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Observatory on European defence, September 2006

15/09/2006

15 September 2006
EU General Affairs and External Relations Council - Middle East, Darfur (Sudan), Aceh (Indonesia) and Kosovo

The Council discussed the developments of the situation in Middle East and Darfur, and approved decisions concerning the Indonesian province of Aceh and Kosovo. 
The Council confirmed its commitment to implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 (11 August 2006) authorizing the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) II mission, commanded by France and, from February 2007, Italy. 
The first contingent strengthening the mission - 900 Italian soldiers - arrived on 2 September. 
In line with Resolution 1701, the Council imposed an arms embargo on Lebanon. EU support for the Lebanese authorities, which also includes humanitarian and reconstruction aid for a total of 50 million euros, 20 of which have already been spent, could also foresee a contribution to security at the border between Lebanon and Syria: the Presidency, High Representative for CFSP Solana and the European Commission were tasked with producing a report on the matter. 
The Council extended the duration of the Temporary International Mechanism (TIM) for direct aid to the Palestinian people involving material for health services, energy supply and social subsidies. The mechanism, conceived of by the European Commission to avoid the transit of aid through the official channels of the new government, will remain active until the end of the year (it originally expired in October 2006); at the same time ministers called upon Israel once again to resume payment to the Palestinian Authority, through the TIM, of tax and customs revenues on the Palestinian goods transiting in its territory. 
The continuing stalemate of the situation in Darfur, causes deep concern because of the worsening of the humanitarian crisis and security conditions due to violations of the cease-fire by all parties. The main problem that remains unresolved is that the Sudanese authorities refuse to authorize the transition of the African Union (AU) AMIS mission mandate to the UN. The Council urged Khartoum to grant such permission, in compliance with UN Security Council Resolution no. 1706 (31 August 2006) concerning implementation of the extension of the mandate of the UN mission UNMIS present in Sudan, for a total of about 17,300 soldiers and 3,300 civilians. The Council confirmed the EU’s willingness to support the transition planning recognizing the need to strengthen the civil and military capabilities of the AMIS mission. The Sudanese authorities’ persistent refusal on transition to the UN led the AU and the Security Council to extend the AMIS mission until 31 December (deadline originally foreseen: 30 September 2006). As a result, on 26 September EU civil-military support was extended by COPS until the end of 2006. 
The Council adopted a decision updating and extending the mandate of the EU mission monitoring the peace agreements between the government and the separatist guerrillas in the Indonesian province of Aceh. The Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM), which the EU has carried out since September 2005 in cooperation with some states of the region, will last until next 15 December, when the first democratic local elections are to be held. 
Ministers finally approved the dispatch to Kosovo of an EU team which, already from the end of the month and with an initial mandate of 6 months, should contribute to assessing the conditions for the launch of an international civil mission, in cooperation with the local institutions and the UN MINUK mission. Already present in Kosovo (until the end of the year) is another EU team established last April tasked with planning a possible and parallel EU mission in the field of rule of law.

20 September 2006
European Defence Agency - Code of Conduct, Defence Industrial and Technological Base

The Steering Board of the European Defence Agency (EDA), met at National Armaments Directors level. 
The first applications of the Code of Conduct on defence procurement, which entered into force last 1 July, were evaluated. Of the 22 participant states, 8 (France, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Portugal and Poland) used the system of informing partners of national invitations to tender worth at least 1 million euros. In order to help introduce some competition in the European military acquisitions market, the Board approved the strengthening of two elements: security of supply (goods and services) - obligation of mutual assistance among participant states in case of urgency - and security of classified information exchange concerning procurement. 
The Board also dealt with the Defence Industrial and Technological base, suggesting some measures to help identify the critical technologies and industrial capabilities that have to be developed.

September 2006
NATO - Afghanistan, Iraq, Capabilities

On 6 September, the Atlantic Alliance launched a long-term cooperation programme supporting Afghanistan sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity through reforms in the security sector. 
On 12 September, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution no. 1707 extending the mandate of the NATO ISAF mission, which expires on 13 October, by one year. Moreover on 28 September a final agreement was reached on the eastward expansion (4th phase) of the mission. It is estimated that after the last expansion the number of men under NATO command will increase from the current 20,000 to about 30,000/32,000; of which about 10,000/12,000 will be Americans belonging to Enduring Freedom, the counter-terrorism mission of the US-led coalition, which will pass under Atlantic Alliance command. 
NATO support for Iraq continues with the training of local armed forces. Since 2004, about 2,000 soldiers (of which 1,150 officers) have been trained, in addition to about 650 officers trained outside Iraqi territory. Member states have also donated about 100 million euros in equipment. 
On 7 September, US Commander Casey, leading the international force in Iraq, signed an agreement with the Iraqi prime minister authorising the Baghdad government to gradually take over command of the Iraqi forces. The agreement foresees the establishment of an Iraqi joint Military Staff leading the three components of the armed forces which total about 115,000 men.
Two actions in the field of capabilities were made public in September. 
On 12 September, 13 Allies signed a letter of intent launching talks with Boeing aimed at the purchase of C-17 strategic airlift aircraft. Purchase operations will be managed by NATO on behalf of the participants, mostly recent members coming from eastern Europe, together with the United States, Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands. Moreover the group submitted a plan to create a “NATO Strategic Airlift Capability” (SAC), a mechanism initially composed of 3-4 C-17, managed on a multinational basis (command and crew). The need for strategic airlift could therefore be partially met by this mechanism which will reach an initial capability in the last months of 2007 and full operational capability in 2009. 
On 13 September, NATO made known a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at improving the speed and the efficiency of assistance to victims of humanitarian crises and disasters (including NBC events). The agreement, open to the adhesion of the Allies, provides a multilateral framework aimed at facilitating transnational movements and transport in the signatory states’ territory, if needed.

September 2006
EU, UN - Countering International Terrorism

The EU’s commitment to countering international terrorism continues: on 4 September, the Commission adopted a Green Paper on detection and associated technologies, urging the development of public-private partnerships. 
On 27 September, the Aviation Security Regulatory Committee submitted to EU Commissioner for Transport Barrot its opinion concerning the measures to be adopted on flights from the UK to the US following the foiled attempted terrorist attack carried out this summer. The conclusions will be examined in view of their application at EU level. 
Finally in the UN framework, after a year of negotiations, the General Assembly adopted a global counter-terrorism strategy on 8 September, which foresees practical measures to implement at local, national and international level.

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