Defense

August 27, 2012

Stavridis expects busy autumn for NATO, Eucom

by Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

Emphasizing that the mission in Afghanistan remains “job one,” NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe said a busy autumn season lies ahead as the transition there continues.

Even so, Navy Adm. James G. Stavridis, who also commands U.S. European Command, recognized Syria and the Levant in his command blog last week as “the wild card” that requires the alliance to stay vigilant.

“The civil war in Syria continues to burn, with over 20,000 dead and perhaps a million pushed out of their homes,” he wrote. “Lebanon is increasingly affected. Israel is deeply concerned, even as they continue to watch Iran. The Eastern Med[iterranean] is full of warships from lots of different nations.

“With struggling diplomatic efforts for Syria, there are increasing calls for military and human intervention,” Stavridis continued. “From both a NATO and a Eucom perspective, we need to stay ready for anything.”

Meanwhile, despite recent setbacks in Afghanistan – a deadly Black Hawk helicopter crash and an uptick in Afghan security force attacks on coalition troops – Stavridis reported continued progress there, particularly in the security sector.

“We are transitioning to Afghan-led security in 75 percent of the country, and our plan to turn over complete control by the end of 2014 remains on track,” he said. Afghans now lead more than 50 percent of the security operations and partner with U.S. and other coalition forces in 90 percent of them, he noted.

As Afghans step to the lead, coalition casualties have dropped about 25 percent compared to last year, Stavridis reported. Afghan security forces now number about 350,000, and are taking casualties at about five times the rate of coalition soldiers, he said.

The admiral expressed concern about the rising number of attacks by Afghan security forces on coalition forces. These tragic incidents, while statistically small in light of the regular, close interactions between coalition and Afghan forces, “can have a negative impact on morale and perception out of proportion to their military impact,” he said.

“We’re reviewing all our procedures carefully, vetting incoming Afghan security forces even more precisely, developing procedures to protect our troops and using biometrics thoroughly,” Stavridis said.

With the approach of fall, he told his commands to expect a busy time with the focus to remain on transitioning to Afghan-led security. That, he said, will include continued training for Afghan security teams and the building of combat capability in the east while consolidating gains made in the south.

“The key in the security sector will be maintaining mentoring, training and funding for the Afghans through the transition,” he said.

A related emphasis, Stavridis said, will be on the continued drawdown of coalition combat forces – to drop soon to 68,000, from a high of more than 100,000 – and on redeploying their equipment.

Looking ahead, “There will be good days and bad,” Stavridis cautioned. He emphasized, however, “the overall trend is positive, and we’re on track to success.”

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s futureĀ - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

NASA airborne campaigns tackle climate questions from Africa to Arctic

NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change. NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 

Northrop Grumman supports U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile test launch

Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful flight testing of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The operational flight test was conducted as part of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program. This program demonstrates and supports assessment of the accuracy, availability and reliability of the...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>