July - December 2009

Russia hands NATO draft European security treaty
30 November 2009 – RIA Novosti
Russia's envoy to NATO said on Monday that he had handed a new treaty on European security drafted by Russia to the alliance's secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Russian President Dmitri Medvedev put forward the initiative to work out a treaty on European security in June 2008, proposing that the principle of indivisible security be legally sealed in international law, preventing any state or organization from strengthening their security at the expense of others. The draft is open for signing "by all states of the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian space from Vancouver to Vladivostok" as well as by the EU, NATO, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
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NATO chief confident of more Afghan assistance

12 November 2009 – Associate Press – Paisley Dodds
NATO's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says he's confident that countries will soon increase their commitment to the alliance's mission in Afghanistan. Rasmussen was holding talks with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Queen, and Foreign Secretary David Miliband Thursday. The talks come as President Barack Obama weighs a decision on sending more troops to Afghanistan — though alliance nations have been reluctant to commit more troops. Britain has agreed to add 500 more troops to its 9,000 contingent if the Afghan government cleans up corruption.
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NATO Praises International Anti-Piracy Effort

10 November 2009 – Fox News

NATO says a meeting of senior officers from navies involved in anti-piracy patrols off Somalia achieved “real progress” in forging closer co-operation in the joint effort. NATO says all participants called for greater sharing of information on pirate activities. Chinese representatives also expressed willingness to change their activities in the Gulf of Aden from independent escorts of merchant ships to the more joint patrols. In the past 18 months, piracy off the coast of Somalia has seen significant increases, forcing a joint naval task force into the area to protect merchant shipping and passenger traffic.

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UN moves to keep Afghan elections clean
22 October 2009 – The Age – Sabrina Tavernise
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday the UN would take measures to ensure the irregularities that tainted the first round of voting on August 20 would not be repeated. He said the UN would work with the NATO-run International Security Assistance Force and Afghan authorities to protect polling stations from the insurgent Taliban elements. “We will co-ordinate closely with the ISAF and Afghan national forces to ensure there is security under which the Afghan [people] can express their will without any intimidation or threat.” As the Western allies mull over a troop increase, the results of the re-election in Afghanistan and the legitimacy of the winner become paramount.
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Poland Agrees to Accept US Missile Interceptors
21 October 2009 – The New York Times – Peter Baker
On Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden announced an agreement in Poland that would station interceptors from President Obama’s new missile defense plan in the NATO ally. Last month, President Obama angered US’ Eastern European allies by pulling out of the anti-missile shield. However, this new system plans to place SM-3 interceptors on both Aegis-equipped ships and on land to effectively counter the Iranian missile threat – and to assuage Russian fears about the anti-Russian aim of the missile shield.  “Simply put, our missile plan is better security for NATO and it’s better security for Poland, not only better security for the United States of America,” Biden said.
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US says not eyeing non-NATO states for shield

20 October 2009 – Reuters – Margareta Anidze

The United States does not envisage placing any elements of a revised missile defense system within non-NATO members and is not in consultations with any such states, a senior U.S. defense official said on Tuesday. Russia welcomed President Obama's decision in September to scrap George Bush’s plans for a missile defense system in central Europe, which it saw as neutralizing its own nuclear arsenal. Missile defence was one of a number of issues that helped drag US-Russia relations to a post-Cold War low under Bush, alongside Russian anger over NATO's eastwards enlargement and a five-day war last year between Russia and Georgia. The Obama administration, however, wants to reset those relations and constructively engage Russia. "We began some very preliminary discussions with Russia about possible contributions it could make with its own assets to cooperative missile defence, but these discussions are at the very early stage," said Assistant Secretary of Defense Alexander Vershbow.
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Rasmussen to Present His Vision of NATO in Bratislava
19 October 2009 – TASR
NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen will deliver a key address later this week to the international conference named “New Challenges – Better Capabilities” in Bratislava. In his address, the NATO chief will focus primarily on the issue of a new Strategic Concept that the organisation is currently drawing up in order to define its role in a new security environment. Rasmussen will also address relations with Russia, NATO's involvement in Afghanistan and other key issues. Also, NATO chiefs will discuss the request made by head of NATO forces in Afghanistan General Stanley A. McChrystal for more troops to be deployed in the Asian country. The matter of funding joint military operations amid the economic crisis will also be addressed, with Rassmussen claiming that Bratislava will see an important political discussion about NATO's stance on the funding.
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NATO sees progress in defense reforms in Armenia
16 October 2009 – The Armenian Reporter 
Progress has been made in Armenia in carrying out defense reforms within the framework of implementing the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) of NATO, said representative of NATO International Staff Lorenz Meyer-Minnemann. Mr. Meyer-Minnemann stated that there has significant progress in institutional reforms, in particular, by involving a large number of civilians in the work of the defense ministry of Armenia. He also expressed the opinion that normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations will be of great importance for providing security in the region and will positively influence relations between Armenia and the North Atlantic Alliance. In a further approval of Armenia’s progress, head of Alliance Operations Division, Erik Sandahl, said active negotiations are in process with Armenia regarding its participation in ISAF operation in Afghanistan.
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Israel to join NATO Mediterranean patrols
13 October 2009 – AFP
The Israeli Navy will join a NATO force patrolling the Mediterranean as part of the global war on terror. The spokesman confirmed a report by the Maariv newspaper which that NATO headquarters last week approved the Israeli Navy’s inclusion in Operation Active Endeavour. The announcement came as a major boost just days after Turkey scrapped a joint aerial exercise that was to have included Israel, Maariv reported. Operation Active Endeavour was launched one month after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and it consists of NATO ships patrolling the Mediterranean to help detect, deter, and protect from terrorist activity.
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‘I'm on Facebook, friend me': top NATO commander
3 October 2009 - AFP
Admiral James Stavridis, the new supreme commander of allied forces Europe, stated that NATO must make a better use of networking sites and social media to explain to the public what it does and what are its goals. "We need to get out into social media, we need to get out in creative ways to move a message about NATO -- why it matters, what it is, where it's involved and where we want to take it," he said, and added: "I'm on Facebook, friend me!" The new secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, is already on Facebook and is signed up for Twitter.

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Army chief warns of ‘terrifying prospect' of failure in Afghanistan
3 October 2009 - The Daily Telegraph - Sean Rayment
The head of British Army, Gen. Sir David Richards, has stated that the conflict in Afghanistan is "this generation's war," and warned that should NATO fail in Afghanistan, the consequences for the Western world would be "enormous and unimaginable." He also declared that Britain is ready to send more troops if called to do so in the new counterinsurgency strategy as proposed by Gen. Stanley McChrystal. This, he believes, would allow NATO to begin winning the psychological war with the Taliban - and enable the NATO troops to effectively prove to the Afghani population that they are concerned with protecting and ensuring their safety.
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NATO is in Afghanistan for the long haul, says Anders Fogh Rasmussen
30 September 2009 - Times of London - Giles Whittell and James Bone
In their first meeting since Secretary Rasmussen took office in August, he reassured President Obama that NATO would stay in Afghanistan "as long as it takes to finish the job." The two presented a united front, amidst growing concerns about the future of war in Afghanistan in both Europe and the United States. Kai Eide, the top UN official in the country, called yesterday for more troops to train the Afghan security forces but he urged European nations to supply them - and stopped short of calling for more combat troops. Both President Obama and Secretary Rasmussen agreed that the joint US-NATO mission must remain to "disrupt, dismantle and destroy" al-Qaeda's network in the region, and that fine-tuning the mission must precede further decisions on troop numbers. "This is not an American battle, this is a NATO mission," President Obama said.
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US, Allies Vow Support for Karzai
28 September 2009 - Washington Post - Karen DeYoung
The United States and NATO countries fighting in Afghanistan have told President Hamid Karzai's government that they expect him to remain in office for another five-year term - despite the troubled election returns - and will work with him on an expanded campaign to turn insurgent fighters against the Taliban and other militant groups. This comes on the heels of the debate in Washington concerning the proposed troop increase, as asked by Gen. Stanley McChyristal, and concerns in both US and Europe regarding suspected widespread fraud in the presidential election. However, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that "success in Afghanistan looks a great deal like success in Iraq," echoing the now-famous 2007 surge in Iraq implemented by Gen. David Petraeus and Gen. Ray Odierno - where US turned Sunni tribes against al-Qaeda insurgents and created a security alliance with US forces.
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Anti-Piracy Patrols in Gulf "Are Working"
27 September 2009 - Sky News - Ashish Joshi
Anti-piracy commanders insist their patrols in the Gulf of Aden are working despite fresh attacks in the region. The international anti-piracy efforts are co-ordinated by the Combined Maritime Force (CMF) based in Bahrain, which has its own specialist task force called CTF 151. The CMF is constructed from ships from the European Union, NATO, and independent navies. Admiral Scott E Sanders said efforts off the Somali coast were yielding results: "Due to the effective co-ordination between the many navies operating in the Gulf of Aden pirates are having to resort to multiple attacks. They will target one ship after another because their attempts are being thwarted by our swift response tactics. The fact that the international maritime community has tightened up its procedures is evident in the recent failed attempts."
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Moscow reiterates readiness for equal-basis cooperation with NATO
26 September 2009 - RIA Novosti
Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, stated Saturday that Russia is still ready to cooperate with NATO, but on equal-rights basis. He also said that Secretary Rasmussen confirmed that improving NATO-Russia relations will be a priority in his work. Since taking office in August, Secretary Rasmussen has made several overtures to Russia, and has worked tirelessly to repair the NATO-Russia ties, strained by the 2008 war in South Ossetia and NATO's eastward expansion. 
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Poland eyes closer EU security ties after shield
21 September 2009 - Reuters - Gabriela Baczynska
Poland's foreign minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, stated on Monday that Poland should seek closer security ties within the EU following the US administration's decision to scrap the missile defense shield in Czech Republic and Poland. "We are a European country and here, first and foremost, we must seek security guarantees," he said, without elaborating. For some time, the European Union has tried to develop its own voice on security and defense roles, but this effort has been hobbled by the member states' reluctance to spend more money on defense and worries about duplicating NATO's role. France's European minister, Pierre Lellouche, was quoted on Monday as saying Obama's shield decision showed the need for more European cooperation on defense. "President Obama's decision should make us realize that both Poland and the whole of Europe should base our security not on one but on two security guarantees," Lellouche told the Dziennik daily during a visit to Warsaw, referring to NATO and the EU.
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US, NATO, Russia Missile Shield Backed by Rasmussen
18 September 2009 - Bloomberg - James G. Neuger
In his September 18 speech in Brussels, the new NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen stated that the North Atlantic alliance will look at linking their missile shield with Russia's missile defense. This came a day after President Obama's controversial decision to scrap the US missile defense in Czech Republic and Poland, and is seen as an attempt further engage Russia on this issue. Furthermore, Rasmussen is seeking greater Russian cooperation in combating nuclear proliferation, and notes spread of nuclear material to countries such as Iran and North Korea as threats to global security. While Russia and NATO are at odds regarding the appropriate approach to Iran, and some Eastern European NATO members are wary of perceived concessions to Russia, Rasmussen called for a "strategic dialogue" between Russian and NATO, as well as "a Euro-Atlantic security architecture in which Russia sees herself reflected."
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US needs shrewder Afghan strategy, say experts
15 September 2009 - Reuters - Luke Baker
On Tuesday, September 14, International Institute for Strategic Studies argued that "The United States needs a more cunning strategy on Afghanistan, with Russia, Iran, China and others brought into the policy debate if it is to achieve long-term success." IISS referred to the "coalitions of the relevant", groups of countries with vested interests working jointly on issues in a way that cuts across traditional alliances, such as NATO, without isolating them. However, their strategy is a US/NATO one, with the transatlantic alliance providing the bulk of troops. Nevertheless, IISS sees the need to broaden the scope of the peacekeeping mission, while at the same time be mindful that NATO does not become a permanent garrison force in Afghanistan - rather, to develop local and municipal leadership from within.
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Frenchman makes history at NATO supreme command
9 September 2009 - AFP - Herve Asquin
A French air force general made NATO history by becoming the first non-American to assume a supreme command post. Stephane Abrial will replaced US general James Mattis as head of Allied Command Transformation, a position formed in 2002 to streamline efforts to integrate the military forces of the alliance and better prepare NATO to deal with modern challenges. This event is especially historic because it marks a new level of French participation in NATO, whose military command France only recently rejoined after four decades of estrangement.

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EU makes new appeal to Iran over nuclear program
4 September 2009 - AP - Constant Brand
The European Union has issued a new demand for Iran to return to international negotiations over its nuclear program, warning that a confrontation and tougher sanctions could be ahead if the standoff continues. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, who was chairing two-day talks among EU's foreign ministers, said the bloc was eager to restart talks and was willing to cooperate with Iran on a civilian nuclear program, despite the political turmoil in Iran. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana meanwhile said that he was seeking to follow up on comments made by Iran's nuclear negotiator on new Iranian proposals to the EU.
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NATO interest in Iran increasing
31 August 2009 - Jerusalem Post - Yaakov Katz
Officials at NATO have indicated growing interest in Iran, citing its continued development of ballistic missiles. The missiles' growing range suggests that they could threaten Europe in the near future. While NATO's growing concern has not yet led to any major new policy steps, the alliance continues to gather intelligence on Iran's nuclear program and remains committed to a missile defense shield despite objections from Russia.
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NATO sees "positive signals" in Russia relations
28 August 2009 - Reuters
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who has made boosting ties with Russia a top priority, has said that he sees "positive signals" in relations between the alliance and Moscow. Rasmussen cited common security threats such as terrorism, sea piracy and nuclear proliferation. Although NATO and Russia have differed over Georgia and other issues, the two resumed formal cooperation on broad security threats in June, and Rasmussen hopes for more steps, including an agreement that will allow for the transit of weaponry to Afghanistan.
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NATO chief urges bigger European role in Afghan war
3 August 2009 - New York Times - Steven Erlanger
Former Danish Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, stated during his first day on the job as NATO's new secretary general that Europe must strengthen its efforts in Afghanistan "so that the United States d[oes] not feel alone in the fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda." In order to guarantee a balanced alliance, Rasmussen is encouraging European members of NATO to do more within the alliance and to keep Afghanistan as a "multilateral project", claiming that the fight against Islamic extremism is not only a US concern. As Prime Minister of Denmark, Mr. Rasmussen was deeply involved in European Union and NATO issues; he also held the EU presidency in 2002 during the contentious debate over expansion. As the new secretary general, Rasmussen promises that "the US and Canada will see quite a new attitude from the European side."
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U.S. Takes Steps to Boost Security Cooperation With Russia
31 July 2009 - The Washington Post - Walter Pincus
Last week the U.S. House Armed Services Committee heard testimony from top U.S. diplomats regarding President Obama's past trip to Russia and the state of relations between the two former rivals. This week a team of military experts has gone to Moscow to begin talks on building an early warning center to assess the threat of ballistic missiles from Iran and North Korea. "Hopefully, through this joint threat assessment, we can begin to chip away at some of the Russian misperceptions" about U.S. plans for missile defense elements in Europe, Alexander Vershbow, assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, told members of the House Armed Services Committee last week. U.S. officials hope the talks will also quell Russian fears of the U.S. missile defense shield which are slotted to be constructed in Poland the Czech Republic. Moscow and the U.S. also plan to hold talks to lay the groundwork for further military cooperation next year. Russia has already taken its role in combating global threats like piracy, and has even begun to contribute to Afghanistan. Firstly they have allowed for non-lethal supplies to be transported to Afghanistan and troops their through their nation. They have also opened a training center for Afghanistan's police force in Moscow, gotten involved in counternarcotics operations, and engaged in infrastructure repair in the war torn country. Philip Gordon, assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, stressed at the meeting that while Russia and the U.S. do have many common interests and the Obama administration does intend to "reset" relations with Moscow, European security will not be sacrificed as a result of this renewed cooperation.
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European officer to hold NATO post
31 July 2009 - The Virginian-Pilot
For the first time a European officer will ascend to the post of NATOs commander in charge of modernization. Gen. Stephane Abrial of the French Air Force will take over from U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis on September 9, 2009. The position, which has been usually held by a four star U.S. general, marks a sign of France's importance to NATOs future said alliance spokesman James Appathura.
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NATO Secretary General Bids Farewell
30 July 2009 - NATO
Today NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Sheffer steps down as NATO Secretary General. Mr. Scheffer has been NATO's Secretary General since January 2004. On 1 August 2009, he will be succeeded by Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Prime Minister of Denmark.
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G8 Calls for Renewed Peace Between Armenia and Azerbaijan
10 July 2009- The Associated Press
The three co-chairs of the OSCE put out a statement Friday from the G-8 summit urging Armenia and Azerbaijan to come to a peaceful agreement over the future of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. The region is an area of Azerbaijan that has been controlled by ethnic Albanians since a conflict broke out in the region that killed 30,000 and displaced 1 million people nearly 15 years ago. The statement said the co-chairs were instructing OSCE mediators to bring an updated "peace outline brought forward in the Madrid document of November 2007. The document emphasizes the creation of a corridor from Nagorno-Karabakh to Armenia , and a future determination of the regions legal status and the right for all internally displaced people and refugees to return to their homes.
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A forum of world leaders on the subject NATO
8 July, 2009 - EU Observer
A forum of world leaders met yesterday in Brussels to talk about a new strategic concept for NATO. Jaap De Hoop Scheffer made an address to the forum of academia, world leaders, and the media. Scheffer emphasized the need for NATO to adapt to new threats in the post-Cold War era. He outlined "cyber attacks, energy disruptions, pirates attacks" to name a few. He also stressed that NATO must not become a new UN and that they should not bit off more then they can chew. He also called for more EU and NATO cooperation. Amongst the leaders present was former US Secretary of State Madeline Albright. In addition to emphasizing the fluidity of global threats, she came out strongly opposed to theories that NATO had "taken advantage" of Russian weakness after the fall of the USSR by expanding its membership eastward. Opponents argued that some new member states thought their accession to NATO was based solely on their close ties with Russia. Leaders expressed their concern regarding the alliance's ability to provide defense to their nations. These opponents say that any reform of NATO should not compromise the current Article V. The next phase of drafting will occur in August under the new Secretary General consisting of expert panels from each member country. The new strategic concept is set to be adopted in Lisbon at the end of 2010 or early 2011.
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NATO to launch a public debate on the Strategic Concept
7 July 2009 - NATO
On July 7, 2009 , at a major security conference to take place in Brussels , NATO is set to announce it's initiating of the process to determining a new Strategic Concept. "The Strategic Concept is the authoritative statement of the Alliance 's objectives and provides the highest level of guidance on the political and military means to be used in achieving them. It also describes NATO's fundamental security tasks and is the basis for the implementation of Alliance policy as a whole." Representatives from allied and partner governments, NGO's, the corporate sector think tanks, the media, as well as academia will attend the conference. NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer will preside over the meeting.
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UK-French Summit: Declaration on defense and security
7 July 2009 - Number10.gov.uk
The UK and France have released a declaration as a follow-up to their Evian summit, which took place on 6 July 2009. The agreement tackled a number of pressing security matters which representatives from the two countries discussed at the summit. The two parties reaffirmed their commitment to helping preserve peace in Afghanistan , Kosovo, and The Democratic Republic of the Congo. They also agreed to help broker a peace solution between Israeli's and Palestinians, and to urge Russia to respect Georgia 's territorial sovereignty. The two sides also agreed to develop a "strong European security framework, based on existing institutions including EU and NATO and the OSCE" while also strengthening the ESDP. Other commitments were made in the fields of nuclear non-proliferation, anti-terrorism and anti-piracy operations, and industrial cooperation.
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Stavridis takes helm at NATO command
2 July 2009 - Washington Post- Slobodon Lekic
U.S. Navy Adm. James Stavridis has been slotted to take over the NATO command from Army Gen. Bantz J. Craddock who is retiring. Stavridis is the first naval officer to hold this post since its creation. Stavridis, who stepped down from commanding said that one of his first priorities is to improve ties with Russia , who has strongly opposed the enlargement of NATO. Stavridis has been a long time proponent of "‘smart power' - the combination of military power and the ability to persuade through diplomacy, aid, ideas and trade."
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NATO restores ties with Russia
June 28, 2009- Associated Press
During informal talks between Russia 's foreign minister and foreign ministers from NATO's 28 member states officials agreed to resume military ties. Cooperation has been frozen for 10 months as a result of the Georgian conflict. The nations new partnership will tackle security issues such as Afghanistan, efforts to fight piracy, terrorism and the spread of nuclear weapons.
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G8 ministers agree to cooperate in stabilizing Afghanistan
June 28, 2009- China view
Foreign ministers agreed to increase help to Afghanistan in preparation for their August 20 elections. In a statement issued by the group, they said they were "‘firmly committed'" to supporting Afghanistan as they "‘confront grave security, humanitarian, counter-narcotics, terrorism and economic challenges.‘" The group pledged to provide both military and economic support for the election. They also called on NATO and the UN to provide technical and financial support as well.
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U.S. discusses integrating Russia into Missile Defense plan
17 June 2009- The Washington Post
Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III came to Congress yesterday to voice support for collaborating with Russia to monitor Iranian missile testing. Lynn along with other high-ranking military officials introduced the possibility of using Russian radar facilities in southern Russia and Azerbaijan. The officials feel this plan's biggest advantage is that it would send a message to Iran that "this is an unacceptable course for them to pursue and that they will face a concerted international front, should they proceed down that path".
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EU and US draw up plans for a counter terrorism strategy
June 15, 2009- Guardian
The EU and the US have outlined goals to fight terrorism on a united front, according to a joint statement issued by EU foreign ministers. Under the agreement detention centers, such as Guantanamo Bay, would not be allowed to exist. The agreement also determined guidelines for EU member states to accept former detainees. Beyond determining solutions to immediate issues such as Guantanamo, the plan aims to develop a "new transatlantic strategy on counter-terrorism, as well as on a broader joint agenda for fighting international organized crime, intelligence sharing, international travel security and data protection".
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US general assigned to take command of US and NATO troops in Afghanistan
June 15, 2009- BBC
U.S General Stanley McChyrstal has been assigned to take over the US and NATO troops in Afghanistan . The general will operate within the framework set forth by the Obama administration's mission of revamping forces in Afghanistan as a gradual downsizing of troops begins in Iraq . The general has also said he will honor Afghanistan 's president Hamid Karzai wishes for the new commander to focus on limiting civilian casualties. General McChrystal said that it is necessary to recognize the negative effects of the operation so the mission may truly be geared towards "fighting for the population".
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Lockheed and Martin CEO speaks on enhancing global partnerships
June 14, 2009- Paris Air Show
Robert Stevens gave a speech at the Paris Air Show Sunday regarding new threats to global security and utilizing global partnerships to combat them. Stevens spoke of many new challenges such as the global recession, the H1N1 virus and other such crises as new threats to international security. Stevens spoke to Lockheed's agreement with the Obama administrations assertion that U.S. foreign policy requires whole of government approaches as opposed to a solely military one. Stevens also spoke out against protectionism, saying greater transparency in defense procurement in the European Market would lead to a deepened transatlantic bond.
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Legislation introduced to provide support for NATO
June 11, 2009- American Chronical
The bipartisan NATO First Act was introduced to congress on June 10, 2009 in order to affirm the United States' commitment to the principles outlined in the Declaration on Alliance Security passed in Strasbourg and Kehl at a meeting of heads of NATO member states and the government of NATO. The legislation contains many provisions aimed at supporting NATO infrastructure already present in Europe and at providing framework for the START negotiations which are to begin with Russia. Some of the provisions include maintaining U.S. military bases in Europe while providing logistical support to its allies, as well as bolstering communication between allied troops. It also contains provisions to provide $550 million to bolster Missile Defense in Poland and the Czech Republic, while also adding short-range missile defense batteries. The legislation also has a provision to open a Joint Data Exchange Center between the United States and Russia in order to quell Russian fears that the U.S. missile defense project is aimed at them. A piece is aimed at maintaining and upgrading the nuclear arsenal in Europe. Lastly, the legislation takes aim at securing U.S. interests in START negotiations and takes assurances at maintaining U.S interest.
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NATO to reduce soldiers in Kosovo
June 11, 2009- Aljazeera
NATO defense ministers at a meeting in Brussels agreed to reduce the force in Kosovo from 14,000 to 10,000 troops. With a long term goal of reducing the force to little more then 2,000 over two years. The reduction in the peacekeeping force is a sign that the situation is improving in the new territory, which is now recognized as an independent state by more than 60 countries. Troops currently stationed in the region could be diverted to Afghanistan to combat the Taliban.
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U.S. Ambassador makes speech to NATO
June 8, 2009- Defense News
The new U.S. Ambassador to NATO, Ivo Daalder, made a speech at a Security & Defense agenda debate in Brussels calling NATO "a top priority" in U.S. foreign policy, said a U.S diplomat. Daalder outlined NATO's three future priorities as Russia, Afghanistan, and what he called a "new NATO fit for a new century." He stressed the importance of success in Afghanistan, reaffirming the need for the country to be able to hold elections in August. Daalder also called for NATO to develop a united strategy on relations with Russia, calling for a more productive "NATO-Russia relationship." He lastly asked NATO to consider whether or not NATO's Article V should be expanded to include actions that cut off a country's energy supply, as well as both biological and cyber attacks.
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Kazakhstan to host Euro-Atlantic Security Forum
7 June 2009 - The Peninsula
The third Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) Security Forum will be held in Kazakhstan on June 24-25. The meeting of the more than 50 EAPC and NATO member countries will discuss security both regionally and globally, promoting the idea of "Security through Partnership". The forum is set to tackle specific areas such as Central Asia and the Caucasus, the situation in Afghanistan, as well as energy security.
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Russia hopes for renewed cooperation with NATO
4 June 2009 - RIA Novosti
Russia is hopeful to resume military contacts with NATO at the NATO-Russia Council later this month, said Moscow 's ambassador to the alliance, Dmitry Rogozin. The meeting, which will take place after much delay on June 27, will be the first between the two after the Russian Georgian conflict. The Russian ambassador said he hopes the two sides will reaffirm their "mutual obligations, and show respect for each other". The two sides have recently collaborated on efforts to provide cargo supplies to Afghanistan as well as combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden.
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Too early to withdraw NATO troops from Kosovo
3 June 2009 - Clive Leviev-Sawyer - The Sofia Echo
NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said on Tuesday June 2, 2009 that it is too early to withdraw troops from Kosovo. The withdrawal of troops would cause "a risk to the progress made over the last several years" Scheffer told the Western European Union at a meeting in Paris . Scheffer stressed that the military and political conditions of the area must be stabilized before withdrawal of the approximately 16,000 NATO troops stationed in Kosovo begins. The NATO ministers will discuss deployment of troops further during their meeting on June 11th and 12th.
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