Pak-Turk joint defence production

ANKARA: Pakistani Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, who is leading a defence delegation to Turkey, visited Turkish defence organizations including Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) and ASELSAN in Ankara. Possibilities of local production, co-production, and transfer of technology for defence related products according to needs of the two countries were discussed during the visit.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of TAI, Lt. Gen (Retd) M. Yalchinkaya briefed the visiting delegation about the main areas of activities of the organization. Progress on existing defence related projects between Turkey and Pakistan was reviewed. The delegation also visited the facilities of aircraft manufacturing, overhauling, and were shown unmanned aerial (UAV) vehicle indigenously developed by TAI.

The delegation also visited ASELSAN, another defence production company, working under public private partnership. They were particularly briefed about the academic-industry linkage arrangement that is giving a big boost to R&D for the Turk defence production sector.

Ch. Ahmed Mukhtar also desired for a strong academia-industry linkage. He said innovation and best research is possible when industry is linked with the academic institutions. Read more of this post

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Turkey will continue its unflinching support to Pakistan, says Abdullah Gul

  • Turkish president says Pakistan’s recent success in war on terror has made Turkey proud
  • Both countries must join hands to wipe out militancy, extremism

ISLAMABAD: Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Tuesday reiterated that his country will continue its unflinching support to Pakistan on various confronting issues, besides standing alongside the country in all trying times.

The Turkish president, during a call on a meeting by Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC) Chairman General Tariq Majeed, who is on an official visit to the brotherly country, said both the brotherly nations have deep-rooted and time-tested relations.

The Turkish president, recalling the lively and vivid memories of his visit to Pakistan, lauded the sacrifices rendered by the Pakistani nation and its armed forces in the war against terrorism, adding that the recent successes of Pakistan in the fight against terrorists has made them proud.

Besides discussing matters relating to enhancement of the relations between both countries, General Majeed said “both the countries have convergent perceptions on all regional and international issues and are facing common challenges”.

Join hands: He added, “Both brotherly countries must join hands to wipe out armed militancy and violent extremism from our societies.”

According to a message from Turkey, on arrival at the Turkish General Staff Headquarters, General Majeed was warmly welcomed and the Turkish Armed Forces gave him a guard of honour.

During his meeting with General Ilker Basbug, chief of the Turkish General Staff, the JCSC chairman thanked him for the warm hospitality and offered his condolences for the loss of precious lives of the Turkish soldiers and citizens in the recent terrorist attacks and the ‘Freedom Flotilla’ incident.

He appreciated Turkey’s unflinching support to Pakistan in its fight against terrorism, for the efforts to bring stability in Afghanistan and holding of the tripartite and regional summits.

General Majid emphasised the need to institutionalise the defence and security dialogue mechanism at the CDS level and training of officers at mid-career and junior levels to cultivate brotherhood amongst the young officers. Read more of this post

Pakistan and Turkey are arm in arm all along

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What Ankara Knows

By Ramzy Baroud

“Even despots, gangsters and pirates have specific sensitiveness, (and) follow some specific morals.”

The claim was made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a recent speech, following the deadly commando raid on the humanitarian aid flotilla to Gaza on May 31. According to Erdogan, Israel doesn’t adhere to the code of conduct embraced even by the vilest of criminals.

The statement alone indicates the momentous political shift that’s currently underway in the Middle East. While the shift isn’t entirely new, one dares to claim it might now be a lasting one. To borrow from Erdogan’s own assessment of the political fallout that followed Israel’s raid, the damage is “irreparable.”

Countless analyses have emerged in the wake of the long-planned and calculated Israeli attack on the Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara, which claimed the lives of nine, mostly Turkish peace activists.

In “Turkey’s Strategic U-Turn, Israel’s Tactical Mistakes,” published in the Israeli daily Haaretz, Ofra Bengio suggested Turkey’s position was purely strategic. But he also chastised Israel for driving Turkey further and faster “toward the Arab and Muslim worlds.”

In this week’s Zaman, a Turkish publication, Bulent Kenes wrote: “As a result of the Davos (where the Turkish prime minister stormed out of a televised discussion with Israeli President Shimon Peres, after accusing him and Israel of murder), the myth that Israel is untouchable was destroyed by Erdogan, and because of that Israel nurses a hatred for Turkey.”

In fact, the Davos incident is significant not because it demonstrates that Israel can be criticized, but rather because it was Turkey — and not any other easily dismissible party — that dared to voice such criticism.

Writing in the Financial Times under the title, “Erdogan turns to face East in a delicate balancing act,” David Gardner places Turkey’s political turn within a European context. He sums up that thought in a quote uttered by no other than Robert Gates, US defense secretary: “If there is anything to the notion that Turkey is moving Eastward, it is in no small part because it was pushed, and pushed by some in Europe refusing to give Turkey the kind of organic link to the West that Turkey sought.” But what many analysts missed was the larger political and historical context, not only as pertaining to Israel and Turkey, but to the whole region and all its players, including the US itself. Only this context can help us understand the logic behind Israel’s seemingly erratic behavior.

In 1996, Israeli leaders appeared very confident. A group of neoconservative American politicians had laid out a road map for Israel to ensure complete dominance over the Middle East. In the document entitled, “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” Turkey was mentioned four times. Each reference envisaged the country as a tool to “contain, destabilize, and roll back some of .. (the) most dangerous threats” to Israel. That very “vision” in fact served as the backbone of the larger strategy used by the US, as it carried out its heedless military adventures in the Middle East.

Frustrated by the American failure to reshape the region and unquestioningly eliminate anything and everything that Israel might perceive as a threat, Israel took matters into its own hands. However, in 2006 and between 2008 and 2009, it was up for major surprises. Superior firepower doesn’t guarantee military victory. More, while Israel had once more demonstrated its capacity to inflict untold damage on people and infrastructure, the Israeli weapon was no longer strategically effective. In other words, Israel’s military advantage could no longer translate into political gains, and this was a game-changer.

There are many issues the Israeli leadership has had to wrangle with in recent years. The US, Israel’s most faithful benefactor, is now on a crisis management mode in Iraq and Afghanistan, struggling on all fronts, whether political, military or economic. That recoil has further emboldened Israel’s enemies, who are no longer intimidated by the American bogyman. Israel’s desperate attempt at using its own military to achieve its grand objectives has also failed, and miserably so.
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Does Israel rule the world?

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by Linda S. Heard, Gulf News

With many of the major powers bowing to Tel Aviv, those aboard the Freedom Flotilla should be praised for risking their lives

Why are so many nations bending to Israel's will or staying silent on its crimes? What is it about this minuscule country that enables it to have so much control on decisions made by larger and more powerful nations? Image Credit: Guillermo munro/©Gulf News

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Yesterday, the Israeli military attacked and boarded one of the Turkish aid ships sailing to Gaza as part of a flotilla, killing 19 and injuring many more. As this occurred in international waters, it is not only an act of piracy but could also be construed as an ‘act of war’. This attack on unarmed civilian men and women illustrates the moral depths to which the Jewish state has sunk. An Al Jazeera reporter on board the vessel says the Israelis fired live bullets even after a white flag was hoisted. This atrocity and the potential fall-out should merit loud condemnation from the international community … but don’t hold your breath! We have yet to witness the extent of Turkey’s response.

Why are so many nations bending to Israel’s will or staying silent on its crimes? What is it about this minuscule country that enables it to have so much control on decisions made by larger and more powerful nations? It refuses to abide by international laws and treaties. It illegally occupies great swathes of Palestinian land and it’s imposing an illegal blockade on Gaza. Moreover, it is the only country that could get away with assassinating its enemies on foreign soil.

If any other country or territory with a smaller population than New York behaved as outrageously as Israel, it would be isolated, boycotted and, perhaps, even invaded. Yet, Israel gets away with ignoring a long list of UN Security Council resolutions — as opposed to Saddam’s Iraq, which was invaded, plundered and occupied on those same grounds.

Israel has a stockpile of undeclared nuclear weapons and, as documentation recently released by Pretoria confirms, was prepared to sell nuclear warheads and technology to South Africa during apartheid; a reality that counters US claims that Israel is a responsible democracy that would never supply weapons of mass destruction (WMD) to rogue states. Iran, on the other hand, which does not have nuclear weapons — and, unlike Israel, is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) — is being subjected to UN sanctions.

Last Friday, all 189 signatories to the NPT — including the US — agreed to hold a conference during 2012 “on the establishment of a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons …” Sounds good! President Barack Obama has espoused the idea of a nuclear-free Middle East. The entire Arab world has been pushing for a nuclear-free Middle East and Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has long called for a nuclear-free region.

But wait! The usual suspect, Israel, is none too pleased because it believes it is being singled out. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described the call as “deeply flawed and hypocritical”, while his office has issued a statement that reads: “As a non-signatory state of the NPT, Israel is not obligated by the decisions of this conference, which has no authority over Israel”.

No surprise there! But then Obama promptly does an about-turn, saying, “We strongly oppose efforts to single-out Israel and will oppose actions that jeopardise Israel’s security”. His message begs the question, how on earth can the region ever be free of nuclear weapons if Israel is kept out of the equation when it is the only nuclear country in the area? Read more of this post

Israel’s Attack on Freedom Flotilla

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Gaza Freedom Flotilla came under fire early on Monday by Israeli navy forces in international waters more than 150km (90 miles) off the coast of Gaza. The six-ship aid fleet was soon stormed by commandos descending from helicopters.At least 20 people were killed in the takeover of the Gaza aid convoy.

Pakistani envoys seeks US, UN help to track down Gaza-bound Pakistanis

The three Pakistanis -- prominent TV personality Syed Talat Hussain, his producer Raza Mahmood and an NGO, Nadeem Ahmad Khan -- were travelling with the international aid flotilla, carrying aid supplies for Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip.

WASHINGTON/UNITED NATIONS-Pakistani envoys in Washington and New York moved quickly, making contacts with senior US and UN officials to seek their help in asertaining the whereabouts of Pakistani citizens, who were aboard a Gaza-bound humanitarian mission, which came under deadly Israeli attack in international waters.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to US Husain Haqqani is in touch with senior White House and State Department officials over the welfare of Pakistanis, an Embassy spokesman said.

The three Pakistanis — prominent TV personality Syed Talat Hussain, his producer Raza Mahmood and an NGO, Nadeem Ahmad Khan — were travelling with the international aid flotilla, carrying aid supplies for Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip.

Talat Hussain Last Interview

Last Interview of Talat before he went missing. At least 20 passengers have been reported dead and over 60 wounded, Aaj News reported.

In New York, Pakistan’s acting Ambassador to the UN Amjad Hussain Sial spoke to Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet Vijay Nambiar and requested the UN chief’s assistance in ‘ascertaining the whereabouts, safety, security and safe return’ of three Pakistani citizens.

Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who condemned the Israeli attack, is attending a conference in Kampala, Uganda.

The Chef de Cabinet assured the Ambassador of UN’s full cooperation and assistance in this regard, Pakistani mission spokesman Mian Jehangir Iqbal said.

The acting Ambassador termed the ‘unwarranted and unprovoked’ action by the Israeli forces a gross violation of international law and all norms of humanity.

In Washington, the Pakistani Embassy in Washington Monday established an operation room to coordinate efforts for rescue of the Pakistani citizens.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council met in emergency session Monday afternoon less than 24 hours after Israel’s lethal military operation.

According to diplomatic sources, the Council sought consensus on a statement to condemn the attack. It was not seeking a resolution, which would be binding on all parties involved.

At least nine civilians died and 30 more were seriously injured when the Israeli military boarded the boats which were seeking to run the Israeli blockade on Gaza.

Behind closed doors, all 15 Security Council members were expected to express their views on the bloody Mediterranean incident. Israeli and Palestinian representatives would also be heard, officials said.

Before the session, Riyad Mansour, the permanent observer of Palestine to the United Nations, said the attack was a ‘massacre’ and a crime ‘against international law and international humanitarian law’.

He asked the Security Council to order an independent international investigation on the incident. The investigation, he noted, should bring those responsible for the attack before the courts.

The UN in Uganda, also called for a ‘full investigation to determine exactly how this bloodshed took place’.

Lebanon’s Nawaf Salam, the Security Council President for May, called the meeting at Turkey’s request. The United Nations headquarters in New York were officially closed Monday, for the US Memorial Day public holiday.

According to the UN Charter, the Security Council is responsible for peace and security around the world.

Protests in Pakistan against attack on Freedom Flotilla

People from all walks of life here on Monday staged protest against Israeli attack on Freedom Flotilla, a boat carrying pro-Palestinian activists and relief goods for people in Gaza.

ISLAMABAD: The pre-dawn Israeli attack on a flotilla which left more than 20 civilians dead brought hundreds of demonstrators to the streets in the federal capital on Monday.

Protestors, including journalists, traders, students, parliamentarians and religious leaders, demanded that Israel be held accountable for its actions.

“What do you expect from a state that even the United States fears and can’t do anything to stop them except use empty diplomatic threats?” Marvi Memon, MNA from PML-Q said.

People chant slogans and raise banners on Monday afternoon to protest against the Israelli attack on a flotilla of ships carrying aid for Gaza

The protestors demanded the international community to sever diplomatic ties with Israel and termed the raid international terrorism.

“Israel should make no mistake that their inhuman behaviour will be dealt with in the severest manner,” a protestor told The Express Tribune.

The protestors were carrying anti-Israel banners and placards and chanting slogans against the Jewish state. Most of the messages on the banners called upon the international community to take notice of this “atrocity” and take the steps to prevent Israel’s “brutal activities.”
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NATO Expansion, Missile Deployments And Russia’s New Military Doctrine

Developments related to military and security matters in Europe and Asia have been numerous this month and condensed into less than a week of meetings, statements and initiatives on issues ranging from missile shield deployments to the unparalleled escalation of the world’s largest war and from a new security system for Europe to a new Russian military doctrine.

A full generation after the end of the Cold War and almost that long since the breakup of the Soviet Union, the past week’s events are evocative of another decade and another century. Twenty or more years ago war in Afghanistan and controversial missile placements in Europe were current news in a bipolar world.

Twenty years afterward, with no Soviet Union, no Warsaw Pact and a greatly diminished and truncated Russia, the United States and NATO have militarized Europe to an unprecedented degree – in fact subordinating almost the entire continent under a Washington-dominated military bloc – and have launched the most extensive combat offensive in South Asia in what is already the longest war in the world.

Of 44 nations in Europe and the Caucasus (excluding microstates and the NATO pseudo-state of Kosovo), only six – Belarus, Cyprus, Malta, Moldova, Russia and Serbia – have escaped having their citizens conscripted by NATO for deployment to the Afghan war front. That number will soon shrink yet further.

Of those 44 countries, only two – Cyprus and Russia – are not members of NATO or its Partnership for Peace transitional program and Cyprus is under intense pressure to join the second.

On February 4 and 5 all 28 NATO defense chiefs met for two days of deliberations in Istanbul, Turkey which concentrated on the war in Afghanistan, the bloc’s military deployment in Kosovo and accelerated plans for expanding a world-wide interceptor missile system to Eastern Europe and the Middle East. That gathering followed by eight days a two-day meeting of the NATO Military Committee in Brussels which included 63 military chiefs from NATO nations and 35 Troop Contributing Nations, as the bloc designates them, including the top military commanders of Israel and Pakistan. That conference focused on the Afghan war and NATO’s new Strategic Concept to be officially formalized at an Alliance summit later this year.

The commander of all 150,000 U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, attended both two-day meetings. Pentagon chief Robert Gates presided over the second and “Afghanistan and missile defense are examples of the new priorities that Gates wants NATO to focus on.” [1]

As indicated by the number of Chiefs of Defense Staff in attendance at the Brussels meetings – 63 – NATO’s reach has been extended far beyond Europe and North America over the past decade. Troops serving under the bloc’s command in Afghanistan come from every inhabited continent, the Middle East and Oceania: Australia has the largest non-member contingent with over 1,500 soldiers, and other non-European nations like Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates have troops in Afghanistan or on the way there.

On the day the Istanbul NATO defense ministers meeting began Romanian President Traian Basescu announced that he had granted the Obama administration’s request to base U.S. interceptor missiles in his nation, following by five weeks the news that U.S. Patriot anti-ballistic missiles would be stationed in a part of Poland a half hour drive from Russia’s westernmost border.

The next day, February 5, which marked two months since the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) between the U.S. and Russia regulating the reduction of nuclear weapons and delivery systems expired, [2] the Russian Interfax news agency announced that “President Dmitry Medvedev has endorsed Russia’s military doctrine and basic principles of its nuclear deterrence policy in the period up to 2020….” [3]

The same source cited Security Council Deputy Secretary and former Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Yury Baluyevsky commenting on the new doctrine: “It is planned to develop the ground, sea, and aerial components of the nuclear triad….Russia needs to guarantee its consistent democratic development using such a stability guarantor as nuclear weapons, as a form of strategic deterrence….Russia reserves the right to use nuclear weapons only if its very existence as a state is endangered.” [4]

Commentary in the Indian daily The Hindu specified that “The doctrine details 11 external military threats to Russia, seven of which are traced to the West. NATO´s eastward expansion and its push for a global role are identified as the number one threat to Russia.”

The feature added: “The U.S. is the source of other top threats listed in the doctrine even though the country is never mentioned in the document. These include attempts to destabilise countries and regions and undermine strategic stability; military build-ups in neighbouring states and seas; the creation and deployment of strategic missile defences, as well as the militarisation of outer space and deployment of high-precision non-nuclear strategic systems.”

Regarding the timing of the authorization of Russia’s new military strategy, the report connected it with recent U.S. missile shield decisions and the START talks between Washington and Moscow still dragging on.

“The new defence doctrine was signed into law and published a day after Romania announced plans to deploy U.S. interceptor missiles as part of a global missile shield fiercely opposed by Russia. Earlier reports said the Kremlin had been holding back the doctrine, prepared last year, because it did not want to jeopardise talks with the U.S. on a new nuclear arms pact that are still going on.” [5]

A similar observation was made in a report from China’s Xinhua News Agency:

“Analysts say the Romanian decision came at a crucial moment when Washington and Moscow are about to sign a successor document to the expired Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START-1). Therefore, the move may upset the thawing Russia-U.S. relations and put their bilateral ties to test.” [6]

The new Russian Military Doctrine (in Russian at http://news.kremlin.ru/ref_notes/461) listed under the heading of “Main external threats of war” the following concerns, with the most pressing first: Read more of this post

Muslim demographic revolution & Western failure

click to enlarge

Dr Terry Lacey

In 1950 the population of the six BENPIT countries (Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia and Turkey) was 242 millions, rising to 886 million by 2009 and an estimated 1,361 million by 2050.

These and associated demographic trends render current Western strategy towards the Muslim world obsolete. Between 2010 and 2050 the population growth of the six BENPIT countries will be 475 million, while the population growth of the six most populated developed countries together will total 44 million. Worldwide 28 out of the 48 fastest growing countries in terms of population are majority Muslim, or with Muslim minorities comprising more than 33 percent of the population. For example the population of Afghanistan is now 28 million, rising to 45 million by 2025 and 75 million by 2050. Professor Jack A Goldstone writing in the journal Foreign Affairs (February 2010) on “The New Population Bomb” concludes that the West has to improve its relations with the Muslim world, that Turkey with a population of 100 million by 2050 must join the EU, and that the Muslim population of major EU countries now varies from 3 to 10 percent, and will double by 2050. These figures have major implications for the foreign and military policies of the West and for immigration into Western countries, with younger migrants needed to help sustain economies and social provision for aging populations.

The populations of the EU, US, Canada, Japan, South Korea and China are aging at an unprecedented rate. By 2050, 30 percent of all Americans, Europeans, Canadians and Chinese will be over 60. For example in South Korea the workforce will be about the same size as the people over 60 by 2050, and one third of the population must support the other two thirds. By contrast populations of Muslim countries and Muslim populations within industrialized countries have a quite different age structure with many more younger people and higher population growth, whereas the total population of some Western countries will be in net decline without more immigration. Read more of this post

Europe’s Five “Undeclared Nuclear Weapons States”

Are Turkey, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Italy Nuclear Powers?

The US has supplied some 480 B61 thermonuclear bombs to five non-nuclear NATO countries including Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. Casually disregarded by the Vienna based UN Nuclear Watch, the US has actively contributed to the proliferation of nuclear weapons in Western Europe.

by Michel Chossudovsky

According to a recent report, former NATO Secretary-General George Robertson confirmed that Turkey possesses 40-90 “Made in America” nuclear weapons at the Incirlik military base.(en.trend.az/)

Does this mean that Turkey is a nuclear power?

“Far from making Europe safer, and far from producing a less nuclear dependent Europe, [the policy] may well end up bringing more nuclear weapons into the European continent, and frustrating some of the attempts that are being made to get multilateral nuclear disarmament,” (George Robertson, quoted in Global Security, February 10, 2010)

“‘Is Italy capable of delivering a thermonuclear strike?…

Could the Belgians and the Dutch drop hydrogen bombs on enemy targets?…

Germany’s air force couldn’t possibly be training to deliver bombs 13 times more powerful than the one that destroyed Hiroshima, could it?…

Nuclear bombs are stored on air-force bases in Italy, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands — and planes from each of those countries are capable of delivering them.” (“What to Do About Europe’s Secret Nukes.” Time Magazine, December 2, 2009)

The “Official” Nuclear Weapons States

Five countries, the US, UK, France, China and Russia are considered to be “nuclear weapons states” (NWS), “an internationally recognized status conferred by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)”. Three other “Non NPT countries” (i.e. non-signatory states of the NPT) include India, Pakistan and North Korea, have recognized possessing nuclear weapons.

Israel: “Undeclared Nuclear State”

Israel is identified as an “undeclared nuclear state”. It produces and deploys nuclear warheads directed against military and civilian sites in the Middle East including Tehran.

Iran

There has been much hype, supported by scanty evidence, that Iran might at some future date become a nuclear weapons state. And, therefore, a pre-emptive defensive nuclear attack on Iran to annihilate its non-existent nuclear weapons program should be seriously contemplated “to make the World a safer place”. The mainstream media abounds with makeshift opinion on the Iran nuclear threat.

But what about the five European “undeclared nuclear states” including Belgium, Germany, Turkey, the Netherlands and Italy.

Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy and Turkey: “Undeclared Nuclear Weapons States”

While Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities are unconfirmed, the nuclear weapons capabilities of these five countries including delivery procedures are formally acknowledged.

The US has supplied some 480 B61 thermonuclear bombs to five non-nuclear NATO countries including Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey. Casually disregarded by the Vienna based UN Nuclear Watch, the US has actively contributed to the proliferation of nuclear weapons in Western Europe.

As part of this European stockpiling, Turkey, which is a partner of the US-led coalition against Iran along with Israel, possesses some 90 thermonuclear B61 bunker buster bombs at the Incirlik nuclear air base. (National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe , February 2005)

By the recognised definition, these five countries are “undeclared nuclear weapons states”.

The stockpiling and deployment of tactical B61 in these five “non-nuclear states” are intended for targets in the Middle East. Moreover, in accordance with  “NATO strike plans”, these thermonuclear B61 bunker buster bombs (stockpiled by the “non-nuclear States”) could be launched  “against targets in Russia or countries in the Middle East such as Syria and Iran” ( quoted in National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe , February 2005)

Does this mean that Iran or Russia, which are potential targets of a nuclear attack originating from one or other of these five so-called non-nuclear states should contemplate defensive preemptive nuclear attacks against Germany, Italy Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey? The answer is no, by any stretch  of the imagination.

While these “non-nuclear states” casually accuse Tehran of developing nuclear weapons, without documentary evidence, they themselves have capabilities of delivering nuclear warheads, which are targeted at Iran.  To say that this is a clear case of “double standards” by the IAEA and the “international community” is a understatement.

Click to See Details and Map of Nuclear Facilities located in 5 European Non-Nuclear States

The stockpiled weapons are B61 thermonuclear bombs.  All the weapons are gravity bombs of the B61-3, -4, and -10 types.2 . Those estimates were based on private and public statements by a number of government sources and assumptions about the weapon storage capacity at each base

.(National Resources Defense Council, Nuclear Weapons in Europe , February 2005)

Germany: Nuclear Weapons Producer

Among the five “non-nuclear states”, “Germany remains the most heavily nuclearized country with three nuclear bases (two of which are fully operational) and may store as many as 150 [B61 bunker buster ] bombs” (Ibid). In accordance with “NATO strike plans” (mentioned above) these tactical nuclear weapons are also targeted at the Middle East.

While Germany is not categorized officially as a nuclear power, it produces nuclear warheads for the French Navy. It stockpiles nuclear warheads (made in America) and it has the capabilities of delivering nuclear weapons. Moreover,  The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company – EADS , a Franco-German-Spanish  joint venture, controlled by Deutsche Aerospace and the powerful Daimler Group is Europe’s second largest military producer, supplying .France’s M51 nuclear missile.

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Turkey’s affiliations are swinging from West to East.

Turkey’s affiliations under the leadership of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan — a devout Muslim — are swinging from West to East. This is good news for the Arab world as Ankara is a major political and military player on the international stage with substantial clout. In recent times, Turkey has thawed the freeze with Syria by signing a slew of economic, cultural, social and strategic cooperation agreements and is mulling over lifting visa restrictions for Syrian and Lebanese nationals.

At the same time, Turkey is reaching out to Armenia by setting up a commission to study the World War I conflict that robbed the lives of over a million Ottoman-Armenians. Last October, Ankara and Yerevan signed protocols designed to establish ties that would result in the reopening of their border but the main sticking point is Armenia’s insistence that Turkey and the international community officially recognize the Armenian genocide. Turkey has always resisted that damning label and always insisted that those who died were casualties of conflict.

Simultaneously, the Erdogan government is cementing relations with Russia with trade and energy agreements; Russia currently supplies around 65 percent of Turkey’s natural gas requirements and may assist Turkey with the construction of a nuclear energy plant. This new closeness has resulted in plans to extend cooperation to the South Caucasus — traditionally within Russia’s sphere of influence — as well as visa-free travel for the citizens of both nations.

Likewise, Ankara currently enjoys good relations with Tehran. Earlier this month, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki held talks in Ankara with Prime Minister Erdogan involving the transportation of Iranian natural gas to Europe via Turkey, establishing a joint refinery, jointly constructing industrial centers and increasing bilateral trade from $10 billion annually to $30 billion. The Turkish minister of state said Turkey is keen to begin a “golden age” in Turkish-Iranian ties. While Turkey is against nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, it backs Iran’s right to nuclear energy and does not support anti-Iranian sanctions.

But there the love fest ends. Ankara’s relations with some of its traditional allies are strained to say the least.

Its important strategic alliance with Washington, which culminated in America’s Incirlik Air base was shaken when the US invaded Iraq in 2003. Turkey was against the Iraq war from the get-go and blames it for strengthening Kurdish secessionist ambitions. And when, in 2007, the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs passed a resolution in favor of Armenia’s stance on the alleged “genocide,” Turkey temporarily withdrew its ambassador from Washington.

However, for its part, the US government tends to tread softly with Turkey in light of its NATO role as a strong eastern bulwark and its hosting of Incirlik which was a crucial asset during the Cold War and the 1991 Gulf War. Turkey’s importance to Washington was reflected by President Barack Obama’s official visit, last April — criticized within some US circles as blessing a country embarked on establishing a powerful Islamic bloc contrary to American interests. The US has also fervently backed Turkey’s efforts to join the EU, which has been somewhat of an annoyance to European countries that are vehemently opposed. Linda Heard
—AN

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