From New York Times: "Another official, from Continental Europe, requesting anonymity, said he considered the circumstances ones that brush the quasi-historical: in his view, the United States has de facto abandoned the idea of asking Europe to go to war while the administration re-Americanizes the conflict in Afghanistan . . .
According to Mr. Lellouche, these countries’ caveats — like fliers’ being restricted from medical evacuation missions after dark, or trainers’ being barred from accompanying their Afghan trainees into combat zones — has meant a “striking” division of labor between the soldiers who are “bureaucrats’ forbidden to leave their bases and bunkers” and the “combatants” (think of the British, Canadians, Dutch, Danes and French among the non-Americans) . . .
But a system with high- and low-risk armies legitimizes a caricature of a NATO future split into boom-boom for the Americans and handing out bonbons for the Europeans." (emphasis added)
From Jane's: "Barth Eide said that the High North should be addressed by the next reorganisation of the NATO command structure if the joint commands in Brunssum and Naples regain the regional responsibilities lost during previous restructurings, which also closed down Allied Forces Northern Europe in Norway."
From Turkish Weekly: "Turkey will participate in Loyal Arrow-2009 military exercise which will take place in Sweden between June 4-17.
Air Forces Command stated on Monday that air forces of Turkey, the U.S., Germany, Finland, Britain, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Portugal and NATO would take part in the exercise that would be performed at Sweden's Kallax Airbase."
Leader of major Pakistani political party calls for anti-NATO alliance during meeting with Iranian official.
From South Asian News Agency: "Jamaat-e-Islami Amir Syed Munawar Hassan has said that Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and China should from a bloc against the US and NATO forces.
Talking to media holding meeting with Iranian Council General Agha Massod Zamani here at Idara Noor-e-Haq on Sunday, he said that the militancy was increasing due to the presence of the US and NATO troops in the region; therefore, it was need of the time to form an Islamic block against the US and NATO countries to counter theses oppressive forces." (photo: South Asian News Agency)
From Flightglobal.com: "Although the detachment is stretching the Czech air force's small fleet of fighters and testing its aged air transport fleet, the experience is an important one for a country just a decade into its NATO experience. The detachment is also a welcome opportunity for its fighter pilots - capped at flying an average of 150 flight hours a year at home - to taste deployed operational life for the first time. " (photo via: flightglobal.com)
From Deutsche Welle: "Germany has 2,300 troops serving with the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR). That Germany the largest troop contributor of the 38 countries providing manpower for 16,000-strong force. At the same time, the Bundestag also lowered the ceiling for the German troop presence in Kosovo from 8,500 to 3,500." (photo: Deutsche Welle)
From Wall Street Journal: "NATO sees Belarus as a potential threat to
neighboring Lithuania. Russian tanks stationed in Belarus can be in the
Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, in about 90 minutes . . . The man who rules
Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, is severe. In 1995 he had his air force shoot
down a hot air balloon that had strayed into his air space, killing two
From Pravda: "The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) follows the instructions from President Dmitry Medvedev, who ordered to increase the military constituent and develop the coalition force development. A strong military group, which may appear in Central Asia in the nearest future, will make the CSTO become an analogue of NATO. The following post-Soviet countries are included in the treaty: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan."
From TIME: "In April 2008, a source told Russia's Kommersant newspaper how Putin described Ukraine to George Bush at a NATO meeting in Bucharest: 'You don't understand, George, that Ukraine is not even a state. What is Ukraine? Part of its territories is Eastern Europe, but the greater part is a gift from us.'"
From Defense News: "The alliance has agreed to deploy fighters for quick-reaction alert duties until 2018, but a more likely date for a handover to local forces is six years after that, said the chief of staff at Siauliai, Lithuania's only military air base.
Work on building Lithuania's fighter capability would have had to start in 2006 if the 2018 timeline was to have been met, Lt. Col. Virginijus Steponavicius told reporters during a May 21 visit to the base."