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SHAPE NEWS SUMMARY & ANALYSIS 13 NOVEMBER  2002

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

NATO

         Rumsfeld brushes skeptics aside over NATO hopefuls

EU

          EU's Solana to discuss Cyprus, NATO-EU accord in Turkey

BRITAIN-DEFENSE

          Britain "needs missile shield"

IRAQ

         U.S., EU dismiss Iraqi objections to UN resolution

WAR ON TERRORISM

         Pentagon begins designing global computer surveillance system

OTHER NEWS

         Lithuania signs contract to buy Stinger missile system

 

NATO

 

         The Financial Times reported that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has overruled some Pentagon officials for their skepticism over the eligibility of three countries to join NATO and vowed to press ahead. The nations that fall short of U.S. expectations, according to the officials, were Latvia, Slovenia and Bulgaria. Latvia and Bulgaria because they were not satisfied with security arrangements on joining the alliance and Slovenia for doing little to boost defense expenditure, restructure its forces or change the public opinion whose support for NATO was less than fifty percent.

 

EU

 

         According to AFP, officials reported that EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana  will travel to Ankara on Thursday to meet Mr Erdogan, the leader of the Justice and Development party. Solana will notably discuss the finalization of an EU-NATO accord, as well as the latest developments on the divided island of Cyprus, his spokeswoman told AFP. The Financial Times asserts that Mr Erdogan admitted yesterday that a peace agreement in Cyprus would accelerate Turkey's process to join the European Union. He was quoted saying: "No matter how much we say it's not related, they're not linked, solving the Cyprus issue would not just accelerate the EU process, but also be a concrete and useful step to overcoming many problems between Turkey and Greece."

 
 
 
BRITAIN-DEFENSE

 

         Geoff Hoon, the Defense Secretary, according to The Times and The Guardian, said yesterday that Britain may soon need a ballistic missile defense system. The country, he reportedly said, could be targeted by rogue states, which are now trying to arm themselves with long range ballistic missiles  and weapons of mass destruction; the government had clear evidence that the Iraqi leader was reconstituting his ballistic missile capabilities, he added. If deterrence failed, Britain may need to have the means to pre-empt such an attack. The Defense Secretary made clear that Britain's nuclear deterrent, consisting of the Royal Navy's four Trident ballistic missile submarines, was still needed to deter states with large nuclear capabilities. He ended saying a defensive system able to counter missile attacks might reinforce the deterrence provided by conventional and nuclear weapons.

 

IRAQ

 

          U.S. and European leaders, according to The Washington Times, yesterday brushed off a "message" from the Iraqi parliament after the legislative body voted unanimously against the UN resolution. President Bush brusquely dismissed the significance of the vote, describing the assembly as a "rubber stamp" for the Iraqi president. He reportedly said: "That's all. We're through negotiations. There's no more time," and he added: "The man must disarm." French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said on French radio: "If Saddam Hussein does not comply, if he does not satisfy his obligation, there will obviously be a use of force." UN Secretary General Kofi Annan urged Iraq to accept the UN resolution in spite of the legislative recommendation, noting that it had been passed by a unanimous Security Council vote and endorsed by the Arab League. Russia also urged the Iraqi leadership to accept the resolution. Saddam's eldest son, Uday, emerged as an unlikely voice of moderation in Iraqi's parliament yesterday, reports The Daily Telegraph. He distributed a paper to the National Assembly supporting the UN resolution "in accordance with certain procedures and without restrictions."

 

WAR ON TERRORISM

 

          According to The International Herald Tribune, a new Pentagon research office has started designing a global computer surveillance system to give U.S. counter-terrorism officials access to personal information in government and commercial databases around the world. The Information Awareness Office aims to develop new technologies to sift through "ultra large" data warehouses and networked computers in search of threatening patterns among everyday transactions, such as credit card purchases and travel reservations. The system proposed would be able to sweep up and analyze data in a much more systematic way than the existing means available and would probably be the largest data surveillance system ever built.

 

OTHER NEWS

 

         AFP reports that Lithuania signed a contract with the U.S. to buy its Stinger anti-aircraft missile for 31 million dollars. Lithuania, which expects to be invited to join NATO at the Prague summit, will ultimately receive sixty missiles and eight  launching mechanisms becoming the first NATO candidate country to obtain the Stinger system.

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