Home > Uncategorized > Stop NATO news: January 23, 2012

Stop NATO news: January 23, 2012

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U.S. Envoy: NATO To Keep Strait Of Hormuz Open

U.S. Aircraft Carriers To Deliver “Direct Message To Iran”

Obama, Saakashvili To Discuss Caucasus, Afghan War

Pakistan Rejects U.S. Report On Deadly NATO Attack

U.S. Drone Strike Kills Four In Northwestern Pakistan

Pakistani Political Leader: End U.S. Drone Strikes

World Island: U.S. Commander Looks To Mackinder For Naval Strategy

NATO Intensifies Military Cooperation With Azerbaijan

U.S. Sees Iran’s Neighbor Azerbaijan As Major Strategic Partner

China Questions U.S.-Philippines Joint Military Drills

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U.S. Envoy: NATO To Keep Strait Of Hormuz Open

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-23/nato-will-keep-strait-of-hormuz-open-u-s-ambassador-says.html

Bloomberg News
January 23, 2012

NATO Will Keep Strait of Hormuz Open, U.S. Ambassador Says
By Robert Hutton

U.S. Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Ivo Daalder said the alliance will keep the Strait of Hormuz open in the face of Iranian threats to close the shipping channel.

European Union foreign ministers meet in Brussels today to discuss economic sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, including the possibility of an oil embargo.

“I have not looked at the exact military contingency plannings that there are and how long that would take,” Daalder told BBC Radio 4’s “Today show.

“But of this I am certain: the international waterways that go through the Strait of Hormuz are to be sailed by international navies including ours and the British and the French and any other navy that needs to go through the Gulf; and second, we will make sure that that happens under any circumstance.”

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U.S. Aircraft Carriers To Deliver “Direct Message To Iran”

http://rt.com/news/aircraft-carrier-hormuz-iran-391/

RT
January 22, 2012

US aircraft carriers to deliver ‘direct message to Iran’

In an apparent show of strength, Washington is deploying a second carrier strike group in the Gulf. US officials also confirmed their commitment to maintaining a global fleet of 11 aircraft carriers despite budget pressure to cut the fleet’s size.

“That’s the reason we maintain a presence in the Middle East,” AP cited US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, as saying in a speech to about 1,700 sailors aboard the USS Enterprise. “We want them to know that we are fully prepared to deal with any contingency and it’s better for them to try to deal with us through diplomacy.”

Panetta added that the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise is on course for the Persian Gulf – and will steam through the Strait of Hormuz in a direct message to Iran, AP reports.

“We’ll continue to make those messages clear. The most important way to make those messages clear is to show that we are prepared, that we are strong, that we’ll have a presence in that part of the world,” Panetta added.

The USS Enterprise, along with the other six ships in the carrier strike group, will deploy to the Middle East in March. It means the US will maintain two carrier strike groups in the Persian Gulf region. The warships are expected to support the country’s battle operations in Afghanistan, its anti-piracy efforts and other missions.

Meanwhile, Iran claims it is not concerned with the move, saying it is a part of routine activity.

“US warships and military forces have been in the Persian Gulf and the Middle East region for many years and their decision in relation to the dispatch of a new warship is not a new issue and it should be interpreted as part of their permanent presence,” Revolutionary Guard Deputy Commander Hossein Salami was quoted by the IRNA news agency on Saturday.

Tensions escalated in the Gulf after Iran warned the US that it might block the Strait, which is a major transit route for global oil supplies, if the West places an embargo on its oil exports.

Tehran also urged Washington not to send carriers into the Gulf. In return, Washington said it would continue to deploy its ships in the region.

The USS Enterprise, along with the other six ships in the carrier strike group, will deploy to the Middle East in March. Therefore, the US will maintain two carrier strike groups in the Persian Gulf region. The warships are expected to support the country’s battle operations in Afghanistan, its anti-piracy efforts and other missions.

Next week the EU is set to agree an embargo on Iranian oil. The West expects the sanctions to force Iran to suspend the nuclear weapon activities it is allegedly practicing.

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Obama, Saakashvili To Discuss Caucasus, Afghan War

http://rustavi2.com/news/news_text.php?id_news=44427&pg=1&im=main&ct=0&wth=

Rustavi 2
January 22, 2012

Bass comments on forthcoming Obama-Saakashvili meeting

U.S. Ambassador to Georgia John Bass made another comment on the forthcoming meeting between Obama and Saakashvili scheduled to take place in the Oval Office of the White House on the 30th of January.

John Bass said with the meeting the two countries are expected to get closer to each other even more.

“It`s an important opportunity for both leaders to touch base after they have not seen each other in several months. We`ve got a lot to talk about. There are a lot of way we are working together both in this region and in Georgia but also further afield places like Afghanistan”, John Bass said.

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Pakistan Rejects U.S. Report On Deadly NATO Attack

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/23/us-pakistan-usa-idUSTRE80M0YV20120123

Reuters
January 23, 2012

Pakistan rejects U.S. report on NATO attack

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s military on Monday rejected U.S. findings on a November 26 NATO cross-border air attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and plunged relations to a low point.

“Pakistan does not agree with several portions and findings of the investigation report, as these are factually not correct,” the military said in a statement.

The U.S. report released on December 22 found both American and Pakistani forces were to blame for the border incident, inflaming already strained ties.

“Affixing partial responsibility of the incident on Pakistan is therefore unjustified and unacceptable,” said the Pakistani military.

Pakistan responded to the attack by shutting down ground routes to supply U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan and forced the United States to vacate an air base used to launch drone flights.

Last week, a senior Pakistani security official told Reuters the routes would be reopened, but heavy tariffs would be imposed.

(Reporting by Qasim Nauman; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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U.S. Drone Strike Kills Four In Northwestern Pakistan

http://en.trend.az/regions/world/usa/1982951.html

Trend News Agency
January 23, 2012

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

At least four people were killed in two U.S. drone strikes on Monday morning in North Waziristan tribal region in northwestern Pakistan, Xinhua reported.

According to Urdu TV channel Geo report, one drone fired two missiles at a vehicle suspected of carrying militants in Datta Khel of North Waziristan on Pakistan-Afghan border.

The second U.S. drone launched two missile strikes at the house of a local tribal man in the same area on suspicion of being a militants’ hideout.

It was not clear who were targeted in the strike.

This is the third such airstrike in northwestern Pakistan since the beginning of 2012.

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Pakistani Political Leader: End U.S. Drone Strikes

http://www.dawn.com/2012/01/23/imran-urges-us-to-stop-drone-attacks.html

Dawn
January 23, 2012

Imran urges US to stop drone attacks

WASHINGTON: PTI leader Imran Khan urged the United States on Sunday to stop drone attacks in Pakistan because they also killed many innocent people.

In an interview to CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Mr Khan noted that each bomb that killed terrorists also killed many people who might be related to the terrorists but were not involved in terrorism.

And this ‘collateral damage’ “creates more Jihadis than it kills”, he argued.

Mr Khan also urged cessation of all military activities in the region if the United States wanted to engage the Taliban in meaningful peace talks. “One cannot talk and be at war at the same time,” he said, shaking his head at the policies of the Obama and Bush administrations, which depended heavily on drone strikes.

CNN introduced Mr Khan as “the most popular political leader” in Pakistan today who could be the country’s future prime minister and that’s why, it argued, his views on the drone strikes were important.

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World Island:U.S. Commander Looks To Mackinder For Naval Strategy

http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2012/01/20/14645-the-rising-east-walsh-looks-to-mackinder-for-naval-strategy/

Honolulu Civil Beat
January 20, 2012

The Rising East: Walsh Looks To Mackinder For Naval Strategy
By Richard Halloran

-In an interview earlier, Walsh said he had been influenced by Sir Halford Mackinder, the British political geographer who devised the “heartland theory” of world power in 1904. Mackinder argued that whoever controlled Eastern Europe could control the “world Island” in the center of the Eurasian continent and, in turn, the world itself.
By applying Mackinder’s geographic insights to Asia, Walsh said, “You can identify where the critical node is,” which is the South China Sea.
-With American interests stretched from Seoul to Sydney to Sri Lanka, the South China Sea is essential to U.S. warships traversing to and from the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
-Similarly, the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific and Asia, Admiral Robert Willard, has noted: “The sea lines of communication that crisscross the South China Sea carry $5.3 trillion in bilateral annual trade, of which $1.2 trillion is U.S. trade.”

Admiral Patrick Walsh, who completed his watch as commander of the Pacific Fleet and retired from the Navy on Friday, leaves behind a proposal for an imaginative maritime strategy intended to reinforce the U.S. posture in Asia and to deter a potentially aggressive China.

Walsh suggests that the U.S. shift its focus and forces from Northeast Asia, the center of American attention in Asia since World War II, to Southeast Asia, specifically the South China Sea. Through that vital sea-lane passes more than half of the world’s shipping, of which 23 percent is U.S. trade — and is a vulnerable Chinese lifeline.

The admiral departed Pearl Harbor with a word of caution as he relinquished command to Admiral Cecil Haney, saying: “In the Pacific Century, sea power resumes its traditional role in the sea-lines of communication…”

Asian nations are scrutinizing America’s moves, especially the consequences of military budget cuts, he said. “They are watching with keen interest the effect of the U.S. economic challenges, the strain of more than a decade of war on the Navy’s ability to remain forward, to remain engaged and ready.”

In an interview earlier, Walsh said he had been influenced by Sir Halford Mackinder, the British political geographer who devised the “heartland theory” of world power in 1904. Mackinder argued that whoever controlled Eastern Europe could control the “world Island” in the center of the Eurasian continent and, in turn, the world itself.

By applying Mackinder’s geographic insights to Asia, Walsh said, “You can identify where the critical node is,” which is the South China Sea.

Moreover, he said, “It forces an assessment of whether we are prepared for where this economic juggernaut [China] is going.”

Applying Mackinder’s thought raises the question of whether the U.S. has positioned its forces to assure that the sea-lanes are kept open for the economic benefit of the U.S. and its allies — or can be closed in an operation to dissuade threats from China.

With American interests stretched from Seoul to Sydney to Sri Lanka, the South China Sea is essential to U.S. warships traversing to and from the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Moreover, turbulence arises from competing claims to various islands in that sea, to access to undersea gas and oil deposits, and to rights in fishing grounds.

Admiral Walsh said he had discussed his application of Mackinder’s heartland theory with Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime minister of Singapore considered to be the elder statesman of East Asia. “He was very interested in what we were doing,” the admiral said.

The admiral urged the U.S. to cultivate relations with that city-state and other Southeast Asian nations as Americans “invite partners to contribute to the overall security of the region.” That includes Vietnam, which has opened its ports to repair U.S. warships. The U.S. has moved to restore diplomatic relations with Burma, also called Myanmar, as it has begun political reforms.

In Washington on Wednesday, senior State Department officials met with Singaporean counterparts in the first U.S.-Singapore Strategic Partners Dialogue to discuss what State called “an already robust array of initiatives.”

A joint statement clearly aimed at China said they “affirmed the importance of freedom of navigation, and lawful, unimpeded commerce, respect for international law, and the peaceful settlement of disputes.”

China is well aware of the importance of the South China Sea to its economy and thus to its military modernization. Spokesmen in Beijing have asserted that China “enjoys indisputable sovereignty” over that sea, considering it to be internal waters. Beijing has repeatedly objected to U.S. joint exercises with Southeast Asian navies there.

Walsh’s strategic concept, about which he has written a classified paper, has evidently had some influence beyond his headquarters at Pearl Harbor. It did not show up in the Pentagon’s new strategic guidance but Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed similar thoughts in her recent call for the U.S. to “pivot” its strength to Asia.

The United States has helped “to protect unfettered access to and passage through the South China Sea,” she wrote, “and to uphold the key international rules for defining territorial claims in the South China Sea’s waters. Given that half the world’s merchant tonnage flows through this body of water, this was a consequential undertaking.”

Similarly, the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific and Asia, Admiral Robert Willard, has noted: “The sea lines of communication that crisscross the South China Sea carry $5.3 trillion in bilateral annual trade, of which $1.2 trillion is U.S. trade.”

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NATO Intensifies Military Cooperation With Azerbaijan

http://en.apa.az/news.php?id=164167

Azeri Press Agency
January 23, 2012

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Azerbaijan develops its partnership with NATO”

Baku: “The Azerbaijan-NATO partnership was continued in 2011”, says the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry’s annual press release for 2011.

The issues of defense reforms, practical cooperation, security in the region, future development of Azerbaijan-NATO relations, including the beginning of an news Individual Partnership Action Plan, operations and energy security were discussed during the political dialog last year. The 28+1 (NATO member countries and Azerbaijan) meeting on energy security was held in NATO headquarters last year.

As a result of discussions on the beginning of the 3rd round of the NATO Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), the 3rd round document of IPAP was adopted on December 20, 2011.

Azerbaijan actively participated in the international political processes on Afghanistan, the country’s representatives participated in an informal meeting of foreign ministers of countries contributing to NATO’s ISAF operations and International Conference on NATO in Bonn, as well as a foreign ministerial meeting of non-NATO member countries contributing to ISAF at NATO headquarters.

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U.S. Sees Iran’s Neighbor Azerbaijan As Major Strategic Partner

http://www.news.az/articles/politics/53152

News.Az
January 23, 2012

US sees Azerbaijan as ‘a major strategic partner’

-The US sees Azerbaijan as a major strategic partner that helps to build bridges in the region while watching and checking Russian and Iranian intentions.
-A new war over Karabakh due to an Iran scenario is possible given the strategic distraction a military strike on Iran.

News.Az interviews Dr Theodore Karasik, director of Research & Development at the Institute for Near East & Gulf Military Analysis.

What can you say about the opinion that West is losing the South Caucasus? Anyway, this region seems not to be on the list of priorities in the US foreign policy?

I think that assumption is wrong. The South Caucasus remain vital to the West and is a priority item for US foreign policy when it comes to energy resources and routes as well as events in neighboring countries.

Security is among the key components of US-Azerbaijani cooperation. What is Azerbaijan for the United States in this sense, given its location in a complex region with problematic neighbors?

The US sees Azerbaijan as a major strategic partner that helps to build bridges in the region while watching and checking Russian and Iranian intentions.

Azerbaijan has made it clear that it won’t allow its territory to be used for anti-Iranian actions. Can the West convince the West to change this position?

I think Azerbaijan’s decision is a prudent one and there is no reason to use Azeri territory anyway since other countries are making themselves available.

How can the possible military invasion in Iran influence the situation in the region of South Caucasus, overall, and Azerbaijan, in particular?

This depends on the use of air strikes and whether any refugee flows occur.  The Iranian government may also try to upset any US or allied foreign presence in any neighboring countries such as from Afghanistan to Azerbaijan.

What do you think of the assumption that growing tensions in Iran may cause a new war for Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia?

A new war over Karabakh due to an Iran scenario is possible given the strategic distraction a military strike on Iran. Then again, it would not be in any one’s interest to launch a new adventure.

What can be Azerbaijan’s role as the nonpermanent member of the UN Security Council?

This new role will allow Azerbaijan greater opportunities to voice Baku’s regional concerns.

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China Questions U.S.-Philippines Joint Military Drills

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international-business/china-questions-us-philippines-joint-military-drills/articleshow/11602500.cms

Economic Times
January 23, 2012

China questions US-Philippines joint military drills

BEIJING: China today questioned US and the Philippines plans to hold joint military drills near the disputed waters in the South China Sea saying that American intervention could destabilise peace in the region.

“One can’t help but raise questions about the real intentions behind Washington’s pivot to the Asia-Pacific region”, a commentary in the state-run Xinhua news agency said today about the US, Philippines plan to hold joint military drills from March to April.

China claims the entire South China Sea and the islands, which are believed to be rich with oil and gas resources, as its own.

Besides Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also question the Chinese claim and stake their own claims over the same.

The Xinhua commentary said both US and Philippines have claimed that their proposed war games are not directed against other countries in the region, “but the motive behind the planned joint drills is really dubious”, it said.

“The planned joint military drills show, the United States could become a destabilising force in the region itself if it puts its power in the wrong places”, it said.

“As to the issue of the South China Sea, the priority for all parties is to shelve disputes and refrain from taking radical measures to escalated the situation”, it said.

Calling US an “outside power”, the daily said Washington should work with all parties concerned to prevent tensions from getting out of control, rather than support “one side or the other”.

“Instead of trying to arm the Philippines and stoking tensions, the United States should restrain the activist and provocative moves by its so-called ally”, it said.

“After all, it is in the interests of all parties to maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, which has been considered as a major engine driving the global economy”, it said.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Michael
    January 23, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Additional U.S. military build up in the Persian Gulf represents beginning of the war of aggression against peaceful Nation of Iran. It may well be the beginning of the end for the crumbling U.S. Empire of crime!

  2. rosemerry
    January 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Next week the EU is set to agree an embargo on Iranian oil. The West expects the sanctions to force Iran to suspend the nuclear weapon activities it is allegedly practicing.

    Of course, threats like this are likely to harden the attitude of Iran (to its LEGAL nuclear plans) or to push it into nukes never to be used. Why is the West so determined to destroy a nation which is no threat (look at the disasters in Libya and, of course, Iraq) while actively supporting and arming the main belligerent nuke-holding country in the ME?

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