Cornerstone of Afghan Reconstruction Effort – Roads – Is Near-Total Failure

One of the planned cornerstones of the 15+ year Afghan Reconstruction Effort was to be an extensive, nationwide network of roads.

The United States’ concept was roads would allow the Afghan economy to flourish as trade could reach throughout the country, security would be enhanced by the ability to move security forces quickly to where they were needed, and that the presence of the roads would serve as a literal symbol of the central government’s ability to extend its presence into the countryside.

The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released its audit of the Department of Defense’s and USAID’s $2.8 billion investment in Afghanistan’s road infrastructure.

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Comey Lied? Trump Vindicated? Ron Paul says Nobody’s Safe From PATRIOT Act

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) dropped a bombshell yesterday when he revealed that members of the Trump campaign staff – possibly including Trump himself – had their communications intercepted by US intelligence. The surveillance was likely undertaken under expanded spying permission granted by section 702 of the post-9/11 FISA amendments. This provision enables the NSA to listen in to and keep information from phone calls of US citizens as long as the person on the other end is believed to be a non-US citizen overseas. The possibilities for abusing this expanded authority for political or other gain are endless and this may be what is behind the latest revelations. Politicians don’t mind when we are spied on by the government, but they scream loudest when they are the victims. What’s the solution? Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Montenegro Is About To Fall Into Orbit

Have you had enough of the Russia bashing yet? The anti-Russia rhetoric can be heard frequently in the mainstream media, and the new issue at hand is the expansion of NATO further into the Balkans. The Cold War-era alliance is looking to grab its third constituent country from the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Although opinion polls within Montenegro show a huge split between those in favor of membership and those opposed, this will not stop the American-dominated alliance from infuriating the giant Russian bear. Perhaps Senator Rand Paul can fly the bald eagle in the right direction.

NATO has been moving into what was formerly seen as the Russian sphere of influence since the end of the Cold War, and the promise made by President George H. W. Bush that this expansion would not occur in exchange for the reunification of Germany and the end of the conflict was broken with the admission of the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland in 1999 (some American officials like to argue that this promise did not occur to justify their actions). This obviously had implications that have led to deteriorated relations between the United States and Russia. It can, therefore, be argued that so-called intrusions by Russia into countries like Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine are responses to the United States creeping ever-closer to the Russian border. Plus, Russia has not invaded these countries, but has rather intervened in response to situations and conflicts that arise there between the governments and pro-Russian citizens.

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Is Tillerson Skipping NATO for Russia a Crisis? (No.)

Is Tillerson committing treason skipping a NATO meeting for Russia? A diplomatic crisis? The end of the alliance? A favor to Putin? No. It’s just a scheduling decision.

Senior government leaders are often called on to be in more than one place at a time. They make choices. Not everyone agrees with those choices. Sometimes deputies go instead. This happens to every country; the more global a nation’s interests, the more it happens. None of this is new.

Yet a decision to have Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attend a meeting between President Trump (Tillerson’s boss) and Chinese President Xi rather than a NATO ministers gathering (i.e., Tillerson’s peers) in early April has been blown up into yet another end-of-the-world scenario. The fact that Tillerson will attend an event in Russia weeks later was somehow thrown into the mix and the resulting cake was pronounced proof that the U.S.-NATO relationship is in tatters.

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Intelligence Community Collected and Shared Information About Trump Transition People

Early information arising from a US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee investigation into possible United States government spying on Donald Trump and people associated with him appears to show that information about individuals associated with Trump and his presidential transition was collected through surveillance by, and was widely distributed in, the US intelligence community.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters Wednesday that “on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition” and that “details about US persons associated with the incoming administration – details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value – were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.”

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It’s Time To End America’s Longest War

In the latest round of saber-rattling between the US and North Korean governments, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson laid down the well-worn line. “All options,” he said during a visit to South Korea, “are on the table.”

If he’s serious, here’s an option that never seems to get much discussion lately:

US president Donald Trump should send Tillerson to tell Yun Byung-se, his counterpart in Seoul, that the US is withdrawing its troops from the Korean peninsula by a specific date, and that after that date the US will cease to guarantee, or accept responsibility for, the South’s security.

If the Korean War was a person, it would be old enough to collect Social Security benefits. It began on June 25, 1950 when the armed forces of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (“North Korea”) invaded the Republic of Korea (“South Korea”).

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