Military Conflicts – Austerlitz 2005 http://austerlitz2005.com/ Tue, 13 Jul 2021 03:40:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 https://austerlitz2005.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-7-150x150.png Military Conflicts – Austerlitz 2005 http://austerlitz2005.com/ 32 32 Meijer calls for “mass evacuation” of Afghans who have supported US troops https://austerlitz2005.com/meijer-calls-for-mass-evacuation-of-afghans-who-have-supported-us-troops/ https://austerlitz2005.com/meijer-calls-for-mass-evacuation-of-afghans-who-have-supported-us-troops/#respond Tue, 13 Jul 2021 01:09:04 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/meijer-calls-for-mass-evacuation-of-afghans-who-have-supported-us-troops/ GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – US MP Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids) is “glad” US forces are leaving Afghanistan but remains concerned for the safety of Afghans who have served alongside American soldiers and are now are imminent as the Taliban gain ground. “I supported the withdrawal when President Trump announced it towards the end of his […]]]>


GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – US MP Peter Meijer (R-Grand Rapids) is “glad” US forces are leaving Afghanistan but remains concerned for the safety of Afghans who have served alongside American soldiers and are now are imminent as the Taliban gain ground.

“I supported the withdrawal when President Trump announced it towards the end of his term in office. And I strongly supported it when President Biden announced that he would continue this policy, ”says Meijer.

Meijer spoke to FOX 17 days after President Joe Biden announced plans to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by the end of August to end the country’s longest war before the original 9/11 deadline.

“This was never a conflict that would end positively through our military engagement. This is essentially a political dispute, it is raised through a violent lens of conflict, but at its core it is political and must find a negotiated political solution. This is the only way we can solve the conflict in Afghanistan, ”said Meijer.

Meijer, a US Army and Iraq war veteran, also urges the Biden administration to speed up not only the withdrawal of troops but also the evacuation of Afghans who helped the US military and are now in danger. The Taliban now claim to control 85% of Afghan territory and are targeting US Afghan allies.

“These were Afghans on patrol, some of which returned fire and saved the lives of American soldiers. Some of them were shot and injured while serving as interpreters. Many of them now have a target on their back because they either helped us with the intelligence service or served as translators for interrogations, ”explains Meijer

The State Department says evacuation is a priority. “Those who have helped us will not be left behind,” said President Joe Biden, but more than 10,000 are still pending VISA approval to enter the United States. Further plans are not yet known.

“The Biden government must mobilize a mass evacuation,” said Meijer. “We have to take these people to either US territory like Guam or a third country for processing, and we have to start immediately.”

“Many of these people are still being attacked or killed. And as things get more complex and the security situation continues to deteriorate, if we are able to get these people out of the refugee camps in Pakistan or Iran, we must shame us. We now have the opportunity to do so. There is no reason why we should hesitate and drag our feet because of bureaucratic hurdles, ”added Meijer

The end of the United States’ 20-year engagement in Afghanistan also puts in perspective the AUMFs, or the authorization to use military force, which has deployed troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere around the world without a Congressional debate.

“[The 2001 AUMF] in is almost 20 years old, originally intended for Al-Qaeda and related forces and used to fight conflict in 19 countries on three continents, ”Meijer said. “It was used against units that did not exist on September 11th, it was used against units that were fighting against al-Qaeda. It has been stretched beyond any understanding, ”explained Meijer.

The repeal of obsolete AUMFs was a top legislative priority for Meijer.

Meijer hopes their repeal will help hold lawmakers accountable before Americans are sent into battle.

“What I consider strongly is the first step towards Congress regaining that authority and, frankly, taking back its responsibilities and not just delegating it, washing our hands and saying, you know, we’d rather fundraise and sending cable messages “than having to ask the tough questions and then having to cast a vote that puts the men and women of American soldiers at risk.”



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Mercenaries: the ominous export from Colombia’s conflict https://austerlitz2005.com/mercenaries-the-ominous-export-from-colombias-conflict/ https://austerlitz2005.com/mercenaries-the-ominous-export-from-colombias-conflict/#respond Sat, 10 Jul 2021 03:54:13 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/mercenaries-the-ominous-export-from-colombias-conflict/ Issued on: 07/10/2021 – 05:54Changed: 07/10/2021 – 05:52 Bogotá (AFP) Some fight in Yemen or Afghanistan, others guard oil pipelines in the United Arab Emirates; and more turned up in Haiti this week, accused of killing the president. Hardened by more than half a century of domestic conflict, retired Colombian soldiers and illegal fighters feed […]]]>


Issued on: Changed:

Bogotá (AFP)

Some fight in Yemen or Afghanistan, others guard oil pipelines in the United Arab Emirates; and more turned up in Haiti this week, accused of killing the president.

Hardened by more than half a century of domestic conflict, retired Colombian soldiers and illegal fighters feed the gloomy mercenary market around the world.

Around 26 Colombians were accused of participating in the murder of President Jovenel Moise, which also injured his wife Martine, on Wednesday before dawn.

Colombia announced on Friday that at least 17 ex-soldiers were believed to have been involved in the attack on Moise’s house. Some were killed by Haitian police and most were captured.

But the participation of Colombian mercenaries underscores the lucrative transnational mercenary market.

“There’s a lot of experience with irregular wars … the Colombian soldier is trained, has combat experience, and has cheap labor to boot,” Jorge Mantilla, a criminal phenomena researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago, told AFP.

It’s not just retired soldiers who leave Colombia’s borders – which are so open to cocaine exports anyway – as loan weapons.

In 2004 the Venezuelan authorities arrested “153 Colombian paramilitaries” who accused them of being involved in a plot to assassinate then President Hugo Chavez.

– “Opportunity to fall victim” –

Colombia has an almost inexhaustible pool of soldiers. The armed forces consist of 220,000 men and thousands are retiring because of a lack of career opportunities, misconduct or after 20 years of service.

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Every year “between 15,000 and 10,000 soldiers leave the army … it’s a human universe that is very difficult to control,” Colonel John Marulanda, president of a Colombian association for former military personnel, told W Radio.

They retire relatively young with low pensions, making them “victims of better economic opportunity,” the retired official said.

He says what happened in Haiti was “a typical case of recruiting” Colombian ex-soldiers by private companies to conduct operations in other countries.

According to the Colombian authorities, four companies were involved in the attack.

A woman who claimed to be the wife of Francisco Eladio Uribe, one of the captured Colombians, said a company had offered her husband $ 2,700 to join the unit.

Uribe withdrew from the army in 2019 and was implicated in the “false positives” scandal investigated by the authorities, in which soldiers executed 6,000 civilians between 2002 and 2008 to pass them off as enemy combatants for bonuses.

– “Boom” of the mercenary industry –

In May 2011, the New York Times revealed that a plane carrying dozens of Colombian ex-soldiers had arrived in Abu Dhabi to join an army of mercenaries hired by the US company Blackwater to guard key Emirates assets.

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The Times then claimed in 2015 that hundreds of Colombians were fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, now hired directly by the UAE.

Over the past decade, “there has been a boom in this industry,” said Mantilla.

It was then that the United States began to replace its troops in the Middle East with “private security companies because it means lower political costs in terms of victims and a gray area under international law”.

When it comes to possible human rights violations, “the legal responsibility rests with the material perpetrators” and not with the state or company that they have contracted, said Mantilla.

Today there is a global market in which US, British, French, Belgian or Danish companies recruit mercenaries mainly from Latin America or countries with armed conflict like Zimbabwe or Nepal.

“The companies are legal, but that doesn’t mean that all of these people’s activities are strictly legal,” added Mantilla.



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Permanent admission of Rohingya refugees is a growing problem for Bangladesh – The Diplomat https://austerlitz2005.com/permanent-admission-of-rohingya-refugees-is-a-growing-problem-for-bangladesh-the-diplomat/ https://austerlitz2005.com/permanent-admission-of-rohingya-refugees-is-a-growing-problem-for-bangladesh-the-diplomat/#respond Fri, 09 Jul 2021 15:21:11 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/permanent-admission-of-rohingya-refugees-is-a-growing-problem-for-bangladesh-the-diplomat/ advertising On June 23, 2021, during the ninth Moscow Conference on International Security, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina repeated: inquiry for global cooperation to ensure the dignified and peaceful return of Rohingya refugees on the grounds that “they pose an enormous security threat to Bangladesh and the region”. Earlier, on June 16, during a bilateral […]]]>


On June 23, 2021, during the ninth Moscow Conference on International Security, Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina repeated: inquiry for global cooperation to ensure the dignified and peaceful return of Rohingya refugees on the grounds that “they pose an enormous security threat to Bangladesh and the region”. Earlier, on June 16, during a bilateral meeting with the United Nations Special Envoy for Myanmar, Christine Schraner Burgener, at the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh in New York, on June 16, the Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, AK Abdul Momen, said: clear timetable by the UN for the return of Rohingya refugees to Myanmar. Momen said that if the returns did not start soon, it would only worsen the overall situation at Cox’s Bazar, where large numbers of Rohingya are encamped, and create instability in the region and beyond.

Bangladesh’s recent repatriation calls re-raise the unresolved problem of the Rohingya crisis in the broader sense and Dhaka’s growing concern about admission nearly 1.1 million Rohingya, Most of them have been in the country since August 2017, following a military action by Myanmar. in addition, the beginning of a political crisis in Myanmar after the military coup in February 2021 distracted international attention from Rohingya refugees to the domestic political situation of the country. While the solution to the crisis lies in the safe and sustainable return of the Rohingya to Myanmar, It is equally important to acknowledge Bangladesh’s growing concern about the reception of refugees. The continued presence of Rohingya refugees has put pressure on Bangladesh’s resources, creating conflict and insecurity for the locals, which is detrimental to the country’s internal political stability. It also has a negative impact on Bangladesh’s relations with Myanmar.

Rohingya refugees continue to live in Bangladesh amid the uncertainty about repatriation has the ninth highest Population density of the world. They are housed in overcrowded, densely populated camps in the Cox’s Bazar district of the Chittagong Division on the border with Myanmar, supposedly the largest refugee camp in the world. Around 40,000 to 70,000 people per square kilometer live next to each other in camps more than 40 times the average population density of Bangladesh. That makes these camps the most densely populated human settlements on the planet, given a particularly dangerous situation the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the arrival of Rohingya impaired not just the Cox’s Bazaar region, but also the Bangladesh economy. Bangladesh’s economy is estimated there $ 1.21 billion a year of assistance to the Rohingya, and costs may rise with population growth, inflation, and the decline in foreign funding.

Since the arrival of Rohingya refugees, Bangladesh has witnessed a number of demonstrations revolving around refugee issues. There were demonstrations against the persecution of Rohingya refugees by the armed forces of Myanmar and the inability to protect Rohingya rights in their homeland. Protesters, including various influential Islamist and religious groups, have raised their voices and urged the Bangladesh government to sever diplomatic relations with Myanmar To put pressure on them to take back the Rohingya. in addition, on September 15, 2017 after the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar, Hefazat-e-Islam (HeI), an Islamist group, held a nationwide program in which the group’s leaders threatened to launch Jihad against Myanmar to liberate the Rohingya from Rakhine State in Myanmar. The refugees have also demonstrated on many occasions, asserting their right to peaceful protest against the military aggression in Rakhine and against attempts to send them back to Myanmar.

The presence of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar has created growing tensions between them and the host communities they consider to be outsiders. Many in the host communities believe that with all the help humanitarian organizations give to refugees, their own needs are sidelined. Inflation, increasing poverty and strains on the infrastructure all add to the concerns of the host communities. Sporadic clashes between Rohingya and host communities in the region have been reported on many occasions. Some Rohingya have also committed acts of violence against civilians and armed clashes with law enforcement agencies in Cox’s Bazaar.

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Some Rohingya have been reported to be involved Involved in various criminal activities ranging from robbery and kidnapping to smuggling of weapons and drugs in the area. In recent years, Rohingya are the ones too aims of human trafficking networks focused on refugee camps. Nevertheless, the deteriorating security situation in the camps, including the involvement of some refugees in drug smuggling, human trafficking and conflict between refugee groups, is becoming a serious one Government concern. It makes law and order management in the Cox’s Bazar area a daunting challenge.

Bangladesh also has concerns about the Recruiting refugees into extremist networks by forbidden groups such as Hizb-ut Tahrir and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and by radical Islamist groups such as HeI. Allegedly the influence of HeI is in the refugee camps growing among frustrated and traumatized Rohingya, which could fuel militancy not only in Bangladesh but throughout the region. In addition, Rohingya militant groups active on the border with Myanmar – such as the Arakan Rohingya Islamic Front (ARIF), the Arakan Rohingya National Organization (ARNO), the Rohingya National Alliance (RNA) and the Rohingya Solidarity Organization ( RSO) – Recruiting refugees, another threat to the internal security of Bangladesh.

In February 2021, Bangladesh decided that it would wouldn’t accept every new Rohingya and conveyed that the country under “no obligation” to. Bangladesh’s domestic constraints on security and political stability prompted the government to seek alternative arrangements for accommodating refugees in the country in the near future.

Bangladesh has been moving since December 2020 Rohingya refugees from Cox’s Bazar to a remote island called Bhashan Char. Since then, about 20,000 Rohingya have so far been relocated to the island. This is the part of 100,000 Rohingya that the government of Bangladesh wants to relocate to relieve the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. While the government of Bangladesh on the Relocation plan, which began in 2015, others were skeptical of the move in terms of safety and To care for violent resettlement and violation of international human rights obligations. International organizations such as the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Refugees International have one Stop The island, which emerged from the sea 20 years ago and was never inhabited, is prone to flooding and hurricanes.

ÖOn May 31st, thousands of frustrated Rohingya refugees are staged Protests against the living conditions in the island camp during a visit by UN officials. Some of the demonstrators are said to have become “unruly” and clashed with the police; several refugees were injured. While the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) issued a statement To care about the incident, Bangladesh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs specified that international media and civil society organizations fought against the resettlement of Bhasan Char and Rohingya with “distorted information that misrepresents the facts”. Aunder such circumstances, the Rohingya find themselves trapped between the eternal suspension the refugee camp and an unsafe home in Myanmar.

At a time when repatriation is still a long way off for most Rohingya refugees, their longer and indefinite stay continues to pose a challenge to the internal stability of Bangladesh. The world community must recognize Bangladesh’s concerns and make concerted efforts to address the challenges related to the complex situation.



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Yemen: Unfiltered Neoliberalism Exacerbated the Water Crisis: Part I. https://austerlitz2005.com/yemen-unfiltered-neoliberalism-exacerbated-the-water-crisis-part-i/ https://austerlitz2005.com/yemen-unfiltered-neoliberalism-exacerbated-the-water-crisis-part-i/#respond Wed, 07 Jul 2021 10:35:27 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/yemen-unfiltered-neoliberalism-exacerbated-the-water-crisis-part-i/ Comment: In Yemen, a war-torn country for six years, water resources are drying up. Helen Lackner writes that climate change, population growth and poor agricultural policy are to blame. Yemen’s water supply is well below the “absolute scarcity” on the Falkenmark scale. [Getty] Yemen is currently plagued by a catastrophic six years of war and […]]]>


Comment: In Yemen, a war-torn country for six years, water resources are drying up. Helen Lackner writes that climate change, population growth and poor agricultural policy are to blame.

Yemen’s water supply is well below the “absolute scarcity” on the Falkenmark scale. [Getty]

Yemen is currently plagued by a catastrophic six years of war and a major water crisis that will affect the viability of its people in the country long after the military conflict has ended.

Yemen’s current annual renewable water availability of 72 million square kilometers. This is below the 500m-square indicator for “absolute scarcity” on the internationally recognized Falkenmark scale and well below the FAO’s much higher “stress” marker.

As the population continues to grow at a rate of nearly 3% per year, water availability per capita is decreasing. In addition, Yemen’s water resources are also likely to be negatively impacted by climate change.

The objective situation is grim, and the neoliberal policies of the Ali Abdullah Saleh regime (1978-2011) and international development financiers have made it worse and increased inequality.

This article focuses on rural water use and, in particular, the role of agricultural policy in exacerbating water scarcity in the country.

“Explicit political decisions in support of diesel-powered pumps and pipe well drilling technology for irrigation have made it possible to produce water well above the sustainable level”

Like many other countries, Yemen uses 90% of its water in agriculture. About 70% of the population of Yemen live in rural areas, and more than half of the current population (30 million) derive a significant portion of their income from farming activities, including ranching and crop production.

This article does not cover domestic water supply as it is subject to numerous and complex extraction and distribution processes based on the source and type of water supply as well as the local social and political situation. These methods include individual property and community management strategies in rural areas as well as larger centralized systems in cities.

Three main factors explain the water scarcity in Yemen, all of which can be traced back directly or indirectly to human activity.

First, rapid population growth has increased demand, reducing the availability of water and land per capita for generations to levels well below self-sufficiency.

Second, climate change is manifested by increasingly violent and irregular rainfall and other phenomena that reduce water availability, particularly by limiting the replenishment of freshwater aquifers, as the loss of topsoil prevents the uptake of runoff, especially when terraces deteriorate due to lack of maintenance to have .

Thirdly, the explicit political decisions of political regimes in recent decades to support diesel-powered pumps and pipe well drilling for irrigation have enabled water production that is well above sustainable levels. This has led to the expansion of agricultural areas and thus to the further depletion of the aquifers.

Villages are being abandoned for lack of resources

The extent of water scarcity is not uniform across the country. Unfortunately, the areas with the highest population density are also the areas with the least available groundwater, whether from renewable or fossil aquifers.

In some of the most densely populated areas, such as the Sanaa and Saada basins, the water table has plummeted. In some areas, villages have been abandoned due to the total depletion of their water table.

If all of the Yemeni water is used for domestic use, the per capita availability would rise to 200 liters per day, significantly more than is needed or consumed in Europe (approx. 150 liters per capita per day). While it is both technically impossible and unrealistic to propose such a fundamental redistribution of water use, there is no doubt that the problem of water scarcity in Yemen has been exacerbated in recent decades by management policies that at best ignore the fundamental principle of direct human needs.

“Water scarcity has exacerbated conflicts between communities, especially between upstream and downstream”

Significant growth in irrigated areas

In the ten years before the ongoing war, Yemen used 30% more water annually than its renewable energy sources. At that time, Yemen was consuming 3.5 billion cubic meters (billion cubic meters) of water while its renewable supply was only 2.1 billion cubic meters. The 1.4 billion cubic meter shortage was met by water pumped from non-renewable fossil aquifers using modern technology. These numbers cover all types of water consumption.

Although rain field irrigation and flood irrigation also use water, the introduction of pump irrigation in the 20th century led to a major shortage.

Over the past three decades, both shallow and deep well irrigation due to pumping have contributed to the water crisis. The increase in well-irrigated land is impressive, from 37,000 hectares in the 1970s to over 400,000 hectares in the 2000s.

Over the same period when irrigated land increased by a factor of 15, rainfed agriculture declined by 30% in a country where only about 3% of the land, including pasture land, is arable. According to the 2002 Agriculture Census, 25% of the 1.6 million hectares of farmland were irrigated by wells, with the data making no distinction between shallow and deep wells. This was at the expense of the sustainability of the aquifers and exacerbated social inequality, which explains both the worsening water and political crises.

Water scarcity has exacerbated conflicts between communities, particularly between upstream and downstream communities where increased use of the former has deprived the latter. As shallow wells dry up due to deep well extraction by wealthier neighbors, smallholders become impoverished and eventually have to sell their land.

The land distribution is extremely skewed: Of the 1.2 million landowners in Yemen, 58% owned a total of 8% of the arable land on holdings of less than 0.5 hectares, while only 7% of the owners owned 56% of the land on holdings of more than 5 hectares Hectares controlled.

Deep wells drawn from non-renewable fossil aquifers are one of the main culprits in reducing water availability. These wells are mostly operated by the few larger landowners who grow high quality crops such as qat, mangoes and bananas, the latter two of which are mainly for export. The areas for these crops have expanded enormously over the past three decades at the expense of crops and pastureland. This has been promoted regardless of sustainability, both in terms of general environmental issues and in terms of basic population access to water for domestic use.

This is Part I. Read Part II here.

Helen Lackner is an independent researcher who worked and lived in Yemen for over fifteen years, five of them in the RDPY between 1977 and 1982. She has just studied Yemen in Crisis, Autocracy, Neo-Liberalism and the Disintegration of a State (Saqi, 2017) .

This article was originally published by our partners at OrientXXI.

Have questions or comments? Email us at: editor-english@alaraby.co.uk

The opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The New Arab, its editorial staff, or its collaborators.



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Iran worried about Biden’s next move in the Middle East https://austerlitz2005.com/iran-worried-about-bidens-next-move-in-the-middle-east/ https://austerlitz2005.com/iran-worried-about-bidens-next-move-in-the-middle-east/#respond Sat, 03 Jul 2021 21:23:00 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/iran-worried-about-bidens-next-move-in-the-middle-east/ The Tasnim News from Iran had an interesting article discussing concerns about US President Joe Biden’s next move in the Middle East. Iran has watched the US withdraw from Afghanistan and hopes the US will withdraw elsewhere. However, veteran analysts in Iran seem to think that the US will not continue the withdrawal and will […]]]>


The Tasnim News from Iran had an interesting article discussing concerns about US President Joe Biden’s next move in the Middle East. Iran has watched the US withdraw from Afghanistan and hopes the US will withdraw elsewhere. However, veteran analysts in Iran seem to think that the US will not continue the withdrawal and will instead find reasons to stay in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

Iran is deeply interested in how Biden sees Syria and the US military presence in Iraq. “They are targeting Syrian and Iraqi forces on the border between the two countries under the pretext [those forces] Threat to US troops. There is no doubt that there is no connection between this aggression and the fight against terrorism, ”says Tasnim.

The analyst argues that the US-targeted groups were fighting “terrorism”. This is because the Iranian regime claims that pro-Iranian militias are fighting against jihadist groups in Iraq and Iran. The conspiracies put forward by pro-Iranian commentators generally claim that the US is supporting “terrorists” against Iran and that the US is only pretending to fight groups like ISIS. “Anyone genuinely searching for the truth knows very well that it is the United States that is spreading terrorism and relying on terrorist groups to justify its military presence in the region and its occupation of Iraq and Syria.” This is of course nonsense. The US left Iraq in 2011 and did not return until 2014 at the invitation of Baghdad to help in the fight against IS. The US Air Force and special forces were key to defeating ISIS. It was not Iran that defeated IS in Raqqa, but the US-backed SDF. Iran helped defeat ISIS, but its claim that the US helped “terrorists” is incorrect.

Iran is aware that the US is more focused on China these days. However, Iran wonders what the US will do in the Middle East. “In this respect, it can be concluded from the behavior of the USA in the region that the country is planning a new strategy to influence the region: the ambiguous decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, ambiguous statements about the military” Withdrawal from Iraq, vague and fruitless demands Ending the Yemen war and finally the ambiguous request to resolve the Syria issue in accordance with resolution 2254 without circumventing the legitimate Syrian government involve contradicting behavior.

The Iranian analyst says the US cannot be trusted to actually withdraw troops. “Why are the Americans ready to hand over the strategically important region of the Middle East that plays an important global role to Russia, America’s most powerful rival?” That is a good question, and many who worry about the withdrawal the former US administration wondered if this would strengthen Russia.

Iran believes the US wants to avoid military conflict. This would reduce the chance of the US increasing its presence. The US goal now is to “forge close ties with the armies of the US-affiliated countries and control their decisions and actions in such a way that their armies are a substitute for US policy in the Middle East,” argues the analyst. He cites Lebanon as an example. Under the guise of humanitarian goals, the US wants to create a “gap between the army and the Lebanese resistance” [Hezbollah]so that over time the Lebanese army will be under direct US control and so that the Zionist regime can more easily achieve its goals in Lebanon in a possible future war with Hezbollah. ”This conspiracy theory is probably representative of Iran’s view of the US Discussions about Lebanon and means that any US role there, even throwing money on the Lebanese army, will be viewed with suspicion. Tasnim notes that Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah was referring to this “American conspiracy” … Nasrallah assured that these US Zionist conspiracies would not succeed and that the army and Hezbollah would not fall into the Washington trap.

The article next looks at the recent attacks by pro-Iranian groups on US forces in Syria. This came after the US ordered the bombing of pro-Iranian groups in Albukamal in response to drone strikes. This suggests that more attacks may follow. The author argues that the US wants to prevent stability in the region. “The United States must prevent instability in the region and create chaos in order to consolidate its occupation of the Middle East, this requires the presence of terrorist groups in the Middle East … We shouldn’t expect the United States to stop supporting.” ISIS or otherwise Pressuring terrorist groups or Turkey to end its support for terrorism; It is also not possible to cut off US support for the ‘democratic’ militias in Syria. ”This is a reference to US support for the Syrian Democratic Forces, a group that emerged from Kurdish groups that defeated IS in 2015 and with whom the US has worked. The US administration under Trump also sought closer cooperation with Turkey and Turkish-backed extremists in Idlib.

The Iranian analyst is right on this point. The former US administration tried to support extremists who were supported by Turkey. Washington mistakenly thought these groups were fighting the Assad regime and Iran, but instead Turkey used them to ethnically cleanse Kurds in Efrn and other places.

The analyst’s conclusion is that the US is not leaving the region. “Contrary to popular belief,” he argues that the US is not leaving. “Some experts believe that recent US actions, such as the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan or the withdrawal of US missile defense systems from several Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and Iraq, mean Washington’s military withdrawal from the Middle East . Do not accept this idea. ”

In fact, the article claims that the US currently lacks a comprehensive strategy for the region. “What is certain, however, is the escalation of the confrontation between the American occupying power and the resistance” [pro-Iran] Groups in Iraq related to combating that country’s national decision to evict Americans. The Americans are also trying to prevent the strengthening of Syrian-Iraqi ties on the axis of resistance. ”The analyst believes the US is concerned about Iraq’s close ties with Iran and that Iran is using Iraq to support and support Palestinian groups Attack Israel.

What are the US options. Tasnim’s explanation is that the US could wage a new war in the region, but it would be costly. It notes that the Iran-backed “resistance” forced the US to leave Iraq in 2011. “The second option is for Washington to pull out for fear of a costly war that would mean the collapse of US credibility. In the end, it can be said that if the United States chooses either of these options, it will mean defeat for them, and the consequences of that defeat will hit the Zionist occupiers and the compromising Arab regimes, whose existence is supported by American support depends. ”

In short, Iran believes the US is facing a checkmate scenario one way or another. However, the article shows that Iran is concerned about its lack of understanding of the current policies of the Biden government. The Iranian regime has carefully studied the mindset of US politics and the US role in the region. Despite the conspiracies Iran makes to explain the role of the US, it tends to understand some of the basics of US decision-making.



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India’s Look East policy should begin with Myanmar https://austerlitz2005.com/indias-look-east-policy-should-begin-with-myanmar/ https://austerlitz2005.com/indias-look-east-policy-should-begin-with-myanmar/#respond Fri, 02 Jul 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/indias-look-east-policy-should-begin-with-myanmar/ Subir Bhaumik is a former BBC and Reuters correspondent and author of five books on South Asian conflicts. Popular resentment over China’s involvement in Myanmar and the attacks on Chinese companies there has increased since the February 1 coup that overthrew the elected government of the National League for Democracy. India, another friendly neighbor of […]]]>


Subir Bhaumik is a former BBC and Reuters correspondent and author of five books on South Asian conflicts.

Popular resentment over China’s involvement in Myanmar and the attacks on Chinese companies there has increased since the February 1 coup that overthrew the elected government of the National League for Democracy. India, another friendly neighbor of Myanmar, has not drawn the anger of protesters as much as China has. But New Delhi’s political paralysis against Myanmar was reflected in his abstention on June 19 in a UN General Assembly vote condemning the military takeover.

India’s statement that the “hastily tabled resolution is not conducive to our efforts to strengthen the democratic process” sounded lame in Myanmar. It is high time New Delhi took a more active role in restoring democracy.

Attacks on Chinese companies and the sites of demonstrators in Myanmar, who burn the flag of the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, served as a warning to India. Anti-China and anti-ASEAN resentments soared after their representatives met with military regime leaders in Yangon in early June while ignoring resentments from the National Unity Government’s anti-military regime.

Countless indigenous resistance groups have sprung up in Myanmar, including the self-proclaimed Federal Army and the People’s Defense Forces. Many depict hardline activists seeking revenge for the indiscriminate murder of peaceful protesters by the military, also known as tatmadaw.

India may not want to push this far for further sanctions, but it could play a stronger mediator role and use its access to Myanmar’s numerous stakeholders to foster dialogue to restore democracy. India’s military has close ties to the Tatmadaw, while its political parties have ties to the regime’s anti-military forces, including the ousted NLD, its affiliated NUG and some ethnic armed organizations.

The NLD government under Aung San Suu Kyi had drawn closer to China after the West strongly condemned the military attacks on the Rohingya minority. However, Beijing was unhappy with the NLD’s refusal to resume the China-funded Myitsone Dam project and its plans to reduce investment in the China-backed Kyaukphyu Port Special Economic Zone project.

China’s support for the military regime increased after the generals approved 15 major investment proposals, most of them Chinese. As a result, protesters are attacking Chinese companies, with 37 Chinese factories burned down to date. There is an undeclared boycott of Chinese goods by neighborhood committees, a bastion of anti-military regime forces. The threats to blow up the Kyaukphyu-Yunnan oil and gas pipeline have also unsettled the Chinese.

Unless military repression stops, urban armed riots, such as the last one in Mandalay, will intensify and further attacks on key China-funded infrastructures are likely. This would seriously jeopardize the China-Myanmar economic corridor, one of China’s two key projects in the Belt and Road Initiative.

China faces a similar predicament in other countries. Attacks by Baloch separatists on projects related to the China-Pakistan economic corridor have already forced Beijing to push for stronger security measures with Pakistan. The view that China is an emerging neo-colonial power, hungry for resources and with no regard for local issues, has gained ground around the world.

For India, which wants to offer a cheap alternative to China in Southeast Asia, the lessons are clear. Their policy towards Myanmar, based on fears that the military regime will be driven into the arms of Beijing, is flawed. While some argue that the military regime has already moved closer to China, others believe the mounting attacks on Chinese interests may soon force Beijing to reconsider its full support for the military regime. India should seize this opportunity in Myanmar, where a boycott of Chinese goods opens up an opportunity for Indian businesses.

If India wants to assert itself as a regional power, it has to play a mediating role, perhaps together with Japan. Tokyo and New Delhi have already been quietly working on an alternative to China’s BRI projects, but India has a potential mediator in Zoramthanga, a former rebel leader and prime minister of Mizoram state who is popular with Myanmar’s pro-democracy movement for his openness hat door for refugees. He has extensive contacts with the many ethnic rebel armies of Myanmar and also with the military. And he is ready to take on the peacemaking role.

The Tatmadaw needs the Indian army to contain the Arakan Army, a Rakhine military organization, just as India needs Myanmar to prevent the northeast Indian rebel groups from using jungle bases in Sagaing. But the Arakan Army’s current truce with the Tatmadaw and the reported use of northeast Indian rebels by the Myanmar military against refugees and local resistance forces is a reason for New Delhi to look beyond a limited role in counterinsurgency.

Big Buddha statue in Bodh Gaya. © Universal Images Group / Getty Images

Many in Myanmar believe that Indian democracy and federalism are the best models for a future Myanmar. The Bodh Gaya Temple in the Indian state of Bihar, where Buddha is said to have achieved enlightenment, is a sacred pilgrimage destination for Burmese Buddhists. The former Myanmar General Maung Aye once said to me: “For weapons we go to China, to save our souls we go to India.”

It is time for Indian diplomacy to break out of its self-imposed limbo and use the tremendous goodwill of the country in Myanmar to play a strong and proactive role in attempts to end the conflict there.

Global pressure makes Tatmadaw commanders realize that it is impossible to continue their brutal repression. The military is facing a rebellion from within its own ranks. According to a report, 800 soldiers and officers have already joined the pro-democracy movement. Cracks in the upper tiers cannot be ruled out.

The challenge for India is to involve all stakeholders in Myanmar and work on a solution. Such measures may not produce immediate results, but India’s peace diplomacy could certainly make a significant political contribution to New Delhi, commensurate with an emerging regional power.



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The Baghdad Underground Railroad built an escape route for Iraqi interpreters. It was just the beginning. https://austerlitz2005.com/the-baghdad-underground-railroad-built-an-escape-route-for-iraqi-interpreters-it-was-just-the-beginning/ https://austerlitz2005.com/the-baghdad-underground-railroad-built-an-escape-route-for-iraqi-interpreters-it-was-just-the-beginning/#respond Wed, 30 Jun 2021 22:24:27 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/the-baghdad-underground-railroad-built-an-escape-route-for-iraqi-interpreters-it-was-just-the-beginning/ As the final resting place of presidents, band leaders, war heroes, astronauts, inventors, civil rights activists, Pulitzer Prize winners, boxers, Supreme Court justices, and sports stars, Arlington National Cemetery stands as a memorial to the melting pot of the United States. With connections to some of our nation’s most influential people and major events, their […]]]>


As the final resting place of presidents, band leaders, war heroes, astronauts, inventors, civil rights activists, Pulitzer Prize winners, boxers, Supreme Court justices, and sports stars, Arlington National Cemetery stands as a memorial to the melting pot of the United States. With connections to some of our nation’s most influential people and major events, their history is as interesting as their people.


A calm picture of Arlington National Cemetery in spring. (Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ingfbruno)

Arlington sits on 624 acres overlooking the Potomac River just across from Washington, DC. Although now surrounded by the country’s capital, Arlington was once an idyllic property with a neoclassical mansion, Arlington House. The mansion, which still stands over the site today, was built by George Washington (yes, The Washington) grandson and marks the beginning of cemetery history.

Before she married George, Martha was married to Daniel Parke Custis. After he died and she married the “father” of our country, George adopted her two surviving children. The eldest, John Parke Custis (JPC), died in 1781 while serving in the Revolutionary Army. He left four children, the youngest of whom, George Washington Parke Custis (GWPC), was born shortly before his father’s death.

Related: These ladies attend every funeral in Arlington so no one is buried alone

GWPC and a sister lived with the Washington. When he came of age in 1802, GWPC inherited fortunes and possessions from his late father (JPC), including land in Arlington. Hoping to build a house that could also serve as a memorial to his grandfather George Washington, GWPC hired an architect and built a Greek-style mansion that some believed was “modeled after the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens” be.

The house was built in parts, with the north wing completed in 1802 and the south wing completed in 1804. These two stood as separate buildings until the central section connected them in 1818. During GWPC’s lifetime, part of the mansion was reserved as storage for George Washington memorabilia, including portraits, papers, and even the tent Washington used during his tenure in Yorktown.

GWPC and his family lived and died on the property where many of them were buried.

In 1831, Mary, GWPC’s only surviving child, married Robert E. Lee (yes, The Lee). The Lees lived with the Custis on the property, where they raised their seven children. After the death of her father, Mary inherited Arlington. Robert E. Lee loved the property and once described it as “the place where my attachments are stronger than any other place in the world.”

Before the Civil War, Lee had visited West Point (finished second in his class) and served in the United States in the Mexican War (1846-1848). A respected and popular officer, Lee struggled with his decision to abandon his 36-year-old commission to take command of the Virginia Confederate Forces. When he did so in April 1861, the decision was viewed by many of his former friends, including Brig. Gen., as a betrayal of the Union. General Montgomery C. Meigs.

With Arlington on a hill overlooking the capital being vital to the defense or defeat of DC, Union leaders sought to control it. After the breakaway of Virginia in May 1861, the Union troops crossed en masse in Virginia and soon took command of the property. The site was quickly converted into a Union Camp.

The Baghdad Underground Railroad built an escape route for Iraqi interpreters.  It was just the beginning.
American flags adorn the tombs of Arlington. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Patrick Kelley.

By 1862, Congress had passed a law imposing a tax on “insurgent” property. Mary was unable to pay the tax bill in person and her assistant’s attempt to pay the debt was rejected. As a result, Uncle Sam confiscated Arlington, and when it was auctioned off, the federal government bought the property for $ 26,800 (about $ 607,000 today, well below market value).

Not only were union leaders doing good business, they felt that by taking the estates of prominent rebels, in the words of General William T. Sherman, “they would make them so sick from the war that generations would die before they would turn to them again for it. ”

In 1863, after thousands of former slaves freed by the Emancipation Proclamation gathered in DC, a Freedman’s Village was established on the property, “complete with new wooden houses, schools, churches, and farmland to house former slaves for food for the war effort Growing Union “. . ”

One journalist described it:

More than poetic justice is seen in the fact that his rich lands, which were so long the domain of the great general of the Rebellion, now offer work and support to hundreds of acquitted slaves.

As the Union’s losses began to rise in the spring of 1864, General Meigs proposed that some of the dead be buried in Arlington. The first, on May 13, 1864, was Pvt. William Christman, a poor soldier whose family could not afford the cost of a funeral. Soon many other soldiers in need were buried on the Arlington grounds near the already established cemetery for slaves and freedmen. When General Meigs saw the effectiveness of this system, he urged Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton:

I recommend that. . . the land that surrounds Arlington Mansion. . . appropriated, properly fenced, laid out and carefully maintained as a national military cemetery for this purpose.

To serve the dual purpose of paying homage to the dead and “making Arlington uninhabitable for the Lees”, Meigs had prominent Union officers buried near Mrs. Lee’s garden. He also laid a mass grave of over 2,000 unidentified soldiers with a raised sarcophagus near the house.

After the war, the Lees tried unsuccessfully to retake Arlington. Maria wrote to a friend that the graves were “planted right up to the door, regardless of morality”. After Robert E. Lee’s death in 1870, Mary petitioned Congress for the return of her family home, but the proposal was firmly denied.

Shortly thereafter, other monuments and structures were erected in honor of the dead, including numerous ornate gravestones from the Gilded Age and the large, red McClellan Gate at the entrance to the site.

The family wasn’t finished, however, and in January 1879, after a six-day trial, a jury ruled that the requirement that Mary Lee pay the 1862 tax in person was unconstitutional. On the appeal, the Supreme Court agreed, so the property was back in the hands of the Lee family.

Also read: Arlington National Cemetery has run out of space to bury America’s vets

Instead of dismantling graves and moving monuments, however, the federal government and Mary Lee’s son, George Washington Custis Lee, agreed to sell them. On March 31, 1883, Uncle Sam bought Arlington from the Lee family for $ 150,000 (about $ 3,638,000 today).

Today Arlington is home to the remains of over 400,000 souls. In addition to its famous sea of ​​gloomy, beautiful white headstones, Arlington is also home to numerous monuments, including the Tomb of the Unknowns, the Rough Riders Monument, the Pentagon Group’s funeral marker and two memorials to the tragedies of the Space Shuttle Shuttle challenger and Columbia.

One of the most famous burial sites in the National Cemetery is that of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy with his eternal flame. Two of his children and Jackie Kennedy are also buried there.

The Baghdad Underground Railroad built an escape route for Iraqi interpreters.  It was just the beginning.
The eternal flame at the grave of John F. Kennedy. (Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Wknight94)

William Howard Taft is the only other US President buried on the site, and he, along with three other Chief Justice and eight Associate Justice, represents the Arlington Supreme Court.

Of course, there are many war heroes and famous generals buried in Arlington, including George C. Marshall (father of the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after World War II) and Omar N. Bradley.

Famous explorers buried in Arlington are Admiral Richard Byrd (the first person to fly over both poles) and Rear Admiral Robert Peary (another polar explorer). John Wesley Powell (famous for Lake Powell) is also buried in Arlington, as are several astronauts, including Lt. Col. Virgil “Gus” Grissom and Capt. Charles “Pete” Conrad, Jr. (the third man to be on the moon).

Other famous Americans buried in the National Cemetery are Abner Doubleday (who, contrary to legend, actually had nothing to do with baseball), big band leader Maj. Glenn Miller (who went missing on December 15, 1944, so really just got there a tombstone), boxer Joe Louis, inventor George Westinghouse and civil rights activist Medgar Evers.



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A touching history lesson in Townsend – Lowell Sun https://austerlitz2005.com/a-touching-history-lesson-in-townsend-lowell-sun/ https://austerlitz2005.com/a-touching-history-lesson-in-townsend-lowell-sun/#respond Tue, 29 Jun 2021 05:33:23 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/a-touching-history-lesson-in-townsend-lowell-sun/ As we near the celebration of this nation’s 245th birthday on July 4th, it is instructive to understand the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform then and now. Unfortunately, the war to wrest control of these 13 colonies from the British Empire was not the last to take a devastating human toll. […]]]>


As we near the celebration of this nation’s 245th birthday on July 4th, it is instructive to understand the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform then and now.

Unfortunately, the war to wrest control of these 13 colonies from the British Empire was not the last to take a devastating human toll.

But of all the conflicts, none was so poorly understood or disparaged as the Vietnam War, which eventually drew more than 2.7 million US military personnel into this swamp, mainly from the mid-1960s until we withdrew in 1973.

It was also the first time returning US veterans of an overseas military conflict had been showered with abuse rather than praise.

The shame of participating in a war that was seen as unjustified left invisible scars that some Vietnam veterans still bear today.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, completed in 1982, was the first major step towards the long-overdue reconciliation and recognition of the fighters and the more than 58,000 people who died there.

A mobile memorial, launched 14 years later, is now traveling the country, offering countless other Americans the opportunity to ponder the ultimate sacrifices of our soldiers and soldiers.

The Wall That Heals, this traveling replica of the Vietnam War Memorial, will be stationed at North Middlesex Regional High School until the fourth weekend in July.

His presence provides a rare opportunity for residents of Townsend and the surrounding communities to see this moving memorial and ponder the names of all Americans who died in this controversial Southeast Asia conflict.

After arriving on Thursday afternoon, the wall will be open to the public until 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Unveiled on Veterans Day in 1996, this movable wall offers Vietnam veterans and every citizen the opportunity to experience the range of emotions within their own communities that countless visitors to the actual Vietnam Memorial have experienced firsthand.

“It’s a smaller, exact replica of what’s in Washington, and when you sit back in Washington and look at the entire wall, how it is laid out, how the grounds are laid out, it is represented the same way,” Russell said Jobe, past state commander of the Department of Massachusetts Veterans of Foreign Wars, told the newspaper.

Like the original, the chevron-shaped mobile wall, which is 375 feet long and 7.5 feet high at its highest point, allows visitors to see the wall rise above them as they move to its top.

Its synthetic granite composition provides a surface suitable for rubbing down names etched into stone.

Jobe said the effort to bring the wall to Townsend took two years. It was originally supposed to come last summer but the coronavirus pandemic canceled it. Jobe worked closely with Joe Firmani, director of the nonprofit Operation Service in Fitchburg, to help plan.

As the show ended up in a smaller community like Townsend, Jobe said it really came down to the community.

“We talked with passion about why we wanted it and how we would do it and we didn’t want to drop the ball,” said Jobe.

The wall will arrive via Fort Devens and leave the Clear Path for Veterans at 2 p.m., accompanied by approximately 300 motorcycles, State Police motorcycles, a helicopter and 50 jeeps from the Massachusetts Wicked Jeeps Club. It will travel to Townsend on lines 13 and 119 and arrive at the high school by 3:00 p.m.

It is not the first time that this moving exhibition has appeared in our area. Fitchburg, Leominster, and Lowell – among others – have all been hosts in the past.

But given the patriotic spirit of the holiday and victory over a viral pandemic, it seems like a fair way to spend some time with this misunderstood piece of US history.



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Indian armed forces that can adequately respond to any challenge: Rajnath Singh in Ladakh https://austerlitz2005.com/indian-armed-forces-that-can-adequately-respond-to-any-challenge-rajnath-singh-in-ladakh/ https://austerlitz2005.com/indian-armed-forces-that-can-adequately-respond-to-any-challenge-rajnath-singh-in-ladakh/#respond Mon, 28 Jun 2021 07:42:46 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/indian-armed-forces-that-can-adequately-respond-to-any-challenge-rajnath-singh-in-ladakh/ New Delhi, June 28 (PTI) In a clear message from East Ladakh to China, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday that India would never forget the sacrifice of the “galwan broodheart” and assured the country’s armed forces in be able to perform adequately in response to any challenge. Speaking at an event on the […]]]>


New Delhi, June 28 (PTI) In a clear message from East Ladakh to China, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday that India would never forget the sacrifice of the “galwan broodheart” and assured the country’s armed forces in be able to perform adequately in response to any challenge.

Speaking at an event on the second day of his visit to the region, Singh said efforts should be made to find solutions to problems through dialogue with neighboring countries, but noted that India would not tolerate anyone trying to do it to threaten.

“India will never forget that soldiers in the Galwan Valley sacrificed their lives for the country,” said Singh, adding that the Indian army is able to provide an appropriate response to any challenge.

Twenty members of the Indian army died on June 15 last year in clashes with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley, the worst military conflict between the two sides in decades.

In February, China officially admitted that five Chinese military officers and soldiers were killed in clashes with the Indian Army, although it is widely believed that the death toll was higher.

The Minister of Defense also inaugurated 63 Border Roads Organization infrastructure projects in Ladakh.

Singh’s three-day visit to the region came to a dead end at several points of friction during the next phase of the withdrawal from China. PTI MPB DV DV



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Prisoners of War: A Returned Reality https://austerlitz2005.com/prisoners-of-war-a-returned-reality/ https://austerlitz2005.com/prisoners-of-war-a-returned-reality/#respond Sat, 26 Jun 2021 12:00:04 +0000 https://austerlitz2005.com/prisoners-of-war-a-returned-reality/ Modern warfare is accelerated: operations on a battlefield with multiple domains are carried out faster and on a more diverse battlefield. In the future fight on equal terms, the clashes could escalate into conflicts in which traditional forces intervene, resolve and maneuver to the advantage. Wars of maneuver create situations where the enemy can capture […]]]>


Modern warfare is accelerated: operations on a battlefield with multiple domains are carried out faster and on a more diverse battlefield. In the future fight on equal terms, the clashes could escalate into conflicts in which traditional forces intervene, resolve and maneuver to the advantage. Wars of maneuver create situations where the enemy can capture soldiers, and the risk of being captured is much higher in a larger conflict than in counterinsurgency operations. During a major conflict, aircrews rescue over enemy controlled areas, and the turbulence that comes with a flowing battlefield creates the risk of soldiers and marines being captured by the enemy (e.g., disoriented soldiers are captured by an advancing enemy or convoys are ambushed and survivors captured).

Even if the US and its coalition partners are tactically or technologically superior, there will be situations and niches within the conflict in which friendly forces have a compromising position. As a historical example: at the end of November 1944, most Allied troops believed the war in Europe was over, but just a few weeks later the sudden German counter-offensive in the Battle of the Bulge captured 20,000 Americans within a few days.

Surrender is a rational choice, when all other means are exhausted, that troops should be taught as a means of continuing to resist the enemy. But the context of the surrender is essential. When you run out of the means to resist on the battlefield and capture is the only option, you have fulfilled your obligation and now have the opportunity to continue the fight as a prisoner of war truck as a fighter.

During two decades of fighting the Global War on Terrorism, the likelihood that a soldier would be captured was slim. When a soldier was captured, the personnel were recovered relatively close to the area where the capture took place. However, in a similar conflict, friendly forces could be overrun by a rapidly advancing enemy seeking the advantage of an attack before a fait accompli, and restoration could be impossible for the foreseeable future due to a lack of local resources, numerous captured soldiers, and the chaos in the The beginning of the war.

The prioritization of survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE) and training on the code of conduct fell by the wayside. The Army’s regulations governing such training – Army Regulation 525-28 – were last updated in 2010 and designate the U.S. Joint Forces Command (dissolved in 2011) as the executive agent for personnel recovery. The last decades have steered the SERE training in such a way that it corresponds to the operational environment of counterinsurgency. There is a need to realign training and teaching to prepare for the potential operational environment in which peer-to-peer actors and major conflicts arise.

In a study from 1964 entitled “Captivity and behavior in captivity”, former prisoners of war from the Korean War were asked about their experiences. The repeated response from the former prisoners of war was that they felt unprepared to deal with the captivity. The unpreparedness made her less able to endure the long imprisonment mentally and physically. The risks are not unique to the time in captivity; Unprepared for the possibility of capture, soldiers are more likely to panic during the capture. Panic increases the risk of being shot or attacked with force. Panic and shock can also trigger violent interrogation, as soldiers in a vulnerable state are viewed as the target of intelligence-gathering.

Soldiers who panic at the site of capture are avoidable casualties. As an analogy to a similarly stressful and risky action, we can compare the capture of soldiers to the abandonment of a sinking ship. The WWII naval classic “How to Abandon Ship” (1943) states: “Most casualties at sea are actually the result of panic that is the product of ignorance.” In World War II, the probability that a Sailors whose ship was torpedoed or shot at by cannons died three times more often from panic and unpreparedness to leave the ship than the guns had targeted the ship.

Training and mental preparation for the possibility of capture serve several purposes. A mentally prepared soldier is less irrational when captured and tries to protect himself, his comrades and critical information. It is important that a soldier clearly understand his or her rights as a prisoner of war under international law. We also know that such training is effective as mental preparation in case it happens: the lessons from Korea served as lessons in training and preparing prisoners of war for Vietnam to survive their time in captivity.

In this new normal of competition and potentially rapidly escalating near peer conflicts, it is vital that lessons learned are not overlooked. We should begin now to prepare our armed forces for the opportunity to spend time in captivity, to provide them with the tools to survive if this should occur.

Dr. Jan Kallberg is a scientist at the Army Cyber ​​Institute at West Point, editor-in-chief of the Cyber ​​Defense Review and assistant professor at the US Military Academy. Lt. Col. Todd Arnold is a research fellow at the Army Cyber ​​Institute at West Point and Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) of the US Military Academy Policy or Position of the Army Cyber ​​Institute at West Point, or the US Military Academy of the Ministry of Defense.

Editor’s Note: This is a commentary and the opinions expressed are those of the author. If you would like to respond or have your own editorial to submit, please contact the Military Times Senior Editor Howard Altman, haltman@militarytimes.com.



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