US Department of Defense: Indo-Pacific Strategy Report (June 1, 2019)

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The Liberal Embrace of War

American interventionists learned a lesson from Iraq: pre-empt the debate. Now everyone is for regime change

CARACAS — The United States banned all air transport with Venezuela on Wednesday over security concerns, further isolating the troubled South American nation…

A disinterested historian — Herodotus raised from the dead — would see this as just the latest volley in a siege tale. America has been trying for ages to topple the regime of President Nicholas Maduro, after trying for years to do the same to his predecessor, Hugo Chavez. Continue reading “The Liberal Embrace of War”

A Rising China Is Driving the U.S. Army’s New Game Plan in the Pacific

New missiles and large-scale exercises part of long-term strategy to deter Beijing.

Idaho Army National Guard and Montana Army National Guard Soldiers from the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team conduct a live-fire exercise with Royal Thai Army Soldiers at the Cavalry Center in Thailand’s Saraburi province on Aug. 28, 2018. (Department of Defense Photo)

Idaho Army National Guard and Montana Army National Guard Soldiers from the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team conduct a live-fire exercise with Royal Thai Army Soldiers at the Cavalry Center in Thailand’s Saraburi province on Aug. 28, 2018. (Department of Defense Photo)

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii—As an organization based solidly on dry land, the U.S. Army’s increasing focus on the Pacific might seem puzzling to some.

But with China continuing to expand its military, building islands in the South China Sea, and spreading fear among neighbors, the Army wants to up its game in the region with more firepower and additional rotations of U.S. troops—not only to reassure key U.S. allies such as Japan, South Korea, and Thailand that the United States has their back, but also to prevent a potential war.

“China is the priority,” said Gen. Robert Brown, U.S. Army Pacific commander, during a March 19 roundtable with a handful of reporters at Fort Shafter in Hawaii. Continue reading “A Rising China Is Driving the U.S. Army’s New Game Plan in the Pacific”

US denying visas to International Criminal Court staff

Jennifer Hansler

Updated 6:13 PM ET, Fri March 15, 2019

Washington (CNN) – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the US will deny or revoke visas for International Criminal Court staff.

The move is meant to deter a potential investigation by the judicial body into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by US troops in Afghanistan.

Pompeo, speaking from the State Department Friday, said the restrictions include “persons who take or have taken action to request or further such an investigation.” He said the policy had already taken effect, but declined to say who had been restricted or would face future restrictions. Continue reading “US denying visas to International Criminal Court staff”

Report: Kim Jong Un could tour Vietnam ahead of summit with Trump

By Elizabeth Shim

Kim Jong Un could arrive in Vietnam days ahead of President Donald Trump, according to a South Korean press report. File Photo by KCNA/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 13 (UPI) — Kim Jong Un could arrive in Vietnam three days before his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi, according to a South Korean press report.

Kim, who last met with Trump in Singapore in 2018, could be traveling to Vietnam ahead of schedule in order to visit key industrial sites in Vietnam and hold a summit with Vietnamese President Nguyen Phu Trong, South Korean television network MBC reported. Continue reading “Report: Kim Jong Un could tour Vietnam ahead of summit with Trump”

How the War Party Lost the Middle East

The American Conservative
January 01, 2019

By Patrick Buchanan

 
“Assad must go, Obama says.”

So read the headline in The Washington Post, Aug. 18, 2011.

The story quoted President Barack Obama directly:

“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. … the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”

France’s Nicolas Sarkozy and Britain’s David Cameron signed on to the Obama ultimatum: Assad must go! Continue reading “How the War Party Lost the Middle East”

7 Reasons U.S. Should Not Ratify UN Convention on the Law of the Sea

Heritage Foundation

Jun 4th, 2018 5 min read

Commentary By

Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D.@Bromund

Senior Research Fellow in Anglo-American Relations

James Jay Carafano@JJCarafano

Vice President, Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute

Brett D. Schaefer

Senior Research Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea requires that coastal nations pay royalties on their seabed resources to landlocked and developing countries.mizoula/Getty Images

KEY TAKEAWAYS

U.S. accession would provide no benefits not already available to the U.S., while creating unnecessary burdens and risks.

The U.S. does not need to join the convention in order to access oil and gas resources on its extended continental shelf, in the Arctic, or in the Gulf of Mexico.

Despite subsequent changes in 1994 that led the Clinton administration to support U.S. accession, the Trump administration should oppose accession to this treaty.

 
President Donald Trump recently proclaimed June 2018 to be National Ocean Month and stated his support for better utilizing the vast resources contained in America’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the 200-nautical mile zone off U.S. coasts over which the U.S. has jurisdiction. Continue reading “7 Reasons U.S. Should Not Ratify UN Convention on the Law of the Sea”

Donald Trump’s Attorney And Fixer Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty To 8 Federal Counts

Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer to President Trump, leaves his apartment building in New York City on Tuesday.  Richard Drew/AP

Updated at 7:03 p.m. ET

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, has pleaded guilty to eight counts in federal court in New York, federal prosecutors announced Tuesday evening.

They include five counts of tax evasion, one count of falsifying submissions to a bank and two counts involving unlawful campaign contributions.

Cohen’s conduct “reflects a pattern of lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time,” said Robert Khuzami, deputy U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, outside the federal courthouse in Manhattan. Continue reading “Donald Trump’s Attorney And Fixer Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty To 8 Federal Counts”

Ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort guilty on 8 charges

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Paul Manafort, the longtime political operative who for months led Donald Trump’s successful presidential campaign, was found guilty of eight financial crimes in the first trial victory of the special counsel investigation into the president’s associates.

A judge declared a mistrial Tuesday on 10 other counts the jury could not agree on.

The verdict was part of a stunning one-two punch of bad news for the White House, coming as the president’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was pleading guilty in New York to campaign finance charges arising from hush money payments made to two women who say they had sexual relationships with Trump.

Continue reading “Ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort guilty on 8 charges”

US withdraws from United Nations Human Rights Council, condemns latter’s bias against Israel

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, came to Washington to announce the decision alongside President Donald Trump’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

newindianexpress Published: 20th June 2018 04:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th June 2018 04:02 AM   |  A+A-

US Ambassador Nikki Haley. (File |AP)

By AFP

WASHINGTON: The United States withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday, condemning the “hypocrisy” of its members and its alleged “unrelenting bias” against Israel.

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, came to Washington to announce the decision alongside President Donald Trump’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Both insisted the United States would remain a leading champion of human rights but, for many, the decision will reflect Trump’s general hostility to the world body and to multilateral diplomacy in general. Continue reading “US withdraws from United Nations Human Rights Council, condemns latter’s bias against Israel”

Remarks by US Secretary of Defense James Mattis at Plenary Session of the 2018 Shangri-La Dialogue

Remarks by Secretary Mattis at Plenary Session of the 2018 Shangri-La Dialogue

US DOD, Press Operations

Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis; John Chipman, Director-General and Chief Executive, IISS
June 2, 2018

Allow me first to thank very warmly Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for his splendid keynote opening address last night, which was a joy to listen to, and I think his text deserves a full reading. And I’m quite certain by now it’s on the IISS website, possibly even on your telephone apps, and I think it’s something that should not just be heard, but also studied in slower time.

Let me thank also, of course, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for graciously hosting our dinner last night, Deputy Prime Minister Teo, Minister Ong, foreign minister and other hosts of the government of Singapore for insuring that yesterday’s dinner was such an excellent celebration of the spirit of the Shangri-La Dialogue and all that it represents.

This morning’s proceedings in plenary are on the record. The prepared remarks of each of the speakers are on the record. The answers to questions are on the record. I’d also like to underscore the questions themselves that are on the record. So, as you pose your questions, think, also, of your own reputations, as you make those brief remarks.

I will ask, when we do come to questions and comment that, you take no more than about 90 seconds in making that comment or question and perhaps, if you have something particularly profound to say, stretch to a maximum of two minutes. If I sense a speech coming on or serious momentum or building to a crescendo, I might, with the powers available to me here, turn off your microphone, so do exercise discipline.

I will be doing so, only in the democratic interest of insuring that as many of you as possible are able to join the conversation, as we say.

If you do want to make a brief comment or ask a question from the floor and we do want to engage as many people as possible, you need to do three things. First, you take your name badge and tap it on the left side of the microphone unit. And the second thing you do is touch the screen, either the left or right, depending on where you’re sitting in respect to the microphone, and then press the silver button on either the left or the side — or the right side. And when you do that, you will be joining the queue.

The microphone unit will turn green. That does not mean your microphone is on. So if you whisper something to your neighbor, you can be confident that not everybody in the hall will hear it. I will turn on your microphone when I call you, but it is important to put your name badge on the microphone. Press the green button. Press the silver button. Do those three things. You’re in the queue. There could often be 10 or 12, 15 people in the queue, and then I’ll shall call people as — as I can.

Our first plenary is on U.S. leadership and the challenges of Indo-Pacific security, and we’re delighted, of course, for the second year running to have the Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis address us in this opening plenary. Continue reading “Remarks by US Secretary of Defense James Mattis at Plenary Session of the 2018 Shangri-La Dialogue”

Mattis takes hard line on China in Singapore speech

US Defense Secretary James Mattis accused China of “intimidation and coercion” in the Indo-Pacific and declared that the United States does not plan to abandon its role in the region during a speech Saturday in Singapore.
Friday, June 1st 2018, 9:17 pm EDT

Updated:

Friday, June 1st 2018, 10:22 pm EDT
By Joshua Berlinger CNN

SINGAPORE (CNN) — US Defense Secretary James Mattis accused China of “intimidation and coercion” in the Indo-Pacific and declared that the United States does not plan to abandon its role in the region during a speech Saturday in Singapore.

“Make no mistake: America is in the Indo-Pacific to stay. This is our priority theater,” Mattis said. Continue reading “Mattis takes hard line on China in Singapore speech”

Rev. James Swarts: Remarks at Spring Action 2018

Rev. James Swarts, President of the Rochester chapter of Veterans For Peace, was a member of the VFP tour group which traveled Viet Nam for 18 days recently, with stops in Ha Noi, the former DMZ and Khe Sanh, Da Nang, My Lai (on the 50th anniversary of the massacre there), and Sai Gon.

Statements by Pres. Donald Trump and U.S. government (and British and French) officials to justify American military actions in Syria are painful reminders not only of lies we were told about Viet Nam a half century ago. We heard echoes of those same lies regarding Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and many other places in the world that are now much worse off after our military actions — actions that were illegal, no matter how we try to parse the meanings of the documents and international agreements that we signed. Continue reading “Rev. James Swarts: Remarks at Spring Action 2018”

U.S. seeks to deport thousands of Vietnamese protected by treaty: former ambassador

April 12, 2018 / 2:28 AM / Updated 11 hours ago

HO CHI MINH CITY (Reuters) – The United States is seeking to send thousands of immigrants from Vietnam back to the communist-ruled country despite a bilateral agreement that should protect most from deportation, according to Washington’s former ambassador to Hanoi.

U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, Ted Osius, speaks during a news conference in Hanoi, Vietnam November 2, 2017. Picture taken November 2,2017. REUTERS/Kham

A “small number” of people protected by the agreement have already been sent back, the former ambassador, Ted Osius, told Reuters in an interview.

Osius said that many of the targeted immigrants were supporters of the now defunct U.S.-backed state of South Vietnam, and Hanoi would see them as destabilizing elements. Continue reading “U.S. seeks to deport thousands of Vietnamese protected by treaty: former ambassador”