Iraq war authorizations – Iraq War News Sun, 20 Nov 2022 11:09:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Iraq war authorizations – Iraq War News 32 32 AP News Digest 6:10 a.m. Sun, 20 Nov 2022 11:09:39 +0000 Sign up for the daily Inside Washington email for exclusive US coverage and analysis delivered to your inbox Get our free Inside Washington email Here are the latest coverage shots, top stories and promotional content from AP. All hours EST. For up-to-the-minute AP coverage, visit the coverage plan at ——————————————- NEW/IN DEVELOPMENT —————————————- COLORADO […]]]>

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COLORADO SPRINGS-SHOOTING — Colorado police say five people died and 18 were injured in a shooting at a nightclub. SENT: 120 words.




COP27-STATATE-OF-NEGOTIATIONS — For the first time, the nations of the world have agreed to help pay for the damage that global overheating is inflicting on poor countries, but they ended marathon climate talks on Sunday without arguing. tackle more of the root cause of these disasters – the burning of fossil fuels. By Seth Borenstein, Samy Magdy and Frank Jordans. SENT: 1,190 words, photos.

COP27 OUTCOMES – After two weeks of haggling, officials on Sunday applauded the end of this year’s UN climate talks in Egypt, which resulted in the creation of a fund to help poor countries suffering from climate change. disasters caused by global warming. By Frank Jordans. SENT: 810 words, photos.

PHILIPPINES-US-HARRIS — Vice President Kamala Harris would underscore America’s commitment to defending the Philippines’ treaty ally with a visit that involves visiting an island province facing the disputed South China Sea, where Washington has accused China of bullying small claimant countries. By Jim Gomez. SENT: 1,170 words, photos.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR-THE FIGHTING MAYOR – The bulletproof vest leaning against a radiator, ready for use, the worn cartridge case adding to the clutter on his desk, the boxing memorabilia and the sign asking visitors to leave guns at its door: All shout that this is the office of an extraordinary mayor, in extraordinarily difficult times. By John Leicester. SENT: 710 words, photos.

MUSK-TWITTER-TRUMP – Elon Musk has reinstated Donald Trump’s Twitter account, overturning a ban that has kept the former president off the social media site since a pro-Trump mob attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 , as Congress was ready to certify Joe Biden’s electoral victory. By Alex Veiga. SENT: 1,000 words, photos, video.

SOC-WCUP-FRANCE-BENZEMA OUT — A month after lifting the Ballon d’Or in triumph to cap his remarkable rise, Karim Benzema’s dream of winning the World Cup faded before he even played a game in Qatar. Reigning champions France’s World Cup hopes have taken a hit with the news that their star striker Benzema is out of the tournament after tearing a muscle in his left thigh during training. By sportswriter Jerome Pugmire. SENT: 880 words, photos.




RUSSIA-UKRAINE-KHERSON-A WEEK — A week after the liberation of the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson, residents cannot escape reminders of the terrifying eight months they spent under Russian occupation: missing people, mines everywhere, shops and restaurants closed, power and water shortages – and explosions day and night as Russian and Ukrainian forces battle just across the Dnieper. By Hanna Arhirova. SENT: 980 words, photos.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE-WAR – British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged 125 anti-aircraft guns and other air defense technology during his unannounced visit – his first – to Ukraine’s snow-capped capital for talks with the president Ukrainian Volodymyr Zelenskyy. SENT: 940 words, photos.




BILLS-SNOWSTORM – With several feet of lake effect snow hitting the area, the Buffalo Bills used a massive operation to get all of their players and staff out to depart for Detroit for their home game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. SENT: 630 words, photos.




ELECTION-2022-HOUSE-NORTH-CAROLINA — In North Carolina, Democrat Wiley Nickel won a seat in the U.S. House to create a 7-7 split with Republicans in the state delegation. But chances are the Raleigh-area Nickel District and others will be drastically changed for the 2024 election, returning the advantage to Republicans. SENT: 870 words, photos.

ELECTION-2022-CALIFORNIA-HOUSE – US Democratic Representative Jimmy Gomez defeated his Democratic rival David Kim in a Los Angeles district on Saturday after a battle on the party’s progressive flank. With almost all the ballots counted, Gomez had 51.3% to Kim’s 48.7%, a margin of about 3,000 votes. SENT: 250 words, photos.

CAPITOL RIOT-TINDER DATE – A Delaware business owner has been sentenced to 30 days in jail for storming the US Capitol after seeing the riot break out on TV from a Tinder date and having took an Uber ride to join the mob attack, according to court records. SENT: 440 words, photo.




OBIT-GEORGE-LOIS – George Lois, the charismatic publicist and designer and salesman who shaped some of the boldest magazine images of the 1960s and popularized slogans and brand names such as ‘I Want My MTV’ and ‘ Lean Kitchen,” is dead. He was 91 years old. SENT: 920 words, photo.

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA SHOOTING – Thousands joined the Virginia football team, coaches and staff in honoring three players who were shot while returning from a field trip on Last weekend. SENT: 610 words, photos.

TULSA MASSACRE-TOMBS – The latest search for remains of victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921 ended with 32 additional caskets discovered and eight sets of remains exhumed. SENT: 480 words, photo.




MALAYSIA-ELECTION – Malaysia’s two biggest general election winners are vying to forge alliances to form a government after a hotly contested general election failed to produce a clear winner, with the country’s king the final arbiter . SENT: 680 words, photos.

SYRIA-TURKEY – Turkey has launched airstrikes on northern regions of Syria and Iraq, according to the Turkish Defense Ministry, targeting Kurdish groups that Ankara holds responsible for the bombing last week in Istanbul. SENT: 650 words, photos.

SOUTH AFRICA-COAL TRANSITION – Living in the shadow of one of South Africa’s largest coal-fired power stations, residents of Masakhane fear job losses if the facility is shut down as the country switch to cleaner energy. A major polluter because it depends on coal to generate around 80% of its electricity, South Africa plans to reduce this to 59% by 2030 by phasing out some of its 15 coal-fired power stations and increasing its use of renewable energies. Its goal is zero carbon emissions by 2050. SENT: 500 words, photos.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA ELECTION – Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, Africa’s longest-serving leader, was set on Sunday to extend his 43 years in power in the oil-rich country after only two presidential candidates opposition have decided to run against him. SENT: 500 words.

ELECTIONS IN NEPAL — Voters in Nepal lined up to elect members of parliament in hopes that a new government would bring political stability and help develop the Himalayan nation. SENT: 410 words, photos.

KAZAKHSTAN-ELECTION – Kazakhstan’s incumbent president is set to score an easy victory in Sunday’s snap election that comes after bloody unrest rocked the country this year and he moved to stifle the influence of his authoritarian predecessor. SENT: 380 words, photos.

PERU-AIRPLANE-ACCIDENT – Peruvian officials say a fire truck that collided with a LATAM Airlines plane on a runway at Lima International Airport was taking part in a nearby fire drill and entered on the track without permission. SENT: 320 words, photos.

AFGHANISTAN — Nineteen people in northeast Afghanistan have been flogged for adultery, theft and running away, a Supreme Court official has said. The announcement underscored the Taliban’s intention to stick to their strict interpretation of Islamic law, or Sharia. SENT: 290 words, photo.




VIRUS-OUTBREAK-CHINA – China has announced its first new death from COVID-19 in nearly six months as strict new measures are imposed in Beijing and across the country to guard against further outbreaks. SENT: 870 words, photos.




OSCAR-GOVERNORS-AWARDS – Four standing ovations in one night might seem like a bit of a stretch, even by Hollywood standards. But at the Governors Awards where Michael J. Fox, Euzhan Palcy, Peter Weir and Diane Warren were celebrated with honorary Oscar statuettes, every moment felt worthy. SENT: 930 words, photos.




WCUP-QATAR-POLITICS – Qatar is set to open the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East before world leaders and football fans now pour into the energy-rich country after being beaten by a regional boycott and international criticism. SENT: 520 words, photos.

FBC-T25-TCU-BAYLOR — Griffin Kell threw a 40-yard field goal on the final play of the game, and fourth-ranked TCU went undefeated with a 29-28 win at Baylor. SENT: 800 words, photos.

FBC-T25-USC-UCLA — Caleb Williams bolstered Southern California’s push for a possible college football playoff berth with the biggest game of his career against the rival Trojans. He may also have to book a trip to New York next month as a Heisman Trophy finalist. Williams had 503 total rushing yards and accounted for three touchdowns on Saturday night and the seventh-ranked Trojans beat No. 16 UCLA 48-45 on Saturday night to reach the Pac-12 Championship Game. SENT: 790 words, photos.




At the Nerve Center, Vincent K. Willis can be reached at 800-845-8450 (ext. 1600). For photos, (ext. 1900). For graphics and interactives, ext. 7636. Extended AP content can be obtained from For access to AP Newsroom and other technical issues, contact or call 844-777-2006.

Colorado Veteran Who Received Purple Heart Without Authorization Suffers Brain Injury and Awaits Official Decoration Sat, 12 Nov 2022 03:44:00 +0000 Joel Hunt struggles with words. “I knew I was in a blast, but I couldn’t remember,” he tries to recall. Part of the nine years he spent in the military are over. He sometimes has double vision. Joel Hunt He forgets details. A former Army combat engineer, Joel Hunt is still suffering from his military […]]]>

Joel Hunt struggles with words. “I knew I was in a blast, but I couldn’t remember,” he tries to recall. Part of the nine years he spent in the military are over. He sometimes has double vision.


Joel Hunt

He forgets details. A former Army combat engineer, Joel Hunt is still suffering from his military service according to the Veterans Administration’s review of his condition. And yet, he was never properly honored for the injury that got him into trouble.

“They had documents indicating that he had been exposed to IEDs. And in his case, the IED file was about 22 explosions that he had been exposed to, which is quite a high number,” said Robert Alvarez of the USJAG, a nonprofit organization that usually helps active-duty service members prevent discharges of misconduct when injured and act on their injuries. This time, Alvarez is involved with a post-service soldier. Joel Hunt left the military in 2007. He was struggling to do his job. It was an honorable discharge. But there were lingering problems with his brain.

“There were several people saying to me, ‘Hey, you do this, you do that’, I couldn’t remember and then when I went to the doctor there in Fort Carson, it was a psychiatrist and I was telling him what was going on and he’s like, did you check for TBI?”

TBI is a traumatic brain injury.

After a visit to the VA, the Army changed his retirement, noting that his brain injury was combat-related. Soon, Fort Carson staffers put him in touch with the Forgotten Heroes campaign. The Denver-based nonprofit was helping soldiers who had not received their medals to be honored for their service. Forgotten Heroes told him he could get a Purple Heart for his injury.

“I was proud. You know, he was like, ‘Hey, it’s not allowed, but we’re still chasing it, you know, we wanted to give it away before your mom died.'”

Hunt’s mother was dying of cancer in 2011. They would hold the ceremony before her death. In emotional proceedings, his mother pinned the Purple Heart on her son. The head of the nonprofit organization, retired Brigadier General Sal Villano, spoke at the event and paid tribute to Hunt.

“Our committee, we are very thorough. We cannot afford to make a single mistake.”

Hunt doesn’t know where they got the medal, but they can be purchased at a military PX.

CBS News Colorado’s Alan Gionet interviews Robert Alvarez.


“I think it’s terrible what happened to him,” said Barry Fiore, currently public relations director for Forgotten Heroes in Colorado. “I acknowledge on behalf of Forgotten Heroes that they didn’t do a good job.”

The organization did not assure that Hunt received the Purple Heart. He had not.

“They told me they were going to sue him,” Hunt said.

But that didn’t happen.

“The documentation…hasn’t been done. It was unbeknownst to him that he received this from Forgotten Heroes,” Fiore said.

“Bless his heart, Sal Villano, Brigadier General, he died a few months ago. But at that time he was not aware of the paper like me,” Fiore said.

Hunt’s records show three tours in Iraq at the time of the Iraq War. First at the end of 2003, then in 2004-2005 and then in 2005-2006. But he doesn’t remember the details. He remembers bits and pieces and these come and go. “I don’t remember being deployed,” he says of the build-up to the war. According to his former company commander, Colonel Michael Payne, by the end of 2003 they were in southern Turkey and northern Iraq. Their role was to be a distraction, while the 3rd Infantry Division rolled over southern Iraq.

“He was a solid soldier,” said Payne, who was a captain at the time and later served as an assistant to a division commander where he says he saw all the injury reports coming in. “What I would say now is that he had a TBI,” Payne said. “He blew himself up.”

Records indicate that Hunt was likely the victim of approximately 22 improvised explosive device (IED) blasts during his time in Iraq. Most came during Hunt’s deployment from 2004 to 2005. “We got blown up by IEDs at least three to four times a week,” former Sergeant Gilbert Newman wrote on behalf of Hunt for his military record. “I remember one occasion when an IED explosion severely damaged the HUMVEE Joel was driving,” he wrote. “So there’s no doubt in my mind that Joel suffered some kind of injury,” said fellow soldier Lyle Allen. “Traumatic brain injury during this period, due to the shock wave.”

The vehicle was heavily damaged. Hunt says he went to the medical treatment area when he got back to their base, but didn’t do much. Hunt says he didn’t think it was a big deal. “I grabbed Motrin and grabbed some duct tape, then headed to the car park and we changed the tire and the hood.” Blast waves can cause injury.

The military has done more in recent years to realize the seriousness of these injuries. But at the time, the wounds were less observed and treated.

In the military, getting help for a closed head injury meant asking for help for an injury that was not visible. “Unfortunately a lot of them don’t get the help they need because they don’t have a vision injury,” Hunt said. But it continued to affect him. He couldn’t wear night vision goggles, but figured he just had a bad pair. Then another.

“I couldn’t see because I kept coming across accordion wire and I kept saying oh it’s the NVGs, it’s the NVGS,” Hunt said.

Gionet interviews Joel Hunt.


In the years following the injury, Hunt struggled again. He has trouble remembering. Although he had a foot injury during his time in the military which also affected him, his left leg went numb.

“The brain doesn’t talk to him. That’s what they keep telling me.”

For a moment he thought he had a Purple Heart, but he didn’t. When he went to try to get special license plates, he was refused. He then learned that he did not have the necessary papers. Hunt tried twice to get the proper documents, but the military said there were problems. Alvarez and his band are now attending.

“It’s unfortunate what happened to him. I think he’s been the victim of a huge mistake,” Alvarez said.

The organization helped Hunt submit a new, properly sourced application for a Purple Heart.

The hunt awaits.

Fiore says Forgotten Heroes checks more thoroughly now and now gives rewards that aren’t already noted on a service member’s records. Hunt had none.

“Forgotten Heroes Campaign didn’t mean to screw up this guy’s life later on purpose, I think they wanted to give him the reward. His mom was dying… And they probably rushed in and they didn’t shouldn’t have.”

He, too, hopes Hunt gets a Purple Heart.

Biden’s New Drone Policy and US Engagement in Somalia – MIR Tue, 08 Nov 2022 14:00:27 +0000 The policy setting US-sanctioned drone strikes have a history of fatal inaccuracy, demonstrated by a multitude of well-documented civilian casualties. In April 2022, the New York Times published Civilian Casualty Files, a comprehensive review of documents revealing a pattern of “misinformation, faulty targeting, years of civilian deaths – and little accountability.” The Trump and Obama […]]]>

The policy setting

US-sanctioned drone strikes have a history of fatal inaccuracy, demonstrated by a multitude of well-documented civilian casualties. In April 2022, the New York Times published Civilian Casualty Files, a comprehensive review of documents revealing a pattern of “misinformation, faulty targeting, years of civilian deaths – and little accountability.” The Trump and Obama administrations embraced technological advances of drone warfare, seeing it as a means of maintain military counter-terrorism operations in places like Afghanistan while reducing the number of boots on the ground. During their first years in office, Obama and Trump allowed 186 and 238 strikes, respectively. Under current President Joe Biden, the use of targeted drone strikes as a core tool in US counterterrorism operations has relatively diminished. Only 67 strikes were allowed outside areas of active hostilities in Biden’s first year.

This shift in policy is not a passive effect of evolving US engagements in global conflicts, such as the country’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. Instead, Biden has taken steps to address flaws in the current drone strike policy. Biden’s new policy has been in development since his inauguration, when he quietly imposed a set of temporary limits on the military and the CIA, forcing them to obtain White House approval before launching strikes outside conventional battlefields – except in cases of self-defense. On October 7, Biden institutionalized his approach in a new classified policy regulating the use of drone strikes in US counterterrorism operations. Against the backdrop of a simultaneous re-engagement between the US military and the Somali government in the fight against al-Shabaab, a non-state armed group operating primarily in East Africa, the strength and longevity of these newly imposed limits remain. uncertain.

Laws and their limits

In the first twenty months of its presidency, the Biden administration has embarked on a full review of US counterterrorism policy, focusing specifically on reducing civilian casualties. Full details of this review and New policy signed this month remain classified. The new limits require presidential endorsement, allegedly prioritizing the capture of suspicious targets rather than killing them, and requiring a standard of “near certainty” for target identification and drone strike clearance.

Biden’s ‘virtual certainty’ standard mirrors language used by the Obama administration since 2011 to 2013 during the implementation of drone warfare regulations that were part of the former president own efforts to mitigate civilian casualties. However, in 2017, Trump reverted official US policy to Bush-era regulations that relied on a lower standard of “reasonable certainty.” While the difference between “almost” and “reasonable” may seem like a small matter of semantics, “near certainty” is notably a upper threshold than required by the International Law of Armed Conflict (ILAC).

In light of this, some reviews said Biden was overstepping his role by demanding that military commanders meet higher standards than the existing DCA. Yet the DCA has a history of vulnerability to political manipulation and rhetoric and is often considered poorly equipped meet the challenges of modern conflicts that do not fit within the conventional frameworks of warfare. Lawyers Michael J. Adams and Ryan Goodman Remark that the meaning of “reasonable certainty”, while “informed by international law”, is ultimately informed by the conditions of each specific armed conflict. In cases like Somalia, where an armed conflict is taking place outside “declared theatersof military operations, existing international law becomes difficult to apply.

President Biden meets with Secretary Austin, military leadership” by Lisa Fernando is in the Public domain.

Facts from the field

Reply to a request of US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Biden announcement that the United States would redeploy approximately 500 ground troops to Somalia in May 2022 to bolster the Somali government in its efforts to counter al-Shabaab. Cover of the announcement framed Biden’s policy as a reversal of Trump’s decision to withdraw most troops from Somalia. However, although the number of US troops on the ground in the country has fluctuated under different administrations, drone strikes have remained a unbreakable part of the American commitment in Somalia since 2007.

In February 2022, the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) spear a strike that killed three al-Shabaab members, reporting no civilian deaths. In March 2022, the Somali government announcement that a joint strike with US forces had killed more than 200 al-Shabaab militants. Again in June 2022, an American strike would have killed two more al-Shabaab fighters, with AFRICOM again reporting that its initial assessments showed no evidence of civilian casualties. AFRICOM launched the three attacks without White House approval on the grounds of collective self-defense in response to al-Shabaab attacks on US-allied Somali forces. However, it is important to note that the branch has a history of covert operations and shallow information gathering capabilities that have limited both its accuracy and transparency. More recently, on Saturday October 1, 2022, a american air strike killed a militant leader of al-Shabaab. Although AFRICOM itself did not name the individual killed in his strike, most sources concluded that the target was Abdullahi Nadir, one of the group’s co-founders.

Unlike previous operations, AFRICOM did not launch the October strike in self-defense. Instead, it was a targeted assassination of a specific individual, resembling other US operations, such as the recent strike that killed the leader of al-Qaeda. Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul last summer. Under Biden’s new policy, offensive strikes in this manner that occur outside of “areas of active hostilitiesrequire White House approval and must meet the latest policy standards. Currently, the only officially designated areas of active hostilities are Iraq and Syria. Trump has previously declared Somalia an active war zone, so the distinction may be ambiguous. In light of recent attacks, including one car bomb attack who killed more than 100 people in Mogadishu on October 30, current Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud asked Biden to do the same. If Biden responds to this request, AFRICOM would have much more agency to determine targets and launch strikes at its discretion.

The 75th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron supports CJTF-HOA” by Staff Sgt. Russian scalp is in the Public domain.

And now?

Biden’s new drone strike policy could lead to reduced civilian casualties and we could see an overall decrease in US drone strikes. However, with Somalia the current epicenter of US counterterrorism efforts, there are a number of reasons to remain skeptical about how Biden’s new policy will play out. Already, the alleged loophole of “collective self defenseleaves much to AFRICOM’s discretion, including whether or not the branch seeks presidential approval to launch strikes or even whether it will abide by new guidelines in the process of identifying targets. In addition to that, a lot of debate remains on the legality of drone strikes outside areas of active hostilities in the first place. As Mary Ellen O’Connellprofessor of law at Notre-Dame University, States, “saying that the United States will be more precise in its attacks does not make the attacks legal”. Furthermore, US involvement in Somalia has not had much apparent success in reducing al-Shabaab’s power. In fact, al-Shabaab’s most recent attack was the deadliest in five yearsand thought high level of organization that challenge the assumption that past drone strikes were effectively fragment the group. If Biden is serious about departing from the policies of his predecessors and downplaying US involvement in the “eternal wars” of the post-9/11 era, he must go further than imposing new guidelines on tactics like drone strikes and critically assess both their legality and utility above all else.

The selected image Predator, silent stalker” by Airman 1st Class Tony Ritter is in the Public domain.

Edited by Sara Parker

Inside the Republican Crack on Ukraine Aid Tue, 01 Nov 2022 03:05:00 +0000 Comment this story Comment In Ohio, Senate candidate JD Vance (R) said the United States should “stop the money tap to Ukraine eventually.” JR Majewski, a fellow Republican from Ohio running for a House seat, criticized President Biden for “[cutting] billion dollar checks to Ukraine” during a period of inflation in the country. In New […]]]>


In Ohio, Senate candidate JD Vance (R) said the United States should “stop the money tap to Ukraine eventually.” JR Majewski, a fellow Republican from Ohio running for a House seat, criticized President Biden for “[cutting] billion dollar checks to Ukraine” during a period of inflation in the country. In New Hampshire, Senate candidate Don Bolduc (right) said US aid to Ukraine was “money we don’t have”.

Opposition to — or skepticism of — sending more US money to Ukraine has accelerated within the GOP in recent weeks, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) posting earlier this month that Republicans would end or limit war spending if they take control of the House next week halfway.

The threat to cut funding marks a watershed moment for a party whose members almost universally agreed to help Ukraine after Russia invaded in February. Over the past eight months, supporters of former President Donald Trump have joined skeptics of military intervention and anti-Biden forces within the GOP to challenge traditionally warmongering Republicans.

The result is a rare crack in the GOP, likely to turn into a more open battle if Republicans retake Congress and face strong demands from Biden and emotional pleas from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Just last week, a group of Republican lawmakers opposite a provision Democrats had inserted into a must-have defense authorization bill that would allow the Justice Department to send millions of dollars in yachts and other assets seized from Russia to Ukraine.

Most Republicans, like Vance and Bolduc, frame their objections in terms of fiscal responsibility, saying the money would be better spent on problems at home. In a few cases, far-right candidates have echoed Trump’s praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin and called for the aid to be cut altogether.

Biden slams Republicans for threatening Ukraine aid

But the GOP is also home to a slew of old-school hawks who promise to continue supporting Kyiv and, in some cases, have called on the White House to do even more.

In a stark departure from McCarthy’s comments, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called the exact opposite: He urged the Biden administration “to do more to provide the tools Ukraine needs.” needs to thwart Russian aggression”, including further assistance. McConnell said that if the GOP regains the Senate, the Republican majority “would focus its oversight on the rapid delivery of needed weapons and greater allied assistance to Ukraine.”

Several Republicans are privately expressing skepticism that McCarthy and a Republican-led House would cut aid all together, saying his comments likely included some measure of pre-midterm posturing. Republican House members who are on their way to powerful committee positions may find themselves trying to bridge the gap between insurgents and traditionalists.

Even so, Republican divisions present a challenge for President Biden, who has worked to hold together a national and global coalition to support Ukraine in a context of increased food and gas price and a global hunger crisis. Biden and his top aides said they would support Ukraine “as long as it takes” and would not force Zelensky to the negotiating table.

The large number of Republicans questioning the current role of the United States in the Ukraine conflict is a marked change for a party that has often been led by hawks who have fought to spend more money on military efforts.

That sentiment was personified by Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), a former prisoner of war who advocated forcefully for US military interventions in Iraq, Libya, Syria and elsewhere. McCain, who has often fought with Trump, died in 2018silencing an influential voice on Republican foreign policy.

During the Trump presidency, when the former president sporadically called for the United States to withdraw its troops from Syria or Afghanistan, his feelings were quickly reversed by the Republicans who were under his command. Under Biden, however, skepticism of US aid to Ukraine is finding wider constituency within the Republican Party.

This includes a network of young conservatives, many centered on groups such as Concerned Veterans for America and Stand Together, who seek to steer the party away from its post-9/11 neoconservatism and focus on power projection. military.

“We don’t believe that blank checks for Ukraine are best for the security of the United States or Ukraine,” said Dan Caldwell, vice president for foreign policy at Stand Together, a group backed by billionaire industrialist Charles Koch.

Caldwell, like some progressive legislators across the aisle called on the Biden administration to play a bigger role in pushing for a negotiated end to the conflict sooner rather than later. “It’s immoral to keep urging people to fight a war that we think they can’t win,” he said.

Democrats remained largely united behind aid to Ukraine, though a group of 30 progressive lawmakers last week sent a letter to the White House urging Biden to pursue direct negotiations with Russia and begin working on a diplomatic path to end the war. They called on Biden to pair the unprecedented economic and military support the United States is providing Ukraine with a “proactive diplomatic push, redoubling efforts to seek a realistic framework for a ceasefire.”

But the leader of the effort, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), canceled the letter less than 24 hours later after a backlash from fellow Democrats, expressing unwavering support for Biden’s approach to war.

Democrats, and even Republicans, have said some of the GOP’s skepticism about aid to Ukraine stems from opposition to Biden. A central pillar of his presidency has been the effort to rally a coalition of Western leaders who have implemented tough sanctions on Russia and maintained support for Ukraine even as their countries have suffered severe economic disruption.

“There’s an element of Republican hostility toward Ukraine that stems from their hatred of Joe Biden,” said Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.). “Initially, Republicans were ready to support Ukraine, but as Joe Biden has had more success in defending Ukraine and more of his identity is attached to defending Ukraine, it draws Republican hostility because they just can’t bear to be on the same side as Joe Biden on anything.

Yet Congress has so far provided almost all the aid and arms the White House has requested — amounting to more than $60 billion — with overwhelming bipartisan support. Even if Republicans take control of both chambers, the challenge for Biden will be far greater in the House, which will have a significant number of Trump-aligned insurgents.

Some Republicans have said the desire to look at the billions in aid suddenly coming out is entirely reasonable.

“I think what those statements reflect is that aid is not a blank check and it’s not unlimited, but it’s very different from saying, ‘We’re going to cut you up and deliver you to the Putin’s dogs,” Whit said. Ayres, a GOP pollster. “It is inconceivable that there could be a significant majority of the entire House, Democrats and Republicans, who would want to leave Ukraine in the clutches of Vladimir Putin.”

Sen. James E. Risch (R-Idaho), who would chair the Foreign Relations Committee if the GOP takes over, voiced his wholehearted support for the war effort and signaled no change in Republican support for the aid and armament programs.

“Only the Ukrainians should decide the future of Ukraine. I support their fight for freedom, which they win on the battlefield,” Risch said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Any effort to appease Putin is dangerous, irresponsible and will only encourage Russian aggression.”

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.), who is set to become the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has tried to incorporate elements of both traditionalists and insurgents, narrative Bloomberg TV, he wants more powerful weapons sent to Ukraine, but also “more oversight and accountability in terms of funding”.

Some Republicans favor a measure drafted by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) earlier this year that would appoint an inspector general to oversee how Ukrainian funds are spent. Paul did not attach the legislation to the $40 billion package for Ukraine, but he shared his thoughts on oversight of Ukraine during a closed meeting with House lawmakers in May, a trade that could bear fruit next year if Republicans take control of the House.

Democrats argued that the money was desperately needed as Ukrainians fought a ruthless Russian enemy, and that imposing traditional surveillance rules would only hurt Ukraine.

“There’s no information to suggest any of those dollars are being misused, and the priority is speed,” Murphy said. “You have to get the money out, so in the absence of evidence of misuse of dollars, I don’t know why we would punish the Ukrainians by slowing down the whole process.”

Polls have shown that domestic support for Ukraine is softening, especially among Republicans. In March, 9% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said the United States was giving too much aid to Ukraine, according to a Pew research center. investigation. In a follow-up survey this fall, that figure jumped to 32%.

In the higher Republican circles, the debate on aid to Ukraine is increasingly vigorous. In late October, former Vice President Mike Pence tried to rally support for aid to Ukraine in a speech to the Heritage Foundation, a well-known conservative think tank. “Conservatives need to make it clear that Putin has to stop and Putin will pay,” Pence said.

But after the speech, a handful of prominent Republicans publicly stood up to the former vice president. Heritage Chairman Kevin Roberts issued a rejoinder saying Republicans should be “on guard for any attempt to spend more money recklessly.”

“Biden owes the American people a concrete strategy on our future role that doesn’t leave us mired in a state of perpetual conflict management funded by American taxpayers,” Roberts said.

And former Pence staffer Russ Vought, who also served as Trump’s budget chief, told C-SPAN he disagreed with Pence’s remarks.

“I have a lot of respect for my former boss, but when we’re spending $54 billion to support Ukraine, that’s more than key federal government departments,” Vought said.

What Nick Nurse noticed after watching the Cavaliers victory film Thu, 20 Oct 2022 18:36:57 +0000 Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse discusses his takeaways after watching the opening night win over the Cavaliers film, gives injury updates to a few Raptors and looks forward to their next game against the Nets. Video transcript NURSE NICK: Yeah, I mean, I think there was… I thought we played really hard. I thought we […]]]>

Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse discusses his takeaways after watching the opening night win over the Cavaliers film, gives injury updates to a few Raptors and looks forward to their next game against the Nets.

Video transcript

NURSE NICK: Yeah, I mean, I think there was… I thought we played really hard. I thought we were working very hard. There were a lot of little areas that we put a lot of effort into, which is nice, kind of usually pays dividends at some point in the game, isn’t it? There were some truly outstanding defensive performances. There were also some that weren’t so exceptional, right?

Some of them weren’t very strong at all, were they? There were a few quick and early breakdowns and things like that, so a pretty good mix to show them what it should look like. And we can’t have that’s not acceptable, can we? So it was a pretty good mix of that and– go ahead.


NURSE NICK: I was going to say, well, the other end is decent. I thought there was good ball movement. Again, it’s a lot of DIY. You know, the spacing is close. It’s not quite right on some – it’s just continuing to tweak some of this stuff, but we made a lot of really good plays, and a lot of good plays, and a lot of good assists, I thought, in the game .

Fred made a comment I think on media day like, finally, you got him to play pick and roll. And I think he repeated it last night. What do he and Koloko have, or what does Koloko allow him to do that you haven’t had in the past?

NURSE NICK: Well, I just think it’s a consistency of he’s a guy they’re probably going to keep with a center, right? So often when we don’t have one we don’t know exactly where the center is going to end up so it’s a little clunky sometimes trying to figure that out as you go up the floor . It just gives him a bit more pace that most point guards are used to, right?

The same guy knows he’s coming in the drag, or the side screen and the roll, or whatever, because the attack is on. Or if you’re late, and it breaks down, you know, he’s probably going out and you’re going to. So there’s a bit of rhythm, I think, which helps.

It is a good filter. I know point guards really appreciate that, right? And he’s going to arrive as a roller finisher. I don’t think he’s there yet, but he’s showing signs of it. And I think he’s going to come, gain strength, feel and be able to put pressure on the front of the rim.

One of the things he keeps saying with Christian is that he doesn’t make a lot of mistakes for a rookie. Is it even more surprising as a great rookie? As I feel like with the young bigs it usually takes a bit longer than maybe some of the other positions.

NURSE NICK: Yeah, I think that’s what people often say, right? And I just think it’s probably more on the court with reps and stuff. He is extremely brilliant, which is to say he understands what we are doing. Like I said, it’s got a pretty big engine, so it can put in the effort, right? Again, playing hard and trying hard always goes a long way to a team’s success, and he was able to do that.

Nick, Christian had two vertical contests, one on Garland, then one on Mitchell, where it looked like Mitchell was coming up for the dunk [INAUDIBLE]. What does that say about your IQ to stay strong, stay upright, and not get carried away with excitement?

NURSE NICK: Yeah, he ended up…he was well trained, right? He understands, first, that it’s a shooting block and when he can’t get there, and he can still be a problem going straight and moving them around him. They move it around every once in a while, but again, it’s better than the straight line and the unchallenged layup.

It’s up to you to block the shot, go vertical or take a charge, or the choices you have to make. And he seems to know, and as a shot blocker you’re usually down to two, right? You don’t see a lot of shot blockers taking a ton of charges, so he did a pretty good job of reading that as well.

According to him, Precious and Pascal, maybe the thing to do is to start playing basketball later in life, right? Like all three of them, I think, started playing at, like…

End of adolescence.

–15, 16, 17. And he had it all figured out, as all three have pretty high IQs for someone who didn’t start playing until late now.

NURSE NICK: Yeah, they do. They are all three very good players, and they especially know what they are doing on the defensive side. Again, I think all three of them have talent, a natural ability to be good defenders, and then the mixed IQ certainly helps. But I think back to your question, there are many things that apply to life.

This time last year you lost Game 1 to the Wizards. Now, what’s the importance of getting the first win, but also putting it on a team, like Brooklyn?

NURSE NICK: Well, I don’t know. I think this one is probably done and dusted. I think the game a year ago probably didn’t have a big impact on last night’s game, although I think we felt a lot calmer last night than one year ago. But there was so much uncertainty last year, wasn’t there?

Again, I think that’s really important. Like, listen, you’re going to play a game in this league. You get a win. That’s what you have to do, and then we’ll do what we did today. We had a great learning session. We really learned a lot from last night’s game, and now we have to try to take it down tomorrow and prepare for Brooklyn.

Nick, you were mentioning…

NURSE NICK: Go ahead, one more.

With Pascal and Scottie, there were times when they maybe got into the rhythm a little too much. [INAUDIBLE].


Yeah, sorry, but more specifically, when Christian was there in the dunk spot, did you maybe see stuff, where he can learn to be in a better angle for the pass and stuff like that?

NURSE NICK: There were a few. Again, I think we could show a bit of both last night, that the game was a bit earlier on the outside, then the game was a bit higher on the inside, right? You gotta throw it to the guys with the reach and length it has, yeah.

Anyone back today?

NURSE NICK: Anyone back today? Cam was back today, yes.

And is Chris getting close?

NURSE NICK: He is getting closer. I don’t know when we’re going to release him. He’s in pretty good shape. He should be–

Pregnant Kaley Cuoco shares new photos of her baby bump Fri, 14 Oct 2022 22:19:28 +0000 three days later Kaley Cuoco revealed that she is expecting a baby girl with Emmy-nominated star Tom Pelphrey The stewardess shared several new images, including a close look at her baby bump, to Instagram Stories. Two of them were from Cuoco and Pelphrey, who looked as happy as ever. On one, she added “parents.” (Picture: […]]]>

three days later Kaley Cuoco revealed that she is expecting a baby girl with Emmy-nominated star Tom Pelphrey The stewardess shared several new images, including a close look at her baby bump, to Instagram Stories.

Two of them were from Cuoco and Pelphrey, who looked as happy as ever. On one, she added “parents.”

(Picture: Instagram)

The other was a side view of her growing belly.

(Picture: Instagram)

(Picture: Instagram)

The couple announced the news on Tuesday with pictures of the pregnancy tests Cuoco took, what appears to be a gender-reveal cake (it was pink!), expectant parents holding onesies and more. Cuoco then said she was “beyond blessed and over the moon.” In Pelphrey’s caption, he wrote, “And then it was even MORE BETTER.” Sharon Stone, Taylor Lautner and Alyssa Milano, plus Pelphrey’s ozark co-stars Julia Garner and Laura Linney, were among those who publicly praised them.

The child will be the first for the two actors, who confirmed they were dating in May.

On Wednesday, Cuoco explained that she was in the early stages of her pregnancy last month when she browsed the Emmy Awards red carpet, marking their red carpet debut with Pelphrey as a couple. Cuoco wore a pretty custom pink Dolce and Gabbana dress with floral detailing that, as we now know, strategically flared out at her midsection.

She also knew that her family would soon grow while filming the next movie. Roleplay, a thriller in which she co-stars with David Oyelowo, Bill Nighy and Connie Nielsen. She has finished”horribly sick“and above all dependent on her double body.

Nevertheless, Cuoco seems delighted. She has long said that she can’t wait to have a child. In a June 2014 interview with E !she even said she was “born to be a mom.”

Assessing Biden’s New Policy Framework for Direct Action Against Terrorism Tue, 11 Oct 2022 12:56:49 +0000 Charlie Savage of The New York Times reports that the Biden administration has released its long-awaited policy framework for direct action against terrorism (e.g. airstrikes and raids). The playbook, dubbed the Presidential Policy Memorandum (PPM), succeeds the direct action policy frameworks of the Obama and Trump administrations, the Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG) and the Policies […]]]>

Charlie Savage of The New York Times reports that the Biden administration has released its long-awaited policy framework for direct action against terrorism (e.g. airstrikes and raids). The playbook, dubbed the Presidential Policy Memorandum (PPM), succeeds the direct action policy frameworks of the Obama and Trump administrations, the Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG) and the Policies Standards and Procedures (PSP), respectively. Perhaps due to competing priorities (e.g., Russia’s war on Ukraine) and an overall deprioritization of counterterrorism by the administration, according to one U.S. official, the framework had was completed in late 2021 although it took President Biden 10 months to approve it.

Based on Savage’s reports (the administration has not made this policy framework public), a number of aspects of the playbook’s scope and content are noteworthy.

First, the rules of the PPM only apply outside of more traditional war zones, known as “zones of active hostilities”. (These are political concepts, not legal terms of art.) For the purposes of the new framework, these war zones are Syria and Iraq. Since the US armed forces in Iraq have moved to a non-combatant role at the end of 2021, the characterization of the country as a war zone for counter-terrorism purposes is somewhat incongruous.

Second, this direct action policy framework does not apply to strikes in defense of US armed forces or so-called “collective self-defense” of partner forces. This exception is a significant gap. Under the Obama administration, the Pentagon circumvented political constraints for direct action generously calling the strikes in Somalia defensive. According to current and former US officials, it was difficult to assess how truly defensive these strikes were as opposed to AFRICOM acting as the Somali Air Force. A former US official Explain: “Collective self-defense is really close air support without authorization.”

These theoretically defensive strikes contributed to the expansion the scope of the Authorization to Use Military Force 2001 (AUMF 2001), the main legal basis of the American war against terrorism. While the Obama administration initially carried out strikes against a handful of al-Shabaab members who also belonged to al-Qaeda, after the Pentagon began to regularly engage in ostensibly defensive strikes against rank-and-file fighters of al-Shabaab, the administration retrospectively estimated that the set covered by the AUMF 2001.

This exception for defensive strikes could continue to be particularly relevant in Somalia where a number of strikes have already been completed this year. As I have already written in just securitythis exclusion could also become relevant in the Sahel due to the importance of a number of jihadist groups and the presence in Niger of approximately 800 American soldiers on the ground and a US Air Force base with armed drones.

Third, according to Savage, when the PPM applies, the president must approve the addition of named individuals to the target list. Thus, counterterrorism operators can no longer conduct “signature strikes” based on a pattern of suspicious activity. But the universe of groups from which targets could be selected remains unknown to the public, in part because the full list of entities the executive deems covered by the 2001 AUMF remains classified.. A war against classified enemies stifles public debate about who, where and if the United States should fight. The Biden administration is expected to release the full list of groups covered by the 2001 war authorization.

Fourth, the PPM requires that counterterrorism operators have both the “virtual certainty” that the targeted individual is “a member of an approved terrorist group” for direct action and the “virtual certainty” that no victim civil will result from the strike. As Savage notes, what “virtual certainty” means in practice is an open question, especially since the latest US strike against a high-value target in Somalia taken by that standard would have resulted in an unintended casualty.

Mainly because they are Politics constraints, the president can override them, potentially without the knowledge of anyone in the audience. As Savage explains, “the rules allow seeking Mr. Biden’s authorization for other types of strikes in extraordinary circumstances” — which sounds like such explicit reservations of presidential authority in the PPG of Obama (see Section 5.B “Extraordinary Cases: Variations from Policy Guidance”) and the Trump PSP (Section 6.B).

Savage does not comment on whether the PPM addresses the assignment of operational responsibilities for direct action between what the Obama administration’s PPG calls “operating agencies.” president obama Express a preference for the “military to take the lead and provide information to the public”. Yet in one of the Biden administration’s most significant counterterrorism strikes to date, the attack on Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul, the White House clearly did not praise the military because it would typically but rather cryptically referred the central role of “our counter-terrorism professionals and our intelligence professionals”.

This distribution of responsibilities may have implications for transparency as well as the accuracy and precision of counterterrorism strikes and therefore civilian casualties. In discussing direct action against terrorism and civilian casualties, former commander of U.S. Central Command and former director of the CIA David Petraeus recognized an “enigma” with measures carried out as “a covert action…[because] you don’t talk about it. Petraeus affirmed (amid a number of caveats about not acknowledging anything) that there is “no organization that can actually do remotely what the CIA can do”. He attributed this skill to the greater expertise of personnel working in the “counter-terrorism center that had been there for about a decade” as opposed to even “an extraordinary unit within the JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) “due to the rotation of the military. within the army. Whether or not Petraeus’ characterization is accurate, if the United States is going to carry out deadly strikes, I hope the Biden administration has thought carefully about how to balance transparency with precision and accuracy.

Based on Savage’s account, the direct action framework seems consistent with the Biden administration’s approach so far of recalling America’s war on terror as a matter of Politics and appears to codify what had been the interim status quo since the White House suspended trump administration playbook. But these political constraints may be ephemeral as a subsequent administration may repeal them. Permanent control of the two-decade conflict will require legal reform. The White House must work with Congress to fundamentally rewrite the expansive and outdated 2001 AUMF. Otherwise, the next administration can continue to expand this war to new enemies and battlefields under the same statute without the rigorous scrutiny that should come from members of Congress having to debate and vote publicly on the wars the country is waging.

Image: A Yemeni looks at graffiti protesting against US drone strikes on September 19, 2018 in Sanaa, Yemen (Photo by Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images).
Why I Love People’s “Vietnam Syndrome” – OpEd – Eurasia Review Sat, 01 Oct 2022 01:28:56 +0000 Vietnam Syndrome was a term used after the American defeat in the Vietnam War to explain and complain about the US government’s reluctance to vigorously use international force to shape its foreign policy. This reluctance was from its earliest formulations felt by the foreign policy establishment in Washington, including conservative think tanks. The use of […]]]>

Vietnam Syndrome was a term used after the American defeat in the Vietnam War to explain and complain about the US government’s reluctance to vigorously use international force to shape its foreign policy. This reluctance was from its earliest formulations felt by the foreign policy establishment in Washington, including conservative think tanks.

The use of the “syndrome” suggests that a medical disorder afflicted this political establishment and needed to be overcome as soon as possible. Yet for many others, myself included, the Vietnam Syndrome was greeted as a long-awaited cautious and principled post-Vietnamese plea for a rights-based, rights-respecting American foreign policy. self-determination of the countries of the South and restrictions on the use of international force enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

Over the years, Vietnam Syndrome has lived this double life. One of the proposed remedies was the Weinberger Doctrine, which essentially sought to correct alleged government mismanagement of its intervention in Vietnam over a full decade. What Caspar Weinberger, a right-wing politician and at the time Reagan’s Secretary of Defense, proposed in 1983 was that the United States should not enter into future dubious non-defensive foreign wars, with the Vietnam War in mind, without meeting the following conditions:

1) The engagement must be deemed vital to our national interest or that of our allies.

2) It must be done “wholeheartedly and with the intention of winning”.

3) The political and military objectives and the means of achieving them must be clearly defined.

4) As conditions change, reassess whether the commitment remains in the national interest.

5) Before a commitment is made, there must be “some reasonable assurance” of popular and congressional support.

6) A commitment to arms should be a last resort.

Weinberger. in particular, criticized the Vietnam engagement because it involved a gradual, incremental increase in U.S. engagement, which he argued almost always ends in failure. Although Weinberger, and those in the Beltway who quickly subscribed to his prescription for the future, adopted the doctrine as a formula for victory in future wars of intervention (what Tom Friedman later dubbed “wars of choice”) without law).

Read carefully, there are ambiguities in Weinberger’s formulation. It was never clarified whether the Vietnam War was considered vital to “our national interest” or lacked “a clear intent to win”. Yet it was hoped in Washington that the Weinberger Doctrine might put an end to the idea that under no circumstances should the United States expend the blood or treasury of its citizens on non-defensive wars in the Global South.

And yet, sophisticated political leaders in the United States understood that the Vietnam Syndrome carried more weight than offering a formula that guaranteed that policy makers could win such wars in the future. It was therefore not surprising that the first words spoken by President George HW Bush in 1991 after a US-led victory over Iraq in the first Gulf War were “By God, we have launched the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all”. The implied assertion was that victory in the desert in conventional warfare would demonstrate that the United States could turn its military superiority into political victory, which it had been unable to do in Vietnam.

Again, the request was ill-conceived and turned out to be disastrously premature. First, the Vietnam War was a war of national resistance waged against Western colonialist forces, not a defensive conventional war designed to reverse Iraq’s aggression and annexation of Kuwait. Beyond that, the military phase was mandated by the UN Security Council and regional consensus, with implementation delegated to a US-led coalition of countries. Only warmongering ideologues and short-sighted commentators could confuse the First Gulf War with the Vietnam War.

Neoconservatives eager to exploit the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s realized that the Vietnam Syndrome continued to frustrate their strategic hopes of democracy favoring military interventions, especially in the Middle East, by seizing the unipolar moment. Its advocacy format, Project for a New American Century (PNAC), actually acknowledged their program’s political reliance on “a new Pearl Harbor” to reawaken the dormant fighting instincts of the American public. Although the PNAC itself did not make the connection, Vietnam Syndrome has resisted earlier erasure efforts.

It was only finally overcome in the public sphere by the 9/11 attacks, which President George W. Bush seized upon in a moment of national hysteria to declare the Great War on Terror in 2001. These attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were, indeed, the new Pearl Harbor that the PNAC had been waiting for. Yet once again the analogy has proven disastrously misleading, causing failures reminiscent of Vietnam in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as indirectly in Libya, Syria and Yemen.

The Weinberger Doctrine may have influenced the Pentagon to substitute air power and drones for ground boots whenever possible and rely on “shock and awe” tactics to quickly overwhelm a lesser adversary, but it turned out that these tactics were no more successful than what failed in Vietnam. Ultimately, costly, controversial and protracted occupations, the desired political outcomes have not been achieved in the targeted countries of the Global South. Despite the Soviet collapse, the United States continued to encounter frustration in its attempts to manage geopolitics, particularly when the effort was to accompany regime change intervention with state building along the lines Western neoliberals.

In my view, the prevailing and sensible interpretation of the Vietnam Syndrome was as an inhibition to entry into non-defensive wars without at least UN authorization and the mission’s compliance with international law. The Vietnam Syndrome was formulated in the aftermath of the Vietnam War not as a warning to warmongering bureaucrats against losing wars, but as an opposition to all wars of intervention and aggression. This primary meaning of the Vietnam Syndrome has been lost over the decades, a victim of state propaganda and complicit media, reinforced by private sectors profiting from the war.

When the former Bush announced to the world the burial of the Vietnam Syndrome “under the sands of the Arabian desert”, he was not delighted with the successful application of the Weinberger doctrine. It was celebrating the first clear post-Vietnam victory in the war. The legacy of widespread defeatism among the American people was what bothered and inhibited the Washington establishment, especially in Congress. Already a decade earlier, Ronald Reagan had said “[f]or too long we have lived with the Vietnam Syndrome. Like Bush, Reagan had no trouble accepting the guidelines of the Weinberger Doctrine. What he objected to was the mood of political timidity in the country that weakened the will of public opinion to support the pursuit of adversaries in the Global South with American military power.

Among my current fears is that Russia’s attack on Ukraine has completely reversed the restraint guidelines implicit in the Vietnam Syndrome as far as the American public is concerned, with the odd partial exception of the extreme right of the political spectrum. Ukraine as a white and European society apparently the victim of an attack that caused tremors of fear in other Russian neighbors, especially those in Eastern Europe who were coercively located in the sphere of Soviet influence for over 40 years of the Cold War and had strong political bases of ethnic and emotional support in major Western European and North American countries.

Currently, the escalating Ukraine crisis suggests that the loss of the inhibiting influence of the Vietnam Syndrome irresponsibly risks catastrophic consequences in blood and treasure, seemingly unaware of the dangers of challenging the traditional spheres of influence of large powers such as Russia. This is not to condone Putin’s aggression, but rather to worry about making efforts to make the world a little more insulated against major wars, especially wars that are likely to be fought with weapons. nuclear.

Pre-2022 efforts to interfere in Ukraine’s politics by promoting anti-Russian movements while overlooking Ukraine’s abuse of Russian-oriented majorities in the Dombas do not vindicate Putin, but they do cast a cast a shadow over NATO’s assertions of a virtuous policy guided by respect for the territorial sovereignty of States, human rights and a mutual concern to maintain the conditions for peaceful coexistence between geopolitical rivals.

The apocalyptic dangers now facing the world with the greatest risk of nuclear war since at least the Cuban Missile Crisis also tell us why the problem in Vietnam was primarily one of promiscuous militarism rather than avoiding defeat at war. future, which was the concern of the Weinbergers. Doctrine.

In this context, I am a strong advocate for the revitalization of the Vietnam Syndrome in its populist variant, as a doctrine of strong restraint when it comes to the use of military force, and not only in countries of the South. Rather than a “syndrome,” it was from the outset 50 years ago an angry reaction to a botched war effort that was intended to inhibit and even discredit belligerent impulses in Washington.

I like the Vietnam Syndrome because it was the right road to redemption for American foreign policy after the defeat in Vietnam. Yet the Vietnam Syndrome promise was first reformulated by the militarized bureaucracy in Washington not to prevent wars, but to make them supposedly winnable by the Weinberger Diversion Doctrine, which may work conceptually but has failed miserably. once operationalized. And more recently, a sense of restraint has been all but removed from foreign policy deliberations when it comes to a major nuclear-armed state facing defeat at its own borders and ruled by a dangerous autocrat.

Privileging the just cause of resisting Russian aggression in Ukraine while neglecting the imperatives of geopolitical prudence in the nuclear age is an astonishing display of managerial incompetence in Washington that jeopardizes the future of the entire human species. . It should enlighten people everywhere about the grave dangers of a unipolar form of world order accentuated by the scattered possession of nuclear weapons. One false step on either side and we are finished as a species.

Richard Falk is Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University, Queen Mary University of London Professor of Global Law and Research Associate at UCSB’s Orfalea Center for Global Studies.

What and why of the speeches of the Russian and American presidents Sun, 25 Sep 2022 04:29:11 +0000 It’s not every day that we hear the speeches of the American and Russian presidents within 24 hours. President Vladimir Putin addressed his nation on September 21, followed by President Joe Biden’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 22. For a student of international relations, it’s an absolute treat to hear first-hand […]]]>

It’s not every day that we hear the speeches of the American and Russian presidents within 24 hours. President Vladimir Putin addressed his nation on September 21, followed by President Joe Biden’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 22. For a student of international relations, it’s an absolute treat to hear first-hand from the leaders of the two locked nations. in a great power struggle and global conflict. Naturally, Biden had to talk about multilateral issues concerning the United States and the world, but it was his response to some of the comments Putin made during his speech the day before that made this phenomenon from time to time very interesting. and counter-speech. within 24 hours by these leaders.

Putin was very focused, determined and precise during his seven-minute speech. He spoke about Ukraine’s positive response to Russian proposals during the Istanbul talks which did not materialize because he considers that these proposals did not suit the West and therefore the West ended up pumping more of arms and mercenaries in the theater of operations to fight against Russia. Putin accused the US of repeating what it did in 1991 – playing a major role in the disintegration of the USSR. He told his people that the plan remained the same: to weaken, divide and ultimately destroy Russia. He accused the West of building for decades an anti-Russian beachhead and of committing genocide against the people of the breakaway Ukrainian republics who refused to accept and recognize the Ukrainian government supported and imposed by the West in 2014.

Putin told his nation that Lugansk has been completely liberated and operations will continue for the liberation of Donetsk, stressing that Russia will not back down to pursue its main goal – the liberation of the entire Donbass region. He also said that the combined population of the Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhe region was 7.5 million, which after the displacement of people was reduced to 5 million people. However, the President said that Russia will do everything to create safe conditions for holding the referendum that the parliaments of these states have decided to hold. He linked the call for military reservists to the fact that Russia was now fighting a 1,000 km long line of contact against the military machine that had absolute support from all of the West. Accusing the West of using nuclear blackmail as some senior NATO officials threatened to use WMD against Russia, he said the West had gone too far in its aggressive anti-Russian policy. Putin said his country had a different type of weaponry than the West and threatened to use all weapon systems if it came to defending Russia’s territorial integrity, insisting: ” It’s not a bluff.”

President Biden was very clear about how he responded to what Putin said during his speech. He called the war in Ukraine brutal and pointless, chosen by one man. He accused Russia of shamelessly violating key upholders of the UN charter, one of them being to take control of your neighbors’ territory by force. He expressed unwavering solidarity with Ukraine and pointed the finger at Russia for its irresponsible nuclear threat and said that if this war was to end, it had to end under just conditions.

Listening to the two speeches, the immediate impression one has is that Russia will not bow down; he will not yield to any economic or military pressure that the West tries to put in place. There is also the impression that with the call-up of Russian military reservists, military commitments will further intensify and may increase in size and proportion.

The United States is a global hegemon and has, under the guise of upholding international law and safeguarding international rules, metaphorically taken over the role of a preacher who thinks his audience is unfamiliar with his own past indulgence. American history is full of examples where it has violated international laws and rules; interfered in the affairs of other countries; waged unnecessary wars; makes arms sales to the enemies of his adversaries; promoted color revolutions; plotted coups; launched attacks against countries without UN authorization; executed special military operations to assassinate targets in violation of the sovereignty of other countries; established military bases and deployed offensive weapons to threaten the security of other countries; maintained illegal detention centers; and pardoned its armed forces personnel and employees of private security companies like Black Water who have committed massacres and war crimes in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. The United States would top the list of countries violating international rules and laws and get away with it without being held responsible; and this is what causes the resentment of the other two great powers – Russia and China – who can challenge American hegemony.

In Biden’s speech, one can find the “what” of the Russian-Ukrainian war, but it is in Putin’s speech that the “why” of this war is described. The pointlessness, the brutality, the one-man choice and the forceful takeover of neighbor’s territory are all the “whats” of President Biden’s speech that the whole world will appreciate, but it is extremely important that the everyone understands “why” Putin does what he does. His motivation stems from the story of how Russia was repeatedly invaded in the past; and although this time it is not the classic attempt by the West to invade Russia, but the current encirclement of Russia by NATO, the reduction of Russia’s buffer zones on its borders and the countries renouncing to their historic wartime neutrality and joining NATO which are considerable geostrategic threats justifying a Russian strategic response. The likely future militarization of the Baltic and the Black Sea with NATO military machinery and the encroachment of the West on the Russian sphere of influence are compelling enough grounds for Russia to take all preventive measures to ensure its safety and security. Would the United States not do the same if it were not a maritime power protected by the Atlantic on one side and the Pacific on the other, rather than a land power like Russia which has vulnerable borders that it must guard?

The United States and the West must understand the geopolitical insecurities of Russia and China. Instead of posing as the global defender and messiah of international laws and rules, what the United States needs to do is find the right impetus to engage with Russia. Both world leaders must see the big picture because it is only through engagement and dialogue that the deterioration of the economic, political and military conditions of this war can be averted.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 25e2022.

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The fundamental principles of the United Nations are under threat News84Media Wed, 21 Sep 2022 21:40:28 +0000 News84Media— The international order that the UN has enshrined is breaking down. “Our world is in great trouble”, this is how Secretary General António Guterres put it at the opening of the annual General debate tuesday. The UN has rarely lived up to its noblest goals. But it is hard to remember a time when […]]]>


The international order that the UN has enshrined is breaking down.

“Our world is in great trouble”, this is how Secretary General António Guterres put it at the opening of the annual General debate tuesday.

The UN has rarely lived up to its noblest goals. But it is hard to remember a time when its fundamental principles of forging common solutions for peace, upholding human rights and promoting international law were so threatened.

Russia, a member state, flouted the UN charter with its invasion of Ukraine. Neither Russian President Vladimir Putin nor Chinese President Xi Jinping will bother to show up for the Big Apple leaders’ meeting – despite meeting separately last week. And the recent floods in Pakistan suggest that UN efforts to negotiate agreements limiting carbon emissions are already too late for some countries.

In the past, the UN was a hotbed of wartime diplomacy. But those days are over as Beijing and Moscow wield their vetoes in the Security Council to hamper mediation efforts in places like Syria and Ukraine. After its invasion earlier this year, Russia turned council meetings into a theater of the absurd.

US President Joe Biden will extend his series of candid talks when he calls on the world on Wednesday to stand up against Moscow’s “naked aggression”, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said. Biden’s warnings that the world is dividing into a duel between despots and Democrats are watching the money.

Of course, America’s critics point out that it has often seemed to violate the principles of the United Nations itself, with its wars in Vietnam and Iraq, for example. And any return to power of former President Donald Trump, who subverted American diplomacy by dissenting Western allies and coddling tyrants, could undo Biden’s efforts to salvage international law.

All of this explains the extraordinarily dark tone of the Secretary-General’s speech, who lamented that there was “no cooperation, no dialogue, no collective problem solving” while warning that “the reality is that we are living in a world where the logic of dialogue and cooperation is the only way forward.

Check out the latest world news here.