Nato to bid farewell to Panetta

2013-02-21 12:00
Leon Panetta. (File, AP)

Leon Panetta. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Brussels - US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta will get a fond farewell from his Nato colleagues at a two-day meeting beginning on Thursday, as the alliance faces a difficult withdrawal from Afghanistan and looks for a new supreme military commander.

Panetta, aged 74, had expected to bow out earlier but his replacement, Chuck Hagel, has had a rough ride so far in the US Senate which has delayed a vote on President Barack Obama's nominee over parts of his otherwise distinguished record.

"It is great to have Panetta back for a last hurrah!" said a senior Nato official, dismissing any suggestion that Hagel's delayed nomination presented a problem.

By the same token, the withdrawal of US General John Allen, the former commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, from consideration for Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (SACEUR) also made no difference.

The United States will in due course nominate another person for SACEUR and the process will go forward as normal, the senior Nato official said.

The two-day defence ministers meeting will focus on capabilities and review progress in 'smart spending' - making stretched budgets go further as costs rise and governments are under intense pressure to cut spending so as to balance their finances.

Budget problem

Washington complains that as a result it has ended up shouldering ever more of the burden as its European allies have slashed defence expenditure, to the detriment of their military capabilities.

Europe must do more, the senior Nato official said, adding that the cuts should be reversed as soon as the economy picks up.

Nato head Anders Fogh Rasmussen recently warned the 28-member alliance of the seriousness of the budget problem and especially the growing imbalance between Washington and the rest.

"Defence spending among the allies is increasingly uneven, not just between North America and Europe, but also among European allies," Rasmussen said late last month.

Afghanistan and Nato's planned withdrawal in 2014 will be a major talking point at the meeting, after President Obama announced last month that he would cut US troop numbers by just over half this year from 66 000.

The big question concerns what the US and Nato role and presence will be after 2014 - the plan is for a military training and advice mission but numbers have not yet been fixed in the absence of a US agreement with Kabul on the future legal status of US personnel.

The senior Nato official insisted that such talks had to be expected to take some time.

"This is a very complicated negotiation as it goes to the heart of sovereignty," the official said, adding that "no one in the alliance" had expected Washington to have reached an agreement by now with Kabul.

- SAPA

Read more on:    nato  |  leon panetta  |  barack obama  |  us
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

We will give you police - Zille

A total of 250 000 police on the streets is one of the election promises Helen Zille made during an anti-drugs and gangsterism march in Manenberg, Cape Town.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia E7

Your mobile office Real-time emails with Mail for Exchange. Easy access to...

From R3499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.