World

September 17, 2012

NATO chiefs examine Afghan campaign, post-2014 posture

Tags:
Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talks with a NATO chairman of defense in Sibiu, Romania, Sept. 14, 2012.

The NATO chiefs of defense had a good discussion on events in Afghanistan and alliance plans in the region, Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sept. 16.

Dempsey spoke aboard a C-40 aircraft taking him from Sibiu, Romania – where the NATO Military Committee met – to Ankara, Turkey.

The meeting was the first for the chiefs of defense since the Chicago Summit where alliance heads of state approved the NATO Strategic Plan for Afghanistan. The plan includes how the alliance will remain engaged in the country post-December 2014, when the NATO International Security Assistance Force mission ends.

ISAF commander Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen briefed the chiefs via video-teleconference. “He briefed on the campaign as well as his thinking of the timing of future decisions on things like the enduring presence and the rate at which the [NATO] forces will decline,” Dempsey said.

“This meeting was to validate the way ahead for the decisions to be made,” he said. Each nation will review its commitments, and the political leaders will decide how best to move forward.

It is important to note that the United States is not yet finished recovering the surge forces, which will happen by the end of this month. At that point, Allen will present his semi-annual campaign review.

“After the review and following the decisions made in Chicago, the analysis will be brought forward,” Dempsey said. “Sometime by the end of the year, I would expect, we would begin to have an idea of what our post-2014 presence [in Afghanistan] will be.”

With that information, Allen said he can make plans to get from 68,000 U.S. forces to the number needed on January 1, 2015.

The chiefs also discussed insider attacks – where Afghan security forces, or those disguised as security forces, fire on coalition troops. There was another instance of that yesterday when a member of the Afghan Local Police allegedly killed two British soldiers.

“We’re all seized with [the insider attack] problem,” Dempsey said. “You can’t whitewash it. We can’t convince ourselves that we just have to work harder to get through it. Something has to change.”

Commanders in Afghanistan are doing all they can to reduce the problem – vetting, counterintelligence agents in the force, a guardian angel program or changing the posture of the force.

“But we’ve got to make sure our Afghan counterparts are as seized about it as we are,” Dempsey said. “We have to get on top of this. It is a very serious threat to the campaign.”

The attack on Camp Bastion in Helmand province was not an example of an insider attack, Dempsey said.

“We pulled the intelligence string – we and the Brits – and the initial assessment is that it was a breach of the perimeter and there is no indication at this point that it was aided by anyone inside,” he said. “It’s really too soon to tell. We certainly need to continue to examine that.”




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


 
 

 

Constitutional questions grow over Japan PM’s military plans

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s pledge to the U.S. to increase Japan’s military contribution internationally is facing more questions about potential conflicts with the nation’s pacifist Constitution. Opposition lawmakers demanded answers from key Cabinet members at a hearing June 10, after three prominent constitution experts–including one chosen by Abe’s rul...
 
 

Japan, Philippines to talk about transfer of military goods

Japan and the Philippines agreed June 4 to start talks on transferring Japanese military hardware and technology to the Southeast Asian country trying to upgrade its defenses. Tokyo eased restrictions on exports of military equipment and technology last year as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to expand Japan’s military role abroad. Under a...
 
 

U.S., India move forward on joint military research projects

After several years of bureaucratic delays, the U.S. and India are moving ahead with two joint research projects for the military that officials hope will set the stage for greater defense cooperation in the years ahead. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar signed a defense agreement June 4, as part of...
 

 

Saudi Arabia becomes world’s biggest defense importer

Saudi Arabia has passed India to become the world’s biggest arms importer last year as concerns about Iran’s ambitions increase tensions in the Middle East. Saudi spending rose 54 percent to $6.5 billion last year, while India imported $5.8 billion, according to data released Sunday by IHS, a leading analyst of the global arms trade....
 
 

China defense spending to grow 10.1 percent in 2015

China said March 5 it will boost defense spending by 10.1 percent, a smaller rise than last year but in line with large annual increases that have drawn concern among the country’s neighbors over Beijing’s military and territorial ambitions. Beijing says the higher spending is needed to modernize equipment and improve conditions for the 2.3...
 
 

Kremlin pursues military modernization despite economic woes

Hundreds of new Russian aircraft, tanks and missiles are rolling off assembly lines. Russian jets roar through European skies under NATO’s wary eye. Tens of thousands of troops take part in war games showing off the military’s readiness for all-out war. The muscle flexing suggests that Russia’s economic woes so far are having no impact...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>