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Indo-Pacific Is the Priority Region for DoD’s Global Posture Review

Washington, DC – Briefing the press on the recently concluded Global Posture Review (GPR), Dr. Mara Karlin – performing the duties of Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy – said that with “the focus on China as our pacing challenge,” the Indo-Pacific was the priority region for the review. President Biden has approved Secretary Austin’s findings and recommendations based on the GPR.

Although much of the GPR outcomes are classified for operational security reasons, Karlin provided highlights on a few of them. The GPR directs additional cooperation with allies and partners across the Indo-Pacific to “advance initiatives that contribute to regional stability” and “deter potential military aggression from China and threats from North Korea.” This includes increased regional access for military partnership activities, enhancing infrastructure in Australia and the Pacific Islands, and planning rotational aircraft deployments in Australia. The GPR facilitated Secretary Austin’s approval of the permanent stationing of an Attack Helicopter Squadron, and Artillery Division Headquarters in the Republic of Korea, which the Department announced earlier this year.

In Europe, the GPR strengthens the U.S. combat-credible deterrent against Russian aggression and enables NATO forces to operate more effectively. Based on an initial GPR assessment and a recommendation from Secretary Austin, in February 2021 President Biden rescinded the 25,000 active duty force cap in Germany established by the previous administration. Secretary Austin announced in April that DoD would permanently station an Army Multi-Domain Task Force and a Theater Fires Command, a total of 500 Army personnel, in Germany. DoD will retain seven military sites previously designated for return to host nations under the European Infrastructure Consolidation Plan.

In the Middle East, the GPR assessed the department’s approach toward Iran and the evolving counterterrorism requirements after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. DoD posture in Iraq and Syria will continue to support the Defeat-ISIS campaign and build the capacity of partner forces. The review directs DoD to conduct additional analysis on enduring posture requirements in the Middle East.

In Africa, analysis from the GPR is supporting several ongoing interagency reviews to ensure DoD has an appropriately-scoped posture to monitor threats from regional violent extremist organizations, support US diplomatic activities as well as allies and partners.

In Central and South America and the Caribbean, the GPR reviewed the role of DoD posture in support of national security objectives, including humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and counter-narcotics missions. DoD posture will continue to support US Government efforts on transnational challenges and partnership activities in the region.

The review provided foundational information for the National Defense Strategy, which will shape how the administration connects US overseas posture to the DoD’s overall strategic approach. “The Global Posture Review was guided by the President’s interim national security strategic guidance released earlier this year,”said Karlin. “That guidance asserts that the United States will lead with diplomacy first, revitalize our unmatched network of allies and partners, and make smart and disciplined choices regarding our national defense and responsible use of our military.”

The GPR was an interagency effort led by the Department of Defense with participation and guidance from the National Security Council, the US State Department, USAID, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. DOD also consulted with NATO allies Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and over a dozen partners across the Middle East and Africa.

MQM USA Protests Against Continued Oppression of Mohajirs in Pakistan

Washington, DC – The Muttahida Quami Movement USA (MQM USA) held a rally here on Saturday, June 19 – including a peaceful demonstration in front of the White House and the State Department – to protest against the continued oppression of the Mohajir (Muslim immigrants from India) community by Pakistan’s ISI. MQM USA’s central organizer Matloob Zaidi led the rally. This was followed by an annual convention held in Springfield Virginia on June 20th which included a speech by the MQM’s founder and leader, Mr. Altaf Hussain.

Participants in the rally reiterated their demands of the right of self-determination under the UN Human Rights Charter, and freedom of Sindh from Pakistan and its brutal establishment. MQM seeks to send a United Nations team to Sindh to speak with Mohajirs and oppressed Sindhis, and intervene to put an end to the continued human rights violations, including forced disappearances, political victimization, and extra judicial killings.

In a recent incident MQM worker Shahid Aziz died in the custody of police and para military Rangers in Karachi Central Jail as a result of torture by government officials. This is one of the many hundreds of incidents of the ISI’s atrocities and brutality against the Mohajir community in Pakistan, particularly in the urban areas of the Pakistani province of Sindh.

MQM’s demands include putting an end to Chinese colonization, stopping the spread of Islamic extremism in the South Asia region by the Pakistani Army and ISI, and stopping the ethnic cleansing of the Mohajir community.

The MQM is a political party in Pakistan. The All Pakistan Muhajir Student Organization (APMSO), which was founded in 1978 by Altaf Hussain, led to the birth of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement in 1984. In 1997, the MQM officially removed the term Mohajir from its name and replaced it with Muttahida (United). On June 19, 1992 Pakistani military launched an operation against MQM in Karachi.

The Consequences of Myanmar’s Coup

Renowned writer William Gaddis said, “Power doesn’t corrupt people, people corrupt power.”
Myanmar (Burma) and its citizens have long suffered the effects of an unstable political environment triggered by the desire of the military to take control of the country. The coup that took place in February and that put Myanmar in a year-long state of emergency has only succeeded in fueling the turmoil. Despite this and the fact that the NLD party, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, won the last general election by a landslide, the military now has control with commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing at the helm.

Power is the crux of the current situation in Myanmar, as journalist and panelist Naomi Gingold noted in the latest discussion by virtual think tank Global Strat View: “Myanmar (Burma) Coup: Reasons, Repercussions, the Chinese links and Options for the West.”

Part of ensuring this military power is maintained is the shutdown of communication including via the Internet and mobile data. Local and international journalists and media groups have had their licenses revoked but they have kept reporting, helping the world stay informed. Gingold underlined people can still get and spread information: “There are secret groups and encrypted apps that are keeping people informed. They send text messages with ‘Hey, this is what you need to know.’” Gingold went on to say that misinformation that is fueled in part by the military, on Facebook for instance, continues, but “there is a growing interest by young people to become discerning news readers and get the actual facts.”

As the established and international media, as well as social media platforms, continue to find ways to report on the country’s activities, there is no doubt that the situation is impacting the mental state of the Burmese. Trauma is triggered by the protests and clashes with police forces, as well as encountering brunt force and violence up close.

Paris Huang, White House Correspondent for Voice of America (Chinese Branch), who moderated the discussion, asked if the Burmese are ready to fight for democracy or the lifestyle they desire, or are they frightened and have chosen to retreat until things calm down.

Gingold said two things are happening. Some people are going along with the façade because it helps them keep their businesses operating and some are actively producing and distributing newspapers or running pirate radio stations.

“It doesn’t mean they’ve given up by any means or that they don’t care,” she pointed out, “there are still people who are very involved. After the coup, however, a lot shattered like strategies and what people were doing. A lot has been driven underground. Obviously, the military’s extreme violence has also stopped the huge protests we were seeing at the beginning, which were in a carnival-like atmosphere.” But people are still finding creative ways to protest despite the junta-imposed curfews and restrictions to gatherings, including teachers, government workers, lawyers and students. “The civil disobedience movement is still going strong, and I don’t think people have been cowed into submission. I think you might not see it as readily on the surface, but it’s very much there,” she said.

Impact of sanctions

Sanctions can be imposed by the international community, as has happened in the past, but the question is if sanctions would have any significant impact. Veteran journalist Rahul Mahajan, who reminded the audience that Myanmar faced wide-ranging sanctions from the West in 2003, the country diversified products and began trading with South Korea and Japan. “I don’t think they will have any effect on Myanmar, whose largest trading partner is China,” Mahajan said. “China, India or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations [ASEAN] have not put any sanctions. These are the immediate trade partners that have taken a strong position on the coup. This also reflects the kind of response that Myanmar is getting from countries, So, there is no effect from other countries.”

If we consider Japan, which has considerable influence in Myanmar and provides the most development assistance to that country, comprising US$140 million in aid and US$62 million in technical assistance, the question remains if Japan has leverage. The Japanese Foreign Ministry recently threatened to freeze development assistance if things did not change. Things are still up in the air. It should be noted though businesses are making decisions including Japanese brewery Kirin, which withdrew from the Burmese market, saying it did not want to support a military dictatorship. “Commercially, there’s quite a lot that could be done,” Gingold said.

Sino side of things

Does this give China an even more secure ‘in’? Things are not so cut and dried. Some Chinese investments are already at risk. A military coup cuts off economic possibilities and potentially fuels businesses to pull out of a volatile market. However, China and Myanmar have active military relations and, despite any issues that have emerged, their relations are good overall.

“These two countries are vital to each other’s security and strategies,” explained M Tu Aung, General Secretary, Nationalities’ Alliance of Burma, who led a protest at the Chinese embassy in Washington D.C., last November. “The 200-kilometer border with China’s Yunnan province is so deeply influenced by China’s economics, military and political support that this consequently weakens international sanctions.” China is Myanmar’s largest supplier of military weapons, exporting 60 percent of that just in the period 2014–18 alone. “Despite 20 years of Western sanctions, the cooperation and relationship between both countries has strengthened over the years,” Aung noted.

China also has denied any previous knowledge of the coup that took place a few months ago. China, along with Russia, vetoed the UN Security Council’s statement condemning the military move as well, saying the international community should not raise any tension.

“China is a friendly neighbor and has good relations with Suu Kyi, the NLD and the military,” Aung said. “Numerous reports suggest the Chinese have helped build a [Internet] firewall to protect the military. China though said the plane that flew into Myanmar that day did not carry technical personnel, but rather it was seafood.”

Indian influence … or not

India, which borders Myanmar in the northeast, is cautious. “We need to see the situation through the lens of India’s relationship with China,” Rahul told the audience. “Letting its neighbor fall completely under the influence of Beijing would result in a major security concern for India. We and everyone could understand that India has a very long border with Myanmar — a large part of that border is very porous — and we have faced insurgency from that border in the past. There were allegations that China was supporting that insurgence. So, it is a very difficult situation with India.”

Rahul pointed out that India also has a longstanding relationship with the Burmese military, which has supported India’s moves to fight insurgence groups in the past. “So, India has a special place for Myanmar, its military and people,” he remarked. India has issued statements asking for democracy to be reinstated but it has not criticized the junta. Rahul noted that India must consider everything when it comes to Myanmar. “Wrong steps could trigger problems. India is already facing threats on its northern border with China as well as the border with Pakistan, which has a close alliance with China. It will not risk destabilization with the eastern front,” Rahul said. “I think India will have a policy of non-interference regarding Myanmar affairs.”

What’s next?

Even though the Chinese government did not respond to the November protest in D.C., Aung said they will continue to put pressure on China: “We denounce the killing of innocent people, especially children and pregnant women. Ethnic minority civilians have been killed and many have been displaced. There are also calls for the immediate release of those who are being unlawfully detained. We are asking the international community to stop them; we are asking for a peaceful transition in Myanmar. We will continue to ask the U.S. and international communities.”

Gingold added that China is walking a fine line and does not want to publicly condemn the junta leaders. “We’ve seen the rise of a lot of anti-China sentiment from the public and there were Chinese factories in Yangong burned. Taiwanese companies are saying that flags should be placed to show they are not Chinese.”

The bottom line is that China has both strategic and commercial interests to ensure a good relationship with Myanmar because it can have access to a land route in addition to a sea route. “Let’s say there’s a blockade in the sea route in the future, they have an alternative route to Southeast Asia, which is important for China,” Rahul said. “China needs to be in the ‘good books’ with Myanmar to contain India and any growing influence from that end. China’s trade with Burma is 10 times more than what India has with Burma. China has big infrastructure projects like dams and roads. India is, of course, there and investing, but its basic concern is security.” Insurgency and those taking refuge in Myanmar put a dent in Indian-Burmese ties.

The future of Myanmar and Suu Kyi

According to Gingold, the military’s move to try and dissolve the NLD is history repeating itself after 1988. “The NLD won a landslide election then, making the party illegal. But it doesn’t spell the end for the NLD now. Going forward there is a civilian government, the NUG formed officially in April with elected lawmakers coming mostly from the NLD and a lot of ethnic minority groups. They’ve taken positive steps, they’re in conversation with different governments and they have created their own army. It’s giving people hope and giving something to rest their hopes on,” she said.

“As for Suu Kyi, she was playing politics in her country. It doesn’t excuse her for not condemning the Rohingya genocide. But there are other factors at play. The NLD is no longer just about her. There’s a generation of young people who became political activists overnight and, while there’s a lot still tied to her, they are less tied to her. The Western world has different options.

Debt Trap Diplomacy: China Funneling Funds in Africa to Gain Control of Sports Infrastructure

Paris – In a startling revelation by a French newspaper ‘Le Monde’, it seems Beijing has been actively pursuing its dream of gaining control over African Heads of Government; winning over local sports markets and securing access to major sports events in the African continent.

In order to concretize this, the Chinese Government has been making inroads in various international sports bodies to further its goal of becoming a global soft power. Intelligently, it followed a systematic path by first participating in athletic events, then slowly started winning international competitions and finally gained a seat in the international organizing committee of sports bodies to promote its own agenda.

For the Chinese, it isn’t just about influence and exercising control. There is economics involved too, just like every other effort of theirs. The Chinese scheme involves advancing and flooding its own low-grade domestic products in the local African markets to demonstrate its ability to match international brands. At the same time, to nurture demand, the Chinese have been constructing sports facilities in many poor African countries that were severely lacking sports infrastructure, including stadiums and requisite training equipment for sports persons. It is obvious these initiatives were to function as a bait to generate the desired support from these nations in order to gain seats at international organizations.

In recent times, another ‘Le Monde’ article mentioned that in mid-March 2021, Alassane Quattara, President of the African country Ivory Coast, himself inaugurated a 60,000 seating capacity stadium in the northern part of capital Abidjan, which he claimed was a ‘gift from China’. It is presumed to be the main stadium that would host the finale of the 2023 African Cup of Nations, a major international men’s soccer competition in the continent, in which nearly 24 nations participate.

By gifting this stadium in Abidjan, China is eyeing building two more stadiums in this small nation, whose total staggering cost is expected to be beyond 200 million Euros. This reflects the typical Chinese tactic of enticing leaders with supposed ‘gifts’ and then building infrastructure worth millions that the country can very well do without, but when approved places it in a cycle of unrepayable and continuous debt.

In the past 10 years, China has built or renovated more than 100 stadiums in the African continent. It is well on course to capture more such facilities with the sole aim of strengthening its diplomatic relations with these African countries that later support its candidature to various international bodies of the United Nations. Beyond international diplomacy, as has been mentioned, this kind of investments in infrastructure help Chinese companies gain access to African markets to promote their products and keep the demand sustained.

Another interesting feature to these Chinese efforts is to win over the rights to broadcast major sporting events in the African continent for a Chinese company called ‘Star Times’. Already, these African countries with massive Chinese investments have been found rushing to sell their premium event’s rights to the Chinese broadcaster. To confirm, China has already ‘won’ broadcasting rights of the African Cup of Nations-2023, which is likely to be organized in Chinese- built stadiums, including the one in Abidjan.

It is time African nations realize the Chinese method of Debt Trap Diplomacy, which beyond hitting them economically is capable of enslaving them in a neo colonial set up, this time with a Chinese at the helm.

Where is Tibetan Panchen Lama?

Camp: New Delhi – April 25, 2021, marks the 32nd birth anniversary of the 11th Panchen Lama Gendun Choekyi Nyima (GCN). The world has as much information or as little as it had when he was abducted by the Chinese authorities in 1995, following his recognition by the Dalai Lama. In 1995 he became the youngest individual to have been placed under virtual detention, becoming known as the world’s youngest political prisoner.

Panchen Lama is one of the most important spiritual leaders, second only to the Dalai Lama in the hierarchy of spiritual leaders in Tibetan Buddhism. The Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama share a warm and friendly relationship and have previously served as mentors and apprentices. They hold the highest decision-making power on the issue of reincarnation, and each had participated in the process of recognizing each other’s reincarnation. If one of them passes away, the other has undertaken the responsibility of searching for the reincarnated soul boy of the other and vice-versa.

The current 11th Panchen Lama, Gendun Choekyi Nyima, was born on April 25, 1989, in Lhari County, Nagqu Region, Tibet. He was recognized as the 11th Panchen Lama by the Dalai Lama, after following the Tibetan Buddhist tradition on May 14, 1995. However, two days later, on May 17, 1995, the GCN was abducted by the Chinese authorities. He has been missing for the last 26 years and is the world’s youngest and longest missing political prisoner. He was just 6 years old when he was abducted. So far, there has been no news about his whereabouts.

After the abduction of the GCN, Chinese authorities appointed its own Panchen Lama named Gyaltsen Norbu (son of members of CCP) in November 1995. This measure not only shows Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) disregard towards Tibetan religion and culture but also shows it effort to undermine the same. Xi Jinping‘s recent proposal of Sinicization of Tibetan Buddhism to improve social governance is yet another move of the CCP to sinicise Tibetan religion and culture. As part of the Sinicization effort the CCP, through National People Congress, has endorsed the use of Mandarin Chinese as the medium of instruction in ethnic minority areas and barred the use of local language (inconsistent with the provisions of Chinese laws). Thus, the use of Tibetan language is constantly being discouraged in Tibet and the Mandarin language is being promoted-which is said to increases the probability of fetching good jobs in the markets.

China is also imposing restrictions on Tibetans to travel to other countries, particularly to countries like India, Nepal and Bhutan. In recent times, China has announced strict supervision of 15 border ports in the border areas in the name of strengthening the border control and maintenance of security and stability.

The settlement of Han Chinese in Tibet is another major concern. China has recently proposed the construction of a super dam in its 14th Five Year Plan. It is fear that China’s decision to build super dam on Yarlong Zangbo River, close to LAC, will result in large Chinese migration to the Tibetan regions, thus, further diluting the cultural identity of Tibetans and reducing Tibetans into minority like China did in Inner Mongolia.

China over the years has made full effort to give a bad name to the Dalai Lama. His image has been turned into a “separatist” by the Chinese government. It has banned the photos of the Dalai Lama and possessing his photos is considered as an act of crime. The Chinese authorities maintain strong control over Tibetans and there are reports of many arbitrary arrests of Tibetans’ political activities without any evidence. In a recent report, the Radio Free Asia reported the arrest of six Tibetans for unknown reasons. According to The Tibet Post International a monk named Rinchen Tsultrim from Kahul village in Ngaba arrested in August 2019 was said to have been sentenced to four and half in prison for allegedly communicating outside of Tibet.

Similarly, the CCP has portrayed the Panchen Lama Gyaltsen Norbu as one of the authoritative voices of Tibet while keeping him under strict control. The CCP has also treated the previous 10th Panchen Lama Choekyi Gyaltsen harshly; however, in its historical accounts, their relations were often shown in colorful pictures.

The 10th Panchen Lama Choekyi Gyaltsen is a revered figure among Tibetans. He discovered the CCP’s attempt to repress the Tibetan rule, and he chose to stand by Tibetans. Choekyi Gyaltsen published ‘the seven thousand characters petition’ in 1962, severely criticising the CCP’s policy on Tibet, and was sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison. He was rehabilitated only after Deng Xiaoping came to power. Choekyi Gyaltsen rebuilt Tibet’s religious and cultural heritages and worked hard in the interests of Tibetans, for which he gained high prestige among the Tibetans. Therefore, he was assassinated in January 1989 by the Chinese authorities.

At present, the Chinese (fake) Panchen Lama Gyaltsen Norbu, is being projected as an official face of Tibetan Buddhism by the Chinese government. It has already leveraged the position of Gyaltsen Norbu by appointing him to a number of high profile positions, including the Vice-President of the standing committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. In 2019 he was made the head of the China Buddhist Association.

As far as Gendun Choekyi Nyima is concerned, the 11th Panchen Lama recognized by the Dalai Lama, there has been no credible information at all since 1995. Way back in August 2003, when asked about the Panchen Lama, who was 14 years old then and a mino, a spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, “He is now in a good healthy condition, leading a normal and happy life,” adding, “He is not the incarnated soul boy.”

In 2020, when the Panchen Lama was 31 years old, Chinese state media had the Chinese Foreign Ministry having a similar position, reporting, “this so-called ‘soul boy’ designated by Dalai Lama” is just an ordinary Chinese citizen living normally.” “Soul boy” is a mistranslation used by the Chinese authorities in English to refer to a reincarnated being.

So if the Chinese government considers the Panchen Lama “just an ordinary Chinese citizen,” today he is an adult and past his Age of Majority even under Chinese laws, and should be given all the rights, including to speak for himself. But the fact that the Chinese government continues to speak on his behalf shows that they have taken away his freedom of expression and that he is not “leading a normal and happy life”.

China not giving any credible information about the Panchen Lama’s whereabouts or status has even had several UN experts and working groups write formally to the Chinese government, expressing their concern and asking for an “independent monitor to visit him.”

At the heart of all these things is the issue of reincarnation of the Dalai Lama. For years the Chinese government has been grooming its own Panchen Lama. It is most likely that he will play an instrumental role in deciding the reincarnation of the next Dalai Lama in China. This will lead to two Dalai Lamas in the future if the current Dalai Lama decides to keep the tradition of reincarnation of the Dalai Lama continues.

The issue of reincarnation of the Dalai Lama is not limited to China and the Dalai Lama but has larger geopolitics consideration with security implications in the Himalaya regions.

The US has shown its full support for Tibet on the reincarnation issue. It has, in late 2020, passed the Tibet Policy and Support Act (TPSA) and sent a strong message to China that the US stands steadfast with the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan exile government.

The Panchen Lama turned 32 years old on April 25. Tibetans and their supporters all over the world not only celebrate the birthday of the 11th Panchen Lama but also take the occasion to raise their voice to demand the release of the Panchen Lama from the CCP’s captivity.

US Refuses to Comment on Turkey-Pakistan-China Nexus

Washington, DC – The United States has no comments on the various reports in regional and international media which allege a growing interest of Turkey, Pakistan and China to collaborate in sharing and developing weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

At the regular State Department briefing on Friday (May 7), IAT (Tejinder Singh) posed the question: “What is the US reaction to reports over last few weeks about the emergence of a China-Pakistan-Turkey nexus on nuclear proliferation, and Pakistan coordinating on capacity-building of the three countries which has been flagged by watchdogs and media? And we all know about Turkish President Erdogan has been quoted as expressing his desperation on developing the caliphate atom bomb to fulfill his neo-Ottoman aspirations. So what is the US reaction to these reports?”

In response Jalina Porter, Principal Deputy Spokesperson at the US State Department told journalists during the daily State Department briefing, “We have no – nothing to announce on these reports at this time.”

Interesting to note that Selcan Hacaoglu writing in a Bloomberg report titled, “Turkey Widens War Tech Hunt by Tapping Pakistan’s China Ties,” noted: “Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has hailed “very serious potential” for collaboration with Pakistan on defense projects, and top defense officials have met in recent months.”

The report further said: “A deal would get NATO-member Turkey closer to some of China’s military technology. Pakistan builds its JF-17 fighter jets with China and is said to have adapted Chinese designs for its Shaheen ballistic missile.”

Another report by Paul Antonopoulos in Greek City Times listed a number of meetings between Pakistani and Turkish top army brass, including Pakistan’s Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), General Nadeem Raza who visited Turkey from March 27th to April 2nd.

Antonopoulos wrote: “It is pertinent to note that reportage in the press on all these meetings mentioned that defence production was one of the main agendas, with aerial vehicles and nuclear proliferation being the target areas.”

“The emergence of a China-Pakistan-Turkey nexus on nuclear proliferation and Pakistan coordinating on capacity building of the three countries has already been flagged by watchdogs and media,” added the Greek City Times report.

Pentagon Explains Military Assistance to Azerbaijan as Biden Waives Ban

Washington, DC – The United States listed a few explanatory points for offering military support to Azerbaijan as a conflict between it and Armenia is still hot and brewing. The Biden administration recently declared Turkish massacre of Armenians more than a century ago as “Armenian Genocide.”

Responding to a question on the presidential waiver on the ban on military aid to Azerbaijan from IAT (Tejinder Singh) at the Pentagon briefing, Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Anton T. Semelroth, DoD Spokesman said in a delayed email reply, “We review thoroughly any potential assistance to Azerbaijan to ensure it will not undermine or hamper ongoing efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement between Armenia and Azerbaijan and will not be used for offensive purposes against Armenia.”

“Our non-lethal security assistance to Azerbaijan is in the US national security interests, and helps enable Azerbaijan to secure its southern and maritime borders to reduce the threat of terrorists, WMD, and other illicit trafficking.”

Citing examples to support the US decision, the DOD Spokesman added, “For example, just recently the x-ray scanners we provided were used to identify a large shipment of heroin at the Iranian border.”

Within 100 days of being sworn-in as the US President, Joe Biden became the first US president to issue a statement formally describing the 1915 massacre of Armenians as a genocide.

The killings took place in the days of the Ottoman Empire, the forerunner of modern-day Turkey. But the issue is highly sensitive, and previous US administrations have not used the term genocide in formal statements amid concerns over damaging relations with Turkey, a NATO ally.

Bit within two weeks of formally recognizing the Armenian Genocide, President Joe Biden gave a waiver to give American taxpayers money to Azerbaijan.

Nearly a year ago Azerbaijan reignited sanguinary hostilities with Armenia on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, resulting in thousands of deaths.

Within weeks, a Russian-French-American ceasefire brought open hostilities to a smoldering peace but Azerbaijan had already gained control of a sizable area from Armenia.

The FREEDOM Support Act, enacted in 1992 bars foreign aid from Azerbaijan, crafted amid the first Nagorno-Karabakh War following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In 2002 Congress gave the American President power to waive that ban on foreign aid to Azerbaijan.

During the campaign trail, Candidate Biden had openly criticized then incumbent president Donald Trump for waiving the ban and now President Biden himself has done exactly the same, thus adding more to millions of American taxpayers dollars siphoned off to an aggressor country against Armenia.

Political pundits and those watching the region raise issues about the Azerbaijan, Turkey and Pakistan nexus in the volatile area.