What's new in INES (No. 4), 12th June 2013
Lucas Wirl (Program Director)
Jeannine Dreßler (staff member)
Demo in Berlin, 17th June 2013, 17 o'clock
A group of organizations of the German peace and civil rights movement is organizing a demonstration due to President Obama's visit of Berlin.
Among others the protest calls for a stop of targeted killing and ban on killer drones, the immediate ending of the war in Afghanistan, abolition of nuclear weapons and a withdrawal of the US nukes from Germany and Europe.
Joining the demo sign here.
The altersummit in Athens was organized by the Greek social movement with the support of civil society organizations, trade unions, NGOs, political and cultural personalities from all around Europe. At the Peace Assembly, Lucas Wirl spoke on EU militarization. His speech will be available on www.inesglobal.com shortly and sent in the next newsletter.
An infographic that accompanies our report, Guns, Debt and Corruption, illustrating the role of military spending in causing and perpetuating the economic crisis. click here
Five years into the financial and economic crisis in Europe, and there is still an elephant in Brussels that few are talking about. The elephant is the role of military spending in causing and perpetuating the economic crisis. As social infrastructure is being slashed, spending on weapon systems is hardly being reduced. While pensions and wages have been cut, the arms industry continues to profit from new orders as well as outstanding debts.
The shocking fact at a time of austerity is that EU military expenditure totalled €194 billion in 2010, equivalent to the annual deficits of Greece, Italy and Spain combined.
Perversely, the voices that are protesting the loudest in Brussels are the siren calls of military lobbyists, warning of “disaster” if any further cuts are made to military spending. This paper shows that the real disaster has emerged from years of high European military spending and corrupt arms deals. This dynamic contributed substantially to the debt crisis in countries such as Greece and Portugal and continues to weigh heavy on future budgets in all of the crisis countries.
The power of the military-industrial lobby also makes any effective cuts less likely. This is perhaps most starkly shown in how the German government, while demanding ever higher sacrifices in social cuts, has been lobbying behind the scenes against military cuts because of concerns this would affect its own arms industry.
Read on here: www.tni.org/briefing/guns-debt-corruption
by Frank Slijper, May 13th 2013. He is a senior researcher at the Dutch campaign against the arms trade (Campagne tegen Wapenhandel) and an associate of the Transnational Institute (TNI).
The high-profile nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, pitting the reigning heavyweight nuclear champion, the United States, against the bantamweight nuclear contender, North Korea, is not finished and is deadly serious. The posturing and exchanges that the world has been witnessing are capable of spiraling out of control and resulting in nuclear war. Like the Cuban Missile Crisis more than half a century ago, this crisis demonstrates that nuclear dangers continue to lurk in dark shadows across the globe.
This crisis, for which the fault is shared by both sides, must be taken seriously and viewed as a warning that nuclear stability is an unrealistic goal. The elimination of nuclear weapons, an obligation set forth in the Non-Proliferation Treaty and confirmed by the International Court of Justice, must be a more urgent goal of the international community. The continued evasion of this obligation by the nuclear weapon states make possible repeated nuclear crises, nuclear proliferation, nuclear terrorism and nuclear war. Read on here.
by David Krieger, May 06, 2013
The war in Afghanistan may be winding down. But the Pentagon’s chief of irregular warfare still sees a war against al-Qaida that will last decades, all over the world — a prospect that prompted astonishment and constitutional debate in the Senate.
Asked at a Senate hearing today how long the war on terrorism will last, Michael Sheehan, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, answered, “At least 10 to 20 years.”
It was just two months ago that the top U.S. intelligence official testified that al-Qaida had been battered by the U.S. into a state of disarray. A year ago, the current CIA director, John Brennan, said that “For the first time since this fight began, we can look ahead and envision a world in which the al Qaeda core is simply no longer relevant.” Just this week, the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, Army Lt. Gen. Joseph Votel, told a Florida conference that he was looking at missions beyond the counterterrorism manhunt. Read on here.
by Spencer Ackerman, May 16, 2013
Are the president’s prosecutors criminalizing national security reporting?
The Obama Justice Department’s crusade against leakers just took a quantum leap—and it’s extremely worrisome.
It’s one thing to go after officials who leak classified information to the press. The Obama administration has gone after more of them than all previous administrations combined. Nonetheless, officials with security clearances sign a contract pledging not to share material with the outside world—and they know they could face criminal penalties if they do. (Daniel Ellsberg figured he might go to prison for leaking the Pentagon Papers and was willing to make the sacrifice.)
However, it’s something else entirely to go after a reporter who receives the leak. That’s what federal prosecutors are doing to James Rosen, the chief Washington correspondent for Fox News. And they’re going after him not as a witness to a crime—nor as a pressure tactic to get him to give up his source (in this case, the source has already been caught)—but rather, in the words of a Justice Department affidavit, as “an aider, an abettor, and/or a co-conspirator”: in short, as someone who might be indicted under the Espionage Act.
Read one here
By Fred Kaplan, May 20, 2013
After a closed-door briefing of the House of Representatives, lawmakers call for a review of the Patriot Act
Anger was mounting in Congress on Tuesday night as politicians, briefed for the first time after revelations about the government's surveillance dragnet, vowed to rein in a system that one said amounted to "spying on Americans".
Intellegence chiefs and FBI officials had hoped that the closed-door briefing with a full meeting of the House of Representatives would help reassure members about the widespread collection of US phone records revealed by the Guardian.
Read one here
Dan Roberts and Spencer Ackerman in Washington and Alan Travis in London
guardian.co.uk, 12 June 2013
• 21st - 27 July 2013: 21st Annual International Conference on Composites or Nano Engineering - Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain (ICCE-21)