Many think tanks do very little thinking. From Dave DeCamp at antiwar.com:
The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) released a report on November 21sttitled “Russia’s Dead-End Diplomacy in Syria.” The report focuses on Russia’s role in supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and calls for the U.S. to maintain a presence in Syria.
The ISW presents itself as a “non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization.” In reality, the ISW is a neocon think tank funded by some of the country’s largest defense contractors. The ISW has a significant influence in Washington, and its chairman even has direct access to President Trump.
The report argues that Assad does not have the resources to regain and maintain control of the rest of Syria and that his victory would not bring stability. As far as Russia’s role, the report says, “The Kremlin seeks to thwart any Western effort to replace Assad and to instead reach a superficial political settlement that legitimizes his regime and neutralizes his opposition.”
Posted in Cronyism, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Government, Imperialism, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Bashar al-Assad, Institute for the Study of War, Neoconservatives, Syria
Abolishing the CIA is an idea whose time came long ago. Better late than never, although the proposal will get far less consideration than it deserves. From Charlie Donavan at lewrockwell.com:
On NBC’s Meet the Press, Chuck Todd delivered an Academy Award winning performance for Best Actor as he grilled the perennially ineffective and overmatched Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana. “Are you at all concerned you are doing Russian intelligence work here?” asked Todd. If you didn’t know Todd otherwise, you would think he genuinely believed the inanity he was selling.
As has been the case from day one, the response from Republicans against the baseless, incessant accusations that they are stooges of the KGB has been pathetic. Just as bought by the Military Industrial Complex and the National Security State as any Democrat (if not more so), Republicans cannot afford to criticize these entities openly lest they lose their political office. The typical retort of Republicans against accusations of being useful idiots of the Kremlin is to point out the many instances in which Trump has been quite hard on Russia. It is true that Trump has been much more aggressive against Russia than Obama and even George W. Bush. Bush refused to intervene on behalf of Georgia (a country most Americans don’t even know is a country), and Obama rightfullyresisted intense bi-partisan pressure to arm the Ukraine with weapons.
NATO should have closed up shop when the Soviet Union dissolved. From Medea Benjamin at antiwar.com:
The three smartest words that Donald Trump uttered during his presidential campaign are “NATO is obsolete.” His adversary, Hillary Clinton, retortedthat NATO was “the strongest military alliance in the history of the world.” Now that Trump has been in power, the White House parrots the same worn line that NATO is “the most successful Alliance in history, guaranteeing the security, prosperity, and freedom of its members.” But Trump was right the first time around: Rather than being a strong alliance with a clear purpose, this 70-year-old organization that is meeting in London on December 4 is a stale military holdover from the Cold War days that should have gracefully retired many years ago.
NATO was originally founded by the United States and 11 other Western nations as an attempt to curb the rise of communism in 1949. Six years later, Communist nations founded the Warsaw Pact and through these two multilateral institutions, the entire globe became a Cold War battleground. When the USSR collapsed in 1991, the Warsaw Pact disbanded but NATO expanded, growing from its original 12 members to 29 member countries. North Macedonia, set to join next year, will bring the number to 30. NATO has also expanded well beyond the North Atlantic, adding a partnership with Colombia in 2017. Donald Trump recently suggested that Brazil could one day become a full member.
China cannot give Hong Kong what many of its citizens are demanding. From Patrick J. Buchanan at buchanan.org:
At first glance, it would appear that five months of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong had produced a stunning triumph.
By September, the proposal of city leader Carrie Lam that ignited the protests — to allow criminal suspects to be extradited to China for trial — had been withdrawn.
And though the protesters’ demands escalated along with their tactics, from marches to mass civil disobedience, Molotov cocktails, riots and attacks on police, Chinese troops remained confined to their barracks.
Beijing wanted no reenactment of Tiananmen Square, the midnight massacre in the heart of Beijing that drowned in blood the 1989 uprising for democratic rights.
In Hong Kong, the police have not used lethal force. In five months of clashes, only a few have perished. And when elections came last month, Beijing was stunned by the landslide victory of the protesters.
Finally, last month, Congress passed by huge margins in both houses a Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act that threatens sanctions on Hong Kong authorities should they crush the rebels.
Both the Chinese and Russians have designs on a huge Iraqi oil field. From Simon Watkins at oilprice.com:
Ever since the U.S. signalled through its effective withdrawal from Syria that it now has little interest in becoming involved in military actions in the Middle East, the door has been fully opened to China and Russia to advance their ambitions in the region. For Russia, the Middle East offers a key military pivot from which it can project influence West and East and that it can use to capture and control massive oil and gas flows in both directions as well. For China, the Middle East – and, absolutely vitally, Iran and Iraq – are irreplaceable stepping stones towards Europe for its era-defining ‘One Belt, One Road’ project. Earlier this week an announcement was made by Iraq’s Oil Ministry that highlights each of these factors at play, through a relatively innocuous-sounding contract award to a relatively unknown Chinese firm.
The suggestion to send US troops to Mexico to fight drug cartels combines the worst features of the war on drugs and the war on terrorism. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
The 50-year US war on drugs has been a total failure, with hundreds of billions of dollars flushed down the drain and our civil liberties whittled away fighting a war that cannot be won. The 20 year “war on terror” has likewise been a gigantic US government disaster: hundreds of billions wasted, civil liberties scorched, and a world far more dangerous than when this war was launched after 9/11.
So what to do about two of the greatest policy failures in US history? According to President Trump and many in Washington, the answer is to combine them!
Last week Trump declared that, in light of an attack last month on US tourists in Mexico, he would be designating Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations. Asked if he would send in drones to attack targets in Mexico, he responded, “I don’t want to say what I’m going to do, but they will be designated.” The Mexican president was quick to pour cold water on the idea of US drones taking out Mexican targets, responding to Trump’s threats saying “cooperation, yes; interventionism, no.”
Posted in Crime, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Military, Politics, War
Tagged Drug cartels, Mexico, President Trump, War on Drugs, War on Terror
It is no longer in Europe’s interest to maintain an adversarial stance against Russia. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
Last week I went through just some of the highlights as to why Russia is becoming a destination for global capital.
For years it’s been a little lonely out here banging on about how well the Russian state headed by Vladimir Putin has navigated an immense campaign by the West to marginalize and/or isolate Russia from the world economy.
But that is changing rapidly. And 2020 will likely be the year the New Cold War begins to end. And it starts with Europe. In recent weeks there have been a number of moves made on both sides to end the economic isolation of Russia by Europe.
As always, however, it begins politically. French President Emmanuel Macron speaking at a press conference before 70th Anniversary NATO Summit in London no less, made it clear that he no longer wants the EU positioning itself as an adversary of Russia or China.