Tag Archives: war

Americans need to take the possibility of an attack on North Korea seriously

Source: The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison

“Trump won’t nominate Victor Cha to be the ambassador to South Korea at least partly because he didn’t support launching a ‘bloody nose’ strike on North Korea. Cha explains in an op-ed why the ‘bloody nose’ option is a very bad and dangerous one …. Cha is certainly more hawkish on North Korea than many other critics of the administration’s policy, but attacking North Korea is still a bridge too far even for him. The fact that he is going public with his objections to an attack tells us that he believes that Trump and his advisers are seriously considering doing just that. It has been comforting to think that Trump, McMaster, et al. must be bluffing about military action against North Korea because it is such an obviously crazy and reckless option, but there have been too many warning signs that it is not a bluff.” (01/31/18)


Pentagon escalates attempts to cover up scale of US defeat in Afghanistan

Source: Sumter Item

“The Pentagon has ordered an independent federal auditor to stop providing the public with key information about U.S. war efforts in Afghanistan, accelerating a clampdown on data, such as the size of the Afghan military and police forces, that indicate how [badly] the 16-year-old stalemated [sic] war is going. The crackdown on information comes just months after President Donald Trump announced a new Afghanistan strategy aimed at breaking a battlefield stalemate by accelerating Afghan-led operations against the Taliban and other insurgent groups in the country. Trump on Monday railed against the recent string of attacks in Afghanistan and ruled out any U.S. discussions with the Taliban as part of the effort to seek peace talks between the Afghan government and the insurgents.” (01/31/18)


South Yemen separatists capture Aden after two days of fighting

Source: Antiwar.com

“The historical capital city of South Yemen, the port city of Aden, has fallen to southern separatists on Tuesday, ending just over 48 hours of fighting in and around the city, and giving the UAE-backed group de facto control over the city. The pro-Saudi government, nominally headed by Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who is under house arrest in Saudi Arabia at any rate, is holed up in the presidential palace in Aden, and the Saudi-led coalition has advised them to negotiate instead of expecting the coalition to retake the city for them.” (01/30/18)


Is Trump preparing for war with North Korea?

Source: The Atlantic
by Peter Beinart

“The more closely you read Donald Trump’s comments about North Korea in his State of the Union address, the more plausible it becomes that he is preparing for war. First, there’s the sheer emphasis he placed on the subject. In his speech, Trump devoted a mere sentence to Russia and China. He devoted 23 words to Israel, 34 to Afghanistan, and 48 to Iran. Even the war against ISIS, which Trump cites as the main foreign-policy achievement of his first year in office, garnered only 302 words. North Korea received 475. Second, there are the things Trump didn’t say. The Olympics begin in South Korea in 10 days, and the South Korean government hopes participation by athletes from the North will ease hostility on the Peninsula. But Trump didn’t mention the games. In fact, he didn’t mention diplomacy at all. Even more strikingly, he didn’t mention either sanctions or China.” (01/31/18)


Russia: Syria opposition missing from Sochi talks

Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar]

“Russia-hosted talks on the war in Syria are being held in Sochi without the representation of any major opposition group. Turkey-backed rebel figures have refused to leave the Russian city’s airport in a last-minute protest. An amateur video obtained by Al Jazeera on Tuesday showed a group of Syrian opposition delegates, who had arrived from Ankara late on Monday, waiting for a flight back to Turkey. ‘Late last night, there was a kerfuffle down at the airport here — distressed Turkish officials running around trying to persuade a group of Turkish-backed opposition delegates to leave the airport,’ said Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands, reporting from Sochi, referring to Monday evening. ‘They apparently didn’t want to come out of the airport buildings because they had seen Syrian government flags plastered all over the branding for this Sochi conference, and that upset them.'” (01/30/18)


Yemen: Saudi puppet regime prepares to flee Aden

Source: The Guardian [UK]

“Leaders of Yemen’s Saudi-backed government are reportedly preparing to flee from Aden as fighters from the armed wing of a political movement demanding secession for southern Yemen seized large parts of the city after three days of fighting. The Southern Transitional Council has been seeking secession from the rest of Yemen for years. … Last week, the STC gave [Saudi puppet “president”] Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government an ultimatum — either dismiss the prime minister, Ahmed bin Daghr, and his cabinet or face being overthrown. … Military sources separately told news agencies that the presidential palace in Aden had been surrounded and that Daghr was preparing to leave the country imminently. Those inside the palace were unofficially under house arrest, one source said.” (01/30/18)


Blowback: How the Islamic State was created by the US invasion of Iraq

Source: The Intercept
by Mehdi Hasan

“‘Your brother created ISIS,’ college student Ivy Ziedrich told a startled Jeb Bush after a town hall meeting in Reno, Nevada, in May 2015. The then-Republican presidential hopeful tried to defend his elder sibling, former President George W. Bush, by blaming the rise of the Islamic State on Barack Obama, ‘because Americans pulled back’ from Iraq in 2011. It sounds a bit conspiratorial, right? Calling Dubya the creator of ISIS? The reality, however, is that Ziedrich’s accusation wasn’t far off the mark. Had it not been for Bush’s catastrophic decision to invade and occupy Iraq in 2003, in defiance of international law, the world’s most feared terrorist group would not exist today. ISIS is blowback.” (01/29/18)


Syrian Kurds: The other woman in America’s relationship with Turkey

Source: Cato Institute
by Ted Galen Carpenter

“Ankara is increasingly angry at Washington’s cozy military and political ties to the Syrian Kurds. There are understandable reasons for Ankara’s discontent. The United States has sent extensive arms to Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State, and there have been few indications that the flow will cease even though ISIS was on the verge of collapse by late 2017. The Erdogan government finally extracted a promise from President Trump in November to terminate weapons shipments, but Washington subsequently sent decidedly inconsistent signals. Despite Trump’s promise regarding arms transfers, the administration essentially deputized the Syrian Kurds to suppress remaining pockets of Islamic extremism in northern Syria and to guard the border with Turkey, infuriating Ankara. Turkey’s anger has now exploded into airstrikes and massive artillery barrages on two Kurdish-controlled districts in northern Syria.” (01/29/18)


Afghanistan: Kabul military base attack caps week of bloodshed

Source: CNN

“Five militants targeted a military base in Kabul on Monday, killing 11 and capping a week of violence that has shaken a country ravaged by years of conflict. More than 130 people have been killed in four attacks over the past nine days, starting with a deadly hotel siege in Kabul which left at least 22 people dead. The Taliban have claimed two attacks while ISIS says it is behind the others, including Monday’s military base assault, raising the possibility of a deadly competition between the two terrorist groups. Meanwhile, the fact a military base in the center of Kabul was vulnerable to attack raises questions over the Afghan government’s ability to protect itself.” (01/29/18)


Afghanistan: Kabul suicide attack kills more than 100

Source: ABC News

“Afghanistan’s interior minister says at least 103 people were killed in a suicide bombing carried out by the Taliban in Kabul on Saturday, updating an earlier toll. Wais Ahmad Barmak said Sunday that another 235 people were wounded in the attack. Barmak said police were among those killed and wounded. The attacker drove an ambulance filled with explosives and was able to race through a security checkpoint by saying he was transferring a patient to a hospital. The explosion damaged or destroyed dozens of shops and vehicles.” (01/28/18)