Archive for the ‘Libya’ Category

Overseas challenges cascade on Obama

February 9, 2009

As President Obama begins his fourth week in the White House, foreign rivals and erstwhile allies already have begun to challenge U.S. interests abroad.

On Friday, Pakistan – the recipient of billions of dollars in U.S. aid – released from house arrest Abdul Qadeer Khan, the nuclear scientist who for two decades ran a black market that sold nuclear-weapons technology to U.S. adversaries including Iran and Libya.

By Eli Lake
The Washington Times

Two days earlier, Kyrgyzstan announced that it would not renew a U.S. lease at the Manas air base, a critical transshipment point in the Afghanistan war. Meanwhile, the Russians – who offered Kyrgyzstan $2 billion in cash and loans to oust the Americans – said that they intend to establish a new base in a breakaway enclave of Georgia, the country Moscow invaded over the summer in response to a Georgian assault on another enclave.

If this were not enough, Iran last week launched a crude satellite into space, suggesting that the Islamic regime has mastered at least some of the technology for multistage, long-range missiles.

Finally, Yemen on Sunday announced that it had released 170 men arrested on suspicion of having ties to al Qaeda. Just two weeks earlier, the terrorist group called Yemen its base for the entire Arabian Peninsula.

While none of these events amounts to the foreign policy crisis that Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said during the campaign would test the new president in his opening months, Mr. Obama’s reaction will shape foreign perceptions of the new U.S. leader’s mettle.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/
feb/09/overseas-challenges-cascading-on-obama/

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Russia selling surface-to-air missiles to Libya, Syria

December 26, 2008

Russia has begun to fulfil a 250-million-dollar contract to deliver surface-to-air missiles to seven countries including Libya, Syria and Venezuela, the Vedomosti business daily reported Friday.

Russia will also deliver the S-125 Pechora-2M missile batteries to Egypt, Myanmar, Vietnam and Turkmenistan under the contract, the newspaper said, citing a source in the state-owned Russian Technologies corporation.

Contacted by AFP, a spokeswoman for the company declined to comment. Russian Technologies includes arms exporter Rosoboronexport among its holdings. The paper did not say which parties had signed the contract.

AFP

The Pechora-2M — known as the SA-3A Goa in NATO parlance — is an upgraded version of a surface-to-air missile originally developed in the 1960s that was widely shared with the Soviet Union‘s allies around the world.

Under the contract, 200 missiles are to be delivered including 70 for Egypt, an unnamed manager at a Russian defence-industry factory told Vedomosti. He added that most would be built at the Obukhov factory in Saint Petersburg.

“It is a simple but effective system, like the Kalashnikov assault rifle,” he said of the Pechora.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081226/wl_mideast_af
p/russiaegyptsyrialibyavenezueladefence_081226115352

U.S. Helps African States Fend Off Militants

December 13, 2008

Thousands of miles from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, another side of America’s fight against terrorism is unfolding in this remote corner of West Africa. American Green Berets are training African armies to guard their borders and patrol vast desolate expanses against infiltration by Al Qaeda’s militants, so the United States does not have to.

By Eric Schmitt
The New York Times

In an exercise last month near Bamako, Mali, American troops helped soldiers from Mali and Senegal in West Africa learn to guard their borders against infiltration by Islamic militants.  Photo: Michael Kamber for The New York Times

A recent exercise by the United States military here was part of a wide-ranging plan, developed after the Sept. 11 attacks, to take counterterrorism training and assistance to places outside the Middle East, like the Philippines and Indonesia. In Africa, a five-year, $500 million partnership between the State and Defense Departments includes Algeria, Chad, Mauritania, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia, and Libya is on the verge of joining.

American efforts to fight terrorism in the region also include nonmilitary programs, like instruction for teachers and job training for young Muslim men who could be singled out by militants’ recruiting campaigns.

One goal of the program is to act quickly in these countries before terrorism becomes as entrenched as it is in Somalia, an East African nation where there is a heightened militant threat. And unlike Somalia, Mali is willing and able to have dozens of American and European military trainers conduct exercises here, and its leaders are plainly worried about militants who have taken refuge in its vast Saharan north.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/13/w
orld/africa/13mali.html?_r=1&hp