Home > Uncategorized > Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 16, 2011

Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 16, 2011

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150-Day Libya War: Over 19,000 NATO Sorties, 7,223 Strike Sorties

Mediterranean: U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer Arrives In Malta

Report: $3.7 Trillion For U.S. Wars, $12,000 Per Person

Iran Calls On Regional States To Oppose U.S.-NATO Intervention In Syria

Russian Solidarity Activist Warns Of Libyan Scenario In Syria

NATO Troops Arrest Five Afghan Civilians, Torch Two Vehicles

NATO Tankers Destroyed Near Pakistan-Afghanistan Border

Pakistan: Supplies For NATO Troops Suspended After Latest Attacks

Pakistan: 47 U.S. Drone Strikes This Year, 450 Deaths

Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline Proceeds Apace

Kosovo Serbs Protest New Threat To Security

86,000 U.S., South Korean Troops Begin Joint Military Exercise

Canada Renames Navy, Air Force “Royal”

Czechs Offer Iraq Warplanes For Oil

U.S. Guided Missile Warship In 17-Nation Panama Canal Exercises

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150-Day Libya War: Over 19,000 NATO Sorties, 7,223 Strike Sorties

http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/pdf_2011_08/20110816_110816-oup-update.pdf

North Atlantic Treaty Organization
August 1, 2011

NATO and Libya
Allied Joint Force Command NAPLES, SHAPE, NATO HQ

Over the past 24 hours, NATO has conducted the following activities associated with Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR:

Air Operations

Since the beginning of the NATO operation (31 March 2011, 06.00GMT) a total of 19,011 sorties, including 7,223 strike sorties, have been conducted.

Sorties conducted 15 AUGUST: 127

Strike sorties conducted 15 AUGUST: 49

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Mediterranean: U.S. Guided Missile Destroyer Arrives In Malta

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=62173

Navy NewsStand
August 15, 2011

USS Carney Arrives in Malta
From USS Carney Public Affairs

VALLETTA, Malta: The guided-missile destroyer USS Carney (DDG 64) arrived in Valletta, Malta, for a port visit, Aug. 14.

The visit serves to continue U.S. 6th Fleet efforts to build global maritime partnerships with European nations and improve maritime safety and security.

Carney is homeported out of Mayport, Fla., and is on a three-month deployment supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.

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Report: $3.7 Trillion For U.S. Wars, $12,000 Per Person

http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/08/15/1415218/true-cost-of-afghan-iraq-wars.html

McClatchy Newspapers
August 15, 2011

True cost of Afghan, Iraq wars is anyone’s guess
Nancy A. Youssef

WASHINGTON: When congressional cost-cutters meet later this year to decide on trimming the federal budget, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq could represent juicy targets. But how much do the wars actually cost the U.S. taxpayer?

Nobody really knows.

Yes, Congress has allotted $1.3 trillion for war spending through fiscal year 2011 just to the Defense Department. There are long Pentagon spreadsheets that outline how much of that was spent on personnel, transportation, fuel and other costs. In a recent speech, President Barack Obama assigned the wars a $1 trillion price tag.

But all those numbers are incomplete. Besides what Congress appropriated, the Pentagon spent an additional unknown amount from its $5.2 trillion base budget over that same period. According to a recent Brown University study, the wars and their ripple effects have cost the United States $3.7 trillion, or more than $12,000 per American.

Lawmakers remain sharply divided over the wisdom of slashing the military budget, even with the United States winding down two long conflicts, but there’s also a more fundamental problem: It’s almost impossible to pin down just what the U.S. military spends on war.

To be sure, the costs are staggering.

According to Defense Department figures, by the end of April the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — including everything from personnel and equipment to training Iraqi and Afghan security forces and deploying intelligence-gathering drones — had cost an average of $9.7 billion a month, with roughly two-thirds going to Afghanistan. That total is roughly the entire annual budget for the Environmental Protection Agency.

To compare, it would take the State Department — with its annual budget of $27.4 billion — more than four months to spend that amount. NASA could have launched its final shuttle mission in July, which cost $1.5 billion, six times for what the Pentagon is allotted to spend each month in those two wars.

What about Medicare Part D, President George W. Bush’s 2003 expansion of prescription drug benefits for seniors, which cost a Congressional Budget Office-estimated $385 billion over 10 years? The Pentagon spends that in Iraq and Afghanistan in about 40 months.

Because of the complex and often ambiguous Pentagon budgeting process, it’s nearly impossible to get an accurate breakdown of every operating cost. Some funding comes out of the base budget; other money comes from supplemental appropriations.

But the estimates can be eye-popping, especially considering the logistical challenges to getting even the most basic equipment and comforts to troops in extremely forbidding terrain.

In Afghanistan, for example, the U.S. military spent $1.5 billion to purchase 329.8 million gallons of fuel for vehicles, aircraft and generators from October 2010 to May 2011. That’s a not-unheard-of $4.55 per gallon, but it doesn’t include the cost of getting the fuel to combat zones and the human cost of transporting it through hostile areas, which can hike the cost to hundreds of dollars a gallon.

Just getting air-conditioning to troops in Afghanistan, including transport and maintenance, costs $20 billion per year, retired Brig. Gen. Steve Anderson told National Public Radio recently. That’s half the amount that the federal government has spent on Amtrak over 40 years.

War spending falls behind tax cuts and prescription drug benefits for seniors as contributors to the $14.3 trillion federal debt. The Pentagon’s base budget has grown every year for the past 14 years, marking the longest sustained growth period in U.S. history, but it seems clear that that era is ending.

Since the U.S. government issued war bonds to help finance World War II, Washington has asked taxpayers to shoulder less and less of a burden in times of conflict. In the early 1950s Congress raised taxes by 4 percent of the gross domestic product to pay for the Korean War; in 1968, during the Vietnam War, a tax was imposed to raise revenue by about 1 percent of GDP.

No such mechanism was imposed for Iraq or Afghanistan, and in the early years of the wars Congress didn’t even demand a true accounting of war spending, giving the military whatever it needed. Now, at a time of fiscal woes and with the American public weary of the wars, the question has become how much the nation’s largest bureaucracy should cut.

“The debt crisis has been a game changer in terms of defense spending,” said Laura Peterson, a national security analyst at Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan budget watchdog.

“It used to be that asking how much the wars cost was unpatriotic. The attitude going into the war is you spend whatever you cost. Now maybe asking is more patriotic.”

Still, deep cuts to the Pentagon remain unpalatable to many lawmakers. The debt limit deal that Congress passed earlier this month calls for $350 billion in “defense and security” spending cuts through 2024, but that’s expected to be spread across several government agencies, sparing the Pentagon much of the blow.

However, if the 12-member bipartisan “super-committee” of lawmakers can’t agree on further federal budget cuts later this year, the law mandates across-the-board cuts of $1.2 trillion over 10 years, with half of that coming from the Pentagon. The prospect of such deep defense cuts is thought to provide a strong incentive for deficit hawks to compromise and spread the pain more broadly.

Politics aside, finding defense savings is complex, even with the Obama administration trying to wind down two wars. For one thing, reducing troop levels doesn’t necessarily yield commensurate cost reductions, given the huge amount of infrastructure the military still maintains in each country.

In Afghanistan, the cost per service member climbed from $507,000 in fiscal year 2009 to $667,000 the following year, according to the Congressional Research Service. Fiscal year 2011 costs are expected to reach $694,000 per service member, even as the U.S. military begins drawing down 33,000 of the 99,000 troops there.

In Iraq, even with the overall costs of the war declining and the U.S. military scheduled to withdraw its remaining 46,000 troops by the end of this year, the cost per service member spiked from $510,000 in 2007 to $802,000 this year.

In fiscal year 2011, Congress authorized $113 billion for the war in Afghanistan and $46 billion for Iraq. The Pentagon’s 2012 budget request is lower: $107 billion for Afghanistan and $11 billion for Iraq.

In the more austere fiscal climate, the Pentagon has tried to be proactive, proposing cuts to some major military programs such as the controversial and hugely expensive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has called the national debt the biggest threat to U.S. national security. Before leaving office last month as defense secretary, Robert Gates ordered his department to find ways to cut $400 billion from the defense budget over 12 years, under Obama’s orders.

Among the challenges of determining the costs of war is defining what to include. Rising health care costs for veterans? The damage done to Iraqi and Afghan families, cities and institutions? Holding tens of thousands of detainees at U.S. military prisons in those two countries and others around the world? The massive interest on war-related debt, which some experts say could reach $1 trillion by 2020?

“The ripple effects on the U.S. economy have also been significant, including job loss and interest rate increases, and those effects have been underappreciated,” wrote a team of Brown University experts who authored a June report called “Costs of War.”

Critics of the defense budget process note that the U.S. already has paid a heavy cost for the wars, spending billions to wind up with older equipment and troops receiving less training.

Winslow Wheeler, who worked on national security issues on Capitol Hill for 30 years, said the Navy and Air Force fleets were smaller after a decade of war. The Army has been left with run-down, overworked vehicles and equipment.

“The danger of that is that as we blithely go on not paying attention, things happen that we don’t notice, like the older, less trained forces,” Wheeler said. Because the cost of replacing equipment has risen dramatically over the past decade, “what we are paying is a higher cost for a smaller force.” He likened it to replacing a Lamborghini with a Volkswagen.

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Iran Calls On Regional States To Oppose U.S.-NATO Intervention In Syria

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9005253423

Fars News Agency
August 16, 2011

Iran Urges West to Avoid Interference in Syria’s Internal Affairs

TEHRAN: Iran on Tuesday called on the western countries, specially the US, to keep out of the Syrian issue, and asked the regional states to help the government in Damascus to settle its internal problems.

“The important point is cooperation among countries to establish durable stability and security in Syria and the regional countries should help to the establishment of stability in the whole region,” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehman-Parast said, adding that intervention of the other countries in Syria’s internal affairs is not justified and can create numerous problems.

“Any interference of the western forces, specially the Americans, in the internal affairs of the regional countries will merely increase the hatred of the people towards them,” he added.

Earlier, Head of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi had called on all the regional countries to help Syria settle its internal problems and support the country against any possible US or NATO intervention.

“We should not let Syria become a US victim,” Boroujerdi said in a press conference at Iran’s Interests Section in Cairo, Egypt, last Tuesday.

“We should mobilize ourselves to help Syria, as a center of the Palestinian resistance, to stand firm,” he said, addressing Muslim countries and nations of the region.

Also, a senior Syrian lawmaker had warned against military intervention in his country, and stressed that any war on Damascus will leave devastating impacts on the Middle-East.

“If pressures mount on Syria, the Middle-East will move towards a devastating war and that would be a heavy cost,” Shahada Kamel told FNA last Tuesday.

“In case of a military attack on Syria, resistance groups in the region will not keep silent,” Kamel stated, and dismissed the existence of a trans-regional capability to start military intervention in the Arab country.

The remarks by the Syrian parliamentarian came after Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague said that military intervention in Syria is “not a remote possibility” as he called on the international community to exert stronger pressure on Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Meantime, the French authorities ruled out the possibility of military intervention in Syria, citing that the situation in Syria was different from Libya.

“The situation in Libya and Syria are not similar. No option of a military nature is considered,” Christine Fages, deputy spokeswoman of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said during a regular press briefing.

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Russian Solidarity Activist Warns Of Libyan Scenario In Syria

http://english.ruvr.ru/2011/08/16/54733884.html

Voice of Russia
August 16, 2011

‘Rebels want no talks with govt in Syria’ – expert

Information warfare in Syria has reached its peak, Mr. Oleg Fomin, the deputy chief of the Russian Committee for Solidarity with Syria and Libya, said during a conference held by the RIA-Novosti news agency.

Mr. Fomin stressed that western media focus more on details rather than the roots of the crisis in Syria.

He warned against the Libyan scenario in Syria.

Many experts who took part in the conference agreed that armed gangs now active in Syria are not interested in dialogue with the authorities.

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NATO Troops Arrest Five Afghan Civilians, Torch Two Vehicles

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/08/15/isaf-soldiers-burn-civilian-vehicles-zabul

Pajhwok Afghan News
August 15, 2011

ISAF soldiers burn civilian vehicles in Zabul
by Naseem Hotak

QALAT: International troops torched two civilian vehicles during an operation in the Shah Joi district of southern Zabul province, official said on Monday.

During the overnight operation in Karatash area, the foreign forces arrested five people and burnt two vehicles, said the district chief, Muhammad Siddique.

In a similar action, the ISAF personnel detained a man with alleged links to the Taliban in the Tazee area, Siddiqui told Pajhwok Afghan News.

The alliance confirmed the operation but said nothing about the burning of the vehicles.

A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousaf Ahmadi, said the detainees were ordinary residents. The fighters shot down a drone in Kajirkhel area last night and killed five policemen in a bomb attack in Tazee on Monday morning, he claimed.

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NATO Tankers Destroyed Near Pakistan-Afghanistan Border

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/15/militant-attack-destroys-three-nato-oil-tankers.html

Dawn
August 15, 2011

Militant attack destroys three Nato oil tankers

PESHAWAR: An explosion at the Torkham bypass in Khyber Agency has left three Nato oil tankers, one container and a private car on fire.

According to security officials the Nato oil tankers, which were going from Peshawar to the Torkham border crossing, were attacked by militants with bombs in Landi Kotal.

The oil tankers caught fire and were set ablaze soon after the attack.

After the attack, the Pak-Afghan border crossing has been blocked, which has resulted in a long traffic jam. Security forces have now sealed off the area and are conducting search operations.

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Pakistan: Supplies For NATO Troops Suspended After Latest Attacks

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/16/c_131053285.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 16, 2011

Supplies to NATO forces suspended after attacks in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Supplies for NATO troops in Afghanistan through Pakistan were suspended on Tuesday a day after nearly 10 NATO oil tankers were attacked and torched, local media reported.

Nine tankers, carrying oil for NATO troops in Afghanistan, were attacked in Khyber tribal region near the Afghan border.

Four oil tankers, a container and a taxicab were completely gutted when a powerful bomb blast caused a huge fire in one of the vehicles near Landi Kotal Bazaar in Khyber Agency on Monday evening. No one was hurt as the drivers were breaking fast at a nearby hotel.

It was the second attack on NATO lorries in the northwest in three days. Earlier more than a dozen NATO tankers had caught fire following a blast in a container terminal in Peshawar on Saturday.

Also gunmen opened fire on NATO tankers in Punjab province late Monday night, police said. Gunmen opened fire on the tanker at Muzzafar Garh as they were passing through a square, they said. No one was hurt. Attacks on NATO trucks in Punjab are rare.

Geo television said that supplies for NATO troops were temporarily suspended over security concerns.

No group claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Taliban suspects routinely claim responsibility for such attacks.

Some 70 percent of the supplies for around 150,000 U.S.-led NATO troops is transported through Pakistan, the shortest supply route.

The United States has struck deal with Russia and few central Asian states for alternate supply routes.

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Pakistan: 47 U.S. Drone Strikes This Year, 450 Deaths

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/16/c_131051024.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 16, 2011

Four killed in U.S. drone strike in NW Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: At least four people were killed and two others injured early Tuesday morning as U.S. drones fired two missiles at a house in Miranshah of North Waziristan in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area bordering Afghanistan, reported local media Duniya.

Tuesday morning’s strike is the second of its kind during Ramadan, a holy month of Muslims. On August 10th, the U.S. drones fired several missiles at a house in which a lot of militants were preparing their pre-dawn meal, killing 21 of them on the spot.

Tuesday’s U.S. drone strike is the 47th strike (counted on a daily basis) in Pakistan this year. Nearly 450 people have reportedly been killed in such strikes since the beginning of 2011.

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Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Pipeline Proceeds Apace

http://en.trend.az/capital/energy/1918863.html

Trend News Agency
August 16, 2011

Turkmenistan, Afghanistan discuss TAPI gas pipeline project
H. Hasanov

Turkmenistan, Ashgabat: A meeting was held with a delegation from the Afghani Ministry of Mines at the Turkmen Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, the “Neutral Turkmenistan” newspaper said.

The implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) construction project was the main topic of the talks.

Confirming the need for rapid implementation of the TAPI project, the parties agreed on a number of economic and technical issues associated with laying out a transnational power line through the territory of neighboring countries, the newspaper said.

According to the project feasibility study, the 1,735-kilometer-TAPI gas pipeline will begin in eastern Turkmenistan, where the largest gas fields are located.

Passing through the territory of Afghanistan and Pakistan, the pipeline will reach the Fazilka settlement in India, along the Pakistan-Indian border.

More than 30 billion cubic meters of Turkmen natural gas will be supplied through the pipeline in a single year.

The main provisions of a number of intergovernmental documents were also specified within the meeting.

They are planned for consideration during the next TAPI project meeting by the technical working group and steering committee.

The vital importance of creating a new transnational energy corridor was also stressed.

The “Vatan” newspaper said that representatives of the Afghan side expressed their full support for the official Ashgabat peacekeeping policy, as well as for constructive international initiatives.

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Kosovo Serbs Protest New Threat To Security

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2011-08/16/c_131051241.htm

Xinhua News Agency
August 16, 2011

Kosovo Serbs protest reconstruction of bridge linking ethnic villages

BELGRADE: Several hundred Serbs from the enclave of Priluzje, northwest of Pristina, on Monday protested the reconstruction of a bridge over the River Sitnica for security concerns, local media reported.

According to the Serbian news agency Tanjug, the protesters insisted that the reconstruction plan would give ethnic Albanian villages on the other side of the river direct access to a major highway, thus leading to an upswing in tensions.

“If the bridge is built, it will undermine the pretense of peace we have achieved,” said Mayor Zoran Rakic.

As groundwork for the bridge continued unabated on the other side of the river, local Serbs have announced additional protests in the coming days.

Kosovo, which unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, is spotted with numerous Serb enclaves which reject Kosovo authorities and seek direction from civil authorities in Belgrade.

The enclaves are caught in the struggle between Belgrade, which has said it would never recognize the secession of its southern province, and Pristina, which is striving to exert greater control over Kosovo after having been recognized by some European countries and the United States.

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86,000 U.S., South Korean Troops Begin Joint Military Exercise

http://www.arirang.co.kr/News/News_View.asp?nseq=119254&code=Ne2&category=2

Arirang News
August 15, 2011

Annual Korea-US Joint Military Drill Set to Begin on Tuesday

South Korea is scheduled to kick off on Tuesday its annual joint military exercise with the United States, dubbed the “Ulchi Freedom Guardian.”

Some 56-thousand South Korean soldiers and around 30-thousand American personnel are participating in the exercise through August 26th.

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Canada Renames Navy, Air Force “Royal”

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/15/canada-royal-idUSN1E77E19020110815

Reuters
August 15, 2011

Canada to put “Royal” back in its Navy, Air Force
By Randall Palmer

OTTAWA: Canada’s Conservative government, stressing traditional ties to Queen Elizabeth and the monarchy, is reinstating the names Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy after a gap of 43 years.

The Liberals removed the “royal” designation in 1968 when they amalgamated the branches of service and called the military the Canadian Forces.

General Walter Natynczyk, chief of the defence staff, announced the decision to bring back the word “royal” for the official names of the two branches of the military in a memo posted on Monday on the military discussion site Milnet.ca.

“The initiative to restore the historic names of Canada’s three former services is aimed at restoring an important and recognizable part of Canada’s military heritage,” Natynczyk said.

“These were the services that fought and emerged victorious from the Second World War and Korea and contributed to the defence of Europe and North America from the early days of the Cold War. These were also the services that paved the way in terms of international peacekeeping missions.”

Defence Minister Peter MacKay and other Conservative members of Parliament have scheduled what they describe as “significant” announcements on Canada’s military history on Tuesday.

Queen Elizabeth is Canada’s head of state, and a tour by Prince William and his wife Kate last month revived interest in the monarchy.

“I think Canadians in general are going to be quite pleased and quite happy to have a little piece of their history back,” said Robert Finch, chairman of the Monarchist League of Canada.

Not all politicians agreed.

“I shall steadfastly refuse to call them Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force. Shameful. We are our own nation,” Ian Capstick, a former spokesman for the leftist New Democratic Party, tweeted on Monday.

(Additional reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson)

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Czechs Offer Iraq Warplanes For Oil

http://www.ceskapozice.cz/en/business/companies/czechs-ready-trade-l-159-fighters-iraqi-oil

Czech Position
August 12, 2011

Czechs ready to trade L-159 fighters for Iraqi oil
Aero Vodochody boss Ladislav Šimek says Iraq now interested in obtaining 36 Czech L-159 fighter planes – in exchange for oil

During the visit by Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas (Civic Democrats, ODS) to Iraq in May, his Iraqi counterpart, Nuri al-Maliki, announced that the two sides were negotiating the sale to Baghdad of 24 L-159 fighter planes manufactured by the Czech firm Aero Vodochody and owned by the Czech Air Force. On Friday, the daily E15 cited Aero Vodochody boss Ladislav Šimek as saying the Iraqis are now interested in acquiring 36 of the Czech planes in exchange for oil.

“In technical and price terms, the Czech offer is unrivalled and the best. What’s more, it contains benefits such as the option of paying not with money, but crude oil deliveries,” Aero Vodochody President, Ladislav Šimek, told the daily E15.

The Czech offer also has the advantage in that the planes could be delivered very quickly. As of 2000, the Czech military took delivery of 74 L-159s, but only 24 are in service. With the exception of two L-159s that were sold to Spain, the remaining planes are in storage.

Tough competition

The Czech offer faces competition from British Hawk light combat and training plane manufactured by BAE Systems, and the T-50 Golden Eagle, developed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin of the US together with Korea Aerospace Industries and Korea’s Agency for Defense Development. Like the L-159 and the Hawk, the T-50 Golden Eagle is a training plane and light fighter plane but is the only supersonic model of the three.

“There are strong players standing against us. With similar such contracts, political battles decide and the characteristics of the plane are secondary,” Šimek said.

Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra (ODS), who was part of the official Czech delegation to Iraq headed by Nečas in May, announced at the time that the Iraqi armed forces had opted for the Czech L-159s. Vondra also said the Czech side had offered to modernize Iraq’s Soviet-designed T-72 tanks, which are still in production in Russia, and Soviet-era Mi-17 helicopters, which are also still in production.

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U.S. Guided Missile Warship In 17-Nation Panama Canal Exercises

http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=62170

Navy NewsStand
August 15, 2011

USS Thach Arrives in Panama for PANAMAX 2011
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW) Steve Smith, Southern Seas 2011 Public Affairs

PANAMA CITY, Panama: The guided-missile frigate USS Thach (FFG 43) arrived in Panama City, Panama, for the start of PANAMAX 2011, a multinational exercise focusing on the defense of the Panama Canal, Aug. 13.

Thach will participate with forces from 17 nations in live and simulated scenarios conducted in the region surrounding Panama…

“During PANAMAX, Thach will operate as part of the Pacific Task Force, a multinational force that will provide maritime domain awareness in the Pacific approaches to the Panama Canal,” said Cmdr. Jeff Scudder, Thach commanding officer. “Maintaining awareness of the maritime commons and the VBSS missions will ensure the exercise’s opposing forces are not able to threaten the Panama Canal.”

PANAMAX 2011 officially began Aug. 15 and runs until Aug. 25. The Pacific Task Force, which includes Thach and navy ships from Canada, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, will work together at sea during the two-week exercise.

PANAMAX 2011 is an annual U.S. Southern Command-sponsored exercise that focuses on ensuring the defense of the Panama Canal…The exercise includes 3,500 personnel and 22 vessels from 17 nations and is conducted off the coasts of Panama and in U.S. locations.

U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet (COMUSNAVSO/C4F) supports U.S. Southern Command joint and combined full-spectrum military operations by providing principally sea-based, forward presence to ensure freedom of maneuver in the maritime domain, to foster and sustain cooperative relationships with international partners and to fully exploit the sea as maneuver space in…the Caribbean, Central and South American regions.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. rosemerry
    August 16, 2011 at 6:02 am

    “training Iraqi and Afghan security forces and deploying intelligence-gathering drones ”

    What benefit to anyone do these sorts of activities have? How can this be called “defense”, when all it brings is death and destruction in the occupied lands and loss of life and freedoms for the USA itself? Now pundits are worried about the costs, in financial terms only. It is a bit late for that. Obama cannot even remove the troops from Iraq, which even he swore to do, and WBush had agreed to with the “democratic”, US provided, Iraqi government.

    Can the US never stop its belligerence? Why does poor South Korea still have occupation forces? Why does Japan? Germany? Who is the latest enemy?

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