No End to the US Evil Empire
Depressing as hell--
And then this--
Rather than ending the war, the Obama-Karzai pact institutionalizes it, making the occupation of Afghanistan a permanent feature of US military operations in the region. It even maps out a place for this new US colony in the annual budget, and there is no time limit on any of this: "2024 and beyond."
The agreement means we’ll be in Afghanistan forever, obligated to not only defend its government but to make sure that government is functioning at a bare minimum. And while we’re going to be rid of the crazy Karzai quite soon – the Afghan "constitution" doesn’t allow him to run again – someone equally daffy (and unpopular) is likely to take his place. Which means we’ll have to start all over again, propping up an inherently unstable central government in Kabul – whose jurisdiction only barely extends to the city limits.
From this quagmire there is to be no extrication – that, in short, is the sum total of our great "victory" in Afghanistan.
This was supposed to be the "good" war, the "bad" war – Iraq – being bad because it was started by a Republican president. This was the war everybody – except for the most dedicated peaceniks (and, of course, us libertarians) – was for: it was a good war, a just war, a defensive war. They attacked us first, right? So we went in there and – twelve years later we’re still there, with no sign we’re leaving anytime soon.
And then this--
For the first time, the Pentagon has a comprehensive strategy for the Arctic. This move is prompted mainly because climate change is causing the sea ice to steadily melt and allow ships to access more of the Arctic Ocean.
On Friday in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel helped to open the 5th Halifax International Security Forum by speaking about the Department of Defense’s Arctic Strategy. The Strategy opens by saying the Arctic is at a “strategic inflection point” because “its ice cap is diminishing more rapidly than projected.” This brings increasing “human activity, driven by economic opportunity” that ranges from shipping and fishing to fossil fuel extraction and tourism. Most experts believe there will be no Arctic sea ice in the summer by 2030.
Secretary Hagel said in his speech that the U.S. “will remain prepared to detect, deter, prevent and defeat threats to our homeland and we will continue to exercise U.S. sovereignty in and around Alaska.” He continued: “Throughout human history, mankind has raced to discover the next frontier. And time after time, discovery was swiftly followed by conflict. We cannot erase this history. But we can assure that history does not repeat itself in the Arctic.”
The focus for the Pentagon in the region, according to this document, is to prepare the United States to “work collaboratively with allies and partners to promote a balanced approach to improving human and environmental security in the region.” Arctic nations like the U.S. must focus on cooperative security at the top of the globe is because there has already been conflict over how this new access to the region should be managed. The more ice melts, the more that governments and oil companies will be tempted by the oil underneath the ice.
Earlier this year, Rear Admiral (Ret.) David Titley (and Former Chief Oceanographer for the Navy) said “the opening of the Arctic is the most immediate national security challenge presented by climate change.” In September, activists from Greenpeace protested Russia’s first offshore drilling rig, and were jailed for piracy.
The main goals outlined in this new document are: security and stability in the region; protection of the U.S. homeland and national interests; cooperation with other nations to “address challenges”; and preparation for a “wide range of challenges and contingencies.” Military goals include “missile defense and early warning; deployment of sea and air systems for strategic sealift, strategic deterrence, maritime presence, and maritime security operations; and ensuring freedom of the seas.”
All of these goals change as the globe warms, sea levels rise, and sea ice melts. Hagel said that “the challenge of global climate change, while not new to history, is new to the modern world.”