Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania to form joint military force

Polish servicemen take part in military exercises outside the town of Yavoriv near Lviv, September 19, 2014. (Reuters/Roman Baluk)

Polish servicemen take part in military exercises

Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania have agreed to launch a joint military force which is expected to hold its first drill next year.

The defense ministers of the three states signed the agreement in Warsaw on Friday, in the presence of Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.

Polish defense officials told Reuters that LITPOLUKRBRIG (Lithuanian–Polish–Ukrainian Brigade)
could take part in peacekeeping operations or, if necessary, form the basis of a NATO battle group in the region.

Lithuania and Poland are NATO members, while Ukraine’s recent appeal for a special status outside the bloc was turned down by US president Barack Obama.

“I hope that it will be possible to hold the first [LITPOLUKRBRIG] exercises in one year,” Komorowski said, adding that the creation of the unit “is part of a wider plan…to support Ukraine, among others, in the area of modernization.”

The Polish president stressed that the deal signing proves the trio’s commitment to security in the region.

He also expressed regret that LITPOLUKRBRIG wasn’t formed earlier, and that the sides will now have to make up for lost time.

The newly formed brigade will have its headquarters in the eastern Polish city of Lublin, situated not far from the country’s border …read more

France launches first round of airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq

French President Francois Hollande in 2013 (Image credit: Saly Bechsin/Flickr)

By End the Lie

French President Francois Hollande in 2013 (Image credit: Saly Bechsin/Flickr)

The French military has begun their campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq, marking the country’s entrance into what one paper called “an emerging international military coalition.”

Read more: “NATO says Russia still has 1,000 troops in eastern Ukraine, 20,000 on the border” and “Obama and Cameron to discuss increased military action against Islamic State

Thus far, the strikes have been conducted by the United States. U.S. officials have been attempting to get more support from other nations in the campaign.

The White House has maintained that ground troops will not be joining the fight against Islamic State militants, but military officials seem less confident.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has approved a plan to give President Barack Obama the authority to arm “moderate” rebels in Syria.

The French airstrikes began Friday, according to the French president, targeting an Islamic State supply depot in northeastern Iraq.

French Rafale fighter jets destroyed the depot, according to a statement issued by French President Francois Hollande.

Additional French operations will follow “in coming days,” according to …read more