Home > Uncategorized > Stop NATO news: May 11, 2012

Stop NATO news: May 11, 2012

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Letter: Retire NATO, Leave Afghanistan

NATO Summit Protesters Set Their Sights On Boeing

U.S. Trainers, Military Cooperation Returns to Yemen

Georgia Awards U.S. Marines With Medals

Germany Faces Inflated NATO Drone Costs

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Letter: Retire NATO, Leave Afghanistan

Chicago Sun-Times
May 10, 2012

Letter

Retire NATO, leave Afghanistan

As the NATO Summit in Chicago draws near, President Barack Obama should take a good look at what poll after recent poll has stated clearly: Public opinion in this country wants United States and NATO troops home from Afghanistan, sooner rather than later.

With our country still trying to dig out of the economic crisis and local services being cut, most people feel that we need to stop spending money on war and fund libraries, schools and health care instead.

The millions being spent to welcome NATO and to curtail protesters from exercising their rights would go a long way to restore mental health clinics and support Chicago Public Schools.

NATO should be retired, not re-purposed. Its Cold War-era ration­ale has ended, and we shouldn’t continue to funnel human and economic resources toward a military alliance that has outlived its purpose.

President Obama, the pro-peace majority in this county wants to take a different path.

Mary Zerkel
Rogers Park

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NATO Summit Protesters Set Their Sights On Boeing

http://chicagoist.com/2012/05/10/nato_summit_protesters_set_their_si.php

Chicagoist
May 10, 2012

NATO Summit Protesters Set Their Sights On Boeing

Protesters plan to target Boeing during the NATO summit, whose corporate offices are located in the loop along the river. Recently, Boeing erected ten foot high barricades outside its building for what they say is a long term construction project, but protest organizers argue that it might have something to do with their planned actions. They plan to “shut down” Boeing’s offices on May 21.

Activists are hoping to bring attention to Boeing’s involvement in producing military equipment. Brian Bean, an organizer of the protest, told the Sun-Times, “Boeing doesn’t just make passenger planes — they should be known internationally more for making the F-18, the B2, the Apache helicopter and a whole host of missiles that are largely dropped on mud villages around the world.” He went on to say that Boeing “represents the synthesis of the dual agendas of war and poverty of NATO and the G-8.”

Boeing Spokesperson John Dern declined to say whether or not employees would work in or out of the office on May 21. He added that the construction project has been planned for months, and the fences will be present until winter. He also said Boeing was “proud to support our military — we support the men and women who are fighting around the world for the United States.”

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U.S. Trainers, Military Cooperation Returns to Yemen

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=116252

U.S. Department of Defense
May 8, 2012

U.S. Trainers, Military Cooperation Returns to Yemen
By Jim Garamone

WASHINGTON: U.S. military personnel are again training Yemeni forces, Defense Department officials said today.

U.S. officials had suspended the training mission in Yemen due to political instability in the nation. The United States recently began reintroducing a small number of trainers into the country, Navy Capt. John Kirby, Pentagon spokesman, said.

“There was a suspension of some of that activity in Yemen for a while due to the political instability in that country,” the spokesman said. “We are now beginning to resume more of that routine military-to-military cooperation.”

Pentagon officials will not discuss operations in Yemen, Kirby said. “And I’m certainly not going to provide specific details on the numbers of individuals that we have there,” he said.

Kirby also addressed questions about an American airstrike in Afghanistan that mistakenly hit a civilian target, killing six members of an Afghan family…

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Georgia Awards U.S. Marines With Medals

http://www.mod.gov.ge/index.php?page=77&lang=1&type=1&Id=1387

Georgian Ministry of Defence
May 8, 2012

Awarding Ceremony

Representatives of the Ministry of Defence of Georgia awarded American military servicemen. Five US marines and one sailor were honored for their contributions in support of the Georgia Deployment Program for ISAF mission. The Medals were awarded to them by Commander of the 31st Battalion LTC Alexander Tugushi, who had been wounded while performing the peacekeeping mission within the ISAF operation. An award ceremony was held at Marine Corps Security Cooperation Group, Joint expeditionary Base Fort Story, in Virginia.

Marine Col. Christopher McCarthy, Lt. Col. Daniel Thoele, Maj. Joshua Anderson, Capt. Arlon Smith, and Staff Sgt. Everett Brown were presented the Gen. Giorgi Mazniashvili Medals. Also recognized was Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan Tilley, who was presented the Georgian Ministry of Defence Medal. According to the MoD representatives, these Marines greatly contributed to the expansion of Georgia Deployment Program for ISAF mission.

GDP-ISAF is the train and equip mission designed to prepare four Georgian infantry battalions in sequence for operations in Afghanistan.

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Germany Faces Inflated NATO Drone Costs

http://www.thelocal.de/national/20120509-42421.html

The Local
May 9, 2012

Germany faces inflated Nato drone bill

Germany’s bill for the Nato drone defence system seems set to rise by about a quarter to hit nearly half a billion euros, according to secret Finance Ministry documents.

News magazine Der Spiegel reported on Tuesday it had seen a 17-page dossier saying that Germany was likely to have to pay significantly more than initially agreed for the Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) – to plug a financial gap left by other countries who have backed out of the Nato project.

The dossier also says that German armed forces are expected to spend €260 million on up to four of its own unmanned drones in order to ensure the AGS capabilities.

And although costs to the German budget are spiralling, the government is determined to support the concept, which is described as of “paramount significance” for military-political and operative considerations, the dossier says.

Germany will do, “everything possible to contribute to its success,” it continues, according to Der Spiegel.

Nato defence ministers finally reached a compromise over the AGS project this spring, with German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziére calling the drones pioneering.

They are due to be presented as the perfect example of smart defence policies at the Nato summit in Chicago later this month – along with the idea that cooperation in buying defence capabilities will lead to greater force with less money.

The idea for AGS dates back to 2007, Der Spiegel said, when eight Global Hawk drones were planned. These giant drones are as big as a commercial plane and are packed full of surveillance equipment.

At the time 17 Nato nations said they would contribute to the financing, with the US and Germany signing up to pay two thirds of the €1.2 billion needed.

But since then Turkey, Poland, Denmark and Canada have dropped out, citing budgetary shortfalls. The project was downgraded to just five Global Hawks – and as the dossier now makes clear, at one point the entire AGS project was written off by German politicians. Delays have also contributed to an increase in the cost – to nearly €1.5 billion.

Germany will now face a bill of €483 million – around a third of the whole cost – rather than the original contribution of €400 million.

Nato military bosses say they desperately need the new system – after having to admit that airborne operations over Libya were almost completely dependent on American surveillance drones and planes.

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