AFGHANISTAN IS UN-WINNABLE

AFGHANISTAN IS UN-WINNABLE

 

By: Lawrence Sellin, Colonel United States Army Reserve

Carl von Clausewitz, 19th century military theorist, stressed the importance of knowing your enemy: “The first, the supreme, the most far-reaching act of judgment that the statesman and commander have to make is to establish … the kind of war on which they are embarking; neither mistaking it for, nor trying to turn it into, something that is alien to its nature.”

For 17 years, we wrongly applied counterinsurgency doctrine to a proxy war waged by Pakistan against the United States and Afghanistan. That approach was never a winning strategy as long as Pakistan controlled the supply of our troops in landlocked Afghanistan and regulated the operational tempo through its proxy army, the Taliban, who has maintained an extensive recruiting, training and financial support infrastructure inside Pakistan and immune to attack.

An American withdrawal will only be a humiliating defeat if the United States is forced into strategic retreat from South Asia because we do not have a plan in place to address the changing regional conditions in a post-U.S. Afghanistan.

I have written and spoken extensively about China orchestrating a strategic shift in South Asia working closely with Pakistan, Russia and Iran.

That geopolitical plan cannot succeed without the removal of the U.S. forces and influence from Afghanistan. China’s plan is for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to become the dominant economic driver in South Asia through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be the controlling regional alliance led by China.

Although not stated, Chinese militarization of the region will follow to ensure “security.” In many cases, expect that militarization to occur initially disguised as civilian construction projects.

Nowhere has Chinese ambitions been more clearly and publicly articulated than in a June 2018 China Daily article by former Pakistani diplomat, Zamir Ahmed Awan, who works for the Beijing-controlled Center for China and Globalization:

New [Chinese] initiatives for peace in Afghanistan are welcome, and may change the scenario in the whole region.

I believe American think tanks and leadership, especially military leadership, [have] already realized that this war cannot be won. The only option is withdrawal, the sooner the better.

Pakistan can play a vital role in a sustainable solution to the Afghan conflict [controlling Afghanistan as a client state]. Complete withdrawal and an Afghan-led [Taliban-led] solution is the only permanent way out. Pakistan can facilitate an honorable and safe passage for U.S. withdrawal.

Peace in Afghanistan will allow economic activity between Central Asia, Russia, China and the Arabian Sea…It can change the fate of the whole region. Chinese projects like the Belt and Road Initiative and the objectives of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization [SCO] … At the recent SCO summit, the Afghanistan president was invited as a guest and observer. Hopefully, the country will soon join SCO. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor may also be extended to benefit Afghanistan in the near future if there is peace.

Since that article was published, China has offered to extend CPEC to Afghanistan; China will build a military facility in and deploy Chinese troops to Afghanistan; Afghan military personnel will be trained in China; and members of the Afghan Parliament have recommended that the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between the U.S. and Afghanistan be cancelled, presumably to be replaced by China.

The only bargaining chip the United States has in peace negotiations is simply our presence in Afghanistan. According to the Voice of America, talks with the Taliban are stuck over the issue of the maintenance of U.S. military bases in the country. The United States wants to preserve two military facilities, Bagram Air Base and the Shorabak base in Helmand province.

The “presence” argument is tenuous at best. The United States should be identifying new forms of leverage, in the short term, to bolster our negotiating position, and, in the long term, as a basis of a new South Asian strategy.

The recently-announced effort to strengthen military ties with India is a step in that direction. The U.S. should also include measures to thwart Chinese plans for regional hegemony through BRI and its evitable military component. CPEC is the flagship of BRI, Balochistan is CPEC’s center of gravity and ethnic separatism is Pakistan’s major pain point. Both the Baloch and Pashtun resistance to Pakistani government oppression offer the opportunity to create greater leverage through the use of our own proxies.

The foundations of a new U.S. strategy in South Asia should be burden shifting and, when necessary, strategic disruption of our adversaries.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq.

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SEPT. 11 TERROR ATTACKS: 17 YEARS LATER by Michael Cutler

SEPT. 11 TERROR ATTACKS: 17 YEARS LATER

The disturbing allegiances of the Democratic Party.

 

Preamble by the author:

My article for today is predicated on the undeniable fact that the Damoclean Sword of terrorism still hangs over America as we remember the terror attacks of 9/11.

Nevertheless, the “leadership” of the Democratic Party insist on ordering “Shields Down” by demanding the termination of immigration law enforcement.

The 9/11 Commission identified multiple failures of the immigration system as the vulnerabilities that terrorists, including the 9/11 hijackers exploited, enabling them to enter the United States in the first place and then embed themselves so that they could hide in plain sight as they made their deadly preparations.

 As you read my article you must not forget how Democratic politicians have created “Sanctuary Cities” and “Sanctuary States” that operate in open defiance of our immigration laws, create safe havens for foreign nationals, from all over the world, who would do America and Americans great harm.  This includes foreign criminals as well as international terrorists and so-called “sleeper agents.”  Sanctuary Cities create potential “staging areas” for such criminals and terrorists providing them with access to our entire country and all Americans from coast to coast and border to border.

Ignorance is not bliss.  Knowledge is power, so my article provides some cold hard facts for you to consider and hopefully share with others.

 

SEPT. 11 TERROR ATTACKS: 17 YEARS LATER

The disturbing allegiances of the Democratic Party.

By Michael Cutler

September 11, 2018

For me, writing about the terror attacks of 9/11 has become something of an annual ritual.

I don’t do this to rehash old news and old concerns but out of my burning desire to prevent future terror attacks by pointing out the vulnerabilities that undermine national security and public safety.  Those threats are as real today as they were on that sunny late summer morning 17 years ago.

Since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 I have testified before numerous Congressional hearings and provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission and have testified before state legislative hearings across the United States.

Wherever I participate in panel discussions and other public speaking engagements I am frequently asked essentially the same question by concerned members of the audience, “Are we safer today than we were on September 10, 2001?”

From the immigration perspective, my area of expertise, it is clear that we are not only not safer, but increasingly at risk.  In point of fact, today because of the Radical Leftist ideology that the Democratic Party has adopted, America’s threat level has risen precipitously.  I addressed this extreme danger in my recent article, Democrats’ Attack On ICE Agents Is Workingmaking more terrorism inevitable.

Let me be as clear about this as I can.  I am not being partisan, I am being pro-American!

I have been a registered Democrat for more than five decades.  The problem is that Democrats are no longer Democrats but have morphed into a political party of anarchists and seditionists.

The Democratic Party has been hijacked as certainly as were those four airliners on September 11, 2001 turning crowded passenger airliners into de facto cruise missiles.

Sanctuary Cities and Sanctuary States have spread across the United States like a wildfire, obstructing the enforcement of our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.

The official report, 9/11 and  Terrorist Travel noted:

Thus, abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity. It would remain largely unknown, since no agency of the United States government analyzed terrorist travel patterns until after 9/11. This lack of attention meant that critical opportunities to disrupt terrorist travel and, therefore, deadly terrorist operations were missed.

Mayors of Sanctuary Cities claim to be motivated by compassion but in reality, Sanctuary Cities Protect Crooked Employers and Human Traffickers.

Leaders of the Democratic Party have only shown utter contempt and disdain for immigration law enforcement personnel, thereby endangering the agents’ safety and the safety of their families.  New York’s Governor Cuomo, has referred to ICE agents as “thugs” and has threatened to prosecute these dedicated law enforcement professionals for carrying out their lawful duties.

This also has a chilling effect, dissuading folks who have actionable intelligence from reaching out to ICE.

The second largest continence of federal agent who are assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) are the agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  This is not by chance.  Alien terrorists all violate multiple provisions of our nations immigration laws.

Now the unthinkable has happened as the “leadership” of the Democratic Party has demanded that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) be disbanded altogether and immigration law enforcement be terminated.

I addressed this suicidal seditionist call to arms of Americans by the now radicalized Democratic Party in my recent article, Immigration Anarchists vs National Security in which I noted that Dismantling ICE would lower America’s shields in a dangerous era.

In the days, weeks and months after the attacks of 9/11 our leaders warned us that for the terrorists to succeed in carrying out deadly terror attacks in the United States they need to “Get it right” only once while our officials needed to “get it right” 100% of the time.

Beyond that slogan, that became a virtual mantra, we must understand what that really means.

There was an old humorous riddle that asked “How many fools does it take to screw in a lightbulb?”  Where terrorists are concerned the equivalent question is “How many terrorists does it take to wreck havoc on America?”  Terrorism has been defined as “asymmetric warfare.”

Terror organizations certainly do not have access to the military firepower that the United States can bring to bear.  However, as we saw on 9/11, just nineteen terrorists inflicted a greater number of casualties on the United States’ mainland than was inflicted by the Japanese fleet on the U.S. at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Furthermore, the casualty count continues to climb and it is now estimated that more than 10,000 people continue to suffer grave consequences of the toxins that they ingested when the World Trade Center was reduced to rubble in lower Manhattan.

The horrifying reality is that every single alien who manages to enter the United States, either legally or illegally provides terrorists with that single opportunity that they need to carry out a deadly attack.

Every year tens of millions of aliens enter the United States legally and illegally.  This means that if only a fraction of 1% of the millions of aliens who enter our country annually came with the intentions of launching a massive terror attack, we are in deep trouble.

It was recently reported that last year some 700,000 nonimmigrant aliens who had been lawfully admitted through ports of entry failed to depart from the United States as required.

Annually more than 6 million applications for various immigration benefits are adjudicated by the overwhelmed and beleaguered adjurations officers of USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).  Those benefits include political asylum, the conferring of lawful immigrant status and conferring U.S. citizenship upon resident aliens via the naturalization process.

The 9/11 Commission, to which I provided testimony, warned that immigration fraud was the key method of entry and embedding for terrorists.  These cases are investigated by ICE and are a component of what is known as “interior enforcement” of our immigration laws.

9/11 and  Terrorist Travel reported:

Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, Yousef and Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida.” Mohammed Salameh, who rented the truck used in the bombing, overstayed his tourist visa. He then applied for permanent residency under the agricultural workers program, but was rejected. Eyad Mahmoud Ismail, who drove the van containing the bomb, took English-language classes at Wichita State University in Kansas on a student visa; after he dropped out, he remained in the United States out of status.

Therefore, each time an alien is granted any immigration benefit or even is able to file for such a benefit, terrorists among them may acquire that opportunity essential for them to be able to launch a deadly attack.

If only a fraction of one percent of the six million applicants for immigration benefits are terrorists, we are indeed in deep trouble.

Yet the leadership of the Democratic Party not only refuses to fund the construction of a wall to secure the southern border to the United States but has demanding that the agency charged with enforcing our immigration laws from within the interior of the United States, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) be totally disbanded and enforcement of our immigration laws be terminated.

Let’s briefly consider more recent developments.

On November 20, 2013 ABC News reported, “Exclusive: US May Have Let ‘Dozens’ of Terrorists Into Country As Refugees.”  This is not a new problem, on July 13, 2011 the Washington Times published a truly disturbing article, “Visas reviewed to find those who overstayed / Aim is to find any would-be terrorists.”

On September 2, 2014 ABC News reported, “Lost in America: Visa Program Struggles to “Track Missing Foreign Students.”

Here is how this report began:

The Department of Homeland Security has lost track of more than 6,000 foreign nationals who entered the United States on student visas, overstayed their welcome, and essentially vanished — exploiting a security gap that was supposed to be fixed after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

“My greatest concern is that they could be doing anything,” said Peter Edge, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official who oversees investigations into visa violators. “Some of them could be here to do us harm.”

My recent articles highlighted several cases involving alien terrorists who were fortunately arrested before they could do harm.

Here are a few of those articles that provide unequivocal evidence of the severity of the threats of terrorism that America and Americans face:

Iranian Agents charged With Targeting U.S. LocationsSleeper agents/assassins in our midst?

Somali Refugees Busted In Tucson:  Immigration fraud is at the heart of a terror case . . . again.

Jihadis And Drug Cartels At Our BorderA nightmare on the horizon.

Saudi Graduate Of Al Qaeda Terror Training Camp Arrested In OklahomaAlleged classmate of 9/11 hijackers attended US flight school in 2016.

The Democratic Party leadership has chosen sides.  They stand with transnational gangs and international terrorist organizations.  They stand with human traffickers and crooked employers.

Elections most certainly have consequences, arguably more so this year than any year since the founding of our great nation.

Michael Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) whose career spanned some 30 years. He served as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and spent 26 years as an agent who rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. He has testified before well over a dozen congressional hearings, provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission as well as state legislative hearings around the United States and at trials where immigration is at issue.

 

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Amazing Democrats read Kavanaughs 147,000 pages but Obamacare had to pass before anyone could read it

Amazing Democrats read Kavanaugh’s 147,000 pages but Obamacare had to pass before anyone could read it.

What is the DOJ and the FBI hiding?
When did the Democrats learn to read?

Kavanaugh documents take center stage in confirmation hearing: What do Dems want?

By Kaitlyn Schallhorn
Fox News

“Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing got off to a rocky start as multiple Democrats interjected and called for a delay – citing complaints that they haven’t seen all his records and only just received some of them.

Kavanaugh, 53, has served for the past 12 years on the federal appeals court in Washington, D.C. He was involved with the independent counsel’s report in laying out the legal framework supporting then-President Bill Clinton’s impeachment and served in key positions in the White House when George W. Bush was president.

He faces questions about his opinions on presidential authority, particularly as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation continues.

The contentious hearing has repeatedly been interrupted and fallen behind schedule as Democrats have called to pause the hearing due to document requests.

Sen. Kamala Harris, considered a potential 2020 Democratic presidential contender, raised objections to the recent release of some 42,000 documents just before the hearing kicked off; others called for a delay until the White House reverses course on its withholding of more than 100,000 pages of Kavanaugh’s record related to his time in the Bush administration.

Read on for a look at what lawmakers have had access to – and what Democrats want.

What documents does the committee have?

In all, about 267,000 pages of Kavanaugh documents from his Bush years have been made public with more than 147,000 pages given just to the committee.

Former President George W. Bush’s attorneys told the Senate Judiciary Committee Bush requested they “err as much as appropriate on the side of transparency and disclosure” in releasing documents to the committee. It said it withheld more than 46,000 documents – from both the public and the committee – because they were State Department records Kavanaugh possessed for consultation, did not fall within the time frame requested by the committee or were marked “protected by constitutional privilege” by the White House or Justice Department.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said the panel had been given access to more than 480,000 pages of emails and other documents from his service as an executive branch lawyer, more than 10,000 pages of judicial writings and 17,000 pages of speeches, articles, teaching materials and other items Kavanaugh attached to his 120-page questionnaire response.

Grassley, a Republican, also said the committee was able to review some 307 opinions he authored as well as hundreds more he joined.

“This is a half million pages of paper – more than the last five confirmed Supreme Court nominees combined,” Grassley, who has defended the document production as the most open in history, said.

Additionally, some 42,000 documents were made available to the committee relating to Kavanaugh’s work with past administrations just before the hearing’s start on Sept. 4.

Democrats vociferously argued for a delay in the hearing in order to have more time to review the documents. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, in particular, said it was impossible to go through them all in time for a fair hearing.

What do Democrats want?  

The White House blocked about 100,000 documents pertaining to Kavanaugh’s records from the Bush White House on the basis of presidential privilege – a point of contention for Democrats.

“We don’t know what is being hidden,” Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said during the hearing.

Schumer blasted President Trump ahead of the hearing for the withholding of certain documents.

“President Trump’s decision to step in at the last moment and hide [100,000] pages of Judge Kavanaugh’s records from the American public is not only unprecedented in the history of [Supreme Court nominees], it has all the makings of a cover up,” Schumer said in a tweet.

Democrats have also blasted Republicans for not requesting certain records, such as those pertaining to Kavanaugh’s time as a staff secretary.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., claimed Senate Democrats were not able to see records pertaining to “35 months of public service” as they “cannot even be considered.”

But Grassley, who has repeatedly rebuffed demands to postpone the hearing, said those documents “are the least useful in understanding his legal views and [are] the most sensitive to the executive branch.”

“What is being hidden and why?” Leahy asked Tuesday.”

Fox News’ Jennifer Earl and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Moving Healthcare and Hospitals/Clinics from the Veterans Administration to the Department of Defense Medical Services

Moving Healthcare and Hospitals/Clinics from the Veterans Administration to the Department of Defense Medical Services

 

 

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

As one of the oldest and most expensive government agencies, the VA is constrained by unions, continuing lack of oversight and failed stewardship. It is time to change the course of the discussion, reportability, and accountability and move the Healthcare and hospital facilities/administration of the Veterans Administration to and under the Department of Defense. The current VA then should be one of sole administration of Veterans issues and benefits administration.

The justifications are endless to reposition the VA under the Department of Defense, those most notable and listed below.

  • The VA services process system was created during the FDR years and since has had an almost manual custom coded software upgrades where no cutting edge technology exists. The VA process and procedure platform is perhaps one level above a paper and pencil system. The hardware is up to date but the software systems are archaic. Making full use of more advanced computer structure would be a giant leap forward.
  • At the VA, there is no integrated database integrated system connecting the VA’s to each other, or to the Social Security Administration, or the Pentagon or to locations where vital service records are stored. At issue, when a vet seeks medical service from a different VA facility, he/she must have their own complete records with them, when burial services are requested, the VA does not recognize death notices/certificates from the SSA or the Pentagon. Under the Department of Defense, connectivity and approvals and sped-up considerably.
  • Vets today are allowed a 30-minute appointment with the doctor, 20 minutes of that the doctor is working the input process into the computer, paperwork too cumbersome. Having a feature like Dragon, voice to text is required, an inexpensive and forward-leaning solution managed by dedicated active military software personnel.
  • The VA personnel has no empathy, compassion or recognition of the veterans, there is no respect, no honor, no appreciation, hence no customer service. Brothers keeping watch over brothers will immediately cure this condition.
  • 30% of medical cases are for hearing loss, the veteran must prove military service where hearing loss was probable, 50 mm howitzers, cannons, artillery etc. Research and development under which the medical community as DoD contractors can address this condition on veteran case files while being assertive in curing and addressing hearing loss prognosis that would relieve medical case backlogs.
  • At the VA, there is no peer support staff, meaning VA ambassadors that promote and market the services offered by the VA, items like housing, education, loans, job searches benefits go unknown to those former active duty uniformed personnel. Incorporation of other current Department of Defense benefits for active personnel is prudent and pro-active.

Doctors at the Veterans Administration have no structure or set schedule or term. VA doctors see about 2-3 patients a day, in the civilian world, doctors see 6-10. If a doctor does not show up for a workday and veterans have scheduled appointments, there is no call made to the veteran and to reschedule appointments go out another 3-4 months. Using automated scheduling and an active outward call program is the solution and the DOD currently applies these technologies.

 

  • Veterans are forced to be self-advocates such that they have to navigate a labyrinth and bureaucracy that is not understood and leads to erroneous ratings and alters benefits. Words have meanings, where clarity and protocols within the Department of Defense offers an immediate change to the culture and attitude.
  • The VA is union heavy, where up to 5 unions exist in some locations, where the worst is SEIU, the most corrupt and felonious of all labor organizations, hence no one can be fired for dereliction of duty, altering paperwork, malfeasance, drug abuse, etc. Under the UCMJ, this behavior would be eliminated immediately.
  • Phone numbers for assistance to VA locations are voice mail and push #’s hell only to receive countless recordings, having the Department of Defense apply the existing telecom structure would eliminate this condition.
  • Veterans cannot seek simple medical procedures from civilian locations like a’ doc in the box’, dentist or even a closer military base for items like stitches, x-rays and even prescriptions like an antibiotic. The vets should have a choice card, demonstrating military service that is accepted at any local medical facility and could even have a modest co-pay. Under the Department of Defense, oversight of this process would be expedient.
  • The VA has no process to educate or seminars to aid in advancement for jobs for existing employees or for returning vets to gain an education and work at the VA in R&D, IT, the medical field, vets should work for vets due to the fraternity/sorority and military ethos. This issue is readily adaptable within existing programs at the DOD.
  • All VA locations should have random polygraphs or voice testing to determine honesty, work ethic (not selling narcotics or theft). These systems are currently in use at thousands of Defense and military posts domestically and globally.
  • Privatize a select group of existing VA hospitals by transferring them to the local communities and counties.

 

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