Obama v. Military -- 2010

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 Obama did NOT include one dollar of military spending in the entire "stimulus"


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Items are archived in this category chronologically or in the order of discovery.  Plenty more stuff at the "2009" button -- left column.
It Just Boggles

U.S. Commanders Are Confused By Obama's Rules
CNSNews.com is reporting that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), just back from a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan, said he and other senators found operational "confusion" among U.S. military officials on how to handle detained enemy combatants.

"From the top to the bottom, the military, the American military people that we talked to, indicated some confusion, operationally, about what you do when you detain a terrorist," McConnell said at a press conference on Tuesday.

After pointing out that a U.S. military general declined to answer questions about the handling of insurgent detainees without the presence of his lawyer, the minority leader said: "This operational confusion has . . . been created, it strikes me, unnecessarily and, frankly, dangerously, by the administration."

McConnell criticized the administration, in particular, for recently handing over the so-called underwear bomber, Nigerian terror suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, to criminal courts rather than to the military.

"This sort of preoccupation, if you will, that we see on full display here in the U.S., with the example of the Christmas would-be bomber being turned over -- not to the military for interrogation, but to criminal courts -- and told he is entitled to a lawyer, is a mentality that I think is very dangerous in the war on terror," the minority leader said.

McConnell said the administration is wrongly preoccupied with "detainee rights."

"We see this preoccupation with prisoners' rights both on foreign battlefield[s] and here at home that seems to be consuming the administration in this war on terror," he explained.  "I think it’s wrong-headed."

McConnell added that treating captured terrorists as if they were American citizens who have committed a crime is not the right way to conduct the war -- "To not be allowed to properly interrogate and to detain, without some of the concerns that you might have if you were an American citizen here in the United States who is under arrest for robbing a convenience store or something, strikes me as a pretty wrong-headed way to conduct the war," McConnell said.

The Kentucky senator concluded by stating that the prison for terrorists in Guantanaamo Bay (Gitmo) should not be closed and that enemy detainees should be tried by military commissions.

At the press conference, Sen. Crapo said: "It was very clear that there was uncertainty among our military personnel as to exactly how they are required now and going to be required in the future to deal with the handling of detainees."

Sen. Wicker, who also visited Afghanistan as part of the GOP delegation led by the senate minority leader, repeated the alleged confusion created by the Obama administration.

A task force commissioned as part of Obama’s January 2009 Executive Order to revise terrorist detention policy, interrogation tactics, and close down Gitmo, issued a preliminary report in July 2009 summarizing their legal views for the handling of enemy combatants.

"When asked the question, 'What do we do with captured enemy combatants?' it was clear that the, the answer is confusion and uncertainty on the part of our troops and the Afghan security forces," said Wicker.
Political Correctness And The 21st Century Battlefield
Paul Mirengoff is reporting that the national security panel at the Reclaim American Liberty conference in New York on Wednesday considered (1) whether we have the right legal architecture for maintaining our security, and (2) whether we have the right battlefield architecture for this purpose.  He summarized the panel discussion regarding the first question here.  Tonight he'll write about the second.

The key panelist on our "battlefield architecture" was Col. Allen West (U.S. Army, Ret.).  Col. West served as a commander in Iraq and, after retiring from the Army, he served as an adviser in Afghanistan.

West retired from the Army with full benefits after being accused of misconduct in connection with the interrogation of an Iraqi police officer.  Information obtained during the interrogation is said to have led to the arrest of two insurgents and the cessation of attacks on West's 4th Infantry Division battalion.  At a hearing, West testified that he would act as he did if he had it to do over again.  "If it's about the lives of my men and their safety, I'd go through hell with a gasoline can," West said.

Not surprisingly, West was blunt about Obama's military's rules of engagement -- they are not suited for the 21st century battlefield and they put our troops in danger.  On the 21st century battlefield, our enemy has removed its uniforms and taken to hiding among the population.  Our rules of engagement enable them to obtain an advantage by adopting these tactics.

West noted that in a fire-fight, our troops typically have about five seconds before the dying starts.  Yet, we require them to hold their fire until the intentions of the enemy have been verified and the potential for collateral has been assessed.  This can't be done in five seconds.  Thus, our troops are at a significant disadvantage.

In addition, when the enemy holes up in a mosque, we cannot attack.  Thus, the enemy is able to use our own "politically correct" rules against us.

West argued that "top-down" rules of engagement are inherently inadequate on the 21st century battlefield.  When these rules are driven by political correctness, our ability to fight is undermined even more.

The same lesson applies to the homeland, which West correctly considers part of the 21st century battlefield.  The Fort Hood massacre illustrates the point.  In this instance, political correctness prevented us from dealing with the enemy before he dealt with us.
Militarized Police Force For U.S.
On July 2nd, 2008, Obama spoke in Colorado Springs and hit themes of national service, foreign policy, and national security. In that vein, Obama proposed a rather extraordinary idea -- that the US should spend as much money on a civilian national security force as it does on the military. His actual words were:

"We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."

Now, Prison Planet is reporting that A recent study commissioned by the U.S. Army and written by the RAND Corporation calls for the creation of a "hybrid" military/law enforcement unit which could be put to use in the United States to take charge of riot control and SWAT duties, according to the authors.

The study (PDF) was released last year but has garnered fresh attention following comments made by one of its authors, Terry Kelly, in an interview with an online news website, said, "If there were a major disaster like Katrina it could be deployed in the U. S. but that’s not the purpose of the research."

"It’s important to point out that the goal was to create a force that’s deployable overseas.  If it’s to be used in the United States it would be a secondary thing and then only in an emergency."

Kelly said that the main focus of the force would be in places like Iraq, Afghanistan or Haiti, in light of the earthquake disaster, adding that it could operate as a U.S. force under U.N. authority.

However, the report itself uses language that leaves open the exact agenda of the force, and makes it clear that domestic use has been considered at length.

It states that a Federal "Stabilization Police Force" of 2–6,000 personnel would work best under a civilian federal agency or the military police.

"They (the data) suggest that the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) and the MP options are the only credible ones.  The Marshals Service has sufficient baseline capabilities and a policing culture to build a competent SPF, and its location in the Department of Justice makes it well suited to achieve broader rule-of-law objectives.  This finding is consistent with a significant body of academic and policy research, which strongly concludes that civilian agencies are optimal for the execution of policing functions." (page 123)

The study concludes that the use of the Marshals Service is more favorable in order to avoid a breach of the long standing Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids the domestic use of the military for law enforcement purposes.

The report also states that the force could both augment and be augmented by "additional federal, state, or local police from the United States."

Continue reading here . . .
We Have Bigger Problems Than "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell"
What was Barack Obama’s call to scrap the "Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell" rule barring homosexuals from military service doing in the middle of the speech?  Why is Obama addressing this difficult, both politically and legally, issue now?  We have bigger problems than normalizing homosexuality.

Obama, an advocate for the homosexual agenda, announced his desire to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the military during his first State of the Union address Wednesday night, saying, "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are," Obama said.

The Clinton-era rule, which skirted the outright ban on homosexuals serving in the military, would likely take an act of Congress to change, said Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, and "voters are concerned about national security, and they don’t want America’s military to be used for any purpose other than national defense."
Obama Takes Credit For Success In Iraq
Move America Forward, the nation’s largest grassroots pro-troop organization took offense last night as Barack Obama tried to take credit for the success of the Iraq War when he was a bitter opponent of the successful troop surge implemented by President George W. Bush.  Obama proclaimed "I promised I would end this war, and that is what I am doing as President."

Shawn Callahan, Executive Director of Move America Forward, said "Without the surge America would have left Iraq with the war lost to the insurgents.  If Obama had been in charge of the Iraq war, it would have been lost along with the needless loss of potentially thousands of innocent Iraqis who would have been at the mercy of the terrorists and criminals.  Americans would be further at risk with a more emboldened terrorist network."

"It is reprehensible for the President to take credit for a war his predecessor won.  Then-Senator Obama criticized the Iraq war, called it a dumb war, said our troops would fail and that the surge would make things worse.  History has proved him wrong, and yet he still tries to somehow take credit for our troops’ success without even congratulating them on the good job they have done."

His speech offered only a few minutes to the subject of national security after speaking at length about a multitude of other issues that Obama felt were more important despite the fact that the country is at war.  Obama also failed to address security in several other ways:

•The President failed to recognize America’s "war on terror."  His Administration continues to treat terrorism as a police action despite the threat against America by a group of extremists who have declared war on us.

•The President makes no mention of Guantanamo Bay, nor does he acknowledge that his own Administration has found terrorists held there who should be detained indefinitely.

•The President talked tough about nuclear disarmament with respect to North Korea and mentioned Iran, but his pandering around the world has brought no success in stopping their nuclear ambitions.

•Obama refused to address complaints that the Christmas bomber is being treated as a criminal defendant with full constitutional rights instead of an enemy combatant who should be in the hands of the U.S. military and intelligence agencies.


A Great Achievement
Andrew Malcolm says the same Barack Obama and Joe Biden who opposed the Iraq war, its tactics, and predicted failure, are now prepared to accept credit for its success.

Biden, in an interview with Larry King, said he is certain that Iraq will turn out to be one of the Obama-Biden administration's greatest achievements -- No, really!  He did.

Here's how Biden put it:

"I am very optimistic about -- about Iraq.  I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration.  You're going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer.  You're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government."

"I spent -- I've been there 17 times now.  I go about every two months -- three months.  I know every one of the major players in all the segments of that society.  It's impressed me.  I've been impressed how they have been deciding to use the political process rather than guns to settle their differences."

Biden did not elaborate on what the administration's other "great achievements" were.
War In Iraq To Be Given New Name
Jake Tapper Exclusive: ABC News has learned that the Obama administration has decided to give the war in Iraq -- currently known as Operation Iraqi Freedom -- a new name.

The new name: "Operation New Dawn."

In a February 17, 2010, memo to the Commander of Central Command, Gen. David Petraeus, Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the "requested operation name change is approved to take effect 1 September 2010, coinciding with the change of mission for U.S. forces in Iraq."

You can read the memo -- a copy of which was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen -- HERE.

Gates writes that by changing the name at the same time as the change of mission -- the scheduled withdrawal of U.S. combat troops -- the US is sending "a strong signal that Operation IRAQI FREEDOM has ended and our forces are operating under a new mission."

The move, Gates writes, "also presents opportunities to synchronize strategic communication initiatives, reinforce our commitment to honor the Security Agreement, and recognize our evolving relationship with the Government of Iraq."

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell had no comment on the memo, saying it speaks for itself.

The move has met with some criticism.  In a statement, Brian Wise, executive director of Military Families United said, "You cannot end a war simply by changing its name.  Despite the Administration’s efforts to spin realities on the ground, their efforts do not change the situation at hand in Iraq.  Operational military decisions should not be made for purposes of public relations, as the Secretary of Defense cites, but should be made in the best interests of our nation, the troops on the ground and their families back home."

If Gates was hoping that "Operation New Dawn" would convey a new period in the US-Iraq relationship, it's not clear that was the best choice of name.

After all, Operation New Dawn was the name for the bloody and grueling 2004 battle for Fallujah.

Originally, US forces had called the fight for that city "Fallujah Fury," but Iraqi leaders suggested it be called al Fajr, or New Dawn.

"It is with all pleasure that I announce to you that Operation New Dawn has been concluded," the Iraqi minister of state for national security, Qasim Dawood, said at a news conference in Baghdad in November 2004.

Is Obama going to declare victory?  Will the troops get their parade?
Obama Plans Dramatic Reductions In Nuclear Weapons
The BBC News is reporting that Barack Obama is planning "dramatic reductions" in the country's nuclear arsenal, a senior US administration official has said.

This would come as part of a sweeping policy review designed to prevent the spread of atomic weapons, he said, adding that the new strategy will point to a greater role for conventional weapons -- like bows and arrows?

The review "will point to dramatic reductions in the stockpile, while maintaining a strong and reliable deterrent through the investments that have been made in the budget," the official said.

All this is in line with Obama's school-boy vision of a nuclear free world, and reaffirmed in Prague, a little less than a year ago.

The official said the review would go further than previous reviews in "embracing the aims of non-proliferation," saying thousands of nuclear weapons could be cut, in many cases by retiring weapons that are now kept in storage.

The new strategy will also seek to abandon plans put in place by the previous administration to develop a new generation of nuclear weapons for penetrating underground targets known as "bunker busters" -- a brilliant move, considering that Iran is building their nuclear weapons facility inside a mountain.

Continue reading here . . .

Obama is just doing what he said he was going to do during the campaign.

Obama plans on disarming America  (00:51)
Obama's War Whopper
Mark Finkelstein paraphrased Mark Twain, writing there are lies, damned lies, and then the kind of brazen rewriting of what a man stands for that Barack Obama engaged in yesterday.

As you saw in last evening's news, our hero showed up in Afghanistan to "rally the troops" -- an absurd concept.  In his address to the troops, Obama said:

"The United States of America does not quit once it starts on something. You don't quit, the American armed services does not quit. We keep at it. We persevere."

Whoooaaaaa, Nelly!  That just doesn't square with a statement he made on September, 12, 2007, while calling for the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. combat brigades from Iraq:

"There is no military solution in Iraq and there never was."

The swaggering Obama, in his faux-military leather jacket, who boasted to American troops that "the United States of America does not quit once it starts on something," is the same man who in 2007 told the troops and the entire world that America and its military couldn't win in Iraq, never could, and should immediately quit.

Will the ObamaMedia let PBO get away with this prevarication?  Absolutely!

Introducing the video clip on Morning Joe today, Norah O'Donnell, rather than reporting the divergence between his words today and those he spoke when trying to woo a Dem presidential primary electorate, reverentially described the speech as "rousing."

Obama wasn't finished misrepresenting the truth.  He went on to claim that, as between Republicans and Democrats, "there's no daylight when it comes to support for all of you.  There's no daylight when it comes to supporting our troops."

Surely Obama knows better.  But let's remind him:

• John Kerry accused US troops of "terrorizing" women and children in Iraq.
• John Murtha accused US Marines of killing innocent Iraqi civilians "in cold blood."
• Dick Durbin accused US troops at Guantanamo of acting like "Nazis."
Obama Won't Let Navy Defend Its Ships
DEBKAfile is reporting that the US Fifth Fleet and US aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower in the Gulf of Oman were not allowed to shoot at an Iranian Fokker F27 aircraft which on April 21 hovered for 20 minutes 900 meters over the carrier and no more than 250 meters away, even though they saw its flight crew gathering intelligence on the Eisenhower and its warship escorts.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources report that the US Persian Gulf command went public on the incident on April 28, a whole week later, only after Gulf military circles, amazed at the American naval and air units' passivity in the face of hostile surveillance, threatened to break the story to local media.

This striking restraint indicates that the US Gulf and Arabian fleets are under orders to take no action -- certainly not to open fire -- against Iranian naval or air units, without first obtaining permission directly from Washington.

Military, naval and aviation sources told DEBKA-Net-Weekly that the Iranian spy plane was 10 second away from flying directly over the Eisenhower and could easily have been shot down.

To try and explain this incident away, US naval sources Wednesday, April 28, claimed the Iranian plane was unarmed and its encounter with the US carrier was not of a threatening nature, although irregular.

Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations, tried to play down the importance of the incident by saying: "The Iranians (pilots) were not provocative or threatening.  As long as they are professional and not threatening or reckless, it's international space."

Just like that small boat that came alongside the USS Cole.  It wasn't provocative either -- that is until it blew a whole in the hull killing 17 sailors and injuring 39.

Consider, that Fokker can easily carry 18,000 pounds (8,250 kg) of explosives.

According to this report, the distance (hypotenuse) from the Iranian aircraft to the USS Eisenhower was 934.08 meters (3064.6 feet), or a little more than one-half mile away.

With a top speed of 520 kph (323 mph), or approximately 5 miles per minute -- more in a power dive -- it would have taken approximately 6 or 7 seconds for that Fokker to hit the Eisenhower -- hardly time to obtain permission to fire directly from Washington.
U.S. Military Concerned With Obama's Afghan Policy
Sara A. Carter says the Obama administration's plan to begin an Afghanistan withdrawal in 2011 is creating growing friction inside the U.S. military, from the halls of the Pentagon to front-line soldiers who see it as a losing strategy.

Critics of the plan fear that if they speak out, they will be labeled "pariahs" unwilling to back the commander in chief, said one officer who didn't want to be named.  But in private discussions, soldiers who are fighting in Afghanistan, or recently returned from there, questioned whether it is worth the sacrifice and risk for a war without a clear-cut strategy to win.

Retired Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Timothy Haake, who served with the Special Forces, said, "If you're a commander of Taliban forces, you would use the withdrawal date to rally your troops, saying we may be suffering now but wait 15 months when we'll have less enemy to fight."

Haake added, "It plays into ... our enemies' hands and what they think about us that Americans don't have the staying power, the stomach, that's required in this type of situation.  It's just the wrong thing to do.  No military commander would sanction, support or announce a withdrawal date while hostilities are occurring."

A former top-ranking Defense Department official also saw the policy as misguided.

"Setting a deadline to get out may have been politically expedient, but it is a military disaster," he said.  "It's as bad as [former U.S. Secretary of State] Dean Acheson signaling the Communists that we wouldn't defend South Korea before the North Korean invasion."

The former defense official said the Obama administration's policy can't work.  "It is the kind of war that is best fought with a small number of elite troops, not tens of thousands trying to continually take villages, leave, then take them again," he added.

NATO commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal's rules of engagement, which emphasize protecting civilian lives, even if that means putting troops at greater risk, are adding to the anxiety of troops in Afghanistan.  That strategy is contradicted by a policy that sets an early withdrawal date, said some soldiers with combat experience in Afghanistan.

"I think McChrystal's strategy is probably right, it is just not the strategy I want to fight under," said one officer who recently returned from a combat tour in the Helmand province of Afghanistan.

A Pentagon spokesman declined comment on Afghan policy.

Continue reading here . . .
Obama's "Private Flares Of Temper"
David Saltonstall says Obama may cultivate an image as the unflappable Mr. Cool, but he can get hot under the collar too, according to a new book.

In "The Promise: President Obama, Year One," by Newsweek senior editor Jonathan Alter, the author recounts a series of private blow-ups -- including a particularly fiery one involving the nation's top military brass.  "A presidential dressing down unlike any in the United States in more than half a century," is how Alter describes the October 2009 eruption.

The background: Gen. Stanley McChrystal had just given a speech in London in which he publicly rejected proposals to turn the tide in Afghanistan with more drone missiles and special forces, a strategy backed mainly by Vice President Biden.  Obama  [who was never even a Cub Scout]  viewed McChrystal's comments as a bald attempt to back him into a Pentagon-backed plan more reliant on troop buildups -- and he soon ripped into top commanders for what he considered insubordination.

In an Oval Office showdown, Obama told Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus that he was "exceedingly unhappy" with the Pentagon's conduct, Alter reported, adding that its leaks to the press were "disrespectful of the process."

"This was a cold and bracing meeting," an attendee said of the encounter, where Obama demanded to know "here and now" if the Pentagon would be onboard with any presidential strategy.

It apparently worked: Petraeus later described himself as "chagrined," and both he and Gates "swore loyalty" to the President. Obama eventually supported a troop buildup.

Obama's often flashes of anger shine through Alter's tome, including:

Asked during the 2008 campaign what accounted for a drop-off in his Jewish support, Obama snipped to a radio reporter off-air, "It's the f------ Clintons."  Later, as Obama mulled appointing Hillary Clinton his Secretary of State, he cracked, "Hillary still has some anger issues with me."

When he found that his Justice Department lawyers were relying on Bush-era logic he disagreed with, Obama once exclaimed angrily, "What the f---?  This is not the way I like to make decisions."

When Obama learned that Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley was mocking Republican opponent -- and eventual victor -- Scott Brown for shaking voters' hands in the cold outside Fenway Park, he knew he would soon be in trouble.

"No!  No!  You're making that up!" he shouted at aide David Axelrod, grabbing him by the shirt.  "That can't be right."

WTF! -- "he [Petraeus] and Gates "swore loyalty" to the President.
WTF! -- they can't do that! -- military officers swear to defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies, foreign and domestic -- military officers have no business swearing loyalty to a man -- this isn't NAZI Germany -- or is it?
Obama Says He's Accountable for Civilian Deaths
NewsMax.com is reporting that Barack Obama says he is "ultimately accountable" for civilian deaths on the Afghanistan battlefield.

Speaking at a White House news conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Obama said civilian deaths are "something that I have to carry with me" and that it is not something he takes lightly.

He said the U.S. is doing everything possible to prevent the killing of Afghan civilians.

Obama said the overwhelming majority of civilian casualties in Afghanistan are caused by terrorist acts by the Taliban.  Some suspected terrorists have cited civilian deaths as justification for their actions.

Too bad Obama doesn't feel that way about our troops.
There Wasn't A Lot Of Cheering
Warner Todd Huston says what was cut from Obama’s West Point speech says much about him.

Drudge has an interesting little snippet concerning Obama’s recent speech before the graduating class at West Point.  It is a short headline about what was cut from Obama’s speech, a cut that really says a lot about the arrogance of team Obama as well as his utter lack of spontaneity and sincerity and his slavish reliance on the teleprompter.

Here’s the little snippet on Drudge:

"Tepid applause from cadets cuts, 'That’s a lot of cheering,' line from prepared remarks."

Obama actually had written into his speech ahead of time that there was to be "a lot of cheering?"  This man who campaigned against the work of these soldiers to be, this man from a party that has called these soldiers murderers, criminals, dullards, and dangerous, these folks were expected to give Obama "a lot of cheering?"  Obama really expected a lot of cheering from folks he and his party hate so much?

There’s a break from sanity in the Obama White House, for sure.

But not only was it arrogant of Obama to expect "a lot of cheering" from people he hates and has treated like dirt, that it was actually written into the speech at all shows that he can’t even come up with a spontaneous line without the teleprompters telling him to say it.

Finally the fact that he had to cut it and forgo saying it because there simply wasn’t "a lot of cheering" says that these soldiers to be aren’t as stupid as the left imagines they are.  These young men and women clearly understood that Barack Obama and his party are not friends to our armed forces.  They dutifully golf-clapped for Obama, but they were not enthusiastic -- fully the correct response.
Obama To Skip Wreath-Laying At Tomb Of Unknown Soldier
Breitbart is reporting that Barack Obama plans to spend a long holiday, socializing, playing golf and dining-out in Chicago.

The White House says Obama and his family will travel to their hometown on Thursday and stay through the weekend.  It will be their first trip back home since a visit for Valentine's Day weekend in February 2009.

On Monday, Obama is scheduled to participate in a Memorial Day ceremony at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Ill.

In Obama's absence, Vice President Joe Biden will participate in the customary wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington.

Obama is still miffed at the silent treatment he received at the West Point commencement.
Military Chiefs Of Staff Object To "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" Compromise
The chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines yesterday signed letters objecting to a vote on the repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy today.  Expressing concern that Congress would make a decision on the matter before the military could complete the time-consuming study they've been making such a fuss about, generals like George Casey of the Army argued that this would send a message to troops that the military is not living up to its promise to listen to the input of servicemen and women.  The letters were collected by DADT proponent John McCain, and will give cover to Republicans today who may wish to vote against the popular repeal.  This position puts the chiefs in opposition to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama, who support the compromise.  It also pits them against Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Mike Mullen, who points out that according to the legislation's language the repeal won't go into effect until after the study is completed anyway.
A Right To Lawful Command
J. B. Williams says members of the United States Military have sworn an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution and protect the American people from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.  Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines have voluntarily accepted the duty to follow all lawful commands and whether Barack Obama & Co. likes it or not, lawful command begins with a lawful Commander-in-Chief.  The US Constitution defines what a lawful Commander-in-Chief is, in Article II, Section I, Clause V.

More than 400 civil and criminal suits have been filed in countless courts across the country raising a myriad of challenges to Barack Obama’s legitimacy for the office of president, or Commander-in-Chief.

So far, every court has declined to hear any evidence against Barack Obama.  Name one time in history when you could find not one court willing to ask the most obvious questions on a matter as pressing as who the president of the nation really is?

Under an unlawful commander, every order is an unlawful order.  This means that above all other citizens, members of the military have a unique stake in the matter of who is issuing military orders, and as a result, a very real right to get an answer to that question.

It has been well established that no matter who Barack Obama’s real father might be, or where on earth he might have been born, he is NOT a "natural born citizen" of the United States and he is, therefore, ineligible for the office he currently holds.

Most of what Obama has stated we already know to be a lie.  He has refused to release any records to document any part of his life, his birth, his education, his travel, his adoption in Indonesia or his association with a laundry list of anti-American evil-doers.  Beyond the fact that most of the public propaganda on the man is not true, we know literally nothing about this person.

Members of the US Military are not obligated to take orders from such an individual.  Commanding our troops is an honor and a privilege.  The honor is reserved for only one individual at a time, and that individual must meet certain specific requirements or the honor is not theirs.

Members of the military not only have a right to question the lawfulness of their orders, they have a responsibility and an obligation to do so.  If they act on unlawful orders, they have lost the protection offered by their uniform.

Continue reading here . . .
Obama’s Flawed Afghanistan Strategy
George Will says torrents of uninteresting mail inundate members of Congress, but occasionally there are riveting communications, such as a recent e-mail from a noncommissioned officer (NCO) serving in Afghanistan.  He explains why the rules of engagement for U.S. troops are "too prohibitive for coalition forces to achieve sustained tactical successes."

Receiving mortar fire during an overnight mission, his unit called for a 155mm howitzer illumination round to be fired to reveal the enemy's location.  The request was rejected "on the grounds that it may cause collateral damage."  The NCO says that the only thing that comes down from an illumination round is a canister, and the likelihood of it hitting someone or something was akin to that of being struck by lightning.

Returning from a mission, his unit took casualties from an improvised explosive device that the unit knew had been placed no more than an hour earlier.  "There were villagers laughing at the U.S. casualties" and "two suspicious individuals were seen fleeing the scene and entering a home."  U.S. forces "are no longer allowed to search homes without Afghan National Security Forces personnel present."  But when his unit asked Afghan police to search the house, the police refused on the grounds that the people in the house "are good people."

On another mission, some Afghan adults ran off with their children immediately before the NCO's unit came under heavy small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), and the unit asked for artillery fire on the enemy position.  The response was a question:  Where is the nearest civilian structure?  "Judging distances," the NCO writes dryly, "can be difficult when bullets and RPGs are flying over your head."  When the artillery support was denied because of fear of collateral damage, the unit asked for a "smoke mission" -- like an illumination round; only the canister falls to earth -- "to conceal our movement as we planned to flank and destroy the enemy."  This request was granted -- but because of fear of collateral damage, the round was deliberately fired one kilometer off the requested site, making "the smoke mission useless and leaving us to fend for ourselves."

Counterinsurgency doctrine says that success turns on winning the "hearts and minds" of the population, hence rules of engagement that reduce risks to the population but increase those of U.S. combatants.  C.J. Chivers of the New York Times, reporting from Marja, Afghanistan, says "many firefights these days are strictly rifle and machine gun fights," which "has made engagement times noticeably longer, driving up the troops' risks and amplifying a perception that Marja, fought with less fire support than what was available to American units in other hotly contested areas, is mired in blood."

The value of any particular counterinsurgency must be weighed against the risks implicit in the required tactics.  The U.S. mission in Afghanistan involves trying to extend the power, over many people who fear it, of a corrupt government produced by a corrupted election.  This gives rise to surreal strategies.  The Wall Street Journal recently reported U.S. attempts "to persuade [President Hamid] Karzai to act more presidential by giving him more responsibility for operations inside his country."  Think about that.

Ann Marlowe, a visiting fellow of the Hudson Institute who has been embedded with U.S. forces in Afghanistan six times, says there have been successes at the local and even provincial levels "but nothing that has lasted even a year."  And the election fraud last August that secured Karzai another five-year term was symptomatic:  His "government has become more egregiously corrupt and incompetent in the last three or four years."  Last month Marlowe reported:  "The Pentagon's map of Afghanistan's 80 most key districts shows only five 'sympathetic' to the Afghan government -- and none supporting it."  She suggests that Karzai might believe that Obama's announced intention to begin withdrawing U.S. troops next summer "is a bluff."  Those Americans who say that Afghanistan is a test of America's "staying power" are saying that we must stay there because we are there.  This is steady work, but it treats perseverance as a virtue regardless of context or consequences and makes futility into a reason for persevering.

Obama has counted on his 2011 run-up to reelection being smoothed by three developments in 2010 -- the health-care legislation becoming popular after enactment, job creation accelerating briskly and Afghanistan conditions improving significantly.  The first two are not happening.  He can decisively influence only the third, and only by adhering to his timetable for disentangling U.S. forces from this misadventure.
Obama's Vietnam Moment
The Washington Times says the Democrats plan to cut and run in Afghanistan.

The White House is clinging to Obama's ill-conceived pledge to begin withdrawing from Afghanistan in July 2011, regardless of how the war is going at the time.  In dogmatically standing by that pledge, Obama is virtually guaranteeing he will preside over America's second lost war.

The issue arose last week during congressional testimony when Central Command commander Gen. David H. Petraeus said that withdrawing from Afghanistan would be "based on conditions" and that "July 2011 is not the date where we race for the exits."  Au contraire, according to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. "The July [2011] date, as stated by the president, that's not moving, that's not changing," he said Sunday.  "Everybody agreed on that date."

The scope of the withdrawal is yet to be decided, but according to Emanuel, the start date is necessary because it has "created a sense of urgency" among the allies to get the job done.  Another thing creating a sense of urgency is the significantly degraded security situation in Afghanistan since Obama set this deadline.  Insurgent attacks and coalition casualties are up; the areas of the country in which the Taliban are active have increased; and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is watching the United States with increasing wariness, knowing that soon he will have to face the Taliban alone.

A recent study by Anthony H. Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies delves into the problems presented by this arbitrary "begin the withdrawal" date.  The study advises against "timelines based on national politics, exaggerated expectations, and past failures [which] can lose the war before it can be won."  Setting unrealistic timelines will pressure the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) into "trying to do too much, too quickly," "undermine faith in the U.S. and ISAF commitment to stay in Afghanistan," "embolden insurgents in their war of political attrition" and "pressure Afghans and others in the region to hedge against U.S. departure and compromise with insurgents."

Attempts to get results before the deadline will lead to wasting Afghan troops by throwing them into the fight unprepared and generating a climate of risk aversion elsewhere in the government because no one will want to stick his neck out if America is going to abandon them.  Meanwhile, Pakistan will begin to weigh its options for the post-U.S. regional environment, and Iran will be more active in expanding its influence.

The report notes that "President Obama's efforts to cap the size of the U.S. military effort have been broadly misinterpreted as a sign the U.S. plans to start major withdrawals after mid-2011."  But according to Emanuel, this is not a misinterpretation but a method, a way of fomenting panic instead of counseling patience.  Some critics have said that setting a withdrawal start date will enable the enemy simply to wait out the United States, but rather than sitting back, the enemy is pouring it on.  The worse conditions in Afghanistan get, the more the arbitrary withdrawal start date looks like retreat in the face of a superior enemy, like cutting and running.

The proper time to leave Afghanistan is when the United States has achieved its strategic goals.  Maybe this will have happened by July 2011, or maybe not.  But it is an abrogation of leadership to cling to an arbitrary date regardless of the facts on the ground.  Obama should spend more time listening to his generals telling him how to win wars and pay less attention to ideological functionaries advising him on the most politically expedient ways to lose one.
What The Heck Was McChrystal Thinking?
Breaking news:  In an extraordinary article published in Rolling Stone, the commander of the 142,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan was quoted as denouncing the US envoy in Kabul while his aides dismissed Barack Obama and mocked his deputies.

Marc Ambinder asks, what in the heck was Gen. Stanley McChrystal thinking?  I mean, I know what he was thinking: he was tired of being the victim of what he believes is a concerted effort on behalf of Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry and others to undermine everything he was given 18 months to do.  He was tired of being perceived in the press as a neoconservative killer, Dick Cheney's hired assassin, or disloyal to Obama and his staff.  He was angry at being blamed for leaking the draft of his report to the Obama to Bob Woodward.  (He did NOT leak the document).  He was miffed that a large number of mid-ranking soldiers and battalion commanders and enlisted guys didn't support his strategy.

What I don't know is which of McChrystal's aides thought it would be a good idea to let his senior staff speak on background to Rolling Stone, of all publications, venting McChrystal's frustrations and their own.

Because if there was ONE thing McChrystal could do to reduce trust between himself and the National Security Council leading up to December's planned policy review, it was to allow a staffer to mock Joe Biden and call the national security adviser a "clown" ... and to put words in McChrystal's own mouth that denigrate Eikenberry.

I don't think McChrystal intended to do this.  Nevertheless, he did.  And as for whether there was some miscommunication about attribution, or whether McChrystal thought no one would really notice, or whether he thought a tick-tock like this would help his cause ... those questions are unanswerable right now.

Eikenberry's beef with McChrystal goes back to the time when McChrystal was the Pope.  The Pope is the head of the Joint Special Operations Command.  The nickname goes back to an off-hand remark that Janet Reno made after failing to obtain information from JSOC after the raid at Waco.  (JSOC operators were on the ground but did not assist in the raid itself.)  She called JSOC the Vatican.  And the head of the Vatican is ... the Pope.

At some point, I think in 2005, one of McChrystal's task-forces-that-didn't-really-exist did something in Afghanistan that angered Eikenberriy, who was in command of the region at the time.  The two men exchanged words and built mutual mistrust.  They have not worked well together ever since.  McChrystal blames Eikenberry for trying to influence policy by leaking information and by impeding McChrystal's efforts to build better relationships with Afghanistan's fragile government.

During the strategy review, Eikenberry didn't think McChrystal's surge could work.  He told the White House that contractors would have to pick up the slack for years to come.  McChrystal insisted that he could execute his COIN strategy with a heavy presence of special operations forces ... and be out in 18 months (i.e, troops would begin to be drawn down).  The White House ultimately sided with McChrystal.

But there were tensions.  Even though McChrystal voted for Obama and told him so during their first meeting, he sensed that a number of senior White House aides didn't really believe that the former commander of the military's special missions unit during the Bush-Cheney years was suddenly on their side.  National Security Adviser James Jones, who is a bit of cipher to McChrystal's team, may or may not have been one of these aides.  No one in the West Wing bought all that liberal Internet chatter about JSOC's alleged crimes -- but no one really didn't buy it, either.

Within hours after today's Rolling Stone story broke, McChrystal was called by the White House, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  They were not happy.

Neither the Pentagon nor the White House would comment.
Most In Military Will Say McChrystal Was Right

NewsBusters.com says Contessa Brewer got a lot more than she was likely looking for when she interviewed Col. Jack Jacobs [ret.] this afternoon about the McChrystal situation.  The MSNBC host wanted to focus on the impropriety of McChrystal publicly airing his criticisms of Obama and others in the chain of command.

But while the Medal of Honor recipient readily agreed that McChrystal was out of line, and would probably pay with his job, Jacobs also went out of his way -- twice -- to add an inconvenient truth: that when it comes to the substance of the criticism, most in the military think McChrystal "was right."

CONTESSA BREWER:  It's about the sort of disdain for authority.  And that worries me.

JACK JACOBS:  Well it should worry you, and I think he's going to wind up getting fired because of that; at least partially because of that.

BREWER:  But is his view not only about the President but about Joe Biden, about Jim Jones, the National Security advisor, about Karl Eikenberry [US ambassador to Afghanistan], on and on down the list: Richard Holbrooke --

JACOBS:  Those views are very widely held, by the way, inside the military and outside the military, about those people.  That they're ineffective, that Jim Jones, the National Security Advisor, does not have an impact on national security policy, that he has very little access.  That Holbrooke hasn't done anything and so on.  Those views are widely held.  They're not just held by McChrystal's staff for example.

Contessa didn't respond to Jacobs' startling assertion.  And when a bit later she closed with more concerns about respecting the chain of command, the colonel took a tough parting shot.

BREWER:  There are hundreds of thousands of enlisted men and women in the military who are taught not to question authority; they don't go outside their chain of command.  What kind of message does this send to people at the lower levels in the military?

JACOBS:  Well, it's not a very good one.  But let me tell you what's going to happen.  Gen. McChrystal can't stay in his position.  He's probably going to tender his resignation, and it's probably going to be accepted -- or demanded in the first place.  He might stay.  There are certain circumstances in which he might stay.  Likely as not he is going to be gone, and he's probably going to wind up retiring.

And in the end, this is what the rank and file of military establishment is going to say, privately.  They're going to say: absolutely right: you can't do this, you can't countenance your subordinates speak to the press and say that the rest of the chain of command above you are a bunch of knuckleheads.  But they're going to say:  you know what?  He was right.

McChrystal’s Real Offense

Byron York says there is a lot of uproar about Gen. Stanley’s McChrystal’s disrespectful comments about his civilian bosses in the Obama administration, and Obama would be entirely justified in firing McChrystal for statements McChrystal and his subordinates made to Rolling Stone.  Obama is a deeply flawed commander-in-chief who doesn’t want to be fighting a war on terror, but he is the commander-in-chief.  He should have a general who will carry out his policies without public complaint until the voters can decide to change those policies.

But the bigger problem with McChrystal’s leadership has always been the general’s devotion to unreasonably restrictive rules of engagement that are resulting in the unnecessary deaths of American and coalition forces.  We have had many, many accounts of the rules endangering Americans, and the Rolling Stone article provides more evidence.  In the story, a soldier at Combat Outpost JFM who had earlier met with McChrystal was killed in a house that American officers had asked permission to destroy.  From the article:

The night before the general is scheduled to visit Sgt. Arroyo’s platoon for the memorial, I arrive at Combat Outpost JFM to speak with the soldiers he had gone on patrol with.  JFM is a small encampment, ringed by high blast walls and guard towers.  Almost all of the soldiers here have been on repeated combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and have seen some of the worst fighting of both wars.  But they are especially angered by Ingram’s death.  His commanders had repeatedly requested permission to tear down the house where Ingram was killed, noting that it was often used as a combat position by the Taliban.  But due to McChrystal’s new restrictions to avoid upsetting civilians, the request had been denied.  "These were abandoned houses," fumes Staff Sgt. Kennith Hicks.  "Nobody was coming back to live in them."

One soldier shows me the list of new regulations the platoon was given.  "Patrol only in areas that you are reasonably certain that you will not have to defend yourselves with lethal force,"  the laminated card reads.  For a soldier who has traveled halfway around the world to fight, that’s like telling a cop he should only patrol in areas where he knows he won’t have to make arrests.  "Does that make any f–king sense?"  Pfc. Jared Pautsch.  "We should just drop a f–king bomb on this place.  You sit and ask yourself:  What are we doing here?"

Obama Bypassed Military
Michelle Oddis says that at Tuesday’s confirmation hearing of David Petraeus to head ground efforts in Afghanistan, the four-star general stated that no one in the military had ever recommended Obama’s mandatory Afghanistan withdrawal date of July 2011.  (video)

Ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain (R.-Az) asked Petraeus if at "any time during the deliberations that the military shared with the President when he went through the decision making process, was there a recommendation from you or anyone in the military that we set a date of July 2011?"

"There was not," answered Petraeus.

"There was not by any military person that you know of?" repeated McCain.

"Not that I am aware of," said Petraeus.
Troops Punished For Defending Themselves
Joseph Farrah says violating the U.S. military's "Rules of Engagement" in Afghanistan could guarantee a U.S. soldier a court martial, according to sources, even though there are significant concerns the rules actually damage the ability of soldiers to protect themselves in the heat of combat with the Taliban.

U.S. soldiers are being told to consider an Article 15 investigation "as part of the AAR process," or After Action Review, one informed source said.  "This is simply incredible.  It's like saying 'court martials (sic) will happen, just consider that to be part of your counseling process,'" the military source said.

G2 Bulletin reported last December that the new rules of engagement ostensibly designed to protect Afghan civilians were putting the lives of U.S. forces in jeopardy as the Taliban began to learn to game plan their imposed limits.  The ROEs were put in place in response to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's complaints over mounting civilian casualties during firefights.

But soldiers are worrying that the rules, said to be classified U.S. and NATO Secret, imposed serious restrictions to include no night or surprise searches, warning villagers prior to searches and no firing on insurgents if they are walking away from having just planted an explosive.

The more restrictive rules were imposed by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the former U.S. forces in Afghanistan commander.  He recently was dismissed over his published comments criticizing the national security civilian leadership and replaced by Gen. David Petraeus.

Military sources said the rules offer a six-step escalation of force (EOF) to include visual warning, audible warning, non-lethal weapons and tactics, point weapons at potential threat, disabling shot and shoot to kill.

But they are complicated by the necessity to protect such sites as hospitals and religious and historical sites.  And the rules also must be coordinated with a page-long list of specific points imposed by Karzai.

These charts and statistics describe the results of Obama's military leadership.  Our casualties in Afghanistan have soared in the last 18 months, almost equaling the casualties from the preceding eight years.
General Wants Afghans Branded As Terrorists
Reuters is reporting that Obama's pick to lead the U.S. military command overseeing operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere said on Tuesday he wanted top leaders of two major insurgent groups designated as terrorists.

The Quetta Shura and the Haqqani network oppose U.S. forces in Afghanistan and officially blacklisting their leaders could trigger punitive measures, like freezing assets.  Advocates say it would also send a strong message to Pakistan, under pressure to go after insurgents inside its borders.

"Both those groups have engaged in terrorism and I believe the leaders of both groups should be placed on the State Department list," General James Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Mattis is nominated to take over the helm of the U.S. military's Central Command, which oversees operations in a volatile swath of the world that covers 20 countries and stretches from Egypt across the Middle East and into South and Central Asia.

The Quetta Shura, headed by Mullah Omar, is the remains of the Afghan Taliban government which was overthrown and driven into Pakistan by the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.

The Haqqani network, headed by a hero of the 1980s guerrilla war against the Soviet Union, Jalaluddin Haqqani, and his son, is based mainly in Pakistan's North Waziristan and adjoining provinces in Afghanistan.

The chairman of the Senate committee, Senator Carl Levin, said "these groups and their senior leaders are involved deeply in supporting the ongoing insurgency in Afghanistan."

Beyond providing tools to limit their financial and logistical support, Levin said, the designation would also send a signal -- including to Pakistan -- "regarding the United States' serious concern with their ongoing activities."

The U.S. military and intelligence agencies believe some elements within Pakistan's intelligence service maintain contact with and may even in some cases support the Taliban and its allies who are fighting a nine-year-old war in Afghanistan.
Obama "Gives Enemy Sustenance"
ABC News reports that a senior US general has delivered a blunt warning about the risks Barack Obama is taking by imposing a deadline on the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

General James Conway, the outgoing head of the Marine Corp, says the policy of withdrawing troops by July next year has given a moral boost to Taliban insurgents who now believe they can wait out NATO forces.

"Right now it is probably giving our enemy sustenance," he said.  "The last of the 30,000 troops only arrived this month.  I would also quote the analysis of one of my regimental commanders when asked about the pace of the war.  He said 'we can either lose fast or win slow'."

His comments have fuelled debate over Obama's war strategy, with supporters saying a deadline is essential in imposing a sense of urgency on the government in Kabul.

Continue reading here . . .
He Really Doesn't Want To Be Commander In Chief
Jennifer Rubin says it is not that we didn't know this before, but reading the New York Times -- surely designed to be as favorable toward Obama as the reporter could possibly manage -- one is left slack-jawed.  Obama doesn't like being commander in chief, isn't good at it, and has relied on one tutor, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who is leaving next year.  The report should be read in full.  But a few low-lights:

A year and a half into his presidency, Mr. Obama appears to be a reluctant warrior.  Even as he draws down troops in Iraq, he has been abundantly willing to use force to advance national interests, tripling forces in Afghanistan, authorizing secret operations in Yemen and Somalia, and escalating drone strikes in Pakistan.  But advisers said he did not see himself as a war president in the way his predecessor did.  His speech on Tuesday is notable because he talks in public about the wars only sporadically, determined not to let them define his presidency.

A former adviser to the president, who like others insisted on anonymity in order to discuss the situation candidly, said that Mr. Obama's relationship with the military was 'troubled' and that he 'doesn't have a handle on it.' …

Reliant on Mr. Gates, Mr. Obama has made limited efforts to know his service chiefs or top commanders, and has visited the Pentagon only once, not counting a Sept. 11 commemoration.  He ended Mr. Bush's practice of weekly videoconferences with commanders, preferring to work through the chain of command and wary, aides said, of being drawn into managing the wars. …

Last December, the president gave the military 30,000 more troops, but also a ticking clock.  …"He didn't understand or grasp the military culture," said Lawrence J. Korb, a former Pentagon official at the liberal Center for American Progress.  "He got over that particular quandary, and put them back in the box by saying, 'O.K., I'm giving you 18 months.'"

As we all suspected, he compromised our Afghanistan war strategy for the sake of domestic politics:

One adviser at the time said Mr. Obama calculated that an open-ended commitment would undermine the rest of his agenda.  "Our Afghan policy was focused as much as anything on domestic politics," the adviser said.  "He would not risk losing the moderate to centrist Democrats in the middle of health insurance reform and he viewed that legislation as the make-or-break legislation for his administration."

He simply doesn't want to do the things that are expected of the commander in chief, and the military's ire is profound:

The schisms among his team, though, are born in part out of uncertainty about his true commitment. His reticence to talk much publicly about the wars may owe to the political costs of alienating his base as well as the demands of other issues. Senior Pentagon and military officials said they understood that he presided over a troubled economy, but noted that he was not losing 30 American soldiers a month on Wall Street. …

"From an image point of view, he doesn't seem to embrace it, almost like you have to drag him into doing it," said Peter D. Feaver, a Bush adviser with military contacts. "There's deep uncertainty and perhaps doubt in the military about his commitment to see the wars through to a successful conclusion."

This was a man not only unprepared for the job, but disposed to shirk its most important aspect.  It is a measure of his hubris and stubbornness that he has refused to, as Feaver succinctly puts it, "embrace" the role, that is, to commit in word and deed his full attention and effort to leading the country in war.  He doesn't want to be a wartime president?  Well, sorry -- he is.

The only comfort one can draw from this appalling portrait is that perhaps, just perhaps, after November, when his dream of transforming America is crushed by an electoral blow-back, he will belatedly do his job.
Obama’s War Against The U.S. Military
Buzz Patterson says when presidential candidate Barack Obama proudly announced in the fall of 2007 that, if elected, he was going to "fundamentally change the United States of America" it was a warning shot across the bow of the U.S. military, its culture, and the men and women who bravely serve every day.

More to the point, while our armed forces take fire from enemies in the sands and mountains of the Middle East, they are also taking fire from a much more lethal source: their commander-in-chief.  Yes, America’s military is at war with radical Islamists around the world and, more problematic, with Obama at home.

Barack Obama’s war with the U.S. military is one with several fronts: social engineering of the military culture at the expense of readiness and capability; dictating the rules of engagement (ROE) that hinder our troops’ ability to fight an enemy that doesn’t wear traditional military uniforms and hides behind women’s burqas while operating from schools and mosques; and, slashing the necessary funding for force modernization and sustainability.  And finally, morale -- successful military operations always come down to morale.

Former President and World War II hero Dwight D. Eisenhower once said "Morale is the greatest single factor in successful wars."  It’s also a concept that Barack Obama seems incapable of grasping.

Continue reading here . . .
Don't Ask, Don't Tell Dies -- For Now
Patricia Murphy is reporting that Senate Republicans blocked the Defense Department bill Tuesday, objecting to gay rights and immigration language in the annual legislation that sets policies and spending levels for the Pentagon. Majority Democrats, needing 60 votes to break a filibuster and begin consideration of the bill, fell short 43 to 56. Arkansas Democrats Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor joined all 40 Republicans in voting no.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also voted against the bill, but for procedural reasons. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) missed the roll call.

GOP senators said two controversial additions -- language to begin the repeal of the ban on gays serving openly in the military and a last-minute amendment based on the DREAM Act to give young illegal immigrants a path to citizenship if they complete two years of college or serve that long in the military -- made the bill impossible to support.

Continue reading here . . .
A Devastating And Depressing Portrait Of Obama
Peter Wehner says the Washington Post’s story on Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book, "Obama’s Wars," includes these passages:

Obama rejected the military’s request for 40,000 troops as part of an expansive mission that had no foreseeable end.  "I’m not doing 10 years," he told Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a meeting on Oct. 26, 2009.  "I’m not doing long-term nation-building.  I am not spending a trillion dollars."  … At one strategy session, Obama waved a memo from the Office of Management and Budget, which put a price tag of $889 billion over 10 years on the military’s open-ended approach.

So we finally found the one institution where Barack Obama is frugal and interested in cost-savings: the military during time of war.

It is quite revealing that this most profligate ideologue -- whose spending is nearly limitless when it comes to health care, stimulus packages, bailouts, and non-defense discretionary program -- has found his inner Barry Goldwater when it comes to spending on defense matters.

There are two problems for Obama.  The first centers on Article II, Section II, of the Constitution, which states, "The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States."  Obama’s primary responsibility, as envisioned by the Founders, is to serve as commander in chief, not as the tax collector for the welfare state.  "Among the many objects to which a wise and free people find it necessary to direct their attention," John Jay wrote in Federalist No. 3, "is that of providing for their safety seems to be first."

Obama seems to have his priorities upside down -- largely indifferent to those areas he’s responsible for and hyper-active in areas he’s not.

Second, the military, more than any other branch of the federal government, is showing remarkable results for its work.  It has reformed and modernized itself in important respects, advanced the cause of liberty, delivered lethal blows to our enemies, and protected us from harm.  Yet with America engaged in a hot war in Afghanistan, where the consequences of failure would be catastrophic, Obama has decided to be hyper-thrifty with his spending.  He repeatedly limits what his generals, including General Petraeus, believe they need to successfully prosecute the war.

Quite apart from being reckless, Obama is reinforcing almost every bad impression of his party: keen on raising taxes, spending record amounts on domestic programs, centralizing power, and expanding the size and reach of the federal government.  When it comes to war, though, Obama is conflicted and uncertain, in search of an exit ramp more than victory, and even willing to subordinate security needs to partisan concerns (most especially by insisting on an arbitrary drawdown date of July 2011 in order to please his political advisers).  As Politico reports,

Obama’s timetable to begin a real drawdown … is considerably more concrete than once thought.  The book … has Obama warning the Pentagon that he won’t tolerate a 10-year war that sacrifices American troops, bleeds the treasury or drains his own popularity with the Democratic base.

By most accounts (see here and here), the White House is pleased with how Obama is portrayed in Obama’s Wars.  It shouldn’t be.  Obama comes across, at least in the stories released so far, as a man deeply uncomfortable in his role as commander in chief.

It is a devastating, and depressing, portrait.
According To Woodward
Marc Schenker says according to Bob Woodward, Barack Obama got "pissed" with the US military for demanding more troops.  The startling disclosure that is not presidential at all comes as part of author Bob Woodward’s first interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer as he begins to hawk his new book, "Obama’s Wars."  In one of the meetings Obama attended to review Afghanistan policy, he simply blurted out, "I’m pissed!" because he was getting frustrated with the insistence of US military leaders demanding more troops so they could win in Afghanistan.  Just imagine, US military leaders actually had the unmitigated gall to dare ask their commander-in-chief for more troops so they could win over the terrorist enemy!  How dare them!  At least, that’s what was apparently running through the socialist Obama’s mind, which is going to be hard to understand from the viewpoint of many Americans.

"Obama’s Wars" goes on sale today, and it is supposed to be an insider’s account of the first year-and-a-half of the Obama Administration’s machinations and policy-making as it relates to the Afghanistan war.  While the aforementioned doozy about Obama getting "pissed" is certainly going to upset many patriotic Americans, it should come as no surprise from a committed liberal Democrat president who has also failed to provide enough troops for Afghanistan, failed to provide them in a timely manner, and has been at loggerheads with members of his own military.  Other revelations in Woodward’s book are equally as unsettling.  In large part, "Obama’s Wars" paints Obama and his administration as a bunch of ill-prepared and in-over-their-heads ideologues who are at the center of often chaotic and disorderly foreign policy issues.

Take one episode where Obama -- much like an unsophisticated, playground bully -- actually sees fit to push everyone of his top aides to go along with his laughable strategy of only surging 30,000 troops (instead of the 40,000 wanted by military commanders) in Afghanistan, with a withdrawal date of July 2011.  All his lemming-like aides sign off on his demands (What are they going to do?  Obama’s the prez, after all!), but there is no conviction among any of them.  This illustrates how Obama may have the final word, and it may be his amateurish strategy, but he has no one -- not his military leaders or even his own aides -- believing that it will work!

But on the central, provocative divulgence in Woodward’s book -- that Obama got "pissed" at his own military for their advice of wanting more troops to win the war -- that is the most egregious aspect of Obama’s attitude, to say the least.  It’s ironic, too, because many Americans have a lot of reason to be "pissed" right back at Obama.  For instance, many Americans have a very strong right to be "pissed" at Obama for anything from double-digit unemployment that refuses to go down; government healthcare forced down their throats; his constant apologizing for the US; his bowing before foreign leaders; and too many things I would run out of space to list here!

While the revelations in "Obama’s Wars" likely won’t shock too many conservatives and attentive independents who already know Obama’s failures when it comes to national security and foreign policy, it still is instructive in reminding us all of one thing.  Democrats cannot be trusted with national security issues ever, for they are weak and ineffective at it, to say the least.
More Than One U.S. Soldier Dying Per Day On Obama’s Watch
CNSNews.com is reporting that September 2010 has been the deadliest September yet for U.S. troops in the 9-year-long war in Afghanistan as U.S. troops continued to be killed at a pace of slightly higher than one per day during the Obama presidency.

U.S. troops have thus far suffered 38 total casualties in September, with all but two of those being combat-related.  Before now, September 2009 had been the deadliest September of the war with the U.S. suffering 37 total casualties in that month, 35 of which were combat related.

Since the beginning of the war in October 2001, U.S. troops have suffered 1,206 total casualties in Afghanistan, according to CNSNews.com database of Afghanistan war casualties.  1,041 of those casualties have been combated related.

2010 is already the deadliest year of the Afghan war for U.S. forces.  So far, 354 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan this year compared to 303 in 2009, which was the second deadliest year of the war.

A total of 650 U.S. troops troops have been killed in Afghanistan since Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2010, after campaigning for president vowing to shift the focus of U.S. military efforts overseas from Iraq to Afghanistan.

The 650 U.S. casualties in Afghanistan since Obama’s inauguration equal almost 54 percent of all U.S. casualties for the entire duration of the war.  Given that Obama has been president for 618 days, U.S. troops have been dying in Afghanistan at a rate of more than one a day since he took over as commander in chief.

Related:  Why Is He Sending Them? -- the great Charles Krauthammer

You can point directly to Obama's "Rules of Engagement" for this.  Soldiers can't fight a war with one hand tied behind their back.

While Obama goes about the destruction of America, he also goes about demoralizing America's military.
You're Out Of Your Mind
Ben Birnbaum is reporting that Reagan-era Secretary of State George Shultz blasted Obama Monday night for his scheduled July 2011 date to begin withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

Mr. Shultz, 89, made the unusually blunt remarks at a packed dinner for the International Republican Institute -- the GOP-aligned counterpart to the National Democratic Institute -- where he was receiving the organization's 2010 Freedom Award.

"You're out of your mind," he said at a question-and-answer forum, when asked his opinion of Obama's drawdown date.  "How can you say that 'if I haven't won by six or nine months from now, I'm leaving?'"

Mr. Shultz -- who earlier served under President Nixon as Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Labor and director of the Office of Management and Budget -- called for a prompt extension of the Bush tax cuts and expressed theoretical support for Obama's goal of a world without nuclear weapons.
American Military Officers Against Obama
Mark S. McGrew is reporting that...

Lieutenant Colonel Terrence Lakin, Major General Carroll D. Childers, Captain Neil B. Turner, Commander Charles Kerchner, Lt. Commander Walter Fitzpatrick, Captain Connie Rhodes, Lieutenant Colonel David Earl Graef, Major Stefan Frederick Cook, Paul Vallely, Major General (Ret), US Army, Jim Cash, Brigadier General (Ret), USAF, Harry Riley, Colonel (Ret), US Army, Michael A. Trudell, Captain (Ret), USN, Harry Soloman, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret), USAF, Carmen A. Reynolds, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret), USAF, Debra A. Gunnoe, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret), USAF, Greg Hollister, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret), USAF, Richard C. Morris, Lieutenant Colonel (Ret), US Army, William Harker, Commander (Ret), USN, Bill Little, Commander (Ret), USN. John Johnson, 1st Lieutenant (Ret), USAF, Luther B. Neff, Captain (Ret), USAF, Fred Herndon, Captain (Ret), USAF, Jerry Curry Army Major General (Retired), General Thomas McInerney,

...are either engaged in a legal action against Obama or have publicly expressed their support for people in legal actions against Obama.

What motivates these people to risk their lives, their freedom and their fortunes by publicly stating their position against a US President?

It is their sworn duty.

Continue reading here . . .
Time's Running Out For U.S. Troops In Afghanistan
James Gordon Meek says the countdown to Obama's July 2011 withdrawal has begun, and the tick-tocking sound in Afghanistan is time running out for Team America -- and the enemy knows it.

It's not only Beltway pundits who have picked over the fine points of Obama's fuzzy July 2011 Afghan troop withdrawal target date, it's the Taliban, too, from Kabul to Kandahar and Khyber to Karachi.  Never mind that Obama and Army Gen. David Petraeus have hedged on that date, promising any pullouts will be "conditions based."

"Whether or not it's what we said, it's what the adversary thinks they heard and what they tell their people," said a senior U.S. counterterrorism official, who has served in Afghanistan.

Believing that America's 100,000 troops are going to exit next summer -- a myth promulgated by the Pakistan-based Afghan Taliban -- means millions of civilians have been understandably wary about sticking their necks out to help stabilize their wartorn country.  "Most of the Afghan population is neither strongly pro-coalition or strongly pro-Taliban.  They're strongly pro not-getting-killed," the senior official told the Daily News in an exclusive war briefing.  That's made our exit strategy even tougher, and has enabled the enemy to control more turf than the surge of U.S. forces there do.

Just a few years ago, NGOs, aid groups and the U.S. Agency for International Development were able to build schools, dig wells and offer rural Afghans free medical care without fear of being targeted.  But the war's escalation has made that aspect of counterinsurgency -- as critical to our success as bombs and bullets -- "difficult, if not impossible.  Non-military things are vastly harder (to do now) than they could have been done before," the official lamented.

Even with 100,000 G.I.s on the ground, they hold little turf solidly, as The News reported on Sunday.  "You can control rifle range from where you stand," the senior U.S. counterterrorism official told The News, adding that, historically, "Most of Afghanistan was never controlled."

Army Maj. Sunset Belinsky, a spokeswoman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force, said success under the Petraeus-managed war "will take time."

But four eastern provinces along the porous AfPak border are patrolled by about 3,500 troopers from a single brigade of the storied 101st Airborne Division -- the same number of troops tackling security in individual provinces such as Kandahar and Helmand in the volatile south.  That's a weak anvil on the Afghan side of the border while Al Qaeda and the Taliban are being hammered by CIA drones on the Pakistan side, U.S. officials admit.

The Screaming Eagles of the 101st in the east will continue to be stretched thin -- along with their 1st Cavalry Division replacements this spring -- until Kandahar City is reasonably pacified.  "We will not move the bulk of our forces east and north until the security gains can be held by Afghan National Security Forces (in Kandahar)," Belinsky said.

The U.S. "cannot capture or kill our way out of Afghanistan," the ISAF spokeswoman added -- after she detailed how 1,260 Taliban leaders and fighters have been killed by Afghan, allied and U.S. Special Operations in raids since July, when Petraeus took command.
Task Force Obama
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This is in addition to the the $200 million per day on Mumbai boondoggle -- while wounded soldiers beg for donations.

As Jim Hoft points out, Obama's retinue includes 3,000 people including Secret Service agents, US government officials and journalists, 40 aircraft, and three Marine One choppers that will be disassembled in the US, flown to Mumbai, and reassembled in India to ferry Obama and his family and to evacuate them in case of any emergency.  Also included is military personnel to ensure his safety.

He has reserved the entire Taj Mahal Hotel.  All 570 odd rooms, banquet halls, restaurants, etc.  In addition to hundreds of rooms in other 5 star hotels around Mumbai.  Obviously no expense will be spared.

It seems that this is a fabulous expenditure of taxpayers dollars for a trip that has been described by The Global Post in this way:

The bottom line: There’s very little chance Indians won’t be disappointed with the outcome.

And this:

"If you look closely at what the background briefings are from the Indian side and what is being said not only in Washington but by the U.S. ambassador here, one gets the sense that nothing dramatic is likely to emerge from the visit," said former foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal.

Already the Obama administration is downplaying expectations.  At a press briefing to outline the broad agenda for the visit, senior U.S. officials encouraged observers to focus on the big picture, rather than big agreements.

Is this what we get for a billion dollars?
Obama Calls For End Of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
The Star Online (AU) says Barack Obama has called on the US Senate to pass legislation allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military following the release of a report backing a change in policy by the Department of Defense.

The nine month Pentagon study found that seventy percent of armed forces personnel did not believe a change in the policy would effect unit cohesion.

"With our nation at war and so many Americans serving on the front lines, our troops and their families deserve the certainty that can only come when an act of Congress ends this discriminatory policy once and for all," said Obama.

"The House of Representatives has already passed the necessary legislation … I call on the Senate to act as soon as possible so I can sign this repeal into law this year and ensure that Americans who are willing to risk their lives for their country are treated fairly and equally."

Democratic Senate Majority leader Harry Reid has vowed to hold a vote on the bill this month.

Four Republican Senators have already declared their support for ending the policy, however a small number of Democrats may oppose the bill so the outcome remains uncertain.

Related:  The real Pentagon poll:  91% reject homosexual leaders.  85% of combat Marines distrust.  71% won't share showers.  24% won't re-enlist.
Military Slams Door On Mystery Missile Questions
F. Michael Maloof says the Department of Defense is slamming the door on questions about the mysterious contrail filmed Nov. 8 by a KCBS television crew near Los Angeles after questions were raised about a warning from the National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency that there could be missiles fired in that area at that time.

The official government position has been that the contrail, which appears to have been made by a single source, was from a jet passing by.

And the refusal to provide answers to specific questions suggests a cover-up of potential secret missile testing in the area -- contrary to official jet contrail explanation.

For weeks, experts have examined the billowing plume and the single-source white-hot exhaust which they contend was from a missile, not a jet.

It was in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin intelligence report where the story was broken that several experts who examined the video of the mysterious contrail confirmed it was not from a jet but a missile.

The experts who examined the video have had extensive experience working with missiles and computer security systems for various sensitive agencies of the U.S. government.

They even went so far as to suggest that the missile may have been shot from a submerged Chinese nuclear submarine, coinciding with an increasing level of confrontation between the United States and China and designed to send a message to Washington:
But it was in late October that the NGA issued the maritime warning for the Eastern North Pacific off California about "intermittent missile firing operations."  While the notice gave time frames and days of the week as well as areas for missile firings, there was no specified time limit as to when they would end.

Continue reading here . . .
Catch And Release In Afghanistan
Thomas Joscelyn says a cable released by WikiLeaks that is available on The New York Times' web site underscores the difficulties that both the Bush and Obama administrations have had in transferring war on terror detainees to Afghan custody.  The cable, which originated at the US Embassy in Kabul on Aug. 6, 2009, begins:

On numerous occasions we have emphasized with Attorney General Aloko the need to end interventions by him and President Karzai, who both authorize the release of detainees pre-trial and allow dangerous individuals to go free or re-enter the battlefield without ever facing an Afghan court.

The cable's author goes on to explain that this is a problem with respect to: detainees transferred from the American-run facility in Bagram to Afghan custody, detainees transferred from Guantanamo to Afghan custody, and also narco-traffickers.

When the Afghan government accepts transferred detainees, it is supposed to take certain security precautions. In some cases, the US government expects the Afghans to try them in their courts. It often doesn't work out that way.

The situation with respect to detainees once held in Bagram is worrisome, according to the State Department's cable (emphasis added):

Transfers from Bagram Theatre Internment Facility (BTIF) to the Afghan National Detention Facility (ANDF) began in Spring 2007.  During that year, there was only one pre-trial release. In 2008, there were 104 pre-trial releases, almost all of which took place after President Karzai formed the Aloko Detainee Commission in April 2008.  From January to March of 2009, there were 12 pre-trial releases; and 23 pre-trial releases between April and June 2009.  So far in July 2009, there have been 10 pre-trial releases.

Detainees at Bagram include those individuals the US military and its allies suspect of fighting for the Taliban, al Qaeda, and their jihadist allies.  The cable suggests that the Afghans released more 100 detainees without trial in 2008.  The Americans expected at least some of them, and probably many of them, to be tried.  The Afghans were on pace to release about the same number of detainees without trying them in 2009.

The situation with respect to detainees transferred from Guantanamo to Afghanistan is problematic as well. The cable notes (emphasis added):

An August 2005 exchange of diplomatic notes between the USG and the GIRoA provides the legal basis for the GIRoA's detention and prosecution of detainees transferred? into Afghan custody. Even though a multi-agency GIRoA delegation under the Aloko Detainee Commission screens all BTIF detainees who are transferred to the ANDF and assures the USG that these detainees will be prosecuted in an Afghan court, there have been 150 detainees released from the ANDF without trial since 2007, including 29 former Guantanamo Bay (GTMO) detainees.  The total number of transfers to date from BTIF to ANDF is 629 detainees, plus 41 from GTMO.

It is not entirely clear if the 29 Gitmo detainees referred to above were all supposed to be tried in Afghan courts, but it certainly appears that way.  It also makes sense when put into context. Roughly 200 Afghans have been transferred from Guantanamo to their home country, according to data compiled by The New York Times.  Many of these former detainees probably were not slated to stand trial. But the Americans did expect that some of them would.

The cable suggests that the Afghans have released dozens of former Gitmo detainees, and many more former detainees once held at Bagram, who the Americans thought should be tried.
Dumb Warfare
Investors.com chooses to call it the ObamaCare bureaucratic mentality applied to U.S. war strategy.  We catch hundreds of enemy combatants -- then let them go so they can kill more U.S. troops and Afghan civilians.

One of Barack Obama's most resonant applause lines during the campaign was his explanation for opposing the liberation of Iraq: "I am not opposed to all wars; I'm opposed to dumb wars."  No offense to masterful Gen. David Petraeus -- who is not to blame for this -- but U.S. war policy in Afghanistan is getting dumber and dumber in some big ways.

The Washington Examiner's Sara Carter reports that more than 500 suspected Taliban militants have been released from U.S. custody this year.  And there are dozens of detainees at other facilities all over Afghanistan who've been let go.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, whose confidence in the U.S. war effort is shaky, is believed to be hedging his bets with the Taliban.  He's tried to free as many as 700 of their operatives since July, according to Carter, viewing them as bargaining chips.

A spokeswoman for our forces seemed to have entered the absurdist world of humorist P.G. Wodehouse as she explained that "detention is necessary to mitigate the threat posed to the government and people of Afghanistan, the U.S. and its coalition partners" -- begging the question of why the deuce are we releasing them?

Hundreds of thousands of Nazi soldiers captured by the allies were kept as prisoners for as long as three years after Germany's surrender in May 1945.  In Britain, German POWs made up a quarter of the nation's farming work force as late as 1947.

The global war on terror -- of which Obama has said Afghanistan is the central front -- is just as much a war as World War II.  Why are we in such a hurry to repatriate enemy POWs?  The Petraeus counterinsurgency strategy, made famous by the Iraq surge, in which enemy areas are cleared and held, becomes kind of tough when the enemy forces you clear away are allowed to come back.

A military official stationed in Afghanistan told the Examiner, "we've got to release the bad guys" because the Karzai government calls the shots.  Would a Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher -- or, for that matter, a George W. Bush -- long accept that?

Petraeus recently denied rumors he threatened to resign over friction with Karzai on U.S. night raids.  But one can imagine a commanding general resigning because his superiors agree to let captured enemy operatives return to the battlefield -- by the hundreds.

Most Americans are as "opposed to dumb wars" as Obama -- especially when it's the U.S. being dumb.
Colonel Blames Obama For US Soldier Deaths
Marc Schenker is reporting that Lt. Col. Ralph Peters blames Obama for US soldier deaths in Afghanistan.  In a pithy appearance on The O’Reilly Factor last night, Peters was brought on as a guest to discuss the frustrating situation in Afghanistan, especially in light of a new poll that disappointingly shows that most Americans now think the Afghanistan war was not worth fighting.  The release of the Afghanistan progress report yesterday provided Peters with another target for analysis, but his entire appearance essentially boiled down to one point that many Americans likely concur with: US soldiers keep dying in Afghanistan and the US keeps supporting the corrupt Hamid Karzai because Obama does not know what he’s doing.

Peters started off his analysis by exposing the Afghanistan "progress" report from yesterday for what it essentially was: disorganized window-dressing.  His main accusation was Obama’s complete lack of know-how in how to prosecute the Afghanistan war, which was seen again in Obama’s remarks yesterday during a press conference on the "progress" report.  Peters pointed out just a couple of contradictions in Obama’s remarks.  For instance, Obama claimed the US was going after Al-Qaeda in the county, yet the vast majority of operations in Afghanistan are directed only at the Taliban.  Secondly, Obama kept assuring the American people that he didn’t want to nation-build, yet he kept affirming an American commitment to provide the Afghan people with good governance and basic services, which -- you guessed it! -- is exactly what nation-building is all about!

These Obama comments certainly make Peters' accusation against Obama for him, as his press conference really confirmed a commander-in-chief who’s hopelessly clueless about what to do in Afghanistan.  Other examples of Obama’s ineptitude that were cited included the failure to pacify most of the country by only focusing the military in one or two places; the continuous support of Karzai (whom he referred to as a corrupt thug); and tolerating Pakistan while it continues acting against US interests relative to Afghanistan.

O’Reilly instead blamed the attitude of Americans not thinking the war is worth it anymore more on Obama’s communication skills, claiming that Americans don’t understand what the end goal in Afghanistan is.  Yet that’s absurd because anyone with a brain can tell you that it comes down to two, simple achievements: Kill Al-Qaeda in the country and ensure that the Afghan government can fend for itself.  So it’s not really a communications problem at all as O'Reilly bloviated, but it’s more what Peters analyzed it to be: Obama ineptitude.

Certainly, the reason war support for Afghanistan is slipping is because many Americans believe, rightly so, that the US is not fighting the war with the gloves off, instead choosing to use kid gloves on those poor, "misunderstood freedom fighters" of Al-Qaeda.  When Americans see all the wrongness that Obama continues to allow -- like Rules of Engagement that actually restrict soldiers from firing on the terrorists, failing to hold territory after winning it, and continuing on a par-for-the-course policy regarding Karzai -- they realize that he and the US government are not committed to winning in Afghanistan.  If they were, Afghanistan could be pacified in short order.

This raises the question, what should the US do in this case?  There are really only two options.  Either continue the mishandled way that Obama has prosecuted Afghanistan up to this point, which would, as Peters is correct in analyzing, just continue the needless sacrifice of more soldiers dying without a commitment to victory, or pull out and let Afghanistan get taken over by the terrorists all over again, which would defeat everything that was invested in Afghanistan for nine years.  I hope the solution lies in an Obama loss in 2012, the election of a conservative hawk for president, and then a total and proper pacification of Afghanistan the way it should have been from day one.
Saudi Air Force Training Base To Be Sited In Idaho
Trevor Loudon says an Oct. 20, Stratfor report said that the Obama administration formally notified Congress on Oct. 20 of a $60 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia.  The package, which includes both combat aircraft and military helicopters, is considerable and will provide the Saudis with even more of some of the most modern fighter jets in the entire region.

Militarily, however, Riyadh’s challenge is not a matter of hardware: Saudi Arabia already fields a broad spectrum of some of the highest-end and most modern military equipment in the region.  Instead, its challenge is fielding that hardware.  With deliveries years away, the new deal will do little to balance the resurgent Iranian regime in the near-term, and prolongs Saudi Arabia’s heavy dependence on U.S. defense support.

The new package, which will reinforce the quality and quantity of Saudi military hardware over the course of the next two decades, will include:

•  84 new-build and more modern variants of the F-15S combat fighter aircraft.
•  The upgrade of 70 existing Saudi F-15S to this new standard.
•  70 AH-64 Apache attack helicopters.
•  72 UH-60 Black Hawk utility helicopters.
•  36 AH-6i light attack-reconnaissance helicopters.
•  12 light training helicopters.
•  Associated armaments, including air-to-air and air-to-ground ordnance (including 1,000 "bunker-buster" bombs designed to penetrate hardened and deeply buried facilities).


Mountain Home U.S. Air Force Base, Idaho
Now an Idaho news source, Mountain Home News reports that the United States will be facilitating a training base for the Royal Saudi Air Force in Mountain Home, Idaho.

Col. Pete Lee, vice commander of the 366th Fighter Wing at Mountain Home Air Force Base described the announcement as "a great opportunity," for the base, the local community and the region.

The Saudi government will apparently bear all costs for basing the squadron.  The arms sale will doubtless be welcomed by the arms industry in the United States.

Saudi Arabia is a known sponsor of Wahabbist terrorism.  Is this arrangement really in the best long term interests of the U.S?

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