Friday, June 13, 2003

NATO agrees on Iraq Support Role: "From the AFP, via the Sydney Morning Herald
NATO defence ministers agreed on a new streamlined command structure to adapt the alliance for missions far outside Europe, including a modest supporting role in Iraq, officials said.
The decision came as Spain and Ukraine each committed to head a brigade of an 8,000-strong multinational division to help stabilise Iraq, which will be led by Poland with NATO's support, officials said. ... A senior US official said NATO had undergone a "near-death experience" in February, when three anti-war countries blocked the Alliance from providing defensive support for Turkey ahead of the Iraq conflict.
"I think the alliance is in a much better place than it was in February when we had some serious divisions. As is usual with NATO warnings of its death are always premature ," a senior US defence official said.
US officials pointed to recent agreements by NATO to take command of peacekeepers in Afghanistan and to support Poland in leading an 8,000-strong multinational division in Iraq as evidence that the allies are getting back to business.
Spanish Defence Minister Federico Trillo announced that Spain will "co-lead" the division.

In Command Post: Irak

70 Terrorists Killed: "Updating a previous story , from the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
US troops have killed at least 70 people in a "terrorist" training camp in Iraq, a US military spokesman says.
He said one US soldier was wounded in the operation, which was still in progress.
The 101st Airborne Division took part in the raid.
The army said earlier the raid on the camp, 150 kilometre north-west of Baghdad, was part of the " continued effort to eradicate Baath Party loyalists, paramilitary groups and other subversive elements ", but gave no details on the camp.
The operation began in the early hours of Thursday morning with an air strike on the camp.

In Command Post: Irak


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