October 13, 2018 - No. 35
Related to War and Peace
in Coming Period
• No to
Foreign Warships in Halifax Harbour!
• All Out to Oppose Annual
U.S.-Led War Conference in Halifax!
• Women in U.S. Organize March on Pentagon
• Fight for an Anti-War Government,
a Peace Economy
and a Democracy Where We Decide!
- Voice of Revolution -
• War: A Community Issue
- Lynn Marie Petrovich -
Behind the "Single
Largest Private Investment
in Canadian History"
• LNG Canada Project in Northern
- K.C. Adams -
Surrounding Trans Mountain Pipeline
• Trudeau Government's Definition of
"Getting It Right"
- Peggy Morton -
Election Moves to Second Round
• The Fight for Democracy
- Margaret Villamizar -
Critical Questions Related to War and
Important Events in Coming Period
The urgency of the
questions of War and Peace cannot
emphasized enough. Several important events are taking place in
the coming period related to this serious matter. On October
21-22 a Women's March on the Pentagon is being organized in the
United States. This is also a significant event for Canada, which has
been integrated 100 per cent into U.S. Homeland
Security. This stand is also important because it rejects the pressure
on women and others to give up their anti-war outlook and accept war
and aggression as the high ideals where, whether in Afghanistan or
elsewhere, U.S. and NATO-led invasions, occupations and other war
crimes are said to be carried out in the name of upholding the rights
of women and girls.
Other events include the commemorations of the 100th
anniversary of the end of World War I. In Canada the occasion is being
used by official circles to promote war preparations between rival
blocks today in the name of "Lest We Forget." It will no doubt also be
used to promote the notion that the needless death of Canadian youth in
the brutal slaughter of World War I was Canada's "coming of age" that
earned it its independence from the British Empire. Today, it is
invoked to claim that Canada has earned its place at the table with the
big powers to divide up the spoils of war and to cover up its
integration into the U.S. war machine, not to mention the people's
opposition to imperialist war for the past 100 years. This warmongering
is unacceptable and events that bring out the
true character of that war and the significance of Canada's
participation in it
will be held across the country.
In Halifax, No Harbour for War is opposing the Halifax
Conference to be held November 16-18. Other actions are
planned to defend social programs and the need to increase their
funding. Issues related to budgets and the need for more investments in
social programs are related to the
demand to eliminate funding of the imperialist war machines. All
of these issues are in turn related to who decides the direction
of the society, whether to go to war and how to defend the peace,
and the fact that, at this time, governments represent private
supra-national interests over which citizens exercise no
The newspaper of the U.S. Marxist-Leninist
Organization, Voice of Revolution, points out that U.S. wars of
aggression and occupation are crimes which serve today to destroy
the human productive forces worldwide. They are not politics by
other means which are subsequently resolved through negotiations that
reestablish an equilibrium on a peaceful basis. On the
contrary, their aim is the destruction of whatever the U.S.
imperialists cannot bring under their control through bullying
and threats. The greatest cost of the U.S. imperialist wars of
aggression and occupation and war spending is to the human and
natural environment and to the relations among humans, and between
TML Weekly calls on Canadians to get involved
anti-war actions and go all out to discuss how to establish an
anti-war government which orients the economy and social policy
in their favour. The crucial issues of war and peace speak to the
need for a new direction for the economy and political affairs,
one that is anti-war and pro-social. They point to the fact that
we need the renewal of the political process because governments
do not act in our name.
In this issue, TML Weekly is reporting on some
important events and developments related to the crucial questions
of War and Peace.
No to Foreign Warships in Halifax Harbour!
Haligonians have a long history of protesting visits by warships. Photo
of May 29, 2012 action.
On October 5, the French Rubis-class
nuclear-powered submarine L'Améthyste arrived at
Canadian Forces Base Shearwater in Halifax, the first such visit
in two years. Speaking on behalf of the organization No Harbour
for War, Allan Bezanson unequivocally rejected the presence of
the submarine. "We want Halifax to be a factor of peace in the
world and a zone for peace," he told the Chronicle Herald. He
pointed out that the comings and goings of these warships is
usually tied in with war exercises.
Margaret Conway, Canadian
Forces Base Halifax
confirmed this, noting that hazardous material training was
conducted on October 3 to test the emergency response plan at the
base. "It's like a fire drill, right? The likelihood is not big
at all, but it's so that we're prepared and that we can test all
of the different pieces that are working together," said
A Department of National Defence spokesman presented
the visit of the French warship as an innocuous matter,
stating that it is merely stopping to resupply. The fact is the French
navy is used to conduct aggression in Africa, Asia and
the Caribbean, besides marauding in the South Pacific, the
Mediterranean, Adriatic and other seas. The role of the
French navy in U.S.-led aggression against Syria, aimed at regime
change, cannot be denied because French ships have been involved
in airstrikes on Syria in "retaliation" for chemical weapons
attacks spuriously attributed to the Syrian government. As well,
France, together with the U.S. and
Canada, staged a coup against the Aristide government in Haiti.
To say its submarines are merely "resupplying" in Canadian ports
is disingenuous to say the least. To present the involvement of
Canadian territory and bases in war and aggression as a matter of
mundane business reveals a bad conscience.
Bezanson also pointed out that the USS Hué
has been docked near Casino Nova Scotia. Named after a battle in
the Vietnam War, it is a Ticonderoga-class guided missile
cruiser whose very name betrays its aggressive purpose. Bezanson
explained that it had "just
returned from war exercises held jointly with HMCS Halifax and
HMCS Toronto off the coast of Nova Scotia." He decried
the presence of numerous U.S. warships, which have been in port
since May. Many warships from the U.S. Navy are sent to ports
around the world for Columbus Day (October 8 this year), he said.
No Harbour for War repudiates the government's pressure
Haligonians to accept the presence of foreign warships in Halifax
Harbour as business as usual. It upholds Haligonians'
longstanding opposition to Canada's participation in war and
aggression and their demand that Halifax be a Zone for
Peace. They reject the arrogance of the U.S. imperialists and
their allies who seem to think they can lay claim to Halifax. Their
very name says: No Harbour for War!
For Your Information -- History of the USS Hué
Hué City sailed March 11, 1993, for
maiden Deployment to the Mediterranean Sea as Air Warfare
Commander for the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier battle group
(CVBG). Principally operating in the Adriatic Sea, Hué
City developed the air picture and transmitted it to command
centres afloat and on shore. Hué City also monitored
the safety of United Nations relief flights to Bosnia, ensuring
Serbian aircraft did not violate no-fly zones.
While conducting training near Guantánamo Bay,
1994, Hué City was
directed to serve as Destroyer Squadron
22 flagship in support of sanctions against Haiti. Hué
City sailed for her second deployment March 22, 1995, with the Theodore Roosevelt
CVBG. Hué City took
station in the Red
Sea, where she provided air coverage to the Combat Air Patrol
enforcing the no-fly zone in Southern Iraq.
Hué City sailed for the Baltic Sea on
1996 to participate in operations involving forty-eight ships
from thirteen nations. The operations focused on tracking air,
surface, and subsurface targets in a multinational task force. Hué
City deployed on April 29, 1997, to the
Mediterranean Sea as Air Warfare Commander for the John F.
Kennedy CVBG. Hué City operated in the Adriatic
Sea, overseeing all air activity in support of naval
In 1999, Hué City sailed for
operations in the Caribbean Sea. Later that year, Hué
City participated in Baltic Operations, a multinational
exercise consisting of fifty-three vessels from twelve
conducted multinational exercises in
America while acting as flagship in UNITAS 2000 Caribbean phase.
On June 26, 2000, Hué City sailed to New York
City, as the reviewing ship for President Clinton and his family,
Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval
Operations, Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Commander,
Cruiser Destroyer Group (COMCRUDESGRU) 12 in the International
Naval Review 2000.
As part of the George Washington CVBG, and in
to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Hué City
set sail in support of defence and humanitarian efforts off the
coast of New York.
Ships and aircraft of the John F. Kennedy CVBG
commenced use of the Vieques Island inner range beginning
September 24, 2001, in conjunction with their Composite Unit
Training Exercises (COMPUTEX). The exercise, which began the week
prior, also utilized the northern and southern Puerto Rico
operating areas, and involved complex battle group training
events, naval surface fire-support training and air-to-ground
Hué City then took part in Underway No.
one in a series of tests leading to the Cooperative Engagement
Capability (CEC) Operation Evaluation (OPEVAL) scheduled for
Spring 2001. The CEC system provides the capability to
cooperatively engage targets by a warship using data from other
CEC-equipped ships, aircraft, and land-based sensors, even in an
electronic-jamming environment. It also provides a common,
consistent and highly accurate air picture, allowing battle group
defences to act as one seamless system. The test, off Wallops
Island, Virginia, simulated missile firings from some of the
Navy's most technically advanced ships against unmanned
As part of the John F. Kennedy CVBG, Hué
City took part in Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX) 02-1, with
Phase I of the exercise running from January 19-26, 2002 and
Phase II running February 7-14,
In March 2002, Hué City was part of John
Kennedy CVBG as it relieved the Theodore
Roosevelt CVBG, in
support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
In May 2002, during a three-day Naval Gun Fire Support
exercise off the coast of Djibouti, Africa, Hué
City fired hundreds of five-inch rounds in support of Marine
Expeditionary Unit Exercise 2002 (MEUEX '02) at more than 60 targets
that included tanks, bunkers, and various military vehicles. Hué
City joined the Wasp Amphibious Ready
(ARG) and the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit to conduct this
first of its kind exercise in this little-known region of
Prior to 2014, Hué
City successfully completed consecutive
deployments to the Persian Gulf and North Arabian Sea.
On April 14, 2014, Monday evening, a fire broke out at
after 6:20 pm local time while Hué City was
steaming about 200 nautical miles northeast of Bermuda. The crew
fought and defeated a major fire in one of the main engineering
spaces without suffering any injuries. The ship's executive
officer was relieved by the head of Carrier Strike Group 8 in
June 2014 for "failing to ensure his crew properly stowed
hazardous materials" which subsequently caught fire. According to
the investigation report, bales of rags caught fire after they
had been improperly stored in an exhaust uptake trunk. The fire
caused over $23 million in damage and required over nine months of
repairs. It also caused Hué City to miss the
planned deployment to Europe.
All Out to Oppose Annual U.S.-Led
War Conference in
This year's U.S.-led "Halifax
Forum," referred to by many as the Halifax War Conference, takes
place in November. An anti-war rally will be held to
protest it on November 17.
Halifax must not be used as a "launching pad for
and schemes to dominate the world," No Harbour for War
spokesperson Alan Bezanson says. The call for the November 17
anti-war rally explains:
The 10th annual Halifax
International Security Forum
convened November 16 to 18, 2018 as a platform for warmongering
and empire-building of U.S. imperialism and the NATO bloc, in
which the Trudeau government is fully embroiled.
Warmongers from more than 90
countries will join
Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan and some 300 others at this
Washington, DC-based forum. According to the Department of
Defence, their aim is to "learn from each other, share opinions,
generate new ideas, and put them into action."
No Harbour for War explains the history of these
The first forum in 2009 was
dedicated to popularizing
NATO's then new "security doctrine." Ensuing Forums have provided
a stage to justify U.S. and NATO wars and interventions around
the world. Since 2012 the forums were to be self-financing but to
this day it is the Canadian taxpayers who pay all the bills.
It is unacceptable that
Halifax, or any Canadian city,
used as a venue to plan further crimes against the peace and the
peoples of the world. As part of Making Canada a Zone for Peace,
we demand that the Halifax International Security Forum be banned
Let us put the question of
war and peace on the table
Nova Scotia workers and people.
Bring your banners, bring
your music and statements
of all, bring your friends to oppose this war conference.
In a radio interview on the Rick Howe Show, Bezanson
elaborated why the presence of foreign warships in Halifax
must be opposed and the dangerous nature of the Halifax War
Conference. Both are examples of how Canada is at the disposal of
U.S. imperialist aggression, he said. He called into question the
dogma that Canada should be a member of NATO, and that consequently
Halifax should be made available to other NATO members,
regardless of the people's opposition to Canada's membership in
NATO and its participation in war and aggression. He also
rejected the backward promotion of the propaganda that foreign
military personnel spending tourist dollars in Halifax is a boon
to the local economy. Spending for military aggression is
actually a detriment to the economy, he pointed out. Money spent
on the military should be spent on public services which are
deprived of much needed funding,
Canada is not at war and
only requires a coastal
force, Bezanson said. Why does it participate in war exercises
with NATO countries, and who are its enemies that it is doing so?
Bezanson asked. Canada does not have enemies that would require
it to take part in such exercises, he said.
Regarding the Halifax War Conference, he noted that
its agenda this year, the war conference is preoccupied with
portraying Russia, China and the African continent as sources of
aggression which pose a danger to Canada. He pointed to the large
numbers of high-level military personnel and others who are
brought to the conference in a manner which covers up
that many of them are actually war criminals for the deeds they
have already committed and all of them can be called war
criminals for making plans at this conference which constitute
crimes against the peace. The conference has eight open
sessions and 28 closed-door sessions where the public will not
know what goes on, Bezanson noted. Depriving the public of
information is done in the name of security and the national
interest to make sure that anyone who opposes such a self-serving
conception of both security and the national interest can be
criminalized as a danger to society. No Harbour for War opposes
the use of Halifax to plan aggression and war.
Bezanson pointed out that No Harbour for War opposes
conference's entire agenda. He highlighted one particular agenda
item, "100 Years On: Are We Tired of Winning?" -- a reference to the
centenary of the end of World War One. The organization
opposes the commemoration of this anniversary with militaristic
propaganda. What such a topic really says is that we still live
in a time of war between vested interests. Those involved in the
conference have still not learned that the people oppose wars of
aggression to take over the lands of others and to repartition
their domains. These wars of aggression and occupation immiserate
the peoples, he said.
No Harbour for War is calling on everyone to oppose the
Halifax War Conference.
Women in U.S. Organize March on Pentagon
21 and 22,
women in the United States are organizing an anti-war march on the
Pentagon to demand the
complete end to the wars the U.S. is conducting abroad; the closure of
foreign bases; and a
significant cut to the Pentagon budget, to instead fund healthy social
in the U.S. There will also be sister
actions across the country.
The march is taking place on the 51st anniversary of the
anti-war event in
Washington, DC of more than 50,000 people, and subsequent marches on
Pentagon. It is in response to continuing military aggressions by the
to table an anti-war
agenda for activists at this time. The organizers point
More than 50,000 people
marched on the Pentagon on
October 21, 1967 in
opposition to the
escalation of U.S. imperialist aggression in Vietnam. An anti-war rally
was held at West
Potomac Park near the Lincoln Memorial where 70,000 people had gathered
for a concert by
musician and peace activist Phil Ochs. Both groups joined together and
marched; this action
was to be known as the March on the Pentagon. During 1967 there were
marches across the country in all major cities, including New York,
Boston, San Francisco and
These actions and the
subsequent protests and
demonstrations of the
elections would lead to the call for a general strike which culminated
in the mobilization of
500,000 protestors in another march on the Pentagon known as the
which took place on October 15, 1969. A month later, due to the success
of the first march,
another rally was held.
On October 7, 2001, the U.S.
under the pretext
of apprehending those
behind the attacks on the Twin Towers in 2001. U.S. forces have
remained in active
occupation, making the illegal and immoral war in Afghanistan the
longest foreign occupation
in U.S. history.
In response to the ongoing
U.S. military aggression
across the globe
and the continuing
bi-partisan increases in Pentagon funding, we are calling for a 21st
century March on the
Pentagon on the 51st anniversary of the massive 1967 march and all the
The bloated military budget is draining our communities and families
dry of precious blood
and treasure while decimating nations and peoples who have done nothing
The organizers explain the title, "Women's March on
was chosen in direct
response to a leader of the recent Women's March who said, "I
appreciate that war is your
issue, Cindy [Sheehan, initiator of the Women's March on the Pentagon],
but the Women's
March will never address the war issue as long as women aren't free."
"It is the belief of many of us that NO woman is free
while the U.S.
spends trillions of
dollars bombing millions and militarily occupying over 150 countries
around the world," the
organizers point out. They explain further:
anti-imperialist voice has been shut
marginalized. We are in
solidarity with pro-social and environmental movements, [and urge them]
to address war and
the preparations for war. War affects us all in one way or another. War
destroys the natural
environment. This is not, nor will it turn into, a Get Out the Vote
Rally for the Democrat half
of the War Party. This is a principled call to action: We Must March
for Peace and Against
the War Machine.
For more information:
Cindy Sheehan: CindySheehan@MarchonPentagon.com
Emma Fiala: Emma@MarchonPentagon.com
Bonnie Caracciolo: email@example.com
For March on Pentagon events click here. For
sister marches click
March on the Pentagon, October 21, 1967
The October 21, 1967 march on the Pentagon in Washington, DC, is
of the first major national protests against the Vietnam War. At the
Pentagon they were blocked
by soldiers of the 82nd Airborne Division and during the course of the
marshals arrested nearly 700 people and 47 were injured.
Fight for an Anti-War Government, a Peace Economy and a
Democracy Where We Decide!
A salute to all those participating in the Women's
the Pentagon in Washington, DC October 20-21 and all the sister
demonstrations in cities across the country. Organizing to put
the issue of war and peace on the agenda and bring out its
relationship to the many fronts of struggle for rights is a vital
contribution to building and uniting the pro-social, anti-war
movements of the peoples. The demands to Close All U.S. Foreign
Bases and Bring All U.S. Troops Home Now are main ways to
contribute to peace and building relations of mutual respect and
benefit. This is what the peoples here and abroad want and are
fighting for in many different ways. The U.S. Marxist-Leninist
Organization (USMLO) joins all those working for the success of
the action and for continued efforts in the future. We are
putting forward as a unifying call and aim: Fight for an Anti-War
Government, a Peace Economy and a Democracy Where We Decide!
Political Power Key
We are all contending with conditions of retreat of
revolution, where the most reactionary forces have the offensive
and are imposing a brutal counter-revolution on the peoples. This
is seen in the broadening of U.S. crimes of aggression and
interference with no regard for rule of law, as well as the
anti-social attacks at home. Defending the so-called national
interest is being used to justify U.S. terrorism, in the
form of drone warfare, sanctions, regime change, the attacks on
immigrants and refugees, police killings, mass incarceration,
further criminalizing protest and more.
Conditions are now such that public
like Congress, the Courts, and elections -- are dysfunctional. They do
not sort out conflicts among the rulers, as the many fights
between and within the military, presidency and intelligence
agencies show. Nor do they serve to perpetuate the notion that
there is the consent of the governed. All that is left is a
government of police powers, where governments act with impunity
and arbitrary violence against the people and their organized
resistance. The rulers are no longer concerned with legitimacy,
only with preserving their power.
While U.S. rulers are on the offensive, it is also the
that their system has shown itself to be unsustainable and unfit
for human existence. The massive human productive powers that
exist CAN solve the problems faced by humanity, like poverty,
inequality, climate change and nuclear war. The human beings who
collectively produced these powers are capable of controlling
them and unleashing them in the interests of humanity. But it
requires political power in the hands of the people. It requires
the power to decide the affairs of society, including providing a
new direction for the economy and politics.
Recognizing the significance of these relations and the
for political power, USMLO puts forward as a unifying call and
aim: Fight for an Anti-War
Government, a Peace Economy and a
Democracy Where We Decide! All those calling for peace, closing
bases, divesting from the war machine and fossil fuels; calling
for equality and rights to housing, health care, jobs and
education; defending Mother Earth and opposing the energy and war
oligopolies; and all those standing up for rights have an interest in
taking up the aim of an anti-war government. We need a government
that responds to the demands of the people, the broad majority,
to end U.S. wars and contribute to defending the rights of ALL at
home and abroad. We need a peace economy that provides a new
direction that stands against war and for rights. Steps in that
direction can be taken today. For example, in New York, there is
a proposal to close the Niagara Air Base, used for drones and
mid-air refueling of jets to bomb Yemen, and instead turn it into
a solar farm. United actions that recognize pro-active aims, like
an anti-war government, are needed. Demonstrations today are
mainly for purposes of uniting people, taking a public stand for
the public, developing political discussion on aims and
strengthening the organized character of resistance. In
conditions of a government of police powers, the issue is not so
much how many are in the streets, but rather how demonstrations,
conferences, public forums, independent media, all contribute to
elaborating common aims and common thinking.
Political Discussion from Our Vantage Point
We need political discussion on how to look at problems
our own independent vantage point and organize in such a way that
change to our advantage can be brought about. It is necessary to
break with the vantage point of the rich, which says our role is
limited to appealing to them to do what is right and just. Our
role is to organize to be the decision-makers, to decide what is
needed to win political power and take steps to get there.
For example, in elections our role is not mainly to
not vote. It is to fight to be decision-makers every step of the
way, from deciding the agenda and the candidates and more
generally developing an electoral process that empowers the
people to govern and decide. This includes demanding now that all
candidates take a stand on issues of war and peace and issues of
An anti-war government requires a new direction for
and the economy. It requires a modern democracy, where the rights
of all are at the centre and the right of the people to govern
and decide is advanced. All those demanding peace and justice
have an interest in demanding a modern democracy, where we
We welcome debate on this issue and urge all
the Fight for an Anti-War
Government, a Peace Economy and a
Democracy Where We Decide!
Revolution is a publication of the USMLO.
War: A Community Issue
War affects everyone. While some are adversely affected
more than others, there is no one that escapes the war machine's
reach. One example in the United States is war funding. The
defence budget is mind-boggling. The U.S.'s 2019 Pentagon budget
supports 883 overseas bases and is lethal to humanity. Instead of
terrorizing our brothers and sisters abroad, the billions of
dollars spent on war could be used for a host of issues at home
including almost every one that people take to the streets about.
From education to health care and from infrastructure to the
environment -- the war machine strips money, time and
attention from all of it. In some cases, U.S. imperialism not
only prevents these issues from receiving the time, energy and
money they need, but it also exacerbates the problems.
The U.S.'s Toxic 2019 "Defence" Budget
[...] More than one hundred years after World War I,
engaged in endless wars, expensive, costly endless wars. In
addition to the vast human toll, how much does endless war -- and a
growing number of U.S. bases around the world -- cost financially each
year? This is an attempt to do a
reasonable calculation of the cost in public taxpayer dollars of
our hundreds of bases stationed around the world (those which are
mostly outside the theatre of war), commencing with the end of
The Great War. I undertook this exercise using my decades-long
background in accounting, available public reports, articles,
research papers, books (to connect the dots), interviews with
current and former military personnel, and common sense. Well, as
much common sense as possible given the U.S. military budget is
the largest of any country in the world, as much as the next 10
countries' military budgets combined.
Among the many resources used in this analysis was the
116-page "Defense Budget Overview, U.S. Department of Defense [DoD],
Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request" (The Report), in which the 2019
request was $686.1 billion, an increase of 13 per cent or $74 billion,
The Report is less a "defence" budget; rather it is
document oozing threats to worldwide lethal annihilation:
"The strategic goals for Fiscal Years 2018-2023
the Secretary's priorities:
(1) Increase the lethality of the
(2) Strengthen U.S. alliances and build new
(3) Reform the Department to reinvest resources in
warfighter priorities" (The Report, p. 9-3).
If the planet is
our community, the U.S. is the bully in the neighbourhood.
References to the word "lethal" are sprinkled no less than three dozen
times throughout The Report ("more lethal force" (p. 2-6),
"technology innovation for increased lethality" (p.1-1),
"increasing the lethality of new and existing weapons systems" (p.
Among the DoD's goals is the Orwellian "preserving
through strength" and "protecting the American way of life" (a
way of life in which every minute four people are served with
eviction judgments, 30 million have no access to health care,
$1.5 trillion is owed in suffocating student loan debt, and 63 per cent
of the population cannot afford a $500 emergency repair).
Were it not for The Report's dire (yet fully funded)
predictions for world domination, one would think this budget
request was satire. From page 2-4, the Foreign Affairs Strategic
Approach for the upcoming year states: "To succeed in the
emerging security environment, the Department and Joint Force
will have to out-think, out-maneuver, out-partner, and
out-innovate revisionist powers, rogue regimes, terrorists, and
other threat actors."
And again, the number one goal is to "Build a more
In a world where money is no object, The Report
details the following purchasing priorities for 2019:
- Increasing the strength of the Army, Navy, and Air
- Buying ten combat ships ($18.4 billion);
Increasing production of the F-35 aircraft and F/A-18 aircraft
- Enhancing deterrence by modernizing the
nuclear triad; and
- Increasing the emphasis on technology innovation
for increased lethality.
Additionally, The Report states: "The DoD
has expended more munitions than planned over the last few years,
primarily to defeat Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS),
leading to higher demand to replenish munition inventories"
(p. 3-6). Addressing these needs, the 2019 budget request increases
by over 28,300 the amount of production for the following
- Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems;
Precision Kill Weapon Systems;
- Joint Direct Attack Munition;
Small Diameter Bomb 1 (includes spares);
- Hellfire rockets; and
Army Tactical Missile Systems.
Total increased cost in the 2019 budget for these
is $8.1 billion (p. 3-7). In a surprise (yet not really) admission,
The Report states that "major power competition, not terrorism,
is now the primary concern in U.S. national security" (p. 2-1).
But let us back up a minute. More historical perspective
is relevant at this point, if only to grasp the enormity of U.S.
spending over the last 18 years on endless wars around the
One hundred years ago, World War I
financial costs for
U.S. were about $22.6 billion, which is $328 billion today,
adjusted for inflation. The 2019 DoD budget request is $686.1 billion,
or twice what it cost the U.S. during WWI in today's
Included in the DoD 2019 budget request of $686.1
is $89 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), which
predominantly funds the wars (operations, in-theatre support,
classified programs, coalition forces, counter-ISIS training,
security, etc.). Specifically stated areas include Afghanistan,
Iraq, Syria, and "other mobilization" sites.
According to The Report, OCO funding alone for the
period beginning in 2001 through 2018 totalled $1.8 trillion (p.
1-3), or almost $101 billion per year -- an amount which
approximates the annual combined budgets of the U.S. Department
of Education ($60 billion), Department of Health & Human
Services ($18 billion), Department of Transportation ($15.6
billion), and Department of Labor ($9.4 billion). [...]
883 Military Bases Around the World and Growing
Pouring through various documents, publications, books,
research papers, I developed a list of countries with U.S.
military bases outside the U.S. This list includes U.S.
territories (Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Mariana Islands, American
Samoa, and Puerto Rico) and bases in 183 countries, on seven
continents and seven bodies of water. This number does not include
U.S. embassies and may or may not include other sites such as
lily pads (smaller, temporary, and/or not authorized sites) and
special operations sites.
Some publicly available documents, from the U.S.
contradict one other. For example, the Army's most recent average
cost per person is just under $100,000 ($94,300). However, other
Defense documents calculate average cost per person at $55,000. I
could not find a single, comprehensive document which accounted
for the total cost of overseas bases (additionally, many excluded
the cost of bases on U.S. Territories), so I took data available
from a number of resources to calculate the costs contained
herein. Where contradictions occur, I so note.
Buildings and Structures
I started with the Department of Defense Fiscal Year
Budget Request which acknowledges $2.6 trillion in assets on the
balance sheet of the Department's books (p. 6-2). Of these assets,
another report -- The Base Structure Report Fiscal Year 2017
The DoD manages a worldwide
real property portfolio
spans all 50 states, eight U.S. territories with outlying areas,
and 41 foreign countries. The majority of the foreign sites are
located in Germany (120 sites), Japan (121 sites) and South Korea
(78 sites) (p. DoD-6).
The Base Structure Report identifies a total of 4,793
worldwide, at a value of $1.046 trillion, covering 27.2 million
acres of land. Of the 883 sites identified, The Base Structure
Report verifies 110 sites located in U.S. Territories and another
517 sites overseas, for a total of 627 sites outside the U.S.
with a September 30, 2016 value of approximately $200 billion.
This worldwide portfolio of 4,793 sites on over 27
"The DoD occupies a reported 275,504
throughout the world, valued at over $705 billion and comprising
over 2.2 billion square feet (p. DoD-8)." The buildings include
administrative, community facilities, family housing, hospitals
and medical, maintenance, production, operation and training,
research and development, testing, supply, troop housing, mess
facilities and utility and ground improvements.
DoD structures throughout the world are
valued at over $162 billion.
(3) Linear Structures:
at a value over $178 billion.
Linear structures are facilities whose functions require that it
traverse land (examples include runways, roads, rail lines,
pipelines, fences, pavement, and electrical distribution
The difference between my estimate of overseas bases of
and the 627 mentioned in the Base Structure Report may be reconciled as
(1) The DoD will be undergoing one of the largest
consolidated DoD-wide financial statement audits in Fiscal Year
2018, which will involve both general funds and working capital
funds. A focus of the audit will be "the discovery of Real
Property and General Equipment not being recorded in the proper
system (p. 6-3)." (It is anticipated, based on prior audits, that
not all overseas sites assets -- i.e. buildings, roads,
and structures -- are recorded on the books of the DoD.)
(2) The 883 bases include 95 sites which are smaller
or may not be in the Base Structure Report.
(3) The Base Structure Report identifies 517 sites
(exclusive of U.S. Territories), but a count in the detail in this
same report (pp. DoD-70 to DoD-85) resulted in a total of
almost 600 sites.
Combatant Command Exercise and Engagement
The Report identifies ten Combatant Command Exercise
Engagement programs and lists the following nine:
- USAFRICOM (Africa);
- USCENTCOM (Kingdom of Jordan);
- USCYBERCOM (virtual environment);
- USEUCOM (Europe);
- USPACOM (Korea);
- USSOUTHCOM (Latin America);
- USSTRATCOM (nuclear deterrence);
- USTRANSCOM (full spectrum global
The Report's costs include:
(1) Fixed costs which are costs that do not change if
particular site is not occupied. Examples include: rent/mortgage
payments, property taxes, insurance, maintenance.
(2) Variable costs which do change based on occupancy.
Examples include utility consumption, repair and maintenance,
cleanup, trash removal, increased costs due to surrounding
A 2013 Rand Corporation research report,
that overall costs are higher overseas even when taking
host-nation support into account. I took a conservative approach
in the following calculations.
Of the roughly 2 million military personnel, including
reserves and National Guard, approximately 12 per cent, or 238,000 are
deployed to overseas bases (outside of OCO). Personnel includes
base pay, payroll taxes, bonuses (sign on and incentive),
pension, uniforms, transportation, basic training/boot camp, life
insurance, education, weapon assignment, and annual allowances for
uniform and weapon upkeep. In order to calculate this cost, I
started with the daily basic pay for military personnel, and
built upon that cost with the aforementioned burdens, and
pro-rated amounts for overseas costs.
Annual Cost of
Transportation costs include Army, Air Force, Marine,
and National Guard and represent costs to move personnel to
overseas locations and back. According to The Report, "Overseas
Basing of U.S. Military Forces, 2011," average annual cost for
overseas transportation per person was $5,200, and varied
depending on place of deployment.
Annual Cost of
Maintenance of Facilities
The DoD occupies or maintains buildings, facilities,
linear structures worth over $1 trillion worldwide. The value of
the overseas portfolio is about $200 billion, covering about
50,000 structures. Applying a standard
no-less-than-one-per-cent-per-value of the asset, plus insurance,
plus capital improvements, and contingency, I came up with annual
cost of maintenance of overseas (including U.S. Territories)
Annual Cost of Maintenance
of Facilities: $7.5 billion
The 2019 DoD budget request includes an increase in the
budget of an additional $17 billion for facilities construction
Previous and current year construction projects include:
- The Kaiserslautern Military Community Center in
Germany, an eight-storey, 844,000 square foot Air Force facility which
350-room visiting quarters, a four-plex movie theatre, Power
Zone, Outdoor Living, Toyland/Four Seasons, food court, new car
sales and other vendors in a U.S.-style mall layout, and a
two-storey climbing wall. It is intended to house about 50,000
military members and their families. Construction costs are
difficult to ascertain (because the Air Force is not tracking the
total cost of this facility, which has experienced multiple
construction-related delays, deficiencies, and overruns). Total
cost is expected to exceed $215 million.
- New construction of the Landstuhl Military Hospital
Germany, which is
expected to be slightly less than $1 billion ($990 million) and to be
completed in 2021. This hospital is expected to
replace the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center as the military's
main European medical facility.
- New construction of the medical
material warehouse at Kadena Air Base in Japan. Cost for this
building is expected to be more than $20 million.
Total cost of construction for the three aforementioned
facilities is over $1.2 billion.
Taking into account the cost of overseas construction,
DoD 2019 budget request for overseas construction and applying a
multiplier factor, I came up with a conservative estimate of the
annual cost of construction (because not all money will be spent
in one year's time.)
Annual Cost of
Construction: $4.8 billion
The DoD 2019 budget request acknowledges health care
run about 9 per cent of the DoD budget (excluding long-term care or
disability-related or permanent injuries.) Health care costs
include use of Veterans Affairs facilities, Tricare, and combat
for members and their families.
Annual Cost of
Health Care: $5.9 billion
Estimated cost of training for overseas personnel takes
effect (a) direct equipment parts, (b) fuel costs, (c) post
production software costs, and (d) indirect support costs.
Calculating training costs for Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine, and
others, and considering total historical costs per year for
NORTHCOM, AFRICOM, and SOUTHCOM of $980 million in 2012 costs, I
applied annual cost of inflation increases, and with contingency,
came up with an annual cost for ongoing training exercises for
Annual Cost of
Training: $1.0 billion
Environmental contamination is a by-product of weapons
ballistic testing and training for all divisions of the military.
Add to that burn pits, depleted uranium, destroyed species on
both land and water, poisoned water supplies, and ongoing cleanup
of nuclear testing fallout, to name a few.
As an example, Guam, at 210 square miles, is home to
of U.S. military bases. Its ecosystem suffered tremendously when
brown snakes were introduced to the island, entering
over the decades with U.S. military equipment. These 2 million
brown snakes have shorted out electrical systems, devastated new
tree growth, and knocked out entire species of birds.
According to Science Alert, "10 of 12 bird species
Guam had vanished, including a kingfisher that cannot be found
anywhere else on Earth." The military has spent no less than $12
million alone trying to eradicate this problem.
Annual Cost of
Environmental Remediation: $1.3 billion
Allowances and Site Costs
Allowances and site costs for Army, Air Force, Marines,
Navy include base allowance for housing, overseas housing
allowances, cost of living allowances, and family separation
allowances. Average annual cost per person is $25,900.
Annual Cost of
Allowances and Site Costs: $3.3 billion
Military Family Support
The 2019 DoD budget request for military family support
totals $8.1 billion and includes: (1) child care and youth
programs; (2) morale, welfare, and recreation; (3) warfighter and
family services; (4) commissary; (5) Department of Defense overseas
schools; and (6) Military spouse employment.
Annual Cost of
Military Family Support: $2.4 billion
The above cost estimate does not include:
and long-term care of partially and permanently disabled
- Legal costs of criminal activity committed by military
personnel at permanent base sites;
- Payments to communities for
reimbursement of base-related neighborhood costs;
legal, and otherwise for land protection, remediation, and
extraction of resources.
Cost of Personnel: $22.9 billion
Maintenance of Facilities: $7.5 billion
Construction; $4.8 billion
Health Care: $5.9 billion
Training: $1.0 billion
Environmental Remediation: $1.3 billion
Allowances and Site
Costs: $3.3 billion
Military Family Support: $2.4 billion
Annual Cost of Military Overseas Bases: $50.4 billion
Overseas Contingency Operations (funding the
$89.0 billion, included in The Report.
Total Estimated Annual
Cost of Overseas Operations:
War is not normal activity. The DoD 2019 budget clearly
articulates the ramp up of military forces, the expansion of
military "solutions" worldwide. Conversation is desperately
needed about the U.S.'s lethal role in the destruction of our
Petrovich is a guest blogger on Cindy Sheehan's Soap Box Radio Show.
Behind the "Single Largest Private
in Canadian History"
LNG Canada Project in Northern BC
"Single largest private sector investment
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
LNG Canada project, marked in gold, officially launched October 2,
Both the BC Premier and the Prime Minister were on hand
Vancouver on October 2 for the official launch of LNG Canada's
$40 billion project to export liquefied natural gas. The two
political representatives of the private oligopolies had been
patiently awaiting the decision to proceed announced earlier in
the day by Shell Global's Maarten Wetselaar, representing the
consortium of Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsubishi Corp., Petronas,
PetroChina Co. and Korean Gas Corp, which jointly own and control
Wetselaar told the assembled
media, "The governments of
Canada and British Columbia have helped to ensure that the right
fiscal framework is in place to make sure that the pie is divided
in a just and fair way."
The "pie" to be "divided in a just and fair way" is the
bounty in new value arising from workers extracting natural gas
from Northeastern BC using the method of hydraulic fracturing;
building a 670-kilometre pipeline to transport the natural gas to
Kitimat on BC's northern coast; constructing a natural gas
liquefying plant in Kitimat to cool the natural gas and transform
it into LNG; and building and using special LNG tankers to ship
the LNG to customers abroad.
The "right fiscal framework" is an array of
schemes that guarantees a substantial profit for the five
oligopolies and construction monopolies involved in "the single
largest private sector investment in Canadian history."
LNG Canada has devised a budget of about $16 billion to
construct in Asia the component modules for the LNG plant and
terminal, and transport them to Kitimat. Another $24 billion is
budgeted to buy the capacity to work of miners and construction
workers and pay for the value of the machines and material
necessary to mine the natural gas, build the pipeline, assemble
the LNG plant and terminal, and set the entire operation in
motion. LNG Canada has already sub-contracted TransCanada
Corporation to construct and operate the 670-kilometre natural
A senior BC government official at the press conference
the initial "financial incentives for the project" are budgeted
at $5.35 billion. No figures for federal "financial incentives
for the project" were announced but billions of federal money are
widely known to be available from Infrastructure Canada. The
Trudeau government's Budget 2017 set aside $10.1 billion for
pay-the-rich schemes for trade and transportation infrastructure
BC NDP Premier John Horgan
at the announcement said,
a province of unlimited potential, and the responsibility of this
generation of British Columbians is to make decisions that
embrace and preserve that potential. Today's decision by LNG
Canada to invest in northern BC demonstrates that balancing our
economic, environmental and reconciliation priorities is
possible. It's a balance that will benefit the people of BC as we
build a cleaner economy."
Mr. Horgan would not acknowledge the contradiction in
statement regarding "Who decides?" In one sentence he says that
responsibility to decide resides in "this generation of British
Columbians." In the next sentence he speaks of the oligarchs of
LNG Canada deciding to proceed with the project. This
contradiction is profound and cannot be easily dismissed with
rhetoric of "balancing" this and that, and general enthusiasm
that at least something is being built and work is available for
thousands of workers to create value.
The financial oligarchy decides or the people decide;
contradiction stares humanity in the face. The working people
need to bring into being new social and political forms and human
relations where they the people can decide the direction of the
economy and have control over their economy and the entire "pie"
they create through their work.
(To be continued: An examination of
the impact of
Canada project on the natural environment.)
1. See previous item on LNG Canada:
"Theft of Canada's
Resources in Northern BC: Who Benefits from
LNG Canada's Natural Gas Extraction, Liquefaction and Shipping
Project," K.C. Adams, TML Weekly,
More Shenanigans Surrounding Trans
Trudeau Government's Definition of
"Getting It Right"
Following the August 30 decision of the Federal Court of
Appeal in Tsleil-Waututh Nation v.
Canada (Attorney General) (2018 FCA 153), the Trudeau government
said it would not appeal the ruling that blocked the Trans Mountain
Expansion oil pipeline project, due to the government's failure to
properly consult Indigenous peoples whose territories would be
affected. Instead, it has started two processes which it claims are new
and designed to "get it right" this time round. What does it mean to
"get it right" this time when you are the Trudeau government?
The government made two announcements. The first
court's conclusion that the National Energy Board (NEB) failed to
consider the impact of increased tanker traffic in the Salish Sea
arising from the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and its
responsibilities under the Species
at Risk Act. In response to
this decision, the government tasked the NEB to carry out a
review and produce a report by February 22, 2019, a period of 22
The second announcement was
that it will not appeal the
decision of the Federal Court to the Supreme Court of Canada, but will
carry out "Phase II consultations" with 117 Indigenous
"groups" impacted by the Trans Mountain Expansion (TMX) project.
The government has appointed Former Supreme Court of Canada
Justice, the Honourable Frank Iacobucci, as a federal
representative to oversee the consultation process. The
announcement stated that Minister of Natural Resources Amarjeet
Sohi "will begin by talking to groups about how to get this
process right this time. We will ensure that Indigenous voices
are at the table as we move forward in this process."
What is meant by "getting it right" is an important
The federal government has also made it clear that while it will
carry out a new round of consultations and a brief review of
project-related impact on the marine environment, the TMX will go
ahead. Mitigation of negative impacts of the pipeline must be
"economically viable." While this term is not defined, it can
only mean that the "right" of the private owners -- in this case
the monopolies who are committed shippers -- to enrich themselves
must be upheld.
What the Trudeau government means by getting "the
right this time" is revealed by how it is going about it. It sent
a letter dated September 26, regarding the reassessment of the
Trans Mountain Pipeline and Tanker Project, to "the impacted
Indigenous groups" and "concerned Canadians." The letter asks for
comments on the following:
1. Should project-related marine
shipping be included in the assessment;
2. Views on a draft list
of "Issues for the Reconsideration Hearing;"
3. The design of the
hearing process to be used for the Reconsideration;
government departments or bodies the NEB should require
information from during the hearing.
The deadline for responses
was one week. Responses would then be considered and a final list
of issues published.
An open letter to the NEB sent by the Union of BC
Chiefs (UBCIC) condemned the process imposed by the NEB to
reassess the TMX. "We condemn the ways in which this process is
currently operating. Pre-determined questions, ridiculously short
deadlines, and obvious rhetoric to try and avoid the inclusion of
the impacts of increased tanker traffic off the BC Coast, despite
the Federal Court of Appeal ruling that the previous assessment
was insufficient due to the omission of marine shipping indicates
that the NEB's re-assessment only has one goal in mind: to push
this project through to completion, despite Court rulings, public
opinion, and Indigenous opposition."
The UBCIC points out that the government has committed
implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of
Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) without reservation, which
acknowledges the right to "free prior and informed consent." The
government then violates it every step of the way.
The NEB has already set the agenda for consultation,
and predetermined the questions and issues. It is meeting with
"impacted groups" as if they are conducting a marketing study. It
does not even address the Indigenous peoples concerned or local
communities comprised of citizens and residents who are part of a
polity responsible for its all-sided well-being, including that
of the Indigenous peoples. Marine-related shipping is clearly a
crucial question on the West Coast of concern to the Indigenous peoples
and Canadians. Responding to agendas set by others does
not constitute genuine consultation, as the UBCIC points out. It
is not going to fly.
The inability of the government to match words and
reveals the crisis in which the democratic institutions are
mired. The outlook of the rich that by virtue of their private
ownership of the socialized economy they have the right to make
all the decisions is in contempt of the real owners of the land
and the public good. It is in contempt of the Indigenous peoples who
have never ceded this territory and whose very existence is under
relentless attack. It refuses to recognize the need for a new
direction to the economy and the rights of the workers who
actually create the added-value. Decisions which involve
consequences on such a broad scale must be in the hands of the
Canadian working class and people and the Indigenous peoples.
Brazilian Presidential Election Moves to
The Fight for Democracy Intensifies
Demonstration in São Paulo, October 10, 2018 following election
determination not to return to a dictatorship under Bolsonaro.
On October 28 a second and final round vote will be held
elect the next president of Brazil given that the first round did
not yield an outright winner. The two contenders are Jair
Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party (PSL) who received 46 per
cent of the eligible votes cast in the first round and Fernando
Haddad of the Workers' Party (PT) who received just over 29
per cent of the vote. The original PT candidate, former President
Luis Inácio "Lula" da Silva was prohibited from running thanks
the Brazilian Judiciary's continuation of the constitutional coup
against the polity which targets the PT.
In this election, the
financial oligarchy which staged
constitutional coup to remove the PT and change the direction of
the economy has entrusted Bolsonaro, a former army captain, and
his running mate, a retired general, to win the election so that
they make sure the economy favours the financial oligarchy not
the people. A lot is riding on the election results for the big
domestic and foreign business interests who have already engaged
in every kind of unscrupulous and criminal activity to remove
The presidential candidate for the PT, Fernando Haddad,
is a former PT Education Minister who also served a term as the mayor
of São Paulo. His vice-presidential candidate Manuela
D'Ávila is a former student leader who has been a legislator at
both the federal and state levels for the Communist Party of Brazil
(PCdoB) for Rio Grande do Sul. Their program is aimed at ending the
neo-liberal nation-wrecking imposed on Brazil by the financial
oligarchy after President Dilma Rousseff was removed from office two
years ago in the constitutional coup.
As soon as it was known that Bolsonaro had been denied
first round victory he had hoped to achieve, the people's forces
went into action to unite all those who could be united to stop
the financial oligarchy and militarists from successfully
carrying out an electoral coup in the second round.
In the opinion of the PCdoB, the realization of a
round is itself a major achievement of the democratic, popular
and progressive forces and a setback for Bolsonaro's candidacy.
The PCdoB points out that Bolsonaro's candidacy was catapulted by
the monopoly-owned media, large economic and financial groups and
sections of the state apparatus. These forces unleashed a major
operation, including illegal actions such as the whirlwind of
fake news that was circulated on social media, to try to obtain a
win in the first round.
The work between now and October 28, the PCdoB points
involves building a broad democratic front in support of a
Haddad presidency. They are appealing to those whose candidates
did not reach the second round, to voters who spoiled their
ballots, left them blank or abstained from voting, and others who
voted for Bolsonaro without understanding the interests he
actually represents and will serve should he take over the
São Paulo, October 10, 2018.
Even though voting is mandatory for those eighteen
older in Brazil, over 20 per cent of the more than 147 million
registered voters did not show up to vote. More than 10 million
cast blank or spoiled ballots.
Former candidates and members of other parties,
and religious groups have come forward to throw their support
behind the PT's candidacy and contribute to preventing a
Bolsonaro presidency and what it would represent for Brazil. This week
thousands marched in São Paulo and Porto Alegre demanding the
democracy and declaring Dictatorship
Never Again! Actions of different types are being held in the
spirit of the massive Not Him
by women all around Brazil and worldwide on September 29. University students
in São Paulo, Brasilia, Porto Alegre and elsewhere are holding
meetings and organizing to build an anti-fascist front around the
"Brazil Happy Again" coalition for the second round vote. High
school students in Belem, in the state of Pará, walked out of
school in defence of democracy and the right to education.
The situation in which Brazilians find themselves
the need for the political activists to mobilize the people on a
massive scale to deprive the ruling elites of their ability to
claim a mandate for the dictatorial rule they want to impose in
the name of democracy. The power to control matters of importance
that affect the lives of the people lies in the people's hands
and they are striving to use it to deprive the ruling elites of
their power to deprive the people of what belongs to them by
right. Fights for empowerment like the Brazilian people
are currently waging will have to be fought over and over
again by putting the full weight of their organization and
strength in numbers behind the task.
The working people all over the world stand as one with
Brazilian people in this battle of history-making
Student gathering in Rio de Janeiro, October 10, 2018.
1. See "Massive 'Not Him'
Demonstrations Held All Over Brazil" and "Montreal Rally in
Support of Brazilian People," TML
Weekly, October 6, 2018.
Porto Alegre, October 11, 2018.
ISSUES | HOME