Archive | NATO

NATO chief rules out rushed, early exit from Afghanistan

By Jim W. Dean,

…from PressTV, Tehran

[ Editor’s Note: It comes as no surprise that NATO does not want to get out of Afghanistan any time soon. The reasons are the usual ones. First, any deployment closer to Russia is always a good thing, and any possible excuse to maintain it is sufficient.

Peacetime armies are always wanting to keep some troops trained to a war fighting capability. That includes the limited fighting we see NATO engaged in from their operational capacity inside their bases. Along with the US, NATO acts as a palace guard for the current Kabul regime, which has always needed foreign protection.

The other main reason, more important, is to keep intelligence gathering skills tuned up, especially with electronic gathering. Language skills need to be maintained, and the myth of defending Europe from attack from Eurasia has to be maintained to justify NATO’s existence at the level it is at.

Keep in mind my report last year how Germany said it could take five more years before its infantry soldiers all had two pairs of boots. That really shocked me.

And last, there is defending one’s cut of the drug trafficking business, which involves the use of military aircraft as the preferred method of transportation, typically flying into Camp Bondsteel in Romania as a first stop. The cash is divided and used in a number of ways, including flowing into political campaigns and the usual luxury items.

Rural Afghanistan people bear the brunt of fighting the Taliban, which is much more motivated, and the US justifies its existence by providing Kabul troops air cover when it can. Westerners still cannot get their heads wrapped around the salt of the earth attitude Afghanis have toward what they view as foreign invaders.

Sure they love the dollar, and there are many of them to get, but other than that, they have no use for outsiders, as you could say they are caught in a time warp, partly due to their own making.

If left on their own, they will continue killing each other over who is going to be the boss and get the bigger cut of the graft pie. They think, correctly, that if they don’t steal it, then the guy coming behind them will, which is absolutely a sure thing.

It will just be a smaller pie if the US and NATO left. The Russians sure as hell would not be going back. China might want to step in, but they would probably live to regret it Jim W. Dean ]

First aired on PressTV before being blocked

The Press TV Brussels correspondent used up most of the segment time, which started late, 10 minutes, which is usually do to more news clip coverage, so hence my longer intro than usual above. JD

Note: The video link to this interview has been broken…Jim

The NATO chief has ruled out an early exit of the western military alliance from Afghanistan, as violence continues to flare in the war-torn country.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the military alliance will stay in Afghanistan until security conditions allow it to leave. The remarks came less than a week after the US said it will cut the number of its troops in Afghanistan to 25-hundred, early next year.

The comment also comes at a time when the rising violence threatens to thwart ongoing peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban militant group. US-led NATO forces have maintained their presence in Afghanistan since 2003. The alliance currently has around 12000 forces there, more than half of them from the U.S.

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The Twilight of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

by MELVIN GOODMAN

Photograph Source: Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-P098967 – CC BY-SA 3.0 de

It is time for the United States to debate the downsizing, if not the dissolution, of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).  U.S. national security would be strengthened by the demise of NATO because Washington would no longer have to guarantee the security of 14 Central and East European nations, including the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.  European defense coordination and integration would be more manageable without the participation of authoritarian governments in Poland and Hungary.  Key West European nations presumably would favor getting out from under the use of U.S. military power in the Balkans, the Middle East, and Southwest Asia, which has made them feel as if they were “tins of shoe polish for American boots.”

Russia would obviously be a geopolitical winner in any weakening—let alone the demise—of NATO, but the fears of Russian military intervention outside of the Slavic community are exaggerated.  The East European and Baltic states would protest any weakening of NATO, but it would be an incentive for them to increase their own security cooperation.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was created seven decades ago as a political and military alliance to “keep the United States in Europe; the Soviet Union out of Europe; and Germany down in Europe.”  The collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989; the Warsaw Pact and the East European communist governments in 1990; and the Soviet Union in 1991 marked the high water mark for the alliance.

For the past three decades, however, the United States has weakened NATO by forcing a hurried and awkward expansion on the alliance.  Most recently in 2020, North Macedonia was admitted as its 30th member, further weakening the integrity of the alliance. Did President Donald Trump actually believe that the presence of North Macedonia as well as 13 other Central European states would strengthen U.S. security?

The enlargement of NATO demonstrated the strategic mishandling of Russia, which now finds the United States and Russia in a rivalry reminiscent of the Cold War.  President Bill Clinton was responsible for bringing former members of the Warsaw Pact into NATO, starting in the late-1990s; President George W. Bush introduced former republics of the Soviet Union in his first term.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel deserves credit for dissuading Bush from seeking membership for Ukraine and Georgia.

The United States justified the expansion of NATO as a way to create more liberal, democratic members, but this has not been the case for the East European members.  Russia, moreover, views the expansion as a return to containment and a threat to its national security. Russia was angered by the expansion from the outset, particularly since President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker assured Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze that the United States wouldn’t “leap frog” over Germany if the Soviets pulled their 380,000 troops out of East Germany.

NATO’s success from 1949 to 1991 was marked by a common perception of the Soviet threat, which is the key to solidarity in any alliance framework.  In 2020, however, the 30 members of NATO no longer share a common perception of the Russian threat in Europe.  The United States has one view of Russia; the key nations of West Europe have a more benign view; and the East Europeans perceive a dire threat that the others do not share.  The United States has always expressed some dissatisfaction with the asymmetric burden sharing and risk sharing within the alliance, and the Trump administration has threatened to withdraw from NATO over the burden sharing issue.

Turkey has rapidly become the outlier within NATO, and there have been a series of confrontations in the eastern Mediterranean that threaten the integrity of the alliance.  Greek and Turkish warships collided in August, creating the first such confrontation between the two navies since 1996, when the Clinton administration mediated the problem.  The United States no longer acts in such diplomatic capacities, so French President Emmanuel Macron has stepped into the breach by sending jet aircraft to the Greek island of Crete as well as warships to exercise with the antiquated Greek navy.  Greece and Turkey, which joined NATO together in 1952, are rivals over economic zones in the Mediterranean where there are important deposits of oil and natural gas.  Greece and Turkey have squabbled since 1974 over the divided island of Cyprus.

Turkey and France have additional differences over Turkey’s violations of the UN arms embargo on Libya.  The two NATO allies had a confrontation in the Mediterranean when a French warship tried to inspect a Turkish vessel.  Last week, France joined military exercises with Greece and Italy in the eastern Mediterranean following a Turkish maritime violation of contested waters.  Paris backs Athens in the conflicting claims with Ankara over rights to potential hydrocarbon resources on the continental shelf in the Mediterranean.

President Macron took a particularly tough line in stating that he was setting “red lines” in the Mediterranean because the “Turks only consider and respect…a red-line policy,” adding that he “did it in Syria” as well.  Macron’s tough stance is somewhat surprising in view of the concern of France and other European NATO countries regarding Turkey’s ability to turn on the refugee spigot, which would cause economic problems in southern Europe.  Turkey has been using the refugee issue as leverage since 2015, when huge numbers of refugees in West Europe led to a rightward shift in European politics.

There is also the problem of Turkey’s purchase of the most sophisticated Russian air defense system, the S-400, which was developed to counter the world’s most sophisticated jet fighter, the U.S. F-35.  As a result of the purchase of the S-400 system, the United States reneged on the sale of eight F-35s to Turkey at a loss of $862 million, creating additional problems between Trump and Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey had planned to buy 100 F-35s over the next several years, and had begun pilot training in the United States.

Trump’s constant harangues about burden sharing have created more friction within NATO.  Trump falsely takes credit for increased European defense spending, but it was the Obama administration that successfully arranged greater Canadian and European defense spending in 2014 in the wake of Russia’s seizure of Crimea. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg panders regularly to Trump on the issue of increased defense spending, ignoring Trump’s false claims that NATO spending will increase by $400 billion annually.  The $400 billion is in fact the increased spending over an eight-year period.

With Trump’s drift toward isolationism and unilateralism (“America First”), there is incentive for the European Community to take control of its own “autonomous” defense policy.  The Europeans have reason to believe that a second presidential term for Trump could lead to a sudden U.S. withdrawal from NATO.  The unilateralist character of U.S. foreign and defense policy strengthens the case for building European defense cooperation along side of an undetermined transatlantic relationship with the United States.

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Will Trump Administration Abandon NATO Alliance if Re-elected?

By Nauman Sadiq

Michael Crowley reported for the New York Times [1] Thursday, September 3, that American allies and former US Officials fear Trump could seek NATO exit in a second term. According to the report,

“This summer, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser John R. Bolton published a book that described the president as repeatedly saying he wanted to quit the NATO alliance. Last month, Mr. Bolton speculated to a Spanish newspaper that Mr. Trump might even spring an ‘October surprise’ shortly before the election by declaring his intention to leave the alliance in a second term.”

The report adds,

“In a book published this week, Michael S. Schmidt, a New York Times reporter, wrote that Mr. Trump’s former chief of staff John F. Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general, told others that ‘one of the most difficult tasks he faced with Trump was trying to stop him from pulling out of NATO.’ One person who has heard Mr. Kelly speak in private settings confirmed that he had made such remarks.”

Donald Trump now relies on “a team of inexperienced bureaucrats” and has grown more confident and assertive, as he has already sacked purportedly “seasoned national security advisers,” including John F. Kelly; Jim Mattis, another retired four-star Marine general and Trump’s first defense secretary; and H.R. McMaster, a retired three-star Army general and Trump’s former national security adviser.

In July, the Trump administration announced plans to withdraw 12,000 American troops from Germany and sought to cut funding for the Pentagon’s European Deterrence Initiative, though the main factor that prompted Trump to pull out American forces from Germany was German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refusal to attend G-7 summit in person due to coronavirus outbreak. The summit was scheduled to be held at Camp David on June 10 but was cancelled. About half of the troops withdrawn from Germany were re-deployed in Europe, mainly in Italy and Poland, and the rest returned to the US.

Historically, the NATO military alliance at least ostensibly was conceived as a defensive alliance in 1949 during the Cold War in order to offset conventional warfare superiority of the former Soviet Union. The US forged collective defense pact with the Western European nations after the Soviet Union reached the threshold to build its first atomic bomb in 1949 and achieved nuclear parity with the US.

But the trans-Atlantic military alliance has outlived its purpose following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 and is now being used as an aggressive and expansionist military alliance meant to browbeat and coerce the former Soviet clients, the Central and Eastern European states, to join NATO and its corollary economic alliance, the European Union, or be internationally isolated. If not Washington, the Europeans themselves should have abandoned the redundant militarist organization long ago.

Regarding the global footprint of American forces, according to a January 2017 infographic [2] by the New York Times, 210,000 US military personnel were deployed across the world, including 79,000 in Europe, 45,000 in Japan, 28,500 in South Korea and 36,000 in the Middle East.

Although Donald Trump keeps complaining that NATO must share the cost of deployment of the US troops, particularly in Europe where 47,000 American troops were stationed in Germany since the end of the Second World War and before the withdrawal of 12,000 US forces in July, 15,000 American troops were deployed in Italy and 8,000 in the United Kingdom, fact of the matter is that the cost is already shared between Washington and host countries.

Roughly, European countries pay one-third of the cost for maintaining US military bases in Europe whereas Washington chips in the remaining two-third. In the Far Eastern countries, 75% of the cost for the deployment of American troops is shared by Japan and the remaining 25% by Washington, and in South Korea, 40% cost is shared by the host country and the US contributes the remaining 60%.How Does Controlling Syria’s Oil Serve Washington’s Strategic Objectives?

Whereas the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar – pay two-third of the cost for maintaining 36,000 US troops in the Persian Gulf where more than half of world’s 1,477 billion barrels proven oil reserves are located, and Washington contributes the remaining one-third.

Besides withdrawing 12,000 troops from Germany, the Trump administration has also pledged to scale down American troop presence in Afghanistan after reaching a peace deal with the Taliban on February 29. The United States currently has about 8,600 troops in Afghanistan, and plans to cut its troop levels in Afghanistan to “a number less than 5,000” by the end of November, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced in August, before the complete withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan by April next year, as stipulated by the terms of the peace pact reached with the Taliban at Doha, Qatar.

If we take a cursory look at the insurgency in Afghanistan, the Bush administration toppled the Taliban regime with the help of the Northern Alliance in October 2001 in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attack. Since the beginning, however, Afghanistan was an area of lesser priority for the Bush administration.

The number of US troops deployed in Afghanistan did not exceed beyond 30,000 during George Bush’s tenure as the American president, and soon after occupying Afghanistan, Washington invaded Iraq in March 2003 to expropriate its 140 billion barrels proven oil reserves, and American resources and focus shifted to Iraq.

It was the ostensibly “pacifist and noninterventionist” Obama administration that made the Afghanistan conflict the bedrock of its foreign policy in 2009 along with fulfilling then-President Obama’s electoral pledge of withdrawing American forces from Iraq in December 2011, only to be redeployed a couple of years later when the Islamic State overran Mosul and Anbar in Iraq in early 2014.

At the height of the surge of the US troops in Afghanistan in 2010, the American troops numbered around 100,000, with an additional 40,000 troops deployed by the rest of the NATO members, but they still could not manage to have a lasting impact on the relentless Taliban insurgency.

Similarly, the Nobel-laureate President Obama initiated a proxy war in Syria in 2011 to safeguard Israel’s regional security because the Bashar al-Assad government in alliance with Hezbollah in Lebanon constituted single biggest threat to Israel’s northern borders, a fact that became obvious to Israeli military strategists when Hezbollah mounted hundreds of rocket attacks into northern Israel during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.

After being elected, the Trump administration had to contend with the legacy of its predecessor. But thankfully, the conflict in Syria is gradually winding down. Before the evacuation of 1,000 American troops from northern Syria last year, the Pentagon had 2,000 US forces in Syria. After the drawdown of US troops at Erdogan’s insistence in order for Ankara to mount a ground offensive in northern Syria, the US has still deployed around 1,000 troops, mainly in oil-rich eastern Deir al-Zor province and at al-Tanf military base.

Al-Tanf military base is strategically located in southeastern Syria on the border between Syria, Iraq and Jordan, and it straddles on a critically important Damascus-Baghdad highway, which serves as a lifeline for Damascus. Washington has illegally occupied 55-kilometer area around al-Tanf since 2016, and several hundred US Marines have trained thousands of Syrian militants in the military base battling the Syrian government.

It’s pertinent to note that rather than fighting the Islamic State, the purpose of continued presence of the US forces at al-Tanf military base is to address Israel’s concerns regarding the expansion of Iran’s influence in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Regarding the continued presence of American forces in oil- and natural gas-rich Deir al-Zor governorate, it’s worth pointing out that Syria used to produce roughly 400,000 barrels crude oil per day. Answering questions from Senator Lindsey Graham, Secretary of State Pompeo confessed [3] last month that the State Department had awarded an American company, Delta Crescent Energy, with a contract to begin extracting oil in northeast Syria.

Much like the “scorched earth” battle strategy of medieval warlords – as in the case of the Islamic State which burned crops of local farmers while retreating from its former strongholds in eastern Syria – Washington’s basic purpose in deploying the US forces in oil and natural gas fields of Deir al-Zor governorate is to deny the valuable source of income to Damascus.

After the devastation caused by nine years of proxy war, the Syrian government is in dire need of tens of billions dollars international assistance to rebuild the country. Not only is Washington hampering efforts to provide international assistance to the hapless country, it is in fact squatting over Syria’s own valuable resources.

Finally, after liberating Mosul and Anbar from the Islamic State in Iraq in July 2017 and Raqqa in Syria in October 2017, the Trump administration has decided [4] to reduce the number of American troops deployed in Iraq from current 5,200 to 3,500 troops in the next three months.

Another reason why Washington can no longer maintain large troop presence in Iraq is that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has vowed that Iran would not tolerate the presence of American forces in Iraq following the brazen assassination of venerated Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in January, and American military bases in Iraq have come under repeated rocket and missile attacks, particularly in an Iranian missile strike at al-Assad military base in January, scores of American troops suffered concussion injuries and had to be evacuated to Germany for treatment.

*

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Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism.

Notes

[1] Allies and Former U.S. Officials Fear Trump Could Seek NATO Exit in a Second Term:

[2] What the U.S. Gets for Defending Its Allies and Interests Abroad?

[3] Delta Crescent Energy awarded the contract to extract Syria’s oil:

[4] US to reduce number of troops in Iraq from 5,200 to 3,500 in next three months.

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NATO at the Helm of Italian Foreign Policy

By Manlio Dinucci

NATO Defense Ministers (Lorenzo Guerini, Pd representing Italy) gathered by videoconference on June17/18, and made a series of “decisions to strengthen the Alliance’s deterrence.” However, nobody in Italy talks about it, neither the media (including social media) nor the political world, where an absolute multipartisan silence reigns over all this. Yet these decisions, basically dictated by Washington and signed by Minister Guerini for Italy, not only trace the guidelines of our military policy, but also our foreign policy.

First of all – announces Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg – “NATO is preparing for a possible second wave of Covid-19,” against which NATO has already mobilized over half a million soldiers in Europe. Stoltenberg does not clarify how NATO can predict a possible second virus pandemic with a new lockdown.

On one point, however, he is clear: this “does not mean that other challenges disappeared.” The major problem – Defense Ministers underlined – comes from Russia’s “destabilizing and dangerous behavior,” in particular from its “irresponsible nuclear rhetoric, aimed at intimidating and threatening NATO allies.”

In this way they overturn reality, erasing the fact that it was NATO that extended its nuclear forces and bases close to Russia, especially the United States after the end of the Cold War. A strategy aimed at creating growing tensions with Russia in Europe has been methodically implemented with Washington’s direction.

Defense Ministers met in the Nuclear Planning Group, chaired by the United States, to decide on new military measures against Russia.Ukraine – That’s where NATO’s eastward expansion led

It is unknown what decisions on nuclear matters Minister Guerini signed on behalf of Italy. However, it is clear that by participating in the Group and hosting US nuclear weapons (which can also be used by our Air Force), Italy violates the Non-Proliferation Treaty and rejects the UN Treaty for the prohibition of nuclear weapons.

Stoltenberg merely said, “Today we have decided on further steps to keep NATO nuclear deterrent in Europe safe and efficient.” Among these steps there is certainly the next arrival of the new US B61-12 nuclear bombs also in Italy.

Defense Ministers spoke of another growing “challenge” which is that of China for the first time “at the top of NATO’s agenda.” China is a trading partner of many allies, but at the same time “heavily invests in new missile systems that can reach all NATO countries,” said Stoltenberg. Thus, NATO begins to present China as a military threat.

At the same time, they present Chinese investments in the countries of the Alliance as dangerous. Based on this premise, Defense Ministers updated the guidelines for “national resilience,” aimed at preventing energy, transport and telecommunications, 5G in particular, from ending up under “foreign ownership and control” (read “Chinese Ownership and Control”).

These are the decisions signed by Italy at the Defense Ministers NATO meeting. They bind our country to a strategy of growing hostility, especially towards Russia and China, exposing us to increasingly serious risks and making our arrangements on which the same economic agreements rest unstable.

It is a long-term strategy, as evidenced by the (Born) NATO 2030″ project launch made by Secretary General Stoltenberg on June 8 to “strengthen the Alliance militarily and politically” by including countries like Australia (already invited to the Defense Ministers meeting), New Zealand, Japan and other Asians, in clear anti-Chinese function.

A group of 10 advisors was formed for the Great Global (Born) NATO 2030 project, including Prof. Marta Dassù, former foreign policy adviser in the D’Alema government before and during NATO’s war on Yugoslavia, in which Italy participated in 1999 with its bases and bombers, under US command.

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Yemeni forces target the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi rear … the Ministry of Defense, an air base and military sites

Trump-Saudi war on Yemen, cartoon | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Today, Tuesday, the Yemeni Armed Forces announced the implementation of the fourth deterrence operation that targeted the capital of the aggression Riyadh and the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi depth, with a large number of ballistic missiles, wings and drones.

The armed forces spokesman, Brigadier General Yahya Sari, said in a statement: We have implemented – with the grace of God – the largest offensive operation “the fourth deterrent balance” on the capital of the Saudi enemy

The statement clarified that: The fourth deterrence balance operation destroyed the Ministry of Defense and Intelligence, Salman Air Force Base and military sites in Riyadh, Jizan, and Najran.

And that the fourth deterrence balance operation was carried out with a large number of ballistic missiles, the “Quds” wings, “Zulfikar”, and the Air Force marches

The Yemeni Armed Forces spokesman affirmed that the fourth deterrence balance operation came in response to the continuation of the unjust blockade and the brutal aggression against our great Yemeni people.

Brigadier-General Sari warned the Saudi-Zionist-American aggression countries against the consequences of persisting in his prostitution, aggression, criminality and exercising his criminal blockade, stressing our legitimate and steadfast right that necessitates the religious, moral, humanitarian and national duty to defend Yemen and its steadfast people

The Yemeni Armed Forces spokesman confirmed that we will carry out more and more powerful military operations until the siege is lifted, the aggression is stopped, and freedom and independence are achieved.

Statement text:


A statement issued by the Yemeni Armed Forces in the
name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

In response to the continuing unjust embargo and brutal aggression against our great Yemeni people and our dear country, the Yemeni armed forces, with the grace of God Almighty, carried out the largest offensive operation, the “Fourth Balance of Deterrence,” which targeted the capital of the Saudi enemy with a large number of ballistic missiles, air forces, and wings.
With God’s help and payment, our Quds and Zulfikar missiles and Samad 3 marching planes destroyed military headquarters and centers in the Saudi enemy’s capital, including the Ministry of Defense and Intelligence and Salman Air Force Base and military sites in Jizan and Najran.

The Yemeni Armed Forces warn the enemy against the consequences of persisting in its aggression, aggression, crime and the practice of its criminal blockade, and it affirms its legitimate and inalienable right that necessitates the religious, moral, humanitarian and patriotic duty to defend the dear, steadfast and steadfast people of Yemen.

The Yemeni armed forces, with the assistance of God, assure and seek the assistance of God that they will carry out more and more powerful military operations, until
the siege is lifted, the aggression is stopped, and freedom and independence are achieved.

Long live Yemen, free, dear, independent, and
victory for Yemen and for all the free and honorable nation.

Issued by the Yemeni Armed Forces,
Sanaa 3, Dhu al-Qi’dah 1441 AH
, corresponding to June 23, 2020 CE


Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, C.I.A, NATO, Saudi Arabia, YemenComments Off on Yemeni forces target the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi rear … the Ministry of Defense, an air base and military sites

NATO at the Helm of Italian Foreign Policy

By Manlio Dinucci

NATO Defense Ministers (Lorenzo Guerini, Pd representing Italy) gathered by videoconference on June17/18, and made a series of “decisions to strengthen the Alliance’s deterrence.” However, nobody in Italy talks about it, neither the media (including social media) nor the political world, where an absolute multipartisan silence reigns over all this. Yet these decisions, basically dictated by Washington and signed by Minister Guerini for Italy, not only trace the guidelines of our military policy, but also our foreign policy.

First of all – announces Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg – “NATO is preparing for a possible second wave of Covid-19,” against which NATO has already mobilized over half a million soldiers in Europe. Stoltenberg does not clarify how NATO can predict a possible second virus pandemic with a new lockdown.

On one point, however, he is clear: this “does not mean that other challenges disappeared.” The major problem – Defense Ministers underlined – comes from Russia’s “destabilizing and dangerous behavior,” in particular from its “irresponsible nuclear rhetoric, aimed at intimidating and threatening NATO allies.”

In this way they overturn reality, erasing the fact that it was NATO that extended its nuclear forces and bases close to Russia, especially the United States after the end of the Cold War. A strategy aimed at creating growing tensions with Russia in Europe has been methodically implemented with Washington’s direction.

Defense Ministers met in the Nuclear Planning Group, chaired by the United States, to decide on new military measures against Russia.

It is unknown what decisions on nuclear matters Minister Guerini signed on behalf of Italy. However, it is clear that by participating in the Group and hosting US nuclear weapons (which can also be used by our Air Force), Italy violates the Non-Proliferation Treaty and rejects the UN Treaty for the prohibition of nuclear weapons.

Stoltenberg merely said, “Today we have decided on further steps to keep NATO nuclear deterrent in Europe safe and efficient.” Among these steps there is certainly the next arrival of the new US B61-12 nuclear bombs also in Italy.

Defense Ministers spoke of another growing “challenge” which is that of China for the first time “at the top of NATO’s agenda.” China is a trading partner of many allies, but at the same time “heavily invests in new missile systems that can reach all NATO countries,” said Stoltenberg. Thus, NATO begins to present China as a military threat.

At the same time, they present Chinese investments in the countries of the Alliance as dangerous. Based on this premise, Defense Ministers updated the guidelines for “national resilience,” aimed at preventing energy, transport and telecommunications, 5G in particular, from ending up under “foreign ownership and control” (read “Chinese Ownership and Control”).

These are the decisions signed by Italy at the Defense Ministers NATO meeting. They bind our country to a strategy of growing hostility, especially towards Russia and China, exposing us to increasingly serious risks and making our arrangements on which the same economic agreements rest unstable.

It is a long-term strategy, as evidenced by the (Born) NATO 2030″ project launch made by Secretary General Stoltenberg on June 8 to “strengthen the Alliance militarily and politically” by including countries like Australia (already invited to the Defense Ministers meeting), New Zealand, Japan and other Asians, in clear anti-Chinese function.

A group of 10 advisors was formed for the Great Global (Born) NATO 2030 project, including Prof. Marta Dassù, former foreign policy adviser in the D’Alema government before and during NATO’s war on Yugoslavia, in which Italy participated in 1999 with its bases and bombers, under US command.

Posted in Italy, NATOComments Off on NATO at the Helm of Italian Foreign Policy

Selected Articles: NATO at the Helm of Italian Foreign Policy

By Global Research News

NATO at the Helm of Italian Foreign Policy

By Manlio Dinucci,

NATO Defense Ministers (Lorenzo Guerini, Pd representing Italy) gathered by videoconference on June17/18, and made a series of “decisions to strengthen the Alliance’s deterrence.” However, nobody in Italy talks about it, neither the media (including social media) nor the political world, where an absolute multipartisan silence reigns over all this. Yet these decisions, basically dictated by Washington and signed by Minister Guerini for Italy, not only trace the guidelines of our military policy, but also our foreign policy.

Abraham Lincoln and Karl Marx: ‘Death to Slavery’

By John Wight,

Lincoln here is referring to the decision of Manchester textile workers — arrived at after a tempestuous meeting at the city’s Free Trade Hall in late 1862 — to continue to support the North’s blockade of the Atlantic ports of the Confederacy and to refuse to touch one bale of cotton picked by slaves in the the South should Lord Palmerston, Britain’s prime minister at the time, accede to the demands of British mill owners and shipping companies that he order the Royal Navy to smash the blockade by force in order to restore the fortunes of a British textile industry that was on its knees due to the lack of the cotton it relied on from these very slave states.

Journalist Julian Assange Charged with New American Indictment

By Dr. Leon Tressell,

The new indictment incorporates the 18 charges from the first indictment and seeks to ‘broaden the scope of the conspiracy’ and asserts that Assange and Wikileaks tried to recruit hackers for the purpose of stealing secret documents from the US government.

Thirteen of the 49 page indictment are devoted to Assange’s efforts to recruit ‘Anonymous’ hackers. At one conference Assange is alleged to have encouraged hackers to join the CIA and then use their position to steal top secret documents.

Get Ready for ‘Shock and Awe’ Brexit Propaganda Campaign

By True Publica,

The term ‘shock and awe‘, more often used to describe a military strategy of overwhelming force and closely associated with the disaster that was the Iraq war, is contained in a document setting out the government’s communications plan.

The information campaign is huge and is set to warn the public about the “consequences of not taking action,” before moving to a new phase focusing on avoiding losses as a result of the post-Brexit disruption.

War Crimes: US Destruction of North Korea Must Not be Forgotten

By Brett Wilkins,

survey of Koreans in the summer of 1946 found that 77% preferred socialism or communism while only 14% favored capitalism. However, in the South, the US backed the right-wing dictatorship ofSyngman Rhee, a conservative Christian and staunch anti-communist who ruled with an iron fist. In the North, the USSR installed former anti-Japanese guerrilla leader and Red Army officer Kim Il Sung.

In 1948, the division of Korea was looking increasingly permanent. And politics was turning murderous.

War is Good for Business and Organized Crime: Afghanistan’s Multibillion Dollar Opium Trade. Rising Heroin Addiction in the US

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky,

Today a rough estimate based on US retail prices suggests that the global heroin market is above the 500 billion dollars mark. This multibillion dollar hike is the result of a significant increase in the volume of heroin transacted Worldwide coupled with a moderate increase in retail prices.

Based on the most recent (UNODC) data (2017) opium production in Afghanistan is of the order of 9000 metric tons, which after processing and transformation is equivalent to approximately 900,000 kg. of pure heroin.

MSM “Fake News” Against Syria. Describe Al Qaeda as “Rebels”, Elected President as “Dictator”

By Steven Sahiounie,

They call the Assad government of Syria the “Middle East’s most brutal dictatorship”.  President Assad is an elected president, having won the majority in an open election in 2014 of three candidates, which was observed by an independent international team.  The term brutal may have alluded to accusations of the use of chemical weapons; however, according to James Mattis, while serving as Defense Secretary under President Trump, the US has no evidence that Assad used chemicals.  President Obama drew a red line at chemical use, and when the famous attack occurred in East Ghouta in 2013 the world held their breath waiting for a US military attack, but after Obama was informed by the UK Defense Lab at Portadown that the chemical sample from East Ghouta was not from Syrian government supplies, Obama terminated the attack, refusing to be duped by the terrorists into attacking Syria based on a lie.  The US invasion and destruction of Iraq was based on a lie, which made Obama wary to repeat what George W. Bush had done.

Posted in Italy, NATOComments Off on Selected Articles: NATO at the Helm of Italian Foreign Policy

Wikileaks Reveals Further Evidence of “Sexed-Up Dossier”: OPCW faces growing call for answers

By: Tim Hayward

As representatives of almost every state in the world gather this week in The Hague, all eyes should be on them. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons – whose conference they are attending – was mandated by the people of the world to play a vital part in reducing the evils of war.

Instead, it seems, the OPCW has been manipulated to serve the ends of warmongers.

Critics and non-Western nations arrived at this understanding some time ago. Key investigators at the OPCW have known it for a fact. Their knowledge was brought to light first by the leak of a suppressed report, then by firsthand testimony heard by an international panel, and now by Wikileaks’ release of an email in which an OPCW inspector expresses the gravest concern about intentional bias introduced to a redacted version of the report he co-authored. Crucial facts about the 2018 Douma chemical claims, he writes, “have morphed into something quite different to what was originally drafted.”

The Western media has concealed the problem because – bluntly – it is part of the problem. Journalists in established news outlets do not have the investigative autonomy that they would need to fulfil their calling.

But the news is out. In the Mail on Sunday, Peter Hitchens writes that what’s been uncovered “appears to be the worst instance of ‘sexing-up’ in support of war since the invasion of Iraq and Tony Blair’s doctored dossiers.” In Italy’s leading broadsheet La Repubblica, Stefania Maurizi puts the critical question: “Will the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize winning organization shed light on the whistleblower’s serious charges after this email?”

Hopefully, the questions will now be firmly pressed, and this post will carry updates as and when they are covered in the media.

Further coverage and updates [most recent first]

Gunnar Hrafn Jónsson (24 November 2019) OPCW management accused of doctoring
Syrian chemical weapons reportStundin (Iceland)

Earlier media coverage of whistleblower testimony…

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Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, C.I.A, NATO, SyriaComments Off on Wikileaks Reveals Further Evidence of “Sexed-Up Dossier”: OPCW faces growing call for answers

The Douma incident of 7 April 2018: how did the intelligence services get it wrong?

By: Ttim Hayward

Presentation to a meeting at the House of Commons hosted by Fabian Hamilton MP, 22 January 2020.

By Paul McKeigue

I’ll start by introducing myself. I trained as a doctor, and then as an epidemiologist and public health specialist. My expertise includes the investigation of scientific fraud, and the investigation of mass casualty incidents. I first started studying the alleged chemical attacks in Syria around 2015. That led to me discovering colleagues like Professor Tim Hayward at my own university, who shared my interest in investigating the stories that we were hearing from Syria. People sometimes ask me why I am doing this, in the face of flak directed at us. One reason is that I was brought up to believe in parliamentary government. As children each of us, at the age of eleven or twelve, was taken to a debate at the House of Commons. We were told that this was something special about our system of government. One of my concerns in relation to the alleged chemical attacks in Syria has been that Parliament has been misled. On the 14th April 2018, the UK had joined the US and France in a missile attack, without recalling Parliament for a vote. Two days later, Theresa May in the House of Commons responded to Sir Edward Leigh MP, who had apparently expressed doubts.

Portcullis House Meeting on 22 Jan 2020 OPCW Douma transcript [Final for Release]

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Posted in USA, Europe, ZIO-NAZI, C.I.A, NATO, Politics, Syria, UKComments Off on The Douma incident of 7 April 2018: how did the intelligence services get it wrong?

The Unfolding Revelations Concerning the OPCW – by Piers Robinson

By: Tim Hayward

The following is an edited reproduction of an extended thread of tweets recently posted by Piers Robinson, founding member and spokesperson for the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media.

New leaks published today by The Grayzone News and Aaron Maté confirm that the OPCW deceived in order to smear two of its most experienced scientists:- https://thegrayzone.com/2020/05/06/opcw-douma-whistleblower/

Bed cylinder

1) Back in 2018 there was an alleged chemical weapon attack in Syria, and the US, UK and France bombed Syria within days of the event. Two cylinders containing chlorine gas had been dropped, supposedly causing the death of approximately 50 civilians.

2) Even at the time notable figures (former senior UK military) questioned the likelihood of the attack having been carried out by the Syrian government, for example see:- https://twitter.com/ShoebridgeC/status/984837379612708864?s=20

3) A BBC producer, Riam Dalati, even stated he had found out that hospital scenes associated with the attack had been staged: https://twitter.com/Dalatrm/status/1095677403198906369?s=20. Even though he has this critical information he has not handed it to investigators or elected officials.

4) In early 2019, the OPCW published the results of its investigations into the alleged attack at Douma and stated that there were ‘reasonable grounds’ to conclude an attack had occurred at Douma. At the time we detailed multiple flaws in the OPCW report:- Briefing note on the final report of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission on the alleged chemical attack in Douma in April 2018

5) In May, 2019, an engineering report was leaked to academics which detailed how the cylinders used in the alleged attacks had been more likely placed by hand, thus indicating the alleged attack had in fact been staged:- http://syriapropagandamedia.org/working-papers/assessment-by-the-engineering-sub-team-of-the-opcw-fact-finding-mission-investigating-the-alleged-chemical-attack-in-douma-in-april-2018.

Screenshot 2019-12-24 07.19.48

6) In October 2019, the Courage Foundation convened a panel which included the first Director General of the OPCW, José Bustani, along with other eminent individuals. They heard detailed testimony from an OPCW official:- https://couragefound.org/2019/10/opcw-panel-statement/

7) This was followed up with an open letter addressed to the OPCW, asking that they listen to the concerns of their inspectors who had actually been to Douma. Signatories included Noam Chomsky and whistleblower Katharine Gun.

8) Multiple leaked documents have since been published by wikileaks.org and journalists such as Peter Hitchens have been publishing reports detailing what really happened during the OPCW investigation:- https://wikileaks.org/opcw-douma/#Internal%20OPCW%20E-Mail

9) There have been reports in the Mail on Sunday detailing how the OPCW suppressed key information and sidelined the inspectors who had actually been to Douma:- https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7718627/Sexed-dossier-furore-alleged-poison-gas-attack-Assad.html

10) Articles by Stefania Maurizi in La Repubblica (here and here) and by Robert Fisk in The Independent:- The Syrian conflict is awash with propaganda – chemical warfare bodies should not be caught up in it

11) In Stundin, Gunnar Hrafn Jónsson writes:- OPCW management accused of doctoring Syrian chemical weapons report

12) And Tucker Carlson interviewed Courage Foundation attendee Jonathan Steele:-  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojItF6MGL-0&feature=emb_logo

13) Jonathan Steele described how a US delegation had been allowed by UK diplomat Robert Fairweather to ‘brief’ the Douma inspectors regarding what happened in Syria. This is a corruption of OPCW independence and violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention:- https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/11/15/the-opcw-and-douma-chemical-weapons-watchdog-accused-of-evidence-tampering-by-its-own-inspectors/

14) We have learned many important truths from all of the leaks and testimonies and the major scientific anomalies are summarized here:- https://couragefound.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Analytical-Points.pdf

15) Of Particular importance, however, are the revelations regarding the ballistics of the two yellow cylinders and toxicological evidence regarding the deceased at Douma.

16) We now know that the first draft interim report, written by the inspectors who actually deployed to Douma but which was suppressed by OPW management, raised questions about the cylinders:-

Screenshot 2019-12-23 19.33.44

17) One critical aspect here concerned the (completely) implausible idea that the cylinder at location 2 had broken through a roof to then bounce sideways across the bedroom, landing on the bed:-

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Bed cylinder

18) Another aspect concerned how the cylinder at location 2, found balanced over a hole in the roof, could ever have caused the damage observed:-

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18b

19) Detailed assessments contained in the subsequently leaked engineering report, assessing these anomalies and concluding the cylinders were hand placed, was suppressed and blocked from the OPCW final report.

20) Far more alarming is the information concerning how approx. 50 civilians died at location 2. Although supposedly killed by chlorine gas leaking from the cylinder on the rook, the first draft interim report suppressed by OPCW management raised multiple concerns:-

Screenshot 2019-12-22 18.00.27

21) Consultations with 4 NATO chemical warfare toxicologists confirmed that the deceased were not killed by chlorine poisoning at location :- https://wikileaks.org/opcw-douma/document/actual_toxicology_meeting_redacted/

22) Just as with the engineering report, this evidence was suppressed come the final OPCW report which obfuscated the clear assessments provided by the NATO CW toxicologists.

23) Full factual and accurate details regarding the flaws in the final OPCW report on Douma are detailed in this briefing note:- http://syriapropagandamedia.org/update-on-the-opcws-investigation-of-the-douma-incident

24) And the assessment by Professor Paul McKeigue that the deceased were likely to have been murdered elsewhere is contained in this House of Commons briefing:- https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2020/02/01/house-of-commons-presentation-opcw-leaks-reveal-international-community-misled-about-alleged-douma-chemical-incident-in-2018/

25) Unfortunately, attempts to conceal the truth about the OPCW and what happened in Douma have involved multiple attempts to smear and intimidate academics, researchers and whistleblowers.

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26) The Times and Huffington Post have published approximately 20 articles smearing academics and researchers as ‘conspiracy theorists’ whilst ignoring the OPCW whistleblowers and the leaked documents. These attacks started the day the UK & US bombed Syria following the alleged attack at Douma!

27) Meanwhile the US government-funded Bellingcat organisation has repeatedly attempted to smear and discredit the OPCW whistleblowers and UK journalist Peter Hitchens:- https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2020/01/a-response-to-bellingcat-form-sources-close-to-the-veteran-opcw-chemical-weapons-inspector-ian-hende.html

28) Remarkably, Bellingcat’s founder Eliot Higgins was caught deleting a tweet that confirmed the cylinder at location 2 had been manipulated by hand. As @MichaKobs explains:- https://twitter.com/MichaKobs/status/984596184428924928?s=20

29) We can see clearly in these images how the cylinder has been rotated to line up a dent with the metal bar and tip the cylinder so that its nozzle is pointing into the hole: this is a manipulation of a crime scene and corroborates the suppressed engineering report.

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30) But the worst case of smearing and deception came with the OPCW’s investigation into the leaking of the engineering report. This represented a crude attempt to discredit two of the OPCW’s most experienced and qualified scientists https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2020/02/someone-has-been-telling-lies-about-a-and-b-kafka-comes-to-the-hague.html

31) As Aaron Maté and The GrayZone show, the OPCW Director General made demonstrably false statements including the bogus claim that Ian Henderson was not part of the fact finding mission in Douma https://twitter.com/aaronjmate/status/1258093746056499201?s=20 

32) Despite the relentless smear campaigns, the truth continues to be told. Professor Paul McKeigue recently presented research findings to the Harvard Sussex Program on Chemical and Biological Weapons:- https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qHfo70_qZ7L9NI7kmJUfvtCAuQ8AUAMb/view

33) OPCW inspector Ian Henderson has presented, via video link, the failures of the OPCW Douma investigation to the UN Security Council:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=ZknLgDXuaBg&feature=emb_logo

34) And new documents and statements continue to surface and which highlight the ways in which the OPCW has been corrupted by the US, France and the UK. This message from a senior OPCW official reveals a culture of threats and intimidation at the OPCW:- https://thegrayzone.com/2020/02/11/new-leaks-shatter-opcws-attacks-douma-whistleblowers/

senior-opcw-official-email

35) This whistleblower documents dismay at the actions of OPCW management https://thegrayzone.com/2020/03/12/opcw-whistleblower-mistreatment-douma-investigators/

opcw-open-letter-email-aaron-mate

36) Whilst this statement reveals that dissent within the OPCW’s ranks now extends to other investigations into alleged attacks in Syria which include the new IIT investigations which are tasked with attributing blame. https://thegrayzone.com/2020/04/28/opcw-insiders-ltamenah-chemical-weapons-report/

Screen Shot 2020-05-09 at 05.51.15
Douma victims

37) An OPCW corrupted by the US, UK and France is a clear threat to international peace and security. This corruption is also currently denying justice for these murdered civilians, covering up the truth behind their deaths. http://syriapropagandamedia.org/update-on-the-opcws-investigation-of-the-douma-incident

38) There is, in view of all the evidence now in the public domain, a legal and ethical responsibility on the part of journalists, academics and politicians to address the OPCW scandal. The organisation is corrupted, and it now needs to be radically reformed.

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Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI, C.I.A, NATO, Politics, SyriaComments Off on The Unfolding Revelations Concerning the OPCW – by Piers Robinson

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