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U.S. – Polish Missile Defense Agreement In Force

Voice of America
september 24, 2011

Defensive system is designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles before they reach their targets.

President Barack Obama announced approximately two years ago, plans to pursue a new approach to missile defense in Europe – one that provides more comprehensive protection for NATO Allies and forces, against the growing threat of ballistic missiles.

“The proliferation of ballistic missiles that are more lethal, more accurate, and can cover greater distances poses a growing threat to the people and security of both Europe and the United States,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on September 13. …

In October 2009, Poland was the first country to commit, in principle, to host a land-based missile defense base on its territory. Poland was also first to conclude negotiations and sign a basing agreement in July 2010. Now with the Polish ratification process complete, the two countries issued a statement announcing that they are ready to take the next step toward ensuring European security:

“The United States and Poland are pleased to jointly announce that the Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement of 2008 and its Amending Protocol of 2010 on deployment of the land-based SM-3 system within Poland has entered into force, effective September 15, 2011.”

The Standard Missile-3, or SM-3 interceptor which will be deployed in Poland was originally mounted on U.S. naval ships. It is a defensive system designed to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles before they reach their targets. It is composed of a network of sensors for target detection and tracking; interceptors which will destroy incoming missiles by colliding with them; and a command and control system. …

Read in full: www.voanews.com/policy/editorials/europe/US—Polish-Missile-Defense-Agreement-In-Force–130571008.html

US Supplies Israel With Bunker-Busting Bombs

By Gary Cohen
September 24, 2011

A confirmed military hardware sale from the United States to Israel will not only strenghten the Jewish state’s security, it is expected to bolster President Obama’s odds of luring more American Jewish voters in 2012.

As reported in The New York Times, the el-Defense Security Cooperation Agency confirms the United States government has sold to Israel bombs which have the ability to incinerate buried targets, including suspected sites in Iran which are believed to be part of Tehran’s nuclear weapons program.

The agency said in a statement, “This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country.” …

Read on: www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/US-Supplies-Israel-Bunker-BustingBombs/2011/09/24/id/412148

US to build drone base in Ethiopia

Sudan Tribune
By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
September 24, 2011

The United States is reportedly set to build a new drone base in Ethiopia for counter-terrorism operations in the Horn of Africa, the Washington Post reports.

The establishment of the drone base in the East African country will be used to carry out strikes against targets in the region mainly to confront the activities of designated terrorist groups such as Al-Shabab an al-Qaeda affiliate who are fighting the the weak transitional government of Somalia.

Ethiopia has in recent years proved as “a valued counterterrorism partner to deal with the threats posed by al-Shabaab.” according to US officials who spoke to the Washington Post.

“The CIA and other agencies also employ Ethiopian informants who gather information from across the border,” the Washington Post reported.

The United States and Ethiopia have been discussing creating a drone base inside the Horn of Africa nation for the past four years according to one US official…

The US government had carried out unauthorised deadly drone attacks in at least six countries namely Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Yemen where in most cases the attacks have sparked public anger.

Read in full: www.sudantribune.com/US-to-build-drone-base-in-Ethiopia,40239

U.S. increases Yemen drone strikes

Washington Post
By Karen DeYoung
September 17, 2011

The Obama administration has significantly increased the frequency of drone strikes and other air attacks against the al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen in recent months amid rising concern about political collapse there.

Some of the the strikes, carried out by the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have been focused in the southern part of the country, where insurgent forces have for the first time conquered and held territory as the Yemeni government continues to struggle against escalating opposition to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule.

Unlike in Pakistan, where the CIA has presidential authorization to launch drone strikes at will, each U.S. attack in Yemen — and those being conducted in nearby Somalia, most recently on Thursday near the southern port city of Kismayo — requires White House approval …

Read on: www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-increases-yemen-drone-strikes/2011/09/16/gIQAB2SXYK_story.html

U.S., Romania set to sign missile shield agreement

RIA Novosti
September 13, 2011

The United States will sign on Tuesday an agreement with Romania on the deployment of elements of its missile shield, the U.S. Department of State said.

“On Tuesday, September 13, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi will sign the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Romania on the Deployment of the Ballistic Missile Defense System in Romania,” the statement said.

“This legally-binding agreement will allow for the establishment and operation of a U.S. land-based SM-3 ballistic missile defense system in Romania,” the statement added. …

Read on: http://en.rian.ru/world/20110913/166800153.html

Plan for US soldiers to use Australian bases

September 12, 2011

Federal Defence Minister Stephen Smith says a decision to let more US troops use Aussie defence bases is pending.

A plan for more US soldiers to use Australian bases will be the biggest change to the Australian-US alliance for decades, Defence Minister Stephen Smith says.

The proposals for more soldiers to use Australian facilities for training and visits are part of a plan to enhance the relationship between the countries.

Last year, Smith ruled out stationing US soldiers in Australia, although troops have had regular training at bases, mostly in Queensland and the Northern Territory, for some time. …

“… no decisions have been made.”

Mr Smith said the issue would be discussed at the 2011 AUSMIN meeting in the US next week.

Read more: www.ntnews.com.au/article/2011/09/12/259801_ntnews.html

Turkey asks US to base Predator drone on Turkish soil

Today’s Zaman
September 11, 2011

The United States is considering a request from Turkey to base a fleet of Predator drones on its soil for cross-border operations against terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets in northern Iraq, a news report said on Sunday.

The Obama administration has not yet made a decision on the Turkish request, the report in Washington Post said. The Predators have been flying from Iraqi bases since 2007 and the US shares data from the planes’ surveillance with Turkey as part of the two NATO allies’ cooperation against the PKK. Now that the US forces are scheduled to withdraw from Iraq by end of the year, this cooperation may effectively come to an end unless new bases are found for the Predators. …

The report came after Turkey announced that it suspended all military agreements with Israel due to Israeli refusal to apologize for killing eight Turks and a Turkish-American on an aid ship trying to break the blockade of Gaza on May 31, 2010. …

Read on: www.todayszaman.com/news-256422-report-turkey-asks-us-to-base-predator-drone-on-turkish-soil.html

U.S. could threaten Russian strategic nuclear forces

RIA Novost
September 1, 2011

The United States continues to refuse to guarantee that the European missile defense shield will not be directed at Russia, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.

“They don’t want to give us a guarantee that the U.S.-NATO [European] missile defense shield will not be directed at Russia,” Lavrov [Russian Foreighn Minister] said during an address to students and professors at the Moscow State University for International Relations.

Lavrov said that in July 2009, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama agreed on joint efforts in establishing an anti-missile defense system by first starting with a general analysis of challenges and threats.

“We added concrete proposals to the parameters for such a system and there were long consultations through bilateral talks and within the Russia-NATO Council. Unfortunately, we have not come to an agreement; however, a European missile defense shield is currently being created according to the parameters that Washington has defined and could create a threat to Russia’s strategic nuclear forces,” Lavrov said.

“Military experts understand completely that the unlimited expansion by one party’s anti-missile defense capabilities requires the other party to take equal actions in order to protect its strategic restraint potential,” he added. …

Read on: http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110901/166347758.html

Test of new U.S. interceptor missile results in failure

RIA Novosti
September 2, 2011

A modernized version of the SM-3 missile has failed to intercept a ballistic missile target during a test over the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) said.

A Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) Block 1B interceptor missile was launched on Monday from the cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG-70) to intercept a short-range ballistic missile target launched from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility on the island of Kauai.

“This was the first flight test of the advanced SM-3 Block 1B interceptor missile,” the agency said in a statement. “Program officials will conduct an extensive investigation to determine the cause of the failure to intercept.”

According to the statement, the MDA has conducted 22 successful intercepts in 27 at-sea test launches of interceptor missiles under Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System flight testing program since 2002.

The SM-3 missile is expected to become a key part of the Obama administration’s European Phased Adaptive Approach (PAA) for defending the continent against ballistic missile attacks. …

Read on: http://en.rian.ru/mlitary_news/20110902/166365622.html