Archive for the ‘Military’ Category

When it comes to military insightfulness, it’s difficult to pick whether Donald Trump is more devoid of military expertise or whether President Obama is more certain that he’s right when he’s wrong. I wrote this article to highlight the stunning lack of important information that Mr. Trump has. Mr. Trump’s ego easily outdistances his expertise on ISIS. His bombast easily outdistances his honesty.

When it comes to military expertise, Trump’s “I’ll bomb the shit out of them” falls exceptionally short of reassuring a nation that wants its commander-in-chief to actually know what he’s talking about. When it comes to honesty, Trump’s nonexistent group of military advisers leads to the question of whether he’s capable of putting together a cabinet of topnotch national security experts. ISIS and national appear to be an afterthought for Mr. Trump more than a point of emphasis.

As for President Obama, Peggy Noonan’s WSJ column captured things beautifully when she wrote “No commander in chief of the U.S. armed forces can be wholly irrelevant, but to the extent one can be, Mr. Obama is. He has misjudged ISIS from the beginning—they were not, actually, the junior varsity—to the end. He claimed last week, to George Stephanopoulos, that ISIS has been “contained.” “I don’t think they’re gaining strength,” he said just before Paris blew.”

In President Obama’s world, ISIS is either the JV team or they’re contained. In President Obama’s 2012 world, al-Qa’ida was on the ropes and bin Laden was dead. At least then, bin Laden really was dead. Charles Krauthammer’s column is a literary scalpel to the myth that President Obama is a trusted commander-in-chief:

Obama defended his policy by listing its multifaceted elements. Such as, “I hosted at the United Nations an entire discussion of counterterrorism strategies and curbing the flow of foreign fighters.” An “entire” discussion, mind you. Not a partial one. They tremble in Raqqa. And “We have mobilized 65 countries to go after ISIL.” Yes, and what would we do without Luxembourg?

Mr. Trump and President Obama are thin-skinned narcissists. They think that they know more than what they actually know. President Obama is, by far, the worst president in my lifetime. He’s worse than Jimmy Carter, something I thought impossible until the start of President Obama’s first term.

Mr. Trump thinks he knows things about military strategy but he doesn’t. During his “I’ll bomb the shit out of them” speech in Fort Dodge, IA, he said that he’d blow up the oil pipelines and refineries in northern Iraq. That’s bombast masquerading as military expertise. Northeastern Iraq is controlled by the Kurds. They’ve been US allies since 1991. Why would Trump destroy oil fields, pipelines and refineries run by our allies?

It’s time for voters to replace the fool in the White House with someone who actually knows what they’re talking about. For all of the Trumpians’ talk about him not taking anyone’s guff, there’s scarcely a mention that he knows what he’s talking about.

God help us all.

When President Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that ISIS was contained hours before ISIS’ sophisticated terrorist attacks in Paris, it was done in response to people’s concerns that President Obama’s strategy wasn’t working. What it revealed, however, is how dishonest the administration is.

When Ben Rhodes, President Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser, was interviewed by CNN’s Jake Tapper, Rhodes said “What we’ve been able to do is stop that advance and reclaim territory, going on offense with our partners on the ground, most recently retaking the strategic town of Sindjar, which cuts off the supply line between Raqqa, Syria and Mosul in Iraq.”

Let’s be clear about this. While the US military has performed valiantly, this administration has tied their hands with counterproductive restrictive rules of engagement. Further, it’s dishonest to hear Deputy Rhodes distract attention away from the important consideration of whether ISIS terrorists have the capability of conducting sophisticated terrorist attacks anywhere in the world. It’s nice to hear that ISIS is contained geographically. It’s important that we know that ISIS can’t inflict mass casualty terrorist attacks in Paris or Washington, DC.

Finally, the truth is that President Obama hasn’t contained ISIS geographically. ISIS has temporarily chosen not to expand geographically, devoting more of its resources to killing western infidels than on expanding its geographic footprint.

That isn’t a soothing final thought.

Last night, Glenn Beck was on Megyn Kelly’s show. Beck said that Republicans should listen to Bernie Sanders in one respect. Beck paraphrased Sanders as saying “the way that Washington is functioning is immoral.” Later, he revisited that part of Bernie’s riff, saying that Sanders added “and everybody knows it.”

First, it’s important to note that Beck said to “take away everything of what his solutions are because his solutions just don’t work.” What’s important for Republicans to note, however, is the outrage at how Washington is corrupt.

This week, the Justice Department announced that they wouldn’t prosecute Lois Lerner, the corrupt IRS agent who tried to prevent American citizens from exercising their rights to participate in the political process.

Last Friday, Hillary Clinton said that the VA scandal wasn’t as widespread as Republicans would have you believe. Then she said that Republicans were criticizing the VA in their attempt to privatize VA hospitals.

Here’s what Beck said:

These fit perfectly with what Mr. Beck said:

The IRS is immoral and everyone knows it. Lois Lerner wasn’t prosecuted because the Justice Department is immoral and corrupt and everyone knows it. The way that the VA mistreats veterans is immoral and everyone knows it. When Democrats defend Planned Parenthood’s practice of infanticide for profit, it’s immoral and everyone knows it.

Hillary Clinton’s State Department didn’t supply additional security to Libya, which got Ambassador Christopher Stevens murdered by terrorists. That was immoral and everyone knows it. Telling the American people that Christopher Stevens died as a result of an anti-Islam video but telling the Libyan president and the Egyptian prime minister that it was a terrorist attack is immoral and everyone knows it.

Most importantly, Hillary saying that 300,000 veterans died without getting medical treatment is the Republicans fault is highly immoral and everyone knows it.

I won’t pretend that there’s no corruption within the Republican Party. I also won’t pretend that the Democratic Party gives a damn about morality. The Democratic Party is corrupt to the core and everyone knows it.

Hillary Clinton has started using the gender card so often that I wonder if she thinks that the only qualification she needs to be the next president is being a female. The truth is that the biggest thing Mrs. Clinton is missing is a heart. This past weekend, Mrs. Clinton agreed to a softball interview with Rachel Maddow. Let’s just say that Mrs. Clinton managed to piss off an entire group of people. This time, she shot her mouth off about the VA hospital system. According to S.E. Cupp’s article, things got ugly pretty quick.

It started when Ms. Maddow asked about the VA scandal. That’s when Mrs. Clinton said “You know, I don’t understand why we have such a problem, because there have been a number of surveys of veterans and, overall, veterans who do get treated are satisfied with their treatment.” Unfortunately for Mrs. Clinton, she was just getting started. Next, she said “Now, nobody would believe that from the coverage that you see, and the constant berating of the VA that comes from Republicans in part in pursuit of this ideological agenda that they have.”

That’s breathtakingly dishonest. It isn’t surprising that Hillary blamed the VA scandal on Republicans. That’s a reflex with her. What’s disappointing is that she deflected blame away from the corrupt administrators who gave themselves bonuses while veterans died while waiting to get treatment. No amount of money would’ve fixed that. In fact, more money might’ve made the problem worse.

Ms. Cupp then asks a pair of important questions:

When did it become politically permissible to either ignore or accept the systematic negligence of our servicemen and women? And then blame the other political party for pointing it out?

Hillary Clinton doesn’t care about people outside her inner circle of friends. Think about this:

  1. Will Hillary fight for a single mother’s right to defend her family in the crime-infested neighborhoods of her hometown of Chicago?
  2. Will Hillary fight for veterans to get timely medical treatments from some of the nastiest medical conditions?
  3. Will Hillary fight for unemployed construction workers who want to build the Keystone XL Pipeline?

We know the answer to those questions. The answer isn’t no. It’s hell no.

This is a presidential campaign. I know that the candidates will play hardball. That’s fine. Presidential politics is a contact sport. What’s beyond the pale, though, is saying that 300,000 veterans dying without getting treatment is the fault of partisan politics.

That’s as disgusting as Hillary saying that she takes “full responsibility” for Benghazi in one sentence, then insisting that she neither approved or rejected any of Christopher Stevens’ requests for additional security.

One of the major things to come out of this week’s GOP debate on CNN is that Donald Trump doesn’t look like the behemoth that can’t be beat anymore. While I give lots of the credit for puncturing that image to Carly Fiorina, it isn’t fair to say that she’s the only one to draw blood against him.

When Hugh Hewitt asked Mr. Trump if the three senators on stage shared the responsibility for the refugee crisis in eastern Europe by not authorizing the use of military force, Mr. Trump said that they should accept part of the responsibility for the crisis. The minute Mr. Trump finished his statement, Sen. Rubio pounced, saying “We bear no responsibility. Let’s remember what the President said. He said that the attacks that he would conduct was going to be a pin prick. Well, the United State’s military wasn’t built to conduct pin prick attacks. If the United States military is going to be engaged by a commander-in-chief, it should only be engaged in an endeavor to win and we’re not going to authorize the use of force if you’re not going to put them in a position to win. And, quite frankly, people don’t trust this president as commander-in-chief because of that.”

Here’s the exchange between Mr. Trump and Sen. Rubio:

While that won’t dissuade Mr. Trump’s true believers, it’s something that will resonate with those activists who aren’t already infected with Trumpmania Syndrome. In the past, lightweight candidates like Lindsey Graham and ultra-establishment candidates like Jeb Bush haven’t hit Mr. Trump with the lethal hits that were required.

That changed prior to this week’s GOP Debate. It isn’t surprising that the 2 consensus winners of Wednesday night’s debate, Mrs. Fiorina and Sen. Rubio, got in the best shots against Mr. Trump. It isn’t surprising because their messaging has always been the most crisp, the most hard-hitting on the GOP side.

There’s an old hunting saying that teaches that ‘you don’t want to track a wounded grizzly’, which applies to Mr. Trump. If you aren’t going to rhetorically hit Mr. Trump with lethal force, don’t hit him at all. I’d argue, though, that you don’t belong in the race if you can’t hit Mr. Trump with lethal force.

The campaign, in its truest form, should be a clash of titans. Those that can’t compete at that highest level needn’t apply.

It’s becoming a matter of routine to hear that Scott Walker is leading in another poll or that he’s won another straw poll. Gov. Walker was the final speaker at the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, where he won another straw poll with surprising strength:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got some of Philadelphia’s brotherly love in a Republican straw poll of declared and presumptive presidential candidates this weekend.

But Scott Walker got more.

The Wisconsin governor left the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference with 25.3 percent of the poll, taken among the 600-plus party leaders and activists from 20 states who attended, according to a news release from the event. Christie won 11.6 percent, taking second place. He edged out Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who had 11 percent. Rounding out the top five were former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who tied with 9.6 percent.

Gov. Walker’s message is simple: he’s a fighter that wins:

Seeking to differentiate himself from some of his potential rivals who serve in Congress or have been out of office for some time, Mr. Walker said he was a unique combination of fighter and election and policy victor. “We fight the good fight and win those fights over and over and over again,” he said.

It’s impossible to argue with Gov. Walker’s history of success. The record speaks for itself. If ever there was an election that showed elections aren’t about the past, this is that election. Gov. Walker appears able to fight and win on that turf, too:

Mr. Walker also mocked the president on national security, citing Mr. Obama’s recent speech in which he said climate change was the biggest threat facing America. “I’ve got a message for you, Mr. President. The number one threat to the military, the number one threat to America, the number one threat to the world is radical Islam. It’s time we do something about it,” he said to roaring cheers.

President Obama admitted that he doesn’t have a complete strategy to defeat ISIS. Unfortunately for solutions-oriented Americans of all political stripes, that isn’t surprising. It’s just disappointing. It’s impossible to think of President Obama as a policy wonk. It’s impossible to think of him as anything more than a political hack.

Saying that climate change is the “biggest threat facing America” requires mocking. Thankfully, there are several serious conservative candidates who are capable of taking over as commander-in-chief. Right now, the one winning the straw polls and leading in the polls is Gov. Walker.

I just finished watching Shepard Smith talking about the US strategy in Iraq. Actually, we don’t have one but that’s another story for another day. Smith said that he agrees that ISIS wins if the US sends in more ground troops. That’s foolish. If a substantial number of US troops go into Anbar Province with a clearly defined assignment of destroying ISIS, ISIS won’t be the winner. They’d get their butts kicked like they did during the Anbar Awakening.

This isn’t speculation. History provides the proof. The Anbar Awakening happened because a) we surged a ton of troops into Anbar Province and b) Sunnis trusted us because we fought alongside of them. The Obama administration won’t do either thing for ideological, aka political, reasons. When our troops supported the Iraqi troops, they fought well. They weren’t put in the impossible situation of picking between ISIS Sunnis and Iranian-backed Shiites.

That’s a head-Iran-wins-tails-I-lose situation. It’s a lose-lose situation for the Anbar Sunnis.

Further, it’s insane to say we should pull out of Iraq because the Iraqis aren’t fighting. While that’s aggravating, that isn’t what’s most important. Pulling out of Iraq means ISIS a) will establish its caliphate and b) will bring a major terrorist attack to the United States sooner rather than later.

To the idiots that want to pull out, here’s my question: Are you willing to have American blood on your hands when the next terrorist attack hits our homeland? I’m tired of idiots like Shep Smith and Bill O’Reilly arguing that we should pull out if we aren’t in it to win it. That’s the wrong argument.

My argument is simple. Let’s change our strategy to accepting only victory. That means demolishing the ISIS caliphate ASAP. It’s time we started thinking about winning. Period.

During Scott Walker’s appearance on ABC’s This Week, Jonathan Karl played a clip of President Obama’s cheap shot about Scott Walker’s foreign policy. Here’s the partial transcript of that exchange:

SOT OBAMA: Perhaps Mr. Walker, after he’s taken some time to bone up on foreign policy, will feel the same way.

KARL: President Obama said you needed to bone up on foreign policy. And I guess you’ve been doing it? I mean you’ve been traveling, you’ve been talking to foreign policy experts.

WALKER: Yeah. I thought it was interesting for the president to say that, the guy who called ISIS the JV squad and Yemen a success story somehow suggesting that someone else should bone up on foreign policy. But we have. We’ve been to Israel, I’ve talked to David Cameron in the UK, we’ve been elsewhere. My belief is if I’m gonna even think about running for president of the United States, it’s not about preparing for debates, it’s about being prepared to be the president of the United States.

Now that’s a zinger. It’s great to see that Gov. Walker isn’t putting up with President Obama’s flippant statements. It’s wonderful to see Republicans throwing this stuff back in President Obama’s face. President Obama is the worst foreign policy president in the last 100+ years and it isn’t even close.

Before ISIS, President Obama decided that it was more important to pull troops from Iraq than it was to stabilize the region. That wasn’t unwise. That was stupid. It led to the vacuum that ISIS and Iran are fighting over. That’s a heads, they win, tails, we lose scenario.

President Obama’s decision to abandon its allies in the Middle East is causing regionwide instability, which is being fomented by Iran. Our allies don’t trust us and our enemies don’t fear us. If I got paid $10 each time that sentence was repeated on TV, I’d be as overpaid as the Clintons.

KARL: Okay, you’ve been very critical about how the president handled ISIS. Some are out there like Lindsey Graham saying we should send 10,000 U.S. ground troops right now to Iraq to help with this fight. Do you favor that?

WALKER: I think we shouldn’t rule anything out. It’s a big mistake this president has made here and elsewhere about saying how long we would go or how much we would invest.

KARL: I’m not talking about ruling it out, I’m saying would you do that, would you send…

WALKER: No, I’m not arguing that’s the first approach. But I’ll tell you three specific things I think we should do in Iraq. First we should re-engage the strength of the American forces that are there. Once you do that, you empower our allied forces that are there on behalf of Iraq to reclaim the territory that ISIS has taken. And third, you just need to do it in a way that doesn’t provide safe haven in the places like Syria as you push them out.

The Obama administration sends weapons to the Kurds through Baghdad. That’s a mistake because the Iranians don’t want the Peshmerga to get the weapons. They want to eventually overtake Kurdistan. They don’t want a strengthened Kurdish nation.

The Peshmerga are skilled, willing fighters that’ve gotten starved by the Obama administration.

If Gov. Walker gets elected president, he would be a dramatic upgrade in terms of foreign policy over President Obama.

Anyone watching this video has to wonder whether Tucker Carlson has paid attention the last 12 years:

Here’s the transcript that calls his analytic skills into question:

CARLSON: The question I would ask, and I’m not endorsing Rand Paul, but I do think you need a moment of national reckoning where we ask a simple question: what is the lesson from the last thirteen years of Iraq? Have we learned anything? How would we proceed differently based on what we just saw? And the other candidates, most of them I would say, are committed to this ‘We’ve learned nothing. The world’s exactly as it was on September 12, 2001. That is not…I don’t think that’s a recipe for success. I …
BRET BAIER: But do you think that this is a pathway to the GOP nomination?
CARLSON: I don’t. I absolutely don’t. Laura is absolutely right. He’s getting hammered. You’re pro-terrorist. Again, I’m not defending Rand Paul. I’m not an advocate for his campaign. But I think the question hangs in the air what have we learned?
LAURA INGRAHAM: There’s a big debate out there that has to be had. Will it be had? Will it be had when there’s just one person making the case and an entire field saying ‘Oh no. It has to be this way. It’s an interesting debate. We should have it.
CHARLES LANE: I listened to that soundbite of Rand Paul and was just reminded of why he’s not…of why he’s getting criticism. The things he says are sloppy and superficial. To literally blame the rise of ISIS on the hawks in the Republican Party is just ridiculous. Let’s face it. There are so many other factors that’ve gone into it and furthermore, it isn’t about how do we unring all the bells that were run in the past that may have led us to this point. The problem now is how do we deal with this menace?

If Carlson wants to re-litigate whether we should’ve invaded Iraq, he’s free to do so. It’s just that that’s a waste of time for policymakers. If historians want to debate it, fine. That’s their responsibility.

If Carlson wants to make sure that we don’t make the same mistakes again, the big picture answer is exceptionally straightforward. Don’t elect a person who thinks that fighting terrorists is an afterthought. Don’t elect a person who isn’t committed to winning.

One straightforward lesson worth learning is that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton told us in 2007 and 2008 that they weren’t qualified to be commander-in-chief. President Obama has been a terrible commander-in-chief. If she got elected, Hillary would be just as terrible as commander-in-chief as President Obama is because they’re both committed, as they’ve said repeatedly throughout the years, to “ending wars responsibly.”

The biggest lesson Republicans need to learn is to a) trust their generals more and b) loosen up the rules of engagement, aka ROE, so that U.S. military forces can efficiently kill the terrorists as quickly as possible. The other shift that’s imperative is that they must make clear that the Sunnis and Kurds will be protected and that Iran’s generals won’t be permitted as military advisors to Iraq.

The biggest reason why the Sunnis didn’t fight in Ramadi is because they were stuck in a lose-lose situation. If they defeat ISIS, Iranian Shiites would wage war against the Sunnis. If the Sunnis waged war against the Shiites, then Iran and President Obama would persecute them.

During the Anbar Awakening, U.S. soldiers fought alongside the Sunnis. They established a trust with the Sunni soldiers. The result was the Sunnis running AQI, ISIS’ predecessor, into Syria. We don’t need to send 150,000 troops into Iraq to obliterate ISIS. Military experts say that 20,000-25,000 troops, combined with an aggressive bombing campaign, should devastate ISIS and restore Iraqi trust in the United States. This time, though, it’s imperative that we negotiate a status of forces agreement to keep a stabilizing force in Iraq. That stabilizing force would keep the troops and the Iraqi government in line, prevent the Iranians from spreading their influence in the region and prevent the return of ISIS.

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