Updates on Libyan war/Stop NATO news: August 14, 2011

14 August 2011 — Stop NATO

  • Turkey May Join NATO Action Against Syria
  • Egypt Launches Large-Scale Military Operation In North Sinai
  • New U.S. AFRICOM Services Battalion Joins Marine, Special Warfare Units
  • Pentagon Prepares For Prospective War With China
  • Arctic: Canada Flexes Its Military Muscle, Puts Russia On Alert
  • Fall Of The Last Superpower In A Trillion Dollar War
  • Obama And Karzai To Forge U.S.-Afghan Strategic Cooperation

Turkey May Join NATO Action Against Syria

http://www.agi.it/english-version/world/elenco-notizie/201108132154-pol-ren1062-turkey_does_not_exclude_military_intervention_in_syria

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia
August 13, 2011

TURKEY DOES NOT EXCLUDE MILITARY INTERVENTION IN SYRIA

Jerusalem: The Turkish government does not exclude an international interventions in Syria, and warns it may take part.

If Bashar al Assad’s regime does not cease its bloody repression against its people Turkey may ‘collaborate’ if the action were to have UN approval.

According to a report from Israel’s Haaretz, a Turkish official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to the newspaper ‘Hurriyet’ made the statements.

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http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/turkey-threatens-to-join-international-military-action-in-syria-1.378427

Ha’aretz
August 13, 2011

Turkey threatens to join international military action in Syria
By Zvi Bar’el

Turkey may consider cooperating with international powers in the event they decide to intervene militarily in Syria, according to a report in the Turkish ‘Hurriyet’ newspaper on Saturday.

Turkey has lost its patience with Syria, according to Turkish officials, and Turkish President Abdullah Gul has issued an ultimatum to Syrian President Bashar Assad via Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu who visited Syria on Tuesday.

According to officials, the Turkish foreign minister made it clear to Assad that in the event that Syrian forces continue to act aggressively against demonstrators Syria will no longer be able to rely on friendship from Turkey.

The Turkish officials told the Hurriyet that ‘Turkey had initially tried to convince its Western allies to grant Assad time to implement reforms eight months ago. We have been as friendly toward Syria as we could, but a regime that doesn’t listen to advice from its friend and neighbor cannot be a friend of Turkey’s.’

The letter from Turkish President Gul and the leaking of its content to the Turkish media is testimony to Turkey’s strategic decision to deem Assad’s regime as illegitimate, thereby allowing it to move toward an operative stage against Syria.

Arshet Hormozlo, an adviser to the Turkish president, made clear in an interview with the Iraqi newspaper ‘Zaman’ that Turkey will not intervene militarily in Syria and will not allow international forces to enter Syria from Turkish territory.

However, Turkey’s consent to join an international coalition that may launch a military offensive against Syria is a dramatic turning point in Turkey’s stance. Hormozlo’s statement is proof that talks on military involvement have already reached the decision-making stage.

At the first stage, Turkey is expected to withdraw its ambassador from Damascus, following the example of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain. The next step Turkey would take is freezing its projects and investments in Syria. Turkey will only take military action against Assad in the event that an international decision to intervene is made.

Turkey is furious with Iran for its criticism of Turkey for its stance toward Syria. Iran called Turkey a ‘subcontractor of U.S. policy’.

In the event that military action is taken against Syria, other fronts may be opened if Iran decides to protect Assad’s rule beyond sending monetary aid and equipment by way of Iraq. In such a scenario, Iran could open a tactical front in the Gulf, send forces to Bahrain or start large-scale military maneuvers in the Gulf.

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http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=syria-intervention-not-off-table-2011-08-12

Hürriyet Daily News
August 12, 2011

Syria intervention not off table
Turkish presidential sources has leaked parts of a letter from Gül to Assad on Friday to the semi-official Anatolia News Agency

Istanbul: Turkey isn’t ruling out international intervention in Syria if the Bashar al-Assad regime doesn’t stop using violence against its own people, a Turkish official speaking on condition of anonymity told the Hürriyet Daily News on Friday.

The source also said that a letter from Turkish President Abdullah Gül to Assad delivered by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davuto?lu on Tuesday was considered by Ankara as an ‘ultimatum’ to Damascus that, if violence by Syrian troops continued, Assad would no longer be able to rely on Turkey’s friendship.

‘Up until eight months ago, we were trying to convince our Western allies to give some more time for Assad to implement reforms. We were as friendly as to convene joint Cabinet meetings and lift visas,’ the source told the Daily News. ‘But if a regime is not listening to the advice of its friend and neighbor and continues opening fire on its own people, that regime can no longer be Turkey’s friend.’

Another factor why Turkey’s patience is ‘being exhausted,’ as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an says, is the open support that the Iranian government has declared for the Syrian government.

‘Syria is already ruled by a religious minority that is close to the Shiite majority in Iran,’ the source said. ‘A further escalation of tension might lead to sectarian fights not only in Syria but also in Iraq, and Turkey is naturally uncomfortable, having relatives from all Islamic sects in the region on both sides of the border.’

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Egypt Launches Large-Scale Military Operation In North Sinai

http://en.rian.ru/world/20110814/165769454.html

Russian Information Agency Novosti
August 14, 2011

Egypt prepares large-scale military operation in North Sinai

The operation, which also involves dozens of tanks and armored vehicles, is scheduled to begin shortly

CAIRO: The military command of the Egyptian army has sent some 1,000 soldiers to the North Sinai for a large-scale operation against armed extremists in the province, Egypt’s media reported on Sunday.

The operation, which also involves dozens of tanks and armored vehicles, is scheduled to begin shortly, local media reported.

International Arabic daily Al Sharq Al Awsat reports that the operation will be held near the border of Gaza in the area of El-Arish, Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah cities.

The North of the Sinai Peninsula is considered as the most troubled region of Egypt from the view of security. Numerous groups of smugglers involved in weapons trafficking are active in the area.

They use underground tunnels to provide the Gaza Strip, blockaded by Israel since the radical Islamic group Hamas took control of the enclave in 2007, with weapons food, petrol and household appliances.

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New U.S. AFRICOM Services Battalion Joins Marine, Special Warfare Units

http://www.stripes.com/news/europe/u-s-army-africa-adds-services-battalion-in-vicenza-1.151936

Stars and Stripes
August 12, 2011

U.S. Army Africa adds services battalion in Vicenza
By John Vandiver

STUTTGART, Germany: U.S. Army Africa added a small support services battalion on Friday, which Army officials said would help free the command to focus more on its mission on the continent.

With the establishment of a new Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, the Army component of U.S. Africa Command will now be able to provide increased support services to its personnel.

‘Standing up a unit is an important step that demonstrates we are actively creating a force capable of carrying out its mission,’ said Maj. Gen. David Hogg, USARAF commander, during an activation ceremony in Vicenza, Italy, according to prepared remarks.

The new battalion adds only 13 personnel to the 450-strong U.S. Army Africa team. However, the addition of the unit ‘basically demonstrates a continued growth in importance of this command,’ Konop said. ‘We can expect more to be happening in the future.’

USARAF was established in 2008 to support Stuttgart-based Africa Command, the military’s youngest combatant command. In recent months, other components also have been busy assigning units to lend more assistance to AFRICOM. A new Marine task force has been assigned to AFRICOM as part of an effort to ramp up training partnerships with militaries…on the continent. And earlier this year, the Navy commissioned an Africa-focused Naval Special Warfare unit, which is based in Stuttgart.

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Pentagon Prepares For Prospective War With China

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2011/08/13/sino_us_stephen_glain

Salon
August 13, 2011

The Pentagon’s new China war plan

Despite budget woes, the military is preparing for a conflict with our biggest rival – and we should be worried
By Stephen Glain*

This summer, despite America’s continuing financial crisis, the Pentagon is effectively considering trading two military quagmires for the possibility of a third. Reducing its commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan as it refocuses on Asia, Washington is not so much withdrawing forces from the Persian Gulf as it is redeploying them for a prospective war with its largest creditor, China.

According to the defense trade press, Pentagon officials are seeking ways to adapt a concept known as AirSea Battle specifically for China, debunking rote claims from Washington that it has no plans to thwart its emerging Asian rival. A recent article in Inside the Pentagon reported that a small group of U.S. Navy officers known as the China Integration Team ‘is hard at work applying the lessons of [AirSea Battle] to a potential conflict with China.’

AirSea Battle, developed in the early 1990s and most recently codified in a 2009 Navy-Air Force classified memo, is a vehicle for conforming U.S. military power to address asymmetrical threats in the Western Pacific and the Persian Gulf – code for China and Iran. (This alone raises a crucial point: If the U.S. has had nothing but trouble with asymmetrical warfare for the last 45 years, why should a war with China, or Iran for that matter, be any different?)

It complements the 1992 Defense Planning Guidance, a government white paper that precluded the rise of any ‘peer competitor’ that might challenge U.S. dominance worldwide. The Planning Guidance is the Pentagon’s writ for control of what defense planners call ‘the global commons,’ a euphemism for the seaways, land bridges and air corridors that are the arteries of international commerce. For a foreign power to challenge this American dominion is to effectively declare war on the United States, and that is exactly what China appears to be doing in the South China Sea, a resource-rich and highly contested waterway in Southeast Asia.

It was in this spirit that Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos, at a dinner hosted by the Center for a New American Security in late May, remarked that the wars in the Persian Gulf were denying Washington the resources it needed to cope with an increasingly assertive China. ‘We’d like to turn that around,’ he said. ‘I don’t think we’re there to [the extent] we need to be.’ In his candor, Amos became the latest U.S. military leader to speak about his service’s plans following the Afghanistan drawdown.

A U.S. mobilization in Asia is well underway, in faith with a spring 2001 Pentagon study called ‘Asia 2025,’ which identified China as a ‘persistent competitor of the United States,’ bent on ‘foreign military adventurism.’ Three years later, the U.S. government went public with a plan that called for a new chain of bases in Central Asia and the Middle East, in part to box in the People’s Republic. Similarly, the nuclear energy cooperation deal signed by the U.S. and India in 2008 was an obvious containment maneuver aimed at Beijing. In late March, press reports detailed a major buildup of American forces in Asia, including increased naval deployments and expansive cooperation with partner countries. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is forging ahead with a multi-year effort to transform Guam into its primary hub in the Pacific, an initiative so vast that John Pike of the Washington, D.C.-based GlobalSecurity.org has speculated that Washington wants to ‘run the planet from Guam and Diego Garcia by 2015.’

Unlike America’s allies in Asia and Europe, however, China is not about to outsource its national security obligations to a foreign power, particularly when it comes to the South China Sea. There more than ever, and not without reason, Beijing identifies the U.S. not as a strategic partner but as an outright threat. In 2007, when China destroyed one of its weather satellites with a ballistic missile, it served as a warning to Washington after the ramming six years earlier of a U.S. spy plane by a Chinese fighter jet off the coast of Hainan Island. Though the crisis that followed was defused diplomatically, it was interpreted by some in Washington as vindication of the throaty Asia 2025. In fact, the clash followed a dramatic rise in the frequency of U.S. overflights in the area during the twilight of the Clinton years, which triggered a demarche from Beijing that slipped through the cracks of the transition to the Bush administration. The Hainan incident, as affair is known, was the inevitable outcome of a highly intrusive American surveillance regime.

In addition to China, Vietnam, Brunei, Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines all have competing claims on several clusters of South China Sea islands. Rather than intervening with quiet diplomacy to untangle this incendiary thicket, the U.S. has starkly sided against Beijing. In March 2010, when a Chinese official was quoted by Japanese media as identifying the region as a ‘core interest’ of Chinese sovereignty, the White House retaliated by declaring that freedom of maritime navigation is a U.S. ‘national interest.’

As it turns out, according to the China scholars Nong Hong and Wenran Jiang, writing in the July 1 edition of the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation’s China bulletin, the core interest to which the official referred was ‘the peaceful resolution’ of the disputes in question. Despite this, the White House refuses to climb down. Two weeks ago, three U.S. Navy ships paid call on Vietnam, China’s ancient antagonist, for a weeklong joint exercise at a time of strained relations between Beijing and Hanoi, prompting a formal protest from the Chinese. In Manila last month, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pointedly assured her hosts that the U.S. would honor its mutual defense pact with the Philippines and sell it new weaponry on discounted terms.

For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the U.S. government has encountered the practical limits of the 1992 Defense Planning Guidance. In its story about AirSea Battle and the China Integration Team, Inside the Pentagon revealed an oblique, if profound insight from Andrew Krepinevich, the highly regarded head of Washington’s Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. China, he said, is clearly jousting for control of the Western Pacific and ‘we have to decide whether we’re going to compete or not. If we’re not, then we have to be willing to accept the shift in the military balance.’ Otherwise, ‘the question is how to compete effectively.’

Here is a noble appeal for Washington to match its commitments with the resources needed to sustain them, the absence of which has fueled the debt crisis that nearly reduced the United States to a mendicant state. Such are the crippling costs of a defense policy that makes global hegemony a mindless imperative.

*Stephen Glain is a freelance writer with extensive experience as a foreign correspondent in Asia and the Middle East. He has written for the New Republic, the Atlantic Monthly, the Nation, the Wall Street Journal and many other publications. His latest book, ‘State vs. Defense: The Battle to Define America’s Empire,’ is just out from Crown.

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Arctic: Canada Flexes Its Military Muscle, Puts Russia On Alert

http://www.worldcrunch.com/arctic-canada-flexes-its-military-muscle-puts-russia-alert/3576

Le Figaro
August 13, 2011

Arctic: Canada Flexes Its Military Muscle, Puts Russia On Alert

Canada is looking for ways to exert its authority in the Great North, as global warming invites competition for the region’s valuable resources. Of particular concern is Russia, which is seeking permission from the UN to extend its Arctic borders

By Ludovic Hirztmann

MONTREAL: Canada is keeping a cautious eye on the Great North, preparing for a fight, if needs be, to protect valuable natural resources that global warming is making more accessible – to everyone.

Its latest military preparation is a large-scale Arctic mission dubbed ‘Operation Nanook 11,’ which Canada just launched together with the United States and Denmark. The mission to defend Ottawa’s sovereignty in the Far North will extend until the end of August in the straits of Lancaster and Davis, in Baffin Bay and on and around Cornwallis Island.

Nanook 11 involves some 1,100 soldiers, a modest number by Canadian standards. The operation goes hand-in-hand, however, with other military efforts in the region. Ottawa has recently increased the number of Inuit rangers it relies on to protect the Arctic region. It has also modernized its far northern facilities.

Analysts say Nanook 11 was planned as a warning to Russia, Canada’s main rival in the area. Russia has announced it wants to extend its Arctic borders, with the Kremlin promising to file an official request to the UN in 2012 asking for an expansion of Russia’s continental shelf.

‘The north is ours. We want to show our international partners that we are settled here. This is what we’re aiming at,’ Lieutenant-Commander Luc Tremblay recently told Radio Canada.

At the beginning of his first term in 2006, Canada’s conservative Prime minister Stephen Harper made a military buildup in the Far North a top priority…

The government’s heightened interest vis-à-vis the Great North has much to do with global warming, which is making it easier for boats to move in the Arctic. Last week’s Arctic voyage by Michel Rocard, the French ambassador in charge of the international negotiations regarding the Arctic and Antarctica regions, was a case in point. Rocard traveled aboard the Quebecois icebreaker Admundsen.

Last month, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, or NSIDC, the ice floe hit its lowest level for this time of year since satellite-assisted measurements began in 1979. The gradual melt has sparked an international wrestling match over control of the Arctic’s oil, gas and massive fish resources.

The new Promised Land

Snow crabs could soon taste like oil. The Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs granted block licenses to oil companies such as Husky Energy, ConocoPhilips, Imperial Oil, MGM Energy and Shell in the Beaufort Sea and in the Canadian Far North. For oil companies, the Arctic is the new promised land. ‘This land is of strategic interest for us,’ said Colleen McConnel, a spokeswoman for Husky Energy.

Arctic oil and gas resources would represent about one fifth of the planet’s undiscovered hydrocarbon stocks, and Canada’s conservative government has ruled out any moratorium on the region.

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Fall Of The Last Superpower In A Trillion Dollar War

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2011/08/the-fall-of-the-last-superpower-in-the-trillion-dollar-war/

The Vanguard (Nigeria)
August 14, 2011

The fall of the last superpower in the trillion dollar war
By Hugo Odiogor

-’The attempt to use deficit budgeting to power the economy seems to have failed Americans as they tried to promote an economic principle that you have your bread and bullet at the same time but they have failed as we saw in the deficit budget debate.

‘America has since become less productive in viable economic fields. It has gone into unproductive military economics, leaving the field for China, Japan, Germany, India and Brazil to produce goods and services that support human existence while Americans specialize in producing weapons to exterminate life.’

-[E]ight years into the conflict in Iraq, Obama has hit a monthly expenditure of $10.5 billion a month. The budget of nine states in America is squandered in Afghanistan, where America spends about $16 billion a month.

-There are fears that the costs of the Libyan operations ‘could rise up to $1 billion or $1.5 billion, if the war drags on for 12 months’. So far, NATO has not established any edge in the battle for Libya after four month of military strikes.

When the Republican Party leaders decided to hold President Barack Obama hostage over the request to raise the debt ceiling and save the United States (US) from defaulting in its fiscal obligation, it was an act of political hostage taking that has downgraded America and dealt a mortal blow to the image of the last superpower of the 21st century.

Led by the Speaker of the Republican Party dominated Congress, Mr. John Boehner, the lawmakers pushed America to the precipice before they agreed on half-measure deals that averted the August 2, 2011 deadline to raise the debt ceiling. They invariably blighted America’s image as a world power.

But, more importantly, the crisis raised the issue of the social and economic costs of the American foreign military operations which have stretched its resources to the limits with little or no tangible results.

Credit rating agency, Standard and Poor’s, compounded their woes when it downgraded US credit rating from its Triple A status to Double A plus and rattled the global markets, pushing them into negative territory for the greater part of last week

Obama was put on the spot and he had to appeal directly to Americans to put pressure on their Congress men and women to end the ‘war of attrition’ and put the interest of their country above partisan politics. For the Tea Party, which won some seats in the November mid term election, it was an opportunity to push their ultra-right-wing agenda. Secretly supported by the Republican Party, they teamed up to frustrate what they called the liberal agenda of the ruling Democratic Party.

Comedians and talkshow hosts had a field day during the deficit budget debate which they tagged ‘Obamaggedon’ or ‘Barackapocalypse’. They ridiculed their country, making it look as if it was Obama that plunged America into battles in Afghanistan, Iraq and the NATO operations in Libya. It was lost on Americans that when the Bush administration was in office, the debt ceiling was raised eight times without the world being treated to the shameful spectacle that Speaker Boehner, the Ohio Republican Party representative, took them through.

Secondly, when former President George W. Bush returned to the bellicose ways of his father, American played down social and financial implications of embarking on military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. His spin doctors told Americans that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were going to be fast, decisive and less expensive. His military advisers said they expected a quick and inexpensive conflict, but ‘we have a war that is costing more than anyone could have imagined’.

The disruptive debate over capping the US debt and proposed 12-man committee to decide on areas of cut in the next ten years can be best seen from the prism that the foreign military campaigns have crippled the American economy and, by extension, put the global economy in peril. For the Republican Party, their philosophy was that a black man, who must be punished for having the audacity to become US president at a time of fiscal recklessness of embarking on war in three different fronts, was exerting its impact on the US and global economy.

The global economy and the cost of war

The author of the Global Economic Recession and the Human Condition: An African Perspective, Mrs. Uchenna C. Ekwueme, said: ‘As we all know, the origin of the current financial crisis can be best understood as a crisis of global political economy enveloping the United States, Europe and China, with one overriding issue of illiquidity and the relationship between macro-economic management in political and economic life of nations in the international system’.

She described what is happening as a crisis of political economy of the world’s major economies, but ‘at the national level, there was the subprime mortgage meltdown in the United States in 2008 when the financial sector began to generate paper assets whose value depended on the prices of housing’. According to her, people at that time were encouraged to borrow at subprime rate to purchase houses. This was based on the assumption that the price of property would always rise but if the prices were to fluctuate, the value of the paper could still be determined.

‘The price of housing declined and, worse still, the value of the paper assets became indeterminate. This placed the entire American financial system in a state of gridlock. Because of the process of globalisation, it spread to Europe where many financial institutions had purchased the paper as well’, she added. Dr. Awele Maduemezie, another expert in international relations, said: ’The attempt to use deficit budgeting to power the economy seems to have failed Americans as they tried to promote an economic principle that you have your bread and bullet at the same time but they have failed as we saw in the deficit budget debate.

‘America has since become less productive in viable economic fields. It has gone into unproductive military economics, leaving the field for China, Japan, Germany, India and Brazil to produce goods and services that support human existence while Americans specialize in producing weapons to exterminate life. See where it has landed them. They have failed to recognize that the economic law of opportunity cost is still operative.’

Paul Kennedy’s prophetic book: The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers (1987), prophesied the global financial meltdown that manifested in 2008, based on the fact that the manufacturing capacity of the economy was eroding while the budget deficit and the defence budget were rising. Kennedy noted that ‘in 1929, the US claimed 43% of the world manufacturing production, but, by 1991, it had shrunk to 22%, by 2008 it had declined to 16%’. The idea of Americans living above their income became the vogue during the 1980s, thereby resulting in low savings and mobilisation of capital for investment purpose. There was high rate of consumption among the people with the attainment of efficiency in technology and high income. This reached its zenith before the economic recession in 2008.

In their book: The Three Trillion Dollar War (2008), the former World Bank chief economist and the 2001 Nobel Prize winner for Economics, Joseph Stiglitz, and Harvard University lecturer in public policy, Linda Bilmes, attributed America’s economic woes to its policy of fiscal profligacy in the past two decades. According to them: ‘The US Treasure has been borrowing and using paper money to finance the foreign military campaigns.

‘It has refused to raise taxes which will affect the average American yet they are patronising the upper class that will reap maximum benefits from post-war construction contracts’. They said the operational cost of the war in Iraq is as high as that of the 12-year old Vietnam War. It doubled the cost of the Korean War, and ‘ten times higher than the cost of the first Gulf War’. According to them, ‘the Second World War, which gulped $ 16.3 million in a period four years, was the most expensive; by contrast, the Iraq war is costing upward of $400,000 per troop.’

When the cost of the war in Iraq was first estimated at $200 billion eight years ago, former Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, lampooned the projected cost. He rather put the cost of the war at between $50 billion to $60 billion, but the coalition partners would share in the cost. He insisted that the post-war reconstruction contracts and increased oil revenues could pay for the war. But eight years into the conflict in Iraq, Obama has hit a monthly expenditure of $10.5 billion a month. The budget of nine states in America is squandered in Afghanistan, where America spends about $16 billion a month.

The cost of the war has been hidden from the public but Stiglitz and Blime said: ‘The figure we arrive at is more than $3 trillion, incurred only by the United States. It does not reflect the enormous cost to the rest of the world, or to Iraq.’

At another front, US military officials argue that maintaining a no-fly zone covering just the northern portion of Libya likely will cost between $30 million and $100 million per week. But because it required coalition forces to deal with Libyan air defense systems, there are one-time bills that could cost between $400 million and $800 million. There are fears that the costs of the Libyan operations ‘could rise up to $1 billion or $1.5 billion, if the war drags on for 12 months’. So far, NATO has not established any edge in the battle for Libya after four month of military strikes.

The rise and fall of America

Americans have been counting the cost of the wars that they are involved in. Notable among the issues that dominated the discussion of US debt ceiling debates was the cuts in military spending. While both sides (Democrats and Republicans) agree on the need to cut down on the military budget, there were significant differences to ensure that the lives of US troops on foreign missions are not endangered.

Dr. Francis Oshodi, an expert in international affairs, said the crisis does not mean the collapse of the US, as the country has substantial political legitimacy to count on. He said: ‘There was a crisis of confidence in the financial system and a crisis of confidence in the political system. There are so many sub-systems, namely the military, the financial, the academic and so on. It is one of the systems, the financial system, that failed, due to the decisions made by the financial elite. This created a massive political problem centered not so much on the quality of leadership of President Obama because he is still rated high in the way that he handled the crisis; his competence is not in doubt and we cannot say that it was a sign of no confidence in his leadership. The crisis started before he came to office and the wars, apart from the no fly zone in Libya, were already there before he came to office. ‘

Origin of the crisis

On her own, Mrs. Ekwueme said, ‘We must recognize the fact that the American financial elite violated all principles of fiduciary, social and moral responsibility, in seeking its own personal gain, at the expense of the entire society. Obama and the political leadership have tried to stabilize the financial system by offering them bail-outs to deal with the failures in the system but this has failed to achieve the desired result because of the huge cost of prosecuting the wars.

This is still draining the treasury. The disenchantment with the economic system created another level of crisis in the political cycle where the Tea Party sprang up to challenge the political status quo in Washington. It is all about the sovereign debt crisis and the power game in Washington. Its argument was that the political class has used the financial crisis to increase the power over the people’. London-based Pastor Bisi Odoh said the years ahead will be difficult for Americans who will have to contend with regimes of austerity measures, saying it is time for them to have a taste of the pill they have been advocating for the third world countries. Are we seeing the demise of the last superpower. How are the mighty fallen!

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Obama And Karzai To Forge U.S.-Afghan Strategic Cooperation

http://www.pajhwok.com/en/2011/08/13/karzai-obama-talk-strategic-cooperation

Pajhwok Afghan News
August 13, 2011

Karzai, Obama talk strategic cooperation
By Lalit K Jha and Zarghona Salehi

KABUL/WASHINGTON: Afghanistan and the United States have agreed on a security advisor-level meeting on strategic cooperation in September, the Presidential Palace in Kabul said on Saturday.

President Hamid Karzai has assured the strategic pact with the US would pose no threat to Afghanistan’s neighbours. A traditional Loya Jirga will decide on whether or not Afghanistan should enter the deal.

In a video conference with Karzai on Friday night, President Barack Obama supported an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process, a statement from Presidential Palace said.

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