Stop NATO News: February 6, 2012

6 February 2012Stop NATO

  • Pentagon Chief: NATO Core Of Network Of Partnerships Across The Globe
  • NATO Missile Radar In Turkey Will Be Run From German Air Base
  • Russia To Build Defenses Against NATO Missile Threat
  • U.S.-NATO Missile System: Russia May Boost Nuclear Potential
  • Clinton: Series Of Joint U.S.-Bulgarian War Games This Year
  • Munich: Saakashvili Baits Russia On ‘Arab Sping’
  • Defense Chief: U.S. To Arm Georgia Against Russia
  • U.S. Guided Missile Warship Concludes Visit To Morocco
  • No Role For Military Blocs In Asia: China
  • Ex-State Department Hand: India Key For U.S. Efforts To Contain China
  • U.S. Military Expansion Into Asia: ‘Places Not Bases’

Pentagon Chief: NATO Core Of Network Of Partnerships Across The Globe

U.S. Department of Defense
February 4, 2012

Panetta Calls for Europe, NATO Defense Investment
By Karen Parrish


‘I believe that today’s strategic and fiscal realities offer NATO the opportunity to build the alliance we need for the 21st century…the core of an expanding network of partnerships across the globe,’ the secretary said.

As part of the phased approach to European missile defense, he said, the U.S. will station missiles in Romania and Poland; deploy four cruisers to Rota, Spain, capable of shooting down ballistic missiles; and contribute major funding for the Alliance Ground Surveillance system – consisting of five Global Hawk intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles and ground-based control equipment – agreed to this week during NATO defense ministers meetings.

The NATO alliance has proven its 21st-century relevance over a decade of war, the secretary said.


MUNICH: Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta today called for European nations to match the United States’ vote of confidence in the transatlantic partnership, through investment in common defense and commitment to a long-term solution in Afghanistan.

Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke before some 10 heads of state and 40 foreign or defense ministers attending the 48th Munich Security Conference at the Bayerischer Hof hotel here.

Panetta challenged his European counterparts to match the U.S. in maintaining military capability in the face of budget constraints.

‘Like most nations on this continent, America faces a fiscal crisis,’ he noted.

America’s congressionally mandated $487 billion cut in defense spending over the next decade prompted a strategy that will result in a smaller but increasingly capable force, intent on emerging challenges in the cyber and space domains and focused on Asia and the Middle East, with a robust global presence and response capability, the secretary said.

Panetta emphasized NATO is one of the central alliances underpinning the U.S. strategy.

‘I believe that today’s strategic and fiscal realities offer NATO the opportunity to build the alliance we need for the 21st century…the core of an expanding network of partnerships across the globe,’ the secretary said.

The United States offers concrete proof of its commitment to Europe and NATO, Panetta said. As part of the phased approach to European missile defense, he said, the U.S. will station missiles in Romania and Poland; deploy four cruisers to Rota, Spain, capable of shooting down ballistic missiles; and contribute major funding for the Alliance Ground Surveillance system – consisting of five Global Hawk intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles and ground-based control equipment – agreed to this week during NATO defense ministers meetings.

The United States will also identify a brigade to serve as the nation’s land force contribution to the NATO response force, the secretary said.

‘The NRF was designed to be an agile, rapidly deployable, multinational force that can respond to crises when and where necessary,’ Panetta noted.

‘The United States has endorsed the NRF but has not made a tangible contribution due to the demands of the wars – until now.’

A U.S. Army battalion will rotate twice a year to Europe for training, Panetta said, while two Army heavy brigades will be removed from European basing. Still, the U.S. Army presence in Europe will remain the largest anywhere in the world outside the United States, he added.

Panetta said the United States would like to see European nations invest similarly in NATO’s current and future capabilities.

He cautioned against too-deep cuts under NATO’s ‘smart defense’ initiative, aimed at combining nations’ military resources.

‘Approaches like ‘smart defense’ help us spend together sensibly – but they cannot be an excuse to cut budgets further,’ the secretary said.

As the Chicago NATO summit in May approaches, he added, smart defense ‘should be part of a longer-term plan to invest in a NATO force for 2020 that is fully trained and equipped to respond to any threat and defend our common interests.’

The 50 nations contributing troops to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force must maintain their mutual commitment to long-term success in Afghanistan, to the end of security transition and beyond, Panetta said.

The international community must provide enough financial support to sustain Afghan army and police forces, he said.

Panetta said even as ISAF nations work to reduce the costs of Afghan forces over time, ‘we cannot shortchange our commitment.’

The NATO alliance has proven its 21st-century relevance over a decade of war, the secretary said.

Panetta quoted President John F. Kennedy’s remarks at the first Munich conference in 1962, highlighting Kennedy’s vision that one day the United States could partner with a revitalized Europe, ‘on a basis of full equality in all the great and burdensome tasks of building and defending a community of free nations.’

That vision is ‘closer than ever’ to realization, the secretary said, but emphasized NATO must remain prepared, as the United States has committed to remaining prepared, to deal with global threats as they occur.


NATO Missile Radar In Turkey Will Be Run From German Air Base–.aspx?pageID=238&nID=13013&NewsCatID=338

Hurriyet Daily News
February 4, 2012

Malatya radar system to be commanded from Ramstein

MUNICH: The NATO missile shield program, whose radars were installed at the Kürecik Air Base in Malatya, southeastern Turkey, will be commanded from the Alliance’s Ramstein Air Base, according to U.S. Defense Minister Leon Panetta, who briefed journalists on the sidelines of the international security conference in Munich today.

Panetta recalled that in addition to the radar station in Turkey – which has greatly disturbed neighboring Iran – missiles will be stationed in Romania and Poland. Four U.S. ships capable of shooting down missiles will be stationed at Rota, Spain, he said.

The whole system will be managed from the Geilenkirchen base in Germany. Among the officers at this base will be a Turkish general and his team.

The command center of the radar system in Turkey will be at the 2nd Tactical Air Command in Diyarbak?r. This center will ensure coordination with the headquarters in Germany.

…Short-range missiles will be countered by PAC-3 Patriots from the ground, while THAAD missiles will be used to counter medium-range missiles. On the sea, versions of SM-3 missiles will be used to counter medium-range and long-range threats.

In the first phase, the Kürecik radar system and USS Monterey situated in the Meditteranean, will be on alert against a possible missile strike. The system’s Romania and Poland components are scheduled to become active in 2015 and 2018, respectively.


Russia To Build Defenses Against NATO Missile Threat

Russian Information Agency Novosti
February 5, 2012

Russia to Build Effective Shield against NATO Missile Threat – Rogozin

MOSCOW: Russia will build a reliable aerospace defense system to effectively counter NATO missile threats, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Sunday.

Rogozin, recently appointed as a deputy prime minister to oversee Russia’s defense industry, said on his Twitter that the global security conference being held in Munich had failed to come to a compromise on creating a European missile defense system.

Rogozin quoted NATO Secretary General Anders Fog Rasmussen as saying that NATO would continue ‘to develop a missile defense system because we feel a strong responsibility to protect our populations effectively against the missile threat.’

‘Well, as for us, we also feel responsibility for protecting our population from your missile threat and will create a reliable air and space defense,’ Rogozin, who served as Russia’s envoy to NATO before his new appointment, wrote on his Twitter account.

Russia and NATO agreed to cooperate on the so-called European missile shield during the NATO-Russia Council summit in Lisbon in November 2010. NATO insists, however, there should be two independent systems that exchange information, while Russia favors a joint system with full-scale interoperability.

Russia has retained staunch opposition to the planned deployment of U.S. missile defense systems near its borders, claiming they would be a security threat. NATO and the United States insist that the shield would defend NATO members against missiles from North Korea and Iran and would not be directed at Russia.


U.S.-NATO Missile System: Russia May Boost Nuclear Potential

Russian Information Agency Novosti
February 6, 2012

Russia May Boost Nuclear Potential – Deputy Defense Min.

-’After the Cold War, U.S. strategic weapons – and missile defense is a strategic weapon – are getting closer to Russia’s borders.’

MOSCOW: Russia may have to boost its nuclear potential in future amid emerging nuclear proliferation threats, Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s deputy defense minister and a negotiator on the European missile shield, said on Monday.

‘New challenges emerge, including missile and nuclear proliferation. Look at how unstable the situation in the Middle East is. That’s why Russia’s military doctrine envisages the use of nuclear weapons in specific cases. I do not rule out than under certain circumstances we will have to boost, not cut, our nuclear arsenal,’ Antonov said in an interview with the Kommersant daily.

He named the U.S. missile shield in Europe as a main threat to Russia’s security.

‘The situation is dismal in this area. The U.S. continues to boost is missile defense potential in Europe and other regions. The European segment of the U.S. missile defense demonstrates aspirations to shift the strategic balance of forces in Europe. After the Cold War, U.S. strategic weapons – and missile defense is a strategic weapon – are getting closer to Russia’s borders,’ Antonov said.

He also confirmed that Russian and U.S. missile defense talks have reached deadlock as U.S. cooperation proposals are vague and Russia’s participation in the project ‘is not even up for discussion.’

The deputy defense minister reiterated that Russia may quit the Russian-U.S. treaty on strategic arms reduction, signed in 2010.

‘This is one of possible variants of our retaliation measures. We have warned about it beforehand,’ he said.


Clinton: Series Of Joint U.S.-Bulgarian War Games This Year

Focus News Agency
February 5, 2012

There will be series of joint military exercises between Bulgaria and U.S. this year: Hillary Clinton
Veselina Yordanova

Sofia: ‘I would like to underline the U.S. commitment to Bulgarian security; we are allies in NATO. Bulgaria is a very important, productive NATO partner,’ U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at a press conference in the Council of Ministers, FOCUS News Agency reported.

There will be a series of joint military exercises between Bulgaria and the U.S. this year. We are seeking ways to enhance the military cooperation and make a thorough review of its conditions and where it will go in the future.’

Bulgaria has proved to be a capable partner we feel deep respect for, she said further.

The Bulgarian troops serving in Afghanistan have deserved reputation of professionalism and bravery. I would like to offer my condolences for the death and self-sacrifice of the Bulgarian army, said Clinton.


Munich: Saakashvili Baits Russia On ‘Arab Spring’

Civil Georgia
February 5, 2012

Saakashvili: Russia ‘Reacts with Panic’ to Arab Uprisings

Tbilisi: Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on February 5, where he arrived after his U.S. visit, President Saakashvili said he ‘was not surprised’ by Russia’s veto of the UN Security Council resolution on Syria as it was ‘a very logical follow up’ of Moscow’s position in respect of other uprisings in the Arab world.

Saakashvili said that ‘two radically different attitudes emerged’ in respect to recent developments in the Arab world, ‘embodied by two specific regional powers’ – Russia, which, he said, ‘desperately tries to halt the progress of history’ and Turkey, which ‘decided to embrace the evolutions of the world’ and to be the ‘active supporter of change.’

‘The Russian Federation reacted with panic and outrage to freedom movements in the Middle East and tried everything to prevent any international support to uprisings,’ Saakashvili said.

President Saakashvili made his 8-minute intervention at the conference in Munich during a panel discussion on Arab Spring; speakers on the panel were Tunisian PM; foreign ministers of Egypt, Turkey and Qatar, as well as U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman. Moderator of the panel, publisher of Die Zeit newspaper, Josef Joffe, introduced Saakashvili, who was not among the panelists, as a ‘surprise’ speaker of that panel.

A day earlier, Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, addressed the Munich Security Conference, and, among other issues, also spoke of Moscow’s proposed new European Security Treaty…


Defense Chief: U.S. To Arm Georgia Against Russia

Civil Georgia
February 5, 2012

Defense Minister: ‘New Level of Defense Cooperation with U.S. has Many Elements’

Tbilisi: Georgia’s Defense Minister, Bacho Akhalaia, was reluctant to discuss details of what Georgian officials call a ‘new phase’ or ‘new level’ of defense cooperation with the U.S., but said making emphasis only on issues related to arms sale would be an underestimation of the ‘large-scale new development’ in bilateral defense ties.

Akhalaia, who met with U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in Brussels on February 2, said in an interview with Rustavi 2 TV’s weekly program Courier PS on February 5 that a ‘new phase’ of defense cooperation was about shifting focus from training Georgian troops for Afghan deployment to assisting Georgia in its ‘territorial defense, self-defense.’

Asked whether Georgia should expect ‘progress, including in the supply of air defense’ systems – something Georgian authorities say they want to buy from the U.S. – Akhalaia responded: ‘If we now start talking only about types of arms, that would be somewhat of an underestimation of the entire process, because this process as a whole is a large-scale development, which includes many elements.’

He said he would not go into details now, but also added that relevant authorities from the U.S. and Georgia would soon launch the development of ‘concrete issues that are important for Georgia’s self-defense capabilities.’


U.S. Guided Missile Warship Concludes Visit To Morocco

U.S. Navy
February 3, 2012

USS Simpson Concludes Visit to Casablanca
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Felicito Rustique, Navy Public Affairs Support Element-East Detachment Europe

CASABLANCA, Morocco: Guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) and senior staff members from U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa concluded a three-day port visit of training, band engagements, and senior staff talks in Casablanca, Feb. 2.

During the visit, Simpson conducted visit, board, search and seizure training with Royal Moroccan Navy personnel and received a tour of the Royal Moroccan Navy vessel Tarek Ben Zayid. Staff members from U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa met with senior leaders from the Royal Moroccan Navy to strengthen maritime partnerships…

Rear Adm. Kenneth Norton, deputy chief of staff for Strategy, Resources, and Plans at U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, along with his staff and the crew of Simpson, hosted the U.S. ambassador to Morocco, Samuel Kaplan, his wife and his staff, and top commanders from the Royal Moroccan Navy and Army, honoring the relationship between Morocco and their U.S. partners.

Royal Moroccan Army Col. Mohammed Amharouch said he was happy to have the Simpson crew visit his city.

‘It’s good to form bridges between our two nations,’ said Amharouch. ‘More visits, like the Simpson’s, will help our navies and countries move together into the future with vision.’

USS Simpson, homeported out of Mayport, Fla., is currently conducting theater security cooperation and maritime security operations in the Naval Forces Africa area of responsibility.


No Role For Military Blocs In Asia: China

China Daily
February 6, 2012

Military blocs ‘have no role in Asia’
By Wang Chenyan

BEIJING – Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun on Saturday rejected moves to deliberately strengthen military alliances in Asia as ‘going against the times and people’s will’ and reiterated China’s policy of building friendship and partnership with its Asian neighbors.

Zhang made the remarks during a panel discussion entitled ‘America, Europe and the Rise of Asia’ at the 48th Munich Security Conference.

More than 10 state leaders and 40 defense ministers from all over the world attended the high-level annual forum in the southern Germany city to discuss solutions and strategies for new security threats in the face of a shrinking global economy.

The rise of Asia represents a greater balance in the international power structure, Zhang told the seminar.

Speaking with panelists including former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen, US Senator John McCain and former French foreign minister Michel Barnier, Zhang emphasized that the development of the East and the West is not a zero-sum game.

Zhang said China does not seek a sphere of influence or intend to build an exclusive regional order and is not capable of doing so.

The situation in Syria and Egypt and the growing tensions between Iran and the West were also major subjects on this year’s agenda.

Zhang denounced talk of a ‘Chinese Arab Spring’ as ‘no more than fantasy’ and, in response to McCain, condemned foreign interference in China’s internal affairs.

McCain, a former US presidential candidate in 2008, played up China’s human rights issue, saying that ‘the Arab Spring is coming to China’ during the panel discussion chaired by Kissinger.

McCain spoke of ‘longstanding liberal internationalist values’, advising that the West should look at the development of human rights in China.
Experts in Beijing suggested that there are differences between China and the US in terms of their strategic policies on Asia.

Shi Yinhong, a researcher at the China Institute of International Studies, said China will remain firmly committed to peaceful development and strengthen its defense capability as the US looks toward Asia.

‘The US’ strategic shift to Asia has triggered worldwide concern. China will not be scared off, but it will not resort to military action to fight future threats, either.’

Shi said McCain’s remarks in front of the audience of world leaders, ministers, diplomats and security experts were ‘irresponsible’.

Ye Hailin, a researcher on the Middle East at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, also said he thought McCain’s words revealed his lack of basic knowledge of both China and the Middle East.

‘The current conflicts in some Arab countries have their root in geopolitics, practical interests and the Sunni-Shiite split. So it’s just ridiculous to say the pattern could be copied in China.’


Ex-State Department Hand: India Key For U.S. Efforts To Contain China

Press Trust of India
February 3, 2012

‘India important for US to limit China’s influence in Asia’
Lalit K Jha

Washington: Noting India’s strategic importance in American efforts to limit the Chinese influence, a former top diplomat on Friday said the United States should include New Delhi in its East Asia policy.

‘Given China’s challenge to America’s 60-year domination of the Asia-Pacific region, Obama was smart to announce a reinvigoration of US alliances with Japan and South Korea and the stationing of US Marines in northern Australia as well as a new trade partnership for the region’s democracies,’ Nicholas Burns wrote in The Boston Globe.

Burns, who was Bush administration’s point-man for its negotiations with India on the civil-nuclear deal and left the State Department as its Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs, is now professor of the practice of diplomacy and international politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

‘But Obama’s pivot to East Asia will be incomplete if it does not include South Asia and India as well. US officials seem reluctant to link India to this policy. They should do so as a signal to New Delhi of strategic commitment and to Beijing that we are serious about maintaining a US presence in Asia for decades to come,’ he wrote.

If coping with a more powerful China will be the great challenge for the United States in the next half century, India may be the great opportunity, Burns said, adding that India is of immense strategic importance to the United States.

‘It can help in limiting possible future Chinese expansion as we seek to maintain a preponderance of military power by the democratic countries of Asia – one of the most important American global objectives,’ Burns said.

India, he said, has helped the US support embattled President Hamid Karzai government in Afghanistan.

India’s booming high-tech economy is a source of growing trade and investment for American companies. It has one of the world’s most admired leaders, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama have all worked to build this partnership in rare bipartisan fashion, he said.

However, Burns observed, that India can also be a frustrating partner. Its diplomats have dueled with the United States unproductively on global trade talks and on other issues at the United Nations.

‘It has stalled in implementing the nuclear deal with the United States and disappointed expectations that it would open its economy further to foreign investment. It has not supported tough US and European sanctions against Iran and criticised NATO’s successful intervention in Libya last spring,’ he said.

‘Working with India is not easy, and some in Washington are impatient that it has, in some ways, failed to meet its obvious potential to lead globally. Our problem may not be an India that is too strong but one that is too weak and uncertain,’ Burns wrote.


U.S. Military Expansion Into Asia: ‘Places Not Bases’

Indian Express
February 1, 2012

US Military in Asia: ‘Places not Bases’
C. Raja Mohan

As part of its much touted ‘pivot to Asia’, the United States is beefing up its forward military presence in Asia after nearly two decades of preoccupation with the Middle East.

Despite the recently announced defence cuts, the Obama Administration has declared that it will raise its military profile in East Asia amidst the rapid rise of China and its assertive posture in the Western Pacific.

Last week, the United States and the Philippines announced a political decision to expand bilateral security cooperation. The United States will do more joint military exercises with the Philippines, rotate more troops through the country and increase the maritime surveillance of the South China Sea from the island nation.

The Philippines, a former colony of the United States had compelled Washington in the early 1990s to vacate its large naval base in the Subic Bay and the Clark’s air force base.

Now locked in a deepening territorial dispute with Beijing in the South China Sea, Manila is inviting the US military back in.

The move comes two months after US President Barack Obama announced during a visit to Australia that the United States would deploy up to 2,500 Marines in the northern city of Darwin by 2016-17.

The United States also plans to position on a regular basis its newest warships in Singapore that sits astride the Malacca Straits that connect the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Washington, however, insists that it has no intention of establishing new military bases in Asia, beyond those it already has in Japan and South Korea.

‘There is no desire nor view right now that the US is seeking basing options anywhere in the Asia-Pacific theater,’ Admiral Robert Willard, who heads the US Pacific Command, told a news conference in Washington last week.

‘Initiatives such as Australia offered or such as Singapore offered to allow us to rotate forces from locations that are closer and more adjacent to Southeast Asia afford Pacific Command the opportunity to more conveniently have its presence there and felt,’ he said.

Washington is fully aware that full fledged military bases of the traditional kind generate intense political opposition in host countries and is not worth the unending political headache.

The strategy, instead, is to seek ‘places’ through which the US could move its forces on a regular basis, preposition some equipment, and have pre-negotiated arrangements for relief and resupply.

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