ΕΔΩ ΚΑΙ ΠΑΛΙ!..
POLISH CULPABILITY IN THE HOLOCAUST?
Can Poland look honestly into its anti-Semitic past?
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki canceled his trip to Israel. He was meant to attend the Visegrad Summit (first time to be held in Jerusalem and not in East-Central Europe) which was to include the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. Israel is now an active partner in this group. According to Polish government sources, the reason for the cancelation was due to comments made by Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, alleging Polish culpability in the murder of three million Polish Jews during the Holocaust.
The diplomatic “crisis” between Israel and Poland this time was essentially over one word – “The.” Responding to a question by the Israeli outlet Kan, regarding Poland’s Holocaust law, Netanyahu was alleged to have said “The Poles cooperated with the Nazis” during the Holocaust. It soon however, became clear that what Netanyahu actually said was that “Poles cooperated with the Nazis.” Naturally, it was not all “the” Poles.
Poles are particularly sensitive to insinuations that Poland, as a nation, cooperated with Nazi Germany during World War Two. This prompted the Warsaw government to enact legislation in January, 2018, which criminalized blaming Poles for Holocaust crimes. The law created a major diplomatic crisis between Poland and Israel. The U.S. criticized the Polish law as well. The dispute was resolved when the Polish government, with input from Israel, amended the law essentially decriminalizing, and softening it. Still, Netanyahu was criticized for his joint statement with his Polish counterpart, which alluded to the involvement of the Polish resistance in helping Jews. Israeli historians, including the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum in Jerusalem, considered that a distortion of history.
Polish-Israeli tensions flared up again late last week when Israel’s interim Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, reportedly claimed that Poles “suckled anti-Semitism with their mother’s milk.” On Monday (2/18/2019) Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki slammed Katz’s remark as “reprehensible, unacceptable, and simply racist words.” French TV outlet, France 24, went a step further suggesting that comments were “racist,” a term very much in vogue with the hypocritical European Union (EU) elites. In fact, the statement by Katz is not new. It was invoked by the late Prime Minister of Israel Yitzhak Shamir, a Polish Jew, whose father was murdered in Poland during WWII.
During last week’s Ministerial Conference on Middle East Peace and Security (February 13-14, 2019), U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo surprised his Polish hosts by bringing up Poland’s lack of a formal law to return property stolen from Jews during WWII. Poland is apparently the only EU country without such a law. Pompeo said, “We also appreciate the importance of resolving outstanding issues of the past, and I urge my Polish colleagues to move forward with comprehensive private property restitution legislation for those who lost property during the Holocaust era.” Jewish property in Poland, including the home of this reporter’s parents, was taken over by Poles, and those thefts were institutionalized by the then Communist regime in Poland.
PM Morawiecki’s reply was that the issue has been “definitely resolved.” This response was wrong and inaccurate. The 1960 treaty between Communist Poland and the U.S. addressed only people who were citizens of the U.S. during the Holocaust. Therefore, the treaty excluded most American Holocaust survivors from Poland who were not citizens at the time, those who had arrived after WWII and came to the U.S. in subsequent decades.
Nazi Germany chose to locate its death camps in Poland, ostensibly because of the rabid anti-Semitism in pre-war Poland. Of course no one would argue with the fact that Nazi Germany is responsible for the murder of Six Million Jews, among them over three million Polish Jews (my own relatives included). History however, cannot ignore the collaboration of Catholic Poles in the murder of their fellow Polish-Jewish citizens. Polish journalist Anna Bikont describes in her book “The Crime and the Silence,” what happened on July 10, 1941 in Jedwabne, a town of 3,000 residents in northeastern Poland. A mob of Catholic Poles murdered most of their Jewish neighbors that day. “Using axes, clubs, and knives, the mob first killed some 40 Jewish men. The remaining Jews – men, women and children, many of them infants – were herded into a wooden barn on the outskirts of the town. Then, as the jeering mob watched, the murderers barred the doors, poured gasoline on the structure and lit the fire. Everyone inside died.” 1,600 Jewish men, women and children perished in the fire, while the mob of peasants plundered the Jewish homes of their victims. At the monument for the burned Jewish victims erected in later years, the inscription reads: “The site of the martyrdom of the Jewish population. Gestapo and Hitler’s gendarmerie burned alive 1,600 people, July 10, 1941.” No mention of the fact that Catholic Poles perpetrated this heinous murder.
A Polish-American academic of Jewish decent, Jan T. Gross wrote a book titled “Neighbors,” which dealt with the role Catholic Poles played, including many of its church leaders, in the collaboration and murder of their Jewish neighbors. Gross exposed the enormous efforts the Polish perpetrators had made along with their families and the Church leadership in denying Polish responsibilities. Among those thousands murdered by Poles was a cousin of this reporter, 10 year-old Zvi-Leib. He was placed in the hands of a Polish farmer for safekeeping, who was given an appreciable sum of money for his deed, while Zvi-Leib’s mother and two sisters were deported and murdered at the Belzec Death camp. The farmer murdered Zvi-Leib in cold blood…
Polish anti-Semitism has been endemic in the past, with some strains of it still contaminating Polish society. The Polish democratic governments, on the other hand, have been one of the closest allies and friends of the Jewish state in Europe. Poland has stood with Israel at UN agencies, as well as in the EU. Poland moreover, does not fund anti-Israel Non-Governmental Agencies (NGO’s) as Germany does these days. Nor does Poland act hypocritically as Germany does with regards to its hidden support of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement.
Israel cannot afford to give up on Poland as a close friend. For Israeli-Polish relations to solidify further, Poland must look with honesty and resolve its past, and confront its anti-Semitic history. Polish-Catholics and Polish-Jews share a 1,000-year glorious history. Polish Jews contributed richly to Poland’s prosperity, and Israelis of Polish decent can contribute much more now and in the future to enrich Poland.
The two governments must consider a wide, all consuming educational dialogue that would deal with what happened in Poland during WWII. It should include the entire educational system, Catholic seminaries, the media, the arts, and in foreign relations. Israelis too, should be cognizant of Polish sensitivities regarding WWII, and its cruel treatment by Nazi Germany. Unlike the Austrians who welcomed Hitler and the Nazis in 1938, and later claimed victimhood, the Poles were actual victims. Still, many Poles collaborated with the Nazis and victimized their fellow Jews.
PREVENTING THE NEXT BIO-TERROR ATTACK
How Kenya has become an epicenter of biowarfare prevention.
It is not just a country’s worst nightmare but one that would, like 9/11, disrupt the whole world.
There are perhaps few weapons in existence that could cause more confusion, sickness and death in a society, undermining its very foundations, than biological ones used by terrorists. (One only has to remember the fear caused by only a small number of ‘anthrax letters’ in the weeks after 9/11.)
“Biological weapons are unique in their invisibility and their delayed effect,” wrote Stefan Riedel, a doctor, in anarticle on biological warfare.
A biowarfare attack would not only cause “death in a large number of victims and a paralyzing uncertainty,” Riedel also claims: “It’s goal is disruption of social and economic activity, the breakdown of government authority, and impairment of military responses.”
It is for these reasons, among others, that the United States is helping construct a safe storage facility, through its Defence Threat Reduction Agency, for Kenya’s Medical Research Institute in Kisumu City. America is paying 90 per cent of the costs.
Kenya has “multiple biological organisms” in the institute, which pose “a great threat to the community” if released accidentally or on purpose. Overall, a 2015 survey found that “Kenya stores at least 16 dangerous pathogens.”
Kenya has been a particular target of Islamic terrorist attacks in the past. Among the more spectacular and devastating ones have been the blowing up of the American embassy in 1998 that cost 213 lives, mostly Kenyan embassy employees. Others were the Westgate Mall attack in 2013 in Nairobi, leaving 67 dead.
Another, again in Nairobi, was the Islamic terrorist attack last month on a hotel complex, killing 21, in which an American and Briton also perished. The American, Jason Spindler, had survived the 9/11 attack.
But it was probably a thwarted Islamic terrorist plot in Kenya involving a planned biowarfare attack in 2016 that contributed most to America’s decision to help that country build the safe storage facility.
The 2016 plot, a proposed “large-scale biological attack,” was led by a medical intern working in a Kenyan hospital. The intern headed a terror group that “included other medical experts who could help organize a biological attack using anthrax,” Kenyan security stated. The plot was apparently connected to the Islamic State
“His network included medical experts with whom they planned to unleash a biological attack in Kenya using anthrax,” said Kenya’s Inspector General Joseph Boinnet, adding the attack aimed at “various targets.”
Kenyan authorities said the plot was truly international in character stretching to Somalia, Libya and Syria. The intern’s wife was also arrested and police were searching for two other medical interns.
But Kenya was not the only African country where a terrorist plot involving biological weapons was thwarted that year. In 2016, the Interior Minister of Morocco announced the arrest of ten ‘jihadists’. They were preparing to use “deadly toxic and biological substances” in a “terrorist project.”
“Some of the substances seized are classed by international bodies specializing in health as biological weapons, dangerous for their ability to paralyze and destroy the nervous system and to cause death,” said the Minister.
Again, like in Kenya, this cell was believed connected to the Islamic State.
As a major target of Islamic terrorist groups’ worldwide jihad, Europe has also not been spared as a biological warfare target.
Only last year, one such attack, described as “without precedent,” was foiled by German security authorities in Cologne. A Tunisian was found in his apartment with about a thousand grams of highly poisonous ricin, deadly even in small doses.
“The dose probably could have wounded, if not killed, at least several hundred people,” said Hans-Georg Maasen, president of Office for the Defense of the Constitution (Germany’s FBI).
In the Cologne apartment, police also discovered material for making a bomb. Security officials also “found clues” the Tunisian had “concrete plans” for an attack in Germany.
“If the project had been executed, it would have been the worst terrorist attack in Europe to this day,” said Herbert Reul, interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia where Cologne is located.
Using biological weapons in a terrorist attack is not something new in Europe. In the 1970s, police discovered “large amounts” of the botulinum toxin in a safe house of the Red Army Faction, a German radical, leftist terrorist group, in Paris.
Islamic terrorists’ attempts to use biological weapons in Europe, however, stretch back at least to 2002 with the ‘Wood Green’ ricin plot in Great Britain. It was an al-Qaeda conspiracy whose goal was “to spread panic and fear right across Europe by means of a coordinated poison attack.”
“British investigators stress that a row of poisonous substances like cyanide gas and diverse chemicals in connection with explosives were to be used in attacks at different places in Europe, such as near tourist attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Big Ben,” stated one newspaper story.
Seven people were arrested and the apparent ringleader, Kamel Bourgass, was sentenced to seventeen years in prison “on the basis of his hand-written notes on how to make ricin, cyanide and botulinum.” Kamel and his co-conspirators had been trained in al-Qaeda camps on how to make poisonous materials and then sent to Europe to set up sleeper cells, including one in Slovakia.
Europe, stated the story, had “stood on the abyss of disaster.”
Biological warfare also has a long history in the United States. Besides the aforementioned ‘anthrax letters’ of 2001, as long ago as 1763, the British gave blankets, infected with smallpox, to Indians. Confederate sympathizers also sold clothing infected with yellow fever to Union soldiers. One such Confederate plot may even have involved making a gift to President Abraham Lincoln of fever-infected shirts.
But probably the largest number of Americans ever to become casualties of a bioterror attack was 751 in 1984 in The Dulles, Oregon. They were victims of the Rajneeshee cult that had a commune in the area. Cult members had deliberately contaminated salad bars with salmonella in ten local restaurants. The group’s purpose was to incapacitate voters for the county election so their candidate would win.
Biowarfare has been present in the world since biblical times from poisoning wells to selling infected animals to enemies to the famous case of a Tartar army catapulting plague-infected corpses over the walls of the besieged Genoese fortress of Caffa (now Feodosia in Crimea) in 1346. It is believed the devastating Black Plague was carried back to Europe from this event.
In more modern times, Japanese forces in World War Two launched airborne biowarfare assaults, releasing plague-infected fleas over Chinese cities and towns, killing perhaps as many as 300,000 civilians.
Thus, considering the lengthy presence and lethality of biowarfare in world history and the determination of Islamic terrorists to kill infidels with biological weapons today, America’s effort to supply Kenya with a secure facility for its pathogens is definitely money well spent.
ISRAEL’S THREE-FRONT WAR SCENARIO
The daunting challenges of confronting symmetrical and asymmetrical threats.
With the conclusion of Operation Northern Shield, Israel’s successful effort to locate Hezbollah-constructed cross-border tunnels, Israeli residents of the north can breathe a sigh of relief. In all, six tunnels of various lengths and complexity were uncovered. While a tense calm prevails in the north, there is still no respite for Israel’s southern residents, particularly for those living in the Gaza periphery who must endure kite terror, periodic rocket attacks and daily violent riots along the border.
Adding fuel to the fire, this week the Gazan-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad unveiled a rocket construction/storage facility housing rockets that the group claims can hit Tel Aviv and beyond. The PIJ alleged that the rocket was designed and developed with assistance from Iran demonstrating once again the Islamic Republic’s malign influence on the world stage.
The PIJ and Hamas, the entity that controls the Gaza Strip, share similar goals and ideologies but their tactics somewhat differ. Both groups are funded by Iran but Hamas is the principle orchestrator and instigator of the ritual weekly riots that occur along the border. Hamas is also the principle schemer behind the systematic effort to causeecological mayhem in Israel’s south using incendiary balloons. As Gaza Strip’s governing entity, Hamas is constrained by political and military realities and is not as ready to deploy its rocket arsenal as its smaller but no less pernicious ally, the PIJ. Hamas prefers to keep tensions simmering in an effort to maintain relevancy but has no interest in sparking another war that it will surely lose.
Israel holds Hamas responsible for all rocket fire emerging from Gaza. Hamas knows this and has been careful to pull the reins on other affiliate militias within Gaza, whether the PIJ, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade or some other Salafist group.
Since last March, Israel has had to endure some 1,500 rocket and mortar firings from Gaza. Thanks largely to Iron Dome, Israel’s rocket-intercepting wonder weapon, casualties and property damage have been kept to a minimum. Ironically, the sole fatality during this period was a Palestinian man.
Though Israel’s intelligence community views the prospect of war on any front to be unlikely in the near future, any miscalculation by Israel’s mercurial enemies could conceivably spark a full-scale conflagration. For Israel, the worst case scenario would be three-front war, with Israel facing adversaries in Lebanon, Syrian and Gaza.
Israel’s current strategy is to prevent Iran and its proxy allies from entrenching themselves in Syria thus preemptively negating a third front. The strategy appears to be working thanks to hundreds of precision strikes by Israel against Iranian and Iranian-allied targets in Syria. In an interview with Bret Stephens, the outgoing Israel Defense Forces chief of staff, Gadi Eisenkot, acknowledged that in 2018 alone, Israel had dropped more than 2,000 bombs and precision munitions on enemy targets in Syria.
Israel has been relentlessly training for a two-front scenario and its army is quite prepared to deal with this contingency. The strategy in the north would be to seize land and deal Hezbollah a death blow in shock and awe fashion. This is a realistic goal and many within Lebanon and the Arab world at large would like nothing better than to see Hezbollah defanged.
While no one doubts Israel’s ability to succeed militarily, the Jewish State will also have to win the battle of public opinion. Israel’s enemies, Hamas and Hezbollah, have over the years developed a penchant for preying on the sympathies of gullible Western audiences and mobilizing their useful idiot allies within the Western press to garner sympathetic, and often mendacious reporting.
Israel’s fight for the battle of public opinion has been complicated by the appointment of Jamil Jabak as Lebanon’s health minister. Jabak is a Hezbollah stooge and was hand-picked by the group for this position. In any future conflict, Jabak would serve as Hezbollah’s mouthpiece, releasing fictitious civilian casualty figures to the media while conflating and manipulating casualty data.
During the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah lost 800 to 1,000 fighters but tried to obfuscate this fact while at the same time overstated civilian casualties. The group notoriously choreographed elaborate hoaxes for Western media, in which ambulances transporting fake “casualties” were observed circling the block with sirens blaring but apparently going nowhere.
The same hoaxes were perpetrated by Hamas during the Operation Cast Lead, Operation Pillar of Defense and Operation Protective Edge. During these conflicts, the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry released fraudulent casualty figures repeated without challenge by many Western media outlets.
The challenges for Israel in terms of winning the battle for public opinion are daunting but certainly not insurmountable. Support for Hamas and Hezbollah has eroded over the years. Just this week, the British parliament voted to remove the fictitious distinction between Hezbollah’s political and military wings and designated the group in its entirety, a terrorist organization. The key for Israel is to act swiftly and decisively to defeat its enemies on the ground. Past experience has shown that world opinion (at least the world opinion that counts) is with Israel in the initial phases of conflict but erodes when it drags on. Israeli leaders are cognizant of this and this will certainly factor into the decision-making process when Israel orders its military to action against its genocidal enemies.
THE MEDIA AND MICHAEL COHEN DESERVE EACH OTHER
While Trump tries to dismantle WMDs, Dems deploy weapons of mass distraction.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
While President Trump was away on a diplomatic mission to Hanoi to negotiate a nuclear deal with Kim Jong Un, the media breathlessly turned its eye to Capitol Hill to hear from a sleazy disbarred lawyer.
The dueling news stories summed up the country’s two political movements. Republicans were trying to dismantle weapons of mass destruction, while Democrats were deploying weapons of mass distraction.
In Vietnam, President Trump was dealing with serious problems. In Washington D.C., Democrats and their media arm can’t imagine any problem more serious than Trump. Forget North Korean nukes, the true threat to Democrats and the media isn’t radiation, it’s viewership. What keeps CNN’s, MSNBC’s, the New York Times’ and the Washington Post’s bosses up at night is fear that Mueller might not deliver.
And as the atomic report clock ticks down to zero, bringing Michael Cohen to Washington D.C. was a desperate effort to squeeze 15 more minutes out of their smear campaign by pretending to believe the same guy they had been calling a liar last year. Michael and the media are a perfect fit for each other.
“I have lied, but I am not a liar,” he insisted. It was an echo of CBS’ infamous, “Fake, but accurate.”
“Mr. Trump did not directly tell me to lie to Congress,” he claimed, but had somehow implied that he should lie. Trump had somehow “mesmerized” him into doing things that “were absolutely wrong”.
Like lying to Congress. Again.
But, now that he was back, who had mesmerized Mikey into lying about not seeking a White House job? Either Trump has the power to “mesmerize” him over 8,200 miles away from Vietnam or he has been looking deep into Bill’s baby blues or Hillary’s colored contact lenses to make him lie all over again.
Like claiming that Trump only ran for office to “make his brand great”, despite seeing his brand, and that of his daughter, take a severe beating during the campaign due to boycotts and accusations of racism.
“He had no desire or intention to lead this nation—only to market himself,” Michael Cohen claimed. “He never expected to win the primary. He never expected to win the general election.”
Trump’s net worth had been estimated at $4.5 billion in 2015. During the campaign it slid down to $2.8 billion. It’s currently estimated at $3.1 billion. Forbes estimated that his net worth had fallen by a billion during the campaign largely because of brand damage and media harassment.
If Trump were running for office only to make money, he would have dropped out after losing a billion.
Michael Cohen 2.0, with Clinton pro Lanny Davis representing him pro bono, is just as happy to lie as 1.0. And his lies, by no coincidence, mirror the talking points of his media bosses. But, like the entire Russia hoax, they never amount to anything substantial. The disbarred lawyer was happy to repeat media slurs against Trump like “racist” and “con man”. To toss out late night show insults and insinuate worse.
But the convicted liar’s testimony lurched through a swamp of its own contradictions. Trump had lied about his dealings with Russia, according to Michael Cohen, because he never expected to win the election. But if Trump was lying about his dealings with Russia because he was Moscow’s puppet, then why bother with the whole vast conspiracy if he wasn’t even going to win? What was the actual point?
Like the media’s Russia conspiracy theories, his take on them doesn’t make any actual sense.
Neither Michael nor the media have any credibility left. Michael Cohen and the media both say one thing today and another tomorrow. They don’t have ethics, they have sides. Back when he appeared to be working for Trump, the media insisted that he couldn’t be believed. Now that he’s being repped by a Clinton lawyer, Michael Cohen has suddenly become as entirely believable as the Clintons themselves.
Michael Cohen had already pled guilty to lying to Congress. It’s hard to imagine a worse congressional witness than a lawyer who had not only lied, but who had admitted to lying to Congress. But the entire Russia conspiracy theory likely originated with a Clinton sleazebag who had allegedly tried to smear Vice President Dan Quayle as a cokehead based on the claims of a felon who admitted to making it all up.
The Trump Russia smear was shopped to David Corn, a leftist hack, accused of sexual harassment, and a series of disgraced FBI and DOJ figures, including Andrew McCabe, who was found to have lied under oath. Cohen is just the latest in a parade of losers and freaks, like Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and Bruce Ohr, who couldn’t be trusted by their organizations, their spouses or by the taxpayers who pay their salaries.
Bringing in Cohen means scraping the very bottom of the barrel. But his slimy ooze is still floating a little higher than Ali Watkins, the 27-year-old Politico and New York Times hack who had reported on Cohen’s previous House appearance. Watkins’ source eventually turned out to be the Senate Intelligence Committee aide twice her age whom she was sleeping with the knowledge of her media superiors.
As bad as Michael Cohen is, the media is still worse. It’s the only industry where sleeping with married men to undermine President Trump makes you a Pulitzer Prize finalist instead of a national disgrace.
The media and Michael Cohen deserve each other. Hopefully, like Ali Watkins and James Wolfe, and Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, they’ll be very happy in their adulterous leftist relationship together.
But the media’s latest shiny lying object can’t fix its real problem.
The media made a mint off the Russian conspiracy theories. But Mueller couldn’t deliver collusion, neither could Michael. “Questions have been raised about whether I know of direct evidence that Mr. Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia. I do not. I want to be clear,” he slithered.
“But, I have my suspicions.”
After all the noise, House Democrats were left with little more than the insinuations of a convicted liar.
It was the second bitter disappointment after disgraced FBI honcho Andrew McCabe told 60 Minutes that there had been a 25th Amendment discussion about removing President Trump, only to have his spokeswoman backtrack and claim that “at no time did Mr. McCabe participate in any extended discussions about the use of the 25th Amendment, nor is he aware of such discussions.”
Liars with law degrees will sometimes tell the eager lynch mob what it wants to hear, but then they quickly clean up the mess and change the topic to calling President Trump a racist.
The Cohen circus was heavy on insinuation, but, as usual, distinctly short on Russian substance. The content didn’t matter and was never going to. The existence of the circus however matters very much.
What did matter is that House Democrats are not only poisonously partisan, but deeply unserious. While nuclear negotiations that might prevent or bring on a war were taking place in Vietnam, Democrats were undermining the President in the face of the enemy. This wasn’t a coincidence. It was sabotage.
While President Trump was hard at work trying to defuse the weapons of mass destruction in North Korea, House Democrats and their media arm tried to detonate a weapon of mass distraction.
It smoked, rolled around a little bit, made some noise, and then fizzled out.
“I tell my staff that 200 years from now people will be reading about this moment,” Rep. Cummings boasted.
They won’t even remember it next week.
If Trump’s negotiations succeed, they might be remembered two centuries from now. But this latest episode in the Democrat circus will be a fading memory by the time you finish reading this tonight.
* * *
Cohen caricature from Donkey Hotey
Resilience: the first line of defence
The current unpredictable security environment has led to a renewed focus on civil preparedness. NATO and its member states must be ready for a wide range of contingencies, which could severely impact societies and critical infrastructure.
Modern societies are highly complex with integrated and interdependent sectors and vital services. This makes them vulnerable to major disruption in the case of a terrorist or hybrid attack on critical infrastructure. © EU
Through much of the Cold War era, civil preparedness (then known as civil emergency planning) was well organised and resourced by Allies, and was reflected in NATO’s organisation and command structure. During the 1990s, however, much of the detailed civil preparedness planning, structures and capabilities were substantially reduced, both at national level and at NATO.
Events since 2014 – most notably Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and the rise of ISIS/Daesh – signalled a change in the strategic environment, prompting the Alliance to strengthen its deterrence and defence posture. Meanwhile, terrorist and hybrid threats (particularly recent cyber attacks) continue to target the civil population and critical infrastructures, owned largely by the private sector. These developments had a profound effect, bringing into sharp focus the need to boost resilience through civil preparedness. Today, Allies are pursuing a step-by-step approach to this end – an effort that complements NATO’s military modernisation and its overall deterrence and defence posture.
NATO’s baseline requirements
In 2016, at the Warsaw Summit, Allied leaders committed to enhancing resilience by striving to achieve seven baseline requirements for civil preparedness:
1) assured continuity of government and critical government services;
2) resilient energy supplies;
3) ability to deal effectively with uncontrolled movement of people;
4) resilient food and water resources;
5) ability to deal with mass casualties;
6) resilient civil communications systems;
7) resilient civil transportation systems.
This commitment is based on the recognition that the strategic environment has changed, and that the resilience of civil structures, resources and services is the first line of defence for today’s modern societies.
More resilient countries – where the whole of government as well as the public and private sectors are involved in civil preparedness planning – have fewer vulnerabilities that can otherwise be used as leverage or be targeted by adversaries. Resilience is therefore an important aspect of deterrence by denial: persuading an adversary not to attack by convincing it that an attack will not achieve its intended objectives.
Resilient societies also have a greater propensity to bounce back after crises: they tend to recover more rapidly and are able to return to pre-crisis functional levels with greater ease than less resilient societies. This makes continuity of government and essential services to the population more durable. Similarly, it enhances the ability for the civil sector to support a NATO military operation, including the capacity to rapidly reinforce an Ally.
Such resilience is of benefit across the spectrum of threats, from countering or responding to a terrorist attack to potential collective defence scenarios. Consequently, enhancing resilience though civil preparedness plays an important role in strengthening the Alliance’s deterrence and defence posture.
NATO engages several partners in its efforts to enhance resilience, as one element of cooperation that contributes to stability and security for the Alliance. Finland and Sweden, for example, have helped shaped this area of NATO’s work by actively sharing their national best practices with Allies.
In December 2018, NATO Allies and partners helped Albania to cope with the most severe rainfalls ever recorded in the country, following a request for assistance via NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre. © NATO
NATO’s focus on resilience has shifted the emphasis of its work on civil preparedness with Allies and partners to so-called “left of bang” requirements (building situational awareness and readiness prior to potential incidents or attacks). But NATO maintains the capacity to respond to major civil emergencies. For example, iIn the event of an earthquake, raging forest fires or massive flooding, for example, or a disaster caused by human activity natural or man-made disaster, NATO’s principal civil emergency response mechanism, the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre can, upon request, coordinate assistance to a stricken Ally or partner country.
The risks and vulnerabilities of modern society
Modern societies are highly complex with integrated and interdependent sectors and vital services. They rely on supporting critical infrastructure to function, but take for granted that it can withstand disruption. Moreover, the supply of goods and services is determined almost exclusively by market forces, largely working according to the “just in time” delivery model. Internet-based communications systems and logistics are also fundamental to the production, trade and delivery of goods and services.
Such a high level of interconnectedness is more efficient and allows for economies of scale. But greater interdependencies also increase the risk of cascading effects in the event of a disruption (Marc Elsberg’s disaster thriller “Blackout” provides a good illustration of the potential impact of a disruption to electricity and power systems).
National authorities have legislative and regulatory powers but little few direct controls to influence or steer supply in the private/commercial sector, other than in an emergency situation. As the system seems to work efficiently, there has been little incentive for national authorities to engage directly. Instead, it has been left mainly to industry to resolve any supply shortfalls. For government, the focus has been on ensuring safety and quality levels of goods and services, particularly of food and other consumables.
The European Union (EU) plays a very strong role in the public administration architecture for these sectors. EU directives and regulation have substantially shaped the planning by its member states, as well as by the commercial sector. Contingency planning, which seeks to ensure the functioning and maintenance of operations, has focused predominantly on the ability to deal with the most probable disruptive incidents in the short term. The commercial sector has mainly focused on minimising their own costs given such a disruption, rather than preparing for larger-scale contingencies with cascading effects across sectors and society itself.
Until recently, security and defence concerns – seeking to ensure the physical security of supply and physical protection of infrastructure in crisis – have not been prominent issues. Emergency legislation enables national authorities to assume control over sectors and resources, including capabilities and infrastructure. However, the necessary mechanisms and procedures are designed mainly for extreme situations, such as war, and not for the grey area that would accompany an escalating geopolitical crisis short of outright armed conflict.
A major disruption to electricity and power systems could potentially have a catastrophic impact on the functioning of society.
© Federal Ministry of Education and Research / Germany
Few Allies have tested the functioning of these mechanisms and procedures recently to ensure they will stand the test of shock or surprise. The degree and impact of foreign direct investment in strategic sectors – such as airports, sea ports, energy production and distribution, or telecoms – in some Allied nations raises questions about whether access and control over such infrastructure can be maintained, particularly in crisis when it would be required to support the military. This issue requires further attention.
While civil preparedness is primarily a national responsibility, it is an important aspect of NATO’s security. Indeed, strengthening national resilience provides a better foundation for collective defence. NATO’s approach to building resilience is through an “all-hazards” approach: planning and preparedness that is relevant for all types of threats, whether it be natural disastershazards, hybrid warfare challenges, terrorism, armed conflict, or anything in between. National authorities have realised that the risks and vulnerabilities they face, amplified by the level of interdependence among the sectors, requires a whole-of-government effort as well as more direct cooperation with the private sector.
NATO’s civil preparedness has facilitated and supported national efforts, developing sector-specific guidance and tools to assist national authorities in their effort to meet the ambition established by the seven baseline requirements. These include guidance on a range of issues, including how to deal with the movement of tens to hundreds of thousands of people; addressing cyber risks to the health sector; comprehensive planning for incidents involving mass casualties; and ensuring security of medical supply arrangements. NATO’s civil experts, who are based in Allied nations, have helped assess and provided tailored advice on measures to enhance resilience and levels of civil preparedness.
Ensuring coherence of effort
With the changed security environment, NATO’s defence planning efforts have been reinforced, including in the area of civil preparedness. NATO’s seven baseline requirements include a systematic approach to improving these capabilities. Regular assessments are an essential aspect, helping to identify and measure areas of progress and challenges. The findings, based on data provided by Allies, help to inform the direction for further national or collective action. The assessments cover both an aggregate report on the State of Civil Preparedness and, as part of the individual country reports, the state of civil preparedness of a given Ally.
Once again, civil preparedness is the subject of more active engagement with capitals and civil ministries in a collaborative effort to assess and advise on improvements. An initial assessment in 2016 was followed by a report in 2018, which identified several shortfall areas, where further resources and effort to support national authorities are needed.
These assessments allow the testing of assumptions about the availability of resources, the levels of preparedness and protection of civil resources and infrastructure, including those that support the military. They help ensure coherence between NATO’s efforts on resilience through civil preparedness with those on the military side. Over the longer term, they aim to promote greater civil-military cooperation in member states. This will require a more persistent effort to rebuild the structures, relationships and plans that facilitate civil-military cooperation contributing to NATO’s adapted deterrence and defence posture.
Since 2014, NATO has made significant achievements in giving substance to the concept of resilience through its civil preparedness efforts. Building on the seven baseline requirements, the commitment by Allies and the detailed planning guidance, regular assessments have provided a greater understanding of areas of progress, as well as remaining challenges.
As NATO develops its third report on the State of Civil Preparedness for 2020, there is scope to further refine the baseline requirements, including in ways that make progress more measurable. This would make it easier to compare civil preparedness across the Alliance and track national progress over time. Several nations have already taken steps in this direction and existing research to measure levels of resilience, for example that of critical infrastructure, should inform NATO’s efforts on civil preparedness.
During NATO Exercise Trident Juncture 2018, Norway involved its civilian emergency response agencies to exercise and validate aspects of its approach to resilience. © NATO
Sufficient flexibility is required to allow this capability development approach to suit the needs of a diverse Alliance of 29 nations, which retain the primary responsibility over their civil preparedness. At the same time, given the unpredictable nature of the security environment, Allies will be called upon to ensure that their national resilience bolsters NATO’s collective defence and security objectives.
One of the most important means available to address these imperatives is training and exercises, whether from a national, multinational or Alliance perspective. Trident Juncture 2018 – NATO’s most important military exercise since the end of the Cold War – enabled Norway to exercise and validate aspects of its approach to resilience within its Total Defence concept. This exercise also provided other Allies with a good example of how more comprehensive and joint (civil/military) exercises can help prepare them for the full range of potential contingencies that they could face in light of the strategic environment.
Wolf-Diether Roepke and Hasit Thankey work on Resilience and Civil Preparedness in NATO’s Defence Policy and Planning Division. The views expressed are their own.
What is published in NATO Review does not necessarily represent the official position or policy of member governments, or of NATO.
Darbeler ve ihanetler
Bir toplum tarihi hafızasını kaybederse, her zaman aynı yanlışlara, hatalara ve oyunlara düşmekle karşı karşıya kalır.
Bizde Osmanlı ile başlayan, Cumhuriyetle sürdürülen darbe geleneği her zaman milletimizi ve devletimizi yıkmak ve yok etmek, onu milli ve manevi değerlerinden koparmak ve mankurtlaştırmak isteyenler tarafından yapılmış veya yaptırılmıştır.
Bir millet tarihi hafızasını yitirirse yolu üzerinde ibret ve ihanet anıtı olarak duran bu utanç tablolarını da göremez..
Cumhuriyet döneminde 1. Meclis-i Mebusanın kapatılması ile başlayan darbeler süreci en son olarak 15 Temmuz ihanetiyle bıçak kemiğe dayanmış ve millet sokaklara dökülerek darbecilere ve darbe sevicilere bütün dünyanın gözü önünde unutamıyacakları tarihi bir ders vermiştir.
Peki darbeler dönemi kapanmışmıdır, artık darbeler son bulmuşmudur? Elbette; HAYIR!
Darbe yapmak için eğitilip yetiştirilen bir asker ve ordu bilincinin virüs gibi asker ve toplum içinde yaşadığı sürece o ülkede darbeler bitmez. Türkiyede ordu herşeyi ile tamamen millileşmeden, milletin ordusu olmadan ve NATO, ABD, AB vs. gibi dış güçlerin ortağı, uzantısı ve müttefiki olduğu sürece Türkiyede de darbeler bitmez.
Nasıl ki, Türkiye fay hatları üzerinde bulunan, her an debreme hazırlıklı olması gereken bir ülke ise, askeri, siyasi, ekonomik darbeleri tetikleyecek gerilimleri barındıran bir ülke olarak Türkiye her zaman iç ve dış darbelere gebedir.
İslam medeniyet ve kültürünün düşmanı işbirlikçiler, yerli münafıklar ve emperyalizmin uşakları aramızda var oldukça; Türkiyedeki darbe geleneği de var olmaya devam edecektir.
Şunu asla unutmamalıyız ki; Türkiye ve islam ülkelerindeki iç kavgalar doğu batı, Kapitalizm Komiminizm, Faşizm Liberalizm, demokrasi memokrasi kavgası falan değildir. Tarih boyu Müslümanlarla Haçlılar arsında süren ve sürecek olan islam ve islam düşmanları arasındaki mücadelenin çağdaş uzantısıdır.
Bu mücadeleyi hala anlayamayan ve ona göre ruh ve düşünce aleminde kendi konumunu ve cephesini belirleyemeyen asker, siyastçi, akademisyen, entelektüel, sivil vs. kim olursa olsun düşmanın cephesine silah taşıyan bir ahmak veya hain, kendi cehennemine odun taşıyan akılsız bir eşekten farksızdır.
Türkiyeyi batılılaştırmak için kurgulanan ve uygulanan darbeler bu milleti zorla zorbalıkla dininden, tarihinden, kültür ve medeniyetinden koparmak için yapılmış Hitler ve Missolini faşizmini örnek alan bir despotizmdir.
Bu darbelerin akıl hocaları ve oyun kurucuları putperest antik Yunan ve ataist Romanın çağdaş temsilcileri olan batılılardır. Türkiye ve islam aleminde darbeler islama ve müslümanlara karşı yapılmıştır, yapılmaktadır ve bundan sonra da yapılmaya devam edilecektir. Milletin iradesine saygı göstermeyen darbecilerin ve darbe sevicilerin sığındıkları en son liman faşizmin karanlık mağaraları olmuştur.
28 Şubat da böyle zifiri karanlık bir darbedir. Ne yazık ki askeriyle, bürokratıyla, medyayasıyla, akedemsyeniyle, siviliyle darbeciler utanmadan sıkılmadan yüzsüzce aramızda dolaşıyorlar. Onların yargılanması galiba hakimlerin hakimi Allah’ın divanına kaldı.
İslam inancı ve düşüncesi Türkiyede ve coğrafyamızda var oldukça; ona paralel olarak firavun düzeninin darbeleri ve darbeciler de var olacaktır. Millet olarak barış, özgürlük ve huzur içinde yaşamak için 15 Temmuzda olduğu gibi iç ve dış düşmanlarımıza karşı heran savaşmaya hazır olmak zorundayız.
Selam ve dua ile…
Arif Altunbaş, Haber 7