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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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
“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.
“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.”
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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
„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.
A Half-Century of Joe Biden’s Stances on War, Militarism, and the CIA
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 …
But in March 2020, the Trump administration abruptly stopped publishing US Airpower Summaries, and the Biden administration has so far not published any either.“
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.”
(Oct 12, 2012)
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.
„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.
“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.
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
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.
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).
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.
“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.”
– 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Pentagon is deploying a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, CNN national security correspondent Barbara Starr reported Friday.
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.
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.
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.
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
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?
Member of Congress, Arizona 5th District
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.
“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.
Tough luck troops, you should not have gotten your hopes up
(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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.“
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.
“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.
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.
(September 11, 2020)
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.
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.
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
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
Administrative officials see Ruger’s selection as the president’s signal of intent to reduce the U.S. military presence in the region drastically.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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).
If the American people had their way, the U.S. military would have been out of Afghanistan years ago.
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.”
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.”
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.
“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.
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.
Some protesters, recalling the city police’s past use of tear gas, mocked him: “You better be here every night, Ted!”
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.“
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Democrat Congresswoman Jim Clyburn compared federal law enforcement to Nazi Germany Gestapo, when he appeared on CNN on 7/20/2020.
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.“
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
“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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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.
Move would cut 9,500 American service members from Germany, where 34,500 are permanently assigned, amid strains between two key NATO allies
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.
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.
They were dressed in mixed riot gear, with helmets and face masks, shields and guns loaded with crowd control agents.
As thousands across the US take to the streets for another day of protests demanding justice for George Floyd, more than 17,000 members of the National Guard are standing ready to support local law enforcement.
That represents approximately the same number of active duty troops deployed in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan.
As of Monday, nearly half of the US has activated guard members to respond to civil unrest.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have deployed troops in Washington, D.C., officials announced Monday, as President Trump mobilized the military in the capital city to address the protests over George Floyd’s death.
CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan posted on Twitter that the law enforcement’s personnel has been sent to the National Capital Region “to assist law enforcement partners.”
Governors in nearly a dozen states plus the District of Columbia have now activated the National Guard amid protests and riots that have broken out in response to George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody earlier this week.
States calling for Guard asistance were California, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Washington state.
Civil liberties advocates sounded the alarm Friday after reporting indicated Customs and Border Protection has been flying an unmanned Predator drone over Minneapolis as the city continues to roil with protest over the police killing of George Floyd earlier this week
The drone flown over Minneapolis is an unarmed version of the aircraft.
The drone was first spotted on a flight tracking tool by members of the ADB-S Exchange, a community of flight watchers who use open-source flight data to monitor America’s skies. Presumably, the drone is surveilling protests there, though CBP did not respond to a request for comment about what the drone is doing there.
More than 500 Minnesota National Guard soldiers arrived in Minneapolis and surrounding areas as protests erupted for a third night over the death of a black man while in police custody.
From New York City to Denver and other cities, protesters demanded justice for George Floyd after his arrest and death Monday in Minneapolis.
In den USA mehren sich die Anzeichen, dass auf Druck von Präsident Donald Trump der Zeitplan für den Abzug von Truppen aus Afghanistan bis zur US-Präsidentenwahl im November beschleunigt werden soll. Im Pentagon würden derzeit entsprechende Pläne erarbeitet, berichtet die Washington Post.
The Pentagon is expected to try to persuade a commander in chief who has made clear his desire to end America’s involvement in what he has criticized as “endless wars” — and who has regularly surprised the military with his decisions.
President Trump has apparently confirmed reports from earlier in the week that he wants to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan in time for Election Day. The New York Times reported Tuesday that Trump was keen on a plan to bring forces home by November because it would likely give a boost to his campaign.
The new measures reportedly have the backing of the United States, according to The Times of Israel.
Israel’s envoy, Danny Danon, made the demands during a video press briefing, adding that the UN Security Council must be immediately informed if Lebanon moves to block any of the new measures.
„There is concern from a variety of places that we could leave Afghanistan,“ one senior U.S. official said, pointing to concerns voiced by U.S. allies, members of Congress and U.S. military officials.
„The international coalition forces had departed the base and the K1 base now is under full control of the Iraqi forces,“ the office said.
On the other side, a U.S.-led coalition spokesman said in a tweet that the troops departed the compound inside K1 airbase in coordination with the Iraqi government, asserting that the coalition troops will support Iraq from fewer places with fewer troops.
The two sides have been speaking in recent days over Skype, officials have said, as the coronavirus pandemic has curbed international travel.
“#USNSMercy will be getting underway #TODAY in support of the nation’s #COVID19 response efforts. As announced by @realDonaldTrump, the ship will head to Los Angeles,” Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday tweeted Monday.
According to new documents and interviews with military experts, the various plans – codenamed Octagon, Freejack and Zodiac – are the underground laws to ensure government continuity. They are so secret that under these extraordinary plans, „devolution“ could circumvent the normal Constitutional provisions for government succession, and military commanders could be placed in control around America.
„We’re in new territory,“ says one senior officer, the entire post-9/11 paradigm of emergency planning thrown out the window. The officer jokes, in the kind of morbid humor characteristic of this slow-moving disaster, that America had better learn who Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy is.
The United States would then be placed under the authority of Terrence O’Shaughnessy, a four-star general and former fighter pilot who is the designated “combatant commander”, according to Newsweek.
General O’ Shaughnessy, 56, leads the US Northern Command (Northcom), a military authority responsible for homeland defence, created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“The military is the best logistical organization in the nation. If there are ventilators being produced anywhere in the country, we need to get them to New York. Not weeks from now or months from now, in the next 10 days.“
“Why are they at their bases? Why are they not being allowed to serve?“ de Blasio said. “I guarantee you, they’re ready to serve. But the president has to give the order.“
Centcom commander Gen. Frank McKenzie says that the plan is to shift combat duties to US special forces.
(September 18, 2007)
“Generals lie, Soldiers die,” chanted pro-testers when general David Petraeus appeared before a Congressional committee in Washington on 10 September.
Petraeus’s mission? To provide military cover for Bush’s cynical tactic of playing for time.
The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Tuesday afternoon welcoming recent steps towards ending the conflict in Afghanistan. All 15 members supported the resolution, tabled by the United States, which endorses a joint US-Afghan declaration on peace and an agreement signed between Washington and the Taliban.
Hundreds of troops are heading out of the country as previously planned and will not be replaced.
Announcement of the June 29-30 donors conference came during an EU foreign ministers meeting in Zagreb that addressed two related refugee crises. The first involved the roughly 1 million Syrians hoping to cross Turkey’s now-closed borders to safety, following an uptick in fighting in Idlib.
The U.S. currently has around 6,000 military personnel in Africa. Although some experts say a repositioning of forces is overdue, many U.S. officials share French concerns about relieving pressure on militants in Africa.
EU TO HOST SYRIA DONOR CONFERENCE IN BRUSSELS ON JUNE 29-30, WILL ALSO INVITE GOVERNMENTS INVOLVED IN CONFLICT – BORRELL
#Ankara #Greece #Idlib #Erdogan #Europe
NATO member countries, particularly Europeans, must act together to provide support to Turkey to confront the difficulties arising from the Syrian conflict, James Jeffrey, the U.S. special envoy for Syria, has said at the International Idlib Conference in Istanbul.
He was responding to a question during regarding Washington’s views about concrete military support to Turkey.
BOWMAN: Right. The U.S. and Europe actually want Bashar al-Assad removed. He killed hundreds of thousands of his own people in a civil war. And they don’t want Assad to gain more strength by having access to millions of dollars from the oil. And Russia is Syria’s main ally. The U.S. ally in this ongoing ISIS fight, the Kurds, are using proceeds from the oil to continue their operations. And to make this even more politically convoluted, the Kurds are selling the oil to the Syrian government.
Sgt. Dan McKnight, Afghanistan war veteran and founder of BringOurTroopsHome.US, Saturday praised President Donald Trump’s announcement of a peace agreement with Taliban forces that could lead to total withdrawal of U.S. forces in Afghanistan some time next year. The announcement came a day after McKnight blasted Congresswoman Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., for attempting to publicly undercut Trump’s efforts.
The United States signed a deal with the Taliban on Saturday that sets the stage to end America’s longest war — the nearly two-decade-old conflict in Afghanistan that began after the Sept. 11 attacks, killed tens of thousands of people, vexed three White House administrations and left mistrust and uncertainty on all sides.
The joint Saudi–US joint exercise titled “Marine Defender” kicked off in the Persian Gulf on Sunday.
The United States wants Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to defer his second-term inauguration over concerns it could inflame an election feud with his political rival and jeopardize U.S.-led peacemaking efforts, two sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.
European Union foreign ministers agreed to revive a naval mission in the Mediterranean Sea to enforce the internationally backed arms embargo on Libya, a move likely to encounter stiff challenges given the recent arms buildup by regional powers in the North African country.
Mr. Stoltenberg briefed the Coalition on the decision in principle by Allied ministers to enhance NATO’s training mission in Iraq. As a first step, this will consist of NATO taking on some of the Global Coalition’s current training activities in the country.
Mr. Stoltenberg highlighted that NATO’s work in Iraq is helping strengthen the Iraqi armed forces and institutions to ensure ISIS cannot return, and Iraq no longer requires support.
He briefed on the Allied decision to enhance #NATO’s training mission in #Iraq. #MSC2020.
Read more: http://bit.ly/2UUFLb5
„The challenge that Pompeo’s facing in Africa is explaining the contradictory messages coming from Washington,“ said Witney Schneidman, a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative. „It’s the lack of attention that’s been paid. It’s the fact that (former national security adviser John) Bolton rolled out this Africa strategy 14 months ago, and since then, very little has been accomplished where many other nations have moved forward.“
One European diplomat said there was agreement among the bloc’s 27 members to strengthen U.N. monitoring of the embargo, but not on the issue of dispatching naval assets.
The diplomat, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said Austria has objected to putting naval ships back into the Mediterranean, and issue that would likely come up at the annual Munich Security Conference over the weekend.
NATO is ready to expand its military training effort in Iraq, the alliance’s top civilian official said Wednesday, but the Iraqi government is not yet ready to approve the move.
The Canada-led operation was launched in 2018 but suspended last month after a U.S. missile strike at Baghdad Airport killed Iran’s top general and Iraq’s government and lawmakers demanded that foreign troops leave. U.S. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has demanded that U.S. allies do more in the Mideast.
Speaking to the AFP on condition of anonymity, the senior Malian army officials said soldiers had left the northern city of Gao en route to Kidal. „There is no problem for now,“ he said.
The Iron Man Battalion will deploy 550 soldiers from Charles City, Davenport, Dubuque, Iowa City, Iowa Falls, Oelwein, and Waterloo. The mission involves security and force protection in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The deployment is expected to last around a year.
Choreographed sword fights, such as those traditionally performed in Gulf Arab countries, may look like clashes between deadly enemies but in fact require close coordination between the participants.Many Arabs believe the conflict between the US and Iran in Iraq is similar.
„If the U.S. steps back from Africa too far, China and Russia will fill the void to our detriment,” he said in his written testimony to the Senate. “Violent extremist organizations will be able to grow unchecked, some will ultimately threaten the homeland, and we will lose opportunities for increased trade and investments with some of the fastest growing economies in the world.”
“The tempo is coming back,” Gen. Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie Jr., who heads U.S. Central Command, said during a visit to a constellation of tiny American outposts in eastern Syria.
American troops in Syria, like those in neighboring Iraq, shifted their focus from anti-extremist operations to force protection after a Jan. 3 strike in Baghdad killed Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s most influential military figure.
The Iraqi President, Barham Salih, met with his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, in Davos on Wednesday to discuss a number of topics, including the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq.
Eight European Union member states have decided to set up a naval surveillance mission in the Strait of Hormuz, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced Monday after a meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers.
“A decrease in our investment now may result in the need for the United States to reinvest at many more times the cost down the road,” Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and ranking member Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) wrote in letter to Esper last week.
A source close to the Iraqi government told Al-Monitor, “Abdul Mahdi has told Kurdish officials the Kurdistan region is part of the Iraqi federal state, thus they must abide by the Iraqi parliament’s decision to eject US forces from Iraqi soil once the decision is put into practice.“
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, added, “Abdul Mahdi also told the Kurds his government soon will try to reach an agreement with the US on how to implement the Iraqi parliament’s decision. Kurds should cooperate with Baghdad in this regard. No foreign forces are allowed to stay in Iraq under any pretexts.“
The United States has about 5,000 troops in Iraq leading the fight against ISIS. There are also about 800 U.S. troops fighting ISIS in Syria. Meanwhile, about 14,000 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan helping Afghan forces fight the Taliban and conducting counterterrorism operations against groups such as ISIS.
Outside of combat zones, the United States has also deployed about 14,000 more troops throughout the Middle East since the summer in an effort to deter Iran.
On Thursday Iraqi Prime Minister Mahdi phoned Pompeo to urgently request that Washington enact a US troop “withdrawal mechanism” in Iraq. American troops are in Iraq by invitation of the Iraqi government and the Iraqi government had just voted to revoke that invitation.
The State Department responded with a statement titled “The US Continued Partnership with Iraq,” in which it essentially said that the US would not abide by the request of its Iraqi partners because the US military is a “force for good” in the Middle East and that as such it is „our right“ to maintain „appropriate force posture” in the region.
After decades of an enduring cycle of violence, Iraqis are hardened to conflict. But many say they have little vested interest in the latest tit-for-tat between the US and Iran.
The State Department warned that the U.S. could shut down Iraq’s access to the country’s central bank account held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a move that could jolt Iraq’s already shaky economy, the officials said.
In a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi asked the United States to send a delegation to Iraq to set up a mechanism for U.S. troop withdrawal from the country, a statement from the prime minister’s office said Friday.
The request followed a vote by the Iraqi parliament to expel thousands of U.S. troops, a direct consequence of a U.S. drone attack that killed senior Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani and nine companions in Baghdad a week ago.
Iraq’s Arabic-language al-Forat news agency reported that the alliance took the decision on Tuesday to move its command center from the Iraqi capital Baghdad to Kuwait City.
The Qatar-based and Arabic-language al-Jazeera news network, citing a report published by German DPA news agency, later confirmed the account.
Germany is moving some of its military personnel from Iraq to neighbouring countries over security concerns, the government told lawmakers, days after the killing of a top Iranian military commander in a US drone strike.
About 30 of the 120 German soldiers in Iraq who mainly train Iraqi security forces will be redeployed to Jordan and Kuwait, the government told parliament in a letter on Monday.
Our own sources in Baghdad confirmed that the letter was genuine and that they too had seen it.
One source said their understanding of the US position was that a partial withdrawal or repositioning of some troops to Kuwait was taking place.
“If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Sunday afternoon when asked about the vote by Iraq’s parliament to end U.S. troop presence in the country.
A statement on Sunday from Operation Inherent Resolve said the US-led coalition was “fully committed” to protecting its bases in the light of “repeated rocket attacks” from pro-Iranian militias over the past two months.
“This has limited our capacity to conduct training with partners and to support their operations against Daesh [Isis], and we have therefore paused these activities, subject to continuous review,” the coalition said.
In an extraordinary session, the lawmakers voted with majority in favor of passing a law requiring the government to cancel the request for assistance from the international coalition to fight Islamic State (IS) group due to the end of military operations and war in Iraq.
“I oppose the dispatch of SDF troops based on vague legal grounds,” Tamaki said.
Parliamentary resolutions are nonbinding to the government, but Abdul-Mahdi had earlier urged parliament to take urgent measures and end the presence of foreign troops as soon as possible.