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Netherlands, Germany move to enhance military cooperation
by Staff Writers
Berlin (UPI) May 30, 2013


Former CIA chief joins KKR investment fund
New York, Usa (AFP) May 30, 2013 - Former CIA director David Petraeus, who resigned in November after revealing he had an extramarital affair, is joining Wall Street buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the company announced Thursday.

The retired four-star general known for masterminding the US military "surge" in Iraq was named as chairman of the newly created KKR Global Institute, which aims to research the investment implications of non-financial global trends.

"I have long known and respected General Petraeus and, on behalf of everyone at KKR, I welcome him to the firm," said KKR co-founder and co-chief executive Henry Kravis in a statement.

"As the world changes and we expand how and where we invest, we are always looking to sharpen the 'KKR edge'."

"KKR is one of the best investment firms in the world," Petraeus said.

"I look forward to supporting the investment teams in their pursuit of the best opportunities for clients and also being a part of a new initiative to provide additional insights to KKR's clients and companies."

The KKR Global Institute was created to study the investment implications of public policy, geo-political, macro-economic, regulatory and technology trends around the world, KKR said.

As head of the institute Petraeus will work with senior KKR officials and support its investment teams in diligence research in new investments around the world, KKR said.

Petraeus, 60, is a hero of the Iraq war and former commander of the allied force in Afghanistan, and one of the best known soldiers of his generation.

He took over the CIA in 2011, but resigned in November 2012 after admitting an affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell, 20 years his junior.

Aside from his KKR role, he has teaching positions at the University of Southern California and City University of New York.

The Netherlands and Germany have agreed on an "extensive" cooperation of their military forces, the countries' defense ministers announced this week.

Dutch Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert and German counterpart Thomas de Maiziere revealed Tuesday at the Berlin Strategy Conference the two countries will expand military cooperation, including the integration of the Netherlands' 11 Airmobile Brigade with the new German Schnelle Krafte paratrooper commando division.

The German unit, to become operational next year, will share a control structure with the Dutch force while the two will remain stationed at their current locations under the new declaration of intent.

"The German and Dutch armed forces are ready to take their cooperation to an unprecedented level of integration," Hennis-Plasschaert said. "It entails the harmonization of requirements, procedures, education and training."

Calling it "of the utmost importance," the Dutch minister praised the integration move as indication that Europe is taking more responsibility for its own security at a time when the United States is shifting its focus to the Pacific.

"If we want the United States to remain the indispensable partner in European security it has been for over 65 years, we have to carry our share of the burden, including the risks," she said.

Besides the integration of the airmobile brigade with the German force, the countries announced an enhancement of the existing integration of their land-based Patriot air and missile defense units as well as increased cooperation will be the field of submarine construction, where the two countries hope to achieve economies of scale and to pool expertise.

Military education and training also are be included in the agreement -- a bid to better utilize "scarce and expensive resources and capabilities" at a time when Europe is facing a financial crisis.

"We want to promote our relations in all areas of security, in arms and in the area of operations," de Maiziere said.

A Dutch mechanized infantry division is already based in Germany because the Netherlands' own army has no more armor.

For Germany's part, the Dutch agreement is part of a broader effort in which it is stepping up to the role as a lead nation in coordinating European security efforts, the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.

It came only a day after de Maiziere signed an agreement with his Polish counterpart to set out cooperation between the two countries' navies, due in large part to financial constraints they are facing.

"Germany's responsibility has changed," he said. "Today we a united, strong and sovereign country responsibility for stability and security in the world."

But such moves toward more trans-European cooperation in planning, acquisition, training and logistical support are facing concerns about the erosion of national sovereignty and the roles national parliaments will play in the future.

Hennis-Plasschaert said traditional notions of sovereignty are "the main political obstacle to closer military cooperation" and called for "breaking new ground" with a redefinition of the term.

"If we need to guarantee our sovereignty with military means, cooperation is vital," she said.

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