From Save the Olympic Peninsula
From Save the Olympic Peninsula
Training or preparation for false flag operations? And full-size mock-ups could appear on camera as the real thing.
May 3, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
TVZvezda, translated by Tom Winter –
|Screen capture from video at site|
Thus, the US Army has already acquired three Soviet MiG-29 fighters for training, which were delivered “from the territory of the former Soviet Union.” It is noted that all aircraft are equipped with the original parts.
The publication emphasizes that there are a number of companies providing services for the supply of Russian military equipment, in particular Tactical Air Support and Draken International, which provide a full range of air equipment, from the latest versions of training aircraft to the MiG-21.
Meanwhile, even the Soviet multi-purpose fighter Su-27 has fallen into private hands: Pride Aircraft helped import two planes from Ukraine. According to the publication, one of the fighters was sent to Nellis Air Force base in Nevada, where it was used in training battles against the American F-16.
In the US, they are preparing for war with “cardboard” Russian tanks
The Trump administration has further exacerbated the extremely tense standoff on the Korean Peninsula by dispatching attack drones to South Korea and sending special forces units to participate in massive war games already underway. The military build-up takes place as the White House considers launching strikes on North Korean nuclear and military sites.
US Forces Korea announced on Monday that the company of Gray Eagle Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) will be permanently stationed at Kunsan Air Base, south of Seoul. “The UAS adds significant intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability to US Forces Korea and our [South Korean] partners,” it stated.
While the US announcement emphasized reconnaissance, the Gray Eagle drones can also carry up to four Hellfire missiles that have been used to carry out assassinations and strike military targets. The lethal drones can stay aloft for up to 24 hours.
The South Korean military was in no doubt as to the purpose of the deployment. An unnamed official told the Yonhap news agency: “In case of a war on the Korean Peninsula, the unmanned aircraft could infiltrate into the skies of North Korea and make a precision strike on the war command and other major military facilities.”
The dispatch of attack drones to South Korea coincides with the involvement of US special forces in annual Foal Eagle war games, including SEAL Team 6, the highly-trained assassination squad that killed Osama bin Laden. The SEAL team will take part in the joint exercises in South Korea along with US Army Rangers, Delta Force and Green Berets, according to Yonhap.
A military official told the news agency that bigger numbers and more diverse US special operations forces were taking part, in order “to practice missions to infiltrate into the North, remove the North’s war command and demolition of its key military facilities.” The joint Foal Eagle drills are the biggest ever, involving more than 320,000 troops backed by a US aircraft carrier strike group, stealth fighters and strategic bombers.
Commenting on US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s trip to Japan, South Korea and China later this week, State Department spokesman Mark Toner absurdly claimed that the US military was taking “defensive measures” against “an increasingly worrying, concerning threat from North Korea.”
Neither the drones nor the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile system to which Toner was referring are “defensive” in character. The drones, along with the special forces units, are rehearsing for pre-emptive attacks on North Korean military sites and “decapitation raids” to kill North Korean leaders. This is in line with an aggressive new joint operational plan, OPLAN 5015, agreed to between the US and South Korea in late 2015.
The THAAD deployment is part of the Pentagon’s broader build-up of anti-ballistic missile systems and military forces in Asia, primarily for war against China. Beijing has repeatedly voiced strenuous objections to the THAAD installation in South Korea, which has a powerful radar system capable of peering deep into the Chinese mainland and giving the US military much greater advance warning of Chinese missile launches in the event of war.
The Trump administration, which is currently reviewing US strategy towards North Korea, is exploiting North Korea’s test launch of four ballistic missiles last week to advance longstanding military preparations on the Korean Peninsula. According to the Wall Street Journal, the White House is actively considering “regime change” in Pyongyang and military strikes on North Korea.
“We have to look at new ideas, new ways of dealing with North Korea,” US State Department spokesman Toner blandly declared. “China understands that threat. They’re not oblivious to what’s happening in North Korea.”
The reference to China underscores the aims of Tillerson’s upcoming trip. Firstly, he intends to brief Washington’s Japanese and South Korean allies on US plans and to encourage closer military cooperation in the event of conflict. Then he will fly to Beijing, where he will attempt to bully the Chinese government into taking tougher punitive action against Pyongyang.
The mounting US threats towards North Korea are also directed against China, which the Trump administration is targeting as the chief obstacle to maintaining US dominance in Asia and internationally. Tillerson has provocatively declared that the US should block Chinese access to islets under Beijing’s administration in the South China Sea. The only way to carry out such a reckless plan would be through a US military blockade—an act of war that could provoke conflict between the two nuclear-armed powers.
Tensions in the South China Sea have been further strained by the decision of the Japanese military to dispatch its largest warship, the JS Izumo, for three months of operations, including in disputed waters. According to Reuters, the Izumo will make stops in Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka before joining the Malabar joint naval exercise with Indian and US naval vessels in the Indian Ocean in July. It will also train with the US navy in the South China Sea.
Over the eight years of the Obama administration and its “pivot to Asia,” the US has engaged in a systematic military expansion throughout the Asia Pacific, strengthened alliances and strategic partnerships and greatly aggravated dangerous regional flashpoints, including the Korean Peninsula and the South China Sea. The Trump administration, which has been critical of the “pivot” for not being sufficiently aggressive, is now embarking on a course that greatly heightens the danger of war.
The response of the North Korean regime to Washington’s actions is reactionary through and through. Its nuclear and missile tests, along with its bloodcurdling threats and Korean chauvinism, in no way defend the Korean people, but do provide the US with a pretext for its military build-up in North East Asia. According to the 38north.org web site, affiliated with John Hopkins University, commercial satellite imagery indicates that Pyongyang could be preparing for another nuclear test.
Confronted with an intense political crisis in Washington, the Trump administration is not simply considering, but actively preparing for reckless provocations and military moves against North Korea that have the potential to trigger a cataclysmic war that draws in the entire world.
U.S. and NATO ships for joint naval drills in the Black Sea. NATO war “games” with thousands of U.S./NATO soldiers and equipment in bordering countries. Provocations by Kiev. Dangerous situation.
From Sputnik News
February 1, 2017
The Russian Black Sea Fleet categorically denied claims by Kiev that a Ukrainian military transport plane came under fire from Russian drilling platforms in the Black Sea on Wednesday.
SEVASTOPOL (Sputnik) — The Ukrainian Defense Ministry said earlier on Wednesday that a Ukrainian An-26 transport plane came under small arms fire from two Russian drilling platforms while flying near the Odessa gas field in the Black Sea.”All Ukrainian claims of the alleged shooting at the An-26 plane are absolute lies,” an official from the lack Sea Fleet’s headquarters said in a statement.
According to the statement, the Ukrainian An-26 military plane carried out on Wednesday afternoon two provocative approaches at extremely low altitude to Russia’s Tavrida and Crimea-2 drilling platforms.
“During the plane’s second approach, a security guard at one of the platforms fired four signal flares to prevent a possible collision of the plane with the platform’s mast,” the official stressed.
The news comes amid the joint naval drills of the seven North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states with the Ukrainian Naval Forces in the Black Sea, which started on Wednesday.
Moreover, the situation near the industrial town of Avdiivka and neighboring Yasynuvata has been tense for several days, with civilians being deprived of running water, central heating and electricity. The Ukrainian forces and Donbass militia are accusing each other of being responsible for escalation of fighting.
Last week TASS reported Russia’s western-most ICBM division will be rearmed with the RS-24 Yars missile system. Yars is a MIRV-equipped, thermonuclear, intercontinental ballistic missile that can reportedly carry up to 10 independently targetable warheads. The ICBM RS-24 Yars constitutes the backbone of Russia’s strategic missile force.
“The westernmost strategic missile force division in the Tver region will soon begin to be rearmed with the missile system Yars. It will be a sixth strategic missile division where the newest mobile ground-based missile complexes will replace the intercontinental ballistic missile Topol,” Sergey Karakayev, the commander of Russia’s Strategic Missile Force told the news agency.
The Russians claim the deployment is in response to NATO installing a US anti-missile system in Eastern Europe in violation of previous Russian-US arms treaties. The United States has made the outrageous claim its missile system is designed to respond to threats from Iran.
“Now, after the deployment of those anti-missile system elements, we’ll be forced to think about neutralizing developing threats to Russia’s security,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said in May.
Putin added that the US anti-missile systems currently in place in Romania and soon in Poland can be easily repurposed to fire short and mid-range missiles.
Russia announced it would modernize a launch detection system in response to the threat along its border. It has also discussed stationing its state-of-the art Iskander missiles at its westernmost Baltic outpost of Kaliningrad which borders NATO members Poland and Lithuania. The Iskander travels at hypersonic speed and is capable of evading anti-ballistic missiles.
In addition to missiles and nuclear warheads, NATO and Russia have engaged in massive war games this year. NATO’s Anakonda 2016 exercise involved more than 30,000 troops, about half of them Americans, and thousands of combat vehicles from 24 nations. The huge exercise simulated battle maneuvers across Poland. A simultaneous naval exercise, BALTOPS 16, simulated “high-end maritime warfighting” in the Baltic Sea. Exercises were conducted in the waters near Kaliningrad, the Russian enclave between Poland and Lithuania. The maritime exercise represented a clear provocation.
“All of this—the aggressive exercises, the NATO buildup, the added US troop deployments—reflects a new and dangerous strategic outlook in Washington. Whereas previously the strategic focus had been on terrorism and counterinsurgency, it has now shifted to conventional warfare among the major powers,” Michael T. Klare wrote for The Nation in July.
“Washington might intend the military buildup as pressure on President Putin to reduce Russian opposition to Washington’s unilateralism. However, it reminds some outspoken Russians such as Vladimir Zhirinovsky of Hitler’s troops on Russia’s border in 1941,” notes Paul Craig Roberts.
“To make the crisis clear for my readers and for all peoples, Washington is surrounding Russia with nuclear missile sites that can be silently converted from ABMs to first strike nuclear missiles that can reach Russian targets in a mere few minutes. Washington attempted to disguise this first strike capability with the explanation that the missiles were there to protect against an Iranian ICBM attack on Europe. This explanation was given by the US government despite the fact that everyone knows that Iran has neither ICBMs nor nuclear weapons,” he writes on his website.
Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, is not optimistic about what such frenzied military activity portends.
He believes it is futile for Americans to plan for retirement.
“The crazed American government drowning in its own hubris has set us on a course to nuclear war. Can America produce a leader who can reverse course?”
Hillary Clinton will undoubtedly continue along this suicidal path. Donald Trump has said repeatedly he will not confront Russia. However, he has announced if elected the United States will expand its already massively inflated military budget.
The decision of Seoul and Washington to place on the territory of South Korea American missile defense systems THAAD violates the provisions of the UN security Council resolution No. 2270 on North Korea. That’s the words of an influential legal expert on international sanctions issued to the Rossiyskaya Gazeta on condition of anonymity.
Other experts noted that the United States and the Republic of Korea constantly allow themselves actions that are destabilizing the situation, which is also contrary to the provisions of the resolution, although Seoul and Washington are in the forefront of those calling to comply with this resolution as closely as possible.
We can remind you that the UN security Council resolution No. 2270 was adopted on March 2, 2016 in response to the nuclear and missile tests by Pyongyang in January and February of this year. The main content of the document were the new sanctions against the DPRK, but there are also a number of General provisions. Yesterday, the United States and the Republic of Korea stated that they intend to place on the Korean peninsula American anti-missile complexes THAAD before the end of 2017, which caused a sharp condemnation from Russia and China, as well as a mixed reaction in South Korea.
Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) produced by Lockheed Martin
“Seoul and Washington are usually very keen on keeping an eye on othes, so that they would very strictly adhere to UN security Council resolution No. 2270, but they forget about their behavior. They should have to read the whole text if that resolution. Their decision on THAAD is totally contrary to the provisions of this resolution,” – said to Rossiyskaya Gazeta a competent source in the field of application of sanctions who asked not to be named.
The expert explained that it concerns in particular the paragraph 49 of the resolution No. 2270, where it is stressed that the UN security Council
“reaffirms the importance of maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and throughout northeast Asia, reiterates its commitment to a peaceful, diplomatic and political solution to the situation and welcomes efforts by Council members as well as other States to facilitate a peaceful and comprehensive solution through dialogue and to avoid any action which might increase tensions”.
“Placing missile defense systems THAAD just increases the tension on the Korean Peninsula, in northeast Asia and does not contribute to the maintenance of peace and stability,” he said, pointing out that after the statement of Seoul and Washington about THAAD instability and tension in the region are increasing rapidly
He added that this view is supported by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and of the People’s Republic of China who yesterday issued their statements about plans to place of antimissile systems. In particular, the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry says that “such actions, no matter how they were substantiated, have the most negative impact on global strategic stability, the commitment about which they love to talk so much in Washington. They also increase regional tensions, creating new challenges to solve complex problems of the Korean Peninsula including its denuclearization”.
Another expert on regional issues said that the US and South Korea consistently make actions which are a violation of the resolution and do not contribute to stability.
“They like to say about THAAD in Seoul that this is a purely defensive weapons. OK, then let’s talk about the following. Right now, artillery, aviation, and marine corps of South Korea and the United States are involved in yet another exercises on the Korean Peninsula, which work out how to attack the DPRK, practicing the seizure of footholds and the development of further advance. The exercises started on June 27 and will last until July 14. Earlier, the US Army Command in the Asia Pacific region informed that they have conducted exercises the aim of which was also how to invade the DPRK, a practice on bombing of North Korea with the participation of the strategic B-52 bombers and attacking aircraft.
The military of both the United States and South Korea not only did not conceal the offensive nature of the exercises, but even emphasized it. So, they want to present such actions, too, as “contributing to peace and stability”? And can after that anybody be surprised that Pyongyang is starting to get agitate?!”- he asked rhetorically, stressing that these exercises also undoubtedly violate the UN security Council resolution No. 2270.
“… Please, let’s remember that this document has provisions mandatory for all, including the US and South Korea. Today they shout in unison that the launch of ballistic missile from a North Korean submarine violates the UN resolution. But they constantly allow themselves actions that are inconsistent with the document on the thorough implementation of which they themselves insist,” said the expert.
Abridged translation from Russian.
Original article in Russian:
Acting Greens leader, Senator Scott Ludlam, made statements last week that are noteworthy not only for their content, but for the fact that they generated absolutely no controversy or debate within the Australian media and political establishment.
Ludlam was a speaker at the national conference of the recently established Independent Peace and Activist Network (IPAN), held in Brisbane on July 9. IPAN is a coalition of pseudo-left groupings and individuals that advance pacifist and nationalist opposition to the US-Australia alliance and US bases and military activity in the country. Among the issues IPAN discussed was the large-scale, joint US-Australian “Talisman Sabre” military exercise currently taking place across northern Australia.
Speaking after the event with reporters, Ludlam made off-the-cuff remarks that Talisman Sabre was training for “expeditionary wars and invasions.” Most significantly, he stated: “I don’t think we should be preparing for a war with China … I don’t think we should be participating in that kind of provocation.”
It is difficult to think of more newsworthy comments by a public political figure. The acting leader of the third largest parliamentary party, and the Greens foreign affairs spokesman, asserted that Australia, as part of its alliance with the United States, is “preparing for a war with China.”
An Australian Associated Press stringer filed a story on his remarks within hours. The online Guardian and Murdoch media’s news.com.au posted it. Ludlam then posted a link to the Guardian story on his Facebook page, with the text, “our dress rehearsal for world war three.”
And that is where any public reference to Ludlam’s remarks ended. The television news and the major newspapers did not report them. No member of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Liberal-National coalition government was asked about them. The Labor opposition said nothing. The Greens themselves did not issue a press release about Talisman Sabre and Ludlam has not repeated his statements since.
The explanation for the silence is that what Ludlam said is true and the Australian establishment does not want it discussed. As the WSWS explained in its July 7 article, “Japan joins US-Australian rehearsal for conflict with China,” Talisman Sabre is a “large-scale dress rehearsal for a military confrontation with China in the Asia-Pacific region.” Over 33,000 American, Australian and New Zealand troops, and a small contingent of Japanese personnel, are practising naval assaults and amphibious landings within the context of sharp tensions over the provocative US allegations that China is threatening “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea.
Under the auspices of the US “pivot to Asia” since 2011, Australia is fully integrated into the American strategic plans for war on China. Northern and western Australian airbases and ports are regularly visited by the American military. US Marines are based in Darwin. The Australian military is treated by the Pentagon as an adjunct to its own forces, trained to operate as part of larger US units. Such is the integration that if the US goes to war in the Asia-Pacific, Australia will immediately be involved.
The scope of exercises like Talisman Sabre reflect military calculations that the US is planning for war sooner rather than later, when China could be in a stronger position to oppose an onslaught by the US and its allies like Japan and Australia.
Ludlam’s posture of concern over the war danger is belied by the record of the Greens. They have loyally assisted the former Labor and current conservative governments block any broad public debate about the preparations for a confrontation with China. In parliament, they do not raise any opposition to the US alliance or the military integration taking place as part of the pivot.
Ludlam, as the Greens foreign affairs spokesman, has played a key role in suppressing critical information about the ever-expanding US military activity in Australia. In November 2013, Ludlam asked questions in the Senate foreign affairs committee about plans for greater “rotation” through northern Australian airbases by US aircraft. He obtained an effective admission from senior military commander Air Marshal Mark Binskin that US aircraft, such as B-52 bombers, would neither confirm nor deny whether they were carrying nuclear weapons when operating from Australia.
Following the admission that Australia might be hosting nuclear-armed long-range bombers, behind-the-backs of the population, Ludlam made no attempt to make an issue of it on the floor of the Senate. Likewise, he did not use parliament to condemn Talisman Sabre as a “dress rehearsal for World War Three.”
Ludlam epitomises the cynical manner in which a section of the Greens occasionally pose as “left” and “anti-war” to select audiences, while at all times serving the interests of the Australian ruling class. No less than the rest of the official political establishment, the Greens have worked to keep the working class in the dark and prevent an anti-war movement developing that challenges the militarist agenda of US and Australian imperialism.
The Greens are assisted in their duplicity by the social types that make up organisations like IPAN. A number of the figures who are active in the network are current or former members of the Stalinist Communist Party of Australia (CPA), Socialist Alliance or the fraudulent “left” of the Australian Labor Party. Hostile to the fight by the Socialist Equality Party to develop an anti-war movement in the working class on an internationalist and socialist perspective, IPAN has been established to try and channel opposition to militarism into politically harmless protests and reactionary Australian nationalism.
The “IPAN Statement” asserts that the US alliance has “put our independence at risk” and calls for Australia to have an “independent foreign policy.” Such demagogy, which implies that Australia’s alignment with the US is simply because politicians are Washington’s lapdogs, is intended to obscure that the danger of war arises from the breakdown of global capitalism. It reflects the standpoint of a faction of the Australian corporate elite who believe that supporting the reckless US attempt to reverse its economic decline by military means will end in disaster and undermine Australian capitalism’s substantial economic ties with China, which is now the country’s largest trading partner.
The dominant factions of the Australian ruling class, however, are prepared to tie their fate to US imperialism. Both the government and Labor opposition are committed to the US “pivot to Asia” against China. This political bipartisanship flows from calculations that Australian imperialist interests—strategic influence in the South Pacific, major investments in Wall Street and the prospect of greater market share in Asia and China in particular—are best served by ensuring the US retains its dominant position in the Asia-Pacific and globally.
Chossudovsky: I think NATO has the ability of turning the realities upside down, because recent reports confirm that it is not Russia which is supporting the rebels but NATO and the United States which are supporting Ukraine not only with so-called nonlethal weapons but also with military advisers, training and so on. Moreover, they are now providing core support not only to the armed forces but also to the neo-Nazi National Guard. And the US Congress has debated this issue and they said yes, we will support the National Guard but we will not support the Neo-Nazi Azov battalion.
Other countries such as Canada are supporting the Azov battalion, but I should say that while the Azov battalion has been recognized as a neo-Nazi entity, the Right Sector Nazi party has an oversight and control over the entire National Guard.
In recent developments, Ukraine’s military has been bombing civilian areas including schools. There is ample evidence to that effect, and ironically NATO is accusing the separatist forces of Donbass of killing their own people, so to speak, when in fact those strikes were perpetrated by the Ukrainian armed forces.
Press TV: Basically you are saying that the US and NATO have set the grounds to ensure this grace period that there is of relative calm in eastern Ukraine is used to basically once again increase hostilities and ensure that there is no separatist movement left within eastern Ukraine. However, my question to you is what does NATO get out of it?
Chossudovsky: I think we have to look at the broader military agenda, because NATO – and when we say NATO we are saying the United States – the United States and NATO are involved in war games on Russia’s doorstep.
They have several initiatives, they are moving military hardware to Eastern Europe, and this serves as an act of provocation directed against the Russian Federation; and they accuse Russia without evidence of supporting the rebels when in fact they have their own troops right on Russia’s doorstep supporting the Ukrainian government, which is an illegitimate government.
And I think there is another element which has not been understood or even reported in the media, is that the president of Ukraine, President Poroshenko, has made the statement and it is with Ukraine Constitutional Court that the coup directed against his predecessor Yanukovych was an illegal act rather than a “transition towards democracy” n.
So within Ukraine there is there is division within the leadership. The country is in crisis situation following the imposition of the IMF’s deadly microeconomic reforms and the impoverishment of large sectors of the population. And within the armed forces there are also divisions and there is also a movement at the grassroots to refuse to fight, in other words not to join the armed forces, not to be involved in a civil war in eastern Ukraine.
Press TV: So if Russia is the big enemy here, what do you make of that? Is Russia a threat to the West – militarily or strategically speaking?
Chossudovsky: I think that Russia is not a threat and neither is China. The United States is engaged on a very dangerous path, because they have adopted the doctrine of preemptive war and they are in fact also saying that they can use nuclear weapons against Russia on a preemptive first strike basis.
Now that type of discourse is extremely dangerous, because it could ignite a World War III scenario.
First of all, they say that the new generation of nuclear weapons, namely the tactical nuclear weapons, are harmless to civilians and can be used against non-nuclear states; this is an outright lie.
And now they that they are threatening Russia with nuclear weapons, and this is very clear, the nuclear option has been debated in the US Congress.
We are at a very dangerous crossroads in our history – the unthinkable: a possible World War III scenario.
And this is no longer at the abstract level, it has been envisaged by decision makers in the Pentagon and it could unleash World War III.
Order Michel Chossudovsky’s Book directly from GR,
Global Research, Montreal, 2011, also available in pdf.
Nuclear war has become a multibillion dollar undertaking, which fills the pockets of US defense contractors. What is at stake is the outright “privatization of nuclear war”.
The Pentagon’s global military design is one of world conquest. The military deployment of US-NATO forces is occurring in several regions of the world simultaneously.
Central to an understanding of war, is the media campaign which grants it legitimacy in the eyes of public opinion. A good versus evil dichotomy prevails. The perpetrators of war are presented as the victims. Public opinion is misled.
Breaking the “big lie”, which upholds war as a humanitarian undertaking, means breaking a criminal project of global destruction, in which the quest for profit is the overriding force. This profit-driven military agenda destroys human values and transforms people into unconscious zombies.
The object of this book is to forcefully reverse the tide of war, challenge the war criminals in high office and the powerful corporate lobby groups which support them.
“This book is a ‘must’ resource – a richly documented and systematic diagnosis of the supremely pathological geo-strategic planning of US wars since ‘9-11’ against non-nuclear countries to seize their oil fields and resources under cover of ‘freedom and democracy’.”
–John McMurtry, Professor of Philosophy, Guelph University
“In a world where engineered, pre-emptive, or more fashionably “humanitarian” wars of aggression have become the norm, this challenging book may be our final wake-up call.”
-Denis Halliday, Former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations
Michel Chossudovsky exposes the insanity of our privatized war machine. Iran is being targeted with nuclear weapons as part of a war agenda built on distortions and lies for the purpose of private profit. The real aims are oil, financial hegemony and global control. The price could be nuclear holocaust. When weapons become the hottest export of the world’s only superpower, and diplomats work as salesmen for the defense industry, the whole world is recklessly endangered. If we must have a military, it belongs entirely in the public sector. No one should profit from mass death and destruction.
–Ellen Brown, author of ‘Web of Debt’ and president of the Public Banking Institute
A letter of protest to the US Navy can be sent directly from the Eyak Preservation Council’s website, with a letter that can be customized.
Background: In June 2015 the US Navy is going to conduct military training activities in the Gulf of Alaska to “achieve and maintain military readiness.” (Source www.goaeis.com).
The Navy is planning to use active and passive sonar for submarine exercises, plus a wide variety of live weapons and explosives (bombs, missiles, torpedoes, etc.) This area is vital habitat for many species of marine life including whales and salmon. The water here supports the most sustainable and economically valuable fisheries left in the USA.
If these trainings occur it will set a dangerous precedent for unchecked military expansion in the most pristine waters left on earth.
Please send the letter below to let the Navy know that you oppose the use of live ordnance and sonar in the Gulf of Alaska.
This letter will be sent to:
– Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jonathan Greenert
– Commander of the Pacific Fleet, Admiral Harris Harris Jr.
Copies of this letter will be sent to:
Alaska Command Leadership:
– Lt. Gen. Russell Handy
– Maj. Gen. Michael Shields
– CMSgt. Gay L.C. Veale
Tommie Baker – Public Affairs at JBER
Jeffrey Fee – Director of Training, Readiness and Exercises at JBER
Jon Montague – Tribal Coordinator at JBER
This letter is at the Council’s link above. The letter can be customized.
Dear Admiral Greenert & Admiral Harris,
I would like to request that the Navy’s ‘Northern Edge’ combined training exercise scheduled for June 2015 be postponed until after mid-September and not use any live ordnance or sonar in Gulf of Alaska waters. There is no question that military preparedness drills are of national importance. However, I am gravely concerned about the risk and potential damage to Alaska’s subsistence, commercial and recreational fisheries, marine habitats, fish and wildlife resources, and the regional economy.
The coastline around the GOA is home to many coastal communities and Alaska Native people who rely on marine and freshwater resources. The Temporary Maritime Activities Area is 20-24 nautical miles from communities on Kodiak Island, and other communities on the South Central Alaskan coast including Cordova, Valdez, Homer, Seward, and Yakutat.
These exercises are planned during the most prolific breeding and migratory periods of the marine supported life in the region (salmon, whales, birds and more).
The waters of the GOA include Essential Fish Habitat for many species of subsistence and commercial fisheries, including those found in Prince William Sound, which has still not fully recovered from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The area of the TMAA also supports the most sustainable and economically valuable fisheries in the USA. Commercial fishing is the largest private sector employer in Alaska, providing some 80,000 jobs as well as a healthy food source. Nearly 100% of sockeye salmon in the USA comes from Alaska. Alaska is also home to the largest wild sockeye salmon run in the world, Bristol Bay.
The Navy’s Environmental Impact Statement includes a long list of potential stressors and effects of these trainings on fish (disruption of habitat; exposure to chemical by-products; disturbance, injury, or death from the shock (pressure) wave; acoustic impacts; and indirect effects including those on prey species and other components of the food web). As the Navy states in its EIS, no studies have established the short-or long-term population-level effects of cumulative exposure of fish to any type of sound.
Given this information, I/we are extremely concerned about the potential impact the Navy’s proposed plan may have on Alaska’s fish and wildlife resources, Native subsistence activities, commercial and recreational fisheries and the regional economy. I formally object the Navy’s use of live ordnance and sonar in the GOA this June and request that all trainings be postponed until after mid September and be moved a minimum distance of 200 nautical miles offshore.