Wednesday, July 7, 2010

DTN News: US President Barack Obama Denies Any Israel, US Rift

Defense News: DTN News: US President Barack Obama Denies Any Israel, US Rift
Source: DTN News / AFP Stephen Collinson
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - July 7, 2010: US President Barack Obama said he hoped for direct Middle East peace talks to start before the end of September, as he and visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied reports of a rift.
The leaders sat close together in the Oval Office Tuesday and staged a prolonged handshake for the cameras, seeking to put to rest a tense, closed-door encounter at the White House in March.
"I believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu wants peace. I think he's willing to take risks for peace," Obama said, and strongly disputed a question which suggested he had distanced the United States from Israel.
"The fact of the matter is, is that I've trusted Prime Minister Netanyahu since I met him before I was elected president and have said so both publicly and privately."
The talks went ahead amid intense interest on a partial Israeli freeze on settlement building which is due to expire at the end of September.
Obama finessed the issue by saying he hoped progress towards direct negotiations from indirect US-brokered proximity talks between Israelis and Palestinians would render that deadline irrelevant.
"My hope is that once direct talks have begun, well before the moratorium has expired, that that will create a climate in which everybody feels a greater investment in success," he said.
Netanyahu says he is ready to meet Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas at any time, but the Palestinians have yet to commit to direct talks, accusing Israel of undermining the atmosphere with continuing settlement activity.
He said he and Obama had discussed "concrete" steps that could be taken now.
"When I say 'the next few weeks,' that's what I mean. The president means that too."
The challenge now will be to get the Palestinians to accept the time frame that Obama has in mind.
The initial reaction from the Palestinians hinted at the difficulty of an ambitious timeline, but also seemed to leave room for developments that could pave the wave to those direct talks.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas "insists on the necessity of progress in indirect negotiations on core issues (borders, security) before going to direct negotiations," his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP by telephone.
The Israeli leader is under extreme pressure from his right-wing coalition not to cave in to any US pressure to extend the moratorium, announced in November after Obama pushed for concessions to the Palestinians.
Obama's comments may be a sign he has concluded that Netanyahu's tricky political position will prevent an extension.
Netanyahu, who meets Wednesday with United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon, warned that the prime threat facing Israel was Iran's nuclear program, and praised new US sanctions against Tehran as having "teeth" while calling for "much tougher" action from other nations.
And he said suggestions that Israel and the United States were drifting apart were not just "premature" but "flat wrong."
Obama also reassured Netanyahu that his administration had made "no change" to its policy regarding Israel's undeclared nuclear arsenal, amid concern among Israelis over his campaign for a nuclear free world.
Obama and Netanyahu appeared friendly towards one another, but their stern expressions at times reflected the grave nature of their talks. Both sides however seemed to want to put their spat into the past.
Netanyahu said it was "about time" that Obama visited Israel. "I'm ready," Obama said, without mentioning a date.
In March, Netanyahu was denied even a photo-op with Obama as a row raged over settlement expansion. This time, reporters were invited to watch the US leader see the premier to his limousine and give him a wave goodbye.
Obama and Netanyahu were meeting for the first time since Israel's raid on an aid flotilla headed for Gaza in May, which killed nine Turks, and triggered a regional diplomatic crisis.
Israel on Monday gave the go-ahead for the import of construction materials into Gaza for projects under international supervision.
Obama commended Netanyahu for the move.
"We've seen real progress on the ground. I think it's been acknowledged that it has moved more quickly and more effectively than many people anticipated."
US police meanwhile reportedly were investigating the theft of four guns belonging to Israeli security agents after American Airlines lost the luggage in which the weapons were placed.
NBC reported that the Glock 9mm guns had been placed in checked baggage -- as dictated by security protocol -- at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and were supposed to be placed on a flight to Washington for Israeli agents assigned to Netanyahu.

DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY July 7, 2010 - British Troops To Leave Deadly Sangin

Defense News: DTN News: Afghanistan TODAY July 7, 2010 - British Troops To Leave Deadly Sangin
Source: DTN News - compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources including Sky News
(NSI News Source Info) KABUL, Afghanistan - July 7, 2010: British troops are to be pulled out of the Sangin area of Afghanistan - where nearly a third of UK deaths have occurred.
It is understood the Government has decided the notoriously volatile district in northern Helmand province will be handed over to US forces, possibly later this year.
The move - set to be announced later by Defence Secretary Liam Fox - comes after Britain handed over command in Helmand to an American general last month.
Mr Fox is expected to say that Britain will concentrate on Helmand's populous central belt, leaving the north and south of the province to the US.
Sangin, currently home to 40 Commando Royal Marines, is particularly dangerous because it contains a patchwork of rival tribes.
It is also a major centre of Afghanistan's opium-growing industry.
It has been the scene of some of the fiercest fighting the British military has endured since the Second World War.
Of the 312 UK deaths in Afghanistan since 2001, 99 occurred in Sangin.
Sky News foreign affairs editor Tim Marshall said: "It is not like they will be leaving because the Taliban have won.
"They are being replaced by the Americans. I think in the Autumn. I think this is a political and a military decision and I do not think you can realistically call it a retreat."
There is likely to be a mixed response to news of the handover - relief that such a deadly burden has been passed on but also sadness at the high price paid in troops killed and injured.
Britain's 8,000 forces in Helmand are now greatly outnumbered by the 20,000 US Marines sent there under President Obama's surge strategy.
Sangin is the latest part of the district to be handed over from British to American control.
The town of Musa Qaleh was transferred in March and US marines took charge of the strategically important Kajaki dam last month.


DTN News: Pakistan TODAY July 7, 2010 - Former President Pervez Musharraf Will Lead Pakistan Against ‘Tsunami Of Corruption’

Defense News: DTN News: Pakistan TODAY July 7, 2010 - Former President Pervez Musharraf Will Lead Pakistan Against ‘Tsunami Of Corruption’
*Analysis: There has been many references for former President General President Pervez Musharraf, during his tenure as President of Pakistan from 2001 - 2008. Being a military figure he has done politically excellent for his country. Pakistan's economy, revenue per capita income and export grew by hundred percent and foreign reserves, Karachi Stock Exchange and foreign direct investment (FDI) grew by five hundred percent. There are many other achievements like freedom of media.
During 9/11, Pervez Musharraf balanced his country well with Bush administration and were able to obtain large amount of U.S. aids - monetary and military, also clear foreign debts. Our views, are based on President Musharraf as an administrator of Pakistan., we feel that as a politican he did his best to be a Patriot and a good President. - By Roger Smith DTN News Defense-Technology News
(NSI News Source Info) LONDON, U.K. - July 7, 2010: A key aide of former president Pervez Musharraf has said that the masses across the length and breadth of Pakistan have welcomed the launch of All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) and the party’s membership drive had received a tremendous response.
In an interview with Jang/The News here, General (R) Rashid Qureshi, who is Musharraf’s spokesperson and a key strategist, revealed that parliamentarians from all parties including Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League (N) had welcomed the launch of Pervez Musharraf’s party and had assured of their support. Qureshi said that APML is not just another addition to the long list of political parties. “Our agenda is crystal clear. We want to serve Pakistan, not our personal interests.” After the formal launch of AMPL in London, where Pervez Musharraf is living in self-exile after leaving Pakistan, Qureshi said that Musharraf decided to go ahead with the party launch after he was inundated with messages of support from his supporters, especially the youth, who can clearly differentiate now that Pakistan was on the upward move under the rule of Musharraf, but going downhill since the election into power of Pakistan People’s Party.
Qureshi said that the feeling was sweeping the country that the current political system was geared towards meeting the needs of a selected few and their blue-eyed coterie, at the cost of Pakistan’s poor.
“APML is determined to lift Pakistan from the prevalent chaos and get it’s true potential recognised in the world as was the case under Pervez Musharraf. “Corruption, plunder and nepotism have forced Pakistanis to think hard about their future and they are not satisfied with the pace and nature of the current order. They are vying for change,” said Qureshi.
He agreed that most of Musharraf’s supporters are middle class people but they seldom vote therefore the challenge is to get these people engaged in the political process for change. Qurteshi said that Musharraf is the only leader of Pakistan who has more than two lakh followers on the popular networking site Facebook.
“This number is only of urban youth, the support in rural areas is squally strong. The task now is to bring this support base into a party structural loop and into an electoral force,” said Qureshi, adding that Musharraf was heartened by the outpouring of support from the youth of Pakistan.
Responding to a question regarding Musharraf’s comeback, Qureshi said, “Musharraf would return soon and would fix the date for his return himself. Musharraf is committed to going back to Pakistan. The decision is up to him, he will go back soon and you will see him participating in elections and leading the people against the tsunami of corruption unleashed on Pakistan,” said the retired general, who has stood by Musharraf through thick and thin.
Musharraf has several cases pending against him in courts across Pakistan, and the UN enquiry commission’s report also held his regime responsible for the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in December 2007. He has been directly blamed for ordering the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti.
He said the UK chapter’s launch was remarkable because of the significance of this centre not beck of the fact that Musharraf is based here currently but also because the expatriate community has shown support for the corruption-free rule of Musharraf, who cannot be faulted for swindling money for his person. He said at it’s London meeting, the delegates from the UK had indicated to the former president what they thought was the requirement of Pakistan and why he was the best man to lead Pakistan towards progress again.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact:
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DTN News: Lockheed Martin Delivers 100,000th Paveway II Enhanced Laser Guided Training Round To the U.S. Navy

Defense News: DTN News: Lockheed Martin Delivers 100,000th Paveway II Enhanced Laser Guided Training Round To the U.S. Navy
Source: DTN News / Lockheed Martin Dt. July 6th, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) ARCHBALD, PA, - July 7, 2010: Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] celebrated a production milestone recently with the delivery of the 100,000th Paveway II Enhanced Laser Guided Training Round (ELGTR) to the U.S. Navy. Lockheed Martin has produced ELGTRs for the U.S. Navy and international customers since 1992. Current production is part of a five year, $114 million contract awarded in April 2005.
The ELGTR is recognized worldwide as the only live-fire training solution for Warfighters, and is compatible with F/A-18, AV-8B, F-16 and multiple international aircraft. ELGTR provides cost-effective training for all Paveway II laser guided weapons, maintaining aircrew proficiency without depleting the Paveway II Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) tactical inventory.
“For two decades, the U.S. Navy/Lockheed Martin team has fully embraced the concept of continuous product improvement, providing the highest fidelity, cost effective live-drop trainer to the Warfighter,” said Joe Serra, senior manager for Precision Guided Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Upon reaching this milestone, ELGTR users have realized a combined savings in excess of $1.3 billion when compared to training with Paveway II tactical weapons.”
The ELGTR emulates the release envelope, flight characteristics and accuracy of Paveway II laser guided weapons. Live-fire training permits aircrews to practice delivery tactics in a real-mission environment and experience actual weapon characteristics within today’s range limitations.
“The ELGTR is a reliable and cost-effective tactical employment tool that enables our aircrews to efficiently train for and maintain combat readiness,” said Capt. Carl Chebi, U.S. Navy Precision Strike Weapons program manager.
In addition to the Paveway II ELGTR, Lockheed Martin’s 350,000-square foot production facility, located in Northeastern Pennsylvania, designs and manufactures Paveway II LGB kits, Paveway II Dual Mode Laser Guided Bomb kits, specialized instrumentation and control systems, and provides manufacturing services, such as state-of-the-art metal crafting and electro-mechanical assemblies.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 136,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.
Heather Kelly, (407) 356-5351
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DTN News: 6 New Boeing Super Hornets Join Royal Australian Air Force Fleet

Defense News: DTN News: 6 New Boeing Super Hornets Join Royal Australian Air Force Fleet
Source: DTN News / Boeing
(NSI News Source Info) RAAF BASE AMBERLEY, Queensland, - July 7, 2010: Six new Boeing [NYSE: BA] F/A-18F Super Hornets arrived at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley on July 6, expanding the RAAF's fleet to 11 next-generation, multi-role air combat aircraft.
The RAAF's first five Super Hornets arrived in Australia on March 26.
"With the arrival of these six new Super Hornets, we will continue to broaden our training as we prepare to achieve Initial Operational Capability later this year," said Group Capt. Steve Roberton, Officer Commanding 82 Wing, which includes the Super Hornet and F-111 aircraft. "Our aircrews and support teams continue to be very impressed with the Super Hornet's remarkable capabilities, performance and reliability."
Australia announced in March 2007 that it would acquire 24 of the advanced Block II versions of the Super Hornet, all of which are equipped with the Raytheon-built APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. Boeing will deliver Australia's 24th Super Hornet in 2011. The first 11 were delivered ahead of schedule and on budget.
"The Super Hornet's proven technologies -- including its fully integrated AESA radar, advanced sensors, two-engine design and network-centric data-sharing environment -- are providing the RAAF with a broad spectrum of new capabilities," said Carolyn Nichols, Australian Super Hornet program manager for Boeing. "The RAAF Super Hornets enable the two crew members to conduct simultaneous air and ground operations with unprecedented situational awareness."
The Boeing Super Hornet is a multirole aircraft, able to perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum, including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions. Boeing has delivered more than 430 F/A-18E/Fs to the U.S. Navy. Every Super Hornet produced has been delivered on or ahead of schedule and on budget.
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 $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.
Philip Carder
F/A-18 Communications
Boeing Defense, Space & Security
+1 314-234-6516
International Communications
Boeing Defense, Space & Security
+1 314-234-7111
Communications Director
Boeing Defence Australia
+61 7-3306-3411