Archive for the ‘Hadley’ Category

Israel Says Tunnels Brought Weapons Into Gaza: U.S. Paid $23 Million In the Deal

January 7, 2009

Many Israeli diplomats have told us that they just don’t trust the United Nations and they feel surrounded by enemies in the Middle East.

Now we have a report that one of the nations currently trying to broker a cease fire between Hamas and Israel was actually the “pipeline” for the Hamas weapons supply effort.

The Associated Press is reporting today that the U.S. paid some $23 Million to assist Egypt to stop the arms supply from Egypt into Gaza….the money, at least some of it we are told, went to the U.N….

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Angry at Hamas’ ability to fire rockets at Israel, the United States last year allocated $23 million to help train Egyptian officials to stop the smuggling into Gaza through tunnels at a border plagued by crisis and corruption.

Months later, there is little noticeable effect: Smuggling has continued at a robust pace, allowing Hamas militants in Gaza to gain rockets to shoot at Israeli citizens. Israel’s military says about 300 tunnels ran under the Gaza-Egypt border before its military offensive began Dec. 27. Since then, Israel has bombed dozens of them.

The story of the U.S.-funded program and its lack of impact on the problem is a cautionary tale of how hard it has been to control Gaza’s border with Egypt — at a time when patrolling that frontier and stopping the weapons flow are once again hot issues as mediators seek a cease-fire in Gaza.

Previous attempts to close the tunnels have largely failed, partly because of the mutual mistrust between Israel and Egypt and partly because of Egypt’s inability to rein in corruption and alleviate poverty in the Sinai. The region near Gaza is home to tens of thousands of mostly disaffected Bedouin. Many of these nomads earn their living through smuggling.

Some critics say Egypt has never undertaken a truly robust effort because it hopes to use the issue to gain something it wants in turn: the right to deploy troops at the Sinai border, which was denied under the 1979 Camp David Accords. Egyptian officials also have been leery of making the border with Gaza truly normal and functioning, fearing an influx of Palestinian militancy into Egypt.

President George W. Bush’s national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, would not point fingers when asked Tuesday whether Egypt had done enough to stop the smuggling of rockets.

“Preventing them is very hard because Hamas clearly wants them, and countries like Iran and Syria clearly want to supply them,” he said. More work also needs to be done to interdict the weapons that come from supplying nations before they get to the tunnels leading into Gaza, he said.

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International Mideast envoy Tony Blair said this week that arrangements to stop the smuggling would be key to any cease-fire. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said as part of a plan put forth by Egypt and France, Cairo had agreed to work more on border security.

But pessimism about Egypt’s political willingness or ability to stop the smuggling remains.

Danny Ayalon, a former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., said Egypt has long lacked the political will to crack down.

“It’s about changing the entire attitude, whereby you do enforcement in a very intensive and aggressive way, which we have not seen yet,” Ayalon said.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090107/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_egypt_gaza_tun
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Iran May Be Obama’s Biggest Challenge, No Pakistan, No Hamas and Israel

January 7, 2009

Israel and militant Palestinians are locked in deadly battle in the Middle East, but Iran poses the biggest challenge in the region to the incoming Obama administration, President George W. Bush‘s national security adviser says.

At the same time, the Mideast offers President-elect Barack Obama the greatest opportunity to put his imprint on world affairs, Stephen Hadley said, referring to the need for a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace accord that eluded both Bush and former President Bill Clinton.

Outside the Mideast, it is Pakistan that should command Obama’s keen attention, said Hadley, who has been senior foreign policy adviser to the president for eight years.

By DEB RIECHMANN and LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press

Hadley, who is always in the shadows and rarely seen by the public, discussed Bush’s two terms and the international challenges — ones he says will not pause for America’s transfer of power in January — during a nearly hourlong interview Tuesday with The Associated Press in his West Wing office. He was also delivering a speech Wednesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

He said the Taliban remains a serious threat in Afghanistan, where the U.S. is getting ready to dispatch at least 20,000 extra troops.

“Its fighters have found safe haven across the border in Pakistan, and if the extremists succeed in destabilizing Pakistan, the chaos will threaten peace and progress throughout the region,” he says in remarks prepared for Wednesday. “Stabilizing Pakistan must be the first priority for the new administration.”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium ... 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaks at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility.(AFP/File/Atta Kenare)

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090107/ap_on_g
o_pr_wh/hadley_interview_4

Bush makes surprise Iraq visit

December 14, 2008

President George W. Bush on Sunday made a farewell visit to Iraq, a place that defines his presidency, just 37 days before he hands the war off to a successor who has pledged to end it.

Air Force One, Bush’s distinctive powder blue-and-white jetliner, landed at Baghdad International Airport in the afternoon local time, after a secretive Saturday night departure from Washington and an 11-hour flight. In a sign of modest security gains in this war zone, Bush was welcomed with a formal arrival ceremony — a flourish that was not part of his previous three trips to Iraq.

U.S. President George W. Bush waves as he walks on the South ... 

By JENNIFER LOVEN, AP White House Correspondent

Bush planned a rapid-fire series of meetings with top Iraqi leaders, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. He and Bush were marking the recent security agreement between the two nations.

Bush’s national security adviser, Stephen Hadley, said the agreement was “a remarkable document — unique in the Arab world because it was publicly debated, discussed and adopted by an elected parliament.”

Hadley said the trip “shows that we are moving into a different relationship … with Iraqis rightfully exercising greater sovereignty, we in an increasingly subordinate role.”

It was Bush’s last trip to the war zone before President-elect Barack Obama takes office Jan. 20. Bush’s most recent Iraq stop was over 15 months ago, in September 2007.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081214/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush