Stop NATO News 28 February, 2011: Afghanistan / ‘Cyberdefense’ / Libya / Korea / Pakistan / Venezuela / Ivory coast / Israel

28 February, 2011 — Stop NATO

1. Four NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghan Attacks
2. NATO Commander Promotes “In-Depth Cyberdefense”
3. U.S., NATO Allies Prepare For Military Intervention In Libya
4. U.S.-South Korea Military Exercise Labelled Preparation For War
5. Editorial: World Craves Peace, Stability
6. Afghan War: NATO Loses 61st Soldier This Year
7. Balochistan: Two More NATO Tankers Torched In Pakistan
8. Israel as NATO Member?
9. UN Troops Slay Policeman: Ivory Coast On Verge Of Civil War
10. Venezuela Accuses U.S., NATO Allies Of Libyan Military Intervention Plans

1. Four NATO Soldiers Killed In Afghan Attacks
Deutsche Presse-Agentur
February 28, 2011
Four NATO soldiers killed in attacks in Afghanistan
Kabul: Four soldiers of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed Monday in separate attacks in Afghanistan, the alliance said.
Two ISAF soldiers were killed in the eastern region by a roadside bomb and an attack by suspected Taliban, the military said.
Another soldier was killed in a roadside bombing in the south, while a fourth was killed in the relatively peaceful western region, an ISAF statement said.
ISAF did not reveal the nationalities of the deceased, nor did it provide further details of the attacks or the locations.
However, Italy’s Defence Minister Ignazio La Russa said in Rome that one Italian soldier was killed and four others were injured in Shindand district in western province of Herat.

The death brought to 37 the number of Italian soldiers who have died in Afghanistan since Italy began deploying troops in 2004 as part of NATO’s mission.
As part of their annual spring offensive, the Taliban have intensified their assaults on Afghan and international military targets in the recent weeks as the weather warms in southern and eastern regions.
Monday’s fatalities happened a day after two other soldiers lost their lives in separate attacks.
At least 60 foreign soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year. With more than 700 international forces killed, last year was the deadliest period for NATO forces since the ouster of Taliban regime in late 2001.

2. NATO Commander Promotes “In-Depth Cyberdefense”
International Herald Tribune/New York Times
February 27, 2011
NATO Builds Its Cyberdefenses
November’s NATO summit in Lisbon agreed to a new security concept that frames the way the alliance will address the full range of emerging threats to our collective peace and security.
Among the most pressing and potentially dangerous of these threats are cyberattacks. NATO leaders committed to a renewed cyberdefense policy and to taking immediate action to protect the alliance’s information systems against hostile attacks.
As the custodian of NATO’s military future, Allied Command Transformation, which I command, has a central role in developing the capabilities and supporting the doctrine that NATO will need to put in place to achieve those objectives.
The decisions taken in Lisbon are only the most recent steps in a process that began with the series of cyberattacks on Estonia in the spring of 2007…The damage they caused to an ally was a wake-up call for NATO. Our cyber-dependent societies and militaries were vulnerable.
Today, a critical element of any cyberdefense strategy is the understanding that cyberspace is international by nature. No one country can deal effectively with cyberthreats on its own.
For its members, NATO offers an established and proven forum for collective action. Cooperation within NATO, however, does not and should not preclude working with other nations, beginning with its partners, and other multilateral or international organizations — the European Union, for example — whose areas of strength in cyberdefense complement those of the alliance.
NATO operations rely heavily on cyber-enabled networks. This dependence has already led the alliance to make significant progress in defending its command, control and cybersystems.

Indeed, allied nations need to share data and intelligence both in the conduct of operations and for planning and coordination. Such requirements have been expanding exponentially since the start of our common mission in Afghanistan.

Several valuable tools, developed over these past few years, are becoming available to NATO. Its Computer Incident Response Center will be fully operational next year, and the Cooperative Cyber-Defense Center of Excellence, formally established in 2008 in Tallinn, Estonia, is now up and running.
However, these specifically military efforts cannot be isolated from the wider cybersecurity issues our nations are tackling. The alliance thus recognizes the imperative for policies that would bring civilian and military capabilities together.
The concept of “in-depth cyberdefense,” which was endorsed at the Lisbon summit, is not intended to be a military-only, or even a military-centric, strategy. It necessarily cuts across the portfolios of a variety of actors, as it spans the technology employed, the awareness of users, and the physical protection of key elements of our hardware.
As a consequence, civilian authorities in all member nations have the lead responsibility on cybersecurity. NATO is therefore working in support of whole-of-government approaches to cyberdefense — led by civilian agencies in each nation — and with actors outside government.
Key among these are commercial suppliers and the wider industrial base, since NATO-wide, 85 percent of critical infrastructure is in private hands.
In discussing a hypothetical major attack, NATO leaders are often asked what circumstances would trigger a response under Article V of the Washington treaty — in other words, when would an attack against one be considered an attack on all?
It would not be prudent to try to define exact tripwires in advance, or to tie our hands as to how we would react. But assuredly, the alliance would respond deliberately to any significant attack, adapting its reaction to the extent of the damage, the degree of certainty in attribution, the identity of the attackers and their perceived intentions.

In cyberspace and across a wide range of emerging threats, the decisions taken in Lisbon fully enable NATO to continue to deliver the type of credible collective defense that has made it the most successful alliance in the modern era.
*General Stéphane Abrial of France is the commander of NATO’s Allied Command Transformation based in Norfolk, Virginia.

3. U.S., NATO Allies Prepare For Military Intervention In Libya
New York Times
February 28, 2011
U.S. and Allies Weigh Libya No-Fly Zone
-There are several United States and NATO bases in Italy that presumably would be staging areas for any action against Libya, including the United States Sixth Fleet base near Naples. After the treaty was signed, Italy had to explain to NATO that it would respect its multilateral international treaties.
WASHINGTON: Obama administration officials held talks on Sunday with European and other allied governments as they readied plans for the possible imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya…
Further increasing international pressure on Colonel Qaddafi, the Libyan leader, Italy suspended a 2008 treaty with Libya that includes a nonaggression clause, a move that could allow it to take part in future peacekeeping [sic] operations in Libya or enable the use of its military bases in any possible intervention.
“We signed the friendship treaty with a state, but when the counterpart no longer exists — in this case the Libyan state — the treaty cannot be applied,” Italy’s foreign minister, Franco Frattini, said Sunday in a television interview.
White House, State Department and Pentagon officials held talks with their European and NATO counterparts about how to proceed in imposing flight restrictions over Libya…
A diplomat at the United Nations said that any such action would require further debate among the 15 nations of the Security Council, which was unlikely to act…
Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, was scheduled to meet with President Obama on Monday afternoon at the White House to discuss the deteriorating situation in Libya.
Obama administration officials said Sunday that they were also discussing whether the American military could disrupt communications to prevent Colonel Qaddafi from broadcasting in Libya. In addition, the administration was looking at whether the military could be used to set up a corridor in neighboring Tunisia or Egypt to assist refugees.
“There hasn’t been discussion that I’m aware of related to military intervention beyond that, and a discussion of that nature would have to begin at the U.N.,” a senior administration official said. But, the official added, “I wouldn’t say we’ve ruled anything out, either.”
Italy’s treaty with Libya, signed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in August 2008, calls on Italy to pay Libya $5 billion over 20 years in reparations for its colonial past there. In return, Libya pledged to help block the flow of illegal immigrants to Italy and grant favorable treatment for Italian companies seeking to do business in Libya.
But the treaty also contains a nonaggression clause that some analysts said complicated Italy’s position in the event of international military intervention in Libya. In it, Italy pledges not to use “direct or indirect” military force against Libya, or to allow the use of its territory “in any hostile act against Libya.”
There are several United States and NATO bases in Italy that presumably would be staging areas for any action against Libya, including the United States Sixth Fleet base near Naples. After the treaty was signed, Italy had to explain to NATO that it would respect its multilateral international treaties.
An Italian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Maurizio Massari, noted that Italy had suspended the treaty, not revoked it, and would evaluate how to proceed as the conflict in Libya evolved.
At the United Nations, there was no formal discussion about Libya on Sunday, as diplomats weighed possible next steps and digested the Security Council resolutions passed Saturday night that imposed an arms embargo and economic sanctions on Libya.
An American official, who discussed United Nations deliberations on the condition that he not be identified, said the Security Council had moved more quickly on Libya than on almost any issue in recent years. The body is poised to take further steps, if warranted, like “a rapid deterioration, a significant uptick in violence,” he said. “In terms of big ideas like a no-fly zone, if the international community is ready, and there is a need to impose a no-fly zone or authorize use of force, that would require another whole debate and resolution.”
Helene Cooper contributed reporting from Washington, and Rachel Donadio from Rome.

4. U.S.-South Korea Military Exercise Labelled Preparation For War
Voice of Russia
February 28, 2011
Joint US-S.Korea military exercise labelled preparation for war
Around 200,000 South Korean and 12,800 US troops will take part in the Key Resolve/Foal Eagle drills.
Apart from the massive number of troops the exercises will feature a lot of military hardware, including the 97,000-tonne Ronald Reagan, one of US largest aircraft carriers.
The North has labelled Key Resolve/Foal Eagle a preparation for war.

5. Editorial: World Craves Peace, Stability
Xinhua News Agency
February 28, 2011
World craves peace, stability
BEIJING: Over the past week, the world saw a devastating earthquake in New Zealand, continuous unrests or clashes in some countries in the Middle East and Africa as well as formidable oil price spirals. Peace and stability are what the world is most craving for.
On Tuesday, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand’s South Island city of Christchurch. The confirmed death toll there rose to 145 on Saturday evening, while the number of missing people surpassed 200.
Although the authorities have started to clean the ruins of the quake, people are still expecting any miraculous return of those missing people, including 23 Chinese nationals.
Also, families in various countries are waiting to meet their family members or relatives who have been withdrawn or will be withdrawn from turbulent Libya, a key oil producing country located in North Africa.
So far, more than 20,000 Chinese citizens have been evacuated from Libya safely due to swift, efficient efforts made by the Chinese government.
Influences caused by social unrests were even worse.
In Cote d’Ivoire which is mired in disputes over the country’s presidency, violence has been escalating in the past week and the security situation is deteriorating.
Since the presidential election in November last year, conflicts caused by the disputes over the election results have left more than 300 people dead. Prospect of mediation by the African Union is dim and the Western African country comes closer to the brink of civil war.
The security situation in the Middle East and North Africa is also uncertain, bringing about great social impacts and economic losses.
As the world’s main oil producing area, the disturbance in this region has made global oil prices soar and world stock markets plunge, casting a heavy shadow on the global economic recovery.
In turbulent Tunisia, its pillar industries, including tourism, have been significantly hurt and the direct economic loss suffered by the North African country has amounted to more than 2 billion U.S. dollars.
Political turmoil in Egypt also has cost the country 17 billion dollars.
In the past week, the daily oil production in the world slumped sharply due to the escalation of domestic instability in Libya, spurring the world oil price above 100 dollars per barrel for the first time since October 2008.
The expectation for higher oil prices also will quicken the rises of grain prices, thus bringing higher consumer prices and increasing the global inflation pressure.
Some economists pointed out that, if the oil price rises to 120 dollars per barrel, the world may slip into a new round of economic recession.

6. Afghan War: NATO Loses 61st Soldier This Year
Pajhwok Afghan News
February 27, 2011
ISAF soldier dead in roadside blast
KABUL: A foreign soldier was killed in a roadside bombing in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.
The death was announced in a statement from the NATO-led force that neither revealed the soldier’s nationality nor the exact location of the explosion.
Since the beginning of 2011, 61 international service members have been killed in Afghanistan. Last year, 711 foreign troops were killed in the country

7. Balochistan: Two More NATO Tankers Torched In Pakistan
Daily Times
February 28, 2011
Two NATO tankers torched in Kalat
QUETTA: Unidentified armed men torched two NATO containers carrying goods for the alliance’s forces stationed in Afghanistan, in Mangochar, Kalat district, on Sunday.
According to police sources, the containers were going to Chaman from Karachi when unidentified persons set them on fire in the Kalat district and managed to escape. Personnel of the Levies Force and other law enforcement agencies rushed to the spot soon after the incident and cordoned off the area.
A case has been registered against the unidentified persons and investigations are underway. No group claimed responsibility for the attack.
NATO trucks and oil tankers are regular targets of arson attacks blamed on terrorists attempting to disrupt two key supply lines that cross western Pakistan bound for foreign troops fighting in neighbouring Afghanistan.

8. Israel as NATO Member?
Israel as NATO Member? – Clifford Kiracofe
Cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder, Reagan’s ambassador to Austria who
heads the World Jewish Congress, recently demanded that Israel be
admitted to membership in NATO.
This proposal has been raised over the past decade in academic and in political circles but the rapidly changing situation in the Arab world, and in the Middle East, gives it a sense of urgency for Zionists around the world seeking protection for the “Jewish State”.
The “Israel as NATO member” concept was promoted at the
neoconish Hoover Institution in 2005. Well established at Stanford
University, Hoover received special attention in the George W. Bush
administration owing to its close links to former Secretary of State George Shultz and to then Secretary of State Condi Rice.
In 2005, the concept was presented in a paper for Hoover’s publication, Policy Review. Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ronald D. Asmus and Bruce P. Jackson wrote the piece entitled “Does Israel Belong in the EU and in NATO?” Jackson, who has close ties to the Bush family, was a leading advocate of the war against Iraq and
worked closely with George Shultz to promote it behind the scenes.
Asmus and Jackson concluded that: “…we believe there is a compelling strategic argument why Israel should explore the option of building closer ties to the Euro-Atlantic community. As noted, we are living in a moment of strategic fluidity — both across the Atlantic and in the Middle East. The future contours of the Euro-Atlantic community are likely to settle in the years ahead. The question is whether they will come to an end on the northern edge of the wider Middle East and stop with Turkey and the Black Sea region — or whether they will reach down to embrace a democratic country like Israel as well. In the Middle East itself, we may be entering a new phase of strategic fluidity as well .”
In February 2006, the concept was introduced at the prestigious and influential annual Munich Conference on security. No less than neoconish Jose-Maria Aznar, Spanish Prime Minister (1996-2004), advocated it and featured it in a special report on NATO expansion prepared by his own foundation in Spain. Aznar has good relations with Shultz and others at the Hoover Institution and one would expect some coordination.
Conveniently, a piece then appeared in the Washington Post on 21
February 2006 entitled “Israel as a NATO Member” by Ronald D. Asmus.
For his part, Aznar breathlessly pushed the idea again in an op-ed for the Times (London) on 17 June 2010:
“Israel is our first line of defence in a turbulent region that is constantly at risk of descending into chaos; a region vital to our energy security owing to our overdependence on Middle Eastern oil; a region that forms the front line in the fight against extremism. If
Israel goes down, we all go down.”
Ronald Lauder this year, during the annual Herzliya Conference
in Israel, pushed the concept again. For the Euros he wrote an op-ed for
the major German newspaper Die Welt published 8 February. According to
the Jewish Telegraph Agency wire story promoting the piece globally:
“Writing in an editorial published Tuesday in the major daily
Die Welt, Lauder said current events in Egypt, Tunisia and other Muslim
countries show both the forces of “freedom, democracy and economic
participation” at work as well as “how unpredictable developments in the
Middle East are. If NATO is to continue upholding “our basic principles
and our Western way of life,” then Israel, “the only democracy in the
Middle East,” deserves guarantees for its peace and security that
membership in NATO would help provide, Lauder wrote.” Given the rapidly changing situation in the Arab world, and the
overall situation in the Middle East, increased pressure by the global
pro-Israel Lobby for closer NATO-Israel relations should come as no

9. UN Troops Slay Policeman: Ivory Coast On Verge Of Civil War
Agence France-Presse
February 27, 2011
Three UN soldiers hurt in I.Coast attack: UN
ABIDJAN: Forces backing Ivory Coast [president] Laurent Gbagbo have injured three soldiers of the UN mission in the country in an attack in the economic capital Abidjan, the UN said Sunday.
Armed forces loyal to Gbagbo ambushed and wounded three peacekeepers late Saturday in the Abidjan district of Abobo, a statement from the UN mission in Ivory Coast said.
“The peacekeepers were on patrol…The patrol was forced to return the fire.”
The mission said that young Gbagbo supporters had damaged four UN vehicles in Abidjan Friday and Saturday.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday warned that Ivory Coast was on the brink of civil war as fighting surged between backers of rival claimants to the presidency.
Police loyal to outgoing president Gbagbo also accused the United Nations mission in the country of killing a police officer in the central town of Daloa on Friday.
The UN mission condemned the violence against it and said “this new escalation of violence and attacks against the mission and its staff are encouraged by the propaganda of president Gbagbo’s supporters, which is based on imaginary facts.”
It warned that attacks against the mission which protects Gbagbo’s rival…Alassane Ouattara, “are considered a war crime”.
The spokesmen of Gbagbo’s government and his FDS security forces could not be reached for comment late Sunday.
In a separate development the country’s RTI state television network, which is controlled by Gbagbo, went off the air in Abidjan Sunday after a transmitter was attacked by forces loyal to the strongman overnight, the company said.
Residents reported violent clashes between Gbagbo’s FDS forces and Ouattara loyalists in Abobo where the RTI transmitter is located.
Ivory Coast has been gripped by increasing unrest since a presidential poll on November 28, which much of the international community acknowledges was won by opposition leader Ouattara.

10. Venezuela Accuses U.S., Allies Of Libyan Military Intervention Plans
Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:39 pm (PST)
Aysor (Armenia)
February 25, 2011
Chavez blames U.S. for planning military intervention in Libya U.S.
President Barack Obama called on the leaders of Great Britain, France and Italy to combine their efforts in responding to the political crisis in Libya.
Washington reports that Pentagon is going to present its view of the development of the situation to the President, BBC reports.
Meanwhile Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez blamed U.S. and its allies for planning a military intervention in Libya.
According to the Venezuelan Foreign Minister, the uprising was created artificially to substantiate the necessity of intervention, targeting at Libyan oil, the source reports.

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