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U.S. Foreign Policy And Wars

The Shoals of Ukraine

Where American Illusions and Great-Power Politics Collide

Terms and conditions: signing the Budapest Memorandum, December 1994 Marcy Nighswander / AP Images

At first, it might seem surprising that Ukraine, a country on the fringes of Europe, is suddenly at the turbulent center of American politics and foreign policy. With an impeachment inquiry in Washington adding further detail to the story of the Trump administration’s efforts to tie U.S. security assistance for the country to Ukrainian cooperation in investigating President Donald Trump’s Democratic opponents, Trump’s presidency itself hangs in the balance. And the repercussions go even further, raising questions about the legitimacy and sustainability of U.S. power itself.

In fact, that Ukraine is at the center of this storm should not be surprising at all. Over the past quarter century, nearly all major efforts at establishing a durable post–Cold War order on the Eurasian continent have foundered on the shoals of Ukraine. For it is in Ukraine that the disconnect between triumphalist end-of-history delusions and the ongoing realities of great-power competition can be seen in its starkest form.

To most American policymakers, Ukraine has represented a brave young country—one that, despite the burden of history, successfully launched itself on a path of democratic development as part of a new world order after the fall of the Berlin Wall. To the Kremlin, meanwhile, it has remained an indispensable part of a long-standing sphere of influence, one that operates largely according to old rules of power. The difference between these two views goes a long way toward explaining why post–Cold War hopes have given way to the strife and uncertainty of the world today.

U.S. and other Western policymakers have long skirted hard questions about both Ukraine’s place in the Eurasian order and its role in the fraught relationship between Washington and Moscow. Although the end of the Cold War may have marked the end of one geopolitical competition, it did not mark the end of geopolitics. Nor did the dissolution of the Soviet Union mean the disappearance of Russian anxieties, ambitions, and abilities. The Soviet Union may have ceased to exist on paper in December 1991, but its influence did not. Empires do not simply vanish. They die long and messy deaths, denying their decline when they can, conceding their dominions when they must, and launching irredentist actions wherever they sense an opening. And nowhere are the consequences of the still ongoing Soviet collapse clearer than in Ukraine—a country that has wrecked attempt after attempt at establishing a durable order on the Eurasian continent.

The story of Ukraine over the past quarter century is a story of magical thinking’s remarkable persistence and ultimate price—paid not just by Ukrainians but more and more by Americans, too.

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Trump Didn’t Shrink U.S. Military Commitments Abroad—He Expanded Them

The President’s False Promise of Retrenchment

U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to extract the United States from costly foreign conflicts, bring U.S. troops home, and shrug off burdensome overseas commitments. “Great nations do not fight endless wars,” Trump declared in his 2019 State of the Union address. “We’re bringing our troops back home,” he boasted during a cabinet meeting in October. “I got elected on bringing our soldiers back home.”

But after nearly three years in office, Trump’s promised retrenchment has yet to materialize. The president hasn’t meaningfully altered the U.S. global military footprint he inherited from President Barack Obama. Nor has he shifted the costly burden of defending U.S. allies. To the contrary, he loaded even greater military responsibilities on the United States while either ramping up or maintaining U.S. involvement in the conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere. On practically every other issue, Trump departed radically from the path of his predecessor. But when it came to troop deployments and other overseas defense commitments, he largely preserved the chessboard he inherited—promises to the contrary be damned.

BY THE NUMBERS

The clearest measure of Trump’s retrenchment efforts, or lack thereof, is foreign troop deployments. In the final months of Obama’s presidency, approximately 198,000 active duty U.S. military personnel were deployed overseas, according to the Pentagon’s Defense Manpower Data Center. By comparison, the most recent figure for the Trump administration is 174,000 active duty troops. But even that difference reflects an accounting trick. Beginning in December 2017, the Defense Department started excluding troops deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria from its official reports, citing a vague need to “protect our forces.” When the estimated troop levels for those three countries are added back in, the current total is around 194,000—roughly equivalent to the number Trump inherited.

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NYT: U.S. Drone Killed Afghan Civilians, Officials Say

The strike on a car killed all five onboard, including a woman who had given birth hours before, relatives and officials said.

KHOST, Afghanistan — An American drone strike on a car carrying a woman who had just given birth in southeastern Afghanistan left five people dead, including the mother, three of her relatives and the driver, Afghan officials and family members said on Sunday.

The strike in the Alisher District of Khost Province occurred either late Friday night or early Saturday, they said. The woman, Malana, 25, had given birth to a son, her second child, at home. But her health had deteriorated soon after and relatives had been taking her to a clinic. On their way home, their vehicle was hit.

After the strike, there was confusion about whether the newborn was among the victims. Later, it became clear that the baby had not been in the car. Turab Khan, a relative, said the boy was safe at home.

The United States military command in Afghanistan confirmed a strike in Khost, saying that three Taliban fighters had been killed. But the military said the strike occurred on Thursday, Nov. 28.

“We are aware of the allegations of civilian casualties and working with local authorities to determine the veracity of these claims,” Col. Sonny Leggett, a military spokesman, said.

Gulmir Jan, a local tribal leader, said that hours after Malana had given birth, her health took a turn for the worse and her in-laws rushed her to the clinic. (Like most Afghans, the woman used one name.) A sister-in-law was among those in the car with her

“Their vehicle was completely destroyed,” Mr. Jan said.

Claims of civilian casualties by American or Afghan strikes often come from parts of the country that are hard to gain access to, and accounts are difficult to verify. In September, officials and residents in southern Helmand Province said airstrikes had targeted a wedding convoy, killing 40 people. But military officials disputed that account and days later released information that said a senior leader of Al Qaeda had been killed in the strikes.

Civilian casualties reached a record in the third quarter of 2019, according to the United Nations, with 1,174 civilians killed and 3,139 others wounded. In its latest report, the United Nations said most of the casualties had been caused by the Taliban and other militants, but earlier in the year, it blamed Afghan and coalition forces for far more casualties than the Taliban.

President Trump, during an unannounced visit with American troops in Afghanistan last week, said that he had reopened peace negotiations with the Taliban, though the declaration appeared to have caught the militants by surprise.

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Wounded American Soldier

Recent U.S. Casualties

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Both soldiers died Nov. 20, 2019, in Logar Province, Afghanistan, when their helicopter crashed while providing security for troops on the ground. The incident is under investigation.

The deceased are:
Chief Warrant Officer 2 David C. Knadle, 33, from Tarrant, Texas.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr., 25, from Keaau, Hawaii.

Both soldiers were assigned to 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

The Department of Defense announced the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Sgt. Nathaneil G. Irish, 23, of Billings, Montana, died Oct. 27, 2019, of a non-combat related incident at Camp Taji, Iraq. The incident is under investigation.

Irish was assigned to 25th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

NYT: Opinion Undoing Trump’s Syria Blunder

By

Mr. Wolfowitz served in senior posts in the Department of Defense in the administrations of George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

America’s mission to protect the Kurds after the Gulf War is a model for low-cost, low-risk intervention.

According to a report released on Tuesday by the Department of Defense inspector general, President Trump’s withdrawal from Syria has allowed ISIS to “reconstitute capabilities and resources within Syria and strengthen its ability to plan attacks abroad.”

By abandoning Kurdish and Arab fighters in Syria who led the fight to eject ISIS from the “capital” of its so-called caliphate, Mr. Trump appears to be following President Barack Obama’s pivot away from the greater Middle East, responding, as his predecessor did, to a desire among the American people to disengage from that region, with its “endless wars.”

But to paraphrase Trotsky’s aphorism about war, “You may not be interested in the Middle East, but the Middle East is interested in you.” Walking away from that region has a way of sucking America back in. American strategy needs to protect our critical interests but at sustainable costs. By opening the door for Turkey to capture northern Syria, Mr. Trump committed what retired Gen. Jack Keane called both a “betrayal” and a “strategic blunder.”

Americans want no part in long wars, like those of the past two decades in both Iraq and Afghanistan. But the way to limit American involvement in this still?critical region is not to walk away and leave behind vacuums, but to empower allies who are prepared to fight for interests that we share……………….The goal of a revised operation should be made clear: It is not to seize Syria’s oil, as Mr. Trump has suggested, but rather to keep that strategic asset out of the hands of our enemies.

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NYT: Afghan War Casualty Report: November 2019

Reporting was contributed by the following New York Times reporters: Asadullah Timory from Herat, Zabihullah Ghazi from Jalalabad, Farooq Jan Mangal from Khost, Taimoor Shah from Kandahar and Najim Rahim from Mazar-e-Sharif.

 

The following report compiles all significant security incidents confirmed by New York Times reporters throughout Afghanistan from the past seven days. It is necessarily incomplete as many local officials refuse to confirm casualty information. The report includes government claims of insurgent casualty figures, but in most cases these cannot be independently verified by The Times. Similarly, the reports do not include Taliban claims for their attacks on the government unless they can be verified. Both sides routinely inflate casualty totals for their opponents.

Afghan War Casualty Report: December 2019

Dec. 5 Kandahar Province: one police officer killed

Unknown gunmen on a motorcycle shot and killed a police officer in the 12th Police District of Kandahar City, the provincial capital, before escaping from the area.

Dec. 4 Nangarhar Province: six civilians killed

Dr. Tetsu Nakamura, the director of Peace Japan Medical Services, a Japanese funded NGO, was attacked by gunmen while driving to work in Jalalabad, the provincial capital. Five members of his organization’s staff were killed, and Dr. Nakamura later died of his wounds.

Dec. 4 Helmand Province: three civilians killed

A civilian vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb in the Kharaba area of Nawa District, killing three civilians, all members of the same family, including a woman and child.

Dec. 4 Ghor Province: three civilians killed

Three civilians, all members of the Hazara ethnic group, were killed in the village of Qala-e-Sar-e-Sang in Firozkoh, the provincial capital, while traveling from Ghor Province to Herat. Their vehicle was stopped by the Taliban and they were shot and killed immediately.

Dec. 4 Helmand Province: one police officer and one civilian killed

Both the deputy head of the provincial police recruitment center and his son were shot and killed by unknown gunmen in the Second Police District of Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital. The attackers managed to escape.

Dec. 4 Baghlan Province: seven security forces killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in the Bagh-e-Shamal area of Pul-i-Kumri City, the provincial capital, killing four members of the territorial army and three local police officers. Eight members of the security forces were also wounded. The insurgents blocked the highway to prevent the arrival of reinforcements and seized two Humvees.

Dec. 4 Takhar Province: one police officer killed

Afghan security forces carried out a joint operation of the army, police, and National Directorate of Safety in the Ambar Koh area of Barak District, where they were confronted by the Taliban, who killed one police officer over two hours of fighting.

Dec. 4 Kandahar Province: one police officer killed

One police officer was killed in a roadside bomb explosion in the Sixth Police District of Kandahar City, the provincial capital.

Dec. 4 Kunduz Province: four security forces and one civilian killed

A Taliban Red Unit attacked Dasht-e-Archi District center, killing three local police officers, one soldier, and one civilian. Eight members of the security forces were also wounded, and the Taliban briefly took control of two security outposts before they were recaptured.

Dec. 3 Badghis Province: one police officer killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in the village of Laman in Qala-e-Naw City, the provincial capital, killing one local police officer and wounding four others. After air support was called, four Taliban fighters were killed in strikes by the Afghan Air Force.

Dec. 2 Herat Province: one soldier killed

One border soldier was shot and killed by gunmen on a motorcycle in the Islam Qala border town in Kohsan District. The attacker managed to escape from the area.

Dec. 2 Sar-i-Pul: two civilians killed

A group of Taliban fighters attacked the house of the governor of Sayyad District, where fighting continued for several hours. The governor’s brother and son were killed and two police officers were wounded. While the governor survived, his house and car were both burned down by insurgents.

Dec. 2 Takhar Province: three soldiers killed

The Taliban attacked a security outpost in Khawja Bahahuddin District, killing three soldiers and wounding four others.

Dec. 2 Kabul Province: three security forces killed

While heading to work in the morning, three members of the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, were killed and two others were wounded in an attack in the Ninth Police District of Kabul.

Dec. 1 Sar-i-Pul Province: one police officer killed

A local police officer who was on duty in the tower of an outpost was shot and killed by a Taliban sniper in the center of Sayyad District.

Dec. 1 Faryab Province: one soldier killed

The Taliban attacked the center of Shirin Tagab District, killing one soldier and wounding a soldier and a pro-government militia member.

Dec. 1 Sar-i-Pul Province: two civilians killed

The Taliban built a new market in the Awraq area of Kohistan District, requesting that people in the district move its current bazaar there. When locals rejected the demand and protested the insurgents, the Taliban opened fire, killing two and wounding five others.

Dec. 1 Takhar Province: two security forces killed

The Taliban attacked the National Directorate of Security department in Bahrak District, killing the deputy district chief and one pro-government militia member.

Dec. 1 Jowzjan province: four security forces killed

The Taliban attacked Murdian District center, killing four members of the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, and wounding three others.

Dec. 1 Kunduz Province: 11 soldiers killed

The Taliban attacked security outposts on the highway connecting Kunduz to Takhar Province, killing 11 soldiers and taking five others prisoner over several hours of fighting during which insurgents captured a security outpost in the Malarghi village of Kunduz City, the provincial capital.

What exactly did the United States get for the Turkish leader’s White House visit?

By

The editorial board is a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values. It is separate from the newsroom.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey with President Trump at the White House on Wednesday.

Credit…T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

There is every reason President Trump should not have hosted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey at the White House, including Turkey’s attack on America’s Kurdish allies in Syria, its purchase of antimissile systems from Russia and the brutal continuing crackdown on Turkish journalists and opposition figures. That was obvious to legislators from both parties who wrote Mr. Trump, urging him to disinvite Mr. Erdogan, and it was no doubt obvious to most members of Mr. Trump’s administration, who are now scrambling to justify the visit as bridge-building to a critical ally.

But in Mr. Trump’s world — the world we are increasingly living in — Mr. Erdogan is “a tough guy who deserves respect.” In fact, the tougher the guy, the more respect Mr. Trump seems prepared to show, whether it’s a secretive tête-à-tête with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, in Finland, meetings with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un or protestations of admiration for Xi Jinping of China and Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.

There are probably many ways to explain this weakness for ruthless authoritarians, including the affinity of a real-estate wheeler-dealer for men who have the power to deliver what they want — something American democratic institutions have often blocked Mr. Trump from getting. In any case, the real question is not what drives Mr. Trump, but whether his dealings with the tough guys benefit the United States in the way that Cold War relations with the Soviet Union or China were believed to lower tensions or improve lives in police states.

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NYT Opinion ‘Democracy Doesn’t Come in a Box’

By Lyle Jeremy Rubin, Donald White, Arti Walker-Peddakotla, Danny Sjursen and

The above are American military veterans.

The McGlynn: We stay in Syria to protect the oil fields. The United States left a power vacuum in Afghanistan when we helped the Mujahideen defeat the Soviets and are now reaping what was sown in that vacuum. Is it better that US forces are used as a peace keeping force to try to maintain stability in a region or that they are used as mercenaries to protect the economic interests of American corporations and Saudi Oil interests?

Five American military veterans on why they see the war in Afghanistan as an unwinnable conflict.This Veterans Day, about 200,000 American troops are being deployed abroad. In the Video Op-Ed above, the Eurasia Group Foundation, which seeks to make public debates about United States foreign policy more inclusive, interviewed five veterans from diverse backgrounds who oppose continuing the war. These veterans, who served in Afghanistan or were part of the support apparatus for the Afghan war, say the United States should withdraw all troops from Afghanistan.

Their harrowing stories from the battlefield shed light on what they see as an unwinnable conflict in a foreign land. There is, these veterans say, no point in continuing an 18-year war whose outcome will be the same no matter how many more American troops are killed.

In February, The New York Times editorial board called for an end to the Afghan war, a marked shift from its yearslong policy of support. This summer, a Pew survey found that the majority of Americans — and the majority of veterans — think the war “has not been worth fighting.” The trend in public opinion seems increasingly clear. But American leaders remain reluctant to make major changes.

Lyle Jeremy Rubin served in the Marine Corps from 2006 to 2011. Donald White served in the Marines from 2005 to 2014 and had three tours in Afghanistan. Arti Walker-Peddakotla served in the Army from 2000 to 2006. Danny Sjursen served in the Army from 2001 to 2019, including combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Daniel L. Davis served in the Army for 21 years, including four combat tours, and was awarded a Bronze Star for valor in the first Gulf War and another for service in Afghanistan.

Mark Hannah (@ProfessorHannah) is a senior fellow at the Eurasia Group Foundation (@EGFound), where he explores the possibilities of a less militarized American foreign policy. Eric Felipe-Barkin, an independent film director and producer, is the founder and creative director of Filmerico.

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VICE: White House acknowledges the U.S. is at war in seven countries

by Alexa Liautaud

“It is important to remember that terrorism is a tactic, and we’ve been devising a strategy to counteract a tactic, while failing to address many of the reasons why the tactic is used in the first place.”

The U.S. is officially fighting wars in seven countries, including Libya and Niger, according to an unclassified White House report sent to Congress this week and obtained by the New York Times.

Known officially as the “Report on the Legal and Policy Frameworks Guiding the United States’ Military Force and Related National Security Operations,” the document is part of a new requirement outlined in the 2018 defense spending bill. The White House is already required to update Congress every six months on where the U.S. is using military force.

READ: More bombs, more boots, more casualties: Trump’s first year a commander-in-chief

The new report comes at a time when the Pentagon has expanded its war authority in several active conflicts while adopting an increasingly secretive approach, and is likely to raise new and old concerns around the constitutionality of executive war-making privileges put in place after September 11, 2001.

Here’s what you need to know.

Where is the U.S. at war?

Though President Donald Trump campaigned on a more isolationist foreign policy platform, he’s largely expanded or reinvigorated his predecessor’s conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Niger. The report gives the clearest indication to date of America’s most pressing military conflicts under Trump, largely detailing an uptick in direct and indirect combat, as well as “advise and assist” operations across all regions.

In Afghanistan, the U.S. continues its 16-year-long battle against the Taliban, the Haqqani network, Al Qaeda, and the Islamic State. Trump announced a new strategy last summer that centered on boosting the troop count and greatly increasing airstrikes. In Iraq and Syria, the U.S. saw major gains against the Islamic State, clearing 98 percent of territory once held by the terrorist organization, though not without heavy civilian casualties in cities like Mosul and Raqqa.

In Somalia, the U.S. more than doubled its use of airstrikes against Al-Qaeda offshoot Al Shabaab in 2017, and more recently has targeted Islamic State, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

The report acknowledges the U.S. has conducted airstrikes against the Islamic State in Libya, but makes no mention of the small number of U.S. troops known to be operating in the country.

In Niger, the report says U.S. troops were deployed to assist Nigerian troops and ended up in two firefights with “elements assessed to be part of ISIS.” As the New York Times points out, the report also acknowledges for the first time a second firefight in Niger, beyond the Oct. 4 ambush that left four U.S. soldiers dead.

Under what authority?

The details revealed in this new report are likely to reinvigorate long-held concerns about the perceived overuse of AUMF, the sweeping post 9/11 legislation U.S. presidents have used to expanded existing wars or enter new conflicts without Congressional approval.

Rep. Barbara Lee of California and Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan have spearheaded legislation to repeal the AUMF, which they say is a “blank check for war – plain and simple,” but it so far it hasn’t been successful.

Colin Clarke, an expert on counterterrorism and insurgency at RAND, said the overuse of the AUMF is a byproduct of the expanding war on terror, which after 16 years still hasn’t addressed the underlying, ideological causes of terrorism.

“It is important to remember that terrorism is a tactic, and we’ve been devising a strategy to counteract a tactic, while failing to address many of the reasons why the tactic is used in the first place,” said Colin Clarke, an expert on counterterrorism and insurgency at RAND. “The U.S., and the West more broadly, has truly floundered when it comes to combating the narrative and countering the ideological space that allows terrorist groups to survive and in some cases, thrive.”

Cover image: A soldier from Niger escorts U.S. soldiers back to their base following an anti-Boko Haram summit in Diffa city, Niger September 3, 2015. Picture taken September 3, 2015. To match Exclusive USA-NIGER/BOKO HARAM REUTERS/Warren Strobel

NYT: U.S. and Afghan Forces Killed More Civilians Than Taliban Did, Report Finds

Mourning civilians killed in a raid last year by a C.I.A.-sponsored strike force in Khogyani, Afghanistan.

CreditCreditJim Huylebroek for The New York Times

By

KABUL, Afghanistan — For the first time since the United Nations began documenting civilian casualties in Afghanistan a decade ago, more civilians are being killed by Afghan government and American forces than by the Taliban and other insurgents, according to a report on Wednesday.

Civilian deaths attributed to pro-government forces rose in the first quarter of this year even as overall civilian casualties dropped to their lowest level in that period since 2013.

The United Nations said in its quarterly report that pro-government forces were responsible for 53 percent of civilian deaths. But insurgents were responsible for the majority — 54 percent — of all civilian casualties, which include deaths and injuries, even though the number of suicide bombings decreased compared with the same period in 2018, the report said.

During the first three months of this year, military operations escalated as both sides sought leverage in peace talks between the United States and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar. At the same time, there has been a relative lull in insurgent suicide attacks that indiscriminately kill civilians, especially in Kabul, the capital. The city has been a repeated target during the conflict, which is in its 18th year.

“It is unclear whether the decrease in civilian casualties was influenced by any measures taken by parties to the conflict to better protect civilians, or by the ongoing talks between parties to the conflict,” the United Nations report said.

The agency reported 581 civilians killed and 1,192 wounded during the first quarter, a 23 percent decrease in overall casualties compared with the same period in 2018.

Other quarterly numbers may reflect an increasing reliance on airstrikes in a war in which Afghan security forces tend to hunker down in fortified bases rather than mount aggressive assaults against Taliban fighters. When attacked, Afghan forces often call for airstrikes by the American-trained Afghan Air Force to dislodge the enemy.

Aerial operations were the third-highest cause of civilian casualties, killing 145 civilians and wounding 83 during the quarter — a 41 percent increase for those type of casualties compared with the same quarter in 2018. The report attributed almost all of those casualties to American airstrikes.

“A shocking number of civilians continue to be killed and maimed each day,” Tadamichi Yamamoto, the United Nations secretary general’s special representative for Afghanistan, said in a statement. “All parties must do more to safeguard civilians.”

The latest figures provided by the United States military show that American warplanes dropped 790 bombs and other munitions in Afghanistan in January and February. That was a slight decrease from the 847 that were dropped during the same two months in 2018.

Col. Dave Butler, a spokesman for the United States military in Afghanistan, said that the American forces “hold ourselves to the highest standards of accuracy and accountability” and “strive for precision in all of our operations.”

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Leading To War – The Complete Film

Damn The War Criminals,

Bush,Cheney,Rice,Rumsfeld,Wolfowitz, Powell and Blair from England

These are the five lies Bush told that Ralph Nader documented to impeach him.

  • Weapons of Mass Destruction. The weapons have still not been found. Nader emphasized, “Until the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was our government’s anti-communist ally in the Middle East. We also used him to keep Iran at bay. In so doing, in the 1980s under Reagan and the first Bush, corporations were licensed by the Department of Commerce to export the materials for chemical and biological weapons that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney later accused him of having.” Those weapons were destroyed after the Gulf War. George W. Bush’s favorite chief weapons inspector, David Kay, after returning from Iraq and leading a large team of inspectors and spending nearly half a billion dollars told the president We were wrong. See: David Kay testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, 2004-01-28.Tyler Drumheller, the former chief of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) ’s Europe division, revealed that in the fall of 2002, George W. Bush, Vice President Cheney, then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and others were told by CIA Director George Tenet that Iraq’s foreign minister — who agreed to act as a spy for the United States — had reported that Iraq had no active weapons of mass destruction program.

  • Iraq Ties to Al Qaeda. The White House made this claim even though the CIA and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) repeatedly told the Administration that there was no tie between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. They were mortal enemies — one secular, the other fundamentalist.

  • Saddam Hussein was a Threat to the United States. In fact, Saddam was a tottering dictator, with an antiquated, fractured army of low morale and with Kurdish enemies in Northern Iraq and Shiite adversaries in the South of Iraq. He did not even control the air space over most of Iraq.

  • Saddam Hussein was a Threat to his Neighbors. In fact, Iraq was surrounded by countries with far superior military forces. Turkey, Iran and Israel were all capable of obliterating any aggressive move by the Iraqi dictator.

  • The Liberation of the Iraqi People. There are brutal dictators throughout the world, many supported over the years by Washington, whose people need liberation from their leaders. This is not a persuasive argument since for Iraq, it’s about oil. In fact, the occupation of Iraq by the United States is a magnet for increasing violence, anarchy and insurrection

 

Recent Casualties:

Color Denotes Today’s Confirmation

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Both soldiers died Nov. 20, 2019, in Logar Province, Afghanistan, when their helicopter crashed while providing security for troops on the ground. The incident is under investigation.

The deceased are:
Chief Warrant Officer 2 David C. Knadle, 33, from Tarrant, Texas.
Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr., 25, from Keaau, Hawaii.

Both soldiers were assigned to 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.

The Department of Defense announced the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.

Sgt. Nathaneil G. Irish, 23, of Billings, Montana, died Oct. 27, 2019, of a non-combat related incident at Camp Taji, Iraq. The incident is under investigation.

Irish was assigned to 25th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

None

War Casualties By Name

Save The Children Organization

Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organisation for children and has been working with families, communities and local authorities in Iraq since 1991, leading NGOs in general relief and development programs.Save the Children is currently responding to the needs of internally displaced persons (IDP) and the Syrian refugees in Iraq, in camps and non-camp settings. Our goal is for children in Iraq to be supported in raising their voices and attaining their rights, especially the right to participate in decisions affecting their lives. They should have access to quality education, health and protection services. We are increasing access to community based services that protect, educate and improve quality of life for children. We are ensuring that there is an increased participation of boys and girls in age appropriate activities and services. We are ensuring that children benefit from government actions that create an environment of awareness and accountability to uphold child rights. We are also developing new resources and innovative practices that support our work for children and youth.In Iraq, Save the Children’s interventions include Child Protection, Education, Food Security and Livelihoods, Shelter and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), reaching vulnerble children and families in northern and central Iraq. Save the Children’s programs are implemented through field offices in Erbil, Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk and Kalar, with a country office located in Erbil.

Visit Save The Children Organization>>

Let Us Never Forget

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