We are now involved in wars in TWENTY THREE sovereign nations: Afghanistan, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gaza, Gulf of Guinea, Iraq, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Tunesia, Uganda, West Bank, & Yemen.
Most of these extra-constitutional wars are violations of US Law, International Law and abrogate US Treaties. Most were also entered into in violation of the War Powers Act and pose no threat. Each of these wars creates new enemies.
Over 350,000 Killed by Violence,
$4.4 Trillion Spent and Obligated
The wars begun in 2001 have been tremendously painful for millions of people in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, and the United States, and economically costly as well. Each additional month and year of war adds to that toll. Moreover, the human costs of these conflicts will reverberate for years to come in each of those four countries. There is no turning the page on the wars with the end of hostilities, and there is even more need as a result to understand what those wars’ consequences are and will be. http://costsofwar.org/
With Chad, the United States finds itself more deeply involved with yet another authoritarian government and another atrocity-prone proxy force. In this, it continues a long series of mistakes, missteps, and mishaps across Africa. These include an intervention in Libya that transformed the country from an autocracy into a near-failed state, training efforts that produced coup leaders in Mali and Burkina Faso, American nation-building that led to a failed state in South Sudan, anti-piracy measures that flopped in the Gulf of Guinea, the many fiascos of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership, the training of an elite Congolese unit that committed mass rapes and other atrocities, problem-plagued humanitarian efforts in Djibouti and Ethiopia, and the steady rise of terror groups in US-backed countries like Nigeria and Tunisia.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), otherwise known as drones, are remotely-controlled aircraft which may be armed with missiles and bombs for attack missions. Since the World Trade Center attacks of Sep. 11, 2001 and the subsequent “War on Terror,” the United States has used thousands of drones to kill suspected terrorists in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and other countries.
Opponents say that drone strikes create more terrorists than they kill. They contend that drone strikes kill large numbers of civilians, violate international law, lack sufficient congressional oversight, violate the sovereignty of other nations, and make the horrors of war appear as innocuous as a video game. http://drones.procon.org/#background
Much like the Algerian junta, Washington is creating its own Islamist groups and developing its own “eradication” program. All the pieces seem to be in place for a large-scale campaign of sabotage, bombings, kidnappings and assassinations whose aim it would be to discredit the resistance movements in the Islamic world and demonize them in the eyes of the public. Unlike Algeria, though, the scope of American counter-jihad includes the entire Muslim world. The atrocities, slaughter and mayhem are likely to be far bigger than they were in Algeria. It remains to be seen whether civil societies, the intellectuals, the media, and the genuine Islamist resistance groups will fall into this insidious trap that latter-day colonialism seems to be putting the final touches on.
Examples of emerging fifth-generation wars include: the escalating piracy campaign off the coast of Somalia which has threatened 10 percent of the world’s sea trade; the 18-year-old anarchy on land in Somalia, which has allowed that piracy to flourish; and the humanitarian crisis in Sudan, Chad and Central African Republic that has exacerbated rebellions in all three countries and defied the efforts of scores of nations to resolve it.
The Pentagon is just beginning to write the new rulebook for addressing these conflicts. Already, one thing is clear: old-fashioned brute force is worse than useless when it comes to beating fifth-gen enemies. Physical attacks by military forces can actually be counterproductive.
“Precisely the same technology that wins conventional wars loses unconventional ones,” Coerr contended. Trying to wage a third-generation, firepower-heavy war against an elusive, sometimes hard-to-define fifth-generation enemy will only cost the United States its wealth, its domestic political unity and its good standing in the eyes of the world.” http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/3125/war-is-boring-u-s-wages-first-battles-in-new-generation-of-war
In particular, U.S. military assistance in the Democratic Republic of the Congo should remain limited. It would take a great deal more U.S. military assistance to have a very significant impact – and an intrusive American presence on that level would create as many problems, if not more, than it might potentially solve. http://www.heritage.org/research/testimony/2012/12/making-the-most-of-us-military-assistance-in-the-democratic-republic-of-the-congo
We single Israel out because we in the west are shamefully complicit in its crimes
The assault on Gaza has been a humanitarian disaster, yet the west’s staunch support for Israel continues.
Seventeen members of a single family wiped out in a missile strike. A centre for disabled people bombed. Schools and mosques attacked. Operation Protective Edge has been a humanitarian disaster for the residents of Gaza. This, apparently, is how Israel defines “self-defence”.
The experts disagree. The UN’s top human rights official, Navi Pillay, has said the killing of Palestinian civilians in Gaza raises “serious doubt . . . whether the Israeli strikes have been in accordance with international humanitarian law”. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have gone further, urging the hapless president, Mahmoud Abbas, to make the Palestinian Authority join the International Criminal Court and bring war crimes charges against Israel.
The decision by US President Barack Obama to dispatch
3,000 troops to West Africa to fight the Ebola epidemic has sparked reactions in Liberia.
“We don’t need guns to protect us for now. What we need now is drugs. We need vaccine to curtail the spread of this virus. So it is unfortunate to hear that America is sending over 3,000 troops,” one Liberian citizen said.
“If it is an armed troop then I will start to question myself whether this virus can be fought by guns or so,” said another Liberian.
“U.S. policy in Iraq and Syria is incoherent,” continued Harrison. “We are fighting ISIS in Iraq, while in Syria we are helping ISIS by demanding the overthrow of its most effective opponent, the Assad government. It’s as if U.S. policy was designed to stoke the fires of conflict in the Middle East instead of resolve it.” http://masspeaceaction.org/5706
In December 2006, the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), a U.S. task force based in Djibouti and now part of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), provided intelligence to Ethiopia in support of its invasion of Somalia. CJTF-HOA also used military facilities in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti to launch air raids and missile strikes against alleged al-Qaeda members in Somalia in January and June of 2007 and May of 2008. Uganda also helped the U.S.’s proxy war in Somalia, which is one of the reasons why the U.S. supports the Ugandan government. Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia, along with U.S. air raids and missile strikes, resulted hundreds of civilian deaths and over a million Somalis displaced from their homes. This further destabilized Somalia, worsened the country’s dire humanitarian situation, and did not diminish terrorism in Somalia but, instead, helped it grow. Other counter-terrorism operations in Africa met with similar results.
Cori Crider, a U.S. lawyer who heads Reprieve’s Abuses in Counter-Terrorism team, said the drone strikes undermine the national security of both Yemen and the United States. “That is because every strike that kills an innocent, like the innocents killed in the Rada’a and Khashamir strikes last August and September, increases sympathy in Yemen for al-Qaida,” Crider said.
The human rights groups in Yemen repeatedly accused the United States of breaking international law and perhaps committing war crimes by killing civilians in missile and drone strikes that were intended to hit militants.
————————————————————————————In Israel, the prospects for the occupation’s end remain distant. Whatever Israeli prime ministers have said, or polls have shown, the trend over the last 40 years has been rightward—toward a growing Jewish intransigent presence in the West Bank backed by militant right-wing parties and organizations. Every new settler and settlement is a living rejection of Israel’s willingness to abandon the occupation