Categorie archief: Verdieping

Aan de krijgsmacht te verbinden onderwerpen. Uiteindelijk hebben alle maatschappelijke en internationale gebeurtenissen gevolgen voor onze veiligheid. En dus ook voor onze krijgsmacht.

The Christian faith… and military.

I have written before about the Christian faith… and military. I wrote about Human rights and the lack of freedom to express in Western Europe.. Especially in countries like the Netherlands. I wrote about Humanity in warfare... a totally Christian view on warfare. This not only means military should act according to the “civilized” Geneva convention of war and refugees.

“You follow the rules of war for you — not your enemy. You fight by rules to keep your humanity.”

Ofcourse also Christian military, Kings, knights, popes, peasants from the highest levels to the lowest haven´t always behaved according these rules of war. Most times we can trace these atrocities and acts of war back to one simple thing: Greed. The pope who wages war because he want to expand his empire. Christian (German) soldiers who industrial gassed and murdered Jewish and other different peoples. A medieval king who butchers Muslim soldiers who surrendered.. all examples of the same problem.

Different levels, same Greed
We can see the problems above on different levels. We see Whole countries acting like this, we see individuals with power.. Kings, Pope’s and so on… and individuals without “power” but still be able to follow there own interest. An interesting example is King David, who Sends Moab to war to be killed so he can take Moab’s wife.

14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”

26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him.27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the Lord.

Not God who did it or commanded it! Though these days God always has done it… while the I-God (you, yourself and I) have no stake in it, right?

You as an individual
My personal advise to people who are Christian and want to serve in the military: Look into what plan God has for you. God, in my opinion, isn’t against soldiers, military or even politicians… What he is against… what displeases Him… is when you use your position as a soldier or politician (or whatever) to your own interest, lusts and greed. (Yes all those I-god things so important these days. So in fact God and Christianity are totally opposite to the current western worldview.

Countries & empires
And that creates a problem… You yourself can act according these rules and do good, wherever you go. But what about politics, governments and the military chain of command? What if the Government of (in this case the Netherlands… but what about the United States or Great Britain?) uses it’s military force not to defend their peoples, or help people in distress. But just to take… raw materials, increase their influence or  secure economic market place.. in (post) occupied countries.

Yes this is a sidestep… but an important one: Again the JSF is an example.. it reflects the mindset… also reflected in the TTIP world domination deal.

Watch this movie complete. it’s about 10 minutes but it goes from important words from President Eisenhower.. to former US Army General Wesley Clark. (Here you can find the written speech of President Eisenhower.)

I will try to post a blog in the near future about this movie.

Some fragments.. which are important to realize: the corrupted society. I see these changes in society – drifting away from God… and at the same time, the greed, and power grabbing we did, and the increase of differences between rich (us) and the poor (others, you know what I’m talking about. This is the reality of today! This is what President Eisenhower warned us about:

…we yet realize that America’s leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.

Throughout America’s adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people.

First of all, Im curious about the Current President’s farewell address. Will he talk about God like this. His behavior the last couple of years are totally the opposite to this way of thinking. Time for a new Eisenhower like POTUS i would say. (but whom could that be? I fear the worst with the current democrat and republican candidates……..

Biblical vision about military
The bible gives high accounts of military people. The Centurion, for example which amazes Jesus with his faith: “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith”. 

The Faith of the Centurion

8:5-13pp — Lk 7:1-10

5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 

6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” 

7 Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.” 

8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 

9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 

10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith”. 

Also Paul writes and says a lot about soldiers. About their discipline, about their weapons and other gear. About fighting the (good) fight. And conquering evil.

Most western military forces these days have good equipped and good disciplined trained forces. They are used for the good, they are operating in countries to help people. Unfortunately a lot of those operations are realy meant to support other means. The interests of some politicians, some officers some industrialists. Like the position we god thanks to our rather large deployment to Uruzgan in Afghanistan. Our government at the time was invited to the G20, Our former minister of Foreign Affairs received in the same period of time his new job as Secretary General of the NATO. Coincidence? The results are clear, the have been 25 soldiers killed, 140 wounded, we lost a lot of vehicles and aircraft (1 F16, 1 Apache and two Chinook) And The Defense organization ate itself out because the deployment was to big for the people and budget our government wants to spend on defense. A Dutch saying says:”they wanted to sit for a dime on the first row”… Ad now, some 5 years after this mission our armed forces still feels the problems. And did the mission succeed?  Yes we build a lot of facilities for the local population, we promoted democracy we gave medical support. But does it still function? Was it worth it? Was it worth for our people to chat within the G20 for as long as it lasted?

Once again, I don’t want to be Anti-American but I do want to say that their interests aren’t always the same as the Dutch (peoples) interests. Our governments, especially those with CDA and VVD onboard, keep selling our interests in the interest of the United States. Why? What’s the benefit for us, the people?  Defense and military force should be used for one thing, and for one thing only. Helping and defending people of evil countries and evil organizations / individuals who don’t care for people. If used for the good – military forces can be a means to do this. And to do so: To keep the peace is to prepare for war! My biblical motto is from Isaiah 1 vs 17:And I would love to have this taken over by any Dutch government, military commander and soldier from now on!

Isaiah 1:17

17 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of th

Humanity in warfare

This is an historic article.

Could it be that we need that knowledge for our Future defence? Because that’s why I write the DutchForce21 blog now isn’t it?
I think we need it now, more than ever. Because with the tools (ahum … weapons) we now have at our disposal the killing.. from large distances, without any feeling and empathy in the real battle takes us into a new dimension of warfare.

Also why we fight wars… With other things at stake than defending our homeland and our people (no instead we sometimes fight for financial gains of certain rich people, we build a JSF superior like “force (if you can call that as such..)  costing  billions this concept is the “high-tech low boots on the ground“ or just  “first strike force”. In my opinion this is no more than nice marketing talk, just meant to to sell the damn planes and sell an enormous support package and earn money for flying the aircraft which costs about € 30.000 per flying hour… And then we have very expensive smart weaponry… now used to fight IS in Syria and Iraq. Some quote that it costs (the US and Allies) about $ 300.000,00 an hour to bomb IS targets….

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for more info about the cost read this article from the Atlantic: $300,000 an Hour_ The Cost of Fighting ISIS – Global – The Atlantic

Now to the interesting historical article:

German pilot in WWII spared an American B-17 pilot over Germany only to reunite 40 years later and become fishing buddies

Stigler pressed his hand over the rosary he kept in his flight jacket. He eased his index finger off the trigger. He couldn’t shoot. It would be murder.

Stigler wasn’t just motivated by vengeance that day. He also lived by a code. He could trace his family’s ancestry to knights in 16th century Europe. He had once studied to be a priest.

A German pilot who spared the enemy, though, risked death in Nazi Germany. If someone reported him, he would be executed.

Yet Stigler could also hear the voice of his commanding officer, who once told him:

“You follow the rules of war for you — not your enemy. You fight by rules to keep your humanity.”

Alone with the crippled bomber, Stigler changed his mission. He nodded at the American pilot and began flying in formation so German anti-aircraft gunners on the ground wouldn’t shoot down the slow-moving bomber. (The Luftwaffe had B-17s of its own, shot down and rebuilt for secret missions and training.) Stigler escorted the bomber over the North Sea and took one last look at the American pilot. Then he saluted him, peeled his fighter away and returned to Germany.

“Good luck,” Stigler said to himself. “You’re in God’s hands.”

Just a short fragment from the article explaining the code.

The code is designed to protect the victor, as well as the vanquished, French says.

“People think of the rules of war primarily as a way to protect innocent civilians from being victims of atrocities,” she says. “In a much more profound sense, the rules are there to protect the people doing the actual fighting.”

The code is designed to prevent soldiers from becoming monsters. Butchering civilians, torturing prisoners, desecrating the enemies’ bodies — are all battlefield behaviors that erode a soldier’s humanity, French says.

The code is ancient as civilization itself. In Homer’s epic poem, “The Iliad,” the Greek hero Achilles breaks the code when his thirst for vengeance leads him to desecrate the body of his slain foe, the Trojan hero Hector.

“There is something worse than death, and one of those things is to completely lose your humanity.”

Could this be what makes “us” different from monsters like IS? We all see the youtube clips about people set to fire, or peoples in a mass grave.

We as westerners don’t do such things now do we? We don’t build isolation sells, we don’t humiliate people by letting them be naked all day or what other things you could think of to humiliate your enemy…  No we as westerners don’t do that. We have the Geneva code of conduct.

But then again, what about drone killings? Could it be that we as the West loose our moral standards as well? Maybe even when we loose our Christianity?

In “peace” we loose our principles of the worth of Life, we take life’s from unborn children if we like. we take the life’s of people who are old,  or just not willing to live anymore. Could it be we (as westerners) loose our humanity by loosing our Christianity?

“There is something worse than death, and one of those things is to completely lose your humanity.”

What’s this warrior code about? In my opinion it’s about doing to others how you would like others do towards you.

Luke 6 vs 31

And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them. 

taken from the Holy bible. this chapter has a very interesting title:

Love Your Enemies

27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.
30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.
31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.
35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.
36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
need I say more? Maybe a little bit more than. Some verses are/where used by people not to fight as Christians, they want to sit idly by and watch. But what about the responsibility God gave us to protect the innocent, the poor and widows and orphan’s ?  What about the comands God gave the people of Israel when they entered the holy land? What about the task we have to fight evil like ISIS represents in the most clear form. (They could be compared to SS and Orcs, no humanity at all) I think we (as Christians especially) do!

Islamic State murders real innocent people: EU has a Responsibility to protect

We see heart breaking events unfold… for months now, we knew they were happening in Syria. And yet Dutch Foreign Minister Timmermans could only mention that Iraq had freedom of religion in its constitution.

  1. Come again? I earlier made notion of Timmermans response to injustice worldwide. With only interest in some particular unjustice in some countries. At the moment we are the people doing nothing. We see it happen and go on holiday, and ignoring it. We do accept Islamist hatred of the same ISIS during protests in the Hague and Amsterdam. We ignore it al to well.

Responsibility to protect
DutchForce21 is saddened by the news that Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)[i], have overrun Iraqi security and armed forces and effectively control the city of Mosul. A city which previously held a large Christian minority[ii] which happened to live in relative peace with her Muslim neighbours. ISIS terrorists directly labelled Christian houses and buildings, and summoned them to either, convert, pay extra “protection tax” (Dhimmi) leave or be killed. Christian decided to flee to a safer place. And thankfully such a safer place is there thanks to the people of Kurdistan. Besides that ISIS after a couple of days stand at the gates of Baghdad. It kills everybody who do not want to bow down for their worldview, they sell (Christian) woman as sex slaves, they do whatever God has forbidden… yet they are allowed in the name of Jihad. That’s in Iraq.. and Syria.

Learn from the past
Recent history is repeating itself over and over again. Both European and US governments decisions to support, arm and train Islamist militant groups in their “struggle” to free themselves from “dictatorship” The Arab (or Islamist) spring received support of many European governments as they argued it would force those Arab countries to open up for democracy. In some cases European governments and the US decided to support the newly formed resistance groups made up of several types of organisations. These organizations varied from liberal secular groups to Islamist groups. Support of European Governments and the US varied from political pressure on existing governments to  military intervention in Libya. As we now know large amounts of weapons stockpiled by Khadafy and the Libyan army where stolen from their barracks and transported to many places where we have heart about the last couple of years. Heavy weapons, anti-aircraft missiles and anti-tank weapons were transported and used in Mali, Gaza, Central African Republic and Syria. With many civil casualties as a consequence.

Besides this there where many other forms of support which now have very big consequences for Europe and the existence of Christians and non-Muslim freedoms in the whole Middle-East and Arab peninsula.  It is very bad to hear that what is happening now is a direct consequence of decisions taken by several EU member states, the US, Saudi Arabia (and other Sunni majority countries) to support, train and equip these so called (Islamist) resistance groups. These governments should have learnt from their past mistakes (not so long ago) of doing the same to Al Qaida[iii] which happened to be a CIA sponsored organization to fight the Russian invaders of Afghanistan to balance power.  The same thing has been done in several Middle Eastern, African, Asian and former Soviet Union states, almost all have gone terribly wrong. 9/11 is just one example…  And still the Western governments keep on supporting islamist groups, training them with special warfare tactics and weaponry.  At the same time, many “young” Muslim people living in Europe and the rest of the Western countries like America, Australia and Canada are inspired by these fundamentalist groups and do their utmost to joining them in the fight for an Islamist Caliphate. The amount of violence and sectarian murderous behaviour is frightening to say it softly. Numbers of European citizens taking part in these massacres vary but around 3.000 should be a very moderate estimate.

Europe has a responsibly to protect

  • Firstly because as mentioned above we bear responsibility for our governments support of the Arab Spring, our bombings, training delivery of weapons and our money donated to these terrorist groups.
  • Secondly because Europe claims to protect Human dignity, freedom rights and freedom of religion, expression and conscience.
  • Thirdly because our own interests benefit of a safe world with free waterways and delivery of goods, raw materials and other resources.
  • Fourthly because Kurdish forces secure not only area’s in Iraq against ISIS/ISIL extremist invasion, they also do this in Syria. In both cases they protect innocent people and minorities.

We (the European citizens) must recognise that:

  • It is ultimately possible that Iraq (as we know it) no longer exists and is not coming back;
  • Theoretical concepts of sustaining Iraq as a country, whatever the cost, will be counterproductive, what is needed is a recognition of the immediate situation that does not change if we do nothing;
  • There are great differences between Sunni and Shi’ites respectively led by Saudi Arabia and Iran, both countries must do their utmost to deliver a peaceful and long-lasting solution, with respect for the position of the Kurds and also of religious minorities in their respective area of influence.
  • Sunni tribal leaders and factions cooperate with ISIS, but we realize that many Sunnis also are victims of this situation.
  • That the future of the Kurds and Shi’ites in the south are two different realities;
  • The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)for years now, has proven to be an effective and functioning administrative and constructive autonomous region which is fully capable of self-supporting under normal circumstances;
  • the deployment of the Peshmerga has been successful in their military operations and they have shown restraint in their operations and executed primarily defensive missions;
  • The Kurdish people at this moment form the only “safe-Haven” in the whole region where Christians and other minorities (like the Sjabak) can live in freedom of religion, expression and conscience.

Ways to respond :

  1. Stop all training, funding and equipping activities of European secret services and military in the whole of Africa, Arabia and middle eastern countries. Force Turkey – as a candidate EU member state to do the same.
  2. Europe should recognise the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Kurdistan as an autonomous area at very short notice and start talks with their leaders in order to give the region a future, and also to provide them with proper care for the displaced minorities and the necessary security. They now already support almost half a million displaced people[iv]. Europe could:
    1. Deliver medical equipment, accommodations, physical and mental support.
    2. Take care of seriously injured people
    3. Support medical care of Kurdish civil and military casualties
    4. Take delivery of Kurdish oil and increase commercial activities.
  3. Create Self Administration Security Area’ (SASA) in area’s secured by Kurdish security forces both in Syria and Iraq.
  4. Support military/security operations of Peshmerga forces in the areas of operation on order to secure the harmless and innocent. The available means are: supply of spares and ammunition and (Close) Air Support.

Military support
Military support is possible because there is a fundamental difference between Peshmerga[v] and the mentioned terrorist organisations previously or still supported by western governments.

Support options:

  1. Training and armaments: This shouldn’t be a priority The Peshmerga is already a well trained and fairly modern equipped fighting force with combat experience. They also have sufficient manpower. As part of the Iraqi army, they have 30,000 men. But in total it could well be. Around 200,000. The current situation wont demand a boots on the ground solution unless required for target designation. Peshmerga has indicated on capabilities to designate. Targets
  2. Ammunition / components:. What Peshmerga has indicated is they are in need of sufficient ammunition and other supplies.
  3. (Close) Air support: the most effective way of operating, and also saves the Kurds lives and casualties. The EU and its member states have a duty to protect their lives as much as possible by providing (Close) Air Support. They now the situation on the ground, they now the targets of ISIS/ISIL and the places where innocent people are positioned[vi].

DutchForce21 is convinced that our fellow Christian brothers and sisters must be secured. And see just that done by the Kurdish forces both in Syria and Iraq. They are doing what should be the responsibility of the rest of the world, including Europe and its member countries. Dutchforce21 therefore demands that the EU and our US allies will take a firm response by supporting and helping the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in their efforts to secure Iraqi and Syrian Christians and other minorities. It is our responsibility to protect! 

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Mr. Timmermans, your Human Rights policy document is totaly WRONG!

Although we can give Minister of Foreign Affairs many credits for the (sometimes even personal) way he handles the MH17 case these days, I also want to point once more on his unfair and unjust policy document Human rights policy – Justice and respect for all

“Almost 75% of the worlds population lives in high levels of government restrictions on freedom of religion or belief.”

Download it here! And spread it around! Say Yes to Justice and Human Rights:

Yes to Human rights – ALL Human Rights/Human rights for ALL!

The Report.

To Download the Report, Please Click Here

APPG Report Cover

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on International Religious Freedom is pleased to release its first report that presents an overview of what freedom of religion and belief in international law, what forms its abuse around the world takes today, how the British government has engaged with the issue and what it can do further to advance this fundamental right.

The report has been written on behalf of the APPG by Professor Malcolm Evans, Professor Javaid Rehman, Ziya Meral, Dr Nazila Ghanea, Katherine Cash and Dr Sean Oliver-Dee.


And we now there is another International partner who actually thinks MFA Timmermans is wrong: Im not only talking about oppressed Christians here, there are many people who suffer, also other religions too.

The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor leads the U.S. efforts to promotedemocracy, protect human rights and international religious freedom, and advancelabor rights globally.

Well I must say that in my opinion President Obama has not for one time did anything for people oppressed for their faith, he works together with Saudi Arabia, one of the most repressing regimes in the world, he supports several armed groups in Libia and Syria who now turn out to be fundamentalist Christian and other minorities killing groups. He doesn’t seem to care about the abduction of two Orthodox bishops near Aleppo either. In short you never hear him speak about it… ow, sorry…. just once together with his wife. When a group of about 200 Christian schoolgirls where abducted by Boko Haram… But then talked about just plain girls…. Not Christian. #bringbackourgirls

But at least the State department does have its intelligence and analytic capabilities which point to this conclusion in their International Religious Freedom Report for 2013:

In 2013, the world witnessed the largest displacement of religious communities in recent memory. In almost every corner of the globe, millions of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and others representing a range of faiths were forced from their homes on account of their religious beliefs. Out of fear or by force, entire neighborhoods are emptying of residents. Communities are disappearing from their traditional and historic homes and dispersing across the geographic map. In conflict zones, in particular, this mass displacement has become a pernicious norm.

Howe come MFA Timmermans didn’t come to that conclusion? and instead focused solely on the LGBT and their advocates safety worldwide? Wile this is the most common violation of peoples lives, freedoms and future.

Read the whole article and the link to the report here!

Katholiek stemadvies

Weliswaar niet specifiek over Defensie.. maar wel passend in het grotere kader waar ook DutchForce21 voor bedoeld is.

No strings attached?

BjFkumUCMAEPIVi

The recent news about Russia’s handling of the Crimean crisis – The annexation of the Crimean peninsula, threats towards the rest of Ukraine and several other EU and NATO member states (with “Russian related minorities”) – looks like a well planned and easy executed plan.  Strangely enough just weeks after the fantastic and “joyful” Olympic games just a couple of km over the border… It almost looks like an enormous cover- up operation. Keeping the west busy, preoccupied mainly with the Antigay laws in Russia. But not so much with human rights in general, Howe come? LGBT and other Liberal western (US + EU) where trying to do their utmost to raise attention for their “personal” interest. LGBT propaganda

Double standards?
Here a fragment of Dutch television program the “world turns through” (DWDD) where Paul de Leeuw told that every Dutch person going to the Olympic games should (MUST) be against this and protest there! He said: “I want respect!” the next thing he did was: change the text of Y.M.C.A of the Village People into ‘It’s fun to stay at the I am so gay’. Followed by the number ‘I Want to break free’ from Queen. The third number was: Putin? Who the fuck is Putin?.. not really sounding respectful isn’t it?   In other countries we see the same things. Demanding respect.. While not respecting others or other opinions… but all related to LGBT…

According to available statistics, the most frequent victims of group-biased hate speech violence in the EU are the Catholic Church and its faithful. With this I do not refer to “normal” cases of theft or vandalism, but to incidents in which anti-Christian hatred is the primary motivation.

In many cases, the perpetrators of such crimes are self-styled women’s rights or gay rights activists. For them, such incidents are an easy way to gain public attention. The risk of criminal prosecution, let alone meaningful sanctions, appears to be very small. Besides the incident in Bologna, recent cases in the EU include the assault of gay rights activists against the Archbishop of Brussels and the desecration of a Church in Rome. In Latin America, similar incidents were recently reported fromSantiago de Chile and from the Argentinian cities of Buenos AiresLa PlataSan Juan del Cuyo andPosadas.

The answer to the question: “Putin? Who the fuck is Putin?” is very obvious: Putin is one hell of a chess player!

1517560_672546266121469_718952749_n

No to Violence!
Of course I’m against all forms of violence. Violence from Rusian government or anti gay organizations, against certain people (in this case LGBT) nor violence by LGBT protesters against other minded people like elderly priests….

What I am against is that some people tell “us” that one issue ((LGBT) is more important than others.. e.g.:

  1. Syrian refugee’s,
  2. Killing of Christians in Nigeria by Boko Haram,
  3. keeping North Korean people  imprisoned and brainwashed. (btw also killing people when they supposed to be Christians),
  4. Suppressing Kurdish people by Turkish government (isn’t that the same thing they say Israël is doing?)
  5. Turkey number two: unlawful annexation of Northern Cyprus.
  6. China: annexation and “using” Tibet… and several other area’s contested..
  7. China, again: Bullying and suppressing smaller ASEAN countries n the SE Chinese Sea?
  8. Attacking/invading of a sovereign nation (Ukraine)?

Yes to Human rights – ALL Human Rights!
A prime-minister of Turkey who puts away an international well respected (NATO and EU collegues) military officer-corps of some 320 officers incl (retired) generals without a personal trial, based on unclear “proof” the same for critical Journalists in the same country… And yet we see our (LGBT-loving minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans saying wonderfull things about Turkey joining the EU.. and the fantastic progress it has made to reach “EU” standards…)

The same minister Timmermans wrote a new Human Rights whitepaper to lay down a new Foreign Policy on Human Rights. All human rights used to be equally important but not for our FM Timmermans. No he prioritizes the rights of some over others. The title of the whitepaper therefore is strange to say the least: Human rights policy – Justice and respect for allJoel Voordewind MP of the Christian Union wrote an opinion article (GT) on this matter. I quote this fragment:

“The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion is probably the most precious of all human rights.” This statement is Arcot Krishnaswami, the UN Special Protractor on the prevention of discrimination and protection of minorities.

The Human Rights whitepaper of Minister Timmermans is thus at odds, as evidenced by the headline ” Freedom of religion is no longer a priority . ” According to the press release of the Minister, the protection of human rights defenders, those who stand up for the  rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and standing up for equal rights for women will be a priority. Freedom of religion is lacking in that list. The paper thus seems to suggest that you can shop within the whole catalog of human rights.

Just compare the ammount of attention in the document between LGBT, Women-rights, SRHR compared to : Freedom of religion and belief…while it looks to me that it is factual proven that there are far more people who suffer disrespect, mistreatment and even murder because they believe different that they supposed to believe.. and realy read the “chapter about this freedom of religion and belief… its more about having the right NOT to believe at all.. and look at the first sentence.. people are  severely restricted… well in fact people are killed for their believes, they are taken in prisson, they are murdered by their familymembers. Just ask Open Doors International and these are only prosecuted Christians, let alone all other beliefs..

3.6 Freedom of religion and belief

Three-quarters of the world population live in countries in which freedom of religion and belief is severely restricted by state or non-state actors. The Netherlands stands by the principle that every individual must have the freedom to express his or her identity, as informed by religious or other beliefs: this includes the right to hold theist, non-theist or atheist convicti­ons and the right to change one’s faith. The Netherlands champions the separation of church and state, and opposes any restrictions imposed on the rights of children, LGBT people or women in the name of religious or traditional values. The government holds fast to an inclusive approach to human rights, without the exclusion of any specific group. After all, human rights apply to all, and excluding a particular group can undermine the universality of human rights. (Editorial: Isn’t this a Contradictio in terminis?)

• In multilateral forums, the Netherlands seeks to promote freedom of religion and belief and opposes any action that could undermine it.

• The Netherlands pursues a bilateral enhanced policy focus in the sphere of freedom of religion in certain countries: China, Egypt, India and Kazakhstan (since 2009), and Armenia, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan and Sudan (since 2012)

This is the FULL Chapter on Freedom of religion and belief, page 35, a half page; compare it to the rest. Who wrote this paper? looks like. sponsored by…..!

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The Future of China’s Expeditionary Operations

Originally posted on the site Seidlers Sicherheitspolitik“. This article was published there at first. Written by Felix F. Seidler. Felix is a fellow at the Institute for Security Policy, University of Kiel, Germany and runs the site Seidlers Sicherheitspolitik“.

China’s maritime top priorities will remain in the East and South China Seas. Nevertheless, extended expeditionary ambitions are real. However, more assertive Chinese behavior on blue-waters does not mean that great power conflict is inevitable. Coming East Asia Summits may be a forum for finding solutions.

Soviet_Navy_Bases_1984-e1392589207263

Global Soviet naval presence in the 1980s

Back to the USSR?
China does not seek an overseas presence as the Soviets did in the 1980s. They simply cannot do it, yet. The USSR needed decades to establish a global naval presence. For China, it would not be different. However, the world is watching how China is on the march to reach the status of a ‘medium global force projection navy’, comparable to the British and French. In terms of numbers, but not in terms of quality, Beijing’s navy has already surpassed Paris’ and London’s and the naval armament goes on:

During 2013 alone, over fifty naval ships were laid down, launched, or commissioned, with a similar number expected in 2014. Major qualitative improvements are occurring within naval aviation and the submarine force, which are increasingly capable of striking targets hundreds of miles from the Chinese mainland. — Jesse L. Karotkin, “Trends in China’s naval modernization – US China economic and security review commission testimony“, p. 1.

Moreover, ‘medium global force projection navy’ does not necessarily mean, that there are warships in all oceans. It means that China could globally project power on one or two theaters simultaneously, if its’ political masters so decide. Besides the question, whether a Chinese naval presence outside the Pacific really would have a serious impact, political prestige must be taken into account. Britain’s Indian Ocean presence does not make a difference. However, London decides to go there, just because they can and to pretend that Britain is still a global power. Beijing’s political and military elites might feel the same way. Often criticized is China’s military bureaucracy and corruption. However, for naval power projection, it does not matter, whether Chinese officers in Xingjang or Tibet are corrupt Maoist bureaucrats.

The People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN) second aircraft carrier is under construction. Given a six years construction time, the new carrier will be commissioned in the early 2020s. Present reports say, moreover, that China aims to build in total at least four carriers. However, except a research program for nuclear-propulsion, there is yet no credible evidence that one of the carriers will be nuclear-powered.

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PLAN carrier strike group

PLAN carrier strike groups
Accompanied by two destroyers, two frigates and two submarines, China’s carrier has been deployed for the first time to the South China Sea. Militarily, Liaoning’s trip may just have been an exercise. Politically, however, it was a clear message from Beijing: Our carrier can go to the South China Sea and we are there to stay. This has been the first “show of force” by a Chinese carrier strike group. More will follow. Simple exercises could have been done in closer home waters.

However, the more China invests in carriers, the less money will be available for other capabilities, like cruise missiles or submarines. Criticism on carrier acquisition often ignores that, after World War II, carriers have not been used in open sea-battle between major powers. Instead, carrier operations were always targeted on weaker countries or the support of land operations. Due to the lack of combat experience, the Chinese would never act that irrational that they would try to take on a US carrier strike group in open battle. If they would, it would end up in a slaughter. Chinese carriers would primarily go for show-of-missions targeted on inferior Indo-Pacific states, like Vietnam or the Philippines.

Moreover, in the earthquake, typhoon and volcano plagued Indo-Pacific, Chinese carriers are much more likely to go for disaster relief, rather than combat. Rather than fighting them, Chinese carriers will join their US counterparts in delivering water, food and medical care. Naval diplomacy and outreach to partners like Brazil will come along, too. However, wherever China’s carriers go, they will have ‘close friends’: US attack submarines.

Indian Ocean deployments
Since 2008, the PLAN has a permanent naval presence in the Indian Ocean. Officially, to fight piracy. However, side effect is the build-up of a new overseas presence. To understand what China could (not) do in the Indian Ocean it makes sense to look back what the Soviets did. Their naval presence in the Indian Ocean (late 1960s – 1991) was normally between 5-10 surface warships and a few submarines. However, there were no Soviet carrier operations, just due to the lack of carriers. Moscow’s intention were show of force, surveillance of US activities (like the SIGINT station on Diego Garcia) and, in case of war, open up an additional naval front to bind US capabilities, raid US supply lines and prevent US SSBN from striking Central Asia.

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An undated Chinese amphibious warship Changbaishan. Chinese state media claimed the ship was part a three ship flotilla that patrolled off the shore of Malaysia (Photo: Chinese Ministry of Defense).

China faces the same challenges as the Soviets did: Access through vulnerable choke points; no direct supply line by land and therefore the need for bases or port access; no air bases for immediate air support. In consequence, China’s approach would not be too different from the Soviet’s. Even though the Somali pirates are in retreat and international counter-piracy operations will be downsized, China is likely to somehow keep an Indian Ocean presence out of its national interests.

The recent Indian Ocean exercises of the Chinese LPD Changbaishan accompanied by two destroyers underline Beijing’s extended expeditionary ambitions. That one of the PLAN’s most sophisticated vessels was sent, henceforth, means that further intentions exist. However, for a real deployment such a squadron would need supply ships and tankers.

Nevertheless, in India China’s exercises caused concern about the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Beyond India, weaker Indo-Pacific countries like Sri Lanka, the Maldives, the Philippines and Vietnam were psychological targets of this show-of-force. In Australia, Changbaishan’s Indian Ocean tour led to the perception of a change its strategic environment. Although a quick and limited tour, the PLAN’s Indian Ocean exercises obviously already matter.

Thus, we will see at least one, probably two PLAN frigates or destroyers in the Indian Ocean accompanied by a supply ship, maybe even an LPD. Port access may be granted by Pakistan, Yemen, Sri Lanka or Kenya. Thereafter, the PLAN could increase its presence gradually based on the gained experience, e.g. ship refueling on open waters. However, that does not mean that China will start fighting in the Indian Ocean. The most likely missions are counter-piracy, military diplomacy, disaster relief, evacuation of Chinese citizens and contribution to other international operations.

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There are three 094 Jin Class SSBN parked at Hainan (Photo: China Defense Blog).

PLAN submarines, due to their operational range probably only SSN, will continue to operate in the Indian Ocean. However, different to the Soviets there will no Chinese SSBN west of Malacca Strait. Why send them straight into the range of Indian and US anti-submarine warfare capabilities? In home waters, the Chinese can protect their second strike capability with surface warships and air forces.

However, the good news is that China is not going to freeride on stability in Indian Ocean provided by others, namely the US. Beyond the discussions about conflict, China`s presence will contribute to safe and secure sea lanes and to stability in the wider Indian Ocean area. Simply because it is in China’s national interest.

Beyond the Indo-Pacific
After numerous friendly visits and an evacuation operation in Libya 2011, the PLAN is now engaged in a real operation in the Mediterranean. Together with Danish, Norwegian, British and Russian warships, one PLAN frigate is protecting Danish and Norwegian freighters transporting Syria’s chemical weapons to an US vessel for the c-weapons’ destruction. China’s Mediterranean deployment is hardly motivated by altruism to what Europeans call “international responsibility”. Instead, the Chinese are just taking any opportunity they get to gain more operational experience.

In addition, China was only be able to deploy to the Mediterranean due to its Indian Ocean presence. Nevertheless, it is remarkable that the PLAN operates in European homewaters from Cyprus, an EU member state. Interestingly, a Greek follower commented on Seidlers Sicherheitspolitik that EU is almost irrelevant in the Eastern Mediterranean. Given his’ perspective is right, China stepped into a vaccuum provided by Europe. That is how maritime power shifts become real. However, once Syria’s chemical weapons are destroyed, probably in late 2014 or early 2015, China’s Mediterranean presence will end.

Moreover, we have seen Brazilian-Chinese exercises in the South Atlantic. Brasilia and Beijing seem to be happy with their naval cooperation, which makes its extension very likely. However, except the cooperation will Brazil and some friendly port visits, the debate about a Chinese presence in the Atlantic has remained purely hypothetical – and it will remain so for long.

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Several People’s Liberation Army Navy Houbei missile boats.

Win wars without fighting
If Peaceful Rise ever was real, it is definitely over. China’s latest Defence White Paper said clearly that China aims to win local wars under the conditions of informationization. Moreover, the White Paper outlined that China would not attack first, but, if attacked, it would strike back. However, the White Paper left open what China considers an attack. An attack does not have to be kinetical strike, but rather China could consider other states’ activities in waters claimed by China as an attack on its national sovereignty.

After China’s soft power was ruined by not immediately responding to the need for disaster relief at the Philippines (they send their hospital ship very late and only after harsh criticism from abroad), China lets hard power speak. Obviously, Beijing came to the conclusion that it is time to openly pursue a more assertive track, including the use of military power, which does not necessarily mean the use of force.

While talking about Chinas’s military rise, many observers mistake the use of military power for use of military force. Using force is always is always inefficient, due to the costs involved. However, as Sun Tzu outlined, the most efficient way to win a war is not to fight it, but rather allocate military means in a way to enforce one’s will on the other side without firing a shot. That is what China is trying to do. They do not follow the Clausewitzi’an dictum of open war as politics by other means.

China’s recently established Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) can be considered as a test of this approach. They extended their sphere of influence also by the use of military power, but without the use of force. As the test worked quite well from Beijing’s perspective, an ADIZ in the South China Sea could follow. However, therefore China would need much more tanker aircraft for aerial refueling and aircraft carriers for enforcing an ADIZ in the southern South China Sea.

China is now actively seeking, with the use of military power as a mean among others, control over areas it has not controlled before. More assertive Chinese behavior and Japanese responses increase the likelihood of unintended conflicts. The US, Japan and South Korea will have to react on everything China is doing, because they have to save their faces. For that reason, maritime Asia needs a collective system of conflict prevention.

East Asia Summit: Forum for solutions
Maritime security will be a geopolitical top priority through this decade and beyond. In the 2020s, China and India, both with at least three aircraft carriers, will operate sophisticated blue-water navies. China will project power in the Indian Ocean, while India in response will demonstrate political will in the Western Pacific. Great power conflicts, with or without the use of military force, looms on the horizon, but is not inevitable. Therefore, maritime security will remain on forthcoming East Asia Summit’s (EAS) agendas.

Asian countries, in particular China and Japan, should agree to establish military-to-military hotlines for the opportunity to de-escalate unintended naval incidents. In case of conflict prevention mechanisms, formal treaties are unlikely, because they would be hard to ratify in all states involved. However, by programs for mutual trust building and collective eschewal from un-announced unilateral measures, the EAS could establish a consensus for an informal modus vivendi in maritime Asia. An informal modus vivendi’s greatest plus would be that such an approach would allow all sides to save their faces.

Moreover, resource exploration (oil, gas, fish, minerals) have to be put on the EAS’ agenda. With ongoing globalization, increasing population, rising wealth and economic growth, sea-borne trade will grow even further, making these global economic lifelines even more vital for everyone. Now under research, deep-sea mining in the Indian and Pacific Ocean is likely to start in the 2020s. Competition about these resources will lead to the necessity to discuss how conflict can be prevented and how these resources can be used in a way that all party’s interests are suited. If Asia manages to increase maritime interdependence in trade and resources among all countries and for mutual benefit, this makes armed conflict less likely. No country will strike its own lifelines.