Archive for September 2008

The Color of Failure

September 28, 2008

D&FA 07,8-08 ed The Color of Failure.doc (16KB)
Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy, July-August, 2008

Early Warning, By Gregory R. Copley


Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy is published by the International Strategic Studies Association (ISSA), Alexandria VA.

THE END OF WORLD WAR II saw the triumphal Western powers – particularly the United States – embark with hubris to further shape the globe according to their vision of a stable world. Their victory in the second great war of the century was incomplete and unstable; there remained work to be done, and threats to be countered. The Soviet Union embarked on a similar quest, from its own standpoint.

It took only a few years, however, for the Cold Warriors – the intelligence and “active measures” covert services – to recognize the reality that there were usually unforeseen and often undesirable outcomes from their external attempts to change the course of governance of lesser states. The use of a variety of covert and diplomatic efforts by the US to change governments in the Middle East and elsewhere after World War II consistently resulted in “unintended outcomes” which were more damaging for US interests than the status quo ante which only a short time previously had seemed so undesirable.

The 1975 United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities – the “Church Committee” chaired by Sen. Frank Church (Democrat, Idaho) – eventually forced an end to the use of assassination of foreign officials as a tool of US intelligence activities. The motives of Sen. Church in promoting this line may have been questioned, but it was dear that second guessing the populations of foreign states in the selection of their leaders was not helping either the US or the countries targeted.

Despite the brief hiatus caused by the Church Committee in covert sponsorship of “regime change,” the tendency by US officials toward activist approaches in shaping foreign governments revived in the aftermath of the Cold War when Soviet countermeasures were no longer feared, and by the time of the US Clinton Administration (1993-2001) the tendency was again in full bloom. The result was the conscious attempt to break up Yugoslavia along lines designed to support the ideological predilections of some US officials.

It was during this period that the concept of “color revolutions” was devised and promoted as a means of achieving “regime change” without armed revolution or military intervention. Whether this concept was created by activist US financier George Soros, who emerged as a strenuous opponent of the elected US Government of Pres. George W. Bush, or whether it was created within the US Department of State is immaterial. Certainly, both the State Dept. and the various Soros front groups worked hand-in-glove to organize, fund, and shape a range of “color revolutions” to overthrow elected governments in Serbia, Georgia, Ukraine, and the Kyrgyz Republic.

That key State Dept. officials, including a number of US ambassadors, forced a number of foreign leaders, many strongly supportive of the US, to accept the presence and activities of the Soros organizations at a time when Soros was actively campaigning against the elected US Government begs the question as to whether the State Dept. was itself defying the writ of US law. But that is a minor point when compared with an examination of the results of the “color revolutions,” and particularly the failed ones. The consequences of the “color revolutions” live on, given that they continue to be used as a model for political leaders and movements which feel that they no longer need to accept the legitimate results of national elections.

The basic theme of “color revolutions” is that street activism can be used to overturn any elections, provided that it can be coupled with external political support for the protesting group. A perfect alliance, then, was formed between the Soros groups – supporting a political alliance with organizational skills, funding, and often violence, and often in company with criminal groups (as in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, in particular), in exchange for post-election political/commercial concessions for Soros companies – and the US State Dept. speaking, ostensibly, on behalf of the US Government.

Regardless of whether the “international community” found the removal of elected leaders in Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia, or the Kyrgyz Republic to be desirable, it certainly contradicts US support for the spread of democracy and freedom. The result, however, was that the US effectively lost the influence and friendship it had been given in Central Asia, with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990. The blunt removal of an incredibly pro-US leader, Pres. Askar Akaev of Kyrgyzstan, with direct, forcible assistance from the US Embassy in Bishkek and from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), because he would not bow to the immediate and unreasonable demands of a US official shook other Central Asian leaders.

A subsequent attempt to stage a “color revolution” in neighboring Uzbekistan was pre-emptively defeated by the Uzbek Government, and that ended US influence in the region, which now works closely, once again, with Moscow, and with Beijing. Even the expensive purchase of the new Kyrgyz leader did not result in Bishkek remaining a close ally of Washington.

Georgian Pres. Mikhail Saakashvili owed his position to the “rose revolution” of 2003-04. This led to a government so out of touch with reality and its electorate, and with the expectation of strenuous US support, that it jeopardized – with the attempted, and failed, military seizure by the Georgian Government of the ethnically Ossetian enclave of South Ossetia in August 2008 – the regional security situation and the control of the Caucasus-Black Sea energy distribution network, so vital to European economies. [In the 1994 ceasefire agreement which ended the bitter civil war, the vast majority of the population of the key enclaves, South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and Adzharia, elected to receive Russian passports/citizenship rather than Georgian.]

The problem extends beyond this, however. The massive street protests in Bangkok against an elected prime minister of Thailand, leading to his removal on fairly laughable grounds in September 2008, were based on the premise that street power trumps electoral power. Now, everywhere from Caracas and La Paz to Nairobi, the belief is that raw power can disregard electoral power. Moreover, if we see the refusal of the Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, to accept electoral wishes as a symptom of similar sentiment, we must also consider why Pres. Mugabe cannot entertain departing from office.

The US State Department, having caused the Nigerian Government to offer Liberian Pres. Charles Taylor asylum as a means to ensure his safety if he quit office, then demanded that Nigeria extradite Taylor to face an International Criminal Court, something to which the US itself does not subscribe. The forced breaking of a solemn asylum guarantee meant that Mugabe himself can trust no promises of safe haven which may be offered to him. And so Zimbabwe continues to burn, and continues to protect the former unelected leader of Ethiopia, Mengistu Haile Mariam, who lives in luxurious asylum near Harare.

The US and British attempt to force the direction of a settlement of the Cyprus question in 2004 was yet another demonstration of the failure of brute political force and the attempted “central planning” of the shape of the own allies. Which brings up the point that such coercive measures are only attempted on either adversaries of a small scale or on the friends of Washington, not on the larger powers. Even so, when the end of the Cold War – and clear Western ascendancy which resulted – afforded the opportunity of bringing Russia and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) into a new “modern world” – a “new West” – the Cold Warriors could not bring themselves to see Russia and China as major powers whose opinions and interests must be taken into consideration. They insisted that Russia and the PRC remain marginalized and adversaries of the “new West.”

Thus the new Cold War began.

The global landscape shows that the US has lost great strategic ground in Central Asia, Africa, and elsewhere. Does Washington look upon ruin and call it triumph? If the West is to continue its economic and civilizational success, then the time has come for it to review the world through honest and contrite eyes.


World defence update

September 27, 2008

Iran claims new submarine and sea-launched missile capabilities


Iran’s 25 August statement that it has begun production of a new class of indigenously developed submarines able to fire missiles is the latest in a series of recent claims of improved military technology. In all cases little or no hard information is provided by the Iranian authorities, making it difficult to assess the accuracy of these claims






India plans more anti-ballistic missile tests
India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is planning two more anti-ballistic missile flight tests before the end of 2008, according to Indian press reports. The first test, scheduled to take place some time in September, builds on previous successful flight tests in November 2006 and December 2007




Under strain: US Army
The US Army continues to perform well in the face of daunting challenges, including two wars that have lasted longer than the Second World War and have been fought by a relatively small all-volunteer force, while simultaneously undertaking perhaps the greatest top-to-bottom overhaul in the service’s 233-year history. Chief of Staff of the Army (CSA) General George Casey is unequivocal when he says that today’s army is out of balance. “The demands for our forces exceed the sustainable supply



Indonesia secures loan to support Sukhoi fighter deal with Russia
Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) has agreed a loan worth about USD300 million from France’s Natixis investment bank in order to secure the country’s purchase of six Sukhoi fighter aircraft from Russia, an MoF source told Jane’s on 25 September. However, although the loan was agreed in principle between Sukhoi, the French bank and the MoF earlier in September, the source said the 15 per cent advance payment that the Southeast Asian country is due to pay the Russian aircraft manufacturer under the terms of the deal may prove to be a stumbling block





Indian MoD agrees ‘in principle’ to MiG-29KUB acquisition
India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has agreed “in principle” to the acquisition of 29 additional MiG-29KUB carrier-borne combat aircraft for the Indian Navy (IN) as a follow-on order to the 16 MiG-29K/KUBs it bought in 2004. Official sources said the MoD’s defence acquisition council had recently cleared the IN’s proposal to buy the aircraft over the next three to five years for an estimated USD2 billion as part of its operational plans to raise three fighter squadrons



Indonesia seeks subs on credit


The Indonesian Navy has outlined plans to procure submarines from a foreign supplier over the next few years through export credit, a funding facility being increasingly used by the southeast Asian country. Speaking through the state-owned Antara news agency on 23 September, Navy Chief of Staff Vice-Admiral Tedjo Edhy Purdijatno said that “several countries” had offered to sell submarines to Indonesia, including Germany and South Korea



Source: Jane’s defence journal

MENENDEZ/SNOWE: Macedonian quandary

September 24, 2008


Bob Menendez and Olympia Snowe
Wednesday, September 24, 2008



With the attention of Euro-Atlantic diplomats understandably focused on cooling the conflict in the Caucasus, the United States must not forget that much work remains to be done to address tensions elsewhere in the mountains of Southeastern Europe.

Enhancing and preserving the hard-won stability of the Balkans requires that Washington not become complacent about remaining irredentist agendas in this complex region. This should be Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s focus when she is in New York this week at the convening of the United Nations General Assembly with the foreign ministers of Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

In 1944, Secretary of State Edward Stettinius expressed concerns about Yugoslavian communist leader Josip Broz Tito creating a “Macedonian” province and consciousness among his people. Stettinius saw the destructive potential in Tito’s choice of a name describing an ancient geographical area, 52 percent of which is located in modern Greece, 9 percent in Bulgaria and 39 percent in Yugoslavia. His description of Tito’s actions as “a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece” manifested years later when Tito’s “Macedonians” crossed into Greece as participants in Greece’s anti-communist civil war (1946-49).

Nearly half a century later, that Yugoslavian province became an independent nation in 1991 identified by the United Nations and internationally as the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” or “FYROM.” Yet Tito’s furtive aims live on in many ways, including the nation’s pursuit of the name “Macedonia.” Its new constitution called on all “Macedonians” in neighboring countries to rise up and unite. In addition, FYROM printed currency featuring the White Tower of Salonika (Thessaloniki), Greece, and created a flag featuring the Macedonian symbol from the dynasty of Philip of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great, which was located in Greece.

Years of productive U.S. and U.N. diplomacy moved FYROM to drop the offending language from its constitution and symbols from its currency and flag. Many believed FYROM was moving toward adopting a name such as “North Macedonia” or “Upper Macedonia” which appropriately describes its own geography.

However in 2004, the administration disregarded possible long-term consequences and focused exclusively on short-term intra-FYROM political goals. It split from U.N., NATO and EU policies to recognize FYROM as the “Republic of Macedonia” in a misguided attempt to provide cover to Western-oriented leaders in an intensely nationalistic political environment. This sudden about-face undermined international efforts to solve the name issue, and emboldened those within FYROM opposed to a diplomatic solution.

Shortly thereafter, a videotape surfaced showing FYROM’s state schools teaching that northern Greece is FYROM territory occupied by Greece. Maps showing northern Greece as part of FYROM also appeared in school textbooks and one was recently displayed behind Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski at a ceremony. Most recently the political leadership in Skopje launched an unprecedented campaign of claims against Greece, thus undermining the ongoing talks under United Nations auspices.
Due to FYROM’s intransigence on the name dispute, it was prohibited from joining NATO at the group’s April summit, thus thwarting American security interests. In Bucharest, NATO leaders unanimously decided that an invitation to FYROM will be extended as soon as a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue has been reached. In breaking with the international community on FYROM’s name and failing to condemn its provocations, the U.S. administration bolstered FYROM’s intransigence and inadvertently contributed to the deadlock in NATO.

To correct this, we recently requested clarification on the administration’s position on this issue. The State Department responded with a letter that stated, “Our ambassador [to FYROM] will, as well, help these leaders understand the dangers of irredentism in any form and the importance of avoiding the implications of irredentism in any form.”

From our perspective, this was an improvement on the U.S. position. Yet when this language from the letter was recently read aloud at a State Department briefing, the department’s spokesman indicated its position on the issue had not changed. We strongly believe it would be an error to eschew progress on this issue at the very moment it is most required.

Miss Rice has an ideal opportunity in New York to demonstrate America’s opposition to any form of irredentism in FYROM and resolve the question of accession to NATO. She can tell FYROM that unless it accepts an international name that describes only its territory, such as “North” or “Upper” Macedonia, to be also used in the bilateral relations with the United States, by a time certain, the U.S. will withdraw bilateral recognition of FYROM as “Republic of Macedonia.”

She can thus regenerate the American pressure necessary to resolve the problem, avoid sowing the seeds of another potential conflict in Europe and open the door for FYROM’s accession to the European Union and NATO. This requires engagement, leadership and proactive diplomacy. Such a solution will have bipartisan support in the Congress.



Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, and Olympia J. Snowe, a Maine Republican, are members of the United States Senate.

World defence update

September 23, 2008

UK’s Operation Scorpion trains Iraqi Army to lead
A first cohort of junior non-commissioned officers (NCOs) in the economic hub of Basra in southeastern Iraq has completed its leadership training, marking an important step in the wider strategic future of UK troops as they move to withdraw completely from the country after five years. “One of the core conditions laid out by [UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown] for mission change is the successful training of the Iraqi Army in Basra, wherein the army is deemed able to take full control [of security] for themselves,” UK Ministry of Defence spokesman Tim Wiseman told Jane’s on 11 September





Finland tests high-speed data comms system on tactical exercise


Testing and evaluation of Inmarsat’s 3G-based FleetBroadband voice and high-speed data communications system was completed in the Finnish Navy’s Hamina-class fast attack craft, FNS Tornio , during tactical sea defence exercises in the Gulf of Finland. The trials took place in May-June 2008 but details have only just emerged






Bulgaria’s fleet modernisation


The arrival in the Black Sea port of Burgas on 7 September of Gordi (ex-BNS Westdiep), the second of three Wielingen-class frigates acquired from the Belgian Navy, was the latest milestone in Bulgaria’s fleet modernisation programme. The two final units of the transfer package – the frigate Verni (ex-BNS Wielingen) and the minehunter Tsibar (ex-BNS Myosotis) – are scheduled to be handed over on 9 February 2009






US combat aircraft battle to cover NATO airspace
The number of US combat aircraft available to patrol NATO airspace and fulfil other missions in Europe has declined by 75 per cent since the end of the Cold War, raising US concerns about its ability to deter an increasingly confrontational Russia. General Roger Brady, commander of US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), said on 17 September that the number of USAFE combat aircraft has declined from 717 in 1990 to just 177 today; the number of combat aircraft squadrons has been reduced from 85 to just 25





Into Africa: Russia revives defence contacts

Russia has successfully re-established military-technical dialogue with African countries, which saw a decline after the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to a report from Russian state-owned news service RIA Novosti. On 17 September, Anatoly Isaykin, general director of Russia’s state-owned arms exporter Rosoboronexport, told a news conference at the Africa Aerospace & Defence-2008 exhibition, near Cape Town, that Russia had “recently revived [its] contacts with all African countries that used to be traditional buyers of Soviet weaponry”





Argentina and Chile complete co-operative exercise


Argentina and Chile completed a five-day military exercise in the Argentine Patagonian city of Comodoro Rivadavia in late August 2008, with the purpose of building confidence and establishing closer links between the two country’s armed forces. The exercise, called ‘Aurora Austral II’, was held in preparation for the Fuerza Binacional Combinada Cruz del Sur (Southern Cross Combined Bi-National Force), a 1,000-strong peacekeeping force currently being developed for operations under UN mandate from 2010



Russia and Ukraine bring an end to early-warning treaty


Russia and Ukraine have formally terminated their agreement on early-warning and space-monitoring systems (EWSMS) at Mukachevo and Nikolaevka in Ukraine, the Ukraine announced on 13 August. The agreement was signed in July 1992 and the request to end it was made by Russia, which is building new south-facing early-warning radars on its own territory to replace Ukrainian-based systems constructed during the Soviet era







Source: Jane’s defence journal

Nicholas Hammond

September 22, 2008

A distinguished classical scholar, he was parachuted into wartime Greece to play a leading role in organising resistance groups


Richard Clogg


The Guardian,
Thursday April 5 2001
Article history


Nicholas Hammond, who has died aged 93, was a classical scholar of great distinction and prodigious output. Like that of a number of his classicist and archaeologist contemporaries, his knowledge of Greece, its modern language and topography were put to good service by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in occupied Greece during the second world war.
He won scholarships to Fettes College and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. After an outstanding performance in the classical tripos, he was elected a fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, at the age of 22. Summer vacations in the 1930s were spent in feats of walking that led to the unrivalled knowledge of the topography of northern Greece and southern Albania that was to stand him in such good stead during the war. His first-hand knowledge of Greece and its modern language (he also spoke Albanian) made him an obvious recruit for SOE.

When SOE first tried to send him into Greece in the summer of 1940, in the hope that he would be able to foment resistance in Italian-occupied Albania, he was denied entry by the suspicious Greek authorities. Once Greece had entered the war, their attitude changed, and he was allowed into the country in March 1941. On behalf of SOE, he taught sabotage techniques to Greeks, many of them communists, who were intended to act as the nucleus of post-occupation resistance groups. When the Germans invaded Greece in April 1941, he himself destroyed stockpiles of material of use to the enemy. He made the rendezvous with the caïque that was to evacuate him to Crete with only minutes to spare.

His SOE activities continued on Crete in the month before the German airborne attack on the island, one of his last acts being to blow up the ammunition dump that SOE had established on an island in Suda Bay. He had a narrow escape when two members of the crew of the caïque on which he withdrew to Egypt were killed in an air attack. On arrival in Alexandria, Hammond was invited to dinner by an admiral who sought, without success, to convince him that the Odyssey had been written by a woman.

Hammond’s expertise in sabotage techniques was deployed to good effect at SOE’s training school in Haifa, where Moshe Dayan was one of his pupils. After SOE’s success, in collaboration with Greek resistance groups, in blowing up the Gorgopotamos railway viaduct in November 1942, the military authorities in the Middle East gave a high priority to subversion in Greece, and Hammond was parachuted into Thessaly in February 1943. He experienced a hard landing and was knocked unconscious. At 35, he was 10 or more years older than most British liaison officers, and one of the very few who was already married.

Among his many exploits was a perilous clandestine journey to Thessaloniki disguised as a Vlach shepherd visiting the big city. So effective was the heavily-moustachioed Hammond’s disguise that he was asked for advice on cheese-making. Like many British liaison officers, he was frustrated by the amount of time he had to spend on politics and on trying to keep the peace between rival resistance groups, and his experiences led him to develop a marked antipathy towards the largest of these, the communist-controlled AM/ELAS.

In the summer of 1944, he temporarily assumed com mand of the Allied military mission to the Greek resistance. In this capacity he was responsible for handling the totally unexpected and precipitate arrival of a Soviet military mission in Greece. He established a good rapport with his Soviet opposite number, the enigmatic and reticent Colonel Grigorii Popov, at a series of “teas”. At one of these, hosted by Popov and consisting of a saucer of sliced tomatoes washed down with bottles of whisky, vodka and Georgian brandy, with a demijohn of ouzo in reserve, all five colonels present – three Russian, one American and one British (Hammond himself) – passed out, but without any of them revealing anything of substance about their respective missions.

Venture Into Greece, Hammond’s memoir of his wartime service – for which he was awarded the DSO and the Greek Order of the Phoenix – was written while he was recuperating in hospital after being evacuated from Greece in September 1944. It was not published until 1983, a time when Britain’s wartime role was the subject of impassioned debate in Greece.

After the war, Hammond returned as senior tutor to Clare College, where he remained until 1954, when he became headmaster of Clifton College, Bristol. In 1962 he was appointed professor of Greek at Bristol University, a post which he held until his retirement in 1973. He subsequently held a number of appointments as visiting professor at American and Australian universities. He served both as president of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies and as chairman of the British School at Athens, and was elected a member of the British Academy in 1968.

As don, as schoolmaster and in retirement, he published at a rapid rate, focusing in particular on the history of ancient Macedonia and Epirus, his research being informed by his intimate knowledge of the topography of these regions. In 1993, he published a further volume on the Allied military mission and the resistance in Western Macedonia.

When the Yugoslav republic of Macedonia emerged as an independent state in 1991, Hammond became a popular figure in Greece when he backed Greek protests that the Macedonians had plundered a name, Macedonia, and a symbol, the 16-pointed Star of Vergina, to which Greece claimed exclusive title. His suggestion, however, that the new state be given the ancient name of Paeonia was never very realistic. He retained his interest in Greek affairs until the very end.

Three weeks before his death, he and three Cambridge colleagues drew attention in a letter to the press to the threat to the site of the battle of Marathon posed by Greek plans for the 2004 Olympics.

He is survived by his wife Margaret and their two sons and two daughters. Another daughter predeceased him.



• Nicholas Geoffrey Lemprière Hammond, academic and resistance hero, born November 15 1907; died March 24 2001.

World military update

September 19, 2008

U.S. Plans THAAD Sale to U.A.E. Worth $7 Billion



The Boston Globe
The Bush administration is set to notify Congress of a pending arms deal with the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). The United States is planning to sell the U.A.E. a missile defense system known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, for a contract which is expected to reach $7 billion. Once Congress has been officially notified of the projected sale, it has 30 days to prevent it from going through, a power which is rarely exercised. The system, which is still at least a year away from being operational, is being promoted by the U.A.E. as a way in which to defend against an Iranian ballistic missile attack. Of course, that does raise the question of why Iran would attack the U.A.E.; explains Kenneth Katzman of the Congressional Research Service, “The U.A.E. has been concerned for many years about possible retaliation against it for any U.S. or Israeli strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.” The United States just activated its first THAAD battery in Ft. Bliss, Texas, in May.








Israel and the United States Agree on a New Missile Defense Deal


Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

After intense negotiations between the United States and Israel, the countries have agreed to deploy a powerful U.S. radar system, the Forward Based X-Band Radar-Transportable (FBX-T), also known as the AN/TPY-2 radar, as well as a contingent of U.S troops on Israeli territory. This radar is the same kind that is already deployed in Japan and Alaska as part of the U.S. missile defense system. Additionally, the new radar system will be linked to the Joint Tactical Ground Stations (JTAGS) network, which receives information from U.S. Defense Support Program satellites. According to U.S. and Israeli officials, the AN/TPY-2 combined with the satellite-based alert system will likely double or even triple the rage of the current Israeli missile defense radar, Green Pine, which has a range of 800-900 kilometers. The United States has been reluctant to provide access to these systems due to security classification issues and Israel has been reluctant to allow the permanent stationing of foreign troops on its soil. However, the two countries have agreed to compromise. This radar is very likely to be the radar intended to be part of the U.S. plans for deploying a missile defense system in Europe, in addition to the X-band radar in the Czech Republic. It also is probably the radar mentioned in the amendment sponsored by Senators Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., John Warner, R-Va., David Vitter, R-La., James Inhofe, R-Okla., Mel Martinez, R-Fla., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., where they suggested adding up to $89 million to the Fiscal Year 2009 defense authorization for the deployment of an AN/TPY-2 radar to a “classified location.” This amendment was adopted by voice vote on Sept. 10.

EU Parliament held conference on terrorism threat

September 19, 2008

EU-NATO-US-Israel united to combat terror, but they are not agree to use the same methods

Ararat News –Publishing (ANP) – Fiona Lorin/ Roni Alasor, 17/9/2008 / Brussels
Last Tuesday, EU Parliament held Conference on Terrorism and Europe: Threats and Responses. EU and NATO-US-Israel are united to fight terrorism but they don’t share the same approach in the methods. Namely Gilles de Kerchove, Counterterrorism Coordinator for the EU, focused on the fundamental human rights issue and criticized the West for using more repression then prevention and protection. The debate was also controversial and left some unanswered questions for the public, especially concerning Turkey’s cooperation with Iran.
The conference was organized by 5 MEPs from different political groups: Alexander ALVARO (ALDE, DE), Paulo CASACA (PES, PT), Jana Hybášková MEP (EPP-ED, Czech Republic) Józef PINIOR (PES, PL) and Helga TRÜPEL (Greens/EFA, DE). They underlined the importance of the EU security for the citizens of EU and insisted for elaboration of Common European Strategy against terror.
Helga TRÜPEL from German Greens qualified Hezbollah actions as terrorist attacks against Israel and EU should not support such organization.
While Mr. Paolo Casaca was glad to see that representatives of different political organizations are united in the combat against terrorism, especially against Iran and Hezbollah, Jana Hybaskova stressed that Hezbollah should be put on the EU terror list.
MEP’s from different countries was agree that “the current policy of appeasement is not the answer Europe needs” and that “The longer we wait to deal with our terrorist problem, the stronger the terrorist response is going to be”, was the message from MEP`s. The speakers has underlined “the importance of increasing efforts to combat terrorism in light of the growing presence of Hezbollah in Europe”. A repport from German intelligence service, BND, has been mentioned in the conference that Hezbollah has established nearly 1.000 sleeper cell in Germany alone.
After the opening remarks of the Jewish representatives Mr. Daniel S. Mariaschin, Executive Vice President of B’nai B’rith International and Prof. Yonah Alexander, Director of Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies, Washington D.C., the floor was given to the special guest-speakers.
Mr. Guy Roberts, Assistant Secretary General for Policy on Weapons of Mass Destruction in NATO, presented in details the activities, operations, partnerships and consultations of the Transatlantic Alliance in order to create “network of networks” – global collective cooperation to reject the terror threat. Roberts underlined the importance of strong military capability to respond in case of any attack and gave as positive examples the presence of NATO in Darfur, Afghanistan, the Balkans.
To the question from Ararat News, why while all Western countries are united against Iranian Mollah regime, one of the NATO-Western allies, Turkey, is cooperating with Iran, Roberts answered:
“Of course, we are very concerned about the states supporting terrorist groups. With their acts they will not achieve any political objectives and will not get any advantages. But this is nation business. It is not our work.”
Mr. Gilles DE KERCHOVE, Counter Terrorism coordinator for the EU, told the public about his latest visit in Israel a week ago for participation in a conference about terrorism, but stressed that for Europe the biggest threats is related not to Hezbollah and Hamas, but to Al Qaeda.
“Before Al Qaida was regarded as movement, not as an organization, but during the last months we see more and more its mobilization. An active immigration from Pakistan is going to Europe and Europeans are also going to Pakistan for training”, said KERCHOVE.
According the EU Coordinator of Counter Terrorism, all the national and international actors should have a balanced approach in their fight against terrorism in order to avoid human rights abuses, violence and double standards use. “When we are speaking about data collection, we should know what we want to collect, what we want to share and where are the limits”, insisted Mr. KERCHOVE. He noted that the EU has not endorsed the American “War on Terror,” suggesting that the United States has used illegal methods in its fight against terrorism.
He suggested that an active cooperation between EUROPOL, EUROJUST and the national authorities can develop the necessary expertise for effective internet control, for early detection at the local level and it can help to destroy the Chinese wall between the worlds of the intelligence services, police and justice.
Mr. KERCHOVE concluded his speech optimistically saying that there is a decline in the support for terrorism in the Muslim world. “However we have to push for more freedom of speech”, he said. All the Jihad fighters are coming from countries with censorship on Internet – Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, so we need to push for more freedom of information to combat terrorism.
Mr. KERCHOVE explained that the integration of European Muslims and the creation of a “European Islam” would be key elements to extinguishing terrorism.
Kerchove made also clear that Iran is a threat and EU doesn’t underestimate that.