Stop NATO news: January 4, 2012: On The Brink Of A Global Conflict

4 January 2012 — Stop NATO news: January 4, 2012

  • On The Brink Of A Global Conflict
  • Afghanistan: NATO Deaths In Twelve Calendar Years
  • U.S. Air Forces Africa Commander Visits Ugandan Air Force
  • Powder Keg: South Caucasus Nations Purchase Small Arms
  • Brzezinski: U.S. Decline Can Affect Global Clients, Empire

On The Brink Of A Global Conflict

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012/01/04/63385325.html

Voice of Russia
January 4, 2012

On the brink of a global conflict
Anastasiya Pershkina

Tensions are growing around the Persian Gulf. In spite of Iran’s warning, the US has declared that it will continue to strengthen its aircraft-carrying division in the region. Experts say that the parties have exchanged threats and turned out very near the beginning of real hostilities.

Iran’s military exercises Velayat-90 in the Ormuz Strait area ended today. 40% of oil exports by sea to Europe and the US go through the Ormuz Strait. The Iranian military threatened to block the strait and the US gave an immediate response by sending a striking force of ships headed by The John C. Stennis aircraft-carrier to the exercise area. In his turn, Iran’s army chief Ataolla Salehi threatened the US with trouble if the division continues growing, and declared that his country is ready to repel any aggression and  has everything necessary for this at its disposal. The US replied that it will not interrupt the operation aimed at providing security and stability in the region. So far, these activities look like muscle-flexing because actually neither party wants a war, says Boris Dolgov, an expert in Oriental studies.

‘Iran does not want a war with the US because it is not strong enough to confront the US in a military conflict. The US has powerful allies, Israel among them. As for the US, the  leadership of that country has a pro-Israeli lobby on the one hand, and on the other hand, a lobby representing  the interests of people who do not want to unleash this conflict. In this situation everything depends on the practical steps of the political leadership. So far, it has not been decided to start hostilities yet.’

Announcer: US authorities are convinced that the reason for Iran’s threats and demonstration of force is tough international sanctions. The press-service of the US Department of State declares that the Iranian leadership provokes international conflicts so as to distract its citizens from the internal economic problems. This is a brave version because so far Iran managed to resist the sanctions, but it is trying to prevent their toughening, Boris Dolgov believes.

‘If the West imposes an embargo on Iranian oil exports, it will hurt the Iranian economy. While oil exports continue, Iran has enough foreign currency and can withstand the sanctions.’

Announcer: This situation is dangerous because even the smallest military campaign in the Persian Gulf could grow to a global conflict within days. Such a conflict could involve all the countries of the region, but it would not be a war of everyone against Iran. Iran also has allies, Lydia Kulagina from the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences says.

‘The countries of that region are certainly against any hostilities, because any military operations would bring a response from Iran, and neighbouring countries would be affected.  This war would definitely spread all over the region. Most Persian Gulf countries have a negative attitude to Iran because of the Shiite problem and Iran’s nuclear policy. However, several other countries, Turkey and Lebanon among them, will not fight against Iran if a war breaks out. They will support and assist Iran.’

Syria is Iran’s main ally. The West is not pleased with the political regimes in both these countries. The secret aim of all US activities in the Middle East is the overthrow of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Bashar al-Assad. However, the US has not yet managed to stage a Libya-like scenario in either country.  The reason is that the UN and large countries like Russia and China oppose any military steps against Iran and Syria. For example, China has already condemned the bill about new economic sanctions against Iran signed by Barack Obama. Russia continues to insist on finding a diplomatic solution to both problems.

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Afghanistan: NATO Deaths In Twelve Calendar Years

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/afghanistan/1976145.html

Trend News Agency
January 3, 2012

NATO service member killed in S. Afghanistan

A NATO service member was killed in a blast in Afghanistan’s restive southern region on Monday, the military alliance confirmed on Tuesday morning, Xinhua reported.

‘An International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service member died following an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in southern Afghanistan, yesterday,’ the NATO-led ISAF said in a press release.

However, the brief release did not reveal the nationality of the victim, only saying ‘it is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.’

Forty nine countries are contributing 130,000-strong forces in Afghanistan with over 90,000 of them American mainly stationed in the east and south, followed by 9,500 from UK mainly based in southern Afghanistan.

This is the first casualty of NATO-led troops, reported by the military alliance in 2012.

A total of 566 NATO soldiers, most of them Americans, have been killed in Afghanistan in 2011.

====

U.S. Air Forces Africa Commander Visits Ugandan Air Force

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123284938

U.S. Air Forces in Europe
January 3, 2011

Air Forces Africa Commander visits Ugandan Air Force
By Master Sgt. Jim Fisher
17th Air Force Public Affairs

ENTEBE AIR BASE, Uganda: U.S. Air Forces Africa Commander Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward led a senior leader engagement to this east African nation Dec. 12-14, emphasizing the importance of supporting a ‘regional leader and valued partner.’

‘Uganda is one of our key partners in Africa…,’ the General said.

In addition to supporting African Union peacekeeping efforts in Somalia, and contributions to similar initiatives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and Burundi, the Ugandan People’s Defence Force has continued its pursuit of the brutal group the Lord’s Resistance Army, the General explained.

President Obama announced on October 14, 2011 that a small number of U.S. military personnel would be deployed to help advise the security forces of Uganda, the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan in their joint efforts against the LRA.

Coordinating and directing that support is the purpose of the engagement, according to U.S. Army Maj. Brad Nicholson, the chief of the office of security cooperation at the U.S. Embassy in Kampala. He said that the UPDF and the Ugandan Air Force are interested in continuing the sharing of expertise on logistics, especially as they relate to expeditionary air operations.

General Woodward outlined several areas where the two Air Forces would work together to build on the UPDAF’s capacity to conduct forward operations. The UPDAF has also asked for assistance in developing a squadron officer’s school for officer professional development. While the UPDAF continues to send s students to professional military education courses in the U.S. via the International Military Education and Training program, development of a local school is the long-term goal, the General explained.

‘Air is a key component of expeditionary capability so this is an area where we can make an impact. We are also excited about helping them to develop their officer corps and setting up a squadron officer school, which could be a boon not only to Ugandan officer professional development, but for other countries in the region and our U.S. airmen as well,’ she said.

The visit was welcomed by the UPDAF, according to Major Nicholson, and signified the importance of the partnership.

‘With her limited time and 53 countries in Africa, for the General to spend two days with the UPDAF says a lot about the level of the U.S.-Uganda relationship and the relationship between air forces, and this is not lost on our partners here,’ the major said.

UPDAF Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. Samuel Turyagyenda said the timeliness of the visit is also significant, with his country engaged in forward operations.

‘This visit is very, very important to us – to the UPDAF and the whole armed forces because it comes ata time when we are carrying out operations in Somalia and the Central African Republic,’ General Turyagyenda said. ‘We have received a lot of help from the American military and the visit comes at a time when we are consolidating our relationship. If cooperation continues as it has in the past, I am sure all of our missions will be achieved.’

The Air Forces Africa commander and her team left Kampala with an update on the Ugandans’ shared interests and capacity building objectives, before moving on to Rwanda for a one-day engagement with the Rwandan Defence Force.

====

Powder Keg: South Caucasus Nations Purchase Small Arms

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=162944

Azeri Press Agency
January 4, 2012

South Caucasian republics purchased 107,324 small arms in 2005-2010 –
Rashad Suleymanov

Baku: The South Caucasian republics purchased 107,324 small arms from various countries of the world in 2005-2010.

APA reports quoting the UN Register of Conventional Arms that Georgia takes the first place among the South Caucasian republics on purchase of small arms during this period.

Georgia bought 76,377 small arms from 7 countries. The submachine guns, short rifles, pistols, automatic rifles, pistol-machineguns, heavy machineguns, grenade launchers as well as the short rifles used in the early 20th century, are among them. Ukraine and Bulgaria took the main place among the countries which sold arms to Georgia. US, Croatia, Czech Republic, Romania and Turkey also sold arms to Georgia. Georgia bought 20 12,7mm caliber ‘Barret’ sniper rifles, 5,000 M4A3 guns from the USA and MP-5 pistol-machine guns from Turkey.

Armenia takes the 2nd place among the South Caucasian republics. Armenia bought 20,967 various small arms, most of all from Ukraine and Russia. Armenia also bought 250 12,7mm ‘Black Arrow’ submachine guns from Serbia, 480 AK-105 submachine guns, 52 new SV-98 sniper rifles from Russia.

Azerbaijan takes the 3rd place with 8,862 arms which it bought most of all from Ukraine and Turkey. Azerbaijan most of all bought automatic rifles, pistol-machine guns, machine guns and pistols.

Ukraine takes the first place among the countries which sold weapons to the South Caucasian republics. Thus, this country sold 85,288 arms (79.4%) to the South Caucasian republics. Bulgaria takes the 2nd place with 12357 arms (11.5%), then US with 5020 arms (4.6%), Russia with 1,276 arms (1.1%) and Turkey with 1,160 arms (1%). The other arms fall into share of Romania, Serbia, Austria, Czech republic, Croatia and Slovakia.

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Brzezinski: U.S. Decline Can Affect Global Clients, Empire

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=162939

Azeri Press Agency
January 4, 2012

Zbigniew Brzezinski: America’s decline will affect South Caucasus
Habil Suleymanzadeh

Baku: The decline of America’s global preeminence will affect the Caucasus as well, said former national security adviser to US president Zbigniew Brzezinski, APA reports.

According to an article published by Foreign Policy, China, Russia and other regional powers would try to benefit from the decline of America’s financial and political influence. ‘With the decline of America’s global preeminence, weaker countries will be more susceptible to the assertive influence of major regional powers. India and China are rising, ***Russia is increasingly imperially minded***, and the Middle East is growing ever more unstable. The potential for regional conflict in the absence of an internationally active America is real. Get ready for a global reality characterized by the survival of the strongest’.

Brzezinski named eight weaker countries that will suffer from American decline and Georgia is the first among those countries. ‘American decline would leave this tiny Caucasian state vulnerable to Russian political intimidation and military aggression. The United States has provided Georgia with $3 billion in aid since 1991 – $1 billion of that since its 2008 war with Russia. America’s decline would put new limitations on U.S. capabilities, and could by itself stir Russian desires to reclaim its old sphere of influence’.

‘Russian domination of the southern energy corridor to Europe [could] possibly leading to more pressure on Europe to accommodate Moscow’s political agenda; a domino effect on Azerbaijan’, said Brzezinski.     

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