Entries Tagged as 'NATO'

NATO-Russia Talks Make Little Progress On Missile Defense

April 23, 2013

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says that the latest meeting of the NATO-Russia Council “maintained an active dialogue” but did not make significant progress on the key issue of missile defense.

NATO foreign ministers met in Brussels on April 23 and were joined by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Lavrov said Moscow was studying changes to the U.S. missile-defense program, but still wanted guarantees that the system would not be used against Russia.

The NATO ministers earlier discussed the situation in Syria, and Rasmussen said the alliance was committed to protecting all of its members, including Turkey.

Rasmussen said NATO was “extremely concerned” about the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Lavrov said any reports that chemical weapons have been used in Syria should be investigated carefully, noting that prior allegations were proven wrong.

Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the meeting.

Those talks were expected to focus on Syria, in the wake of Kerry’s recent visit to the Middle East. …

Read on: www.rferl.org/content/nato-foreign-ministers-meeting/24965761.html

NATO: 202 Afghan bases closed, more to come

U.S. News & World Report
By Deb Riechmann, Associated Press
August 26, 2012

NATO has closed more than 200 bases in Afghanistan and transferred nearly 300 others to local forces, a concrete step toward its 2014 target of handing over security responsibility, NATO officers said Sunday.

All 202 closed facilities were small, ranging from isolated checkpoints to bases of a dozen to 300 soldiers, said Lt. Col. David Olson, a NATO forces spokesman. Most of the closures have been along the country’s main highways, spread across nearly every province, Olson said.

Another 282 bases of the same size have been handed over to the Afghan government, he said.

That means international forces now operate about half as many bases in Afghanistan as in October of 2011, when they ran about 800 bases.

The closures are part of the large-scale drawdown over this year and next as international forces prepare to transfer security tasks to the Afghan government at the end of 2014. …

Read on: www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2012/08/26/nato-202-afghan-bases-closed-more-to-come

Russia threatens to strike at Nato missile defence bases

Daily News & Analysis
By Bruno Waterfield (Daily Telegraph)
May 4, 2012

Russia has threatened Nato with military strikes in Poland and Romania if a missile defence radar and interceptors are deployed in Eastern Europe.

General Nikolai Makarov, Russia’s most senior military commander, warned Nato that if it proceeded with an American missile defence system, force would be used against it.

“A decision to use destructive force pre-emptively will be taken if the situation worsens,” he said.

General Makarov has threatened to target Nato bases hosting an anti-missile system designed by the US to protect European allies against attack from states such as Iran.

He said that Russia would counter Nato deployment by stationing short-range Iskander missiles in the Russian Kaliningrad enclave near Poland, creating the worst military tensions since the Cold War. …

Read on: www.dnaindia.com/world/report_russia-threatens-to-strike-at-nato-missile-defence-bases_1684335

US Plans No Charges Over Deadly November Strike in Pakistan

By Eric Schmitt, The New York Times News Service
March 25, 2012

The United States military has decided that no service members will face disciplinary charges for their involvement in a NATO airstrike in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, an accident that plunged relations between the two countries to new depths and has greatly complicated the allied mission in Afghanistan.

An American investigation in December found fault with both American and Pakistani troops for the deadly exchange of fire, but noted that the Pakistanis fired first from two border posts that were not on coalition maps, and that they kept firing even after the Americans tried to warn them that they were shooting at allied troops. Pakistan has rejected these conclusions and ascribed most of the blame to the American forces.

The American findings set up a second inquiry to determine whether any American military personnel should be punished. That recently completed review said no, three senior military officials said, explaining that the Americans fired in self-defense. Other mistakes that contributed to the fatal cross-border strike were the regrettable result of battlefield confusion, they said. …

Read on: http://truth-out.org/news/item/8087-us-plans-no-charges-over-deadly-november-strike-in-pakistan

The Russia-NATO summit cancelled

Itar Tass
March 23, 2012

A Russia-NATO summit, which was scheduled in May, is cancelled. According to the official version, the summit was cancelled over “an intensive domestic political calendar in Russia.” However, the experts believe that this step is caused by disagreements of the parties concerned over the European missile defence system.

The Russia-NATO summit has stalled over the European missile defence system, the Kommersant daily reported. Experts noted that the decision to cancel a May meeting between Vladimir Putin and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is linked with the disagreement over the vital issue. This is the missile defence system in Europe. The Russia-NATO summit was scheduled in Chicago in May, the newspaper recalled. However, the NATO general secretary stated that the summit will not be held at the scheduled time. He called as the reason “an intensive domestic political calendar in Russia.” The negotiators have nothing to say to each other, this is why the summit was postponed, director of the Institute of Strategic Planning and Forecasting Alexander Gusev noted.

“The postponement of the Russia-NATO summit is certainly linked with a quite serious political situation, primarily in Europe, over the deployment of the European missile defence along the borders with Russia. The question was certainly not settled. This primarily concerns relations between Russia and the EU states, so, the places, where the European missile defence systems will be deployed,” he noted. “I would like the summit to be held. All parties are interested in this, namely the United States, the NATO leadership, the EU states and Russia in the same way.”

Read on: www.itar-tass.com/c142/373668.html

Moscow Wants Missile Defense Talks at NATO Summit

March 6, 2012

The Russian president is unlikely to attend a NATO summit in Chicago if the missile defense issue is not on its agenda

The Russian president is unlikely to attend a NATO summit in Chicago if the missile defense issue is not on its agenda, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday.

“Russia has an invitation to the NATO summit; everything depends on the agenda,” he said.

However, if the issue of the NATO missile defense system remains unchanged, then the chances of the Russian president attending the summit “will be even smaller,” he added. …

Read on: en.rian.ru/world/20120306/171790591.html

USEUCOM Releases Command Statement on Force Posture

U.S. European Command (eucom.mil)
February 16, 2012

The United States has enduring interests in supporting peace, prosperity, unity, and freedom in Europe and Eurasia as well as in bolstering the strength and vitality of NATO. As demonstrated by recent and ongoing operations, Europe remains our partner of choice in addressing current and emerging security challenges around the globe. The United States will maintain a robust, visible military presence in Europe, which will be capable of deterring and defending against aggression throughout Europe and Eurasia, and meeting our collective defense commitments under NATO’s Article 5. We will continue to enhance the NATO alliance’s readiness and interoperability and promote the strength, adaptability, security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of our allies and partners across Europe and Eurasia.

Consistent with the new NATO Strategic Concept, our force posture in Europe will evolve to meet the full range of 21st century challenges.

  • We will enhance the ability of our forward presence in Europe to address ballistic missile threats with an AN/TPY-2 radar in Turkey and by forward-stationing Aegis-Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD)-capable ships in Rota, Spain, and establishing land-based SM-3 BMD sites in Romania and Poland.
  • We will enhance regional special operations forces’ responsiveness by continued partnership with the NATO Special Operations Forces Headquarters.
  • We will create an aviation detachment in Poland to enhance training opportunities.

We will also work with NATO allies to develop a “smart defense” approach to pool, share, and specialize capabilities. …

U.S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE)

  • As a reduction of legacy aircraft, one Air Force A-10 squadron from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, has been identified for inactivation in fiscal year 2013.
  • The 603rd Air Control Squadron at Aviano Air Base, Italy, will be inactivated in fiscal year 2013.

U.S. Army, Europe (USAREUR)

  • Following the V Corps headquarters deployment to Operation Enduring Freedom later this year, the Army will reduce the V Corps Headquarters structure, and it will not return to Europe.
  • The 7th Army/USAREUR headquarters has been transformed to include a deployable contingency command post. This command and control capability can deploy within Europe and, when augmented, can provide command and control for joint and coalition forces in small-scale operations.
  • Two brigade combat teams (BCTs) identified for inactivation are the 170th BCT in fiscal year 2013 and the 172nd BCT in fiscal year 2014.
  • As the U.S. Army reduces force structure, the U.S. Army in Europe will see a reduction of approximately 2,500 Soldiers from enabling units over the next five years.
  • To enhance capacity and interoperability with NATO, the United States will allocate a U.S.-based heavy brigade combat team to reinvigorate its commitment to the NATO Response Force. As part of this commitment, we will also seek ways to enhance multi-national training at the world-class Joint Multinational Training Command in Grafenwöhr, Germany, in a post-ISAF environment. We will rotate a battalion-sized task force from the allocated U.S.-based heavy brigade combat team to conduct multinational training exercises on a frequency to be determined later in consultation with our allies.
  • As previously announced, Baumholder remains an enduring U.S. Army, Europe community along with the Grafenwöhr/Vilseck/Hohenfels complex, Ansbach, Kaiserslautern, Wiesbaden, and Stuttgart, Germany; Vicenza, Italy; and Army communities located in the Benelux. Those locations identified as not enduring include Bamberg and Schweinfurt, which will be returned to the host nation no later than fiscal year 2015.

Read in full: www.eucom.mil/article/23125/useucom-releases-command-statement-on-force-posture

U.S., NATO Have Some 1,000 Interceptor Missiles – Rogozin

RIA Novosti
January 20, 2012

The United States and its NATO allies already have about one thousand missiles capable of intercepting Russia’s intercontinental ballistic missiles, the Russian deputy premier in charge of defense said.

“Along with its allies, whom the U.S. now persuades to buy ships equipped with the Aegis Combat System, the overall potential can be estimated at about 1,000 interceptor missiles,” Dmitry Rogozin [Deputy Prime Minister] who is also the Russian president’s special representative for talks with NATO, said in an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

He said that the figure is currently approaching the limits established by the recently signed Russia-U.S. strategic arms reduction treaty.

“There are no guarantees that after the first, second, and third phases [of the U.S. missile shield project] are completed, there will be no fourth, fifth and sixth. Do you really think they will halt all their technologies after 2020? That’s nonsense! …”

He said that U.S. interceptor missiles cover all European Russia to the Urals Mountains, and are capable of hitting not only small and medium-range missiles of “rogue states,” but also intercontinental ballistic missiles of Russia’s armed forces.

“The fact that the missile defense system can hit strategic missiles and the fact that those bases and fleet are deployed in northern seas demonstrate the evident… anti-Russian nature of the [U.S.] missile defense,” Rogozin said. …

Read in full: http://en.ria.ru/world/20120120/170856516.html

Romania ratifies US missile shield agreement

December 6, 2011

The Romanian parliament on Tuesday ratified an accord to host US missile interceptors on its soil, a day before a meeting of the 28 NATO members in Brussels.

The Senate unanimously adopted the draft law ratifying the Romania-US agreement signed in September that would allow the establishment and operation of a US land-based ballistic missile defence system in Romania as part of NATO’s efforts to build a continental missile shield.

“The location of some elements of the US missile shield represents a very important contribution to the security of Romania, the US and and the entire alliance,” Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi told senators, according to Mediafax news agency.

The draft law was adopted by the lower house in November and is now set to be promulgated by President Traian Basescu.

The deployment of the missile interceptors is expected to take place in 2015 at a former airbase in southern Romania. …

Read on: www.spacewar.com/reports/Romania_ratifies_US_missile_shield_agreement_999.html

Medvedev Says U.S. Forcing European Missile Defense

Global Security Newswire
November 28, 2011

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday claimed that the United States was largely alone driving the fielding of antimissile systems around Europe, Reuters reported.

“The construction of the European missile defense shield has been largely imposed (on Europe) by the United States,” Medvedev said to journalists.

Washington and NATO have sought for the last year to persuade Moscow to join their developing Europe-based missile shield. The sides remain at odds over the organization of such a cooperative system and on Russia’s demand for a legally binding pledge that its nuclear forces would not be targeted by the NATO elements.

Medvedev said on Wednesday that if the issue remains unresolved, Russia would field Iskander missiles and a new long-range radar system in the Kaliningrad region to nullify the advantages of the planned NATO missile shield. He also threatened to withdraw from the U.S.-Russian New START nuclear arms control agreement.

The Russian president said unidentified European leaders had griped to him that their countries were regulated to secondary status in efforts to establish the NATO antimissile system.

“My partners … have hinted to me from time to time: ‘It is the Americans who decided that, they are promoting it, and our role as NATO member states is to provide territory,'” Medvedev said. …

Read on: http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20111128_7861.php