May, 2016 United States

Pakflag, cc Flickr openDemocracy, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Geopolitical Monitor, Rakesh Krishnan Simha
One of the ironies of being a Pakistani living abroad, especially in the West, is having to pose as Indian. According to Asghar Choudhri, the chairman of Brooklyn’s Pakistani American Merchant Association, a lot of Pakistanis can’t get jobs after 9/11 and after the botched Times Square bombing of 2010, it’s even worse. “They are now pretending they are Indian so they can get a job,” he told a US wire service.


By Paul Craig Roberts

"Information Clearing House" - The Saker reports that Russia is preparing for World War III, not because Russia intends to initiate aggression but because Russia is alarmed by the hubris and arrogance of the West, by the demonization of Russia, by provocative military actions by the West, by American interference in the Russian province of Chechnya and in former Russian provinces of Ukraine and Georgia, and by the absence of any restraint from Western Europe on Washington’s ability to foment war.

US-RussiaFlyby, photo credit: US Navy

Geopolitical Monitor, Robert Shines
With the end of the Cold War twenty-five years ago, many in the U.S have taken the country’s continued global hegemony for granted. However, this state of affairs is increasingly being challenged by both Russia and China, exemplified by their aerial flybys and interceptions of the US military within their respective regions.


DEBKAfile Special Report

The US military chiefs fighting ISIS, have recently claiming that the US has re-organized its military resources and is determined to cut down the Islamic state after its lame efforts in the last two years.
These words of encouragement have come from genral Votel commander of US Middle East forces and the first US General to be assigned to Syria in its nearly six years of war, and Lt. Gen Charles Brown commanding the US Al Udied Air Base in Qatar where 750 aircraft operating in the Gulf and Middle East are based.


A Manufactured War Against An Independent Country

By Caleb T. Maupin

The people of the world should ask Western leaders and their allies: Why are you prolonging this war? Why do you continue funding and enabling the terrorists? Isn’t five years of civil war enough? Is overthrowing the Syrian government really worth so much suffering and death?


By Pepe Escobar

 "Information Clearing House" - "RT" - So foreign ministers from the 28 NATO member-nations met in Brussels for a two-day summit, while mighty military power Montenegro was inducted as a new member.


By Bradley Martin
There is no reason to believe that Turkey’s facilitation of ISIS operations in the region, and its link to ISIS both economically and politically, will cease.With Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announcing that he would step down at the end of the month due to a falling-out with the Turkish president, it is very unlikely that a major shift in Turkish foreign policy will take place anytime soon.


By John V. Walsh

Along with his self-congratulatory bombast, Donald Trump has offered a rare critique of Official Washington’s “group think” about foreign policy, including the wisdom of NATO expansion and the value of endless war, notes John V. Walsh.


Author Julian Pecquet
Congress is rolling out the red carpet for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) as the six-nation coalition prepares to open shop in Washington.

 

Demonizing Russia , By AFP

 "Information Clearing House" - "AFP" - BRUSSELS: NATO foreign ministers met on Thursday to finalize the alliance’s biggest military build-up since the end of the Cold War to counter what they see as a more aggressive and unpredictable Russia.

By U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Timothy Smith [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Geopolitical Monitor, Michael Hart
President Obama’s upcoming visit to Vietnam could amount to far more than just a symbolic political photo opportunity. It comes amid suggestions that the U.S. may be about to lift an arms embargo which has remained in place for four decades. If this were to happen, it would signal a historic shift in perspective and represent the most significant stride forward in diplomatic relations to date between these two former adversaries, more than 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War.

 

Propaganda Alert

By RT

"Information Clearing House" - "RT" - NATO’s former deputy military chief in Europe says his book, a fictional story which describes a nuclear war with Russia over the Baltic nations taking place in 2017, is based on an “entirely plausible” scenario.

Federica Mogherini

By GEORGE JAHN and MATTHEW LEE
VIENNA (AP) — In a move fraught with risk, the United States and other world powers said Monday they would supply Libya's internationally recognized government with weapons to counter the Islamic State and other militant groups gaining footholds in the chaos-wracked country's lawless regions.

By Pål Steigan

Psychological operations are spreading information to a population or a target group to influence their emotions, their motivation, their way of thinking and, finally; how they act. Psychological operations target foreign governments, organizations, groups and individuals. In psychological operations disinformation and deceit is routine. This is included in the standard arsenal of for instance the US military forces.


By Ted Galen Carpenter

"Information Clearing House" - "National Interest" - In his 1961 farewell address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of the growing influence of the “military-industrial complex” on American politics and policy. Interestingly, Eisenhower’s original formulation of the menace was the even more accurate “military-industrial-congressional complex.” (Emphasis added). Seeing how that network of special interests has worked its tentacles into so many aspects of American political and economic life in the intervening decades indicates just how prescient was Eisenhower’s warning.


by Raymond Ibrahim, The Gatestone Institute

Of all the reasons a majority of Americans support the plan of businessman and U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump to "build a wall" along the U.S.-Mexico border, perhaps the most critical is to avoid letting terrorists into the country. Drugs enter, the victims of traffickers enter, but the most imminent danger comes from operatives of the Islamic State (ISIS) and like-minded groups that are trying to use this porous border as a way to smuggle weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) into the United States and launch terror attacks that could make 9/11 seem like a morning in May.

A cheap way to avoid costly strategic mistakes.
Michael Peck

It’s a great time to be a Pentagon game nerd.
Long dismissed as the geekier side of the military, war gaming is suddenly in demand, after the Department of Defense realized that if it wants to devise a strategy to beat China and Russia, it needs to play games.

By Jonathan Marshall

The Obama administration poked Russia in the eye again by activating a missile defense site in Romania while building up NATO forces on Russia’s borders, acts that could escalate toward nuclear war, notes Jonathan Marshall.

By Salman Rafi
While the US has expressed its willingness to unblock Iran’s assets as a step towards improving ties between the two countries, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that nearly $2 billion of Iran’s frozen assets be turned over to the American families of the victims of a 1983 bombing in Beirut and other attacks. Iran has now decided to sue the U.S. for what Tehran calls highway robbery.


Mark Abadi
It's no surprise the United States pours more money into its military than any other country in the world.In 2015, the US had a defense budget of about $597 billion, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies' most recent World Military Balance report, released earlier this year.

Strangelove-Warroom

MICHAEL KOFMAN

A revanchist Russia and vulnerable Baltic states are on the minds of America’s defense establishment. After Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s trip to Europe to oversee the change of command at European Command (EUCOM), it’s become clear according to senior defense officials that the plan is to transition the role of the command from “reassurance to deterrence.” U.S. military presence is returning in force to Europe in search of that old familiar conventional deterrence in the face of Russian aggression.

Author Amberin Zaman

"We would expect that Turkey will follow its own democratic procedures … I am not going to speak to the specifics of an internal process there inside Turkey. Gotta go." With these dismissive comments, US State Department spokesman John Kirby ducked questions at a press briefing last week about a Turkish government-inspired bill to strip lawmakers of their parliamentary immunity and clear the path for their prosecution over alleged crimes.


Author Pinar Tremblay

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is stepping down and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will hold an extraordinary congress on May 22 to elect a new chairman and prime minister. Davutoglu will not be one of the candidates on the ballot. Sources in Ankara explain the process as the graceful exit of Davutoglu from a messy situation and preserving the AKP's status. Al-Monitor columnist Mustafa Akyol has provided a succinct account of the May 1 Pelican Brief blog that rocked Ankara and led to Davutoglu's downfall.


Overcoming the Divide
By Thomas G. Mahnken

Christopher Sims’ “Academics in Foxholes: The Life and Death of the Human Terrain System” contributes to the ongoing debate about the U.S. military’s performance in Iraq and Afghanistan and, more specifically, the relationship between the U.S. government and the academy.

 Point of No Return By Seymour M. Hersh

 "Information Clearing House" - "Harpers" - It’s now evident, fifteen years after the 9/11 attacks, that Obama’s foreign policy has maintained many of the core elements of the global war on terror initiated by his predecessor—assassinations, drone attacks, heavy reliance on special forces, covert operations, and, in the case of Afghanistan, the continued use of American ground forces in combat. And, as in the years of Bush and Cheney, there has been no progress, let alone victory, in the fight against terrorism.

By Elizabeth Warren

 "Information Clearing House" - Donald Trump is now the leader of the Republican Party. It's real – he is one step away from the White House. Here's what else is real:

Politics, United States

Netanyahu and Obama (Photo: Amit Shabi, MCT)
Amos Yadlin
A recent letter signed by 83 US senators willing to support a long-term agreement that would greatly increase the military aid Israel receives is an important development, as it is a bipartisan initiative that reflects the Senate’s broad support of Israel. And yet, the letter also brought to the fore the disparities between the two nations. To understand this issue, it is important to note that these differences aren’t focused on numbers and accounting, but rather on strategic opinions regarding threats from the Middle East, on worldviews and on the appraisals and stances of both countries. The eight main differences between them are listed below.

 


Geopolitical Weekly, By Rodger Baker

Stratfor strives to provide impartial geopolitical analysis and forecasts that identify critical trends in global and regional affairs, explaining the world's complexities in a simple but not simplistic manner. Through the years we have always sought to adhere to these core underlying principles, with mixed success.

Politics, United States


by Caleb Jephson, American Thinker
Dictatorships have an interest in magnifying minor problems in liberal democracies in order to divert attention from their own oppression and brutality. One wonders if this interest played a role in facilitating a recent panel titled "Anti-Muslim Sentiment in the US: Challenges and Perspectives." The panel was sponsored by Harvard University's Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program (AISP), whose eponymous founder is an influential member of the Wahhabi Saudi regime. As every panelist was either a current or future Harvard alumnus, the event provided evidence of some disturbing trends in elite higher education today.

By Frida Ghitis
(CNN)

Last Saturday night, the Dutch journalist Ebru Umar was reportedly resting at her vacation home in the Turkish resort town of Kusadasi when she heard a knock at the door. Umar, a fierce critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was about to become an example of the very practices against which she has been fulminating in her newspaper columns and her Twitter account.