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29 juin 2011 3 29 /06 /juin /2011 19:15

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/espace-collaboratif/redaction-dicod/general-jean-fred-berger/1275419-1-fre-FR/general-jean-fred-berger.jpg

 

23/06/2011 Auteur :  Linda Verhaeghe  - Ministère de la Défense

 

Le général Jean-Fred Berger a pris le commandement du Centre de guerre interarmées de l’Otan, le 17 juin 2011.

 

Le général de division Jean-Fred Berger a pris le commandement du Centre de guerre interarmées (Joint Warfare Centre) de  l’Otan, situé à Stavanger (Norvège), le 17 juin 2011.Il succède ainsi au général allemand Wolfgang Korte.

 

« C’est un privilège pour moi de prendre ce commandement, qui est reconnu pour son haut niveau de professionnalisme, d’efficacité et d’adaptabilité  », a-t-il déclaré à l’occasion de la cérémonie de passation de commandement.

 

Cette cérémonie, présidée par le général polonais Mieczyslaw Bieniek, adjoint du général Stéphane Abrial, Commandant suprême allié Transformation (SACT) de l'OTAN , s’est déroulée en présence de plusieurs hautes autorités de l’Alliance atlantique.

 

Le Centre de guerre interarmées de l’Otan est un centre de formation, mis en place au mois d’octobre 2003, avec pour rôle de conduire des exercices interarmes et interarmées, et de participer à améliorer l’efficacité et l’interopérabilité des forces déployées dans le cadre de l’Otan.

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29 juin 2011 3 29 /06 /juin /2011 05:55

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28 juin 2011 par Mathieu Rabechault - La Presse Canadienne

 

Washington - Certains pays n'ont pas les capacités militaires, d'autres disent craindre la «surchauffe» après trois mois d'intervention en Libye: pour le patron du Pentagone, les Européens doivent mutualiser leurs moyens pour que l'Otan ne devienne pas une coquille vide.

 

La campagne aérienne de l'Otan met en lumière l'atrophie des budgets militaires de nombreux pays et la nécessité pour les Européens de mieux se coordonner pour y parer, a affirmé le secrétaire américain à la Défense Robert Gates lors d'un entretien à l'AFP la semaine passée.

 

Début juin, le ministre, qui quittera ses fonctions jeudi, avait mis en garde dans un discours virulent à Bruxelles contre l'avenir «sombre» qui guette l'Alliance atlantique si les Européens n'y prêtent pas plus attention.

 

«Franchement, bon nombre de ces alliés restent à l'écart, non pas parce qu'ils ne veulent pas participer, mais simplement parce qu'ils ne peuvent pas. Les moyens militaires ne sont tout simplement pas là», avait-il alors déploré en évoquant la Libye.

 

«Le fait est, comme je l'ai dit à Bruxelles, qu'il y a une capacité militaire importante et beaucoup d'argent dépensé en Europe», a affirmé M. Gates à l'AFP. «Le problème est la façon dont il est dépensé et le fait de ne pas reconnaître suffisamment que tous les pays de l'Otan n'ont pas les moyens de disposer de l'ensemble de l'éventail des capacités militaires».

 

Hors États-Unis, les membres de l'Otan dépensent 300 milliards de dollars par an pour leur défense et pourtant Washington prend en charge 75% des dépenses militaires de l'Alliance.

 

Les Européens manquent notamment de moyens de surveillance et de reconnaissance pour identifier les cibles qu'ils veulent bombarder en Libye.

 

Ils doivent commencer à «mettre en commun leurs ressources», selon M. Gates. «Certains pays ne peuvent s'offrir les F16 mais ils peuvent mettre en commun leurs moyens comme ils l'ont fait pour l'avion-cargo C17, et avoir alors une capacité réelle».

 

«Il y a encore deux millions de militaires en Europe, pourquoi est-il si difficile d'en trouver 25.000» pour une opération, a-t-il encore demandé.

 

En Libye, seuls huit des 28 pays de l'Otan - États-Unis, Belgique, Canada, Danemark, France, Italie, Norvège et Royaume-Unis - participent aux frappes aériennes. La moitié des membres de l'Alliance n'apporte aucune contribution.

 

Fers de lance de l'intervention et rares pays au sein de l'Otan avec la Grèce, l'Albanie et les États-Unis à respecter le seuil de 2% du PIB prôné par l'Alliance pour la défense, la France et la Grande-Bretagne commencent à s'inquiéter des effets d'une campagne prolongée en Libye.

 

De hauts gradés britanniques ont mis en doute la capacité de la Royal Air Force et de la Royal Navy à mener à bien leurs missions en Libye si les opérations devaient se prolonger au-delà de l'été.

 

En France, le chef d'état-major de la Marine, l'amiral Pierre-François Forissier, dément toute «surchauffe» mais prévient qu'une longue indisponibilité attend le porte-avions Charles-de-Gaulle en 2012 si les opérations se prolongent trop.

 

Fier de son action en Libye, Nicolas Sarkozy n'a pas manqué de dénoncer la déclaration «injuste» de Robert Gates, «qui ne correspond à aucune réalité», même si les propos du ministre semblaient viser d'autres pays.

 

La participation américaine en Libye se résume selon le président français à «deux drones» et «un certain nombre d'avions ravitailleurs».

 

Selon le Pentagone, 70 appareils américains continuent de prendre part à l'opération, dont des chasseurs-bombardiers F15 et F16. Au moins 119 frappes américaines ont eu lieu depuis début avril.

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24 juin 2011 5 24 /06 /juin /2011 17:25

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June 24, 2011 defpro.com

 

The NATO Deputy Secretary General, Ambassador Claudio Bisognero, and the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Rowsh Noori Sideq Shaways, met today at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.

 

They discussed the current training activities led by the Alliance in support of the Iraqi Security Forces and the possibility of expanding cooperation in that field.

 

They also exchanged views on possible areas of future long term cooperation between NATO and Iraq such as Counterterrorism, Capacity Building of the Defence Sector and Energy Security in the context of the Strucutre Cooperation Framework.

 

Ambassador Claudio Bisognero and Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister also spoke about the NATO current led mission in Libya in implementation of the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 1973.

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23 juin 2011 4 23 /06 /juin /2011 21:55

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23/06/2011 DGA

 

La Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) vient de livrer le premier hélicoptère Panther « standard 2 » à la Marine nationale le 31 mai 2011. L’ensemble de la flotte Panther, soit 16 hélicoptères, sera aux normes de ce nouveau standard à l’horizon 2016.

 

Cette nouvelle version améliore l’interopérabilité OTAN de l’hélicoptère grâce à l’intégration de la liaison de données L11. L’avionique a également été totalement modernisée et mise en conformité OACI (Organisation de l’aviation civile internationale) : intégration d’écrans de navigation et d’un écran de mission sur la planche de bord, sécurisation des communications radios, installation d’un GPS, d’un répondeur mode S. Ces hélicoptères seront aussi équipés d’une caméra capable de filmer de jour comme de nuit.

 

La DGA a notifié un contrat d’un montant de 54 M€ à Eurocopter en janvier 2007  et un autre de 7 M€ au Service industriel de l’aéronautique (SIAé) en mai 2007. Au titre de ce contrat, le SIAé est en charge du développement et de la fourniture des consoles tactiques qui viendront compléter ce nouveau standard.

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23 juin 2011 4 23 /06 /juin /2011 20:50

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23.06.2011, french.ruvr.ru

 

Le directeur de la CIA Leon Panetta, dont la candidature a été approuvée mercredi par le Sénat américain, occupera le poste de secrétaire à la défense en remplacement de Robert Gates qui prend sa retraite, écrit jeudi 23 juin le quotidien Rossiïskaïa gazeta. La direction de l’Alliance espère à cette occasion pouvoir changer la doctrine de l’organisation.

 

Lors de la dernière rencontre entre les ministres de la Défense de l’OTAN en juin, le discours de Gates construit sur les meilleurs modèles des films dramatiques, a retenti par un accord final spectaculaire. M. Gates a commencé son discours par un adieu touchant au siège: c’était sa dernière visite à Bruxelles. Mais très rapidement, Gates est passé de la tristesse à la colère. Le chef du ministère de la Défense des Etats-Unis, principal donateur financier de l’OTAN, n’a pas dissimulé son indignation face à la position des pays de l’Union européenne qui ne souhaitent par augmenter leurs budgets militaires.

 

Selon Robert Gates, si les Européens ne réunissent pas leurs ressources, "l’Alliance sera menacée d'inutilité militaire collective." Et bien que le Vieux Continent soit habitué depuis longtemps aux critiques américaines, cette fois on a eu l’impression que le ministre partant à la retraite est allé trop loin. Par ailleurs, les analystes ont immédiatement réagi au mot "guerre" prononcé par Gates.

 

Avant lui, personne n’avait parlé de guerre au sein de l’OTAN: car ce qui se produit actuellement en Libye et en Afghanistan est qualifié d’opération, selon la terminologie de l’Alliance. Et il ne s’agit pas seulement de l’aspect linguistique. Les principales contradictions au sein de l’OTAN sont provoquées par la question de la volonté des membres de l’organisation de mener des actions militaires performantes. De toute évidence, les Américains continuent à considérer l’Alliance comme un "chien de garde" prêt à affronter un ennemi sans chercher à connaître les détails.

 

Or, les membres européens de l’Alliance rejettent cette approche. Après la chute du mur de Berlin, les pays européens ont considérablement réduit leurs dépenses d'entretien de l’OTAN. Finalement, seulement quatre Etats européens dépensent les 2% convenus de leur PIB pour la défense: la France, la Grande-Bretagne, la Grèce et l’Albanie. Toutefois, la présence des deux dernières dans cette liste est temporaire. Surtout en raison de la crise traversée actuellement par la Grèce.

 

Le reste de l’Europe ne semble pas croire en la présence d’une menace militaire distincte. Et pour cette raison, ces pays ne s’empressent pas de dépenser leur argent. A Bruxelles, l’auteur de ces lignes a interrogé les fonctionnaires de l’Alliance pour savoir quel était le principal objectif stratégique de l’organisation. Certains de mes interlocuteurs haussaient les épaules en tentant de s’en tirer par des phrases: "la pais dans le monde." Ceux qui acceptaient de discuter ce sujet à voix haute ont avoué qu’après l’effondrement de l’URSS, l’Alliance a subi une crise d’identité. Conformément à la charte de l’OTAN, aucun pays ne présente de menace pour elle. Ni l’Iran, ni la Corée du Nord, et certainement pas la Russie. Alors, contre qui faut-il s’armer, en gaspillant les budgets de défense déjà maigres, se demandent les Européens.

 

En fait, le rôle actuel de l’OTAN consiste à légitimer les opérations militaires. Mais cela ne convient pas aux Américains: ils veulent que les Européens participent à part entière aux opérations militaires. Mais les Européens estiment que le niveau actuel d’implication est déjà excessif. Pour l’instant l’Alliance traverse en quelque sorte sa "crise de la quarantaine." Les objectifs fixés auparavant sont atteints, et l’organisation qui s’est habituée à être l’une des dominantes mondiales, cherche d’autres objectifs.

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23 juin 2011 4 23 /06 /juin /2011 12:30

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BRUSSELS, June 22 (RIA Novosti)

 

NATO will continue its bombings of Libya, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a video address on Wednesday.

 

Libyan government officials have said that at least five people died in a NATO airstrike last Sunday that hit a three-story house in the city's Souk al-Juma residential district. NATO is investigating the incident.

 

"NATO will continue its mission, because if we stop, an unspecified number of civilians would lose their lives," Rasmussen said.

 

Rasmussen said NATO personnel would ensure everything was done to prevent civilian deaths in the future. The organization has admitted to hitting mistaken targets in the past.

 

Earlier Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini spoke for a possible halt in hostilities to allow humanitarian aid through to people. France, however, immediately opposed such possibility.

 

On June 1, NATO extended its mandate for the Libya operation until late September.

 

Libya has been rocked with protests against longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi since mid-February. The international military operation began on March 19 following a UN resolution.

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23 juin 2011 4 23 /06 /juin /2011 07:05

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L'amiral Guillaud, ici le 21 juin à Paris, serait pressenti au poste de président

du comité militaire de l'Otan. © Joel Saget / AFP

 

22/06/2011 par Jean Guisnel Le Point.fr

 

Le plus haut poste militaire de l'Alliance occupé par l'amiral Guillaud ? Ce serait le couronnement du retour de la France dans l'Otan. Rien n'est officiel, tout se joue en coulisses.

 

La nouvelle court avec tant d'insistance dans les plus hautes sphères militaires françaises que nous ne saurions en priver nos lecteurs. Selon nos informations, l'amiral Édouard Guillaud, chef d'état-major des armées françaises, serait "sollicité" par des homologues européens pour présenter sa candidature au poste militaire le plus élevé de l'Otan, celui de président du comité militaire, actuellement occupé par l'amiral italien Giampaolo Di Paola. Mais à la double condition que le CEMA français cède à ces pressions, auxquelles l'Élysée est attentif, et qu'il soit élu par ses pairs en septembre prochain, il laisserait vacante plus tôt que prévu sa place de CEMA. Au profit de qui ? Le calendrier est le suivant : l'acte de candidature formelle doit être transmis à l'Otan avant le 12 juillet 2011. Puis l'élection aura donc lieu en septembre. Et la prise de fonctions tardera un peu, puisqu'elle n'est prévue que pour mai 2012. Dans ce cas, l'amiral serait ravi à l'affection des armées françaises plus de deux ans avant la date prévue, son mandat courant jusqu'au 10 juillet 2014.

 

L'actuel président du comité militaire de l'Otan est donc l'amiral italien Giampaolo Di Paola. Il quittera ses fonctions l'an prochain et son successeur sera élu par les chefs d'état-major des armées des pays membres de l'Otan. Soit 27 électeurs, plus un civil : un ministre représentant le gouvernement de Reykjavik, l'Islande ne possédant pas d'armée. Pour être élu, il faut bien sûr être candidat. À ce stade, deux officiers généraux ont fait connaître leur intérêt. Le premier est le CEMA danois Knud Bartels. Mais le malheureux souffre d'un handicap rédhibitoire : le secrétaire général de l'Otan, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, est son compatriote. Un autre candidat a commencé une timide campagne : le général Walter Natynczyk, patron des forces armées canadiennes. Mais le prédécesseur de l'actuel président était le général canadien Ray R. Hénault, et il faudra bien que cette fois Ottawa passe son tour.

 

Objectif réaliste

 

Édouard Guillaud serait un bon candidat, de l'avis général. Il lui faudra agir à la hussarde, car la campagne électorale sera courte, de juillet à septembre. L'élection de maréchal, c'est-à-dire à l'unanimité, est une nécessité. Ce serait un beau clin d'oeil que de voir l'amiral Édouard Guillaud, ancien pacha du Charles de Gaulle, succéder à Giampaolo Di Paola, ancien commandant du porte-avions italien Garibaldi.

 

Pour le reste, il est un peu tôt pour évoquer le jeu de chaises musicales qui s'ensuivrait. S'il est acquis que la place de CEMA reviendrait en toute logique à l'actuel chef de l'état-major particulier de la présidence de la République, le général Benoît Puga, la succession de ce dernier est plus ouverte. Il faudra voir aussi le rôle qu'une éventuelle arrivée d'Édouard Guillaud à l'Otan aurait sur un poste en principe attribué définitivement - tel est, à tout le moins, le point de vue de l'Élysée - à un officier général français : celui du Commandement de la transformation (SAC-T), à Norfolk, actuellement occupé par le général Stéphane Abrial, qui doit partir à l'été 2012. Si deux officiers généraux français se trouvaient simultanément à deux postes aussi éminents, ce serait assurément un événement dans l'histoire de l'Otan, que la France n'a complètement rejoint qu'en mars 2009. À Paris, on se plaît à croire que l'objectif est réaliste. Mais la désignation du successeur de Stéphane Abrial ne serait définitivement tranchée qu'en avril 2012, lors du sommet de l'Otan à Chicago. D'ici là, de l'eau aura coulé sous les ponts...

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22 juin 2011 3 22 /06 /juin /2011 06:35

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STRASBOURG, June 21 (RIA Novosti)

 

The continuing close cooperation between Ukraine and NATO should have been expected by Russia, an Ukrainian diplomat said on Tuesday, adding that Kiev's ties with the alliance are not aimed against Moscow.

 

Commenting on media reports that Ukraine and NATO have strengthened cooperation by planning at least 64 joint events this year, the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told RIA Novosti that Kiev and Brussels applied an "everything but membership" formula in their relations.

 

"If someone in Russia had illusions in this respect - that is their problem, we never intended to cut ties with the most powerful military organization in the world," he said.

 

The diplomat added that cooperation with the alliance helped Ukraine to conduct military reforms, modernization of its Armed Forces and training of military personnel, including staging military drills that would not be possible otherwise because of the lack of defense funds.

 

On June 6-18, Ukraine hosted Sea Breeze 2011, the largest multinational maritime exercise this year in the Black Sea.

 

"We openly inform our Russia colleagues about everything that we do with NATO," the diplomat said.

 

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has indicated that Ukraine will drop his predecessor Viktor Yuschenko's plans to attempt to seek NATO membership, a proposal that infuriated Russia, but has also said he will try to maintain good ties with both Moscow and the West.

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19 juin 2011 7 19 /06 /juin /2011 07:30

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17 June 2011 defenseWeb Reuters

 

For a man who has been under Western bombardment for more than three months, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has not appeared unduly worried.

 

His appearance playing chess at the weekend with the Russian head of the World Chess Federation, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, was a piece of psychological theatre worthy of a veteran campaigner.

 

While Gaddafi has seemed to keep his cool, despite a relentless bombing onslaught launched in March, it is his powerful opponents in NATO who have appeared to lose theirs.

 

Reflecting frustration at NATO's inability to achieve quick results in a campaign some had forecast would be over in days or weeks, the U.S. defence secretary rounded on European allies last week for failing to back the mission the alliance took over in late March.

 

"The mightiest military alliance in history is only 11 weeks into an operation against a poorly armed regime in a sparsely populated country," Robert Gates said, "yet many allies are beginning to run short of munitions, requiring the U.S., once more, to make up the difference."

 

Now it's not only bombs, but the planes to deliver them that NATO risks running short of, with no sign of any new commitments to sustain the mission despite dire warnings from Gates about the very future of NATO and direct appeals to defence ministers from alliance Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

 

While Rasmussen has expressed his hope that the Libya mission can be concluded before the end of a second 90-day operations cycle in late September, many analysts consider this wishful thinking, given Gaddafi's resilience.

 

A mission that drags on beyond that date could present major problems, with some allies already stretched in their commitment and the United States reluctant to get dragged back into a leading role in the conflict as President Barack Obama faces criticism for the mission in the U.S. Congress.

 

Only eight of the 28 NATO states have provided planes for strike missions in Libya and pressure by Gates on others with available resources to do so, such as Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey and Germany, appear to have fallen on deaf ears.

 

Already Norway has announced it will have to scale back its contribution of strike aircraft this month and end their role in August, while European NATO stalwart Britain has said continuing the mission beyond September could be a challenge that could require diversion of resources from elsewhere.

 

Analysts say this could mean from NATO's war in Afghanistan, still termed the alliance's number-one priority.

 

Worse looms over the horizon, with France indicating it will need in the autumn to withdraw the Libyan mission's only aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, on virtually continuous operations since last year -- with no replacement in the offing.

 

"The elephant in the room is the imminent departure of the French carrier, given it has been flying 30-40 percent of all NATO strike sorties," said Tim Ripley, of Jane's Defence Weekly.

 

"It's a looming problem, so sustaining this operation, particularly if it's going to grind past September or October, is going to be a problem."

 

In the absence of other allies coming forward with strike aircraft that could be flown from land bases -- which would necessitate a fleet of refuelling tankers only the United States could provide -- one radical solution would be for Britain to redeploy decommissioned Harrier aircraft to its carrier HMS Illustrious, which was designated for conversion into a helicopter ship in Britain's defence review.

 

However, even if such a tricky political decision were taken by British Prime Minister David Cameron, it would be up to four months before the ship was ready for action, Ripley said.

 

A senior NATO commander conceded the extent of the worry on Tuesday. French General Stephane Abrial said the Libyan crisis had come as "a surprise" and if it were to last a long time "the resources issue will become critical."

 

Douglas Barrie, a military aviation specialist at London's International Institute of Strategic Studies, said that when Western powers launched the war in March, they appeared to be anticipating a quick mission.

 

"There may have been the view they would be pushing on an open door, but as the campaign has developed, it's become apparent that Gaddafi is not simply going to hang up his hat and leave the country," Barrie said.

 

"There was this aspiration that the mission would lead to the collapse of the regime and Gaddafi's removal but it wasn't structured to deliver that.

 

"And one of the things about Gaddafi is that he's stayed in power through thick and thin for four decades plus. He's been bombed before and has a track record of being able to hang in there in difficult circumstances."

 

Analysts said that in the absence of an unlikely "lucky bomb" that killed Gaddafi, and given the limitations of rebel forces and the West's unwillingness to commit ground forces, a divided Libya appeared an increasingly likely outcome.

 

"I wouldn't be surprised if NATO had to be there for a year, and I think it's 50-50 whether we end up seeing a frozen conflict and a de facto partition, with Gaddafi controlling part of Libya and the rebels the other," said Chris Schnaubelt of the NATO Defence College in Rome.

 

"If Gaddafi gets killed, then all bets are off, but if he survives physically, you are not going to get a quick change in the situation."

 

Marko Papic of political risk consultancy Stratfor said there appeared to be a growing acceptance of such a solution, at least in European capitals.

 

"It seems that they don't need to see the whole of Libya under rebel control -- this doesn't seem something they need success on for political, domestic purposes and that a split Libya is perfectly fine for the moment.

 

"Libya is not something that would make or break a government, the euro zone crisis and austerity are much more important politically," Papic said.

 

"In Libya, there's no political cost to muddling through indecisively."

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17 juin 2011 5 17 /06 /juin /2011 16:50

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June 17, 2011 defpro.com

 

NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, delivered a speech at the Spanish Senate on NATO’s changing role in the Mediterranean, particularly focusing on Operation Unified Protector and NATO’s future role in the region.

 

The Secretary General stressed that the progress made in its Libya operation over the past three months: “We have seriously degraded the ability of the Qadhafi regime to attack civilians. We have opened air and sea access for humanitarian assistance. And we have closed it to arms and mercenaries.” He further highlighted that last week NATO Defence Ministers have made it clear that “there is a solid determination to fulfil the historic mandate of the United Nations Security Council.”

 

Fogh Rasmussen went on to outline the way forward for NATO in the Mediterranean region, focusing on three main areas: improving NATO’s own capabilities, increasing the practical support NATO offers to the countries of the region and enhancing NATO’s political dialogue with those countries.

 

The Secretary General highlighted the way forward for a post-conflict Libya: “The international community needs to start planning for that day. And I believe that planning should be led by the United Nations. Once the crisis is over, it will be necessary to reform the military and security sectors. NATO has extensive experience in this field. We should stand ready to respond to any calls for help. And that support should be available to other countries in the region too.”

 

During his visit to Madrid, the Secretary General met with Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero, Foreign Minister Trinidad Jimenez and Defence Minister Carme Chacon. They discussed NATO relations with Russia, NATO’s reform and the Alliance-led operations in Libya and Afghanistan.

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17 juin 2011 5 17 /06 /juin /2011 07:55

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June 16, 2011 Andrew White, SHEPARD GROUP

 

Brussels –  NATO is threatened with a substantial shortfall in airborne surveillance should the UK retire its Sentinel Airborne Stand-Off Reconnaissance (ASTOR) fleet in 2013, a senior officer in the organisation has warned.

 

Referring to the forthcoming Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) programme which is due to come into service in 2015, Col Matt Anderer USAF, Force Command Requirements at Supreme HQ Allied Powers Europe said NATO's airborne surveillance capabilities were currently 'stretched' and 'heavily tasked'.

 

Speaking at the UV Europe conference in Brussels, Anderer warned that such a shortfall would be exacerbated should the UK scrap the Sentinel as outlined in October's Strategic Defence and Security Review. The Royal Air Force (RAF) has already lost its Nimrod MRA4 maritime patrol aircraft programme as part of the same review.

 

The Ministry of Defence said Raytheon’s ASTOR system could be ‘withdrawn once it is no longer required to support operations in Afghanistan’. Two Sentinel R Mk I aircraft are regularly contributing to coalition operations in Afghanistan on a daily basis.

 

'AGS is one of the alliance's most pressing capability needs. Now, we only have this capability from two [UK and US] alliance members. Assets are heavily tasked and very scarce resources and this will be even more if the UK retires the Sentinel fleet in 2013. AGS is critical to NATO and at this point in time, we cannot fail,' Anderer urged.

 

Supported by 14 member nations, NATO's AGS programme comprises the procurement of six Block 40 RQ-4 Global Hawk UAVs from Northrop Grumman as well as two transportable general ground stations (GGS), six mobile GGS, mission operations support installation and remote workstations. Anderer said he expected a contract to be signed by September this year with activation of the AGS main operating base at Sigonella air force base in Italy launched within the following 18 months.

 

It is envisaged that the Global Hawks will work alongside NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft or AWACS. 'The AGS core will be able to look at what is happening on the Earth’s surface, providing situational awareness before, during and, if necessary, after NATO operations,' according to officials.

 

Referring to current operations in Libya, Anderer said an AGS capability would 'provide a constant watch to help thwart Gaddafi's [military] attacks on civilians as well as supporting human relief efforts on land and at sea'.

 

The AGS programme will carry standard and high resolution SAR, GMTI and maritime moving target indicators for missions ranging from border control and humanitarian operations through to counter-IED and anti-piracy missions.

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16 juin 2011 4 16 /06 /juin /2011 21:41

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16 juin 2011 par Nicolas Gros-Verheyde(BRUXELLES2)

 

Profitant d’un déplacement à Londres, A.F. Rasmussen a profité de l’occasion pour répéter le message serriné par le secrétaire américain à la Défense, Robert Gates, à Bruxelles, vendredi dernier : les Européens doivent mettre « la main à la poche » pour assumer leur défense. Dans une interview au programme « Newsnight » de la BBC, le secrétaire général de l’OTAN, il dit partager son inquiétude. « L’OTAN est plus que jamais souhaitable et nécessaire ». Ce n’est pas seulement une question pour l’OTAN – souligne-t-il – mais aussi pour l’Europe. « Si l’Europe veut jouer un rôle plus significatif sur la scène mondiale dans le futur et prendre part aux missions de gestion de la sécurité internationale. Alors l’Europe a besoin aussi de capacités militaires critiques et de consacrer à la défense des investissements d’un certain niveau ».

Un message qui tombe à pic à Londres où plusieurs haut responsables de l’armée et députés britanniques demandent au gouvernement de revoir les coupes budgétaires induites par la révision stratégique. Mais un message difficile à faire entendre dans nombre de capitales confrontées à des difficultés budgétaires et économiques sans précédent depuis 30 ans (crise pétrolière de 1974), voire 80 ans (crise de 1929), et à justifier face à une opinion publique qui ne comprend pas et n’approuve pas certains engagements extérieurs comme l’Irak et l’Afghanistan.

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16 juin 2011 4 16 /06 /juin /2011 20:33

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Selon M. Rasmussen, "les Américains continuent de fournir des équipements militaires plus perfectionnés tandis que les Européens sont loin derrière".AFP/JOHN THYS

 

16.06.11 LEMONDE.FR avec AFP

 

Selon M. Rasmussen, "les Américains continuent de fournir des équipements militaires plus perfectionnés tandis que les Européens sont loin derrière".

 

 

Le secrétaire général de l'OTAN, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, reprend à son compte des déclarations du secrétaire à la défense américain, Robert Gates, affirmant que la baisse des dépenses consacrées à la défense dans les pays de l'OTAN risquait d'affaiblir l'Alliance atlantique. A moins que les Européens ne "mettent la main à la poche", la disparité des dépenses consacrées à la défense risque d'"affaiblir notre alliance" et de créér "une alliance à deux niveaux", estime M. Rasmussen dans un entretien au journal britannique The Guardian, jeudi.

 

Le secrétaire d'Etat américain avait estimé mercredi que la différence de dépenses consacrées à la défense entre les Etats-Unis et l'Europe constitue un "grave problème" qui risque à terme de détourner les Etats-Unis de l'Alliance. M. Rasmussen a approuvé l'idée selon laquelle les différences de financement pourraient créer un gouffre entre les capacités technologiques des Etats-Unis et celles des autres membres de l'Alliance, faisant planer le doute sur leur coopération future.

 

LES AMÉRICAINS FOURNISSENT LES ÉQUIPEMENTS LES PLUS PERFECTIONNÉS

 

Le secrétaire général de l'OTAN a précisé dans ce contexte qu'il y a dix ans les dépenses des Etats-Unis au sein de l'Alliance représentaient la moitié du total contre 75 % actuellement. "L'élargissement de ce fossé économique peut conduire également à un agrandissement du fossé technologique risquant d'entraver les capacités opérationelles de nos forces entre elles", a-t-il dit. Selon M. Rasmussen, "les Américains continuent de fournir des équipements militaires plus perfectionnés tandis que les Européens sont loin derrière". "Il pourrait devenir éventuellement difficile de coopérer même en ayant la volonté politique de le faire", a-t-il ajouté.

 

Malgré ce problème sur le financement des dépenses, M. Rasmussen a affirmé que l'OTAN "était prête à continuer aussi longtemps qu'il le faudra pour accomplir sa mission" en Libye affirmant que Moummar Kadhafi pouvait tomber à tout moment. Dans ce contexte le secrétaire général de l'OTAN a déclaré s'attendre à ce que l'ONU joue un rôle moteur lors de la transition post-Kadhafi et qu'il "n'envisageait pas que l'OTAN joue un rôle majeur dans cette affaire".

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16 juin 2011 4 16 /06 /juin /2011 20:21

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15 Juin 2011 Belga

 

La baisse des dépenses consacrées à la défense dans les pays de l'Otan constitue un "grave problème" qui risque à terme de détourner les Etats-Unis de l'Alliance, a affirmé mercredi le secrétaire américain à la Défense Robert Gates.

Réitérant devant les sénateurs d'une sous-commission de la Défense ses critiques après son discours véhément de Bruxelles vendredi, le ministre a affirmé que la part des Etats-Unis était passé de la moitié aux trois-quarts du budget militaire des 28 pays de l'Otan. "C'est un grave problème. C'est un souci depuis quelques années mais je pense que nos propres difficultés financières et ce à quoi le budget militaire américain va devoir faire face pose le problème comme jamais auparavant", a-t-il jugé. "Un nombre croissant" de membres du Congrès "pour qui la guerre froide et nos liens avec l'Europe et l'Otan ne sont pas dans les gênes" va finir par ne plus vouloir prendre en charge le fardeau, selon lui. Mais le secrétaire à la Défense a toutefois estimé préférable une Otan aux capacités réduites que "pas d'Otan du tout". Robert Gates avait mis en garde à Bruxelles les alliés occidentaux contre leur manque d'investissements militaires et de volonté politique, soulignant que ces "lacunes" pourraient "compromettre" l'efficacité de la mission en Libye et contre la perspective "inacceptable" d'une "alliance à deux vitesses". (MPK)

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16 juin 2011 4 16 /06 /juin /2011 06:10

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15/06/2011 par Adrien Prévost AEROCONTACT

 

Dans une optique d’économie, l’OTAN a effectué plusieurs coupes dans ses personnels et bases en Europe. La nouvelle structure se composera de 22 000 personnes (contre 30 000 précédemment) et 4 quartiers généraux plus 3 centres de commandement seront dissous.

 

Les deux gros centres de commandement, l’Allied Command Transformation (ACT) de Norfolk en Virginie (USA), et l’Allied Command Operations, plus connu sous le nom de Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), à Mons en Belgique, sont maintenus.

 

Les deux joint force commands de Brunssum, aux Pays-Bas, et celui de Naples, en Italie, seront convertis en joint force headquarters qui devront pouvoir déployer 500 de leurs 850 personnels. Ces centres reprennent la place qui leur avait été enlevée lors de la dernière réforme de l’OTAN.

 

Les commandements de la composante « Terre » de Madrid et Heidelberg seront fermés et remplacés par un centre unique à Izmir en Turquie. Izmir, lui, perdra son commandement « Air » qui partira à Ramstein en Allemagne qui prendra aussi en charge la défense anti-missile.

 

Les Coalition Air Operation Centers de l’OTAN passeront de quatre à deux. Actuellement les quatre centres des opérations aériennes sont Larissa, en Grèce, Finderup, au Danemark, Poggio Renatico, en Italie, et Uedem, en Allemagne. Seuls les deux derniers resteront en place. Un centre des opérations aériennes déployable sera mis en place depuis Poggio Renatico.

 

Le commandement de la composante « Mer » de Naples sera fermé et seul subsistera celui de Northwood, au Royaume-Uni. La nouvelle Agence Command and Information (C&I) regroupera : le NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A), qui fait partie du NATO Communication and Information Systems Agency (NCSA), et le NATO Air Command and Control System Management Agency (NACMA).

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15 juin 2011 3 15 /06 /juin /2011 19:42

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June 15, 2011 defpro.com

 

During a meeting in Brussels on 9 June, the Defence ministers of the NATO countries decided on the geographic redistribution of NATO headquarters. It was agreed that the Netherlands would keep the Brunssum headquarters.

 

The 28 member states want to make reductions in the great number of headquarters and agencies operated by the Alliance. The number of jobs in the staffs will be reduced from 13,500 to 8,800. Nevertheless, Brunssum will get an extra 230 positions as a result of the transfer of the expeditionary staff from Heidelberg.

 

The headquarters in the southern province of Limburg is, among other things, responsible for directing the ISAF mission in Afghanistan. The NC3A agency based in The Hague will also be maintained. This agency, which employs 625 personnel, develops sophisticated communication, C2 and espionage equipment. DARS at Nieuw Milligen will relocate to Italy. These two rapidly deployable mobile NATO C2 units for commanding air operations employ approximately 150 people.

 

STRATEGIC VALUE

 

Defence Minister Hans Hillen was pleased with the results. “Although the loss of DARS in this necessary round of reductions means we are parting with an important element, total employment in the Netherlands will actually increase. What is more, the Brunssum headquarters, which has been based there for over 40 years, is of great strategic importance.”

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15 juin 2011 3 15 /06 /juin /2011 16:35

 

June 15, 2011 defpro.com

 

ASTANA | Kazakhstan's parliament has decided to abstain from joining the NATO-led international coalition in Afghanistan, a member of the lower house said on Wednesday, according to RIA Novosti.

 

Nurtai Sabilyanov said the parliament would not consider a bill on ratifying the agreement with NATO at its joint session.

 

"Given the opinion of the senate and the public, the Majilis [lower house] will return the agreement to the government and it will have no legal effect because of the non-ratification by parliament," Sabilyanov said.

 

Majilis ratified the agreement with NATO on May 18 but the upper house turned the bill down on June 9 pending a decision from a joint parliamentary session.

 

"We must not send [our] military to Afghanistan, it is clear to all," he said.

 

On May 22, the Taliban circulated a statement warning Kazakhstan that if it sends troops to support the NATO contingent in Afghanistan, it would bear serious consequences as it contradicts the interests of all countries in the region.

 

The Kazakh Foreign Ministry then said that it was only going to send four officers into the International Security Assistance Force.

 

The international coalition in Afghanistan includes 47 nations, with 19 of them not NATO members and six of them belonging to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. (RIA Novosti)

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14 juin 2011 2 14 /06 /juin /2011 19:40

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A Global Hawk mock-up at the UK's Royal International Air Tattoo in 2009

 

14/06/11 By Stephen Trimble SOURCE:Flight International

 

Despite no lack of interest, acquiring a dedicated platform to detect ground moving targets on radar has eluded NATO for 20 years.

 

Casualties in the quest among NATO's European partners lay strewn across the historical records like the bombed-out tanks of Iraq's III Corps along the highway from Kuwait City to Basra in February 1991. France mothballed the Horizon, a radar-equipped Eurocopter AS532 Cougar, in 2008.

 

Italy developed the CRESO radar for the AgustaBell 412 helicopter, but that project also fizzled. Perhaps the most successful project - the Royal Air Force Sentinel R1 fleet equipped with the airborne stand-off radar - is to exit service post-Afghanistan campaign.

 

Each of these projects was launched in the aftermath of a failed push by the US government in the mid-1990s to persuade NATO to acquire the Northrop Grumman E-8C JSTARS airborne ground surveillance system. JSTARS pioneered the application of ground moving target indicator (GMTI) radar and spotted Iraq's III Corps en route to Basra through a sandstorm.

 

 

NATO is as close today as it has ever been to finally awarding a contract for a GMTI system, now defined as the RQ-4 Block 40 with the Northrop/Raytheon multi-platform radar technology insertion programme sensor.

 

Northrop submitted its proposal in March. A contract for six aircraft is to be awarded in October, to fulfil a vision nearly 20 years old.

 

In the interim between the JSTARS proposal and the Global Hawk-based Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) system, NATO's European members have decided that they cannot afford the expense of a national GMTI capability. Instead, NATO has approved a system based exclusively on the RQ-4 Block 40 already in service with the US government.

 

 

RQ-4 Northrop Grumman
 © Northrop Grumman
 An RQ-4 Block 40 in action

 

"The airframe and the sensor are identical to the US Air Force. The only thing we've done is we've added a European wideband datalink to the system to allow unfetterred flow of information," says Matthew Copija, director of Northrop's AGS programme. "There are no [export control] issues associated with getting the data down. We made it cleaner from an export standpoint approach."

 

Allowing the GMTI data to flow among all of NATO's members is critical for preserving its support as defence budgets tighten. The alliance has been making progress on interoperability over the past 15 years.

 

 

Global Hawk shot over Haiti - Northrop Grumman
 © Northrop Grumman
A Global Hawk shot over Haiti 

 

The first step was setting up a NATO command, control and communications agency (NC3A) testbed in 1996. That led to development of coalition aerial surveillance and reconnaissance (Caesar), establishing protocols for exchanging classified data generated from the synthetic aperture radars of member countries. The next step - developing software to facilitate that exchange - brought the advent of the multi-sensor aerospace-ground joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance interoperability coalition (MAJIIC).

 

"NC3A started out as a testbed, it turned into Caesar," Copija says. "Caesar now has MAJIIC. [That system is about] how do they deal with interoperability within NATO on GMTI data and it's becoming a key backbone system for NATO as we go forward."

 

That is not to suggest that NATO has overcome the budget and operational challenges that have delayed the GMTI programme for decades. Even as member countries experimented with individual programmes, NATO tried to launch the transatlantic industrial proposed solution programme, which included the RQ-4 and the Airbus A321 with the Thomson-CSF applications radar (TCAR).

 

 

RQ-4 Global Hawk fact box 

 

"The TCAR became the critical path for deployment of the system," Copija says. "The nations that weren't really benefiting from it, they all came away... [deciding] the return on investment and technology reuse just wasn't there for the risk and cost associated."

 

Instead, NATO has settled for an off-the-shelf system that includes six RQ-4s - down from eight air vehicles - based at Sigonella air base in Sicily. The system also includes an almost entirely off-the-shelf ground system. If NATO members object to GMTI this time, it will not be driven by the budget or schedule of the development phase. "This approach is a turnkey," Copija says. "It is designed to develop it, demonstrate it, qualify it and then produce it and then stand it up, all in one single contract."

 

For the ground station, the proposed offer calls for EADS to be responsible for the mobile system, including a communications truck and a trailer. Selex, meanwhile, is working with Romania and Bulgaria to develop a mobile operating base. "The [NATO] force commander stands up every day and says he needs it," Copija says. "It will save alliance lives and save troops on the ground and protect them. It makes them more efficient and effective at what they do. The reason it survives is operationally it has a need."

 

See the latest in unmanned air vehicles

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14 juin 2011 2 14 /06 /juin /2011 18:30

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June 14, 2011 defpro.com

 

Podgorica, Montenegro | Montenegro is an important partner to NATO and you have our full support to become the 29th Alliance member, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly president Karl Lamers told Prime Minister Igor Luksic at their meeting on 12 June in Budva, Montenegro.

 

Mr Lamers said he has deep appreciation for PM Luksic’s policy and commended Montenegro’s commitment to EU and NATO integration. He welcomed Montenegro’s involvement in Afghanistan, underlining that this is an important contribution to global peace and security.

 

Mr Lamers also made a favourable assessment of Montenegro’s EU accession process, at the same time underlining that “Germany gives full support to both the EU and NATO integration of Montenegro.”

 

PM Luksic stressed that Montenegro will continue to work diligently on venerating the European and Euro-Atlantic principles not only for the sake of joining the organisations but primarily to ensure better quality of life for its citizens.

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14 juin 2011 2 14 /06 /juin /2011 18:05

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June 14, 2011 Jim Garamone / American Forces Press Service – defpro.com

 

BRUSSELS | NATO has turned into a two-tiered alliance of members who consume security and those who produce it, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said here yesterday.

 

Gates spoke to NATO’s Security and Defense Agenda assembly the day after a meeting of the alliance’s defense ministers concluded.

 

“In the past, I’ve worried openly about NATO turning into a two-tiered alliance between members who specialize in ‘soft’ humanitarian, development, peacekeeping and talking tasks and those conducting the ‘hard’ combat missions -- between those willing and able to pay the price and bear the burdens of alliance commitments, and those who enjoy the benefits of NATO membership, be they security guarantees or headquarters billets, but don’t want to share the risks and the costs,” the secretary said.

 

“This is no longer a hypothetical worry,” he added. “We are there today. And it is unacceptable.”

 

To be sure, Gates said, NATO is heavily involved in Afghanistan, and the troops assigned to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force are acquitting themselves well.

 

“Consider that when I became secretary of defense, there were about 20,000 non-U.S. troops from NATO nations in Afghanistan,” Gates said. “Today, that figure is approximately 40,000. More than 850 troops from non-U.S. NATO members have made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan. For many allied nations, these were the first military casualties they have taken since the Second World War.”

 

NATO took over ISAF four years ago, Gates noted, adding that he never would have expected the alliance to sustain this operation for this long, much less add significantly more forces in 2010.

 

“It is a credit to the brave ISAF troops on the ground, as well as to the allied governments who have made the case for the Afghanistan mission under difficult political circumstances at home,” the secretary said.

 

The coalition forces in Afghanistan now include 100,000 American service members who provide needed resources for a war that had been chronically underfunded due to operations in Iraq, Gates said. “These new resources – combined with a new strategy – have decisively changed the military momentum on the ground, with the Taliban ejected from their former strongholds,” he added.

 

But nothing remains static, he told the assembly, and as part of the plan to turn security control over to the Afghan government by the end of 2014, President Barack Obama soon will announce the size and pacing of the U.S. troop drawdown beginning in July. No matter what it is, Gates said, there will be no rush to the exits.

 

“The vast majority of the surge forces that arrived over the past two years will remain through the summer fighting season,” he said. “We will also reassign many troops from areas transferred to Afghan control into less-secure provinces and districts.”

 

The Taliban will attempt to counterattack, he said, but they will lose. And keeping the pressure on them will create a chance to bolster military success with governmental and economic success, he added.

 

“Given what I have heard and seen – not just in my recent visit to Afghanistan, but over the past two years – I believe these gains can take root and be sustained over time with proper allied support,” the secretary said. “Far too much has been accomplished, at far too great a cost, to let the momentum slip away just as the enemy is on his back foot.”

 

NATO cannot afford some troop-contributing nations to pull out their forces on their own timeline in a way that undermines the mission and increases risks to other allies, Gates said.

 

“The way ahead in Afghanistan is ‘in together, out together,’” he said. “Then our troops can come home to the honor and appreciation they so richly deserve, and the transatlantic alliance will have passed its first major test of the 21st century.”

 

But NATO operations in Afghanistan have exposed serious alliance shortcomings in military capabilities and in political will, Gates said. “Despite more than 2 million troops in uniform – not counting the U.S. military – NATO has struggled, at times desperately, to sustain a deployment of 25,000 to 45,000 troops -- not just in boots on the ground, but in crucial support assets such as helicopters; transport aircraft; maintenance; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and much more,” he said.

 

The NATO operation over Libya shows an even greater lack of resources and will, Gates said. Operation Unified Protector, he noted, is a sea-air campaign essentially in Europe’s backyard. The mission has widespread political support, doesn’t require ground troops under fire and is vital to Europe’s national interests, he added.

 

The mission set out by the United Nations has succeeded, Gates said, grounding Moammar Gadhafi’s air force and degrading his regime’s ability to kill his own people.

 

“While the operation has exposed some shortcomings caused by underfunding,” the secretary said, “it has also showed the potential of NATO, with an operation where Europeans are taking the lead with American support.

 

“However, while every alliance member voted for the Libya mission, less than half have participated, and fewer than a third have been willing to participate in the strike mission,” he continued. “Frankly, many of those allies sitting on the sidelines do so not because they do not want to participate, but simply because they can’t. The military capabilities simply aren’t there.”

 

Allies do not have intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets that would allow more allies to be involved and make an impact, Gates said. To run the air campaign, the NATO air operations center in Italy required a major augmentation of targeting specialists, mainly from the United States, to do the job – a “just in time” infusion of personnel that may not always be available in future contingencies, the secretary said.

 

“We have the spectacle of an air operations center designed to handle more than 300 sorties a day struggling to launch about 150,” he said. “Furthermore, the mightiest military alliance in history is only 11 weeks into an operation against a poorly armed regime in a sparsely populated country – yet many allies are beginning to run short of munitions, requiring the U.S., once more, to make up the difference.”

 

Part of this predicament stems from a lack of will, much of it from a lack of resources in an era of austerity, Gates said. For all but a handful of allies, defense budgets – in absolute terms, as a share of economic output – have been chronically starved for adequate funding for a long time, with the shortfalls compounding on themselves each year, he added.

 

Despite the demands of mission in Afghanistan -- NATO’s first “hot” ground war -- total European defense spending has declined by nearly 15 percent over the last 10 years, the secretary said. Furthermore, he added, rising personnel costs, combined with the demands of training and equipping for Afghan deployments, has consumed an ever-growing share of already meager defense budgets.

 

This means modernization and improving capabilities are being squeezed out, as the world sees today over Libya, he said.

 

“I am the latest in a string of U.S. defense secretaries who have urged allies privately and publicly, often with exasperation, to meet agreed-upon NATO benchmarks for defense spending,” Gates said. “However, fiscal, political and demographic realities make this unlikely to happen any time soon, as even military stalwarts like the [United Kingdom] have been forced to ratchet back with major cuts to force structure.”

 

Today, just five of the 28 NATO allies – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Greece and Albania – exceed the agreed-upon 2 percent of gross domestic product spending on defense. And that probably won’t change, Gates said.

 

“The relevant challenge for us today, therefore, is no longer the total level of defense spending by allies, but how these limited – and dwindling – resources are allocated, and for what priorities,” he said. “For example, though some smaller NATO members have modestly sized and funded militaries that do not meet the 2 percent threshold, several of these allies have managed to punch well above their weight because of the way they use the resources they have.”

 

For example, he said, Norway and Denmark have provided 12 percent of allied strike aircraft in the Libya operation, yet have struck about one-third of the targets, and Belgium and Canada also are making major contributions to the strike mission.

 

“These countries have, with their constrained resources, found ways to do the training, buy the equipment and field the platforms necessary to make a credible military contribution,” Gates said.

 

But they are the exceptions, he added, as too many allies have been unwilling to fundamentally change how they set priorities and allocate resources.

 

“The non-U.S. NATO members collectively spend more than 300 billion U.S. dollars on defense annually, which, if allocated wisely and strategically, could buy a significant amount of usable military capability,” Gates said. “Instead, the results are significantly less than the sum of the parts.”

 

This, he added, not only has shortchanged current operations, but also bodes ill for ensuring NATO has the key common alliance capabilities of the future. Member states, he added, must look at new ways to boost combat capabilities.

 

“While it is clear NATO members should do more to pool military assets, such ‘Smart Defense’ initiatives are not a panacea,” he said. “In the final analysis, there is no substitute for nations providing the resources necessary to have the military capability the alliance needs when faced with a security challenge. Ultimately, nations must be responsible for their fair share of the common defense.”

 

All this must be seen in the context of the political world in which NATO operates, Gates said.

 

“As you all know, America’s serious fiscal situation is now putting pressure on our defense budget, and we are in a process of assessing where the U.S. can or cannot accept more risk as a result of reducing the size of our military,” the secretary said. “Tough choices lie ahead affecting every part of our government, and during such times, scrutiny inevitably falls on the cost of overseas commitments – from foreign assistance to military basing, support and guarantees.”

 

Gates said he and Obama believe it would be a grave mistake for the United States to withdraw from its global responsibilities, noting that he discussed expanding U.S. engagements in Asia last week at a regional security conference in Singapore.

 

“With respect to Europe, for the better part of six decades there has been relatively little doubt or debate in the United States about the value and necessity of the transatlantic alliance,” Gates said. “The benefits of a Europe [that is] whole, prosperous and free after being twice devastated by wars requiring American intervention was self-evident.”

 

For most of the Cold War, U.S. governments of both parties justified defense investments and costly forward bases that made up roughly 50 percent of all NATO military spending, the secretary said. “But some two decades after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the U.S. share of NATO defense spending has risen to more than 75 percent – at a time when politically painful budget and benefit cuts are being considered at home,” he said.

 

“The blunt reality,” he continued, “is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the U.S. Congress – and in the American body politic writ large – to expend increasingly precious funds on behalf of nations that are apparently unwilling to devote the necessary resources or make the necessary changes to be serious and capable partners in their own defense -- nations apparently willing and eager for American taxpayers to assume the growing security burden left by reductions in European defense budgets.”

 

But NATO can recover, Gates said.

 

“The members of NATO – individually, and collectively – have it well within their means to halt and reverse these trends, and instead produce a very different future,” he told the assembly. Governments need to take serious steps to protect defense budgets from being further gutted in the next round of austerity measures, he said, and they need to allocate and coordinate the resources they have and follow through on commitments to the alliance and one another.

 

“It is not too late for Europe to get its defense institutions and security relationships on track,” Gates said. “But it will take leadership from political leaders and policy makers on this continent. It cannot be coaxed, demanded or imposed from across the Atlantic.

 

“Over the life of the transatlantic alliance, there has been no shortage of squabbles and setbacks,” he continued. “But through it all, we managed to get the big things right over time. We came together to make the tough decisions in the face of dissension at home and threats abroad. And I take heart in the knowledge that we can do so again.”

 

The secretary’s speech was the last event on a trip that took him to Singapore, Afghanistan and the NATO meeting -- his last foreign trip before his June 30 retirement.

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14 juin 2011 2 14 /06 /juin /2011 12:15

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June 14, 2011 defpro.com

 

Cyber attacks have become more common, more destructive and more sophisticated. At the 2010 Lisbon Summit, Allied leaders noted that this could threaten national and Euro-Atlantic security, and therefore agreed to enhance the Alliance’s cyber defence capabilities. The next steps in this area were discussed by NATO defence ministers when they met at NATO Headquarters in Brussels on 8 and 9 June.

 

The Allies agreed that NATO should revise its cyber defence policy adopted in January 2008 and develop an action plan to strengthen its own defences and better defend its populations and systems against cyber threats. A concept on NATO cyber defence, which provides the conceptual basis for this revision, was agreed by NATO defence ministers in March 2011.

 

At their meeting in June, defence ministers adopted the revised policy and agreed on an action plan, addressing the two major questions facing Allies: what does NATO want to defend and how should it do it?

 

“The new NATO policy will not only enable NATO to defend its own networks more quickly and effectively but also provide much more assistance to Allies and Partners in all the three crucial areas of cyber security: prevention, coping with cyber attacks and limiting their impact, and helping countries which are attacked to recover and restore their vital information systems rapidly,” says Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General, Emerging Security Challenges Division. “This is real progress for NATO.”

 

The revised policy and action plan work in parallel. The revised policy offers a coordinated approach to cyber defence across the Alliance. It focuses on the prevention of cyber attacks and building resilience. All NATO structures will be brought under centralised protection, and new cyber defence requirements will be applied. NATO’s work on cyber defence will be integrated into NATO’s Defence Planning Process. While no new military structures to deal with cyber threats will be created, Allies will ensure that appropriate cyber defence capabilities are included as part of their planning to protect information infrastructures that are critical for core Alliance tasks The revised cyber defence policy also stipulates NATO’s principles on cyber defence cooperation with partner countries, international organisations, the private sector and academia. The Action Plan will serve as the tool to ensure the timely and effective implementation of this policy.

 

“Nowhere is the need to act today rather than tomorrow more evident than in the area of cyber security,” says NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. “A well orchestrated cyber attack can turn off the power in your house, your city, your country. It can shut down air traffic control. It can shut down banks. In short, a cyber attack can bring a country down without a single soldier having to cross its borders… It is no exaggeration to state that cyber attacks have become a new form of permanent, low-level warfare.”

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12 juin 2011 7 12 /06 /juin /2011 12:05

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11 Jun 2011 brunei-online.com

 

BRUSSELS (AFP) - US Defence Secretary Robert Gates rounded on NATO allies Friday for their over-dependence on US military might, warning it was putting the Libya mission and the alliance's very future at risk.

 

Painting a bleak picture of the state of the 28-nation transatlantic alliance, Gates said America's partners were running short of munitions after 11 weeks of air raids in Libya.

 

"Frankly, many of those allies sitting on the sidelines do so not because they do not want to participate, but simply because they cannot. The military capabilities simply aren't there," Gates said in a speech to the Security and Defence Agenda think tank in Brussels.

 

He said the NATO-led ground war in Afghanistan had scored important accomplishments but said the mission, along with the Libya war, had reflected chronic underinvestment and at times a lack of political backbone.

 

In Afghanistan, Gates said it was worrying that an alliance with twomillion in uniform has "struggled, at times desperately, to sustain a deployment of 25,000 to 45,000 troops" and faced shortages of helicopters, transport aircraft, maintenance and surveillance planes.

 

"Turning to the NATO operation over Libya, it has become painfully clear that similar shortcomings - in capability and will - have the potential to jeopardise the alliance's ability to conduct an integrated, effective and sustained air-sea campaign," he said.

 

Gates acknowledged that the Libyan mission has met its initial military goals of grounding Moamer Gaddafi's air force and limiting the regime's ability to launch attacks against civilians.

 

However, he said many allies lacked intelligence and surveillance aircraft and specialists, which meant the US military had to step in to ensure that allied fighter jets could identify and strike targets.

 

"Furthermore, the mightiest military alliance in history is only 11 weeks into an operation against a poorly armed regime in a sparsely populated country - yet many allies are beginning to run short of munitions, requiring the US, once more, to make up the difference," he said.

 

With half of the alliance's 28 members not participating in the Libya

 

campaign, Gates used a two-day meeting of NATO defence ministers this week to prod allies that have taken a backseat to do more in Libya.

 

Only eight NATO members are conducting air strikes in Libya, with France and Britain carrying out half of the bombing missions while the United States, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Italy conduct the rest along with non-NATO partner the United Arab Emirates.

 

Gates also seized on his final official trip to Brussels before he retires at the end of the month to complain once more about shrinking military budgets in Europe. "What I've sketched out is the real possibility for a dim, if not dismal future for the transatlantic alliance," he said.

 

With the US share of NATO defence spending at 75 percent, Gates said it would become increasingly difficult for the United States to keep its current level of support at a time of financial strain at home.

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10 juin 2011 5 10 /06 /juin /2011 17:00

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June 9, 2011 defpro.com

 

At the North Atlantic Council session of this afternoon, the Bulgarian side reaffirmed our understanding of the indivisibility of security within NATO and provision of equally effective missile defence (MD) in the territory of the Member States.

 

Bulgaria expressed its willingness to discuss all options for the geographic location of MD elements. We welcomed the work done on the defence and deterrence potential of NATO, in implementation of the task set by the NATO Lisbon Summit. The activities envisaged to be carried out to the end of the working day include a session of the NATO-Russia Council, dedicated to the possibilities for cooperation and its potential to contribute to greater transparency, mutual trust, and security.

 

At the end of the day the Ministers of Defence will have a working dinner at which they will consider proposals as to the geographic location of a new, more compact and effective command structure of NATO, and will discuss the reform of NATO agencies.

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10 juin 2011 5 10 /06 /juin /2011 11:30

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09.06.2011 7sur7.be

 

L'OTAN va fermer dans les prochaines années quatre de ses quartiers généraux - notamment en Espagne et au Portugal - afin de réaliser une économie de plus de 4.000 fonctions en vertu d'un accord trouvé mercredi soir entre les ministres de la Défense alliés, a indiqué jeudi un responsable militaire de l'Alliance atlantique, le général de brigade belge Patrick Wouters.
 
Plus d'efficacité
Les ministres ont accepté, moyennant des changements somme toute mineurs, la proposition de compromis mise sur la table par le secrétaire général de l'OTAN, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, qui souhaitait réduire faire des économies en ces temps de réduction des budgets de la Défense de la plupart des alliés.
 
Cette réforme de la lourde structure de commandement alliée, largement héritée de la Guerre froide et ne répondant dès lors plus aux besoins de l'Alliance du 21ème siècle, avait été lancée lors du dernier sommet atlantique, en novembre 2010 à Lisbonne. Elle va se traduire par une réduction des effectifs de quelque 30%, mais sans perte significative pour la Belgique, selon des sources concordantes.
 
"La nouvelle structure sera plus efficace, plus déployable et plus compacte. Certains quartiers généraux fermeront, d'autres déménageront ou changeront de rôle", a indiqué M. Rasmussen dans un communiqué faisant aussi état d'un accord sur la réforme des agences spécialisées de l'OTAN, dont le nombre passera de quatorze à trois "piliers".
 
Le nombre d'états-majors et quartiers généraux passera de onze aujourd'hui à sept, a expliqué le général Wouters lors d'un point de presse à Bruxelles.
 
La Belgique dit ouf
Les effectifs des QG en temps de paix passeront ainsi de plus de 13.000 personnes (le nombre théorique mais non atteint) à environ 8.800, a-t-il précisé. Des trois quartiers généraux conjoints (JHQ) existants, deux sont maintenus à Brunsum (Pays-Bas) et à Naples (Italie), celui de Lisbonne étant condamné.
 
Le Portugal récupère cependant un petit quartier général "high tech", celui d'un corps expéditionnaire maritime (Strikefor) rapidement déployable.
 
A l'échelon des commandements des trois armées (air, mer et terre), leur nombre est divisé par deux: de six à trois. Seuls sont conservés ceux de Northwood (Mer), en banlieue de Londres, et Ramstein (Air, Allemagne). Le troisième, le commandement Terre, déménagera lui de Heidelberg (Allemagne) à Izmir (côte ouest de la Turquie), qui perd en revanche un QG Air. Le nombre des centres d'opérations aériennes combinées ("Combined Air Operations Center", CAOC-5) passera de quatre à deux.
 
De source belge, on précise que la Belgique s'en sort bien. Le grand quartier général des forces alliées en Europe (SHAPE), le plus important QG de l'OTAN situé à Casteau, près de Mons, reste "quasi-intact". Il se voit doté d'un nouveau groupe de télécommunications, mais dont les unités subordonnées seront installées en Allemagne, en Italie et en Pologne.
 
L'an dernier, des rumeurs peu fondées avaient évoqué un possible déménagement du SHAPE vers Rheindahlen, un complexe militaire utilisé par l'armée britannique et situé près de Mönchengladbach (ouest de l'Allemagne). Mais le ministre de la Défense, Pieter De Crem, s'était engagé à "tout mettre en oeuvre pour garder le SHAPE en Belgique".
 
La grande restructuration
Le nombre d'agences spécialisées de l'OTAN doit pour sa part passer de quatorze à trois, réparties en autant de piliers.
La principale - désormais appelée "agence de soutien technique" (NSA) - sera basée à Capellen (Luxembourg), au siège de ce qui s'appelait jusque là, la NAMSA, l'agence d'entretien et fourniture de l'Otan.

Les deux autres piliers, la "NATO Communications And Information Agency" (C&IA) et la nouvelle "NATO Procurement Agency" (chargée des achats communs), seront basés en Belgique, mais avec des "bureaux de programme" répartis dans plusieurs pays, auprès de leurs partenaires industriels.
 
Dans la foulée, les quelque 400 comités internes que compte l'Otan devront être ramenés à moins de 100. (belga)

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10 juin 2011 5 10 /06 /juin /2011 11:25

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08.06.2011 LeMonde.fr AFP

 

L'Alliance atlantique veut renforcer ses capacités de défense contre des attaques informatiques avec la création d'une "cyberéquipe rouge", a déclaré, mercredi 8 juin, un expert de l'OTAN au cours d'une conférence à Tallinn, en Estonie.

"L'OTAN envisage de se doter d'une 'cyberéquipe rouge' qui contribuerait largement à améliorer ses capacités de défense en identifiant les manques et les insuffisances dans les solutions techniques et les procédures de traitement des incidents", a indiqué Luc Dandurand, expert de la NATO C3 Agency. Selon la société informatique Symantec, le nombre d'attaques sur la Toile en 2010 a bondi de 93 % par rapport à 2009. "Le besoin d'une telle équipe est évident. Nous devons notamment évaluer l'importance des dégâts que des attaques informatiques peuvent causer au niveau militaire", a-t-il ajouté.

 

L'OTAN NE VEUT PAS D'ATTEINTES À LA VIE PRIVÉE


M. Dandurand a souligné la nécessité de se pencher sur les questions de la légalité et de l'impact sur la vie privée des solutions recherchées avant la mise en place de la cyberéquipe de l'OTAN. "Les deux principales questions identifiées à ce stade portent sur la nécessité de légitimer les activités de la cyberéquipe rouge pour éviter qu'elles ne soient perçues comme un usage malveillant ou non autorisé des systèmes informatiques, et le risque potentiel d'atteinte à la vie privée qui en résulterait", a-t-il indiqué pendant la conférence qui réunit à Tallinn trois cents experts de trente-sept pays.

L'"équipe rouge" pourrait procéder à des simulations de menaces et contrôler l'état de préparation en vue d'y parer, surveiller les réseaux, collecter et exploiter les informations publiques en provenance de sources ouvertes, mais aussi conduire des attaques de déni de service contre des réseaux ou des services spécifiques, selon M. Dandurand.

"Les cyberattaques contre l'Estonie au printemps 2007, pendant l'opération russe en Géorgie en 2008 et beaucoup d'autres que nous avons pu observer depuis à travers le monde nous ont montré que nous avons affaire à une nouvelle sorte de guerre qui peut causer beaucoup de dégâts", a souligné le général britannique Jonathan Shaw. "Nous avons besoin d'un système de réponse et nous devons apprendre à répondre vite", a-t-il ajouté.

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