Stop NATO News: November 17, 2011

17 November 2011 — Stop NATO

  • Obama Announces Expanded U.S. Military Presence In Australia
  • Australia: Pentagon Builds ‘Security Architecture’ In Asia-Pacific
  • U.S. Military Base In Australia: China On Notice
  • Philippines: Clinton Visits U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer
  • Afghan War: Three NATO Soldiers Killed
  • Pakistan: Opposition Condemns Latest Deadly U.S. Drone Attack
  • Pakistan: High Court Accepts Plea Against Drone Strikes
  • U.S. Drone Strike Kills 17, Wounds 67 In Somalia
  • Canada: Pentagon Chief To Meet Canadian, Israeli Defense Ministers, NATO Commander
  • U.S. Joins NATO Cyber Warfare Operations In Baltic
  • Pentagon Reserves Right To Bomb Countries Hosting Hackers

Obama Announces Expanded U.S. Military Presence In Australia

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66098

U.S. Department of Defense
November 16, 2011

Obama Announces Expanded U.S. Military Presence in Australia
By Donna Miles

-‘As of today’s deal, U.S. Marines will be for the first time conducting exercises by themselves on Australian soil,’ Obama said…‘But it also allows us to meet the demands of a lot of partners in the region’ in terms of training, exercises and ‘the presence that’s necessary to maintain the security architecture of the region,’ he added.

WASHINGTON President Barack Obama joined Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard today to announce expanded military-to-military relationships between the two countries as they commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Australia-New Zealand-U.S. alliance.

Speaking at a joint news conference in the Australian capital of Canberra, the leaders announced closer collaboration between the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force and the Australian Defense Force.

Beginning in mid-2012, company-size rotations of 200 to 250 Marines will begin deploying near Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory for six-month rotations. Gillard said the presence will expand to a force of 2,500 over the next several years.

‘As of today’s deal, U.S. Marines will be for the first time conducting exercises by themselves on Australian soil,’ Obama said.

This rotational deployment is significant because it allows the United States and Australia to build capacity and cooperation, the president said.

‘But it also allows us to meet the demands of a lot of partners in the region’ in terms of training, exercises and ‘the presence that’s necessary to maintain the security architecture of the region,’ he added.

Obama and Gillard also agreed to provide U.S. military aircraft greater access to Royal Australian Air Force facilities in northern Australia.

The expanded relationship will ensure ‘we’re going to be in a position to more effectively strengthen the security of both of our nations and this region,’ Obama said.

The expanded U.S.-Australia military relationship also ‘sends a clear message of our commitment to this region, a commitment that is enduring and unwavering’ the president said.

‘I am making it clear that the United States is stepping up its commitment to the entire Asia-Pacific [region],’ the president said, thanking Australia for its leadership role in the region.

‘As it has been for six decades’ he continued, ‘our alliance is going to be indispensable to our shared future, the security we need and the prosperity that we seek, not only in this region, but around the world.’

The talks in Australia spanned a range of challenges that extend beyond the region, including the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan, the president said.

====

Australia: Pentagon Builds ‘Security Architecture’ In Asia-Pacific

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66119

U.S. Department of Defense
November 16, 2011

Australia Mission Reflects Asia-Pacific Commitment, Officials Say
By Karen Parrish

WASHINGTON: Defense officials detailed new military-to-military operations involving the United States and Australia that the two nations’ leaders announced today.

President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced that next year, groups of 200 to 250 U.S. Marines will begin rotational six-month deployments near Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory. Gillard said the presence will expand to a force of 2,500 over the next several years.

Obama is in Australia in part to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Australia-New Zealand-U.S. alliance.

Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said the new agreement ‘is a very important initiative that we’ve been working with our Australian allies on for some time.’

Both Obama and Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta have emphasized during recent travels that the Asia-Pacific region is a U.S. top priority.

‘We have a 60-year alliance with the Australians, and this is an effort to further our ties to the Australian military,’ Little said. ‘This is a training and exercise presence that will be based over time.’

The focus of the Australia-based mission is to work closely with the Australian military on training and exercises, he added.

Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. John Kirby said the announcement reflects the U.S. commitment to allies and partners throughout the Asia-Pacific and to that part of the world.

‘This is about our broader point, too: building a security architecture in the Asia-Pacific region that provides for the protection of U.S. interests and the interests of … our allies,’ Little added.

====

U.S. Military Base In Australia: China On Notice

http://rt.com/news/us-troops-australia-china-471/

RT
November 16, 2011

US base in Australia: China on notice

Up to 2,500 US marines will be permanently stationed in Australia within the next six years under a new agreement between the two countries. The move comes as Pacific region’s major player, China, is rapidly boosting its military might.

The news was announced jointly by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and President Barack Obama, who is on a nine-day diplomatic tour of the Asia Pacific.

‘This region is of great strategic importance to us’ said Obama. ‘We will make sure we are able to fulfill our leadership role in the Asia Pacific region.’

‘Our alliance has been a bedrock of stability in our region, so building on the alliance through this new initiative is about stability,’ said Julia Gillard.

Although Obama said he welcomed China’s rise, he also issued a warning: ‘We will send a clear message to them that we think they may need to be on track, in terms of accepting the rules and responsibilities of being a world power.’

Although the US has voiced no plans to construct its own base in Australia, and the initial marine contingent will be only 250, the agreement includes plans for a greater presence of US Navy and Air Force.

The marines are also expected to provide combat training not just for Australian soldiers, but those from other countries from the Pacific Basin.
In an interview with the Sidney Morning Herald, Hugh White, the former Deputy Defense Secretary labeled the deployment ‘very significant and very risky’ for Australia.

[A]fter a decade where US attention has been absorbed by the Middle East and Afghanistan, this is yet another sign that the country is turning its eye to the Pacific Basin.

Obama has pushed for a greater role for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade alliance of mostly Western-leaning economies that has aroused the suspicions of China.

It has also beefed up its existing bases and naval presence, largely in anticipation of ever-growing disagreements around the lucrative shipping lanes in the South China Sea, which are subject to wrangles between China and other regional powers.

The marine deployment is merely the latest step in a strategy that has been termed the ‘Comeback to Asia.’

====

Philippines: Clinton Visits U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66105

U.S. Department of Defense
November 16, 2011

Clinton Visits USS Fitzgerald in Manila
By Donna Miles

-The United States and its Philippine allies are evaluating ways to update the alliance – like other alliances in the region – to ensure they are ‘nimble, adaptive [and] flexible’ to ‘deliver results in this new world,’ [Clinton] said.
-‘We must ensure that this alliance remains strong, capable of delivering results for the people of the Philippines, the United States and our neighbors throughout the Asia-Pacific [region],’ Clinton said.

WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited the crew of the USS Fitzgerald in Manila today as she commemorated the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty.

Clinton noted the vastly different world the two countries faced when the treaty was signed in 1951. Their soldiers had fought together in World War II, and the two countries again were united against the spread of communism.

‘This treaty was a testament that we stood united against the challenges of a dangerous world,’ Clinton said…

The United States and its Philippine allies are evaluating ways to update the alliance – like other alliances in the region – to ensure they are ‘nimble, adaptive [and] flexible’ to ‘deliver results in this new world,’ she said.

Clinton underscored the need as part of that effort for the treaty to provide the collective defense capabilities and communications infrastructure capable of deterring provocation from a full spectrum of state, as well as nonstate, actors.

She noted, for example, the need to support the Philippines in the maritime domain as it improves its territorial and interdiction capabilities. In August, the United States transferred a Coast Guard cutter to the Philippines and is considering transferring a second one, she said.

‘We must ensure that this alliance remains strong, capable of delivering results for the people of the Philippines, the United States and our neighbors throughout the Asia-Pacific [region],’ Clinton said.

The secretary paid tribute to the Fitzgerald crew as an example of the close relationship between the two countries’ militaries.

The Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer transited with the Philippine navy’s new flagship, Gregorio del Pilar, during its maiden voyage across the Pacific this summer, she noted…

‘By the end of the exercises, the officers and crews onboard both vessels achieved new levels of proficiency and partnership,’ Clinton said.


Clinton called it an honor to meet the Fitzgerald crew and thank them on behalf of the American people.

‘You protect us faithfully and courageously, often from faraway cities or remote corners of the ocean,’ she said…

====

Afghan War: Three NATO Soldiers Killed

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/210491.html

Press TV
November 16, 2011

Three US-led troops killed in Afghan war

Three soldiers serving with the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have been killed in two separate bomb explosions in troubled southern Afghanistan.

‘Two ISAF service members died following an improvised explosive device (IED) attack in southern Afghanistan today,’ Xinhua cited a brief statement released by the Western military contingent on Wednesday.

Another ISAF soldier was killed in a similar incident in southern Afghanistan earlier in the day.

The military force, however, did not provide details of the incidents, and did not announce the name or nationality of the victims.

According to official figures released by the website icasualties.org, a total of 525 foreign troops have lost their lives in war-battered Afghanistan so far this year.

Last year, nonetheless, remains the deadliest year for foreign military casualties with a death toll of 711. The number eclipsed the previous record of 521 set in 2009.

The increasing number of military casualties in Afghanistan has caused widespread anger in the US and other NATO member states, undermining public support for the Afghan war.

Insecurity continues to rise across Afghanistan despite the presence of nearly 150,000 US-led forces in the Asian country.

A United Nations report on Afghanistan issued on September 28 said that the monthly average number of security incidents recorded for the year through the end of August has risen nearly 40 percent.

The report also said civilian casualties, already at record levels in the first six months of the year, rose 5 percent between June and August 2011 compared with the same three-month period in 2010.

Around 130,000 people were displaced by the conflict in the first seven months of the year, up nearly two-thirds from the same period one year earlier.

====

Pakistan: Opposition Condemns Latest Deadly U.S. Drone Attack

http://www.onlinenews.com.pk/details.php?id=185911

News International
November 16, 2011

Imran condemns US drone attack

ISLAMABAD: Chairman of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf Imran Khan has strongly condemned the US drone strike in South Waziristan that has resulted in the death of thirteen people.

In a statement released from the Central Secretariat of the PTI in Islamabad, Imran Khan said that the attack reflected a continuation of the US belligerence in stark violation of the Joint Parliamentary Resolution and the unanimous All Parties Resolution that were adopted some time ago.

It also reflected the criminal duplicity of the government of Pakistan that had failed in bringing an end to these inhuman attacks that have killed scores of innocent civilians including women and children. It was also further proof of the government’s complicity in facilitating these attacks, which were a serious infringement of Pakistan’s security and sovereignty. He also said that the government, having lost its moral authority, had no rationale to continue.

Imran Khan reiterated his firm conviction that, once voted into power, he would undertake immediate steps to put an end to these inhuman attacks. He said that, for him, there was nothing more important than restoring Pakistan’s sovereignty and safeguarding its security interests.

He called upon the people to demonstrate their feelings over these attacks and mount pressure on the government to change course.

====

Pakistan: High Court Accepts Plea Against Drone Strikes

http://www.sananews.net/english/2011/11/phc-accepts-plea-against-drone-attacks/

South Asian News Agency
November 15, 2011

PHC accepts plea against drone attacks

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) accepted an application against drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas for hearing.

The Chief Justice of the Peshawar High Court asked the government to make public if any deal has been made with the United States.

A two-member bench comprised of PHC Chief Justice Ejaz Aslam Khan and Justice Yahya Afridi heard the petition on Tuesday.

After early hearing the plea the court issued notices to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Secretary, Interior Secretary, Foreign Secretary and Defence Secretary over the petition filed by S.M. Sabir, Advocate.

====

U.S. Drone Strike Kills 17, Wounds 67 In Somalia

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/210237.html

Press TV
November 15, 2011

US drone strike kills 17 in Somalia

A US assassination drone strike has killed at least 17 people and wounded nearly 67 others in southern Somalia, Press TV reports.

The attack occurred in a civilian region near the town of Dhobley in southern Somalia on Tuesday.

Somalia is the one of the countries where the United States has used remote-controlled drones to launch deadly missile strikes.

In October, Washington admitted to flying unmanned aerial vehicles from Ethiopia over some North African countries.

The US military has used assassination drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen.

Washington claims the airstrikes, which are authorized by the Central Intelligence Agency, target militants, though most such attacks have resulted in civilian casualties.

====

Canada: Pentagon Chief To Meet Canadian, Israeli Defense Ministers, NATO Commander

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=66116

U.S. Department of Defense
November 16, 2011

Panetta to Visit Groton Before Halifax Forum
By Jim Garamone

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta will leave tomorrow to speak with sailors and civilians in Groton, Conn., and then move on to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for a defense ministerial conference.

In Canada, the secretary also will meet with Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Navy Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said during a news conference today with Pentagon Press Secretary George Little.

In Groton, the secretary will visit General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyards where Virginia-class submarines are built, Kirby said, where he will be briefed on submarine construction. His visit highlights the importance of a robust defense industrial base that can quickly meet future challenges, he added.

Panetta also will meet with the submariners of the pre-commissioning unit of the Mississippi, and will visit the forward engine room of another pre-commissioning unit, the North Dakota, where he will speak with shipyard workers and Navy personnel, Kirby said.

Following the visit, the secretary will fly to Nova Scotia for the Halifax International Security Forum, which brings together defense ministers from around the world to discuss key defense and security issues.

Panetta will discuss America’s strong bilateral defense relationship with Canada, and meet with French Gen. Stephane Abrial, the NATO allied commander for transformation, Kirby said. The forum will allow Panetta to have his fourth meeting with Barak.

====

U.S. Joins NATO Cyber Warfare Operations In Baltic

http://www.stripes.com/news/u-s-joining-nato-s-fight-against-cyber-threats-1.160957

Stars and Stripes
November 16, 2011

U.S. joining NATO’s fight against cyber threats
By John Vandiver

-Cyber security emerged as a central part of the NATO mission when it was included in the alliance’s new ‘Strategic Concept,’ which was agreed to at the 2010 NATO summit in Lisbon. And in June, NATO defense ministers approved a revised cyber policy with a more centralized approach to cyber defense…

STUTTGART, Germany: The United States will join the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defense Centre of Excellence during a formal ceremony scheduled for Thursday at the center’s headquarters in Estonia…

The cyber center, which was established [in 2008] now includes 10 nations. The center’s objective is to help NATO’s efforts to bolster defense capabilities in the face of cyber threats.

‘Our vision is to be the main source of expertise in the field of cooperative cyber defense by accumulating, creating and disseminating knowledge in related matters within NATO, NATO nations and partners,’ according to the center’s mission statement.

For the past three years, the center has aimed to accomplish that goal by hosting technical courses, workshops and cyber defense exercises.

In addition to the U.S., Poland also is a new partner at the cyber center. As one of the 10 sponsoring nations, the U.S. must provide experts to work at the center and contribute to a shared budget. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Spain also are contributors.

U.S. European Command has had one officer assigned to the center since 2008 on a voluntary basis, according to U.S. officials. However, now that the U.S. has officially joined, it is looking at ways to bolster its contribution.

Cyber security emerged as a central part of the NATO mission when it was included in the alliance’s new ‘Strategic Concept,’ which was agreed to at the 2010 NATO summit in Lisbon. And in June, NATO defense ministers approved a revised cyber policy with a more centralized approach to cyber defense…

As a result, the alliance plans to accelerate its efforts in training and education through its existing schools and the cyber defense center in Estonia, according to NATO.

====

Pentagon Reserves Right To Bomb Countries Hosting Hackers

http://rt.com/news/pentagon-report-hackers-retaliation-481/

RT
November 16, 2011

Pentagon could bomb enemy hackers

-One can only wonder what US officials would say if, say, Iran authorized its Revolutionary Guard to strike in retaliation to a Stuxnet worm cyber-attack.

A US Department of Defense report has outlined how the American military plans to respond to foreign hacker attacks. We’re talking all-out retaliation, both in cyberspace, and in real life.

The 12-page document sent to Congress was made public on Tuesday. Legislators had wanted the Pentagon to deliver the report on new cyber-warfare policy by March 1 this year, but the top brass were a few months late.

‘When warranted, we will respond to hostile attacks in cyberspace as we would to any other threat to our country,’ the report said as cited by Reuters. ‘We reserve the right to use all necessary means – diplomatic, informational, military and economic – to defend our nation, our allies, our partners and our interests.’

The warrant for such an operation would come from the President, and he will decide what ‘use of force’ in cyberspace will constitute. Stand-alone operations would not trigger a Congressional notification requirement under the War Powers Resolution, reports the Washington Post.

The biggest problem with reacting to a hacker attack is identifying the guilty. A number of security experts and intelligence have pointed to Chinese and Russians as the key perpetrators of cyber-attacks on American computers. However no accusations have been officially pressed against those governments.

The Pentagon plans to tackle the issue by employing behavior and cyber forensics experts, who would point to the individuals responsible.

The report also points out the need for an automated response to internet hostilities, which raised the alarm with some cyber security experts.

‘The question is, how, and to what extent, are they thinking about automated responses?’ Herbert Lin, a cyber expert at the US National Academy of Sciences, told the Washington Post. Such responses, he said, ‘are fraught with danger. Without people in the loop, you’re much more likely to do unintended stuff.’

One can only wonder what US officials would say if, say, Iran authorized its Revolutionary Guard to strike in retaliation to a Stuxnet worm cyber-attack. The virus crippled Iranian uranium enrichment facilities last year and is believed to have been created by highly skilled hackers. Some reports pointed to Israel and the US as being behind the malware.

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