Watch the US State Department Try To Explain Why US Weapons Keep Ending Up in Al-Qaeda’s Hands

US State Department officials refuse to comment on reports that CIA weapons meant for ‪‎Syrian‬ “rebels” are magically stolen, again, and somehow ended up in Al Qaeda / Al Nusra hands. Funny how that keeps on happening.

“No Comment.”

“It’s an ongoing investigation.”

Then AP’s Matt Lee says, “How long should I hold my breath”.

Referring to how long it will take for some explanation as to why, mysteriously albeit, US weapons meant for “moderate Syrian rebels” keep on ending up in Al Qaeda, Al Nusra, ISIS hands.

— source theduran.com

US approves sale of 22 Guardian drones to India

The US has cleared the sale of 22 unmanned Guardian drones to India, governmental sources said on Friday, a deal being termed as a “game changer” ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington for his maiden meeting with President Donald Trump. The deal, estimated to be worth $2to 3 billion, has been approved by the State Department, the sources said.

— source thehindu.com

So india paying for to get closer relation.

US Coalition Admits Using Chemical Weapons Against Civilians in Iraq

Earlier this month, multiple reports surfaced of US-led coalition forces in Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria, using the incendiary chemical weapon, white phosphorus, on civilians. For over a week, the US government and the coalition at large have remained silent on the issue — until now.

In an error that will likely get him much backlash, in an interview with NPR, New Zealand Brig. Gen. Hugh McAslan, and member of the US-coalition has admitted — for the first time — to using white phosphorus during operations in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

“We have utilized white phosphorous to screen areas within West Mosul to get civilians out safely,” McAslan told NPR on Tuesday.

Instead of questioning the horrid nature of the chemical weapons use on civilians, NPR echoed the general’s sentiment and noted that 28,000 civilians have managed to escape. While that may be true, countless others were injured or suffered horrifying deaths.

White phosphorus is described as an “incendiary and toxic chemical substance used as a filler in a number of different munitions that can be employed for a variety of military purposes.”

The chemical was banned internationally after the 1980 Protocol on Incendiary Weapons restricted the “use of incendiary weapons as a means or method of warfare during armed conflict.”

The use of chemical weapons is clearly prohibited in international armed conflicts. The International Committee of the Red Cross noted that “employing asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases, and all analogous liquids, materials or devices is listed in the Statute of the International Criminal Court as a war crime.”

— source muricatoday.com

Lockheed, Tata to make F-16 in India

The IAF is about to initiate the process for selection of a single-engine fighter aircraft to replace the Russian MiGs under the Strategic Partnership model of the Defence Procurement Procedure. The announcement from Paris Air Show, where among those present was Ratan Tata, came ahead of Mr. Modi’s meeting with Trump later this month.

“This agreement builds on the already established joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Tata and underscores the relationship and commitment between the two companies,” said N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata Sons.

The Strategic Partnership model has four segments — submarines, single-engine fighter aircraft, helicopters and armoured carriers/main battle tanks — and specifically intends to open up defence manufacturing to the private sector. The deal for 100- plus fighter aircraft is estimated to be worth over Rs. 60,000 crore.

The contenders for the deal are F-16 of Lockheed Martin and Gripen of SAAB. The likely Indian private sector players in the race are TASL and Mahindra group, both of which have a footprint in the aerospace sector.

The statement also said F-16 production in India would support thousands of Lockheed Martin and F-16 supplier jobs in the U.S., create new manufacturing jobs in India, and position Indian industry at the centre of the most extensive fighter aircraft supply ecosystem in the world.

While Mr. Modi has put forward the ‘Make in India’ initiative to develop the manufacturing sector in India, Mr. Trump has given a call, ‘America First,’ to get jobs back to the U.S. TASAL, along with Lockheed, makes airframe components for the C-130J airlifter and the S-92 helicopter.

— source thehindu.com

when weapon manufacturing becomes private, then war to make profit will also increase. issues that can be solved by bilateral talks will become bloodly battle to make profit. Its not nation’s interests are served, but the profit for the corporates. innocent civilian and soldiers blood will spread to make that profit.

STOP PRIVATISATION OF DEFENSE

After Trump Calls Gulf Nation “High Level” Funder of Terrorism, US Sells Qatar $12 Billion in Fighter Jets

Just days after President Donald Trump publicly scolded Qatar for being a “high level” exporter of regional terrorism in the Middle East, its government announced Wednesday the signing of a deal to buy $12 billion worth of F-15 fighter jets from U.S. weapons makers.

The Pentagon justified the massive sale by saying the jets—reportedly 39 of them—would increase “security cooperation” between the two countries.

Last Friday, Trump told reporters at a White House press conference that “Qatar, unfortunately, has historically been a funder of terrorism at a very high level.” The president then said he had decided to take a harder line with the country.

Oil-rich Qatar is home to a major U.S. airbase in the region and a longtime ally, but the latest weapons sale comes amid boiling tensions in the region centered around ongoing wars in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen as a well as a diplomatic crisis between members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

— source commondreams.org

US military admits failures to monitor over $1 billion worth of arms transfers

The US Army failed to keep tabs on more than $1 billion worth of arms and other military equipment in Iraq and Kuwait according to a now declassified Department of Defense (DoD) audit, obtained by Amnesty International following Freedom of Information requests.

The government audit, from September 2016, reveals that the DoD “did not have accurate, up-to-date records on the quantity and location”of a vast amount of equipment pouring into Kuwait and Iraq to provision the Iraqi Army.

“This audit provides a worrying insight into the US Army’s flawed – and potentially dangerous – system for controlling millions of dollars’ worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region,” said Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty International’s Arms Control and Human Rights Researcher.

“It makes for especially sobering reading given the long history of leakage of US arms to multiple armed groups committing atrocities in Iraq, including the armed group calling itself the Islamic State.”

The military transfers came under the Iraq Train and Equip Fund (ITEF), a linchpin of US-Iraqi security cooperation. In 2015, US Congress appropriated USD$1.6 billion for the programme to combat the advance of IS.

The transfers, which include tens of thousands of assault rifles (worth USD$28 million), hundreds of mortar rounds and hundreds of Humvee armoured vehicles, were destined for use by the central Iraqi Army, including the predominantly Shi’a Popular Mobilisation Units, as well as the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.

The DoD audit found several serious shortcomings in how ITEF equipment was logged and monitored from the point of delivery onward, including:

Fragmentary record-keeping in arms depots in Kuwait and Iraq. Information logged across multiple spreadsheets, databases and even on hand-written receipts.
Large quantities of equipment manually entered into multiple spreadsheets, increasing the risk of human error.
Incomplete records meaning those responsible for the equipment were unable to ascertain its location or status.

The audit also claimed that the DoD did not have responsibility for tracking ITEF transfers immediately after delivery to the Iraqi authorities, despite the fact that the department’s Golden Sentry programme is mandated to carry out post-delivery checks.

A previous DoD audit in 2015 pointed to even laxer stockpile monitoring procedures followed by the Iraqi armed forces. In some cases the Iraqi army was unaware of what was stored in its own warehouses, while other military equipment – which had never been opened or inventoried – was stored out in the open in shipping containers.

“The need for post-delivery checks is vital. Any fragilities along the transfer chain greatly increase the risks of weapons going astray in a region where armed groups have wrought havoc and caused immense human suffering,” said Patrick Wilcken.

Arms transfers fuelling atrocities

Amnesty International’s research has consistently documented lax controls and record-keeping within the Iraqi chain of command. This has resulted in arms manufactured in the USA and other countries winding up in the hands of armed groups known to be committing war crimes and other atrocities, such as IS, as well as paramilitary militias now incorporated into the Iraqi army.

In response to the audit, the US military has pledged to tighten up its systems for tracking and monitoring future transfers to Iraq.

However, the DoD made almost identical commitments in response to a report for Congress as long ago as 2007 that raised similar concerns.

“After all this time and all these warnings, the same problems keep re-occurring. This should be an urgent wake-up call for the US, and all countries supplying arms to Iraq, to urgently shore up checks and controls. Sending millions of dollars’ worth of arms into a black hole and hoping for the best is not a viable counter-terrorism strategy; it is just reckless,” said Patrick Wilcken.

“Any state selling arms to Iraq must show that there are strict measures in place to make sure the weapons will not be used to violate rights. Without these safeguards, no transfer should take place.”

Amnesty International is urging the USA to comply with the Leahy Law, which prohibits the supply of most types of US military aid and training to foreign security, military and police units credibly alleged to have committed “gross human rights violations”.

The USA and Iraq must also accede to the global Arms Trade Treaty, which has strict rules in place to stop arms transfers or diversion of arms that could fuel atrocities.

— source amnesty.org