USAREUR General: Terror threat in Europe highest in world

Commander of U.S. Forces in Europe, General Curtis Scaparrotti speaks during a news conference in Tallinn, Estonia, March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

 

(WASHINGTON, DC) The threat posed by violent extremism is higher in Europe than anywhere else in the world, apart from actual war zones and hotspots, US European Command head General Curtis Scaparrotti said, commenting on Wednesday’s terrorist attack in London.

“The number of threat streams that we have of this type within Europe – it’s probably higher in Europe than any other part of the globe, with the exception of the places we’re actually physically fighting [terrorists], like Syria […] Afghanistan and Iraq,” the senior US military leader in Europe, who is also NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. Continue reading

Russia Warns Norway over Missile Defense Plans

 

Russia has warned Norway over consequences of joining NATO ballistic missile defense (BMD) plans. According to Russian ambassador to Oslo, Moscow will retaliate. Norway’s possible accession to NATO’s missile shield «will be a new factor that will be considered in our strategic planning as the emergence of an additional problem in the Arctic region», Teimuraz Ramishvili told the Norwegian state media network NRK. Continue reading

Germany’s Geopolitical Interests

BERLIN/ANKARA (Own report) – In spite of the Turkish government’s recent provocations, Berlin is steadfastly maintaining its cooperation with Ankara. Over the past few days, members of the Turkish government have affronted several EU countries as “fascist,” thereby again provoking sharp protests. For some time, human rights organizations and other critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have been up in arms over Ankara’s brutal violations of human and civil rights, its attempt to establish a presidential dictatorship and its arbitrary incarceration of citizens of foreign countries. Last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that her objective was to prevent Turkey from “becoming even more alienated from us,” which is why we must persist in our cooperation. Since some time, government advisors in Germany’s capital have been warning that Ankara is seriously considering joining the Chinese-Russian Alliance (the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – SCO), and that, within the Turkish establishment, voices calling for Turkey to leave NATO are growing louder. That would be a serious setback for Berlin’s ambitions to become a world power, which for geostrategic reasons, is dependent on its cooperation with Ankara. Continue reading

Russian missiles pose new threat to Europe

Russian armour on parade in Moscow in 2015 (Photo: Dmitriy Fomin)

 

The US and Germany have criticised Russia over new missile deployments that posed a threat to Nato and Europe.

“The Russians have deployed a land-based cruise missile that violates the spirit and intent of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces [INF] treaty,” Paul Selva, a senior US general who advises the White House, told a House committee in Washington on Wednesday (8 March), referring to a Cold War-era agreement.

“The system … presents a risk to most of our facilities in Europe and we believe that the Russians have deliberately deployed it in order to pose a threat to Nato and to facilities within the Nato area of responsibility,” he added. Continue reading

EU ministers agree to create joint military command center in NATO footsteps

FILE PHOTO. Soldiers of a Eurocorps. © AFP

The European Union is to create a special military command center for operating foreign missions, the German defense minister announced amid criticism from some bloc members that the initiative is financially unreasonable and merely copies NATO’s steps.

EU foreign ministers “founded, or put in motion, today a European command center for foreign missions,” German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said at a meeting in Brussels on Monday, according to AP.

Meanwhile, Britain has long criticized the bloc’s aspirations to launch its own army, saying the EU should not waste money on creating structures that match those set up by NATO. British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon, who was also present at the meeting, called on other EU ministers “to cooperate more closely with NATO to avoid unnecessary duplication and structures.”

Continue reading

Vladimir Putin’s growing navy ‘could leave Europe PARALYSED from devastating sea attacks’

Vladimir attending a military ceremony in Kaliningrad in 2015 [Getty]

 

With a stronger navy Vladimir Putin could launch new undersea attacks capable of “paralysing” Europe, the chiefs claim in a report which will be published later today.

Kremlin officials have revealed the Russian navy has been upgrading their fleet with the latest military equipment with reports claiming new submarines are on the way. Continue reading

EU Establishes Military Wing

German led, German dominated… and it’s now about to get its first taste of real military training throughout Africa.

 

[Shutterstock]

 

Here comes the European Union Army.

The EU’s Soviet sounding – the name doesn’t give away its real purpose – Military Planning and Conduct Capabailities (MPCC) unit has just been set up for training missions in Somalia, Mali, the Central African Republic, some of the world’s most dangerous conflict zones.

The unit was created in rapid time, having only been sanctioned at discreet EU Council meeting in December. Continue reading

Is Germany Ready to Fire Shots?

Caption: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the 2017 Munich Security Conference on February 18 (Johannes Simon/Getty Images)

 

Bundeswehr officials expect a more active and a more lethal role for Germany in the Middle East.

German military leaders are preparing to take on a more active role in the fight against the Islamic State in the Middle East. This news emerges following the February 17–19 Munich Security Conference. Spiegel Online reported on February 20 that German diplomats and military officers left the conference feeling that some major challenges ahead of them go far beyond merely increasing the nation’s military budget. The feeling was that Germany must get ready to fire shots.

German generals expect future missions to include air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq and possibly an increased deployment of the Bundeswehr in Afghanistan. Spiegel Online quoted a German military general who attended the conference as saying, “[United States President Donald] Trump doesn’t only want more money from us but he also wants us to finally fire shots” (Trumpet translation throughout). Although former President Barack Obama had previously insisted on a more active NATO involvement, the quoted general believes that the tone is sharper now and that Germany must prepare to pull the trigger. Continue reading

Merkel yields to Trump: Germany should meet defense spending obligation

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

 

U.S. President Donald Trump is actively pressuring NATO allies to increase their defense spending. Germany currently spends about 1.2 percent of GDP on defense, which Merkel vows to change if she is elected for a fourth term in office this September.

“Obligations have to be fulfilled,” Merkel said at a campaign rally on Feb. 25. “And, others in the world will demand that of us. And, I think they’re right that Germany must uphold its obligations.” Continue reading

Germany to Be a Bigger Military Power Than Russia

Caption: Bundeswehr soldiers (CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Even a modest boost to German defense spending means radical changes to the world order.

Germany will boost the size of its military to nearly 200,000, hiring an additional 20,000 soldiers by 2024, Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced on February 21.

Germany had already announced plans to increase its army to 193,000 by 2023, so this is merely an incremental increase compared to earlier plans. However, it does confirm the radical change in direction for Germany. Its army had shrunk to a low of 166,500 last June and has only just begun turning around. Now, each new announcement about the German military is an increase. Continue reading

Who’s Contributing How Much To Financing NATO?

You will find more statistics at Statista

 

While the U.S. outspends all NATO allies when it comes to overall defence spending in relation to her GDP, Statista’s Dyfed Loesche notes – and President Trump is very well aware of – the U.S. is also the prime direct financer of NATO.

However, direct contribution are more evenly split between the major NATO powers. Germany for example, spends only 1.19 percent of her GDP into defence (USA = 3.61 percent) but seemingly pulls its weight when it comes to direct funding of NATO. This does not include contributions to particular military operations.

As George Friedman recently notedEuropeans must face two facts… Continue reading

Russia seeks ‘post-West’ order as US vows loyalty to allies

Russia Saturday called for an end to what it said was an outdated world order dominated by the West after US Vice President Mike Pence pledged Washington’s “unwavering” commitment to transatlantic allies in NATO.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov offered a diametrically opposed global vision, just hours after Pence vowed to stand with Europe to rein in a resurgent Moscow.

“I hope that (the world) will choose a democratic world order — a post-West one — in which each country is defined by its sovereignty,” said Lavrov. Continue reading

America Is Pushing Germany to Become ‘the Leading Military Power in Europe’

Caption: Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis hosts a joint press meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Feb. 15, 2017. (Brigitte N. Brantley/Flickr)

 

Europe doing more means Germany doing more.

United States Defense Secretary Jim Mattis gave European nations a blunt ultimatum a meeting of NATO defense ministers on Wednesday: Spend more, or lose U.S. support.

“No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of Western values,” he said. “Americans cannot care more for your children’s future security than you do.”

“America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to this alliance, each of your capitals needs to show support for our common defense,” he warned. Continue reading

Mattis: U.S. Could ‘Moderate’ NATO Support if Allies Don’t Pay More

James Mattis / AP

 

Secretary of Defense James Mattis told NATO allies on Wednesday that they need to contribute more money to the alliance’s common defense if they do not want to see the United States “moderate its commitment.” Continue reading

German Army Continues to Swallow Its Neighbors

So far from what we’ve seen over the years, a European Army is shaping up with the following countries being participants or having some level of cooperation/integration:

  • Germany
  • France
  • the Netherlands
  • Romania
  • Czech Republic
  • Luxembourg
  • Poland

 

 

Czech Republic and Romania are sending major chunks of their armies to the Bundeswehr.

Czech and Romanian brigade will be integrated into divisions of the German army. The agreement is to be signed at a meeting of NATO defense ministers tomorrow. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), which broke the story on February 2, wrote, “The Bundeswehr is developing into the leading NATO army in Europe.”

The agreement is the most dramatic of a series of arrangements Germany is negotiating to deepen its cooperation with other countries. The EU Observer summarized the FAZ’s report, noting, “The longer-term strategy would turn the Bundeswehr into the leading NATO army in Europe, with small countries integrating their military forces into the German command structures.”

Two thirds of the Dutch army’s command structure began to integrate into the German army last year. Continue reading