Pentagon Study Declares American Empire Is ‘Collapsing’

Report demands massive expansion of military-industrial complex to maintain global ‘access to resources’

By Nafeez Ahmed for Medium – An extraordinary new Pentagon study has concluded that the U.S.-backed international order established after World War 2 is “fraying” and may even be “collapsing”, leading the United States to lose its position of “primacy” in world affairs. The solution proposed to protect U.S. power in this new “post-primacy” environment is, however, more of the same: more surveillance, more propaganda (“strategic manipulation of perceptions”) and more military expansionism. The document concludes that the world has entered a fundamentally new phase of transformation in which U.S. power is in decline, international order is unravelling, and the authority of governments everywhere is crumbling. Having lost its past status of “pre-eminence”, the U.S. now inhabits a dangerous, unpredictable “post-primacy” world, whose defining feature is “resistance to authority”. Danger comes not just from great power rivals like Russia and China, both portrayed as rapidly growing threats to American interests, but also from the increasing risk of “Arab Spring”-style events. These will erupt not just in the Middle East, but all over the world, potentially undermining trust in incumbent governments for the foreseeable future.

Pentagon Recruiting Playbook Revealed

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By Pat Elder for War is a Crime – Ominous developments in three states this summer – Oregon, Texas, New Jersey, and one city – Chicago, provide a glimpse into the Pentagon’s new playbook to recruit soldiers from high schools across the country. In brief, the military has been engaged in a robust lobbying campaign to lower academic standards to make it easier to recruit youth. New recruits have long been required to hold a high school diploma or a GED certificate. This requirement is a major impediment to finding enough soldiers to meet annual targets, but even when struggling students barely manage to graduate, the Pentagon has developed a plan to marshal more of them into the military. The Oregon Department of Education recently endorsed the Oregon National Guard’s Credit Proficiency Program for use in high schools across the state. The program gives juniors and seniors the chance to earn academic credits while training for military service at Oregon National Guard facilities. The program is expected to cut the state’s drop-out rate while increasing the on-time graduation rate. In 2015 Oregon’s 74.8% graduation rate was the third lowest in the country. Under the program, if a senior in high school realizes a few weeks before graduation that he doesn’t have enough credits to graduate…

Why We’re Kayaking To The Pentagon, And Why You Should Join Us

http://worldbeyondwar.org

By David Swanson for World Beyond War – One week before the #NoWar2017: War and the Environment conference, to be held September 22-24 at American Univeristy, World Beyond War will work with the Backbone Campaign and other allies to organize a flotilla for the environment and peace, bringing kayaktivism to Washington, D.C., on September 16th. Why? What’s the relevance? Who’s drilling for oil on the Potomac? Actually the Potomac is central headquarters for oil consumption, as the top way in which we consume oil is through preparing for and waging wars — wars that are often in large part motivated by the desire to control more oil. Behind the Pentagon is a 9/11 memorial, but there’s no memorial to the future Pentagon disaster that will come in the form of flooding. The U.S. military is the top consumer of petroleum around and would rank high by that measure in a list of countries, were it a country. The military is the third worst polluter of U.S. waterways. The United States could convert to entirely sustainable energy for a fraction of the U.S. military budget (and earn it all back in healthcare savings). Most countries on earth have the U.S. military in them. Most countries on earth (the entire countries!) burn less fossil fuel than does the U.S. military.

Documents Expose How Hollywood Promotes War On Behalf Of Pentagon, CIA And NSA

Plato’s Cave reimagined for the Hollywood era — copyright Derek Swansonn

By Tom Secker for Insurge Intelligence/ Medium – Alongside the massive scale of these operations, our new book National Security Cinema details how US government involvement also includes script rewrites on some of the biggest and most popular films, including James Bond, the Transformers franchise, and movies from the Marvel and DC cinematic universes. A similar influence is exerted over military-supported TV, which ranges from Hawaii Five-O to America’s Got Talent, Oprah and Jay Leno to Cupcake Wars, along with numerous documentaries by PBS, the History Channel and the BBC. National Security Cinema also reveals how dozens of films and TV shows have been supported and influenced by the CIA, including the James Bond adventure Thunderball, the Tom Clancy thriller Patriot Games and more recent films, including Meet the Parents and Salt. The CIA even helped to make an episode of Top Chef that was hosted at Langley, featuring then-CIA director Leon Panetta who was shown as having to skip dessert to attend to vital business. Was this scene real, or was it a dramatic statement for the cameras?

Pentagon And Aid Workers Clash Over Planned Assault In Yemen

Flickr/ gregwest98

By Jason Ditz for Anti-War – Pentagon officials have been making clear for weeks that they are eager to directly join Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, and have excitedly laid out plans for deeper involvement in the conflict to the rest of the administration, centering on joining the invasion of Hodeidah, a Red Sea port which is where most humanitarian aid enters the country. Hodeidah’s vitalness to the already shaky aid supply to northern Yemen isn’t sitting well with aid workers, or even with State Department and USAID officials, who were quick to note that cutting off Hodeidah to the northern Yemenis would lead directly to a full-blown famine. Officially, the Pentagon is just denying the famine risk out of hand, claiming that the invasion would be “clean,” and that they could deliver the port to the Saudis in just a few weeks. The assumption is that the aid would resume immediately, though in practice the reason Hodeidah is the only port for the rebel north is that the Saudis have prevented aid from moving through their ports into the north, and with Hodeidah would be able to do so even more.

“Mother Of All Bombs” Never Used Before Due To Civilian Casualty Concerns

Marc Garlasco, a senior military analyst for the Human Rights Watch organization gestures as he speaks during a press conference in Jerusalem, on June 30, 2009. Photo: Sebastian Scheiner/AP

By Alex Emmons for The Intercept – FULFILLING DONALD TRUMP’S campaign promise to “bomb the shit” out of ISIS, the Pentagon dropped the “mother of all bombs” — one of its largest non-nuclear munitions — for the first time on Thursday, in Afghanistan. The 21,600 pound weapon was developed over a decade ago, but was never used due to concerns of possible massive civilian casualties. The Pentagon said it used the weapon on an ISIS-affiliated group hiding in a tunnel complex in the Nangarhar province. The group, according to the Pentagon, is made up of former members of the Taliban. The Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB), nicknamed the “mother of all bombs,” has a mile-long blast radius. When it first introduced the bomb, the Pentagon said it was designed to terrify America’s enemy into submission. “The goal is to have the capabilities of the coalition so clear and so obvious,” Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in 2003, “that there is an enormous disincentive for the Iraqi military to fight against the [invading] coalition.”

Wars Expand As Trump Seems To Give Pentagon Decision Making Power

In this March 28, 2017, photo, a Somali soldier provides security as newly displaced Somalis gather at a camp in the Garasbaley area on the outskirts of Mogadishu, Somalia. Drought-stricken families facing a hunger crisis are on the move, trying to reach international aid agencies that cannot distribute food in areas under the control of al-Shabab, Somalia's homegrown Islamic extremist rebels who are affiliated to al-Qaida. (Farah Abdi Warsameh / AP)

By Lolita C. Baldor for Associated Press – Week by week, country by country, the Pentagon is quietly seizing more control over warfighting decisions, sending hundreds more troops to war with little public debate and seeking greater authority to battle extremists across the Middle East and Africa. This week it was Somalia, where President Donald Trump gave the U.S. military more authority to conduct offensive airstrikes on al-Qaida-linked militants. Next week it could be Yemen, where military leaders want to provide more help for the United Arab Emirates’ battle against Iranian-backed rebels. Key decisions on Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan are looming, from ending troop number limits to loosening rules that guide commanders in the field. The changes in Trump’s first two months in office underscore his willingness to let the Pentagon manage its own day-to-day combat. Under the Obama administration, military leaders chafed about micromanagement that included commanders needing approval for routine tactical decisions about targets and personnel moves.

Aegis 9 Arrested in Snowstorm at BIW Destroyer ‘Christening’

Aegis Detroyer protest arrests at Bath Iron Workes April 2017

By Bruce K. Gagnon for Organizing Notes. The Aegis 9 were arrested at 10:00 am this morning in a snow storm at Bath Iron Works (BIW) in Maine during a ‘christening’ of another destroyer outfitted with so-called ‘missile defense’ systems. The group blocked the ceremony entry gate and were charged with Trespass on BIW property – which ironically is ultimately paid for by taxpayer dollars. BIW is owned by General Dynamics. These warships are currently being deployed by the Pentagon to help encircle Russia and China as the US moves to put in place global first-strike attack capability. Amazingly BIW decided to still hold the event out-of-doors even though there was a wet driving snow coming down. Reports from the inside of the shipyard were that many of the chairs at the ceremony were empty – except for the snow on them. The protest called for the conversion of BIW to build commuter rail systems, solar, wind turbines and tidal power systems.

New Evidence Contradicts Pentagon’s Account Of Yemen Raid

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By Alex Emmons for The Intercept. THE PENTAGON’S TOP Middle East commander told Congress on Thursday that he found no signs of “poor decision-making or bad judgment” in a January raid in Yemen that killed 10 children and at least six women, as well as Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens. “I made the determination that there was no need for an additional investigation into this particular operation,” said Gen. Joseph Votel. Earlier on Thursday, The Intercept published its own investigation of the raid based on eyewitnesses, including a 5-year-old who described how his mother was gunned down while trying to flee what other family members said was indiscriminate gunfire from a helicopter. The White House has tried to shame the raid’s critics into silence.

The Pentagon’s $125 Billion Cover-up

Flickr/ Wendy Seltzer

By Miriam Pemberton for Other Words – The brass asked for a report on eliminating waste. When investigators found some, the military buried it. Let’s say you ask somebody a question. They give you an answer you don’t like, so you pretend you didn’t hear it. Probably all of us would cop to something like this at some time in our imperfect pasts. For most of us though, that pretending hasn’t included trying to hide $125 billion. The Pentagon has a little image problem: Google “Pentagon waste” and you get more than 500,000 hits, including stories about $600 toilet seats and $7,600 coffee makers.

Pentagon Chief Outlines Preparations For Nuclear War With Russia

Hiroshima, Japan, on Sept. 8, 1945, about a month after the first atomic bomb ever used in warfare was dropped by the U.S. (AP Photo/Stanley Troutman)

By Bill Van Auken for WSWS – US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter delivered a speech to “missileers” at the Air Force Global Strike Command base in Minot, North Dakota Monday, defending the massive modernization of the US nuclear arsenal and issuing bellicose threats against Russia. Carter’s trip to Minot was the first he has taken to a nuclear missile base since becoming secretary of defense in February 2015. It coincided with the steady escalation of conflicts pitting the US against nuclear-armed Russia and China that threaten to ignite a new world war.

How Pentagon Paid PR Firm +$500 Million For Top Secret Iraq Propaganda

The draping of the Stars and Stripes over Saddam's face did not do the US's reputation any favours and came to be seen as an own goal. PR firms were contracted to come up with more sophisticated messaging.
Photo by Gilles Bassignac/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

By Crofton Black and Abigail Fielding-Smith for The Bureau of Investigative Journalism -The Pentagon gave a controversial UK PR firm over half a billion dollars to run a top secret propaganda programme in Iraq, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal. Bell Pottinger’s output included short TV segments made in the style of Arabic news networks and fake insurgent videos which could be used to track the people who watched them, according to a former employee.

Pentagon Preparing For Mass Civil Breakdown

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By Nafeez Ahmed for the Guardian. A US Department of Defense (DoD) research programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies. The multi-million dollar programme is designed to develop immediate and long-term “warfighter-relevant insights” for senior officials and decision makers in “the defense policy community,” and to inform policy implemented by “combatant commands.” Launched in 2008 – the year of the global banking crisis – the DoD ‘Minerva Research Initiative’ partners with universities “to improve DoD’s basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the US.” Among the projects awarded for the period 2014-2017 is a Cornell University-led study managed by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research which aims to develop an empirical model “of the dynamics of social movement mobilisation and contagions.” The project will determine “the critical mass (tipping point)” of social contagians by studying their “digital traces” in the cases of “the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the 2011 Russian Duma elections, the 2012 Nigerian fuel subsidy crisis and the 2013 Gazi park protests in Turkey.”

How The Pentagon Punished NSA Whistleblowers

Illustration by Nathalie Lees

By Mark Hertsgaard for The Guardian – By now, almost everyone knows what Edward Snowden did. He leaked top-secret documents revealing that the National Security Agency was spying on hundreds of millions of people across the world, collecting the phone calls and emails of virtually everyone on Earth who used a mobile phone or the internet. When this newspaper began publishing the NSA documents in June 2013, it ignited a fierce political debate that continues to this day – about government surveillance, but also about the morality, legality and civic value of whistleblowing.

Pentagon Confirms US Ground Troops In Yemen

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By Jason Ditz for Anti War – Hot on the heels of yesterday‘s admission that the US has become militarily involved in a second war inside Yemen, this time between the pro-Saudi faction and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Pentagon officials are also admitting that US ground troops have been deployed inside Yemen, and have been operating there for the past two weeks. The US had previously withdrawn all of its ground troops from Yemen after the ouster of President Hadi by the Shi’ite Houthis in early 2015…