Archiv: (military / militias / agents / police) transfer / deployments / buildups / withdrawals


25.09.2021 - 18:41 [ France24 ]

Myanmar monks march against military junta

Scores of pro-democracy Buddhist monks took to the streets of Myanmar’s second-biggest city Saturday, rallying against the military coup in demonstrations that coincided with the 14th anniversary of previous clergy-led mass protests.

03.09.2021 - 12:21 [ theDrive.com ]

The Story Of The Mysterious White 727 That Appeared In Kabul After The Bombing Of Abbey Gate

While all-white airframes aren’t supposed to attract much attention, that paint scheme is also synonymous with clandestine operations, including „whitewashed“ aircraft often used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) for low-profile operations abroad. With that reality in mind, keen observers keeping an eye on traffic at Hamid Karzai International rightfully started thinking this may be some CIA asset that was slipping in on a unique mission. It turns out, that wasn’t necessarily the case.

01.09.2021 - 12:20 [ Antiwar.com ]

87 Retired Admirals and Generals Demand Resignation of SECDEF and CJCS

(30.08.2021)

The letter takes aim at the President and the highest ranks of military leadership, but mostly chastises them for not doing more to convince the Commander-in-Chief to maintain a US troop presence in the country.

Despite reported assurances from the Taliban that the remaining Americans who desire to leave Afghanistan will be afforded the opportunity to do so, the letter claims they are „de facto hostages of the Taliban“.

Strangely, the letter also claims that China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, and North Korea are the beneficiaries of the withdrawal.

01.09.2021 - 09:43 [ White House ]

Remarks by President Biden on the End of the War in Afghanistan

My fellow Americans, the war in Afghanistan is now over. I’m the fourth President who has faced the issue of whether and when to end this war. When I was running for President, I made a commitment to the American people that I would end this war. And today, I’ve honored that commitment. It was time to be honest with the American people again. We no longer had a clear purpose in an open-ended mission in Afghanistan.

After 20 years of war in Afghanistan, I refused to send another generation of America’s sons and daughters to fight a war that should have ended long ago.

After more than $2 trillion spent in Afghanistan — a cost that researchers at Brown University estimated would be over $300 million a day for 20 years in Afghanistan — for two decades — yes, the American people should hear this: $300 million a day for two decades.

01.09.2021 - 09:34 [ USA Today ]

My fellow Americans, the war is over

After the last flight carrying United States forces departed Afghanistan on Monday, the country entered a new era as the 20-year war with the U.S. came to a close. In an address to the nation on Tuesday, a defiant President Biden defended both his decision to end military operations and his handling of the evacuation that left some Americans behind. „I was not going to extend this forever war and I was not extending a forever exit,“ Biden said. „My fellow Americans, the war in Afghanistan is now over.“

31.08.2021 - 10:59 [ White House ]

Statement by President Joe Biden

I want to thank our commanders and the men and women serving under them for their execution of the dangerous retrograde from Afghanistan as scheduled – in the early morning hours of August 31, Kabul time – with no further loss of American lives. The past 17 days have seen our troops execute the largest airlift in US history, evacuating over 120,000 US citizens, citizens of our allies, and Afghan allies of the United States. They have done it with unmatched courage, professionalism, and resolve. Now, our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan has ended.

31.08.2021 - 07:28 [ Washington Post ]

America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan ends as last U.S. military cargo plane lumbers into the sky over Kabul

The United States ended its longest war in history, and its 20-year presence in Afghanistan, as the last U.S. aircraft took off at one minute before midnight from Kabul airport Monday carrying all remaining American troops and diplomats.

30.08.2021 - 10:12 [ ABC News ]

Biden tells Israeli PM he’ll try diplomacy first with Iran

(28.08.2021)

“We’re putting diplomacy first and seeing where that takes us,” Biden said during an Oval Office meeting that was delayed by the suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan. “But if diplomacy fails, we’re ready to turn to other options.”

Bennett arrived at the White House aiming to dissuade Biden from returning to the Iran nuclear deal that was brokered during the Obama administration and later scrapped by President Donald Trump.

30.08.2021 - 09:45 [ Reuters Pictures ]

Civilian evacuees and military personnel begin the final flights out of Kabul airport, ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline for the U.S. military to leave Afghanistan. More photos:

27.08.2021 - 17:41 [ Glenn Greenwald / Rumble ]

Permanent War Advocates Exploit the Kabul Bombing to Demand More War

Glenn Greenwald analyzes the reactions to the horrific terror attack in Kabul this morning, and debunks the propagandistic talking points used by Deep State operatives and their media allies to push the US into indefinite war.

27.08.2021 - 17:29 [ The Lead CNN / Twitter ]

Amb. Ryan Crocker, former US ambassador to Afghanistan: “That’s one way to end a war: surrender. It’s real quick, but the war is yet to come. This whole withdrawal announcement and process has been an enormous morale boost for Islamic radicals everywhere.”

27.08.2021 - 17:04 [ Matt Taibbi / Twitter ]

Chait overlooks that the negative press for Biden this week is passing through the same loophole that allowed Trump to be praised by CNN when he bombed Syria – the overriding constant in American corporate media is fealty to the Pentagon.

27.08.2021 - 16:51 [ The Post Millennial / Twitter ]

Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald weighs in on the media’s response to the Afghanistan withdrawal: “That is the political party to which the media is most loyal when it comes to foreign affairs … it’s the military, and the CIA.”

27.08.2021 - 04:24 [ White House ]

Remarks by President Biden on the Terror Attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport

Q And you said that you still — a few days ago, you said you squarely stand by your decision to pull out.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I do. Because look at it this way, folks — and I’m going to — I have another meeting, for real. But imagine where we’d be if I had indicated, on May the 1st, I was not going to renegotiate an evacuation date; we were going to stay there.

I’d have only one alternative: Pour thousands of more troops back into Afghanistan to fight a war that we had already won, relative — is why the reason we went in the first place.

I have never been of the view that we should be sacrificing American lives to try to establish a democratic government in Afghanistan — a country that has never once in its entire history been a united country, and is made up — and I don’t mean this in a derogatory — made up of different tribes who have never, ever, ever gotten along with one another.

And so, as I said before — and this is the last comment I’ll make, but we’ll have more chance to talk about this, unfortunately, beyond, because we’re not out yet — if Osama bin Laden, as well as al Qaeda, had chosen to launch an attack — when they left Saudi Arabia — out of Yemen, would we have ever gone to Afghanistan? Even though the Taliban completely controlled Afghanistan at the time, would we have ever gone?

I know it’s not fair to ask you questions. It’s rhetorical. But raise your hand if you think we should have gone and given up thousands of lives and tens of thousands of wounded.

Our interest in going was to prevent al Qaeda from reemerging — first to get bin Laden, wipe out al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and prevent that from happening again.

As I’ve said 100 times: Terrorism has metastasized around the world; we have greater threats coming out of other countries a heck of a lot closer to the United States.

We don’t have military encampments there; we don’t keep people there. We have over-the-horizon capability to keep them from going after us.

Ladies and gentlemen, it was time to end a 20-year war.

27.08.2021 - 04:12 [ Fox News ]

Biden warns ISIS-K after Kabul terror attacks, but sticks to Aug. 31 Afghanistan withdrawal deadline

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are pressuring Biden not to withdraw until evacuations were complete

27.08.2021 - 03:42 [ Gary Buckley / Twitter ]

Mr Dutton said the blasts occurred at the Baron Hotel and Abbey Gate airport entrance, where Australians were being brought through, but that Australian soldiers were safe.

27.08.2021 - 03:41 [ Lucas Tomlinson, Covering the Pentagon for Fox News / Twitter ]

Suicide bombing outside the Baron hotel near Abbey Gate is where 169 Americans were rescued late last week by 3 Army chinook helicopters.

27.08.2021 - 02:44 [ ]

The sea of humanity continues to flow towards the airport. Afghans with paperwork have to traverse flooded streets, Taliban checkpoints, then a British checkpoint, before even getting processed for evacuation near Abbey Gate. #Afghanistan

(25.08.2021)

27.08.2021 - 02:28 [ Washington Post ]

Pentagon hints at more rescues outside Kabul airport, amid new security concerns and evacuation bottleneck

(August 21, 2021)

Kirby’s comments followed the disclosure that U.S. troops, traveling aboard Chinook helicopters, left the airport Thursday to retrieve 169 Americans from a nearby hotel.

27.08.2021 - 02:22 [ USA Today ]

Graphics and satellite images show how the complex and dangerous evacuation from Kabul airport works

(Published 4:52 PM UTC Aug. 26, 2021 Updated 8:44 PM UTC Aug. 26, 2021)

Arriving at the airport and passing through a security gate is the first step. Approaching the airport through snarled traffic and Taliban roadblocks was already difficult, but now entry may now be impossible after U.S. forces closed all gates due to an apparent attack.

American citizens who show up at the gates of Hamid Karzai International Airport would find a seat on one of the last flights out, but just about anybody else would be left behind, according to a U.S. official who is familiar with the operation but not authorized to speak publicly.

Outside the airport, desperation mounts for American citizens and Afghans who aided U.S. troops. U.S. special operators swooped into a neighborhood in Kabul to scoop up about 20 Americans unable to reach the airport, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Wednesday.

24.08.2021 - 18:32 [ CNN ]

Biden decides to keep August 31 deadline to withdraw from Afghanistan as evacuations accelerate

President Joe Biden has decided, in consultation with his national security team, to stick with the August 31 deadline for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, according to a senior administration official.

24.08.2021 - 05:45 [ CNN ]

US military gives Biden a deadline to decide on extending Afghanistan evacuations

Military advisers have told the White House that the decision must be made by Tuesday in order to have enough time to withdraw the 5,800 troops currently on the ground, as well as their equipment and weapons. If the President agrees, the military anticipates „a few more days“ of trying to evacuate as many people as possible before the drawdown of US forces begins, possibly at the end of this week.

23.08.2021 - 13:45 [ Barbara Lee, represents CA's new 13th Congressional District / Twitter ]

I’ve never regretted my NO vote, even with all the death threats. I knew it would be used to establish the framework for forever wars, and that’s not something members of Congress should ever tolerate.

23.08.2021 - 13:11 [ francesca fiorentini / Twitter ]

So revealing that all it takes for the entire media establishment to turn against an otherwise safe centrist Washington insider President is for him to end war. Truly a tail that wags the dog situation, or the corporations & weapons manufacturers that sign the checks

23.08.2021 - 13:08 [ southpaw, writer, lawyer / Twitter ]

It took me while to understand that part of the press corps is grieving, not for the dead, but for the war.

23.08.2021 - 12:57 [ Judd Legum / Twitter ]

1. I took at look at the media coverage of Afghanistan. Lots of experts criticizing Biden’s decision to withdraw. But they are the SAME PEOPLE who responsible for two decades of failure in Afghanistan. Supporters of withdrawal almost entirely absent.

23.08.2021 - 12:43 [ Mehdi Hasan, @mehdihasanshow on @MSNBC and NBC's @peacockTV / Twitter ]

61% of Americans think the war in Afghanistan was not worth it. Forget Trump voters in diners, I think it’s pretty clear that U.S. politicians and pundits are out of touch with the American electorate as a whole.

23.08.2021 - 12:19 [ Jamaal Bowman Congressman for #NY16 / Twitter ]

President Biden made the tough and right decision to end the military occupation in Afghanistan. Blair’s language invokes tropes against Muslims, disrespects @POTUS and pretends to care about Afghans when this is really about Western Imperialism for him.

23.08.2021 - 11:55 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Boris Johnson will push Joe Biden to delay US withdrawal from Afghanistan

The Telegraph understands that unless Mr Biden relents, UK troops are due to start to withdraw from Kabul airport towards the end of the week as they are expected to step up efforts to evacuate as many as 6,000 people.

22.08.2021 - 13:36 [ New York Post ]

Fatal stampede reported amid Kabul airport mayhem

The US Embassy said on Saturday that American citizens in Afghanistan should stay away from Kabul’s airport, the only way out, “because of potential security threats outside the gates.”

The advisory directly contradicted President Biden’s insistence on Friday that Americans could proceed to the airport freely.

22.08.2021 - 13:33 [ theGeniusMedia.com.ng ]

#Afghanistan: Panic Rises As US Told Citizens To Stay Away From Kabul Airport Due To Possible Islamic State Attack

The Genius Media Nigeria reports that a security alert on Saturday told US citizens to stay away due to possible “security threats outside the gates”.

22.08.2021 - 13:26 [ Fox News ]

New ISIS threat in Afghanistan prompted US warning in Kabul: Defense officials

(21.08.2021)

A new threat from the Islamic State’s (ISIS) branch in Afghanistan prompted a new warning from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul that urged Americans to not come to the besieged airport in Kabul, officials confirmed to Fox News on Saturday.

22.08.2021 - 13:18 [ New York Post ]

US Embassy in Afghanistan tells citizens to stay away from Kabul airport

(21.08.2021)

The development directly contradicts President Biden’s insistence Friday that Americans could proceed to the airport freely from the Afghan capital and that an “agreement” with the Taliban had been reached over the issue.

21.08.2021 - 15:53 [ theAtlantic.com ]

This War Needed to End

The attacks of 9/11 were an enormous crime; they caused enormous human suffering. But they did not change the world. Bush’s words later that evening changed the world—when he said that he would answer this crime with a determination to “win the war against terrorism,” taking the world to war. Lee understood that danger, and her moral conscience, backed by the moral movement against war that took shape within hours of the attacks themselves, led her to stand up and reject war as an answer.

21.08.2021 - 15:36 [ Barack Obama / Twitter ]

VP Biden on Afghanistan: „We are leaving in 2014. Period.“

(Oct 12, 2012)

21.08.2021 - 15:35 [ Secular Talk / Twitter ]

Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan is the most brave thing any US President has done in my lifetime

change my mind

21.08.2021 - 14:00 [ Glenn Greenwald / Twitter ]

The world’s dumbest fucking people (Media Matters liberals) are expressing bewilderment at my statement that CIA influences corporate media outlets like CNN (even though CNN employs former top CIA officials). If you don’t understand this basic fact about the US, you know nothing.

21.08.2021 - 13:42 [ The Post Millennial / Twitter ]

Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald talks to Tucker Carlson about the way the media and others have turned on Biden following the Afghanistan withdrawal

21.08.2021 - 13:08 [ Amee Vanderpool / Twitter ]

Here is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, meeting with Mullah Abdul Ghanu Baradar – the co-founder of the Taliban who has taken over Kabul – on November 21, 2020, after the Trump administration helped to secure his release from prison.

21.08.2021 - 13:05 [ Fox News ]

Pompeo: Biden ‚has refused‘ to show leadership during Afghanistan ‚debacle‘

„I didn’t hear a single thing that would give comfort to the very allies you spoke about. I’ve heard from people in the region. They are frightened by the American collapse—the American collapse of temerity and strength and power that we demonstrated for four years that had frankly kept the Taliban at bay and prevented precisely what you’re precisely seeing happen today, and I didn’t hear a single thing that would frighten a single Taliban who thinks there’s any risk that this administration would impose any cost on them for their activities, for what they are doing to Americans today and holding them hostage—not permitting them to get into the airport in Kabul so that we can get them home to their families. „

21.08.2021 - 12:00 [ theGuardian.com ]

David Petraeus‘ bright idea: give terrorists weapons to beat terrorists

(2.9.2015)

Former CIA director David Petraeus is advocating giving arms to members of al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaida off-shoot, to beat Isis. That is madness

21.08.2021 - 11:49 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

General David Petraeus tells Biden it was premature to leave Afghanistan because Al Qaeda was always ‚going to come back‘ and the Afghan forces were ’not sustainable‘

– Petraeus commanded forces in Afghanistan and Iraq and helped formulate ‚counterinsurgency‘ strategies
– He criticized Biden’s decision to pull out of Afghanistan in a New Yorker interview
– Disagreed with decision to pull out liaison, special forces trainers, contractors
– Said it began an epidemic of ’surrender‘ for the Afghans
– Called departure ‚premature‘ but didn’t say how much more time was needed
– Warned Al Qaeda could reemerge
– Acknowledged ‚overbuilt‘ nation-building aspects, but said it was necessary for a hand-off
– Biden said the U.S. could not fight when Afghans were unwilling to do so
– ‚To say that the Afghans won’t fight for their country needs an asterisk‘

21.08.2021 - 11:28 [ White House ]

Remarks by President Biden on Evacuations in Afghanistan

Now, Justin Sink of Bloomberg.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. You just said that you would keep a laser-focus on counterterrorism efforts and that you don’t see as great of a threat of terrorism from Afghanistan as other parts of the world. But if you and your administration so badly misassessed how quickly the Taliban would sweep through Afghanistan and we no longer have an embassy there from which to run intelligence operations, how can you at all be confident of your assessment of the risk of terrorism and the ability of the U.S. to conduct over-the-horizon missions to keep it in check? Can you tell Americans that they’re safe and will remain safe from terror attacks in Afghanistan?

THE PRESIDENT: I think you’re comparing apples and oranges. One question was whether or not the Afghan forces we trained up would stay and fight in their own civil war they had going on.

No one — I shouldn’t say “no one” — the consensus was that it was highly unlikely that in 11 days they’d collapse and fall, and the leader of Afghanistan would flee the country.

20.08.2021 - 10:27 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Joe Biden: UK and allies had choice to remain in Afghanistan

The Prime Minister, speaking in the Commons on Wednesday, said: „The West could not continue this US-led mission – a mission conceived and executed in support and defence of America – without American logistics, without US air power and without American might.“

Challenged on whether Nato could have continued to provide support, he said: „I really think that it is an illusion to believe that there is appetite among any of our partners for a continued military presence.“

Mr Biden’s comments came in an interview with Good Morning America, in a section about US relations with its allies which was not ultimately broadcast.

18.08.2021 - 13:15 [ The Washington Post / Twitter ]

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) faced death threats, insults and hate mail after she voted against a broad authorization used to carry out the war in Afghanistan. The House vote was 240 to 1. The Senate vote was 98 to 0.

18.08.2021 - 11:40 [ Veterans for Peace ]

VFP Statement on U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Veterans For Peace has previously condemned the U.S. „forever wars“ against „terror“ and called for withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, Iraq and other places in the world. We unequivocally believe that war is not the answer to any problem and that there is no military solution in Afghanistan.

The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan was shameful and poorly executed. We have left too many behind. It was only after veteran and media outcry over leaving dedicated translators and their families, people who risked their lives for us that the U.S. decided, too late, to include them in our withdrawal. Many Afghans have been blocked by callus immigration policy and „Muslim Bans“ from seeking safety in the United States, from the destabilization in Afghanistan that the U.S. created. Caring for refugees and civilians fleeing from conflict is basic decency, and the United States fails to act with the urgency required to protect people. Casual disregard for Afghan lives continues on all levels.

18.08.2021 - 11:29 [ Council on Foreign Relations - cfr.org ]

Biden Was Right

The ineffectiveness and collapse of Afghanistan’s military and governing institutions largely substantiates Biden’s skepticism that US-led efforts to prop up the government in Kabul would ever enable it to stand on its own feet. The international community has spent nearly 20 years, many thousands of lives, and trillions of dollars to do good by Afghanistan – taking down al-Qaeda; beating back the Taliban; supporting, advising, training, and equipping the Afghan military; bolstering governing institutions; and investing in the country’s civil society.

18.08.2021 - 11:25 [ Ambassador David Robinson (Ret.) / the Hill ]

Humiliating as it may be, leaving Afghanistan is still the right decision

Biden deserves credit for facing the facts and doing the right thing. His recent predecessors either were dissuaded from taking the same step by egregiously wrong military and foreign policy advice or else blanched at being labeled the president who lost a war. Biden will take the hit, but the simple truth is that we have not so much abandoned Afghanistan as Afghanistan has abandoned us, or more precisely, never joined us in the first place.

18.08.2021 - 10:00 [ CNN ]

US nearing deal with Qatar to house thousands of Afghans who helped military, as situation worsens in Afghanistan

(14.08.2021)

The Biden administration has been considering using third countries to process the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa applicants, and on Thursday the Pentagon announced it would send around 1,000 troops to Qatar in the coming days to facilitate the processing. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also spoke with his Qatari counterpart on Thursday and the State Department said he thanked Qatar for supporting „U.S. efforts to provide safety and security to Afghan nationals.“

17.08.2021 - 15:13 [ MSNBC / Twitter ]

„How many more generations of America’s daughters and sons would you have me send to fight Afghanistan’s civil war when Afghan troops will not?“ President Biden says. „I’m clear on my answer. I will not repeat the mistakes we’ve made in the past.“

17.08.2021 - 12:10 [ Center on International Cooperation (CIC) at New York University ]

The Public Cost of Private Security in Afghanistan

(Sept 9, 2009)

The private security industry in Afghanistan has grown apace with demand. As of August 2009, the total number of private security personnel employed by the US Department of Defense – the largest employer of private security in the country – increased 19 percent (from 4,373 to 5,198) in response to the deployment of additional military forces. Since 2001, a range of private security providers (PSPs) has emerged, including international and national PSCs operating with or without the required Afghan licensing permits, as well as militias hired as “armed support groups” (ASG) by international military forces. Many PSPs are controlled by prominent Afghan families, including Hashmat and Ahmed Wali Karzai, brothers of President Hamid Karzai; Hamid Wardak, the son of Defense Minister Rahim Wardak; Gul Agha Shirzai, the governor of Nangarhar province; and Hajji Jan Mohammad Khan, the former governor of Uruzgan.

The use of unregistered PSCs and militia groups by the NATO International Security Assistance Force and US military contingents is widespread. Many of these PSPs serve as ready-made militias that compete with state authority and are frequently run by former military com-manders responsible for human rights abuses or involved in the illegal narcotics and black market economies. Financing armed, alternative power structures fulfills security needs in the short-term at the cost of consolidating government authority in the long-term.

(…)

Drug trafficking and other criminal activities in which commanders may be involved – and for which their militias provide security – is a lucrative source of illegal revenue that can then be used to bribe government officials and strengthen shadow structures of authority. Illicit taxation of PSPs escorting convoys and other scams on private transport and security are also an important source of funding for corrupt police and insurgents. The Kandak Amnianti Uruzgan, for example, secures protection “by paying a hefty toll to the policeman in charge of the road.” Although it is transportation and construction companies, both international and national, who are the main source of “protection” revenue, private security escorts also pay Taliban not to be attacked. According to an Afghan intelligence official, there are examples of PSPs paying as much as 60 percent of their gross profits for convoy security to the Taliban and other insurgent-cum-criminal groups for “protection.

17.08.2021 - 07:32 [ White House ]

Remarks by President Biden on Afghanistan

So I’m left again to ask of those who argue that we should stay: How many more generations of America’s daughters and sons would you have me send to fight Afghans — Afghanistan’s civil war when Afghan troops will not? How many more lives — American lives — is it worth? How many endless rows of headstones at Arlington National Cemetery?

I’m clear on my answer: I will not repeat the mistakes we’ve made in the past — the mistake of staying and fighting indefinitely in a conflict that is not in the national interest of the United States, of doubling down on a civil war in a foreign country, of attempting to remake a country through the endless military deployments of U.S. forces.

Those are the mistakes we cannot continue to repeat, because we have significant vital interests in the world that we cannot afford to ignore.

17.08.2021 - 07:23 [ Yahoo.news ]

Biden Defends Afghanistan Exit

Natalie Brand explains why President Joe Biden stands squarely behind his decision to leave Afghanistan after 20 years

16.08.2021 - 10:59 [ Husain Haqqani / Twitter ]

According to this report, Taliban bought out local Afghan army commanders. Where did the massive cash come from & how did U.S. intel miss info about its flows?

15.08.2021 - 15:31 [ YouGov.co.uk ]

Looking back over the 20 years since US, UK and other Western troops were deployed to Afghanistan, do you think this did or did not achieve anything?

(13.08.2021)

Did achieve something: 23%

Did not achieve anything: 53%

Don’t know: 24%

15.08.2021 - 14:20 [ thechicagocouncil.org ]

US Public Supports Withdrawal From Afghanistan

(09.08.2021)

This support spans partisan affiliations, though larger majorities of Democrats (77%) and Independents (73%) than Republicans (56%) agree.

These results corroborate the findings of other polls conducted over the past several months.

15.08.2021 - 14:11 [ theHill.com ]

Poll: 73 percent support US withdrawal from Afghanistan

(09.07.2021)

By contrast, 27 percent of respondents said they oppose the decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan, including 7 percent who strongly oppose and 20 percent who somewhat oppose.

15.08.2021 - 12:46 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Escape from Kabul: Diplomats flee US Embassy in Chinook helicopters as Taliban fighters storm Afghan capital – in stark echoes of the Fall of Saigon

– Helicopter – believed to be US Air Force Chinook – seen flying over Kabul today from the US Embassy in Kabul
– It comes as Taliban closes in on the Afghan capital with shots heard on outskirts before fighters stormed city
– Around 3,000 US troops have been sent into city to aid with US evacuation, while British troops also deployed
– It is believed around 500 British staff needed to be evacuated and by Saturday the number was in ‚the tens‘

15.08.2021 - 12:26 [ NPR.org ]

Taliban Fighters Enter Kabul As Helicopters Land At U.S. Embassy

Taliban fighters entered the outskirts of the Afghan capital on Sunday and said they were awaiting a „peaceful transfer“ of the city after promising not to take it by force, but panicked residents raced to the leave, with workers fleeing government offices and helicopters landing at the U.S. Embassy.

14.08.2021 - 09:57 [ RadioExe.co.uk ]

Afghanistan: First British troops begin deploying to help evacuate remaining UK nationals

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: „Protecting British nationals and ensuring their safety as they leave Afghanistan is our top priority.

„Over the next few weeks, we shall all do our very best to support the Afghan government and those that have worked with us over 20 years.“

14.08.2021 - 09:37 [ USA Today ]

Reports: US Embassy in Kabul directs staff to destroy sensitive documents as many diplomats prepare for evacuation

The memo to U.S. Embassy staff urged diplomats to destroy computers and other sensitive documents before they leave, as well as items featuring the American flag, embassy logos and other articles that „could be misused in propaganda efforts,“ according to CNN.

A State Department spokesperson said the notice was part of its „standard operating procedure“ for embassy drawdowns.

14.08.2021 - 09:17 [ theHill,com ]

US pushing to relocate thousands of Afghans in Qatar: report

“We are evaluating all available options. We have no announcements to make on third country relocation sites for Afghan SIV applicants,” a State Department spokesperson told The Hill in a statement, referring to special immigrant visas.

The Biden administration said Thursday there would be 1,000 U.S. troops going to Qatar to help process applications from Afghans already in the country. The Afghans are seeking visas to the U.S. for assisting the U.S. during the war.

14.08.2021 - 08:53 [ Pentagon - Defense.gov ]

Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby Holds a Press Briefing on Afghanistan

MR. KIRBY: What I’d say, Mike — what I’d say to that, Mike, is what I’ve been saying for the last few days, that the Afghan forces have advantages, they have capability to protect their territory and their people, they have the capacity to do that.

What — what I think the Afghan people want to see and what they deserve to see is the leadership and the will to use those advantages to their benefit.

Thanks, everybody, going to have to go now.

(CROSSTALK)

Q: … can you clarify the numbers one more time, so I have no mistakes? 3,000 going into the airport, 1,000 first going to Qatar and then to Afghanistan to help with SIVs, or staying in Qatar?

MR. KIRBY: No — no, I said the — the 1,000 enablers will go to Qatar for right now. I can’t predict whether there’ll be onward movement from there. Right now, they’re going to Qatar …

Q: And the 3,500 …

MR. KIRBY: … again, for helping process, and then 3,000 to the airport in the next few days and then there’ll be a reserve force out of Bragg that will — that will stage out of Kuwait, and that’s roughly 3,500 to 4,000.

Q: And all of that’s in addition to the 650 who are there …

MR. KIRBY: That is correct.

13.08.2021 - 20:45 [ Wikipedia ]

Inter-Services Intelligence activities in Afghanistan

The Taliban were largely founded by Pakistan’s Interior Ministry under Naseerullah Babar and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in 1994.[25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32] In 1999, Naseerullah Babar who was the minister of the interior under Bhutto during the Taliban’s ascent to power admitted, „we created the Taliban“.[33]

William Maley, Professor at the Australian National University and Director of the Asia-Pacific College, writes on the emergence of the Taliban in Afghanistan:

„In 1994, with the failure of [Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s alliance] attempt to oust [the Afghan] Rabbani [administration], Pakistan found itself in an awkward position. Hekmatyar had proved incapable of seizing and controlling defended territory: in this respect he was a bitter disappointment to his patrons. … In October 1994, [Pakistani interior minister] Babar [took] a group of Western ambassadors (including the US Ambassador to Pakistan John C. Monjo) to Kandahar, without even bothering to inform the Kabul government, even though it manned an embassy in Islamabad. … On 29 October 1994, a convoy of trucks, including a notorious ISI officer, Sultan Amir … and two figures who were later to become prominent Taliban leaders, entered Afghanistan.“[22]

05.08.2021 - 07:09 [ obamawhitehouse.archives.gov ]

Remarks by the President at the National Defense University

(May 23, 2013)

So I look forward to engaging Congress and the American people in efforts to refine, and ultimately repeal, the AUMF’s mandate. And I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further. Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.

05.08.2021 - 07:02 [ ABC News ]

Obama: ‚This War, Like All Wars, Must End‘

(23. Mai 2013)

Now, the speech:

The president who dramatically expanded the CIA secret drone war, ordered a troop surge in Afghanistan and aggressively prosecuted leakers made a forceful defense of his actions and an even more forceful case for winding down the war on terrorism.

The key line: „This war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.“

22.07.2021 - 19:29 [ Vijay Prashad / Consortium News ]

A Senseless Cathedral of Doom

Vijay Prashad reflects on the geo-political backdrop to last month’s “African Lion 21,” a U.S.-led military exercise on the African continent that involved the armed forces of 21 countries.

22.07.2021 - 18:48 [ Democracy Now! ]

Four Colombian Mercenaries Tied to Moïse Assassination Were Trained at Fort Benning in U.S.

The Pentagon has confirmed four of the Colombian mercenaries accused of assassinating Haitian President Jovenel Moïse once received U.S. military training at Fort Benning in Georgia while they were members of the Colombian armed forces.

20.07.2021 - 20:10 [ France24 ]

Mali interim leader says he’s ‚well‘ after assassination attempt

Malian strongman Colonel Assimi Goita survived an assassination attempt at a mosque in Bamako on Tuesday, in the latest blow to stability in a country reeling from two military coups in less than a year.

20.07.2021 - 18:02 [ Rick Rozoff / Antiwar.com ]

Azerbaijan: NATO’s Strategic Gateway to the Caucasus, Caspian

If you’re asking yourself why the new Italian envoy is immediately consulting with his host nation’s defense chief on the aftermath of last year’s war against Nagorno-Karabakh and increasing military ties with the aggressor you’re not the only one.

10.07.2021 - 07:28 [ Antiwar.com ]

Hands Off Haiti!

Nonetheless, the American political and media establishments seem to blithely assume that Haiti’s internal affairs are very much America’s business. State Department spokesman Ned Price says “It is still the view of the United States that elections this year should proceed.” An “electoral timetable” proposed by Moïse was “backed by the Biden administration, though it rejected plans to hold a constitutional referendum.”

10.07.2021 - 07:23 [ teleSUR ]

Haiti Govt Asks US, UN To Send Troops In

The US State Department and Pentagon both confirmed receiving a request for „security and investigative assistance“ and said officials remain in contact with Port-au-Prince, but did not specify whether military troops would be deployed.

The UN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

09.07.2021 - 07:36 [ Fox News ]

Biden changes end of US combat mission in Afghanistan from Sept. 11 to Aug. 31

But Biden doubled down on his decision not to leave a standing military force and posed the question, „How many thousands more of America’s daughters and sons are you willing to risk?“

„How long would you have them stay?“ he continued. „I will not send another generation of Americans to war in Afghanistan.“

„Staying would have meant U.S. troops taking causalities,“ Biden adde

09.07.2021 - 07:28 [ New York Times ]

In Forceful Defense of Afghan Withdrawal, Biden Says U.S. Achieved Its Objectives

“Let me ask those who want us to stay: How many more?” Mr. Biden said in remarks in the East Room of the White House. “How many thousands more American daughters and sons are you willing to risk? And how long would you have them stay?”

Mr. Biden said he was not declaring “mission accomplished,” but he made clear that the future of the country — including the fate of the current government and concerns about the rights of women and girls — was no longer in the hands of the American military.

08.07.2021 - 20:45 [ Newsbreak.com ]

Biden says U.S. war in Afghanistan will end August 31

“We did not go to Afghanistan to nation build,” Biden said in a speech to update his administration’s ongoing efforts to wind down the U.S. war in Afghanistan. “Afghan leaders have to come together and drive toward a future.”

08.07.2021 - 20:39 [ CBS News / Twitter ]

BREAKING: President Biden announces that U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will end August 31 „There was never any doubt that our military performed this task efficiently and with the highest level of professionalism,“ he says

08.07.2021 - 07:41 [ Politico.com ]

Sources: U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan complete ‚for all intents and purposes‘

The U.S. currently has roughly 600 troops in Afghanistan, most of whom are Marine Corps and Army personnel providing security at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, the person said. The rest of the 600 will be based at the Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, said another U.S. official with direct knowledge of the discussions. All of those troops are expected to remain after the pullout is officially complete,

02.07.2021 - 15:35 [ CNN ]

US days from completing formal Afghanistan withdrawal but up to 1,000 troops could remain

(30.06.2021)

As many as 1,000 US troops could remain in the country after the formal withdrawal to assist in securing the US Embassy in Kabul and the city’s airport, a senior administration official told CNN, and it is now unclear how long NATO troops will remain.

02.07.2021 - 15:33 [ apnews.com ]

US hands Bagram Airfield to Afghans after nearly 20 years

Until a new agreement for the airport’s protection is negotiated between Turkey and the Afghan government, and possibly the United States, the Resolute Support mission would appear to have to continue in order to give international troops the legal authority.

The U.S. will also have about 650 troops in Afghanistan to protect its sprawling embassy in the capital. Their presence it is understood will be covered in a bilateral agreement with the Afghan government.

01.07.2021 - 17:30 [ The Japan Times ]

Japan and Philippines to hold first joint air force exercises

The air forces of Japan and the Philippines will hold their first-ever joint exercises next week, Japan’s embassy in Manila said Thursday, in a further sign of deepening defense ties between the two countries.

28.06.2021 - 17:44 [ tolonews.com ]

US to Keep Hundreds of Troops After Withdrawal: AP

(26.06.2021)

At least 650 US troops are expected to remain in Afghanistan to provide security for diplomats following the completion of the American force withdrawal from the country, The Associated Press reported on Thursday, quoting US officials.

19.06.2021 - 11:32 [ Haaretz ]

U.S. to Withdraw Hundreds of Troops, Air Defense Systems From Across Middle East, WSJ Reports

The report, confirmed by administration officials to the paper, said that the Pentagon will withdraw around eight Patriot antimissile batteries from countries including Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. will also reduce the number of fighter jet squadrons in Saudi Arabia, as well as ordering the removal of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, from the kingdom.

08.06.2021 - 08:53 [ New York Times ]

C.I.A. Scrambles for New Approach in Afghanistan

Two decades of war in Afghanistan have helped transform the spy agency into a paramilitary organization: It carries out hundreds of drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan, trains Afghan commando units and maintains a large presence of C.I.A. officers in a string of bases along the border with Pakistan. At one point during President Barack Obama’s first term, the agency had several hundred officers in Afghanistan, its largest surge of personnel to a country since the Vietnam War.

25.05.2021 - 07:04 [ Washington Post ]

Members of Mali’s military arrest president and prime minister, raising fears of second coup

The detention of interim president Bah N’Daw and Prime Minister Moctar Ouane followed a controversial cabinet reshuffle that removed two members of the junta that overthrew Mali’s government in August.

The international body monitoring Mali’s 18-month transition to a civilian-led government — comprising the AU, the West African bloc known as ECOWAS, the United Nations and U.S. officials, among others — said in a statement that it “expresses its deep concern” over the arrests.

19.05.2021 - 21:22 [ teleSUR ]

Colombia: 33 People Suffered Eye Injuries Amid Social Outbreak

Videos show agents cracking down on youths who were peacefully protesting at Portal Americas metro station. The agents threw tear gas canisters and fired bullets at the demonstrators, leaving at least 20 people injured.

According to the NGO Temblores, 33 people have suffered eye injuries since protests against President Ivan Duque broke out on April 28.

04.05.2021 - 20:23 [ Time Magazine ]

President Biden Made the Right Choice to Withdraw from Afghanistan

We all know theoretically that “sunk costs are sunk,” but when those costs are friends and teammates, it isn’t easy to walk away. There’s no way ever to quantify the loss of over 2,200 American servicemen and women, 3,800 American contractors, and 100,000 Afghans over two decades. The stoic philosophers like Epictetus and Aurelius taught to detach without being vacuous but that isn’t always the easiest advice to follow. Like all SEALs and service members of my era, I’ve buried far too many friends. We best honor them by making a stoic and intelligent choice today, not by sacrificing and investing more in a mission no longer central to our national security.

03.05.2021 - 23:51 [ BBC ]

Hillary Clinton warns of ‚huge consequences‘ in Afghan US troop withdrawal

Mrs Clinton said it was also important to protect the „many thousands of Afghans“ who had worked with the US and Nato during the conflict, and said a large visa programme should be set up to provide for any refugees.

03.05.2021 - 03:39 [ Center on International Cooperation (CIC) at New York University ]

The Public Cost of Private Security in Afghanistan

(9.September 2009)

The private security industry in Afghanistan has grown apace with demand. As of August 2009, the total number of private security personnel employed by the US Department of Defense – the largest employer of private security in the country – increased 19 percent (from 4,373 to 5,198) in response to the deployment of additional military forces. Since 2001, a range of private security providers (PSPs) has emerged, including international and national PSCs operating with or without the required Afghan licensing permits, as well as militias hired as “armed support groups” (ASG) by international military forces. Many PSPs are controlled by prominent Afghan families, including Hashmat and Ahmed Wali Karzai, brothers of President Hamid Karzai; Hamid Wardak, the son of Defense Minister Rahim Wardak; Gul Agha Shirzai, the governor of Nangarhar province; and Hajji Jan Mohammad Khan, the former governor of Uruzgan.

The use of unregistered PSCs and militia groups by the NATO International Security Assistance Force and US military contingents is widespread. Many of these PSPs serve as ready-made militias that compete with state authority and are frequently run by former military commanders responsible for human rights abuses or involved in the illegal narcotics and black market economies.

03.05.2021 - 02:38 [ Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform / Washington Post ]

Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan

June 22, 2010
To the Members of the Subcommittee:

Today I present to you a report entitled, Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan, which has been prepared by the Majority staff of the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
After a six-month investigation, the report exposes the circumstances surrounding the Department of Defense’s outsourcing of security on the supply chain in Afghanistan to questionable providers, including warlords.

The findings of this report range from sobering to shocking. In short, the Department of Defense designed a contract that put responsibility for the security of vital U.S. supplies on contractors and their unaccountable security providers. This arrangement has fueled a vast protection racket run by a shadowy network of warlords, strongmen, commanders, corrupt
Afghan officials, and perhaps others.

Not only does the system run afoul of the Department’s own rules and regulations mandated by Congress, it also appears to risk undermining the U.S. strategy for achieving its goals in Afghanistan.

03.05.2021 - 01:50 [ CNN ]

US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan has begun

„A drawdown is underway,“ White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One Thursday. „While these actions will initially result in increased forces levels, we remain committed to having all of US military personnel out of Afghanistan by September 11, 2020.“

Fewer than 100 troops, along with military equipment, have been moved largely by aircraft to execute President Joe Biden’s order to begin the withdrawal process no later than May 1, according to several US defense officials.

30.04.2021 - 19:25 [ The Intercept ]

A project by Jeremy Scahill: Empire Politician

A Half-Century of Joe Biden’s Stances on War, Militarism, and the CIA

29.04.2021 - 10:30 [ Times of India ]

It’s time to bring troops home from Afghanistan: Joe Biden

WASHINGTON: After 20 years of American valour and sacrifice in Afghanistan, it’s time to bring troops home, US President Joe Biden has said, assuring fellow citizens that his administration will maintain capabilities to suppress future threats to the homeland.
Biden made this assurance to war-weary Americans in his maiden address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.

29.04.2021 - 10:30 [ Weißes Haus ]

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by President Biden — Address to a Joint Session of Congress

And American leadership means ending the forever war in Afghanistan.

We have the greatest fighting force in the history of the world.

And I’m the first President in 40 years who knows what it means to have had a child serving in a warzone.

Today we have service members serving in the same war as their parents once did.

We have service members in Afghanistan who were not yet born on 9/11.

War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multi—generational undertaking of nation—building.

We went to Afghanistan to get the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11.

We delivered justice to Osama Bin Laden and we degraded the terrorist threat of al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

After 20 years of American valor and sacrifice, it’s time to bring our troops home.

Even as we do, we will maintain an over—the—horizon capability to suppress future threats to the homeland.

But make no mistake – the terrorist threat has evolved beyond Afghanistan since 2001 and we will remain vigilant against threats to the United States, wherever they come from.

Al Qaeda and ISIS are in Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and other places in Africa and the Middle East and beyond.

And, we won’t ignore what our own intelligence agencies have determined – the most lethal terrorist threat to the homeland today is from white supremacist terrorism.

26.04.2021 - 14:33 [ teleSUR ]

The US Maintains High Military Spending Despite Pandemic

The United States continues to increase its military spending despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a report on Monday.

24.04.2021 - 20:15 [ The Hill ]

US begins moving equipment out of Afghanistan, sends bombers in

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin earlier on Friday approved keeping the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier in the region “for a period of time,” as well as sending several B-52 long-range bombers to the region, press secretary John Kirby told reporters.

18.04.2021 - 06:38 [ Wall Street Journal ]

Biden Rebuffed Commanders’ Advice in Decision to Leave Afghanistan

The White House says it will guard against the risk of a new terrorist danger in Afghanistan by maintaining warplanes and counterterrorism capabilities at bases outside of the landlocked country.

Current and former military officials say, however, that …

16.04.2021 - 16:17 [ Norman Solomon / Antiwar.com ]

Contrary to What Biden Said, US Warfare in Afghanistan Is Set To Continue

But in March 2020, the Trump administration abruptly stopped publishing US Airpower Summaries, and the Biden administration has so far not published any either.“

15.04.2021 - 19:01 [ Antiwar.com ]

Joe Biden Reaffirms Washington’s Message to the World: Never, Ever Trust Us

In February 2020, US President Donald Trump announced a peace deal with the Taliban, giving US forces 15 months to get out of Afghanistan. Nearly a year later, with the withdrawal nearly complete and only 2,500 US armed forces members remaining on Afghan soil, incoming President Joe Biden took the oath of inauguration and instantly began complaining that the May 1 deadline would be “hard to meet.”

15.04.2021 - 09:50 [ Barack Obama / Twitter ]

VP Biden on Afghanistan: „We are leaving in 2014. Period.“

(Oct 12, 2012)

13.04.2021 - 07:41 [ France24 ]

Mexico detains 30 Marines accused of disppearances

The government had announced that arrest warrants were being prepared against the military for the disappearance in 2014 of 43 students from the Ayotzinapa school in the southern state of Guerrero, but it has not officially reported whether those warrants have already been carried out.

07.04.2021 - 21:23 [ France24 ]

US agrees to move ‚remaining combat troops‘ from Iraq

„The parties confirmed that the mission of US and Coalition forces has now transitioned to one focused on training and advisory tasks, thereby allowing for the redeployment of any remaining combat forces from Iraq, with the timing to be established in upcoming technical talks,“ said a joint statement after the virtual strategic dialogue.

07.04.2021 - 02:10 [ The Hill ]

House Democrats push Biden to limit transfer of military-grade gear to police

“Decades of militarization of our nation’s law enforcement have led to some police departments looking more like an occupying army than a community-based regulatory arm of state and local government,” the 29 Democrats wrote in the letter, a draft of which was obtained by The Hill.

05.04.2021 - 15:08 [ Global Research ]

Brazil Abetted Overthrow of Allende in Chile

On 57th anniversary of military coup in Brazil, the National Security Archive Posts Declassified Documentation on Brazilian Regime’s Effort to Subvert Democracy and Support Dictatorship in Chile

05.04.2021 - 15:00 [ Counterpunch ]

Biden and Latin America

Joe Biden’s first significant foray into Latin America policy began in the early 2000s when he was a US senator. As the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he helped President Bill Clinton secure funding for Plan Colombia, an initiative that equipped and trained Colombian military and police forces engaged, in theory, in counternarcotics activities.

04.04.2021 - 10:51 [ teleSUR ]

Chile To Prosecute Official Implicated in Jose Toha’s Murder

Santiago’s Court of Appeals unanimously ruled to prosecute ex-Army Lieutenant Colonel Jorge Chovan for covering up the assassination of Jose Toha, who was Vice President, Interior and Defense Minister during the leftist government of President Salvador Allende (1970-1973).

09.03.2021 - 20:13 [ Ray McGovern / Antiwar.com ]

Will Lloyd Austin Speak Truth on Afghanistan?

Afghanistan: Stay or Go? The final decision will depend largely on whether Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin can face down white White House armchair warriors allergic to „losing“ wars already long lost, as well as arms makers profiteering on the ones that drag on for decades.

06.03.2021 - 16:11 [ The Hill ]

US proposes new summit with Taliban on interim Afghan government

“I told our allies that no matter what the outcome of our review, the United States will not undertake a hasty or disorderly withdrawal from Afghanistan,” he added, referring to talks with NATO allies. “There will be no surprises. We will consult each other, consult together and decide together and act together.”

03.03.2021 - 11:26 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Civilian contractor dies as rockets slam into US airbase in Iraq days after Joe Biden’s first airstrike ‚killed 22‘ in attack on Iranian-backed militants

– Multiple rockets hit Ain al-Asad airbase in Iraq’s Anbar province on Wednesday
– Attack was launched from a site around five miles from the base, sources said
– It is the latest in a series of attacks on US forces in Iraq, and comes after Joe Biden launched his administration’s first strike on Iran-backed militants in Syria
– Attack also comes just two days before Pope Francis is due to visit the country

25.02.2021 - 12:02 [ The New York Times ]

A Top Democrat Warns Against a Hasty Withdrawal of U.S. Troops From Afghanistan

This could require sending more strike aircraft to operate in the Middle East or ensuring that an aircraft carrier with its strike wing is operating in the Persian Gulf region.

18.02.2021 - 11:05 [ stuff ]

New Zealand to end 20-year military deployment to Afghanistan

New Zealand will end a 20-year military deployment to Afghanistan, withdrawing entirely from the decades-long conflict which killed 10 Kiwi soldiers and inflicted a heavy toll on the Afghan people.

02.02.2021 - 13:49 [ Grayzone ]

How CENTCOM Chief McKenzie manufactured an Iran crisis to increase his power

(15.01.2021)

Almost immediately after taking command at CENTCOM in March 2019, McKenzie launched his campaign of political manipulation. By requesting additional forces to contain a supposedly urgent Iranian threat, McKenzie triggered the dispatch of an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East. A month later, he told reporters he believed the deployments were “having a very good stabilizing effect,” and that he was in the process of negotiating on a larger, long-term U.S. military presence.

As a result of his maneuvering, McKenzie succeeded in acquiring 10,000 to 15,000 more military personnel, bringing the total in his CENTCOM realm to more than 90,000. The rapid increase in assets under his command was revealed in a Senate hearing in March 2020.

06.01.2021 - 21:24 [ Washington Post ]

Pelosi has requested deployment of National Guard troops to Capitol

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has requested National Guard troops be deployed to clear and secure the Capitol, a senior Democratic aide said Wednesday.

02.01.2021 - 06:28 [ Reuters / Twitter ]

Iran has told IAEA it plans to enrich uranium to 20%, Russian envoy says

02.01.2021 - 06:26 [ Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon correspondent / Twitter ]

Just In: Iranian maritime forces in the Persian Gulf raised readiness levels in last 48 hours: US official with latest info.

Not clear if moves are “defensive” because expect US attack, or are signals Iran preparing for operations in the Gulf against the US, official said. #Iran

02.01.2021 - 06:15 [ Haaretz ]

As Iran Marks One Year to General’s Killing, the Mideast Is Riddled With Warning Signs

The last few days saw reports of B-52s making their way from North Dakota to the Gulf, of an Israeli submarine passing in the Suez Canal and of Trump’s intention to deliver one final blow against Tehran

19.12.2020 - 10:35 [ CNN ]

Congressional backers cite cybersecurity provisions as they push Trump to sign defense bill

The massive defense bill that President Donald Trump is threatening to veto contains provisions for increased cybersecurity, which has taken on significantly more importance in the wake of a massive cyberattack on federal agencies at the hands of suspected Russian hackers.

The National Defense Authorization Act includes pay raises for America’s soldiers, modernizations for equipment and provisions to require more scrutiny before troops are withdrawn from Germany or Afghanistan.

15.12.2020 - 23:39 [ EMASOH, 8 European countries maritime security initiative in the Strait of Hormuz / Twitter ]

Since the beginning of March 2020 more than 1513 EMASOH flagged vessels have crossed the Strait of Hormuz while surface and air assets were monitoring shipping lanes and FHQ EMASOH was on watch 24/7 for the benefit of maritime security @EMASOH_SCR @FFEAU_ALINDIEN

07.12.2020 - 05:41 [ DefenseNews.com ]

French Navy puts fresh focus on high-intensity combat training

(19.11.2020)

Last week sailors successfully fired a cruise missile against a land target from a FREMM frigate, just a few weeks after the Suffren submarine fired its first naval cruise missile, trouble-free.

In a wide-ranging conversation with Defense News, Baudouard stressed that the Navy is a combat force and as such not only trains for today’s battles but is also preparing for tomorrow’s wars.

07.12.2020 - 05:35 [ almashareq.com ]

European mission to secure Strait of Hormuz

(25.09.2020)

A new European military mission is aimed at ensuring safe navigation through the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping lane, experts told Al-Mashareq.

The European Maritime Awareness in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASOH) was established earlier this year by Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Greece, France, Italy and Denmark.

07.12.2020 - 05:30 [ Embassy of France in Abu Dhabi ]

European Maritime Awareness in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASOH): political statement by the governments of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, and Portugal (20 January 2020)

(21.01.2020)

Sharing the assessment that the current situation in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz remains unstable in a region critical to global stability, and supporting the de-escalation approach when it comes to dealing with regional security issues, the Governments of BELGIUM, DENMARK, FRANCE, GERMANY, GREECE, ITALY, THE NETHERLANDS, AND PORTUGAL politically support the creation of a European-led maritime surveillance mission in the Strait of Hormuz (EMASOH). We welcome any contribution in kind as already declared by DENMARK, FRANCE, GREECE, and THE NETHERLANDS to this effort and look forward to further commitments in the coming days.

06.12.2020 - 13:39 [ US Central Command ]

Saudi, UK, U.S. Naval Forces Conduct Mine Countermeasures Training

(02.12.2020)

Royal Saudi Naval Forces (RSNF), Royal Navy and U.S. Navy forces participated in mine countermeasures (MCM) interoperability training in the Arabian Gulf, Nov. 9-12.

06.12.2020 - 13:35 [ nationalinterest.org ]

Sorry, Iran: USS Nimitz Aircraft Carrier Strike Group Back in the Persian Gulf

(02.12.2020)

Tensions in the region have been seen as extraordinarily high following the assassination of Fakhrizadeh, which Tehran has blamed on the United States and Israel. However, Commander Rebecca Rebarich, a spokesperson for the U.S. Fifth Fleet, told the AFP news agency that the return of CSG 11, under the command of Rear Adm. James A. Kirk, was not related to a specific threat but was part of regional security.

01.12.2020 - 18:31 [ Telegraph.co.uk ]

Exclusive: Syrian general accused of war crimes ‚given new life in Europe by Mossad‘

(29.11.2020)

By early 2014 he had made it to France with the help of French agents who may have believed the senior official could be a useful asset in the event of President Assad’s downfall, the senior French judicial source told The Telegraph.

“This was also just a few months before the 2015 terror attacks in Paris and the DGSE was desperate to get their hands on any leads about the Islamic State, which they knew was actively planning strikes,” said the source, who asked their name be withheld.

28.11.2020 - 19:24 [ UPI.com ]

USAF F-16s move from Germany to UAE

(16.11.2020)

Although CENTCOM did not offer specific information about the move, the UAE base has been the center of operations for planes patrolling the Persian Gulf to monitor activities by Iran’s military.

28.11.2020 - 19:19 [ Fox News ]

Message to Iran: B-52 bombers deployed to Middle East

(22.11.2020)

U.S. Central Command said the U.S. Air Force B-52H “Stratofortress” aircrews conducted the mission on „short notice“ to „deter aggression and reassure U.S. partners and allies.“

“The ability to quickly move forces into, out of and around the theater to seize, retain and exploit the initiative is key to deterring potential aggression,“ said Lt. Gen. Greg Guillot, 9th Air Force commander.

28.11.2020 - 12:55 [ Raw Story ]

Trump Pentagon deploys USS Nimitz aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf: report

The Pentagon is deploying a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, CNN national security correspondent Barbara Starr reported Friday.

23.11.2020 - 11:41 [ Ro Khanna, Abgeordneter im US Repräsentantenhaus / Twitter ]

Flournoy supported the war in Iraq & Libya, criticized Obama on Syria, and helped craft the surge in Afghanistan. I want to support the President’s picks. But will Flournoy now commit to a full withdrawal from Afghanistan & a ban on arms sales to the Saudis to end the Yemen war?

19.11.2020 - 14:50 [ New York Times ]

Trump Is Said to Be Preparing to Withdraw Troops From Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia

Under a draft order circulating at the Pentagon on Monday, the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan would be halved from the current deployment of 4,500 troops, officials said.

In Iraq, the Pentagon would trim force levels slightly below the 3,000 troops that commanders had previously announced. And in Somalia, virtually all of the more than 700 troops conducting training and counterterrorism missions would leave.

16.11.2020 - 21:01 [ France24 ]

Macron walks diplomatic tightrope while hosting Trump ally Pompeo

Le Drian said Friday that he would raise the concerns of France – which has been hit by a number of jihadist attacks – over Trump’s plans to speed up the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

12.11.2020 - 23:27 [ Dave DeCamp / Antiwar.com ]

Trump’s Pentagon Shake-Up Could Lead to Troop Withdrawals

A major overhaul at the Pentagon that was started with the firing of former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper could be part of President Trump’s plan to carry out last-minute troop withdrawals from countries like Afghanistan, sources have told several media outlets.

12.11.2020 - 23:08 [ Rep. Andy Biggs / Antiwar.com ]

GOP Rep. Andy Biggs Urges President Trump To Bring Troops Home From Iraq and Afghanistan

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President:

Under your leadership, our nation has achieved unprecedented prosperity. Now, as we observe Veterans Day, I hope you will look abroad and continue to strategically draw down our nation’s military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq.

(…)

I commend your efforts so far to bring our engagements in Afghanistan and Iraq to an end, including your bold decision to open negotiations with the Taliban and your ambitious plan to remove thousands of United States servicemembers from these two countries. I urge you to continue to aggressively pursue these and all other related efforts in the coming weeks. What greater gift could we give the American people as we head into the holiday season?

Sincerely,

Andy Biggs
Member of Congress, Arizona 5th District

12.11.2020 - 00:05 [ The Hill ]

New Pentagon chief hires adviser who wants quick withdrawal from Afghanistan

Trump has reportedly been frustrated with the pace of the troop withdrawal, and weeks prior to the presidential election asserted on Twitter that forces would be home by Christmas.

11.11.2020 - 10:08 [ Saagar Enjeti, Host of Rising / Twitter ]

There it is. Confirmation that Esper and his team were fired for thwarting admin efforts to withdraw troops from Afghanistan Its been 20 years there is no „premature withdrawal“

09.11.2020 - 20:33 [ New York Post ]

President Trump tweets firing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper

“I am pleased to announce that Christopher C. Miller, the highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately,” the president said in a post.

08.11.2020 - 10:16 [ CatoTheYounger / Twitter ]

Now the Generals will sit on their hands and not remove any troops from Afghanistan. Home by Christmas is gone.

Tough luck troops, you should not have gotten your hopes up

01.11.2020 - 07:26 [ opposingviews.com ]

Michael Moore’s Letter to Obama about Afghanistan

(Original: Nov 30, 2009)

When we elected you we didn’t expect miracles. We didn’t even expect much change. But we expected some. We thought you would stop the madness. Stop the killing. Stop the insane idea that men with guns can reorganize a nation that doesn’t even function as a nation and never, ever has.

Stop, stop, stop! For the sake of the lives of young Americans and Afghan civilians, stop. For the sake of your presidency, hope, and the future of our nation, stop. For God’s sake, stop.

Tonight we still have hope.

Tomorrow, we shall see.

01.11.2020 - 07:05 [ RedState.com ]

Obama Doubles Number of Troops in Afghanistan. Wait…What?

(Jul 11, 2009)

Obama’s Presidential campaign was pretty much based on getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan, playing to the anti-war movement, to be fair he did make statements about Afghanistan deteriorating and being ignored, but he has doubled the number of troops there now and the anti-war groups seem to be eerily silent.

26.10.2020 - 09:12 [ Axios.com ]

Scoop: Trump’s post-election execution list

If President Trump wins re-election, he’ll move to immediately fire FBI Director Christopher Wray and also expects to replace CIA Director Gina Haspel and Defense Secretary Mark Esper, two people who’ve discussed these officials‘ fates with the president tell Axios.

The big picture: The list of planned replacements is much longer, but these are Trump’s priorities, starting with Wray.

26.10.2020 - 09:03 [ theHill.com ]

Trump has list of top intelligence officials he’ll fire if he wins reelection: report

President Trump plans to fire several top officials in the national security sphere should he win reelection in November, Axios reported Sunday.

The president plans to fire Defense Secretary Mark Esper, CIA Director Gina Haspel and FBI Director Christopher Wray, two people familiar with his decisionmaking told the news outlet. White House officials declined to comment on personnel matters.

21.10.2020 - 23:57 [ The Hill ]

End the American military presence in Somalia

The situation for Somalians is desperate and deserves the attention of the world. But our military presence over nearly three decades has not proven to be worth the costs and risks. President Trump is right to call for a withdrawal of U.S. forces, and we should hope it is followed through.

20.10.2020 - 04:06 [ Ron Paul / Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity ]

Troops Coming Home from Afghanistan? Depends on Who You Ask.

But you cannot pursue an “America first” foreign policy if you put people like Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, Nikki Haley, Mark Milley, and others in charge of carrying it out. They simply won’t do it. We are seeing that again when it comes to withdrawing our troops from the long and foolish war in Afghanistan.

20.10.2020 - 04:02 [ The Washington Times ]

John Bolton: ‚Huge mistake‘ to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by end of year

It would be a “huge mistake” to withdraw the bulk of U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan by next year, as previously suggested by President Trump, former White House National Security Adviser John R. Bolton said Monday.

16.10.2020 - 18:54 [ The Hill ]

Trump adviser shoots back at top general: ‚I wasn’t speculating‘ on Afghanistan troop levels

National security adviser Robert O’Brien insisted Friday that President Trump has ordered a drawdown in Afghanistan to 2,500 troops by early next year, shooting back at criticism from the top general in the military.

15.10.2020 - 06:05 [ TheAmericanConservative.com ]

How Azerbaijan is Lobbying Washington to Sanitize its War

The documents lobbyists distribute on Capitol Hill make some incredulous claims: that “Armenia has long been involved with Middle Eastern terrorism,” that “Azerbaijan has been consistent in urging substantive and result-oriented negotiations in order to achieve a breakthrough in the conflict,” and that “Turkey is not directly involved and is not a party to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict.”

That last assertion stands in direct contradiction with reports that Turkey has been heavily involved in the conflict, even going so far as to send 1,000 jihadist fighters from Syria to aid Azerbaijan.

15.10.2020 - 05:45 [ ABC News ]

Obama: ‚This War, Like All Wars, Must End‘

(23. Mai 2013)

Now, the speech:

The president who dramatically expanded the CIA secret drone war, ordered a troop surge in Afghanistan and aggressively prosecuted leakers made a forceful defense of his actions and an even more forceful case for winding down the war on terrorism.

The key line: „This war, like all wars, must end. That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.“

11.10.2020 - 19:45 [ theGuardian.com ]

Trump’s Afghanistan withdrawal announcement takes US officials by surprise

(08.10.2020)

Multiple officials told the Associated Press they had not been informed of any such deadline and military experts said it would be impossible to withdraw all 5,000 US troops in Afghanistan and dismantle the US military headquarters by the end of the year.

They suggested the president’s claim was aimed at shifting the news cycle away from coronavirus coverage and that the Pentagon would not act on the order before the 3 November US election.

11.10.2020 - 19:40 [ theHill.com ]

Official: Pentagon has started ‚prudent planning‘ for full Afghanistan withdrawal by May

(22.09.2020)

“I’d like to make it clear that [Defense Secretary Mark Esper] has not issued orders to reduce military personnel below this 4,000 to 5,000 level in Afghanistan, although we are conducting prudent planning to withdraw to zero service members by May 2021 if conditions warrant, per the U.S.-Taliban agreement,” David Helvey, the official performing the duties of assistant secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific security affairs, told the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on National Security at a hearing.

08.10.2020 - 22:02 [ Jason Ditz / Antiwar.com ]

Trump: All US Troops in Afghanistan Should Be ‘Home by Christmas’

This seems to be a very recent policy change. Just hours before Trump’s comments, the national security adviser said that there would still be 2,500 US troops left in Afghanistan by early 2021. This is roughly in line with previous comments on the matter.

08.10.2020 - 20:18 [ rferl.org ]

Biden Says Would Keep Small U.S. Troops Presence In Afghanistan, Iraq

(September 11, 2020)

08.10.2020 - 18:22 [ Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America / Twitter ]

We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas!

08.10.2020 - 18:18 [ voanews.com ]

Trump: US Troops in Afghanistan Should Be ‚Home By Christmas‘

The nation’s longest war began in 2001 when U.S. forces invaded Afghanistan, in response to the September 11 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

04.10.2020 - 01:59 [ Stars and Stripes ]

Army to shut down units created to help soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq

The Asymmetric Warfare Group and the Rapid Equipping Force will be deactivated by Sept. 30, 2021, the statement said. Personnel and resources from both organizations will be absorbed into the larger force, the Army said.

28.09.2020 - 13:21 [ 168.am ]

Azerbaijan hired jihadist terrorists, militants from Syria to attack Artsakh – names released

The Syrian militants have arrived to Azerbaijan through Turkish territory.

Below is a list of the divisions and losses.

1) al-Sharqiya rebel group – 19 militants

2) Hamza Division – 4 militants

3) 51-rd Division – 9 militants

4) Jaysh al-Nukhba group – 11 militants

5) Levant Front – 22 militants

6) Al Furqan Brigade – 33 militants

7) Al-Mutasim Division – 6 militants

20.09.2020 - 10:27 [ Responsible Statecraft ]

Trump was right to call out defense industry influence on the Pentagon

13.9.2020 President Trump’s recent remarks that top Pentagon officials continue to push for war because they want to keep defense contractors “happy” has drawn a firestorm of criticism by those who would like to conflate the remarks with the allegation that the president is anti-military. What’s actually uncomfortable for many of those commentators, however, is the degree to which the president is speaking the truth.

10.09.2020 - 22:57 [ The Hill ]

Trump: Pompeo traveling to talks between Taliban, Afghan government

“The negotiations are a result of a bold diplomatic effort on the part of my administration in recent months and years,” Trump said at a news conference. “The United States will play an important role in bringing the parties together to end the decades-long war. It’s been going on for almost 20 years. Long before I got involved, I can tell you that.”

10.09.2020 - 21:30 [ ABC ]

Leaders in Mali meet with junta for conference on transition

The three-day conference beginning Thursday comes after regional leaders Monday warned the junta, known as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, that it must designate a transitional civilian head of state by next week or face further sanctions from the 15-nation West African regional bloc.

09.09.2020 - 22:49 [ Jason Ditz / Antiwar.com ]

US Commander Confirms Troop Cut Plans in Iraq, Afghanistan

McKenzie also offered an update on the Afghanistan drawdown, saying that the current level of 8,600 wound be down to 4,500 by late October. This figure was roughly announced in the past, but details show that they’re still on track for that.

09.09.2020 - 17:32 [ The Hill ]

US to draw down to 3,000 troops in Iraq

The United States will withdraw more than 2,000 troops from Iraq this month, the top U.S. general in the region said Wednesday.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command (Centcom), announced the reduction from roughly 5,200 troops to 3,000 troops during a visit to Iraq.

05.09.2020 - 11:22 [ teleSUR ]

Chile: Left-Wing Party Presents Bill to Prevent Police Brutality

The legal initiative responds to the police brutality during the social unrest in late 2019. Over 180 protesters and civilians were blinded partially or totally after law enforcement used disproportionate riot control methods.

04.09.2020 - 01:11 [ The Hill ]

Trump expected to name new ambassador to Afghanistan

Administrative officials see Ruger’s selection as the president’s signal of intent to reduce the U.S. military presence in the region drastically.

03.09.2020 - 20:20 [ Information Clearing House ]

Where will all these war games lead?

Query: With the ISIS caliphate dead and buried, why are 500 U.S. troops still in Syria a year after Donald Trump said we would be pulling them out? What are they doing there to justify risking a clash with Russian troops who are in Syria as the invited allies of the Damascus regime of Bashar Assad, whether we approve of his regime or not?

31.08.2020 - 19:19 [ Ron Paul / Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity ]

Trump Must Back Iraq Withdrawal Promise With Action

One big roadblock to finally leaving Iraq alone is President Trump’s de facto Secretary of War, Mike Pompeo. Although he’s supposed to be the top US diplomat, Pompeo is a bull in a china shop. He seems determined to start a war with Iran, China, Russia, Venezuela, and probably a few more countries.

25.08.2020 - 21:53 [ CounterPunch ]

The Architecture of Surveillance in Northern Virginia

Even assuming that most of their jobs are pointless, it’s a lot of damn people keeping our rebellious impulses in check. Then there’s Fort Belvoir, Andrews Airforce Base, Quantico, Anacostia-Bolling. US Defense Services. Navy Intelligence. Department of Homeland Security. The National Reconnaissance Office. The Bureau of Intelligence and Research. The Office of Intelligence and Analysis. The NSA, FBI, CIA. Booz Allen Hamilton. Boeing. Humana. Raytheon. BAE Systems. General Dynamics. Northrup Grumman. Lockheed Martin.

A truly high maintenance group, the ruling class.

25.08.2020 - 02:52 [ Inquirer.com ]

National Guard called in after police shoot a Black man, Jacob Blake, from behind, in Kenosha, Wis.

The man who claimed to have made the video, 22-year-old Raysean White, said that he saw Blake scuffling with three officers and heard them yell, “Drop the knife! Drop the knife!” before the gunfire erupted. He said he didn’t see a knife in Blake’s hands.

The governor said that he has seen no information to suggest Blake had a knife or other weapon, but that the case is still being investigated by the state Justice Department.

19.08.2020 - 07:00 [ The Hill ]

Mali president resigns after being arrested by troops

Keita and his Prime Minister Boubou Cisse were arrested along with other government officials earlier in the day, according to the head of the African Union.

17.08.2020 - 08:34 [ theIntercept.com ]

House Democrats, Working With Liz Cheney, Restrict Trump’s Planned Withdrawal of Troops From Afghanistan and Germany

The NDAA that was approved last night by the Committee also imposed restrictions on Trump’s plan to withdraw troops from Germany. Trump’s plan called for the removal of roughly 9,500 troops from German soil, reducing the number of U.S. troops in this extremely prosperous and rich European nation from 34,500 to 25,000. But by an overwhelming vote of 49-7, the Armed Service Committee approved an amendment to the NDAA that “bans the administration from lowering troop levels below current levels until 180 days after Pentagon leaders present a plan to Congress and certify it will not harm U.S. or allied interests.”

13.08.2020 - 05:22 [ teleSUR ]

Uruguay: Ex-Political Prisoners Ask for Impeachment of Manini

Uruguay’s Association of Former Political Prisoners (Crysol) Tuesday asked the Senate to withdraw the parliamentary immunity of Gen. Guido Manini so that that he can be tried for crimes committed during the military dictatorship (1973-1985).

04.08.2020 - 21:33 [ Stars and Stripes ]

Trump says US forces in Afghanistan to be slashed to fewer than 5,000 this year

President Donald Trump said he expects fewer than 5,000 U.S. troops to be in Afghanistan by November and called America’s wars in the Middle East the “biggest mistake” in the country’s history during a television interview this week.

“We’re largely out of Afghanistan,” Trump said in an interview with Axios aired on HBO Monday. “It’s already planned. … We’ll be down in a very short period of time to 8,000, then we’re gonna be down to 4,000. We’re negotiating right now, we’ve been there for 19 years — 19 years — we’ll be getting out.”

29.07.2020 - 00:08 [ The Hill ]

Washington state officials confirm federal officers leaving Seattle

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) and Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said in a statement that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Border Patrol Tactical Unit has left Seattle after being deployed there “without the consultation or consent of state and local officials.”

28.07.2020 - 00:16 [ New York Post ]

Trump picks antiwar favorite Douglas Macgregor to be German ambassador

Macgregor is a favorite among Trump supporters who want to pull US troops from the Mideast and Afghanistan. As ambassador, he would oversee Trump’s plan to slash the substantial US troop presence in Germany.

24.07.2020 - 18:36 [ Fox News ]

More than 2,000 Portland demonstrators take to street for 57th night in a row, clash with feds

“They’re anarchists,” Trump said. “That’s even, that’s a level that people haven’t seen but they’re anarchists.“

On Wednesday, Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler and hundreds of others were objecting to the presence of federal police sent by Trump, who previously labeled the demonstrators as “agitators & anarchists” after Wheeler was gassed.

23.07.2020 - 21:41 [ theHill.com ]

Portland City Council bans local police from working with federal law enforcement

The measure, which was passed on Wednesday, orders all members of the Portland Police Department to stop giving or receiving „operational support“ from officers representing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Marshal Service, Federal Protective Service and Customs and Border Protection, according to local news reports. Under the resolution, police are also banned from overseeing demonstrations alongside federal officers.

23.07.2020 - 21:14 [ Mike Baker, Correspondent for @nytimes / Twitter ]

Wheeler begins to speak. Boos and then cheers when he says he demands the feds leave.

23.07.2020 - 21:02 [ The New York Times / Twitter ]

After being tear gassed in a crowd, Portland’s mayor and police commissioner Ted Wheeler denounced federal officers for “urban warfare.”

Some protesters, recalling the city police’s past use of tear gas, mocked him: “You better be here every night, Ted!”

23.07.2020 - 20:57 [ Mike Baker, Correspondent for @nytimes / Twitter ]

Incredible scene. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler overcome with another volley of federal tear gas.

23.07.2020 - 20:45 [ NPR.org ]

‚We Will Not Retreat‘: Homeland Security Vows Continued Federal Response To Protests

The acting head of Department of Homeland Security defended the controversial deployment of federal agents to Portland, Ore., saying the Trump administration would „not retreat“ from its duty to protect federal property.

At a news conference Tuesday, Chad Wolf insisted that the department „will support and protect those who want to peacefully protest.“

22.07.2020 - 02:13 [ Common Dreams ]

New Local Lawsuit Challenges ‚Violent and Unlawful‘ Attacks on Portland Protesters by Trump’s Secret Police Force

A pair of Oregon state lawmakers joined with a local lawyer, church, and advocacy group on Tuesday to bring yet another lawsuit against federal government agencies over President Donald Trump’s ongoing militarized crackdown on Black Lives Matter protests in Portland.

21.07.2020 - 22:06 [ The Hill ]

White House threatens veto of defense bill over Confederate provision

The White House took issue with several other provisions of the legislation, including one that would constrain Trump’s ability to withdraw American troops from Germany and another that would limit Trump’s efforts to scale back the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.

21.07.2020 - 21:12 [ New York Times ]

Trump Threatens to Send Federal Law Enforcement Forces to More Cities

The president portrayed the nation’s cities as out of control. “Look at what’s going on — all run by Democrats, all run by very liberal Democrats. All run, really, by radical left,” Mr. Trump said. He added: “If Biden got in, that would be true for the country. The whole country would go to hell. And we’re not going to let it go to hell.”

Democrats said the president was the one out of control.

21.07.2020 - 21:10 [ Democracy Now! / Youtube ]

Portland Protests Grow Despite Violent Crackdown from Militarized Federal Agents & Local Police

Heavily armed federal officers without name tags have carried out nightly attacks on antiracist demonstrations in Portland, Oregon, and snatched people off the streets into unmarked vans, sparking widespread outrage. “What we’ve seen is a continuous escalation in violence against our protesters,” says Lilith Sinclair, an Afro-Indigenous local organizer in Portland. They note the federal violence follows many years of “severe police brutality” from local police. “It’s left the people of Portland not only worried about their safety, but, even more so, justified in the fight that we’re engaged in.”

21.07.2020 - 20:57 [ Democracy Now! / Youtube ]

“Camouflaged Goon Squads”: Outrage, Legal Challenges in Portland as Federal Agents Snatch Protesters

The U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon has called for an investigation into the conduct of federal officers deployed to protests in Portland, calling their behavior “unlawful.” Local officials are also mounting legal challenges to remove the agents from city streets. Juan Chavez, project director and attorney at the Oregon Justice Resource Center, says it’s a terrifying situation for Portland residents who face “these camouflaged goon squads” who often refuse to identify themselves or their agencies. “They just appear in the middle of the night next to people who are in and around downtown who then get corralled into these vehicles, not told where or who’s picking them up,” he says.

21.07.2020 - 20:43 [ GOP War Room / Youtube ]

UNHINGED: Dem Rep. Clyburn Compares Federal Law Enforcement To Nazi Germany Gestapo

Democrat Congresswoman Jim Clyburn compared federal law enforcement to Nazi Germany Gestapo, when he appeared on CNN on 7/20/2020.

15.07.2020 - 08:02 [ The Hill ]

Pentagon: US has withdrawn from 5 bases in Afghanistan after Taliban agreement

Pentagon chief spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement that „U.S. forces in Afghanistan remain in the mid-8,000s and five bases formerly occupied by U.S. forces have been transferred to our Afghan partners.“

12.07.2020 - 19:50 [ Jason Ditz / Antiwar.com ]

House Republicans Call for US Pullout From Afghanistan, Iraq

Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) sent a letter to President Trump earlier this week, calling on him to not only complete the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, but leave Iraq as well, saying the country can’t stay a great power and engage in endless war.

10.07.2020 - 02:06 [ The Hill ]

Biden to review Trump move pulling troops from Germany if elected, aide says

President Trump confirmed last month his administration plans to cut the U.S. troop size in Germany roughly in half. The decision drew backlash from both sides of the aisle.

04.07.2020 - 11:40 [ CNN ]

US Navy to send two aircraft carriers and several warships to South China Sea

The US Navy will send two aircraft carriers and several accompanying warships to the South China Sea in the coming days to participate in a military exercise.
The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Groups are conducting dual carrier operations in the Philippine Sea and South China Sea,“ said Lt. Joe Jeiley, a spokesman for the Seventh Fleet.

03.07.2020 - 15:12 [ Caitlin Johnstone ]

Seriously, Get The Hell Out Of Afghanistan

With overwhelming bipartisan support, the House Armed Services Committee has added a Liz Cheney-spearheaded amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which throws severe roadblocks in the Trump administration’s proposed scale-down of US military presence in Afghanistan and Germany.

As The Intercept‘s Glenn Greenwald notes, both parties advancing the amendment cited in their arguments the completely unsubstantiated intelligence leak that was recently published by credulous mass media reporters alleging that Russia has paid bounties to Taliban fighters for killing the occupying forces in Afghanistan. Yet another western imperialist agenda once again facilitated by unforgivably egregious journalistic malpractice in the mass media.

03.07.2020 - 10:06 [ The Intercept ]

House Democrats, Working With Liz Cheney, Restrict Trump’s Planned Withdrawal of Troops From Afghanistan and Germany

It should come as absolutely no surprise that House Democrats are finding common cause with Liz Cheney and other GOP warmongers to block any efforts to reduce even moderately the footprint of the U.S. military in the world or its decades-long posture of endless war.

28.06.2020 - 14:01 [ Stars and Stripes ]

Army halts MWR at Afghanistan base, orders contractors to leave to prevent virus spread

The U.S. military has ordered contractors in eastern Afghanistan to leave base as part of coronavirus prevention measures, forcing the closure of Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities and other nonessential services.

22.06.2020 - 02:31 [ The Hill ]

Troop reduction in Germany should spark a conversation about NATO’s future

Take the recent news that Washington intends to remove some 9,500 U.S. troops from Germany. The relatively minor reduction, with the open possibility that some personnel would stay in Europe but move to Poland, was nonetheless met with hysteria by a noticeable portion of the commentariat. The decision was assessed as a “colossal” and “disastrous mistake.”

17.06.2020 - 06:44 [ theHill.com ]

Trump’s move to pull troops from Germany draws bipartisan warnings

“The United States’ military presence in Germany is mutually beneficial to both nations, and bolsters the transatlantic alliance. It’s also an invaluable hub for U.S. military operations,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), a member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, said in a statement Tuesday.

16.06.2020 - 11:17 [ theHill.com ]

Trump confirms plan to cut US troops in Germany to 25,000

“We’re putting the number down to 25,000 soldiers,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

“Germany’s delinquent,” Trump added. “They’ve been delinquent for years, and they owe NATO billions of dollars, and they have to pay it. So we’re protecting Germany, and they’re delinquent. That doesn’t make sense.”

07.06.2020 - 17:24 [ The Hill ]

Trump orders National Guard to begin withdrawal from DC

D.C Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) sent a letter to Trump Friday requesting he withdraw all “extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence,” noting that she had ended the state of emergency in the distinct related to the demonstrations.

07.06.2020 - 12:32 [ New York Times ]

Pentagon Ordered National Guard Helicopters’ Aggressive Response in D.C.

On Monday night, both Mr. McCarthy and the Army’s chief of staff, Gen. James C. McConville, pressed Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, the commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, to increase his forces’ presence in the city, according to a senior Defense Department official.

An Army official declined to comment, saying that the investigation was continuing.

06.06.2020 - 08:42 [ Washington Post ]

Live updates: Minneapolis votes to ban police chokeholds; protests continue into 11th day

A national pushback against police violence and law enforcement excess continued Friday, as Minneapolis voted to ban chokeholds, National Guardsmen deployed in the nation’s capital were ordered to disarm, and protests following the death of George Floyd stretched into an 11th day.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) ended nightly curfews for Minneapolis and St. Paul, the epicenter of the protests over the killing of George Floyd, which had been in place for a week. The decision follows similar moves in other places where curfews have ended, including Washington, L.A. County and pockets of Southern California, along with much of the Bay Area.

06.06.2020 - 06:25 [ Wall Street Journal ]

Trump to Pull Thousands of U.S. Troops From Germany

Move would cut 9,500 American service members from Germany, where 34,500 are permanently assigned, amid strains between two key NATO allies

05.06.2020 - 01:15 [ Politico.com ]

Esper orders hundreds of troops from 82nd Airborne home from D.C. area

He initially ordered them home on Wednesday after a night of more peaceful protests in the nation’s capital, but reversed course later in the day and planned to keep them in the area for another 24 hours after further analysis, the official said.

The second reversal comes as White House aides made clear their irritation with Esper for declaring his opposition to deploying active-duty troops to quash recent unrest just two days after President Donald Trump threatened to do so. Officials say the Defense secretary is on thin ice with the president.

05.06.2020 - 00:24 [ the Hill ]

Pelosi demands Trump clarify deployment of unidentified law enforcement in DC

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday demanded that President Trump provide a list of the agencies involved in deploying law enforcement officers around Washington, D.C., in response to the crowds of demonstrators protesting police brutality.

Some officers policing protests in the city in recent days have been seen without any identifying labels on their uniforms, raising questions about which law enforcement agencies they represent.