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Home arrow newsitems arrow EuroCorps/NATO RF Generals Kolodziej+Thomson to EF: Libya PeaceKeeping may be Task in Troubled World

EuroCorps/NATO RF Generals Kolodziej+Thomson to EF: Libya PeaceKeeping may be Task in Troubled World

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 08 January 2020
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*Strasbourg/EUROCORPS HQ/Angelo Marcopolo/- The Ceremony marking "EuroCorps"' takeover as NATO's Response Force in 2020 on Land ("LANDCOM"), during which it has to be Ready to rapidly Deploy a HQ of about 1000 Officers, able to Command up to 65.000 Soldiers, for Any Mission, at Any Theater of the World,  offered a good opportunity to Wonder Where might this EU-Core Based, mainly Franco-German Grouping of 5 EU Member and 5 Associated Countries, Headquartered in Strasbourg, and regularly Supported by EU Parliament to become the Cradle of a Future European Army, might, eventually, be called to take Action, either this year (2020) or the Next (2021), when its currently French rotating Presidency may, perhaps, assume an EU Mission, in the midst of the Recent International Developments, particularly Around Europe, which Highlight an Exceptionaly "Hot" Era of manifold Tensions, (See Infra).

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- "Eurofora" spoke, during a Press Conference, Both to EUROCORPS' New Commander, General Laurent Kolodziej of France (2019-2021: See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorps2commanderstoeurofora.html, etc), and NATO's Allied Land Commander, General G.T.Thomson, from the USA, (currently based at Izmir, after leaving nearby Heidelberg), who had just made an Inspired Speech to the Soldiers, Urging them to Be "Ready and Strong", because "Weakness invites Aggression", and even to Inspire themselves from Roman Philosopher ..."Marcus Aurelius"' call to "Prepare" the Future...(Comp. Infra), after Praising their "Great Team"'s Performance at Winning the NRF "Certification", earlier during a contest at Norway, (where they had to Face a quasi-Simultaneous Invasion of several NATO Member Countries by the Armies from a fictitious Adversary Foreign State).

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- Inspired by an Earlier Appeal, from EUROCORPS' Chief, General Kolodziej, on the Need, this Year 2020, to "be Ready and Able to Act, at Any Time, towards Any Area in the World", and, therefore,  ...to be always Well Prepared, and constantly Vigilent", so that, -"the Various Developments, which take place anywhere in the World, attract our Attention", "Eurofora" raised a Question on the Topical Issue of Europe's Neighbour Libya, Divided since 2014, and currently (2019-2020) Facing Armed Clashes around Tripoli and Misrata, where Energy flows, Mass Migration, and Islamist Terrorism, are among the Issues notoriously Affecting also European People.                                                                                                                          

            eurocorpsnato_ceremony_eurofora_400_02                     

- "If there are Developments f.ex. in Libya, would it be possible for "EuroCorps", perhaps, to play the role of a "Peace Keeping Force" in order to Help Respect a Cease-Fire and/or Implement an eventual Peace Plan, while also keeping en eye to the Southern Borders, where Sahel's area (Deadly Islamist Terrorism) problems notoriously persist ? Does it have the right Capabilities ?", "Eurofora" asked in the Press Conference.

 

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- "During 1 Year (2020) We (Eurocorps) are commited to NATO. So, it's, obviously, a Decision of the Alliance, and of its Political Body, which is the Council of NATO's Treaty, to Decide whether we must, or not, Intervene in this area, or another", stressed General Kolodziej, carefully but openly, i.e. withOut Excluding Anything a priori.

- "So, I cannot tell you whether this (Libya) would be a Site for Deployment, (or not), because it is a Political Decision which Belongs to the Alliance (NATO), where All Member States Participate, at a Political Level".

- But, "Once this Decision taken, We ("EuroCorps") will Intervene there where NATO would Send us !", he added, in Reply to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Question, clearly Indicating that this is technically Possible.

- However, "It's Not at my Level that the Decision will be taken".

Nevertheless, he Later Added also the Possibilities for the EU, UNO, or even "a Coalition ad hoc", to eventually Ask to send "EuroCorps" to Libya from 2021, even if, perhaps, NATO does Not do so, during 2020, (See Infra).

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+ "But, does "EuroCorps have the Military a.o. Capabilities to do so ?", (i.e. Peace-Keeping for Cease-Fire and/or Implementation of an eventualy Agreed Peace Plan),  "Eurofora" Questioned further.

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- "We have a Head-Quarters guiding Brigades Able to intervene Anywhere the (NATO) Alliance will tell us to intervene", EUROCORPS' Chief Optimistally Replied.

- However, "this is a Political Decision, that it's Not for me to take".

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+ Then, "Eurofora" went on to also Ask "EuroCorps'" Commander     about the Particular Characteristics of this New Year's 2020's main Challenges, (evoked Both by NATO Commander Thomson and General Kolodziej) compared to the Previous, Similar Missions for NATO in the Past (2006 + 2010). What's Specific to this Year (2020) ?" we querried.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

- "What Changes is, Obviously, the Context", since "we are living in a more and more Dangerous World : The Challenges and the Emergence of certain States, are New, Compared to what we had seen several Years Ago", "EuroCorps" Commander stressed, (Apparently pointing at the current Crisis at Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, the Sahel and Islamist Terrorism, etc., all UnKnown Back on 2006 - 2010)...

 

 

eurocorps__nato_commanders_agg_in_press_conf_eurofora_400

 

- But, "the Logic of  Alert vis a vis such Crisis has Not Changed : We ("Eurocorps") are a Head-Quarters belonging to 5 Framework Nations that they offer to NATO (on 2020). They can Offer it to the EU (f.ex. since 2021+). As they can also Offer it to the UN, or to a Coalition Ad Hoc", he added, (particularly as far as it concerns "Eurofora"s 1st Question on "Peace-Keeping in Libya" : Comp. Supra).

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- "So, "EuroCorps"' Existence, its Lending to NATO for an Alert NRF, or to anOther Organisation, (EU, UN, Coalition, etc), this does Not Change", he resumed. (F.ex., Between 1998 - 2012 = 6 Missions for NATO : Bosnia/Herzgovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan - Bis, Response Force - Stand By - Bis. +Between 2015-2017 = 5 Missions for the EU : Mali, BatlleGroup Force - Stand By - Bis, Central Africa - Bis).

- "On the Contrary, what Changes (Now) is the Dangerosity of the International Situation, and Not necessarily for the Better...", he Warned.                                                                

- "But the Principles remain the Same", "Eurocorps"' Commander stressed.

=> In fact, "this Alternance of Missions, shows "Eurocors"' Capacity, its Duality, to Benefit, certain times, to NATO, but also to Benefit, in Other Contexts, to the EU, but not only, in Other Missions...

>>> It has really a Plasticity, that Makes "EuroCorps"' Strength !"

- F.ex., "by Using Standards that are those of NATO, which remains Europe's main Collective Defense reference : We ("EuroCorps") Use those Methods, Also for Other Organisations, in anOther Context. But the Core of Our ("EuroCorps"') Competence is that which is Developed through NATO, thanks to NATO, and inside NATO". It's that Truth which is one of "EuroCorps"' Advantages : I.e., that we are Able, by Using that Core of Competences developed inside NATO, to Act Efficiently for Europe, and others, he HighLighted in Conclusion.

______________________
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 Naturally, such a Positive Appraisal for NATO's alleged Technical Capabilities, could not but Please USA General J.T. Thomson, Commander of "LandCom", i.e. NATO's Allied Land Command., who was Carefully Hearing at that Press-Conference with French Medias, (including "Eurofora", Officially Registered at "la Bibliothèque de France"'s On-Line Press Editions' Catalogue in Paris), through Simultaneous Translation "Live"...

+ Speaking Afterwards to "Eurofora", General Thomson, Smiling, attributed his own, very Stimulating Speech to "Eurocorps"' Soldiers, earlier Today, (Comp. Supra), including, particularly, a Striking Reference even to Roman Philosopher "Marcus Aurelius" (Comp. Supra), as a probable result of the Fact that, when he was Young, he had been Chosen in order to ...Write the Draft Speeches even of the 1st Chief of Staff, back in the USA...

++ Apparently Appreciating particularly this 2020 NATO's Response Force's Experience with "EUROCORPS", General Thomson, who Already holds an Extensive Experience, f.ex., of the "Operation Desert Storm", "Operation Iraqi Freedom", Multi-National Corps (and/or Forces) - iraq, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), at USA's West Point, NATO's "Resolute Mission", etc, nevertheless, revealed to "Eurofora" that he envisages to consider this 2020 incoming Experience, (of EUROCORS with NATO's Allied Land Command), as a kind of Crowning Achievement for his Military Career.

+++ General Thomson, Also said to "Eurofora" that, in Fact, his own Mother was a European (from nearby Germany), and himself had even Learned to Speak "Deutsch", fairly Well : Something certainly Useful for relations with EUROCORPS too ! (Mutatis-mutandis, as US President Don Trump's Mother was from Scotland, and his Father from a German Vilage, Near Strasbourg)...

=> In that case, wouldn't he Regret former US President Barack Hussein Obama's Strange 2013 Decision to Displace NATO's Allied Land Command for Europe, from its Original HQ, Previously at Nearby ...prestigious Heidelberg's World Famous German University City, at the Heart of Europe, far Away from that, to ...Turkish Asia Minor area of Izmir (Ancient Greek Smyrne, until the 1921 brutal "Pogrom") ?

Nevertheless, at least one EUROCORPs' Press officer, the Kind "Stephan" from Flamish Belgium, looks quite Happy about that nowadays, judging by the Proudness with which he arbors a lot of Honorific Awards, won when he was Serving there during 2013-2018, i.e, practically All the Time Since that NATO's Land Command had been Transfered by Obama from Heidelberg to Izmir, (as he told "Eurofora")...

eurocorps_press_staff_stephan_from_belgium_to_izmir_return_stras_eurofora_400 

+ More Practical, EUROCORPS' New Press Director, Anthony Pfau, from France, revealed to "Eurofora" that he has a Rare Capacity, (reminding f.ex. Napoleon Bonaparte), which Fits Particularly Well the New, 2020 Mission of this landmark European Military body : By a coincidence, while EUROCORPS' New Mission, as NATO's Response Force, implies a Constant "Vigilence" and Readiness, as Both Generals Kolodziej and Thomson pointed out Today (Comp. Supra), Lieutenant-Colonel Pfau, indeed, claims to be Able to ...Sleep Only 4 or 5 Hours per Day, (instead of the 8h. Average), so that he Can really Stay Awake and "Vigilent", much Longer than most Others !

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++ Last, but not least, General Thomson, after Chatting Friendly with "Eurofora" for a while, (Comp. Supra), he Kindly Offered to take a "Selfie" Photo of Both Together... And that's how "Eurofora" was, finaly, Photographed, with a High-Ranking NATO's General, for the 1st Time in Life ! After all, if he's also a little bit European (Comp. Supra), with a Bright Smile, speaks Well, and even likes the Roman Philosopher Marcus Aurelius, Why Not ?...

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(../..)


("Draft-News")


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People in Europe and the World expect from CoE to make a succes of its "Monitoring" for Human Rights and Democracy, despite difficulties, said Finland's President Tarja Halonen to "EuroFora" at a crucial moment for the mecanism built 15 years ago by the paneuropean organization which celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2009.

Halonen, known as "Mother" of CoE's "Monitoring" mecanism, a long-time MEP and former Foreign Minister before becoming Finland's President, holds a long experience in the mattter, after also serving twice as CoE and EU Chairwoman in the past. That's why she is well placed to judge how CoE's "monitoring" should deal today with some crucial issues of importance both to CoE and to the EU.

The move came just a Month before a crucial, last visit to Turkey, scheduled for June, by the President of CoE''s "Monitoring" Committee, Ukranian MEP Serge Holovaty, to finalize his Report on Ankara, the CoE Member State with the longest Monitoring procedure. From its results depends its overall credibility.

This is a Test-case, because, in fact, it's in order to avoid Sanctions threatened against Turkey by a CoE's Assembly's April 1995 Resolution for grave Human Rights violations, Democracy gaps, the continuing Military Occupation in Cyprus, the unresolved Kurdish problem, Aegean differend with Greece, etc., that MEPs decided to create, for the 1st time on April 1996, a "Monitoring" proces, allegedly destinated to check, without excluding Countries who did not fulfill all CoE's standards.

In the Past, the obliged withdrawal of Greece's Military regime and of its "Civil" cover-up out of the CoE had helped bring back Democracy in 1974. But, on the contrary, since April 1996, the idea was to "monitor" Human Rights' respect while keeping most concerned Countries inside the CoE. After Turkey's oldest example, this was extended also to several former "Eastern" European Countries, even if CoE's Assembly has imposed to some of them (fex. Ukraine, Russia, etc., after Belarus, Serbia, etc) various "Sanctions", that Ankara always avoided. Curiously more succesful even than .. USA itself, (a CoE "Observer" since 1995), which has been at least threatened with sanctions some years ago..

EU-effects of CoE's Monitoring process became obvious between 2001-2008, since the "closure" of this procedure, when CoE felt that a Country had met most of its Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law obligations, (i.e. the "Copenhagen Criteria" for the EU), helped trigger Negotiations with the EU for "Accession" or other closer relations : This occured already before the 2004 and 2007 EU Enlargements to former "Eastern" European Countries, as well as for the commencement of "accession" negotiations with Croatia, and of "open-ended" negotiations with Turkey in 2005.

    But a stricking new development are Holovaty's recent findings that on core Human Rights issues as Torture and Freedom of Expression, Turkey, even "5 Years after" CoE closed its "Monitoring", back in 2004, inciting EU to start accession Negotiations in 2005, still presents grave problems.

    His findings are of crucial importance after a 2008 CoE Resolution called, "if need be", to "seriously consider the possibility of Re-Opening the Monitoring procedure for Turkey" : A move which might affect Ankara's controversial EU bid, since EU Accession Negotiations are based on the Hypothesis that the Candidate fullfils the "Copenhagen Criteria" (See above)..
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    Holovaty expressed his will to check  "Matters still Outstanding" and  those that he "didn't have an opportunity to discuss" at an earlier visit this year, "in order to discuss the more complex issues in greater depth", at his forthcoming New Visit to Ankara, before the December 2009 EU Summit.  This is all based on the 2004 CoE Resolution which stresses that, CoE "will continue.. post-monitoring Dialogue with the Turkish authorities,...in addition to a 12-points list,..and on any Other Matter that might arise in connection with Turkey’s Obligations as a CoE member state".

    CoE's Resolution also asks  from Turkey "to secure the proper Implementation of Judgements, particularly in the Cyprus v. Turkey InterState case", of 2001, which concerns also the plight of many Hundreds of MISSING People. It adds Turkey's obligations to "execute" ECHR's Judgements in the Loizidou case,..and in particular adopt General Measures to avoid repetition or continuation of Violations found by the Court" to the detriment of Refugees.

    Nevertheless, Holovaty said to "EuroFora" that "MISSING" persons,"might be included" and cannot be excluded, but he has yet to examine the situation "to find out  which issues will be raised" to the Turkish Government.

    Therefore, "EuroFora" asked Halonen, as the Historic "Mother" of CoE's Monitoring mecanism, if she thought that, "whenever there are grave Human Rights Violations, as fex. "MISSING" persons, attested even by ECHR's judgements, they should be always checked by a Monitoring process. Or could they be forgotten ?"
    
     - "We (CoE) must be, at the same time, Fair, Realistic, but not in the mind that "now we have Forgotten", etc., replied to "EuroFora"'s question Halonen, speaking as a matter of general principle.

    - "When we think of those People that are suffering from the lack of Democracy, of Human Rights, and of the Rule of Law", "we should find a base on how to deal with the (Monitoring) system more rapidly"', she stressed.

    - "Sometimes it's very difficult to combine Transparency and Effectivenes together, particularly in this specific case", she went on to say. But, "I have not found a (CoE Member) Country who could be insensitive in this sens", Halonen answered concerning grave Human Rights violations attested by the ECHR.

    - "I have no ready-made answer. I have the expectations that you, in the CoE, will, step by step, find the different types of the monitoring systems."

    Also "because this is a part of the UN's Post-Conflict system, (fex. when it comes to Cyprus' MISSING persons), and it's a more Global system". So that, "If we make a succes in Europe, the others will follow", throughout the World.  "But they expect that we (Europe) are this opportunity, this Opportunity to make a Succes", Halonen concluded.

    In addition, she advised to extend CoE's Monitoring to all its 47 Member States, "because, as long as we hear that, all these monitoring systems are "OK for the neighbor, but not for me", "it's very difficult" to understand. Something which could make easier to Compare...

    Finnish MEP Jaako Laakso, former CoE Rapporteur on the Occupied Territories of Cyprus and one of the 5 Signatories of the Historic CoE's call to create the "MONITORING" mecanism since 1996, was more specific :  - "We (CoE Assembly) have to find a way for the issue of Cyprus' MISSING People to be better followed", he stressed, anouncing his intention to "speak to Mr. Holovaty" about that. "There might be also other ways", added Laakso.

    - The 2008 "Year had been a very Bad one for Turkey with regard to Human Rights in general, and Freedom of Expression in particular", denounced, meanwhile, Holovaty's preliminary Post-Monitoringh Draft Report by Holovaty, published by the CoE on April 2009.

    "Amnesty International believes that freedom of expression is not guaranteed given the various articles of the Criminal Code that restrict it. .. "For example, 1,300 Websites are said to have been closed down by the (Turkish) authorities in 2008" ! While "the new Turkish Criminal Code was used to bring a total of 1,072 proceedings between June 2005 and April 2008, and led to the conviction of 192 people", for expressing views. "Representatives of the Özgür Gündem newspaper, which specialises in Kurdish affairs, ..complained about Numerous Attacks on their Freedom of Expression ...as was everyone who advocated a settlement to the question by means other than the intervention of the army" "According to their figures, 19 Newspapers had been suspended 43 times between 4 August 2006 and 4 November 2008" !...

    Moreover, on 2008,  CoE's "Ministers adopted its 4rth Resolution on the execution of the judgments of the ECHR, ...and outstanding issues regarding 175 Judgements and decisions relating to Turkey delivered between 1996 and 2008...  concerning Deaths resulting from the excessive use of force by members of the Security forces, the failure to protect the right to life, the DIisappearance and/or death of individuals, Ill-Treatment and the Destruction of property". CoE's " Ministers urged the Turkish authorities ...to ensure that members of Security forces of all ranks can be prosecuted without administrative
authorisation" for "serious crimes". Holovaty reminded.

"Nonetheless", Holovaty heard anew of "Several cases of Violence committed last year (2008) by the (Turkish) security forces". Amnesty International speaks of Many Cases of ill-treatment and Torture in the prisons and by the police". "Including, fex."'the death of Engin Ceber, a young man of 29 who died on October 2008 as a result of the TORTURE allegedly inflicted on him by police officers, prison staff and members of the gendarmerie. He was part of a group of people arrested on September 2008 during a demonstration and Press Conference in Istanbul'. Proceedings against suspects are "on-going" in this case.

- " I therefore noted an Obvious Contradiction between the Government’s stated “zero tolerance” policy.... of Torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and the different testimonies given", denounced CoE's Rapporteur.  Turkish "authorities must make considerable efforts to guarantee that proper investigations are carried out into allegations of abuses by members of the security forces and that perpetrators are effectively punished" "In this respect, I have requested detailed Statistics on the number of Investigations, acquittals and convictions in cases involving allegations of abuse in order to show the positive impact of the measures taken to date", Holovaty said, repeating a permanently unsatisfied CoE's demand to Turkey since a Decade...

    - "The Political Crisis that shook the country in the spring of 2008 highlighted the Weaknesses of the (Turkish) Constitution", which comes from the Military regime of 1982, "and the Urgent Need of Reforms", stressed from the outset CoE's Rapporteur in 2009. In particular, "the ...Democratic functioning of state institutions, including the independence of the judicial system, are crucial", he observes.

    But, "the Electoral  system and the ways in which it is circumvented do not appear to give those elected complete Legitimacy, and tend to pervert the course of direct universal suffrage", denounces Holovaty, observing that, even 5 Years later, Turkey did not yet change the 10% nationwide Threshold for a party to take any seat, which is "far higher" than the "3%" maximum in Europe and already condemned as contrary to European Standards by the CoE.

    + Moreover, EU Parliament's 2009 Report on Turkey, drafted by Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten and adopted in Strasbourg on March, expresses "Concern over the Failure of the (Turkish) Judiciary to prosecute cases of Torture and Ill-treatment, the Number of which is Growing". EU also "is concerned about continuing Hostility and Violence against Minorities" in Turkey. It also "calls on the Turkish Government to launch, as a matter of Priority, a Political Initiatve favouring a lasting Settlement of the Kurdish issue, (while "condemning violence.. and terrorist groups"). EU "regrets that No progress has been made on establishing full, systematic Civilian suprevisory functions over the (Turkish) Military".

    The final results of Holovaty's 2nd and last visit to Turkley will be known later this year, and, at any case, before EU's December 2009 Summit.

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