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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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Libia: qual è il vero ruolo dell’Italia?

Defence/POLITICA/Politics di

Nella 3^ conferenza internazionale sullo Stato Islamico di Roma, la Siria è stata al centro del dibattito tra i 23 ministri degli Esteri presenti. Nonostante le dichiarazioni concilianti di Kerry nei confronti dell’Italia, i recenti movimenti degli alleati occidentali nei pressi di Tobruk e lo stallo nella formazione del governo di unità nazionale rischiano di relegare Roma ad un ruolo di secondo piano in Libia. Il rischio maggiore è di ripetere gli errori del 2011.

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Si è parlato più di Siria che di Libia alla terza conferenza internazionale sullo Stato Islamico, tenutasi a Roma martedì 2 febbraio. Presieduto dal segretario di Stato Usa John Kerry e dal ministro degli Affari Esteri Paolo Gentiloni, al vertice erano presenti 23 ministri degli Esteri, compresa la rappresentante dell’Ue Federica Mogherini.

Dalle dichiarazioni nella conferenza stampa post summit, si evince come la battaglia contro il Daesh sia su scala globale e che Siria, Iraq e, a questo punto, Libia compongono un unico teatro di guerra, che sarà”lunga, più delle altre tra uno Stato e l’altro”, ha affermato Kerry, che ha escluso un intervento di terra delle forza armate statunitensi, ma ha invece garantito un lavoro di supporto logistico e addestramento quando il governo libico darà il via libera per un intervento militare internazionale. Un’operazione che, come ricordato dallo stesso Segretario di Stato, vedrà in prima fila l’Italia, “tra i Paesi più attivi nella lotta all’Isis”.

Dunque, sulla scia della conferenza di Ginevra, è la Siria la parte portante dell’incontro di Roma. Da più parti è stato ricordata l’emergenza umanitaria in continua crescita. Ma la Libia?

Lo stallo politico nella formazione del governo di unità nazionale a Tripoli non solo sta favorendo ancora una volta la radicalizzazione del Daesh, ma sta provocando reazioni su piani paralleli. In questo senso, il rischio è uno solo: ricadere nell’errore del 2011 e non concordare con le istituzioni locali né il piano di intervento militare né la ricostituzione di un’istituzione statale stabile.

Come rivelato dal Sunday Times, militari e servizi di intelligence di Regno Unito, Stati Uniti e Francia sarebbero attivi in una base nei pressi di Tobruk, dove già si starebbero pianificando gli interventi sul campo e l’introduzione di un campo permanente.

Il tanto paventato intervento militare sotto l’egida dell’Onu in cosa consiste davvero? In mero lavoro di addestramento e supporto alle forze locali? In un’azione aerea? O addirittura in un intervento di terra?

In una lettera del segretario alla Difesa degli Stati Uniti Ashton Carter alla sua omologa italiana Roberta Pinotti dello scorso dicembre, e ripresa da alcune testate negli ultimi giorni, l’invito rivolto a Roma è palese: “Spero che in futuro l’Italia considererà di contribuire ai raid nella contro l’Isis”. Parole che stonano con le recenti dichiarazioni di Kerry e dello stesso Gentiloni.

In definitiva, la conferenza di Roma, non smuove nulla per quanto concerne la questione libica. Le dichiarazioni di Kerry restano dichiarazioni. Il movimento sotto traccia degli alleati occidentali, infatti, potrebbe relegare di nuovo l’Italia in una posizione di secondo piano in un Paese, la Libia, che, sotto il profilo energetico, fa gola a molti.
Giacomo Pratali

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Lebanon: medical transport and first aid courses

Defence di

The Task Force “Italair” serving in Lebanon has moved to hospital a seriously ill French military. The air mission, carried out successfully by an Italian Army helicopter AB 212, carrying the French aero-medical team, has been activated by the call of the Mission Air Operations Centre of UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon).

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The Italian aircraft, took off in six minutes to the UN Basic French, boarded the patient to take him to St. Geroge Hospital in Beirut. That of emergency medical transport is one of the most important services performed by Italian soldiers in Naqoura. The Task Force “Italair” – made up of the Army Aviation flight crews, a crew of the Navy and one of the Air Force – operates in Lebanon since 1979, and it’s the veteran unit in the service of the United Nations.

The flight crews guarantee every day, a helicopter ready to take off in 30 minutes for this purpose and a second helicopter with the same characteristics of readiness for various general tasks, carrying out daily reconnaissance missions, patrolling and transport. Since the beginning of its service, “Italair” performed 39,000 hours of flight in the skies of Lebanon and Israel, and in 1700 transport of sick or injured people. Meanwhile, the activities of the staff of Italian UNIFIL carry on in the military base of Shama. After a busy week of theoretical and practical lessons on first aid in a hostile area, the participants of the 1st training course to the first medical aid have achieved the certificates of attendance.

The training cycle – centered on the simulation of accidents involving serious injuries to stabilize and evacuate from the battlefield – was conducted by the Italian staff for the Lebanese Armed Forces and foreign troops of Sector West.

 

Viviana Passalacqua

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“Safe Sea”, 4 AMX redeployed in Trapani base

Defence di

Increased surveillance in the Mediterranean as part of the measures taken by the Government with the operation “Safe Sea”. Following the critical issues in the countries of North Africa and the consequent deterioration of security conditions, 4 AMX aircraft of 51 Squadron of Istrana (TV) were temporarily redeployed in the Trapani Birgi base, in Sicily. The enhancement is aimed to increase ability to control and acquisition of information, to protect the multiple national interests and to guarantee consistent levels of security.

Viviana Passalacqua

European Air Transport Command, the Italian participation is operational

Defence di

The Italian participation in the European Air Transport Command is operational. On December 4th 2014, Italy joined the protocol “pool & sharing” of military aviation, also signed by France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. The purpose of the agreement – belonging to the Security Policy and Common Defense – is to improve and to optimize available resources, through the standardization of procedures and the use of a common fleet, larger than those of the individual countries. The Italian Air Force has carried out the “transfer of authority” to EATC (European Air Transport Command) of most of the fleet of transport aircraft, aerial refueling and medical evacuation. Specifically, the European Command will manage 31 aircraft including C-27J, C-130J and KC 767, belonging to the 46th Air Brigade of Pisa and the 14th Wing of Pratica di Mare, depending on the Command of Support and Special Forces. If national requirements make it necessary, it is possible to require control of the aircrafts, thanks to the mechanism of the revoke transfer of authority. In addition to the significant cost savings provided, the Italian adhesion to EATC enhances the ability of military aviation of excellence – such as transportation in high bio-containment – “turning” it in “receivable accounts” with aircrafts of other EU nations participating. It gains greater flexibility and reduce the outsourcing of commercial aircraft in case of unavailability of the national ones. The subscription permit to access an “oversize” transport capacity, ensure greater correspondence between aircraft type and characteristics of the request, with a substantial improvement of the cost effectiveness throughout the industry.
Viviana Passalacqua

France: new NH90 for Operation Barkhane

Defence/Innovation/Politics di

The Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA), the French defence procurement agency, confirms the acquisition of six additional tactic transport helicopters (Caiman model) from NH Industries, the Italian-French-Dutch industrial group owned by Finmeccanica, Airbus and Fokker. The delivery has been scheduled between 2017 and 2019.

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These new acquisitions are part of a more comprehensive renewal program to increase the helicopter fleet up to 74 Caiman units (44 of these to be delivered by 2019). The target is to reach, by the end of 2025, a fleet of 115 tactical NH90 helicopters, goal set in the Defence and Security White Paper in September 2013. As Guillaume Faury, President and CEO of Airbus Helicopters, highlights, “French armed forces have deployed the NH90 operationally in Mali, where its outstanding endurance, versatility and manoeuvrability have been greatly appreciated”.

The decision follows the request from the Army Air Corps to strengthen the capabilities of Operation Barkhane, in Africa. Last January, Gen. Oliver Gourlez de la Motte, chief of the Army Air Corps, announced the service goal to strengthen its forces, by providing 10 additional helicopters to the fleet, to be chosen between both attack and transport models. Last month, indeed, the DGA has ordered from Airbus Helicopters 7 Tiger attack helicopters, which will be delivered between 2017 and 2018.

The aim is to improve the capacity of French armed forces to conduct air-land operations in the Sahel region, in Sub-Saharan Africa. The NH90 has already been deployed in several operational theatres, showing capabilities and characteristics that make it an important resource for French forces engaged in Operation Barkhane. First of all, as already mentioned, its versatility. The NH90 can be employed in response to different tactical needs:

  • Troop and light armament transport, as it can carry up to 20 soldiers or 2.5 tonnes armaments;
  • Casualty evacuation with 12 stretchers;
  • Cargo airlift;
  • Combat, search and rescue operations.

Moreover, the additional equipment allows it to fit various needs that might arise in the operational theatre. The NH90 is provided with an automatic pilot and fly-by-wire (FBW) controls, a system that replaces traditional manual controls with an electronic interface. This reduces the workload for pilots, and makes the NH90 easier to manage. In addition, night vision sights, armor protection and electronic counter-measures make it suitable for combat operations.

These characteristics show how this vehicle becomes essential in an environment such as Sub-Saharan Africa. As we know, Operation Barkhane is a counter-terrorism operation, led by France in the Sahel region since August 2014, with Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Chad as participating countries. The aim is to contrast the presence of jihadist militants in the region, supporting the efforts of partner countries and to prevent the creation of terrorist sanctuaries. The 3000 soldiers engaged in the mission are based in two permanent fields, one in Gao (Mali) and the other in N’Djamena (Chad). Detachments are sent to temporary bases, located in the mission’s participating countries, from where missions to support their soldiers are launched. Therefore, it is clear how troop and armament transport is necessary to conduct the operation. Moreover, the particular environment –temperature, geographical and territorial conformation, etc.- is a key factor in elaborating interventions. The NH90 proves to be suitable for the African environment, given its endurance and versatility, which is essential in areas where difficulties and resource scarcity might undermine the aim of the mission and the lives of the soldiers involved. “The additional order of six NH90- says Guillaume Faury-…confirms the essential role that new-generation multi-role helicopters play in modern operations”.

It seem that attacks and threats to French nation and security have not changed its commitment towards foreign operations, in particular in missions targeting Islamic terrorism. By contrast, those elements, which proved to be effective, have been strengthen and pressure is made to the Government in order to reinforce French military capabilities. It is not just a matter of number of forces available but also – and most of all- of quality and technology, which have to be suitable for the type of environment and threat that soldiers are facing.

 

Paola Fratantoni

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Libya: UN endorsed Libyan deal

BreakingNews @en/Defence di

The UN Security Council endorsed UN agreement between Libyan factions on December 23.

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Written by UK, the unanimously resolution encouraged new Presidency Council to form national unity government within 30 days. Libyan stabilization is necessary to think about a military operation against Daesh, which will require a new resolution. This vote, which did not end arms embargo, urged all countries to help Libya to defeat Islamic State. UN envoy Martin Kobler is now working to allow new government to safely stay in Tripoli.

So, military intervention is expected from 2016. Italy, which wants to lead international mission, and UK will discuss to define targets and dispositions. Libya’s U.N. ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi said Libya will hold off requesting Western countries, especially US and UK, to bombing Islamic State strongholds. While now, the priority was strengthening Libyan security capabilities with Western training and lifting the U.N. arms embargo.
Giacomo Pratali

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UNIFIL: Italian peacekeepers helps Lebanese ISF

Defence di

Lebanese authorities are deeply grateful toward the peacekeepers of the UNIFIL mission. The Italian contingent, currently made up of units of the Taurinense Alpine Brigade, completed and inaugurated an important project in favor of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF), near two of their facilities in the city of Tyre, in the south of the country.

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Specifically, they completed deliveries of four generators of medium and large capacity, installed in the main bases of the ISF to implement the provision of electricity of the centers of command and control of the Internal Security Forces, compensating for the lack of energy, which – in that area – is limited to few hours in daylight.

During the inauguration ceremony, held in base of the command of the 2nd mobile Regiment of ISF, local authorities have expressed appreciation for the cooperation and the proximity of the Italian contingent, dedicated to the support of the Lebanese armed forces as required by UN Resolution 1701.

 

Viviana Passalacqua

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Lebanon: Renzi visits Italian contingent

Defence di

Official visit of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to the Italian contingent in Lebanon, to verify the situation on the entire area of UNIFIL operation and to compliment the work of Italian troops in the south of the country. Accompanied by General Claudio Graziano, Chief of the Defence Staff, the Prime Minister has reached the military base Millevoi in Shama, the headquarters of the West Sector of UNIFIL, currently leaded by the Alpine Brigade “Taurinense”.

Waiting for him, the Head of Mission and Force Commander of UNIFIL, Major General Luciano Portolano, and the Commander of national Contingent, Brigadier General Franco Federici. Informal and warm Christmas greetings made by Renzi, who wanted to meet men and women of our contingent informally, expressing the closeness of the Italian government to them and to their families.

Great praise for the armed forces involved in peacekeeping missions and peacekeepers of Taurinense in Lebanon, operating within the framework of UN Resolution 170 in order to monitor the cessation of hostilities, support the Lebanese Armed Forces, and ensure appropriate support for the people local. «You are highly professional soldiers, you carry out your precious work in the service of the Italian institutions and peace, far away from your loved ones. You make us proud to be Italian», concluded the Prime Minister.

Viviana Passalacqua

Europe: new coast guard protecting borders

Defence di

The European Commission has decided to establish a European border and coast guard to ensure a strong and shared management of external borders. Regarding the principle of free movement of people, the new control body will protect the Schengen area and control migratory flows, through systematic inspections, based on the comparison with relevant databases.

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“The european coast guard and border – said Frans Timmermans, first Vice President of the European Commission – will identify any weaknesses in real time, thanks to the collective capacity to effectively manage crisis situations, in which a section of the external borders is subjected to pressure”. The new body will have a reserve team fast coastguard and a park of technical equipment made available by the Member States: the Agency will be able to count on at least 1.500 experts, whose intervention can be deployed within three days, obviating the need for workers or equipment for operations.

It will set up a monitoring and risk analysis centre to control migration flows in the EU and to analyze risk and vulnerability assessments of weaknesses. Europe also enshrines a right to intervene: the Member States can apply for joint operations and rapid border interventions.

In case of significant migration that threatens the Schengen area, the Commission will establish the urgent collective. Coastguards will be part of the national coast guard and border European insofar as border control operations take place. Finally, the responsibility with respect to the internal security is fundamental, in terms of control of cross-border crime and terrorism, in terms of combating cross-border crime and terrorism along with other EU agencies and international organizations.

Viviana Passalacqua

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Viviana Passalacqua
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