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rom: The Family of Capt. John Gaffaney: "The family of Captain John Paul Gaffaney would like to acknowledge the expertise and fine work of our prosecution team. They have worked tirelessly and selflessly to bring this case to its necessary conclusion. The support that we have each received from our family, friends, colleagues and the greater nation, as well as the National Tragedy Assistance Program, has been enormously appreciated – as we have worked through the agony of this tragedy. Thank you all for continuing to honor and support our fallen and our wounded." From: Melissa Czemerda – Daughter of Lt. Col. Juanita L. Warman: "We are thankful for the just verdict that has finally been rendered. However, we are very dissatisfied with the media attention to Hasan and his extremist views. These types of murderers thrive on media attention. It promotes violence for other disturbed individuals seeking a platform for their sick and twisted views. We hope in the future the media will concentrate on the impact tragedy’s have on the survivors." From: Jerri Krueger - Mother of Staff Sgt. Amy S. Krueger: "We have finally come to the end of one long emotional journey. Although the pain of losing Amy will always weigh heavy upon us, we have some relief knowing that Hasan was found guilty without doubt and that he will pay for what he did." From: Teena Nemelka and Family – Mother of Pfc. Aaron T. Nemelka: First, I would like to thank the prosecution team for their hard work and diligence to bring Hasan to justice.  I have been much relieved that justice has been reached. We have all heard that Hasan believes with the death penalty that he will be seen as a martyr, but I know and feel that he is a coward, a traitor and a murderer. He was convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder!! I am happy and satisfied with that. I appreciate the support and prayers from so many out there."


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This work, Hasan Sentencing Press Conference Part 2, by John Miller, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:08.28.2013

Date Posted:08.29.2013 12:12PM

Category:Briefings

Video ID:300006

VIRIN:130828-A-JM333-002

Filename:DOD_100898509

Length:00:03:26

Location:FORT HOOD, TX, USGlobe

More Like This

  • In the court-martial of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, he was sentenced to death Aug. 28 following panel deliberations which lasted less than two hours here.
Lead prosecutor Col. Michael Mulligan provided the closing argument on sentencing on behalf of the government in this case.  Mulligan argued that Hasan “should not be punished for his religion, he should be punished for his hate.”  He went further to state that Hasan’s actions created a debt to society and this debt should be paid with his life. Hasan elected not to provide a closing argument. 
The panel also included as punishment, forfeiture of all of Hasan’s pay and allowances, dismissal from the service, and a death sentence. 
The post trial process will now begin, and the matter will initially be brought before the convening authority, the III Corps and Fort Hood Commanding General, for his review. 
Given that the death sentence was imposed, the military justice system requires this case to be automatically appealed to the U.S. Army Criminal Court of Appeals (ACCA), and then to the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF). 
While the appeal process is underway, Hasan will be incarcerated in the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
The following statements were read at an evening press conference at the request and on behalf of four families.
From: The Family of Capt. John Gaffaney:
"The family of Captain John Paul Gaffaney would like to acknowledge the expertise and fine work of our prosecution team. They have worked tirelessly and selflessly to bring this case to its necessary conclusion. The support that we have each received from our family, friends, colleagues and the greater nation, as well as the National Tragedy Assistance Program, has been enormously appreciated – as we have worked through the agony of this tragedy. Thank you all for continuing to honor and support our fallen and our wounded."
From: Melissa Czemerda – Daughter of Lt. Col. Juanita L. Warman:
"We are thankful for the just verdict that has finally been rendered. However, we are very dissatisfied with the media attention to Hasan and his extremist views. These types of murderers thrive on media attention. It promotes violence for other disturbed individuals seeking a platform for their sick and twisted views. We hope in the future the media will concentrate on the impact tragedy’s have on the survivors."
From: Jerri Krueger - Mother of Staff Sgt. Amy S. Krueger:
"We have finally come to the end of one long emotional journey. Although the pain of losing Amy will always weigh heavy upon us, we have some relief knowing that Hasan was found guilty without doubt and that he will pay for what he did."
From: Teena Nemelka and Family – Mother of Pfc. Aaron T. Nemelka:
First, I would like to thank the prosecution team for their hard work and diligence to bring Hasan to justice.  I have been much relieved that justice has been reached. We have all heard that Hasan believes with the death penalty that he will be seen as a martyr, but I know and feel that he is a coward, a traitor and a murderer. He was convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder!! I am happy and satisfied with that. I appreciate the support and prayers from so many out there."
Gale Hunt, mother of SPC Jason ‘J.D.’ Hunt also spoke and took questions.
Family Members of Retired CW2 Michael Cahill also spoke to the media and took several questions, They were: wife Joleen Cahill, daugthers Kerry Cahill and Keely Vanacker and son James Cahill.
  • U.S. Africa Command's General Carter F. Ham discussed U.S. AFRICOM's role in strengthening partnerships between U.S. and African nations during a press conference with Algerian media June 1, 2011, in Algiers, Algeria. 

His first visit to Algeria, Ham also interacted with military and civilian leaders on the subjects of common interest, addressing how to combat the threat of extremism in the region. He pointed out that the command's involvement is more in a supporting role to assist Africans.

"The first principle is that a safe, stable, and secure Africa is in everyone's best interest, including the United States'. And the second principle is that in the long run, it is Africans who are best suited to address African security matters," said Ham. 

The following is a complete transcript of the press conference, including Ham's opening statement, followed by a question and answer session with the media.

General Carter F. Ham: Good morning and thank you for joining us here this morning. First I will just say that I am very happy to be here in Algeria. At the outset, I would like to express my appreciation to the government and certainly to my host the charggà and the embassy staff here for allowing me to visit. There are a few special individuals that I would like to thank. First of all, Minister Delegate Guenaizia, Minister Delegate Messahel, Presidential Advisor Rezzag-Bara, and it is my great honor this afternoon hopefully to meet with the president. 

As you know, this is my very first visit to Algeria and I must admit that I am very proud of the relationship that exists between our two countries. This is also my first trip through some other countries in North Africa and I was reminded this morning that there is a somewhat important football match tomorrow. You will excuse me as American if I do not take sides in that, but I suspect it will be a very exciting match. 

Just a few words about the United States Africa Command: our role is to strengthen the partnerships between the United States military and the militaries of the African nations. Here in Algeria we find a very strong relationship. We have a number of areas in which we cooperate very effectively and we look to continue that into the future. 

As many of you know, we have several exercises which we conduct together with our navies and our special operations forces. Algeria has hosted U.S. naval vessels and coast guard vessels here and we have a very effective partnership program that allows Algerians to participate in U.S. military training, schools and educational programs in the U.S. 

United States Africa Command is relatively young; it is only about three and a half years old but the U.S. has had a long standing relationship with many African States. With the establishment of the United States Africa Command, it places our military cooperation with the African countries under one single headquarters. Our headquarters activities are guided by two principles. The first principle is that a safe, stable, and secure Africa is in everyone's best interest, including the United States'. And the second principle is that in the long run, it is Africans who are best suited to address African security matters. We view our role as very much in support of African States and we seek ways in which the United States military may be able to assist the militaries of Africa and cooperate more closely on mutual areas of concern. 

During this first visit to Algeria, I have had the great opportunity to interact with military and civilian leaders on subjects of common interest. We have talked a lot about how together we can address particularly the threat of extremism in the region and beyond this region. 

It is very evident to me that Algeria has been engaged in combating terrorism for a long time and has done so quite effectively. And we remember every day that there are brave Algerians engaged in a difficult struggle against violent extremists and we should remember and honor those who have lost their lives and the families of those who have lost their lives in this struggle. 

United States Africa Command remains committed to being a good partner in cooperative efforts with Algeria and we will continue to seek areas in which we can cooperate even more closely. And with that I would welcome your questions.

Hocine Adryen (Le Jeune InddÃpendent): I would like to know General, what do you mean by reinforcing U.S-Algerian bilateral military cooperation. Is there another program between the United States and Algeria? You said that you had discussed several issues with the Algerian authorities, what were they? Third question, was the Sahel the main issue discussed with Algerian officials? 

General Ham: Thank you for those questions. With regard to the establishment of new program, we are always looking for ways in which the military cooperation between Algeria and the United States can become even stronger. I think one of the ways in which the partnership can become even stronger is to find additional ways for us to share information about how we may operate together to counter violent extremists. I think that is probably the area in which we need the most attention into the future. We are also seeking to expand and increase the number of military-to-military engagements in the future. Some of these are small technical or tactical exchanges; some of them are participation in larger exercises. 

As far as the discussions with military and civilian officials, they were broad ranging and very direct. I must tell you that I found here in Algeria a very refreshing and welcoming discussion, a very open discussion about matters of shared interest. And what I mean by that is that sometimes we have meetings with military or civilian officials and it is mostly about pleasantries or it is a very gentle discussion. 

As a soldier, what I really appreciated in the conversations here in Algeria was very direct and very specific topics of discussion. And the topics addressed will not surprise you. Mostly we talked about ways that Algeria and the United States military can further their cooperation, but we also addressed regional security issues. We talked about the conditions in Tunisia and Libya. 

And to your third point, we certainly talked about the threat of terrorism or violent extremism in the Sahel. And I think we are in agreement that the best approach is a regional or transnational approach to countering this threat. And this is an effort in which the United States military seeks to assist and support rather than lead these efforts. Thank you. 

Souhila Hachemi (Algerian Radio Channel 3): You have spoken about the situation in Tunisia and Libya. There are reports about free movement of weapons that could fall into the hands of AQIM. Has this issue been discussed with the Algerian authorities to limit the movement of weapons and help Algerian authorities? I have another question. You have also spoken about the Sahel. At the level of Sahel military command, Sahel countries have decided to unite their efforts. Will AFRICOM support the action launched by five Sahel countries?

General Ham: You have identified one of the main security concerns for all of the nations involved. There is a very real concern for all the regional partners, and the U.S. shares this concern about the proliferation of weapons from Libya to other places to include perhaps under the control of al-Qaida and others. To counter this proliferation of weapons will require the cooperative efforts of all involved. And I have been encouraged to note the meetings that have occurred between Algeria, Mali, Niger, and Mauritania to address this concern. The U.S. is working with each of those countries to find ways in which U.S. support might be helpful. It could be in the sharing of information. It could be in assisting in technical ways of border security. And we expect this dialogue to continue between the United States and the nations involved to address this concern. 

We are also looking at ways in which the United States military may be able to assist the cooperative efforts again of the regional countries in addressing all of the regional concerns that al-Qaida presents in the Sahel. It is important to note that countering terrorism is much more than a military effort. The military has an important role, but it is a supporting role to others in governments. Thank you.

Othmane Lahiani (El Khabar): There is a relationship between the movement of weapons and mercenaries. A few days ago, the former U.S. Ambassador to Rabat accused Algeria of sending mercenaries to Libya. Does AFRICOM have any information about this issue? Can you confirm or reject this statement? Another question about military cooperation, you have allocated $870,000 for the IMET program. Is this amount only allocated to Algerian military personnel?

General Ham: Thank you for that question. I have also seen those reports, some claiming that fighters have moved from Algeria to Libya. I will be as clear as I can possibly be. I have seen absolutely no reporting that indicates that Algeria is supporting the movement of fighters to Libya. To the contrary, Algeria has been supportive and strongly so of regional security, and a very strong effort in countering terrorism and the illegal flow of fighters and weapons. But like weapons, there are indeed fighters who are moving back and forth in open spaces between or across the region to and from Libya. And this is why this regional approach, the nations working together to strengthen their border controls, to strengthen their cooperation will be very effective and is very important. 

I am just checking my notes very quickly to make sure I say the right amount of financing for training and education. A quick note, for last year it was about $870,000 and for this year about $950,000. This is for Algeria alone. And Algeria decides how to use that money. And Algeria I think has made some very wise choices in selecting the individuals to participate in training and education in the U.S. Some of them are more senior officers who go for long periods of time of study and some are more technical or technical training. 

And I would make one more point about this training and education sharing experience. When a member of the Algerian armed forces travels to the United States for training or education, this is a program which is beneficial to both nations. It is our hope that the Algerian officer gains experience and learns from the training that they participate in, in the U.S. But I know for certain that the U.S. officers and personnel that that Algerian officer interacts with, I know that we gain from that experience as well. In many cases for some Americans, that may be their first opportunity to meet someone from Algeria and it is an opportunity for us to learn more, to gain experience, and frankly to establish relationships that are beneficial well in the future. Thank you.

Achira Mameri (L'Expression): I have three short questions. The first one is about the South African President who met with Qadhafi two days ago clearly said, "NATO raids undermine negotiations" in this country. My question is how do you see the way out of the crisis? How do you see the solution? How do you explain the fact that Qadhafi is still resisting to NATO raids and all means deployed? The last question, do you think a solution requires land intervention? Because a lot of people think that only land intervention would resolve the Libyan issue. 

General Ham: Libya is indeed a very difficult and complex situation. Just to state it quite plainly. The United States and NATO have a view that is sometimes not agreed to by the African Union and by others. So if you allow me, let me speak exclusively as a U.S. military person. I do not have any authority to speak for NATO or for others. The United States policy as stated by our president is quite clear: Mr. Qadhafi must leave the government of Libya. But our president has also been clear that we will not use military force to attack Qadhafi directly. 

Our military efforts have been conducted in support of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. What we have seen to date is a very significant degradation of the Libyan regime's military capabilities. These are capabilities which the regime had previously used to attack civilian populations. We know that the regime finds it increasingly difficult to exercise effective command and control of their military forces. We know that the effects of both air and maritime exclusion have inhibited the flow of weapons and ammunition into Libya. 

And as recently as a few days ago, we have seen military officials and soldiers defecting or leaving the regime. So I think again from a U.S. standpoint the end state is clear. Mr. Qadhafi must step down, Libyan forces must cease attacking the civilians, and the people of Libya must be afforded the opportunities to select their own government. 

To your last question about the possibility of a land intervention - this is not a discussion in which the United States is involved. So I do not have any direct information about that. [Inaudible]]â?assistance and operations like that. But it is clear to me that the sooner that Colonel Qadhafi steps aside and allows the people of Libya to select their own government, that is when the situation will improve. Thank you.

Christian Lowe (Reuters): General, could you tell me if you have been sharing any electronic intelligence with Algeria and other states in the region with the objective of supporting their efforts to prevent the movement of fighters and weapons in and out of Libya? In light of what you have just said, in the post-conflict situation, is AFRICOM preparing a possibility of having boots on the ground [Inaudible] humanitarian operation in Libya? 

General Ham: So if I may take the second question first. My President who is also my commander in chief has been very clear from the outset of no U.S. military boots on the ground. That has been unchanged from the very beginning. 

To the first question about information sharing with the Algerians, let me simply say that the level of cooperation and the ways in which we cooperate with Algeria are extensive and broad ranging. But it has long been our national policy to not discuss matters of intelligence sharing or matters of operational security, but I would underline the level of cooperation is quite strong. 

Kamel Zait (France 24): We know that Algeria opposed, from the outset, a military intervention in Libya. Have you tried to convince the Algerian authorities about the importance of these operations? And how do the Algerian authorities see the development of the situation in Libya and the way out of this crisis?

General Ham: We did discuss Libya quite extensively. I did not, to be truthful; I did not try to convince anyone in Algeria of anything about U.S. activities in Libya. What became clear to me in our discussions, however, is that Libya and the United States have a common view of the end state. I am sorry, Algeria and the United States. I think we would agree that Libya must stay as an intact state and should have a government that is selected by its people. We may have some disagreements about how to achieve that end state but we agree there is much more that we agree upon than we disagree on. I think that the Algerians that I met understand the U.S. position and so I felt no reason to try to convince them, or to persuade them, or further explain why we are doing what we are doing. The real challenge for the international community is to find what is the best way ahead and how do we help achieve the commonly agreed to end state. 

Kamel Zait (France 24): Does the end state mean the departure of Qadhafi even for the Algerian authorities?

General Ham: I will not speak for the Algerians. The U.S. position is clear that Mr. Qadhafi must step down.
  • ALGIERS, Algeria, Jun 2, 2011 - U.S. Africa Command's General Carter F. Ham discussed U.S. AFRICOM's role in strengthening partnerships between U.S. and African nations during a press conference with Algerian media June 1, 2011, in Algiers, Algeria. 

His first visit to Algeria, Ham also interacted with military and civilian leaders on the subjects of common interest, addressing how to combat the threat of extremism in the region. He pointed out that the command's involvement is more in a supporting role to assist Africans.

"The first principle is that a safe, stable, and secure Africa is in everyone's best interest, including the United States'. And the second principle is that in the long run, it is Africans who are best suited to address African security matters," said Ham. 

The following is a complete transcript of the press conference, including Ham's opening statement, followed by a question and answer session with the media.

General Carter F. Ham: Good morning and thank you for joining us here this morning. First I will just say that I am very happy to be here in Algeria. At the outset, I would like to express my appreciation to the government and certainly to my host the charggà and the embassy staff here for allowing me to visit. There are a few special individuals that I would like to thank. First of all, Minister Delegate Guenaizia, Minister Delegate Messahel, Presidential Advisor Rezzag-Bara, and it is my great honor this afternoon hopefully to meet with the president. 

As you know, this is my very first visit to Algeria and I must admit that I am very proud of the relationship that exists between our two countries. This is also my first trip through some other countries in North Africa and I was reminded this morning that there is a somewhat important football match tomorrow. You will excuse me as American if I do not take sides in that, but I suspect it will be a very exciting match. 

Just a few words about the United States Africa Command: our role is to strengthen the partnerships between the United States military and the militaries of the African nations. Here in Algeria we find a very strong relationship. We have a number of areas in which we cooperate very effectively and we look to continue that into the future. 

As many of you know, we have several exercises which we conduct together with our navies and our special operations forces. Algeria has hosted U.S. naval vessels and coast guard vessels here and we have a very effective partnership program that allows Algerians to participate in U.S. military training, schools and educational programs in the U.S. 

United States Africa Command is relatively young; it is only about three and a half years old but the U.S. has had a long standing relationship with many African States. With the establishment of the United States Africa Command, it places our military cooperation with the African countries under one single headquarters. Our headquarters activities are guided by two principles. The first principle is that a safe, stable, and secure Africa is in everyone's best interest, including the United States'. And the second principle is that in the long run, it is Africans who are best suited to address African security matters. We view our role as very much in support of African States and we seek ways in which the United States military may be able to assist the militaries of Africa and cooperate more closely on mutual areas of concern. 

During this first visit to Algeria, I have had the great opportunity to interact with military and civilian leaders on subjects of common interest. We have talked a lot about how together we can address particularly the threat of extremism in the region and beyond this region. 

It is very evident to me that Algeria has been engaged in combating terrorism for a long time and has done so quite effectively. And we remember every day that there are brave Algerians engaged in a difficult struggle against violent extremists and we should remember and honor those who have lost their lives and the families of those who have lost their lives in this struggle. 

United States Africa Command remains committed to being a good partner in cooperative efforts with Algeria and we will continue to seek areas in which we can cooperate even more closely. And with that I would welcome your questions.

Hocine Adryen (Le Jeune InddÃpendent): I would like to know General, what do you mean by reinforcing U.S-Algerian bilateral military cooperation. Is there another program between the United States and Algeria? You said that you had discussed several issues with the Algerian authorities, what were they? Third question, was the Sahel the main issue discussed with Algerian officials? 

General Ham: Thank you for those questions. With regard to the establishment of new program, we are always looking for ways in which the military cooperation between Algeria and the United States can become even stronger. I think one of the ways in which the partnership can become even stronger is to find additional ways for us to share information about how we may operate together to counter violent extremists. I think that is probably the area in which we need the most attention into the future. We are also seeking to expand and increase the number of military-to-military engagements in the future. Some of these are small technical or tactical exchanges; some of them are participation in larger exercises. 

As far as the discussions with military and civilian officials, they were broad ranging and very direct. I must tell you that I found here in Algeria a very refreshing and welcoming discussion, a very open discussion about matters of shared interest. And what I mean by that is that sometimes we have meetings with military or civilian officials and it is mostly about pleasantries or it is a very gentle discussion. 

As a soldier, what I really appreciated in the conversations here in Algeria was very direct and very specific topics of discussion. And the topics addressed will not surprise you. Mostly we talked about ways that Algeria and the United States military can further their cooperation, but we also addressed regional security issues. We talked about the conditions in Tunisia and Libya. 

And to your third point, we certainly talked about the threat of terrorism or violent extremism in the Sahel. And I think we are in agreement that the best approach is a regional or transnational approach to countering this threat. And this is an effort in which the United States military seeks to assist and support rather than lead these efforts. Thank you. 

Souhila Hachemi (Algerian Radio Channel 3): You have spoken about the situation in Tunisia and Libya. There are reports about free movement of weapons that could fall into the hands of AQIM. Has this issue been discussed with the Algerian authorities to limit the movement of weapons and help Algerian authorities? I have another question. You have also spoken about the Sahel. At the level of Sahel military command, Sahel countries have decided to unite their efforts. Will AFRICOM support the action launched by five Sahel countries?

General Ham: You have identified one of the main security concerns for all of the nations involved. There is a very real concern for all the regional partners, and the U.S. shares this concern about the proliferation of weapons from Libya to other places to include perhaps under the control of al-Qaida and others. To counter this proliferation of weapons will require the cooperative efforts of all involved. And I have been encouraged to note the meetings that have occurred between Algeria, Mali, Niger, and Mauritania to address this concern. The U.S. is working with each of those countries to find ways in which U.S. support might be helpful. It could be in the sharing of information. It could be in assisting in technical ways of border security. And we expect this dialogue to continue between the United States and the nations involved to address this concern. 

We are also looking at ways in which the United States military may be able to assist the cooperative efforts again of the regional countries in addressing all of the regional concerns that al-Qaida presents in the Sahel. It is important to note that countering terrorism is much more than a military effort. The military has an important role, but it is a supporting role to others in governments. Thank you.

Othmane Lahiani (El Khabar): There is a relationship between the movement of weapons and mercenaries. A few days ago, the former U.S. Ambassador to Rabat accused Algeria of sending mercenaries to Libya. Does AFRICOM have any information about this issue? Can you confirm or reject this statement? Another question about military cooperation, you have allocated $870,000 for the IMET program. Is this amount only allocated to Algerian military personnel?

General Ham: Thank you for that question. I have also seen those reports, some claiming that fighters have moved from Algeria to Libya. I will be as clear as I can possibly be. I have seen absolutely no reporting that indicates that Algeria is supporting the movement of fighters to Libya. To the contrary, Algeria has been supportive and strongly so of regional security, and a very strong effort in countering terrorism and the illegal flow of fighters and weapons. But like weapons, there are indeed fighters who are moving back and forth in open spaces between or across the region to and from Libya. And this is why this regional approach, the nations working together to strengthen their border controls, to strengthen their cooperation will be very effective and is very important. 

I am just checking my notes very quickly to make sure I say the right amount of financing for training and education. A quick note, for last year it was about $870,000 and for this year about $950,000. This is for Algeria alone. And Algeria decides how to use that money. And Algeria I think has made some very wise choices in selecting the individuals to participate in training and education in the U.S. Some of them are more senior officers who go for long periods of time of study and some are more technical or technical training. 

And I would make one more point about this training and education sharing experience. When a member of the Algerian armed forces travels to the United States for training or education, this is a program which is beneficial to both nations. It is our hope that the Algerian officer gains experience and learns from the training that they participate in, in the U.S. But I know for certain that the U.S. officers and personnel that that Algerian officer interacts with, I know that we gain from that experience as well. In many cases for some Americans, that may be their first opportunity to meet someone from Algeria and it is an opportunity for us to learn more, to gain experience, and frankly to establish relationships that are beneficial well in the future. Thank you.

Achira Mameri (L'Expression): I have three short questions. The first one is about the South African President who met with Qadhafi two days ago clearly said, "NATO raids undermine negotiations" in this country. My question is how do you see the way out of the crisis? How do you see the solution? How do you explain the fact that Qadhafi is still resisting to NATO raids and all means deployed? The last question, do you think a solution requires land intervention? Because a lot of people think that only land intervention would resolve the Libyan issue. 

General Ham: Libya is indeed a very difficult and complex situation. Just to state it quite plainly. The United States and NATO have a view that is sometimes not agreed to by the African Union and by others. So if you allow me, let me speak exclusively as a U.S. military person. I do not have any authority to speak for NATO or for others. The United States policy as stated by our president is quite clear: Mr. Qadhafi must leave the government of Libya. But our president has also been clear that we will not use military force to attack Qadhafi directly. 

Our military efforts have been conducted in support of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. What we have seen to date is a very significant degradation of the Libyan regime's military capabilities. These are capabilities which the regime had previously used to attack civilian populations. We know that the regime finds it increasingly difficult to exercise effective command and control of their military forces. We know that the effects of both air and maritime exclusion have inhibited the flow of weapons and ammunition into Libya. 

And as recently as a few days ago, we have seen military officials and soldiers defecting or leaving the regime. So I think again from a U.S. standpoint the end state is clear. Mr. Qadhafi must step down, Libyan forces must cease attacking the civilians, and the people of Libya must be afforded the opportunities to select their own government. 

To your last question about the possibility of a land intervention - this is not a discussion in which the United States is involved. So I do not have any direct information about that. [Inaudible]]â?assistance and operations like that. But it is clear to me that the sooner that Colonel Qadhafi steps aside and allows the people of Libya to select their own government, that is when the situation will improve. Thank you.

Christian Lowe (Reuters): General, could you tell me if you have been sharing any electronic intelligence with Algeria and other states in the region with the objective of supporting their efforts to prevent the movement of fighters and weapons in and out of Libya? In light of what you have just said, in the post-conflict situation, is AFRICOM preparing a possibility of having boots on the ground [Inaudible] humanitarian operation in Libya? 

General Ham: So if I may take the second question first. My President who is also my commander in chief has been very clear from the outset of no U.S. military boots on the ground. That has been unchanged from the very beginning. 

To the first question about information sharing with the Algerians, let me simply say that the level of cooperation and the ways in which we cooperate with Algeria are extensive and broad ranging. But it has long been our national policy to not discuss matters of intelligence sharing or matters of operational security, but I would underline the level of cooperation is quite strong. 

Kamel Zait (France 24): We know that Algeria opposed, from the outset, a military intervention in Libya. Have you tried to convince the Algerian authorities about the importance of these operations? And how do the Algerian authorities see the development of the situation in Libya and the way out of this crisis?

General Ham: We did discuss Libya quite extensively. I did not, to be truthful; I did not try to convince anyone in Algeria of anything about U.S. activities in Libya. What became clear to me in our discussions, however, is that Libya and the United States have a common view of the end state. I am sorry, Algeria and the United States. I think we would agree that Libya must stay as an intact state and should have a government that is selected by its people. We may have some disagreements about how to achieve that end state but we agree there is much more that we agree upon than we disagree on. I think that the Algerians that I met understand the U.S. position and so I felt no reason to try to convince them, or to persuade them, or further explain why we are doing what we are doing. The real challenge for the international community is to find what is the best way ahead and how do we help achieve the commonly agreed to end state. 

Kamel Zait (France 24): Does the end state mean the departure of Qadhafi even for the Algerian authorities?

General Ham: I will not speak for the Algerians. The U.S. position is clear that Mr. Qadhafi must step down.
  • U.S. Africa Command's General Carter F. Ham discussed U.S. AFRICOM's role in strengthening partnerships between U.S. and African nations during a press conference with Algerian media June 1, 2011, in Algiers, Algeria. 
His first visit to Algeria, Ham also interacted with military and civilian leaders on the subjects of common interest, addressing how to combat the threat of extremism in the region. He pointed out that the command's involvement is more in a supporting role to assist Africans.

"The first principle is that a safe, stable, and secure Africa is in everyone's best interest, including the United States'. And the second principle is that in the long run, it is Africans who are best suited to address African security matters," said Ham. 

The following is a complete transcript of the press conference, including Ham's opening statement, followed by a question and answer session with the media.

General Carter F. Ham: Good morning and thank you for joining us here this morning. First I will just say that I am very happy to be here in Algeria. At the outset, I would like to express my appreciation to the government and certainly to my host the charggà and the embassy staff here for allowing me to visit. There are a few special individuals that I would like to thank. First of all, Minister Delegate Guenaizia, Minister Delegate Messahel, Presidential Advisor Rezzag-Bara, and it is my great honor this afternoon hopefully to meet with the president. 

As you know, this is my very first visit to Algeria and I must admit that I am very proud of the relationship that exists between our two countries. This is also my first trip through some other countries in North Africa and I was reminded this morning that there is a somewhat important football match tomorrow. You will excuse me as American if I do not take sides in that, but I suspect it will be a very exciting match. 

Just a few words about the United States Africa Command: our role is to strengthen the partnerships between the United States military and the militaries of the African nations. Here in Algeria we find a very strong relationship. We have a number of areas in which we cooperate very effectively and we look to continue that into the future. 

As many of you know, we have several exercises which we conduct together with our navies and our special operations forces. Algeria has hosted U.S. naval vessels and coast guard vessels here and we have a very effective partnership program that allows Algerians to participate in U.S. military training, schools and educational programs in the U.S. 

United States Africa Command is relatively young; it is only about three and a half years old but the U.S. has had a long standing relationship with many African States. With the establishment of the United States Africa Command, it places our military cooperation with the African countries under one single headquarters. Our headquarters activities are guided by two principles. The first principle is that a safe, stable, and secure Africa is in everyone's best interest, including the United States'. And the second principle is that in the long run, it is Africans who are best suited to address African security matters. We view our role as very much in support of African States and we seek ways in which the United States military may be able to assist the militaries of Africa and cooperate more closely on mutual areas of concern. 

During this first visit to Algeria, I have had the great opportunity to interact with military and civilian leaders on subjects of common interest. We have talked a lot about how together we can address particularly the threat of extremism in the region and beyond this region. 

It is very evident to me that Algeria has been engaged in combating terrorism for a long time and has done so quite effectively. And we remember every day that there are brave Algerians engaged in a difficult struggle against violent extremists and we should remember and honor those who have lost their lives and the families of those who have lost their lives in this struggle. 

United States Africa Command remains committed to being a good partner in cooperative efforts with Algeria and we will continue to seek areas in which we can cooperate even more closely. And with that I would welcome your questions.

Hocine Adryen (Le Jeune InddÃpendent): I would like to know General, what do you mean by reinforcing U.S-Algerian bilateral military cooperation. Is there another program between the United States and Algeria? You said that you had discussed several issues with the Algerian authorities, what were they? Third question, was the Sahel the main issue discussed with Algerian officials? 

General Ham: Thank you for those questions. With regard to the establishment of new program, we are always looking for ways in which the military cooperation between Algeria and the United States can become even stronger. I think one of the ways in which the partnership can become even stronger is to find additional ways for us to share information about how we may operate together to counter violent extremists. I think that is probably the area in which we need the most attention into the future. We are also seeking to expand and increase the number of military-to-military engagements in the future. Some of these are small technical or tactical exchanges; some of them are participation in larger exercises. 

As far as the discussions with military and civilian officials, they were broad ranging and very direct. I must tell you that I found here in Algeria a very refreshing and welcoming discussion, a very open discussion about matters of shared interest. And what I mean by that is that sometimes we have meetings with military or civilian officials and it is mostly about pleasantries or it is a very gentle discussion. 

As a soldier, what I really appreciated in the conversations here in Algeria was very direct and very specific topics of discussion. And the topics addressed will not surprise you. Mostly we talked about ways that Algeria and the United States military can further their cooperation, but we also addressed regional security issues. We talked about the conditions in Tunisia and Libya. 

And to your third point, we certainly talked about the threat of terrorism or violent extremism in the Sahel. And I think we are in agreement that the best approach is a regional or transnational approach to countering this threat. And this is an effort in which the United States military seeks to assist and support rather than lead these efforts. Thank you. 

Souhila Hachemi (Algerian Radio Channel 3): You have spoken about the situation in Tunisia and Libya. There are reports about free movement of weapons that could fall into the hands of AQIM. Has this issue been discussed with the Algerian authorities to limit the movement of weapons and help Algerian authorities? I have another question. You have also spoken about the Sahel. At the level of Sahel military command, Sahel countries have decided to unite their efforts. Will AFRICOM support the action launched by five Sahel countries?

General Ham: You have identified one of the main security concerns for all of the nations involved. There is a very real concern for all the regional partners, and the U.S. shares this concern about the proliferation of weapons from Libya to other places to include perhaps under the control of al-Qaida and others. To counter this proliferation of weapons will require the cooperative efforts of all involved. And I have been encouraged to note the meetings that have occurred between Algeria, Mali, Niger, and Mauritania to address this concern. The U.S. is working with each of those countries to find ways in which U.S. support might be helpful. It could be in the sharing of information. It could be in assisting in technical ways of border security. And we expect this dialogue to continue between the United States and the nations involved to address this concern. 

We are also looking at ways in which the United States military may be able to assist the cooperative efforts again of the regional countries in addressing all of the regional concerns that al-Qaida presents in the Sahel. It is important to note that countering terrorism is much more than a military effort. The military has an important role, but it is a supporting role to others in governments. Thank you.

Othmane Lahiani (El Khabar): There is a relationship between the movement of weapons and mercenaries. A few days ago, the former U.S. Ambassador to Rabat accused Algeria of sending mercenaries to Libya. Does AFRICOM have any information about this issue? Can you confirm or reject this statement? Another question about military cooperation, you have allocated $870,000 for the IMET program. Is this amount only allocated to Algerian military personnel?

General Ham: Thank you for that question. I have also seen those reports, some claiming that fighters have moved from Algeria to Libya. I will be as clear as I can possibly be. I have seen absolutely no reporting that indicates that Algeria is supporting the movement of fighters to Libya. To the contrary, Algeria has been supportive and strongly so of regional security, and a very strong effort in countering terrorism and the illegal flow of fighters and weapons. But like weapons, there are indeed fighters who are moving back and forth in open spaces between or across the region to and from Libya. And this is why this regional approach, the nations working together to strengthen their border controls, to strengthen their cooperation will be very effective and is very important. 

I am just checking my notes very quickly to make sure I say the right amount of financing for training and education. A quick note, for last year it was about $870,000 and for this year about $950,000. This is for Algeria alone. And Algeria decides how to use that money. And Algeria I think has made some very wise choices in selecting the individuals to participate in training and education in the U.S. Some of them are more senior officers who go for long periods of time of study and some are more technical or technical training. 

And I would make one more point about this training and education sharing experience. When a member of the Algerian armed forces travels to the United States for training or education, this is a program which is beneficial to both nations. It is our hope that the Algerian officer gains experience and learns from the training that they participate in, in the U.S. But I know for certain that the U.S. officers and personnel that that Algerian officer interacts with, I know that we gain from that experience as well. In many cases for some Americans, that may be their first opportunity to meet someone from Algeria and it is an opportunity for us to learn more, to gain experience, and frankly to establish relationships that are beneficial well in the future. Thank you.

Achira Mameri (L'Expression): I have three short questions. The first one is about the South African President who met with Qadhafi two days ago clearly said, "NATO raids undermine negotiations" in this country. My question is how do you see the way out of the crisis? How do you see the solution? How do you explain the fact that Qadhafi is still resisting to NATO raids and all means deployed? The last question, do you think a solution requires land intervention? Because a lot of people think that only land intervention would resolve the Libyan issue. 

General Ham: Libya is indeed a very difficult and complex situation. Just to state it quite plainly. The United States and NATO have a view that is sometimes not agreed to by the African Union and by others. So if you allow me, let me speak exclusively as a U.S. military person. I do not have any authority to speak for NATO or for others. The United States policy as stated by our president is quite clear: Mr. Qadhafi must leave the government of Libya. But our president has also been clear that we will not use military force to attack Qadhafi directly. 

Our military efforts have been conducted in support of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. What we have seen to date is a very significant degradation of the Libyan regime's military capabilities. These are capabilities which the regime had previously used to attack civilian populations. We know that the regime finds it increasingly difficult to exercise effective command and control of their military forces. We know that the effects of both air and maritime exclusion have inhibited the flow of weapons and ammunition into Libya. 

And as recently as a few days ago, we have seen military officials and soldiers defecting or leaving the regime. So I think again from a U.S. standpoint the end state is clear. Mr. Qadhafi must step down, Libyan forces must cease attacking the civilians, and the people of Libya must be afforded the opportunities to select their own government. 

To your last question about the possibility of a land intervention - this is not a discussion in which the United States is involved. So I do not have any direct information about that. [Inaudible]]â?assistance and operations like that. But it is clear to me that the sooner that Colonel Qadhafi steps aside and allows the people of Libya to select their own government, that is when the situation will improve. Thank you.

Christian Lowe (Reuters): General, could you tell me if you have been sharing any electronic intelligence with Algeria and other states in the region with the objective of supporting their efforts to prevent the movement of fighters and weapons in and out of Libya? In light of what you have just said, in the post-conflict situation, is AFRICOM preparing a possibility of having boots on the ground [Inaudible] humanitarian operation in Libya? 

General Ham: So if I may take the second question first. My President who is also my commander in chief has been very clear from the outset of no U.S. military boots on the ground. That has been unchanged from the very beginning. 

To the first question about information sharing with the Algerians, let me simply say that the level of cooperation and the ways in which we cooperate with Algeria are extensive and broad ranging. But it has long been our national policy to not discuss matters of intelligence sharing or matters of operational security, but I would underline the level of cooperation is quite strong. 

Kamel Zait (France 24): We know that Algeria opposed, from the outset, a military intervention in Libya. Have you tried to convince the Algerian authorities about the importance of these operations? And how do the Algerian authorities see the development of the situation in Libya and the way out of this crisis?

General Ham: We did discuss Libya quite extensively. I did not, to be truthful; I did not try to convince anyone in Algeria of anything about U.S. activities in Libya. What became clear to me in our discussions, however, is that Libya and the United States have a common view of the end state. I am sorry, Algeria and the United States. I think we would agree that Libya must stay as an intact state and should have a government that is selected by its people. We may have some disagreements about how to achieve that end state but we agree there is much more that we agree upon than we disagree on. I think that the Algerians that I met understand the U.S. position and so I felt no reason to try to convince them, or to persuade them, or further explain why we are doing what we are doing. The real challenge for the international community is to find what is the best way ahead and how do we help achieve the commonly agreed to end state. 

Kamel Zait (France 24): Does the end state mean the departure of Qadhafi even for the Algerian authorities?

General Ham: I will not speak for the Algerians. The U.S. position is clear that Mr. Qadhafi must step down. Available in high definition.

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