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Posts Tagged ‘Nato’

Exclusive: NATO Chief Says “Our Concern Is that Russia Won’t Stop”

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 20, 2014

NATO’s top official acknowledged in an interview that Russia’s annexation of Crimea had “established certain facts on the ground” that would be difficult to change and said the military alliance was increasingly concerned that Moscow might also invade eastern Ukraine.

In the interview, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Foreign Policy that Russia’s sudden conquest of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula was a “wake-up call” for the 28-member alliance, which had been established to counter potential Soviet aggression during the Cold War. Rasmussen said NATO was committed to protecting Poland and other Baltic members of the alliance from what he described as an increasingly aggressive and land-hungry Russian government. Read the rest of this entry »

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​US in tenuous sabre rattling over Ukraine

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 7, 2014

Reuters/Tony Gentile

Reuters/Tony Gentile

Under the pretext of “deterring Russian aggression” in Ukraine, the US Defense Department has announced plans to add several fighter jets to US aircraft squadrons based near Russian borders, in a move to embolden the Baltic states and Poland.

Following NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announcement that alliance officials would put “the entire range of NATO-Russia cooperation under review,” Pentagon head, Chuck Hagel, outlined plans on Wednesday to broaden military cooperation with Poland and the Baltic states, without elaborating on the details.

An unnamed source told Reuters that the Pentagon plans to send six additional F-15 fighter jets, and a Boeing KC-135 refueling Stratotanker, to beef up the squadron of four F-15 currently flying air patrols over the Baltic states. NATO has been carrying out patrols in the Baltic states for the last 10 years. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria urges UN to prevent ‘US-led foreign aggression’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 2, 2013

UN Headquaters in New York (AFP Photo / Mehdi Taamallah)

UN Headquaters in New York (AFP Photo / Mehdi Taamallah)

The UN is under growing pressure from Syria to do its job and prevent an American “war of aggression,” and the Arab League demanding punishment for “war criminals” in the Syrian government.

  The two identical letters delivered to the UN Secretary General  Ban Ki-moon and President of the UN Security Council, Maria  Cristina Perceval call on the international body to maintain its  role of protector of international legitimacy and prevent US-led  aggression against Damascus, Syria’s permanent representative to  the UN Bashar al-Jaafari told Sana.

The Syrian government continues to deny any use of chemical  weapons on the civilian population, with Jaafari reminding of  Syria’s cooperation with the UN on this issue, which was often  downplayed and twisted in the western media.
“The Syrian government is the first side who asked the UN  Secretary General to form an objective investigation team to  investigate the use of chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal in  Aleppo,” Bashar al-Jaafari said, adding that they warned,   “more than a year ago, against the serious risks of the  possibility of using chemical materials by the armed terrorist  groups in Syria.”      Despite the Syrian government’s swift permission for the UN  investigation team to probe the site of the alleged attack on  August 21, some “foreign countries” launched an anti-Assad  campaign accusing government forces of slaughtering their own  people, Jaafari said.
“Syria has informed, in official letters, the UN Secretary  General and the UNSC about the activities of these groups, which  coincided with a political, diplomatic and media campaign led by  some countries which are directly responsible for shedding the  blood in Syria and preventing the peaceful solution in order to  accuse the Syrian government of using chemical weapon,” he  added.

A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on August 24, 2013 shows bags and containers of what the Syrian government claims to be materials used to make chemical weapons discovered in Jobar on the outskirts of the capital Damascus (AFP Photo / HO / SANA)A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on August 24, 2013 shows bags and containers of what the Syrian government claims to be materials used to make chemical weapons discovered in Jobar on the outskirts of the capital Damascus (AFP Photo / HO / SANA) Read the rest of this entry »

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Should NATO Be Handling World Security?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 22, 2012

By Lawrence Wittner, Professor of History emeritus, SUNY Albany

 The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (better known as NATO) is in the news once again thanks to a NATO Summit meeting in Chicago over the weekend of May 19-20 and to large public demonstrations in Chicago against this military pact.

NATO’s website defines the alliance’s mission as “Peace and Security,” and shows two children lying in the grass, accompanied by a bird, a flower and the happy twittering of birds. There is no mention of the fact that NATO is the world’s most powerful military pact, or that NATO nations account for 70 percent of the world’s annual $1.74 trillion in military spending.

The organizers of the demonstrations, put together by peace and social justice groups, assailed NATO for bogging the world down in endless war and for diverting vast resources to militarism.According to a spokesperson for one of the protest groups, Peace Action: “It’s time to retire NATO and form a new alliance to address unemployment, hunger, and climate change.”

NATO was launched in April 1949, at a time when Western leaders feared that the Soviet Union, if left unchecked, would invade Western Europe. The U.S. government played a key role in organizing the alliance, which brought in not only West European nations, but the United States and Canada. Dominated by the United States, NATO had a purely defensive mission — to safeguard its members from military attack, presumably by the Soviet Union.

That attack never occurred, either because it was deterred by NATO’s existence or because the Soviet government had no intention of attacking in the first place. We shall probably never know.

In any case, with the end of the Cold War and the disappearance of the Soviet Union, it seemed that NATO had outlived its usefulness.

But vast military establishments, like other bureaucracies, rarely just fade away. If the original mission no longer exists, new missions can be found. And so NATO’s military might was subsequently employed to bomb Yugoslavia, to conduct counter-insurgency warfare in Afghanistan, and to bomb Libya. Meanwhile, NATO expanded its membership and military facilities to East European nations right along Russia’s border, thus creating renewed tension with that major military power and providing it with an incentive to organize a countervailing military pact, perhaps with China.

None of this seems likely to end soon. In the days preceding the Chicago meeting, NATO’s new, sweeping role was highlighted by Oana Lungescu, a NATO spokesperson, who announced that the Summit would “discuss the Alliance’s overall posture in deterring and defending against the full range of threats in the 21st century, and take stock of NATO’s mix of conventional, nuclear, and missile defense forces.” Read the rest of this entry »

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NATO protesters clash with Chicago police

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 22, 2012

Photo by twitter user @NastiaChurkina

Photo by twitter user @NastiaChurkina

Protesters have clashed with police as thousands of activists took part in an anti-NATO demonstration in Chicago, where the military bloc’s summit kicked off on Sunday. At least 60 people have been arrested.

The clashes occurred as the demonstrators were trying to push their way through a police line to the site of the meeting. Protesters threw plastic bottles and paint balloons at police which used batons against them. At least 12 people were injured. Prior to the incident, the march was largely peaceful.

Police estimated the crowd on Sunday at 2,500 to 3,000, though it appeared that much more turned out in the streets of the city to voice their opposition to NATO’s costly and deadly wars.

Iraq and Afghanistan veterans also took part in the march throwing their medals towards the convention center where the delegates are meeting. They said the medals they were given do not represent the wars they were fighting.

Many of the demonstrators who joined the march on Saturday are OWS activists who are outraged with income inequality in the US. Read the rest of this entry »

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From G8 to NATO: ‘Russia and China may be on the same side’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 20, 2012

With Putin opting not to attend the ongoing G8 summit at Camp David and Obama passing on an upcoming APEC summit in Vladivostok, much has been made of the bilateral snub. But Russian expert Martin McCauley told RT critics have missed the plot.

As President Obama greeted leaders of seven other major world economies for a working dinner at the start of the G8 summit Friday night, President Putin was not among them. The Russian president said domestic affairs and cabinet appointments had led him to send Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in his place.

With  the summit concluding on Saturday, Obama will immediately return to his hometown of Chicago for a NATO summit this Sunday.

Obama likewise announced he would miss the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting this September, since it closely tails the Democratic National Convention; a peak time in his reelection bid.

However, with both leaders set to meet on the sidelines of a G20 summit set to be held in Mexico next month, Martin McCauley, Russia expert from the University of London, told RT critics were too quick to dismiss the leaders’ domestic concerns.

He also said one key player was conspicuously absent at both the G8 and NATO summit, making the G20 a much more fitting format for both Moscow and Washington to hammer out their mutual concerns:  China.

RT: Do you think Putin’s refusal to attend would have been a shock to the US? Read the rest of this entry »

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G-8 or G-Zero? Why the West No Longer Sets the Global Agenda

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 20, 2012

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

G8 foreign ministers (L-R), Koichiro Gemba of Japan, Guido Westerwelle of Germany, Sergei Lavrov of Russia, British Foreign Secretary William Hague, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Alain Juppe of France, John Baird of Canada, Giulio Terzi Di Sant’Agata of Italy, and Catherine Ashton of the European Union, pose for a group photo on April 11, 2012 in Washington, DC. Secretary Clinton hosted this year’s G8 Foreign Ministers conference at the Blair House

The spectacle of some of the most powerful leaders in the world gathering at Camp David on Friday for the G-8 summit and then for this weekend’s NATO anniversary in Chicago won’t disguise the fact that things seem to be gradually falling apart. These once mighty symbols of international leadership appear almost paralyzed before the tides of economic, financial and political change. The opening of William Butler Yeats’ 1921 poem that found the best devoid of conviction and the worst filled with passionate intensity reads as if crafted as an elegant introduction to an analysis of the global political moment.

(MORE: The G8 Summit at Camp David: This Time, It’s Important)

The G-8 convenes as the euro zone is threatening to unravel, most immediately in the showdown over Germany’s insistence that Greece either swallow the toxic austerity medicine that could kill its economy or see itself banished from the euro zone, potentially triggering global financial losses on the order of $1 trillion. But the forum is unlikely to settle the fate of Greece, much less the underlying tension over policies of austerity to cut spending debt and stimulus policies to revive growth.

When the G-7 was founded in the 1980s its goal was to gather the leaders of the world’s most successful, dynamic economies to plot pathways to further prosperity. Russia was later added to its guest list as a reward for casting off communism rather than as a vote of confidence in its economy. But today, confidence in the group is low. Few seem to believe that the leaders of the U.S., Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada are equipped to tackle the problems facing the world economy. (They effectively admitted their limitations in 2008 when a far wider forum, the Group of 20 — which included the major emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil, Turkey and others — to tackle the global financial meltdown.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Red Cross prepares Chicago for mass exodus during NATO Summit?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 30, 2012

A view of the Chicago skyline (Reuters / John Gress)

A view of the Chicago skyline (Reuters / John Gress)

Chicago, Illinois is expected to swell with armed security forces during next month’s NATO Summit, but will that be enough to keep the Windy City under control? Officials are now readying a massive exit strategy to vacate the entire metropolis.

A memo has been sent out of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Red Cross office that confirms that officials are already taking measures to handle an emergency of epic proportions during the upcoming NATO Summit, scheduled for the week of May 20 in the city of Chicago, 70 miles to the south. In addition to armed security forces expected to begin patrolling Chicago as early as this week, authorities are now making plans to usher residents up to Milwaukee in case the planned NATO protests cause an emergency that warrants an immediate evacuation of the city.

“The American Red Cross in southeastern Wisconsin has been asked to place a number of shelters on standby in the event of evacuation of Chicago,” reads a recent email sent out to Milwaukee-area volunteers of the emergency assistance organization. Chicago’s WLS News reports that the email states that the reason for stand-by is that the NATO Summit “may create unrest or another national security incident.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Engdahl: CIA plays ugly role, trains Syrian rebels

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 14, 2012


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A Protest of NATO From NATO Countries

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 6, 2012

By Tom Hayden, Former State Senator and leader of sixties peace, justice and environmental movement

Comment: Leaders are playing with people, however; people is the most powerful force to drive leaders:

Peace movements in every country are raising their voices against the war in Afghanistan in advance of the May 18-20 NATO summit in Chicago. Some will converge on Chicago, while others will march in NATO capitols. Around two-thirds of the public in NATO countries now opposes the war, and most of their governments are anxious to withdraw if a face-saving path can be found.

The Obama administration and its allies are scrambling to showcase an announcement of progress before the Chicago summit gathering, whichthousands of journalists are planning to cover. The administration already has relocated the G-8 summit on the world fiscal crisis, originally planned at the same time, to the secure seclusion of Camp David.

To support a peace petition by citizens of NATO countries, please sign here.

The administration faces a growing reality of quagmire, possibly even deeper chaos, in Afghanistan. Sixty-nine percent of Americans say the U.S. “should not be involved”, a jump of 16 percent from last year. The percentages tend to be even higher in NATO countries. A March 7 New York Times headline, “Intractable Afghan Graft Hampering U.S. Strategy”, summarizes the terminal ineptitude of the Karzai regime. According to NATO data, only one of the Afghan army’s 158 battalions is able to fight on their own, up from zero last year. (New York Times, March 16, 2012) Meanwhile those same Afghan soldiers and police are “killing their colleagues among the international military force here at an alarming rate”, according to another New York Timesreport. (March 28, 2012) One result of the deepening quagmire has been a collapse of U.S. military morale and discipline, as seen in widely-publicized cases of American soldiers burning Qurans, urinating on dead bodies, and a shooting spree against innocent Afghan villagers. The suicide ratein the American armed forces is at a historic high. Read the rest of this entry »

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Too many powers wanted Gaddafi dead – NTC head

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 26, 2012

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was wanted dead so his secrets would die with him. So insists Mahmoud Jibril, the man who led the NTC uprising to overthrow Colonel Gaddafi’s regime, in an exclusive interview with RT.

“Too many parties who have real interests that Gaddafi doesn’t talk, that he should be silenced forever,” Mahmoud Jibril told RT, specifying he does not know who exactly killed the Colonel – a foreign entity or Libyans.

“I would love to know who was behind [Colonel Gaddafi’s] killing,” he said.

Jibril told RT the former ruler of Libya Colonel Muammar Gaddafi sent too many contradictory messages, trying to buy time and pretending to have a readiness to share power.

Mahmoud Jibril said he regretted Colonel Gaddafi was not taken alive to face trial, but certain powers that may have wanted him to keep silence due to the secrets he knew. Read the rest of this entry »

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Digital arms merchants make millions on keeping computers hackable

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 25, 2012

Image from

Image from

Why would someone keep a way to make the world a safer place secret? Because keeping it unsafe is profitable. The logic works for gun-runners just as well as for hackers reportedly earning six-digit figures from governmental agencies.

French firm Vupen Securities has a bad name in the information security industry over its taunting producers of the software they hack. Last May it clashed with Google, after demonstrating a way to take over the giant’s web browser Chrome.

The confrontation was taken to a new level at the Pwn2Own competition in early March. Vupen used two zero-day vulnerabilities in Chrome, for the first time hacking it during a public event.

In a zero-day attack, the hacker uses a glitch in software that is not known to the producer and thus cannot be closed by a patch. Just as before, the team refused to unveil their secrets, which means every computer running Chrome can be hacked in the same way. Read the rest of this entry »

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Must-Reads from Around the World: March 20, 2012

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 20, 2012

Syrian President Bashar Assad speaking during a Ramadan Iftar banquet in honor of Muslim clergymen, in Damascus, Syria, 24 August 2011. (Photo: SANA / EPA)


More Syria Leaks – Al Jazeera reveals details from confidential Syrian intelligence and security documents handed over by one of the government’s most trusted officials who recently fled to Turkey. The trove shows President Bashar Assad’s strategy to suppress anti-government protests, including orders to stop protesters from getting into Damascus and detailed security plans for crushing protests in the cities of Aleppo and Idlib, as well as warnings about countries trying to influence Syrian diplomats to defect and indications the government spied on last year’s Arab League monitoring mission in Syria. Read the rest of this entry »

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Afghanistan Shootings: Calls For Public Trial Of US Soldier Accused Over Civilian Deaths (Pictures)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 12, 2012

The term “terrorist” is not like 2+2=4. This depends upon time, situation and condition. The same person and incident could be terrorist for particular group/s and patriotic for another:

Afghan politicians are demanding that the US soldier allegedly involved in the killings of 16 civilians faces a public trial.

The call came in a statement from the lower house of the Afghanistan Parliament as the Taliban promised revenge for theattack that left nine children, three women and four men dead. At least five more were injured.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Afghan parliament said: “We seriously demand and expect that the government of the United States punish the culprits and try them in a public trial before the people of Afghanistan”, Sky News reported.

Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai described the attacks as “impossible to forgive”, saying in a statement:

“When Afghan people are killed deliberately by US forces this action is murder and terror and an unforgivable action.”

The Taliban’s promise of reprisals came in a statement on their website, accusing “sick-minded US savages” of the attack and vowing to “take revenge from the invaders and the savage murderers for every single martyr.

“A large number from amongst the victims are innocent children, women and the elderly, martyred by the American barbarians who mercilessly robbed them of their precious lives and drenched their hands with their innocent blood,” the statement continued. Read the rest of this entry »

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TIME Exclusive: Q&A with Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 5, 2012

Ahmad Jamshid / AP

Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar speaks during a joint press conference with her Afghan counterpart Zalmai Rasool, unseen, at the foreign ministry in Kabul, Afghanistan, Feb. 1, 2012.

Since she was appointed as Pakistan’s Foreign Minister in July of 2011, Hina Rabbani Khar has had to deal with the fallout from the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May, a deterioration in relations with Afghanistan, and a botched cross border operation that saw 24 Pakistani soldiers mistakenly killed by U.S. forces in November. She is Pakistan’s youngest and first female foreign minister. On the eve of her first high-profile visit to Kabul since the assassination of Afghan peace envoy Berhanuddin Rabbani (no relation), she talks about her country’s relationship with Afghanistan, the U.S., and with its own army.

(READ: NATO report says Pakistan is still propping up the Taliban.)

TIME: What prompted your trip to Kabul?

Hina Rabbani Khar: As Foreign Minister of Pakistan, I would say that the most important capital in the world is Kabul. If this track works, if Pakistan and Afghanistan can work with confidence in each other’s intentions and actions, we can go a very long way. With that trust we can fix a lot of things and will not need outside influence and interference. Therefore we would be open to engage with Afghanistan at any level and at any time. Since 2008 [when the elected government came to power] we have given a very consistent message to Afghanistan that we mean business, that we would want to support anything that Afghans feel is for their betterment. They have to choose the direction, and we would be behind them following that direction. Read the rest of this entry »

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