Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Devoluzione socialismo, Stati Uniti

Afghanistan. Gli Usa hanno abbandonato 106 elicotteri, 358,530 fucili di assalto, etc.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2021-08-31.

2021-0831__Afghanistan Materiali lasciati 001

Siamo debitori all’Amico Massimo Max, che ringraziamo, di questa tabella riassuntiva dei materiali bellici che gli americani hanno abbandonato in Afghanistan nella loro ignominiosa fuga dopo essersi arresi ai Talebani.

* * * * * * *

Queste cifre rendono evidente la portata della débâcle voluta da Joe Biden e le dimensioni della incapacità sua e dell’Intelligence americana nel gestire un disimpegno che si è tramutato in una rotta.

Poi, quasi a beffa e scherno dell’altrui intelligenza, spargono lacrime amare sul destino delle ‘povere’ donne afghane: se le avessero avute veramente a cuore, sarebbero rimasti a difenderle.

Difenderle poi da cosa?

Né quelle donne, né la popolazione afghana, hanno mosso un dito per ostacolare l’avanzata talebana, anzi, la hanno favorita.

Orbene, adesso i Talebani sono stati armati ed equipaggiati con materiali di alta qualità.

* * * * * * *

Usa. Sondaggi elettorali. Nelle presidenziali il 37% voterebbe Biden ed il 43% Mr Trump.

Usa. Biden. La Cnn accusa l’Amministrazione delle femmine di mancanza di ‘competenza’.

Usa. The New York Times accusa Biden di aver detto detto cose false

Pentagono. Bin Laden ordinava nel 2010 di non uccidere Biden, ‘porterà gli Stati Uniti alla crisi’.

Biden. Indice di Approvazione ai minimi storici, -21.

Cina. Biden travolto da critiche interne ed estere per la vergognosa débâcle in Afganistan.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Devoluzione socialismo, Geopolitica Africa, Problemi militari, Russia

Russia. Dispiegati cacciabombardieri in Libia. La strategia russa in Africa.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2020-06-03.

2020-06-03__Russia Africa 001

Inizia a delinearsi la strategia di Mr Putin e della Russia per il dominio del Mare Mediterraneo. Dapprima l’intervento militare diretto in Siria, adesso in Libia. Ma il Mediterraneo è solo un elemento di uno scacchiere ben più vasto: l’obiettivo è il dominio dell’Africa.

*

«The US has identified over a dozen Russia warplanes in Libya, marking Moscow’s first direct venture into the North African country»

«Experts say it is part of a larger Russian plan to expand its influence in the region»

«US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced earlier this week that Russia had deployed at least 14 warplanes to Libya in support of private military contractors known as the Wagner Group»

«It was the first time Russian armed forces were identified in the North African country. Although the Wagner Group purportedly enjoys Russian state backing, the Kremlin had initially stopped short of deploying official military assets to Libya, despite Moscow’s support for general-turned-warlord Khalifa Haftar»

«For too long, Russia has denied the full extent of its involvement in the ongoing Libyan conflict»

«neither Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) nor private military contractors could “arm, operate and sustain these fighters without state support — support they are getting from Russia»

«Russia is clearly trying to tip the scales in its favor in Libya …. The UN said Russia’s Wagner group already has up to 1,200 mercenaries in Libya.»

«Haftar’s LNA has sought to oust the UN-backed government Tripoli in favor of a rival Tobruk-based government. He has received support from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and, at one point, even France. …. But Russia remains Haftar’s most committed ally»

«Strengthening the Russian military position in North Africa will undoubtedly provide Russian President Vladimir Putin with a much tighter grip over Europe and possibly even deep-rooted influence and control in the wider MENA region»

«Libya’s energy resources and the presence of several deep-water ports will give Putin the logistical and geo-strategical advantage he is attempting to achieve»

2020-06-03__Russia Africa 002

Sarebbe impossibile dominare il Mediterraneo senza poter disporre di porti con acque sufficientemente profonde da permetterne l’uso a navi da guerra. Ma gli unici porti ‘acquisibili’ al momento sono quelli della Libia.

2020-06-03__Russia Africa 003

«Russia’s state arms seller Rosoboronexport announced in April the first contract to supply assault boats to a country in sub-Saharan Africa»

«Russia is building its path to gain a foothold in Africa and broaden its export map for arms on the continent»

«Currently, it accounts for 49% of total arms exports to Africa, according to the database of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)»

«Until now, Algeria remains the biggest recipient of Russian arms in Africa, followed by Egypt, Sudan and Angola …. In the early 2000s, 16 African countries were recipients of Russian arms. Between 2010 and 2019, the figure went up to 21»

«Starting in 2015, Russia started selling arms to oil-rich Angola — mainly fighter aircraft and combat helicopters»

«That same year, Algeria signed another arms deal to buy Russian weapons for $7.5 billion»

«Russia hosted the first-ever Russia-Africa summit in Sochi in 2019 as a way of further identifying cooperation possibilities across the continent. During the summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that “the strengthening of ties with African countries is one of Russia’s foreign policy priorities”»

«This exhibition showed that Russia does not aim to offer disruptive new technologies in arms; instead, it focuses on improving the models that have been demanded the most»

«Russia sees Africa as a key potential partner in the vision for a multipolar world order»

«Less European, less trans-Atlantic and focused more on rising powers and rising regions»

«Despite widespread international condemnation of Mugabe’s regime, Russia stayed on the side of Zimbabwe: together with China, it vetoed the UN’s Security Council resolution for an arms embargo in 2008 and criticized Western sanctions»

«Russia has been scaling up activities in the mining of resources such as coltan, cobalt, gold, and diamonds in several other countries across Africa»

«For example, Algeria alone bought around 200 aircraft items from Russia from 2000 to2019, ranging from transporter helicopters to combat helicopters, bomber and fighter ground aircrafts. Various models of surface-to-air missiles (SAM) that are designed for destroying aircrafts or other missiles have been ordered from Algeria (several orders through 2000-2019), Burkina Faso, Egypt (several orders), Ethiopia, Libya and Morocco. Algeria also ordered tanks (more than 500 items in total), as did Uganda (67 items).»

«Cheap weapons — no questions asked»

«Africa is the continent where Russia can freely push one of the key elements of its exports: weapons. Arms trading accounts for 39% of Russia’s defense industry revenue.»

«Russian arms are good. It is universally recognized. Russian arms are also cheaper. There is no reason why African countries would not want to buy them»

«For example, in 2014, government soldiers in Nigeria were accused of human rights abuses against suspects in the country’s fight against Boko Haram. Afterwards, the US cancelled a shipment of attack helicopters, even though the deal had already been signed. That same year, Nigeria placed an order and received six Mi-35M combat helicopters from Russia»

«from 2009 to 2018, Russia accounted for 31% of Egypt’s imports of major weapons.»

«Russia’s defense industry is secretive; the law does not oblige companies to report on arms exports as such, and usually this information falls under the state’s secrecy laws.»

«China is generally growing as an arms exporter and shows similar patterns as Russia in a way of giving weapons with less political conditions»

* * * * * * *

Fornire armi e sistemi di arma è sicuramente una operazione economica, ma i risvolti politici sono evidenti: i paesi che si dotano di armamenti russi alla fine dipendono dalla Russia.

La chiave del successo è di un semplice banalità.

«Russian arms are good»

«Cheap weapons — no questions asked»

«giving weapons with less political conditions»

Il vizietto di voler imporre la propria Weltanschauung come prerequisito ai commerci sta costando all’occidente il domini mondiale.

*


Russia expands war presence in Libya.

The US has identified over a dozen Russia warplanes in Libya, marking Moscow’s first direct venture into the North African country. Experts say it is part of a larger Russian plan to expand its influence in the region.

US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced earlier this week that Russia had deployed at least 14 warplanes to Libya in support of private military contractors known as the Wagner Group.

It was the first time Russian armed forces were identified in the North African country. Although the Wagner Group purportedly enjoys Russian state backing, the Kremlin had initially stopped short of deploying official military assets to Libya, despite Moscow’s support for general-turned-warlord Khalifa Haftar.

“For too long, Russia has denied the full extent of its involvement in the ongoing Libyan conflict,” said US Army General Stephen Townsend, who leads AFRICOM. “We watched as Russia flew fourth-generation jet fighters to Libya — every step of the way.”

The US general noted that neither Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) nor private military contractors could “arm, operate and sustain these fighters without state support — support they are getting from Russia.

“Russia is clearly trying to tip the scales in its favor in Libya,” Townsend said.

The UN said Russia’s Wagner group already has up to 1,200 mercenaries in Libya.

Russia’s man

Haftar’s LNA has sought to oust the UN-backed government Tripoli in favor of a rival Tobruk-based government. He has received support from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and, at one point, even France.

But Russia remains Haftar’s most committed ally.

Moscow has sought to expand its influence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and supported that mission through military escapades. In Syria, Moscow deployed its armed forces to prop up the Assad regime, a move that has ensured its place as a regional stakeholder.

“Strengthening the Russian military position in North Africa will undoubtedly provide Russian President Vladimir Putin with a much tighter grip over Europe and possibly even deep-rooted influence and control in the wider MENA region,” said Tomas Olivier, a counter-terrorism expert and former senior officer in the Dutch government.

“Libya’s energy resources and the presence of several deep-water ports will give Putin the logistical and geo-strategical advantage he is attempting to achieve,” Olivier added.

Risky business

Although the Russian Defense Ministry has yet to comment on the US allegations, Russian lawmaker Andrei Krasov, a member of the Russian parliament’s Defense Committee, dismissed them as “fake.”

With state-supported paramilitary forces on the ground, the Kremlin maintains the ability to deny direct involvement, yet still has strategic assets in place. That plays into its larger hybrid warfare strategy, which serves to undermine rules and responsibilities in the conflicts it engages with.

But deploying warplanes raises the stakes, making it a highly risky move for Russia, according to Theresa Fallon, director and founder of the Brussels-based Center for Russia Europe Asia Studies.

“Moscow’s supply of aircraft reportedly repainted in Syria for plausible deniability, represents a creeping shift from a proxy war to open support for Haftar,” Fallon said. “If Turkey responds by deploying more aircraft, it is likely that this could turn into another endless, Syria-like conflict.”

Although Russian-Turkish ties have thawed in recent years, the countries back opposing parties in Syria and Libya. Earlier this month, the Turkish government threatened to strike Haftar’s forces if they continued to attack diplomatic missions in Tripoli, where the UN-backed government is based.

“Libya is rich in energy sources, migrants can be leveraged in negotiations with Europe and Russian mercenaries are likely to command a lucrative revenue stream,” Fallon said. “This could turn into one more frozen conflict on which Russia thrives.”

*


Russian arms exports to Africa: Moscow’s long-term strategy.

Along with natural resources, arms exports are a key component of Russia’s economy. In the last two decades, Moscow has managed to deepen its connection with Africa and became the biggest arms supplier on the continent.

Russia’s state arms seller Rosoboronexport announced in April the first contract to supply assault boats to a country in sub-Saharan Africa. The recipient’s identity is concealed. What is known: It marks the first export contract of Russian-made final naval products to this region in the last 20 years. While this news might not have caught much international attention, this new deal adds up to a pattern: Russia is building its path to gain a foothold in Africa and broaden its export map for arms on the continent.

Once a major supplier during the Soviet era, Russia’s role in Africa waned after the collapse of the USSR. But by 2000, Russia had made inroads again, and within the last two decades Russia has managed to become the biggest arms exporter to Africa. Currently, it accounts for 49% of total arms exports to Africa, according to the database of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). 

Since 2000, Russia’s arms exports to Africa have grown significantly. The increases were mainly due to growth in Russia’s arms exports to Algeria.

Russia’s eye on Africa

Until now, Algeria remains the biggest recipient of Russian arms in Africa, followed by Egypt, Sudan and Angola. According to Alexandra Kuimova, a researcher with SIPRI’s Arms and Military Expenditure Program, the number of African countries buying Russian arms increased over the last two decades. In the early 2000s, 16 African countries were recipients of Russian arms. Between 2010 and 2019, the figure went up to 21.

Starting in 2015, Russia started selling arms to oil-rich Angola — mainly fighter aircraft and combat helicopters. The Angolan government in Luanda has long maintained strong ties with Moscow, dating back to the USSR. In 1996, Russia forgave 70% of Angola’s $5 billion (€4.56 billion) in debt, which was mainly a result of several export credits the USSR had issued Angola for buying Soviet arms and military equipment. In the new millennium, Russia was a predictable choice for Angola to sign new arms deals — and within the last five years, Angola has become the third-biggest African client for Russian arms after Algeria and Egypt. Luanda’s other suppliers are Bulgaria, Belarus, Italy and China, but their shares are small.

The situation was similar with Algeria, the largest importer of Russian arms on the African continent. Soviet-era connections allowed Russia to secure its monopoly on arms deals, and Moscow completely wrote off Algeria’s $5.7 billion in debt in 2006. That same year, Algeria signed another arms deal to buy Russian weapons for $7.5 billion.

“Officials in these countries intrinsically look at Moscow from the Soviet-era links and Moscow has been able to maintain its influence. In some cases, like Algeria, it is done by debt release; sometimes by claiming that it will build repair facilities and manufacturing or maintenance facilities,” says Paul Stronski, a senior fellow in the Carnegie Endowment’s Russia and Eurasia Program.

Russia hosted the first-ever Russia-Africa summit in Sochi in 2019 as a way of further identifying cooperation possibilities across the continent. During the summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that “the strengthening of ties with African countries is one of Russia’s foreign policy priorities”.

Arms deals were at the center of attention at the summit. African delegates were invited to exhibitions of Russian weapons: from subsonic jet trainor Yakovlev Yak-130, the Pantsir missile system, and the Tor-M2KM surface-to-air missile systems to smaller arms including a new Kalashnikov AK-200 series assault rifle. This exhibition showed that Russia does not aim to offer disruptive new technologies in arms; instead, it focuses on improving the models that have been demanded the most. 

Opening new markets in line with geopolitical vision

Russia’s growing interest in Africa is defined by not only economic, but also political and strategic reasons. Russia sees Africa as a key potential partner in the vision for a multipolar world order.

“Less European, less trans-Atlantic and focused more on rising powers and rising regions,” Stronski said. This is where Russia’s ties with countries like Zimbabwe and Sudan have been established, he stressed.

Zimbabwe has been subject to financial sanctions from the West since the early 2000s. The state was reportedly responsible for violence, tortures and killings of the president’s opponents during the era of former President Robert Mugabe. Despite widespread international condemnation of Mugabe’s regime, Russia stayed on the side of Zimbabwe: together with China, it vetoed the UN’s Security Council resolution for an arms embargo in 2008 and criticized Western sanctions. Russia exports a number of both raw and finished materials to Zimbabwe, ranging from wood, wheat and fertilizers to printed materials, railway cars and electronics. Russia, in turn, imports coffee and tobacco from Zimbabwe.

Russian companies are also involved in diamond and gold mining projects in the country. According to Gugu Dube, a researcher at the Transnational Threats and International Crime program in the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria, Russia has been scaling up activities in the mining of resources such as coltan, cobalt, gold, and diamonds in several other countries across Africa. In Zimbabwe, Russian companies are also involved in a joint venture of the Darwendale project — mining and smelting one of the world’s largest deposits of platinum group metal — for which production is planned in 2021.

These include aircrafts, missiles, tanks, air defense systems and artillery. For example, Algeria alone bought around 200 aircraft items from Russia from 2000 to2019, ranging from transporter helicopters to combat helicopters, bomber and fighter ground aircrafts. Various models of surface-to-air missiles (SAM) that are designed for destroying aircrafts or other missiles have been ordered from Algeria (several orders through 2000-2019), Burkina Faso, Egypt (several orders), Ethiopia, Libya and Morocco. Algeria also ordered tanks (more than 500 items in total), as did Uganda (67 items).

Cheap weapons — no questions asked

In Russia’s publicly available strategy documents, such as its foreign policy concept or defense doctrine, African states are defined as belonging to an unstable continent and posing an international threat in light of terrorist groups’ activities, particularly in the North African region. Such documents highlight Russia’s aims to expand interaction with Africa by developing beneficial trade and economic relations and supporting regional conflict and crisis prevention.

This ongoing instability feeds a continuous market for arms — and for Russia, Africa represents a major market without a limit in the form of economic sanctions that came from the West after the annexation of Crimea. Africa is the continent where Russia can freely push one of the key elements of its exports: weapons. Arms trading accounts for 39% of Russia’s defense industry revenue.

“Russian arms are good. It is universally recognized. Russian arms are also cheaper. There is no reason why African countries would not want to buy them,” says Irina Filatova, a history professor at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics and professor emeritus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, who specializes in Russo-African history and relations.

In comparison to other big players, arms deals with Russia do not demand political or human rights conditions. In some cases, Russia has managed to fill the gap where European or American suppliers stepped out.

For example, in 2014, government soldiers in Nigeria were accused of human rights abuses against suspects in the country’s fight against Boko Haram. Afterwards, the US cancelled a shipment of attack helicopters, even though the deal had already been signed. That same year, Nigeria placed an order and received six Mi-35M combat helicopters from Russia.

Egypt is a similar case. After a military coup in 2013, the US started cutting military aid and arms supplies to the country. This left Russia (together with France, another leading arms exporter) with an open opportunity; the country quickly intensified arms transfers to Egypt. From 2009 to 2018, Russia accounted for 31% of Egypt’s imports of major weapons.

According to Kuimova, arms deals with Russia generally go fast. If a certain country needs weapons right away and Russia has them, Russia will be able to supply. What also plays in its favor is a lack of pressure from local civil society groups to track weapons sales. Russia’s defense industry is secretive; the law does not oblige companies to report on arms exports as such, and usually this information falls under the state’s secrecy laws. A general lack of data and transparency has created a situation where civil society groups for monitoring arms trading simply do not exist.

Competition for Russia? Growing potential of Chinese arms

For now, Russia seems to be secure in its markets for arms in Africa. However, experts see the potential of China to become a bigger player for arms supplies in Africa. Currently, China accounts for 13% of arms exports to the continent.

“China has improved the quality and quantity of what it sells. They also do reverse-engineered Russian weapons. Since 2014, Russia has shared sensitive military technology as a part of its growing ties with China,” Stronski said.

Kuimova adds that today China is able to produce and offer all kinds of arms. “China is generally growing as an arms exporter and shows similar patterns as Russia in a way of giving weapons with less political conditions,” she explained.

Researcher Filatova does not see China as a threat to Russian arms in Africa, however — in her opinion, the main competitors for Russian arms will remain the same: the US and France. She defines China’s interest in Africa as predominantly economic and says that “Russia’s competition in Africa in that regard is already lost” — because economically, Russia is not able to offer what China can. Moscow instead focuses on natural resources exports and locking down arms deals. For arms importers, switching to other suppliers is costly, so the likelihood is high that Russia can ensure new deals with its arms buyers well into the future.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Devoluzione socialismo, Unione Europea

Merkel. L’Arabia Saudita rispetta i ‘diritti umani’ e quindi compra armamenti.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2018-10-22.

2018-10-22__Merkel. L'Arabia Saudita rispetta i 'diritti umani'

Kontrordine Kompagni!

L’Arabia Saudita è il tempio degli ‘human rights‘.

Ngo ed lgbt sono benvenute, il Principe Salamn è una femmina travesta da maschio, l’Arabia Saudita è l’Eldorado del femminismo. Il Re Saudita passa di persona casa per casa ad informarsi di come stia la gente, e raccoglie le schede elettorali.

Guerra nello Yemen?

I Sauditi sono lì solo per puri scopi umanitari: fanno attraversare la strada alle vecchiette.

Jamal Khashoggi?

E chi mai sarebbe costui?

Ah, sì! quello che si è suicidato tagliandosi a pezzi e gettandosi in una vasca piena di acido al solo scopo di far denigrare il Regno Saudita, dietro ordine occulto del malefico Mr Putin.

Messi i puntini sulle i, possiamo procedere.

«Saudi Arabia is Germany’s second-best weapons customer»

*

«Germany has approved arms exports to Saudi Arabia to the tune of more than €400 million this year»

*

«The German goverment gave the green light to arms exports worth some €254 million ($291 million) to Saudi Arabia in the third quarter of this year, the Economy Ministry said on Friday in response to a parliamentary question»

*

«The total for the year up to the end of September was €416.4 million, it said, which makes the kingdom Germany’s second-best arms customer after Algeria»

*

Cerchiamo di ragionare.

Quando si tratta di vendere armi la Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel non va mica tanto per il sottile.

Voci maligne, che si riportano solo per additarle alla pubblica esecrazione, suggerirebbero che se Polonia, Ungheria ed Italia iniziassero a comprare armamenti tedeschi diverrebbero immediatamente stati graditi alla Germania della Grosse Koalition.

* * * * * * *

Il permesso a vendere armi all’Arabia Saudita è stato ottenuto dapprima al Bundestag, quindi è stato ratificato ratificato dal Governo.

Questa decisione ha sollevato severe proteste, quindi Frau Merel ne ha  sospeso per il momento la esecuzione.

Angela Merkel puts on hold arms sales to Saudi Arabia

«Chancellor Angela Merkel has said Germany will stop exporting weapons to Saudi Arabia, at least for the time being. The decision comes in the wake of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi consulate.»


Deutsche Welle. 2018-10-20. Saudi Arabia is Germany’s second-best weapons customer

Germany has approved arms exports to Saudi Arabia to the tune of more than €400 million this year. The latest figures have angered those demanding an export stop in view of the kingdom’s doubtful human rights record.

*

The German goverment gave the green light to arms exports worth some €254 million ($291 million) to Saudi Arabia in the third quarter of this year, the Economy Ministry said on Friday in response to a parliamentary question.

The total for the year up to the end of September was €416.4 million, it said, which makes the kingdom Germany’s second-best arms customer after Algeria.

The figures were announced as Saudi Arabia comes under heavy international criticism over the disappearance of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the start of October, with Turkey alleging that he was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by a special hit squad sent by Saudi leaders.

The kingdom has also drawn condemnation for its role in the civil war in Yemen, where it has been accused of displaying a reckless disregard for civilian lives and helping bring about what the UN has termed the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the world at the present time.

Arms sales to Saudi Arabia are also contentious because they may contravene a clause in the coalition agreement signed by Germany’s governing parties stating that no weapons exports may be approved to any country “directly” involved in the war in Yemen. However, the agreement does exempt countries that had made weapons deals with Germany before the current government took power.

The clause was entered in the agreement at the instigation of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), the junior partners in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition.

‘Cozying up to Riyadh’

The deputy parliamentary leader of the Left party, Sevim Dagdelen, who was among those who requested the figures in the Bundestag, slammed the German government for maintaining its support for the regime in Riyadh.

“Neither war crimes nor the worst human rights violations, including the bestial killing of regime critics,” had deterred the government from its “murderously cozying up” to Riyadh, she said, calling for an end to arms exports to “the criminal regime in Riyadh.”

The foreign affairs expert for the Greens, Omid Nouripour, who also posed a question on the arms sales, told DW in an interview that recent developments made it at least a “matter of propriety” for the German government to encourage companies not to attend an investment conference scheduled to take place in Saudi Arabia from October 23-25. 

However, in its response, the Economy Ministry stressed that the government always decided on a case-to-case basis on the export approvals, taking into account Saudi Arabia’s participation in the conflict in Yemen. The ministry said that Berlin also laid particular weight on the respect for human rights in any country receiving arms.

Resolved quarrel

Saudi Arabia has meanwhile received the new German ambassador to the kingdom, Jörg Ranau, after the resolution of a diplomatic spat between Berlin and Riyadh. A Saudi ambassador returned to Berlin at the start of October.

Differences arose almost a year ago over comments made by former German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who accused Saudi Arabia of “adventurism” over its involvement in the resignation — later rescinded — of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, and its participation in the Yemen conflict.

Current Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said Germany should have communicated more clearly to avoid “such misunderstandings.” However, he has demanded that Saudi Arabia explain the journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance, and has postponed a planned trip to the kingdom.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Problemi militari, Unione Europea

Juncker. L’Unione Europea ha bisogno di un esercito.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-06-10.

Bell Addormentata

«It is time to wake the Sleeping Beauty up»

JC Juncker


Il sito ufficiale della Presidenza della European Commission ha rilasciato il testo ufficiale dell’intervento di Mr JC Juncker alla Defence and Security Conference Prague.

*

«we Europeans must really take our fate into our own hands» [Bundeskanzlerin Frau Merkel – NYT]

*

Si noti che in un recente passato Mr Juncker aveva dichiarato:

«Bisogna smetterla di parlare degli Stati Uniti d’Europa,  la gente non li vuole» [JC Juncker]

*

«It is the most basic and universal of rights to feel safe and secure in your own home. Europeans rightly expect their Union to provide that for them. And they want their governments to work together to make it happen …. War is anchored in Europe’s history»

*

«There is also a long-standing, a fundamental question about sovereignty that we need to properly address. Many of our Member States consider defence as a matter of strict national sovereignty. But sharing sovereignty does not mean forgoing sovereignty»

*

«So it is no longer a question of national sovereignty. To borrow a phrase from my friend Emmanuel Macron, it is a question of European sovereignty»

*

«our deference to NATO can no longer be used as a convenient alibi to argue against greater European efforts»

*

«The United States fundamentally changed its foreign policy long before the arrival of Mr Trump. Over the past decade it has become crystal clear that our American partners consider that they are shouldering too much of the burden for their wealthy European Allies»

*

«While the European Union spends around EUR 27,000 per solider on equipment and research, the US spend EUR 108,000. No wonder then that less than 3% of European troops are deployable at this very moment. …. Russia spends over 5% of its GDP on defence while China has increased its defence budget by 150% over the past decade»

*

«Overall, the 27 Member States spend only 1.3% of their overall budgets on defence. Together, we spend half as much as the United States but even then we only achieve 15% of their efficiency»

*

«We allow ourselves the luxury of having 17 different types of combat tanks while the United States is able to manage perfectly well with just one model»

*

«It is time to wake the Sleeping Beauty up»

*

«A European Security and Defence Union will help protect our Union, which is exactly what EU citizens expect»

* * * * * * * *

In linea generale siamo di accordo con l’ignoto estensore della relazione letta da Mr Juncker.

Settanta anni di lunga pace militare hanno infrollito gli europei, che si cullavano nell’utopia che gli Stati Uniti li avrebbero difesi senza far spender loro un centesimo e senza richiedere il loro sangue.

«It is time to wake the Sleeping Beauty up»

*

Sarà un ben brusco risveglio.

Tutto il mondo si sta riarmando, tranne i paesi europei. 17 tipi diversi di carri armati indicano soltanto 17 diverse fonti cui abbeverare i cavalli dell’élite. “Absurdly, there are more helicopter types than there are governments to buy them!“.

«No wonder then that less than 3% of European troops are deployable at this very moment»

Questo significa che sui circa 300,00 soldati dell’Unione Europea, solo 9,000 sono pronti all’impiego. Davvero pochini per coprire un eventuale fronte orientale di circa tremila kilometri di sviluppo.

*

Di tutte le argomentazioni possibili vorremmo trarne solo una.

Se gli Stati Uniti spendono 108,000 euro per soldato contro i 27,000 dell’Unione Europea, ne conseguirebbe che per portare gli eserciti dell’Unione al livello americano servirebbe aggiunge 81,000 euro a soldato. Una spesa ulteriore di 40.5 mls di euro l’anno.

La Bella Addormentata si sveglia non con un bacio, ma con un conto da pagare. Welfare, addio!

Frau Merkel continui pure a sognare, ma fino a tanto che no sgrairà denaro sonante i suoi resteranno sogni.


European Commission. 2017-06-09. Speech by President Jean-Claude Juncker at the Defence and Security Conference Prague: In defence of Europe

Prime Minister,

Deputy Secretary-General,

Ministers, Vice-Presidents, Commissioners, Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is the most basic and universal of rights to feel safe and secure in your own home. Europeans rightly expect their Union to provide that for them. And they want their governments to work together to make it happen. European leaders heeded that call three months ago in signing the Rome Declaration. Together, they committed to strengthening Europe’s security and defence by doing more and by cooperating closer.

[Europe as a promoter and provider of peace]

The reasons are clear. War is anchored in Europe’s history. The memories of terror and bloodshed are still all too vivid for many people in this country and in all of Europe.

Our Union has come very far in making Europe safer and more peaceful. And thanks to our global influence, we have also helped to do the same around the world.

The European Union has 15 missions around the world and is fighting terrorism in the Sahel: we committed EUR 50 million more on Monday. We are combating piracy in the Indian Ocean and we promote security sector reform in Ukraine. European troops have taken leading roles in NATO missions and UN peacekeeping efforts, most recently in Mali, Somalia, Kosovo and elsewhere.

These efforts are complemented by the EU’s soft power. We have promoted peace, universal values and inclusive growth right around the world. The European Union and its Member States provide more than half of the world’s humanitarian and development aid. Its diplomatic strength has helped to broker agreements that make the world safer, such as the deal with Iran on its nuclear programme.

But it is time to go further.

[A chequered past on defence]

This has been a long time coming. Attempts to move towards common defence have been part of the European project since its inception.

As early as 1950, French Prime Minister René Pleven proposed a plan for far-reaching defence integration, including the setting up of a European Army and the appointment of a European Minister of Defence. Alas, it was not to be. After two years of negotiations, all six members of the European Coal and Steel Community signed the “Treaty establishing the European Defence Community”. But after ratification by the Benelux countries and Germany, the project encountered a political impasse in France, when it was voted down by the Assemblée nationale. This put an end to the idea of a common European defence for the next half a century.

The failure of 1954 left a scar. Subsequent attempts were less bold. We advanced slowly, incrementally, timidly.

This was not for want of trying. I am one of four former European Heads of State and Prime Ministers – France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg – who signed a 2003 declaration seeking to define the outlines of a European Security and Defence Union, with a military headquarters in Tervuren, Brussels, Belgium. They called us the ‘Peace Club’ — the leaders of the four countries most vocally opposing European intervention in Iraq. We were not a putschist quartet but believed that European integration often advanced at the initiative of a handful of Member States.

Our colleagues were not spontaneously following in our footsteps. The reasons for this should not be underestimated. The difficulties are real. But I believe that they can be overcome.

We have very, diametrically, different defence reflexes amongst our Member States. This diversity was formed by different histories, by different geographies. One example: the cultures of decision-making on military engagement differ starkly between neighbouring France, which favours an executive approach, and Germany, which has a deep tradition of parliamentary oversight.

There is also a long-standing, a fundamental question about sovereignty that we need to properly address. Many of our Member States consider defence as a matter of strict national sovereignty. But sharing sovereignty does not mean forgoing sovereignty. On the contrary, having stronger and more sovereign Member States in a globalised world requires having more cooperation within the European Union, especially on defence. Systematic defence cooperation and further integration will contribute to the preservation of national sovereignty.

This is the natural conclusion of the changing realities around us. How long can we pretend that countries so intimately linked as we are in the European Union do not also need to face external threats together? With the Schengen area of free movement our borders are common. When we speak to Russia we are heard collectively, not individually. When France intervenes in Mali, it is European honour they are saving.

So it is no longer a question of national sovereignty. To borrow a phrase from my friend Emmanuel Macron, it is a question of European sovereignty.

NATO has been and will remain the cornerstone of European security for decades. We are different but we complement each other in so many ways – not least by the fact that we share 22 members. Competition between the EU and NATO is not an option.

Over the years we have worked together in Afghanistan, the Balkans, the Horn of Africa and countless other places across the world. Since the declaration that Donald Tusk, Jens Stoltenberg and myself signed in Warsaw, a new climate of cooperation between the European Union and NATO has been created.

In today’s world, a strong NATO, a strong European Union and a strong relationship between the two, are more important than they ever have been before. But our deference to NATO can no longer be used as a convenient alibi to argue against greater European efforts.

The world around us is changing. The United States fundamentally changed its foreign policy long before the arrival of Mr Trump. Over the past decade it has become crystal clear that our American partners consider that they are shouldering too much of the burden for their wealthy European Allies. We have no other choice than to defend our own interests in the Middle East, in climate change, in our trade agreements.

By stepping up their efforts on defence, and by doing so together, the Member States of the Union will strengthen the ties that bind the Allies within NATO.

[The threats we face]

The protection of Europe can no longer be outsourced. Even our biggest military powers — and I could count them on one, maximum two fingers — cannot combat all the challenges and threats alone.

We do not have to look much further than our doorstep to see that war is not a thing of the past.

The Czech Republic knows this. The memories are fresh. Soviet tanks rolled in the streets of Prague as recently as 1968. In this part of Europe, World War II did not end in 1945.

The threats remain and they have dramatically changed in nature. Instability and unpredictability, combined with worldwide rearmament, are symptomatic of the new world we are living in.

More than 60 million people around the world are displaced because of war, some of which are happening in our immediate neighbourhood.

We see the damage unscrupulous and brutal criminals are inflicting in large ungoverned spaces in parts of the Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Further afield, we witness increasing tensions in East Asia. North Korea is accelerating its nuclear plan and is getting closer with every test.

Soft target terrorism as seen in the tragic and devastating scenes in London and Manchester show the lengths that barbaric terrorists will go to in a futile attempt to break us and destroy our way of life.

The cyber-attacks that recently targeted key infrastructure across the world show that we are going to need to invest heavily in information security. We must protect ourselves from this new phenomenon. It becomes more sophisticated by the hour.

All of that shows that soft power alone is not powerful enough in an increasingly militarised world.

And it reminds us that we cannot be naïve or complacent. True security starts at home.

[The way forward]

The way forward starts with making sure that we spend what is needed on our defence.

While the European Union spends around EUR 27,000 per solider on equipment and research, the US spend EUR 108,000.

No wonder then that less than 3% of European troops are deployable at this very moment.

That shows that we need to invest more, and invest in a more efficient way.

Russia spends over 5% of its GDP on defence while China has increased its defence budget by 150% over the past decade. And the US too has just announced a major increase in their defence budget.

And the EU? Overall, the 27 Member States spend only 1.3% of their overall budgets on defence.

Together, we spend half as much as the United States but even then we only achieve 15% of their efficiency.

That is because around 80% of defence procurement, and 90% of research and technology investment, is done at national level with no coordination between the Member States of the European Union.

That is both inefficient and costly. And it makes it harder for our troops to work together.

Our approach is a scattergun one. There are 178 – as the Prime Minister said – different weapon systems in the EU, compared to 30 in the U.S. We allow ourselves the luxury of having 17 different types of combat tanks while the United States is able to manage perfectly well with just one model.

Absurdly, there are more helicopter types then there are governments to buy them! We must do better.

That is why the European Commission proposed a European Defence Fund.

While it will not and cannot replace Member States’ budgets on defence, it will create incentives for them to cooperate on joint research, development and acquisition of defence equipment and technology.

We have seen that this approach works, for example with the Meteor air-to-air missile that was developed together by six Member States. It is now widely seen as one of the most capable missiles of its kind.

This is the Fund that will make the European Union the biggest investor in collective defence research and technology in Europe.

The Commission is committed as never in the past: until 2020, we plan almost EUR 600 million in support of defence. And after 2020, we propose to allocate EUR 1.5 billion each year — as part of the new funding priorities of the Commission. The Fund will make the EU the biggest investor in collective defence research and technology in Europe.

This is a crucial step. But we cannot stop here.

[PESCO – the Sleeping Beauty]

The European Union already has the legal means at its disposal to move away from the current patchwork of bilateral and multilateral military cooperation to more efficient forms of defence integration.

I am talking about permanent structured cooperation— the Sleeping Beauty of the Lisbon Treaty.

Article 42 of the Treaty makes it possible for a group of like-minded Member States to take European defence to the next level.

I have said it before and I will say it again: I think the time to make use of this possibility is now.

It is time to wake the Sleeping Beauty up.

But at the end of the day, it is not the Commission that will build a common defence.

The Commission is putting everything it has on the table. We have explained how our policies can help fight hybrid threats. We are using our development policy to build up the security of partner countries. We have proposed a Defence Fund which commits the EU budget in an unprecedented way. And we have produced a detailed reflection paper with different options for how the European Union at 27 might develop by 2025 in the area of defence.

But it will always — always — come down to a question of ambition and political will of the Member States.

The past has shown that European defence does move ahead if and when there is political will.

The Franco-British Saint-Malo agreement laid the ground for a momentous step forward towards the Common Security and Defence Policy we have today. The defence provisions of the Lisbon Treaty were another expression of strong ambition.

But so far these ambitions have remained largely unfulfilled. We created European Battlegroups, but we never used them. The ambitious provisions of the Lisbon Treaty lay dormant too.

I see the tide turning. There were only four believers in 2003. As it happens so often in Europe, it took time for others to realise the importance of what was being proposed. Today we see that the group of believers is expanding.

Just last month, the Member States unanimously decided to establish the first Military Planning and Conduct Capability to take over command of EU training missions. This is a first step towards a more robust capability.

In two weeks, the European Council will meet. My colleagues and friends in the European Council understand the importance of this debate. They know how much the debate on the future of Europe’s defence is tied to the debate about the future of Europe.

[Conclusion]

We have reached a point where progress is the only option. The only question is the speed.

The momentum behind closer defence cooperation comes first and foremost from the people of Europe. In almost all Member States, security is among the top three priorities, and three quarters of Europeans are in favour of a common security and defence policy.

They want their Union to do more to protect them from threats old and new.

And it is time we listened.

In the last decades, there has not been a more compelling set of security challenges, economic facts and political arguments justifying a drastic step change in European defence.

But more than that, the clock is running on how long we can live in a house half built. A European Security and Defence Union will help protect our Union, which is exactly what EU citizens expect.

So the call I make today is not only in favour of a Europe of defence — it is a call in defence of Europe.

Thank you.


Bbc. 2017-06-09. Juncker: EU needs stronger defence arm

EU nations must step up their military co-operation as they cannot simply rely on the US to defend them, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says.

“Our deference to Nato can no longer be used as a convenient alibi to argue against greater European efforts.

“We have no other choice than to defend our own interests in the Middle East, in climate change, in our trade agreements,” he said in Prague.

US President Donald Trump has urged Nato allies to boost defence spending.

Last month German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe could no longer “completely depend” on the US and UK, following the election of President Trump and the triggering of Brexit.

The UK and France are by far the strongest military powers in the EU, so UK withdrawal potentially weakens Europe’s collective military muscle.

Only five of Nato’s 29 member states – the UK, US, Poland, Greece and Estonia – have met Nato’s target for each member to spend at least 2% of their GDP (national output) on defence.

Mr Juncker told the Prague defence and security conference on Friday that “the way forward starts with making sure that we spend what is needed on our defence”.

Cold War-era tensions have resurfaced since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014 and pro-Russian rebels carved out a separatist region in eastern Ukraine.

Wasteful policies

“The protection of Europe can no longer be outsourced,” Mr Juncker said.

But he stressed that “competition between the EU and Nato is not an option”.

He praised the EU-Nato partnership in some key hotspots around the world: Afghanistan, the Balkans and the Horn of Africa.

But he deplored inefficiencies in European military spending and planning, saying much more co-operation on defence projects was needed in the EU.

He said the EU was spending on average €27,000 (£24,000; $30,000) per soldier on equipment and research, whereas the US was spending €108,000.

“Together, we spend half as much as the United States, but even then we only achieve 15% of their efficiency,” he said.

“Absurdly, there are more helicopter types than there are governments to buy them! We must do better.”

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Trump

Trump ed Arabia Saudita. Quando la Realpolitik vale 100 miliardi cash.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-05-14.

2017-05-13__Trump_us_saudi_arabia_81153_s878x585

Il contrasto è stridente, ed il Deutsche Welle, organo di stampa del Governo tedesco, lo ha riportato con titoli eloquenti.

Questo il prima:

Fury at Saudi election to UN women’s rights group

Can Merkel press Saudi authorities on women’s rights?

«German Chancellor Merkel has arrived in the Saudi port city of Jeddah to hold talks with the kingdom’s authorities. Women’s rights are high on her agenda following massive criticism of Riyadh’s UN women’s body role.»

*

«dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.»

E questo il dopo:

Saudi Arabia ‘wants no more German weapons’: report

* * *

Merkel. Una gran brutta figuraccia in Arabia Saudita.

Merkel. Dopo l’Arabia, adesso ci ha ritentato con Mr Putin.

* * * * * * *

Questa invece è la risultante della Realpolitik del Presidente Trump.

Ecco cosa riporta il The Washington Times:

«President Trump made the decision to begin his first foreign trip in Saudi Arabia, delivering a message of peace and unity with Muslim leaders he seeks to enlist for the fight radical Islamic terrorism»

*

«No president has ever visited the homelands and the holy sites of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths all on one trip»

*

«The agenda, including meeting with leaders from Muslim countries set up by the Saudi king, challenged Mr. Trump’s critics who have accused him of being anti-Muslim»

*

«What President Trump is seeking is to unite people of all faiths around a common vision of peace, progress and prosperity. He will bring a message of tolerance and of hope to billions, including to millions of Americas who profess these faiths»

* * *

Il Presidente Trump semplicemente accetta il fatto che l’Arabia Saudita abbia, e ne sia orgogliosa, un propria fede e che ne onori dei principi e valori differenti da quelli occidentali. In altri termini, non fomenta elementi di contrasto, bensì esalta quelli di condivisione ed unione.

Basterebbe soltanto guardare gli ottimi risultati della politica estera cinese:

Cina ed Africa. Una politica di rapporti internazionali paritetici.

* * *

«Ahead of the US president’s visit to Saudi Arabia, a series of multi-billion-dollar arms deals have been outlined. The previous US administration suspended some supplies because of human rights concerns»

*

«A senior, unnamed White House official said the US was close to completing a series of deals to sell Saudi Arabia arms and related maintenance worth $100 billion (91.4 billion euros)»

*

«We are in the final stages of a series of deals,” the White House official said on Friday. The arms package could be worth more than $300 billion over a decade, the official said. The US has been the Saudi kingdom’s major arms supplier, delivering F-15 fighter jets, command and control systems worth tens of billions of dollars in recent years»

*

«America first»


Deutsche Welle. 2017-05-14. US nears $100 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia ahead of Trump’s trip

Ahead of the US president’s visit to Saudi Arabia, a series of multi-billion-dollar arms deals have been outlined. The previous US administration suspended some supplies because of human rights concerns.

*

A senior, unnamed White House official said the US was close to completing a series of deals to sell Saudi Arabia arms and related maintenance worth $100 billion (91.4 billion euros), according to Reuters.

President Donald Trump begins an international tour next Friday with the first stop in Saudi Arabia, followed by visits in Israel, the Vatican, Brussels for a NATO summit and Sicily for a Group of Seven summit. 

“We are in the final stages of a series of deals,” the White House official said on Friday. The arms package could be worth more than $300 billion over a decade, the official said. The US has been the Saudi kingdom’s major arms supplier, delivering F-15 fighter jets, command and control systems worth tens of billions of dollars in recent years.

President Barack Obama had canceled a series of planned weapons sales to Saudi Arabia in the last months of his administration because of the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen which had led to numerous civilian casualties.

Trump has already met with Saudi deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, who yields much influence in the kingdom due to the frailty of the 81-year-old King Salman. The 31-year-old prince is also defense minister and has led an aggressive campaign both militarily in Yemen and politically against Iran and Shia Muslims.

The UN estimates that 17 million of Yemen’s 27 million people are “food insecure” including 3.3 million pregnant and breast-feeding mothers and children, some 462,000 under the age of five, who are “acutely malnourished.”

Restoring US-Saudi ties

Trump and Salman met at the White House in Washington in March. The Bloomberg news agency reported on Thursday that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund could invest up to $40 billion in US infrastructure.

US national security adviser H.R. McMaster previewed Trump’s first foreign tour to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy and Belgium in a White House briefing on Friday. “President Trump understands that America First does not mean America alone,” McMaster told reporters. “To the contrary, prioritizing America’s interests means strengthening alliances.”

McMaster said Trump “will encourage our Arab and Muslim partners to take bold, new steps to promote peace and to confront those, from ISIS to al Qaeda to Iran to the Assad regime, who perpetuate chaos and violence that has inflicted so much suffering throughout the Muslim world and beyond.”


Deutsche Welle. 2017-04-30. Saudi Arabia ‘wants no more German weapons’: report

A Saudi official has told “Der Spiegel’ magazine that good relations with Berlin come before arms deals. This comes as Chancellor Merkel, on a visit to the kingdom, called for an end to Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen.

*

Saudi Arabia intends to refrain in future from asking for more weapons from Germany, and to concentrate instead on economic cooperation in other sectors, according to an interview in the German news magazine “Der Spiegel” published on Sunday.

“We accept the German reticence with regard to exports to Saudi Arabia; we know the political background,” Saudi Deputy Economy Minister Mohammed al-Tuwaijri told the magazine.

“We will not cause any more problems for the German government with new requests for weapons,” he added.

Al-Tuwaijri said the reason for the change was a desire for closer cooperation with Berlin in areas other than arms, with Riyadh aiming to make Germany one of its “very most important economic partners.”

“Relations with Germany are much more important to us than arguing about weapons deals,” he said.

Controversial – but lucrative – issue

German weapons deals with Saudi Arabia have been controversial for many years, with the kingdom frequently the target of criticism for its poor human rights record.

Among other issues, the country’s involvement in the long-running war in Yemen, in which many civilians have died in airstrikes carried out by warplanes from a Saudi-led Arab coalition, has raised fears that German arms were being misused.

According to preliminary figures, in 2016 Germany exported armaments to Saudi Arabia to the tune of more than half a billion euros.

Civilian casualties

The interview was published as Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in the kingdom on Sunday for talks with Saudi King Salman and other officials. There were no representatives of armaments companies in the business delegation accompanying her, though the German government has previously said that weapons could still be delivered to Saudi Arabia on a case-by-case basis.

At the talks in the commercial hub of Jeddah, Merkel called for an end to the Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen.

“We believe in the UN-led process of diplomatic resolution,” she said. “We do not think that there can be a military solution to this conflict.”

She said something had to be done to prevent even more people in the already impoverished country from being brought into an “extremely bad humanitarian situation,” while conceding that Saudi Arabia was not the only party that had to accept compromises.

The Saudi government has been intervening in the war in Yemen for more than two years, leading a Sunni Arab coalition that has been bombing positions of Shiite Houthi rebels, which Riyadh sees as proxy forces for its regional rival, Iran. In view of the large number of civilian casualties in the strikes, even the United States, a close ally of the kingdom, has called for the attacks to cease.

Military and police training

Despite German reservations about Saudi military actions, an agreement was signed during Merkel’s visit that provides for German Bundeswehr soldiers to help train their Saudi counterparts, a government spokesman in Berlin said.

Under the deal, Saudi soldiers are to receive training at Bundeswehr facilities, the spokesman said, giving no further details.

A declaration of intent was also signed on police training cooperation, according to information from the government. The scheme would see German federal police giving instruction to Saudi border police, among other things.