MG Vallely – Reining in National Insecurity

Editor’s Note – Paul E. Vallely is a retired U.S. Army major general and is chairman of Stand Up America.

Obama’s policies pose dire threat to Americans’ safety

By Paul E. Vallely – Washington Times

MG Paul E. Vallely, US Army (Ret.)
MG Paul E. Vallely, US Army (Ret.)

This Election Day, patriotic Americans must vote to rein in President Obama. Informed and objective observers can only conclude our president and his followers work hardest to weaken U.S. military superiority, to the manifest advantage of our global enemies.

Moreover, in bypassing Congress wherever possible, the current administration seized unilateral control over foreign policy and national security, flouting the original and express intent of America’s Founders.

To begin with, two specific concerns are worth noting, among many more that deserve lengthier discussion. When did the American populace endorse unilateral reduction in our nuclear arsenal, supposedly in line with comparable Russian actions? Russia is not a trustworthy partner in any respect.

President Barack Obama traveled to the Pentagon in 2012 to announce that the “tide of war is receding” for the United States, thereby justifying massive cuts to the U.S. military. “In short, we’ve succeeded in defending our nation, taking the fight to our enemies, reducing the number of Americans in harm’s way, and we’ve restored America’s global leadership. That makes us safer and it makes us stronger.”
President Barack Obama in 2012: “In short, we’ve succeeded in defending our nation, taking the fight to our enemies, reducing the number of Americans in harm’s way, and we’ve restored America’s global leadership. That makes us safer and it makes us stronger.”

Moreover, Mr. Obama’s policies support and enable the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic State, known militant and radical Islamic groups. He backed the election of Mohammed Morsi as Egypt’s new president, even as Mr. Morsi tried establishing an intolerant Islamic caliphate.

We should never forget that Mr. Morsi’s military and police attacked non-Muslims and persecuted Christians, who were beaten, raped, robbed and killed.

Meanwhile, Mr. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said and did nothing other than support Mr. Morsi and his radical government. Luckily, destiny and understanding the “realities” of Islamic terror brought Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and his patriots to the Egyptian people.

Do Americans in both political parties really wish to lay down their arms, cripple our military defenses and cede our sovereignty to rising nations such as Russia and China, to shadowy actors such as the Islamic State, to the United Nations or to some new global superstate?

Is the illusion of peace worth the mounting costs?

Throughout the 238-year history of the United States, our military forces experienced many transformations. Initially, the Army, Navy and Marines were patriots who organized to fight against the tyranny of England.

They banded together to win a revolution and became a force for securing the fledgling nation.

11obama_c0-34-800-500_s561x327Over ensuing decades and centuries, our military expanded, evolved, and eventually became the strongest fighting force on earth.

These changes all reflected the need and threats of the day and the political will of the government and its elected officials.

What has the Obama administration been seeking to achieve since Jan. 20, 2009? As Adm. James Lyons has stated, “With the weakest national security team since World War II, it is no wonder that both our foreign and national security policies lack coherence and direction.

The administration’s faculty-lounge logic that, in the 21st century, ‘diplomacy’ will substitute for military solutions to international crisis, overlooks or chooses to ignore a key factor: recognized military power that provides the essential underpinnings to successful diplomacy. It is called ‘peace through strength.’”

After six years, is it clear what Mr. Obama’s military objectives are anywhere on this earth? Do Americans truly believe that their national security is better protected by the Obama administration than it was before its inception?

As we approach a pivotal set of elections that affect all Americans, we who care deeply about the defense of this great nation must ask and answer a series of probing questions.

What were Mr. Obama’s intentions toward the military after taking office?

What impact has he had on the military ever since?

What will his impact be through Jan. 20, 2017, when he completes his second term in office?

A review of the president’s record and informed consideration of the current state of play suggest that America occupies a precarious position, before numerous, clear and present dangers.

To date, Mr. Obama’s actions and inactions across the globe and at home compound a long list of failures. Whether by design, malfeasance or stark ineptitude, this past is prologue for a deeply disturbing future.putin_obama

Left unchecked, Mr. Obama will degrade further America’s credibility, respect, trust and standing in the community of nations.

Thinking past Election Day, Americans should consider threats posed to this country under the president’s “leadership,” including Syria, Iran, Russia, China, our eroded relationship with linchpin Israel, the Muslim Brotherhood, North Korea, the Islamic State and al Qaeda.

Why does our president give billions of dollars in aid and supply arms to regimes that declare America and our ally Israel to be mortal enemies, worthy only of destruction?

Why would Mr. Obama work so hard to disarm American citizens while he rushes to arm our worst enemies?

Mr. Obama is relentlessly wrecking the Defense Department, downsizing and overburdening our military forces, overwhelming the U.S. economy, and speeding this country toward national suicide.

As we pause before voting, Americans need to think carefully about the risks involved letting Mr. Obama rule for two more years with little counterbalancing influence from the legislative branch.

This November your vote counts a lot more than ever before.

'Anonymous' Inside the Military? Insider Tells All

Editor’s Note – Are Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden heroes, traitors, whistle blowers…? That is up to you, but reading this article may change your point of view. The other reason we bring this to you is also to show what our military and government are also doing, as reported by an “insider”, but again, you be the judge.

Do you believe this account? Anyway you look at it, questions just continue to flow and its most conceivable that ‘Anonymous’ types likely do work in all industries, government, and the military.

Anonymous’ Secret Presence In The U.S. Army

“There are people who I only know as screen names but I have put my career in their hands.” One member tells all.

By Justine Sharrock – BuzzFeed

An active-duty Army captain and member of Anonymous describes how the organization operates, his own involvement in the Arab Spring, how the crackdown on Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden has affected soldiers, and how more leaks are on the way. He has agreed to speak with BuzzFeed on the condition of anonymity.

A Guy Fawkes mask on the dashboard is just one way this Army captain tips off other soldiers that he’s a fellow member of Anonymous.
A Guy Fawkes mask on the dashboard is just one way this Army captain tips off other soldiers that he’s a fellow member of Anonymous.

Are there a lot of members of Anonymous in the Army?

There are more than you would think, more heavily in the techie world [of the military] — especially at Fort Huachuca, where all the intel people are. A lot of them wanted to get the job [there] because they want to learn secret stuff and have a better personal understanding of how the world actually works.

How do you know who is in Anonymous?

Initially we have the handshaking phase. The lingo is still relatively unknown. In conversation, you drop in jokes. If you are with someone on a mission, you’re like, “Man, there are over 9,000 reasons that this is a bad idea.” That initially establishes friendship. Once you feel comfortable with the person and they aren’t just posing as part of the culture, then you talk about what they’ve done and how much a part of it they are. It gets to the point where you are discussing individual operations.

What are the most popular operations amongst soldiers?

Anonymous is so distributed and leaderless that everyone has operations they love and hate. Operation Cartel, especially at Fort Bliss. Operation Dark Net was universally loved. And Operation Payback was pretty well received.

What about you?

I was involved in the Arab Spring opening up internet communications. I was a facilitator for a lot of people who have more skills than me in the cyber world. I knew people who I met through 4chan, 9Chan, and 7Chan and then a lot of AnonOps IRCs and who they needed to talk to — the organizations that would help them, and people in government would give them resources and access — and was able to convince them to talk to people in Anonymous. I got people in the right [internet relay chat] rooms at the right time.

Would the military consider you a white or black hat?

The military sees me as black hat.

Is that a fair assessment?

All hats are gray. Every white hacker I know has a night job that is very much a black-hat job.

What were the results of what you did for the Arab Spring?

From what I heard they were able to establish ways to assist the activists to have a method where they could get information out of Egypt and have certain Twitter accounts tweet that information on their behalf. But I don’t know for sure. As soon as I was like, “Hey, this is this person,” and vice versa, they did tweet confirmation to make sure that certain Twitter accounts were controlled by certain people, and then I headed out of the room so there would be no “taint” of having a fed there.

Why do Anonymous members outside the military trust you?

My credibility is incredibly suspect in the group. I admit I work for the feds, and I provide information on myself so that they are comfortable. There are people who I only know as screen names but I have put my career in their hands.

What specific actions have other soldiers taken?

There are several [soldiers] I know that probably did things, but I don’t know know that they did. I can legally say, probably under a [lie] detector, I have no proof that they did it. We keep our activities totally separate because at any point in time I can be put in the chair that I can’t lie in. You have to keep the /b/ [4chan’s “Random” board] brotherhood strong.

Does the military know about the Anonymous presence?

Pre-Manning, there were several academic papers put out trying to analyze it and school the leadership. Because the Army is a very top-down organization, they assume that [Anonymous] is too. Leadership wasn’t concerned with it until Manning happened. Then they read everything under the [lens] of what Manning did and it just scared them — scared them blind. They know we are in there and they assume that we are all going to do a Manning or a Snowden.

How have they addressed it?

Every six months you are mandated to get a Threat Awareness and Reporting Procedures Brief. It used to be very much like how to … spot the Iraqi contractor who is pacing off your base. Now it is, “Look at the person at your left and right. Are they espousing social beliefs that don’t line up with Army values? What websites do they go to at work?” With the caveat that it is OK to have political beliefs that are different. You get a heavy-handed feeling.

I have had more than a few officers come up to me and as we are trying to talk about [Anonymous] they are worried, like, “Are you CID [working undercover for the Central Investigative Division]?” Because you always worry about that.

Are the retaliations against Manning and Snowden discouraging Anonymous activity and the desire to leak information?

A lot [of Anonymous members] have been in long enough and are jaded. They are watching as the government comes down harder and harder. There is a growing sense of disdain and hatred because we are complicit in it. There are some secrets that need to be secrets but the stuff [the military] keeps secret just to protect the bottom line — you just feel like you are selling your soul every day. That is a lot of the motivation. Especially for people of the generation that believe that information should be free.

Are we going to see more leaks?

Yes. A lot [of Anonymous members] are mid- to high-rank NCOs. They are well-respected, have connections, and overly large security clearances. A lot of people who are part of the [Anonymous] culture are just dying at this point for something to come across their table that isn’t already out there. It is so easy to leak information that if you want to, you can do it.

Law Enforcement Becoming a Domestic Military System

Editor’s Note – Has the Law Enforcement community found a way around ‘Posse Comitatus‘ for the Department of Defense?

Right under our noses, law enforcement has become a domestic military operation across our homeland and we need to ask some hard questions as to the legality and the determine the real objectives.

The police tactics at issue in the Stewart case are no anomaly. Since the 1960s, in response to a range of perceived threats, law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier.

The Department of Defense provides funding and equipment to countless law enforcement agencies nationally which is a supplement to what the Department of Homeland Security provides. The question is why, and just what is the defined agenda? How many failed missions have there been and who is responsible?

Rise of the Warrior Cop

Is it time to reconsider the militarization of American policing?

By Radley Balko – Wall Street Journal

On Jan. 4 of last year, a local narcotics strike force conducted a raid on the Ogden, Utah, home of Matthew David Stewart at 8:40 p.m. The 12 officers were acting on a tip from Mr. Stewart’s former girlfriend, who said that he was growing marijuana in his basement. Mr. Stewart awoke, naked, to the sound of a battering ram taking down his door. Thinking that he was being invaded by criminals, as he later claimed, he grabbed his 9-millimeter Beretta pistol.

Leah Hogsten  |  The Salt Lake Tribune Wednesday, November 7, 2012.  Matthew David Stewart, was ordered to stand trial for allegedly killing 30-year-old Ogden police Officer Jared Francom. Stewart, 38, is charged in 2nd District Court with aggravated murder for Francom’s death. He also is charged with seven first-degree felony counts of attempted aggravated murder for allegedly trying to kill other officers, and one second-degree felony count related to alleged marijuana cultivation. Judge Noel Hyde decided there was enough evidence to order Stewart to stand trial on all nine counts.
Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune
Wednesday, November 7, 2012.
Matthew David Stewart, was ordered to stand trial for allegedly killing 30-year-old Ogden police Officer Jared Francom.
Stewart, 38, is charged in 2nd District Court with aggravated murder for Francom’s death. He also is charged with seven first-degree felony counts of attempted aggravated murder for allegedly trying to kill other officers, and one second-degree felony count related to alleged marijuana cultivation. Judge Noel Hyde decided there was enough evidence to order Stewart to stand trial on all nine counts.

The police say that they knocked and identified themselves, though Mr. Stewart and his neighbors said they heard no such announcement. Mr. Stewart fired 31 rounds, the police more than 250. Six of the officers were wounded, and Officer Jared Francom was killed. Mr. Stewart himself was shot twice before he was arrested. He was charged with several crimes, including the murder of Officer Francom.

The police found 16 small marijuana plants in Mr. Stewart’s basement. There was no evidence that Mr. Stewart, a U.S. military veteran with no prior criminal record, was selling marijuana. Mr. Stewart’s father said that his son suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and may have smoked the marijuana to self-medicate.

Early this year, the Ogden city council heard complaints from dozens of citizens about the way drug warrants are served in the city. As for Mr. Stewart, his trial was scheduled for next April, and prosecutors were seeking the death penalty. But after losing a hearing last May on the legality of the search warrant, Mr. Stewart hanged himself in his jail cell.

The police tactics at issue in the Stewart case are no anomaly. Since the 1960s, in response to a range of perceived threats, law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier.

Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment—from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers—American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop—armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.

The acronym SWAT stands for Special Weapons and Tactics. Such police units are trained in methods similar to those used by the special forces in the military. They learn to break into homes with battering rams and to use incendiary devices called flashbang grenades, which are designed to blind and deafen anyone nearby. Their usual aim is to “clear” a building—that is, to remove any threats and distractions (including pets) and to subdue the occupants as quickly as possible.

The country’s first official SWAT team started in the late 1960s in Los Angeles. By 1975, there were approximately 500 such units. Today, there are thousands. According to surveys conducted by the criminologist Peter Kraska of Eastern Kentucky University, just 13% of towns between 25,000 and 50,000 people had a SWAT team in 1983. By 2005, the figure was up to 80%.

The number of raids conducted by SWAT-like police units has grown accordingly. In the 1970s, there were just a few hundred a year; by the early 1980s, there were some 3,000 a year. In 2005 (the last year for which Dr. Kraska collected data), there were approximately 50,000 raids.

A number of federal agencies also now have their own SWAT teams, including the Fish & Wildlife Service, NASA and the Department of the Interior. In 2011, the Department of Education’s SWAT team bungled a raid on a woman who was initially reported to be under investigation for not paying her student loans, though the agency later said she was suspected of defrauding the federal student loan program.

The details of the case aside, the story generated headlines because of the revelation that the Department of Education had such a unit. None of these federal departments has responded to my requests for information about why they consider such high-powered military-style teams necessary.

Americans have long been wary of using the military for domestic policing. Concerns about potential abuse date back to the creation of the Constitution, when the founders worried about standing armies and the intimidation of the people at large by an overzealous executive, who might choose to follow the unhappy precedents set by Europe’s emperors and monarchs.

The idea for the first SWAT team in Los Angeles arose during the domestic strife and civil unrest of the mid-1960s. Daryl Gates, then an inspector with the Los Angeles Police Department, had grown frustrated with his department’s inability to respond effectively to incidents like the 1965 Watts riots. So his thoughts turned to the military. He was drawn in particular to Marine Special Forces and began to envision an elite group of police officers who could respond in a similar manner to dangerous domestic disturbances.

Mr. Gates initially had difficulty getting his idea accepted. Los Angeles Police Chief William Parker thought the concept risked a breach in the divide between the military and law enforcement. But with the arrival of a new chief, Thomas Reddin, in 1966, Mr. Gates got the green light to start training a unit. By 1969, his SWAT team was ready for its maiden raid against a holdout cell of the Black Panthers.

At about the same time, President Richard Nixon was declaring war on drugs. Among the new, tough-minded law-enforcement measures included in this campaign was the no-knock raid—a policy that allowed drug cops to break into homes without the traditional knock and announcement. After fierce debate, Congress passed a bill authorizing no-knock raids for federal narcotics agents in 1970.

h-RISE-OF-THE-WARRIOR-COP-960x540-600x350

Over the next several years, stories emerged of federal agents breaking down the doors of private homes (often without a warrant) and terrorizing innocent citizens and families. Congress repealed the no-knock law in 1974, but the policy would soon make a comeback (without congressional authorization).

During the Reagan administration, SWAT-team methods converged with the drug war. By the end of the 1980s, joint task forces brought together police officers and soldiers for drug interdiction. National Guard helicopters and U-2 spy planes flew the California skies in search of marijuana plants. When suspects were identified, battle-clad troops from the National Guard, the DEA and other federal and local law enforcement agencies would swoop in to eradicate the plants and capture the people growing them.

Advocates of these tactics said that drug dealers were acquiring ever bigger weapons and the police needed to stay a step ahead in the arms race. There were indeed a few high-profile incidents in which police were outgunned, but no data exist suggesting that it was a widespread problem. A study done in 1991 by the libertarian-leaning Independence Institute found that less than one-eighth of 1% of homicides in the U.S. were committed with a military-grade weapon. Subsequent studies by the Justice Department in 1995 and the National Institute for Justice in 2004 came to similar conclusions: The overwhelming majority of serious crimes are committed with handguns, and not particularly powerful ones.

The new century brought the war on terror and, with it, new rationales and new resources for militarizing police forces. According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Department of Homeland Security has handed out $35 billion in grants since its creation in 2002, with much of the money going to purchase military gear such as armored personnel carriers. In 2011 alone, a Pentagon program for bolstering the capabilities of local law enforcement gave away $500 million of equipment, an all-time high.

The past decade also has seen an alarming degree of mission creep for U.S. SWAT teams. When the craze for poker kicked into high gear, a number of police departments responded by deploying SWAT teams to raid games in garages, basements and VFW halls where illegal gambling was suspected. According to news reports and conversations with poker organizations, there have been dozens of these raids, in cities such as Baltimore, Charleston, S.C., and Dallas.

In 2006, 38-year-old optometrist Sal Culosi was shot and killed by a Fairfax County, Va., SWAT officer. The investigation began when an undercover detective overheard Mr. Culosi wagering on college football games with some buddies at a bar. The department sent a SWAT team after Mr. Culosi, who had no prior criminal record or any history of violence. As the SWAT team descended, one officer fired a single bullet that pierced Mr. Culosi’s heart. The police say that the shot was an accident. Mr. Culosi’s family suspects the officer saw Mr. Culosi reaching for his cellphone and thought he had a gun.

Assault-style raids have even been used in recent years to enforce regulatory law. Armed federal agents from the Fish & Wildlife Service raided the floor of the Gibson Guitar factory in Nashville in 2009, on suspicion of using hardwoods that had been illegally harvested in Madagascar. Gibson settled in 2012, paying a $300,000 fine and admitting to violating the Lacey Act. In 2010, the police department in New Haven, Conn., sent its SWAT team to raid a bar where police believed there was underage drinking. For sheer absurdity, it is hard to beat the 2006 story about the Tibetan monks who had overstayed their visas while visiting America on a peace mission. In Iowa, the hapless holy men were apprehended by a SWAT team in full gear.

Unfortunately, the activities of aggressive, heavily armed SWAT units often result in needless bloodshed: Innocent bystanders have lost their lives and so, too, have police officers who were thought to be assailants and were fired on, as (allegedly) in the case of Matthew David Stewart.

In my own research, I have collected over 50 examples in which innocent people were killed in raids to enforce warrants for crimes that are either nonviolent or consensual (that is, crimes such as drug use or gambling, in which all parties participate voluntarily). These victims were bystanders, or the police later found no evidence of the crime for which the victim was being investigated. They include Katherine Johnston, a 92-year-old woman killed by an Atlanta narcotics team acting on a bad tip from an informant in 2006; Alberto Sepulveda, an 11-year-old accidentally shot by a California SWAT officer during a 2000 drug raid; and Eurie Stamps, killed in a 2011 raid on his home in Framingham, Mass., when an officer says his gun mistakenly discharged. Mr. Stamps wasn’t a suspect in the investigation.

What would it take to dial back such excessive police measures? The obvious place to start would be ending the federal grants that encourage police forces to acquire gear that is more appropriate for the battlefield. Beyond that, it is crucial to change the culture of militarization in American law enforcement.

Consider today’s police recruitment videos (widely available on YouTube), which often feature cops rappelling from helicopters, shooting big guns, kicking down doors and tackling suspects. Such campaigns embody an American policing culture that has become too isolated, confrontational and militaristic, and they tend to attract recruits for the wrong reasons.

If you browse online police discussion boards, or chat with younger cops today, you will often encounter some version of the phrase, “Whatever I need to do to get home safe.” It is a sentiment that suggests that every interaction with a citizen may be the officer’s last. Nor does it help when political leaders lend support to this militaristic self-image, as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg did in 2011 by declaring, “I have my own army in the NYPD—the seventh largest army in the world.”

The motivation of the average American cop should not focus on just making it to the end of his shift. The LAPD may have given us the first SWAT team, but its motto is still exactly the right ideal for American police officers: To protect and serve.

SWAT teams have their place, of course, but they should be saved for those relatively rare situations when police-initiated violence is the only hope to prevent the loss of life. They certainly have no place as modern-day vice squads.

Many longtime and retired law-enforcement officers have told me of their worry that the trend toward militarization is too far gone. Those who think there is still a chance at reform tend to embrace the idea of community policing, an approach that depends more on civil society than on brute force.

In this very different view of policing, cops walk beats, interact with citizens and consider themselves part of the neighborhoods they patrol—and therefore have a stake in those communities. It’s all about a baton-twirling “Officer Friendly” rather than a Taser-toting RoboCop.

Corrections & Amplifications
The Consumer Products Safety Commission does not have a SWAT team. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that it did.

Mr. Balko is the author of “Rise of the Warrior Cop,” published this month by PublicAffairs.

LTC Dooley – Follow the rules, get thrown under the bus

Editor’s Note – The Obama administration again places the sensitivities of the un-American Muslims ahead of our soldiers. He is continually changing the very ethic of what it means to be a soldier for his religious and political fealty that belie his oath of office. Then again, it is now clearly evident that he never regarded the oath as sacred.

He holds these two aspects ahead of the Constitution and the security of the United States, just shameful!

U.S. Decorated Veteran: Tossed Under the Bus Because He DID Follow the Rules

By Katharine Russ – City Watch LA

RUSS REPORT – The saga of LTC Matthew Dooley, the Officer condemned for portraying Islam negatively, terminated from a teaching position and publicly scorned by high-ranking officials continues to suffer the “fall-out” from recklessly made decisions absent of any due process.

For over a year, Dooley’s career has been in limbo creating undue hardship for his family. Dooley

Earlier this year, a military corrections board consisting of 2 Generals and 3 Colonels, recommended Dooley be retained on the Army’s Battalion Command List. The newly confirmed Chief of the U.S. Central Command, General Lloyd J. Austin III, then Deputy Chief of Staff for the Army, overruled that approval. Austin ordered Dooley’s name to be taken off the list signaling what appears to be the end of a decorated career for Dooley.

Dooley was targeted for termination from a teaching post in the spring of 2012 for teaching an APPROVED course at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC), a branch of National Defense University (NDU).  (emphasis added)

Dooley took the course titled “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism” in 2010 at the Joint Forces Staff College (JFSC) and shortly after, he was selected to teach the course.  “Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism” had been an approved elective course by the National Defense University (NDU) for over six years.

The curriculum and guest speakers had also been vetted by the school administration. This was again confirmed in writing by the NDU Deputy VP for Academic Affairs, Dr. Brenda Roth in December 2011.

His class garnered high praise from his Superiors, particularly the Commandant at JFSC who gave Dooley an outstanding Officer Evaluation Report (OER) and recommended Dooley for an immediate promotion.

It was a series of articles published by Wired Magazine (based in San Francisco, California)  prompted by a single student “whistleblower” who violated the “Non-Attribution” policy of NDU and was supposedly concerned over the use of “false and highly offensive training materials” towards Muslims and Islam that generated the much sensationalized publicity.

That publicity fuelled a letter to the White House, signed by 57 Muslim-American groups, including Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), known to have ties with Hamas that targeted the course taught by Dooley. Their October 19, 2011 letter demanded that all training materials offensive to Islam be scrubbed and instructors be effectively disciplined.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey ordered a review of the instruction on April 24, 2012 that was allegedly “disrespectful of the Islamic religion” so to ensure “cultural sensitivity.”

Even before the “investigation” was concluded, Dempsey made it a point on a nationally broadcast Pentagon Press Conference on May 10, 2012 to personally attack Dooley and severely criticized his course as “objectionable, unprofessional, and “against our values.” He accused Dooley of formally advocating actions contrary to U.S. policy, despite a preliminary finding that confirmed the theoretical and conceptual notion of Dooley’s class. Dooley was relieved of his teaching assignment citing the negative way he portrayed Islam in the elective course.

Dempsey’s vicious national attack sparked threats against Dooley and his family and additional security measures had to be put in place for their protection.

Not long after Dempsey’s harsh criticism, Dooley received his first Negative OER, which, most likely, tarnished any opportunities for promotion.

In September 2012, the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) in Ann Arbor, Michigan took on Dooley as a client. Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel-TMLC expounded on Dooley’s distinguished career, saying, “Dooley, a combat veteran, was deployed to Bosnia, Kuwait, and Iraq for a total of six operational and combat tours over the course of his career. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he graduated and received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in May 1994.

“Dooley has served as a Tank Platoon Leader, Tank Company Executive Officer, Tank Company Commander, Headquarters Company Commander, Captains Career Course Small Group Instructor, Cavalry Squadron Operations Officer, Cavalry Squadron Executive Office, Regimental Plans Officer, Aide-de-Camp (to three separate General Officers), and Instructor at the Joint Combined Warfare School.

“He is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College as well as the Joint Forces Staff College.

“His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with Star, Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with Two Stars, both the Global War on Terrorism Service and Expeditionary Medals, the Armed Forces Service Medal, the NATO Medal, the Parachutist Badge, the Air-Assault Badge, and two Army Superior Unit Awards.”

In a letter to Dempsey dated October 10, 2012, Congressman Duncan Hunter (California-District 50) and Thomas Rooney (Florida-District 17) questioned Dempsey’s reasoning for such unprecedented punishment. “In his 18 year long career, LTC Dooley had never received a negative OER, until this year. In fact, his last five OER’s, prior to the ordered negative one, have all listed his performance as outstanding and best qualified.

“Since DoD (Dept. of Defense) had already directed NDU to cancel the JFSC elective, and LTC Dooley was then relieved as its instructor, we would like to know why the DoD was compelled to further discipline LTC Dooley by jeopardizing his reputation and his future in the service. It is our understanding that LTC Dooley did not violate any established University practices, policies or DoD regulations to merit a negative OER.”

On January 14, 2013, TMLC filed a complaint on behalf of Dooley with the Middle States Commission of Higher Education. Thompson pointed to NDU’s Regulations on Free Speech and Academic Freedom, which clearly states, “Academic freedom is not an indulgence but a necessity to realize the university’s aspirations. Academic freedom is therefore understood to be essential to the U.S. national interest, and upheld by the United States Supreme Court as a right protected by the First Amendment (Keyishian v. Board of Education, 385 U.S. 589-1967).

“The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, under provisions and requirements of Title 10, United States Code (USC), has directed the President of the NDU to establish a climate of academic freedom within the university to foster thorough and lively academic debate, and to examine national security issues. Non-attribution is a policy well entrenched at NDU. That is so to enable and encourage the university community and visiting guests to speak candidly. The university assures that nothing will be attributed to speakers directly or indirectly without their expressed permission.”

Thompson said, “In order to appease Muslims and the White House, General Dempsey and the Department of Defense rushed to punish LTC Dooley. In the process, they violated not only our Nation’s core principles of free speech and academic freedom guaranteed by our Constitution, but also, a number of the military’s own regulations dealing with academic freedom and non-attribution policies of the National Defense University (NDU) to which LTC Dooley was assigned. They violated the right to due process of law and even by-passed the University’s Provost, who under NDU’s own rules has primary responsibility for adjudication of this matter.”

Political “sensitivity” has run amok in this country and poses a dangerous environment for our soldiers still fighting Afghanistan, the security in other nations as well the security of our own country.  One need only point to the characterization of the Fort Hood massacre in which 13 people were killed and 30 injured as “workplace violence” and more recently, the events of Benghazi where U.S.

Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others were killed was described as a protest prompted by a video and the Boston Marathon Bombings where the Tsarnev brothers ties to a Chechnya militant jihadist insurgency were underscored. Even anthrax and ricin tainted letters sent to the White House and two others have been downplayed. Islamic Sharia Law prohibits criticism of Islam and notably appears to have a foothold within our nation’s highest offices.

Claire M. Lopez, a former CIA agent and strategic policy and intelligence expert, pointed this out months ago when she commented on General Dempsey’s order.

Lopez said, “The final bastion of America’s defense against Islamic jihad and sharia, the Pentagon, fell to the enemy in April 2012, with the issuance of a letter from General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, re-issuing his earlier order that all Department of Defense (DoD) course content be scrubbed to ensure no lingering remnant of disrespect to Islam. 

“All U.S. military Combatant Commands, Services, the National Guard Bureau and Joint Staff are under Dempsey’s Muslim Brotherhood-dictated orders to ensure that henceforth, no U.S. military course will ever again teach truth about Islam that the jihadist enemy finds offensive (or just too informative).

“To all intents and purposes, DoD Secretary Leon E. Panetta likewise has acquiesced to a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of U.S. military education.”

Calls to NDU were not returned.

Dooley remains on active duty and is not allowed to speak publicly on his case.

The Obama Military – Evolution and Legacy

By Paul E. Vallely (MG US Army, Ret.) and Monica Morrill (SUA Senior Staff Writer)

Forward – The Commander-in-Chief

Throughout the 236 years of US history, military forces have experienced numerous transformations in roles and missions, structure and procedures, reputation and power, technological advancement, and ultimately application and operation in combat. Initially the Army, Navy, and Marines were organized as an armed force of fighters and patriots against the tyranny of Great Britain. They banded together to win a revolution and historically became a force for securing the fledgling nation. Over the many decades and centuries, it expanded, evolved, and eventually became the strongest military force on Earth. These changes all reflected the need and threats of the day and the political will of the government and its elected officials.

From its inception, the US military has, and by Constitutional mandate will always be, controlled by a civilian, the Commander-in-Chief, the President of the United States. As each of our Presidents has held office, the military took its marching orders based upon his political policies, the world pressures of the day, and the foreign policy he adopted. Many paths were chosen and many wars, great and small were waged upon his decisions. Now here in 2012, the Presidency is held by Barrack H. Obama and he is about to enter his second term in office. This essay is an analysis of the relationship of President Obama and his current and future relationship and control of the military.

President Obama is working very hard to destroy US military superiority, consciously and unconsciously to the advantage our global enemies. In an attempt to seize control over national security and another overt attempt to bypass Congress, the Obama administration may have already made this play as of this writing. That play is that the United States and Russia both reduce nuclear weapons without a treaty, as a treaty would require ratification by the Senate. This would allow Obama and the Executive Branch to unilaterally cut our military capability and nuclear weaponry and ignore the treaty clause of the Constitution. It is known that Russia is not a trustworthy partner in any respect other than to lessen the influence and power of the US globally. Obama is determined to ruin the Defense Department, our forces, and the US economy, committing national suicide. Obama prefers that people just lay down their arms at home and abroad, weaken our military, and give up American sovereignty to the United Nations.

photo courtesy: White House

Intentions and the Agenda

What were Obama’s intentions toward the military after taking office? What impact has he had on the military thus far? What will his impact be over the next few years? At this juncture, all these questions and more can only be answered by facts and actions. This places the future security of America in a very precarious position; a certain clear and present danger. To date, with all that is occurring across the globe and at home, his actions have resulted in a long list of failures and it appears our future will only witness further degradation of our credibility, respect, trust, and standing in the community of nations. By design, malfeasance, or stark ineptitude, the past is prologue. It is important to point out what Obama and his administration’s goals are when it comes to the Armed Forces of the United States.

Discussion points outlined here are also intended to spark serious discussions and debates about our country’s future:

1. Diplomacy and the use of the military – The definition of the term and its various interpretations are diverse. President Obama’s vision of US foreign policy and his application of diplomacy and all its ramifications, including the use of force, are examined.

2. Obama’s 2008 campaign and ideology – What Obama told America was wrong with our foreign policies, the Bush Administration’s wars, and his stance on the military and America’s place in the community of nations. This includes the ideology of the left, its past stances on Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and The War on Terror.

3. Obama’s first term – Ending the war in Iraq, campaign promises broken, the escalation of Afghanistan and the Counter-Insurgency (COIN) Strategy, the Arab Spring, Israel, Libya, Syria and the economic structural impact on US Forces under Obama’s watch.

4. Obama’s Military Evolution – How Obama is dismantling our status in the world through diminishing our strengths, militarily and economically.

Obama’s Future Leadership – Discussion on the issues that face the US from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, the Muslim Brotherhood, Northern Africa, special relationships with the UK and Israel, China, and North Korea are paramount at this time. The contrasts are riddled with contradictions. Why would President Obama pledge to give billions of dollars in aid, including supplying highly sophisticated arms to a nation (Egypt) whose regime has declared that America and its long-standing ally Israel are now mortal enemies that should be destroyed? Why would the same president who wants to arm our enemies want to disarm American citizens? Why was our military not used in the rescue of four Americans in Benghazi with General Ham relieved of his post when he issued a “go” order for a rescue?

Obama helped the Muslim Brotherhood, a known militant and radical Islamic group, to overthrow the government of Egypt. He supported the election of Morsi as Egypt’s new president, even when Morsi talked about establishing a new Muslim Caliphate designating himself as the ultimate leader.

Morsi also publicly began an attack on all non-Muslim religions within his country. His military and police joined in the persecution of Christians who were beaten, raped, robbed and killed. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said nothing and did nothing but continue to support Morsi and his radical government. In fact, an arrangement was made when Morsi’s predecessor, Hosni Mubarak was in power, where top line fighter jets were to be sent to Egypt is still about to happen, why? In the past few months, Morsi has also been very vocal about his desire to see the nation of Israel disappear from the face of the earth. Numerous Americans see the danger in Obama’s actions and now it is obvious that the Muslim Brotherhood has support in the White House.

Diplomacy and the Use of the Military

Before expounding on Obama and the military, it is essential to understand the relationship and debate that has existed over the centuries between diplomacy and the use of military force. Crucial changes in American society, the defense of freedom and victory over her enemies all originate with the military. Using the military wisely implies that the military enters a war with the intent to win the war. Within the diplomatic sphere, war is diplomacy with arms, and in this phase war should be viewed as diplomacy at its worst, after all other options have been explored.

Politicians from various spectrums differ in the way they use diplomacy to achieve political and diplomatic goals. The use of the military may be used at the end of a failed or failing diplomatic process when an enemy threat still exists; called pre-emption. History demonstrates and statesmen have confirmed that war ensues when diplomacy fails. Many conservative leaning thinkers view the military within diplomacy, whereas many leaning toward the left (Statists) have detached the military from the diplomatic process. Under the Obama Administration the military has not been appropriately used to improve diplomatic relations, largely because the military is not viewed as a mechanism to achieve diplomatic success. Instead, Obama employs it as a “nation building” tool, a function quite anathema to its very definition.

End Game
By MG Vallely & Lt.G McInerney

The endgame to war is victory, but that term is hardly in the vocabulary of the current senior leadership in America. Military leaders have been directed not to even use the word “victory” in their dialogue with the press and others. But the definition of victory and the path getting there are transformed when political ambitions are revealed. For instance, while the Bush Administration has called the post-9/11 wars the “War on Terror” the Obama Administration changed the name to “Overseas Contingency Operations.” The former created a paradigm shift whereby the United States was fighting an ideology, terror, rather than a nation-state, now it’s not even fighting, just assassinating individuals. Retreat is now known as “drawdown” and victory is now known as “nation building” or “transitioning.”

However, the change in semantics by the Obama Administration creates an interesting modification that has proceeded unnoticed by the public. War inevitably implies boots on the ground, the involvement of ranking officers and geo-strategic decision making from the Department of Defense. The Obama Administration has “mixed” the roles of war within diplomacy with more agencies: the Department of State, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Department of Defense (White House, 2012). The Obama Administration is making the State Department and the overarching bureaucratic influence more relevant and the US military less relevant in the process of diplomacy.

In Iraq, where increasing violence and clandestine high-level takeovers and assassinations by Iranian groups have occurred over the past year, the Obama Administration further states that:

“In Iraq, these temporary operations and assistance programs are necessary to sustain a civilian-led mission (almost 15,000 dedicated to this effort); strengthen the capacity of the Iraqi government through police training, criminal justice programs, and military assistance; and ensure the [State] Department and USAID have the necessary resources to support and secure the diplomatic mission”. (White House, 2012)

President Obama may think that he is cleverly shaping a new form of diplomacy, but what he is really doing is undermining and even breaking the military role that can be leveraged to strengthen diplomatic aims, protect American allies, and ensure an American victory.

Conservatives envision the military as a crucial component of diplomacy, an important union. President Obama and other Statists on the other hand, view the military as a hindrance to diplomacy. Changing diplomacy therefore, is being carried out in a number of ways by the Obama Administration: diminishing the military role and leadership in diplomacy; manipulating the rules of engagement; and making the US military irrelevant elsewhere.

Admittedly, the use of the military pre-Obama has not been perfect. In fact, numerous miscalculations in strategy committed by the White House can be found from President Kennedy onward. From Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, Commanders-in-Chief have neglected or abused the diplomatic role of the military. Kennedy started the Vietnam War with ‘Advisors’, Johnson deepened the commitment in Vietnam and Nixon ended it. There was no clear endgame for achieving victory with the waste of a vast amount of the treasury and the loss of nearly 58,000 American lives. Carter failed in properly managing the US economy and was paralyzed when it came to using the military as a powerful diplomatic tool; caving in to Iranian revolutionary Islamic fanatics. He did employ some feeble attempts with one notable disaster, but ultimately all his efforts were weak and feckless. It can be said that he was not only responsible for the downfall of the Shah but also the rise of the Islamic terror nation state that Iran has become.

The last major diplomatic victory for the US was the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the removal of the iron curtain due to Reagan’s leadership and vision. If one error could be highlighted it would be in 1983 when a suicide bomber drove a truck laden with TNT killing 241 US Marines in a building at the Beirut airport (not a proper role for Marines) and a nearly simultaneous bomb detonated by a second suicide bomber in a truck killed 58 French soldiers of the Multinational Force during the Lebanese Civil War in Beirut, Lebanon (Arlington, 2013). The Muslim terrorists were emboldened and America and her allies have paid dearly in the Middle East ever since. The failures have continued – George H.W. Bush was about three days from toppling Iraq’s Hussein in 1991 and according to one of the sources (Anonymous, 2011) was advised by the best American and British intelligence to proceed; why didn’t he order the military to proceed to total victory? President George H.W. Bush stopped because he chose to subjugate the US to the United Nations.

Clinton, who needed to learn the military salute properly after he became President, began on a foundation of incoherent foreign policy with the Bosnian War, Black Hawk Down, the 1993 bombing of New York’s World Trade Center, and the bombing of two US embassies in Africa, all woven with his scandalous behavior in the Oval Office, and he had no clear military success anywhere.

Problems existed under George W. Bush as well. Although the Bush Administration cited weapons of mass destruction (WMD) as part of the justification to invade Iraq, Bush and the Pentagon ignored the fact that those weapons were transferred from Iraq to Syria in 2003 in large, well-documented convoys. Compounding that mistake was not properly defending his actions and pointing out why there were no WMD found in Iraq after toppling Saddam Hussein. For reasons still unknown today, he allowed them to be transported away by the Russians in some face saving or appeasement strategy. Naturally, the left, all the way through to Obama, have used this as a bludgeon, not only to Bush, but to the military and US intelligence services.

Bush ultimately allowed the left and the media to promote the narrative that there never were any WMD, setting the stage for the left to recapture the White House, the only time the word victory is allowed by the left. This has worsened problems in Syria as is witnessed today concerning many of these same weapons. Col. Cowan (Ret.) recalls that:

“The way we fought the war in Iraq at the outset was tragic and outrageous because the Pentagon and the military leadership did not understand what they were dealing with. They purposely ignored the lessons of Vietnam”.

Toward the end of the Bush Administration the COIN (counterinsurgency) strategy in Iraq was a fresh idea, and perpetuated by Obama in Afghanistan. However the overall effects of COIN are devastating and have rewarded America’s enemies. The COIN Strategy has now been completely exposed for the failure it always was. Undoubtedly there has been an accumulation and compounding of the disharmony of the military within diplomacy over the past 52 years, however Obama has accelerated the division at breakneck speed by downsizing, degrading and demoralizing the US military.

Obama’s 2008 campaign and ideology: Diminishing the US Military

America’s legacy as one of the oldest existing democracies on Earth can only be preserved so long as:

1) a majority of US citizens are actively involved in a genuinely representative government;

2) a growing economy persists; and

3) a strong military is maintained to protect the former.

This simple triad of democracy (a representative constitutional republic) becomes predictably fragile when the three are not in balance. The budget deficit and a stagnant economy threaten to destabilize this equilibrium, while declining public involvement in governmental affairs has weakened a once strong citizenry, and unpredictable leadership for the US military downgrades US security. Political ideology and the greed of power seekers ensure this path as well.

Part of Obama’s political plan to “Fundamentally Transform America” as he himself has stated, is to downsize the US military. While one can argue that long-standing trends have eroded the US military, very little has been done to stem the decline. Indeed, some argue that Obama has exacerbated problems related to military missions abroad, and US foreign policy positions preaching a “re-start” to US relations in the world. His grand ‘apology’ tour was the first step, showing the world that he wanted us to be seen as weaker – the only way any foreign leader would perceive it.

Obama’s first term

Obama’s first year in office did not instill much confidence among military strategists or foreign-policy makers in Washington, D. C. Obama revealed his flawed leadership amidst three major events in 2009, the emergence of the Green Revolution in Iran and the abandonment of the missile shield project in Poland and the Czech Republic. But it all started with his speech in Cairo.

Cairo – Obama’s Cairo speech on June 4, 2009 was an inspiring speech to the people of the Muslim World. However elegant and lofty his words, they gave us a glimpse into his vision for America’s foreign policy. Giving a speech emphasizing acceptance, peace, and harmony between America and the Muslim world is one matter, however following through with genuine action is quite another. He told the world in that speech:

“…I made clear that America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam. We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security – because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children. And it is my first duty as President to protect the American people.”

Regarding US troops in Afghanistan he further said:

“…Now, make no mistake: We do not want to keep our troops in Afghanistan. We see no military — we seek no military bases there. It is agonizing for America to lose our young men and women. It is costly and politically difficult to continue this conflict. We would gladly bring every single one of our troops home if we could be confident that there were not violent extremists in Afghanistan and now Pakistan determined to kill as many Americans as they possibly can. But that is not yet the case.”

Regarding Iraq and the way America had operated in the past he said:

“Let me also address the issue of Iraq. Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq was a war of choice that provoked strong differences in my country and around the world. Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible.”

And then he apologized for what he considered to be the errors of the ways of America and her history:

“…just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter or forget our principles. Nine-eleven was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.”

In each of these excerpts from his speech one begins to see a pattern which has become manifest over the past four years. It is obvious now that his words are often hollow and meaningless because his actions have proven otherwise. The US is weaker now in the eyes of the Muslim world than the US was prior to Obama’s Cairo speech; where will the US be in four more years?

Iran – In mid-June of 2009 the test of Obama’s leadership would reveal his feeble responses, and lack of decisiveness on Iran, as Obama said,

“As odious as I consider some of President Ahmadinejad’s statements, as deep as the differences that exist between the United States and Iran on a range of core issues…We will continue to pursue a tough, direct dialogue between our two countries, and we’ll see where it takes us. But even as we do so, I think it would be wrong for me to be silent about what we’ve seen on the television over the last few days. And what I would say to those people who put so much hope and energy and optimism into the political process, I would say to them that the world is watching and inspired by their participation, regardless of what the ultimate outcome of the election was. And they should know that the world is watching”.

This is a response that would have been appropriate in the Western world, but Obama, throughout the past four years, has neglected to properly assess Iran and other threats in the Middle East because he doesn’t fully comprehend the way America’s enemies think. Since the US officially withdrew in December 2011:

“…assassinations by Iranians have been quietly conducted, killing Iraqis who worked with or supported the United States. Selective assassinations of individuals [were conducted against those who] were close to the US [forces]. Even before the US pulled out, retired and former Iraqi officers and pilots who had participated in the Iran/Iraq war were being assassinated.” (Cowan, 2012)

Missile Shield – The Obama Administration’s shortsighted decision to remove the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic on September 17, 2009 fueled uncertainty in US foreign policy and was ill-timed. First, the Obama Administration abandoned the project without discussing the issue with or informing their Polish or Czech Republic counterparts. Secondly, the Obama Administration did not use the decision to leverage other issues with Russia, an obvious sign of weakness in foreign policy. Thirdly and worst of all, the Obama Administration chose the most undesirable date to make the public announcement when ending American support for a missile shield: on the 70th anniversary of the Russian invasion of Poland.

Culturally speaking, anniversaries are incredibly symbolic to the Polish people and the brazen announcement by the Obama Administration was not well received by the people of Eastern Europe. “The project is of puny importance militarily, but of enormous significance symbolically…to the former captive nations the Shield signified the US commitment to maintaining their freedom” (Chodakiewicz 2012, p.1.). Instead, the Obama Administration unraveled nearly three decades of trust and hard work that was carefully built between America and Eastern Europe.

US Military Rules of Engagement and President Obama

In today’s world conflicts, the US military operates under guidelines governing their use of deadly force like any other. These guidelines are officially known as Rules of Engagement (ROE). Some countries consider their official ROE as guidelines only, but the US military considers ROE as lawful orders to be strictly obeyed – no matter the consequence.

Historically, ROE were articulated to limit the damage done by troops of warring nations while accomplishing a military objective. The International Institute of Humanitarian Law publishes what is known as the San Remo Guidelines of ROE. Many countries have used the San Remo document as a basis for their ROE. NATO also publishes ROE to be used by member nations, but has no power to enforce their implementation.

The Obama policy makers in the White House and Pentagon have degraded the fighting capabilities of the US military with restrictive ROE. In fairness, Bush initiated very restrictive ROEs, all in an attempt to minimize negative opinions, but Obama took it to the extreme. He allowed the military to be ruled by lawyers; a clear attempt to appease enemies rather than to instill fear into the hearts of the enemy.

Instead of fearing US firepower, the enemy has been empowered to use the ROE and restrictions on artillery support against US forces. Former Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Reagan Administration, Bing West, emphasized that:

“The rules of engagement have greatly tightened, often leaving the troops confused…When a battalion needs to consult a lawyer before applying fires, it is unfair of the system to single out the squad leader” (Perry, 2012).

Additionally;

“We called for artillery support and were told we were too close to a village. They ignored us. A lot of men were dying.” — stated Marine Corporal Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor recipient and veteran of the battle of Gangjal.

What are the current basics of the ROE the US military operates under? And why do US active duty soldiers say the ROE are confusing, ambiguous, and causing unnecessary casualties?

Here is a narrative given by soldiers in an Army platoon discussing ROE with a combat correspondent:

“In country [Afghanistan], we have Escalation of Force Kits. These keep people away in a non-lethal manner. To do that, they used to contain “KEEP BACK” signs we’d put on our trucks during a convoy and the kits also had small flares we could fire. These things were taken away and instead we were told to drive with the same courtesy we would use if driving in the U.S.

That means if cars get backed up behind us, we are to pull over and let them pass.

This takes our buffer — our zone of safety — completely away. Because once we pull over, the cars get to pass right up against us and that opens the door for suicide bombers, suicide bombs, and gun fire.

We allow people to get so close to our vehicles that we have no time to react should they try to do something”. (Awr Hawkins, 2012)

It may seem incredible that US ROE have reached this juncture under conditions of war. Perhaps its best expressed by a young soldier in that same platoon:

“Joe Biden said he’d flown over Kunar province like that was something big. The men on the ground were getting shot at while Biden was flying over.” (Awr Hawkins, 2012)

Maybe US civilian leaders are out of touch with the realities of ground combat. A basic tenet of ROE is that a soldier always has the “first right of defense”, meaning he may fire if fired upon, or, he may engage the enemy first, so long as he perceives a clear and present danger. Well, it used to be that way. Before President Obama took office, US forces could open fire upon enemy combatants who were clearly and definitely observed planting IED’s in roadways. Now, they may have to ask permission through three levels of commanders.

“They are confusing the young soldiers”, complained a veteran NCO, “An IED is incredibly more dangerous in the hands of an enemy than a rifle, yet they have to get permission to engage the fighters”. (Benjamin, 2012)

Welcome to the new world of infantry combat under Obama.

In World War II, the first thing a US combat unit would do upon entering a town held by the German army was to clear civilians out of churches, and then blow down the steeple towers. Why? Bitter experience taught them that church steeples contained snipers and artillery observers. Try doing the same today with a mosque.

US Military leadership has devolved badly. There comes a time in infantry combat where a condition sets itself over the scene. It’s called the “fog of war,” a term first used by Clausewitz, a Prussian military general. He wrote that in war everything is simple. You have an army here and an army over there; at some point they will collide and a battle will ensue. But in the confusion of battle, Clausewitz wrote, accomplishing even the simplest tasks becomes incredibly challenging. Clausewitz coined this theory around 1830. It’s still valid today. Radios fail, aircraft engines malfunction, units get lost, weapons systems jam. It’s all part of battle. Complicated ROE makes the battle more difficult than it needs to be, it adds to the arduous “fog of war.”

Generals Bradley, Eisenhower and Patton in WWII

World War II generals such as George Patton and Omar Bradley knew the advantage in seizing ground swiftly with violence, “shock and awe.” They ordered their subordinates to overwhelm the enemy with violence of action and maximum force in order to gain ground and shorten the war. The ROE they operated under were clearly defined, and they passed those ROE down to their troops. Patton and Bradley had no intention of placing unnecessary danger or risk on their troops. They knew that it was the enemy who placed innocents in harm’s way, as shields, though they tried to minimize the collateral nature of war, they knew it was also the price of war – a price set by the enemy, not by the liberators.

World War II American generals had no intention of allowing the enemy to gain a tactical or strategic advantage and in any event, were not hampered by counterproductive and disconnected ROE. In every war throughout history, atrocities have been committed on both sides. A general cannot control the actions of every one of his soldiers on the battlefield. It is a regrettable but factual price of war. When fighting an ‘asymmetric war,’ the prices paid are much steeper and the enemy knows this. In fact, the enemy relies upon asymmetric war and the Obama strategy ensures it so an even greater asset for the enemy by setting such absurd ROE.In December of 1944, German SS General Jocheim Peiper was rushing to gain ground in the Ardennes forest and to overrun American positions. Near the town of Malmedy, Belgium, he took custody of approximately 85 American soldiers who surrendered. According to his account, he didn’t have the means or the time to care for them, so he had them shot.

In retaliation, American soldiers methodically shot or captured members of Peiper’s command. An American Colonel issued an order that stated, “No SS troops will be taken prisoner.” Both acts are inexcusable, and both armies attempted to justify their acts under the pressure of combat.

Here is the bottom line: American soldiers should be able to defend themselves in any situation, in any environment, if there is a clear and hostile threat. An American soldier takes an oath to protect and defend the United States and the Constitution against all enemies up to and including paying the ultimate price. An American soldier is also bound by the rules of land warfare to provide all the protection he can to non-combatants and children, and to minimize, where possible, collateral damage that may occur. This includes private property and property of no military value.

However, if an enemy is using a mosque to employ snipers against the US military, or planting IED’s in public buildings, the US military must employ all means necessary to neutralize that threat. If they do not, they are in effect committing the same crime in reverse by allowing US forces to be unduly placed in harm’s way and killed. Which is a more ethical, upholding moral value: saving a Mosque so some enemies will not hate the US military and have a better advantage to kill US forces, or saving the life of an American soldier?

It is regrettable that in Iraq and Afghanistan, US enemies choose a cowardly way of fighting a war. For example, enemies choose to hide in a mosque so that they can then kill US soldiers, or deliberately using non-combatants as human shields. As horrible as those circumstances are however, Americans should always have the right to defend themselves.

There are several stories about wanton killings and atrocities against civilians committed by American troops deployed in combat zones. But the total number of those incidents is outweighed not by the hundreds, but by the thousands, in terms of how US troops have taken casualties, rather than risk collateral damage to non-combatants.

Appeasement

With a few exceptions on minor issues, Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have preached and practiced appeasement toward Moscow. If John Kerry is confirmed by the Senate as Clinton’s replacement, expect the same, if not more. Kerry’s history is well known and dovetails perfectly with Obama’s ideology, despite the rhetoric so often trotted out to the American people. Their actions need to be evaluated more carefully than their words.

One example of recent appeasement is the signing of the START II treaty of 2011, which put America’s security at a disadvantage by forcing the US to obey by an agreement concluded with a party that no longer exists, the USSR. The US is forced to disarm unilaterally. And now the Shield project has been scratched. Remember this exchange in the infamous “live mic” incident:

President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.

President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

President Obama (putting his hand on Medvedev’s knee): This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Polish-American historian commented on the incident:

“In a way, then, the unguarded remarks of Obama reflect the administration’s consistency and continuity in its policy of appeasing Russia. What’s unsavory about the whole affair is that a hot microphone accorded America and the world a glimpse at frank, back door deals between the most powerful leader on Earth and the boss of a regional power.” (Chodakiewicz, 2012: pp. 1)

Objectifying the Military

Obama has objectified the military personnel in ways that divide rather than unite. The overall morale of the military after poorly managed, drawn out wars in Afghanistan and Iraq was already unstable by 2009 when Obama became Commander-in-Chief. Obama has done little to boost the morale in the military and has offered no realistic solutions to strengthen the US military. In fact, the evidence discloses that Obama has set the US military on a course of unpredictable erosion and decay through acts that have demoralized the US military.

A number of misplaced priorities between the White House and the Pentagon have distracted the US military from their core mission.

“We’ve allowed ourselves to get out of control,” according to the Army’s top enlisted soldier who has surveyed US military bases globally, Sgt. Maj. Raymond F Chandler III.

While his aim has been to improve discipline and focus among the armed forces, Sgt. Maj. Chandler’s own leadership has been uncertain. Jaffe emphasizes;

“As the war in Afghanistan draws to a close, more senior officers worry that the Army has not been able to articulate a clear mission that will enable it to hold on to its shrinking share of the Pentagon budget” (2012: pp. 2).

An internal survey conducted in December 2011 indicates that Obama has not had an uplifting influence on the personnel and morale of the military, “only 26 percent of Army leaders believed that the Army was ‘headed in the right direction to prepare for the challenges of the next 10 years,’ down from 38 percent in 2006.”

What could cause such a decline in the confidence of the military officers for its Commander-in-Chief? Firstly, the priorities of the code of conduct have changed. Today’s Generals are occupied with covering up incidents so that it does not affect their career to be concerned the greater need of boldly leading their soldiers.

“Remember, the SEALS who were going to be court-martialed after they brought in a confirmed Taliban prisoner with a bloody nose? That guy fought back and they had to subdue him. How about the death of Pat Tillman? Both were tragedies, but what the Generals should do is SPEAK UP and tell it like it is.” (Benjamin, 2012)

Obama is socializing the military

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has taken precedence over the sexual harassment (and even rape) of men and women in the military. With all the associated problems of being involved in two wars, Obama’s top agenda with the military was to cater to homosexuals. The military should not be coerced into becoming a place for social experimentation. The irony of serving as a soldier is that he or she necessarily gives up a lot of basic rights for the common good of the mission to protect the rights of US citizens and the nation.

Obama signs DADT repeal

There are a whole host of problems inherent in Obama’s repeal such as: Does the military allow on-base housing for married same-sex couples? Does the military allow public displays of affection (PDA’s) between gay military members when it has always been discouraged among heterosexual members if it is detrimental to good order and discipline? Does the military allow same-sex dancing in on-base clubs? Does the military allow a gay soldier to file a complaint against his or her commanding officer alleging maltreatment because of sexual orientation when in reality it is actually a case of substandard performance by the gay soldier?

Obama has initiated this new environment in the military, and it will distort the oneness and equality needed for military commanders. Overall the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has had a tremendous negative effect on the military. No special group should be catered to within the military, whether it is based on gender, sexual orientation, or race. “The military to Obama is a big social experiment and he has demonstrated that in his policies” (Cowan, 2012).

Suicide and PTSD – The increasing numbers of wounded warriors, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and suicides under Obama is also disconcerting. 2012 marked the record number of suicides over the past decade among soldiers and family members, most who have never been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, according to the Military Suicide Research Consortium. The feeling of hopelessness, internal pain, inability to cope with life’s challenges can be attributed to the lack of inspiring leadership in the military.

The vote, disenfranchisement – It is well known that the US military votes more conservatively, by wide margins, so it is very questionable why so many are disenfranchised, especially this past November. There is a lack of concern for the soldier’s political vote. By sending the ballots early in October to reach the polls before November 2012, even conveniently losing the ballots, was another act of disrespect by the Obama Administration and their policies. When the law was made to ensure better access for US troops to vote following previous elections, it was simply ignored, and convenient excuses over costs were cited for the lack of proper implementation, all under Obama’s watch.

Obama is committed to slashing the military budget and would rather send needed troops home than dismiss an over-bloated bureaucracy to make a leaner Pentagon. According to LTC Bill Cowan (Ret, USMC.),

“The number of reports generated every month by the Pentagon is staggering. There is a growing government affinity for generating regulations and reports, which sends a message that wars don’t grow, but the Pentagon bureaucracy does. If you cut one-quarter of the staff in the Pentagon we will not lose our war fighting capability. In fact, we may even get better!” (2012).

Nation Building – This misconceived war fighting strategy has cost the US valuable human and financial resources (billions of dollars) with no victories for the American people. The very nature of these activities further denigrates the soldier. This is not what they signed up for, and it is certainly not a mission of the Armed Forces.

Do not confuse the terms “nation building” with “foreign internal defense” (FID). FID implies organizing a resistance movement by training indigenous personnel to combat and overthrow a murderous regime that supports terrorist attacks on the US. The terms are quite different. “Nation Building” is more properly the purview of the UN, private sector initiatives, NGOs, the Red Cross or some interim governing body. The US military objective should be to get in, eliminate the threat posed by belligerents to the US and get out, not “nation build”. This is also a basic tenet of the Lilly Pad strategy. The US does not need to build large bases in foreign countries that publicly ask the US for help and privately betray America.

In regard to forward operating bases, or FOB’s; they should be more mobile. The best current example is the Australian army in Afghanistan and how they operate. Their soldiers live in “battle boxes” (‘conexes’) with small generators for light and air conditioning. Their perimeters are well guarded and enclosed by concertina wire and claymore mines to repel attacks. Their ammo bunkers are battle boxes partially submerged in the ground and protected by sandbagging. An entire base like this can be set up in a day and a half, and removed and placed elsewhere in about the same time. Again it must be emphasized that the best way to stay alive yet gain victory is by employing mobility over the fortress mentality – this Lily Pad strategy far out paces the COIN strategy.

The COIN strategy was implemented in Vietnam and Iraq; however, it was expanded by Obama in Afghanistan. Col. Douglas MacGregor (US Army Ret), Military Strategist and Author writes:

“When the Surge in Iraq began, no one in Washington was interested in explaining why the world’s most powerful military establishment led by Petraeus was buying off its Sunni Arab opponents with hundreds of millions of dollars, effectively supplanting counterinsurgency with cash-based cooptation. When the Surge in Iraq ended, no one in Washington wanted to discuss why Tehran’s Shiite allies in Baghdad restrained their fighters, and waited until the US occupation ended before consolidating their control of Arab Iraq. In 2009, an Iraqi journalist described the outcome in terms no serious observer of the conflict could ignore: ‘Observers not steeped in Iraqi history might be bemused to find that six years after the toppling of a dictator, after the death of several hundred thousand Iraqis, a brutal insurgency, trillions of wasted dollars and more than 4,000 dead US soldiers, the country is being rebuilt along very familiar lines: concentration of power, shadowy intelligence services and corruption’” (2012: pp. 2-3).

Much of the feedback that I have received from many mid-level officers and non-commissioned officers voiced many and varied new doubts about the Army’s battlefield performances and senior leadership in Iraq and Afghanistan. A few years ago, Army officers almost universally celebrated the service’s freshly minted counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine and its ability to adapt to a new kind of warfare. Soldiers who were trained to fight tank battles shifted to a style of combat that emphasized politics, cultural awareness and protecting the local population from insurgent attacks.

Today Iraq, which is still wracked by violence and heavily influenced by Iran, has provided no victory for America and Americans do expect victory when the US expends great losses of life and thousands of wounded and dead troops. In Afghanistan, a surge of more than 30,000 US troops has produced a stalemate that leaves soldiers counting down to withdrawal at the end of 2014.

Donovan summarizes his view of the illusions of Obama’s COIN strategy success here:

“In the interests of such political correctness, relevant terms like Islam, Islamist, Muslim, and even terrorist have been stricken from the public vocabulary with JCS help. Witness the recent Benghazi fiasco! The debate is not over mayhem or atrocity committed in God’s name. National politicians and the military brass are arguing whether or not to use the word “terrorist” in their reports dealing with Muslim barbarities” (2012, pp.1).

Consider also the ‘inside baseball’ dispute over doctrine to be used against the nameless enemy; the counter-terror versus counter-insurgency (COIN) debate within the military. Petraeus apologists believe that the former ISAF commander reinvented the US Army with new doctrine; and then rode the COIN horse to promotions and prominence.

In truth, COIN played little or no role in Iraq or Afghanistan for two reasons; the force ratios required by Army doctrine, and impractical theory, were never achieved. And both conflicts, like most Muslim wars, are civil, not insurgent. These internecine Islamic fights are between Sunni and Shia or between autocrats and theocrats. Neither NATO nor the US Army has the charter or doctrine to resolve these or any other religious or tribal civil wars. Evolution might be the only solution to any Muslim pathology.

 

COIN had nothing to do with tactical “success” in Iraq or Afghanistan either, but such distractions may contribute to strategic defeat. Theoretical illusions, even those nursed in the halls of ivy, are blinders. Theory, or more honestly, politicized military doctrine and the distortion of traditional diplomacy does not win wars.

While the US still has the best war fighting force in the world, Generals have become more concerned with promotion than they are with war fighting capability. This is in contrast to the soldiers focusing on the mission. However there has been an inflation of military Generals as LTC Bill Cowan recalls:

“During World War II our military had one General for about every 2,000 enlisted men and women, today we have one General for about every 400 enlisted men and women. Do these extra Generals enhance or augment our war fighting capability?”

Obama has thus far not improved the US military after President George W. Bush and Obama has no successes to claim. To be fair, as mentioned previously the military has been eroding at various levels over the generations, however the Obama Administration has served as more of a catalyst to the erosion rather than a stabilizer. Reminiscent of the World War I song, “Over There,” by World War II the US military was labeled by the Europeans as being “Over-paid, Over-sexed, and Over Here.” Today it could be argued that the US military is over-regulated, over-promoted, and over-stretched.

Benghazi was a blatant failure by Obama and most of the military leadership. For the 2012 election, it is highly suspected that Obama personally requested that the Royal Family in Saudi Arabia increase oil production to ease the complaints about gas prices among voters before the election. This demonstrated that Obama was willing to manipulate the economy solely for his selfish gain, one of many manipulations, all aided by a sycophantic press who reported glowing stories, or ignored those that weren’t. Therefore, would it be any surprise that Obama would be willing to negatively influence the US military if he is willing to maneuver the prices of gasoline at the pump to deceive the voter?

Obama’s Military Evolution

The continued corruption of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been perpetuated by Obama. The Obama Administration has no successes to claim. He only has a string of embarrassing incidents and a musical chairs approach to leadership in the field, which offers no serious guidance to US national security.

Promises to exit Iraq and Afghanistan without a stable and effective plan have left both countries more vulnerable than ever. Obama’s failures to negotiate a proper status of forces agreement (SOFA) in Iraq will be followed by yet another in Afghanistan.

US foreign policy tends to be more about other people liking America instead of other people fearing America. For instance, over the past decade, the US has been more concerned about a friendly relationship with Karsai than with leading Afghanistan out of corruption and war. How the US handles Karsai has steered US foreign policy platform and it has killed more troops under Obama.

Obama’s Future Leadership

Obama creates urgency at the last minute; brinksmanship is a key weapon in his arsenal of politics. Obama’s strategy is to push the pressure point. Obama’s projected budget cuts for the military are expected to be politically charged, with little effectiveness largely because Obama does not want to understand the tradition of the US military. While recognizing that the US still has the most powerful military in the world, Colonel Bill Cowan (ret.) asks,

“…if we don’t have a Commander-in-Chief that understands this and is not willing to exercise force at the right time, then why have the most powerful military in the world?” Cowan also confesses, “We have political leadership that is more interested in their next promotion than they are taking care of the military…Don’t ask the generals for their opinion on defense cuts, they have a vested interest and will not address the spending problem properly. It’s best to ask Sergeant Majors on a panel, ‘where should cuts be made?’” (Cowan, 2012)

Some might argue that Colin Powell became too politicized. However, one could argue it began with General Washington after the Revolution, General Grant after the Civil War, and General Eisenhower after World War II. However today, in order for a flag or command staff person to get a promotion, it must be confirmed by the US Senate. So over the past few generations of high-ranking military, the military has had to please the Democrats.

Donovan quoted a veteran who asked regarding General Petraeus:

“How does an officer with no personal experience of direct fire combat in Panama or Desert Storm become a division CDR (101st Airborne) in 2003…(and how does) a man who served repeatedly as a sycophantic aide-de-camp, military assistant and executive officer to four stars get so far?”

Politics inevitably skews the military leadership; the question is, for better or worse? What is the motive when US Generals take a promotion from General to the State Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff or as the Head of the CIA?

Now that Obama is the US Commander-in-Chief for another four years, it is imperative that US General officers speak up, for the sake of US troops and the American people. A coup d’état is not advocated here against the principle that wisely keeps civilian control over the US military; but what should be espoused is that active US General officers use every means and opportunity to address the threats that the US now faces.

Reviewing the details, the disappointing relationship between Obama and the military is very real and apparent. President Barack Obama signed a $633 billion defense bill for 2013 despite serious concerns about the limits Congress imposed on his handling of terror suspects and lawmakers’ unwillingness to back the cost-saving retirement of aging ships and aircraft.

Obama had threatened to veto the measure because of a number of concerns, but relented because he couldn’t pick and choose specific sections. However, in a statement, the president spelled out his concerns about restrictions on his ability to carry out his constitutional duties as commander in chief.

Specifically, he complained that the bill limits the military’s authority to transfer third-country nationals being held at a detention facility in Parwan, Afghanistan. He also took issue with restrictions on his authority to transfer terror suspects from the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“Decisions regarding the disposition of detainees captured on foreign battlefields have traditionally been based upon the judgment of experienced military commanders and national security professionals without unwarranted interference by members of Congress,” Obama wrote.

He said the section of the bill related to detainees in Afghanistan:

“…threatens to upend that tradition, and could interfere with my ability as commander in chief to make time-sensitive determinations about the appropriate disposition of detainees in an active area of hostilities.”

Obama’s new approach leaves the US with a military with key features of unmanned drones, and unreliable intelligence while supporting foreign entities around the world as uncertain allies. Compounding this are growing leaders of Defense, State and the CIA who are not respected by a large segment of the military, and a habit of using Special Forces as a last resort. It has only been the branch of the US military, the Special Forces who were exposed and demoralized by Obama during the raid to kill Osama Bin Laden; as well as the four brave American men in Benghazi who were all left to die. Obama would rather use the US military as a shield to the realities of his vulnerable political decisions.

Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility (Gitmo) – Obama promised when he took office four years ago to close the prison at Guantanamo, but congressional opposition from Republicans and some Democrats have prevented him from fulfilling that vow. It also might be said that his naïve understanding of Gitmo and the detainees was changed when he learned the truth about the situation when he was apprised of the situation outside the political sphere. Too many have opinions based on erroneous notions that once they learn the truth, their song changes dramatically.

Obama insisted that he still believes that Guantanamo should be shuttered because operating the facility “weakens our national security by wasting resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and strengthening our enemies.” But this still sounds as merely appeasement to his supporters rather than an actual goal. Now that he is about to enter his second term, one will see how fast he closes Gitmo without an impending election ahead.

Additionally, the law limits his authority to transfer terror suspects to foreign countries or move them to the US anyway. Obama and his administration will interpret the bill’s provisions and if they violate the constitutional separation of power, he will implement them in a way to avoid that conflict. His track record of twisting the law and its interpretation in some incongruous and tortuous manner is legend now.

Equipping US Forces – The Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) puts off the retirement of some ships and aircraft, and Obama warned that the move could force reductions in the overall size of the military as the Defense Department faces cuts in projected spending. This is all occurring at a time when the US Navy is actually smaller comparatively today than it was prior to World War I, in number and quality.

• The BCA includes cuts in defense spending that the president and congressional Republicans agreed to in August 2011, along with the end of the war in Iraq and the drawdown of American forces in Afghanistan.

• It would authorize $528 billion for the Defense Department’s base budget, $17 billion for defense and nuclear programs in the Energy Department and $88.5 billion for the war in Afghanistan.

• The measure is about $29 billion under the current level, largely due to smaller amounts for Iraq and Afghanistan.

• The measure tightens penalties on Iran to thwart its nuclear ambitions and bulk up security at diplomatic missions worldwide after the deadly September 11 raid in Libya.

• The measure also includes a 1.7 percent pay raise for military personnel.

As suicides among active-duty soldiers have accelerated, the bill also allows a commander officer or health professional to ask if a member of the services owns a firearm if they consider the individual at risk for either suicide or hurting others.

The bill also includes a Senate-passed provision sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., that expands health insurance coverage for military women and their dependents who decide to have abortions in cases of rape and incest. Previously, health coverage applied only to abortions in cases where the life of the mother was endangered.

The legislated sanctions would hit Iran’s energy, shipping and shipbuilding sectors as well as Iran’s ports, blacklisting them as “entities of proliferation concern.” The bill would impose penalties on anyone caught supplying precious metals to Iran, and sanctions on Iranian broadcasting.

Conclusions

Conflict within the executive branch and the military will continue to cause misdirection and confusion on future US National Security and adaptable global conflict strategies. Americans must have more sense and wisdom about engagement and conflicts in this year 2013 and beyond. Americans tend to reflect poorly on history and hence have major problems in seeing and forecasting the future. Now America seems to be a nation that is rudderless. We the People are the “Masters of our Fate and Captains of our Soul and Destiny.”

President Obama seeks worldwide peace through low profile appeasement, in opposition to President Ronald Reagan who sought and achieved “peace through strength.” Reagan took seriously the first charge of the Federal government, which was to provide protection to its citizenry from enemies both foreign and domestic. Reagan understood a healthy military was the key to achieving respect from anyone who would consider disrupting America’s peace. History demonstrates that Reagan achieved peace with very little military actions; the threat alone was enough to bend the knee of America’s greatest opponents.

Obama’s new clarion call of the US Military is being witnessed today: “Draw down, draw back, and stand-down.” It is not the advertised friendliness from foreign entities that Obama preaches, but in fact, enemies being emboldened. In Obama’s first term this stance has accomplished the opposite of Reagan’s approach. One only has to look at the recent attacks on US troops in Afghanistan and the disregard of US policies in Egypt to see that few nations hold the healthy Reagan-era respect for the US. The leaders of those countries have accepted the generosity of US assistance and financing while publicly shunning American principles. North Korea tests its nuclear capabilities without any fear of reprisal; Iran takes aim at US military jets without so much as a reprimand. Russia, the same nation that two decades ago submitted to US power, is resurging in its disdain and publicly positioning itself to again be a force against the West, if needed. In other words, gone is the fear of the US military, and quickly fading is the respect that would make any enemy think twice before challenging the US.

Ironically, it appears the only strength that Obama wishes to show since his reelection is not toward US enemies, but towards the American people and a Congress that would seek to hold back his power. Obama speaks with subtle and humble words abroad, while carrying a big stick against the people he claims to protect via Executive Order and the media at home. It should be well noted that in record number as the military strength is being pulled back; it is the US citizen who now, in record number, are arming themselves in fear of the US government.

The Nature of Change – War and conflict will remain a human endeavor, a conflict between two forces, yet changes in the political landscape, adaptations by the enemy, and advances in technology and techniques will change the character of the battle. Leaders are often late to recognize such changes and adjust to the proper uses of hard and soft power options, and even when they do, inertia tends to limit their ability to adapt quickly.

Driven by an inherent desire to bring order to a disorderly, chaotic universe, human beings tend to frame their thoughts about the future in terms of continuities and extrapolations from the present and occasionally the past. But a brief look at the past quarter century, to say nothing of the past four thousand years, suggests the extent of changes that coming decades will bring.

Any updated US strategic doctrine will still have to include preemption across many fronts. Inevitably, there will be new perils that may require “anticipatory self-defense.” Where rationality cannot be assumed, and where the effectiveness of missile defense would be low, the only alternative to capable and lawful forms of American preemption could be surrender and defeat.

Obama needs to answer the following questions to the American people: For what is the US and Western civilization fighting? What is the US defending and protecting based on the US Constitution? Disappointingly, it appears as though Obama embodies everything that Shariah Islam stands against: Judeo-Christian principles, individual liberty, equality before the law, equality of Muslim and non-Muslim, men and women; it is the freedom to believe as one’s conscience directs oneself, even if that means no belief at all, or changing beliefs; it means protections for minorities; pluralism, and tolerance; but all within the ethical framework of human reason as laid down by the Founding Fathers. It is hoped but highly dubious that President Obama will take heed and strengthen the United States for the future by his relationship with the US military and ensure the security of the United States.

-End-

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Sources:

  • Anonymous interview in Washington,DC. in 2011.
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Editor’s Note – An inadvertent posting of a draft of this article was made in error on a different site. That posting has been removed and replaced at the request of SUA Staff. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused and SUA is solely responsible for the error. This is the exclusive posting of the final article per Paul E. Vallely.

MG Paul E. Vallely is Chairman of Stand Up America (SUA). Also contributing to this document were “Chip” Benjamin and Scott W. Winchell. This article was also posted and edited by Scott W. Winchell, SUA Editor-in-Chief.