Can Trump Get Out of Afghanistan?

With a peace agreement between the US and the Taliban nearly completed, will President Trump be able to do what his two predecessors were unable to do – end the US military’s 18 year war on Afghanistan? Neocons at home are screaming that we must stay, Trump has promised a departure. And election season is heating up. Watch today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Ron Paul Interviews David Stockman: Grave Danger of China Collapse

Trade war with US, Hong Kong protests showing no signs of slowing – is China on the verge of a collapse? If the collapse does come, what next? Are America’s fingerprints on the protests, as China claims? Former Reagan Administration official and former Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

The Saudi Coalition Is Tearing Itself Apart

Originally appeared at The American Conservative.

The Saudi coalition and its proxies are once again fighting among themselves as the UAE-backed separatists rose up against the Hadi government and seized control of most of Aden:

Yemeni separatists took over most of the southern city of Aden on Saturday, a major blow to the country’s internationally recognized government and to efforts by Saudi Arabia to put it back in control of all of Yemen.

The takeover followed four days of intense fighting that terrified residents, killed dozens of people and split one of the main coalitions fighting Yemen’s civil war.

The loss of Aden means that Yemen’s government no longer has a foothold in two of the country’s most important cities, even though it is internationally recognized.

The UAE and its proxies have been sharply at odds with the Hadi government for at least the last two years. This is hardly the first time that separatists and forces loyal to Hadi have come to blows, but this is latest move is just the most aggressive effort on their part to dislodge and replace a government that has virtually no support inside the country. Hadi has the distinction of having had his government ousted on two occasions from two different capitals. The separatists’ takeover of Aden underscores how badly things have deteriorated in Yemen and how completely the Saudi coalition has failed in achieving its stated goals. It also shows how the war has served to fragment Yemen, including and especially in those areas controlled by the coalition.

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The Return of Doomsday

Former Energy Secretary Ernest J. Moniz and former Senator Sam Nunn have a new article in Foreign Affairs about the nuclear weapons crisis between the United States and Russia.

We can’t run it as a viewpoint since the authors accept false conventional narratives about the wars in Georgia and Ukraine, the Russiagate hoax and some other things in the article. However, it’s still really worth a read since they make many important points about the U.S. role in exacerbating the second Cold War from its side, and what could be done instead.

Check it out here.

William J. Astore on Torture USA

Five years ago, President Obama infamously said, “We tortured some folks.” And no one was held accountable; indeed, as Tom Tomorrow put it in a cartoon from that time, “The only government official who went to jail for it [John Kiriakou] was the whistleblower who exposed it.” In the cartoon, Tom Tomorrow has Obama say that, “Still, we must accept responsibility! Which is to say: we must briefly acknowledge the unpleasantness in the upcoming torture report, and then quickly move on.”

And that’s exactly what America did: quickly move on, without consequences (except for Kiriakou). And then candidates like Donald Trump emerged, boasting of how much he’d increase the use of torture. And thus Trump as president could pick Gina Haspel, implicated in the torture regime, as the new head of the CIA. Well done, President Obama.

Recently, one of my readers alerted me to concerted efforts to “unredact” the redacted CIA report released in December 2014, based on open source research and logical deduction by a number of British researchers, concerning extraordinary rendition and black sites. Check out this link for further details; the full report (403 pages) can be downloaded as a pdf file.

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Stop the Collective Punishment of the Iranian People

Originally appeared at The American Conservative.

Bobby Ghosh wants the U.S. to “stay the course” in its destructive Iran policy:

For critics of the Trump administration’s Iran policy, all this is reason enough to declare the “maximum pressure” campaign a failure. But it is too soon to draw that conclusion.

Sanctions are a long game, and the fact that Iran is feeling economic pain is reason enough to persist with them. If a year or two of double-digit GDP shrinkage and hyperinflation aren’t enough to persuade the regime to alter its behavior, then four or five years might.

If Iran were made to endure “four or five years” of such deteriorating conditions, we should expect Iranian government behavior to change, but not in the way that Ghosh wants. As Iran’s responses to US provocations over the last few months have shown, increasing pressure has been met with increased combativeness and defiance. The longer that this impasse continues, the greater the chance there is that there will be an incident that sparks a war. The US and Iran have already come very close to getting into a shooting war as a result of this bankrupt policy. Persisting in the same folly for even another year or two runs the risk of triggering such a war. It doesn’t help that there are obviously many inside the administration that are trying to get the war started. Ghosh won’t acknowledge this, but trying to extract a few extra concessions from Iran isn’t worth the potential hazards that come from continuing this policy. The administration’s policy was absurd from the start because it was seeking concessions it couldn’t get and wouldn’t be worth the cost even if it did.

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