Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: September 28, 2011

28 September 2011 — Stop NATO

  • NATO To Remain In ‘Fluid’ Libya Indefinitely
  • NATO Decision: Polish President Signs Martial Law Bill Into Law
  • Russia Urges NATO To Abide By UN Resolution On Kosovo
  • NATO Troops Fire On Serbs, Seven Wounded
  • Serbia Breaks Off EU Talks With Kosovo To Protest Violence
  • 53 U.S. Drone Strikes Kill 467 In Pakistan This Year
  • Attacking Nuclear Pakistan Won’t Be A Cakewalk
  • NATO Oil Tankers Torched In Balochistan
  • Pakistani Bar Association: Cut NATO Supply Lines
  • U.S. ‘Reviewing Aid’ To Pakistan
  • New Zealand Special Forces Soldier Killed In Afghan Firefight
  • Afghanistan: Most Of $70 Billion In Foreign Aid Spent On Security
  • Top NATO Commander In Turkey For Missile Talks
  • Turkish Opposition Parties Oppose NATO Missile Radar Base
  • Baltic Sea: NATO Warships Bring ‘Regional Security In Pescadia’

NATO To Remain In ‘Fluid’ Libya Indefinitely


U.S. Department of Defense
American Forces Press Service
September 27, 2011

Libya Operations Remain Fluid, NATO Official Says
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr.

WASHINGTON: NATO’s decision to extend the alliance’s mission in Libya shows its work there is not yet done, a NATO spokeswoman said today.

NATO’s North Atlantic Council extended Operation Unified Protector by 90 days during a meeting in New York last week that coincided with a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly.

‘In New York, the message was clear: a new day is dawning for Libya, and the international community is rallying around the new Libya,’ Oana Lungescu told reporters during a briefing at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.

Lungescu reiterated NATO’s commitment…

‘The situation remains fluid. And while threats persist, NATO will continue…’

Col. Roland Lavoie of the Canadian air force, military spokesman for Operation Unified Protector, discussed operations against remaining forces in the country loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.

‘Recent developments in Surt and Bani Walid have been our main area of attention over the last few days,’ he said…

Lavoie stressed that NATO will continue to monitor ground conditions…

‘Operation Unified Protector is not over yet,’ he said…


NATO Decision: Polish President Signs Martial Law Bill Into Law


Xinhua News Agency
September 27, 2011

Polish president signs bill on state of emergency into law

WARSAW: Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski Tuesday signed into law a bill on the introduction of martial law, states of emergency and disaster in case of cyber threats, local media reported.

Under the new law, the president, at the motion of the government, can introduce one of the three exceptional states in case of hostile actions in cyberspace.

‘This is a law which has been awaited by the Polish security system and NATO; it actually is the implementation of a NATO decision from its Lisbon summit,’ said Komorowski after signing the law.

The Presidential National Security Bureau (BBN) head Stanislaw Koziej told local media that national security system should include hackers’ attacks and intentional or unintentional IT systems failure.


Russia Urges NATO To Abide By UN Resolution On Kosovo


Voice of Russia/Russian Information Agency Novosti
Septembre 27, 2011

Lavrov urges compliance with UN resolution on Kosovo

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called on the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) to strictly abide by UN Security Council resolution 1244.

Meeting his Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremic in New York, Mr. Lavrov cautioned against moves fraught with further destabilization on the administrative border between Serbia and Kosovo.

Tension broke out in the middle of this month after the ethnic Albanian authorities of Kosovo deployed their customs and police officers at the Jarinje and Brnjak border crossings with the assistance of KFOR servicemen despite fierce protests from local Serbs.


NATO Troops Fire On Serbs, Seven Wounded


Beta News Agency/Tanjug News Agency/B92
September 27, 2011

KFOR fires at Serbs, seven injured

KFOR troops at the Jarinje checkpoint (Tanjug)

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA: Kosovska Mitrovica Health Center Director Milan Jakovljevi? says seven persons who were injured at the Jarinje checkpoint earlier today have been hospitalized.

According to him, six persons sustained serious injuries from live rounds and one person has been taken to the ophthalmology ward due to eye problems caused by tear gas.

‘Nobody is in a life-threatening condition so far,’ Jakovljevi? stressed.

Jakovljevi? added that shots had also been fired at the ambulance but that the medical team that had been giving medical attention to the injured Serbs had not been injured.

KFOR troops threw flash bombs and tear gas and fired rubber bullets at local Serbs who gathered at the Jarinje checkpoint around 13:00 CET.

U.S. KFOR troops used tear gas early on Tuesday to disperse Serbs and remove a barricade from an alternative road that leads from Jarinje to central Serbia.

Local Serbs, who spent the night at the barricades, told Beta news agency earlier on Tuesday that the troops had been brutal, that they had used tear gas and that they tied up young men who had been present.

One of them received medical attention at the Raška hospital. Four Serbs have been arrested and later released. The U.S. troops threaten to shoot anyone who comes close to the barbed wire at the Jarinje administrative checkpoint.

KFOR troops removed the barricades made of dirt and gravel.

They have also announced that starting from Tuesday morning they will arrest anyone who uses the alternative road around Jarinje. German troops arrested and soon after released two people at the alternative road around 7:00 CET on Tuesday.

An incident broke out around 10:30 CET when several citizens threw rocks at KFOR troops who responded by using tear gas. The clash quickly ended when Leposavi? Mayor Branko Nini? called on the citizens to remain calm and to peacefully fight for their legitimate requests.

The night was peaceful at the other barricades in northern Kosovo.

KFOR removed a sand barricade from Jarinje last night, but Serbs who came to the administrative checkpoint in great numbers managed to set up a new barricade on the main road leading to Rudnica and kept watch at an alternative road that connects this part of Kosovo with central Serbia.


Serbia Breaks Off EU Talks With Kosovo To Protest Violence


Deutsche Presse-Agentur
September 28, 2011

Belgrade breaks off talks with Kosovo to protest violence

Serbia on Tuesday broke off talks held with Kosovo under European Union auspices to protest an operation by NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo against Serbs blocking a contested border, DPA reported.

‘For the time being, the priority is the situation at border crossings, and for us no other topic exists,’ Serbia’s chief negotiator, Borko Stefanovic, was quoted by Belgrade media as saying.

‘I think in this situation it is unrealistic to talk about energy, telecommunications and regional initiatives,’ he said in Brussels, where he was meeting with EU mediator Robert Cooper and US representative Philip Reeker.

The seventh round since March of EU-facilitated talks between Serbia and Kosovo to resolve issues stemming from Kosovo’s secession were scheduled without the disputed border crossings on the agenda.

The EU has set progress in the talks as a crucial condition for Serbia to be formally recognized as an EU membership candidate already this year. Belgrade officials had hoped that a date for the start of accession talks would be set at the same time.

The negotiations were already interrupted in July, when Serbia refused to lift a de-facto trade embargo on Kosovo goods.

That escalated into a trade war and tensions in northern Kosovo, when Pristina attempted to take control of border crossings in the north, one of few areas where Serbs outnumber ethnic Albanians.

Tensions in the area again erupted into violence on Tuesday, when NATO peacekeepers (KFOR) moved to dismantle roadblocks that the Serbs erected in their enclave in protest at their loss of control over the borders in mid-September.

KFOR sealed several ‘alternate’ routes, which the Serbs had opened toward Serbia proper to circumvent controls at the official border crossings.

At least four peacekeepers and seven demonstrators were injured in clashes.


53 U.S. Drone Strikes Kill 467 In Pakistan This Year


Azeri Press Agency
September 28, 2011

4 killed in U.S. drone strike in NW Pakistan

Baku: At least four suspected militants were killed and another two injured in a U.S. drone strike launched Tuesday night in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of South Waziristan, reported local media ARY, APA reports.

According to the local media reports, two missiles were fired by a U.S. drone at a house suspected of being a militant’s hideout at the Azam Warsak area of South Waziristan which borders Afghanistan.

Details about the identities of the killed in the strike are not immediately available.

Tuesday night’s U.S. drone strike is the 53rd of its kind (counted on a daily basis) in Pakistan in 2011. To date, a total of 467 people…have reportedly been killed in such strikes.


Attacking Nuclear Pakistan Won’t Be A Cakewalk


The Nation
September 28, 2011

Pakistan served Miranda
By S.M. Hali

-The countries that plan wars in order to capture resources, conquer territories, or advance their strategic interests or hegemonic designs never lack noble-sounding pretexts: Self-defence, defending civilisation, rescuing threatened national minorities, and so on.
-The US, therefore, should take cognisance that attacking Pakistan won’t be a cakewalk. It is a nuclear-equipped and battle hardened country, which will defend itself or go down fighting.

The US administration has virtually read out the Miranda warning to Pakistan. Miranda is the formal warning given by the police in the United States to criminal suspects in a custodial situation before they are interrogated to make the accused aware of and remind him of his constitutional rights.

Admiral Mike Mullen, Leon Panetta and Jay Carney have virtually issued Miranda warnings to Pakistan accusing it of supporting attacks by the Haqqani network on US targets in Afghanistan, including the September 13 assault on the American Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul.

While briefing the US Senate, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mullen categorically stated: ‘The Haqqani network, for one, acts as a veritable arm of Pakistan’s intelligence agency.’ In a similar tone, US Defence Secretary Panetta told Senators that ‘the presence of safe havens in Pakistan is giving the insurgents advantages they have otherwise lost.’

White House Spokesman Carney called on Pakistan to ‘break any link they have’ with the Haqqani network. The synchronised blame game has, however, been refuted vehemently by Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Defence and Foreign Ministers and the Chief of Army Staff.

History is replete with wrongful US indictments. The US attacked both Afghanistan and Iraq with apparent UN approval, but under trumped-up charges. In the case of Afghanistan, it invoked the self-defence clause, insisting that the Taliban regime was harbouring Osama bin Laden – the purported perpetrator of the 9/11 attacks.

Despite the Taliban’s insistence that the US provide evidence pertaining to the allegations after which Osama would be tried under the Afghan law, America invaded Afghanistan that has led to the death of over 40,000 innocent civilians. But it must be understood that ‘self-defence’, firstly, in both international and US law, must be clearly distinguished from the use of force for revenge or punishment; States, like people, must not act as vigilantes.

Secondly, in criminal law, ‘self-defence’ may be invoked in the face of an imminent threat of death or grave bodily harm. In general, the threat must be immediate and the response must not be pushed beyond what is reasonably required to repel that threat. Thus, the invasion of Afghanistan was not a legitimate act of ‘self-defence’ by the US post-9/11.

There is no UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution that authorises it, whether alone or in coalition with other countries, to attack Afghanistan.

Between September 11 and October 7, 2001, when the Afghanistan invasion began, the Council adopted only one resolution concerning the 9/11 attacks. Resolution 1368 (September 12) condemned the attack, while Resolution 1378 (November 14) adopted – after the bombardment of Afghanistan commenced – only condemns the Taliban and supports ‘the efforts of the Afghan people to replace the Taliban regime!’

The countries that plan wars in order to capture resources, conquer territories, or advance their strategic interests or hegemonic designs never lack noble-sounding pretexts: Self-defence, defending civilisation, rescuing threatened national minorities, and so on.

After no weapons of mass destruction had been found to justify the invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration argued that it was legitimate to overthrow a brutal dictatorship in order to free the Iraqi people. But to allow any country to make war entirely on false pretexts means throwing out international law and replacing it with ‘might is right.’

Now, the US is threatening to throw its erstwhile ‘most non-NATO ally’ Pakistan to the dogs of war. It has already violated our sovereignty on two accounts: First, by launching the drone attacks, and secondly, the May 2 attack to ‘eliminate’ Osama. Pakistan needs to take its case to the UN; however, this step may yield no results if former US Permanent Representative to the UN John Bolton is to be believed: ‘There is no such thing as the UN. There is only the international community, which can only be led by the only remaining superpower, which is the United States, when it suits our interest and we can get others to go along…When the United States leads, the UN will follow.’

The US, therefore, should take cognisance that attacking Pakistan won’t be a cakewalk. It is a nuclear-equipped and battle hardened country, which will defend itself or go down fighting. It is hoped and prayed that good sense prevails in the US administration!

The writer is a political and defence analyst.


NATO Oil Tankers Torched In Balochistan


Pakistan Times
September 28, 2011

NATO oil tankers torched in Balochistan

QUETTA: Three NATO oil tankers were torched by unknown men in the Mastung area of Balochistan, a report said on Tuesday.

The tankers were on their way from Karachi to Quetta when unknown men riding on motorcycles fired at them.

The unknown men fled the scene after the firing. One of the drivers was injured during the attack. Upon receiving information, rescue teams of the police and levies rushed to the scene. NATO oil tankers carrying supplies to troops in Afghanistan are often targeted by militants.


Pakistani Bar Association: Cut NATO Supply Lines


News International
September 28, 2011

Cut Nato supply: Bar

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court Bar Association on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution demanding that the government sever Nato forces’ supply lines in wake of US threats to Pakistan.

The House said the USA had humiliated 170 million Pakistanis whose lives, honour and property were under threat; therefore, the lawyers’ community would stand by its government in this hour of need despite having differences with it on many issues. They urged the government to give a strong message to the USA that Pakistanis were brave and would not compromise on their sovereignty. They said Pakistan should withdraw from the so-called war on terror. LHCBA president Asghar Ali Gill presided over the meeting.


U.S. ‘Reviewing Aid’ To Pakistan


Azeri Press Agency
September 28, 2011

U.S. reviewing aid to Pakistan: White House

Baku: The White House said on Tuesday that Washington is reviewing its aid to Pakistan, urging its government to take action in cracking down on the Haqqani network, as the two countries’ relations keep deteriorating this year, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

‘We obviously are always reviewing our aid programs,’ White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters in a press gaggle, adding that the U.S. takes it seriously and discusses these matters with its Pakistani counterparts, without providing further details.

The White House remarks came at a time when U.S.-Pakistani ties have hit a new low after senior U.S. officials, including chairman of the U.S. Joint Chief of Staff Mike Mullen, publicly accused Pakistan of backing the Haqqani network which was blamed for the recent attacks on the U.S. embassy in Kabul.

Carney reiterated the U.S. position that the Haqqani network was responsible for the attacks on Sept. 13, urging the Pakistani government to take action to ‘deal with the things that exist there.’

On the same day, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said that the U.S. has slowed military aid to Pakistan until desired results are seen.

Nuland said that some of the military aid cannot go forward ‘unless the programs that it funds go forward and until we can evaluate with Pakistan where we’re going to go together.’

U.S.-Pakistani relations had already been substantially damaged in May this year over a secret U.S. commando mission that killed al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan without the permission from Islamabad.

The U.S. has been giving out signals that it will cut military aid to Pakistan, while shifting more focus on the civilian aid in order to ease the strong anti-American sentiment among the majority of Pakistani population.


New Zealand Special Forces Soldier Killed In Afghan Firefight


Xinhua News Agency
September 28, 2011

Second New Zealand special forces soldier killed in Afghanistan

WELLINGTON: A second New Zealand special forces soldier has been killed in a military operation in Afghanistan, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced Wednesday.

The soldier with the Special Air Service Group (SAS) was shot while the SAS were mentoring the Afghan Crisis Response Unit during an operation in Wardak Province near Kabul, said Key.

‘I am saddened by the loss of this SAS soldier, the second from the unit to die in Afghanistan. It is a reminder of the volatile and dangerous conditions that our Defence Force personnel face in Afghanistan,’ said Key.

The SAS were reacting to information about a team preparing to launch an attack on Kabul.

A child and a ‘fighting-aged’ male were also injured in the operation, which had involved 15 SAS and 50 Afghan soldiers.


Afghanistan: Most Of $70 Billion In Foreign Aid Spent On Security


Pajhwok Afghan News
Se5ptember 27, 2011

51pc of aid spent on security forces
By Abdul Qaddir Siddiqui

KABUL: Of the $69 billion (3.3 trillion afghanis) pledged in aid by the international community, the Afghan government has received and spent $57 billion over the past decade, the minister of economy said on Tuesday.

Fifty-one percent of the foreign aid was spent on the security sector and the rest on agriculture, rural rehabilitation and development, infrastructure, health, education and good governance, Abdul Hadi Arghandiwal said.

One main obstacle to ANDS implementation was the huge allocation to the security sector and under-funded government budget, the minister said.

Arghandiwal said other impediments included widespread unemployment, lack of funds for securing development projects implemented by foreigners and the absence of a mechanism to monitor the use of funds.


Top NATO Commander In Turkey For Missile Talks


Hürriyet Daily News
September 27, 2011

NATO official makes missile trip to Ankara
Sevil Küçükko?um

ANKARA: The visit of a senior NATO commander to Ankara on Tuesday for talks regarding a radar system in southeastern Turkey as part of the alliance’s missile shield project came as Iran increased its criticism of Turkey’s recent attitude toward Israel.

‘Landing in Ankara, Turkey, for discussions on missile defense, Afghanistan, Libya, and NATO reform,’ NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander in Europe John Stavridis said in a post on Twitter late Monday.

Adm. Stavridis held talks in Turkey after visits to Israel and Romania. Stavridis met with Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel and Defense Minister ?smet Y?lmaz. Although the admiral requested an appointment with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, he could not meet Turkey’s premier due to Erdo?an’s busy schedule. The core of the discussions was the U.S.-led NATO missile shield project, whose early-warning radar system will be deployed in Turkey.

Ankara decided to host the radar at a military facility base near Malatya as part of NATO’s defense architecture. The discussions also included Turkey’s objections to Israel’s attempt to open a representation office at NATO headquarters, the Daily News has learned.

Turkey blocked a recent Israeli attempt to open an office at NATO headquarters when Tel Aviv submitted a request in early September.

Israel has made requests to open a representation office at NATO headquarters under NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue program that was launched in 1994 with seven Mediterranean countries.

The Iranian supreme leader’s top advisor for military affairs, Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim, played down the current tension between Turkey and Israel, characterizing it as a political gesture.

‘Turkey’s gestures against the Zionists are political and they [the Turks] have maintained their relations [with the Zionist regime] behind the scenes,’ he said on Monday, according to the Iranian news agency Fars.

Adm. Stavridis last visited Turkey in March to discuss Turkish participation in NATO-led operations in Libya.

Meanwhile, pro-Turkish chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ foreign affairs committee’s sub-committee on Europe and Eurasia Dan Burton met Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and was scheduled to meet with President Abdullah Gül and Erdo?an when the Daily News went print.


Turkish Opposition Parties Oppose NATO Missile Radar Base


Tehran Times
September 28, 2011

Opposition parties oppose NATO radar base in Turkey

Opposition parties in Turkey have expressed their disagreement with the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan government’s decision to host an early-warning radar as part of NATO’s missile defense system on the country’s soil.

The leader of Turkey’s Democratic Party (DP), Namik Kemal Zeybek, voiced his opposition to the Turkish government’s decision and warned about its negative consequences, Press TV reported on Monday.

In an interview with Turkey’s TV 8 on Friday, Zeybek said NATO’s decision to deploy its missile-tracking radar system on Turkish soil is aimed at monitoring Iran’s moves and pitting the two neighboring countries against each other.

He added that the West is seeking to cause rifts in the world of Islam as Iran has resisted its dominance in spite of heavy pressure.

This comes as other opposition parties in Turkey have similarly disagreed with the plan, expressing concerns about its negative impact on the country’s relations with its neighbors.

The Republican People’s Party (CHP), headed by Kemal Kilicdaroglu, criticized the plan and stated that it is aimed at protecting Israel in the face of Iran’s missiles.

The leader of People’s Voice Party, Numan Kurtulmus, was also among the critics of the plan, saying that Erdogan’s government opposes Israel on the one hand while agreeing to a plan that is chiefly intended to defend Israel on the other.

Another Turkish politician, Mustafa Kamalak, who is the leader of Felicity Party, has additionally pointed out that Turkey’s agreement with the deployment of a NATO missile defense system on its soil will distance it from its neighbors.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal recently announced Ankara’s plan to host the Western military alliance’s radar system.

The Turkish official said the plan, which would ‘boost NATO’s defense capacity and strengthen [Turkey’s] national defense system,’ is in line with the alliance’s ‘New Strategic Concept’ adopted in a summit in Lisbon last year.

Some in Iran say that Turkey’s hosting an early-warning radar system is to protect Israel, IRNA cited the defense minister as saying on Thursday.

‘Installation of the radar system is to defend the Zionist regime since this regime is on a downhill trajectory and America has been forced to get involved directly to save it,’ Ahmad Vahidi said.

‘We will not allow any foreign forces to threaten our interests and we will strongly confront any threat,’ he added on the sidelines of a military parade marking the 31st anniversary of the start of a bloody eight-year war with Iraq.


Baltic Sea: NATO Warships Bring ‘Regional Security In Pescadia’


North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Transformation
September 27, 2011


After 11 days of outstanding cooperation and combined operations in Exercise DANEX/NOCO 11, the ‘Multinational Maritime Task Group? under Commander Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2), Rear Admiral (LH) Sinan Azmi TOSUN’s command, ensured the safe sea lines of communication so as to create sustainable regional security in ‘Pescadia’.

The realistic exercise scenario, took place in the artificial region of ‘Pescadia’ (the Baltic Sea) and involved sovereign nations, illegal activities like smuggling, piracy, terrorist movement and resolving territorial disputes.

Exercise DANEX/NOCO 11 took place over two weeks and developed through a period of military and political tension into simulated hostilities.

After deterring and disrupting piracy, protecting sea lines of communication, fighting air, surface and subsurface threats with numerous international partners, SNMG2 flagship, TCG ORUCREIS, sailed to Gothenburg/SWEDEN (a Partnership for Peace (PfP) country) to conduct a port visit between 23rd and 27th of September, 2011.

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