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Military

Updated: 14-May-2004
 

SHAPE News Morning Update

14 May 2004

NATO
  • NATO succeeds in mission to bring stability in Afghanistan

ISAF

  • Franco-German brigade to be deployed in Kabul

BALKANS

  • Sweden to cut Kosovo troops

IRAQ

  • President Bush signs order giving State lead role in Iraq

NATO

  • NATO has brought stability to Afghanistan, and that country is now progressing, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said Thursday in a speech to Romanian lawmakers in Bucharest. Mr. De Hoop Scheffer, in Romania for a one-day official visit, also said that NATO and Russia are cooperating in facing the global challenges of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. “The new threats affect NATO and Russia alike, and this has spawned a new sense of direction and purpose in our relationship. Above all, it has led to a new spirit of cooperation on an ever broader range of issues, from peacekeeping to theater missile defence,” he added. Mr. De Hoop Scheffer said that NATO should cooperate more with the European Union, saying that Romania, as a NATO member and “a future member of the EU, has of course an important stake in this co-operation.” (AP 131449 May 04)

ISAF

  • France and Germany offered a joint brigade to command peacekeeping forces in the Afghan capital Kabul, a move likely to be welcomed at NATO which is struggling to find resources for an expansion of its operation. They also confirmed that the five-nation Eurocorps, to which the Franco-German Brigade is attached, would take overall operational command of the alliance’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan from Canada in August. Diplomats said that Spain - part of the Eurocorps along with France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg - has not yet formally agreed to the proposal, but operational plans are being made on the assumption that it will. Diplomats say the arrival of Franco-German troops could free up some of ISAF’s existing 6,500 troops for the establishment of civilian-military reconstruction teams in the north and west of the country. (Reuters 131759 GMT May 04)

BALKANS

  • The Swedish government decided Thursday to reduce its troop contribution to the NATO-led peacekeeping operation in Kosovo by 190 soldiers. The Swedish contingent will be reduced in June to 330 troops, the government said in a statement. Defence Ministry spokesman Magnus Edin said Sweden planned to boost deployments to peacekeeping operations in Liberia and Afghanistan instead. (AP 131910 May 04)

IRAQ

  • The State Department will take over the lead role for most U.S. operations in Iraq from the Pentagon after the transfer of sovereignty on June 30, according to an order signed by U.S. President Bush this week. Officials said the order seemed to put to rest a power struggle between the State Department and the Pentagon over who should lead U.S. government operations in Iraq after June 30 when the Coalition Provisional Authority ceases to exist and limited powers are given to the Iraqis. However, the order specified that State Department control did not cover employees under military command or those seconded to an international organization. The document gave continued authority to U.S. Central Command for military actions but said Secretary of State Colin Powell would be responsible for the supervision and general direction of all assistance for Iraq. (Reuters 140355 GMT May 04)


 



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