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Daniel McAdams

US Warns Syrian Military...Against Operating Inside Syria!

Just when you thought US foreign policy could not get more absurd. Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, who is listed as "commander of US forces in Iraq and Syria," has issued a warning to the Syrian military that if its counter-insurgency operations on Syrian soil leave US troops on Syrian soil "feeling threatened," the US military would "defend itself." 

That needs to be broken down to even be believed. 

The Syrian military is fighting an armed uprising on its own soil. The US government is training and equipping several factions of that armed insurgency, in this case the Kurdish YPG militia. The US military is also operating on Syrian soil alongside and in support of the YPG militia. Members of the YPG militia have, over the past several days, been firing on Syrian government forces. The Syrian air force returns fire on its own soil and the US military that is illegally operating on Syrian soil issues a warning to the Syrian government to stop firing on insurgents on Syrian soil!
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Breaking: US Issues Threat as Syria Bombs Rebels Near US Special Forces

The US government scrambled jets over northern Syria today as a Syrian government attack on Kurdish rebels came close to US Special Forces fighting on the ground in Syria, media is reporting. The Pentagon also moved some of its Special Forces troops out of the vicinity of the attacks, warning the Syrian government through the Russians that it would take "whatever action is necessary" to defend US military forces on the ground in Syria.
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See You in September! 'Peace and Prosperity 2016' Conference Program

The elephant in the living room? Foreign policy. No one wants to really talk about it. Washington is hoping the rest of us won't blurt out that the emperor has no clothes, that US interventionism is making us poorer, less free, and less safe. 

Even when candidates like Donald Trump talk about it, they don't talk about it. No nation-building, he said recently. But if we happen to see a country with some oil we should take it. "To the victor go the spoils!" is not a great slogan if you are running on the idea of restraint.

Hillary Clinton doesn't talk about it because her track record of hyper-interventionism speaks for itself. She thinks President Obama has been far too timid and reluctant to use military force overseas. He has not sufficiently weaponized the State Department. It aint broke, according to Hillary, we just need a whole lot more of it to make it work properly.
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Obama at Pentagon: Syria Mess is All Assad's Fault

Some presidents grow in office and some presidents even grow once out of office (Jimmy Carter comes to mind). But some presidents seem to learn very little during their four or eight year term. Unfortunately, especially when it comes to foreign policy, it seems President Obama falls into that latter category.

The president gave a press conference at the Pentagon today to update us on how the fight against ISIS is going. Remember: it is two years since Obama expanded what he promised would be a very limited military operation to save a religious minority -- the Yazidis -- from a hilltop in Iraq, into a full-fledged war in Iraq, Syria, and as of last week, Libya. 

Two years ago this very week, in fact, President Obama informed the American people that he was launching "targeted airstrikes to protect our American personnel, and a humanitarian effort to help save thousands of Iraqi civilians who are trapped on a mountain without food and water..."
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Breaking: US Airstrikes Hit Libya to Bolster UN-Created Government

The Pentagon has announced today that the US has begun conducting military airstrikes against Libya with the stated intent of defeating ISIS in that country. According to the Pentagon spokesman, the Libyan "Government of National Accord" requested that the US begin airstrikes against what they claim is an ISIS stronghold in Sirte, the birthplace of murdered Libyan leader Muamar Gaddafi. 

Pentagon Spokesman Peter Cook has indicated that this is the beginning of a more sustained US air campaign against Libya and that each US airstrike is approved by the US Africa Command (AFRICOM).
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Hillary to Deliver Syria to Jihadists?

According to Hillary Clinton's foreign policy advisor, Jeremy Bash, if Clinton is elected she will order a "re-set" of US policy toward Syria to emphasize the "murderous" nature of the Assad regime. As the Telegraph reports, Hillary Clinton will breathe new life into the "Assad must go" camp. She will likely launch a full-scale US invasion of Syria.

Said Bash:
A Clinton administration will not shrink from making clear to the world exactly what the Assad regime is. It is a murderous regime that violates human rights; that has violated international law; used chemical weapons against his own people; has killed hundreds of thousands of people, including tens of thousands of children.
Of course claims that he has used chemical weapons on his own people is the long since disproven neocon cri de guerre to push Obama into an attack on the Syrian government. The 2013 gas attack near Ghouta was likely a provocation by the rebels hoping to draw the US directly into their fight.
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Like the F-35, US Latest and Most Expensive Aircraft Carrier Doesn't Work

Why does the US spend more on its military than the next largest several countries combined? One reason is that the military budget has far less to do with protecting the United States than it does to further enriching well-connected military contractors. Politicians are under pressure to push weapons systems, that in turn produce "jobs" for their districts. Remember, the disastrous F-35 fighter is built in 45 states and several foreign countries. This doesn't happen by accident. 

As former Pentagon analyst and keen observer Chuck Spinney points out, when it comes to the military budget, it's all about enormously expensive high-tech weapons systems that don't usually work. Little things like readiness and force strength take a back-seat. High-tech pays off well, with shiny things and bells and whistles impressing those who sign off on big contracts. Actually giving troops useful tools to win wars is much less exciting (and profitable).
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Intervention Fail: ISIS Makes Bloody Gains in Post 'Liberation' Afghanistan

Shortly after the Taliban took power in Afghanistan in 1996 (their rise to power itself a result of the 1979 Soviet intervention in Afghanistan), we began to hear endless stories of the horrors of this student movement turned governing power. They ruled by Sharia law, they treated women badly, they even blew up ancient statues!

The US rhetoric against the Taliban began long before the attacks of 9/11 (which were carried out largely by Saudis who trained in Afghanistan with the knowledge of the Taliban). But it was the 9/11 attacks that opened the door to a direct US intervention in Afghanistan.
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Milestone: We've Just Dropped Our 50,000th Bomb on ISIS

In August, 2014, the US-led "coalition" began bombing Iraq and Syria to, in the words of President Obama, "degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIS.” For nearly two years -- despite President Obama announcing last November that ISIS was "contained" -- the bombing has continued unabated.

A milestone was reached this month, however, as the US coalition dropped its 50,000th bomb against Iraq and Syria. With each bomb costing on average somewhere around $50,000, those bombs have cost US (for the most part) taxpayers at least two and a half billion dollars. Factor in the cost of keeping the bombers in the air, the cost of training the pilots, maintenance, etc. and the cost skyrockets upward from there.
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