tagged w/ US Hegemony
Special US commandos are deployed in about 75 countries around the world - and that number is expected to grow.
Somewhere on this planet a US commando is carrying out a mission. Now, say that 70 times and you're done ... for the day. Without the knowledge of much of the general American public, a secret force within the US military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world's countries. This Pentagon power elite is waging a global war whose size and scope has generally been ignored by the mainstream media, and deserves further attention.
After a US Navy SEAL put a bullet in Osama bin Laden's chest and another in his head, one of the most secretive black-ops units in the US military suddenly found its mission in the public spotlight. It was atypical. While it's well known that US Special Operations forces are deployed in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, and it's increasingly apparent that such units operate in murkier conflict zones like Yemen and Somalia, the full extent of their worldwide war has often remained out of the public scrutiny.
Last year, Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post reported that US Special Operations forces were deployed in 75 countries, up from 60 at the end of the Bush presidency. By the end of this year, US Special Operations Command spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told me, that number will likely reach 120. "We do a lot of travelling - a lot more than Afghanistan or Iraq," he said recently. This global presence - in about 60 per cent of the world's nations and far larger than previously acknowledged - is evidence of a rising clandestine Pentagon power elite waging a secret war in all corners of the world.
The rise of the military's secret military
Born of a failed 1980 raid to rescue American hostages in Iran, in which eight US service members died, US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) was established in 1987. Having spent the post-Vietnam years distrusted and starved for money by the regular military, special operations forces suddenly had a single home, a stable budget, and a four-star commander as their advocate.
Since then, SOCOM has grown into a combined force of startling proportions. Made up of units from all the service branches, including the Army's "Green Berets" and Rangers, Navy SEALs, Air Force Air Commandos, and Marine Corps Special Operations teams, in addition to specialised helicopter crews, boat teams, civil affairs personnel, para-rescuemen, and even battlefield air-traffic controllers and special operations weathermen, SOCOM carries out the United States' most specialised and secret missions. These include assassinations, counterterrorist raids, long-range reconnaissance, intelligence analysis, foreign troop training, and weapons of mass destruction counter-proliferation operations.
One of its key components is the Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC, a clandestine sub-command whose primary mission is tracking and killing suspected terrorists. Reporting to the president and acting under his authority, JSOC maintains a global hit list that includes US citizens. It has been operating an extra-legal "kill/capture" campaign that John Nagl, a past counterinsurgency adviser to four-star general and soon-to-be CIA Director David Petraeus, calls "an almost industrial-scale counterterrorism killing machine".
This assassination programme has been carried out by commando units like the Navy SEALs and the Army's Delta Force as well as via drone strikes as part of covert wars in which the CIA is also involved in countries like Somalia, Pakistan, and Yemen. In addition, the command operates a network of secret prisons, perhaps as many as 20 black sites in Afghanistan alone, used for interrogating high-value targets.
(much more, and in-text links, at link)Special US commandos are deployed in about 75 countries around the world - and that... more
A work in progress, a major and harsh lesson in history.
Engdahl: The danger is the US may turn to military might as their financial power weakens.
Discussing the global economic crisis, the context, and the history of the U.S. financial meltdown, Paul Jay continues our interview with William Engdahl, political economist and author. “I think it’s a symptom but not a fundamental cause of the crisis,” says Engdahl of the stagnation in wage increases in the United States. He continues to explain that, “if you go back to August 1971, when Nixon decoupled the dollar from gold, the United States went into what’s called in the Banking world ‘a Fiat Money System.’ Initially, after the decoupling, the U.S. dollar was backed by oil, but over the years, the United States became “increasingly dependent on the dollar being backed by the U.S. military power projection in the world. F16s and Abraham tanks instead of gold.” Engdahl continues to explain that, “this allowed the U.S. administrations to run deficits like no other nation in the world was able to. I think that is what now is reaching its limits.” As the U.S. financial dominance in the world comes to an end, Engdahl says he fears that, “certain powerful actors will turn to the U.S. military power projection around the world,” and that, “this is the real danger of a World War III.” He points out that the team Obama has brought into his administration is a, “really hawkish continuation of the old [Bush] team.”
F William Engdahl is an economist and author and the writer of the best selling book "A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order." Mr Engdhahl has written on issues of energy, politics and economics for more than 30 years, beginning with the first oil shock in the early 1970s. Mr. Engdahl contributes regularly to a number of publications including Asia Times Online, Asia, Inc, Japan's Nihon Keizai Shimbun, Foresight magazine; Freitag and ZeitFragen newspapers in Germany and Switzerland respectively. He is based in Germany.
See Part 1 at:
See Part 2 at:
See Part 4 at:
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Matt Welch, of Reason.com, provides a history of McCain and his move to the militant neocons. Part 4
See Part 1 at: http://current.com/items/89269364_palin_a_bold_move_or_reckless_choice
See Part 2 at: http://current.com/items/89274547_mccain_and_the_independent_vote
See Part 3 at: http://current.com/items/89276276_the_myth_of_mccain
Matt Welch, of Reason.com, provides a history of McCain and his move to the militant... more
How to Use This Map
Use the slider at the base of the map to view troop strength over time. You'll find that the 2007 map is far more interactive: Zoom in on a region with a click, and then select a country to bring up its military profile below. To get from one region to another, zoom out by clicking on the ocean, then zoom back in to wherever you want to go.
The map animation that opens this package uses Pentagon worldwide troop data from every half-decade since 1950, plus 2007, the latest year for which the data is available. These numbers are often fuzzy: Some deployments are classified, others are temporary, and just because the Defense Department claims 30 US troops in Indonesia last year doesn't mean 1,500 didn't pass through on training missions. Even so, the map, and the associated research, should give you a good feel for what the Pentagon is up to around the world.
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I suggest you click on the link to go to the site to take full advantage of this interactive map.How to Use This Map Use the slider at the base of the map to view troop strength... more
The United States is planning to take control of all military operations in Afghanistan next year with an Iraq-style troop surge after becoming frustrated at Nato’s failure to defeat the Taliban.
Plans are being drawn up to send as many as 15,000 extra troops to Afghanistan with a single US general always in command, as in Iraq, defence sources said.
The Pentagon is also pushing for a permanent “unified command” in the south of the country that would sideline the Dutch and the Canadians.
At present, control of the south is rotated between the British, Dutch and Canadians, the three countries that provide the bulk of the troops.
From October next year, when the UK will take over from the Dutch, command of the south is expected to alternate between the British and the Americans.
Although final decisions cannot be made until the new US administration takes over in January, plans are being drawn up to send two to three US combat brigades – a total of between 8,000 and 12,000 men, the sources said.
Lawrence Korb, a defence expert at the Centre for American Progress, a Democratic think tank in Washington, said: “There is no doubt that the US wants to change the command structure as things have deteriorated in Afghanistan.”
Both Barack Obama, the Democrat presidential candidate, and John McCain, his Republican opponent, have spoken of using “two to three [combat] brigades for the surge, amounting to 8,000-12,000 troops”, Korb said. “There will be a US general and the forces will be under US command.”
The surge will also see US and other coalition special forces, which operate separately from the Nato command, absorbed into a single US command for the whole of Afghanistan.
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More at link.
Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia (largely by proxy), which country is next? And where will the manpower come from if not through a draft? One thing seems obvious - the Bush administration has been following the PNAC's "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces, and Resources For a New Century" blueprint practically to the letter so far:
The United States is planning to take control of all military operations in... more