Tag Archives: US foreign policy

The true cost of Israel

Source: The American Conservative
by Philip Giraldi

"[H]ow Israel gets money from the United States is actually quite complex and not very transparent to the American public, going well beyond the check for $3.8 billion handed over at the beginning of the fiscal year on October 1. Even that check, uniquely given to aid recipient Israel as one lump sum on the first day of the year, is manipulated to produce extra revenue. It is normally immediately redeposited with the U.S. Treasury, which then, because it operates on a deficit, borrows the money to pay interest on it as the Israelis draw it down. That interest payment costs the American taxpayer an estimated $100 million more per year. Israel has also been adept at using 'loan guarantees,' an issue that may have contributed to the downfall of President George H.W. Bush. The reality is that the loans, totaling $42 billion, are never repaid by Israel, meaning that the United States Treasury picks up the tab on principle and interest, a form of additional assistance. The Bush-era loan amounted to $10 billion." (04/12/17)


Trump regime ups tempo of saber-rattling at North Korea with carrier strike group

Source: Washington Post

"A U.S. Navy strike group led by the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier was making its way towards the Korean peninsula Sunday 'to maintain readiness' as Kim Jong Un’s regime in North Korea prepared to mark key anniversaries this coming week. North Korea is expected to hold a huge military parade on April 15 to celebrate the 105th birthday of its founding president, Kim Il Sung, and to mark the 85th anniversary of the creation of the Korean People's Army on April 25 with similar fanfare. Analysts expect the recent barrage of missiles to continue, and activities around its known nuclear test site have raised concerns North Korea may be preparing for a sixth nuclear test." (04/09/17)


Afghanistan: Occupation troop killed

Source: Fox News

"An American special forces soldier has been killed in a combat operation against Islamic State extremists in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said Sunday. 'The soldier was mortally wounded late Saturday during an operation in Nangarhar Province' in eastern Afghanistan, Navy Capt. Bill Salvin said in a message on the official Twitter account of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission. The soldier was a special forces operator helping Afghan forces battle ISIS militants and was killed in the Achin district of Nangarhar province." (04/09/17)


Haley, Trump threaten Syria escalation on dubious attribution of chemical attack to Assad regime

Source: ABC News

"The United States and Russia were trading conflicting assertions Wednesday about who launched a chemical weapons attack in Syria that killed 72 people, as world leaders grasped for a response to the latest atrocity in Syria's intractable civil war. As Trump stood by his charge that [Syrian president Bashar al-]Assad's forces were responsible, Russia disagreed. The staunch Assad ally insisted that the chemicals were dispersed when Syrian warplanes bombed a facility where rebels were building chemical weapons. … At the United Nations, Trump's envoy threatened unilateral U.S. action if the world body failed to act. 'When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action,' [Nikki] Haley declared." (04/05/17)


Doing nothing is better than acting

Source: Cato Institute
by A Trevor Thrall

"The Bashar Assad regime’s most recent chemical weapons attack in Idlib province killed dozens of people and injured many more. It was a cynical and desperate move by a regime that has lost all legitimacy in the eyes of the world. But the attack was also our first opportunity to see what the Trump administration would do in response to such a situation. The answer, as it turned out, was nothing. As strange as it may sound, that is the right answer in this case." [editor's note: I won't reject the idea that the Assad regime may have used chemical weapons out of hand, but the claim seems suspect for various reasons – TLK] (04/05/17)


Trump welcomes Egypt's Sissi to White House in reversal of US policy

Source: Washington Post

"President Trump on Monday welcomed the leader of Egypt to the White House for the first time in eight years, pledging close cooperation with Abdel Fatah al-Sissi on counterterrorism operations and praising his leadership of the Middle Eastern nation. … Sissi's arrival at the White House marked a reversal of U.S. policy after President Barack Obama refused to invite him because of concerns about human rights violations. Trump and his aides did not mention human rights ahead of Sissi's visit, suggesting that the issue would be raised in private, if at all." (04/03/17)


Panic spreads in Iraq, Syria as record numbers of civilians reported killed in US strikes

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

"A sharp rise in the number of civilians reported killed in U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria is spreading panic, deepening mistrust and triggering accusations that the United States and its partners may be acting with an unprecedented disregard for lives of noncombatants. The escalation comes as local ground forces backed by air support from a U.S.-led coalition close in on the Islamic State's two main urban bastions — Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq." (03/28/17)


Inconsistencies in Trump's national security policies

Source: Independent Institute
by Ivan Eland

"The recent North Korean missile tests raise questions about contradictions in President Donald Trump's national security policies. During his campaign Trump implied that the United States should fight fewer wars overseas and demanded that U.S. dependents, Japan and South Korea, do more for their own defense, perhaps even getting nuclear weapons. Yet a recent article written by David Sanger, a national security reporter for the New York Times, noted that Trump had tweeted that North Korean acquisition of a long-range missile 'won't happen' and that his administration was considering preemptive military strikes on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs or reintroducing U.S. tactical (short-range) nuclear missiles into South Korea, which were removed twenty-five years ago. So which is it — demanding U.S. allies do more or ramping up America's efforts to make them even more reliant on American power? And this is not the only Trump policy contradiction." (03/24/17)


Is Trump another Obama on foreign policy?

Source: Antiwar.com
by Lucy Steigerwald

"The shiny, new, politics-free status of Donald Trump made him a Rorschach test for hopes and fears on foreign policy. And Trump's propensity for taking all sides of each issue made him even harder to pin down. Here we are more than six weeks into his tenure as president, and the first reports of his plans and his decisions are coming in, and are being mused over by supposed experts. … he appears to be something less dramatic than either his ardent supporters or his most fearful haters suggested. In fact, Trump may be a lot like Obama in terms of foreign policy, but with more delegation to the Pentagon, and even more use of Special Forces." (03/24/17)


Trump's wars

Source: Cato Institute
by Emma Ashford

"Trump's foreign policy approach during the campaign can be charitably described as incoherent. On the one hand, he openly admitted that the Iraq war had been a mistake, and repeatedly criticized the money wasted on pointless Middle East conflicts. These ideas, unorthodox for a Republican candidate but popular with the general public, helped to win him votes. But on the other hand, candidate Trump often contradicted himself, calling for the use of overwhelming force in the fight against the Islamic State group, and promising a massive increase in U.S. military spending. The candidate's militaristic worldview frequently came through in his off-the-cuff remarks, most memorably when he told a rally of supporters, 'I love war, in a certain way.' Sadly, since his inauguration, Trump has pursued the second of these two approaches." (03/22/17)