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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, 2019

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, 2019

On FPF #413, I discuss the importance of international watchdog groups, the OPCW [chemical weapons] and IAEA [nuclear technology]. Two whistleblowers have come out and exposed lies and misleading information in the OPCW's report on the alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma. One critical report released by a whistleblower showed the suspected scene of the chemical weapons attack was staged. The IAEA just selected a new head that is backed by the US. The IAEA fills important roles like inspecting and certifying the Iran Nuclear Deal. 

Links

Caitlin Johnstone on Douma report

Oct 28, 2019

On FPF #412, I break down the death of ISIS leader al-Baghdadi. Baghdadi is reported to have killed himself - and three of his children - after being cornered by US forces. I discuss what his death means for the future of ISIS. Trump gave a speech announcing Baghdadi's death. I examine some of the highlights from the speech. 

Oct 25, 2019

Phil Gibson returns to the show to talk about Trump's Syria speech and cryptos. Trump said the ceasefire the US created along the Turkish/Syrian border has become permanent and the US is to thank for the new peace in the region. Phil and Kyle explain how other forces are working to stabilize a region that is in part in chaos because of endless American wars. In his speech, Trump signaled his opposition to America being the world policemen and the forever wars. However, he also said some American troops will remain in eastern Syria to guard the oil. 

Oct 23, 2019

On FPF #410, I discuss Hillary Clinton's suggestion that Tulsi Gabbard is a Russian agent out to undermine the DNC by running the third party. In Tulsi's brilliant response, she addressed Hillary as "Queen of the warmongers." Tulsi's decision to take the gloves off and go after Clinton's war hawk record is essential. The conflict could help Tulsi's candidacy and bring her message of 'ending the wars' to the spotlight. 

Links

  • Canada’s president Trudeau wins reelection. [Link]
  • Protests continue in Chile over public transportation. So far, at least 15 people have been killed and 2,600 arrested. [Link]

Afghanistan 

  • The Pentagon is drawing up plans to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan. [Link]
  • The Commander of US Forces in Afghanistan says 2,000 troops have left Afghanistan this year. [Link]

Iraq

  • The Iraqi government says US forces leaving Syria have no permission to stay in Iraq. [Link]
  • Six Iraqi security forces were killed by an IS attack in northern Iraq. [Link]
  • A report finds that 157 people were killed during Iraqi protests. Eight of the dead were members of the Iraqi security forces. The report found evidence of security forces targeted protesters with sniper fire. [Link]

Kashmir

Two soldiers and one civilian were killed in clashes between India and Pakistan. [Link] 

Oct 21, 2019

On FPF #409, I cover Assange, Afghanistan, and Syria. Assange's legal team requested an extension on his extradition hearing date. Assange is locked in solitary confinement at a UK prison with limited access to his legal team. 

Secretary of Defense Esper traveled to Afghanistan, possibly on the mission of restarting talks with the Taliban. Esper said the US could reduce US troops levels from 14,000 to 8,600 without impacting counter-terrorism operations. 

The ceasefire continues to hold in northern Syria as some US troops exit Syria into western Iraq. The troops remain in western Iraq to fight ISIS. Trump is now considering keeping 200 troops in eastern Syria to keep oil fields from Assad's control. 

Links

US News

  • Secretary of Energy Rick Perry resigns. Trump nominates Dan Brouillette to replace Perry. 
  • Three US soldiers were killed in a training accident. [Link]
  • US Warships are being built over budget and years beyond the initial project completion date. Even when ships are finished, they often have critical issues that keep them from being ready for combat. [Link]
  • The US imposed sanctions against Cuba for human rights violations and support for Venezuela. The sanctions target Cuba’s access to commercial airlines. [Link]
  • The US extends sanctions waivers for Iraq to import Iranian energy for another 120 days. [Link]
  • CNN reports US weapons sold to the UAE were transferred to southern separatists in Yemen and used against the Saudi-backed Yemeni government. [Link]
  • The US restores aid to Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvidor. The aid was cut because Trump felt these countries were not doing enough to help stop refugees from coming to the US. [Link]
  • The US sent a warship into the Black Sea. This is the 7th US warship to enter the sea this year. Last year the US sent five warships into the Black Sea. [Link]

Assange

  • A UK judge denies Assange’s request to delay his extradition hearing for three months. [Link]

Protests

  • 20 South Korean students were arrested for attempting to enter the US ambassador's home in protest of US troops in South Korea. [Link]
    • The US is reported to have offered North Korea partial sanctions relief in exchange for North Korea getting rid of key parts of its nuclear program. [Link]
  • At least three people have died during protests and riots in Chile. The three deaths are reported to have come in a supermarket arson fire. Police are reported to have shot two protesters. [Link]
  • Lebanon’s prime minister says a deal has been reached for economic reforms. Protesters have been gathered in Lebanon demanding reforms. [Link]
  • Protests continue to Catalonia as the Spanish government has imprisoned the region’s former leadership. The protests have seen over 100 injured a dozen people arrested. The Catalan leadership has now called for a new independence referendum. [Link]

Israel

  • Netanyahu says he cannot form a government. His political rival, Gantz, will now attempt to form a government. [Link]
  • Senator Warren suggests that if she becomes president, she may make Israeli aid conditional on stopping building settlements in the West Bank. [Link]
  • Jared Kushner will travel to Israel at the end of the month to meet with Netanyahu and his main political challenger, Gantz. [Link]
  • Israeli forces shot a Palestinian dead in the West Bank. The man ran at the soldiers with a knife. [Link]

Afghanistan 

  • Record 4,000 Killed/Injured July-September. [Link]
  • Sixty-two people were killed in the bombing of a mosque. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. [Link]
  • Secretary of State Mark Esper traveled in Afghanistan in an effort to restart talks with the Taliban. Esper said the US could cut troop levels to 8,600 without impacting counter-terror operations. An administration official said people in the administration did not realize Trump maybe serious about pulling troops out of Afghanistan until he withdrew troops from Syria. [Link] 
  • Secretary of Defense Esper says the US has long-standing commitments to Afghanistan, unlike with the Syrian Kurds. [Link]

Syria 

  • At least some US troops have moved from eastern Syria into western Iraq. [Link]
  • All US troops withdrawing from Syria will go to western Iraq for anti-Islamic State operations. [Link]
  • Trump may keep 200 US soldiers in eastern Syria for anti-Ismalic State operations and to prevent Assad from reclaiming Syrian oil fields. [Link]
  • Erdogan says if all Kurdish forces are not out of the agreed-upon safe zone by Tuesday evening, Turkey will resume the invasion of Syria. [Link]
Oct 18, 2019

On FPF $408, Will Porter returns to the show to update what is happening in Syria. There is a lot of conflicting reports about what is happening in Syria. Will dives into all the rumors and explains what is the actual situation in Syria. 

Will and Kyle discuss Trump's decision to leave Syria. Trump has received nearly universal condemnation from the establishment. However, he did make the correct choice in taking US troops out of harm's way. Will and Kyle look at the bills taken up in Congress that object to Trump's move. 

 

Oct 17, 2019

On FPF #407, I discuss the impact of US weapons is having around the world. In FY2019 the US sold over $54 billion in weapons. Some of those weapons aided the slaughter of Yemen. In a recent article, Stu Smallwood highlights how US F-35 sales to South Korea are harming the Korean peace process. For years, the US gave weapons to the Syrian Kurds. Now, the US-NATO allies Turkey are fighting against the US-armed Syrian Kurds. 

Links

  • The US sold over $54 billion in weapons during the fiscal year 2019. [Link]
  • Spain is seeking to extradite the former Catalan president from Belgium. The Spanish government made two previous requests that were rejected by Belgium. Spain is looking to extradite the president because he held an independence referendum for Catalonia. [Link]
  • Both frontrunners in Afghanistan’s recent presidential election are accused of major voter fraud. [Link]
  • The UN reports 85 civilians were killed in last month’s election. [Link]
  • At least three people were killed by a truck bomb in Afghanistan. [Link]
  • Two US officials say the US carried out a cyberattack against Iran after Saudi oil facilities were attacked on September 14th. [Link]
  • Daniel Larison explains the Yemeni government policy of charging duties at the Port of Aden before ships can dock at the Port of Hodeidah has increased fuel prices by 100%. Larison says this will likely make the cholera outbreak worse. Over 600,000 Yemeni have contracted cholera in 2019. [Link]
  • Saudi forces have taken control over Aden after UAE forces withdrew. [Link]
  • More than 1,000 Palestinians have developed bone infections after being shot by Israeli forces. [Link]
  • Turkey says it will start taking offers on replacements for the F-35. After Turkey bought the S-400 air defense system from Russia, the US blocked F-15 sales to Turkey. [Link]
  • Pompeo and Pence are expected to travel to Turkey to meet with Erdogan. [Link]
  • Turkey says it will retaliate against US sanctions. [Link]
  • Russia is now carrying out patrols to keep Syrian and Turkish forces from clashing near the border. [Link] Trump said he is fine with Russia assisting Assad in Syria. [Link]
  • Turkey’s president said an attack from the Syrian army killed a Turkish soldier. [Link]
  • The US announces it has withdrawn from Manbij. [Link]
  • Italy bans weapons sales to Turkey. [Link]
  • Turkey’s leader Erdogan says he will never declare a ceasefire in northeastern Syria and he is not concerned about US sanctions on Turkey. [Link]
  • A senior Pentagon says the US soldiers assisted Russia in moving through dangerous areas outside of Manbij as the US soldiers were leaving the area. [Link] The Syrian Army took over several bases that were abandoned during the US withdraw. [Link]
  • Senator Graham said the US must remain in Syria so 200 Israeli troops can remain in Syria to combat Iran. [Link]
Oct 14, 2019

Foreign Policy Focus and Around the Empire's latest swapcast covers the borg's meltdown because some US troops are leaving Syria. Joanne and Kyle recap what has happened in the past two weeks in Syria. The US announced pulling some troops from the Turkey/Syria border. In response, Turkey carried out its long-threatened invasion of Syrian Kurdistan. The Syrian Kurds then cut a deal with Assad, brokered by Russia, to move in and prevent the Turkish invasion. Trump finally announced all US troops in northeast Syria are withdrawing. 

The foreign policy establishment has condemned the move by Trump as betraying the Kurds and helping ISIS. The borg has failed to accept any responsibility for the position of the Kurd. It was Obama's establishment-approved Syria policy that created the problem for the Kurds to begin with. 

Oct 9, 2019

On FPF #405, I discuss the country's nearly $1 trillion dollar deficit in 2019. The US war state continues to spend massive amounts of money as the country drowns in debt. I explain that the money on the military is waster and is harming the living standards of Americans. I also look at the role of the FED in hiding the true cost of the war state. 

Show Notes

Out of Money

  • The federal deficit for this year is $984 billion. [Link]
  • The State Department approved $68 billion in weapon sales in 2019. [Link]
  • The UN warns of a huge budget shortfall that may mean employees not getting paid in the coming months. The budget shortage has already delayed some meetings and limited travel. [Link]

US News

  • A Customs agent refused to allow a Defense One writer to enter the US until he said he wrote propaganda. [Link]
  • A key figure in Trump’s maximum pressures policy - Sigal Mandelker - is leaving the administration. [Link]
  • The FBI detained a Russian lawmaker for an hour after she arrived in the US. [Link]

-gates

  • Attorney General Barr has been traveling to other countries in the investigation into the origins of Russiagate. [Link]
  • Trump told former UK Prime Minister Thersa May that he had doubts if Russia was behind the poisoning of the Skripals. [Link]

Europe

  • A US F-16 crashed in Germany. [Link]
  • The US and Grease sign a new defense pact. The US will build a naval and airbase in northeast Greece. [Link]

NK

  • Japan rescued 60 North Korean fishermen after the North Korean fishing ship collided with a Japanese patrol ship. [Link]

Afghanistan 

  • The UN reports the US airstrikes on Afghan drug targets are unlawful. The UN is investigating a strike that caused at least 39 casualties. [Link]

Iraq

  • At least 110 people have been killed during protests in Iraq. Violent protests started last Tuesday. This Tuesday’s night protests had no new reports of deaths. [Link]

Syria

  • Mike Pompeo claims the Iranian oil tanker - that was seized by the UK and then released - sold its oil to Syria. [Link]
  • Syrian Kurds signal they are willing to talk with Assad and Russia about the likely Turkish invasion of northeast Syria. [Link]
  • A Turkish official says Turkish forces with allied Syrian rebels will start to move into northeast Syria. [Link]
  • The Syrian government says it will oppose Turkish aggression into Syria and signaled a willingness to talk with the Kurds. [Link]
  • Daniel Davis
Oct 7, 2019

On FPF #404, I discuss several protests movements and peace talks happening around the world. The US talks with North Korea fell apart. According to the North Koreans, it is because the US isn't offering anything new. The US also spoke with the Taliban in Pakistan. Pakistan is hoping to revive talks to end the Afghan War after Trump declared they were dead. In Ukraine, it appears the new president is looking for a path to peace and says he will enter four-party talks. 

In Hong Kong, the government is enacting emergency powers in an attempt to curb the protest movement. The government banned masks as violent clashes with the government continue. Anti-government protests in Iraq have left over 100 people dead. In Egypt, the dictator al-Sisi continues to round up those who protest against him. So far over 2,000 have been arrested. President Marino in Ecuador has also rounded up hundreds of protesters. The protesters there are demanding he undoes a $2 billion austerity deal. 

Show Notes

  • Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger gets ten years for murdering an unarmed man. [Link]
  • Pentagon
    • A Pentagon employee says he was forced out after attempting to expose defense companies overcharging the Pentagon. [Link]
    • The Pentagon has taken over background checks for most security clearance. [Link]
  • Customs and Border Patrol is spending $1.2 million on anti-drone systems for the southern border. [Link]
  • The brother of Honduras' President is on trial in the US for drug trafficking. [Link]
  • Pompeo says the US calls on North Korea to stop provocations in response to the most recent missile test. [Link]
  • China displays new weapons at its military parade. The new weapons suggest China has a nuclear triad. [Link]
  • Hong Kong may enact other emergency laws that will remove some of the restrictions on force police can use. [Link]
  • Turkey says not enough progress has been made to establish safe zone in northeast Syria. [Link
  • Iran
    • Iran’s President nearly had a phone call with Trump. However, Trump saying he wanted increased sanctions against Iran caused the call not to happen. [Link]
    • Iran closes two border crossing with Iraq because of the protests in Iraq. [Link]
  • Africa
    • Twitter suspended the accounts of several Egyptian activists protesting Egyptian President Sisi. Egypt has arrested over 2,000 protesters. [Link]
    • The US reopened its embassy in Somalia for the first time since 1991. [Link]
Oct 2, 2019

On FPF #403, I discuss some of the recent Houthi victories over Saudi Arabia. Saudi has been waging a brutal air and starvation war against Yemen for four years. The Houthi, likely, retaliated by major strikes against Saudi oil facilities. Recently, the Houthis claimed to have captured nearly 2,000 Saudi soldiers. I explain what likely happened in the Houthi successful raid against Saudi forces.

Links

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