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Russia Sanctions and Shifting Cuba Policy - McAdams and Taylor's Week in Review
President Obama has admitted that sanctions do not work, as he announced a major US policy shift toward Cuba. But he turned around and immediately signed a bill authorizing more sanctions on Russia. There is a big disconnect between rhetoric and actions in the US Administration. The sanctions bill is a huge boost for the US military industrial complex, a $350 million Christmas gift for the Beltway death dealers. Listen to RPI's Daniel McAdams and Jay Taylor discuss the main foreign policy events of the week below, or download the MP3 here.

20 December 2014read on...

Report: Afghanistan War Reaches $1 Trillion And Will Require Hundreds of Billions More
Despite the public pledge of President Obama to pull out of Afghanistan, we continue to spend huge amounts of money in the war and the Obama Administration has fought to keep U.S. troops in the country. Now an estimate from the Financial Times and independent researchers put the cost of the war at roughly $1 trillion with a commitment of hundreds of billions more in the coming years. There continues to be no serious debate over our ongoing losses both in personnel and money in this war.

15 December 2014read on...

New US Bill Arms Ukraine, Adds Sanctions — RPI's McAdams on RT
The House and Senate late last week passed legislation authorizing $350 million in US lethal aid to Ukraine and imposing a new round of sanctions on Russia. Co-author of the bill, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), claims the bill is in response to the "Russian invasion of Ukraine." RPI's Daniel McAdams appeared on RT over the weekend to discuss the new legislation as US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held a hastily-arranged meeting Sunday in Rome...

15 December 2014read on...

Meaning of Torture Report: Simply a Catharsis? - Daniel McAdams and Jay Taylor
What is the final meaning of the Senate's recent release of its report on CIA torture activities? We know that no one will be prosecuted, as they have already been given immunity by the president. We have no reason to believe the out-of-control CIA will have its wings clipped after release of the report. Just as the NSA did not cease, but rather increased, its spying on the rest of us after the Snowden revelations.

14 December 2014read on...

Rep. Walter Jones: Omnibus Bill? Are You Kidding? I Don't Even Know What's In It!
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), an RPI Board Member, again demonstrates why he is one of the few exemplary Members of Congress left in the House. Asked by CNSNews whether he would be voting for the monstrous omnibus continuing resolution on the House this past week, he replied...

13 December 2014read on...

The US Must Purge Itself
CIA Director Brennan's self administered auto-de-fé fell flat.  He met with the president this morning and was evidently told to get his statement in line with the president's position "or else." The "else" is pretty clear. He could easily find himself doing the "Hagel Two Step."  As a result the gospel according to Brennan backed away from any real defense of the deeds of CIA in its tormented and torturing history since 9/11.

11 December 2014read on...

House Russia Bill, New SecDef, Hungary Regime Change: Foreign Policy Week in Review
RPI's Daniel McAdams joins Jay Taylor again to look back over the top foreign policy stories of the past week. Why is Ukraine naming a former State Department employee to head its finance ministry? Is Ukraine the 51st state? What about Congress flexing its muscles at Russia? What is the origin of the notion of "color revolution," and why does it seem Hungary is next on the US list for regime change?

7 December 2014read on...

The Anatomy of Regime Change
What do all regime change operations have in common? RPI Board Member John Laughland explains to the "World Public Forum – Dialogue of Civilizations" conference last month that all such interventions essentially include the criminal prosecution of the vanquished party. We have seen this most recently in Ukraine, Libya, Ivory Coast, against ISIS, and elsewhere.

6 December 2014read on...

State Spokesperson: 'Our Line is Ridiculous...'
Every time State Department spokespersons proclaim the Department position on critical trouble spots like Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Russia, we have the feeling they are shoveling a line of bovine excrement and well know it. And know we know it. And don't care.

5 December 2014read on...

What Would SecDef Ashton Carter Mean for the Military?
We know from RPI Chairman Ron Paul that President Obama's choice to be the next Defense Secretary, Ashton Carter, will mean no big changes in current US foreign and military policy.

4 December 2014read on...

Peace and Prosperity

US and Russia Reach Agreement on Syria Weapons -- Can The US Stop Arming the Jihadists Now?


Kerry Lavrov

The US and Russia yesterday reached what looks to be a solid agreement on how to proceed with the dismantling of the chemical weapons stores of the Syrian government as well as destruction of Syria's production capabilities. Syria agreed to the Russian-proposed deal (with a little inspiration from US Secretary of State John Kerry) with the understanding that giving up its chemical weapons would avert a US military attack.

The agreement seems full enough of ambiguities regarding the consequences of less than full Syrian compliance to allow the US government some face-saving saber rattling about retaining the option to strike unilaterally, while being vague enough in defining what exactly constitutes non-compliance to make difficult a clear cut case for a UN Chapter 7 use of force resolution. In other words, seemingly win-win.

The process of identifying and destroying the Syrian cache of chemical weapons is supposed to be completed by next year, but adhering to such a timeline can be difficult. In 1997, the US promised to destroy its vast stores of chemical and biological weapons in ten years. Thirteen years later, the US retains some 2,611 tons of mustard gas and 524 tons of other chemical weapons, including sarin gas.

The US and Russian side have both indicated a new determination to bring the Syrian government and the insurgents fighting to overthrow it to a new round of talks in Geneva, optimistically by October. This is unlikely, however, as although the Russian side had managed to secure agreement to attend on the part of the Syrian government, with which it maintains cordial relations, the US has been completely unable to secure any agreement with the various insurgent factions it is supporting.

Western media and governments claimed that the armed Syrian rebellion started because the Syrian government fired on peaceful demonstrators. That has been proven false many times over, as it became clear that the Islamist extremist struggle against the secular Assad regime had been planned well in advance by forces outside Syria and had been armed from the start.

That Assad retains a level of popularity among the Syrian population -- particularly the Christian minority that has come under attack by the insurgents -- has been confirmed by polls and by the simple fact that two years into an insurgency heavily supported by outside powers he has managed to retain his position. If his government were as unpopular as was claimed, it would have been impossible to withstand the internal and external pressure.

The US/Russia agreement takes the WMD issue off the table for the US and its regime change allies in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, and elsewhere. US action is required, it has been claimed, because the Syrian government's chemical weapons stores are a threat to the region and beyond. Those are to be secured by the UN.

So by what justification does the United States continue to arm and train, in violation of international law, the insurgents that seek to overthrow the Syrian government?

The answer is that there is no justification, as should be obvious at this point. Will the media begin asking these questions? Don't hold your breath, but there is a sense that a profound shift in the "unipolar moment" that has categorized the post-Cold War period has taken place. There is a sense that the tectonic plates of the existing world order have shifted slightly. History shows us that when a shift occurs, in plate tectonics and in world balance of power, the resulting earthquake can be sudden and profound.

Flickr/Secretary of Defense
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