MANILA (Reuters) – Philippine attorney Jude Sabio says he hasn’t been home for a year, steers clear of public events and is forever looking over his shoulder after accusing President Rodrigo Duterte of crimes against humanity.
Events in Syria have recently clearly taken a turn for the worse and there is an increasing amount of evidence that the Russian task force in Syria is being targeted by a systematic campaign of “harassing attacks”.
First, there was the (relatively successful) drone and mortar attack on the Russian Aerospace base in Khmeimin.
Then there was the shooting down of a Russian SU-25 over the city of Maasran in the Idlib province.
In the first case, Russian officials did openly voice their strong suspicion that the attack was if not planned and executed by the USA, then at least coordinated with the US forces in the vicinity. In the case of the downing of the SU-25, no overt accusations have been made, but many experts have stated that the altitude at which the SU-25 was hit strongly suggests a rather modern MANPAD of a type not typically seen in Syria (the not so subtle hint being here that these were US Stingers sent to the Kurds by the USA). As for the latest attack on the Syrian column, what is under discussion is not who did it but rather what kind of Russian personnel was involved, Russian military or private contractors (the latter is a much more likely explanation since the Syrian column had no air-cover whatsoever).
Taken separately, none of these incidents mean very much but taken together they might be indicative of a new US strategy in Syria: to punish the Russians as much as possible short of an overt US attack on Russian forces.
To me this hypothesis seems plausible for the following reasons:
First, the USA and Israel are still reeling in humiliation and impotent rage over their defeat in Syria: Assad is still in power, Daesh is more or less defeated, the Russians were successful not only their military operations against Daesh but also in their campaign to bring as many “good terrorists” to the negotiating table as possible. With the completion of a successful conference on Syria in Russia and the general agreement of all parties to begin working on a new constitution, there was a real danger of peace breaking out, something the AngloZionist are absolutely determined to oppose (check out this apparently hacked document which, if genuine, clearly states the US policy not to allow the Russian to get anything done).
Second, both Trump and Netanyahu have promised to bring in lots of “victories” to prove how manly and strong they are (as compared to the sissies which preceded them). Starting an overt war against Russian would definitely be a “proof of manhood”, but a much too dangerous one. Killing Russians “on the margins”, so to speak, either with plausible deniability or, alternatively, killing Russians private contractors is much safer and thus far more tempting option.
Third, there are presidential elections coming up in Russia and the US Americans are still desperately holding on to their sophomoric notion that if they create trouble for Putin (sanctions or body bags from Syria) they can somehow negatively impact his popularity in Russia (in reality they achieve the opposite effect, but they are too dull and ignorant to realize that).
Last but not least, since the AngloZionist have long lost the ability to actually getting anything done, their logical fall-back position is not let anybody else succeed either. This is the main purpose of the entire US deployment in northern Syria: to create trouble for Turkey, Iran, Syria and, of course, Russia.
The bottom line is this: since the US Americans have declared that they will (illegally) stay in Syria until the situation “stabilizes” they now must do everything their power to destabilize Syria. Yes, there is a kind of a perverse logic to all that…
For Russia, all this bad news could be summed up in the following manner: while Russia did defeat Daesh in Syria she is still far from having defeated the AngloZionists in the Middle-East.
The good news is, however, that Russia does have options to deal with this situation.
There is a counter-intuitive but in many ways an ideal solution for Russia to counter the US invasion of Syria: involve the Turks.
How? Not by attacking the US forces directly, but by attacking the Kurdish militias the US Americans are currently “hiding” behind (at least politically). Think of it, while the US (or Israel) will have no second thoughts whatsoever before striking Syrian or Iranian forces, actually striking Turkish forces would carry an immense political risk: following the US-backed coup attempt against Erdogan and, just to add insult to injury, the US backing for the creation of a “mini-Kurdistsan” both in Iraq and in Syria, US-Turkish relations are at an all-time low and it would not take much to push the Turks over the edge with potentially cataclysmic consequences for the US, EU, NATO, CENTCOM, Israel and all the AngloZionist interests in the region. Truly, there is no overstating the strategic importance of Turkey for Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle-East, and the US Americans know that. From this flows a very real if little understood consequence: the Turkish armed forces in Syria basically enjoy what I would call a “political immunity” from any US attacks, that is to say that (almost) no matter what the Turks do, the US would (almost) never consider actually openly using force against them simply because the consequence of, say, a USAF strike on a Turkish army column would be too serious to contemplate.
In fact, I believe that the US-Turkish relationship is so bad and so one-sided that I see a Turkish attack on a Kurdish (or “good terrorist”) column/position with embedded US Special Forces far more likely than a US attack on a Turkish army column. This might sound counter-intuitive, but let’s say the Turks did attack a Kurdish (or “good terrorist”) column/position with US personnel and that US servicemen would die as the result. What would/could the US do? Retaliate in kind? No way! Not only is the notion of the US attacking a fellow NATO country member is quite unthinkable, it would most likely be followed by a Turkish demand that the US/NATO completely withdraw from Turkey’s territory and airspace. In theory, the US could ask the Israelis to do their dirty job for them, but the Israelis are not stupid (even if they are crazy) and they won’t have much interest in starting a shooting war with Turkey over what is a US-created problem in a “mini-Kurdistan”, lest any hallowed “Jewish blood” be shed for some basically worthless goyim.
No, if the Turks actually killed US servicemen there would be protests and a flurry of “consultations” and other symbolic actions, but beyond that, the US would take the losses and do nothing about it. As for Erdogan, his popularity at home would only soar even higher. What all this means in practical terms is that if there is one actor which can seriously disrupt the US operations in northern Syria, or even force the US to withdraw, it is Turkey. That kind of capability also gives Turkey a lot of bargaining power with Russia and Iran which I am sure Erdogan will carefully use to his own benefit. So far Erdogan has only threatened to deliver an “Ottoman slap” to the USA and Secretary of State Tillerson is traveling to Ankara to try to avert a disaster, but the Turkish instance that the USA chose either the Turkish or the Kurdish side in the conflict very severely limits the chances of any real breakthrough (the Israel lobby being 100% behind the Kurds). One should never say never, but I submit that it would take something of a miracle at this point to really salvage the US-Turkish relationship. Russia can try to capitalize on this dynamic.
The main weakness of this entire concept is, of course, that the USA is still powerful enough, including inside Turkey, and it would be very dangerous for Erdogan to try to openly confront and defy Uncle Sam. So far, Erdogan has been acting boldly and in overt defiance of the USA, but he also understands the risks of going too far and for him to even consider taking such risks there have to be prospects of major benefits from him. Here the Russians have two basic options: either to promise the Turks something very inciting or to somehow further deteriorate the current relationship between the US and Turkey. The good news here is that Russian efforts to drive a wedge between the US and Turkey are be greatly assisted by the US support for Israel, Kurds, and Gulenists.
The other obvious risk is that any anti-Kurdish operation can turn into yet another partition of Syria, this time by the Turks. However, the reality is that the Turks can’t really stay for too long in Syria, especially not if Russia and Iran oppose this. There is also the issue of international law which is much easier for the USA to ignore than for the Turks.
For all these reasons using the Turks to put pressure on the USA has its limitations. Still, if the Turks continue to insist that the USA stop supporting the Kurds, or if they continue putting military pressure on the Kurdish militias, then the entire US concept of a US-backed “mini-Kurdistan” collapses and, with it, the entire US partition plan for Syria.
So far, the Iraqis have quickly dealt with the US-sponsored “mini-Kurdistan” in Iraq and the Turks are now taking the necessary steps to deal with the US-sponsored “mini-Kurdistan” in Syria at which point *their* problem will be solved. The Turks are not interested in helping Assad or, for that matter, Putin and they don’t care what happens to Syria as long as *their* Kurdish problem is under control. This means that the Syrians, Russians, and Iranians should not place too much hope on the Turks turning against the USA unless, of course, the correct circumstances are created. Only the future will tell whether the Russians and the Iranians will be able to help to create such circumstances.
Right now nobody knows what kind of air-defense systems the Russians have been delivering to the Syrians over the past couple of years, but that is clearly the way to go for the Russians: delivering as many modern and mobile air defense systems to the Syrians.
While this would be expensive, the best solution here would be to deliver as many Pantsir-S1 mobile Gun/SAM systems and 9K333 Verba MANPADs as possible to the Syrians and the Iranians. The combination of these two systems would immensely complicate any kind of air operations for the US Americans and Israelis, especially since there would be no practical way of reliably predicting the location from which they could operate. And since both the USA and Israel are operating in the Syrian skies in total violation of international law while the Syrian armed forces would be protecting their own sovereign airspace, such a delivery of air-defense systems by Russia to Syria would be impeccably legal.
Best of all, it would be absolutely impossible for the AngloZionist to know who actually shot at them since these weapon systems are mobile and easy to conceal. Just like in Korea, Vietnam or Lebanon, Russian crews could even be sent to operate the Syrian air defense systems and there would be no way for anybody to prove that “the Russians did it” when US and Israeli aircraft would start falling out of the skies. The Russians would enjoy what the CIA calls “plausible deniability”. The US Americans and Israelis would, of course, turn against the weaker party, the Syrians, but that other than feeling good that would not really make a difference on the ground as the Syrians skies would not become safer for US or Israelis air forces.
The other option for the Russians would be to offer upgrades (software and missile) to the existing Syrian air defense systems, especially their road-mobile 2K12 Kub and 9K37 Buk systems. Such upgrades, especially if combined with enough deployed Pantsirs and Verbas would be a nightmare for both the US Americans and the Israelis. The Turks would not care much since they are already basically flying with the full approval of the Russians anyway, and neither would the Iranians who, as far as I know, have no air operations in Syria.
One objection to this plan would be that two can play this game and that there is nothing preventing the USA from sending even more advanced MANPADs to their “good terrorist” allies, but that argument entirely misses the point: if both sides do the same thing, the side which is most dependent on air operations (the USA) stands to lose much more than the side which has the advantage on the ground (the Russians). Furthermore, by sending MANPADs to Syria, the USA is alienating a putative ally, Turkey, whereas if Russia sends MANPADs and other SAMs to Syria the only one who will be complaining will be the Israelis. When that happens, the Russians will have a simple and truthful reply: we did not start this game, your US allies did, you can go and thank them for this mess.
The main problem in Syria is the fact that the US and the Israelis are currently operating in the Syrian skies with total impunity. If this changes, this will be a slow and gradual process. First, there would be a few isolated losses (like the Israeli F-16 recently), then we would see that the location of US and/or Israeli airstrikes would gradually shift from urban centers and central command posts to smaller, more isolated targets (such as vehicle columns). This would indicate an awareness that the most lucrative targets are already too well defended. Eventually, the number of air sorties would be gradually replaced by cruise and ballistic missiles strikes. Underlying it all would be a shift from offensive air operations to force protection which, in turn, would give the Syrians, Iranians, and Hezbollah a much easier environment to operate in. But the necessary first step for any of that to happen would be to dramatically increase the capability of Syrian air defenses.
Hezbollah has, for decades, very successfully operated under a total Israelis air supremacy and their experience of this kind of operations would be invaluable to the Syrians until they sufficiently built up their air defense capabilities.
Frankly, I am starting to believe that the Empire has decided to attempt upon a partial “reconquista” of Syria, even Macron is making some noises about striking the Syrians to “punish” them for their use of (non-existing) chemical weapons. At the very least, the USA wants to make the Russians pay as high a price as possible for their role in Syria. Further US goals in Syria include:
The imposition of a de-facto partition of Syria by taking under control the Syrian territory east of the Euphrates river (we could call that “plan C version 3.0”)
The theft of the gas fields located in northeastern Syria
The creation of a US-controlled staging area from which Kurdish, good terrorist and bad terrorist operations can be planned and executed
The sabotaging of any Russian-backed peace negotiations
The support for Israeli operations against Iranian and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon and Syria
Engaging in regular attacks against Syrian forces attempting to liberate their country from foreign invaders
Presenting the invasion and occupation of Syria as one of the “victories” promised by Trump to the MIC and the Israel lobby
So far the Russian response to this developing strategy has been a rather a passive one and the current escalation strongly suggests that a new approach might be needed. The shooting down of the Israeli F-16 is a good first step, but much more needs to be done to dramatically increase the costs the Empire will have to pay for is policies towards Syria. The increase in the number of Russian commentators and analysts demanding a stronger reaction to the current provocations might be a sign that something is in the making.
“This split of the polar vortex will shift the upper atmospheric pattern such that the coldest airmass is located in western North America as well as over parts of Europe. This will allow for a ridge of high pressure to amplify in the eastern US, bringing unseasonably warm conditions next week,” said Ed Vallee, Long-Range Meteorologist and President of Vallee Wx Consulting.
The Weather Channel describes the atmosphetic impact for the Northern Hemisphere, as this unique weather event splits the polar vortex into two smaller vortices: one over western Canada and another over Europe.
Further, from the Weather Channel:
“Across the Arctic, where the polar vortex typically stays locked, the stratosphere has warmed. This typically kicks into motion a polar vortex disruption like we are seeing. The stratosphere is a layer of the upper atmosphere above which most of our weather occurs – known as the troposphere – and where most of the polar vortex resides.” (Shown Below: The polar vortex has split into smaller vortices, one over Europe, and the other over northwestern North America.)
The one vortex over Western Europe and much of Eurasia will send the region into a dangerous deep freeze for the second half of February into early March. A disruption of the polar vortex has sent March 18 U.K. natural gas contracts soaring on the session, advancing +3.6% to 51.540.
During the same timeframe, the vortex over western Canada could bring spring-like conditions for the Eastern U.S. in the second half of February through early March. Temperatures for the next few weeks could be 20 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit above average for this time of year. Highs in the 70s Fahrenheit are possible from Washington, D.C. to New York City, which would be a significant change from the arctic conditions experienced earlier in the winter season. In the Western U.S, it is an entirely different story, particularly in the Northern Rockies, which could see measurable snowfall and frigid arctic air for the next two weeks.
A disruption of the polar vortex has sent US March 18 natural gas contracts crashing -22% in February to December 2017 lows. A breach below 2.50 would indicate a deeper correction, as much as -15% to 2.172 area where the .764-fib resides (measured from the March 2016 low to December 2016 high).
“Models are indicating very impressive early Spring warmth across the eastern U.S. next week… the West/Rockies will have some cold air to deal with, however,” said Michael Ventrice, a Meteorological Scientist for the Weather Company.
Models are indicating very impressive early Spring warmth across the eastern U.S. next week… the West/Rockies will have some cold air to deal with, however. pic.twitter.com/nddbOhrHGd
— Michael Ventrice (@MJVentrice) February 15, 2018
What’s all this talk about a Sudden Stratospheric Warming (SSW)?
Mashable explains that the primary polar vortex exists in the stratosphere, which is the layer of the atmosphere where most of the weather occurs. An SSW event refers to a rapid warming of the stratosphere at high latitudes, up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit in a matter of days, some six to nine miles above the earth’s surface. Mashable said, “an SSW event, took place in early-to-mid February, and this has caused the splitting of the stratospheric polar vortex.”
“Someone once asked why they call them “sudden” stratospheric warmings,” said Anthony Masiello, a private weather forecaster.
Someone once asked why they call them “sudden” stratospheric warmings: pic.twitter.com/cfhBSEnLbx
— Anthony Masiello (@antmasiello) February 13, 2018
Mashable further explains how the SSW broke apart the polar vortex into two and what it means for the weather in your region:
Sudden stratospheric warming events occur when large atmospheric waves send energy upward, into the stratosphere, setting in motion a complex process that results in the temporary breakdown of the polar vortex. This February’s stratospheric warming event was particularly extreme, possibly setting records for how sharply temperatures spiked in the upper atmosphere.
The polar vortex split isn’t the only factor favoring a cold snap in Europe, warmup in the Eastern U.S., and cool down in the West. There’s also a cycle of atmospheric pressure over the North Atlantic Ocean, known as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), that can increase the odds of colder and snowier weather in some of these areas.
Computer models are projecting the NAO will become strongly negative during the next few weeks in response to the polar vortex split and stratospheric warming event, and this also favors cold and snow in Western Europe. (It also ups the odds of similar weather in the eastern U.S., but that may not happen right away.)
“A significant PV [polar vortex] disruption is often followed by widespread cold temperatures across northern Eurasia and the Eastern US. However the cold is more certain across northern Eurasia following these type of PV disruptions,” meteorologist Judah Cohen, who specializes in seasonal weather forecasting and tracking the polar vortex for AER, a Verisk Analytics company, wrote on his blog.
The negative mode of the NAO typically features an area of strong high pressure over Greenland, which blocks the progression of weather systems moving in from the southwest, and causes the jet stream to plunge southward over Europe, allowing cold air to flow in from the Arctic and Scandinavia. Sudden stratospheric warming events tend to cause the NAO to switch into negative mode shortly after they occur.
The rest of February should feature a colder than average Western U.S., coupled with a milder than average East Coast. However, the negative NAO phase could bring a return of winter weather to the East in early March, depending where exactly that Greenland block sets up. There’s often a delay between when the polar vortex is disrupted, and when the cold air arrives in parts of the U.S., if at all.
Snow lovers will be watching upcoming forecasts anxiously because the deeper into March we go, the less likely widespread snows along the East Coast become.”
In summary: the polar vortex has split, here’s what that means for us:
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has criticised the lack of clarity for farmers post-Brexit
Facebook VP of advertising, Rob Goldman, tossed a hand grenade in the Russian meddling narrative in a string of tweets responding to Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russian nationals running a “bot farm” which, according to Mueller (via Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein), was unsuccessful at influencing the 2016 election.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) February 16, 2018
Notably, Goldman points out that the majority of advertising purchased by Russians on Facebook occurred after the election – and was designed to “sow discord and divide Americans”, something which Americans have been quite adept at doing on their own ever since the Fed decided to unleash a record class, wealth, income divide by keeping capital markets artificially afloat at any cost.
The majority of the Russian ad spend happened AFTER the election. We shared that fact, but very few outlets have covered it because it doesn’t align with the main media narrative of Tump and the election. https://t.co/2dL8Kh0hof
— Rob Goldman (@robjective) February 17, 2018
The main goal of the Russian propaganda and misinformation effort is to divide America by using our institutions, like free speech and social media, against us. It has stoked fear and hatred amongst Americans. It is working incredibly well. We are quite divided as a nation.
— Rob Goldman (@robjective) February 17, 2018
The Russian campaign is ongoing. Just last week saw news that Russian spies attempted to sell a fake video of Trump with a hooker to the NSA. US officials cut off the deal because they were wary of being entangled in a Russian plot to create discord. https://t.co/jO9GwWy2qH
— Rob Goldman (@robjective) February 17, 2018
President Trump fired off Goldman’s comment in a Saturday morning tweet:
The Fake News Media never fails. Hard to ignore this fact from the Vice President of Facebook Ads, Rob Goldman! https://t.co/XGC7ynZwYJ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2018
If we are to accept Mueller’s findings that Russian disinformation campaign was focused on elevating an outside candidate to win the White House, no matter who it was (Mueller notes they supported both Sanders and Trump, while using “any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest”), then the logical conclusion is that while there was no collusion with the Trump campaign, the ultimate goal would be to weaken America by creating a divide in the long-standing establishment power structure.
To that end, this 1985 interview with ex-KGB agent Yuri Bezmenov, who defected to the West in 1970, is a must-watch. in it, Bezmenov very clearly outlines that the KGB’s primary goal is not covert intelligence; it’s a long-term campaign of ideological subversion, or “active measures.”
The entire interview is over two hours long, and both condensed and extended versions can be found below. In summary,the KGB, for decades, has had a goal of altering the average American’s perception of reality in order to confuse and divide the US population, while reducing men of fighting age to feminized soy boys.
There are four basic stages:
1) Demoralization: This will take 15-20 years (which would bring us to around 2000-2005), which is enough time to educate a generation of students and indoctrinate them into a Marxist-Leninist ideology as “useful idiots.” The result of this stage of subversion is that the “useful idiots” will be “contaminated” through ideological and irreversible brainwashing. According to Bezmenov, the demoralized person is unable to assess fact-based information. You can shower him with documents, facts and other solid evidence, and he will refuse to believe it until kicked in his “fat bottom” by troops.”
Bezmenov said (in 1985), that the demoralization campaign had been active for 25 years.
2) Destablization: Once the population has been programmed and “contaminated,” the subverter does not care about your ideas, the patterns of your consumption, whether you eat junk food and get fat and flabby. It doesn’t matter anymore. This time, and it only takes from two to five years to destabilize a nation, what matters is essentials, economy, foreign relations, defense systems.
3) Crisis: Once destabilization has occurred, “It may take only six weeks to bring a country to the verge of crisis. You see it in Central America now.”
4) Normalization: “And after crisis, with a violent change in power, structure, and economy, you have the period of so-called normalization will last indefinitely. Normalization is a cynical expression borrowed from Soviet propaganda”
If Bezmenov was correct about the KGB’s “recipe” for subverting the United States, one need look no further than a generation of pussy-hat wearing, hypersensitive, multi-gendered, ultra politically-correct Social Justice Warrior mentality that’s infiltrated the West – most recently characterized by Justin Trudeau’s recent “peoplekind” admonishment of a young and inquisitive student.
Justin Trudeau tells a woman she should say peoplekind, not mankind. But was he mansplaining? pic.twitter.com/nyMG9RHo5x
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) February 7, 2018
The tools of subversion are identity politics and the destruction of culture, often conducted under the guise of “equality” and humanitarianism. Has the forced integration of scores of migrants across Europe strengthened or weakened nations with open-border policies? Are Poland and Hungary stronger or weaker for resisting said invasion?
Indeed, it can be said that Europe has been demoralized through social-justice identity politics, which has paved the way for the active and ongoing destabilization of Europe’s long-knit social and economic fabric.
Next will be crisis brought on by the powder-keg created by “cultural enrichment” and no-go zones, after which Europe will surely be forced to normalize under a brave new regime in which the ongoing threat of civil war will keep Europe weak for decades.
One has to consider who destabilized North Africa despite Ghadaffi offering to hold migrants at bay for a mere £4bn-per-year. Who then welcomed migrants which were the byproduct of said destabilization? And what will be the end result when we roll the clock forward five, ten, fifteen years?
One could make the argument that we are now shifting from demoralization and destabilization, to crisis.
Watch Bezmenov’s interview below:
Earlier in the week we reported on scientists’ warnings over the “strained” magma chamber within Yellowstone’s supervolcano.
And now, perhaps even more concerning, The Daily Express reports that scientists in California have analyzed 101 major earthquakes around the Pacific Ring of Fire, a horseshoe-shaped geological disaster zone, between 1990 and 2016.
They believe a cluster of tremors around the area could indicate a “big one” is due to hit.
Earthquakes have already struck in Japan, Tawain, Guam and Indonesia in the past few weeks.
Thorne Lay, professor of Earth and planetary sciences at UC Santa Cruz, said: “Based on the clustering of earthquakes in space and time, the area that has just slipped is actually more likely to have another failure.“
He added that “the surrounding areas have been pushed towards failure in many cases, giving rise to aftershocks and the possibility of an adjacent large rupture sooner rather than later.“
The Express notes that the study comes after the Ring of Fire was hit by earthquakes in the first two weeks of February.
More than 180 people were injured and 17 killed when a 6.4 magnitude quake struck Taiwan’s coast on February 6.
A series of tremors on reaching magnitudes as high as 5.7 shook the US territory of Guam.
Three earthquakes have hit Japan since February 11, with the largest measuring at 4.8 on the Richter scale.
Additionally, numerous volcano eruptions, hit the Pacific Rim in January.
Scientists have. of course, reassured the public saying that the activity is normal for the Ring of Fire.
Toshiyasu Nagao, head of Tokyo-based Tokai UNiversity’s Earthquake Prediction Research Centre, told Japan Times:
“The Pacific Rim is in a period of activity. In terms of volcanic history, however the current activity is still regarded as normal.“
As we concluded previously, is this time to panic? Maybe, maybe not. But it’s interesting that the Ring of Fire is waking up and coinciding with news that a pole reversal is near, Yellowstone is ‘strained’, and the sun is approaching its solar minimum which could cause a mini ice age.
On Thursday, Kurt Walter Tidd, a high ranking United States Navy admiral, currently serving as the Commander of the United States Southern Command, told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is now “prepared” to receive an influx of new detainees.
“We have 41 detainees who are there right now. We are prepared to receive more should they be directed to us,” Admiral Kurt Tidd, told lawmakers.
“As of today we have not been given a warning order that new detainees might be heading in our direction, but our responsibility will be to integrate them in effectively,” he added.
During President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech last month, Trump said he had signed an executive order directing Secretary of Defense James Mattis to “re-examine our military detention policy and to keep open the detention facilities at Guantánamo Bay.”
“I am asking Congress to ensure that in the fight against ISIS and al Qaeda we continue to have all necessary power to detain terrorists wherever we chase them down, wherever we find them. And In many cases for them it will now be Guantánamo bay,” Trump said during his speech.
The executive order is a significant reversal of his predecessor Barack Obama’s administration.
AFP notes that Guantanamo Bay has not received any new inmates since 2008, but that could be changing under the Trump administration, as he plans on expanding the forever war on terrorism.
US military officials have been openly discussing the fate of Islamic State group detainees, mainly foreign fighters, held by US-backed militias in northern Syria. Guantanamo has not received any new inmates since 2008 but on the campaign trail, Trump vowed to load the facility with “bad dudes,” and said it would be “fine” if US terror suspects were sent there for trial. During his State of the Union speech in January, Trump said IS captives would in “many cases” end up in Guantanamo.
Earlier last month, we reported on the Arizona National Guard unit deploying to Cuba to support operations in Guantanamo Bay. Despite the rumors of the prison closing, it appears that the Trump administration is preparing for a ramp-up period. The soldiers won’t have contact with the detainees and they are expected to serve a nine-month rotation which started at the beginning of January.
These soldiers leaving for Guantanamo Bay in the coming days in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“There was some discussion some time back about actually shutting it down. Right now that’s not what’s going to happen so it’s still very important for us service members to be prepared to go and continue that mission,” said Arizona Army National Guard Command Sergeant Major Fidel Zamora.
That’s exactly what nearly 50 Arizona Army National Guard soldiers will soon be doing.
“Part of that is being able to inform and advise the Joint Task Force Commander there on military police tasks and procedures and part of that is just making sure that the staff runs effectively on a day to day basis,” said Colonel Rich Baldwin, the Land Component Commander of the Arizona Army National Guard.
This mission is so sensitive we were asked not to show the faces of these soldiers and their families.
“We don’t want to telegraph to the world who is going, who’s there and who’s performing this mission because they all have families that are still back here while they’re overseas doing this mission,” Colonel Baldwin said.
Last November, Trump said, “Would love to send the NYC terrorist to Guantanamo but statistically that process takes much longer than going through the Federal system…”
Would love to send the NYC terrorist to Guantanamo but statistically that process takes much longer than going through the Federal system…
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2017
After more than 15-years of America’s never-ending wars on terror, the one thing that President Trump has failed to mention is an exit strategy.
Nevertheless, America’s war spending has not just bankrupted this once great nation to the tune of trillions, it has depleted the inner core of the American economy. The one question we ask: With the Trump administration rapidly preparing for an influx of new prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, who will those new prisoners be?