Interesting and perceptive video from Jason A. Elon Musk’s comments are especially noteworthy as the year 2030 looms ever closer. Not so long ago this all seemed like science fiction.
Interesting and perceptive video from Jason A. Elon Musk’s comments are especially noteworthy as the year 2030 looms ever closer. Not so long ago this all seemed like science fiction.
Darlen Superville – Associated Press – Sunday, 23 July 2017
With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Navy on Saturday and said the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier will send a “100,000-ton message to the world” about America’s military might when it is ultimately deployed.
U.S. allies will rest easy, Trump said, but America’s enemies will “shake with fear” when they see the Ford cutting across the horizon.
The president and commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces likened the $12.9 billion warship to “an incredible work of art” and boasted about the American labor that went into building a vessel that eventually will house thousands of sailors and crew members.
Trump’s participation in the ceremony also capped “Made in America” week at the White House, during which the president and administration officials sought to draw attention to U.S. manufacturing.
“American steel and American hands have constructed this 100,000-ton message to the world,” Trump said of the Ford during a speech that praised the bravery and spirit of U.S. service members and referenced his desire for a buildup after years of spending restrictions.
“American might is second to none and we’re getting bigger and better and stronger every day of my administration. That I can tell you,” Trump told thousands of service members and guests, including former defense secretaries Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, all packed into the steamy hangar bay on the main deck.
“Wherever this vessel cuts through the horizon, our allies will rest easy and our enemies will shake with fear because everyone will know that America is coming, and America is coming strong,” Trump said.
After the speech, he put the Ford into commission and asked God to “bless and guide this warship and all who shall sail in her.” He was followed by Susan Ford Bales, the ship’s sponsor and daughter of the 38th president, whom the ship honors.
“There is no one, absolutely no one, who would be prouder of the commissioning of this mighty ship than the president of the United States, Gerald R. Ford,” she said. “I am honored to give the command: ‘Officers and crew of the United States Gerald R. Ford, man our ship and bring her to life.'”
“Anchors Aweigh” played as row after row of sailors in crisp, white uniforms who had been standing in formation began filing off to man their stations. Sirens and bells sounded, horns blared and the U.S. flag was hoisted high above the deck.
Soon after, the captain was informed that the “ship is manned and ready and reports for duty to the fleet.”
Trump, who visited the carrier in March, told Time magazine this year that the Navy should revert to using steam catapults to launch fighter jets because some of the USS Ford’s state-of-the-art systems and technology “costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it’s no good.”
Construction started in 2009 and was to be completed by September 2015 at a cost of $10.5 billion. The Navy has blamed the delays and budget overruns on the ship’s advanced systems and technology, including electromagnetic launch systems for jets and drones that will replace steam catapults.
The warship also has a smaller island that sits farther back on the ship to make it quicker to refuel, re-arm and relaunch planes, and a nuclear power plant designed to allow cruising speeds of more than 30 knots and operation for 20 years without refueling.
The vessel completed sea trials in April but still will go through a battery of tests and workups at sea before becoming ready for deployment, work that is expected to cost nearly $780 million and take more than four years to complete, congressional auditors said this month.
Docked at Naval Station Norfolk, the USS Ford eventually will house about 2,600 sailors, 600 fewer than the previous generation of aircraft carriers. The Navy says that will save more than $4 billion over the ship’s 50-year lifespan.
The air wing to support the Ford could add more personnel to the ship, which is designed to house more than 4,600 crew members.
The Ford was built at Newport News Shipbuilding, a giant Navy contractor in Virginia.
Trump used the appearance to prod Congress to approve his request for an additional $54 billion for the military next year. House lawmakers, at least, are working to up his request.
Trump called for an end to mandatory spending reductions that he said has led to deferred maintenance, insufficient spending on new equipment and technology, and a drop in military readiness. He said changes in the defense acquisition process are needed to make sure the U.S. gets the best equipment at the best prices.
“We want the best equipment, but we want it built ahead of schedule and we want it build under budget,” Trump said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed off on a new state policy strategy for his navy that views the U.S. as aspiring to dominate the world’s oceans in a threat to Russia.
The strategy, in effect as of Thursday–the day Putin signed it–sheds more light into where Russia’s fleet sees potential for international friction and conflict. Among the direct naval threats for Russia falls “the striving of a series of governments, above all the United States of America and its allies to dominate the oceans, including in the Arctic and also to reach an intimidating supremacy with its naval forces.”
The strategy outline, binding until 2030, adds to previous statements from Russian navy officials who have designated the Arctic a priority development area for Moscow. The Arctic and the globe’s resource-rich northernmost are the subject of claims by Russia and four other countries, all of whom are U.S. allies.
In the 22-page navy document, intended as the policy foundation for future Russian military activities, the Kremlin’s ambitious self-image is clear. “The Russian Federation continues to retain its status as a great naval state, whose naval potential ensures the defensive of its national interests in any part of the World Ocean,” the paper declares.
The document claims that other countries are trying to “limit Russia’s access to resources at sea and its access to vitally important naval transport communications,” a copy of Putin’s decree on Russia’s official legal documents database said.
The picture painted by the new strategy is one of a wider conspiracy to “reduce the effectiveness” of Russia’s navy through “economic, political, legal and military pressure on Russia.”
Meanwhile the world is in for a rough ride by 2030, the document warns, predicting “an unstable military-political environment, characterized by the increase of global competition, rivalry in the world power centers” due both to the rise of extremism and international power plays.
Russia’s navy is “one of the most effective tools of strategic (nuclear and non-nuclear) containment, including in preventing a global strike,” Putin’s decree said.
Going to be an awful lot going on in the year 2030, isn’t there?
“an unstable military-political environment, characterized by the increase of global competition, rivalry in the world power centers” due both to the rise of extremism and international power plays…..Doesn’t this rather contradict the 2030 Agenda plan of global stability and “world peace”?
Yes, Bill Clinton ASKED Russia to interfere in a US presidential election
by Jon Rappoport
July 18, 2017
Press outlets are now reminding us that President Bill Clinton interfered in the 1996 Russia election that brought Boris Yeltsin to power for a second term.
This is by way of saying, “Well, if Putin helped Trump win the 2017 election, so what? The US did the same thing in Russia.”
That’s an interesting but not terribly strong argument. However, there is another piece to the 1996 Clinton op, and it is explosive and quite relevant.
Let’s start here, with the 1996 leak of a document detailing a meeting between Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin. Sean Guillory, writing at jacobinmag.com, states:
“According to a White House memo leaked to the Washington Times in March 1996, Clinton and Yeltsin had agreed to support each other in their respective reelection bids.”
We are talking about mutual interference. President Clinton helps President Yeltsin win, and President Yeltsin helps President Clinton win.
Bill Clinton asked the president of Russia to interfere in a US presidential election.
The Washington Post (2/26/96) reports on “…a memo written by Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott, according to White House press secretary Michael McCurry. It [the memo] recounted talks between Clinton and Yeltsin earlier this month when both leaders attended an anti-terrorism summit in Egypt.”
“The memo, as quoted in the [Washington] Times, said Clinton pledged to work with Yeltsin to maintain ‘positive’ relations with the United States as both men seek reelection this year. One way to do this, the memo quoted Clinton as saying, is for Yeltsin to stop restricting poultry imports. Clinton said ‘this is a big issue, especially since 40 percent of U.S. poultry is produced in Arkansas,’ the memo said.”
We had a US president, Bill Clinton, specifying HOW the Russian president could help him win a second term as US president.
Let that sink in.
The Associated Press reports, on March 28, 1996: “Citing a classified memo, the Washington Times reported yesterday that Clinton had promised Yeltsin to back his re-election bid by formulating “positive” policies toward Russia…On a matter important to his political supporters in Arkansas, Clinton asked Yeltsin to stop restricting poultry imports. ‘This is a big issue, especially since 40 percent of U.S. poultry is produced in Arkansas,’ Clinton said, according to the memo…On Monday, Vice President Al Gore announced Russia was lifting the ban, which was imposed because of the suspicion that U.S. chickens are not inspected sufficiently for salmonella, which causes illness.”
Clinton promises to back Yeltsin in his effort to win the presidency of Russia.
In return, BECAUSE IT IS IMPORTANT TO CLINTON’S POLITICAL SUPPORTERS, Clinton asks Yeltsin to lift Russia’s ban on importing chickens, particularly since 40% of US poultry is produced in Arkansas, Clinton’s home state. And lo and behold, Yeltsin does comply with Clinton’s request for help in winning the 1996 US presidential election. Yeltsin lifts the ban on importing US poultry.
Both president agree to interfere in each other’s election.
And it gets worse. The major chicken producer in Arkansas is Tyson. The Fiscal Times reports, on 2/2/16: “…consider a largely forgotten financial scandal that directly involved Hillary Clinton during 1978 and 1979.”
“Under the guidance of an attorney representing Tyson Foods, Hillary Clinton made a $98,540 profit from a $1,000 initial investment in less than one year trading commodity futures. While $98,540 may not seem like much money relative to the Clinton family’s wealth today, it exceeded Bill and Hillary’s combined annual income at the time.”
“…Clinton’s initial trading also had a serious irregularity…her $1,000 initial investment was well below the $12,000 deposit required by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange for the first trades she executed. So not only did Hillary make an extraordinary profit for a novice investor, she did so without following the rules applied to less well-connected traders.”
There is much more to say about the relationship between Tyson Chicken and the Clintons, but we’ll leave it there for now.
So there is a precedent of Russia interfering in a US presidential election (by stark invitation)—and nothing happened to the US president, Bill Clinton, who asked for the interference. Nothing.
Clinton was, of course, upset when the memo of his meeting with Yeltsin was leaked. But here is how he spun his objection:
Washington Post, 2/28/96: “[Clinton Press Secretary] McCurry said Clinton and [National Security Advisor] Lake considered the leak to be far more sensitive than the typical anonymous disclosure that is commonplace in Washington journalism. ‘The president feels like he ought to be able to sit down with the president of Russia and have a private conversation,’ McCurry said.”
Clinton and Yeltsin agreeing to interfere in each other’s presidential election was ignored, as if it were of no concern. The big issue was the leak of the memo. Private and highly felonious deals between two superpower chiefs of state? No problem.
To repeat: this 1996 memo-scandal of enormous proportions didn’t make a dent in Bill Clinton’s second term in office. After a brief press blast, and a round of “I’m shocked” within the Beltway, the roar died and vanished.
If a comparable memo were unearthed from the Trump team today, impeachment proceedings will begin in a matter of hours, and the press would be booking seats for the firing squad.
Soros-paid street soldiers would lift Barack Obamas up on their shoulders, break down barriers at the White House, and carry him into the Oval Office.
We need to revisit the old saying, “It’s not the conspiracy (that hurts a political criminal), it’s the cover-up (of the crime).”
There needs to be an addendum. “It’s not the conspiracy, it’s the coverage.” Meaning press coverage.
If a politician commits a major crime and the press coverage dies out, the politician gets away with it. If the press keeps hounding the politician endlessly, he doesn’t get away with it—even if there is no solid proof he committed a crime in the first place.
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.
16.07.2017 Author: Steven MacMillan
The end of May marked the death of a man who had been at the center of global affairs for decades. Zbigniew Brzezinski, born in Warsaw in the 1920s, was one of the most influential foreign policy advisers in the US, who also played a pivotal role in the drive towards further global integration.
Brzezinski earned his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1953, and subsequently became a professor at that university, before moving on teach at Columbia University. From 1966 to 1968, he was a member of the Policy Planning Council at the Department of State, and in 1968, he served as chairman of the Humphrey Foreign Policy Task Force for Hubert Humphrey’s presidential campaign.
Brzezinski: The Internationalist
From 1973 to 1976, Brzezinski served as the Director of the newly formed Trilateral Commission, an internationalist organization he himself helped to create. In a 1989 interview, Brzezinski revealed his role in founding the Trilateral Commission along with the elitist American banker, David Rockefeller, before bragging how this organization was the first to propose the idea of holding a G7 (was G8 for a period) summit (emphasis added):
“Not only did I run it [the Trilateral Commission], I helped to found it and organize it with David Rockefeller. So, if any of our viewers are conspiracy minded, here is one of the conspirators… It is a North American, Western European, Japanese organization to promote closer contacts between these three regions of the world. And the commission is composed of private citizens, not government officials, who are leaders in the different sectors of society… We’re incidentally the ones who proposed, originally, the holding of the annual summit meeting of the industrial democracies.
Throughout their lives, Brzezinski and Rockefeller worked towards the goal of creating an integrated global system. In David Rockefeller’s book ‘Memoirs,’ he admits that his family has been part of a “secret cabal” working towards building a “one world” system (emphasis added):
“Some even believe we (the Rockefeller family) are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure—one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
In addition to playing an instrumental role in founding the Trilateral Commission, Brzezinski was also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and a frequent attendee at the elitist Bilderberg conference, illustrating his position as a high-ranking individual deeply entrenched in the parallel governmental system.
Giving the Soviets their Vietnam War and Encouraging Pol Pot
Brzezinski’s most notable role in public life was when he served as Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor (NSA) from 1977 to 1981. Famously, in this role, Brzezinski was one of the main intellectual architects who advocated arming the Mujahiddin in Afghanistan, a scheme that he hoped would increase the probability that the Soviet Union would intervene. In an interview with Le Nouvel Observateur in 1998, Brzezinski recalled this operation (with the translation from French provided by William Blum and David N. Gibbs):
Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs that the American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahiddin in Afghanistan six months before the Soviet intervention. In this period, you were the national security advisor to President Carter. You therefore played a key role in this affair. Is this correct?
Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahiddin began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan on December 24, 1979. But the reality, closely guarded until now, is completely otherwise: indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.
Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into the war and looked for a way to provoke it?
B: It wasn’t quite like that. We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.
Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against secret US involvement in Afghanistan, nobody believed them. However, there was an element of truth in this. You don’t regret any of this today?
B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter, essentially: “We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war.” Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war that was unsustainable for the regime, a conflict that bought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
Q: And neither do you regret having supported Islamic fundamentalism, which has given arms and advice to future terrorists?
B: What is more important in world history? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some agitated Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
Also in his role as NSA, Brzezinski and the Carter administration encouraged the Chinese to continue supporting the genocidal Pol Pot in Cambodia. After Vietnam launched a full-scale invasion of Cambodia at the end of 1978, seizing power by early 1979, the US pressed China to continue assisting the Khmer Rouge in their fight against the occupying Vietnamese forces, with Brzezinskiadmitting that he “encouraged the Chinese to support Pol Pot.”
Obama: Brzezinski an “Outstanding Friend”
In more modern times, Brzezinski remained a pivotal figure in the US, working in a plethora of think tanks and advising numerous mainline political figures. One such figure was the former US President, Barack Obama, who he was very close to. In a March 2008speech, Obama revealed how intimate his relationship was with Brzezinski, calling him an “outstanding friend:”
“To Dr. Brzezinski; I can’t say enough about his contribution to our country. Here’s somebody who helped to shape Camp David, and bring about a lasting peace between Israel and some of its neighbours. Somebody who has over decades trained some of the most prominent foreign policy specialists, not only in the democratic party, but has trained a number who ended up in the republican party as well… He has proven to be an outstanding friend, and somebody who I have learned an immense amount from. And for him to support me in this campaign, and then come out to here in Ohio, is a testimony to his generosity.”
NATO to be the Global Security Nexus Point?
One of the defining features of Brzezinski was his essays and books pertaining to his long-range geostrategic visions. In one such essay, penned in 2009 for Foreign Affairs – the publication of the CFR – Brzezinski expounds on his vision of what NATO’s purpose and role could be in the future.
Titled: An Agenda for NATO: Toward a Global Security Web, Brzezinski begins by detailing how, in essence, NATO has been obsolete since the end of the Cold War, and how the security alliance faces a problem of legitimacy. “What next?”, he writes. Brzezinski then moves on to argue that the world now faces “unprecedented risks to global security,” with “extremist religious and political movements” among these risks, movements that he himself helped to empower through advocating giving the Mujahiddin US aid (emphasis added):
“The basic challenge that NATO now confronts is that there are historically unprecedented risks to global security… The paradox of our time is that the world, increasingly connected and economically interdependent for the first time in its entire history, is experiencing intensifying popular unrest made all the more menacing by the growing accessibility of weapons of mass destruction – not just to states but also, potentially, to extremist religious and political movements. Yet there is no effective global security mechanism for coping with the growing threat of violent political chaos stemming from humanity’s recent political awakening.”
From there, Brzezinski details how an array of different security packs have arisen around the world in recent decades, including the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Brzezinski then gives a glimpse into how many individuals in the Western elite see the role of NATO in the future. He first rejects the idea that NATO could be, in itself, a global army, before advocating a variant of this idea, in the form of NATO being the “hub of a globe-spanning web of various regional cooperative-security undertakings” (emphasis added):
“To remain historically relevant, NATO cannot – as some have argued – simply expand itself into a global alliance or transform itself into a global alliance of democracies… A global NATO would dilute the centrality of the U.S.-European connection, and none of the rising powers would be likely to accept membership in a globally expanded NATO.
NATO, however, has the experience, the institutions, and the means to eventually become the hub of a globe-spanning web of various regional cooperative-security undertakings among states with the growing power to act. The resulting security web wouldfill a need that the United Nations by itself cannot meet but from which the UN system would actually benefit. In pursuing that strategic mission, NATO would not only be preserving transatlantic political unity; it would also be responding to the twenty-first century’s novel and increasingly urgent security agenda.”
Although Brzezinski’s vision seems far from probable at the present time, it will be interesting to see the path the world takes in the years and decades to come.
Steven MacMillan is an independent writer, researcher, geopolitical analyst and editor of The Analyst Report, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
Creepy playthings can record kids’ conversations, track their movements, reveal their location and even allow perverts to TALK to them directly
By Jasper Hamill
18th July 2017, 12:34 pm Updated: 18th July 2017, 3:13 pm
PARENTS have been urged to steer clear of “spy toys” designed to snoop on innocent kids’ lives in terrifying detail.
The FBI has issued an urgent notice concerning toys that are packed full of sensors, cameras and microphones to record a child’s words and GPS locators to track their whereabouts.
Mattel’s Aristotle is tipped to be the ‘Amazon Echo for kids’, but it sparked serious privacy concerns
The popular My Friend Cayla doll, which was accused of recording kids’ words
“Smart toys and entertainment devices for children are increasingly incorporating technologies that learn and tailor their behaviours based on user interactions,” it wrote in a statement.
“These features could put the privacy and safety of children at risk due to the large amount of personal information that may be unwittingly disclosed.”
Spy toys are now on sale across the world and last year parents were warned about a doll called My Friend Cayla which allegedly recorded kids’ conversations.
Parents were also concerned about a toy from Mattel called Aristotle which records words spoken by children and sends them back to the developers.
The FBI said toys fitted with microphones can “record and collect conversations within earshot of the device”, gathering information such as the child’s name, school, activities and “likes and dislikes”.
Other gadgets require kids to file a picture when starting a user account or hand over date of birth or address, which could be used in identity fraud.
Shocked grandparents claim an educational alphabet toy shouts out the F-word
But more worryingly, the toys can also reveal a child’s location and leave them open to “exploitation” by perverts.
Hackers could also crack into some gizmos and then talk to kids or spy on them without their parents’ knowledge.
The FBI had the following advice for parents: “Consumers should examine toy company user agreement disclosures and privacy practices, and should know where their family’s personal data is sent and stored, including if it’s sent to third-party services.
“Security safeguards for these toys can be overlooked in the rush to market them and to make them easy to use.
“Consumers should perform online research of these products for any known issues that have been identified by security researchers or in consumer reports.”
Toys are often fitted with microphones and other data gathering tools
There is currently a huge trend for fitting internet-connected gadgets with cameras and sensors.
Last year, one sex toy firm even released a “spy-brator” which let women film themselves during a moment of solo pleasure.
Tech security experts later claimed it’s possible to hack into the sex toy and peer through the camera fitted inside its tip.
Shocked grandparents recently claimed an educational alphabet toy bought for their 18-month-old granddaughter shouted out the F-word.
The officers had body cameras when they shot Justine Damond — but didn’t turn them on.
Updated by German Lopez https://www.twitter.com/germanrlopezJul 17, 2017, 10:11pm EDT
It has been several days since a police officer in Minneapolis shot a 40-year-old woman in the alley behind her house. Since then, we’ve learned little about what happened.
Here’s what we do know: On Saturday night, local police responded to a 911 call about a possible assault in an alley behind the home of Justine Damond, who worked as a yoga and meditation instructor. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, officers pulled in to the alley, and Damond, still in her pajamas, approached the driver’s side door. At some point, the officer in the passenger’s seat shot and killed Damond. There were no weapons found at the scene, meaning Damond was unarmed.
The attorney representing the officer who shot and killed Damond later identified him as Mohamed Noor, who reportedly joined the Minneapolis police force in 2015.
That’s all we know so far. We haven’t heard the 911 call that prompted police to go to Damond’s house, and we don’t have an explanation for why the officer opened fire. The officers’ body cameras weren’t on during the shooting, and the police car’s camera apparently didn’t capture the incident.
The shooting has quickly received international attention, because Damond is from Australia and was set to be married soon. Damond’s family in Australia is now demanding a federal investigation into the shooting.
MORE THAN 20 million people in four countries are at risk of starvation in the coming months, in what the United Nations has called the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. But the global response to the emergency has been lacking, both from governments and from private citizens. As of Monday, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs was reporting that only 43 percent of the $6.27 billion needed to head off famine this year in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria had been raised. A poll by the International Rescue Committee showed that 85 percent of Americans are largely uninformed about the food shortages. The IRC calls it “likely the least reported but most important major issue of our time.”
Accounts by the United Nations, the U.S. government and private aid groups more than back up that claim. More than half the populations of Somalia and South Sudan are in need of emergency food assistance, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development. Civil wars in those countries have combined with meager spring rains to drastically reduce food supplies. In Nigeria, some 5 million people are at risk in the northeastern provinces where the terrorist group Boko Haram is active.
The most harrowing reports come from Yemen, where the United Nations says a staggering 20 million people need humanitarian aid. In addition to millions who lack food, more than 330,000 people have been afflicted by a cholera epidemic since late April, with one person dying nearly every hour on average. Donors have supplied less than 40 percent of the aid Yemen needs to prevent starvation, and officials have recently been forced to divert some of that assistance to fight cholera. In all four countries, children are disproportionately affected: Aid groups say 1.4 million severely malnourished children could die in the next few months if more help is not forthcoming.
The United States has responded relatively generously to U.N. appeals, thanks largely to Congress, which inserted an extra $990 million in food aid for the four countries into this year’s budget. Aid officials complain that the Trump administration has been sluggish in distributing the funds, but this month USAID announced an additional $630 million in aid, bringing the U.S. total since November to $1.9 billion. Unfortunately, U.S. security policy is helping to exacerbate the crisis that the aid is meant to stem: In Yemen, the Pentagon continues to back a misguided military intervention led by Saudi Arabia that has choked imports of food and medicine.
With public awareness still lagging, one encouraging development has been the formation by eight large U.S. private relief organizations of an unprecedented alliance, the Global Emergency Response Coalition, which on Monday launched a two-week fundraising drive. The campaign has attracted backing from several U.S. corporations, including Blackrock, PepsiCo and Google; funds raised will be divided equally among the relief groups and used for aid in the four countries as well as six of their neighbors. The groups correctly make the point that further delays in aid, whether because of a lack of donations or bureaucratic slowness in distributing them, will translate directly into more avoidable deaths. “The crisis,” says Carolyn Miles, the chief executive of Save the Children, “is really reaching a peak.”