The new year has brought renewed troubles for the already faltering relationship between the United States and Pakistan. On New Year’s Day, U.S. President Donald Trump issued a tweet accusing Pakistan of “lies & deceit” despite receiving $33 billion in U.S. aid for its cooperation in the war in Afghanistan. The next day, the White House announced that it would continue to withhold the $255 million worth of aid that had been earmarked for Pakistan in 2016, citing insufficient action against anti-NATO militants. And on Jan. 4, the White House said it would suspend $900 million in security assistance promised in 2017 and place Pakistan on a list of countries violating religious freedom.
By Rebecca Keller – Re-Blogged rom https://worldview.stratfor.com
For nearly a year the world has worked to adapt to recent changes, both real and perceived, in U.S. foreign policy. But as the globe responds to the new priorities of its only superpower, Americans themselves remain divided over how best to engage with their surroundings.
Much like the members of the European Union, each of America’s states has its own needs to fulfill. Technological progress has given some states an edge in pursuing their goals, but it has also left behind regions that were once among the most prominent forces in U.S. politics — including the country’s flourishing breadbasket, the American Midwest. And as the socio-economic gap between different parts of the country has widened, so have their policy preferences.
By design, political discourse and debate are woven into the very fabric of American governance. But rarely do rifts among states spill into foreign policy and global issues in a substantial way. That may not be the case for much longer, however, as U.S. President Donald Trump’s populist appeals attract strong allies — and even stronger opponents — to the White House.
By Onan Coca – Re-Bloggd From http://www.Constitution.com
In 2004 President George W. Bush ran a hard-fought reelection campaign against a popular, if doofy, Democrat opponent John Kerry. For all of his faults, Kerry was far more well-liked and far less scandal plagued than today’s Democrat candidate. Bush was able to eke out a reelection victory mostly on the shoulders of his decisive reaction to the 9/11 tragedy.
In fact, the 2004 election made the phrase “security moms” famous, as the once known “soccer mom” had suddenly awakened to our dangerous new world where Islamic terrorism was the reality and her “mama bear” instincts had taken over. The “security mom” knew she had to do all she could to care for her loved ones, and that now meant using her vote to keep them safe.
(Note: If pictures/videos don’t display, please go to link at bottom of page. -Bob)
We now know that the Chelsea bombing and other bombings suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami was trained in Afghanistan and slipped the eye of the intelligence. Investigators first identified Rahami Sunday afternoon by identifying him through a fingerprint. The cell phone on the pressure cooker device was also found.
A man who described himself as a childhood friend of Rahami told the Herald the suspect had made a life-changing trip to Afghanistan two years ago.
“At one point he left to go to Afghanistan, and two years ago he came back, popped up out of nowhere and he was real religious,” friend Flee Jones, 27, said of suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami. “And it was shocking. I’m trying to understand what’s going on. I’ve never seen him like this.”
By Andy Sutton & Graham Mehl – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com
Anyone who has read this publication for any length of time knows that topics range from mainstream to the totally uncovered stories. As we look out not just across the economic landscape, but across the world in general, we are seeing an alarming increase of serious situations that are receiving little or no coverage at all from the western media. Thankfully there are hundreds if not thousands of reliable people who chip in with analysis and stories of their own on some of these topics.
We’ll start out by saying there many, many more uncovered stories, but these are the three we feel could be game changers in the near to medium term. We picked these three themes because, in terms of magnitude, they will have the biggest impact on the world if they continue on their present trajectories. Given the length of each analysis, we are going to break this into a three-part series.
PART 1 – Russia: Tensions, Turmoil and Western Hubris
By Fred Reed – Re-Blogged From http://www.lewrockwell.com
[The military’s budget has room to cut, so it’s an Economic issue. This writer makes it more personal – maybe too personal. -Bob]
Those who try to understand military policy often confuse themselves by focusing on minor matters such as strategy, tactics, logistics, and armament. Here they err. For years the central goal of the military, the brass ring, has been independence from control by civilians. It has been achieved.
In time of war, the first concern of the command is to limit the flow of information to their publics. The actions of the enemy are an important but secondary consideration. Thus militaries strive to prevent the dissemination of photos of mutilated soldiers or, as in Washington today, of governmentally tortured prisoners. In the United States, which characteristically fights wars unrelated to the safety of the country, the Pentagon must also keep soldiers from being told that they are being sacrifice for the benefit of arms manufacturers and imperialist ambitions. In wars before Vietnam, this was adroitly effected. You could go to jail for criticizing a war.
In Vietnam, something new happened. The press covered the war freely. Reporters went where they pleased, beyond the control of the military. Their publications ran the results. National magazines printed horrific photographs of what was really happening.
Truth tells. The coverage was one of the two factors that forced Washington to quit the war. The other was the passionate unwillingness of young men to be forced to fight a war in which they had no interest. The war, a source of meaning for Washington’s thunderous hawks and fern-bar Napoleons, was getting them killed.
By Tim Brown – Re-Blogged From http://www.FreedomOutpost.com
Extortion 17 was the worst loss of life in the Afghan War, which included 17 Navy SEALs and 13 other US military and National Guard personnel, along with 8 Afghans. Both Billy Vaughn, father of fallen SEAL Aaron Vaughn, and Don Brown have written on the shoot down of Extortion 17 from two different perspectives: one was from a father’s point of view, the other from a former JAG’s explanation of the evidence. Now, the Extortion 17 story, aptly titled “Fallen Angel,” is set to hit the big screen on the fifth anniversary of the downing of Chinook helicopter by Taliban forces, and producers are looking to force presidential candidates to deal with the rules of engagement that are jeopardizing the lives of America’s finest and are responsible for the downing of Extortion 17.
I spoke with Tom Trento, who heads The United West, about the production in an exclusive interview.