Mattis: NATO Might Drop Ally Pakistan For “Connections With Terrorist Groups”

Defense Secretary James Mattis told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday that Pakistan might be dropped by the United States as a NATO ally due to its support for the Taliban and other terrorist organizations. Currently, Pakistan is formally designated as a major non-NATO ally (MNNA) – a defense relationship which confers military and financial benefits but does not automatically imply a mutual defense pact.
During the hearing which covered a wide range of national security issues, Mattis was asked if the US would consider revoking Pakistan’s status, and responded, “I’m sure it will be.” The firm but not completely unexpected response which is sure to add tensions to the already shaky US-Pakistan alliance came after Mattis stated in his opening remarks that, “we will firmly address Pakistan’s role. NATO’s demands need to be heard and embraced in Islamabad.”
Mattis along with Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified that they view Pakistan’s main spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) as an enabler of terrorism in Central Asia. General Dunford said, ‘It is clear to me that the ISI has connections with terrorist groups.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 4, 2017.

Chris Hedges On The End Of Empire: “The Death Spiral Appears Unstoppable”

The American empire is coming to an end. The U. S. economy is being drained by wars in the Middle East and vast military expansion around the globe. It is burdened by growing deficits, along with the devastating effects of deindustrialization and global trade agreements. Our democracy has been captured and destroyed by corporations that steadily demand more tax cuts, more deregulation and impunity from prosecution for massive acts of financial fraud, all the while looting trillions from the U. S. treasury in the form of bailouts. The nation has lost the power and respect needed to induce allies in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa to do its bidding. Add to this the mounting destruction caused by climate change and you have a recipe for an emerging dystopia. Overseeing this descent at the highest levels of the federal and state governments is a motley collection of imbeciles, con artists, thieves, opportunists and warmongering generals. And to be clear, I am speaking about Democrats, too.
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The empire will limp along, steadily losing influence until the dollar is dropped as the world’s reserve currency, plunging the United States into a crippling depression and instantly forcing a massive contraction of its military machine.
Short of a sudden and widespread popular revolt, which does not seem likely, the death spiral appears unstoppable, meaning the United States as we know it will no longer exist within a decade or, at most, two. The global vacuum we leave behind will be filled by China, already establishing itself as an economic and military juggernaut, or perhaps there will be a multipolar world carved up among Russia, China, India, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa and a few other states. Or maybe the void will be filled, as the historian Alfred W. McCoy writes in his book ‘In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power,’ by ‘a coalition of transnational corporations, multilateral military forces like NATO, and an international financial leadership self-selected at Davos and Bilderberg’ that will ‘forge a supranational nexus to supersede any nation or empire.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 3, 2017.

Russia Does Not Exclude Possibility Of War With NATO

Just days after the conclusion of Russia’s largest military exercise ever (which US military chiefs believe broke ‘observer rules’) and NATO’s massive war games, Pravda reports a recent Russian Defense Ministry report says that Russia is preparing for the possibility of a military conflict with NATO countries.
While Russia’s defense ministry said the Zapad exercises would involve 12,700 Russian and Belarusian troops, about 70 aircraft, up to 250 tanks, 200 artillery systems and 10 warships; Military.com reports that the U. S. Army’s commander in Europe says Russia broke up its Zapad war games with Belarus into parts to avoid having international monitors watch the weeklong exercises last month.
Lieutenant General Ben Hodges said Monday that the two countries deployed “way over 12,700” personnel, the limit beyond which Europe’s OSCE security organization should be allowed to send observers.
Hodges said: “My guess is that there probably were over 40,000 service members.”
He told reporters at NATO headquarters that Russia and Belarus “broke it up into all these little exercises” but that “these were all connected, because this was a whole of government effort.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 3, 2017.

John McCain Is Pushing For War With Russia: ‘What Has Been Set Into Motion Is Still In Motion’

The ‘Founding Father’ of Ukraine
Could only be Senator John McCain
As Civil War splits East and West
Johnny smiles and takes a breath
(A few brain cells short) …nonetheless,
His plans unfolding once again.
What has been set into motion is still in motion and coming around for a second lap. The consortium of John McCain (the ringleader with the Soros connections), acted with the ‘authority’ of Barack Hussein Obama II and ‘independently,’ aided by Victoria Nuland (commissioned by Hillary Clinton, also acting on behalf of Soros) and Lindsay Graham (a ventriloquist dummy in the hands of McCain). What a team! Arseniy Yatsenuk quacked and chirped under orders, until it was determined that he was too weak.
Yatsenuk couldn’t stem the tide of fighting between the self-proclaimed autonomous Eastern districts of Ukraine and the Kiev government. The IMF had offered to pay the Gazprom bill of $9 billion to Russia, and Ukraine was well on its way in 2014 to becoming a part of NATO and another IMF puppet of Europe. The Separatists had other plans, though, and Russia aided them and offered to support them in the manner of South Ossetia in the Georgian War of 2005.

This post was published at shtfplan on September 30th, 2017.

NATO Splinters: Germany Completes Withdrawal From Turkey’s Incirlik Airbase

Several months after an unprecedented collapse in relations between two NATO member states, on Thursday Germany’s military announced it has finished its withdrawal from Turkey’s strategic airbase Incirlik, which as a reminder was prompted by Ankara’s refusal to allow visits by German parliamentarians. Going forward, Bundeswehr planes will instead be based in Jordan.
As we reported at the time, in June Germany’s parliament, which ultimately decides on deployments, voted overwhelmingly to leave Incirlik amid a multifaceted dispute with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over his post-coup crackdown. As a “parliamentary army,” the Bundeswehr requires a vote of approval from Bundestag lawmakers for each foreign deployment and a parliamentary committee regularly evaluates Germany missions abroad.
As Deutsche Welle reports, Germany’s transfer of reconnaissance and refueling aircraft from Incirlik to Jordan’s al-Asrak airbase had been “an unprecedented, mammoth task” according to German contingent commander Stefan Kleinheyer said Wednesday.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 28, 2017.

Mattis Targeted By Taliban Rocket Attack At Afghan Airport

NATO Secretary General @jensstoltenberg together with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis is at RSHQ today visiting AFG leadership & troops pic.twitter.com/Saf5r7dIa2
— Resolute Support (@ResoluteSupport) September 27, 2017

Defense Secretary James Mattis was the target of a failed rocket attack near a key Afghanistan airport Wednesday, the Taliban said, though the attack occurred after he had left the airport. Hours after Mattis landed, as many as 40 rockets were fired at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport from an unknown location and landed in an open area, according to Najib Danish, spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry. US military officials added that a barrage of up to 40 rounds of munitions hit the airport, including 29 rocket-propelled grenades.
According to CNN, Mattis and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had already left the airport at the time of the incident, Danish said. No one was injured.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 27, 2017.

“It’s All Fun & War-Games” In Russia, Until…

Amid Russia’s largest wargames yet, with over 100,000 taking part in “Zapad 2017” according to NATO, independent news site Fontanka.ru has released footage of a rather shocking event.
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Reuters reports that a military helicopter on a rural training exercise in western Russia mistakenly fired rockets at a group of parked vehicles, knocking at least one person to the ground, footage posted by Russian news sites and on social media showed.
The clip below shows a helicopter firing a salvo of rockets at a military truck covered in camouflage netting in open countryside, with three vehicles with no military markings visible, parked a few meters away. A man in civilian clothes who had been standing close to the truck was engulfed in a cloud of dust. The person filming the clip, who was slightly further away, could be seen sprawled on the ground.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 19, 2017.

Turkey Faces Threats For Inking Landmark Arms Deal With Russia

The long awaited deal has taken place. A deposit has already been paid. Turkey has finally signed the $2.5bn (1.9bn) contract with Russia to buy S-400 advanced missile defense system. With a range of 400 kilometers (248 miles), the system can shoot down up to 80 targets simultaneously, aiming two missiles at each one, at an altitude of up to 30 km.
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The system is not operationally compatible with the systems used by NATO countries, which gives Turkey a military capacity independent of the alliance. NATO commanders will not have control over it. The identification friend or foe (IFF) equipment won’t prevent Turkey from using it against NATO aircraft and missiles. Reaching full operational capability will require Russian personnel to be stationed in Turkey on advice, assistance and training missions.
The technology transfer component of the S-400 deal is especially important as it would allow Turkey to rapidly expand domestic defense industry with Russia’s help. Russia would supply two batteries and help Ankara build two more such systems. A few years ago, the US refused to let Turkey produce Patriot air defense systems on its soil and the deal was off.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 19, 2017.

Russia Test Fires Nuclear-Capable Ballistic Missile During “Zapad 2017” Military Drill

As reported last Thursday, Russia’s military is currently conducting its “biggest display of military power since the end of the Cold War“, called Zapad-2017. The drill involves anywhere between 12,700 and 100,000 troops (depending on whether one believes Russia or NATO), 10 ships, 70 planes and helicopters, 680 equipment units, 250 tanks, and multiple launch rocket systems and mortars.
And, as of today, the drill also includes Russia’s Iskander-M theater ballistic system, which on Monday carried out a successful test-launch of its missile at maximum range, the Russian defense ministry said adding that the test-launch was performed at the Kapustin Yar range in Russia’s southern Astrakhan Region.
“The increased capacity missile covered 480 kilometers and successfully hit its target at the Makat range [in Kazakhstan],’ the ministry said.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 18, 2017.

SYRIA: NATO’s Anarchist Brigades and their ‘Rojava’ Ethnic Cleansing Programme

Thierry Meyssan
VoltaireNet
Presented in the West as the realization of a friendly utopia, the brand new Rojava is in reality a colonial state, designed and cemented in blood by Washington. This time, the plan is to expel the populations of the North of Syria and replace them with people who were not born there. In order to implement this ethnic cleansing, the Pentagon and the CIA have mobilised combatants from the circles of the European extreme-left. Thierry Meyssan reveals this insane project which has been ongoing for the last eighteen months.
In the ’80’s and ’90’s, Kurdish society was extremely feudal and patriarchal. It was maintained in a severe state of under-development, which pressured the Kurds to rise up against the military dictatorships which succeeded one another in Ankara [1].
The Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK was a Marxist-Leninist organisation, supported by the Soviet Union, which fought against the dictatorships of the Kemalist generals, who were members of NATO. It freed women and joined progressist combats. With the aid of Hafez el-Assad, it set up a military training camp in the Lebanese plain of Bekaa, under the protection of the Syrian Peace Force, close to the camp of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (FPLP).
During this period, the PKK could not find words strong enough to denounce American imperialism .

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on SEPTEMBER 18, 2017.

Hundreds Of Tanks And Howitzers From The United States Arrive In Poland

One day before Russia kicked off its “Zapad 2017” military exercise, dubbed the “biggest display of Russian military power since the end of the Cold War”, on September 13 American military equipment arrived in the port of Gdansk, Radio Poland reports, where more than a thousand pieces of American military equipment from the Second Anti-tank Brigade Combat Team were unloaded at the port, including Abrams tanks, Bradley combat vehicles, Paladin howitzers and other combat equipment. This is the first shipment of equipment to arrive in Poland under the initiative Operation Atlantic Resolve according to UA Wire.
According to the General Commander of Poland’s Armed Forces, General Jaroslaw Mika, the equipment will be used during military exercises.
‘This military equipment, which we see today, will be located in the western part of Poland. I mean, first of all, in such areas as Boleslawiec, Zagan, Torun, Swietoszow, and Skwierzyna. This equipment will be used in various maneuvers and training. This is a brigade fighting group. At this point, I want to emphasize the scale of the Dragon 17 exercises. This is 17,000 soldiers from 11 countries. I think that these figures are quite impressive if we are speaking about the activity of the NATO member countries, as well as the use of America’s potential,’ he said.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 15, 2017.

“What Did They Expect?” Turkey Pivots From NATO, Signs Russia Missile Deal

Confirming, and sending the clearest sign of his previously discussed pivot toward Russia and away from NATO and the West, on Tuesday President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey had signed a deal to purchase a Russian surface-to-air missile system, and paid the first installment. The deal cements Turkey’s recent rapprochement with Russia, despite differences over the war in Syria, the downing of a Russian fighter jet over Turkey in late 2015 and the assassination of a Russian ambassador earlier this year, and comes as Turkey’s ties with the United States and European Union have become strained to the point of breaking.
Although the missile purchase from Russia was made public several months ago, Erdogan’s announcement was the first confirmation that Turkey had transferred money to pay for the S-400 missile system.
‘Signatures have been made for the purchase of S-400s from Russia,’ Erdogan said in comments published in several newspapers on Tuesday. ‘A deposit has also been paid as far as I know.’
As the NYT writes, “the purchase of the missile system flies in the face of cooperation within the NATO alliance, which Turkey has belonged to since the early 1950s. NATO does not ban purchases of military hardware from manufacturers outside the American-led alliance, but it does discourage members from buying equipment not compatible with that used by other members.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 13, 2017.

Syria’s Victory is a Severe Blow to the Global Extremism Project

Syria’s victory in remaining still standing – still on its feet, as it were – amid the ruins of all that has been visited upon her, marks effectively the demise of the Bush Doctrine in the Middle East (of ‘the New Middle East’). It signals the beginning of the end – not just of the political ‘regime change’ project, but also of the Sunni jihadi project which has been used as the coercive tool for bringing into being a ‘New Middle East.’
Just as the region has reached a geopolitical inflection point, however, so too, has Sunni Islam. Wahhabi-inspired Islam has taken a major hit. It is now widely discredited amongst Sunnis, and reviled by just about everyone else.
Just to be clear how linked were the two projects:
In the wake of the first Gulf War (1990-91), General Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander for Europe, recalled: ‘In 1991, [Paul Wolfowitz] was the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy … And I had gone to see him (…)
‘And I said, ‘Mr. Secretary, you must be pretty happy with the performance of the troops in Desert Storm.’
‘And he said: ‘Yeah, but not really, because the truth is we should have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein, and we didn’t … But one thing we did learn is that we can use our military in the region? – ?in the Middle East? – ?and the Soviets won’t stop us. And we’ve got about 5 or 10 years to clean up those old Soviet client regimes? – ?Syria, Iran, Iraq? – ?before the next great superpower comes on, to challenge us.”

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on SEPTEMBER 12, 2017.

Massive Russian, NATO Wargames Set To Begin Amid Mutual Accusations Of Provocation

As the two old, cold war adversaries, Russia and NATO, prepare to begin massive war games to show off their respective military strengths, it was the UK’s turn to accuse Russia first of “testing the West” by conducting war games on NATO’s eastern flank in its biggest military exercise in four years. Speaking on BBC’s ‘The Andrew Marr Show’ on Sunday, U. K. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said that Russia’s exercise “is designed to provoke us, it’s designed to test our defenses, and that’s why we have to be strong. Russia is testing us and testing us now at every opportunity. We’re seeing a more aggressive Russia. We have to deal with that.”
In a testament to our hyperbolic times, Fallon’s statement also contained just a “little bit” of fake news: while Fallon said that more than 100,000 Russian and Belorussian troops are at the borders of North Atlantic Treaty Organization members, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin said last month that the so-called Zapad 2017 exercise Sept. 14-20 involves 13,000 troops, and that the drills are ‘purely of a defensive nature” according to Bloomberg.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 11, 2017.

President Putin – ‘Ramping up Military Hysteria’ Against North Korea Could Lead to Planetary Melt Down

21st Century Wire says…
It is pretty rare these days, to hear diplomats or even world leaders in the west utter words of wisdom. It comes as a shock, therefore when a global player offers an insight that actually makes sense. That is exactly what President Vladimir Putin of Russia just did at a news conference after the BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China September 5, 2017.
This report from RT:
‘The examples of Iraq and Libya have convinced the North Korean leadership that only nuclear deterrence can protect them, so no sanctions can dissuade them, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. Pyongyang will not relinquish its military program under pressure of sanctions and military threats, because the examples of Iraq and Libya have convinced it that nuclear deterrence is the only credible way to ensure its security, President Putin told journalists on Tuesday.
Ramping up military hysteria in such conditions is senseless; it’s a dead end,’ he added. ‘It could lead to a global, planetary catastrophe and a huge loss of human life. There is no other way to solve the North Korean nuclear issue, save that of peaceful dialogue.’
The 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq and the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya both came after the leaders of those countries submitted to international pressure and relinquished their programs of weapons of mass destruction in exchange for sanctions relief.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on SEPTEMBER 5, 2017.

Zakharova: ‘Rebels’ Preparing Chemical False Flag Attack in Daraa, Syria

21st Century Wire says…
The US and Gulf-backed terrorist factions in Syria still appear to be pursuing a ‘false flag’ solution to reverse their failing fortunes in Syria.
The United States, along with its European NATO partners UK and France, have long telegraphed their position on multiple occasions – that they will attack Syria if chemical weapons are reported to have been used by ‘the regime’.
Back in April, the US followed through on this threat launching 59 tomahawk cruise missiles into Syria after a series of YouTube videos were released online produced by the notorious US/UK-financed ‘search and rescue NGO’ known as the White Helmets, allegedly depicting a ‘sarin gas attack’ in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib province. If was later revealed the US had no actual intelligence which indicated the Syrian government launched a chemical attack in Idlib. In essence, the western narrative was a fabrication.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on SEPTEMBER 1, 2017.

Journalist Interrogated, Fired For Story Linking CIA And Syria Weapons Flights

A months-long investigation which tracked and exposed a massive covert weapons shipment network to terror groups in Syria via diplomatic flights originating in the Caucuses and Eastern Europe under the watch of the CIA and other intelligence agencies has resulted in the interrogation and firing of the Bulgarian journalist who first broke the story. This comes as the original report is finally breaking into mainstream international coverage.
Investigative reporter Dilyana Gaytandzhieva authored a bombshell report for Trud Newspaper, based in Sofia, Bulgaria, which found that an Azerbaijan state airline company was regularly transporting tons of weaponry to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Turkey under diplomatic cover as part of the CIA covert program to supply anti-Assad fighters in Syria. Those weapons, Gaytandzhieva found, ended up in the hands of ISIS and al-Qaeda terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
While it’s long been understood that the US-Gulf-NATO coalition arming rebels inside Syria facilitated the rapid rise of the Islamic State as the group had steady access to a “jihadi Wal-Mart” of weapons (in the words of one former spy and British diplomat), the Trud Newspaper report is the first to provide exhaustive documentation detailing the precise logistical chain of the weapons as they flowed from their country of origin to the battlefield in Syria and Iraq. Gaytandzhieva even traveled to Aleppo where she filmed and examined labeled weapons shipping containers held in underground jihadist storehouses.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 28, 2017.

Conspiracy Theory

In the United States ‘conspiracy theory’ is the name given to explanations that differ from those that serve the ruling oligarchy, the establishment or whatever we want to call those who set and control the agendas and the explanations that support the agendas.
The explanations imposed on us by the ruling class are themselves conspiracy theories. Moreover, they are conspiracy theories designed to hide the real conspiracy that our rulers are operating.
For example, the official explanation of 9/11 is a conspiracy theory. Some Muslims, mainly Saudi Arabians, delivered the greatest humiliation to a superpower since David slew Goliath. They outsmarted all 17 US intelligence agencies and those of NATO and Israel, the National Security Council, the Transportation Safety Administration, Air Traffic Control, and Dick Cheney, hijacked four US airliners on one morning, brought down three World Trade Center skyscrapers, destroyed that part of the Pentagon where research was underway into the missing $2.3 trillion, and caused the morons in Washington to blame Afghanistan instead of Saudi Arabia.
Clearly, the Saudia Arabians who humiliated Ameria were involved in a conspiracy to do so.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on August 25, 2017.

Back to Back US Drone Crashes In Turkey Come Amidst Severe Strain Between NATO Allies

Two United States MQ-1 Predator drones have crashed in Turkey within four days, possibly cutting the Air Force’s operational fleet of drones at NATO’s main Turkish base down to half. This comes at a moment when the future of US drone operations in the region remain in question due to heightened political tensions with the Erdogan government and the uncertain future of the war in Syria. On Monday Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base, which hosts US and other NATO personnel conducting operations over Syria and Iraq, released a statement confirming the crash of the drone in southeast Turkey at around 11:50 a.m. (0850 GMT), with no further details given.
Incirlik had confirmed an earlier Predator drone crash just last Thursday (8/17) near the air base. Last week’s statement quoted a US military spokesman as saying:
‘At this time the safety of our host nation civilians and the recovery and security of our asset is paramount,’ said Col. David Eaglin, commander of the 39th Air Base Wing. ‘Our Airmen train continuously to respond to incidents such as this, and we are working closely with our host nation partners to ensure this is resolved without conflict.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 22, 2017.

Watch Live: President Trump Unveils “New Path Forward” For Afghanistan

As we detailed last night, President Trump will unveil his long-awaited new strategy for Afghanistan tonight. Will he, as Ron Paul suggests, do the sensible thing and end the failed longest war in history? Or will he continue doing the same thing and expect that somehow he will “win” the war? Does America even know what “winning” looks like in Afghanistan?
Here’s Ron Paul’s preview (which may be a post-mortem)…
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With the anti-neocon Steve Bannon out, and nobody left in Trump’s inner circle to halt the simmering push for war, we suspect we know the answer, and as The Hill details, here’s what to look for in his speech…
How many more troops? The United States has about 8,400 troops in Afghanistan on a dual mission of training, advising and assisting Afghan forces in their fight against the Taliban and conducting counterterrorism missions against groups such as al Qaeda and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Trump gave Mattis the authority in June to send more troops there, but Mattis has held off deploying any more until Trump finalized a strategy. ‘I was not willing to make significant troop lifts until we made certain we knew what was the strategy, what was the commitment going in,’ Mattis told reporters traveling with him on Sunday. Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U. S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has said he needs a ‘few thousand’ more troops to break the stalemate against the Taliban. That few thousand is said to equal about 4,000 U. S. troops. Those troops would be used to embed with conventional Afghan forces closer to combat – at the battalion level – and improve the capabilities of the Afghan air force and special operations forces. Nicholson assured the Afghans on Sunday that the U. S. commitment to the country will continue. ‘I assure you we are with you in this fight. We are with you, and we will stay with you,’ Nicholson said during a ceremony at Camp Morehead, a training base for Afghan commandos southeast of Kabul.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 21, 2017.