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

Military

Updated: 26-May-2004
 

SHAPE News Summary & Analysis

25 May 2004

NATO

  • Visegrad Group wants to jointly train pilots
  • Report: Bulgarian aircraft to protect Greek skies during Olympic Games
  • Russian minister urges North Europe states to help build trust with NATO

AFGHANISTAN

  • Turkish-U.S. dispute reported on duty area for Turkish PRT

IRAQ

  • President Bush defends his vision for Iraq

BALKANS

  • Top UN envoy in Kosovo resigns

NATO

  • According to AFP, the defense ministers of the Visegrad Group countries, NATO members Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, said in Prague Monday they want to create a center for training military pilots. Speaking for the group, Czech Defense Minister Kostelka reportedly said the four countries were setting up a working commission to study the question.
  • Sofia’s Dnevnik, May 19, claimed it had learned from Defense Ministry sources that Bulgarian air defense will be in charge of protecting Greek airspace during the Olympic Games with anti-aircraft missile systems and fighter aircraft. “The Council of Ministers is drafting a decree for redeploying the systems. During the Games, the recently created air police, composed of MiG-29 fighter aircraft, will also be in full combat readiness,” the daily said. Stressing that the commitment to protect the Games was seen as one of the reasons for speeding up the creation of the air police as a combat aviation unit, the daily added: “The unit has MiG-29 fighter aircraft on permanent standby. Their task is to intercept any aircraft violating Bulgarian airspace. Guaranteeing national security against terrorist acts involving passenger aircraft is yet another task of the air police. The MiG-29s will identify such aircraft, give them orders, and force them to land, if necessary. The military command will make decisions whether or not to bring down an offender. The air police will also have squads that will be directly subordinate to NATO.” The newspaper noted that in an interview with the Greek newspaper Ethnos, published May 16, Gen. Jones said he trusts the security measures taken by Athens for the Olympic Games and confirmed that NATO will support Greece with all appropriate means. “Gen. Jones stated that NATO can propose a number of means to support security for the Games, but that Athens should decide what assistance it needs. He further said that Alliance experts are currently specifying the details of the assistance in cooperation with the Greek government, in order to guarantee the security of the participants in the Games as well as that of their viewers,” added the daily.
  • According to Itar-TASS, Russian Defense Minister Ivanov told a meeting of north Europe defense ministers Tuesday morning he was in favor of making northern Europe “a training ground for perfecting measures of trust and cooperation in the military-political sphere between Russia and NATO.” Ivanov reportedly said that in order to achieve this, it is necessary to have “a multilateral format of consultations on developing mechanisms of regional cooperation.” The complexity of problems connected with the CFE treaty has special significance, “primarily in relation to the process of integrating the Baltic states into NATO and the EU,” he added.

AFGHANISTAN

  • Ankara has laid out a condition for the United States regarding the PRT that it will deploy in Afghanistan: “Either we work in the Uzbek region, or we will not take part,” reported Istanbul’s Milliyet, May 19. Ankara has made the establishment of a Turkish PRT in Afghanistan contingent upon the condition of its determining for itself the area where this team will operate, and has notified Washington that “at this stage, it will not be possible to accept duties outside of the province of Takhar,” the daily asserted. It noted, however, that U.S. officials oppose the Turkish condition, saying there is no urgent need for a PRT in Takhar, which is in the northeast of Afghanistan and where the majority of the population are Uzbek. The newspaper quoted unnamed diplomatic sources saying consultations on the issue were continuing. It also claimed that the United States would reiterate its demand to “take up duties in the West” by means of a new initiative “via NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Gen. Jones.” Should Ankara reject this yet again, a final decision will then be made regarding Takhar, the newspaper concluded.

    Sunday’s attack on an ISAF convoy in which a Norwegian soldier was killed and one injured is noted.
    AFP observes that the incident, the first against peacekeepers using grenades, was the third deadly strike on the force in Kabul this year. Against this background, the dispatch stresses that ISAF is under pressure to expand beyond Kabul and Kunduz to provide extra security ahead of the elections. It comments: “Both the Afghan government and the U.S.-led coalition force, are pushing for ISAF troops to be stationed in Afghanistan’s north and west. But NATO has had trouble convincing member nations to take part in operations in Afghanistan and officials in Kabul have said they will not allow the force to expand until sufficient support elements, such as air support, are in place.”
    Kabul’s Radio Afghanistan, May 24, remarked that the incident occurred at a time when extremists have warned that they will increase their attacks ahead of elections.

IRAQ

  • BBC News reported that in a keynote speech at the Army War College in Pennsylvania, President Bush said the United States remains committed to defeating its enemies and creating a democratic Iraq. He said he was taking five “specific steps” to help Iraq achieve democracy and freedom: hand over authority to a sovereign Iraqi government; help establish the stability and security in Iraq that democracy requires; continue rebuilding Iraq’s infrastructure; encourage more international support; move toward free, national elections that will bring forward new leaders empowered by the Iraqi people. CNN carried highlights of Bush’s speech in which he said: “Next month, at the NATO summit in Istanbul, I will thank our 15 NATO allies who together have more than 17,000 troops on the ground in Iraq. Great Britain and Poland are each leading a multinational division that is securing important parts of the country. And NATO, itself, is giving helpful intelligence, communications, and logistical support to the Polish-led division. At the summit, we will discuss NATO’s role in helping Iraq build and secure its democracy.”

BALKANS

  • AFP reports the top UN official in Kosovo, Harri Holkeri of Finland, said Tuesday he had submitted his resignation to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, citing poor health.

 



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list