Blackwater Founder Seeks Privatization of Afghan War

August 23, 2017 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - Recent murmurs across the US media have indicated increased interest in "outsourcing" the war in Afghanistan to private military contractors. National Public Radio (NPR) interviewed Erik Prince, founder of controversial military contracting firm, Blackwater, who appears to be leading lobbying efforts toward this end.


In an interview titled, "Blackwater Founder Backs Outsourcing Afghan War-Fighting to Contractors," Prince would defend his proposal for the creation of an "American viceroy" in Afghanistan, consolidating and overseeing all US operations in the country.

He would also suggest replacing US troops with private mercenaries who he claimed would operate inside Afghan units, noting that some 25,000 contractors are already present in Afghanistan. When asked if his current private military contracting company, Frontier Service Group (FSG), would be interested in bidding on contracts that might materialize out of his proposal, he responded by saying, "absolutely."

Steve Inskeep, who conducted the interview, noted that Prince's proposal for an "American viceroy" overseeing what is essentially a private army inside of Afghanistan resembled very closely Imperial Britain's colonial administration of India, an administration that carved out personal fiefdoms for influential British businessmen and lords, and emptied out India's wealth into British coffers.

Inskeep also noted that such a proposal, even before being implemented, most likely would create further resentment among Afghans.

Prince, for his part, attempted to defend the proposal, claiming that current efforts in Afghanistan have cost American taxpayers several trillions and the cost would only continue to rise. He noted that such efforts have resulted in little progress. The "progress" Prince was referring to was defeating "terrorism" and preventing the country from becoming a safe haven for organizations like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.

Prince would claim:
There's really three ways we can go in Afghanistan. We can pull out completely, in which case, the Afghan government would likely collapse in a matter of weeks and the terrorists would run the country. And for as hard as, you know, we may be pushing in Iraq or Syria and elsewhere to destroy the Islamic State, this would give them a victory. 

Back in Reality...

Unfortunately for Prince and others attempting to propose the privatization of the Afghan war, Afghanistan already is a safe haven for terrorists. Al Qaeda had only a nascent presence there before the US invasion in 2001. The Islamic State, in its current form, did not even exist.

Both organizations flourish not because of a lack of US troops in Afghanistan, Syria or Iraq, but precisely because US foreign policy has turned its attention toward each nation and has intentionally used both terrorist organizations as proxies.

In Afghanistan, while Al Qaeda and the Islamic State are used as a pretext for both the continued presence of US troops there and now the proposed deployment of a private army headed by an "American viceroy," the real battle has always been against the Taliban and in favor of an obedient client state headquartered in Kabul.

In pursuit of defeating the Taliban and the creation of a sustainable client state, the extensive use of private contractors in Afghanistan has not been part of any sort of coherent solution. Instead, private contractors are one of the most central reasons attempts at rebuilding Afghanistan have failed.

Private contractors seek to maximize profits and return home, and ultimately do not care what happens in Afghanistan. In many ways, shoddy work and continued chaos ensures continued contracts and immense profits. The estimated 2.4 trillion dollars spent on Afghanistan so far have not simply "disappeared." This immense amount of wealth has been transferred from US taxpayers to, in part, private contractors and the defense industry.

The notion of creating an "American viceroy" leading a private army in Afghanistan would give people like Erik Prince and other ambitious heads of contracting firms an entire nation to preside over and a government-subsidized budget to do it with. With the nation's immense narcotics industry and that industry's apparent ability to export worldwide under the nose of the US military with impunity, contractors notorious for systemic impropriety would have additional sources of revenue to tap and develop.

Toward Narco-Terror Fiefdoms 

Rather than stabilizing and rebuilding Afghanistan, contractors would ensure its perpetual slide into darkness. Instead of dealing with the Taliban, Afghans would face foreign contractors competing to carve out their own personal narco-terrorist fiefdoms. The US client regime in Kabul would have even less control over its military, with entire Afghan battalions dependent not on Kabul for support and leadership, but private contractors.


Prince and Blackwater have become synonymous with murder and mayhem for money and present yet another case study as to why dependence on mercenaries is always a dangerous liability. His proposal offers neither the American nor the Afghan people any benefits and is entertained only for the benefits it potentially offers military contractors and the immense armament industry that would provide them a steady stream of weaponry.


Venezuela: West's Battle Against Multipolarism Reaches Far

August 22, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - The battle between the established unipolar "international order" dominated by Wall Street, Washington, and London and an emerging multipolar order appears fixated on Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and across the entirety of Asia. However, it extends to virtually every corner of the globe, from competition in the Arctic to politically-motivated controversies in Earth orbit.

The South American nation of Venezuela also seems far-removed from this ongoing competition engulfing the world's hot spots in the Middle East, Central and Asia, but the fate of this besieged nation is directly linked to the that of the rest of the world, either contributing to an emerging multipolar world order, or providing sanctuary and legitimacy to the established unipolar order currently dominated by Wall Street, Washington, and London.


The nation has been the target of US-backed subversion for decades. The latest iteration of American interference began with the rise of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and a failed US-backed coup in 2002 organized to oust him and place a US-controlled client regime in power.

Venezuela's "Opposition" are US-Backed Agitators  

Many of those involved in the failed 2002 coup are now leading US-backed protesters in the streets in a bid to overthrow the government of President Nicolás Maduro, who succeeded Chavez after his death in 2013.

The opposition includes former presidential contender, Henrique Capriles Radonski, who heads Primero Justicia (Justice First) which was co-founded by Leopoldo Lopez and Julio Borges, who like Radonski, have been backed for nearly a decade by the US State Department.

Primero Justicia and the network of foreign-funded NGOs that support it have been recipients of both direct and indirect foreign support for at least just as long.

All three co-founders are US educated - Radonski having attended New York's Columbia University (Spanish), Julio Borges attending Boston College and Oxford, and Leopoldo Lopez who attended the Harvard Kennedy School of Government (KSG), of which he is considered an alumni of.

The Harvard Kennedy School, which hosts the notorious Belfer Center, includes the following faculty and alumni of Lopez, co-founder of the current US-backed opposition in Venezuela:
John P. Holdren, Samantha Power, Lawrence Summers, Robert Zoellick, (all as faculty), as well as Ban Ki-Moon ('84), Paul Volcker ('51), Robert Kagan ('91), Bill O'Reilly ('96), Klaus Schwab ('67), and literally hundreds of senators, ambassadors, and administrators of Wall Street and London's current global spanning international order. 
Harvard's Kennedy School of Government (KSG) is one of several universities that form the foundation of both creating corporate-financier driven international policy, as well as cultivating legions of administrators to execute it. This includes creating cadres of individuals to constitute Wall Street and Washington's client regimes around the world. 

Venezuela's Problem, Like Other Targeted States, is US Sedition, not "Socialism" 

It is true that Venezuela is deemed a "socialist" nation, and its policy of heavily centralizing the economy has not only failed to alleviate the many longstanding socioeconomic conflicts inflicting Venezuelan society, but has also created an ample vector for Wall Street and Washington's meddling.

By placing all of Venezuela's proverbial "eggs" in one centralized "basket," the United States - through the use of various well-honed geopolitical and socioeconomic tools - has managed to knock that "basket" from the government in Caracas' hands and is now using its well-funded and organized opposition to crush whatever "eggs" survived the fall. 


Unfortunately for Venezuela, the Western political landscape is so deeply rooted in blind, poorly developed political ideology, practical geopolitical and geostrategic analysis has been overlooked across both traditional and alternative media platforms, and instead, many - including opponents of US-backed regime change worldwide - have found themselves cheering on what they believe is the self-inflicted collapse of the socialist Venezuelan government at the hands of "free market" protesters. 

In reality, they are cheering on yet another episode of US-backed regime change, wrapped in a protective layer of ideological, political, and economic rhetoric to justify otherwise unjustifiable, extraterritorial meddling, interference, chaos, division, and destruction. 

Venezuela's Place Within the Unipolar-Mulipolar World 

Depending on the ultimate fate of the Venezuelan government, the success of US-backed proxies, and the ability of Venezuela to reconstruct itself after decades of foreign-backed subversion, Venezuela can either enhance or set back the emerging multipolar world order.

Regardless of Venezuela's fate if and when the government in Caracas is toppled, the US-led unipolar international order will benefit. The elimination of competition, even at the cost of creating a center of regional destabilization is considered favorable versus allowing a bastion of alternative socioeconomic and geopolitical power to persist. And in many ways, the creation of a regional center of destabilization may help the US create "synergies" between the chaos it is fostering in Venezuela and in neighboring South and Central American nations the US has likewise targeted for geopolitical coercion and/or regime change. 

For Russia, China, other nations of BRICS, and even emerging economies across Southeast Asia and Central Asia, the loss of Venezuela as a means of counterbalance to US hegemony both in the region of the Americas and globally will allow the US to concentrate more resources toward remaining alternative centers of geopolitical and economic power it seeks to target.

This - not the nature of Venezuela's "socialist" government - is the focus of US efforts and is what defines the consequences of either US success or failure regarding regime change in Caracas. 

Any government, socialist or otherwise, operating outside of Wall Street, Washington, and London's sphere of influence is a target. Competition, not ideology defines and drives Western foreign policy - and for those who oppose this policy - it must be practical geopolitical and geostrategic analysis that defines conclusions and courses of action - not the ideological debates the US itself is using as a pretext and as rhetorical cover to justify its latest regime-change project.

Venezuela may be geographically far removed from the focal point of the great unipolar-multipolar struggle, but understanding how it fits into conflicts raging in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and across Asia illustrates just how encompassing the "international order's" reach and ambitions really are - and how deadly dangerous they are to global peace, security, and stability.  

US Wages Cyberwar Abroad Under Cover of "Activism"

August 20, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) - The threat of cyberterrorism has competed for centre stage in American politics with fears of "Russian hackers" disrupting everything from elections to electrical grids. And yet as US policymakers wield threats of cyberterrorism to promote a long and growing list of countermeasures and pretexts for expanding its conflict with Moscow, it is simultaneously promoting very real cyberterrorism globally.


Worst of all, it does so under the guise of "activism."

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace recently published a paper titled, "Growing Cyber Activism in Thailand."

In it, readers may have expected a detailed description of how independent local activists were using information technology to inform the public, communicate with policymakers and organise themselves more efficiently.

Instead, readers would find a list of US-funded fronts posing as "nongovernmental organisations" (NGOs) engaged in subversion, including attacks carried out against Thai government websites aimed at crippling them, the dumping of private information of ordinary citizens online and coercing policymakers into adopting their foreign-funded and directed agenda.

US-Backed Cyberterrorism 

The paper cites petitions created by the US-funded Thai Netizen Network on the US-based petition site, Change.org as well as distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) aimed at crippling essential government websites, a campaign defended by US-funded Thai Netizen as being "virtual civil disobedience."

The paper would claim (our emphasis):
The most innovative countermeasure was a series of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks: an anonymous group, Thailand F5 Cyber Army, declared a cyberwar on the Thai government by encouraging netizens to visit listed official websites and continuously press F5 on their keyboards to refresh the pages. The goal was to overwhelm web servers and cause a temporary collapse of the websites of the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Government House of Thailand, National Legislative Assembly, and Internal Security Operations Command. The group disseminated detailed instructions on the operation to its anonymous activists. It then demanded that the junta cancel its Single Gateway proposal. 

Most of the attacks were successful. Activists wanted to demonstrate the government’s technological ineptitude and its lack of capacity to manage the Single Gateway. Arthit Suriyawongkul, coordinator of the Thai Netizen Network, described the campaign as virtual civil disobedience—an online version of the nonviolent resistance practiced by civil rights groups in the United States. 

In another case, an activist group called Anonymous launched a #BoycottThailand campaign on Twitter and reportedly hacked government websites, snatched confidential information from official databases, and shared it online.

The Thai Netizen Network is funded by the US State Department via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) subsidiary, Freedom House, as well as convicted financial criminal George Soros' Open Society and a number of other foreign governments and corporate-funded foundations.


The role of a foreign-funded front coordinating efforts to undermine Thailand's national security, including promoting cyberterrorism as "civil disobedience," carries with it many implications. That the US is the foreign state promoting these activities in Thailand, undermines its own efforts to define and combat cyberterrorism back home.

What is Cyberterrorism?  

Cyberterrorism is described on the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) website as:
...the use of computer network tools to shut down critical national infrastructures (e.g., energy, transportation, government operations) or to coerce or intimidate a government or civilian population.
Attacking government websites millions of people across Thailand depend on for information and services while pilfering the personal information of thousands of ordinary citizens clearly fits the definition of not only cyberterrorism because of the political motivations involved, but also malicious criminality in general.


Syria: As the War Continues, WMD Lies Linger

August 18, 2017 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Despite the now historical lies exposed in the wake of the devastating US invasion and occupation of Iraq beginning in 2003, the United States has attempted to use similar lies regarding weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) repeatedly as a pretext for similar wars including in neighboring Syria.


The Syrian government - perhaps in an effort to head off another round of accusations,  threats, and direct military aggression carried out by the US - is leveling accusations against the United States itself and terrorist organizations it has funded, armed, and backed for the past 6 years of using chemical weapons - primarily to create a pretext for wider war.

Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad stated at a press conference that the April 2017 Khan Shaykhun, Idlib chemical attack was staged by US-backed militants, including members of the so-called "White Helmets," a US and European funded front posing as humanitarian workers but who serve as auxiliaries for listed terrorist organizations including Al Qaeda and its various Syrian affiliates.

As the Syrian military retakes territory from foreign-backed militants, munition warehouses and stockpiles, including those used for the production and deployment of chemical weapons for staged attacks, are being systematically uncovered. In them, chemical weapons - both lethal and nonlethal - provided by the United States and its allies are being discovered.

Mekdad would also point out that the use of chemical weapons by foreign-backed militants did not serve any sort of tactical purpose, but was instead being used as a form of blackmail.

While Western-dominated "international" institutions will likely not accept any evidence provided by the Syrian government - the Syrian government's narrative emerges as a far more logical explanation for the last 6 years of conflict and accusations made regarding chemical weapon use.

Chemical Weapons are Political, Not Tactical 

Despite claims by the Western media made in an attempt to enhance US lies regarding WMDs, chemical weapons are particularly ineffective on the battlefield - with conventional weapons being many times more effective.

This was revealed in detail by a study produced by the United States itself, conducted by the US Marine Corps regarding the devastating Iran-Iraq War fought between 1980-1988 which saw the extensive use of chemical weapons.


The document titled, "Lessons Learned: The Iran-Iraq War" under "Appendix B: Chemical Weapons," provided a comprehensive look at the all-out chemical warfare that took place during the 8 year conflict. Several engagements are studied in detail, revealing large amounts of chemical agents deployed mainly to create areas of denial.

The effectiveness and lethality of chemical weapons is summarized in the document as follows (emphasis added): 

Chemical weapons require quite particular weather and geographic conditions for optimum effectiveness. Given the relative nonpersistence of all agents employed during this war, including mustard, there was only a brief window of employment opportunity both daily and seasonally, when the agents could be used. Even though the Iraqis employed mustard agent in the rainy season and also in the marshes, its effectiveness was significantly reduced under those conditions. As the Iraqis learned to their chagrin, mustard is not a good agent to employ in the mountains, unless you own the high ground and your enemy is in the valleys.

We are uncertain as to the relative effectiveness of nerve agents since those which were employed are by nature much less persistent than mustard. In order to gain killing concentrations of these agents, predawn attacks are best, conducted in areas where the morning breezes are likely to blow away from friendly positions.

Chemical weapons have a low kill ratio. Just as in WWl, during which the ratio of deaths to injured from chemicals was 2-3 percent, that figure appears to be borne out again in this war although reliable data on casualties are very difficult to obtain. We deem it remarkable that the death rate should hold at such a low level even with the introduction of nerve agents. If those rates are correct, as they well may be, this further reinforces the position that we must not think of chemical weapons as “a poor man’s nuclear weapon.” While such weapons have great psychological potential, they are not killers or destroyers on a scale with nuclear or biological weapons.
According the US military's own conclusions, the use of chemical weapons only enhance conventional warfare, but are not suitable for wiping out large swaths of enemy troops. Conventional weapons are deemed far more suitable for waging modern war. 

The effectiveness of chemical weapons is such that the Syrian government could never justify their use, balancing their limited benefits against the knowledge the US was specifically seeking to use their use as a pretext for direct military intervention. 

Thus, neither the Syrian government nor the foreign-backed militants it is fighting would benefit from their use in turning the tide of any specific battle, but should the US use chemical weapon deployments as a pretext, could intervene directly against the Syrian government, delivering victory to foreign-backed militants.


In essence, the only beneficiary of chemical weapon use by any side in Syria would be special interests in the US seeking regime change in Damascus.

Not only are outright lies regarding WMDs a known tactic repeatedly abused by the United States government worldwide, it has been caught repeatedly using this tactic in Syria. The number of ambiguous, unsubstantiated, or proven-false accusations made by the United States as it seeks a pretext for wider and more direct military intervention have multiplied over time as US-backed militants are pushed off the battlefield.

US Provocations, Lies, and Chemical Weapons 

Suspicious circumstances and familiar propaganda and diplomatic tactics were used by the US to rush the world to war - first in 2013 when an alleged chemical attack was carried out at the edge of Damascus. The attack followed multiple claims in 2012 by the US that the Syrian government was preparing such an attack, followed by threats of direct military intervention if the Syrian government did so.

This came at a time when it became apparent that quick regime change in Syria similar to that carried out by the US in Libya in 2011 was not possible and that only through direct military intervention would the US be able to topple the Syrian government.

In response, Syria relinquished its chemical weapons under a Russian-brokered deal, confirmed by UN inspectors. Despite this, chemical weapons continued turning up on the battlefield - followed by repeated attempts by the US to expand direct military intervention within Syrian borders each and every time.

No logical explanation has ever been provided by the United States - either by its politicians or its policymakers - as to why the Syrian government would repeatedly use ineffective chemical weapons in battles it was already winning with far more effective conventional weapons - and risk US military intervention.

Conversely, many of these attacks are carried out in areas held by terrorist organizations with direct access to the borders of their foreign sponsors. The more recent April 2017 alleged attack in Khan Shaykhun took place within the Idlib Governorate, directly on the border with NATO-member Turkey who has armed, supplied, and provided direct military support for Al Qaeda and its affiliates since the conflict began in 2011.

Consider the Source
Idlib has been controlled by Al Qaeda for years with even the New York Times and LA Times finally admitting as much.

The New York Times in a piece titled, "In a Syria Refuge, Extremists Exert Greater Control," would admit:
“Idlib Province is the largest Al Qaeda safe haven since 9/11,” Brett H. McGurk, the United States envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State, said last month. “Idlib now is a huge problem.”
The LA Times in a piece titled, "Humanitarian groups fear aid is being diverted to terrorist group after militant takeover of Syrian province," would reveal that torrents of supplies provided by the US, Europe, and their regional allies are still being poured into a city quite literally occupied by Al Qaeda, stating (emphasis added):
The recent takeover of the Syrian province of Idlib by an extremist organization has created a dilemma for the United States and other countries that send humanitarian aid to civilians and military aid to various rebel factions fighting the Syrian government. 

It has become impossible to provide assistance without inadvertently supporting Al Nusra Front, a former affiliate of Al Qaeda that has been deemed a terrorist group by the U.S. government.
In reality, Al Qaeda's domination of a region allegedly held by "rebels" provided billions in supplies, weapons, vehicles, training, and even direct military support by the West could only happen if Al Qaeda itself was receiving even more in state sponsorship - or were the recipients of this aid all along.



Both the New York Times and the LA Times in their articles, lace it with language meant to disarm readers from truly understanding the full scope of what the US has done in Syria. Claiming that the Al Nusra Front is a "former affiliate of Al Qaeda," for instance, is supposed to create in the minds of readers the notion that they are no longer Al Qaeda, or terrorists when they are in fact very much still both.

The LA Times would even go as far as suggesting Al Qaeda's Al Nusra Front would provide Western-backed organizations with "independence and neutrality."

The LA Times also claims:
But cutting off the aid could spur a humanitarian disaster among the estimated 2 million civilians who live in Idlib and derail efforts to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Efforts to "topple Syrian President Bashar Assad," however, can only be done with an armed opposition - and as both the New York Times and LA Times admit, the only armed militants left in Syria are Al Qaeda.

What both newspapers are actually saying is that Al Qaeda has been cornered in Idlib where the US and its allies are still flooding with support, and that support quite literally for Al Qaeda will continue in an effort to topple the Syrian government.

This means that the process of fabricating chemical weapon attacks and using it as a pretext to directly intervene - on behalf of Al Qaeda - will continue as well, either to topple the government outright, or create a safe-haven protected by the US military for Al Qaeda in Idlib.

It is in this context then, that "humanitarian organizations" in Al Qaeda-held Idlib are claiming they are being targeted by chemical weapons allegedly deployed by the Syrian government.

The Syrian government and its allies have all but won the conflict and they have done so using conventional military weapons. They are also attempting in every way to expose these lingering and repetitive lies regarding WMDs wielded by the US, by inviting UN inspection teams to further explore newly liberated Syrian territory and further confirm that the Syrian government did indeed give up its chemical weapons as it agreed to in 2013.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.  

US Regime Change: Who are Thailand's "Activists"

Foreign agents hiding behind rights advocacy are not "activists." 

August 17, 2017 (Joseph Thomas - NEO) -  AFP recently published an article regarding Thailand's ongoing political conflict, portraying a so-called "student activist" the recent victim of what it calls, "increased ferocity under Thailand's military rulers."



The article titled, "Thai student leader pleads guilty to lese majeste," claims:
A prominent student leader on Tuesday pleaded guilty to defaming Thailand's royal family by sharing a news story about the kingdom's new monarch on Facebook, his lawyer said. 
Jatupat "Pai Dao Din" Boonpatararaksa, 25, is the latest anti-junta activist to be hit with the country's draconian lese majeste law which bans any criticism of the monarchy.
However, the article categorically fails to mention that Jatupat Boonpatararaksa is member of a foreign-backed opposition front aimed at carrying out destructive regime change just as US-European interests have done everywhere from South America and Eastern Europe, to North Africa and the Middle East.