Trump ‘s Conflicting Claims about Intel Report on Russia Bounties

Trump claims reports about Russia’s offer and payment of bounties for the killing of American soldiers in Afghanistan is a complete hoax. However, it appears that Republican lawmakers are not going to let it go at that. Some are supporting Democratic House Speaker Pelosi’s call for an investigation of the matter.

In fact the calls for a Congressional hearing has heightened as more information about the Russian bounty report attests to the credibility of the intel info.

Background to the Russia Bounties News Report

Last June of this year, both the Washington Post and The New York Times reported that Russia was paying cash rewards to Talibans in Afghanistan, as incentives to kill as many American soldiers as they can. The discovery was made after a successful raid of a Taliban outpost revealed large amounts of U.S.dollars. Related interrogations further disclosed that the money came from Russian intelligence units as rewards for killing U.S. soldiers.

Although Trump says the story is just another “fake news” just to make him look bad, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany confirmed that the U.S. intelligence agencies made such a report, which debunks Trump’s claim that it’s fake news.

However, McEnany claims that there was a general consensus among White House and intelligence officials not to brief Trump about the matter; mainly because the intel was not verified. Yet unnamed White House officials stated the contrary, saying Trump was briefed about it.

Nevertheless, whether or not Trump was briefed was not the question, as the issue raised is what actions were taken to protect U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan? Further assessment of the events revealed that the intelligence reports came at the time Trump was making a push to withdraw the U.S deployment in Afghanistan. It was also the time when Trump was purportedly holding peace talks with the Taliban, in an effort to end the long running conflict between them,

Additional News Reports Say that the Russia Bounty Intel was Verified by Financial Analysts

Later news developments revealed that U.S. financial analysts were able to intercept large financial transfers that were received by Afghan businessmen, who served as go-between for Russian agents and the Taliban group. The financial transactions purportedly went through the “hawala” system, which has been touted as the invisible source of funding for terrorism.

Republican Lawmakers Who Were Post-Briefed About the Matter are Concerned

Inasmuch as the financial verifications tank White House claims that the intel report was not credible and was not verified, several Republican lawmakers are calling for a Congressional hearing in order to get down to the real truth on whether Trump was informed or not. .

Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas, Mac Thornberry also of Texas, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Sen. Pat Toomey of Philadelphia, and Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, all strongly support Congressional investigations on the matter. That way, the White House administration can take swift and decisive actions to hold Russian president Putin responsible, once the intelligence officers have completed the review process.

Understanding the Significance of the Non Proliferation Treaty from which Trump Withdrew U.S. Support

The Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is a multilateral covenant between 120 United Nations member states, which serves as the first legally binding international agreement, in working toward the adoption of a Nuclear Weapons Ban. New York. This Treaty included the negative security assurances given by the 5 Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) China, the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Russia, to the Non Nuclear Weapons States (NNWS).

Although a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was signed in July 2017 in New York, it remains symbolic. Mainly because nine (9) states known to have nuclear armaments including the five NWS that previously signed the NPT, boycotted the convention held for the signing of said Nuclear Ban covenant.

As the turn of events has it, U.S. president Donald Trump issued a statement in February 2019 that the U.S. intends to officially withdraw its support to the agreement founded by the Non Proliferation Treaty. Many of the NNWS UN members fear that such action would trigger yet another global proliferation of nuclear weapons.

As it is, the NPT remains as the only legally binding international agreement addressing the problems posed by the international nuclear arms race.

As the NPT aims to limit the spread of nuclear weapons among nations, the covenant stated three (3) specific elements vital to the fulfillment of the purpose on which UN members agreed: First, is non-proliferation, the second is disarmament,, and lastly, is the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The Three Elements Constituting the NPT Accord between NWS and NNWS

Three vital elements constitute the so called “grand bargain” agreed upon by the five Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) and the Non Nuclear Weapon States (NNWS):.

Non-Proliferation : Non-Acquisition of Nuclear Weapons by NWWS

Articles I, II, and III of the NPT covers an agreement that Nuclear Weapon States will not in any way shift or transfer nuclear weapons to any recipient whomsoever. Moreover the NWS will not provide assistance, show encouragement or cause to induce any Non Nuclear Weapons States to produce, develop or manufacture, or procure nuclear weapons.

On their part, the NNWS group, has an obligation not to receive nuclear weapons being transferred to their jurisdiction, as well as to desist from manufacturing or procuring such armaments. In line with the NNWS agreement to the Non Proliferation covenant, the NNWS members have to accept the “International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)” countermeasures on all nuclear materials existing in their territories, or under their jurisdiction and control.

Disarmament – NWS will Pursue Nuclear Weapons Disarmament

Articles VI of the NPT states that all parties to the treaty, specifically the NWS group, must embark on negotiations in good faith to come up with effective measures pertaining to the cessation of nuclear arms race and disarmament. The general agreement and understanding on which the treaty is founded is for complete disarmament that will be undertaken under rigid and effective international control.

Peaceful Use: Both NWS and NNWS Maintain the Right to Access Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Use

Article IV is an assertion of the right of all states, NWS and NNWS parties to develop, produce, and harness nuclear energy for peaceful use, bu<>t subject to the provisions stated in Articles I and II. All parties to the NPT commits to facilitate, and maintain a right to participate, in the exchange of materials, scientific and technological knowledge, as well as equipment necessary for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.