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Osmani Simanca | The End of the Peace

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Bases, Bases, Everywhere … Except in the Pentagon’s Report

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  • These installations exist somewhere between light and shadow, writes Nick Turse. While acknowledged as foreign military outposts, they are excluded from the official inventory. 
  • “U.S. bases abroad cost upwards of $50 billion per year to build and maintain, which is money that could be used to address pressing needs at home in education, health care, housing, and infrastructure.”

Nick Turse,  TomDispatchConsortium News / Rise Up Times

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/default/files/David%20Vine%20%7C%20Base%20Nation%20jaCKET%20ILLUS.jpgJanuary 16, 2019 | Within hours of President Trump’s announcement of a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, equipment at that base was already being inventoried for removal. And just like that, arguably the most important American garrison in Syria was (maybe) being struck from the Pentagon’s books — except, as it happens, al-Tanf was never actually on the Pentagon’s books. Opened in 2015 and, until recently, home to hundreds of U.S. troops, it was one of the many military bases that exist somewhere between light and shadow, an acknowledged foreign outpost that somehow never actually made it onto the Pentagon’s official inventory of bases.

Officially, the Department of Defense maintains 4,775 “sites,” spread across all 50 states, eight U.S. territories, and 45 foreign countries. A total of 514 of these outposts are located overseas, according to the Pentagon’s worldwide property portfolio. Just to start down a long list, these include bases on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia, in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa, as well as in Peru and Portugal, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. But the most recent version of that portfolio, issued in early 2018 and known as the Base Structure Report (BSR), doesn’t include any mention of al-Tanf. Or, for that matter, any other base in Syria. Or Iraq. Or Afghanistan. Or Niger. Or Tunisia. Or Cameroon. Or Somalia. Or any number of locales where such military outposts are known to exist and even, unlike in Syria, to be expanding.

https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Nick-Turse-1-100x100.jpg / Nick Turse <>is the managing editor of TomDispatch and a contributing writer for the Intercept. His latest book is “Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead: War and Survival in South Sudan.” His website is NickTurse.com.


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Related:

Was Ending the Draft a Grave Mistake? Danny Sjursen, Truthdig

https://www.truthdig.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/5416274148_c424e0bcce_z.jpgSwitching from all-volunteer to mandatory military service could force Americans to reconsider their ever-expanding empire.
 

 

 


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Was Ending the Draft a Grave Mistake?


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Switching from all-volunteer to mandatory military service could force Americans to reconsider their ever-expanding empire.

Danny Sjursen, Truthdig

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Apr 03, 2019 | I spent last week at Angelo State University in remote central Texas as a panelist for the annual All-Volunteer Force (AVF) Forum. It was a strange forum in many ways, but nonetheless instructive. I was the youngest (and most progressive) member, as well as the lowest-ranking veteran among a group of leaders and speakers that included two retired generals, the chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a few former colonels and several academics.



The AVF is ultimately an unfair, ineffective and unsustainable organization charged with impossible, ill-advised missions by policymakers and a populace that actually care rather little for the nation’s soldiers. As the AVF nears its 50th anniversary, there’s no better time than now to assess the model’s flaws and its effect on American democracy.



Despite having remarkably diverse life experiences and political opinions, all concluded that America’s all-volunteer military is not equitable, efficient or sustainable. The inconvenient truth each of the panel participants had the courage to identify is that the end of the draft in the U.S. had many unintended—and ultimately tragic—consequences for the republic.

Danny Sjursen is a U.S. Army officer and former history instructor at West Point. He served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Lots of Fs for These Ds: Report Card Shows Majority of Senate Ds Supporting Trump and War

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  • Part 1: Lots of F's for These D's: Report Card Shows Majority of Senate Democrats Aiding Trump's Right-Wing Court Takeover
  • Progressives will hold Democrats accountable if they don't take the fate of our courts seriously.
  • Part 2: Here’s How the 2020 Candidates Stack Up on War and Peace
  • What hope is there that one of the Democrats seeking the presidency in 2020 could be a real peace candidate?

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Lots of F's for These D's: Report Card Shows Majority of Senate Democrats Aiding Trump's Right-Wing Court Takeover

 https://www.commondreams.org/sites/default/files/styles/cd_large/public/headlines/trump_judges1.jpg?itok=yQOFLRQp / "This report card should send a message to every Democrat, especially those who have their eyes on the White House in 2020, that progressives will hold them accountable if they don't take the fate of our courts seriously," said Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice. (Image: Demand Justice)

"This report card should send a message to every Democrat, especially those who have their eyes on the White House in 2020, that progressives will hold them accountable if they don't take the fate of our courts seriously," said Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice.
Klobuchar  gets an F.  Bernie & Warren are As.

Jake Johnson <>, Common Dreams
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editors James Fuller  and Lydia Howell

Friday, March 15, 2019 | As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) continues to ram through President Donald Trump's extreme and unqualified judicial nominees at a record pace, a report card released on Friday slammed Senate Democrats for aiding the right-wing takeover of America's courts.



"Senators can condemn Trump until they're blue in the face, but actions speak louder than words, and when it comes to judges, too many Democrats vote too often with Trump." —Brian Fallon, Demand Justice



According to Demand Justice, a progressive advocacy group that focuses on the federal judiciary, a majority of Senate Democrats voted to confirm Trump's judges 60 percent of the time or more in 2017 and 2018.

Jake Johnson <>, staff writer, Common Dreams

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Part 2: Here’s How the 2020 Candidates Stack Up on War and Peace

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What hope is there that one of the Democrats seeking the presidency in 2020 could be a real peace candidate? Could one of them bring an end to these wars and prevent new ones? Walk back the brewing Cold War and arms race with Russia and China?

Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies, Independent Media Institute / Portside

March 28, 2019 | Forty-five years after Congress passed the War Powers Act in the wake of the Vietnam War, it has finally used it for the first time, to try to end the U.S.-Saudi war on the people of Yemen and to recover its constitutional authority over questions of war and peace. This hasn’t stopped the war yet, and President Trump has threatened to veto the bill. But its passage in Congress, and the debate it has spawned, could be an important first step on a tortuous path to a less militarized U.S. foreign policy in Yemen and beyond.

While the United States has been involved in wars throughout much of its history, since the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. military has been engaged in a series of wars that have dragged on for almost two decades. Many refer to them as “endless wars.” One of the basic lessons we have all learned from this is that it is easier to start wars than to stop them. So, even as we have come to see this state of war as a kind of “new normal,” the American public is wiser, calling for less military intervention and more congressional oversight.

Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK for Peace, is the author of "Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran" and "Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection."
Nicolas J. S. Davies is a researcher for CODEPINK and the author of "Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq."

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'What Real Action to Stop Gun Violence Looks Like': New Zealand PM Announces Ban on Assault Rifles After Christchurch Massacre.

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/ "On 15 March, our history changed forever. Now, our laws will, too," said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

  • In addition to taking the lead on bold gun law reforms, Ardern issued a "global call" to fight white nationalism in the aftermath of last week's terrorist attack, which appears to have been motivated by Islamophobic ideas and rhetoric.
  • Related: Nearly 40,000 People Died From Guns in U.S. Last Year, Highest in 50 Years.

Jake Johnson, Common Dreams


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Thursday, March 21, 2019 | Just six days after a white supremacist gunman killed 50 people and injured dozens more at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Thursday that the country will ban all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles, and high-capacity magazines.



"We are announcing action today on behalf of all New Zealanders to strengthen our gun laws and make our country a safer place." —Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister



"Cabinet agreed to overhaul the law when it met on Monday, 72 hours after thehorrificterrorism act in Christchurch. Now... we are announcing a ban on all military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles in New Zealand," Ardern said at a press conference. "Every semi-automatic weapon used in the terrorist attack on Friday will be banned in this country."

Jake Johnson, staff writer, Common Dreams

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Related:

Nearly 40,000 People Died From Guns in U.S. Last Year, Highest in 50 Years. Sarah Mervosh, New York (NY) Times

https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/12/19/us/19xp-guns-print/19xp-guns-jumbo.jpg?quality=90&auto=webp/ Last year was the third consecutive year that the rate of firearm deaths rose in the United States. While public mass shootings like the one in Las Vegas make up a small percentage of firearm deaths, they have changed the national conversation. Credit Zackary Canepari for the New York Times

Related: Hospitals Are Trying To Do What Politicians Haven’t: Stop Gun Violence.

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Shrinking the Military-Industrial Complex by Putting It to Work at Home

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/ Ships travel in formation in the Pacific Ocean during the Rim of the Pacific multinational naval exercise, July 25, 2014. (Reuters / US Navy / Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shannon E. Renfroe / Handout)

It’s not a pipe dream.

Peter-Christian Aigner and Michael Brenes, the Nation

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February 26, 2019 If you needed further proof of Bernie Sanders’s argument that most Americans stand with him on the issues, consider the reaction to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal. Despite attacks from the leadership in, or around, both parties, over 80 percent of voters support the litany of proposals advocated by the House resolution: job and income guarantees, universal health care, a cleaner environment, and lower socioeconomic inequality. Americans turn out, yet again, to be far less conservative than elites have maintained over the last half-century.

Nowhere has the gap between majority will and elite consensus been more conspicuous or longstanding than on US foreign policy. Trump’s election is perhaps the best demonstration of that fact. But there is strong evidence that most Americans were never “liberal internationalists” either. While it is notable that support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has waned in recent years, in polls Americans have consistently preferred diplomacy to military “solutions” before (and not long after) 9/11. Nonetheless, US soldiers and mercenaries are now prosecuting the latter in 80 countries, nearly half the planet.

Peter-Christian Aigner is the deputy director of the Gotham Center at the City University of New York.

Michael Brenes, a historian and the senior archivist for American diplomacy at Yale University, is currently finishing two books: one on the role of the military-industrial complex in American politics, the other on Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey.

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Related:

The Military-Media Complex, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • Part 1: Militarism in the Media, World Beyond War
  • Discussing the role of the media in promoting violence and warfare.
  • Part 2: Highlights of #NoWar2018
  • This video reduces a day and a half to 1 hour.
  • Related: From the Archives | Special Report: The Media and War: Week of June 29, 2014
  • Related: Your Complete Guidetothe N.Y. Times’ Support of U.S.-Backed Coups in Latin America

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Help enlighten others. Be sure to pass this on to friends and kin. We must break the system's  ability to lie with impunity.


 

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