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Military

 
Updated: 12-Feb-2003
   

SHAPE News Morning Update

12 February 2003

WAR ON TERRORISM

  • Bin Laden labels Saddam an infidel - Jazeera TV

IRAQ

  • U.S. plans for two-year occupation of Iraq

NATO

  • EU’s Solana sees end soon to NATO rift over Iraq
  • U.S. considering reducing, revamping military presence in South Korea and Europeext

BALKANS

  • Serbia asks UN mission, NATO in Kosovo to prevent militants from spilling across boundary

WAR ON TERRORISM

  • A taped message believed to be from fugitive militant Osama bin Laden on Tuesday warned Arab nations against supporting a war against Iraq as threatened by the United States - but branded Saddam Hussein an infidel. The statement did not express support for Saddam. It said Muslims should support the Iraqi people rather than the country’s government. The tape said Saddam’s secular “socialist” government had lost credibility. (Reuters 120017 GMT Feb 03)

IRAQ

  • U.S. officials on Tuesday laid out plans for a two-year military occupation of Iraq in the event of an invasion and told wary U.S. senators that “enormous uncertainties” made it impossible to say whether troops might stay even longer or how much it would all cost. Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the military and civilian administrators after a U.S. invasion would report to Gen. Tommy Franks, commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East. Pressed for an idea of how long a military occupation would last before Iraqis could take back the government of their country, his colleague from the State Department, Marc Grossman, said he would guess “two years.” (Reuters 112036 GMT Feb 03)

NATO

  • The European Union’s security chief and former NATO secretary-general said on Wednesday that he was confident the alliance would soon heal a damaging rift over its policy toward planning for a possible war with Iraq. He said he was confident the problem would be solved because it was one of timing rather than substance. (Reuters 120412 GMT Feb 03)

  • The Bush administration is considering reducing and reconfiguring U.S. forces in South Korea and Europe as part of a broad reassessment of the military’s presence abroad, officials said. An official, who discussed the matter on condition of anonymity, said the Pentagon was looking for ways of “trading troop strength for capability” - a reference to reducing the total number of U.S. troops while changing their structure in order not to lose combat strength. The New York Times and The Washington Post reported on Monday that members of Congress were briefed on the subject last week by Marine Corps Gen. James Jones, the new commander of U.S. European Command. They said he presented his preliminary thoughts, not a final plan. (AP 120015 Feb 03)

BALKANS

  • Belgrade demanded on Tuesday that the UN mission and NATO troops in Kosovo prevent an imminent spillover of ethnic Albanian militants from the province into Serbia’s troubled south. “We asked for measures to halt the entry of armed militants from Kosovo,” said Nebojsa Covic, a Belgrade government official. Covic said the demand was addressed in a letter to the top UN official in Kosovo, Michael Steiner, and to KFOR. The international officials have not yet reacted. He did not specify what measures Belgrade sought, but claimed the government had reliable information that armed ethnic Albanian militants were grouping in the towns of Kosovska Kamenica and Gnjilane, in Kosovo. (AP 111942 Feb 03)
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