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NATO ENLARGEMENT DAILY BRIEF (NEDB)
Friday, 07 Feb 2003, 19:31 EDT
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* BETTER THAN `SEVEN BELGIUMS' - WSJE / Vladimir Socor (Institute for Advanced Strategic & Political Studies)
* FRIENDS IN NEED, FRIENDS IN DEED - WT / by Helle Dale

* A WAY OUT ON IRAQ - Plain Dealer / Sean Kay (Ohio Wesleyan University) and Joshua Spero (Fitchburg State College)
* EUROPE IS IN DANGER OF BEING DIVIDED - FT / Marcel Van Herpen (Cicero Foundation)

* A COALITION OF THE MORAL - WSJE
* JANUS-FACED GREECE - WSJE
* NATO AT RISK - WSJE
* NATO IS TORN OVER WEAPONS FOR THE TURKS - NYT / Thomas Fuller
* FRANCE INSISTS NO NATO PREPARATIONS FOR IRAQ WAR - Reuters
* KEY ALLIES NOT WON OVER BY POWELL - WP / Keith B. Richburg
* GERMAN OPPOSITION SUPPORT ROLE OF AWACS PLANES IN IRAQ WAR - DDP/ BBC Monitoring
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BETTER THAN `SEVEN BELGIUMS'
Wall Street Journal Europe, 07- 09 Feb 03, by Vladimir Socor, Senior fellow, Institute for Advanced Strategic & Political Studies

Within hours of the Feb. 5 United Nations Security Council meeting addressed by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, ten European nations -- from the Baltic to the Adriatic and the Black Sea -- issued a joint statement strongly supporting American-led efforts to disarm and topple Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Themselves liberated only in the past decade from Moscow's control or that of local satraps, these nations are about to join NATO. They intend to prove their value as members of two overlapping alliances: the Atlantic alliance itself, and the U.S.-led coalition against terrorism and rogue states who are threatening with mass-destruction weapons.
Known as the Vilnius-10 Group, after the Lithuanian venue of their founding conference, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, and Bulgaria now have the status of invitee countries. Croatia, Albania and Macedonia hope to obtain that status within the next few years. Collectively and individually, these countries tend to display a greater sense of responsibility for Euro-Atlantic security, and greater willingness to support America in a possible Iraq campaign, than more than a few of NATO's old members.
The week before, the leaders of Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic -- NATO's new member countries -- had joined the leaders of five old NATO countries in a similar message of support and resolve. This week's statement brings to 13 the number of liberated European nations that have placed themselves in the ranks of the coalition of the willing the anti-terror fight. On Europe's doorstep, Georgia and Azerbaijan have also made it clear that they stand in the same ranks.
Only a few months ago, as NATO considered inviting up to seven candidate countries to join the alliance, skeptical commentators warned that those countries would turn out to be "seven more Belgiums" -- i.e., strategically irrelevant, unable to participate effectively in allied operations, freeloaders on defense spending, and afflicted with sanctimonious pacifism. (Although they chose Belgium as the "bad" example, the Red-Green-misgoverned Germany could just as well fit that description.) The anti-enlargement crowd also predicted that NATO would become "unwieldy" and "lose its cohesion" by taking in new countries in the freed part of Europe.
The handwringers' predictions have twice been proven wrong. First, by the invitee countries themselves, who are working hard and successfully to meet the NATO admission criteria. And, second, because it is actually some among the old member countries who are now jeopardizing NATO's transformation into an effective antiterrorist alliance and undermining its internal political cohesion. Three times in the last two weeks, France, Germany and -- yes -- Belgium (along Luxembourg) vetoed proposals that NATO begin planning some limited measures of a defensive nature, in preparation for a possible offensive operation in Iraq.
Those defensive measures would involve protecting Turkey (an indispensable participant in any offensive operation against Saddam Hussein). They would also involve backfilling for U.S. and British troops that would have to be reassigned from the Balkans or the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. While such plans were being blocked, France and Germany continued to join forces with Russia and China at the U.N. Security Council, along with the likes of Syria, to demand an indefinite continuation of the U.N. inspection charade.
That's when the Vilnius-10 countries weighed in with their joint statement. It is meant not only to reflect their shared determination to deal decisively with the threats posed by Iraq. The statement is also intended to help NATO regain its cohesion, and to help the coalition of the willing to grow around the United States.

Consider this observation from Feb. 4: "Look at the endless rows of white crosses in the cemeteries in Normandy where fallen American soldiers are buried." Was this, perhaps, French President Jacques Chirac or his foreign affairs minister Dominique de Villepin speaking in gratitude for the American liberation of their country? No, Mr. Chirac was at that very moment coordinating positions by telephone with Syria's tyrant, while the Quai d'Orsay was busy criticizing the United States. It was Latvia's Foreign Affairs Minister, Sandra Kalniete -- a fluent French speaker and admirer of that country's culture -- who cited America's role in freeing France and, now, in securing the freedom of the Baltic States after a half-century of occupation.
American Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's recent remark (so unwelcome in some quarters of Western Europe) that NATO's center of gravity is moving toward the east merely states the obvious. Without in any way detracting from the importance of NATO's old members in good standing, the secretary's comment underscores two new realities. First, NATO must retool militarily and politically for distant missions in Eurasia, where the threats originate. And, second, a large group of countries to the east of the old NATO are willing and able to contribute to the alliance's power-projection operations toward the east.
All thirteen countries are demonstrating their readiness to join a U.S.-led coalition of the willing. As they did during the Afghanistan operation, they are again making their territories and infrastructure available to American and allied forces. Most of these countries are making preparations to field troops in anti-terrorist operations or in a campaign to disarm Saddam Hussein.
Those preparations are proportionate to these countries' means. They include: small but well-trained special forces (those of Romania have already proven themselves in Afghanistan), demining and ordnance disposal (a particular skill of Baltic forces), chemical and biological protection (a strength of the Czech and Slovak armies), peacekeeping and military police units (Balts and Romanians have already operated in those roles in the Balkans under NATO command), and various other "special niche" contributions. For its part, Hungary is now hosting U.S.-run training camps for thousands of anti-Saddam Iraqis.
Politically, the new and invitee allies demonstrate a clear understanding of the strategic stakes that are involved, and a readiness to educate their own publics on the necessity of suppressing the nexus of terrorism and mass-destruction-weapons, preventively if necessary. Meanwhile in Western Europe, far from all governments exercise leadership in bringing such truths home to their own population.
The NATO enlargement round announced last November at the Prague summit is proving to be the greatest strategic and political gain in the alliance's history. It needs to be completed with a follow-up round in the western Balkans and the strategically crucial South Caucasus.

FRIENDS IN NEED, FRIENDS IN DEED
NEW EUROPE' RALLIES TO AMERICA'S SIDE
Washington Times, 06 Feb 03, by Helle Dale

We are "no longer in the prehistoric period when he who had the biggest club could knock another down in order to steal his leg of mammoth," French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, sneered recently, as France launched into an almighty anti-American, anti- Bush hissy fit. Even French President Jacques Chirac, who has certainly been responsible for creating this atmosphere, was induced to ask members of his government to turn down the volume on their insults.
With "allies" like France and Germany, these days, who needs enemies? As comedian Jay Leno said the other day, "The Navy has now trained sea lions in the Persian Gulf to work as lookouts and detect terrorists that may be trying to blow up our ships. Isn't that amazing? Sea lions will help us, the French still won't." For Paris and Berlin these days, the problem is not how to contribute to a solution in Iraq, but how to "tie down Gulliver," aka Uncle Sam.
But guess who is looking like dinosaurs today. Provoked by French and German anti-Americanism and general arrogance about the leadership of Europe, eight other European countries last week signed a strongly worded public statement in support of the United States, published in the Wall Street Journal. Their message should be heard by every American who doubts the United States has foreign support for its Iraq policy:
"We in Europe have a relationship with the U.S. which has stood the test of time. Thanks in large part to American bravery, generosity and farsightedness, Europe was set free from the two forms of tyranny that devastated our continent in the 20th century: Nazism and Communism. Thanks, too, to the continued cooperation between Europe and the U.S. we have managed to guarantee peace and freedom on our continent. The transatlantic relationship must not become a casualty of the current Iraqi regime's persistent attempts to threaten world security."
The statement was signed by the prime ministers of Britain, Spain, Italy, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Portugal. Since then, Slovenia, Slovakia and Latvia have added their voices in support of the United States.
According to Michael Gonzales, editorial page editor of the Wall Street Europe, the French and German press are already attacking the Bush administration for pressuring the Wall Street Journal and the eight European governments for public support. The idea that there are other European countries that count seem to have come as a total and unwelcome surprise in Germany and France. (A very interesting question is whether the French will eventually come around to supporting military action against Saddam Hussein, which would leave their friends the Germans isolated and subject to the charge of unilateralism in their foreign policy.)
A few weeks back, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld put his finger exactly on these emerging divisions in Europe. He somewhat snottily dismissed France and Germany as being part of " the old Europe," as opposed to the more appealing "new Europe" of the East and Central Europeans and others more friendly to the United States, like Italy, Spain and Denmark. Being labeled "old Europe" definitely did not sit well with Paris and Berlin.
The fallout from the Iraq crisis, as regards the future of NATO and the European Common Security and Defense Policy, will be truly interesting to watch.
Clearly, there is an unresolved question in Europe about relations with the United States, which will be magnified by the inclusion of the Central and East Europeans in NATO and in the European Union.
Some Europeans are outraged at the breach of etiquette against the "consensus process" within the European Union, committed by the eight signatories to the Wall Street Journal statement. The Belgians, who were not invited to sign, are hopping mad. And the Greeks, who currently hold the EU presidency, are equally irate and are expected to call a special session of EU leaders within the next 10 days.
Meanwhile, ideas are popping up in Washington regarding the disposition of 120,000 U.S. military personnel in Europe. The largest U.S. deployment overseas is in Germany with 70,000 troops, a country that has not been particularly friendly to the United States recently. This fall, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder actually fought and won a national election primarily on opposition to U.S. policy on Iraq.
The U.S. military has quietly started to make use of the assets NATO has gained with its first completed round of expansion, which includes Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. According to USA Today on Monday, NATO's European Command in September moved its largest exercise involving 5,000 troops, Victory Strike, from Germany to Poland, where environmental restrictions on training are less onerous than in Germany. Meanwhile, the Army light infantry force based in Italy spent the summer in Hungary training for rescue missions.
The fallout from the Iraq crisis, quite apart from what happens to Saddam Hussein, could be shaking relations within Europe and across the Atlantic. A moment of truth has arrived.

A WAY OUT ON IRAQ
The Plain Dealer, 07 Feb 03, by Sean Kay and Joshua Spero

* Kay, associate professor of politics and government at Ohio Wesleyan University, is a non-resident fellow at the Eisenhower Institute in Washington, D.C. Spero, an assistant professor of political science at Fitchburg State College in Massachusetts, served as senior civilian strategic planner in the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1994 to 2000.

It is possible that a war with Iraq will be the "cake-walk" that many of its advocates promise. Then again, it might not. Attacking Iraq now is a massive roll of the dice. The young men and women in the military deserve more respect than to be thrown as a roll of the dice without first exhausting alternative possibilities.

The potential dangers of war in Iraq are serious. Some American troops may still lack crucial protective gear against chemical or biological attacks.
The U.S. public must also be aware of the brutalities of urban warfare. Furthermore, while American soldiers are conducting regime change, unknown quantities of chemical and biological weapons might be stolen or intentionally leaked into the hands of international terrorists. Pro-American governments including Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan might be destabilized. Serious risks include a retaliatory attack with weapons of mass destruction against Israel; civil war inside northern and southern Iraq; massive environmental damage should Saddam Hussein's forces torch oil fields; and an increase in international terrorism.
Credible cost estimates range from $100 billion to more than $1 trillion depending on the length of fighting and duration of occupation. Despite political statements of support from only a handful of European countries, war now means fighting alone - with British assistance. Unlike the 1991 Gulf War - when most of the costs were covered by Saudi Arabia, Germany and Japan - Americans could be left paying for an extended military occupation with tens of thousands of American solders being a magnet for terrorists. Strategic costs include exacerbating a rising tide of anti-Americanism world-wide. Should this anger have economic reverberations, the American economy will suffer major damage. Is the American public, on the eve of war, prepared to carry these financial and strategic burdens? There is a strong case for threatening force to compel Saddam Hussein to disarm. Yet the costs of war at this time might be higher than the gains to be had.

How then should we proceed?

A middle course is available that would enable the United States and the United Nations to accomplish their stated objectives with far lower degrees of danger, risk and cost.
Because it is clear that Iraq is not complying with U.N. mandates, the United States could now request the Security Council to authorize an "enforced inspections" policy.
The Security Council would be asked to authorize the United States to use air power against any target of opportunity that U.N. weapons inspectors (whose numbers should be increased dramatically) are denied access. No target, in or out of cities, would be off-limits if U.N. access had been requested. If Iraqi officials block the work of inspectors, or if inspectors find significant stockpiles of previously undeclared weapons, this would be grounds for immediate air attack against that specific facility.
To ensure air attacks do not provoke retaliation against weapons inspectors - or military or terrorism-related maneuvers by Saddam Hussein - the U.N. Security Council should authorize military protection on the ground for inspectors. Moreover, all necessary means to force Iraqi compliance with enforced inspections - which would now implicitly include regime change - should be requested, and would likely be approved by the Security Council.
If the United States were eventually to invade Iraq, it would do so with full support of the U.N. Security Council and thus likely would be sustainable among the American public. Such a course would allow President Bush to disarm Iraq, by force if necessary, and in a worst case, remove Saddam Hussein. However, the critical difference is that specific Iraqi actions, and not American pre-emption, would be the trigger for war.
The policy implications of such an ap pro ach are clear: War might be put off until fall given the timelines involved.
If President Bush does not explore further alternatives to what appears to be pending military action, he must quickly explain the risks associated with war and how he will minimize them.

EUROPE IS IN DANGER OF BEING DIVIDED
Financial Times, 06 Feb 03, by Marcel Van Herpen, Director, The Cicero Foundation, Paris, France

Sir, France and Germany have formulated far-reaching proposals, such as double passports for their citizens, preparing the way for a future federation. Recently they have also strengthened their co-operation in the convention for the future of Europe and have developed a common - critical - position vis-a`-vis US policy towards Iraq. Their stance has provoked a US-inspired counter-offensive led by Jose Maria Aznar and Tony Blair, who rallied eight old and new European Union member states behind an initiative supporting the US policy.
This situation is potentially dangerous for the cohesion of the EU.

It seems that an enlarging EU is splitting into two parts. On the one hand is "fringe Europe", a group of member states at the western, northern, southern and (new) eastern rims of the EU. On the other is "core Europe" led by France and Germany. Wolfgang Schauble and Karl Lamers, the German Christian Democrats, first used the expression "core Europe" (Kerneuropa) in their 1994 report Reflections on Europe. In this, they advocated a core Europe consisting of a small group of EU member states (France, Germany and the Benelux) that would speed up integration among themselves in order to constitute an avant garde within the Union. This leads us to ask some questions.
Are we witnessing the advent of such a "core Europe"? If so, will the US try to hamper such a development by a policy of divide and rule? And could this eventually lead to a re-emergence of old fault lines in Europe?
As to the first question: the new French-German co-operation is certain to be strengthened in the near future. It is interesting that the Benelux countries, the natural candidates to adhere at a "core Europe", did not sign the declaration of the eight (but maybe they were not asked). After the Convention and enlargement we shall see new French-German initiatives to form a European avant garde group.
As to the second question: the US will try to contain the emergence of a European rival with the help of pro-Atlantic EU member states, including the candidate EU member states and new Nato members in central and eastern Europe. Its new partnership with Russia could also help. Old alliances and fault lines might, therefore, reappear, including the re-emergence of a Russia-US alliance to contain a central European power (where the axis Germany-Italy would be replaced by the axis Germany-France).
A too pessimistic scenario? Maybe. But leaders on both sides of the Atlantic should be aware that a growing adversity between the US and an emerging "core Europe" would be disastrous for everyone.

A COALITION OF THE MORAL
Wall Street Journal Europe, 06 Feb 03

While the prospect of war is inevitably sobering, the number of countries pledging their support for a confrontation with Saddam Hussein's regime grows by the day with America's European allies leading the way.

Eight current and future European Union members last week backed the Bush administration publicly in a statement to this newspaper, making clear that France and Germany don't speak on behalf of the continent. Seven future NATO members and three aspirants made a similar commitment yesterday. France is well aware that the evidence against Saddam is damning and has kept its options open. That may leave Germany alone isolated from the European mainstream on Iraq and on relations with America in general.
The reports of the death of the trans-Atlantic relationship were always exaggerated. The vast majority of Western European countries remain committed to a vital security link with the U.S. But the debate over Iraq highlights a new wrinkle in Europe: The emergence of the former Warsaw Pact countries as serious diplomatic players who are already shifting the balance of power on the continent away from the traditional Franco-German condominium. Clearly, the shift is toward a Europe less inclined to view America with suspicion or resentment.
"This is just the beginning," Estonia's former prime minister, Mart Laar, tells us. The growth of the EU to 25 from 15 members and NATO from to 26 from 19 brings in more countries shaped by their experience with totalitarianism into the leading institutions of the continent. These countries, incidentally, saw the U.S. champion their liberation from Soviet rule and their inclusion in the community of Western democracies.
"Central Europeans and others won't stand for French-style anti-Americanism," says Mr. Laar. "We also see foreign policy in moral terms," he adds, not always a fashionable approach in Brussels or Paris or Berlin these days, if ever. As the statement from the Vilnius group of NATO aspirants said yesterday, "our countries understand the dangers posed by tyranny and the special responsibility of democracies to defend our shared values."
As in Western Europe, the easterners aren't uniform (the Warsaw Pact, thank goodness, is history!). Poles see themselves as the Britain of the continent, America's closest ally east of London; indeed, President George W. Bush told his Polish counterpart in Washington last month that "I have got no better friend in Europe today." Hungarians, perhaps less enthusiastic than the Poles, agreed to let the U.S. train Iraqi opposition cadres at a military base in southern Hungary. The Czechs, while considered the most pacifistic of the lot, are contributing their special units trained to deal with chemical and biological weapons to the emerging coalition against Iraq.
Cynics suggest the easterners' enthusiasm for American leadership is "an old Cold War hangover," as one Brussels-based pundit told Agence France Presse last week. The suggestion is these countries welcomed Washington's embrace to rid themselves of Russia, and will toe the Paris-Berlin line once in the EU. Leave aside that Britain changed the EU more than the EU changed Britain in the past 30 years, or that Paris and Berlin are looking less and less like the EU leaders they once were.
Just listen to Mr. Laar or public opinion across the continent on what these countries want from Europe. The future members come into the EU eager to play a leadership role as well as to serve their national interests. For example, Poland will likely push for a clearer EU strategy hand-in-hand with the U.S. toward the roguish countries on its eastern frontier, Belarus and Ukraine. All these countries will wish to keep NATO strong and the U.S. in Europe.
The logical fallacy lies in putting forward a stark choice between America and Europe. For the new members, as well as many current members, the two relationships are complementary, and will be more so as the world grows more interdependent. Certainly the Lithuanians and Poles who've greeted Mr. Bush so warmly in recent months are grateful for his father's, and his country's, role in freeing them. But the Cold War, while a formative experience for them as it never was for West Europeans, is history. That experience has conditioned them to look to the U.S. for leadership in meeting the challenges of the 21st century.

JANUS-FACED GREECE
Wall Street Journal Europe, 07 Feb 03

Here's a trick question. In which country would you take a poll and find that: a) 87.8% of people are against a military intervention in Iraq even with the approval of the United Nations Security Council; b) that more respondents have a positive view of Saddam Hussein than President Bush; and c) that when asked "which country is more democratic -- the U.S. or Iraq" 57.27% answer that neither is democratic, only 34.21% say the U.S. is more democratic and 7.89% say Iraq is more democratic.
It's not Syria, Saudi Arabia or even France. Hostility in these countries apparently pales in comparison to how Greeks view their American NATO allies, if you can believe a recent opinion poll.
Unlike these other usual suspects, though, Greece's government has been far from obstructionist. Greece has indicated it may allow the use of the Souda Bay base for operations against Iraq. Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou has toed the EU line in hoping to avoid military action in Iraq. But he has also been clear that it is now up to Saddam Hussein himself to either comply with the U.N. resolutions or face the consequences.
Mr. Papandreou and Prime Minister Costas Simitis have also taken a more enlightened approach to relations with Turkey and the Cyprus question. But while Mr. Papandreou communicates skillfully with Greece's foreign partners, domestic issues are left to the old anti-American ideologues in the Pasok party, such as Party General Secretary Costas Laliotis. Fearful of an electoral backlash, the government is sanctioning a Janus-faced policy of pro-Americanism abroad and dangerous nativism at home.

When Greek parliamentarian Apostolos Kaklamanis accused the U.S. of trying to undermine European integration by going to war in Iraq, the government stared at its shoes. Similarly when Mr. Laliotis said recently that he would support a big anti-war demonstration this month, the government pretended it hadn't heard.
While this policy of cognitive dissonance allows Greece to appear sensible to foreigners and fashionably anti-American to Greeks, it carries serious dangers. Left unaddressed now, it will surely constrain Greek governments in the future, putting in danger their ability to cooperate with NATO allies.
Unfortunately, the opposition conservative New Democracy party has for the most part not found the courage to oppose the Pasok demagoguery. There are a few exceptions though. Newly elected Athens mayor Dora Bakoyanni -- the daughter of former Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis and widow of a victim of the Nov. 17 terrorist organization -- is trying to inject a rare note of reason.
We understand that she will introduce a motion in the city council today that condemns the Iraqi regime for its human rights violations and noncompliance with the United Nations Security Council. It will no doubt be feather-bedded by ample references to inspections and U.N. processes, but such a resolution is an act of courage in today's Greece that deserves the support of her party, as well as the government which, at least abroad, seems to share that view as well. Her opponents will say she is soft on America because of her friendship with the Bushes and Rudy Giuliani but that makes her stand all the more commendable.
The poll we cited earlier was taken in Thessaloniki, not known as the most cool-headed part of the country. But past polls of Greek opinion elsewhere, showing support for Slobodan's butchery in Bosnia, for example, reflect similarly benighted attitudes.
Public relations-minded government officials have sought to play down these problems. There is anti-Americanism in other European countries as well. But both qualitatively and quantitatively Greece is different, displaying an appalling ignorance of the real world. If these visceral and ideological sentiments are not countered with arguments and facts, they may grow. Greece desperately needs to open a window and get some fresh air.

NATO AT RISK
Wall Street Journal Europe, 07 Feb 03

The tense stand-off between the Franco-German axis and practically everyone else in the Western alliance moved yesterday from U.N. headquarters in mid-town Manhattan to NATO's sprawling complex in freezing Brussels. The obdurate behavior of Paris and Berlin continued, though this time it wasn't a threat to U.N. credibility but to the Atlantic Alliance.

On Wednesday, Germany and France had refused to be convinced by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's overwhelming evidence that Saddam Hussein is flouting U.N. resolutions by lying about his weapons of mass destruction. Yesterday in Brussels the issue was Turkey and the unwillingness of the French and Germans to give that NATO ally access to NATO resources to help it protect itself in case of a war with Iraq. NATO chief Lord Robertson said that what is at stake is a "response to a plea from a country in the alliance." The German and French were unmoved.
The Wednesday meeting in New York was a sober affair in full glare of the TV cameras, with hundreds of millions watching worldwide. Diplomatic niceties were observed. By contrast, yesterday's closed-door meeting of the 19 NATO ambassadors -- the so-called North Atlantic Council -- was a brawl, sources say.
In the end the council voted 16-3 in favor of a U.S. program to help Turkey, with Belgium slavishly voting with the Franco-German alliance. But given NATO consensual rules, there was no agreement to approve the program. Thus, the question of whether Turkey will get its requested NATO AWAC surveillance planes, now in Germany, and Patriot anti-missile defense systems in the Netherlands remains open. Also at stake is help from NATO personnel trained in anti-chemical and anti-biological warfare.
An envoy who took part in the negotiations said U.S. Ambassador Nick Burns argued "very strenuously that NATO's credibility is at stake, that the actions of the three were threatening to damage the alliance." This source added that "passions were running very high against the three countries." Over the past week-and-a-half two letters from 18 countries on the European continent have supported the U.S. position on Iraq, and yesterday's clash only served to further isolate Paris and Berlin.
The Belgian and German representatives read from prepared texts and did not speak otherwise, but the garrulous French Ambassador Benoit d'Aboville argued strongly against responding to Turkey's request. At the end an exasperated Lord Robertson had no other choice than to impose something called "the silence procedure."
Overruling Mr. d'Aboville, who in typical Gallic manner protested against this too, Lord Robertson froze debate until 10 a.m. Monday, at which point the package will be approved unless a NATO member "breaks the silence" and raises an objection.
"We had exhausted our arguments," said a weary senior NATO official. "This will be a time for reflection." But many think Paris will break the silence.
Lord Robertson remains publicly confident that eventually a consensus will be found. "It's not a question of whether but when," said the Scot, who's probably thanking his lucky stars he's announced he will retire in December. He may be right. But one must wonder how much damage the French and German governments are willing to do NATO and the European Union.
France, the betting is, will find a way to come around and might even take part in an invasion of Iraq. "It's not for nothing we're sending the Charles de Gaulle to the area," a retired French general remarked, referring to the aircraft carrier. What will Germany do then?
If Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder wants to take his country down with him economically and diplomatically, that's between him and German voters. But he should think hard about the fate of an alliance that has protected the West and held it together through difficult times. Mr. Chirac too has a long weekend of thinking ahead of him. When he decides what to do he should inform the Belgians.

NATO IS TORN OVER WEAPONS FOR THE TURKS
New York Times, 07 Feb 03, by Thomas Fuller

BRUSSELS-- Three NATO members blocked the deployment of defensive equipment to Turkey today, prolonging a deadlock that a United States diplomat said threatened the alliance's credibility.

With the other 16 members of NATO in favor of giving Turkey access to the equipment, the three dissenting countries -- Belgium, France and Germany -- were under strong pressure to change their minds.
An official at the NATO meeting said the American ambassador to the alliance, Nicholas Burns, told his colleagues that ''NATO's credibility was on the line'' and that ''NATO has an obligation to defend an ally.''
In an effort to break the deadlock, Lord Robertson, secretary general of the alliance, set in motion a special procedure that would require the dissenters to publicly state their objections. If none did so by Monday, he said, the package would be considered approved.
Turkey requested access to the equipment from its NATO allies last month in light of the threat of a war in Iraq. If the request is approved, Dutch Patriot missiles would be made available to the Turkish armed forces, and Awacs surveillance planes, operated collectively by NATO, could be dispatched to the Iraqi-Turkish border. Military units trained to deal with the effects of chemical and biological weapons are also part of the package.
In addition to sending the equipment to Turkey, NATO allies would be called upon to defend American bases in Europe and to replace troops sent to the Persian Gulf from the alliance's peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Diplomats said the requested equipment would be used ''for defensive purposes only.'' A provision that would have allowed the use of NATO equipment to send troops into combat in Iraq was removed from the package as a concession to the dissenters.
Separately, diplomats said the alliance had agreed this week to collectively patrol the western Mediterranean because ''we now perceive a terrorist threat'' in that area, a senior NATO official said.
There was no immediate comment from Germany or France on whether they would drop their objections to the Turkish assistance package. The Belgian foreign minister, Louis Michel, said before the start of the meeting that it was ''premature to take a decision now,'' but he added that Belgium did not ''reject that possibility out of hand.''
The war issue is particularly sensitive in Belgium with national elections scheduled for May. At least two parties in the governing coalition have taken strong pacifist stands and are expected to oppose any steps by NATO related to a war in Iraq.

FRANCE INSISTS NO NATO PREPARATIONS FOR IRAQ WAR
Reuters, 07 Feb 03

PARIS- France insisted on Friday NATO should not begin boosting Turkey's defences in case of a war in Iraq, saying United Nations arms inspectors still needed more time to examine Iraq's weapons programme.

Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said France did not believe it was time to prepare for war and would not agree to do so when the alliance reconsiders the issue early next week. /./
Asked by Radio France Internationale if NATO could reach agreement on war preparations early next week, Alliot-Marie said: "That is not our view at all."
The presentation by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to the U.N. Security Council outlining Washington's case against Baghdad "only reinforced our view of the role of the U.N. inspectors. The inspectors must...do their work."
When the interviewer asked the same question later, the minister responded: "For us, today, we are in the inspection phase. We are not in a phase of preparing for war." /./

KEY ALLIES NOT WON OVER BY POWELL
Washington Post, 07 Feb 03, by Keith B. Richburg

PARIS-- France and other key U.S. allies declared today that Secretary of State Colin L. Powell had not made a compelling case for an early armed strike against Iraq in his presentation to the U.N. Security Council Wednesday. France immediately began a diplomatic campaign to shore up opposition to going to war soon.

"There is no change in the French position, no change at all," said Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, whose country has been one of the most forceful voices for giving U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq more time to work.
French President Jacques Chirac spoke by telephone today with counterparts among other Security Council members -- Vladimir Putin of Russia, Vicente Fox of Mexico, Ricardo Lagos of Chile, Paul Biya of Cameroon and Bashar Assad of Syria.
He told them that France refuses to accept that war is inevitable and that this view is widely shared in the world, according to a spokeswoman, Catherine Colanna, news services reported. He and Putin agreed that their governments would continue to work for a diplomatic solution to the crisis. France has not ruled out supporting a war but argues that peaceful means have not been exhausted.
Dominique de Villepin, the French foreign minister, said it was premature to discuss a new Security Council resolution authorizing a strike. "A second resolution? We are not at the time for that right now," de Villepin told Europe 1 radio in an interview. France holds a veto in the Security Council.
In other countries that are generally friendly to the United States, people expressed skepticism that Powell had provided proof justifying war. "If Americans know so much, why do they produce so little?" said Vladimir Lukin, a top Russian legislator and former ambassador to the United States. "Let them tip the inspectors off regarding smoking gun evidence."
France and Germany lead European opposition to a speedy attack. But Britain, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Portugal, as well as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, have firmly backed the U.S. position. On Wednesday, 10 more European governments, in the former communist east, jointly declared support for Washington. They were Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
In the Americas, the United States' immediate neighbors, Canada and Mexico, signaled that their positions remained unchanged.
Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham called Powell's presentation "disturbing and persuasive" but said Canada favored more time for the inspectors.
Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez, who watched Powell from Mexico's seat on the Security Council, said his country's preference for a nonmilitary solution had not changed. "Secretary Powell's presentation strengthens Mexico's conviction about the necessity to advance toward an effective and verifiable disarmament," he said in a statement. But he said Mexico still believes the "ideal way" to disarm Iraq is more inspections.
About 86 percent of 32,000 people who took part in a telephone poll Wednesday night on Mexico's most-watched television news show, El Noticiero, answered "no" to the question, "Should Mexico support a U.S. military attack against Iraq?"
Meanwhile, the disagreements over Iraq delayed a decision on whether NATO will begin military assistance to one of its members, Turkey, which is seeking AWACS radar surveillance planes and Patriot missiles to defend itself against a possible attack by Iraq. France, Germany and Belgium have blocked efforts to make a decision on NATO helping Turkey, arguing that it is premature because no decision has been made to go to war.
Today, NATO Secretary General George Robertson, a close ally of Washington, tried to break the stalemate and force a decision on the issue next week. He invoked what is known as the "silence procedure," meaning that certain steps will begin next week in the planning for Turkey's defense unless one or more countries openly object by midday Monday.
Robertson today acknowledged continuing disagreement in the alliance on this issue, but said, "I am confident we will reach a decision early next week." France, Germany and Belgium may still object. "It is premature to decide today on the issue of an eventual NATO involvement in the Iraq crisis," said Belgium's foreign minister, Louis Michel.
In Germany, spokesman Bela Anda said the government is "concerned" that Iraq may still have weapons of mass destruction, but maintains that "the inspectors must be given the necessary time and means for their task."
The German government's strident opposition to even a U.N.-sanctioned war is beginning to raise concerns that it is becoming isolated from its immediate neighbors as well as the United States.
This sense was heightened today by a jab from Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, who in remarks to the House Armed Services Committee grouped Germany with Libya and Cuba as countries refusing to help in a war.
German officials have noted that their country has agreed to open its airspace to U.S. warplanes, is protecting U.S. bases in Germany with German troops, and has units in Kuwait that specialize in dealing with nuclear, biological or chemical attacks.
In Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, one of Washington's most staunch allies in the crisis, pledged to provide humanitarian help for Iraq in case of war. But he suggested he would await a new Security Council resolution before committing Italy to the coalition against Iraq.
During a visit to Moscow, Pakistan's president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, joined Russia's Putin in a joint statement opposing the unilateral use of force. Musharraf said he has no information to back up Powell's claim that al Qaeda operatives used the Iraqi Embassy in Pakistan as a "liaison office."
In Indonesia, the world's most populous predominantly Muslim nation, government officials said the evidence produced by Powell demonstrated the need for more work by U.N. weapons inspectors. In Bangkok, hundreds of Thai Muslims protested outside the U.S. Embassy, accusing Washington of unfairly condemning Iraq and calling for a boycott of American products.
Correspondents Peter Finn in Berlin, Sharon LaFraniere in Moscow, Ellen Nakashima in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Kevin Sullivan in Mexico City contributed to this article.

GERMAN OPPOSITION SUPPORT ROLE OF AWACS PLANES IN IRAQ WAR
DDP/ BBC Monitoring, 07 Feb 03

With a possible war on Iraq looming, the CDU / CSU [Christian Democratic / Social Union] plans to give its support to the deployment of AWACS aircraft and Patriot missiles. "I can imagine that, in the event of such a request being made to Germany's Bundestag, we will show that we are reliable NATO alliance partners, irrespective of whether or not the chancellor [Gerhard Schroeder: SPD - Social Democratic Party of Germany] has his own majority [i.e., composed entirely from SPD - Green coalition parliamentarians]," stated Michael Glos, CSU land [regional] group leader on Thursday evening [6 February] on ZDF television programme Berlin Mitte.
Brandenburg Interior Minister Joerg Schoenbohm (CDU) stated in Friday's [7 February] edition of the Bild newspaper: "In a war on Iraq, the AWACS aircraft will inevitably take on the flight command role. They will also have to give firing guidance orders to fighter aircraft attacking Iraqi jets. Surveillance and combat missions cannot be separated." The former general added that the AWACS system could not be deployed without German specialists, and emphasized that: "German forces will thus be participating in a war on Iraq."



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<DIV><FONT face=Verdana size=2>NATO ENLARGEMENT DAILY BRIEF (NEDB)<BR>Friday, 07
Feb 2003, 19:31 EDT<BR>---------------------------------------------<BR><FONT
color=#000080>* BETTER THAN `SEVEN BELGIUMS' - <EM>WSJE / Vladimir Socor
(Institute for Advanced Strategic & Political
Studies)</EM></FONT></FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Verdana color=#000080 size=2>* FRIENDS IN NEED, FRIENDS IN DEED
- <EM>WT / by Helle Dale </EM></FONT></DIV><FONT face=Verdana color=#000080
size=2>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial color=#000000></FONT><BR>* A WAY OUT ON IRAQ - 
<EM>Plain Dealer / Sean Kay (Ohio Wesleyan University) and Joshua Spero
(Fitchburg State College)</EM><BR>* EUROPE IS IN DANGER OF BEING DIVIDED -
<EM>FT / Marcel Van Herpen (Cicero Foundation)</EM></DIV>
<DIV><EM></EM></FONT> </DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Verdana color=#000080 size=2>* A COALITION OF THE MORAL -
<EM>WSJE</EM></FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Verdana color=#000080 size=2>* JANUS-FACED GREECE -
<EM>WSJE</EM></FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Verdana color=#000080 size=2>* NATO AT RISK -
<EM>WSJE</EM></FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Verdana color=#000080 size=2>* NATO IS TORN OVER WEAPONS FOR THE
TURKS - <EM>NYT / Thomas Fuller</EM>  <BR>* FRANCE INSISTS NO NATO
PREPARATIONS FOR IRAQ WAR <EM>- Reuters</EM></FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Verdana size=2><FONT color=#000080>* KEY ALLIES NOT WON OVER BY
POWELL <EM>- WP / Keith B. Richburg  <BR></EM>* GERMAN OPPOSITION
SUPPORT ROLE OF AWACS PLANES IN IRAQ WAR - <EM>DDP/ BBC Monitoring</EM></FONT>
</FONT></DIV>
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size=2>---------------------------------------------- <BR>BETTER THAN
`SEVEN BELGIUMS' <BR>Wall Street Journal Europe, 07- 09 Feb 03, by Vladimir
Socor, Senior fellow, Institute for Advanced Strategic & Political
Studies<BR> <BR>Within hours of the Feb. 5 United Nations Security Council
meeting addressed by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, ten European nations
-- from the Baltic to the Adriatic and the Black Sea -- issued a joint statement
strongly supporting American-led efforts to disarm and topple Saddam Hussein in
Iraq. Themselves liberated only in the past decade from Moscow's control or that
of local satraps, these nations are about to join NATO. They intend to prove
their value as members of two overlapping alliances: the Atlantic alliance
itself, and the U.S.-led coalition against terrorism and rogue states who are
threatening with mass-destruction weapons. <BR>Known as the Vilnius-10 Group,
after the Lithuanian venue of their founding conference, Estonia, Latvia,
Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, and Bulgaria now have the status of
invitee countries. Croatia, Albania and Macedonia hope to obtain that status
within the next few years. Collectively and individually, these countries tend
to display a greater sense of responsibility for Euro-Atlantic security, and
greater willingness to support America in a possible Iraq campaign, than more
than a few of NATO's old members. <BR>The week before, the leaders of Poland,
Hungary and the Czech Republic -- NATO's new member countries -- had joined the
leaders of five old NATO countries in a similar message of support and resolve.
This week's statement brings to 13 the number of liberated European nations that
have placed themselves in the ranks of the coalition of the willing the
anti-terror fight. On Europe's doorstep, Georgia and Azerbaijan have also made
it clear that they stand in the same ranks. <BR>Only a few months ago, as NATO
considered inviting up to seven candidate countries to join the alliance,
skeptical commentators warned that those countries would turn out to be "seven
more Belgiums" -- i.e., strategically irrelevant, unable to participate
effectively in allied operations, freeloaders on defense spending, and afflicted
with sanctimonious pacifism. (Although they chose Belgium as the "bad" example,
the Red-Green-misgoverned Germany could just as well fit that description.) The
anti-enlargement crowd also predicted that NATO would become "unwieldy" and
"lose its cohesion" by taking in new countries in the freed part of Europe.
<BR>The handwringers' predictions have twice been proven wrong. First, by the
invitee countries themselves, who are working hard and successfully to meet the
NATO admission criteria. And, second, because it is actually some among the old
member countries who are now jeopardizing NATO's transformation into an
effective antiterrorist alliance and undermining its internal political
cohesion. Three times in the last two weeks, France, Germany and -- yes --
Belgium (along Luxembourg) vetoed proposals that NATO begin planning some
limited measures of a defensive nature, in preparation for a possible offensive
operation in Iraq. <BR>Those defensive measures would involve protecting Turkey
(an indispensable participant in any offensive operation against Saddam
Hussein). They would also involve backfilling for U.S. and British troops that
would have to be reassigned from the Balkans or the Mediterranean to the Persian
Gulf. While such plans were being blocked, France and Germany continued to join
forces with Russia and China at the U.N. Security Council, along with the likes
of Syria, to demand an indefinite continuation of the U.N. inspection charade.
<BR>That's when the Vilnius-10 countries weighed in with their joint statement.
It is meant not only to reflect their shared determination to deal decisively
with the threats posed by Iraq. The statement is also intended to help NATO
regain its cohesion, and to help the coalition of the willing to grow around the
United States. <BR> <BR>Consider this observation from Feb. 4: "Look at the
endless rows of white crosses in the cemeteries in Normandy where fallen
American soldiers are buried." Was this, perhaps, French President Jacques
Chirac or his foreign affairs minister Dominique de Villepin speaking in
gratitude for the American liberation of their country? No, Mr. Chirac was at
that very moment coordinating positions by telephone with Syria's tyrant, while
the Quai d'Orsay was busy criticizing the United States. It was Latvia's Foreign
Affairs Minister, Sandra Kalniete -- a fluent French speaker and admirer of that
country's culture -- who cited America's role in freeing France and, now, in
securing the freedom of the Baltic States after a half-century of occupation.
<BR>American Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's recent remark (so unwelcome in
some quarters of Western Europe) that NATO's center of gravity is moving toward
the east merely states the obvious. Without in any way detracting from the
importance of NATO's old members in good standing, the secretary's comment
underscores two new realities. First, NATO must retool militarily and
politically for distant missions in Eurasia, where the threats originate. And,
second, a large group of countries to the east of the old NATO are willing and
able to contribute to the alliance's power-projection operations toward the
east. <BR>All thirteen countries are demonstrating their readiness to join a
U.S.-led coalition of the willing. As they did during the Afghanistan operation,
they are again making their territories and infrastructure available to American
and allied forces. Most of these countries are making preparations to field
troops in anti-terrorist operations or in a campaign to disarm Saddam Hussein.
<BR>Those preparations are proportionate to these countries' means. They
include: small but well-trained special forces (those of Romania have already
proven themselves in Afghanistan), demining and ordnance disposal (a particular
skill of Baltic forces), chemical and biological protection (a strength of the
Czech and Slovak armies), peacekeeping and military police units (Balts and
Romanians have already operated in those roles in the Balkans under NATO
command), and various other "special niche" contributions. For its part, Hungary
is now hosting U.S.-run training camps for thousands of anti-Saddam Iraqis.
<BR>Politically, the new and invitee allies demonstrate a clear understanding of
the strategic stakes that are involved, and a readiness to educate their own
publics on the necessity of suppressing the nexus of terrorism and
mass-destruction-weapons, preventively if necessary. Meanwhile in Western
Europe, far from all governments exercise leadership in bringing such truths
home to their own population. <BR>The NATO enlargement round announced last
November at the Prague summit is proving to be the greatest strategic and
political gain in the alliance's history. It needs to be completed with a
follow-up round in the western Balkans and the strategically crucial South
Caucasus. <BR> <BR>FRIENDS IN NEED, FRIENDS IN DEED <BR>NEW EUROPE' RALLIES
TO AMERICA'S SIDE <BR>Washington Times, 06 Feb 03, by Helle Dale
<BR> <BR>We are "no longer in the prehistoric period when he who had the
biggest club could knock another down in order to steal his leg of mammoth,"
French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, sneered recently, as France
launched into an almighty anti-American, anti- Bush hissy fit. Even French
President Jacques Chirac, who has certainly been responsible for creating this
atmosphere, was induced to ask members of his government to turn down the volume
on their insults. <BR>With "allies" like France and Germany, these days, who
needs enemies? As comedian Jay Leno said the other day, "The Navy has now
trained sea lions in the Persian Gulf to work as lookouts and detect terrorists
that may be trying to blow up our ships. Isn't that amazing? Sea lions will help
us, the French still won't." For Paris and Berlin these days, the problem is not
how to contribute to a solution in Iraq, but how to "tie down Gulliver," aka
Uncle Sam. <BR>But guess who is looking like dinosaurs today. Provoked by French
and German anti-Americanism and general arrogance about the leadership of
Europe, eight other European countries last week signed a strongly worded public
statement in support of the United States, published in the Wall Street Journal.
Their message should be heard by every American who doubts the United States has
foreign support for its Iraq policy: <BR>"We in Europe have a relationship with
the U.S. which has stood the test of time. Thanks in large part to American
bravery, generosity and farsightedness, Europe was set free from the two forms
of tyranny that devastated our continent in the 20th century: Nazism and
Communism. Thanks, too, to the continued cooperation between Europe and the U.S.
we have managed to guarantee peace and freedom on our continent. The
transatlantic relationship must not become a casualty of the current Iraqi
regime's persistent attempts to threaten world security." <BR>The statement was
signed by the prime ministers of Britain, Spain, Italy, Poland, Hungary, the
Czech Republic, Denmark, and Portugal. Since then, Slovenia, Slovakia and Latvia
have added their voices in support of the United States. <BR>According to
Michael Gonzales, editorial page editor of the Wall Street Europe, the French
and German press are already attacking the Bush administration for pressuring
the Wall Street Journal and the eight European governments for public support.
The idea that there are other European countries that count seem to have come as
a total and unwelcome surprise in Germany and France. (A very interesting
question is whether the French will eventually come around to supporting
military action against Saddam Hussein, which would leave their friends the
Germans isolated and subject to the charge of unilateralism in their foreign
policy.) <BR>A few weeks back, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld put his
finger exactly on these emerging divisions in Europe. He somewhat snottily
dismissed France and Germany as being part of " the old Europe," as opposed to
the more appealing "new Europe" of the East and Central Europeans and others
more friendly to the United States, like Italy, Spain and Denmark. Being labeled
"old Europe" definitely did not sit well with Paris and Berlin. <BR>The fallout
from the Iraq crisis, as regards the future of NATO and the European Common
Security and Defense Policy, will be truly interesting to watch. <BR>Clearly,
there is an unresolved question in Europe about relations with the United
States, which will be magnified by the inclusion of the Central and East
Europeans in NATO and in the European Union. <BR>Some Europeans are outraged at
the breach of etiquette against the "consensus process" within the European
Union, committed by the eight signatories to the Wall Street Journal statement.
The Belgians, who were not invited to sign, are hopping mad. And the Greeks, who
currently hold the EU presidency, are equally irate and are expected to call a
special session of EU leaders within the next 10 days. <BR>Meanwhile, ideas are
popping up in Washington regarding the disposition of 120,000 U.S. military
personnel in Europe. The largest U.S. deployment overseas is in Germany with
70,000 troops, a country that has not been particularly friendly to the United
States recently. This fall, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder actually fought
and won a national election primarily on opposition to U.S. policy on Iraq.
<BR>The U.S. military has quietly started to make use of the assets NATO has
gained with its first completed round of expansion, which includes Poland,
Hungary and the Czech Republic. According to USA Today on Monday, NATO's
European Command in September moved its largest exercise involving 5,000 troops,
Victory Strike, from Germany to Poland, where environmental restrictions on
training are less onerous than in Germany. Meanwhile, the Army light infantry
force based in Italy spent the summer in Hungary training for rescue missions.
<BR>The fallout from the Iraq crisis, quite apart from what happens to Saddam
Hussein, could be shaking relations within Europe and across the Atlantic. A
moment of truth has arrived.<BR>  <BR>A WAY OUT ON IRAQ <BR>The Plain
Dealer, 07 Feb 03, by Sean Kay and Joshua Spero<BR> <BR>* Kay, associate
professor of politics and government at Ohio Wesleyan University, is a
non-resident fellow at the Eisenhower Institute in Washington, D.C.  Spero,
an assistant professor of political science at Fitchburg State College in
Massachusetts, served as senior civilian strategic planner in the Joint Chiefs
of Staff from 1994 to 2000.<BR>  <BR>It is possible that a war with
Iraq will be the "cake-walk" that many of its advocates promise. Then again, it
might not. Attacking Iraq now is a massive roll of the dice. The young men and
women in the military deserve more respect than to be thrown as a roll of the
dice without first exhausting alternative possibilities. <BR> <BR>The
potential dangers of war in Iraq are serious. Some American troops may still
lack crucial protective gear against chemical or biological attacks. <BR>The
U.S. public must also be aware of the brutalities of urban warfare. Furthermore,
while American soldiers are conducting regime change, unknown quantities of
chemical and biological weapons might be stolen or intentionally leaked into the
hands of international terrorists. Pro-American governments including Turkey,
Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan might be destabilized. Serious risks
include a retaliatory attack with weapons of mass destruction against Israel;
civil war inside northern and southern Iraq; massive environmental damage should
Saddam Hussein's forces torch oil fields; and an increase in international
terrorism. <BR>Credible cost estimates range from $100 billion to more than $1
trillion depending on the length of fighting and duration of occupation. Despite
political statements of support from only a handful of European countries, war
now means fighting alone - with British assistance. Unlike the 1991 Gulf War -
when most of the costs were covered by Saudi Arabia, Germany and Japan -
Americans could be left paying for an extended military occupation with tens of
thousands of American solders being a magnet for terrorists. Strategic costs
include exacerbating a rising tide of anti-Americanism world-wide. Should this
anger have economic reverberations, the American economy will suffer major
damage. Is the American public, on the eve of war, prepared to carry these
financial and strategic burdens? There is a strong case for threatening force to
compel Saddam Hussein to disarm. Yet the costs of war at this time might be
higher than the gains to be had. <BR> <BR>How then should we proceed?
<BR> <BR>A middle course is available that would enable the United States
and the United Nations to accomplish their stated objectives with far lower
degrees of danger, risk and cost. <BR>Because it is clear that Iraq is not
complying with U.N. mandates, the United States could now request the Security
Council to authorize an "enforced inspections" policy. <BR>The Security Council
would be asked to authorize the United States to use air power against any
target of opportunity that U.N. weapons inspectors (whose numbers should be
increased dramatically) are denied access. No target, in or out of cities, would
be off-limits if U.N. access had been requested. If Iraqi officials block the
work of inspectors, or if inspectors find significant stockpiles of previously
undeclared weapons, this would be grounds for immediate air attack against that
specific facility. <BR>To ensure air attacks do not provoke retaliation against
weapons inspectors - or military or terrorism-related maneuvers by Saddam
Hussein - the U.N. Security Council should authorize military protection on the
ground for inspectors. Moreover, all necessary means to force Iraqi compliance
with enforced inspections - which would now implicitly include regime change -
should be requested, and would likely be approved by the Security Council.
<BR>If the United States were eventually to invade Iraq, it would do so with
full support of the U.N. Security Council and thus likely would be sustainable
among the American public. Such a course would allow President Bush to disarm
Iraq, by force if necessary, and in a worst case, remove Saddam Hussein.
However, the critical difference is that specific Iraqi actions, and not
American pre-emption, would be the trigger for war. <BR>The policy implications
of such an ap pro ach are clear: War might be put off until fall given the
timelines involved. <BR>If President Bush does not explore further alternatives
to what appears to be pending military action, he must quickly explain the risks
associated with war and how he will minimize them.<BR> <BR>EUROPE IS IN
DANGER OF BEING DIVIDED<BR>Financial Times, 06 Feb 03, by Marcel Van Herpen,
Director, The Cicero Foundation, Paris, France <BR> <BR>Sir, France and
Germany have formulated far-reaching proposals, such as double passports for
their citizens, preparing the way for a future federation. Recently they have
also strengthened their co-operation in the convention for the future of Europe
and have developed a common - critical - position vis-a`-vis US policy towards
Iraq. Their stance has provoked a US-inspired counter-offensive led by Jose
Maria Aznar and Tony Blair, who rallied eight old and new European Union member
states behind an initiative supporting the US policy. <BR>This situation is
potentially dangerous for the cohesion of the EU. <BR> <BR>It seems that an
enlarging EU is splitting into two parts. On the one hand is "fringe Europe", a
group of member states at the western, northern, southern and (new) eastern rims
of the EU. On the other is "core Europe" led by France and Germany. Wolfgang
Schauble and Karl Lamers, the German Christian Democrats, first used the
expression "core Europe" (Kerneuropa) in their 1994 report Reflections on
Europe. In this, they advocated a core Europe consisting of a small group of EU
member states (France, Germany and the Benelux) that would speed up integration
among themselves in order to constitute an avant garde within the Union. This
leads us to ask some questions. <BR>Are we witnessing the advent of such a "core
Europe"? If so, will the US try to hamper such a development by a policy of
divide and rule? And could this eventually lead to a re-emergence of old fault
lines in Europe? <BR>As to the first question: the new French-German
co-operation is certain to be strengthened in the near future. It is interesting
that the Benelux countries, the natural candidates to adhere at a "core Europe",
did not sign the declaration of the eight (but maybe they were not asked). After
the Convention and enlargement we shall see new French-German initiatives to
form a European avant garde group. <BR>As to the second question: the US will
try to contain the emergence of a European rival with the help of pro-Atlantic
EU member states, including the candidate EU member states and new Nato members
in central and eastern Europe. Its new partnership with Russia could also help.
Old alliances and fault lines might, therefore, reappear, including the
re-emergence of a Russia-US alliance to contain a central European power (where
the axis Germany-Italy would be replaced by the axis Germany-France). <BR>A too
pessimistic scenario? Maybe. But leaders on both sides of the Atlantic should be
aware that a growing adversity between the US and an emerging "core Europe"
would be disastrous for everyone. <BR> <BR>A COALITION OF THE MORAL
<BR>Wall Street Journal Europe, 06 Feb 03<BR> <BR>While the prospect of war
is inevitably sobering, the number of countries pledging their support for a
confrontation with Saddam Hussein's regime grows by the day with America's
European allies leading the way. <BR> <BR>Eight current and future European
Union members last week backed the Bush administration publicly in a statement
to this newspaper, making clear that France and Germany don't speak on behalf of
the continent. Seven future NATO members and three aspirants made a similar
commitment yesterday. France is well aware that the evidence against Saddam is
damning and has kept its options open. That may leave Germany alone isolated
from the European mainstream on Iraq and on relations with America in general.
<BR>The reports of the death of the trans-Atlantic relationship were always
exaggerated. The vast majority of Western European countries remain committed to
a vital security link with the U.S. But the debate over Iraq highlights a new
wrinkle in Europe: The emergence of the former Warsaw Pact countries as serious
diplomatic players who are already shifting the balance of power on the
continent away from the traditional Franco-German condominium. Clearly, the
shift is toward a Europe less inclined to view America with suspicion or
resentment. <BR>"This is just the beginning," Estonia's former prime minister,
Mart Laar, tells us. The growth of the EU to 25 from 15 members and NATO from to
26 from 19 brings in more countries shaped by their experience with
totalitarianism into the leading institutions of the continent. These countries,
incidentally, saw the U.S. champion their liberation from Soviet rule and their
inclusion in the community of Western democracies. <BR>"Central Europeans and
others won't stand for French-style anti-Americanism," says Mr. Laar. "We also
see foreign policy in moral terms," he adds, not always a fashionable approach
in Brussels or Paris or Berlin these days, if ever. As the statement from the
Vilnius group of NATO aspirants said yesterday, "our countries understand the
dangers posed by tyranny and the special responsibility of democracies to defend
our shared values." <BR>As in Western Europe, the easterners aren't uniform (the
Warsaw Pact, thank goodness, is history!). Poles see themselves as the Britain
of the continent, America's closest ally east of London; indeed, President
George W. Bush told his Polish counterpart in Washington last month that "I have
got no better friend in Europe today." Hungarians, perhaps less enthusiastic
than the Poles, agreed to let the U.S. train Iraqi opposition cadres at a
military base in southern Hungary. The Czechs, while considered the most
pacifistic of the lot, are contributing their special units trained to deal with
chemical and biological weapons to the emerging coalition against Iraq.
<BR>Cynics suggest the easterners' enthusiasm for American leadership is "an old
Cold War hangover," as one Brussels-based pundit told Agence France Presse last
week. The suggestion is these countries welcomed Washington's embrace to rid
themselves of Russia, and will toe the Paris-Berlin line once in the EU. Leave
aside that Britain changed the EU more than the EU changed Britain in the past
30 years, or that Paris and Berlin are looking less and less like the EU leaders
they once were. <BR>Just listen to Mr. Laar or public opinion across the
continent on what these countries want from Europe. The future members come into
the EU eager to play a leadership role as well as to serve their national
interests. For example, Poland will likely push for a clearer EU strategy
hand-in-hand with the U.S. toward the roguish countries on its eastern frontier,
Belarus and Ukraine. All these countries will wish to keep NATO strong and the
U.S. in Europe. <BR>The logical fallacy lies in putting forward a stark choice
between America and Europe. For the new members, as well as many current
members, the two relationships are complementary, and will be more so as the
world grows more interdependent. Certainly the Lithuanians and Poles who've
greeted Mr. Bush so warmly in recent months are grateful for his father's, and
his country's, role in freeing them. But the Cold War, while a formative
experience for them as it never was for West Europeans, is history. That
experience has conditioned them to look to the U.S. for leadership in meeting
the challenges of the 21st century.<BR> <BR>JANUS-FACED GREECE <BR>Wall
Street Journal Europe, 07 Feb 03<BR> <BR>Here's a trick question. In which
country would you take a poll and find that: a) 87.8% of people are against a
military intervention in Iraq even with the approval of the United Nations
Security Council; b) that more respondents have a positive view of Saddam
Hussein than President Bush; and c) that when asked "which country is more
democratic -- the U.S. or Iraq" 57.27% answer that neither is democratic, only
34.21% say the U.S. is more democratic and 7.89% say Iraq is more democratic.
<BR>It's not Syria, Saudi Arabia or even France. Hostility in these countries
apparently pales in comparison to how Greeks view their American NATO allies, if
you can believe a recent opinion poll. <BR>Unlike these other usual suspects,
though, Greece's government has been far from obstructionist. Greece has
indicated it may allow the use of the Souda Bay base for operations against
Iraq. Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou has toed the EU line in hoping to
avoid military action in Iraq. But he has also been clear that it is now up to
Saddam Hussein himself to either comply with the U.N. resolutions or face the
consequences. <BR>Mr. Papandreou and Prime Minister Costas Simitis have also
taken a more enlightened approach to relations with Turkey and the Cyprus
question. But while Mr. Papandreou communicates skillfully with Greece's foreign
partners, domestic issues are left to the old anti-American ideologues in the
Pasok party, such as Party General Secretary Costas Laliotis. Fearful of an
electoral backlash, the government is sanctioning a Janus-faced policy of
pro-Americanism abroad and dangerous nativism at home. <BR> <BR>When Greek
parliamentarian Apostolos Kaklamanis accused the U.S. of trying to undermine
European integration by going to war in Iraq, the government stared at its
shoes. Similarly when Mr. Laliotis said recently that he would support a big
anti-war demonstration this month, the government pretended it hadn't heard.
<BR>While this policy of cognitive dissonance allows Greece to appear sensible
to foreigners and fashionably anti-American to Greeks, it carries serious
dangers. Left unaddressed now, it will surely constrain Greek governments in the
future, putting in danger their ability to cooperate with NATO allies.
<BR>Unfortunately, the opposition conservative New Democracy party has for the
most part not found the courage to oppose the Pasok demagoguery. There are a few
exceptions though. Newly elected Athens mayor Dora Bakoyanni -- the daughter of
former Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis and widow of a victim of the Nov.
17 terrorist organization -- is trying to inject a rare note of reason. <BR>We
understand that she will introduce a motion in the city council today that
condemns the Iraqi regime for its human rights violations and noncompliance with
the United Nations Security Council. It will no doubt be feather-bedded by ample
references to inspections and U.N. processes, but such a resolution is an act of
courage in today's Greece that deserves the support of her party, as well as the
government which, at least abroad, seems to share that view as well. Her
opponents will say she is soft on America because of her friendship with the
Bushes and Rudy Giuliani but that makes her stand all the more commendable.
<BR>The poll we cited earlier was taken in Thessaloniki, not known as the most
cool-headed part of the country. But past polls of Greek opinion elsewhere,
showing support for Slobodan's butchery in Bosnia, for example, reflect
similarly benighted attitudes. <BR>Public relations-minded government officials
have sought to play down these problems. There is anti-Americanism in other
European countries as well. But both qualitatively and quantitatively Greece is
different, displaying an appalling ignorance of the real world. If these
visceral and ideological sentiments are not countered with arguments and facts,
they may grow. Greece desperately needs to open a window and get some fresh air.
<BR> <BR>NATO AT RISK <BR>Wall Street Journal Europe, 07 Feb
03<BR> <BR>The tense stand-off between the Franco-German axis and
practically everyone else in the Western alliance moved yesterday from U.N.
headquarters in mid-town Manhattan to NATO's sprawling complex in freezing
Brussels. The obdurate behavior of Paris and Berlin continued, though this time
it wasn't a threat to U.N. credibility but to the Atlantic Alliance.
<BR> <BR>On Wednesday, Germany and France had refused to be convinced by
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's overwhelming evidence that Saddam Hussein
is flouting U.N. resolutions by lying about his weapons of mass destruction.
Yesterday in Brussels the issue was Turkey and the unwillingness of the French
and Germans to give that NATO ally access to NATO resources to help it protect
itself in case of a war with Iraq. NATO chief Lord Robertson said that what is
at stake is a "response to a plea from a country in the alliance." The German
and French were unmoved. <BR>The Wednesday meeting in New York was a sober
affair in full glare of the TV cameras, with hundreds of millions watching
worldwide. Diplomatic niceties were observed. By contrast, yesterday's
closed-door meeting of the 19 NATO ambassadors -- the so-called North Atlantic
Council -- was a brawl, sources say. <BR>In the end the council voted 16-3 in
favor of a U.S. program to help Turkey, with Belgium slavishly voting with the
Franco-German alliance. But given NATO consensual rules, there was no agreement
to approve the program. Thus, the question of whether Turkey will get its
requested NATO AWAC surveillance planes, now in Germany, and Patriot
anti-missile defense systems in the Netherlands remains open. Also at stake is
help from NATO personnel trained in anti-chemical and anti-biological warfare.
<BR>An envoy who took part in the negotiations said U.S. Ambassador Nick Burns
argued "very strenuously that NATO's credibility is at stake, that the actions
of the three were threatening to damage the alliance." This source added that
"passions were running very high against the three countries." Over the past
week-and-a-half two letters from 18 countries on the European continent have
supported the U.S. position on Iraq, and yesterday's clash only served to
further isolate Paris and Berlin. <BR>The Belgian and German representatives
read from prepared texts and did not speak otherwise, but the garrulous French
Ambassador Benoit d'Aboville argued strongly against responding to Turkey's
request. At the end an exasperated Lord Robertson had no other choice than to
impose something called "the silence procedure." <BR>Overruling Mr. d'Aboville,
who in typical Gallic manner protested against this too, Lord Robertson froze
debate until 10 a.m. Monday, at which point the package will be approved unless
a NATO member "breaks the silence" and raises an objection. <BR>"We had
exhausted our arguments," said a weary senior NATO official. "This will be a
time for reflection." But many think Paris will break the silence. <BR>Lord
Robertson remains publicly confident that eventually a consensus will be found.
"It's not a question of whether but when," said the Scot, who's probably
thanking his lucky stars he's announced he will retire in December. He may be
right. But one must wonder how much damage the French and German governments are
willing to do NATO and the European Union. <BR>France, the betting is, will find
a way to come around and might even take part in an invasion of Iraq. "It's not
for nothing we're sending the Charles de Gaulle to the area," a retired French
general remarked, referring to the aircraft carrier. What will Germany do then?
<BR>If Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder wants to take his country down with him
economically and diplomatically, that's between him and German voters. But he
should think hard about the fate of an alliance that has protected the West and
held it together through difficult times. Mr. Chirac too has a long weekend of
thinking ahead of him. When he decides what to do he should inform the
Belgians.<BR> <BR>NATO IS TORN OVER WEAPONS FOR THE TURKS <BR>New York
Times, 07 Feb 03, by Thomas Fuller  <BR> <BR>BRUSSELS-- Three NATO
members blocked the deployment of defensive equipment to Turkey today,
prolonging a deadlock that a United States diplomat said threatened the
alliance's credibility. <BR> <BR>With the other 16 members of NATO in favor
of giving Turkey access to the equipment, the three dissenting countries --
Belgium, France and Germany -- were under strong pressure to change their minds.
<BR>An official at the NATO meeting said the American ambassador to the
alliance, Nicholas Burns, told his colleagues that ''NATO's credibility was on
the line'' and that ''NATO has an obligation to defend an ally.'' <BR>In an
effort to break the deadlock, Lord Robertson, secretary general of the alliance,
set in motion a special procedure that would require the dissenters to publicly
state their objections. If none did so by Monday, he said, the package would be
considered approved. <BR>Turkey requested access to the equipment from its NATO
allies last month in light of the threat of a war in Iraq. If the request is
approved, Dutch Patriot missiles would be made available to the Turkish armed
forces, and Awacs surveillance planes, operated collectively by NATO, could be
dispatched to the Iraqi-Turkish border. Military units trained to deal with the
effects of chemical and biological weapons are also part of the package. <BR>In
addition to sending the equipment to Turkey, NATO allies would be called upon to
defend American bases in Europe and to replace troops sent to the Persian Gulf
from the alliance's peacekeeping missions in Bosnia and Kosovo. <BR>Diplomats
said the requested equipment would be used ''for defensive purposes only.'' A
provision that would have allowed the use of NATO equipment to send troops into
combat in Iraq was removed from the package as a concession to the dissenters.
<BR>Separately, diplomats said the alliance had agreed this week to collectively
patrol the western Mediterranean because ''we now perceive a terrorist threat''
in that area, a senior NATO official said. <BR>There was no immediate comment
from Germany or France on whether they would drop their objections to the
Turkish assistance package. The Belgian foreign minister, Louis Michel, said
before the start of the meeting that it was ''premature to take a decision
now,'' but he added that Belgium did not ''reject that possibility out of
hand.'' <BR>The war issue is particularly sensitive in Belgium with national
elections scheduled for May. At least two parties in the governing coalition
have taken strong pacifist stands and are expected to oppose any steps by NATO
related to a war in Iraq. <BR> <BR>FRANCE INSISTS NO NATO PREPARATIONS FOR
IRAQ WAR<BR>Reuters, 07 Feb 03<BR> <BR>PARIS- France insisted on Friday
NATO should not begin boosting Turkey's defences in case of a war in Iraq,
saying United Nations arms inspectors still needed more time to examine Iraq's
weapons programme. <BR> <BR>Defence Minister Michele Alliot-Marie said
France did not believe it was time to prepare for war and would not agree to do
so when the alliance reconsiders the issue early next week. /…/<BR>Asked by
Radio France Internationale if NATO could reach agreement on war preparations
early next week, Alliot-Marie said: "That is not our view at all." <BR>The
presentation by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to the U.N. Security
Council outlining Washington's case against Baghdad "only reinforced our view of
the role of the U.N. inspectors. The inspectors must...do their work." <BR>When
the interviewer asked the same question later, the minister responded: "For us,
today, we are in the inspection phase. We are not in a phase of preparing for
war." /…/<BR> <BR>KEY ALLIES NOT WON OVER BY POWELL <BR>Washington Post, 07
Feb 03, by Keith B. Richburg  <BR> <BR>PARIS-- France and other key
U.S. allies declared today that Secretary of State Colin L. Powell had not made
a compelling case for an early armed strike against Iraq in his presentation to
the U.N. Security Council Wednesday. France immediately began a diplomatic
campaign to shore up opposition to going to war soon. <BR> <BR>"There is no
change in the French position, no change at all," said Prime Minister
Jean-Pierre Raffarin, whose country has been one of the most forceful voices for
giving U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq more time to work. <BR>French President
Jacques Chirac spoke by telephone today with counterparts among other Security
Council members -- Vladimir Putin of Russia, Vicente Fox of Mexico, Ricardo
Lagos of Chile, Paul Biya of Cameroon and Bashar Assad of Syria. <BR>He told
them that France refuses to accept that war is inevitable and that this view is
widely shared in the world, according to a spokeswoman, Catherine Colanna, news
services reported. He and Putin agreed that their governments would continue to
work for a diplomatic solution to the crisis. France has not ruled out
supporting a war but argues that peaceful means have not been exhausted.
<BR>Dominique de Villepin, the French foreign minister, said it was premature to
discuss a new Security Council resolution authorizing a strike. "A second
resolution? We are not at the time for that right now," de Villepin told Europe
1 radio in an interview. France holds a veto in the Security Council. <BR>In
other countries that are generally friendly to the United States, people
expressed skepticism that Powell had provided proof justifying war. "If
Americans know so much, why do they produce so little?" said Vladimir Lukin, a
top Russian legislator and former ambassador to the United States. "Let them tip
the inspectors off regarding smoking gun evidence." <BR>France and Germany lead
European opposition to a speedy attack. But Britain, Italy, Spain, Denmark and
Portugal, as well as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, have firmly backed
the U.S. position. On Wednesday, 10 more European governments, in the former
communist east, jointly declared support for Washington. They were Albania,
Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia and
Slovenia. <BR>In the Americas, the United States' immediate neighbors, Canada
and Mexico, signaled that their positions remained unchanged. <BR>Canadian
Foreign Minister Bill Graham called Powell's presentation "disturbing and
persuasive" but said Canada favored more time for the inspectors. <BR>Mexican
Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez, who watched Powell from Mexico's seat on
the Security Council, said his country's preference for a nonmilitary solution
had not changed. "Secretary Powell's presentation strengthens Mexico's
conviction about the necessity to advance toward an effective and verifiable
disarmament," he said in a statement. But he said Mexico still believes the
"ideal way" to disarm Iraq is more inspections. <BR>About 86 percent of 32,000
people who took part in a telephone poll Wednesday night on Mexico's
most-watched television news show, El Noticiero, answered "no" to the question,
"Should Mexico support a U.S. military attack against Iraq?" <BR>Meanwhile, the
disagreements over Iraq delayed a decision on whether NATO will begin military
assistance to one of its members, Turkey, which is seeking AWACS radar
surveillance planes and Patriot missiles to defend itself against a possible
attack by Iraq. France, Germany and Belgium have blocked efforts to make a
decision on NATO helping Turkey, arguing that it is premature because no
decision has been made to go to war. <BR>Today, NATO Secretary General George
Robertson, a close ally of Washington, tried to break the stalemate and force a
decision on the issue next week. He invoked what is known as the "silence
procedure," meaning that certain steps will begin next week in the planning for
Turkey's defense unless one or more countries openly object by midday Monday.
<BR>Robertson today acknowledged continuing disagreement in the alliance on this
issue, but said, "I am confident we will reach a decision early next week."
France, Germany and Belgium may still object. "It is premature to decide today
on the issue of an eventual NATO involvement in the Iraq crisis," said Belgium's
foreign minister, Louis Michel. <BR>In Germany, spokesman Bela Anda said the
government is "concerned" that Iraq may still have weapons of mass destruction,
but maintains that "the inspectors must be given the necessary time and means
for their task." <BR>The German government's strident opposition to even a
U.N.-sanctioned war is beginning to raise concerns that it is becoming isolated
from its immediate neighbors as well as the United States. <BR>This sense was
heightened today by a jab from Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, who in
remarks to the House Armed Services Committee grouped Germany with Libya and
Cuba as countries refusing to help in a war. <BR>German officials have noted
that their country has agreed to open its airspace to U.S. warplanes, is
protecting U.S. bases in Germany with German troops, and has units in Kuwait
that specialize in dealing with nuclear, biological or chemical attacks. <BR>In
Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, one of Washington's most staunch allies
in the crisis, pledged to provide humanitarian help for Iraq in case of war. But
he suggested he would await a new Security Council resolution before committing
Italy to the coalition against Iraq. <BR>During a visit to Moscow, Pakistan's
president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, joined Russia's Putin in a joint statement
opposing the unilateral use of force. Musharraf said he has no information to
back up Powell's claim that al Qaeda operatives used the Iraqi Embassy in
Pakistan as a "liaison office." <BR>In Indonesia, the world's most populous
predominantly Muslim nation, government officials said the evidence produced by
Powell demonstrated the need for more work by U.N. weapons inspectors. In
Bangkok, hundreds of Thai Muslims protested outside the U.S. Embassy, accusing
Washington of unfairly condemning Iraq and calling for a boycott of American
products. <BR>Correspondents Peter Finn in Berlin, Sharon LaFraniere in Moscow,
Ellen Nakashima in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Kevin Sullivan in Mexico City
contributed to this article. <BR> <BR>GERMAN OPPOSITION SUPPORT ROLE OF
AWACS PLANES IN IRAQ WAR<BR>DDP/ BBC Monitoring, 07 Feb 03<BR> <BR>With a
possible war on Iraq looming, the CDU / CSU [Christian Democratic / Social
Union] plans to give its support to the deployment of AWACS aircraft and Patriot
missiles. "I can imagine that, in the event of such a request being made to
Germany's Bundestag, we will show that we are reliable NATO alliance partners,
irrespective of whether or not the chancellor [Gerhard Schroeder: SPD - Social
Democratic Party of Germany] has his own majority [i.e., composed entirely from
SPD - Green coalition parliamentarians]," stated Michael Glos, CSU land
[regional] group leader on Thursday evening [6 February] on ZDF television
programme Berlin Mitte. <BR>Brandenburg Interior Minister Joerg Schoenbohm (CDU)
stated in Friday's [7 February] edition of the Bild newspaper: "In a war on
Iraq, the AWACS aircraft will inevitably take on the flight command role. They
will also have to give firing guidance orders to fighter aircraft attacking
Iraqi jets. Surveillance and combat missions cannot be separated." The former
general added that the AWACS system could not be deployed without German
specialists, and emphasized that: "German forces will thus be participating in a
war on Iraq." </FONT></DIV>


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