Soros Recruiting Young Revolutionaries from Central Asian Target Countries

Get tuned to young people from your region!

Written by Abulfazal

Soros Foundations in Central Asia organize “Youth in the 21st Century: Debating and Producing Media” summer camp that will last for 12 days (yahoo!) with young brilliant people aged 17 to 25.

So here is a deal:

Apart from age, the following thing is the last requirement: participants must be young people from Afghanistan, KazakhstanKyrgyzstan, Mongolia, TajikistanTurkmenistan and Uzbekistan to be eligible for applying.

“This is a regional series of workshops that will be held during the summer and early autumn of 2011 for young people throughout the world. These workshops teach youth to be effective producers of media information by equipping them to produce and package content towards creating a better society,” Soros Foundation’s press-release says.

Purpose: bring together young people from different countries of the region to learn about issues within their society, debate them, and produce media projects about the relationship between media and society.

Participants will debate issues relating to how the media and youth do and should interact as well as what role this relationship plays in society at large. To provide a background for debates, participants will conduct research and have the chance to interact with local, regional and international experts in the journalism field. Finally, participants will improve their skills in actually producing new media by learning from instructors and making their own media projects.

Dates: July 7th – July 20th, 2011
Venue: Talisman Village Hotel, Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan
Language of instruction: English (please note that translation from English WILL NOT be provided)

All costs associated with participation in a workshop (travel, visa, accommodation and meals) will be covered by organizers.

Another Battalion of Georgian Troops To Help Fill Gap In Afghanistan

Georgia to Send More Troops to Afghanistan in 2012

Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 9 Jun.’11

Georgia will send an additional battalion to Afghanistan next year, which will turn the country into the largest non-NATO ISAF contributor, the Georgian Ministry of Defense said on June 9.

The issue was discussed in Brussels during a meeting on June 9 between Georgian Defense Minister Bacho Akhalaia and General David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Meeting of NATO Defence Ministers with non-NATO ISAF contributing nations was held in Brussels on June 9.

“At the meeting [Akhalaia and Gen. Petraeus] discussed the decision to send additional Georgian battalion to Afghanistan. Gen. Petraeus welcomed this decision,” the Georgian MoD said in a statement on June 9.

Georgia, which has 925 servicemen in Afghanistan, has lost total of eight soldiers since joining the ISAF mission in November, 2009.

Another issue discussed with Gen. Petraeus was a proposal to create a NATO-standard center to provide pre-deployment trainings for international operations, the Georgian MoD said.

India averse to inking military pacts with U.S.

India averse to inking military pacts with U.S.

SANDEEP DIKSHIT

Washington upset after Boeing and Lockheed Martin knocked out of race for combat aircraft

As the dust over rejection of two U.S. companies from the Rs. 11,000-crore Indian Air Force tender for fighter aircraft settles, official sources said the United States would also have to reconcile with India’s unwillingness to sign three military pacts.

The U.S. was extremely upset after Boeing and Lockheed Martin were knocked out of the race for the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA).

The issue figured in the May 9 conversation between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and U.S. President Barack Obama after the U.S. Embassy contended that the evaluation was not transparent.

The final report listed some qualitative requirements not met by the U.S. companies. But Washington claimed that these deficiencies were not mentioned in the initial report.

However, India has been unwavering in backing the evaluation of some 600 qualitative requirements of the six fighters in contention.

While the U.S. was denied a strategic foothold in the IAF’s offensive capabilities segment, it could face continued stonewalling with respect to three military pacts — Logistics Sharing Agreement (LSA), Communication Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) and the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA).

The Indian attitude a month ahead of the strategic dialogue between External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to keep the issue away from the main agenda.

NO HIDDEN OBJECTIVE

The U.S. argues that there is no hidden aim behind the LSA. It is an inter-bank type of clearing arrangement — there will be periodical settlement of accounts for the use of each other’s facilities.

For instance, Indian naval ships have had 45 refuellings from the U.S. ships in the Gulf of Aden. Under the LSA, payments need not be made each time. The expenses could be adjusted against the money owed to India if U.S. ships came calling here.

But the Indian leadership feels that the LSA will give the impression of a strategic agreement with the Pentagon in military operations.

After the Defence-Secretary level Defence Policy Group (DPG) meeting in Washington earlier this year, both sides agreed to work towards a more “mature arrangement.” But there was no “question of a blanket agreement,” said the official sources.

India confronts a technical issue in signing the CISMOA, though officials feel it sounds heavier than it is. They also feel that interoperability, as argued by the U.S., need not be dependent on signing the CISMOA.

The communication will be encrypted and no other algorithm can be used on the system. During joint exercises, U.S. personnel sit on Indian ships with their own equipment.

But on aircraft there is no space for two or three different kinds of equipment.

The Navy and the Air Force have said they had no problems either way but politically this remains a sensitive issue though officials say it is not as heavy as it sounds.

India also has reservations on the third military agreement sought by the U.S. — BECA. The U.S. says the pact will enable C-130 and C-17 planes to fly close to the ground.

This entails installation of ground sensors, which none in the security establishment, except the Defence Research & Development Organisation is keen on.

Moscow Irked by U.S. Meddling In Territorial Dispute with Japan

Moscow irked by U.S. role in territorial dispute with Japan

Moscow reacted angrily on Thursday to Washington’s possible involvement in theRussian-Japanese territorial dispute over to the Kuril Islands.

The reaction came in response to recent U.S.-Japanese consultations at the level of foreign and defense ministers who agreed to facilitate the normalization of Russian-Japanese relations by resolving the issue of “the Northern Territories.”

Both Japan and Russia have laid claims to the South Kuril Islands, called the Northern Territories by the Japanese, since they were annexed by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. The dispute has prevented the two countries from signing a peace treaty to formally end hostilities.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said U.S. interference in the dispute was “inappropriate.”

“Questioning Russia’s sovereignty over the South Kuril Islands, which are part of Russia’s territory as a result of World War II, as enshrined in the UN Charter, is inappropriate,” the ministry said in a statement.

The long-standing territorial dispute escalated last November following Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to one of the four South Kuril Islands. Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan called Medvedev’s trip “inexcusable rudeness,” sparking an angry reaction from the Kremlin.

Russia blasts U.S. Navy maneuvers near Georgia

Russia blasts U.S. Navy maneuvers near Georgia

American USS Monterey cruiser

American USS Monterey cruiser

MOSCOW, June 21 (RIA Novosti)

Russia is outraged at the maneuvers of American USS Monterey cruiser carrying the AEGIS air defense system near the Georgian coast on the Black Sea, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The U.S. warship arrived for joint exercises with Georgia as part of the Phased Adaptive Approach program designed to shape the European segment of the U.S.-led project to build a global missile defense system, the Trend news agency said.

“The Russian Foreign Ministry earlier expressed concern that along with negotiations on cooperation in the global air defense system, [the U.S.] is conducting simultaneous ‘reconnaissance’ operations near the borders of our country,” the ministry said.

Russia has been deeply concerned over U.S. plans to deploy a European air defense system near the Russian borders, saying it threatened its national security. Washington said it needed the system as a shield against possible threats from Iran or North Korea.

“And now this American warship has demonstratively entered the Georgian port of Batumi,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Relations between Russia and Georgia have been complicated in the past decade. Russia has traditionally supported Georgia’s breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, while Georgia has been looking to join NATO.In 2008, Russia and Georgia fought a five-day war over the two breakaway Georgian republics, after which Russia recognized them both as being independent states.

“Whatever the explanations are, it is clear that the Georgian authorities will see the incident as encouragement for their ambitions for revenge against the Russian allies of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which is unlikely to help stability in the region,” the ministry said.

Russian diplomats said they expected a more constructive approach from U.S. authorities, which would help provide security in the South Caucasus and the Black Sea region as a whole and respect the interests of all local countries.

Report: Bushehr experts killed in Russian plane crash

[An accident that kills Russia’s top nuclear reactor specialists, just as they are entering into multiple contracts to build new reactors (SEE: Top Russian Reactor Designers Among Those Killed In Russia Aircrash ), has to raise suspicions of sabotage by Russia’s greatest economic competitor.   This report is running in tandem with a report of repeated attempts to blind incoming Russian pilots at Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport (SEE: New attempt to blind Russian pilot with laser ).  Many more strategic coincidences like this might cause the Kremlin to wonder about its “reset” partners.]

Report: Bushehr experts killed in Russian plane crash

Iranian nuclear efforts suffer major setback as five leading figures in design of its nuclear facilities perish in crash

Stav Spivak

The crash site Photo: Reuters

Five Russian scientists who assisted in the design of Iran’s Bushehr nuclear power plant were among the 44 fatalities of Monday’s Russian plain crash, Moscow’s International News Agency RIA Novosti reported Thursday.

The Tupolev-134 plane broke up and caught fire upon making an emergency landing outside the northern city of Petrozavodsk. A preliminary investigation ruled out the possibility of a technical failure.

Three of the experts – Sergei Rizhov, Gennadi Benyok, and Nicolai Tronov – were among the atom facility’s designers. Andrei Trokinov, a top Russian nuclear technological expert, was also killed, as was Valery Lalyn, another nuclear expert.

The five worked at Bushehr and were to ensure the facility would withstand natural disasters.

The five were employed by Hydropress, a member-organization of Russia’s State Nuclear Corporation. Hydropress is one of the main companies involved in the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, and is also involved in projects in China, India and Bulgaria.

Novosti sources said that the deaths were “a great blow to the Russian nuclear industry.”

According to the news agency’s sources, no foul play was involved.