Invasion Forces – Austerlitz 2005 http://austerlitz2005.com/ Tue, 13 Jul 2021 03:48:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 https://austerlitz2005.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-7-150x150.png Invasion Forces – Austerlitz 2005 http://austerlitz2005.com/ 32 32 Japan warns of crisis over Taiwan, growing danger from rivalry between the US and China https://austerlitz2005.com/japan-warns-of-crisis-over-taiwan-growing-danger-from-rivalry-between-the-us-and-china/ https://austerlitz2005.com/japan-warns-of-crisis-over-taiwan-growing-danger-from-rivalry-between-the-us-and-china/#respond Tue, 13 Jul 2021 02:23:00 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/japan-warns-of-crisis-over-taiwan-growing-danger-from-rivalry-between-the-us-and-china/ FILE PHOTO: A Type 74 tank fires ammunition during a live-fire exercise at the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) training site at the East Fuji Maneuver Area in Gotemba, Japan, May 22, 2021. Akio Kon / Pool over REUTERS TOKYO (Reuters) – Growing military tensions over Taiwan and economic and technological rivalry between China and […]]]>


FILE PHOTO: A Type 74 tank fires ammunition during a live-fire exercise at the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) training site at the East Fuji Maneuver Area in Gotemba, Japan, May 22, 2021. Akio Kon / Pool over REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) – Growing military tensions over Taiwan and economic and technological rivalry between China and the United States threaten peace and stability in East Asia as the regional balance of power shifts in Beijing’s favor, Japan said in its annual Defense White Paper.

“It is necessary that, more than ever, we follow the situation closely with a sense of crisis,” read a new section on Taiwan. “In particular, the competition in technology fields is likely to become even more intense,” said the tussle between the USA and China.

The defense review, approved by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s government on Tuesday, points to China as Japan’s biggest national security problem. Beijing’s recent surge in military activity around Taiwan worries Tokyo as the island sits near the Okinawa chain at the western end of the Japanese archipelago.

Chinese President Xi Jinping this month promised the completion of “reunification” with Taiwan and in June criticized the United States as a “risk taker” after sending a warship across the strait that separated the island from the mainland.

Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Treasury Secretary Taro Aso said in a speech reported by Japanese media this month that Japan should join forces with the United States to protect Taiwan from any invasion. Aso later said that any contingency regarding Taiwan should be resolved through dialogue when asked about the remarks that Beijing rebuked.

As the military rivalry between the United States and China deepens, their economic competition is fueling a race for leadership in key technologies such as semiconductors, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing.

The advent of rival technology camps poses a challenge to Japan, as its economy is as dependent on doing business with China as it is with the United States. Japan will also have to spend a lot of money to keep up with government funding for technology development in the US, China, and Europe.

The U.S. Senate legislature recently passed the Innovation and Competition Act of 2021, authorizing $ 190 billion in technology spending, including $ 54 billion in increasing chip production. House legislators are debating a separate proposal that also promises generous funding, the Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement Act, or EAGLE Act.

The Japanese annual security review also includes, for the first time, a section on threats from climate change, which could increase competition for land and resources and trigger mass movements of climate refugees. An increase in global warming-related disasters could also affect military capabilities, while the melting of ice in the Arctic Sea could lead to the militarization of northern waters.

Reporting by Tim Kelly; Edited by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Stephen Coates



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US Afghanistan withdrawal: Top commander steps down https://austerlitz2005.com/us-afghanistan-withdrawal-top-commander-steps-down/ https://austerlitz2005.com/us-afghanistan-withdrawal-top-commander-steps-down/#respond Mon, 12 Jul 2021 17:51:58 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/?p=744 From 9/11, to intense fighting on the ground, and now full withdrawal of US-led forces, here’s what happened. 9/11 11 September 2001 Al-Qaeda, led by Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan, carries out the largest terror attack ever conducted on US soil. Image caption The World Trade Centre is reduced to rubble Image copyright by Getty […]]]>


From 9/11, to intense fighting on the ground, and now full withdrawal of US-led forces, here’s what happened.

9/11

Al-Qaeda, led by Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan, carries out the largest terror attack ever conducted on US soil.

Image caption The World Trade Centre is reduced to rubble

Image copyright by Getty

Four commercial airliners are hijacked. Two are flown into the World Trade Centre in New York, which collapses. One hits the Pentagon building in Washington, and one crashes into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people are killed.

First air strikes

A US-led coalition bombs Taliban and al-Qaeda facilities in Afghanistan. Targets include Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad.

The Taliban, who took power after a decade-long Soviet occupation was followed by civil war, refuse to hand over Bin Laden. Their air defences and small fleet of fighter aircraft are destroyed.

Fall of Kabul

The Northern Alliance, a group of anti-Taliban rebels backed by coalition forces, enters Kabul as the Taliban flee the city.

Coalition-backed Northern Alliance fighters ride tanks into Kabul as the Taliban retreat
Image caption Coalition-backed Northern Alliance fighters ride tanks into Kabul as the Taliban retreat

Image copyright by Getty

By the 13 November 2001, all Taliban have either fled or been neutralised. Other cities quickly fall.

New constitution

After protracted negotiations at a “loya jirga” or grand assembly, the new Afghan constitution is signed into law. The constitution paves the way for presidential elections in October 2004.

Hamid Karzai becomes president

Hamid Karzai led anti-Taliban groups around Kandahar before becoming president
Image caption Hamid Karzai led anti-Taliban groups around Kandahar before becoming president

Image copyright by Getty

Hamid Karzai, the leader of the Popalzai Durrani tribe, becomes the first president under the new constitution. He serves two five-year terms as president.

UK troops deployed to Helmand

British troops arrive in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold in the south of the country.

Soldiers of the Parachute Regiment lead the first UK deployment to Helmand
Image caption Soldiers of the Parachute Regiment lead the first UK deployment to Helmand

Image copyright by Getty

Their initial mission is to support reconstruction projects, but they are quickly drawn into combat operations. More than 450 British troops lose their lives in Afghanistan over the course of the conflict.

Obama’s surge

US President Barack Obama approves a major increase in the number of troops sent to Afghanistan. At their peak, they number about 140,000.

US troops in intense combat operations in the south of the country
Image caption US troops in intense combat operations in the south of the country

Image copyright by Getty

The so-called “surge” is modelled on US strategy in Iraq where US forces focussed on protecting the civilian population as well as killing insurgent fighters.

Osama Bin Laden killed

Bin Laden is traced to a compound located less than a mile from a Pakistani military academy
Image caption Bin Laden is traced to a compound located less than a mile from a Pakistani military academy

Image copyright by Getty

The leader of al-Qaeda is killed in an assault by US Navy Seals on a compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan. Bin Laden’s body is removed and buried at sea. The operation ends a 10-year hunt led by the CIA.  The confirmation that Bin Laden had been living on Pakistani soil fuels accusations in the US that Pakistan is an unreliable ally in the war on terror.

Death of Mullah Omar

The founder of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Omar, dies. His death is kept secret for more than two years.

The Taliban leader is believed to have suffered a shrapnel wound to his right eye in the 1980s
Image caption The Taliban leader is believed to have suffered a shrapnel wound to his right eye in the 1980s

Image copyright by EPA

According to Afghan intelligence, Mullah Omar dies of health problems at a hospital in the Pakistani city of Karachi. Pakistan denies that he was in the country.

Nato ends combat operations

At a ceremony in Kabul, Nato ends its combat operations in Afghanistan. With the surge now over, the US withdraws thousands of troops.  Most of those who remain focus on training and supporting the Afghan security forces.

Taliban resurgence

The Taliban launch a series of suicide attacks, car bombings and other assaults. The parliament building in Kabul, and the city of Kunduz are attacked. Islamic State militants begin operations in Afghanistan.

Kabul's international airport is struck on 10 August 2015
Image caption Kabul’s international airport is struck on 10 August 2015

Image copyright by Getty

Death toll announcement

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says more than 45,000 members of his country’s security forces have been killed since he became leader in 2014. The figure is far higher than previously thought.

US signs deal with Taliban

The US and the Taliban sign an “agreement for bringing peace” to Afghanistan, in Doha, Qatar. The US and Nato allies agree to withdraw all troops within 14 months if the militants uphold the deal.

The deal lays out a timetable for full withdrawal
Image caption The deal lays out a timetable for full withdrawal

Image copyright by Getty

Date for final withdrawal

US forces are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by 11 September 2021, exactly 20 years since 9/11. There are strong indications that the withdrawal may be complete before the official deadline.

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Two are flown into the World Trade Centre in New York, which collapses. One hits the Pentagon building in Washington, and one crashes into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people are killed.”,”timeline__element_6-header”:”First air strikes”,”timeline__element_6-date”:”7 October 2001″,”text_7-value”:”A US-led coalition bombs Taliban and al-Qaeda facilities in Afghanistan. Targets include Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad.”,”text_8-value”:”The Taliban, who took power after a decade-long Soviet occupation was followed by civil war, refuse to hand over Bin Laden. Their air defences and small fleet of fighter aircraft are destroyed.”,”timeline__element_9-header”:”u003cstrong> u003c/strong>Fall of Kabul”,”timeline__element_9-date”:”13 November 2001″,”text_10-value”:”The Northern Alliance, a group of anti-Taliban rebels backed by coalition forces, enters Kabul as the Taliban flee the city.”,”figure_11-caption”:”Coalition-backed Northern Alliance fighters ride tanks into Kabul as the Taliban retreat”,”figure_11-attribution”:”Getty”,”figure_11-src”:”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/3DEE/production/_119145851_gettyimages_na.jpg”,”text_12-value”:”By the 13 November 2001, all Taliban have either fled or been neutralised. Other cities quickly fall.”,”timeline__element_13-header”:”u003cstrong> u003c/strong>New constitution”,”timeline__element_13-date”:”26 January 2004″,”text_14-value”:”After protracted negotiations at a “loya jirga” or grand assembly, the new Afghan constitution is signed into law. The constitution paves the way for presidential elections in October 2004.”,”timeline__element_15-header”:”Hamid Karzai becomes president”,”timeline__element_15-date”:”7 December 2004″,”figure_16-caption”:”Hamid Karzai led anti-Taliban groups around Kandahar before becoming president”,”figure_16-attribution”:”Getty”,”figure_16-src”:”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/8C0E/production/_119145853_gettyimages_karzai.jpg”,”text_17-value”:”Hamid Karzai, the leader of the Popalzai Durrani tribe, becomes the first president under the new constitution. He serves two five-year terms as president.”,”timeline__element_18-header”:”UK troops deployed to Helmand”,”timeline__element_18-date”:”May 2006″,”text_19-value”:”British troops arrive in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold in the south of the country.”,”figure_20-caption”:”Soldiers of the Parachute Regiment lead the first UK deployment to Helmand”,”figure_20-attribution”:”Getty”,”figure_20-src”:”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/B31E/production/_119145854_gettyimages-154419188.jpg”,”text_21-value”:”Their initial mission is to support reconstruction projects, but they are quickly drawn into combat operations. More than 450 British troops lose their lives in Afghanistan over the course of the conflict.”,”timeline__element_22-header”:”Obama’s surge”,”timeline__element_22-date”:”17 February 2009″,”text_23-value”:”US President Barack Obama approves a major increase in the number of troops sent to Afghanistan. At their peak, they number about 140,000.”,”figure_24-caption”:”US troops in intense combat operations in the south of the country”,”figure_24-attribution”:”Getty”,”figure_24-src”:”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/DA2E/production/_119145855_gettyimages_surge.jpg”,”text_25-value”:”The so-called “surge” is modelled on US strategy in Iraq where US forces focussed on protecting the civilian population as well as killing insurgent fighters.”,”timeline__element_26-header”:”Osama Bin Laden killed”,”timeline__element_26-date”:”2 May 2011″,”figure_27-caption”:”Bin Laden is traced to a compound located less than a mile from a Pakistani military academy”,”figure_27-attribution”:”Getty”,”figure_27-src”:”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/1013E/production/_119145856_obl_gettypng.png”,”text_28-value”:”The leader of al-Qaeda is killed in an assault by US Navy Seals on a compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan. Bin Laden’s body is removed and buried at sea. The operation ends a 10-year hunt led by the CIA.  The confirmation that Bin Laden had been living on Pakistani soil fuels accusations in the US that Pakistan is an unreliable ally in the war on terror.”,”timeline__element_29-header”:”Death of Mullah Omar”,”timeline__element_29-date”:”23 April 2013″,”text_30-value”:”The founder of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Omar, dies. His death is kept secret for more than two years.”,”figure_31-caption”:”The Taliban leader is believed to have suffered a shrapnel wound to his right eye in the 1980s”,”figure_31-attribution”:”EPA”,”figure_31-src”:”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/1284E/production/_119145857_omar_epa_2.png”,”text_32-value”:”According to Afghan intelligence, Mullah Omar dies of health problems at a hospital in the Pakistani city of Karachi. Pakistan denies that he was in the country.”,”timeline__element_33-header”:”Nato ends combat operations”,”timeline__element_33-date”:”28 December 2014″,”text_34-value”:”At a ceremony in Kabul, Nato ends its combat operations in Afghanistan. With the surge now over, the US withdraws thousands of troops.  Most of those who remain focus on training and supporting the Afghan security forces.”,”timeline__element_35-header”:”Taliban resurgence”,”timeline__element_35-date”:”2015″,”text_36-value”:”The Taliban launch a series of suicide attacks, car bombings and other assaults. The parliament building in Kabul, and the city of Kunduz are attacked. Islamic State militants begin operations in Afghanistan.”,”figure_37-caption”:”Kabul’s international airport is struck on 10 August 2015″,”figure_37-attribution”:”Getty”,”figure_37-src”:”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/10210/production/_119146066_gettyimages-flames.jpg”,”timeline__element_38-header”:”Death toll announcement”,”timeline__element_38-date”:”25 January 2019″,”text_39-value”:”Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says more than 45,000 members of his country’s security forces have been killed since he became leader in 2014. The figure is far higher than previously thought.”,”timeline__element_40-header”:”US signs deal with Taliban”,”timeline__element_40-date”:”29 February 2020″,”text_41-value”:”The US and the Taliban sign an “agreement for bringing peace” to Afghanistan, in Doha, Qatar. The US and Nato allies agree to withdraw all troops within 14 months if the militants uphold the deal.”,”figure_42-caption”:”The deal lays out a timetable for full withdrawal”,”figure_42-attribution”:”Getty”,”figure_42-src”:”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/DB00/production/_119146065_gettyimages_qatar.jpg”,”timeline__element_43-header”:”Date for final withdrawal”,”timeline__element_43-date”:”11 September 2021″,”text_44-value”:”US forces are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by 11 September 2021, exactly 20 years since 9/11. 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Two are flown into the World Trade Centre in New York, which collapses. One hits the Pentagon building in Washington, and one crashes into a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people are killed.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=”timeline”>n u003cdiv class=”timeline__indicator”>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=”timeline__header”>n First air strikesn u003c/h3>n u003cp class=”timeline__date”>n u003ctime>7 October 2001u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>A US-led coalition bombs Taliban and al-Qaeda facilities in Afghanistan. Targets include Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad.u003c/p>n n n n u003cp>The Taliban, who took power after a decade-long Soviet occupation was followed by civil war, refuse to hand over Bin Laden. Their air defences and small fleet of fighter aircraft are destroyed.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=”timeline”>n u003cdiv class=”timeline__indicator”>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=”timeline__header”>n u003cstrong> u003c/strong>Fall of Kabuln u003c/h3>n u003cp class=”timeline__date”>n u003ctime>13 November 2001u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>The Northern Alliance, a group of anti-Taliban rebels backed by coalition forces, enters Kabul as the Taliban flee the city.u003c/p>n n n n u003cfigure class=”figure”>n u003cpicture>n u003cimg class=”figure__img”n src=”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/3DEE/production/_119145851_gettyimages_na.jpg??v=1.0.202107090622.202107090623″n alt=”Coalition-backed Northern Alliance fighters ride tanks into Kabul as the Taliban retreat” />n u003c/picture>n u003cfigcaption class=”figure__figcaption gel-brevier” >n u003cspan class=”off-screen”>Image captionu003c/span> Coalition-backed Northern Alliance fighters ride tanks into Kabul as the Taliban retreatn u003cspan class=”figure__attribution”>n u003cspan class=”off-screen”>Image copyright byu003c/span> Gettyn u003c/span>n u003c/figcaption>n u003c/figure>n n n n u003cp>By the 13 November 2001, all Taliban have either fled or been neutralised. Other cities quickly fall.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=”timeline”>n u003cdiv class=”timeline__indicator”>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=”timeline__header”>n u003cstrong> u003c/strong>New constitutionn u003c/h3>n u003cp class=”timeline__date”>n u003ctime>26 January 2004u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>After protracted negotiations at a “loya jirga” or grand assembly, the new Afghan constitution is signed into law. The constitution paves the way for presidential elections in October 2004.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=”timeline”>n u003cdiv class=”timeline__indicator”>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=”timeline__header”>n Hamid Karzai becomes presidentn u003c/h3>n u003cp class=”timeline__date”>n u003ctime>7 December 2004u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cfigure class=”figure”>n u003cpicture>n u003cimg class=”figure__img”n src=”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/8C0E/production/_119145853_gettyimages_karzai.jpg??v=1.0.202107090622.202107090623″n alt=”Hamid Karzai led anti-Taliban groups around Kandahar before becoming president” />n u003c/picture>n u003cfigcaption class=”figure__figcaption gel-brevier” >n u003cspan class=”off-screen”>Image captionu003c/span> Hamid Karzai led anti-Taliban groups around Kandahar before becoming presidentn u003cspan class=”figure__attribution”>n u003cspan class=”off-screen”>Image copyright byu003c/span> Gettyn u003c/span>n u003c/figcaption>n u003c/figure>n n n n u003cp>Hamid Karzai, the leader of the Popalzai Durrani tribe, becomes the first president under the new constitution. He serves two five-year terms as president.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=”timeline”>n u003cdiv class=”timeline__indicator”>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=”timeline__header”>n UK troops deployed to Helmandn u003c/h3>n u003cp class=”timeline__date”>n u003ctime>May 2006u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>British troops arrive in Helmand province, a Taliban stronghold in the south of the country.u003c/p>n n n n u003cfigure class=”figure”>n u003cpicture>n u003cimg class=”figure__img”n src=”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/B31E/production/_119145854_gettyimages-154419188.jpg??v=1.0.202107090622.202107090623″n alt=”Soldiers of the Parachute Regiment lead the first UK deployment to Helmand” />n u003c/picture>n u003cfigcaption class=”figure__figcaption gel-brevier” >n u003cspan class=”off-screen”>Image captionu003c/span> Soldiers of the Parachute Regiment lead the first UK deployment to Helmandn u003cspan class=”figure__attribution”>n u003cspan class=”off-screen”>Image copyright byu003c/span> Gettyn u003c/span>n u003c/figcaption>n u003c/figure>n n n n u003cp>Their initial mission is to support reconstruction projects, but they are quickly drawn into combat operations. More than 450 British troops lose their lives in Afghanistan over the course of the conflict.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=”timeline”>n u003cdiv class=”timeline__indicator”>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=”timeline__header”>n Obama’s surgen u003c/h3>n u003cp class=”timeline__date”>n u003ctime>17 February 2009u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>US President Barack Obama approves a major increase in the number of troops sent to Afghanistan. At their peak, they number about 140,000.u003c/p>n n n n u003cfigure class=”figure”>n u003cpicture>n u003cimg class=”figure__img”n src=”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/DA2E/production/_119145855_gettyimages_surge.jpg??v=1.0.202107090622.202107090623″n alt=”US troops in intense combat operations in the south of the country” />n u003c/picture>n u003cfigcaption class=”figure__figcaption gel-brevier” >n u003cspan class=”off-screen”>Image captionu003c/span> US troops in intense combat operations in the south of the countryn u003cspan class=”figure__attribution”>n u003cspan class=”off-screen”>Image copyright byu003c/span> Gettyn u003c/span>n u003c/figcaption>n u003c/figure>n n n n u003cp>The so-called “surge” is modelled on US strategy in Iraq where US forces focussed on protecting the civilian population as well as killing insurgent fighters.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=”timeline”>n u003cdiv class=”timeline__indicator”>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=”timeline__header”>n Osama Bin Laden killedn u003c/h3>n u003cp class=”timeline__date”>n u003ctime>2 May 2011u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cfigure class=”figure”>n u003cpicture>n u003cimg class=”figure__img”n src=”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/1013E/production/_119145856_obl_gettypng.png??v=1.0.202107090622.202107090623″n alt=”Bin Laden is traced to a compound located less than a mile from a Pakistani military academy” />n u003c/picture>n u003cfigcaption class=”figure__figcaption gel-brevier” >n u003cspan class=”off-screen”>Image captionu003c/span> Bin Laden is traced to a compound located less than a mile from a Pakistani military academyn u003cspan class=”figure__attribution”>n u003cspan class=”off-screen”>Image copyright byu003c/span> Gettyn u003c/span>n u003c/figcaption>n u003c/figure>n n n n u003cp>The leader of al-Qaeda is killed in an assault by US Navy Seals on a compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan. Bin Laden’s body is removed and buried at sea. The operation ends a 10-year hunt led by the CIA.  The confirmation that Bin Laden had been living on Pakistani soil fuels accusations in the US that Pakistan is an unreliable ally in the war on terror.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=”timeline”>n u003cdiv class=”timeline__indicator”>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=”timeline__header”>n Death of Mullah Omarn u003c/h3>n u003cp class=”timeline__date”>n u003ctime>23 April 2013u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>The founder of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Omar, dies. His death is kept secret for more than two years.u003c/p>n n n n u003cfigure class=”figure”>n u003cpicture>n u003cimg class=”figure__img”n src=”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/1284E/production/_119145857_omar_epa_2.png??v=1.0.202107090622.202107090623″n alt=”The Taliban leader is believed to have suffered a shrapnel wound to his right eye in the 1980s” />n u003c/picture>n u003cfigcaption class=”figure__figcaption gel-brevier” >n u003cspan class=”off-screen”>Image captionu003c/span> The Taliban leader is believed to have suffered a shrapnel wound to his right eye in the 1980sn u003cspan class=”figure__attribution”>n u003cspan class=”off-screen”>Image copyright byu003c/span> EPAn u003c/span>n u003c/figcaption>n u003c/figure>n n n n u003cp>According to Afghan intelligence, Mullah Omar dies of health problems at a hospital in the Pakistani city of Karachi. Pakistan denies that he was in the country.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=”timeline”>n u003cdiv class=”timeline__indicator”>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=”timeline__header”>n Nato ends combat operationsn u003c/h3>n u003cp class=”timeline__date”>n u003ctime>28 December 2014u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>At a ceremony in Kabul, Nato ends its combat operations in Afghanistan. With the surge now over, the US withdraws thousands of troops.  Most of those who remain focus on training and supporting the Afghan security forces.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=”timeline”>n u003cdiv class=”timeline__indicator”>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=”timeline__header”>n Taliban resurgencen u003c/h3>n u003cp class=”timeline__date”>n u003ctime>2015u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>The Taliban launch a series of suicide attacks, car bombings and other assaults. The parliament building in Kabul, and the city of Kunduz are attacked. Islamic State militants begin operations in Afghanistan.u003c/p>n n n n u003cfigure class=”figure”>n u003cpicture>n u003cimg class=”figure__img”n src=”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/10210/production/_119146066_gettyimages-flames.jpg??v=1.0.202107090622.202107090623″n alt=”Kabul’s international airport is struck on 10 August 2015″ />n u003c/picture>n u003cfigcaption class=”figure__figcaption gel-brevier” >n u003cspan class=”off-screen”>Image captionu003c/span> Kabul’s international airport is struck on 10 August 2015n u003cspan class=”figure__attribution”>n u003cspan class=”off-screen”>Image copyright byu003c/span> Gettyn u003c/span>n u003c/figcaption>n u003c/figure>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=”timeline”>n u003cdiv class=”timeline__indicator”>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=”timeline__header”>n Death toll announcementn u003c/h3>n u003cp class=”timeline__date”>n u003ctime>25 January 2019u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says more than 45,000 members of his country’s security forces have been killed since he became leader in 2014. The figure is far higher than previously thought.u003c/p>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=”timeline”>n u003cdiv class=”timeline__indicator”>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=”timeline__header”>n US signs deal with Talibann u003c/h3>n u003cp class=”timeline__date”>n u003ctime>29 February 2020u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>The US and the Taliban sign an “agreement for bringing peace” to Afghanistan, in Doha, Qatar. The US and Nato allies agree to withdraw all troops within 14 months if the militants uphold the deal.u003c/p>n n n n u003cfigure class=”figure”>n u003cpicture>n u003cimg class=”figure__img”n src=”https://c.files.bbci.co.uk/DB00/production/_119146065_gettyimages_qatar.jpg??v=1.0.202107090622.202107090623″n alt=”The deal lays out a timetable for full withdrawal” />n u003c/picture>n u003cfigcaption class=”figure__figcaption gel-brevier” >n u003cspan class=”off-screen”>Image captionu003c/span> The deal lays out a timetable for full withdrawaln u003cspan class=”figure__attribution”>n u003cspan class=”off-screen”>Image copyright byu003c/span> Gettyn u003c/span>n u003c/figcaption>n u003c/figure>n n n u003c/div>n n u003cdiv class=”timeline”>n u003cdiv class=”timeline__indicator”>n u003c/div>n u003ch3 class=”timeline__header”>n Date for final withdrawaln u003c/h3>n u003cp class=”timeline__date”>n u003ctime>11 September 2021u003c/time>n u003c/p>n n u003cp>US forces are scheduled to withdraw from Afghanistan by 11 September 2021, exactly 20 years since 9/11. 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Haiti Live News Updates: Call for U.S. Forces Follows Assassination of President https://austerlitz2005.com/haiti-live-news-updates-call-for-u-s-forces-follows-assassination-of-president/ https://austerlitz2005.com/haiti-live-news-updates-call-for-u-s-forces-follows-assassination-of-president/#respond Sat, 10 Jul 2021 21:10:06 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/?p=728 Here’s what you need to know: U.S. Marines patrolling outside Haiti’s presidential palace in Port-au-Prince in 2004.Credit…Yuri Cortez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Intellectuals and members of Haiti’s civil society quickly criticized a call by Haitian officials for the United States to send in troops, citing earlier interventions by foreign powers and international organizations that further […]]]>


Credit…Yuri Cortez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Intellectuals and members of Haiti’s civil society quickly criticized a call by Haitian officials for the United States to send in troops, citing earlier interventions by foreign powers and international organizations that further destabilized Haiti and left a trail of abuses.

“We do not want any U.S. troops on Haiti’s soil,” Monique Clesca, a Haitian pro-democracy activist and former United Nations official, said in a post Friday on Twitter. “The de facto prime minister Claude Joseph does not have any legitimacy to make such a request in our name. No, No & No.”

Many in Haiti had argued that President Jovenel Moïse was no longer legitimately in office at the time of his assassination this week. Mr. Joseph, who said that he was in charge after the killing of Mr. Moïse, has also faced widespread criticism after taking over the country on Tuesday.

Yet, despite the sudden uncertainty brought by Mr. Moïse’s assassination, some residents and intellectuals argue the many questions raised by his killing give them a long-awaited opportunity to reform Haiti’s institutions.

“We never have a chance to figure out the rules of the game ourselves,” said Melodie Cerin, a resident of Port-au-Prince and the co-editor of Woy Magazine, an online publication. “That’s what’s most frustrating to Haitians. We’re put aside each time we’re trying step up.”

A senior Biden administration official said on Friday that there were no plans to provide U.S. military assistance at the moment — and regardless, Haitians have argued that they need to find a solution to the country’s instability on their own.

Operations by outside powers like the United States, and by international organizations like the United Nations, have often added to the instability, they say.

“The solution to the crisis must be Haitian,” said André Michel, a human rights lawyer and opposition leader, calling for a broader institutional debate that would gather politicians, Haiti’s civil society and its diaspora.

Many have also argued that a foreign intervention would simply not work.

“It’s like coming back with a toolbox, but the box has the wrong tools in it,” Ms. Clesca said in a telephone interview. “What needs to be in the toolbox are voices from Haiti.”

Some criticism has focused on the contested legacy of a U.N. peacekeeping mission that intervened in Haiti from 2004 to 2017. Peacekeepers brought cholera to the country, and numerous instances of rape and sexual abuse, including of girls as young as 11, have been documented.

“This is outrageous,” Marlene Daut, a professor of American and African diaspora studies at the University of Virginia, said this week in response to a Washington Post editorial that called for a new international peacekeeping force in Haiti. The editorial described the previous U.N. peacekeeping mission as having brought “a modicum of stability.”

Ms. Clesca said the United Nations now had a disastrous reputation in Haiti. “One needs to be coherent, the United Nations’s nickname is ‘cholera’ or ‘Minustah babies,’” Ms. Clesca said, a reference to the French acronym for the peacekeeping operation in Haiti.

For others, their opposition has been rooted in the way in which the killing of Mr. Moïse has echoed events of the past. “The last U.S. occupation was preceded by the assassination of another Haitian president, under the guise of wanting to restore order, similar to what is happening now,” Woy Magazine wrote in a newsletter this week, alluding to the 1915 assassination of Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam. The United States then occupied Haiti until 1934.

“What followed,” Woy Magazine’s Valérie Jean-Charles wrote, “was years of weakening of Haitian institutions and the senseless killings of many Haitians.”

The late President Jovenel Moïse, right, with Senate President Joseph Lambert during a ceremony in 2018. Mr. Lambert is the preferred candidate of the remaining legislators to take over as interim president.
Credit…Hector Retamal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The political fault lines in Haiti had been drawn long before President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated this week. For more than a year, the president had been attacking his political rivals, dismantling the nation’s democratic institutions and making enemies of church and gang leaders alike.

Now, days after the killing, a power struggle has burst into the open, with the interim prime minister claiming to run the country despite open challenges by other politicians.

As the fight over who inherits the reins of government plays out in public, analysts say a much more complex — and far less visible — battle for power is picking up speed. It is a fight waged by some of Haiti’s richest and most well-connected kingmakers, eager for the approval of the United States.

How it will all play out is unclear.

Elections have been planned for September, but many civil society groups in Haiti worry that holding them would only sharpen the political crisis. They question whether it would even be feasible to hold legitimate elections given how weak the nation’s institutions have become, and some civil society leaders were expected to meet Saturday to try to devise a new path forward.

Many fear that Haitians themselves may not have much of a say in the matter.

“This whole system is founded on the idea that legitimacy is determined by outside factors,” said Jake Johnston, a senior research associate at the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research. “So while politicians in Port-au-Prince fight for power, the rest of the country will continue to be ignored.”

The first to assert the right to lead the nation was the interim prime minister, Claude Joseph, who called a state of siege immediately after the attack and has spent the past several days trying to parlay words of support from the United States into the appearance of a mandate to govern. But his legitimacy has been directly challenged by the country’s last remaining elected officials, who are trying to form a new transitional government to replace him.

Eight of the 10 remaining senators in Haiti signed a resolution calling for a new government to oust Mr. Joseph. As “the only functioning elected officials of the republic,” they wrote, they were the only ones who could “exercise national sovereignty.”

The lawmakers declared that Senate President Joseph Lambert should become provisional president and that Mr. Joseph should be replaced as prime minister by Ariel Henry, a neurosurgeon and politician who was named by President Jovenel Moïse to take the position but not sworn in before the assassination. The lawmakers’ proposal was backed by a group of opposition parties and civil society leaders, signaling a broader upswell against the sitting government.

On Saturday, Mr. Lambert tweeted that a swearing-in ceremony had been postponed so that all senators could participate. “There is an urgent need to rebuild hope in our country,” he said on Twitter.

The others jockeying for control, behind the scenes, include Michel Martelly, the former Haitian president, and Reginald Boulos, a prominent businessman. Both have been testing the waters in Washington recently as they explore potential bids for the presidency.

In May, Mr. Boulos, one of Haiti’s richest men and a former ally of Mr. Moïse, hired two U.S. lobbying firms to represent him. And this month, according to a federal filing, Mr. Boulos retained another firm run by Arthur Estopinan, a lobbyist who served as the chief of staff for U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Duberney Capador, one of the Colombians killed in Haiti after the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse.
Credit…Yenni Carolina Capador

The sister of the one of the Colombians accused in the plot to assassinate President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti said he told her that he had not gone to Haiti to kill anyone — but rather had traveled to the Caribbean nation after receiving a job offer to protect a “very important person.”

His message came shortly before he died himself in the bloody aftermath of the assassination, one of three people killed in confrontations with the authorities.

In an interview, Yenny Carolina Capador, 37, said that her brother, Duberney Capador, 40, was a 20-year veteran of the Colombian military who spent years fighting Colombia’s left-wing guerrillas. He had retired in 2019 and was living on a family farm with his mother. He had two children.

“What I am 100 percent sure of is that my brother was not doing what they are saying, that he was hurting someone,” Ms. Capador said. “I know that my brother went to take care of someone. Because my brother was a very loyal man, a man with many values. I know it.”

Mr. Capador arrived in Haiti in May, his sister said, after receiving a job offer from a security company. Ms. Capador did not know the name of the company, but her brother soon sent her a picture from Haiti in which he wore a dark uniform embroidered with the letters “CTU.” His dream was to save money to improve the family farm, and to fund his children’s education, she said.

The siblings spoke often, and Mr. Capador said that he was spending his days training with others at a country house. On Monday, he sent her pictures of a group barbecue.

Then, early Wednesday, a deadly attack on the Haitian president was launched.

A few hours later, around 6 a.m., Ms. Capador began receiving calls and texts from her brother, she said. He told her that he was in danger, holed up in a home with bullets flying around him. At times, Ms. Capador could hear the gunfire in the background.

Ms. Capador said her brother told her nothing about an assassination, and instead told her that he had arrived “too late” to save the “important person” he claimed he was hired to protect.

Credit…Yenni Carolina Capador

According to Mr. Capador, she said, “they arrived half an hour after the man had died.”

The siblings exchanged messages all day long, and he begged her not to tell their mother that he was in danger.

“God bless you,” Ms. Capador wrote in a text message on Wednesday evening.

“Amen,” he wrote back at 5:51 p.m.

She never heard from him again.

Saint-Pierre’s Square in the Pétionville suburb of Port-au-Prince. President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated at his home in Pétionville.
Credit…Harold Isaac

Harold Isaac is a freelance Haitian-Canadian journalist based in Pétionville, Haiti. His account of life after the assassination was told to Dan Bilefsky, Canada correspondent for The New York Times.

Pétionville, a leafy and affluent suburb of the Haitian capital, has been a refuge of relative stability since my country descended into its latest spasm of chaos.

It is a place of handsome gated homes and boutique hotels, where I felt I could order sushi at my favorite restaurant or take my kids to school without needing to worry about the violence that plagues other parts of Haiti.

But the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse brutally changed all that.

I had a beer with friends on Tuesday evening at an Italian restaurant near my home in Pétionville before heading home. Hours later, at around 1:30 a.m., the fragile veneer of normalcy in Haiti’s most rarefied suburb shattered. The area was shaken by the sound of explosions and heavy gunfire.

We soon heard that dozens of men had marched toward the president’s mansion, about a mile from my home. By 5 a.m., people across my neighborhood had their radios blaring. I received a frantic call from my wife, asking if I had heard the news. She was on a trip to Miami at the time.

Founded in 1831, Pétionville was named after Alexandre Sabès Pétion, a general and a founding father of Haiti who was one of the first Haitian officers to revolt against France’s repressive rule in its slave colony, helping to clear the way for Haiti’s independence in 1804. A hilly suburb of roughly 400,000 people, Pétionville has long felt to me like Haiti’s version of the Green Zone in Iraq, minus the checkpoints and American military presence.

Since I moved back to Haiti from Montreal in 2015 at the age of 33, it has been the place where I feel most at home. Here, I could buy cherries at my favorite market or order my daily caramel frappé at Marie Beliard, a famous pâtisserie on rue Faubert, without needing to worry that armed gangs could attack me or that I could be kidnapped. Those threats have become woefully commonplace in other neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince.

Credit…Harold Isaac

The location of the president’s residence in Pétionville also helped create a sense of security, however precarious, because there were often 100 officers from the presidential guard stationed around the president’s home.

At the same time, his house was also a mystery to many Haitians, including me.

The National Palace that served as the residence of Haitian presidents for nearly half a century was severely damaged in the 2010 earthquake that claimed about 250,000 Haitian lives, and subsequent Haitian presidents have since lived in their own private homes, often away from prying eyes.

Mr. Moïse, whose contested presidency had spawned massive protests against corruption and lawlessness, was discreet about his home’s location, making the organized choreography of the assassination in Pétionville hard for me and other residents to fathom. Such was the mystery of his house that, in the past, many protesters couldn’t find his residence and were turned away by police as they searched.

Since the president was killed, our sense of security in “PV,” as my friends and I refer to it, has felt more ephemeral than ever. For the first few days after the killing, many residents stayed home, afraid to go out for fear of violence.

On Saturday afternoon, however, things had returned to normal, or so it seemed. Shops were open and streets were clogged with weekend traffic and vendors selling clothes, electronic appliances and vegetables. People were out shopping in the 90-degree heat.

While somewhat jittery, I am gearing up to go back to my favorite fruit market on rue Pinchinat for cherries, though I’ll remain ensconced in my car. As in other areas of Haiti, it can be too dangerous to walk the streets, and middle class residents often use their cars as protective cocoons.

Since the events of the past week, my beloved Pétionville doesn’t quite feel the same. It is a suburb still in shock. But we Haitians always bounce back because death here is unfortunately part of life. And Pétionville will bounce back, too.

This waterfront villa in Quebec has emerged as a symbol of one of the biggest grievances of many Haitians.
Credit…Nasuna Stuart-Ulin for The New York Times

Rony Célestin is one of the few lawmakers left in Haiti, a close ally of the assassinated president who has kept his seat while the country’s democratic institutions have been whittled away.

As one of only 10 remaining members in all of Haiti’s Parliament, Mr. Célestin, a swaggering figure who styles himself as a self-made multimillionaire, belongs to a tiny circle of leaders with the legal authority to steer the nation out of crisis now that the president is dead.

But to many Haitians, Mr. Célestin is also a symbol of one of their biggest grievances: a governing class that enriches itself while so many go hungry.

In recent months, Mr. Célestin has been parrying accusations of corruption from Haitian activists over his purchase of a mansion almost 2,000 miles away in Canada.

The $3.4 million villa, with its 10-car garage, home cinema and swimming pool overlooking a lake, was among the most expensive homes ever sold in one of Quebec’s most affluent neighborhoods, and the purchase set off a corruption investigation into Mr. Célestin by officials in Haiti.

Mr. Célestin vehemently denies any wrongdoing, describing himself as a savvy entrepreneur whose success and donations to the election campaign of the assassinated president, Jovenel Moïse, have afforded him a variety of privileges, including the ability to pay for the villa and get his wife a job at the Haitian consulate in Montreal.

But The New York Times found little or no indication in Haiti of the thriving businesses that Mr. Célestin cites as the source of his great wealth. Some appear to operate on a much smaller scale than he claimed, if at all in some cases.

A polling station in Port-au-Prince in 2016.
Credit…Hector Retamal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Even before the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse this past week, Haiti was already in the grips of a political crisis, divided over the legitimacy of Mr. Moïse’s continuing term and over efforts to hold a presidential election this year.

Some other countries and international organizations including the United States, the Organization of American States and the United Nations had supported Mr. Moïse’s bid to remain in office until new elections could be held.

This past week, they reaffirmed their backing for elections scheduled for September. But much of Haiti’s civil society believes that the country is not ready to take that step, even though many argue that Mr. Moïse’s term had expired and that he should have left his office.

Mr. Moïse was elected president for a five-year term in 2016, and opposition parties and many members of civil society say that his term should have come to an end early this year. He had argued that his term should end in 2022, because he was sworn in February 2017.

Yet many contend that the country’s present institutions are too weak and that the election of a new president would perpetuate the systemic challenges it faces. Haiti currently has no functioning Parliament, and only 10 of its Senate’s 30 seats are filled.

One group of civil society members planned to meet on Saturday to try to figure out a way forward, with a focus on overhauling the Constitution while a large coalition would temporarily run the country. Another group has called for Joseph Lambert, the head of the Senate, to take over as president.

Jacky Lumarque, the rector of Quisqueya University, a large private university in Port-au-Prince, offered several reasons for putting the election on hold: Campaigning in the city would be unfeasible because of gang violence; many voters have yet to receive the identification cards required for casting a ballot; and Haiti’s highest court has not recognized a committee that Mr. Moïse appointed to organize elections.

“If we are not careful, the country will be plunged into political chaos with the help of the international community,” Mr. Lumarque said.

Melodie Cerin, a resident of Port-au-Prince who is a co-editor of Woy Magazine, an online publication, said Haitians needed time to figure out what should come next.

“We’ve spent the past four years contesting the legitimacy of P.H.T.K.,” she said of Mr. Moïse’s party. “The answer would be new elections, which would reinforce this very same party: What for?”

Ms. Cerin added that a broader debate about the country’s future should gather the religious community, the private sector, the government and other members of the public. “It isn’t clear who is supposed to be leading the country,” she said, “but it’s time to discuss between ourselves.”

Some outside observers have echoed the concerns of Haitian civil society. Peter Mulrean, a former U.S. ambassador to the Caribbean nation, supported calls within the country to revise the Constitution and the electoral process before any elections are organized.

“This is one of the most severe crises we have faced,” Mr. Lumarque said. “We have never been in such a serious case of institutional dismantling.”

Haitians gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince on Friday, hoping to be granted visas to leave the country.
Credit…Estailove St-Val/Reuters

United States and Colombian officials say they will work with Haiti to understand the origins of a complicated plot that left Haiti’s president dead and the country in chaos even as Haitian investigators confront questions emerging closer to home.

Of the at least 20 people detained so far in the investigation into the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse this past week, 18 have been identified as Colombians and two as Haitian Americans. Five suspects are still being sought.

At least 13 men said to be involved in the plot had served in the Colombian military, Colombian officials confirmed on Friday. They said two of the men had been killed in the aftermath of the assassination.

Haitian officials have emphasized foreign involvement in the plot, but U.S. officials and many observers within Haiti are increasingly questioning whether the attack was planned with the cooperation of the nation’s own security apparatus.

The Haitian authorities have summoned four of the president’s chief bodyguards for questioning next week as investigators try to unravel how armed assassins could have breached the heavy security presence outside Mr. Moise’s residence without encountering much resistance. Prosecutors have also directed five top businessmen and politicians — all perceived rivals of Mr. Moïse — to report for questioning.

In Washington, administration officials said that F.B.I. and Department of Homeland Security officials would go to Port-au-Prince, the capital, to assess how to help. Haiti has also requested U.S. military assistance, but a senior administration official said there were no plans to provide that.

Gen. Jorge Luis Vargas, the head of Colombia’s national police force, said that officials there were investigating four businesses that they believe recruited Colombians for the operation. Investigators, he said, were using the businesses’ Colombian tax numbers to learn more.

In an interview with a local radio station, a woman who identified herself as the wife of one of the detained Colombians said he had left home one day after telling her that he had “a very good job opportunity.”

Colombian officials said that some of the accused people had left Bogotá as early as May and flown to Panama before traveling to the Dominican Republic and then to Haiti. Others arrived in the Dominican Republican in early June and then traveled to Haiti.

The two detained Haitian Americans said in an interview with a Haitian judge that they had worked only as interpreters for the hit squad, the judge said in an interview.

The judge, Clément Noël, who is involved in the investigation, said the two men had maintained that the plot was planned intensively for a month. He said that they had met with other members of the squad at an upscale hotel in the Pétionville suburb of Port-au-Prince to plan the attack. The goal was not to kill the president, they said, but to bring him to the national palace.

As the investigation has broadened, the crisis over the country’s political succession has deepened. An opposition senator on Friday accused the country’s interim prime minister, Claude Joseph, of having instigated a coup by claiming national authority after Mr. Moïse’s assassination.

The political chaos has caused large crowds to gather at the gates of the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, with many responding to rumors on social media that the United States would be giving out humanitarian and asylum visas.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamina Johnson-Smith of Jamaica, left, with her country’s prime minister, Andrew Holness. Haiti, she said, was seeing “another level to the crisis.”
Credit…Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Caribbean nations say they are willing to help Haiti in its electoral crisis after the assassination of the country’s president, Jovenel Moïse.

In a statement this week, the heads of government of the Caribbean organization known as Caricom said they were willing to “play a lead role in facilitating a process of national dialogue and negotiation to help the Haitian people and their institutions to craft an indigenous solution to the crisis.”

Caricom leaders urged Haitians to stay calm during the power struggle set off by Mr. Moïse’s assassination and “to overcome their differences and unite at this moment of national peril.”

In a statement to the Jamaican Senate on Friday, Senator Kamina Johnson-Smith, who is the minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, said that Caricom has been trying to help Haiti amid its electoral crisis, the seeds of which were planted more than a year ago.

“The assassination of the president has precipitated another level to the crisis and heads of government have expressed that calm and security are paramount at this time,” Ms. Johnson-Smith said. “We continue to monitor the developments and remain willing to render assistance as we are able.”

In a statement this week, the Organization of American States, which is working with Caricom and the United Nations to offer assistance, said the assassination of Mr. Moïse was “an affront to the entire community of democratic nations.”

“We call for an end to a form of politics that threatens to derail democratic advances and the future of the country,” the organization said.

Caricom member states flew their flags at half-staff for three days after the death of Mr. Moïse, and they will do so on the day of his funeral, which has yet to be determined.

U.S. Marines guarding Haitians outside Port-au-Prince in February 1920. In 1915, President Woodrow Wilson sent the Marines to protect U.S. interests after the assassination of the Haitian president.
Credit…Bettmann, via Getty Images

The Haitian government’s extraordinary request for U.S. forces to help stabilize the country in the aftermath of the assassination of its president this past week carries haunting vestiges from American military interventions that happened more than a century ago.

Back then, the United States dispatched forces without an invitation from Haiti. The American government was motivated by Haiti’s internal turmoil and a willingness to meddle in the affairs of neighbors to protect its own interests under the Monroe Doctrine.

In 1915, President Woodrow Wilson sent the Marines into Haiti, calling the invasion a justifiable response to avert anarchy after a mob assassinated Haiti’s president, Jean Vilbrun Guillaume Sam. The American military stayed for nearly two decades.

But even before that, Mr. Wilson saw fit to take military action in Haiti, worried about what his administration saw as the growing influence of Germany there, according to a historical page about the U.S. interventions on the State Department archive website.

In 1914, his administration sent in Marines who removed $500,000 from the Haitian National Bank for what the administration called “safekeeping” in New York, giving the United States control of the bank, the website said.

Eighty years later, President Bill Clinton ordered more than 23,000 U.S. troops sent to Haiti in what was termed “Operation Restore Democracy,” aimed at ensuring a transition that would return the ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power.

In 2004, President George W. Bush sent in the Marines as part of an “interim international force” after Mr. Aristide resigned under intense U.S. pressure.

Haitians gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince on Friday, hoping to be granted visas to leave the country as the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse this week heightened an uncertain and volatile situation in the country.





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The threat of Chinese invasion of Taiwan is growing every day. What the US can do to stop it. https://austerlitz2005.com/the-threat-of-chinese-invasion-of-taiwan-is-growing-every-day-what-the-us-can-do-to-stop-it/ https://austerlitz2005.com/the-threat-of-chinese-invasion-of-taiwan-is-growing-every-day-what-the-us-can-do-to-stop-it/#respond Fri, 09 Jul 2021 17:24:00 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/the-threat-of-chinese-invasion-of-taiwan-is-growing-every-day-what-the-us-can-do-to-stop-it/ In his speech last week on the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, Chairman Xi Jinping announced that China has never harassed or oppressed the people of any other country. But that is exactly what Beijing is doing to Taiwan, and its growing aggression towards the democratic island raises concerns that it will attempt […]]]>


In his speech last week on the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, Chairman Xi Jinping announced that China has never harassed or oppressed the people of any other country. But that is exactly what Beijing is doing to Taiwan, and its growing aggression towards the democratic island raises concerns that it will attempt to take it by force.

The question is not whether the United States should defend Taiwan at war, but how to prevent war in the first place. Now is the time to strengthen US-Taiwan security cooperation.

For years, world leaders have been reluctant to respond to China’s military aggression in the region. But Beijing’s escalating rhetoric and military developments are pushing Washington and its allies to work together in unprecedented ways, such as joint US-Japanese military planning for a conflict with China over Taiwan. It was only on Monday that Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso declared that “Japan and the US must jointly defend Taiwan” in the event of an attack on Taiwan.

“Forcibly unite Taiwan” as a Chinese policy has existed since Chairman Mao Zedong coined the term. Although the outbreak of the Korean War saved Taiwan from such a fate at the time, China’s unfulfilled aspirations continue to haunt the Communist Party. In recent years, Xi has linked the annexation of Taiwan, which separated from mainland China in the midst of civil war in 1949, with his “China dream” of the “great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation”. In the eyes of the Communist Party elites, the unification of Taiwan is the last step in making China great again.

The Communist Party now controls Asia’s most powerful military, the People’s Liberation Army, and Beijing’s growing urgency to annex Taiwan is reflected in major changes in its military stance. Beijing recognizes that the United States is the main obstacle to its conquest of Taiwan and has shifted its armed forces to deliberately offset the US’s operational advantages in the Pacific. To this end, the Chinese military has developed anti-ship ballistic missiles, assault submarines, and a range of air and naval platforms to carry out saturation attacks to overwhelm enemies, all of which are backed by space-based systems that make it more integrated and make it deadlier.

Taken together, China’s rise as a military competitor to the United States presents Washington’s greatest strategic challenge. The pace and intensity of China’s military modernization seem to have taken American leaders by surprise. This is perhaps less due to Beijing’s mastery of hiding its efforts than to Washington’s smug neglect of the Communist Party’s ambitious pursuit of national rejuvenation as a means of challenging the American-led post-Cold War world order.

In this environment, it is impossible to predict exactly when China might attempt a full-scale invasion of Taiwan. Given the complexity involved, even Xi may not have a definitive schedule. However, the existence of a significant military imbalance between China and Taiwan – with the far more powerful side intent on bringing the other under political rule – increases the possibility and temptation of war.

What is certain is that the Communist Party is already taking action against Taiwan. For years it has deliberately and gradually carried out military provocations below the threshold of armed conflict with the aim of restricting the freedom of action of Taiwan’s military while at the same time intimidating its people. These operations have presented Taiwanese leaders with significant challenges.

Such sub-conflict operations, known as aggression in the gray area, include frequent airspace attacks by People’s Liberation Army fighter jets, demonstrations of force by Chinese warships in Taiwan, cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns aimed at demoralizing Taiwan’s society and popular support for the Taipei government to undermine.

An escalation without an all-out war is soon conceivable. The exchange of fire between Chinese and Taiwanese armed forces, small-scale missile attacks and the Chinese occupation of the outer islands of Taiwan are possible. Should Xi’s bid for a third term at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China fail in 2022 due to internal resistance, a military crackdown on Taiwan could give its credentials both as a champion of China’s great rise and as a strong leader who can withstand it. underpin America’s so-called hegemonic powers.

All-out war is unlikely to occur in the near future, however, as the People’s Liberation Army has yet to resolve significant operational issues in order to launch an amphibious invasion of Taiwan. But the Communist Party has announced that the military will be a fully modernized force by 2027, which could be the time China sees an opportunity for a full-scale invasion of Taiwan. Factors that could lead Beijing into such military adventures include the US’s reduced deterrence and Taiwan’s continued failure to implement major military reforms.

To deter this potential conflict, the United States and Taiwan must create uncertainty in the minds of Chinese government elites while credibly demonstrating that they can impose unacceptable costs should Beijing choose to conflict. This means that Taiwan must rapidly strengthen short-term combat capabilities and defense readiness based on asymmetric warfare.

This could be achieved by fully implementing and institutionalizing the force modernization priorities prescribed in Taiwan’s Total Defense Concept, which the US government strongly supports as it would effectively allocate Taiwan’s limited resources to systems that directly improve its defense strategy. The ODC aims to maximize Taiwan’s combat capabilities in order to survive a Chinese attack, disrupt the flow of Chinese operations, and deny the effectiveness of its military mission. Taiwan’s defense procurement should focus on systems that are inexpensive, affordable in large numbers, mobile, viable, and lethal.

For its part, the United States should prioritize Taiwan’s defense readiness and work with Taipei to swiftly reform and implement its defense strategy, while streamlining its procurement system through the establishment of a joint US-Taiwanese task force focused on the implementation of the ODC.

In addition, the US should stockpile ammunition, spare parts, and other critical defense equipment that could directly improve Taiwan’s readiness for war. This would also demonstrate the commitment and political will of the US. Congress could model this initiative along the lines of the War Reserve Stocks for Allies program it has with Israel.

The United States should also prioritize building capabilities among allies and U.S. forces that can work together to address critical vulnerabilities of the People’s Liberation Army in a Taiwanese emergency. Together they must develop the means to disrupt, deny, degrade, destroy, or deceive the assets of the Chinese military in order to prevent a military success against Taiwan. This would greatly improve credible deterrence – and that could prevent a war.

The threat of Chinese military aggression is no longer hypothetical; Gray area operations have already started. Should the Communist Party’s aggression escalate further, a widespread attack on Taiwan could become likely, with economic and military consequences that would shake the world. The question is not whether the United States should defend Taiwan at war, but how to prevent war in the first place. Now is the time to strengthen US-Taiwan security cooperation to ensure peace on the strait.



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Nigeria demands unconditional return of stolen artifacts from Germany https://austerlitz2005.com/nigeria-demands-unconditional-return-of-stolen-artifacts-from-germany/ https://austerlitz2005.com/nigeria-demands-unconditional-return-of-stolen-artifacts-from-germany/#respond Thu, 08 Jul 2021 10:35:50 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/nigeria-demands-unconditional-return-of-stolen-artifacts-from-germany/ The Nigerian federal government demands the complete and unconditional return of the 1,130 Benin bronzes that were looted by the African nation in the 19th century and kept in German museums. The Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, demanded on Wednesday in Berlin during separate talks with the German State Minister for Culture Monika […]]]>


The Nigerian federal government demands the complete and unconditional return of the 1,130 Benin bronzes that were looted by the African nation in the 19th century and kept in German museums.

The Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, demanded on Wednesday in Berlin during separate talks with the German State Minister for Culture Monika Grutters and the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

In response to Mr. Grutters ’remarks that Germany was ready to return the 1,130 looted artifacts” significantly, “Mohammed, who led the Nigerian delegation to the talks, said the return should be complete rather than substantial.

He also said that the question of provenance, which has to do with the place of origin of the artifacts, should not unnecessarily delay the repatriation of the works of art, adding, “That they are known as Benin bronzes is already a confirmation of their source of origin ( which is Benin). “

” No conditions ”

Later, at a meeting with the German Foreign Minister, Mr. Mohammed said that the return of the artifacts should be “absolutely unconditional,” which he described as an idea whose time has come.

The Minister of Information and Culture said it was necessary for the parties to commit to certain deadlines for the return of the Benin bronzes and said it was necessary to complete all necessary negotiations in a very short time.

He said the ongoing discussion between Nigeria and Germany over the return of the works of art was not just the end of an era, but the beginning of a new perspective on stronger cultural diplomacy between the two countries.

Mr. Mohammed thanked the German government for taking the lead in the global effort to repatriate all artifacts looted from Nigeria and even from the African continent.

“We see Germany as a leader in efforts to take practical steps to return our stolen artifacts, and we hope Germany will maintain that lead,” he said

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki, who was also a member of the Nigerian delegation, said a “transformational” museum will be built in Benin City to house the artifacts upon their return as part of a new cultural district in the city.

Mr Obaseki said he was attending the talks to demonstrate the strong partnership between the Nigerian federal government, the royal family (Benin) and the people of Edo state.

Nigerian Ambassador to Germany Yusuf Tuggar said the question of the return of the Benin bronzes should be seen as an opportunity to take cooperation between Nigeria and Germany to a greater level.

“This is an opportunity not to be missed. Minor problems shouldn’t delay the repatriation, ”he said, praising the German government for taking the lead in the repatriation process.

The German Minister of State for Culture had previously said: “The way in which we deal with the issue of Benin bronzes is important in order to come to terms with our colonial past”, described the problems as “an important personal concern”.

She announced that the 1,130 artifacts would be returned to Nigeria from early 2022.

Commenting on the fact that Germany has twice sent delegations to Nigeria to discuss the proposed return, Mr Gutters noted that both sides have gone beyond mere talks and said that every museum in Germany that has Benin- Bronzen, I have agreed to a collaboration.

The Nigerian delegation, which also includes the Director General of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM), Abba Tijani, and the Beninese Crown Prince, His Royal Highness Ezelekhae Ewuare, were later taken on a tour of the Humboldt Forum, a royal palace that has been converted into a museum in the heart of Berlin and houses works of art from all over the world.

history

The artifacts come from the Benin Royal Court after the British incursion in 1897. On January 12, 1897, Rear Admiral Harry Rawson, Commanding Officer of the Royal Navy at the Cape of Good Hope and on the west coast of Africa station was appointed by the Admiralty to one Lead forces to invade the Kingdom of Benin, conquer Benin Oba and destroy Benin City.

The operation was called the Benin Punitive Expedition.

ALSO READ: Oba of Benin Talks Returning Artifacts Looted by Britain and Others

About 40 percent of the works of art ended up in the British Museum, while other works were given away as spoils of war to individual members of the armed forces and the rest were auctioned off by the Admiralty. Most of the Benin bronzes auctioned were acquired by museums, mainly in Germany.

Benin art was copied and the style integrated into the art of many European artists, thus having a strong influence on the early formation of modernism in Europe.

Several aspects of the expeditions have been featured in Nigerian films such as The Mask (1979), starring Eddie Ugbomah; and Invasion 1897 (2014), directed by Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen.

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Biden knows Afghanistan is getting uglier. https://austerlitz2005.com/biden-knows-afghanistan-is-getting-uglier/ https://austerlitz2005.com/biden-knows-afghanistan-is-getting-uglier/#respond Wed, 07 Jul 2021 11:00:57 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/biden-knows-afghanistan-is-getting-uglier/ When reporters asked President Biden last week if he feared the Afghan government could collapse in the face of the Taliban’s military advances, he responded with ill-concealed anger. “I want to talk about happy things,” he said. The President went on to reply – he said the regime could survive but only if its members […]]]>


When reporters asked President Biden last week if he feared the Afghan government could collapse in the face of the Taliban’s military advances, he responded with ill-concealed anger.

“I want to talk about happy things,” he said.

The President went on to reply – he said the regime could survive but only if its members stop arguing – but then he called for a halt.

“I will not answer any more quick questions about Afghanistan,” he said.

Why this is so is no secret: Topics like reports on job creation or the US recovery from the pandemic make Biden speak of successes. Afghanistan offers only a selection of failures.

The news is bad. The Taliban have occupied much of the country’s territory; the Afghan government armed forces, which the US has spent more than $ 88 billion to build, appear to be disintegrating. In the areas they have conquered, the Taliban conquer Islamic fundamentalist rule, including the oppressive treatment of women. If the government survives, the country could quickly plunge into civil war.

“The devastation and the murders … President Biden will have these ugly pictures,” warned Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) this week.

That was a partial blow, but true nonetheless, and Biden knows it: Presidents are blamed for disasters that occur under their supervision, whether or not they caused them.

Biden saw that. He was Vice President when President Obama withdrew U.S. forces from Iraq to general applause in 2011, only to come under fire in 2014 when Islamic State raged across the country.

So even if Biden would prefer to speak of “happy things”, he has to remain involved in Afghanistan – for political reasons as well as for reasons of national security and humanitarian reasons.

That means he must press for negotiations between the Taliban and the Kabul government to reach a peace deal or at least prevent a bloodbath, which diplomats believe is more achievable.

It means the warning that the US will use force against terrorists in areas controlled by the Taliban, just as it does in other countries.

It means making vigorous efforts to help more than 18,000 Afghans who worked for the US military and their families leave the country.

And it means updating the contingency plans to evacuate the U.S. embassy in Kabul, which still has about 4,000 employees, including 1,800 Americans, guarded by about 650 U.S. soldiers.

No wonder Biden is irritated when asked about the subject. He is holding a bag left by three previous presidents: George W. Bush, who launched the invasion in 2001 but then focused on Iraq; Obama, who tried to stabilize the country with a temporary deployment of troops; and Donald Trump, who promised to retire but never quite delivered.

Regardless of its approach, the Afghan government remained corrupt, fragmented, and largely unable to defend itself.

Biden, who supported the invasion as chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, was a skeptic in 2009 when, as vice president, he did not argue very privately against Obama’s rise. Twelve years later, when he became president himself, options were poor.

Trump promised the Taliban that the remaining 3,500 US soldiers would leave the country by May 1, 2021; In return, the Taliban made two promises: not to attack Americans and to hold serious peace talks. They kept the first – no American has died fighting in 17 months – but they broke the second.

Biden’s decision was to either maintain the presence of US forces, which would almost certainly lead to attacks by the Taliban, or to complete the withdrawal.

He decided to pierce the boils and get out.

So far, the political costs have been negligible, largely because most Americans have long accepted that the military effort has failed. (A majority reached this conclusion by 2014, according to a poll by the Pew Research Center.)

Republicans are divided on this issue – a legacy from Trump who broke with his party’s traditional Hawkish stance. When Biden announced his decision to withdraw the last of the troops, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky described it as “a grave mistake,” but Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said he was “glad the troops are coming home.” .

Many polls suggest that Americans have simply lost interest in the distant conflict, especially if no US troops are killed.

Nevertheless, Biden is rightly measured by the result; mainly because of whether a Taliban victory makes Afghanistan a base for al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups – the reason for the invasion of American troops.

If there is any good news in a dire situation, it is this: The administration seems to be working on every point on the departure checklist.

The past two decades have been painful for American foreign policy, but they have taught at least some useful lessons.

Afghanistan is not the first war the US has lost. We are a more experienced nation now – sadder, but maybe also wiser.



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John Wayne’s 10 best WWII films, rated by IMDb https://austerlitz2005.com/john-waynes-10-best-wwii-films-rated-by-imdb/ https://austerlitz2005.com/john-waynes-10-best-wwii-films-rated-by-imdb/#respond Sat, 03 Jul 2021 16:30:00 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/john-waynes-10-best-wwii-films-rated-by-imdb/ Few names are as recognizable as Marion Morrison’s stage name, John Wayne. The mere mention of the name will likely bring you to mind one of two images, either the stoic cowboy or the badass military officer. While best known for playing some of the best western heroes, John Wayne has entertained generations with his […]]]>


Few names are as recognizable as Marion Morrison’s stage name, John Wayne. The mere mention of the name will likely bring you to mind one of two images, either the stoic cowboy or the badass military officer. While best known for playing some of the best western heroes, John Wayne has entertained generations with his portrayal of soldiers, sailors, and pilots in a number of war films, particularly films about World War II.

RELATED: How Many Movies Did John Wayne Die In? (And how he died in them)

Although he never went into the military in his life and tried to avoid being drafted into World War II, his talents allowed him to expertly portray the military that he respected.

10 The Sea Hunt (1955) 6.5

Scene from the sea hunt with John Wayne and Lana Turner

German naval captain Karl Ehrlich (John Wayne) is demoted to an old steam freighter when he refuses to support the Nazi regime. The freighter set off from Australia shortly after the invasion of Poland with Elsa Keller, the German fiancée of a British naval officer, as the cargo. Ehrlich quickly learns that Keller is a German spy and that the Australian Navy is on his heels.

A rare case in which Wayne plays a German character even though he doesn’t put an accent, this film entertains with adventure, intrigue and romance on the high seas.

9 The fighting sea bees (1944) 6.6

John Wayne outside near a tree in The Fighting Seebees

In the Pacific theater of war, the military struggles to protect the construction workers who make the advance possible. Wedge Donovan, the tough construction boss played by John Wayne, wants to arm his men so they can defend themselves in the event of an enemy attack.

Police agree to turn them into fighting construction battalions (aka CBs), but their lack of military experience could be just as dangerous as the enemy. This is a classic action war movie in every way, it may not be revolutionary but it is well made and entertaining.

8th Operation Pacific (1951) 6.7

Operation Pacific scene on a submarine with John Wayne

The USS Thunderfish, an American submarine, returns from a secret mission to rescue civilians from a remote island when they encounter a Japanese aircraft carrier. Although they had the element of surprise, the attack fails because the torpedoes explode before they reach the target. Now Captain Perry (Ward Bond) and First Officer Duke Gifford (John Wayne) must survive a sea of ​​enemies with faulty torpedoes.

In many ways, this is quite a formulaic war action movie from the golden age, but it is heightened by the cast, the effective tension, and even has a secret.

7th Back to Bataan (1945) 6.7

Fight scene from Back to Bataan with John Wayne

Colonel Joseph Madden (John Wayne) and other survivors of the Japanese invasion of the Philippines are assigned to organize an armed resistance group. Andres Bonifacio (Anthony Quinn) is key to popular support as his grandfather was a national hero. However, the love of Bonifacio’s life is used to do pro-Japanese propaganda broadcasts and could be a prisoner or a collaborator.

This film was made as a tribute to the Filipino Resistance and had to be rewritten many times as the real war changed every day during the making, but is still a mix of fact and fiction.

6th The wings of the eagles (1957) 6.7

John Wayne in The Wings of Eagles in a hospital room

The true story of naval aviator Frank “Spig” Wead (John Wayne) and the accident that brought him to earth. Shortly after the end of World War I and Wead’s promotion to commander of the fighter squadron, he falls down a flight of stairs and is paralyzed from the neck down. At the start of World War II, Wead must use his new position as a screenwriter to aid the war effort and fight with his mind instead of with an airplane.

RELATED: 10 World War II Movies That Threw Realism Out the Window

John Ford directed the amazing story of the unexpected ways in which Wead helped the US military win World War II. Years earlier, Ford and Wayne brought one of Frank Mead’s scripts to life in the 1945s They were expendable.

5 Flying Tiger (1942) 6.8

Before the US officially became involved in World War II, a group of volunteer aviators called the “Flying Tigers” fought against the Japanese army that invaded China. Captain Jim Gordon (John Wayne) leads the motley squadron against the overwhelming force of the Japanese. A hot pilot and old friend makes life harder for Gordons, who joins and whose actions threaten to destroy the entire force.

This is a fictional story based on the true story of volunteer pilots who fought the Japanese in China. Despite being a propaganda film made in support of the war effort, it avoids an overtly racist characterization of the Japanese (which was unusual for this type of film) by turning them into silent opponents.

4th Sands Of Iwo Jima (1949) 7.1

Sands of Iwo Jima Trench scene with John Wayne

Sergeant John Stryker (John Wayne) is a strictly disciplined leader and is viewed by his subjects as cruel and sadistic. When their boots hit the ground in enemy territory, Stryker’s men begin to appreciate his methods, as even small mistakes can have dire consequences.

This film received three Academy Award nominations for Best Editing, Best Screenplay, and John Wayne was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

3 They were dispensable (1945) 7.2

John Wayne and Robert Montgomery in You Were Dispensable

Lt. John Brickley and his deputy, Lt. “Rusty” Ryan, are in charge of a group of rapid attack boats “PT” (Patrol Torpedo), but the lack of respect for the small boats leaves them little opportunity to prove themselves. After the attack on Pearl Harbor and a small victory for the PT boats, they are sent to the Philippines to stop an invading Japanese fleet with far more firepower.

While They were expendable is a largely fictional account of PT boats, many viewers thought it was a true story, probably because the director (John Ford), the writer (Frank Mead) and the star actor (Robert Montgomery) served or were and did in the Navy it very realistic.

2 In Harm’s Way (1965) 7.3

A heavy cruiser is on patrol under the command of Captain “Rock” Torrey (John Wayne) when the attack on Pearl Harbor is carried out. Rock is ordered to pursue and destroy the Japanese forces that devastated Pearl Harbor, but is forced to turn back due to lack of fuel. Disgraced and relegated to desk duty, Rock finally gets a chance at redemption when he is promoted to Rear Admiral and sent to drive the enemy back into Japan.

The inclusion of high levels of drama and the time the characters spend in their normal life sets this apart from similar war films and helps audiences become more emotionally engaged.

1 The longest day (1962) 7.8

John Wayne in The Longest Day

In docu-drama style, this film follows the days before the Allied invasion of France. The audience sees the problems, particularly the weather, faced by the Allied forces planning the D-Day invasion and the mistakes and poor judgment of the Germans who unwittingly helped the Allied forces.

A star-studded cast of John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery, Jeffrey Hunter, Roddy McDowall and more brings D-Day to life in shocking detail. The filmmakers even had advisors involved in the invasion, making this the best WWII film and the most historically accurate on the list.

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Turkey’s invasion of northern Iraq could lead to a Kurdish civil war https://austerlitz2005.com/turkeys-invasion-of-northern-iraq-could-lead-to-a-kurdish-civil-war/ https://austerlitz2005.com/turkeys-invasion-of-northern-iraq-could-lead-to-a-kurdish-civil-war/#respond Fri, 02 Jul 2021 07:01:19 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/turkeys-invasion-of-northern-iraq-could-lead-to-a-kurdish-civil-war/ After 2012, far from welcoming the emergence of Kurdish autonomy in neighboring northern Syria, the PDK shared Turkey’s horror at the region’s adoption of the philosophy of the founder of the Kurdish Workers’ Party, Abdullah Öcalan, and imposed an embargo on the region. Then, in 2014, when ISIS swept Iraq, the PKK came out of […]]]>


After 2012, far from welcoming the emergence of Kurdish autonomy in neighboring northern Syria, the PDK shared Turkey’s horror at the region’s adoption of the philosophy of the founder of the Kurdish Workers’ Party, Abdullah Öcalan, and imposed an embargo on the region.

Then, in 2014, when ISIS swept Iraq, the PKK came out of the mountains and helped push it back from the gates of Erbil – and the leader of the KDP, Masoud Barzani, came personally to thank them. But that is quickly erased from memory.

If Turkey persuades the PKK to take action against the PKK, it will put the PKK in a doubly difficult position. The group then not only has one more enemy, but every move it makes against the KDP-Peshmerga armed forces is used as propaganda by Turkey.

The PKK does not want to be seen fighting other Kurds either, but its troops can be used to cut off the PKK’s supply lines in order to facilitate the killing of the Turkish military and its mercenaries.

The current invasion is both a continuation of previous battles and something more dangerous. This is not only due to Turkish drones, which make it difficult for guerrilla forces to move undetected. The political situation is also different.

Turkish President Erdoğan is a man of great personal ambition, and the main obstacle to his ambition is the Kurds. The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) is the only consistent political opposition in Turkey. The neighboring countries that Erdoğan desires have a large Kurdish population that has increasingly gained autonomy. Erdoğan tried to gain support by promoting peace with the Kurds, but the votes instead went to the HDP, stripping it of its entire majority.

In 2015, he turned his back on the peace negotiations and instead tried to build support through an increasingly authoritarian nationalist agenda. When his popularity with the economy collapsed in 2015, he tried to counter it through ethno-religious populism, crackdown on any opposition within Turkey, and an increasingly aggressive foreign policy. Erdoğan’s foreign wars are an immediate distraction from the problems at home and fuel his neo-Ottoman dreams.

The situation may seem stubborn, but there is a simple solution. If the same energy could be invested in reviving the peace negotiations between Turkey and the PKK as in the fight against ISIS, the future could be very different: much more in line with what international leaders claim to believe, if not so bright for the defense industry. The PKK has long been ready for such negotiations. Peace delegations need to be welcomed, not closed.



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When the US used Nehru to “warn” China about a nuclear attack because of the Korean War https://austerlitz2005.com/when-the-us-used-nehru-to-warn-china-about-a-nuclear-attack-because-of-the-korean-war/ https://austerlitz2005.com/when-the-us-used-nehru-to-warn-china-about-a-nuclear-attack-because-of-the-korean-war/#respond Thu, 01 Jul 2021 04:00:27 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/when-the-us-used-nehru-to-warn-china-about-a-nuclear-attack-because-of-the-korean-war/ As the Chinese ruling elite celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party on July 1st, it has a lot to brag about the country’s rise to a major world power. The Pentagon’s annual report to the US Congress on China’s military and security developments for 2020 found that China could “at least double” […]]]>


As the Chinese ruling elite celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party on July 1st, it has a lot to brag about the country’s rise to a major world power.

The Pentagon’s annual report to the US Congress on China’s military and security developments for 2020 found that China could “at least double” the size of its nuclear arsenal, which is currently estimated at around 200 weapons, over the next decade.

The doubling of its arsenal comes as China undertakes a major modernization of its nuclear delivery systems, introduces new missile-armed submarines and bombers, and modernizes missiles.

The Pentagon report found that China had around 100 ballistic intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMS) as of 2020. The report estimated that the number of warheads on China’s ICBMs that could hit the continental U.S. could rise to 200 by 2025 as Beijing develops and also works on new, multi-independently targetable re-entry vehicles (i.e., multiple warheads on a single missile) to fool enemy missile defenses.

The dizzying pace of China’s military modernization over the past four decades may mean that many are in danger of forgetting an era when China faced the threat of nuclear attack in the period before its first atomic bomb was tested in 1964.

The first such case was in the Korean War (1950-1953). Chinese leader Mao Tse Tung ordered 300,000 PLA ​​soldiers to cross the border into North Korea in October 1950 to aid the besieged North Korean forces pushed back by the US and its allies. The Chinese launched a massive counterattack on the Allies in November of the same year, shattering all hopes for an early end to the war and fueling the specter of the Korean War, which would lead to a larger conflict.

At the time, the US was the only nation that could transport atomic bombs over long distances, as the Soviet Union had just tested its first atomic bomb in Korea in 1949, pleading to attack China. He wanted to use nuclear weapons in the conflict and also met Chinese bases and factories in Manchuria that supplied the war effort in North Korea. According to historians, MacArthur even wanted Chiang Kai-Shek’s troops from the Republic of China (Taiwan) to invade the mainland and start a revolution against the nascent communist regime.

In a posthumous interview, MacArthur claimed he dropped “about 30 atomic bombs … on the neck of Manchuria” in an attempt to hasten the end of the Korean War.

However, MacArthur’s demands were not acceptable to then US President Harry Truman, who did not want the conflict to expand. Truman fired MacArthur in April 1951, to the shock of the world. Despite MacArthur’s departure, the US has never taken the option of nuclear weapons off the table. Both Truman and his successor Dwight D. Eisenhower suggested that nuclear weapons were an option to force an end to the conflict in Korea.

In 1956, John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State in the Eisenhower administration, claimed in an interview that Life magazine that he had warned China, using Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru as a mediator, that “the US would be ready to attack Manchurian bases with nuclear weapons unless the communists sign a ceasefire agreement …”

In addition to trying to arrange the repatriation of prisoners of war in the Korean War, Nehru also often turned to China, particularly Prime Minister Zhou Enlai, to end the conflict.

An armistice was signed on July 27, 1953 to officially end the fighting in the Korean War.

Later reports have downplayed Dulles’ claim; They cite the changed geopolitical situation as a result of the death of the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin in March 1953 as the reason for the end of the Korean War. The new leadership in the Soviet Union relied on China and North Korea to accept a ceasefire. It is true that Dulles visited New Delhi at the end of May 1953 for talks with Nehru.

The New York Times reported 1984: “On May 21, 1953, Mr. Dulles met Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in New Delhi and told him that if the ceasefire negotiations fail, ‘the United States is likely to make a greater than a lesser military effort, and that this could well widen the area of ​​conflict. “Experts argue that Dulles’ claims did not explicitly refer to the use of nuclear weapons.

Taiwan crisis

The risk of a US nuclear attack on China has not been eliminated after the Korean War. In 1958, the Eisenhower administration was advised by the US military to prepare for a possible use of nuclear weapons against China, as it was believed that Beijing was preparing for a possible invasion of Taiwan. China had begun artillery attacks on Taiwan-controlled islands in August 1958, which feared an invasion.

General Nathan Twining, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, was quoted in documents as saying, “The United States would have used nuclear weapons against Chinese air bases to prevent a successful air lockdown campaign,” and if an invasion continued, “no alternative to nuclear strikes deep inside.” Perform China as far as Shanghai “.

The August / September 1958 crisis ended with communist China resolving to end artillery attacks on islands controlled by the Chiang Kai Shek regime.

One of the aftermaths of the Korean War and the 1958 crisis was that the conflicts fueled Mao’s determination to acquire nuclear weapons.

Mao had asked the Soviet Union, the main benefactor of communist China, for help. While the Soviet Union provided considerable civilian nuclear technology and training, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was lukewarm to Beijing’s requests for more help with nuclear weapons, and in August 1960 the last of the Soviet nuclear advisors left China. However, the foundation stone laid with Soviet help and the work of Chinese scientists paved the way for the test of China’s first atomic bomb on October 16, 1964.

Unsurprisingly, the US was concerned about China’s nuclear weapons program. After Lyndon Johnson assumed presidency following the November 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy, the need for a Chinese nuclear weapons program was central to Lyndon Johnson’s agenda. The Los Angeles Times reported 1998: “The State Department had asked the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in mid-1963 to prepare a contingency plan for a conventional weapon attack on China’s nuclear facilities. On December 14, 1963 the answer came back. The Joint Chiefs said one Bombing against China was feasible. But they added that if there was such an attack they recommended that nuclear weapons be considered. “

Joint US-Soviet action against China?

The US also played with covert actions by the CIA to destabilize the Chinese nuclear weapons program and increase surveillance. But one of the “more incredible” options considered by the Johnson administration was to work with the Soviet Union to thwart China’s nuclear weapons program. In the mid-1960s, China and the Soviet Union were hostile due to a variety of factors such as border disputes and the different need to support communist revolutions around the world.

Johnson’s National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy met with Soviet Ambassador to the United States, Anatoly F. Dobrynin, in September 1964 to see if Moscow would be interested in joint action. The ambassador pointed out that the Soviet Union had come to terms with the reality of a nuclear China. The US soon followed suit, wooing China as a potential ally at the end of that decade.

A Pakistani twist

The US may have used Nehru as a mediator to warn China of more aggressive military action to end the Korean War. In 1970, in the final turn of fate, Washington used the services of two dictators – Pakistani General Yahya Khan and Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu – to open channels of communication to normalize US-China relations. Richard Nixon’s Foreign Secretary Henry Kissinger praised the Pakistani dictator Yahya Khan for acting as an intermediary between Zhou Enlai and Nixon.

Yahya’s work led to Kissinger’s trip to Beijing in July 1971, which in turn laid the foundation for Nixon’s seminal 1972 visit to China. Nixon’s trip to China is considered a turning point in modern geopolitics as it marked the beginning of the process of integrating China into the global economy and making it the world’s factory.



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USA leave Bagram Airfield after 20 years – NBC Boston https://austerlitz2005.com/usa-leave-bagram-airfield-after-20-years-nbc-boston/ https://austerlitz2005.com/usa-leave-bagram-airfield-after-20-years-nbc-boston/#respond Tue, 29 Jun 2021 07:08:44 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/usa-leave-bagram-airfield-after-20-years-nbc-boston/ For almost 20 years, Bagram Airfield was the heart of the American military power in Afghanistan, a sprawling small town behind fences and explosive walls, just an hour’s drive north of Kabul. First, it symbolized America’s vengeance for the 9/11 attacks, then its struggle to find a way through the ensuing war with the Taliban. […]]]>


For almost 20 years, Bagram Airfield was the heart of the American military power in Afghanistan, a sprawling small town behind fences and explosive walls, just an hour’s drive north of Kabul. First, it symbolized America’s vengeance for the 9/11 attacks, then its struggle to find a way through the ensuing war with the Taliban.

In a few days the last US soldiers will leave Bagram. You are leaving what probably everyone with grassroots ties, whether American or Afghans, considers a mixed heritage.

“Bagram grew into such a massive military facility that it symbolized and embodied the term ‘Mission Creep’ like few other bases in Afghanistan and even Iraq,” said Andrew Watkins, Afghanistan senior analyst at Brussels-based International Crisis group.

US Central Command said last week that well over 50% managed to grab Bagram and the rest is quick. American officials said the entire withdrawal of US troops will most likely be completed by July 4th. The Afghan military will then take over Bagram as part of its ongoing fight against the Taliban – and against what many in the country fear it will be a new outbreak of chaos.

The farewell is full of symbolism. Last but not least, it is the second time that an Afghan intruder has come and gone through Bagram.

The Soviet Union built the airfield in the 1950s. When it invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to support a communist government, it made it its main base from which it would defend its occupation of the country. For ten years the Soviets fought against the US-backed mujahideen, who were described as freedom fighters by President Ronald Reagan, who saw them as a frontline force in one of the final battles of the Cold War.

The Soviet Union negotiated its withdrawal in 1989. Three years later, the pro-Moscow government collapsed and the mujahideen took power only to turn their weapons against each other and kill thousands of civilians. This unrest brought the Taliban to power, who overran Kabul in 1996.

When the US and NATO inherited Bagram in 2001, they found it in ruins, a cluster of crumbling buildings ripped apart by missiles and grenades and destroyed most of the fencing. It was abandoned after it was defeated in the fighting between the Taliban and rival mujahideen warlords who fled to their northern enclaves.

After the Taliban were driven from Kabul, the US-led coalition began working with its warlord allies to rebuild Bagram, initially with temporary structures that then became permanent. Its growth was explosive, eventually consuming about 30 square miles.

“The closure of Bagram is a great symbolic and strategic victory for the Taliban,” said Bill Roggio, Senior Fellow of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

“If the Taliban manage to take control of the grassroots, it will serve as anti-American propaganda fodder for years to come,” said Roggio, who is also editor of the foundation’s Long War Journal.

It would also be a military godsend.

The huge base has two runways. The youngest, at 12,000 feet in length, was built in 2006 for $ 96 million. There are 110 revetments, which are essentially aircraft parking spaces protected by explosive walls. GlobalSecurity, a security think tank, says Bagram includes three large hangars, a control tower, and numerous support buildings. The base has a 50-bed hospital with a trauma ward, three operating theaters and a modern dental clinic. There are also fitness centers and fast food restaurants. Another section is home to a prison that is notorious and feared among Afghans.

Jonathan Schroden of the US research and analysis organization CNA estimates that well over 100,000 people have spent a lot of time at Bagram over the past two decades. “Bagram provided a foundation for the war experience of much of the US military and contractors who served in Afghanistan,” said Schroden, director of the CNA Center for Stability and Development.

“The withdrawal of the last US troops from there will likely be the last change of sides for many of these people in terms of their time in this country,” he said.

For Afghans in the Bagram district, a region with more than 100 villages supported by orchards and fields, the base was an important employer. The US withdrawal affects almost all households, said District Governor Darwaish Raufi.

The Americans have made weapons and other materials available to the Afghan military. Anything else they don’t take, they destroy and sell to scrap dealers in Bagram. US officials say they need to make sure nothing useful can ever fall into the hands of the Taliban.

Last week, US Central Command announced it had scrapped 14,790 pieces of equipment and dispatched 763 C-17s loaded with material from Afghanistan. Bagram villagers say they heard explosions from inside the base, apparently the Americans destroyed buildings and materials.

Raufi said many villagers had complained to him about the US just leaving their trash behind.

“There’s something sadly symbolic about the way the United States left Bagram. The decision to take so much away and destroy what’s left speaks to the urgency of the US to get out quickly, ”said Michael Kugelman, assistant director of the Asia program at the US Wilson Center.

“It’s not the nicest parting gift for Afghans, including those taking over the grassroots,” he said.

Inevitably, comparisons with the former Soviet Union have emerged.

Retired Afghan General Saifullah Safi, who worked alongside US forces in Bagram, said the Soviets left all their equipment behind when they withdrew. They “didn’t take much with them, just the vehicles they needed to bring their soldiers back to Russia,” he said.

The prison in the base was handed over to the Afghans in 2012 and is still operated by them. In the early years of the war, Bagram became synonymous with fear for many Afghans, just next to Guantanamo Bay. Parents would threaten their crying children with jail.

In the first years of the invasion, Afghans often disappeared for months without giving any details of their whereabouts, until they were located in Bagram by the International Red Committee of the Red Cross. Some returned home with stories of torture.

“If someone even mentions the word Bagram, I hear the screams of pain from prison,” said Zabihullah, who spent six years in Bagram and was accused of belonging to the faction of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a warlord who was then called a terrorist by the United States after his arrest it was an offense to belong to Hekmatyar’s party.

Zabihullah, who has only one name, was released in 2020, four years after President Ashraf Ghani signed a peace agreement with Hekmatyar.

Roggio says the prison’s status is a “major problem” and points out that many of his prisoners are well-known Taliban leaders or members of militant groups including al-Qaeda and the Islamic State Group. It is believed that around 7,000 prisoners are still in prison.

“If the base falls and the prison is overrun, these inmates can strengthen the ranks of these terrorist groups,” said Roggio.



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