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Defence - page 7

Reserve Airmen Stand Ready to Help Fight Wildfires 

Defence di

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE: On the flight line here, Air Force Lt. Col. Luke Thompson, with the Air Force Reserve Command’s 302nd Airlift Wing, describes being at the controls of an aircraft carrying the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System, or MAFFS, during a firefighting operation as “the mission where you get the most feedback [and] immediate feedback.

The firefighting system is owned by the U.S. Forest Service and can carry about 3,000 gallons of water or fire retardant, Thompson explained. It can discharge the load in less than five seconds, and cover an area of one-quarter of a mile long by 100 feet wide, he said.

“You see immediately what you’re doing — or sometimes not able to do,” the pilot, a dual military-civilian Air Reserve Technician, said last week while standing in front of a MAFFS-equipped C-130 Hercules aircraft. “Because it’s literally there’s fire [and] there’s maybe some houses and you’re dropping in between. That’s a pretty good feeling.”

Once the water or retardant is dropped, the plane can go to a military or civilian tanker base to refill, he said. The load can be replenished in minutes.

 

Ready for the Call

The 302nd Airlift Wing is busy with many other missions, including global deployments, but the MAFFS crews are always ready to support the U.S. Forest Service in the firefighting efforts, Thompson said.

“We’re just waiting for the call if they get to the point where they more assets,” Thompson. “We’re the surge capability.”

Case in point: a MAFFS-equipped C-130 and crew departed yesterday from Peterson Air Force Base to support firefighting efforts in the western United States. The 302nd received a request earlier in the week from the National Interagency Fire Center, according to a news release from the 302nd Airlift Wing public affairs office.

During this current deployment, which is their first firefighting mission of 2016, the 302nd reservists are expected to fly missions from Boise, Idaho, and other western U.S. locations as needed. A MAFFS crew from Wyoming is also taking part in the deployment.

 

Unique Mission, Rewarding Work

The firefighting missions are harder on the aircraft than other missions, so the C-130s in the MAFFS deployments are inspected more often than other aircraft, explained Senior Master Sgt. Tye Taylor, a maintenance flight chief with the 302nd Airlift Wing.

A mission with MAFFS would typically include 28 to 30 people — six crewmembers for two planes and 14 maintenance personnel and a few operation workers, Taylor said.

While there are no nighttime MAFFS flights, the firefighting efforts can still mean busy days for the crews, he added. “When things are breaking, we’ll be working probably a 14-to-16-hour day,” Taylor said.

The mission is unique, the 302nd Airlift Wing release said. The Defense Department, through U.S. Northern Command, provides the military support to firefighting efforts when requested by the National Interagency Fire Center and approved by the secretary of defense.

“These diverse mission assets are prepared to respond quickly and effectively to protect lives, property, critical infrastructure and natural resources, and can include, but are not limited to, MAFFS, military helicopters and ground forces capable of supporting the firefighting efforts,” the news release said.

MAFFS-equipped C-130s are operated by four military airlift wings: the 302nd Airlift Wing, U.S. Air Force Reserve Command; the 153rd Airlift Wing, Wyoming Air National Guard; 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard; and the 145th Airlift Wing, North Carolina Air National Guard.

Each airlift wing has two MAFFS-equipped aircraft, for a total of eight nationwide.

 

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

 

Libya: U.S. airstrikes and Haftar issue

Defence/Middle East - Africa di

As requested by Government of National Accord, the U.S. intensified its fight in Libya launching airstrikes in Sirte, ISIS stronghold in Libya. American help is necessary to accelerate GNA advance: “These actions and those we have taken previously will help deny ISIL a safe haven in Libya from which it could attack the United States and our allies,” the Pentagon statement said.

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Previously, Western support was by intelligence and military training, as proved by presence of special forces in Libya since at least March 2016. Now, despite GNA advance in Gulf of Sirt (ISIS troops decreased from 6,000 to 1,000, as reported by Pentagon), American help is necessary to increase its influence in this area. Indeed, if the U.S. (and Italy, through a logistic support) wants to defeat Islamic State because of the war on terrorism, Serraj has at least two reasons: the first one is Libyan security and support to all factions which are fighting against Daesh; the second one concerns Serraj’s connection with Haftar and HoR for GNA legitimacy.

Inevitably, Haftar reaction after the U.S. intervention was not positive. His troops, supporting by Egypt and France (three French soldiers were killed in Libya close to Benghazi), advanced against ISIS positions in past months, especially when GNA was freshly formed. But the U.S. and its allies wants an unified Libya to defeat Daesh and stop migration flows.

If France has an ambivalent position, Italy is the first U.S. ally in the Libyan context. Now, Rome is ready to consider positively a request to use airbases and national airspace, and support the operation, if it is believed that it would lead to a more rapid and effective conclusion of the ongoing action,” Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti said.
Giacomo Pratali

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Inherent Resolve Strikes Target ISIL in Syria, Iraq

Americas/Defence di

From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Aug. 3, 2016 — U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Fighter aircraft conducted five strikes in Syria:

— Near Raqqah, a strike struck an ISIL headquarters.

— Near Manbij, four strikes struck four separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions.

Strikes in Iraq

Fighter, remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted seven strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

— Near Kisik, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL fighting position.

— Near Mosul, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and suppressed an ISIL mortar position.

— Near Qayyarah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL mortar system, two ISIL vehicles and an ISIL assembly area.

— Near Ramadi, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle borne improvised explosive device, five ISIL vehicles and four ISIL tactical vehicles.

— Near Rawah, a strike destroyed an ISIL fuel tanker.

— Near Tal Afar, a strike struck an ISIL headquarters.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group’s ability to project terror and conduct operations, officials said.

Coalition nations that have conducted strikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations that have conducted strikes in Syria include the United States, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, France, Jordan, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Operation Inherent Resolve, all Progress Degrading ISIL in Syria, Iraq

Americas/Asia @en/Defence di

WASHINGTON, Aug. 3, 2016 — Coalition forces, along with partners on the ground in Iraq and Syria, are furthering gains in countering the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman said today.

The coalition is continuing to carry out strikes against the “breadth and depth of [ISIL’s] formations in both Iraq and Syria,” according to Army Col. Christopher Garver, who spoke to Pentagon reporters via teleconference from a military installation in the Middle East.

“The coalition continues to maintain momentum achieved due to the progress made over the last year by the Iraqi security forces and our partner forces in Syria,” he said.

Since June 13, the coalition has conducted 10 strikes against foreign fighter facilities, including meeting, training and weapons storage facilities in both Iraq and Syria, Garver said.

“These strikes against foreign fighter facilitation networks degrade [ISIL’s] ability to reconstitute its combat power with fresh foreign fighters,” he said.

Garver said partnered forces on the ground in Iraq and Syria continue to demonstrate momentum against ISIL.

Progress in Manbij

The Syrian Arab Coalition and Syrian Democratic Forces have made progress in the Syrian city of Manbij in recent days, Garver said. There are gains toward the center of the city and on the eastern and southern flanks of Manbij, he said.

“We’ve also seen several hundred civilians fleeing Manbij make it safely out of the city and through the SAC lines,” he said. “This remains a very tough and deliberate fight, as the SAC clears the city house by house and room by room, while working to avoid civilian casualties.”

The coalition has conducted a total of 602 strikes in support of the Manbij operation, Garver said. The coalition believes more than half the city has been recovered at this time, he added.

Investigation of Civilian Casualties

The coalition has looked into three separate allegations of civilian casualties in reported strikes around Manbij, Garver said.

A strike that occurred July 19 is under formal investigation, as well as a strike that occurred July 28 northwest of Manbij, he said.

The coalition has determined reports of civilian casualties from an alleged strike on July 23 in a village east of Manbij has been deemed not credible enough to warrant further information, Garver said. The coalition did not conduct any strikes in that geographic area, he added.

Push to Isolate Mosul, Other Gains in Iraq

The push for the key city of Mosul continues, Garver said, with a tough fight expected for the city. The first step in the Iraqi plan, he pointed out, is to isolate the city and prevent movements in and out of the area.

ISIL is weakening inside Mosul, the largest ISIL-held city in Iraq, Garver said. The coalition is no longer seeing convoys of foreign fighters coming through Syria and then dividing up between Iraq and Syria, he said.

In northern Mosul, the coalition conducted an Aug. 1 strike against a former Saddam Hussein-era palace, he said. The strike was conducted by coalition aircraft from several contributing nations, according to Garver.

“The destruction of this facility will degrade [ISIL’s] ability to support, house and train foreign fighters as they flow into northern Iraq,” he said.

Elsewhere in Iraq, Iraqi security forces continue operations north of the Euphrates River to clear ISIL pockets in towns and neighborhoods north of the river, Garver said. Units from the 8th and 10th Iraqi army divisions are conducting those clearance operations, with support from the coalition, he said.

In the past 72 hours, the coalition has conducted six strikes along the Euphrates in support of Iraqi Security Forces, Garver said.

An encounter with a Syrian refugee in Athens

This is the fifth part of the series “Athens: the crisis within the crisis” (click here).

In a corner of the Eleonas refugee camp, among the new barracks inhabited by newly arrived refugees, I met a young man from Syria. He shared his personal experience with the human consequences of geopolitics.

A refugee family

Ibrahim came towards me with his little cousin in a trolley. They were curious about me. Ibrahim was a former student who had to flee from his village in northern Syria. Ibrahim had stayed in Pireus Port for a long time before going to the Macedonian border, then staying for a long time by the border fence. I got the impression that he fled from Jihadists. Ibrahim and the family wish to reach Germany. The little girl misses her father, who left Syria three months earlier, and who is waiting for them in Germany.

The little girl wants her Mom, so we walk towards their barrack. Ibrahim delivers her, and we sit down to talk at the stairs. His friends show up, one of them with his little daughter. They tell me about their life in the camp, and I promise to write about it.

Before the war

Ibrahim misses the Syria that existed before the civil war. Then no-one asked if you were a Christian or a Moslem, a Sunni or an Alawite. “Al-arab wahid ashab” his friend says – he does not speak English, but tells in simple Arabic that all Arab-speakers are one people. We should not fight against each other. Another friend of Ibrahim has worked in Nabatieh in South Lebanon. I tell them that, in fact, I am on my way to Lebanon, to celebrate Resurrection and the Orthodox Easter. The young men wish me a good pilgrimage, and ask me to say hi to the Syrians in Beirut. One and half million refugees from Syria are sheltered in Lebanon, alongside four million Lebanese citizens, as well as several million stateless Palestinians.

The conflict back home

As with the Lebanese thirty years earlier, the Syrians have experienced sudden change from cultural pluralism to sectarian war. The diversity used to be exposed by the presence of various churches, mosques and historical monuments. The civil war, by contrast, pits brother against brother, worker against worker. Tactical alliances change swiftly for militias on the ground, while the strategic map shows four coalitions: the government with allies, the rebels spearheaded by Jihadists, the so-called Islamic State in the east, and the Kurdish democratic forces in the north. Here is scarce room for idealism. In sectarian war, you must shoot your neighbour before he shoots you – or get away. The UN has registered 6,6 million internally displaced persons, while 4,8 have fled the country.

The right to seek asylum

After reading the second article in this series, some of the refugees I had met send me an email. They attach photos of their barracks, most of them lacking air condition. In each barrack, several families live under the same tin roof, under the Greek summer sun. Also an employee sends an email, reporting that the electric supply has become more reliable, but that there is a lack of workforce. But most important of all, the refugees fear the deal between Turkey and the EU, about forced return of Syrian refugees.

Amnesty International claims that the EU-Turkey deal violates international human rights law. Syria certainly is unsafe, and Turkey is moving in the same direction with an Islamist president using Jihadists as proxy against secular leftist forces in the Kurdish areas of Turkey and Syria. The Turkish military always was hostile to Amnesty. But when Turkey and the EU made their deal, Amnesty protested against both.

Ibrahim expects to be deported within few days. The girl and her mother are in contact with the girl’s father, Ibrahim’s brother in law. He has obtained permit to stay in Germany, and contacted the German embassy in Athens, asking to reunite with his family. The German embassy told him to wait five months for a reply, but the Greek temporary residence permits for his family last only one month more. The asylum bureaucracy is overloaded – and hasty deportations prevent serious processing of the asylum applications.

 

Amnesty International has a petition against the EU-Turkey deal (click here).

 

 

 

 

 

Iran: no negotiation over defence

Defence di

Whoever thought that, after the signature of the nuclear deal and the lifting of the international sanctions, Iran would have become a docile and friendly country, well, probably made a wrong calculation. Indeed, in the last weeks, we’ve seen a strong and resolute nation, aimed to restore its position in the international area and to pursue its national interests, no matter what.

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The spotlight is on the Islamic Republic in particular due to its recent ballistic missile tests, which have raised new fear and concern among Western countries and the Gulf monarchies. Last month, indeed, during a military large-scale drill –codenamed Eqtedar-e-Velayet-, the Islamic Revolutin Guards Corps (IRGC) tested two ballistic missiles class Qadr, the Qadr-H and the Qadr-F. Both the missiles were launched from the heights of East Alborz Mountains, northern Iran, hitting targets on the southeast coasts of the country. According to reports, missiles have a range of 1,700 km and 2,000 km respectively.

The international reaction wasn’t long in coming. On the one hand, the condemnation of the United States and Europe, which saw tests as a breach of UNSC resolution 2231; on the other, Russia stated that these tests do not violate the mandate of the document. Even Western powers failed to raise actions against Iran at the UN. It seems that Washington later withdrew its accusation, confirming that the tests do not represent a breach of the resolution.

According to the latter, indeed, “Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designated to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology…”. Questions arise whether these technologies could be able -as Israel affirms- to  carry nuclear warheads. However, recent declarations from the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif state that the country does not have any missile capable of carrying this kind of warheads.

Several Iranian personalities have spoken about this topic. The Expediency Council (EC) Secretary Mohsen Rezaei stressed that the Iranian missile programme only has deterrent purposes and is aimed to exercise the country’s right to self-defence in case of an armed attack. According to the Secretary, it is easily understandable that disarm could not be an option for Iran: indeed, if the country gives up investments in defence, it would be subjected to attack and there are several enemies that could take advantage from this situation.

General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the air forces of the IRGC, has even a stricter position. The Islamic Republic will continue to strengthen defensive and missile capabilities, which ensure Iran’s security and deter enemies from attacking the country. These enemies are also the ones, which have boosted the country’s defence power for more than 30 years; and US new sanctions just confirm this idea. Missile capabilities are a matter of national security and Iran clearly states that there is no room for negotiation or compromise over it. “No wise individual will negotiate over his country’s security” said the Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Abbas Araqchi.

It is clear that similar statements can raise concerns, especially among countries such as Israel and the Gulf monarchies. The first has been a target of Iran since Ayatollah Khomeini and the rhetoric of “wiping out” the Jewish country has recently come out several times.  The Gulf countries do not support the economic and military growth of a country that not only aims to achieve regional hegemony but also backs and fosters several fundamentalist groups, drivers of instability in the region. Tensions are likely to arise in the coming months: it is to be seen how Arabic countries will react to an Iran not so prone to cooperation and aimed to achieve its national goals, the consequences on the relationship among these actors and the role that powers such as US and Russia could play in fostering or hampering these relations.

 

Paola Fratantoni

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France to withdraw from CAR

Defence di

The news was announced by the French Defence Minister Jean – Yves Le Drian during his visit in Bangui. Operation Sangaris, launched by France in December 2013 in response to the UN resolution 2127 (5 December 2013), will end in 2016. “We can finally see the country emerging by a long period of trouble and uncertainty”, the minister said. In two years, the mission was able to restore stability in the country, thus fulfilling its objectives. Perhaps this is the reason behind French decision to withdraw its contingents.

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Disorder in CAR began in March 2013, when a Muslim rebel movement, known as Seleka, overthrew the government of the Christian president Francois Bozize, replacing him with their leader Michel Djotodia. The Djotodia government remained in office for 10 months: at that period, the ethnic violence between the Muslim minority and the Christian majority spread out in the country, thus causing the death of thousands of people.

The international community reacted unanimously and approved the above resolution. This resolution not only condemned the spiral of ethnic and religious violence fueled by rebel groups, but also authorized the deployment of MISCA mission (Mission internationale de soutien à la Centrafrique sous conduite africaine). This mission authorized French forces to take all necessary measures -in respect of the mandate- to achieve the three main objectives of the mission: disarmament of armed groups, restoration of civil authority and support in the preparation of the elections.

Begun with 1,600 soldiers, Operation Sangaris had around 2,500 men deployed at its peak. The Djotodia government proved to be unable to keep rebels -who had brought him to power- under control, thus dragging the country into a civil war. The situation improved after the resignation of the President and the appointment of a transitional government led by Catherine Samba-Panza, the first woman president of the country. Improvements in CAR security contest induced the French government to reduce the forces gradually, while continuing supporting the international mission.

Today, France has 900 units deployed in the Central African Republic. Minister Le Drian stressed that 300 soldiers will remain there even after the end of Operation. These troops will support the UN mission MINUSCA (Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic) and will participate in the training mission led by the European Union (EUTM RCA). Some units will provide security at the airport; others will be based in Ivory Coast and in the Sahel region ready to intervene if necessary.

As Le Drian refers, in fact, the security environment in the country has significantly improved, but there are still problems to be solved. The disarmament of rebel movements and the creation of a legitimate and efficient army are the major challenges that the newly elected President Faustine Archange Touadera will face. This explains the permanence of international missions and French forces. As it is known, indeed, France cares about the relations with the territories once belonging to its colonial empire and has repeatedly helped in internal crisis by sending its armed forces.

The withdrawal from Bangui is not a surprise. From the beginning, French mission was supposed to be a temporary mission and over the years, France has tried to decrease- when conditions made it ​​possible- its military presence on the ground. However, ensuring the continued presence of some units in the future once again emphasizes French commitment abroad -a clear sign that, despite the international situation and the threats to the country, France defends its values ​​of free nation and his influential position in the former colonial empire.

 

Paola Fratantoni

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Libyan crisis and human trafficking, the future of EuNavFor Med

Defence/Politics di

Eunavfor Med is ready for the operational phase B2. The war against the traffickers in the Mediterranean will be fought in Libyan territorial waters, «but many political and legal challenges must be solved before we can recommend this transition», says Admiral Enrico Credendino, head of the European mission. Critical issues depends on the failure of the executive of national unity, without which the United Nations can’t authorize the arrest of traffickers and the destruction of the means directly on the ground. On 7 October 2015, the European Parliament announced the strengthening of military missions in the Mediterranean, aiming to board, search and seizure the boats used by the smugglers. While the December signing in Morocco between some members of the Libyan social and political life for the formation of an executive of national unity turned out to be illusory, the head of mission of the United Nations Support (Unsmil), Martin Kobler, has welcomed the release of the establishment of the national unity government approved by the majority of the Libyan Parliament. But this announcement is not official. Waiting for a political stability that averts the threat of Daesh and legitimate EuNavFor Med to a local remedial action aimed to stop the migratory hemorrhage destabilizing Europe, the mission remains temporarily “suspended” at the stage 2, that of the war against smugglers within 12 miles nautical from the Libyan coast. Although the international community supports the prime minister Fayez Al Sarraj, received in Italy by Matteo Renzi, the situation becomes critical. France, America and Britain could intervene with future air strikes against Isis bases in Libya, favored by the current institutional chaos. The Foreign Italian Minister Paolo Gentiloni reiterates the urgency of the national government, and focuses on joint fight against terrorism. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Pierferdinando Casini, shares the same opinion, and declares that «The attack on 7 January in Zlitan against a police training center is part of the Islamic State strategy to postpone the settlement of the national unity executive agreed between the parties and the UN». Without a government internationally recognized, Eunavfor Med is designed to stall. The command of the mission, however, suggests a future move to Stage 3, with operations even on the coast, in collaboration with the Libyan forces. The identification of objectives is necessary, to solve the intelligence gap on the smugglers’ business model. According Credendino, «When the stage 2B and 3 will start, other missions will be sponsored by the international community. Therefore the activities of EuNavFor Med and other operations should be coordinated in order to mitigate the risk of fratricide. The European operation’s mandate should be extended for the formation and training of the Libyan coast guard». The third step, which has not yet received the EU green light, would actually be the most effective, because the majority of the smugglers operate in Libyan waters. But as the Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni affirms, «The UN Security Council can’t authorize an intervention without an express Libyan request». As for the results actually achieved, the mission has contributed to the arrest of 46 traffickers and to the destruction of 67 boats. 14 European countries are participating in EuNavFor Med: Italy, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Slovenia, Greece, Luxembourg, Belgium, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden. Currently, six European warships are engaged offshore Libya: an Italian one, an English one, a French one, a Spanish one and two German, but other ships should be made available from England, Belgium and Slovenia. Four helicopters, many drones and 1300 military will be added to these. The costs of military intervention – apart from an annually European contribution of 12 million Euros – are supported by the individual participating countries. Italy has contributed to the mission with a budget of 26 million euro and 1.020 soldiers.
Viviana Passalacqua

NATO-FRONTEX, joint in the Aegean Sea

We note that Frontex and NATO reached yesterday a common understanding  on the modalities of their cooperation in the Aegean Sea.

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In accordance with a EU press release, these operational modalities will maximise the effectiveness, ensure consistency and complementarity of the FRONTEX operation “Poseidon Rapid Intervention” in the area and the efforts of NATO’s support activities.

“The decision of NATO to assist in the conduct of reconnaissance, monitoring and surveillance of illegal crossings in the Aegean Sea is an important contribution to international efforts to tackle smuggling and irregular migration in the Aegean Sea in the context of the refugee crisis”.

Today’s common understanding is another example of the relevance of EU-NATO practical cooperation, already present in many crisis theatres. The EU, in facts, officially declared its trusts that its joint efforts with NATO will contribute to address the many challenges raised by the current migration crisis, and reduce the dangers of irregular crossings in the Aegean Sea.

On the other hand, NATO ships are already collecting information and conducting monitoring in the Aegean sea. Their activity will now be expanded to take place also in territorial waters.

Employed naval commanders have defined the area of activity in close consultation and coordination with both Greece and Turkey Authorities, also for access in their respective national waters.

The purpose of NATO’s deployment is not to stop or push back migrant boats, but to help Greece and Turkey, as well as the European Union, in their efforts to tackle human trafficking and the criminal networks that are fueling this crisis.

NATO’s Maritime Command has also agreed with FRONTEX on arrangements at the operational and tactical level. NATO and FRONTEX will be able to exchange liaison officers and share information in real time, to enable FRONTEX, as well as Greece and Turkey, to take action in real time.

This is an excellent example of how NATO and the EU can work together to address common challenges. Europeanaffairs.media also praises the quickness and the rapidity of this joint decision and believes that in facing the crisis, “time is the essence, and cooperation is key”.

 

Domenico Martinelli

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New people inserted in the anti-North Korea “Black list”

 

Today, the Council of the European Union – which, we remember is the Union’s executive body – has added 16 persons and 12 entities to its “black list” of individuals and companies affected by restrictive measures taken by europe against the conduct of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

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The decision reflects the new requirements imposed by the 2270 resolution of the United Nations Security Council adopted on the 2nd March 2016 in response to the test launches of nuclear rockets by North Korea, which took place on January 6 and 7 February.
The formal proceedings of this diplomatic initiative will be published in the EU Official Journal tomorrow. The EU’s restrictive measures against North Korea have been introduced for the first time on 22 December 2006. Current measures comply with all the resolutions of the UN Security Council adopted after the launches and nuclear tests performed by North Korea, using ballistic missile technology, and also include additional measures taken by the EU autonomously. Such decision is to hit the North Koreans launch program policies.

 

 

The most important measures include import and export bans for weapons, and every object or technology that could contribute to such activities. Both the UN and the EU, independently, have also imposed restrictive measures for financial and commercial activities and transport services.

With this initiative, today, the European Union has strengthened its latest measures, which were decided on 22 April 2013, implementing the UN Security Council Resolution. 2094.

 

Domenico Martinelli

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