If You Find One of These In Your Car, You Are A “high-value asset that need to be tracked.”

edn europe

By Graham Prophet
u-blox’ small-form-factor EVA-M8Q IC-style module delivers, the company says, the highest acquisition and tracking sensitivity for applications with small antennas.

Swiss company u-blox positions the EVA-M8Q GNSS receiver as completing its lineup of receivers in the miniature and cost-effective EVA 7x7mm form-factor package. The EVA-M8Q is TCXO-based and is optimized to provide the highest acquisition and tracking sensitivity, for use with small antennas either in covert applications such as asset tracking and stolen vehicle recovery, or in portable devices.

“The key differentiator of the EVA-M8Q to the other cost effective EVA variants is the sensitivity,” said Stéphane Vincent, Product Strategy Director, Positioning, at u-blox. “This, along with the accuracy provided by concurrent reception of three GNSS constellations, enables an end-system and its antennas to be easily hidden within a vehicle or other high-value asset that need to be tracked.”

Pentagon Reveals Trickle of Truth About the Flood of Private Contractors Washing Away Low-Paying Intel and Combat Jobs

[For once, I’d like to hear someone admit that this is what all of this private army bullshit is about, to pay people enough to risk their lives in war scenarios, by converting high-risk work from military into civilian jobs.  The Pentagon calls it “Hybrid Warfare” when Russia does it with their “Little Green Men,” but it is all the same in the Big Picture.  Big Money jobs become available through various underworld sources, and soldiers retire to take them.  In our crippled capitalist economy, this is increasingly becoming the new model for employment, involving travel, lots of travel, whether it is civilian construction workers here, traveling great distances to find fair pay for fair work, or former soldiers who are willing to travel to jobs where they can fight, or do spy stuff, for the right money.]

Spies like us: Pentagon taps private intel contractors to fight ISIS in Syria


A no-bid $10 million contract announced in late July is possibly the first instance in which the Pentagon has publicly acknowledged using private military contractors alongside American special operations forces fighting Islamic State in Syria.

In a public announcement on July 27, the Department of Defense said it awarded an intelligence analysis contract to private contractor Six3 Intelligence Solutions, a cyber and signals intelligence and surveillance firm that is a subsidiary of CACI International Inc. The contract will require Six3 to assist US forces working against Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS or ISIL) within Syria.

Six3 Intelligence Solutions Inc., McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $ 9,578,964 modification (P00001) to contract W564KV-16-C-0058 for intelligence analysis services.  Work will be performed in Germany, Italy, and Syria, with an estimated completion date of June 29, 2017.  Fiscal 2016 operations and maintenance (Army) funds in the amount of $6,370,000 were obligated at the time of the award.  Army Contracting Command, Kaiserslautern, Germany APO AE, is the contracting activity.

Six3’s work pursuant to the contract will occur over the next year in Syria, as well as Germany and Italy, the Pentagon said. The DOD and CACI would not expand on the “intelligence analysis services” involved in the contract, The Daily Beast reported.

“This is no ordinary contractor,” Sean McFate, a former private contractor and author of Shadow War, told the Beast. “Six3 Intelligence Solutions is a private intelligence company, and the fact that we outsource a good portion of our intelligence analysis creates a strategic dependency on the private sector to perform vital wartime operations.”

According to US officials, there are about 300 US military special operations soldiers in Syria to “advise and assist” US allies fighting Islamic State, the militant group that holds territory in Iraq and Syria. In November, the Pentagon first announced that 50 US troops would operate in Syria. In April, the Obama administration said that around 250 more troops would be sent in “advisory” roles. The CIA has long operated and armed militants in Syria.

While the Six3 contract is likely the first public acknowledgment of private contractors assisting the US in Syria, experts suggest it is probably not the only contractor involved.

“I’ve long said, the military looks at professional services contractors like the old American Express commercial, i.e., they dare not leave home without them,” David Isenberg, a private security contractor analyst, told the Beast.

Four weeks prior to the Syria contract announcement, the Pentagon revealed that it had awarded Six3 a $28.61 million contract to provide intelligence services to US forces in Afghanistan.

CACI, the parent company of Six3, has been one of the top 30 contractors for the US government by amount of contract funds awarded in fiscal years 2012 through 2015. According to US military investigators, CACI employees were involved in interrogation and torture of prisoners held at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, more than a decade ago. Images of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib were released in 2004, becoming one of the biggest scandals associated with the US invasion and occupation of Iraq beginning in 2003.

Operation Inherent Resolve is the name given to military’s operation to combat IS in Iraq, Syria, and beyond. As of July 27, the US-led operation had conducted a total of 14,093 airstrikes against IS targets in Iraq and Syria. Of that total, the US conducted 10,826 of the strikes, according to the Pentagon.

From August 8, 2014, when airstrikes targeting the terrorist group began, to July 15, 2016, the operation has cost a total of $8.4 billion, or an average of $11.9 million a day.

India’s Man, Abdullah Abdullah, Slanders Afghan Pres. Ghani

[Northern Alliance perennial troublemaker and perennial candidate for president, Abdullah Abdullah, is firing (one of) the first shot(s) in the next presidential campaign, which may turn into a war between India and Pakistan, fought from Afghanistan to India.  To be fair to Pres. Ghani, Abdullah declared war upon his previous “partner in govt,” Hamid Karzai (SEE: Karzai rival Abdullah to quit Afghan run-off  , 31 October 2009).  Another explosion in govt, at this time, will likely guarantee success to the Afghan Taliban, in their ongoing summer offensive. 

And exactly how would that benefit India?]

Afghanistan’s Ghani ‘unfit for presidency’: chief executive

al arabiya

In this Tuesday, July 12, 2016 photo, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani speaks during a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan. (AFP)

Afghanistan’s chief executive has castigated his ally Ashraf Ghani as “unfit for the presidency”, in a public outburst highlighting bitter internal divisions that threaten their US-brokered power sharing agreement.

Abdullah Abdullah’s comments come ahead of a September deadline for the government to honour the fragile agreement signed after the fraud-tainted presidential election in 2014, which both leaders claimed to have won.

By then the government is expected to enact sweeping election reforms and amend the constitution to create the position of prime minister for Abdullah. Observers say that deadline is unlikely to be met, effectively tipping Afghanistan into a political crisis.

“Electoral reforms were one of the promises made when the National Unity Government was formed. Why weren’t these reforms brought?” Abdullah told a small gathering in Kabul late Thursday.

“Mr President, over a period of three months you do not have time to see your chief executive face-to-face for even an hour or two? What do you spend your time on?

“There are arguments in every government but if someone does not have patience for discussion, then he is unfit for the presidency.”

The acrimony comes as Taliban insurgents are threatening to overrun Lashkar Gah, capital of the strategic poppy-growing southern province of Helmand.

Abdullah also accused Ghani of monopolizing power and not consulting him over key government appointments.

Divisions between the two leaders are an open secret in Kabul but Abdullah’s public outburst is a prelude to what analysts are calling “political fireworks” if the agreement brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry is not honored.

Aside from election reforms, under the agreement the government is also expected to hold parliamentary elections by the end of September.

Political opposition groups, including former president Hamid Karzai, are mounting pressure to hold a grand assembly of elders from around Afghanistan to decide the government’s legitimacy.

“The National Unity Government deal is in danger,” Jawed Kohistani, a Kabul-based political analyst, told AFP.

“Electoral reforms, parliamentary elections, loya jirga (grand assembly of elders) will almost definitely not happen anytime soon. This could plunge the government into crisis.”

The potential crisis could destabilize the government at a time when it is struggling to rein in an emboldened Taliban insurgency.

Fighting has been raging in Helmand as Afghanistan rushed military reinforcements to beat back Taliban insurgents advancing on the besieged capital of the province.

The US and Afghan officials insist they will not allow the city to fall, but the fighting has sent thousands of people fleeing to Lashkar Gah, sparking a humanitarian crisis as officials report food and water shortages.

Ghani’s office declined to comment on Abdullah’s remarks.

But Hamidullah Farooqi, a senior Ghani advisor, said Abdullah’s outburst had left him “very disappointed”.

“There are differences in every administration but lashing out publicly at the president at such a sensitive time will damage the public perception about the government,” he told AFP.

‘We Have No Idea What (Real) War Is’ anymore

An aerial view of the Pentagon Jason Reed / Reuters

‘We Have No Idea What War Is’

The Atlantic

Rosa Brooks discusses her tenure at the Pentagon, and the ever-expanding role of the American military.

Kathy Gilsinan

Just days after I interviewed the legal scholar Rosa Brooks about her book on her time as a civilian advisor in President Barack Obama’s Pentagon, the United States bombed Libya again. This was the third such strike in the U.S. campaign against ISIS there, but this time, Reuters reported, U.S. officials said it “marked the start of a sustained air campaign.”

Still, it was hard to tell how much of a turning point it really was. Small numbers of American special-operations forces have been active in the country since late last year, ostensibly to support local partners against ISIS, though details are vague. By launching more airstrikes at the beginning of August, America was not so much opening up a new front in its war on the group as maintaining an existing one. And it wasn’t so much changing tactics as amplifying them. Did this mean that the United States somehow became more “at war” in Libya last week than it had been the week before? For that matter, as U.S. planes have accelerated their bombing campaign against militants in Afghanistan this summer, and President Obama has vowed to leave some 8,000 troops there through the end of his term, is the United States any less “at war” there than when U.S. combat operations in the country officially ended in December 2014? What about in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, where U.S. drones have killed thousands of people outside of what the government considers “areas of active hostilities”?
Related Story

The Drone War Crosses Another Line

Brooks’s new book, How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything, is about the limits of categories like these, just as much as it’s about war and the American military. Brooks, a writer and law professor at Georgetown University, bases her account in part on her two-plus years at the Defense Department, where she observed the blurring of the line, in her words, “between war and not-war.” The Pentagon, she writes, is on the one hand a “vast, bureaucratic, death-dealing enterprise;” on the other, the U.S. military operates in “nearly every country on earth” and in many cases its activities have nothing to do with shooting at bad guys. Its personnel, she notes, have been involved in everything from Ebola response in Liberia to agricultural reform in Afghanistan to health care in Malaysia. The range of their work is as remarkable as it is unsettling. If the U.S. military’s job is to protect America’s own security, why is it doing all of these things?

Brooks contends that the amorphous nature of modern security threats—conflict and terrorism, but also things like climate change and financial collapse—have made it “increasingly difficult to define a uniquely ‘military’ role and mission.” It’s not just that the Bush and Obama administrations’ pursuit of terrorists around the world have pushed the geographic boundaries of the so-called war on terror beyond the more formal battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. It’s also that, as the military has sucked up an increasing share of America’s foreign-policy resources in the post-9/11 era, the Pentagon has become “like a Super Walmart with everything under one roof,” as retired General David Barno tells Brooks. “Like Walmart,” she writes, “the military can marshal vast resources and exploit economies of scale in ways impossible for mom-and-pop operations. And like Walmart, the tempting one-stop-shopping convenience it offers has a devastating effect on smaller, more traditional enterprises—in this case, the State Department and other civilian foreign policy agencies.”

I spoke to Brooks recently about war, peace, and the space in between. What follows is a condensed and edited transcript of our conversation.

Kathy Gilsinan: The lines between “war and non-war are growing indistinct,” as you say. As a very basic question, what is war? And do you know it when you see it?

Rosa Brooks: I think we have absolutely no idea what war is. I think everything that frightens us, we now label war, more or less. And that’s a problem. As an analytic category, [war] has lost any clarity it might once have had.

Gilsinan: Are there any common features to things that are war-like?

Brooks: They run the gamut, and they have fewer and fewer common features. We look at Syria and we say, “Oh look, there’s war.” And that’s the sort of traditional understanding of war. Lots of people who are shooting each other, blowing each other up, generally killing each other.

But we also are thinking of cyber [operations], more and more, primarily through the framework of war. We look at terrorism through the framework of war. Already some of our thinking about what we call “illicit transnational actors”—not terrorists, but groups like narco-smugglers and traffickers—[is] beginning to get framed as part of war and war-like stuff.

When we think of sort of the classic understanding of war that we’ve had in Western society, it owes a huge amount to [Carl von] Clausewitz, the 19th-century Prussian military strategist whose very famous definition of war was: “War is the continuation of politics by other means.” But Clausewitz was really clear what those “other means” had to include, and Clausewitz’s understanding of war was that it had several defining facts that differentiated it from other kinds of competitions or conflicts that weren’t war. So, to Clausewitz, war is organized, it’s violent, it’s on a mass scale—not an individual scale—and it is for the pursuit of political ends. For Clausewitz, a game of chess is not war, because it’s individual, not violent, and it has no political ends. A rugby match where people end up with bloody noses and broken arms is not war, because although it’s organized, it also has no political ends. A barroom brawl is not war, because it’s not organized, and it has no political ends. Economic competition between states, however fierce, is not war, because it’s not bloody—it’s mass, it’s organized, and political—but it’s not violent.
“We live in a world where technology has enabled individuals to cause a level of disruption that it might once have taken war to achieve.”

In the terms of Clausewitz, where you have mass armies of thousands and thousands of people, and single battles that are killing tens of thousands of people, terrorism is small potatoes. But increasingly, we’ve got these things that, they’re not mass, they may not be organized, the political ends are sometimes unclear, and yet we’re calling them war. It’s not completely crazy that we want to, since we now live in a world where technology has enabled both states and even individuals to cause a level of disruption that it might once, 100 years ago, have taken war to achieve. So on some level, why not call it war if it sort of does what war does? On the other hand, Clausewitz would not have recognized [it], if you said “We’re at war with terrorism.” He would have just said, “Whatever you’re doing is not war.”

Gilsinan: I see how terrorists aren’t, under the Clausewitzian definition, doing acts of war on the United States, but the United States’s “war on terror” is organized, violent, on a mass scale, and for the pursuit of—

Brooks: We’re certainly responding with something that looks more like war. It’s just not all that clear that it’s entirely reciprocal. Could you have a war if only one party knows it’s a war? I don’t know how that fits into the Clausewitzian framework.

Gilsinan: Do you have in mind a glory era in which the lines were totally clear—[an American] war started when Congress declared it and ended with a signed peace agreement between the combatants? Or are there ways in which we’ve seen this continuum, rather than binary, between war and not war? There was never a peace agreement when the fighting stopped after the Korean War in 1953.

Brooks: The line between war and not war has never been as clear as international lawyers sometimes like to pretend it is—that we have this nice, neat framework that says wars have beginnings and ends; there are places that are at war; there are places that are neutral. There are combatants; there are civilians. You can kill the combatants, you can’t kill the civilians, end of story. And it’s never been that neat, obviously. On the margins at least, there have always been actors who didn’t quite fit—partisans, guerrillas, countries that were technically not at war but where there was a lot of proxy war activity going on. The categories were never perfect; they were always somewhat arbitrary. But now the exceptions have kind of overwhelmed the rule.

Gilsinan: “Now” being in the post-September 11th era?

Brooks: Very much so. September 11th itself didn’t create this world, but it’s both the symbolic beginning and a dramatic acceleration of a lot of trends that had been out there already.

Gilsinan: Which is interesting, because that era, in terms of the U.S. response, was kicked off with the more classic, interstate wars. You invaded Afghanistan, you invaded Iraq.

Brooks: Absolutely. And it was in some ways an illustration of our difficulty in thinking beyond the framework of traditional state-on-state conflict. Like there we were, confronted by something very different—an attack that didn’t involve traditional weapons, by a non-army, from multiple different nationalities. But the only thing we could figure out how to do to respond was go and invade a bunch of states.

Gilsinan: Then it sounds like the categories weren’t necessarily a good thing.

Brooks: They certainly limited our imagination, but I don’t know if I’d characterize it quite that way, because we had a choice. It was not inevitable that the 9/11 attacks would be categorized as starting a war in a legal sense. They could have been categorized as crime, they could have been categorized as in between—it’s not quite a war, not quite a crime, [so] we’re going to do some stuff that’s in between. It was not that there were no alternative categories available, it was that the Bush administration was not interested in using them. And I am not sure of the extent to which they themselves thought through the long-term implications of choosing to call it war—I think some did, some didn’t—but they sent us down one path, when other paths were available.
“All these categories we’ve been talking about—war, peace, conflict, combatant, military—we made them up.”

Gilsinan: When you went in [to the Pentagon] versus when you came out, what would you say was the biggest difference in your thinking about what war means?

Brooks: I was both impressed and somewhat terrified by the dawning awareness that the Pentagon does everything. If you go in with a bit of a stereotype of, the military shoots guns and blows stuff up, and then you find yourself in meetings with military officials who are talking about running a program to prevent sexual violence in the Congo, and doing a big research project on how you most effectively dissuade foreign militaries from using sexual violence during conflict, and then you walk into another meeting and people are talking about how to promote micro-enterprise among Afghan women, it’s both kind of amazing and inspiring—that there’s this unbelievably diverse set of talents and people [and] projects. It’s amazing that the U.S. can still marshal so much talent and idealism. At the same time, it’s kind of scary, because you think, “Wait, whoa, is this the right place? Do we know what we’re doing? And what happens to the military as an institution when we’re asking it and expecting it to be all things to all people?”

Gilsinan: What does happen?

Brooks: Well, we’ll find out. It’s a big experiment, and I think there are several possibilities. There’s a bad for the military, bad for the world possibility, and here’s what that one looks like: The U.S. military does everything, but it’s doing a lot of stuff that people weren’t trained to do, does it badly, that has bad effects on the lives of human beings all over the world. It also decreases U.S. credibility, because what the world sees as the face of the U.S. is the military. It’s a uniformed figure, which has bad ramifications for civil-military relations worldwide and for democracy. Meanwhile, the military as an institution is demoralized and less effective because we’re trying to force one institution to do too many things.

[There is a] more interesting possibility. All these categories we’ve been talking about—war, peace, conflict, combatant, military—we made them up. They didn’t come down from a divine power. This invites us to radically rethink what it is we want from our institutions, and how to organize them. And if the military is not doing these things well, but we think the United States needs to do them, and if we think it’s not realistic that the State Department or USAID starts doing them again or doing them well, it invites us to say, why shouldn’t we have a radically different military that combines within it a whole spectrum of activities, from traditional war-fighting to things that we think of as more peace-building and development? Why not really change how we think of the military, and change how we recruit, change our training, to make this an institution that does those things, does them well, and does them accountably? And that would be really hard. I think most people both in the military and outside of it sort of recoil at that and tend to want to go back to the much simpler “Well, shouldn’t the military just fight?” I don’t know if that’s even possible anymore.

Gilsinan: [We’re discussing] the dangers of this blurring of the line between war and not war. And yet there are fewer people dying in wars now than in the World War II era, when the boundaries were pretty clear, even if not completely clear. So on the one hand, the U.S. military is in maybe more countries than ever before, almost every country on earth. On the other, the worldwide level of killing going on is substantially lower than [at] almost any time in history. If the long-term trend is in this positive direction, how much should we worry about the categories?

Brooks: I think those are separate questions. I don’t think they necessarily have a whole lot to do with each other. But I also would question whether we have a long-term trend. In the sweep of human history, 50 or 60 years is not a long-term trend, and I do worry about that. Of course it’s good that we, over the last few decades, have seen a reduction in the number of people dying in violent conflict around the globe, but on the other hand, the world we live in remains extraordinarily dangerous in many, many ways, including some quite new ways, driven by technology—the speed at which epidemics can move around the world has increased due to changes in transportation technologies, the speed at which economic disruption can move around the globe because of changes in electronic technologies, et cetera. And, by the way, there are very many thousands of nuclear warheads and old-fashioned sources of destruction.

So I’m not all that comfortable when people say, “Oh, happy, happy news, interstate conflict and death have dropped in the last few decades.” There have been plenty of other decades in world history where you’ve gotten a few decades, a hundred years, or a few hundred years of relative cessation in violence, only to have new catastrophes. I am very, very skeptical of claims that what we have is a long-term trend, as opposed to saying we have no idea whether this continues or not, and lots of things could destabilize it.
“The Russians have been very creative about operating in that space between war and peace in ways that have been very hard for the West to respond to.”

Gilsinan: One of the things that could destabilize it is the expansion of the U.S. military all over the world and the tendency to view everything that scares us, as you say, in terms of war.

Brooks: When you build up a national and international legal system where our ability to constrain power and coercion are very much linked to the creation of this particular set of legal and political categories—armed conflict, foreign, domestic, military, civilian—then when those categories get blurry, you lose your ability to effectively constrain power. But that’s not the same thing as saying the answer is necessarily to shore up the categories again. The categories themselves are arbitrary—what’s important is their relationship to a much broader system of consensus, of institutions, of laws, and so forth. We didn’t create these categories because there’s something magical about [them], we created these categories because they were part of a system that helped us achieve certain normative goals that have to do with the rule of law, with promoting stability and peace and so forth, and if the categories aren’t doing it, then maybe the categories don’t make sense anymore. Maybe we now live in a world in which we need an in-between category, something that’s in between war and peace, with a set of in-between implications for law and for power and for rights.

Gilsinan: Are those categories Western-invented? To what extent is, say, Russia observing those categories? To what extent is China?

Brooks: Every culture in the world has had some concept of war and some notion of what should be permissible and what should be prohibited during wartime, and what the distinctions are between warriors and non-warriors. In that sense, there’s nothing Western about it. In a narrower sense, sure they’re Western—the Geneva Conventions [are] what we think of the modern law of armed conflict, [and they] very much arose out of conflicts between Western states in the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. I think Russia and China—partly because they’re authoritarian, which gives them the ability to move a little more rapidly because they don’t have to worry about debate or argument, and they’re less scrupulous, frankly—have been much more quick than Western states to look at the issues we’ve been talking about and say, “These categories don’t make any sense anymore, and that is an opportunity for us. We can exploit the West’s continuing insistence that the categories do make sense while we do whatever we want.”

Gilsinan: The “little green men” and turning off the electricity in Ukraine.

Brooks: Absolutely, the Russians have been very creative about operating in that space between war and peace in ways that have been very hard for the West to respond to, in part because they sort of confound our categories. We want to look and say, is there a war? Or is there not a war? And the answer is, well, hard to say.

Gilsinan: And that opens up space—potentially dangerous space—because I think some of what constrains American policymakers is saying “Look, do we really want to start a war with Russia over Crimea?” But if there’s some in-between option, of combating Russia in Crimea or contesting the annexation of Crimea, without resorting to war but resorting to some sort of in-between category—do you see that happening already?

Brooks: Not very much. I think that particularly in the special-operations community within the military, [there are] conversations about [how] we’re probably permanently in some kind of gray area between war and peace. Our adversaries are operating with comfort and creativity in that world. How do we operate in that world? I think the question is, if we’re going to be operating in that world, how do we do so while preserving our commitment to rule of law and democracy?

Gilsinan: The drone war is one of these issues where you could say it represents an in-between category—we’re not at war with Pakistan, we’re not at war with Somalia. There’s a long history of soldiers trying to kill at a distance, stretching back to the ages of throwing spears and longbows and up through the age of cruise missiles. And you mention that you’re troubled by the innovation of drones but that you had trouble articulating what it is about drones in particular that was disturbing. Can you try to articulate it?

Brooks: The drone war both highlights what is promising and what is frightening about some U.S. efforts to kind of operate in that in-between space. Start with the promising part: Yes, of course, we’ve always tried to find ways to kill the bad guys from a distance without risking the lives of our people. It’s not a bad thing to want to do that. It’s a good thing. Nobody thinks our troops should be engaging in hand-to-hand combat with terrorists because it’s more chivalrous or something. And also the drone strikes represent part of a trend towards the individualization of warfare, where instead of firebombing Tokyo or Dresden, which kills thousands upon thousands of people from soldiers to infants indiscriminately, we now have a technology that enables us, combined with our intelligence and surveillance resources, to be really focused in who we target and say, we’re not going to drop a bomb on cities in Syria, we’re going to bomb this guy over here. And we are pretty amazingly good at hitting that guy and nobody else—not always, no question. And I sometimes say to my friends who say “I don’t like targeted killing,” “Would you prefer untargeted killing?” Because that’s what World War II was most of the time, with catastrophic results for civilian populations.

But here’s the dark side: Because it’s individualized, because it operates below the radar and it’s a technology that enables covert use of force across borders, it becomes invisible and shielded from meaningful democratic accountability, and shielded to some extent from international laws because of the deniability. This is our way of exploiting categories. The Russians use the little green men, when we use covert targeted strikes by unmanned vehicles. We then get to say, “Hey, this is just lawful wartime targeting combatants, there’s nothing new here, so leave us alone.” And yet at the same time, normally in a traditional war you know who the enemy is, you know where the battle is, and we don’t know any of those things. The claims the U.S. makes about these targeted strikes are completely non-falsifiable because they’re really not saying anything, and what little they say says, “Well, we can’t tell you who we targeted, we can’t tell you why, it’s a secret, trust us.” And that’s very, very frightening.

Coming Full Circle with Return of Iranian Assets Seized in 1979, by Jimmie Carter

[Reading the following paragraph in the NYTimes in 1979 was my original motivation for entering the world of political activism.  Seeing with my own eyes the proof that the American President had the authority, under certain conditions, to seize all of your assets held in the US, or in any US bank overseas.]

“The President may…confiscate any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, of any foreign person, foreign organization, or foreign country that he determines has planned, authorized, aided, or engaged in such hostilities or attacks against the United States; and all right, title, and interest in any property so confiscated shall vest, when, as, and upon the terms directed by the President, in such agency or person as the President may designate from time to time, and upon such terms and conditions as the President may prescribe, such interest or property shall be held, used, administered, liquidated, sold, or otherwise dealt with in the interest of and for the benefit of the United States, and such designated agency or person may perform any and all acts incident to the accomplishment or furtherance of these purposes.”50 U.S. Code § 1702 – Presidential authorities, in section 1701 of this title

Executive Order NO. 12170

Blocking Iranian Government Property

Pursuant to the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and laws of the United States including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 50 U.S.C.A. sec. 1701 et seq., the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. sec. 1601 et seq., and 3 U.S.C. sec. 301,

I, Jimmy Carter, President of the United States, find that the situation in Iran constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States and hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.

I hereby order blocked all property and interests in property of the Government of Iran, its instrumentalities and controlled entities and the Central Bank of Iran which are or become subject to the jurisdiction of the United States or which are in or come within the possession or control of persons subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to employ all powers granted to me by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to carry out the provisions of this order.

This order is effective immediately and shall be transmitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register.

Jimmy Carter

The White House
November 14, 1979

Iranian state television broadcast this image of a shipping pallet stacked with cash in February

Why the U.S. Owed Iran That $400 Million




The money was part of a hostage deal, but not the one some might think

Answer: The actual hostage deal that in fact accounts for the cash payment, which President Obama said on Thursday was not a ransom.

The currency shipped to Iran in the dead of night drew attention from presidential candidate Donald Trump this week, who on Friday appeared to walk back an earlier assertion that he had seen a payment being delivered. But that money was owed to the Islamic Republic since 1979, the year the U.S. froze all the Iranian funds in American banks as retribution for seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, as revolution swept that nation.

What was universally known as the Iran hostage crisis went on for more than a year, and finally ended with a bargain: In exchange for the release of 52 American diplomats and citizens, both sides agreed to resolve the question of money through international arbitration. The Iran-United States Claims Tribunal has trudged along for almost four decades now, and the money has flowed both ways. By 1983, Iran had returned $896 million to U.S. banks, which in turn had returned hundreds of millions in frozen funds to Iran. Today, private claims from the U.S. side have been resolved to the tune of $2.1 billion.

But still at issue as Obama began his second term was $400 million that Iran in the late 1970s had paid for U.S. fighter jets, while Tehran was still a U.S. ally. After it turned into an enemy in 1979, Washington was not about to deliver the jets. But, all these years later, Iran wanted its money back—and with interest.

Blinding Kashmiris and Sowing Sectarian and Anti-CPEC Tensions In Gilgat


WITH THEIR EYES SHOT OUT?]pellet-victimindia-kashmir-pakistan-unrest_d597a4fe-5fa2-11e6-9978-9f336ca1cc3ekashmir women2016_8$largeimg211_Aug_2016_011414893[The following is a snapshot of Indian “limited warfare” operations intended to agitate for war in Kashmir.

In addition to the following piece of purely psychological warfare agitation, we have a concentrated effort by the Hindutva press to agitate Kashmiris and others in a CPEC-specific (Chinese Pakistan Economic Corridor) form of limited warfare (SEE:  Resentment mounts against growing Chinese presence in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan), intended to create and magnify social tensions (especially sectarian hostilities in this Shia-dominated area) pertaining to press-generated rumors that the Kashmir/Gilgat areas will receive limited economic windfall from this Chinese/Pakistani bonanza, or nothing at all.]

“Raising “anti-Pakistan” slogans, angry protesters took to the streets in Gilgit town, Astore, Diamer and Hunza of the the Gilgit- Baltistan region, which is only Shia-dominated area in Sunni-dominated Pakistan.”

People stage a protest against Pakistan army in Gilgit.(Photo: ANI
People stage a protest against Pakistan army in Gilgit.(Photo: ANI

GILGIT CITY: Protesters have taken to the streets in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir(PoK) against human rights abuses and crackdown by the Pakistani security forces.

Over 500 youth, including Gilgit‘s top political activist Baba Jan, have been taken into custody by the Pakistani security forces.

Angry protesters said these young men were imprisoned for demanding political rights and asking the Pakistani army to leave Gilgit’s soil.

Raising “anti-Pakistan” slogans, angry protesters took to the streets in Gilgit town, Astore, Diamer and Hunza of the the Gilgit- Baltistan region, which is only Shia-dominated area in Sunni-dominated Pakistan.

The political crackdown and arrests in Gilgit were made against people protesting against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which they said would only benefit China and Pakistan’s Punjabi traders.

The youth of Gilgit are not being involved in any manner with the CPEC and those who are protesting are being harshly dealt with, protesters said.

“PoK is ours”

During an all-party meeting called to discuss the recent violence in Kashmir on Friday, PM Narendra Modi asserted that “PoK is ours” and added that there was a need to track persons who had fled the PoK so that their accounts could be publicised.

“Foreign ministry should take initiatives to develop contact with citizens of PoK settled abroad and apprise them about how their family and friends are treated there,” Modi said.