Home » Posts tagged 'us military'

Tag Archives: us military

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

“If The US Does That, It’ll Lose Iraq Forever” – Trump Threatened To Cut Off Baghdad’s Access To Its NY Fed Cash

“If The US Does That, It’ll Lose Iraq Forever” – Trump Threatened To Cut Off Baghdad’s Access To Its NY Fed Cash

After rejecting Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s request to begin talks on the withdrawal of American troops, there are now more signs of the eroding ties between the two countries.

The Wall Street Journal reports that according to Iraqi officials (yes, Iraq has anonymous sources too), the Trump administration warned Iraq this week that it risks losing access to a critical government bank account if Baghdad kicks out American forces.

We are sure, to Schiff et al., that sounds a lot like ‘quid pro quo’, but how will they balance the need to hammer the president with their neocon/establishment desire to keep boots on the ground, whatever it takes?

The warning regarding the Iraqi central bank account was conveyed to Iraq’s prime minister in a call on Wednesday, according to an official in his office, that also touched on the overall military, political and financial partnership between the two countries.

When Iraq needs hard currency, its central bank can request a shipment of bills that it then distributes into the financial system through banks and currency exchange houses. While the country’s official currency is the dinar, U.S. dollars are commonly used.

“The U.S. Fed basically has a stranglehold on the entire [Iraqi] economy,” said Shwan Taha, chairman of Iraqi investment bank Rabee Securities.

The potential economic and financial fallout is weighing on Iraqi officials

“Whenever you have any amicable divorce, you still have the worry about the children, pets, furniture and plants, some of which are sentimental,” said a senior Iraqi politician.

The New York Fed, which can freeze accounts under U.S. sanctions law or if it has reasonable suspicion the funds could violate U.S. law, said it doesn’t comment on specific account holders, but as WSJ notes, this financial threat isn’t theoretical:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Futures Tumble After Iran Fires “More Than A Dozen” Ballistic Missiles At Two US Targets In Iraq

Futures Tumble After Iran Fires “More Than A Dozen” Ballistic Missiles At Two US Targets In Iraq

Update 8: The Pentagon has released a full statement on the attacks, claiming that more than a dozen missiles were fired from within Iran, and that at least two Iraqi military bases hosting US troops were targeted.

Statement from Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Jonathan Hoffman

At approximately 5:30 p.m. (EST) on January 7, Iran launched more than a dozen ballistic missiles against U.S. military and coalition forces in Iraq. It is clear that these missiles were launched from Iran and targeted at least two Iraqi military bases hosting U.S. military and coalition personnel at Al-Assad and Irbil.

We are working on initial battle damage assessments.

In recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the Department of Defense has taken all appropriate measures to safeguard our personnel and partners. These bases have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces and interests in the region.

As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect and defend U.S. personnel, partners, and allies in the region.

Due to the dynamic nature of the situation, we will continue to provide updates as they become available.

US F-35s have been scrambled from bases in Turkey and the UAE.

Meanwhile, Iran claims that a “second wave” of attacks targeting an unidentified US base in Iraq is beginning, according to semi-official news agency Tasnim. The IRGC is also threatening to attack any other countries that host US troops.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“We’re Going To War, Bro”: Elite 82nd Airborne In Largest ‘Fast Deployment’ In A Decade

“We’re Going To War, Bro”: Elite 82nd Airborne In Largest ‘Fast Deployment’ In A Decade

“We’re going to war, bro” — declared a young US soldier from the US Army’s celebrated 82nd Airborne Division. He gave reporters a confident two thumbs up as his unit moved out on its largest “fast deployment” in a decade at a moment Iran has promised to inflict a “historic nightmare” on the US in retaliation for the killing of Qasem Soleimani. 

Reuters provided a detailed account of the uneasy yet somewhat jovial calm before the storm atmosphere that prevailed on the airport tarmac at Fort Bragg, North Carolina as 600 soldiers and many hundreds more support crew flew out.

While Kuwait is expected to be the first stop for most of the some 3,500 total paratroopers ordered to the region, the final destination is classified, and the Army is concerned over information leaks. For this reason the US Army confiscated the cell phones and any personal communication devices of those deploying on the transport planes. 

82nd Airborne rolled out Sunday, Jan.5. Image source: Spc. Hubert Delany III/U.S. Army via AP

The departing soldiers, with the older generation described by Reuters as more somber and aware of the reality of entering conflict, were keenly aware that war is potentially on the horizon:

The older soldiers, in their 30s and 40s, were visibly more somber, having the experience of seeing comrades come home from past deployments learning to walk on one leg or in flag-draped coffins.

“This is the mission, man,” said Brian Knight, retired Army veteran who has been on five combat deployments to the Middle East…

“They’re answering America’s 911 call,” Knight said. “They’re stoked to go. The president called for the 82nd.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

4,000 US Troop Surge To Middle East Could Be Imminent Amid Baghdad Chaos

4,000 US Troop Surge To Middle East Could Be Imminent Amid Baghdad Chaos

Three U.S. defense officials told Fox News on Tuesday that the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division’s alert brigade has been given orders to deploy to Kuwait amid the social unrest in Baghdad. 

Even though all supporters of Iran-backed militias have withdrawn from the heavily fortified U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday, the reinforcement of U.S. troops could be imminent. 

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in a statement on Tuesday that 750 troops are immediately deploying to the Middle East because of the attack on the U.S. embassy. 


The US says it’s sending 750 troops to Iraq after its embassy in Baghdad was stormed by protesters.

Read more: https://aje.io/lw9m2 


Esper said he had authorized the deployment of an infantry battalion from the Immediate Response Force (IRF) of the 82nd Airborne Division.

“This deployment is an appropriate and precautionary action taken in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities, such as we witnessed in Baghdad today,” Esper said in a statement.

Apart from the rapid deployment, the three sources told Fox that approximately 4,000 paratroopers could be deployed to the region in the coming days.

There are 5,000 US troops currently stationed in Iraq supporting local forces, among the more than 60,000 troops positioned in military bases across the Middle East.

President Trump blamed Iran for the attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad in a tweetstorm on Tuesday.

“Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will,” tweeted Trump. “Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Here are more than 300 bases with possible toxic ‘forever chemical’ contamination

Here are more than 300 bases with possible toxic ‘forever chemical’ contamination

Air Force fire protection specialists douse a simulated ship fire with foam during a training exercise at the Military Sealift Command Training Center East in Freehold, N.J., on Dec. 5, 2013. (Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht/Air National Guard)

Hundreds of military installations have either known or likely water contamination caused by runoff from firefighting foam used in response to vehicle and aircraft accidents, according to the Environmental Working Group.

Using Defense Department data, the organization built an interactive map of 305 sites, which are found in all 50 states. Each map dot opens up to information and links on perfluorooctane sulfonate or perfluorooctanoic acid, known as PFAS.

“Of these sites, 138 have not been previously identified on EWG’s map of known PFAS contamination at military bases, civilian airports and industrial sites,” according to a Tuesday new release. “In addition, 42 of these sites were not included on a list of 401 locations the Pentagon gave to Congress of active and former installations where PFAS contamination was known or suspected.”

An interactive Environmental Working Group map lays out PFAS contamination across 305 military sites. (EWG)

An interactive Environmental Working Group map lays out PFAS contamination across 305 military sites. (EWG)

The map went live the day after the House and Senate armed services committees finalized a compromise defense authorization bill for 2020, which includes provisions to approaching the PFAS issue going forward.

Expected to see a vote in the House on Wednesday, the law would prohibit the use of PFAS-laden firefighting foam after Oct. 1, 2024, and immediately ban any use of the foam outside of emergency situations.

While the bill dropped a provision that would have brought PFAS-contaminated bases under the federal Superfund law, providing funding and a requirement to clean them up, the NDAA pushes the Pentagon to work with state governments to start clean up using funds from the Defense Environmental Remediation Account.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump Follows Up On His Promise To Protect Syrian Oil

Trump Follows Up On His Promise To Protect Syrian Oil

Trump

The United States has moved more equipment from Iraq into Syria to boost the protection of the oil and gas fields in eastern Syria currently under the control of Kurdish militia, Turkish media reports.  

A logistics convoy of pick-up trucks, minibusses, ambulances, and 100 rigs filled with fuel oil crossed the Iraqi-Syrian border at Al Waleed on Saturday, according to footage obtained by Turkey’s Anadolu Agency.

This weekend’s maneuver was the second deployment of the U.S. Army in Syria’s oil provinces this month after the army moved heavy construction equipment and armored vehicles into Syria on December 4 and 5. 

The Kurdish SDF forces control most of Syria’s oil. Before the war, Syria was producing 387,000 barrels of oil per day, of which 140,000 bpd were exported.

In October, U.S. President Donald Trump claimed that the U.S. had taken control of the oil in the Middle East, tweeting that “The U.S. has secured the Oil, & the ISIS Fighters are double secured by Kurds & Turkey.”

The President did not elaborate on what he meant by “securing the oil,” but speculations about the President’s statement assume he was referring to the U.S. special forces that have been—and will continue to be—in control of oil and gas fields in Deir Ezzor. Related: Are Energy Stocks Hot Again?

President Trump has vowed to protect Syrian oil fields from ISIS, and the United States may leave 500 troops in northeastern Syria and send in battle tanks and other equipment with the purpose to help the Kurds in the area to protect oil fields that used to be controlled by Islamic State during its so-called caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Saudi Bases and the Bin Ladens: A Love Story

Saudi Bases and the Bin Ladens: A Love Story

What is Trump really up to? It’s almost unknowable. At the same time that the president was pulling (some) troops out of Northeast Syria, giving an antiwar speech, and then sending other troops back into Syria to “secure the oil,” he also quietly sent another 1800 service members into Saudi Arabia. What little Trump did say about it consisted of a peculiar defense of his actions. Faced with the obvious question from a reporter: “Mr. President, why are you sending more troops to Saudi Arabia when you just said it’s a mistake to be in the Middle East?” Trump argued that there was no contradiction in his policy because, well, the Saudis “buy hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of merchandise from us,” and have “agreed to pay us for everything we’re doing to help them.” It seems the U.S. military is going full mercenary in the Gulf.

While I’ve noted that Trump’s recent antiwar remarks were profound – though largely unfulfilled – these words will amount to nothing if followed by a military buildup in Saudi Arabia that leads to a new, far more bloody and destabilizing, war with Iran. Nothing would please the “three Bs” – Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, and former National Security Adviser John Bolton – more than a US military strike on the Islamic Republic, cost and consequences be damned.

It’s just that an Iran war isn’t the only risk associated with basing majority-Christian, foreign American troops in the land of Islam’s two holiest cities. And a brief historical review of US presence in Saudi Arabia demonstrates quite clearly the potential transnational terrorist “blowback” of Washington’s basing decisions. In fact, Trump’s latest deployment constitutes at least the third time the US military has been stationed on the Arabian peninsula.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

First Images Of US Troops Occupying Syria’s Oil Fields Stir Outrage

First Images Of US Troops Occupying Syria’s Oil Fields Stir Outrage

The reality of American foreign policy all in one stunning image: regional Iraqi Kurdistan24 television has broadcast the first footage of the United States Army seizing and ‘protecting’ a Syrian oil field in the country’s northeast

Specifically the images are of a US armed convoy at Rumelan oil field, and are the first to show Trump’s ordered “secure the oil” policy in action. A Salon op-ed aptly quips in reaction: It’s about the oil, stupid: Trump wants to end the forever wars, except the one about oil and money.”


US forces began patrols at oilfields on Mount Qarachokh near Derik in northeastern #Syria on Friday. #TwitterKurds


Middle East war correspondent Jenan Moussa, who has covered the Iraq war and other US occupations in the region, voiced the growing outrage over the US resource theft underway in Syria:

Since discovery of oil in the MidEast, many in the region said: the U.S. is only here to steal our oil. U.S. denied it, and claimed it’s about democracy, human rights, women etc.

Not sure if Americans realize but these pictures of U.S. troops in northeast Syria are HUGELY damaging to U.S. image.


Since discovery of oil in MidEast, many in region said: U.S. only here to steal our oil.

U.S. denied, claimed it’s about democracy, human rights, women etc.

Not sure if Americans realize but these pictures of U.S. troops in northeast Syria are HUGELY damaging to U.S. image.


One Syrian commentator said sarcastically on social media: 

The Few. The Proud. The Marines. stealing Syria’s oil. 

And further pointed out that, “Trump just showed you the naked truth about US foreign policy in the Middle East.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Assad Calls Trump “Best US President” Ever For “Transparency” Of Real US Motives

Assad Calls Trump “Best US President” Ever For “Transparency” Of Real US Motives

Arguably some of the most significant events since the eight-year long war’s start have played out in Syria with rapid pace over just the last month alone, including Turkey’s military incursion in the north, the US pullback from the border and into Syria’s oil fields, the Kurdish-led SDF’s deal making with Damascus, and the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. All of this is why a televised interview with President Bashar Assad was highly anticipated at the end of this week. 

Assad’s commentary on the latest White House policy to “secure the oil” in Syria, for which US troops have already been redeployed to some of the largest oil fields in the Deir Ezzor region, was the biggest pressing question. The Syrian president’s response was unexpected and is now driving headlines, given what he said directly about Trump, calling him the “best American president” ever – because he’s the “most transparent.”

“When it comes to Trump you may ask me a question and I’ll give you an answer which might seem strange. I tell you he’s the best American president,” Assad said, according to a translation provided by NBC.

“Why? Not because his policies are good, but because he is the most transparent president,” Assad continued.

“All American presidents commit crimes and end up taking the Nobel Prize and appear as a defender of human rights and the ‘unique’ and ‘brilliant’ American or Western principles. But all they are is a group of criminals who only represent the interests of the American lobbies of large corporations in weapons, oil and others,” he added.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

A far-right US soldier arrested by the FBI for plotting domestic bomb attacks sought to join Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which was directly armed and advised by the American government

azov ballation us
Bomb-plotting extremist American soldier tried to join US-backed neo-Nazi militia in Ukraine

A far-right US soldier arrested by the FBI for plotting domestic bomb attacks sought to join Ukraine’s neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which was directly armed and advised by the American government

A far-right soldier in the United States Army has been arrested by the FBI for plotting bomb attacks targeting American media outlets and Democratic politicians.

While serving in the US military, this right-wing extremist gave fascist militants in Ukraine and other countries information on how to build bombs, including what he called “cell phone IEDs in the style of the Afghans.”

The FBI said he had also planned to travel to Ukraine in order to join the Azov Battalion, a neo-Nazi militia that has for years been directly supported by the US government.

In its court filing, the FBI described the Azov Battalion as a “violent far-right paramilitary group.” Yet it failed to disclose that this fascist militia has been armed and advised by American military officials in order to turn up the heat on Russia.

Publicly available photos show US military advisers directly meeting with the Ukrainian neo-Nazi militia — but the complete lack of critical coverage from a compliant mainstream media has ensured that few Americans know about their government’s double game with fascists.

The shocking arrest of the US soldier is the latest example in a long list of cases of what intelligence agencies refer to as “blowback,” when US government support for extremist foreign proxies fuels violent terrorism back at home.

US Army soldier teaching far-right extremists how to make bombs

The FBI filed a criminal complaint in Kansas district court on Monday, September 23, revealing that it had arrested US Army infantry soldier Jarrett William Smith for the alleged crime of “Distributing Information Relating to Explosives, Destructive Devices, and Weapons of Mass Destruction.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

US Troops and Tanks Headed to Lithuania for ‘Extended Mission’

US Troops and Tanks Headed to Lithuania for ‘Extended Mission’

Officials say deployment meant to ‘deter Russia’

Lithuania’s Defense Ministry has announced a new deployment of US troops to their country. The deployment will include a number of US soldiers, tanks, and fighting vehicles, and will be an “extended mission.”

The deployment is being presented by Lithuanian officials as proof of a “larger, long-term US military involvement in Lithuania,” while others say it is meant to deter Russian aggression.

The deployment is part of the US Army’s Atlantic Resolve campaign, which has been ongoing since 2014, and has focused on sending more and more US military assets to Baltic states and other nations near the Russian frontier. 

The new US troops will be stationed in Pabrade, a town along the border with Belarus. They sayover 500 troops, 30 Abrams tanks, 25 Bradleys, and 70 other vehicles will be involved.

US Defends Your Freedom By Using Troops As Saudi Oil Security Guards

US Defends Your Freedom By Using Troops As Saudi Oil Security Guards

If you’ve been lying awake at night terrified that the Pentagon might not send additional troops and armaments to defend oil corporations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, I’ve got some great news for you.

In response to an attack on Saudi Aramco oil infrastructure for which Houthi rebels in Yemen have taken credit, the US government has responded in the only possible rational way: by blaming Iran and deploying troops to act as security guards for Middle Eastern oil companies.

“In response to the kingdom’s request, the president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces, which will be defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defense,” Defense Secretary Mark Esper informed the press yesterday. “We will also work to accelerate the delivery of military equipment to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE to enhance their ability to defend themselves.”

So you can breathe easy, my friend. Freedom and democracy are safe once more.


JUST IN: Pentagon to will deploy additional troops and military equipment to Saudi Arabia: “In response to the Kingdom’s request, the president has approved the deployment of U.S. forces, which will be defensive in nature and primarily focused on air and missile defense.”


A lot of delusional, unpatriotic democracy haters like to argue that the US military doesn’t actually defend the freedom of the American people, and that it isn’t really used to defend freedom at all, and that it isn’t even really used to defend any rules-based international order as sometimes claimed, and that even to use the word “defend” to describe anything the US military does is inaccurate since it is consistently on the attacking and aggressing side of any given conflict…

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“A 6th Grader Should Know America’s Foreign Policy Is Ridiculous”

“A 6th Grader Should Know America’s Foreign Policy Is Ridiculous”

Policies which can ensure peace or ignite wars are important. Given this, one might think more Americans would critically examine the basic assumptions which form the basis of our nation’s foreign policy. 

As best I can tell, only three such assumptions or premises exist:

  1. To defend America and its borders, our government must posses the world’s strongest military. It should also not be reticent about using – or threatening to use – said military.
  2. The freedoms Americans cherish are fragile, and bad actors are plotting to steal them from us.
  3. If reasons 1 and 2 are not persuasive enough, or do not apply to every geopolitical situation, America must still be willing to use its military to protect its “national interests.”

All three of these assumptions are ridiculous, a fact any bright 12-year-old should recognize.

Regarding Assumption 1 – Surely any American with a 6th grade education is aware of the fact that the world’s two largest oceans happen to  “guard” the east and west coasts of the American mainland. Furthermore, any 12-year-old should know that the probability America’s neighbors to the north and south would attack our country is zero.point.zero. What this means to you and me is that if America proper is going to be attacked (and subdued), it’s going to have to be attacked by a nation a vast distance from our borders.

By the time a conscientious student reaches 10th grade he or she should be able to identify the tiny number of nations that might possess the means to occupy or “take over” America. These nations can be counted on three fingers – Russia, China and (if we really want to stretch things) Germany.

However, plenty of high school students should be inquisitive enough to ask a common-sense question: Why would these nations attempt to do such a thing?

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Instigators of a Persian Gulf Crisis

Instigators of a Persian Gulf Crisis

Photograph Source: Mehrnews – CC BY 4.0

Recent weeks have seen tensions between the United States and Iran soar, initially after a May 2019 incident in which four commercial vessels were struck in the Gulf of Oman (two Saudi oil tankers, one Norwegian and an Emirati ship), ebb thereafter and escalate yet again when a similar attack took place a month later on the Japanese Kokuka Courageous and Norwegian Front Altair tankers, also in the Gulf of Oman. Tellingly, when it appeared the war rhetoric had subsided after the first incident it quickly ratcheted up, and by several degrees, after the second, as if the May episode had failed to achieve its goal. President Trump’s apparent last-minute change of heart in calling off planned airstrikes when Iran downed a U.S. military surveillance drone last Thursday highlights the war footing Washington is on.

Both tanker assaults were allegedly at the hands of Iran, that is, according to Saudi King Salman, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton, albeit by unclear means and for dubious reasons.

It did not take long for doubts to surface as to why Iran would attack a Japanese tanker in the midst of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Tehran in an attempt to mediate between it and Washington. The suspect authenticity of a grainy video released by U.S. Central Command purportedly showing an Iranian patrol boat removing an unexploded limpet mine from the tanker also raised skepticism (the crew indicated they were hit by a flying objectnot a mine).

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why Everyone in the U.S. Who Counts Wants Julian Assange Dead

Why Everyone in the U.S. Who Counts Wants Julian Assange Dead

Before and after images of the van that came to pick up the bodies of eleven men shot to death by circling American helicopters in Iraq in 2007. Both children in the van were wounded. “Well, it’s their fault for bringing their kids to a battle,” said one of the pilots. “That’s right,” replies another. From the video Collateral Murder.

Below is a full video version of Collateral Murder, the 2007 war footage that was leaked in 2010 to Wikileaks by Chelsea (then Bradley) Manning. This version was posted to the Wikileaks YouTube channel with subtitles. It will only take about 15 minutes of your life to view it.

It’s brutal to watch, but I challenge you to do it anyway. It shows not just murder, but a special kind of murder — murder from the safety of the air, murder by men with heavy machine guns slowly circling their targets in helicopters like hunters with shotguns who walk the edges of a trout pond, shooting at will, waiting, walking, then shooting again, till all the fish are dead. 

The film also shows war crimes that implicate the entire structure of the U.S. military, as everyone involved was acting under orders, seeking permission to fire, waiting, then getting it before once more blasting away. The publication of this video, plus all the Wikileaks publications that followed, comprise the whole reason everyone in the U.S. who matters, everyone with power, wants Julian Assange dead.

They also want him hated. Generating that hate is the process we’re watching today. 

“Everyone” in this case includes every major newspaper that published and received awards for publishing Wikileaks material; all major U.S. televised media outlets; and all “respectable” U.S. politicians — including, of course, Hillary Clinton, who was rumored (though unverifiably) to have said, “Can’t we just drone this guy?”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase