Posts Tagged Europe

Threat Analysis Of Possible Future Russian Aggression

From CNAS.org:

In the report, CNAS senior fellows Julianne Smith and Jerry Hendrix examine possible security challenges in effort to prepare the United States and Europe for future existential threats posed by Russia. Smith and Hendrix note that although Europe’s security situation was largely considered stable for much of the last 10 to 14 years, that premise no longer holds true.

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The European Union Is Not a Security Union

The European Union Is Not a Security Union is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Summary

In the wake of any shocking event, national governments and officials of the European Union invariably call for more cooperation between member states to prevent anything similar happening in the future. The response to the March 22 terrorist attacks in Brussels has been no different.

Following the attacks, the governments of Germany, Italy, France and members of the European Commission demanded a global response to the terrorist threat. The commission’s president, Jean-Claude Juncker, even proposed the creation of a “security union” to combat terrorism at the continental level. In a March 24 meeting, ministers at the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council highlighted the need to share information among member states to fight terrorism. But despite the calls for greater cooperation among EU members, the national interests of individual member states will prevail in the long run, limiting the possibility of integration within the bloc on security issues. Read the rest of this entry »

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Brussels Attacks Tear at the Fabric of the European Union

Brussels Attacks Tear at the Fabric of the European Union is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Analysis

The March 22 terrorist attacks in Brussels come as the European Union is still reeling from the November Paris attacks and scrambling to solve the migrant crisis. More important, they come as nationalist forces are challenging key principles of the Continental bloc, including the free movement of labor and the Schengen Agreement, which eliminated border controls among several member states. The atmosphere of fear and suspicion that is sure to follow will only worsen these social, political and economic crises.

The first outcome of the Brussels attacks will be a fresh round of debate over EU border controls, in particular those in the Schengen zone. The Schengen Agreement came under fire at the start of the migrant crisis in early 2015. The Paris attacks escalated the controversy, particularly because the perpetrators moved between France and Belgium without detection. Consequently, France and other countries enhanced their border controls. The European Commission has since said that it wants all border controls in the Schengen area lifted by the end of 2016. However, the latest attacks — and the potential that more will follow — will make this difficult. Read the rest of this entry »

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After Paris Attack, Band Frontman Says Gun Control Didn’t Save A Single Life

From Newsweek:

In a tearful interview to French TV channel iTélé, the 43-year-old said: “Did your French gun control stop a single f***ing person from dying at the Bataclan? And if anyone can answer yes, I’d like to hear it, because I don’t think so. I think the only thing that stopped it was some of the bravest men that I’ve ever seen in my life charging headfirst into the face of death with their firearms.

“I know people will disagree with me, but it just seems like God made men and women, and that night guns made them equal,” he added. “And I hate it that it’s that way. I think … that maybe until nobody has guns everybody has to have them.

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Getting to the Root of France’s Muslim Dilemma

Getting to the Root of France’s Muslim Dilemma is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Analysis

By Joe Parson

The jihadist attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo signified the beginning of a new period of insecurity for France. Since those shots rang out a little over a year ago, France has been beset by threats, false alarms and more successful attacks. The latest of these, of course, took place in Paris itself, triggering the first nationwide state of emergency since 1961. Having been away for most of 2015, when I arrived back for the holidays I found the country had somehow changed. Disembarking at Charles Gaulle airport’s oldest terminal, whimsically known as le Camembert for its roundness, I found the same futuristic, grimy moving walkways and familiar odor of the Paris metro. Much was the same, but then I noticed that the usual airport security was gone, replaced by military personnel patrolling with automatic rifles.

France’s security alert system, Plan Vigipirate, was developed in the late 1970s, updated once in the mid-1990s and twice more in the early 2000s. It reached its highest level of alert (scarlet) after the March 2012 Toulouse and Montauban attacks. In January 2015, however, authorities created a new, higher level to reflect the perceived current danger. As I traveled through Paris and the rest of the country I saw these security measures in action on the city’s metro and on the country’s high-speed train, the Train à Grande Vitesse. Security checks have become much more common, and this has led to some delays. False alarms triggered by such things as suspicious packets of cookies on a Nantes tram or forgotten luggage have stopped trains across the country. Over the New Year holiday, the center of Paris was cordoned off and people were individually screened before being allowed to continue on foot. Even the Christmas market in Strasbourg, far from Paris, was blocked off to automobile traffic, and identification checks were mandatory.

French police officers stand guard during a Jan. 1 New Year’s parade along Paris’ Champs-Elysees. (JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

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In France Refugees Stop Attack When Threatened With A Gun

From The Daily Wire:

A video making the rounds purports to show a group of French citizens confronted by what seems to be north African Muslim immigrants of male working-age armed with rocks, knives, and bats.

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Airmen In Train Attack To Be Promoted

From Air Force Times:

“He has inspired a number of people by the way he as responded to this – his humility,” Welsh said at the Air Force Association’s 2015 national convention. “He has stayed very true to himself from the very beginning. He has not let the moment overwhelm him. He has represented the Air Force very well and very proudly and, basically, he has an instinct for saying and doing the right thing, which I think is going to be a very, very good attribute in a young NCO supervisor.”

The promotion is in addition to the previously announced Purple Heart and Airman’s Medal Stone will receive Thursday. Welsh said that Stone was eligible for the Purple Heart under a precedent set by the 2009 attack at Fort Hood, but he is not eligible for other combat valor awards.

 

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Purple Heart For American Soldier Involved In Train Attack

From Marine Corps Times:

Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, hailed as a hero around the world for helping stop a gunman’s planned rampage on a train in France last month, will receive the Purple Heart, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said Monday.

 

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Update: U.S. Serviceman Describes Train Attack

From Sky News:

“Then I grabbed the AK (assault rifle), which was at his feet, and started muzzle thumping him in the head with it.”

Mr Stone was cut by the attacker behind his neck and his thumb was nearly sliced off as the man was wrestled to the ground by the Americans.

Mr Sadler, who also helped to subdue the suspect, said: “The gunman pulls out a boxcutter and slices Spencer a few times.” He added the attacker “never said a word”.

 

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Marines Prevent Terrorist Attack on Train in Europe

From USA Today:

The French newspaper La Voix du Nord reports that the gunman was overpowered by passengers, including the two Marines. The newspaper said the pair heard the man loading the automatic weapon in a bathroom on the train and overpowered the gunman before he could open fire inside the main train cars. Earlier reports said that one of the soldiers was British.

“As he was cocking it to shoot it, Alek just yells, ‘Spencer, go!’ And Spencer runs down the aisle,” Sadler told AP. “Spencer makes first contact, he tackles the guy, Alek wrestles the gun away from him, and the gunman pulls out a box cutter and slices Spencer a few times. And the three of us beat him until he was unconscious.”

 

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Terrorsist Attacks In Tunisia, France and Kuwait

From CNN:

Gunmen killed at least 37 people at a beachfront Tunisian hotel on Friday, the same day terrorists lashed out brutally in France and bombed a mosque in Kuwait.

One person was beheaded and two injured at a gas factory near Lyon in southeastern France, according to French President Francois Hollande. And ISIS has claimed responsibility for an apparent bomb blast at the Shiite-affiliated Al-Sadiq mosque in Kuwait’s capital during Friday prayers, leaving at least 25 dead and more than 200 injured.

 

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European War Games: Responses to Russian Military Drills

European War Games: Responses to Russian Military Drills is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Summary

Several events have coincided to demonstrate the dynamic, if not guarded, relationship between Russia and the Nordic and Baltic states. Ten NATO countries and Sweden launched a two-week planned exercise in the North Sea on May 4 to improve their anti-submarine warfare capabilities. On the same day, Finland — not a NATO member — began mailing letters to about 900,000 reservists informing them of their roles in a potential crisis situation. Meanwhile, Sweden’s Foreign Ministry formally complained to Russian authorities that Russian navy ships were disrupting cable-laying work in waters between Sweden and Lithuania, the latest in a series of formal complaints over Russia’s activity in the area. Concurrently, the Swedish and Lithuanian foreign ministers met with Moldova’s pro-West leaders in Chisinau.

All of these events confirm that the Nordic and Baltic states are working to boost security cooperation in response to Russia’s military activity in the region. Consequently, the security buildup will continue — on both sides. Read the rest of this entry »

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Open Sight Hunting in Europe

From Mauser:

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Muslims Throw Christians Overboard While Traveling To Europe

From CNN:

Muslims who were among migrants trying to get from Libya to Italy in a boat this week threw 12 fellow passengers overboard — killing them — because the 12 were Christians, Italian police said Thursday.

Italian authorities have arrested 15 people on suspicion of murdering the Christians at sea, police in Palermo, Sicily, said.

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Russia Targets NATO With Military Exercises

Russia Targets NATO With Military Exercises is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Summary

Russian military exercises, the latest in a series across the country, have taken on a threatening posture. While the most recent installment is not the largest exercise Russia has conducted, the areas involved and the forces included seem to have been deliberately chosen to send a warning to NATO; the exercise itself seems to simulate a full-scale confrontation with NATO through the forward deployment of nuclear armed submarines, theater ballistic missiles and strategic bomber aircraft. Strategic weapon systems, including assets that are part of Russia’s nuclear capabilities, have also been deployed to locations near NATO’s borders. Read the rest of this entry »

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