Russia Busts IS Cell In Dagestan, Recovers 1 Ton Explosives

Russia Detains IS Militants In Turbulent Caucasus Region 

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Authorities have detained a group of Islamic State militants in southern Russia’s turbulent Caucasus Mountain region of Dagestan, a news report said on Thursday.

The report said that the three militants were preparing a terrorist attack in Russia and revealed information about an abandoned house where they were keeping explosives.

It reported that about a tonne of explosives were found in the building, citing authorities in Dagestan’s Khasavyurt district, which borders Chechnya.
It added that for decades, Russia has struggled with a homegrown Islamist insurgency in the Caucasus Mountain regions of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia.

According to International Crisis Group, an anti-war organization, the insurgency has quieted down in recent years as many of the militants went to Syria to join IS and other extremist groups.

Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that during Russia’s military operation in Syria, it eliminated over 2,000 rebels who had come to Syria from Russia, including 17 rebel field commanders. (dpa/NAN)

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Neocon Cow Planning Further Intrigues In Macedonia

US Neocon pays a surprise visit to Macedonia

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nuland

United States Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland paid a visit Thursday to the “Vinojug” transit registration center near Gevgelija and was briefed on the challenges of Macedonian authorities and living conditions of migrants.

Nuland met with Public Security Bureau director Gorance Savovski, focusing on the current developments in the migrant crisis, future solutions towards avoiding tensions at borders along the Balkan route, registration of migrants, ways to further enhance cooperation in the management of migration flows among all stakeholders, as well as the humanitarian aspect of the crisis.

The United States salute the efforts for settlement of the migrant crisis and continue to encourage coordinated and comprehensive solutions focusing on human rights of migrants and promotion of proper and humane migration policies, the Ministry of Interior said in a press release.

During the visit to the center, Nuland also met with representatives of several international organizations and NGOs who are funded by the U.S.

The real reason for Nuland’s visit is much more sinister, as is the norm

Last time Nuland visited Macedonia, we saw the introduction of Katica Janeva and the subversion of Macedonia’s constitutional order, which continues to this day.

Nuland is troubled that several countries within the EU have broken away from U.S. orders. Brussels, Rome, Berlin and Paris are 100% under US control.

However, Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw and to some extent Skopje are not, despite having Jess Bailey as our Prime Minister.

The V4 group, joined by Austria and most of the Balkan nations formed their own security plans (without inviting anyone else to the meeting). This meeting immediately stopped the flooding of muslim migrants to the continent, most of which are not even refugees.

This is the reason for Nuland’s visit, the wave of migrants cannot stop.

Here is what U.S. journalist Robert Parry writes about Nuland and her husband:

Victoria Nuland and Robert Kagan have a great mom-and-pop business going. From the State Department, she generates wars and from op-ed pages he demands Congress buy more weapons. There is a pay-off, too, as grateful military contractors kick in huge money to think tanks where other Kagans work.

Parry goes on:

This extraordinary husband-and-wife duo makes quite a one-two punch for the Military-Industrial Complex, an inside-outside team that creates the need for more military spending, applies political pressure to ensure higher appropriations, and watches as thankful weapons manufacturers lavish grants on like-minded hawkish Washington think tanks.

Not only does the broader community of neoconservatives stand to benefit but so do other members of the Kagan clan, including Robert’s brother Frederick at the American Enterprise Institute and his wife Kimberly, who runs her own shop called the Institute for the Study of War.

What Perry is trying to eloquently explain is that Nuland is in the business of destabilization and wars. She uses her role within the US Government perfectly to destabilize nations, governments, with the end result being “major profit”. Look at Ukraine (their gold was stolen, all of it , companies worth billions over night were made worthless and handed to US corporations…).

The muslim population flooding Europe is the perfect geopolitical toy for the U.S. The CIA will have a field day using the muslim population across Europe as a proxy to destabilize any Government that does not follow US geopolitical marching orders, in the same way the CIA has been using Albanians in Macedonia.

Therefore, a visit by Nuland entails a destabilization that is not going according to plan. Don’t be too surprised if Macedonia opens the borders in the coming days. //Gorazd Velkovski

‘Logical end of Zarb-e-Azb lies in Afghanistan’

‘Logical end of Zarb-e-Azb lies in Afghanistan’

the news pak

 

Karachi

Both Pakistan and Afghanistan will remain caught in the quagmire of militancy and politics of militancy unless political solutions are offered to what are essentially political problems.

Though the entire Pakistani state seems to be putting its weight behind the Zarb-e-Azb operation as strong military action uproots terrorists’ networks in northern parts of the country, its effectiveness is stymied by the fact that around 1,500 militant leaders have crossed over to hostile territories in Afghanistan where there is no mechanism or will to take them to task.

These views were expressed by journalist and author Ahmed Rashid while delivering a lecture titled “Continuing search for stability: Pakistan and Afghanistan” at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs on Friday.

He said Pakistan right now had been backed into a tight corner from where it could claw its way out only if its both hands — politics and the military operation — were in sync with each other. Right now, he said, Pakistan was only relying on military action, that too without any help from across the Afghan border, which was neither enough nor a smart way to go about attaining even a degree of stability in the region.

The biggest example of this dichotomy, according to Rashid, is that the state of Pakistan feels the need to act like the big brother and host the Afghan Taliban and persuade them to talk to Kabul, the very same Afghan Taliban who hosted anti-Pakistan elements on the other side of the Durand Line.

Then there was the problem of soft influence which militant groups were allowed to wield in several parts of the country, especially Punjab, and had put Pakistan through the Pathankot incident and its aftermath, he said.

Author of five books, Rashid stated that Pakistan had been dabbling in proxy wars even before the Russian invasion. “By the time invasion actually happened, we had already been training militant leaders,” he said. “However, after Pakistan became a nuclear state, instead of being toned down, proxy elements and their use intensified. And we see the results today.”

Harbouring and using proxies by Pakistan actually prompted other countries in the region, including Iran, Central Asian states and even China, to do the same to try to maintain the balance of power. “But the liabilities they pose right now for the state far outweigh their short-lived advantages,” he said.

There were several opportunities for Pakistan to wash its hands off the proxies. “The first was right after the end of the Cold War in 1991-92. But that was when the state began moving its proxy resources to Kashmir. The second lost opportunity was in the aftermath of the 9/11. Immediately after 9/11 the state announced its resolve to fight extremism but then this policy took a U-turn in 2003 when President Musharraf called for the revival of Taliban. If you remember, between 2001 and 2003, Taliban had been defeated in the tribal areas and there was talk of reforms in Fata. This U-turn resulted in the formation of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and its subsequent attacks from the Pakistani soil, on the Pakistani soil, since then.”

On the other hand, in Afghanistan, said Rashid, the US made the same mistake in 2003 that they later made in Iraq — withdrawing too soon from a war they started and leaving a weak state to fend for itself without any means to do so.

The western forces left without having created any human or state infrastructure. “Even the little employment that had been there in Afghanistan was due to the presence of Nato forces. And then they left the country worse than before and went on to endorse two consecutive rigged elections, that caused ethnic divisions to resurface in Afghanistan.”

Hence, in other words, said Rashid, a multi-pronged problem could not be resolved with a linear and over simplistic solution. This is the age of connectivity, and that is the key to finding solutions. “Until and unless all neighbours, benefactors and stakeholders connected with Afghanistan and Pakistan, including Russia, the US, Iran, Central Asian states and Taliban factions, come to the negotiating table and agree upon a power-sharing formula and Pakistan adopts strong diplomacy, we will keep tying ourselves up in knots.”

Dynacorp Mercenaries Deploy To Yemen After Blackwater/Academi Gets Their Asses Kicked

The first batch of mercenaries from the private US military firm DynCorp has arrived in the Yemeni city of Aden to replace paid militants from another American company.

The first batch of mercenaries from the private US military firm DynCorp has arrived in the Yemeni city of Aden to replace paid militants from another American company.

Under a USD-3-billion contract between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and DynCorp, mercenaries from the company are to be deployed to Yemen, where UAE forces are fighting against the Yemeni army and Popular Committees on Saudi orders, Khabar News Agency quoted an official with Yemeni Defense Ministry as saying.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the first group of the mercenaries recently arrived in the port city of Aden to replace those of Blackwater, a notorious American group now renamed Academi.

He added that the new militants included special naval forces, who entered the port of Ras Omran southwest of Aden.

DynCorp is a rival of Blackwater, which hires mercenaries and sends them to fight in foreign countries on paid missions.

Blackwater had decided to withdraw from Bab-el-Mandeb region after the Yemeni forces inflicted heavy losses on them. The UAE was forced to bring in the new mercenaries from DynCorp for the same reason.

Yemen has been under military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March last year. At least 8,400 people have been killed so far in the aggression and 16,015 others sustained injuries. The strikes have also taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

American extremism

American extremism

daily times pak

The case of Pakistan provides a useful measure of America’s increasing inability to sift fairy tales from reality

The fringes of the American political spectrum are becoming, simultaneously, more extreme and mainstream. Reminders of that are delivered daily via the fascistic ravings of Donald Trump, the obnoxious reality TV star who may be president by year’s end, and whose popularity is a salient expression of American decay.

The case of Pakistan provides a useful measure of America’s increasing inability to sift fairy tales from reality. Case in point: in large sections of America’s intelligentsia, media and government it has become acceptable to assert, without proof, that Pakistan is uniquely evil and that it needs to be brought to account for its interference in Afghanistan. In aid of this campaign, accusations that border on the conspiratorial are routinely deployed without challenge.

Recently, for instance, it was darkly suggested by Carlotta Gall that Pakistan should be held responsible for the phenomenon of ISIS, a point that relies on selective amnesia concerning the invasion of Iraq and its subsequent destruction under occupation. This now can now be counted among other sinister claims that are asserted as fact, without scrutiny and which form the bedrock of the charge that Pakistan is an ‘unfaithful ally’ and an ‘enemy’.

It was therefore unsurprising when, over the course of the last few months, a muscular opposition to the U.S government’s sale of eight F-16 fighter jets was mustered by elements in the U.S Senate. The chosen path of attack was predictable: that the F-16s would be used against India; that Pakistan is in league with the Taliban and also al Qaeda, and may have harboured Osama bin Laden; and that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal poses a unique disturbance in the world’s otherwise peaceful nuclear equilibrium.

On the F-16 question the Senate opposition appears to have omitted the awkward detail that the United States itself relies on those very same planes for a variety of counterinsurgency operations. Abu Musab Zarqawi, the petty thief and sex offender who founded of Da’esh, was killed, in 2006, by F-16 fighter jets back. To this day, American and coalition F-16 jets roar over Iraq as they “degrade, and destroy” the terrorist group’s presence.

The point regarding bin Laden is, similarly, bereft on substance. Consider the recent trove of bin Laden letters taken from Abbottabad and declassified by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. A clear theme emerges in the documents: a much diminished al Qaeda incessantly complains of being under intense pressure by Pakistan’s forces; Osama, its kingpin, is reduced to scolding the two Pakistani helpers that were his lifeline to the world; and jihadists vent their frustration by obscenely calling for attacks against Pakistan and its people. While this is unlikely to satisfy Pakistan sceptics, it does neatly illustrate how the heft of facts cannot match the allure of fiction in Washington.

The Indian government, predictably, also chimed in and chided the United States for the proposed F-16 sale, cleaving to their traditional policy of reflexive opposition. The Indian minister of foreign affairs noted her “displeasure”, hinting that it would complicate what is vulgarly called the “power balance” of South Asia.

Should this be true, however, it is difficult to then argue that the signing of the celebrated U.S-India nuclear agreement and the salivating prospect of assembling F-16s in India is anything but a minus for regional stability. For the time being, the lucrative commercial prospects of Indian market have silenced any mention of such awkward realities in U.S commentary, which remains strangely preoccupied with Pakistan.

This dichotomy was acknowledged during the course of the Pakistan-themed Congressional proceedings when a representative of the Carnegie Endowment noted, “The nuclear deal that we made with India puts no limits on India’s strategic nuclear capabilities. There are no limits on the growth of its nuclear arsenal. There are no limits on its missile programme and trajectory.”

Then there is the Haqqani network. The United States is adamant that Pakistan provides succor to this group, which has been linked to countless atrocities across Afghanistan. The critique of Haqqani is on solid footing until one considers that U.S officials insinuate that were the Haqqani network to dissipate into the shadows tomorrow, Afghan stability would be all but guaranteed, and the marines could finally end their occupation by invitation with grace.

This is untrue. Over the course of the Afghan war, much ink has been expended studying this point, and it is clear that Afghan insurgency, while led by the Taliban, also has deep connections to local political struggles. This does not factor in the inability of the U.S-installed Afghan governments to provide even a semblance of governance beyond certain parts of Kabul. The shady kleptomania exhibited by Hamid Karzai’s family is still remembered with disgust by large segments of the Afghan population.

The current political situation in Afghanistan consists of an Afghan revolt that is supported by Pakistan but also an American-sponsored political process that counts in its ranks ‘rehabilitated’ war crimes suspects such as Abdul Rashid Dostum, and a NATO force that itself is no stranger to accusations of atrocities. The troubling alliance the Afghan state has forged with narcotics kingpins is also a cause for international concern (only Taliban linked drug traffickers have, so far, been targeted by the U.S Treasury). Therefore, the elimination of the Haqqani network is only a small part of a much broader balancing equation to stabilise Afghanistan.

These arguments should not be taken to mean that Pakistan’s conduct is beyond reproach. On the contrary, holding the Pakistani establishment to account for its policies, particularly its reliance on militant proxies is an issue of vital concern. Equally important to acknowledge, however, is that Pakistan’s policies are patterned very closely to those of its U.S patrons, and are more alike than dissimilar.

However, the extremism exhibited by American political system is unable to absorb or even acknowledge this widely understood problem. Instead, the popular narrative finds it convenient to lay blame elsewhere whenever convenient: Pakistan in Afghanistan; Maliki in Iraq; the Palestinians instead of Israel and so on; an endless permutation of blame rather than introspection. The steady advance of American radicalism, as epitomised by Trump and his ilk will continue to shrink the space for the rational in exchange for the cheap platitudes of making “America great again.” One can only hope that, in the event of a Trump victory, Pakistan or the ISI will not be held responsible.

 

The writer is a columnist based in Toronto. He has consulted across the Middle East and currently advises on economic sanctions related issues