Category Archives: International Politics

Old News

going to war

BBC, September 18, 2001:

A former Pakistani diplomat has told the BBC that the US was planning military action against Osama Bin Laden and the Taleban even before [the 9/11] attacks.

Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.

The wider objective, according to Mr Naik, would be to topple the Taleban regime and install a transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place.

MSNBC, May 16, 2002:

President Bush was expected to sign detailed plans for a worldwide war against al-Qaida two days before Sept. 11 but did not have the chance before the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, U.S. and foreign sources told NBC News.

The couching of the plans as a formal security directive is significant…because it indicates that the United States intended a full-scale assault on al-Qaida even if the Sept. 11 attacks had not occurred.

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Filed under International Politics, Lies, news, US Politics, War

Russia Arming Venezuela for ‘Possible War With the US’


Bloomberg News
, August 6th:

Russia will start building two plants in October to make Kalashnikov assault rifles in Venezuela, the first country to win a production license for the guns since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Chavez is continuing an arms buildup that has cost more than $4.3 billion since 2005. Russia is the South American nation’s main weapons supplier. Chavez has said he needs the arms to defend against what he calls a threat of U.S. invasion.

Venezuela has spent more than $3 billion on Russian weapons since 2005, signing contracts to buy 100,000 Kalashnikov rifles, 50 military helicopters and 24 Su-30 jet fighters. The country is also seeking to buy eight Russian diesel-powered submarines, and Chavez visited Russia’s neighbor Belarus in June for talks with President Alexander Lukashenko on buying a short-range air defense system.

International Herald Tribune, August 15th:

Venezuela is negotiating a contract with Rosoboronexport, the Kremlin-controlled arms export agency, to purchase about 5,000 modernized Dragunov rifles.
…Diplomats and military officers and analysts said a purchase of several thousand Dragunovs would not seem to have a conventional military use for Venezuela’s armed forces…

“Obviously, what he has in mind is some sort of urban, guerrilla war against an invading force, and the model for that is Iraq,”said [Mark] Joyce, [the Americas editor for Jane’s Country Risk, part of Jane’s Information Group].

Joyce noted that Venezuela has long been accused of providing weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, a large and heavily equipped Marxist group that the State Department classifies as a foreign terrorist organization.

Reuters, August 23rd:

Colombia is Washington’s strongest ally in a region where left-wing leaders such as Chavez have gained ground. President Alvaro Uribe has received billions of dollars in U.S. aid to fight left-wing rebels and cocaine trafficking that helps fuel the country’s four-decade-old war.

“Venezuela’s regional neighbors should be ready to respond to a potential threat from President Hugo Chavez’s arms build-up, which could be used to intimidate rather than for self-defense,” a senior U.S. defense official said on Thursday…”Democracies in the region need to be able to respond to this in a way that will help reduce this kind of threat,” he said.

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Filed under Chavez, Columbia, International Politics, news, Russia, Soviet Reunion, US, Venezuela, Weapons

Russia Revives Long-Haul Bomber Patrols

russia revives long-haul bomber patrols
BBC
, August 17th:

“We have decided to restore flights by Russian strategic aviation on a permanent basis,” Mr Putin told reporters [today] at joint military exercises with China.

“In 1992, Russia unilaterally ended flights by its strategic aircraft to distant military patrol areas. Unfortunately, our example was not followed by everyone…Flights by other countries’ strategic aircraft continue and this creates certain problems for ensuring the security of the Russian Federation,” he said.

AFP, August 17th:

The announcement came days after Moscow said its strategic bombers had begun exercises over the North Pole and just a week after Russian planes flew within a few hundred kilometres of a US military base on the island of Guam.

On Wednesday a top US commander said that Russian bombers had been making increasingly frequent flights approaching US territory for several months.

Reuters, August 17th:

In July, two Russian Tu-95 “Bear” bombers made unusually long sorties over the North Sea, leading Norway and Britain to scramble fighter jets to follow them. Russia’s air force said later it was a routine flight.

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Filed under china, International Politics, Jets, Military, Russia

Arctic Update – Canada Makes a Move

On Friday, Prime Minister Harper announced his intention to create and refurbish Canadian military bases in the Arctic.

BBC News, August 1oth:

[Prime Minister Stephen] Harper announced plans last month to build six naval vessels to patrol the…Northwest Passage, a shipping channel between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans currently blocked by ice during the winter months.

[Today] Mr. Harper said a cold-weather army training base would be set up at Resolute Bay and an existing port at a former mine at Nanisivik would be refurbished to supply Arctic patrol vessels.

He said the facilities would bolster Canada’s claims to disputed portions of the Arctic.

“Today’s announcements tell the world that Canada has real, growing, long-term presence in the Arctic”, [Mr. Harper said].

The seabed below the North Pole, an area containing as much as 25% of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas according to a US study..is not currently regarded as part of any single country’s territory and is governed instead by complex international agreements.

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Filed under Arctic, Bases, International Politics, Military, news, Stephen Harper

Operation Northwoods

ABC News, May 1, 2001:

In the early 1960s, America’s top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.

The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba’s then new leader, communist Fidel Castro.

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Filed under Cuba, History, International Politics, Operation Northwoods, terrorism, US

Russia Wants to Re-open Naval Base in Syria

The Globe and Mail, August 7th:

The Kremlin is…plotting the return of the Russian fleet to a Syrian port on the Mediterranean Sea. The new Russian strategy envisions returning warships to a Soviet-era naval base at the port of Tartus.

It would mark the first time Russia has established a military presence outside the borders of the former Soviet Union since the USSR fell apart in 1991.

As dramatic as the Russian fleet’s return to Syria might be, Alexei Malashenko, an expert on the Muslim world at the Carnegie Moscow Centre, said his country’s navy remains in such a dilapidated state that it’s unlikely to affect the balance of power in the region, given the overwhelming presence of the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean.

The Russian fleet’s return to Tartus would, for now, be just a statement of future intent, he said.

NewsMax, August 8th:

Syria’s U.N. ambassador, Bashar Ja’afari, flatly denied news reports that Moscow had asked Damascus for port facilities on the Mediterranean coast.

In an exclusive interview with NewsMax’s Stewart Stogel, Ja’afari said, “This is not true, there has been no request from the Russian Navy. We do have a “friendship” agreement, but there has been no agreement on the use of Syrian ports by the Russian Navy.”

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Filed under International Politics, Navy, news, Russia, Syria

Russia/Georgia Missile Dispute Update

The New York Times, August 9th:

On Tuesday, the commander of Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia said on Russian national television that the Ossetians had fired at a plane, apparently thinking it was Georgian.

The head of the analysis department for Georgia’s Interior Ministry said the plane might have released the missile after taking fire from [confused] Ossetian separatists on the ground.

Georgia said it had collected radar records from both its civilian and military air traffic controllers that clearly show an aircraft enter from Russia, fly to the area of the strike, then turn around and fly back into Russia.

Because the missile did not explode, many of the fragments were recovered. Georgian officials said the remains of [the] missile…made clear that it was one designed in Soviet times.

“…we are initiating a process of calling for a special session of the U.N. Security Council,” [said Georgia’s Foreign Minister.]

According to the article, a previous attack in March led UN investigators to suspect Russian involvement but due to the lack Russian cooperation and the subsequent unavailability of any radar records, no accusations were made.

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Filed under Georgia, International Politics, Missile, Russia, UN