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Flickr Militar rechaza cargo como asesor de seguridad de Trump
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Robert Harward estaba bajo consideración para ocupar el puesto de Michael Flynn, quien renució tras ocultarle información sobre Rusia al vicepresidente.
Nota completa en : Aristegui Noticias


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Counterpunch

February 17, 2017

Blood in the Water: the Trump Revolution Ends in a Whimper

by Mike Whitney

The Flynn fiasco is not about national security advisor Michael Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador. It’s much deeper than that. It’s about Russia. It’s about Putin. It’s about the explosive rise of China and the world’s biggest free trade zone that will eventually stretch from Lisbon to Vladivostok. It’s about the one country in the world that is obstructing Washington’s plan for global domination. (Russia) And, it’s about the future; which country will be the key player in the world’s most prosperous and populous region, Asia.

That’s what’s at stake, and that’s what the Flynn controversy is really all about.

Many readers are familiar with the expression “pivot to Asia”, but do they know what it means?

It means the United States has embarked on an ambitious plan to extend its military grip and market power over the Eurasian landmass thus securing its position as the world’s only superpower into the next century. The pivot is Washington’s top strategic priority. As Hillary Clinton said in 2011:

“Harnessing Asia’s growth and dynamism is central to American economic and strategic interests… Open markets in Asia provide the United States with unprecedented opportunities for investment, trade, and access to cutting-edge technology…..American firms (need) to tap into the vast and growing consumer base of Asia…

The region already generates more than half of global output and nearly half of global trade…. we are looking for opportunities to do even more business in Asia…and our investment opportunities in Asia’s dynamic markets.”(“America’s Pacific Century”, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton”, Foreign Policy Magazine, 2011)

In other words, it’s pivot or bust. Those are the only two options. Naturally, ruling elites in the US have chosen the former over the latter, which means they are committed to a strategy that will inevitably pit the US against a nuclear-armed adversary, Russia.

Trump’s National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, wanted to normalize relations with Russia. He rejected the flagrantly hostile approach of the US foreign policy establishment. That’s why he had to be removed. And, that’s why he’s been so viciously attacked in the media and why the threadbare story about his contacts with the Russian ambassador were used to force his resignation.

This isn’t about the law and it isn’t about the truth. It’s about bare-knuckle geopolitics and global hegemony. Flynn got in the way of the pivot, so Flynn had to be eliminated. End of story. Here’s a clip from an article by Robert Parry:

“Flynn’s real “offense” appears to be that he favors détente with Russia rather than escalation of a new and dangerous Cold War. Trump’s idea of a rapprochement with Moscow – and a search for areas of cooperation and compromise – has been driving Official Washington’s foreign policy establishment crazy for months and the neocons, in particular, have been determined to block it.

Though Flynn has pandered to elements of the neocon movement with his own hysterical denunciations of Iran and Islam in general, he emerged as a key architect for Trump’s plans to seek a constructive relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Meanwhile, the neocons and their liberal-interventionist sidekicks have invested heavily in making Putin the all-purpose bête noire to justify a major investment in new military hardware and in pricy propaganda operations.” (“Trump Caves on Flynn’s resignation“, Consortium News)

US foreign policy is not developed willy-nilly. It emerges as the consensus view of various competing factions within the permanent national security state. And, although there are notable differences between the rival factions (either hardline or dovish) there appears to be unanimity on the question of Russia. There is virtually no constituency within the political leadership of either of the two major parties (or their puppetmaster supporters in the deep state) for improving relations with Russia. None. Russia is blocking Washington’s eastward expansion, therefore, Russia must be defeated. Here’s more from the World Socialist Web Site:

“US imperialism seeks to counter its declining world economic position by exploiting its unchallenged global military dominance. It sees as the principal roadblocks to its hegemonic aims the growing economic and military power of China and the still-considerable strength of Russia, possessor of the world’s second-largest nuclear arsenal, the largest reserves of oil and gas, and a critical geographical position at the center of the Eurasian land mass.

Trump’s opponents within the ruling class insist that US foreign policy must target Russia with the aim of weakening the Putin regime or overthrowing it. This is deemed a prerequisite for taking on the challenge posed by China.

Numerous Washington think tanks have developed scenarios for military conflicts with Russian forces in the Middle East, in Ukraine, in the Baltic States and in cyberspace. The national security elite is not prepared to accept a shift in orientation away from the policy of direct confrontation with Russia along the lines proposed by Trump, who would like for the present to lower tensions with Russia in order to focus first on China.” (“Behind the Flynn resignation and Trump crisis: A bitter conflict over imperialist policy“, WSWS)

Foreign policy elites believe the US and its NATO allies can engage Russia in a shooting war without it expanding into a regional conflict and without an escalation into a nuclear conflagration. It’s a risky calculation but, nevertheless, it is the rationale behind the persistent build up of troops and weaponry on Russia’s western perimeter. Take a look at this from the Independent:

“Thousands of Nato troops have amassed close to the border with Russia as part of the largest build-up of Western troops neighbouring Moscow’s sphere of influence since the Cold War…Tanks and heavy armoured vehicles, plus Bradley fighting vehicles and Paladin howitzers, are also in situ and British Typhoon jets from RAF Conningsby will be deployed to Romania this summer to contribute to Nato’s Southern Air Policing mission…

Kremlin officials claim the build-up is the largest since the Second World War.” (“The map that shows how many Nato troops are deployed along Russia’s border“, The Independent)

Saber-rattling and belligerence have cleared the way for another world war. Washington thinks the conflict can be contained, but we’re nor so sure.

The inexperienced Trump– who naively believed that the president sets his own foreign policy–has now learned that that’s not the case. The Flynn slap-down, followed by blistering attacks in the media and threats of impeachment, have left Trump shaken to the core. As a result, he has done a speedy about-face and swung into damage control-mode. On Tuesday, he tried to extend the olive branch by tweeting that “Crimea was taken by Russia” and by offering to replace Flynn with a trusted insider who will not veer from the script prepared by the foreign policy establishment. Check out this blurb on the Foreign Policy magazine website on Wednesday:

“President Donald Trump offered the job of national security advisor to retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward on Monday night…If, as expected, Harward accepts the job today, he is likely to bring in his own team, from deputy on down, with a focus on national security types with some experience under their belts…

Harward also would work well with Defense Secretary James Mattis. When Mattis was chief of Central Command, Harward was his deputy. Mattis trusted him enough to put him in charge of planning for war with Iran. Mattis has urged Harward to take the NSA job.

If Harward becomes NSA, Mattis would emerge from the Flynn mess in a uniquely powerful position: He would have two of his former deputies at the table in some meetings. The other one is John Kelly, now secretary for Homeland Security, who was his number two when Mattis commanded a Marine division early in the invasion of Iraq in 2003.” (“A Mattis protégé poised to take the helm of Trump’s NSC,” Foreign Policy)

In other words, Trump is relinquishing control over foreign policy and returning it to trusted insiders who will comply with pre-set elitist guidelines. Trump’s sudden metamorphosis was apparent in another story that appeared in Wednesday’s news, this time related to Rex Tillerson and General Joseph Dunford. Here’s a clip from CNN:

“Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford meet face to face with their Russian counterparts Thursday, as the Trump administration evaluates the future direction of US-Russian relations….But even as Tillerson’s plane was taking off in Washington, the Pentagon announced the meeting between Dunford and his Russian counterpart Valeriy Gerasimov, which will take place Thursday in Baku, Azerbaijan….

“The military leaders will discuss a variety of issues including the current state of U.S.-Russian military relations …Trump’s envoys have been expressing positions more keeping with previous US policies. …

Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, indicated the US would maintain sanctions on Russia for annexing Crimea in 2014. She condemned what she called the “Russian occupation” of the Ukrainian territory…

The US has deployed thousands of troops and tanks to Poland and Romania in recent weeks, while other NATO allies have sent troops to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.

“There is a common message from the President, from his security team, the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, that they stay strongly committed to NATO,” he added.

Let’s summarize: The sanctions will remain, the tanks are on the border, the commitment to NATO has been reinforced, and Dunford is going to explain Washington’s strategic objectives to his Russian counterpart in clear, unambiguous language. There will be no room for Tillerson, who is on friendly terms with Putin, to change the existing policy or to normalize relations; Dunford, Haley, and Defense Secretary James Mattis will make sure of that.

As for Trump, it’s clear by the Crimea tweet, the sacking of Flynn and the (prospective) appointment of Harward, that he’s running scared and is doing everything in his power to get out of the hole he’s dug for himself. There’s no way of knowing whether he’ll be allowed to carry on as before or if he’ll be forced to throw other allies, like Bannon or Conway, under the bus. I would expect the purge to continue and to eventually include Trump himself. But that’s just a guess.

The hope that Trump would bring an element of sanity to US foreign policy has now been extinguished. The so called “Trump Revolution” has fizzled out before it ever began.

In contrast, the military buildup along Russia’s western flank continues apace.
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MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

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Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, walks with Vice Admiral Robert Harward, Deputy Commander, Central Command, and Colonel Kelly Martin, vice commander, 6th Air Mobility Wing, after landing at MacDill Air Force Base, in Tampa, Florida March 21, 2013. Hagel arrived for the change of command ceremony for Central Command where Marine General James Mattis will relinquish command to Army General Lloyd Austin. (DoD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo)(Released)
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Flickr Senator Kirk meets with Vice Admiral Robert Harward, the Deputy Commander of US Central Command


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Vice Adm. Robert Harward (center), commander of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, shakes hands with U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Marchal Magee, from Issaquah, Wash., commander of the Paktya PRT, while U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boesen, commander of Task Force 168th Infantry (Task Force Lethal), waits to greet Harward. Harward came to forward operating base to talk with Afghan and U.S. commanders to discuss how Afghans have implemented the rule of law.
(Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. John P Sklaney III, 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team).

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Vice Adm. Robert Harward (right), commander of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, bids U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Marchal Magee (left), from Issaquah, Wash., commander of the Paktya PRT, goodbye before departing forward operating base Gardez. U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boesen, commander of Task Force 168th Infantry (Task Force Lethal), and the entire Team Paktya provided security for Harward’s visit, which allowed Harward to discuss rule of law with the Afghans.
(Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. John P Sklaney III, 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team).

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Vice Adm. Robert Harward (seated, right of center), commander of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, talks to Afghans during a meeting at forward operating base Gardez. Harward discussed progress the Afghans had made during the past few years in running their own prisons and judicial systems. U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boesen (seated, left of center), commander of Task Force 168th Infantry (Task Force Lethal), and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Marchal Magee (near left), from Issaquah, Wash., commander of the Paktya PRT, attended the meeting to provide a U.S. perspective on the rule of law.
(Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. John P Sklaney III, 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team).

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PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward, commander of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, talks to Afghans during a meeting at Forward Operating Base Gardez Jan. 12. Harward discussed progress the Afghans had made during the past few years in running their own prisons and judicial systems. (U.S. Army photo/Sgt. John P Sklaney III)
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PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan ??? U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward, commander of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, shakes hands with U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Marchal Magee of Issaquah, Wash., commander of the Paktya Provincial Reconstruction Team, while U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boesen, commander of Task Force Lethal, waits to greet Harward. Jan. 12. Harward visited Forward Operating Base Gardez to talk with Afghan and U.S. commanders about how Afghans have implemented the rule of law. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. John P Sklaney III, 2-45th Agribusiness Development Team)
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U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward, commander of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, shakes hands with U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Marchal Magee of Issaquah, Wash., commander of the Paktya Provincial Reconstruction Team, while U.S. Army Lt. Col. Steve Boesen, commander of Task Force Lethal, waits to greet Harward. Jan. 12. Harward visited Forward Operating Base Gardez to talk with Afghan and U.S. commanders about how Afghans have implemented the rule of law. (U.S. Army photo/Sgt. John P Sklaney III)
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Vice Adm. Robert Harward, deputy commander for detention operations in Afghanistan and commander of Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435, leads NATO and International Security Assistance Force commander Gen. David H. Petraeus on a tour of the Detention Facility in Parwan Sept. 27. The facility, which opened in December 2009, features medical and dental services, recreational areas, a family visitation site and video teleconferencing capabilities. Eligibile detainees are also able to participate in literacy and educational programs and vocational training in skills such as farming, bread making and tailoring. (Photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Lorie Jewell) (Released)
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U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward, left, commander of Joint Task Force 435, signs over three official vehicles from the U.S. government to representatives of the Afghan Attorney General's office during a meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 10, 2010. National security prosecutors will use the vehicles to assist with transporting witnesses and preparing cases. (DoD photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Maria Yager, U.S. Navy/Released)
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KABUL, Afghanistan - U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander, International Security Assistance Force, chats with ground commanders in Afghanistan at a COMISAF Commander's conference here July 7, 2010. Left to right, Gen. Munir Mangal, Afghan Minister of Security, Gen. Petraeus, Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, commander ISAF Joint Command, snd Vice Rear Adm. Robert Harward. (ISAF Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Bradley Lail) (released)

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U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, center, commander of the International Security Assistance Force (COMISAF), speaks with Afghan Minister of Security Gen. Munir Mangal during the COMISAF Commander's Conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 7, 2010. Army Lt. Gen. David Rodriguez, second from right, the commander of ISAF Joint Command and the deputy commander of U.S. Forces - Afghanistan, and Navy Vice Adm. Robert Harward, left, the commander of Joint Task Force 435, were also in attendance. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Bradley Lail, U.S. Air Force/Released)
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CAMP DARULAMAN, Afghanistan – Brig. Gen. Saffiullah, Afghan National Army Military Police Brigade commander, holds a certificate presented by Vice Adm. Robert Harward, Joint Task Force 435 commander. The certificate was presented during a ceremony here April 5 in front of an ANA Military Police brigade. The brigade will complete the extensive training program prior to their assumption of detention facility security operations at the Detention Facility in Parwan. The brigade already conducts detention and corrections operations at the Afghan National Detention Facility in Pol-e-Charkhi. The event was another step toward the transition of the detention facility from the United States to the Afghan government. (Photo by U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Joost Verduyn)
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CAMP DARULAMAN, Afghanistan – (l to r) Vice Adm. Robert Harward, Joint Task Force 435 commander; Maj. Gen. Aminullah Karim, Afghan National Army director of education; Lt. Gen. Isahq Nurri, ANA deputy chief of staff; Lt. Gen. Amir Mohammed Jamsheed, Central Prisons director; Brig. Gen. Wardak, ANA deputy director of education; and Brig. Gen. Saffiullah, ANA Military Police Brigade commander, salute during the Afghan national anthem. The leaders participated in a ceremony here April 5 which marked the beginning of additional training for Afghan Military Police to assume detainee operations at the Detention Facility in Parwan. The event marks a milestone in the transition of the detention facility from the United States to the Afghan government. (Photo by U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Joost Verduyn)
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Naval Special Warfare leaders receive the Presidential Unit Citation from Secretary of the Navy Dr. Donald C. Winter during a ceremony at Naval Special Warfare Command in Coronado, Calif., May 10. Cmdr. Adam Curtis, Capt. Gardner Howe, and Rear Adm. Robert Harward (left to right), led the NSW forces receiving the award. Rear Adm. Joseph Maguire (right), Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, hosted the presentation of one of the nation's highest military awards to NSW Task Group-Central, NSW Squadron 3, and NSW Unit 3 for their actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by PH2 Dwain Willis.

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031001-N-3953L-000 Miramar, Ca. (December 7, 2004) -- U.S. President George W. Bush presents COMBINED JOINT SPECIAL OPERATIONS TASK FORCE-SOUTH the Presidential Unit Citation...In October 2001, in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Commander, U. S. Central Command directed the establishment of a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force (CJSOTF) to conduct special operations in Southern Afghanistan to destroy, degrade, and neutralize Taliban and Al Qaida forces...Captain Robert Harward, U. S. Navy, Commander, Naval Special Warfare Group ONE/Commander, Task Force K-BAR, began conducting Maritime Interception Operations (MIO) in the Arabian Sea with assigned forces. Ground combat operations began on November 22, 2001 when attached units conducted a 96 hour clandestine special reconnaissance in advance of a U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) assault on Landing Zone (LZ) RHINO in Southern Afghanistan, while other units conducted advanced force operations, reconnaissance, and assessment of alternate LZ’s. On November 24 and 25, his Naval Special Warfare Task Force provided terminal guidance for the USMC assault on LZ RHINO...After the seizure of LZ RHINO, Captain Harward stood up CJSOTF-SOUTH on November 26 and assumed operational control of LZ RHINO and assigned U.S. and Coalition Special Operations Forces (SOF). By December, the combined task force participated in the seizure of Qandahar, establishing it as their base of operations in Afghanistan...Beginning on December 30 and continuing through the middle of February, 2002, CJSOTF-SOUTH forces conducted a series of special reconnaissance, direct action, and sensitive site exploitation missions to detect, apprehend, and destroy Taliban and Al Qaida forces. The task force provided critical special reconnaissance in support of conventional forces during Operation ANACONDA in March 2002...From October 2001 to March 2002, CJSOTF-SOUTH conducted 42 special reconnaissance missions, 23 direct actions and site exploitations, directed 147 close air support missions, intercepted and searched 12 ships, apprehended 112 detainees, and inflicted over 115 enemy casualties. These impressive accomplishments were achieved at the cost of three friendly casualties: one death and two wounded...On October 26, 2004, Navy Secretary Gordon England, on behalf of the President of the United States, awarded Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force SOUTH/Task Force K-BAR the Presidential Unit Citation...Official U.S. Navy photo by Second Class Photographer's Mate Eric S. Logsdon; Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command.
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