By Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.)
Washington is in a dismal state of disrepair, and this disrepair is now bleeding over into our military’s ability to defend this nation. No longer can we afford to ignore this reality. America needs strong “solutions people” who can and will return this nation to its former greatness and battlefield supremacy on every existing and future front. That’s why I support the candidacy of Tom Mullikin for U.S. Congress.
The 18th century economist and philosopher Adam Smith said that the first duty of government was (and is) defense, specifically, “protecting the society from the violence and invasion of other independent societies.” Yet over the previous eight-plus years of the 21st century, this “first duty” has been relegated to a secondary or tertiary responsibility. And vital combat training hours are increasingly being replaced with time spent on social engineering within the military services. We are losing our warfighting culture.
Meanwhile, our greatest strategic-defense challenges – the increasingly dangerous military expansions of Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and the ever-increasing threat of global terrorism – continue unabated. For this reason alone, we need to replace career politicians with new-blood lawmakers – like Mullikin – eager to bolster our military’s technological superiority; our strategic intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities; our surface and undersea warfare platforms; land systems; and new advanced aircraft; as well as enhancing cyber, electronic, and space warfare capabilities.
For these reasons, we need candidates like Mullikin who have both managed and led businesses and served in uniform at various levels. We need strong candidates who understand and appreciate the nuances and necessities of budgetary issues and the need to provide our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen with the best training in the world to meet all current and future threats on more than one front.
We need congressional leaders who will support our men and women in uniform (and their families) while they are serving, especially when they’re deployed, and when they leave service.
We need to change the culture in Washington. There must be a renewal of national will when it comes to the military; and a sustainable, ongoing level of support going forward.
In South Carolina alone, we have a population of some 4.6 million people including one-million-plus children below the required age for military service. Yet, approximately 379,000 of that overall number are military veterans. That’s a huge percentage, and they deserve every benefit that we can afford them. South Carolina’s military veterans don’t need to be an afterthought.
Mullikin is the right man at the right time to change this backseat attitude toward strengthening and sustaining our national defense capabilities. He is the best candidate in terms of helping and supporting the Palmetto State’s 379,000 military veterans. He will put teeth into the Veterans Administration and our struggling VA hospitals. And he will reach out to – and lift up – those veterans whose lives have devolved to the point that they are living out their aimless lives in the streets.
Mullikin is the candidate with the greatest military experience both in-and-out of uniform. He’s a former United States Army officer. He also served as special assistant to the Chief Prosecutor for Military Commissions in GTMO, who is responsible for the trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four codefendants. And the near-1,000 member historic S.C. State Guard – which he today commands – is largely composed of men and women with distinguished federal military service under their belts, combat veterans from every war, conflict, and military excursion from Vietnam to the Global War on Terror.
Simply put, South Carolina needs Tom Mullikin working for us in Washington.
– Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, USMC (Ret.), is a recipient of the MEDAL OF HONOR, the nation’s highest award for combat valor.
[Neither the military information nor photographs imply endorsement by
the Department of Defense or the U.S. Marine Corps.]
In: Articles · Tagged with: James E. Livingston, Tom Mullikin
1941: When Germany invades Denmark, Greenland (a Danish colony) asks for U.S. military protection.
1942: A day after surrendering to Japanese Forces, an estimated 80,000 U.S. and Filipino prisoners of war begin the six-day, 85-mile “Bataan Death March.” Despite 14th Army commander Gen. Masaharu Homma’s orders that POWs be treated peacefully, the captives suffer extreme physical abuse, are given little to no food and water, and thousands are murdered or die from starvation or disease on their journey.
1972: B-52 bombers strike North Vietnamese targets (SAM-2 sites near Vinh), the first bombing missions flown north of the Demilitarized Zone since 1967.
In: Military History · Tagged with: Bataan Death March, Vietnam War, World War II
[This column originally appeared in the Lancaster News, S.C., Sunday, Apr. 9, 2017]
By Al Simpson
That said, this is not an endorsement I take lightly, nor did I decide to lend my support without great reflection and consideration. Fact is, I have other friends in the district who are also campaigning for Mick’s former House seat.
But with Tom, there is a different dynamic. I got to know Tom early during Mick’s congressional service and found him a man of unimpeachable integrity. His word means everything to him.
If Tom tells you he is going to do something, he does it, regardless of the personal difficulty or how much time or money it takes. This has been clearly demonstrated time-and-again, as I’ve gleaned from both his friends and those whom he has worked with over his multi-faceted career.
As a former Lancaster County Republican Party chairman, I witnessed Tom’s efforts as a GOP candidate in 1996 when he strove to build a solid, responsible and reputable Republican Party in the S.C. Senate race against a 45-year Democratic opponent. Tom’s efforts were vital in helping elect strong Republican leaders.
Tom’s distinguished military service is another tremendous asset. His military service in and out of uniform spans decades. He was an Army JAG officer, and later a civilian special assistant to the chief prosecutor in the military trial of 9/11 terrorists. Tom has served in the S.C. Military Deptartment’s Joint Service Detachment, an advisory team supporting the S.C. Adjutant General’s Office. Today he today serves as the commander of the S.C. State Guard, at the rank of major general.
For more than three decades, Tom has operated a small business, and hiring military veterans has been one of his priorities. Support for veterans is a true “heart issue” for him.
Tom co-founded and serves as a principal partner in his Camden-based firm, which specializes in advocacy, legal representation and consulting to the manufacturing and energy industries on issues of environmental regulation compliance.
Tom has been an astute adviser to me, other congressional leaders, staffers and members of Congress on issues of manufacturing and domestic-energy production. He knows the consequences of over-burdensome environmental regulations to our manufacturing, farming and energy production.
As such, he is not simply “the right man,” but the very best man to take the fight to the radical-climate leftists who use the environment to support a globalist socialist agenda.
Tom is a recognized global expert on energy and the environment, and he would be an incredible resource for the U.S. House and our nation. Tom has spoken across the country, and his work has helped strengthen American manufacturing and energy production while creating a cleaner, more sustainable environment.
We need Tom to move us toward market-driven policies to ensure effective solutions using capitalist principles. He will be a leading voice to stop, as he says, “China from stealing our jobs and sending us their pollution.”
To address a more accountable Congress, Tom was the first candidate in this race to make a commitment supporting term limits. If anyone can build support and consensus to pass term limits, it’s Tom.
His personal life is also a testament to his determination. He rarely mentions that he was born with severely deformed feet and that his parents were told he would never walk. But through his tenacity, Tom not only walked, but ran, and is now on track to becoming the first human to have climbed earth’s seven great summits while having SCUBA-dived in every ocean.
I have often introduced Tom Mullikin as the “most interesting man in the world.” We have an opportunity to elect this globally recognized manufacturing expert, dedicated American soldier and accomplished business leader who will be a leading voice in this new American resurgence.
– Al Simpson was chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney before the congressman’s confirmation as White House budget director.
In: Articles · Tagged with: Tom Mullikin
By Mike Thornton, U.S. Navy SEALs (Ret.)
As an American and a native South Carolinian (now living in Texas), the congressional race for the Palmetto State’s 5th district is very near and dear to me. It is for a number of reasons; not the least of which is I have family and friends in S.C., and whoever voters in the 5th district counties choose to elect to the office of U.S. Congressman, he or she must bring a strong voice and an aggressive proactive approach to the war on terror. And make no mistake, it is a war and the enemy is as committed a foe as this nation has ever faced.
That’s why we need strong, committed voices in Washington who will press to take the fight to the enemy, quashing his financing, his freedom of movement, his recruiting efforts, and his access to – and employment of – weapons of mass destruction.
We need Congressmen like Tom Mullikin who are best qualified to take this fight to the enemy. Why Mullikin? It’s simple. Mullikin has traveled the globe over the past 30 years – exploring many of the world’s most remote regions, advising U.S. and foreign government officials, and developing a unique experiential understanding of the critical need for energy security as being vital to national security.
It is precisely those experiences which – beyond his grasp of the necessity of a strong national defense – have also enabled him as a strong, committed leader in terms of creating new jobs, bringing jobs back to this country, infusing real energy back into the historically great American economic engine, proffering real viable solutions to the health care and insurance industries, and generally shoring up American businesses from the small business owner struggling to make payroll to the large multinational corporation seeking a strong business and worker-friendly environment in which to expand existing operations or develop new manufacturing facilities right here in North America.
As military leader, Mullikin is unequalled in his experience both in-and-out of uniform. He has served as a U.S. Army JAG officer (including service as an assistant staff judge advocate and an international legal officer with a Civil Affairs Brigade.) Following his U.S. Army service, he was special assistant to the Chief Prosecutor of Military Commissions, overseeing the trial of 9/11 terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and other alleged terrorists. Today, as commanding general of the South Carolina State Guard, Tom has overseen the near-total transformation of the State Guard (today a key component of the state’s overall emergency response apparatus).
As a business leader and civilian attorney, Mullikin has been retained for his expertise by several foreign countries, various global organizations and Fortune 100 companies including one of the largest privately held corporations in the world. He served as chief counsel and vice pres. of public affairs for one of the largest environmental services companies in the world. He was general counsel for an international nuclear technology firm, and senior partner at a prominent law firm in the United States before co-founding the Camden- based Mullikin Law Firm.
No one among the existing slate of candidates is more qualified than Mullikin when it comes to a grasp of domestic and international terrorism on the one hand, and strengthening our economic base on the other. That’s why I sincerely hope voters in S.C.’s fifth district will elect Tom Mullikin to the U.S. Congress on May 2.
– Mike Thornton, U.S. Navy SEALs (Ret.), is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for combat valor.
[Neither the military information nor photographs imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Defense or the U.S. Navy.]
In: Articles · Tagged with: Michael E. Thornton, Tom Mullikin
By W. Thomas Smith Jr.
The Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. (RCSD) is featured in the Apr. 2017 edition of S.W.A.T. magazine. The feature, “Real-life ROBOCOPS: Drones and robots provide edge in threat environs,” looks at the unmanned aerial surveillance and ground-based robotic platforms used by the RCSD during special and other operations.
According to the article, “Drones [unmanned aerial vehicles] are indispensable in 21st-century SWAT operations like those employed by the RCSD’s Special Response Team, often providing the best – perhaps the only – real-time photographic intelligence for operators on the ground.” adding, “Drones aren’t the only remotely piloted platforms in the RCSD inventory. Sheriff Leon Lott’s force of some 700 uniformed officers are also supported by three ground-based robots, which – like the also unmanned drones – are capable of various tactical and surveillance operations.”
Sheriff Lott says, “Like our drones, our robots are key in mitigating the risk to human life.”
The high-tech platforms are employed in a variety of tactical and non-tactical operations.
Lieutenant David Linfert, the RCSD’s bomb squad commander, says, “The RCSD receives between 100 and 150 EOD-related calls per year, and they are not all telephoned bomb threats by teenage boys. Richland County encompasses large-acreage military installations like Fort Jackson and McEntire Joint National Guard Base, which in terms of their being vast military reservations previously extended much further beyond their present borders in earlier decades (especially before and during World War II). Consequently, land that was once utilized as a munitions impact-area – primarily areas used for grenade and mortar training, as well as that of artillery (the big guns) live-fire training and aerial bombing runs – have become civilian commercial and residential properties with housing subdivisions having been built on land sometimes still concealing unexploded ordnance.”
That’s where the robots have proven effective. Read the rest of this post »
1945: Carrier-based bombers and torpedo bombers from Adm. Marc Mitscher’s Task Force 58 engage and sink the Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest battleship ever constructed. Only 280 of the 2,778 crew are rescued, making the attack the largest loss of life at sea of a single ship during World War II. In addition to Yamato, a Japanese cruiser and four destroyers were also sunk at a cost of only 10 U.S. aircraft.
1979: The nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine USS Ohio (SSBN-726), the largest submarine built by the U.S. Navy, is launched at the Groton, Conn. shipyard.
In: Military History · Tagged with: USS Ohio, World War II
U.S. warships launched dozens of Tomahawk cruise missiles against a Syrian airfield in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack.
U.S. aircraft conducted 20 airstrikes against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terrorists and infrastrucure in Yemen. The U.S. has targeted AQAP with over 75 air strikes already this year, the most since the campaign began in 2009.
Freedom Watch has filed a complaint with the U.S. House Committee on Ethics against Congressman Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat member of the House Intelligence Committee for his alleged efforts to “cover up widespread crimes, multitudes of felonies, of warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens.”
Today in U.S. military history:
1933: The Navy’s massive helium-filled airship USS Akron, America’s first flying aircraft carrier, crashes in a storm off the coast of New Jersey, killing 73 of the crew.
1949: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is formed when the United States and 11 European nations sign a mutual defense pact to counter Soviet aggression in Western Europe.
1973: A C-141 Starlifter transport plane – the “Hanoi Taxi” – departs Vietnam on the final flight carrying American prisoners of war released by North Vietnam. 591 Americans were carried to freedom on Operation HOMECOMING flights.
1865: After four bloody years of fighting, Union troops capture the Confederate capital of Richmond, Va. The war will be over in six days.
1942: Japan’s 14th Army, led by Lt. Gen. Masaharu Homma, launches a major offensive against American and Filipino forces on the Bataan Peninsula. In six days, the 75,000 defenders, already weakened by starvation and disease, will have no choice but to surrender to the Japanese.
1946: Gen. Homma is convicted of nearly 50 counts of war crimes for his troops’ treatment of prisoners in the Bataan Death March, and is shot by firing squad.
1965: Two B-57 Canberra bombers, supported by a C-130 flare ship, fly the first interdiction mission on the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Southeast Laos. Aircrews will fly over 100,000 sorties in the covert Operation STEEL TIGER in an attempt to stem the flow of Communist forces and matériel into South Vietnam through Laos.
1969: Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird introduces “Vietnamization,” the Nixon Administration’s plan to gradually withdraw U.S. combat forces while preparing the South Vietnamese to assume responsibility for the conflict, which had already cost over 30,000 American lives.
Russian state news agency TASS reports that Pres. Vladimir Putin has ordered the conscription of over 140,000 Russians into military service.
Defense Secretary James Mattis stated in a London press conference that North Korea’s behavior is increasingly reckless and must be stopped. Mattis also expressed concerns over Russian relations, such as growing Russian cooperation with the Taliban in Afghanistan – an association that Russian officials has both publicly admitted and denied.
The UK daily Independent reported that Saudi Arabia has recently deported over 40,000 Pakistanis over security concerns – including links to Islamist groups such as ISIS – and visa violations. Between 2012 and 2015 alone, approximately 250,000 Pakistanis have been deported from Saudi Arabia.
Victory Institute Senior Analyst Casey Martin contributed to this report