Tag: nato

Special Forces Operatives Photographed In Syria, Black War Darkens

More photos of clandestine American operators have surfaced from Syria’s war torn heart. The unidentified unit, sources report, were sighted outside ISIS-controlled Raqqa. These latest photographs come as offensives in both Iraq and Syria launch to reclaim militant towns.

Unlike photographs taken months ago, the journalists responsible have been identified. RT Arabic correspondent Muhammad Hassan’s team reported seeing “dozens” of Americans during their trip to Syria. “They have the latest weapons and vehicles.” he says, according to RT. Hassan also described how “they, as well as soldiers from European countries” are involved in “battles” for Raqqa. Other photos circulated by RT were taken by Reuters journalists.

EU Parliament Approves Resolution Equating Sputnik, RT to Daesh Propaganda

The European Parliament approved a draft resolution equating counteracting Sputnik news agency and RT TV channel with resistance to Daesh propaganda.

The EU Parliament adopted a draft resolution proposed by EU lawmaker from Poland Anna Elzbieta Fotyga on EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against the bloc by third parties, which says that Russia is allegedly engaged in propaganda against the European Union.

A total of 691 lawmakers participated in the vote: 304 voted in favor of the resolution, 179 against it and 208 abstained from voting.

Authors of the document equate counteracting Russia with the resistance to Daesh terrorist group and call on EU member states to boost financing counter-propaganda projects.

Russia to Cut Defense Budget by Almost 30 Percent

Many of the Western powers and a lot of mainstream and alternative media in the US have been talking quite a bit lately about the threat of an oncoming World War with Russia. In what is likely to come as a surprising revelation to them is Russia’s latest announcement that they’ll possibly be cutting large portions of their defense budget in the upcoming years.

Many of the western pro-Putin crowd may not have realized this but Russia has become heavily dependent on oil exports in the past few decades. Like the other nations who rely heavily on oil exports such as Venezuela or Saudi Arabia; Russia is feeling the same pinch of the sharp and sustained drop in oil prices. Along with the drop in oil prices, Russia – like Venezuela – is also under sanctions from the international community.

Afghanistan is a Living Testament to the US Political Madness

October 2001 made it into history as clear evidence of the reckless plans of Washington ‘strategists’ for gaining worldwide domination. It is the period when the aggressive invasion of US troops in Afghanistan under the false pretext of revenge for the sad events of 911 began. However, neither then, nor now was there any evidence that it was Afghanistan and the Taliban that were involved in the attack on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre. Besides, it is reliably known that most of the actual players (but not the masterminds) were Saudi nationals. However, Washington and Riyadh were friends back then, and instead of Saudi Arabia, it was Afghanistan (who was guilty of nothing) that was thrown under the steamroller of the most powerful army.

Afghan Government Using US Money To Pay Non-Existent Soldiers

Last week a letter to Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter written by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) was released claiming that the nations funding the Afghan security forces could be paying for a force double the size of what actually exists.

[Tweet “Corrupt Afghan Government Using US Money To Pay Non-Existent Soldiers”]

The US alone has spent $68 billion on Afghan security forces since 2002. The US and other partners in Afghanistan are also committed to spending $5 billion a year on security personnel until 2020.

Why Russia is NOT “Preparing for Nuclear War”

Over the past few weeks the alternative media has been on red alert accusing some of missing a major story concerning Russian preparations for “nuclear war.” Although this makes for a good headline; the usually anti-government media outlets are leaving out some critical analysis of how all governments operate.

While it is true that the Russian government did hold a “nuclear exercise” it is important to remember it was still orchestrated by a government.

It’s obvious that a lot of people who read alternative media have a soft spot for Vladimir Putin and sometimes he does things that seem to warrant feelings of trust. Whether you agree with Russia combatting American imperialism in Syria, Putin trashing western “GMO food” or the Russian state “banning the Rothschilds” it is important to remember that these moves by the Russian state are still propaganda pieces in the chess game of geopolitics.

The White Helmets: The Friendly Face of US-Sponsored War Propaganda

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States had to get a little more creative to help justify and garnish public support for its foreign interventions. Terrorism as a chronic threat helps to rally public approval for military defense spending, but expensive foreign wars are rarely popular among civilians. One theme we see pop-up anytime the United States attempts to justify a regime change is humanitarian concern: Iraq, Libya, and most recently Syria. Anti-Assad propaganda is especially useful for the United States for a few reasons. First it helps to convince the American public that Assad is a brutal dictator who must be overthrown; thus justifying intervention. Second, it helps minimize public back-lash over the United States’ own atrocities and war crimes. (“Who cares if the US has ulterior motives for overthrowing Assad; the guy needs to go either way, right?”) Lastly, since Russia is supporting the Syrian government against United States-sponsored rebels, the US gets to use any damage in rebel-held territory as anti-Russia and anti-Assad propaganda. Enter the Syrian Civil Defense aka the White Helmets.

Funded and Fueled by the US and UK

As of May 2016, the United States Agency for International Development has provided over $23 million to Syrian civil defense teams– just like the White Helmets. USAID defines these teams as “impartial emergency responders” who do not support either side in the war. However, at the same time the USAID report states that the teams have a second purpose to “amplify the efforts of moderate actors and strengthen public support for moderate values.” “Moderate actors” would be of course the US-sponsored “moderate rebel” fighters but also includes “national, provincial and local level” civilians that uphold pro-West, pro-intervention, anti-Assad opinions. Members of the White Helmets also travel for training to camps in Turkey– which just so happen to be a pro-intervention NATO ally.

NATO’s Expiration Date

Problems with Turkey, Eastern Europe, and Donald Trump could tear the rickety alliance apart at the seams.

If the number of eager applicants on a waiting list determines the strength of a club, then the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is in fine fettle.

At its most recent gathering in July, NATO welcomed its 29th member — Montenegro — which means that the alliance now outnumbers the European Union. Nearby Macedonia has been waiting for 17 years to be let in the door only to have Greece block entrance every time because of a longstanding dispute over Macedonia’s name. Bosnia also wants in but must first overcome its internal divisions. Georgia’s membership, too, has been on hold, for fear of inciting Russia’s wrath, though that hasn’t prevented the country from hosting U.S.-NATO military exercises.

The NATO Intervention in Libya, Act II

As recently acknowledged by The Washington Post, US Special Forces are directly involved in military operations in Libya, «coordinating American airstrikes and providing intelligence information» to local forces battling the Islamic State (IS) for Sirte, 450 kilometres to the east of Tripoli.

British special forces have also been active in Libya for several months, providing direct military support to brigades from Misurata (Libya’s third largest city situated in the northwest of the country), which are also attacking Sirte. Paradoxically, the British and Americans are supporting irreconcilable enemies in the Libyan conflict as allies.

Russia, NATO to Resume Cooperation on Afghanistan as IS and Taliban Call Truce

As the world public attention is riveted on breathtaking events in Syria, another terror threat emerges elsewhere. This is a matter of grave concern calling for immediate action.

After more than a year of fierce combat, the Islamic State and the Taliban, have forged a patchwork cease-fire across much of eastern Afghanistan that has helped both insurgencies regroup and counter efforts to dislodge them.

Islamic State commanders have tried to cultivate cordial ties with the Taliban. In Kunar, for example, Islamic State (IS) fighters have approached Taliban members for talks about their mutual ambition to establish an Islamic system of law.

Western Unity on Russia Remains Questionable at Best

The word «unity» appears early and often in all NATO documents. It is omnipresent in the Warsaw summit’s final communiqué.

Unity has become a buzzword but with all the chest-thumping, the Alliance is not unanimous on many issues, including Russia.

Germany, France and Italy are showing signs of wavering from the hard-line «unity» stance on Russia. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy has recently taken part in the St. Petersburg Forum. President François Hollande of France has talked about the need to engage Russia. The German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has criticized a major military exercise in Poland last month for provoking the Russians. He slammed the Alliance for «saber-rattling and warmongering». «Whoever believes that a symbolic tank parade on the alliance’s eastern border will bring security is mistaken», Steinmeier said in defiance of multiple war games in the region.

Freedom for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi! Freedom for Libya!

The news that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the assassinated leader of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Muammar Gaddafi, has been released from captivity is one of the most significant developments in Libya in some time. For while the Western corporate media would like people to believe that the Gaddafi name is dead and buried, the fact remains that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, and the surviving members of the Gaddafi family, are seen as heroes by many in Libya. Moreover, Saif’s release has the potential to transform the political situation in the country.

Although details are few and far between, what we do know is that according to his lawyer at the International Criminal Court (ICC), Saif Gaddafi “was given his liberty on April 12, 2016.” Indeed official documents (which remain unverified) seem to support the assertion that Saif has, in fact, been released. Considering the statements from his attorneys that Saif is “well and safe and in Libya,” the political ramifications of this development should not be underestimated. Not only is Saif Gaddafi the second eldest and most prominent of Col. Gaddafi’s sons, he is also the one seen as the inheritor of his father’s legacy of independent peaceful development and the maintenance of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

Does the Brexit Vote Mark the End of Internationalism?

Far-right nationalists and neoliberal capitalists will survive the demise of institutions like the EU. What about the rest of us?

This week might represent the beginning of the end for international cooperation. All the treaties, alliances, and unions that have incrementally strengthened the ties between nations over the last several centuries have suddenly been revealed as a house of cards, which a wayward puff of air known as Brexit might suddenly blow away.

Surely this must be an overstatement. The decision this week of British voters to stay inside the European Union or make the unprecedented move to leave can’t be that important. Brett Arends writes in MarketWatch that’s it’s really all a bit of a scam: If the voters decide to leave, the British government will negotiate “a face-saving formula that gives the illusion of Brexit without much substance.”

NATO Exposed as ISIS Springboard into Syria

Kurdish fighters allegedly backed by the US, have crossed the Euphrates River in Syria and have moved against fighters from the self-proclaimed “Islamic State” (ISIS) holding the city of Manbij. The city is about 20 miles from Jarabulus, another Syrian city located right on the Syrian-Turkish border. Jarabulus too is held by ISIS.

The initial push toward Manbij came from the Tishrin Dam in the south, however, another front was opened up and is hooking around the city’s north – successfully cutting off the city and its ISIS defenders from roads leading to the Turkish border – including Route 216 running between Manbij and Jarabulus.

Planning an assault on an urban center requires that an attacking force cut off city defenders from their logistical routes. Doing so prevents the enemy from fleeing and regrouping, but also diminishes the enemy’s fighting capacity during the assault. It is clear that the fighters moving in on ISIS in Manbij have determined that Jarabulus and Turkey just beyond the border, constitutes the source of ISIS’ fighting capacity.

NATO’s Reluctant Two-Percenters

According to the 2014 US-NATO declaration of confrontation with Russia, all member countries are supposed to commit 2 percent of their GDP to military expenditure. But as with most NATO plans and endeavours, this one has failed to meet expectations.

Following dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991 there ceased to be any reason for existence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. The Pact had been formed in 1955 in response to inclusion of a rearmed West Germany in the US-NATO military alliance whose main objective was to: «settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means… and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations».

All disputes between the US-European alliance and the Soviet Union had indeed been settled by peaceful means. There had been a diplomatically-facilitated, non-violent end to the Cold War, and 1992 was the ideal time for NATO members to begin to withdraw their offensively-tasked troops, missiles and aircraft from the hundreds of bases surrounding the borders of the former Soviet Union. Politically, socially, militarily – and especially economically – the disbandment of NATO made sense. It was a clumsy grouping that, for all the propaganda, was almost entirely dependent on the US for offensive capability.