The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Military

 

SHAPE NEWS SUMMARY & ANALYSIS 11 MARCH 2002

 

NOTE: Due to PIO’s participation in Exercise "Strong Resolve 2002," the SHAPE News Morning Update will not be published until March 16. Significant news items are incorporated in the SHAPE News Summary and Analysis.

 

 

NATO
  • Disbandment of NATO’s Central Europe multinational division envisioned

ESDP

  • German military officer urges closer military cooperation in Europe

BRITAIN-DEFENSE

  • British defense chiefs calling for budget increase

BALKANS

  • Skopje to free 300 former ethnic Albanian rebels under new amnesty
  • Arrest of war crimes suspects top priority for Bosnia

ISAF

  • Parliamentarians ask for improve force protection measures

UNITED STATES-NUCLEAR

  • Allies unperturbed by U.S. nuclear list

IRAQ

  • UK denies troop request amid talk of Iraq strike

 

 

NATO

 

  • La Libre Belgique quotes an unidentified military source saying Sunday that NATO’s Multinational Central Europe division MND (C), an airmobile unit made out of German, Belgian, British and Dutch troops, may be dissolved by the end of the year. Noting that a Belgian general is scheduled to take over the unit’s command on March 20, the newspaper quotes the source saying that Britain and the Netherlands have announced the withdrawal of their respective contribution to the force, which may lead to its disbandment.

 

 

ESDP

 

  • Noting that since NATO in its old form has become outdated, the Europeans want to get together more closely in military matters, as a counterweight to the United States, Welt am Sonntag, March 10, quoted Lt. Gen. Schneiderhan, head of the Planning Staff in the German Defense Ministry and designated Inspector General of the Bundeswehr, stressing that "only through closer cooperation can we together close the inner-European gap with the United States." Gen. Schneiderhan stressed that this included not only European cooperation in armament development but also closer cooperation among the armed forces, added the newspaper, quoting him saying: "My vision is a European transport agency of the armed forces at sea, on land, and in the air. We might add to this joined reconnaissance flights over the sea and even joint training."

 

 

BRITAIN-DEFENSE

 

  • According to the Financial Times, British defense chiefs are calling for an annual budget increase of up to $1.4 billion on top of inflation if they are to enhance the armed forces’ capability to carry out expeditionary warfare to meet the needs of the war on terrorism. A "new chapter" of the 1998 strategic defense review is reportedly being written just as Defense Secretary Hoon goes into battle with the Treasury for a budget increase in the comprehensive spending review, the results of which will be known in July.

 

 

BALKANS

 

  • According to AP, Skopje authorities said Monday that about 300 former ethnic Albanian rebels will be released from prison under a new amnesty agreement aimed at easing tensions in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The dispatch quotes Justice Minister Memeti saying the public prosecutor’s officer, courts and jails would issue formal decisions ordering the men’s release.

 

  • According to AFP, the Moslem chairman of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency, Beriz Belkic, said Friday the arrest of former Bosnian Serb leaders Karadzic and Mladic is a national priority. "It is a priority for the whole of Bosnia," Beriz reportedly said in a news conference, after meeting with Mirko Sarovic, president of Republika Srpska. The Guardian, March 9, claimed that it could reveal that U.S. military officials deliberately blamed France for sabotaging their attempt to capture Karadzic two weeks ago without any evidence to back the claim. A well-placed sourced said the U.S. military, annoyed by the mission’s failure, pointed the finger at the French in what he called a mischievous ploy, said the newspaper. The Sunday Times, March 10, claimed meanwhile that "NATO officials are trying to identify a possible mole at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, who may have tipped off Bosnian Serb police that an arrest operation for … Karadzic was underway."

 

 

UNITED STATES-NUCLEAR

 

  • Reports that the United States is reexamining where to target its nuclear arsenal drew a subdued response this weekend, with some European leaders dismissing the project as "routine military planning," writes the Washington Post. According to the newspaper, the British Foreign Office and the Italian Defense Minister characterized the report as ordinary military strategizing. "Military forces from time to time evaluate their long-term programs even when it is hypothetical," the newspaper quotes Italian Defense Minister Martino saying. It adds that a NATO spokesman said it was too soon to comment. The Financial Times notes that a report, presented to Congress in January and leaked over the weekend, raises the possibility of a pre-emptive nuclear strikes against states such as Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya and Syria and calls for the development of nuclear missiles that could penetrate underground bunkers thought to harbor dangerous weapons program. Elsewhere, the newspaper stresses that the inclusion of Libya and Syria as countries for which the U.S. should be prepared when "setting requirements for nuclear strike capabilities" may be the most surprising element in the report. The naming of the two countries will be seen as a broadening of President Bush’s "axis of evil," says the newspaper. The International Herald Tribune suggests that the diplomatic fallout may be immediate, affecting Vice President Cheney’s reception on a 10-day trip to Europe and the Middle East. Critics are bound to argue that President Bush is making a radical and dangerous shift to a first-strike policy, says the newspaper.

ISAF

 

  • Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports that lawmakers from coalition and opposition parties urged the German military over the weekend to provide artillery support and heavy tank protection to the country’s troops serving in ISAF. The politicians reportedly issued their calls because of concerns about recent incidents of shooting at British forces and demonstrations in Kabul.

 

IRAQ

 

  • According to Reuters, Britain denied a report Sunday that the United States had asked it to provide 25,000 troops to join a possible offensive aimed at overthrowing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Earlier, The Times wrote that Britain’s military contribution to an American-led ground offensive to topple Saddam Hussein could involve the dispatch of two full-sized armored brigades. The newspaper claimed that although no formal request had yet come from Washington, senior Ministry of Defense policy officials, headed by Adm. Sir Michael Boyce, the Chief of Defense Staff, had begun to examine what Britain could offer in the way of troops, fighter aircraft, warships and support units if President Bush asks for British help. The article quoted defense sources saying that "conceptual planning" had started a few weeks ago. "It’s being done on the basis of what we could provide if the United States asked for military help," one source reportedly said. The newspaper stressed that one of the key questions being asked is whether Britain is capable of deploying 25,000 fighting troops to the Gulf for an extended period while continuing with all the other overseas commitments, particularly in the Balkans. In another development, AP quotes Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan saying in Baghdad Saturday that negotiations with the UN will not lead to Iraq’s agreeing to the return of weapons inspectors. According to the dispatch, Ramadan told reporters that the meeting was an "exchange of views" which "does not contradict Iraq’s firm position regarding the inspectors." The Independent stresses that Iraq’s rejection is a step widely seen as bringing forward the possibility of another Gulf War. Stressing that "Europe must get serious on Iraq," Chistoph Bertram, director of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, writes in a contribution to the International Herald Tribune that the chief objective in dealing with Iraq must be to get the UN inspectors back and working "As Europeans should remember from the decades when deterrence of the Soviet Union provided for their security, threats only work if they are credible. Unless they want to undermine the UN’s authority and the credibility of U.S. pressure, the Europeans must not rule out the military option. They have no other choice than to support it," Bertram insists.

 

 FINAL ITEM



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list