Aletho News


High Stakes as Uncle Sam’s Days of Impunity Are Finally Over

By Finian Cunningham | Strategic Culture Foundation | March 28, 2023

Russia and China are determined to hold the American perpetrators of the Nord Stream sabotage to account. Uncle Sam’s days – indeed decades – of wanton criminality are over. There’s going to be hell to pay as the imperialist tyranny in Washington hits a wall of reality.

Several weeks have gone by with the United States and its Western lackeys stonewalling at the United Nations Security Council, squirming and resisting calls from Moscow and Beijing for an international criminal investigation into the sabotage of the Baltic Sea pipelines that were blown up in September.

A swathe of independent observers, such as American economics professor Jeffrey Sachs and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, have concurred with the investigative report published on February 8 by renowned journalist Seymour Hersh which claims that U.S. President Joe Biden and his senior White House staff ordered the Pentagon to take out the natural gas pipeline that runs along the Baltic Sea bed from Russia to Germany.

Russia and China are adamant about not letting this vital subject be ignored. They want a proper investigation, international accountability and criminal prosecution. Moscow and Beijing are right to insist on this. Washington and its Western allies’ presumption of impunity has gone on for too many decades. The buck stops here and both Russia and China are strong enough to ensure that the United States cannot threaten, blackmail, or arm-twist its way out of scrutiny.

The Nord Stream project is a major international civilian infrastructure, costing in excess of $20 billion to construct over more than a decade. At 1,200 kilometres in length under the Baltic Sea, it is an impressive feat of engineering, symbolizing the mutual benefits of good neighborliness and cooperative trading.

For the United States to blow this pipeline up in order to knock Russia out of the European energy market so that it could muscle in with its own more expensive gas supplies is a shocking act of state terrorism and criminality. It is also potentially an act of war against Russia and callous sabotage against supposed European allies whose citizens are now suffering economic misery from soaring energy bills. German workers have this week shut down the entire economy from industrial protests over collapsing businesses and unbearable cost of living.

Of course, the Nord Stream sabotage is an urgent matter of basic justice, accountability for an atrocious crime, as well as massive international financial reparations. It’s almost hilarious how the self-proclaimed American protagonist of “rules-based global order” is desperately procrastinating over a glaring incident of dereliction and chaos.

But more than the essential obligation of justice is the legacy of impunity. For the perpetrators of such a wanton terrorist act not to be held accountable sets a perilous precedent. Otherwise, what is stopping the state terrorists from repeating equally brazen acts of sabotage and warmongering? The very concept of international law and the United Nations Charter is demolished, not simply undermined.

The Nord Stream incident potentially opens an era of rampant lawlessness and state banditry – by a nuclear superpower, the United States, using its Western minions for cover. The Western news media, in their reluctance to investigate, are also exposed as nothing more than propaganda channels in the service of imperial masters.

The present is reminiscent of the 1930s during a time of fascist expansionism by Nazi Germany and other imperialist nations, including the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Japan, and others. Nazi Germany was not the unique culprit during that earlier time of barbarism, notwithstanding the official Western revisionism of history to absolve itself.

After the Second World War amid the ashes of international destruction and up to 85 million deaths, the United Nations and its Charter were founded to ostensibly enshrine the stricture that there would be no repetition of the 1930s-style lawlessness and state terrorism.

That lofty aspiration was always a pathetic illusion. The decades after WWII saw no halt to the imperialist warmongering and subterfuges carried out primarily by the United States and its Western allies, in particular Britain. What a mockery that the U.S. and Britain were afforded permanent member states of the UN Security Council given that these two rogue powers have been largely responsible for countless wars post-1945. The decades-long wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan are but the most notorious war crimes of the Anglo-American “special relationship”.

During the Cold War decades, the Soviet Union provided a limited check on the worst depredations by Western imperialists. The People’s Republic of China was not strong enough to act as a deterrent force.

For about two decades after the Cold War officially ended in 1991 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the United States rulers perceived a license for “full-spectrum dominance”. Washington embarked on a frenzy of endless wars that up till recently have prevailed.

The first reality check on the unbridled violence of the U.S. imperialists and their NATO henchmen was Russia’s military intervention in Syria in late 2015 to put an end to the Western machinations for yet another regime-change operation. Washington and its accomplices failed in their nefarious goals in Syria, albeit the Americans persist in illegally occupying part of the Arab country and stealing its oil resources.

Ukraine is the full manifestation of the end to impunity for the United States.

Russia under Vladimir Putin has recovered the military strength that was lost with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In some ways, present-day Russia is even more formidable owing to the development of new forms of weapons, such as hypersonic missiles and S-500 air defenses. Also, Russia’s economy is on a sounder footing than the Soviet Union which relied excessively on militarism. Hence, Moscow has been able to withstand the economic assault that Washington and its allies have tried to mount over the Ukraine conflict.

Just as important, too, China has risen to economic and military superpower status. Together, Russia and China now present an invulnerable countervailing force to the United States and its Western allies.

For nearly eight decades after World War Two, the United States was relatively free to run amok, trashing international law and nations’ sovereignty, racking up death tolls by the millions, and terrorizing the planet with its “benign”, narcissistic tyranny.

The conflict in Ukraine, where Russia has said “enough is enough” to years of U.S.-led NATO aggression, is demonstrating that the days of impunity are finally over for the would-be American hegemon.

Washington has recklessly raised the stakes to an unsustainable height in Ukraine. It has bet the house – and farm – on subjugating Russia for its next insatiable imperial move against China. But Moscow and Beijing are calling Uncle Sam’s bluff. The buck stops here.

The edifice of American imperial power has never been challenged at its foundation. It is now.

March 29, 2023 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brzezinski’s Confession

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | February 22, 2023

While American interventionists remain stone-cold silent about the way that the Pentagon, operating through its old Cold War dinosaur NATO, knowingly, deliberately, and intentionally provoked Russia into invading Ukraine, it’s instructive to remind ourselves that this wasn’t the first time that the Pentagon provoked Russia into invading another country.

Let’s go back to 1979, when the Pentagon was still waging its old Cold War racket. That was the year that U.S. officials devised a successful plot to provoke the Soviets into invading Afghanistan. 

Now, before you exclaim, “Conspiracy theory, Jacob!” which is the standard official response whenever someone criticizes dark-side activities on the part of the U.S. national-security establishment, permit me to disclose something important: There is a confession. 

Yes, you read that last part correctly. There is a confession on the part of the national-security establishment that that is precisely what they did. Even for those who are loath to ever acknowledge that the national-security establishment engages in evil, dark-side activity, a confession is rather persuasive evidence that takes matters out of the realm of “conspiracy theory” and places them squarely in the realm of an actual conspiracy.

The confessor was Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as President Jimmy Carter’s national-security advisor in 1979. He confessed that the U.S. knowingly, deliberately, and intentionally provoked the Soviets into invading Afghanistan. 

Mind you, Brzezinski didn’t confess until 1998, some 20 years after the Soviet invasion. Therefore, it stands to reason that if anyone raised the possibility in 1979 that the U.S. provoked the invasion, the standard response would have been “Conspiracy theory!” This is especially true given that U.S. officials were playing the innocent after the invasion. With the same degree of indignation and outrage they are displaying with respect to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, they castigated and condemned the Russians for their act of aggression against Afghanistan. They even canceled U.S. participation in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Russia, as a way to punish the Russians for invading Afghanistan.

In 1998, Brzezinski gave an interview to a French newspaper in which he confessed all. You can read the interview here. (For a full context of Brzezinski’s confession, see an article at Aljazeera entitled “Afghanistan: The Soviet Union’s Vietnam.”) He stated that U.S. officials began arming extremist Muslim elements in Afghanistan who were attempting to oust the pro-Russia regime that was controlling Afghanistan. By doing this, the hope was that the Soviets would invade Afghanistan to put down the anti-Russia Jihadists. 

The planned worked. The Soviets invaded, and U.S. officials were ecstatic. Brzezinski proudly stated that the plan had now given the Soviets their own Vietnam. What he was referring to was the 10-year-plus U.S. intervention in Vietnam, which had sacrificed more than 58,000 American soldiers for nothing. U.S. officials were now celebrating the fact that thousands of Russians soldiers were also now going to get sacrificed for nothing. 

Just as U.S. officials had hoped, over the next 10 years more than 14,000 Soviet soldiers were killed. (Some estimates go as high as 26,000). Another 53,753 were wounded. 

Needless to say, the deaths of Russian soldiers made U.S. officials extremely happy because the deaths were degrading the Soviet regime.

What kind of regime does this sort of thing? What kind of regime provokes another regime into invading a country knowing that this will bring massive death and destruction on both sides? What kind of regime celebrates and revels in the fact that foreign soldiers, all of whom have families or friends back home, are being killed and wounded?

I’ll tell you what kind of regime engages in those sorts of things: An evil regime. There is no better way to describe it. 

When Brzezinski was asked about the potential consequences of arming extremist Jihadist groups in Afghanistan, he replied, “What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?”

February 22, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular | , | 3 Comments

‘No place’ for independent Russia in Western mindset – Moscow

RT | January 10, 2023

The secretary of Russia’s national security council has lashed out at the West, pointing to their habit of creating global threats, including numerous terrorist groups, in pursuit of their interests.

Nikolay Patrushev also claimed, in an interview published by news outlet Argumenti i Fakti, that Washington’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan was a prelude to NATO’s proxy war against Russia in Ukraine.

“The events in Ukraine are not a confrontation between Moscow and Kiev. It’s a military confrontation of NATO – the US and England first and foremost – with Russia,” the top security official said in a newspaper interview. “They fear a direct standoff, so NATO instructors push Ukrainian guys toward their certain deaths.”

Patrushev argued that, while Western nations claim to be “defending civilization against barbarism” in Ukraine, they are actually motivated by selfish interests and won’t “save any lives at the expense of their enrichment and ambitions.”

He said there is an established pattern of the US creating threats that it later ostensibly fights against, he continued, citing terrorist organizations Al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) as examples. Washington may occasionally show off the killing of individual terrorist leaders like Osama Bin Laden, but continue “training and arming a hundred others” at the same time, he added.

NATO’s mission in Afghanistan resulted “in the creation of multibillion-dollar corruption schemes” and a surge in illegal drug production, Patrushev claimed. And the US withdrawal from the country in 2019 was to a large degree about “focusing on Ukraine” and confrontation with Russia, he said.

The security official cited remarks made last month by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who admitted that, with the country’s military presence in Afghanistan finally ended, the administration of President Joe Biden had more opportunities to funnel arms to Kiev.

Patrushev believes that, in the wider picture, the interests of the US as a nation state are subservient to the interests of transnational corporations, which ultimately dictate the policies of many governments. Those unaccountable forces have inherited the colonialist approach that allowed Western nations to become wealthy and powerful, but they are no longer vested in national interests, he said.

Russia “has no place” in their schemes, since it “irritates the handful of world masters because of its natural riches, vast territories, and smart, self-sufficient people who love their country, its traditions and history,” he added.

January 10, 2023 Posted by | Economics, Militarism | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

China invests millions in oil production in Afghanistan

Free West Media | January 9, 2023

While Western governments are trying to ignore or isolate the Taliban regime, which was able to take power in Afghanistan in August 2021, an Afghan-Chinese deal worth millions was concluded. China wants to develop an extensive oil field in Afghanistan. The Afghan mining minister and Chinese representatives signed a corresponding agreement in Kabul.

Accordingly, oil deposits are to be developed in three northern provinces in the Amu Darya Basin. The Chinese company CAPEIC plans to invest 150 million US dollars as a first move. The joint project aims to create around 3,000 jobs. The Taliban government will initially receive a 20 percent share of the profits. It is the largest planned economic project since they came to power.

Afghanistan has large deposits of raw materials that have hardly been tapped in the past four decades due to the ongoing military conflict. According to estimates, the total value could amount to one trillion dollars (around 940 billion euros) and more.

So far, however, the infrastructure such as roads, rails and sufficient power capacity has been missing to exploit the deposits on a large scale.

Afghanistan’s landlocked location and rugged landscape make mining and export difficult. However, the cooperation project with the Chinese should give Afghanistan access to the Chinese Silk Road transport network, which is intended to promote economic integration between China and the rest of the Eurasian-African landmass.

January 9, 2023 Posted by | Economics | , | Leave a comment

What foreign policy elites really think about you

If public opinion doesn’t match up with the Washington program then it must be wrong, misunderstood, or worse, irrelevant.

By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos | Responsible Statecraft | January 6, 2023

Tell us, Washington, how do you really feel about American public opinion?

For years now, Beltway establishmentarians have been trying desperately to countermand the idea that they are in fact, elites: out of touch, impervious to what regular Americans want and need, and slaves to conventional foreign policy doctrine and dogma.

But it is wartime again, and that’s when the masks slip. It began with the steady stream of Eliot Cohen and Anne Applebaum columns from the start of the Russian invasion, all demanding that Americans see the war in Ukraine as our fight, a struggle for democracy, the liberal world order. If Americans do not have the stomach for it, there is something wrong with us, a moral failing.

These ham-fisted approaches befit the neoconservatives who wield them, as they did the same in the Global War on Terror, and to a great extent, worked to keep the Iraq War going for almost a decade and the war in Afghanistan shambling on for a full 20 years.

In addition to the destruction of two countries, trillions of dollars, a massive refugee crisis, a new generation of U.S. veterans dependent on lifetime assistance, and countless dead and wounded, these “elites” are in great part responsible for the mistrust of Washington that has eaten away at the culture and politics here to the core.

Poll after poll show a plunging lack of faith in American institutions, including the once-vaunted military. That’s what going to war based on liesdistortions, and rhetorical bullying will do to an already strained and tribalized society. Add a financial collapse (2008) that Washington addressed with an unprecedented bank bailout, while homeowners and workers struggled to survive, and you have the basis for major populist movements — on the left, and the right.

The rise of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump were buoyed in part by a continuing skepticism of the ongoing wars and of the elites at the helm of U.S. foreign policy, which had become as self-serving and disconnected from American interests as they were.

You would have thought they had learned their lesson.

But the war in Ukraine has given them new purpose and in that vein, to both patronize and ignore the wants and needs of the American public. A new commentary by Gian Gentile and Raphael S. Cohen, deputy director of the Rand Corporation’s Army Research Division, and Air Force Strategy and Doctrine Program, respectively, says it all. Clearly written for Beltway practitioners and politicians, the takeaway from “The Myth of America’s Ukraine Fatigue” is clear: don’t mind the polls, or even American public opinion. Ukraine’s (and in effect, Washington’s) long war will go on no matter what the hoi polloi is thinking, or feeling.

In war, from a purely political perspective, it’s usually safer for politicians to stay the course.

Perhaps this is why democracies’ track records of playing the long game in armed conflicts is actually pretty good. From the ancient Athenians during the Peloponnesian War on through to the present day, democracies have not usually been the fickle, shrinking violets their detractors make them out to be. In the United States, the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan were all eventually deeply unpopular. Yet the United States fought for three years in Korea, almost nine years in Iraq (before going back in after the initial withdrawal), and almost 20 years in both Vietnam and Afghanistan. All these campaigns involved significantly more investment of American blood and treasure than the U.S. commitment to Ukraine has demanded thus far.

The authors are referring to a number of recent polls that would appear to show that Americans’ unconditional support for Ukraine against the Russian invasion has its limits and in some cases, may be flagging. To start, Cohen and Gentile say that isn’t true, that Americans support Ukrainian sovereignty and the fight for it. Absolutely. What the authors don’t say is that the polls indicate that Americans are also concerned about a protracted war that could lead to more death and a direct U.S. confrontation with the Russians. That they are less enthusiastic about supporting Ukraine “as long as it takes,” and have shown a growing interest in negotiations to end the war sooner than later, even if that ultimately means concessions for both sides.

Instead of recognizing the nuance and giving credit to Americans for understanding the implications of another long war (whether they are directly involved on the ground or not), the authors blame the media for hyping up what they believe is the negative messaging from the surveys. Furthermore, they suggest that — citing the cases of Vietnam and our recent wars — conflicts will go on (and rightly so!) no matter where public opinion is at.

“If past is precedent, and present trends continue, it could be years before any of the declines in the American public’s support actually result in a change of policy,” the authors contend. Cohen and Gentile (much like their counterparts in the Iraq and Afghanistan War eras, did) diminish those “amplifying the Ukraine fatigue narrative,” claiming they fit into neat little categories: 1) “America First” Republicans who’d rather focus on domestic issues 2) “knee-jerk” anti-war activists on the left, and 3) those who “may genuinely sympathize with Russian talking points” that Americans will tire of the war.

Meanwhile, “some Americans may really believe that they are paying more of a price for the conflict than they in fact are, but this is primarily based on perceptions—not facts.”

Right. That is exactly what Fred Kagan, the AEI neoconservative who helped to craft the Iraq War Surge plan said in this lengthy National Review piece in 2008, entitled “Why Iraq matters: Talking back to anti-war party talking points,” in which he deployed this fatuous bromide:

Americans have a right to be weary of this conflict and to desire to bring it to an end. But before we choose the easier and more comfortable wrong over the harder and more distasteful right, we should examine more closely the two core assumptions that underlie the current antiwar arguments: that we must lose this war because we cannot win it at any acceptable cost, and that it will be better to lose than to continue trying to win.

Which makes this all very ironic, since (Col.) Gian Gentile was one of the few brave souls in the active duty military who were openly speaking out against Fred Kagan’s “Surge” and the counterinsurgency craze that was rocking the Blob during that period. He was an arch critic of Washington’s hyper-message management and selective history machinations. It is head scratching that he would oversimplify the effects of public opinion on recent wars — and suggest its relative unimportance — while offering the thinnest of arguments for in essence, “staying the course.”

“The leaders of the free world need to remind their publics what is at stake in Ukraine—not just for European and global security, but for democracy at large,” Gentile exclaims in his recent piece with Cohen.

This, from an historian who in his 2013 book, “America’s Deadly Embrace of Counter-Insurgency,” not only took on what he called the “myths” of Iraq and Afghanistan, but the shibboleths of the U.S. counterinsurgency in Vietnam and the British military’s “success” in Malaya (1948-60) as well.

Gentile’s “Ukraine fatigue myth” article is elite thinking, which reads as a pep talk for Beltway insiders in the wake of recent polling. For the rest of us, it is a cogent reminder that the same people who did not want regular Americans to actually think about foreign policy during the Iraq War, are still out there, whether they want to call themselves “elites” or not.

January 6, 2023 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular | , , , | 1 Comment

Prince Harry reveals how many people he killed in Afghanistan

“It’s a joy for me because I’m one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think that I’m probably quite useful”

Press TV – January 6, 2023

The UK’s Prince Harry says he killed 25 people in Afghanistan when he was acting as an Apache helicopter pilot during the invasion of Afghanistan, noting that these killings do not “embarrass” him.

The Duke of Sussex acknowledged this in an autobiography that is set to be published in the UK on January 10. The Telegraph quoted extracts from the Spanish version of the autobiography it obtained after the book was mistakenly put on sale in bookshops on Thursday before being withdrawn.

Harry served as a forward air controller in Afghanistan’s Helmand province in 2007-8 and then as an Apache helicopter pilot in the British Army Air Corps deployed to Camp Bastion in the south of the country in 2012-13.

According to the soon-to-be-published book Spare, Harry undertook six missions as a pilot that led to him “taking human lives”.

The 38-year-old described killing the targets as removing “chess pieces”, noting that he was not ashamed of doing so.

“My number is 25. It’s not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me,” he wrote.

He said he counted the number of people he killed by reviewing videos taken from the nose of his Apache helicopter.

The prince writes that he did not see the Taliban militants “as a person” because such a view would have made it impossible to kill them. The British Army, he writes, had “trained me to ‘other’ them, and they had trained me well.”

The prince also named his fondness for video games as one of the reasons behind his claimed effectiveness as an Apache gunner. “It’s a joy for me because I’m one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think that I’m probably quite useful,” he said.

Harry also named the 9/11 attacks as one of the main reasons that he did not feel guilt over his killings. He had the thought that those responsible and their sympathizers were “enemies of humanity”.

The US-led foreign forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001 with the claim of confronting Al-Qaeda. The military campaign killed at least 70,000 Afghan and Pakistani civilians, living Afghanistan in a state of turmoil ever since.

There have been security concerns because of Harry’s military service, which are likely to increase after he revealed the number of people he has killed during that time.

Elsewhere in the book, Harry accused his brother William of knocking him to the floor during a 2019 argument about Harry’s wife Meghan.

William “grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and… knocked me to the floor,” he writes, according to a report in the Guardian.

January 6, 2023 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, War Crimes | , , | 3 Comments

Scathing Report Blasts Finland’s Role in Afghanistan

By Igor Kuznetsov – Samizdat – 20.12.2022

The decades-long Afghanistan intervention, in which Finland played an active role, ultimately fueled large-scale corruption and resulted in the death of thousands of civilians, an august research institute established by the Finnish parliament has concluded in a gloomy assessment of the US’ longest war.

Finland’s involvement in Afghanistan has been slammed by a new scalding report by the Finnish Institute of International Affairs, a body largely funded by the parliament.

Not only was the Finnish role in the US-led intervention motivated by geopolitics rather than goodwill, it also had a limited efficacy because of a lack of long-term strategy, the report found.

Although Finnish involvement in Afghanistan was largely portrayed as a humanitarian act by politicians and media, in actual fact the Nordic country’s main interest was to strengthen its relationship with the US and NATO, as well as solidifying its decision-making clout within the UN, the report said.

“Finland’s actions in Afghanistan were guided primarily by the desire to maintain and deepen its international foreign and security policy partnerships. The aims related to Afghanistan’s development and the strategic monitoring of their attainment remained secondary concerns, and Finland’s actual efforts were not based on a comprehensive approach or a realistic analysis of the situation”, the Finnish Institute of International Affairs wrote.

As regards Afghanistan and its development, the objectives of the various activities remained “vague, unrealistic and unclear, and received insufficient attention”, the report said. Instead of critical analysis and strategic monitoring, attempts were made to meet the stated objectives, however vague, by highlighting the progress made and keeping silent about the combats and difficulties, it added.

At the same time, the report stressed that the intervention, in which Finland played an active role, ultimately led to large-scale corruption and resulted in the unnecessary death of thousands of civilians.

Some 2,500 Finnish soldiers and 140 crisis management experts served in Afghanistan with the total price tag of around 700 million euros (about $740 million).

Finland’s involvement in NATO’s Afghanistan mission was seen as an early sign that the Nordic nation was slowly drifting towards the alliance and attempting to bolster its partner status. Earlier this year, Finland and its western neighbor Sweden both abandoned their historic military non-alignment and rushed to become members of NATO, citing Russia’s special operation in Ukraine and the ensuing “security situation” as a pretext.

The Costs of War project by the Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs estimated the total cost of the US involvement in Afghanistan since 2001 as part of the post 9/11 wars at $2.3 trillion, with funds spent on lifetime care of US veterans and future interest payments on money borrowed not included. The same project also estimated that at least 243,000 people have died as a direct result of this war.

In its aftermath, after the hasty retreat of the coalition forces, the Taliban surged back to power in 2021, two decades after US-led forces embarked on their longest war in history.

December 20, 2022 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

We Must Not Forget the U.S. War on Afghanistan

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | December 8, 2022

When the Pentagon used NATO to provoke Russia  into invading Ukraine, it had to know that one of the great benefits to such an invasion would be that it would enrich U.S. weapons manufacturers, who, of course, are an important, integral, and loyal part of America’s national-security state form of governmental structure. 

And sure enough, those weapons manufacturers now have a lot to be grateful for. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, 

The world’s biggest arms makers are scaling up production of rocket launchers, tanks and ammunition as the industry shifts to meet what executives expect to be sustained demand triggered by the war in Ukraine.

The Pentagon has committed more than $17 billion in weapons and services to Ukraine, most of it drawn from existing stocks. It has also awarded about $3.4 billion in new contracts to replenish domestic and allies’ stocks.

The Pentagon knew that when it was forced to exit Afghanistan, where it had used a massive amount of weaponry for some twenty years to wreak death and destruction on that impoverished Third World country, its loyal army of arms manufacturers might begin to suffer. The crisis that the Pentagon has ginned up in Ukraine has clearly helped to alleviate that suffering. 

But the Russian invasion of Ukraine had another beneficiary — the Pentagon itself. That’s because before Americans had a real opportunity to focus on the Pentagon’s 20-year deadly and destructive debacle in Afghanistan, everyone began focusing exclusively on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Thanks to the crisis in Ukraine, the entire Afghanistan misadventure has been relegated to a memory black hole.

But we really still need to do some serious soul-searching, examination, and analysis of the Afghanistan debacle. We cannot let the Pentagon use the crisis that it has ginned up in Ukraine as a way to shift our attention away from what happened in Afghanistan. It would be a grave mistake to just “move on” from Afghanistan and permit the Pentagon to focus our attention exclusively on the evil Russians and their invasion of Ukraine.

It is important to focus on the Constitution, the document that President Biden and the Democrats and even some Republicans have suddenly discovered and begun revering. It requires a congressional declaration of war before a president can legally wage war. There was never a congressional declaration of war against Afghanistan. That made the Pentagon’s war against Afghanistan an illegal one under our form of constitutional government.

Equally important, if President George W. Bush had sought a declaration of war from Congress, it is a virtual certainty that he would not have been able to secure it. That’s because Bush would not have been able to provide any evidence whatsoever of Taliban complicity in the 9/11 attacks. Without any evidence of such complicity, it is difficult to imagine Congress issuing a declaration of war against Afghanistan, especially knowing that such a war would inevitably wreak massive death and destruction on that impoverished Third World country.

Bush claimed that his invasion of Afghanistan was morally justified under the principle of “self-defense.” But that claim necessarily depended on showing that the Taliban regime was involved in the 9/11 attacks. No such evidence existed, and Bush knew it. Thus, if he had gone to Congress and sought a declaration of war based on “self-defense,” he would have gone there empty-handed insofar as evidence is concerned.

In fact, if Bush really believed that the Taliban regime had attacked the United States, he would never have gone to the United Nations seeking its approval to defend itself by invading Afghanistan. No president would do that. 

What about the “harboring” charge? Bush claimed that his invasion of Afghanistan was morally justified because Afghanistan was “harboring” Osama bin Laden. Bush’s claim is without validity. To warrant a “harboring” charge, Bush would have to provide evidence that the Taliban regime had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks and was knowingly conspiring with bin Laden to provide him a base to plan the attacks. Bush knew that he had no evidence to support such a charge.

What Bush actually meant by his “harboring” charge was that the Taliban was refusing to comply with Bush’s unconditional extradition demand for bin Laden. But under international law, the Taliban regime had every right to refuse Bush’s extradition demand. That’s because there was no extradition treaty between Afghanistan and the United States. When there is no extradition treaty between two nations, neither one is required to comply with an extradition demand from the other.

What about the claim that the 9/11 attacks were an “act of war” and, therefore, the United States had the legitimate authority to invade Afghanistan to kill or capture bin Laden, who was living in Afghanistan?

It was a bogus justification for invading Afghanistan. Under U.S. law, terrorism is a criminal offense, not an act of war. That’s why terrorism prosecutions are brought in U.S. District Courts. No nation has the legitimate authority to invade another nation to kill or capture a suspected criminal who is residing in that country.

One of the most notorious terrorists was a CIA man named Jose Posada Carriles. He is widely considered to be one of the people who brought down a Cuban airline with a bomb over Venezuelan skies. He later safely ensconced himself in the United States.

When Venezuela demanded Posada’s extradition, U.S. officials protected him by refusing to comply, notwithstanding the fact that there was an extradition treaty between Venezuela and the United States.

Would interventionists who supported the deadly and destructive invasion of Afghanistan to kill or capture bin Laden have supported a similar deadly and destructive Venezuelan invasion of the United States to kill or capture Posada? I think not.

Using NATO to gin up the crisis in Ukraine is bad enough. While U.S. arms manufacturers are clearly a beneficiary of that crisis, so is the Pentagon because it has caused people to forget what the Pentagon did to the people of Afghanistan and to just “move” on to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We must not let that happen, especially given the massive death and destruction that the Pentagon wreaked in its immoral and illegal war against an impoverished Third World country.

December 8, 2022 Posted by | Corruption, Militarism | , | 1 Comment

US brings culture wars to Afghanistan

Reflections on Events in Afghanistan


The time has come to pick up threads from my blog of January 27 titled The West co-opts the Taliban. Indeed, the wheel has come full circle: the three-day conclave in Oslo on January 23-25 between a core group of Western diplomats with Taliban officials failed to work out a reasonable a modus vivendi. The pendulum has since swung to the other extreme. 

Afghanistan has once again become the cockpit of big power rivalries due to developments intrinsic to Afghan situation, a regime change in Pakistan and the shifts in regional politics in Central Asia due to the fallouts from the collective West’s proxy war with Russia in Europe.

To recapitulate, Russia and China brilliantly undercut the US’ attempt in Oslo to co-opt the Taliban government as its partner. The terms of partnership were not acceptable to the Taliban, especially the leeway that the US and British intelligence sought to stage covert operations from Afghan soil. 

Russia and China created space for Taliban to negotiate with the US by simply offering them the prospect of a beneficial relationship. The US’s core objective was to use Afghanistan as a staging post for its containment strategies against Russia, China and Iran.

Since then, the US estimates that with Russia bogged down in Ukraine and China remaining extra-cautious in consorting with Moscow, a window of opportunity is available for it to proactively work toward promoting regime changes in Central Asia and roll back the Russian influence in the region.

Attempts were made in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan but the regimes in those countries were vigilant.  The failed attempts once again drew attention to the importance of Afghanistan as a high ground in the geopolitics of the Central Asian region. Hence the need to regain control over Kabul.

This is a truly collective effort by the Western intelligence, with the US, UK, France and Germany in the lead role. Unsurprisingly, the West’s focus has shifted to the northern regions of Afghanistan bordering the ex-Soviet republics of Central Asia. 

With a pro-Western regime in power in Pakistan, the US gets a free hand to work with the non-Taliban groups. The Western powers assess that the so-called National Resistance Front (NRF) led by the Panjshiri leader Ahmed Massoud provides a congenial platform for advancing their regional agenda. 

Apart from the Massoud clan’s decades-old links with the French intelligence, Ahmed Massoud himself was trained in Sandhurst. The Panjshiris are irreconcilably opposed to Pashtun rule and also have ethnic affinities with Tajikistan. 

Enter Emmanuel Macron. France has a score to settle ever since Russia’s Wagner Group summarily replaced the French Legion as the provider of security to the Francophone countries in the Sahel region. Macron hopes to turn the table against Russia in Central Asia (and the Caucasus.) 

In this shadow play, Macron sees as quasi-ally the president of Tajikistan Imomali Rahmon. Now, Rahmon’s motivations are never easy to fathom and are rather complicated in this case, but he does see that there is a lot of money that the West is prepared to spend to foster the NRF and Massoud, and this western venture is for sure going to be for the long haul.

Rahmon’s trump card is that Tajikistan is the gateway to Panjshir and it can provide a transit corridor for the flow of Western money, men and materials to boost the NRF’s capability to wage an armed struggle and emerge quickly as a credible political entity regionally. 

Dushanbe hosted the so-called Herat Security Dialogue earlier this week to facilitate a meet-up between the NRF (Massoud) and sundry other disgruntled Afghan politicians hostile toward Taliban rule and domiciled in the West, with the US and European intelligence officials mentoring the event. 

Clearly, the venture aims to broad-base the NRF by bringing on board all anti-Taliban elements. Interestingly, a sideshow at Dushanbe was that the Afghans networked with hand-picked invitees from regional states as well, including Russia and Iran, largely self-styled “liberals” who are willing to subserve the West’s agenda.  

In a nutshell, the venture aims to build up another Afghan resistance movement to oust the Taliban from power. The ground is being prepared for a new civil war where the West hopes to emerge victorious eventually but without having to put “boots on the ground.”

However, this incoming civil war is going to be very unlike all previous ones in Afghan history. For, this is being projected as a culture war — a struggle for dominance between groups within the Afghan society arising from their different beliefs or practices — although quintessentially it is yet another grab for political power with foreign help.

It bears similarity with the culture wars playing out in America during the past two decades and more between the liberal secular society and a conservative opposition that rooted its worldview in divine scripture. Today, in America it is playing out in vicious fights over abortion, gay rights, religion in public schools and the like.

The culture war in Afghanistan too will inevitably expand from issues of religion and family culture to take over politics almost totally, creating a dangerous sense of winner-take-all conflict over the future of the country, as has happened in America. 

The paradox here is that it is taking place in the cause of Democracy, whereas, democracy at its core is an agreement that we will not kill each other over our differences, but instead we’ll talk through those differences howsoever long it may take. Massoud’s NRF, on the contrary, is wedded to violence to overthrow the Taliban government which has been in power only briefly.  

Fundamentally, there is a dangerous misconception here since politics at its core is nothing but an artifact of culture. And culture underwrites politics in all countries. To be sure, the Taliban will see the incoming civil war promoted by the West as an existential threat to their way of life, to the things they hold sacred. That is to say, the Taliban’s resistance to the NRF will be rooted in fear of extinction. They will fight to the death for a way of life.

Why is the West doing this to Afghanistan after having destroyed that country’s social fabric through the past two decades perpetrating such horrific war crimes? At the very least, first return that country’s money in western banks and allow the Afghan nation a decent respite to lick its war wounds, before inciting another civil war. 

Abdul Latif Pedram, a rare progressive-minded Afghan politician known for his integrity, wrote in a tweet “I was invited to the security meeting of Herat (at Dushanbe), but I did not participate in the meeting due to the presence of corrupt people.” 

Indeed, it is an insult to the Afghan people that the westerners continue to treat them like mute cattle. Pedram added that the invitees to the Dushanbe meeting were all associated with the corrupt regime that the Taliban replaced, and are bankrupt in ideas to improve the tragic situation in his country. 

December 1, 2022 Posted by | Corruption | , , | 1 Comment

US-Turkiye brinkmanship won’t reach a point of no return

Conflict between Ankara and Washington over Syria will likely see the two drift apart, with Turkiye aligning more closely with Eurasian powers.

By MK Bhadrakumar | The Cradle | November 28, 2022

The series of airstrikes against Kurdish militants in northern Syria by Turkish jets in the past week come amid heightened concerns over Ankara’s threat to launch a ground operation. Such actions are not without precedent, yet have thus far achieved little in terms of eradicating the security challenges posed by US-backed Kurdish fighters.

Turkiye is today addressing an existential challenge to its national security and sovereignty, stemming from the United States’ quasi-alliance with Kurdish groups in Syria over the past decade – with whom Ankara has been battling for far longer.

However, this issue is playing out within a much broader regional backdrop today. Russia now has a permanent presence in Syria and is itself locked in an existential struggle with the US in Ukraine and the Black Sea. Iran-US tensions are also acute and President Joe Biden has openly called for the overthrow of the Iranian government.

Opposing the US occupation of Syria

Suffice to say, the Syrian government, which has demanded the removal of illegal US troops from one-third of its territory for years, enjoys a congruence of interests with Turkiye like never before, particularly in opposing the American military presence in Syria.

For the US, on the other hand, continued occupation of Syria is crucial in geopolitical terms, given that country’s geography on the northern tier of the West Asian region which borders Iran and the Caucasus to the north and east, Turkiye and the Black Sea to the north, Israel to the south, and the Eastern Mediterranean to the west.

All of that would have a great bearing on the outcome of the epochal struggle for the control of the Eurasian landmass – the Heartland and the Geographical Pivot of history as Sir Halford J. Mackinder once described it in evocative terms – by Washington and NATO to counter Russia’s resurgence and China’s rise.

China’s involvement in the Astana process

A curious detail at this point assumes larger-than-life significance in the period ahead: Beijing is messaging its interest in joining the Astana process on Syria. Moscow’s presidential envoy for Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, stated recently that Russia is convinced that China’s involvement as an observer in the Astana format would be valuable.

Interestingly, Lavrentiev was speaking after the 19th international meeting on Syria in the Astana format with his counterparts from Turkiye and Iran on November 15.

“We believe that China’s participation in the Astana format would be very useful. Of course, we proposed this option. The Iranians agreed with this, while the Turkish side is considering it and has taken a pause before making a decision,” he explained.

Lavrentiev noted that Beijing could provide “some assistance as part of the Syrian settlement, improve the lives of Syrian citizens, and in reconstruction.”

The Chinese Foreign Ministry promptly responded to the Russian invitation, confirming that Beijing “attaches great importance to this format and is ready to work with all its participants to restore peace and stability in Syria.”

Lavrentiev didn’t miss the opportunity to taunt Washington, saying: “Of course, I believe that if the Americans returned to the Astana format, that would also be very useful. If two countries like the United States and China were present as observers in the Astana format, that would be a very good step, a good signal for the international community, and in general in the direction of the Syrian settlement.”

However, there is no question of the Biden Administration working with Russia, Turkiye, Iran, and China on a Syrian settlement at the present time. Reports keep appearing that the US has been transferring ISIS fighters from Syria to Ukraine to fight Russian forces, and to Afghanistan to stir up the pot in Central Asia.

The Astana troika are in unison, demanding the departure of US  occupation forces from Syria. Moscow knows fully well too that the US hopes to work toward shuttering Russian bases in Syria.

Turkiye’s pursuit of the US’s Kurdish allies

In fact, the aerial operations in Syria that Ankara ordered last Sunday followed a terrorist strike in Istanbul a week ago by Kurdish separatists, killing at least six people and injuring more than 80 others. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the air strikes were “just the beginning” and that his Armed Forces “will topple the terrorists by land at the most convenient time.”

Turkish security agencies have nabbed the bomber – a Syrian woman named Ahlam Albashir who was allegedly trained by the US military. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre hurriedly issued a statement to calm that storm: “The United States strongly condemns the act of violence that took place today in Istanbul, Turkiye.”

But Turkiye’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu reacted caustically to the American missive, saying that Washington’s condolence message was like “a killer being the first to show up at a crime scene.”

Conceivably, with Erdogan facing a crucial election in the coming months, the Biden Administration is pulling out all the stops to prevent the ruling AKP party from winning another mandate to rule Turkiye.

The Turkish “swing state” is crucial for US plans

The US feels exasperated with Erdogan for pushing ahead with independent foreign policies that could see Turkiye joining the BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and deepening his strategic ties with Russia and China – and most important, steadily mark distance from Washington and NATO’s containment strategies against Russia and China.

Turkiye has become a critically important “swing state” at this stage in the post-cold war era. Erdogan’s effort to bolster the country’s strategic autonomy lethally undermines the western strategy to impose its global hegemony.

While Erdogan keep’s Washington guessing about his next move, his airstrikes in northern Syria hit targets very close to US bases there. The Pentagon has warned that the strikes threaten the safety of American military personnel. The Pentagon statement represents the strongest condemnation by the US of its NATO ally in recent times.

Russian diplomacy forestalls Syria ground incursion 

Unsurprisingly, Russia is acting as a moderating influence on Turkiye. Lavrentyev said last Wednesday that Moscow has tried to convince Ankara to “refrain from conducting full-scale ground operations” inside Syria. The Russian interest lies in encouraging Erdogan to engage with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and pool their efforts to curb the activities of Kurdish terrorists.

Indeed, the probability is low that Erdogan will order ground incursions into Syria. This also seems to be the assessment of local Kurdish groups.

US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Commander Mazloum Kobane Abdi, who is the Pentagon’s key interlocutor in northern Syria, has been quoted as saying that while he has received intelligence that Turkiye has alerted its local proxies to prepare for a ground offensive, the Biden administration could still convince Erdogan to back off.

That said, Erdogan can make things difficult for the US and eventually even force the evacuation of its estimated 900 military troops, shutting down the Pentagon’s lucrative oil smuggling operation in Syria and abandoning its training camps for ex-ISIS fighters in northern and eastern Syria.

But the US is unlikely to take matters to a point of no return. A retrenchment in Syria at the present juncture will weaken the US regional strategies, not only in West Asia, but also in the adjoining Black Sea region and the Caucasus, in the southern periphery of the Eurasian landmass.

From Erdogan’s perspective too, it is not in his interest to burn bridges with the west. A bridge in disrepair remains a bridge nonetheless, which would have its selective uses for Erdogan in the times of multipolarity that lie ahead.

November 28, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Russia strategises with Iran for the long haul in Ukraine

Ali Shamkhani (L), representative of Supreme Leader and Secretary of Supreme National Security Council, met Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Tehran, Nov. 9, 2022

Ignoring the hype in the US media about White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s Kissingerian diplomacy over Ukraine, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, former KGB counterintelligence officer and longstanding associate of President Putin, travelled to Tehran last Wednesday in the equivalent of a knockout punch in geopolitics. 

Patrushev called on President Ebrahim Raisi and held detailed discussions with Admiral Ali Shamkhani, the representative of the Supreme leader and secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. The visit marks a defining moment in the Russia-Iran partnership and plants a signpost on the trajectory of the war in Ukraine. 

The Iranian state media quoted Raisi as saying, “The development of the extent and expansion of the scale of war [in Ukraine] causes concern for all countries.” That said, Raisi also remarked that Tehran and Moscow are upgrading relations to a “strategic” level, which is “the most decisive response to the policy of sanctions and destabilisation by the United States and its allies.” 

The US State Department reacted swiftly on the very next day with spokesman Ned Price warning that “This is a deepening alliance that the entire world should view as a profound threat… this is a relationship that would have implications, could have implications beyond any single country.” Price said Washington will work with allies to counter Russian-Iranian military ties. 

Patrushev’s talks in Tehran touched on highly sensitive issues that prompted President Vladimir Putin to follow up with Raisi on Saturday. The Kremlin readout said the two leaders “discussed a number of current issues on the bilateral agenda with an emphasis on the continued building up of interaction in politics, trade and the economy, including transport and logistics. They agreed to step up contacts between respective Russian and Iranian agencies.” 

In this connection, Patrushev’s exceptionally strong support for Iran over the current disturbances in that country must be understood properly. Patrushev stated: “We note the key role of Western secret services in organising mass riots in Iran and the subsequent spread of disinformation about the situation in the country via Persian-language Western media existing under their control. We see this as overt interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.” 

Russian security agencies share information with Iranian counterparts on hostile activities of western intelligence agencies. Notably, Patrushev sidestepped Iran’s suspicions regarding involvement of Saudi Arabia. Separately, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also publicly offered to mediate between Tehran and Riyadh. 

All this is driving Washington insane. On the one hand, it is not getting anywhere, including at President Biden’s level, to raise the spectre of Iran threat and rally the Arab regimes of the Persian Gulf all over again. 

Most recently, Washington resorted to theatrics following up an unsubstantiated report by Wall Street Journal about an imminent Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia in the coming days. The US forces in the West Asian region increased their alert level and Washington vowed to be ready for any eventuality. But, curiously, Riyadh was unmoved and showed no interest in the US offer of protection to ward off threat from Iran.

Clearly, the Saudi-Iranian normalisation process, which has been front-loaded with sensitive exchanges on their mutual security concerns, has gained traction neither side gets provoked into knee-jerk reaction.

This paradigm shift works to Russia’s advantage. Alongside its highly strategic oil alliance with Saudi Arabia, Russia is now deepening its strategic partnership with Iran.

The panic in spokesman Price’s remarks suggests that Washington has inferred that the cooperation between the security and defence agencies of Russia and Iran is set to intensify.  

What alarms Washington most is that Tehran is adopting a joint strategy with Moscow to go on the offensive and defeat the weaponisation of sanctions by the collective West. Despite decades of sanctions, Iran has built up a world class defence industry on its own steam that will put countries like India or Israel to shame. 

Shamkhani underscored the creation of “joint and synergistic institutions to deal with sanctions and the activation of the capacity of international institutions against sanctions and sanctioning countries.” Patrushev concurred by recalling the earlier agreements between the national security agencies of the two countries to chart out the roadmap for strategic cooperation, especially in regard of countering western economic and technological sanctions.

Shamkhani added that Tehran regards the expansion of bilateral and regional cooperation with Russia in the economic field as one of its strategic priorities in the conditions of US sanctions, which both countries are facing. Patrushev responded, “The most important goal of mine and my delegation in traveling to Tehran is to exchange opinions to speed up the implementation of joint projects along with providing dynamic mechanisms to start new activities in the economic, commercial, energy and technology fields.” 

Patrushev noted, “Creating synergy in transit capacities, especially the rapid completion of the North-South corridor, is an effective step to improve the quality of bilateral and international economic and commercial cooperation.” 

Patrushev and Shamkhani discussed a joint plan by Russia and Iran “to establish a friendship group of defenders of the United Nations Charter” comprising countries that bear the brunt of illegal western sanctions. 

With regard to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, Shamkhani said the two countries should “intelligently use the exchangeable capacities” of the member countries. He said the danger of terrorism and extremism continues to threaten the security of the region and stressed the need to increase regional and international cooperation. 

Patrushev’s visit to Tehran was scheduled in the run-up to the conference on Afghanistan being hosted by Moscow on November 16. Iran and Russia have common concerns over Afghanistan. They are concerned over the western attempts to (re)fuel the civil war in Afghanistan. 

In a recent op-ed in Nezavisimaya Gazeta, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov alleged that Britain is financing a so-called “Afghan resistance”  against the Taliban (which is reportedly operating out of Panjshir.) Kabulov wrote that the US is baiting two Central Asian states by offering them helicopters and aircraft in lieu of cooperation in covert activities against the Taliban. 

Kabulov made a sensational disclosure that the US is blackmailing the Taliban leaders by threatening them with a drone attack unless they broke off contacts with Russia and China. He said, specifically, that the US and Britain are demanding that Kabul should refrain from restricting the activities of Afghanistan-based Uyghur terrorists. 

Interestingly, Moscow is exploring the creation of a compact group of five regional states who are stakeholders in Afghanistan’s stabilisation and could work together. Kabulov mentioned Iran, Pakistan, India and China as Russia’s partners. 

Iran is a “force multiplier” for Russia in a way no other country — except China, perhaps — can be in the present difficult conditions of sanctions. Patrushev’s visit to Tehran at the present juncture, on the day after the midterms in the US, can only mean that the Kremlin has seen through the Biden administration’s dissimulation of peacemaking in Ukraine to actually derail the momentum of the Russian mobilisation and creation of new defence lines in the Kherson-Zaporozhya-Donbass direction. 

Indeed, it is no secret that the Americans are literally scratching the bottom of the barrel to deliver weapons to Ukraine as their inventory is drying up and several months or a few years are needed to replenish depleted stocks. (herehere  ,here and here) 

Suffice to say, from the geopolitical angle, Patrushev’s talks in Tehran — and Putin’s call soon after with Raisi — have messaged in no unmistaken terms that Russia is strategising for the long haul in Ukraine. 

November 13, 2022 Posted by | Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pentagon exploits post 9/11 laws to wage ‘secret wars’ worldwide: Report

The Cradle | November 9, 2022

A report released last week by the New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice details how the US Department of Defense (DoD) has been allowed to covertly deploy troops and wage secret wars over the past two decades in dozens of countries across the globe.

Among the nations in West Asia affected by these so-called ‘security cooperation authorities’ are LebanonIraqSyria, and Yemen; however, they also include many African and Latin American nations.

Known as ‘security cooperation authorities,’ they were passed by the US Congress in the years following the 11 September attacks, and are a continuation of the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), a piece of legislation that has been stretched by four successive governments.

According to the report, the AUMF covers “a broad assortment of terrorist groups, the full list of which the executive branch long withheld from Congress and still withholds from the public.”

Following in this tradition, the ‘security cooperation authorities’ being abused by the Pentagon are Section 333 and Section 127e of Title 10 of the United States Code (USC).

Section 333 authorizes the US army to “train and equip foreign forces anywhere in the world,” while Section 127e authorizes the Pentagon to “provide support to foreign forces, paramilitaries, and private individuals who are in turn supporting US counterterrorism operations,” with a spending limit of $100,000,000 per fiscal year.

However, thanks to the vague definition of ‘support’ and ‘training’ in the text of these laws, both Section 333 and Section 127e programs have been abused to target “adversarial” groups under a strained interpretation of constitutional self-defense; they have also allowed the US army to develop and control proxy forces that fight on behalf of – and sometimes alongside – their own.

As a result of this, in dozens of countries, these programs have been used as a springboard for hostilities, with the Pentagon often declining to inform Congress or the US public about their secret operations under the reasoning that the incidents are “too minor to trigger statutory reporting requirements.”

“Researchers and reporters uncovered Section 127e programs not only in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also in Cameroon, Egypt, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen,” the report highlights.

Researchers also point out that defense authorities “have given little indication of how [they] interpret Section 333 and 127e.”

Even more concerning, and ignoring the damage caused by these ‘anti-terror’ laws, the US Congress recently expanded the Pentagon’s security cooperation authorities, particularly with Section 1202 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Section 1202 allows the US army to allow “irregular warfare operations” against “rogue states” like Iran or North Korea, or “near-peers,” like Russia and China.

The report comes at a time when the US army and its proxy militias are accused of illegally occupying vast regions of Syria and Yemen, looting oil from the war-torn countries, just over a year after their brutal occupation of Afghanistan ended. Moreover, a former US official on Tuesday revealed that anti-Iran militias are being armed in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR), where both the CIA and the Mossad are known to operate.

November 11, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments