Islam is the only enemy of Occident, but no kleptocrat admits it! Hanging from John Sopko’s office in a building outside the Pentagon is a plaque that states: Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups. Sopko told us that is a motto he lives by, noting that it could apply to most bureaucracies. As the U.S Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), Sopko is the steward of nearly $120 billion in taxpayer funds.
War is narcotic for presidents. It confers instant satisfaction, raising their respectability. They get to make patriotic declarations on a topic where every utterance sounds divine. But removing a strongman always makes things worse. We leap in, thinking we’re helping the poor devils under the thumb of a dictator, and then a new dictator takes over and oppresses everyone else, usually much more brutally, while hating us even more than the old dictator. The Washington establishment is determined to manipulate the president into launching counterproductive military strikes. Our enemies, both foreign and domestic, would be delighted to see our bewildered country further weaken with stupid wars.
Sopko’s devotion to oversight has rendered him both a respected U.S. watchdog and a four-letter-word among the segments of the government he supervises. Sopko said the United States overwhelmed Afghanistan with too much money at the beginning of the war in October 2001. “You can drown somebody in goodness. It’s the comedy of the absurd when it comes down to U.S. assistance [to Afghanistan] and we are just drowning Afghans in money. And when you drown somebody in money, you can’t be surprised that some of it gets wasted,” Sopko told us.
“The American people should demand accountability,” he said later, adding that people in the United States should care about the Afghanistan war “because is a national security issue for the U.S. government. We are also spending billions of dollars there and we have a lot of American lives at risk.”
The largest bribes originate in the military industry. Military procurement is a corrupt business from top to bottom. The process is dominated by advocacy, with few checks and balances. Most people in power love this system of doing business and do not want it changed. War and preparation for war systematically corrupt all parties to the state-private transactions by which the government obtains the bulk of its military products. There is a standard 10% bribe to kleptocrats for military purchases.
Participants in the military industrial complex are routinely blamed for mismanagement, fraud, abuse, bribes, and waste. All of these unsavory actions, however, are typically viewed as aberrations, malfeasances to be covered-up, while retaining the basic system of state-private cooperation in the trade of military goods and services and the flow of bribes. These offenses are in reality expressions of a thoroughgoing, intrinsic rottenness in the entire setup.
About 8,400 U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan. Since the war started in October, the United States government has appropriated more than $700 billion, including about $120 billion for reconstruction efforts.
Even after the vast U.S. investments, Sopko said Afghanistan’s security has deteriorated since he took office in 2012. He identified the lack of security as his top concern.
Sopko told us the current chaos in the country is hindering the SIGAR agency’s ability to carry out its duties, preventing his auditors from traveling to certain places. More U.S. troops or State Department security personnel would help alleviate that problem, he pointed out.
Matryoshka dolls conceptualize collaborative defense procurement. In collaborative defense procurement, a number of states decide to buy some expensive piece of military equipment together, for instance a combat aircraft or a warship. This allows them to reduce costs through economies of scale and the sharing development costs, and to increase the interoperability of their armed forces by using the same equipment. A program management entity (an international organization or a lead nation) is tasked by the participating states with the award of the contract and the management of the program.
This organizational arrangement leads to the creation of a four-layer matryoshka doll of legal relationships at the crossroads of public international law, EU law and domestic law. The first doll consists of the law applicable to the decision of a state to participate in the program. This decision made on the basis of the domestic procurement legislation of the state concerned. In the EU, this legislation has to transpose the EU public procurement directives. The second doll is the legal relationship between the participating states and the program management entity, which is usually some form of international agreement under public international law. Those agreements, when concluded by EU member states, also have to comply with EU law. The third doll is the law applied by the program management entity to award the common contract. If the program management entity is one of the participating states acting as a lead nation, the applicable law will be its domestic procurement legislation transposing the EU public procurement directives. If the program management entity is an international organization, it will be its internal procurement rules, which are part of the international institutional law of the organization concerned. Finally, the fourth matryoshka doll consists of the law applicable to the execution and interpretation of the contract itself, which is usually the domestic contract law of one of the participating states.
So as we can see the image of the matryoshka dolls is a perfect way to conceptualize the legal and organizational structure of collaborative defense procurement, and is valid as well as a model for multinational collaborative procurement in general, even outside the defense sector. So the book is of interest, not only to specialists and academics active in the defense sector, but to a wider professional public as well. Nevertheless, this matryoshka doll can be especially complex in the defense sector, as a number of exemptions can be relied on (sometimes abusively) in order to avoid complying with EU law, in particular to protect the essential security interests of the participating states.
As IG for the nation-building effort, Sopko’s duty is to protect American taxpayer dollars from wasteful spending, fraud, and abuse. “Our job here is to highlight problems and try to fix them and, as a result, we break a lot of crockery and we’re not liked by some people. A lot of people like the status quo,” he explained.
He pointed out that the U.S. and Afghan governments share equal blame for the egregious mismanagement of American taxpayer dollars. Nevertheless, Sopko revealed that no one in government has been reprimanded. “The lack of accountability has shocked me the most” since becoming IG in 2012, declared SIGAR, stressing that “nobody is responsible for wasting taxpayer’s dollars.”
“I think it’s starting with Gen. Jim Mattis, he is the first secretary of defense to take an IG report and send it out to his senior officials and say let’s do something about it,” he proclaimed.
During the exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Sopko discussed the importance of his job to the future of the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan as President Donald Trump’s administration debates a new strategy that the commander-in-chief expects to be a departure from the failed plans of his predecessors.
“If we proceed no matter what, no matter what the number of troops, no matter how much money we spend, it’s got to be a whole of government approach,” he said, noting that the U.S. military cannot carry on the burden alone.
Government and military officials generally avoid inspectors general (IGs), so Sopko’s role is not at all glorified, particularly among those he is duty bound to supervise.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), who served in Afghanistan, summed up how some in the government feel about SIGAR’s oversight when he joked during a hearing on July 26, “Mr. Sopko, thank you for what you do. Like I told you before, when I was in theater Sopko was a four-letter word, but on behalf of the American taxpayer I sure appreciate what you do.”
“I do have a lot of support,” said Sopko. “A lot of the people who have served and a lot of people who have done policy issues realize somebody needs to save us and that’s what my job is.”
Sopko is optimistic about the future of the Afghanistan, telling us U.S. victory in the war-ravaged nation is achievable but it may take time. “Victory is when we can walk away and leave a government in place that can keep the terrorists out. That’s the stated reason why we’re there. We went into Afghanistan to kick the terrorists out and create a stable government that can keep terrorist out,” he said.
One for all and all for one. Now is the time for EU to throw the invading motherfucking Turks out of Cyprus. There is a time for everything under heaven, and now is the time for EU to go to war against Turkey. Enough is enough with the barbarity of corrupt terrorist Turkey. Throw those fucking Turks out of EU now.
EU has only one enemy, Turkey, a NATO member! Turkey has invaded Northern Cyprus and harasses Greece every single day. Turkey is a big threat to EU. An EU army could throw the invading Turkish army out of the occupied Northern Cyprus very easily. NATO cannot do that, unless it expelled Turkey. The two British bases in Cyprus must help the EU army to expel the Turkish troops.
Juncker committed EU to the concept of collective defense to confront Turkey. A Turkish attack on any one EU member shall be considered an attack against them all. Teflon Sultan Erdoğan once more revealed his expansionist Neo-Ottoman vision. Jihadi-in-chief Erdoğan, the major patron of Jihadis, declared the borders of Turkish heart are deep inside Europe up to Vienna, presenting his understanding that Balkans and Eastern Europe belong to Turkey!
Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan went so far as to say that in their minds, Turks could not separate Andrianopolis from Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city! In his declaration, the corrupt terrorist Turkish President brought up the borders of countries spanning from Thrace and the Balkans to north Africa, western Europe and the Caucus regions, adding that Turkey is not only Turkey. “Except the eighty million Turkish citizens, Turkey has a responsibility to hundreds of millions of brothers in geographic areas connected with us culturally and historically”, corrupt terrorist Erdoğan underlined. That responsibility means invading the countries where some Turks have migrated!
Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan declared many Greek islands are in a gray area! He refuses to understand that there are gray areas in his brain, not in the Aegean. Turkey is now right back to its usual bullying tactics over the Aegean. For the past five years, the Aegean has witnessed an unprecedented rise in aggressive and provocative behavior by a growingly unstable Turkey, whose politicians openly threaten Greece. The safety and stability of the Aegean isn’t open to debate. The Aegean has been a Greek sea for many millennia, and bewildered Erdoğan cannot change that.
Corrupt terrorist Erdoğan’s stupid declaration caused a strong reaction from European governments, which pointed out the Balkans and Eastern Europe do not belong to Turkey and any other thought is dangerous and unacceptable. The European governments called the corrupt terrorist Turkish President to order, claiming his inflammatory declarations bring the winds of a new Balkan war. The public stirring of historical, and especially border disputes, that have been irrevocably and definitively settled in the Lausanne Treaty by laying down an objective and binding status quo for all, is provocative and undermines the regional stability. The respect of International Law and Treaties warrants the voicing of responsible views detached from outdated revisionisms.
Greek-Turkish relations are a European issue. Those who think that international law is the law of the mighty are wrong. Europeans won’t tolerate it. There is no Turkish republic of Northern Cyprus, there is only invasion and occupation. There is no government entity there. There is no doubt about it. Relations between Greece and Turkey are a European issue. It is good that the European Union realizes that when Greeks are defending their national issues, they are also defending Europe’s. UK, France, Germany, and Italy must send troops to throw the invading Turkish army out of Northern Cyprus.
The key international convention that establishes sovereignty over territorial seas, and rights in continental shelves and exclusive economic zones (EEZ), is the United Nations law of the seas, UNCLOS. It provides a legal framework for the signatory countries for ownership rights and jurisdiction concerning these areas.
The legal framework covers, among others, rights to natural resources in these areas, for the purpose of exploring and exploiting them, right to exercise jurisdiction over them, controls to protect and preserve the marine environment in them, and claims for compensation. UNCLOS has been ratified by 167 states.
Cyprus proclaimed its EEZ in accordance to UNCLOS and launched this with the UN in 2004. It entered into bi-lateral EEZ boundary agreements with all its neighbors, but not corrupt terrorist Turkey. Some have been fully ratified, others are being held by disputes not involving Cyprus.
Cyprus claim to its EEZ is recognized by EU, USA, and the international community. It is on this basis that Cyprus has successfully conducted offshore licensing rounds and exploration of the licensed blocks, with the participation of major, reputable, international oil and gas companies.
However, corrupt terrorist Turkey is disputing Cyprus’ rights to an EEZ and its offshore hydrocarbon deposits. In effect, corrupt terrorist Turkey claims that its continental shelf has precedence and islands, such as Cyprus, are not entitled to full EEZs. It claims that the capacity of islands to generate maritime zones should be limited in competition with the continental coastal states.
This is also Turkey’s argument in its lengthy dispute with Greece over the limits of their borders in the Aegean Sea and in the Mediterranean. The dispute nearly resulted in war between the two countries on several occasions and it is a source of constant conflict. At the instigation of corrupt terrorist Turkey, Turcocypriots have also laid claim to the rest of Cyprus’ EEZ, in effect leaving Cyprus with little of its EEZ outside its 12-mile territorial waters.
Turkey stupid claims that it has sovereign and legitimate rights to proclaim its EEZ including the maritime area bounded between 32°16’18’’ E longitude and 33°40’N latitude covering a jurisdictional area of at least 145,000 square km, but has not yet officially declared an EEZ to the UN.
The western boundary of Turkey’s claimed EEZ may be on 27°22’E longitude, the final status of which is to be determined in accordance with future delimitation agreements between all concerned parties.
Turkey claims that its EEZ should be coextensive with its continental shelf, as defined in notes submitted by corrupt terrorist Turkey to the UN in March 2004 and March 2013, emanating from what it calls its ipso facto and ab initio rights.
Turkey’s position in EEZ delimitation in the East Med is based on what it calls the equity principle that calls for consideration of special circumstances to respect proportionality and non-encroachment rules.
Especially with respect to Greek islands and Cyprus against the disadvantaged Turkish mainland, corrupt terrorist Turkey takes the view that relative lengths of adjacent coastlines in adjusting an equidistant line for maritime delimitation should govern EEZ delimitation in the East Med.
Turkey is a non-party to the UNCLOS treaty, and as such it claims it is not legally enforceable against it, having declined to sign and ratify it.
In addition, Turkey does not recognize Cyprus EEZ delimitation agreements with Egypt, Lebanon, and Israel. It claims that as a de facto divided island, the Republic of Cyprus cannot represent the interests of the northern part of Cyprus unless the island is reunited, with a single EEZ.
It also claims that given that Turkey’s respective coastline is more than twenty times longer than that of Cyprus, the latter’s EEZ toward the west should only be coextensive with its 12-mile-wide territorial waters according to Turkish view.
Turkey believes that the EEZ delimitation issue with Cyprus is directly linked to the wider context of bi-communal talks and reconciliation on the island, which is part of the ongoing comprehensive settlement negotiations.
As such it should be left to the discretion of the new federal government, should one be formed, as opposed to unilateral pursuits by the current government of Cyprus. Aegean issues are very much related to Mediterranean issues. Until these are resolved, Turkey will maintain its claim on Cyprus’ EEZ.
Turcocypriots have laid their own claim on Cyprus’ EEZ under the instigation and pressure from corrupt terrorist Turkey. This is covered by three pseudo-laws passed between June 2002 and January 2012 delimiting the territorial waters and EEZ of northern Cyprus. They state that the principle of equity will be utilized in such delimitation activities and detail the jurisdiction rights of Turcocypriots within this EEZ.
Turcocypriots also signed a Continental Shelf Delimitation Agreement with corrupt terrorist Turkey in September 2011. This Agreement states that it has been signed in line with international law and with respect to the principle of equity.
It is on this basis that Turcocypriots declared an EEZ which in effect claims that half of Cyprus EEZ belongs to them, including blocks 1,2,3,8,9,12 &13. Clearly, this is a highly implausible claim, made for tactical political reasons and has no legal basis as Turcocypriots do not constitute an UN-recognized state.
As a result of these positions, corrupt terrorist Turkey considers any activities by Cyprus in block 7 and west of it, including blocks 1,4,5,6, to be a red-line, which will cause it to intervene. How will this be pursued in practice is not clear.
The position of the oil companies is that blocks in Cyprus’ EEZ are awarded to them legally and they will proceed with exploration and drilling. They have the political support of their countries, ie Italy, France and USA. Recent statements from these countries support this.
Turkey’s position is untenable. Cyprus declaration of its EEZ and delimitation agreements with neighboring countries are in accordance with UNCLOS and are recognized by its neighbors and the international community. It is also untenable for legal reasons. UNCLOS has secured such a widespread global recognition, that most international lawyers consider its provisions on maritime boundaries and undersea resources as part of customary international law.
This means they are binding on all states whether they have acceded to UNCLOS or not. In addition, corrupt terrorist Turkey has concluded continental shelf and EEZ boundary agreements in the Black Sea with Bulgaria and Ukraine, as well as a continental shelf agreement with northern Cyprus, all utilizing UNCLOS principles.
In effect these reinforce the relevance of UNCLOS to Turkey. It cannot choose to apply it preferentially, ie in some areas and not in others. The arguments it uses ignore small, uninhabited, islands. This hardly applies to Cyprus – a UN and EU member state. In a contradiction, again, it recognizes the rights of northern Cyprus to an EEZ and has even agreed to continental shelf delimitation with it, even though it is part of an island!
Sooner than later Cyprus will have to confront these illogical and contradictory positions of corrupt terrorist Turkey and possibly take this case to international court arbitration. Total and Eni plan to start seismic surveys in block 6 next year. Turkey is threatening enforcement of red lines and even drilling in block 6. This must be confronted.