Archive | Afghanistan

Afghanistan: A Morally Corrupting War

NOVANEWS

Sixteen years have passed and we are still fighting a war in Afghanistan which is not only the longest in American history (at a cost approaching one trillion and the blood of thousands of brave soldiers), but one which is morally corrupting from which there seems to be no exit with any gratification but shame. It was necessary to invade Afghanistan to destroy al-Qaeda following 9/11, but once it was defeated we should have departed, leaving behind some residual forces to clean up the mess. Instead, we decided to introduce democracy, a totally alien concept to a land historically governed by tribes, and which no foreign power has ever been able to govern or fully conquer for long.

Today, we are still discussing the best course of action to bring this war to some form of a satisfactory conclusion. Before we discuss prospective solutions, however, we should take a hard look at the real cost of the war and its implications that will startle many to their core.

Nearly 2,400 American soldiers have been killed and 20,000 wounded; over 33,000 Afghani civilians have lost their lives. A record number of civilians—1,662—were killed in the first six months of 2017 alone, and over 3,581 civilians were wounded. Overall, Afghani casualties are estimated at 225,000, with 2.6 million Afghani refugees and more than one million internally displaced.

Thus far, the cost of the war to date is approximately $783 billion; the cost for each soldier is $3.9 million per year. If we were to divide the war’s cost among Afghanistan’s 30 million citizens, it would amount to $33,000 per head, from which the ordinary Afghan has derived zero benefit in a country where the average annual per capita income was only $670 in 2014.

While we are spending these sums of money on an unwinnable war, fifteen million US children (21 percent) live in households below the federal poverty threshold. Hundreds of thousands go to sleep hungry, and many are living in squalid conditions, with infrastructure and homes on the verge of collapsing.

To understand the travesty of these expenditures on the war, just think of the cost to America, not only in human lives and money, but our moral standing in the world and the pervasive, corrosive thinking that the war can still be won with military muscle.

It is naïve to think that after 16 years of fighting, dispatching an additional military force of 4,000 soldiers (as recommended by Secretary of Defense Mattis) will change anything, when at its peak over 140,000 soldiers were unable to win and create a sustainable political and security structure that would allow us to leave with dignity.

No one in the Trump administration, including the Pentagon, is suggesting that additional forces would win the war. At best, they can arrest the continuing advances of the Taliban, which is now in control of more than one third of the country—and then what?

After a visit to Afghanistan, Senator John McCain was asked to define winning:

“Winning is getting major areas of the country under control and working toward some kind of ceasefire with the Taliban.”

But as Robert L. Borosage of The Nation points out,

“we’ve had major areas under control before, and the Taliban continued to resist, while corruption and division continued to cripple the Afghan government.”

Beyond this resurgent Taliban threat, al-Qaeda is back in full force and is successfully spreading its wings far beyond the Afghani borders.

If anything, the situation today is even worse both in the political and security spheres, and the prospects of developing sustainable conditions on the ground and a functioning government in Kabul are next to zero. Sadly, Defense Secretary Mattis resembles a gambling addict pouring money into a slot machine, but ends up leaving depressed and frustrated for having lost every dollar, hoping against hope to win a jackpot that never pays out.

One might ask Secretary Mattis, what is our goal now in Afghanistan, and what is our exit strategy? For the past 16 years, no Defense Secretary provided a clear answer, and now we are asked to gamble again with the lives of our soldiers, with no hope of ever winning this debilitating war, which has now become a war of choice.

To be sure, there will not be a military solution to the Afghan war. The sooner we accept this reality, however bitter it may be, the better so we can focus on a practical outcome that can emerge only through negotiations with moderate elements of the Taliban.

Steve Bannon

The second option of conducting the war, which is championed by Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon, is to hire private contractors in lieu of American troops to fight a proxy war on our behalf. There is nothing more disdainful than such a proposal. If we were to choose this route—sending mercenaries to foreign lands to do our killing—will there be anything more morally decadent than this breach of our humanity?

The fact that we used mercenaries in the past to act as security guards or manage detention centers was bad enough, in that they abused their mandate and committed egregious crimes while making billions of dollars.

We should never repeat such a practice which is morally reprehensible. This scheme, not surprisingly, comes from the self-serving master manipulator Bannon, whose advice to Trump so far has got the president in more trouble than he cares to handle. A war for which we are not prepared to sacrifice the life of a soldier for a worthy cause must never be fought.

In a series of conversations I had with Ajmal Khan Zazai, tribal leader and Paramount Chief of Paktia province in Afghanistan, he spoke with deep frustration about the American military approach that has never had a chance of succeeding. He said,

“Afghanistan is a tribal country, the tribes are the past, present, and the future. To win this hard fight against the Taliban and their associates [including al-Qaeda and ISIS] without the support and backing of the tribes would be a miracle and I doubt a miracle is happening these days.”

He was emphatic about the naivete of successive American administrations, saying that government officials in the Departments of State and Defense going back to the Bush era appeared to be “either obsessed with their version of ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ or believe only in a US military solution. They don’t believe in homegrown or Afghan local solutions led by the tribes, or even winning hearts and minds.”

It is time for the US to realize that the long-term solution lies, as Zazai said, with the full backing and support of the tribes. He told me that he is prepared to gather the chiefs of all the tribes to seek commitment from top US officials to empower them by providing four to five hundred million dollars a year, over a few years (which is a fraction of what we spend today). The purpose would be to recruit and train their own militia to fight their own battles—not mercenaries for hire, who want to prolong the war only to enrich themselves.

The solution to the Afghanistan debacle lies with the Afghani tribes, who must take the lead in fighting the insurgency. The tribes will be fighting for their country because they want an end to outrageous foreign interventions that did nothing but cause havoc in the name of pursuing an illusionary democracy.

In the end, the solution lies in peace negotiations with moderates in the Taliban, who are Afghani nationals and will not be dislodged from their own land, and no one is better equipped to achieve that than the tribal chiefs. They want to take matters into their hands and end the decades-long suffering, death, and destruction they have and continue to endure.

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Afghanistan’s Illogical Blame Game against Pakistan

NOVANEWS

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By Sajjad Shaukat
Even in the modern world of today, if any country accuses any other country of supporting terrorism or militancy, there is some logic. But, it is quite surprising that Afghanistan continues illogical blame game against Pakistan in this respect. Therefore, Kabul’s such a policy needs analysis.

On May 31, this year, a massive truck bombing of the Afghan capital’s diplomatic section killed more than 150 people and injured hundreds of others, including foreigners. It was the deadliest terror attack in the 16-year- old conflict.

Taliban denied responsibility for the terror attack. But, Afghanistan’s intelligence service accused the Haqqani network by saying that a Taliban-affiliated group in Pakistan, carried out the attack. Addressing the conference-the “Kabul Process on Peace and Security Cooperation”, held in Kabul on June 6, this year, which was attended by representatives from 26 countries and
international organizations, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said that he would not be drawn “into a blame game.” But, he left no stone unturned in reviving the old blame game against Pakistan. Ghani, criticized Pakistan for a lack of cooperation in promoting Afghan peace and alleged that Taliban insurgents are using sanctuaries on Pakistani soil to wage the insurgency in
Afghanistan.

In the same speech, President Ghani offered peace talks to the Afghan Taliban by reiterating his preconditions such as recognition of the Afghan constitution, continuity of the reforms of educating and advancing the rights of women, and renunciation of violence and linkages with terrorist groups.

A Taliban spokesman rejected Ghani’s latest offer of a peace dialogue by stating that it is another attempt to endorse and prolong foreign occupation of Afghanistan.

The Taliban unofficially maintains its political office in Qatar, but Kabul does not recognize it and has been pushing Qatari authorities to close it down.
Notably, on the same of the conference, a powerful bomb went off at a main mosque in the western city of Herat, killing at least 10 people and wounding many more. Again, Taliban spokesman denied its involvement in connection with the explosion.

However, Pakistan’s special Corps Commander Conference took the stern notice of Afghanistan’s allegations and threats and vowed to defend the country the with full forces. According to the press release of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), issued on June 6, 2017, the “Special Corps Commanders Conference presided over by Chief of the Army Staff
(COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa has called for Afghanistan to introspect and not allege Pakistan of sponsoring terrorism…the conference reviewed the security situation under the backdrop of recent terrorism incident in Afghanistan…Strongly condemning the Kabul blast…meeting has expressed complete solidarity with Afghan government…instead of blaming Pakistan, Afghanistan needs to look forward and identify the real issues…Armed
forces will defend the country from each challenge and will continue work to establish peace in the region.”

ISPR statement further reported that the meeting took exception to the unwarranted accusations and threats against Pakistan in the aftermath of Kabul blast. While reaffirming continued support to regional peace and stability, the forum reiterated military’s resolve to defend the motherland against all types of threat.

In fact, the US and India do not want to see peace and prosperity in the region. Sadly, Pakistan’s dominant role in Afghanistan’s peace process under the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG) has, deliberately, been sabotaged by killing of the Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansur in CIA-operated drone attack in Balochistan. After the incident, Afghan Taliban leaders refused
to participate in the US-sponsored talks with the Afghan government. While, in the recent past, with the help of Pakistan, a series of meetings were held in Islamabad and Kabul among the representatives of Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and the US to develop an understanding for the earliest possible resumption of stalled talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban
with view to ending nearly 15 years of bloodshed in Afghanistan.

Owing to America’s double game, trust deficit has deepened between Islamabad and Washington. Therefore, on June 10, last year, a high-level delegation of the US visited Islamabad and met the Pakistan’s former Chief of the Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif and Adviser to the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz separately.

During the meeting, expressing his serious concern on the US drone strike in Balochistan as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, Pakistan’s former Army Chief Gen. Raheel Sharif highlighted as to how it had impacted the mutual trust and was counterproductive in consolidating the gains of Operation Zarb-i- Azb against terrorists. He elaborated, “All stakeholders need to understand Pakistan’s challenges-inter- tribal linkages and decades—old presence of over three million refugees—blaming Pakistan for instability in Afghanistan is
unfortunate”.

In this context, in the recent past, new wave of terrorism in Pakistan killed several innocent people, while various terrorist outfits such as the Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS, ISIL) and the affiliated faction of the Tehreek-e- Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat-ur- Ahrar (TTP-JA also known as JuA) claimed responsibility for these
brutal acts. TTP based in Afghanistan has its connections with ISIL and other terrorist organizations and affiliated terror groups, including Baloch separatist elements, and all these groups are promoting the anti-Pakistan agenda of the foreign entities to destabilize Pakistan.

As part of the double game, American CIA, Indian RAW, Israeli Mossad and Afghan intelligence agency, National Directorate of Security (NDS) which are in collaboration, are using these terror outfits in weakening Pakistan and especially Balochistan, including Afghanistan through various acts of terrorism in order to fulfill their covert strategic aims against Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran.

In the recent past, the capture of secret agents of RAW and NDS by Pakistani intelligence agencies might be cited as an instance. These external secret agencies are particularly supporting the TTP which is hiding in Nuristan and Kunar provinces of Afghanistan. Reportedly, Mullah Fazlullah led TTP is behind several terror activities inside Pakistan, as the latter has also become
center of the Great Game due to the ideal location of Balochistan. With the tactical assistance of CIA, particularly Indian RAW is trying to damage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

While, India, the US and puppet rulers of Afghanistan have always blamed Islamabad for cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan to divert attention from the acts of sabotage, which they have been arranging in Pakistan. Main purpose behind is also to pacify their public, as the US-led countries have failed in their fight against the Taliban who are waging a war of liberation against the occupying forces. In this connection, besides the previous false accusations against Islamabad and Pakistan’s security agencies, blame game of these countries could be judged from some new development.

In this regard, on January 10, 2017, an explosion took place in Governor House Kandhar (Afghanistan) where diplomats of United Arab Emirates (UAE) were also present along with the Governor, Deputy Governor, Inspector General of Police (IGP) and other dignities. The blast killed 12 people—five UAE diplomats and injured 18 persons, including Governor of Kandhar
and UAE Ambassador to Afghanistan. IGP Abdul Razziq went outside the hall few minutes before the blast. IGP Razziq put blame on Pakistan’s Haqqani network and its primary intelligence agency, ISI on the very next day.

The matter was investigated by two committees, consisting of NDS and Afghan government and UAE, including Scotland Yard. IGP Razziq did not cooperate with the investigation teams, even though he was responsible for the security of Governor House.

Online reports disclosed that IGP Abdul Razziq did not enjoy good relations with the Governor over custom collection issue. All illegal taxes were collected by IGP’s dedicated persons, instead of custom officials. Governor wanted to streamline the system to benefit the Afghan government which was not liked by IGP Razziq and developed enmity with the Governor. All this led to blast
at Governor House. These developments indicate that explosion could not have occurred without facilitation by IGP Razziq and his men employed at Governor House.

The reports also revealed that Abdul Razziq is a staunch enemy of Pakistan and a dedicated planner and supporter of anti-Pakistan activities. The attack was planned by him to blame Pakistan-based anti-Afghan government group’s involvement in the incident, while the planning was done by Indians who control Razziq, and aim of the incident was also to deteriorate Pakistan
and UAE relations.

It is notable that after the recent terror attacks in Pakistan, a statement by the ISPR said that senior Afghan diplomats were summoned to the General Headquarters (Of army) and asked to ensure that immediate action was taken against the Pakistani terrorists, living in safe havens in Afghanistan.

The army, which took the lead in dealing with Kabul over the terrorist sanctuaries there, had announced closure of the border crossings with Afghanistan, citing security reasons.

According to the statement of the DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor, on February 17, 2017, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa had called Gen. John Nicholson, commander of America’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan through telephone to protest continued acts of terrorism in Pakistan, perpetrated from Afghanistan, saying that they were testing
Pakistan’s policy of cross-border restraint.

Gen. Bajwa told Gen. Nicholson that recent incidents of terrorism in Pakistan had been claimed by terrorist organizations whose leadership is hiding in Afghanistan, and asked him to play his role in “disconnecting this planning, direction, coordination and financial support”.

In a terse message, during the conversation with Nicholson, Gen. Bajwa also informed him of the list of 76 “most wanted” terrorists handed over to Afghan authorities earlier—operating from Afghan territory or hand them over to Pakistan for trying them over their involvement in terrorism.

Taking cognizance of the terror assaults, Pakistan Army targeted a training camp of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and militant hideouts located close to the Pak-Afghan border in areas adjacent to Mohmand and Khyber agencies (Tribal areas).

It is mentionable that the porous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is frequently used by human and drug traffickers, criminals and terrorists. Their easy access through unguarded porous border provides opportunity to miscreants to cause havoc inside Pakistan and Afghanistan. For effective counter terrorism measures, strong border-control management is vital at Pak-Afghan border. But, Afghan rulers are using delaying tactics in this respect.

Taking note of the anti-Pakistan intruders, Pakistan’s army had decided to build a fence along the border and to control the border crossings. In this context, the strategic project of 1,100-kilometre-long trench with the cost of Rs14 billion which was initiated along Pak-Afghan border in Balochistan by Frontier Corps in 2013 has been completed. In the next phase, the project will
be extended to the entire long border with Afghanistan which had opposed this plan.

Meanwhile, during his visit to the Pak-Afghan border regions in Mohmand and Orakzai agencies, Chief of Army Staff Gen. Bajwa who was given a detailed briefing on security arrangements, cross-border terrorist threat and recent terrorist attacks from across on the Pakistani posts (From Afghanistan) stated on March 25, 2017 that fencing on the Pak-Afghan border has commenced and the border areas of Bajaur and Mohmand agencies will be given first
priority, as they are high-threat zones.  He further added that Pakistan Army would employ all resources required for the defence of the country.

It is noteworthy that during the sixth Heart of Asia Conference which was held in the Indian city of Amritsar on December 3 and 4, 2016 proved fruitless in achieving its goals due to secret diplomacy of the US, India and Afghanistan owing to the blame game, especially of New Delhi and Kubal against Islamabad.

During his opening remarks, following American secret strategy in Asia, in his frenzy and ferocious speech, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi lashed out at Pakistan on terrorism as the central subject of the moot.

Speaking in the Indian tone, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani accused Pakistan of providing sanctuary to terrorists and cross-border terrorism in Afghanistan. By snubbing a $500 million pledge from Pakistan for development projects in Afghanistan, he said, “This amount can be spent to contain extremism…Afghanistan suffered the highest number of casualties last year.”

Pakistan’s Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz who also participated in the conference slammed baseless accusations of Modi and Ghani on Islamabad and called for evolving a joint and purposeful strategy for lasting peace in Afghanistan and to combat terrorism in the region. He explained, “It is simplistic to blame only one country for the recent upsurge in
violence. We need to have an objective and holistic view…peaceful resolution to all the longstanding issues is the only way forward for regional cooperation and connectivity…Pakistan is ready to extend every kind of cooperation for lasting peace in Afghanistan.”

The adviser added that peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban had not produced positive results, adding that Pakistan was making a serious effort to facilitate peace talks through the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (QCG). He urged all QCG members to continue their efforts for talks between the Afghan government and Taliban.

Addressing the conference, Russian envoy Zamir Kabulov rejected the Indian and Afghan allegations against Pakistan. He stated that Afghanistan is the pivot of the conference and the agenda of the conference should not be hijacked. He added that being friends and supporters, we should avoid the blame game and work together. He also said that Sartaj Aziz’s speech at the
conference was friendly and constructive.

It is of particular attention that the armed forces of Pakistan have successfully broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the successful military operations Zarb-e- Azb and Radd-ul- Fasaad which have also been extended to other parts of the country, including Balochistan. And Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI has broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants, while thwarting a number of terror attempts.

Besides, since the government of the Balochistan province announced general pardon and protection to the Baloch militants as part of reconciliation process, many insurgents and their leaders have surrendered their arms and decided to work for the development of Pakistan and the province, peace has been restored in Balochistan.

Nevertheless, peace has been restored in Karachi, Balochistan and other provinces of Pakistan, including the tribal areas. But, recent blasts in Balochistan and other regions of the country show that the US-led India, Afghanistan and Israel have again started acts of sabotage in to destabilize
Pakistan and to sabotage the Pak-China CPEC project.

Returning to our earlier discussion, in pursuance of anti-Pakistan agenda, President Ashraf Ghani has only revived Afghanistan’s illogical blame game against Pakistan in order to conceal the reality that external secret agencies, including Afghan intelligence are sponsoring acts of terrorism in Pakistan.

 

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Taliban says foreign troops must go before peace talks as US plans 4,000-strong surge

NOVANEWS

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In an annual address to followers, the Taliban’s leader warned against sending additional foreign troops to Afghanistan, saying that only after all foreign soldiers leave can peace be negotiated.

Maulvi Haibatullah Akhunzadah spoke on Friday on the occasion of the Eid al-Fitr festival, which ends the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. He reiterated that Afghanistan must be free of foreign occupation.

“The occupation is the main obstacle in the way of peace,” he said, referring to the presence of NATO troops in the country.

“The more they insist on maintaining the presence of their forces here or want a surge of their forces, the more regional sensitivity against them will intensify,” he added.

The remark apparently refers to reported US plans to deploy 4,000 additional troops to Afghanistan to support its crumbling national army. The majority of the force would be used in train and assist missions, but some would be involved in counterinsurgency operations, according to AP.

Akhunzadah insisted that peace negotiations with the government in Kabul would only be possible after “the occupation comes to an end,” adding that a “completely independent” Afghanistan would live under an Islamic law and distance itself from foreign players, neither supporting them nor allowing their interference.

“We don’t permit others to use the soil of Afghanistan against anyone,” he said.

He also urged Taliban fighters to avoid civilian casualties in their attacks on government forces.

The call comes a day after a truck bomb attack on a bank in Helmand province in which 34 people were killed, according to Afghan officials.

On one of its Twitter accounts, the Taliban claimed credit for the suicide bombing in the provincial capital Lashkar Gah, saying it had killed 73 members of the security forces, a figure that conflicts with the official report. Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor, acknowledged that there were police officers and national army soldiers among the victims, but insisted the majority of them were civilians, who wanted to withdraw money for Eid al-Fitr celebration.

The Taliban leader also boasted that the movement is winning more respect from “mainstream entities of the world.” The apparent attempt to bolster Taliban credibility came amid competition from rival extremist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), which has been winning allegiance of some armed groups previously loyal to the Taliban.

Some nations, including Russia and China, voiced concern with IS gaining a foothold in Afghanistan.

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The Drone War: Understanding Who Must Die From Above

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Photo by Debra Sweet | CC BY 2.0

In late October of 2016, I took a break from reading for my various social science courses to work for a couple of hours at my work-study job at the Vassar College Athletics Communications Office. On this particular day, I had to provide commentary and audio for a video stream of the game which is played live online, largely for parents and family members of the players. At halftime, the parents of someone on the team approached my boss to talk, and in this conversation, one parent casually commented that the other loved to watch their child play while in their office at General Atomics. General Atomics, the defense contracting company which, among other things, manufactures the MQ-1 Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper, the two most-used military drones.

This chance meeting with a General Atomics employee speaks to the larger context of drone warfare as well as the logics behind it. This person could, through a video image and the sound of my voice, be transported from an office in California to a sports field 3,000 miles away. At the same time, General Atomics was producing and selling military drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the U.S. military to be used in locations across the world, thousands of miles away, while being controlled remotely in places such as Creech Air Force Base in Nevada.

In the context of the game stream, one is completely aware of the rules of the contest and the bounds of play, the participants are numbered and their names are listed, they are in uniform, and their actions are occurring within a clear set of guidelines and norms. No one is trying to speculate on the loves, hates, future plans, or deep-seeded beliefs of players based on the footage. Further, the contest is projected with my description and the assistance of statistics and information provided by a team of people there, who know the athletes, and the coaches, and can hear and see close up what is occurring. In the other context, the U.S. military takes control over decisions of life and death in places they do not and cannot understand, making decisions based on their understandings of patterns of life and metadata from thousands of feet in the air. There are not rules to what they are seeing, there are no uniforms, and there is rarely information in any fashion from people who are physically present. Instead, it is just the video, being watched from thousands of miles away, as people are targeted for death.

How do we begin to understand an outlook where an un-narrated stream of a sporting event would be self-explanatorily difficult to understand, but similar video footage gathered by unmanned aerial vehicles is sufficient to understand who below must die? The perceptions and lenses that enable this outlook must be picked apart in order to comprehend (and begin to resist) the pull of drone warfare.

Drone-use has become the United States’ preferred way of waging war. Unmanned aerial vehicles are piloted remotely from thousands of miles away providing both surveillance in near-constant streams, and the ability to drop bombs. Through this new means of violence, Americans are not vulnerable, and are instead separated physically from the violence and death. The U.S. drone campaign is waged almost entirely in secret and without the hindrance of laws, international or domestic. The U.S. Executive and the various military and intelligence agencies involved are able to forward the drone war with unilateral power, with U.S. sovereignty extending globally.

In a short time in early 2016, the United States “deployed remotely piloted aircraft to carry out deadly attacks in six countries across Central and South Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East, and it announced that it had expanded its capacity to carry out attacks in a seventh,” the ACLU’s Jameel Jaffer explains. Drone bombs kill people not only in “hot war zones” like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, but also in Somalia, Yemen, Libya, and Pakistan.

A myriad of ethical and moral problems arise in the face of this new way of killing engaged in the United States. The dominant institutional justification for drone-use, as outlined by former President Barack Obama and others involved, asserts that the strikes of drones are safer, smarter, more efficient, more accurate, and cost less lives (American and otherwise) than the methods used in traditional warfare.  They are the civilized way of waging war. Over the course of his eight years in office, Obama repeatedly asserted that he was not “opposed to all war” but instead “opposed to dumb wars,” one of which being the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. He contrasted drone-use with “conventional airpower or missiles” and “invasions of these territories” saying that drones are more precise, cause less civilian casualties, and do not “unleash a torrent of unintended consequences” such as causing people to see the U.S. as an invading and occupying force.

However, an engagement with the realities of drone warfare proves these notions to be false. Instead of being ethical, drone-use has unleashed an often indiscriminate volley of bombs on thousands of people in many countries, and drone violence has become a go-to answer to the problem of American existential fear of terrorism.

This is displayed in the continuous and repeated failure of unmanned aerial vehicles and their operators to differentiate friend from foe, supposed-target from civilian. The lack of capacity (or care) to discriminate between people is repeatedly seen, whether it be in the 2011 murder of a Yemeni governor, the first Obama approved Yemeni strike which killed 14 women and 21 children, the first drone attack in Pakistan which left two children dead, the 2013 bombing of 12 Yemeni people in a wedding party, or the murder of American teenager Abdulrahman al-Aulaqi while failing to kill the bomb’s target.

We are left in a present where the call for this somehow ‘ethical’ way of war becomes more and more enticing and normalized as the drone war rages on in the early days of the administration of Donald Trump with no end in sight.

The faith in powerful institutions and U.S. technological ability that enables the view of drones as ethical, as demonstrated by the General Atomics employee, is clearly astronomical. This discourse doesn’t just enable an acceptance of the usage of drones, but an acceptance based on the claim that drones do not kill people but save lives. The new biopolitical and theopolitical sovereignty seen in U.S. drone-use is vulnerable because drones are constantly making mistakes. This is evidence of the incredible strength of the perception of U.S. sovereignty as all-moral and all-knowing, the belief in drone technology as mythically powerful, and the Orientalist view of people in the Middle East and Africa.

However, the indefensible imperial reality of drone violence also reveals that if these produced narratives are weakened, a different understanding of the drone war may emerge. This view could be one that elicits horror, shame, and revulsion, as well as profound fear of the state. But it could also be purposed to weaken the state apparatus that wage drone warfare.

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Haven’t We Had Enough of Afghanistan?

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The forever war continues

 

Will there ever be an end to the war in Afghanistan? Apparently not if our generals have anything to say about it – and they do. President Trump has turned over the prosecution of our perpetual “war on terrorism” to the Pentagon, claiming that they’ve been held back by previous administrations. The new policy is to turn them loose.

We saw what this means when the so-called “Mother of All Bombs” was dropped in a remote location where ISIS was said to be hiding: 92 “militants”were said to have been killed. Contrary to the triumphalist reports in US media, the biggest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat had a minimal effect. And the cost, at $16 million for a single MOAB, came to around $174,000 per “militant.”

With anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 ISIS fighters in Afghanistan, let’s take the median number of 2,000 and estimate that getting rid of all of them will cost around $348 million, give or take $10 million or so.

And you’ll note that we’re just talking about ISIS here. The Taliban is not only still in the mix, they’re actually in a better position than ever. In March, the Taliban claimed that 211 administrative districts of the country were either under their control or else contested: this isn’t far off the report of the Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, which put the number at 171. The Taliban control more of Afghanistan than at any time since the war started, and they continue to make major gains, such as in Helmland province. The pace and severity of Taliban/ISIS attacks has recently escalated, with a suicide bombing in Kabul that killed 100 people, the culmination of 8 major attacks just in the month of May.

The Taliban in Afghanistan (credits to the owner of the photo)

After 16 years of fighting, the US is no closer to defeating the radical Islamist insurgency than it was at the very beginning. The original rationale for the invasion – the presence of Osama bin Laden – is long since gone.

The justification for continuing the Afghan war, you’ll recall, was that we couldn’t allow any “safe havens” where the terrorists could plan and carry out attacks on the US and Western Europe. The logic of this is difficult to follow, however, since a “safe haven” can be defined as anywhere terrorists gather – which can occur just as easily in Hamburg, Germany, than in some mountain cave in Afghanistan. Furthermore, we are now told that the primary locus of terrorist activities is in territory controlled by ISIS, which has few strongholds and little support in Afghanistan.

The reality is that terrorist plots are more likely to be hatched in Western Europe and right here in the United States than in the Afghan wilds.

Yet that hasn’t stopped our generals from requesting thousands more US troops to be sent to fight the longest war in our history: news reports tell us they want “a few thousand” more, but it’s hard to imagine this will make much difference. It’s also hard to imagine that the American people support this: while no recent polls have been taken — for some mysterious reason they stopped measuring support for the war in 2015 – the last time anyone looked opposition was over fifty percent.

Naturally, given the current atmosphere in Washington, there’s an anti-Russian angle to all this: General John Nicholson recently testified before Congress that Moscow is pushing a “false narrative” that the Taliban is fighting ISIS while the Afghan government army is sitting on its haunches, collecting bribes and managing the drug harvest. Russia’s goal, he said, is to “undermine the United States and NATO.”

Yet the Taliban is not the same as ISIS, and the latter has largely alienated Afghan civilians, just as al-Qaeda did in Iraq: foreign fighters, no matter their religion, are not popular in Afghanistan. The Taliban, for all its theological pretensions, is essentially a nationalist movement fighting a foreign invader: ISIS, however, is quite a different story.

The Trump campaign told us that all foreign commitments were going to be judged by new criteria: how does this serve American interests? And the question of how continuing to fight this war serves our interests has yet to be answered by the Trump administration. They have simply taken the war as a given.

In a 2009 speech at Tennessee State University, I asked my audience to

“remember the fate of the previous would-be conquerors of the proud Afghan people: the Russians, the British, the Golden Horde, and even Alexander the Great. They all failed, and the bones of their centurions are dust beneath the feet of a warrior people. In that kind of terrain, against that kind of enemy, there is no such thing as victory – there is only a question of how long it will take for them to drive us out – or whether we go bankrupt before that happens.”

Even earlier, in 2001, I predicted that the Afghan war would be a quagmire, a mistake we would eventually come to regret – an opinion for which David Frum, then National Review’s neocon enforcer of ideological correctness, saw cause to label me “anti-American.”

When the truth is considered “anti-American,” then we know we’re in trouble. Indeed, we’ve been in some pretty serious trouble for the past 16 years. Now is the time to reverse course and make it right.

It’s time to acknowledge that truth. It’s time to get the hell out of Afghanistan – now.

Posted in AfghanistanComments Off on Haven’t We Had Enough of Afghanistan?

‘Literal Colonialism’: Blackwater Founder Calls for ‘American Viceroy’ to Rule Afghanistan

NOVANEWS
Given Prince’s past connections to Trump, his recommendations could have some measure of influence.
 

Displaying what one commentator called “sheer 19th century bloodlust and thirst for empire,” Erik Prince, founder of the private mercenary firm Blackwater, argued in The Wall Street Journal this week that the United States should deploy an “East India Company approach” in Afghanistan.

The country, he wrote, should be run by

“an American viceroy who would lead all U.S. government and coalition efforts—including command, budget, policy, promotion, and contracting—and report directly to the president.”

Prince continued:

In Afghanistan, the viceroy approach would reduce rampant fraud by focusing spending on initiatives that further the central strategy, rather than handing cash to every outstretched hand from a U.S. system bereft of institutional memory.

Prince insists that these are “cheaper private solutions,” but such privatization would also be a boon for military contractors.

As one critic noted, it is hardly surprising that a “war profiteer sees profit opportunity in war.” Blackwater, the private military company Prince founded in 1997—which now operates under the name Academi—made a fortune off the invasion of Iraq. In 2007, a New York Times editorial noted that Blackwater had “received more than $1 billion” in no-bid contracts from the Bush administration; that same year, Blackwater contractors shot and killed more than a dozen civilians in what came to be known as the Nisour Square massacre.

The Mysterious New Owner of Blackwater Worldwide | blackwater-460x250 | Black Ops CIA Corporate Takeover Military Special Interests US News

Source: thesleuthjournal.com

But “war profiteering” doesn’t quite capture the scope of Prince’s vision for Afghanistan. Despite the fact that private contractors have a long record of abuse and deadly criminality, Prince believes that they should have a stronger presence in a war that has spanned nearly 16 years and cost trillions of dollars.

Such a recommendation, combined with Prince’s invocation of the East India Company—a vestige of the British empire that “conquered, subjugated, and plundered vast tracts of south Asia for a century,” in the words of historian William Dalrymple—amounts to a call for “literal colonialism,” says Anil Kalhan, chair of the New York City Bar Association’s International Human Rights Committee.

Prince’s past connections to President Donald Trump indicate that his advice could potentially have some measure of influence on the White House.

As The Intercept‘s Jeremy Scahill, the author of a bestselling book on Blackwater, reported in January, Prince spoke with the Trump

“team on matters related to intelligence and defense” and offered suggestions “on candidates for the Defense and State departments.”

In April, The Washington Post reported that Prince, presenting himself as “an unofficial envoy for Trump,” met in January with “a Russian close to President Vladi­mir Putin as part of an apparent effort to establish a back-channel line of communication between Moscow” and then-President-elect Trump. Prince also donated $250,000 to the Trump campaign following the 2016 Republican National Convention, according to the Post.

Prince’s op-ed comes as the Trump administration is reportedly considering sending more troops to Afghanistan as civilian deaths from the war have “reached record levels.

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The Solution is in the Hands of the People of Afghanistan

NOVANEWS

The Solution is in the Hands of the People of Afghanistan: The US Must Leave for Peace to Reign in Afghanistan

A suicide attacker struck the heavily guarded diplomatic quarter in Kabul with a massive truck bomb during rush hour on Wednesday morning, killing 90 people, and wounding more than 400. There was no claim of responsibility.

“I have been to many attacks, taken wounded people out of many blast sites, but I can say I have ever seen such a horrible attack as I saw this morning,” ambulance driver Alef Ahmadzai told The Associated Press. “Everywhere was on fire and so many people were in critical condition.”

Contacted moments after the attack, Friba, the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan’s representative, said:

“Everyone is still rattled. The city died with the blast.”

In a short interview, the Afghan women’s leader speaks on one of worst suicide attacks in Afghanistan in many years, and the mockery of the U.S. “War on Terror”. Friba, who doesn’t mention her real name for security reasons as RAWA works underground, unmasks once again local government and intelligence, and U.S. led coalition which promised to free her people 16 years ago, especially the women.

Corruption and alliance with terrorists, according to RAWA’s representative, permeates all powers in her country, including the foreign ones.

“Traitors that sell their country to aliens obviously do not care about their people or their security. A government that welcomes their killers with open arms despite countless massacres committed by them; and a government whose foreign backers provide these enemies with arms and money!” she says.

Friba states that insecurity has increased in her country after U.S. invasion in October 2001, and the solution is not with any foreign power, but only in the hands of the Afghan people.

“Barely a month goes by without one or two attacks that leave tens dead and hundreds of loved ones in mourning.”

A reality not shown in the West by a mainstream media, supported by weapons manufacturers, which raises the question once again: are some human lives more valuable than others for Westerners?

Afghanistan: Security forces open fire on protesters voicing anger over http://amn.st/60178YU19  Photo: AFP/Getty Images

“’War on Terror’ is not actually waged against terrorists, only those terrorist groups that do not comply with the U.S’s orders. Just like the U.S., the puppet Afghan government also uses terrorist groups for its purposes. It is no secret that the U.S. actively nourishes terrorism in Afghanistan and the region to attack its rivals, Russia and China,” says RAWA’s representative.

Below, the full interview with Friba.

Edu Montesanti: A massive explosion in a secure diplomatic area in Kabul killed at least 64 and injured 320 this Wednesday, Friba. Apparently by the Taliban. Can you tell us what exactly and why the Afghan forces, financed and trained by US military cannot keep your country safe, 16 years after U.S. led coalition invasion to Afghanistan are attacks like this frequent?

Friba: The death toll has climbed to 90 now with more than 400 injured. These are however official statistics which we cannot entirely trust, the casualties may be higher than this. Insecurity in Afghanistan has been the biggest hardship our people have faced after the U.S. invasion. Not knowing whether they will return alive after leaving their homes in the morning has become the norm here now. Barely a month goes by without one or two attacks that leave tens dead and hundreds of loved ones in mourning. Yesterday’s attack killed Kabul city. The city will remain silent for many days to come, as our people will sit mourning silently this devastating situation.

To begin with, the “war on terror” is not actually waged against terrorists, only those terrorist groups that do not comply with the U.S’s orders. This means that the U.S. and its allies do not target the Taliban or other terrorist groups fighting the Afghan forces, uniformly. In fact Afghan soldiers have witnessed foreign forces’ helicopters dropping off weapons in Taliban-held areas, and the payment of huge bribes to the Taliban. It is no secret that the U.S. actively nourishes terrorism in Afghanistan and the region to attack its rivals, Russia and China – the growing instability and shift of terrorist presence to northern Afghanistan is proof of this policy.

The Afghan apparatus is comprised of Jehadi criminals who are lackeys of foreign countries and whose own lives depend on the support of their foreign masters. Traitors that sell their country to aliens obviously do not care about their people or their security. Their only aim is to fill their pockets by taking money from foreign countries and in return, allowing them to influence the state at the highest levels, maintaining their mafia ties, dealing drugs (many prominent Afghan government officials are mafia figures and drug lords), running kidnapping rings, and other such criminal activities. This greedy mercenary nature of the state also translates into corruption in the high ranks of the military and Defense Ministry. These bodies have been hit with high-level corruption cases, with scandals ranging from land grabbing and fuel theft worth millions of dollars, to accusations of collusion with the Taliban.

While the Afghan youths die on the war front every day, the brethren-in-creed of the Taliban in the Afghan government, propose peace talks with them. It is natural that this entire situation kills the spirit and will of the young Afghan soldiers, dying in battles every day, to fight against these terrorists resolutely. These forces are fighting for a government and military that does not care about them, is deeply embroiled in corruption, and is rolling about in money; a government that welcomes their killers with open arms despite countless massacres committed by them; and a government whose foreign backers provide these enemies with arms and money! These soldiers have been deserted by their superiors when they were under Taliban siege, and several bloody attacks on these soldiers have carried suspicions of inside collusion. How can these youngsters fight whole-heartedly in such a situation? Today, the purpose of most Afghan soldiers is to earn a mouthful for their families in this extreme poverty and unemployment, with the salaries they are paid. Many soldiers even join Taliban ranks to retaliate against the government. This is not to mention that the police and army force is already ravaged by illiteracy, drug addiction, and poor management. All these are reasons that the Afghan forces have failed continuously for the past 15 years.

It is curious that, again, a very safe place has been attacked in Afghanistan – months ago, the Afghan military area was strongly attacked by the Taliban, too. What can you say about the Afghan intelligence?

The situation described above extends to the Afghan intelligence as well. Just like the US, the puppet Afghan government also uses terrorist groups for its purposes, and turns a blind eye to terrorists on the orders of their foreign masters. According to former intelligence chief, Rahmatullah Nabil, figures within the highest ranks of the government maintain the interests of different foreign countries, yet continue to enjoy their position and the backing of the president – in other words they are “untouchable”. Hanif Atmar, senior national security advisor, and Masoom Stanekzai, the intelligence chief, are called the “suit and tie wearing” Taliban by our people for their lack of action against the Taliban, and the figures within the government who serve the intelligence agencies that support the Taliban.

The corruption and absolute breakdown of military leadership means that the Taliban can easily penetrate the capital city, military bases, ministries, military hospitals, and now the diplomatic area. Regarding yesterday’s attack, Afghan soldiers standing guard at the gates of Kabul complained of lack of forces to secure all the roads that lead to Kabul from different parts of the country and the interior Ministry indifferently stated that reinforcement is “underway”, after months of countless attacks on the capital city! These complaints are heard all over Afghanistan from helpless Afghan forces who risk their lives every day, yet receive no significant assistance from the state.

No group has claimed responsibility: what is said in Afghanistan about the author of this attack?

The Taliban denied any responsibility, and Afghan intelligence have stated that the Haqqani Network inside Pakistan carried out the attack with the help of the Pakistani intelligence. ISIS has not made a statement yet. The specific target of the attack is also unknown, which would have offered clues as to which country was behind the attack. Afghanistan has become the center of intelligence warfare between the West and its regional rivals, Russia, China, Iran, and India. The U.S. and NATO, along with Pakistan are heavily engaged in fostering terrorism and designing plans using terrorist groups to achieve their strategic interests. If Russian or Iran support a certain Taliban leader or group, he is immediately targeted by the U.S.. Similarly, if India supports some group of terrorists, it is immediately attacked by the U.S., with Pakistan at its heels. In this complex and foggy situation, it is very difficult to ascertain exactly which intelligence agency is behind such attacks, but the U.S. knows this very well and might even have prior knowledge of such attacks, but it never reveals such information. We believe if some attack of this scale was actually planned against the U.S. – which is unlikely since all the terrorist groups are on a leash in U.S.’s hand – it would be neutralized before even materializing. Such is the game ongoing in Afghanistan today.

When do you think it will end in your country? What must happen to attacks like this have an end?

The only solution to this situation is in the hands of the people of Afghanistan. If our people are mobilized and organized under a truly democratic and national leadership, and rise up against their enemies – Islamic fundamentalists inside and outside the government and their foreign masters – only then can our country escape from this quagmire. After the Taliban were ousted and the U.S. promised not to support fundamentalist forces, our people were very hopeful about peace and prosperity returning to the country after decades of war. After a few years, the insecurity and instability returned in a more vicious form than before, killing thousands of innocent civilians every year. Afghanistan is now in a deadlock, under siege from all sides, and only our people have the great strength and power to defeat these bloodthirsty foreign powers and their traitorous stooges.

Posted in AfghanistanComments Off on The Solution is in the Hands of the People of Afghanistan

The Real Story of Zbigniew Brzezinski That the Media Isn’t Telling

Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter, died Friday at a hospital in Virginia at the age of 89. Though the New York Times acknowledged that the former government advisor was a “hawkish strategic theorist,” misrepresenting his legacy as one of otherwise infinite positivity may not be as easy as the establishment might like to think.

As the United Kingdom plays around with levels of the so-called “terror threat” following a devastating attack by an ISIS-inspired individual — and as the Philippines goes into an almost complete state of martial law following ISIS-inspired destruction — Brzezinski’s timely death serves as a reminder to seek a deeper understanding of where modern terrorism originated in the first place.

As the New York Times explains, Brzezinski’s “rigid hatred of the Soviet Union” guided much of America’s foreign policy “for better or worse.” From the Times:

“He supported billions in military aid for Islamic militants fighting invading Soviet troops in Afghanistan. He tacitly encouraged China to continue backing the murderous regime of Pol Pot in Cambodia, lest the Soviet-backed Vietnamese take over that country.[emphasis added]

While it is progressive of the New York Times to note Brzezinski’s support for Islamic militants, downplaying the effect of his vindictive foreign policy agenda with a mere sentence does an injustice to the true horror behind Brzezinski’s policies.

Because a 1973 coup in Afghanistan had installed a new secular government that was leaning towards the Soviets, the U.S. endeavored to undermine this new government by organizing multiple coup attempts through America’s lackey states, Pakistan and Iran (the latter was under the control of the U.S.-backed Shah at the time.) In July 1979, Brzezinski officially authorized aid to the mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan to be delivered through the CIA’s program “Operation Cyclone.”

President Reagan and Mujahideen leaders from Afghanistan

Many people defend America’s decision to arm the mujahideen in Afghanistan because they believe it was necessary to defend the country and the wider region from Soviet aggression. However, Brzesinski’s own statements directly contradict this rationale. In a 1998 interview, Brzezinski admitted that in conducting this operation, the Carter administration had “knowingly increased the probability” that the Soviets would intervene militarily (suggesting they began arming the Islamist factions before the Soviets invaded, making the rationale redundant since there was no invasion Afghanistan freedom fighters needed to repel at the time). Brzezinski then stated:

“Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war.”

This statement went further than merely boasting at the instigation of war and the ultimate collapse of the Soviet Union. In his memoir, entitled “From the Shadows,” Robert Gates — former CIA director under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and secretary of defense under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama — directly confirmed this covert operation began six months prior to the Soviet invasion with the actual intention of luring the Soviets into a Vietnam-style quagmire.

Brzezinski knew exactly what he was doing. The Soviets were then bogged down in Afghanistan for approximately ten years, fighting an endless supply of American-supplied weapons and trained fighters. At the time, the media even went so far as to laud Osama bin Laden — one of the most influential figures in Brzezinski’s covert operation. We all know how that story ended.

Even with full knowledge of what his CIA-funded creation had become, in 1998 Brzezinski stated the following to his interviewers:

“What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?”

The interviewer at the time, refusing to allow this answer to pass, retorted:

“Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated: Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.”

Brzezinski dismissed this statement outright, replying:

“Nonsense!”

This occurred back when the journalists asked government officials pressing questions, a rare occurrence today.

Brzezinski’s support for these radical elements led directly to the formation of al-Qaeda, which literally translates to “the base,” as it was the base in which to launch the repulsion of the anticipated Soviet invasion. It also led to the creation of the Taliban, a deadly entity currently deadlocked in an endless battle with NATO forces.

Further, despite Brzezinski’s statements, which attempt to depict a lasting defeat of the Russian empire, the truth is that for Brzezinski, the cold war never ended. Though he was a critic of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Brzezinski’s stranglehold over American foreign policy continued right up until his death.

It is no coincidence that in Syria, the Obama administration deployed an Afghanistan-quagmire-type strategy toward another Russian ally — Assad in Syria. A cable leaked by Wikileaks dated December 2006 — authored by William Roebuck, who was chargé d’affaires at the US embassy in Damascus at the time -— stated:

“We believe Bashar’s weaknesses are in how he chooses to react to looming issues, both perceived and real, such as the conflict between economic reform steps (however limited) and entrenched, corrupt forces, the Kurdish question, and the potential threat to the regime from the increasing presence of transiting Islamist extremists. This cable summarizes our assessment of these vulnerabilities and suggests that there may be actions, statements, and signals that the USG can send that will improve the likelihood of such opportunities arising.” [emphasis added]

Much like Operation Cyclone, under Barack Obama, the CIA was spending approximately $1 billion a year training Syrian rebels (to engage in terrorist tactics, nonetheless). The majority of these rebels share ISIS’ core ideology and have the express aim of establishing Sharia law in Syria.

Just like in Afghanistan, the Syrian war formally drew in Russia in 2015, and Brzezinski’s legacy was kept alive through Obama’s direct warning to Russia’s Vladimir Putin that he was leading Russia into another Afghanistan-style quagmire.

So where might Obama have gotten this Brzezinski-authored playbook from, plunging Syria further into a horrifying six-year-long war that has, again, drawn in a major nuclear power in a conflict rife with war crimes and crimes against humanity?

The answer: from Brzezinski himself. According to Obama, Brzezinski is a personal mentor of his, an “outstanding friend” from whom he has learned immensely. In light of this knowledge, is it any surprise that we saw so many conflicts erupt out of nowhere during Obama’s presidency?

On  February 7, 2014, the BBC published a transcript of a bugged phone conversation between Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. In that phone call, the representatives were discussing who they wanted to place in the Ukrainian government following a coup that ousted Russian-aligned president Viktor Yanukovych.

Image result for The Grand Chessboard

Lo and behold, Brzezinski himself advocated taking over Ukraine in his 1998 book, The Grand Chessboard, stating Ukraine was

“a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard…a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country (means) Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.”

Brzezinski warned against allowing Russia to control Ukraine because

“Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia.”

Following Obama, Donald Trump came into office with a completely different mentality, willing to work with Russia and the Syrian government in combatting ISIS. Unsurprisingly, Brzezinski did not support Trump’s bid for the presidency and believed Trump’s foreign policy ideas lacked coherence.

All that being said, just last year Brzezinski appeared to have changed his stance on global affairs and instead began to advocate a “global realignment” — a redistribution of global power — in light of the fact that the U.S. is no longer the global imperial power it once was. However, he still seemed to indicate that without America’s global leadership role, the result would be “global chaos,” so it seemed unlikely his change in perception was rooted in any actual meaningful change on the geopolitical chessboard.

Further, the CIA’s very existence relies on the idea of a Russian threat, as has been evidenced by the agency’s complete assault on the Trump administration whenever it appears détente is possible with the former Soviet Union.

Brzezinski died safely in a hospital bed, unlike the millions of displaced and murdered civilians who were pawns in Brzezinski’s twisted, geopolitical chess games of blood and lunacy. His legacy is one of militant jihadism, the formation of al-Qaeda, the most devastating attack on U.S. soil by a foreign entity in our recent history, and the complete denigration of Russia as an everlasting adversary with which peace cannot — and should not — ever be attained.

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War and Terrorism: What’s Behind the Massive Kabul Blast? “ISIS Claimed Responsibility”

NOVANEWS

Wednesday morning’s powerful blast, believed to have been from explosives in a water-transporting vehicle, killed scores, injuring hundreds more in Kabul, Afghanistan’s heavily protected diplomatic district.

The blast destroyed dozens of vehicles, damaged numerous buildings across a wide area, leaving a huge crater in the ground.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid condemned the attack, saying its fighters had nothing to do with it. Kabul’s 1TV channel reported ISIS claiming responsibility for what happened.

Image result

The Taliban’s official spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid (Source: Daily Pakistan)

It’s unclear how a security breach this great could have happened. Though hard to impossible to check all vehicular and other movements into and around high-security areas, perhaps there’s more to Wednesday’s incident than reported.

America, NATO and their regional rogue state allies support ISIS. Why would it carry out an attack close to where Western and other diplomatic embassies are located, causing enormous carnage, one of the deadliest incidents in the country since US-launched aggression in October 2001?

US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) head General John Nicholson Jr., CENTCOM chief General Joseph Votel, and other Pentagon commanders want more US troops sent to the country.

Trump’s military and national security advisors recommend deploying an additional 50,000 US forces – to prop up Kabul’s pro-Western puppet regime, along with continuing endless war, unwilling to acknowledge a long ago lost cause.

Was Wednesday’s blast a terrorist incident like many others in US war theaters? Or was it something else unknown at this time, perhaps to get Trump to authorize sending thousands more US combat troops to Afghanistan?

Image result for kabul blast

Security forces stand next to a crater created by massive explosion in front of the German Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, May 31, 2017. (Source: ABC News)

Obama continued Bush/Cheney’s war after pledging to end it. Now it’s Trump’s.

Will he continue the futility of the past 16 years, America’s longest war, sending more US forces to pursue a lost cause?

Or will he responsibly end America’s aggression, bringing to a close one of the most disturbing chapters in its history?

In the wake of Wednesday’s blast, along with phony reports about Russia supplying the Taliban with weapons, he’s most likely to escalate America’s longest war, not end it.

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No proof to back allegations Russia gave weapons to Taliban – US military intel chief

NOVANEWS
Image result for Taliban CARTOON

The thinly-veiled accusations in the US that Russia supplied arms to Taliban militants were not based on any physical evidence of weapons or money transfers, a senior US military official told lawmakers.

“We have seen indication that they offered some level of support but I have not seen real physical evidence of weapons or money being transferred,” Marine Lieutenant General Vincent Stewart, who serves as director of the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), said at a Senate hearing.

Last month allegations against Russia were voiced by some US officials, including US Army General Curtis Scaparrotti, military commander of alliance forces in Europe, and US Army General John W. Nicholson Jr., who commands US troops in Afghanistan.

The officials claimed that Russia was exerting influence on the Taliban and may be involved in supplying weapons to the militants.

The Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the allegations as “fabrications designed to justify the failure of the US military and politicians in the Afghan campaign.”

Stewart was reporting to the Senate Arms Services Committee on the Pentagon’s view on global threats to the US and its allies.

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