Posts Tagged ‘NATO’

Operation Moshtarak aims to attack the insurgency both militarily and politically, but it also offers insurgents the opportunity to lay down their weapons and live a normal life. RCS2010, Afghanistan Produced by William Bonnett.


clipped from

NATO and Afghan officials, meanwhile, urged militants holding Marjah, where an offensive is expected, to lay down their arms and warned civilians there to “keep your heads down.”

About 400 U.S. troops from the 5th Stryker Brigade as well as 250 Afghan soldiers and their 30 Canadian trainers moved into positions northeast of the town. blog it

clipped from
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his top commander in Afghanistan pressed NATO ministers Friday to send more troops and civilian aid to the war, as some allies appeared to be hedging their commitment until the Obama administration determines its strategy.
Gates said Friday he was “heartened” by allies’ commitment to the 8-year-old war, even as the Obama administration
mulls whether to order tens of thousands more U.S. troops to the fight, as recommended by the top U.S. and NATO commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
clipped from
Afghanistan is not in imminent danger of falling to the Taliban, President Obama’s national security adviser said Sunday as he downplayed worries that the insurgency could set up a renewed sanctuary for Al Qaeda.
Retired Gen. James Jones made the comments after eight U.S. soldiers were killed near the Pakistan border and as many as seven Afghan forces in one of the fiercest battles of the eight-year war. On Saturday morning, several hundred militant fighters streamed from an Afghan village and a mosque and attacked a pair of remote outposts.

The Korengal Valley in eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar Province has long been a stronghold of the Taliban.


Somali pirates in speedboats opened fire Monday on two cargo ships in the latest hijacking attempts in the notorious Gulf of Aden. Another band of brigands freed a food aid freighter but only after receiving a $100,000 "reward" from Somali businessmen.

The latest attack occurred at midday when pirates fired shots at a Chinese-owned, Panama-flagged cargo ship, the MV New Legend Honor, said Cmdr. Chris Davies, from NATO’s maritime headquarters in England.

Two NATO warships — one Canadian, the other British — scrambled helicopters in defense, Davies said. No damage was reported to the cargo ship and the pirates escaped.

Read more here:Fox News

NATO forces rescued 20 fishermen from pirates who launched the latest attack in the Gulf of Aden on Saturday, but let the Somali hijackers go because they had no authority to arrest them.

The release underscored the difficulties of stopping the skyrocketing piracy scourge in the Horn of Africa, where sea bandits also seized a Belgian-flagged ship carrying 10 foreign crew near the Seychelles islands and started hauling it toward Somalia.

Read more here:Fox News

U.S. officials are keeping a close watch on the current unrest in Pakistan, a country that is key to NATO’s efforts in Afghanistan, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday.

Pakistani lawyers and activists are marching on Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, calling for an independent judicial branch. Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said on PBS’s “Charlie Rose Show” that American officials are watching the events and the Pakistani government’s response closely.

“I’ve been engaged from the standpoint of understanding what’s going on there, and I know that their people are concerned that this could degenerate into a situation that could very possibly generate a crisis, which may cause actions to be taken on the part of the military,” Mullen said.

Read more here:defenselink

HMS Bulwark, which is spearheading the biggest Royal Navy Task Force to deploy to the Far East in more than a decade, set sail from Plymouth today, Wednesday 18 February 2009.

The Taurus deployment has been 18 months in the planning. It aims to maintain the Royal Navy’s fighting capability as well as develop the UK’s capacity to operate with key partners and allies from NATO countries and other nations to enhance interoperability.

The Task Force comprises 12 ships, including a US Navy destroyer and a French Navy frigate, two nuclear-powered submarines, Royal Marines, the Fleet Diving Unit, elements of 820 and 857 Naval Air Squadrons from RNAS Culdrose, 847 Naval Air Squadron and Commando Helicopter Force Sea Kings based in Yeovil and Support Helicopter Force Chinooks from 18 Squadron, RAF Odiham.

It will be joined by ships, troops and aircraft from other nations as it transits towards South East Asia.

Read more

President Barack Obama has ordered a Marine expeditionary brigade and an Army Stryker brigade combat team — totaling 12,000 soldiers and Marines — to Afghanistan.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates signed the orders today. The soldiers are part of the 2nd Infantry Division’s 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team based at Fort Lewis, Wash., and the Marines serve with the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade from Camp Lejeune, N.C.

Of the 12,000, 4,000 are soldiers and the remaining 8,000 are Marines. Both units will deploy later this spring.

The deployment partially fulfills the request that Army Gen. David D. McKiernan made upon taking command in Afghanistan last year. McKiernan is the commander of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces Afghanistan.

Read more here:defenselink