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Posts Tagged ‘United States armed forces’


So, now that Afghanistan heroin production is 40 TIMES larger than it was before the U.S. military action there, U.S. troops will never leave until WE in the U.S. stop this occupation. Looks like the Obama Administration will reward the fake Afghani government with billions of dollars in exchange for allowing U.S. troops to remain there. Remember, according to the U.N., the Taliban had ZEROED poppy production in one year by May 2001; can’t have that, now can we?? http://www.nytimes.com/2001/05/20/world/taliban-s-ban-on-poppy-a-success-us-aides-say.html

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US Military Continues Massive Build-Up in Philippine Disaster Zone, Took Over Air Traffic in Tacloban

The death toll in the central Philippines continues to mount in the wake of the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan. The current official count of the Philippine government National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) was 4,881 dead as of noon, November 18. This number will continue to increase sharply, as mass casualties in more remote areas begin to be processed.

An estimated 2 million people are homeless, while a total of 11 million are reported to have been affected by the damage. Vast portions of the islands of Samar and Leyte have been laid waste by the storm, and the city of Tacloban is in ruins.

The islands are in the grip of an immense humanitarian crisis. Hundreds of thousands are without access to food, potable water, medicine, or sanitation. Roads throughout the islands remain impassible, and entire communities are completely isolated.

Washington has deployed a massive military force to the region. The nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington, with 5,000 sailors and 80 aircraft, is in the Leyte Gulf, along with its strike group of two guided-missile cruisers, two guided-missile destroyers, a cargo ship, an oceanographic survey ship and a submarine tender. These are to be joined by 3 amphibious warfare ships and 2 littoral combat ships. Some 850 US troops are on the ground in Leyte and are to be joined by an additional 1,000 US Marines in the next two days.

Joint Task Force 505, under the command of Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John E. Wissler, has set up headquarters for the US forces in Camp Aguinaldo, the military headquarters of the Philippine Army.

While this build-up is referred to as “providing assistance,” it is clear that the US military is just not “assisting” their Philippine counterparts, but commanding them. US forces are operating the air traffic control tower at the Tacloban airport, controlling which flights are allowed to land and take off there.

“We are controlling 250 ops (operations) per day,” U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Clinton Dykes told the US military publication Stars and Stripes on November 15. The number of operations has increased significantly since then.

The Philippine military is being deployed as armed crowd control in the city of Tacloban, implementing a de facto system of martial law, with an 8 pm–6 am curfew. The hundreds of armed military and police patrolling streets are further supplemented by the armed private guards who defend the homes and property of the wealthy.

The chapel and museum in Tacloban constructed by, and dedicated to, Imelda Marcos still stand. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, as tens of thousands desperately sought shelter, armed guards threatened to kill anyone who attempted to enter the locked museum, whose 21 rooms housed countless treasures including Ming dynasty vases and gifts from Mao Zedong.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) announced on Tuesday that 5 million workers, roughly a quarter of all those employed in the Philippines, have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The United Nations World Food Program stated that, as of November 19, around 600,000 residents of the Eastern Visayas region had not yet received aid packages.

Reports from volunteer workers surfaced in social media over the past two days, revealing that one of the reasons for the Philippine government’s delayed delivery of food supplies was that international aid packages containing bottled water, canned goods and powdered milk were being individually opened and repackaged with labels from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Other aid packages were labeled with the names of individual local politicians; many bags went out labeled as being from the Vice President Jejomar Binay.

The population in Tacloban is now being subjected to a “food for work” program. The distribution of food aid to the residents of Tacloban has been made contingent upon their completing a certain amount of unpaid work for the city.

What aid has been made available to the Eastern Visayas by the Philippine government is allocated on the basis of the National Disaster Relief Law. The portion of the emergency disaster relief budget allocated to any particular local government unit (LGU), such as a town or city, is based on a percentage of the LGU’s revenue.

Thus, a wealthy city will automatically have greater aid allocated to it, while a poorer town or city will receive a significantly smaller amount.

No money had been set aside to prepare for natural disasters. In 2011, President Aquino vetoed the allocation of any funds for so-called “pre-disaster preparations,” including the construction and stocking of evacuation centers. Aquino declared at the time that any allocated funds should be used for “actual calamities and not for the preparation of relocation sites/facilities, and training personnel engaged in direct disaster.”

With its massive deployment of armed force, Washington is seizing the opportunity afforded it by the catastrophe to stage an immense photo op. It is using the devastation in the central Philippines to demonstrate the capacity of its armed forces in the region and to open the door for its military build-up throughout the region directed against China.

The irrationality of capitalism is laid starkly bare by the fact that in order for aid to be delivered to a humanitarian crisis affecting millions of people, it is the military that is deployed, as rescue operations and infrastructure are absent. Despite the construction of huge numbers of cargo ships in the region, warships are the only vessels made available to deliver food aid, and amphibious assault vessels carry basic medical supplies.

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Abby Martin takes a look at a shocking statistic that puts opium production in Afghanistan at a record high, and puts into perspective the different corporate interests that could be keeping US forces in Afghanistan well beyond 2014.

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Perpetual occupation of Afghanistan: US to keep troops in place and funds flowing, perhaps indefinitely

–Billions of US tax dollars would be ‘managed by relevant Afghan institutions’ [Right, because they've managed it *so well* (most of it missing) all along!]

19 Nov 2013 While many Americans have been led to believe the war in Afghanistan will soon be over [Obusha lied], a draft of a key U.S.-Afghan security deal obtained by NBC News shows the United States is prepared to maintain military outposts in Afghanistan for many years to come, and pay to support hundreds of thousands of Afghan security forces [and the US mercenaries to train them]. The wide-ranging document ['Security and Defense Cooperation Agreement Between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan'], still unsigned by the United States and Afghanistan, has the potential to commit thousands of American troops to Afghanistan and spend billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. The document outlines what appears to be the start of a new, open-ended military commitment in Afghanistan in the name of training and continuing to fight foment al-Qaeda [al-CIAduh].

[USociopaths want to slash Social Security and food stamps, while citizens FOREVER fund the CIA’s poppy fields in Afghanistan? This will not fly.

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AFRICOM builds up military bases in Italy for small-scale “secret wars” in Africa

The U.S. deployment of 200 Marines to a naval base in Sicily for possible operations in Libya, a short hop across the Mediterranean, underlines how the Americans have been building a network of bases in Italy as launch pads for military interventions in Africa and the Mideast.

The signs are that 20 years after the American military’s first, and costly, encounter with Muslim militants in Mogadishu, Somalia, U.S. operations in Africa are growing as the Islamist threat expands.

 

Another key factor is U.S. President Barack Obama‘s switch in his counter-terror strategy from drone strikes against al-Qaida to pinpoint raids by small Special Forces teams, as seen in Somalia and Libya Oct. 5.

These were triggered by Islamist violence in both countries, including the Sept. 21 seizure of the Westgate shopping mall inl Nairobi, capital of Kenya, by fighters of Somalia’s al-Qaida affiliate, al-Shabaab, that left at least 67 people dead.

The U.S. SEAL Team 6 seaborne raid on the Somali coastal town of Barawe to capture al-Shabaab mastermind Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir,a Kenyan of Somalia origin, ran into heavier than expected resistance and had to be aborted.

But the U.S. Army’s Delta Force had more success in its raid on Tripoli when they grabbed longtime al-Qaida fugitive Nazih Abdul-Hamed al-Ruqai, aka Abu Anas al-Libi, indicted by a U.S. court in 2000 for the August 1988 bombings of U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, that killed 224 people.

These raids reflect a U.S. move away from the kind of risk-averse operations the Americans have been mounting with missile-firing drones to on-the-ground raids against high-value targets.

The abhorrence of risk stemmed largely from of the psychological fallout over the October 1993 operation in Mogadishu to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Farah Aidid that went badly wrong and led to the downing of two U.S. helicopters and the deaths of 18 Rangers and Special Forces troopers.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Africa in June-July was widely seen as evidence of the White House’s broader foreign policy objectives which have included an expansion of U.S. military operations across Africa.

Many of these involve small-scale “secret wars” against Islamists, mainly linked to al-Qaida and often carried out under the aegis of the U.S. Africa Command established in 2007.

“Both the number and complexity of U.S. military operations in Africa will continue to grow in the medium term,” observed Oxford Analytica.

“Given the relatively high impact contribution they make to Washington’s strategic goals, such military operations will also increasingly encroach on domains traditionally associated with development and diplomacy.

“However, they will also increasingly commit the United States to an ‘intervention-led’ foreign policy in Africa.”

Although Africom and the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command claim they have a small footprint in Africa, over the last year or so they’ve been increasingly active in building up a U.S. military presence — and especially reach — across the continent.

The United States has only one official base in Africa, the counter-terrorism facility at Camp Lemonnier, a former French Foreign Legion base in Djibouti, East Africa, where Special Forces, strike jets and armed unmanned aerial vehicles are based.

But small units are deployed across Africa. Meantime, the Americans have established a network of bases in Italy, involving a significant manpower shift southward from the old Cold War bastion of Germany.

The Marines moved to Italy from Spain this month are the vanguard of a larger force dubbed Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response.

It was established after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

According to U.S. security specialist David Vine, the Pentagon has spent around $2 billion — and that’s just construction costs — “shifting its European center of gravity south from Germany” and transforming Italy “into a launching pad for future wars in Africa, the Middle East and beyond.”

The U.S. Marines are being moved to the Naval Air Station at Sigonella on Sicily, which will eventually have a force of 1,000 Marines with its main focus Libya, 100 miles across the Med.

Vines estimates there are now 13,000 U.S. troops in Italy at Sigonella and some 50 other facilities like Vicenza, a former Italian air force base near Venice, with the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), a rapid response force.

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Pentagon to invest over $1 billion to upgrade US drone base in Djibouti

–At least five drones based at Camp Lemonnier have crashed since January 2011 24 Sep 2013 The U.S. military has been forced to relocate a large fleet of drones from a key counterterrorism base on the Horn of Africa after a string of crashes fanned local fears that the unmanned aircraft were at risk of colliding with passenger planes, according to documents and interviews. Air Force drones ceased flying this month from Camp Lemonnier, a U.S. installation in Djibouti, after local officials expressed alarm about several drone accidents and mishaps in recent years.That uncertainty raises fresh questions about the Pentagon’s plan to invest more than $1 billion to upgrade Camp Lemonnier into a major regional base, supporting operations throughout Africa, as well as in parts of the Arabian Peninsula and Indian Ocean. Those plans include a $228 million compound to house up to 700 personnel from the highly secretive Joint Special Operations Command.

[Debt ceiling debate, anyone?]

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A TEST VOTE….WTF IS A TEST VOTE FOR??/???

Senate delays test vote on Syria military intervention

09 Sep 2013 The Senate is delaying a test vote on authorizing U.S. military strikes against Syria. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says it wouldn’t be beneficial to hold the vote while international discussions continue regarding Syria’s [*alleged*] use of chemical weapons. Reid’s action Monday comes amid increased opposition in the Senate to a U.S. military intervention in Syria. The Nevada Democrat had planned a full Senate vote Wednesday.

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A U.S. Air Force Douglas A-1E Skyraider drops ...

A U.S. Air Force Douglas A-1E Skyraider drops a white phosphorus bomb on a Viet Cong postion in South Vietnam in 1966. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

US used white phosphorus in Iraq

16 Nov 2005 US troops used white phosphorus as a weapon in last year’s offensive in the Iraqi city of Falluja, the US has said. “It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants,” spokesman Lt Col Barry Venable told the BBC – though not against civilians [Yeah, right!], he said. The US had earlier said the substance – which can cause burning of the flesh – had been used only for illumination. BBC defence correspondent Paul Wood says having to retract its denial is a public relations disaster for the US.

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US denies illegal use of weapons in Iraq 18 Nov 2005 (The Sydney Morning Herald) The Pentagon has acknowledged using incendiary white phosphorus munitions in a 2004 counterinsurgency offensive in the Iraqi city of Falluja, but defended their use as legal. A Pentagon spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Barry Venable, said on Wednesday that the US military had not used the highly flammable weapons against civilians, contrary to an Italian state television report this month that said the weapons were used against men, women and children in Falluja who were burned to the bone. “We categorically deny that claim,” Colonel Venable said. “It’s part of our conventional weapons inventory and we use it like we use any other conventional weapon,” said another Pentagon spokesman, Bryan Whitman. Colonel Venable said white phosphorus was not outlawed or banned by any convention. However, a protocol to the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons forbids using incendiary weapons against civilians or against military targets amid concentrations of civilians. The US did not sign the protocol.

US defends use of white phosphorus weapons in Iraq 16 Nov 2005 (Reuters) The Pentagon on Wednesday acknowledged using incendiary white-phosphorus munitions in a 2004 ‘counterinsurgency’ offensive in the Iraqi city of Falluja, but defended their use as legal. Army Lt. Col. Barry Venable, a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. military had not used the highly flammable weapons against civilians, contrary to an Italian state television report this month which said the weapons were used against men, women and children in Falluja who were burned to the bone.

UK used white phosphorus in Iraq 16 Nov 2005 (BBC) UK troops have used white phosphorus in Iraq – but only to create smokescreens [?!?], Defence Secretary John Reid has said. MPs are worried by the admission by US forces that they used the controversial substance in the Iraqi city of Falluja – something they had previously denied.

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How Americans Are Propagandized About Afghanistan

‘On February 12 of this year, U.S. forces entered a village in the Paktia Province in Afghanistan and, after surrounding a home where a celebration of a new birth was taking place, shot dead two male civilians (government officials) who exited the house in order to inquire why they had been surrounded.

The Pentagon then issued a statement claiming that (a) the dead were all “insurgents” or terrorists, (b) the bodies of three women had been found bound and gagged inside the home (including two pregnant women, one a mother of 10 children and the other a mother of six children, and a teenage girl), and (c) suggested that the women had already been killed by the time the U.S. had arrived, likely the victim of “honor killings” by the Taliban militants killed in the attack.’

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The U.S. Military Has Awarded Contracts To Al-Qaeda In Afghanistan

I suppose it just wasn’t enough that our allies, “the rebels” in Syria, have significant Al-Qaeda elements to them. No, we are the USA! USA! Best country ever. Defender of human rights. City on a hill. We must do far more than that. So we did.

This story below from Bloomberg, highlights a 236-page report by the U.S. Army Suspension and Debarment Office, which shows that military contracts have been granted to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Yep, this is exactly what happens when an empire gets too big, too corrupt, and ends up in the hands of a bunch of sociopaths. From Bloomberg:

Supporters of the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan have been getting U.S. military contracts, and American officials are citing “due process rights” as a reason not to cancel the agreements, according to an independent agency monitoring spending.

“I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract,” Sopko said.

The 236-page report and Sopko’s summary provide one of the watchdog agency’s most critical appraisals of U.S. performance in helping to build a stable Afghanistan as the Pentagon prepares to withdraw combat troops by the end of next year.

The U.S. has 60,000 troops in Afghanistan, with plans to reduce the number to 34,000 by February. President Barack Obama hasn’t decided how many to keep in the country after 2014 to train Afghan forces and engage in anti-terrorist missions.

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Peace Pilgrims enter Shoalwater Bay Military Training Facility

23 Jul 2013 Two people entered the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area this morning to disrupt the Talisman Sabre training exercises. The two are Greg Rolles (31yrs), school teacher from Brisbane; and Graham Dunstan (71yrs), retired grey nomad. There are currently 28,000 Australian and US troops undertaking joint military training in Australia, with a focus on the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area. Last week two US aircraft dropped 4 bombs on the Great Barrier Reef when they were unable to land at their planed location.

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English: Location of Northern Territory on Aus...

English: Location of Northern Territory on Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

20,000 US troops descend on Australia for training

–Federal agencies such as the FBI will also have an expanded role as they train with their Australian counterparts.

17 Jul 2013 Talisman Saber 2013 — a joint U.S. and Australian military and humanitarian exercise — kicked off this week as approximately 20,000 U.S. troops descended on Australia’s east coast. The focus of this year’s exercise has shifted to amphibious operations as the training moved from the Northern Territory to Australia’s east coast and the Coral Sea. It also marks the first time the MV-22 Osprey hybrid aircraft will touch down on Australian soil.

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U.S. takes step toward possible military intervention in Syria

17 Apr 2013 The Pentagon is sending about 200 troops to Jordan, the vanguard of a potential U.S. military force of 20,000 or more that could be deployed if the Obama administration decides to intervene in Syria to secure chemical weapons arsenals or to prevent the 2-year-old civil war from spilling into neighboring nations. Troops from the 1st Armored Division will establish a small headquarters near Jordan’s border with Syria to help deliver humanitarian supplies for a growing flood of refugees and to plan for possible military operations, including a rapid buildup of American forces if the White House decides intervention is necessary, senior U.S. officials said.

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US troops (file photo)

US troops (file photo)
Over 3,000 US troops have secretly returned to Iraq via Kuwait for missions pertaining to the recent developments in Syria and northern Iraq, Press TV reports.

According to our correspondent, the US troops have secretly entered Iraq in multiple stages and are mostly stationed at Balad military garrison in Salahuddin province and al-Asad air base in al-Anbar province.

Reports say the troops include US Army officers and almost 17,000 more are set to secretly return to Iraq via the same route.

All US troops left Iraq by the end of 2011, after nine years of occupation, as required by a 2008 bilateral security agreement between the two countries. The troops left Iraq for the neighboring Kuwait.

Washington decided to pull out all its troops from Iraq after Baghdad refused to grant legal immunity to the remaining US soldiers.

Washington claims that the only US military presence left in Iraq now is 157 soldiers responsible for training at the US Embassy, as well as a small contingent of marines protecting the diplomatic mission.

US-led forces attacked Iraq in 2003 and toppled Saddam Hussein on the pretext of possessing weapons of mass destruction. But no WMD was ever discovered in Iraq. At the peak of the US-led military operation in Iraq, there were 170,000 US troops and more than 500 bases in Iraq.

More than one million Iraqis were killed as the result of the US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of the country, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.

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