US Military Establishment Study: The American Empire Is ‘Collapsing’

US Freedom

(ANTIMEDIA Op-Ed) A new study conducted by members of the U.S. military establishment has concluded that the U.S.-led international global order established after World War II is “fraying” and may even be “collapsing” as the U.S. continues to lose its position of “primacy” in world affairs.

“In brief, the sta­tus quo that was hatched and nurtured by U.S. strategists after World War II and has for decades been the principal ‘beat’ for DoD is not merely fraying but may, in fact, be collapsing,” the report states.

The report, published in June by the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute, evaluated the Department of Defense’s (DOD) approach to risk assessment at all levels of Pentagon policy planning. The study was supported and sponsored by the U.S. Army’s Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate; the Joint Staff, J5 (Strategy and Policy Branch); the Office of the Deputy Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Develop­ment; and the Army Study Program Management Office.

Imperial hubris

As explained by Nathan Freier, the project director and principal author of the report, the U.S. and its defense establishment “are stumbling through a period of hypercompetition.” From Freier’s point of view, the current era is marred with furious battles for positional advantage at a number of levels, whether national, transnational, or extra-national. Freier explains that America’s failure to cope is the result of “hubris,” which is reminiscent of Imperial Hubris, a book by Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit. Imperial Hubris also warned the U.S. about the very controversial and hubristic reasons it was losing the war on terror (hubris means “exaggerated pride or self-confidence,” according to Merriam-Webster).

Technically, the report does not officially represent the Pentagon, though it does represent the “collective wisdom” of those consulted – including a number of Pentagon officials and prominent think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the RAND Corporation, and the Institute for the Study of War.

Nevertheless, the report involved consultation with key agencies across the DoD and the Armed Forces and encouraged the U.S. government to invest more heavily in surveillance, better propaganda through “strategic manipulation” of public opinion, and a “wider and more flexible” U.S. military. The report states:

“While as a rule, U.S. leaders of both political parties have consistently committed to the maintenance of U.S. military superiority over all potential state rivals, the post-primacy reality demands a wider and more flexible military force that can generate ad­vantage and options across the broadest possible range of military demands. To U.S. political leadership, maintenance of military advantage preserves maximum freedom of action… Finally, it allows U.S. decision-makers the opportunity to dictate or hold significant sway over outcomes in international disputes in the shadow of significant U.S. military capability and the implied promise of unac­ceptable consequences in the event that capability is unleashed.”

The year-long study concluded that the DoD should discard its outdated risk conventions and change how it describes, identifies, assesses, and communicates strategic-level and risk-based choices. As investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed observed, these are the very strategies that have led to the U.S.’ declining power in the first place. Further enacting these failed strategies will only exacerbate the problem and demonstrates America’s refusal to go down without a fight.

The blame lies with resistant states

According to Freier and his team, the dangers currently challenging the U.S. don’t just come from countries like Russia and China (and even North Korea and Iran), but also from the increasing risk of “Arab Spring”-style events that could potentially erupt all over the world. One might wonder, then, why the U.S. decided to support a number of these events, even to the great benefit of known jihadist movements that already existed within them.

Ahmed also astutely points out that the report doesn’t actually substantiate its claims that countries like Russia are a genuine threat to America’s national security, aside from the fact that these countries seek to pursue their own core interests – as most countries should be free to do (within reason).

According to the report, Iran and North Korea are “… neither the products of, nor are they satisfied with, the contemporary order… At a minimum, they intend to destroy the reach of the U.S.-led order into what they perceive to be their legitimate sphere of influence. They are also resolved to replace that order locally with a new rule set dictated by them.”

It is notable that the report does not list Iran and North Korea as nuclear threats — as traditional neoconservative propaganda often asserts — but simply as perceived threats to the American-led world order.

The report also found that the international framework has been restructured in ways that are “inhospitable” and often “hostile” to U.S. leadership. For example, “proliferation, diversification, and atomization of effective counter-U.S. resistance,” as well as “resurgent but transformed great power competition” are seen to be at the heart of this new international restructuring. According to the report, the U.S. is not prepared for these circumstances, and the report seeks to provide the U.S. with guidance to deal with these emerging scenarios.

In all seriousness, hostility to the U.S. military did not develop in a vacuum – it is quite clearly the sheer arrogance of America’s leadership and its incessant meddling in foreign affairs that have created a number of adversaries who are no longer willing to bow to American interests….

Read More: theantimedia.org/military-american-empire-collapsing/

The Pentagon’s $2.2 Billion Soviet Arms Pipeline Flooding Syria

Just Watering the Patsies

The defeat of Islamic State in Syria is reliant on a questionable supply-line, funnelling unprecedented quantities of weapons and ammunition from Eastern Europe to some 30,000 anti-ISIS rebel fighters.

Armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades fresh from state-owned production lines and stockpiles of the Balkans, Central Europe and increasingly the former Soviet Union, these US-backed troops are spearheading the battle to reclaim Raqqa, the capital of the so-called caliphate, and liberate other areas of Syria held by ISIS.

But the flow of weapons to these Pentagon-backed militia depends on misleading official paperwork, an investigation by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project, OCCRP, has uncovered.

The operation has been criticised by arms transfer experts and even worried officials in Berlin, who have seen large quantities of weapons passing through US military bases in Germany on the way to Syria.

Reporters have pinpointed more than $700 million of spending on weapons and ammunition likely destined for Syrian rebels since September 2015, when the Pentagon’s anti-ISIS train and equip program shifted strategy.

The Department of Defense has budgeted $584 million specifically for this Syrian operation for the financial years 2017 and 2018, and has earmarked another $900 million of spending on Soviet-style munitions between now and 2022.

The total, $2.2 billion, likely understates the flow of weapons to Syrian rebels in the coming years.

The weapons and ammunition that the Pentagon is supplying to Syria are dispatched through a sprawling logistical network, including an army of arms dealers, shipping companies, cargo airlines, German military bases and Balkan airports and ports.

The purchases are routed through two channels. One is run by the US military’s Special Operations Command, SOCOM, and the other is operated by Picatinny Arsenal, a little-known New Jersey weapons depot.

The Pentagon’s anti-ISIS programme became Washington’s sole military campaign in Syria in July 2017 after President Trump closed the CIA-funded Operation Syacamore, aimed at arming Syrian rebels fighting President Assad.

Trump has pledged to “wipe out” ISIS and has allocated increased funding for the Pentagon campaign, which now has many former anti-regime groups on its pay-roll.

With vast quantities of weapons continuing to pour into Syria, concerns abound about a wider conflict emerging once the common enemy of ISIS is defeated.

Asked about the unprecedented purchase of Soviet-style arms for Syrian rebels, the Pentagon said that it had carefully vetted the recipients and was releasing equipment incrementally.

Train and equip: A Major Shift in Strategy    

As ISIS swept across Syria in 2014, the Pentagon hastily launched a $500 million train and equip program that December to build up a new force of Syrian rebels, armed with modern US weapons, in an attempt to counter the threat.

But nine months later, the program had collapsed, with only a handful of recruits having made it onto the battlefield.

Amid a flurry of negative headlines, the Pentagon needed a new plan: Starting in September 2015, and largely unnoticed by the media, it quietly shifted focus to arming Syrian rebels already on the ground with the Eastern Bloc arms and ammunition they were already using, according to a previously unreported Pentagon document from February 2016.

Read the documents behind the investigation here at:

1) File for Bulgarian weapons references 1209 – Syria train and equip program

2) Seven Picatinny Arsenal procurement files mentioning Syria 

3) OSCE’s decision on End-User certificates

4) Pentagon budget request reveals strategy change

This Soviet-type equipment, both newly produced and sourced from stockpiles, is available from Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet countries, as well as China and Russia. The latter two large suppliers are out of bounds, as their military equipment falls under US sanctions.

The first Pentagon delivery, which included 50 tonnes of ammunition, arrived in October 2015, just a month after the shift in policy. The munitions were airdropped to Arab units within the then recently formed Syrian Democratic Forces, SDF, a Kurdish-led coalition currently spearheading the fight to reclaim Raqqa, and the Pentagon’s main ally in Syria.

The shipment was far from a one-time event and the SDF was not the only group to receive support – a changing coalition of rebel fighters in Syria’s south east is also being armed by the Pentagon.

Socom supply-line

Special Operations Command, SOCOM, has not previously acknowledged its role in the Syria train and equip program, but in a written statement to BIRN and OCCRP, the Pentagon confirmed that it had been charged with procuring weapons and ammunition for Syrian rebels.

From the swift in strategy to May 2017, it has purchased weapons and ammunition worth $240 million from Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Serbia, Poland and Romania, according to an analysis of thousands of procurement records by BIRN and OCCRP. Prior to the start of the programme, its spending on Eastern Bloc weaponry had been negligible.

While SOCOM is known to covertly supply US partners in other conflicts, documentary evidence, expert analysis, and the testimony of a contractor involved in the supply-line confirmed that Syria is the main destination for these purchases.

Between December 2015 and September 2016, SOCOM also chartered four cargo ships from Romanian and Bulgarian Black Sea ports, laden with 6,300 tonnes of the purchased munitions to be delivered to military bases in Turkey and Jordan, the main logistics bases for supplying Syrian rebels, according to procurement documents, packing lists and ship tracking data…

Read More: www.balkaninsight.com/en/article/the-pentagon-s-2-2-billion-soviet-arms-pipeline-flooding-syria-09-12-2017

Documents expose how Hollywood promotes war on behalf of the Pentagon, CIA and NSA

CIA and Hollywood

Published by INSURGE INTELLIGENCE, a crowdfunded investigative journalism project for people and planet. Support INSURGE to keep digging where others fear to tread.
Tom Secker and Matthew Alford report on their astonishing findings from trawling through thousands of new US military and intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
The documents reveal for the first time the vast scale of US government control in Hollywood, including the ability to manipulate scripts or even prevent films too critical of the Pentagon from being made — not to mention influencing some of the most popular film franchises in recent years.

This raises new questions not only about the way censorship works in the modern entertainment industry, but also about Hollywood’s little known role as a propaganda machine for the US national security apparatus.

Read More: medium.com/insurge-intelligence/exclusive-documents-expose-direct-us-military-intelligence-influence-on-1-800-movies-and-tv-shows-36433107c307