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Military

Updated: 25-Feb-2004
 

SHAPE News Summary & Analysis

25 February 2004

NATO
  • Gen. Winterberger: Show flight of NATO AWACS in Latvia, Lithuania made in openness

ISAF

  • NATO plans only limited expansion of ISAF due to budgetary constraints

ESDP

  • EU force in Bosnia should be equivalent to SFOR: Solana

OTHER NEWS

  • President Putin dismisses prime minister

NATO

  • According to Moscow’s Itar-TASS, Feb. 24, NAEW&C Force Commander Maj. Gen. Winterberger told reporters Tuesday the show flight of a NATO AWACS in the Latvian skies was made in openness. “Russia was informed about the flight details and route in advance and that the radar system was almost not used,” he reportedly stressed. Gen. Winterberger was quoted saying Latvian service personnel were shown a computer simulation of the radar system during the flight and noting that the radar system was turned on for a short time but did not run at full capacity. Reporting on the AWACS demonstration flight over Lithuania, Italy’s ANSA, Feb. 24, quoted Gen. Winterberger saying: “We were very open with the Russians regarding this flight and we informed Russia of all plans. Our radar was at very low altitude.” The dispatch observed that AWACS generally operate at an altitude of about 30,000 feet, from which they can watch a radius of over 300 kms.

ISAF

  • Sueddeutsche Zeitung claims that NATO plans only a limited expansion of its ISAF mission due to budgetary constraints. The article says: “Last December, NATO ambassadors tasked the allied military planners at SHAPE headquarters with developing an operation plan for an expansion of (ISAF) to several, partly unstable provinces. By week’s end, the NATO command in Brussels will receive mail from Mons.” The article adds that according to information it has obtained, the military planners will demand far less than NATO generals had predicted. It continues “Brussels-based diplomats expect the deployment of only 3,500 to 5,000 additional troops for the planned establishment of five additional (PRTs) under NATO command. The role model is the Bundeswehr mission in Kunduz. Three weeks ago, speculations were rife that up to 14,000 troops might be deployed. The allied plans envisage dividing the country into four sectors. While the U.S.-led anti-terror operation Enduring Freedom is to continue its hunt for Taliban forces in the south and southwest, NATO wants to start its operations in the northern sector—and expand its presence in the northeast only later. ‘We are marching anti-clockwise,’ a diplomat says.” The newspaper notes that warlords continue to rule large areas of Afghanistan and UN experts are concerned about the elections. It stresses, however: “The allies are not prepared to risk more than the establishment of a handful of reconstruction teams in the north. The British PRT in Masar-I-Scharif is now to be placed under NATO, as was the Bundeswehr team in Kunduz. For, as is said in Brussels, ‘the member nations are not prepared to provide more troops or equipment.’ The second north-western expansion will not be realized until the nations have fulfilled their promises for this first step.”

ESDP

  • Le Monde writes that in a report presented to EU foreign ministers Monday, EU foreign and security policy chief Solana recommended that the EU force which will take over from NATO “cannot be smaller” than SFOR, which by the end of the year is expected to be reduced to 7,000 personnel. The newspaper adds that the details of the handover are not completely finalized, notably regarding NATO’s role, since it appears that the Alliance will continue to be represented in Sarajevo by a “residual” headquarters. The article continues: The United States has accepted the principle of the takeover, which will take place in the framework of the Berlin Plus accords, which means the Europeans will use NATO assets. At NATO, it is considered that the Alliance’s “residual headquarters,” which should be about 150-strong, will notably be involved in the hunt for war criminals. The United States also intends to keep a few hundred soldiers in Tuzla.” The newspaper considers that while the existence of three levels of power will not necessarily create conflicts, it deserves clarifications.

OTHER NEWS

  • International media report President Putin dismissed Prime Minister Kasyanov and his Cabinet Tuesday, saying he will appoint a new team that will reflect his vision for Russia in the second term he is expected to win. The Moscow Times notes that under the Constitution, the Cabinet is dismissed together with the prime minister. It adds, however, that it is likely that many of the 30 government ministers may be reappointed. The article remarks that as the last high-ranking vestige of former President Yeltsin’s team, Kasyanov was widely expected to be replaced after the election as a way for Putin to decisively close the chapter on a previous era.


 



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