Archive for the ‘deployment’ Category

Sarkozy sets out France’s Afghan stance to NATO

March 7, 2008

BRUSSELS (AFP) – President Nicolas Sarkozy has written to France‘s NATO allies to lay out Paris’s position on Afghanistan ahead of an alliance summit, a US official said.
President Nicolas Sarkozy has written to France's NATO allies ... 
The alliance is drawing up a plan to link the military, political and development aspects of its most challenging mission, amid complaints that some countries are not pulling their weight and warnings of failure.

“Sarkozy sent a letter about long term commitment, comprehensive approach, Afghans in the lead and the importance of the Afghan-Pakistan relationship,” the senior official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“I think you will see that reflected — we all agreed on these things — in the official statement, if we get it right,” the official said, referring to the planned announcement at NATO‘s summit in Bucharest April 2-4.

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SecDef Gates, Admiral Mullen Testify Before SASC

February 6, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom 
Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen testified before the Sente Armed Services Committee today.  Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) is chairman of the committee and Sen. John Warner (R-VA) is the ranking member of the minority.

Several issues of interest were discussed.

Asked about the size of the defense budget both Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen said that the budget needed to be 4% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Admiral Mullen said that 4% of GDP should be an annual “floor” or lowest national investment in defense.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates stands by his chair at the witness ...
Defense Secretary Robert Gates stands by his chair at the witness table on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008, prior to testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the fiscal 2009 Defense Department budget.
(AP Photos/Susan Walsh) 

Secretary Gates said that there has been a recent shift in understanding by the government of Pakistan and that President Musharraf and his closest advisors now realize that the free reign apparently given to the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the tribal areas of Pakistan has now resulted in an “existential threat to the current government of Pakistan.”  Consequently, President Musharraf and his advisors are now waging a much more effective war against terror in the tribal areas.

US intelligence chief Mike McConnell told a Senate hearing yesterday, Tuesday, February 5, that the al Qaeda network in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan has suffered setbacks, but still poses a persistent and growing danger from its safe haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas. He stressed that al Qaeda remains the pre-eminent threat against the United States” more than six years after 9/11.

Secretary Gates and Admiral Mullen supported and reiterated that view.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen testifies on Capitol ...
Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, today, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the fiscal 2009 Defense Department budget.
(AP Photos/Susan Walsh)

On the issue of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Senators expressed concern that all NATO nations had not fielded troops in Afghanistan.  Secretary Gates said that he feared the evolution of a two tiered NATO with one tier “fighting and dying” and a second tier not participating.  Secretary Gates said that he will continue to persuade NATO member nations toward a more active role in the war against terror.

Secretary Gates said he had become a “nag” to the Defense Ministers of NATO by pestering them about their contributions to the mission in Afghanistan.

In January some NATO defense ministers went public with their resentment for Mr. Gates.

“This is not the Robert Gates we have come to know,” Van Middlekoop told the Dutch broadcasting agency NOS last month, following criticism from Mr. Gates. “It’s also not the manner in which you treat each other when you have to cooperate with each other in the south of Afghanistan.”

Today Secretary Gates went out of his way to compliment the Dutch, Canadians, British, Australians and others for their work in Afghanistan.  But he said there were still several NATO member nations not taking the mission seriously enough. 

Secretary Gates said he would continue to press this issue this week end at a Defense Ministers’ meeting. 

Last month, Pentagon spokesman Geo Morrell said, “The secretary is not backing off his fundamental criticism that NATO needs to do a better job in training for counterinsurgency. But he is not — nor has he ever — criticized any particular nation for their service in Afghanistan.”

Secretary Gates also spoke eloquently about the AEGIS Ballistic Missile Defense system now deployed at sea, the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and THAAD.

On combat troops in the war zone, Admiral Mullen said, “The well is deep, but it is not infinite.  We must get Army deployments down to 12 months as soon as possible. People are tired.”

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates makes a statement about the ...
Secretary Gates at a recent Pentagon briefing.

From the  Associated Press:

From Reuters:

Bush makes holiday calls to troops

December 24, 2007

By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – President Bush made Christmas Eve calls to 10 U.S. troops serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other spots around the world, thanking them for their sacrifice and wishing them a happy holiday even though they’ll be far away from their families and friends.

The president made his calls Monday from the Camp David presidential retreat in the Maryland mountains, where he is spending Christmas. He spoke with members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard, including seven serving in Iraq.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said Bush knows it is difficult for the children of U.S. servicemen and women to understand why their fathers and mothers cannot be home ….

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Strategic airlift on artificial life support

November 5, 2007

Jim Saxton
The Washington Times
November 5, 2007

When there is a conflict in some far-off place and the decision is made for the United States to intervene militarily, it is vital that our troops and their supplies and equipment get there fast. For this, a modern airlift fleet is essential. But some in Congress do not understand this and have created “artificial barriers” to providing the airlift necessary to accomplish efficient, rapid, and safe deployments.

The Pentagon’s strategic airlift strategy, we have been told, will require “300 capable strategic aircraft” to ferry our military personnel and their equipment to various future theaters of conflict.

Today, there are two possibilities as far as those airlifters are concerned: the C-17, the most modern and by far the most capable; and the C-5, an aircraft first built in the 1960s. Assuming 300 airlifters will do the trick….

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Turkey to approve troops to Iraq in defiance of U.S.

October 16, 2007

By Gareth Jones

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey will defy international pressure on Wednesday and grant its troops permission to enter northern Iraq to crush Kurdish rebels based there, though it has played down expectations of any imminent attack.


Washington, Ankara‘s NATO ally, says it understands Turkey’s desire to tackle rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), but fears a major incursion would wreck stability in the most peaceful part of Iraq and potentially in the wider region.

Turkey’s stance has helped drive global oil prices to $88 a barrel, a new record, and has hit its lira currency as investors weigh the economic risks of any major military operation.

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Russia Deploys New Missile Defense System

August 7, 2007

Voice of America

06 August 2007

Russia has deployed a new missile defense system to protect the skies above Moscow. VOA Correspondent Peter Fedynsky reports from the Russian capital that the missile may also be made available for export.

The deployment included an Orthodox priest who blessed the new Russian S-400 Triumph missile system with holy water in a ceremony broadcast on national television news.

The surface-to-air facility upgrades the previous S-300 system with stronger rocket engines and an improved guidance system.

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