Soldiers say they lack the firepower to tackle insurgents
Soldiers in Nigeria have opened fire on their commander in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri, witnesses say. Maj-Gen Ahmed Mohammed escaped unhurt after soldiers shot at his car at the Maimalari barracks, the sources said. The soldiers blamed him for the killing of their colleagues in an ambush by suspected Boko Haram militants.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s president has ruled out freeing Boko Haram prisoners in exchange for the release of more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls.
A government minister had earlier said authorities were ready to negotiate with Boko Haram, but President Goodluck Jonathan insisted on Wednesday that this was out of the question.
“He made it very clear that there will be no negotiation with Boko Haram that involves a swap of abducted schoolgirls for prisoners,” said British Africa Minister Mark Simmonds after meeting Mr Jonathan in the capital, Abuja, to discuss an international recue mission for the girls.
If you drive west from Marfa, Texas toward El Paso, you’ll cross some 200 miles of uniquely beautiful desert valleys and mountains that run astride the Mexican border. It’s a serene ride. On a sunny morning last spring, however, as I traversed this stretch, my tranquility was interrupted by something odd that appeared on the far horizon, about 20 miles distant. Coming closer to the object, curiosity turned to chill, for it gradually dawned on me that I was seeing a dark harbinger of our society’s future. Hovering in the sky was a technological presence that the Powers That Be are eager to make ubiquitous throughout our country: A drone. Continue reading The drone-industrial complex wants 30,000 eyes in the sky spying on us Americans by 2020→
guardian.co.uk US reliance on drones to target terrorists undermines rule of law, is ineffective and has strategic drawbacks, argues Michael Boyle
The United States‘ use of drones is counter-productive, less effective than the White House claims, and is “encouraging a new arms race that will empower current and future rivals and lay the foundations for an international system that is increasingly violent”, according to a study by one of President Obama’s former security advisers.
Michael Boyle, who was on Obama’s counter-terrorism group in the run-up to his election in 2008, said the US administration’s growing reliance on drone technology was having “adverse strategic effects that have not been properly weighed against the tactical gains associated with killing terrorists”.
Civilian casualties were likely to be far higher than had been acknowledged, he said.
December 15, 2011 now stands in history as the day American troops left Iraq, thus ending the nearly nine-year war that began with the bravado of “shock and awe” and concluded with a quiet flag-lowering ceremony. 4,487 U.S. troops lost their lives in this war, with more than 30,000 wounded, many suffering severe brain injuries in roadside bombings that became the hallmark of modern warfare. Nobody really seems to know how many Iraqi civilians died in this conflict, though many estimates put the number at more than 100,000.
Saddam Hussein is long dead. Osama bin Laden is history. We wanted to “Bring ‘em to Justice” — “Dead or Alive” in the words of old western gunslingers. And so we did.
by Dennis Kucinich The rancorous debate over the debt belies a fundamental truth of our economy — that it is run for the few at the expense of the many, that our entire government has been turned into a machine which takes the wealth of a mass of Americans and accelerates it into the hands of the few. Let me give you some examples.
Take war. War takes the money from the American people and puts it into the hands of arms manufacturers, war profiteers, and private armies. The war in Iraq, based on lies: $3 trillion will be the cost of that war. The war in Afghanistan; based on a misreading of history; half a trillion dollars in expenses already. The war against Libya will be $1 billion by September. Continue reading Debt Political Theater Diverts Attention While Americans’ Wealth Is Stolen→
Suicides, vehicle accidents and drug overdoses take lives. Veteran Suicides Outnumber US Military Deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.
By Aaron Glantz on October 16, 2010 – 2:00 p.m. PDT
In the six years after Reuben Paul Santos returned to Daly City from a combat tour in Iraq, he battled depression with poetry, violent video games and, finally, psychiatric treatment. His struggle ended last October, when he hung himself from a stairwell. He was 27. Continue reading After Service, Veteran Deaths Surge→
With celebrations of the 50th anniversary of independence coming up in June this year, as well as important elections next year, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) government is keen for the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission, known as MONUC, to start withdrawing within the next few months. They want MONUC out of the mission area by September 2011. Continue reading MONUC to leave the DRC, mission unaccomplished?→
Somewhere in the United States, a drone operator sits in a booth with a joystick and commandeers a pilot-less aircraft armed with deadly bombs. Much like in a video game, he aims, shoots and fires at targets he sees on a satellite map….Sometimes the target is killed and sometimes the intelligence is faulty and a sleeping family or a wedding party bears the brunt of the miscalculation. At all times, however, the Taliban capitalize on the ensuing mayhem and gain new recruits and re-energize old ones. Terror thus spreads not simply in the village where the drone attack has taken place but far and wide in the bazaars of Peshawar and the streets of Lahore and the offices of Islamabad where these recruits avenge their anger against the drone attacks. Continue reading Did You Hear the Joke About the Predator Drone That Bombed?→
Analysis by Daniel Volman*WASHINGTON, 2 Apr (IPS) – When Pres. Barack Obama took office in January 2009, it was widely expected that he would dramatically change, or even reverse, the militarised and unilateral security policy that had been pursued by the George W. Bush administration toward Africa, as well as toward other parts of the world. Continue reading Obama Expands Military Involvement in Africa→