Archive for February, 2016

Women and the Draft

The selective service registration for American women has become a topic of much discussion and several presidential debates. There can be no debate that the most important title of the President of the United States is Commander-in-Chief. But it is important that we also understand constitutional responsibility. The enumerated power relating to raising military force is clearly delineated in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 12 of the Constitution, “To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years”. The legislative branch has the responsibility and enumerated power to deal with matters concerning the raising Armies in defense of the United States. As well, Article I, Section 8, Clause 16 addresses the relationship of the legislative branch with the Militia, “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.” In the spirit of the law, US Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) has introduced legislation that would authorize Congress (and ONLY Congress) to modify or change the persons subject to Selective Service registration. The importance of Sen. Lee doing such is to ensure that this issue does not become a politicized, ideological hot potato at a serious time for our military.

There can be no debate that the Obama administration has been more focused on social egalitarianism and “fairness” when it comes to our military and its readiness. And it is a time when our military readiness is very concerning.

The purpose of a “draft” would be to surge building combat manpower for the United States at a time of war. Regardless of what we may believe, we are enjoined in a very deliberate war with Islamic jihadism. As well, there are flashpoints with traditional state actors such as Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. Is it necessary to have a discussion about expanding the selective service obligation in America to women? If we would just focus on having a strong volunteer military that is allowed to defeat the enemy on the battlefield we would not need this debate. It would behoove any presidential candidate to examine the geographic areas of responsibility under our Combatant Commands and begin a process of building a power projection force. This is something different from a forward deployed military that defined the Cold War.

Instead of a debate on expanding the draft to women, NCPA has offered a five point national security strategy that is not rooted in political ideology but the preeminent role of the federal government.

  1. We need to build a force capable of meeting the state and non-state belligerent threats on the global stage. We need to have a force for the 21st century battlefield that can function across the full spectrum of combat operations as well as other aspects of support. It must be a force that is deployable, flexible, and provides a deterrent capacity for the Commander-in-Chief.
  1. Reduce the Department of Defense bureaucracy, this is vital in ensuring our military is focused on the warfighter and their capability and not growing headquarters. The US military is becoming far more top heavy and that has nothing to do with advanced technology.
  1. Reform our weapons procurement and acquisition process so that we seek weapons systems the force needs…not what industry demands. And we need to ensure our weapons system development process stays on track on timeline and within budget.
  1. Transform our war fighting strategies, twenty-five years ago we fought a combat operation called Operation Desert Storm. The rules of engagement enabled victory, matter of fact, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell stated, “we are going to cut it off [Iraqi Army] and kill it”. When was the last time we heard such definitive declaration of victory from senior military leaders, or even from the Commander-in-Chief.
  1. Compensate our men and women entering military service above the poverty level. It is very interesting we have the debate about a $15 “living wage” in America, yet we compensate our young Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen at an astonishing low rate.

Here are five critical issues that should be leading policy points for anyone desiring to be our President. The last thing we need is for the media and social egalitarians to advance discussion of an issue that is not necessary for the national security of the United States.

Obama announces Gitmo appeasement plan

President Obama’s plan to close the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility is ill advised and is reflective of someone who is disconnected from the realities of global Islamic jihadism. Campaign promises should not form the basis for national security policy. The conflagration against Islamic jihadism is not a law enforcement matter but rather the prosecution of warfare against unlawful enemy combatants.

Join us as we focus on the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act. Say “No” to further weakening America’s defense by signing the petition to Provide for the Common Defense Now!

Russia wants to fly over U.S. homeland

The Obama Administration often criticizes its opponents for living in the past.  Yet, the president continues to see the world through the Cold War lens of a progressive – that is believing American policy is the source of the world’s ills.  Rapprochement with Cuba wrongly assumed the island nation represents 21st century Latin America, for example.  The administration then significantly changed U.S. policy without demanding any substantial political modifications from Cuba.

It now appears the United States is not only prolonging useless Cold War treaties but failing to place common sense parameters around their modern application.  The Associated press reports that “Russia will ask permission on Monday to start flying surveillance planes equipped with high-powered digital cameras amid warnings from U.S. intelligence and military officials that such overflights help Moscow collect intelligence on the United States.” This is absolute nonsense.  The fact that Russia would even consider such a proposal demonstrates what little regard it has for the United States and how weak it perceives this administration. Putin is playing chess while Obama plays checkers.

In my experience with these Open Sky operations, the whole process has become a Russian intelligence versus American counterintelligence game of chance. They send delegations, of which one or two are inevitably spooks posing as cultural or military attachés. The rest of the event is a dog-and-pony show that’s used to check a box.

Russia asking for overflight permission is simply insane.  Admiral Cecil D. Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, is absolutely correct when he says that the “treaty has become a critical component of Russia’s intelligence collection capability directed at the United States,” and that in addition to overflying military installations, “will allow Russia to collect on Department of Defense and national security or national critical infrastructure.” The vulnerability “exposed by exploitation of this data and costs of mitigation are increasingly difficult to characterize.”

And then there is Rose Gottemoeller, Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. She says that what Moscow gains from the observation flights is “incremental” to what they collect through other means. “One of the advantages of the Open Skies Treaty is that information – imagery – that is taken is shared openly among all the treaty parties.” Therefore, one of the advantages with the Open Skies Treaty is “that we know exactly what the Russians are imaging, because they must share the imagery with us.”

Once again, we somehow believe that Russia will play by the rules. At what point in history, especially recent history, as Putin and the Kremlin demonstrated a willingness to obey protocol?  What does Russia have to fear if they do not share their imagery?  How do we even know IF they are sharing all their work? The administration has shown very little resolve in confronting the Bear and this thinking has become dangerously prevalent in U.S. government circles.  Remember, President Bush said he looked into his eyes.  Indeed, the former president failed to recognize that Putin was a trained intelligence officer, a professional people manipulator.  And we still haven’t learned our lesson.

First, Congress needs to immediately condemn this Russian idea and tell the administration that money for open skies will be cut off if this measure is approved.  Second, Congress must completely overhaul this treaty or consider dropping it altogether by nixing military participation and access to military installations through the NDAA.  Third, and this is more philosophical, the United States must rid itself of the “Gottemoeller-effect” and recognize that Russia is no friend.  They are not a sworn enemy, per-se, but they are no friend.

That is another reason why NCPA has launched its “Provide for the Common Defense Now!” petition in order to ensure the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes measures that protect the United States from this type of threat.  Sign it today.

Allen West – Threats grow while military shrinks

This past week the Iranian defense minister met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Now that the United States has released billions of dollars in unfrozen assets and lifted sanctions, Iran has set forth to become a dominant military power. Iran is seeking to purchase state of the art new Russian T-90 tanks and newest generation Russian fighter jets, along with the venerable S-300 surface to air missile system. Although the S-300 system acquisition is not in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iranian nuclear agreement or UN resolutions — which I find rather incomprehensible. The Iranian acquisition of the tanks and fighter jets does violate the JCPOA. Iran was not supposed to acquire any new conventional weapons for five years. You ask, what can be done? The answer is nothing at this time.

We have opened the flood gates and there is no such thing as “snapback” sanctions. Iran has been given a green light to build their economy and their military. They have successfully embarrassed the United States diplomatically and also militarily with the videos and pictures of the capture of our two Riverine assault boats and Sailors. Our response was to thank the Iranians for taking such great care of our Sailors and releasing them.

What is happening is abjectly unconscionable in that we are funding an enemy and confusingly so, we have deployed our own forces into a quagmire dominated by Iran. Iraq can clearly be seen as a satellite of Tehran. The Iraqi Army is now dominated by Shiites and the Shiite militias comprise most of the fighting force there. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps leadership operate freely in Baghdad. The terrorist list designated Iranian Quds force, as well as the Iranian supported Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah are deployed and operating in Syria in support of Bashar Assad, another client state of Iran. And in the midst of it all there is Putin, masterminding it all and replacing the United States in the Middle East as the trusted ally and guardian.

Also last week, President Obama was wrapping up the Southeast Asian summit in California just as we learned that China was emplacing surface to air missiles on the man made islands they have constructed in the South China Sea. And a little tidbit, approximately 30-35% of the sea lanes of commerce transit along that maritime route. This comes after China’s President Xi Jinping expressed during his last visit to the United States, where the red carpet was rolled out, that China would not “militarize” those islands. You have to ask yourself, when was the last time an asian nation invested heavily in its maritime military capability and built airfields on islands in the Pacific?

As belligerent Nations are building their military capability we are decimating ours. And that in and of itself sends a very clear message, and I have not even mentioned the proliferation of Islamic jihadist groups globally. Those tentacles extend from Boko Haram in Nigeria to Al Shabaab in Somalia to the multiple Al Qaeda affiliates from the Maghreb and Arabian Peninsula to Ansar al Sharia to ISIS to Hamas, Hezbollah, Jabhat al Nusra, Taliban, Jemaat al Islamiyah, Abu Sayyaf, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

We could have a debate just on national security strategy to rebuild our military. And if you had not realized, a Gallup poll released this past week stated that only half this Country beliefs America is a military power. That is very telling.

That is why NCPA has launched its “Provide for the Common Defense Now!” petition as part of educating and informing you on the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) process. The preeminent role and title of the president is Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces. The most important responsibility of our federal government is to provide for the common defense, to safeguard the American people. Building a strong military capability is not about imperialist designs, it is about a deterrent to evil aggression. There is a perfect storm brewing the likes of which we have possibly never seen in the history of the world. State and non-state belligerents are gathering strength and creating global chaos and anxiety. Liberty and freedom is under assault, and there is one Nation that carries the banner and is a beacon of those precious qualities.

Shall we be guardians or will we become appeasers? And we must never forget that “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Allen West

Obama to visit Cuba and nothing will change

I have explained before that President Obama’s decision to restore diplomatic relations with Communist Cuba will not restore America’s credibility in the region. The president clings to a Cold War notion that Cuba represents Latin America in the 21st century, and in the same breath scolds his opponents for living in the past…see here