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Return of Pentagon Mercenaries Worries US Active Duty Military

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During the time that US Defense Secretary James Mattis and National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster are reviewing the US military policy in Afghanistan, The New York Times ran a story on July 10, 2017 that exposed a threat that will upend US defense strategy and return it to a bitter past. The Times story was centered around the following paragraph:


“Erik D. Prince, a founder of the private security firm Blackwater Worldwide, and Stephen A. Feinberg, a billionaire financier who owns the giant military contractor DynCorp International, have developed proposals to rely on contractors instead of American troops in Afghanistan at the behest of Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, his senior adviser and son-in-law, according to people briefed on the conversations.”

The history of Blackwater and Dyncorp is one of heinous war crimes in Iraq and the Balkans and massive fraud involving US taxpayers’ money in military forays around the world. After coming under investigation for his activities as Blackwater’s chief, Prince, whose sister is Donald Trump’s Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, sold the company and moved his mercenary operations offshore to Abu Dhabi.

Prince’s Abu Dhabi-based company, Reflex Responses (R2), has been recruiting and training forces from around the world, particularly from Colombia, Chile, Honduras, South Africa, and Romania as mercenaries for Abu Dhabi’s crown prince Sheik Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahayan. There is a strict prohibition on hiring Muslim military personnel since they cannot necessarily be relied upon to kill fellow Muslims.
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US Taxpayers Will be ‘Crying in Their Beers’ When Iraqi Reconstruction Bill Arrives

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The neocons and the military-industrial complex are rubbing their hands with glee over profits to be made from Iraqi reconstruction, but that cannot be said of the US taxpayer who must foot the bill, says Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams.

After Amnesty International had published a report accusing the US coalition of partial responsibility for mass civilian casualties, Major General Rupert Jones, the deputy commander of the international anti-ISIS coalition, criticized the findings, calling the allegations disrespectful and naive.

“It strikes me as being written by people who simply have no understanding of the brutality of warfare. But we should be absolutely clear who were deliberately killing civilians,” Jones told the Telegraph.

RT: How much legitimacy is there to support the permanent basing of US troops in Iraq following the military operation in Mosul that has left much of the city in ruins?

Daniel McAdams: There is absolutely no consensus in Congress; there has been no new authorization. The ground is very shaky legally for the US to permanently base troops there.
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Can Tillerson Referee The Qatar/Saudi Crisis?

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson walked away from the Middle East empty-handed this week, as his efforts to mediate the Qatar/Saudi crisis failed to bear fruit. The dispute is the most serious between the two sides in some time, but how much of it was brought on by the meeting in May between a new and very aggressive heir to the Saudi throne and President Donald Trump? Both are very aggressive toward Iran, and the conflict is being framed in pro- versus anti-Iran terms. Where do things go? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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Mosul: Another 'Mission Accomplished'

From February to June, an estimated 5,800 civilians have been killed in Mosul by US coalition airstrikes, a significant escalation in civilian deaths over the previous US Administration. With Mosul now "liberated" by US and Iraqi military forces, there is virtually nothing left of the city. Now we are told that we have to spend more billions of dollars rebuilding the city that we just destroyed, and once again training new Iraqi military forces to make up for all those killed in this campaign. Does this sound like a sensible US foreign policy? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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The Destructiveness of America’s Alliances

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Alliances between nations are military. Without being military, they would be nothing at all. Trade agreements don’t require alliances. World War I wouldn’t have occurred if there had not been alliances — it was built upon alliances. It was not built on trade agreements. It wasn't even built on trading-blocs. 

In fact, as the WTO (World Trade Organization) has said:
In the two decades prior to World War I, a number of tariff wars broke out, usually provoked by the establishment of a new, more protectionist tariff, or in the course of renegotiation of bilateral treaties. After the expiry of a treaty, tariffs were often raised temporarily as a means of improving negotiating leverage. … Despite the widespread increase of protectionist measures before World War I in continental Europe, the United States, Argentina and other countries, world trade continued to expand rapidly.

It goes on to observe: "Even though the contention that trade and peace dovetail is still very present today, it is not uncontested on theoretical and empirical grounds. … Empirical evidence appears to generally support the idea that increasing bilateral trade reduces the risk of bilateral conflicts. But studies can be found that support either side of the argument, predicting both a negative and positive relationship between trade and war."
World War III, too — a nuclear war — could be built upon alliances, which are now even more complex and unpredictable than ever. But that’s not the only danger.
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Back To Benghazi - Are More US Troops The Answer?

The Obama Administration's lies (crafted mostly by Hillary Clinton) to "justify" a US attack on Libya were grotesque and the "liberation" of that country created a living hell on earth for the very citizens we were supposed to be saving. After six years of chaos and a 2012 attack on a US installation in Benghazi, the Trump Administration is reportedly preparing a policy shift on Libya that will bring permanently-stationed US troops into the country. How does yet another overseas US military mission square with President Trump's campaign promise to put America first? We discuss in today's Liberty Report...
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Who Is the Real Enemy?

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It is one of the great ironies that the United States, a land mass protected by two broad oceans while also benefitting from the world’s largest economy and most powerful military, persists in viewing itself as a potential victim, vulnerable and surrounded by enemies. In reality, there are only two significant potential threats to the U.S. The first consists of the only two non-friendly countries – Russia and China – that have nuclear weapons and delivery systems that could hit the North American continent and the second is the somewhat more amorphous danger represented by international terrorism.

And even given that, I would have to qualify the nature of the threats. Russia and China are best described as adversaries or competitors rather than enemies as they have compelling interests to avoid war, even if Washington is doing its best to turn them hostile. Neither has anything to gain and much to lose by escalating a minor conflict into something that might well start World War 3. Indeed, both have strong incentives to avoid doing so, which makes the actual threat that they represent more speculative than real. And, on the plus side, both can be extremely useful in dealing with international issues where Washington has little or no leverage, to include resolving the North Korea problem and Syria, so they U.S. has considerable benefits to be gained by cultivating their cooperation.

Also, I would characterize international terrorism as a faux threat at a national level, though one that has been exaggerated through the media and fearmongering to such an extent that it appears much more dangerous than it actually is. It has been observed that more Americans are killed by falling furniture than by terrorists in a year but terrorism has a particularly potency due to its unpredictability and the fear that it creates. Due to that fear, American governments and businesses at all levels have been willing to spend a trillion dollars per annum to defeat what might rationally be regarded as a relatively minor problem.
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Partial Syria Ceasefire (Again). Who's Winning, Trump Or Putin?

There is plenty to be positive about coming from last week's face-to-face meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin. One indicator of how important/well the meeting went was the fact that the mainstream media immediately reverted to its "Russia hacked the election" obsession, even as the pillars of that absurd assertion fall, one by one. The agreement on ceasefire zones in parts of southwest Syria are also a positive sign if it means the US and Russia are taking a step back from direct confrontation in that country. However, there are pitfalls. Will it mean more US military involvement in Syria, guarding these new zones? And one simple trick Trump can use to get the "Russia hacked the election" off his back. This and more in today's Liberty Report...
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Russophobia Hits the Libertarian Movement

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Fear and loathing of Russia is all the rage in Washington, D.C., as both liberal Democrats and neoconservative Republicans unite in a campaign to demonize the Kremlin as “the premier and most important threat, more so than ISIS," as Sen. John McCain recently put it. While Hillary Clinton and her dead-ender supporters conjure a Vast Russian Conspiracy to hand the 2016 election to Donald Trump, and the neocons take advantage of this to push their longstanding hatred of Russian President Vladimir Putin, even ostensible libertarians are getting into the act.

This may seem counterintuitive: after all, the modern libertarian movement was born in rebellion against the cold war politics of the Vietnam war era, and libertarians have always opposed Washington’s interventionist foreign policy, such as NATO and a destabilizing and dangerous arms race. Yet even libertarians are not immune to the power of groupthink and the tyranny of political fashion, as the cover story in the most recent edition of Reasonmagazine makes all too clear. 

Provocatively entitled “Russia’s Global Anti-Libertarian Crusade,” and authored by longtime Russophobe Cathy Young – herself an immigrant from Russia – the piece makes the case for viewing Russia in McCain-esque terms, i.e., an implacable enemy, the driving force behind an “illiberal international” dedicated to stamping out the last vestiges of liberty all across the globe.
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Janet Yellen: False Prophet of Prosperity

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Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen recently predicted that, thanks to the regulations implemented after the 2008 market meltdown, America would not experience another economic crisis “in our lifetimes.” Yellen’s statement should send shivers down our spines, as there are few more reliable signals of an impending recession, or worse, than when so-called "experts" proclaim that we are in an era of unending prosperity.
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