Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 24, 2011

24 September 2011 — Stop NATO

  • EU Defense Chiefs: Learn Lessons Of Libya War For Future Operations
  • Pakistan: 52 Drone Strikes Kill 463 So Far This Year
  • U.S. To Deploy Predator Drones In Turkey: Prime Minister
  • GUAM: Azerbaijan-Georgia-Moldova-Romania Pipeline Plans
  • 42 New Warplanes: U.S. Commander Eyes ‘Interoperable’ Japanese Fighter Fleet
  • NATO Not Welcome: Russia Bolsters Arctic Forces

EU Defense Chiefs: Learn Lessons Of Libya War For Future Operations


Agence France-Presse
September 23, 2011

EU must learn lessons from Libyan crisis: defence ministers

European Union defence ministers urged the 27-member bloc Friday to learn lessons from the Libyan conflict which revealed several glaring weaknesses in European armies.

The Libyan war is a ‘success’ but it ‘has highlighted the limitations of Europe’s capabilities,’ Polish Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said at a two-day meeting with his EU counterparts in Wroclaw, south-eastern Poland.

‘Lessons have to be learned from Libya, about what capabilities need to be invested in, given there have been some shortfalls,’ added Gerald Howarth, Britain’s Minister for International Security Strategy.

His French counterpart Gerard Longuet said it was necessary to ‘draft without delay a list of what we know and don’t know how to do, of what we can or cannot do.’

He added that officials from Britain and France, two leading countries in the conflict, would meet October 12 to ‘exchange mutual experience.’

The weak spots most often mentioned at the meeting in Poland, which holds the six-month rotating EU presidency, included a lack of in-flight refuelling aircraft, a shortage of ammunition, and shortfalls in information about the conflict.



Pakistan: 52 Drone Strikes Kill 463 So Far This Year


Xinhua News Agency
September 24, 2011

8 killed in U.S. drone strike in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: At least eight suspected militants were killed when two missiles were fired by U.S. drones in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of North Waziristan on Friday night, reported the local Urdu TV channel WAQT.

According to local media reports, the strike took place at about 9:30 p.m. local time in the Mir Ali area of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, one of the seven tribal areas in northwest Pakistan, which borders Afghanistan.


Friday’s U.S. drone strike is the 52nd of its kind (counted on daily basis) in Pakistan in 2011. To date, a total of 463 people…have reportedly been killed in such strikes since this year.

The strike came shortly after the Pakistani leadership including the prime minister and Army chief expressed on Friday discontent with the recent remarks made by a top U.S. military official’s accusation that Pakistan’s secret agency ISI is supporting the al-Qaida-linked Haqqani network in Afghanistan.


U.S. To Deploy Predator Drones In Turkey: Prime Minister


Azeri Press Agency
September 24, 2011

Turkey: US likely to deploy Predator drones

Baku: The U.S. will likely deploy some Predator drones on Turkish soil, the Turkish prime minister said Friday. Turkey has been pressing for the drones in an escalating war against Kurdish rebels, APA reports quoting AP.

The U.S. shares drone surveillance data from northern Iraq with Ankara to aid its fight against Kurdish rebels who have bases in Iraq. The two countries have been negotiating the possible deployment of Predator drones after the U.S. leaves Iraq.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday the two allies have agreed ‘in principle’ over the deployment of the drones in Turkey, the state-run Anatolia news agency said.

Turkey has offered to purchase or lease the drones, Erdogan said.

‘Our negotiations will continue,’ Anatolia quoted Erdogan as saying. ‘The developments are moving toward an agreement.’

Turkey is operating Israeli-made Heron drones against the Kurdish rebels who have been fighting for autonomy in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast since 1984. They have stepped up attacks on security forces in recent months, who have retaliated with airstrikes in the rebels’ suspected bases in northern Iraq.

In a nationwide crackdown on alleged Kurdish rebel sympathizers, police on Friday detained the mayors of the towns of Sirnak, Silopi and Idil in the Kurdish-dominated southeast, increasing the number of Kurdish suspects captured so far this week to more than 80, NTV television reported.


GUAM: Azerbaijan-Georgia-Moldova-Romania Pipeline Plans


Azeri Press Agency
September 23, 2011

Moldova has a strategic interest in the AGRI project
Victoria Dementyeva

Baku: The Republic of Moldova has a strategic interest in the AGRI project due to bring natural gas from Azerbaijan via Georgia to Romania, Moldova prime minister said in an interview with HotNews.ro. He also said that early elections would be catastrophic for his country, discussed the 5+2 negotiations over Transdniester and dismissed the possibility to bring the communists into the Moldovan government.

Asked whether there was a possibility for the Republic of Moldova to be linked to the interconnecting project AGRI, as talks were held recently over Ukraine’s being connected to the future project, Filat said he had discussed the issue repeatedly and he was about to discuss it again with Romanian President Traian Basescu on Thursday. He said Moldova had a strategic interest in the project and that Moldova authorities were looking into the possibility of joining it.

Filat said that depending on a single source of natural gas supplies or electricity leads to serious issues including the energy security of the country. He said two projects to inter-connect the natural gas networks of Romania and Moldova and of energy networks should be worked on fast, so that they become operational by mid-2013.


42 New Warplanes: U.S. Commander Eyes ‘Interoperable’ Japanese Fighter Fleet


September 23, 2011

U.S. commander eyes ‘interoperable’ Japan fighter fleet

WASHINGTON: The head of U.S. military forces in Asia and the Pacific predicted Friday that Japan’s choice of a new multibillion-dollar fighter fleet would reflect plans to stay ‘very complementary’ with U.S. air forces.
Proposals are due in Tokyo on Monday from the three rivals for Japan’s so-called F-X deal – Boeing Co and Lockheed Martin Corp of the United States and Europe’s Eurofighter GmbH consortium, made up of Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Japan is expected to buy 42 planes, a deal experts say could be worth $6 billion to $8 billion, including spares, pilot training and related gear.

U.S. Navy Admiral Robert Willard, head of the Hawaii-based, U.S. Pacific Command, stopped short of predicting that Tokyo would pick Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet or Lockheed’s radar-evading F-35 Lightning II over the Eurofighter Typhoon.

But he said Japanese defense forces ‘understand the importance of remaining interoperable with the United States, their ally that is home based in Japan or being hosted in Japan, as well as U.S. forces that are deployed in the region.’

Pressed to say whether the Americans would best the Europeans, Willard replied: ‘No, I wouldn’t go that far.’

But he said he was confident that Japanese commanders will make sure that whichever plane they buy ‘remains interoperable and very complementary to our capabilities.’

(Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)


NATO Not Welcome: Russia Bolsters Arctic Forces


Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
September 23, 2011

Russians move to bolster Arctic forces
Gen. Walt Natynczyk meets Russians in Moscow for 3 days but no details released
By Brian Kemp

Just days after Gen. Walt Natynczyk, Canada’s chief of defence staff, left Moscow after meeting his counterpart last weekend, a Russian official announced that the country would be increasing its Arctic military presence, a move that could increase tensions in the resource-rich area.

Anton Vasilev, a special ambassador for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was quoted this week by the Interfax news agency as saying his country would be beefing up its presence in the Arctic, and that NATO was not welcome there.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was in Iceland this week meeting with the country’s leaders, with the Arctic being at the top of the agenda, local media reported. Putin, according to the Moscow Times, then announced that Russia would be ordering three nuclear and six diesel icebreakers to be delivered by 2020, with the goal of expanding transportation in the Arctic.

In July, Russia said it would create two specialist brigades to be based in the Arctic. It’s not known if the latest announcement is tied to that declaration or if additional forces will be moved to the region.

Arctic a priority for Harper

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made a priority of increasing Canada’s presence in the North, as the countries that border the Arctic region eye the vast amount of oil and other resources in the area.

The North Pole itself is considered an international site and is administered by the International Seabed Authority. But if a country can prove its underwater shelf is an extension of its continental border, then it can claim an economic zone based on that.

There has been tension as countries wait for the UN to rule on legal claims in the resource-rich area. In that vein, a military presence is also seen as a way to stake an even higher claim in the Arctic region.

Since 1994, the Russians have staffed year-round a research base called Ice Station Borneo on the deep Arctic ice, only 60 kilometres from the pole. Their planes have sometimes approached Canadian airspace and jets have been scrambled to shadow them.

The Canadian Forces, on its website, said it has a ‘real, growing, and long-term presence in its Arctic region,’ and has been in the North since 1898.

In August, Canada held one of its largest military exercises, dubbed Operation Nanook, in the North. The month-long operation involved more than 1,000 troops.

Canada, along with Russia, Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the U.S. belong to a group called the Arctic Council, which was created by the Arctic nations in 1996 and is billed as a high level intergovernmental forum.

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