Monday, January 18, 2010

DTN News: Afghanistan ~ NATO Intensifies Its First Asian War

DTN News: Afghanistan ~ NATO Intensifies Its First Asian War *Source: OpEdNews By Rick Rozoff (NSI News Source Info) - January 19, 2010: With former Joint Special Operations Command chief General Stanley McChrystal in charge of what will soon be over 150,000 U.S. and NATO troops in the Afghanistan-Pakistan war theater, Washington will conduct its largest counterinsurgency operations since those in Indochina in the 1960s and early 1970s. NATO, established in 1949 supposedly to confront the Soviet Union and its allies in Central Europe, is waging its first land war almost 3,000 miles east of its former border with the Warsaw Pact. The world's sole military extending its troop deployments, bases, missile shield components, warplanes and warships to all six inhabited continents, over the past decade to Afghanistan, Australia, Bulgaria, Colombia, Djibouti, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, the Philippines, Poland, Romania and Seychelles.----------- On January 8 the Washington Post provided North Atlantic Treaty Organization secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt a column in which the two, while deferring to their big brother in Washington - "The United States has played a central role in defending the values and the security of the Euro-Atlantic community" - nevertheless asserted that "Europe can deliver and can be a real partner for the United States. That is what is happening now in the global mission in Afghanistan." [1] Unquestioned loyalty to the trans-Atlantic partnership with the United States is synonymous with subordination to NATO, and currently the touchstone for fealty to the military bloc is blind willingness to follow the U.S. further and yet deeper into the increasingly bloody imbroglio in Afghanistan. In addressing the ongoing and by all appearances interminable colonial war in South Asia, one which cost the U.S. and its NATO allies more lives last year than in any of the seven full years preceding it, the joint propaganda puff piece by Bildt and Rasmussen included the boast that "U.S. allies and partners in the NATO-led military operation have responded clearly to President Obama's decision to significantly increase American troop levels in the mission. In early December, the other members of the mission pledged an additional 7,000 troops, on top of the almost 40,000 non-U.S. troops already on the ground. Non-U.S. forces will eventually be about 40 percent of the total; they already endure about 40 percent of the casualties. There should be no more doubt in the United States on whether America can count on its allies; we are proving that in blood and treasure every day in Afghanistan." [2] Their arithmetic matches that of U.S. permanent representative to NATO, Netherlands-born Ivo Daalder, who four months ago quantified what it means to be a dependable member of the bloc: "Over 40 percent of the bodybags that leave Afghanistan do not go to the U.S. They go to other countries...." [3] Daalder has long been an advocate of NATO not so much supplementing as replacing the United Nations as arbiter of international conflicts and indeed of all important world issues. [4] It is uncertain whether leading Western governments have formally determined what the optimal distribution and division of blood and currency, deaths and dollars/euros between the United States and its NATO partners should be in order to preserve solidarity between members of the "military alliance of democratic states in Europe and North America." Perhaps someone in Brussels and Washington computes that lethal calculus. Bildt, whose country is not yet a full member of NATO notwithstanding the efforts of himself and co-conspirators to surreptitiously pull Sweden into full integration with the world's only military bloc [5], presumably spoke on behalf of the European Union - though his nation does not currently hold the EU presidency. Spain does. However, Swedish troops serve under NATO command in Afghanistan and in recent months have been involved in several firefights in the north of the nation, where with fellow former (officially) neutral Finland it is in charge of four provinces for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. Bildt's nation has lost two soldiers in the Alliance's Asian war, the first it has sacrificed in an armed conflict since the Norwegian-Swedish War of 1814. On February 4 and 5 the defense chiefs of all 28 full NATO member states and no doubt counterparts from many of the more than twenty partner nations - from Australia to the United Arab Emirates, Mongolia to Colombia, Bosnia to Singapore, Georgia to South Korea - that have provided or pledged troops to the bloc for its first Asian war will meet in Istanbul, Turkey to plan the next phase of the escalation of the the Afghan campaign. "The situation in Afghanistan and sending military reinforcements to join the International Security Assistance Force are expected to be the key matters of the meetings." [6] 5,000 NATO Casualties Predicted For New Year What reinforcements from NATO member and partner states will encounter was indicated by retired U.S. general Barry McCaffrey, who earlier this month projected that "US forces in Afghanistan should brace themselves for up to 500 casualties a month this year." The Times of London added "The anticipated increase would produce around 3,000 American casualties this year, and a total for Western forces in Afghanistan of around 5,000 killed and wounded - the equivalent of seven infantry battalions." [7] By way of comparison, in 2009 there were 512 U.S. Operation Enduring Freedom and NATO International Security Assistance Force deaths in Afghanistan, more than a third of the 1,500 Western fatalities since the war began in October of 2001. McCaffrey's numbers allow for some multiple of last year's combined U.S. and other NATO member and partner combat deaths to occur later this year.
Such is the test - and the price - of the "Euro-Atlantic" partnership touted by Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen. Recent developments substantiate predictions of heightened NATO casualties this year, even before planned spring and summer offensives commence. The New Year has begun with NATO announcing the deaths of over a dozen soldiers, including six in attacks on January 11. The pace of combat deaths this year already promises a total exceeding the previous high in 2009. The main victims of the expansion of the war in South Asia by the U.S. and NATO will remain Afghan civilians and their opposite numbers in Pakistan [8], but Western military occupation forces will not fare much better. As deployments increase so will casualties, and both are growing steadily. NATO Recruits Middle East Partners For Afghan War On December 30 the Jordanian Army announced that one of its officers became the nation's first fatality in Afghanistan. Before that the United Arab Emirates was thought to be the only Arab country to supply troops to NATO for that war theater, but on the day of the loss a German news agency revealed that "NATO's website listed 90 Jordanian soldiers alongside other contributions to the multinational force." [9] It was later reported that the captain killed in Afghanistan lost his life along with seven Americans in an attack on a CIA forward operating base and was the alleged handler for what has been described as a double agent, a physician from Jordan. Nine days after its first military loss, Jordan in the person of its foreign minister, Nasser Judeh, asserted "our presence in Afghanistan will be enhanced and increased in the coming phase. This is something that is ongoing. Jordan was one of the first countries there." [10] U.S. Secretary of State Hillary was in the nation's capital on January 8 "to discuss strategic cooperation." [11] Jordan is a member of NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue partnership along with Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. The United Arab Emirates is a carefully cultivated NATO, American and French military ally in the Persian Gulf and a mainstay of the Alliance's Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. [12] NATO chief Rasmussen recently gave an interview to a Danish newspaper in which he "urged Muslim nations to contribute troops for service in Afghanistan." The likely recruits are the six Arab members of the Mediterranean Dialogue and the six Gulf Cooperation Council states targeted by the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative. (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.) Afghan War Used To Train Caucasus Armies For Local Wars The bloc has also secured troop commitments from all three former Soviet republics in the South Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Azerbaijan, bordering both Iran and Russia, has doubled its contingent under pressure from NATO's Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia Robert Simmons [13] and recently the vice speaker of its parliament said "At the recent meeting of NATO foreign ministers a proposal was made to increase the number of servicemen in Afghanistan. If we receive an appeal, the issue on increasing the number of Azerbaijani servicemen in Afghanistan may be considered." [14] Azerbaijani officials, including President Ilham Aliyev, routinely threaten war with neighboring Armenia over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Georgia hosted U.S. Marines late last year to train the first new installment of troops from that nation to be deployed to Afghanistan. [15] Georgian troop strength is projected to reach 1,000 within months, thereby rendering the state the largest per capita contributor to NATO's war in Afghanistan. "By March, the Georgian contingent will become about 1,000 strong, according to the Defense Ministry." [16] The nation's mercurial and bellicose head of state, U.S.-educated Mikheil Saakashvili, said of the Afghan deployment: "This is a unique chance for our soldiers to receive a real combat baptism. We do not need the army only for showing off at military parades." [17] Saakashvili meant that crack Georgian military forces trained by the U.S. Marine Corps and serving under NATO in Afghanistan will be better prepared for the next war with Russia over South Ossetia and Abkhazia when they return home. On January 10 the first Afghanistan-bound Armenian troops "depart[ed] for Germany for training before joining the ISAF mission in Afghanistan" and "will be in Afghanistan in mid-February." [18]Unlike its neighbors Azerbaijan and Georgia, Armenia is a member of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), seen by many observers as a bulwark against further NATO expansion into former Soviet space. Although Armenia sent a small contingent of troops to Iraq earlier, they were deployed under a bilateral arrangement with the U.S. and did not serve under NATO command as they will in Afghanistan. Armenian troops will be the first from the CSTO to do so.
Another former Soviet republic, Estonia, a full member of NATO since 2004, announced this month that in keeping with other Alliance members and partners from five continents it was prepared to increase its Afghan war contingent. "150 soldiers from the Baltic country are involved in the conflict and it's likely that more troops are going to be sent." [19] NATO's War Trajectory: From Southeastern Europe To South Asia The North Atlantic military bloc, the only one in the world since the formal dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991, effected its transition from an alleged defensive organization to an active out of area perpetrator of armed aggression with the 78-day Operation Allied Force air war against Yugoslavia in 1999. Slightly over two years after that conflict ended NATO invoked its Article 5 mutual military assistance provision to join the U.S. in Afghanistan and in the general global war on terror announced by the American administration. Currently all six former Yugoslav federal republics except for Serbia, which is also marked for further NATO integration and will in turn be pressured for troops, have committed forces to serve under NATO in the Afghan war zone. Late last month Defense Minister Selmo Cikotic confirmed that "Bosnia is planning to send troops next year to join the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan." [20] A Croatian soldier was injured in Afghanistan on December 30 in an attack of an undisclosed nature. Macedonia is a perennial candidate for full NATO membership that has attempted to prove its bona fides to the Alliance by sending troops to, first, Iraq and now Afghanistan. It will not be accepted until it changes its name under foreign pressure and effectively cedes its northwest region to Kosovo, an artificial political entity violently forged by NATO. On January 8 the country dispatched 150 troops for a new rotation. The forces will join a British military unit. Earlier the Macedonian Defense Ministry announced that it was increasing troop strength to over 243, a fifty percent boost. In neighboring Bulgaria a news source recently divulged that the nation was adding deployments to Afghanistan which will bring the country's troops there to over 300. Poland: NATO Uses Afghan War To Train Army For Combat, Warfare Late in December Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski made a tour of inspection to the NATO Joint Force Training Center in Bydgoszcz and said, "I think that slowly but consistently we are implementing our strategy in Afghanistan. We have completed our missions in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Chad and strengthened the one in Afghanistan. I think that, as a result, the Polish Army is getting an experience there and entering NATO's first league...." [21] Poland has pledged an additional 600 troops for the war this year and the total number will reach 2,600, the largest overseas military deployment in the nation's history, 100 more than it had deployed in Iraq where it lost 22 soldiers. For Poland, as with fellows neighbors of Russia like Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Latvia and Lithuania [22], NATO is supplying military training and combat experience for future action nearer home. Toward the end of last year a Polish officer, speaking of his country's National Forces Reserve, said that "in the event of war, the reserve units could be mobilised" and that they will "train on a regular basis to keep up their combat skills in the event of warfare." [23] The application of such training is not for Afghanistan. The major, older NATO nations are also stepping up their roles in the Afghan conflict. Even before the January 28 conference on Afghanistan to be held in London, at and after which it is expected that NATO troop contributions will expand even beyond the additional 7,000 pledged since U.S. President Obama's troops surge announcement last December 1, the host nation Britain has assigned several hundred more troops. The country's death toll reached 246 early this year. France: Back In NATO Military Command, In Afghanistan For The Duration
On January 8 French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has already sent 2,600 soldiers to Afghanistan, "defended his country's military force in Afghanistan, saying...that now is not the time to pull out." He also "insisted on the importance of France's participation in NATO. France rejoined NATO's integrated military command in 2009, more than 40 years after quitting it and kicking American military bases off French soil." [24] On January 4 Der Spiegel reported that the U.S. "has decided to send 2,500 soldiers to Kunduz," where German forces called in a NATO air strike in early September of last year that killed 150 civilians [25], "the region under German command in the northern part of the country. The move is sure to increase the pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin." Pressure, that is, to dispense with the limit of 4,500 troops imposed by the parliament, the Bundestag, and "intensify the debate in Germany about sending more troops. Internally, the government in Berlin has already decided to increase German troop numbers by up to 2,000 soldiers...." [26] American troops would serve under German command for the first time in Afghanistan or anywhere else. German Troops "Trained To Kill" The following day the new Chairman of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger, in recent years German ambassador to the United States and to Britain, was quoted as saying that "Germany must confront the reality that its soldiers are trained to kill" and that "certain military facts had to be confronted." Ischinger stated in his own words: "Soldiers are trained to kill others, or at least to threaten people in a way that they consider it plausible that they will be killed if they don't do what is expected of them." He urged a troop increase in Afghanistan and added, "If we send too many, it can't get so bad. If we send too few, it could be that the whole thing doesn't work...We are building fewer wells, and unfortunately have to shoot more." [27] The war in Afghanistan, like that against Yugoslavia in 1999, is providing Germany the opportunity of reemerging on the world military stage. [28] Scandinavia, Spain: Killing And Dying In South Asia The Norwegian press this year has reported on the heightened combat role of its nation's troops. On New Year's Eve a "Norwegian patrol came under fire from several directions. The fighting lasted for seven hours." [29] The country's Defense Ministry claimed that several Afghan insurgents were killed. Norwegian troops are also not constructing wells; neither are their Finnish and Swedish counterparts who have been in regular firefights in northern Afghanistan. "The Christmas period has seen troops from Norway involved in several battles across northern Afghanistan," one of which "led to NATO being called on to provide assistance from the air." "On Christmas Day a mission with drone and helicopter support was deployed to an under siege Afghan border post by Norwegian and Afghan troops." [30] At the beginning of January "it was announced that Norwegian forces, which number around 500 in Afghanistan, were involved in fighting every third day on average." [31] On January 8 a Danish soldier was killed and five were injured in Helmand province. Denmark, which has 700 troops assigned to NATO, has lost 29 military personnel in the Afghan war. On January 8 the Spanish contingent in Afghanistan - "Spain currently has about 800 troops serving with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, and plans to deploy an additional 220 soldiers to that nation" [32] - lost a soldier, an Ecuadorian national, to a non-combat injury, bringing Spain's toll to 90 Afghan war-related deaths. Another 150 soldiers have been seriously injured. The Spanish government refuses to name a withdrawal date and "[J]udging by the amazing Spanish base being built close to the airport of the capital of the Province of Badghis, the withdrawal will not come soon.
"This base will have a capacity to accommodate around 300,000 soldiers and its cost will exceed 44 million euros. The base will have an extension of around 173 acres and a perimeter of 3 miles." [33] Spanish troops killed one Afghan civilian and wounded another in late December in Herat province. During the same period "The Dutch television channel RTL news...obtained evidence that, it claims, shows that Dutch troops in Afghanistan have been responsible for more than 100 civilian deaths." [34] On December 30 four more Canadian soldiers were killed in Afghanistan, bringing Canada's death tally to 138, the third largest of any NATO state and the largest per capita. Two Italian troops were among those wounded on December 28 when an Afghan National Army soldier fired on NATO troops. Italy has lost 22 soldiers in the war and will add 1,000 more troops this year to the 3,200 already in Afghanistan. .... With former Joint Special Operations Command chief General Stanley McChrystal in charge of what will soon be over 150,000 U.S. and NATO troops in the Afghanistan-Pakistan war theater, Washington will conduct its largest counterinsurgency operations since those in Indochina in the 1960s and early 1970s. The New York Times reported in late December that "Secretive branches of the militarys Special Operations forces have increased counterterrorism Afghanistan and, because of their success, plan an even bigger expansion next year, according to American commanders." "Senior military officials say it is not surprising that the commandos are playing such an important role in the fight, particularly because Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the senior American and NATO officer in Afghanistan, led the Joint Special Operations Command for five years. "In addition to the classified American commando missions, military officials say that other NATO special operations forces have teamed up...." [35] NATO, established in 1949 supposedly to confront the Soviet Union and its allies in Central Europe, is waging its first land war almost 3,000 miles east of its former border with the Warsaw Pact. Associated Press reported on January 12 that the Obama White House is to request a record $708 billion for the Pentagon for next year and the first of what will become regular emergency requests for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, overwhelmingly for the first: $33 billion. The integration of U.S. armed forces and those of the other fifty nations providing troops for NATO in Afghanistan, a global NATO in embryo [36], is not limited to the war in Afghanistan. Last week it was reported that the chief of the U.S. Joint Forces Command, Marine Corps General James Mattis, who was also NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Transformation [ACT] until last September, "pitched to Defense Secretary Robert Gates a proposal to rename the Norfolk, Va.-based organization, aiming to reflect how much it works with non-American entities and officials. "34 senior officers from both NATO and 'Partnership for Peace member nations, as well as Asia Pacific, African and Middle Eastern nations,' are hosted by the command. Nearly 90 officials from 48 nations 'routinely collaborate' with the joint organization," according to Mattis. [37] His memo to Pentagon chief Gates contained this core recommendation:
"In alignment with our mission and consistent with the continued importance of partnership with multinational partners, request your approval to immediately pursue the renaming of U.S. Joint Forces Command to U.S. Joint and Coalition Forces Command. This [proposed] name will better reflect the day-to-day reality of this non-geographically-oriented command and signify a command focused on more than internal U.S. priorities." [38] The world's sole military superpower, as President Barack Obama referred to the nation whose commander-in-chief he is on the occasion of receiving the now even further tarnished Nobel Peace Prize, is extending its troop deployments, bases, missile shield components, warplanes and warships to all six inhabited continents, over the past decade to Afghanistan, Australia, Bulgaria, Colombia, Djibouti, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, the Philippines, Poland, Romania and Seychelles. The U.S. has the mightiest and most lethal military arsenal in human history at its disposal and the world's second-largest standing army (only China's having more troops). It intends to spend over $700 billion next year on its defense budget and will continue to add on special appropriations for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. It also is in charge of the world's first global military bloc, NATO, which is participating with the U.S. in an expanding war in Asia with forces from over a quarter of the world's nations under its command. 1) Washington Post, January 8, 2010
2) Ibid
3) Reuters, September 14, 2009
4) West Plots To Supplant United Nations With Global NATO
Stop NATO, May 27, 2009
5) Stop The Stealthy Accession To NATO!
6) Aysor, January 11, 2010
7) The Times, January 7, 2010
8) West's Afghan War: From Conquest To Bloodbath
Stop NATO, January 5, 2010
9) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, December 30, 2009
10) Agence France-Presse, January 8, 2010
11) Trend News Agency, January 10, 2010
12) NATO In Persian Gulf: From Third World War To Istanbul
Stop NATO, February 6, 2009
13) Mr. Simmons' Mission: NATO Bases From Balkans To Chinese Border
Stop NATO, March 4, 2009
Eurasian Crossroads: The Caucasus In U.S.-NATO War Plans
Stop NATO, April 7, 2009
Azerbaijan And The Caspian: NATO's War For The World's Heartland
Stop NATO, June 10, 2009
14) Azeri Press Agency, December 24, 2009
15) U.S. Marines In The Caucasus As West Widens Afghan War
Stop NATO, September 3, 2009
16) Interfax, January 13, 2010
17) The Telegraph, December 8, 2009
18), January 9, 2010
19) Estonian Free Press, January 8, 2010
20) Reuters, December 28, 2009
21) Polish Radio, December 31, 2009
22) Afghan War: NATO Trains Finland, Sweden For Conflict With Russia
Stop NATO, July 26, 2009
23) Polish Radio, December 28, 2009
24) Associated Press, January 8, 2010
25) Following Afghan Election, NATO Intensifies Deployments, Carnage
Stop NATO, September 6, 2009
26) Der Spiegel, January 4, 2010
27) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, January 5, 2010
28) New NATO: Germany Returns To World Military Stage
Stop NATO, July 12, 2009
29) Norway Post, January 3, 2010
30) IceNews, January 3, 2010
31) Ibid
32) EFE, January 8, 2010
33) Prensa Latina, December 28, 2009
34) Radio Netherlands, December 24, 2009
35) New York Times, December 27, 2009
36) Afghan War: NATO Builds History's First Global Army
Stop NATO, August 9, 2009
37) Defense News, January 6, 2009
38) Ibid
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Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed herein are those of the author of the page and do not necessarily represent the corporate views of DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News.

DTN News: Boeing To Bid On International Space Station Cargo Contract

DTN News: Boeing To Bid On International Space Station Cargo Contract *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) HOUSTON, - January 18, 2010: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced it will draw on its human spaceflight experience, as well as its knowledge of International Space Station (ISS) operations and cargo processing, to bid on NASA's ISS Cargo Mission Contract. NASA released a Request For Proposals on Jan. 15 for a contract to provide technical support services including the analysis and physical processing of pressurized cargo and flight crew equipment to be transported to and from the ISS. The contract also covers launch preparations and post-landing activities related to processing the flight crew equipment. "Boeing's experience with the International Space Station program allows us to provide an offer that supports NASA's priorities for safety, mission success, and innovation," said Brad Cothran, Boeing's capture team lead for the contract. "We look forward to continuing our support of NASA and the future of the International Space Station. The ISS is an important international asset as both a research laboratory and test bed for living and working in space." Boeing is the prime contractor to NASA for the ISS. In addition to designing and building all the major U.S. elements, Boeing also is responsible for ensuring the successful integration of any new hardware and software -- including components from international partners -- as well as for providing sustaining engineering work for the ISS. The services and support Boeing provides under its Checkout, Assembly, and Payload Processing Services contract include planning for and receiving payloads, maintaining associated ground support systems, integrating payloads with the space shuttle, launch support, and space shuttle post-landing payload activities. Proposals are due to NASA on April 1. NASA is scheduled to select a contractor at the end of September; work will begin in January 2011. The performance period for the contract is three years with four one-year options, for a potential total of seven years. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.

DTN News: Boeing Begins A-10 Thunderbolt Wing Assembly For US Air Force

DTN News: Boeing Begins A-10 Thunderbolt Wing Assembly For US Air Force *Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) MACON, Ga., - January 18, 2010: The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today announced that it has begun assembling the first A-10 Thunderbolt replacement-wing set at its Macon facility. The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing the contract, worth up to $2 billion, in June 2007 to provide as many as 242 A-10 replacement-wing sets through 2018. "This is a phenomenal accomplishment for this Boeing Macon team and a real tribute to the partnership between Boeing and the Air Force to keep these vital aircraft flying in support of U.S. military men and women," said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing Defense, Space & Security president and CEO. "We are honored to help extend the life of these storied planes as they serve our warfighters in their essential close-air support missions. This is also an important milestone in Boeing's drive to offer our customers maintenance and modification support on a wide range of aircraft, regardless of the plane's original manufacturer." Boeing will deliver the replacement wing sets to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, in four parts: three wing sections and an installation kit. Air Force personnel will install the wings. Boeing is scheduled to deliver the first wing set in September and up to 50 wing sets a year at peak production. The A-10 Thunderbolt, also known as the Warthog, is a twin-engine jet aircraft designed for close-air support of ground forces. More than 350 aircraft are currently in the U.S. fleet participating in both Iraq and Afghanistan operations. A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $32 billion business with 70,000 employees worldwide.

DTN News: How Is The Chinese Compete Their J-10 Jet Fighter In The international Market

DTN News: How Is The Chinese Compete Their J-10 Jet Fighter In The international Market *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 18, 2010: Media has broadcasted their J-10 single engines multirole jet fighter. Each jets worth for US$40 million. The manufacture firm, Shenyang said that their products will compete with the US Lockheed Martin latest jet which sold to the UEA, F-16 C/D block 60 all weather single engine fighter jet cost US$ 80 million. Shenyang claims the J-10 has the same capability with 'desert falcon'. The nickname is address to block 60. Some report said that J-10B version has some sort of similar design to the JSF F-35 with 3D thrust vectoring control nozzle. To make it happened China imported the Russia made engine "Lyulka" Saturn AL-31FU engine. From the outlook, J-10 is combination design between F-16 and mirage2000/MiG-21. How does Shenyang dare to compete with 'desert falcon’? In respectively, Shenyang claimed that the J-10 has more powerful engine Thrust than the latest F-16. Radar performance similar to 'desert falcon' active phased array radar AN/APG-68 which also mounted on the US 'raptor' stealth jet fighter. At the certain price rate unless very closed allied, I think China might difficult to sell it, unless the price has included training, spare part and maintenance. In international market, J-10 will compete with EF-2000. The EF-2000 is sales about US$ 50 million per unit with twin engines attached. “Dassault Rafale”, F-16 D block 60 and Gripen NG are the competitors they have to fight. The latest adopted active phased Array radar to the Rafale made the competition 'hot'. China is also claim that J-10 can land on the naval aircraft carrier since the F-16 and Typhoon can't. By then China said that J-10 preliminary ordered by Pakistani Air Force reached about 150 units for the next 5 years. The used is side by side with their new F-16 C/D block 52.

DTN News:Boeing, Etihad Airways, Honeywell And Masdar Institute To Establish The First Integrated, Sustainable Bioenergy Research Project For Aviation

DTN News: Boeing, Etihad Airways, Honeywell And Masdar Institute To Establish The First Integrated, Sustainable Bioenergy Research Project For Aviation‏ *Pioneering system using seawater and desert for bioenergy to be located in Abu Dhabi
*Source: DTN News / Boeing (NSI News Source Info) ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, - January 18, 2010: Boeing (NYSE: BA), the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, Etihad Airways and Honeywell's UOP today announced an agreement to establish a major research institution and demonstration project in Abu Dhabi dedicated to sustainable energy solutions. The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Project (SBRP) will use integrated saltwater agricultural systems to support the development and commercialization of biofuel sources for aviation and coproducts. As part of its initial work statement, the SBRP will undertake research projects that combine the arid, saline-rich environment of Abu Dhabi with innovative saltwater farming practices. The Masdar Institute will host the SBRP and provide laboratory and demonstration facilities both within and outside of Masdar City, which aims to be the world's first zero-carbon city. "Together with the Abu Dhabi government, Etihad Airways and other industry leaders, we are forging our energy future by developing a renewable fuel supply now, not when fossil fuels are depleted," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Developing and commercializing these low-carbon energy sources is the right thing for our industry, for our customers and for future generations." Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer James Hogan said, "The development of carbon-neutral sources of energy is of major importance to Etihad Airways and the aviation industry. We are delighted to be a key member of the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Project, which will be based in Abu Dhabi and will be one of the most innovative schemes of this nature in the world. The SBRP findings will be of great use to Etihad Airways as we look to reduce the use of conventional fossil fuels and to develop a commercially viable alternative that is also able to meet the sustainability principles that we have committed to as a member of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group." "The paradigm for energy supply is shifting. To meet the growing demand for energy worldwide, we must identify regional biofuel solutions that are not only sustainable but can actually regenerate the ecosystems where they are generated," said Jennifer Holmgren, vice president and general manager of Renewable Energy & Chemicals for Honeywell's UOP. "This project is a unique opportunity to showcase the viability of a geographically optimized solution and the availability of solutions that produce high-quality, green transportation fuels." The integrated approach uses saltwater to create an aquaculture-based seafood farming system in parallel with the growth of mangrove forests and salicornia, a plant that thrives in salty conditions. This closed-loop system converts what would otherwise be problematic aquaculture effluent in seawater into an affordable, nutrient-rich fertilizer for both plants. These biomass sources can then be sustainably harvested to generate clean energy and to create aviation biofuels and other products. Developing low-cost, nonpetroleum fertilizers is one of the keys to achieving genuine carbon emissions reductions from any biofuel source. As an independent research university working in renewable energy development, the Masdar Institute ( will lead SBRP operations, bringing strong scientific guidance to the project. According to Masdar Institute Provost Dr. John Perkins, "This project demonstrates the Masdar Institute's strong desire to establish a world-class university dedicated to alternative energy, environmental technologies and sustainability. This project will for the first time demonstrate the commercial viability of using integrated saltwater agriculture to provide biofuels for aviation, and it is consistent with the overall vision of Abu Dhabi to achieve a 7 percent target of renewables by 2020." The evolutionary seawater farming concept has been pioneered by Dr. Carl Hodges of Global Seawater, Inc., who has been engaged as a special adviser to the project, which will take place over an area of approximately 2 square kilometers (0.8 square miles). Sustainable biofuel development is a key element of aviation's strategy to reduce carbon emissions. The SBRP will only research biomass sources that do not distort the global food chain, compete with fresh water use or lead to unintended land-use change. All phases of biomass cultivation for the project will be tested against the practices and principles developed by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels and supported by members of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (

DTN News: Nigeria TODAY January 18, 2010 ~ Deadly Clashes Rock Nigerian City

DTN News: Nigeria TODAY January 18, 2010 ~ Deadly Clashes Rock Nigerian City *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) LAGOS, Nigeria - January 18, 2010: Authorities in the northern Nigerian city of Jos have imposed a dusk to dawn curfew after sectarian clashes that left at least 10 people dead. The violence broke out on Sunday morning between rival Christian and Muslim gangs, setting fire to mosques, churches and other buildings. In November 2008 a wave of sectarian clashes in Jos left hundreds of people dead following a disputed election. Sunday's clashes reportedly erupted after Christian youths protested against the building of a mosque in the Christian-dominated Nassarawa Gwom district of the city. Doctors said several people had been brought to city hospitals with gun shot wounds or deep cuts from machetes. Witnesses reported large clouds of smoke coming from burning buildings and vehicles in Nassarawa Gwom. Mohammed Lerema, a state police spokesman, said the situation had been brought under control by late on Sunday. "We have arrested 35 suspects, including five in military uniforms," he said. However state officials said they had requested extra security reinforcements be sent to Jos from other parts of Nigeria.

DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY January 18, 2010 ~ Suicide Bombers, Gunmen Attack Central Kabul

DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY January 18, 2010 ~ Suicide Bombers, Gunmen Attack Central Kabul *Source: DTN News / Reuters (NSI News Source Info) KABUL, Afghanistan - January 18, 2010: Taliban gunmen, some wearing suicide vests, launched a commando-style assault on government buildings in the center of Kabul on Monday, underscoring the perilous security situation in the Afghan capital. It was the worst attack on the city in nearly a year. Gunfire and loud explosions could be heard across the capital and a huge column of smoke was pouring out of a shopping center that was at the heart of the attacks. Afghan police officers arrive at the scene of attack in central Kabul and a shopping center burns in central Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Jan. 18, 2010. Taliban militants struck the heart of the Afghan government in Kabul on Monday, prompting fierce gunbattles after a suicide bomber blew himself up near the presidential palace. More explosions rocked the capital as Afghan troops fought off the attackers. By mid-day, the main attack on the presidential palace and ministries in the center of town seemed to have been repelled, with fighters now holed up inside the shopping center, that was on fire and surrounded by Afghan police and security officials. While the gun battle there was underway, a suicide car bomber exploded his vehicle outside another shopping center nearby killing several police and security officials, a security source said. Another blast was later reported near a cinema several hundred meters (yards) away. The Taliban said 20 of their fighters were involved in the attacks, which targeted the presidential palace, justice ministry, ministry of mines and a presidential administrative building, all clustered in the center of town. It was not immediately clear how many were killed, but the apparent ease with which the militants penetrated the heart of the city underlines the challenges facing President Hamid Karzai. It also appears to be a slap in the face for his new initiative to lure Taliban fighters to lay down their arms that he plans to announce at an international conference in London this month. The initiative is a key part of U.S. President Barack Obama's new strategy, which will also see 30,000 extra troops sent to turn the tide against a mounting insurgency. CASUALTIES The strikes came as some members of Karzai's new cabinet were being sworn in after an election last year. Initial reports of casualties were only partial. NATO forces said at least two armed insurgents were killed. A security source said two guards were shot dead by the bombers as they stormed the Grand Shopping Center. Another said three people had died. The attack was the biggest in the capital since fighters stormed the justice ministry and other government buildings last February. Taliban fighters have long had their sights on Kabul, staging a number of smaller bomb attacks in recent months in the city, and have mounted similar commando raids in other cities. A police source said one suicide bomber may have penetrated the justice ministry. However, there were no confirmed reports that fighters had successfully managed to seize any of the government buildings they had aimed for. Defense Ministry spokesman Zaher Azimy said of the scene at the Grand Afghan Shopping Center: "The store is under siege and we are involved in a clash with those inside. Some security forces have managed to get inside the store." Mohammad Shah, a shopkeeper in the center, said: "There was an explosion at the presidential palace gate and then three people who looked like suicide bombers entered the shopping center and went to the second and third floor. "There were gunshots from security people, there was black smoke inside the building and the security guys escorted us out," he said. The store is adjacent to the Serena Hotel, where many foreigners stay, but the hotel itself did not appear to have been targeted by the attackers. A Reuters reporter overheard security forces saying on radio that the car bomber at the second shopping center had driven a military ambulance, suggesting fighters may have posed as members of the Afghan security forces or infiltrated them. Some gunmen may have been wearing uniforms, security officers said over the radio, urging that Afghan army troops be kept from the scene to prevent confusion or further infiltrations. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force said it was "working closely with our Afghan partners to aggressively contain the situation." (Reporting by Sayed Salahuddin, Hamid Shalizi, Golnar Motevalli, Sue Pleming, Jonathon Burch and Emma Graham-Harrison; writing by Peter Graff; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

DTN News: Financial News TODAY January 18, 2010 ~ Japan Airlines Shares Drop 45% As Bankruptcy Fears Grow

DTN News: Financial News TODAY January 18, 2010 ~ Japan Airlines Shares Drop 45% As Bankruptcy Fears Grow *ANALYSIS: By Roland Buerk, BBC News, Tokyo Japan's new government has been agonising for months over how to keep JAL in the air and who should pay the price for its massive debts - the taxpayer, shareholders, staff and pensioners or the banks. A decision is emerging - all of them. Banks that hold JAL's debt are reported to have tentatively agreed to the plan - the alternative could be a total collapse which would imperil their chances of seeing any of the money again. Circling the mess are the global airline alliances, Oneworld and SkyTeam, which are still interested in JAL because of the access it offers to Asia. But reports in Tokyo say both may be rejected for now as their involvement would complicate the process.
*Source: DTN News / BBC (NSI News Source Info) TOKYO, Japan - January 18, 2010: Shares in Japan Airlines (JAL) fell by 45% to a new all-time low on Tuesday as fears grow that the carrier is heading for bankruptcy. The fall came despite an improved offer of investment from American Airlines, up from $1bn to $1.3bn. The US carrier is keen to link into JAL's lucrative Asian routes. Meanwhile, JAL's current and former employees have agreed to cuts in the company's pension scheme payouts. The fund has a $3.6bn (£2.2bn) deficit. Those cuts are crucial to the company gaining any government support. Battle for skies American Airlines' improved offer of help also comes with strings attached. It wants JAL to stay with the Oneworld alliance that American is also a member of, along with British Airways and Qantas. JAL has another, rival, offer of support from the US. Delta Airlines is offering $500m and wants JAL to join its SkyTeam network. Thomas W Horton, chief financial officer of American's parent, AMR Corp, said: "While JAL and the Japanese government might decide to address capital requirements internally - and we certainly would understand and respect that - our offer of capital would be available if this was deemed an appropriate resource to aid in the restructuring of JAL." Staff cuts Japan Airlines applied for a government bail-out in October last year through the state-backed Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of Japan (ETIC) - a body able to draw on taxpayers' money to prop up the business while it restructures. A decision on that is due before the end of January, but the ETIC requires cost-cutting concessions, which not only include the restructuring of pension arrangements but also potentially severe job cuts of up to a third of the company's 49,000-strong workforce. It will then inject fresh capital into JAL, provided the airline files for bankruptcy and creditors agree to waive around 350bn yen ($3.8bn, £2.36bn) in debts.

DTN News: Taliban Assault On Kabul

DTN News: Taliban Assault On Kabul *Source: STRATFOR dated January 18, 2010 (NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - January 18, 2010: A major Taliban attack began on Kabul Jan. 18. The fighting is being reported by both American and Taliban sources. According to one American source, reports of an imminent attack began circulating Jan. 17. Heavy fighting is being reported at multiple locations, apparently focused around the Serena Hotel. The hotel, which is frequented by foreign journalists and government officials, has been attacked in the past. According to the Taliban, 20 suicide bombers are taking part in the attack. They claim the Presidential Palace, Ministries of Justice, Finance, Mines and Industry are among the targets. There reports of casualties, but numbers and locations are unclear. The attack is still in progress, with Taliban forces reportedly fighting Afghan security forces. Explosions, gunfire and rocket fire have been reported along with the suicide bombers. It is unclear as to whether this assault will prove larger than attacks carried out last February. Early reports in a situation like this tend to be inaccurate, and it will be a while before we get a clear sense of what has happened. However, it is clear that this is a major assault. This report may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution to Disclaimer statement Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed herein are those of the author of the page and do not necessarily represent the corporate views of DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News.

DTN News: US Offers Its Latest Fighter To India

DTN News: US Offers Its Latest Fighter To India *Source: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) NEW DELHI, India - January 18, 2010: The US has offered to India yet another sophisticated defence system, this time its fifth generation F-35 Lightning-II fighter aircraft. The “possible sale” of this aircraft, which is still under development, was mentioned in the past “if the Indian Air Force (IAF) purchased the F 16 Super Viper for its Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA) requirement.” But according to a report in the coming issue of India Strategic defence magazine, Lockheed Martin, which manufactures these both aircraft, has now made a presentation without this condition to the Indian Navy for its carrier-borne aircraft requirements in about seven to eight years from now. India Strategic quoted Orville Prins, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for business development, as saying that the presentation was made after a Request for Information (RFI) for newer generation of aircraft was received from the Indian Navy recently. Prins pointed out though the company had been authorized by the US Department of Defense (DOD) to make the presentation, its sale could be done only after a bilateral agreement between Washington and New Delhi. Arms and weapon systems are developed by private companies in the US with government funding, but the DoD controls their sales. Foreign military sales are undertaken after clearance from the Department of State. The US is steadily emerging as a new supplier of sophisticated arms to India, which urgently needs to replace and augment its mostly outdated Soviet-vintage systems with the high technology weapons of the 21st century. Only last month, India placed Letters of Request (LoRs), or firm orders, for 10 long-range strategic lift transport Boeing C 17 Globemaster III aircraft for the IAF and 145 Bofors ultra-light M 777 howitzers for mountain operations by the Indian Army. Originally a Swedish company, Bofors was sold in 2000 to the US United Defense, and later to the US arm of BAE Systems. The Indian army is badly in need of various types of artillery guns and its acquisition process has been mired in one problem or another for years now. According to Air Marshal Ashok Goel (Retd), India has less than 20 IL 76 heavy lift transport aircraft, and although they have served the IAF well, they would need to be replaced in about ten years or so. In April 2010, the IL squadrons with the IAF will mark their 25 years. Prins said that Lockheed Martin was also offering the “the world’s most advanced ship-borne anti-missile system, Aegis, to India” and that presentation on this had also been made to the Indian Navy. Apparently as a technology demonstration, the US had used the Aegis system to shoot down a satellite in February 2008 by firing a Raytheon SM-2 missile. India has already acquired 12 artillery Weapon Locating Radars (WLRs) from Raytheon under a 2002 deal, which was actually the first arms transfer to India by the US after its embargos following India’s 1974 and 1998 nuclear tests. In 2008, IAF placed orders for six Lockheed Martin C 130J Special Operations aircraft, with an option for six more along with training and infrastructure development package. Prins said that the necessary transfer of equipment and training was under way and that delivery schedule for the aircraft will be adhered to as per the agreement. The JSF is a fifth-generation aircraft, to be used by the US Air Force, Navy and Marines, and perhaps will be the last manned aircraft by that country before unmanned, high-powered long-range drones and helicopters fully take over the skies by the middle of this century. Notably, India has already signed an agreement with Russia to develop a fifth generation fighter aircraft and it is due to be inducted into IAF by 2017. It is not known when and if this aircraft will have a naval variant.