23 December 2011 — Stop NATO
- Video And Text: U.S. Targeting Russian Nuclear Capability: Analyst
- U.S. Doubles Aid For Israeli Missile Shield
- Pakistani Army Rejects NATO’s Self-Exonerating Report
- Philippines Wants U.S. Fighter Jets, Ships Deployed Against China
- Azerbaijan: Oil For War
Video And Text: U.S. Targeting Russian Nuclear Capability: Analyst
December 21, 2011
‘US targeting Russian nuclear facilities’
An interview with Dmitry Babich from the Russia Profile Magazine
A prominent political activist says that the deployment of a US-led NATO missile system in Europe ‘is actually aimed at Russia’s nuclear capability’, and not intended for Iran’s ballistic missiles.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Dmitry Babich from the Russia Profile Magazine to further discuss the issue.
The following is a transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Calls against the US missile system in Europe are growing with CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) members now throwing their weight behind these condemnations. How do you see this recent opposition against the missile system?
Babich: There is nothing new about the Russian interest in the American anti-missile defense in Europe.
Now, other countries such as Armenia and Kazakhstan also condemned it. Belarus also has been overall against it. So there is not much news about the new move by the CSTO.
What is really important is that the CSTO countries agreed that they would not deploy foreign bases on their territory without an agreement with all other members of the CSTO. This increases stability in the region because now, for example, before Kazakhstan will want to deploy an American base in its territory it will have to get an agreement from Russia for that.
Press TV: The US call it a counter-missile system, Russia and other Eastern European countries call it a threat to global security, what’s your opinion on the motives behind this missile system?
Babich: Well, when you talk to Western specialists about it, they almost never mention Iran; although, theoretically, this missile system is supposed to control Iran’s possible missiles, possibly ballistic missiles.
Whenever they talk about it, they always start talking about Russia, and how Russia needs to be contained, and how any concessions to Russian missile defense are bad for European security. So, it’s a secret that everyone knows, that the anti-missile defense is actually aimed at Russia’s nuclear capability…So, Russia is concerned about it because Russia’s nuclear capabilities is one of the few things that makes Russia interesting for the world community.
U.S. Doubles Aid For Israeli Missile Shield
December 3, 2011
U.S. Doubles Aid to Israel’s Defense Systems
House and Senate Appropriations Committees approve $237 million in aid in 2012 to Israel’s anti-missile systems.
By Elad Benari
The United States will double the special aid it gives Israel for the development and implementation of anti-missile systems, the Globes financial newspaper reported on Thursday.
According to the report, the House and Senate’s Committees on Appropriations approved the aid following a request by the U.S. Administration to approve aid totaling $106.1 million for the Arrow 3 anti-ballistic long-range air defense system, for the program to improve the basic capabilities of the Arrow systems, and for the David’s Sling mid-range anti-missile system.
Both Appropriations Committees went far beyond the request, the report noted, and raised the amount of aid from $129 million to $235.7 million in 2012, Globes noted. The report is based on information first published on the Inside Defense website.
The assistance to all three programs is based on an assumption that Israel would allocate identical amounts in its budget to all three programs, Globes noted. The report added that Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, and Aviv Ezra, Counselor for Congressional Affairs at the Embassy of Israel in Washington D.C., played an important role in talks with lawmakers in the months prior to the decision.
Steve Rothman, the U.S. Representative for New Jersey’s 9th congressional district and a member of the United States House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, said that the Israel’s anti-missile programs advance U.S. interests in the Middle East.
Earlier this week, the Commander of the Third Air Force of the U.S Military, Lt. Gen. Frank Gorenc, arrived in Israel to prepare for a joint training exercise between the Israel Air Force and the U.S. Army.
The ‘Austere Challenge’ (AC) exercise will take place next year and Lt. Gen. Gorenc’s visit will strengthen the ties and coordination between the forces, wrote the IAF website.
Pakistani Army Rejects NATO’s Self-Exonerating Report
December 23, 2011
ISPR rejects Nato probe
RAWALPINDI: The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Thursday said it did not agree with the inquiry report by the US Army and Nato into the Mohmand Agency strike, which killed 28 Pakistani soldiers.
According to Geo News, the ISPR said the inquiry report, which came to the fore through the media, was deficient of facts. It said a proper reply about the same would be given after issuance of the detailed report.
Xinhua News Agency
December 23, 2011
Pakistani army rejects NATO strike inquiry report
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani army has rejected an investigation report into last month’s NATO strike on two of its border posts, which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and injured 13 others, reported local Urdu TV channel Geo on Friday.
The report quoted an early Friday morning army statement as saying that the investigation report ‘is short on facts’ and ‘has holes in it, which need to be filled in’.
‘A detailed response will be given when the formal report is received,’ said a brief statement from Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), a mouthpiece of Pakistani army.
NATO spokesman Colonel Gregory Julian said in Brussels, ‘The investigation has ascertained that a series of mistakes were made on both sides in failing to properly coordinate their locations and actions, both before the operation and during the resulting engagement.’
Local watchers said that rejection of the U.S. inquiry report in a quick and short statement shows that the findings have not fully addressed to Pakistan’s demands.
NATO and the United States did not tender an apology in the findings and repeated the previous stand of expressing regrets by the NATO and the United States when they released the report on Thursday.
Pakistani army and civilian leaders have already rejected regrets and called for action against those responsible for the attack, which caused a dent in ties between the United States and Pakistan.
Philippines Wants U.S. Fighter Jets, Ships Deployed Against China
December 21, 2011
PHL to ask US to deploy fighter jets, ships for Spratlys
-[T]he US is also planning to station Marines in Australia and Singapore amid increasing tensions in the disputed Spratly Islands.
The Philippines will ask for the assistance of the United States to deploy a squadron of fighter jets and two more military ships amid increasing tensions with China in the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said he will meet with US Secretary of States Hillary Clinton and high officials of Pentagon in his visit to Washington, D.C., early next year to discuss the need to increase the Philippines’s military presence in the area.
The request for US military assistance was first discussed during the visit of Clinton in the Philippines in November.
‘We’re trying to get assistance from several countries [to strengthen military capability] and the US has expressed willingness to assist us as we work on a minimum, credible defense posture [in the disputed islands in West Philippine Sea],’ said del Rosario in a press luncheon briefing on Wednesday at a hotel in Pasay City.
He said the Philippines will request two more Hamilton class cutters with the first one delivered mid this year and a squadron or 12 units of fighter jets to be deployed on the disputed islands that are believed to be rich in natural gas and marine resources.
Moves to strengthen the country’s military capability came amid Chinese deployment of more navy ships in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. ‘We need to stand up and defend our territorial claims on what we think is ours,’ said del Rosario.
He also believes that the US foreign policy is to re-engage Asia to a greater extent as it believes that the region has taken the role as key driver of economic growth.
He said the US is also planning to station Marines in Australia and Singapore amid increasing tensions in the disputed Spratly Islands.
Four Asean members — Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia — are claimants to parts of Spratly Islands, along with Taipei. China is claiming the entire Spratlys.
Other Asean members include Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, Burma/Myanmar and Thailand.
Azerbaijan: Oil For War
Daily Times (Pakistan)
December 23, 2011
Ilham Aliyev: Our aim is to convert black gold to human gold
By Dure Najaf Zaidi
In 1995 Azerbaijan signed a ‘Contract of Century’ for exploration of hydrocarbon offshore reserves in the Caspian Sea. Aliyev, as vice president of State Oil Company was a key figure during the negotiations between the Azerbaijani Government and Western oil companies.
The natural resources are being transported through a diversified network. In mid-2006 the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export pipeline was inaugurated. Construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline was completed soon afterwards. These pipelines deliver Azerbaijan’s own oil and gas to world [European] markets as well as allowing the carrying of hydrocarbon resources of neighbouring [fellow Caspian Sea littoral] countries through Azerbaijan, bringing the country transit revenues.
The Baku-Tbilisi-Gars railway corridor, which intends to link Azerbaijan and Turkey via Georgia, is under construction and will facilitate transportation of goods and passengers from Central Asia and Azerbaijan onwards to Europe. This project will ultimately make the country a transport hub of the region. All these projects are not only giving substantial economic dividends to Azerbaijan but also increasing the political weight of the country.
Azerbaijan’s armed forces are the best equipped and largest in Transcaucasia, with its military budget exceeding now the entire budget of the country-aggressor [Armenia].