US-UK Accuse Russia of "NotPetya" Cyberattack, Offer Zero Evidence

February 19, 2018 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - The US and European press have both published stories accusing the Russian government, and in particular, the Russian military, of the so-called "NotPetya" cyberattack which targeted information technology infrastructure in Ukraine. 


The Washington Post in an article titled, "UK blames Russian military for ‘malicious’ cyberattack," would report:
Britain and the United States blamed the Russian government on Thursday for a cyberattack that hit businesses across Europe last year, with London accusing Moscow of “weaponizing information” in a new kind of warfare. 

Foreign Minister Tariq Ahmad said “the U.K. government judges that the Russian government, specifically the Russian military, was responsible for the destructive NotPetya cyberattack of June 2017.”

The fast-spreading outbreak of data-scrambling software centered on Ukraine, which is embroiled in a conflict with Moscow-backed separatists in the country’s east. It spread to companies that do business with Ukraine, including U.S. pharmaceutical company Merck, Danish shipping firm A.P. Moller-Maersk and FedEx subsidiary TNT.
British state media, the BBC, would report in its article, "UK and US blame Russia for 'malicious' NotPetya cyber-attack," that:
The Russian military was directly behind a "malicious" cyber-attack on Ukraine that spread globally last year, the US and Britain have said.
The BBC also added that:
On Thursday the UK government took the unusual step of publicly accusing the Russia military of being behind the attack. 

"The UK and its allies will not tolerate malicious cyber activity," the foreign office said in a statement. Later, the White House also pointed the finger at Russia.
Yet despite this "unusual step of publicly accusing the Russian military of being behind the attack," neither the US nor the British media provided the public with any evidence, at all, justifying the accusations.

The official statement released by the British government would claim:
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre assesses that the Russian military was almost certainly responsible for the destructive NotPetya cyber-attack of June 2017. 

Given the high confidence assessment and the broader context, the UK government has made the judgement that the Russian government – the Kremlin – was responsible for this cyber-attack.
Claiming that the Russian military was "almost certainly responsible," is not the same as being certain the Russian military was responsible. And such phrases as "almost certainly" have been used in the past by the United States and its allies to launch baseless accusations ahead of what would otherwise be entirely unprovoked aggression against targeted states, in this case, Russia.


US Wants ISIS Sponsors to Rebuild Iraq

February 16, 2018 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Like a local mafia that breaks car windows by night and repairs them by day, the United States has enlisted its Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) partners - namely Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates - to "rebuild" in Iraq in the wake of the defeated, self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) these same states sponsored.


Reuters in an article titled, "Coalition members must help Iraq rebuild, Tillerson says," would report (emphasis added):
The U.S. leads the coalition and hopes that after a three-year fight to defeat the militants it can count in large part on Gulf allies to shoulder the burden of rebuilding Iraq and on a Saudi-Iraqi rapprochement to weaken Iran’s influence in the country, which is run by a Shi‘ite led government. 
The article also reports (emphasis added): 
Donors and investors have gathered in Kuwait this week to discuss efforts to rebuild Iraq’s economy and infrastructure as it emerges from a devastating conflict with the hardline militants who seized almost a third of the country.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would be quoted by Reuters as claiming: 
If communities in Iraq and Syria cannot return to normal life, we risk the return of conditions that allowed ISIS to take and control vast territory.
Yet even a causal student of history, military affairs, or modern warfare knows that armies tens of thousands strong, with regional, even global recruiting, training, and logistical networks do not spring up out of poverty or economic ruination. The operation capacity demonstrated by ISIS is only possible with significant state sponsorship.

US Enlists Those Who Sponsored ISIS to Rebuild Iraq 

Mention of Kuwait serving as a venue for "donors and investors" seeking to "reconstruct" Iraq is particularly ironic for those who remember the UK Telegraph's 2014 article titled, "How our allies in Kuwait and Qatar funded Islamic State."


The article states (emphasis added):
Islamic State (Isil), with its newly conquered territory, oilfields and bank vaults, no longer needs much foreign money. But its extraordinarily swift rise to this point, a place where it threatens the entire region and the West, was substantially paid for by the allies of the West. Isil’s cash was raised in, or channelled through, Kuwait and Qatar, with the tacit approval and sometimes active support of their governments.
And while the article attempts to frame Kuwait and Qatar's state-sponsorship of terrorism as a betrayal of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, the fact remains that such sponsorship was not only well known to Western intelligence and political circles, it was the GCC's ability to raise massive legions of terrorists that formed the cornerstone of the US-GCC alliance against Libya, Syria, Iran, and Shia'a majority Iraq beginning in 2011.


Countering the Quad: Chinese-Pakistani Relations

February 12, 2018 (Ulson Gunnar - NEO) - The US recently included India in its shifting Asia Pacific policy, as part of its Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (often referred to as the "Quad"). The Quad also includes Australia and Japan along with the United States itself.


The nascent alliance is openly arrayed against China, with member states openly declaring their intent to contribute toward containing Beijing's activities in the region and compete against Chinese efforts to establish greater ties with its immediate neighbors. This includes Japan and Australia pledging to more aggressively patrol the South and East China Seas.

For India's part, it seeks to become a greater power within the Indian Ocean. Additionally, New Delhi has increasingly postured its military against China against the backdrop of greater tensions along the Chinese-Indian border.

China appears to be pursuing its own strategy to break out of the Quad's containment policy, including measures to place India in check.

Beijing's Pakistan to Washington's India  

Part of this strategy includes growing ties between Beijing and Islamabad. This includes a number of major joint infrastructure projects across Pakistan. Collectively known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the ambitious network of projects connects Gwadar port in Pakistan's Balochistan province on the Arabian Sea with the Pakistani-Chinese border near the western Chinese province of Xinjiang.


Railways and roads provide China with access to the Arabian Sea, eliminating the need to move certain goods past Singapore and through the Strait of Malacca.

CPEC also includes a gas pipeline from Gwadar to Nawabshah which will eventually enable gas imports from Iran.


Downed Russian Warplane Illustrates Enduring Danger of US-Backed Terrorism

February 11, 2018 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - A Russian ground-attack aircraft - a Sukhoi-25 - was shot down using an anti-aircraft missile over the northern Syrian province of Idlib by Al Qaeda affiliates. The pilot was reportedly killed by militants according to the Russian Ministry of Defense.


The BBC in its article, "Russian jet shot down in Syria's Idlib province," would report:
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham - formerly linked to al-Qaeda - said it had shot down the plane.
In a statement released on social media, the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group claimed it had shot down the plane using a shoulder-launched surface-to-air missile.

The BBC and other Western media organizations have worked ceaselessly to aid groups like "Hayat Tahrir al-Sham" in their efforts to re-brand themselves and obfuscate public awareness over their status as terrorist organizations, thus making it easier for either the US and its European allies to aid and arm such groups, or for Western allies in the Middle East to aid and arm them.

That "Tahrir al-Sham" possesses anti-aircraft missiles indicates they are the recipients of state-sponsored arms deliveries. The fact that they murdered the downed pilot - a war crime - reaffirms their status as a terrorist organization.

Al Qaeda affiliates possessing anti-aircraft weapon systems should come as no surprise. The US had literally handed hundreds of anti-aircraft missiles to militants in Afghanistan during the 1980's which included Arab volunteers assisted by Al Qaeda. With these missiles, militants likewise downed Russia warplanes and helicopters.

Arming Al Qaeda in Syria was 'Plan A' Before the Arab Spring "Sprung"

The Washington Post in its article, "Russia strikes back as Syrian rebels take credit for shooting down fighter jet, killing pilot," regarding allegations that that the United States was responsible for Al Qaeda possessing anti-aircraft weapons used to down Russian aircraft would report:
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said any allegation that the United States has provided MANPAD missiles in Syria was untrue, and she denied that U.S. equipment was used in shooting down the Russian plane.

“The United States has never provided MANPAD missiles to any group in Syria, and we are deeply concerned that such weapons are being used,” she said.

Yet an examination of the Syrian conflict's true inception reveals just how dubious this denial by the US State Department really is.


The Syrian conflict was conceived years before the first protesters took to the streets during the 2011 so-called "Arab Spring."


Turkey Establishing Long-Sought US "Safe Haven" in Northern Syria

February 4, 2018 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Turkey's recent incursion into northern Syria is poised to finally establish the long-sought after "buffer zone" or "safe haven" called for by US policymakers since as early as 2012.


While the US and Turkey are currently feigning a diplomatic row over the incursion - with Turkey's targeting and displacement of Kurds allegedly backed by the United States - it is clear that recent claims by the US regarding its expanding support of Kurdish militias it has been arming and backing in Syria was done as an intentional pretext for Turkey to justify an otherwise indefensible invasion of Syrian territory.

No Pretext 

Turkey cited sensational statements made by the US regarding the creation of a supposedly 30,000 strong Kurdish-led "border defense force" in northern Syria as the pretext for its current operations. Yet at the time the statement was made by Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman US Army Colonel Ryan Dillion, fewer than 300 of the alleged force were reportedly trained - indicating that if the force existed at all, it would be years before being stood up at full strength, if ever.

By the time Turkey began its incursion, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson denied altogether plans for such a force, according to Reuters in a report titled, "Tillerson says U.S. has no intention to build border force in Syria."

Going in Anyway

Regardless, Turkey's incursion - referred to as "Operation Olive Branch" - is creating precisely the zone of control described by US policymakers in 2012 with precisely the same US-armed and funded militant groups described in US policy papers meant to occupy the "safe haven."

Having tried and failed to maneuver geopolitically to establish the "safe haven" over the past 6 years - including through the citing of "humanitarian crises" and false flag attacks on Turkish territory - the US and Turkey have finally created a sufficiently chaotic intersection of mission creep, proxy groups, and opposing interests to justify the invasion. Turkey had been incrementally invading and occupying Syrian territory while bolstering an army of militants drawn from designated terrorist organizations including Al Qaeda for years in preparation for this recent invasion.