From the Jamestown Foundation: On June 22 Ukrainian Naval Headquarters confirmed unofficially that the country's political deadlock has doomed the multinational military exercise Sea Breeze-2009. According to the Ukrainian headquarters sources, the U.S. Armed Forces European Command (EUCOM) and the U.S. Sixth Fleet notified Ukraine's defense ministry on June 17 officially that foreign military units had to cancel their participation because the Ukrainian parliament failed to authorize the entry of such units on the national territory for Sea Breeze-2009 (UNIAN, Ukrayinska Pravda, June 22) . . .
Sea Breeze is a joint and combined naval, ground, and air exercise, U.S.-led and mainly U.S.-financed, lasting two weeks in July. It normally involves more than 2,000 military personnel from about fifteen NATO members and partner countries by invitation . . .
Although originating in the overall framework of NATO's Partnership for Peace program, Sea Breeze is not a NATO exercise. It is, rather, a joint Ukraine-U.S. exercise, to which other countries are invited to participate. Oblivious to such distinctions, local protesters and their handlers use the opportunity to demonize NATO.
More fundamentally, for the Conservative Party, Dr. Fox noted, shifting procurement from European to U.S. sources was a matter of strategic importance: more cooperation on defense procurement within the EU for Britain means a weaker Britain and a weaker NATO, because so few of the EU nations are willing to fight.
“Quite the contrary, we are favour of coordination and synergies between existing international structures to ensure that no single government (or) organisation in the Euro-Atlantic area works against each other...”
From Foreign Policy: Russia looms next door to the Baltic states as a contemptuous and even hostile neighbor that has played out repeated military exercises based on the scenario of reconquest. The three Baltic states are today members of nato but often feel they are on its margins: in the alliance on paper, but lacking the contingency planning and military presence that would bolster the security guarantee provided by Article V of the nato treaty. Russia’s increasingly angry rhetoric and ominous moves may seem like empty posturing from the safety of Brussels or Washington, but from a Baltic standpoint they are threatening—and all the more so for having thus far prompted no clear Western response.
It used to be Belgium that was counted as the "cockpit of Europe”—the place where great-power interests clashed and were settled. Now it is the Baltic states. At stake is not just nato’s credibility, but also that of the whole post-communist experiment: Is it possible for small countries on Russia’s borders to gain durable prosperity, security, and freedom, with their destiny determined by their own talents and virtues? Or will the ebb and flow of economic fortune ultimately prove that these small states are unsustainable as anything but satrapies for more powerful neighbors? (graphic: Katherine Yester, Foreign Policy)
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But [Greek Foreign Minister] Dora Bakoyannis told The Associated Press that Turkish military jets were flying over inhabited Greek islands.
"There is an increase in tension in the Aegean, which is evaluated very seriously by the Greek side," Bakoyannis said. "We have overflights _ not the usual overflights we had in the past, but overflights over inhabited islands _ which worries us greatly."
The purchase would be one of the largest arms deals between Russia and a NATO member state. In the 1990s, Greece acquired over $1 billion worth of Russian weapons.
The word "nuclear" is not at all mentioned in the text, but the formula used usually means that nuclear weapons are not excluded.The diplomat says the formula used "is a very strong one". Much stronger than the one in the old accord of 1995, which "was rather vague" concerning an eventual French military intervention in case of attack against the UAE. Now the vagueness is removed, and a French riposte "is now almost automatic" in case of attack. Of course the decision on whether or not to use a nuclear riposte "is exclusively in the hands of French authorities". The base in Abu-Dhabi "is not nuclearised" — i.e., will not have any nuclear weapons, but that is not needed. This accord in effect means extending the French nuclear umbrella to the UAE."
officials at the Elysée Palace concede that France is "deliberately putting itself into a position of dissuasion" against an Iranian attack on the Gulf states. "If Iran was to attack, (France) would now in effect also be under attack," an Elysée spokesman said.
From World Politics Review: But some U.S. allies in the Baltic and Eastern Europe warn against cozying up to Moscow, in light of Russia's new assertiveness, most evident in the Georgia war. 'It is important that dialogue with Russia must not harm the allied relationships of today,' Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves said in a press release, after meeting Obama in Washington, this week.
For more from President Ilves on NATO, cyber attacks, and relations with Russia, see www.president.ee/en/media/press_releases.php?gid=128614.
From Evgeny Morozov in Net Effect: Jose Nazario of Arbor Networks mentioned the growing impact that DDoS-attacks - used predominantly as means of intimidation - are having on elections worldwide. To illustrate his point, he spoke of attacks on Kasparov.ru in Russia as well as the recent DDoS attacks on the web-sites of several parties in the UK; the Iranian case was, obviously, an elephant in the room (yet, surprisingly, Iran was barely mentioned throughout the entire conference). Nazario also pointed out to the disturbing frequency with which DDoS attacks are now accompanying important geopolitical and diplomatic negotiations, pointing to a spike in DDoS attacks against Ukrainian web-sites as anti-NATO protests where [sic] sweeping the country (the attacks carried a 'NATO go home' message).