Shouldn’t fighting for ISIS disqualify you as a US Citizen?

articlesfedsrevokecitizenship-fullCSP, by Ben Lerner:

Fox News is reporting that a second American citizen has been killed while fighting for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in Syria.  That same report goes on to note that federal investigators estimate roughly one hundred American citizens have gone to Syria to fight for various jihadist organizations.  Other sources have indicated that the number of US citizens joining up with ISIS is as high as three hundred.

Homeland security officials are rightly concerned about this development.  American citizens fighting for ISIS and other groups can potentially return to the United States and apply their battlefield-acquired skills to carry out attacks against American targets – a list of which was just published in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) publication, Al Malahem.

One way to inhibit such operatives from coming back to the United States to carry out such plans is to revoke their US citizenship, a move that would invalidate their US passports and make it that much harder to set foot on American soil.  Revocation of citizenship would have the added benefit of making such individuals eligible for trial by military commissions (assuming such individuals fall within the purview of an Authorization for the Use of Military Force, be it the one currently in effect or one passed in the months to come).

The United States government arguably already has the authority to revoke citizenship under these circumstances.  Title 8, Section 1481 of the U.S. Code lays out the various scenarios through which a US citizen could lose his/her citizenship, and states in part:

(a) A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality—…

… (3) entering, or serving in, the armed forces of a foreign state if

(A) such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States, or

(B) such persons serve as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer; …

Could existing law perhaps be tweaked to include US citizens who join the ranks of non-state actors like ISIS or al Qaeda?  Perhaps – then-Senators Joe Lieberman and Scott Brown introduced legislation a few years ago along these lines.  Such an effort may need to be undertaken again.

It is true that especially these days, ISIS and company need only cross our southwest border to do us harm from within.  But a vulnerable back door is no reason not to lock the front door.

Security Expert: Our Southern Border Is A War Zone

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Center For Security Policy:

In Part 2 of The Daily Caller’s video interview with Clare Lopez, a senior official with the Center for Security Policy, she explains how the collapse of America’s southern border was a planned, willful refusal to maintain national sovereignty. Citing a January budget request from the Department of Homeland Security requesting funding based on the expectation of new flows of some 65,000 immigrants including children, Lopez thinks Americans, especially at the border, are threatened.

She discusses how narco-traffickers are flowing through, organized in columns at night in military formations guarded by sentinels and scouts, and armed with advanced weaponry. To her, the southern border is a war zone. As these undocumented immigrants are dispersed by air or bus throughout America, the threat widens, she reports.

To Lopez, President Obama is “consciously trying to diminish America’s leadership in the world.” She discusses the “great purge” that occurred early in the Obama administration where there was a comprehensive removal of training materials from departments and agencies who were engaged in ferreting out jihadi threats from radical Islamic terrorists. This purge, Lopez says in this video interview, “crippled and neutralized American national security interests.”

Discussing lessons learned from the Iraq war, Lopez says, “the U.S. never understood the “fundamental incompatibility between Islamic law and liberal western democracy, and in particular, the U.S. Constitution.” She continues, “Islamic law and Islam’s doctrine mandates inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims, between men and women.” She ends by stating, “As long as a people remain enthralled to Islamic law, there cannot be genuine, true liberal Western style democracy.”

To view Part 1, Clare Lopez on Benghazi, click here.

Al Qaeda magazine hints of looming attack; urges bombing of Vegas, military targets

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There could be some envy by AQAP that IS is now getting all the headlines

By :

A new English-language Al Qaeda magazine features a how-to article on making car bombs and suggests terror targets in the United States, including casinos in Las Vegas, oil tankers and military colleges, and implies that an attack is imminent.

The online publication, called “Palestine-Betrayal of the Guilty Conscience Al-Malahem” and put out by the media arm of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, calls for Muslims around the world to follow “the recipe” provided to set off car bombs in crowded venues. It includes a timeline of “selected jihadi operations” that the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which first flagged the slickly-produced latest edition of the terror publication, finds chilling.

“The timeline concludes with the date 201?’ and blank spaces and question marks for the photo and information of the next attack — implying that it is coming soon.” said MEMRI Executive Director Steve Stalinsky.

There is a suggested list of targets for lone-wolf, or individually executed, terror attacks, including New York’s Times Square, casinos and night clubs in Las Vegas, oil tankers and trains, the Georgia Military College, the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, and General Atomics defense contractor in San Diego.

“This recipe gives you the ability to make a car bomb even in countries with tight security and surveillance,” one article reads, before providing a “shopping list” of supplies needed to make such a bomb, including cooking gas, oxygen gas, a barometer, decoration lamps and matches.

There is also a list of targets in Britain including a military academy and the Marks and Spencers chain of department stores. The magazine calls for the stores to be hit on Friday during prayers so that Muslims won’t be affected.

Globally, AQAP calls for the targeting of tourist resorts frequented by Israelis, Britons and Americans.

Read more at Fox News

Also see:

Man Threatens to Murder Children Due to Israel-Hamas Conflict

A Palestinian girl looks at masked militants of Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, military wing of Hamas, celebrate at a victory rally at the debris of destroyed houses in Shijaiyah, neighborhood of Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday / AP

A Palestinian girl looks at masked militants of Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, military wing of Hamas, celebrate at a victory rally at the debris of destroyed houses in Shijaiyah, neighborhood of Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday / AP

Washington Free Beacon, By Adam Kredo:

An Ohio school was placed on lockdown Wednesday after a man with a “heavy accent” phoned the school and threatened to murder children with an AK-47 due to the current conflict between Israel and Hamas, according to local police.

All schools in Pickerington, Ohio, were placed on lockdown after an unknown man made a threatening call to the Pickerington North High School, Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen confirmed to the Washington Free Beacon.

The man, who claimed to have an AK-47, said he planned to launch an attack on the school and kill students over his apparent anger at the Middle East conflict, Phalen said.

“The school received a call [at around 11:15 a.m.] from a male with a heavy accent and he indicated that he was going to attack Pickerington North due to attacks on Israel and was going to kill the kids and that he had an AK-47 gun,” Phalen recounted.

“He identified himself as ‘Mohammed Shehad,’” or something similar to that, and claimed to live in the area, Phalen said, explaining that those who fielded the call were unsure precisely what last name the man provided.

“My sense is that due to the way he identified himself it sounds like he was upset at Israel,” though the individual’s exact motivations remain unclear, Phalen said. At this point, authorities “really don’t know what his frame of mind was or what he was thinking.”

All area schools were placed on “exterior lockdown” as a precautionary measure, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

School will resume on Thursday and an officer will be assigned to Pickerington North. Additional deputies will also be in the area, Phalen said.

Fairfield County detectives also are beginning to investigate the matter to determine the individual’s identity.

“We have detectives assigned to that; they’re working on trying to trace the phone number and identify the suspect,” Phalen said.

Patrick Poole, a terrorism analyst who lives in the area, said he believed the threat was made by a person upset with Israel’s military action in the Gaza Strip.

“We have had a growing problem here in the Columbus area for years that local law enforcement and the media want to continue to sweep under the carpet,” Poole said. “Not only has Central Ohio been the home of the largest known al-Qaeda cell since 9/11—with several members currently in prison on terrorism charges and at least two deported—we’ve had a number of cases of homegrown jihadists come through town, including al-Shabaab rapper Omar al-Hammami and Little Rock Army recruiting station killer Carlos Bledsoe.”

“An al-Shabaab recruiter and fundraiser from the area was killed in a firefight in Mogadishu in 2010, and we know of several cases of young men who have left from Columbus to join the Somali terrorist group,” Poole said. “One of the original online jihadist forum operators, Sarfaraz Jamal, grew up in the area and initially ran his operation from his Worthington home.”

Additionally, “we just had a pro-Hamas rally at the statehouse a week and a half ago, a regular feature here in central Ohio whenever there is conflict in that part of the world,” Poole noted. “In fact, two of our local Hamas activists are currently in prison in Egypt. Now that the threat is targeting area school children, hopefully it will begin to wake people up to the scope of the problem.”

West Point report describes Islamic State threat as crisis 4 years in the making

herridgeFox News:

A new report from the West Point counterterrorism center challenges the notion that the Islamic State only recently became a major terror threat, describing the network’s gains in Iraq as a crisis four years in the making.

Meanwhile, Fox News has learned that top aides to President Obama expect the threat from the organization, also known as ISIS or ISIL, to outlast Obama’s time in office.

The details underscore the challenge facing the U.S. government and its allies as the president and military advisers weigh how — and where — to confront the Islamist militant forces.

“ISIL did not suddenly become effective in early June 2014: it had been steadily strengthening and actively shaping the future operating environment for four years,”the report from the West Point center said.

The report said that the “shattering” of Iraq’s security forces in June is a “case-in-point, the result of years of patient preparatory operations.”

The report, obtained in advance by Fox News, was published by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, an independent, privately funded research group. It was written by Michael Knights, with The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

The report pointed to a long trail of warning signs, after leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “re-booted” the organization in 2010. The report said it has developed a “highly-motivated cadre of light infantry forces” since 2012, while launching major attacks like a wave of car bombs across multiple cities that lasted until the end of 2013.

Despite these warning signs, President Obama earlier this year compared ISIS and related groups to a “jayvee team” during an interview with The New Yorker.

The White House has since defended those remarks, claiming the president was not referring only to the Islamic State. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes also claimed earlier this month that the network indeed “has gained capacity in the last several months.”

Rhodes said the Islamic State poses “a greater threat today than they did six months ago.”

Left unclear is when that danger might diminish.

With the Islamic State now controlling large swaths of territory across Syria and northern Iraq, senior Obama administration officials have repeatedly referred to the terrorist army as a “long-term” threat.

Asked if that means that the dangers posed by ISIS will extend beyond Obama’s time in office, a senior State Department official told Fox News: “Probably. Probably.”

The official hastened to add that the U.S. has embraced similarly lengthy time frames in its post-9/11 efforts to combat other major terrorist groups, such as Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that such a view — especially given the success against Al Qaeda in those regions — should not be mistaken for a lack of initiative or zeal in the president’s approach.

The official also stressed that the administration does not see a 9/11-style attack on the American homeland as among the threats the Islamic State presently poses. Rather, the group is thought by U.S. policymakers to threaten Washington’s regional allies and interests, as many administration officials have emphasized in recent weeks.

The State Department source also pointed to the variety of methods the administration is using to address ISIS. These range from “kinetic” operations aimed at “taking their leadership off the battlefield” to online initiatives designed to choke off the group’s financing to diplomatic activities that will stem the flow of foreign fighters to ISIS’ breeding ground, Syria.

“We are also working on getting others to stand up and push them out,” the source said.

The West Point report did detail the organization’s potential weaknesses.

The report said ISIS leaders are “crafting far-sighted political-military campaigns that are resilient enough to survive the deaths of their progenitors,” but their ability to “continually shape and control the conflict will be sorely tested” as the pace of the counteroffensive accelerates.

The Obama administration is currently weighing whether to expand its air campaign from northern Iraq into Syria.

“Although they may boast a deep bench of talented individuals following years of prisoner releases, prison breaks and recruitment, leadership casualties will nonetheless complicate their ability to hold the initiative in the future,” the report said.

The West Point article said ISIS has benefited from the “unpreparedness of its enemies” but such factors “are diminishing.”

“As a defensive force, ISIL may struggle to hold terrain if it is attacked simultaneously at multiple points or if its auxiliary allies begin to defect,” the report said.

Still, the report noted the group is absorbing “whole networks of militants into its ranks.”

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge and James Rosen contributed to this report.

Intel believes 300 Americans fighting with Islamic State, posing threat to U.S.

 

Photo by: Uncredited A convoy of vehicles and militant fighters move through Iraq's Anbar Province. The U.S. government is tracking and gathering intelligence on as many as 300 Americans who are fighting side-by-side with the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and are poised to become a major threat to the homeland, according to senior U.S. officials. (Associated Press)

Photo by: Uncredited
A convoy of vehicles and militant fighters move through Iraq’s Anbar Province. The U.S. government is tracking and gathering intelligence on as many as 300 Americans who are fighting side-by-side with the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria and are poised to become a major threat to the homeland, according to senior U.S. officials. (Associated Press)


Officials say concern is widespread in Washington that radicalized foreign fighters could return to the homeland and commit terrorist attacks with skills acquired overseas, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information. Those concerns were heightened by the disclosure Tuesday that a California man was killed fighting alongside militants with the group, also known as ISIS.

The U.S. government is doing its best to keep track of the foreign fighters, who have been shifting back and forth between Iraq and Syria, according to a senior U.S. official.

“We know that there are several hundred American passport holders running around with ISIS in Syria or Iraq,” the official said, offering a figure well above widespread reports of about 100 such fighters. “It’s hard to tell whether or not they’re in Syria or moved to Iraq.”

The State Department did not respond to a request for the number of Americans traveling in Iraq and Syria.

Read more at Washington Times

Also see:

 

US reportedly recruiting allies to support expanded airstrikes, Syrian opposition

 

Fox News:

The Obama administration is pressing U.S. allies to increase their support for moderate rebel groups in Syria, as well as possible military operations, according to a published report.

The New York Times reported late Tuesday that White House officials believe that Great Britain and Australia would be willing to join the United States in a campaign of airstrikes in Syria, while the administration hoped that Turkey would give it access to key military bases.

The Times also reported that the U.S. has asked Turkish government to help seal that country’s border with Syria, which has proven to be an easy crossing point for foreign militants looking to join up with the Islamic State, the militant group formerly known as ISIS, in northern Syria. The paper reported that the White House is also seeking intelligence help from Jordan, as well as financial support for groups like the moderate Free Syrian Army from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

The political calculus of such maneuvering among America’s Western allies is unclear. Last year, British Prime Minister David Cameron experienced one of the most humiliating defeats of his premiership when a motion to join potential airstrikes against Bashar al-Assad’s government was rejected by Parliament. However, the atrocities committed by ISIS since its overrunning of broad swathes of Syria and Iraq, have seemingly galvanized Cameron to press for action. In a recent opinion piece in the Sunday Telegraph, Cameron said that Britain was “in the middle of a generational struggle against a poisonous and extremist ideology.”

Late Monday, the Pentagon began sending surveillance drones on flights over Syria to gather intelligence on ISIS positions after Obama approved their use over the weekend. The Times cited a report from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that “non-Syrian spy planes” on Monday carried out surveillance of ISIS positions in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.

The Assad government in Damascus has warned the U.S. not to strike ISIS positions on Syrian territory without asking permission. However, on Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki emphatically rejected that condition, telling reporters “We’re not going to ask permission from the Syrian regime.” However, Psaki also noted that Obama had not made a final decision on whether to approve airstrikes in Syria.

The Times also reported that the White House was also close to a decision to authorize airstrikes and aid drops around the town of Amerli in northern Iraq, home to a community of ethnic Turkmens, which has been besieged by ISIS for more than two months. The Turkmens, as Shiite Muslims, are thought of as infidels by the Sunni members of ISIS.

Over the weekend, the United Nations’ special representative to Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, said the situation in Amerli was “desperate, and called for “immediate action to prevent the possible massacre of its citizens.” The BBC reported Saturday that the town had no electricity or drinking water, and is running out of food and medical supplies.

McCarthy: Obama Administration ‘Ideologically Entrenched’ in Not Calling IS a Serious Threat

National Review:

Andrew recently wrote about the growing threat of the Islamic State in the Middle East, “Obama’s America Is September 10th America.”

Muslim Activists Demand Overhaul of All U.S. Law Enforcement Training

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Judicial Watch:

Islamic activists that strong-armed the FBI to purge anti-terrorism training material considered “offensive” to Muslims have made their next wave of demands, which include an overhaul in the way all law enforcement officers are trained in the United States.

The coalition of influential and politically-connected Muslim rights groups is demanding that the Obama administration implement a mandatory retraining program for all federal, state and local law enforcement officials who may have been subjected to materials they deem “biased and discriminatory” against Muslims. There must also be an audit of all federal law enforcement and intelligence gathering training and educational materials to identify and remove information that could exhibit bias against any race, ethnicity, religion or national origin, the groups demand.

Additionally, the administration must pursue disciplinary action against agents and officials who engage in discriminatory conduct as well as those responsible for the anti-Muslim training materials. Finally, the coalition insists that all federal funding to local and state law enforcement agencies be withheld unless they ban all training materials considered to be biased against race, ethnicity, religion or national origin. In short, these empowered Muslim activists want to dictate how our nation’s law enforcement agencies operate at every level.

The outrageous demands were made this month in a letter to Lisa O. Monaco, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism. Among the signatories is the terrorist front organization Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has repeatedly proven that it wields tremendous power in the Obama administration. Founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists, CAIR got the FBI to purge anti-terrorism material determined to be offensive to Muslims. Judicial Watch uncovered that scandal last summer and obtained hundreds of pages of FBI documents with details of the arrangement. JW also published a special in-depth report on the subject in December.

CAIR also got several police departments in President Obama’s home state of Illinois to cancel essential counterterrorism courses over accusations that the instructor was anti-Muslim. The course was called “Islamic Awareness as a Counter-Terrorist Strategy” and departments in Lombard, Elmhurst and Highland Park caved into CAIR’s demands. The group responded with a statement commending officials for their “swift action in addressing the Muslim community’s concerns.” CAIR has wielded its power in a number of other cases during the Obama presidency, including blocking an FBI probe involving the radicalization of young Somali men in the U.S. and pressuring the government to file discrimination lawsuits against employers who don’t accommodate Muslims in the workplace.

Other signatories include the powerful open borders group Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), Muslim Advocates, the Sikh Coalition, Women in Islam Inc., the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), to name a few. The group’s claim that recent administration directives to promote multicultural and diversity sensitivity training in law enforcement aren’t enough because they don’t specifically address anti-Muslim materials.

“Without executive branch actions, including those we recommend below, trainings that perpetuate gross stereotypes and false information about Islam and Muslims will continue to proliferate at the state and local level,” the letter says. It continues: “The use of anti-Muslim trainers and materials is not only highly offensive, disparaging the faith of millions of Americans, but leads to biased policing that targets individuals and communities based on religion, not evidence of wrongdoing.” This will foster fear and suspicion of Muslims and will lead to an increase in discrimination, bullying, harassment and anti-Muslim violence, the letter asserts.

Also see:

JIHADIS AND FELLOW TRAVELERS WANT A USG RE-EDUCATION PROGRAM

 

Obama’s Escape from Planet Reality

By David Wood at Answering Muslims:

Just minutes after defending Islam in a speech about the beheading of James Foley by the Islamic State (ISIS), President Barack Obama was back on the golf course. There’s something quite significant and symbolic about the President rushing to the golf course to avoid the horrors of a beheading. It’s analogous to the mental running our leaders have to do in order to avoid the truth about Islam.

 

Also see:

 

Israel Security Summit – Boston Area – Sept 9, 2014

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http://www.IsraelSecuritySummit.com

What Obama doesn’t get about the Islamic State

!cid_image008_jpg@01CFC0D5By Marc A. Thiessen:

A day before the Islamic State released a video of the brutal execution of American journalist James Foley, President Obama declared at a White House news conference that defeating the Islamic State was not his responsibility. “We’re not the Iraqi military, we’re not even the Iraqi air force,” Obama said, adding “I am the commander in chief of the United States armed forces, and Iraq is gonna have to ultimately provide for its own security.”

That attitude — that refusal to lead — is precisely why the Islamic State has been able to take control of a swath of the Middle East the size of Belgium and carry out the crimes against humanity we are witnessing today, from burying women and children alive to crucifixions to the beheading of a U.S. citizen.

Even after that horrific act, Obama continued to play down the threat posed by the Islamic State and United States’ responsibility to stop the militants. At a second news conference after the Foley execution, Obama once again dismissed the idea that the United States was at war with the Islamic State.“They may claim out of expediency that they are at war with the United States or the West, but the fact is they terrorize their neighbors,” Obama said.

They do not claim to be at war with the United States. They are at war with the United States. Even Obama’s own deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, admitted that the Foley execution “represents a terrorist attack against our country.” And for the Islamic State, that was only the beginning. It will not be satisfied with killing one U.S. citizen in the deserts of the Middle East. It wants to kill many thousands right here in the United States of America.

Even more disturbing was Obama’s assessment of how the Islamic State will meet its demise. “People like this ultimately fail,” Obama declared passively, “because the future is won by those who build and not destroy.” Sorry, Mr. President, the Islamic State is not going to somehow magically collapse under the weight of its bankrupt ideology. People like this don’t “fail.” They have to be stopped. Nazi Germany didn’t fail. It was defeated. And the Islamic State needs to be defeated — something that will not happen without vigorous U.S. leadership.

Over at the Pentagon, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, seemed to understand this. “This is an organization that has an apocalyptic end-of-days strategic vision that will eventually have to be defeated,” Dempsey said last week. “Can they be defeated without addressing that part of the organization that resides in Syria? The answer is no.”

Apparently that was too forward-leaning for the Obama White House. On Sunday, Dempsey suddenly and mysteriously reversed himself, telling CBS News “he still believes the insurgent group is still more a regional threat and is not plotting or planning attacks against either the U.S. or Europe.”

But Dempsey was not alone in his original, candid assessment of the danger posed by the Islamic State. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel went so far as to call the Islamic State “an imminent threat.” Well, if the Islamic State is an “imminent threat” and needs to be “defeated,” what is the holdup in attacking its command, control and communications in Syria? Why isn’t the United States going beyond its current pinprick strikes in Iraq designed to contain the Islamic State, and executing a comprehensive military strategy to defeat the Islamic State?

Read more at Washington Post

Also see:

An American-Led Coalition Can Defeat ISIS

BN-EF900_edp082_G_20140824115055By JACK KEANE And DANIELLE PLETKA:

Two months ago we laid out a plan on these pages to bring Iraq back from the abyss of terrorist domination, turn the tide in the Syria conflict, and crush the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. The need for such a plan is now more urgent as ISIS has since advanced dramatically, the Iraqi army and Kurdish militia initially performed poorly, and the terror group has threatened to kill more Americans as it did James Foley last week.

President Obama has so far ordered some 1,100 troops into Iraq and conducted close to 100 airstrikes. While it is important that the president has recognized the growing threat to U.S. security, these limited tactical measures will neither permanently reverse ISIS gains nor address the maelstrom in the Middle East. A combined political, economic and military strategy is needed, and one element without the others will likely doom the effort.

First, the political challenge: The Islamic State, like its predecessor al Qaeda in Iraq and al Qaeda itself, has its roots in the swamp of Arab political life. Extremists gain purchase because the region’s leaders have delivered so little to the hundreds of millions over whom they rule. The Obama administration appeared to recognize this problem when it demanded the ouster of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who had estranged the nation’s Sunni tribes, leading some to welcome ISIS from Syria.

Regional leaders are aware of these problems and exploit them through proxy wars in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya and the Palestinian territories. This is a recipe for endless conflict, and those leaders should be forced into a dialogue to resolve grievances and develop a regional strategy to defeat ISIS, al Qaeda and their ideological brethren.

Only the United States has the clout to convene such a summit. Only the U.S. can demand real change, and only the U.S can offer security reassurances to turn the political tide in the Middle East.

In particular, the time has come to confront the government of Qatar, which funds and arms ISIS and other Islamist terrorist groups such as Hamas. The tiny Gulf potentate has never had to choose between membership in the civilized world or continuing its sponsorship of regional killers. The U.S. has the most leverage. We have alternatives to our Combined Air and Operations Center in Doha, the al Udeid air base, other bases and prepositioned materiel. We should tell Qatar to end its support for terrorism or we leave.

Second, the economic challenge: ISIS may now be the richest terror group in the world. Through hostage taking, criminality, conquest and outside financial support, ISIS is building a war chest measuring in the hundreds of millions of dollars. It has portfolio managers, bankers and other accouterments of a proto-Treasury.

These facilitators have not come under pressure in the way the West has challenged al Qaeda and Iran’s bankers. The intelligence is available to exert this pressure, but the U.S., Europe and the rest of the world are moving at a glacial pace.

Third, the military component: ISIS is at war and wants to control as much territory as possible. Jordan, Kuwait and Lebanon are in the group’s sights. The Islamic State wants to control oil fields, financial and political centers and create a quasi-state with self-proclaimed emir Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in charge.

Read more at WSJ

Gen. Keane, a retired four-star general and former vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army, is the chairman of the Institute for the Study of War. Ms. Pletka is the senior vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

Destroy the ‘Islamic State’

pic_giant_082514_SM_ISIS-FightersBy John R. Bolton:

The recent military successes of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, and the ongoing disintegration of Iraq’s “central” government have created a strategic crisis for the United States. Barack Obama’s belated, narrow authorization to use military force against the Islamic State does not constitute a coherent response, let alone a comprehensive one. The president seems curiously inactive, even as American influence in the region collapses and, not coincidentally, his political-approval ratings suffer. From the outset of the Islamic State’s campaign, his policies have been haphazard and confused, especially the halting, timid decision to intervene militarily. And, based on his record as president, there is no reason to believe a strategic vision of the Middle East’s future will ultimately emerge from his administration.

Approving U.S. military force against the Islamic State on August 7, Obama stressed two limited goals: protecting U.S. civilian and military personnel in Irbil, the Kurdish capital, which the Islamic State was rapidly nearing; and aiding refugees who had fled as the group advanced into Iraq from Syria. These are legitimate objectives, but they are far too constrained even in humanitarian terms, let alone against the serious regional and global strategic threats the Islamic State poses. The approximately 40,000 Yazidis were clearly in dire straits, but their plight had been preceded months earlier by the even greater number of fleeing Christian families. Obama stood by while the Islamic State butchered its way around Iraq.

Although the initial U.S. air strikes provided the refugees breathing space, the Islamic State still basically has the initiative. Ironically, Obama the multilateralist has not yet followed George H. W. Bush’s roadmap after the first Persian Gulf War in assembling an international coalition to achieve his humanitarian objectives. In April 1991, Kurdish refugees fled Saddam Hussein’s repression, and Bush persuaded the U.N. Security Council to adopt Resolution 688, declaring the refugee flows a threat to international peace and security. He then launched Operation Provide Comfort, later supplemented by aid to the Shiites in southern Iraq.

Today’s ongoing tragedy would have been entirely avoidable had Obama not withdrawn U.S. forces from Iraq in 2011. By so doing, he eliminated a considerable element of U.S. leverage in Baghdad, one that had significantly limited Iran’s ability to expand its influence inside Iraq. With substantial U.S. forces still present, Iraq’s various ethnic and confessional groups were more likely to make progress knitting together a sustainable national government and to lessen their profound, longstanding mistrust, which existed well before the Islamic State erupted from Syria.

We must now decide on U.S. strategic objectives in light of the dramatic, albeit still-tenuous, territorial gains by the Islamic State; the unfolding disarray in Iraq’s government; the grinding conflict in Syria; and the looming threats to stability in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. This will require some unpleasant choices, as well as recognition of the obvious reality that many policy options are simply unavailable until Obama leaves office in 2017.

America’s basic objective is clear: We must seek to destroy the Islamic State. It is simply not enough to block the group’s threat to the Kurds or other vulnerable minorities in the region. The risks of even a relatively small “state” (or “caliphate,” as they proclaim it) are chilling. Leaving the Islamic State in place and in control only of its current turf in Iraq and Syria (including northern-Iraqi hydrocarbon deposits and associated infrastructure) would make it viable economically and a fearsome refuge for terrorists of all sorts. Just as Afghanistan’s Taliban gave al-Qaeda a base of operations to launch terrorist attacks culminating in 9/11, a similar result could follow if the Islamic State successfully erased and then redrew existing boundaries.

Read more at National Review

Reforming the Department of Homeland Surrender

Department+Homeland+Security+Headquarters+TpSfGFx0T7-l-450x293By Michael Cutler:

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created in the wake of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.  Federal agencies understood to play an integral role in protecting the American homeland from terrorist attacks were folded into this bureaucratic leviathan and included, among other federal agencies, the Secret Service, U.S. Customs Service and components of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service).

The title of the agency, “Department of Homeland Security,” certainly created the appearance that the issue of national security was at the heart of the massive reorganization of federal agencies, but it became readily apparent that this was not the case.  In fact, the myriad failures of this agency have caused me to come to refer to the DHS as being the “Department of Homeland Surrender.

As noted on the official DHS website, the budget for the DHS for Fiscal Year 2015 has been set at more than $60 billion.  ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has been provided with more than 5.4 billion dollars, CBP (Customs and Border Protection) has been budgeted for nearly 12.8 billion dollars while USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) has been budgeted to receive more than 3 billion dollars and the TSA (Transportation Safety Administration) will receive more than 7.3 billion dollars.

The Official DHS Website lists it mission as follows:

The Core Missions

There are five homeland security missions:

1. Prevent terrorism and enhancing security;

2. Secure and manage our borders;

3. Enforce and administer our immigration laws;

4. Safeguard and secure cyberspace;

5. Ensure resilience to disasters;

While all sorts of arguments are being made about how secure or insecure our borders truly are, the irrefutable metric about border security has nothing to do with the arrest statistics offered by the administration (which are, at best, highly suspect), but can be found in the fact that our nation finds itself awash with heroin and cocaine.  In point of fact, police departments and other first responder agencies across the United States are providing their members with the antidote to heroin overdoses.  This is an unprecedented measure.

Neither heroin nor cocaine are produced in the United States.  Therefore, every single gram of these substances that are present in the United States provides graphic and incontrovertible evidence of a failure of border security.

How secure can our nation be when our borders are not secure and unknown millions of foreign nationals freely roam the towns and cities of our nation while their very presence in the United States represents a violation of the essential immigration laws that are America’s first line of defense and last line of defense against international terrorists and transnational criminals?

If a company made promises such as those articulated in the DHS mission statement, and did as an abysmal job as the DHS does, it would face all sorts of lawsuits and sanctions — ultimately putting it out of business.  These failures of the DHS are hardly “victimless.”  Every year thousands of people in the United States die because of crimes committed by criminal aliens.  Illegal drugs play a role in most violent crimes committed in the United States — creating still more carnage.

Terror attacks have killed and injured thousands of innocent victims and we have never been more vulnerable to this threat than we are today.

No one has been made accountable for these failures of the immigration system.  The only people who have lost their jobs were those who were slaughtered because of those attacks.

There is an expression that mocks those who fail to act until a tragedy strikes — doing too little, too late.  The expression is, “Closing the barn doors after the horses are stolen.”  This administration, aided an abetted by politicians from both sides of the aisle and those local and state politicians who gloat about creating “Sanctuaries” for illegal aliens are in fact, guilty of taking the barn doors off the hinges after the horses were stolen.

Of course, if, God forbid, there is another terror attack carried out on American soil, these supposed leaders may claim the “insanity defense.”  It has been said that insanity is “Doing the same thing the same way and expecting a different outcome.”

On March 9, 2005 I testified before the Subcommittee on Management, Integration and Oversight of the Committee on Homeland Security on the topic: CBP and ICE: Does the Current Organizational Structure Best Serve U.S. Homeland Security Interests? 

In my prepared testimony I made it clear that in my judgement, the creation of the DHS caused many more problems than it solved.

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