Find a Security Clearance Job!

Military

Updated: 15-Apr-2004
 

SHAPE News Summary & Analysis

15 April 2004

IRAQ
  • Iraq takes a timely step back from the brink

NATO-DEFENSE

  • EADS set to win giant NATO contract for surveillance aircraft

WAR ON TERRORISM

  • Old weapons, new terror worries

EU-ACCESSION

  • Croatia’s stance on war crimes is key to EU hopes

IRAQ

  • The Daily Telegraph writes that a combination of military force and the moral authority of an ayatollah have pushed Moqtada al-Sadr into suing for peace without conditions. Allegedly, the young cleric had taken refuge in Najaf, hoping that its status as the Shia holy city would protect him from the U.S. determination either to kill or capture him. The city, observes the daily, is also the home of Ayatollah al-Sistani, the spiritual leader of the Shias and a military assault on Najaf might trigger a general Shia uprising. The firebrand’s retreat, comments the paper, has also reinforced the authority of Ayatollah al-Sistani, who more than any other in Iraq can facilitate the establishment of democracy in the country. It was he, stresses the daily, who persuaded the coalition to bring forward the date for elections, and also convinced Mr. Sadr that the best course is to sue for peace.

NATO-DEFENSE

  • An AFP dispatch says that, according to the Financial Times, NATO is set to award a defense contract for a fleet of surveillance aircraft worth up to four billion euros (4.8 billion dollars) to a consortium led by European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company. NATO, continues the agency, hopes the decision to proceed with the long-delayed program will signal the renewed commitment of the transatlantic Alliance following the crisis over the Iraq war. But the deal, concludes the report, remains at risk due to a challenge by Raytheon Company, which also competed for the contract. The U.S. company has accused NATO of pushing through the EADS bid under U.S. pressure, because of the involvement of Northrop Grumman, which builds the U.S. Air Force’s J-Stars ground surveillance aircraft.

WAR ON TERRORISM

  • According to the Christian Science Monitor, a handful of Russian and American nuclear experts, both military and civilian, are convening a first meeting in Moscow later this month, to launch a year-long modeling exercise to specify the new dangers. It is the nuclear terrorism threats that analysts are re-examining, as the learning curve of terror groups today comes closer to intersecting the vulnerabilities of atomic arsenals, comments the paper. Experts now are looking at new terror tactics, from hacking to seizing a complete weapon, adds the daily, and ironically Russia’s old systems may be less vulnerable than U.S. weaponry to the most revolutionary threats, particularly cyber warfare, although the sobering results of the still classified work by a Pentagon “Commission on Nuclear Fail-Safe” point to U.S. vulnerabilities that could also apply to Russian systems today. Jon Wolfstahl, a nuclear nonproliferation expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, is quoted saying about the capability of terrorist groups to pose a credible nuclear threat: “It’s more complicated than slapping on an alarm clock and running a couple of wires, like James Bond … but we believe it’s within the capability of more sophisticated, well-financed groups, especially if they can get their hands on scientists or engineers with knowledge of these systems.” Al-Qaeda tops that short list, concludes the newspaper.

EU-ACCESSION

  • The European Union will next week announce it is ready to expand into the heart of former Yugoslavia, with a declaration that Croatia is ready to start membership talks – provided it cooperates fully with war crimes investigators, writes the Financial Times. The announcement, notes the daily, represents diplomatically a giant step forward for Croatia, which hopes to become an EU member as early as 2007. Gunter Verheugen, EU enlargement commissioner, reportedly sees the move as a vital step towards boosting democracy in the western Balkans, including in neighboring Serbia and Montenegro. Much will depend on the verdict of tribunal prosecutor Carla del Ponte who will seek to exert the maximum pressure on Zagreb over the coming weeks, observes the paper, but there are already signs of Zagreb’s increased willingness to hand over those indicted for war crimes during the bloody war with Serbia in the 1990s.


 



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list