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NATO pledges radar planes

AWACS carry out airborne surveillance, command, control and communications
AWACS carry out airborne surveillance, command, control and communications  


BRUSSELS, Belgium (CNN) -- NATO has reaffirmed its support of the U.S. fight against terrorism, pledging five of its aircraft to the campaign.

Five AWACS surveillance planes and their crews will be sent to the U.S. so that American radar aircraft can be freed up for the Afghan operation.

NATO's 19 members met to discuss Sunday's U.S.-led targeted strike on Afghanistan, pledging continued assistance when required.

NATO's council of ambassadors formally approved the deployment of the AWACS for counter-terrorism operations in the United States, during its meeting on Monday.

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NATO Secretary-General George Robertson confirms deployment of AWACS
322 K / 30 sec
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The move, expected to take place within the next 24 to 48 hours, will allow U.S. surveillance aircraft to be deployed elsewhere.

"The allies agreed that five NATO AWACS will deploy to the United States to assist in counter-terrorism operations," NATO's Secretary-General George Robertson said.

NATO has already invoked Article 5 of its Charter -- or the self-defence clause -- where an attack on one member nation is regarded as an attack on all.

While just two NATO members -- the United States and Britain -- participated in the early strikes, "other NATO allies have pledged direct military support as this operation unfolds," Robertson said.

He said the world was entering a "new stage" in the war against terrorism, which will be "pursued with determination and patience."

"All the allies are ready to play its role," Robertson added. "There is no lack of enthusiasm for the campaign."

He said that all the allies were aware that unless terrorism was tackled now the "considerable" potential would remain for the terrorists to do it again.



 
 
 
 


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