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Brown University – War deaths reach 173,000 in Afghanistan, Pakistan

The combined, cumulative death toll of war in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2001 is 173,000, with 183,000 others seriously injured, according to a new study. The Costs of War, based at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, released the data on the human costs of a decade and a half of war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The …

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Manfred Weidhorn – The Future Does Not Exist—Yet

Periodically the US government, or the West in general, faces a perceived threat to peace and security: From Germany in 1938, Russia in 1956 or 1968 or 2014, Iraq in 1991 or 2002, Syria in 2013, and ISIS in 2014. The consequent dilemma over what to do predictably produces two camps. One side says, Act and punish the bad men, …

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Pentagon Claim That War Crimes Must Be “Intentional” Called “Flatly Wrong”

The U.S. Department of Defense on Friday released its redacted report on the military’s deadly October 2015 airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, which found that the bombing was a mistake—and thus, not a war crime—a conclusion which human rights groups called “an affront” to justice and accountability. The report follows an announcement on Thursday …

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HENRY GIROUX – The Mad Violence of Casino Capitalism

American society is morally bankrupt and politically broken, and its vision of the future appears utterly dystopian. As the United States descends into the dark abyss of an updated form of totalitarianism, the unimaginable has become imaginable in that it has become possible not only to foresee the death of the essential principles of constitutional democracy, but also the birth …

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Russia bans import of soybeans, corn from United States from Feb 15 — watchdog

MOSCOW, February 10. /TASS/. Russia has banned import of soybeans and corn from the United States starting from February 15, Assistant to Head of Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) Alexey Alekseenko told TASS on Wednesday. “Restrictions will be imposed on imports starting from February 15,” he said when answering a respective question, adding that “they (the …

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Nick Turse – The Pentagon’s Progress

There’s good news coming out of Iraq… again. The efforts of a 65-nation coalition and punishing U.S. airstrikes have helped local ground forces roll back gains by the Islamic State (IS). Government forces and Shiite militias, for example, recaptured the city of Tikrit, while Kurdish troops ousted IS fighters from the town of Sinjar and other parts of northern Iraq. …

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Andrew J. Bacevich – Who Runs the Pentagon?

The crippling and pervasive defects in us national-security policy—costly exertions that, time and again, fail to yield the promised results—are patently obvious, consistently bemoaned, and yet effectively tolerated. To say that the apparatus principally responsible for implementing those policies is an underperforming behemoth qualifies as a considerable understatement. The kindest verdict one can offer regarding the Pentagon is that it …

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Iraqi city of Ramadi, once home to 500,000, lies in ruins

RAMADI, Iraq — So complete was the destruction of Ramadi that a local reporter who had visited the city many times hardly recognized it. “Honestly, this is the main street,” Amaj Hamid, a member of Iraq’s elite counterterrorism forces, told the TV crew as they entered from the southwest. He swerved to avoid the aftermath of months of fighting: rubble, …

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Heather Digby Parton – Donald Trump’s despotic fantasies: Here’s what the world would look like if he were president

Back in August I wrote a piece here in Salon about Trump’s authoritarian tendencies and how it was a mistake for liberals to laugh too much about them. At the time, we were mostly concerned with his signature plan to deport over 11 million people and build his “big beautiful wall” with a “big beautiful door” and have Mexico pay for it. …

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Pentagon Deliberately Thwarting Efforts to Close Guantanamo

Reuters exposes ‘pattern’ of obstructionism that has prevented or delayed the transfer of cleared detainees President Obama’s repeated pledges to close the Guantánamo Bay detention center have been routinely and deliberately undermined by his own Department of Defense, according to a damning new investigation published on Monday. Citing numerous administration officials, Reuters exposed a “pattern” of bureaucratic obstacles imposed by the U.S. Pentagon which …