Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 27, 2011

27 September 2011 — Stop NATO

  • Canada Extends Libyan War Mission To End Of Year
  • Afghan Officials: NATO Forces Kill 19 Civilians
  • Afghan War: NATO Triples Size Of Air Base Near Iranian Border
  • Pentagon Deploying 800 More Trainers To Afghanistan
  • Pakistan Warns U.S. Against Unilateral Actions
  • U.S. To Sell Iraq 18 F-16 Warplanes
  • U.S. Drone Crashes In Somalia
  • Drones Make War Too Easy
  • U.S., Turkey Agree On Delivery Schedule For Predator Drones
  • Bulgaria Provides Legionaries For NATO, EU Operations Abroad
  • Clinton, Georgian Counterpart Plan Further Development Of Strategic Partnership
  • U.S.-Polish Missile Deployment Agreement In Force
  • New U.S. Air Force Missile To Disable Enemy Electronics
  • ‘Enemy Airfield’: Largest Dutch War Games In 15 Years

Canada Extends Libyan War Mission To End Of Year


Toronto Sun
September 26, 2011

Ottawa extends Libya military mission
By Jessica Murphy

OTTAWA: Canada’s involvement in the NATO mission in Libya has been extended another three months.

Following a day of debate in the House of Commons, MPs voted 189-98 to keep Canada’s hand in the military mission in the North African country.

In a speech to the House, Defence Minister Peter Mackay argued it’s no time to ease pressure as Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s forces make their final stand and that Canada’s armed forces have played a key role…over the past six months.

‘Canada was in at the start,’ he said. ‘We should be there until job is done.’

Canada joined the mission last March and extended it for three months in June, with only Green Party Leader Elizabeth May opposing Canada’s continued military involvement.

NATO, which is heading the UN mandated mission, okayed a 90-day extension of the mission in Libya last week.

Fighting is still ongoing in Gadhafi’s hometown of Sirte and in other parts of south-central Libya.

Meanwhile, at the UN on Monday, Libya’s de facto prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, called on NATO to continue its mission…

-With files from Reuters


Afghan Officials: NATO Forces Kill 19 Civilians


Trend News Agency
September 26, 2911

US-led forces kill 19 Afghan civilians

Afghan officials say at least 19 civilians have been killed during a military operation carried out by US-led forces in troubled eastern Afghanistan, Press TV reports.

The head of the provincial council of Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nuristan said on Monday that the deadly operation had been conducted by foreign forces last Wednesday.

Similar operations by US-led troops in the eastern provinces of Wardak, Logar and Paktia left at least 12 people dead and injured several others on Sunday.

In another deadly incident on Sunday, five Afghan people were killed in a US-led airstrike, the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said.

Hundreds of civilians have lost their lives in US-led airstrikes and ground operations in various parts of Afghanistan over the past few months, with Afghans becoming more and more outraged over the seemingly endless number of deadly assaults.

Civilian casualties caused by NATO attacks have been a major source of tension between Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the US-led military alliance.

Afghans have held several protests against NATO over the issue of civilian casualties.


Afghan War: NATO Triples Size Of Air Base Near Iranian Border


North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
September 26, 2011

Shindand Air Base rising on the wings of national efforts, international support

What provides the capability for combat forces to travel greater distances by acting as a conduit to the resupply of soldiers, ammunition, equipment and fuel? What system can move forces faster and farther than their own means can carry them? And what can destroy targets no longer in range of army and naval units? An air force, and in the Herat Province, Afghanistan, work is fervently underway to develop a premier air base to execute these missions.

‘Shindand has come a long way over the past year, and will continue to develop immensely,’ said Capt. Gregory Ward, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officer in charge of engineering and advisor at Shindand.

The air base has already tripled its original size, becoming the second largest air installation in Afghanistan next to Bastion Field in Helmand Province. So far, eight miles of fence line has expanded the base by 2,900 acres to make room for new living and working areas for 3,000 personnel.

In July, Shindand also saw the opening of a strategic taxiway which allowed for simultaneous traffic of fixed-wing aircraft, greatly improving mission capabilities. And, this August, a 112,000 square meter rotary-wing apron was opened to park dozens of UH-60 Blackhawks, CH-47 Chinooks and AH-64 Apache helicopters. Growth does not stop there: a myriad of construction projects are currently in progress to support the burgeoning air base, its airmen and support personnel.

When it comes to training, NATO and Afghan forces have learned from history, and understand that it takes more than just the building of facilities and the providing of equipment to create an air force…

‘We won’t finish building the Afghan air force until about 2016,’ said Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, IV, NTM-A commander…

‘From a sleepy forward operating base in the middle of nowhere, Shindand has grown into an air base that will support the Afghan National Army and Afghan Air Force for years to come,’ said Captain Ward.


Pentagon Deploying 800 More Trainers To Afghanistan


Associated Press
September 26, 2011

US commander says 800 more US trainers heading to Afghanistan by March

WASHINGTON: The number of American military trainers in Afghanistan will increase by 800 by next March, a jump of nearly 25 percent in the U.S. commitment there, the top commander in charge of training said Monday.

Lt. Gen. William Caldwell, who heads NATO’s training mission in Afghanistan, told Pentagon reporters that even as the number of combat troops begins to drop, more trainers are needed…

Caldwell said NATO and the U.S. expect that it would cost up to $6 billion annually to support and train the Afghan forces after 2014…


Pakistan Warns U.S. Against Unilateral Actions


The Nation
September 27, 2011

America warned against any unilateral action

ISLAMABAD – Amid heightened tension, the United States is making hectic diplomatic efforts to win back Pakistan’s crucial cooperation for secured NATO supplies as well as safe withdrawal of its overstretched troops from Afghanistan by 2014.

This has transpired after a flurry of interactions of senior US military officials and diplomats with Pakistani authorities ostensibly as a damage control exercise after some key US government functionaries launched efforts to make Pakistan a scapegoat largely to cover up its decade-long failure in Afghanistan.

In response to a question relating to the statement of US Senator Lindsey Graham that ‘all options are on table against Pakistan’, [US Embassy spokesperson Mark] Stroh said that this was in line with the statements of other US functionaries that Pakistan needs to take actions against those using its soil and attacking US forces in Afghanistan. ‘The US reserves the right to take action when its troops are targeted and attacked in Afghanistan,’ the spokesperson said without naming Haqqani Network.

Although there was no Foreign Office input about the meeting, it was learnt that [ Foreign Secretary] Salman Bashir told the US envoy that any aggression or unilateral action against Pakistan would be disastrous for both the countries…

However, some sources were of the view that US has been seeking Pakistan’s cooperation in a meaningful engagement with some of the resistance groups in Afghanistan to ensure safe withdrawal of international troops.

This stems from the US fears that the rate of casualties of its troops would increase manifoldly in the course of withdrawal as the pace of insurgency in Afghanistan was on an gradual increase. These notions have been reinforced after the recent attacks on the US Embassy in Kabul as well as the local NATO Headquarters. Moreover, the US is seeking to ensure that NATO/ISAF logistic supplies through Pakistan remain unhindered till withdrawal of the international forces from Afghanistan by 2014.


U.S. To Sell Iraq 18 F-16 Warplanes


Russian Information Agency Novosti
September 27, 2011

Iraq to purchase F-16s

The Government of Iraq has signed a contract for the purchase of 18 multi-purpose F-16 fighters from the Americans who are supposed to leave their country before the end of this year.

The total cost of the transaction and the amount of money already paid for the combat aircraft has not been reported.

According to some reports, the amount of the Iraq contract is about $3 billion.

Negotiations between the U.S. and Iraq on the purchase of the F-16s have been ongoing for several years.


U.S. Drone Crashes In Somalia


Voice of America News
September 26, 2011

Alleged US Drone Crashes in Somalia

An alleged U.S. spy drone has crashed in the Somali city of Kismayo, which is controlled by the militant group al-Shabab.

Witnesses in Kismayo told VOA that the unmanned drone crashed Sunday near the airport of the southern Somali city.

An al-Shabab website says the drone belongs to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. It says the drone carried large cameras with long-distance lenses attached.

There are conflicting reports from witnesses and al-Shabab itself whether the drone was shot down or crashed on its own.

Last week, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. is expanding a drone surveillance program in east Africa and the Arabian peninsula to gather intelligence and attack al-Qaida-linked militants in Somalia and Yemen.

The report said the U.S. is building a new installation for the drones in Ethiopia and has already flown drones over both Somalia and Yemen from a base in Djibouti.

The U.S. has used drones to attack al-Shabab targets in Somalia in the past. The militant group is battling the Somali government and controls large sections of southern and central Somalia.


Drones Make War Too Easy


Youngstown Vindicator/McClatchy-Tribune
September 24, 2011

Drones make war too easy
By John B. Quigley

-If some other country were sending pilotless aircraft over Nebraska to shoot and kill people they regard as threats, the Nebraska citizenry might not be too happy.

COLUMBUS: Armed pilotless drone aircraft are the weapon of choice these days in our military forays into the Middle East.

President Obama approved use of drones in Libya last spring. He said they have ‘unique capabilities.’ A target is identified through intelligence sources. The information is sent to the command center. Someone sitting in front of a computer screen fires a missile.

Drones can fly low. Gen. James Cartwright of the Joint Chiefs of Staff explained that for Libya, their ‘ability to get down lower’ gave them better visibility, thereby getting a better bead on a target. And of course with no pilot the only risk is loss of the aircraft.

We are also now using drones in Yemen to target insurgents. In Pakistan we have been using them even longer.

But there is a downside. Drones, say critics, make war too easy. If a president doesn’t have to be concerned about putting our youth ‘in harm’s way,’ it becomes much easier to go to war. Congress may lose control.

The information about the whereabouts of a ‘militant’ may or may not be accurate. Last year the U.N. official responsible for tracking extrajudicial executions questioned the drone killings as arbitrary executions. When a drone attack occurs, typically the U.S. officials claim that those killed were ‘militants,’ while local officials often claim that civilians were hit.

Killing without trial

Killing with drones means killing without a trial. But going back to the 1960s, the United States has signed on to human rights treaties that outlaw arbitrary killing. Drone killings skirt these safeguards. No indictment. No judge or jury. No defense.

But, says the Obama administration, in war one can kill without a trial. The drone killings are premised on the ‘militants’ being participants in the ‘war on terror,’ even though Obama avoids that Bush-era term.

If some other country were sending pilotless aircraft over Nebraska to shoot and kill people they regard as threats, the Nebraska citizenry might not be too happy. Negative reaction to our drone attacks has been strongest in Pakistan, where drones are regarded as a terror weapon. Residents of certain regions in Pakistan say they never know when a missile might fall on them out of the sky.

John B. Quigley is a professor of law at at Moritz College Law, Ohio State University. Distributed by MCT Information Services.


U.S., Turkey Agree On Delivery Schedule For Predator Drones


September 25, 2011

US-Turkey agree on delivery schedule for Predators

Ankara: Turkey is expecting the delivery of Predators in June 2012, the Turkish defense minister said a day after the country’s prime minister announced that Turkey has agreed with the US on a deal involving the transfer of US-engineered unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that could prove crucial in combat…

‘We have agreed in principle [on the delivery of Predators]. Negotiations will continue,’ Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an was quoted as saying by the Cihan news agency on Saturday in New York, where the Turkish leader was visiting on the occasion of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly. Erdo?an also noted that Turkey had offered to either purchase or lease the drones and that the two countries were still settling the details regarding the delivery of the Predators.

Following up on the agreement, Turkish Defense Minister ?smet Y?lmaz told reporters on Saturday that the drones to be received from the US would be delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in June of next year, reported the Anatolia news agency.

‘These [Predators] are UAVs with better qualities and features than the Herons,’ Y?lmaz said, and added that the Turkish-made Anka would also be ready for the TSK around the same time, as an alternative to Israeli-made Herons.

Turkey was disappointed by Israel’s failure to return six Herons it had sent to the country for maintenance, as it relies heavily on spy aircraft for surveillance missions that gather data on the activities of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) across the country’s borders in the Southeast.

Y?lmaz did not give any details on the number of Predators the US would deliver to Turkey but acknowledged that Ankara had presented a request for the UAVs in line with the TSK’s needs. The minister added that the US and Turkey have been strategic partners and are cooperating in combating terrorism, which necessitated that both ‘support each other with no conditions or prejudice.’


Bulgaria Provides Legionaries For NATO, EU Operations Abroad


Sofia News Agency
September 26, 2011

Bulgarian Military Set to Complete NATO Interoperability Program

Bulgaria’s military is completing its program for interoperability with NATO forces, Defense Minister Gen. Anyu Angelov and Head of Defense Gen. Simeon Simeonov have announced.

Gen. Simeonov presented at a news conference Monday a report for the completion of the so-called ‘Program for the Accession of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Bulgaria to NATO’ and about Bulgaria’s cooperation with the Allied Joint Force Command based in Naples, Italy.

The Program in question has been implemented in order to increase the interoperability of the Bulgarian armed forces with those of Bulgaria’s NATO allies.

To mark the completion of the Program, the Commander of the Allied Joint Force Command Naples, US Admiral Samuel J. Locklear, will arrive in Bulgaria on Tuesday for the signing of a joint declaration with the Bulgarian Head of Defense, Gen. Simeonov.

‘The Plan for the Development of the Armed Forces does not need to have substantial modifications at the moment. In early 2012, the Plan will be analyzed since there will be reorganization and restructuring of the military detachments of the Bulgarian Army,’ the Defense Minister explained.

Angelov also revealed information about his participation in the latest informal meeting of EU Defense Ministers in Wroclaw, Poland.

He said the meeting was marked by the efforts of the Polish EU Presidency to find common ground among the various positions of the 27 EU member states in three areas: the planning and management of EU military operations withing the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP); the future of EU missions abroad, and especially of the EUFOR Althea mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina; and the increase of the role of the so called EU battle groups.

The Polish EU Presidency has marked out the closer integration with respect to EU Common Security and Defense Policy as one of its major priorities.


Clinton, Georgian Counterpart Plan Further Development Of Strategic Partnership


Trend News Agency
September 26, 2011

US Secretary of State, Georgian FM discuss bilateral relations
N. Kirtskhalia

Tbilisi: The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze discussed in Washington Georgian-American relations.

According to the Georgian Foreign Ministry, the sides discussed the possibility of a Georgian-American meeting within the Charter on strategic partnership.

‘The sides agreed to hold talks within the Charter with the participation of all four groups,’ Georgian Foreign Ministry said.

Now a venue of the meeting within the Charter is being specified. If it is decided to hold such a meeting in Tbilisi, then Clinton’s visit to Georgia will be scheduled. Clinton will head the U.S. delegation.

Clinton and Vashadze discussed the further deepening of Georgian-American relations. The U.S. Secretary of State reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia.


U.S.-Polish Missile Deployment Agreement In Force


Voice of America News
September 24, 2011

U.S.-Polish Missile Defense Agreement In Force
Defensive system is designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles before they reach their targets

President Barack Obama announced approximately two years ago plans to pursue a new approach to missile defense in Europe – one that provides more comprehensive protection for NATO Allies and forces…

‘To put it simply, our new missile defense architecture in Europe will provide stronger, smarter, and swifter defenses of American forces and America’s Allies,’ said President Barack Obama on September 17, 2009. ‘It is more comprehensive than the previous program; it deploys capabilities that are proven and cost-effective; and it…enhances the protection of all our NATO Allies.’

In October 2009, Poland was the first country to commit, in principle, to host a land-based missile defense base on its territory. Poland was also first to conclude negotiations and sign a basing agreement in July 2010. Now with the Polish ratification process complete, the two countries issued a statement announcing that they are ready to take the next step…

‘The United States and Poland are pleased to jointly announce that the Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement of 2008 and its Amending Protocol of 2010 on deployment of the land-based SM-3 system within Poland has entered into force, effective September 15, 2011.’

The Standard Missile-3, or SM-3 interceptor which will be deployed in Poland was originally mounted on U.S. naval ships. It is a…system designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles before they reach their targets. It is composed of a network of sensors for target detection and tracking; interceptors which will destroy incoming missiles by colliding with them; and a command and control system.

According to the joint statement, the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense system will be deployed by 2018 at the Redzikowo Base.

‘This base,’ notes the statement, ‘represents a significant contribution by our two nations to a future NATO missile defense capability.’


New U.S. Air Force Missile To Disable Enemy Electronics


September 26, 2011

New Air Force Missile Could Disable Enemy Electronics

Modern armies rely on a wide range of electronics to help detect their enemies, coordinate their forces and aim their weapons. Today, knocking out those electronics requires sophisticated jamming aircraft, targeting the people using the electronics or the tech-frying side effects of a nuclear blast. But in the future, disabling enemy electronics may only take a single rocket totally harmless to humans, thanks to a new microwave missile developed by the U.S. Air Force.

The missile showed its ability to take aim at many targets and locations during a first flight test at the Utah Test and Training Range at Hill Air Force Base earlier this year. Upcoming tests could demonstrate its disabling power with high-power microwaves capable of burning out the electronics of even the most sophisticated air defenses, command and control centers, fighter jets and drones.

That first test of the Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project (CHAMP) was recently unveiled by Boeing and the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory.

The three-year, $38 million program could deploy up to five prototype missiles, according to the Air Force solicitation issued in December 2008. A fully functional missile would have the capability to take out multiple targets and take multiple shots with high-power microwaves by itself.

The missiles might even help knock out swarms of enemy drones or manned aircraft before they ever get off the ground. It’s unclear if they could also target such aircraft in flight.


‘Enemy Airfield’: Largest Dutch War Games In 15 Years


Radio Netherlands
September 26, 2011

Public to join in major Dutch army exercise

The Dutch armed forces are holding the largest military exercise in the Netherlands for 15 years.

Dubbed Falcon Autumn, the exercise will be taking place chiefly in the rural eastern province of Drenthe until 7 October.

Unusually, civilians will also be able to join in the exercise. They may be approached by military patrols, and participate at checkpoints in various locations where soldiers will be inspecting cars.

Falcon Autumn will involve 2500 military personnel, and 400 ground vehicles and attack ortransport helicopters. The climax will take place on Wednesday when a combined air and ground attack will be staged at motorsport racetrack playing the role of an enemy airfield.

It is the first operation in years to involve the entire Dutch airborne brigade, as at least one battalion has always been in action overseas.

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