John Kerry and Catherine Ashton

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry talks to EU foreign policy chief Ashton during a NATO foreign ministers meeting in BrusselsU.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton during a NATO foreign ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels

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Lessons from Boston Marathon Bombing

THE American nation is still in shock and grief after the killings of innocent people in Boston marathon explosions. The blasts hit several innocent people who were watching the climax of marathon from sidelines.
Several world leaders and the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon have condemned the attack. Killing of innocent people is heinous act and can’t provide justification to any cause. Delay in justice is denying justice.
Those involved in killing innocent people must be brought to justice immediately. The fact is that the US people rarely experienced such tragic incidents, while killings of innocent people are a daily routine in countries where US forces are operating. After the withdrawal of US forces, situation is still unstable in Iraq and killing of 40 to 50 people have become routine there.
Most of the people who lost their lives are innocent civilians, but the world community is silent. A record number of civilians most of them women and children have lost their lives in Afghanistan due to Nato bombardment and roadside bombings.
Earlier this month, a roadside bomb killed 17 civilians, mostly women and children, on their way to a wedding party in western Afghanistan.
Eleven innocent children lost their lives when NATO war planes mistakenly hit their homes. The civilian population is also paying a high price for US drone attacks in Pakistan. An attack on a religious seminary in South Waziristan killed 80 innocent children only a few years ago. The killing of Damadola seminary children in South Waziristan is still considered the worst in Pakistan’s tribal history.
In his recent statement, former US president Jimmy Carter has accepted that drones are targeting civilians. The blood of these innocent people is not any different from that of those killed in the Connecticut school tragedy.
The world community must raise its concern for these people who are paying a high price for US adventure in different countries.
 
KHAWAJA UMER FAROOQ
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
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The Warsaw Packt

The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance (1955–1991), more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty between eight communist states of Central and Eastern Europe in existence during the Cold War. The founding treaty was established under the initiative of the Soviet Union and signed on 14 May 1955, in Warsaw. The Warsaw Pact was the military complement to the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CoMEcon), the regional economic organization for the communist states of Central and Eastern Europe. The Warsaw Pact was a Soviet military reaction to the integration of West Germany[1] into NATO in 1955, per the Paris Pacts of 1954.[2][3][4]
 
Structure
The Warsaw Treaty’s organization was two-fold: the Political Consultative Committee handled political matters, and the Combined Command of Pact Armed Forces controlled the assigned multi-national forces, with headquarters in Warsaw, Poland. Furthermore, the Supreme Commander of the Unified Armed Forces of the Warsaw Treaty Organization was also a First Deputy Minister of Defense of the USSR, and the head of the Warsaw Treaty Combined Staff also was a First Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR. Therefore, although ostensibly an international collective security alliance, the USSR dominated the Warsaw Treaty armed forces.[5]

  Strategy

The strategy of the Warsaw Pact was dominated by the desire of the Soviet Union to prevent, at all costs, the recurrence of another large scale invasion of its territory by perceived hostile Western Bloc powers, akin to those carried out by the Swedish Empire in 1708, Napoleonic France in 1812, the Central Powers during the First World War and most recently by Nazi Germany in 1941. While each of these conflicts resulted in extreme devastation and large human losses the invasion launched by Hitler had been exceptionally brutal. The USSR emerged from the Second World War in 1945 with the greatest total casualties of any participant in the war, suffering an estimated 27 million killed along with the destruction of much of the nation’s industrial capacity. Eager to avoid a similar calamity in the future, the Soviet Union created the Warsaw Pact as means of establishing a series of buffer states, closely aligned with Moscow and serving to act as a political and military barrier between Russia’s vulnerable borders in Central and Eastern Europe and its potential enemies in the Western Bloc.

  History

 
On 14 May 1955, the USSR established the Warsaw Pact in response to the integration of the Federal Republic of Germany into NATO in October 1954 – only nine years after the defeat of Nazi Germany (1933–45) that ended with the Soviet and Allied invasion of Germany in 1944/45 during World War II in Europe. The reality was that a “Warsaw”-type pact had been in existence since 1939[citation needed], when Soviet forces (in alliance with Nazi Germany) initially occupied Central and Eastern Europe, and maintained there after the war. The Warsaw Pact merely formalized the arrangement.
The eight member countries of the Warsaw Pact pledged the mutual defense of any member who would be attacked; relations among the treaty signatories were based upon mutual non-intervention in the internal affairs of the member countries, respect for national sovereignty, and political independence. However, almost all governments of those members states were directly controlled by the Soviet Union.
For 36 years, NATO and the Warsaw Treaty never directly waged war against each other in Europe; the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies implemented strategic policies aimed at the containment of each other in Europe, while working and fighting for influence within the wider Cold War on the international stage.
 
In 1956, following the declaration of the Imre Nagy government of withdrawal of Hungary from the Warsaw Pact, Soviet troops entered the country and removed the government.
The multi-national Communist armed forces’ sole joint action was the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. All member countries, with the exception of the Socialist Republic of Romania and the People’s Republic of Albania participated in the invasion.
Beginning at the Cold War’s conclusion, in late 1989, popular civil and political public discontent forced the Communist governments of the Warsaw Treaty countries from power – independent national politics made feasible with the perestroika– and glasnost-induced institutional collapse of Communist government in the USSR.[6] In the event the populaces of Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Albania, East Germany, Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria deposed their Communist governments in the period from 1989–91.
 
On 25 February 1991, the Warsaw Pact was declared disbanded at a meeting of defense and foreign ministers from Pact countries meeting in Hungary.[7] On 1 July 1991, in Prague, the Czechoslovak President Václav Havel formally ended the 1955 Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance and so disestablished the Warsaw Treaty after 36 years of military alliance with the USSR. The treaty was de facto disbanded in December 1989 during the violent revolution in Romania that toppled the communist government there. Two years later, the USSR disestablished itself in December 1991. 
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Green on blue attacks in Afghanistan

British PMC with G36K and ANA soldier
According to the news, Afghan security forces killed six service members from the American-led military coalition in a series of attacks in southern Afghanistan.

These attacks were the latest in the long series of so called green on blue incidents (attacks on NATO forces by members of the Afghan security forces), or insider attacks.

Two British soldiers also lost their lives in a similar incident in Helmand province.

Insiders have become a big threat to the security and future of Afghanistan.

Only this year, 60 coalition force members have lost their lives in such attacks.

Increasing numbers of these attacks have also destroyed the US plan to hand over the security of major cities to Afghan forces after the departure of NATO from Afghanistan.

The US has also suspended the training of Afghan security forces, wanting more scrutiny.

According to media reports, social and cultural differences are the main cause of the recent divides between Afghan and coalition forces.

Due to a poor scrutiny process and a lack of information, insurgents can easily penetrate Afghan forces. Even high security locations are not safe from insurgent attacks.

Recent events prove that the security situation has gone bad to worse. An attack last month on Bagram air base with insurgent rocket damaged the plane of a top US general and more recently six US fighter jets were destroyed in an attack on the base where Prince Harry is stationed.

Three coalition refueling stations were also destroyed and six aircraft hangars were damaged, costing millions of dollars.

Khawaja Umer Farooq
Jeddah

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NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan



Honor guard of the Afghan National Army during...
Honor guard of the Afghan National Army during the 2011 commemoration of Afghan Independence Day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

According to media news, NATO closed more than 200 bases in Afghanistan and transferred nearly 300 others to local forces. Now, NATO is ready to hand over security responsibility to 
 

fghan forces. 


Due to the worst financial crises in the eurozone and the US, several countries can’t afford US war adventures in foreign countries and no country want to spend its taxpayers’ money on useless wars. New Zealand just pulled out its forces after the killing of four of its soldiers including one female soldier. Spain and Australia also pulled their forces out of Afghanistan. 

Now, before NATO exits, Pakistan is facing worsening sectarian violence these days, with one horrible incident in Northwest Frontier Province, where unknown assailants killed 53 people. 

 

Trying to spread more hate, the attackers make a video of the incident. In the same week, 20 more people were killed in separate incidents of sectarian violence in different parts of the social and political hub of Karachi. Targeted killings have also been on the rise in the volatile province of Baluchistan. 

 

Several militants also attacked an air force base in Punjab province. Now, the situation in Pakistan is becoming very similar to Iraq after withdrawal of US forces when the country divided into different sectarian and ethnic armed groups. Now Iraq is seeing the worst period of bloodshed and the killing of innocent civilians.


Before the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan, some actors are playing the same game in Pakistan. 

 

The deterioration of the security situation and the rise in sectarian and ethnic violence is enough to open the eyes of concerned authorities in Pakistan to the fact that only independent policies in line with the country’s own interests can bring positive changes to the region after the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan.  

 

 

Khawaja Umer Farooq

Jeddah

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