Saturday March 25, 2017
One of the planned cornerstones of the 15+ year Afghan Reconstruction Effort was to be an extensive, nationwide network of roads.
The United States’ concept was roads would allow the Afghan economy to flourish as trade could reach throughout the country, security would be enhanced by the ability to move security forces quickly to where they were needed, and that the presence of the roads would serve as a literal symbol of the central government’s ability to extend its presence into the countryside.
The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released its audit of the Department of Defense’s and USAID’s $2.8 billion investment in Afghanistan’s road infrastructure.
Friday March 24, 2017
Gordon Tullock used to taunt anarchists by asserting that if the USA abolished its government, people would not have to worry about the Russians taking over the country because “the Mexicans would get here first.”
This little story actually incorporates a common objection to anarchy—namely, the idea that because, if a country abolished its government, other countries would not necessarily follow suit, the governments of those other countries would be free to, and would, simply take over the country that, lacking a government, also lacked an effective means of defending itself against takeover by a foreign power.
Thursday March 23, 2017
As the US airstrikes in the Iraqi city of Mosul are increasingly concentrated around densely populated neighborhoods in the city’s west, the death toll from those airstrikes in spiraling rapidly out of control, with the most recent figures out of the area suggesting around 230 civilians were killed overnight in US and coalition strikes in just a single neighborhood.
That’s an enormous toll, of course, but is reported from several sources telling largely the same story, including that a single US airstrike against a large building full of civilians in Mosul killed over 130 people, while the other 100 or so were killed in the surrounding area.
Thursday March 23, 2017
Imagine my surprise.
US military forces will remain in Iraq after the military defeat of the Islamic State in order to avert another resurgence of the terrorist organization, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced Wednesday.
Wednesday March 22, 2017
Early information arising from a US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee investigation into possible United States government spying on Donald Trump and people associated with him appears to show that information about individuals associated with Trump and his presidential transition was collected through surveillance by, and was widely distributed in, the US intelligence community.
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told reporters Wednesday that “on numerous occasions the intelligence community incidentally collected information about US citizens involved in the Trump transition” and that “details about US persons associated with the incoming administration — details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value — were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.”
Tuesday March 21, 2017
Join the Mises and Ron Paul Institutes for a symposium on war and peace in the age of Trump. We’ll meet in Ron’s hometown of Lake Jackson, Texas, on Saturday, April 8, 2017, 9am-1pm.
Speakers include Dr. Paul, David Stockman, Phil Giraldi, Jeff Deist, Dan McAdams, and me. The price, which includes luncheon, is just $40 per person. Register here.
Reprinted with permission from LewRockwell.com.
Sunday March 19, 2017
A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues is out. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.
Saturday March 18, 2017
Wow, who knew that the Israeli air force was running ops in Syria? In the news Friday, Israel is bragging that they intercepted and downed a Syrian SAM that was sent up after one of its planes. Israel says they’re in Syria to hit Hezbollah’s version of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Okay, now we’ve got Israel running its own airstrikes in there, Turkey also from time to time, Russia we know, the United States we know, and Iran when they find spare parts for their F-4 Phantoms. Plus the Syrian air force, of course. Hmmm…several nations involved in one war. Sounds like a micro world war to me.
Tuesday March 14, 2017
Lawrence Wilkerson, a former Army colonel and chief of staff for Colin Powell at the United States Department of State, expressed this week strong criticism of the US government adding more and more nations to its enemies list. Speaking with host Paul Jay at the Real News Network this week, Wilkerson, who is a professor at the College of William & Mary, concludes that, even with the large amount of money the US spends on the military, it is “utterly beyond our capacity to deal with all these enemies” that the US has generated.
Saturday March 11, 2017
The Syrian military strategy of President Assad is well-known. It is explained here, and here. This strategy has succeeded. The Assad coalition of forces is defeating his opponents. They are continuing steadily to clear remaining opposition forces from Syria.
Raqqa has not been central to Assad. Neither has Manjib. They remain to be “cleaned up”, but they were not of strategic importance to Assad and still aren’t.