Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: July 11, 2011

11 July 2011 — Stop NATO

  • Canadian Warship Leaves For Libyan War Mission
  • U.S., Australia Launch Large-Scale War Games
  • U.S. To Upgrade Israeli Patriot Interceptor Missile System
  • Washington Suspends Military Aid To Pakistan
  • Afghan War: NATO 2011 Death Toll Nears 300
  • U.S. Reiterates Demand For Yemeni President To Step Down

Canadian Warship Leaves For Libyan War Mission


Victoria Times Colonist
July 10, 2011

HMCS Vancouver ready for Libya mission despite fire

A small fire on board HMCS Vancouver will only delay the ship’s departure time for its mission off Libya by an hour or so, navy spokeswoman Lieut. Diane Larose said Saturday.

A boiler caught fire around 8 p.m. Friday, but the blaze was quickly detected and put out by the ship’s personnel and dockyard fire department.

The equipment sustained minor damage, but no one was injured. ‘All of the repairs are within the capabilities of the ship’s staff and our fleet maintenance facility,’ Larose said.

‘They will be able to affect all those repairs before the ship’s departure tomorrow [Sunday}.’

The cause of the fire is being investigated.

HMCS Vancouver is due to depart this afternoon for Operation Mobile, as part of Canada’s contribution to NATO efforts around Libya.


U.S., Australia Launch Large-Scale War Games


Xinhua News Agency
July 11, 2011

Australia, U.S. joint military exercise begins

CANBERRA: Australia’s largest joint military training exercise with U.S. begins on Monday, with about 14,000 U.S. and 8500 Australian troops participating in the training in real world scenarios on land, air and sea until July 29.

These personnel will take part in simulated battles at Shoalwater Bay near Rockhampton, and other sites in Queensland and the Northern Territory. There will also be 30 warships in the Coral Sea. Joint Task Force Commander, Vice Admiral Scott Van Buskirk, Commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, said the exercise was important for Australia and the U.S. to maintain close military ties.

‘By exercising together we will increase interoperability, flexibility and readiness…in the Pacific,’ Vice Admiral Van Buskirk said in a statement released on Monday.

The U.S. Ambassador to Australia, Jeffrey Bleich, said there is a possibility of a greater U.S. military involvement in Australia.

Bleich, who is visiting central Queensland for the start of the exercise, said military issues were discussed in recent talks between U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and the Australian federal government.

‘One possibility would be to have more equipment stored here, the chance to do more exercises like Talisman Sabre,’ he told ABC News on Monday.

‘We’re looking at all of those as serious options and certainly the Northern Territory and other parts of Australia are in the mix. ‘

Australian Defense Force also said the Talisman Sabre exercise is Australia ‘s largest joint military training exercise, and it is important to the security of the region.

This year’s Talisman Sabre exercise involves a number of non-military organizations, so that they can try to make the exercises as realistic as they possibly can.


U.S. To Upgrade Israeli Patriot Interceptor Missile System


Jerusalem Post
July 10, 2011

IAF upgrading Patriot missile defense system
By Yaakov Katz

Upgrades will include the installation of new software as well as hardware changes to the radar system that accompanies the system

The air force has approved a set of upgrades for its Patriot missile defense system that will boost its interception capabilities, IAF sources say.

The upgrades will include the installation of new software as well as hardware changes to the radar system that accompanies the system, which Israel first received from the United States ahead of the First Gulf War in 1991.

The upgrades will enable the IAF to one day receive PAC-3 missiles, a more advanced version of the interceptor currently used by Israel that is already in service in the United States.

The PAC-3 is believed to be capable of intercepting most of Syria’s missiles. It is an improved version of the PAC-2 in terms of coverage and lethality.

The PAC-3 has an interceptor missile that uses a hit-to-kill system rather than an exploding warhead used by the PAC-2. The PAC-3 missile is also smaller, so using it 16 missile could be fired from Israel’s current launchers instead of just four PAC- 2 interceptors.

‘The upgrades will see improvements in the system’s ability to detect and intercept missiles that could not have intercepted before,’ an IAF source said.

The Patriot serves as Israel’s defense system against medium-range missiles, while the Iron Dome anti-rocket system is used against short-range ones and the Arrow-2 is designed to intercept long-range ballistic missiles.

The IAF plans to replace the Patriot with the David’s Sling, a missile system under development by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and the Massachusetts-based Raytheon Company to defend against…missiles with ranges between 70 and 300 kilometers.

The IAF plans to establish a battalion that will operate the David’s Sling in the near future, so it will be ready to receive the missile defense system in 2012 when it is expected to become operational.

David’s Sling uses an interceptor called Stunner, fitted into a launcher that can hold 16 missiles. It works together with an advanced phased-array radar made by Israel Aerospace Industries.


Washington Suspends Military Aid To Pakistan


Voice of Russia
July 10, 2011

U.S. suspends military aid to Pakistan

The United States is partially suspending military aid to Pakistan. The New York Times newspaper says that $800 million, or more than one-third of the annual aid, will be frozen. Washington motivates the move by insufficient counterterrorism efforts on the part of Pakistan.

U.S.-Pakistani relations have cooled down considerably since the May 2 killing of the world’s number one terrorist Osama bin Laden in his home near Islamabad in a special U.S. operation of which Pakistan had not been notified.



Russian Information Agency Novost
July 10, 2011


U.S. suspends funding Pakistani army

MOSCOW: The United States suspended a $800 million aid to Pakistan amid the ‘complicated relationship’ between the two countries, White House Chief of Staff William Daley said on Sunday.

Daley’s statement comes as the U.S.-Pakistani relations are worsening after al Qaeda’s leader, Osama bin Laden, who was killed in his Pakistani compound during the U.S. raid on May 2.

‘Right now Obviously there’s still a lot of pain that the political system in Pakistan is feeling by virtue of the raid that we did to get Osama bin Laden. We have no regrets over (that raid),’ Daley said in an interview with ABS News.

The U.S. officials suspected that Pakistani authorities knew about bin Laden’s whereabouts, while Pakistan slammed the United States for carrying out a secret military raid without Islamabad’s consent.

The $800 million is about a third of the annual U.S. military aid sent to Pakistan to assist counterterrorism operations as well as to provide the country with military equipment such as radios, night-vision goggles and helicopter spare parts.

‘It’s a complicated relationship and a very difficult complicated part of the world,’ Daley said. ‘They’ve taken some steps that have given us reason to pause on some of the aid which we’re giving to the military, and we’re trying to work through that.’


Afghan War: NATO 2011 Death Toll Nears 300


Agence France-Presse
July 10, 2011

Three NATO soldiers among six killed in Afghan attacks

HERAT: Three NATO soldiers and three policemen were killed in bomb and insurgent attacks in the restive south and east on Sunday, as the top US commander in the country said the overall number of insurgent attacks had decreased this summer.

NATO said one coalition soldier died following an insurgent attack and another was killed in a bomb explosion in the south, while a third service member died after another insurgent attack in the east.

In southern Kandahar city, three Afghan policemen were killed, while three policemen and three civilians were wounded, in a roadside bomb blast that ripped through a police vehicle, provincial police chief Abdul Raziq told AFP.

Sunday’s incidents brought the overall death toll for foreign forces to 293 this year in Afghanistan, according to a tally based on that collected by the independent website iCasualties.org.


U.S. Reiterates Demand For Yemeni President To Step Down


Voice of Russia
July 11, 2011

The U.S. persists in urging Saleh to relinquish power

The Obama administration persists in urging Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh to relinquish power.

As reported in the White House, Assistant to the President on anti-terrorism, John Brennan met with Saleh in the Saudi capital Riyadh, where the Yemeni leader is being treated for injured sustained during the shelling of June 3rd .

‘Brennan called on President Saleh to go through as quickly as possible with his promise to sign a plan of peaceful transfer of power, developed with the assistance of the Cooperation Council of Arab Gulf states,’ – reads the statement of the American administration.

Obama’s aide made it clear that ‘as soon as the power transfer plan is signed and put into effect’, the United States, with ‘other friends of Yemen’ will provide the necessary flow of assistance to that country.

‘The U.S. believes that transition to democracy in Yemen should begin immediately, so that the Yemeni people be granted a chance to achieve their aspirations,’ – says the statement.

The power transfer plan provides for Saleh’s resignation in 30 days after he puts his signature to the document. This was initially expected to happen on May 22, but the Yemeni president, who’s been at the helm for 33 years, went back on his word, reports ITAR-TASS.



Xinhua News Agency
July 11, 2011

Obama aide urges Yemeni president to hand over power

WASHINGTON: A top aide to U.S. President Barack Obama on Sunday met with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and urged him to ‘fulfill expeditiously’ his pledge to sign a deal for peaceful transition in his country, the White House said.

John Brennan, Obama’s assistant for counterterrorism and homeland security, met with Saleh in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia, where the Yemeni president is recuperating from injuries sustained during an attack on his presidential palace in early June.

‘During the meeting, Mr. Brennan called upon President Saleh to fulfill expeditiously his pledge to sign the GCC-brokered agreement for peaceful and constitutional political transition in Yemen,’ the White House said in a statement.

Brennan told Saleh that ‘the United States is working closely with Yemen’s friends and supporters in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Europe and elsewhere to ensure that much needed assistance will flow to Yemen as soon as the GCC proposal is signed and implemented,’ adding that the U.S. believes that a transition in Yemen should begin immediately so that the Yemeni people can realize their aspirations.

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