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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 27-Nov-2014
27-Nov-14 World View -- Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland forming alliance to confront Russia

Web Log - November, 2014

27-Nov-14 World View -- Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland forming alliance to confront Russia

Two British brothers jailed for training at Syria terror camp

This morning's key headlines from

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers!

Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland forming alliance to confront Russia

Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko, right, greets Lithuania's president Dalia Grybauskaite in Kiev on Monday (AP)
Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko, right, greets Lithuania's president Dalia Grybauskaite in Kiev on Monday (AP)

Lithuania may supply weapons to Ukraine as part of plans to increase its support to the Ukrainian military with the formation of a joint Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian Brigade project. According to Lithuania's Defense Minister Juozas Olekas:

"A joint brigade formed by Lithuania, Ukraine and Poland will provide an opportunity for Ukraine to learn from Lithuania's and Poland's experience of Nato integration and to develop efficient armed forces."

The plan grew out of a visit to Kiev this week by Lithuania's president Dalia Grybauskaite and Ukraine's president Petro Poroshenko. Grybauskaite announced that Lithuania would be providing Ukraine with military aid, but did not specify if this would include weaponry or be of the non-lethal kind.

In a bizarre statement of a kind that we've come to expect from the Russians, Russia's foreign ministry warned that supplying weapons to Ukraine would violate international agreements:

"We heard repeated confirmations from the [US] administration, that it only supplies non-lethal aid to Ukraine. If there is a change of this policy, then we are talking about a serious destabilizing factor which could seriously affect the balance of power in the region."

This is bizarre because Russia hasn't worried about seriously destabilizing the region when it invaded Ukraine and annexed Crimea, and continues to pour weapons and troops into east Ukraine, all in violation of international law.

Lithuania already has a tense relationship with Russia. Grybauskaite recently called Russia a "terrorist country" because of its troops in east Ukraine.

Ukraine has been lobbying for months to receive military assistance from Nato as a whole or from the United States, but those requests have always been refused. The new alliance will allow Ukraine to become integrated with two Nato countries - Lithuania and Poland - though obtaining far fewer resources.

Ukraine is already in an alliance of post-Soviet countries. The alliance is called "GUAM - Organization for Democracy and Economic Development" where GUAM stands for Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova. It used to be called GUUAM, but the fifth member, Uzbekistan, dropped out. However, GUAM is more an economic union, while the new alliance is primarily military in nature. Paul Goble and Army Technology and Russia Behind The Headlines and Global Security

Health workers boycott Pakistan's polio vaccination campaign after shooting

Gunmen killed four polio workers and injured three others on Wednesday morning in Quetta, in southwest Pakistan. The Lady Health Workers (LHW) association in the province subsequently announced a boycott of the polio campaign in Balochistan.

The polio vaccination campaign was announced earlier this month. Over 238,000 children under the age of five were to be administered polio vaccine. The boycott will put the campaign on hold. At least 10 cases of polio were reported so far this year from the region around Quetta. Many parents refuse to allow their children to receive polio vaccine, believing the Taliban claims that the polio vaccination campaign is a Western plot to sterilize Muslim children. Pakistan is one of only three countries in the world where polio remains endemic, along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, while polio has also reemerged in Syria.

Polio cases in Pakistan have been surging to record-breaking levels, thanks to the Taliban's opposition to polio vaccine, claiming that it's a Western plot to sterilize Pakistani children. The Taliban have been murdering health care workers in Pakistan involved in polio providing vaccines, ever since the U.S. administration bragged in 2011 that a hepatitis vaccination program in Pakistan was used as a cover to locate and capture Osama bin Laden. Dawn (Pakistan)

Two British brothers jailed for training at Syria terror camp

Two brothers, Mohommod Nawaz, 30, and Hamza Nawaz, 24, both citizens of Britain, were sentenced to 4 1/2 years and 3 years in jail, respectively, after admitting to having attended a terrorism training camp in Syria in 2013. According to the judge,

"It is clear from the evidence from mobile phones that you both had been in a camp in Syria used for terrorist training. The evidence shows you were there for jihad, or holy war, and wanted to join an extremist group."

In August 25 of last year, the pair said they were going out for a meal, but instead left for France by car, and then flew to Turkey and ultimately crossed the border to join a jihadist training camp. Later, they send a message by social media to selected friends confirming what they had done.

They returned to the UK in September but were stopped by border officers who found ammunition designed for use in AK-47 rifles, mobile phone pictures of a training camp, and videos of their trip to the war zone.

The jailing of the two men is the first in a string of cases, with several men convicted of terrorism offences in relation to Syria waiting to receive sentences. At least three other men face similar charges directly linked to activity in Syria. Others are awaiting sentencing for planning their own activity or assisting others.

European officials are becoming increasingly alarmed that thousands of young men and women are traveling to Syria to join terrorist groups, including the Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria (IS or ISIS or ISIL). Some of them have already returned to Europe and others are expected to return. The fear is that they'll use the skills developed in Syria to perform terrorist acts in their home countries. Britain can't prevent young men and women from going to Syria, but the new laws mean that they can't simply return to Britain and resume their former lives as if nothing had happened. BBC and Independent (Ireland)

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 27-Nov-14 World View -- Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland forming alliance to confront Russia thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (27-Nov-2014) Permanent Link
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