UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Military

 

SHAPE NEWS SUMMARY & ANALYSIS 03 DECEMBER 2002

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

IRAQ

         U.S. asks Turkey for bases, soldiers for possible Iraqi operation

TERRORISM

         Three accused of Al Qaeda plot to attack NATO base

ESDP

         Europe should call off its mission impossible
EU

         France seeks lead position in shaping EU's future

         U.S. mounts push to secure place for Turkey in EU

AFGHANISTAN

         Afghans planning an army of 70,000

OTHER NEWS

         EUCOM  has a new deputy commander

 

IRAQ

 

         According to AFP, the Turkish press reported that the U.S., with a seven-page letter, has asked Turkey for military support, and permission to use its airbases and deploy soldiers on its soil in case of a military operation against Iraq. The U.S. administration requested clearance to deploy 100,000 soldiers at Turkey's border with Iraq and to use Turkish airbases and ports. The U.S. also asked for participation by some 17,000 to 35,000 Turkish soldiers in the operation, according to different newspapers. In return, Washington would scrap part of Ankara's military debt, according to the cited sources. The new government in Turkey, however, opposes a military intervention in Iraq for fear that a war would destabilize the region.

 

TERRORISM

 

         The Daily Telegraph reports that three suspected members of Al Qaeda went on trial yesterday in Rotterdam accused of plotting to attack a NATO base stocked with nuclear weapons and to bomb the American embassy in Paris. The newspaper noted that this is the first of a series of anti-terrorist trials in Holland.

 
ESDP

 

         Anand Menon, in a contribution to the Financial Times, asserts that although defense spending is necessary for Europe to reduce the increasing gap existing between the two sides of the Atlantic, it is time to abandon attempts to endow the European Union with a defense policy of its own. The recent Franco-German proposal, the writer reportedly continues, highlights the follies of the project. The most obvious course open to Europeans if they want to wield more military power, he believes, is to work through NATO which, far from a perfect organization, suffers from few if any of the drawbacks that burden the EU. The EU has an important role to play in international affairs but this should not include serious military operations, for which it was not designed. Moreover, with a firm commitment to NATO, Europeans leaders could argue more credibly that the U.S. needs to work within multilateral institutions in pursuit of its international objectives.

EU

 

         The Financial Times asserts that with the speech French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin gave at the EU convention yesterday, France staked its claim to be the lead player in forging a consensus among its European partners on proposals to reform the EU ahead of enlargement. The newspaper noted that the speech marked a radical change in the French approach: the minister's strategy was to avoid placing rigid proposals on the table and he  rather acted as a consensus builder with Germany. The minister acknowledged the wide differences still existing between the French and German positions over institutional reform, and he reportedly said: "It is not the convergence of our views which strengthen the Franco-German relationship, but our determination in the common interest to overcome these differences whenever they occur. We must keep placing this ability to surmount our differences at the service of the European enterprise." He was also quoted saying that the future of Europe should be based on a "balance between unity and diversity, between federalism and sovereignty, between economic progress and social justice."

 

         The Financial Times reports that the U.S. administration stepped up public pressure yesterday on the EU to give Turkey a firm date to start negotiations for full EU membership. The U.S. deputy secretary of defense, Paul Wolfowitz, declared that to exclude Turkey from the union was "surely unthinkable." At the same time, he backed the new UN plan for a peace settlement between the Greek and Turkish communities in Cyprus, stating that the plan "provides the basis for a lasting and just solution" to the division of the island.

 

AFGHANISTAN

 

         At an international conference marking the first anniversary of the Talibans' fall, President Hamid Karzai announced plans yesterday to strengthen the national army, according to The Daily Telegraph. He reportedly said that the initiative was intended to bring stability in Afghanistan. The conference took place as rival warlords clashed in western Afghanistan, leaving around 60 people dead.

 

OTHER NEWS

 

         Stars and Stripes reports that Air Force Gen. Charles F. Wald took the reins of deputy commander of the U.S. European Command on Monday from Marine Gen. Carlton W. Fulford Jr.

 

 

 FINAL ITEM



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list