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Military

Updated: 28-Jul-2004
 

SHAPE News Summary & Analysis

28 July 2004

IRAQ

  • France resists U.S. pressure to conduct NATO training in Iraq

AFGHANISTAN

  • Hungary sends reinforcements to Afghanistan

SUDAN

  • Second U.S. draft on Sudan at UN

WAR ON TERRORISM

  • Anti-terror exercise staged in Tallinn bay

 

IRAQ

  • According to The Independent France was last night holding out against U.S.-backed plans for NATO to train Iraq's security forces in that country, as the Alliance's senior officials prepared to try to agree on the proposal today. The newspaper observes that a dispute over where the training should take place is being seen as a test of NATO's ability to bury its differences and overcome the acrimony generated by the U.S.-led war in Iraq. France, comments the daily, is resisting U.S. and UK-backed moves for NATO to establish a training operation in Iraq, arguing that this would mark the beginning of an engagement by the Alliance in the country. Reportedly, France signed up only to permit NATO collectively to train the Iraqi security forces at centers outside the country, including one in Rome. Last night, adds the paper, the military committee was still debating the terms of its advice to the NATO ambassadors. The North Atlantic Council will convene today, says the daily, and diplomats say discussions will continue through the week if necessary. NATO, concludes the article, resolved another dispute that had divided the U.S. and France, over Afghanistan: Washington wanted to deploy the NATO Response Force while Paris argued it was created to deal with crises, not predictable events. The compromise, argues the daily, was to send an Italian battalion that "is an element of NRF."

AFGHANISTAN

  • AFP , July 27, wrote the head of the army's reconnaissance section said Hungary sent 74 soldiers to Afghanistan on Tuesday to reinforce its contingent with NATO's 6,500-strong ISAF and intends to send 51 more. The reinforcements, in line with a decision to increase ISAF taken at last month's Istanbul summit, will take the Hungarian contribution to 156 soldiers, the chief of reconnaissance section reportedly said. The dispatch added that Hungarian army chief of staff Zoltan Szenes, quoted by the MTI news agency, said "it is particularly important to guarantee the safety of voters" in the presidential elections scheduled to take place in Afghanistan in October. Last month, Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovacs was reported as saying the job of the Hungarian troops would be to "boost security by providing reconnaissance in Kabul and its surroundings, including Kabul international airport." Earlier Tuesday, concludes the news agency, U.S. Secretary of State Powell urged Hungary to remain part of the increasingly shaky coalition of forces in Iraq, where it also has about 300 troops in the U.S.-led coalition.

SUDAN

  • The New York Times , July 27, reported that the U.S. circulated a revised draft resolution on Sudan to Security Council members on Tuesday, keeping the threat of sanctions and calling on the government to disarm Arab militias that have been blamed for killing thousands in the western region of Darfur. Sudan's Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail reportedly said his country would retaliate against any foreign troops, reflecting concern among some Arabs that the U.S. will try to remake the region. The new draft, the second in less than a week, observes the dispatch, was discussed by members of the Security Council on Tuesday and more consultations were scheduled Wednesday. Deputy U.S. ambassador Stuart Holliday was reported as saying he hoped for a vote on Thursday or Friday.

WAR ON TERRORISM

  • Estonia, one of NATO's newest members with soldiers in Iraq, staged an anti-terrorist exercise on Tuesday in Tallinn bay, defense forces said according to an AFP dispatch. Different strands of the defense forces sought during the exercise to capture a group of pretend terrorist trying to flee the Estonian capital by ship. Aim of the training was to improve cooperation between different structures, including security police and the armed forces, the ambulance services and flight and maritime traffic control centers, in preventing a terror attack and detaining extremists. Three Estonian border guard ships, a navy patrol boat, mine hunter, two border guard motor boats, border guard and Polish MI-8 helicopters, two Robinson 44 and armored personnel carriers were reportedly used, along with blank ammunition, explosive packages and light and sound grenades.

 



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