US for strong army-to-army ties with Bangladesh




 The United States wants to build a strong army-to-army relationship with Bangladesh to cooperate with each other, a US Army general has said.

"We have solid relationship and want to build such partnership where I can pick up the phone and talk to general Mubeen (Army chief general Md Abdul Mubeen) and I hope he feels the same way," lieutenant general Francis J Wiercinski told bdnews24.com.

Gen Wiercinski came to Dhaka on Wednesday night and attended Shanti Doot-3, a multinational exercise organised by the Bangladesh army and co-sponsored by the US Pacific Command under the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) programme.

This is the second visit to Dhaka in the last 100 days for Gen Wiercinski who had come here in December last year.

"I understand Bangladeshi culture and terrain better by coming here," the general said.

"Last summer I met general Mubeen in Singapore and discussed army-to-army cooperation."

"General Mubeen offered me jungle training (for US army)," he said.

When asked if there was no jungle in the US, he said, "No. We get the training in Panama."

Gen Wiercinski also hinted that an army platoon may come to Dhaka for two weeks and would stay here to learn how Bangladesh army trained itself.

"Maybe Bangladeshi army will go to Alaska or Hawaii to learn how we are trained."

G-TO-G COOPERATION

The general said the US government would provide assistance if the Bangladesh government asked for it.

When told that army was also part of a government and it could ask for assistance from other army, he said, "Both the armies are working under democratic civilian governments. When we have authorisation from the governments we can go forward."

The general said US and Bangladesh had cooperation in areas including disaster management, peacekeeping and training.

"We can learn from Bangladesh experience about disaster management and Bangladesh can also be benefited from our assistance," Gen Wiercinski said.

"A platoon can come to Bangladesh to exchange techniques and tactics," he said.

When they will return to the US, they will talk about Bangladesh and about its culture, he added.

Gen Wiercinski said cooperation between the two countries is growing in the field of disaster management.

MUSLIM PERCEPTION

The US general said throughout his career he fought alongside Muslims shoulder to shoulder against al Qaeda and other terrorists.

"I fought to stop the invasion of Iraq to Kuwait. I went again to Iraq to fight with Muslims shoulder to shoulder against al Qaeda," he said adding, "I also went to Afghanistan and fought against terrorists."

"I have great Muslims friends in Iraq and Afghanistan."

"We are not fighting against Muslims. We are fighting against al Qaeda and terrorists with the Muslims shoulder to shoulder and that's the way I see it."

General Wiercinski is the Commanding General, U.S. Army Pacific Command. He took part in 'Operation Just Cause' in Panama (1989-1990); 'Operation Enduring Freedom' and 'Operation Anaconda' in Afghanistan (2001-2002) and 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' in Iraq (2006-2007).

bdnews24.com/ssz/bd/1210h

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

US for strong army-to-army ties with Bangladesh



 The United States wants to build a strong army-to-army relationship with Bangladesh to cooperate with each other, a US Army general has said.

"We have solid relationship and want to build such partnership where I can pick up the phone and talk to general Mubeen (Army chief general Md Abdul Mubeen) and I hope he feels the same way," lieutenant general Francis J Wiercinski told bdnews24.com.

Gen Wiercinski came to Dhaka on Wednesday night and attended Shanti Doot-3, a multinational exercise organised by the Bangladesh army and co-sponsored by the US Pacific Command under the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI) programme.

This is the second visit to Dhaka in the last 100 days for Gen Wiercinski who had come here in December last year.

"I understand Bangladeshi culture and terrain better by coming here," the general said.

"Last summer I met general Mubeen in Singapore and discussed army-to-army cooperation."

"General Mubeen offered me jungle training (for US army)," he said.

When asked if there was no jungle in the US, he said, "No. We get the training in Panama."

Gen Wiercinski also hinted that an army platoon may come to Dhaka for two weeks and would stay here to learn how Bangladesh army trained itself.

"Maybe Bangladeshi army will go to Alaska or Hawaii to learn how we are trained."

G-TO-G COOPERATION

The general said the US government would provide assistance if the Bangladesh government asked for it.

When told that army was also part of a government and it could ask for assistance from other army, he said, "Both the armies are working under democratic civilian governments. When we have authorisation from the governments we can go forward."

The general said US and Bangladesh had cooperation in areas including disaster management, peacekeeping and training.

"We can learn from Bangladesh experience about disaster management and Bangladesh can also be benefited from our assistance," Gen Wiercinski said.

"A platoon can come to Bangladesh to exchange techniques and tactics," he said.

When they will return to the US, they will talk about Bangladesh and about its culture, he added.

Gen Wiercinski said cooperation between the two countries is growing in the field of disaster management.

MUSLIM PERCEPTION

The US general said throughout his career he fought alongside Muslims shoulder to shoulder against al Qaeda and other terrorists.

"I fought to stop the invasion of Iraq to Kuwait. I went again to Iraq to fight with Muslims shoulder to shoulder against al Qaeda," he said adding, "I also went to Afghanistan and fought against terrorists."

"I have great Muslims friends in Iraq and Afghanistan."

"We are not fighting against Muslims. We are fighting against al Qaeda and terrorists with the Muslims shoulder to shoulder and that's the way I see it."

General Wiercinski is the Commanding General, U.S. Army Pacific Command. He took part in 'Operation Just Cause' in Panama (1989-1990); 'Operation Enduring Freedom' and 'Operation Anaconda' in Afghanistan (2001-2002) and 'Operation Iraqi Freedom' in Iraq (2006-2007).

bdnews24.com/ssz/bd/1210h

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