Stop NATO News: 3 May, 2011

3 May 2011 — Stop NATO

Updates on Libyan war: May 3, 2011

  • NATO Headquarters: Military Chiefs Of 54 States Meet On Libyan, Afghan Wars
  • NATO Expansion Architect Asmus Dies
  • U.S. To Base Interceptor Missiles, Troops In Romania
  • U.S. To Base Interceptor Missiles Across Black Sea From Russia
  • Next-Generation Satellite To Advance U.S. Star Wars Capabilities
  • NATO Air Strike Kills Eight Afghan Security Guards
  • Afghan War: Romanian Troops Injured In Attack On Tank
  • Ivory Coast: Pro-Western Forces Launch “Final Assault” Against Rivals
  • Australia Promises U.S., NATO To Keep 1,550 Troops In Afghanistan
  • U.S. Marines, NATO Allies Observe South Korean Artillery Drills

NATO Headquarters: Military Chiefs Of 54 States Meet On Libyan, Afghan Wars

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

May 3, 2011

NATO and Partner Chiefs of Defence meet to discuss key military challenges

-The MC [Military Committee] will also meet in separate sessions with Ukraine and Georgia to take stock of the on-going transformation of these countries’ Armed Forces. Both countries are contributing to NATO and NATO-led operations.

Brussels: NATO’s Military Committee (MC) in Chiefs of Defence Staff (CHODs) session will meet at NATO HQ on 4th and 5th May 2011. Under the chairmanship of Adm. Giampaolo Di Paola, the highest military representatives of 54 countries will discuss in various formats the military evolution of NATO and NATO-led operations.

This key military meeting will assess progress of the Berlin Ministerial recommendations (April 2011), and will be instrumental to the Defence Ministerials discussions in June 2011.

For the first time since NATO took command and control of Operation Unified Protector in Libya, CHODs will have a chance to evaluate operational progress, together with NATO’s two Strategic Commanders Adm. Jim Stavridis (SACEUR) and Gen. Stéphane Abrial (SACT) and JFC Naples Commander Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III.

Regarding Afghanistan, focus will be on Transition and the long-term perspective for the country. Gen. David Petraeus (COMISAF) and the newly appointed NATO Senior Civilian Representative Amb. Simon Gass will update CHODs on key issues.

Furthermore, the NATO-Russia Council Military Representatives (NRC-MR) will meet to examine and deepen further ways to enhance military-to-military cooperation. Army Gen. Makarov and Adm. Di Paola will formally take the co-editorship of the approved NRC Consolidated Glossary of Cooperation. Media are invited to the presentation of this important tool which is the result of 10 years of diplomatic and military collaboration.

The MC will also meet in separate sessions with Ukraine and Georgia to take stock of the on-going transformation of these countries’ Armed Forces. Both countries are contributing to NATO and NATO-led operations.


NATO Expansion Architect Asmus Dies


May 2, 2011

Ronald Asmus dies at 53

Ronald Asmus, the head of the Brussels office of the Marshal Foundation, has died at the age of 53. The active supporter of Georgia, who is the author of the book about Georgia-Russia war, entitled A Little War that Shook the World, died of cancer at the Brussels clinic.

A Little War that Shook the World was translated into several languages.

Ronald Asmus was also the author of a work on NATO enlargement in 2002, which reviews the need of alliance enlargement towards the east.

Ronald Asmus visited Georgia several months ago to attend the presentation of his book on Georgia.


U.S. To Base Interceptor Missiles, Troops In Romania

Voice of Russia

May 3, 2011

US antimissile base to be deployed in Romania

The US and Romania have agreed on the deployment of US missile defence elements on Romanian soil.

The Romanian President Trajan Basescu said in televised remarks that Romania would assign the former Air Force base Devevselu, in the south of the country, for the purpose. According to the President, the US will deploy 200 servicemen at the base, but may boost the overall strength to 500, if necessary…

In spring last year, the Romanian leader said Bucharest would have three batteries with 24 missile launchers deployed in Romania as part of the plan to deploy the US antimissile defences in Europe by the year 2015. Russia sees the plan as a threat to its national security.


U.S. To Base Interceptor Missiles Across Black Sea From Russia

Agence France-Presse

May 3, 2011

Romania airbase to host US missile shield

By Mihaela Rodina

-US troops and military equipment bound for Iraq and Afghanistan would be allowed to transit through its main port of Constanta on the Black Sea as well as the local airport.

-”Kogalniceanu and Constanta will thus become two strategic sites for the US as well as for Romania.”

DEVESELU, Romania: Bucharest said Tuesday US missile interceptors would be deployed in southern Romania, a key link in Europe for a defence shield, prompting Moscow to ask for “safeguards” from Washington.

Romania and the United States have been negotiating for more than a year about the deployment of ballistic missile interceptors, which should be operational by 2015.

“We have decided that the anti-missile shield will be deployed at the former airbase at Deveselu,” Romanian President Traian Basescu said in a televised address.

Moscow, which fears the shield could be turned against Russia, swiftly demanded assurances from Washington.

“In this situation, US legal guarantees on their intention not to deploy a missile defence system aimed at the strategic nuclear forces of Russia is becoming even more relevant,” Russian Foreign ministry said quoted by news agencies.

The Romanian airbase located in an agricultural region 100 kilometres (62 miles) north of the Bulgarian border was built nearly 60 years ago with assistance from the Soviet Union.

In 1952, the first Soviet-made MiG-15 aircraft landed on the 700-hectare (1,700-acres) base.

Nearly a third of it will be used by American troops, whose number could go from 200 to a maximum of 500.

Closed down in 2002, the airbase will need investment worth 400 million dollars to become operational again, officials said.

An ‘American district’ will be built in the 3,300-inhabitant village, the mayor Gheorghe Bece told Mediafax news agency.

“We are confident that Deveselu will be an excellent site and will prove to be the optimal location” for the interceptors, Lieutenant General John Gardner, deputy commander of the US Europe Command, told journalists.

The deployment of the US European-based Phased, Adaptive Approach for Missile Defense (EPAA) system started with the presence since March in the Mediterranean of a guided missile cruiser equipped with Aegis radar, the USS Monterey.

The second phase is to include the deployment of 24 SM3-type interceptors in Romania, followed in 2018 by a similar deployment in Poland.

Analysts said the agreement marked a step further in the strategic partnership between the US and Romania, a former communist country seen today as one of Washington’s closest European allies.

Basescu’s announcement coincided with the start of a visit by Ellen Tauscher, US Undersecretary of State for arms control and international security affairs, who went to Deveselu Tuesday afternoon.

Basescu also said US troops and military equipment bound for Iraq and Afghanistan would be allowed to transit through its main port of Constanta on the Black Sea as well as the local airport.

“We have approved the use of the Mihail Kogalniceanu airport and of the harbour of Constanta for the transit of US troops and equipment going to Iraq and Afghanistan and back to Europe,” Basescu said in his televised address.

“Kogalniceanu and Constanta will thus become two strategic sites for the US as well as for Romania.”


Next-Generation Satellite To Advance U.S. Star Wars Capabilities


May 3, 2011

Friday launch to upgrade US missile defenses

GEO-1 is first of four new-satellite liftoffs to enhance technical intelligence

By Mike Wall

The United States military will take a big step toward upgrading the nation’s missile-defense system this week, when it launches the first in a constellation of next-generation surveillance satellites.

On Friday, the Air Force will launch GEO-1, the first of four new satellites planned under the Space-Based Infrared Systems (SBIRS) program. SBIRS will significantly improve the country’s missile-warning and missile-defense capabilities, and it will also provide enhanced technical intelligence to fighters on the ground, Air Force officials said.

“Once launched and fielded, GEO-1 will bring the dawn of a new era in persistent overhead surveillance,” Brig. Gen.-select Roger Teague, head of the Infrared Space Systems directorate at Los Angeles Air Force Base’s Space and Missile Systems Center, told reporters April 26.

Augmenting the current system

The Air Force already has an extensive satellite network that scans the globe for the telltale heat trails produced by missile or rocket launches…

In addition to spotting missile and rocket launches, GEO-1 and the other SBIRS satellites will also be used to gather more general “technical intelligence,” officials said.

“Technical intelligence is a broad mission, primarily looking at new targets, and I can’t get into much more specifics than that,” said Jeff Smith, SBIRS vice president at Lockheed Martin, the Air Force’s prime contractor for the program. “The data that we collect is used to figure out the profiles and what new targets are out there.”

GEO-1 will do its work from about 22,000 miles above Earth, sitting in a geosynchronous orbit (hence the satellite’s name). It will peer at the land below using two sensors, a “scanner” and a “starer.”

The scanner will cover a wide swath, looking for missile and rocket launches, while the starer will concentrate on smaller “areas of interest,” officials said.

SBIRS system already under way

While GEO-1 will be the first of the dedicated SBIRS satellites to reach orbit, it’s not the first piece of the program to take to the skies. The SBIRS plan also calls for four other sensors, which will be incorporated as payloads into four different “host spacecraft” and peer down at the Earth from highly elliptical orbits.

Much about these other sensors is classified, including the identity of their host satellites. But Teague confirmed that two of these payloads already have been launched.

“We’re very pleased with the performance of those systems,” he said.

GEO-1 will launch May 6 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket. The satellite will settle into its orbit nine days later, then begin a series of check-outs and tests.

The satellite should start sending useful data to the intelligence community within six months, officials said…

The other satellites will follow GEO-1 into orbit over the next five years or so. The last of them, GEO-4, is slated for launch around 2016, Teague said.


NATO Air Strike Kills Eight Afghan Security Guards

Pajhwok Afghan News

May 3, 2011

8 private security guards killed in ISAF strike

by Mirwais Himmat

GHAZNI CITY: Eight guards of a private security company were killed during an air strike by international soldiers in the southern province of Ghazni, officials said on Tuesday.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) bombed the Watan Risk Security Company guards at 8am when they were escorting a logistics convoy in the Pul Mati area of Gilan district.

Provincial police chief, Col. Zarawar Zahid, told Pajhwok Afghan News eight guards of the company were killed and two others detained by foreign troops.

Maqur district chief, Barakatullah, confirmed the incident in Pul Mati, which is located near the border with the Maqur district.

But the NATO-led force said that insurgents attacked the convoy on Tuesday morning in Gilan district. The convoy called for and received close air support, a statement from ISAF said. “We are still assessing results from the engagement.”


Voice of Russia

May 3, 2011

NATO ‘friendly fire’ kills 5 Afghan soldiers

Ten Afghan soldiers have accidentally been killed in a NATO airstrike on what the alliance thought to be a group of Taliban militants, a local police spokesman said on Tuesday.

He added that the soldiers were apparently involved in guarding a supply convoy for International Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF) troops in the southern province in Ghazni.

ISAF officials declined to comment on the incident.


Afghan War: Romanian Troops Injured In Attack On Tank

May 2, 2011

Three Romanian soldiers injured in Afghanistan as their tank was attacked by an explosive device

Romania’s National Defense Ministry announced that three Romanian soldiers were injured on Sunday morning in Afghanistan after their tank was attacked with an explosive device. The three were evacuated to the Kandahar military hospital. A fourth military, also in the vehicle had superficial wounds and resumed his activity in the Lagman base.

According to information, the incident took place on Sunday, around 5:30 AM when a tank that was in a mission with militaries from the Battalion 26 infantry Neagoe Basarab on A1 highway in Zabul province, Afghanistan was attacked with an improvised explosive device.


Ivory Coast: Pro-Western Forces Launch “Final Assault” Against Rivals

Xinhua News Agency

May 3, 2011

Pro-Ouattara forces launch “final assault” in Cote d’Ivoire

ABIDJAN: After repeated warnings, the Cote d’Ivoire Republican Forces (FRCI) resolved on Monday to launch the “final assault” against the last stronghold of the country’s deposed leader Laurent Gbagbo, whose supporters have continued to put up resistance, three weeks after his arrest.

The FRCI offensive began on Monday in the pro-Gbagbo district of Yopougon in the economic capital Abidjan. It lasted throughout the day with heavy gunfire heard on Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Eyewitnesses said they saw the FRCI backing president-elect Alassane Ouattara on top of pick-ups going through some regions of Yopougon such as Niangon, Sideci and Koweit, which host most of Gbagbo’s militia.

A source close to the FRCI told Xinhua that pro-Gbagbo fighters who decide to put down their weapons will be spared, but those who will continue resisting despite the repeated warnings will be tracked down and disarmed by force.

On Friday, several fighters loyal to the deposed leader handed over their weapons in the presence of the country’s military authorities.

However, others have continued to put up resistance and they have been involved in confrontations with pro-Ouattara forces.


Australia Promises U.S., NATO To Keep 1,550 Troops In Afghanistan

The Australian

May 4, 2011

Rudd rejects early withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan war zone

Brad Norington

Kevin Rudd has declared that the death of Osama bin Laden will not prompt the Australian government to consider an early withdrawal of troops from the war in Afghanistan.

Speaking in Washington after talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Mr Rudd said the government saw no change in the timetable to remove Australian troops by 2014.

“We will stay the course in Afghanistan until our mission is complete,” he said.

“And we’ve defined what that mission is in relation to the province of Oruzgan, where our forces are by and large committed, with our American allies.”

Australia has 1550 troops based in Afghanistan as part of the US and NATO-led military operation. The Foreign Minister said the Gillard government believed it had the right timetable for Australia’s military mission in Afghanistan, and respected Mr Karzai’s 2014 date for a planned withdrawal of US and allied forces from the country.

Additional reporting: Mark Dodd


U.S. Marines, NATO Allies Observe South Korean Artillery Drills

Dong-A Ilbo

May 4, 2011

US military observes Marine firing drills on west coast islands

South Korean marines staged live-fire artillery drills on two frontline islands off the west coast Tuesday, with U.S. military officials observing them.

According to the Marine Corps, the drills lasted for two hours from 1:30 p.m. on Yeonpyeong and Baengnyeong islands and involved self-propelled guns, 81-millimeter mortars and Vulcan guns. They were the second round of live-fire exercises held by the Marines this year.

A Marine official said the drills are a part of a regular exercise aimed at establishing a solid defensive posture on the five islands close to North Korea. A group of U.S. Marines and other military personnel observed the drills to further develop and mature the interoperability of tactical and operational systems between the allies, he said.

The observers included U.S. Marines officers stationed in Japan and liaison officers of the U.N. Military Armistice Committee from Australia, Canada, Denmark and New Zealand.

This was the first time for senior U.S. Marines officers to observe a firing exercise by South Korean Marines.

The U.S. Forces Korea said the American observers comprised experts in intelligence, artillery and exercise planning. The U.N. Command liaison officers confirmed that the drills were conducted in compliance with the 1953 armistice and internationally recognized standards.

Walter Sharp, commander of the U.S. Forces Korea, said in a news release, “There will be more combined training in the future, at a time of our choosing, as we increase our alliance capabilities on the northwest islands.”

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