Tagged: options

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Lawmakers Move to Protect Fort Carson's 2nd Brigade Combat Team

Colorado’s congressional delegation and Gov. John Hickenlooper have sent a letter urging the Army[1] to keep Fort Carson[2]‘s 2nd Brigade Combat Team in town after it trades its infantry marching boots for armored vehicles.

And Colorado Springs Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn isn’t stopping there. He wants the Army to also send an 800-soldier security force assistance brigade to Colorado Springs.

“I would love to see us expand,” he said.

The Army announced late last month that it would re-equip Fort Carson’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team with tanks and Bradley armored fighting vehicles. But in the shift, the Army is studying whether the brigade should be moved, with posts in Georgia, Kansas and Texas in play for the brigade.

Fort Carson remains all but certain to keep the 4,000-soldier unit, because moving it elsewhere could cost nearly $200 million. That’s because the Colorado Springs post already has the infrastructure an armored brigade would need.

But it doesn’t hurt to have the state’s full political might on Fort Carson’s side, said Rich Burchfield, who heads defense programs for the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce.

Burchfield said the lawmakers are adding an assurance to the Pentagon that moves to expand the post will have political backing and federal cash.

He also said keeping the brigade in town would be a boost for the troops involved. Colorado Springs remains the most-requested destination for soldiers.

“You’re looking at 4,400 soldiers and 6,000 family members who are already part of the community,” Burchfield said. “We have to keep our neighbors here in town.”

While keeping 2nd Brigade here is a top priority, Lamborn wants more.

The Army examining options to house a new security force assistance brigade and the congressman wants to woo it to the Rockies.

Assistance brigades are a new kind of Army formation aimed at training allied troops and helping them in battle. Born out of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the assistance units would extend America’s reach in troubled regions while keeping deployed troop numbers low.

Lamborn said Fort Carson has a leg up in landing the unit thanks to the 10th Special Forces Group that’s already stationed here.

The 10th Group’s Green Berets are already expert at training foreign troops and Lamborn said having that experience handy would allow the new assistance brigade to “hit the ground running with a minimal length of time between activation and full operational capability.”

Lamborn also touted the popularity of Colorado Springs with troops in his pitch.

“Finally, I would point out the fact Colorado Springs sits in the congressional district with the largest number of veterans of any congressional district in the U.S.,” he wrote.

A final decision on the fate of 2nd Brigade is weeks away and any decision on an assistance brigade could take months.

But for now, the Army’s top brass knows that Colorado’s leaders love Fort Carson.

“Community support in our state for Fort Carson missions, personnel and families is unmatched,” the lawmakers said.

This article is written by Tom Roeder from The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)[3] and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred[4] publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected][5].

Show Full Article[6]

© Copyright 2018 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.). All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

References

  1. ^ Army (www.military.com)
  2. ^ Fort Carson (www.military.com)
  3. ^ The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) (gazette.com)
  4. ^ NewsCred (www.newscred.com)
  5. ^ [email protected] (www.military.com)
  6. ^ Show Full Article (www.military.com)
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Keeping women in the military takes more than just opening up combat roles, committee says

As the military is turning more toward women to fill its ranks, a 67-year-old advisory board is lending a hand to the Defense Department on how to market to and attract women to serve in 2018 and beyond.

The Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services released its annual report[1] earlier this month and a large chunk of the recommendations focus on how the military can keep women in the service and keep them from leaving in the middle of their careers.

“There is concern across all of the branches at mid-career retention for women versus men. All of the services in varying career fields, at varying points but still within that mid-range of a 20 year career, they are experiencing challenges with women leaving at higher rates,” said Janet Wolfenbarger, chairwoman of the committee during a March 19 event at the Association of the United States Army in Arlington, Va.

The committee is guiding DoD to possibly retaining more mid-career women with recommendations like making policy changes that make transitions of service members between components and even military services easier.

DoD already adopted one of the committee’s recommendations, which is to start exit surveys to assess why the attrition level for women is higher than men at certain career points.

“It turns out at the time the committee did this work that there wasn’t a concerted effort that got after those exit surveys universally across all those surveys. It turns out that as we were publishing this report we were informed there will be exit surveys,” Wolfenbarger said.

Another issue affecting women mid-career is options for maternity leave.

In 2016, then-Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced[2] an increase in maternity leave to 12 weeks and expanded paternity[3] leave to three weeks.

Wolfenbarger said the committee found there need to be some tweaks to that, specifically how it’s used. The committee recommended allowing flexible, noncontinuous parental leave by request.

“Although current maternity and parental leave policies are a strong step in the right direction, more can be done to tailor leave to families’ unique situations,” the report stated. The flexible option “is one potential way to support a service member after a child joins the member’s family, whether through birth or adoption. The committee believes allowing noncontinuous leave, when requested, could help service members better balance their unique family needs during critical junctures of their lives and, in turn, help support retention efforts.

The committee also suggested removing the stipulation that a couple needs to be married to receive full parental leave benefits.

While the military continues to do its best to retain women in mid-career, it also wants to help recruit new women to the force.

“We had briefings from all across the services on marketing efforts. All of them are doing relative to gaining women who are [eligible] now, who not only qualify but want to raise their hand and serve in the military. Our belief was after listening to some of those marketing approaches … there may have been missed opportunities there from looking at the things women were most interested in, in the [marketing] surveys,” Wolfenbarger said.

The committee suggests tailoring some marketing to women’s specific interests in order to inspire them to join.

“Women were more likely than men to be motivated by travel, education, and helping others and their communities,” the survey stated. “Data such as these can help the military services optimally tailor marketing messages to encourage more women to consider the many benefits of military service. Although a marketing strategy focused on patriotism may have been successful at recruiting men in the past, current data indicate that strategy does not align with the motivations of prospective female military members, and the data also illustrate more effective ways to recruit women.”

The committee also suggests studying best practices of other countries for better recruitment of women.

References

  1. ^ annual report (dacowits.defense.gov)
  2. ^ announced (federalnewsradio.com)
  3. ^ expanded paternity (federalnewsradio.com)
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The US military wants AI to dream up weird new helicopters

AI can already dream up imaginary celebrities[1], so perhaps it can help the Army imagine revolutionary new engine parts or aircraft, too.

That’s the goal of a new project from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)[2], the research wing of the US Defense Department. DARPA wants entrants to rethink the way complex components are designed by combining recent advances in machine learning with fundamental tenets of math and engineering.

AI is increasingly being used to imagine new things, from celebrity faces[3] to clothing[4] (see “The GANfather: The man who’s given machines the gift of imagination[5]”). The systems being used to conjure up new ideas are still in their early stages, but they show a path forward.

Machine learning is also already used in some areas of design and engineering, but the DARPA project aims to apply it more broadly, and to the crucial task of determining function and form. “We are using very few computational tools,” says Jan Vandenbrande, the DARPA program manager in charge. “It’s very artisan.”

Recommended for You

One project selected for funding by DARPA is D-FOCUS, from researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and PARC, the research company spun out of Xerox.

D-FOCUS doesn’t come up with new designs from scratch but offers up alternatives to existing designs. If the early phase of the design process is automated, a human designer can explore more design options and compare trade-offs with each option before committing to a potentially very expensive plan, says Johan de Kleer, the PARC lead on the project.

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Under the DARPA challenge, software has to come up with designs for machines that can solve classic engineering questions, like how to transport water uphill.

Using hard-coded laws of physics along with functional requirements provided by a human designer, D-FOCUS can explore potential design concepts. For the moving-water-uphill problem, for instance, the system suggested using the Leidenfrost effect—a phenomenon where water droplets on a very hot surface create a thin layer of vapor beneath themselves, causing a repulsive force that makes the water hover above the surface. The researchers admit that this concept is largely impractical, but it is the type of out-there thinking that can push designers to come up with innovative designs.

DARPA has a long history of backing early technologies. The DARPA Grand Challenge[7] was the first long-distance competition for driverless cars, back in 2004, and it kicked off the current boom in self-driving technology. More recently, DARPA funded an Explainable AI (XAI)[8] program to develop new AI systems that were easier for humans to understand.

Mike Haley, Autodesk’s senior director of machine intelligence, says AI could expand design beyond boundaries imposed by the bias and groupthink that humans can succumb to. “We are going to think beyond our brains and come up with ideas that we would have never come up with before,” Haley says. “It’s like having the world’s most wonderful mentor.”

References

  1. ^ dream up imaginary celebrities (www.technologyreview.com)
  2. ^ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) (www.darpa.mil)
  3. ^ celebrity faces (www.technologyreview.com)
  4. ^ clothing (www.technologyreview.com)
  5. ^ The GANfather: The man who’s given machines the gift of imagination (www.technologyreview.com)
  6. ^ Manage your newsletter preferences (www.technologyreview.com)
  7. ^ DARPA Grand Challenge (www.darpa.mil)
  8. ^ Explainable AI (XAI) (www.darpa.mil)
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Darien Center solider honored during Ukrainian deployment

ARTICLE OPTIONS

YAVORIV, UKRAINE — A local New York National Guard soldier currently deployed in a mission assisting Ukrainian Army units in achieving NATO interoperability will head home with the thanks of the NYNG’s commander.

Sgt. Foster Quakenbush of Darien Center was photographed receiving a challenge coin from Maj. Gen. Anthony German during the Adjutant General’s visit last week to the 220 members of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, currently stationed at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center.

According to the New York National Guard, German presented the challenge coins to “outstanding soldiers in recognition of their hard work.”

Quakenbusch, a 2014 Alexander High School graduate, was recently promoted from specialist, and is slated to return home late this summer after the Syracuse-based 27th completes a year-long deployment as part of Joint Multinational Training Group — Ukraine.

Since arriving in November, the soldiers assigned to the JMTG-U have been mentoring Ukrainian Army units. They are the most easterly deployed U.S. Army units, the NYNG reports.

German toured the training center and met with New York soldiers as well military leaders from allied and partner nations whose troops also serve at the center. He was accompanied on his visit by Maj. Gen. Steven Ferrari, the 42nd Infantry Division commander, Col. Christopher Cronin, the 27th Brigade commander; Command Chief Master Sgt. Amy Giaquinto, the New York National Guard’s senior enlisted service member, and Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony McLean, the 27th Brigade’s senior enlisted leader.

In addition to recognizing soldiers for their hard work, the leadership team conducted a re-enlistment ceremony for Staff Sgt. Gaspar Teri, a combat medic; and the promotion ceremony for Sgt. 1st. Class Steven M. Swanson of Stow, N.Y.

The generals were also able to observe Ukrainian Army units training in the field and tour the newly constructed simulation center.

Finished last fall, the simulation center allows Soldiers to conduct computer-based tactical training from the individual Soldier level up to and including the brigade-staff level. Currently a stand alone facility, there are plans to link it with similar centers across Europe to expand the scale and scope of the training conducted.

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Darien Center solider honored during Ukrainian deployment

ARTICLE OPTIONS

YAVORIV, UKRAINE — A local New York National Guard soldier currently deployed in a mission assisting Ukrainian Army units in achieving NATO interoperability will head home with the thanks of the NYNG’s commander.

Sgt. Foster Quakenbush of Darien Center was photographed receiving a challenge coin from Maj. Gen. Anthony German during the Adjutant General’s visit last week to the 220 members of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, currently stationed at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center.

According to the New York National Guard, German presented the challenge coins to “outstanding soldiers in recognition of their hard work.”

Quakenbusch, a 2014 Alexander High School graduate, was recently promoted from specialist, and is slated to return home late this summer after the Syracuse-based 27th completes a year-long deployment as part of Joint Multinational Training Group — Ukraine.

Since arriving in November, the soldiers assigned to the JMTG-U have been mentoring Ukrainian Army units. They are the most easterly deployed U.S. Army units, the NYNG reports.

German toured the training center and met with New York soldiers as well military leaders from allied and partner nations whose troops also serve at the center. He was accompanied on his visit by Maj. Gen. Steven Ferrari, the 42nd Infantry Division commander, Col. Christopher Cronin, the 27th Brigade commander; Command Chief Master Sgt. Amy Giaquinto, the New York National Guard’s senior enlisted service member, and Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony McLean, the 27th Brigade’s senior enlisted leader.

In addition to recognizing soldiers for their hard work, the leadership team conducted a re-enlistment ceremony for Staff Sgt. Gaspar Teri, a combat medic; and the promotion ceremony for Sgt. 1st. Class Steven M. Swanson of Stow, N.Y.

The generals were also able to observe Ukrainian Army units training in the field and tour the newly constructed simulation center.

Finished last fall, the simulation center allows Soldiers to conduct computer-based tactical training from the individual Soldier level up to and including the brigade-staff level. Currently a stand alone facility, there are plans to link it with similar centers across Europe to expand the scale and scope of the training conducted.

0

Darien Center solider honored during Ukrainian deployment

ARTICLE OPTIONS

YAVORIV, UKRAINE — A local New York National Guard soldier currently deployed in a mission assisting Ukrainian Army units in achieving NATO interoperability will head home with the thanks of the NYNG’s commander.

Sgt. Foster Quakenbush of Darien Center was photographed receiving a challenge coin from Maj. Gen. Anthony German during the Adjutant General’s visit last week to the 220 members of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, currently stationed at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center.

According to the New York National Guard, German presented the challenge coins to “outstanding soldiers in recognition of their hard work.”

Quakenbusch, a 2014 Alexander High School graduate, was recently promoted from specialist, and is slated to return home late this summer after the Syracuse-based 27th completes a year-long deployment as part of Joint Multinational Training Group — Ukraine.

Since arriving in November, the soldiers assigned to the JMTG-U have been mentoring Ukrainian Army units. They are the most easterly deployed U.S. Army units, the NYNG reports.

German toured the training center and met with New York soldiers as well military leaders from allied and partner nations whose troops also serve at the center. He was accompanied on his visit by Maj. Gen. Steven Ferrari, the 42nd Infantry Division commander, Col. Christopher Cronin, the 27th Brigade commander; Command Chief Master Sgt. Amy Giaquinto, the New York National Guard’s senior enlisted service member, and Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony McLean, the 27th Brigade’s senior enlisted leader.

In addition to recognizing soldiers for their hard work, the leadership team conducted a re-enlistment ceremony for Staff Sgt. Gaspar Teri, a combat medic; and the promotion ceremony for Sgt. 1st. Class Steven M. Swanson of Stow, N.Y.

The generals were also able to observe Ukrainian Army units training in the field and tour the newly constructed simulation center.

Finished last fall, the simulation center allows Soldiers to conduct computer-based tactical training from the individual Soldier level up to and including the brigade-staff level. Currently a stand alone facility, there are plans to link it with similar centers across Europe to expand the scale and scope of the training conducted.

0

Darien Center solider honored during Ukrainian deployment

ARTICLE OPTIONS

YAVORIV, UKRAINE — A local New York National Guard soldier currently deployed in a mission assisting Ukrainian Army units in achieving NATO interoperability will head home with the thanks of the NYNG’s commander.

Sgt. Foster Quakenbush of Darien Center was photographed receiving a challenge coin from Maj. Gen. Anthony German during the Adjutant General’s visit last week to the 220 members of the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, currently stationed at the Yavoriv Combat Training Center.

According to the New York National Guard, German presented the challenge coins to “outstanding soldiers in recognition of their hard work.”

Quakenbusch, a 2014 Alexander High School graduate, was recently promoted from specialist, and is slated to return home late this summer after the Syracuse-based 27th completes a year-long deployment as part of Joint Multinational Training Group — Ukraine.

Since arriving in November, the soldiers assigned to the JMTG-U have been mentoring Ukrainian Army units. They are the most easterly deployed U.S. Army units, the NYNG reports.

German toured the training center and met with New York soldiers as well military leaders from allied and partner nations whose troops also serve at the center. He was accompanied on his visit by Maj. Gen. Steven Ferrari, the 42nd Infantry Division commander, Col. Christopher Cronin, the 27th Brigade commander; Command Chief Master Sgt. Amy Giaquinto, the New York National Guard’s senior enlisted service member, and Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony McLean, the 27th Brigade’s senior enlisted leader.

In addition to recognizing soldiers for their hard work, the leadership team conducted a re-enlistment ceremony for Staff Sgt. Gaspar Teri, a combat medic; and the promotion ceremony for Sgt. 1st. Class Steven M. Swanson of Stow, N.Y.

The generals were also able to observe Ukrainian Army units training in the field and tour the newly constructed simulation center.

Finished last fall, the simulation center allows Soldiers to conduct computer-based tactical training from the individual Soldier level up to and including the brigade-staff level. Currently a stand alone facility, there are plans to link it with similar centers across Europe to expand the scale and scope of the training conducted.

0

Kelly Is Said to Explore Moving McMaster Back to Military Role

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly recently asked the Pentagon about options for a potential military position outside the White House for National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, an army lieutenant general, according to a White House official, fueling speculation that McMaster will soon leave his current position.

The Defense Department is looking for an opening for him, with an eye toward a command in which he would receive a fourth star, a promotion from his three-star rank, said a former military official with knowledge of the Pentagon’s efforts.

McMaster has clashed with President Donald Trump during his tenure, most recently when Trump rebuked him last month on Twitter for neglecting to defend his 2016 victory while discussing U.S. claims that Russia meddled in the election.

The White House pushed back against an NBC report Thursday, citing five unnamed sources, that the Trump administration is preparing to replace McMaster as soon as next month in a move orchestrated by Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis.

“I was just with President Trump and H.R. McMaster in the Oval Office,” White House spokesman Michael Anton said in email sent to reporters. “President Trump said that the NBC News story is ‘fake news,’ and told McMaster that he is doing a great job.”

Kelly was exasperated by the NBC report and is unaware of any McMaster move in the near term, particularly because Kelly was only asking about possibilities for McMaster with no set timeline, the White House official said. Both the White House official and the former military official requested anonymity to discuss the matter.

Replaced Flynn

McMaster joined the administration a year ago after Trump fired his predecessor, Michael Flynn, for lying to the vice president. He has traveled with Trump to several countries and helped craft the president’s national security approach to North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran and other global hot spots.

McMaster
told an audience
[1] at the Munich Security Conference in February that Russia had engaged in a “‘sophisticated form of espionage” against the U.S. in a futile attempt at disruption. He referred to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s charges against 13 Russian nationals and a St. Petersburg-based “troll farm,” accused of seeking to interfere in the American presidential election in 2016.

Trump has dismissed investigations into Russian meddling in the election as a “witch hunt.”

In McMaster’s 1997 book “Dereliction of Duty,” he criticized military officers for failing to challenge President Lyndon B. Johnson and then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara over their handling of the Vietnam War. He wrote that the U.S. lost that war in the political corridors of Washington, not the battlefield.

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Kelly Is Said to Explore Moving McMaster Back to Military Role

The Pentagon is preparing options for a possible new job for National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, an army lieutenant general who has clashed with President Donald Trump, fueling speculation that McMaster will soon leave his current position as the U.S. is in a standoff with North Korea.

White House chief of staff John Kelly recently asked the Defense Department about potential military positions for McMaster, a White House aide said. Military leaders are looking for an opening for him, with an eye toward a command in which he would receive a fourth star, a promotion from his three-star rank, said a former military official with knowledge of the Pentagon’s efforts.

Trump rebuked McMaster last month on Twitter for neglecting to defend the president’s 2016 victory while discussing U.S. claims that Russia meddled in the election.

The White House on Thursday pushed back against a NBC report, citing five unnamed sources, that the Trump administration is preparing to replace McMaster as soon as next month in a move orchestrated by Kelly and Defense Secretary James Mattis.

“I was just with President Trump and H.R. McMaster in the Oval Office,” White House spokesman Michael Anton said in email sent to reporters. “President Trump said that the NBC News story is ‘fake news,’ and told McMaster that he is doing a great job.”

Kelly was exasperated by the NBC report and is unaware of any McMaster move in the near term, particularly because Kelly was only asking about possibilities for McMaster with no set timeline, the White House official said. Both the White House official and the former military official requested anonymity to discuss the matter.

Replaced Flynn

McMaster joined the administration a year ago after Trump fired his predecessor, Michael Flynn, for lying to Vice President Mike Pence. He has traveled with Trump to several countries and helped craft the president’s national security approach to North Korea, Afghanistan, Iran and other global hot spots.

McMaster
told an audience
[1] at the Munich Security Conference in February that Russia had engaged in a “‘sophisticated form of espionage” against the U.S. in a futile attempt at disruption. He referred to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s charges against 13 Russian nationals and a St. Petersburg-based “troll farm,” accused of seeking to interfere in the American presidential election in 2016.

Trump has dismissed investigations into Russian meddling in the election as a “witch hunt.”

In McMaster’s 1997 book “Dereliction of Duty,” he criticized military officers for failing to challenge President Lyndon B. Johnson and then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara over their handling of the Vietnam War. He wrote that the U.S. lost that war in the political corridors of Washington, not the battlefield.

0

EU to double funding for military force in West Africa's Sahel region

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will double its funding for a multi-national military operation in West Africa’s Sahel region to counter Islamist insurgencies, the EU’s top diplomat said on Friday, part of a broader effort to stop migrants and militants.

At a donor conference of about 50 countries including the United States, Japan and Norway, former colonial power France looked set to win enough backing to allow the new regional force to be fully operational later this year.

“This is not about charity, this is a partnership,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters, promising a doubling of EU funding to 100 million euros for the G5 Sahel force, made up of troops from Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

The G5 Sahel force needs more than 400 million euros ($494 million) to be able to meet the demands of its Western backers, up from the 250 million euros it has now.

Evoking the desperation young people feel in the impoverished Sahel, Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou said many had just two options in life: to die in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe or to die at the hands of militants.

“We have to act resolutely to change the face of the Sahel region or risk seeing this region of the world fall irreversibly into chaos and violence,” Issoufou told the conference after asking leaders and ministers to stand for a moment of silence for two French soldiers killed this week in Mali.

Fears that violence in the arid zone could fuel already high levels of migration toward Europe and become a springboard for attacks on the West have made military and development aid there a priority for European nations and Washington.

While the deaths of four U.S. soldiers in October in Niger have highlighted the security threat, public awareness is low. Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy struggled to name the five countries of Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania as he arrived at the conference.

(First row L-R) Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades take part in a group photo during a High Level Conference on the Sahel in Brussels, Belgium February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Olivier Hoslet/Pool

France, which has more than 4,000 troops in the region, hopes to reach at least 300 million euros in military aid on Friday to overcome financing problems for the force that was first proposed in 2014, while militants have scored military victories in West Africa.

So far, the United States has pledged 60 million euros to support it. Another 100 million euros has been pledged by Saudi Arabia, 30 million from the United Arab Emirates and 40 million on a bilateral basis by EU member states, separate from the EU.

The G5 Sahel operation, whose command base is in central Mali, is to swell to 5,000 personnel from seven battalions and will also engage in humanitarian and development work.

Slideshow (13 Images)

“PRICE OF PEACE”

France is also set to pledge 1.2 billion euros to fund development in the region over the next five years, a 40 percent increase over current levels, while other countries are expected to provide more aid for farmers, schools and water projects.

Mogherini said the European Union was spending 8 billion euros in development aid in the region over eight years.

“Peace has no price, peace is made with financial support” Mogherini said.

French President Emmanuel Macron will call for more to be done to support a separate EU train-and-advise mission in Mali, an EU diplomat said, and is seeking 50 more EU troops after Belgian soldiers ended their tour in the mission.

France has been frustrated that it is the only EU member with combat troops on the ground, although others have contributed trainers. By training African forces, Paris sees an eventual exit strategy for what is its biggest foreign deployment, diplomats said.

Tuaregs and jihadists took over northern Mali in 2012 before French forces pushed them back in 2013 in an intervention that alerted Washington to the growing threat in the region.

Additional reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Janet Lawrence

References

  1. ^ The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. (thomsonreuters.com)