Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: October 22, 2011

21 October 2011 — Stop NATO

  • Pentagon Chief Praises NATO For Libyan War Role
  • Russian Foreign Minister: West Plans To Effect Libyan Scenario In Syria
  • Libya: Canada’s Latest War
  • Obama Praises NATO Ally Norway For African, Asian War Efforts
  • Russian Foreign Minister Rebuffs McCain Over Gaddafi Fate For Putin Remark
  • NATO Moves Troops, Helicopters, Tanks, Artillery To Pakistan Border
  • NATO Trains Iraqi Top Officer Corps At Joint Warfare Centre In Norway
  • NATO Combat Vehicles Headed Toward Serbian Barricades
  • NATO Week: Western Bloc Further Integrates Armenian Military
  • U.S. Demands Immediate Transfer Of Power In Yemen
  • Azerbaijan: U.S. Plans Joint ‘Energy Security’ In Caspian
  • Iran Summons Azeri Ambassador Over Deadly Border Incident
  • Hidden Agenda Behind U.S. Military Deployment To Uganda
  • U.S. Marines Train Moroccan Army In Sahara Desert
  • American Troops Train Liberian Counterparts
  • Rise Of China, India: U.S. To Expand Military Forces In Australia
  • Retiring General: Pentagon To Focus On Alaska

Pentagon Chief Praises NATO For Libyan War Role

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=65763

U.S. Department of Defense
October 21, 2011

Panetta Lauds NATO, Partners for Libya Operation
By Karen Parrish

ABOARD A MILITARY AIRCRAFT: Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta today commended all of the forces that have been involved in Libya as the NATO mission there nears completion.

‘There’s been a proposal to bring that mission to a close by the end of this month, with probably a two-week transition period to take place,’ the secretary told reporters traveling with him to Indonesia on the first leg of a three-nation overseas trip.

Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis, the alliance’s supreme allied commander for Europe, made that recommendation to NATO leaders, Panetta said. ‘Obviously, we’re awaiting NATO’s final decision with regard to that recommendation,’ he added.

On his last overseas trip, Panetta said, he visited Naples, Italy, and observed the operations NATO developed to support the Libya mission.

‘This has been a successful mission – by NATO, by all of NATO’s members, and by NATO’s partners as well,’ he said…

Panetta will land in Indonesia tomorrow evening local time – tomorrow morning in Washington – and will visit Japan and South Korea later in the week.

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Russian Foreign Minister: West Plans To Effect Libyan Scenario In Syria

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20111021/167958394.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 21, 2011

Moscow slams Western draft resolution on Syria

Moscow: The Western draft resolution on Syria could provoke a Libyan scenario in the country, Russian Prime Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

He underscored that Russia is opposed to Syria sanctions.

‘The Western resolution is fraught with the repetition of a Libyan scenario although its co-authors are trying to convince us otherwise,’ he said.

The main problem with the document is that it lays the blame squarely at President Bashar Assad’s doorstep, which Lavrov described as a ‘one sided approach.’

On October 4, Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution that urged the Syrian regime to immediately stop using violence against protesters or face ‘targeted measures.’

The draft resolution, sponsored by France with Britain, Germany and Portugal, was supported by nine of 15 Security Council members. Four others – Brazil, India, South Africa and Lebanon – abstained.

President Assad said in late August that Washington and its European partners were hindering the political changes that represent the only way out of Syria’s crisis.

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Libya: Canada’s Latest War

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/10/20/f-libya-nato-mission.html

CBC News
October 21, 2011

Canada’s military contribution in Libya

Canada has been involved in the NATO-led mission in Libya since March. During the seven-month conflict, it has committed a total of 635 personnel, seven jet fighters, two patrol aircraft, two tankers and two frigates.

The air component of Operation Mobile, as Canada’s mission is known, has been focused on enforcing the no-fly zone imposed on Libya…

The sea component has helped enforce the arms embargo on Libya and escort supply ships and other vessels involved in NATO operations. Lt.-Gen. Charles Bouchard, a Canadian, heads up the overall NATO uperation in Libya, dubbed Unified Protector.

Below is a breakdown of Canada’s military contribution.

Task Force Libeccio

This is the land- and air-based component of Operation Mobile. The headquarters are in Naples, Italy, the same location as the central NATO command centre for the Libya operation, dubbed Unified Protector. The task force is commanded by Brig.-Gen. Derek Joyce.

Flight operations are co-ordinated out of Poggio Renatico, Italy. The command centre, which is overseen by Col. Eric Kenny, provides support to the Canadian units carrying out flight operations in Libya, collectively known as Sicily Air Wing. The units fly out of Trapani-Birgi, an Italian air force base in the west of Sicily, and Sigonella, a naval base on the east coast of Sicily. The commander of the air wing is Lt.-Col. Daniel McLeod.

Personnel (estimates):

Headquarters: 80

Air command centre: 30

Sicily Air Wing: 270 (from Air Force units across Canada)

Ships and planes:

Trapani detachment:

Seven CF-188 Hornet fighter aircraft (three pairs and a spare) from 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta.

Three transport aircraft configured as in-flight refuellers (tankers): two CC-150 Polaris tankers from 437 Transport Squadron at 8 Wing Trenton, Ont., and one CC-130J Hercules airlifter from 436 Transport Squadron at 8 Wing Trenton, Ont.

Sigonella detachment:

Two CP-140 Aurora aircraft, one from 405 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 14 Wing Greenwood, N.S., and the other from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, B.C.

Sicily Air Wing sorties (a sortie is an operational flight by one aircraft.)

Aircraft/tanker    Total sorties to date (as of Oct. 20, 2011)
CF-188 Hornet fighters    942
CC-150 Polaris tankers    247
CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft    180
CC-130J Hercules airlifters    21
CC-130 Hercules tankers (redeployed to Canada in September 2011)    139
Source: Department of National Defence

Task Force Vancouver

This is the maritime component of Operation Mobile, headed by Cmdr. Bradley Peats. It consist of one patrol frigate, HMCS Vancouver, which has a CH-124 Sea King helicopter and air detachment on board. The vessel, which has 255 personnel on board, escorts and provides air defence for supply ships and other ‘vulnerable’ vessels, such as minesweepers, and patrols the arms embargo zone in the central Mediterranean Sea off Libya.

HMCS Vancouver deployed from Esquimalt, B.C. on July 7, 2011, and arrived in the region in mid-August. It replaced HMCS Charlottetown, which had been patrolling the waters near the northern Libyan port of Misrata since March. HMCS Charlottetown had been originally sent to Libya to bring Canadian citizens home but by the time it arrived, its mission had changed. It was attacked by shore-based artillery on May 12, the first time since the Korean War that a Canadian warship had come under fire.

According to the Defence Department, HMCS Charlottetown conducted 313 hailings and five boardings of ‘vessels of interest’ over five months. Aside from escort and patrol missions, it was also involved in several defence operations against attacks by pro-regime forces launched from small boats.

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Obama Praises NATO Ally Norway For African, Asian War Efforts

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/21/c_131203491.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 21, 2011

Obama and Norwegian PM discuss Libya and economy

WASHINGTON: U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday talked with visiting Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg about a number of issues including Libya and the global economy.

Meeting with reporters after their Oval Office talks, Obama thanked Stoltenberg for Norway’s ‘important contribution’ to the NATO-led mission in Libya, saying that ‘Norway punched above its weight.’

Norway sent six F-16 fighters to join the mission during the first few months.

Obama stressed how relieved he was after learning that former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had been caught but died of wounds later on Thursday. In response to a question, Obama said that he was ‘very proud’ of the NATO operation in Libya, and that ‘We did exactly what we said we were going to do.’

He said that as close NATO allies and partners, the U.S. and Norway cooperate in a ‘wide variety of endeavors’ all around the world, noting that he and Stoltenberg discussed the situation in Afghanistan, the Middle East peace process, the global economy, the Arctic, global health, climate change, Sudan, cooperation at the United Nations and support for the new democracies in North Africa.

Stoltenberg stressed that Norway, which joined the NATO mission in Afghanistan from the beginning and has more than 500 troops and police trainers there, would only withdraw its troops together with its NATO allies.

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Russian Foreign Minister Rebuffs McCain Over Gaddafi Fate For Putin Remark

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20111021/167958654.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
October 21, 2011

Russian Foreign Minister rebuffs McCain’s dig at Putin

Moscow: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday lashed out at U.S. Senator John McCain, who called the death of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi ‘reason to be nervous’ for powerful Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

‘I think dictators all over the world, including Bashar al-Assad, maybe even Mr. Putin, maybe some Chinese, maybe all of them, may be a little bit more nervous,’ McCain said in an interview with the BBC late Thursday. ‘It’s the spring, not just the Arab spring.’

In an interview with three Russian Radio stations Lavrov shrugged off McCain’s remarks, saying the senator’s opinion is not decisive for U.S. politics.

‘It’s not the first time we have heard such exotic remarks from Mr. McCain. I don’t think his remarks deserve serious comment. He is a famous person with his phobias, his ‘rats in the attic’ if you wish. I do not believe he defines the position of the United States.’

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NATO Moves Troops, Helicopters, Tanks, Artillery To Pakistan Border

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=9744&Cat=13

News International
October 22, 2011

Nato troops deployed on border with NWA again
Malik Mumtaz Khan and Mushtaq Yusufzai

MIRAMSHAH/PESHAWAR: Hundreds of US-led coalition forces were again shifted, along with heavy arms, to Afghan areas bordering North Waziristan on Friday and the Pak-Afghan border was sealed for all types of movement.

Pakistani security officials and tribesmen living in the border town of Ghulam Khan, adjacent to the Khost province of Afghanistan, said US forces had clamped a curfew in Tarkhobi and adjoining villages and launched a major search operation in the area.

US and Afghan authorities had earlier asserted that the operation was directed against the Haqqani network. Locals said this was the second time this week that the US-led Nato forces had moved in a big way to the area bordering Pakistan with heavy arms, including gunship helicopters, tanks and long-range artillery guns.

Tribal sources said more than 400 heavy trucks and containers carrying goods to Afghanistan had been stranded on the Ghulam Khan-Khost Road in North Waziristan. They said around 300 stranded vehicles were waiting on the Afghan side of the border to enter Pakistan.

According to sources in the area, US-led Nato and Afghan security forces had moved to the Gurbaz district close to Pakistan on Sunday last and established checkpoints and observation posts. The border between the two neighbouring countries had been closed for traffic as well. However, US troops subsequently packed up all of a sudden and left the border area a few days later.

According to tribal sources, now more troops and arms have been moved to the border and curfew was clamped prior to the search operation. The Gurbaz tribe, living on the Afghan side of the border, had been directed through loudspeakers to stay home until further orders following the imposition of curfew.

Some of the Gurbaz tribesmen crossed the border into North Waziristan through unfrequented routes and said US troops had suspended cellular phone services in the area. The villagers claimed US troops conducted some raids in the Gurbaz area and made arrests.

Villagers living on the border with Khost said a number of helicopter gunships were seen flying over the area since the arrival of US forces on the border. Pakistani government officials confirmed that the Pak-Afghan border had been closed for traffic, but refused to provide details.

They said that besides trucks taking food items, heavy containers carrying supplies for the Nato forces had also been denied entry into Afghanistan. A Pakistani security official based in North Waziristan said on condition of anonymity that US forces had reached the border with Pakistan and established observation posts on hilltops. Other officials said Nato had started a major military operation in Afghan provinces along the border with Pakistan and the latest surge of US troops near the border could be part of an offensive against the Afghan Taliban, particularly the Haqqani network.

They said Pakistan had well-equipped armed forces deployed on the border with Afghanistan to secure the countryís frontiers against any aggression…

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NATO Trains Iraqi Top Officer Corps At Joint Warfare Centre In Norway

http://www.aco.nato.int/joint-warfare-centre-announces-end-of-iraqi-key-leader-training-in-norway.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Allied Command Operations
October 21, 2011

Joint Warfare Centre announces end of Iraqi Key Leader Training in Norway

-The JWC [Joint Warfare Centre] has delivered this training since it was selected to host NATO’s first out-of-country course for Iraqi security leaders in November 2004 as part of the NATO Training Mission in Iraq (NTM-I).
-Sixteen key Iraqi security officials including two Major Generals, nine Brigadier Generals, three Colonels, one Lieutenant Colonel and one civilian coming from the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office and Ministries of Defence and the Interior participated in the twelve-day course…
-Major activities further included briefings to promote a greater understanding of NATO, its Member and Partner Nations and their armed forces…
-We take great pride here at the JWC in being recognized as NATO’s premier operational training centre. We take no less pride in the confidence that the Iraqi Government has placed in our ability to provide the same quality training to the Iraqi key leaders all the way since 2004,’ Major General Jean Fred Berger, Commander JWC noted.
To date, the JWC has trained more than 200 key Iraqi officials at Ulsnes.
-In the future, the JWC is considering offering a similar training for key Afghan security personnel as part of the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan (NTM-A).
-[T]he NTM-I has made a tangible contribution not only to the rebuilding of military leadership in Iraq, but also to the development of the Iraqi Ministry of Defence and the Iraqi Security Forces.

Since the first course in 2004, the Joint Warfare Centre has provided bi-annual Iraqi Key Leader Training at Ulsnes to assist Iraqi Security Forces…

The Joint Warfare Centre (JWC) concluded its fifteenth and last Iraqi Key Leader Training (IKLT) course with the official closing ceremony held today (October 19) at the JWC’s Interim Training Facility at Ulsnes, Stavanger, Norway.

The JWC has delivered this training since it was selected to host NATO’s first out-of-country course for Iraqi security leaders in November 2004 as part of the NATO Training Mission in Iraq (NTM-I).

The purpose of the IKLT is to train key Iraqi security officials in order to ensure the development of effective and accountable security institutions in Iraq and to strengthen the overall capability of the Iraqi Security Forces.

‘This course has helped Iraqi Key Leaders operate more jointly and has given them an ***inspirational insight into international relations***. We must remember that Iraq has been isolated from the outside world for many years. Here, we teach an extremely relevant multi-disciplinary training programme with top-notch security specialists from both within and outside NATO providing first-hand knowledge in the operational context and leadership disciplines,’ said Norwegian Army Brigadier Gunnar E. Gustavsen, IKLT Director and Special Advisor to Commander JWC.

Sixteen key Iraqi security officials including two Major Generals, nine Brigadier Generals, three Colonels, one Lieutenant Colonel and one civilian coming from the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office and Ministries of Defence and the Interior participated in the twelve-day course, scheduled from 8 to 20 October 2011, to gain competence in areas such as operational Command and Control, staff planning and decision-making, provision of effective and efficient inter-agency leadership, communication skills, practice of operational law and Security Sector Reform, management and use of information, as well as Strategic Communications in a counterinsurgency campaign. Also to note was a facilitated discussion on the topic of ‘Iraq: Beyond Counterinsurgency to Reconciliation.’

Major activities further included briefings to promote a greater understanding of NATO, its Member and Partner Nations and their armed forces, as well as practical workshops on interacting with the media.

During the course, students visited Stavanger Police Headquarters…

The last JWC-run IKLT is the culmination of a seven-year old training curriculum that has been assiduously developed using feedback from participants at all iterations of this training, which had simultaneous interpretation for both English to Arabic and Arabic to English.

‘We take great pride here at the JWC in being recognized as NATO’s premier operational training centre. We take no less pride in the confidence that the Iraqi Government has placed in our ability to provide the same quality training to the Iraqi key leaders all the way since 2004,’ Major General Jean Fred Berger, Commander JWC noted.

To date, the JWC has trained more than 200 key Iraqi officials at Ulsnes.

An Iraqi Army Major General who participated in the IKLT, said: ‘I found the course to be extremely relevant and successful. We received expert training and instruction on a broad range of topics, as well as an insight into the training, equipment and organizational structures of the armed forces of various NATO nations. The course also was a chance for us to engage with our counterparts across NATO Member and Partner Nations. I believe it is very important for the Iraqi military to establish contact with western militaries and participate in their training and exercises. The IKLT helps bring us up to the level of western militaries.’

Starting from 2012, the IKLT will be hosted and conducted by the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany. The decision to this effect was made taking into account JWC’s Programme of Work, which aims to support current NATO operations as well as continue to provide NATO’s operational level training. In the future, the JWC is considering offering a similar training for key Afghan security personnel as part of the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan (NTM-A).

BACKGROUND

IKLT started out as part of the NTM-I, which has been running since 2004 when NATO Heads of State and Government agreed to…train Iraqi Security Forces…

Since then, the NTM-I has offered specialized, strategic-level training inside and outside Iraq to selected members of the Iraqi Security Forces. Through its important mission, the NTM-I has made a tangible contribution not only to the rebuilding of military leadership in Iraq, but also to the development of the Iraqi Ministry of Defence and the Iraqi Security Forces. The NTM-I is financed via a trust fund, which is entirely funded by voluntary contributions provided by individual NATO Member and Partner Nations.

The NTM-I has since 2004 helped to build a strategic and enduring partnership between Iraq and NATO. Reflecting on the NTM-I’s out-of-country training efforts for the Iraqi Security Forces, the former Commander NTM-I, U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Barbero said: ‘Out-of-country courses are important not just because of their content, but also because they provide an unparalleled opportunity to expose Iraqi security professionals to NATO best practices and allow Iraqi officers to network with NATO counterparts and develop lasting partnerships both on a personal and a professional level.’

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NATO Combat Vehicles Headed Toward Serbian Barricades

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/politics-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=10&dd=21&nav_id=76957

B92/Beta News Agency/Tanjug News Agency
October 21, 2011

KFOR headed toward barricades, Serbs say

ZUBIN POTOK: Serbs at the barricades have been told that two KFOR combat vehicles equipped with water cannons are headed to the village of Jagnjenica.

Zubin Potok Mayor Slaviša Risti? claims he has information that KFOR’s combat vehicles left from an Albanian-populated village of ?abar and that they are headed to Jagnjenica.

The Serbs at the barricades were informed around 11:00 CET that Portuguese and German KFOR troops were on their way to the barricade in the village of Zup?e and that they had removed the barbed wire which had been placed in front of the barricade that had been set up by the local Serbs.

According to Beta news agency reporter, residents of the Ibarski Kolašin region headed to Zup?e a little after 10:00.

Several hundred Serbs have gathered at the barricades in the Ibarski Kolašin region, including mayors of Serb towns, priests and local monks.

The situation in northern Kosovo is at the moment peaceful but tense. The Albanian media reported on Friday morning that KFOR had removed the barricades from the roads leading to the Brnjak administrative crossing.

Night passes peacefully at barricades

Northern Kosovo Serbs spent the night in their cars, tents and around the fire on several locations in the villages of Jagnjenica and Zup?e.

KFOR troops did not take any actions last night.

Local self-government representatives and Kosovska Mitrovica District Head Radenko Nedeljkovi? spent the night with the local Serbs.

Four loaded trucks are separating the local Serbs from KFOR troops. The trucks are blocking a KFOR convoy which attempted to get to the Brnjak administrative crossing.

KFOR troops are still located around 150 meters from the barricades that Serbs set up in the village of Zup?e and they still have not tried to remove them.

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http://www.b92.net/eng/news/society-article.php?yyyy=2011&mm=10&dd=21&nav_id=76966

Tanjug News Agency
October 21, 2011

Town marks 70 years since German massacre

KRAGUJEVAC: The town of Kragujavac is today remembering thousands of Serb civilians slaughtered there 70 years ago by the occupying German Nazi forces.
 
The executions of civilians in October 1941 came in retaliation for the casualties the Germans suffered in clashes with the Serbian resistance on October 16 along the Kragujevac-Gornji Milanovac road.

Ten German soldiers were killed and 26 wounded in the conflict.

The massacre came as a result of an order issued by German General Franz Boehme on October 10, which said that 100 Serbs were to be shot for every German killed and 50 for every German injured.

The killings started in villages around Kragujevac on October 19, continued in the city itself on October 20 and 21. Among the victims was an entire class of high school students.

According to official data provided by the memorial park dedicated to the victims of the massacre – which included women, men and children – 2,794 people were killed in the space of three days. Of that number, 2,379 were executed in the town itself, and 415 in neighboring villages.

Artists, students and people from all over Serbia come to the the Šumarice memorial park in Kragujevac every year to commemorate the victims.

Today, SPC Bishop Jovan of Lipljan held the memorail service, while the ceremonies were attended by Serbian President Boris Tadi?, Serbian Parliament Speaker Slavica ?uki?-Dejanovi?, Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovi? with members of his cabinet, Russian Ambassadors to Serbia Aleksandr Konuzin, and German Ambassador Wolfram Maas.

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NATO Week: Western Bloc Further Integrates Armenian Military

http://news.am/eng/news/78829.html

News.am
October 21, 2011

NATO Week in Armenia: Seminar examines border security

YEREVAN: Within the framework of NATO Week in Armenia, a seminar on border security was convened at the MFA on Friday. The event was jointly organized by the Armenian MFA, National Security Council, and NATO International Staff.

NATO’s delegation, led by Steven Sturm, Director of Defence Policy and Capabilities Directorate of Defence Policy and Planning Division, had arrived in the capital of Yerevan to attend the seminar, the MFA Press Service informed Armenian News-NEWS.am.

During the two work sessions, the discussants looked into integrated management of national borders, development of a risk analysis model, and other matters.

On Thursday, Steven Sturm delivered a lecture at the Diplomatic Academy of Armenia.

On the same day, Armenian MFA representatives, NATO delegation members, and Charles Lonsdale, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Armenia, paid a visit to the Armenian Peacekeeping Brigade and familiarized themselves with its activities.

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U.S. Demands Immediate Transfer Of Power In Yemen

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-10/22/c_131205519.htm

Xinhua News Agency
October 22, 2011

U.S. urges immediate power transfer in Yemen

WASHINGTON: The United States urges an immediate power transfer in Yemen following the UN Security Council resolution addressing the ongoing crisis in the country, the State Department said Friday in a statement.

‘Today the international community sent a clear, unified message that the time has come for President Saleh to allow the Yemeni people to live free from violence and insecurity. UN Security Council Resolution 2014 on Yemen is an important step toward realizing a brighter future for all Yemeni people,’ said State Department spokesman Mark Toner in the statement.

‘The only way to meet the aspirations of the Yemeni people is immediately to begin a transition of power in accordance with the Gulf Cooperation Council’s initiative,’ he said.

The statement came after the UN Security Council on Friday unanimously adopted a resolution to voice ‘grave concern at the situation in Yemen,’ demanding that ‘all sides immediately reject the use of violence to achieve political goals.’

Toner…also urged the Yemeni government to investigate ‘those responsible for violence against peaceful protesters and hold them accountable for their crimes.’

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Azerbaijan: U.S. Plans Joint ‘Energy Security’ In Caspian

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1947698.html

Trend News Agency
October 21, 2011

Azerbaijani officials, U.S. experts mull energy infrastructure risks on Caspian Sea
V. Zhavoronkova

Baku: A team of the Azerbaijani officials worked with U.S. experts to understand how to assess the risks facing critical energy infrastructure on the Caspian Sea, U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Matthew Bryza said on Friday in Baku.

Bryza noted that the Azerbaijani officials visited one of the largest offshore platforms in the world, where it managed to respond to the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and Los Alimos national laboratory, where the tools to assess risks to infrastructure are being developed.

‘The delegation finished its trip in Washington working with colleagues in the U.S. government on a joint action plan to address and cover the risks in the Caspian Sea,’ Bryza said.

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Iran Summons Azeri Ambassador Over Deadly Border Incident

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=157819

Azeri Press Agency
October 21, 2011

Iran sends note of protest to Azerbaijan
Victoria Dementieva

Baku: The Azerbaijani ambassador to Iran Javanshir Akhundov was invited to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran.

A note of protest concerning an armed incident on the Azerbaijan-Iran border was submitted to the ambassador. Akhundov expressed regret for the incident and said he would deliver the note to the government of Azerbaijan.

The violation of the border was observed on the Azerbaijan-Iran border near the Aranli village of the Bilasuvar region at 14.00 on October 19. Extra frontier guards were involved to prevent the violation of the border…the trespasser was wounded…

The name of the trespasser, who was killed on the Azerbaijan-Iran border, has been made public. Law-enforcement bodies told APA that the trespasser was 20-year-old serviceman of the Border Troops of the Islamic Republic of Iran Akbar Hasanpour. His body has been handed over to the Iranian side on October 20.

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Hidden Agenda Behind U.S. Military Deployment To Uganda

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90780/7622333.html

People’s Daily
October 20, 2011

Hidden motives lie behind US mission to Uganda
By Pan Jinghai

-Certainly, the mission in Uganda also indicates that the United States is seeking to secure a new foothold in Africa. Such a foothold can possibly be developed into a new headquarters of the U. S. Africa Command at an appropriate time.

U.S. President Barack Obama recently announced a plan to send about 100 special forces to Central Africa to help the army of Uganda and other nations fight the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). The first batch of the troops arrived in Uganda on Oct. 12.

The United States said that the 100 troops’ mission is limited to providing information and advice as well as ‘helping train local forces’ to combat the LRA, adding that the troops are not called upon to ‘actively fire on’ the LRA, though they will defend themselves when necessary. Analysts believe that the move of the United States deserves special attention.

Although the Ugandan military estimated earlier this year that the LRA was composed of merely 200 to 400 fighters, Richard Downie, an Africa expert at the U.S.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, warned that this operation may not be plain sailing. The United States has once before, at the end of 2008, sent advisers and logistical backup to help the Ugandan army root out the LRA, but intelligence leaks, poor cooperation between the Ugandan and other African armies and bad weather hampered the operation.

The deployment of U.S. troops in Uganda has shown the country’s growing concerns about the security threats in Africa from ‘terrorist networks, pirates, and unstable nations.’ At present, the U.S. efforts to combat terrorism in Africa have been mainly focused on the Horn of Africa, a region in East Africa including Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and other countries, and on the trans-Sahara region. This time, the United States has expanded its counter-terrorism activities to Uganda and other nearby countries.

Certainly, the mission in Uganda also indicates that the United States is seeking to secure a new foothold in Africa. Such a foothold can possibly be developed into a new headquarters of the U. S. Africa Command at an appropriate time.

The United States established the U.S. Africa Command in October 2007. The United States once tried to establish the headquarters in Africa, but it finally had to set it up in Stuttgart, Germany because of the opposition from African countries. The U.S. military has so far had only a military base in Djibouti in northeastern Africa. The United States will likely ask for permission from related countries to deploy troops there if the U.S. operations in Uganda make some progress. In fact, the U.S. military has stepped up its assistance to Uganda over recent months. The United States provided Uganda and Burundi with 45 million U.S. dollars worth of military assistance in June 2011, including four unmanned aircraft, night vision facilities and telecommunications equipment.

Obama has explained the reasons behind such assistance and the military operation in Uganda that deploying these U.S. armed forces ‘furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy.’ According to public opinion, apart from the need to find footholds for the fight against terrorism, the United States is also coveting African oil and natural gas resources.

African countries have already questioned the U.S. military operation. Although the United States said that the Ugandan government had already agreed on the deployment of the U.S. military personnel, a spokesperson for the Ugandan military said, ‘We did not request this kind of assistance and only expect the U.S. troops to help us to remove the threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army.’

The realistic attitude adopted by countries such as Uganda implies that they will not surely satisfy the demands of the United States such as establishing military bases. Furthermore, if any African country wants to meet the demands of the U.S. military for military deployment must take into account the feelings of its neighboring countries.

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U.S. Marines Train Moroccan Army In Sahara Desert

http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2011/af_morocco1307_10_21.asp

World Tribune
October 21, 2011

U.S. trains with Moroccan Army in Sahara Desert

CAIRO: The United States has been training with Morocco’s army in an effort to enhance desert combat.

The militaries of Morocco and the United States have been conducting joint training in the desert of the North African kingdom. Military sources said the training was meant to help U.S. forces work in the vast deserts in the Gulf as well as North Africa…

‘Training here is good because the terrain is a lot like in Afghanistan,’ Marine Corps Cpl. Charles Thames said.

In 2011, Morocco and the United States staged a six-week exercise that exposed U.S. forces to desert combat. The exercise, called African Lion, consisted of more than 2,000 U.S. soldiers and 900 members of the Royal Moroccan Armed Forces and took place in several locations including Cap Draa in the Sahara Desert.

‘The exercise serves as a way for U.S. and Moroccan military members to hone skills and learn to work together to accomplish missions,’ a U.S. military statement said.

During May, the Marines taught the Moroccans a range of skills, including counter-insurgency techniques as well as command post, live fire, aerial fueling and low-level flight training. They said the U.S. force also demonstrated its light armored vehicle arsenal for the Moroccan military.

The U.S. military has established a presence in southern Morocco. Officials said U.S. officers were training Moroccan troops…

Officials said the U.S. military was also introducing air and ground equipment to Morocco. They cited light armored vehicles, main battle tanks and air refueling platforms.

The Marines who participated in African Lion were expected be used to instruct others in desert combat. They said the Marines would gain experience in understanding desert conditions…

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U.S. Troops Train Liberian Counterparts

http://www.wibw.com/home/headlines/Deployed_Kansas_Guard_Soldiers_Train_With_Liberian_132325608.html

WIBW
October 21, 2011

Deployed Kansas Guard Soldiers Train With Soldiers In Liberia
By Josh Mabry

LIBERIA: The 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery, Kansas National Guard, deployed to the Horn of Africa earlier this year. The unit recently trained with soldiers from the Armed Forces of Liberia.

The battalion is comprised of soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 161st Field Artillery and from the 35th Military Police Company. The 1-161st FA is headquartered in Wichita, with subordinate units in Dodge City, Great Bend, Lenexa, Liberal, Hutchinson, Newton, Paola, Pratt and Topeka. The 35th MPs are headquartered in Topeka.

====

Rise Of China, India: U.S. To Expand Military Forces In Australia

http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/connectasia/stories/201110/s3344470.htm

Radio Australia
October 20, 2011

Australia, US to discuss increasing joint military exercises

Australia’s Defence Minister Stephen Smith is in the northern port city of Darwin, touring military bases in the region.

There is speculation the minister’s visit could be a precursor to an expected stopover in the Northern Territory capital by US President Barrack Obama, who will be in Australia next month.

The United States is keen to bolster military co-operation with Australia as part of an increased presence in the Asia Pacific region.
—————————————————————————-

http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2011/s3344729.htm

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
October 20, 2011

US close to NT military agreement

Defence Minister Stephen Smith says Australia is close to an agreement on expanding the US military presence in the Northern Territory.

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: The Government says the rise of China and India as forces in the Asia Pacific region will most likely lead to a bigger American military presence in northern Australia.

After visiting Darwin’s Robertson military barracks, Defence Minister Stephen Smith confirmed Australia and the United States were close to an agreement on increased training and exercises in the Northern Territory.

STEPHEN SMITH, DEFENCE MINISTER: We believe that the United States’ ongoing presence in the Asia Pacific is essential to peace and stability in our area. Indeed, as the world moves to the Asia Pacific, it’s even more important that there’s a United States presence, indeed an enhanced presence…We currently have exercises and training, which we see. We’re looking at whether we can enhance or increase that, what I have colloquially described as more troops in, troops out, more planes in, planes out, more ships in, ships out.

TONY JONES: Mr Smith said the Government also planned to base more Australian military personnel in the north to help protect the country’s growing offshore energy resources.

====

Retiring General: Pentagon To Focus On Alaska

http://www.alaskapublic.org/2011/10/21/lt-general-atkins-prepares-to-hand-off-command/

KMXT
October 21, 2011

Lt. General Atkins Prepares to Hand Off Command
By Jennifer Canfield

Air Force Lieutenant General Dana Atkins, the senior military officer responsible for all military activities in Alaska, is retiring soon. Atkins has been in charge of the Alaska Command for three years.

In Kodiak this week, he said his replacement will be Major General Steve Hoog.

Atkins says there are four areas the new commander will need to focus on: the F-22’s, Russian long-range aviation, the military evolution of the Arctic and training exercises. He says Alaska is poised to become the premier location for military exercises as training facilities in the Lower 48 have increasingly more restrictions placed on them. Atkins says there are currently 10 sites in Alaska considered potential training grounds. He says the state’s size is a major part of its appeal.

Hoog will take command on Nov. 7. That will give him a few months to settle in before environmental impact studies on the proposed training sites are released in March 2012.

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