What’s New In Russia’s New Military Doctrine?

What’s New In Russia’s New Military Doctrine?

Soldiers of the 5th Brigade line up during training near the town of Narofominsk in February 2010.Soldiers of the 5th Brigade line up during training near the town of Narofominsk in February 2010.

February 27, 2010
By Mikhail Tsypkin
Earlier this month, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev signed the new “Military Doctrine Of The Russian Federation Until 2020” to replace the doctrine signed by Vladimir Putin in 2000. It’s supposed to be a guiding document for the development of the armed forces.

Western observers have focused on two aspects of the new doctrine emphasized by its drafters: the designation of NATO as a source of military danger, and the language on nuclear deterrence. Upon closer inspection, however, there is nothing new in the document on either subject.

The really interesting aspects of the new doctrine are the contradictions between its text and Russia’s ongoing military reform, as well as those between the envisioned requirements for future weapons acquisition and the realities of Russia’s defense industry.

The references to NATO as a source of military danger to Russia are neither new nor as direct as often presented in Western commentaries. The military doctrine adopted in 2000 did not mention NATO by name, but described enlargement of military alliances in areas adjoining Russia as a military threat. It was not necessary to use the word NATO to make it clear which alliance the document had in mind.

The new doctrine draws a distinction between “military danger” and “military threat.” The former is an international situation that may, under certain conditions, lead to the latter. A military threat is an international situation that makes war possible. NATO’s enlargement is listed at the top of the list of military dangers, which means that it could develop into a military threat. Thus NATO enlargement has actually been demoted from a threat to a danger in the latest doctrine.

The concerns about the role to be assigned to nuclear weapons in the new doctrine were triggered by a statement in October by Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev (the Security Council was charged with preparing the draft doctrine) suggesting that the new doctrine “would not exclude preventive” nuclear strikes in situations “critical” to Russian national security, even in small-scale, local wars. (The August 2008 war with Georgia was a small-scale war.) The 2000 military doctrine assigned first use of nuclear weapons only to large-scale (in fact, global) wars, in situations critical to Russian national security. Once the 2010 doctrine was released, however, the formula of first use dropped any reference to the scale of war and somewhat tightened the main condition for such use to a “threat to the existence of the state itself.” Such provisions, as nonproliferation expert Nikolai Sokov observes, are “standard” for any nuclear-weapons state.

Aleksandr Golts, one of the most perceptive Russian experts on military affairs, has noted a discrepancy between the doctrine and the development of the armed forces. The goal of the military reform conducted by the Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov since October 2008 is to make all military units fully combat ready without the mobilization of reservists.

The new military, 1 million strong, is intended to react quickly to conflicts along Russia’s periphery rather than fight NATO. The doctrine, however, refers to a mixture of fully combat-ready units and those that can be deployed only after mobilization.

The military reform is very painful for the officer corps. According to Serdyukov’s plan, the number of general officer billets is to be cut from 1,107 to 886; colonels from 25,665 to 9,114; lieutenant colonels from 88,678 to 15,000; majors from 99,950 to 25,000; and captains from 90,000 to 40,000. The officer corps will lose 13,313 out of 21,813 of its most desirable billets in the Moscow headquarters.

The command structure is to change from the current four-level one (military district-army-division-regiment) to a U.S.-style, three-level one (military district-operational command-brigade). The 65 institutions of military education are to be consolidated into 10. These drastic changes challenge the self-interest of officers, some of whom will be discharged while others will have to learn how to do their jobs in new ways. Many of these officers cling to the purported NATO threat as they strive to preserve the Soviet-type, mass-mobilization military — and thousands of officers’ billets — and impeded Serdyukov’s reforms.

The 600-pound gorilla hiding in the verbiage of the new doctrine is the question of how to arm the military with the high-tech weapons listed in the document. The Russian defense industry suffers from outdated plants, an aging work force, and the incompatibility of a system built by Josef Stalin with the realities of a market economy.

The new doctrine suggests that Russia somehow invigorate investment into innovative technologies and keep its independence as an arms manufacturer. While debating the best way to direct the Russian economy toward technological innovation, Russia’s leaders appear to be moving away from defense industry autarky. During a meeting with Western experts on Russia last September, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin reportedly said Russia wanted to cooperate with Western nations in weapons manufacturing.

The doctrine, which designates NATO as a source of danger to Russia, appears to be in conflict with the emerging weapons acquisition policy: importing selected major weapon systems from NATO members. The plan to buy a Mistral helicopter carrier from France (and other possible suppliers were reportedly Spain and the Netherlands) is a clear indication that Russian leaders are frustrated with the inability of their defense industry to produce modern armaments. Russia may benefit from importing and coproducing weapons, but it may also have to adjust its foreign policy to the reality of dependence on Western suppliers.

Nothing in the new doctrine points to growing aggressiveness on the part of Russia either at the conventional or nuclear levels. The doctrine suggests that the ongoing radical military reform has, at best, a lukewarm endorsement by the high command. If Serdyukov loses Putin’s support, the reform may be left unfinished.

The doctrine avoids the thorniest issues. It contains no hint as to how Russia will supply its military with new weapons and how it might deal with what may become the greatest military challenge to Russia — the rise of China. One may surmise that Moscow has not yet come up with answers to these fundamental questions.

Mikhail Tsypkin is associate professor of national security affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not represent the views of RFE/RL or those of the Department of the Navy or any other agency of the U.S. government

    The Big Dog Gets Called On the Carpet for Comments

    [When the top military leaders begin to publicly question the Commander In Chief’s policies (SEE:  Military leaders try to allay concerns about Afghanistan), the entire ideological underpinning of a war of terror begins to crumble.  It will become a question of whom does the American people support, the President, or the military leadership?  It this erosion is not halted quickly, then American government, followed by American society will collapse entirely.  Pushing us further down the road of terror war will either bring us total war, or total anarchy.  Obama would be well advised to abandon the war completely.]

    Top general McChrystal summoned to D.C.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — An Obama administration official says the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan has been summoned to Washington to explain his controversial comments about colleagues in a recent interview.

    The official says Gen. Stanley McChrystal has been directed to attend the monthly White House meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan in person Wednesday rather than over a secure video teleconference, so he can discuss his comments with President Obama and top Pentagon officials.

    An article in this week’s Rolling Stonemagazine depicts McChrystal as a lone wolf on the outs with many important figures in the Obama administration and unable to persuade even some of his own soldiers that his strategy can win the war.

    The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the general’s schedule.

    On Tuesday, McChrystal issued a statement saying: “I extend my sincerest apology for this profile. It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened.”

    The article depicts Gen. Stanley McChrystal as a lone wolf on the outs with many important figures in the Obama administration and unable to convince even some of his own soldiers that his strategy can win the war.

    A band of McChrystal’s profane, irreverent aides are quoted mocking Vice President Biden and Richard Holbrooke, the special U.S. representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    In the Rolling Stone profile, McChrystal is described by an aide as “disappointed” in his first Oval Office meeting with an unprepared President Obama. The article says that although McChrystal voted for Obama, the two failed to connect from the start. Obama called McChrystal on the carpet last fall for speaking too bluntly about his desire for more troops.

    “I found that time painful,” McChrystal said in the article, on newsstands Friday. “I was selling an unsellable position.”

    Obama agreed to dispatch an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan only after months of study that many in the military found frustrating. And the White House’s troop commitment was coupled with a pledge to begin bringing them home in July 2011, in what counterinsurgency strategists advising McChrystal regarded as an arbitrary deadline.

    McChrystal said Tuesday, “I have enormous respect and admiration for President Obama and his national security team, and for the civilian leaders and troops fighting this war and I remain committed to ensuring its successful outcome.”

    The profile, titled “The Runaway General,” emerged from several weeks of interviews and travel with McChrystal’s tight circle of aides this spring.

    It includes a list of administration figures said to back McChrystal, including Defense Secretary Robert Gatesand Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and puts Biden at the top of a list of those who don’t.

    The article claims McChrystal has seized control of the war “by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House.”

    Biden initially opposed McChrystal’s proposal for additional forces last year. He favored a narrower focus on hunting terrorists.

    If Eikenberry had the same doubts, McChrystal said he never expressed them until a leaked internal document threw a wild card into the debate over whether to add more troops last November. In the document, Eikenberry said Afghan President Hamid Karzai was not a reliable partner for the counterinsurgency strategy McChrystal was hired to execute.

    McChrystal said he felt “betrayed” and accused the ambassador of giving himself cover.

    “Here’s one that covers his flank for the history books,” McChrystal told the magazine. “Now, if we fail, they can say ‘I told you so.'”

    There was no immediate response from Eikenberry. The Associated Press requested comment through an aide after business hours on Monday in Kabul.

    Eikenberry remains in his post in Kabul, and although both men publicly say they are friends, their rift is on full display.

    McChrystal and Eikenberry, himself a retired Army general, stood as far apart as the speakers’ platform would allow during a White House news conference last month.

    Rolling Stone interviewed troops frustrated by McChrystal’s strict rules for combat that are intended to reduce the number of civilian casualties.

    At one outpost, a soldier McChrystal had met earlier was killed in a house that the local U.S. commander had repeatedly asked to destroy. The request was denied, apparently out of concern that razing the house would anger locals whose allegiance the U.S. is trying to win.

    “Does that make any (expletive) sense?” Pfc. Jared Pautsch asks. “We should just drop a (expletive) bomb on this place. You sit and ask yourself, ‘What are we doing here?'”

    UN Iranian Sanctions Will Bend Pipeline Nations To America’s Will

    [This article, and the previous article on Pakistan having to scuttle the  pipeline deal with Iran (SEE: Pakistan Admits That Iran Sanctions Will Kill Iran-Pakistan “Peace Pipeline”), trace the beginnings of America’s new Iranian policy. By pursuing UN sanctions under Chapter 7, they will have the force of law, requiring that law-abiding nations shape their national policies within parameters set by the law.  After reading Amb. Holbrooke’s warning to Pakistan (SEE: Pakistan FM vows to implement Iran gas pipeline project despite U.S. warning), it can be assumed that the wording of the UN resolution will be constructed in legalese, in such a manner as to force compliance with America’s will toward Iran.  This will force countries with Iranian energy projects to curtail their operations.  Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan will have to find new routes to market, coincidentally, the Nabucco pipeline will be completed at about the same time as sanctions take hold.  This is high-handed extortion of the first magnitude.  America and its poodle Israel, as well as Iran, have together created a world-wide impression that they are about to start World War III as a method for forcing acceptance of economic sanctions, as the lesser evil being offered to the world.

    Sanctions on Iran are sanctions on everybody who deals with Iran.  Sanctions upon Iran are a tool to create the Empire.  Everyone involved, including Iran, benefits from these sanctions.  This explains the rationale behind the US war on Iraq, which has only benefited Iran.  Because of the Iraq war, Iran now dominates the Persian gulf region.  Every national government participates in the global psyop to some degree, some are major players.]

    S

    Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan on oil crossroads

    Galina Shakirov

    The need for alternative supply routes of oil bypassing Iran has arisen because of the sanctions against the Islamic Republic, entered the UN Security Council on June 9

    Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan face a serious choice: which route to redirect its oil supply to bypass Iran – through Russia or Georgia? The second option would play into the hands of the U.S., but there is a risk – an unstable situation in the region.

    The need for alternative supply routes of oil bypassing Iran has arisen because of the sanctions against the Islamic Republic, entered the UN Security Council on June 9, Reuters news agency reported quoting a source in the oil industry.

    Earlier, Iran has reached agreements with Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to supply the equivalent amount of oil on behalf of its partners in the Persian Gulf through the ports of the Caspian Sea. However, after the adoption of UN Security Council resolution to tighten sanctions Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan could let oil through the Baku – Makhachkala – Novorossiysk or through a pipe Baku – Tbilisi – Ceyhan oil pipeline. It is known that Kazakhstan until then supplied to Iran about 1.2 million tons of oil annually. Volumes of supplies of Turkmen were not disclosed.

    Russian experts in their appraisals of the situation. “So far no reason to Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan stopped deliveries and transit of oil through Iran, no, no restrictions on such transactions do not impose UN sanctions”, – said analyst Finam “Alexander Eremin.According to him, to make the Central Asian republics could only following the tightening of sanctions on Iran, but as practice shows, it may not be more than a couple of years – now the U.S. will not be able to persuade the UN Security Council members for the next round of anti-Iran measures.

    Director of the Middle East Institute Yevgeny Satanovsky, in turn, believes that to persuade the UN Security Council and not have to. The U.S. and Europe can simply impose new sanctions on his behalf. And while Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan will indeed have to choose new export routes.

    However, according to the head of department Due Diligence NKG “2K Audit – Business Consulting Alexander Stock, in the case of pressure from the U.S. Kazakhstan without any problems re-direct oil to Europe, bypassing Iran. In this case, according to analyst, Astana may choose routes of oil transportation via Azerbaijan. “Today, Baku can offer three options for transportation of oil – through the Baku – Supsa, Baku – Novorossiysk and Baku – Tbilisi – Ceyhan (BTC). At this point, all these routes are not working at full capacity: Baku – Supsa pipeline may take about 5.5 million tons a year, Baku – Novorossiysk – 2.7 million tons, Baku – Tbilisi – Ceyhan (BTC) – 1,5 million tons “, – said rod.

    Turkmenistan is also able to use these routes. However, in addition to oil supplies in Iran, Turkmenistan and even gas. A cooperation with Iran in the gas sector in Turkmenistan is very important. Following the sanctions, Turkmenistan, shutting off oil supplies to Iran, will be forced to stop and export of blue fuel. “It is unlikely that Turkmenistan will go to this step”, – doubts stem.

    Senior Analyst Arbat Capital Vitaly Gromadin believes that Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are likely to choose the BTC pipeline, which would correspond to American interests, which can at the same time to support its allies, ensuring a higher loading of the pipe. The analyst explained that the option to redirect through the Russian territory will cause dissatisfaction of Americans: “Thus, in Russia to focus even greater share of hydrocarbon supplies to Europe, and that the U.S. does not want.”

    But America is so convenient route BDT passes through Georgia and threatens to significant risks. “Georgia is not reconciled with the new status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia – recalled Yevgeny Satanovsky. – In case of new military action of the first to suffer just a pipe Baku – Tbilisi – Ceyhan pipeline. According to the analyst, Astana and Ashgabat can not understand, therefore, most likely, “lay eggs in different baskets”, ie, diversify supply by different routes, “it would be wise.”

    In expressing such divergent positions, industry experts agree that under any scenario indisputable disadvantage for Kazakhstan will be the loss of the market in the Gulf, to which Kazakhstan was out by supplying to the north of Iran.

    Source:: Republic (Kazakhstan)

    Gazprom Puts the Squeeze On Belarus, Belarus Puts a Choke-Hold On Europe

    Belarus to prevent gas transit to Europe until Gazprom pays debts

    Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he has put gas transit to Europe through Belarusian territory on hold until Russian energy giant Gazprom pays for the use of Belarusian pipelines,RIA Novosti reported.

    “Until we are paid for the last six months, gas transit will not continue,” Lukashenko said at a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

    “Gazprom ows us $260 million, which includes transit in May,” Lukashenko said.

    He added that Gazprom knows about its debt and admits it.

    “We owe them $190 million, and they [Gazprom] owe us $260 million. It is absurd that we are not paying off this debt,” the president said.

    Azerbaijani News Agency TREND Creates International Expert Council

    Int'l Expert Council established under TREND News Agency

    Trend News Agency, introducing the practice of the world’s leading news agencies, announces the establishment of the International Expert Council, composed of prominent politicians and public figures, analysts and experts, heads of business associations, authoritative representatives of science and media not only in Azerbaijan but near and far abroad.

    Trend Expert Council is formed to develop a professional independent expert opinion, constructive dialogue between the various associations of intellectual forces, work out recommendations for the scientific community, the media, etc.

    Trend Expert Council considers a targeted active participation in the formation of an integrated expert opinion about the processes in the South Caucasus, the Caspian and Central Asian regions as a priority.

    An agreement for membership of the head of Azerbaijan’s Bank Association Eldar Ismayilov, director general of the Information and Analytical Center for the study of socio-political processes in post-Soviet space of Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov Alexey Vlasov, the head of Caucasian Studies at the Russian State Humanitarian University Ismayil Agakishiev, Azerbaijani political analysts  Rasim Musabeyov and Fikret Sadikhov, representative of the International Coalition for Increasing Transparency in Extractive Industries, member of the EITI International Board of Azerbaijani civil society Inglab Akhmadov, member of the political council of New Azerbaijan Party, MP Aydin Mirzazade, writer, historian, expert on Iran Yunus Oguz, President of Social Development Foundation Rashad Rzaguliyev, deputy director general of the Information and Analytical Center of Moscow State University Alexandr Karavaev, chief editor of Izvestia-Kazakhstan Eduard Poletayev, program director of the Institute of Social and Political Research in Kazakhstan Botagoz Rakisheva, etc. to TrendInternational Expert Council was reached at the preliminary stage.

    Trend will continue to work on the expansion of the council and inform about the activities undertaken within the Expert Council.

    Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at trend@trend.az

    Now Pakhtuns’ targeted killings in Balochistan

    Now Pakhtuns’ targeted killings in Balochistan

    Author: Abdul Nishapuri

    The Frontier Post [Warning:  Frontier Post infected with multiple Trojans]


    Source: Pakistan Press google group

    First published in: The Frontier Post, 20 June 2010

    As it were not enough for the problems of Balochistan, Pakhtuns’ targeted killings have started in Baloch-dominated areas of the province. This menace has the real potential to set both communities on the collision course causing strife in the whole province.

    There are reports that Fazullah Barech, a Pakhtun shopkeeper, was killed couple of days ago in his shop by unknown assailants in Nushki —- the town lies southwest of Quetta.

    There have been other incidents in areas like Turbat, Mand, Bella, Khuzdar and Awaran where Pakhtuns have been targeted, killed and their property and transports looted. Pakhtun nationalists, led by PkMAP have strongly protested over the killings of Pakhtuns and accused the Baloch militants for being involved in these incidents. They have also blamed Baloch militants for trying to stock ethnic clashes between Pakhtuns and Balochs in Balochistan.

    So far Baloch militants have been targeting Punjabi residents of Balochistan for what they call avenging the killings of Balochs by the “Punjabi” Army. However, the above incidents are indicative that they have now started targeting Pakhtuns.

    Pakhtuns constitute nearly half of Balochistan’s population. They have been supporting Baloch cause for securing rights from Islamabad and have avoided any direct confrontation with Balochs althoguh. Pakhtuns have suffered a great deal due to Baloch militancy. Pakhtuns mainly are involved in businesses in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan. The frequent shutter down and wheel jam strikes by Baloch militants have nearly ruined the business and commerce of Pakhtuns. Beside, the provincial government being dominated by Balochs openly discriminates against Pakhtuns in jobs, development funds and other arenas.

    Pakhtun political forces have always backed Balochs in their struggle for more autonomy and rights as opposed to Baloch political forces who have remained silent on the suffering of Pakhtuns. The recent clashes between Baloch and Pakhtun students were notable because it were only Pakhtun political parties including PKMAP, JUI (F) who were trying to diffuse the situation and keep peace and harmony among the two communities.

    The economic situation of Pakhtuns in Balochistan has deteriorated to the degree that they are forced to migrate. But the once luring Karachi option has vanished in the wake of MQM’s anti-Pakhtun drive from the city.

    However, in the longer term, they are also faced with one of the world’s potentially worst environmental disasters (declining underground water table) coupled with specter of mass migration: agriculture — the main stay of Pakhtuns’ bread and butter — is on the throes of extinction because of depleting underground water reservoir.

    Due to neglect of Islamabad and Baloch-dominated governments, over the past decades, no remedial steps have been taken including construction of delay action dams, and other measures to raise the level of underground water table. Over the course of next two decades, environmentalists fear that the

    underground water table reservoir will completely dry up forcing Pakhtuns to face drought and desert like situation. Their choices for possible migration are very limited: further north is Afghanistan’s Helmand and Kandahar provinces which have already been suffering due to drought and instability. To the north-west is the de-facto “Islamic Emirate of Waziristan” which cannot sustain its own population while in the north-west is Baloch desert. The only viable route for migration is in the south leading to Dera Gazi Khan into South Punjab. Thus it is not far fetched that over 6 million Pakhtuns will be migrating to the South Punjab. In such an eventuality, any Punjab government will simply not be able to cope with such a large number of Pakhtun migrants.

    Balochistan’s Pakhtun areas are likening the central Asia region including Ferghana Valley which are dependent on Arl Sea for their agriculture and drinking water needs. Over the past decades, Arl Sea has nearly dried up threatening the future of nearly 40 million population of Central Asia within next over fifteen years. They have nowhere to go except Russia en route to Kazakhstan, a scenario Moscow simply cannot deal with.

    That said, in the short run, Baloch political forces need to understand that by not condemning Pakhtuns’ targeted killings, they will be seen complicit in these incidents. They have already got no allies hence losing the support of Pakhtun counter parts is the last thing they need.

    As they cannot force Islamabad on their own to grant more rights without the support of the Pakhtuns who have huge political capital and a substantial clot in Pakistan as a extended community compared to tiny Balochs population. They blame Islamabad for their woes picking a fight with Pakhtuns by the militants would also divest them of their political capital, the goodwill and support they enjoy with Pakhtuns right now.

    Thus let sanity be prevailed. It is not going to help blaming everything on ISI. For in Balochistan, Balochs and Pakhtuns know the configuration of all types of Baloch political strands. Thus they cannot confuse at least Pakhtuns by blaming targeted killings on ISI.

    On the other hand, Pakhtuns are boxed in the northern corridor of Balochistan. And they blame Baloch militants for their existing problems, if nothing is done to stop Pakhtuns’ targeted killings in Baloch area, and security is not provided to them along Quetta-Karachi route, the ensuing ethnic strife will dwarf the situation in Karachi and leaving the province simply ungovernable not only for Balochs but also for Islamabad.

    janassakzai200@gamil.com

    Post Published: 22 June 2010

    Kyrgyzstan on hunt for ‘militants’ behind ethnic clashes

    OSH, Kyrgyzstan – Agence France-Presse
    A Kyrgyz soldier sits on a top of a armored carrier during a patrol in the Uzbek side of the southern city of Osh on Monday. AP photo
    A Kyrgyz soldier sits on a top of a armored carrier during a patrol in the Uzbek side of the southern city of Osh on Monday. AP photo

    Kyrgyzstan on Monday staged raids in the tense southern cities killing two people and wounding 23 in special operations to find those behind deadly ethnic clashes in the volatile Central Asian state, authorities said.

    Amid a new surge in tensions, Kyrgyzstan’s interim leader Roza Otunbayeva arrived in Osh where she was to meet with security forces and residents after the clashes between the Kyrgyz majority and Uzbek minority that may have killed up to 2,000 people and affected more than one million.

    Authorities said they carried out a “special operation” in Osh on Monday against militants who were refusing to hand over weapons. Witnesses told AFP that police operations were carried out in Uzbek neighborhoods of the city. A military statement said 23 people had been injured and two killed when security forces faced “armed and physical resistance” during an operation in the village of Nariman.

    Witnesses said a gunbattle erupted after security forces moved into the village near the border with Uzbekistan overnight with armored vehicles and helicopters. Officials earlier denied that anyone had been injured or killed during the operations, which human-rights activists said were stoking tensions. “People are scared… This process will only intensify the situation,” said Tolekan Izmailova, head of the Citizens Against Corruption group.

    Authorities said they had arrested seven people and seized two grenades, 40 cartridges for automatic weapons and three Molotov cocktails during the operations. Kyrgyzstan arrested 20 people on Sunday over their suspected role in ethnic clashes, as the military cleared makeshift barricades from Uzbek areas in Osh.

    There were no incidents during the removal of the barricades, but some residents said they feared the unrest would return. The interim government on Saturday extended a state of emergency in Osh and nearby areas by five days to Friday.

    Unavoidable collapse of an illusion!

    CÜNEYT ÜLSEVER

    Illusion: An erroneous mental representation.

    Not but a year ago the Illusionist created an illusion and blinded many. The illusion was defined by the Illusionist as:

    “Foreign policy and priorities of Turkey completely overlap with that of Barack Obama.”

    If Turkey had followed the “zero problems” policy with its neighbors, both Turkey and the United States could’ve acquired the utmost benefit out of this.

    After the Illusionist uttered the magical words, U.S. President Obama paid a visit to Turkey and was termed as an “extraordinary” leader by some journalists.

    As the Illusionist was also praised by the same group, he was termed “First Foreign Minister of Turkey with the greatest vision ever.”

    In fact, the journalists failed to see the difference between an “illusion” and a “vision.”

    The Illusionist has made them believe that the “illusion” is the “vision” because he was smarter and more intellectual than the said journalists.

    ***

    As the myths he made up collapsed, it emerged that the Illusionist is only capable of creating an illusion not a vision.

    ***

    In a year which illusions have happened to be myths only?

    1) First of all, in the “one minute” period Turkey failed to mediate between Israel and Syria.

    2) The protocols were signed with Armenia in advance of April 24, as we created a false image that we were keeping our promise to Obama. But our bilateral relations with Azerbaijan were harmed seriously.

    3) As we realized that Azerbaijan is in fact a key energy supplier for us, beyond our spiritual ties, the “Armenian Protocols” were torn and sent to the garbage bin. So, we asked forgiveness of Azerbaijan. But this time, Turkish-Armenian relations collapsed.

    4) In order to deter Iran from nuclear activities, we were involved in a brokerage process on behalf of the U.S. As we were just about to convince Iran, although not completely, the “No” vote in the United Nations Security Council brought our relations with the U.S. to the edge.

    5) Owing to the Mavi Marmara humanitarian aid ship, we were supposed to break the Israeli embargo in Gaza and become a leader in the Middle East. But Israel made incredible maneuvering in the last minute, the “Turkey-Hamas brotherhood” suddenly emerged out of the picture, and the ruling Justice and Development Party’s, or AKP, image in the West was battered.

    6) As we just about said: “We are winning in the Middle East,” Hamas spokesman:

    i) Offered the Larnaka Port instead of Gaza for a humanitarian aid delivery point and he pointed out:

    ii) Egypt as the mediator between Al Fatah and Hamas, despite the entire struggle they were going through, because of the historic bonds, it appeared that Hamas was just using Turkey so the brotherhood image of the Turkish government and Hamas collapsed.

    7) Under the Kurdish Initiative, Kurds living in Turkey were supposed to be earned and with this, as the U.S. pulls out from northern Iraq as of June 2010, northern Iraq would be undergone to the guardianship of Turkey. That was the plan, but the Kurdish initiative failed too as the U.S. plans on “northern Iraq” flunk.

    8) As the leader of the Northern Iraq Regional Administration Massoud Barzani was warmly welcomed by the Illusionist in Turkey, hundreds of terrorists easily entered Turkey from northern Iraq and killed Turkish soldiers. Therefore, the northern Iraq rapprochement, as part of the U.S. withdrawal plans from Iraq hit the deep.

    ***

    Within a year only the illusion “Foreign policy and priorities of Turkey completely overlap with that of Barack Obama” was transformed into the vision “How could we benefit from the collapse of the foreign policy preferences of Obama and Turkey!”

    Prime Minister Erdoğan Claims PKK “Subcontractor” for Terrorism

    GAZİANTEP – Doğan News Agency

    The leader of the main opposition party has asked Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to make the forces behind the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, public if he believes that the organization is a subcontractor.

    Erdoğan said after the latest PKK attack over the weekend that the recent increase in violence reflected the group’s efforts to “sabotage the economic, social and democratic development process.”

    “We know whose subcontractor the PKK is,” the prime minister added, though he did not explain who he was blaming for the terrorist organization’s attack.

    Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, said Erdoğan’s accusations are very serious.

    “If the prime minister of a country talks about such a serious situation, he should have some concrete knowledge,” Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters Monday in the southeastern city of Gaziantep. “Who are the forces that support the terrorist organization? The prime minister should make this information public, and the public will react against those countries accordingly.”

    Kılıçdaroğlu noted that there are also rumors that the fight against terror lacks the necessary intelligence. “Some argue that the ‘Herons’ [unmanned aerial vehicles produced by Israel] are not sufficient,” said Kılıçdaroğlu. “I don’t know the details, because we are not informed about such issues. The prime minister should share the information with us.”

    Kılıçdaroğlu said he could not meet President Abdullah Gül on Monday due to his trip to the southeast, adding that a meeting could be scheduled for Tuesday in Istanbul. “I believe President Gül wants to inform party leaders on the latest developments,” he said. “The meetings have been scheduled due to the mounting public pressure. There should be immense preparations if such summits will lead to concrete results. I hope that they are ready for that.”

    Kılıçdaroğlu has been advocating economic measures as a way winning the fight against terror which he reiterated “I saw a banner today that read: ‘I’ve had my breakfast, I’ve food for lunch, but I don’t know what I will have for dinner,’” Kılıçdaroğlu said at a meeting with the representatives of nongovernmental organizations in Gaziantep. “You must first end hunger. Hungry people will not demand democracy – will not care about the principles of the Republic.”

    The CHP leader said his party’s priority will be hunger and poverty. “We will first feed our citizens and then fight against terror,” said Kılıçdaroğlu. “You cannot end terror only with guns. You must implement economic and social projects. Investing in the region should be a priority. That way you can both fight unemployment and terror at the same time.”

    Commenting on the call for an early election from Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, Kılıçdaroğlu said the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has lost its “grounds for governing.”

    “The country has a serious weakness of government,” said the CHP leader. “There are no investments. The income distribution is not getting any better. The society needs a new government, a new mentality and clean politics. Under such circumstances, the CHP will be very happy if the early election is offered as a way of solution.”

    War strategy collapses along with Petraeus

    War strategy collapses along with Petraeus

    By: Aimee Allison (Email)

    How patient should the American people be while the Afghanistan war strategy wilts and faints? Not patient at all, especially because the key component of the strategy – training an Afghan police force – is destined to fail.

    The U.S. is now in the 105th month of the war in Afghanistan, earning the distinction of being the longest conflict in our nation’s history. Last December, President Obama’s plan increased troop and financial commitment to fight al-Qaida in stronghold cities. In addition, the administration stepped up police and military training that was intended to set the stage for U.S. withdrawal beginning in July 2011. But like his predecessor President Bush, the strategies and goals of the Afghan War continue to shift and strain. Two hundred billion dollars and an estimated 98,000 troops haven’t made the flawed plan go. And critics of the war – from the left and the right agree on one thing: The war is not doing well.

    So, when General Petraeus collapsed at a congressional hearing last week it was a grim metaphor for a tired, overstretched and failed war strategy. And although he later dismissed this public display as no more than dehydration, some critics quickly jumped on the opportunity to make the case to extend the war. Senator McCain commented, “It now seems increasingly clear that hoping for success on the arbitrary timeline set by the administration is simply unrealistic”.

    So what is the realistic thing to do eight years and eight months into a war the US isn’t winning? The solution isn’t to extend the timeline, to deploy more troops, to send more drones or to award more multi-million dollar contracts to the likes of DynCorp and Blackwater to train Afghan troops. The answer is simpler than that. End, don’t extend.

    In the moments before General Petraeus fainted, Senator McCain was drilling him about the failure of the training program of Afghan troops. In fact, the July 2011 timeline assumes that a cadre of trained Afghan military and police officers will be in place to keep the peace. In my recent KPFA interview, investigative journalist and CorpWatch managing editor Prathap Chattergee explains how this won’t happen in 2011 or even by 2015. The reality is that a strategy that is based on developing a local force trained on the American model of policing won’t work. Some are calling this America’s fatal flaw in Afghanistan. But it’s not too late. There is an opportunity to turn the tide, and not condemn our country to the endless circular and exhausting path in Afghanistan.

    Here are excerpts from my discussion with Mr. Chattergee on June 10, 2010. He offers more explanation about the failed assumptions behind the current Afghan War strategy on the KPFA Morning Show.

    AA: You’ve documented how the objectives in the war in Afghanistan have shifted over time.

    PC: Kandahar is a good example. This summer was going to be an all out strike and they were going to seize the city of Kandahar, but they failed every time they’ve tried to seize. Last month, they said the operation will now be more of a reconstruction and civilian engagement than the kind of operation you saw in Marjar. In February of this year, 15,000 allied troops went to seize the “hotbed” of Taliban activity in Helmud province. The population this is about 60,000, and there was massive infusion of troops. For every four people there was one fighter. Five months later, the Taliban still are able to conduct attacks at night. Most ironically, US is guarding opium fields, and now belated realize that if they destroy opium they destroy locals’ livelihood and they would really incur the anger of the local people.

    AA: What do the facts tell you about about how well training local forces works.

    PC: In Cambodia and Vietnam, [US forces] tried to train an indigenous force. They tried this in Iraq. In Yugoslavia. It should theoretically possible except for the fact that [Afghans] didn’t have a national police force prior to 2001. They had a conscription system in which young men were to serve.

    The US has spend $30 billion dollars on training an Afghan police force. Technically they’ve trained 100,000 police officers and 100,000 army troops. Of the 200K, half are police, only 5% can operate on its own. The people doing the teaching DynCorp and Blackwater. They bring them from small towns in America.

    Focused district development says we need to train 365 police districts. Each has 100 officers roughly. Eight weeks of training, eight weeks of mentorship. In order to do for all of Afghanistan, it would take five years, by which time most of the trainees will have cycled out. Attrition rate of police force is quite high.

    What are they training them in? Literacy is a big problem. Seventy percent illiteracy and among poor, closer to 95%. Difficult to train in American model; how to read the Constitution, read people their rights, how to take down vehicle license number, how to register weapons. Police are trained in a light infantry role. Police are being decimated. They are given two clips of ammunition and a rusting AK-47 and told to go fight al-Qaeda.

    In Helmand – one of five police recuits test positive for drugs. The trained police force has a significant percentage.

    How much money does Afghan spend? They collect $800 million in taxes, $2.3 billion in aid, and $5.5 billion don’t control. 8 billion. Salaries are one billion. If aid stops tomorrow, tax revenue can’t pay police. Let’s assume that all these guy were not illiterate, not on drugs the country can’t afford to pay them. So where’s the strategy?


    Blood Lithium

    Blood Lithium

    Cohn and Clift

    WASHINGTON — For conspiracy theorists, the timing was suspicious. Just as the war in Afghanistan seemed to be taking a turn for the worse, General David Petraeus turns up on the front page of The New York Times in a story trumpeting the discovery of nearly a trillion dollars of unexplored mineral deposits in the war-weary country, including lithium, which is in demand for batteries in cell phones and computers. “There is stunning potential here,” Petraeus is quoted saying. “There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant.”

    We’ve seen this movie before. Remember how the Iraq war was going to pay for itself with oil reserves? Then the fleeing Republican Guard set fire to the oil wells, and it took years to rebuild, and by then the Iraqis had wised up enough to demand that the imperialist invaders foot the bill for the war. Billions of dollars later, U.S. taxpayers are still on the hook to rebuild Iraq.

    The good news is that the stores of minerals — iron, copper, cobalt, gold and lithium — could ultimately put Afghanistan on the path toward a real economy, and not one depending on the opium trade.

    The bad news is that the Taliban controls many areas where the deposits were found, and the precious metals become another reason to prolong the war, and to distrust the U.S. military.

    Just as many Iraqis believed, and probably still do, that the American military invaded to steal their oil, there will probably be a lot of Afghans who suspect the U.S. has its eye on these precious metals. The assertion doesn’t have to be true; it only matters that it’s what the people believe. Having Petraeus associate himself with the discovery fuels the suspicion. All of a sudden an ideological fight over democracy versus theology takes a back seat to a fight over minerals.

    In any event, with Iraq as an example, it makes it harder (not easier) to recoup America’s investment. You can imagine the playbook. Next, they’ll call in a U.S.-based company (maybe Halliburton) to do the mining, and Halliburton will do just fine (it always does) while taxpayers underwrite the bulk of the bills.

    The revelation about these reserves of valuable minerals could change the nature of the war. The Afghan government is not in a position to develop these resources themselves, and a strained relationship with President Hamid Karzai is likely to deteriorate further now that there’s a potential fortune at stake.

    The Obama administration should pledge that the revenue from these resources will go to the people, and not into the coffers of a corrupt government. Pressing Karzai to make good on promises he has already made to build the country’s infrastructure and provide schooling and jobs should be a requisite for continued U.S. aid dollars.

    It’s hard to bypass a duly elected government even if the election that kept Karzai in power was corrupt. But the U.S. must do what it can to prevent Afghanistan from becoming another Congo, where armed conflict has tarnished the diamond trade. Unless the U.S. military in concert with the Karzai government find a way to control the development of Afghanistan’s newfound minerals, the war could take a new and deadlier turn, and we could be talking about “blood lithium” instead of “blood diamonds.”

    Oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia offer yet another example of how a great treasure can be abused. Instead of using oil revenue to build an economy that serves the people, this black gold is used instead to prop up the royal family. Afghanistan’s newly discovered resource could set the country on the path to a sustainable economy. It could also provide yet another reason to fight and kill each other. Guess which outcome the odds favor.

    Armenia and Azerbaijan Engage In Dialogue of Weaponss

    Rosa Kudabaeva

    BBC London

    Map of Nagorno-KarabakhThe situation in Nagorno-Karabakh less resembles truce

    In Baku and Yerevan have different interpretations recent incidents at the contact line of troops of Azerbaijan and Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh.

    According to news reports, the shooting occurred Monday night, as well as last Friday. Both sides have killed and wounded.

    Despite the different versions of what happened in both countries understand how to dire consequences could escalate tension in the longstanding conflict.

    Who’s Who fired?

    Judging by the statements of both sides over the past three days in the Nagorny Karabakh region occurred in at least two shootings.

    Agence France Presse is a statement of official Baku that on Monday 21 June, at the contact line of troops had been killed by Azerbaijani soldier.

    However, the representative of the unrecognized republic of Nagorno-Karabakh in an interview with BBC, presented a slightly different version of events on Monday: “There is an exchange of fire in most of the Azerbaijani army. Defense Army Nagorno-Karabakh this has nothing to do.”

    Meanwhile, Chief Information Management Office of the President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, David Babayan said that the Presslast Friday, June 18 , something happened that can be called a “terrorist act”.

    “Several soldiers of the Azerbaijani army simply treacherously tried to take one of our posts. Well, of course, gunfire. They retreated, but were killed and the one from the other side,” – said Babaian.

    Earlier, the Ministry of Defence of Armenia issued a statement saying that late at night last Friday, four members of the Defense Army of Karabakh were killed and four wounded in the battle with the Azerbaijani armed reconnaissance. ”

    According to the statement, in a collision on the territory of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, was killed and one Azerbaijani serviceman.

    A fragile truce in a protracted conflict

    However, the political columnist of the Azerbaijani newspaper “Zerkalo” Rauf Mirkadyrov prefers to call the incident on June 18 just a shooting.

    To say that this is – sabotage or terrorist attack – is possible only after the investigation.One thing is clear – there was an armed clash. At the very least, and the Azerbaijani and the Armenian side agree that killed more with the Armenian side.

    Rauf Mirkadyrov, columnist of the Azerbaijani newspaper “Zerkalo”

    “To say that this – sabotage or terrorist attack – is possible only after the investigation. One thing is clear – there was an armed clash. At the very least, and the Azerbaijani and the Armenian side agree that killed more with the Armenian side. However, to verify that data is impossible because as a permanent independent monitoring at the contact line is no, “says Mirkadyrov.

    Nothing new in such a diametrically opposite interpretation of what happened there.

    However, the experts, especially in Armenia, tied gunfight on June 18 with an unexpected departure on the same day from St. Petersburg the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.

    Yesterday, June 17, there took place the next trilateral meeting between the Presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia.

    “I do not want any special epithets applied to the regime and the authorities of our neighboring countries, but the regime and the authorities established a control over such events, that the unauthorized action of this kind could not be. Moreover, a few hours after it occurred a meeting of three presidents on the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh conflict “, – considers general briefed on, the head of the Institute for National Strategic Studies Defense Minister of Armenia.

    The representative of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Elkhan Polukhov, commenting on the statement of the Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding the events of June 18, said that Armenian side is trying to politicize the incident.

    However, the fact that the shootout at the contact line of troops in Nagorno-Karabakh continues, and the negotiation process has not yet led to any breakthrough, once again demonstrates how fragile the current truce in the longstanding conflict.

    Sinking further

    Sinking further

    Dawn Editorial
    There are many demands of the Baloch that are fair and reasonable and can be met in order to lure the extremists to the negotiating table. For example, the rehabilitation of IDPs from Dera Bugti and Kohlu who are spread out across the province in districts like Jafarabad and Nasirabad and beyond is something that can be expedited. Similarly, the long-standing problem of ‘missing persons’ is being exacerbated by fresh disappearances — a practice the security agencies may ‘justify’ considering the violence directed at them, but one which is thoroughly counterproductive. – AFP Photo

    Balochistan is a province on edge. Its denizens don’t know where the next attack will occur or who will be the target. On Saturday, an attack on an army convoy killed one soldier and injured several others; the Baloch Liberation Army claimed responsibility. On the same day, two members of the Hazara community were killed on Art School Road in the heart of Quetta city. Suspicion has fallen on Jundallah, the group which claims to be fighting for the rights of the Baloch in Pakistan and Iran but that also has a sectarian hue. With such disparate sources of violence in Balochistan, easy solutions will not be had. Start with the Baloch nationalist problem. To be sure, there are extremists hiding in the hills of Balochistan and living outside Pakistan who are orchestrating the violence and whose central demand, independence, will not be met by the Pakistani state. But focusing on the most extreme demand of the radical fringe can be misleading.

    There are many demands of the Baloch that are fair and reasonable and can be met in order to lure the extremists to the negotiating table. For example, the rehabilitation of IDPs from Dera Bugti and Kohlu who are spread out across the province in districts like Jafarabad and Nasirabad and beyond is something that can be expedited. Similarly, the long-standing problem of ‘missing persons’ is being exacerbated by fresh disappearances — a practice the security agencies may ‘justify’ considering the violence directed at them, but one which is thoroughly counterproductive. Given the tit-for-tat tactics of the state and militants, so pervasive is the fear among the people of Balochistan that doctors are refusing to serve in remote areas and many teachers are demanding to be relocated to institutions in Pakhtun-dominated areas because they feel unsafe living and working among the Baloch population.

    If the Baloch problem were not bad enough, the creeping problem of sectarian killings in the province is adding to the sense of fear and insecurity. Strangely, little is known, at least publicly, about the problem. Is Jundallah of the Abdolmalek Rigi fame responsible? Is it Laskhar-i-Jhangvi? Is it the cross-pollination between the various militant groups over the years in the terrain of Balochistan that is responsible? It could be all of the above. The point is that nobody is safe in Balochistan anymore. The settler population as well as the non-Baloch are targets of groups like the BLA and Balochistan Republican Army. The Hazaras are targets of sectarian killers. The Baloch feel under siege. Worse yet, it is difficult to see any light at the end of the tunnel.

    Giving peace advice to terrorist can be illegal

    Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer

    The government can prosecute private citizens for giving advice to a foreign organization – on how to negotiate peace or take its case to the United Nations, for example – if the group is on the U.S. terrorist list, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.

    In the most important foreign policy and civil liberties case of their 2009-10 term, the justices ruled 6-3 that a law prohibiting “material support” of foreign terrorist organizations can be used against people who claim to be providing only peaceful, humanitarian assistance.

    Any tangible support – money, legal aid or political advice – “frees up other resources within the organization that may be put to violent ends,” Chief Justice John Roberts said in the majority opinion.

    “It also importantly helps lend legitimacy to foreign terrorist groups – legitimacy that makes it easier for those groups to persist, to recruit members, and to raise funds – all of which facilitate more terrorist attacks,” Roberts said.

    Dissenting Justice Stephen Breyer protested that the majority’s interpretation “would deny First Amendment protection to the peaceful teaching of international human rights law,” on the grounds that it might enable terrorists to conduct sham negotiations.

    Those who intend to aid terrorism should be prosecuted, but any broader use of the law would violate free speech, argued Breyer, whose dissent was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. The majority included liberal Justice John Paul Stevens as well as the court’s conservatives – Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito.

    Furious debate

    The ruling touched off a furious debate over the government’s power to prevent dissidents from helping blacklisted organizations. The ban on “material support” for foreign terrorists was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996 and was expanded in the USA Patriot Act that President George W. Bush signed in 2001.

    Under Monday’s decision, “human rights advocates, providing training and assistance in the nonviolent resolution of disputes, can be prosecuted as terrorists,” said David Cole, lawyer for organizations and individuals who challenged the law.

    The plaintiffs sought to train members of two groups on the State Department’s terrorist list – the Kurdish Workers Party in Turkey and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka – in peaceful conflict resolution and advocacy before the United Nations.

    Those forms of assistance to such “deadly groups” could lead to prosecution, the court said Monday, while insisting it was not restricting free speech. “Plaintiffs may say anything they wish” on their own behalf, Roberts said.

    Carter concerned

    Civil liberties advocates said they also feared repercussions for U.S.-based critics of the Israeli government, who might be charged with aiding Hamas, which Washington has designated as a terrorist group. One such critic is former President Jimmy Carter, whose private Mideast diplomatic efforts have included contact with Hamas.

    The ruling “threatens our work and the work of many other peacemaking organizations that must interact directly with groups that have engaged in violence,” said Carter, whose organization filed arguments with the court.

    On the other side, Annemarie McAvoy, a Fordham law professor and former federal prosecutor, said the court recognized the “reality factor” of a world in which groups such as al Qaeda thrive on aid funneled through charities.

    “By helping the terrorists, even tangentially, they’re freeing up the terrorists to focus on other things, such as violent attacks,” McAvoy said.

    During arguments in February, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, now President Obama’s nominee to the court, defended the law and urged a broad interpretation that would allow prosecution of a U.S. citizen who filed a legal brief on behalf of a terrorist organization.

    “What Congress decided,” Kagan told the court, “is that when you help Hezbollah build homes, you are also helping Hezbollah build bombs.”

    Read the ruling

    The ruling in Holder vs. Humanitarian Law Project, 08-1498, can be read at links.sfgate.com/ZJWF.

    E-mail Bob Egelko at begelko@sfchronicle.com.

    Istanbul bomb rocks bus carrying soldiers

    Istanbul bomb rocks bus carrying soldiers

    ISTANBUL
    Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:51am EDT

    (Reuters) – A roadside bomb rocked a bus carrying military personnel and their families in Turkey‘s largest city of Istanbul on Tuesday, killing four, after the Turkish army stepped up operations against Kurdish rebels.

    The remote controlled bomb was detonated near a military housing complex in the district of Halkali. Three of those killed were sergeants, the fourth victim was a 17-year-old girl, state news agency Anatolian said.

    The blast wounded nearly a dozen people and two were in a serious condition, Istanbul’s Provincial Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu said.

    “This is a terrorist attack, and the aim of the attack is clear — to create divisions, tensions and despair,” he told reporters.

    There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

    Kurdish separatists, based in northern Iraq, have increased attacks on military installations inTurkey‘s mainly Kurdish southeast, but the group has carried out attacks in large cities in the past. Leftist groups and Islamist militants have also carried out bomb attacks in Istanbul in the past.

    Istanbul on Tuesday was hosting a summit of southeast European leaders, including Croatian, Serbian and Turkish Foreign Ministers.

    Turkish military forces began a major deployment of troops and elite forces along the border with Iraq on Monday, as fighting has intensified between Turkish military forces and militants of the illegal Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

    Television channels showed images of the bus’s shattered windows and of the wounded being taken to hospital after the blast, at about 7:30 am (0430 GMT).

    It was not clear how many passengers were on the bus or how many were military personnel.

    Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who has said Kurdish militants would “drown in their own blood,” faces mounting criticism for his government’s failure to stop the escalation in violence.

    PKK guerrillas killed 11 soldiers at the weekend and one soldier was killed on Monday when Kurdish separatists opened fire on two military police units.

    The PKK said this month it had scrapped a year-old unilateral ceasefire and resumed attacks against Turkish forces because of military operations against it.

    Some 40,000 have been killed since 1984 when the PKK took up arms to carve out an ethnic homeland in mostly Kurdish southeastern Turkey.

    (Reporting by Thomas Grove; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

    Israel’s Hidden Fangs

    Israel’s Hidden Fangs

    Operation Cage: a case study in Israeli false flag tactics

    By Wayne Madsen

    Top Turkish government and intelligence sources told WMR in Ankara and Istanbul that Turkish intelligence has obtained evidence that Israeli intelligence is squarely behind repeated Ergenekon “deep state” plots aimed at overthrowing the Turkish government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, including Operations Sledgehammer and Cage.

    Israeli special operations personnel have also been discovered by Turkish intelligence providing support for Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) terrorist attacks aimed at Turkish army and navy personnel. Israeli forces, operating from northern Iraq, are believed to have provided support for a recent PKK attack on a Turkish army post near the town of Semdinli. Ironically, Turkish forces used an Israeli-supplied Heron unmanned aerial vehicle system to track down the PKK in Iraq and identify their Israeli support team.

    Mossad support for the Cage Operation Action Plan, hatched within the ranks of the Turkish Naval Forces Command, is a textbook lesson in Mossad false flag operations around the world.

    As reported by Today’s Zaman, Cage plans were found on a CD last year in the office of retired Major Levent Bektas, who was linked to caches of buried weapons in Istanbul. Cage plans called for the assassination of non-Muslim figures in Turkey and then casting the blame on Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP). Cage was actually implemented by the assassinations of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, Catholic Father Andrea Santoro, and three Christian missionaries in Malatya. Behind these assassinations of gentiles was the hidden hand of the Jewish state’s intelligence service, Mossad, according to informed Turkish sources.

    Cage also targeted school children. TNT was have to been placed in a submarine on display at the Rahmi M. Koc museum in Istanbul and detonated at the same time a group of school children were due to visit the site. According to Today’s Zaman, Cage was divided into four parts: “Preparation,” “Raising Fear,” “Shaping Public Opinion,” and “Action.” The similarities between Cage and the well-documented Israeli pre- and post-involvement in the 9/11 attack on the United States are stark, particularly the “preparation” phase involving hundreds of Israeli “art students” and furniture movers who were, in reality, Mossad and Israeli Defense Force special operations personnel.

    The “Action” phase included assassinations and kidnappings of major non-Muslim figures in Turkey, as well as the planting of bombs near non-Muslim targets and arson attacks on their homes and offices. The “Action” plan also called for placing propaganda in key media outlets, including pre-designated web sites, blaming the terrorist attacks on Erdogan’s AKP government.

    Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author and syndicated columnist. He has written for several renowned papers and blogs.