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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".

---------------------------------

+ 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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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
------------------------------   

Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

***

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