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Home arrow newsitems arrow Day after 9/11 EUROCORPS head General Bavinchove to EuroFora: Afganistan ISAF Chief of staff 2012-13

Day after 9/11 EUROCORPS head General Bavinchove to EuroFora: Afganistan ISAF Chief of staff 2012-13

Parašė ACM
Monday, September 12, 2011

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It's the Day after the 10th Anniversary of the greatest Mass Massacre of innocent People by Terrorists in Modern History, September 12, 2011, and just before he takes over a huge Responsibility as "Chief of staff" of the International Force ISAF at Afghanistan.  that the new Head of EUROCORPS, EU core's Military staff Commander, General Olivier de Bavinchov, organized his first meeting with Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", in the city where the Headquarters of the 5 Founder EU Nations and Senior Officers' Commanding corps is located,

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The New EUROCORPS' Commander took over from his predecessor, German General Hans-Lothar Domroese (Comp. General Domrose's Statements to "EuroFora" at the CoE, in previous NewsReports) for the Two Next Years starting from the 1st of July 2011, but was particularly busy during this Summer, moving around Europe and visiting several participating Countries in order to better prepare his new duties as ISAF's Chief of Staff.

- "Right now I'm so Focused on Afghanistan, that I don't think at anything else !", General Bavichov acknowledged to "EuroFora".

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+ Because "we are are leaving for Afghanistan soon", probably "from October" 2011, to prepare on the ground the Official take-over n January 2012.


- And "we shall not  start  returning back before  the beginning of 2013 : Ie. this time it will be .. the Double duration from the previous one : We shall stay there for more than a Year", General Bavinchov added.


Indeed, it's the 1st time that EUROCORPS will take over so important Responsibilities in the ISAF at Afghanistan, and for a so Long period of Time, Despite an earlier involvement, he also observed. EUROCORPS had initially been used in Afghanistan just for Half a Year, between August 2004 and February 2005.


- At the Top of ISAF's Military Hierarchy, World-wide reknowed "Generals McChrystal and Petraus were (successively) No 1 Commanders, as is now General Allen, (from the beginning of September 2011, i.e. almost at the same time as general Bavinshov). "There is also a No 2, an alternate (Deputy) Commander'".


 - "I will be Chief of Staff ("Chef d' Etat Major), for the entire ISAF", he clarified, speaking of the International Coalition force composed of more than a Hundred Thousands of Soldiers from many Countries around the World: Mainly from the USA and Canada, but also from  Europe, such as UK, Germany, France, Italy, Poland,  Spain, Romania, Denmark, Sweden,  Georgia, Slovakia, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Greece, Montenegro, Slovenia, etc.; from Asia : Turkey, Mongolia, Korea, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, etc; and from the Pacific : Australia, New Zeland, etc.            

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- This includes wide areas of action, such as "Intelligence, Information, Operations Logistics, etc, i.e.  it's about commanding the entire ISAF's "Etat Major", explained to "EuroFora" the 55 Years old, fit and energetic looking French General, who will take together with him a Team of some 275 Officers from various European Countries, representing almost 25% of Strasbourg's EUROCORPS.


EUROCORPS' enhanced role inside the International body will be "Crucial" because it's during General Bavinchove's term as Chief of staff of ISAF that Afhanistan's Future will be practicaly decided, according to "unpredictable" yet developments on the spot  : It's, indeed, too early, yet today, in order to predict if, and how exactly, the "Afghanisation" of the country's Security could succeed at the Horizon of 2014.


The overall Strategy able to lead to that result is due to be discussed and decided during a forthcoming Summit in Berlin (Germany) on December 2011, i.e. at the eve of General Bavinchove's official take-over of the Direction of ISAF's Etat-Major from January 2012.
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But General Bavinchove brings in a unique, valuable and "fresh" Experience, (in addition to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chad, Central Africa or New Caledonia), as former Head of the UNO-sponsored and EU-led International Peace Force for Libanon, UNIFIL , in 2008 and 2009, which gave him a rare Knowledge on how to deal f.ex. with both Israel and islamist Hamas... Moreover, the 55 years old, energetic Military Senior Officer comes from France, the country whose President, Nicolas Sarkozy, has notoriously started recently to support, as a matter of  General Principle,- as it was seen with the G8 Summit at Deauville (May 2011 : See "EuroFora"'s NewsReports from the spot), as well as with the succesful Airborn operation to help Libyan Dissident People, etc. -  Popular movements aspiring to Democracy, Freedom and Prosperity when they face Brutal Aggressions, Harassment and Threats by any kind oF Oppresive regime.


Observers have just revealed, even a former Islamic militant, jailed during Past Gaddafi - CIA deals, but who is now among the leaders of NTC's People who liberated Tripoli from Colonel Gaddafi's Army, and, after a recent meeting at Doha with European , American and other officiials, is now full of eloges for Sarkozy's Help...  As for the French President himself, he was recently quick to claim, right from the start of a well attended Press Conference at the conclusion of a 63 Heads of State/Government and International/Regional Organizations' Summit in support of "New Libya", earlier this Month in Paris, (See "EuroFora"s NewsReports from the spot), that "the Clash of Civilisation" has ended, since its place has been now taken over by a joint  "Struggle for Democracy" which brings together People from various political, social, national, religious and/or cultural backgrounds, all focused at a common aim..


In practice, Libyan NTC Prime Minister Jibril's reply to questions raissed on this crucial point by a journalist (see "EuroFora"s previous NewxsReport from the September 1st event at Elysee Palace), boiled down into claiming that several such "Revolutionaries" would be, in fact, integrated inside Libya's New Army, Police and/or State Administratqion to be set up by New Libya. And, more generally, concerning also many other "Young People with Arms", after the Popular Revolt against Gaddafi's regime, a Senior EU Official, such as EAAS Crisis response and Operations coordination Director, Agostino Miozzo, (See his statements to "EuroFora" and in EU Parliament's Foreign Policy Committee), concluded that they should be integrated and given "an Alternative", such as, f.ex; "a job" inside a "New Libya", Democratic State structure. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
=> Thus, it might soon become possible to conclude that recent Developments on Coalitions to fight for Democracy, as f.ex. on 2011 in Libya, could definitively throw to the waste-basket of History, as completely out-dated "oldies", any so-called "Civilisations' Clash", as that which had been cooked up in Afghanistan in the Past, etc. (Comp. a relevant, earlier "EuroFora"s NewsReport from the latest Paris' International Summit on "New Libya", dated 1/9/2011)...


This seems to fit also at least a part of the Logic behind French President Nicolas Sarkozy's most recent observations on Afghanistan itself, as he spoke to the 2011 Annual Conference of Ambassadors from all over the World, on August 31, at the Elysée palace, (Comp. other "EuroFora"s NewsReports from the event) :

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    - Concerning particularly France's involvement, Sarkozy reminded that, "recent progress on the spot" allowed to start Programing a Transfert of Security Ressponsibilities and to schedule the Withdrawal of 25% of our contingent "in the forthcoming Months", in the framework of an overall Plan for "Afghan Forces to take over the Country's Security before the end of 2014", as he confirmed.

     - It's after "a decision taken (back on 2001) by Mr Jospin (former "Socialist" Prime Minister) and Mr. Chirac (former, long-time President); 10 Years ago", that France had started to be present in Afghanistan; Sarkozy reminded. => - Thus, Today, "we cannot just go away and leave behind us a Chaos !", he observed.


     - On the contrary, "there is a Timetable", (decided for the entire ISAF), and "we are Transfering our Responsibilities on Security to Afghan Military and Police Forces, according to a fixed Calendar, decided, and committed".I.e. "we are working, we are going to reduce the presence or our forces during the coming weeks, (and) we'll pass over to the Adfgans the Security of the Afghani Territory, according to the Scheduled Timetable";

     - This is being done because we are "Conscious of the fact that (Talibans) canNot have, any more, any Military Win on the spot" : - Indeed, "Talibans abuse, more and more often, of Terrorist, Coward and Criminal Acts, because they don't have, no more, the means for Military acts : They strike against anything, indiscriminately (blindly), and they hope to make us renounce.. : It's about Suicide Attacks, People who blow themselves up in explosions, ..that's the weapon of Cowards, the arm of Terrorists !" , he denounced.

Indeed, they are even attacking brutally against simple People that we had helped to develop Peaceful Social activities : F.ex. against a School-Teacher that we had helped to set up a School serving young boys and girls, etc., gave as one among many concrete examples to "EuroFora", EUROCORPS' Press Service's New Director, Colonel Louisfert, who has already visited Afganistan twice. Many local People want to cooperate with the International Community to create useful socio-economic activities, better organize their villages, etc., but they are often "afraid" of what might happen to them f.ex. overnight, when we (ISAF) won't be there to protect them from risks to be aggressed : "Not even innocent Children aren't spared by such Terrorist Violence", he denounced, (while several recent examples, reportedly revealed at least some cases of that kind, which obviously indiquate a Weakness in any Movement which would progressivly become Unable to motivate the People, otherwise but by merely attempting to provoke fear)..

     - "But we won't renounce !", Sarkozy stressed. Currently, there are "48 Countries in the (International) Coalition - and who can imagine that only France, alone, might abandon its 47 Partners ? Who can imagine that France might suddenly go away; just ike that ?", he wondered.


    >>> However, "this Transition is going to mark deep Changes in the Form of our commitment to the Afghan People, that we are Preparing" now. That's what will be at stake at the Bonn's meeting on December. That's the meaning of the Franco-Afgan Treaty that we agreed with President Karzai, and which has already been negociated by (Foreign Minister Alain) Juppé... And we'll be able to Support the (currently growing) Efforts of National Reconciliation", Sarkozy highlighted.

    Indeed, a great part of ISAF''s work is also to fight against Corruption and/or Drugs traffic, help develop Socially useful Economic Activities and basic services, Education and social Integration, etc. confirmed EUROCORPS' Press Director Lousifert to "EuroFora".

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    + But, "Neighbouring Countries must respect the Sovereignity and Security of Afghanistan for its National Reconciliation with the Rebels to succeed", he observed. But, "Al Quaida, even weakened, remains present", and "this is true mainly in Pakistan, where developments provoque concern", he noted, after several (even Strategic) similarly Critical observations vis a vis at least some sectors of Pakistan by various American Top Politicians, and while Afghan President Kharzai himself recently urged to be more active in the areas Bordering Pakistan, (from where stems the supposed ring-leader of the 9/11 Hijackers, Atta, an Hambourg resident; who reportedly had some direct links with Pakistan Secret Services' senior Officials).


    9/11 was notoriously exploited also by the Turkish Government (traditionaly close to Pakistani networks), in order to immediately Cover-up the Unprecedented Scandal of a Blunt Refusal by the Turkish side of an Official Invitation by the then UNO Secretary General, Koffi Annan, to come to New York to start discussing a Solution on Cyprus' issue "on the basis of UN SC Resolutions" on September 12, (i.e. scheduler precisely for the Day After 9/11 !) : A base that the Turkish side (and particularly the then Leader of the Turkish Cypriots living in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus controlled by Ankara's Army since the 1974 Foreign Military Invasion, supported by Ankara's Government), had warned that he would Not accept; and, therefore, openly and repeatedly declared in Public that it Refused to even come at New York ! Then Cyprus' President Clerides, on the contrary, accepted UN SG's Invitation and boarded an Airplane flying towards New York, but was obliged to Stop and Land elsewhere, his Plane Hindered to arrive at UNO's Headquarters because the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks (which occured at the Same Time that he was entering USA Airspace) had provoked a Non-Fly Order throughout all USA. UNO's Secretariat itself exceptionally Closed its Offices for many Days, and all Meetings were Cancelled. Thus, 9/11's Timing allowed Turkey to escape from, otherwise unavoidable, Political Sanctions for its Refusals of an official UN Secretary General's Invitation to start Peace Talks, at a particularly Crucial moment for its EU bid, since Ankara had just been declared "Candidate" Months earlier by the December 1999 Helsinki Summit (notoriously after many Pressure from the "Socialist"/DP US President Clinton or Gore, who had even Phoned the rotating Finnish EU Chair to push in this sense), and while Ankara was badly needing EU Funds to start being Spended in Turkey, after many years of Blockades because of the Turkish Government's refusal of EU Parliament's conditions on Human Rights and Democracy, Cyprus and Aegean Sea, Armenian and Kurdish issues, etc, in order to Urgently Help Ankara which was then affected by a Big Economic and Financial Crisis.


    Nevertheless, Turkey was given on 2005 even a rotating Commander job at ISAF, where it still keeps a few Thousands of Soldiers, even if it's reportedly hesitating recentlly to engage in active Military operations, after it practicaly marked its entry in Afghanistan, by a coincidence, with of a notorious period of Worsening of the Security situation since 2005, (as it was revealed even by many ..."Wikileaks" classified documents' releases, which, by another coincidence, also start from 2005 until now).. However, in 2011, Turkey reportedly was given the Responsibility to lead Security control in the area surrounding Afghanistan's Capital, Kabul, (where ISAF's Headquarters are located), near the Pakistani border.

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+ Meanwhile, concerning even more Urgent issues, as f.ex. that of Syria, where People are reportedly been Killed, jailed and/or Tortured, muzzled and intimidated each week, almost evey day, obviously, observers can't avoid to note that EUROCORPS and adequately experienced Senior Officials such as General Olivier de Bavinchove (Comp. supra), could become natural, or even ideal Bridges,  together with the UNO, etc, able to overcome  the current Difference between important Western Countries (as f.ex. European France and the UK, as well as USA/Canada, etc), and certain Key Global player Countries such as (UN SC Permanent Members) Russia and China, etc : Indeed, Russia's main reluctance on Syria notoriously is vis a vis NATO, while, on the contrary, it should, eventually, be able to find some interesting perspectives in an eventual EUROCORPS-led International Coalition (mutatis-mutandis as in Lebanon, etc), which could include also f.ex. the UK, USA, and various other Countries from all over the World, open to possible participation also of Russia itself, in some adequate ways, placed under a  UN SC Resolution Mandate : - "I'm working very well with Russians too in Sudan, f.ex. on Helicopters", said, inter alia, earliear to "EuroFora" UNO's under-Secretary General for Peace-Keeping Operations Alain Le Roy (See previous "EuroFora"s NewsReport).


    => Questioned by "EuroFora" whether he thinks that EUROCORPS' Etat Major could become soon able to lead  in real practice various combinations of  such International Coalitions     in "Autonomous" Operations, or not, General Bavinchov replied Positively, considering also that the forthcoming Afghan experience could enhance its capacities : - "EUROCORPS could certainly become able to do so", he said, speaking from a strictly Mlitary point of view.


 - In order to develop further EUROCORPS' capacities for such purposes, there is currently a wish to Strengthen particularly its Naval and Air-space aspects, in order to have a complete and fully-fledged Multi-Modal Army Headquarters' team of experienced Senior Officers. At the same time, the founder States have almost developed, recently, nearly all Technological capacities required for eventually "autonomous" operations, EUROCORPS' New Press service Director, Colonel Bruno Louisfert added to "EuroFora", from a practical point of view.


Taken in itself, EUROCORPS is currently composed by 5 founder, "framework" States : France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg, who may soon be joined by a recently Growing Participation also from Poland, and eventually Italy, who have both sent in Strasbourg various Liaison Officers. Other interested Countries who have simply "associated" themselves with just 1, 2 or 3 "Liason Officers" here, are Austria, Greece and even Turkey, (particulary for the NATO-related aspects), etc. But any eventual "Enlargement" of EUROCORPS" Full Membership requires an Unanimous Decision by all its 5 (may be soon 6 : Comp. supra) "Framework Nations", which have several Hundreds of Military Staff and Etat-Major Equipments at its Strasbourg Headquarters.

***

(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already sent earlier to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors. Watch out for a Complete and more Accurate Final Version asap).

***
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    Before the end of 2009, France and Germany will take strong initiatives to open "new Horizons" needed by Europe and the World, going well beyond the current Crisis' management, anounced French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel, reassuring that both a judgement on Lisbon Treaty by nearby Karlsruhe German Federal Court, and the forthcoming National Elections in Germany would confirm their capacity to act.    

They were replying to Press questions in Berlin, after key-regional elections on Sunday, where Merkel's ChristianDemocratic party kept everywhere a strong 1st and won the possibility to forge a New Majority with Liberals at the largest of 3 Landers : Saxony (4 millions inhabitants), while its main competitor, the Socialdemocrat party fell to unprecedented lows : Tackled by the small "Linke" (left) party in Saarland (1 million inhabitants), it became even smaller than it in Saxony and Thuringen (3 million inhabitants), where SPD arrived only third. While its usual partners, the "Greens" also fell down, contrary to CDU's new partners, the FDP Liberals, who go up.

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    - "At any case, at the end of the year (2009), if things go as scheduled, we shall take strong initiatives, showing that Europe needs a Franco-German axis, as well as the World, even if it never excludes other" countries to join, replied Sarkozy to a question if France and Germany will revive the "European dream", by "relauncing the EU motor" for the Future, with actions going further than the mere management of the global crisis, (as it was done fex. in the Past with the creation of the "Euro" Monetary zone, etc).

    - "I am convinced that the Franco-German friendship must be constantly nourished by New Projects", he added."There are many areas of cooperation where we intend to take, very soon, some Franco-German initiatives, which will allow to open more Horizons" to the EU, Sarkozy stressed.

    But if "we don't speak about that now, it's only in order to avoid interfering in important elections coming in Germany", he observed. However, "we have already started to consider the Future with the (German) Chancellor, and what we can do in order to honour our predecessors". "We are already speaking about that, and we are preparing things". "I am working very well together with Mrs Merkel, and I wish that it goes on", Sarkozy concluded.

merkel_sarkozy_eu_flag_400

    - "It's important for EU's credibility that France and Germany advance forward together", stressed Merkel from the outset. "Don't worry about Germany's capacity to undertake initiatives" with France, she added. "France and Germany will be perfectly able to make proposals" for the EU.

    -  "After-crisis" plans must be prepared, meanwhile, with measures "advancing progressively", Merkel anounced. And, for the short term, we must deal also with EU Citizens' dismay since they feel that it's a Scandal for some in the Financial Markets to be paid with excessive "Bonuses", etc, she agreed with Sarkozy.

    - "Abuses in financial markets must stop", stressed also Sarkozy. Backing Merkel's announcement that France and Germany call for an EU meeting to forge "a crystal-clear European position" in view of the G-14 Summit at Pittsburg, he warned that "everyone will have to undertake his responsibilities, in front of World's Public Opinion. particularly those who don't want to make the same effort of regulation as France and Germany".

    Moreover, "Global Trade cannot be correctly dealt, without taking into account also Environmental and Social rules", Sarkozy added, referring to recently expressed positions against Unfair Competition via Environmental and/or Social Dumping, (See earlier "EuroFora"'s publications).

    Such moves are obviously linked to the need to ensure at least an elementary respect for Human Rights by Third Countries, (f.ex. exploitation of Children's work, etc) in order to avoid, precisely, any such Social Dumping.

    - "EU has Values, protecting Human Rights and Human Dignity", and "it cannot close its eyes" in front of grave violations, particularly "Torture and/or killings", added, indeed, Sarkozy.

    Thus, "the time comes, where decisions must be taken". But, in case of "Sanctions", "all International opinion should be convinced of the need to take action", he observed.

    Expressed on the occasion of recent developments in Iran, the same principles should logically apply also to other similar cases, including fex. that of Hundreds of ECHR judgements' condemning f;ex. Turkey for grave crimes, (as Torture, brutal Killings, Enforced "Disappearances", Destruction of Family Homes, harassments and oppressive violations of Freedom of Speech, etc).

    Meanwhile, questioned on (EU Commission's chair)  Barroso's bid to succeed himself for a second mandate, they both expressed a "wish" or a "feeling" that "EU Parliament"'s various political Groups might fix a date for decisions "during September". However, is he is endorsed before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, it will be legally necessary to re-vote anew for a full term of office afterwards, according to EU Legal Experts, revealed recently in Strasbourg the experienced former President of EU Parliament's Constitutional Committee, German Socialist MEP Jo Leinen. And Germany will not vote for Lisbon Treaty's ratification but only "on September 8 and 18", revealed Merkel, ( i.e. after EU Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg).

    - Therefore, "for EU Commissioners' appointment, it's too early yet, because we must wait for the ratification of Lisbon Treaty" by all 27 EU Member countries, including naturally Ireland's Referendum on early October, said to "EuroFora" the influential President of EU Parliament's largest group of MEPs, Joseph Daul, expressing, however, the hope that a controversial deal with the head of the Socialist Group of MEPs, Martin Schultz of Germany, might hold for Barroso alone, at a forthcoming vote due to fix the Strasbourg plenary's Agenda.

    But MEPs reportedly just "postponed" for 1 week all their previously scheduled group meetings (See : http://www.euractiv.com/en/future-eu/barroso-unveil-summer-homework-week/article-184825 );

    However, while the choice of a new EU Commission's President by EU Parliament is supposed, according to many MEPs' wish, take place according to EU policy issues, paradoxically, this would mean that Barroso's bid would pass before even the anouncement of France and Germany's "initiatives" for EU's "new Horizons"...

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