Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

June 16, 2009

Collaborative counterterrorism: US and EU

Filed under: International HLS,Legal Issues,Terrorist Threats & Attacks — by Philip J. Palin on June 16, 2009

Yesterday, June 15, the United States and the European Union issued a joint statement on Guantanamo and “future counterterrorism cooperation.”  Most media are focusing on the implications for placing Guantanamo detainees.  It is reported that EU member states have agreed to receive fifty current detainees.

The Luxembourg declaration is also a mile marker for  negotiations that began even before the inauguration to ensure closer cooperation between Europe and the United States on a whole range of CT issues. 

The Guardian reports, European diplomats are “saying that the aim was also to come up with a new transatlantic strategy on counter-terrorism, as well as on a broader joint agenda for fighting international organised crime, intelligence sharing, international travel security and data protection. The ambitious aims are bedevilled by legal wrangles and mismatches between US and European legal systems, with Europeans, for example, enjoying higher standards of privacy protection.”

Negotiations are continuing on a comprehensive CT agreement between the US and EU.  Some reports suggest progress is sufficient that it may be ready by the end of the year.

Yesterday’s agreement set-out principles on which the fuller agreement is expected to be based. “Efforts to combat terrorism should be conducted in a manner that comports with the rule of law, respects our common values, and complies with our respective obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, refugee law, and humanitarian law. We consider that efforts to combat terrorism conducted in this manner make us stronger and more secure.”

The potential for greater cooperation between the US and EU is underlined by the first-ever EU-Pakistan summit which will begin tomorrow in Brussels. Taliban and al-Qaeda present a shared threat to the US, EU, and Pakistan. US military operations on the Afpak border (and incursions across the border) make a crucial contribution to containing — and eventually eliminating — this node of terrorist planning, training, and operations.

The same US operations complicate bilateral relations with Pakistan in a way that limits Washington’s ability to contribute to shaping a post-Taliban/after-al Qaeda future.  Greater involvement by the EU in supporting democratic and social resilience in Pakistan can pick up where the US cannot go.

In an interview with the Financial Times, “Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the (Pakistani) foreign minister… said Pakistan would need up to $2.5bn (€1.8bn, £1.5bn) in emergency relief and for long-term reconstruction of the Swat valley and the surrounding region, once the fighting between government troops and militants, now in its final stage, had ended. That figure compares to the $1bn in aid initially estimated by government officials. The warning comes as Pakistan widens its military offensive to other areas suspected of providing a haven to the Taliban, such as the Waziristan tribal region along the border with Afghanistan.”

The US and EU can benefit from collaboration in many other areas — intelligence sharing, border controls, planning, training,  joint exercises, and more — but especially as Pakistan’s military begins operations in South Waziristan, the potential in terms of this trilateral relationship is especially important.

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Comment by William R. Cumming

June 16, 2009 @ 7:53 am

Resources being pumped by Pakistan into a militarily unusable weapon [but not necessarily unusuable politically] specifically nuclear weapons and their safeguarding are simply a waste of precious resources by Pakistan. India is not going to invade Pakistan. Who knows about Kashmir but I would make it an independent nation-state under internation protection!OBAMA could really promote change by pointing out the waste of money by nations like N.Korea spending their limited funds on weaponary. We need also to re-establish ACDA (Arms Control and Disarmament Agency) and this time give them jurisdiction over conventional weapons as well as nuclear and in particular to develop expertise and tracking of international trade in weaponary of all kinds. I still believe the US is the leading culprit in destablization of the third world by its weapons sales. Others like Russia, France, and Brazil just following our lead in promoting weaponary most often used against the people of the third world by its otherwise incompetent leadership. We face a century of threats by non-state actors to various nation-states and only strict policing of weaponary and weaponized technology will prevent this problem going into the next century.

Comment by christopher tingus

June 17, 2009 @ 5:55 am

Unfortunately Pakistan is now so vulnerable within, there is little hope it will not fall victim to the Taliban just as the Egyptian government is open prey for its transition….

I am quite serious in my perspective and it is my opinion that just as the German-led EU supported by the Vatican have snubbed our every effort by failing to support the past administration and the present as evidenced when Mr. President you reached out and asked for more troop support and were told “no” – It is time for the pages to turn and let the Europeans with their fast deployment forces be the top dog and take on more of the burden.

After all, they have all used us enough….They know their recent oil alliance with “Putin’s KGB Russians” is only furthering his aims of using oil and gas as a blackmail tool in dealing with the Europeans and Germany is seeking to revive its substantial manufacturing and distribution and will do so by superceding us as the new Middle East power broker willing to challenge the same Iranian thugs who will still be in office after all this internal political protest as Germany needs to source its own oil and gas routes as it desperately knows it cannot be at the whim of Putin….

Do not underestimate the Taliban. Do not underestimate the Hawk and Hezbollah. Do not underestimate any of these organizations nor allow the North Koreans, the Syrians and the like to get away with much for global events continue to unfold suggesting that it will be the harshness of the Germans leading a newly organized ten (10) nation EU along with the Vatican and its own interest in reviving the Holy Roman influence that will challenge these folks.

Unfortunately, as a proud American and a very disappointed American, our government continues to be soft spoken in its words and reaches out to many with weakened words of appeasement, hands out with the olive branch while region after region, country after country is being influenced by a perverse opinion of the United States and its genuine goodness in intent, however while the Iranians look towards Israel or the US to attack their WMD dreams, the “Thugs of Tehran” who have the audacity to tell the Europeans that Iranian missiles can now reach European cities…well, they should not be surprised to see German writing on the bombs dropped wiping out the aspirations of a regime, a regime with much American blood of our youth on its hands, a regime who will use its weapons not only to kill Israelis, but numerous others.

Be vigilant. Be cautious in your words Mr. President to those in power for they know that our words are backed up by little true recourse….

Unfortunately our will to protect ourselves is seemingly lacking as we are afraid to disallow “illegals” the rights only a US citizen is entitled to….

We are not willing to spend whatever necessary to keep a watchful eye on the ground and from above, there are far too many seeking to undermine us and the challanges before us are many, we as citizens who Love this nation and understand how fortunate we are to have the freedom, stand ready to defend it, however we are fearful we have lost a government which was formed by the people and for the people, not to be led by a few who think they know better – of course referring to Frank-Pelosi – and we see unfolding events which are very worrisome to us….

God Bless America!

Christopher Tingus
64 Whidah drive
Harwich (Cape Cod), 02645 MA USA

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