Should US Troops Remain In The Middle East?

My first reaction to that question is…Hell NO!  Their families have suffered many years and it is time for them to be reunited with their soldiers.

Bring our troops home…..and the reasons are clear.

  1. The Middle East is a small, poor, weak region beset by an array of problems that mostly do not affect Americans—and that U.S. forces cannot fix. The best thing the United States can do is leave.
  2. The immense cost and evident fruitlessness of U.S. wars in the Middle East are widely lamented in American politics, but not enough to extricate U.S. troops. And even beyond the wars, U.S. policy in the region is an expensive and unnecessary disaster.
  3. The cost of maintaining forces to protect the Middle East from itself is extraordinary, even in peacetime. Conservatively, attempting to control the Middle East costs Americans on the order of $65–70 billion dollars each year, apart from the trillions spent on wars there. The number should be closer to zero.
  4. Nothing about the Middle East warrants the U.S. investment there over the past 30 years. The few important interests there—preventing major terrorist attacks, stopping the emergence of a market-making oil hegemon, curbing nuclear proliferation, and ensuring no regional actor destroys Israel—do not require American troops.
  5. The roughly 60,000 U.S. troops in the region should leave. American efforts to manage the Middle East make nothing about oil, Israel, or terrorism better. The United States would be better off withdrawing all forward-deployed troops from the region, while maintaining access agreements for naval ports with the consent of host countries.
  6. Withdrawing ground forces from the Middle East will make it harder for the United States to start or join any wars there. Shrinking the U.S. armed forces to reflect the lack of threat from the Middle East will free up resources for any number of higher priorities at home or abroad.

Six excellent reasons for pulling US troops out of the Middle East…..[

Why are we still there?

Is it to protect Israel?  If so I say fuck them let them do their own security.

Is it to protect oil?  Again I say screw it…we do not need their oil any longer.

Is it to keep the M-IC in defense contracts and their profits rolling in?  I think I have hit on the the true reason we are still there.  The industry spends billions on Congress they want their money to be well spent….if not they move on to the next corrupt politician that will do their bidding.

Why are we still in the Middle East?

(Insert your thoughts here)

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New Map For Middle East

It has finally happened….all the influence that the US has in the courts of the Middle East has proven to be just what Israel needed…..

And the Neocons dance.

The new agreement signed between Israel and UAE and Bahrain threatens to draw a new map…but to what end?

The imminent establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and two Gulf states, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, is part of an on-going process of security cooperation going back many years. While that robs the event of some drama, it also increases its significance. It means that the process of ending the era of Arab-Israeli confrontation will continue, culminating perhaps in a political upheaval in Iran. That is the road that the Middle East may now be on.

Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Kuwait are some of the Arab countries reported to be considering peace deals with Israel. One or two of those countries may hold back, and Saudi Arabia, while supporting the process of regional normalization with Israel, may officially withhold formal recognition. It doesn’t matter. Even without official ties, all these countries have in a spiritual sense ended their hostility to the Jewish state.

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/middle-east%E2%80%99s-new-map-169503

Sudan and Oman may be the next to jump on this doomed agreement…

According to reports in Israeli media, Sudan and Oman could announce normalization deals with Israel as soon as next week. The Israeli newspaper Maariv reported Friday that Oman and Sudan are currently involved in US-brokered talks with Israel.

Israel’s i24News reported on Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to meet with Sudan’s Sovereignty Council Chairman Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in Uganda in the coming days.

Sources also told i24News that a Sudanese-Israeli Friendship Association will be inaugurated in Khartoum on Saturday. This inauguration is expected to start a normalization process between the two countries.

Sudan was designated a state sponsor of terror by the US in 1993. Khartoum has been negotiating with the US to be removed from that list for over a year. Sources told Reuters that the US is now demanding Sudan normalizes with Israel to be taken off the list.

(antiwar.com)

So a form of bribery to get some to play nice with Israel.

Keep in mind that Israel has done very little to live up to their agreements in the past….like the Oslo Accords…..

Then there is the history of the Arab League comes into the story…..why would they abandon the Palestinian people in favor of Israel?

As one Gulf state after another embraces formal ties with Israel, some have looked to the Arab League to condemn normalisation. Yet to understand why the league will do nothing of the sort, one has to go back to its founding. 

The League of Arab States was founded in 1945 at the instigation and planning of Britain to protect British imperial interests.

The British made sure that the Palestine question was subcontracted to the independent Arab states to absolve itself of responsibility for what it had wrought in the country. Seventy-five years later, the league has been transformed beyond recognition in most aspects, except in its major role of serving imperial interests.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/how-arab-league-helped-dissolve-palestinian-question

Just another betrayal of democratic principles in favor of a profits for the war machine.

I do not always agree with the Neocons and this is one area that I think they are paid agents of Israel…..they are making the new “peace deal”” sound like it is the end agreement….

Take, for example, the recent peace deals signed between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. These agreements were the result of a United States-led peace initiative widely condemned by professional diplomats and self-styled foreign policy experts. After Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the U.S. vetoed a Security Council resolution that condemned the move. The General Assembly later voted 128-9 to denounce America’s decision.

The General Assembly’s position on Jerusalem, of course, paled in comparison to the U.N.’s many decades of financing hatred in the Middle East toward Israel and Jews through its duplicative Palestinian-related committees, the Israel-bashing Human Rights Council, and the U.N. agency for so-called Palestinian refugees. These raise and educate generation after generation to hate Israelis and reject any peace that doesn’t lead to Israel’s destruction.

Trump succeeded where the UN failed

If you read that piece then you will notice that little mention about the rights and lives of the country’s original residents is made…instead it is hawking to benefits of Israel……FDD is a front for Neocon ideology…….there is more they have to say….

Criticism of Israel’s treaty with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been relentless. The New York Times’ Roger Cohen calls it “Trump’s Middle Eastern Mirage” and “something rotten.” A Washington Post oped calls it “a big step – in the wrong direction.” Reporting by Bloomberg describes the deal as “thin.” Middle East analyst Daniel Levy writes that the agreement is merely “the codification of an existing reality” which does “nothing by way of advancing peace in any arena.” They are wrong.

The “Treaty of Peace, Diplomatic Relations and Full Normalization Between the United Arab Emirates and the State of Israel” is a robust, legally binding peace treaty that represents a strategic pivot by the UAE. The UAE-Israel Peace Treaty commits the two countries to a relationship far warmer—and with far more intensive cooperation in economic, scientific, and social fields—than the cold peace Israel has with Egypt and Jordan (outside the security field).

UAE-Israel Treaty Is Far Larger Step Towards Peace Than Critics Allege

Once again these people are calling this a “good” deal…..it does not take into consideration the numerous human rights violations of Israel against the people of the West Bank and Gaza…..this is just another piece of manure disguised as a deal.

These is little democratic principles at work in the “only democracy in the Middle East”….money can buy a lot of beneficial PR.

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Biden And Endless Wars

Let’s say Biden wins in November and replaces Trump….what would that mean for our two longest wars?

First Trump is trying to look like a good guy just before the election by moving troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq….(personally I feel it is only a campaign ploy)….I wrote about Trump’s approach to these wars…..

Back to Biden….does he have a stand on these two endless wars?

Why yes he does!

Former Vice President Joe Biden gave some of his first foreign policy-related positions in an interview with Stars and Stripes on Thursday, saying the “forever wars have to end” while seemingly ruling out any full-fledged withdrawals, arguing the US still has to worry about terrorism and ISIS.

Biden said the ongoing US wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria are so complicated he can’t promise a withdrawal. He also suggested he may increase military spending even beyond its current record levels as he shifts focus to what he believes should be the military’s priorities.

The priorities, as are so often the case for the US, are fighting Russia, who Biden identified as a “near-peer” power. The US spends more than ten times the amount on its military annually that Russia does, and it is unclear in what way they are a “near-peer.”

Either way, Biden intends to shift the focus toward unmanned drones and cyber-warfare, and suggests that is likely to boil down to not just a shift in where money is spent, but likely an increase in spending as well.

(antiwar.com)

Mostly we will just have to stay awhile longer in the Middle East…..

According to the military newspaper, “Biden said the conditions in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq are so complicated that he cannot promise full withdrawal of troops in the near future.”

It added that the Democratic candidate “said he does not foresee major reductions in the US defense budget as the military refocuses its attention to potential threats from ‘near-peer’ powers such as China and Russia.” The Pentagon budget has soared under Trump, with overwhelming support from congressional Democrats, to $738 billion.

“In fact,” the article stated, “he [Biden] said defense spending could increase in a Biden administration.” It quoted the former vice president as saying, “I’ve met with a number of my advisers and some have suggested in certain areas the budget is going to have to be increased.”

The article noted that Biden has “vowed” to better equip the National Guard, which is increasingly being deployed in cities across the country to assist local and state police in suppressing left-wing protests.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/09/12/bide-s12.html

I have said on many occasions that if Biden is elected in November that very little will change….so far everything I have seen would NOT sway me from my predictions.

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Ender Of Endless Wars

That is what Trump billed himself as in the 2016 election…..and yet most…scratch that…ALL are still raging and Americans are still dying.

We get lots of lip service and even a bit of shuffling troops around so that it can be said that the president is keeping his campaign promise of 4 years ago.

Let’s start with Afghanistan.

The US has brought some troops out of the country and Trump’s new ambassador has lots to say about the troops….

In a move the could have major implications for the longest running war in US history, the Trump administration is planning to nominate Will Ruger to be the next ambassador to Afghanistan, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Ruger, an anti-interventionist conservative, has long championed an immediate withdrawal of American troops from that country.

Ruger’s planned nomination, which a source familiar with the matter confirmed to Mother Jones, speaks to President Trump’s desire to remove troops from Afghanistan as quickly as possible. Though the United States signed a much-criticized peace deal with the Taliban in February, the administration has been hazy about when to expect a full withdrawal of troops. Trump reportedly wants troops home before Election Day, but the Pentagon has advocated for a much “slower withdrawal schedule,” the New York Times reported in May. 

Trump’s Pick for Afghanistan Ambassador Wants to Withdraw US Troops Immediately

On the surface sounds like a good deal…but is it?  Or is it just talk?

Next is our second longest war….Iraq.

There has been some talk about removing our troops from Iraq and so far it has been just that…TALK.

The U.S. will be reducing the number of troops it has stationed in Iraq by about a third, reports The Wall Street Journal, leaving behind roughly 3,500 men and women. This news comes after a long series of brags at the Republican National Convention that President Donald Trump is succeeding in ending America’s foreign wars.

“Unlike previous administrations, I have kept America out of new wars, and our troops are coming home,” said Trump in his acceptance speech last night, promising that in a second term he would “strike down terrorists who threaten our people and keep America out of endless and costly foreign wars.”

Trump, Self-Proclaimed Ender of Endless Wars, Is Reducing the U.S. Troop Presence in Iraq to Where It Was in 2015

Let us not forget our footprint in Syria.

We went for dual reasons….eliminate ISIS’ progress and to rid the country of Assad,  WE did a fair job on the first but failed miserably on the second.

Why are there still thousands of American troops in Syria? The government offers up an official counter-terrorism justification for maintaining an illegal military presence in the country, and the president will sometimes talk about “keeping the oil” there, but the real answer is that no one with any authority or influence in Washington wants to bring them home. The usual mix of inertia, cowardice, and ideology that defines so many of our foreign policy debates also creates perverse incentives for politicians in both parties to defend an illegal, unauthorized mission that has nothing to do with American security.

U.S. troops are in harm’s way in Syria, and they are occasionally engaged in hostilities with pro-regime forces. Four American soldiers were injured in a collision last Wednesday between their armored vehicle and a Russian one. That was just the latest in a string of clashes between U.S. forces and Syrian and Russian government forces that has been going on for months. Last month, a group of American troops came under fire from Syrian government forces. The Syrians claim that a U.S. helicopter had attacked a Syrian government outpost and killed one of their soldiers. There was a bigger clash in February of this year that also resulted in at least one Syrian fatality. These have all been minor incidents, but they show how potentially dangerous it is to keep these troops there.

Get Out of Syria

The noise about action to be taken by the US against Iran is still there in the printed word and the spoken as well.

And finally there is the turmoil in Lebanon, a country that the US has placed troops on two occasions, the country is sliding into a civil yet again….and the US is just waiting for the invite…..

A new flashpoint of the wider tension, however, is in Lebanon. Russia, which has an expensive alliance with Iran in Syria, has declined to take on the same level of involvement in Lebanon. Iranian allies in Beirut – namely, Hezbollah – have therefore eyed eyeing Chinese funds and expertise to restore the city and its port after this month’s devastating ammonium nitrate explosion demolished them. The speediness and lack of conditionality that comes with Chinese support would provide a shortcut for Hezbollah to pre-empt any other powers stepping in as the city’s saviour and to bring its dominance of Lebanese politics to the level of a monopoly.

https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/the-world-s-great-powers-will-soon-face-off-in-lebanon-1.1066963

The Middle East may be out of mind these days but I requires watching closely or we will be ass deep in the region once again.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Those Damn Crusades

There is lots of opinions about the Crusades…..BTW there were 8 total but there were many minor battles that some could call Crusades.

We in the West know mostly about those Crusades that were successful…..for no one here wants to admit failure…..

The Crusades were a series of military campaigns organised by Christian powers in order to retake Jerusalem and the Holy Land back from Muslim control. There would be eight officially sanctioned crusades between 1095 CE and 1270 CE and many more unofficial ones. Each campaign met with varying successes and failures but, ultimately, the wider objective of keeping Jerusalem and the Holy Land in Christian hands failed. Nevertheless, the appeal of the crusading ideal continued right up to the 16th century CE, and the purpose of this article is to consider what were the motivating factors for crusaders, from the Pope to the humblest warrior, especially for the very first campaign which established a model to be followed thereafter.

https://www.ancient.eu/article/1249/the-crusades-causes–goals/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades

https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/crus/hd_crus.htm

Can anyone name the first clash of Muslim-Christian forces in the First Crusade?

The Battle of Dorylaeum, fought on July 1, 1097, marked the first full-scale military clash between the Christian armies of the West and the Muslim armies of the East. As such, it would prove to be an educational experience for both armies, one whose final outcome would have an extreme influence on the course of the First Crusade.

Dorylaeum: The First Christian-Muslim Clash of the Crusades

All the blood and death….were the Crusades a success or not?

To answer the question is this link to a book…..https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/168393

For those allergic to the printed word and reading…I have a short video for your education….

Not too late to Learn Stuff!

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Iraq In The Rear View Mirror

Out man in Washington has decided to bring US troops home from Iraq….that is a promise that has been wanting to be fulfilled….and now some will leave the country…..

CENTCOM officials say that the process has been considered for months, and confirmed Wednesday what the administration has said recently, that there will be a US drawdown in Iraq before the election. 2,200 troops will leave Iraq by the end of this month.

At times the Pentagon has resisted major troop cuts by the administration, but seems resigned to it this time, emphasizing that the US has made a “great sacrifice” in decades of Iraqi war, and vowing that the US would continue supporting the Iraqi government.

That is not a small point for them to emphasize, either. When the Iraqi parliament asked the US to withdraw, there was talk of the US cutting ties with Iraq entirely to punish them. That no longer seems to be contemplated


With a pro-US premier now, Iraq isn’t pushing for an immediate pullout, and the US may want to lower troop levels this month, but probably won’t be out of Iraq entirely by the election either, leaving open whether the US is on their way out of Iraq until 2021.

(antiwar.com)

A friend asked me who would fill the void created by the departure of US troops……the answer to that question is….France.

French President Emmanuel Macron has declared a raft of aid and support packages to assist the beleaguered Iraqi government, as reports indicate that the United States is planning further troop reductions in the embattled country.

President Macron arrived in Iraq last Wednesday as the first foreign head of state to visit the war-ravaged country since Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi took office in May. 

Speaking from Baghdad, Macron said that Iraq had to assert its “sovereignty” despite being caught up in US-Iran tensions. “Iraq has been going through a challenging time for several years, with war and terrorism,” Macron said.

He noted that the country was still struggling to revive its economy, improve its education system and bring “military elements and militias” under state control. 

https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/indepth/2020/9/9/the-iraq-report-france-asserts-itself-as-us-withdraws

France has been asserted itself into the region again…..Macron is trying to fill the hole that US is creating by its departure.

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Once Around The Middle East

My regulars know that I am a person who studied the Middle East in college and worked in the region for years after college and the military…..

But these days with protests and pandemic and elections not much attention is being paid to the Middle East…..and I tried to rectify that oversight on the media’s part.

There are changes taking place in the Middle East…

Yet there is a real historic change going on in the Middle East and north Africa, though it has nothing to do with the relationship between Israel and the Arabs. It is a transformation that has been speeded up by the coronavirus cataclysm and will radically change the politics of the Middle East.

The era characterised by the power of the oil states is ending. When the price of oil soared in the aftermath of the 1973 war, countries from Iran to Algeria, mostly though not exclusively Arab, enjoyed an extraordinary accretion of wealth. Their elites could buy everything from Leonardo da Vinci paintings to Park Lane hotels. Their rulers had the money to keep less well-funded governments in power or to put them out of business by funding their opponent.

https://www.unz.com/pcockburn/there-is-a-historic-change-taking-place-in-the-middle-east/

Then there is that deal between UAE and Israel…..as if this was the whole answer for the region…..BS!

The leaders involved — Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed of the UAE, U.S. President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — deserve much credit for sealing the agreement, and they stand atop a long list of winners. Indeed, the Netanyahu doctrine comes out the biggest winner of all. In its outline, that doctrine holds that peace between Israel and the Palestinians must go through the rest of the Arab world first, rather than waiting for Palestinian approval. Israel is done taking risks and making concessions for an elusive peace that hovers on the horizon, always just out of reach.  

Opposite a long list of winners stands only one real loser. It is not the Palestinians, or at least it doesn’t have to be. Rather, it is the failed belief that Israeli-Palestinian peace is the key to regional stability, and that it is Israel that must be pressured to achieve that peace through territorial and other risky concessions.  

https://www.realclearworld.com/2020/08/20/a_big_deal_in_the_middle_east_574797.html

Nothing about this deal strengthens the security in the region….all it does is make Israel a bigger target.

But all that must wait for the election and pandemic to be over and counted…..

But it appears as if the Middle East does not matter as much as it use to…….

Joe Biden has made clear that he wants America “back at the head of the table” to “rally the free world to meet the challenges facing the world today. … No other nation has that capacity.”

While it is essential for the United States to restore U.S. leadership and credibility on issues that are vital to national security and prosperity—most notably, global health cooperation, combating global warming and pushing back on China’s predatory trade practices—there is one region that simply isn’t as important as it used to be: the Middle East.

No matter who wins the White House in November, it is important to recognize that in recent years, the turbulent Middle East—where more often than not American ideas go to die—has become decidedly less important to American foreign policy and to our interests. The change reflects not only new regional dynamics and U.S. domestic priorities but the changing nature of American interests there.

American leadership and exceptionalism cannot fix a broken Middle East or play a major role in leading it to a better future. The U.S. still has interests there to protect but America needs to be realistic, prudent and disciplined in how it secures them. If we can learn to act with restraint, we’ll avoid the overreach, arrogance and self-inflicted wounds that have caused us and many others so much unnecessary misery and trouble.

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/09/03/the-middle-east-just-doesnt-matter-as-much-any-longer-407820

But none of this means that US will walk away from the Middle East or its conflicts it feeds.

And the overall prognosis for the region is not all that bright…..

We have come a long way from the hopes associated with Camp David, “Globalism,” “the end of history,” the end of the First Gulf War in 1991, and the first year of the Arab Spring in 2011 – almost all of it in the wrong direction. From a “realist” perspective, the greater Middle East has deteriorated over time, and in ways that go far beyond its conflicts, competing ideologies and faiths, and the petty power struggles of its ruling elites.

https://www.csis.org/analysis/greater-middle-east-arab-spring-axis-failed-states

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One Third Out!

The news coming from the Trump White House is that after his removal of troops from Afghanistan the same will be done with the troop deployment in Iraq…..

The first official figures from the Trump Administration on the Iraq drawdown came Friday, with officials now saying that the 5,200 US troops there currently will be cut to about 3,500 in the next two to three months.

That’s about a third of the US troops in Iraq, and realistically more than that, as there are almost certainly over 5,200 US troops in Iraq now. The US has not kept public figures on troop levels for months, and 5,200, the highest allowed by the US-Iraq troop agreement, and when more troops were sent, the official figure always remained 5,200.

As with other planned US drawdowns, the Pentagon has yet to comment on it at all. In Afghanistan, the drawdown was ongoing for months before the Pentagon even admitted there was an order to cut troop levels, and Iraq may be heading for a similar type of ambiguity.

President Trump announced the intention for a drawdown earlier this month during a visit by Iraq’s premier. The expectation was for troop cuts to come before the election. Though officials did not confirm that this is the total of the cut, the timeframe suggests this is what is being planned for now.

(antiwar.com)

Is this a promise kept by Trump?  Or is it just a move during an election to try a sway voters?

Is this going to be an end to our endless wars?

The Wall Street Journal scoop on the details of the Trump administration’s troop withdrawal from Iraq is welcome news. Reportedly, President Donald Trump is cutting U.S. troop levels by one- third, to about 3,500 troops from 5,200. This move would bring force levels back to where they were in 2015, at the height of the war against ISIL, which in and of itself demonstrates how unnecessary the troop level increases have been mindful of the decimation of the Islamic State.

Yet, the Journal — and the media narrative around this in general — frames this solely as a decision born out of political pressures in Iraq and the United States. The Iraqi public wants the United States to leave — as demonstrated by the Iraqi parliament voting to expel U.S. troops earlier this year – and Trump seeking to deliver on his campaign promise to end the endless wars.

“But both governments have faced political pressures at home from critics who have complained that the U.S. may be engaged in an open-ended mission,” the Journal reports.

What Trump’s troop withdrawal from Iraq means for ending America’s endless wars

Whatcha think?  Is this truly an end to our endless wars?  The beginning of the end?

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“lego ergo scribo”

Middle East Will Need Attention

After November no matter who wins the election the Middle East will need more attention…..because it is going to crap as I type…..

Just look at the special deal the Kushner worked out for the Middle East….it is s couple months old and already going to crap….

n the heels of the historic normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, news leaked of a secret clause engineered by President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner to sell billions of dollars worth of advanced U.S. weaponry, including drones and F-35 stealth fighter jets, to the United Arab Emirates. Israel has longed opposed sales of strategic weapons systems to other countries in the Middle East.

State Department officials and aides from relevant congressional committees told CNN they had not been notified of such a deal, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the rumored sale as “fake news.

Kushner’s Transactional Middle East Strategy is Already Showing Strain

It is time to change the paradigm in the Middle East……US needs to halt any further attempts to dominate the region…..

Conventional wisdom holds that the presence of United States forces in the Middle East makes America and the region more secure. To the contrary, the U.S. military’s large footprint in the region, combined with voluminous U.S. arms sales and support for repressive regimes, drives instability and exacerbates grievances and conditions that threaten the United States. This presence has made Americans less safe and undermined U.S. standing abroad; it also leaves America less prepared to address more dangerous nonmilitary challenges such as pandemics and climate change, as the Covid–19 crisis makes clear.

Given the manifest failure of the current strategy, growing calls for a demilitarized approach to the region should come as no surprise. However, translating concepts of military restraint into practical policy requires sustained effort. This paper is intended to move the debate forward by operationalizing a holistic approach to the region based on a narrow definition of vital U.S. interests, in accordance with a foreign policy centered on military restraint and responsible statecraft.

U.S. policy toward the Middle East should be guided by two core interests: Protect the United States from attack; and facilitate the free flow of global commerce.

A New U.S. Paradigm for the Middle East: Ending America’s Misguided Policy of Domination

Trump is threatening to bring our troops in Iraq home….or well at least move them out…..earlier this month (August)…..

The US-led coalition in Iraq has withdrawn the last of its forces from Camp Taji, a base near Iraq’s capital Baghdad that has been the target of recent rocket attacks. The coalition handed control of the base to Iraqi security forces, along with $347 million in military equipment.

The anti-ISIS coalition dubbed Operation Inherent Resolve is hailing the move as a success and says it is part of a “long-range” plan with the Iraqi government.

“Camp Taji has historically held up to 2,000 Coalition members, with the majority departing over the summer of 2020,” the coalition said in a statement released on Sunday. The statement said the force was made up of a Spanish helicopter battalion and “military trainers” from Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Turkey, the UK, the US, and NATO.

It is not clear if the forces withdrawing from Camp Taji are leaving Iraq entirely, or if they are just being redeployed in the country. Currently, there are about 5,000 US troops in Iraq and an additional 2,500 from other countries that are part of the coalition.

(antiwar.com)

Will Saudis Get Nukes?

Over a year ago I wrote bout the news that Jared was working to help MbS get nuke power for KSA…..https://lobotero.com/2019/05/14/saudis-and-nukes/

I said then that it was a bad idea to give the Saudis nuke technology and after months of bitching I see that Pompeo has reassured Israel that Saudis will got get access to nukes….

Following reports that this is a specific concern of Israel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he believes it is a “real risk” that Saudi Arabia will get nukes, and that the US views it as a “top priority” to try to prevent the Saudis from getting such arms.

Recent reports, all centering on the Israeli narrative, claim the Saudis are processing yellowcake uranium, and that they are getting secret help from China that could lead to the acquisition of nuclear arms in the future.

This is an unusual place for the administration to be in, as they general support arming the Saudis to the teeth, and Pompeo has repeatedly gone to bat for the idea that the Saudis need more arms for their “emergency” state. Those are US-made arms, of course.

The concern may be that getting arms from China will change the power structure of the Middle East, with Pompeo saying China’s offer is “too good to be true.” It’s not clear what China offered, or if they offered anything at all, and Saudi interest in nuclear energy could easily explain away the uranium processing.

(antiwar.com)

So according to the toad in the State Department….it is okay for the US to give nukes away but not China.  A moronic thought!

But not to worry.

KSA’s close friend the UAE has just fired up its nuclear plant…..

A nuclear power plant in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates has been connected to the country’s power grid, authorities said Wednesday. The Barakah nuclear power plant in the Emirates’ far western desert near the border with Saudi Arabia began sending out electricity, according to the state-run WAM news agency. WAM published a photograph of employees working inside the plant’s control room, though no independent media was there to witness the event. On July 31, the plant’s first reactor reached what scientists called its “first criticality.” That’s when the nuclear chain reaction within the reactor is self-sustaining. Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency and other regulatory bodies have seen and assessed the site.

The plant has been considered a target by Yemen’s rival Houthi rebels since Dec. 2017. They claimed then, without offering evidence, to have fired a cruise missile at it, something immediately denied by the UAE. Plans call for four reactors to be operating at Barakah, which authorities say will provide some 25% of all energy needs in this OPEC-member nation. The $20 billion plant was built by the Emirates with the help of South Korea. It’s the first nuclear power plant on the Arabian Peninsula. The US has praised the UAE’s nuclear program for agreeing never to acquire enrichment or reprocessing capabilities, which prevents it from being able to make weapons-grade uranium, the AP reports.

A plant next door would be easy to get the technology needed….basically for nothing.

Does anyone else see how moronic this foreign policy is?

If not maybe you should pay attention.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”