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SHAPE NEWS SUMMARY & ANALYSIS 02 AUGUST 2002

 

 

 

ESDP
  • Current status of ESDP viewed

ITALY-IRAQ

  • Defense Minister: Italy could send troops in case of U.S. attack against Iraq

UNITED STATES-DEFENSE

  • Senate backs Bush’s defense budget

GERMANY-DEFENSE

  • Industry asked to submit tender for new Bundeswehr armored infantry vehicle

 

 

ESDP

 

  • Le Figaro stresses that while France and Britain are seeking to give a new impulse to ESDP, frustration is growing in European capitals at what is seen as the EU’s inability to implement its plan to take over from NATO the peacekeeping mission in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The French daily highlights that such an operation depends on an arrangement between NATO and the EU on the use of NATO’s assets. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Aug. 1, asserted earlier that regarding ESDP, Germany is ready for a compromise with Paris. At their recent summit in Schwerin, both countries declared their willingness to strengthen the military capability of the EU beyond the establishment of a European intervention force. For this purpose, they want to set up a European air transport command quickly, to develop a satellite-supported reconnaissance system that is independent of the United States, and accelerate the integration of command staffs, the daily stressed. It suggested that "the latter might turn into the nucleus of new military headquarters of the EU, as proposed by Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt." Paris is known to have been skeptical of NATO for a long time and to advocate the establishment of parallel military structures in addition to those of the Atlantic Alliance. For Berlin, this would be a new approach, the newspaper added and continued: "The first test will the assumption of the command of (the peacekeeping mission) in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in the fall. Until now, the controversy between Greece and Turkey has blocked an agreement necessary to make it possible for the EU to access planning capacities of NATO. In Schwerin, Schroeder and Chirac hinted that they were looking for European ways of circumventing this blockade."

 

 

ITALY-IRAQ

 

  • AP quotes Italian Defense Minister Martino saying in an interview Friday that Italy would allow the use of its air space in case of a U.S.-led attack on Iraq but would only let its troops participate if there is concrete proof that Saddam Hussein’s regime is producing nuclear weapons. "Participation by Italian troops would be conditioned by the provision of sure evidence on Iraq’s (nuclear) warfare program," Martino reportedly told the Panorama news magazine. According to the dispatch, a Defense Ministry spokesman said Martino’s remarks meant that Italy would allow U.S. military planes to fly over Italian territory on missions to Iraq, but not necessarily to use military bases in Italy to stage the attacks.

 

 

UNITED STATES-DEFENSE

 

  • According to the BBC World Service, the United States has approved a $35 billion increase in defense spending, paving the way for the biggest expansion of the U.S. military in two decades. Subject to final approval, the overall defense budget for the next financial year will be more than $350 billion, said the broadcast. It observed that America already spends more on defense than any nation in history. Its military budget exceeds the combined spending of its nine closest competitors. "The money will pay for helicopters, cargo aircraft, four new warships and a replacement for the Crusader cannon, which is considered too heavy for modern warfare," added the program.

 

 

GERMANY-DEFENSE

 

  • Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports that Defense Minister Struck has asked German companies to submit a tender for a new Bundeswehr armored infantry vehicle within a week. The armored infantry vehicles, whose project name was "Panther" until a few weeks ago, is planned to replace the "Marder" that the Bundeswehr has been using for 30 years, says the newspaper. It adds that discussion in a working group consisting of ministerial experts as well as experts from the industry preceded Struck’s request. According to the article, the armament companies Rheinmetall Landsysteme and Krasu-Maffair Wegmann are to submit a tender by Aug. 7. The new tanks should be "built while using the existing components to the largest extent possible" and should be "available clearly before 2008." The article also quotes a Defense Ministry report, saying the so-called "component solution" was the best one to comply with the essential criteria to be applied for the new construction, particularly the possibility of transporting the vehicle in the new transport aircraft A400M, as well as a new protection against mines.

 

 

FINAL ITEM

 

 

 

 



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