Category Archives: Military

U.S. Weighs Into Mediterranean Tensions With Weapons and Hypocrisy, by the Strategic Culture Editorial Board

The U.S. government is once again sticking its nose into a situation it doesn’t really belong. From the Strategic Culture Editorial Board at strategic-culture.org:

Twice in the past week, the United States has clumsily weighed into mounting tensions in the East Mediterranean between Greece and Turkey.

First, Washington announced last weekend the opening of a maritime security base on the island state of Cyprus, which is allied with Greece. Then the U.S. followed up by formally clearing the way to send weapons to Cyprus, ending a 33-year arms embargo. Washington claims the arms are “non-lethal”, but we have seen that semantic ruse played before with regard to U.S. weaponizing Ukraine and other places. Never mind the hairsplitting, the move is a military involvement whichever way it’s presented.

Both U.S. moves have infuriated Turkey, which lies to the north of Cyprus and which maintains territorial claims over the northern part of the island populated by Turkish-Cypriots. The main part of the island, the Republic of Cyprus, is historically aligned with Greece. Cyprus became divided in 1974 after Turkey invaded following a coup led by the Greek military. The territory has been a source of tensions ever since and a recurring cause for confrontation between Greece and Turkey over competing claims.

This year tensions have flared up again over disputed rights to oil and gas exploration in the East Mediterranean Sea. The area is reckoned to be rich in untapped hydrocarbon resources. There are even fears of a military confrontation escalating between patrolling Greek and Turkish navy vessels.

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Coronavirus Gives a Dangerous Boost to DARPA’s Darkest Agenda, by Whitney Webb

The coronavirus outbreak is the latest in a long line of so-called emergencies by which the government expands its powers and curtails our freedom. From Whitney Webb at thelastamericanvagabond.com:

Technology developed by the Pentagon’s controversial research branch is getting a huge boost amid the current coronavirus crisis, with little attention going to the agency’s ulterior motives for developing said technologies, their potential for weaponization or their unintended consequences.

In January, well before the coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis would result in lockdowns, quarantines and economic devastation in the United States and beyond, the U.S. intelligence community and the Pentagon were working with the National Security Council to create still-classified plans to respond to an imminent pandemic. It has since been alleged that the intelligence and military intelligence communities knew about a likely pandemic in the United States as early as last November, and potentially even before then.

Given this foreknowledge and the numerous simulations conducted in the United States last year regarding global viral pandemic outbreaks, at least six of varying scope and size, it has often been asked – Why did the government not act or prepare if an imminent global pandemic and the shortcomings of any response to such an event were known? Though the answer to this question has frequently been written off as mere “incompetence” in mainstream media circles, it is worth entertaining the possibility that a crisis was allowed to unfold.

Why would the intelligence community or another faction of the U.S. government knowingly allow a crisis such as this to occur? The answer is clear if one looks at history, as times of crisis have often been used by the U.S. government to implement policies that would normally be rejected by the American public, ranging from censorship of the press to mass surveillance networks. Though the government response to the September 11 attacks, like the Patriot Act, may be the most accessible example to many Americans, U.S. government efforts to limit the flow of “dangerous” journalism and surveil the population go back to as early as the First World War. Many of these policies, whether the Patriot Act after 9/11 or WWI-era civilian “spy” networks, did little if anything to protect the homeland, but instead led to increased surveillance and control that persisted long after the crisis that spurred them had ended.

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Trump Challenges Pro-War Foreign Policy Elite, by Doug Bandow

Just using the term “crazy endless wars” makes Trump the most antiwar president in decades. From Doug Bandow at theamericanconservative.com:

Calls from experts to continue our current endeavors all fall flat. Intervention is the problem, not the solution.

President-elect Trump with retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, who would soon become Secretary of Defense, November 19, 2016. (By a katz/Shutterstock)

Dr. Strangelove’s Spoon Benders: How the U.S. Military Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, by Cynthia Chung

Do US military officials believe in winnable limited nuclear war? From Cynthia Chung of strategic-culture.org:

It is the belief held by top officials within the U.S. military industrial complex that their ideology of appropriate morality is to prevail and that one must use these mind-over-matter techniques to achieve the ultimate goal, “the power to manipulate reality”, that global dominance can be achieved without wiping out the world.

“MindWar must be strategic in emphasis, with tactical applications playing a reinforcing, supplementary role. In its strategic context, MindWar must reach out to friends, enemies, and neutrals alike across the globe…through the media possessed by the United States which have the capabilities to reach virtually all people on the face of the Earth…State of the art developments in satellite communication, video recording techniques, and laser and optical transmission of broadcasts make possible a penetration of the minds of the world such as would have been inconceivable just a few years ago. Like the sword of Excalibur, we have but to reach out and seize this tool; and it can transform the world for us if we have the courage and integrity to enhance civilization with it. If we do not accept Excalibur, then we relinquish our ability to inspire foreign cultures with our morality. If they can then desire moralities unsatisfactory to us, we have no choice but to fight them on a more brutish level.”

– “From PSYOP to MindWar: The Psychology of Victory” by Col. Paul Vallely and Maj. Michael Aquino, a document written to increase the influence of the “spoon-benders” in the U.S. military.

On Sept 4th, an unprecedented show of force aimed at Russia occurred, with U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress bombers flying from the UK to Ukraine airspace. After arriving in Ukraine airspace they orbited for an extended period right at the edge of the Ukraine-Russian border.

These B-52H bombers are capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

In addition, a number of U.S. and UK aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) assets were operating in the area at the time, including a RC-135V/W spy plane, a RAF Airseeker and a RAF Sentinel R1 radar jet. No doubt to gather information on Russia’s integrated air defense networks and other command nodes.

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Maintaining Pretence Over Reality: ‘Simply Put, the Iranians Outfoxed the U.S. Defence Systems’, by Alastair Crooke

The neocons inside and outside the Trump Administration can talk all they want about waging war against Iran, but supported by the Chinese and Russians, Iran would be a tough, perhaps impossible, nut to crack. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

So it never was then a ‘peace agreement’ between Israel and the UAE. It was ‘normalisation’ for the purposes of mounting a military alliance against Iran. Pompeo suggested so, this weekend. He said that the UAE and Israel have agreed to form a security and military alliance against Iran to ‘protect’ U.S. interests and the Middle East. This agreement and any that might follow means that there will be an Israeli military and security military presence in the Gulf, and a joint Israeli-UAE intelligence base on Socotra Island in the Red Sea basin overlooking the Bab al-Mandab Strait. According to Pompeo, this agreement will transform the conflict in the Middle East from being Arab-Israeli, to Arab-Iranian, and perhaps Arab-Turkish later on.

The language used by Pompeo is significant in another way. Trump is proud of having taken Jerusalem ‘off the table’ (in the context of negotiations with the Palestinians). He says he has taken the Golan and the Jordan valley ‘off the table, too’. Pompeo’s formulation of the conflict transformation he believes he has just engineered says something else too: It is that the Palestinian issue is ‘off the table’ as well. It is now all about Iran (in Trump’s optic). The Palestinians are to stew in their own juices.

Well, Pompeo perhaps was speaking loosely when he designates it now an Arab-Iranian conflict. It is (at least for now), the UAE alone that has put itself on the Front Line. The Qatari-owned Al Quds al-Arabi scathingly noted that “in this alleged alliance against Iran … were the unwanted were to happen, and [a larger] war break out against Iran, the Emirates will be on the receiving end of the blows – and will be the biggest loser.”

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Trump and Biden Should Tell Americans When They Plan To Go to War, by Doug Bandow

What countries will the US defend, and under what circumstances? Inquiring minds would like answers from the two candidates. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:

With the election just weeks away, both President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden claim to be the best person to protect Americans in a dangerous world. Yet neither one has explained when they would take the U.S. into war.

Trump was recently asked whether he would let China “get away with” invading Taiwan. That’s an important question, which deserves an answer. What would the administration do? Most important, would the president authorize military action to defend the island state and attack the People’s Republic of China?

He responded: “China knows what I’m gonna do. China knows.” However, he wouldn’t say any more: “I think it’s an inappropriate place to talk about it. … This is just an inappropriate place to talk about it.”

Why is it inappropriate? The president said that PRC officials know. Why shouldn’t the American people know as well? Indeed, with an election just weeks away, he has an obligation to tell us what he would do. Voters should be able to evaluate his foreign policy judgment in deciding who to support.

No doubt offhand presidential comments can be unsettling. Trump knows that very well, indeed, almost every day, but it never stopped him before. Nor is he the only culprit. In 2001 President George W. Bush created a stir when he declared that he would do “whatever it took” to defend Taiwan. However, that controversy reflected the fact that he appeared to be breaking from past policy without have notified anyone in his administration. Moreover, he had not informed Beijing of his policy. Then-Chinese President Jiang Zemin certainly did not know what Bush was “gonna do.”

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Trump Connects the Generals and the Military-Industrial Complex, by Hunter Derensis

Not a week goes by where someone in the alternative media doesn’t write an article about the cozy relationship between America’s generals and military contractors, but Trump is the first president in decades to talk about it publicly. From Hunter Derensis at theamericanconservative.com:

Top brass are suspiciously cozy with contractors who profit from war. Trump is the first president to point it out.

President-elect Trump with retired Marine Corps General James Mattis, who would soon become Secretary of Defense in between stints at General Dynamics. (By a katz/Shutterstock)
Once again, the whispers of phantoms masquerading as administration officials have attempted to put Donald Trump on the defensive only two months before the fall election. And in typical fashion, the roused president has gone on an immediate rhetorical offensive.

Trump has doubled down on his affirmations towards the U.S. military and the American soldier, while simultaneously confronting the class of generals who command them. “I’m not saying the military’s in love with me—the soldiers are,” Trump said at a Labor Day press conference. “The top people in the Pentagon probably aren’t because they want to do nothing but fight wars so that all of those wonderful companies that make the bombs and make the planes and make everything else stay happy.”

This is a dramatic shift in perspective from the man who spent the first two years of his presidency surrounding himself with top brass like Michael Flynn, John Kelly, H.R. McMaster, and James Mattis (along with almost being beguiled into nominating David Petraeus as Secretary of State). Perhaps Trump learned the hard way that the generals of the forever wars don’t measure up to the twentieth-century soldiers he adulated growing up.

For instance, when George Marshall oversaw the deployment of 8.3 million GIs across four continents in World War II, he did so with the assistance of only three other four-star generals. In retirement, Marshall refused to sit on any corporate boards, and passed on multiple lucrative book deals, lest he give the impression that he was profiting from his military record. As he told one publisher, “he had not spent his life serving the government in order to sell his life story to the Saturday Evening Post.”

Contrast that to the bloated, top-heavy military establishment of today, where an unprecedented forty-one four-star generals oversee only 1.3 million men and women-at-arms. These men, selected and groomed because of their safe habits, spend years patting themselves on the back for managing wars-not-won, awaiting the day they can cash in. According to an analysis by The Boston Globe, in the mid-1990s nearly 50% of three- and four-star generals went on to work as consultants or executives for the arms industry. In 2006, at the height of the Iraq War, that number swelled to over 80% of retirees.

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From 9/11 to Covid-19: Nineteen Years of Permanent “Emergency”, by Ryan McMaken

Nobody has found anything better than good old-fashioned fear to keep people docile and compliant. From Ryan McMaken at mises.org:

During March and April of this year—during the early days of the covid-19 panic—each day came to be accompanied by a general feeling of dread. As new emergency orders and decrees rained down from governors, mayors, and faceless health bureaucrats, I wondered, What new awful thing will governments think up today? As business and churches were closed by government edict, politicians increasingly were threatening to arrest and jail ordinary citizens for doing things that were perfectly legal mere days before.

Even worse was the new orthodoxy that seemed to immediately spring up. All dissent from the new regime of lockdowns and business seizures was denounced and mocked. We were now all expected to chant new slogans. “We’re all in this together. Flatten the curve.”

There was no sign of any sizable opposition. The courts were silent. So-called due process was abandoned.

But for those of us who are old enough to remember the dark times that followed the 9/11 attacks, the feelings of dread had a familiarity to them.

The blind sloganeering, the anger toward dissent, and the obeisance toward politicians who were credited with “keeping us safe” brought back bad old memories.

They were memories of the days and months and years that followed the 9/11 attacks. These were the days of so many new assaults on basic human freedoms and human rights. They were days when the public was bullied into accepting whatever new scheme politicians were dreaming up in the name of keeping us “safe.”

In many ways, the current hysteria is even worse than that of the early years of the twenty-first century. It affects the everyday lives of countless Americans in ways the 9/11 panic did not. But the current crisis is nonetheless very much a continuation of the attitudes and paranoia that surged nineteen years ago.

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The 9/11 Attacks: Understanding Al-Qaeda and the Domestic Fall-Out from America’s Secret War, by Sam Jacobs

This is a good review of the history surrounding 9/11. From Sam Jacobs at ammo.com:

With American military personnel now entering service who were not even alive on 9/11, this seems an appropriate time to reexamine the events of September 11, 2001 – the opaque motives for the attacks, the equally opaque motives for the counter-offensive by the United States and its allies known as the Global War on Terror, and the domestic fall-out for Americans concerned about the erosion of their civil liberties on the homefront.

Before venturing further, it’s worth noting that our appraisal is not among the most common explanations. Osama bin Laden, his lieutenants at Al-Qaeda, and the men who carried out the attack against the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon are not “crazy,” unhinged psychopaths launching an attack against the United States without what they consider to be good reason.

Nor do we consider then-President George W. Bush to be either a simpleton, a willing conspirator, an oil profiteer, or a Machivellian puppet whose cabinet were all too happy to take advantage of a crisis.

The American press tends to portray its leaders as fools and knaves, and America’s enemies as psychopathic. Because the propaganda machine hammered away so heavily on the simple “cowardly men who hate our freedom” line, there was not much in the way of careful consideration of the actual political motives of the hijackers, the Petro-Islam that funded them, the ancient, antagonistic split between Sunni and Shi’a, the fall-out from the 1979 Iranian revolution or the 1970s energy crisis, the historical context of covert American involvement in the Soviet-Afghan War and the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s, nor the perceived “imperialist humanitarianism” of American military adventures of the 1990s in Muslim nations like Bosnia, Iraq, Somalia and Kosovo. Alone, none of these factors were deadly. Combined, they provided a lethal combination.

It is our considered opinion that the events of 9/11 and those that followed in direct response to the attacks – including the invasion of Iraq – were carried out by good faith rational actors who believed they were acting in the best interests of their religion or their nation. There are no conspiracy theories here; sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

This opinion does not in any way absolve the principals from moral responsibility for the consequences of their actions. It does, however, provide what we believe to be a more accurate and nuanced depiction of events than is generally forthcoming from any sector of the media – because we see these principals as excellent chess players who, in the broad sweep of events, engaged in actions which are explicable.

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The Benghazi Attack: The Forgotten History of the 2012 Attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya, by Sam Jacobs

There’s another 9/11 that’s important. From Sam Jacobs at ammo.com:

The Benghazi Attack: The Forgotten History of the 2012 Attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya

If you say “September 11” most people automatically think of the attacks on the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. What they probably don’t even remember happened on September 11, were the attacks on the United States Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.

Once the Libyan Revolution began in February 2011, the CIA began placing assets in the region, attempting to make contacts within the region. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, whose name and image would soon become synonymous with the Benghazi attacks, was the first liaison between the United States and the rebels. The task before the American intelligence community at that time was securing arms in the country, most notably shoulder-fired missiles, taken from the Libyan military.

Eastern Libya and Benghazi were the primary focal points of intelligence-gathering in the country. But there was something else at work here: The CIA was using the country as a base to funnel weapons to anti-Assad forces in Syria, as well as their alleged diplomatic mission.

Early Rumblings of Disorder in Benghazi

Trouble started in April 2012. This was when two former security guards of the consulate threw an IED over the fence. No casualties were reported, but another bomb was thrown at a convoy just four days later. Soon after, in May, the office of the International Red Cross in Benghazi was attacked and the local al-Qaeda affiliate claimed responsibility. On August 6, the Red Cross suspended operations in Libya.
This was all part of a troubling escalation of violence in the region. The British Ambassador Dominic Asquith was the victim of an assassination attempt on June 10, 2012. As a result of this and of rocket attacks on convoys, the British withdrew their entire consular staff from Libya in late June of that year.