Wednesday, August 18, 2010

DTN News: Pakistan TODAY August 18, 2010 - Pakistan Aid 'Will Not Fall To Extremists'

Defense News: DTN News: Pakistan TODAY August 18, 2010 - Pakistan Aid 'Will Not Fall To Extremists'
Source: DTN News / BBC News
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - August 18, 2010: Pakistan has sought to reassure international donors that funds to help victims of its devastating flooding will not fall into extremists' hands.
Interior Minister Rehman Malik told the BBC the Taliban would not be allowed to take advantage of the crisis to increase its support.
The UN has said it has now raised nearly half of the $460m (£294m) it needs for initial relief efforts.
Meanwhile new flood warnings have been issued in some areas of Pakistan. The authorities say as many as 20 million people are affected by the floods. The UN says six million desperately need emergency aid but most still have not received it. Ten of thousands of villages remain under water.
There are growing health concerns for those surviving without proper shelter, food or clean drinking water, three weeks after the country's worst natural disaster in modern times began. Overwhelmed
Survivors have criticised the government's response to the disaster, saying aid has been too slow to arrive and there are increasing reports of victims staging protests to demand help from the government.
Mr Malik said he was satisfied that the government had coped with the initial response but that it had been overwhelmed by the scale of the crisis.
The UN says aid has reached only a fraction of those in need
"What happened was never expected. In the history of the whole subcontinent there was never such a disaster," he said.
Mr Malik said he was aware of the danger that the Taliban could increase its foothold in flood-hit areas by taking on charitable roles and winning support from survivors.
But he said this would not be allowed to happen and blamed the concerns on internal "party politics".
The US ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson, also played down the fears, saying stories that extremists groups were the only organisations involved in relief work in some areas were "greatly exaggerated".
The UK's International Development Minister, Andrew Mitchell, who has been visiting north-west Pakistan, said he felt the Pakistani relief teams were doing well in getting supplies to many of the victims, in the face of great difficulties.
He criticised the international community for being slow to act to tackle the crisis, saying the initial response had been "woefully inadequate", but welcomed the news that Canada and Australia had pledged more money towards the relief effort.
However, he said "more needs to be done" and said he hoped for a better response at a UN emergency meeting due to be held in New York on Thursday.
US Senator John Kerry, the head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is also due in Pakistan to view relief efforts.
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is travelling to Russia for a regional summit, but is only expected to stay for a few hours. Mr Zardari was criticised after not returning home from a trip to Europe earlier this month to deal with the growing crisis.
'Never expected'
There have been fresh flood warnings, with a series of towns in north-west Sindh, close to the border with Baluchistan, placed on high alert. Rising floodwaters, carried by the River Indus, are travelling south and are expected to hit the region soon.
Donors are realising the scale of the disaster. But the challenges are absolutely massive and the floods are not over”End Quote Maurizio Giuliano UN spokesman
UN officials say the floods are now covering an area the size of England. At least 1,600 people have been killed, with health officials warning the toll could rise as water-borne diseases spread.
Aid agencies say six million people are in need of immediate assistance but many have received no aid at all.
The distribution of supplies has been hampered by severe damage to the country's infrastructure, with roads and bridges washed away or blocked by landslides.
The UN has been struggling to raise the money it says is urgently needed for the immediate relief effort.
UN spokesman Maurizio Giuliano told Reuters news agency there had "been an improvement" in donations, but he added: "The challenges are absolutely massive and the floods are not over."
Unicef, the UN's children's fund, called for "an urgent effort" from donors.
"Two million dollars are needed every day to provide water - this is not sustainable. We don't have two million dollars a day," said Unicef's regional director, Daniel Toole.
As well as buildings, large areas of crops and farmland have been washed away, leading to fears of food insecurity in the future.
"If immediate steps are not taken, we fear a famine," said Mian Iftikhar Hussain, a provincial information minister in north-west Pakistan.
"The farmers have lost everything: their crops, their machines, their houses, their seeds."
The World Bank has said it is redirecting $900m in existing loans to Pakistan to flood relief and recovery.
Pakistani officials have said it could take five years and up to $15bn for the country to recover.
BBC Urdu will transmit six daily bulletins in Urdu and Pashto providing vital information including how to stay safe, avoid disease and access aid. Special programmes will be broadcast each day in Urdu at 12.30, 15.30 and 18.30 and in Pashto at 12.45, 15.45 and 18.45 (local times).
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: dtnnews@ymail.com
Related News - More News On Pakistan’s Flood Disaster
Pakistan drowning: Floods could sink government — Ralph Peters, New York Post
Pakistan: A Trade Deal to Help Rebuild – New York Times editorial
Terrorists Capitalize on Pakistan’s Floods — Marisa Porges, Wall Street Journal

DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated August 18, 2010

Defense News: DTN News: U.S. Department of Defense Contracts Dated August 18, 2010
Source: U.S. DoD issued August 18, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - August 18, 2010: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) Contracts issued August 18, 2010 are undermentioned;

CONTRACTS

DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY

Owens & Minor, Mechanicsville, Va., is being awarded a maximum $442,607,746 firm-fixed-price, sole-source, prime vendor, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for medical surgical supplies and services. Other locations of performance include Pennsylvania, Michigan, Tennessee, Illinois, New Jersey, Kentucky, Indiana, North Carolina, Maryland and Wisconsin. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, federal civilian agencies and other non-DOD agencies. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is April 19, 2012. The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM200-05-D-7000).

Graybar Electric Co., Inc., St. Louis, Mo. is being awarded a maximum $250,000,000 firm-fixed-price, prime vendor, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for maintenance, repair and operations. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web-solicited with seven responses. The date of performance completion is Aug. 17, 2011. The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM500-04-D-BP14).

Science Application International Corp., Fairfield, N.J., is being awarded a maximum $250,000,000 firm-fixed-price, prime vendor, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for maintenance, repair and operations. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies. The original proposal was Web-solicited with five responses. The date of performance completion is Aug. 17, 2011. The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM500-04-D-BP15).

Cardinal Health 200, Inc., McGaw Park, Ill. is being awarded a maximum $136,282,656 firm-fixed-price, sole-source, prime vendor, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for medical surgical supplies and services. Other locations of performance include Minnesota, Nebraska, Arizona, Missouri, California, Washington, Colorado, Kansas, Utah and Alaska. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, federal civilian agencies and other non-DoD agencies. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is April 19, 2012. The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM200-05-D-7005).

Cardinal Health 200, Inc., McGaw Park, Ill., is being awarded a maximum $70,289,794 firm-fixed-price, sole-source, prime vendor, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for medical surgical supplies and services. Other locations of performance include Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Louisiana, Tennessee and Georgia. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, federal civilian agencies and other non-DoD agencies. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is April 19, 2012. The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM200-05-D-7003).

Owens & Minor, Mechanicsville, Va., is being awarded a maximum $68,366,614 firm-fixed-price, sole-source, prime vendor, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for medical surgical supplies and services. Other locations of performance include Georgia, Alabama, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida, Maryland, Louisiana and New Jersey. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, federal civilian agencies and other non-DoD agencies. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is April 19, 2012. The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM200-05-D-7002).

Owens & Minor, Mechanicsville, Va., is being awarded a maximum $36,205,642 firm-fixed-price, sole-source, prime vendor, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for medical surgical supplies and services. Other locations of performance include Colorado, Missouri, California, Oklahoma, Arizona, Utah, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon and Washington. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, federal civilian agencies and other non-DoD agencies. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is April 19, 2012. The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM200-05-D-7010).

SNC Telecommunications, LLC*, Comerio, Puerto Rico, is being awarded a maximum $15,904,000 firm-fixed price, total set-aside contract for duffle bags. There are no other locations of performance. Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. There was originally one proposal solicited with one response. The date of performance completion is Aug. 24, 2011. The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity (SPM1C1-09-D-0014).

ARMY

Atlantic Diving Supply, Inc., Virginia Beach, Va., was awarded on Aug. 13 a $51,151,424 firm-fixed-price, five-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity production contract. The purpose of this delivery order is to purchase Generation III extreme cold weather clothing systems kits. A prior Congressional notification was submitted for award on Contract W911Qy-07-D-0003 on Dec. 20, 2006. Work is to be performed in Virginia Beach, Va. (5 percent); Fall River, Mass. (10 percent); Newark, N.J. (24 percent); North Conway, N.H. (2 percent); Lansing, Mich. (18 percent); Mayaguez, Puerto Rico (24 percent); Post Falls, Idaho (5 percent); Tullahoma, Tenn. (10 percent); and Mukilteo, Wash. (2 percent), with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2011. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with three bids received. U.S. Army Research Development & Engineering Command Contracting Center, Natick Contracting Division, Natick, Mass., is the contracting activity (W911QY-07-D-0003).

Inmarsat Navigation Ventures, Ltd., London, England, was awarded on Aug. 13 an $18,038,126 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is for Inmarsat to develop and certify a transceiver terminal for the Inmarsat Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) service provided by the I-4 constellation that is capable of operation from on-board and low Earth orbit satellite; make appropriate modifications to the BGAN network to support space-based terminal equipment; support the integration of the space-based BGAN terminal with a government demonstration satellite; and support the on-orbit connectivity via the BGAN network for the demonstration satellite mission. Work is to be performed in London, England (20.60 percent); Golden, Colo. (64.76 percent); Aylesbury, England (11 percent); Norresundby, Denmark (2.15 percent); and Ontario, Canada (1.49 percent), with an estimated completion date of Sept. 13, 2015. One bid was solicited with one bid received. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity (HR0011-10-C-0149)

Guild Associates, Dublin, Ohio, was awarded on Aug. 16 a $16,403,677 firm-fixed-price contract for 43 mobile integrated remains systems. This is a portable morgue to process the remains of individuals. Work is to be performed in Dublin, Ohio, with an estimated completion date of Aug. 20, 2010. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with six bids received. U.S. Army Research Development & Engineering Contracting Center, Natick Contracting Division, Natick, Mass., is the contracting activity (W911QY-05-C-0091).

PBS&J Constructors, Inc., dba Peter Brown Construction, Tampa, Fla., was awarded on Aug. 16 an $11,390,200 firm-fixed-price construction contract. This is for a design-bid-build contract for the construction of a joint intel technical training facility at Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, Texas. The facility shall provide adequate space for academic training and administrative support. This contract shall include all management, supervision, labor, materials and equipment necessary to provide a complete and functional facility. Provide all site improvements and utilities necessary to support the new building facility. The contract shall include construction of the primary facility as well as site work, including site utilities, parking, services drive, site grading and drainage, sidewalks, fencing, and outdoor activity areas. Work is to be performed in Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas, with an estimated completion date of Feb. 2, 2012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with 11 bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Little Rock, Ark., is the contracting activity (W9127S-10-C-6016).

Raito, Inc., San Leandro, Calif., was awarded on Aug. 13 a $10,831,662 firm-fixed-price contract. This contract is recovery project #12674, “Yuba River Basin, Calif. Construction to stabilize and prevent under see page at the Marysville Ring Levee Phase I.” Work is to be performed at Marysville, Calif., with an estimated completion date of Nov. 15, 2012. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with six bids received. U.S. Army Engineer District, Sacramento, Calif., is the contracting activity (W91238-10-C-0030).

San Diego Personnel, dba Good People Employment Services, San Diego, Calif., was awarded on Aug. 13, 2010 a $10,111,230 firm-fixed-price contract for technical support services to augment organic engineering capabilities. Work is to be performed in southern Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of July 13, 2015. Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with one bid received. Regional Contracting Center, Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, is the contracting activity (W5K9FH-10-C-0155).

AIR FORCE

Georgia Tech Applied Research, Atlanta, Ga., was awarded a $23,188,406 contract which will perform technical, scientific, engineering, analytical and experimental tasks required to evaluate new/advanced devices, sensor systems and sensor-related technologies; laser; and countermine/counter technologies to assess and enhance their maturity, performance and operational capability/suitability. At this time, $150,000 has been obligated. 55 CONS/LGCD, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is the contracting activity (HC1047-05-D-4000, Delivery Order 0152).

*Small business

DTN News: Aerospace/Defense Headlines - News Dated August 18, 2010

Defense News: DTN News: Aerospace/Defense Headlines - News Dated August 18, 2010
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - August 18, 2010: Comprehensive daily news related on Aerospace/Defense for the world of TODAY.

*Comprehensive daily news related on Aerospace/Defense for the world of TODAY.

Wednesday August 18, 2010

Tuesday August 17, 2010

DTN News: South Korea Studies North's New Battle Tank

Defense News: DTN News: South Korea Studies North's New Battle Tank
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources including Jung Sung-Ki, Defense News
(NSI News Source Info) SEOUL, South Korea - August 18, 2010: South Korean military and intelligence authorities are scrutinizing the performances of North Korea's latest main battle tank, believed to be the latest modification of the Soviet-built T-62, officials here said Aug. 17.
The North's Korean Central Television made public footage of the Pokpung-Ho (Storm) days ago. The rare release of such footage by the secretive North Koreans occurred in the tense aftermath of the March sinking of a South Korean warship near the western sea border.
Last month, South Korean and U.S. forces flexed their muscles during massive air and naval drills off the eastern coast of the peninsula, despite Pyongyang's warning that it would respond to the war games.
"The new tank appeared to have better mobility, survivability and firepower than the existing Chonma-Ho (Pegasus), apparently," a South Korean Ministry of National Defense official said on condition of anonymity. "We're still analyzing the … tank based on the footage from Pyongyang's state television station. The release of footage of the Pokpung-Ho was quite rare, as the existence of the new tank had sometimes been regarded as a rumor."
The Pokpung-Ho also is dubbed the M-2002, as the tank is presumed to have been rolled out in 2002, he added.
The North Korean People's Army is known to operate up to 800 T-62 variants.
Beginning in the late 1970s, North Korea started to produce a modified version of the 115mm gunned T-62 tank, and since then is believed to have made considerable modifications to the basic Soviet and Chinese designs.
According to a recent analysis published by Seoul's Defense Agency for Technology and Quality, an affiliate of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration, the Pokpung-Ho is believed to be armed with either a newly developed 125mm or 115mm main gun.
The improved version would be mounted with a 14.5mm KPV anti-aircraft machine gun, which is more powerful than the 12.7mm gun on older tanks, the analysis states.
Other improvements for the Pokpung-Ho include a laser rangefinder, an infrared searchlight and an up-to-date fire control system, according to the publication.
The North Korean Army is believed to have about 3,900 tanks, and only one elite mechanized unit would operate Pokpung-Hos.
The South Korean Army operates about 2,300 tanks, many of which will be replaced by the state-of-the-art K2 Black Panther main battle tank and modified K1A1 tank.
The K2, rolled out in 2007, is an amphibious tank armed with a locally developed 120mm/55-caliber stabilized smoothbore gun. Its 1,500-horsepower engine can power the tank to 70 kilometers per hour on paved roads and 50 kilometers off-road. It can cross rivers as deep as 4.1 meters.
Meanwhile, Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff revealed Aug. 16 that North Korea flew an unmanned aerial vehicle for surveillance or as a decoy after it fired nearly 1,200 artillery shells toward the disputed western sea border last week.
It was the first time that a North Korean drone had been spotted over the western waters, the scene of deadly naval battles in the past decade.
"The drone flew over the North's waters, some 20 kilometers north of South Korea's Yeonpyeong islands," said Lt. Col. Won Young-sup at the JCS' public affairs office. He declined to elaborate on the specifications of the North Korean spy plane.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact:dtnnews@ymail.com

DTN News: The W62 Died For Our Sins ~ Nuclear, Biological And Chemical Weapons

Defense News: DTN News: The W62 Died For Our Sins ~ Nuclear, Biological And Chemical Weapons
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - August 18, 2010: The United States has dismantled the last of 1,725 W62 nuclear warheads. Designed in the 1960s, the 115 kg/253 pound device had a yield of 170 kilotons. All were manufactured between 1970-76 and were used in Minuteman ICBMs.
Over the last five years, the W62 warheads on 300 Minuteman III missiles were replaced with refurbished warheads of more recent design and manufacture. These were W87 warheads, that were originally built for the Peacekeeper missile, which carried ten W87s each. But the last Peacekeeper was retired last year, for cost and disarmament treaty reasons.
The W87 warheads were checked over and reconfigured to work on the Minuteman. The W62 did not have as many safety or reliability features as the W87, and was more expensive to maintain. The W87 is a 1980s design. Each Minuteman now carries one warhead, although it was designed to carry three W62s. But the START II disarmament treaty restricts the missiles to one.
It took about $250 million to modify the W87s to work on Minuteman. One missile a week was converted, which is why it took so long. Both warheads contained a hydrogen (fusion) bomb, but the yield of the W87 is 300 kilotons. Both weapons, with their Re-entry Vehicle equipment, weigh about 363 kg/800 pounds each.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: dtnnews@ymail.com
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: North Korean Plane Crashes In China

Defense News: DTN News: North Korean Plane Crashes In China
Source: DTN News / AOL News Terence Neilan Contributor
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - August 18, 2010: A North Korean fighter jet crashed in China amid speculation that the pilot was trying to defect to Russia, according to South Korean intelligence officials cited today.
The pilot "died on the spot" after crashing into a makeshift house, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported, adding that Beijing was investigating the incident and was in communication with North Korea. No one else was reported killed or wounded.
According to photographs of the wreckage said to have been taken by a Chinese resident, the plane appeared to be a Soviet-era MiG-21, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
The agency quoted an unidentified intelligence official as saying the plane was thought to have lost direction after leaving North Korea and crashed about 155 miles across the Chinese border, in Fushun County, Liaoning Province, on Tuesday.
China has a repatriation pact with North Korea, and often returns defectors back to Pyongyang, which could explain why he may have been headed to Russia, Yonhap added.
An eyewitness, Cao Yunjuan, 54, told The New York Times today that he saw the plane going down, but that "There was no blast," which could rule out speculation that the plane was downed by the Chinese military.
North Korea is undergoing severe food shortages, largely as a result of international sanctions imposed for its illegal missile and nuclear tests. There are reports of a growing number of defections of desperate North Koreans.
But a defection by air is "highly unusual," the BBC reported, and could prove an embarrassment to the Pyongyang regime. Defections by air to South Korea occurred in 1983 and 1996.
In its brief report from Beijing, Xinhua said the crashed plane "might" be from North Korea.
But Mike Gething, an aviation analyst from the defense publisher IHS Jane's, told The Daily Telegraph: "It is a MiG-21 'Fishbed' and from the markings, it is North Korean."
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact: dtnnews@ymail.com

DTN News: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Talks With Afghan, Pakistani Leaders

Defense News: DTN News: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Talks With Afghan, Pakistani Leaders
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources including Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press Writer
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia - August 18, 2010: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday offered Pakistan support in dealing with catastrophic floods as he hosted the leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan for talks on efforts to stabilize the region.
Medvedev began his meeting with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi by expressing condolences over the floods that have killed about 1,500 and affected some 20 million people — or one Pakistani in nine.
"We are mourning together with you and we are ready to provide all the necessary assistance," Medvedev said.
A Russian Emergency Situations Ministry plane delivered relief supplies to Pakistan on Tuesday, and another such flight will be conducted Thursday.
The four presidents are expected to issue a statement after their talks urging stronger international support for the flood victims.
The four-way talks at Medvedev's seaside residence will also focus on fighting terrorism and drugs spreading from Afghanistan. The Russian president has previously held similar talks, seeking to strengthen Russia's clout in the volatile region.
Before the joint meeting, he held separate bilateral talks with Zardari, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Tajik leader Emomali Rakhmon.
"Russia fully supports Afghan efforts to restore civil peace in the country," Medvedev said in televised remarks at the start of the meeting. "We support the Afghan government's fight against terror and are ready to provide support for that."
Medvedev's foreign affairs adviser Sergei Prikhodko told reporters Tuesday that Russia was looking into a possibility of selling more helicopters to Afghanistan.
NATO has urged Russia to provide helicopters and training for the Afghan air force and to train more local police. Moscow has responded that it is willing to help — fearing that a return to power by Taliban extremists would destabilize ex-Soviet Central Asia and threaten Russia's security — but not for free and suggested that NATO help pay the costs.
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters Wednesday that Moscow would soon provide a free shipment of firearms for the Afghan Interior Ministry and step up training of its personnel.
Russian officials previously said that they planned to train about 200 Afghan policemen this year.
The Russian support for NATO- and U.S.-led operations so far has been limited to offering transit for railway shipments of non-lethal supplies and air corridors for weapons supplies, as supply routes through Pakistan have come under increased Taliban attack.
Russian officials also have strongly urged NATO and U.S. forces to do more to stem a flow of drugs from Afghanistan to Russia.
Medvedev told Karzai Wednesday that tackling Afghan drugs requires strong international cooperation. "It's our common problem, a problem for all countries of the region, and we must take consistent and coordinated actions," he said.
Afghanistan provides more than 90 percent of the heroin consumed in the world, and the bulk of it flows through ex-Soviet Central Asia and Russia.
The problem of drug abuse is of vital concern for Russia — where cheap, abundant Afghan heroin has helped fuel a surge in addiction rates, and injection drug use has been a key factor in the spread of the virus that causes AIDS.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact:dtnnews@ymail.com

DTN News: Sochi Summit Seeks To Break Curse Of Afghan Heroin

Defense News: DTN News: Sochi Summit Seeks To Break Curse Of Afghan Heroin
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources including RT
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW, Russia- August 18, 2010: Afghanistan is the world's largest opium producer, and analysts say a regional approach is the key to winning the global war on drugs.
It is the second four-nation meeting of its kind. The first one was held in Tajikistan’s capital of Dushanbe last year. Back then leaders focused on cross border projects, security issues and economic recovery of the region.
This year the event’s agenda remains the same. Russia is reluctant to get involved in military action in Afghanistan, but continues to seek a role in settling the conflict.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has met with his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai. Russia has been showing its commitment to financially assist the region and Afghanistan in particular. Just several months ago, Russia wrote off the last portion of Afghan debt – $12 billion overall.
In connection with this, Russia’s president announced today at the summit that “Russia firmly supports all efforts on the part of Afghanistan to restore peace in the country. We also support the Afghan government’s fight against terror and are ready to provide any help needed to tackle the problem,” Medvedev said.
For Russia, Central Asia is a traditional sphere of interest and it has always been sensitive to the instability of the region caused by the Afghan problem.

Drug trafficking and Islamic radicalism spreading from Afghanistan are the main security threats. In addition, the drug trade is the main source of finance for Afghan militants.
Russia, which became the world’s largest consumer of heroin after the US-military alliance occupied Afghanistan, is striving to break up the drug channeling.
An estimated 30,000 people die in Russia annually due to drug abuse, a third of the total world drug death toll.
Opium and heroin are pouring into Russia and further into Europe by way of the northern route over the Afghan-Tajik border. Also, Tajiks need no visas to visit Russia, which eases the risk for drug traffickers.
Tightening security on the border is one of the central issues of the four-sided talks.
President Medvedev is also pushing energy and transportation projects to facilitate economic recovery in the region.
Last year Russia finished construction of a major hydroelectric power plant in Tajikistan which produces 12% of all the country’s energy needs.
Several other ambitious projects with multi-million investments are being discussed at the talks.
Sealing off Afghan’s heroin flow
Tajikistan's border with Afghanistan stretches 1,200 kilometres, which is approximately 750 miles.
Tajik border guards are being trained by the Russian Federal Security Service under a deal signed back in 2004.
The use of different weapons, physical education, combat tactics, and survival techniques are all part of the course.
Turning a boy into a soldier is a hard task in itself, but getting him ready to guard one of the trickiest borders in Central Asia is even more difficult.
Training sessions are held every day regardless of the time of year. Despite extreme summer heat the troops train in full combat harness to get accustomed to it since it is what they will have to wear on the job. Every six months trained soldiers are sent to guard the border while new conscripts arrive, continuing the cycle.
“Terrorism, drug and arms smuggling, and human trafficking have put this region in the global spotlight. That is why there are currently over 20 international organizations, including the UN and the OSCE working in Tajikistan alone,” informs representative of Russian Federal Security Service in Dushanbe Anatoly Mikheyev.
Afghanistan produces over 90% of all opium in the world. According to the UN, the death toll from opiates in NATO countries is five times more than all the NATO soldiers who died in Afghanistan since 2001.
In Russia, the government says Afghan heroin kills more people in just one year than the whole ten-year-long Soviet military campaign in Afghanistan did. The USSR’s decade in the country resulted in the loss of approximately 15,000 troops.
According to Rashid Abdullo, an independent political analyst and the author of dozens of articles about Tajikistan, the flow of drugs is unlikely to stop no matter how strong the border is.
“This problem may have various technical solutions. But it will never be fully solved while there is fighting in Afghanistan and global demand for opiates,” said Abdullo.
Afghan opium production has grown by a third since the US-led invasion in 2001.
It is thought the billion dollar black market brings more money than all foreign investments put together. That is why it is unlikely that even the most advanced border-control system possible would solve the problem completely; for the smugglers, business is simply too good.
Aleksandr Selivanov from the Moscow State University for the Humanities believes that there is no way to resolve the situation in Afghanistan without improving the security situation.
“It’s not possible to do so because there is currently no stability, and if there is no stability, there is no control,”Selivanov told RT. “A way out could be just building the ring of security and stability with the help of all stake holders in the region, in Central Asia. Mainly, it’s Russia, it’s Afghanistan, it’s Pakistan, and of course it should be, in a way, Iran, [as well as] Tajikistan.”
“I don’t think [it is possible to solve the problem by just destroying the poppy fields], because opium makes 52% of the Afghan GDP, and in the heroin market its record is 92% of the world market, so the whole economy is based on the drug market,” Selivanov noted.
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News, contact:dtnnews@ymail.com

DTN News: China Growing Strategic Interests In Cambodia

Defense News: DTN News: China Growing Strategic Interests In Cambodia
Source: DTN News - - This article compiled by Roger Smith from reliable sources Thai Media
(NSI News Source Info) BANGKOK, Thailand - August 18, 2010: China has donated more than 250 trucks to Cambodia after the United States withheld a shipment of military vehicles in response to Phnom Penh’s recent expulsion of 20 Uighur refugees, local media reported.
The donation was announced by Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Hor Namhong on his return from Shanghai, the Phnom Penh Post newspaper reported.Hor Namhong said China would donate 257 military trucks and 50,000 military uniforms.
Military Trucks produced by China.
He said the gesture was made by Beijing of its own accord during a meeting in Shanghai between China’s President Hu Jintao and Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen.
“[Hun Sen] did not ask them, but they know our requirements, and [Hu Jintao] promised to provide further military assistance in the future,” he said.
China has growing business and strategic interests in Cambodia, and is Phnom Penh’s most important investor.
In the past four years Cambodia has approved more than 6 billion dollars of Chinese investment. Much of that is in infrastructure, particularly hydropower dams.
The investment figure excludes 880 million dollars in Chinese grant and aid during that period.
It also excludes 1.2 billion dollars in economic assistance awarded by China immediately after Cambodia expelled the 20 Uighur asylum-seekers in December at Beijing’s request.
Both countries denied any link between the two events, though that denial was not widely believed.
The expulsion of the Uighurs drew strong criticism from Washington, which promised penalties for Cambodia’s failure to meet its international obligations. Cancelling the shipment of US trucks was the first of those punishments.
Human rights workers have expressed rising concern at growing ties between private business and the military in Cambodia after Hun Sen encouraged business leaders to “adopt” military units.
Cambodian military regularly guard huge private land concessions across the country, and have been used in the past to evict the rural poor.