A recent piece in The European depicts the EU sanctions against Russia as fundamentally misconceived. “The sanction policy is in no way, shape or form working,” says the article. The sanctions have failed because Putin “controls the perceptions” of the Russian population. Meanwhile, anti-war sentiment is gaining ground in Germany and all over Europe. Russian propaganda is gradually getting the upper hand. What this reveals, of course, is that the West has no strategy while Russia is all about strategy. Continue reading
LONDON: Russia is highly likely to intervene in the Baltic states to test NATO’s collective defence commitment, the former head of the Atlantic alliance was quoted as saying by Britain’s Daily Telegraph on Friday.
“This is not about Ukraine. Putin wants to restore Russia to its former position as a great power,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen told the daily.
With a background like his, one might have to ask who he works for, exactly.
OSLO, NORWAY — Norway’s Jens Stoltenberg brings close Russia ties to his new job as NATO chief, equipping him with a potentially key asset as tensions with the Kremlin hover at post-Soviet highs.
The former Norwegian prime minister — the first NATO secretary general from a country bordering Russia — is known for his good relations with President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
The 55-year-old will take office on Wednesday, at a moment in history when NATO’s face-off with Russia over Ukraine has sparked tensions not seen since the collapse of the Soviet bloc. Continue reading
Nato is to deploy its forces at new bases in eastern Europe for the first time, in response to the Ukraine crisis and in an attempt to deter Vladimir Putin from causing trouble in the former Soviet Baltic republics, according to its secretary general.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the organisations’s summit in Cardiff next week would overcome divisions within the alliance and agree to new deployments on Russia’s borders – a move certain to trigger a strong reaction from Moscow.
He also outlined moves to boost Ukraine’s security, “modernise” its armed forces and help the country counter the threat from Russia. Continue reading
Moscow: An enormous Russian convoy of about 280 trucks carrying humanitarian aid has left Moscow for south-eastern Ukraine, Russian television and news agencies reported on Tuesday.
Television reports showed a long line of tractor-trailers stretched along a road. A Russian Orthodox priest was shown sprinkling the trucks with holy water before their departure. Many of the vehicles were draped in huge banners reading “humanitarian aid” in Russian, along with the double-headed eagle of Russia and its white, blue and red flag.
NTV, a Russian state channel, quoted drivers as saying that it would take a few days for the entire column to reach the intended crossing point on the Russian-Ukrainian border, which is roughly 965 kilometres south of Moscow. Continue reading
As previously discussed here.
President Vladimir Putin said on Monday Russia is sending an aid convoy to eastern Ukraine despite urgent Western warnings against using humanitarian help as a pretext for an invasion.
With Ukraine reporting Russia has massed 45,000 troops on its border, NATO said there was a “high probability” that Moscow could intervene militarily in the country’s east, where Kyiv’s forces are closing in on pro-Russian separatists.
Western countries believe that Putin – who has whipped up the passions of Russians with a nationalist campaign in state-controlled media since annexing Crimea from Ukraine in March – could now send his forces into the east to head off a humiliating rebel defeat. Continue reading
BRUSSELS, August 5 (RIA Novosti) – NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow said Tuesday Russia had beefed up its troops along its border with Ukraine by some 20,000 soldiers. Continue reading
In an interview, outgoing NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen discusses Germany’s postwar tradition of pacificism and his belief the country is now ready, and indeed has the responsibility, to take on a greater role in global affairs.
SPIEGEL: Twenty-five years after reunification and almost seven decades after the end of World War II, has Germany become a country just like every other in terms of security policy?
Rasmussen: Germany is a normal country today, with the kinds of rights and duties other countries have. That’s why Germany should play an important role in foreign and security policy, be it in the EU, NATO or in international politics.
SPIEGEL: So he spoke directly to your heart when German President Joachim Gauck recently called for a more active German foreign policy, military means included?
Rasmussen: I don’t want to interfere with a domestic German debate. But I do very much agree with the position expressed by the German president. I welcome this debate. And not only as NATO secretary general, but also as the former prime minister of Denmark, the small neighbor country once occupied by Germany. Germany needs this debate. I can understand Germany being very cautious when it comes to international military deployments because of its past. But the time has come in Germany for this debate. Europe is ready for it, too. The goal should be to develop a common understanding for how Germany’s new role might look. Continue reading
Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Russia was mounting a sophisticated “disinformation campaign” aimed at undermining attempts to exploit alternative energy sources such as shale gas
Russia is secretly working with environmental groups campaigning against fracking in an attempt to maintain Europe’s dependence on energy imports from Moscow, the secretary-general of Nato has said.
Speaking at the Chatham House foreign affairs think-tank in London, Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Russia was mounting a sophisticated disinformation campaign aimed at undermining attempts to exploit alternative energy sources such as shale gas.
He said: “I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations – environmental organisations working against shale gas – to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas. That is my interpretation.”
(Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, concerned about China’s rising military spending and disputes with Beijing over islands in the East China Sea, signed a new partnership agreement with NATO on Tuesday.
The accord, signed by Abe and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen during Abe’s visit to NATO’s Brussels headquarters, will deepen Japan’s cooperation with the Western military alliance in areas such as counter-piracy, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance. Continue reading
Vladimir Putin and his American apologists like to blame NATO’s post-Cold War expansion for his territorial conquests, which ignores that the alliance refused in 2008 to let Georgia and Ukraine even begin the process of joining. Those are the two countries the Russian has since carved up, and the question now is whether Russia’s expansionism will slap Western leaders out of their self-defense slumbers.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen sounded the alarm last week in a visit to Washington. “I see Crimea as an element in a greater pattern” of Russian strategy, he told an audience at the Brookings Institution. Moscow’s annexation of Crimea, he said, is “a wake-up call” that “must be followed by increased European investment in defense.” He might have included the U.S.
The head of NATO says Russia’s incursion into Ukraine may affect the prospects for nuclear arms control in Europe, which already faced political challenges.
“Of course I cannot exclude that the events we have witnessed in Crimea will also have an impact on the thinking about arms control, including nuclear policies,” NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in Wednesday remarks at the Brookings Institution in Washington.
The alliance leader did not say whether he was referring to potential changes in NATO’s or Russia’s positions on the potential for pull-backs of tactical nuclear arms in Europe, or both. Continue reading
There is an unmistakeable sense among Western decision-makers of power slipping away.
It’s not an argument about American abstention or decline, although that plays into it for some critics of the Obama administration.
It is more to do with the exhaustion – moral, political and economic – of nations that have been in the forefront of the international security business, and the vibrant ascendancy of some other players. Continue reading
German plans include forming a combined air force with the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.
Rather than create a European army all at once, Germany should focus on building it bit by bit, according to a paper published this month by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAF). Germany should develop “islands of cooperation”—small groups of countries whose militaries work together—that can be used as “building blocks” of a pan-European military power, it wrote.
To dedicated Trumpet readers, this should sound very familiar. It is exactly what we described Germany doing in the August print edition of the Trumpet. Now you can read it in black and white, from a think tank that describes itself as “closely associated with the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU)”—the party of Angela Merkel.
As noted in the August article, persuading all 28 nations of the EU to sign over their sovereignty and merge their armies into one force has been taking far too long. Germany wants results now. Continue reading
Turkey deployed tanks and anti-aircraft guns to reinforce its military units on the Syrian border, as the U.S. considers strikes against Syria.
Convoys carrying tanks and rocket-launchers headed to border areas in Hatay, Gaziantep and Sanliurfa provinces today and yesterday, according to Hurriyet newspaper and Anatolia news agency. Tanks, missile launchers and anti-aircraft guns on hilltops near the border town of Kilis were aimed Syria, state-run TRT television said. F-16s, tanker and cargo planes as well as at least one drone landed at southern Incirlik Air Base, Anatolia said.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has expressed a willingness to join any international coalition against Syria, yesterday vowed to respond to any attack from its southern neighbor. He spoke after Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad was cited by the Wall Street Journal as saying that Syria will strike U.S. allies Israel, Jordan and Turkey if the Obama administration attacks his country over its alleged use of chemical weapons on Aug. 21. Continue reading