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Posts Tagged ‘Drones’

Ukraine Wants the US to Provide Cluster Bombs to Use With Drones – News From

Posted by M. C. on March 7, 2023

Cluster bombs endanger civilians by scattering small bombs across a large area and have been banned by over 100 countries

by Dave DeCamp

Ukraine has been seeking cluster bombs from the US to use in its war against Russian forces and is now asking for a type of the controversial munition that they want to adapt so they can be dropped from drones, Reuters reported on Monday.

According to House Reps. Adam Smith (D-WA) and Jason Crow (D-CO), Ukraine is seeking the MK-20, an air-delivered cluster bomb. They said Ukrainian officials were asking members of Congress to persuade the White House to sign off on the delivery during the recent Munich Security Conference.

Cluster munitions scatter small bombs over large areas, making them more indiscriminate than other munitions. According to Reuters, the MK-20 releases 240 dart-like submunitions or bomblets after being launched.

The bomblets in cluster munitions often don’t explode on impact, making them a huge danger to civilians who come across them, similar to land mines. The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions that bans the weapons has over 100 signatories, but the US, Russia, and Ukraine are not parties to the treaty.

Since Russia launched its invasion in February 2022, both Russian and Ukrainian forces have used cluster munitions. Kyiv was also accused of using the bombs in populated areas of Donestk back in 2014.

While the US hasn’t banned cluster bombs, its forces haven’t used them since one known incident in Yemen in 2009. The US had been producing and selling cluster bombs to its allies until a few years ago. In 2016, Textron Systems Corporation stopped producing MK-20s when the US stopped selling them to Saudi Arabia. But a congressional aide told Reuters that there are about one million of the bombs in US military stockpiles.

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American Taxpayer Rip-off: $3 Million Per Missile For Ukraine To Shoot Down $10,000 Drones

Posted by M. C. on December 15, 2022

The Ron Paul Liberty Report

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White House Will Send Tanks, Drones to Ukraine – News From

Posted by M. C. on November 5, 2022

What weaponry that doesn’t get sold to the highest bidder by one of the most corrupt governments on the planet will likely get taken by Russians.

by Kyle Anzalone

The Biden administration approved the 25th round of security assistance for Ukraine on Friday. The latest package of weapons will include upgraded tanks and drones. Kiev recently requested more armored vehicles to push its offensive against Russian forces.

A Pentagon press release said it had purchased 45 refurbished T-72B tanks with advanced optics, communications, and armor. The Department of Defense claims the Netherlands will provide an additional 45 tanks and the Czech Republic will provide additional support, completing the upgrades.

Since the start of the war, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has requested NATO members send their tanks to Ukraine. In separate appeals, Kiev asked for NATO to transfer one percent of their tanks and for Western countries to give Ukraine 500 tanks. Washington and its partners did not fulfill Zelensky’s requests.

In September, the Washington Post reported that Kiev believed it was reaching the “tipping point” and more armored vehicles could help complete its victory. “Kiev believes the requested heavy armor – including battle tanks and personnel carriers – could help shift that turning point into a tipping point.”

Germany rebuffed Ukraine when asked directly for tanks. “No country has delivered Western-built infantry fighting vehicles or main battle tanks so far. We have agreed with our partners that Germany will not take such action unilaterally,” German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said.

The upgraded T-72B tanks the US and Netherlands are buying for Kiev are not NATO models but Soviet-era weapons. Poland and the Czech Republic have already sent Ukraine hundreds of these tanks. Still, Zelensky believes the tanks will aid Kiev’s offensive.

“I am thankful to [Joe Biden] and the people of the [US] for another $400 million military assistance package. For armored vehicles that will help us liberate Ukrainian land. We appreciate this continued support!” the Ukrainian president Tweeted Friday.

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Our troops are targets in Syria. Why is Biden keeping them there? – Responsible Statecraft

Posted by M. C. on October 30, 2021

Written by
Daniel L. Davis

Last week U.S. forces operating in Syria were attacked by armed drones, allegedly by an Iranian-backed militia. On Tuesday, Al Jazeera reported that senior Biden Administration officials emphasized the president has no intention of withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria. That is a mistake that may, sooner or later, result in yet more pointless deaths of American service members. 

President Biden needs to withdraw all the troops from Syria, immediately.

There are too many among Washington’s foreign policy elite who have become, frankly stated, addicted to the idea of keeping as many American troops deployed in combat operations around the world as possible. For many years they have fought, aggressively, any consideration of withdrawing troops from any fight, anywhere, any time – and except for ending the war in Afghanistan last August, they have succeeded at thwarting any withdrawal. This latest resistance to ending our combat operations in Syria is only the latest example.

In 2014, then-President Obama announced a plan to end the Afghan war and withdraw all U.S. troops by the end of 2016, saying that it was, “time to turn the page on more than a decade in which so much of our foreign policy was focused on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.” Americans, Obama also noted, “have learned that it’s harder to end wars than it is to begin them.” He learned just how hard barely one year later.

In October 2015, Obama retracted his promise to end the withdrawal and decided to punt to the next commander in chief. Yet as the Washington Post’s Craig Whitlock revealed in the 2019 Afghanistan Papers, Obama pulled the plug on the withdrawal because “the president faced countervailing pressures to stay put from the Pentagon and hawks in Congress.” 

Instead of standing up to the pressure because it was the appropriate military response to the strategic circumstances, Obama folded. American troops paid the price in blood for his refusal, as 77 Americans died after 2016 and another 425 were wounded. All of those casualties would have been avoided if Obama had simply resisted the political pressure and done the right thing.

President Trump three times announced he was withdrawing troops from Syria during his term, and twice tried to completely end the war in Afghanistan. In all cases, Trump was fiercely opposed by senior members of his cabinet and national security apparatus and when he left office, none of the missions had ended. Because Trump unwilling to resist the institutional pressure and refused to end either the Syrian deployment or Afghan War on his watch, a number of U.S. troops in both countries were unnecessarily killed and wounded. 

The attack by Iran-backed militia on the U.S. base at Tanf, Syria resulted in no casualties. As a result of the “complex, coordinated and deliberate attack,” Biden is almost certain to come under pressure to retaliate with lethal force against the alleged offending militia members. On Monday at a Pentagon, Press Secretary John Kirby said that he would not “talk about intelligence matters,” but then added that “if there’s to be a response, it’ll be at a time and a place and a manner of our choosing,” indicating the Pentagon is actively examining such options.  

The president has for months been under pressure to respond with lethal force to such attacks. Biden approved airstrikes against targets in eastern Syria in February 2021 after U.S. personnel came under rocket fire in Erbil, Iraq. Before one more American service member pointlessly loses his or her life, it is time to end this unnecessary mission. 

Obama sent U.S. troops into Syria in 2015 to help the Syrian Democratic Forces retake territory from ISIS. The Islamic State operating within the confines of Iraq and Syria were never a credible threat to U.S. security and Obama should never have sent troops in to fight for the benefit of the Iraqi government in Baghdad and the SDF in Syria (and, perversely, to the benefit of Assad in Damascus). ISIS was a direct threat to Iraq, Syria, and the SDF — the burden to defeat ISIS should have rested fully on their shoulders.

But even if one believes we should have fought in Syria and Iraq to deprive ISIS of their territorial holdings, that mission was fully accomplished over two years ago. Since that time, there hasn’t been a valid reason to operate and maintain active combat operations in either country. Remnants of ISIS in those land-locked locations pose no threat to the U.S. that our standard global counterterror capacity can’t handle. I cannot more strongly state: a few hundred combat troops on the ground in Syria do not materially contribute to U.S. national security.

It should be unconscionable to keep American service members at constant risk of their lives and limbs when their presence there is not necessary. It is only a matter of time before one of those rocket attacks finds the mark and Americans are killed or wounded. Biden will then come under enormous pressure to respond militarily. 

The only result of such action will be to increase the tensions, raise the chance of stumbling into a pointless war with Iran, and make the Iranian and militia victims vow yet more revenge against Americans.  It’s time for the president to withdraw our troops and end the unnecessary risk to our troops.

Written by
Daniel L. Davis

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A Tonkin Gulf Incident in the Gulf of Oman? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 6, 2021

Whoever launched the drone strike sought to ensure that no new U.S.-Iran deal is consummated, that U.S. sanctions remain in place, and that a U.S. war with Iran remain a possibility.
But, again, why would Tehran carry out such a drone attack and kill crewmen on an Israeli-owned vessel — then loudly deny it?

Those behind this attack on the Israeli-owned vessel do not want to reduce the possibility of war between the United States and Iran.

They want to make it a reality. We ought not accommodate them.

By Patrick J. Buchanan

A week ago, the MT Mercer Street, a Japanese-owned tanker managed by a U.K.-based company owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, sailing in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Oman, was struck by drones.

A British security guard and Romanian crew member were killed.

Britain and the U.S. immediately blamed Iran, and the Israelis began to beat the war drums.

Monday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said action against Iran should be taken “right now.”

Tuesday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned Israel could “act alone.” “They can’t sit calmly in Tehran while igniting the entire Middle East — that’s over,” said Bennett. “We are working to enlist the whole world, but when the time comes, we know how to act alone.”

Wednesday, Gantz ratcheted it up, “Now is the time for deeds — words are not enough. … It is time for diplomatic, economic and even military deeds. Otherwise the attacks will continue.”

Thursday, Gantz went further: “Israel is ready to attack Iran, yes. … We are at a point where we need to take military action against Iran. The world needs to take action against Iran now.”

And what do the Americans say?

“We are confident that Iran conducted this attack,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “We are working with our partners to consider our next steps and consulting with governments inside the region and beyond on an appropriate response, which will be forthcoming.”

Iran, however, has repeatedly denied that it ordered the attack.

What makes the attack puzzling is its timing, as it occurred just days before the inauguration of the newly elected president of Iran, the ultraconservative hardliner Ebrahim Raisi.

Query: Would Raisi have ordered a provocative attack on an Israeli-owned vessel, just days before taking office, when his highest priority is a lifting of the “maximum pressure” sanctions imposed on his country by former President Donald Trump? Why?

Would Raisi put at risk his principal diplomatic goal, just to get even with Israel for some earlier pinprick strike in the tit-for-tat war in which Iran and Israel have been engaged for years? Again, why?

If not Raisi, would the outgoing president, the moderate Hassan Rouhani, have ordered such an attack on his last hours in office and risk igniting a war with Israel and the U.S. that his country could not win?

Could the attack have been the work of rogue elements in the Iranian Republican Guard Corps? Gantz and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid claim that Saeed Ara Jani, head of the drones section of the IRGC, “is the man personally responsible for the terror attacks in the Gulf of Oman.”

Or was this simply a reflexive Iranian reprisal for Israeli attacks?

For years, Israel and Iran have been in a shadow war, with Iran backing Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and the Shia militia in Syria and Iraq.
Israel has both initiated and responded to attacks with strikes on Iranian-backed militia in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, and by sabotaging Iran’s nuclear program and assassinating its nuclear scientists.

But whoever was behind the attack in the Gulf of Oman, and whatever the political motive, the U.S. was not the target, and the U.S. should not respond militarily to a drone strike that was not aimed at us.

No one has deputized us to police the Middle East, and we have not prospered these last two decades by having deputized ourselves.

With America leaving Afghanistan and U.S. troops in Iraq transiting out of any “combat” role, now is not the time to get us ensnared in a new war with Iran.

Lest we forget. It was in an August, 57 years ago, that the Tonkin Gulf incident occurred, which led America to plunge into an eight-year war in Vietnam.

President Joe Biden’s diplomatic goal with Iran, since taking office, has been the resurrection of the 2015 nuclear deal from which former President Donald Trump walked away. In return for Iran’s reacceptance of strict conditions on its nuclear program, the U.S. has offered a lifting of Trump’s sanctions.

Whoever launched the drone strike sought to ensure that no new U.S.-Iran deal is consummated, that U.S. sanctions remain in place, and that a U.S. war with Iran remain a possibility.
But, again, why would Tehran carry out such a drone attack and kill crewmen on an Israeli-owned vessel — then loudly deny it?

Since he took office, Biden has revealed his intent to extricate the U.S. from the “forever wars” of the Middle East and to pivot to the Far East and China. By this month’s end, all U.S. forces are to be out of Afghanistan, and the 2,500 U.S. troops still in Iraq are to be repurposed, no longer to be designated as combat troops.

Those behind this attack on the Israeli-owned vessel do not want to reduce the possibility of war between the United States and Iran.

They want to make it a reality. We ought not accommodate them.

Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of Where the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever See his website.

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Fight Another ‘Terror War’ Against Drug Cartels? There’s a Better Way!

Posted by M. C. on December 3, 2019

Written by Ron Paul

The 50-year US war on drugs has been a total failure, with hundreds of billions of dollars flushed down the drain and our civil liberties whittled away fighting a war that cannot be won. The 20 year “war on terror” has likewise been a gigantic US government disaster: hundreds of billions wasted, civil liberties scorched, and a world far more dangerous than when this war was launched after 9/11.

So what to do about two of the greatest policy failures in US history? According to President Trump and many in Washington, the answer is to combine them!

Last week Trump declared that, in light of an attack last month on US tourists in Mexico, he would be designating Mexican drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations. Asked if he would send in drones to attack targets in Mexico, he responded, “I don’t want to say what I’m going to do, but they will be designated.” The Mexican president was quick to pour cold water on the idea of US drones taking out Mexican targets, responding to Trump’s threats saying “cooperation, yes; interventionism, no.”

Trump is not alone in drawing the wrong conclusions from the increasing violence coming from the drug cartels south of the border. A group of US Senators sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging that the US slap sanctions on the drug cartels in response to the killing of Americans.

Do these Senators really believe that facing US sanctions these drug cartels will close down and move into legitimate activities? Sanctions don’t work against countries and they sure won’t work against drug cartels.

A recent editorial in the conservative Federalist publication urges President Trump to launch “unilateral, no-permission special forces raids” into Mexico like the US did into Pakistan to fight ISIS and al-Qaeda!

I am sure the military-industrial complex loves this idea! Another big war to keep Washington rich at the expense of the rest of us. And the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force can even be trotted out to fight this brand new “terror war”!

Perhaps unintentionally, however, this sudden push to look at the Mexican drug cartels as we did ISIS and al-Qaeda does make sense. After all, the rise of the drug cartels and the rise of the terror cartels have both been due to bad US policy. It was the US invasion of Iraq based on neocon lies that led to the creation of ISIS and expansion of al-Qaeda in the Middle East and it was the US war on drugs that led to the rise of the drug cartels in Mexico.

Here’s another suggestion: maybe instead of doing the same things that do not work we might look at the actual cause of the problems. The US war on drugs makes drugs enormously profitable to Mexican suppliers eager to satisfy a ravenous US market. A study last year by the CATO Institute found that with the steady decriminalization and legalization of marijuana across the United States, the average US Border Patrol agent seized 78 percent less marijuana in fiscal year 2018 than in FY 2013.

Instead of declaring war on Mexico, perhaps the answer to the drug cartel problem is to take away their incentives by ending the war on drugs. Why not try something that actually works?

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MoA – Long Range Attack On Saudi Oil Field Ends War On Yemen

Posted by M. C. on August 19, 2019

All the wars the U.S. and its allies waged in the Middle East, against Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Lebanon (2006), Syria (2011), Iraq (2014) and Yemen (2015), ended up with unintentionally making Iran and its allies stronger.

There is a lesson to learn from that. But it is doubtful that the borg in Washington DC has the ability to understand it.

Another war lost against one of the poorest places on earth.

by Moon of Alabama

Long Range Attack On Saudi Oil Field Ends War On Yemen

Today Saudi Arabia finally lost the war on Yemen. It has no defenses against new weapons the Houthis in Yemen acquired. These weapons threaten the Saudis economic lifelines. This today was the decisive attack:

Drones launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels attacked a massive oil and gas field deep inside Saudi Arabia’s sprawling desert on Saturday, causing what the kingdom described as a “limited fire” in the second such recent attack on its crucial energy industry.

The Saudi acknowledgement of the attack came hours after Yahia Sarie, a military spokesman for the Houthis, issued a video statement claiming the rebels launched 10 bomb-laden drones targeting the field in their “biggest-ever” operation. He threatened more attacks would be coming.

New drones and missiles displayed in July 2019 by Yemen’s Houthi-allied armed forces

biggerToday’s attack is a check mate move against the Saudis. Shaybah is some 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) from Houthi-controlled territory. There are many more important economic targets within that range:

The field’s distance from rebel-held territory in Yemen demonstrates the range of the Houthis’ drones. U.N. investigators say the Houthis’ new UAV-X drone, found in recent months during the Saudi-led coalition’s war in Yemen, likely has a range of up to 1,500 kilometers (930 miles). That puts Saudi oil fields, an under-construction Emirati nuclear power plant and Dubai’s busy international airport within their range.Unlike sophisticated drones that use satellites to allow pilots to remotely fly them, analysts believe Houthi drones are likely programmed to strike a specific latitude and longitude and cannot be controlled once out of radio range. The Houthis have used drones, which can be difficult to track by radar, to attack Saudi Patriot missile batteries, as well as enemy troops.

The attack conclusively demonstrates that the most important assets of the Saudis are now under threat. This economic threat comes on top of a seven percent budget deficit the IMF predicts for Saudi Arabia. Further Saudi bombing against the Houthi will now have very significant additional cost that might even endanger the viability of the Saudi state. The Houthi have clown prince Mohammad bin Salman by the balls and can squeeze those at will…

Today’s attack has an even larger dimension than marking the end of the war on Yemen. That Iran supplied drones with 1,500 kilometer reach to its allies in Yemen means that its allies in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq have access to similar means.

Israel and Turkey will have to take that into consideration. U.S. bases along the Persian Gulf and in Afghanistan must likewise watch out. Iran has not only ballistic missiles to attack those bases but also drones against which U.S. missile and air defense systems are more or less useless. Only the UAE, which bought Russian Pantsir S-1 air defense systems on German MAN truck chassis(!), has some capabilities to take those drones down. The Pentagon would probably love to buy some of these.

It was the U.S. use of stealthy drones against Iran that gave it a chance to capture one and to analyze and clone it. Iran’s extensive drone program is indigenous and quite old but it benefited from technology the U.S. unintentionally provided.

All the wars the U.S. and its allies waged in the Middle East, against Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Lebanon (2006), Syria (2011), Iraq (2014) and Yemen (2015), ended up with unintentionally making Iran and its allies stronger.

There is a lesson to learn from that. But it is doubtful that the borg in Washington DC has the ability to understand it.

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Living WELL with Food Allergies: Missed it by THAT much!

We keep missing it by this much.


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The Secret Campaign for 2020: Where the Democratic Candidates Stand on Foreign Policy – Original

Posted by M. C. on May 14, 2019

According to the latest Pew Research poll, the five most important issues for Democrats are health care, education, Medicare, poverty and the environment.

So it’s not surprising that the major Democratic presidential contenders’ campaigns are focusing on economic and other America-centric issues. Nor is it shocking that the news media, never more anemic or less willing to question the candidates, is ignoring their stances on foreign policy…

Still, voters deserve to know the would-be presidents’ positions on issues that extend beyond U.S. borders. Here’s what I found:

The Democrats on Our Crazy Defense Spending

The military sucks up 54% of discretionary federal spending. Pentagon bloat has a huge effect on domestic priorities; the nearly $1 trillion a year that goes to exploiting, oppressing, torturing, maiming and murdering foreigners could go to building schools, curing diseases, funding college scholarships, poetry slams, whatever. Anything, even tax cuts for the rich, would be better than bombs. But as then-presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said in 2015: “The military is not a social experiment. The purpose of the military is to kill people and break things.” If you’re like me, you want as little killing and breaking as possible.

Unfortunately, no major Democratic presidential candidate favors substantial cuts to Pentagon appropriations. Read the rest of this entry »

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We work for Google. It shouldn’t be in the business of war | Open letter signed by Google employees | Opinion | The Guardian

Posted by M. C. on April 10, 2018

Data mining personal information and working for other government agencies like the NSA is OK. Still, even Google employees might have a little integrity. It is hard to believe they didn’t know what Google was about when they signed on.

Watch for the headline “3000 Google employees quit”. But don’t hold your breath.

Google and it’s government masters won’t let this stop them.

Dear Sundar,

We believe that Google should not be in the business of war. Therefore we ask that Project Maven be cancelled and that Google draft, publicize and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology.

Google is implementing Project Maven, a customized AI surveillance engine that uses “wide area motion imagery” data captured by US government drones to detect vehicles and other objects, track their motions and provide results to the Department of Defense.

Recently, Googlers voiced concerns about Maven internally. Diane Greene responded, assuring them that the technology will not “operate or fly drones” and “will not be used to launch weapons”. While this eliminates a narrow set of direct applications, the technology is being built for the military, and once it’s delivered it could easily be used to assist in these tasks. This plan will irreparably damage Google’s brand and its ability to compete for talent. Read the rest of this entry »

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Drones and Obamacare, Waivers and Lies

Posted by M. C. on June 22, 2015

The ‘surprise’ killing via drone of an Al Qaeda big shot had me thinking. Didn’t our president tell us we were not going to guess anymore at who we ‘drone’? The victims were going to have to be more than just ‘suspect’ and not civilian?

It was those darn secret waivers. See here.

Obama’s waivers did not end with Obama’s union cronies. (Psst, join the SEIC and get hired because your employer won’t have to shell out for mandated healthcare). Now countries get drone waivers only the recipients don’t feel to healthy.

Obama tells the nation that his drone reform legislation will double down on the evidence that whomever we are assassinating is really a terrorist. While signing with his left hand he is writing secret waivers for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen with his right.

Just another day in Foggy Bottom.

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