After When British General Sir Charles Napier observed Hindus preparing their traditional religious practice of suttee – the burning of a still-living widow on her deceased husband’s funeral pyre – he told the Indian priests, “You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”
Fast forward two centuries – the United States is engaged in a war with jihadists that follow a religious tradition of terrorism and global conquest.
In an address to the American people this week, President Donald Trump announced a sharp departure from the Bush and Obama administrations’ handling of America’s longest war. The speech signaled what hopefully will mark the beginning of a campaign to restore American military resolve and strength after years of declining prestige. In just 20 minutes, Trump used the words “win” and “victory” more than Barack Obama uttered in eight years, a welcome replacement for politically correct terms like “degrade” and “courageous restraint.”
Undoubtedly, a willingness to use the formerly abandoned term “victory” and stronger military presence with an infusion of mettle is essential to combating our jihadist enemies, and our president signaled that he will not allow the Taliban to retake political control of the vacuums left behind for the Taliban and the Islamic State to fill in Afghanistan and Iraq.
While the president said that he will not announce troop deployments, operation schedules, and withdrawal timetables to our enemies, which he rightly refers to as “counterproductive,” we have since learned that Trump intends to commit more troops to Afghanistan. But whether we send four thousand, or forty thousand, or four hundred thousand American fighting men and women to Southwest Asia, recent history shows that military force alone will have no effect on the ideology that spawns Islamic terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, Iraq, Barcelona, or Orlando. No matter how deep Al Qaeda has dipped into the depth chart over the past several years to replace its fallen leaders, military counter-terrorism efforts by themselves have had little measurable effect on the operational capacity of terrorist groups.
Under past administrations, our troops were hamstrung by highly restrictive rules of engagement. Our enemies were able to exploit these politically motivated restrictions and used them to great advantage. We must unleash our military’s full capacity to bring destruction to the enemy, and Trump declared that not only has he done exactly that – we have already made significant progress on the battlefield as a result.
Rather than crafting a political narrative out of talking points that do not reflect reality, the president has already displayed a willingness to listen to the advice of his military commanders, granting the Pentagon more power when it comes to both strategy and decisions on the battlefield. This is another welcome change from the Obama era.
Trump also signaled that he intends to put diplomatic pressure on Pakistan for its support of jihadists that use the nation’s border areas with Afghanistan as a safe haven. We will apparently no longer continue financing a nation that is playing both sides.
To ultimately be successful in America’s longest war, Continue reading “Trump Should Follow Up Afghan Address with ‘Evil Empire’ Speech”
By Col. Steven B. Vitali, USMC (Ret.)
The United States is positioned on a trajectory toward a “hot war” with North Korea to end that country’s nuclear intercontinental threat.
To avoid a conflict, only two options are available:
First, the U.S. must strongly demonstrate to China and North Korea by various military, monetary, and strategic actions that America will end North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, even at the cost of a preemptive strike. The objective is to effectively persuade China to act against North Korea’s nuclear intentions.
The second alternative is to abandon the U.S.’s stated-policy of not allowing North Korea (or Iran) the ability to threaten the U.S. with nuclear weapons. This appeasement strategy is now the platform of Democrat politicians who enabled North Korea to sustain and fund their nuclear ambition over the last two decades.
Discredited former National Security Advisor, Susan Rice stated, “The U.S. can tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea.” Her shocking appeasement appraisal stands in stark and foreboding recognition of the division that divides Americans today. The inability to acknowledge that evil exists in the world and the resilience to confront it and stop it is a departure from American historical precedence.
Rice advocates tolerance of nuclear blackmail as if a policy of mutual deterrence exists.
FOX News military analyst Lt. Col. Bill Cowan, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.), has joined the team of national security experts at S.C.-based National Defense Consultants (NDC); an addition that will heighten the organization’s already strong counterterrorism advisory component.
“National Defense Consultants could not look for a better addition than Lt. Col. Bill Cowan,” says Clare Lopez, deputy national director of NDC’s Counterterrorism Advisory Team, the vice pres. for Research and Analysis at the Center for Security Policy, and a retired CIA operations officer. “We are so honored to welcome him as an advisor and consultant and look forward to the tremendous advantage that his extensive expertise in counterterrorism and the Middle East will bring us.”
Cowan’s military and counterterrorism experience spans decades.
A U.S. Naval Academy graduate and combat Marine officer during the Vietnam War; following the spate of terrorist attacks in Beirut [Lebanon] in the early 1980’s, Cowan became one of the first members of the Pentagon’s “most classified counterterrorist unit,” the Intelligence Support Activity. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Cowan participated in numerous special anti-terrorism and counterterrorism activities and operations in the Middle East, most notably working against Hezbollah, Iran, and Syria as regards the rescue and release of Western hostages in both Lebanon and later Kuwait following its invasion by Iraq.
Gen. James Jones, former National Security Adviser and Commandant of the Marine Corps, said “Half of our trade deficit goes toward buying oil from abroad, and some of that money ends up in the hands of terrorists.” This has to stop.
About 40 percent of our oil is imported. Much of that comes from countries like Saudi Arabia that use oil revenues to fund the jihadist ideology to the tune of billions of dollars each year. Money that goes towards killing Americans.
Every president since Dwight Eisenhower has informed Americans that we must reduce our dependence on foreign oil. But that statement has become nothing more than political rhetoric as imported oil has climbed steadily since. An abundant flow of inexpensive oil is essential for a prosperous American economy. Once the flow of oil is interrupted, we are in a world of hurt as we saw in the oil embargo by Arab nations in 1973.
Tom Mullikin – environmental lawyer, global expedition leader, and soon-to-be commander of South Carolina’s State Guard – recently briefed the Columbia (S.C.) Chamber of Commerce on how climate change and American energy affects our military and national security. From Midlandsbiz:
“If you look at a graph of global energy reserves from around 1960 compared to now, you will see that state-owned companies control around 80 percent of these reserves compared to 15 percent decades ago,” said Mullikin. “Needless to say, many of these state-owned companies are controlled by governments of hostile nations. We are buying energy from our opponents, and they don’t want to see us energy independent.”
It shouldn’t take an expert to tell us it is a bad idea to depend on nations hostile to U.S. interests for strategic resources. Especially when we sit on massive reserves of oil and natural gas. Enough to turn the United States into the Saudi Arabia of the future… if we can get Washington out of the way.
Mullikin urged veterans to speak out in support of shale energy and technologies such as “hydraulic fracturing, also known as ‘fracking,’ which has made production of these resources possible.” He emphasized that the emergence of American shale resources “provide the U.S. the opportunity to stop putting bullets in the guns of our adversaries. The people opposing the development of these energy resources are those whose funding has been traced back to – and this probably won’t surprise you – the Middle East (specifically the United Arab Emirates) and Putin’s Russia.”
Today’s Democrat Party views the United States military as nothing more than a political tool to further their agenda. And after Benghazi we see that our troops and intelligence operators are expendable if Democrats think sacrificing them is in their best political interests.
But don’t take it from me; just look at what they do.
Instead of preserving the world’s most effective combat force, the Democrat Party views the U.S. military as a massive source of funding (defense budget cuts), an opportunity to shore up political support through social engineering (allowing openly gay service members), and a means to further their liberal internationalist agenda (so-called “Responsibility to Protect” operations like Libya).
They know that the military community tends to vote strongly Republican, which partly explains their open contempt of the men and women that serve in the Armed Forces – whether falsely labeling them cold-blooded murderers (Rep. John Murtha), comparing them to Nazis, KGB, and the Khmer Rouge (Sen. Dick Durbin), joking about their intelligence (Sec. John Kerry)… the examples of the Democrat Party’s distaste for the military could easily fill an entire article.
But throughout American history, our troops knew at least if they were wounded, in danger of being overrun, or even killed, our military will do everything in its power to get rescue or recover you.
No one gets left behind. At least that’s how it used to be.
That is, until Benghazi, which has become one of the most dishonorable events in American history. When our consulate was attacked and overran, President Obama left Americans to die. Any rescue attempt was cut off – not by our enemies, but by the Obama administration.
Even worse than the tragic and preventable deaths of four Americans, Washington’s reaction over the last eight months shows the utter disregard the Democrat Party and media have for not only the fallen, but for all of our troops and operators.
I am not saying that each and every Democrat politician wanted those men to die. But can you name any Democrat politician that has said we need to get to the bottom of Benghazi? Has any Democrat even so much as distanced themself from their party’s callous disregard for the fallen? Washington can say they support the troops all day, it’s time they show us how they support our troops.
Since day one, the Democrat Party – primarily the Obama administration – and their media allies have sought to make the story go away. Since that didn’t work, they have resorted to distracting the American people and redirecting the focus by claiming Republicans are only making this an issue for political gain.
Just imagine if your son or daughter was killed in the attack and politicians reacted by saying that anyone trying to find out answers was only using the tragedy for political leverage. That really says something about our nation when the majority party can shamelessly stoop so low – and get away with it.
A quick update: Stars and Stripes reports that the soldiers involved in last month’s burning of Korans used by enemy prisoners at Bagram Air Base will not face trial in sharia court:
A military investigation into the burning of the Qurans at Bagram could conclude as early as this weekend. Crocker and Allen have said the soldiers involved may face punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice but will not be turned over to the Afghan courts as requested by Karzai.
Perhaps we will discover what exactly the soldiers did that was wrong since I have yet to see an explanation. I doubt offending Muslims violates the UCMJ.
The article also featured an explanation from Ryan Crocker, the US ambassador to Afghanistan, as to what the heck we are doing in Afghanistan:
“We have not invested the billions of dollars we have and the lives of 1,900 Americans to see the Taliban retake this country and al-Qaida once again be able to restage here,” Crocker said.
“That’s why we’re here — to be sure al-Qaida is defeated and that Afghanistan is never again a safe haven for forces that would seek to attack us on our own soil.”
Sounds great – will the ambassador clue us in as to what exactly the Obama administration is doing to “be sure al-Qaida is defeated and that Afghanistan is never again a safe haven for forces that would seek to attack us on our own soil”?
I will support a president from any party, provided the president is executing his duties as commander-in-chief effectively. What matters is trying to get it right. Both Obama and George W. Bush have got things right and wrong. I have been supportive and critical of both presidents in the War on Terror.
Perhaps letting these soldiers go to trial is the best path forward. If they violated military law, they should be punished. But I am not aware of any laws that were violated. If they were following protocol, then they should be exonerated.
But if these men are hung out to dry to appease barbarians, then Obama has dishonored the US military to a degree perhaps never before seen.
Update March 2, 2012, 9:28 pm: Stars and Stripes reports that the soldiers will face military trial, not sharia court.
An Afghan government website reports that NATO officials have promised to bring the American soldiers responsible for burning the Koran to justice in an open trial.
The website of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Government Media and Information Center (an official government site) states: “NATO officials promised to meet Afghan nation’s [sic] demand of bringing to justice, through an open trial, those responsible for the incident and it was agreed that the perpetrators of the crime be brought to justice as soon as possible.”
If this is true, and we do not know yet if it is, handing over US servicemembers to a sharia court in Afghanistan could be one of the most unconscionable acts ever conducted by our government.
Obama reportedly sent a three-page letter to Afghan president Hamid Karzai, but the White House won’t fully disclose the letter. A small portion of Obama’s letter – suspiciously (and perhaps deliberately) ambiguous – is floating around stating “We will take the appropriate steps to avoid any recurrence, to include holding accountable those responsible.”
What does the president mean, holding the soldiers accountable to military law? They didn’t do anything wrong. If they did, show us what code they violated. Or does he mean sharia law? Desecrating the Koran, especially by non-Muslims could result in the death penalty. But American soldiers are held only to US law, not Islamic law. Besides, depending on what jurist you talk to, burning of Korans is entirely permissible if the books are damaged – which the Korans in question were, at the hands of Muslims.
Of course, the White House and Pentagon are not answering questions. But this is nothing new for the president who proclaims his administration as the “most open and transparent in history.”
That letter belongs to the American people. What legitimate reason does the president have to keep it from us?
Instead of fanning the flames of discontent in our own country, our president must announce what the heck is going on with these soldiers. It would be easy, but Obama apparently prefers to keep Americans angry and in the dark over the lives of those he has sent into combat potentially hanging in the balance.
This president has, on multiple occasions, utilized similar tactics to smoke out his opponents; allowing the reaction to reach fever pitch before setting the record straight – in this case, releasing what could turn out to be a harmless letter. And what could possibly whip the people into a frenzy more than using American soldiers as bait?
This could be an information operation or it could simply be a misunderstanding. The only people who know aren’t talking.
The political and military prostration to the Afghan people following the Koran-burning incident at Bagram served as the final straw for me; I once wholeheartedly supported the “war” in Afghanistan. Now, I don’t think Washington gives a hoot in hell for the troops they have sent to bleed and die in Afghanistan. So unless we can elect leaders who can formulate an effective counterterrorism strategy, I now say it’s time to bring the troops home.
As the Afghan police and army gun down our troops in numbers that now rival that of our enemies, the Obama administration thinks that WE are the ones that need to apologize. To them. And to top it all off, our military says that WE are the ones who require further sensitivity training.
At this point, “FUBAR” would be a compliment.
So how should America have responded to the burning of Korans used by detainees at Bagram Air Base you ask?
From my recent post at The US Report:
Military policy requires troops in combat zones to burn their trash. […] In 2009, the military confiscated and burned unsolicited Bibles sent by a church to Afghanistan. In this case, the Bibles were intended for distribution, not for enemy intelligence purposes. Christians did not respond by rioting and shooting US troops, and neither the military nor our government apologized. The military simply burned them and stated that it was policy.
That is how exactly how the military should have handled the Koran incident. Once the burnings were reported, announce that prisoners were using them for intelligence, and we disposed of them as per policy. And let Muslims know that if they don’t want non-Muslims to destroy their Korans, then they shouldn’t desecrate them in the first place.
Why the constant appeasement of Islam? If we are truly a nation of religious freedom, then what works for the Christians should work for the Muslims.
We can’t please everybody, but all these serial apologies have done is pour fuel on the fire – and the Afghans have responded by murdering even more of our troops. At such a rate that ISAF decided to no longer report on casualties caused by Afghan soldiers or policemen.
Trust me, I understand the threat that jihadists pose to our country. However, we can’t defeat these barbarians if we are continually showing them weakness. Sure, we have the finest military ever assembled in human history, but if the political masters lack the will to win, what does it matter to our enemies?