Follow us on social

Where is the US military's $320M pier project?

Where is the US military's $320M pier project?

Satellite photos show aid surge plan in nascent stages

Reporting | QiOSK

According to reports today, satellite images are showing that the massive U.S. project to build a pier and causeway to help surge humanitarian aid into Gaza has finally begun.

President Joe Biden first announced the plan during his State of the Union speech, on March 4.

The problem is it was supposed to be complete in "early May" but Joint Logistics Over-the-Shore, or JLOTS, system is no where near being in place. In fact, according to this Associated Press report, an American military engineering unit is currently "training" to build the 1800-foot causeway, which is supposed to be anchored right off the Gazan beach, with another Israeli military unit, up the coast. The article doesn't say how the American unit is accomplishing this without boots on the ground, which was promised up and down and sideways by the Biden administration.

The U.S. Naval vessels are in place about 7 miles away in the waters between Gaza and Crete. They will first build a floating pier onto which humanitarian aid will brought from inspection centers in Crete. Then the aid will be shipped by vessels to the causeway and then onto a staging area on the beach. This is where this gets tricky. Supposedly the Israelis will be providing security on the beach and the U.N. will be delivering it into Gaza, but the project came under mortar fire on the beach last week and Hamas has pledged to "resist" Israel or any other foreign force brought in to guard the area. In short, the entire gambit has become a head scratcher.

Furthermore, according to Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh, the whole thing is going to cost the U.S. taxpayers $320 million (in addition to the $26 billion approved last week) up front. This is quite a bit to swallow given that there are check points and ports in Israel that could be surging aid into the starving Palestinian population but are not. Nevertheless, officials say they still expect this to be up and running in "early May."

None of this has escaped the attention of even the biggest pro-Israel hawks on Capitol Hill. "This dangerous effort with marginal benefit will now cost the American taxpayers at least $320 million to operate the pier for only 90 days,” charged Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi), in an interview with Reuters, which broke the story about the cost.

“How much will taxpayers be on the hook once – or if – the pier is finally constructed?” Wicker asked further.

“For every day this mission continues, the price tag goes up and so does the level of risk for the 1,000 deployed troops within range of Hamas’s rockets.”

Interestingly the pier is no longer considered a temporary fix. According to CNN this morning, "the ultimate goal is to turn it into a full-time commercial operation that can be used by other countries and non-governmental organizations."

Army mariners assigned to the 368th Seaport Operations Company and 331st Transportation Company construct a causeway adjacent to the Merchant Vessel Maj. Bernard F. Fisher off the coast of Bowen, Australia, July 29, 2023. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Ashunteia' Smith)

Reporting | QiOSK
Blinken rocks out on a road to nowhere

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken performs "Rockin' in the Free World" with members of The 1999 band at the Barman Dictat bar as he visits Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 14, 2024. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/Pool via REUTERS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Blinken rocks out on a road to nowhere

Europe

Last night Secretary of State Blinken played Neil Young’s bitterly ironic protest song, “Rockin' in the Free World” in a Kyiv bar. His speech Tuesday laying out the U.S. plan for a “Free, Secure, and Prosperous Future for Ukraine” was full of ironies as well, although he’d prefer that we be oblivious to those too.

After almost two and a half years of war, the speech announced a “stay the course” approach for Washington’s Ukraine policy. Rather than use the recent $60 billion aid package to lay the groundwork for a feasible plan to end the conflict, the speech promised continued U.S. support for unconditional victory and continued efforts to bring Ukraine into NATO, one of the issues that helped to trigger the war in the first place.

keep readingShow less
$320M US military pier to open for business, but storms ahead

US military releases photos of pier to deliver aid to Gaza (Reuters)

$320M US military pier to open for business, but storms ahead

QiOSK

UPDATE, 5/17: As of early Friday, the U.S. military said the first shipments of aid have been delivered onto the Gaza beach via the new pier project. The initial delivery included food bars for 11,000 people, therapeutic food for 7,200 malnourished children, and hygiene kits for 30,000 people, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development. The British government said it had sent 8,400 temporary shelters made up of plastic sheeting. Officials did not say how or when it would be delivered by World Food Program and aid partners into the strip.


keep readingShow less
Trump's big idea: Deploy assassination teams to Mexico

Soldiers stand outside the Altiplano high security prison where Mexican drug gang leader Ovidio Guzman, the 32-year-old son of jailed kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, is imprisoned in Almoloya de Juarez, State of Mexico, Mexico January 7, 2023. REUTERS/Luis Cortes

Trump's big idea: Deploy assassination teams to Mexico

North America

The opioid crisis in the United States shows no sign of abating. Mexican drug cartels are making more money than ever before while fueling the deaths of more than a hundred thousand Americans every year. Overdose deaths in the United States quadrupled between 2002 and 2022. Law enforcement appears overwhelmed and helpless.

It is little wonder, then, that extreme measures are being contemplated to ease the suffering. Planning for the most extreme of measures — use of military force to combat the flow of drugs — is apparently moving forward and evolving. It is an idea that has wedged itself into former President Trump’s head, and now he’s reportedly fine-tuning the idea toward possibly sending kill teams into Mexico to take out drug lords..

keep readingShow less

Israel-Gaza Crisis

Latest