War and militarism

999 Confirmation of Lloyd Austin as Defense Secretary

23 January 2021

Yellen takes aggressive stance on China in treasury secretary confirmation hearing

By Nick Beams, 21 January 2021

Yellen’s nomination seems assured, as she enjoys support from both the Republicans and Wall Street.

Senate hearings for Biden’s security cabinet expose bipartisan unity on war and reaction

By Bill Van Auken, 21 January 2021

Veterans of the Obama administration’s wars in the Middle East, drone assassinations and pivot to Asia, the nominees were largely embraced by Senate Republicans.

China’s growth rate increase fuels geo-political tensions

By Nick Beams, 20 January 2021

The 6.5 percent growth in the fourth quarter indicates that the Chinese economy is expanding at a faster rate than before the COVID-19 pandemic.

US State Department designates Cuba state sponsor of terrorism

By Alexander Fangmann, 16 January 2021

The announcement is a continuation of the rollback of Obama’s normalization of relations as the island has been hit hard by COVID-19 and a deepening economic crisis.

Are Trump and Netanyahu plotting war against Iran?

By Bill Van Auken, 15 January 2021

Washington openly claimed credit for providing intelligence used in Israeli airstrikes on Iranian-linked targets in eastern Syria Tuesday that claimed scores of lives.

After Trump’s coup attempt: German politicians call for massive military build-up

By Johannes Stern, 14 January 2021

While the ruling class in Germany reacts with a mixture of shock, nervousness and aggression to the fascist coup attempt in the US, all the establishment parties are intensifying their great power offensive.

Israel strikes Syria as Trump coup attempt stokes war threat in Middle East

By Bill Van Auken, 8 January 2021

The threat that Trump and Netanyahu, both fighting for their political lives, may provoke a war with Iran continues to escalate.

UK government refuses to publish list of airstrikes in Yemen involving civilian casualties

By Jean Shaoul, 7 January 2021

While the UK’s Ministry of Defence has listed a staggering 516 potential International Humanitarian Law violations by the coalition of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the real number is far higher.

999 Anti-Russia campaign escalating in leadup to Biden inauguration

6 January 2021

Growing threat that Trump will provoke war with Iran to further coup plot

By Bill Van Auken, 6 January 2021

In the midst of his plot to overthrow the results of the US election, Trump suddenly ordered a halt to the Pentagon’s withdrawal of the USS Nimitz carrier strike group from the Persian Gulf.

EU–US tensions mount after EU signs trade deal with China

By Alex Lantier, 5 January 2021

Officials of the incoming Biden administration and their European allies denounced the EU–China deal, which they tried to halt before it was signed on December 30.

Spanish officers plot fascist coup to impose “herd immunity” COVID-19 policy

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 31 December 2020

The “left populist” Podemos party and its ruling social-democratic allies are hushing up active plotting for a coup that has taken place throughout virtually the entire year.

B-52s fly over Persian Gulf as Washington escalates war threat against Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 31 December 2020

The threat that Trump will launch a war of aggression against Iran, on whatever pretext, in the waning days of what is supposed to be his “lame duck” presidency, is deadly serious.

Active-duty Spanish officers hail retired officers’ fascist calls for mass murder

By Alejandro López, 29 December 2020

Despite the PSOE-Podemos government’s denials, calls by retired officers for a fascist coup and mass murder of left-wing voters have broad support among serving officers.

House overrides Trump veto of military spending bill

By Patrick Martin, 29 December 2020

The veto override, which has the effect of approving a record outlay for the US military machine, had the support of the entire Democratic leadership, from Speaker Nancy Pelosi on down.

Israel’s fourth election in two years dominated by far-right forces

By Jean Shaoul, 29 December 2020

Netanyahu faces a strong challenge from the far right, his former colleagues. These forces have moved to fill the vacuum left after Benny Gantz joined and served as Netanyahu’s political accomplice in imposing the government’s “herd immunity” policies.

Pentagon brass on “red alert” over Trump’s coup plotting

By Bill Van Auken, 29 December 2020

The extraordinary tension within the Pentagon’s uniformed command has been made clear in a series of reports by media commentators with close ties to the US military-intelligence apparatus.

Trump pardons Blackwater killers for Nisour Square massacre

By Patrick Martin, 24 December 2020

The four mercenaries, all former Marines, killed 14 unarmed Iraqis in 2007 in an unprovoked slaughter in Baghdad.

999 Anti-Russia campaign

24 December 2020

The ICC refuses to prosecute UK war crimes in Iraq despite “reasonable” evidence

By Jean Shaoul, 18 December 2020

The imperialist powers that orchestrated criminal wars are determined that they should never be brought to account for their war crimes.

CNN, Spiegel double down on anti-Russia campaign over Navalny case

By Clara Weiss, 17 December 2020

This latest bogus “investigation” into the Navalny case marks yet a further escalation of the anti-Russia campaign.

999 ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said there was a “reasonable basis to believe” that UK committed war crimes

17 December 2020

German government increases military spending, cuts education and health care

By Johannes Stern, 17 December 2020

The entire budget debate underscored that the ruling class sees the pandemic primarily as an opportunity to advance its policies of militarism, repression and social austerity.

Largest US overseas base placed on missile alert amid nuclear war warnings

By Bill Van Auken, 16 December 2020

Sirens and loudspeakers at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, the center of the largest US overseas military complex in the world, sounded the alarm for an incoming missile strike.

Labor helps expand Australian spy agency’s secret interrogation powers

By Mike Head, 15 December 2020

Pushed through parliament in one day, the bill extends ASIO’s coercive questioning powers beyond terrorism to “foreign interference,” “espionage” and “politically motivated violence.”

India moves to strengthen strategic relations with Sri Lanka and the Maldives

By Rohantha De Silva, 14 December 2020

Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval’s trip to Sri Lanka was aimed at securing maritime cooperation to counteract Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean region.

999 UN reports 80 million refugees in 2020

12 December 2020

Canada’s military seeks to cover its tracks following damning report on Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By Penny Smith, 12 December 2020

In response to the release of a report exposing Australian military atrocities in Afghanistan, the Canadian Armed Forces has doubled down on its long-running efforts to cover up its own war crimes in the region.

US B-52 bombers threaten Iran for second time in three weeks

By Bill Van Auken, 11 December 2020

These massive warplanes used to devastate Vietnam half a century ago have been deployed amid mounting US and Israeli war threats and provocations against Iran.

999 UN reports 80 million refugees in 2020

11 December 2020

999 DELETE

11 December 2020

US Army punishes 14 senior officers at Fort Hood citing “leadership failures”

By Chase Lawrence, 11 December 2020

The disciplinary actions were one of the single largest taken by the Army in history, indicating that the Pentagon is well aware of deep disillusionment and anger within the ranks.

In bipartisan vote: US House approves record $741 billion military spending bill

By Patrick Martin, 10 December 2020

In a country with “no money” for schools, the unemployed or the health care system being destroyed by COVID, there are effectively unlimited funds for the world’s largest military establishment.

999 14 senior officers punished after Fort Hood probe

10 December 2020

US secretary of state hypocritically sanctions Chinese officials over Hong Kong human rights

By Peter Symonds, 9 December 2020

Washington has a long record of selectively exploiting human rights issues to further its economic and strategic interests, while turning a blind eye to flagrant abuses of democratic rights by its allies and strategic partners.

999 US Secretary of State Pompeo imposes sanctions on Chinese officials

9 December 2020

Biden selects recently retired general, ex-Mideast war commander to head Pentagon

By Bill Van Auken, 9 December 2020

The media and the Democrats have hailed the choice of Lloyd Austin as the first African American nominee for secretary of defense, glossing over the implications of another general being tapped for the Pentagon’s top civilian post.

US war threats mount against Iran and Venezuela with six weeks remaining in Trump term

By Bill Van Auken, 8 December 2020

US ultimatums over fuel and arms shipments between Iran and Venezuela have escalated the danger of a military provocation as Trump attempts to overturn the US presidential election.

Mélenchon calls for military conscription, arms buildup in France

By Will Morrow, 8 December 2020

Mélenchon used the interview as a presidential candidate in 2022 to advance his credentials to France’s ruling elite as an aggressive promoter of the interests of French imperialism at home and around the world.

UK deploys troops to Mali

By Jean Shaoul, 8 December 2020

Earlier this year, Mali witnessed months of protests against the French occupation, launched in 2013, and the ethnic massacres between rival militias that Paris tolerates, and uses to divide and rule the country.

Australian Greens on Afghan war crimes: Hypocrisy, hand-wringing and support for militarism

By Oscar Grenfell, 7 December 2020

The Greens have promoted the official cover-up as a “justice process,” while advancing proposals aimed at providing future predatory wars with a democratic figleaf.

Chinese defence minister visits Nepal to boost political and military ties

By Rohantha De Silva, 7 December 2020

The landlocked and poverty-stricken Himalayan country has become another focal point in the dangerous geo-political rivalry between India and the US on one side, and China on the other.

New Zealand government denounces China’s condemnation of Australian war crimes

By Tom Peters, 5 December 2020

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern did not condemn the murder of at least 39 unarmed people in Afghanistan by Australian special forces, but denounced a Chinese official’s tweet that drew attention to these war crimes.

999 Chinese defence minister visits Nepal to boost military ties

5 December 2020

Australian soldiers drank alcohol from prosthetic leg of dead Afghan

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 December 2020

Politicians and corporate journalists have maintained a stony silence on the gruesome revelation, while waging a furious campaign against a Chinese tweet condemning the war crimes.

Trudeau names top military officer to lead Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout

By Laurent Lafrance, 4 December 2020

Making the military responsible for the vaccination campaign is part of an ongoing government effort to promote the armed forces as a pivotal national institution, and acclimatize the population to its playing an increasingly important role in public life.

999 Pentagon warns about China in Latin America

4 December 2020

EU-Turkey tensions mount over Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean

By Hasan Yıldırım, 3 December 2020

The unilateral opening of Varosha or Maraş in northern Cyprus and Ankara’s proposed two-state solution have intensified tensions between the European Union and Turkey.

“So that rifles shoot”: Germany’s Green Party leader Baerbock pleads for massive arms spending and new war missions

By Johannes Stern, 3 December 2020

In advance of next year’s federal elections, the Greens are spearheading the campaign for the return of German militarism.

Australian court upholds sacking of academic for criticising US and Israeli militarism

By Mike Head, 3 December 2020

The court’s anti-democratic ruling further shreds academic freedom, as well as trade union claims to have protected it via enterprise bargaining agreements.

Australian ruling elite responds to Chinese condemnation of Afghan war crimes with nationalist hysteria

By Oscar Grenfell, 2 December 2020

Having covered up and downplayed the atrocities against Afghan civilians, Australia’s official parties and the corporate media are up in arms about a tweet condemning the war crimes.

Australian war crimes report: A damning indictment of the barbarity in Afghanistan

By Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 2 December 2020

The depraved abuses flowed inevitably from the nature of the war itself—a brutal operation to crush all resistance to the imposition of US control over the country.

War tensions mount in wake of Israeli assassination of top Iranian scientist

By Bill Van Auken, 1 December 2020

While neither Washington nor Tel Aviv have formally claimed responsibility for the assassination of Moshen Fakhrizadeh, the authorship of this act of state terrorism is hardly in doubt.

Fiji and Australia to negotiate new military pact

By John Braddock, 1 December 2020

The move to establish closer Fiji-Australian military ties is part of the intensifying US-led build-up to counter China’s influence in the south west Pacific.

This week in history: November 30-December 6

30 November 2020

75 years ago: General Douglas MacArthur, the effective leader of US-occupied Japan, ordered the arrest of former Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe and eight of the country’s other civilian and military leaders for war crimes, setting the stage for criminal prosecutions.

German Green Party sets course for government based on promoting militarism and war

By Jan Ritter and Max Linhof, 30 November 2020

The party made clear that a future Green federal government and/or Green chancellor would continue and expand the right-wing militaristic policies espoused by the current CDU-SPD grand coalition.

Ethiopian military seizes control of regional capital after offensive against Tigray province

By Jean Shaoul, 29 November 2020

The desperate situation confronting Ethiopia is bound up with great power rivalries between the US, Europe and China that led over the last decades to the fragmentation and disintegration of a region that includes Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Djibouti.

Israel’s siege means death for Gaza’s COVID-19 patients

By Jean Shaoul, 28 November 2020

The Hamas government has said the Gaza Strip “lacks oxygen-generating machines, ventilators, protective gear, and hygiene materials. Thirty-two percent of basic drugs and 62 percent of drugs and materials for medical laboratories are not available.”

Ten years since WikiLeaks published the US diplomatic cables

By Thomas Scripps, 28 November 2020

WikiLeaks contributed to a growing recognition among workers and young people that state criminality and ruling class conspiracies are not accidents or the work of a few bad individuals, but the product of a whole social system based on the rule of competing oligarchies which must be overthrown.

Top scientist assassinated as Israel and US stage war provocations against Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 28 November 2020

The brutal assassination of Iran’s most prominent nuclear physicist Friday is part of an escalating campaign to provoke a catastrophic new war in the Middle East.

Hailing election security, New York Times drops its “Russian meddling” narrative

By Barry Grey and Jacob Crosse, 26 November 2020

The fact that it is absent from the Times’ November 22 editorial makes absolutely clear one basic fact: the entire anti-Russia narrative is a deliberate fabrication.

Australian war crimes report points to history of military atrocities and coverups

By Mike Head, 26 November 2020

For all the mythology of heroic and honourable armed forces, the report outlines more than a century of illegal killings, massacres and other abuses.

US, Israel and Saudi Arabia meet amid mounting war threats against Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 24 November 2020

The trip by Pompeo and Netanyahu to Saudi Arabia came as the Pentagon is steadily building up its air power in the region.

Labor governments presided over most confirmed Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 November 2020

Many of the war crimes flowed out of Labor’s escalation of Australia’s role in the occupation of Afghanistan, including in US-led “kill or capture” operations.

New Zealand government, media downplay Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By Tom Peters, 24 November 2020

Prime Minister Ardern did not condemn the Australian war crimes, as her government has sought to cover up similar atrocities committed by New Zealand special forces.

Biden names national security team of right-wing militarists

By Patrick Martin, 24 November 2020

The roll-out of Biden’s first cabinet nominees shows the top priority of the incoming Democratic administration: building a US-led imperialist front against China and Russia

Stop the rearming of Germany’s air force, army, and navy!

By Johannes Stern, 21 November 2020

Six years after the federal government declared the end of military restraint at the 2014 Munich Security Conference, the largest rearmament programme since the Second World War is being implemented, in spite of the coronavirus pandemic.

UK government announces £21.5 billion increase in military spending

By Thomas Scripps, 21 November 2020

UK Prime minister Boris Johnson is trying to extricate his government from its foreign policy crisis over Brexit—intensified by the US election victory of the anti-Brexit Joe Biden—with the lever of British militarism.

War crimes report: Australian special forces murdered 39 Afghans

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 November 2020

The report whitewashes successive governments and the military command, but the killings it documents underscore the utter criminality of the 19-year occupation of Afghanistan.

Palestinian Authority restores “cooperation” with Israel as Pompeo visits West Bank

By Jean Shaoul, 20 November 2020

The US Secretary of State became the first top US official to visit an illegal settlement in the occupied West Bank, while also touring the occupied Golan Heights.

999 Stop the armament of the German Air Force, Navy and Army!

20 November 2020

Pompeo escalates Iran war threats in trip to Israel

By Bill Van Auken, 20 November 2020

The US Secretary of State arrived in the wake of Israeli air strikes against Iranian forces in Syria, and announced yet another round of sanctions against Tehran.

Peaceful antiwar protesters sentenced to federal prison terms during pandemic

By Kevin Reed, 19 November 2020

Three antinuclear war protesters—members of the Kings Bay Plowshares Seven group—were sentenced to between 10-14 months in federal prison last week amid the raging coronavirus pandemic.

Saeb Erekat: Palestinian peace negotiator who epitomised the degeneration of the PLO (1955-2020)

By Jean Shaoul, 19 November 2020

While all obituaries testify to Erekat’s tenacity, none could explain why he and the Palestine Liberation Organisation were in the end wholly unsuccessful.

Japan and Australia step up military partnership against China

By Mike Head, 19 November 2020

The two governments echoed the Trump administration’s accusations of Chinese aggression and aligned themselves with the expected intensification of the US confrontation under a Biden administration.

Sweden initiates massive military buildup in preparation for war with Russia

By Gabriel Black, 18 November 2020

The ruling Social Democrats and Green Party coalition are increasing the military budget by 40 percent as part of the US-NATO war drive against Russia.

Fighting erupts between Morocco and Polisario in Western Sahara

By Alejandro López, 18 November 2020

The fighting erupted amid reports of mounting protests in regions of both Morocco and Algeria near the former Spanish colonial possession of Western Sahara.

Canada’s union-backed NDP champions close ties with a Biden administration, opposition to China

By Roger Jordan, 18 November 2020

The NDP has signalled its support for expanding Canada’s longstanding military-strategic partnership with US imperialism under a Joe Biden–led Democratic Party administration.

Amid electoral coup plot, Trump threatens catastrophic war on Iran

By Bill Van Auken, 18 November 2020

The bombing of Natanz or any other Iranian nuclear facility would be a war crime of world historic proportions.

Justice Department attorney tells appeals court the government can kill US citizens without judicial review

By Harvey Simpkins, 18 November 2020

The Trump administration’s despotic assertion of the right to kill people, including US citizens, without any judicial review is a continuation and extension of powers asserted and acted upon by the Obama administration.

Biden names pro-war think tank and former Pentagon officials to transition team

By Ray Coleman and Nick Barrickman, 17 November 2020

Over one-third of the members of Biden’s defense transition team are drawn from foreign policy think tanks funded by military contractors or are former national security officials.

With Malabar exercise, Quad emerging as US-led, anti-China military alliance

By Shuvu Batta and Keith Jones, 17 November 2020

The Indian Ocean exercise is a clear signal that the US and its Quad allies—India, Japan and Australia—are now seeking to develop the capacity and expertise for joint military planning and action, including combat, against China.

Michigan university’s ‘Veteran’s Promise’ exploits economic crisis to promote military recruitment

By Luke Galvin, 17 November 2020

In effect, the plan simultaneously throws support behind the parasitic recruitment policies of the US military while attempting to boost enrollment numbers at the school.

Ethiopia slides towards civil war as Tigray conflict escalates

By Jean Shaoul, 16 November 2020

Politicians of all stripes have whipped up ethnic tensions to prevent a unified struggle by the impoverished masses against the Ethiopian elites.

Sixty-five years of the Bundeswehr: German president appeals for militarism, rearmament and war

By Johannes Stern, 16 November 2020

Steinmeier’s claim that the Bundeswher has nothing to do with “the unwholesome role of German militarism” and the criminal record of the Wehrmacht is just as dishonest today as it was 65 years ago.

The pandemic and Trump’s plots

By Joseph Kishore, 16 November 2020

Three events over the past three days cast light on the character of Trump’s post-election conspiracies and the social and economic interests driving them.

999 Defense contractors support a Biden administration

14 November 2020

999 GVSU military article

14 November 2020

Stalinist Podemos minister pledges to keep US military bases in Spain

By Alejandro López, 14 November 2020

Alberto Garzón defended Spain’s deal with the Pentagon, citing the fact that Democrat Joe Biden recently won the presidential elections.

Is Trump plotting a war against Iran?

By Bill Van Auken, 14 November 2020

Refusing to accept electoral defeat, and having purged the top ranks of the Pentagon, there is a growing danger that the US president will launch a “December surprise” in the form of a war against Iran.

Trump packs Pentagon with right-wing loyalists

By Bill Van Auken, 12 November 2020

The wholesale shakeup in the Pentagon leadership is one of the most ominous features of Trump’s bid to annul the results of the 2020 elections.

New Zealand government promises stronger US ties after Biden elected

By Tom Peters, 12 November 2020

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern noted that New Zealand had strengthened its alliance with the US during the Trump administration and promised this would continue under a Biden administration.

Australian political elite rushes to salute Biden and re-affirm US alliance

By Mike Head, 10 November 2020

The statements of the government and opposition Labor Party signalled an unequivocal alignment with Washington’s escalating confrontation with China.

Armed conflict in Tigray threatens break up of Ethiopia

By Jean Shaoul, 9 November 2020

Despite Abiy’s promise to end ethnic discrimination, ethnic violence has increased, with some 1.7 million internally displaced people living in camps as the danger grows of still bloodier ethnic violence.

Coronavirus pandemic intensifies humanitarian disaster in Yemen

By Anna Rombach and Marianne Arens, 9 November 2020

In war-torn Yemen the coronavirus pandemic is exhibiting its murderous potential. Doctors report a death rate of 20 to 30 percent among those infected.

999 Corona pandemic intensifies disaster in Yemen

4 November 2020

Australian government uses bushfire report to demand emergency powers

By Mike Head, 3 November 2020

The royal commission’s “legislative model” would give the prime minister the power to mobilise troops without any request by a state or territory.

Duterte administration launches “red-tagging” witchhunt

By John Malvar, 3 November 2020

The various mass organizations now being red-tagged by the Duterte administration—Bayan, Bayan Muna, Gabriela, the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU)—gave their enthusiastic support to him as he took office.

US mercenary exposes Trump administration links to abortive Venezuela invasion

By Bill Van Auken, 3 November 2020

The former special forces operative’s charges came in a breach of contract suit against a chief advisor to Washington’s Venezuelan puppet Juan Guaidó.