Deep State Plans to Nuke Russia & China to Deter BRICS-led Multipolarity — Covert Geopolitics

We’ve already seen how desperate the Western oligarchs are today, from their actions and rhetorics. This is fundamentally due to the failure of their attempts at starting a war somewhere far from their golf courses, and the breakneck successes of the Eastern Alliance in laying down the hardware, i.e. economic infrastructures, for a multipolar world […]

via Deep State Plans to Nuke Russia & China to Deter BRICS-led Multipolarity — Covert Geopolitics

BARBARIANS IN SUITS EXPLOITERS, PLUNDERERS, WARMONGERS AND MASS MURDERERS

BARBARIANS IN SUITS THE GLOBAL ELITE ACT CULTURED AND REFINED, BUT THEIR POLICIES ARE SAVAGE AND UNCIVILIZED.EXPLOITERS, PLUNDERERS, WARMONGERS AND MASS MURDERERS, THEIR GREED, ARROGANCE AND CRUELTY HAVE CAUSED UNTOLD MISERY.WHILE CHAMPAGNE DRIPS FROM THEIR LIPS, THE BLOOD OF THOUSANDS DRIPS FROM THEIR HANDS.THEY ARE BARBARIANS IN SUITS.  THE MONSTROUS WORK OF MODERN-DAY BARBARIANS NANKING (CHINA) AUSCHWITZ (POLAND) HIROSHIMA (JAPAN) VIETNAM
(
NAPALM) LAOS
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AGENT ORANGE) CAMBODIA
(CLUSTER BOMB)
 FALLUJAH, IRAQ
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DEPLETED URANIUM) AFGHANISTAN
(LANDMINE)
 GAZA, PALESTINE YEMEN SYRIA “One cannot engage in barbarous action without becoming a barbarian.”U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright in his book “The Arrogance of Power” “U.S. military forces were directly responsible for about 10 to 15 million deaths during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the two Iraq Wars.
… The United States was also responsible for 14 million deaths in Afghanistan, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Guatemala, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan.
… The United States most likely has been responsible since WWII for the deaths of between 20 and 30 million people in wars and conflicts scattered over the world.”
James A. Lucas “Countries we seek to dominate, from Indonesia and Guatemala to Iraq and Afghanistan, are intimately familiar with these brutal mechanisms of control. But the reality of empire rarely reaches the American public. The few atrocities that come to light are dismissed as isolated aberrations. The public is assured what has been uncovered will be investigated and will not take place again. The goals of empire, we are told by a subservient media and our ruling elites, are virtuous and noble. And the vast killing machine grinds forward, feeding, as it has always done, the swollen bank accounts of defense contractors and corporations that exploit natural resources and cheap labor around the globe.”investigative journalist Allan Nairn “They have pillaged the world. When the land has nothing left for men who ravage everything, they scour the sea. If an enemy is rich, they are greedy; if he is poor, they crave glory. Neither East nor West can sate their appetite. They are the only people on earth to covet wealth and poverty with equal craving. They plunder, they butcher, they ravish, and call it by the lying name of ’empire’. They make a desert and call it ‘peace’.”Publius Cornelius Tacitus – a historian of the Roman Empire “The barbarians are not waiting beyond the frontiers; they have already been governing America for quite some time.”Morris Berman “I spent thirty-three years in the Marines, most of my time being a hlgh class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.
I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1910-1912. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City [Bank] boys to collect revenue in. I helped in the rape of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.
In China in 1927 l helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
I had a swell racket. l was rewarded with honors, medals, promotions. l might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate a racket in three city districts. The Marines operated on three continents.”
General Smedley Butler, former US Marine Corps Commandant, 1935 “What separates us from the psychopath is our conscience, and our conscience must become the voice of truth. True conscience raises us above the animal behaviour of the pathocrats.”Henry See “U.S. military forces were directly responsible for about 10 to 15 million deaths during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the two Iraq Wars.
… The United States was also responsible for 14 million deaths in Afghanistan, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Guatemala, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan.
… The United States most likely has been responsible since WWII for the deaths of between 20 and 30 million people in wars and conflicts scattered over the world.”
James A. Lucas ” It has been true all through history, the way you get a small group of people to be very rich is by getting a lot of other people to be very poor.”Michael Parenti “We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3 of its population… We cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships, which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and daydreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world benefaction… We should cease to talk about vague unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”George Kennan, secret State Department memo, February 1948 “The greatest threat to our world and its peace comes from those who want war, who prepare for it, and who, by holding out vague promises of future peace or by instilling fear of foreign aggression, try to make us accomplices to their plans.”Hermann Hesse “How much proof do they want? There is every relation between congenital malformation and depleted uranium. Before 1991, we saw nothing like this at all. If there is no connection, why have these things not happened before? Most of these children have no family history of cancer. I have studied what happened in Hiroshima. It is almost exactly the same here; we have an increased percentage of congenital malformation, an increase of malignancy, leukaemia, brain tumours: the same.”Dr Ginan Hassen, pediatrician in Basra, Iraq, after the first Gulf War “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”Frédéric Bastiat “Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating?… A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself.”from George Orwell’s 1949 novel “1984” “Well, we had all those planes sitting around and couldn’t just let them stay there with nothing to do.”Deputy Chief of Mission in Laos Monteagle Stearns, when asked during Senate testimony about the bombing of Laos “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”Hermann Goering – Nazi leader  WEBSITES TO VISIT  THIRD WORLD TRAVELER INCONVENIENT TRUTHS PATHOCRACY:THE GLOBAL ORDER REAL WORLD ORDER PLUTOCRACY CARTEL BEYOND THE MEDIA MATRIX GLOBAL KLEPTOCRACY CRITICAL THINKER HOW THE WORLD REALLY WORKS  MEET THE BARBARIANS
(A PARTIAL LIST) Attila the Hun Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu / British Prime Minister Tony Blair / Secretary of State Henry Kissinger President Bill Clinton / Vice President Dick Cheney / Senator John McCain PSYCHOPATHS, SOCIOPATHS AND NARCISSISTS “Psychopaths have played a disproportionate role in the development of civilization, because they are hard-wired to lie, kill, injure, and generally inflict great suffering on other humans without feeling any remorse.”Kevin Barnett “Within the highest circles of power and wealth, a lack of pity and remorse is practically a prerequisite to success, and only the psychopathic mentality can thrive.”Stefan H. Verstappen “Serial killers ruin families. Corporate and political and religious psychopaths ruin economies and societies.”Robert Hare “What the psychopath considers to be good, has nothing to do with truth, honor, decency or consideration for others. In this way, any violation of the rights of others, any foul, evil deed, can be perpetrated by a psychopath, and he will still sleep like a baby at night.”Laura Knight-Jadczyk “A small proportion of people who suffer from psychologically abnormal personalities have, throughout history, had an immeasurable detrimental impact on our societies, our politics and our world. Enabled by their ruthlessness to readily acquire positions of power, they have long dominated the psychologically normal majority of the world’s population.”Ian Hughes “Civilization, as we know it, is largely the creation of psychopaths. All civilizations, our own included, have been based on slavery and warfare.”Stuart Hertzog “Interpersonal traits of psychopaths include glibness, superficial charm, a grandiose sense of self-worth, pathological lying, and the manipulation of others. The affective traits include a lack of remorse and/or guilt, shallow affect, a lack of empathy, and failure to accept responsibility.
… If violent offenders are psychopathic, they are able to assault, rape, and murder without concern for legal, moral, or social consequences. This allows them to do what they want, whenever they want. Ironically, these same traits exist in men and women who are drawn to high-profile and powerful positions in society including political officeholders.”
Jim Kouri “Achieving power for the sake of having power is the nature of the psychopath.”Robert Hare “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.”George Orwell in his book “1984” “Psychopaths are naturally attracted to positions of power, and they will overwhelm anyone with a conscience, who plays by the rules and has good intentions. So you will have people with very dark interior lives, who are controlling channels of communication, controlling finance, controlling industry. And, they will promote their psychopathic “family” values. Psychopathic “values” now permeate all facets of our culture.”Stefan Verstappen “Psychopaths seek positions of power and influence, and politics offers publicity, prestige, and other perks. It also provides positions of ultimate authority over military, industry, and entire populations. In a world where psychopaths are understandably viewed as morally repulsive, often finding themselves at home in the criminal world, politics offers an opportunity to create a new world, to be free from the moral and legal rules of society.”Harrison Koehli “Psychopaths do well in politics. They are ideally suited to the ruthless, competitive, self-promoting and manipulative power games that dominate party politics.”Stuart Hertzog “Many politicians share the traits of psychopaths who are not sensitive to altruistic appeals, such as sympathy for their victims or remorse or guilt over their crimes. They possess the personality traits of lying, narcissism, selfishness, and vanity. These are the people to whom we have entrusted our fate.”John Kozy 

NATO — PRIVATE CLUB OF WAR CRIMINALS WHO DESTROY HUMANITY

 

By: Adeyinka Makinde

Writer, independent thinker

 

What has happened is that NATO provides cover for these transgressions of the United States government’s policy. In other words, it absolutely legitimizes what effectively is NATO aggression. Moreover, what one needs to bear in mind and what one needs to be mindful about is the fact that in Western Europe you no longer have rulers with the independence of Charles de Gaulle.

It seems that Washington, and we can use Washington, America and NATO interchangeably because NATO is dominated by the United States. It is a command structure, which ultimately is based on American military power and American military precedence.  Everybody else is effectively a vassal. Or, if the word vassal is too hard, they are certainly juniors in rank to what the Americans do.

America has used NATO and it has used the European Union as the means, in which it can have these designs implemented. By designs, I mean the overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya, the attempt to overthrow Assad in Syria. These are actually illegal. Russia and China were duped when they came to the UN position on Libya. Effectively, now we can see what it was.

It was right from the beginning a deceptive arrangement, based on overthrowing Gaddafi. On these occasions, they have been wholeheartedly supported by European leaders. During that campaign, Italian bases were used to bomb Libya and British Special Forces participated in training these Islamist rebels, who were eventually successful in overthrowing Gaddafi. French planes also were very instrumental in the bombing of Libya, the actual tracking down of Muammar Gaddafi and his lynching.

These are effectively war crimes. There are no two ways about it. Waging an aggressive war and assassinating foreign leaders. Therefore, this lack of spine in the European leadership is particularly regretful in the sense that the Americans are forcing them to do things against their interests.

We saw this after the coup in Kiev, which was sponsored by American intelligence, with the illegal overthrow of the legitimate government of Viktor Yanukovych. That was a situation in which the EU was complicit. In doing that, they have been forced by the United States to impose sanctions against Russia, which are against their economic interests.

So, absolutely, I would agree with that interpretation that NATO and the European Union don’t want Britain to break away from the EU. They have used that sufficient cover to give the validation of legality to what are illegal actions on the part of the United States and NATO.

 

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Another NATO footprint in the Turkish coup


EMBRACING THE US-NATO WAR CRIMINALS WHO DESTROYED OUR COUNTRY

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Seventeen years have passed and many people have already forgotten that the U. S. and a number of other NATO countries collectively waged one of the most destructive wars on the European continent since the end of World War II–the modern aerial bombing campaign against the Serbian people. In the tradition of the New World Order, this “intervention” wasn’t called “war.” It was argued by various Western politicians and the corporate media that the bombing campaign was directed against the late Serbian President Milošević and his “propaganda machine.”[i] In fact, the NATO bombs loaded with depleted uranium[ii] were falling on bridges, maternity hospitals, private residences of ordinary people, a moving train, a Serbian TV station, the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, as well as water plants, schools, electrical power plants, and many other objects that were crucial for the society to function.

Even in 2016, there are still several ruined buildings in downtown Belgrade. These sites have not been cleaned up nor repaired. Medical doctors are finally speaking up and emphasizing that the skyrocketing rates of cancer and other deadly diseases will only continue to rise because it takes 10-15 years for the accumulated environmental toxicity to also build up in people’s bodies.[iii] In other words, more than two thousand five hundred killed[iv] and several thousand wounded people were only immediate victims of the NATO’s “humanitarian intervention.” This military action will continue to take its toll affecting multiple generations as time passes. It is worth mentioning that NATO forces also bombed bridges, refugee centers, busses, hospitals and other important objects in Kosovo–then Serbia’s autonomous province–and now self-proclaimed country. Kosovo was the territory that NATO allegedly wanted to protect in 1999. Soon after the military intervention, NATO seized control over the province, making it a de facto U. S. protectorate, even though it was legally a U. N. protectorate[v]. The United States created its largest military base in Europe and took control over Kosovo’s population and its natural resources.[vi]

One would think that under these circumstances, no Serbian government would be allowed to become too friendly with NATO and to de facto accept the loss of Kosovo—a significant part of its territory that is also considered its cultural cradle. The reality has proven otherwise. In spite of significant opposition expressed by a great majority of the Serbian population,[vii] several governments have actually approved NATO’s plans for controlling the Balkan Peninsula and hosted NATO summits and leaders. While the most recent poll conducted in April 2016 revealed that 71.6% of the survey respondents[viii] didn’t want Serbia to join NATO, these governments signed agreements that gave NATO full access to Serbia’s territory and a promise of so-called military partnership. Such uneven partnership that requires Serbia to commit to making immense changes in its socio-economic and political system, while hardly mentioning any NATO obligations, is in the tradition of a post-Orwellian world called “Partnership for Peace.”

In this article I provide a brief background on the impacts of the 1999 NATO bombing campaign that devastated the whole society, followed by a detailed analysis of recent agreements between Serbia and NATO. These recent agreements were also accompanied with a local Serbian law ratifying the 2015 agreement on “logistical support.” In the concluding remarks I include some reflections on future developments that could possibly lead to Serbia’s full membership in the North Atlantic organization.

Background: Effects of the 1999 NATO Aerial Bombardment

In the last report issued by the “Dr. Milan Jovanović Batut” Institute for Public Health, Serbian health professionals provided alarming data for the period ending in 2012. According to this report, in Central Serbia and the northern province of Vojvodina, cancer rates, including leukemia and lymphoma grew 80% following the NATO bombing[ix]. Professor Slobodan Čikarić, who is a medical doctor and the President of the Serbian Cancer Society, emphasized that Serbia had the highest cancer mortality rates in Europe. Even the Kosovo Public Health Institute registered a 57% increase in cancer rates for the years 2013 and 2014. [x]

Earlier reports were equally disturbing. Michel Chossudovsky wrote in the fall of 1999:

Amply documented, the radioactive fall-out causes cancer potentially affecting millions of people for generations to come. According to a recent scientific report, “the first signs of radiation on children including herpes on the mouth and skin rashes on the back and ankles” have been observed in Yugoslavia since the beginning of the bombings. [xi]

In 2005, it was reported that between 1999 and 2001, 140,000 people were suffering from cancer in Serbia. On average, 25,000 new cases were registered per year. This data was reported by the Serbian Public Health Ministry during a press conference. Some Serbian media and the general public started calling this phenomenon, a “cancer epidemic.” [xii]

A team of scientists from Serbia and the Serbian diaspora organized an international conference in 2001 in Belgrade to inform the international community about the horrible truth about health effects and environmental devastation that followed the NATO bombing. Professor Jasmina Vujić, who teaches at the U. C. Berkley Nuclear Science Department, was one of the primary organizers of this conference. Vujić published an article with Dragoljub Antic in the New Serbian Political Thought (NSPM) in 2015, and provided references to some attempts to decontaminate the environment[xiii].

Some media and research institutions informed the public that there had been a media blockade and that many politicians had remained silent about depleted uranium for a long time. Such media outlets recognized that NATO had unleashed a “silent killer, low level nuclear war waged on the Serbian population[xiv]. Their realization that everything becomes even more serious if depleted uranium enters the waterways and food chain is consistent with the depleted uranium science that examines various effects of depleted uranium[xv]. This kind of examination is included in the basic documents published by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency[xvi]. While there could be disagreements about the lifespan of depleted uranium and there are different opinions about the effectiveness of clean up technologies, it should be also noted that the Serbian government hasn’t invested in any consistent cleanup efforts. While some clean-up is mentioned in several sources[xvii], it is most likely that Serbia has not had enough funds, equipment, and trained personnel to invest in a consistent decontamination process.

NATO bombings specifically targeted civilian populations and objects. Michael Parenti documented multiple examples of NATO war crimes and comprehensively analyzed the underlining motives of U. S. and NATO decision makers.

Sometimes, the NATO attackers defended their atrocities by claiming that a civilian target was really a military one, as when NATO mouthpiece Jamie Shea unblushingly announced that the bombing of Surdulica hospital was deliberate because the hospital was really a military barracks. This was a blatant fabrication. [xviii]

Some people still remember the media campaign during the bombing. Those images traumatized the majority of the Serbian population and disturbed many around the world.

We have seen those endlessly repeated snippets of footage of bomb explosions lighting up the night sky over Belgrade. We’ve even seen pictures of that burned train at the Grdelica gorge where fifty five Serb passengers were blown to bits or burned alive and another sixteen wounded.[xix]

Gregory Elich documented multiple examples of devastation caused by the NATO bombing throughout Serbia. One of the most striking examples was the destruction of Niš–the third largest Serbian city that was shelled with cluster bombs on multiple occasions, including hospitals, private homes and the DIN cigarette factory which was bombed on four occasions. [xx]

According to experts, exposure to depleted uranium is more dangerous for young people whose bodies are developing, as organs and cells that reproduce faster become more sensitive to the effects of radiation. [xxi] Millions of people, animals and plants were exposed to depleted uranium. However, deadly diseases and environmental devastation were not the only effects of NATO’s “intervention.”

In addition to displacement and ethnic cleansing of Serbs, Roma, dissident Kosovars and others, NATO’s occupation of Kosovo and its subsequent secession from Serbia became a reality. There is no secret that human and organ trafficking[xxii], trafficking in narcotics[xxiii], Israeli-like strategies to expand settlements to include the lands previously belonging to Serbian residents, and general desperation of the entire population have become Kosovo’s unfortunate reality.[xxiv] Even in June of 1999, right after the NATO war was concluded, it was evident that very little would be improved in Kosovo. On the contrary, the situation became graver over the years.

Under NATO occupation, the rate of killing was about the same as before the bombings, thirty or so a week. The very level of killing that was detected as a human catastrophe and used to justify an eleven-week bombardment, continued after the bombardment. [xxv]

Here is how Diana Johnstone describes additional goals and effects of NATO’s war on Serbia:

In addition to “inflicting hardships in the daily lives of more Serbs”, bombing the country’s infrastructure also was seen as having a long-term political impact by destroying Serbia’s economic self-sufficiency. As an anonymous German official explained that the “kind of money that will be needed to rebuild bridges or even dredge the wrecks out of the Danube” was expected to provide “major leverage for Western countries.” The destroyed country would have to follow the dictates of the destroyers[xxvi].

The Serbia-NATO agreements analyzed in this article certainly resemble a situation in which the destroyed country has to follow the dictates of the destroyers. Johnstone added that:

In his first wartime interview, NATO’s air commander Lieutenant General Michael Short acknowledged that bombing was intended to cause distress among civilians. [xxvii]

In the passage included below Andrej Grubačiċ emphasized that NATO supervised the ethnic cleansing of Roma and Serbian population in Kosovo.

Before 1999 there was about 120,000 Roma in Kosovo. After the bombing in November of 1999, only 30,000[xxviii]. In March of 2000, former UN special investigator for the former Yugoslavia Jiri Dienstbier reported to the UN Commission on Human Rights that “330,000 Serbs, Roma, Montenegrins, Slavic Muslims, pro-Serb Albanians and Turks had been displaced in Kosovo.” [xxix]

Another immediate impact was that the bombing put approximately 500,000 people out of work[xxx]. Over the years Serbia’s rates of unemployment have remained among the highest in Europe. [xxxi]

A number of other prominent intellectuals also wrote about the NATO intervention and dismantling of Yugoslavia, providing data and theoretical frameworks to understand original goals and permanent consequences. Noam Chomsky often addressed multiple myths and ironies utilized by politicians and the media. Below is an example provided in one of his articles.

The sole purpose of the bombing was to demonstrate to Serbia and to the world NATO’s capacity to bomb, thus killing nearly 2,000 civilians, destroying much of Serbia’s infrastructure, prompting expulsion and flight of around a million Kosovars. The vast crimes took place after the bombing began: they were not a cause but a consequence. It requires considerable audacity, therefore, to take the crimes to provide retrospective justification for the actions that contributed to inciting them. [xxxii]

Tariq Ali said that the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was a war for U. S. hegemony in Europe. [xxxiii] This is consistent with conclusions that were eloquently articulated by Michael Parenti, Diana Johnstone, Michel Colon, Michel Chossudovsky, Andrej Grubačić, Gregory Elich, Sara Flounders, and others. In Johnstone’s words: “As a result of intervention in Yugoslavia it was concluded that “the presence of U. S. conventional and nuclear forces in Europe remains vital for the security of Europe.”[xxxiv]

NATO’s Continuous Dominance and Serbia – NATO Agreements

The U. S. and NATO leaders knew that they couldn’t expect complete acceptance by the Serbian population right after they inflicted so much devastation and suffering. Consequently, Serbian authorities had concealed their talks with NATO officials[xxxv] and had to wait until 2005 and 2006 to enter into specific agreements. Serbian President Boris Tadić and Foreign Minister Vuk Drašković signed agreements regarding the use of information and communication systems. Tadić’s government paved the road for future governments to give even more access to NATO leaders. Behind closed doors, Serbian politicians have discussed “modernization” of the Serbian military, acquisitions of NATO technology and future support of NATO missions. At the same time, Serbia’s parliamentary resolution of 2007, asserting military neutrality still remains in effect.[xxxvi]

On May 25, 2010, the Serbian Ministry of Defense signed an agreement with NATO in Edinburgh, accepting NATO’s codification system[xxxvii]. This agreement was ratified by the Serbian Law that confirmed the formation of the Serbian National Codification Bureau. The codification agreement ensured that the Serbian Ministry of Defense accepted standardization of data, rules and procedures, as outlined in the NATO Codification Brochure. This also means that there would be an exchange of commercial and state codes of so called type S, internal Serbian codification and advertisement of such data in the NATO Master Catalogue of References for Logistics. In other words, the NATO Automated Business System will be used as the main source for the official state (and military) documents. It is not explicitly stated, but by using the NATO technology and data systems, Serbia is adjusting to NATO’s standards and also making its systems open to the oversight of the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD). So this was the first step of opening the door to “collaboration” with NATO. The parties to this agreement–Serbian Ministry of Defense and CNAD–committed to resolving any possible disputes by themselves, without taking them to international courts or third parties. Anyone familiar with dispute resolution principles might wonder how this can work in practice, especially between parties with such power imbalance.

According to the Individual Partnership Action Plan that was signed by Serbia and NATO in December of 2014, this agreement was connected to Serbia’s request to join the European Union (E. U.). Even though this plan was supposed to be a military type of “partnership,” there were numerous non-military reforms and conditions outlined within it. Serbia committed to specific standards imposed by the E. U. and NATO regarding human rights, the rule of law, global security, terrorism, cybercrimes, restructuring its economy and media, in addition to boosting its military power, and “managing crises.”

In the introduction to this agreement it is highlighted that since 2006, when Serbia joined the so-called “Partnership for Peace,” this collaboration has been continually advanced and a work group was formed to coordinate all activities. Composition and roles of this work group were not specified in detail. However, it was emphasized that comprehensive social reforms were expected from Serbia. Serbia’s previous collaboration in the areas of diplomacy, security, destruction and storage of excess ammunition, and implementation of UN Resolution 1325 (on Women, Peace and Security) was acknowledged.

When it comes to economic reforms, it is expected from Serbia to continue and soon conclude the process of privatization and otherwise reform its economy in order to attract foreign capital. This was not specified in the agreement, but we know from multiple sources that the phrase “attracting foreign capital investments” means destruction of labor rights, as well as selling natural and human resources for bargain prices[xxxviii]. What was specified includes negotiations about Serbia’s membership in the World Trade Organization, and the expectation of Serbia’s greater participation in the E.U. and global markets. Serbia is expected to conclude negotiations, join the World Trade Organization and invite foreign investment. Tax reform is a part of this strategy to attract foreign capital by reducing taxes on foreign investments in Serbia. Completion of the privatization process is also a goal outlined in this agreement, implying that Serbia still has important resources that are not privatized. For example, there were recent attempts to privatize Serbian Telecom and remarkable displays of public resistance.

So called liberalization of financial services and domestic markets was also emphasized. At that time, the destiny of the South Stream pipeline was not known and Serbia’s possible participation in this project was mentioned, along with a diverse array of other possibilities to ensure “security” of energy resources.

By signing this agreement Serbia also accepted the responsibility and commitments to develop its military capabilities in order to make them available for possible participation in multinational operations overseen by the U.N. and E.U. Even though it was mentioned that Serbia could take advantage of the resources provided to all members through the Partnership for Peace, NATO’s obligations were not spelled out in the text of the agreement. However, Serbia committed to improve education, training and readiness of its military personnel. Furthermore, it was noted that Serbia was ready to improve its military equipment. Financial plans for this kind of modernization/improvement were not specified.

According to this agreement signed in 2014, Serbia also committed to conduct a media campaign to promote military reforms, including the extent and benefits of its collaboration with NATO within the Partnership for Peace framework. This comprehensive media strategy would include print and digital resources, and support given to academic, NGO, and research centers to organize round tables to promote NATO. The strategy would also encourage Serbian scientists, university professors and research institutions to collaborate with NATO and participate in joint projects. Support provided by NATO public diplomacy groups (it is not clear from the text of the agreement what these groups are and how they operate), other members of the Partnership for Peace, the taskforce for cooperation with NATO, as well as NATO’s Military Office located in Belgrade, was seen as crucial in the implementation of this strategy. It was not clearly defined why all of these resources were needed. However, knowing that less than 12% of Serbia’s population approves any kind of collaboration with NATO[xxxix], these clauses are better understood.

The section of this agreement that outlines specific individual actions also includes a timeframe for implementation. For example, continuation and further improvement of political dialogue with NATO was marked as “ongoing;” coordination and corresponding processes of “E.U. integration” as a “continuous process;” improvement of public opinion regarding global security and NATO as being “implemented in 2014,” etc. Another important goal outlined in the agreement was Serbia’s continued cooperation through the Serbian Mission at NATO. The so-called European integration processes were connected with Serbia joining an agreement for Stabilization and Association with the E. U. Negotiations about E. U. membership were connected with changing laws to correspond to the E. U. legal system, and to build positive relationships with neighbors, including Kosovo. Furthermore, this plan includes preparation and implementation of the National Program for Acceptance of E. U. Values and Traditions. These values and traditions are not listed in the agreement. Serbia committed to supporting various organizations for regional stability, the E. U. Strategic Partnership for the Danube River, and the continuation of negotiations with Priština regarding the Brussels’ Agreement, in collaboration with NATO’s Kosovo Force (KFOR) in the context of U. N. Security Council Resolution 1244. Collaboration and work with the U. N., Organization for European Security and Cooperation—OEBS (Serbian acronym), and the European Council also became logical parts of this agreement, as Serbia has a long history of cooperation with these organizations.

When it comes to multiculturalism and human rights, Serbia committed to “anti-discriminatory practices,” inclusion of Roma, and to improve the social status of other marginalized groups. Serbia also has to reform its legal system according to an already accepted strategy for 2013-2018 and must harmonize its legal standards with international laws and the E. U.’s legal traditions. It is not specified what laws and legal traditions need to be incorporated.

In terms of international obligations and the “global fight against terrorism,” Serbia has special responsibilities to respond to the U. N. Security Council Resolution 1373, and to improve its readiness for this fight. By 2015 Serbia also needed to ratify an additional protocol to accompany its agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Training of personnel employed in the business and governmental sectors to improve their skills in the detection, control and prevention of controlled substances is yet another obligation that Serbia accepted by signing this agreement with NATO. Somewhat connected to that is the improved training regarding the transmission of sensitive information and protection of data from cyber-attacks.

Reforms of the military and intelligence agencies are also a demand put on Serbia. While it is stated that the Serbian Parliament has oversight role in this area, it is also emphasized that the members of Parliament needed to be trained in order to make informed decisions.

Military Aspects of the 2014 Agreement with NATO

It is stated in the agreement that, in order to expand its contributions to attaining global security, Serbia has to increase its participation in multinational military actions. Serbia should explore possibilities for participation in E. U. combat operations. This is an aspect of Serbia’s obligation to work closely with NATO’s Office in Belgrade in order to improve its military technology and defense system. In addition to Partnership for Peace, Serbia will also participate in NATO’s Building of Integrity program, particularly adapted for application in Southeast Europe.

Serbia’s obligations are numerous and include development of a NATO fund that will be given to the Serbian Ministry of Defense for the purposes of secure storage and demilitarization of excess ammunition. These weapons and ammunition need to be safely stored by using the full capacity of the Technical and Overhaul Center located in Kragujevac. Another important activity is the collaboration with OEBS and UNDP towards expanding capacity for management of conventional ammunition supplies.

Serbia also committed to continue to work on its own defense strategy, develop new military doctrines, create new laws and regulations, and implement the long term strategic plan developed by the Serbian Government in 2011. In order to participate in multinational military operations, Serbia is obligated to develop a national codification system that is compatible with NATO’s codification standards. This includes national laws in the area of defense, transportation of military personnel, equipment and weapons. Serbia has to work towards establishing new models of supporting its own troops once they are ready to participate in multinational military operations and also support the host country where these operations occur. In preparation for this kind of readiness, Serbia is obligated to develop new types of military education and training, in accordance with NATO and Boulogne standards. It also has to exchange information with partners about its military. Serbia’s military personnel will join trainings and multinational military exercises conducted by its partners. A regional center for the training of Serbian military was supposed to be open by the end of 2015 within the “South NATO Base.” It is unclear from this agreement if the base is located in Kosovo or elsewhere.

Modernization of Serbia’s military is already in progress, based on this agreement. This kind of modernization includes acquisition of more complex weaponry and military equipment, including drones, ground vehicles, airplanes, communications controls, and information technology. Serbia also has to complete reports on these acquisitions and negotiations with contractors. Serbia’s Military-Technological Institute is obligated to conduct research on the possibilities for better international cooperation, modernization of its own defense systems and connections with NATO. To that end Serbia will participate in numerous activities of the Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD) and coordinate its regulations with European regulations that control export of weapons.

Information Campaign

When the Serbian government signed the 2014 agreement with NATO’s Partnership for Peace, it also accepted an obligation to develop a public information strategy for collaboration with the Partnership for Peace in order to ensure public support. This public support should be displayed for both Serbia’s participation in NATO and Serbia’s own military force. Serbia is committed to participating in the NATO program called “Science for Peace and Security” and will inform the general public about it. For this purpose, informational events will be organized on a regular basis, and information will be posted on the Serbian Military Defense website. [xl] There will be a positive institutional atmosphere created for Serbia’s participation in this program by supporting development of infrastructure and tax-free acquisition of research technology. It is implicitly suggested that it is NATO’s obligation to provide tax-free scientific equipment and research technology.

Serbia also accepted the obligation to improve its relationships with other countries in the region. Some of these countries are partners or members of NATO. It is not specified what countries the agreement refers to. By the end of 2015, all documents and plans for emergency situations and crisis management were supposed to be completed and accepted by the Serbian government. Serbia also participated in regional multinational military training in 2014 and 2015, according to this Agreement.

Serbia’s Agreement with NATO Regarding Logistical Support

Serbia signed another agreement with NATO’s Support and Procurement Organization (NSPO) in the area of logistical support. This agreement was completed in Copenhagen in September, 2015. At the beginning of 2016 the Serbian Parliament passed a law that ensures implementation of this agreement.

In the preamble of the Agreement it is emphasized that as a participating member of NATO’s Partnership for Peace Serbia expressed interest in services provided by NSPO in order to establish cooperation in the areas of logistics, operations and systems support. It is also noted that Serbia signed an Agreement on the Security of Information and the Code of Conduct with NATO in 2008. In 2015, NATO consented to provide the Republic of Serbia with support services. These services include, but are not restricted to, supplies, maintenance, procurement of good and services, transportation, configuration control and technical assistance. The Government of Serbia will pay for the cost of these services provided by NSPO.

Article 4 of the Agreement also reads: “Under no circumstance shall this Agreement lead to any liabilities for NSPO or NSPA.” The Serbian Government waived all claims for injury, death or damages resulting in normal use or operation of materials and services. Shipments are insured by NSPO. In terms of security requirements any exchange of classified information must comply with requirements outlined in NATO’s Security Policy. Both parties committed to treat information belonging to the other Party as classified information and avoid disclosure, dissemination or transfer.

NSPO, its assets, income and other property are exempt from all taxes and other duties, customs and quantitative restrictions on imports and exports. NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) personnel shall be integrated with the personnel of NATO’s Military Liaison Office (MLO), located in Belgrade. It is not specified where exactly this Office is located in Belgrade. It would be enlightening to conduct a survey among Belgraders to discover how many of them are aware that this MLO exists. This agreement gives NSPA personnel and their vehicles the right to free passage and access throughout the Republic of Serbia. NSPA personnel is also exempt from taxation by Serbia on salaries received from NSPA, movable property, or any income received outside Serbia. NSPA is allowed to contract directly for acquisition of goods, services and construction within or outside Serbia and such contracts are also exempt from duties taxes or other charges.

This agreement also has a settlement of dispute clause. As was the case with previous agreements, this one also determines that any possible disputes should be settled between the two parties without recourse to any national or international court or tribunal, including third party mediation. In other words, if Serbia is not satisfied with implementation of any of the provisions of this agreement, it will have to rely on the much more powerful NATO to examine any sources of disagreements. Since the Serbian government accepted all provisions by signing the agreement it would be fair to conclude that those government and military representatives either believed that NATO dispute resolution teams would be truly impartial, or that it was highly unlikely that any disputes would arise in the future.

Serbia’s Future With NATO?

Many questions can be posed about Serbia’s collaboration with NATO and future developments in the entire region. While Serbian Prime Minister Vučić and President Nikoliċ both stated multiple times that Serbia had no plans to become a NATO member, it is reasonable to conclude that the country has, nevertheless, accepted many obligations that are typically expected from NATO countries.

While Serbia needs to remain neutral based on its own laws, it is difficult to understand the constitutionality of the Serbia – NATO agreements. Additionally, we can ask ourselves whether various sets of Serbian government and military leaders believed that by collaborating with NATO they had a greater chance to be accepted by the European Union. Perhaps they were also hoping that NATO countries would in return pay for at least some of the damage that resulted from the 1999 bombing campaign. Have they have also hoped that NATO would commit to decontaminate certain areas affected by depleted uranium? Or was it all about their own preservation of power and control? Some researchers and political scientists have testified that nothing positive has come forward as a result of Serbia’s cooperation with NATO. The Director of The Serbian Center for Geostrategic Studies, Dragana Trifković, expressed her views recently, highlighting that it wasn’t in Serbia’s best interest to collaborate with NATO, adding that this could even hurt its regional interests.[xli]

Serbia’s politicians often repeat that, in accordance with their country’s main values, they continue to promote military neutrality by working closely with both NATO and Russia. Yet, many have observed that such “neutrality” remains quite asymmetric. Sergej Belous noted that Serbia had only two military exercises with Russia in 2015, while twenty two were performed with NATO. At the same time, it signed only two military agreements with Russia and twenty four with NATO. For that reason he added that this neutrality is “quite lame.”[xlii] Reuters also published an article by Aleksandar Vasović on July 3, 2016 entitled With Russia as an ally, Serbia edges towards NATO. The Serbian news agencies Tanjug and B92 reported just recently that Russia expected Serbia’s support for its efforts in Aleppo[xliii].

Maria Zakharova, spokesperson of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that it was a special humiliation to be dragged into NATO after fatal U. S. bombings. [xliv] The president of the Srebrenica Historical Project, Stephen Karganović had a similar idea and wrote about “Serbia’s march into NATO servitude.” He added that even though Serbia has laws on the books that prevent the government from joining any military block and require neutrality, government officials receive marching orders from their Western masters[xlv]. Tanjug reported on June 25, 2016 that Serbia already gave information about its security and military forces to NATO. This would be, indeed, consistent with the provisions of the above analyzed agreements to share data and relevant information. Regardless of different ways to approach this consistent cooperation with NATO, all of the agreements that Serbia signed with NATO can only be interpreted as heavily imbalanced, with one side—the Serbian side—accepting 90% of the obligations. It is often not clear what kinds of benefits stem from such agreements. In other words, it could be interpreted that Serbia accepted most obligations that stem from NATO membership, but since it is formally not a member, it cannot be given any rights exclusively given to members. At the same time, these deals seemprofitable for NATO because they provide a platform for tax-free sale of data collection systems, military technology, and much more. They also provide additional avenues for NATO to be present on the ground in Belgrade and entire country.

The Serbian population doesn’t have a favorable opinion about their country’s relationship with NATO—the organization that waged a full scale war against them only seventeen years ago. In March of this year, the people’s voices were the loudest, demanding a referendum about NATO membership. Some local alternative and foreign media reported that as many as 10,000 people protested in downtown Belgrade on March 24, 2016, the anniversary of the beginning of NATO bombing[xlvi]. In the late 1990s Sara Flounders expected that the angry demonstrations against NATO would spread across the region, but over the years they have remained for the most part relatively small and easy to contain[xlvii]. The Serbian population is still struggling with economic, health, and social devastation, which makes it difficult to uncover concealed information and find time to organize. Additionally, it remains to be seen if the information campaign aimed at improving the image of NATO will become effective in the near future. The upcoming months and years might become critically important for the future of Serbia and the entire region.

Notes

[i] The corporate media and politicians often used this phrase throughout the 1990s: before, during and after the NATO war against Serbia. See: Barry Lituchy. Media Deception and the Yugoslav Civil War. In: NATO in the Balkans. 1998. New York: International Action Center. p. 205; also, Inside Milosevic’s Propaganda Machine, July 4, 1999 TIME magazine. http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,27726,00.html

[ii] The use of depleted uranium was confirmed by multiple sources including U. S. and NATO officials. See: http://educate-yourself.org/cn/depleteduraniumlegacyyugoslavia28aug13.shtml

http://www.globalresearch.ca/15-years-on-looking-back-at-natos-humanitarian-bombing-of-yugoslavia/5375577

Michele Chossudovsky. 2003. NATO’s War of Aggression Against Yugoslavia. ahttp://www.globalresearch.ca/natos-war-of-aggression-against-yugoslavia-2/5517027

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-u-s-nato-military-intervention-in-kosovo/1666

Shay Lafontaine. NATO and the Humanitarian Dismemberment of Yugoslavia. Counterpunch, May 17, 2016. http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/17/nato-the-humanitarian-dismemberment-of-yugoslavia/

Also see: Michael Parenti. 2000. The Rational Destruction of Yugoslavia. http://www.michaelparenti.org/yugoslavia.html

and Robert Fisk. 2000. Amnesty Internations: NATO Deliberately Attacked Civilians in Serbia. Independent, June 7, 2000. http://www.commondreams.org/headlines/060700-02.htm

[iii] This article was based on the report published by the Serbian News Agency SRNA. http://www.blic.rs/vesti/drustvo/posledice-nato-bombi-srbija-je-prva-u-evropi-po-smrtnosti-od-tumora/1c0wce1

[iv] NATO casualties are documented by multiple sources and they differ substantially. According to the Serbian officials, they are still confirming the exact civilian deaths, but the numbers that they published in 2013 include 2,500 dead and 12,500 injured civilians along with 631 members of Serbian armed forces in addition to 28 missing.

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/number-of-victims-of-nato-bombing-still-unknown

[vi] Check out 2 documentaries by Boris Malagurski: The Weight of Chains and The Weight of Chains 2. http://weightofchains.ca/

[vii] The majority of Serbian population opposes any collaboration with NATO, as well as E. U. membership http://inserbia.info/today/201604/serbs-want-russia-do-not-want-eu-and-nato-poll/

[ix] This article was based on the report published by the Serbian News Agency SRNA; http://www.blic.rs/vesti/drustvo/posledice-nato-bombi-srbija-je-prva-u-evropi-po-smrtnosti-od-tumora/1c0wce1

[x] This article was based on the report published by the Serbian News Agency SRNA; http://www.blic.rs/vesti/drustvo/posledice-nato-bombi-srbija-je-prva-u-evropi-po-smrtnosti-od-tumora/1c0wce1

[xi] Michel Chossudovsky. NATO’s War of Aggression in Yugoslavia: Who are the War Criminals? Global Research, March 21, 2006. (reprinted the 1999 article) p. 2 http://www.globalresearch.ca/nato-s-war-of-aggression-in-yugoslavia-who-are-the-war-criminals/2144

[xii] Posledice upotrebe municije sa osiromasenim uranijumom: epidemija kanceroznih oboljenja:

http://www.mycity-military.com/Opste-vojne-teme/Posledice-upotrebe-municije-sa-osiromasenim-uranijumom.html

[xiii] Jasmina Vujić and Dragoljub Antic. March 31, 2015. Ekološke i zdravstvene posledice NATO bombardovanja 1999, sa akcentom na osiromaseni uranijum. http://www.nspm.rs/srbija-i-nato/ekoloske-i-zdravstvene-posledice-nato-bombardovanja-1999-s-akcentom-na-osiromaseni-uranijum.html

[xv] Irving Wesley Hall. Depleted Uranium for Dummies. Global Research, April 17, 2006. http://www.globalresearch.ca/depleted-uranium-for-dummies/2269

[xvi] Depleted Uranium Technical Brief: EPA 402-R-06-011. December 2006 https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-05/documents/402-r-06-011.pdf

[xvii] Example: Jasmina Vujić and Dragoljub Antic. March 31, 2015. Ekoloske i zdravstvene posledice NATO bombardovanja 1999, sa akcentom na osiromaseni uranijum. http://www.nspm.rs/srbija-i-nato/ekoloske-i-zdravstvene-posledice-nato-bombardovanja-1999-s-akcentom-na-osiromaseni-uranijum.html, p.

[xviii] Michael Parenti. 2000. To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia. New York: Verso. p. 121

[xix] A. Cockburn and Jeffery St. Clair. 2004. Imperial Crusades: Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yugoslavia. New York: Verso. p. 17

[xx] Gregory Elich. 2015. No War Crimes Here. Counterpunch, April 22, 2015. http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/22/no-war-crimes-here/ and Gregory Elich. 2006. Strange Liberators: Militarism, Mayhem, and the Pursuit of Profit. Llumina Press. Pp.

[xxi] Rade Biočanin and Mirsada Badić. The mystery of depleted uranium in NATO projectiles, p. 7 www.cqm.rs/2010/pdf/5/22.pdf

[xxii] Organ trafficking in Kosovo:

http://www.justiceinfo.net/en/tribunals/mixed-tribunals/2509-european-court-in-view-on-kosovo-organ-trafficking.html

http://www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/appeal-court-acquitted-two-in-medicus-case-03-03-2016

Clint Williamson, chief prosecutor of the Special Investigative Task Force (SITF), released a statement last year accusing KLA leaders of murdering a “handful” of people. The report follows the investigation of an earlier Council of Europe inquiry led by Dick Marty, a Swiss politician, in 2010. According to the investigation, senior officials led a “campaign of persecution” toward Serbs, Roma, other minority groups in Kosovo, as well as Albanians who either worked with Serbs or opposed the KLA.

Border kidnappings mentioned here: https://news.vice.com/article/kosovo-rejects-special-court-to-prosecute-organ-harvesting-and-other-alleged-war-crimes

[xxiv] Economic Desperation Forces Kosovars to Flee. Financial Times, March 26, 2015. https://www.ft.com/content/4a5b7426-d2cf-11e4-a792-00144feab7de

[xxv] Parenti, Ibid, p. 163

[xxvi] Diana Johnstone. 2002. Fools Crusade. Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions. NY: Monthly Review. P. 250

[xxvii] Ibid, p. 249

[xxviii] Andrej Grubaċić. 2010. Don’t Mourn, Balkanize! Oakland: PM Press. P. p. 146

[xxix] Ibid, p. 155

[xxx] Ibid, p. 38

[xxxii] Noam Chomsky. 2001. A Review of NATO’s War over Kosovo. Z Magazine, April-May, 2001 and Chomsky.info

[xxxiii] Gray Carter. 2014. Why did NATO bomb Serbia? There Must be Justice, May 30, 2014, p. 1

[xxxiv] Johnstone, Ibid., p. 266

[xxxv] Serbian authorities conceal agreements with NATO, Pravda.Ru, February 26, 2016, p. 2; http://www.pravdareport.com/news/world/europe/24-02-2016/133627-serbia-0/

[xxxvi]Ibid, p. 1; Resolution of the National Assembly on the protection of sovereignty, territorial integrity and constitutional order of the Republic of Serbia: http://www.parlament.gov.rs/Seventh_Sitting_of_the_Second_Regular_Session_of_the_National_Assembly_of_the_Republic_of_Serbia_in_2007.6537.537.html

[xxxvii] I received copies of all Serbia – NATO agreements analyzed in this article from a Serbian friend. I am not sure how easy or difficult it would be for “ordinary Serbian residents” to obtain any of these copies.

[xxxviii] Check out 2 documentaries by Boris Malagurski: The Weight of Chains and The Weight of Chains 2. http://weightofchains.ca/ in these two documentaries Malagurski interviewed numerous experts who provided data on the destruction of the Serbian economy and impacts on the working people and compared the case of Yugoslavia with examples from other countries.

[xl] However, at earlier this year, the public support for any collaboration with NATO stayed as low as 11%. http://inserbia.info/today/201604/serbs-want-russia-do-not-want-eu-and-nato-poll/

[xlii] Serbia’s Asymmetric Neutrality: Teetering Between NATO and Russia. Nyatider.nu https://www.nyatider.nu/serbias-asymmetric-neutrality-teetering-between-nato-and-russia/

[xliv] Rt.com news article about Serbia being dragged into NATO, February 22, 2016. https://www.rt.com/news/333218-serbia-joining-nato-humiliating/>

[xlv] Stephen Karganović. Serbia’s march into NATO servitude. The Saker, July 11, 2016. http://thesaker.is/serbias-march-into-nato-servitude/

[xlvii] Sara Flounders. 1998. NATO in the Balkans. New York: International Action Center. p. 9

By Milina Jovanović

04-09-2016

Why are US Forces in Yemen at All?

A tribesman loyal to Houthi rebels, right, chants slogans during a gathering aimed at mobilizing more fighters into battlefronts to fight pro-government forces in several Yemeni cities, in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017.

‘The truth of the matter is that America is killing people — terrorists and others — because its leaders don’t know what else to do.’

Several days ago, press reports revealed that U.S. special-operations troops had conducted a raid in Yemen. Impoverished, violent, and bitterly divided, Yemen has hitherto had a place on the roster of countries that the United States periodically bombs without being graced with the presence of U.S. forces on the ground. As long as this arrangement persisted, few Americans paid attention to events in this far corner of the “war on terror.” After all: Whoever was killed and maimed by U.S. ordnance falling from the skies, it wasn’t our guys.

Now with one Navy SEAL dead, several others injured, and a $75-million aircraft destroyed, the calculus has changed. However briefly, Yemen is in the headlines, with the press even taking note of the civilian bystanders killed and wounded as the Americans fought to extricate themselves from an operation gone awry. Here for our novice commander-in-chief who has promised “we’re gonna win so much people will say we can’t take it any more” was a vicarious baptism of fire.

Those who speak on behalf of Donald Trump categorize the outcome as his first win, and an impressive one at that. According to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, the raid was “a successful operation by all standards,” not to mention, “very, very well thought out and executed.” Few other outside Trump’s inner circle share that assessment. By any objective measure, the raid was an embarrassing and costly failure—so much so that the Yemeni government has reportedly forbidden any further such intrusions.

But let’s not rush to judgment, Andrew Exum suggests. Don’t hold Trump accountable for the outcome, when the real problem is bureaucratic constipation.

In Exum’s defense of the raid and the decisionmaking process that guided it, he complains that discussion at the upper levels of the national-security apparatus has become too “slow and ponderous.” Constraints imposed from above negate “one of the primary advantages the U.S. military enjoys, which is a highly trained and capable officer corps in the field that can exercise independent judgment.” Allowing the officer corps greater freedom of action will, by implication, yield more effective outcomes. Meddling civilians, therefore, need to butt out, allowing field commanders “to be aggressive [and] to take risks,” even if on occasion they may “fall short.”

Coming from a former senior Department of Defense official, this strikes me as a radical misdiagnosis of the problem—a bit like a physician prescribing soda pop and chocolate bars as an antidote to ketoacidosis.

My own reading of recent U.S. policy suggests that an absence of aggressiveness or an aversion to risk do not number among the explanations for why the World’s Greatest Military has accomplished so little of late. Indeed, I would submit that since 9/11, the U.S. military has demonstrated both qualities in spades. What’s been lacking is sobriety and clarity of thought.

In Afghanistan, a campaign of astonishing boldness enabled U.S. forces in 2001 to overthrow the Taliban in remarkably short order. Commanders congratulated themselves on their brilliance, and without bothering to stabilize that country, immediately moved on to fresh challenges. What had been gained was soon lost. Fifteen-plus years later, the war in Afghanistan grinds on.

In Iraq, a lightning thrust by U.S. forces toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, resulting in what was advertised at the time as an epic victory. Alas, the commanders responsible had given little thought to what might happen next. The independent judgment that they exercised turned out to be monumentally defective. In short order, an epic victory transformed itself into an epic quagmire.

Libya in 2011? Same story: Bold action, illusory success, then a first-class mess, albeit one that Libyans rather than U.S. troops were let to deal with.

It would be wrong to saddle the officer corps with exclusive responsibility for these serial disappointments. A fairer verdict would be this: Collaboration between senior Department of Defense officials, Republican and Democratic alike, and senior military officers from all services, resulted in deeply defective plans based on erroneous assumptions leading to unforeseen consequences that field commanders then struggled to contain, while expending lives and treasure with abandon.

Apportioning responsibility for military failure is not necessarily easy. Who, for example, squandered the “victory” won in Iraq in 2003? President George W. Bush? Donald Rumsfeld and the senior Department of Defense officials who fancied that it would all be easy? The now-suitably forgotten members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time? CENTCOM commander General Tommy Franks, once upon a time heralded as a Great Captain? Answer: all of the above. (And, if only for reasons of gender balance, throw in the likes of Private Lynndie England, who rocketed to fame humiliating detainees at Abu Ghraib.)

Killing people and bombing things has become a substitute for policy and indeed for thinking.

What explains the exceedingly modest payoff that America gets for the $600 billion-plus dollars that congress annually funnels to the Pentagon? It’s ludicrous to suggest, as Exum does, that the problem lies with timid and slow-moving civilian officials who have “denied subordinate commanders the flexibility to exploit opportunities they saw on the battlefield.” No, the real problem is that the senior civilian officials aided and abetted by the military professionals to whom they look for professional advice have jointly failed in the formulation of a coherent strategy—a concrete plan to achieve U.S. policy objectives at a reasonable cost.

Senior civilians and senior military officers today engage in their tug of war over military minutiae—when, how, and whether to conduct a raid—because doing so enables them to sustain the pretense that the United States is engaged in a strategically purposeful enterprise: that America is killing people pursuant to some plausible political outcome. The truth of the matter is that America is killing people—terrorists and others—because its leaders don’t know what else to do.

Killing people and bombing things has become a substitute for policy and indeed for thinking. Where there should be strategy, there is a void. Will a president who looks to the likes of Steve Bannon and Michael Flynn for advice fill that void? I don’t think so.

The operative question is not: Why did last week’s raid in Yemen fail? Instead, it is: What are U.S. forces doing there in the first place? How, at this stage of the game, is further expansion of the conflict once known as the Global War on Terrorism advancing the basic security interests of the United States? All that Mr. Trump is doing is to embrace the legacy of his predecessors: perpetuating what has become an open-ended war of attrition.

“Slow and ponderous”? Me, I’ll take it any day of the week, especially if the sole alternative on offer is “hasty and stupid,” as it appears to be.

CONDUCTING MILITARY OPERATIONS IN YEMEN BECOMES MORE COMPLICATED FOR US

 

After the recent raid of the US Special Forces in Yemen, it will be more difficult to conduct ground operations on the territory of the country for the US.

UPD: Yemen did not issue an outright ban on future American-led missions, though the country has called for a ‘reassessment’ of a raid, conducted by the US Special Forces on January 28, the Washington Post newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing a Yemen’s top diplomat.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdul-Malik al-Mekhlafi also told the AP news agency that “Yemen continues to cooperate with the United States and continues to abide by all the agreements,” adding that the Yemeni government “is involved in talks with the US administration on the latest raid.”

“It’s not true what’s being said,” a senior Yemeni official said, talking about the Yemeni ban on operations of the US Special Forces. “We and the international community are working side-by-side to fight terrorism,” he said.

In addition, the US Central Command has not stopped its operations on the territory of the country.

“We have not been directed to stop any operations against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” US mil CENTCOM spox about end to Yemen raids

US President Donald Trump, who announced the fight against international terrorism as one of his main priorities, met with the first failure – after the recent raid of the US Special Forces on Al-Qaeda headquarters in Yemen led to the deaths of civilians, the authorities of the Arab country have expressed a strong protest against such special operations of Washington, the Kommersant newspaper reported.

The problem of the US is worsened by the fact that the current Yemeni government are completely dependent on Saudi Arabia that means that the demarche, taken by them against the White House, could be sanctioned by one of the most influential countries in the Arab world.

The immediate occasion of the tough statement of the Yemeni authorities was results of the US SEAL’s raid on the headquarters of the Al-Qaeda group in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), carried out on January 29, during which 14 terrorists, one US soldier and at least ten civilians, including women and children, were killed.

According to an official version of the Pentagon, the operation had “purely a reconnaissance nature”: the aim was to seize computers and mobile phones of terrorists, as well as data on activities of the AQAP. But in fact, the special forces’ soldiers had one more task – to capture or kill AQAP commander Qasim al-Rimi, who is considered by the US as one of the most dangerous terrorists in the world. However, the US Special Forces did not manage to capture or kill him. Last Sunday, al-Rimi published online a video, in which he said that the “madman from the White House received a slap in the very beginning of his way.”

At the moment, Yemen actually is a divided state. Its northern regions, including the capital of Sanaa, are controlled by the pro-Iranian Shiite movement of Ansar Allah. An Arab coalition, created by Saudi Arabia, which supports President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, recognized by the world community, has been fighting against the movement.

The government of Hadi came to power virtually as a result of a military operation, organized by Riyadh and its allies. Given this circumstance, it is difficult to imagine that the loud demarche against the new US administration was taken without an approval of Saudi Arabia. Consequently, the Donald Trump’s team runs the risk to get not only a traditional partner and ally in the face of Riyadh, as it usually was, but also a tough opponent.

At the same time, an advisor to the director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, Elena Suponina, told the newspaper that there also could be another reason for such a statement of the Yemeni government – the Yemeni authorities were forced to react to the actions of the US Special Forces “under pressure of people.”

She reminded that Yemen was among the seven countries with predominantly Muslim population, for which Trump tried to impose a ban on entry into the US. On the other hand, according to Suponina, the Yemeni authorities would not be able to stay without military and technical assistance of Washington in the fight against terrorism. In this way, the expert suggested that there would be “backroom bargaining” between the Trump’s administration and the Yemeni government.

Iran war rhetoric and the ‘Trump-ordered’ dawn raid in Yemen: WWIII isn’t ‘coming’ – It’s happening NOW

Iran war rhetoric and the 'Trump-ordered' dawn raid in Yemen: WWIII isn't 'coming' - It's happening NOW

US government rhetoric against Iran has lately hit levels not seen since the Bush administration, and a string of events over the last couple of weeks in and around Yemen appears to be the reason for it. US drone strikes and airstrikes against targets in Yemen took place before, during and after Trump’s inauguration, but it was the US Special Forces (Navy Seals 6) raid in central Yemen on January 28th that got the US media’s attention. Two…

Misrepresenting Russia Promo (very interesting project)

Trump Confronts New McCarthyism

February 9, 2017

President Trump has hit back forcefully against the New McCarthyism, including a stunning rebuke of Sen. John McCain for fanning a New Cold War with Russia and risking World War III, writes Gilbert Doctorow.

By Gilbert Doctorow

The original McCarthyism of the early 1950s appeared with the consolidation of the Cold War. It was a witch hunt over supposed communist subversion of America’s democratic institutions. It was all about the Red Menace and the Russians are coming. Today’s New McCarthyism grew with the onset of a New Cold War and also has been about the Russians, especially the vilification of Vladimir Putin.

This anti-Russian hysteria reached a point of near absurdity in the last days of the Obama Administration with its trust-us allegations that the Russians defeated Hillary Clinton by releasing some emails showing how the Democratic National Committee sabotaged Bernie Sanders and other emails revealing what Clinton had told Wall Street banks but didn’t want the voters to know. If you noted that Clinton had previously blamed her defeat on FBI Director James Comey for reopening and re-closing the investigation into her use of a private email server, you risked being labeled a “Putin apologist” or a “Kremlin stooge.”

Of course, the anger toward anyone who resisted the “Russia-did-it” conformism did not come from nowhere. One can trace the current hostility to dissenters against U.S. foreign policy back to the presidency of George W. Bush when he gutted the Bill of Rights in promulgating the Patriot Act with almost no public challenge. In the post-9/11 climate – when any resistance to Bush’s edicts was regarded as close to treason – many of us became uneasy while talking politics on the phone or looking up certain topics on the Internet or taking books out of the library.

This intimidating surveillance did not go away when the Democrats retook the White House and Congress in the 2008 elections, but we stopped thinking about it because supposedly the “right people” now held the levers of power and surely wouldn’t repeat the abuses of Bush-43. However, not only did the surveillance state consolidate its powers under Barack Obama but the former constitutional lawyer sharply escalated the legal persecution of whistleblowers who dared give the American people a look behind the curtain.

Obama’s unprecedented assault on government transparency was compounded by the liberal-chic contempt meted out to anyone who questioned the wisdom of imposing “liberal values,” “human rights,” and “democracy promotion” on countries around the world. “Political correctness” dominated not only domestic U.S. debates but also the formulation of foreign policy.

Vladimir Putin was viewed as a retrograde force in the world, in part, because he aligned himself with Russia’s conservative social values and because he fell short of an ideal notion of what liberal democracy is supposed to be. The fact that the U.S. government also was falling far short of those standards – from ordering targeted assassinations with minimal due process to imprisoning patriotic whistleblowers – was largely ignored by an Obama Administration that saw itself as too wonderful to have flaws.

Blacklisting Dissent

So, when the U.S. confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, Crimea and the Donbas began in the summer of 2013, those of us who did not accept what was becoming the Washington Consensus, which held Putin to blame for everything, began to see ourselves as dissidents in the Soviet sense or at least in the manner of the old McCarthy era. In effect, we were blacklisted, largely excluded from publication in the professional journals, not to mention mainstream print and broadcast media. On campus, we mostly kept our mouths shut fearing for our jobs.

In the narrow, but politically important field of Russian studies, just how bleak the times had become was revealed in the December 2015 “Christmas issue” of Johnson’s Russia List, an important daily digest of expert and generalist writings about Russia which contained a 40-page propaganda barrage against Putin and his ill-begotten country. But the content of that daily issue merely reflected what was entering the editor-publisher’s in-basket each day. Still, the silence of dissenters should not be confused with agreement.

For all his blustery and egotistical faults, Donald Trump has punched huge holes in the dominant neocon ideology that underlay the Washington Consensus on foreign policy during the presidencies of both George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Trump’s tweets and campaign messages asked, aloud and repeatedly, what could be wrong with the United States getting along with Russia and cooperating on common interests, starting with a joint campaign against ISIS.

Yet, Trump’s rejection of Washington’s foreign-policy orthodoxy went beyond relations with Russia; Trump was questioning the consensus on how America has conducted its role as global leader and he was challenging the arrogance of intervening in other nations’ affairs, whether by finger-waving lectures or various regime-change schemes.

As noisy and messy as Trump’s political approach has been – with a number of unnecessary diversions and self-inflicted wounds – there is a significant and “revolutionary” side of Trump’s approach. It represents a potential reordering of the two major political parties, a revamped struggle for power within the Right-Left dimension.

He restated this “revolutionary” aspect of his foreign policy in his Inaugural Address when he renounced the idea of endless interference in other countries’ politics and a return to the traditional role of America as an example, not an interventionist. This was an in-your-face condemnation of most of those sitting beside and behind him on the rostrum who favored a “values-based” foreign policy, globalization and American exceptionalism.

Taking on McCain

From the Oval Office, Trump has continued his frontal assault on this foreign-policy orthodoxy with his closely watched and disputed tweets. Much ridicule has been directed at Trump for ruling by tweets since they often reveal a lack of intellectual depth and his facile narcissism. But what they lack in refinement, Trump’s tweets make up for in feistiness and courage.

For instance, in a Jan. 30 tweet, Trump urged Republican neocon Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham to “focus their energies on ISIS, illegal immigration and border security instead of always looking to start World War III” [emphasis mine]. This was, in its own way, as significant as the pithy and devastating rebuke issued by attorney Joseph N. Welch to Sen. Joe McCarthy on June 9, 1954, after McCarthy attacked the patriotism of a young Army lawyer: “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?” Welch asked.

In a way, Trump’s reference to the behavior of McCain and Graham, running around the world advocating for one war after another, including a military confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia, was as precise and cutting as Welch’s putdown of McCarthy. In doing so, Trump broke the decades-long taboo on criticizing McCain despite his behavior as a loose cannon on the deck of foreign affairs, especially during the Obama years.

Behaving as if he had won rather than lost the 2008 election, McCain has traveled to such hot spots as Syria, Georgia and Ukraine with the goal of making U.S. foreign policy in the field, urging militants onward into violent clashes with their own governments or pushing U.S.-client states into conflicts with their neighbors.

Trump began his challenge to McCain during the campaign when he publicly questioned the “war hero” status of the Arizona senator by rhetorically asking in what way spending years in captivity as a Vietnam prisoner of war made McCain a war hero.

McCain took his revenge shortly before the inauguration when he informed the press that he had just handed over to the FBI for follow-up a dubious report generated by a former British intelligence agent accusing Trump of being vulnerable to Russian blackmail because of alleged cavorting with prostitutes during a visit to Moscow years ago.

To stymie any new détente with Russia, McCain also introduced a bill in the Senate calling for new and  expanded sanctions against Russia. So, the White House tweet was a direct challenge to McCain for his actions that Trump warned were inviting World War III. In doing so, Trump is at least prying open space for a fuller debate about U.S. foreign policy and the wisdom of neocon interventionism.

So, notwithstanding all the self-righteous exclamations before media microphones by Establishment figures from both parties over the foibles of this populist president and notwithstanding the shouting in the streets by demonstrators, it appears that the President is advancing via his tactic of frontal attack.

A week ago, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Trump’s bellwether choice to oversee a new foreign policy, was confirmed by the Senate to the surprise and pleasure of those of us who had kept our fingers crossed. It is too early to say how or why Trump won this test of strength. But initial fierce opposition from ranking Republicans John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio was beaten back.

Now, the question is whether Tillerson and Trump’s other foreign policy appointees can achieve genuine change in the direction of U.S. foreign policy.

Gilbert Doctorow is the European Coordinator of The American Committee for East West Accord Ltd. His latest book, Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015.

South China Sea Guidelines for the New Administration

As the new administration sets out to revamp U.S. strategy in the South China Sea, it should keep these guidelines in mind.

By Amy Searight | January 30, 2017 on CSIS.org

A critical and early Chinese test of U.S. resolve is likely to come in the South China Sea, where Washington has struggled to respond effectively to assertive Chinese behavior. Enduring U.S. interests — freedom of navigation and overflight, support for the rules-based international order, and the peaceful resolution of disputes — are at risk in the region. U.S. goals to uphold regional alliances and partnerships, defend international rules and norms, and maintain a productive relationship with China remain valid. China has seized the initiative in the South China Sea, however, and the United States needs to revamp its strategy to reverse current trends and escape the trap of reactive and ineffectual policymaking.

U.S. responses to China’s South China Sea activities have been insufficient to alter China’s behavior and have fed the narrative that China is pushing the United States out of the region. Countering China’s efforts has become a key test of perceived U.S. commitment to many in the region. If Chinese coercion goes unchallenged by the United States, it will send a dangerous signal about the strength of the U.S. alliance system and lessen the appeal of the United States as a security partner.

To counter China’s efforts to control the South China Sea, the United States needs a sustainable strategy to bolster its own capabilities, work more effectively with capable allies and partners, and strengthen the regional order. To this end, the new administration should perform an early, top-down, and thorough strategic review to enable greater consistency and effectiveness in U.S. South China Sea policy.

As the new administration sets out to revamp U.S. strategy in the South China Sea, it should keep the following guidelines in mind. These guidelines are excerpted from the January 25, 2017, CSIS report The South China Sea–Some Fundamental Strategic Principles, which was drafted in collaboration with other Asia colleagues at CSIS — Dr. Michael Green, Dr. Zack Cooper, Bonnie Glaser, Andrew Shear, and Greg Poling. You can read the full report here.

  • Pursue Deterrence and Cooperation Simultaneously

Although Chinese cooperation is necessary to address some regional and global issues — such as North Korea’s belligerent behavior and climate change — the United States should not be held hostage by concerns that a more robust deterrence strategy will thwart bilateral cooperation. Any temptation to alter U.S. policies in the South China Sea to preserve cooperation with China in other areas is unnecessary and potentially counterproductive. Cooperation on areas of shared interest is important not only to the United States, but also to China.

U.S. leaders should not be afraid of tension in the U.S.-China relationship. The United States can stand firm on its principles and deter China from undermining the regional order while maintaining a productive relationship. Giving ground on vital interests in Asia will not encourage greater cooperation on global issues. Instead, perceptions of weakness may encourage leaders in Beijing to embrace more assertive behavior. In short, adopting a more robust deterrence approach need not prevent cooperation that is in the interests of both countries.

  • Adopt Consistent and Sustainable Policies and Messages

The new administration should issue clear and consistent strategic messages, since inconsistent articulation of the objectives of the rebalance strategy has caused confusion in China and among allies and partners. In particular, shifting explanations for how the United States will manage China’s rising power and influence — along with the military-heavy implementation of the rebalance — have exacerbated suspicions that Washington seeks to contain Beijing’s rise.

Inconsistent messaging and policies — including on freedom of navigation and routine presence operations — have also led to confusion in the region. The new administration should provide authoritative explanations of these operations and not alter their schedule in response to Chinese pressure. Moving forward, freedom of navigation and routine presence operations should be executed on a regular basis to demonstrate U.S. resolve to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows. While consistency in U.S. messaging and policy execution is important, it should be balanced by carefully calculated unpredictability in operations and tactics to prevent Beijing from becoming overly confident in its ability to anticipate U.S. reactions.

  • Expand the Policy Toolkit

U.S. policy in the South China Sea has been overly reliant on military options, which may not always be the most effective response. Diplomatic, informational, legal, and economic responses are currently underrepresented in U.S. China policy, and their incorporation into the policy toolkit will be important for successfully dissuading China over the long term. For example, targeted sanctions on Chinese companies involved in destabilizing activities could be considered. The United States has leverage over China in areas not directly related to the South China Sea and may have to consider using or threatening to use these tools to stabilize the regional order.

  • Reinvigorate Engagement with Allies and Partners

The United States should intensify capacity-building efforts with allies and partners to improve their ability to resist Chinese coercion. Successful capacity-building efforts will allow Southeast Asian states to better help themselves, bolstering deterrence against low-level Chinese coercion and allowing the U.S. military to focus more on deterring high-level contingencies. To facilitate capacity building, Washington should preserve regional defense relationships while recognizing that the ability of the United States to partner with frontline states depends on their cooperation and adherence to good governance and human rights.

The United States has several enduring advantages that make regional states continue to seek it out as the security partner of choice, including the world’s best military, high favorability ratings in most local populations, and a less threatening foreign policy than that of China. Given these advantages, Washington can afford to focus on the long game in Asia, confident that Chinese adventurism is likely to push many states to turn to the United States for support.

  • Maintain a Principled Position on Disputes

The long-standing U.S. position that it takes no position on sovereignty disputes over land features in the South China Sea, while insisting that these disputes be resolved in a peaceful fashion and in accordance with international law, is sound and should be maintained.

This principled stand allows the United States to defend its interests without embroiling itself in the murky sovereignty claims at the heart of the South China Sea dispute. Not taking a position on sovereignty allows the United States to flexibly intervene in the South China Sea to defend its interests and international rules and norms, while undercutting Chinese attempts to paint U.S. actions as a threat to Beijing’s sovereignty. Other claimant states welcome U.S. involvement precisely because Washington does not favor one claimant’s territorial ambitions over those of the others.

(This Commentary originally appeared in the January 26, 2017, issue of Southeast Asia from Scott Circle .)

Dr. Amy Searight is a senior adviser and director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. Geoffrey Hartman is a fellow with the CSIS Southeast Asia Program

Commentary is produced by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a private, tax-exempt institution focusing on international public policy issues. Its research is nonpartisan and nonproprietary. CSIS does not take specific policy positions. Accordingly, all views, positions, and conclusions expressed in this publication should be understood to be solely those of the author(s).

© 2017 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. All rights reserved.