Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 13, 2011

13 August 2011 — Stop NATO

  • Africa Must Challenge Military Occupation Of World By One Superpower
  • Military Land, Sea, Ground Robots: U.S. Hosts 6,000 Experts From 30 Nations
  • Turkey, U.S. Preparing For War With Syria?
  • NATO: U.S. Commando Raids In Afghanistan Almost Tripled Since 2009
  • Afghan War: NATO 2011 Death Toll Approaches 400
  • CSTO: Former Soviet Republics Hope To Contain NATO
  • U.S. Ship Pays Africa Partnership Station Visit To Ghana

Africa Must Challenge Military Occupation Of World By One Superpower


New Era (Namibia)
August 12, 2011

Defend the homeland

The youth leagues of Southern Africa’s former liberation movements should be commended for speaking out in defence of the homeland when so many of their leaders have gone to sleep.

Africa’s leaders have dropped their guard of the African revolution. Many of them have gone to bed, while others have joined their former colonial masters in pursuit of self-serving agendas.

Were this not the case, the African countries that sit on the United Nations Security Council, for instance, would not have – like sheep being led to the slaughter – bought into the west’s military adventure in Libya by voting for the enforcement of a so-called No Fly Zone over Libyan skies.

Ironically, as things stand today, the hands of the three African countries that authorised the mayhem in Libya cannot escape responsibility for the blood of innocent women and children that are being butchered by western countries in their quest to lay their hands on Libya’s oil and strategic location in a region so vital to their imperial and colonial interests.

When former British Prime Minister Harold Mcmillan made his famous ‘winds of change’ speech, Africans were elated that finally, their destiny was sealed as a free and independent people.

But decades later, the continent is far from being out of the woods. Africa is still grappling with subjugation, albeit subtle, as a bunch of homegrown foremen that answers to Europe and America sits comfortably at the helm with support from their masters.

Africa is very much under threat as the imperial west seeks to reverse the gains of the continent’s revolutions that rebelled against western hegemony and mass exploitation and ushered in freedom and independence.

Europe and the United States of America have never forgiven Africa’s freedom fighters for daring to challenge their misrule and colonial occupation of the African continent.

Theirs has been work in progress in order to continue the subjugation of the continent and its people and access its wealth. The west, under the leadership of the United States of America, is pursuing an agenda of domination of the African people and indeed the whole world.

Or, why else would America spread its military tentacles far beyond its borders and so wide across the globe if not for an expansionist and imperialist agenda?

Estimates put US military bases across the world close to 700 in over 130 countries. At any given time, the US stations more than 250 000 troops outside its borders at these bases.

Notably, these military bases are mostly found in countries where the US has fought wars and conquered. These countries include Japan which has a number of military bases, Germany, Italy, South Korea, Guantanamo, Cuba to newly-conquered states like Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan as well as other Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. There are a few such military bases in Africa, including one in Djibouti. The French are also known to have some of their units permanently stationed in a number of countries in West Africa.

This situation speaks to a world that is essentially under military occupation by one superpower, the United States of America aided by small units of French and British forces also deployed in some parts of the world.

It is this militarisation of the world and particularly of Africa that the youth leagues of the former liberation movements strongly oppose. And they are right.

Southern Africa is not up for sale. So is the entire Africa. Africom or United States African Command is not welcome in Southern Africa and any country in the region that seeks to get the Americans in through the back door is playing a dangerous game.

The youth leagues of the former liberation movements in Southern Africa must therefore step up the pressure and remain resolute in their rejection of foreign influence in our region. They owe this to the freedom fighters of Southern Africa whose immense sacrifices brought about the peace that we enjoy today. Southern Africa must remain free. It should not be carved into anybody’s sphere of influence or pander to the rivalry of world powers.


Military Land, Sea, Ground Robots: U.S. Hosts 6,000 Experts From 30 Nations


U.S. Department of Defense
American Forces Press Service
August 12, 2011

Show to Display Military Land, Sea, Ground Robots
By Cheryl Pellerin

-Dean, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and paratrooper with combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, said a revolution is occurring today in automated systems for use in the air, on the ground and on and under the sea…More than 3,000 of Qinetiq North America’s Talon robots have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan…

WASHINGTON: For four days next week, more than 6,000 experts from 30 countries will gather here for this year’s largest robot and unmanned systems show.

Held by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, called AUVSI, Unmanned Systems North America 2011 will feature workshops, panels and demonstrations of robots used by the military services, civil and law enforcement agencies and the commercial sector.

The conference will run Aug. 16-19 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center here, and service members, police and other public servants in uniform will have free access to the exhibit hall and to conference panels on the final day.

‘Robots are key – we’ve seen this throughout the military and first responder operations over the last decade in particular – to extending the distance between operators and the dangerous environments in which they operate,’ said Charlie Dean, director of business development in the Unmanned Systems Group of Qinetiq North America.

He spoke to reporters during an Aug. 10 briefing at the National Press Club about the upcoming conference.

Dean, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and paratrooper with combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, said a revolution is occurring today in automated systems for use in the air, on the ground and on and under the sea.

‘The alternative to using unmanned systems,’ he said, ‘is human exposure.’

More than 3,000 of Qinetiq North America’s Talon robots have been deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, mainly to deal with improvised explosive devices and roadside bombs, according to the British global defense technology company.

Qinetiq is one of more than 450 exhibitors who will demonstrate automated systems and other products at the conference.

Another is iRobot Corp., a Massachusetts advanced-technology company whose ground and marine robots – including PackBot, Ranger, Warrior, Seaglider and others — are supporting the Army and other military services.

David ‘Duncan’ Hines, vice president of the iRobot Maritime Division, said iRobot deployed Seaglider, its underwater robot, worked during the three-month-long 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Also at work in war zones, over national borders and in disaster areas are unmanned aerial vehicles like the Predator unmanned aerial vehicles and the Northrop Grumman-built RQ-4 Global Hawk.

John Priddy, director of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s National Air Security Operations Center in Grand Forks, N.D., said his organization operates two MQ-9 Predators.

‘More specifically,’ he added, ‘we have seven MQ-9s operating in U.S. Customs and Border Protection and shortly we should have nine.’

They’ve used the unmanned aircraft primarily for law enforcement purposes, Priddy said, ‘but residing within the Department of Homeland Security, we have had reason to apply the technologies toward disaster relief and civil support operations,’ including California wildfires.

The Global Hawk is being used in Afghanistan but it also has been used in disaster-relief efforts like the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti and in Japan.

‘The Global Hawk is a high-altitude, long-endurance asset, so it’s an unmanned system,’ said Air Force Lt. Col. Rick Thomas, the functional manager for the $13 billion Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk program.

‘In the Air Force we call it an RPA, a remotely piloted vehicle…,’ Thomas said.


Turkey, U.S. Preparing For War With Syria?


August 12, 2011

Is Turkey preparing for war?

PanARMENIAN.Net: On August 12 reservists of the Turkish army were mustered and dispatched to the border with Syria, where to all appearance clashes are expected.

The Turkish Zaman newspaper quoted a government official as saying that in case of an armed conflict a huge flow of Syrian refugees will head for Turkey. According to official data, 7,239 refugees have already penetrated into the country. Earlier, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a phone conversation with U.S. President Barack Obama to discuss the situation in Syria.

Meanwhile, an Iranian official told the website of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that if the U.S. and Turkey launch a military operation in Syria, Iraqi Kurdistan will become a new Afghanistan.

The same official stated that Iran will declare war on Turkey, should the latter attack Syria. However, the post was later removed from the website.


NATO: U.S. Commando Raids In Afghanistan Almost Tripled Since 2009


Bloomberg News
August 12, 2011

Afghanistan Raids by U.S. Commandos Almost Triple Since 2009, NATO Says
By Tony Capaccio

Afghanistan has nearly tripled since 2009 the frequency of commando raids launched against Taliban or insurgent groups, according to NATO figures.

This year, from Jan. 1 through this week, the U.S. – with Afghanistan and NATO assistance – has launched 1,879 missions, with 916 ‘targets’ killed or captured, according to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

That compares with 1,780 missions for all of last year, with 825 targets killed or captured, and 675 missions in 2009, when 306 adversaries were killed or captured, according to a NATO spokesman, U.S. Army Major Jason Waggoner.

‘Even if the primary target is not killed or captured on these missions, 35% of those times, the next closest associate or another individual directly linked to the target is killed or captured,’ he said in an e-mailed statement.

Roughly 7,000 of the 61,000 personnel under the U.S. Special Operations Command are in Afghanistan today.

Commando Deaths

Interest in the size and scope of U.S. special operations forces in Afghanistan has escalated since a U.S. CH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down Aug. 6, killing the 30 U.S. personnel aboard – 17 Navy SEALS, five sailors assigned to SEAL units, five Army pilots and three Air Force special tactics commandos. The crash also killed an interpreter and seven Afghan troops who were working with the Americans.

Those fatalities brought to 44 the number of U.S. special operations troops killed in Afghanistan this year, up from 40 last year, 33 in 2009 and 220 overall since late 2001, when small teams of U.S. Army Green Berets landed in Afghanistan and worked with CIA paramilitary teams to temporarily rout the Taliban, according to figures.

The increased raids reflect a greater number of commandos in Afghanistan as Iraq operations wind down, following the increased use of conventional forces for securing the population under President Barack Obama’s troop ‘surge.’

Inside the Pentagon, Michael Vickers, an advocate of strikes by special operations forces, has risen in influence from a 1980s-era Green Beret and CIA paramilitary specialist to an analyst at the CSBA to assistant secretary of defense for special operations to his current position as the Defense Department’s undersecretary for intelligence.

Post-9/11 ‘tactical cooperation grew and was expanded and refined’ under U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal, ‘whose hunter-killer’ teams in Iraq were replicated when he took over in 2009 command of the NATO mission in Afghanistan, New York Times reporters Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker write in a new book, ‘Counterstrike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda.’

The pace of the ‘intelligence-driven operations skyrocketed’ with more than 12 raids a night supported by the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency, they write.

Resilient Foe

‘That kind of seamless operational cooperation became common on a smaller scale in Yemen, Pakistan and other shadowy battlegrounds,’ they write in their book, to be published Aug. 16.

Brian Katulis, a national security specialist at the Center for American Progress, a policy group in Washington, said ‘the targeted strikes, combined with increased drone attacks across the border in Pakistan, demonstrate the Obama administration’s attempts to marginalize the insurgency.’

‘It’s a much more aggressive approach than you saw in the first eight years of the war,’ Katulis said in an Aug. 10 interview. ‘The question is whether this leads to greater overall stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan.’


Afghan War: NATO 2011 Death Toll Approaches 400


Pajhwok Afghan News
August 12, 2011

2 more foreign soldiers killed

KABUL: Two International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) servicemembers have been killed in Afghanistan, the alliance said on Friday.

One soldier was killed in a bomb attack in the south, the NATO-led force said, without disclosing the victims’ nationality or the exact location of the blast.

Another soldier died in a similar assault in the east. On Thursday, five international troops were killed in an explosion in the south.

With the latest fatalities, the number of international troops killed in Afghanistan so far in 2011 has increased to 391. Americans have borne the brunt of the casualties.


CSTO: Former Soviet Republics Hope To Contain NATO


August 12, 2011

Former Soviet republics hope to contain NATO

The heads of states within the Collective Security Treaty Organization intend to strengthen its role, its current chairman, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, said after an informal summit in the Kazakh capital Astana.

Made up of seven former Soviet republics, Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, the organization, which is sometimes referred to as the ‘NATO of the East,’ is aimed at countering external military threats and the defense of the territorial integrity of its member-states.

Six leaders have gathered for the summit: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, and Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko, whose country currently holds the rotating CSTO presidency, Armenian President Serge Sargsyan, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon, and Kyrgyz President Roza Otumbaeva. The Uzbek leader Islam Karimov did not attend the summit.

‘Critically assessing our work, we have noted that there are several internal drawbacks,’ the Belarusian leader told journalists during a media briefing on Friday. ‘I mean not only the domestic problems of the CSTO member states but also divisive issues between the countries.’

As for positive developments, Lukashenko said that by the end of the year they may complete the formation of the Collective Rapid Reaction Force.
He added that by December the member states will ratify a package of recently signed international documents within the organization.

‘We [Belarus] have ratified all these documents. The other countries are now in the process of ratifying them,’ Lukashenko went on to say.

Another important outcome of the summit was the agreement to jointly counter potential threats in cyber space.

‘Many new goals have appeared in light of recent world events, including those in the Arab states and in North Africa,’ the Belarusian leader pointed out. ‘We have agreed that our countries will work out measures to fight potential threats, primarily in the information sphere and cyber space.’


U.S. Ship Pays Africa Partnership Station Visit To Ghana


Information Section
US Embassy, Ghana
August 12, 2011

US’ Swift to visit Sekondi as part of Africa Partnership Station

The U.S. Navy’s High Speed Vessel Swift (HSV 2) is scheduled to visit Sekondi, Ghana August 14-20 as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS) 2011.

During the visit, Swift will be the primary venue for instructional courses for Ghanaian naval forces. These courses will be Expeditionary Combat First Aid and Maintenance Management. A Small Boat Hull Maintenance course will be taught in conjunction with Swift’s visit but will be held off ship; this course is set to run for two weeks, concluding August 26. The training courses are meant to strengthen maritime capabilities of Ghanaian naval forces in order to enhance maritime security.

APS began in October 2007 with the deployment of Swift and USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) to West Africa and the Gulf of Guinea. Now in its fourth year, maritime partners continue a mission that has grown to bring together 34 African, European and South American countries…

HSV 2 SWIFT Fact Sheet

HSV-2 SWIFT is an Australian built, privately-owned, privately-operated vessel that has been militarized for the US Navy. She is a 321.5 ft, shallow-draft, high-speed catamaran capable of going in excess of 40 knots while carrying a cargo package equivalent to 10 C-17s. Her permanent manning consists of 17 Contract Mariners (CONMARs) and 23 Military personnel…

SWIFT is the fourth Incat-built high-speed wave piercing catamaran to enter military service, following behind HMAS JERVIS BAY, U.S. Army Vessel (USAV) Theater Support Vessel (TSV) 1X SPEARHEAD and JOINT VENTURE.

It is a wave-piercing, aluminum-hulled, commercial catamaran with military enhancements, such as a helicopter flight deck, strengthened vehicle deck, small boat launch and recovery capability, and an enhanced communications suite.

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