Officials Discuss India, Egypt, South Sudan

WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2012 — The U.S. mil­i­tary rela­tion­ship with India, sup­port to a Unit­ed Nations mis­sion in South Sudan, and the Defense Department’s view of recent events in Egypt were among top­ics in a Pen­ta­gon media brief­ing today.

Pen­ta­gon Press Sec­re­tary George Lit­tle and Navy Capt. John Kir­by, Pen­ta­gon spokesman, told reporters that lan­guage in the defense strate­gic guid­ance released last week rec­og­nizes India’s region­al and glob­al impor­tance.

The sec­tion in the doc­u­ment dis­cussing the U.S. empha­sis on the Asia-Pacif­ic region reads, in part, “The Unit­ed States is also invest­ing in a long-term strate­gic part­ner­ship with India to sup­port its abil­i­ty to serve as a region­al eco­nom­ic anchor and provider of secu­ri­ty in the broad­er Indi­an Ocean region.”

Kir­by said the Unit­ed States has and hopes to sus­tain a strong rela­tion­ship with the Indi­an mil­i­tary.

“They are con­tribut­ing to issues in Afghanistan in a very con­struc­tive way, whether it’s train­ing or eco­nom­ic assis­tance, and we cer­tain­ly want to see that con­tin­ue,” he said.

The U.S. gov­ern­ment, he added, wants to con­tin­ue to pur­sue a close rela­tion­ship with India, Lit­tle said. “They’re a major eco­nom­ic pow­er not only in the region but in the world, … and we respect [their] inter­ests,” he added.

Turn­ing to Egypt, Lit­tle respond­ed to a reporter’s ques­tion about Defense Depart­ment com­mu­ni­ca­tion with Egypt­ian offi­cials fol­low­ing late-Decem­ber raids by Egypt­ian forces on the offices of a report­ed 17 non­govern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing human-rights and pro-democ­ra­cy groups.

Lit­tle said Defense Sec­re­tary Leon E. Panet­ta spoke to Egypt­ian Field Mar­shal Mohamed Hus­sein Tanta­wi, com­man­der in chief of the Egypt­ian armed forces, short­ly after the Dec. 29 inci­dents. The press sec­re­tary said he is not aware of any fur­ther DOD con­tact with Egypt­ian offi­cials on the issue.

“We con­tin­ue to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion, and it’s a very impor­tant one to get right,” Lit­tle said. “We hope that the Egyp­tians, of course, do the right thing. We under­stand that they have tak­en steps to improve the sit­u­a­tion with respect to NGOs, and that’s some­thing of impor­tance to the Unit­ed States.”

Lit­tle also respond­ed to ques­tions on the five-per­son team of mil­i­tary offi­cers who have been assigned to a U.N. mis­sion in South Sudan.

A White House mem­o­ran­dum released yes­ter­day indi­cat­ed the offi­cers would take part in peace­keep­ing and peace enforce­ment oper­a­tions. South Sudan, a U.N. mem­ber state in north­east­ern Africa, achieved inde­pen­dence in July.

The press sec­re­tary said there are no plans to send any addi­tion­al U.S. ser­vice mem­bers there.

“These U.S. mil­i­tary offi­cers have been assigned to a U.N. mis­sion in South Sudan,” he said. “They’re going to work in con­cert with inter­na­tion­al part­ners to … engage in peace oper­a­tions in that new coun­try.”

Kir­by said the offi­cers will assist with gov­er­nance, rule of law issues and civ­il affairs as South Sudan begins to stand itself up. “Right now, that’s the lim­it of involve­ment of these five indi­vid­u­als,” the spokesman added. “It may change over time; we con­tribute to U.N. mis­sions in sev­er­al oth­er nations all over the world.”

Kir­by empha­sized the assign­ment is “not a com­bat mis­sion what­so­ev­er,” and is designed to meet U.S. com­mit­ments and respon­si­bil­i­ties to the Unit­ed Nations.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →