NATO Demo – Separate Euro & Arab Unified Forces Possible?

Editor’s Note – With Obama’s foreign policy failures came a great vacuum of leadership and the world took notice.

Apparently few now trust the US or rely on it despite recent NATO maneuvers including US forces in a show of strength for Putin and his resurgent military in Russia.

A convoy of U.S. troops driving through eastern Europe that opponents threatened to block has entered Czech territory.

The "Dragoon Ride" - The line of 4-year-olds clutched hands tightly in their matching, reflective yellow vests and stared open-mouthed at the hovering Chinook helicopters kicking up grit last week in the school parking lot. Shy teenage girls took pictures beside grinning American soldiers while Polish families clambered over a line of Stryker armored vehicles.
The “Dragoon Ride” – The line of 4-year-olds clutched hands tightly in their matching, reflective yellow vests and stared open-mouthed at the hovering Chinook helicopters kicking up grit last week in the school parking lot. Shy teenage girls took pictures beside grinning American soldiers while Polish families clambered over a line of Stryker armored vehicles.

The “Dragoon Ride” convoy started last week from Estonia and passed through Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, before entering the Czech Republic on a return journey to a German base.

The soldiers took part in the Atlantic Resolve exercise intended to demonstrate NATO’s readiness to defend its members.

The convoy got a warm welcome in Poland and the Baltics – NATO members worried that the conflict in Ukraine threatens their security. (Read more here at AP)

Now we are seeing the Sunni nations of the Middle East create an military force and there is call in Europe for a unified European Union force.

There is chaos in the region and they are acting to offset the massive Iranian threat, especially with its proxies in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.

First Europe, Now The Gulf’s Leaders Agree To Form United Arab Military Force

By Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge

Just a week after Jean-Claude ‘I am not a hawkish warmonger’ Juncker pressed for the creation of a Unified European Army to combat the ‘looming’ threat of their massive trade partner Russia; RT reports Arab leaders have agreed to form a joint military force from roughly 40,000 elite troops and backed by warplanes, warships and light armor at a Sharm el-Sheikh summit.

Middle East Power Military Chart

Egyptian President Abdel Sisi has announced a high-level panel will work out the structure and mechanism of the future force. The work is expected to take four months.

Europe’s got one…

The president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, who leads the EU’s executive arm, said an EU army would let the continent “react credibly to threats to peace in a member state or a neighbour of the EU”.

And now, as RT reports, The Gulf is getting one too…

Arab leaders have agreed to form a joint military force at a Sharm el-Sheikh summit, hosting Egyptian President Abdel Sisi has announced. The meeting was dominated by the situation in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia leads a bombing campaign against rebels.

“The Arab leaders have decided to agree on the principle of a joint Arab military force,” Sisi said Sunday as the summit wrapped up. The summit final communique called for “coordination, efforts and steps to establish an unified Arab force” to intervene in countries such as Yemen.

The Egyptian leader said a high-level panel will work out the structure and mechanism of the future force. The work is expected to take four months.

Earlier reports said the joint Arab military may be formed from roughly 40,000 elite troops and backed by warplanes, warships and light armor. There are however doubts that all 22 members of the Arab League would significantly contribute to it; the formations of the force could take months.

In a communique signed in the Egyptian resort city, the Arab countries also called on the West to form a new more comprehensive response to militancy, which is a thinly veiled reference to the desire by some Arab nations to see a new Western military intervention in Libya.

The country that was devastated after civil war and a NATO bombing campaign, which helped to oust strongman Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, became a hotbed for Islamist radicals, including the terrorist organization Islamic State.

Not everyone is buying it as a possibility…

James Dorsey, a Middle East analyst with the Singapore-based S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said that despite support for a joint-Arab force, “it would still take months to create and then operate on an ad-hoc basis.

“I don’t think we will get an integrated command anytime soon, as no Arab leader would cede control of any part of their army anytime soon,” he said.

“Today we will have a formal declaration that would be negotiated every time during action.”

It appears The Endgame of this global game of Risk is fast approaching as one-by-one, geographically proximate nations join forces for [whatever] comes next.

Vickers on the threats we face & NATO's future

Editor’s Note – Barack Obama has demonstrated a disdain for calling anything terrorism, unless forced to, and most often he has re-labeled it as an ‘overseas contingency operation’ to appease the Muslim world. He uses words like war and victory only when there is no intention to act, and he only acts when politically expedient. He has basically ended America’s hostilities on terror, save for a drone strike or two.

Then only recently did he give a speech at West Point explaining his foreign policy, six years into his two terms, which he was forced to do for at least two reasons, the recent kidnappings and deaths at the hands of Boko Harem and the immediate release only a few days after the speech of the ‘Taliban 5’ from Guantanamo.cocom-world-map-1356548233

So where does that leave America for the next several years, especially since Barack Obama has forced the shrinking of the United States global footprint, reputation, and trustworthiness?

Barack Obama’s lack of a clear and concise foreign policy and dismal leadership has alienated our allies to such a point that there is a very real possibility of NATO crumbling, much like the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc.

This leaves China and a resurgent Russia, along with the entire Shiite and Sunni world in a race for the top slots of global power rankings. When only Greece has set aside the proper funds for its share of NATO expenses, there is not much hope for NATO’s future.

In context, the lack of will and the anti-colonialism slant that Barack Obama has demonstrated, simply removed the United States from the short list of the keepers of peace globally.

In just six short years, Obama has unraveled the United States’ dominance globally, a closely knit fabric that was carefully crafted over generations. Now, some experts predict it will take at least fifteen years even to begin to reverse this course. Others predict as many as forty years, and that is only if there is a collection of Reagan prodigies on the horizon. Not much hope so far.

One of the topic intelligence analysts, with a real and candid background for saying what must be said, Michael Vickers has addressed this issue. Here he is his assessment. Please give it deep consideration.

USDI Vickers’ Top Threats: Terrorists, Syria, Russian ‘Revanchism’

By COLIN CLARK – BreakingDefense.com

WASHINGTON: If you want to understand why President Obama spoke so much about terrorism in his widely panned West Point speech, the head of Pentagon intelligence explained it pretty well today.

Terrorism is and remains the top threat to the United States, Defense Undersecretary for Intelligence Mike Vickers said this morning at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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The most interesting, and some would say anomalous, threat assessment he offered: China comes in at number seven after Al Qaeda and its affiliates, the Syrian civil war, Russian “revanchism,” Iran, North Korea and what he called the “persistent volatility” across South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa.

That’s right, China appears to come seventh when the Intelligence Community is planning and advising President Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

It makes sense when you consider the long-range goals China appears to have set itself and the absence of a direct confrontation — so far — between the two powers.

Now folks in the Intelligence Community may well tut tut and profess that they examine each situation as it occurs, but budgeting requires prioritization and here it is.

What does all this mean in aggregate to the Intelligence Community and the Pentagon? Vickers said, “[as] senior intelligence officials, we haven’t seen this range of challenges on an administration’s plate in our careers.” Not only is the range of threats geographically enormous and conceptually varied, they are, as Vickers noted, “these are highly asymmetric challenges.

In Pentagon parlance that means the United States military isn’t necessarily well prepared to cope with them. And there are a lot of them.

Is Mike Vickers arguing that the Intelligence Community needs to remain very well financed, even in this age of declining defense budgets? Sounds like!

Merkel Ranked so High on NSA Report List – Why?

Editor’s Note – Of all the people, and/or nations to watch closely, why was the NSA so focused on Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor? As Tyler Durden posted at Zerohedge: “With friends like these, who needs Russians?”

The Obama Administration apparently ignores historical data like the Wikileaks cables we reported on this week that showed Putin’s intentions in 2008, we ask again, why so much interest on Germany, our staunch NATO ally?NSA economist bridge

The chart posted below shows that she ranked above Bashar Al Assad of Syria in manual CIA station chief directives/reports and was in the top of those being watched including some of the most nefarious characters and governments including Malaysia, a nation so in the news of late due to the missing flight MH 370.

We know Malaysia is a hotbed, but is Germany, or their Chancellor? And look who made the list at 122, yes Ukraine’s now freed former President, and new candidate for the same office again, now that Russia has forced such dire changes to Ukraine, Yuliya Timoshencko.

From Tyler Durden at Zerohedge:

With friends like these, who needs Russians?

In the summer of 2013, a big diplomatic spat erupted when as a result of Snowden’s revelations, it became clear that among the countless world leaders the NSA was spying on was none other than US “best buddy forever”, German chancellor Angela Merkel. Why would the US spy on one of its closest strategic allies the Germans wondered: after all is it not Germany where the bulk of NATO forces are stationed (a topic that is sure to gain more prominence in the coming months now that the second coming of the USSR is just around the corner). Little by little, the diplomatic fallout was put to bed after US ambassadors across Europe were summoned, and given a stern talking to, resulting in promises that never again will the US abuse its bosom, if broke, buddies in Europe. And the whole spying scandal disappeared as if it had never happened.

Naturally, what the less naive ones knew and anticipated, was that if it had emerged that the NSA was spying on Merkel, there was about to be a waterfall of other unpleasant revelations about how deep the NSA’s tentacles stretched inside Germany, all contained in Snowden’s seemingle endless bag of goodies. (Read the rest here.)

With all the secret reports on Merkel, you would think she was more like Hitler than Putin is like Stalin.

NSA Kept Hundreds of Reports on German Chancellor Merkel: Report

By Sam Laird – Mashable

The NSA stored more than 300 secret reports on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, one of the White House’s most important allies, in a database that also contained information about scores of other foreign heads of state, according to a Saturday report from Der Spiegel.

The prominent German news magazine said this is just the latest revelation to emerge from the massive collection of sensitive and damaging documents released by Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower who began leaking top-secret information about United States intelligence-gathering operations last June.

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The database of foreign leaders included more than 100 people, according to Der Spiegel, who were listed alphabetically according to first name. In addition to Merkel, heads of state from Peru, Malaysia, Guatemala, Colombia, Belarus and Somalia appeared on the list. Der Spiegel did not specify what types of information the more than 300 reports on Merkel contained.

A separate Der Spiegel report from Saturday said the NSA and its British equivalent also targeted private German companies for clandestine intelligence-gathering operations. German authorities are reportedly considering whether or not to open their own formal espionage investigation into the NSA’s activities.

Saturday’s news is the latest Snowden leak to strain the relationship between the U.S. and Germany. Last October, it was revealed that the U.S. likely spied on Merkel’s personal phone, according to multiple reports. That led to a conversation between Merkel and President Barack Obama in which the German chancellor reportedly warned Obama that, if true, such actions by the U.S. would be “completely unacceptable” and a “grave breach of trust.”

Turkey is mobilizing – vows help to end dictatorship in Syria

Editor’s Note – Turkey, a NATO nation, and one time friend to Syria, is ratcheting up the rhetoric. The sabers are not rattling verbally, but their actions and mobilization speaks volumes. What the response by Turkey will be to recent Syrian aggression in the air will be is unknown, but suffice it to say – stay tuned, the summer is getting hotter.

What happens next effects many and involves Iran, Israel, Russia, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus, and Turkey to name a few. It could embroil much more – even outside the region, especially economically as nations teeter on the edge of collapse. A major conflagration there would spell ill the world over.

Furious Turkey mobilizes tanks, troops to Syrian border

Erdogan slams ‘murderous’ Assad, warns Damascus that rules of engagement have changed following downing of its jet

By  and  and 

The Turkish military mobilized large numbers of reinforcements from its eastern provinces to the Syrian border on Tuesday, amid rising tension with Damascus, after the downing by Syria of a Turkish Air Force jet on Friday, Turkish media reported.

Large numbers of Turkish troops — including at least 15 long-range artillery pieces and tanks – moved to the Syrian frontier from the eastern city of Diyarbakir. A video published by the Turkish Cihan News Agency showed Turkish tanks being transported by carrier trucks toward the frontier.

The mobilization followed statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the Turkish military will respond to any future violation of its border by Syrian military elements.

“As awe-inspiring as Turkey’s friendship is, Turkey’s wrath is equally awe-inspiring,” Erdogan told the Turkish parliament on Tuesday.

“The rules of engagement of the Turkish Armed Forces have changed,” Erdogan said. “Any military element that approaches the Turkish border from Syria posing a security risk and danger will be regarded as a threat and treated as a military target.”

Erdogan closed his remarks with an especially harsh condemnation of Syrian President Bashar Assad: “Turkey and the Turkish people will continue to provide all support until the people of Syria have been saved from this tyrannical, murderous, bloody dictator and his gang.”

Opposition sources in Syria reported at least 86 civilians were killed by Assad troops on Tuesday.

The father of one of the two missing pilots who were shot down in Friday’s incident told Turkish newspaper Hürriyet Daily News that he opposed Turkey going to war over his son.

“It is not appropriate for a country to go to war over a pilot, an airplane or 50 airplanes,” Ali Erton said. He said he was aware of the risks his son took as a military pilot, but added “what matters is that my son serves his country.”

NATO’s North Atlantic Council condemned Tuesday Syria’s downing of the Turkish jet on Friday, but did not recommend military action for the act, as Ankara has requested.

At an emergency meeting, requested by Turkey and chaired by NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the council clearly denounced Syria’s aggression “in the strongest terms,” calling the shooting down of a Turkish jet over the Mediterranean “unacceptable.”

“It is another example of the Syrian disregard for international norms, peace and security, and human life,” said the NATO chief, expressing his solidarity with Turkey, but making no mention of retaliatory action.

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, on Tuesday.

Read the rest here.

Turkey to help ‘liberate the Syrians from dictatorship’

By Ian Johnston, msnbc.com

Turkey’s prime minister said Tuesday that his country would offer all possible support “to liberate the Syrians from dictatorship,” as NATO condemned Syria for shooting down a Turkey military jet.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey – a member of NATO – had changed the rule of engagement for its military and would now respond to any violation of the Syrian border.

Turkey would not engage in war-mongering, but the attack on the reconnaissance jet, which was deliberately targeted, would not be left unanswered, Erdogan said in a speech to his ruling AK Party deputies in parliament.

“However valuable Turkey’s friendship is, its wrath is just as strong. Don’t take our common sense and cautious approach as a sign of passivity,” Erdogan said, according to Turkish newspaper Zaman.

“The Syrian administration is tyrannical and not just. Turkey will be in solidarity with our brothers in Syria until a new regime is in place,” he added. “Turkey will be in solidarity with our brothers in Syria until a new regime arrives.”

“We will offer all the possible support to liberate the Syrians from dictatorship,” Erdogan said.

Read more here.