“U.S. must keep up historic military sites” by Paul Vallely, MG U.S. Army (ret.)

“U.S. must keep up historic military sites”

By Paul Vallely, MG U.S. Army (ret.)

December 28, 2017

 

 

The big national parks in Montana are an obvious boon to our state’s economy, bringing in several million visitors each year. It’s important to realize that the National Park Service is responsible for maintaining much more than the big draws like Glacier and Yellowstone — the agency also manages over 150 sites of military significance around the country, including some here in Montana. Our military memorials in Montana need maintenance.

Military sites account for one-third of NPS units, including national battlefields, military cemeteries, battlegrounds, and fortifications where the agency preserves and interprets our history. And like many of the units in the National Park System, most of these sites of military significance are deteriorating due to a lack of maintenance funding.

In Montana, the Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, and Big Hole National Battlefield are all maintained by the NPS. Unfortunately, each of these sites has amassed a significant amount of deferred maintenance as federal funding for needed repairs has been unreliable.

The NPS uses the term deferred maintenance to categorize any needed repairs that are delayed, sometimes for years, because there is no money to pay for them. It’s become a growing problem for NPS as visitation to national parks has been soaring during the past few years and the facilities used to accommodate them can be 50 years or older. The growing strains on national parks are beginning to show, and eventually could have an impact on their desirability as vacation destinations due to accessibility and safety concerns.

At Little Bighorn Battlefield alone, NPS has estimated the amount of deferred maintenance at nearly $10 million. Some of the big ticket items are what you would expect NPS to need in interpreting a large battlefield site: repairs to drinking and waste water systems at the visitor center, access roads to monuments and trails, and parking lots.

In addition, though, difficult-to-replace aspects of the site itself are in disrepair due to lack of maintenance. The battlefield landscape, trails through the site, interpretative media, and monuments commemorating those who fought there are all on the NPS deferred maintenance inventory. The NPS does the best it can to prioritize what can be repaired on any given year, but does not have the resources to address all it should.

This is a growing problem that needs to be addressed. The deferred maintenance backlog for NPS in 2016 was estimated at $11.3 billion. For national parks in Montana, that figure is over $250 million.

Allowing that maintenance to go undone year after year has obvious consequences, and eventually could lead to a downturn in visitations. But beyond the important economic boost NPS provides, these sites have important historical significance for Montanans that is well worth preserving.

And with one of the largest veteran populations in the country, Montana values its military history. So as we remember our veterans, let’s all take a moment to encourage our congressional delegation to seek a long-term solution to the deferred maintenance funding shortfall that has plagued NPS for too long. We need them to provide dedicated annual federal funding for national park repairs.

These parks, battlefields, and historic sites are treasures to all Montanans, and vital to preserving our heritage. Let’s make sure they’re taken care of.

Article here

 

“Trump Must Call Out Iran’s Abuses in Wake of Jerusalem Speech” by Raymond Tanter


Trump Must Call Out Iran’s Abuses in Wake of Jerusalem Speech

By Raymond Tanter

December 12, 2017

“I turn to you President Trump, on behalf of the city of Jerusalem, the beating heart and soul of the Jewish people for more than 3,000 years,” Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkat said, standing in front of the White House. “I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your commitment and intention to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” perHaaretz, Dec. 8, 2017.

Bottom Line Up Front

The statement by the mayor is a good point of departure to discuss President Trump’s speech on Jerusalem, which may be the Goldilocks of his foreign policy: He hit the right spot on Dec. 6, and it is a shot across the bow of Tehran, which calls Jerusalem Al Quds.

The Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC-QF), focuses on foreign operations, like liberating Jerusalem from the Jews. Suppressing the Iranian people is the main responsibility of the Basij, literally “mobilization.” It is a paramilitary organization charged with channeling popular support for the Iranian regime, per the Counter Extremism Project.

President Trump stated in his December 6, speech, “Jerusalem is today, and must remain, a place where Jews pray at the Western Wall, where Christians walk the Stations of the Cross, and where Muslims worship at Al-Aqsa Mosque.”

In addition to President Trump and the Mayor of Jerusalem, consider the remarks of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley. She stated,

“The United States has not taken a position on boundaries or borders. The specific dimensions of sovereignty over Jerusalem are still to be decided by the Israelis and the Palestinians in negotiations. Finally, and critically, the United States is not predetermining final status issues. We remain committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement. We support a two-state solution if agreed to by the parties.”

The significance of these statements is threefold. First, the Mayor of Jerusalem: emotion; second, Trump, religion; and third, Haley, facts.

Yours truly taught 6 times at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and lectured on the West Bank, as well as throughout the Arab world; he was on the NSC staff Middle East desk has a feel for most aspects of the statements above.

Trump’s speech puts into deep-freeze the audacious plans for a division of the city, which were on the table, during the tenures of Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, per the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs of Dec. 8. And its president, Dore Gold, testified before the U.S. Congress Committee on Oversight and Government Reform: “On a political level, the denial of recognition helps fuel the dangerous fantasy, popular in the Middle East, that Israel is impermanent and illegitimate.”

Concurring with Gold, the bottom line of this post is that the so-called “Palestinian rage” is for only one reason: Because Israel exists as a normal state.

How Normal are Jerusalem and Tehran?

Iran is not a normal state like Israel. Iran has trappings of being normal, when, in fact, the regime is anything but ordinary. Per the State Department, Iran is the world’s leading state-sponsor of international terrorism, specializes in detaining political prisoners at home, all while its Western-trained diplomats dupe major powers with their suave manners and near-perfect English.

In contrast to Iran, Israel is a normal country. But, tongue-in-cheek, David Gerstman asked on Dec. 8, “If Israel were a normal country, having the United States place its embassy in its capital city would not be newsworthy.”

Meanwhile, in a rally on Dec. 8, “Hundreds Protest Against U.S. Jerusalem Move in Times Square,” headlined the coverage by NBC News. But, is Times Square really being rocked by demonstrations? Not so fast! There may have been more reporters covering protests than demonstrators. And there were more onlookers than demonstrators, after the terrorist attack by the Port Authority bomber on Dec. 11. And it seems he was inspired to repeat the Islamic State Christmas Attacks of the past, instead of being outraged by Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel.

And what about Jerusalem: Is the “City of Peace” really on fire, due to rioting Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza? No, Jerusalem is not burning. (The Epistle to the Hebrews points out that “Salem,” the title of Melchizedek’s City, means ‘peace’ (Gen. 14:18; Heb. 7:2).

On Dec. 10, a Muslim commentator, Bassam Tawilholds in an article, “Jerusalem Not on Fire,” that there were more journalists than protesters. The Palestinians declared a three-day-long “rage” spree over President Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Thus far, however, it appears as if the real anger is showing up in the Main Street Media, not on the Palestinian Street.

Despite the lack of fiery protests, there is a need to address issues raised by President Trump’s decision for the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The Way Forward

First, President Trump: Task Secretary of State Tillerson to make the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem the American Embassy; and the present U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv would become our Consulate. This action might reduce the pressure on you from worldwide condemnations occurring now.

Second, President Trump: Often repeat Amb. Haley’s statement, “United States is not predetermining final status issues. We remain committed to achieving a lasting peace agreement. We support a two-state solution if agreed to by the parties.”

Again, Mr. President, such action would provide cover for Arab regimes to reduce the drumbeat of condemnation of you. It also would curry favor of European allies like Berlin, Paris, and the United Kingdom, which oppose your recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel.

Third, and this point is the most important: Mr. President, deflect attention away from Jerusalem by calling attention to human rights abuses of Tehran. Your NSC staff is aware Iran specializes in detaining political prisoners, as evidenced by the following volume, and as stated on Dec. 10 in “Human Rights Day and Iran’s Suppression.” A book by the National Council of Resistance of Iran is “Iran: Where Mass Murderers Rule: The 1988 Massacre of 30,000 Political Prisoners and the Continuing Atrocities.”

In short, Mr. President, your pursuit of steps penned in this post might assist in helping the parties pursue a negotiated settlement regarding the Jerusalem issue. Without such moves, we all are doomed to live with breaking news about the Middle East toward the threat of wars that serve none of the parties’ interests, values, or goals.

Prof. Raymond Tanter (@AmericanCHR) served as a senior member on the Middle East Desk of the National Security Council staff in the Reagan-Bush administration, Personal Representative of the Secretary of Defense to international security and arms control talks in Europe, and is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan. Tanter is on the comprehensive list of conservative writers and columnists who appear in The Wall Street Journal, Townhall.com, National Review, The Weekly Standard, Human Events, The American Spectator, and now in Newsmax.

Article

Followed up by this information from the N.Y. Post:

 

Nikki Haley shows ‘concrete’ proof Iran broke missile agreement

On Thursday December 14, 2017:

“US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Thursday showed “concrete” proof that Iran is violating UN resolutions by supplying weapons to a rebel group in Yemen.

“In this warehouse is concrete evidence of illegal Iranian weapons proliferation, gathered from direct military attacks on partners in the region,” she said, standing in front of a charred ballistic missile the size of a car during a press conference at Joint Base Anacostia–Bolling in Washington, DC.”

Article

 

 

“Joint U.S.- Mexican Border Security Zone to Secure America” by MG Paul E. Vallely (US Army Ret)

“Joint U.S.- Mexican Border Security Zone to Secure America”

By:

MG Paul E. Vallely (US Army Ret)

 


 

The unfettered movement of transnational criminals, Islamic extremists and illegal border crossers across our porous southern border poses a clear and immediate national security threat.

The sophistication of the illicit networks that traffic in narcotics, foment terror and exploit human suffering for profit have exceeded our current ability to protect the homeland.

We must continue to be vigilant, but adopt a more aggressive, offense-oriented border strategy. You cannot win and defeat this national threat by being on defense all the time using limited assets and restrictive rules of engagement.

In fact, the federal government has not yet formulated a comprehensive and integrated National Border Security Strategy, which, in addition to law enforcement brings to bear all the instruments of national power – diplomatic, intelligence, military and economic – and coordinated by a single command and control system spanning our southern land border and ports of entry.

It is now time to truly enforce the rule-of-law along our southern borders – no more excuses, no more delays, no more politics, no more kowtowing to special interest groups, or claims by open-border advocates.

The fact is that the Citizens of the USA are in daily danger and are being killed or families harmed because the border states of Mexico are controlled by thugs and terrorists copying Jihad tactics of mayhem and murder. Once again, the entire region is festooned with upheaval, violence, and lawlessness as it was in 1846.

The northern states in Mexico; Baja California Norte, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas are under rogue control, and the Mexican Police and Army are helpless to stop them.

It is, therefore, in the national interest of the United States and the responsibility of the federal government to restore order on the border as well across our borders. Because of this clear and present danger to US Citizens and our economy, positive action must be taken without further delay.

 

 

Let me provide an executable plan of operations for the U.S. Government to undertake with resolve and commitment to protect and secure the American people for now and the future.

The plan uses elements of conventional and unconventional military and law enforcement assets. It combines the best use of already-existing forces that will encompass intelligence, targeting and structural organization to accomplish the mission, including base operations, offensive and defensive operations.

A 20 mile “Control Zone” on the US and Mexican side of the border will be established. Any group or persons occupying this zone engaging in criminal or illegal activities against Mexico or the United States would be targeted, engaged and neutralized.

The first step is to organize three Joint Border Task Force Groups (JBTFG) and position them in three operational bases, one in Texas, one in Arizona and another in Southern California. These bases have been identified but will be kept confidential for now. Each JBTFG will be organized based on joint task forces of Special Ops, Army, Air Force and Navy. Selected units and personal will be relocated and moved to the designated bases. A Joint Operations Center will be established for US and Mexican personnel.

Approximately 5,000 military personnel would be assigned to each JBTFG. The organization would be commanded by a Two Star “Warrior” and each of the three JBTFGs would be commanded by a Brigadier General. The mission for the military element of the Command would be to target and conduct offensive operations on the Mexican side of the border in coordination with Mexican authorities, when possible.  National Guard, Border Patrol, DEA, and local sheriff’s units would conduct border security operations on the United States side of the border. This initiative does not violate any existing Posse Comitatus laws.

Integrated operations will be conducted with the National Guard on the border states as well as US Border Patrol and DEA.

The concerns and anxiety of Americans, particularly in the Border States have grown significantly in the past year.  Changes in law enforcement operations have forced smugglers of drugs and illegal aliens into ever more isolated areas, increasing the number of deaths and the level of violence to a point where even the most hardened enforcement officials are alarmed.

The political ferment over illegals has never been greater – much concern as the result of the Kate Steinle murder verdict in San Francisco Seventy-eight percent of Americans think and know that the government is not doing enough to control our borders; talk shows bristle with demands for action. Additionally, Global jihad and jihadis are a major threat as they eye the southern border as a path of least resistance to strike inside the United States.

This plan will be presented to President Trump and the National Security Council

Contact Information for Authors for interviews

MG Vallely\406 249 1091/ e-mail: standupameircausa1@gmail.com

 

 

A must see video:

FAST AND FURIOUS: Under the Radar and Above the Law