3 October 2011 — Stop NATO
- Almost 200 Days Of Bombing: 24,574 NATO Sorties, 9,164 Strike Sorties
- Commander: NATO To Turn Libyan Operations Back Over To AFRICOM
- Pentagon Chief ‘Reaffirms’ Ties With Israel, Egypt, Palestine, NATO
- U.S. Army Africa: Massive Expansion Of Italian Base For American Troops
- Australian Defence Chief Flies To Brussels For NATO Talks
- Serbs Set Up Concrete Barricade In Northern Kosovo
- Afghan, Pakistani Armies Arrayed For War
Almost 200 Days Of Bombing: 24,574 NATO Sorties, 9,164 Strike Sorties
Click to access 20111002_111002-oup-update.pdf
North Atlantic Treaty Organization
October 2, 2011
NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ
Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:
Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 06.00GMT) a total of 24,574 sorties, including 9,164 strike sorties, have been conducted.
Sorties conducted 1 OCTOBER: 101
Strike sorties conducted 1 OCTOBER: 38
Commander: NATO To Turn Libyan Operations Back Over To AFRICOM
October 1, 2011
AP Exclusive: US general sees end to Libya mission
Lolita C. Baldor
WASHINGTON: The military mission in Libya is largely complete and NATO’s involvement could begin to wrap up as soon as this coming week after allied leaders meet in Brussels, according to the top U.S. commander for Africa.
Army Gen. Carter Ham, head of U.S. Africa Command, told The Associated Press that American military leaders are expected to give NATO ministers their assessment of the situation during meetings late in the week.
NATO’s decision-making body, the North Atlantic Council, agreed on Sept. 21 to extend the mission over the oil-rich North African nation for another 90 days, but officials have said the decision would be reviewed periodically.
When NATO makes its decision, Ham said he believes there would be a seamless transition of control over the air and maritime operations to U.S. Africa Command. At least initially, some of the military surveillance coverage would remain in place.
NATO took over command of the mission in March, after it was initially led by the U.S. in the early days of the bombing campaign…
He added that the U.S. may be able to help re-establish Libya’s Coast Guard and maritime domain.
Pentagon Chief ‘Reaffirms’ Ties With Israel, Egypt, Palestine, NATO
U.S. Department of Defense
October 2, 2011
Panetta Visits Middle East, NATO to Reaffirm Relationships
By Cheryl Pellerin
ABOARD A MILITARY AIRCRAFT: In his first visit as defense secretary, Leon E. Panetta will meet with leaders in Israel, Palestine and Egypt and at NATO headquarters this week to reaffirm the Defense Department’s security relationships, he said tonight.
‘The main purpose of this trip,’ the secretary told reporters traveling with him, ‘is to try to reaffirm our security relationship with important allies and with important partnerships that we have in that part of the world.’
On his first stop, the secretary will meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, including his counterpart in Israel, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and separately with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
With both leaders Panetta will discuss the strong bilateral defense relationship between the United States and Israel, major security issues across the region and on Israel’s borders, and the dramatic shifts taking place in the Middle East and North Africa.
In Israel, Panetta said, it’s important ‘to reaffirm our strong security relationship’ and to ‘make clear that we will protect their qualitative military edge, and that … as they take risks for peace that we will be able to provide the security they will need’ to negotiate a peace agreement with Palestine.
With the Israelis, Panetta also will discuss the situation in Iran and security threats from that nation.
Talks will address what steps are needed to ensure that Iran does not pursue either its nuclear capabilities or the kind of assistance that it’s provided…
It is best that the United States, Israel and all the nations in the region that share common concerns about Iran and its intentions work together, Panetta noted, to make sure everything possible is done to convince Iran not to pursue its nuclear capabilities, undermine regional stability, promote terrorism, not to try to undermine stability in that region or promote terrorism.
‘The most effective way to deal with Iran is not on a unilateral basis,’ the secretary said, ‘[but] to unify an effort to confront Iran directly that they have to change their ways.’
Panetta said in light of regional changes brought about by the Arab Spring, the United States is willing to help Israel try to ‘improve relations with some of its neighboring countries … particularly with countries like Turkey and Egypt.’
In Egypt, Panetta will meet with Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, and with Prime Minister Essam Sharaf to reaffirm the Defense Department’s security relationship, he said.
Panetta and the Egyptian officials will discuss topics that include the Egyptian military’s efforts to oversee a credible and transparent transition, a commitment to a strong and long-term defense relationship and a continued commitment to assist the Egyptian armed forces.
‘I want to thank General Tantawi for the help he provided [in September] pursuant to my request when the Israeli embassy was under siege,’ the secretary said. ‘He was willing to respond and respond quickly to try to help in that situation and I deeply appreciate that.’
Panetta said he will urge the Egyptians ‘to proceed with putting the election process in place so Egypt can move toward a civilian government that represents the will of the people, represents their desires and represents their hopes.’
He added, ‘Whatever assistance … we can provide to help them in that process, we certainly are willing to do.’
In Brussels, Panetta will deliver remarks on his initial impressions of the NATO alliance and laying out his ideas on the road ahead, including lessons to be drawn from operations in Afghanistan and Libya, and meeting the challenges of maintaining effective capabilities for the alliance in an era of financial austerity.
‘The primary areas we will focus on are Libya and the lessons learned from the Libyan experience,’ Panetta said. ‘There’s a lot of good obviously that came out of that operation, but there are also some important lessons to learn for the future.’
At NATO headquarters, the secretary will attend a series of
meetings among the 28 NATO allies to discuss Libya and other ongoing operations, and with coalition partners to discuss the International Security Assistance Forces and the transition that’s under way in Afghanistan.
Panetta said Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, commander of ISAF-Afghanistan and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, will join him at NATO and provide a summary of the situation in Afghanistan.
‘I look forward to talking with my NATO partners as to how we can best proceed in the future in order to ensure that Afghanistan remains stable,’ the secretary said.
U.S. Army Africa: Massive Expansion Of Italian Base For American Troops
Stars and Stripes
September 30, 2011
Consolidation of 173rd now expected to be June 2013
By Kent Harris
Construction is under way at the Dal Molin aifield in Vicenza, Italy, on 31 buildings that will eventually feature headquarters, offices, support facilities, housing and recreational areas for the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat team and U.S. Army Africa
VICENZA, Italy: The latest projection for the consolidation of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, currently split between Germany and Italy, into a single community is June 2013.
Col. David Buckingham, commander of U.S. Army Garrison-Vicenza, told a group of Italian civic leaders Thursday he expects about 2,000 soldiers and their families to move from Bamberg and Schweinfurt, Germany, during the summer of 2013. Phase two of a massive construction project at the Dal Molin air field designed to provide offices and support facilities for the brigade and housing for about 1,200 single soldiers is to be completed by then.
None of the projects is completed, but dozens of facilities are under construction. About $187 million – roughly two-thirds of the projected construction costs – has been spent on 31 buildings and preparations so far, according to information provided to the mayors.
Construction, which began in March 2008, is expected to be completed by December 2012. That’s a few months later than the last public projection of the fall of 2012.
The first U.S. personnel – some assigned to U.S. Army Africa – are expected to move into Dal Molin in January 2012, followed in June by four battalions and the headquarters element of the 173rd. The brigade’s two infantry battalions will remain at Caserma Ederle, a 15-minute drive away. The remainder of the U.S. Army Africa staff is scheduled to make the move across town in June 2014.
Once the base is fully occupied, Vicenza will be home to the largest U.S. military presence in Italy in terms of population, with about 5,000 troops spread between Dal Molin and Caserma Ederle.
Australian Defence Chief Flies To Brussels For NATO Talks
Herald Sun/Australian Associated Press
October 3, 2011
Defence Minister Stephen Smith flies out for NATO talks in Brussels
Defence Minister Stephen Smith is on his way to Europe for NATO talks on Afghanistan.
Defence ministers from NATO and the International Security Assistance Force will consider progress in the Afghanistan conflict as the northern summer fighting season draws to an end.
‘Australia is committed to mentoring and training the Afghan national security forces in Oruzgan Province to enable them to take on responsibility for security arrangements,’ he said in a statement.
In London, Mr Smith will meet John Coles, who is preparing a plan to improve the repair and management of Australia’s submarine fleet.
The minister also will meet representatives of BAE Systems to discuss progress on major projects, especially the air warfare destroyer and landing helicopter dock projects.
Mr Smith will have discussions with British defence officials on the mutual challenges of cyberspace.
Serbs Set Up Concrete Barricade In Northern Kosovo
Tanjug News Agency
October 2, 2011
Serbs set up concrete barricade in Kosovska Mitrovica
KOSOVSKA MITROVICA: The night passed peacefully in northern Kosovo and was marked by concreting of a barricade on the bridge over the Ibar River in Kosovska Mitrovica.
Citizens spent another night at the barricades in front of the Jarinje and Brnjak administrative checkpoints and blocks on northern Kosovo roads.
KFOR and EULEX shut down the Jarinje administrative crossing during the night after Serbs set up a new barricade, thus obstructing traffic completely on the access road from central Serbia as well.
For the first time since the outbreak of the crisis on Jarinje on the occasion of the deployment of Kosovo customs officers and police on the administrative line, a barricade was put up outside of Kosovo, on the access road from central Serbia, thus completely surrounding Jarinje, just like in the case of Brnjak earlier on.
KFOR and EULEX, which closed the crossing late on Saturday, opened it again for passenger traffic early on Sunday and removed the barbed wire that was preventing access to the crossing during the night.
EULEX officials told Tanjug that the crossing was closed at 19:00 CET and that was opened again at 7:00.
Commenting on the Saturday shutdown of the Jarinje crossing, Leposavi? Mayor Branko Nini? stated that this was another KFOR attempt of manipulation and deceiving the public so that they could conceal the violence and use of firearms against unarmed people a few days ago.
‘Barricades are still standing on the road and citizens are determined to fight by peaceful means to have officers of the so-called Kosovo customs service removed from Brnjak and Jarinje,’ he stressed.
Afghan, Pakistani Armies Arrayed For War
Pajhwok Afghan News
October 2, 2011
Afghan forces put on alert in Kunar
By Khan Wali Salarzai
ASADABAD: Afghan forces have been put on high alert in eastern Kunar province to thwart the possible creation of security checkpoints by Pakistan forces along the border, officials said on Sunday.
Addressing to an emergency meeting on the security situation, Governor Syed Fazlullah Wahidi alleged Pakistan recently deployed its soldiers along the Durand Line and set up several checkpoints.
Afghan soldiers had been put on alert in compliance with an order from the Ministry of Defence in Kabul, the governor said, adding the army – when ordered – would fight against aggressors.
Pakistani forces did attack Afghan territory, but they could not establish checkpoints on this side of the frontier in Kunar, bordering the Bajaur tribal region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, he explained.
A day earlier, Defence Minister Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak told Parliament that Afghan forces were ready to react to rocket attacks from Pakistan; they were only awaiting orders from higher-ups.
‘If ordered, we will use all our available sources,’ he said. In response to protests over the rocket strikes, Pakistani officials had come up with strong denials, he added.