Remember Iraq? Trapwire? Abu Ghraib?
Meet Trump’s Top Military Adviser who just became his acting National Security Adviser
Update: This was posted at The Nation on November 18, 2016. Now this player from contractor land is the president’s acting national security adviser in the wake of the firing of Mike Flynn on February 13, 2017. As I always say, what goes around, comes around.
Over the last two days, Donald Trump has put together a national security team that will move US foreign policy far to the right.
The most shocking appointment, announced Thursday, was retired Army General Michael Flynn, a fanatical opponent of radical Islam, as his national security adviser. On Friday, Trump named Rep. Mike Pompeo, a Republican from Kansas, to run the CIA. Pompeo is a member of the House intelligence committee who strongly opposed the Iran nuclear deal as well as the post-Snowden “reforms” of US intelligence.
But so far, little attention has been paid to a retired Army lieutenant general, Joseph “Keith” Kellogg, one of Trump’s closest military and foreign policy advisers. He is a former contracting executive who is considered a front-runner for a senior position at the Pentagon. He has been among the small group of advisers coming and going to Trump Towers this week.
Kellogg played a critical role in the disastrous US occupation of Iraq as the director of operations of the Coalition Provisional Authority, which ran the country after the 2003 invasion. Since leaving the military, he has been deeply involved in the high-tech, computer-driven style of warfare that has spawned the enormous business complex of contractors and suppliers that ring Washington, DC, from the CIA to the National Security Agency.
And with Flynn, the former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, now in charge of Trump’s national security team, Kellogg in a prime spot to select the officials to run Trump’s military policies. In that position, Kellogg brings 20 years of experience as an executive for some of the nation’s largest and most notorious military contractors.
To read on, click
My first published article of the year, filed as Trump’s Secretary of Defense James Mattis is visiting South Korea and Japan talking about preparing for war of one kind or another with North Korea. This story explains the view from Congress, where regime change in Pyongyang is the name of the game. Sadly, the hearing – and US policy itself – reflects the absurd view that the US is an innocent bystander in Korea despite its 71-year military domination of the peninsula. When history is erased by our leaders, the place they always start is Korea. Click here to read on.
…So I published it myself, in Medium.
People power, not the U.S. military, created South Korea’s vibrant democracy
As millions of South Koreans filled their streets in the weeks leading up to last week’s impeachment of their beleagured president, Park Guen-hye, I was reminded of a political refrain we often hear from U.S. political leaders about Korea.
It goes like this: by intervening in 1950 to prevent a communist takeover and then stationing thousand of U.S. soldiers at the border with North Korea, the United States provided the security that allowed South Korea to become the vibrant democracy it is today. The pride was typified by George W. Bush in a 2005 visit to U.S. troops.
“Five decades of sacrifice by the men and women of our Armed Forces secured peace and democracy on this peninsula,” Bush declared. Hillary Clinton echoed that sentiment in a 2013 speech to bankers later obtained by Wikileaks. South Korea, she said, became a “functional democracy” because “we had troops there, we had aid there, we had a presence of American business there. We were there for the long run.”
There’s a bit of hubris in these sentiments. While there is no doubt that American policy has had a positive influence on South Korea, it was the Koreans themselves who created their own democracy. Moreover, at several critical junctures in South Korea’s turbulent history, U.S. actions and miscalculations led to serious setbacks to their progress. Sometimes America was on their side; other times, not.
To read on, click here.
This was the best response I ever got to a story, as chronicled in 1996 by the Washington Post.