30 September 2011 — Stop NATO
- NATO: Afghan Civilian Deaths Caused By Air Strikes Up 19 Percent
- Afghan War: NATO 2011 Death Toll Continues To Rise
- Pakistani Parties Show Rare Unity In Opposition To U.S. Threats
- Obama, Uzbek President Discuss Afghan War Supply Routes
- Czech Republic: 225,000 Attend 18-Nation ‘NATO Days’
- Estonia Pursues ‘Total Defense’ Against Russia
- Adjutant General Of Illinois Receives Polish Army Medal
- Germany Hosts Warplanes For NATO Response Force 2012 Exercise
NATO: Afghan Civilian Deaths Caused By Air Strikes Up 19 Percent
Pajhwok Afghan News
September 29, 2011
Civilian deaths caused by airstrikes up: ISAF
KABU: Civilian deaths caused by NATO-led airstrikes increased from 57 to 67, or by 18 percent, over the past eight months, compared to the same period in 2010, a spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force said on Thursday.
A day earlier, the United Nations said that Afghanistan had emerged as more insecure during the current year, with a sharp spike in security incidents and the number of civilian casualties, civilian displacement and complex suicide attacks.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his report to the Security Council that the number of security incidents during the first eight months of the year was nearly 40 percent higher than in the corresponding period of 2010.
Civilian casualties, at an all-time high for the first half of the year, rose by five percent in the June-August period compared with last year, with militants linked to three quarters of the deaths and injuries, the UN report said.
Afghan War: NATO 2011 Death Toll Continues To Rise
Xinhua News Agency
September 30, 2011
4 ISAF armymen killed in Afghanistan: news release
KABUL: Three NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) service members were killed in an attack and another died in a non-battle related injury in Afghanistan, according to ISAF press releases issued on Thursday.
‘Three International Security Assistance Force service members died following an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in southern Afghanistan yesterday,’ an ISAF news release issued on Thursday said.
On Wednesday, another three ISAF soldiers were also killed in an IED attack in eastern Afghanistan, a former news release said.
In a separate Thursday statement, the ISAF said ‘an International Security Assistance Force service member died as a result of a non-battle related injury in southern Afghanistan today’.
Both Thursday news releases read as usual, ‘It is ISAF policy to defer casualty identification procedures to the relevant national authorities.’
Afghan Taliban has launched massive IED attacks against ISAF and Afghan national security force in recent years.
The fatalities of NATO-led forces this year, according to iCasualties, have been registered 463 till Thursday, out of which 397 killed in IED attacks, 342 of which from the United States and 34 from the United Kingdom.
Forty nine countries are contributing 130,000-strong forces in Afghanistan with over 90,000 of them American mainly stationed in the east and south, followed by 9,500 from UK mainly based in southern Afghanistan.
Pakistani Parties Show Rare Unity In Opposition To U.S. Threats
Xinhua News Agency
September 29, 2011
Pakistani parties show rare unity to U.S. threats
By Tahir Khan
ISLAMABAD: Politically divided and insurgency-hit Pakistan is showing rare unity at a time when top U. S. military leaders are issuing threatening statements of unilateral military action in Pakistan’s tribal region against the armed militant groups…
Pakistani leaders have complained that senior U.S. officials have unleashed verbal attacks on its intelligence agencies that they supported Taliban-linked groups in recent attacks on the U.S. embassy and a military base in Afghanistan.
Pakistan angrily rejected U.S. claims as unfortunate and also dismissed the threats of unilateral action as contrary to the spirit of bilateral cooperation in the war on terror.
…The U.S. routinely uses unmanned aircraft to target the hideouts of suspected militants in the Waziristan region, bordering Afghanistan.
…Pakistani leaders said that the CIA had created the Haqqanis and had been once the U.S. ‘blue-eyed boys’.
Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said this week that several countries have contacts with the Haqqanis and rejected as unfair the U.S. policy of singling out Pakistan. As there is no let-up in the U.S. pressure on Pakistan and its leaders are issuing threats of strikes, Pakistanis have shown unity to meet any challenge. The prime minister has called an All-Parties Conference (APC) to get support from all political and religious parties at the critical juncture of Pakistan’s history.
Nearly 60 political leaders, including the main opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif, will attend the conference. Top military leaders and the ISI chief will brief the leaders and will respond to their questions about what measures have been taken to defend the country.
Tribesmen in Waziristan and other regions have also declared support to the Pakistani government and elders have vowed armed resistance if the United States launched any attack, a tribal elder who attended a meeting in Miranshah, the center of North Waziristan, this week said. Two nationalist groups in southwestern Balochistan province have refused to attend the APC. They cited political differences over the government policies in Balochistan for decision to stay away from the APC but said they would strongly oppose any U.S. military intervention.
It is the third time in three years that the government has called an APC to adopt a united stand to what the majority believes is the aggressive U.S. posture towards its close ally, which has lost nearly 30,000 civilians and about 5,000 security personnel in bomb blasts, suicide attacks and military operations since late 2001.
…Thursday’s APC was convened as Pakistani political and military leaders have realized gravity of the situation.
Pakistanis are annoyed at the U.S. allegations against its military and security organizations, who had been the main target of the militant groups.
FOCUS ON FRIENDS AND REGIONAL COUNTRIES
Pakistan has approached its close friends and regional countries in the wake of continued U.S. threats and sent its intelligence chief to Saudi Arabia to win its support in the current circumstances. Pakistan is happy over the recent supportive statements from time-trusted friend China, and the Iranian Interior Minister Mohammad Najar threw support to Pakistan when he met President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar warned this week that the United States will lose its close ally if it continued allegations against her country and its security agencies.
Pakistani analysts, foreign experts, defense experts and the media are also advising the government to review its foreign policy vis-a-vis the United States and to promote ties with friendly and regional countries. They also ask the government to reject conditional U.S. aid and focus on trade, not aid. The united stand in Pakistan to U.S. threats would send a strong message to the American military that coercive tactics will not work as the whole Pakistani population is in rare unity.
There are no positive signals coming from Washington to ease tensions and the outgoing Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said in his latest statement on Wednesday that the Americans will now take a tougher line against Pakistan. Senior Republican U.S. senator, Senator Lindsey Graham, has warned that U.S. lawmakers might support military options beyond drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions.
He said options available include using U.S. bomber planes within Pakistan. These threatening American statements have forced the government to show unity and win the support of the opposition parties, and a tough and united response is likely at the end of the APC later Thursday.
Obama, Uzbek President Discuss Afghan War Supply Routes
September 29, 2011
Obama, Uzbek leader discuss Afghan supply routes
WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama and Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov discussed the Central Asian country’s role as a supply route for US troops in Afghanistan, a US official said on Thursday, amid growing concern about the stability of Pakistan as a transit point.
The White House said Obama spoke to Karimov late Wednesday to congratulate the former Soviet republic on its 20th anniversary of independence and that they talked about shared interests in a ‘secure and prosperous’ Afghanistan.
Obama’s outreach to Karimov, who has faced US criticism in the past over his human rights record, came as the United States and Pakistan are locked in a diplomatic crisis over US accusations linking Pakistan’s chief intelligence agency to attacks on Americans in Afghanistan. The rising tensions between Washington and Islamabad, at times awkward partners in the fight against militancy, have raised questions about Pakistan’s role as a major US supply route for its forces fighting in Afghanistan. That has sent US officials scrambling to consider expanding alternatives to reduce reliance on Pakistan.
Czech Republic: 225,000 Attend 18-Nation ‘NATO Days’
Czech News Agency
September 26, 2011
Record 225,000 people saw NATO Days in ?R
-This year’s NATO Days were participated in by 18 countries. Israel, Norway, Sweden and Turkey took part for the first time.
Mosnov, North Moravia: A record number of 225,000 people attended the two-day NATO Days and Czech Military Air Force Days held at Leos Janacek airport in Mosnov, on Saturday and Sunday, event spokesman Jaromir Krisica told CTK Sunday.
He said 185,000 people came to the event last year.
NATO Days are the biggest aviation-military-security event in Central Europe, according to the organisers.
Visitors could see military aircraft, including an AWACS plane and the U.S. B-52 strategic bomber, as well as other military and rescue equipment.
The performances by two aerobatics groups, the four-member Baltic Bees and the eight-member Turkish Stars, were among the biggest attractions.
‘The visitors could see at the airport 246 pieces of equipment, including almost 90 planes,’ said Zbynek Pavlicek, head of the Jagello 2000 association, the event’s chief organiser.
The Saturday programme included the ceremonial admission of the Czech Republic to the AWACS early warning system.
This year’s NATO Days were participated in by 18 countries. Israel, Norway, Sweden and Turkey took part for the first time.
Estonia Pursues ‘Total Defense’ Against Russia
Estonian Public Broadcasting
September 29, 2011
Laar Ponders How to Make Most of Defense Capability
-With an increase in Russian forces along the western borders and a reported dropoff in military capability in Estonia’s southern neighbors, military topics have been more prominent recently. Head of Laar’s advisory board, retired Lt. Col. Leo Kunnas minced no words, saying that the priority for the next ten years is to increase combat capability in light of developments in Russia. He said the three gaps that must be closed are coastal defense, medium range air defense, and armored maneuvering capability.
Defence Minister Mart Laar has emphasized the need for Scandinavian-style total defense, in which all of society participates in countering security threats.
His remarks came at the opening of the ABCD defense policy conference in Tallinn on September 29.
The Nordic model is not incompatible with NATO, which, as Laar also said in an opinion piece in Postimees on September 27, will remain one of the two pillars of defense, the other being the reserves based on general compulsory military service.
At the conference, Laar said the Nordics ‘realized long ago’ that military forces alone were not enough but that the entire civilian sector should participate in national defense.
…’Instead we need 21st century total defense – a truly broad-based approach to security, where government agencies, private sector and civic society engage in cooperation for national defense.’
Held since 2006, the Annual Baltic Conference on Defence is organized by the Defense Ministry and the Estonian think tank International Center for Defense Studies.
Total defense has been a hallmark of Estonian defense policy. A more specific ten-year strategy is currently being prepared at the Defense Ministry, and despite Laar’s focus on intangible and asymmetric threats at the conference, there is a good deal of thinking going on about concrete military scenarios.
With an increase in Russian forces along the western borders and a reported dropoff in military capability in Estonia’s southern neighbors, military topics have been more prominent recently. Head of Laar’s advisory board, retired Lt. Col. Leo Kunnas minced no words, saying that the priority for the next ten years is to increase combat capability in light of developments in Russia. He said the three gaps that must be closed are coastal defense, medium range air defense, and armored maneuvering capability.
Defense spending has risen to a promised 2 percent in next year’s budget, but with the recession having slightly shrunk the economy, Laar has voiced concern about how to make that money go further.
Adjutant General Of Illinois Receives Polish Army Medal
Illinois Government News Service
September 29, 2011
Illinois’ Top Military Officer Receives Prestigious Polish Army Medal
Illinois Adjutant General William Enyart Honored With Polish Army’s Highest Award to a Foreign Officer
-Aside from military-to-military and military-to-civilian exchanges and co-training, the Illinois National Guard also co-deploys troops with Polish forces, first to Iraq and now to Afghanistan.
WARSAW, Poland: Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s top military officer, Maj. Gen. William L. Enyart, the Adjutant General of Illinois, received the Polish Army Medal during an official visit to Poland last week. U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Thomas Lamont accompanied Enyart to the ceremony, which included a military parade, a performance by a Polish Army band, and a ‘dress and review’ march in which 100 Polish soldiers saluted and honored the officer.
In receiving the Gold grade of the medal, Enyart joins a short list of American generals to receive the award including former Army Chief of Staff Gen. (ret.) George W. Casey, former Central Command Commander and current CIA Director Army Gen. (ret.) David Petraeus, African Command Commander Army Gen. Carter Ham, and Marine Gen. John R. Allen, the Commander of International Security Assistance Force- Afghanistan and United States Forces – Afghanistan.
The medal was signed by Polish Minister of National Defense Obrony Narodowej and was approved by the Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.
Enyart commands the 13,000-member Illinois National Guard, which has maintained a State Partnership Program with Poland since 1993. Aside from military-to-military and military-to-civilian exchanges and co-training, the Illinois National Guard also co-deploys troops with Polish forces, first to Iraq and now to Afghanistan. The Illinois National Guard’s Bilateral Embedded Support Team (BEST) has approximately 20 servicemembers serving with a Polish brigade in Afghanistan today. Poland has served as a staunch ally of the United States in Europe and throughout the world.
Germany Hosts Warplanes For NATO Response Force 2012 Exercise
U.S. Air Forces in Europe
September 29, 2011
Exercise Brilliant Arrow hits bulls-eye on international relations
by Senior Airmen Ethan Morgan and Jerilyn Quintanilla
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
ROYAL AIR FORCE MILDENHALL, England: Germany hosted Exercise Brilliant Arrow, an international multi-service exercise designed as a live flying and command post exercise, Sept. 12 – 23.
Exercise Brilliant Arrow 2011 provided force integration and mission readiness training in preparation for NATO Response Force 2012.
Military Services from Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Lithuania and the United States were among the participating countries. More than 30 aircraft and 1,200 people, operating from 15 different locations, made for a diverse and elaborate operation.
The exercise is specially designed to enhance the professional preparation of multinational air forces…
Editor’s note: Information courtesy of Lutwaffe press office was used in this article.