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Military

 
Updated: 30-Sep-2003
   

SHAPE News Summary & Analysis

29 September 2003

GENERAL JONES
  • Stars and Stripes interview
  • Newsweek interview

NATO

  • U.S.-led consortium wins NATO contract to study anti-missile options

IRAQ

  • NATO deployment in Iraq “not yet thinkable”: new Alliance chief

ESDP

  • Police force for Macedonia (sic) will boost EU

AFGHANISTAN

  • NATO military expected to present plans for expanding peacekeeping role in Afghanistan

GENERAL JONES

  • In an interview carried by Stars and Stripes, Sept. 27, Gen. Jones, in his capacity as commander of the U.S. European Command, envisions EUCOM’S future. He reportedly said EUCOM, in the upcoming year, could see itself more involved in the war on terrorism and transformation will probably top the command’s agenda. The daily reports Gen. Jones stating that Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is “pleased” with the EUCOM transformation plan, but it is still unknown when the plan will be implemented. The command, he also said, according to the paper, will probably see a growing role in the war against terrorism in the Africa portion of the command’s 93-countries area of responsibility. The daily argues that Gen. Jones foresees Africa as the next battle-ground in the war on terrorism quoting him saying: “As the noose tightens a little bit in the war on terror, Africa becomes a haven,” adding that the area’s poor economic growth has created a recruiting ground for radical fundamentalists. He was also reported saying he believed that by 2004 the U.S. will be out of Bosnia-Herzegovina military, although there could still be “policing” activities and a similar scenario could occur in Kosovo, too. Moreover, he ensured that no Europe-based unit deployed to Iraq or the Middle East will be sent directly back to the U.S. as the result of transformation. He also pointed out that urban growth and lack of adequate training grounds have forced EUCOM to look outside its current basing structures for new areas to improve their skills. Gen. Jones said, wrote the newspaper, despite political tensions between U.S. and foreign leaders, there has never been that sort of split between military leaders at NATO. In his opinion the Alliance, especially with the start next month of a NATO Response Force, is following a similar track to the U.S.’ own transformation plan. NATO is now transforming itself and “becoming more relevant to the asymmetric threat of the 21st century,” he reportedly added. Gen. Jones, observes the daily, concedes he does not know how much of his draft plan will become a reality stating: “It’s a plan, in a sense, that is timeless. Nothing has to be done now or next year. You can do it piecemeal, all at once … any number of ways.” But, he concluded, the plan must be explained to both American military and its allies.

  • Newsweek magazine’s Christopher Dickey, Oct. 6 issue, in a question-and-answer interview, highlights Gen. Jones’s position on the relations between the U.S. and France, the way NATO is preparing to face new threats and the meaning of “forward operating locations.” Admitting that he was saddened by the rift between France and his country, having grown up in both cultures, he clearly stated, however, that there are no divisions at the military level. Gen. Jones, being highly appreciative of the French military organization, said France has probably the most expeditionary army in Europe with impressive military capabilities across the whole spectrum of operations. Asked how NATO is evolving to meet new threats, he answered that in his perspective, NATO’s centre of activity is moving east and the geo-strategic centre of interest for the foreseeable future has to be the greater Middle East. Consequently, he was quoted saying, the U.S. footprint must be adjusted to be as supportive as possible, adding that there is also an emerging concern to our south. Africa, replete of ungoverned spaces, seems to be very attractive for radical fundamentalism, weapons of mass destruction, and all kind of criminality, he further said. Later, he explained the concept of “forward operating locations”, saying they are “bare-bones footprints with dirt strips and very low-level maintenance, but strategically in place,” and a lot of those so called ‘lily pads’ are likely to be posted in Africa. The interview was also echoed by AFP in two reports, Sept. 28. The news agency in particular stressed that the NATO Response Force, to become fully operational late next year, is the main task for NATO.

NATO

  • NATO has awarded a 15-million euro contract to study options for an Alliance anti-missile system to a U.S.-led consortium of companies including a number of European firms, according to AFP, Sept. 26. The transatlantic consortium is led by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), of McLean, Virginia, but also includes U.S. Boeing, Germany’s Diehl, France’s EADS ST, Germany’s IABG, Dutch company TNO, U.S. Raytheon, Italy’s Alenia Spazio and France’s Thales, specifies the dispatch. A statement from NATO reportedly explains that the contract is in the framework of the Feasibility Study, called by the 19 members of the Alliance in Prague in November 2002, intended to provide the Alliance with a broad perspective on its Missile Defense options to facilitate consultations which may lead to future decisions on proceeding with such a system.”

IRAQ

  • According to an AFP dispatch, the Alliance’s incoming Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said Monday a NATO deployment in Iraq is “not yet thinkable.” “I don’t know exactly how that could work. It is still too early,” he reportedly told journalists, adding: “I think that it is not yet thinkable.” The agency notes that the head of NATO’s Military Committee, Gen. Kujat said in a German newspaper in an interview at the weekend that a NATO deployment in Iraq was “probable”.

ESDP

  • “Europe’s ambition to play a greater role in providing security in the Balkans will be boosted today when European Foreign Ministers agree to send a large police force to the FYROM,” Judy Dempsey wrote on the Financial Times, Sept. 28. The decision, she observed, has wider implications for the civilian arm of the EU security and defense policy for crisis management and conflict prevention. The EU, she added, is also being asked to assist in training a police force in the Democratic Republic of Congo and possibly in Afghanistan. The mission in Macedonia (sic), she reported, to start on December 15 and last for one year initially, will comprise about 200 police officers seconded and paid by the member states with start-up costs of 7.3 million euros. A related AP dispatch, confirms that EU Foreign Ministers gave Monday their go-ahead to send a 200-strong police force to Macedonia (sic). The new mission, dubbed Operation “Proxima”, is to have the officers in place by December 15 at the latest, says the report. The police force, which will be headquartered in Skopje, will be loosely modeled on the EU’s first police mission in Bosnia, and will train local police and focus on the fight against organized crime, continues the dispatch.

AFGHANISTAN

  • NATO military experts were expected to submit plans Monday for expanding the alliance's peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan to cities beyond the capital Kabul, reports AP. Details of the military options were not expected to be made public, and NATO officials declined to say how many more troops it would involve beyond the 5,000-strong force currently in Kabul. Officials said NATO would not seek to control the Afghan countryside and added that the idea was to create "ISAF islands" of stability in the cities.


 



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