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Military

Updated: 20-Jan-2004
 

SHAPE News Summary & Analysis

20 January 2004

GENERAL JONES

  • French daily carries interview with Gen. Jones
BALKANS
  • Daily: “Karadzic could escape as NATO deadline looms”

CBRN

  • Report claims CBRN said to participate in Athens Olympics security

IRAQ

  • UN to consider idea of holding direct Iraq elections

GENERAL JONES

  • French daily Le Figaro carries a question-and-answer interview with Gen. Jones, in which he discusses the status of Franco-US relations, France's contribution to NATO, NATO's role in Afghanistan, the future of European defense, and the upcoming Istanbul summit. In introductory remarks, the article, titled, “James L. Jones: “France’s contribution to NATO is essential,’” highlights Gen. Jones’ familiarity with the French language and his European background. SACEUR is quoted saying: “France’s military contribution to NATO is of a very high standard and is an essential one. And I’m convinced that we can find agreements to go even further if politicians decide. The concrete work which we perform daily, notably concerning NATO’s Response Force (NRF) shows this. France’s contribution is very, very impressive. It is essential to the success of this reaction force made out of joint multinational forces with a high degree of preparation…. France’s military capabilities are indispensable for NATO’s success.” Asked whether NATO could increase its involvement in Afghanistan and could eventually go to Iraq, Gen. Jones is quoted saying: “NATO is studying the possibility of increasing its action in Afghanistan to control all military operations, including Enduring Freedom. Within a month or two we will know what we can propose in terms of military capabilities to reinforce security and help with the reconstruction of the country. The decision will be up to the North Atlantic Council. As far as Iraq is concerned, there is nothing formal at the moment…. As the SACEUR, I have not received any instruction to plan for a mission in Iraq. I am therefore waiting for a possible decision by the political leadership.” Regarding the NRF, SACEUR is quoted saying: “The new capability we established with NRF represents the future. It will be an integrated, air-land-sea force, supported by special forces, relying on top of the line technology. It will be flexible, deployable, interoperable and able to sustain long operations. It will be able to respond, at very short notice, and globally to new challenges.” Asked where he believed NATO’s theater of action was now located, Gen. Jones reportedly responded: “For 50 years, NATO was turned toward the former Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe. But the nature of the challenges has changed and the Alliance’s center of activity as well as its geostrategic interests have moved eastward, up to the Middle East. NATO must therefore adapt to the new situation…. I would add that in my view, NATO should be more and more concerned about the future of the situation in Africa, where high-risk hotspots are very numerous. The black continent is full of zones of lawlessness, which are no longer governed or administered, susceptible to attracting terrorists, fundamentalists and weapons dealers of all kinds.” Discussing relations between the EU and NATO, Gen. Jones was quoted saying: “The first European operation in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia went very well. We are starting the year 2004 with the intention to work with the EU in Bosnia. We hope that by the end of the year operations in that country will be carried out by the EU. NATO’s military will do everything possible to ensure that the transfer takes place in the best conditions. I’m sure we will succeed…. The EU’s flag flies over NATO’s headquarters. My deputy, Admiral Rainer Feist, is the EU’s representative at NATO headquarters. I hope to demonstrate that that good relationship between the EU and NATO military can result in an increasingly close and coordinated understanding in the military field. For that too I’m optimistic.” Asked to describe what he believed was most striking, one year after he took up his position as SACEUR, Gen. Jones responded: “What is most striking to me is NATO’s new energy. The new members’ enthusiasm, NATO’s impressively far-reaching transformation.… And also the fundamental changes in the way NATO will operate and a certain desire to have global influence and no longer only regional influence. To carry out that transformation, we have a new strategic command in Norfolk, Virginia. Between that center and that of the Allied Forces in Europe, we are going to do spectacular things in 2004, 2005, 2006…. The Alliance which was turned toward an enemy—the Soviet Union—has disappeared. It is taking a half turn in another direction. This is very important for the preservation of peace, the fight against fundamentalism, terrorism and the new threats. A related AFP dispatch focuses on Gen. Jones’ suggesting that the Alliance should pay more attention to lawless parts of Africa.

BALKANS

  • Radovan Karadzic may escape justice unless he can be captured before NATO’s mission expires at the end of the year, reports The Times. According to the newspaper, there is growing concern among British officials that unless a new and concerted effort is made to apprehend Karadzic and former Bosnian Serb military commander Mladic they may never be held accountable for the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II. The article asserts, however, that “after the capture of Saddam Hussein last month, the Pentagon is said to back a serious final attempt to catch Karadzic before its troops pull out.”

CBRN

  • NATO’s new multinational nuclear, biological and chemical protection battalion is expected to be present during the Athens Olympic Games, wrote Athens’ Kiriakatiki Elevtherotipia, Jan. 11. Claiming that the information was based on Defense Ministry sources and was related to the fact that a Greek cross-service biohazard unit, formed for the Olympic Games, was still in the initial stages of its formation, the newspaper commented: “This would be the Alliance’s first involvement in a major athletic event. Twelve countries are taking part in the Czech-led battalion. They are well experienced in chemical warfare.”

IRAQ

  • The Financial Times quotes UN Secretary General Kofi Annan saying Monday he would consider sending a team to examine whether direct elections were a feasible way of choosing a provisional Iraqi government by the end of June, or to look for possible alternatives. The newspaper remarks that his statement followed a strong appeal by both the U.S.-led coalition and representatives of Iraq’s Governing Council, as they sought ways to diffuse a potentially disastrous confrontation with Shia leaders.

 



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