It's things like this that keep Russia off the list completely...
Russia Launches Chinese, Iranian Satellites
(Source: Rosoboronexport; issued Oct. 27, 2005)
On Thursday, October 27, 2005, at 08:52 CEST (10:52 a.m. in Moscow), a ‘Cosmos-3M’ launch vehicle successfully orbited the Russian MoD’s spacecraft and four more foreign micro-satellites into their sun-synchronous low-Earth orbit from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome.
The rocket launch was performed in accordance with Russian Government Decree No. 66-R dated January 24, 2005, and the respective contracts on foreign customers’ payloads launches, signed between the Rosoboronexport State Corporation and the British company Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL), as well as between Rosoboronexport and the Institute of Survey Engineering of Iran.
Accompanying the Russian spacecraft, the mission also deployed four additional payloads on the Cosmos-3M launch vehicle:
-- the ‘Mozhaets-5’ (Russia) research-and-experimental micro-satellite, launched in the interests of the Russian Ministry of Defence;
--the ‘China-DMS’ Earth observation micro-satellite, the fifth one in the International Programme, it constitutes a base of the Global System of the Man-made and Natural Hazards Monitoring System;
--the TopSat (UK) scientific microsatellite for Earth remote sensing;
--the ‘SSET-Express’ (European Space Agency) student-built satellite, designed and built by the students from the universities in Norway, Germany and Japan as part of the Student Space Exploration and Technology Initiative, working in the fields of space technology and science. Once separated from the ‘SSET-Express’ upon entering the launch vehicle pre-calculated orbit, the ‘N-Cube-2’, ‘UVE-1’ and ‘XI-V” pico-satellites will continue their in-orbit solo space missions as the earth-satellite vehicles;
--the ‘Sina-1’ (Iran) Earth remote sensing micro-satellite, constructed for scientific and research purposes.
Another successful launch of the foreign payloads aboard the Russian-made Cosmos-3M Launch Vehicle proves further expanding cooperation between Rosoboronexport and its foreign partners in the domain of rendering aerospace services.
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New ZealandThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Sgt_Schlappy,
Japan Votes Against Nuclear Powered Carrier
Associated Press | November 03, 2005
TOKYO - The local assembly in a Japanese city that hosts a U.S. naval base voted unanimously Wednesday against plans to deploy a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier there, citing the feelings of people in a country where the US dropped two atomic bombs.
The 45-member Yokosuka City Assembly unanimously adopted a statement urging the central government to nullify the agreement with Washington to base a Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carrier in the city starting in 2008, replacing an older conventional carrier, city spokesman Takahide Kurabayashi said.
Yokosuka hosts the U.S. Seventh Fleet, the only U.S. fleet based overseas.
American troops have been stationed in Japan since the end of World War II in 1945, but the Japanese public has long been wary of any U.S. nuclear presence because of opposition to nuclear weapons and a fear of radiation leaks.
The decision to deploy the nuclear-powered carrier comes 60 years after the US dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the closing days of the war.
"Fully taking into account the feelings toward nuclear (issues) of local citizens and the Japanese people in the only country that suffered atomic bombings ... we request that the government nullify the deployment agreement, and that the U.S. government continue deploying a conventional aircraft carrier," the city assembly said.
Kurabayashi said the statement would be sent to Japanese government officials, including Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. He said the city had no power to block the decision.
Last week, the US and Japanese governments announced plans for the U.S. Navy to station a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in Japan for the first time. The U.S. Navy said it would have greater capabilities than the diesel-powered USS Kitty Hawk currently based at Yokosuka.
On Saturday, about 80 people - many of them victims of the U.S. atomic bombings - rallied in Hiroshima against the plans to deploy the nuclear-powered carrier.
"It makes me angry that America can even consider basing a nuclear carrier in Japan, the only country in the world to have suffered a nuclear attack," said Kazutoshi Kajikawa, who heads the Hiroshima Peace Movement Center.
Whereas, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Tony Blair, has vigorously supported the United States in the disarmament of Iraq;
Whereas, the United Kingdom is a strong and loyal ally to the United States;
Whereas, Prime Minister Tony Blair has committed substantial military forces of the United Kingdom to the current action in Iraq;
The American people extend their heartfelt thanks to Prime Minister Tony Blair for his courage and leadership; and
Extend their deep appreciation to the United Kingdom and the men and women of its armed forces.
Click Here to Thank Tony
U.S., Indian Airmen Take Next Step in Growing Relationship
(Source: US Air Force; issued Nov. 8, 2005)
KALAIKUNDA AIR STATION, India --- The U.S. and Indian air forces opened the next chapter in their growing relationship when exercise Cope India 2006 began here Nov. 7.
About 250 airmen from Pacific Air Forces join several hundred of their Indian counterparts for the two-week, dissimilar air combat training exercise in which simulated combat flying takes place among different types of aircraft.
“The reason we have come together for this exercise is so that we can work together,” said Indian Air Force Group Captain Hari Kumar, exercise director.
There are F-16 Fighting Falcons from Misawa Air Base, Japan, and an E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control system aircraft from Kadena AB, Japan, taking part in the exercise. The Indians will fly several MiG model aircraft, as well as the Su-30.
Airmen are also participating from Yokota AB, Japan; Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii; and Andersen AFB, Guam.
“This exercise is a great opportunity for a number of reasons,” said Col. Rusty Cabot, the deployed U.S. forces commander. “It increases the interoperability between us and our fellow airmen from India, enhancing our collective ability to help maintain peace and stability in the region. And we can cultivate our shared bonds as we train together side-by-side," he said.
Even before the exercise kicked off, the sharing of knowledge had begun in earnest. On Nov. 5, about 75 Indian airmen toured the AWACS, learning more about its mission. Pilots, air traffic controllers and leaders were impressed with what they saw, said Lt. Col. Pete Bastien, the AWACS detachment commander.
“In the same way we Americans are excited to see the MiGs up close so, too, were our Indian counterparts excited to see our aircraft,” he said. In fact, one Indian pilot returned early from his mission “because he heard we were giving tours of the aircraft, and he wanted to be sure to see it,” Colonel Bastien said.
This exercise is the third Cope India in three years. In 2002 the focus was on airlift operations. In 2004 F-15 Eagles from Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, deployed to India for an air combat exercise.
To prepare specifically for this exercise, airmen from the two countries had a pair of exchange visits this past summer. Six Indian airmen members visited Misawa, and two Misawa airmen came here.
|suspended 90 days as of 5/19/09|
Hey, don't forget Monaco!
The Royal family is half American and they have casinos too. In fact they had the idea for Las
Vegas. The Mediterranean fleet is welcome to drop in anytime - provided he doesn't get pissed-up and insult a Monacasque, or Marionette, or Monster or whatever they call themselves.
I have not yet decided if/how this will affect Bulgaria's standing on the list.
Bulgaria to Withdraw Battalion from Iraq
(Source: Bulgarian Ministry of Defence; issued Nov. 14, 2005)
Minister Bliznakov informed Defence Ministers of allies under Polish command on Bulgaria’s plans for withdrawal.
Bulgaria’s Minister of Defence Vesselin Bliznakov informed in writing his counterparts of the ally countries, participating in the Central-South multinational division in Iraq under Polish command, that in compliance with the decision announced by the National Assembly on 5 May 2005 the Bulgarian battalion will start its withdrawal right after Iraqi parliamentary elections scheduled for 15 December 2005.
In his letter Minister Bliznakov also informed the partners that the Bulgarian Parliament authorized the Council of Ministers to carry out consultations and to negotiate the appropriate forms for Bulgaria’s future participation in international initiatives for preserving security and stability in Iraq under the UN Security Council resolutions and EU and NATO position on Iraq.
Norway Sends F-16s to Afghanistan
(Source: Norwegian Ministry of Defence; web-posted Nov. 14, 2005)
Norway is to send 3 to 4 F-16 aircraft to Afghanistan for a period of three months in spring 2006. The aircraft will be under the command of ISAF and will be stationed in Kabul. The Norwegian contribution will form part of the F-16 cooperation agreed between a number of European countries.
It is NATO that has requested Norway to make combat aircraft available to the International Security Assistant Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The purpose is to ensure that ISAF has access to combat aircraft capable of demonstrating a presence and, if necessary, of providing close air support to units on the ground if critical situations should arise. In emergency situations, aircraft under ISAF’s command will also be able to assist ground forces engaged in the United States led operation “Enduring Freedom”. ISAF has a clear UN mandate and will be the main area of involvement for Norwegian military operations abroad during the coming year.
The Norwegian contribution will form part of the F-16 cooperation agreed between a number of European countries and will be in line with the Government’s wish to strengthen our participation in ISAF. The aircraft will be under the operational command of ISAF and will be stationed in Kabul. A Norwegian liaison officer will be appointed to serve with the ISAF headquarters staff whose task will be to look after Norwegian interests in connection with operations in which the Norwegian aircraft may be taking part.
Defence Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen briefed members of parliament on Wednesday when she addressed the Storting on Norway’s contributions to operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In Iraq the withdrawal of Norwegian personnel from the multinational Stabilisation Force has already started and will be completed during the course of December. Norwegian participation in NATO’s training mission will also be wound down in accordance with the Soria Moria Declaration on foreign policy. Personnel will be withdrawn in connection with the next rotation of NATO forces which is due to take place in December. All directly appointed Norwegian officers will thus have left Iraq by mid-December. There will, however, still be no national limitations placed on Norwegian officers serving in NATO’s command structure with regard to possible duty in Iraq.
“Participation in military operations abroad is an integral and important part of Norwegian security and defence policy. Through our involvement we make a contribution towards peace while at the same time demonstrating our solidarity with the international community. Taking part in such operations abroad helps to strengthen international security, and hence Norway’s own security,” says Defence Minister Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen.
In 2006 we will at least maintain the present extent of Norway’s military participation abroad. The main focus of Norway’s international military contribution will continue to be on NATO’s ISAF operation in Afghanistan. But, in addition, it is one of the Government’s principal foreign policy objectives to increase our level of involvement in support of the UN, including the organisation’s military operations. Work has already been set in motion to identify in more detail the needs of the UN and what contributions we might be able to make towards meeting such needs. We have initiated a dialogue with the UN as to how Norway can help to strengthen the work of the UN in its peace operations, says the Defence Minister.
US, Romania Sign Military Base Agreement
(Source: US Department of Defense; issued Dec. 6, 2005)
WASHINGTON --- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld praised an agreement signed today by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that will allow U.S. troops to establish temporary bases for training in Romania.
"It's a good thing for Romania. It's a good thing for the United States," Rumsfeld said during a news conference at the annual Southeastern Europe Defense Ministerial, held here Dec. 5 and today.
Rumsfeld cautioned that any U.S. military bases in Romania should be considered as rudimentary forward operating sites, rather than the large, permanent bases developed for American troops in Germany during the Cold War. In the 21st century, most U.S. forces will be based in the United States, Rumsfeld said. Those forces need to be flexible and rapidly deployable to confront transnational threats like terrorism and can't be tied down on large overseas installations, he said.
Romanian Defense Minister Teodor Atanasiu said his nation's military would benefit and learn much by training alongside American troops.
Rumsfeld also saluted the group's accomplishments during this conference, the first one the nine-year-old organization has held in the United States. "We had excellent discussions on the progress and the future of cooperation of southeastern Europe," Rumsfeld said, noting SEDM has come a long way since its inception in 1996.
Ukraine today joined SEDM members Italy, Greece, Turkey, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, the Macedonia, Slovenia and Croatia.
SEDM members also voted today to deploy the organization's Southeastern Europe Brigade headquarters to Kabul, Afghanistan, for a six-month peacekeeping mission starting in February 2006. "This effort will give the Afghan people some encouragement and confidence as the free people of southeastern Europe reach out to aid a region that is well beyond their borders," Rumsfeld said.
SEDM Chairman Albanian Deputy Defense Minister Besnik Baraj thanked Rumsfeld for hosting the meetings. New SEDM members, like Ukraine, will assist the organization in meeting future security challenges, Baraj said.
The United States helped develop SEDM to promote peace and stability and enhance regional security cooperation in southeastern Europe, DoD officials said. Some SEDM members, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, as well as the United States, are also NATO members.
Moldova and Ukraine had been SEDM conference observers in years past, officials said. Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro are special guests at this year's meeting. Moldova is attending this year's meeting as an observer.
Appears Indonesia is back in good standing with the US...and should start to climb up the rankings.
Jakarta to reactivate Falcons and Hercules as US lifts ban
Indonesia plans to reactivate its grounded Lockheed Martin C-130 transports and F-16A/B fighters following a warming of relations with the USA, which could also help advance the proposed sale of Bell 210 utility and Boeing CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters.
Washington late last month lifted a partial embargo on Indonesia that had restricted its purchase of F-16 parts and other combat equipment. Jakarta has indicated that it wants to restore its full fleet of 10 F-16A/Bs to service. Its air force was able to keep four F-16s flying despite the embargo, but now plans to reactivate two a year if funding is approved.
The embargo did not block the sale of C-130 spares, but Indonesia’s active Hercules fleet has shrunk over the past six years to just four aircraft because of budget constraints. The Indonesian air force earlier this year reactivated two C-130s after $3 million was made available to buy spare parts from Lockheed following the December 2004 Asian tsunami. Sources say Jakarta last month filed a request with Washington to purchase $15 million worth of parts and that this should be approved shortly.
Indonesia wants to restore its original fleet of 24 C-130s, but sources say it will have to acquire additional aircraft because its eight C-130Bs cannot be reactivated. The air force has so far failed to source suitable secondhand aircraft.
Bell earlier this year requested US State Department approval to offer the 210 to Indonesia (Flight International, 12-18 April) and removal of the embargo could accelerate this process. Indonesia’s army has an initial requirement for 18 helicopters, but has yet to receive technical information or secure funding. It could also buy four to six surplus Chinooks from Boeing for $60-90 million.
An assassination here, an assassination there probably doesn't make them bad people, does it? They have been a great moderating influence in the Muslim world though but.... [/QUOTE]
Remember, they (Turkey) denied use of any part of their land or airspace as launch pads for our forces during the invasion of Iraq. Would have made for a speedier entry. Not much of an ally there. There could be more to it, but not much. The more secularly modern they can appear to the west without letting go of their Islamic totalitarianism, the easier it will be for them to jump back and forth between Western and Islamic support systems.
for me, many countries are 'at' weird percentages and i really wonder if estimations are based on those articles posted in this thread alone....
i really hope not AND hope alfa soup does better background research as well...
Good one, I absolutly agree with you.
It must interesting maintianing such a diverse air fleet....with aircraft for the USA, UK and Russian.
Care to elaborate?
Perhaps specify which countries you feel are 'at weird percentages' and why?
U.S. vows support to Dutch troops in Afghanistan
By the Associated Press - 12/01/2005
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The United States promised Wednesday that Dutch troops deploying to Afghanistan would receive military support, hoping to avert a reversal of the Netherlands' agreement to send 1,100 peacekeepers.
The Dutch want guarantees that the troops would have limited exposure to attacks by Taliban fighters in dangerous southern Afghanistan and that rescue forces would be available.
The Cabinet is expected to decide by Friday whether to pull out of the Afghan mission.
"We discussed ways in which Dutch needs can be met and ways in which the Dutch can be confident that they have the military backup that is needed," said Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried, who met with the Dutch officials.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, which has more than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan and is expected to grow to about 16,000 next year, would be capable of quickly sending help to the Dutch, Fried said.
But Assistant Defense Secretary Peter Flory said any backup strategy was unlikely to involve a revised plan for more stationary troops, as the Dutch have sought.
He said security in southern Afghanistan would be built on "multiple layers" of rapid response forces, including helicopter-borne infantry and other air support.
"It's not a question of static forces," Flory said. "This all about mobility. This is all about flexibility and responsiveness."
The Dutch troops are due to deploy in southern Afghanistan's Uruzgan province next spring as part of the NATO-led force, created after the Taliban's ouster in 2001.
Dutch opposition lawmakers, however, have objected to dispatching more troops to Afghanistan, citing the Dutch army's experience in southern Iraq where two soldiers were killed during the 20-month deployment.
A leaked confidential report by the Dutch military intelligence several weeks ago predicted a much higher casualty toll in Afghanistan, heightening opposition concerns and prompting the government to reconsider its commitment.
Nearly 500 Dutch troops are already stationed in northern Afghanistan, and the government sent 165 Special Forces to Afghanistan earlier this year without parliamentary approval. Several Dutch helicopters have been lost in accidents, though no casualties have been reported.
Canadian troops headed to southern Afghanistan
BRUSSELS, Belgium — NATO foreign ministers approved plans Thursday to send up to 6,000 troops into southern Afghanistan, a major expansion of the alliance's security mission in some of the most dangerous parts of the country.
The deployment next year of mostly European and Canadian troops will free up U.S. forces to focus on counter-insurgency operations against Taliban and al-Qaida fighters in Afghanistan's volatile south and east.
"We have today agreed to move NATO's support for peace and security in Afghanistan to a new level,'' the ministers said in a statement.
NATO's expansion should allow the United States to scale back its 18,000-member military presence almost five years after it invaded the country following the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington. The Pentagon, however, has yet to say how many troops it will withdraw.
The plans give the NATO troops a stronger self-defence mandate, guarantee support from U.S. combat troops if they face a serious attack and set out rules for handling detainees -- all issues that have concerned some European allies mulling participation in the expanded force.
Ministers also agreed to a request from Afghan President Hamid Karzai to develop increased support in developing his country's fledgling security forces.
NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer appealed for other international organizations to match the alliance's commitment to Afghanistan's security by doing more to help rebuild the country's economy.
"We are committed to stay the course,'' he told ministers. "But we are not working in a void there. Other international actors should stay equally committed.''
The European Union, the United Nations and the G8 group of the major world economic powers should join NATO at a conference planned for late January in London to relaunch development efforts, de Hoop Scheffer's spokesman, James Appathurai said. "The alliance cannot do everything,'' Appathurai told a news conference.
The military expansion will enlarge NATO's presence to about 16,000 troops and make it responsible for security in about three-quarters of the country. The separate U.S.-led combat force will keep the lead role in the eastern sector where Taliban holdouts have been most active.
NATO troops are scheduled to start moving into southern Afghanistan around May. Britain will play a lead role in the region, running a headquarters in Kandahar. NATO units led by troops from Canada, the Netherlands, Britain and the United States are expected to fan out into four southern provinces. Germany will lead NATO forces in the north and Italy in the west.
Poland Extends Missions in Afghanistan, Balkans
By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, WARSAW
Poland’s new conservative minority government said Tuesday it has extended the mandate of Polish troops serving in an international security force in Afghanistan and in the Balkan region.
The cabinet voted to "extend... until December 31, 2006, the mission in Afghanistan of its 120 soldiers who are participating in two international operations, the anti-terrorist Enduring Freedom and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)," a statement said.
The mandate of some 300 soldiers taking part in the European stabilization force in Bosnia-Hercegovina (Eufor) was also extended, to November 21 next year, while 400 soldiers deployed in other regions in the former Yugoslavia, including Kosovo, also saw their mandates extended to the end of 2006.
When the s*** hits the fan majour allies of USA are Australia, UK (that includes most of its provinces), Taiwan.
Australia: because they are mostly honest and stick by their word. USA helped them for Japanese invasion in WW2. Just look at Iraq they're one of the few countries which boosted their troop numbers and are continuing to stay.
UK: Even though USA kicked their *** in the War of Independance. We did save them from Nazi invasion in WW2. We are strong allies and stand together. Plus the USA and English people in general get along well so yeh definate allies.
Taiwan: Hey if it wasn't for us they would be part of China so they best be our allies or they're screwed.
I didn't mention Isreal because even though they are USAs "allie" i believe Isreal looks after Isreal and won't help America unless it advantages itself
...[Not sure if this should effect Italy's ranking at the moment. It could just be a "facade" to sedate the far 'left wing', anti-U.S. element of the Italian population.]...
Warrants widen for CIA suspects
Tribune news services
Published December 24, 2005
ROME, ITALY -- An Italian judge has issued European arrest warrants for 22 purported CIA operatives wanted for the alleged kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric, a prosecutor said Friday.
Prosecutor Armando Spataro said the warrants allowed for the arrest of the suspects in any of the 25 European Union member countries. Italy issued warrants for the arrest of the 22 suspects within its own borders earlier this month.
Prosecutors are seeking the suspects' extradition for their alleged involvement in the abduction of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr from a Milan street in February 2003.
The suspects are all described as U.S. citizens.
Prosecutors have identified one of them as Robert Seldon Lady, a former CIA station chief in Milan who has since returned to the United States.
The whereabouts of the others are unknown. Lady's attorney, Daria Pesce, said the new warrants meant the alleged operatives could no longer travel to Europe without risking arrest.
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