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02 Dec 05. Two of America’s allies in Iraq are withdrawing forces this month and a half-dozen others are debating possible pullouts or reductions, increasing pressure on Washington as calls mount to bring home U.S. troops. Bulgaria and Ukraine will begin withdrawing their combined 1,250 troops by mid-December. If Australia, Britain, Italy, Japan, Poland and South Korea reduce or recall their personnel, more than half of the non-American forces in Iraq could be gone by next summer. Japan and South Korea help with reconstruction, but Britain and Australia provide substantial support forces and Italy and Poland train Iraqi troops and police.

06 Dec 05. Nato forces have been largely kept out of combat. Nato foreign ministers are expected to endorse a plan in Brussels later on Thursday that would allow it to expand its forces in Afghanistan. Nato’s Isaf forces are aiming gradually to take over from the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom in the south of the Afghanistan next year. It currently has some 11,000 troops in the country, mainly in the north and west, while the US has nearly 20,000. Nato is now poised for its biggest ever mission outside Europe. Reaching agreement to expand operations in Afghanistan has not been easy, with some member states worried about potential casualties among their troops. Now, though, foreign ministers appear ready to approve a plan drawn up by the organisation’s military staff. Under this, there will be a new British-led Nato headquarters in
Kabul. Nato will also deploy some 6,000 troops into southern Afghanistan, about a third of them British.

06 Dec 05. Thales reinforces its multi-domestic presence in the US
Thales announced today that it has opened a second manufacturing facility in the US to support its growing military communications operations. Located in Germantown, Maryland this new facility is in close proximity to the company’s Clarksburg, Maryland, headquarters, where its existing state-of-the-art manufacturing plant was opened in 2001.

01 Dec 05. Intel is to build a $3.5bn computer chip plant in Israel after being lured by a government grant of $525m and tax incentives on an existing plant, consolidating its 30-year presence in the country. The US chipmaker will make 300mm wafers for personal computers using 45 nanometre process technology, which allows chip circuitry to be built at half the standard 90 nanometres, at the new plant in Kiryat Gat in southern Israel. (Source: FT.com)

02 Dec 05. Northrop Grumman Corporation has created an organization dedicated to developing and executing the company’s growing list of space exploration opportunities with NASA. The new Space Exploration Systems organization will reside in the company’s Integrated Systems sector and will report directly to Scott Seymour, corporate vice president and president of the Integrated Systems sector. Art Stephenson, a former director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, has been appointed sector vice president of Space Exploration Systems to lead the new organization.

05 Dec 05. Thales opens first Naval Service Centre in Malaysia. Thales has improved its support services for the Royal Malaysian Navy by opening its first Naval Service Centre in Lumut, site of the country’s main naval base on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The Centre gives the RMN both direct access to locally based specialists and a single point of contact for the entire Thales Group. The technical team offers not only diagnostic, repair and technical support services, but also training and maintenance advice. Thales responds to each enquiry by putting the caller directly in touch with the relevant team members. Because local specialists can be on the scene very quickly, the new arrangements ensure fast analysis and resolution, whatever the problem or need.

05 Dec 05. Army Weighs Slower Troop Growth To Keep Modernization on Track
The Army is weighing options that would scale back its planned growth by at least one

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