Category Archives: Merchants of Death

UK’s Nuclear Missiles Could Be Headed for the US if Scotland Wins Independence

Colleen Curry reports for VICE News:

‘The UK’s nuclear weapons are housed in the southwest corner of Scotland, at Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, the Ministry of Defense confirmed Tuesday. The missiles, 58 of them in all, are leased from King’s Bay Naval Base in southeastern Georgia, near the Atlantic Ocean just north of the Florida border. The British have been leasing the missiles and periodically having them serviced at King’s Bay since the mid-1990s, according to the British government.

If Scotland were to vote yes on independence and no on nukes Thursday, the British would be hard-pressed to quickly find or build another place in the UK with the infrastructure to store them, according to experts. That could force the UK to ship the missiles back to the US, at least temporarily.’

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Netanyahu eyes big increase in Israel’s defense spending

Xinhua reports:

‘Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday said he supports largely increasing defense spending in the upcoming 2015 budget in opposition to the stance of the finance minister, which may lead to the collapse of his political coalition.

“The billions we’ve invested in Israel’s defense in recent years saved the Israeli economy … Due to the threats in our area we need a substantial increment of billions in the defense budget, and we must do so in a responsible way without a great deficit,” Netanyahu said at the fourth international cyber convention held at the Tel Aviv University.’

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The Pentagon’s $800-Billion Real Estate Problem

Matthew Gault reports for Medium:

‘The U.S. Department of Defense owns more than half a million properties worth in excess of $800 billion dollars. The military’s real estate holdings span the globe and, all together, sprawl across 30 million acres.

Pentagon auditors can’t explain what half the properties are for—and doesn’t have a plan for finding out. All this according to a Sept. 8 report from the Government Accountability Office. The nearly trillion-dollar real estate glut is merely another example of egregious military waste.’

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US weapons makers sense rising demand for air defense systems, tanks

Andrea Shalal reports for Reuters:

‘Military crises around the world are boosting foreign demand for U.S. weapons, especially air and missile defense systems, spy equipment and armored vehicles, according to the U.S. government and industry officials. Weapons makers like Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Raytheon anticipate new markets for their goods, which could help offset lower U.S. military spending.

The Ukraine crisis is reviving long-dormant European demand, while the emerging threat from militant groups like Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has underpinned already strong Middle Eastern demand. And in Asia, China’s military buildup and tensions with its neighbors are prompting the United States to deepen relations with traditional allies such as Japan, and forge deeper bonds with other countries, including former foes such as Vietnam.’

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60 Years Ago, Moscow Tested a Nuclear Weapon on Its Own Citizens

Paul Goble reports for The Interpreter:

ingress_image‘Yesterday [Sept 14th] was the 60th anniversary of a horrific tragedy in which the Soviet government tested a nuclear weapon on its own people at a military base in Orenburg Oblast, a tragedy which continues because the Russian government has not been willing to face up to what happen or provide effective help to the victims.

Instead, the Bellona organization says, this horrific event “continues not only in the fates of the witnesses still living but in the fate of their children and grandchildren. Over these 60 years, a very great deal has changed, but what has not changed is the impermissible attitude of the state towards its own citizens.”

On September 14, 1954, the Soviet authorities exploded a nuclear device of between 10 and 40 kilotons, approximately twice the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, in an area where some 45,000 to 60,000 Soviet citizens were living in order to test the effectiveness of the weapon, the environmental activist group says.’

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Who’s Paying the Pro-War Pundits?

Lee Fang writes for The Nation:

‘If you read enough news and watch enough cable television about the threat of the Islamic State, the radical Sunni Muslim militia group better known simply as ISIS, you will inevitably encounter a parade of retired generals demanding an increased US military presence in the region. They will say that our government should deploy, as retired General Anthony Zinni demanded, up to 10,000 American boots on the ground to battle ISIS. Or as in retired General Jack Keane’s case, they will make more vague demands, such as for “offensive” air strikes and the deployment of more military advisers to the region.

But what you won’t learn from media coverage of ISIS is that many of these former Pentagon officials have skin in the game as paid directors and advisers to some of the largest military contractors in the world. Ramping up America’s military presence in Iraq and directly entering the war in Syria, along with greater military spending more broadly, is a debatable solution to a complex political and sectarian conflict. But those goals do unquestionably benefit one player in this saga: America’s defense industry.’

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How Big Tech Companies Are Helping Maintain America’s Empire

Adam Hudson writes for AlterNet:

‘Silicon Valley has been in the media spotlight for its role in gentrifying and raising rents in San Francisco, helping the NSA spy on American citizens, and lack of racial and gender diversity. Despite that, Silicon Valley still has a reputation for benevolence, innocence and progressivism. Hence Google’s phrase, “Don’t be evil.” A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that, even after the Snowden leaks, 53% of those surveyed had high confidence in the tech industry. The tech industry is not seen as evil as, say, Wall Street or Big Oil.

One aspect of Silicon Valley that would damage this reputation has not been scrutinized enough—its involvement in American militarism. Silicon Valley’s ties to the National Security State extend beyond the NSA’s PRISM program. Through numerous partnerships and contracts with the U.S. military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies, Silicon Valley is part of the American military-industrial complex. Google sells its technologies to the U.S. military, FBI, CIA, NSA, DEA, NGA, and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies, has managers with backgrounds in military and intelligence work, and partners with defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Amazon designed a cloud computing system that will be used by the CIA and every other intelligence agency. The CIA-funded tech company Palantir sells its data-mining and analysis software to the U.S. military, CIA, LAPD, NYPD, and other security agencies. These technologies have several war-zone and intelligence-gathering applications.’

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Murky Special Ops Have Become Corporate Bonanza, Says Report

Ryan Gallagher reports for The Intercept:

Featured photo - Murky Special Ops Have Become Corporate Bonanza, Says Report‘The U.S. government is paying private contractors billions of dollars to support secretive military units with drones, surveillance technology, and “psychological operations,” according to new research. A detailed report, published last week by the London-based Remote Control Project, shines a light on the murky activities of the U.S. Special Operations Command by analyzing publicly available procurement contracts dated between 2009 and 2013. USSOCOM encompasses four commands – from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps – and plays a key role in orchestrating clandestine U.S. military missions overseas.

Researcher Crofton Black, who also works as an investigator for human rights group Reprieve, was able to dig through the troves of data and identify the beneficiaries of almost $13 billion worth of spending by USSOCOM over the five-year period. He found that more than 3,000 companies had provided services that included aiding remotely piloted drone operations in Afghanistan and the Philippines, helping to conduct surveillance of targets, interrogating prisoners, and launching apparent propaganda campaigns.’

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Deadly plague and botulism microbes found in US lab

BBC News reports:

Bubonic plague bacteria‘A number of long-forgotten deadly microbes have been uncovered in US government laboratories. The highly poisonous substances were found in a hunt triggered by the accidental discovery in July of vials of smallpox at a lab in the National Institutes of Health near Washington.

They included vials of ricin and pathogens that cause botulism, the plague and a rare tropical infection. The substances, some dating from nearly a century ago, have now been destroyed. Officials from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said some of its laboratories were cleared to use poisonous substances and were checked regularly. But the recent finds were from historical collections that were once allowed to be stored without regulation.’

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America Can’t Pay for Its Wars, Analysis Says

Paul D. Shinkman reports for US News & World Report:

‘America can no longer afford all of its wars and military adventures abroad. That’s the argument put forward by a nonpartisan budget analysis expressing concern over an apparent disconnect between the Defense Department, which has submitted its new budget for fiscal year 2015, and Congress, whose inability to balance a budget and agree on deficit levels has triggered automatic cuts that have slashed military spending to the bone and beyond.’

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US warns ISIS could get ahold of Syria’s chemical weapons

The Associated Press reports:

Ambassador: Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador the the United Nations, said the U.S. is concerned not only that President Bashar Assad's regime still has chemical weapons, but that any  left behind could end up in the hands of ISIS‘The United States is concerned that the Islamic State group and other terrorists could get a hold of chemical weapons if Syria is hiding any stockpiles, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Thursday. Samantha Power spoke to reporters after the Security Council received a briefing from Sigrid Kaag, who heads the international effort to rid Syria of its chemical weapons.

The joint mission of the United Nations and the Organization for the prohibition of Chemical Weapons will end at the end of the month after destroying nearly all of Syria’s declared stockpile. But Kaag said the OPCW is still working with Syria to resolve discrepancies in its declaration, which she said range from outdated records to discrepancies on the volume of materials. Power said the U.S. is concerned not only that President Bashar Assad’s regime still has chemical weapons but that any stockpiles left behind could end up in the hands of the Islamic State group, which has seized large swaths of Syria and Iraq.’

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Hagel Assures Arms Dealers: US Must Maintain Military Dominance

Jason Ditz writes for Antiwar:

‘Speaking today [Sept 3rd] at the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel sought to assure arms dealers of continued US spending on advanced military technology, claiming the US military dominance is being “challenged” and the US needs increased innovation to maintain its superiority.

Hagel claimed that both Russia and China are closing the “technological gap,” and that some of their new designs appear meant to “counter traditional US advantages.”

The US spends far more on its military than either China or Russia, and indeed amounts to a large portion of the world’s military spending all by itself.’

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Newly declassified documents show how US agreed to Israel’s nuclear program

World Bulletin reports:

Files show how US agreed to Israel's nuclear program‘Declassified documents from 45 years ago have revealed how cabinet secretaries and senior advisers to the then US president Richard Nixon withdrew from a plan to block Israeli nuclearization ahead of a meeting with then Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir at the White House in September 1969.

The files, that were made public by the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel (ISCAP), not only shows how American delegates agreed to Israel’s refusal to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty, but also how they came to terms with allowing Israel to refuse an American inspection of the Dimona nuclear facility and a deal which would have seen the delivery of strategic ground-to-ground Jericho missiles to Israel in exchange for their signing of the treaty.

Although the details of Nixon’s meeting with Meir remain classified, the declassified files state that officials had on the eve of the talks advised Nixon to show restraint with regard to the Israeli nuclear program, and to abandon efforts to get Israel to cease acquiring 500-kilometer-range missiles with one-ton warheads developed in the Marcel Dassault factory in France, if it could reach an agreement with Israel on these points, the daily Haaretz reported.’

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U.S. army sees ‘megacities’ as the future battlefield

Paul McLeary reports for The Army Times:

‘When the Army looks to the future, it sees cities. Dense, sprawling, congested cities where criminal and extremist groups flourish almost undetected by authorities, but who can influence the lives of the population while undermining the authority of the state.

And the service is convinced that these “megacities” of 20 million or more people will be the battleground of the future.

The problem from a military strategists’ point of view, however, is that no army has ever fought it out in a city of this size. So in thinking through the issue of what to do about the coming age of the megacity, the Army’s Capabilities Integration Center (ARCIC) got together with US Army Special Operations Command, the chief of staff’s Strategic Studies Group and the UK’s Ministry of Defence in February to explore these types of urban operations.’

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As Blackwater Trial Closes, Focus Turns to Moments Before Chaos

Matt Apuzzo & Emmarie Huetteman writes for The New York Times:

‘When jurors begin deliberating next week in the murder and manslaughter trial of four former Blackwater Worldwide contractors, so much will depend not on the frenzied minutes of heavy gunfire in Baghdad’s busy al-Nisoor Square, but on the moments of relative calm just before the chaos.

Traffic had come to a halt on Sept. 16, 2007, as four U.S. armored trucks blocked the entrance to the square. Traffic police waved their arms, and the cars piled up. Then, two vehicles back, on the main artery running north into the traffic circle, a white Kia lurched forward.

The machine-gun fire was about to begin. Seventeen Iraqis would soon be dead.

Twelve U.S. jurors will have to decide whether it was a massacre, a firefight or a horrible accident of war. The verdict will close seven years of investigation into a shooting that inflamed anti-U.S. sentiment and was a nadir in the Iraq war.’

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Over $1 TRILLION spent on “defense” by NATO members apparently not enough

Sam Jones reports for The Financial Times:

Nato member states spend more than $1tn on their collective defence annually. But, the alliance says, it is not enough.

Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and the crisis in eastern Ukraine will dominate headlines at next week’s Nato summit – perhaps the most important gathering of alliance leaders since the end of the cold war – but defence spending will be the most important, if least honestly addressed, issue.’

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How the Gates Foundation’s Investments Are Undermining Its Own Good Works

Charles Piller writes for The Nation:

‘[...] For all its generosity and thoughtfulness, the Gates Foundation’s management of its $40 billion endowment has been a puzzling ethical blind spot. In 2007, with colleagues at the Los Angeles Times, I examined whether those investments tended generally to support the foundation’s philanthropic goals. Instead, we found that it reaped vast profits by placing billions of dollars in firms whose activities and products subverted the foundation’s good works.

For example, Gates donated $218 million to prevent polio and measles in places like the Niger Delta, yet invested $423 million in the oil companies whose delta pollution literally kills the children the foundation tries to help. It had vast holdings in Big Pharma firms that priced AIDS drugs out of reach for desperate victims the foundation wanted to save. It benefited greatly from predatory lenders whose practices sparked the Great Recession and chocolate makers said by the US government to have supported child slavery in Ivory Coast.

After our investigations were published, the foundation briefly considered changing its policy of blind-eye investing, but ultimately pulled funds only from firms that provided the financial basis for genocide in Darfur. Even in that case, when the glare of adverse publicity faded, the foundation hopped back into such companies, including the Chinese construction giant NORINCO International.’

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How companies are profiting from police crackdowns

Alex Kane writes for AlterNet:

Ferguson is big business: How companies are profiting from police crackdowns‘The tear-gas, rubber bullets and smoke bombs fired in Ferguson, Missouri have fed outrage over police militarization in the U.S. In response to the shocking images, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill said, “We need to de-militarize this situation.” Journalists reporting live on the demonstrations sparked by the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown expressed befuddlement as to why the police needed high-caliber weapons better suited for war zones than protests in an American city.

But one group of people is decidedly happy about the militarized response in Ferguson: those who work in the weapons industry. The array of police forces–the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the St. Louis county and city police and local Ferguson officers–that descended on the largely black Missouri city have used the products these corporations are selling in abundance. Tear gas, rubber bullets, smoke bombs, stun grenades, armored personnel carriers, sound cannons and high-caliber rifles have all been deployed to quell the unrest, though they have contributed to anger over police tactics.

The police response is the perfect showcase for the companies that manufacture military equipment for law enforcement use. They can point to the police tactics to sell their products to other law enforcement agencies preparing for demonstrations. And in Missouri, the police’s massive use of armaments like tear gas mean that their stock is becoming depleted and they will need to re-up their purchases. These companies will profit from the tension in Ferguson, and could fuel even greater militarization of the police, a trend that began with the war on drugs and has accelerated in recent years with the advent of the war on terror.’

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When the U.S. goes to war, TV networks call the warheads

Kate Sanders writes for the Tampa Bay Times:

‘When President Barack Obama decided to drop bombs in Iraq this month, television news turned to a group of familiar faces to decipher the plan for viewers.

CNN told its audience that retired Air Force Lt. Col. Rick Francona’s experience advising Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf during the Persian Gulf War shows “he knows what he’s talking about.” Fox News turned to retired four-star Army Gen. Jack Keane. “Very well versed on all of these challenges.”

On MSNBC it was retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey, commander of “the 24th Infantry Division during the first Gulf War.”

Francona, Keane and McCaffrey are three of TV’s “warheads,” a prestigious group of military analysts who are handsomely paid to offer authoritative straight-talk on the chaos unfolding in Iraq, Ukraine and Gaza.

But who are they, really? And how were they chosen to analyze military situations on the other side of the world?’

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The five biggest threats to human existence

Anders Sandberg of the Future of Humanity Institute writes for The Conversation:

A nuclear bomb blast‘In the daily hubbub of current “crises” facing humanity, we forget about the many generations we hope are yet to come. Not those who will live 200 years from now, but 1,000 or 10,000 years from now. I use the word “hope” because we face risks, called existential risks, that threaten to wipe out humanity. These risks are not just for big disasters, but for the disasters that could end history.

These risks remain understudied. There is a sense of powerlessness and fatalism about them. People have been talking apocalypses for millennia, but few have tried to prevent them. Humans are also bad at doing anything about problems that have not occurred yet (partially because of the availability heuristic – the tendency to overestimate the probability of events we know examples of, and underestimate events we cannot readily recall).

If humanity becomes extinct, at the very least the loss is equivalent to the loss of all living individuals and the frustration of their goals. But the loss would probably be far greater than that. Human extinction means the loss of meaning generated by past generations, the lives of all future generations (and there could be an astronomical number of future lives) and all the value they might have been able to create. If consciousness or intelligence are lost, it might mean that value itself becomes absent from the universe. This is a huge moral reason to work hard to prevent existential threats from becoming reality. And we must not fail even once in this pursuit.

With that in mind, I have selected what I consider the five biggest threats to humanity’s existence. But there are caveats that must be kept in mind, for this list is not final.’

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After the Flood: Mines and Mass Graves in Bosnia

‘An estimated 120,000 landmines still litter the Bosnian countryside since the end of the war there in 1995, making daily life a challenge for hundreds of thousands of people. In May, the worst floods in over a century dislodged countless mines and deposited them in new locations, from farm fields to the back yards of local residents. The flooding also unearthed previously undiscovered mass graves, making some citizens hopeful that they may finally be reunited with the remains of their lost loved ones. VICE News traveled to northern Bosnia to tag along with the team in charge of de-mining the countryside, and met residents still reeling from the horrors of war.’ (VICE News)

Pentagon: U.S. ship finishes neutralizing Syria’s worst chemical arms

David Alexander reports for Reuters:

‘A specially equipped U.S. ship has finished neutralizing all 600 metric tons of the most dangerous of Syria’s chemical weapons components surrendered to the international community this year to avert threatened air strikes, the Pentagon said on Monday. It said the Cape Ray, equipped with the U.S.-developed Field Deployable Hydrolysis System, neutralized 581.5 metric tons of DF, a sarin precursor chemical, and 19.8 metric tons of HD, an ingredient of sulfur mustard, while afloat in the Mediterranean.

The vessel will travel to Finland and Germany in the next two weeks to unload the resulting effluent, which will undergo treatment as industrial waste to render it safer, a Pentagon spokeswoman said. It was the first time chemical weapons components had been neutralized at sea, the Pentagon said. Damascus agreed last September to a Russian proposal to give up its chemical weapons to avert threatened military strikes by the United States and France, which accused Syria of using the arms against opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.’

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Hundreds of bioterror lab mishaps cloaked in secrecy

Alison Young reports for USA Today:

CDC scientist at work‘More than 1,100 laboratory incidents involving bacteria, viruses and toxins that pose significant or bioterror risks to people and agriculture were reported to federal regulators during 2008 through 2012, government reports obtained by USA TODAY show. More than half these incidents were serious enough that lab workers received medical evaluations or treatment, according to the reports. In five incidents, investigations confirmed that laboratory workers had been infected or sickened; all recovered.

In two other incidents, animals were inadvertently infected with contagious diseases that would have posed significant threats to livestock industries if they had spread. One case involved the infection of two animals with hog cholera, a dangerous virus eradicated from the USA in 1978. In another incident, a cow in a disease-free herd next to a research facility studying the bacteria that cause brucellosis, became infected due to practices that violated federal regulations, resulting in regulators suspending the research and ordering a $425,000 fine, records show.

But the names of the labs that had mishaps or made mistakes, as well as most information about all of the incidents, must be kept secret because of federal bioterrorism laws, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which regulates the labs and co-authored the annual lab incident reports with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.’

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IEP Study: Only 11 out of 162 countries are free from conflict

Adam Withnall reports for The Independent:

‘With the crisis in Gaza, the rise of Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria and the international stand-off ongoing in Ukraine, it can sometimes feel like the whole world is at war. But experts believe this is actually almost universally the case, according to a think-tank which produces one of the world’s leading measures of “global peacefulness” – and things are only going to get worse.

It may make for bleak reading, but of the 162 countries covered by the Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP’s) latest study, just 11 were not involved in conflict of one kind or another. Worse still, the world as a whole has been getting incrementally less peaceful every year since 2007 – sharply bucking a trend that had seen a global move away from conflict since the end of the Second World War.’

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US likely to arm Iraq’s new government with weapons to fight ISIS

Spencer Ackerman reports for The Guardian:

‘Iraq’s post-Nouri al-Maliki government is likely to receive accelerated shipments of missiles, guns and ammunition, according to US officials. Internal deliberations are said to continue within the Obama administration over the details and scope of a defense aid package to a yet-unformed successor government led by Haider al-Abadi, who will inherit a country under assault from the army of the Islamic State (Isis).

A State Department official said the administration has been “looking to see what we can accelerate”, adding that much depends on the composition of a new Iraqi government. Obama administration deliberations are said to draw short, for now, of expanding US air strikes against Isis beyond the outskirts of Irbil and Mt Sinjar, where thousands of Yazidis remain stranded. It is also unlikely that planned shipments of F-16 fighter jets will greet Abadi at the end of a 30-period mandated for the formation of a government.’

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The Pentagon is adding to its arsenal of weapons in Norway’s caves

Dan Lamothe reports for The Washington Post:

‘In the heart of Norway’s countryside, the U.S. military is bolstering its arsenal of weapons with tanks, gun trucks and other armored vehicles along with hundreds of containers of equipment. The Marine Corps is overseeing the effort, which expands the existing Marine Corps Prepositioning Program. It stashes weapons, vehicle and armor in several locations across the world, including Norway, which first signed an agreement with the United States to do so in 1981, Marine officials said.

The equipment is kept in climate-controlled caves in central Norway, giving the Marines equipment that is closer than the East Coast to use in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Much of what stored in the caves was pulled out and sent to the Middle East ahead of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. It also bolsters the amount of military equipment in Norway as tensions with nearby Russia remain high.

[...] The planned U.S. military expansion in Norway has been under discussion since 2013, Marine officials said.[...] The U.S. military has  more than 700,000 square feet of facilities in Norway, including six climate-controlled caves and two airfields. The Norwegians have maintained the equipment there with the understanding that if they were invaded, U.S. troops will defend them using it.’

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Clearing WWII’s explosive legacy in the Pacific

Neil Sands reports for AFP:

‘The rusting hulks of tanks and field artillery are a common sight in the jungles of Peleliu, but the fighting that scarred the Pacific island in WWII also left a more dangerous legacy — unexploded bombs. A Japanese airfield made the 10-kilometre (six-mile) long island a prized asset during the conflict, with the Americans determined to seize it at any cost.

The island — about an hour’s boat ride from the Palau capital Koror — underwent months of aerial and naval bombardment before US marines launched an amphibious invasion in September 1944 that was expected to take just three days. Instead, the assault dragged on for almost three months and became one of the bloodiest encounters in the Allied “island hopping” campaign, claiming about 13,000 Japanese and 3,000 American lives.’

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US silently continues Apache helicopter shipments to Egypt

Ken Klippenstein and Paul Gottinger report for Middle East Eye:

‘[...] Congress approved the release of $572 million in aid to the Egyptian government in June, but the remainder of the $1.5 billion in aid remains withheld pending John Kerry’s certification that Egypt was on the road to a democratic transition.

Apache helicopters had been part of the original arms freeze to Egypt announced by the State Department in October of 2013, which still includes M1-A1 tank parts, F16 jets, and Harpoon missiles.

Egypt has been seeking the release of the Apaches for months in order to assist their crackdown on the Sinai Peninsula. According to reports, Egypt has 34 Apache helicopters in its possession; however, 12 are not currently operating due to maintenance issues.’

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If Hiroshima was unnecessary, how to justify Nagasaki?

John LaForge writes for CounterPunch:

If shame is the natural response to Hiroshima, how is one to respond to Nagasaki, especially in view of all the declassified government papers on the subject? According to Dr. Joseph Gerson’s With Hiroshima Eyes, some 74,000 were killed instantly at Nagasaki, another 75,000 were injured and 120,000 were poisoned.

If Hiroshima was unnecessary, how to justify Nagasaki?

The saving of thousands of US lives is held up as the official justification for the two atomic bombings. Leaving aside the ethical and legal question of slaughtering civilians to protect soldiers, what can be made of the Nagasaki bomb if Hiroshima’s incineration was not necessary?’

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“War Makes Everyone Crazy”: Hiroshima Survivor Reflects on 69th Anniversary of U.S. Atomic Bombing

‘Sixty-nine years ago at 8:15 a.m., the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Destruction from the bomb was massive — shock waves, radiation and heat rays took the lives of some 140,000 people — nearly half of the town’s population. Three days later, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb on the Japanese Nagasaki killing another 74,000. At Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park, we hear from blast survivor Koji Hosokawa, who was 17 years old at the time. His 13-year-old sister, Yoko, died in the bombing. Hosokawa spoke to us next to the A-bomb Dome, one of the few structures in the city that survived the blast.’ (Democracy Now!)