The Corps Has ? West Point and The Long March Through American Institutions

 

 

Looks like General Caslen and others are missing the 5 9’s reliability.

 

A letter to:

Lieutenant General Robert L. Caslen, Jr.

59th Superintendent
U.S. Military Academy, West Point

Dear General Caslen,
I have just read your long letter prompted by the Rapone affair.  I have
also a lot to write about the situation.

First, I am not pleased with LTC Heffington’s story in his affidavit.  In my
day no officer would have deigned to argue with a cadet, even a First
Classman.  He would have simply told the cadet to return to his room.  If
the cadet disobeyed he would have called the Officer of the Day to have the
cadet physically moved to his room.  And he would have written up the cadet
for disobeying the direct order of a superior officer, plus disrespect to an
officer and being out of uniform.  LTC Heffington may well lament the rot in
the administration and training of cadets, but he obviously was a part of
it.

Second, why was no investigation begun in November 2015 based upon LTC
Heffington’s affidavit?  Regardless of what the investigation would have
concluded, the fact that none was initiated is another example of the rot
that is permeating the USMA.  Somebody simply decided to pass the problem
along to the Army.  In addition, why was he allowed to graduate?  As a
professed Communist he could not truthfully have sworn allegiance to the
Constitution of the United States.  Yet he apparently lied and did.  His
views were known and yet he was permitted to commit perjury.

Third, you write “While we do not compromise standards, we are a
developmental institution.”  When did West Point become a “developmental
institution?  What does that even mean?  West Point was created in order to
furnish standard-setting, career officers for the United States Army.  And
it did that job well until the latter half of the twentieth century.  And it
accomplished its mission on an “attritional” and a  “zero tolerance” basis.
What does “developmental” mean?  Maybe it means that a cadet can be caught
lying twice, but if he is caught lying a third time, i.e., he has not
“developed”, he will be sent before the Honor Board, that may even decide
the cadet needs a little more “development” and gives him three more
chances.  I remember that when I was a plebe, and maybe even my first day, I
was made to understand that lying or quibbling was not allowed and would
mean rapid dismissal.  Maybe “development” means being able to discuss an
order given by a superior officer.  Rot!  Maybe “developmental” means that
an upper classman inspecting a plebe in ranks (if such a thing is still
tolerated) says “Mister, your shoeshine looks better today than yesterday,
but it still needs some work.  So, try to do better tomorrow.”  Rot!

Fourth, you write, “These changes have increased the realism, toughness, and
challenge of our developmental programs, resulting in the most capable and
confident young leaders of character that we have ever produced”.  This is
gratuitously denigrating all previous graduates.  Do I need to remind you
that previous classes produced leaders that saved this country more than
once.  Your statement is pure PR.  How can you possibly know that the
present generation of cadets are “the most capable and confident”?  Have you
conducted any objective survey?  Furthermore, the mission of West Point is
not to produce capable and confident second lieutenants.  Its mission is to
produce the men and women who will lead the Army in the future.  They should
be trained not to be second lieutenants, but future colonels and general
officers.  At the 70th Reunion of my class last May you addressed all the
reunion classes.  I took the opportunity to ask you what was the average
recent percentage of graduates who remain in the Army beyond their 5 year
commitment.  You evaded replying to my question by stating that it was as
high as that of ROTC graduates.  You seemed to be satisfied with that level.
It is not good enough.  Graduates of the USMA are meant to set the standards
for the discipline and conduct of the personnel in the United States Army.
But if a graduate serves only his/her five years, his/her impact on the
standards of the Army is minimal to nil.

Fifth, you make a big deal of the ratings various publications give West
Point as a university.  West Point is not a university.  It is a school to
train standard-setting, career U.S. Army officers.  Incidentally, cadets
receive a university-level education.  You should care more about how many
of the graduates remain for a career in the Army than that such-and such a
publication ranks the USMA #? as a liberal arts/engineering/whatever
university.  The same goes for athletics.  Can you tell me that the
standards for admission are not today warped/waived in order to bring in a
star athlete?  Can you tell me that special academic assistance is not given
to members of Corps Squads, particularly football.  Can you tell me that
every prospective cadet must take a written exam and, good athlete or not,
must pass it in order to be allowed to enter?

Sixth, you make a big deal of having intercollegiate athletic teams with an
overall record of .590.  So what!  West Point was never supposed to be an
athletic powerhouse.  I don’t believe the MacArthur quote that used to be
engraved over the entrance to the gym meant intercollegiate athletics, in
which only a small minority of the cadets participate.  I believe it
referred to intramural athletics.  I am all for intramural athletics.  I
firmly believe that there is too much emphasis placed today on
intercollegiate athletics at West Point.

Seventh, you make a big deal about decorations recent graduates have
received.  What about second lieutenants out of OCS or ROTC?  Didn’t they
get any?  Did they get less ?  Maybe, because they weren’t “developed”.
Maybe, because they performed less well.  Heroism is not a virtue exclusive
to West Point.  What was once upon a time exclusive was the commitment to
graduate standard-setting career officers.  This OCS and ROTC do not and
cannot do.  OCS and ROTC base their standards, or at least they used to, on
those of graduates of West Point.

Eighth, you make a big deal that some recent graduates have been assigned to
divisions overseas.  Where have you been?  What’s so uplifting about that?
Every member of my class after finishing his branch Officers Basic Course
was assigned overseas-everyone.  No big deal.

Ninth, I graduated under the previous so-called “attritional” and “zero
tolerance” system (as did all classes up to at least 1966.  See Rick
Atkinson’s “The Long Gray Line”, the story of the Class of 1966).  I
“developed” from a boy to a man on my own.  Nobody gave a damn whether I
“developed”.  I was expected from the first day to live up to the standards
of the Military Academy.  It was up to me in meeting them to “develop”
myself.  I seriously doubt that any of your “best and brightest” could even
have lasted through my plebe year.

Lastly, this letter started because of Second Lieutenant Rapone.  Obviously
he didn’t “develop” as well as he should have..  How many more cadets are
being graduated under the “developmental” system who do not come up to what
have been the traditional standards of West Point:  Duty, Honor, Country?
How many cadets are being graduated who have no intention, and never had any
intention, of being career Army officers / I doubt seriously that the
American taxpayer would be overjoyed to realize that he/she is paying,
what?, a half million dollars to give somebody a university education so
that he/she can leave the Army as quickly as possible and go into a
money-making civilian career.  Although if there are a number of Rapones
whom you allow to graduate, it’s in the Army’s interest that they get out
fast.

Benjamin L. Landis

 

“Benjamin L. Landis retired from the U.S. Army as a colonel after a 27-year
career that included service with the Military Assistance Advisory Group at
the U.S. embassy in Paris and as Senior U.S. Liaison Officer with the French
Forces in Germany.  He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and the
French Army Ecole d’  Etat-Major, and has an MSA from The George Washington
University.  After retirement, he was Director of Administration and Finance
for several major law firms in Washington.  He is the author of Searching
For Stability: The World in the Twenty-First Century.”
Support References:

“How are people graduating from West Point so radicalized? Users on /pol/ think they may have found the answer: Professor Rasheed Hosein,” they tweeted.

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“There is nothing strategic about Trump’s Afghanistan policy” by Lawrence Sellin

 

 

There is nothing strategic about Trump’s Afghanistan policy

by Lawrence Sellin, PHD. September 18, 2017

While accepting billions of American dollars in military and economic aid, Pakistan has been slowly bleeding the U.S. to death in Afghanistan through its support of the Taliban, Haqqani Network and other terrorist groups.

It is Pakistan’s role to force the U.S. and NATO out of Afghanistan to pave the way for regional dominance of its closest ally, China.

China is, quite literally, colonizing Pakistan.

Through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China aims to connect Asia, the Middle East and Africa through land-based and maritime economic zones as part of China’s global ambition to overtake the U.S. as the world’s leading superpower.

One element of that effort is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), an infrastructure and development project, the backbone of which is a transportation network connecting China to the Pakistani seaports of Gwadar and Karachi located on the Arabian Sea.

Although profitable for China, Pakistan has not fared as well under CPEC:

“After the Free Trade Agreement was signed, Pakistan’s trade deficit with China widened further as exports to China fell to $1.62 billion in 2016-17 from $2.69bn in 2013-14 and imports from China, in contrast showed an alarming increase of 123 per cent, growing from $4.73bn in 2012-13 to $10.53bn in 2016-17.”

Some Pakistani politicians have described CPEC as the Chinese version of the British East India company, which, at its height, had private army of about 260,000 and even the father of capitalism, Adam Smith, found its conquest, subjugation and plunder of the subcontinent distasteful.

According to a recent report, Chinese aspirations in Pakistan are not just about profits, but resemble the colonization of South Asia by the East India Company:

“The plan envisages a deep and broad-based penetration of most sectors of Pakistan’s economy as well as its society by Chinese enterprises and culture. Its scope has no precedent in Pakistan’s history in terms of how far it opens up the domestic economy to participation by foreign enterprises.”

“For instance, thousands of acres of agricultural land will be leased out to Chinese enterprises to set up ‘demonstration projects’ in areas ranging from seed varieties to irrigation technology. A full system of monitoring and surveillance will be built in cities from Peshawar to Karachi, with 24 hour video recordings on roads and busy marketplaces for law and order. A national fibreoptic backbone will be built for the country not only for internet traffic, but also terrestrial distribution of broadcast TV, which will cooperate with Chinese media in the ‘dissemination of Chinese culture’.”

In addition to the already 30,000 Chinese workers in Pakistan, CPEC calls for visa-free entry of Chinese into Pakistan and the establishment of “civil armed forces” to protect Chinese investments and “a coastal enjoyment industry that includes yacht wharfs, cruise homeports, nightlife, city parks, public squares, theaters, golf courses and spas, hot spring hotels and water sports” built for the Chinese under CPEC.

The expansion of the port of Gwadar and its international airport will include a concomitant increase in Chinese residents, estimated to reach 20,000, which may be a prelude to the establishment Chinese regional military facilities. A base in Gwadar at the mouth of the Persian Gulf would complement the Chinese base in Djibouti at entrance of the Red Sea, both strategic choke points.

So, while the U.S. is expending more blood and treasure in Afghanistan and Pakistan continues to regulate our progress there by controlling the battle tempo and the supply of our troops, China is successfully pursuing its geopolitical interests in South Asia, which will eventually include Afghanistan.

By choosing the wrong policy in Afghanistan, there is no end to what the U.S. can’t accomplish strategically.

Here’s a hint – you reach the Taliban through Pakistan and you reach Pakistan through China.

 

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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Dereliction of Duty II: The Afghanistan Years by Kevin Hulbert

Dereliction of Duty II: The Afghanistan Years

 

 

 

Kevin Hulbert
Former CIA Chief of Station

There has been a lot of writing lately on Afghanistan as the new administration struggles with what do to there, just as the previous administration struggled mightily to define both the mission and the end game.  In the absence of any good ideas, or any solutions, the last administration tragically kicked the can down the road for eight years, pursuing the status quo of a policy pretty much everyone knows has failed.

Obama’s advisors told him he faced two broad choices:  1) stay the course, which would cost $50 billion a year and probably continue to go sideways, or 2) pull out of Afghanistan and see it almost immediately dissolve into a problematic festering petri dish of terrorists, like the disaster which is Iraq and Syria.  Unfortunately, many of President Trump’s current advisors are the same unimaginative military guys who have been suggesting the status quo for 16 years.

The bottom line is that there are no easy choices in Afghanistan.

There are no silver bullets but to keep kicking the can down the road, spending about $50 billion a year on the effort and accomplishing little to nothing, cannot be high on President Trump’s list of things he wants to do.  The President is desperately looking for some alternatives and his military-centric cabinet seems incapable of coming up with anything other than to keep doing the same thing and to maybe surge another 4,000 troops to Afghanistan. Really? 4,000 more troops are going to turn this around?  The “troop surge” is a common military strategy when things are going bad, but it’s not too creative.

Mikhail Gorbachev tried it when things were going bad for the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s. It didn’t work well for him, either.  The Soviets withdrew completely on 15 February 1989.

The idea that the addition of 4,000 new troops in Afghanistan on top of the 8,500 already there is going to make a difference is absurd.  We had about 100,000 troops in the country previously and we couldn’t “win.”  The whole idea of the troop surge – more of the status quo – is nonsensical. This is as if you found yourself in charge of running a big black and white TV factory that was doing poorly because the market for black and white TVs had evaporated, but instead of making any changes to the product line, your management consultant’s advice was to double down on black and white TVs by starting to run a second shift of workers at the plant.

It’s like that old line, “We don’t know where we are and we don’t know where we are going, but we’re making really good time…”

In his book “Dereliction of Duty,” now current National Security Advisor LTG H.R. McMaster excoriated a whole generation of U.S. military leadership for not speaking truth to power and for not articulating their objections to the strategy then being used in Vietnam at the behest of Washington politicians.  McMaster faulted the military leadership for not having developed good alternatives for policy-makers to what the military leadership knew in their hearts was a failed strategy and one that could not win.  McMaster called it an abdication of the Generals’ professional and civic responsibilities.

What about Afghanistan today? Are we winning? What exactly is “victory” in Afghanistan?  Are we just going to be in Afghanistan forever spending $50 billion a year?  Are we going to be doing the “nation building” role forever, lest Afghanistan slip back into being a hot bed of terrorism?  Does anyone have any plan other than to keep doing what we have been doing for the last 16 years, spending untold billions in blood and treasure every year because no one can articulate anything else we might do instead?

The real tragedy is that these bad decisions on the war in Afghanistan have real and lasting consequences.  Thousands of young men and women are being sent into harm’s way in Afghanistan every year with an ill defined mission, in non-combat operations, just waiting to get shot at.  The vast majority of our soldiers in Afghanistan never even leave the U.S. base.

There has to be a better way.  There has recently been some talk about getting the big U.S. military footprint out of Afghanistan, saving tens of billions of dollars a year, and doing more work with private contractors in conjunction with Afghan forces.  Is it a perfect plan?  No, but you’re not going to find a “perfect” plan for Afghanistan because if there was one, we would already be doing it.  But, I have been surprised at how quick some pundits are to poke holes in the idea while offering zero ideas of their own about what we should do other than the same status quo of the last 16 years.  We had better start thinking more broadly about our options in Afghanistan and what the end game there might look like, otherwise some young smart colonel in the war college will be writing a sequel to McMaster’s book in a few short years titled, “Dereliction of Duty II:  The Afghanistan Years.”

 

PAUL VALLELY ON DONALD TRUMP AND THE EXPECTED US MIDDLE EAST POLICY

Retired US Army Major General Paul Vallely, Chairman of Stand Up America Foundation, talks about the evolution of US President Donald Trump from businessman to President and the new role of the United States as it disengages from its previous interventionist role in the Middle East.


 

 

According to Vallely, it will take time for the United States to develop a new comprehensive strategy, in which issues in East Asia and illegal immigration over the Mexican border will play a greater role than the Middle East. He also noted that differences between Russia and the United States regarding Iran are possible to resolve over time.

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Uncovering the Deep State and Mass Surveillance. Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney USAF (ret.) and Larry Klayman

Editor’s Note: Our great friend Dr. Dave Janda of Operation Freedom interviews Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney USAF (ret.) and an article by our great friend Larry Klayman, founder of Judicial Watch and our friends at Newsmax.

This is a “must listen to” interview:

 

Audio Interview

 



 

“Nunes Must Ask FBI’s Comey About Montgomery Mass Surveillance Case”


By Larry Klayman
Sunday, 19 Mar 2017 1:04 PM

The old expression about Washington, D.C., is that if you want a friend, get a dog! In the case of President Donald Trump, this is a lesson he has undoubtedly learned in his thus far short tenure as the commander in chief. Nowhere is this seen more than over the current controversy concerning the president’s claims that he was wiretapped, that is, illegally spied upon, by his predecessor’s administration, former President Barack Obama.

As I have written in this Newsmax blog and elsewhere particularly of late, my client, former NSA and CIA contractor Dennis Montgomery, holds the keys to disproving the false claims of those representatives and senators on the House and Senate intelligence committees, reportedly as well as FBI Director James Comey, that there is no evidence that the president and his men were wiretapped.

Montgomery left the NSA and CIA with 47 hard drives and over 600 million pages of information, much of which is classified, and sought to come forward legally as a whistleblower to appropriate government entities, including congressional intelligence committees, to expose that the spy agencies were engaged for years in systematic illegal surveillance on prominent Americans, including the chief justice of the Supreme Court, other justices, 156 judges, prominent businessmen such as Donald Trump, and even yours truly. Working side by side with Obama’s former Director of National Intelligence (DIA), James Clapper, and Obama’s former Director of the CIA, John Brennan, Montgomery witnessed “up close and personal” this “Orwellian Big Brother” intrusion on privacy, likely for potential coercion, blackmail or other nefarious purposes.

But when Montgomery came forward as a whistleblower to congressional intelligence committees and various other congressmen and senators, including Senator Charles Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who, like Comey, once had a reputation for integrity, he was “blown off;” no one wanted to even hear what he had to say. The reason, I suspect, is that Montgomery’s allegations were either too hot to handle, or the congressional intelligence and judiciary committees already knew that this unconstitutional surveillance was being undertaken. Moreover, given the power of the NSA, CIA, and DNI, for congressional committee heads to take action to legitimately and seriously investigate and if necessary recommend prosecution of officials like Clapper and Brennan could, given the way Washington works, result in the spy agencies disclosing and leaking (as occurred recently with General Michael Flynn), the details of their mass surveillance, ruining the careers if not personal lives of any politician who would take them on.

After Montgomery was turned away as a whistleblower, he came to me at Freedom Watch. With the aid of the Honorable Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who I had come to respect and trust over the years of my public interest advocacy, we brought Montgomery forward to FBI Director James Comey, through his General Counsel James Baker. Under grants of immunity, which I obtained through Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Curtis, Montgomery produced the hard drives and later was interviewed under oath in a secure room at the FBI Field Office in the District of Columbia. There he laid out how persons like then-businessman Donald Trump were illegally spied upon by Clapper, Brennan, and the spy agencies of the Obama administration. He even claimed that these spy agencies had manipulated voting in Florida during the 2008 presidential election, which illegal tampering resulted in helping Obama to win the White House.

This interview, conducted and videoed by Special FBI Agents Walter Giardina and William Barnett, occurred almost two years ago, and nothing that I know of has happened since. It would appear that the FBI’s investigation was buried by Comey, perhaps because the FBI itself collaborates with the spy agencies to conduct illegal surveillance. In landmark court cases which I filed after the revelations of Edward Snowden, the Honorable Richard Leon, a colleague of Judge Lamberth, had ruled that this type of surveillance constituted a gross violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. (See www.freedomwatchusa.org for more information.)

A few months ago, given FBI’s seeming inaction in conducting a bona fide timely investigation of the treasure trove of information Montgomery had produced and testified to, I went to Chairman Bob Goodlatte of the House Judiciary Committee, as I had done earlier with Senator Grassley, since Montgomery had revealed that judges had been spied upon, and asked his staff to inquire of Director Comey the status of the investigation. I have heard nothing back from Goodlatte or his staff and they have not responded to recent calls and emails.

So last Thursday, I traveled to Capital Hill to personally meet with Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Ca.) of the House Intelligence Committee and, when his scheduler claimed that he was “unavailable,” forcefully pushed for a meeting with one of his committee lawyers, Allen R. Souza, and fully briefed him about Montgomery and the FBI’s apparent cover-up. I told this staff intel lawyer to inform Chairman Nunes of the facts behind this apparent cover-up before the committee holds its hearing on the alleged Trump wiretaps and questions Comey this Monday, March 20, in open session. My expressed purpose: to have Chairman Nunes of the  House Intelligence Committee ask Comey, under oath, why he and his FBI have seemingly not moved forward with the Montgomery investigation.

During my meeting with House Intelligence Committee counsel Allen R. Sousa I politely warned him that if Chairman Nunes, who himself had that same day undercut President Trump by also claiming that there is no evidence of surveillance by the Obama administration, I would go public with what would appear to be the House Intelligence Committee’s complicity in keeping the truth from the American people and allowing the FBI to continue its apparent cover-up of the Montgomery “investigation.”

And, that is where it stands today. The big question: will House Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes do his job and hold FBI Director Comey’s feet to the fire about the Montgomery investigation?

Please watch the House Intelligence Committee hearing closely this Monday.

Larry Klayman, founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch, is known for his strong public interest advocacy in furtherance of ethics in government and individual freedoms and liberties. To read more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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