5 April 2011 — Stop NATO
- Obama Backs French Military Action, Tells Ivorian President To Abdicate
- Russia Calls For Emergency UN Security Council Meeting On Foreign Military Intervention In Ivory Coast
- African Union Head Condemns Western Military Intervention In Libya, Ivory Coast
- French Military Destroys Ivorian Vehicles, Anti-Aircraft Sites, State TV Station
- French, UN Troops Attack Ivory Coast Military Camp
- NATO Afghan Commander Next CIA Chief, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Starvidis Next Military Chief?
- Governor: NATO Troops Kill Six Civilians In Northern Afghanistan
- Hungarian Troops Back From Afghanistan: NATO Strategic Airlift Operation Reaches 4,000 Flight Hours
- 60th Anniversary Of SHAPE: Operational Expansion Of NATO To Three Continents, Indian Ocean
- Philippines: 6,500 U.S. Troops In Joint Military Exercises
Obama Backs French Military Action, Tells Ivorian President To Abdicate
April 5, 2011
Obama calls on Ivory Coast’s Gbagbo to “stand down”
WASHINGTON: U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuedsay called on Ivory Coast incumbent Laurent Gbagbo to stand down immediately and order his fighters to lay down their arms.
He said he supported the role U.N. peacekeepers are playing as they try to protect civilians and welcomes the efforts of French forces who are supporting that mission.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, Editing by Sandra Maler)
Russia Calls For Emergency UN Security Council Meeting On Foreign Military Intervention In Ivory Coast
April 5, 2011
Russia calls for emergency UN Security Council meet on Ivory Coast
Moscow: Russia has requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council in light of the participation of United Nations troops in fighting in Ivory Coast.
The main reason for such a meeting would be to review the participation of UN and French troops in the offensive against incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo.
The UN troops’ mandate calls for neutrality and impartiality, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in comments cited by the Interfax news agency.
‘We have still not received any clear answers to our questions,’ he said.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon approved the deployment on Monday. French troops are also involved in the fighting to dislodge Gbagbo, who is widely believed to have lost presidential elections last year to Alassane Ouattara.
Russia is ‘very concerned’ about the situation in Ivory Coast, said Lavrov. ‘The situation there isn’t getting any better. It just gets worse.’
Troops backing both Gbagbo and Ouattara are suspected of killing civilians. Moscow has called on all sides to stop fighting.
African Union Head Condemns Western Military Intervention In Libya, Ivory Coast
April 5, 2011
AU chief condemns foreign intervention in Ivory Coast, Libya
African Union chief Teodoro Obiang Nguema condemned foreign military intervention in Ivory Coast and Libya, saying that Africa must be allowed to manage its own affairs.
“Africa does not need any external influence. Africa must manage its own affairs,” Obiang Nguema, who is also president of Equatorial Guinea, told an international conference in Geneva.
The AU chairman noted that violence in Ivory Coast has led to significant human losses and that the union pressured…Laurent Gbagbo to step down and to recognise Alassane Ouattara as the president of the Ivory Coast.
But this should not “imply a war, an intervention of a foreign army,” he said.
He also singled out the UN-sanctioned intervention in Libya.
“I believe that the problems in Libya should be resolved in an internal fashion and not through an intervention that could appear to ressemble an humanitarian intervention. We have already seen this in Iraq,” said Obiang Nguema.
French Military Destroys Ivorian Vehicles, Anti-Aircraft Sites, State TV Station
Xinhua News Agency
April 6, 2011
French force destroys pro-Gbagbo targets in Cote d’Ivoire
PARIS: French troops [with the] Licorne [force] in Cote d’Ivoire have destroyed several military and infrastructure targets providing service to…President Laurent Gbagbo’s force on Monday night, French Defense Minister Gerard Longuet said Tuesday.
Helicopters of Licorne have destroyed over ten armored vehicles, four anti-aircraft cannons of Gbagbo’s force and the station of Radiodiffusion-Television ivoirienne (RTI), the state-owned TV station of Cote d’Ivoire, the minister told the National Assembly.
According to Longuet, French troop launched the strikes from 7:00 p.m. Monday night…
France had deployed extra troops to Cote d’Ivoire since last Sunday. The total number of French soldiers in the African country has increased to 1,650.
French, UN Troops Attack Ivory Coast Military Camp
Xinhua News Agency
April 5, 2011
UN, French troops attack Cote d’Ivoire’s Gbagbo military camp
ABIDJAN: French army helicopters fired on a military camp held by the army loyal to Cote d’Ivoire’s incumbent Laurent Gbagbo on Monday in the economic capital Abidjan to add forces seeking an end to his rule.
Meanwhile witnesses reported that UN helicopters also fired on the pro-Gbagbo military camp in Abidjan.
The French Licorne troops deployed in Cote d’Ivoire has increased to 1,650 after the recent reinforcement to protect civilians. The UN mission in Cote d’Ivoire (ONUCI) has at least 9,800 personnel in the warring West African country.
Paris…has taken control of Abidjan’s airport…
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he has authorized the French troops to participate in all the ONUCI operations to “neutralize” heavy arms being used by forces loyal to Gbagbo…
UN officials have admitted exchanges of fire with Gbagbo’s security forces, accusing the latter of attacking first.
Gbagbo still has elite troops including the Republican Guard in his last bastions of the state television station, the presidential palace and the presidential residence.
The strong resistance by Gbagbo’s military camp is biting the offensive by the rival Republican Forces headed by…Alassane Ouattara.
The resumption of control of the state television RTI last week by Gbagbo’s forces indicated a possibility of longer days of the decisive Abidjan battle than previously expected, especially by Ouattara’s supporters.
On Monday, Ouattara’s spokesman Alain Lobognon declared the final offensive to take over control of the world’s top cocoa producing country in West Africa.
Lobognon said the Republican Forces took action Monday afternoon to end the war over the city.
His declaration came amid reports that 4,000 fighters entered the city to join the 5,000 pro-Ouattara forces fighting day in and day out since Thursday.
Heavy weaponry was witnessed in the city on Monday when the Republican Forces maneuvered troops for military operations.
The Republican Forces launched the military march in December while the political standoff triggered waves of post-election violence.
The pro-Ouattara forces gained ground quickly last week, taking a series of important towns before reaching Abidjan on Thursday.
The ongoing war is the second in the country since the 2002-2003 civil war, dividing Cote d’Ivoire into Gbagbo’s south and the north controlled by ex-rebel New Forces, the backbone now of the newly formed Republican Forces.
The country’s Nov. 28 presidential run-off was expected to end the long-standing division, but the political standoff over the top post unleashed another all-out war.
NATO Afghan Commander Next CIA Chief, NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Starvidis Next Military Chief?
Stars and Stripes
April 5, 2011
Petraeus considered as next CIA chief
Gen. David Petraeus, commander of all U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, is under serious consideration to become the next head of the CIA, National Public Radio reported on Tuesday.
Petreaus would replace current CIA Director Leon Panetta, who could be a candidate to replace Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Despite overseeing U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Petraeus is not being considered as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when Adm. Mike Mullen retires in the fall. That job could go to current Vice Chairman Marine Gen. James “Hoss “Cartwright or Adm. James Stavridis, currently head of U.S. European Command.
Read Gen. Petraeus Being ‘Seriously Considered’ For CIA Director, NPR Reports on NPR.org.”
Governor: NATO Troops Kill Six Civilians In Northern Afghanistan
April 5, 2011
NATO troops kill six civilians in north Afghanistan
MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan: NATO troops killed six civilians during a night raid on a house in northern Afghanistan’s Sar-e Pul province late Monday, the provincial governor told Reuters.
The NATO-led force said soldiers on a joint operation with Afghan troops had killed five men who were armed and opened fire on them. They are investigating the identity of the dead men, a spokesman said.
Afghans are allowed by law to own guns, and in rural areas many do, to protect against threats from bandits, militias or rivals with weapons.
Critics of night raids say people confused at being woken from sleep may open fire on troops who arrive under cover of darkness, even if they have no insurgent links.
Hungarian Troops Back From Afghanistan: NATO Strategic Airlift Operation Reaches 4,000 Flight Hours
U.S. Air Forces in Europe
April 5, 2011
Hungarian soldiers return, HAW reaches 4,000 flight hours
Heavy Airlift Wing Public Affairs
PÁPA AIR BASE, Hungary: Some 118 Hungarian soldiers returned home to Pápa Air Base from their ISAF mission in Afghanistan on April 1 and on that same redeployment flight the Heavy Airlift Wing reached 4,000 flight hours.
The HAW had an intense winter – it reached 3,000 flight hours in early December 2010, so a thousand more came a little sooner than expected.
“Such intensity is not possible at all times, but we are content we have been able to fulfill the SAC nations’ requests,” said U.S. Air Force Col. John Zazworsky, HAW commander.
Strategic Airlift Capability is a cooperative effort of 12 nations: Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and the United States. It is stationed in Pápa Air Base, Hungary.
Since the delivery of the first aircraft in July 2009, the HAW has flown more than 4,000 hours, delivered more than 13,800 tons of cargo, and transported more than 6,000 passengers…
60th Anniversary Of SHAPE: Operational Expansion Of NATO To Three Continents, Indian Ocean
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
April 1, 2011
SHAPE Celebrates 60 Anniversary
-Over the years, the military headquarters has overseen a number of important military operations and missions to safeguard the nations of the North Atlantic Treaty and beyond, including current operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo, counter-piracy off the horn of Africa, counter terrorism in the Mediterranean, and most recently Operation Unified Protector, NATO’s response to protecting the civilian population in Libya.
Since its official activation in Paris on 02 April 1951, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) has been a pillar of strength and security for the nations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Today, SHAPE celebrated its 60th Anniversary with a ceremony during which Admiral James Stavridis, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), addressed the SHAPE military and civilian personnel and their families.
“We have moved into an era where we have found ways to cooperate with former foes,” Admiral Stavridis told the crowd packed into the PAO Auditorium on SHAPE. “This is part of the legacy of SHAPE moving forward. The world has moved on, but our ability to impact it…continues.”
During his speech, Admiral Stavridis underscored the significant role that SHAPE has played over the years, especially highlighting some of SHAPE and NATO’s major accomplishments following the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of Cold-War.
Admiral Stavridis touched on NATO’s expanding role in the international arena, such efforts to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia, and creating partnerships…around the world. Afghanistan remains NATO’s top operational goal…NATO’s role continues to expand with its recent decision to take over operations in Libya…enforce the arms embargo and no-fly zone…
“The operational expansion of SHAPE and NATO is very significant and tells the story of the extraordinary hard work that happens here,” Admiral Stavridis said. “Collective defence is what this alliance is about. But NATO is also a force for good in the world. That is part of the legacy of SHAPE.”
As SHAPE celebrates, it has a chance to look back on a proud history of service to NATO during the Cold War, but especially this even busier period afterward. During the more than two decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall, SHAPE has faced new challenges, taken on new missions, integrated new members, worked with new partners, and emerged as one of the key assets of the international community in efforts to restore stability in crisis areas in Europe and elsewhere.
SHAPE was officially founded on 2 April 1951 as part of an effort to establish an integrated and effective NATO military force.
It soon set up its first headquarters at Rocquencourt, France under SACEUR Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In 1967, after France’s withdrawal from NATO’s integrated military structure, SHAPE was relocated to Casteau, Belgium.
During its six decades, SHAPE has had 16 SACEURs overseeing its military operations. Each SACEUR has been charged with guiding SHAPE’s military efforts through the Cold War and beyond, and made an indelible impact on the overall security and defence of the Alliance.
SHAPE saw the construction of the Berlin Wall in August 1961 during the heart of the Cold War, and the momentous opening of the wall on 9 November 1989, marking the beginning of a completely new and radically different era for the military headquarters. Over the years, the military headquarters has overseen a number of important military operations and missions to safeguard the nations of the North Atlantic Treaty and beyond, including current operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo, counter-piracy off the horn of Africa, counter terrorism in the Mediterranean, and most recently Operation Unified Protector, NATO’s response to protecting the civilian population in Libya.
As SHAPE celebrates 60 years, it continues to take on key roles in ensuring Alliance security and stability. SHAPE has taken on new missions, has integrated new members, worked with new partners, and emerged as one of the key assets of the international community in efforts to restore stability in crisis areas in Europe and elsewhere.
Philippines: 6,500 U.S. Troops In Joint Military Exercises
U.S. Department of Defense
April 4, 2011
U.S., Philippine Forces to Kick Off Annual Exercise
By Donna Miles
WASHINGTON: U.S. and Philippine forces will kick off Balikatan, their annual bilateral training exercise, tomorrow in the Philippines, though in a slightly scaled-down form.
The 10-day exercise will proceed “despite a reduction in the number of participating U.S. troops, many of whom are in Japan to assist in relief efforts there in the wake of the recent earthquake and tsunami,” officials at the U.S. Embassy in Manila announced today.
About 6,500 U.S. service members will join their Philippine armed forces counterparts to conduct combined staff exercises, field training and…projects to improve interoperability, contingency planning, and their capability to respond to natural disasters and other crises, U.S. Army Pacific officials said.
The 8th U.S. Army, with headquarters at Yongsan Garrison in South Korea, announced it would deploy about 500 soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division’s 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, to augment 6,000 U.S. forces already slated to participate.
U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas Jr. called the bilateral training vital to both armed forces’ readiness capabilities.
[P]lanned is a scenario-based command-post exercise that practices joint and combined force planning at the headquarters level, and field training exercises that promote cross-training and increase interoperability. In addition, U.S. and Philippine explosive disposal teams will conduct combined-forces training.
The term “Balikatan,” a Tagalog word that means “shoulder to shoulder,” symbolizes the partnership between the two countries as they work together toward a common goal. The annual Balikatan exercise is conducted under the auspices of the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951 and Visiting Forces Agreement, with U.S. Army Pacific serving as executive agent.