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Updated: 11-May-2004

SHAPE News Summary & Analysis

11 May 2004

  • General Jones talks about Athens Games, Alliance’s transformation


  • UN lists elements to shape transfer resolution


  • Greece, U.S., EU, NATO address Olympic security, border control


  • The English web edition of Greek daily Kathimerini carries an interview with Gen. James Jones, by Giorgios Malouchos, published May 9. According to the newspaper, the General talked about a number of issues, including NATO’s involvement in security arrangements for the Olympic Games, the transformation of the Alliance and its new role, future strategies regarding the concept of a “Greater Middle East” and the results of the “doctrine” of imposing democracy from outside, as implemented in Iraq and elsewhere. In particular, asked how NATO will contribute to the security of the Athens Olympics, he reportedly stressed that NATO wants to help Greece the best way it can and it is the Greek government who will decide what the best possible help would be, but the Alliance is now in a consulting mode and the specifics of the assistance package are not yet determined. However, pointing out that NATO is transitioning to be a more responsive alliance with more expeditionary capability, Gen. Jones was quoted saying that the idea of the NATO Response Force (NRF) - which is the most transformational capability that is going on in the Alliance – is emblematic of the types of capabilities that can bring to bear very quickly. “So whether we call it the NRF or whether we call it a task force, the help that we could bring to Greece, the assistance, would be a tailored package, but it would be responsive, rapid and focused, to meet the needs of the situation.” Expressing his view on a possible role for NATO in the democratization process, with reference also to Iraq, he was reported saying that the military has to ensure stability first, the condition to allow the other long-term interventions such as economic reconstruction and reform of the education system, but it is not something that happens fast. Talking about the ongoing radical transformation of the Alliance, Gen. Jones emphasized that in less than a year a new command structure with an operational commander has been created and the NATO Response Force has been implemented while embarking on and managing three sophisticated global operations simultaneously, one in the Mediterranean, one in the Balkans and one in Afghanistan. Answering on the purpose of these operations, he was quoted saying: “The main idea is to combat the asymmetric threats that face us and that would include counteracting those who wish to acquire weapons of mass destruction, terrorism in its classic sense, and in its most radical sense. I would include narco-trafficking – narco-terrorism is a better word – because I think that is what it is, and that is a problem that faces us all.” The General concluded the interview observing that NATO should be involved in a more open process where the Greater Middle East is engaged, considering that a large part of the focus of our collective security and economic viability is going to be dedicated toward the Middle East. More as well can be done to make sure that the global war on terrorism doesn’t migrate to Africa, he allegedly added.


  • “The UN Security Council has identified six main elements of a resolution that would endorse the transfer of power from the U.S.-led occupation to Iraqis on June 30, with the continued presence of the multinational force emerging as the most contentious issue, diplomats said yesterday,” reports the Washington Times. U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, however, reportedly noted that the Bush administration has not made a final decision about what kind of a draft it would circulate. The six elements discussed at a Thursday informal meeting hosted by the British mission in New York are the following, a Security Council diplomat reportedly stated: declaring the end of the occupation and transfer of sovereignty to Iraqis; endorsing the new interim government; providing for the continued presence of the multinational force; defining a role for the UN; revising the regulations related to the Iraq Development Fund, the arms embargo and other economic issues; addressing Iraq’s legal framework, which is now a mixture of Saddam-era laws and regulations imposed by the U.S.-led coalition. Meanwhile, Polish press agency PAP, May 10, quotes Minister of National Defense Smajdzinski as saying the size of the third contingent of soldiers will not change because of the latest developments in Iraq. There were plans to cut the number of soldiers in the second half of the year, the Defense Minister reportedly added, but for the time being we’ve got no real grounds for setting a date for reduction.



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