Is the US Training the Next African Coup Leader?

AFRICOM is ready to begin this year’s annual special operations training for African military leaders, dubbed ‘Flintlock.’ The program is labeled as part of America’s counter-terrorism strategy on the continent, yet its graduates often have goals other than fighting jihadists.

Most recently, two-time Flintlock grad Lt. Col. Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba seized power in Burkina Faso, ousting President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré in January. Reporting on Damiba’s deep ties to the US military establishment, journalist Nick Turse writes,

“In 2010 and 2020, he participated in an annual special operations training program known as the Flintlock exercise. In 2013, Damiba was accepted into an Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance course, which is a State Department-funded peacekeeping training program. In 2013 and 2014, Damiba attended the U.S.-sponsored Military Intelligence Basic Officer Course-Africa. And in 2018 and 2019, he participated in engagements with a U.S. Defense Department Civil Military Support Element in Burkina Faso.”

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The End of a Forever War?

French President Emmanuel Macron announced that European troops will begin exiting Mali after nine years. Operation Barkhane – which has become known as ‘France’s Forever War’ – will wind down its ground operations over the next six months.

The decision comes after months of increasing tensions with the ruling military leadership of Mali, headed by Col. Assimi Goïta. The colonel most recently seized power during his second coup last May.

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How Much Will Biden’s Ukraine Policy Cost Americans?

The Ukraine crisis has provided the perfect opportunity for weapon makers to cash in. The collapse of the Afghan Army was a blow to the military-industrial complex that made billions during the two-decade nation-building project. Now, it appears the foreign policy establishment sees Ukraine as a potential Afghanistan replacement.

The State Department has approved the transfer of five helicopters that belonged to the Afghan Army to Ukraine. The helicopters are just a small part of the billions in weapons the US and its allies have given to Kyiv. Additionally, Biden has sent thousands of soldiers to Eastern Europe on costly deployments.

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Ukraine Collects Weapons While Downplaying the Russian Threat

Weapons from US allies are pouring into Ukraine: Stinger missiles from Lithuania, drones from Turkey, MANPADS from Poland, anti-tank weapons from the UK and artillery systems from Estonia – all as Congress debates whether to send more “lethal aid” atop the $200 million already authorized.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky now finds himself in a predicament. While the appearance of a heightened threat of ‘Russian aggression’ has allowed Kyiv to arm itself on the cheap, there is no such thing as a free lunch and he is finding out that being the target of war propaganda has a steep price with real consequences for the Ukrainian economy.

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The Real Suffering Created By Biden’s Disorganized Afghan Exit

A recently declassified Pentagon report on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan has renewed attacks against President Joe Biden from across the political spectrum. No doubt, the lack of foresight on the rapid collapse of the US-built Afghan government is inexcusable and created needless chaos.

New reporting on the August 26 suicide bombing at the Kabul airport – an attack that killed more than 150 people – suggests that some victims may have died of gunshot wounds, rather than the explosion. While the Pentagon has acknowledged that American and British troops fired “a small number of warning shots” from opposite sides of the crowd, it maintains that no Afghans were killed by US forces.

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Don’t Forget About the West’s War Games

The media is awash with stories hyping Russia’s troop buildup around Ukraine and the 30,000 soldiers deploying to Belarus for military drills. Yet, the corporate press has dedicated virtually no coverage to the ongoing series of NATO and Ukrainian war games simulating battles with Moscow.

In a move not seen since the Cold War, the US placed the USS Truman aircraft carrier strike group under the command of NATO. The ship is currently a part of “Neptune Strike” naval war maneuvers alongside French and Italian counterparts – what amounts to a massive NATO armada in the Mediterranean Sea.

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