Stop NATO news: March 11, 2012: Military Chief: U.S. “Preparing Military Options” Against Syria, Iran

11 March 2012 — Stop NATO News

  • Military Chief: U.S. “Preparing Military Options” Against Syria, Iran
  • NATO Helicopter Attack Kills Three Afghan Civilians, Wounds Two
  • U.S. NATO Enlargement Bill: Bosnia, Georgia, Macedonia, Montenegro
  • Bosnia Slated For “Full-Fledged NATO Membership”
  • Turkey: Opposition Deputies Protest Against NATO Missile Radar
  • Turkey: U.S. Air Force Exercises For Possible Syria, Iran Actions
  • New Ivorian Regime Pushes African Standby Force Military Intervention In Mali
  • Pentagon To Resume Military Aid, Training For Yemen
  • Pentagon Seeks Military Base In Breakaway Balochistan: Pakistani Protesters
  • U.S. Drone Attack Kills Thirteen In Northwest Pakistan
  • U.S. Air Forces Africa Inaugurates African Partnership Flight
  • NATO Headquarters: Danish Crown Prince Honors War NATO Dead
  • NATO Continues Surge Operations In Eastern Mediterranean
  • Mediterranean Dialogue: NATO Maritime Group Visits Morocco

Military Chief: U.S. “Preparing Military Options” Against Syria, Iran

http://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/dempsey-us-preparing-military-options-if-needed-for-syria-1.171202

Honolulu Star-Advertiser March 10, 2012

Dempsey: US ‘preparing military options’ if needed for Syria By William Cole

-”The question is not, Can we do it? Because the United States military is the most capable military force on the face of the planet. It’s, Should we? And then, would it best be done by us ourselves, or, in my personal view, we are always better when we operate with a coalition, because, generally speaking, it gives us greater credibility.”

The United States is pursuing diplomatic and economic approaches to the unrest in Syria and “preparing military options should they become necessary” – steps also being taken with Iran, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday in Hawaii.

Dempsey, the top uniformed member of the U.S. military, presided over a change of command at U.S. Pacific Command on Friday morning. He made the remark about Syria and Iran at a service members’ town hall meeting at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Dempsey spoke to about 500 Navy and Air Force personnel at the Hickam officers club, fielding questions about cyberthreats, performing missions at a time of budget cuts, retirements and his feelings about Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is charged with turning over classified documents to WikiLeaks.

Afterward, Dempsey told reporters that “Syria would be a greater challenge” for international military intervention than Libya.

“If you think about all the things that affect military operations, from size, population, geography, and then you go to military things, chemical and biological weapons, integrated air defense, conventional systems – yeah, it’s just a more challenging physical environment,” Dempsey said.

“The question is not, Can we do it? Because the United States military is the most capable military force on the face of the planet. It’s, Should we? And then, would it best be done by us ourselves, or, in my personal view, we are always better when we operate with a coalition, because, generally speaking, it gives us greater credibility.”

Operating with a coalition “always produces a better outcome, an enduring outcome,” he said.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has called for U.S. airstrikes in Syria…

Dempsey said he’s at the point now “where we are looking at what I would describe as a commander’s estimate” – what are the potential missions and the “enemy order of battle” that would potentially make missions difficult to achieve, as well as looking at terrain and troop availability.

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NATO Helicopter Attack Kills Three Afghan Civilians, Wounds Two

http://www.brecorder.com/general-news/172/1163612/

Deutsche Presse-Agentur March 11, 2012

Nato airstrike kills three Afghans

An airstrike by Nato-led forces in north-eastern Afghanistan killed three civilians and injured two others, a local police chief said on Saturday.

The incident took place in the Tagab district of Kapisa Province on Friday evening when five residents sitting in a garden were attacked by helicopters, Abdul Jalil, the district police chief said.

Two shopkeepers were killed on the spot and three others were injured.

“One of the injured elderly man died in the hospital later from the wounds he sustained during the airstrike,” Jalil said.

He said villagers took to the streets and protested against the Nato forces on Saturday morning, but no hostilities were reported.

====

U.S. NATO Enlargement Bill: Bosnia, Georgia, Macedonia, Montenegro

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=24538

Civil Georgia March 10, 2012

Georgia in Senator Lugar’s NATO Enlargement Bill

Tbilisi: U.S. Republican Senator Richard Lugar has introduced the NATO Enlargement Bill, calling on President Obama to provide “a clear roadmap” for the accession of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia, and Montenegro to NATO at the Chicago summit in late May.

“I am hopeful that the Senate will pass this measure before the NATO Summit in Chicago this May,” said Lugar, who is the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations committee.

The bill, which he says aims at encouraging further enlargement of NATO, declares “for the first time in U.S. legislation”, that Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia, and Montenegro, which currently aspire to join the Alliance, are to be considered NATO “aspirants.”

Georgia has been referred to as “aspirant” country in a final statement of NATO foreign ministerial meeting in Brussels on December 7, 2011, which triggered Russia’s protest with its Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov saying that he had “openly warned” his counterparts from the Alliance that such statements might serve as an encouragement for President Saakashvili to undertake “an adventure similar to the one of August, 2008.”

Senator Lugar’s bill, if approved, will require reports to the Congress on U.S. efforts towards further NATO enlargement and on the readiness of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia and Montenegro to join the Alliance, as well as a report on “U.S. policies to uphold Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

If approved the bill will make Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro eligible to receive U.S. assistance for NATO accession under the 1994 NATO Participation Act and will reauthorize assistance under the same act for Georgia and Macedonia.

====

Bosnia Slated For “Full-Fledged NATO Membership”

http://www.aco.nato.int/com-nhqsa-meets-with-chairman-of-bih-council-of-ministers-.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization Allied Command Operations March 8, 2012

COM NHQSA MEETS WITH CHAIRMAN OF BIH COUNCIL OF MINISTERS

Chairman of the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Council of Ministers Vjekoslav Bevanda had an initial meeting with NATO Headquarters Sarajevo (NHQSa) Commander Brigadier General Gary Huffman and discussed BiH’s path to NATO.

Chairman Bevanda said that the BiH Council of Ministers was committed to BiH becoming a full-fledged NATO member as soon as possible…Bevanda said that priorities on this path are resolving the issue of prospective immovable defense property and ensuring funds in the BiH budget for further modernization of the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina in line with NATO standards.

General Huffman supported BiH’s ambitions regarding NATO. He said that he appreciated the recent decision of the BiH Presidency to strengthen the role of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. General Huffman said it was an important message that BiH sent to NATO partners because BiH made a step forward and instead of being a security consumer it turned into a state that actively contributes to peace building and stability in the world.

The joint conclusion of Chairman Bevanda and Brigadier General Huffman is that the issue of the prospective immovable defense property should be resolved as soon as possible which would mean a step forward towards full-fledged NATO membership. The issue of destruction of surplus ammunition and weapons, and future cooperation between the BiH institutions and NATO Headquarters Sarajevo were also discussed at the meeting.

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Turkey: Opposition Deputies Protest Against NATO Missile Radar

http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/32924-turkey-opposition-deputies-protest-against-nato-radar-system

Agence France-Presse March 10, 2012

Turkey Opposition Deputies Protest against NATO Radar System

Opposition party lawmakers on Saturday staged a protest in southeastern Turkey against a planned NATO early warning radar system, media reported.

Ten deputies from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) wearing jackets reading “No to Missile Shield”, climbed the mountain where the radar system would be stationed near the town of Malatya, said the state-run Anatolia news agency.

The deputies were flanked by locals opposing the installment of the NATO radar system, it added.

“The radar base is against peace,” CHP’s Emine Ulker Tarhan said in televised remarks.

“We are against war. To us, a shield is a symbol of war,” she added.

Last year Ankara decided to host the early warning radar in a military facility base near Malatya, drawing an angry response from neighboring Iran which warned it would create tension and lead to “complicated consequences.”

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Turkey: U.S. Air Force Exercises For Possible Syria, Iran Actions

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123293093

U.S. Air Forces in Europe March 8, 2012

US pilots plant SEAD with Turkish counterparts by Staff Sgt. Daryl Knee Anatolian Falcon 2012 Public Affairs

-Both nations employ the F-16 Fighting Falcon, a multi-faceted fighter aircraft that can combat threats in the air or on the ground. -Large-scale exercises allow the NATO allies to share and build upon proven tactics and techniques. For the 480th, sharing their SEAD tactics with the Turkish air force helps both prepare for real combat.

KONYA, Turkey: The Turkish and U.S. air forces continue to combine their air assets and share tactics in large-force employments during Exercise Anatolian Falcon 2012 here March 5-16.

During LFE exercises, units oftentimes take advantage of the high number of aircraft participating to test mass communication efforts, but the 480th Fighter Squadron pilots from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, are sharing suppression-of-enemy-air-defenses tactics with their Turkish counterparts.

SEAD, the 480th’s specialty, is any action taken to deter enemy surface-to-air missiles or anti-aircraft artillery…

“Our enemies know some of the capabilities of SEAD teams,” said Capt. David Dubel, 480th FS pilot. “The presence of a SEAD team is sometimes enough in itself to make our enemies flee and allow us to complete whatever mission we’re on.”

For Anatolian Falcon 2012, each air mission has an objective such as the destruction of a plotted target or the defeat of enemy aircraft. Mission planners assign groups of aircraft specific tasks, either offensive counter air, SEAD or ground attack.

Both nations employ the F-16 Fighting Falcon, a multi-faceted fighter aircraft that can combat threats in the air or on the ground. Turkish and U.S. military units train differently, and the various functions of the F-16 can lead pilots to specialize in or understand unique perspectives of the aircraft.

Large-scale exercises allow the NATO allies to share and build upon proven tactics and techniques. For the 480th, sharing their SEAD tactics with the Turkish air force helps both prepare for real combat.

“We’re expecting to be targeted – that’s our job,” Dubel said. “We have a lot of tactics to defend against those threats. There are different tactics as to whether the enemy is just looking at us, have a lock on us or have actually fired a missile.

“The [ground attack] mission is to get 100 percent bombs on target,” he continued, “and SEAD’s mission is to get 100 percent of the [ground attackers] home.”

An exercise-evaluation team is on site to test the SEAD teams’ capabilities to safeguard the ground-attack aircraft. The team members of the Multinational Aircrew Electronic Warfare Tactics Facility, also known as Polygone, use a mobile surface-to-air missile radar system to target and “destroy” the exercise aircraft.

====

New Ivorian Regime Pushes African Standby Force Military Intervention In Mali

http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/world/neighbours-ponder-mali-intervention-543034.html

Irish Examiner March 10, 2012

Neighbours ponder Mali intervention

The head of Ivory Coast’s army said the regional bloc representing nations in West Africa is considering military intervention in Mali.

General Soumaila Bakayoko said, following a meeting with the head of the armed forces of the Economic Community of West African States, or Ecowas, that the group is considering mounting an operation.

Mali has been destabilised by a new rebellion, launched this year by Tuareg separatists in the country’s north.

Gen Bakayoko said: “We have emphasised the urgent need to take action.”

====

Pentagon To Resume Military Aid, Training For Yemen

http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/98111/

PanArmenian March 10, 2012

Pentagon plans to restart military aid to Yemen

The Pentagon is planning to restart programs that would fund military training and equipment in Yemen, nearly a year after they were shut down because of escalating chaos in the embattled country, The Associated Press reported.

While no agreements have been cemented, U.S. defense officials said as much as $75 million in military assistance could begin to flow later this year.

The officials said the Pentagon and State Department are putting together a letter to send to Congress to request the aid be restarted.

The plan is in line with the Obama administration’s intention to provide significant security and civilian aid to Yemen in 2012-13 as long as the Middle Eastern country continues to move toward a new government and funding is kept out of the hands of insurgents.

One senior military official said discussions have begun over how best the United States can help Yemen, which is putting a new U.S.-backed government in place…

Instead, the training program could shift to focus less on fighting tactics and more on how to plan combat operations and strategize against the enemy.

Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because no final decisions have been made.

====

Pentagon Seeks Military Base In Breakaway Balochistan: Pakistani Protesters

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=167336

Azeri Press Agency March 10, 2012

Hands off Pakistan, protesters tell US

-”The US is looking for a military base in the region. That’s why the US is conspiring to make Balochistan province an independent state,” one of the organizers of the demonstration told Press TV’s Islamabad correspondent.

Baku: Pakistanis have condemned the United States over its interference in the country’s southwestern province of Balochistan, APA reports quoting Press TV.

On Friday, thousands of activists held a demonstration in Islamabad to condemn US policies and a proposed US House of Representatives’ resolution advocating “self-determination” for Balochistan province.

The non-binding resolution was proposed by three Republicans, Dana Rohrabacher, Louie Gohmert, and Steve King, in February.

US flags were burned at the demonstration, which was organized by the Defense of Pakistan Council, an alliance of 40 religious and political groups.

Speakers at the demonstration delivered hard-hitting speeches, urging the government to cease its cooperation with the US, which they said is working to break up Pakistan.

“The US is looking for a military base in the region. That’s why the US is conspiring to make Balochistan province an independent state,” one of the organizers of the demonstration told Press TV’s Islamabad correspondent.

The speakers also promised to make any sacrifice necessary to preserve and uphold the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has condemned the draft US Congressional resolution, calling it an “infringement of Pakistani sovereignty.”

Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has also censured the resolution, saying, “Such acts of foolhardy global vigilantism could only aggravate Pakistan’s already estranged ties with the US.”

====

U.S. Drone Attack Kills Thirteen In Northwest Pakistan

http://www.adnkronos.com/IGN/Aki/English/Security/Pakistan-US-drone-attacks-kill-13-in-South-Waziristan_313069476584.html

ADN Kronos International/Dawn March 9, 2012

Pakistan: US drone attacks kill 13 in South Waziristan

Islamabad: Missiles fired from US drone aircrafts killed at least 13 people on Friday in the South Waziristan tribal region on the Afghan border, DawnNews reported.

The American spy plane fired two missiles on a vehicle and a house which killed four people on the spot.

Locals were busy rescuing others as more causalities are expected.

The US drone aircraft were still flying above South and North Waziristan at the time of reporting.

Around 10 to 12 drone attacks have killed at least 40 people in the area this year. Most of the attacks targeted North Waziristan.

====

U.S. Air Forces Africa Inaugurates African Partnership Flight

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123293266

U.S. Air Forces Africa March 9, 2012

African Partnership Flight 12-2 ready for take-off by Capt. William Russell U.S. Air Forces Africa Public Affairs

ACCRA, Ghana: A C-130 from the 37th Airlift Squadron, 86th Airlift Wing stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany landed here March 7, 2012 in support of U.S. Air Forces Africa inaugural African Partnership Flight event.

African Partnership Flight 12-2 is a two-week military-to-military multilateral and regional engagement event designed to enhance African partner nation Air Forces capacity with greater regional cooperation and interoperability…

African countries participating in APF include Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria and Senegal.

“APF is the latest in a series of events involving U.S. military members and partner militaries in Africa,” said Maj. Kristy Steenberge, Deputy APF Planner…

The U.S. Air Force envisions that the African Partnership Flight will become U.S. Air Forces Africa’s primary semi-annual program for conducting building partnership capacity activities with African partners.

====

NATO Headquarters: Danish Crown Prince Honors War NATO Dead

http://www.nato.int/cps/en/SID-78586ECC-BE10DA5D/natolive/news_85086.htm

North Atlantic Treaty Organization March 8, 2012

Crown Prince of Denmark visits NATO

His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark met with the NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen during a visit to NATO Headquarters in Brussels today.

The Crown Prince was accompanied by the Danish Minister of Defence, Nick Hækkerup. After their meeting the Crown Prince laid a wreath at the monument for soldiers who have lost their lives in NATO operations.

“It is an honour to welcome His Royal Highness to NATO and we appreciate the tribute he paid to those who have fallen in Alliance operations”, said the Secretary General.

The Crown Prince will also visit Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, SHAPE, in Mons, where he will meet Supreme Allied Commander Europe, SACEUR, Admiral Stavridis, who will brief His Royal Highness on NATO’s operations.

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NATO Continues Surge Operations In Eastern Mediterranean

http://www.manp.nato.int/news_releases/mcnaples/pressreleases12/NR_16_12.html

North Atlantic Treaty Organization Allied Maritime Command March 8, 2012

Replenishment at Sea during Surge Operations

When NATO carries out Deterrent Surge Operations as part of Operation Active Endeavour that means operating day and night. This 24-hour activity is guaranteed by Replenishment at Sea (RAS) a delicate operation demanding high levels of synchronization on the part of the crews involved.

Operation Active Endeavour is part of NATO’s multi-faceted response to the terrorist threat. Its mission is to conduct maritime operations in the assigned area of operations to demonstrate NATO’s resolve to help deter, defend, disrupt and protect against terrorism. As the Alliance has refined its counter-terrorism role over the years, the operation’s mandate has been regularly reviewed and its remit extended.

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Mediterranean Dialogue: NATO Maritime Group Visits Morocco

http://www.aco.nato.int/snmcmg2-visit-to-kingdom-of-morocco.aspx

North Atlantic Treaty Organization Allied Command Operations March 8, 2012

SNMCMG2 VISIT TO KINGDOM OF MOROCCO

Naples, Italy: Standing NATO Mine Counter Measure Group 2 (SNMCMG2) today began a visit to Casablanca, Morocco. The Port Visit will last from 8–12 March and forms part of an extensive Programme for the Group aimed at furthering and increasing cooperation and understanding between NATO and Morocco.

The visit will allow NATO units to foster relationships with civilian and military authorities building further on the excellent relations already developed under NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue Programme…

The Commander of SNMCMG2 is Captain Abdulhamit SENER (Turkish Navy) embarked on his flagship TGS S. MEHMETPASA. “It gives me enormous pleasure to begin this important visit to Morocco and in particular to have this opportunity to meet and train with the Royal Moroccan Navy. The visit will culminate in a PASSEX (Passage Exercise) which will be a great opportunity for both NATO and Morocco to demonstrate how well our ships can work together,” stated Captain Sener.

SNMCMG2 is presently comprised of mine hunter ships from Italy, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

The SNMCMG2 ships visiting Morocco are:

TCG S. MEHMETPASA Command&Control Ship Turkey (Flagship) ITS Alghero Minehunter Italy TCG Akcakoca Minehunter Turkey HMS Ledbury Minehunter Grait Britain

The Group is maintained at high-readiness and can deploy as required by the Alliance even at strategic distance. It is made up of ships from various Allied nations which train and operate together throughout the year and participate in numerous exercises conducted by the Alliance…

NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue was initiated in 1994 by the North Atlantic.

It currently involves seven non-NATO countries of the Mediterranean region: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia…

The programme was enhanced at the NATO Prague Summit in 2002, when a more ambitious and expanded framework was established through stronger practical co-operation. This included enhancing the existing political dialogue, achieving interoperability…

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