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CHINFO NEWS CLIPS
Monday, July 14, 2014
Further reproduction or distribution is subject to original copyright restrictio...
2
ASIA – PACIFIC:
7. Abe Defends New Japan Defense Policy
Prime Minister Acknowledges Debate Played Role in Regional Elect...
3
16. F-35 Makers Chip In $170M To Shrink Costs
(DEFENSE NEWS 12 JUL 14) ... Aaron Mehta
FAIRFORD, ENGLAND – The F-35 Join...
4
SUBMARINES:
25. Navy Lags In Replacing Aging Fleet STRATCOM Relies On To Carry Nukes
(OMAHA WORLD-HERALD 13 JUL 14) ... ...
5
COMMENTARY:
34. Iraq's Urgent NeedFor Unity
(NEW YORK TIMES 14 JUL 14) ... Zalmay Khalilzad
WASHINGTON – In the coming w...
6
TOP STORIES:
1. Obama Contends With Arc Of Instability Unseen Since '70s
Convergence of Security Crises Poses Serious Ch...
7
Bashar al-Assad's regime after it allegedly used chemical
weapons on its political opponents.
"The state structure in th...
8
hub for sending and withdrawing American troops and
diplomats, was vulnerable to attack by ISIS fighters, American
offic...
9
Russian officials summoned the Ukrainian charge
d’affaires to the Foreign Ministry in Moscowto protest the
civilian’s de...
10
MIDEAST:
4. Gazans Flee After Israel Says Assault Is Imminent
(WASHINGTON POST 14 JUL 14) ... William Booth and Griff W...
11
But such a deal would require cease-fire talks.
Michael Herzog, a former top Israeli military official who
has conducte...
12
The militants attacked Dhuluiya around 4 a.m. and took
over the police station,killing six police officers, said an
off...
13
haunted by memories of how quickly North Korea reversed a
dismantlement program that it negotiated seven years ago.
Whe...
14
Return to Index
8. Mistrust BetweenChina And U.S. Is Getting Worse, Analysts Say
Despite the positive gloss, talks in B...
15
Harris’ father should have been on a ship just across the
street from the fleet commander’s office, at Pearl Harbor,
wh...
16
“He is someone who knows the policy instead of just
being a ship driver,” said Cheung at UC San Diego. “In a way,
that’...
17
EUROPE:
11. Ukrainian Forces Close In On Rebel-Held Luhansk
(NEW YORK TIMES 14 JUL 14) ... Sabrina Tavernise
DONETSK, U...
18
and Mi-8AMTSh helicopters being stationed in the peninsula
since the outbreak of the conflict.
Warsaw Takes Steps
In Po...
19
weeks to divvy up cabinet posts,governorships and otherjobs
as Afghan and international elections officials review each...
14 jul 14 chinfo clips
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  1. 1. 1 CHINFO NEWS CLIPS Monday, July 14, 2014 Further reproduction or distribution is subject to original copyright restrictions. To subscribe: send request with Name, Rank & Email to [chinfo_clips.fct@navy.mil] On This Day In The Navy: 1853:Commodore Matthew C. Perry lands and holds the first meeting with the Japanese at Uraga, in which he delivers President Millard Fillmore'srequest for a treaty to representatives to the Emperor. Allowing time for reflection and discussion, Commodore Perry returns in March 1854 and finalizes the Treaty of Kanagawa. TOP STORIES: 1. Obama Contends With Arc Of Instability Unseen Since '70s Convergence of Security Crises Poses Serious Challenge to Barack Obama's Foreign Policy (WALL STREET JOURNAL 14 JUL 14) ... Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee WASHINGTON – A convergence of security crises is playing out around the globe, from the Palestinian territories and Iraq to Ukraine and the South China Sea, posing a serious challenge to President Barack Obama's foreign policy and reflecting a world in which U.S. global power seems increasingly tenuous. 2. U.S. Sees Risks InAssisting A Compromised Iraqi Force (NEW YORK TIMES 14 JUL 14) ... Eric Schmitt and Michael R. Gordon WASHINGTON – A classified military assessment ofIraq’s security forces concludes that many units are so deeply infiltrated by either Sunni extremist informants or Shiite personnelbacked by Iran that any Americans assigned to advise Baghdad’s forces c ould face risks to their safety,according to United States officials. 3. Tension Rises As Russia Accuses Ukraine Of Border Shelling (WASHINGTON POST 14 JUL 14) ... Karoun Demirjian and Michael Birnbaum MOSCOW – Russia on Sunday accused Ukraine of lobbing a shell over the border and killing a Russian civilian and warned of “irreversible consequences,” in a sharp escalation of rhetoric that raised fears of a Russian invasion in Ukraine’s east. MIDEAST: 4. Gazans Flee After Israel Says Assault Is Imminent (WASHINGTON POST 14 JUL 14) ... William Booth and Griff Witte GAZA CITY – Tens of thousandsofpanicked residents fled their homes in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday after the Israeli military dropped leaflets from the sky warning those who stayed behind that they were risking their lives because a large, intense operation was imminent. 5. Deadlock Blocks Iraqi Leadership Vote As ISIS Makes Gains Toward Baghdad (NEW YORK TIMES 14 JUL 14) ... Alissa J. Rubin and Suadad Al-Salhy BAGHDAD – As Iraq’s deadlocked Parliament was again unable to reach a deal to name a new speaker on Sunday, Sunni militants carried out a raid near Baghdad, a symbolically significant attack signaling their intent to move closer, even if o nly by a few miles, toward the Iraqi capital. 6. Americans And Iranians See Constraints At Home In Nuclear Negotiations (NEW YORK TIMES 14 JUL 14) ... David E. Sanger VIENNA – Secretary of State John Kerry arrived here early Sunday in an attempt to rescue negotiations with Iran that have stalled on the question of how large a nuclear infrastructure that nation will be permitted to have over the next decade or t wo. But he quickly confronted the fact that the problem might be less at the negotiating table here than with mullahs in Tehran and members of Congress in Washington.
  2. 2. 2 ASIA – PACIFIC: 7. Abe Defends New Japan Defense Policy Prime Minister Acknowledges Debate Played Role in Regional Election Loss (WALL STREET JOURNAL 14 JUL 14) ... Toko Sekiguchi TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe defended his government's move to expand the role of the country's military, in his first parliamentary debate with opposition lawmakers since announcing the policy shift two weeks ago. 8. Mistrust BetweenChina And U.S. Is Getting Worse, Analysts Say Despite the positive gloss, talks in Beijing show mutual mistrust is deepening, observers say (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST (HONG KONG) 13 JUL 14) ... Teddy Ng BEIJING – China and the United States are finding it harder to accommodate each other, many observers believe, despite both nations putting a positive spin on the outcome of annual high-level talks. 9. In Pacific, 1st Asian-American Fleet Leader Son of WWII sailor and Japanese bride, Harris is American story (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE 12 JUL 14) ... Jeanette Steele PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii – Adm. Harry Harris, the four-star son of Japan and the United States, has an Asian face and a soft Tennessee twang in his voice. 10. Mock Typhoon DisasterAims To Determine When Military Should Respond (STARS AND STRIPES 13 JUL 14) ... Wyatt Olson ABOARD THE JAPANESE DESTROYER ISE, Hawaii – A major element of the 2014 Rim of the Pacific naval exercises involves training to coordinate international military response to natural disasters in Asia. EUROPE: 11. Ukrainian Forces Close In On Rebel-Held Luhansk (NEW YORK TIMES 14 JUL 14) ... Sabrina Tavernise DONETSK, Ukraine – Ukrainian forces battered the outersuburbs of the rebel stronghold of Luhansk on Sunday, pushing deeper than ever but falling short of retaking the city. 12. Russia Bolsters Crimean Air Defense, E. Europe Eyes Countermeasures (DEFENSE NEWS 12 JUL 14) ... Jaroslaw Adamowski WARSAW – Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine is shaping Moscow’s military priorities, but also sparking a response by some East European NATO members. AFGHANISTAN: 13. Afghans To Alter The Government (NEW YORK TIMES 14 JUL 14) ... Matthew Rosenberg KABUL, Afghanistan – The deal that Secretary of State John Kerry brokered to ease the Afghan election crisis with a sweeping audit of the vote was quietly built on an even more profound reshaping of the entire government system, American and Afghan officials confirmed Sunday: The sides have agreed to gradually create an empowered prime minister post after years of an all- encompassing presidency. 14. Afghan Army Docs On Healing Front Improving care at national hospital, clinics down range in critical phase (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE 13 JUL 14) ... Gretel C. Kovach KABUL Afghanistan – The hospitalbeds and gurneys are filled with bodies broken by war. AVIATION: 15. "Excessive" Rubbing Of Engine Blades Caused F-35 Failure-Pentagon (REUTERS 13 JUL 14) ... Andrea Shalal LONDON – The engine failure that has grounded the entire fleet of Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets was caused by "excessive" rubbing of fan blades in the plane's Pratt & Whitney engine, but does not appear to be a fundamental design flaw, the Pentagon's chief weapons buyersaid on Sunday.
  3. 3. 3 16. F-35 Makers Chip In $170M To Shrink Costs (DEFENSE NEWS 12 JUL 14) ... Aaron Mehta FAIRFORD, ENGLAND – The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) is trying anew to drive cost out of the plane, with industry partners agreeing to spend $170 million on internal research and development (IRAD). 17. The $10B Next Generation Jammer Is ‘On Track, On Schedule’ (BREAKING DEFENSE 14 JUL 14) ... Colin Clark LONDON – Farnborough is an air show, but many of the briefings scheduled by American companies this year focus on electronic warfare and missiles – not airplanes. Raytheon, winner of the Next Generation Jammer competition, and the other four defense giants know that much of the money to be made in the next decade will come from upgrades and add -ons,not new platforms. And much of the new money is destined for just the sort of technology the NGJ is sure to bring: the area where cyber and clas sic electronic warfare now merge thanks to digital technologies such as the AESA radar (active electronically scanned array). 18. Boeing Sees F/A-18 Fighter Line Continuing Through 2017 (REUTERS 13 JUL 14) ... Andrea Shalal LONDON – Boeing Co. said on Sunday it was optimistic it could maintain production of its F/A-18 and EA-18G fighter jets in St. Louis through the end of 2017 – a year longer than expected – if Congress approved additional orders of a dozen more planes. UNMANNED SYSTEMS: 19. Pentagon Delays Navy’s Carrier Drone Program (DOD BUZZ 11 JUL 14) ... Kris Osborn The Pentagon has delayed the carrier-launched drone program amid ongoing reviews of the program’s requirements and has considered drafting a new, joint capabilities document for the Navy aircraft, defense officials told Military.com. SURFACE FLEET: 20. More Ships, At Least On Paper, In New Fleet Plan (DEFENSE NEWS 12 JUL 14) ... Christopher P. Cavas WASHINGTON – The latest update of the U.S. Navy’s annual 30-year shipbuilding plan shows a jump of 10 ships now in service compared with a year ago, but the updated number is a reflection of new ship-counting rules, not more ship production. 21. Retiring Frigates May Leave Some Missions Unfilled (NAVY TIMES 21 JUL 14) ... David Larter The Navy may be shedding all its frigates by the end of next year, but the ships are still busy and in high demand – creating a dilemma for the Navy over which ships will pick up their missions. 22. Big Supply Ships May Get Reprieve – For Now (DEFENSE NEWS 12 JUL 14) ... Christopher P. Cavas WASHINGTON – They’re the biggest supply ships operated for the U.S. Navy, and the fastest.Rarely does a deployed carrier strike group travel without one. But they’re also the most expensive logistics ships to run, and that’s made them the target of planners eager to reduce operating costs. AIRCRAFT CARRIERS: 23. Cruiser Cut Plan Raises Carrier Questions Overhaul plan and carrier defense called into question by experts, officials (NEWPORT NEWS DAILY PRESS 13 JUL 14) ... Hugh Lessig Congress and the Navy might have settled a debate over aircraft carriers, but they're still squabbling over the ships that serve as escorts. 24. A Tale Of Two Ships Passing (NORFOLK VIRGINIAN-PILOT 13 JUL 14) ... Joanne Kimberlin NEWPORT NEWS – On the banks of the James River, in the bustle of the sprawling shipyard,two great warriors have come together,a lifetime apart.
  4. 4. 4 SUBMARINES: 25. Navy Lags In Replacing Aging Fleet STRATCOM Relies On To Carry Nukes (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD 13 JUL 14) ... Steve Liewer and Joseph Morton KINGS BAY, Ga. – The Navy’s Trident missile submarines used to be a high-tech wonder, the symbol of American superiority at sea. TECHNOLOGY: 26. Navy Pushes Ahead With 3-D Printing Metal printing likely next step (NAVY TIMES 13 JUL 14) ... Lance M. Bacon VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. – The fleet’s 3-D printing experiments have produced everything from tools and phone-jack plates to gas caps and training aids in the past year – and done so in hours,rather than the days,weeks or months sailors wait for some parts. MARINE CORPS: 27. Dunford To Inherit Marine Corps At Crossroads (POLITICO 13 JUL 14) ... Philip Ewing Many leathernecks might argue there’s no such thing as a bad day inside the United States Marine Corps – but even they might also admit there have been bettertimes than this. PERSONNEL: 28. Training Boss Talks Classroom Changes Virtual learning, ‘C’ school access top White’s priority list (NAVY TIMES 21 JUL 14) ... Mark D. Faram PENSACOLA, FLA. – Whethertraining recruits, operating schoolhouses oroverseeing the force’s general military training, Naval Education and Training Command runs sailor education and development from cradle to grave. 29. Ball Caps Are Back New rules will let COs make the call on wear with NWUs (NAVY TIMES 21 JUL 14) ... Mark D. Faram For most of the past 70 years, ball caps have weaved their way into Navy culture and tradition. OUTREACH: 30. Sailors Anchor In Omaha For Week Of Performances, Demos (OMAHA WORLD-HERALD 14 JUL 14) ... Steve Liewer Dozens of white-clad Navy sailors will appear at local YMCAs, food banks,businesses and museums in the coming days as the sea service brings Navy Week to Omaha. WASHINGTON NAVY YARD: 31. Crucial Facts Not Shared At Navy Yard Confusion marred police response to Navy Yard shooting, report finds (WASHINGTON POST 12 JUL 14) ... Peter Hermann and Clarence Williams Communication problems among federal and local authorities complicated the search for the gunman during September’s deadly mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, according to a D.C. police report that says city officers were unable to make use of live video of the shooteras they streamed into harm’s way. LEGAL: 32. Two More Sentenced To Prison In Bribery Scheme (NORFOLK VIRGINIAN-PILOT 12 JUL 14) ... Tim McGlone NORFOLK – Two more contractors have been sentenced to prison for their roles in a widespread bribery scheme involving contracts with the Navy's Military Sealift Command. 33. Retired O-4 Pleads Guilty In Port Services Scandal (NAVY TIMES 21 JUL 14) ... David Larter A former operations boss from the amphibious command ship Blue Ridge is the latest Navy contractorto plead guilty for involvement in the “Fat Leonard” scandal.
  5. 5. 5 COMMENTARY: 34. Iraq's Urgent NeedFor Unity (NEW YORK TIMES 14 JUL 14) ... Zalmay Khalilzad WASHINGTON – In the coming weeks, Iraq’s leaders must make existential decisions. If they cannot form a unity government led by a new prime minister and motivate Sunni moderates and tribes to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Iraq is likely to disintegrate. 35. Analysis: Mideast Crisis A Strategic Stalemate (ASSOCIATED PRESS 13 JUL 14) ... Dan Perry If the Israel-Hamas fighting feels like a rerun, that's because it is. 36. Our Common Cause With Iran (WASHINGTON POST 13 JUL 14) ... Ryan Crocker, William Luers and Thomas Pickering An Arab proverb advises,“A problem is solved when it gets tougher.” 37. Countering The ISIS Threat To Jordan The kingdom can repel any direct military attack. It needs U.S. help to deal with terrorist subversion. (WALL STREET JOURNAL 14 JUL 14) ... David Schenker Since last summer the Obama administration has been missing in action as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, conquered much of Syria and Iraq. But as the terrorist organization now turns its sights on the pro-Western Kingdom of Jordan, Washington can no longer ignore its territorial gains. 38. The Cyber Threat Congress is overdue in dealing with the cybersecurity threat (WASHINGTON POST 14 JUL 14) ... Editorial The internet security company Symantec revealed recently that a group of hackers known as Dragonfly infiltrated malware into legitimate software belonging to three manufacturers of industrial control systems – the stuff that controls factories and power grids. In one case, the contaminated control software was downloaded 250 times by unsuspecting users before the compromise was discovered. 39. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Full Speed Ahead (DEFENSE NEWS 14 JUL 14) ... Editorial It’s been a tough few weeks for the F-35 fighter program. 40. Sailing America: Beginning Of Newest Amphibious Assault Ship’s Legacy On Sea (NAVY LIVE BLOG 11 JUL 14) ... Command Master Chief Chad Lunsford, Future USS America My name is Chad Lunsford and I am the command master chief of the newest amphibious assault ship in the U.S. Navy, the Future USS America (LHA 6)! I have been aboard this ship since she was first introduced as a ‘pre-commissioning unit.’ I often get asked, “What does it mean to be a part of a pre-commissioning unit?” Honestly, this journey has been incredibly rewarding and one of the highlights of my career…
  6. 6. 6 TOP STORIES: 1. Obama Contends With Arc Of Instability Unseen Since '70s Convergence of Security Crises Poses Serious Challenge to Barack Obama's Foreign Policy (WALL STREET JOURNAL 14 JUL 14) ... Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee WASHINGTON – A convergence of security crises is playing out around the globe, from the Palestinian territories and Iraq to Ukraine and the South China Sea, posing a serious challenge to President Barack Obama's foreign policy and reflecting a world in which U.S. global power seems increasingly tenuous. The breadth of global instability now unfolding hasn't been seen since the late 1970s, U.S. security strategists say, when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan,revolutionary Islamists took power in Iran, and Southeast Asia was reeling in the wake of the U.S. exit from Vietnam. In the past month alone, the U.S. has faced twin civil wars in Iraq and Syria, renewed fighting between Israel and the Palestinians, an electoral crisis in Afghanistan and ethnic strife on the edge of Russia, in Ukraine. Off center stage,but high on the minds of U.S. officials, are growing fears that negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program could collapse this month, and that China is intensifying its territorial claims in East Asia. Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), in a CNN interview Sunday, said the world is "in greater turmoil than at any time in my lifetime." Many of the seeds of instability in the Middle East have taken root since the upheaval that followed the Sept. 11 terror attacks.At the same time, post-Cold War shifts are continuing as superpowerinfluence has receded. The developments have fueled debate over the Obama foreign-policy doctrine, which the president said in a May speech at West Point would rely on U.S. leadership, but not troop deployments. The president's critics in Washington,as well as some diplomats abroad, believe Mr. Obama's policies have fueled today's conflicts. They cite his decision to pull back from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,his rejection of a more decisive U.S. and allied role in the Syrian civil war, and what they see as his reluctance to provide greater support to American allies in Asia and Europe as they face down the newly aggressive foreign polices of China, Iran and President Vladimir Putin's Russia. "I think our country acting like such a paper tiger to the world on this and so many otherfronts is doing incredible long-term damage to our nation," said Sen. Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) at a hearing last week on Ukraine. "And I do hope at some point the administration will actually follow through on the things that it continues to tout publicly." The chaos has meant that the Obama administration finds itself in the middle of a second term reacting to rather than directing world events.Dangers for the president and for the U.S. are growing as militant groups gain greater control. The organization known as the Islamic State, which now holds parts of Iraq and Syria, poses a particular danger. "If they are able to consolidate their gains in that area, I think it's just a matter of time before they start looking outward and start looking at the West and at the United States in particular," Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday in an ABC News interview. "So this is something that we have to get on top of and get on top of now." Mr. Obama's top aides say the U.S. remains as heavily engaged in resolving conflicts as ever, citing the administration's diplomatic initiatives in Syria, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Iraq, among others.In Kabul over the weekend, Secretary of State John Kerry forged an agreement between political rivals for an audit of the country's disputed presidential vote,an accomplishment for the administration. "In every one of these crises, the common factor is that the United States is the one country that's providing leadership," said Ben Rhodes,a deputy nationalsecurity adviser, in an interview. In some cases,U.S. allies are complicating matters. European countries have balked at imposing tough new sanctions on Russia, according to U.S. officials. And divisions between South Korea and Japan have undermined U.S. efforts to present a united front against China. Some foreign diplomats believe the Middle East is weathering a historic intra-Islamic feud between its Sunni and Shiite sects that no outside power could significantly affect and that is undermining the very structure of the region's nation states. "You are seeing the collapse of the post-Ottoman order in the Middle East," said Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassadorto Washington,referring to the states created after the Ottoman Empire's dissolution in 1918. "One event affects another. I think the order is collapsed. And the new order is shifting itself out." Mr. Obama campaigned for the presidency in 2008 as the alternative to George W. Bush, as a leader who would wind down the U.S.'s Mideast wars and reach out diplomatically to historic adversaries such as Iran, Syria and Russia. He promised to de-emphasize the role of U.S. military force and intensify the country's diplomatic and moral persuasion. Mr. Obama's supporters and opponents alike say he has largely followed through on those promises. But many of his critics say he has overcorrected, further eroding the national- security architecture Washington built in the Mideast and Asia during the Cold War and allowing avenues for terrorist groups such as al Qaeda and competing states to fill the security vacuum. "The U.S.'s regional order in the Middle East is in disarray," said Emile El Hokayem, a Mideast expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London-based think tank. The renewed instability in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent weeks is rekindling criticism that the White House hasn't pushed hard enough to maintain a U.S. military presence in these countries. Many Middle East leaders also have said Mr. Obama has been too reluctant to use force, which has emboldened terrorist groups and rogue states.They cite the president's failure last year to follow through on a threat to strike Syrian President
  7. 7. 7 Bashar al-Assad's regime after it allegedly used chemical weapons on its political opponents. "The state structure in the Middle East has been quickly changing, and the boundaries are shifting in Iraq and Syria," said Vali Nasr, a former Obama administration official who is now dean of Johns Hopkins's School of Advanced International Studies. "And then you have this sudden withdrawal of the U.S., which was the stabilizing force in the region." Mr. Obama's aides said that no single issue links today's crises. Many are still tied to the Arab revolutions that broke out beginning in late 2010. "It's not really the first time it's been like this," said Mr. Rhodes, referring to the simultaneous revolutions the U.S. faced in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia during the Arab Spring. "The fact that you have a crisis in Ukraine has nothing to do with Gaza." Still, many diplomats and security experts see in Ukraine a similar dynamic of post-Cold War borders being challenged during Mr. Obama's tenure – this time by Mr. Putin. The Kremlin moved to annex the Crimea region of Ukraine. And U.S. officials say Moscowcontinues to supply arms, money and intelligence to pro-Russia militias who are fighting the Kiev government for control of territories in eastern Ukraine. Obama administration officials said the sanctions the U.S. and European Union imposed on Russia this year have deterred Mr. Putin from grabbing more Ukrainian territory. They also said Kiev's signing last month an Association Agreement with the European Union shows Ukraine's government now has confidence in joining the West. Ukrainian officials contend that the U.S. and its allies haven't done enough.They note that the Western countries have so far failed to enact the broader sanctions on Russia's economy known in Europe as "third-stage" measures."We do deeply believe that the third stage of sanctions is the means that may heavily influence Putin," said Andriy Parubiy, secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council. "If we don't stop Putin right now, here in Ukraine… [his security forces] will appear in Kazakhstan, in Belarus, in the Baltics." U.S. officials have exhibited a greater interest than European counterparts in applying those stricter sanctions. U.S. and Asian officials also remain concerned that Northeast Asia could emerge as a flash point if territorial disputes between China and its neighbors continue to fester. There is a growing skepticism in Asia about whether the U.S. would abide by its commitment to defend Japan, Taiwan and otherAsian countries if their territorial disputes with China escalate into conflict, according to Asian diplomats. Messrs.Obama and Kerry have worked to assure Japan and South Korea that Washington remains wholly committed to its defense treaties. But even some security analysts who are close to the White House say the Obama administration's perceived hesitancy in responding to international threats is unnerving U.S. allies in the region. "Our allies are looking for a quarterback to call some plays here, and our body language sometimes doesn't show that we're doing that," said Brian Katulis of the left-leaning Center for American Progress."Obama's always been a look- before-you-leap guy.And I think that leads to some of the confusion here at home, but also abroad." http://online.wsj.com/articles/obama-contends-with-arc- of-instability-unseen-since-70s-1405297479 Return to Index 2. U.S. Sees Risks InAssisting A Compromised Iraqi Force (NEW YORK TIMES 14 JUL 14) ... Eric Schmitt and Michael R. Gordon WASHINGTON – A classified military assessment of Iraq’s security forces concludes that many units are so deeply infiltrated by either Sunni extremist informants or Shiite personnelbacked by Iran that any Americans assigned to advise Baghdad’s forces could face risks to their safety, according to United States officials. The report concludes that only about half of Iraq’s operational units are capable enough for American commandos to advise them if the White House decides to help roll back the advances made by Sunni militants in northern and western Iraq over the past month. Adding to the administration’s dilemma is the assessment’s conclusion that Iraqi forces loyal to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki are now heavily dependent on Shiite militias – many of which were trained in Iran – as well as on advisers from Iran’s paramilitary Quds Force. Shiite militias fought American troops after the United States invaded Iraq and might again present a danger to American advisers.But without an American-led effort to rebuild Iraq’s security forces, there may be no hope of reducing the Iraqi government’s dependence on those Iranian- backed militias, officials caution. The findings underscore the challenges ahead for the Obama administration as it seeks to confront militants with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which has seized major cities in Iraq, all but erased the Syrian-Iraqi border and, on Sunday, staged a raid less than an hour’s drive from Baghdad. At the center of the administration debate is whether to send more military advisers,weaponry and surveillance systems – and, if so, in what numbers, at what cost and at what levels of risk – to a country that American combat troops left in 2011, but that now teeters on the brink of collapse. While sending American advisers to Iraq would expose them to risks and could embroil them again in conflict, waiting to act may also limit the administration’s ability to counter ISIS and encourage the formation of a more inclusive government in Baghdad. “There’s risks to allowing things just to try to resolve themselves, particularly when there are interests that could affect our country,” Lt. Gen. Joseph L. Votel, the head of the military’s secretive Joint Special Operations Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week when asked why the Americans should not let the warring factions in Iraq fight one another. The Pentagon’s decision this month to rush 200 troops, plus six Apache helicopter gunships and Shadow surveillance drones,to the Baghdad airport was prompted by a classified intelligence assessment that the sprawling complex, the main
  8. 8. 8 hub for sending and withdrawing American troops and diplomats, was vulnerable to attack by ISIS fighters, American officials have now disclosed. “It’s a mess,” said one senior Obama administration official who has been briefed on the draft assessment and who, like two otherAmerican officials briefed, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the continuing review and the delicate nature of the assessment. The draft of about 120 pages is now being reviewed by Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the head of the military’s Central Command, which oversees operations in the Middle East. General Austin could make changes orrequest additional information from the assessment teams in Iraq, but a final version is expected to be sent to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and other top Pentagon officials this week, officials said. Rear Adm. John F. Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, declined on Sunday to comment on the draft assessment, saying in a statement, “Though the initial work of the assessment teams is largely complete, senior leaders have yet to formally receive or review it.” The assessment does not contain specific recommendations. Those will be developed separately by the Central Command and the military’s Joint Staff once the final report is forwarded to the Pentagon and shared with President Obama and his top national security aides. As ISIS advanced across northern and western Iraq, six teams of American Special Operations forces were rushed in to assess an Iraqi Army that was trained and equipped by the United States at a cost of more than $25 billion, but which experienced a drop-off in training after the American withdrawal and has been greatly handicapped by Mr. Maliki’s push to appoint commanders based more on political loyalty than military skill. The assessment,which took two weeks to prepare under the guidance of Maj. Gen. Dana J. H. Pittard of the Army, graded the strengths and weaknesses ofunits down to the brigade level, examining their equipment, ammunition, sectarian makeup, morale, leadership and other indicators. Each unit’s overall capability was rendered in a blunt color- coded chart: green if capable; red if not. One of the assessment’s conclusions was that Iraqi forces had the ability to defend Baghdad, but not necessary hold all of it, especially against a major attack. Already, the capital has been targeted by ISIS car bombs. Several retired Army generals who oversaw the effort to build the Iraqi Army before the United States withdrawal said American advisers still could make an important contribution. “We must not only commit the right number of advisers, but they must go to the right places – in the field with Iraqi security forces,” said Michael D. Barbero, a retired lieutenant general who was in charge of training the Iraqi forces from 2009 to 2011. “The advisory mission has inherent risks, but they can be mitigated,” he added.“You can put security with them. You can be selective about where you put the advisers.We can apply the lessons learned from dealing with the insider threat in Afghanistan.” Rick Welch, a retired Army Special Forces colonel who worked with tribes in Iraq, said that advisers could encourage the Iraqi government to focus its attacks on ISIS and not its Sunni political opponents. “Advisers could focus the military effort with more precision and discourage attacks on the Sunni population, which would remove one of the grievances of the Sunnis and help the political discussions go forward,” said Mr. Welch, who added that advisers should be embedded with Sunni tribal leaders as well as Iraqi military units. James M. Dubik, a retired Army lieutenant general who oversaw the training of the Iraqi Army in 2007 and 2008, said that Iraq’s security forces could make gains against ISIS even if only half its divisions were effective, but that an advisory effort was very important. “Even if half was whipped into good enough shape,” he said, “that would be enough to turn the tide.” The new report’s findings not only reinforce the initial confidential military assessments ofthe Iraqi forces but also align with public comments in recent days by senior Pentagon officials, notably Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. At a Pentagon news conference on July 3, General Dempsey noted the while Iraqi security forces had stiffened and were capable of defending Baghdad, they were not capable on their own of launching a counteroffensive and reversing the ISIS gains. Mr. Obama has ruled out sending combat troops back to Iraq. And General Dempsey also emphasized any American military involvement in Iraq would be different than in the past. General Dempsey has signaled, however, that airstrikes are still an option. In an interview with National Public Radio on June 27, General Dempsey ticked off three potential aims: targeting “high-value individuals who are the leadership” of ISIS; protecting critical infrastructure, like dams; and “blunting attacks by massed” ISIS forces – a possible assault on Baghdad, for instance. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/14/world/middleeast/us -sees-risks-in-assisting-a-compromised-iraqi-force.html Return to Index 3. Tension Rises As Russia Accuses Ukraine Of Border Shelling (WASHINGTON POST 14 JUL 14) ... Karoun Demirjian and Michael Birnbaum MOSCOW – Russia on Sunday accused Ukraine of lobbing a shell over the border and killing a Russian civilian and warned of “irreversible consequences,” in a sharp escalation of rhetoric that raised fears of a Russian invasion in Ukraine’s east. The accusation,which Ukrainian officials denied, set off furious denunciations in Russia, with one senior legislator calling for pinpoint airstrikes on Ukrainian soil of the sort he said Israel was making in the Gaza Strip. Ukrainian security officials, meanwhile, said that about 100 military vehicles driven by “mercenaries” had attempted to cross the border from Russia early Sunday, and that Ukraine’s military had destroyed some of the vehicles.
  9. 9. 9 Russian officials summoned the Ukrainian charge d’affaires to the Foreign Ministry in Moscowto protest the civilian’s death. The Russians say it occurred when the Ukrainian army shelled Russia’s Rostov region, hitting a residential building. Two other people were injured, authorities said. “We need to use precision weapons, like Israel’s, to destroy those who launched the bomb,” the deputy speaker of Russia’s upperhouse of parliament, Yevgeny Bushmin, told the state-run RIA Novosti news service. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the incident was an “aggressive action” that “highlights the extremely dangerous escalation of tensions on the Russian- Ukrainian border and may have irreversible consequences,the responsibility for which lies on the Ukrainian side.” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said last week that his nation was prepared to take all necessary steps to defend its territory – a declaration that appeared to keep open the option of outright intervention in Ukraine. Ukrainian and Western officials have accused Russia of offering quiet support to the rebels, a charge that rebels themselves appeared to confirm this past week, although the extent of the aid is unclear. Ukrainian officials denied that they fired onto Russian soil, saying that the attack may have been the work of provocateurs seeking to draw a Russian reaction. “Forces of the anti-terrorist mission are not firing on the territory of a neighboring country,” Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told a news conference in Kiev on Sunday. But he told journalists that there had been shelling in the area early Sunday coming from both rebel and Ukrainian army positions.Pro-Russian separatists made a “massive artillery strike” on Ukrainian military forces in Luhansk, just across the border checkpoint from where the shelling death is alleged to have taken place, he said. He added that the strike served as cover for “the passage of a major mercenary force into Ukrainian territory” of “around 100 units of armed vehicles and trucks.” Once the column of vehicles was discovered,Ukrainian artillery positions fired on them, he said. Ukrainian officials said they were still working to determine further details about the incident. It was not immediately possible to confirm either side’s account,and Ukrainian officials did not have an explanation for why, in the fog of war, they could be certain that a stray shell had not hit the Russian side. Russian officials also offered no evidence that the shell was indeed of Ukrainian military provenance. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said Sunday that the country was “ready to cooperate” in any Russian investigation of the incident, and in a statement it “expressed regret at the deaths and injuries” of the Russian citizens. But the Russian warnings of consequencesforthe reported shelling raised tensions.Ukrainian television channels,including Channel 5, which is owned by President Petro Poroshenko, repeatedly played videos of tanks flying Russian flags rolling through what they said was easternmost Ukraine early Sunday. Many Ukrainians on social networks noted darkly that when Russian troops rolled into Georgia in August 2008, Vladimir Putin, then Russia’s prime minister, was in Beijing for the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics; Putin, now president, was in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday for the World Cup final. Poroshenko late Sunday urged the European Union to investigate what he said was a border incursion by “heavy military equipment” and attacks from Russian military positions on Ukrainian troop positions,his office said in a statement. Flashpoint At The Border Since pro-Russian separatists started seizing territory in April, Ukraine has struggled to maintain control of its porous border, and separatists have taken over several border checkpoints.Ukrainian officials say that the Russian government has tolerated the passage ofa steady stream of military equipment and volunteers to assist the separatists’ fight, a charge that Russia has denied. Russia has been registering increasingly strong complaints that its border crossings and territory are being shelled from the Ukrainian side, although Sunday was the first time that it said that anyone had died as a result. Putin on Sunday said that “incidents where shells reach Russian territory, leading to today’s tragedy in the Rostov region, are unacceptable,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday after the Russian leader met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Interfax news agency reported. Putin called for a return to the negotiating table to find a settlement in a format that includes the rebels, Peskov said. Negotiators met twice last month during a cease-fire that later lapsed amid charges of violations on both sides. The rebels made a significant retreat on July 5, pulling back from the cities of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk and fortifying themselves inside the far larger city of Donetsk. Since then, fierce fighting has taken place in Ukraine’s east. On Sunday,Ukrainian government forces were engaged in a major assault on the rebel-held eastern city of Luhansk, and separatist officials said that the military appeared to be gaining territory. “They have lost their limits,” said a Donetskrebel leader, Igor Girkin, also known as Igor Strelkov, in an interview with the Russian LifeNews television channel. “They are ready to do everything,and I wouldn’t be surprised if they use any available means they have for war.” Russia has not openly responded to direct appeals for aid from the rebels since the retreat. But Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said Sunday that the shelling incident “will not be left without a reaction.” He called for “an immediate end to the bloodshed” in Ukraine. Birnbaum reported from Dnepropetrovsk,Ukraine. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/russia-warns- ukraine-of-irreversible-consequences-after-cross-border- shelling/2014/07/13/d2be1bb0-0a85-11e4-8341- b8072b1e7348_story.html Return to Index
  10. 10. 10 MIDEAST: 4. Gazans Flee After Israel Says Assault Is Imminent (WASHINGTON POST 14 JUL 14) ... William Booth and Griff Witte GAZA CITY – Tens of thousandsofpanicked residents fled their homes in the northern Gaza Strip on Sunday after the Israeli military dropped leaflets from the sky warning those who stayed behind that they were risking their lives because a large, intense operation was imminent. Residents in Gaza were whipsawed by growing anxiety and frustration. More than 17,000 people poured into makeshift shelters as Israeli commandos entered the coastal enclave early Sunday to knock out a Hamas rocket-launch site. A brief gun battle with Hamas militants ensued and left four Israeli soldiers lightly wounded. The brief incursion by commandos followed the single deadliest Israeli bombing of the six-day campaign. Israeli missiles hit a house where Gaza’s police chief, Tayseer al-Batsh, was praying Saturday night. The explosions killed 18 members of his extended family, including six children, and sent the top Hamas law-enforcement officer into intensive care, where he was clinging to life Sunday. The latest violence in Gaza came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that Israel has no interest in halting its assault.Israel’s objective, he said at his weekly cabinet meeting, is to inflict “a significant blow on Hamas” that will yield “the restoration of quiet for a long period.” That goal closely tracks Israel’s ambition in two previous offensives against Hamas – in the winter of 2008-2009 and in late 2012 – both of which succeeded in setting back the Islamist movement’s capabilities, but not for very long. In each case,Israel won just a few years of relative calm, even as Hamas’s rocket range and weapons arsenal expanded. The cycle has come to be known in Israel as “mowing the lawn” – a temporary disruption of Hamas’s ability and will to fire rockets. Pressure is growing in Israel to make sure that this time is different. “The army should not stop until they wipe out Hamas,” said AvnerPeretz, 46, just minutes after the windows in his brother-in-law’s house were blown out by a Hamas rocket attack in the southern Israeli town of Netivot over the weekend. “The last two conflicts, we came out looking like the losers.This time, we need to be the winner.” So far, there’s no doubt that Israel has inflicted far more damage than Hamas, but that’s consistently true in this deeply asymmetrical fight. There have been 166 residents of Gaza killed in the current Israeli operation, including 36 children and 24 women, according to the Gazan Health Ministry. The United Nations estimates that three-quarters of the dead are civilians. Hamas and its allies have fired hundreds of rockets into Israel – including 130 on Sunday – but most have either landed in open areas or been shot down by Israel’s sophisticated anti-missile system,Iron Dome. Several Israelis have been seriously injured by the rocket fire, but none have been killed. Israel Radio reported late Sunday that two rockets were fired at Israel from Syria, apparently from Syrian army positions.Israel responded with artillery fire. A More Isolated Hamas The U.N. Relief and Works Agency on Sunday called the situation in Gaza “devastating and unpredictable.” In central Gaza, where Israeli missiles hit the house where the police chief was staying Saturday, there are 17 fresh graves,the bodies marked by mounds of earth, with cinderblock for headstones. The police chief may not have been widely liked in Gaza – his police are aggressive and zealous in their defense of Hamas – but he was respected.The incidence of ordinary crime in Gaza is low. One of his nephews,Ahmed al-Batsh, 26, lay in a hospital bed in Gaza, his head swaddled in bandages and his neck and back peppered with shrapnel. “More will die,” he said. He blamed the United States for supplying Israel with $3 billion a year in military aid. “These bombs are bought by America,” he said, staring through one good eye. Israeli officials and analysts say there’s little chance that Israel will try to destroy Hamas entirely, given the enormous cost and risk involved. But they say Israel has several key advantages it lacked the last two times it traded blows with Hamas. Hamas is far more isolated internationally. The Gaza leaders have alienated their former patron in Damascus, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, by siding with that country’s rebels. And Hamas lost its closest ally last year when Mohamed Morsi, the Islamist president of Egypt, was ousted and replaced by a military-backed government that sees Hamas much the same way Israel does:as an enemy. “Egypt is doing just about everything it can to make sure Hamas gets hurt by the Israelis,” said Itamar Yaar, a former top official with Israel’s national security council. “They’ll be happy if Hamas disappears.” Egyptian authorities once looked the other way as Hamas used tunnels beneath the Gaza border to load up on rockets. But Egypt has essentially shut down all tunneltraffic. Hamas’s long-range rockets could be especially tough to replace. The group can produce its own shorter-range weapons for hitting southern Israel, but it has smuggled – through the border tunnels – rockets from its backers in Iran that are able to target Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other major population centers in Israel’s central core, Israeli officials say. A senior Israeli air force official said Sunday that Hamas began the current conflict with “hundreds” of longer-range rockets and that the air force has made it a priority to destroy as many as possible. But the official acknowledged that eliminating the arsenal is impossible. “You can’t stop the rockets,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss Israel’s strategy and tactics. “You can only make them decide to stop shooting.They have thousands ofrockets,and you can’t attack all of them.” Hamas’s battered finances may be adding to Israel’s leverage. Hamas has been unable to pay government workers for months. Yaar said Hamas may be willing to promise a period of calm in exchange for Israeli cooperation in reviving the devastated Gazan economy.
  11. 11. 11 But such a deal would require cease-fire talks. Michael Herzog, a former top Israeli military official who has conducted past negotiations,said Sunday that Hamas wants a reopening of the border crossing with Egypt, the release of prisoners and money to pay Gaza’s 40,000 government employees. Israel, meanwhile, wants a guarantee of several years of peace, at least, without appearing to reward Hamas’s militant behavior. “It’s challenging to bring this conflict to a conclusion, because the two parties have totally different pictures of how they want it to end,” Herzog said. In Gaza, ordinary citizens were just hoping for a night’s rest. Many of those who abandoned their homes in the north walked to Gaza City, with children waving white flags and mothers carrying mattresses.Farmers brought their donkeys. “We came with nothing,” said Abdul Karim al-Attar, a farmer who arrived with his brothers, their wives and children, 38 in all. Witte reported from Tel Aviv. Ruth Eglash in Jerusalem and Islam Abdel Karim in Gaza contributed to this report. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/thousands-of- gazans-flee-homes-as-israel-promises-to-press-the- fight/2014/07/13/d37eed04-0ac6-11e4-b8e5- d0de80767fc2_story.html Return to Index 5. Deadlock Blocks Iraqi Leadership Vote As ISIS Makes Gains Toward Baghdad (NEW YORK TIMES 14 JUL 14) ... Alissa J. Rubin and Suadad Al-Salhy BAGHDAD – As Iraq’s deadlocked Parliament was again unable to reach a deal to name a new speaker on Sunday, Sunni militants carried out a raid near Baghdad, a symbolically significant attack signaling their intent to move closer, even if only by a few miles, toward the Iraqi capital. Although the pretext for the delay was a severe sandstorm that prevented northern Iraq’s Kurdish lawmakers from flying to Baghdad, the real reason appeared to be that last-minute deals between the largest Shiite bloc and the Sunnis were falling apart. “We were ready, we came with our candidates,but the others haven’t presented their candidates,” said Usama al- Nujaifi, the Sunni lawmaker, who served as speaker in the last Parliament but has agreed not to run this time. “The country is completely collapsing and we need to unify the nation – the delay means more killing, more displaced and more emigration,” Mr. Nujaifi said. The failure to hold a vote for speaker delays the formation of a new government because under the Constitution, the appointment of a speaker starts the clock for choosing a president and prime minister. However, what became clear over the last couple of days was a far more striking problem: Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has not given up his campaign for a third term despite his widespread unpopularity among most Sunnis and Kurds and doubts from many of his fellow Shiites. Iraq has a Shiite majority nationwide and by custom, since 2003 when Saddam Hussein was ousted,the prime minister’s slot has been held by a Shiite. But there are a number of Shiite parties, including several Islamist ones,in addition to Mr. Maliki’s party. In several conversations with members of Mr. Maliki’s larger State of Law coalition, which includes several Shiite parties, it was apparent that they had done the math and determined that he could pull it off. Thus there was no need for a new person. “At the end, the Sunnis will accept the prime minister,” said Sami al-Askari, a member of Parliament and a close supporterof Mr. Maliki from within the prime minister’s party, Dawa. “And also the Kurds will accept him – not Barzani, he has a problem, but the PUK will,” he said referring to the president of the Kurdistan region, Massoud Barzani, with whom Mr. Maliki has bitterly feuded over the prospect of a Kurdish referendum on separating from Iraq. The PUK is the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, anothermajor Kurdish party, but it does not support the idea of independence from Iraq at this point. Anotherpolitical associate of Mr. Maliki, Walid al-Hilli, suggested that those close to the prime minister had counted the votes:120 Shiites, including the roughly 95 from Mr. Maliki’s State of Law coalition, would support him; about 35 Sunnis led by Salim al-Jubouri would join them; and so would about 25 Kurds. Mr. Maliki needs 165 votes to retain his job. “There isn’t any option other than Maliki,” Mr. Hilli said. But those assumptions were tested Sunday when it became clear that Mr. Jubouri might not support Mr. Maliki. The day before, Mr. Jubouri had signed a document in front of the bloc of Sunni lawmakers promising that in exchange for being named speaker, he would represent the wishes of the six provinces with significant Sunni populations,which now feel discriminated against by the central government and would not back Mr. Maliki for prime minister. Mr. Maliki learned about the document overnight, and in a meeting with Shiites on Sunday he told them that this raised questions about whetherhe could support Mr. Jubouri, said several Shiites who attended the meeting. “It was because of that the Parliament session was delayed and the National Alliance was discouraged about the prospect of voting” for Mr. Jubouri as speaker, said Aboud al- Essawi, a member of the coalition that supports Mr. Maliki. For all the back and forth, the reality appeared to be that Mr. Maliki was having trouble gathering the votes needed to retain his post,and it seemed that Iraqi lawmakers, principally Shiite ones, were now grappling with how to deal with it. “We’re confused,” said one longtime supporterof Mr. Maliki, when asked what the options would be if Mr. Maliki could not gather the votes. As lawmakers took stock, militants of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria were already moving into Dhuluiya, a Sunni town 46 miles northeast of Baghdad. The local tribes are divided over ISIS, but a majority oppose the group and called for help from the army. Some troops were sent from the two nearest bases in Samarra and Balad, but the soldiers from Balad, who were closest,could not get across the river quickly because ISIS militants had bombed the most convenient bridge.
  12. 12. 12 The militants attacked Dhuluiya around 4 a.m. and took over the police station,killing six police officers, said an official at the Interior Ministry, who asked not to be named because he is not allowed to speak to the press,as well as a doctorin the town who would give only his surname, Issa. “They brought a big pickup truck and loaded it with explosives and then blew apart the west side of the bridge so no support will come from Balad,” Dr. Issa said. Later, the ISIS militants appeared to withdraw from the town’s center and are now holding only about 20 percent of Dhuluiya, Dr. Issa estimated. Police officials suggested that the militants withdrew from the town’s centerbecause they knew that sooneror later the army forces would arrive and they would not be able to fight them off. The people in the area the militants controlled appeared to support them, residents and provincial police officials suggested. In Baghdad, the number of dead in Saturday’s raid by gunmen on apartment buildings in the eastern part of the city reached 35, including 29 women. The neighborhood is known as a place where prostitutes live, and a police official said that he had been told that someone had scrawled graffiti, warning: “This is how it ends for all prostitutes.” Iraqi employees of The New York Times contributed reporting from Diyala Province and Tikrit,Iraq. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/14/world/middleeast/ira q.html Return to Index 6. Americans And Iranians See Constraints At Home In Nuclear Negotiations (NEW YORK TIMES 14 JUL 14) ... David E. Sanger VIENNA – Secretary of State John Kerry arrived here early Sunday in an attempt to rescue negotiations with Iran that have stalled on the question of how large a nuclear infrastructure that nation will be permitted to have over the next decade or two. But he quickly confronted the fact that the problem might be less at the negotiating table here than with mullahs in Tehran and members of Congress in Washington. During 11 days of intensive negotiations in a palace just steps from where Beethoven and Mozart once lived and worked, a team of sophisticated,westernized negotiators from Iran’s government have given a bit of ground on how some of the country’s facilities will be used and how others will be inspected,according to officials who have been in the rooms where the wording was being discussed. But the Iranians appeared taken a bit by surprise when their supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, gave a speech in Tehran last week that went into extraordinary detail about how much nuclear enrichment capacity Iran would need – statements that seemed to circumscribe their ability to come up with face-saving ways to dismantle a good portion of Iran’s facilities while still portraying their program as moving forward. The Americans face their own constraints at home: A letter from key members of the Senate to President Obama describes what a deal to prevent Iran from producing a weapon should look like, and suggests that anything short of that would not lead to the lifting of sanctions,the only incentive the American team can dangle in front of the Iranians. It was a reminder for Mr. Kerry that there is not one negotiation underway to strike this deal, but three. Mr. Kerry and his counterparts from five other nations are struggling to reach an accommodation with Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s American-educated foreign minister, who has been camped out for the past 11 days in the Coburg Palace, which has become a luxury dormitory for the American, Western European, Russian and Chinese negotiators who are living and working just doors away from one another. But Mr. Zarif has a parallel negotiation underway with Ayatollah Khamenei and the generals of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which runs the military side of the nuclear program and barely trusts its foreign minister. Mr. Obama, meanwhile, has been in a constant behind-the-scenes struggle with members of Congress who argue for more sanctions and more pressure.Mr. Obama has threatened to veto such efforts for fear they will undermine chances for a deal that he believes would be a more lasting solution than permanent sanctions ormilitary action against Iran’s nuclear sites. “It may be the most complex negotiation I’ve ever seen,” said an American official who has been advising the White House, declining to speak on the record about sensitive negotiations.“Everyone is using the constraints they face back home as a reason to avoid compromise. And the fact of the matter is that there are many generals in Iran and many members of Congress in Washington who would like to see this whole effort collapse.” Mr. Kerry said he was evaluating the process to determine whether to recommend to Mr. Obama that the talks be extended beyond the July 20 deadline. “Obviously, we have some very significant gaps still,” he said. “It is vital to make certain that Iran is not going to develop a nuclear weapon, that their program is peaceful.” Though Mr. Kerry is not talking about extending the talks – which is permitted underan interim agreement reached in November – that now seems inevitable. “We are trying to find solutions to narrow the difference,” Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, said to a state-run Iranian news service in an interview here. “Given this context, it’s possible that negotiations will be extended by a few days or weeks.” American officials will not talk about an extension, for fear it will derail their chances of making progress by the deadline next Sunday. But for Mr. Obama, the downside of an extension is small. The lifting of a relatively modest number of sanctions since November, under the preliminary deal, has not resulted in the wide-scale dismemberment of the sanctions regime predicted by Israeli officials. Inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency say the Iranians have scrupulously observed their part of the temporary deal, blending down the fuel that the United States feared was closest to conversion to bomb grade. But the steps the Iranians have taken so far are easily reversible. And the American negotiators,led by Wendy R. Sherman, the undersecretary of state for political affairs, are
  13. 13. 13 haunted by memories of how quickly North Korea reversed a dismantlement program that it negotiated seven years ago. When it comes to stopping a country from getting a weapons capability, there are only educated assessments about how much warning time can be created by limiting a country’s access to certain technologies,reducing the amounts of fuel that can be quickly converted to bomb-grade fuel and exposing the history of weapons-making efforts. Those bets failed in North Korea and Pakistan; they succeeded in South Africa and South Korea, where leaders decided a weapon was not worth the cost. It is far from clear that Iran’s leaders – divided between those who want a long-term accord with the West and those who seek a restoration of Iranian influence in the Middle East – have made a decision. Mr. Zarif represents the faction that seems “genuinely convinced,” in the words of one American negotiator, “that a weapons capability doesn’t buy them much.” Mr. Zarif said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday: “I will commit to everything and anything that would provide credible assurances for the international community that Iran is not seeking nuclear weapons, because we are not.We don’t see any benefit in Iran developing a nuclear weapon.” But Ayatollah Khamenei, in describing Iran’s long-range needs,talked of a tenfold increase in enrichment capacity – so large that it would give Iran a “breakout time” of just weeks to produce weapons-grade fuel. He was vague about when Iran intended to create that capacity. A seniorAmerican official briefing reporters on Saturday said that Iran would have to accept sharp limits on its number of working centrifuges – meaning fewer than the 10,000 it has today – for a decade or more. That is at the core of the problem. Robert Einhorn, who was a central player in developing the American strategy until he left the administration last year, noted recently that “rather than prepare the political ground for some concessions,the Iranian leadership has locked itself into a narrative that they need an industrial capability to produce all their own nuclear power fuel.” Mr. Obama is also getting tied down. If a deal is struck, he will need Congress to revoke sanctions.But that is a hard vote for Democrats as well as Republicans, and a letter to Mr. Obama now being circulated in the Senate by Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, who heads the Foreign Relations Committee, and Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who sits on the Armed Services Committee, lays out a series of protections they say they will insist upon if Congress is to relax sanctions as part of any deal. Among them are a robust inspection arrangement that “lasts at least 20 years” and “access to any and all facilities, persons or documentation” sought by the International Atomic Energy Agency for suspected past workon weapons. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/14/world/middleeast/ira n-nuclear-talks.html Return to Index ASIA – PACIFIC: 7. Abe Defends New Japan Defense Policy Prime Minister Acknowledges Debate Played Role in Regional Election Loss (WALL STREET JOURNAL 14 JUL 14) ... Toko Sekiguchi TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe defended his government's move to expand the role of the country's military, in his first parliamentary debate with opposition lawmakers since announcing the policy shift two weeks ago. At a lower house budgetary committee session Monday, Mr. Abe repeatedly played down the expanded rules of engagement for Japan's Self-Defense Forces, emphasizing that the newly adopted ability for the SDF to aid a friendly nation under attack will be strictly limited. He said in the session that the country's pacifist constitution continues to put a limit on the mobilization of the SDF to aid its allies. "It will be difficult to allow the exercise of collective self-defense that goes beyond the current government position," Mr. Abe said, adding that Japan's engagement in collective self-defense in a manner similar to other countries would require a formal constitutional amendment. Mr. Abe stressed the strict conditions that must be met before Japan engages in military action undercollective self- defense.It would have be a final resort type of situation to fight against a clear danger that fundamentally threatens Japan's statehood and its citizens, not just to defend an ally, Mr. Abe said. In discussing the need for diplomatic efforts to maintain regional security, Mr. Abe said he hopes to finally hold a leadership meeting with China when Beijing hosts the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in November. "It's unfortunate that we've yet to hold a summit meeting," Mr. Abe said. "My door to a dialogue is always open and I hope China to act similarly." China's reaction to Japan's military expansions has been skeptical at best,as it accuses Japan of returning to its militarist past. Monday's debate comes a day after a candidate backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party lost a regional gubernatorial election, delivering anotherblow to Mr. Abe's popularity as the public questions the prime minister's strong- arm tactics for pushing his agenda. The LDP-backed candidate failed to win the open governor's seat in western Shiga prefecture, where opponents banked on overwhelming public opposition against Mr. Abe's pursuit of a historical military expansion by a cabinet decree, rather than a constitutionalchange. Mr. Abe reluctantly admitted in parliament that the defense debate played a role in Sunday's gubernatorial race. "Elections are affected by various factors. I don't intend to deny that the collective self-defense debate played a role, but fundamentally, the election was about who the people chose to determine Shiga's future," Mr. Abe said. http://online.wsj.com/articles/abe-defends-new-defense- policy-1405317449
  14. 14. 14 Return to Index 8. Mistrust BetweenChina And U.S. Is Getting Worse, Analysts Say Despite the positive gloss, talks in Beijing show mutual mistrust is deepening, observers say (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST (HONG KONG) 13 JUL 14) ... Teddy Ng BEIJING – China and the United States are finding it harder to accommodate each other, many observers believe, despite both nations putting a positive spin on the outcome of annual high-level talks. Leaders from both sides used the talks to stress their determination to contain conflicts, and to highlight cooperation over economic, military and climate change issues.But political mistrust is worsening and new flashpoints could emerge easily, commentators warn. "The talks ended with officials presenting their stances on critical issues but without convincing each other about their strategic intentions," said Sun Zhe, the director of the Centre for U.S.-China Relations at Tsinghua University. "Neither side can present evidence that can change the mind of the other side." Sun said it was unlikely frictions would escalate into a major confrontation, but mistrust was expected to deepen given the intention of the U.S. to bolster its military alliances in Asia. Beijing would continue to strengthen economic cooperation with the U.S., but was prepared for a "struggle" against Washington. "It is very difficult for the two nations to become partners in the aspect of strategic security," Sun said, adding the South China Sea was a potential flashpoint as both sides stepped up involvement in Southeast Asia."Both nations are now at a point where they need to reset their ties." Officials from both sides stressed neitherpower had the intention of containing or challenging the other. In his opening speech,President Xi Jinping warned of disastrous consequences ifthe nations could not manage frictions. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. was not a rival to China. The officials said they reached consensuson several issues such as North Korea's nuclear programme. The two militaries would also establish a notification mechanism, and discuss rules of behaviourcovering military and maritime affairs. Yue Gang, a Beijing-based military affairs commentator, said the notification mechanism and rules were aimed at preventing major confrontations. The mechanism will probably include alerts about the timing and location of military exercises, as encounters between the two sides have become more frequent with China flexing its navy's muscle. "China is expanding its influence, and the power of the established nation will be offset in the process," Yue said. "[Neither nation has a] proper understanding ofthe core concerns of the other side. The situation could improve if both sides saw the development of the other as an opportunity instead of a threat." Although China stressed it had no plan to exclude the U.S. in the Asia-Pacific region, Washington was concerned that Beijing was building a security structure based on an "Asia for the Asians" concept,according to a transcript on the State Department website. On territorial disputes with its neighbours,Kerry urged Beijing to show restraint, while China's chief diplomat, State Councillor Yang Jiechi , said the U.S. should take a "just" position. Graham Webster,a Beijing-based senior fellow at the China Centre at Yale Law School, said both countries had compelling reasons to resolve their differences. "The U.S. and China have far more common interests than conflicting ones. Both countries need a peaceful Asia-Pacific region and a stable world economy if they want to thrive." He said there was a looming risk of escalation if the two nations failed to develop confidence over cybersecurity. The joint cybersecurity working group was suspended following the U.S. indictment of five Chinese military officers for hacking into U.S. companies. "A crisis of [large] scale is unlikely in the short term, but without real effort, it could become a real risk in coming years," Webstersaid. http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1552973/mistru st-between-china-and-us-getting-worse-analysts-say Return to Index 9. In Pacific, 1st Asian-American Fleet Leader Son of WWII sailor and Japanese bride, Harris is American story (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE 12 JUL 14) ... Jeanette Steele PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii – Adm. Harry Harris, the four-star son of Japan and the United States, has an Asian face and a soft Tennessee twang in his voice. Both may help the U.S. as it attempts to prove that President Barack Obama’s 2011 strategic pivot to the Pacific has legs underneath it. Harris is the first Asian American to head the U.S. Pacific Fleet, sitting in the same office from which Adm. Chester Nimitz led the Navy against the Japanese during World War II. How he got there, less than 70 years after the Japanese surrender, is a very American story. Aside from that,Harris’ cultural roots may help him build relations in the Pacific despite a somewhat wary China. Harris, 57, said his background has served as a conversation starterwhen interacting with officials from Asian nations.He was sworn in as commander of the sprawling Pacific Fleet in October. “There’s no Asian-American slant to the way I look at things.I look at things through an American lens only. But it has helped break the ice in relationships with Asian leaders, so it’s been helpful,” Harris said during an interview last week. He’s a central figure at Rim of the Pacific 2014, the world’s largest naval exercises. San Diego-based ships are hosting the war games and humanitarian drills, which will continue around the islands until Aug. 1.
  15. 15. 15 Harris’ father should have been on a ship just across the street from the fleet commander’s office, at Pearl Harbor, when the Japanese attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. Luckily, the aircraft carrier Lexington pulled left port days before, and Harry Harris Sr. lived to marry a Japanese woman he met after the war. Harry Harris Jr. was born in Yokosuka, Japan, where his mother had gone to work during the postwar period. She was the oldest of four sisters from the city of Kobe, and her aunt told her to get a job near the U.S. Navy base so she could find an American husband.She did. Harris said his parents met at a local club or the base’s newspaperoffice, where she worked as a clerk. They later wed and lived in Sasebo, Japan, until their son was 2 years old. The elder Harris, a machinist mate chief petty officer, eventually retired and moved his family to a 100-acre subsistence farm in eastern Tennessee. That’s where Harry Harris Jr. spent his early years. The evidence is in his slight drawl. His mother did not teach him Japanese,wanting him to be totally immersed in the American culture. But she did tell her son the story of the Japanese- American soldiers who fought heroically in Europe for the 442nd Regiment. Back home, their families were being held at internment camps. “As a Japanese-American kid growing up in Tennessee,I needed role models,” Harris said, looking back. The story of these Nisei, or second-generation Japanese-American troops, resonated with him. He watched and rewatched the 1951 movie depicting them, “Go for Broke.” This month at Pearl Harbor, Harris spoke at a ceremony in which six Nisei World War II soldiers received the French Legion of Honor medal. Afterward, he shookeach one’s hand, the protégé thanking those who came before. This is why Harris’ story has resonated so strongly in the Japanese-American community, said Carole Hayashino, president of the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii. “It’s kind of a reminder of where we’ve been and how far we’ve come,” she said. In Japan, America’s biggest ally in Asia, Harris has a bit of a following. When Japanese dignitaries and business people come to Honolulu, they often ask for a meeting with the new Pacific Fleet commander. The request list wasn’t quite as lengthy for Harris’ predecessors,said Ed Hawkins, a retired Air Force colonel and president of the Japan America Society of Hawaii. “Because of his background, the Japanese ... they feel an affinity to Admiral Harris. There are always requests,almost too many requests,to meet with him,” Hawkins said. “He’s almost a celebrity.” But what about the reaction from China, whose historic rivalries with Japan have been rekindled recently in the form of territorial disputes in the East China Sea? With its growing blue-water fleet, China is the United States’ biggest security challenge in the Pacific, aside from North Korea. Chinese ships are part of the RIMPAC naval exercises for the first time. Harris presided over the opening news conference, saying the growing participation means “We can agree to disagree without being disagreeable.” Yet the record is mixed on how Harris’ heritage is received in Asia. The Chinese press has gone out of its way to specifically note that Harris’ lineage is Japanese,according to people who watch the nuances of state Chinese-language publications. Tai Ming Cheung, a China expert at UC San Diego, said Chinese sentiment toward Asian Americans is typically influenced by what’s going on in the diplomatic world. He noted that former U.S. ambassadorto China Gary Locke, a Chinese American, was savaged in the state press there when U.S-China relations got rocky and Locke was seen as challenging Chinese values by promoting U.S. ones. As for Harris’ Japanese heritage, “I haven’t seen any backlash from China or South Korea. I haven’t seen any negativity from these countries that may have some issue,” said Cheung, an associate professorin the university’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies. “They may be asking, ‘When will there be a Chinese American or Korean American who may rise through the ranks?’” At RIMPAC, the leader of the tiny Filipino contingent said he sees the installation of the Asian-American admiral as bolstering the “rebalance” in the Pacific that the U.S. has announced. “(It) lends teeth and meaning to the rebalance,” said Col. Restituto Padilla, a Philippine Air Force colonel assigned as liaison to the U.S. Pacific Command. “For Asians,relationships are a big factor. That’s why it’s better if Asians deal with a specific person that we know,” Padilla said. “If he has not completely forgotten (his roots) and still does have some of those traits that an Asian would have, it will help him a lot in his engagements with nations.” By 2020, about 60 percent of the U.S. naval fleet is set to be stationed in the Pacific – a move that some have interpreted as a hedge against China’s growing military might. But Asia’s leaders also are well aware of efforts to shrink the U.S. defense budget,raising questions about whetherthe “rebalance” can succeed. Harris called the military piece “not the biggest part of the rebalance, but it’s the most visible one.” The other legs are enhancing treaties with Asian nations and deepening trade relations in the Pacific region. In Harris’ analysis,the military portion has received “outsized” scrutiny because it involves hardware. In other words, people can count how many ships and aircraft are parked in Pearl Harbor and Yokosuka. “People ask me, ‘Is the rebalance for real?’ … I would say the military part of the rebalance is here. We’ve rebalanced,” Harris said. “The economic piece is yet to be realized in full. And the other parts aren’t realized in full, either, but I think we are further along in the military piece.” Despite his military resume – U.S. Naval Academy, P-3 Orion flight officer and commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo during three controversial prisoner deaths – one of the most interesting things about Harris may be his diplomatic credentials. In 2011, he was military representative to the secretary of state and U.S. roadmap monitor for the Mideast peace process. Harris traveled with Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, giving him a front seat to the foremost foreign-policy issues of the decade.
  16. 16. 16 “He is someone who knows the policy instead of just being a ship driver,” said Cheung at UC San Diego. “In a way, that’s a more important attribute to have.” http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/jul/12/asian- american-admiral-pacific-fleet/ Return to Index 10. Mock Typhoon DisasterAims To Determine When Military Should Respond (STARS AND STRIPES 13 JUL 14) ... Wyatt Olson ABOARD THE JAPANESE DESTROYER ISE, Hawaii – A major element of the 2014 Rim of the Pacific naval exercises involves training to coordinate international military response to natural disasters in Asia. Military elements from six nations – America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Indonesia and Japan – are conducting a week-long RIMPAC response to a mock typhoon that has hit the fictitious country of Griffon in Southeast Asia. Some of the troops involved don’t have to imagine what it’s like to respond to a scenario such as this. For example, the Ise was one of three ships Japan deployed to the Philippines last fall in the wake of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan. The Ise, a destroyerwith a large deck for landing helicopters, serves as the maritime headquarters for this year’s relief response exercise for RIMPAC. Japan’s self-defense forces will no doubt play an expanded role in the future for disasterresponse, but also for regional security: Lawmakers there are in the process of changing laws that could make it easier for Japan’s forces to assist allies in armed conflict. On Saturday, helicopters arrived on the flight deck of the Ise bearing mock victims of a mass casualty drill. Among the helicopters were several belonging to the U.S. Army – a first for RIMPAC – which posed as aircraft belonging to the typhoon-hit host nation. The Health Association of Hawaii is using the mass casualty portion of this exercise to certify its disaster-response readiness,said Commodore Kevin Coyne, a U.S. Navy contingency engineer working out of the exercise’s joint task force headquarters on Ford Island in Honolulu. “They’re going to take 250 patients – full fake cuts and everything – and we’re going to transport by sea,air and land to all five islands and most of their hospitals,” Coyne said. “This is the largest exercise the HAH has ever been part of.” Also participating in the exercise are numerous non- government agencies, such as Red Cross, along with United Nations agencies. The “real meat” of the exercise is to test the thresholds at which the host country will need to ask for assistance,Coyne said. “Can the local government respond?” Coyne said. “Can the UN international clusters respond? If not,that’s when the military comes in. We are the resource of last response.” The triggers for a military response for such a disasterare twofold, he said. “Do we have a unique capability that the UN or host nation does not have? Or do we have a capability that we can get to the affected area faster than they do?” One primary example of that unique capability is logistics – moving supplies into the damaged areas and moving victims out. The headquarters Coyne is working out of is entirely independent,just as it would be when the military arrives in the midst of an ongoing disaster. “You have to imagine right now you’re in a country that’s been devastated by a hurricane,” said U.S. Navy Commodore Chris Peterschmidt, who’s in charge of coordinating the side- by-side Japan/U.S. headquarters on Ford Island. “We’re off the grid. We’re not using any cell phone towers. Not using anybody’s water, gas or electricity. We brought it all ourselves.We are entirely self-dependent,and we can do it for about 15 days,with MREs, our own gas.” That’s gotten a bit easier during this year’s exercise, thanks to the conversion of part of the camp to purely sustainable energy. About 90 percent of the energy used for a camp that could potentially house 264 troops is being operated with solar, wind and hydrogen energy, a project receiving technical advice from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The roar of diesel generators filled the air in the headquarters portion of the makeshift camp this week, but the part powered by renewable energy was tranquil. “If you’d been here a year ago and had an exercise like this, we’d be yelling at each other now because of the generator noise,” said Sgt. Jeremy Nissly with the Corps of Engineers. “We’re doing the same mission right now, and it’s peace and quiet. We have almost no emissions at this point, and our costs are very low.” He added: “We don’t have to worry about when the next convoy’s coming with fuel.” Asked whether the camp had to make any compromises to go mostly renewable, Nissly said that the demonstration camp actually had experienced unexpected benefits. For example, a large, solar-topped tent was placed over a regular canvas tent. As a result, while the outside tent converted the sun’s heat to energy, it also prevented the rays from penetrating the lower tent, keeping it cooler. But testing this kind of technology is a fringe benefit of RIMPAC, not its greater purpose. “As enamored as I am about the equipment and the hardware, what’s more important – and this is what RIMPAC represents – is the opportunity to practice multinational cooperation in a controlled environment … practice communicating with each other, sharing information, sharing resources,” Peterschmidt said. “That’s really the hard part.” http://www.stripes.com/news/navy/mock-typhoon- disaster-aims-to-determine-when-military-should-respond- 1.293175 Return to Index
  17. 17. 17 EUROPE: 11. Ukrainian Forces Close In On Rebel-Held Luhansk (NEW YORK TIMES 14 JUL 14) ... Sabrina Tavernise DONETSK, Ukraine – Ukrainian forces battered the outer suburbs ofthe rebel stronghold of Luhansk on Sunday, pushing deeperthan ever but falling short of retaking the city. The Ukrainian forces pounded rebel positions in an area called Yuvileiny just west of Luhansk, a rebel spokeswoman and residents said. Some accounts said the forces had established a checkpoint there, though a Ukrainian military spokesman could not confirm that. Some news reports said that the government forces had retaken the city, which is crucial for the survival of the pro- Russian insurgency here in part because of its proximity to the Russian border. But residents and rebels said Sunday evening that the city was still in rebel hands. “So far our forces are holding them back,” said a spokeswoman for the self-declared Luhansk People’s Republic who asked not to be identified by name for her safety. Andrei Anoshin,a journalist for Realnaya Gazeta, a newspaperin Luhansk, said that the city had been shelled intensely for the past week, and that many civilians had been killed. “Today wasn’t that different from other days,” Mr. Anoshin said, adding that in the city center, “it is tense,but militarily calm.” The military advances came as relations between Ukraine and Russia fell to a new low. On Sunday, a Russian citizen was killed on Russian soil by what the Russian government said was an errant Ukrainian shell. Ukraine denied firing a shell into Russian territory. Russia said the episode could have “irreversible consequences.” Also on Sunday, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia met with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany in Brazil and discussed the Ukraine crisis, Reuters reported. Citing a Putin spokesman, Reuters said the two leaders had called for the resumption of political negotiations on Ukraine but had added that for that to happen,a cease-fire needed to be declared and honored by all sides. Ukraine’s president,Petro O. Poroshenko, declared a unilateral cease-fire last month but then called it off, saying the rebels had refused to abide by it and had used the truce merely to regroup and rearm. Ukraine is trying to quell a pro-Russian insurgency that has inflamed its southeastern edge since spring. Luhansk, a region of coal mines and industry that is poorer and grittier than Donetsk, another rebel stronghold,is critical for the insurgents because it shares a long border with Russia, which the West believes is quietly supporting the rebels. Ukraine has been hitting rebel positions for days and has gained considerable ground in areas south and west of the city. The Russian news agency Interfax cited an unnamed rebel in Luhansk as saying the Ukrainian forces had begun to storm the city from an area called Alexandrovka. The rebel said the attack included not only artillery fire, but also dozens of tanks and two fighter helicopters. It was impossible to verify the report. Three residents interviewed on Sunday said they had seen neither tanks nor helicopters. In Donetsk, a local emergency worker, Alexander Ryaboshapka, said seven people were killed Saturday in a rocket attack in the Petrovsky district. One of them was a young girl. The Ukrainian military denied responsibility for the attack. The rockets landed in such a way that suggested that they had been fired from the south,where Ukrainian forces are based.Still, some residents said on Sunday that the rockets had been fired from rebel positions. The attack caused residents to flee the neighborhood,and on Sunday,it was silent. Vera Alexeyevna, a retired nurse, was cleaning debris in her small, tidy house on Bank Street. A window had been blown in by the blast, and a bed with yellow sheets was covered with shards ofglass. She and her husband, both pensioners,did not have the money to leave, she said, so they had nothing to do but sweep up and hope. “How long will this go on? Please tell me how long,” she said, wiping tears from her face. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/14/world/europe/ukrain e.html Return to Index 12. Russia Bolsters Crimean Air Defense, E. Europe Eyes Countermeasures (DEFENSE NEWS 12 JUL 14) ... Jaroslaw Adamowski WARSAW – Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine is shaping Moscow’s military priorities, but also sparking a response by some East European NATO members. In Russia, the Defense Ministry is planning to boost the country’s air defense capability in Crimea while some East European neighbors are raising military spending to overhaul their air defense and air combat capacities. “It’s noticeable that Poland and other[allies] in Eastern Europe have announced much-needed increases in defense spending since the conflict [in Ukraine] began,” said an analyst with a Polish government-run think tank. “Russia will use the Crimea as an outpost to boost its military presence … in the region, and these countries have taken steps … to react to this.” The annexation of the peninsula by Russia has triggered increased focus on the Black Sea Fleet and naval aviation by Russian policymakers. The planned aircraft procurements are part of Russia’s larger military modernization strategy by 2020, as announced by senior state officials. Russia’s Air Force in Crimea will be strengthened with the planned deployment of upgraded Su-27SM, Su-25SM and MiG-29 fighter jets to the peninsula, as well as Il-38N anti- submarine planes, Ka-52K, Ka-27 and Ka-29M helicopters, and Tu-22M3 long-range bombers. In addition, an undisclosed number of new Su-30CM fighters ordered for the Navy’s air units will be deployed to the Russia-controlled peninsula. The ministry also is planning to upgrade the peninsula’s military airfields and set up new training facilities, reported Russian pro-government daily Vzglyad. Additional aircraft have already been deployed by the Air Force, with Mi-35M
  18. 18. 18 and Mi-8AMTSh helicopters being stationed in the peninsula since the outbreak of the conflict. Warsaw Takes Steps In Poland, while the Defense Ministry is carrying out a tender for 70 helicopters to be supplied after 2015, a new helo procurement designed to replace Mi-24s with new aircraft and bolster Poland’s air combat capability has been prepared. Deliveries are to begin after 2020, according to the ministry’s military modernization strategy. Poland’s defense policy is closely related to the developments in Ukraine, and Russia’s military expansion in the region has raised warning flags in Warsaw and across other Eastern European capitals, local analysts said. “The Russian military is planning purchases of new fighter jets, helicopters … on a large scale, while the Baltic states don’t have their own fighter jet fleets,” the Polish analyst said. “Eastern European countries are … reacting to these developments by increasing defense spending,but they are lagging behind in terms of [armament].” Poland’s Defense Ministry has pushed forward the tender to modernize the country’s anti-missile and air defense system. The ministry said June 30 it had shortlisted bids by Raytheon, with Patriot interceptors,and the Eurosam consortiumby MBDA and Thales, with its SAMP/T system. The country’s air and anti-missile defense program is estimated to be worth as much as 26.5 billion zloty (U.S. $8.5 billion), local daily Rzeczpospolita reported. Under the plan, the middle-range interceptors will be supplied by the selected contractor in cooperation with Poland’s defense industry,according to the ministry’s Armament Inspectorate,which is carrying out the procurement. “The procurement will be implemented accordingly with the procedures related to protecting the national security interests of the Polish state,” the ministry said. “The key role in this field should be played by the Polish Defense Group, which will be responsible for coordinating industry cooperation at national level.” Set up by the government in 2013, the group is designed to merge Poland’s state-owned defense manufacturers. Latvia To Double Spending The Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are among the countries most wary of Russian military intervention. In a sign of increased focus on defense after Russia’s invasion of the Ukrainian peninsula, the Latvian government decided to boost defense spending. According to the recently amended law on military expenditure, in 2016, Latvia’s defense budget is to total at least 1.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). That figure will be gradually expanded to at least 2 percent by 2020, the Latvian Foreign Ministry said in a statement July 4. In 2012, the country’s GDP totaled $28.4 billion, according to data from World Bank. Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics said that “given the current situation in the world, increasing the funding for Latvia’s national defense is essential. We are thankful to NATO allies for the initial measures taken to reinforce the security of the Baltic states.Nevertheless,we must not forget about our own responsibility for ensuring national defense.” Some of the planned purchases by the Latvian armed forces include air defense systems and personal weapons for troops. http://www.defensenews.com/article/20140712/DEFREG 01/307120030 Return to Index AFGHANISTAN: 13. Afghans To Alter The Government (NEW YORK TIMES 14 JUL 14) ... Matthew Rosenberg KABUL, Afghanistan – The deal that Secretary of State John Kerry brokered to ease the Afghan election crisis with a sweeping audit of the vote was quietly built on an even more profound reshaping of the entire government system, American and Afghan officials confirmed Sunday: The sides have agreed to gradually create an empowered prime minister post after years of an all-encompassing presidency. Nearly a decade after American officials pushed a Constitution that enshrined near-dictatorial powers for the president, it is a tacit admission that changing to a more parliamentary system – a fraught undertaking at any time – is now seen as crucial to holding the country togetherafter years of mounting political crises and ethnic and factional hostilities, officials said. The change was a central goal for the candidate Abdullah Abdullah, who has brought the entire political systemto the brink with accusations oframpant fraud and threats to form a breakaway government, according to officials who were close to the negotiations. They, like other American and Afghan officials who confirmed the agreement, spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details had not yet been worked out. They stressed that only a “framework” had been accepted in talks with Mr. Kerry, but they all agreed on its outlines. The candidate who is declared president after a complete vote audit in the coming weeks would then appoint either the loser, or that candidate’s nominee, to become a “chief executive” for the government, with powers to be agreed on later. Then, in the following two or three years, the Constitution would be amended to create a parliamentary democracy with a prime minister as head of government and a president as the head of state. That timeline puts important decisions off into a very indefinite future, and will revive a debate that deeply divided Afghan officials a decade ago, with some arguing then that a parliamentary systemrisked instability. With no assurances even that the auditing for fraud will go smoothly over the next month, or that the result will be widely accepted,the change then would require a successful parliamentary election and the Afghan equivalent of a constitutionalconvention,all underthe continuing threat of Taliban offensives to seize territory. More immediately, the two candidates,Mr. Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, despite the recent tensions,are in the coming
  19. 19. 19 weeks to divvy up cabinet posts,governorships and otherjobs as Afghan and international elections officials review each one of the more than eight million votes cast in the June 14 runoff. Both Mr. Abdullah and Mr. Ghani pledged to accept the results and form a national unity government when they announced the deal with Mr. Kerry on Saturday. But the only details they gave were about the audit; all three made vague references to a “political framework” without elaborating. But Afghan and American officials said Sunday that repeated election crises had made it clear that the Afghan government in its current form rewarded the winner of presidential elections too richly, and cut out the loser too thoroughly for a country with a history of civil strife that has often cut along ethnic and regional lines. Though the plan does not explicitly account for those differences, officials said, the hard lessons ofthe recent weeks were a signal that Afghanistan’s divides could no longer be denied out of existence. In essence,Afghan and Western officials had concluded that the only way to hold Afghanistan togetherin the coming years, as NATO-led combat forces withdraw and the West steps further into the background, was to embrace what divides its people in hopes of creating a government that could keep them united. Though the deal brokered by Mr. Kerry appeared to be a major potential victory for Mr. Abdullah, some in his camp expressed caution on Sunday. They said that if Mr. Ghani ended up winning, he would probably be able to control the majority in any constitutionalconvention,and might limit the changes made. “I wouldn’t call this a winning situation for us,not yet,” said an Abdullah campaign official. “We don’t know yet what is going to happen.We only have an idea. But it is betterthan what we had when last week started.” Afghan and American officials said they had been asked by their superiors not to discuss the political component of the agreement brokered by Mr. Kerry. One Western official, who was not briefed on its details, was told that it was too sensitive and that officials wanted time to make sure everyone was on board before talking more widely about it. But not everyone got the message. Mohammad Mohaqiq, Mr. Abdullah’s vice-presidential running mate, told the BBC Persian service on Sunday that in the national unity government agreed upon with Mr. Kerry, the loser of the election would become the chief executive in the government. The post would become the prime minister in two years, once the Constitution was amended, the report quoted him as saying.Other Afghan and American officials confirmed those claims, and added some details in interviews. Similar setups,with dual poles of power in the presidency and in Parliament, exist elsewhere, like France. But it is a revolutionary break from what the United States created in Afghanistan.The irony here was that it was largely through the efforts of President Hamid Karzai, the one Afghan who American officials were most eager to be rid of after the election, that Afghanistan’s imperial presidency did not stoke the country’s divisions. From the outset of his tenure, Mr. Karzai sought to carefully balance his government. He was a southern Pashtun, and so he put an ethnic Tajik in the No. 2 spot,and ensured that leaders of the Hazara and Uzbek minorities had prominent roles. A sense of national responsibility helped drive Mr. Karzai’s decisions,by most accounts.But there was also self- interest: He found over the years that the old Northern Alliance, a mainly Tajik alliance of militias that fought the Taliban, remained too dominant a force in Kabul to ignore. Loyalists of the Northern Alliance, including Mr. Abdullah, who once served as Mr. Karzai’s foreign minister, were spread among the army, police and intelligence service. Mr. Karzai could not operate without some kind of alliance with them, though that also meant keeping some of Afghanistan’s most notorious and corrupt former warlords in his government, earning him criticism and scrutiny from the United States and other Western backers. Still, Mr. Karzai has expressed deep opposition to the idea of a parliamentary system, fearing it would tear the country apart. In fact, his rivalry with Mr. Abdullah, who challenged him in the 2009 presidential elections, was centered on the issue,and he is widely believed to have backed Mr. Ghani, a former finance minister and World Bank official, in this year’s runoff. Asked about the deal brokered by Mr. Kerry, Aimal Faizi, a spokesman for Mr. Karzai, refused to confirm the details. “The candidates have not said it publicly yet so no comment from palace,” he said. What brought Mr. Ghani around to agreeing to the creation of a parliamentary systemwas harder to discern. Abdullah Poyan, a spokesman, would say only: “We never refused a national unity government. We know this is very sensitive.” Though Mr. Ghani had a vast constituency behind him in his fellow Pashtuns,the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, he had scant support among northern Tajiks, which would have presented a potentially life-threatening problem for him should he have won a disputed election amid accusations that his team had committed fraud. As one senior member of the Northern Alliance asked Mr. Ghani before the election: “If you win, who will drive you to the palace? You need allies.” For American officials, as well, the support for the idea of revamping the Afghan government was born of necessity.This year’s election crisis was the third in five years, including the 2009 presidential election and parliamentary elections a year later, both of which were marred by widespread fraud. In fact, it was Mr. Kerry who had to come to Kabul in 2009 to talk Mr. Karzai into agreeing to a runoff against Mr. Abdullah, who subsequently dropped out ofthe race. “You can say that the idea here is to make sure that Afghans don’t have to have negotiations to create an inclusive government each time they have an election,” one American official said. “The political systemitself, in the way it is set up, should be set up to be more inclusive.” Though there have been differences of opinions among American officials about it, the United States did not always see it that way. At a 2004 constitutionalloya jirga, or grand council, it was American officials who pushed hardest for a strong president, arguing that a parliamentary systemwould be too risky. American support helped Mr. Ghani and other Pashtuns

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