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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUROCORPS 2012 role for 2014 Afghanistan Troops Withdrawal helped by MultiNational know-how +Libya ?

EUROCORPS 2012 role for 2014 Afghanistan Troops Withdrawal helped by MultiNational know-how +Libya ?

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 04 January 2012

*Strasbourg/EUROCORPS HQ/Angelo Marcopolo/- New ISAF Chief of staff, EUROCORPS Commander, French General Olivier de Bavinchove, speaking to Strasbourg Journalists including "EuroFora", in a Tele-Conference from Kabul, pointed at the European Army Corps' genuine Multinational Experience, as due to play a key role during its crucial 2012 mission at Afghanistan as ISAF's  Head of Staff in order to prepare the WIthdrawal of International Foreign Troops planned for 2014, but left open the answer to a more Topical question on recent Political developments, which might have a decisive influence :

Could EUOCORPS' 2012 crucial role for the 2014 Troops' Withdrawal from Afghanistan be helped in real practice by the recent developments in "New Libya", which "mark the end of Civilisations' clash", as French President Sarkozy has stressed from the outset at the conclusion of the September 2011 International Conference to help the new, coalition government, composed of various former Rebels, from Islamists up to Christians, Jews or atheists, etc., who struggled together against Tanks and Canons of the former Colonel Kadhafi regime in the name of Freedom and Democracy with the help of Europe ?

Many converging Facts clearly indicate the importance of that politicaly strategic question, which is obviously Timely, for many reasons :

- F. ex., the main role of EUROCORPS Mission to Afghanistan, from January 2012 up to January 2013, is to prepare satisfactory conditions for an ambitious withdrawal of all foreign troops scheduled for 2014, while an important International Conference, due to be organized on May 2012 in Chicago, will determine the roles that participating Nations may play during the new, Post-2014 period, as EUROCORPS'  new Commander, and 2012 ISAF's Chief of Staff, French General Olivier de Bavinchove told Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", in a direct Tele-Conference from Kabul Headquarters.

This will be closely followed also by 2 other International Conferences, scheduled on July 2012 in Tokyo for the Economic and Humanitarian Aid to Afghanistan, as well as in Kabul itself, later this year, about the "Governance" and the Development of the Country, marking 3 important "Political Rendez-vous" towards the 2014 Withdrawal, General Bavinchove observed.


- Indeed, EUROCORPS' 2012 Mission is "Essential" for the "Stabilisation" of the situation in Afghanistan, which is a necessary "Prerequisite for the Withdrawal" of all Foreign Troops in 2014, and this can be a really "Tricky" Challenge, since the real situation on the spot still is "particularly Unstable", observed later-on EU Parliament's Security/Defence Committee's President, MEP Arnauld Danjean.

+ In fact, ISAF's Headquarters, entrusted to EUROCORPS for 2012, "a year of great Changes", even with reduced Military Forces because of the on-going, progressive withdreawal of Foreign Troops (and particularly 23.000 USA soldiers due to leave during 2012), will aim now to exert various Pressions on the Rebels in order to obtain "Significant Results" by convincing them that, instead of being killed in a battle, or captured, judged and jailed, it's better for them to accept to "ReIntegrate" Afghan Society by working for the Legal Afghan Institutions, as some 3.000 of them have already started to do, General Bavinchove stressed.

 - Meanwhile, ISAF's Military losses have considerably lowered in 2011, compared to 2010, with some - 20% less, and Rebels have "radically Changed" their methods, now avoiding to engage in armed clashes against the International Coalition Forces, but using mainly "indirect" actions, f.ex. by isolated terrorist moves, which are currently the "focus" of our attention, both in terms of Intelligence and attacks, ISAF's new Chief of Staff also observed.       

- However, EUROCORPS' Commander clearly rejected any idea for an eventual Report of the 2014 Time Deadline for the Foreign Troops Withdrawal, f.ex. in case of "difficulties" : - "This is Not an Option !", he energetically reacted to a question on this point. "It's very clear" that "I don't see any possibility" to extend ISAF's military presence in Afghanistan beyond the "Date of 31 December 2014, when it was agreed that it will Stop" operating :  - "There isn't any Ambiguity  ! I'have been repeating that to all involved", General Bavinschove stressed.                   

=> That's why it's "important" to succeed in our efforts to Train, Equipe and Help the Afghan Authorities to really take over on 2014 the Security/Defence of all their Country, including by succesfully "Re-Integrating" former Rebels Talibans in the official Army or Police, he observed.             
    In this regard, European Countries, such as France, Germany and Spain, etc., particularly when led by France, who had notoriously opposed Iraq's Military Invasion and Occupation back on 2003, and never intervened inside a Foreign Country without a UNO mandate and an International coalition, could normally find it easier than others to convince former Rebels Talibans to give up the arms and "ReIntegrate" the legal Afghan Institutions, as well as to contribute into brokering any eventual agreement which might facilitate a Peaceful Troops Withdrawal, particularly after also the recent spectacular developments since the 2 Paris' International Conferences for "Help to Libyan People", and "to support New Libya", on March and September 2011, respectively :


    The French President's hope that those who usually attempt to exploit a so-called "Clash of Civilisations" for their Selfish aims, (f.ex. some Foreign Governments secretly playing Cynical games Hidden behind the scenes, and/or some Criminal Networks, etc), will have no more the same possibilities as before to Manipulate People, after the recent developments in Libya, where France and other EU Countries, Arabs, etc., helped revolted Libyan People to protect themselves from Colonel Kadhafi's deadly Tanks, and afterwards to liberate all their Country, might prove correct, particularly after recent revelations of concrete cases of even former Taliban trainees, who had visited Afghanistan in the Past, and were afterwards arrested and jailed by Kadhafi's police in Libya's prisons, nevertheless, later-on were full of good words for Sarkozy's help to Libyan Rebels, among whom they struggled, before becoming New Libya's f.ex. Security Officer in the capital, Tripoli, etc.


    After also the strong Popular "Welcome" received by the French President particularly by the People of Benhgazi, the mainly Arab Muslim city notoriously threatened to be crushed by colonel Kadhafi's Deadly Tanks on March 2011, which was saved at the last minute thanks to the protective action taken by an International Coalition led mainly by Sarkozy, who also had the good idea to organize just a Hugh-Tech Airborn operation, able to protect the Revolted People from hostile Bombardment and heavily armoured Terrestrial Attacks, but carefully avoided putting any soldier at the soil of a Foreign Country without any UNO mandate and/or agreement with its Authorities, such positive and succesful developments and alliances should normally be of great Help in Afghanistan, in order to convince at least several hesitating former Talibans that a time has come to start dealing with a French-led EUROCORPS' ISAF staff, for an Agreement able to guarantee a Peaceful Transition in their Country.


    + My main mission is to "Win Hearts and Minds" in favor of EUROCOROPS' operation, stressed to "EuroFora", f.ex. officer Yvan Rayman, son of a Baker living near Strasbourg; Married and Father of 2 Children, (but well aware of even Deadly dangers, as the recent killing of 2 French Soldiers by a false "repentant", ex-Taliban, recently revealed).

    In fact, from the simple Soldier up to the Commanding General, everybody involved knows that "Afghanistan" has become "important for the Security of the World", as Sarkozy observed this week, despite the fact that it wasn't himself who initially ordered France's late participation to the USA-led operation there, as he has already reminded earlier.

    Careful, however, EUROCORPS' Press Director, colonel Bruno Louisfert, abstained from taking any position, in favor or against "EuroFora"s question on the possibility for the recent developments in Libya to offer any positive occasion to France and all EUROCORPS' current task in AFghanistan :

- "The glave stops when the Toga speaks : The Army's task is to make possible and facilitate Political Leaders' decisions", he simply replied to "EuroFora", as far as the Libyan developments' ideological impact, by putting an "End to the Clash of Civilisations" and its exploitation by some dark interests, is concerned (Comp. supra)...
+ MULTINATIONAL experience :
+ EUROCORPS' unique Experience as a "really Multi-National" force, is another key Advantage, when it comes to deal with an International Force f.ex. as ISAF in Afghnistan, which was strongly stressed by his experienced Deputy Chief, German General Walter Spindler :


- "In addition to the 5 main "Framework" Nations, (France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg), there are at least 9 European Nations currently represented in EUROCORPS' Headquarters in Strasbourg, including also Poland, Italy, Greece, Romania, etc., that an 2008 EU Parliament's Resolution asked to "place .. as standing force under EU Command", "inviting all (EU) Member States to contribute to it".

=> "All Days long", we are accustomed to "Work in a real Multi-National" system, where we are all obliged to discuss and make "Compromises", contrary to almost all Other Armies, where there is "1 Leader", that all the others have to "follow"... But, here, in EUROCORPS, nobody can say alone "I want" this or that to be done, without using a real MultiNational procedure, General Spindler stressed, concluding that, therefore, the capacity to work together in a real MultiNational context is "much more developed inside EUROCORPS than anywhere else"...


    + French General Bavinchove, 2012 ISAF's Chief of staff, has already a precious and multifacet personal Experience in Multinational forces at Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Tchad, and at Lebanon's FINUL, before taking over recently as EUROCORPS' new Commander (since July 2011).

    => Indeed, in order to succesfully take over, during 2012, ISAF's "Joint Command", EUROCORPS' main "Contribution" is its way to "Master" a unique "Multi-National", "sharing-Experience" of how to "Conduct Operations Together", while also being able to "take into consideration eventual Differences" between all those involved in a joint action, General de Bavinchove stressed today, finding that advantage to be of "Decisive Importance" in practice.


    + EUROCORPS itself already is building a "particularly significant" experience, by having served, among others, in various theaters, such as, f.ex., Afrika, Middle East, Balkans, Afghanistan, etc., observed EU Parliament's Security/Defence Committee's President, French MEP Arnould Danjean in his Speech to the official Ceremony for the Departure.

    => Even if it's not yet a really fully fledged EU force, (despite EU Parliament's 2008 Resolution in this direction : See supra), nevertheless, by already Building up a Friendly Brotherhood in Arms between EU Nations, while struggling together to Fight for Shared Values,  EUROCORPS learns how to put Military Courage and Might in the service, not of Nationalistic Egoism, but of European "Solidarity" : a Principle which stands at the center of EU construction, Danjean concluded.


+ Meanwhile, Poland will start to participate, for the 1st time, to EUROCORPS' Afghanistan Mission during 2012, by sending 5 and 10 Military staff, including a General, from January and July, respectively, long before its Accession as Full Member, scheduled for January 2016, (i.e. in  less than 4 Years), with 120 Polish Army staff, General Kazimir Wojik (who will go also himself to ISAF's HQ this year) told "EuroFora".


(NDLR : This is a "DraftNews" version, as already sent earlier to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors at an exceptional overloaded Day. Therefore, it's due to be updated asap, in a more accurate and complete, Final Version, according to developments).

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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.

+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).

 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?


- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.


      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas

- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.

(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).

ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :

    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    


2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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