Editor’s Note: While the DNC engages in sabotage and treason to cover for The Deep State within our government agencies…As it was before 9 11 in “protest of an election” to add delay…The sabotage of the White House computers by Clinton staffers…The Aviation Security Agent’s report and warning concerning Logan Airport…what was the D.I.A. investigating and what personnel records were involved within that side of The Pentagon… and much more…History repeats itself.
“Recognition of Reality”
By: MG Paul E Vallely, US Army (Ret)
November 1, 2019
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to co-chair a delegation to Cairo, Egypt to meet with General El-Sisi and his staff regarding the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi from office of the President. The first revolution was the removal of President Mubarak and the second revolution being the removal of Morsi. It was a tumultuous time in Egypt with a failing economy, chaos throughout the country, and a future election to elect a new President. As it turned out, General El-Sisi was elected the new President and formed a new government.
During our conference with the General Officer staff, El-Sisi and the Generals on his staff expressed that they were quite disturbed and upset with the United States, Obama, and Congress, for denying military aid and supplies to Egypt for overthrowing Morsi. General El-Sisi turned to me in his office and said, very emphatically, why does America and its political leaders always make their decisions looking through a “political prism” and not through a “reality prism”? I thought about his statement and I said to myself, yes, we do that in the US. We tend in Washington to make all our decisions through, particularly Congress, in a partisan, political way. El- Sisi said, “I cannot function that way as I have to look at the reality of our region: troubled countries like Libya to our west, Somalia to our south, the Suez Canal, the Sinai.” Well, it was a renaissance moment for me as I pondered and came to the realization, if you analyze and solve a countries issues, the country is best served by solving its problems by looking through a “reality prism” and not attempt to solve its problems through a dreaded “political prism” that tends to distort the issues and come to no logical conclusions.
Definition of reality:
“Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent, as opposed to that which is only imaginary. The term is also used to refer to the ontological status of things, indicating their existence. In physical terms, reality is the totality of the universe, known and unknown. Philosophical questions about the nature of reality or existence or being are considered under the rubric of ontology, which is a major branch of metaphysics in the Western philosophical tradition. Ontological questions also feature in diverse branches of philosophy, including the philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophical logic. These include questions about whether only physical objects are real (i.e., Physicalism), whether reality is fundamentally immaterial (e.g., Idealism), whether hypothetical unobservable entities posited by scientific theories exist, whether God exists, whether numbers and other abstract objects exist, and whether possible worlds exist. the world or the state of things as they exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.”
Well, then, what do the citizens of the United States do about this dilemma and the system of governing by our partisan, elected, political leaders and how do we as a country start solving our problems based on reality and not partisan politics?
Rise of Partisan Politics
Even during George Washington’s first administration it was evident that partisan factions had emerged within the cabinet as well as within the country at large. The forces favoring a strong federal government were led by Alexander Hamilton and would become known as the Federalist Party. The advocates of strong state governments were led by Thomas Jefferson and became known as the Jeffersonian Republicans.
There is no unbroken descent from the early political factions to today’s parties. Hamilton would no doubt be attracted to the pro-business inclinations of the current Republican Party, but his preference for direct government intervention in the economy would fit better with the Democrats. Similarly, Jefferson’s emphasis on individual rights would be welcomed by today’s Democrats, but his insistence on a small federal government would be viewed today as a Republican concept.
In the United States, the meaning of the term “partisan” has changed dramatically over the last 60 years. Before the American National Election Study (described in Angus Campbell et al., in The American Voter) began in 1952, an individual’s partisan tendencies were typically determined from their voting behavior. Since then, “partisan” has come to refer to an individual with a psychological identification with one or the other of the major parties. Candidates, depending on their political beliefs, may choose to join a party. As they build the framework for career advancement, parties are more often than not the preferred choice for candidates. Wherein there are many parties in a system, candidates often join them as opposed to standing as an Independent, if that is provided for.
In the U.S., politicians have generally been identified with a party. Many local elections in the U.S. (as for mayor) are “nonpartisan.” A candidate may have a party affiliation, but it is not listed on the ballot. Independents occasionally appear in major contests but rarely win.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower was nonpartisan until 1952, when he joined the Republican Party and was elected president. According to David A. Crockett, “Much of Eisenhower’s nonpartisan image was genuine, for he found Truman’s campaigning distasteful and inappropriate, and he disliked the partisan aspects of campaigning.” With little interest in routine partisanship, Eisenhower left much of the building and sustaining of the Republican Party to his vice president, Richard Nixon. With Eisenhower uninvolved in party building, Nixon became the de facto national GOP leader.”
Eisenhower’s largely nonpartisan stance allowed him to work smoothly with the Democratic leaders Speaker Sam Rayburn in the House, and Majority Leader Lyndon Johnson in the Senate.
Jean Smith says that:
“Disagreement among Republican and Democratic voters on a range of political issues has risen sharply in recent years, a political divide that intensified during the first year of President Trump’s administration, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.”
“The divisions between Republicans and Democrats on fundamental political values—on government, race, immigration, national security, environmental protection, and other areas—reached record levels during Barack Obama’s presidency,” Pew’s report states. “In Donald Trump’s first year as president, these gaps have grown even larger.”
Since the widening of the partisan opinion gap is a continuation of a trend, Trump’s presidency hasn’t ushered in a new era of intense political polarization so much as it marks a new chapter in an increasingly polarized political time. Public opinion remains more divided along partisan lines than along the lines of race, religion, age, gender, and educational background, Pew finds.
As the country’s partisan divide has increased in recent years, hostility between Republicans and Democrats has remained high. Perhaps surprisingly, Pew’s data shows a slight decline in the share of Democrats and Republicans who say they have a “very unfavorable” view of the opposing party relative to one year ago. Overall, though, the numbers don’t represent a major change, and aren’t enough on their own to say that partisan hostilities are lessening. The vast majority of Republicans and Democrats, at 81 percent for both parties, say they have an unfavorable view of the other side.
Released and distributed by: The Stand Up America US Foundation.
Chairman’s Note – Our thanks to Clare Lopez as the senior editor and members of the Legacy National Security Advisory group for all the research and time to develop this important and critical document. Counterjihad security architecture and strategies are more necessary now than ever before.
Paul E. Vallely; Chairman – Stand Up America US
Editor’s Note – This article was updated to include headings for sections of the document on 2.26.16 at 11:0015 AM Pacific.
Legacy National Security Advisory Group
For far too long, United States foreign policy, especially in the critical region of the Middle East and North Africa, has been pursued with apparent scant attention, much less priority, given to core, compelling U.S. national security objectives in the fight to defeat the Global Jihad Movement. This paper, therefore, offers a blueprint for a counterjihad security architecture for America that identifies those objectives and outlines the measures necessary to provide for the common defense of our Constitution, Republic, and society in this existential struggle of our time.
The U.S. has limited national security objectives in the MENA region, but they are important and must be precisely defined. The following are those objectives:
We must defend U.S. diplomatic, intelligence, and military assets, facilities, and equipment, and ensure the security of our personnel serving abroad.
We must keep open the naval, maritime, and commercial sea-lanes and defend the free passage of oil and other commercial goods.
We must prevent control of the Strait of Hormuz, Bab al-Mandab, Red Sea, and Suez Canal by jihadist or other forces hostile to the U.S., the West in general, and our partners and allies.
We must defend and support our regional allies, primary among which are Egypt, the Jewish State of Israel, Jordan, and the Kurdish people.
Seek Balance of Power
It is in U.S. national security interests to seek regional stability, including a balance of power between local Shi’ite and Sunni Islamic forces, however rough or imperfect that balance may be. We must avoid actions that would further destabilize the region, unless compelled in defense of other core U.S. national security objectives. We should refrain from involvement in historical, intra-Islamic sectarian struggles, again, unless compelled in defense of other core U.S. national security objectives. We must accept the reality that Sunni-Shi’ite relations are and will remain messy. We must understand that fashionable policies like ‘exporting democracy,’ ‘COIN (Counterinsurgency)-winning hearts and minds’ and ‘nation building’ are futile among societies in thrall to Islamic Law (shariah). Sometimes accepting local strongman rule that supports U.S. and Western interests, even though not democratic, is the lesser of two evils when the alternative would be either chaos or an Islamic jihad-and-shariah takeover.
Rebuild the Military
We must rebuild the U.S. military ASAP. This includes re-establishing the presence of the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea and the Second Fleet in the Atlantic Ocean. Sequestration has decimated the readiness of the U.S. military to respond effectively to key national security requirements, set back modernization of our forces, and hollowed out our overall military capabilities. This must be reversed on an accelerated basis. Given the known penetration of the U.S. military by operatives and sympathizers of the Muslim Brotherhood, we must carefully vet all Muslim chaplains in the U.S. military for jihadist sympathies and/or Muslim Brotherhood connections.
Defeat the Global Jihad Movement
We must acknowledge the enemy threat doctrine of Islamic Law (shariah) is pursued as a matter of doctrine and faith by the Global Islamic Movement including devout Muslims across the world. The White House must formulate, publish, and implement a new National Security Strategy that defines Islamic Law (shariah) as an enemy threat doctrine. It must be a priority objective of this new National Security Strategy to deter and defeat Islamic jihad globally. To do this, it will be necessary that U.S. national security leadership understand that the shariah threat is advanced by way of jihad, which may be kinetic or non-kinetic (head, heart, hands, including funding).
The U.S. Intelligence Community, with new leadership at the White House, National Security Council, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Director of Central Intelligence, and other key positions, must acknowledge, identify, and remove the jihadist penetration of and influence operations against the U.S. government, especially at top levels of national security. Such a revised National Security Strategy will include consideration of nation states, sub-national jihad groups, individual jihadis, transnational jihadist organizations like the Islamic State/Caliphate, Muslim Brotherhood and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), associated criminal, gang, and narcotrafficking groups in its overall threat matrix because they all work together, if only on an ad hoc, opportunistic basis.
Guided by such understanding of the Global Jihad Movement (GJM) threat and a new National Security Strategy designed to counter and defeat it, the next task of the U.S. President and his national security team will be to name, define, prioritize, confront, and defeat threats to U.S. national security objectives from U.S. adversaries in the MENA and Central Asian regions, their sponsors, and proxies. Iran is far and away the most critical, dangerous U.S. adversary in the region.
Its Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) programs, especially nuclear and Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) programs and Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) delivery systems, pose an existential threat to the U.S. mainland as well as to regional allies like Israel. The expansionist, revolutionary geo-strategic objectives of the Tehran regime derive from the Islamic canon and are expressed in both the Iranian constitution and military doctrine (details of which are now in U.S. possession). The Shi’ite Twelver eschatology of the top Iranian leadership, both clerical and military, actively seeks Armageddon to hasten return of 12th Imam and launch the Islamic End Times.
Iran’s preferred tactic for expansion, power projection, and terror operations relies on proxy forces: Al-Qa’eda, HAMAS, Hizballah, Iraqi Shi’ite terror militias, the Islamic State (IS) and the Taliban. We must develop plans for regime change in Iran to end the mullahs’ pursuit of deliverable nuclear weapons, an EMP-kill-shot capability, support for terrorism, revolutionary expansionism, and appalling human rights abuses against their own people.
At the same time, we must understand the Sunni Islamic State, its objectives, and what it represents for the region, vulnerable target areas across the globe, and for individual Muslims worldwide.
It must be acknowledged that the Islamic State embodies the hopes and dreams of hundreds of millions among the Muslim ummah that had been without a Caliphate since 1924, for the first time since the early days of Islam.
Thus, we must acknowledge that the identifiable, self-declared ambitions of the forces of jihad focus on establishment of that global Caliphate (Islamic governance) under Islamic Law (shariah).
Islamic State & Middle East Implosion
Since its lightening expansion during 2014, the Islamic State generally has been contained in geographic terms in its core area of operations in the former states of Iraq and Syria, both of which have been dominated by Iranian satrap regimes essentially since President George W. Bush removed the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq in 2003 and dismantled his Sunni-majority army. It is not in the best interests of U.S. national security to intervene in this intra-Islamic Shi’ite-Sunni fight in any way that tips the advantage to either set of Islamic jihadis, whether Shi’ite or Sunni, but all of whom are dedicated enemies of the U.S., Israel, and the West.
The former states of Iraq and Syria were artificial constructs to begin with, drawn on maps by colonial powers in the 20th century. That they now are splintering along pre-colonial ethnic, sectarian, and tribal lines is likely unavoidable but not a process that threatens core, compelling U.S. national security interests in the region or calls for U.S. involvement to oppose. On the other hand, jihadist groups and individuals outside of this Middle Eastern region that have been pledging bayat (allegiance) to IS and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and that generally pre-date the formation of IS, should be targeted by Western powers on a case-by-case basis where their elimination would not simply accrue to the benefit of other jihadist groups or states. Islamic State as well as other jihadist affiliates in Libya and elsewhere must be countered and defeated; the U.S. should provide broad-spectrum assistance against IS forces as requested by local allies and partners and/or as in the best interests of the U.S., to eradicate such presence in their territories. This assistance may include diplomatic, financial, intelligence, military, and political measures.
Hijra to the West
Many jihadist pro-shariah groups and individuals already have made the hijra (migration) to the West and live among us with the intent of ‘destroying [our] miserable house from within’ (as stated in the Muslim Brotherhood’s 1991 report, ‘The Explanatory Memorandum’). Physical annihilation of the Islamic State’s Middle East Caliphate is a necessary ultimate objective that will set back the Global Jihad Movement but not destroy it, principally because the GJM already has a presence worldwide and because the ideology of jihad derives directly from the Qur’an, hadiths, Sirat, and shariah of the Islamic canon.
Fellow jihadist organization and sometime Islamic State rival Al-Qa’eda is not dead: it is vibrant and currently engaged in savage rivalry with the IS and others over dominance of the Global Jihad Movement. AQ regional affiliates have multiplied since 9/11 and today include: Al-Qa’eda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), Al-Qa’eda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Jabhat al-Nusra, and the Taliban, among numerous other jihadist groups. The AQ-IS rivalry is likely to impel each to seek to out-do the other with terror operations targeting the U.S., the West, Israel, and other allies.
U.S. national security leadership, military officers and personnel, and local law enforcement officers must read and study the AQ Timeline for Conquest of the West (as published in August 2005 by Der Spiegel). We are now in Phase Six of Seven (2016-2020 is the time of ‘total confrontation’). This timeline should be made required reading at all service academies, Staff/Command and War Colleges and throughout the Pentagon. The U.S. must re-establish all training curriculum materials and instructors previously purged under Muslim Brotherhood influence that accurately teach the threat from Islamic jihad and shariah.
The Turkish regime under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan harbors neo-Ottoman jihadist aspirations and under current leadership cannot be considered a viable NATO or Western ally unless its behavior significantly turns toward supporting U.S. and NATO objectives. Rather, Turkey is a destabilizing force in the Middle East, especially because of its apparently fixed resolve to oust the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. Further, this jihadist Turkish leadership views Israel as a Jewish enemy and Iran and Saudi Arabia both as Islamic rivals for regional domination.
Turkey has supported IS since its inception because it views the group as a capable proxy force against Bashar al-Assad. Turkey also supports other jihadist militias including Ahrar al-Sham. Ankara’s permission for IS and other jihadis to use Turkey as a gateway to Syrian battlefields, establish terror training camps on its territory, and find safehaven there, eventually will threaten Turkey itself. Turkey’s enduring enmity towards the Kurds, both within Turkey and elsewhere, ensures ongoing, destabilizing efforts by Ankara to attack, counter, and degrade the Kurds’ equally determined nationalist aspirations. Pro-West, anti-jihadist Kurds are a natural ally for the U.S. and should be recognized and aided as such.
Russia is not a Middle East regional power but seeks to project power and influence there. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s KGB-controlled Kremlin is not a U.S. partner: it is an adversary whose expansionist ambitions and longtime collaboration with Islamic terror groups and regimes like Iran’s must be countered firmly.
Putin’s Middle East objectives center on sea access to the southeastern littoral of the Mediterranean Sea, oil interests, and foreign military sales, to include elements of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons programs and other large scale weaponry and armaments. Despite protestations of seeking to forestall chaotic destabilization, Moscow’s Middle East regional objectives and behavior run counter to U.S. national security interests.
These include Russian support for Iran’s nuclear, other WMD, and ballistic missile programs; its determination to ensure that Bashar al-Assad or other Moscow-friendly regime will retain power in Damascus; its historical intelligence and military ties to Middle Eastern terrorist groups, including Hizballah, PFLP, PLO, Iranian Khomeinists and their successors, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qa’eda; the supply of advanced military hardware and associated capabilities to forces inimical to U.S. national security interests in the region; the destabilizing, catastrophic human rights effects of savage bombing in civilian areas and against U.S.-backed Syrian rebel groups like the Syrian Free Army; and displacement of historical U.S. influence with regional governments (e.g., Egypt).
Saudi Arabia: Font of Jihad Ideology
Saudi Arabia is a font of global jihad ideology. Despite the necessity of working with the Saudis to counter other, more dangerous regional threats like Iran and IS, Riyadh royals must be recognized for the civilizational adversary that they are, who have backed, exported, and funded jihad worldwide for decades.
A principal reason why the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has not fielded a serious military force to counter IS is that Saudi regime depends for legitimacy on its Wahhabi clerical establishment which finds more in common with IS’ pure practice of Islam than with dissolute Saudi princes. That Saudi Arabia at some point may face attack from Iran and/or IS, or that its eastern oil fields region may come under Iranian and/or IS frontal and/or subversive pressure adds complexity to defense of U.S. interests in the region, but should not blind us to the essential jihadist nature of the Saudi leadership.
The Iran Threat
America needs a new U.S. National Security Strategy to defeat the Global Jihad Movement. To accomplish this, we must first name the jihadist Iranian regime the number one most immediately critical threat to U.S. national security in the Middle East region and perhaps in the world. We must develop plans to destroy Iran’s key nuclear infrastructure, including key military and civilian facilities, e.g., power grids, IRGC, IRGC-Qods Force, Bassij, and Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) command centers, etc. We must end official collaboration with and/or support for the Iranian regime, its puppet regimes in Baghdad, Beirut, and Damascus, and/or any of its proxies, including Hizballah, Iraqi Shi’ite militias, and the Taliban. We must declare formal U.S. government commitment to regime change in Tehran, support for the free expression of the will of the Iranian people, and our willingness to work with Iranian opposition groups, especially the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MeK) and its political umbrella group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
We must abrogate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and declare Iran’s nuclear weapons program illicit and in violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and multiple UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions. We must declare Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program a valid target for possible military and/or other offensive action unless any and all suspect sites are immediately opened to IAEA inspections that include U.S. nationals on the teams.
We must declare Iran’s ballistic missile program in violation of UNSC Resolutions and subject to possible military and/or other offensive action until/unless verifiably dismantled.
We must demand full accounting for Iran’s past nuclear weapons program work and should withhold funding for the IAEA until it reverses its capitulation to Tehran regime on the so-called Possible Military Dimensions (PMDs) of the Iranian nuclear weapons program. We must demand immediate and unconditional release of all U.S. hostages held by the Iranians and/or any of their terror proxies.
Secure the Grid
It is absolutely critical that we secure the U.S. civilian electric grid ASAP. Its continued vulnerability to EMP attack by Iran, North Korea, or other adversary, to cyber-attack, physical terrorist attack, or to periodic massive solar flares called Coronal Mass Ejections is unconscionable when the technical capability exists to harden the grid and the actual financial cost is so affordable, relative to the threat that life as we know it in America could end. Both the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (CIPA) and the SHIELD Act must be passed out of Congress and signed by the President without any further delay.
The U.S. should announce a return to full, vocal official diplomatic commitment to the survival of the Jewish State of Israel within secure borders and end all funding for the Palestinian Authority and the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWRA). We must renew and upgrade the U.S. defense relationship with Israel and accelerate approval for sales of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) and other bunker-busting munitions to Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The U.S. should provide the IDF with enhanced air refueling capability and consider other, enhanced collaboration on and funding for the Iron Dome, Arrow, David’s Sling, Magic Wand, and other missile defense systems as well as other defensive measures.
The Department of State should open bilateral discussions on countering Iran’s existential threat to Israel, including the possibility of Israel ‘taking its bomb out of the basement’ and announcing commitment to the principle of anticipatory self-defense under international law. And symbolically, but most important of all, the U.S. should move its official Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is the eternal, undivided capital of the Jewish State of Israel. Our very visible and strong relationship with Israel must be seen as unequivocal in the eyes of the international community.
Kurdish National Aspirations
The U.S. should declare official support for the national aspirations of the Kurdish people, whether in autonomous zones or something more formal (to be the subject of discussions). We should upgrade immediately U.S. military and weapons assistance to the Kurdish Peshmerga that are fighting forces of the Damascus regime as well as IS. We should expand the U.S. economic commitment to Kurdish-controlled areas for development & infrastructure projects.
In terms of a broader U.S. regional strategy, we should announce a ‘non-intervention’ policy for the intra-Islamic Shi’ite-Sunni struggle. This should not, however, necessarily obviate continued U.S. air strikes, or the targeted deployment of Special Operations forces against IS in the Caliphate area of operations on a limited basis.
We should arm, back, fund, and train U.S. regional allies, including Egypt, Israel, Jordan, the Kurds, and other minority groups including Christians and Yazidis.
We should consider expansion of the U.S. military commitment to counter IS in other areas outside of its Middle East core area of operations such as in North and West Africa; Egypt/Sinai Peninsula, and elsewhere. It is most important that we ensure U.S. actions do not tip the balance in favor of either Shi’ite or Sunni jihadist enemies.
A Hostile Foreign Powers List
Domestically, the President should seek Congressional legislation to designate a new listing for Hostile Foreign Powers, to which all jihadist entities, whether kinetic or subversive, national, sub-national or transnational, would be named. The new listing would be the basis to purge all U.S. federal, state, and local bureaucracies of pro-shariah jihadist influences, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, its front organizations, and associated individuals. We must re-establish an official U.S. government-wide training curriculum to instruct on Islamic doctrine, law, scriptures and their role as inspirational sources for Islamic terrorism.
The Department of Justice must begin prosecution of the 200-plus unindicted co-conspirators in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation HAMAS terror funding trial. The President must instruct the FBI to investigate and the Department of Justice to prosecute sedition and material support for terrorism aggressively. If found guilty of subversion and / or sedition of the United States of America, mosques and the associated imams or mullahs that preach sedition and jihad must be closed, and their religious leaders, if indicted, will be prosecuted and, if necessary deported or imprisoned.
Immigration & Refugee Resettlement
It is critical that the U.S. develop comprehensive immigration and refugee resettlement policy reform. We should prioritize funding for refugees already in safe camps in the Middle East to remain near their former homes so as to improve the likelihood they will go home whenever the situation permits. The President and State Governors should seek Congressional legislation that requires involvement by state and local jurisdictions in every step of the immigration and refugee resettlement process.
The Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, and State must begin to apply discriminatory vetting to exclude those who favor or harbor jihadist ideology or are unlikely to assimilate well into US society. Federal agencies should selectively favor immigration, refugee processing, and visas for Middle East Christians, Yazidis, and others persecuted for their religious beliefs.
Finally, candidates for public office, Congressional representatives, defense and national security officials, and all who accept the responsibilities incumbent on those who take the oath of office to ‘protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic’ should see the Secure Freedom Strategy, published by the Center for Security Policy in 2015, for a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach to defeating the Global Jihad Movement: http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/the-secure-freedom-strategy/
Editor’s Note – The Author of the following article is an SUA ‘Kitchen Cabinet” founding member and he is a foreign policy and national security analyst and served in the departments of State and Defense.
He visited more than 50 U.S. overseas diplomatic posts on official missions.
After its release this morning, Jen Psaki, the State Department Spokesperson finally admitted that Hillary Clinton did not sign a OF-109 separation form after all:
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Tuesday the agency is “fairly certain” that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not sign a separation statement upon her departure from Foggy Bottom.
“We don’t have record of it,” Psaki admitted.
She was quick to point out that her two immediate predecessors had no signed form on record either, but that is trivial in comparison to the deep hot water Clinton should be in.
Please read on:
With Private Storage, Clinton May Have Exposed State Secrets To International Cyber Crime
ABC News recently reported that House Speaker John Boehner will soon be announcing a new congressional investigation into the dubious way former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton controlled her official State Department emails during the four years she served as the nation’s top diplomat and the two years since leaving office.
By storing the emails in an isolated server outside of State Department control in a private personal computer system, Mrs. Clinton and the State Department were able to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests from Congress and the media on sensitive topics such as Benghazi. Her actions may also have compromised national security.
The Secretary carries the President’s foreign policies and participates as a key member of the President’s National Security Council, providing advice and assistance to the President on the most important and urgent foreign policies and national security matters.
Therefore, the Secretary is an automatic target of those seeking to learn as much as possible about what is going on inside the highest levels of the U.S. Government through various forms of espionage activities.
Former Justice Department officials Shannen Coffin and Dan Metcalfe and Federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, in articles appearing in National Review and Politico, disagreed with her.
In their essays on this subject, among other things, Coffin wondered whether the former Secretary falsely certified the return of all records upon her departure from the State Department; Metcalfe, a retired government FOIA expert, opined that the former Secretary’s email defense is laughable; and McCarthy argued that the former Secretary is still violating the law and the Justice Department should take custody of her server.
Being able to access any of the Secretary’s official or private communications– whether they are classified, sensitive or otherwise– would be an intelligence coup for U.S. foes and friends engaged in espionage, and could be used by them for such nefarious activities as waging economic, military and political sabotage and warfare against the United States, or mere blackmail.
And it is naïve for anyone to believe that U.S. adversaries like China, Russia and others – skilled in state-of-the-art electronic cyber-theft and eavesdropping and who can intrude into computer systems without detection – wouldn’t try to take advantage of a situation like this if they knew the Secretary of State’s emails were being stored in a private server.
The State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security serves as a firewall in preventing U.S. enemies and others from gaining access to U.S. classified as sensitive information, whether it is the Secretary of State or anyone else employed by the State Department.
Among other things, DS security engineers monitor and negate electronic threats, while its intelligence and information security experts educate employees on counterintelligence and possible vulnerabilities that might be exploited by foreign intelligence agencies.
To mitigate these threats, DS continually develops, tests, and updates security standards as necessary for all State Department’s computer systems and requires everyone leaving the agency, under penalties of law, to turn over all government records when their appointments or employment expires (see U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 12 – Diplomatic Security Form OF-109, PDF).
One can easily understand why the State Department’s security folks are so concerned about espionage prevention. China’s cyber-spies on several notable occasions (e.g., Titan Rain and Mandiant) successfully breached the U.S.’s most sophisticated security-protected computer systems at U.S. government agencies, sensitive military bases, defense contractors, aerospace companies through internet email intrusion. For skilled cyber-spies, hacking into someone’s private computer system requires little effort.
The responses from the former Secretary and State Department spokesperson, Jen Psaki, on this subject to date have been far less than forthcoming, especially regarding the security aspect. As Congress looks further into this matter, it might want to consider asking key current and former officials within the Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security to formally testify before Congress and ask them the following questions:
Did DS know and approve of the manner in which former Secretary Clinton, and her closest State Department colleagues Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, were storing their State Department-related emails in a private computer system outside of the State Department’s span of control? If the answer is yes, did DS evaluate and certify the former secretary’s personal computer system met State Department security standards?
Did DS require the former secretary to sign the State Department’s Separation Agreement, OF 109, which requires by U.S. Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 12 – Diplomatic Security, in part, that former State Department persons like Mrs. Clinton, Miss Abedin, and Miss Mills to turn over all government-related records, including emails, at the conclusion of their appointments and/or employment? If the answer is yes, does DS have a copy of the signed documents? If the answer is no, did DS officials waive the requirement to do so for these individuals?
Did DS give the former secretary permission to delete more than 30,000 emails from her personal computer system before DS or a neutral arbiter could examine them?
While this list of questions is not all-inclusive, the answers to them will provide substantial insight into whether the former Secretary, her closest State Department associates, and the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security complied with some important applicable laws and regulations pertaining to the maintenance and disposition of official State Department records and applicable security standards. The American public deserves to know the answers.
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.
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.
Over 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.
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.
Editor’s Note – Prior to World War II, despite FDR’s desires, the nation preferred to stay out of the war raging in Europe, for right or wrong. What we did not know was that Japan was about to make us enter, and FDR had already been supplying England through the Lend/Lease Act to avoid ceding so-called neutrality.
No matter what the tenor of the nation, the war was about to pull us in, and we were not prepared. The signs were there, in broad colors, and in large measure, the signs of World War are present today, some say in starker terms. Fortunately, when Japan unleashed the ‘sleeping giant’, we quickly turned the foremost industrial engine on the Earth into overdrive and we eventually overwhelmed our enemies and saved our allies.
Now, we are decreasing our military, at a time we should be modernizing it and insuring it fits the threat, not just a bottom line number, but we do not have the money allocated by threat priority in other budgets due to waste, fraud and abuse. At a time when our collective intelligence reports read that the threats are greater today than ever, supported by the Intelligence Community congressional testimony, what criteria did Hagel use?
It is also clear that our nation is considered weaker than ever, and now our enemies see us cut further. This emboldens the likes of Iran, Putin in Russia, China in the Pacific, and al Qaeda. Let us also not forget the Taliban threat once we leave Afghanistan.
Of course, past bad fiscal management by all parties has brought us to the brink of financial ruin, the Obama Administration has only deepened the abyss and now Secretary of Defense Hagel announced massive cuts; cuts that will place us right back in the pre-WWII levels. The question is, if World War comes again, we will be able to recover as quickly, and strike our enemies into total submission?
You be the judge, but you also need to ask why, that for at least three generations we have not reined in unreasonable spending in the Pentagon as well – a ‘perfect storm’ appears on the horizon, and we have a ‘paper tiger’ in the White House. Bad management has reduced our national security because of politics, not priorities.
Traditionally, military planners have operated under a worst-case scenario: i.e., what do we need to have in place to respond if nothing goes as planned? The Obama administration and Congress appear to be operating under a best-case scenario: i.e., what is the minimum force we can field on the assumption that nothing will go terribly wrong?
Thus the new defense budget, being unveiled today, which cuts the army’s active-duty force size to the smallest level since before World War II–just 440,000 to 450,000 soldiers. That’s down from a wartime high of 570,000, although even that figure was painfully inadequate to allow the U.S. to respond to two unforeseen wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
As critics of the Bush administration–including Senator Barack Obama–were once fond of pointing out, Bush never sent enough troops to stabilize Iraq until 2007 and that commitment was only made possible by keeping a ludicrously small force in Afghanistan, once known as the “necessary” war.
The failure to send more troops early on allowed the Taliban to rebound from near-defeat in 2001 and allowed various insurgent groups to sprout all over Iraq.
So if 570,000 troops were not enough to handle such relatively weak foes as al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Taliban, how on earth would 440,000 troops be able to handle more robust contingencies–unlikely but not impossible–such as simultaneous wars with Iran and North Korea and a stabilization mission in, say, Yemen? The answer is that they couldn’t.
Actually the situation is even worse than the news would have you believe. Because the army’s plan to cut down to 440,000 to 450,000 is premised on the assumption that Congress will continue to provide relief from half a trillion dollars in sequestration cuts.
But the budget deal reached by Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray only provides sequestration relief in 2014 and 2015; unless Congress is willing to turn off sequestration in future years, the army will have to go even lower in end-strength.
Moreover, the defense budget includes modest cuts in personnel spending–spending on pay, pensions, and health care–which are long overdue but which are likely to be blocked by Congress, as was the case with a recent attempt to cut cost-of-living adjustments for military retirees by a measly one percent.
Unless Congress goes along with cuts to personnel costs, which now constitute half of the defense budget, other parts of the budget–including, no doubt, the army’s end-strength–will have to endure further scaling back.
That is a responsible decline in military strength only if you assume that we will never fight another major land war, or engage in simultaneous stabilization and counterinsurgency operations. And that, in turn, is a tenable assumption only if you assume that the laws of history have been repealed and a new era is dawning in which the U.S. will be able to protect all of its vital interests through drone strikes and commando raids.
We all hope that’s the case but, as the saying has it, hope isn’t a strategy. Except, it seems, in Washington defense circles today.
If history teaches anything, it is that the era of land wars is not over and that we will pay a heavy price in the future for our unpreparedness–as we have paid in blood at the beginning of every major war in American history.
Our failure to learn from history is stunning and (from a historian’s standpoint) disheartening but not, alas, terribly surprising: Throughout history, supposedly enlightened elites have been able to convince themselves that the era of conflict is over and a new age is dawning.
The fact that they have always been wrong before does not, somehow, lead them to question those assumptions in the present day, because this is such a convenient belief to have.
Today, for both Republicans and Democrats, the president and Congress, these hope-based assumptions about defense spending allow them to put off the truly difficult decisions about cutting entitlement spending. But at what cost? If history is any guide, the cost of unpreparedness will be steep and will be borne by future generations of American troops.
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