Iran is an Islamic country and home to one of the world’s oldest civilization. It is the second largest nation in middle-east with a population of over 77 million people. Iran is a one of the countries holding the major powers in energy and it greatly influence the world economy through its large scale of reserves of fossil fuels. They have the largest natural gas supply in the world. Even with this large amount supply of fuel Iran has ventured into nuclear energy. They think that fuel has become less and less throughout the years so they have to go to a more sufficient and non-fuel energy supply and that is nuclear power. Nuclear energy is indeed efficient and produces more electricity than any other energy sources and having this holds great power in the world right now.
Throughout the course of history having weapons of mass destruction has been the most effective way of telling other countries that they are a threat and not to be taken lightly. It may sound absurd but that is just how it is now. Countries have made treaties to stop making nuclear weapons. Even though it was stopped and there are agencies who are assigned to check each country who have nuclear power there has still been reports that secretly they are creating and designing nuclear weapons especially Iran.
Iran’s nuclear program has been for peaceful purposes only and the program has progress significantly throughout the years. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is the one who checks countries if they have subsequently making nuclear weapons. As Iran has failed to report significant data and parts of its program to the IAEA it led to some ruckus and worries to other countries that they are making nuclear weapons. After the agency has reported to the UN that Iran has failed to report significant data the council has demanded that Iran should suspend further development in their nuclear program. Iran has denied these allegations and refused to stop the progress they are making in their program. They insisted that the program was necessary for its energy security and would deprive them of their right to possessing peaceful nuclear power. After intense negotiations; Iran has made an agreement with the US, UK, China and other countries that they would make restrictions with their nuclear program and in return they would provide some sanctions of relief.
The status of Iran making these nuclear weapons is still unclear but if they are secretly doing this then we are in a great trouble as this would greatly affect the peace we are having right now. Iran has been one of the leading supports of terrorism by giving aid through its financial capabilities. If they have acquired these nuclear weapons then it could potentially be shared with terrorist and consequently increase the threat of terrorism all over the world. Iran has remained an essential source of energy all throughout the world and if conflict arises then a lot of people would be affected.
Iraq war is an invasion of Iraq by the armed forces of United States, which started in 2003. The US military force continued to hold Iraq under its possession until 2011 where a rebellion force started to oppose US possession.
What factors led to Iraq war?
United States and United Kingdom suspected that Iraq had allegedly possessed weapons of mass destruction, which was the main cause of Iraq war. During 2002, United Nations (UN) Security Council asked Iraq to cooperate with the weapon investigators to thoroughly check Iraq for any possession of chemical or biological weapons. For this verification, the United Nations passed resolution 1441. The Iraq government was suspected to give financial support to the Palestinian suicide bombers and Iraq government abused human rights, which are also the other reasons for the Iraq war.
The survey group confirmed that Iraq did not have any chemical or biological weapons during the time of invasion but they insisted that Iraq might start the production of weapons if money is sanctioned. Duelfer report is claimed to support that Iraq was in possession with weapons. Mr. George J. Tenet who is the former director of Central intelligence agency said that Iraq war was started due to administration pressure given by US President George bush. Because Bush thought that Saddam Hussein will be a threat to their country, so America led coalition forces made a surprise invasion in Iraq on 20 March 2003.
End of Saddam Hussein
Hans Blix who was the head of the UN weapon inspection stated that Iraq did not have any evidence of weapons, but even then, George Bush (US President) and Tony Blair (UK President) wanted to see Saddam to be removed from power. Therefore, US asked UN security inspectors to quit from Iraq as they have planned to pose war against Iraq. The US military forces invaded Iraq and kept the country under its control and finally they arrested Saddam Hussein on December 13 2003. The present Iraqi government later executed him. Revolution against the US armed forces caused an insurgency in Iraq.
New Iraq Government
After the fall of Saddam Hussein government, the present Iraqi government took in charge in the office on 20 May 2006. This government obtained approval from the members of the Iraqi national assembly after which elections were held in 2005. Nouri al-Maliki was sworn in as President of Iraq.
Financial cost for Iraq war
The amount spent by US and UK over the invasion and war was calculated to be more than $9 billion to UK and more than $845 billion to the US government.
US withdrawal of military troops
The present US president Barrack Obama issued orders to their armed forces to withdraw their troops from Iraq, as the current Iraqi government did not provide proper protection to their solders from the insurgents. Cars bombings in Iraq war were the most common casualties that killed many. Finally, military forces of United States of America left from Iraq on 18 December 2011.
For more on the iraq war go to scotthorton.org.
The CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) is an agency authorized for intelligence gathering and belongs to Federal government of the United States of America. The CIA is located in Virginia. It also reports to the National Intelligence’s Director and its employees work from all around the world and from the embassies of the United States of America.
The below mentioned are the three major activities of the CIA. They are:
Information gathering about government of other countries, individuals and corporations
Taking care of covert activities and overseeing the same
Carry out few operations that are tactical
Top 5 priorities of the CIA
The below are the top five priorities of CIA. They are:
2) Cyber Intelligence
4) Counter Intelligence
5) Timely warning for leaders of America on events that happen overseas
The above priorities are based on the fiscal budget of the financial year 2013.
Structure of the CIA
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has many agency functions, executive office and directorates that are four in number as mentioned below:
1) Science and Technology
3) Clandestine service
Training and Budget of CIA
In 1950, the first training center of CIA was established. However, the budget for training drastically slashed after the cold war, this caused discomfort for the employee, and the CIA had a major crack in the employee relations. The situation resolved slowly and at present, the CIA offers around 200 to 300 courses every year to all its employees starting from experienced personnel to new hires. The Office of communication’s training centre is located in Warrenton (Virginia). This centre was opened in the year 1951 and came into use by 1955.
The budget for CIA is classified under the act of Central Intelligence Act, 1949. The Director of CIA is the one who is authorized to spend the money of government. $14.7 billion was the amount allotted in the fiscal year 2013 as budget of CIA. This information is kept confidential and umpteen efforts have been carried out in the past to obtain such information. As per the information, the CIA was allotted US$550 million for the fiscal year 1963. Though the information is top secret, few disclosures were made accidentally. To quote, Mary (CIA official) disclosed that the annual budget was US$44 billion in the year 2005.
Privatization and Outsourcing of CIA
Most of the CIA activities are being outsourced and privatized. The CIA should report on many activities and analysis. Most of the analysis and actions are outsourced and privatized. A few of the same are mentioned below.
Contractors and contracts estimate
Cost analysis for employees vs. contractors
Attrition rate of employees of US Government
Analysis of the accountability mechanisms
The appropriateness report of the actions that are outsourced
Concerns on Human Rights
There have been several questions raised by the Human Rights Commission to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on the approach they take for implementing their tactics. The tactics included torture, funding done to training groups, experimentation done on human beings and few assassinations. Though the activities are critical, CIA continues to do its job and serves the nation on many aspects.
For more on the CIA go to www.cia.gov.
Drone is commonly termed as an unmanned aerial vehicle. The United States of America has made hundreds of drone strikes and attacked Northwest Pakistan in the year 2004. Drones are controlled the American Central Intelligence Agency’s special activity division. The US government targeted the tribal areas in Northwest Pakistan, which were supposed to be the Afghan border.
US former president George Bush started the drone strikes and it was further increased by current US president Barack obama. The officials from US said that the major drone attack in March 2009 has killed 9 al Qaeda commanders. Due to this attack, many of the al Qaeda and Taliban leaders flew to Karachi to escape from death caused by the drone strikes.
Drone war against terrorism
US officials had declared that their drone attack has killed Saad bin laden who was the son of Osama bin laden (Al Qaeda terrorist) in the year 2009. President Obama has decided to send 30,000 troops to Afghanistan along with the expansion of the drone strikes in December 2009. US officials have made drone attacks against Quetta shura (militant organization of Taliban) in Baluchistan. John O. Brennan who is the counter-terrorism advisor for president Obama stated that US would continue their drone strike to alleviate the threats posed by the terrorists over the US people.
Pakistan’s secret support over drone attack
Pakistan government did not support drone attacks and they continued their protest since many civilians including women, children are killed. Pakistan’s army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani gave orders to shoot down the drones of US in the year 2011. However, there is a secret deal, which was signed by the ISI chief Lieutenant General Shuja and CIA director David Petraeus. To gain support from Pakistan, US president Obama has decided to share the drone surveillance data to Pakistan government secretly. The drone attack was seemed to be doubled in Pakistan as well as in Afghanistan after Bush’s presidency period due to the effort made by Obama.
Screening of individuals for drone attack
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA of the United States of America) officials performed a high-level screening to target an individual for drone attack. Ten lawyers are involved in the screening process to produce a brief statement to justify the targeting of the specific individuals for drone strike. The screening will be held in the counter-terrorist centre. If the brief given by the lawyers are found to be, weak then the drone attack on the particular individual will not be carried out. However, after 2008, CIA targeted specific individuals for drone attack based on the suspicious behaviour and not on the brief given by lawyers.
Death rate during drone strikes
The year 2010 was named as “The year of Drone” by New America foundation. They published a report that 114 drone strikes made by US during the year 2004-2010 killed 1216 people. Two third of the people killed in drone strike were found to be militants while one third were common people.
For more go to leaksource.wordpress.com.
The United States (US) defense budget is the part of the US federal budget in which the amount will be allocated to the Defense department. The US defense department spends the money sanctioned in the budget for the military expenses. The defense department uses the budget amount to pay the instructors for intense training given to the soldiers, to provide salaries to the soldiers, to maintain the equipments, to provide facilities to the soldiers and for healthcare problems of the soldiers who protect the country from foreign destructive forces. The US defense budget provides funds to all branches of U.S military such as the Army, Air force, Navy.
US budget during different timeline
Recently it was published in “Live science” that US spends 1/5th of its budget amount for military operations. In the year 2011, the amount spent on the contingency operations held in different countries by US was calculated to be $664.84 billion. The total cost spent on war calculated until the end of June 2011 was estimated to be $3.7 trillion. In the year 2010, the US defense budget accounted for 19% of the total US federal budget. The invasions made by US on Iraq and Afghanistan were financially supported by the supplementary bills and not included in the Federal and US defense budget. However, in the fiscal year 2010, these supplementary spending were termed as overseas contingency operations which are included in the defense budget. During the year 2009, the US spent 40% of its military budget over arms. At the end of 2008, it was estimated that US spent $900 billion approximately for war against Iraq and Afghanistan. US government incurred additional debts caused by indirect costs, which exceeds more than the direct costs.
The support given by defense contractors in the military industrial complex was found to be increased from the year 2001 until 2007. Because during these years US had used several armed forces to invade, Iraq and Afghanistan, which made increased payments to the defense contractors who provided equipments and other arms.
Comparison of US defense budget with other countries
The 2012 fiscal year military budget of US was found to be six to seven times more than the defense budget of China ($106 billion). 2012 military budget of US was estimated to be larger than the military budget of 20 countries combined. The US government is spending more amounts on military accompanied with some of the allied countries. In 2005, it was found that US has spent 4.06% of its Gross Demand Product (GDP) over military operations, which was found to be more than France’s GDP of 2.6%. This 4.06% GDP of US is less than the Saudi Arabia’s GDP, which is 10%. This 2005 GDP was found to be very low for US, as it has been placed at the top with 37.8% GDP in the year 1944.
This increase in the defense budget has spurred a growth in size of the federal government and the Pentagon war bureaucracy.
Current United States defense budget
To reduce the fiscal deficit, President Obama’s government has decided to decrease the US defense budget to a certain limit.
For more on the topics of war and militarism and their impact on the economy go to wallstreetwindow.com.
The war in Mali started as a fighting campaign against the government of Mali to get independence. It all started in the year 2012 (January). MNLA fighters invaded and occupied the three major northern cities of north Mali and declared Azawad as an independent state.
Insights of war in Mali.
In April, Diouncounda Traore became the President and he told the rebels that, he would declare war against them if they do not agree for peace talks. On June 2013, a deal of peace was signed between Mali government and rebels of Tuareg but on September, Tuareg withdrew the peace agreement, as the government of Mali did not respect their commitments. On August 2012, Prime Minister Diarra formed a new government. From October – December 2012, the rebel groups became more dominated. The Douentza town had now fallen to the rebels. In January 2013, Konna town also fell to fighters and the President Traore made an appeal to France seeking their help. The French military took action against Islamists as the government of Mali asked for help. France sent around 2500 troops to Mali. In February 2013, the Malian military with the help of foreign alliance took the control from Islamists activist.
Hollande, the President of France planned to withdraw his troop. In April 2013 as the French began to withdraw their troops, the Africans provided assistance to the Malian army. In June 2013, a deal of peace was signed between Taureg rebels and the Malian government allowing elections to be held. In August 2013, former Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita won the Mali election.
On October 2013, French troops killed 10 Islamists and it was considered a significant loss in the war in Mali. France has reduced military force but approximately 3000 soldiers were there in the African Country. In November 2013, Two French journalists were killed and Al-Qaeda was found responsible for the same. Mali’s former Junta Chief has been charged for murder although it is not confirmed. Newly elected President Keita is under pressure to re-establish the state.
100 troops were withdrawn by France who were deployed in Mali. France decided that the United Nations’ peacekeeping force would take charge of the Mali operations. France succeeded finally in driving out rebels from northern Mali and some of the rebels moved out to the desert areas. Eventually this caused fears that the war may spread out to other African nations. The Parliament elections were held during November 2013. Over the past 3 decades, French forces were there in Mali.
Sources say many foreign countries such as France and other countries are involved in Mali because these countries want their mineral resources. Oil and gas are the potential reserves of Mali. Mali is also a top producer of gold. Foreign intervention is there in Mali due to the country’s rich natural resources, so war was necessary to get cheap gold and other minerals. It could not be said that Mali is all about natural resources. War in Mali could have broken out due to the failure of various internal factors in the state.
For more on the war go to rt.com.
Sudan, that forms the part of the Sahel region in West Africa, has been a constant subject to acts of terrorism and civil unrest. The country had been plagued by corrupt governments, problems of malnutrition and the emergence of rebel forces which finally resulted in the formation of the new state of South Sudan.
In 2005 under Nairobi Peace Accords, Sudan was divided into North Sudan and South Sudan. Following the stipulations of the accord, South Sudan choose to secede Sudan in 2010 and emerged as an independent country right next to Sudan. This secession of South Sudan from Sudan brought an end to the longest running civil war in Africa, which had been ongoing for a period of 22 years in 2005.
In 2012, both independent countries of Sudan and south Sudan again came into conflict over oil rich regions lying between their borders. South Sudan’s Unity and Sudan’s South Kordofan, two oil rich areas were eyed and an issue arose which came to be known as the South Sudan war.
The south Sudan war, also known as the Heglig Crises, emerged when South Sudanese forces attacked and occupied the town of Heglig which lies on the border of both the countries. Skirmishes and armed clashes between south Sudan and Sudan continued until the matter was resolved by a natural resources agreement which was signed on the 26th of September.
The instigating factor which led to the South Sudan War between the two countries was the events of January 2012 in which South Sudan shut off all its oil fields in retaliation of the fee which Sudan demanded from it for transiting the oil. Armed conflicts over the border ensued from that point onwards. On 11th April 2012, both countries officially announced that Sudan and South Sudan were under a state of war. Skirmishes and armed attacks on the bordering town of Heglig continued unless the war was brought to a stop by the signing of the agreement in September.
The south Sudan war forced over 100,000 people to flee homes from the regions where war seemed to be at its peak. The war also puts on hold all negotiations and visits that the president of Sudan was planning for South Sudan at that time.
Although Sudan was the first country to accept the independent status of South Sudan, relations between both the countries have been really strained since the emergence of the new state. For more go to antiwar.com.