Russia to Spend $3.2 Billion on Nuclear Arms Before
Protective Function of Nuclear Arms an "Illusion," U.N.
Secret Report Criticizes NATO's Command in Libya
Europe wants Obama- Why?
• THEME 12 - 1 Russia to Spend $3.2 Billion on Nuclear Arms Before 2016
Source, journal ou site Internet : Global Security Newswire
Date : 29 octobre 2012
A preliminary state spending plan calls for Russia to spend nearly $3.2 billion on its atomic arsenal before 2015 concludes, Russian Duma defense panel head Vladimir Komoedov said in a statement reported by Vedomosti on Thursday. Assembling a new class of ballistic missile submarines would account in part for heightened navy expenditures, while the acquisition of Yars systems and the preparation of two additional ICBM models would contribute to expenses for the Russian strategic missile forces, according to the publication. Meanwhile, Moscow is set before January to finish providing Topol-M ICBM units to the Tatishchev division of its strategic missile forces, Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported on Thursday. The division's Topol-M holdings are based in fixed launch facilities, according to the newspaper. The formation in 1998 began receiving the armaments, which are expected to supplant some of its RS-18 Stiletto missiles. The division is slated by the beginning of 2013 to oversee six Topol regiments and four RS-18 units in Russia's Saratov region. Up-to-date, multiple- warhead ICBMs are slated in coming years to stand in for Topol missiles and other older weapons in five of Russia's strategic missile forces divisions, the publication said.
• THEME 12 - 2 : Protective Function of Nuclear Arms an "Illusion," U.N. Chief Says
Source, journal ou site Internet : Global Security Newswires
Date : 29 octobre 2012
Nuclear arms can provide no true protection for the powers that hold them, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday in a new call for the elimination of all atomic arsenals. “Some say nuclear disarmament is utopian ... I say the illusion is that nuclear weapons provide security,” Agence France-Presse quoted the U.N. leader as saying as he received an award in South Korea for his antiwar efforts. Ban said nuclear weapons cannot counter criminal, extremist or pathogenic threats.
Their existence is both "destabilizing" by nature and unnecessary after the end of the 20th century's superpower tensions. “How, then, do we explain that ... amidst a global financial crisis, the nuclear-weapon states seem intent on modernizing their arsenals for decades to come?" he asked. “And more broadly, how can we justify global military spending that last year was twice as much in a day as the U.N. spent on all its activities the whole year?” There are five formal nuclear powers -- China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. India, Israel, North Korea and Pakistan are also known to hold nuclear weapons or to have atomic arms programs. There are also widespread concerns about the intentions of Iran's nuclear activities. Ban said the circumstances faced by the two Koreas are some “of the most challenging in the world.” “I look forward to the day when (North Korea) moves to heed the call for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and for improving the lives of its people through respect for universal values and human rights,” the former South Korean foreign minister said.
• THEME 12 - 3 : Secret Report Criticizes NATO's Command in Libya
Source, journal ou site Internet : defense news
Date : 30 octobre 2012
The accidental release of a Danish Defense Forces’ (DDF) report critical of NATO’s command structures and inability to direct bombing missions in Libya in 2011 has provoked political controversy, after it emerged the Danish Air Force bought munitions from Israel. The Defence Forces has confirmed it will revamp its information-handling systems after a highly classified and confidential “Libya Mission” report was released Oct. 10 as a PDF file, in error, to the Danish media organization Politiken. Politiken had earlier filed a request under the country’s Freedom of Information Act for details about Danish operations as part of the NATO-led Operation Unified Protector. “The report is both embarrassing and revealing on several fronts,” said Holger Nielsen, defense spokesman for the Socialist People’s Party, one of three parties in Denmark’s ruling center-left administration. “The depth of the Danish military’s criticism of how NATO handled operations in Libya was not known to this extent, and that the Air Force bought munitions from Israel to bomb an Arab-world country was certainly not generally known by the government of the day.” The Libya Mission report, produced by the Air Force’s Tactical Command (FTK) unit, criticizes NATO for being unable to provide reliable intelligence on targets or to conduct bombing raids. The lack of adequate intelligence and mission coordination by NATO forced the Air Force and other participants to curtail operations against key targets, according to the report. It also states that NATO was unable to provide accurate assessments of collateral damage inflicted on the civilian population, forcing the Air Force to curb the number and scale of its missions. “NATO’s command structure was not organized to lead an operation such as Operation Unified Protector when operations in Libya started,” the FTK report claims. The report notes that the Air Force’s squadron of F-16 fighters had operated under U.S. command in the lead-in phase of the Libya campaign, but came under NATO’s command in April 2011. The change greatly reduced the quality and effectiveness of mission planning and execution. “Unlike the U.S., NATO did not have adequate access to tactical intelligence to support the operation,” the report states. Libya will be a learning experience for NATO on how to better manage missions requiring a high level of intelligence gathering and multiforce coordination, Danish defense analyst Sten Rynning said. “The main lesson to be learned by NATO is its need to employ its own intelligence-gathering systems to ensure the success of missions like Libya, which was largely run without the United States,” Rynning said. “Until it does, NATO’s mission command capability will be limited.” The shortcomings identified in the Danish report will be addressed as part of NATO’s Smart Defense project and redesigned command structure, NATO spokesman Jonas Torp said. “Issues we plan to deal with include the stockpiling of sufficient precision munitions by partner nations,” he said. “We will strengthen the capacity of the Sigonella military base in Italy to beef up reconnaissance and surveillance. To this end, we are investing in a fleet of five unarmed drones under the Alliance Ground Surveillance, or AGS project. The new measures will also include an enhanced focus on airborne warning and control systems and the European air refueling project.” The NATO- European Union cooperation project includes sharing existing aircraft assets, or acquisition of new planes to boost aerial refueling capability by 2020. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Oct. 24 that the alliance welcomed the report’s critical insights. “Within the ongoing reform of our command structure, we have already taken steps to strengthen our air operations command,” he said. Rasmussen conceded that without U.S. intelligence-gathering systems, NATO would not have been able to complete its mission in Libya. But he described the final outcome of Unified Protector as a “great success.”
Bombs From Israel
Denmark’s defense chief, Gen. Peter Bertram, defended the decision to buy precision bombs from Israel. The Air Force’s own stockpile of weapons had been quickly depleted after weeks of air strikes, he said. The Air Force attempted to buy munitions from NATO allies, but no NATO country was in a position to supply. Deliveries were then negotiated with Israel. “It is not the task of the military to carry out foreign policy,” he said. “What we do with other countries is approved at the political level.
A fighter is not just a fighter. There are different configurations. And not all countries have precisely the type of ammunition relevant to Danish aircraft.” Former Defense Minister Gitte Lillelund Bech denied any knowledge of the purchase. “I was very aware that the Danish F-16 squadron lacked munitions, and I gave the green light to acquire munitions from the Netherlands and Poland, but I never heard anything about Israel in that connection. Nothing at all,” Bech said.
• THEME 12 - 4 : Europe wants Obama- Why?
Source, journal ou site Internet : UPI
Date : 30 octobre 2012
Auteur : Martin Walker
It should come as no surprise to Americans that most Europeans are hoping that U.S. President Barack Obama wins re-election. This isn't because he has been good for Europe. Obama's interactions with Europe have been clumsy and ineffective where they haven't been petulant. The British, the only European power on which Americans can rely through thick and thin, have been left with the impression that he sees them as the yesterday land, the dreadful old colonialists of his father's Kenya.
Sending back the bust of Winston Churchill to the British Embassy in his first week was a symbol so petty it should have been beneath him.
Obama appears to see the French in much the same way except he knows they are unreliable. He has tried to forge a close relationship with Germany's Angela Merkel but she is a chancellor who sees everything through the prism of German politics. She has listened courteously to his repeated appeals to sort out the euro crisis in a way that doesn't plunge most of Europe into recession (and doesn't damage U.S. financial interests) but has then ignored him and pursued short-term German political and financial interests. Above all, Obama has launched a strategic shift of U.S. power and interest to the Asia-Pacific region, downgrading Europe in American priorities and bruising an already battered European self-esteem. This would be no bad thing, if it could influence the Europeans (French and British partly excepted) to take their own defense and foreign policies seriously. But don't expect Europeans to like it. Nonetheless, the fond memories endure of the charismatic Obama of the 2008 campaign. There is also a lingering political correctness, which thrills to the thought of a man of color in the White House. His speeches on Islam have been well-received. And the British were somewhat mollified by his successful 2-day state visit last year, despite his gaffe at starting his toast to the Queen before the national anthem had finished playing. Nobody else raised a glass until the Queen did so when the music stopped. So in what might be seen as a triumph of hope over experience, Europe wants Obama to win. Part of this is fear of the unknown Mitt Romney, a bemusement at his Mormon faith and bafflement at his shape- shifting from Massachusetts moderate to Tea Party fire-eater and back to moderation again. Another part of it is alarm at the fundamentalist economics of his running mate Paul Ryan and Romney's own background in private equity. Most of the alarm is based on some of Romney's statements, that he would on his first day in the White House denounce China as a currency manipulator, block U.S. funds from going to international family planning organizations that provide abortions and start dismantling Obamacare. Europeans also fear that Romney's passionate pro-Israel and anti-Iran stance could lead to a war that would send energy prices soaring and plunge Europe into a deep recession. More thoughtful Europeans, and those who have some understanding of the complexities of the U.S. political system, have concluded from the opinion polls that we are close to a dead heat in this election. That means that the U.S. Senate will retain its Democratic majority, frustrating a Romney presidency, and the House of Representatives will remain Republican, frustrating an Obama second term. In short, whoever wins this election, political gridlock is likely to continue in Washington, with a great deal of posturing from both left and right and very little room in the center for compromise. In the short term, Europeans dread this fundamentalism in U.S. politics leading to a lemming-like collective plunge over the fiscal cliff at the end of the year.
This ignores the proven capacity of even this congressional generation to concoct fiscal fudges that fend off disaster, at least for a while. In the longer term, Europeans fear an American self- incarceration, a United States so hemmed in by debt and political gridlock and domestic squabbles that it becomes increasingly isolationist in practice, if not in rhetoric. "This is not Clinton's America, nor it is Reagan's or Kennedy's or Eisenhower's," an eminent Swiss banker told this columnist over the weekend. "It is an American we have not seen since the days before Roosevelt." "It's worse than that, it's back to Jimmy Carter with no Cold War to focus their minds," commented a leading German financier with strong connections to the Berlin government. But having made their quips, the two men then agreed that the dominant American reality of the next presidency is likely to be a very strong U.S. economic recovery starting in 2014. They saw it driven by the long-delayed recovery in housing, by the shale natural gas boom that is putting the country on the path to self-sufficiency in energy and revitalizing the U.S. petrochemical industry. Whoever wins the election, they concluded, will be riding a buoyant tide of economic growth. And if it is to be President Romney, than his re- election in 2016 would be a very good bet indeed. If Obama gets re-elected, then the Democrats will quickly launch a bruising internal contest over the choice of his successor.