Stop NATO News: March 15, 2012

15 March 2012 — Stop NATO

  • Netherlands Enlists In U.S.-NATO Interceptor Missile System
  • Complete Interoperability: U.S., Turkish Warplanes Drill For Increased “Lethality”
  • Strengthening Alliances: Clinton Says U.S. Will Remain Asian Power
  • Top NATO Commander: Montenegro On Way To NATO Membership
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  • U.S. Senator Introduces NATO Enlargement Bill
  • Pentagon Chief Visits Georgian Base In Afghanistan
  • Georgia Hides Military Preparations Behind Drug Claims: South Ossetia
  • Armenia Gives Latest Account To NATO
  • U.S. To Lead 15-Nation Military Exercise In Ukraine

Netherlands Enlists In U.S.-NATO Interceptor Missile System

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Special/2012/03/14/Dutch-back-NATO-missile-defense/UPI-43431331742337/

United Press International March 14, 2012

Dutch back NATO missile defense

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands: Though ballistic missiles don’t pose an immediate threat to NATO allies, a defense shield would ensure the alliance is protected, a Dutch official said.

Pieter-Henk Schroor, an official from the Dutch Ministry of Defense, said the Netherlands was committed to playing a role in the NATO missile defense system. His government says more than 30 countries have, or are in the process of acquiring, ballistic missiles.

“They do not pose an immediate threat but in the long run it could become a threat and in order to be prepared for that, we think it is important that NATO develops ballistic missile defense capability and that the Netherlands participates in contributing to that capability,” he said in a statement.

He explained that the Netherlands would work to upgrade air-defense frigates that would make up a long-range radar system. Once upgraded, the system would be able to track missile threats more than 600 miles away.

Russia has sought assurance that plans for a missile defense shield in Europe won’t upset the strategic balance of power in the region. The United States said it would be implemented to deter a threat from Iran.

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Complete Interoperability: U.S., Turkish Warplanes Drill For Increased “Lethality”

http://www.usafe.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123293931

U.S. Air Forces in Europe March 14, 2012

NATO allies synch communication through Link 16 By Staff Sgt. Daryl Knee Anatolian Falcon 2012 Public Affairs

-”We train to execute our missions without the system, but it is a force multiplier. It brings an already lethal capability to another level.”

KONYA, Turkey: The Turkish and U.S. air forces successfully synched a communication system together during the bilateral training exercise Anatolian Falcon 2012 here March 13.

Link 16 is a communication network developed to integrate signal detection into a data transfer shared among all members of the network.

“It’s a way for the jets to communicate with each other without saying anything,” explained Capt. Brian Morrissey, 480th Fighter Squadron pilot. “Link 16 enables the pilots to monitor battlespace operations at a glance.”

The Link 16-capable aircraft and radar systems share information real time, meaning that as soon as one system detects a threat or ally, all others connected to the network can see the same information. The data is displayed in each aircraft regardless of position in battle or the aircraft’s radar capabilities. Even ground-based radar systems, whose detection range may be farther than aircraft, feed information into the network.

“This is complete interoperability,” Morrissey said of each person’s contribution to the fight…

“If NATO allies all play their own game and don’t share data, you can’t get the full picture,” Morrissey said. “It’s one thing to use the Link 16 system intrafleet, but when you can see what everyone is doing, you can more effectively employ your forces.”

Large-force employments, air missions involving a high number of aircraft, require enhanced coordination, said Capt. Ryan Gaffaney, 480th FS pilot. Radio time is a commodity during missions where more than 20 aircraft share radio frequencies. Link 16 displays information to prevent wasting precious seconds of radio time for situational-awareness updates.

“We train to execute our missions without the system,” he continued, “but it is a force multiplier. It brings an already lethal capability to another level.”

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Strengthening Alliances: Clinton Says U.S. Will Remain Asian Power

http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/2012/03/14/clinton-us-will-remain-asian-power/

Voice of America News March 14, 2012

Clinton: US Will Remain Asian Power

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the U.S. strategic outreach to the Asia Pacific region will be a top priority as Washington transitions away from a decade of military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Clinton told a gathering of U.S. diplomats in Washington on Tuesday the future of Asia will continue to be vital to U.S. interests, saying a government-wide effort is being made to develop new relationships there.

“We are strengthening our alliances in Asia, launching new strategic dialogues and economic initiatives, creating and joining important multilateral institutions to underscore that America is – and will remain – a Pacific power. In the coming century, no region will be more consequential to America’s future.”

In her wide ranging speech at the Global Chiefs of Mission conference, Clinton outlined her priorities for American diplomatic efforts over the next year.

Speaking about recent political upheaval in the Middle East, Clinton said the U.S. was uniquely positioned to help countries “complete their transitions to democracy.” She said engagement with Islamists is a “new but necessary” effort, saying the U.S. must adapt to a rapidly changing global environment.

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Top NATO Commander: Montenegro On Way To NATO Membership

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-03/15/c_122835574.htm

Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2012

Montenegro on track to NATO membership: NATO commander

BELGRADE: Montenegro is on track for NATO membership, the military alliance’s supreme allied commander for Europe Admiral James Stavridis said on Wednesday.

Stavridis made the comment during a visit to Montenegro’s capital Podgorica, reported the Montenegrin news agency MINA.

“Continue to implement reforms and meet commitments and I believe that this will be recognized and rewarded with membership in NATO,” Stavridis said after his meeting with Montenegrin President Filip Vujanovic.

Stavridis commended Montenegro’s contribution to the ISAF peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, and highlighted cooperation between NATO and Montenegro

Montenegrin Parliamentary Speaker Ranko Krivokapic also told Stavridis that Montenegro could contribute significantly to NATO’s security priorities.

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http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=65884

U.S. Navy March 14, 2012

West African, European and US Navies and Coast Guards Plan Exercise Saharan Express 2012 By Lt. Nathan Potter, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs

PRAIA, Cape Verde: Military and civilian maritime professionals from West Africa, Europe, and the United States finalized a challenging training agenda for exercise Saharan Express 2012, March 14.

Finalized this week for the MIO scenarios are visit, board, search and seizure drills; search and rescue scenarios; medical casualty drills; radio communication drills; and information management practice techniques. These scenarios are scheduled to be executed off the coasts of Cape Verde, Mauritania, Senegal, and The Gambia and will be monitored and controlled by multiple maritime operations centers in the region.

“The collaboration of West African and European nations coming together to share information is encouraging to see as Saharan Express grows each year,” said Lt. Cmdr. Eric Moyer, lead exercise planner. “We’re looking forward to another great year.”

Exercise Saharan Express, scheduled to enter its second year later this spring, is a continuation of West African, European, and U.S. navies and maritime agencies working to build maritime security in order to face common challenges.

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U.S. Senator Introduces NATO Enlargement Bill

http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_03_15/68537868/

Voice of Russia March 15, 2012

US Senator introduces NATO enlargement bill Rob Sachs

This month U.S. senator Dick Lugar has introduced the NATO enhancement act, a bill to encourage a further enlargement of the North-Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and to deepen U.S. strategic partnerships with NATO allies.

Specifically the bill calls on president Obama to provide a clear roadmap for the accession of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia and Montenegro at the Chicago Summit in late May.

We would like to talk more about the impact of this bill specifically as it relates to Georgia, which was previously denied candidate status after waged war with Russia in 2008. Here to discuss this further is Dmitry Suslov, the Deputy Director of the Center for International and European Studies at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, and Ira Strauss, the U.S. coordinator for the committee on Eastern Europe and Russia and NATO.

Audio at URL above

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Pentagon Chief Visits Georgian Base In Afghanistan

http://en.trend.az/regions/scaucasus/georgia/2003847.html

Trend News Agency March 15, 2012

Pentagon head visits Georgian military base in Afghanistan N. Kirtzkhalia

Tbilisi: U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta visited the Georgian peacekeeping base at Shukvani in Afghanistan, located in an area overseen by U.S. troops in Helmand province.

The Georgian Defence Ministry reported that Panetta thanked the Georgian military for their participation in NATO’s ISAF operation…The minister read out former military commander Alexander Tugushi’s letter to the Georgian military. Tugushi is being treated in the U.S.

In his message, Colonel Tugushi expressed his support for his brother-soldiers and said he regretted not being able to complete his mission in Afghanistan with them.

The Georgian and the U.S. presidents visited wounded Tugushi in an American hospital in early February and expressed their gratitude for his courage and bravery.

About 900 Georgian military personnel serve in Afghanistan today, of which 700 are in the U.S. zone of responsibility in Helmand province.

Georgia has lost 15 military in Afghanistan since 2009, but decided to increase its contingent to 1,600 in the autumn.

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Georgia Hides Military Preparations Behind Drug Claims: South Ossetia

http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?pg=2&id=316758

Interfax March 15, 2012

Georgia camouflaging military preparations with drug transit claims about South Ossetia, Abkhazia – Tskhinvali

TSKHINVALI: Georgian appeals for deploying an international police force in South Ossetia are absurd because they have no legal grounds, the South Ossetian Foreign Ministry said.

“Let the international force ensure law and order and stop drug trafficking in Georgia, which is open to drug flows from drug making countries,” it said.

Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze made a comment on the U.S. Department of State report on the drug control strategy on March 12, the ministry noted.

“As Georgian politicians usually do, Mrs. Kalandadze, a spiteful critic, tried to shift the focus of the report, which expressed concern over the drug crime rate in Georgia, on South Ossetia and Abkhazia and accused them of drug transit,” Tskhinvali said.

“Such statements are nothing but speculations on the drug transit subject. Their goal is to reaffirm ‘the need to deploy an international police force on the occupied lands’,” the ministry said.

Georgian politicians raise the question of deployment of international police forces in South Ossetia and Abkhazia suitably or unsuitably to occasion, it said.

“Such tricks have no prospect. Firstly, the territory of South Ossetia has nothing to do with drug trafficking. Secondly, Russian servicemen and border guards stay in South Ossetia under the bilateral agreement with Russia to guarantee external security and protection of borders, while South Ossetian law enforcers ensure domestic security,” the ministry said.

The statements of the Georgian authorities aim to distract attention from their military preparations and other problems endangering regional stability, it said.

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Armenia Gives Latest Account To NATO

http://times.am/?l=en&p=5751

Times.am March 15, 2012

ArmeniaNATO PA relations were discussed

On March 14 leader of the Armenian mission to NATO Armen Yedigaryan met with the NATO PA Secretary General David Hobbs.

During the meeting the sides discussed issues connected with ArmeniaNATO PA cooperation. They also referred to the Armenian President’s visit to NATO headquarters on March 6.

Armen Yedigaryan presented to the NATO PA Secretary General the last reforms held in Armenia and also spoke about preparations for the Parliamentarian elections which will take place on May 6, 2012.

Some regional issues were also touched upon during the meeting. In this context on the request of David Hobs Armenian diplomat presented the last developments of the Nagorno Karabakh issue settlement and also spoke about the results of trilateral meeting held in Sochi on January 23.

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U.S. To Lead 15-Nation Military Exercise In Ukraine

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=167671

Azeri Press Agency March 15, 2012

Azerbaijani delegation participates in Planning Conference for Ukrainian-US Command post exercise Rashad Suleymanov

Baku: The Planning Conference for the Rapid Trident-2012 Ukrainian-US Command post exercise started in Lviv, Ukraine, APA reports quoting the website of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, 90 servicemen from 15 countries participate in the event which will continue for a week. Besides Ukraine and US, the delegations of several countries including Azerbaijan also participated.

About 1,000 servicemen of the Armed Forces of Austria, German, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Georgia, Canada, Azerbaijan, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Norway and Sweden will participate in the event in July, 2012.