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US Moves Warships Into Position for North Korean Missile

US and Japan take precautions aimed at ‘rogue’ intercontinental ballistic missile North Korea is expecting to test

Buzzle – Costa Mesa, CA, USA
30 March 2009

The US and Japan yesterday deployed anti-missile batteries on land and sea to shoot down possible debris from an intercontinental ballistic missile North Korea is expected to test in the next few days.

The US defence secretary, Robert Gates, said America had no intention of shooting down the missile itself, which satellite photographs show is sitting on a launch-pad in Musudan-ri. Pyongyang says the launch is intended to put a satellite into orbit, but any such ballistic missile testing or development is banned by a 2006 United Nations resolution. Two US warships armed with Aegis anti-ballistic missiles left ports in South Korea yesterday to monitor the launch, which experts say could take place as soon as Saturday.

Japan has positioned its own missile boats in the Sea of Japan and positioned Patriot missile batteries around Tokyo. More US-made Patriot missiles arrived in northern Japan yesterday to be transferred to bases there. …


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Uzbekistan: Pentagon Negotiating a Return to Uzbek Air Base

Shahin Abbasov: 24 March 2009

According to a diplomatic source, the United States is reportedly conducting talks with Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan about opening up bases in the two Central Asian countries.

After Kyrgyzstan’s decision in February to evict US forces from an air base at Manas, US officials sent out feelers to Ashgabat and Tashkent about setting up a military presence on Turkmen and Uzbek territory …

Beyond the military base matter, US officials are interested in securing wider Turkmen and Uzbek participation in a network to expand the flow of non-lethal supplies into Afghanistan. …


Medvedev 'Counting On a Reset' With U.S.

Russia Again Raises Missile Shield Issue

By Philip P. Pan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Saturday, March 21, 2009

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Friday he was “counting on” the new U.S. administration to live up to its pledge to “reset” relations between the two countries, while a senior Russian diplomat sought to link the fate of a key nuclear arms control treaty to American concessions on missile defense. …

In a separate news conference, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said he expected Medvedev and Obama to emerge from the meeting with a “concrete and clear” signal on the future of the relationship, and agreement on the “parameters” of a pact to replace START, the landmark arms control treaty scheduled to expire in December.

But Ryabkov said negotiations on new limits on nuclear warheads and weapons must be linked to the future of U.S. plans to build a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe that Russia has repeatedly condemned …


US military wants to return to Vieques Island

The US Navy used this small Puerto Rican island for maneuvers and target practice for over 40 years, until 2003, when an incompetent Navy pilot dropped a bomb and killed a civilian, a native Viequense. The people of Puerto Rico united to successfully kick the Navy out. Now the US air Force and Navy want to return to the island.

To see the hearing:

To read the article (from El Nuevo Día) in Spanish:

La milicia de EE.UU. quiere volver a Vieques

MEDIA RELEASE: Peace campaigner serves civil claim against US serviceman

For immediate release

CAAB logoHaving failed to bring a US serviceman to court to account for his actions for seriously assaulting a British citizen through the criminal legal route, a Civil Claim against First Class Airman Frank Macdonald (United States Air Force – RAF Croughton, Northamptonshire) has now been served.

The Claim was issued at Harrogate County Court on 23 February 2009 by Lindis Percy (Co-coordinator of the Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases – CAAB). It was served on the US serviceman by Harrogate County Court on 25 February 2009. An Acknowledgement of Service was filed to the court on behalf of Frank Macdonald by Lyndon B James (Director of International Law – RAF Mildenhall).

This incident happened in February 2006. After a lengthy legal struggle, Ms Percy finally brought a private prosecution against Frank Macdonald in 2007 and also against two Ministry of Defence Police Agency officers (PC Awathes and PC Woodhouse) who stood by and did not intervene while she was seriously assaulted. Ms Percy suffered a facial palsy for six weeks as a result of the assault by Frank Macdonald.

The case was taken over by the Crown Prosecution Service in 2008 and stopped after the US authorities submitted a Certificate of Immunity ((under the Visiting Forces Act 1952) to Northampton Magistrates’ Court. This meant that this court had no jurisdiction to hear the case.

Ms Percy said, “Apparently a member of the US visiting forces can do what they like and commit criminal offences with impunity while the Ministry of Defence Police Agency stand by and watch a serious crime being committed. By issuing this Claim I hope that Frank Macdonald will be brought to account. Special relationship? it is so special that they are allowed to do what they like here and round the world”.

Notes for the Editors

  • An account of the incident at RAF Croughton can be found on the CAAB website – CAAB reports – entitled “They do what they like” – www.archive.themhac.uk
  • Ministry of Defence Police Agency officers serving on US bases are paid for and under the control of the US authorities (see Memorandum of Agreement 2008 -CAAB website under Documents and Judgments).
  • In 2007 Lyndon B James (a British solicitor) received an award from the US for ‘outstanding achievements in the field of law within the USAF’.
  • Lyndon B James can be contacted at Headquarters 3rd United States Airforce, 16th Air Force, Detachment 3RAF Mildenhall Suffolk 1P28 8NF – main switchboard: 01638 543000

For further information please contact:

Elizabeth Barclay – CAAB press officer: 01765 608750 – mobile 07799150879

Lindis Percy – 01423 884076 mobile 07949897904

Victory for Czech peace protesters over US military radar

Ekklesia: 20 Mar 2009

In a major setback for Pentagon plans to install a US military radar base in the Czech Republic, the Czech government has withdrawn its proposal to ratify an agreement on the base after loud protests. …

Two thirds of Czechs have consistently opposed the radar ever since it was first proposed in 2006. Anti-radar activists have repeatedly called for a referendum on the issue, but have been rebuffed. Meanwhile, the Czech government signed an agreement with the United States in 2008 to proceed with the installation of the radar and the Czech Senate approved the accord.

However, the agreement could not be implemented until the Czech Chamber of Deputies ratified it. Thanks to the tireless activities of anti-radar groups in the country, the No Bases Initiative and the Nonviolence Movement, popular opinion remained strongly mobilized against the radar. This public opposition seems likely to culminate in a “no” vote in the Chamber. …


Russia weighs Cuba, Venezuela bases for bombers: report

Moscow (AFP) March 14, 2009

Russia could use bases for its strategic bombers on the doorstep of the United States in Cuba and Venezuela to underpin long-distance patrols in the region, a senior air force officer said Saturday.

“This is possible in Cuba,” General Anatoly Zhikharev, chief of the Russian air force’s strategic aviation staff, told the Interfax-AVN military news agency.

The comments were the latest signal that Moscow intends to project its military capability in far-flung corners of the globe …


U.S. troops to remain active in Iraq after pullback

Associated Press: March 15, 2009

American forces will still conduct joint combat operations even after they pull back to bases outside Baghdad and other cities as part of the U.S.-Iraqi security agreement …

“I want to leave it very clear that there’s no cessation of combat operations,” Rudesheim said at a news conference in Baghdad’s heavily guarded Green Zone.

But he said the troops will travel to the site of the combat operations from bases outside the city instead of outposts that were established throughout various neighborhoods as part of the 2007 U.S. troop surge. …


Government faces revolt over secret inquest bid

Telegraph.co.uk – United Kingdom
By David Barrett: 14 Mar 2009

The Government is facing an embarrassing revolt over controversial plans which would allow inquests to be held in secret. …

The rebellion emerged as police and security sources claimed the proposals had been drawn up at the behest of United States. …

Patrick Mercer, the Conservative MP and former infantry commanding officer, said: “My investigations with American forces have led me to believe that the only way that they were prepared to disclose full details of British casualties was if inquests could be held ‘in camera’.”

He said he believed negotiations over the measures had been influenced by a “process of attrition” between the US and the Ministry of Defence. …

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Scientist’s New Missile Defense: Killer Drones

Wired News USA
By Nathan Hodge: March 12, 2009

Stationing missile-defense interceptors in Europe has been, to borrow a phrase, a great way to lose friends and alienate people. The Bush administration’s push to build a third missile-defense site in Europe infuriated the Kremlin, and caused no end of controversy in Poland and the Czech Republic.

It now looks as if President Barack Obama may be backing away from plans to put ballistic missile interceptors in Eastern Europe, but …