Stop NATO news: January 6, 2012

6 January 2012 — Stop NATO

  • Five NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan
  • Azeri Role In Afghan War: Trade-Off For NATO Support In Caucasus
  • Canadian Warship In NATO Mission In Mediterranean. Strait Of Hormuz?
  • U.S., Israel To Hold Unprecedented Interceptor Missile Exercise
  • ‘Peacekeeping’ In Thailand: Swedish NATO Officer Dies In Crash

Five NATO Soldiers Killed In Southern Afghanistan

http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/2012/01/06/five-nato-troops-killed-in-afghanistan/

Voice of America News
January 6, 2012

Five NATO Troops Killed in Afghanistan

NATO says bomb attacks have killed five service members in southern Afghanistan.

The international coalition said a roadside bomb killed four soldiers Friday, while a fifth service member died in a separate blast in the south. NATO did not give any other details.

Friday’s casualties bring the number of international troops killed in Afghanistan since the start of the year to nine.

At least 544 soldiers died in in 2011, making it NATO’s second deadliest year in the 10-year war.

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Azeri Role In Afghan War: Trade-Off For NATO Support In Caucasus

http://www.news.az/articles/politics/52132

News.Az
January 6, 2012

Azerbaijan’s support for NATO in Afghanistan ‘expedient’

-Western countries view Caucasian problems as secondary to Afghanistan. From this point of view, Azerbaijan should be interested in the resolution of the problems of Afghanistan so that Western countries turn their eye to the problems of the Caucasus.

News.Az interviews Zahid Oruj of the Azerbaijani parliament’s defence and security committee and deputy leader of the Motherland (Ana Vatan) Party.

Azerbaijan has replaced Sky Georgia in transporting cargo from Europe for the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan. What benefits can Azerbaijan hope for in carrying out this mission?

The Azerbaijani side should be actively involved in NATO cargo transit to Afghanistan. In general, I think that it is expedient to provide support for NATO on this issue, since this will help Azerbaijan take its place in such a strategic alliance as NATO and  make its contribution to the successful completion of what is happening in Afghanistan. Additionally, it will have a positive effect on Azerbaijan’s further expectation of NATO support. It would also raise the international standing of Azerbaijan.

It should also be taken into account that Western countries view Caucasian problems as secondary to Afghanistan. From this point of view, Azerbaijan should be interested in the resolution of the problems of Afghanistan so that Western countries turn their eye to the problems of the Caucasus.

What negative factors may appear when Azerbaijan starts this mission?

I cannot agree that this issue should be approached only from the military standpoint. The issue is not limited to Azerbaijan’s participation in meeting the demands of the front that was opened in Afghanistan over a decade ago. This process also exposes Azerbaijan, which has found its place within the international coalition, to threat.

How expedient was it for Azerbaijan not to allow the transit of NATO reconnaissance jets with the AWACS early warning system? Will this not affect relations between Azerbaijan and NATO?

Azerbaijan did not allow the flights solely for its own security in order not to allow the jets to see the country’s military facilities since this issue is not limited to the problem of allowing the flights via Azerbaijan. Permission for such flights means revealing the country’s military resources, while Azerbaijan’s military doctrine does not allow military secrets to be revealed to foreign states.

I think that the Western countries understand Azerbaijan’s position as well. This should not be viewed as a crack between Azerbaijan and NATO. It should not be viewed as Azerbaijan’s intention to hamper positive processes in Afghanistan either. Azerbaijan’s decision should be assessed as desire for protection from disclosure or from passing on their military secrets to foreign countries.

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Canadian Warship In NATO Mission In Mediterranean. Strait Of Hormuz?

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/01/05/ns-charlottetown-mediterranean.html

CBC News
January 5, 2012

HMCS Charlottetown to depart for Mediterranean

-Carter said the Charlottetown and its crew are more than capable of moving from the Mediterranean Sea, through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the Arabian Sea and the Strait of Hormuz area if they’re called to help.

HMCS Charlottetown and its crew of approximately 250 will depart Halifax on Sunday for a six-month mission to the Mediterranean Sea.

The ship will join other NATO ships… counterterrorism effort in the Mediterranean.

Cmdr. Wade Carter of the Charlottetown said the mission is called Operation Metric.

‘We’re going to be working with a NATO group, it’s a standing NATO group. We’ve done it many times in the past — this will be a very similar deployment to that,’ Carter told CBC News on Thursday.

‘It’s a rapid reaction force. It can react to events and crises as they unfold…’

Carter said he does not know of any plans for the Charlottetown to go to the Strait of Hormuz — a vital Persian Gulf waterway used by tankers carrying one-sixth of the world’s oil supply.

Iran has threatened to close the strait as possible retaliation to new economic sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program.

Carter said the Charlottetown and its crew are more than capable of moving from the Mediterranean Sea, through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the Arabian Sea and the Strait of Hormuz area if they’re called to help.

‘If there’s a crisis and they want us to deploy there, we will be ready to do that,’ he said.

A CH-124 Sea King helicopter detachment will also be aboard the Charlottetown when it departs this weekend.

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U.S., Israel To Hold Unprecedented Interceptor Missile Exercise

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/151468

Arutz Sheva
January 6, 2012

U.S. and Israel Preparing for ‘Biggest Defense Drill Ever’
IDF and U.S. forces will team up soon for a major missile defense exercise, ‘the biggest one ever’ according to military sources.
By Elad Benari

The Israeli military is gearing up together with U.S. forces for a major missile defense exercise, the IDF announced Thursday.

The Associated Press reported that the ‘Austere Challenge 12’ drill is designed to improve defense systems and cooperation between the U.S. and Israeli forces.

While the drill follows a ten-day Iranian naval exercise near the Strait of Hormuz, the IDF told AP the drill with the U.S. was planned long ago and is not tied to recent events.

Israeli and U.S. officials told AP the exercise would be the largest-ever joint drill by the two countries.

A few weeks ago, the Commander of the Third Air Force of the U.S Military, Lt. Gen. Frank Gorenc, arrived in Israel to prepare for the joint training exercise.

A spokesman for the IDF did not give a date for the drill Thursday, but a senior military official told AP it would be in the next few weeks, adding it would be the biggest missile defense drill ever held.

The Israeli official said thousands of American and Israeli soldiers from different units would take part. He said the drill would test multiple Israeli and U.S. air defense systems against incoming missiles and rockets.

The Islamic Republic followed its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz with another earlier this week, when Iranian army chief Ayatollah Salehi warned USS carrier John C Stennis not to return to the Persian Gulf after having left the area through the Straits of Hormuz in a ‘pre-planned, routine operation.’

The U.S. responded to the Iranian threat with a calm statement read by Pentagon spokesman George Little and which warned Iran, ‘The deployment of U.S. military assets in the Persian Gulf region will continue as it has for decades.’

On Wednesday, the IDF staged a surprise drill at its base at the port of Haifa as Iran completed its drill.

Haifa base commander Brigadier General Eli Sharvit, ordered the surprise drill to check the readiness of Israel Navy vessels to depart from port and head out to sea to conduct operation, the IDF said. A majority of the Israel Navy’s operational strength is based in Haifa, which was bombed several times by Hizbullah terrorists in the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006.

Meanwhile, Martin Van Creveld, a military historian at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, estimated on Thursday that the joint Israel-U.S. drill was intended not only to practice military maneuvers but also to pressure Iran.

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http://english.ruvr.ru/2012/01/06/63457998.html

Vesti
January 6, 2012

US, Israel plan major naval drill

       
The US and Israel are planning to major naval drill  in the Persian Gulf, slated to be held in the next few weeks.

The exercises, called Austere Challenge 12, which both Israeli and US officials have described as the largest-ever joint drill by the two countries, are designed to improve missile defense systems and co-operation between the two countries’ naval forces.

An upgraded Hez 3 missile defense system of joint US-Israeli design, will reportedly be tested during the upcoming exercise, which comes hard on the heels of an Iranian naval drill in the same area, which saw successful launches of  two Iranian-made cruise missiles  with an effective range of up to 200 km.

The missiles are capable of reaching Israeli territory and US bases in the Middle East.

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‘Peacekeeping’ In Thailand: Swedish NATO Officer Dies In Crash

http://www.phuketgazette.net/archives/articles/2012/article11914.html

Phuket Gazette
January 5, 2012

Swede NATO officer dies in Phuket crash
Atchaa Khaml

PHUKET: A 48-year-old Swedish man who reportedly worked for NATO died in a motorbike accident on Phuket’s west coast early this morning.

Pol Capt Somnerk Dumkewa of Kamala Police told the Phuket Gazette that his officers received a call reporting the accident at about 2:30am.

At the scene, on the street leading to the Kamala Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor), officers found the man already dead lying near a red Honda motorbike.

His name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Capt Somneuk said the man had suffered a severe head injury. ‘He was dead when we arrived,’ he said.

Police at the scene found blood on a broken window of a house close to the edge of the road, Capt Somneuk said.

‘We believe the man was traveling at speed when he failed to make the curve. He hit a house that is right beside the road. We found blood on the side of the house and on glass from a broken window [on the front of the house],’ he said.

The man’s body was taken to Patong Hospital.

‘The Swedish embassy was notified of the death this morning,’ Capt Somnerk said.

A fellow officer at Kamala Police Station told the Gazette that police had been informed the man worked for NATO, but added that it was not confirmed what role the man fulfilled with the international peace-keeping organization.

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