23 May 2011 — Stop NATO
- Libya: Nearly 8,000 NATO Air Missions, Over 3,000 Combat Flights
- NATO To Deploy Attack Helicopters For Libyan War
- U.S. Missiles In Europe Can Fuel New Arms Race: Russian Military Chief
- Four NATO Soldiers Killed In Eastern Afghanistan
- U.S. Drone Attack Kills At Least Four In Pakistan
- United Arab Emirates To Open First Arab Embassy At NATO Headquarters
- Iran Denounces United Arab Emirates Move Toward NATO
Libya: Nearly 8,000 NATO Air Missions, Over 3,000 Combat Flights
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
May 23, 2011
NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ
Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:
Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 08.00GMT) a total of 7870 sorties, including 3025 strike sorties, have been conducted.
Sorties conducted 22 May: 138
Strike sorties conducted 22 May: 50
A total of 21 ships under NATO command are actively patrolling the Central Mediterranean.
16 Vessels were hailed on 22 May to determine destination and cargo. 1 boarding (no diversion) was conducted.
A total of 1018 vessels have been hailed. 48 boardings and 7 diversions have been conducted since the beginning of arms embargo operations.
NATO To Deploy Attack Helicopters For Libyan War
May 23, 2011
NATO to deploy helicopters in Libya: French source
PARIS/MISRATA, Libya: NATO plans to use attack helicopters in Libya to help break a military stalemate with forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, a French diplomatic source said on Monday.
Continued shelling of the rebel-held western outpost of Misrata illustrated the scale of the problem facing rebel forces and NATO. Rebels said Gaddafi forces were trying to advance into the long-besieged city under cover of rocket and mortar shells.
The French daily Le Figaro reported that 12 helicopters, which could launch more accurate close attacks on pro-Gaddafi forces and targets than fixed wing aircraft, were shipped out to Libya on the French warship Tonnerre on May 17.
“It is not just French helicopters … it’s coordinated action by the coalition,” the diplomatic source said, in response to the newspaper report. “It is at NATO level.”
A U.N. Security Council resolution allows NATO to strike Gaddafi forces in defense of civilians, but it explicitly excludes any military occupation. Critics such as Russia accuse NATO of overstepping their mandate in prosecuting a systematic campaign to force the end of Gaddafi’s 41-year rule.
According to Le Figaro’s source, French special forces, who have been operating in Libya to help identify targets for NATO planes since the start of air strikes, could now be reinforced and deployed to guide helicopter attacks.
U.S. Missiles In Europe Can Fuel New Arms Race: Russian Military Chief
Voice of Russia
May 23, 2011
US missiles in Europe may lead to new arms race – chief of general staff
-A missile defense shield consists of radars, anti-missiles, and other components, such as orbital groups in outer space, laser weapons which the US is building now, and the Aegis naval weapons system. All this might encourage one of the parties to ignore nuclear parity.
A US missile defense shield in Europe may lead to a new arms race. A statement to this effect was made by Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Nikolay Makarov as he addressed a missile defense conference in Moscow.
During a summit of the Russia-NATO Council in November 2010, Russia and NATO agreed that they would cooperate on creating a European missile defense system. Russia offered to cover the northwestern sector of the missile defense shield on condition it had no other missiles “behind its back”. Until now, Moscow has obtained no legal guarantees from the US and NATO to the effect that the European missile defense shield will not be directed against it. For some reason, NATO has resolved to build a missile defense system in four stages by 2020, without Russia. General Makarov has this to say:
“If Russia is to become a full-fledged member of the European missile defense system, it will have to take an immediate part in building it. Unfortunately, Moscow was denied this right. Moreover, the US is deploying anti-missiles in Poland and Romania. It looks like the missile defense architecture has already been built and is now being used as part of the US global missile defense shield. The assurances from the US that it poses no threat to Russia are unsubstantiated because they should be based on technical calculations and reports, both present-day and those which will appear by 2020.”
According to the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, the technical characteristics of the 2020 missile tracking and strike systems are hard to predict. A missile defense shield consists of radars, anti-missiles, and other components, such as orbital groups in outer space, laser weapons which the US is building now, and the Aegis naval weapons system. All this might encourage one of the parties to ignore nuclear parity:
“Russia should take part in missile defense jointly with NATO in order to ward off tension. As new threats and challenges come to the surface, we must join forces to tackle them. Following different routes would be the worst scenario possible. It would change the current balance of strength in a radical way.”
According to Russian experts, the first and second stages of the American missile defense scheme to be implemented by 2015 pose no serious hazard to Russia’s Strategic Nuclear Forces. However, the next two stages do pose a threat because the US Standard-3 anti-missiles will be upgraded, the missile defense naval group will be enlarged to 40 ships with nearly 400 interceptors, and their deployment base in Poland will be in close proximity to Russian borders. This would pose a danger to Russian intercontinental ballistic missiles, including ship-based, so Russia would have to take measures to protect itself against such attacks.
In the meantime, General Makarov says Russia has called for a single European missile defense center and an exchange of missile defense technology with NATO.
Four NATO Soldiers Killed In Eastern Afghanistan
May 23, 2011
NATO says four foreign troops killed in Afghan blast
Kabul: Four soldiers with NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) were killed in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, the alliance military said in a statement.
The soldiers died following the detonation of a roadside bomb, ISAF statement said, but provided no further details regarding the nationalities of the deceased or the exact location of the incident.
Most of the troops stationed in county’s east are from the United States. Small units of French and Polish soldiers are also deployed to the volatile region that has long border with Pakistan.
A total of 184 foreign soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan conflict so far this year, according to iCasualties.org, an independent website that tracks military fatalities in Afghanistan. The number does not include the latest deaths.
More than 140,000 international troops are currently based in the country, fighting a Taliban led insurgency that is now nearly ten years old…
U.S. Drone Attack Kills At Least Four In Pakistan
Xinhua News Agency
May 23, 2011
U.S. drone strike kills 4 in NW Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: At least four persons were killed on Monday as a U.S. drone fired several missiles at a vehicle in northwest Pakistan’s tribal area, local media reported.
United Arab Emirates To Open First Arab Embassy At NATO Headquarters
May 23, 2011
Nato looks into plan for UAE embassy
ABU DHABI: The UAE is to attempting to become the first Arab country to send an ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato), but details are yet to be finalised, officials said yesterday.
After talks with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Poland’s foreign minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, said on Wednesday that his country was “very happy that the UAE is to become the first Arab country to open an embassy at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.”
“The new partnership policy agreed at the Berlin Nato Foreign Ministers meeting allows all Nato partners to request the opening of diplomatic missions to the Alliance Headquarters in Brussels. This will be done on a case-by-case basis, based on a decision by the NAC [North Atlantic Council]. Allies are currently examining the request by the UAE to open a diplomatic mission to Nato,” a Nato official said.
Talks on Nato co-operation began in Istanbul in 2004. The UAE joined Nato’s Istanbul Co-operation Initiative, which was launched at an alliance summit that year to bolster bilateral security co-operation with countries in the Middle East.
Those Istanbul talks resulted in a 2008 visit by Nato’s secretary general – his first to the UAE. In October 2009, Nato and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs organised a conference on “Nato-UAE Relations and the Way Forward in the Istanbul Co-operation Initiative”, which took place at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.
The relationship, which is both military and diplomatic, has progressed since, experts said.
Theodore Karasik, the director of research and development at the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis, said: “The relationship is mostly strategic in nature, and has developed over the past few years.
“It’s another forward step for the UAE as it links itself to European security. It’s also proactive in the sense of what is occurring throughout North Africa, and that the UAE sees this move as part of its security architectural plan.”
Although Nato primarily deals in security, “terrorism and proliferation are only two examples” of the ways in which the UAE and Nato could co-operate, the Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in 2009.
The UAE has worked with Nato’s International Security Assistance Forces, its military presence in Afghanistan.
“For several years we co-operated with Nato and we also co-operate with the alliance in Afghanistan. We believe that this participation puts us in a specific position…,” Sheikh Abdullah said at the 2009 conference.
With additional reporting by Haneen Dajani
Iran Denounces United Arab Emirates Move Toward NATO
May 23, 2011
Iran dismisses UAE’s move on NATO
A top Iranian military figure has slammed efforts by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to get close to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
“This move by the UAE sets the stage to officially authorize the presence of an uninvited guest in the region,” Vice Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the director of the Iranian Armed Forces’ Center for Strategic Studies, told IRNA.
Such measures, said the admiral, run counter to the policy of maintaining cordial ties with neighboring countries.
He further touched upon the presence of alien forces in the Persian Gulf region, and said, “Foreign forces cannot guarantee the security of the countries in the region.”