NATO Defence Ministers on Wednesday (5 June 2013) endorsed the detailed concept for the new NATO-led mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces after 2014. “That concept will guide our military experts as they finalise the plan in the course of the coming months,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. READ MORE
Bilateral meeting between General Bartels and Lieutenant General Qi Jianguo, Deputy Chief of General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army
The Chairman of NATO's Military Committee, General Knud Bartels, attended the 12th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Asia Security Summit ''The Shangri-La Dialogue 2013'' in Singapore from 31 May to 2 June. READ MORE
During the Cold War, Romania confused all of us. Long after brutality in other communist countries declined, Romania remained a state that employed levels of violence best compared to North Korea today. Nicolae Ceausescu, referred to by admirers as the Genius of the Carpathians, ruled Romania with a ruthless irrationality. Government policies left the country cold and dark, and everyday items readily available just a few kilometers south in Bulgaria were rarities in Romania. At the same time -- and this was the paradox -- Romania was hostile and uncooperative with the Soviets. Bucharest refused to submit to Moscow, and this did not compute for many of us. Resistance to Soviet power, in our minds, meant liberalization, like what we saw in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. But not in Romania; Romania played a different game. READ MORE
Frustrated by decades of unfruitful negotiations between the Turkish and Greek sides to reunify the divided island of Cyprus, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) Ambassador to Turkey Mustafa Lakadamyalı has stated that there should be a definite deadline for negotiations on the divided Mediterranean island, adding that the talks cannot go on forever. READ MORE
A ceremony to launch the second phase of the SILK-Afghanistan programme, which provides high-speed internet access to Afghan universities and some governmental institutions, took place on 29 May. The signature of a contract between Afghan Telecom and NATO signals a shift from the use of satellites towards fibre-optic communications. This is a more sustainable solution going forward and will help prepare the way for an eventual handover of the network to a European Union funding mechanism in the future.
A conference on European security, organized by the Russian defense ministry on May 23–24 in Moscow, served as a platform for the top brass to reiterate well-worn themes and perspectives on a range of issues: from the United States’ ballistic missile defense (BMD) system to revamping the existing security structure in Europe. Alongside senior Russian defense officials and experts were a selection of counterparts from the US and Europe who discussed strategic issues linked to European and, indeed, global security. However, the set of interlinked views expressed during the conference—and representative of the ideas and policy stance among Russia’s defense leadership—displayed no tangible advance on similar statements in recent years. This is particularly clear with reference to the address by Army-General Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the General Staff and first deputy defense minister (Interfax, May 24). READ MORE