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GRE revised General Test: Find Your Format

Posted: September 11, 2016 at 5:30 pm

Country/Location:

– Select – Afghanistan Albania Algeria American Samoa Angola Antigua And Barbuda Argentina Armenia Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia & Herzegovina Botswana Brazil Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Cambodia Cameroon Canada Chad Chile China Colombia Comoros Congo – Drc (Formerly Zaire) Congo, (Republic) Costa Rica Cote D’ivoire (Ivory Coast) Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica, Commonwealth Of Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Fiji Finland France Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Greece Grenada Guam Guatemala Guinea Guyana Haiti Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Korea (Rok) Kosovo Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Latvia Lebanon Liberia Libya Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia, Fmr Yugoslav Rep Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Mauritania Mauritius Mexico Micronesia, Federated States Of Moldova Mongolia Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nepal Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Romania Russia Rwanda Samoa Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Sierra Leone Singapore Slovak Republic Slovenia South Africa Spain Sri Lanka St. Kitts And Nevis St. Lucia Sudan Suriname Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tonga Trinidad/Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Of America Uruguay US Virgin Islands Uzbekistan Venezuela Vietnam West Bank Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe

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GRE revised General Test: Find Your Format

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NATO – Wikipedia, den frie encyklopdi

Posted: July 29, 2016 at 3:08 am

NATO (engelsk: North Atlantic Treaty Organization) eller p fransk: OTAN (Organisation du Trait de l’Atlantique Nord) er en international organisation for politisk og militrt forsvarssamarbejde omkring den nordlige del af Atlanterhavet, som blev etableret i 1949 med de allierede krigspartnere USA, Storbritannien og Frankrig som de drivende krfter.

Landene er forpligtet til at forsvare hinanden i tilflde af, at de skulle blive angrebet. Derudover arrangerer NATO ofte strre, militre velser for medlemslandene. NATO deltager desuden med styrker i krigshrgede lande, fx Afghanistan.

Da man etablerede NATO, var der 12 lande med. Disse lande var Belgien, Canada, Danmark, Frankrig, Holland, Island, Italien, Luxembourg, Norge, Portugal, Storbritannien og USA. Senere er NATO blevet udvidet med flere medlemslande. Den sidste store udvidelse skete i 2004, hvor blandt andet en rkke af de tidligere Warszawapagt-lande blev indlemmet i NATO.

Bruxelles-Traktaten, der blev underskrevet 11. marts 1948 af Belgien, Holland, Luxembourg, Frankrig og Storbritannien, anses for at vre forgngeren til NATO aftalen. Denne traktat etablerede en militr alliance, der kaldtes Vestunionen eller WEU.[1] Men amerikansk deltagelse blev anset for ndvendig, hvis man skulle kunne matche Sovjetunionens militre styrke, og derfor begyndte forberedelsen af en ny, militr alliance hurtigt efter traktatens vedtagelse.[2]

Resultatet blev den Nordatlantiske Traktat, der blev udarbejdet af Lester B. Pearson og underskrevet i Washington D.C. 4. april 1949. Traktaten inkluderede de fem lande, der havde underskrevet Bruxelles-Traktaten, samt USA, Canada, Portugal, Italien, Norge, Danmark og Island.[3] Tre r senere, 18. februar 1952, underskrev ogs Grkenland og Tyrkiet aftalen. P grund af deres geografiske beliggenhed kunne Australien og New Zealand ikke vre med i alliancen, og i stedet blev ANZUS aftalen indget mellem de to lande og USA.[4]

I 1954 foreslog Sovjetunionen, at den skulle indg i NATO-alliancen for at bevare fred i Europa. NATO-landene ngtede dog dette, da de s det som et forsg p at oplse NATO indefra.

Indlemmelsen af Vesttyskland i NATO 9. maj 1955 blev beskrevet som “et afgrende vendepunkt i vort kontinents historie” af Norges davrende udenrigsminister Halvard Lange.[5] Et af de jeblikkelige resultater var da ogs oprettelsen af Warszawapagten, der blev underskrevet 14. maj 1955 af Sovjetunionen og dens satellitstater. Dermed var de to parter i den kolde krig endeligt etableret.

NATO’s sammenhold blev brudt allerede tidligt i alliancens historie med en krise under Charles de Gaulles tid som prsident i Frankrig fra 1958 og frem. De Gaulle protestererede mod det, han mente var USA’s hegemonistiske rolle i organisationen, og det han s som et specielt forhold mellem USA og Storbritannien. I et memorandum, han sendte til USA’s prsident Eisenhower og den britiske premierminister Harold Macmillan 17. september 1958, argumenterede han for en ligestilling af USA, Storbritannien og Frankrig, og for at NATO’s dkning skulle udvides til ogs at omfatte franske geografiske interesseomrder.

Charles de Gaulle ans svaret p sit memorandum som utilfredsstillende og begyndte at arbejde for et uafhngigt, fransk forsvar. Frankrig trak sin middelhavsflde ud af NATO kommandoen 11. marts 1959 og arbejdede henimod et selvstndigt atomvbenprogram.

I juni 1959 forbd de Gaulle al udstationering af udenlandske atomvben p fransk jord, og USA trak 200 militrfly ud af Frankrig. Dermed blev 26th Tactical Reconnaisance Wing, der tidligere var baseret i Tol-Rosires luftbasen, relokeret til Ramstein Air Base i Vesttyskland, og Tol-Rosires blev givet tilbage til Frankrig i 1967. Mellem 1950 og 1967 drev det amerikanske luftvben ti strre baser i Frankrig. 13. februar 1960 afprvede Frankrig sin frste atombombe, Gerboise Bleue.

Selv om Frankrig udviste solidaritet med resten af NATO under Cubakrisen i 1962, fortsatte de Gaulle sine bestrbelser for et selvstndigt fransk forsvar ved ogs at trkke de franske atlanterhavs- og kanalflder ud af den integrerede NATO kommando. I 1966 blev de franske, vbnede styrker ogs trukket ud af NATO’s integrerede kommando, og alle udenlandske tropper blev bedt om at forlade Frankrig. Frankrig fortsatte dog som medlem af den politiske alliance. Frankrigs nej til udenlandske tropper resulterede i, at NATO’s europiske overkommando (SHAPE) blev flyttet fra Paris til Casteau, nord for Mons i Belgien 16. oktober 1967.[6] Frankrig trdte igen ind i NATO’s militre kommando i 1993.

Skabelsen af NATO havde som konsekvens, at der blev brug for en standardisering af militr teknologi. Standardiseringen skete gennem STANAG aftalen, der blandt andet resulterede i en flles kaliber for militre hndvben, flles procedurer for militre lufthavne og en rkke andre standardiseringer. Der blev ogs brug for en flles militr strategi. Den blev sikret gennem flles kommando, kontrol og kommunikationscentre.

Under det meste af den kolde krig optrdte NATO ikke som organisation i bne militre konflikter. 1. juli 1968 blev Traktaten om ikke-spredning af kernevben bnet for underskrifter.

30. maj 1978 definerede NATO landene to yderligere ml for alliancen: At opretholde sikkerheden og arbejde for afspnding. Dette skulle gres ved at tilpasse alliancens militre magt til Warszawapagtens offensive formen uden at starte et vbenkaplb.

12. december 1979 efter at warszawapagtlandene havde get deres atomvbenkapacitet i Europa, blev yderligere amerikanske atomvben deployeret i Europa. De nye vben skulle styrke Vestens forhandlingsposition i forhandlingerne om nedrustning. Beslutningen blev kaldt Dobbeltbeslutningen, fordi den egentlig indeholdt to beslutninger. Man ville tilbyde Sovjetunionen nedrustningsforhandlinger, men samtidig opruste, hvis ikke disse forhandlinger frte til noget. I 1983-1984 blev der i forbindelse med denne beslutning opstillet amerikanske Pershing II raketter i Europa som svar p Warszawapagtlandenes oprustning med SS-20 mellemdistanceraketter i Europa. Pershing II raketterne var i stand til at n Moskva p f minutter. Denne oprustning frte til protester fra fredsbevgelserne i Vesteuropa.

I denne periode var der ikke de store ndringer i NATO’s sammenstning. I 1974 trak Grkenland sine tropper vk fra NATO kommandoen, og 30. maj 1982 blev Spanien indlemmet i alliancen. Efter grsk-tyrkiske spndinger efter striden om Cypern i 1974 blev de grske styrker igen underlagt NATO kommandoen i 1980 i samarbejde med Tyrkiet.

I november 1983 skabte NATO-velsen Able Archer 83 panik i Kreml. velsen simulerede et atomvbenangreb mod Sovjet. Det sovjetiske lederskab blev bekymret for, at den amerikanske prsident Ronald Reagan havde planlagt at starte et rigtigt angreb. Som reaktion blev de sovjetiske atomvbenstyrker i sttyskland og Polen sat i alarmberedskab. Selvom Sovjetunionens reaktion i samtiden blev udlagt som propaganda, mener mange historikere, at den sovjetiske frygt for et angreb var gte.

24. oktober 1990 afslrede den italienske premierminister, Giulio Andreotti, eksistensen af Gladio, en hemmelig, paramilitr milits, hvis officielle ml var at udkmpe en guerillakrig bag fjendens linjer i tilflde af et angreb fra warszawapagtlandene. Andreotti fortalte det italienske parlament, at NATO lnge i det skjulte havde trnet partisaner til dette forml.[7][8][9]

Gladio programmet var tilsyneladende aktivt i alle europiske NATO-lande og nogle neutrale lande. Emnet er specielt kontroversielt i Italien, hvor en rapport i 2000 konkluderede, at Gladio havde vret involveret i nyfascistisk terrorisme, der skulle mindske kommunistisk, politisk indflydelse i landet.[10][11]

Afslutningen p den kolde krig og oplsningen af Warszawapagten i 1991 fjernede NATO’s primre modstander. Dette gav anledning til en strategisk revaluering af NATO’s forml og opgaver. I praksis medfrte det en gradvis (og stadig igangvrende) ekspansion af NATO i steuropa og en udvidelse af aktiviteter til en rkke omrder, der ikke tidligere havde vret NATO’s arbejdsomrder. Den frste udvidelse af NATO efter den kolde krig skete med genforeningen af Tyskland 3. oktober 1990 efter Berlinmurens fald. Det tidligere sttyskland blev en del af Tyskland og dermed ogs af NATO alliancen. For at sikre en sovjetisk godkendelse af et forenet Tyskland, der fortsat var en del af NATO, blev det aftalt, at udenlandske tropper og atomvben ikke mtte udstationeres i sttyskland, og at NATO aldrig ville blive udvidet lngere stp.[12]

28. februar 1994 deltog NATO for frste gang i ben kamp, da fire serbiske fly blev skudt ned efter at have brudt et flyveforbud over Bosnien-Hercegovina der var beordret af FN. NATO hndhvede flyveforbuddet, der var startet 12. april 1993 og sluttede 20. december 1995. NATO’s luftangreb i 1995 hjalp med til at afslutte krigen p Balkan.

Mellem 1994 og 1997 dannede NATO flere fora for regionalt samarbejde mellem NATO og alliancens naboer, for eksempel Partnerskab for fred og Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. 8. juli 1997 blev tre tidligere kommunistiske lande, Ungarn, Tjekkiet og Polen inviteret til at deltage i NATO alliancen og blev formelt indlemmet i 1999.

24. marts 1999 deltog NATO i den frste strre konflikt i alliancens historie, da NATO styrker gik ind i Kosovokrigen med en 11 uger lang luftkampagne mod dele af det davrende Jugoslavien (nuvrende Serbien). En formel krigserklring fandt aldrig sted. De serbiske jugoslaver kaldte Kosovokrigen for militr aggression og imod FN-charteret.[13]

Konflikten sluttede 11. juni 1999, da Slobodan Miloevi bjede sig for NATO’s krav og accepterede resolution 1244.[14] Nato hjalp derefter med at etablere KFOR, en NATO ledet styrke under FN mandat, der varetager sikkerheden i Kosovo.

NATO’s ekspansion, aktiviteter og geografiske dkning er blevet forget yderligere efter terrorangrebet 11. september 2001. Angrebet frte til, at NATO chartrets artikel 5 blev taget i brug. Artikel 5 siger, at et angreb p en medlemsstat anses for et angreb p alle alliancens medlemmer. 4. oktober 2001 fastslog NATO endeligt, at angrebet var dkket af artikel 5.[15]

Angrebet medfrte de frste militre aktioner begrundet med artikel 5 i NATO’s historie: Operation Eagle Assist og Operation Active Endeavour.

P trods af denne hurtige, solidariske reaktion stod NATO snart over for en krise. 10. februar 2003 nedlagde Frankrig og Belgien veto mod planer om at forsvare Tyrkiet i tilflde af en krig med Irak. Begrundelsen var, at sdanne planer ville sende et signal om, at forhandlingerne med Irak havde slet fejl.[16] Tyskland brugte ikke sin veto-ret, men stttede alligevel Frankrigs og Belgiens veto.

I sprgsmlet om Afghanistan udviste alliancen til gengld strre sammenhold. 16. april 2003 enedes NATO landene om at tage kommandoen over International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) i Afghanistan. Forslaget blev fremsat af Tyskland og Holland, de to lande der ledte ISAF, og alle 19 NATO ambassadrer godkendte beslutningen enstemmigt. ISAF kom under NATO’s kontrol 11. august. Det var frste gang i NATO’s historie, at alliancen styrede en militr operation uden for Europa.[17]

31. juli 2006 overtog en NATO-ledet styrke bestende af tropper fra Canada, Storbritannien, Tyrkiet, Danmark og Holland de militre operationer i det sydlige Afghanistan fra en amerikansk ledet styrke.[18]

Nye NATO strukturer blev skabt, og gamle nedlagt. NATO’s reaktionsstyrke, NATO Response Force (NRF), blev dannet efter NATO topmdet i Prag 21. november 2002.[19]19. juni 2003 startede en strre omstrukturering af de militre NATO kommandoer, da hovedkvarteret for Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic blev nedlagt og en ny kommando, Allied Command Transformation (ACT) blev oprettet i Norfolk i Virginia i USA. Samtidig blev Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) ogs hovedkvarter for Allied Command Operations (ACO). ACT er ansvarlig for at transformere NATO til fremtidige opgaver, mens ACO er ansvarlig for militre operationer.[20]

Udvidelsen med nye medlemslande fortsatte, og syv nye lande blev indlemmet i NATO: Estland, Letland, Litauen, Slovakiet, Slovenien, Bulgarien og Rumnien.[21] Disse lande blev inviteret til forhandlinger om medlemskab ved NATO topmdet i Prag i 2002 og blev optaget i NATO 29. marts 2004. Udvidelsen var den strste i NATO’s historie.[22]

En rkke andre lande har ogs udtrykt nske om at blive optaget i NATO, blandt andet Albanien, Kroatien, Den Tidligere Jugoslaviske Republik Makedonien, Georgien og Montenegro.

Rusland mener, at NATO’s udvidelser mod st siden slutningen p den kolde krig har vret en klar overtrdelse af en aftale mellem den sovjetiske leder Mikhail Gorbatjov og George H.W. Bush, der tillod en fredelig genforening af Tyskland. NATO’s ekspansionspolitik bliver set som en fortsttelse af den kolde krigs forsg p at omringe og isolere Rusland.[23][24][25]

Artikel 10 af den Nordatlantiske Traktat gr det muligt for ikke-medlemslande at blive optaget i NATO:

Artikel 10 stter to generelle begrnsninger for kommende medlemsstater:

I 1999 blev der fastsat en procedure for optagelsen af fremtidige medlemslande, Membership Action Plan (MAP). Et potentielt medlemsland skal rligt rapportere om sine fremskridt inden for fem omrder:[27]

NATO giver feedback og teknisk rdgivning til det enkelte land og evaluerer dets fremskridt.[28]

Det er usandsynligt, at NATO skulle invitere lande som Irland, Sverige, Finland, strig og Schweiz til medlemskab, fordi befolkningen og de valgte regeringer i disse lande ikke sttter et medlemskab i NATO. NATO anerkender officielt disse landes neutralitetspolitik.

Der er blevet etableret to fora, der skal fremme fremtidigt samarbejde mellem de 28 NATO-lande og 21 skaldte “partnerlande.”

De 21 partnerlande er:

Den Individuelle Partnerskabshandlingsplan (IPAP), der s dagens lys ved NATO topmdet i Prag i 2002, er ben for lande, der har den politiske vilje til at ge deres samarbejde med NATO.[31][32]

IPAP handleplaner er oprettet med disse lande:

Middelhavsdialogen der blev startet i 1994, er et forum for samarbejde mellem NATO og syv lande i Middelhavsomrdet.

I 2004 styrkedes Middelhavsdialogen p et topmde i Istanbul, og blev hvad NATO kalder et “gte partnerskab,” med en rkke nye ml: Styrkelse af den politiske dialog, strre interoperabilitet, en forsvarsreform og terrorbekmpelse.[33]

NATO samarbejder med Rusland i NATO-Rusland Rdet, der blev etableret i maj 2002.[34]

Filippinerne har lnge vret allieret med USA. Filippinerne fik betegnelsen “strre ikke-NATO allieret” 6. oktober 2003, hvilket tillod USA og Filippinerne at samarbejde om militr forskning og udvikling. I april 2005 indgik Australien, der lnge har vret allieret med USA, en sikkerhedsaftale med NATO, der skulle ge efterretningssamarbejdet i krigen mod terrorisme. Australien har ogs en forsvarsattach posteret i NATO’s hovedkvarter.[35] Samarbejde med Japan, El Salvador, Sydkorea og New Zealand er ogs blevet udtrykt som vrende en prioritet.[36] Israel er med i middelhavsdialogen og har sgt at udvide sit samarbejde med NATO. Israel blev for frste gang besgt af en NATO-leder 23. februar 24. februar 2005.[37] Den frste flles fldevelse mellem NATO og Israel fandt sted 27. marts 2005.[38] I juni samme r deltog israelske tropper i NATO velser.

Flere har talt for, at Israel optages i NATO-alliancen, blandt andet Spaniens tidligere premierminister, Jos Mara Aznar og den italienske forsvarsminister Antonio Martino. Men NATO’s generalsekretr Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, afviste i september 2006 at et Israelsk medlemskab kan komme p tale. Israel har heller ikke sgt om en optagelse i NATO.[39]

Som alle alliancer styres NATO i sidste ende af sine 28 medlemslande. Den Nordatlantiske Traktat, og andre aftaler, faststter rammer for hvordan beslutninger tages i NATO. Hver af de 28 medlemslande sender en delegation, eller mission, til NATO’s hovedkvarter i Bruxelles i Belgien. Lederen af hver delegation kaldes “den permanente reprsentant” og er normalt en hjtrangerende embedsmand eller erfaren ambassadr. Den permanente reprsentant har diplomatisk status af ambassadr.

Sammen udgr de permanente reprsentanter det Nordatlantiske Rd (NAC), et organ der mdes mindst en gang om ugen og har den politiske beslutningsmagt inden for NATO. Der er ogs jvnlige mder i rdet med deltagelse af udenrigsministre, forsvarsministre eller regeringsledere, og det er ved disse mder, store beslutninger om NATO’s politik normalt bliver taget. Det skal dog bemrkes, at rdet har samme politiske beslutningsmagt, ligegyldigt hvilket niveau mderne foregr p.

Mderne i det Nordatlantiske Rd ledes af NATO’s generalsekretr, og nr beslutninger skal trffes, trffes beslutningerne enstemmigt. Der stemmes ikke, og der kan ikke tages beslutninger ud fra flertallets nsker.[41]

Et andet medlem af hvert lands NATO-delegation er den militre reprsentant, en hjtrangerende officer fra det enkelte lands militr. Sammen udgr de militre reprsentanter den Militre Komit,[42] et organ, der er ansvarligt for at udarbejde anbefalinger til det politiske organ i militre sprgsml. Til tider holder rdet ogs mder med landenes forsvarschefer.

NATO’s Parlamentariske Forsamling (NPA) udgres af reprsentanter fra medlemslandene og reprsentanter fra 13 partnerlande.[43] Officielt er forsamlingen ikke en del af NATO’s politiske struktur og har som arbejdsomrde at samle NATO lande til diskussioner om sikkerhedspolitik.

NATO’s militre operationer ledes af to strategiske ledere, begge hjtstende officerer fra USA’s militr, assisteret af en stab, der udgres af medlemmer fra hele NATO. De strategiske ledere er underlagt den Militre Komit.

Fr 2003 var de strategiske ledere verste, allierede leder i Europa (SACEUR) og den verste allierede leder for Atlanten (SACLANT). Under den nuvrende ordning er den samlede kommando delt mellem to kommandocentre, Allied Command Transformation (ACT), der er ansvarlig for udvikling og trning af NATO-styrkerne, og Allied Command Operations, der er ansvarlig for NATO’s militre operationer p verdensplan. Lederen af Allied Command Operations har beholdt titlen SACEUR, og hovedkvarteret er stadig SHAPE, der ligger i Belgien. ACT derimod ligger i det tidligere SACLANT hovedkvarter i Norfolk i Virginia, USA.

Stillingen som chef for Allied Command Europe, der siden 2003 har heddet Allied Command Operations, er blevet besat af flgende:[45]

Note: Fra Ridgways tid har SACEUR ogs vret chef for United States European Command

LA-ikon

Koordinater: 505234N 42519 / 50.876155555556N 4.4220111111111 / 50.876155555556; 4.4220111111111

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Ascension – Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Posted: June 29, 2016 at 6:31 pm

This page is about the Feast of the Ascension. For the event that it celebrates, see Ascension of Jesus.

Ascension is a Christian holiday. The word “ascension” means “going up”. According to the story told in the Bible, Jesus ascended (went up) to heaven with his apostles. The holiday is celebrated forty days after his resurrection. The story tells that Jesus’ body went to heaven, and that in heaven he sits at the right-hand side of God the Father.

Ascension Day is officially celebrated on a Thursday. However, not all countries hold the feast on this day. It is one of the ecumenical feasts. All Christians celebrate this feast, much like Easter and Pentecost. It is a very important feast in the calendar of the Christian Church.

In some countries (at least in Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany (since the 1930s), Haiti, Iceland, Indonesia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Namibia, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Vanuatu) it is a public holiday; Germany also holds its Father’s day on the same date.

The Eastern Orthodox Church calculates the date of Easter differently, so the Eastern Orthodox celebration of Ascension will usually be after the western observance (either one week, or four weeks, or five weeks later; but occasionally on the same day). The earliest possible date for the feast is May 13 (of the western calendar), and the latest possible date is June 16. Some of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, however, observe Ascension on the same date as the Western Churches.[1]

The feast is observed with an all-night vigil.

The Epistle to the Romans is a book from the Bible which was written about the year 56 or 57.[2] In it, Paul describes Christ as in heaven and in the abyss.[3] This seems to be the earliest Christian reference to Jesus in heaven.

One of the most important texts about the Ascension is in the Acts of the Apostles 1:1-11. According to the two-source hypothesis it is also the earliest.[4] There Jesus is taken up bodily into heaven forty days after his resurrection. The text says that the apostles saw this happening. Before going into heaven, Jesus gave a speech called the Great Commission, in which he said that he would return. In the Gospel of Luke, the Ascension[5] takes place on Easter Sunday evening.[6] The Gospel of John (c. 90-100)[7] talks about Jesus returning to the Father.[8] In 1 Peter (c. 90-110),[7] Jesus has ascended to heaven and is at God’s right side.[9] Ephesians (c. 90-100)[7] refers to Jesus ascending higher than all the heavens.[10] First Timothy (c. 90-140)[7] describes Jesus as taken up in glory.[11] The traditional ending in the Book of Mark (see Mark 16) includes a short version of what Luke had said about the resurrection. It describes Jesus as being taken up into heaven and sitting at God’s right hand.[12] The way that Christ’s Ascension is described is similar to the general description of his welcome in heaven, a description that comes from Hebrew scripture.[13] The picture of Jesus rising bodily into the heavens fits in with the old traditional idea that heaven was above the earth.[14]

There are texts that are not in the Bible that also speak about ascension, for example Pistis Sophia. In his text Against Heresies, Irenaeus tells about the Gnostic view that the Ascension happened eighteen months after the Resurrection.[15] The apocryphal text known as the Apocryphon of James describes the teachings of Jesus to James and Peter 550 days after the resurrection, but before the ascension. This text suggests an even longer period. The recently discovered Nag Hammadi Gospel of Thomas, like the canonical Gospel of Matthew, does not mention the Ascension.

The feast of the Ascension has been celebrated for many centuries. Although we do not have anything in writing about it before the beginning of the fifth century, St. Augustine says that it is of Apostolic origin, and he speaks of it in a way that shows that all Christians celebrated it long before his time (he lived from 354-430).

Christ’s ascension is mentioned in the original Nicene Creed. This text has been important to Christians ever since it was made in 325. It is included in the Mass. It is also mentioned in the Apostles’ Creed. It is important for Christian belief because it shows that Jesus’ humanity was taken into Heaven.[13]Ascension Day is one of the chief feasts of the Christian year.[13] There is plenty of evidence that shows that the feast dates back at least to the later 300s.[13]

The canonical story of Jesus ascending bodily into the clouds is different from the gnostic tradition, by which Jesus was said to transcend the bodily world and return to his home in the spirit world. It also contrasts with Docetic beliefs, by which matter is basically evil and Jesus was said to have been pure spirit.

Scholars of the historical Jesus think that New Testament accounts of Jesus’ resurrection were stories that were invented by the apostolic-era Christian community.[6] Some describe the Ascension as a convenient way to disagree with ongoing appearance claims in the Christian community.[6]

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NATO – U-S-History.com

Posted: October 28, 2015 at 11:44 am

NATO is based on the North Atlantic Treaty, which provides the organization a framework. The treaty provides that an armed attack against one or more of NATO`s member nations shall be considered an attack against them all.* NATO is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. The organization was formed in 1949. Many nations joined NATO even Iceland, the only member without a military force.

The organization was originally formed out of the fear that the Soviet Union would ally militarily with Eastern European nations, i.e. the Warsaw Pact, and thus become a threat to Western Europe and the United States. In short, the alliance is an association of free states united in their determination to preserve their security through mutual guarantees and stable relations with other countries.

From 1945 to 1949, Europe faced the crucial need for economic reconstruction. Western European countries and their North American allies viewed with apprehension the expansionist policies and methods of the U.S.S.R. Having fulfilled their own wartime commitments, and desiring to reduce their defense establishments and demobilize forces, Western governments became increasingly alarmed as it became clear that the Soviet leadership intended to maintain its own military forces at full strength.

Furthermore, in view of the Soviet Communist Party`s avowed ideology, it was evident that appeals to the United Nations Charter, and international settlements reached at the end of the war, would not assure democratic states their autonomy. The rise of nondemocratic governments in many central and eastern European countries, and the resultant repression of opposition parties and basic human rights, raised more alarm in the West.

Between 1947 and 1949, a series of extraordinary political events brought matters to a head. They included direct threats to the sovereignty of Norway, Greece, Turkey and other countries, the June 1948 coup in Czechoslovakia, and the illegal blockade of Berlin that began in April of the same year. The signing of the Brussels Treaty in March 1948 marked the commitment of five Western European countries Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom to develop a common defense system and strengthen the ties among them in a manner that would enable them to resist ideological, political and military threats to their security. Later, Denmark, Iceland, Italy, Norway and Portugal were invited by the Brussels Treaty powers to become participants in that process.

Then followed negotiations with the United States and Canada on the creation of a single North Atlantic alliance based on security guarantees and mutual commitments between Europe and North America. The alliance would become the transatlantic link by which the security of North America was permanently tied to the security of Europe.

Negotiations culminated in the signing of the treaty in April 1949, entered into freely by each country following public debate and due parliamentary process. The treaty a legal and contractual basis for the alliance was established within the framework of Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which reaffirms the inherent right of independent states to individual or collective defense. The treaty requires of each of them not to enter into any other international commitment that might conflict with its provisions. The preamble to the treaty states that the aim of the allies is to promote peaceful and friendly relations in the North Atlantic area.

However, at the time of the treatys signing, the immediate purpose of NATO was to defend its members against a potential threat resulting from the policies and growing military capacity of the Soviet Union. The treaty created a common security system based on a partnership among the 12 countries. Others joined later:

The means by which the alliance carries out its security policies includes the maintenance of a sufficient military capability to prevent war and to provide for effective defense; an overall capability to manage crises affecting the security of its members; and active promotion of dialogue with other nations. The alliance performs the following fundamental security tasks:

A continent evolves

NATO has worked since its inception for the establishment of a just and lasting peaceful order in Europe based on common values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. That central alliance objective has taken on renewed significance since the end of the Cold War because, for the first time in the post- World War II history of Europe, the prospect of its achievement has become a reality as embodied by the European Union.

From time to time, the alliance met at the summit level with heads of state and governments participating. Their direct participation in the process of taking decisions by consensus, raised the public profile of such meetings and bestowed on them increased historical significance.

By 1991, the major transformation of international security at the end of the 1980s was dictating the shape of the new NATO that would emerge over the next few years. The first of a series of four summit meetings that would plot the course of the alliances adaptation to the coming decade took place in Rome in November 1991. It would be followed by another summit meeting in Brussels in January 1994, two further meetings in Madrid in July 1997, and in Washington in April 1999.

Epilogue

The world has seen many changes since the inception of NATO. NATO peacekeeping forces maintain vigilance at hot spots around the world. Kosovo, Afghanistan and Somalia all enjoy a NATO presence. NATO announced on June 9, 2005, that it would help the African Union (AU) expand its peacekeeping mission in Darfur, Sudan, by airlifting additional AU peacekeepers into the region and assisting with training.

The following is from a speech by former NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson on November 12, 2003. The occasion was hosted by the George C. Marshall Foundation, the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced Internationa Studies and the Royal Norwegian Embassy:

Another excerpt from the same speech:

The following is an illustration of how the world has changed. General Ray Henault of the Canadian Air Force accepted the chairmanship of NATO`s Military Committee on June 16, 2005, from his predecessor, General Harald Kujat of the German Air Force. The Military Committee is the highest military decision-making authority in NATO, assisting and advising the North Atlantic Council. The Chairman of the Military Committee is selected by the Chiefs of Defense and appointed for a three-year term of office.

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North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 1949 – 19451952 …

Posted: October 23, 2015 at 11:47 pm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 1949

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was created in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union.

Signing of the NATO Treaty

NATO was the first peacetime military alliance the United States entered into outside of the Western Hemisphere. After the destruction of the Second World War, the nations of Europe struggled to rebuild their economies and ensure their security. The former required a massive influx of aid to help the war-torn landscapes re-establish industries and produce food, and the latter required assurances against a resurgent Germany or incursions from the Soviet Union. The United States viewed an economically strong, rearmed, and integrated Europe as vital to the prevention of communist expansion across the continent. As a result, Secretary of State George Marshall proposed a program of large-scale economic aid to Europe. The resulting European Recovery Program, or Marshall Plan, not only facilitated European economic integration but promoted the idea of shared interests and cooperation between the United States and Europe. Soviet refusal either to participate in the Marshall Plan or to allow its satellite states in Eastern Europe to accept the economic assistance helped to reinforce the growing division between east and west in Europe.

In 19471948, a series of events caused the nations of Western Europe to become concerned about their physical and political security and the United States to become more closely involved with European affairs. The ongoing civil war in Greece, along with tensions in Turkey, led President Harry S. Truman to assert that the United States would provide economic and military aid to both countries, as well as to any other nation struggling against an attempt at subjugation. A Soviet-sponsored coup in Czechoslovakia resulted in a communist government coming to power on the borders of Germany. Attention also focused on elections in Italy as the communist party had made significant gains among Italian voters. Furthermore, events in Germany also caused concern. The occupation and governance of Germany after the war had long been disputed, and in mid-1948, Soviet premier Joseph Stalin chose to test Western resolve by implementing a blockade against West Berlin, which was then under joint U.S., British, and French control but surrounded by Soviet-controlled East Germany. This Berlin Crisis brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of conflict, although a massive airlift to resupply the city for the duration of the blockade helped to prevent an outright confrontation. These events caused U.S. officials to grow increasingly wary of the possibility that the countries of Western Europe might deal with their security concerns by negotiating with the Soviets. To counter this possible turn of events, the Truman Administration considered the possibility of forming a European-American alliance that would commit the United States to bolstering the security of Western Europe.

Signing of the Brussels Treaty

The Western European countries were willing to consider a collective security solution. In response to increasing tensions and security concerns, representatives of several countries of Western Europe gathered together to create a military alliance. Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg signed the Brussels Treaty in March, 1948. Their treaty provided collective defense; if any one of these nations was attacked, the others were bound to help defend it. At the same time, the Truman Administration instituted a peacetime draft, increased military spending, and called upon the historically isolationist Republican Congress to consider a military alliance with Europe. In May of 1948, Republican Senator Arthur H. Vandenburg proposed a resolution suggesting that the President seek a security treaty with Western Europe that would adhere to the United Nations charter but exist outside of the Security Council where the Soviet Union held veto power. The Vandenburg Resolution passed, and negotiations began for the North Atlantic Treaty.

In spite of general agreement on the concept behind the treaty, it took several months to work out the exact terms. The U.S. Congress had embraced the pursuit of the international alliance, but it remained concerned about the wording of the treaty. The nations of Western Europe wanted assurances that the United States would intervene automatically in the event of an attack, but under the U.S. Constitution the power to declare war rested with Congress. Negotiations worked toward finding language that would reassure the European states but not obligate the United States to act in a way that violated its own laws. Additionally, European contributions to collective security would require large-scale military assistance from the United States to help rebuild Western Europes defense capabilities. While the European nations argued for individual grants and aid, the United States wanted to make aid conditional on regional coordination. A third issue was the question of scope. The Brussels Treaty signatories preferred that membership in the alliance be restricted to the members of that treaty plus the United States. The U.S. negotiators felt there was more to be gained from enlarging the new treaty to include the countries of the North Atlantic, including Canada, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Ireland, and Portugal. Together, these countries held territory that formed a bridge between the opposite shores of the Atlantic Ocean, which would facilitate military action if it became necessary.

President Truman inspecting a tank produced under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program

The result of these extensive negotiations was the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949. In this agreement, the United States, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United Kingdom agreed to consider attack against one an attack against all, along with consultations about threats and defense matters. This collective defense arrangement only formally applied to attacks against the signatories that occurred in Europe or North America; it did not include conflicts in colonial territories. After the treaty was signed, a number of the signatories made requests to the United States for military aid. Later in 1949, President Truman proposed a military assistance program, and the Mutual Defense Assistance Program passed the U.S. Congress in October, appropriating some $1.4 billion dollars for the purpose of building Western European defenses.

Soon after the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the outbreak of the Korean War led the members to move quickly to integrate and coordinate their defense forces through a centralized headquarters. The North Korean attack on South Korea was widely viewed at the time to be an example of communist aggression directed by Moscow, so the United States bolstered its troop commitments to Europe to provide assurances against Soviet aggression on the European continent. In 1952, the members agreed to admit Greece and Turkey to NATO and added the Federal Republic of Germany in 1955. West German entry led the Soviet Union to retaliate with its own regional alliance, which took the form of the Warsaw Treaty Organization and included the Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe as members.

The collective defense arrangements in NATO served to place the whole of Western Europe under the American nuclear umbrella. In the 1950s, one of the first military doctrines of NATO emerged in the form of massive retaliation, or the idea that if any member was attacked, the United States would respond with a large-scale nuclear attack. The threat of this form of response was meant to serve as a deterrent against Soviet aggression on the continent. Although formed in response to the exigencies of the developing Cold War, NATO has lasted beyond the end of that conflict, with membership even expanding to include some former Soviet states. It remains the largest peacetime military alliance in the world.

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Meet NATOs new rapid-reaction task force, now in initial training

Posted: April 4, 2015 at 4:49 am

As Russian actions across eastern Europe alarmed countries last year, NATO officials at a summit in Wales decided to take a new step: Forming a new military force designed to respond swiftly in the face of threats.

The Very High Readiness Joint Task Force will include about 5,000 troops primarily from France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain, with maritime, special operations and aviation units. Its meant to give the rest of the 30,000 service members in NATOs response force time to mobilize.

The high-readiness force will take a major step this month with part one of Operation Noble Jump. Running from April 1 to April 10, the exercise includes missions in the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, and marks the first time that the forces will practice rapid orders to move, NATO officials said.

NATO released this video Thursday to help explain it:

Another part of Noble Jump will occur from June 9 to June 20 at the Zagan Military Training Area in Poland, officials said. It will be followed by Trident Juncture 2015, a military exercise in Italy, Spain and Portugal from Oct. 21 to Nov. 6.

U.S. troops have trained with the NATO Response Force, established in 2003, for years. In Latvia, for example, U.S. Marines joined troops from Lithuania, Luxembourg, Canada and Germany last month as part of a five-day training assignment. The Marines were part of the Black Sea Rotational Force, which cycles through the Baltic region regularly for training assignments on Russias western flank.

Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, the commander of U.S. European Command and supreme allied commander of NATO operations, has said repeatedly that the whole NATO Response Force needs to be ready. He said at a forum in Brussels last month that NATO isnt just establishing the high-readiness task force, but also working to speed up how the rest of the response force moves.

Breedlove told the House Armed Services Committee in February that Europe will be the primary contributor of land forces for the high-readiness task force, but the United States must contribute some troops to help with cohesiveness.

Dan Lamothe covers national security for The Washington Post and anchors its military blog, Checkpoint.

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Bitcoin Transactions Not Yet Entirely Anonymous

Posted: January 3, 2015 at 6:46 am

A group of researchers in Luxembourg say they have found a way to uncover the identities of Bitcoin users. So how anonymous is the vaunted crypto-currency?

Bitcoin has been having some difficulty persuading consumers to use it for online transactions, but the virtual currency is nevertheless slowly starting to win people over. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer system, which means there is no centralisation or control, and payments can be made rapidly across the world free of charge. Every users identity is hidden behind an encrypted pseudonym and an address, both of which can be changed on a regular basis to protect confidentiality. Against this background, a team of cryptographic experts working at the University of Luxembourg have been carrying out research in order to find out whether the system really guarantees anonymous transactions. Now the researchers, Alex Biryukov, Dmitri Khovratovich and Ivan Pustogarov, have just published a paper entitled Deanonymisation of clients in Bitcoin P2P network, in which they claim to have discovered a means of identifying users IP addresses.

The three cryptographers describe their method of finding out by whom or at least from which IP address a given transaction was being made. Focusing on the Tor security network used by many Bitcoin aficionados to protect their identity, they managed to disable Tor access to the users client by using deliberately malformed messages and were then able to get the Bitcoin server to reveal the IP address that was connecting to the Bitcoin entry nodes. Using this method, the researchers claim to have managed to de-anonymise up to 60% of all users targeted. They say a hacker could discover the identity of a Bitcoin user by spending just under 1,500 on an attack involving several computers, which means that most ordinary Internet users would not be able to exploit this weak point and only the most experienced and best equipped hackers will be able to get in through the loophole. Nevertheless, the aim of the Luxembourg team is not simply to point out deficiencies in the system but to help rectify the situation, and they are now working with the Bitcoin developers on new software designed to render transactions really secure and anonymous.

It will come as no surprise however to learn that people closely involved with the virtual currency are aware of potential privacy issues. Bitcoin is often perceived as an anonymous payment network. But in reality, Bitcoin is probably the most transparent payment network in the world, points out one of the first sites dedicated to the currency. For this reason a number of tools such as Darkwallet have already been developed with a view to enhancing the confidentiality of Bitcoin financial transactions. The Luxembourg research project is one of the very first efforts to test the limits of the crypto-currency but, given the obvious attractions of having an anonymous cash-like system for worldwide online transfers, it will doubtless not be the last. Meanwhile the revelations might well make people hesitate before embarking on such innovative ideas as preserving their DNA via the Bitcoin network, or even simply making micro-payments over the social networks, where a degree of confidentiality is a major requirement.

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Ministerial Conference: Highlights – Video

Posted: December 14, 2014 at 8:48 pm



Ministerial Conference: Highlights
On 2 December ESA concluded a productive one-day Council Meeting at Ministerial Level in Luxembourg. Ministers from European Space Agency (ESA) Member States have approved the …

By: European Space Agency, ESA

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Ministerial Conference: Highlights – Video

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Portugal to integrate two scientific space exploration programs: media

Posted: December 9, 2014 at 5:45 am

Portugal’s Minister of Education and Science Nuno Crato said Wednesday that Portugal will integrate two scientific space exploration programs including the International Space Station, according to Portuguese Lusa News Agency.

“There is a lot of good news or Portugal, which will continue collaborating with the European Space Agency (ESA) … and will now incorporate the program for International Space Station and the program for Lunar Exploration,” Nuno Crato told Lusa, after participating at a meeting at the ESA in Luxembourg.

Ministers of the ESA met Tuesday in Luxembourg, and agreed to develop new launchers, as well as approving investment in the international space station and space exploration programs.

Crato said that Portugal benefited through its participation with ESA “on various levels,” like Portuguese scientists getting involved with the space agency’s work and enabling the country to use more sophisticated technology.

“Being part of the International Space Station is very important for us … The program for lunar exploration is a new program and we will join it from the start. So our software development companies will participate in this effort and will be able to make orders from these programs,” Crato added.

The next ESA meeting will take place in Switzerland in 2016.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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Bitcoin, virtual money: User's identity can be revealed much easier than thought

Posted: November 26, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Bitcoin is the new money: minted and exchanged on the Internet. Faster and cheaper than a bank, the service is attracting attention from all over the world. But a big question remains: are the transactions really anonymous? Several research groups worldwide have shown that it is possible to find out which transactions belong together, even if the client uses different pseudonyms. However it was not clear if it is also possible to reveal the IP address behind each transaction. This has changed: researchers at the University of Luxembourg have now demonstrated how this is feasible with only a few computers and about 1500.

“It’s hard to predict the future, but some people think that Bitcoin could do to finance what the Internet did to communications,” says Prof. Alex Biryukov, who leads digital currency research at the University. “So I think especially for Luxembourg it is important to watch what happens with Bitcoin.”

The Bitcoin system is not managed by a central authority, but relies on a peer-to-peer network on the Internet. Anyone can join the network as a user or provide computing capacity to process the transactions. In the network, the user’s identity is hidden behind a cryptographic pseudonym, which can be changed as often as is wanted. Transactions are signed with this pseudonym and broadcast to the public network to verify their authenticity and attribute the Bitcoins to the new owner.

In their new study, researchers at the Laboratory of Algorithmics, Cryptology and Security of the University of Luxembourg have shown that Bitcoin does not protect user’s IP address and that it can be linked to the user’s transactions in real-time. To find this out, a hacker would need only a few computers and about 1500 per month for server and traffic costs. Moreover, the popular anonymization network “Tor” can do little to guarantee Bitcoin user’s anonymity, since it can be blocked easily.

The basic idea behind these findings is that Bitcoin entry nodes, to which the user’s computer connects in order to make a transaction, form a unique identifier for the duration of user’s session. This unique pattern can be linked to a user’s IP address. Moreover, transactions made during one session, even those made via unrelated pseudonyms, can be linked together. With this method, hackers can reveal up to 60 percent of the IP addresses behind the transactions made over the Bitcoin network.

“This Bitcoin network analysis combined with previous research on transaction flows shows that the level of anonymity in the Bitcoin network is quite low,” explains Dr. Alex Biryukov. In the paper recently presented at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security the team also described how to prevent such an attack on user’s privacy. Software patches written by the researchers are currently under discussion with the Bitcoin core developers.

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The above story is based on materials provided by Universit du Luxembourg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

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Bitcoin, virtual money: User's identity can be revealed much easier than thought

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