Protest outside Saudi Embassy in Los Angeles. Photo: CODEPINK
Despite opposition from the public and some members of Congress, the Trump administration in its waning days is rushing through weapons sales to a handful of Middle East nations with records of human rights abuses, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, whose U.S.-backed blockades and airstrikes have exacerbated civilian suffering and death in Yemen’s ongoing civil war.
The U.S. State Department on Tuesday announced a flurry of deals, including $290 million in Boeing-made, precision-guided bombs to Saudi Arabia, $65 million in drones and fighter jets to the UAE, $169 million in militaryequipment to Egypt, and $4 billion in helicopters to Kuwait. Continue reading →
Goodbye Afghanistan | US Air Force photo by Clay Lancaster. Public domain.
One of Donald Trump’s main election pledges back in 2016 was to ‘bring our boys home’. Alongside this came criticism of Germany and other NATO states for not paying their way on military spending. He has followed up on both themes this week, by starting to reduce the US presence in Germany, albeit shifting some to Poland and leaving all the mechanisms of a rapid return in place, so that the extent of the ‘back home’ is far from what it appears.
Extricating US forces from Middle East is another matter. Many army units are consolidating in fewer bases in Iraq or moving to nearby Kuwait. The US Navy is holding on, too, mainly because of the confrontation with Iran. It currently has two carrier battle groups within reach of the region. Continue reading →
“This Memorial Day,” said Win Without War, “let us remember the real, painful, and horrifying human costs of war.” (Photo: Robert Couse-Baker/flickr/cc)
The U.S. Army may have gotten more than it bargained for when it recently asked on Twitter, “How has serving impacted you?”
The question, posed just before the nation officially marks Memorial Day, brought attention to “the real, painful, and horrifying human costs of war,” said advocacy group Win Without War. Continue reading →
Last year, an artist projected “Pay Trump bribes here” and “Emoluments Welcome” onto the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. to protest President Donald Trump’s refusal to divest from his businesses. (Photo: @igorvolsky/Twitter)
A government watchdog claimed its latest victory on Wednesday as a federal judge rejected President Donald Trump’s bid to block a lawsuit challenging his continued involvement with his businesses—which ethics groups say amounts to a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution.
The new policy calls the weapons “an effective and necessary capability.” (Photo: mary wareham/flickr/cc)
The Pentagon made a decision that “beggars belief,” human rights groups said Friday, when it tossed out its plan to ban certain cluster bombs that leave a large percentage of lethal, unexploded munitions, which pose a significant risk to civilians.
“This is a profoundly retrograde step that puts the U.S. way out of line with the international consensus—cluster munitions are banned by more than 100 countries due to their inherently indiscriminate nature and the risks they pose to civilians,” said Patrick Wilcken, researcher on arms control and human rights at Amnesty International. Continue reading →
Though a number of U.S. soldiers were previously deployed to Syria under the Obama administration, the U.S. government has just sent an additional 400 troops to Syrian territory without congressional approval, without approval from the Syrian government, and without approval from the U.N.
Given the illegality of the move, the real question regarding the operation must focus on the motive. Why is the United States military, under a president who ran on a campaign of focusing less on wars abroad, sending more troops to Syrian territory? Trump supporters often argue this is to fulfill his campaign promise to defeat ISIS. Continue reading →