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Home arrow newsitems arrow EuroCorps' New Chief to EF: European Army Report on Afghanistan possible +Space/Missions/Enlargement

EuroCorps' New Chief to EF: European Army Report on Afghanistan possible +Space/Missions/Enlargement

Parašė ACM
Thursday, September 02, 2021

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*Strasbourg/Pourtales Castle/Angelo Marcopolo/- "EuroCorps" New Chief (2021-2023), Lieutenant-General Peter Devogelaere, from Belgium, Replying to 2 "Eurofora"s Questions at the Press Conference concluding a Top-Level Ceremony for "Change of Command", at the superb Castle of Pourtales in Strasbourg's outskirts near Robertsau's Forest, announced, in substance, that the Multi-National Army Headquarters and Brigade corps was Ready to Contribute, if it was asked to do so, from  a European point of view, to the Current Reflexions (including by NATO) about what should have been done in order to prevent the recent Afghanistan Failure of a Controversial Global move, after 20 Years of USA-led Military Intervention, (notoriously Resulting in Taliban's power take-over, a Deadly ISIS Bombing killing more than 100 People at Kaboul' Airport, including 13 American Soldiers, added Even to the recuperation of a Lot of US Weapons, from Helicopters up to Dangerous anti-Aerian "ManPads", many Thousands of Asylum Seekers, etc, and a Country pushed at the limits of Economic and Humanitarian Catastrophe, as even UNO Warns)...

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    - "At a Time When the Global Order is frequently being Called into Question, and when Competition in International relations is becoming Increasingly Tough, sometimes giving way to Contestation and even Confrontation, the Presence, on This Morning (2/9/2021), of the Highest Military Authorities of (EuroCorp's 5) Framework Nations, and (6) Associated Nations, Demonstrates Europe's shared Ambition to Commit to its Collective Defense, and to Play a Full Part in International Security", stressed from the outset, in his Official Speech, the Head of Ceremony, French Army's Chief, General Thierry Burkhard. Calling EuroCorps "the European apid Reaction Force", as well as "a MultiNational Unit, Backed by European Nations", he stoped short, however, from Revealing Today what relevant Plans might have, in this matter, the Forthcoming 2022 French Presidency of the EU, (Just After the Dust Settles at the Current 2021 German Elections)...

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    - "Concerning Afghanistan, as NATO just announced that it currently prepares a Study on what really happened and what should have been done, wouldn't it be a good idea Also for EuroCorps to use its valuable Experience on the spot, in order to prepare a Report from a European point of View ?", "Eurofora" asked the New Commander, General Vogelaere, during the ensuing Press Conference.    

    (Indeed, "EuroCorps" has been Twice Involved in Afghanistan, on 2004-2005 and 2012-2013, including as the Head of the International Force's Chief of Staff, and Devogelaere personaly participated there several times. On this occasion, a French former Commander had already spotted f.ex. the particular issue of Women and Young Girls' Human Rights under a Taliban regime, as being of a potential key importance for the Future. [Comp. many Replies by EuroCorps' Heads a.o. to "Eurofora"'s Questions on Afghanistan, f.ex. at http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsinafganistan.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/lisbonrightsdefence.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frenchdefenceministerlonguetoneupolicy.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/irish/sarkomerkeldealswithobama2009.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/natobama.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsafghaistanlibya.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsroleafterafghanistan.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpscommandersoneuautonomytools.html, etc]. Meanwhile, current President Biden's clumsy management of Afghanistan issue, with Talibans taking over very Rapidly, ISIS Killing more tha 100 People, including 13 American POWS, etc; made him Fall Down to 44% against 51% for former POTUS Trump at the Polls, shortly before Crucial forthcoming Mid-Term Elections, later this Autumn 2021).

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    - "This Army Headquarters, that we dispose, is there for European Union's benefit", stressed , as a matter of General Principle, EuroCorps' New Chief, from the outset of his Reply to the above-mentiond "Eurofora"s Question). "Sometimes, there are elements of Studies, or of support, on certain aspects".

    => "And we ("EuroCorps") are Ready to Work Together, and give our Appreciations and thoughts on certain key points. So, that's Possible, i.e. to Give our Opinion, as an Army Headquarters", he Positively ensured, on the occasion of Afghanistan).

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    +"EuroFora" went on to point out that, "Recently, your collegues in the USA created a Space Force, which became very Popular. Concerning Europe, could f.ex. EuroCorps, at least, include the use of Space Technologies in your Training ?", we Asked.

    (Indeed, US Polls revealed that Space Force, created by former POTUS Donald Trump, was one among the Most Favored Issues by the American People on 2020)...

    -"It's not our vocation", at least until now. "We are mainly a Land-setting Army Headquaters, and we are not yet involved in such kind of developments". So,  "for the time being, in Europe, it's, particularly, at the level of several Member States that the First concrete Initiatives in that direction already exist". he modestly but prospectively highlighted.         

    + "But, don't you use, at least, Galileo (Space Geo-Localisation) and several other Space Technologies already in your current work ?", "Eurofora" wondered.       

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    - Indeed, "we are dealing, f.ex., with AirBorn Integration, which is absolutely normal, (in addition to Sea Naval operations), etc. But Not Yet on the Space area as such", EuroCorps New Leader, carefuly added, (apparently open to eventual developments in the foreseable Future)...

    ("EuroCorps"' wider Mission to Become, sooner or later, a "Pluri-Modal" Force, able to use Land, Air, Sea, and -why not ? also Space- Links and relevant Technologies, had been Strongly Underlined during an Earlier Top-Level Event in Strasbourg, including Defense Ministers. [See, f.ex. at ..., etc]. And Recently, "EuroCorps" was Trained on the "Renewal" of its "Command, Control and Information System", as General Burkhard observed Today. But, according to what had Told us anOther Experienced former Army General, working as EADS' Top Expert, the Most Important "3C" Lacuna in Europe's necessary Capabilities that would allow it to have a full "Autonomous" Defense, was the Lack of an "Early Warning System", based on Earth Observation from Space, able to give Timely and Clear Alerts Warning about Risks of Attacks from Nearby Geo-Localized Hostile Forces, [f.ex. by Analysing Photos revealing the Chemical Reactions of Rockets Launching, etc]).  

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    However, in parallel, anOther, Earth to Earth, Important Developement, recently, seems to be "EuroCorps" New Trend towards an Enhanced Attractivity :

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    Indeed, Both the currently Outgoing and Incoming "EuroCorps"' Chiefs, Lieutenant Generals Colodjiej (France) and Devogelaere (Belgium) had a Valuable Experience in  working together with Other European Countries : (Colodjiej at London, UK, assuming later also the role of International Relations' Head in the French Army, while Devogelaere studied and worked extensively in Germany, including at the prestigious "Führungs-Akademie", etc), while they also served in "HotSpots" as Lebanon, Mali, and Others accross the World.

    => This coincides, Nowadays, with the expected Enlargement of "EuroCorps"' fully_fledged core "Framework Nations", (France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg), also to Poland, that Gneral Devogelaere Expects to be Realized "towards the Beginning of Next Year : 2022", since "Both the Polish themselves and all Other Nations very much Wish to do so", as he stressed at Today's Press Conference).

    But it's also Austria, which has Just recently Joined the Group of "EuroCorps"' simply "Associated Nations", (currently : Italy, Romania, Greece, Poland and Turkey), represented by a "Liaison Officer" in Strasbourg, as the Organisations' Head Press Officer, Marie-Luise Skura, reminded "Eurofora" Today.

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    All this, Obviously, "Strengthens <<EuroCorps'>> European and International Basis", as the Chief of the "Change of Command" Ceremony, French Army's Head, General Burkhard, stressed Today : An almost Necessary move of GeoPolitical Adjustmment, since a Realy "European" Force could Not leave Out an EU's  Central Core Nation as Ausstria, while Keeping Turkey, which naturaly concerns "EuroCorps" 2nd role, Also as an efficient NATO tool in certain cirumstances : Indeed, after having recently been Certified and Served as a NATO's Rapid Reaction Force on 2020 (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsandnatoonlibya.html, etc), "EuroCorps" is Also due to Become, on 2024, even a "NATO's Joint Task Force HQ", as General Burkhard observed, (a move that Devogelaere said to have been "Well Prepared" by his Predecessors).

    Before that, "EuroCorps" will finalize its current "European Training Missions" in Mali and Central Africa, with the participation of General Devogelaere himself on the spot, as he announced at Today's Press Conference.

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    +Meanwhile, the departing former EuroCorps' Chief, General Laurent Colodjiej (2019-2021), speaking at the same Press Conference, observed that he was Glad to have Led such a "Unique" Army HeadQuarters as "EuroCorps", particularly Based in Strasbourg, at the Heart of Europe, with a Franco-German Culture and inspiring "European Citizenship".

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    General Colodjiej, who was promoted Today as "Commander of the Legion of Hounour", by decision of French President Macron, in a moving Ceremony here, on the occasion of his Retirement from the Army in general, had, apparently, eyed quite well a quite astonishing phenomenon : Indeed, Both a Young French Lady, Graduate of Strasbourg University, and a Sportif Middle-Age German former School-Teacher, who Kindly Helped "Eurofora", as "EuroCorps"' Press Officers, in various practical ways, during and after the Official Ceremony, were, in fact, "Reservists", as they told us : I.e. EU Citizens accepting to Offer their Various Acquired Capabilities to the service of European Defense... Our German interlocutor even told us that he could do so up to 10 Months per Year, and had followed "EuroCorps" during a so Long Period of Time as ..."since 1993", i.e., by a Striking Coincidence, as Long as "Eurofora"'s co-Founder himself !...

    A Previous Top-Level Conference in Strasbourg had, already, throroughly Analyzed and Theorized the Recent Development of such a Strategy,, resolutely Aiming to regularly Attract various Qualified, Experienced, and Motivated People, to such a Voluntary Service to National and/or European Defense. => European Citizens, are they a precious "New Weapon", due to considerably Strengthen the Defense of Europe in the foreseable Future ?

 

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(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.


    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.


- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.


 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).


     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.

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Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.


-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.


    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.

***

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