and theft of Kosovo Serbs’ property remain unpunished.’
He also demanded that all necessary measures be taken for the defense of Orthodox shrines and believers.
‘The UN mission to Kosovo should play a most active role in Kosovo settlement,’ the Russian envoy to the UN stressed.
On November 29, at least two Kosovan Serbs and two NATO peacekeepers were injured in a fresh wave of violence near the town of Zubin Potok in the north of Kosovo. Serbs were protesting NATO’s attempts to remove a barricade made of buses and trucks that was blocking a main road in the region. NATO responded by firing rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannons at the demonstrators. Churkin called the incident ‘outrageous.’
Photograph: NATO In Kosovo: German, Austrian Troops And Tanks Versus Serbian Woman
Serbs are seen at the barricade at Jagnjenica with German and Austrian troops in the background (Beta)
Russia May Cancel Chicago NATO Meeting Over Interceptor Missiles
November 30, 2011
Russia may drop NATO summit over missile defense
Russia is uncertain as to whether or not it will take part in the NATO-Russia summit in Chicago in May next year due to a deadlock in missile defense talks.
Moscow’s consent for the gathering ‘should not be taken as predetermined,’ said Deputy Director of the Department for Security and Disarmament of the Russian Foreign Ministry Vladimir Leontyev, cites Itar-Tass. The diplomat stressed though that Russia is not closing the door on co-operation.
‘Our partners should view current problems fairly and responsibly,’ Leontyev said. ‘Otherwise, Russia will have to give adequate responses as the US missile defense system is being created in Europe.’
Earlier on Wednesday, Yury Gorlach, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department on European Cooperation, said that Moscow is waiting for ‘a clear political signal’ from the military bloc indicating that it is ready to continue the dialogue on the matter…
The Russia-NATO negotiations on the US planned missile defense system have been going on for months, but yielded few results so far, as the sides are standing firm in their positions. Russia said it would accept the invitation to participate in the project, but only as an equal partner and if Washington provides legally-binding guarantees that the proposed missiles would not threaten its national security. The US declined to do so.
On Tuesday, President Dmitry Medvedev ordered operational the newest Russian radar system that protects from missile attacks and covers all Europe and Atlantic. Medvedev said that it was a sign to Western partners that Russia was ready to adequately respond to possible threats to its strategic nukes that might appear with the launch of the European missile defense.
Global Security Newswire
November 30, 2011
Russia Could Cancel Summit With NATO Due to Antimissile Impasse
Russia could cancel a planned summit next spring in Chicago with NATO over continued differences with the Western military bloc’s plans for European missile defenses, Russia Today reported on Wednesday (see GSN, Nov. 29).
The Kremlin’s intention to attend the summit ‘should not be taken as predetermined,’ Russian Foreign Ministry security and disarmament Deputy Director Vladimir Leontyev said. He emphasized, however, that the government was not taking off the table possible cooperation with NATO on missile defense, ITAR-Tass reported.
Russia objects to a U.S. plan to over the course of the decade deploy increasingly advanced sea- and land-based missile interceptors around Europe as a declared shield against a feared ballistic missile strike from the Middle East. Moscow suspects the interceptors would secretly also be aimed at undermining its long-range nuclear weapons – a charge that Washington adamantly denies. NATO and Russia have failed in a year of talks to reach agreement on a cooperative missile shield for Europe.
‘Our partners should view current problems fairly and responsibly. Otherwise, Russia will have to give adequate responses as the U.S. missile defense system is being created in Europe,’ Leontyev said.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned recently that should differences on the missile shield persist his nation could withdraw from the New START nuclear arms control accord with the United States and deploy short-range Iskander missiles in the Kaliningrad region, which borders several NATO states.
Talks between NATO and Russia have run aground over differing views about what potential antimissile collaboration would involve. Moscow favors a unified approach while NATO would like to see two separate but connected missile shields.
Moscow is also frustrated by its inability thus far to obtain a binding guarantee that U.S. missile interceptors in Europe would not be aimed at Russia’s strategic forces.
Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin in January is scheduled to travel to China and Iran for discussions about U.S. plans to deploy missile shield elements in Poland, Romania and Turkey, the FARS News Agency reported.
‘We are planning to visit both Tehran and Beijing soon under the Russian president’s directive, to discuss the planned deployment of a global missile defense network,’ Rogozin said to Russian lawmakers (Fars News Agency, Nov. 29).
In New Cold War Climate, Russia And Cuba Strengthen Military Cooperation
November 30, 2011
Russia and Cuba to strengthen military cooperation
Moscow: Moscow is considering strengthening its military relations with Cuba ahead of parliamentary elections in Russia.
Against the backdrop of a renewed Cold War climate, Russia and Cuba are planning to sign a deal for the construction of a plant where ammunition for both AK-47 assault rifles and other Russian-made assault rifles will be produced. The plant will be located within the Ernesto Che Guevara military base in Cuba.
November 30, 2011
Russian arms in US backyard: Back in Cuba
Russia has launched a military partnership project with its Cold War ally Cuba, amid rising tensions over US plans to deploy an anti-missile system in Europe.
Russian contractors are to supply production equipment for manufacturing 6.52-mm rifle rounds, Kommersant daily reports. Cuban arms plant called Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara will also receive a license and technology for recycling used ammo.
The daily cites its sources as saying that Havana officials decided to purchase the equipment after visiting a similar production line in Venezuela. The insider did not reveal any details on the financial terms of the future deal, but said it was close to being sealed.
Russian arms producers further hope to win a contract for upgrading the whole ammunition plant in the future. It was built in late 1970s early 1980s with the help of Soviet specialists.
The United States are maintaining a decades-old trade blockade of Cuba. Russian companies, which would supply military equipment there, risk sanctions by the US.
Communist Cuba was a major ally of the Soviet Union during the Cold War era, with an estimated gross value of arms supplied to Havana reaching $16 billion. The USSR delivered tanks, Mig fighter jets, helicopters, rocket air defense systems, submarines, small arms, communication equipment among other things. The close military collaboration resulted in the most serious tension of the period, when Moscow deployed its missiles on the island in response to a similar move by the US in Turkey.
The collapse of the USSR and the economic perils new Russia faced weakened its trade and military ties with Cuba. In 2001 Russia shut down the radio reconnaissance base in Cuba, the last of its military facilities there.
However in the late 2000s Moscow and Havana began to re-establish relations on many levels. In September 2008 two Russian strategic bombers carrying top Air Forces brass visited Venezuela. The aviation generals also visited Cuba and later voiced possible plans for renting and upgrading an air base on the La Orchila Island, which would allow Russian military aircraft patrol the Caribbean.
Also in 2008, Russian Army generals visited Cuba to inspect its air defense forces. Possible upgrade of the old equipment and supply of spare parts was on the table. The moves were viewed by many observers as Russian response to the Bush administration plans to deploy an anti-ballistic missile system in Europe.
The news on the upcoming round production deal comes as Moscow and Washington are reaching new heights of tension over AMD system. The US refuses to provide guaranties that the system would not be used against Russia.
Russia’s latest move in the row was to open a new early warning radar in its western exclave, the Kaliningrad Region. President Medvedev has also threatened deployment of short-range ballistic missiles capable of destroying American ABM facilities, should it be required.
Vladimir Anokhin, the vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, does not believe that signing the military contract with Cuba is some kind of Russian geopolitical answer to US plans to deploy an anti-ballistic missile system in Europe.
‘This is a common business deal by Rosoboronexport,’ Anokhin said.
Anokhin however noted that Cuba has always been in Russia’s ‘area of interest’ and said that at this moment no one can hamper the improvement of Russia-Cuba military cooperation.
‘As a sovereign state we will not fall under any sanctions from the US,’ Anokhin said. ‘At this point the US is not in a position [to ban Russia trade with Cuba]. It will be more trouble for the US than it is worth.’
EU Foreign Ministers To Extend Sanctions Against Belarus, Iran, Syria
Russian Information Agency Novosti
November 30, 2011
EU foreign ministers to extend sanctions on Iran, Syria, Belarus – source
The foreign ministers of the 27 European Union member states are expected to approve the extension of sanctions against Iran, Syria and Belarus during their regular meeting in Brussels on Thursday, a source in the Council of the European Union said.
A total of 179 Iranian officials and institutions linked to the government are expected to be added to the European blacklist over Tehran’s controversial nuclear program, the source said.
The EU ministers are also expected to approve the tenth set of sanctions against Syria…The sanctions will affect a number of Syrian financial, banking and energy enterprises, as well as officials and institutions believed to be linked to the Assad regime.
The list of 245 Belarusian officials who have been banned from travelling to the EU and whose foreign assets have been frozen over their alleged involvement in the crackdown on the country’s opposition is also expected to be extended.
Germany To Provide Israel With Sixth Nuclear-Capable Submarine
December 1, 2011
Germany approves sale of sixth nuclear-capable submarine to Israel
Germany has approved the sale of a sixth Dolphin submarine to Israel and will pay for a third of its cost, government sources told dpa on Wednesday.
Israel already has three German-made Dolphin submarines, which are capable of carrying missiles with nuclear warheads. Berlin paid for two of the submarines and the cost of the third was shared between the two countries. Two more are being constructed.
The government sources said Germany had allocated up to 135 million euros (180 million dollars) in next year’s budget to pay for its share of the cost for the sixth submarine, the sale of which is part of a deal finalized in 2005.
The submarines are seen as a strategic asset for Israel in any future confrontation with Iran…Israel is believed to have the Middle East’s only nuclear arsenal, a claim it neither confirms nor denies.
Former Mossad Chief: Israeli Strike On Iran Will Cause Regional Tragedy
Azeri Press Agency
November 30, 2011
MOSSAD’s former chief: ‘Israel’s strike on Iran will lead to regional tragedy’
Baku: Former MOSSAD chief Meir Dagan warned on Iran, APA reports. Dagan said that Israel’s strike on Iran can lead to tragedy in the region.
According to him, if Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear establishments, Iran can answer Israel: ‘Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas will respond with massive rocket attacks on Israel, and it can cause many human losses’.
Dagan said Syria also can join this war, and it means that Israel will be isolated.
New NATO Division Hosts 200 Experts From Member, Partner States
November 30, 2011
NATO and Partner Countries discuss New Challenges to Global Security
About 200 experts from NATO and partner countries gathered in Brussels on 28 November 2011 for the first conference on ‘New Challenges to Global Security’ organised by NATO’s new Emerging Security Challenges Division.
‘Many of these challenges cannot be kept at bay by the mere threat of military retaliation; and many require a much stronger focus on prevention and on enhancing the resilience of our infrastructure’, said the head Emerging Security Challenges Division, Assistant Secretary General Gabor Iklódy, welcoming participants from NATO and partner countries and from academic institutions.
The conference was an opportunity for security matter experts to look closely at the new Division’s agenda, ranging from threats to cyber networks and international terrorism to securing energy supplies and preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. During the discussions, participants encouraged NATO’s Emerging Security Challenges Division to expand partnerships and enhance capabilities in dealing with modern threats. Assistant Secretary General Iklódy noted the importance of working together with partners…
The conference was sponsored by the Alliance’s ‘Science for Peace and Security’ Programme and Carnegie Europe.