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Foreign Policy Focus

Foreign Policy Focus is a podcast hosted by me, Kyle! It covers current events overseas and how those events affect you at home. While US military operations in the Middle East seem like they are on the other side of the world, they have real impacts on the everyday lives of Americans. Wars are the most costly of all US government actions and politicians use them to strip away rights of Americans. Knowing what your government is doing around the globe will give you insight into what they are doing at home.
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Now displaying: October, 2017

Foreign Policy Focus is a podcast hosted by me, Kyle! It covers current events overseas and how those events affect you at home. While US military operations in the Middle East seem like they are on the other side of the world, they have real impacts on the everyday lives of Americans. Wars are the most costly of all US government actions and politicians use them to strip away rights of Americans. Knowing what your government is doing around the globe will give you insight into what they are doing at home.

Oct 30, 2017

On FPF #111, I discuss House Concurrent Resolution 81. H.Con. Res 81 is a bill invoking the War Powers Act to end US support for Saudi Arabia's war against the people of Yemen. The US is currently providing vital support to Saudi Arabia's war effort. The US is selling Saudi Arabia billions of dollars worth of weapons, providing ships to support the blockade, and providing mid-air refueling to Saudi warplanes. Ending the US support will help the people of Yemen and weaken al-Qaeda in Yemen. 

Articles 

  • Kuwait's Prime Minister announces his resignation. [Link] 
  • The Taliban kill 15 Afghan police in two attacks. [Link]
  • The US coalition in Afghanistan killed two civilians at an engagement party. [Link]
  • The Syrian army continues to liberate areas around Deir Ezzor from the Islamic State. Around 1,500 civilians remain in IS-held areas of the city. The Syrian army and allied forces continue to kill civilians with bombs. [Link]
  • A man, who traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State then was captured, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. [Link]
  • Harvard-Harris polling that showed 70% of Americans support renegotiating the Iran nuclear deal was based on a biased question. [Link]
  • Raytheon won a $1.5 billion contract from the Pentagon. [Link] 
  • The IAEA Cheif confirms Iran is living up to the nuclear agreement. [Link] 
  • The Spanish government has dismissed the Catalan Parliment, president, the president’s cabinet, and chief of police. [Link] 
  • A US service member was killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. [Link] 
  • The US gave the Afghanistan military 6 additional A-29 attack planes. [Link] 
  • The leader of the Kurdish Regional Government, Barzani, will resign from office. [Link] 
  • Moon of Alabama highlights inconsistencies in the UN report on the April 4th chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun. [Link] 
  • The Syrian government killed 11 civilians and destroyed a school outside of Damascus. [Link]
Oct 27, 2017

On FPF #110, I discuss the Catalan Parliment declaring independence from Spain. The Catalan Parliment voted in the face of several threats from the Spanish government. The Spanish President is hoping to invade Catalonia in response. I also call on my audience to contact their Representative and ask them to support H.Con.Res 81. 

Articles 

  • The Trump administration is imposing new screening and interviews on travelers coming into the US. American citizens are subject to the searches and interviews. [Link]
  • Twitter banned Russia Today and Spudnik News from running ads. [Link]
  • Vice President Pence said the US will provide more aid and protection to Christians living in the Middle East. [Link] 
  • Senator Chris Murphy will introduce a bill to prevent Trump from attacking North Korea without Congressional approval. [Link] 
  • Peter Van Buren argues mutually assured destruction will prevent war between the US and North Korea. [Link] 
  • Nick Turse lays out the history of US interventionism in Niger. [Link] 
  • Trump says China is helping the US in North Korea and Russia is hurting American efforts. [Link] 
  • The Catalan Parliment will vote on declaring independence. [Link] 
  • The Iraqi army has announced they are attacking Islamic State targets on the border with Syria. Peshmerga forces are reporting they are being attacked by the Iraqi army as well. [Link] 
  • Turkey and Iraq say the Kurds freezing their independence referendum isn’t good enough. [Link] 
  • Tillerson says Assad is on his way out in Syria. [Link]
  • The FEC has filed a complaint against Hillary Clinton for failing to disclose payments related to the Trump dossier. [Link]
  • In March 2013, a Saudi price provided arms to the Free Syrian Army and ordered them to attack Damascus. The attack included shelling of the Assad palace and Damascus airport. [Link]
  • US F-35s will be deployed overseas for the first time. 12 F-35s will be stationed in Japan. [Link]
  • The House passed a bill with the harshest sanctions ever against North Korea. The sanctions prevent anyone with ties to the US from doing business with North Korea. [Link] 
  • The US has been pushing the Niger government to be able to carry out drone strikes in Niger. The deaths of the four US soldiers could be enough to talk the Niger government into allowing drone strikes. [Link]
Oct 25, 2017

On FPF #109, I discuss the expanding US war in Africa. US operations in Africa have greatly expanded since AFRICOM was created in 2008. The US now has 6,000 troops in Africa and the troops are involved in 3,500 military operations every year. Now Sen Lindsey Graham says the US will expand the war to Africa. 

Articles 

  • After meeting with Defense Secretary James Mattis, Senator Lindsey Graham said the global war on terror will be explaining. Graham also said the war is moving to Africa. [Link] 
  • Nick Turse on the expanding role of the US military in Africa. [Link] 
  • The US is using Niger as a hub for military operations in West Africa. [Link] 
  • Afghani warlord Hekmatyar has returned to the capital city of Kabul and is giving a series of political speeches. [Link] 
  • Afghan President Ghani traveled to India to meet with Indian Prime Minister Modi. [Link]
  • The Kurdistan Regional Government issues a statement to the Iraqi government. The Kurdish government will freeze the referendum on independence. [Link]
  • Marcy Wheeler reports on Congress’s attempt to expand spying on Americans. [Link]
  • 70% of Americans believe the nuclear agreement with Iran should be renegotiated. [Link]
  • Some US Senators were stunned to learn US troops were in Niger. [Link] 
  • The UN added 32 items to the list of goods prohibited from being sold to North Korea. [Link]
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made an unannounced stop in Afghanistan. [Link] Tillerson says the US will look to work with moderate members of the Taliban. [Link] 
  • The president of Iraq rejects Tillerson calls to disband Shi’ite militias. [Link] 
  • ISIS kills 70 civilians in a Syria town. [Link] 
  • US airstrikes on Deir Ezzor kill 22 civilians. [Link] 
  • The US returned diplomats to Venezuela that were recalled during unrest in Venezuela. [Link]
Oct 23, 2017

On FPF #108, I discuss several current news events. CIA Director Pompeo said the CIA will become a more vicious agency. The CIA will also begin an operation in Afghanistan against Taliban leadership. The US is preparing to put nuclear bombers on 24-hour alert. The USS John McCain has taken on additional damage. The story of how US soldiers died in Niger is becoming clear. I also update Iran, Syria, Rex Tillerson's trip to the Middle East. 

Articles 

  • The US is preparing to put nuclear armed bombers on 24 hour alert. [Link]
  • CIA Director Pompeo said the CIA will become a more vicious agency. [Link] 
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pushes European countries to adopt sanctions against the IRGC. [Link] 
  • Iran’s Foreign Minister says Iran will not renegotiate on the nuclear agreement. [Link] 
  • Tillerson took a trip to the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia, he called for the kingdom to have closer relations with Iraq. In Qatar, he called for a quick resolution to the split between Qatar and other GCC countries. Tillerson also called for Iranian backed militants in Iraq to go home or integrate with the Iraqi army. [Link] 
  • The USS John McCain has taken on additional damage. [Link] 
  • Spain’s prime minister calls on the government to grant him the power to dissolve the Catalan government. Catalonia’s president called for the Catalan government to have a strong response. [Link] 
  • The US has 8,000 troops deployed to Africa. [Link]
  • Jason Ditz explains how US soldiers were killed in Niger. [Link]
  • The US is expanding the drone war against jihadists in West Africa. [Link] 
  • A senior Congressional aide blames a lack of intelligence for the death of four American soldiers in Niger. The aide said there was no overhead drone during the operation. The Pentagon denies the soldiers died because of a lack of intelligence. [Link] 
  • The CIA is expanding its role in Afghanistan. The CIA will now have a team of agents in Afghanistan hunting terrorists. [Link] 
  • The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for two suicide attacks on Shi’ite mosques in Afghanistan. 72 people were killed in the attack. [Link] 
  • 13% of Afghan soldiers brought into the US to train go AWOL. 83 Afghans have never been found. [Link] 
  • Eric Margolis on the rise and fall of ISIS. [Link] 
  • US backed forces in Syria have been ordered to kill foreign Islamic State fighters. [Link]
  • Israel destroyed a Syrian Army outpost in southern Syria after mortar fire landed in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights. It is not clear the mortar fire came from the Syrian Army and the mortars landed in empty area. [Link]
Oct 20, 2017

On FPF #107, I look at the Neocons pushing Trump to war with Iran. The push has lead Trump to decertify the Iran nuclear deal. The Neocons are now claiming Iran destabilizes the Middle East by making up a fake narrative about the Iraqi Kurds. The Neocon push will be based on lies and half-truths. In this show, I expose some of the lies. 

Articles 

  • CIA Director Pompeo said the connection between Iran and al-Qaeda is an open secret. [Link]
  • CIA Director Pompeo said North Korea is rapidly moving towards having the ability to hit the US with a nuclear weapon. [Link] 
  • 64% of Americans favor diplomacy with North Korea. [Link] 
  • Spain announced it will revoke Catalonia’s autonomy and impose direct rule over Catalonia. [Link]
  • A Saudi airstrike killed six Yemeni civilians. Four of the dead are children. Only one member of the family survived the attack. [Link]
  • Patrick Cockburn explains how the US could lose by Trump decertifying the Iran nuclear agreement. [Link] 
  • Catalonia’s president said Catalonia will secede from Spain if Spain removes Catalan autonomy. [Link]
  • Moon of Alabama explains how internal Kurdish politics played in role in the Kurdish withdraw from Kirkuk. [Link]
Oct 18, 2017

On FPF #106, I discuss the terror attack in Somalia that killed over 300 people. I look at blowback and how US policy possibly motivated the bomber. I explain that while Americans may not care about dead Somalis, people in the Muslim world do. I update Marawi, Kurdistan, Syria, and Israel. 

Articles

  • The US shipped Saudi Arabia $70 million more in weapons during the first eight months of 2017 than during the first eight months of 2016. [Link]
  • Two leaders of the Catalan independence movement have been jailed while they are investigated for sedition. [Link] 
  • The two leaders of the Islamic State-linked jihadist group controlling the city Marawi have been killed. [Link]
  • The US has spent $3.9 billion per month for 16 years in Afghanistan. [Link] 
  • Taliban suicide bombers targeted a police training building killing at least 33. [Link]
  • The Iraqi government forces have taken several positions in and around the city of Kirkuk. The Kurdish forces previously held Kirkuk. Some fighting has been reported, but Kurdish forces have mostly withdrawn. [Link] 
  • Kurdish families fled Kirkuk as the Iraqi army advanced on and took control of the city. [Link]
  • The leader of Iraqi Kurdish forces said the Iraqi government’s offensive against Kirkuk amounts to a declaration of war. [Link]
  • The Syrian Arab Army is quickly advancing against the Islamic State in the Deir Ezzor Province. [Link] 
  • Israeli warplanes hitting Syrian targets were fired on by Syrian anti-aircraft weapons. Israeli responded by bombing Syrian anti-aircraft weapon. [Link]
  • Iran’s foreign minister said Iran would remain in the nuclear deal so long as European countries remain in the deal. [Link]
  • Spain plans to seize Catalonia if Catalan leadership does not end the attempt at independence. [Link]
  • At least 300 people have been killed by a truck explosion in Somalia’s capital city Mogadishu. [Link]
  • The former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai is warning the US the Trump’s new Afghanistan policy will not work. [Link] 
  • US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces allowed 275 Islamic State fighters and their family members leave Raqqa. The SDF now plan their final assault on the remaining Islamic State fighters in Raqqa. [Link] 
  • The Iraqi government says the Iraqi Kurds has declared war against them by allowing PKK fighters into Kirkuk. Iraqi Kurdish officials deny these claims. [Link] 
  • The Iraqi army is advancing on Kirkuk. [Link] 
  • The Syrian government is demanding that Turkish troops withdraw from Syria. Additional Turkish troops entered the Idlib Province of Syria as part of a deal to establish deconfliction zones. Turkish troops are thought to be working with the al-Qaeda backed Syrian rebel groups. [Link] 
  • Recent Saudi airstrikes kill 29 children in Yemen. Saudi Arabia has been criticized several times for killing Yemeni children. [Link]
Oct 16, 2017

On FPF #105, I discuss Trump's Iran policy speech. Trump's speech was filled with lies and half-truths meant to make Americans scared of Iran. Trump then uses the lies to justify decertifying the P5+1 Nuclear Agreement. I debunk the lies and explore why Trump's policy will fail. 

Trump's Speech

Gareth Porter's Book

Oct 13, 2017

On FPF #104, I update the news on all of American's wars. In Syria, the Islamic State continues to kill civilians. The US is moving a second aircraft carrier to the Korean Peninsula. Trump is looking at a new more hawkish Iran policy. In Afghanistan, Pakistan is attempting to build a border wall. The House Resolution to end US support for Saudi's war in Yemen was postponed to November 2nd. 

Articles 

  • Trevor Aaronson explains how the FBI attempted to bully a man into becoming an informant. [Link]
  • Jason Ditz explains how the US government uses the word suspect to dehumanize its victims. [Link]
  • North Korea’s Foreign Minister said Donald Trump “lit the wick of war” and the US risks a “hail of fire” with rhetoric. [Link]
  • The Spanish Prime Minister issued an ultimatum to Catalonia. The ultimatum gives the Catalan government eight days to drop the independence bid or else the Spanish government will seize Catalonia and dissolve the government. [Link] 
  • The Israeli government approved the building of another 3,700 settlement homes. [Link]
  • The Syrian Foreign Minister said that the Syrian Kurds are drunk off US assistance and are looking to capture Syrian oil fields. [Link] 
  • H.Con.Res 81 now has 27 cosponsors. The bill looks to end US involvement in the Yemeni Civil War. [Link]
  • Ron Paul interviews Robert Perry on the state of journalism in the US. [Link]
  • Trump is expected to reveal his new policy for Iran today. [Link] Trump is not expected to decertify the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran but will place more sanctions on the IRGC. [Link]
  • The Pentagon spends half of its budget on contractors. [Link] 
  • The US announced troop arrivals to Poland near the border with Russia. [Link]
  • The US is moving a second aircraft carrier to the Korean Peninsula. [Link] 
  • The UN says the US and Afghan militaries airstrikes in Afghanistan have caused a 50% increase in civilian casualties in the past year. [Link] 
  • In Northeast Syria, at least 50 people were killed by Islamic State suicide car bombs. [Link]
  • The vote on H.Con.Res 81 has been postponed until November 2. [Link]
Oct 11, 2017

On FPF #103, I discuss how we can prevent some disasters. I base my discussion on Jason Ditz's article The Hurricanes You Control Vs. The Hurricanes You Don’t. In this article, Jason explains how some disasters, like hurricanes, are uncontrollable. While some disasters, like Yemen, are very controllable. I also discuss burn pits, Iraq, Syria, and North Korea. 

Articles 

 

  • The US flew B1-B bombers over South Korea in a show of force. [Link] 
  • The President of Catalonia has signed a declaration of independence from Spain but suspended the independence process to allow talks with the Spanish government. [Link]
  • Hundreds of Islamic State fighters are surrendering to the Iraqi Kurds. [Link]
  • Kelley Vlahos discusses a new documentary about burn pits from the Iraq War. [Link]
  • South Korea has added a graphite bomb to their arsenal. The graphite bomb is also known as a blackout bomb and targets electric infrastructure. [Link]
  • Aid groups report that over 2,000 people in Yemen, including unborn babies, have died from cholera. [Link] 
  • Education in Yemen continues to suffer because of the civil war. Many teachers have not been paid in months and some are going on strike. Over 1,700 schools are unfit because of damage from the conflict. [Link]
  • The US will not participate in war games with Saudi Arabia because of Saudi’s blockade of Qatar. US CENTCOM in the Middle East is located in Qatar. [Link] 
  • Trump says that the US will develop a “broad strategy” to punish Iran. [Link]
  • The State Department approved a $15 billion weapons sale to Saudi Arabia. The weapons deal includes THAAD missile defense systems. [Link] 
  • Gareth Porter explains the importance of supporting the bill to end support for Saudi’s war in Yemen. [Link] 
  • The Spanish government will lift restrictions on companies who move from Catalonia to other parts of Spain. [Link]
  • An estimated 350,000 people took to the streets in Catalonia to protest Catalan independence. There are some reports that some of the protesters were bused in from other regions of Spain. [Link] 
  • Kim Jung Un says nuclear weapons are a powerful deterrent against the US. [Link] 
  • The body of a special operations soldier has been found in Niger. He is the fourth US soldier to die in last weeks ambush attack in Niger. The US now believes an Islamic State affiliate group was responsible for the attack. [Link] 
  • The Red Cross will scale back operations in Afghanistan after being targeted by militias. [Link]
Oct 6, 2017

On Foreign Policy Focus #102, I discuss the Yemeni Civil War. I review the history of the war and the destruction of Yemen. Americans remain apathetic about Yemen as it is destroyed with American weapons. Saudi Arabia was blacklisted for a second year for killing Yemeni children. 

Articles 

  • Saudi Arabia was put on a UN blacklist for murdering Yemeni children. [Link] 
  • CNN has released new footage showing the conditions in some Yemeni hospitals. Nearly 800,000 Yemeni have now contracted cholera. [Link]
Oct 4, 2017

On FPF #101, I discuss the Catalan independence vote. 90% of people who were able to vote, voted for independence. The Spanish police brutally cracked down on people trying to vote. Catalans have responded with massive peaceful protesters. 

Articles

  • The US ordered 15 Cuban diplomats to leave the country. The US also withdrew 60% of US diplomats from Cuba. [Link] 
  • The US voted against a ban on the death penalty being made illegal as a punishment for homosexuality. [Link] 
  • General Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the US should stay in the Iran nuclear deal.
  • John McCain criticized the Trump administration for not being transparent enough about its Afghanistan policy. [Link] 
  • Mattis said about 3,000 US troops in Afghanistan will be in combat roles. [Link] 
  • Catalans protested and were on strike against police abuse for a second day. [Link] 
  • Catalonia’s president said Catalonia would declare independence from Spain within a few days. [Link] 
  • Iraqi Kurds will have parliamentary and presidential elections on November 1. [Link] 
  • US warships will now travel with their Automatic Identification System turned on. The AIS alerts other ships in the area on the size and speed of a ship to prevent coalitions. [Link]
  • The White House confirms that they are unwilling to engage in talks with North Korea. [Link]
  • Justin Raimondo argues the Catalan independence vote revealed the true nature of government. [Link]
  • The Catalan President has submitted the results of the referendum to the Catalan Parliment. The president is also seeking international mediation to help with a peaceful split from Spain. The Spanish government is refusing to acknowledge the referendum happened and refusing to negotiate with Catalonia. [Link]
  • On Monday, Catalans took to the streets to protest the brutal police crackdown on the Catalan independence vote. [Link]
  • An American soldier was killed and another was injured in Iraq. [Link]  
  • Iran has deployed tanks and artillery to the border they share with Iraqi Kurdistan. [Link]
  • The Trump administration has set a cap of 45,000 refugees to be admitted to the US in 2018. [Link] 
  • The Trump administration is urging Congress to renew and make permanent some sections of the Foreign Intelligence Survalience Act. [Link] 
  • Senators McCain and Lee have introduced a bill to permanently exempt Puerto Rico from the Jones Act. [Link] 
  • Julian Borger explains why the CIA is not helping Donald Trump to undermine the Iran nuclear deal. [Link] 
  • Trump Tweeted that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was wasting his time trying to negotiate with North Korea. [Link] 
  • Catalans held their independence referendum in spite of a brutal crackdown by Spanish police. Police were filmed beating and abusing peaceful voters. Police beat elderly women and firefighters attempting to protect voters. In total, 844 Catalans were injured yesterday. Police seized some ballot boxes and closed some polling stations. 90% of Catalans voted for independence. [Link] 
  • The Spanish government will do everything possible to stop Catalonia from declaring independence. [Link] 
  • A US missile malfunctioned and killed several civilians near Kabul Afghanistan. [Link]
  • Senator Bob Corker said the US was likely to have ground troops in Afghanistan for the next decade. [Link] 
  • Rex Tillerson issues a statement saying the US does not recognize the Iraqi Kurdish independence vote. [Link]
  • A Turkish soldier was killed fighting the PKK in Iraq. Three PKK militants were also killed in the fighting. [Link]

 

Oct 2, 2017

Scott Horton joins me on Foreign Policy Focus #100 to discuss his new book Fool's Errand. Scott debunks the idea that 9/11 was the start of US interventionism in the Middle East. Scott explains Bush's war in Afghanistan and what happened at Tora Bora. Scott discusses ISIS in Afghanistan and where these jihadist came from. Scott also analyzes Trump's strategy for the American's longest war.

The web page for Fool's Errand FoolsErrand.Us

Scott Horton, managing director of the Libertarian Institute, is the host of Antiwar Radio on KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles, and Opinion Editor of Antiwar.com. Scott is the host of the Scott Horton Show.

Articles 

No Good Men Among the Living (Anand Gopal) http://anandgopal.com/

Afghan Analyst article on ISIS. Afghanistan-analysts.org

 

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