Archiv: paramilitary / mercenaries / militias / contractors


18.02.2019 - 06:17 [ Donald J. Trump, Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten / Twitter ]

The United States is asking Britain, France, Germany and other European allies to take back over 800 ISIS fighters that we captured in Syria and put them on trial. The Caliphate is ready to fall. The alternative is not a good one in that we will be forced to release them……..

16.02.2019 - 16:47 [ Portal amerika21.de ]

Neue Sicherheitspolitik in Kolumbien könnte Paramilitarismus legal fördern

Neu bei der Sicherheitspolitik von Duque ist ein technologischer Ansatz bei den Geheim- und Nachrichtenabwehrdiensten. Auch hier warnt Yepes vor der Wiederholung des Skandals des Geheimdienstes DAS unter Uribe, als Oppositionelle, Journalisten und hohe Richter illegal bespitzelt wurden. Ebenso neu ist die Erklärung der Grenzzonen des Landes als militärisch strategisch, die im Sinne eines möglichen Kriegs gegen Venezuela zu verstehen ist, erklärt Yepes weiter.

16.02.2019 - 12:25 [ Bruce Steedman / Twitter ]

@snarwani BBC Syria Producer says „i can prove without a doubt that the #Douma hospital scene was staged“. His Twitter a/c is now all of a sudden private, but too late for the archived version:

12.02.2019 - 16:33 [ Cato Institute ]

A Guide to Saudi Arabia’s Influence in Washington

(6.12.2018) The United States has long pursued a generally pro-Saudi policy in the Middle East, a legacy of the Cold War when the United States relied heavily on the Saudis to push back against Soviet influence. Saudi Arabia’s geopolitical importance-and its position as the world’s swing producer of oil-has often led U.S. policymakers to minimize criticism of Saudi Arabia. Even as fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were shown to be Saudi citizens, for example, the George W. Bush administration pushed to maintain the close U.S.-Saudi relationship while privately criticizing Saudi support for religious extremism. The Trump administration, however, has taken the United States’ selective vision on Saudi Arabia to new extremes.

12.02.2019 - 16:30 [ New York Times ]

Saudis and Extremism: ‘Both the Arsonists and the Firefighters’

(25.August 2016) Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump do not agree on much, but Saudi Arabia may be an exception. She has deplored Saudi Arabia’s support for “radical schools and mosques around the world that have set too many young people on a path towards extremism.” He has called the Saudis “the world’s biggest funders of terrorism.”

10.02.2019 - 17:36 [ Fox News ]

I gave the US trucks and ammunition to Al Qaeda‘: The chaotic US effort to arm Syrian rebels

(15.5.2018) A second Obama administration program, „Timber Sycamore,“ was started by the CIA in late 2012 with the similar aim of arming rebels. This particular operation was active along the Turkish border to Syria’s north, and a Jordanian crossing in the south, referred to as the “Southern Front.”

But Syrian opposition figures say this program was also compromised, with arms falling into the hands of ISIS or Al Nusra.

The program initially supplied light weapons. But as the Syrian civil war intensified, the U.S. strengthened its commitment by providing selected rebels with American “tune-launched, optically tracked, wire-guided” antitank missiles, better known as BGM-71 TOWs.

10.02.2019 - 17:20 [ CNN ]

Sold to an ally, lost to an enemy

(6.2.2019) The US shipped weapons and secrets to the Saudis and Emiratis. Now, some are in the hands of fighters linked to al Qaeda and Iran.

10.02.2019 - 15:51 [ Mail & Guardian / alphalink.com.au ]

CIA and MI5 linked to Hammarskjöld death

(28. Aug 1998) The documents, found by a truth commission researcher investigating an apparently unrelated matter, implicate then CIA chief Allen Dulles in Operation Celeste. They also claim that the explosives used for the bomb that downed the aircraft were supplied by a Belgian mining conglomerate, Union Miniere. The company had extensive interests in copper-rich Katanga, and is known to have backed to Tshombe’s use of mercenaries, including the group led by South Africa’s Colonel „Mad Mike“ Hoare.

The most damning report refers to a meeting between MI5, Special Operations Executive, the CIA and the SAIMR at which it was recorded that Dulles „agrees … Dag is becoming troublesome and … should be removed“.

10.02.2019 - 15:27 [ theGuardian.com ]

RAF veteran `admitted 1961 killing of UN secretary general`

(12.1.2019) Exclusive: Cold case documentary casts new light on mystery of Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane crash

10.02.2019 - 15:23 [ Youtube ]

Cold Case Hammarskjöld – Official Trailer (HD)

In 1961, United Nations‘ secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane mysteriously crashed, killing Hammarskjöld and most of the crew. It’s understood that because Hammarskjöld was, at the time, advocating for Congo’s independence (against the wishes of European mining companies and other powerful entities), the “crash” was an assassination. With the case still unsolved 50-plus years later, Danish journalist, filmmaker, and provocateur Mads Brügger (The Red Chapel, The Ambassador) leads us down an investigative rabbit hole to unearth the truth. He, his Swedish private-investigator sidekick, and a host of co-conspirators tirelessly pursue a winding trail of clues, but they turn up more mysteries than revelations. Scores of false starts, dead ends, and elusive interviews later, they begin to sniff out something more monumental than anything they’d initially imagined.

07.02.2019 - 09:11 [ US State Department ]

Statement by Ministers of the Global Coalition To Defeat ISIS/DAESH

9. In 2019, the Coalition expects to concentrate on implementing the Working Group action plans. With the conventional military effort against ISIS in Syria nearing culmination and shifting to a supporting rather than a central role, the Coalition members will open a discussion to plan the next phase of the campaign. This could involve an effort to counter ISIS’s reversion to insurgency in Syria and Iraq. It could also include, addressing ISIS’s trans-border networks, branches, and affiliates, which continue to present a significant, and in some cases, growing threat to the members of our Coalition as highlighted by the June 2018 Coalition meeting of Political Directors with a focus on Africa held in Skhirate, Morocco. In particular, the Coalition should remain united in its efforts to undermine ISIS’s brand by rolling back its access to the information space as a tool to spread its toxic ideology and propaganda. The Coalition is determined to increase the pressure to disrupt ISIS’s trans-regional network through increased information sharing and complementary efforts in counter-finance, strategic communication, law enforcement, the justice sector, and security for our homelands. Coalition Working Groups and members will strive to ensure that our goals are met across the broader diplomatic and counterterrorism ecosystem, and does not seek to duplicate existing mechanisms and lines of effort. The Coalition has gathered unique experience and information while fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria that can be of value to other international organizations and groupings combating terrorism.

10. We are gratified by the momentum collectively generated by the Coalition and its partners and once again express our determination to deliver ISIS an enduring defeat. Our joint engagement in Iraq and Syria will continue. We recognize the need for sustained coordination and consultation of the Coalition across all its lines of efforts and especially in the Core. The four Working Groups of the Coalition – Foreign Terrorist Fighters, Counter-ISIS Financing, Communications, and Stabilization – are essential, and we remain dedicated to their continued progress. With this in mind, we look forward to the Political Directors’ meeting in late spring and the regular meeting of the Coalition Working Groups in the year ahead.

07.02.2019 - 09:10 [ Ruptly ]

LIVE: Trump delivers remarks to ministers as part of ‘Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS’

US President Donald Trump is delivering remarks at the State Department in Washington DC on Wednesday, February 6 at a meeting with foreign ministers whose countries are part of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. The 79-member coalition is expected to discuss the future of campaigns in Iraq and Syria, which will focus on safeguarding against a resurgence of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) through stabilisation and security assistance.

07.02.2019 - 08:59 [ TEAM ABABU. ‏/ Twitter ]

CAS @AbabuNamwamba arrived in Washington DC last evening to lead the Kenyan delegation to the Meeting of Ministers of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, hosted by US Secretary of State Hon Mike Pompeo at the State Department.

07.02.2019 - 08:47 [ Ambassador Sung Kim ‏/ Twitter ]

We are proud to partner with the Philippines and other members of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Multinational collaboration and information-sharing has allowed us to disrupt potential attacks worldwide and diminish ISIS’s online influence.

07.02.2019 - 08:43 [ Margot Wallström,Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden / Twitter ]

Discussing peace & stabilisation of liberated areas in Iraq and Syria with leaders at the global coalition to defeat ISIS meeting in Washington DC. Root causes that enabled Daesh should be addressed and their reach and impact on social media must be countered.

07.02.2019 - 08:40 [ Globalnews.ca ]

Anti-ISIS coalition holds meeting in Washington

A meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS met in Washington to focus on what happens once the U.S. withdraws its troops from Syria. Jackson Proskow reports.

02.02.2019 - 16:36 [ Haaretz ]

Israel Just Admitted Arming anti-Assad Syrian Rebels. Big Mistake

For the first time on the record, a senior official confirmed Israel’s secret unconventional war in Syria, aimed at preventing Iranian encroachment. But what did Israel gain from exposing its ‚anti-intervention‘ lie after so many years of denial?

01.02.2019 - 13:49 [ New York Times ]

Senate Rebukes Trump Over Troop Withdrawals From Syria and Afghanistan

The 68-to-23 vote to cut off debate ensures that the amendment, written by Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and backed by virtually every Senate Republican, will be added to a broader bipartisan Middle East policy bill expected to easily pass the Senate next week.

The vote was the second time in two months that a Republican-led Senate had rebuked Mr. Trump on foreign policy.

01.02.2019 - 13:32 [ CNN ]

In rebuke to Trump, Mitch McConnell unveils proposal urging troops stay in Syria, Afghanistan

(29.1.2019) Trump ordered a rapid withdrawal of troops from Syria on December 19, a move that was widely criticized by lawmakers from both parties.
Since that initial announcement, Trump earlier this month extended his original 30-day timeline to withdraw the troops to four months and told reporters, „I never said we’re doing it quickly, but we’re decimating ISIS.“

23.01.2019 - 20:24 [ Junge Welt ]

Tödliche Geschäfte

Bolsonaro verspricht, was Konzernlenker gern hören: Steuern runter, weg mit Filz und Bürokratie, Reformen, Reformen, Reformen, umfassende Privatisierungen. Und eine starke Hand, die über sie wacht. Er kündigt große Investitionen im Bereich der Sicherheit an. Den Waffenhandel hat er bereits liberalisiert. An dieser Stelle hätte seine berühmte Pistolero-Geste gut gepasst. Aber die Investoren stehen auf diesem Markt ja bereits Schlange. Die »offenen Arme« Brasiliens, von denen Bolsonaro in Davos spricht, gelten den Multis. Die Anziehung ist gegenseitig.

15.01.2019 - 09:12 [ New York Times ]

Pompeo’s Anti-Iran Tour Faces Obstacles of a Fractious Middle East

Mr. Pompeo has not yet proposed that Arab nations outside the war zones send troops to fight the militias, though he has left open the possibility of the United States helping piece together an Arab military coalition to move into northeastern Syria as the United States withdraws.

15.01.2019 - 08:42 [ Independent.co.uk ]

From Trump tweets to Pentagon leaks, infighting leaves US Middle East policy in tatters

At the same, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and New York Times all carried major damaging stories targeting White House Middle East policy, all sourced to unnamed American diplomats and defence officials, targeting Mr Trump’s handpicked adviser Mr Bolton for pushing the country towards the brink of war with Iran and trying to maintain the US military presence in Syria as a bulwark against Iranian influence.

06.01.2019 - 12:57 [ New York Times ]

Fight Against Last Vestige of ISIS in Syria Stalls, to Dismay of U.S.

(6.11.2018) In Jordan, state intelligence officials said they had worked closely with the C.I.A. to thwart more than a dozen terrorist plots in the past several months in the Middle East and Europe.

A classified American military program in Jordan, called Operation Gallant Phoenix, is scooping up data collected in commando raids in Syria and Iraq and funneling it to law enforcement agencies in Europe and Southeast Asia, according to United States military and intelligence officials who described details of the initiative on condition of anonymity because of its secretive nature.

06.01.2019 - 12:54 [ Olivier Guitta ‏/ Twitter ]

A classified #US military program in #Jordan, called Operation Gallant Phoenix, is scooping up data collected in commando raids in #Syria and #Iraq and funneling it to law enforcement agencies in #Europe and Southeast #Asia.

(8.11.2018)

04.01.2019 - 11:03 [ legalinsurrection.com ]

Israel Helped 30 Countries Foil Terror Attacks in 2017, Says Economy Minister

(28.2.2018) Israeli military’s intelligence branch, known as “Unit 8200,” told the Australian authorities about a hidden explosive device destined for an Etihad Airways flight leaving Sydney for Abu Dhabi last July.

Earlier this month, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported on Israel’s role in helping Germany and European countries in combating Islamist terror. It revealed that Israel is part of a covert multinational counter-terrorism operation named “Gallant Phoenix” that gathers intelligence on Islamic State war criminals returning from the Middle East to Europe.

04.01.2019 - 10:46 [ Jerusalem Post ]

Israel working with Germany to combat ISIS terrorism in Europe

(5.2.2018) Israel is part of a secret counter- terrorism coalition that gathers intelligence on Islamic State combatants returning from the Syrian war to Europe, according to a Sunday report in Der Spiegel magazine.

The intelligence collection and anti-terror campaign is named “Gallant Phoenix” and includes a total of 21 states. Germany, the US and Jordan are part of the coalition that is based in Jordan at the US Joint Special Operations Command.

04.01.2019 - 10:36 [ Haaretz ]

Top Secret Israeli Cyberattack Firm, Revealed

Unlike NSO, Candiru is more conservative in its choice of customers. Most of them are in Western Europe and none of them are from Africa. In fact, the company reportedly doesn’t sell equipment to Israel, although that is for business – not political – reasons, they say.

“For example, if Germany needs offensive cyber equipment for some national security matter, it will develop it in-house without question,” explained one source, who asked not to be identified. “But if it needs to contend with human trafficking from Turkey, for instance, it will buy cyber gear from an outside source where the issue is less sensitive.”

02.01.2019 - 17:03 [ ForeignPolicy.com ]

The Pentagon Ups the Ante in Syria Fight

(30. März 2015) Also in Jordan is a U.S.-led multinational effort named Operation Gallant Phoenix, aimed at tracking the foreign fighter flow into Iraq and Syria. Begun as an initiative under Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which controls the military’s most elite special operations units, and JSOC’s higher administrative headquarters, U.S. Special Operations Command, it has expanded to include participation by U.S. Central Command and U.S. European Command, said the senior special operations officer. Although sometimes referred to as the “foreign fighter task force,” Gallant Phoenix doesn’t have troops of its own to send out on raids or direct assaults and instead passes on the information it receives to allied countries.

02.01.2019 - 16:31 [ Nick Turse, TomDispatch / Truthout.org ]

America’s Black-Ops Blackout: Unraveling the Secrets of the Military’s Secret Military

(7. Januar 2014) As Special Operations Command chief Admiral William McRaven put it in SOCOM 2020, his blueprint for the future, it has ambitious aspirations to create “a Global SOF network of like-minded interagency allies and partners.” In other words, in that future now only six years off, it wants to be everywhere.

(…)

While Congressional pushback has thus far thwarted Admiral McRaven’s efforts to create a SOCOM satellite headquarters for the more than 300 special operators working in Washington, D.C. (at the cost of $10 million annually), the command has nonetheless stationed support teams and liaisons all over the capital in a bid to embed itself ever more deeply inside the Beltway. “I have folks in every agency here in Washington, D.C. — from the CIA, to the FBI, to the National Security Agency, to the National Geospatial Agency, to the Defense Intelligence Agency,” McRaven said during a panel discussion at Washington’s Wilson Center in 2013. Referring to the acronyms of the many agencies with which SOCOM has forged ties, McRaven continued: “If there are three letters, and in some cases four, I have a person there.“

02.01.2019 - 16:12 [ theAtlantic.com ]

Obama Gives Commanders Wide Berth for Secret Warfare

(25. Mai 2010) Gen. Stanley McChrystal, at the time the director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, advised President Obama to allow combatant commanders more latitude to combat terrorism using task forces. Coming from McChrystal, it was a surprising endorsement of a policy that would shift responsibility for unconventional warfare from JSOC, which he had commanded, to the combatant commanders.

02.01.2019 - 15:58 [ New York Times ]

U.S. Is Said to Expand Secret Actions in Mideast

(24. Mai 2010) The order, which an official said was drafted in close coordination with Adm. Eric T. Olson, the officer in charge of the United States Special Operations Command, calls for clandestine activities that “cannot or will not be accomplished” by conventional military operations or “interagency activities,” a reference to American spy agencies.

While the C.I.A. and the Pentagon have often been at odds over expansion of clandestine military activity, most recently over intelligence gathering by Pentagon contractors in Pakistan and Afghanistan, there does not appear to have been a significant dispute over the September order.

A spokesman for the C.I.A. declined to confirm the existence of General Petraeus’s order, but said that the spy agency and the Pentagon had a “close relationship” and generally coordinate operations in the field.

02.01.2019 - 15:46 [ theAtlantic.com ]

The Special Ops Command That’s Displacing The CIA

(1. Dezember 2009) The military at large has also felt the growing influence of JSOC. Indeed, General Stanley McChrystal, now the top military commander in Afghanistan, led JSOC from 2003 to 2008. McChrystal’s extensive special operations in Iraq, credited as crucial in the country’s stabilization, earned both him and JSOC wide support in the military and in Washington. In his high-powered role in Afghanistan, McChrystal is increasingly turning to his old command. Spencer Ackerman reports that JSOC’s current leadership is „playing a large and previously unreported role in shaping the Obama administration’s Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy.“ That new influence includes strategic decision-making and direct involvement in the more traditional warfare conducted by the conventional military. Ackerman writes:

„In his Afghanistan review, McChrystal said that a key goal for him would be to increase coordination between his NATO command and the independent command of JSOC, which suggested that the dichotomy between using Special Operations Forces for counterterrorism and conventional forces for counterinsurgency was eroding.“

02.01.2019 - 15:44 [ Seymour Hersh / New Yorker ]

Defending the Arsenal: In an unstable Pakistan, can nuclear warheads be kept safe?

(16. November 2009) An American former senior intelligence official said that a team that has trained for years to remove or dismantle parts of the Pakistani arsenal has now been augmented by a unit of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), the élite counterterrorism group. He added that the unit, which had earlier focussed on the warheads’ cores, has begun to concentrate on evacuating the triggers, which have no radioactive material and are thus much easier to handle.

“The Pakistanis gave us a virtual look at the number of warheads, some of their locations, and their command-and-control system,” the former senior intelligence official told me. “We saw their target list and their mobilization plans. We got their security plans, so we could augment them in case of a breach of security,” he said. “We’re there to help the Pakistanis, but we’re also there to extend our own axis of security to their nuclear stockpile.” The detailed American planning even includes an estimate of how many nuclear triggers could be placed inside a C-17 cargo plane, the former official said, and where the triggers could be sequestered.

02.01.2019 - 15:23 [ Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America / Twitter ]

“General” McChrystal got fired like a dog by Obama. Last assignment a total bust. Known for big, dumb mouth. Hillary lover!

02.01.2019 - 15:02 [ Jeremy Scahill / theNation.com ]

The Secret US War in Pakistan

(23. November 2009) “I think Cheney and Rumsfeld went directly into JSOC. I think they went into JSOC at times, perhaps most frequently, without the SOCOM [Special Operations] commander at the time even knowing it. The receptivity in JSOC was quite good,” says Wilkerson. “I think Cheney was actually giving McChrystal instructions, and McChrystal was asking him for instructions.” He said the relationship between JSOC and Cheney and Rumsfeld “built up initially because Rumsfeld didn’t get the responsiveness. He didn’t get the can-do kind of attitude out of the SOCOM commander, and so as Rumsfeld was wont to do, he cut him out and went straight to the horse’s mouth. At that point you had JSOC operating as an extension of the [administration] doing things the executive branch–read: Cheney and Rumsfeld–wanted it to do. This would be more or less carte blanche. You need to do it, do it. It was very alarming for me as a conventional soldier.”

02.01.2019 - 14:44 [ New York Times ]

C.I.A. Sought Blackwater’s Help to Kill Jihadists

(19. August 2009) The C.I.A. this summer conducted an internal review of the assassination program that recently was presented to the White House and the Congressional intelligence committees. The officials said that the review stated that Mr. Panetta’s predecessors did not believe that they needed to tell Congress because the program was not far enough developed.

The House Intelligence Committee is investigating why lawmakers were never told about the program. According to current and former government officials, former Vice President Dick Cheney told C.I.A. officers in 2002 that the spy agency did not need to inform Congress because the agency already had legal authority to kill Qaeda leaders.

02.01.2019 - 14:31 [ New York Times ]

Cheney Is Linked to Concealment of C.I.A. Project

(11. Juli 2009) The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency’s director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.

The report that Mr. Cheney was behind the decision to conceal the still-unidentified program from Congress deepened the mystery surrounding it, suggesting that the Bush administration had put a high priority on the program and its secrecy.

02.01.2019 - 14:02 [ Democracy Now ]

Seymour Hersh: Secret US Forces Carried Out Assassinations in a Dozen Countries, Including in Latin America

(31. März 2009) AMY GOODMAN: Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh created a stir last month when he said the Bush administration ran an executive assassination ring that reported directly to Vice President Dick Cheney. Hersh made the comment during a speech at the University of Minnesota on March 10th.

SEYMOUR HERSH: Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination wing, essentially. And it’s been going on and on and on. And just today in the Times there was a story saying that its leader, a three-star admiral named McRaven, ordered a stop to certain activities because there were so many collateral deaths. It’s been going in — under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or to the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving.

AMY GOODMAN: Yesterday, CNN interviewed Dick Cheney’s former national security adviser, John Hannah. Wolf Blitzer asked Hannah about Sy Hersh’s claim.

WOLF BLITZER: Is there a list of terrorists, suspected terrorists out there who can be assassinated?

JOHN HANNAH: There is clearly a group of people that go through a very extremely well-vetted process, inter-agency process, as I think was explained in your piece, that have committed acts of war against the United States, who are at war with the United States, or are suspected of planning operations of war against the United States, who authority is given to the troops in the field and in certain war theaters to capture or kill those individuals. That is certainly true.

WOLF BLITZER: And so, this would be, and from your perspective — and you worked in the Bush administration for many years — it would be totally constitutional, totally legal, to go out and find these guys and to whack ’em.

JOHN HANNAH: There’s no question that in a theater of war, when we are at war, and we know — there’s no doubt, we are still at war against al-Qaeda in Iraq, al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and on that Pakistani border, that our troops have the authority to go after and capture and kill the enemy, including the leadership of the enemy.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s John Hannah, Dick Cheney’s former national security adviser. Seymour Hersh joins me now here in Washington, D.C., staff writer for The New Yorker magazine. His latest article appears in the current issue, called “Syria Calling: The Obama Administration’s Chance to Engage in a Middle East Peace.”

……….

02.01.2019 - 13:58 [ CNN ]

Reporter alleges secret ‚assassination wing‘

(30. März 2009) A Special Operations Command spokesman rejected Hersh’s report, saying their forces operate under established rules of engagement and the law of armed conflict. He adds that the vice president has no command-and-control authorities over the U.S. military. Two former Cheney aides also reject the claim, as does the former Bush homeland security adviser, now a national security analyst. Hersh did not disclose any sources in the speech or in the CNN interview, nor was he asked about sources.

The assassination of political leaders has been banned since 1976 – but suspected terrorists are a different story.

02.01.2019 - 13:39 [ minnpost.com ]

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh describes ‘executive assassination ring’

(11. März 2009) “In many cases, they were the best and the brightest. Really, no exaggerations. Really fine guys that went in to do the kind of necessary jobs that they think you need to do to protect America. And then they find themselves torturing people.

“I’ve had people say to me — five years ago, I had one say: ‘What do you call it when you interrogate somebody and you leave them bleeding and they don’t get any medical committee and two days later he dies. Is that murder? What happens if I get before a committee?’

“But they’re not gonna get before a committee.”

02.01.2019 - 13:33 [ New York Times ]

U.S. Halted Some Raids in Afghanistan

(9. März 2009) According to senior military officials, the stand-down was ordered by Vice Adm. William H. McRaven, the head of the military’s Joint Special Operations Command, which oversees the secret commando units.

The rising civilian death toll in Afghanistan has soured relations between American commanders and the Afghan government led by President Hamid Karzai, who has vocally criticized the raids.

The stand-down began in mid-February, and the raids have since resumed. It is unclear, though, whether the Special Operations missions are being carried out with the same frequency as before the halt.

02.01.2019 - 13:20 [ Jake Tapper, CNN Anchor / Twitter ]

Retired four-star Admiral William McRaven, the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014 (which included the OBL mission), just issued the following statement to CNN in response to POTUS attacking GEN McChrystal on twitter:

02.01.2019 - 13:08 [ CNN ]

Ret. admiral defends McChrystal on Trump claim

Ret. Admiral William McRaven came to the defense of Ret. General Stanley McChrystal after President Trump took shots at the general on Twitter following the comments McChrystal made on Trump during an ABC interview.

02.01.2019 - 12:37 [ Seymour Hersh / New Yorker ]

Preparing the Battlefield

(Juli 2008) The covert operations set forth in the Finding essentially run parallel to those of a secret military task force, now operating in Iran, that is under the control of JSOC. Under the Bush Administration’s interpretation of the law, clandestine military activities, unlike covert C.I.A. operations, do not need to be depicted in a Finding, because the President has a constitutional right to command combat forces in the field without congressional interference. But the borders between operations are not always clear: in Iran, C.I.A. agents and regional assets have the language skills and the local knowledge to make contacts for the JSOC operatives, and have been working with them to direct personnel, matériel, and money into Iran from an obscure base in western Afghanistan. As a result, Congress has been given only a partial view of how the money it authorized may be used. One of JSOC’s task-force missions, the pursuit of “high-value targets,” was not directly addressed in the Finding. There is a growing realization among some legislators that the Bush Administration, in recent years, has conflated what is an intelligence operation and what is a military one in order to avoid fully informing Congress about what it is doing.

02.01.2019 - 11:23 [ CNN ]

Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal hits Trump as immoral, dishonest

(30.12.2018) Retired four-star Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal on Sunday criticized President Donald Trump for his approach to the presidency in a wide-ranging interview that saw the former top commander of the US and international forces in Afghanistan label Trump as dishonest and immoral.
„I don’t think he tells the truth,“ McChrystal told ABC’s Martha Raddatz on „This Week.“ When asked if he thought Trump was immoral, McChrystal responded: „I think he is.“

28.12.2018 - 13:26 [ Hurriyet ]

Syria military takes control of key town as Erdoğan warns of ‚psychological action‘

Syria’s military announced Dec. 28 it has taken control of the flash-point northern town of Manbij, where Turkey has threatened an offensive.

The announcement was quickly welcomed by the Kremlin, whose spokesman Dmitry Peskov called it a „positive step“ that could help stabilize the situation.

Turkey, on the other hand, questioned Syria’s motive with the announcement.

28.12.2018 - 13:21 [ People’s Defense Units (YPG) ]

Our forces focus on the fight against ISIS

In conjunction with this, we invite the Syrian government forces which are obliged to protect the same country, nation and borders, to assert control over the areas our forces have withdrawn from, in particularly Manbij, and to protect these areas against a Turkish invasion.

24.12.2018 - 11:58 [ BBC ]

Syria conflict: Macron criticises Trump’s withdrawal decision

The US said the Islamic State (IS) group had been defeated, a claim disputed by allies and US politicians.

France, a key part of the US-led coalition against IS in Syria and Iraq, said its troops would remain in Syria.

24.12.2018 - 11:06 [ breakingisraelnews.com ]

‘No Reason to Panic’ Over US Decision to Withdraw Troops From Syria Says Former Israeli General

“Trump’s declaration on US forces withdrawal from Syria is a significant step, but there’s no reason to panic,” posted Yadlin in a Twitter thread. “2000 US troops came to Syria to fight against ISIS and had no authorities to act against Iran.”

The “authorities” Yadlin appears to be referencing is the Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed by Congress that allows the United States to fight those responsible for the 9/11 attacks. It does not include Iran.

24.12.2018 - 10:43 [ Kansas.com ]

Israel confounded, confused by Syria withdrawal, Mattis resignation

Combined with the departures of Chief of Staff John Kelly and Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Israeli officials are scrambling to determine who is left in the White House who can convince President Donald Trump to think of Israel before taking such drastic security moves, as Mattis successfully did in the past, U.S. and Israeli officials said.

“There is no question that Israeli officials are concerned about the U.S. pulling out,” said Dan Shapiro, U.S. ambassador to Israel in the Obama administration. “It was done without any meaningful consultation with them.”

23.12.2018 - 20:44 [ theSun.co.uk ]

ISIS FIGHT GOES ON: Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson insists fight against ISIS ‘will go on’ in Afghanistan and Syria despite Donald Trump withdrawing US troops

DEFENCE Secretary Gavin Williamson has insisted the fight to secure Syria and Afghanistan would endure – despite Trump’s shock withdrawal of troops from both war zones.

23.12.2018 - 14:07 [ Jason Ditz / Antiwar.com ]

US Envoy to ISIS War Resigns, Criticizes Syria Pullout

McGurk was intended to coordinate with the 79 countries involved in the US-led coalition against ISIS. It is not clear who his replacement will be, but with the administration arguing ISIS is defeated, there may be a low priority for this position.

23.12.2018 - 12:29 [ Donald J. Trump, Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten / Twitter ]

If anybody but your favorite President, Donald J. Trump, announced that, after decimating ISIS in Syria, we were going to bring our troops back home (happy & healthy), that person would be the most popular hero in America. With me, hit hard instead by the Fake News Media. Crazy!

23.12.2018 - 12:29 [ Josh Rogin / Washington Post ]

Trump is leaving 50,000 Syrian civilians to die

President Trump’s surprise decision to rapidly withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria is meeting with intense criticism by foreign policy experts, who denounce it as strategically stupid, reckless for national security and a blow to America’s global credibility. But inside Syria, the consequences are even more serious. For one example, 50,000 Syrian civilian refugees living under the direct protection of the U.S. military are suddenly fearing for their lives.

22.12.2018 - 21:43 [ Rudaw ]

US envoy to anti-ISIS coalition quits over Trump’s Syria move

Taking over for now for McGurk will be his deputy, retired Lt. Gen. Terry Wolff, who served three tours of active duty in Iraq.

Jim Jeffrey, a veteran diplomat who was appointed special representative for Syria engagement in August, is expected to stay in his position, officials said.

22.12.2018 - 18:09 [ CommonDreams.org ]

Jeremy Scahill’s Top 10 Takeaways on Mattis Exit and Possible US Withdrawal From Syria and Afghanistan

„This is an opportunity for progressive forces to assert an alternative vision for U.S. foreign policy.“

22.12.2018 - 18:01 [ The Young Turks / Youtube ]

War In Afghanistan Ending?

Is the war in Afghanistan about to be over? Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

22.12.2018 - 15:15 [ Tulsi Gabbard, Abgeordnete im US Repräsentantenhauses / Twitter ]

The hysterical reaction to the decision to withdraw troops from Syria is astonishing & shows just how attached to war some are. Lindsey Graham & others want us to continue our regime change war in Syria and to go to war with Iran. That’s why they’re so upset.

22.12.2018 - 15:08 [ Brasco_Aad ‏/ Twitter ]

Wow “All US State Department personnel are being evacuated from Syria within 24 hours.“ | US official. The CIA is also leaving Syria.

(19.12.2018)

21.12.2018 - 15:49 [ Antiwar.com ]

Jimmy Dore Slams Liberal Hawks on Syria

Jimmy Dore is fantastic! Listen to him skewer liberal hawks on Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria:

21.12.2018 - 15:46 [ Antiwar.com ]

Trump To End Unconstitutional Syria War – Washington Heads Are Exploding

The warmongering Left has joined forces with the neocons to demand that President Trump reverse course in his recent decision to pull US troops from Syria. Neocons claim that ISIS will increase with the US absence, but it was the very US intervention in the region – that they supported – that led to the rise of extremist and terrorist groups. Meanwhile, some principled progressives are putting politics aside to praise the president’s move.

21.12.2018 - 15:36 [ New York Times ]

U.S. to Withdraw About 7,000 Troops From Afghanistan, Officials Say

President Trump made the decision to pull the troops — about half the number the United States has in Afghanistan now — at the same time he decided to pull American forces out of Syria, one official said.

The announcement came hours after Jim Mattis, the secretary of defense, said that he would resign from his position at the end of February after disagreeing with the president over his approach to policy in the Middle East.

21.12.2018 - 05:20 [ theglobalcoalition.org ]

79 Partners united in defeating Daesh.

The Global Coalition against Daesh was formed in September 2014 and is unique in its membership, scope and commitment.

23.11.2018 - 08:27 [ Times of Israel ]

Ya’alon: I would prefer Islamic State to Iran in Syria

(19.1.2016) Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Tuesday that Iran poses a greater threat than the Islamic State, and that if the Syrian regime were to fall, Israel would prefer that IS was in control of the territory than an Iranian proxy.

“In Syria, if the choice is between Iran and the Islamic State, I choose the Islamic State. They don’t have the capabilities that Iran has,” Ya’alon told a conference held by the Institute of National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.

23.11.2018 - 08:24 [ Haaretz ]

Israeli Defense Chief Met With Syrian Operatives During Civil War, Top Retired IDF General Says

Maj. Gen. Gershon Hacohen, a former IDF General Staff Corps commander, said this week that former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon met during his tenure with Syrian operatives during the war between the Assad regime and the rebels. Since the civil war in Syria broke out, Israel has denied any connection to what was going on there or that it had taken a side. Hacohen says he was present during the meeting.

12.11.2018 - 19:31 [ OttawaCitizen.com ]

Military contractor received $1.6 billion to advise Afghans but results unknown

(31.10.2018) The U.S. government’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) found that since 2010, the U.S. Department of Defense has awarded four contracts, worth $1.62 billion U.S., to DynCorp International to provide contract advisors at Afghan MOD and MOI. Two of these contracts, worth $421 million, are ongoing and expected to end in November 2018.
And the results?

17.10.2018 - 21:10 [ Buzzfeed ]

A Middle East Monarchy Hired American Ex-Soldiers To Kill Its Political Enemies. This Could Be The Future Of War.

Cradling an AK-47 and sucking a lollipop, the former American Green Beret bumped along in the back of an armored SUV as it wound through the darkened streets of Aden. Two other commandos on the mission were former Navy SEALs. As elite US special operations fighters, they had years of specialized training by the US military to protect America. But now they were working for a different master: a private US company that had been hired by the United Arab Emirates, a tiny desert monarchy on the Persian Gulf.

16.09.2018 - 07:16 [ Xinhua ]

Turkey, Russia, Germany, France agree on political solution in Syria’s Idlib

(15.9.2018) „It is everyone’s common belief that the solution in Idlib must be political rather than military,“ Ibrahim Kalin told reporters after hosting a meeting in Istanbul with officials from the three states.

He said there was a general consensus that the consequences of an attack on Idlib would be severe, including triggering a new wave of migration.

16.09.2018 - 07:08 [ Al Jazeera ]

Turkey warns Europe of ’new wave‘ of Syrian refugees from Idlib

(15.9.2018) Kalin said that there is a general consensus that the consequences of a full-scale military attack on Idlib will cause humanitarian crises and a new wave of refugees.

He said on Friday that his government seeks to maintain Idlib’s current status, protect civilians, and prevent a humanitarian crisis in Idlib.

16.09.2018 - 07:02 [ Sarah Abdallah ‏/ Twitter ]

Israel violates Syria’s sovereignty and bombs Damascus International Airport, and nobody even bats an eyelash. But the legitimate, secular Syrian government moves to retake its own land from Al-Qaeda jihadists in Idlib & the entire world goes totally mad.

16.09.2018 - 06:57 [ Xinhua ]

Officials of Turkey, Russia, Germany, France meet in Istanbul over Syria’s Idlib

(14.9.2018) Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov, German chancellor’s foreign policy adviser Jan Hecker and French president’s diplomatic adviser Philippe Etienne joined the meeting hosted by Turkish presidential advisor Ibrahim Kalin, Turkey’s state-run broadcaster TRT Haber said.

According to the broadcaster, the main agenda of the meeting, also attended by technical experts from the four states, is setting the program and other details of a summit meeting of leaders of the four countries in the upcoming days.

11.09.2018 - 07:46 [ DutchNews.nl ]

The Netherlands stops supporting Syrian rebels, ahead of Idlib offensive

The chance that rebel forces will be able to win the civil war is, the ministers say, now ‘extremely limited’. Dutch support for the rebels has ‘not had the desired effects’, the ministers said. The Netherlands had set aside €70m to fund the opposition. In addition to funding ‘moderate’ rebels, the Netherland had also put money into their police forces and to the White Helmets programme, the civilian rescue service.

11.09.2018 - 07:37 [ France24.com ]

Dutch govt under fire for Syria opposition support

The Dutch government faced a storm of protest from lawmakers Monday after a news report said it supported a Syrian opposition group which Dutch prosecutors had labelled a „terrorist“ organisation.

Parliamentarians demanded answers after the report aired by the national public broadcaster said the Netherlands gave „non-lethal assistance“ (NLA) to 22 armed opposition groups battling President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

10.09.2018 - 21:08 [ Independent.co.uk ]

US senator claims Britain’s MI6 is planning a fake chemical weapons attack on Syria

Mr Black said Britain’s MI6 intelligence service was planning a chemical weapons attack on the Syrian people, which it would then blame on Mr Assad.

“Around four weeks ago, we knew that British intelligence was working towards a chemical attack in order to blame the Syrian government, to hold Syria responsible,” Mr Black said on Al Mayadeen, an Arab news channel based in Beirut.

06.09.2018 - 19:48 [ ]

In Secret Program, Israel Armed and Funded Rebel Groups in Southern Syria

Israel also provided salaries to rebel fighters, paying each one about $75 a month, and supplied additional money the groups used to buy arms on the Syrian black market, according to the rebels and local journalists.

The payments, along with the service Israel was getting in return, created an expectation among the rebels that Israel would intercede if troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad tried to advance on southern Syria.

When regime forces backed by Russian air power did precisely that this past summer, Israel did not intervene, leaving the rebel groups feeling betrayed.

25.08.2018 - 12:49 [ Haaretz / googleusercontent.com ]

More Ops, More Secrets, More Money: Mossad’s Supercharged Transformation

Technological developments are obliging espionage agencies to adopt diverse methods of operation: not only to dispatch agents to enemy countries and to recruit local sources for intelligence, but also to dupe people into serving as agents without their knowledge, to use mercenaries and to rely on new capabilities, such as cyberattacks. To avoid biometric identification, as well as to evade security cameras, espionage organizations are being compelled to make increasing use of unwitting local agents.

21.08.2018 - 18:51 [ TaskAndPurpose.com ]

Don’t Let Erik Prince Anywhere Near The War In Afghanistan

NBC News reported on Friday that Prince, founder of notorious private security company Blackwater and brother of current Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is once again pushing to effectively privatize the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan.

Prince’s plan to take over the Forever War isn’t new.

21.08.2018 - 18:48 [ Sean McFate / Politico ]

I Was a Mercenary. Trust Me: Erik Prince’s Plan Is Garbage.

(31.8.2017) Mercenaries are back, a dangerous trend occurring in the shadows. Their very lack of accountability is their main selling point; they offer plausible deniability and brute force to those too weak or squeamish to wage war. Customers are buying too, with mercenary proliferation in Afghanistan, Congo, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen. Clients include countries, extractive industry and even terrorists. This trend may one day alter international relations: When anyone can rent a military, then super-rich and large corporations can become a new kind of superpower. Worse, mercenaries can start and elongate conflicts for profit, breeding endless war. A world with more mercenaries means a world with more war, which is why Prince’s proposal is so dangerous.

12.08.2018 - 14:55 [ Haaretz ]

Rights Groups Demand Israel Stop Arming neo-Nazis in Ukraine

(9.7.2018) They argue that these weapons serve forces that openly espouse a neo-Nazi ideology and cite evidence that the right-wing Azov militia, whose members are part of Ukraine’s armed forces, and are supported by the country’s ministry of internal affairs, is using these weapons.

An earlier appeal to the Defense Ministry was met with no response.

12.08.2018 - 14:04 [ Haaretz ]

To Push Iran Back, Israel Ramps Up Support for Syrian Rebels, ‚Arming 7 Different Groups‘

(21.2.2018) With the Assad regime’s advances the civil war and America’s reduced involvement in the region, Israel has been forced to make significant changes in its policies in the Golan Heights

11.08.2018 - 09:26 [ Rudaw.net ]

Syrian troops shell Idlib, drop ’surrender‘ notes

A Syrian man holds a leaflet stamped with the government forces‘ seal and dropped by helicopters flying over the city of Saraqibon August 9, 2018 reading in Arabic: „Which do you prefer? This was Syria before terrorism and its militiamen, and this is what armed terrorism has one to Syria and its people. The fate of your family, children, and future depend on your decision. Quickly join the local reconciliations to return the smile and guarantee the future.“

24.07.2018 - 13:40 [ Washington Post ]

TOP SECRET AMERICA: National Security Inc.

(Juli 2010) The Post investigation uncovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America created since 9/11 that is hidden from public view, lacking in thorough oversight and so unwieldy that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

It is also a system in which contractors are playing an ever more important role. The Post estimates that out of 854,000 people with top-secret clearances, 265,000 are contractors. There is no better example of the government’s dependency on them than at the CIA, the one place in government that exists to do things overseas that no other U.S. agency is allowed to do.

(…)

Most of these contractors do work that is fundamental to an agency’s core mission. As a result, the government has become dependent on them in a way few could have foreseen: wartime temps who have become a permanent cadre.

23.07.2018 - 14:04 [ Patreon.com ]

Whitewashing the White Helmets – Peter Ford

Former Ambassador to Syria 2003 – 2006, Peter Ford responds to the UK Government statement by Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt on “exceptional” Israeli evacuation of the UK/US Coalition intelligence construct, the White Helmets:

27.05.2018 - 14:31 [ New York Times ]

How a 4-Hour Battle Between Russian Mercenaries and U.S. Commandos Unfolded in Syria

In the end, 200 to 300 of the attacking fighters were killed. The others retreated under merciless airstrikes from the United States, returning later to retrieve their battlefield dead. None of the Americans at the small outpost in eastern Syria — about 40 by the end of the firefight — were harmed.

21.05.2018 - 14:22 [ James Petras / GlobalResearch.ca ]

An Empire Built on Fear at Home and Abroad. War Fever is Everywhere

Political leaders and the mass media deluge the public with a constant stream of frightening incidents caused by the enemy-of-the-week: nerve gas killing dozens of little babies in Syria, Russian-directed poison assassination attempts in England and terror incidents throughout Europe, requiring an increase in domestic police state surveillance and spying. Extensively monitored bank records, intrusive workplace controls, and all personal and, especially, political communications, are in the hands of state security officials or corporate security contractors.

Hundreds of prosecuting attorneys look forward to career-enhancing investigations in perpetuity, tracking the complex networks of extended personal and family links, including long forgotten acquaintances and the contents of casual conversations. Everyone may be subject to interrogations without warrant or explanation. And the ‘media’ cheers on the process.

Political trials and convictions in court and the media are rampant. Social, work-place and academic self censorship and blacklisting of dissident voices have become pervasive and accepted.

Elections and appointments are rigged by corporate and special interests to favor the most bellicose ideologues who manufacture the pretexts for war.

Political intimidation, trade wars and sanctions run amok .

07.05.2018 - 14:09 [ BuzzFeed ]

This American Is A General For A Foreign Army Accused Of War Crimes In Yemen

Yet he also insists he is not actually in the UAE military. “I’m a major general for the United Arab Emirates,” he testified in a child custody hearing in Florida. “I hold the duty, rank, the responsibilities of a major general.” But in the very next breath, he stated, “I’m not currently in their armed forces.”

18.04.2018 - 12:14 [ Egypt Independent ]

Egypt to decline any request by US to send troops to Syria: former intelligence official

In response to a recent report published by American newspaper The Wall Street Journal regarding an alleged request by the United States to Egypt to send armed forces to Syria, former undersecretary of Egypt’s General Intelligence Mohammad Rashad said that Egypt will summarily decline any such invitation.

“The Egyptian Armed Forces are not mercenaries [and cannot be] leased or ordered by foreign states to deploy forces in a certain area. This is not acceptable and no one […] should dare to direct or give instructions to Egypt’s army,” Rashad told Egypt Independent.

02.04.2018 - 22:49 [ teleSUR ]

Colombia: Rights Groups Decry Killings of Two Social Leaders, Demand Justice

Human rights groups decried the recent killings of Colombian social activists Maria Magdalena Cruz Rojas and Belisario Benavidez Ordoñez in two separate attacks on Good Friday as Colombia’s environmental activists, social leaders and human rights defenders continue to face persecution as the government fails to provide the necessary security measures to protect them from increasing threats from armed group and paramilitaries.