31 Oct 14. Morocco to provide UAE with Military, Intel support against Terrorism. Morocco will provide direct military, operational and intelligence support to the United Arab Emirates to assist in its fight against terrorism, according to the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In a statement released by the ministry on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Salaheddine Mezouar announced that the move comes as part of a bilateral military cooperation agreement between the two countries. ‘Morocco will give its active support to the United Arab Emirates in their fight against terrorism and for the preservation of regional and international peace and stability,’ the statement read. The contribution will focus on operational military and intelligence aspects, according to the statement. In addition to the UAE, Morocco is a member of the anti-ISIL coalition where the kingdom provides intelligence and operational support to Emirati, Saudi, Bahraini, Qatari Jordanian and American forces operating in Syria. “Morocco is ready to come to the military aid of every Arab or African country whose security and sovereignty is threatened. Every country that makes the request will be supported,” said Mezouar in Moroccan press statements. Earlier this year the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) invited Jordan and Morocco to form a military alliance to resolve the bloc’s manpower issues. According to a Jordanian official, the invitation was presented to the two governments during a GCC meeting in late March and is under consideration. According to Moroccan press reports, the military alliance would receive the assistance of a total of 300,000 troops from Morocco and Jordan.
The kingdom has been a recipient of GCC financial aid. And in 2012, Morocco and Jordan received a US $5bn aid package to help sustain the two countries’ economies. (Source: Defense News)
31 Oct 14. The Department of Defense provided to Congress the October 2014 “Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan,” in accordance with Section 1230 and 1231 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2008 (Public Law 110-181), as amended; to include section 1221 of the NDAA for FY 2012 (Public Law 112-81); sections 1212, 1223, and 1531(d) of the NDAA for FY 2013 (Public Law 112-239); and Senate Report 113-211, to accompany H.R. 4870, the Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations Bill, 2015. This report covers April 1 to September 30, 2014. “With the recent signing of the bilateral security agreement and NATO status of forces agreement, we can now move forward in the planning and execution of our two important military missions in Afghanistan as we transition out of our combat mission,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby. “In 2015, we will continue to train, advise, and assist the Afghan security forces as well as support counterterrorism operations against remnants of Al Qaeda.” During the reporting period, several significant milestones set the stage for the post-2014 transition and an enduring U.S. – Afghanistan partnership. On May 27, 2014, President Barack Obama announced his decision on the post-2014 U.S. military mission in Afghanistan, contingent on a signed U.S.-Afghanistan bilateral security agreement (BSA) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)-Afghan status of forces agreement (SOFA). On September 29, 2014, Dr. Ashraf Ghani was inaugurated as President and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah was sworn in as Chief Executive Officer, a new position established in the national unity government. The day following President Ghani’s inauguration, representatives of the U.S. and Afghanistan signed the BSA and representatives of NATO and Afghanistan signed the SOFA. The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have increasingly demonstrated their ability to plan and conduct independent and combined operations that employ multiple capabilities, to disrupt the insurgency, and to protect the populace. They successfully secured the April national