Ron Paul asks: Will Gen. Kelly Re-Militarize The Drug War?

As head of the US Southern Command, Gen. John Kelly was in charge of the US military involvement in the drug war in Central and South America. He blames the liberalization of marijuana in some US states for the ongoing failure of the drug war, even though the drug war has drug on for decades and marijuana decriminalization is a very recent phenomenon. Will the general take his military approach to the drug war to his domestic position as the next Secretary of Homeland Security? We look at the general and his views in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

After Libya, NATO Looks To Montenegro

NATO’s desperate search for a purpose after the fall of the Soviet Union has left a swath of destruction through places like Libya, which it “liberated” nearly six years ago. Now NATO wants to take in tiny Montenegro, a corrupt, poor, Balkan statelet with a total of 2,000 troops. The reason? To further provoke Russia and to open the door to more NATO expansion perhaps to Georgia, Moldova, and even Ukraine. This week the US Senate will vote on Montenegro’s NATO membership. Will president-elect Trump ask them to hold off on this ill-advised move? We discuss in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Requiem for the Obama Administration, Trump Edition

The problems many are now predicting under the Trump administration did not start on November 8. The near-unrestrained executive power claimed by the Obama administration will be transferred to the president-elect. Here’s what that means.

Torture

Obama did not prosecute, fire or discipline anyone for torturing people on behalf of the people of the United States. He did not hold any truth commissions, and ensured almost all of the government documents on the torture program remain classified. He did not prosecute the CIA official who willfully destroyed video tapes of the torture scenes. He has not specifically disavowed secret prisons and renditions, just suspended their use.

As with the continued hunting down of Nazis some 70 years after their evil acts, the message that individual responsibility exists must stalk those who would do evil on behalf of a government. “I was only following orders” is not a defense against inhuman acts. The purpose of tracking down the guilty is less to punish and more to discourage the next person from doing evil; the purpose is to morally immunize a nation-state.

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Ron Paul on Gen. Mattis: Can Trump Leash His Pentagon ‘Mad Dog’?

Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis will make his way from the board of directors of major defense contractor General Dynamics back to the Pentagon as Defense Secretary under incoming president Donald Trump. Like his predecessor, current Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, Mattis comes by way of the military-industrial complex. Unlike Carter he was a four star general in the US Marine Corps. Asked about the three biggest threats to the US, Gen. Mattis responded, “Iran, Iran, Iran.” He is convinced that Iran and ISIS are in league together, a position not borne out by facts. Should we be concerned over a “mad dog” in charge of the Pentagon? More in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

The ‘Draft Women’ Legislation Roller Coaster Ride

draftwomen

During consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in the spring, the proposal that women be required to sign up with Selective Service just as are men started on a roller coaster ride in the United States Congress. That ride had a couple more turns this week. On Tuesday, a United States Senate and House of Representatives conference committee, which was creating a compromise version of the NDAA because the two bodies had passed differing bills, released a final bill that leaves out such a requirement. Then, on Thursday, the Obama administration announced support for requiring women to register with Selective Service.

If women are mandated to register with Selective Service, then the expectation would be that women are in the pool of people for drafting into the military if conscription is reintroduced in America. Thus, such a mandate in the NDAA or other legislation may be viewed as a women draft provision.

In the spring, a women draft provision was added to the House version of the NDAA in a peculiar way. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) proposed the requirement during House Armed Services Committee consideration of the bill. Hunter said he did so to start a debate regarding the ongoing expansion of women’s involvement in US military combat, which he opposes. But, then, the committee voted on April 27 to approve the requirement, with Hunter voting against his own proposal.

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The Cost of Empire

With all these generals being called out of retirement to serve as Donald Trump’s “civilian” advisers, whether it’s General James “Mad Dog” Mattis as Secretary of Defense or General Mike Flynn (the real mad dog) as National Security Adviser, it’s difficult to envision the American empire being shrunk anytime soon. The U.S. military is overcommitted around the world, attenuating its strength even as the American taxpayer foots the bill to the tune of over $600 billion a year, not including nuclear weapons, veterans affairs, interest on the national debt related to war and defense spending, and so on.

With its endless wars and global adventurism, the U.S. is slowly bankrupting itself even as President-elect Trump promises higher military spending and more toughness abroad. Imperial over-commitment, for the historically-minded, recalls the fate of the Roman empire. Many moons ago, the classicist Steven Willett wrote the following words to me, words that America’s militarists and imperialists would be wise to read – and heed:

My personal concern is the misallocation of our resources in futile wars and global military hegemony. We are acting under the false belief that the military can and should be used as a foreign policy tool. The end of US militarism is bankruptcy. I agree with [Andrew] Bacevich’s recommendation that the US cut military spending 6% a year for 10 years. The result would be a robust defensive military with more freed-up resources for infrastructure, education, research and alternative energy. Our so-called defense budget is a massive example of what economists call an opportunity cost.

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