The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Military

Updated: 26-Mar-2004
 

SHAPE News Summary & Analysis

26 March 2004

BALTIC STATES-AIR PROTECTION
  • Denmark’s Defense Minister: Danish fire-rescue team, Belgian F-16s for Baltics

BALKANS

  • EU Foreign Policy Chief Solana hits back after stormy Kosovo trip

IRAQ

  • Ambassador Bremer to appoint Iraqi national security adviser

WAR ON TERRORISM

  • EU reaches accord on terrorism
  • Libya to join U.S. and UK in “war on terror”

BALTIC STATES-AIR PROTECTION

  • According to Copenhagen-based daily Politiken, March 25, Denmark will not be sending fighter aircraft to the Baltic states. Defense Minister Jensby purportedly issued the information that Denmark is sending 15 men to a fire and rescue team. “Provisionally, the system has been established that Belgium will provide four F-16 planes, and we will put up some fire and rescue units as well as other technical equipment,” he reportedly said. The paper observed that NATO’s decision to help with the monitoring of the Baltic nations’ airspace has led to sharp criticism from Russia, which is threatening to want to “respond to” NATO’s plans. A related AFP dispatch, March 25, cited Latvian Defense Minister Slakteris saying on Thursday NATO warplanes will start patrolling Baltic airspace on March 29. Mr. Slakteris also reportedly noted that the patrols would be carried out by Belgian Air Force, commenting: “It is symbolic indeed that Latvia’s airspace will be patrolled by Belgian airplanes, because Belgium is a small NATO country likewise Latvia.” Russian news agency Interfax, March 25, on the issue of the deployment of new NATO bases, reported head of the Russian Federation Council’s international committee Mikhail Margelov commenting on an article published on the Washington Post on Thursday: “As for the new NATO bases in Europe near the Russian borders mentioned by the Washington Post, it is a violation of our previous agreements with NATO and the NATO-Russia Founding Act, which is the foundation of the Rome Declaration.” He also reportedly added: “The NATO countries assumed an obligation to refrain from additional permanent deployments of significant armed forces on the territory of new members … This condition was confirmed at the Russia-NATO Council in Prague back on November 22, 2002 taking into account NATO’s expansion plans. In addition, the bases in Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Baltic states do not fit into the adapted CFE.”

BALKANS

  • News agency AFP, March 25, reported that EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana on Thursday hit back at criticism from Serbs after violent riots erupted in Kosovo and allegedly told reporters: “I would not say that it is a failure of strategy of the European Union … I think it is a failure of the behavior of the people of Kosovo. We are not responsible for the behavior of the people of Kosovo … We have expended capital on Kosovo more than any other place in the world. The blame should not be put on the international community. I think the blame has to be placed on the people who have not been able to organize themselves.” Meanwhile, the international edition of the Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat, March 25, reports that Finnish forces in Kosovo arrested on Tuesday, 23 March, a local politician, Shukri Buja, believed to have had a key role in organized violence against Serbs which broke out last weekend. The United Nations Interim Administration in Kosovo (UNMIK), adds the paper, believes the arson attacks against houses of the Serb minority and the bombing of Serb churches were planned.

IRAQ

  • Iraq’s U.S. administrator Paul Bremer will appoint an Iraqi national security adviser for a five-year term before the country regains its sovereignty according to a senior official of the coalition was reported as saying by the Financial Times, based on a Reuters message. Mr. Bremer, continues the article, would choose a national security adviser after consulting the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council. The nominee will be the main adviser to a future Iraqi prime minister on security matters. The official also reportedly added that the new defense minister, to be appointed by Mr. Bremer too, would be named next week.

WAR ON TERRORISM

  • EU leaders pledged yesterday to do “everything within their power” to fight terrorism and set a deadline of June to agree a constitution for Europe, writes The Guardian. “There will be neither weakness nor compromise of any kind when dealing with terrorists. No country in the world can consider itself immune,” the leaders of the 25 present and incoming EU members are quoted saying. The daily opines that the Madrid bombing ensured at least a superficial unity and cites EU Commission’s President Romano Prodi saying: “The Iraq war has not helped things, but we must make a distinction between our determination to curb terrorism and whether the war was right in the first place.”

  • The Financial Times reports that Prime Minister Blair held two hours of talks with Colonel Muammer Gadaffi, representing this the first time a British leader has set foot in Libya since 1943. “We are showing by our engagement with Libya today that it is possible for countries in the Arab world by working with the U.S. and UK to defeat the common enemy of extremists, fanatical terrorism driven by Al-Qaeda,” Mr. Blair reportedly said. The paper speculates that cooperation in the field of intelligence between Tripoli and London is expected to be strengthened as part of Colonel Gadaffi’s commitment to help in the war against terror, while Britain is to give Libya expert advise in devising a new conventional defense strategy now that it has renounced its weapons of mass destruction. The reason for Colonel Gadaffi’s hatred for Al-Qaeda, concludes the daily, is an assassination attempt, for which he issued an international warrant for the arrest of Bin Laden in 1991.

 



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list