DHS Announces ‘Enhanced Presence’ At All Federal Buildings

dhs (2)Truth Revolt, by  Caleb Howe:

On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a press release announcing heightened security and an “enhanced presence”at all federal buildings in the United States, following the attack at the Parliament building in Canada last week. DHS stressed to employees that this was not in response to any “specific” threat on American federal buildings or employees.

“The reasons for this action are self-evident,” said DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. “The continued public calls by terrorist organizations for attacks on the homeland and elsewhere.”

A DHS official tells the Washington Post that “this is a precautionary step to safeguard U.S. government personnel and facilities, and the visitors to those facilities.” However, Fox News’ Megyn Kelley reported Tuesday evening that sources told Fox News the action was prompted by “increased chatter” that began several weeks ago ahead of the Canadian attack.

The statement from Secretary Johnson reads:

Today I am announcing that I have directed the Federal Protective Service to enhance its presence and security at various U.S. Government buildings in Washington DC and other major cities and locations around the country. The precise actions we are taking and the precise locations at which we will enhance security is law-enforcement sensitive, will vary and shift from location to location, and will be continually re-evaluated.

The Federal Protective Service is responsible for the protection of over 9500 federal facilities owned or leased by the General Services Administration, through which 1.4 million visitors and occupants pass daily.

We are taking this action as a precautionary step, to safeguard U.S. government personnel and facilities, and the visitors to those facilities. The reasons for this action are self-evident: the continued public calls by terrorist organizations for attacks on the homeland and elsewhere, including against law enforcement and other government officials, and the acts of violence targeted at government personnel and installations in Canada and elsewhere recently. Given world events, prudence dictates a heightened vigilance in the protection of U.S. government installations and our personnel.

As we have stated in prior advisories, we urge state and local governments and their law enforcement personnel, along with critical infrastructure owners and operators, to be equally vigilant, particularly in guarding against potential small-scale attacks by a lone offender or a small group of individuals. Likewise, we continually urge the public at large to be vigilant and report any suspicious activities to appropriate authorities.

Also on Fox News, Chief White House correspondent Ed Henry questions the timing of the increased security, pointing out that the threat to Americans from ISIS has been persistent and “immediate” for some time now. The White House downplayed the threat on American soil at several press briefings in the events leading up to American action against ISIS.

One “senior administration official” told Henry that the announcement was made a week before the election in case something were to happen before election day.

Also see:

Obama – The Military and National Security

Video-Obama’s-Military-Purge-Removes-197-Officers-AND-COUNTING-AS-DHS-TAKES-OVER-STREETSBy Paul Vallely – MG US Army (ret),

Chairman – Stand Up America

October 28, 2014

Throughout the 237 years of United State history, we have seen the military forces experience many transformations in its roles/missions, its structure, its procedures, its reputation, its power, technological advancement, and ultimately its application and operation in combat. Initially the Army, Navy and Marines were organized as an armed force of fighters and patriots against the tyranny of England. They banded together to win a revolution and historically became a force for securing the fledgling nation. Over the many decades and centuries, it expanded, evolved, and eventually became the strongest military force on Earth. These changes all reflected the need and threats of the day and the political will of the government and its elected officials. As my friend and colleague, Admiral Ace Lyons, stated, “With the weakest national security team since World War II, it is no wonder that both our foreign and national security policies lack coherence and direction. The Administration’s faculty-lounge logic that, in the 21st century, ‘diplomacy’ will substitute for military solutions to international crisis, overlooks or chooses to ignore a key factor: recognized military power that provides the essential underpinnings to successful diplomacy. It is called Peace through Strength.”

From inception, it has, and by Constitutional mandate will always be, controlled by a civilian, the Commander-in-Chief, the President of the United States. As each of our Presidents has held office, the military took its marching orders based upon the political policies, threats to America, and the foreign policy he adopted. Many paths were chosen and many wars, great and small were waged upon his decisions. This writing is to analyze the relationship of President Obama and HIS Current and Future Relationship and Control of the Military and National Security.

President Obama and his followers have worked very hard by design to weaken US military superiority, consciously and unconsciously to the advantage our global enemies. In an attempt to seize control over national security and bypass Congress, a step by the Obama administration has already come into play. That the United States and Russia both reduce nuclear weapons without a treaty, as a treaty would require ratification by Congress. This would allow Obama and the Executive Branch to unilaterally cut our military capability and nuclear weaponry and ignore the treaty clause of the Constitution. Russia as we know is not a trustworthy partner in any respect other than lessens the influence and power of the US globally. Obama is wrecking the Defense Department, our forces and the US economy and committing national suicide. Yes, let’s just lay down our arms, weaken our military and give up our sovereignty to the United Nations world super state. Peace at any cost!

Intentions and the Agenda

What were Obama’s intentions after taking office toward the military? What impact has he had on the military to date? What will his impact be over the next few years? At this juncture, all these questions and more can only be answered by fact and actions. This places the future security of America in a very precarious position; a certain clear and present danger. To date, with all that is occurring across the globe and at home, his actions have resulted in a long list of failures and it appears our future will only witness further degradation of our credibility, respect, trust and standing in the community of nations. By design, malfeasance, or stark ineptitude, the past is prologue. It is important to point out what Obama and his administration goals are when it comes to the Armed Forces of the United States.

Discussion points outlined in the pamphlet are: Matters of future debate……..

Diplomacy and the use of the military – The definition of the term and its various interpretations are diverse. We examine President Obama’s vision of our foreign policy and his application of diplomacy and all its ramifications including the use of force.

Obama’s 2008 campaign and ideology – What he told America was wrong with our foreign policies, the Bush Administration’s wars, and his stance on the military and America’s place in the community of nations. This includes the ideology of the left, its past stances on Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and The War on Terror.

Obama’s first and second terms – Ending the war in Iraq, campaign promises broken, the escalation of Afghanistan and the Counter-Insurgency (COIN) Strategy, the Arab Spring, Israel, Libya, Syria and the economic structural impact on our military under his watch.

Obama’s Military Evolution – How Obama is dismantling our status in the world through diminishing our strengths, militarily and economically.

Obama’s Future Leadership – Discussion on the issues that face us from Syria to Iran to Russia to China, our Israel relationship, the Muslim Brotherhood, North Korea, ISIS and more. Why would a US president continue to push to give billions of dollars in aid and to supply arms to regimes that have declared that America and its ally Israel are mortal enemies that should be destroyed?  And why would that same president who wants to arm our enemies want to disarm American citizens?

Obama supports and assist the Caliphate goals of the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS, known militant and radical Islamic groups.  He supported the election of Morsi as Egypt’s new president, even when Morsi talked about establishing a new Muslim Caliphate with him as the ultimate head.

Morsi also publicly began an attack on all non-Muslim religions within his country.  His military and police joined in the persecution of Christians who were beaten, raped, robbed and killed.  Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said nothing and did nothing but continue to support Morsi and his radical government. Destiny and understanding the “realities” of Islamic terror brought General El-Sisi and his patriots to the Egyptian people.

Mideast atrocities could curtail Muslim influence in the U.S.

As Admiral Ace Lyons points out in a recent article: (Washington Times)

“America’s inconsistent response to the current Islamic State atrocities indicates that we are failing to understand, or deliberately ignoring, the facts that drive the terrorist organization’s ideology.

Such misunderstanding has been facilitated by the Obama administration’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is now institutionalized in all government agencies, including the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and the White House. This penetration is similar to what the communists were able to accomplish in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s. As a result, our warfighters and law enforcement agencies have been denied critical information on combating the Islamic jihadists we are fighting today.

How did this happen? In one example, 57 Muslim signatories wrote a letter Oct. 19, 2011, to President Obama’s national security adviser for terrorism, John. O. Brennan, now our CIA director, complaining about “bigoted trainers and material” that was being used to describe the threat of Islamic terrorism and the Islamic ideology that the terrorists use to justify their acts.

As a result, all such material and training manuals were “purged” to remove anything that portrayed Islam as a religion of violence. Furthermore, an advisory board that reportedly included Muslim Brotherhood operators was established to review and sanction all revised training material to be used for our military, FBI and other law enforcement agencies down to the local level. This means is that our entire national security community has now been effectively neutralized on understanding the threat of Islam.

The Muslim Brotherhood penetration goes well beyond training materials. Their influence is most likely reflected in the restricted Rules of Engagement under which our military is forced to fight. This has caused the unnecessary loss of life and debilitating injuries for thousands of our military personnel. The Muslim Brotherhood has been so emboldened that it now has the audacity to demand the “brainwashing” of all our previous trainers. Mao and Stalin would be proud.

According to an article by terrorism expert Clare Lopez, on Aug. 14, another letter with 75 signatories was written to Lisa O. Monaco, homeland security counterterrorism adviser to the National Security Council, urged the Obama administration to “implement a mandatory retrainer program” for all federal, state and local law enforcement officers who have previously been “exposed” to anti-Muslim training. Much like the previous letter sent to Mr. Brennan, the signatories represent many of the leading Muslim organizations in the United States, e.g., the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Muslim Alliance in North America. It should be noted that many of those signatories represent organizations that were designated in federal court as unindicted co-conspirators from the 1998 Holy Land Foundation Hamas terrorism-funding trial in Richardson, Texas.

What prompted this latest letter may have been the fear that America might wake up and connect the current Islamic State atrocities to the ideology of Islam. The silence from the so-called moderate Muslim Brotherhood front organizations on these atrocities should tell you everything you need to know. Likewise, all those hundreds of millions of so-called moderate Muslims remain silent.

Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in 1838, noted by Bruce Thornton on Aug. 18, “Jihad, holy war is an obligation for all believers. The state of war is the natural state with regard to infidels. These doctrines of which the practical outcome is obvious are found on every page and in almost every word of the Koran. The violent tendencies of the Koran are so striking that I cannot understand how any man with good sense could miss them.” We must face facts: Islam never was, nor can it be, a religion of peace, regardless of what we are told by our current and past leaders.

Islamic ideology clearly provides the theological justifications stemming from the time of Muhammad through 1,300 hundred years of its history to justify the current jihadist movement and atrocities. Islam has not been hijacked by radicals. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it best: “Islam is Islam.”

There is no question that the current Islamic State movement must be destroyed. Iran’s alleged offer to help get rid of it in Iraq, provided we lift all sanctions, should be totally rejected (if indeed made as reported). Pressure must be maintained on Iran to prevent it from achieving a nuclear-weapons capability. It must never be forgotten that there are no differences among the Islamic State, al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran when it comes to their objective of destroying the United States and Israel.

The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, could not have happened without Iran’s support for al Qaeda.

The Islamic State is the wealthiest terrorist organization in the world (after the Iranian regime), and must be relentlessly pursued in Iraq and Syria until it is effectively destroyed as a symbol of Islam’s resurgence. This will require a sustained air campaign coordinated with our special forces, and hopefully, our allies. We must assume the Islamic State, al Qaeda and others have established sleeper cells in the United States. Accordingly, our readiness posture must be significantly increased. In that context, our military and law enforcement agencies must be retrained so that they can effectively recognize and defeat the threat.

Congress must take the lead and prevent any further drawdown of our strategic and conventional forces. They must also take the lead in purging all Muslim Brotherhood front organizations from our government agencies. Regrettably, based on past performance, we should be under no illusion that this administration will aggressively implement these urgent actions.”

Taking back America

Leadership that compromises national security violates the Constitution

By James A. Lyons - – Wednesday, October 22, 2014, Washington Times

Never in my lifetime did I believe this great nation would be taken down and withdrawn from its world leadership position by its own leadership. While some try to explain away the Obama administration’s damaging policies by making excuses, they fail to face reality. This is a planned agenda.

When then-Sen. Barack Obama announced in 2008 that he was going to fundamentally transform America, few Americans comprehended what that declaration actually meant. However, with his radical background and his leftist mentors and associates, his agenda became very clear early on in his presidency.

With its many scandals, including the Benghazi tragedy, the perverse “progressive” ideology of the Obama administration, combined with its deceitful and manipulative methods, has corrupted normally nonpartisan government agencies. More importantly, it has infected the civilian and military leadership who lead their agencies.

The core of the corruption is an attitude that flaunts the Constitution and takes the position that the president can do anything he wants with a pen and a phone that promotes an agenda, regardless of its impact on the country’s national security.

We used to have giants in Congress such as John Stennis, Richard Russell, Tip O’Neill, et al., who were Americans first and party members second when it came to matters affecting our national security. Regretfully, other than a few in the minority, that doesn’t exist today.

Clearly, trust in our government institutions has been eroded. Furthermore, the Obama administration’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, with its penetration of essentially all our government agencies, including the Department of Defense, has had an adverse impact on our policies, particularly with regard to the Middle East and the global war on terrorism. As we have seen, the administration switched sides in that war in Libya by financing, training and arming Islamic jihadist militias who were under the political control of the Muslim Brotherhood. It was these same militias that carried out the terrorist attacks on the U.S. compound in Benghazi. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s failure to provide adequate security prior to the attack even though there was advanced warning, according to five CIA security contractors at the Benghazi annex, as well as the administration’s failure to respond militarily, was a dereliction of duty.

The financial crisis of 2007-08 subsequently presented the Obama administration with a “perfect storm” to implement its planned agenda, which was based on the perverse ideology that American power has caused much of the world’s problems. The financial crisis could not have happened without outside forces in play, according to financial analyst Kevin D. Freeman, who wrote a 2009 report for the Defense Department. He stated that domestic economic factors would have caused a “normal downturn,” but not the “near collapse” of the global economic system. Fifty trillion dollars evaporated. According to Mr. Freeman, the most likely outside, hostile nations included China, Russia and Islamic financial powers, e.g., Dubai, which deliberately conducted “financial terrorism” against the U.S. economy. If true, then this is clearly irregular warfare and needs to be further investigated.

Nonetheless, it was the catalyst for the implementation of “sequestration.” It provided the vehicle for the unilateral disarmament of our military forces.

With the United States being challenged throughout the world, our reduced military forces are severely stretched in meeting all their requirements. However, we still retain the capability to mount a massive, around-the-clock air campaign to defeat the Islamic State. The few strikes per day we are conducting in Iraq and Syria, with restricted rules of engagement, do not constitute a serious air campaign.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff know that what we are doing today in Iraq and Syria to defeat the Islamic State is wrong. By their acquiescence to the administration’s half-hearted war policies, they cannot escape being held accountable for the genocide the Islamic State will inflict on the Syrian inhabitants of Kobani, the Kurds and other minorities.

In a similar context, sending 4,000 military personnel to Ebola-infected countries makes no sense. It is symptomatic of an administration that views our military as expendable. This is not a military mission. Clearly, a comprehensive strategy needs to be developed that involves the United Nations, the World Health Organization and nongovernmental organizations throughout the world to contain this deadly virus. Common sense demands that the infected countries must be quarantined. All commercial flights in and out of these countries must be immediately terminated. Chartered and other government aircraft can provide needed supplies, equipment and personnel.

When our military forces return from those infected countries, they will have to be held in quarantine before they can return to their home bases. The Enterovirus D68 that is showing up in schools is the result of letting 75,000 unscreened children with various diseases cross our borders, and then relocating them throughout the country. This is unconscionable. Our southern borders must be closed now.

The real question is, how do you change the disastrous Obama administration policies that affect our national security? Obviously, the ballot box is one way, but the one institution that has the power to send an unmistakable signal that will be heard throughout the country is the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It is time for them to live up to their oath of office — “to defend this country against all enemies foreign and domestic.” The Obama administration has clearly violated the Constitution and must be held accountable. Since we no longer can count on Congress, the Joint Chiefs as a corporate body should voice their objections to administration policies that are threatening America’s security and that of our allies. It’s time to take back America.

Diplomacy and the Use of the military

Before expounding on Obama and the military, it is essential to understand the relationship and debate that has existed over the centuries between diplomacy and the use of military force. Crucial changes in American society, the defense of freedom and victory over her enemies all originate with the military. Using the military wisely implies that the military enters a war with the intent to win the war. Within the diplomatic sphere, war is diplomacy with arms, and in this phase war should be viewed as diplomacy at its worst, after all other options have been explored.

Politicians from various spectrums differ in the way they use diplomacy to achieve political and diplomatic goals. The use of military may be used used at the end of a failed or failing diplomatic process when an enemy threat still exists; called pre-emption. History demonstrates and statesmen have confirmed that war ensues when diplomacy fails. Many conservative leaning thinkers view the military within diplomacy, whereas many leaning toward the left (Statists) have detached the military from the diplomatic process. Under the Obama Administration the military has not been appropriately used to improve diplomatic relations, largely because the military is not viewed as a mechanism to achieve diplomatic success.

The endgame to war is Victory but is hardly in the vocabulary of the current senior leadership in America. Military leaders have been directed not to even use the word Victory in their dialogue with the press and others. But the definition of victory and the path getting there are transformed when political ambitions are revealed. For instance, while the Bush Administration has called the post-9/11 wars the “War on Terror” the Obama Administration changed the name to “Overseas Contingency Operations”. The former created a paradigm shift whereby the United States was fighting an ideology, terror, rather than a nation-state. Retreat is now known as withdrawal or “drawdown” and victory is now known as “nation building” or “transition.”

However, the change in semantics by the Obama Administration creates an interesting modification that has proceeded unnoticed by the public. War inevitably implies boots on the ground, the involvement of ranking officers and geo-strategic decision making from the Department of Defense. The Obama Administration has “mixed” the roles of war within diplomacy with more agencies: the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Department of Defense (White House, 2012). The Obama Administration is making the State Department and the overarching bureaucratic influence more relevant and the U.S. military less relevant in the process of diplomacy.

In Iraq, where increasing violence by ISIS/ISIL and clandestine high-level takeovers and assassinations by Iranian groups have occurred over the past year, the Obama Administration further states that, “In Iraq, these temporary operations and assistance programs are necessary to sustain a civilian-led mission; strengthen the capacity of the Iraqi government through police training, criminal justice programs, and military assistance; and ensure the [State] Department and USAID have the necessary resources to support and secure the diplomatic mission”. President Obama may think that he is cleverly shaping a new form of diplomacy, but what he is really doing is undermining and even breaking the military role that can be leveraged to strengthen diplomatic aims and ensure an American victory.

Conservatives envision the military as a crucial component of diplomacy, an important union. President Obama and other Statists on the other hand, view the military as a hindrance to diplomacy. Changing diplomacy therefore, is being carried out a number of ways by the Obama Administration: diminishing the military role and leadership in diplomacy; manipulating the rules of engagement; and making the U.S. military irrelevant elsewhere.

Admittedly, the use of the military pre-Obama has not been perfect. In fact, numerous miscalculations in strategy committed by the White House can be found from President Kennedy onward. From Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, Commanders-in-Chief have neglected or abused the diplomatic role of the military. Kennedy started the Vietnam War with Advisors, Johnson deepened the commitment in Vietnam and Nixon ended it and no clear endgame or achieving Victory with near 58,000 American lives lost in battle. Carter failed in properly managing the US economy and was paralyzed when it came to using the military as a powerful diplomatic tool; caving in to Iranian revolutionary Islamic fanatics.

The last major diplomatic victory was the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the “Wall” coming down due to Reagan’s leadership and vision. If one error could be highlighted it would be in 1983 when over 200 US Marines and over 50 French soldiers were unwisely billeted in a building at the Beirut airport (not a good role for Marines) killed in Beirut, Lebanon. The Muslim terrorists were emboldened and America and her allies have paid dearly in the Middle East ever since. The failures have continued, H.W. Bush was about three days from toppling Iraq’s Hussein in 1991 and why didn’t he order the military to proceed anyway? Because, we subjugated our nation to the United Nations.

Clinton, who needed to learn the military salute properly after he became President, began on a foundation of incoherent foreign policy with the Bosnian War, Black Hawk Down, the 1993 bombing of New York’s World Trade Center, and two US embassies in Africa bombed, weaved with scandalous behavior in the Oval Office, and had no clear military success.

Problems existed under George W. Bush as well. Although the Bush Administration cited WMD (weapons of mass destruction) as part of the justification to invade Iraq, Bush and the Pentagon ignored the fact that chemical weapons were transferred from Iraq to Syria in 2003. This has worsened problems in Syria even today. Col. Cowan (Ret.) recalls that, “The way we fought the war in Iraq at the outset was tragic and outrageous because the Pentagon and the military leadership did not understand what they were dealing with. They purposely ignored the lessons of Vietnam”.

Toward the end of the Bush Administration the COIN (counterinsurgency) strategy in Iraq was a fresh idea, and perpetuated by Obama in Afghanistan. However the overall effects of COIN are devastating and have rewarded our enemies. Undoubtedly there has been an accumulation and compounding of the disharmony of the military within diplomacy over the past 52 years, however Obama has accelerated the division by downsizing, degrading and demoralizing the U.S. military.

Obama’s campaign and ideology: Diminishing the U.S. Military

America’s legacy as one of the oldest existing democracies on earth can only be preserved so long as: 1) a majority of U.S. citizens are actively involved in a genuinely representative government; 2) a growing economy persists; and 3) a strong military is maintained to protect the former. This simple triad of democracy becomes predictably fragile when the three are not in balance. The budget deficit and a stagnant economy threaten to destabilize this equilibrium, declining public involvement in governmental affairs has weakened a once strong citizenry, and unpredictable leadership for the U.S. military questions our security.

Part of Obama’s political plan to “change America” as he himself has stated, is to downsize the U.S. military. While one can argue that long-standing trends have eroded our military, very little has been done to stem the decline. Indeed, some argue that Obama has exacerbated problems related to military missions abroad, and our foreign policy positions.

Obama’s first term

Obama’s first year in office did not instill much confidence among military strategists or foreign-policy makers in Washington, DC. Obama revealed his flawed leadership amidst two major events in 2009, the emergence of the Green Revolution in Iran and the abandonment of the missile shield project in Poland and the Czech Republic.

In mid-June of 2009 the test of Obama’s leadership would reveal his feeble responses, and lack of decisiveness on Iran, as Obama said,

“As odious as I consider some of President Ahmadinejad’s statements, as deep as the differences that exist between the United States and Iran on a range of core issues…We will continue to pursue a tough, direct dialogue between our two countries, and we’ll see where it takes us. But even as we do so, I think it would be wrong for me to be silent about what we’ve seen on the television over the last few days.  And what I would say to those people who put so much hope and energy and optimism into the political process, I would say to them that the world is watching and inspired by their participation, regardless of what the ultimate outcome of the election was. And they should know that the world is watching”.

This is a response that would have been appropriate in the Western world, but Obama, throughout the past four years, has neglected to properly assess Iran and other threats in the Middle East because he doesn’t fully comprehend the way America’s enemies think. Since the U.S. officially withdrew in December 2011, “assassinations by Iranians have been quietly conducted, killing Iraqis who worked with or supported the United States. Selective assassinations of individuals [were conducted against those who] wereclose to the U.S. [forces]. Even before the U.S. pulled out, retired and former Iraqis officers and pilots who had participated in the Iran/Iraq war were being assassinated” (Cowan, 2012).

The Obama Administration’s shortsighted decision to remove the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic on September 17, 2009 fueled uncertainty in U.S. foreign policy and was ill-timed. First, the Obama Administration abandoned the project without discussing the issue with or informing their Polish or Czech Republic counterparts. Secondly, the Obama Administration did not use the decision to leverage other issues with Russia, an obvious sign of weakness in foreign policy. Thirdly and worst of all, the Obama Administration chose the most undesirable date to make the public announcement when ending American support for a missile shield: on the 70th anniversary of the Russian invasion of Poland. Culturally speaking, anniversaries are incredibly symbolic to the Polish people and the brazen announcement by the Obama Administration was not well received by the people of Eastern Europe. “The project is of puny importance militarily, but of enormous significance symbolically…the former captive nations the Shield signifies the US commitment to maintaining their freedom”. The Obama Administration unraveled nearly three decades of trust and hard work that was carefully built between America and Eastern Europe.

Obama’s Cairo speech in 2009 needs to be front and center and is a reflection of the ignorance of his advisors, speech writers and thinking of the Muslim world. Obama gave an inspiring speech to the people in Egypt; however Obama’s speechwriters are incredibly detached from Obama’s actions in the foreign policy sphere. Giving a speech emphasizing acceptance, peace and harmony between America and the Muslim world is one matter, however following through with genuine action is another.

U.S. MILITARY RULES OF ENGAGEMENT AND PRESIDENT OBAMA

The Obama policy makers in the White House and Pentagon have degraded the fighting capabilities of our forces with restrictive Rules of Engagement (ROE). In fairness, Bush initiated very restrictive ROEs.

Instead of being afraid of U.S. firepower, the enemy uses our own Rules of Engagement and restrictions on artillery support against us:

”—U.S. Marine officer quoted in Defense magazine, August, 2012 – Rules of engagement a key issue in U.S. Marine’s court-martial”—L.A. Times, January 2012. “

We called for artillery support and were told we were too close to a village. They ignored us.” A lot of men were dying”— stated Sgt Dakota Meyer, Medal of Honor recipient and veteran of battle of Gangjal.

In today’s world conflicts, the U.S. military operates under guidelines governing their use of deadly force. These guidelines are officially known as Rules of Engagement (ROE). Some countries consider their official ROE as guidelines only, but the U.S. military considers ROE as lawful orders to be strictly obeyed.

Historically, ROE were articulated to limit the damage done by troops of warring nations while accomplishing a military objective. The International Institute of Humanitarian Law publishes what is known as the San Remo Guidelines of ROE. Many countries have used the San Remo document as a basis for their ROE. NATO also publishes ROE to be used by member nations, but has no power to enforce their implementation.

What are the current basics of the ROE our forces operate under? And why do our serving soldiers say they are confusing, ambiguous, and causing unnecessary casualties?

Here is a narrative given by soldiers in an Army platoon discussing ROE with a combat correspondent “In country (Afghanistan) they gave us Use of Force Escalation kits. They are designed to keep people away from us in a non-lethal manner. The kits had “KEEP BACK” signs we could put on the back of our trucks, and small flares we could fire for warnings. Those were taken away and now we are told to drive in a normal manner. If cars back up behind us, we are supposed to pull over and let them pass. This takes our buffer, our zone of safety away. They pull up right beside us and detonate car bombs, or fire on us. It takes away our reaction time.”

It may seem incredible that our ROE have gotten to this point. Perhaps its best expressed by a young soldier in that same platoon: “Joe Biden flew over Kunar province and said it sure looked safe down there. Meanwhile, a hell of a firefight was raging on the ground”.

Maybe our civilian leaders are out of touch with the realities of ground combat. A basic tenet of ROE is that a soldier always has the “first right of defense”, meaning he may fire if fired upon, or, he may engage the enemy first, so long as he perceives a clear and present danger. Well, it used to be that way. Before President Obama took office, U.S. forces could open fire upon enemy combatants who were clearly and definitely observed planting IED’s in roadways. Now, they may have to ask permission through three levels of commanders.

“They are confusing the young soldiers”, complained a veteran NCO, “An IED is incredibly more dangerous in the hands of an enemy than a rifle, yet they have to get permission to engage the fighters”.

Welcome to the new world of infantry combat under Obama.

In World War II, the first thing a U.S. combat unit would do upon entering a town held by the German army was to clear civilians out of churches, and then blow the steeple towers down. Why? Bitter experience taught them that church steeples contained snipers and artillery observers.

Try doing the same today with a mosque. We have devolved in a bad way. There comes a time in infantry combat where a condition sets itself over the scene. It’s called the “fog of war”; a term first used by Clausewitz, a Prussian military general. He wrote that in war everything is simple. You have an army here and an army over there; at some point they will collide and a battle will ensue. But in the confusion of battle, Clausewitz wrote, accomplishing even the simplest tasks becomes incredibly hard. Clausewitz coined this theory around 1830. It’s still valid today. Radios fail, aircraft engines malfunction, units get lost, weapons systems jam. It’s all part of battle. Difficult ROE makes the battle that much harder.

WWII generals such as George Patton and Omar Bradley knew the advantage in seizing ground swiftly and with violence. They ordered their subordinates to overwhelm the enemy with violence of action and maximum force in order to gain ground and shorten the war. The ROE they operated under were clearly defined, and they passed those ROE down to their troops. Patton and Bradley had no intention of placing unnecessary danger or risk on their troops.

WW2 American generals had no intention of allowing the enemy to gain a tactical or strategic advantage and in any event, were not hampered by “Out of Touch” ROE. In every war in history, atrocities have been committed on both sides. A general cannot control the actions of every one of his soldiers on the battlefield. It is a regrettable, but factual, part of war.

In December of 1944, German SS general Jocheim Peiper was rushing to gain ground in the Ardennes forest and overrun American positions. Near the town of Malmedy, Belgium, he took custody of approximately 85 American soldiers who surrendered. According to his account, he didn’t have the means or the time to care for them, so he had them shot.

In retaliation, American soldiers methodically shot captured members of Peiper’s command. An American Colonel issued an order that stated, “No SS troops will be taken prisoner”. Both acts are inexcusable, and both armies attempted to justify their acts under the pressure of combat.

Here is the bottom line: American soldiers should be able to defend themselves in any situation, in any environment, if there is a clear and hostile threat. An American soldier takes an oath to protect and defend the United States and the constitution against all enemies. An American soldier is also bound by the rules of land warfare to provide all the protection he can to non-combatants and children, and to minimize, where possible, collateral damage that may occur. This includes private property and property of no military value.

However, if your enemy is using a mosque to employ snipers against you, or planting IED’s in public buildings, the U.S. military should employ all means necessary to neutralize that threat.

It is regrettable that in Iraq and Afghanistan, our enemies choose a cowardly way of fighting a war; i.e. hiding in a mosque so that they can then kill our soldiers, or deliberately using non-combatants as human shields. As horrible as those circumstances are, however, Americans should always have the right to defend themselves.

There are several stories about wanton killings and atrocities against civilians committed by American troops deployed in combat zones. But the total number of those incidents is outweighed not by the hundreds, but by the thousands, in terms of how U.S. troops have taken casualties, rather than risk collateral damage to non-combatants.

Appeasement

“With a few exceptions on minor issues, Obama and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have preached and practiced appeasement toward Moscow. One example is the signing of the START II treaty of 2011, which put America’s security at a disadvantage by forcing the US to obey by an agreement concluded with a party that no longer exists, the USSR. We are forced to disarm unilaterally. And now the Shield project will be scratched. President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.

President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

President Obama: (putting his hand on Medvedev’s knee): This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

In a way, then, the unguarded remarks of Obama reflect the administration’s consistency and continuity in its policy of appeasing Russia. What’s unsavory about the whole affair is that a hot microphone accorded America and the world a glimpse at frank, back door deals between the most powerful leader on Earth and the boss of a regional power” ” Chodakiewicz, 2012: pp 1

Objectifying the Military

Obama has objectified the military personnel in ways that divide rather than unite. The overall morale of the military after poorly managed, drawn out wars in Afghanistan and Iraq was already unstable by 2009 when Obama became Commander-in-Chief. Obama has done little to boost the morale in the military and has offered no realistic solutions to strengthen our military. In fact, the evidence discloses that Obama has set our military on a course of unpredictable erosion and decay through acts that have demoralized our military.

A number of misplaced priorities between the White House and the Pentagon have distracted our military from a core mission. “We’ve allowed ourselves to get out of control,” according to the Army’s top enlisted soldier who has surveyed U.S. military bases globally, Sgt. Maj. Raymond F Chandler III. While his aim has been to improve discipline and focus among the armed forces, Sgt. Maj. Chandler’s own leadership has been uncertain. Jaffe emphasizes “As the war in Afghanistan draws to a close, more senior officers worry that the Army has not been able to articulate a clear mission that will enable it to hold on to its shrinking share of the Pentagon budget” (2012: pp. 2). An internal survey conducted in December 2011 indicates that Obama has not had an uplifting influence on the personnel and morale of the military, “only 26 percent of Army leaders believed that the Army was ‘headed in the right direction to prepare for the challenges of the next 10 years,’ down from 38 percent in 2006”.

What could cause such a decline in the confidence of the military officers for its Commander-in-Chief? Firstly, the priorities of the code of conduct have changed. Today’s Generals are occupied with covering up incidents so that it does not affect their career to be concerned the greater need of boldly leading their soldiers. Remember the SEALS who were going to be court-martialed after they brought in a confirmed Taliban prisoner with a bloody nose? That guy fought back and they had to subdue him. How about the death of Pat Tillman? Both were tragedies, but what the Generals should do is SPEAK UP and tells it like it is.

Obama is socializing the Military.

The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has taken precedence over the sexual harassment (and even rape) of men and women in the military. With all the associated problems of being involved in two wars, Obama’s top agenda with the military was to cater to homosexuals. The military should not be coerced into being a place for social experimentation. The irony of serving as a soldier is that he or she necessarily gives up a lot of basic rights for the common good of the mission to protect the rights of U.S. citizens and the nation. There are a whole host of problems inherent in Obama’s repeal such as: Do we allow on-base housing for “married same-sex couples”? Do we allow PDA’s (public displays of affection) between gay military members when it has always been discouraged among heterosexual members if it is detrimental to good order and discipline? Do we allow same-sex dancing in on-base clubs? Do we allow a gay soldier to file a complaint against his/her commanding officer alleging maltreatment because of sexual orientation when in reality it is actually a case of substandard performance by the gay soldier? The military will under Obama, and it will distort the oneness and equality needed for military commanders. Overall the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has had a tremendous negative effect on the military. No special group should be catered to within the military, whether it is based on gender, sexual orientation, or race. “The military to Obama is a big social experiment and he has demonstrated that in his policies”

The increasing numbers of wounded warriors, including PTSD, and suicides under Obama is also disconcerting. 2012 marked the record number of suicides over the past decade among soldiers and family members, most who have never been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, according to the Military Suicide Research Consortium. The feeling of hopelessness, internal pain, inability to cope with life’s challenges can be attributed to the lack of inspiring leadership in the military.

The lack of concern for the soldier’s political vote, sending the ballots early in October to reach the polls before 6 November 2012, even conveniently losing the ballots, was another act of disrespect by the Obama Administration and their policies.

Obama is committed to slashing the military budget and would rather send needed troops home than dismiss an over-bloated bureaucracy to make a leaner Pentagon. According to LTC Bill Cowan (Ret, USMC.),

“The number of reports generated every month by the Pentagon is staggering. There is a growing government affinity for generating regulations and reports, which sends a message that wars don’t grow, but the Pentagon bureaucracy does. If you cut one-quarter of the staff in the Pentagon we will not lose our war fighting capability. In fact, we may even get better!” (2012).

Nation Building

This misconceived war fighting strategy has cost the U.S. valuable human and financial resources (billions of dollars) with no victories for the American people. How can we expect Muslim (Sharia guided) countries of the Middle East to adopt democracy and is certainly not a mission of the Armed Forces. Do not confuse the terms “nation building” with “foreign internal defense” (FID). FID means organizing a resistance movement by training indigenous personnel to combat and overthrow a murderous regime that supports terrorist attacks on the U.S. The terms are quite different. “Nation Building” is more properly the purview of the U.N., private sector initiatives, NGOs, the Red Cross or some interim governing body. Our military objective should be to get in, eliminate the threat posed by belligerents to the U.S. and get out. This is also a basic tenet of the Lilly Pad strategy. We do not need to build huge bases in foreign countries that publicly ask us for help and undermine the US and its mission. Earlier, I mentioned Forward Operating Bases. The best current example I can give is the Australian army in Afghanistan. Their soldiers live in “battle boxes” (conexes) with small generators for light and a/c. Their perimeters are well guarded and enclosed by concertina wire and claymore mines to repel attacks. Their ammo bunkers are battle boxes partially submerged in the ground and protected by sandbagging. An entire base like this can be set up in a day and a half, and removed and placed elsewhere in about the same time.]

The COIN strategy as discussed previously was implemented in Vietnam and Iraq however it was expanded by Obama in Afghanistan.

Col. Douglas MacGregor (US Army Ret), Military Strategist and Author writes:

“When the Surge in Iraq began, no one in Washington was interested in explaining why the world’s most powerful military establishment led by Petraeus was buying off its Sunni Arab opponents with hundreds of millions of dollars, effectively supplanting counterinsurgency with cash-based cooptation.[iv]  When the Surge in Iraq ended, no one in Washington wanted to discuss why Tehran’s Shiite allies in Baghdad restrained their fighters, and waited until the U.S. occupation ended before consolidating their control of Arab Iraq. In 2009, an Iraqi journalist described the outcome in terms no serious observer of the conflict could ignore:

‘Observers not steeped in Iraqi history might be bemused to find that six years after the toppling of a dictator, after the death of several hundred thousand Iraqis, a brutal insurgency, trillions of wasted dollars and more than 4,000 dead US soldiers, the country is being rebuilt along very familiar lines: concentration of power, shadowy intelligence services and corruption’” (2012).

Feedback that I have received from many mid-level officers and non-commissioned officers voice many and varied new doubts about the Army’s battlefield performances and senior leadership in Iraq and Afghanistan. A few years ago, Army officers almost universally celebrated the service’s freshly minted counterinsurgency doctrine and its ability to adapt to a new kind of warfare. Soldiers who were trained to fight tank battles shifted to a style of combat that emphasized politics, cultural awareness and protecting the local population from insurgent attacks.

Today Iraq, which is still wracked by violence and heavily influenced by Iran and ISIS forces has provided no victory for America and we do expect victory when we expend great losses of life and thousands of wounded troops. In Afghanistan, a surge of more than 30,000 U.S. troops has produced a stalemate that leaves soldiers counting down to withdrawal at the end of 2014.

Donovan summarizes his view of the illusions of Obama’s COIN strategy success here:

“In the interests of such political correctness, relevant terms like Islam, Islamist, Muslim, and even terrorist have been stricken from the public vocabulary with JCS help. Witness the recent Benghazi fiasco! The debate is not over mayhem or atrocity committed in God’s name. National politicians and the military brass are arguing whether or not to use the word “terrorist” in their reports dealing with Muslim barbarities.” (2012, p. 1)

And consider the ‘inside baseball’ spat over doctrine to be used against the nameless enemy; the counter-terror versus counter-insurgency (COIN) debate within the military. Petraeus apologists believe that the former ISAF commander reinvented the US Army with new doctrine; and then rode the COIN horse to promotions and prominence.

In truth, COIN played little or no role in Iraq or Afghanistan for two reasons; the force ratios required by Army doctrine, impractical theory, were never achieved. And both conflicts, like most Muslim wars, are civil, not insurgent. These internecine Islamic fights are between Sunni and Shia or between autocrats and theocrats. Neither NATO nor the US Army has the charter or doctrine to resolve these or any other religious or tribal civil wars. Evolution might be the only solution to any Muslim pathology.

COIN had nothing to do with tactical “success” in Iraq or Afghanistan either, but such distractions may contribute to strategic defeat. Theoretical illusions, even those nursed in the halls of ivy, are blinders. Theory, or more honestly, politicized military doctrine does not win wars…

While the U.S. still has the best war fighting force in the world, Generals have become more concerned with political correctness than they are with war fighting capability and future strategies against current and future threats( our borders, for example). This is in contrast to the soldiers focusing on the mission. However there has been an inflation of military Generals as LTC Bill Cowan recalls. During WWII our military had one General for about every 2,000 enlisted men and women, today we have one General for about every 400 enlisted men and women. Do these extra Generals enhance or augment our war fighting capability?

Obama has thus far not improved the U.S. military after President George W. Bush and Obama has no successes to claim. To be fair, as mentioned previously the military has been eroding at various levels over the generations, however the Obama Administration has served as more of a catalyst to the erosion rather than a stabilizer. Reminiscent of the World War I song, “Over There,” by World War II the U.S. military was labeled by the Europeans as being “Over-paid, Over-sexed, and Over Here” Today it could be argued that the U.S. military is over-regulated, over-promoted, and over-stretched.

Benghazi was a blatant failure by Obama and most of the military leadership. For the 2012 election, it is highly suspected that Obama personally requested that the Royal Family in Saudi Arabia increase oil production to ease the complaints about gas prices among voters before the election. If true, this demonstrates that Obama is willing to manipulate the economy solely for his selfish gain. Therefore would it be any surprise that Obama would be willing to negatively influence the US military, if he is willing to maneuver the prices of gasoline at the pump to deceive the voter?

Now obvious that the Muslim Brotherhood has support in the White House.

Obama’s Military Evolution

The continued corruption of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been perpetuated by Obama. Obama Administration has no successes to claim.

Promises to exit Iraq and Afghanistan without a stable and effective plan have left both countries more vulnerable than ever. Obama’s failures to negotiate a proper status of forces agreement (SOFA) in Iraq

Our foreign policy is about other people liking us instead of other people fearing us. For instance, over the past decade, the US has been more concerned about a friendly relationship with Karsai than with leading Afghanistan out of corruption and war. How the US handles Karsai has steered our foreign policy platform and it has killed more troops under Obama.

Obama’s Future Leadership

Obama creates urgency at the last minute. Obama’s strategy is to push the pressure point. Obama’s projected budget cuts for the military are expected to be politically charged, with little effectiveness largely because Obama does not want to understand the tradition of the U.S. military. While recognizing that the U.S. still has the most powerful military in the world, Colonel Bill Cowan (ret.) asks, “if we don’t have a Commander-in-Chief that understands this and is not willing to exercise force at the right time, then why have the most powerful military in the world?” Cowan also confesses, “We have political leadership that is more interested in their next promotion than they are taking care of the military…Don’t ask the generals for their opinion on defense cuts, they have a vested interest and will not address the spending problem properly. It’s best to ask Sergeant Majors on a panel, ‘where cuts should be made?’”

Some might argue that Colin Powell became too politicized. However, one could argue it began with General Washington after the Revolution, General Grant after the Civil War, and General Eisenhower after World War II. However today, in order for a flag or command staff person to get a promotion, it must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. So over the past few generations of high-ranking military, the military has had to please the Democrats. Donovan quoted a veteran who asked regarding General Petraeus, “How does an officer with no personal experience of direct fire combat in Panama or Desert Storm become a division CDR (101st Airborne) in 2003…(and how does) a man who served repeatedly as a sycophantic aide-de-camp, military assistant and executive officer to four stars get so far?” Politics inevitably skews the military leadership; the question is, for better or worse? What is the motive when our Generals take a promotion from General to the State Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff or the Head of the CIA?

Now that Obama is, for better or worse, our Commander-in-Chief for another four years, it is imperative that our General officers SPEAK UP, for the sake of our troops and the American people. We do NOT advocate a “coup d’état” against the principle that wisely keeps civilian control over our military; but what we SHOULD espouse is that our active General officers use every means and opportunity to address the threats that the U.S. now faces.

Reviewing the details, the disappointing relationship between Obama and the military is very real and apparent. President Barack Obama signed a $633 billion defense bill for 2013 despite serious concerns about the limits Congress imposed on his handling of terror suspects and lawmakers’ unwillingness to back the cost-saving retirement of aging ships and aircraft.

Obama had threatened to veto the measure because of a number of concerns, but relented because he couldn’t pick and choose specific sections. However, in a statement, the president spelled out his concerns about restrictions on his ability to carry out his constitutional duties as commander in chief. Specifically, he complained that the bill limits the military’s authority to transfer third-country nationals being held at a detention facility in Parwan, Afghanistan. He also took issue with restrictions on his authority to transfer terror suspects from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“Decisions regarding the disposition of detainees captured on foreign battlefields have traditionally been based upon the judgment of experienced military commanders and national security professionals without unwarranted interference by members of Congress,” Obama wrote.

He said the section of the bill related to detainees in Afghanistan “threatens to upend that tradition, and could interfere with my ability as commander in chief to make time-sensitive determinations about the appropriate disposition of detainees in an active area of hostilities.”

Obama promised when he took office four years ago to close the prison at Guantanamo, but congressional opposition from Republicans and some Democrats have prevented him from fulfilling that vow. The law limits his authority to transfer terror suspects to foreign countries or move them to the United States. Obama insisted that he still believes that Guantanamo should be shuttered because operating the facility “weakens our national security by wasting resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and strengthening our enemies.”

The president has his administration will interpret the bill’s provisions and if they violate the constitutional separation of power, he will implement them in a way to avoid that conflict.

The law puts off the retirement of some ships and aircraft, and Obama warned that the move could force reductions in the overall size of the military as the Defense Department faces cuts in projected spending. The law includes cuts in defense spending that the president and congressional Republicans agreed to in August 2011, along with the end of the war in Iraq and the drawdown of American forces in Afghanistan. And it would authorize $528 billion for the Defense Department’s base budget, $17 billion for defense and nuclear programs in the Energy Department and $88.5 billion for the war in Afghanistan.

The measure tightens penalties on Iran to thwart its nuclear ambitions and bulk up security at diplomatic missions worldwide after the deadly Sept. 11 raid in Libya.

As suicides among active-duty soldiers have accelerated, the bill also allows a commander officer or health professional to ask if a member of the services owns a firearm if they consider the individual at risk for either suicide or hurting others.

The bill includes a Senate-passed provision sponsored by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., that expands health insurance coverage for military women and their dependents who decide to have abortions in cases of rape and incest. Previously, health coverage applied only to abortions in cases where the life of the mother was endangered. The measure includes a 1.7 percent pay raise for military personnel.

Conclusions: Conflict within the executive branch and the military will continue to cause misdirection and confusion on future US National Security and adaptable global conflict strategies. We must have more sense and wisdom about engagement and conflicts in this year 2013 and beyond. We do not seem to look back in history well and have major problems in seeing and forecasting the future. We seem to be a nation that is rudderless. We, the people, are the “Masters of our Fate and Captains of our Soul and Destiny”.

The Nature of change – War and conflict will remain a human endeavor, a conflict between two forces, yet changes in the political landscape, adaptations by the enemy, and advances in technology and techniques will change the character of the battle. Leaders are often late to recognize such changes and adjust to the proper uses of hard and soft power options, and even when they do, inertia tends to limit their ability to adapt quickly. Driven by an inherent desire to bring order to a disorderly, chaotic universe, human beings tend to frame their thoughts about the future in terms of continuities and extrapolations from the present and occasionally the past. But a brief look at the past quarter century, to say nothing of the past four thousand years, suggests the extent of changes that coming decades will bring.

Any updated US strategic doctrine will still have to include preemption across many fronts. Inevitably, there will be new perils that may require “anticipatory self-defense.” Where rationality cannot be assumed, and where the effectiveness of missile defense would be low, the only alternative to capable and lawful forms of American preemption could be surrender and defeat.

All policy makers need to ask and answer to the American people, “What is the US and Western civilization fighting for?” “What is it that we are defending and protecting based on our Constitution?” Well, it’s everything that shariah Islam stands against: Judeo-Christian principles, individual liberty, equality before the law, equality of Muslim and non-Muslim, men and women; it is the freedom to believe as our conscience directs us, even if that means no belief at all, or changing beliefs; it means protections for minorities; pluralism, and tolerance….but all within the ethical framework of human reason as laid down by the Founding Fathers.

We hope President Obama will take heed and strengthen the United States for the future by his relationship with our Military and ensure the future security of the United States.

Paul E Vallely MG, US Army (Ret)
Chairman – Stand Up America
E-Mail: princenemo@reagan.com
“ Celtic Warrior”
Skype: paulvallely
http://www.standupamericaus.org
http://www.soldiersmemorialfund.org

Sources:

Cowan, William. (2012) Interview on December 4, 2012.
Chodakiewicz, Marek. (2012) “Hot Mike Gate.” Institute of World Politics. March 28, 2012http://www.iwp.edu/news_publications/detail/hot-mike-gate
Dilanian, Ken. (2012) “Fact check: Iran’s ‘Green Revolution’ in 2009.” Los Angeles Times October 22, 2012.
Donnelly, John M. “Rise of Military Suicides Driven By More Than War.” Roll Call December 9. 2012https://msrc.fsu.edu/news/rise-military-suicides-driven-more-war
Jaffe, Greg. (2012) “Army at crossroads: Facing budget cuts and uncertainty about future role.” The Washington Post November 22, 2012.
MacGregor, Col. Douglas (2012) “The Petraeus Saga: Epitaph for a Four Star” CounterPunchNovember 14, 2012 http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/11/14/epitaph-for-a-four-star/
Nation, Craig R. (2010) “Chapter 8: Thucydides and Contemporary Strategy.” in: Bartholomees, J. Boone Jr. (ed.) The U.S. Army War College Guide to National Security Issues, Volume I: Theory of War and Strategy (4th Edition). Carlisle, PA: The Strategic Studies Institute.
White House. (2012) “Overseas Contingency Operations.”www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/overseas.pdf

Team of Bumblers? Are Susan Rice and Chuck Hagel equal to today’s new national-security challenges?

141026_hirsh_hagel_rice_apBy Michael Hirsh:

When President Obama, after months of equivocation over how to respond to the takeover of parts of Iraq and Syria by radical militants, announced in September that the United States would “lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat,” the White House swung quickly into action, sending proposed legislation to train and equip Syrian rebels to Capitol Hill that same day.

Unfortunately, the White House failed to consult with the Pentagon—which would be doing most of the rolling back—on the timing or details of the announcement.

According to multiple sources, behind the scenes a few things went badly awry in the launch of Obama’s new policy. First, the Pentagon was surprised by the president’s timing, according to a senior defense official. “We didn’t know it was going to be in the speech,” he said, referring to Obama’s Sept. 10 address to the nation. Second, the White House neglected to give Pentagon lawyers a chance to revise and approve the proposed legislative language before it went to the Hill, which is considered standard practice. Staffers working for Rep. Buck McKeon, the Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said they were appalled by what they saw: language so sloppy that it failed to mention adequate protections against so-called “green-on-blue” attacks by trainees on American troops, and effectively left the Defense Department liable for funding the mission against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)—even though the president was telling members of Congress he didn’t need money for this new mission, since the Saudis were putting it up. “What came over would have not have been a mission the DoD could have executed,” says a senior Republican committee staffer.

The Armed Services Committee later went directly to the Pentagon and worked out new language, the White House approved it, and Obama signed the legislation as part of a new Continuing Resolution on Sept. 19. But that was hardly the first instance in recent months when the White House failed to consult with the Pentagon. The office of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was taken by surprise as well last July, when national security adviser Susan Rice sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner requesting a withdrawal of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed in 2002 to enable U.S. military action in Iraq. This letter came after Mosul, a key northern Iraqi city, had already fallen to ISIL and the scale of the threat was becoming clear. The letter was never acted on, and in fact the AUMF that Rice wanted withdrawn is now part of the very authority the administration says it is operating under, along with the 2001 AUMF against al Qaeda. The Pentagon was not given a heads-up about that letter either, according to multiple sources. “We didn’t know it was going over there, and there were significant concerns about it,” said the senior defense official. “We had these authorities to go into Iraq under the 2002 AUMF, which is what she wanted repealed. We believed the authorities were still needed.”
National Security Council spokesman Patrick Ventrell said the Pentagon was informed of the new plan against ISIL before it went to Congress, and that in fact Hagel and Dempsey were with the president the morning of the speech. Although he indicated it was not clear exactly what details of the new strategy were shared with the Pentagon and when, Ventrell said that coordination between the NSC and other agencies is ongoing and extensive, that Rice regularly hosts lunches with Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry. They “have a good, solid working relationship,” Ventrell said.

But it’s clear the finger-pointing between the White House and Pentagon reflects no mere technicality. Both examples cited to me by well-placed sources close to the Defense Department offer new evidence of a criticism that has dogged this administration for most of its six and a half years: that Barack Obama’s White House is so insular and tightly controlled it often avoids “outside” consultation—including with its own cabinet secretaries and agencies. That’s especially true when the issue is one of this president’s least favorite things: opening up new hostilities in foreign lands. To his critics—and I spoke with several for this article inside Obama’s administration as well as recent veterans of it—it’s all a reflection of the slapdash way a president so vested in “ending wars” has embraced his new one.

Indeed, the Syrian-rebel incident recalled a more famous instance of White House surprise tactics a year earlier, when after a stroll on the White House lawn with chief of staff Denis McDonough, Obama embarrassed Kerry by abruptly deciding to ask for congressional approval for bombing the regime of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad—only hours after Kerry had publicly declared that Assad was facing imminent action. (Ironically, after Congress quickly balked at approval, humiliating Obama, it was Kerry who rescued the president by securing an agreement with Russian help to force Assad to dismantle the chemical weapons that had prompted the threatened U.S. strike in the first place.)

In their recent memoirs, former defense secretaries Robert Gates and Leon Panetta also have described the White House-centric foreign policy of the Obama administration—in Panetta’s case, a White House that he said was so “eager to rid itself of Iraq” it rejected Pentagon advice about the need for residual troops in Iraq after 2011, opening the way for ISIL. Gates was even more pointed, writing that “suspicion and distrust of senior military officers by senior White House officials—including the president and vice president—became a big problem for me.”

Read more at Politico

Truth Revolt: FEAR OF EBOLA

Published on Oct 17, 2014 by TruthRevoltOriginals

A deadly epidemic is on the loose in America. It’s not an Ebola epidemic. It’s an epidemic of fear. In this must-see FIREWALL, Bill Whittle tells us not only that we should be optimistic, but WHY we should be optimistic, as well as what was done right, what was done wrong, and what needs to be done in the future.

Transcript

Hi everybody. I’m Bill Whittle and this is the Firewall.

There’s an epidemic breaking out in America – a deadly and destructive epidemic that can do catastrophic damage to our country and its people. It’s not an Ebola epidemic. It’s an epidemic of fear. It’s an epidemic of fear caused not only by the presence of a terrible disease, but by the sense that no one is in charge, no one is taking decisive action, and that the people charged with defending us against this kind of threat were asleep at the wheel and continue to flounder, lie to us, and cover their mistakes. When you get right down to it, this fear epidemic is caused by the belief that in this battle with Ebola, it’s the virus that has the initiative.

And it doesn’t have to be this way. All the American people need is a little honesty, and a little leadership, and if the Federal government cannot be counted on to tell you the politically incorrect truth, then that job falls to the states, or to the people themselves.

So let me try to tell you what there is to fear, why there is cause for optimism, and what actions need to be taken.

EVD, the Ebola Virus Disease, is a pretty simple, single strand of RNA that produces hemmoragic fever — in its later stages it destroys the walls of blood vessels and causes a host of horrific symptoms. The critical number — in terms of our ability to contain an outbreak — is the Basic Reproduction Number, R sub zero, usually spoken as “R Naught.” R naught is an estimate of how many people an infected person will pass the disease on to.

If R naught is less than one, the disease dies out over time. If greater than one, it will grow, and the bigger the number, the faster it will grow.

The deadly 1918 outbreak of influenza, spread easily by airborne droplets from sneezing, had an R naught of 2-3: every infected person infected two to three more. Measles, which is completely airborne, is extremely infections with an R naught of 12-18.

Ebola, in its present form, has an R naught of only 1-2. That number is very low, because Ebola is not transmitted either through the air or even through droplets, like measles or the flu. To contract Ebola, you need to be in direct physical contact, with a visibly symptomatic carrier, and even then the virus cannot pass through healthy skin but has to enter through the mouth, eyes, cuts, etc.

But that’s still a positive number, if a low one, and that means the disease spreads. But the one thing that we need to keep in mind is that the existing reproductive rate of 1-2 for Ebola is artificially much, much higher than it would be here in America, because it is derived from conditions in Central and now West Africa, where sanitary conditions are appalling and effective isolation virtually impossible. Ebola’s relatively low infection index is as high as it is almost exclusively because of burial customs in African culture, where tradition dictates that relatives wash the blood off the infected bodies by hand – blood that in the case of Ebola is extremely contagious, and there are not a lot a lot of rubber gloves or surgical masts in West Africa.

And there’s another factor: Ebola is not just spread by contact. It is also spread by fear. And in Africa that fear also drives these numbers much higher than they would normally be.

On September 18th, 2014 at least eight government health workers and journalists were found hacked to death in a latrine in Guinea, murdered in cold blood by villagers who thought they were in fact spreading the disease intentionally. There are reports of relatives breaking into hospitals in West Africa, assaulting the medical staff and removing, by force, extremely infectious individuals while shouting “There is no Ebola!” Riots broke out in the Guinean city of Neh-zeh Reh-KOH-ree, when health workers spraying disinfectant were thought to be spreading the disease. When a population attacks health workers, doctors and hospitals, instead of heeding them — well that R naught of 1-2 reflects all of that. We will not see that here.

Now despite these positive factors, this outbreak is in fact a very serious condition. Ebola, unlike most viruses, which can survive outside of a living body for only a few seconds or at most a few minutes, appears to be able to remain viable four up to three or fours days. So it’s a very persistent agent; hence the biohazard suits you so often see. And, of course, once contracted the disease is extremely lethal: fatality rates as high as 90% untreated and at least 50% under good conditions. So this is, in fact, a very serious problem but not an unmanageable one — especially if you live in the West. I suspect more people are going to die before we get this contained. But I do not see it breaking out into our population the way it has in Africa.

Now of course, that’s assuming we have a competent government. However: Federal authorities didn’t seem to give a second thought when large numbers of illegal aliens carrying various serious infections were simply tightly packed together and then distributed across the country. And, as usual, we seem to be critically short on test kits and anti-viral medications — especially vaccines. Why? We have known about this deadly disease since 1976. We have 11 carrier strike groups, fully armed and staffed, fully trained, with most of them operational at all times in order to defend the American people. Why are we so perpetually unprepared in the face of this serious and well-known threat? Is it because the present administration is so commited to the idea of open borders?

We’re also told that shutting off air travel to West Africa will hamper medical access and health care workers. Really? Really? You’re telling me that we can’t shut off civilian air traffic to these highly contagious areas without being smart enough to get medical personnel in and out of there, on military transports, with personnel who are presumably trained in chemical, biological and nuclear contamination protocols?

Some shameless Democrats are blaming budget cuts for this outbreak, but when the President spends $500 million of your tax dollars on Solyndra to make solar cells and then immediately goes bankrupt, taking that money with it; or when Obamacare is spending two thousand six hundred billion dollars in ten years, and they still can’t be prepared, then maybe the answer isn’t more money for the government. Maybe the answer is a government that gets its priorities straight when it comes to defending the American people.

And where’s the President on all this? Why does a private citizen have to stand here and make the case when this is in fact precisely the reason we have a chief executive in the first place?

Maybe he’s out fundraising. Maybe he’s playing golf. Maybe he just doesn’t care. But, as usual,  he sure as hell is not out in front of this issue – this one above all others — telling us why all we really have to fear is fear itself.

Also see:

Total Strategic Incoherence

kerry-300x173UTT, By John Guandolo, Oct. 15, 2014:

Enough Americans have a solid understanding of the threats our nation currently faces that the perspective of history is unnecessary for us to recognize – in the moment – that our leadership is catastrophically unprofessional in their national security duties, and we have now achieved a level of strategic incoherence never before seen in recorded history.

America’s enemies are telling us exactly who they are and want they intend to do.  In many cases, they are putting it right in our faces. Yet our leaders at the federal level continue to ignore the clearly articulated plans of those who wish to destroy us in exchange for unmitigated fantasy that we can convince others to like us, as well as those inside our government who are intentionally sabotaging this nation in an effort to destroy it.  The latter will not be addressed here as it has been detailed in previous UTT articles.

Across continents, Islamic armies are butchering non-Muslims and Muslims who will not comply with the Sharia or whom are guilty of crimes under Sharia. These groups call themselves Boko Haram, ISIS, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Abu Sayyaf, Al Shabaab, and a variety of others all of whom state their objective is to impose Sharia globally under the Islamic State or Caliphate. This is the same stated objective of the Muslim Brotherhood, Tabligi Jamaat, Jamaat e Islami, and every Muslim nation on earth at the Head of State and King level via the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Ten Year Plan. This also happens to be the same stated objective of every jihadi arrested in Europe, the United States, and everywhere else on the planet. It is also a fact that 100% of all published Sharia (Islamic Law) mandates jihad until the entire world is ruled by Sharia under the Caliphate, and all (100%) published Islamic Law only defines “jihad” as “warfare” against non-Muslims.

The Islamic enemy is completely unified in their stated objectives, yet the entire U.S. Government leadership from the President, to his National Security Advisor, to the heads of the CIA, FBI, DHS, and Military, and the Cabinet Secretaries all march in unison stating none of this has to do with Islam. From this grotesque lack of intellectual and factual honesty comes strategic blunders that leave a person speechless.

The President states ISIS is “not Islamic” yet continues to support the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas, Al Qaeda forces and others in places like Syria and Libya.  Secretary of State Kerry stated before Congress recently that “(ISIS is) the enemy of Islam. That’s what they are.  There’s nothing in Islam that condones or suggests people should go out and rape women and sell off young girls or give them as gifts to jihadists and, you know, cut people’s heads off.”  Apparently, neither has read Islamic Law which explicitly calls for these things.  As a matter of fact, beheadings and crucifixion are part of the Hadud Laws which are specifically articulated in the Quran.

The President and his Chief of Staff (former Deputy National Security Advisor), FBI Director, Director of Central Intelligence, Secretary of Homeland Security, and others continue to look to Muslim Brotherhood leaders in America to give them their info on Islam and Sharia, as well as allowing these jihadis to write doctrine for domestic counterterrorism strategy and foreign policy – which is why our leaders are clueless. This cluelessness allows our enemies to extract the very outcome they are gunning for – complete strategic incoherence.  When the FBI fails in these duties, state and local law enforcement officials are left out to dry.

The catastrophic strategic results speak for themselves:

* The U.S. Department of State wrote the Constitutions for Iraq and Afghanistan which created Islamic Republics (not democracies) under Sharia law – thus fulfilling Al Qaeda’s objectives for the region.  Despite crushing our enemies on the field of battle, the U.S. lost these wars.  Today, Americans and those who gave their blood and bodies for this cause watch as the gains made are being washed away by a different flavor of the same enemy.

* The U.S. government takes sides with “moderate” Islamic groups without understanding the strategic implications, and our government ends up supporting Al Qaeda and/or Muslim Brotherhood entities with arms and money in Libya, Syria, and Egypt.

* The U.S. Government via the President and Secretary of State negotiate with hostile nations/entities like the Taliban, Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and others thinking we can cajole them into seeing the issues our way. All the while we are completely ignorant that their guiding principles are enshrined in Sharia, a body of law they believe must be obeyed above all other laws and systems. Therefore, we are always on the losing side of these discussions.

* Those on the front lines of this war go into harms way unclear about the threat, the enemy threat doctrine (Sharia), and how to dialogue with the enemy until they gain practical experience on the ground. Since primary Muslim Brotherhood organizations like ISNA, CAIR, MAS, and others have been given access to military units and our war colleges by the Pentagon and commanding generals, our military is not only being kept from a factual understanding of the enemy, they are the target of information operations by our enemy to specifically keep them from knowing the enemy.

* When senior generals do speak out, it is to silence the factual basis for identifying and understanding the enemy. It is the reason our leaders obliged our military to dangerously absurd rules of engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan, and why senior Pentagon officials ordered the soldiers at Guantanamo Bay guarding the jihadists to carry Qurans for prisoners wearing white gloves and treating the Quran like a“delicate piece of art.” This nonsense has no place in a war, but is the intentional result of our leadership failures to get a clear understanding of what this nation is facing.

* The U.S. military continues to train foreign personnel in Islamic countries yet cannot understand why these same “friends” would kill our troops in acts of jihad (martyrdom).

* There is no understanding of the implications of the US v Holy Land Foundation trial (Dallas, 2008), the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial in U.S. history – inside our federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Therefore, senior Muslim Brotherhood leaders and organizations continue to support jihadi operations, recruit and “radicalize” jihadis, and influence and conduct counterintelligence operations inside our national security apparatus.  They do this almost completely unimpeded.

*Our counterintelligence programs do not blend well with the counterterrorism programs in either the CIA or FBI and, therefore, we do not see – strategically – the meshing of foreign intelligence services, their political representatives here, and the jihadi operations. Saudi Arabia is an excellent example of this. The Saudi government was complicit in 9/11, as was the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. and members of Saudi intelligence. Saudi Arabia supports terrorism more than any other nation on the planet beside Iran – yet they continue to be given a free pass by the U.S. government.

* U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country partner with Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas entities to train their employees, as well as FBI and DHS employees, despite facts already in evidence (US v HLF).

* Since 2012 when the FBI Director, DHS Secretary, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Dempsey shut down all training inside the government about the Muslim Brotherhood, the HLF trial, Islamic Law (Sharia), the strategic threat from the global Islamic Movement and related topics, the impact on international operations and investigations has been severe. The FBI’s latest threat matrix does not even include Islamic terrorism as a major threat to the United States. This defies rational thought. These days Chairman Dempsey publicly states his concern for ISIS, but fails to recognize it is his own policy of silencing the facts and truth inside the Pentagon that has led to a strategic collapse of fundamental war fighting mantras like “know thy enemy.”  The question he must be asked when he makes statements that Islam does not support what Al Qaeda and ISIS are doing is: “What Islamic Law have you read General?”

* Congressmen Gerry Connolly, Keith Ellison, Andre Carson John Conyers and Senators like Richard Durbin and others have given public support, using their official office, and, in some cases, raised money for MB/Hamas in the U.S. doing business as “CAIR.”  Yet, this behavior, which is against U.S. law, is left unchallenged by the Department of Justice.

There are those who have argued that it is difficult and nearly impossible to speak truth inside the system today, and that is true.  However, the Oath of Office obliges all in positions of authority to give their fidelity to the Constitution, not to their jobs or their promotions.

But this strategic incoherence is certainly not left only the Islamic threat.

The Iranians are forging ahead with their nuclear program openly stating they will destroy Israel when capable.

The Chinese and the Iranians have been conducting joint Naval exercises while the Chinese intelligence service is eating our lunch by penetrating U.S. government systems on a regular basis and conducting economic warfare against us at unprecedented levels.

The Chinese and the Russians have taunted the U.S. on a number occasions with provacative actions including a Russian bomber flying over Guam during the President’s State of the Union Speech last year.  The Chinese popped one of their subs up in the middle of a U.S. Naval exercise recently just to show us they can. Our strategic response – nothing.

In fact, our military and civilian leaders publicly state our greatest threat is “global warming.”

Message to our enemies – we are weak and will not respond to aggressive action.

The historical result of such weakness and appeasement has always been grave violence to the nation demonstrating such weakness.

Our allies do not trust us and our enemies do not fear us. We are extremely vulnerable.

And this is not the worst of it. The utter catastrophic failure by our leaders to have a working knowledge of our enemies and their doctrine has resulted in the deaths of Americans abroad and at home. Equally devastating is the loss of the security of communities across this nation which will – because of the failure of our leaders – have to deal with the jihadis on the streets of America in coming months in ways most people find unimaginable.  This is a threat that can be mitigated now, and needs to be.  Every day we wait is another level of security we are losing.

The way in which the government is dealing with the threat from Ebola – while ISIS calls for it to be used as a strategic weapon against us – gives us a glimpse into the lack of leadership, basic intellectual acumen, and the vacuum of common sense in those men and women charged with defending our nation at the top.

There is no other outcome than the defeat of America when the entire American leadership structure on both sides of the political aisle fails to identify the enemy and make  complete victory our national objective.

Anything less will  leave the world without the lamp on the hill shining the light of liberty.

 

Wake UP: ISIS Is Here!

20120730_muslim_praying_american_flagBy AMBASSADOR HENRY F. COOPER:

“. . . With access to technology that allows small groups to do great harm, they have embraced a nightmarish vision that would divide the world into adherents and infidels — killing as many innocent civilians as possible, employing the most brutal methods to intimidate people within their communities . . . No grievance justifies these actions. There can be no reasoning — no negotiation — with this brand of evil. The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force . . .” ~President Barak Hussein Obama

Too bad the President did not build his September 24th address to the United Nations General Assembly (Click here.) around the above three sentences. However, sandwiched in between the first two sentences of this accurate portrayal of the threat was a misleading statement, if not a great falsehood-with major consequences that “We the people” must overcome: “Islam teaches peace.”

We Ignore True Believers in Sharia At Our Peril.

As observed in my last message (Click here), Islam simply is not a “religion of peace” as claimed by many, ever since President George W. Bush so stated immediately after the September 11, 2001 attacks that killed nearly 3000 Americans.

I am equally critical of both political parties for not dealing forthrightly with a truly existential threat to all we Americans have held dear since our founding.

Islamic “true believers” in sharia law are the enemy. They offer a choice to others: “convert, pay ransom as second class citizens, or die.” . . . as their Prophet Mohammed taught. This threat is bigger than ISIS, and it is already among us.

Now, I do not consider all Muslims as enemies-the majority probably do want peace. Furthermore, I would seek to show them Christian love, which regrettably could cost them their very lives if they accept-under the dictates of sharia.

But if only 1-percent of the estimated 1.6 billion Muslims around the world are true believers in the teachings of sharia, they amount to 16 million. Or more closely related to the subject of my message today, that same 1-percent converts to 10,000 “true believers” per million Muslims in America today-a non-negligible number that could pose a significant threat to which our leaders should pay attention.

I’ve seen estimates that there are 3 million Muslims in America-so 1-percent would amount to 30,000 true believers-probably a low estimate given that a poll indicated that approximately a third of Muslim Americans believe that sharia should be the law of the land-never mind that sharia is inconsistent with the Constitution to which they owe allegiance as U.S. Citizens.

When considering the numbers, never forget what only 19 Saudi Wahhabi true believers accomplished on September 11, 2001. Perhaps a different Islamic sect than ISIS, but true believers none the less. And keep that in mind when considering the widely applauded coalition of Arab states with which we allied to fight ISIS. And don’t forget the negotiations with Iran, which has sworn to destroy the Great Satan America, and alleged U.S. concessions in exchange for them to fight ISIS, which work toward enabling an Iranian nuclear capability. And Pakistan which sheltered Osama bin Laden for 9 years while expanding its nuclear capabilities. Etc.

Meanwhile, the President is ignoring the Kurds, who are already fighting for their freedom “with boots on the ground” and could use our help. They are being squeezed by ISIS and our erstwhile NATO ally Turkey, which so far has refused to join against ISIS-which they have in fact been supporting. Turkish President Erdogan, of course, previously purged all Turkey’s generals who had kept Turkey as a secular democracy. Hard to tell the friends from the enemies here-remember to make sure we know the sharia true believers, who clearly are our enemies.

In any case, we should cease the political correctness of calling murderous acts obviously related to Islamic perspectives “workplace violence” and other euphemisms. Does anyone really believe that Major Nadal Hassan’s attack on his fellow soldiers at Ft. Hood was “workplace violence”-rather than an act of a true believer in sharia as Hassan openly stated? Now, almost five years later, justice has not been done.

And this week, we had a beheading in Oklahoma City of a middle aged woman-for whatever the specific reason-by another “true believer.” Thankfully, Mark Vaughan, the employer’s chief operating officer and also a reserve county deputy, drew his gun and shot Alton Nolan, the “converted-to-Islam” perpetrator, before he could behead another co-worker as was his apparent intent. Just workplace violence???

Notably, Nolen’s Facebook page purportedly contains such items as a burning lower Manhattan after the 9/11 attacks and a photo of the pope with the caption “Sharia Law is coming!” Last March, Nolen posted a gruesome photo of a beheading with the explanation that “Islamic terrorists behead their victims” because of a precedent bestowed by their prophet, i.e., the Prophet Mohammed’s frequent beheadings of those he considered infidels.

And another Muslim in Oklahoma City was recently arrested because he threatened to behead a Christian co-worker because “that is just what we do.” (Click here.) This individual also referenced an affiliation with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS = ISIL = Islamic State = Caliphate).

So, at least some Islamic elements in the United States see themselves linked to a broader movement . . . the ISIS objective of a Caliphate, you think? And, of course, a commitment to the teachings of sharia.

In a broader context and as pointed out by yesterday’s Investor’s Business Daily, not all Muslims are terrorists; but virtually all terrorists are Muslim. (Click here for this article, obviously pertinent to this discussion-“Holder to Ban Religion in Terror Probes.”) And Muslims have been responsible for almost every major recent terrorist attack around the globe, including:

  • 9/11 hijackings and attacks
  • 1993 World Trade Center bombing
  • Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking
  • Mumbai massacre
  • Beslan Russian school massacre
  • Kenyan shopping mall massacre
  • Utah Trolley Square Mall shooting
  • Beltway snipers shootings
  • USS Cole bombing
  • U.S. embassy bombings in Africa
  • Beirut Marine barracks bombings
  • Bali nightclub bombings
  • London subway bombings
  • Madrid train bombings
  • Pan-Am Flight 103 bombing
  • Munich Olympics massacre
  • Benghazi terrorism and assassination
  • Little Rock recruiting office shooting
  • Fort Hood shootings
  • Boston Marathon bombings

As the IBD editorial concludes, the truth is that the reign of terror plaguing the world is decidedly Islamic. We are witnessing a global jihad. And America cannot escape its reach.

The only question is, are we going to be prepared? And the regrettable truth is that we are not prepared to deal with some major threats of great consequence.

Read more: Family Security Matters

Ambassador Henry F. Cooper is Chairman of High Frontier and a former Acquisition Executive for all U.S. ballistic missile defenses.  He also served in several other senior USG acquisition and policy positions, including as President Reagan’s Chief Negotiator at the Geneva Defense and Space Talks with the Soviet Union. He is currently focused on helping local, state and federal authorities protect against the natural and manmade EMP threat by building effective ballistic missile defenses and hardening the electric grid. Otherwise, loss of the electric grid would freeze America’s “just in time” economy, leaving most Americans without means for survival.

TO BETTER PROTECT MUSLIMS, AG HOLDER SET TO BAN ‘RELIGIOUS PROFILING’

eric-holder-teal-painting-apBreitbart, by HOMAS ROSE, Sep. 30, 2014:

If one is looking for reasons why Washington has become so caustic, divisive and bitter, look no further than retiring Attorney General Eric Holder. If reportsfirst published by the Los Angeles Times are correct, the always controversial Holder, aged 63, will soon announce a new and permanent ban on so-called ‘religious profiling’ designed to better protect those suspected of jihadist or Islamist activities from federal surveillance.

At the very moment the American state, local and federal law enforcement are trying to get a handle on a spate of Islamist-inspired beheadings and the discovery that Islamic State terror cells are active in at least three major US cities (LA, Boston, and Minneapolis), the US attorney general seems prepared to make it even harder for US law enforcement to crack down against jihadist recruiters and terrorist plots.

Despite the rise of the Islamic State’s terrorist army that proudly boasts of its US citizen-fighters, as well as growing evidence that domestic jihadist extremism is far more prevalent inside the United States than previously thought, the always controversial Holder appears undeterred in his quest to ban federal agents from trying to prevent domestic Islamist terrorism by investigating hubs of suspected jihadist activities. If the ban on ‘religious profiling’ is enforced, federal agents will no longer be able to conduct surveillance inside even the most radical of US mosques, where nearly all recent US based jihadists have been recruited, trained and dispatched.

The LA Times even reports that Holder’s ban will no longer even include “an exemption for national security investigations.” Without pre-existing, admissible evidence that ongoing criminal activity is occurring, federal agents will no longer be permitted to conduct any undercover surveillance in any clearly identified Islamic institution. If enacted, such a policy would represent the starkest reversal yet to bi-partisan post 9/11 changes that permitted law enforcement agencies like the FBI greater ability to monitor suspected Islamist outfits, including mosques.

The FBI claims that those standards have enabled them to disrupt or scuttle at least 42 planned Islamist attacks against the US homeland adopted since 2001.

How extending greater legal protections to those suspected of jihadist plots against US citizens will help protect law abiding citizens from those plots remains to be seen. The connections between Islamic State operatives, recent domestic terrorist acts, and several radical US mosques are undeniable. The recent Muslim convert in Oklahoma who murdered and decapitated a 54-year-old grandmother was radicalized in a mosque run by the very same people who run a Boston mosque that served as headquarters for ISIS’s US social media campaign.

Terrorism authority Steve Emerson told IBD this could be just the tip of the ISIS-ice berg. “There are tens of thousands of others like him lurking in the United States who haven’t done this but are jihadists just waiting to do it,” Emerson, who runs the New York-basedInvestigative Project for Terrorism, says the Islamic State is actually pre-selecting new US based recruits based upon their state willingness to conduct suicide/terrorist operations against innocents inside the US.

Of course, since Attorney General Holder had previously ordered the Justice Department and the FBI to scrub all its training manuals and support documentation to insure words like “jihad” and “Islamic terrorism” do not appear, it is difficult to predict how such directives will even be adequately conveyed to US law enforcement personnel.

Had such prohibitions against even considering the religious beliefs or associations of suspected jihadist elements been in effect, many recent Federal indictments of terrorists could never have been obtained, since nearly ever single one of them contained evidence demonstrating their connections with and radicalizations inside US mosques. Nearly every single defendant so indicted has confessed that their motivations were religiously based upon their interpretation of Islam and its commands to attack non-believers.

The same Eric Holder now considering increased protections for those suspected of jihadist activities authorized domestic illegal surveillance actions, including wiretapping, against reporters at the Associated Press and sought to prosecute Fox News’ James Rosen under, of all things, the Espionage Act.

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United Nations General Assembly yesterday, “You know the famous American saying that all politics is local? Well, for militant Islamists, all politics is global, because their ultimate goal is to dominate the world.” If Holder has his way and can prohibit US law enforcement from investigating domestic militants Islamists in places where militants Islamists plot and plan, American jihadists will be able to pursue that ultimate goal of global dominance with greater freedom and security than ever before.

Video: EMET’s Annual 9/11 Memorial Dinner

watch-9-11-memorial-live-stream

EMET, Sep. 11, 2014:

On the thirteenth anniversary of the horrific events of September 11, 2001, the United States and the Western world face the same threat by genocidal Islamic terrorists that were responsible for the death of 3,000 Americans on U.S. soil.
The so called Islamic State, or ISIS, has brutally murdered thousands of innocent civilians, and has extended its reach deep into western and northern Iraq and across Syria. The so called Islamic State’s beheading of American journalist James Wright Foley prompted limited US airstrikes in Iraq.  ISIS leader Al-Baghdadi recently said in a video interview “We will humiliate them [U.S. soldiers] everywhere, God willing, and we will raise the flag of Allah in the White House.”  At the same time, the threat of homegrown terrorism is on the rise; more than 100 Americans have traveled to Syria to join Al Qaeda-inspired terror groups, and two Americans who have joined ISIS have already been killed. In the past few months, terrorism charges have been filed against several Americans to prevent homegrown terrorists.
What are the critical lessons that the U.S. should take from the 9/11 attacks? What should the United States do to safeguard our homeland and prevent future attacks on U.S. soil? How can the U.S. stop the rise of homegrown terrorism?
Please join us as we hear from national security and counterterrorism experts on these issues, and more.  EMET is privileged to host author and scholar Dr. Walid Phares; co-founder of the Reform Party of Syria Farid Ghadry; Muslim Brotherhood expert Kyle Shideler; and Founder and President of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, Sarah Stern.

Dr. Walid Phares

Dr. Phares serves as an Advisor to the Anti-Terrorism Caucus in the US House of Representatives and is a Co-Secretary General of the Transatlantic Legislative Group on Counter Terrorism, a Euro-American Caucus, since 2009. Dr. Phares briefs and testifies to the US Congress, the European Parliament and the United Nations Security Council on matters related to international security and Middle East conflict. He now teaches Global Strategies at the National Defense University.

 

Farid Ghadry

Farid Ghadry is a Syrian-American businessman committed to peace in the Middle East. His concerns about Islamic extremism is a mobilizing factor for other Syrian-Americans to combat terror. Mr. Ghadry is the only Syrian-American ever to be invited to address the Knesset in Israel. He also addressed the EU Parliament as well as US Congress on matters related to freedom and human rights in the Middle East.

 

Sarah Stern

Sarah Stern is the Founder and President of EMET. Sarah has more than 30 years of experience on Capitol Hill, and has helped pass many pieces of legislation, speeches and congressional resolutions. Her work has appeared in The New Republic, The Middle East Quarterly, Israel Today, Frontpagemag.com, Breitbart, InFocus, The American Thinker, The Jerusalem Post, and the Washington Jewish Week.

 

Kyle Shideler

Kyle Shideler is the Director of the Threat Information Office (TIO) at the Center for Security Policy. Kyle has preciously served as the Director of Research and Communications for the Endowment for Middle East Truth, as well as the Senior Researcher, and Public Information Officer for several organizations in the field of Middle East and terrorism policy since 2006. He is a contributing author to “Saudi Arabia and the Global islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West’s Fatal Embrace,” and has written for numerous publications as well as briefed legislative aides, intelligence and law enforcement officials and the general public on national security issues.

POLL: Americans reject “sugarcoating” of the threat from Islamic extremism

3271114909Center For Security Policy:

A new poll released by Kellyanne Conway’s The Polling Company finds that Islamic extremism is viewed as a threat to peace in the Middle East and home in the United States. There is near consensus that “the religious and ideological teachings of fundamental Islam extremists (not all) are the root cause of terror.”

Other key findings include:

  • “Security” is the dominant theme. Whether preceded by the words “financial,” “border,” or “national,” Americans have elevated safety and survival to top-of-list concerns
  • Familiarity with both “Jihad” and “Sharia law” fell short of actual knowledge, but Americans know enough to cause concern. With Americans paying renewed attention, the time is ripe for an information and education campaign
  • “Security Mom” has returned – if in fact she’d ever receded. Female focus on national security (and border security) is increasing and crystallizing
  • The power grid is seen as a vulnerable piece of the national infrastructure (83%), while a 44% plurality say that securing the grid is a top-three issue

See the embedded top line information and slide presentation at CSP or click on the links below to download a PDF version:

CSP Nationwide Survey – TOPLINE DATA – 9.27.2014

Nationwide_Survey_and Focus_Group_Findings_Conway_Sept201 [PDF]

Video: National Security Action Summit II

HT_Homepage_slide (1)

America can no longer adopt policies that diminish our nation and our ability to protect our vital interests.  Our current foreign policy emboldens our enemies and undermines our allies. As a result, our nation and way of life are at risk.

EMPact America, in partnership with Breitbart News Network and the Center for Security Policy, hosted the “National Security Action Summit II” on Monday, September 29th 2014.

Video clips of the event have been made available at Homeland Threats

PIRRO: ISLAMIC TERRORISM ‘NOT JUST A THREAT, IT IS A REALITY’

Published on Sep 27, 2014 by RightSightings2

 

Breitbart, Sep. 27, 2014:

The Fox News Channel’s “Justice with Judge Jeanine” anchor Judge Jeanine Pirro declared Islamist terrorism was “not just a threat, it is a reality,” and argued the US must do more to fight it on Saturday.

“What this country faces is not just a threat, it is a reality. No longer free and easy or live and let live, and now you must adapt to this frightening new reality. To them we’re the Great Satan. To them we’re the infidel, and them includes now-radicalized Americans, arrested here as lone wolves. One charged with the killing of four Americans. Last week in Australia, a plot to horrify and shock the public with planned beheadings, and this week an Oklahoma man beheads a woman, completely decapitates her, and then he’s in the midst of attacking yet another woman with a knife when he is stopped. That man, 30-year-old Alton Nolen, a recent convert to Islam. Now Nolen visited a mosque whose former leader reportedly had ties with al Qaeda mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki” she stated.

Pirro argued that the US must take aggressive action against Islamic extremism, saying “until we put the Fear of God in them, they’re going to keep coming. We can’t negotiate with them, we can’t trade with them. We can’t let them out of Guantanamo. In fact, even Guantanamo is too good for them, and I don’t personally care what the rest of the world thinks of us. Until we get this country back on track with our military superiority, the hallmark of a strong and a free nation, then our enemies will continue to attack us as lone wolves or as legion.”

She further expressed that one of the key steps to combatting radical Islamic terrorism is to acknowledge that Islamic extremism exists “we can start by calling things what they are. when a Ft. Hood shooter guns down his fellow soldiers yelling ‘Allahu Akbar’ with a business card that says ‘soldier of Allah,’ and who communicated with that same al-Awlaki, it’s not workplace violence, it’s terrorism, and he’s a terrorist. And I don’t want to hear the acting head of the CIA tell me that he took the word ‘Islamic’ out from in front of the word ‘extremist’ because he didn’t want to inflame passions. And I don’t want the word ‘jihad’ scrubbed from the FBI training manuals. And I don’t want to hear that ISIS is not an Islamic State any more than the USA is not the United States of America, or that we’re not states, or that we’re not united. And I’m tired of taking outside ads to apologize to other religions while our government drags and sues the Little Sisters of the Poor to the United States Supreme Court for simply expressing their religious beliefs. I’m tired of the charades.”

Other recommendations given by Pirro to fight Islamic terrorism were closing the borders, stripping citizenship, implementing anti-terrorism technology that measures things such body temperature and blood pressure used by the Israelis, and ending gun control so that Americans can defend themselves against violent terrorists in the same way Mark Vaughan stopped Alton Nolen’s attack with a firearm.

Emerson on CNBC Discussing Terror Threats to West by Jihadi Veterans

 

IPT, by Steven Emerson
Interview on CNBC
September 18, 2014

Host Tyler Mathisen: Authorities in Australia staging the largest counterterrorism operation in the country’s history Thursday to disrupt a gruesome plan by Islamic militants living in the country to carry out random public executions or demonstration killings. Australian media reporting the suspects wanted to kidnap and behead a member of the public and drape the body in an ISIA flag. Australia just the latest example of radicalized Islamic militants waging terror from within on the home front. We’ve already seen murderous attacks in Belgium and England. Steve Emerson is an author and executive director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism and Ghaffar Hussain is a director at Quilliam, a counterterrorism think tank in London. Welcome to both of you. Mr. Hussein, let me begin with you. How close a call was this?

Ghaffar Hussain: From what I’m hearing, it was pretty close. The Australian police intercepted a phone call which suggested that these individuals, or one individual is a quite high-ranking member of ISIS, and he had been given instructions to now carry out this attack in response to, or as a tactical response from the ISIS point of view to the fact that the Australians are now sending troops to the region to help in the international effort to defeat isis. So I suppose we’re starting to see a number of things ISIS doing now, all of which are aimed to kind of prevent or the international coalition which has been a real game changer in holding back ISIS in Iraq.

Mathisen: Mr. Emerson, react to what Mr. Hussain just said, but also put in context the idea that the biggest terror threats may now come from within, not from without, and who are these people? Are they nationals of Australia or people who have gotten in via a passport? What?

Steve Emerson: Well after 9/11, the biggest threat was from al Qaeda [was] sending in operatives or trying to remotely detonate planes through operational devices that could remain undetected. Then we went through a period of homegrown terrorists who weren’t directed by al Qaeda but were recruited online or by the Muslim leaders in their own community. Now we’re into jihad 3.0 where we have people who are volunteering to battle Syria or the West in Iraq and in Syria, gaining the incredible experience of fighting, and then possibly returning back to their own countries in Europe, Australia or the United States. Now you have to remember that the people who are being recruited get vetted before they go to Turkey, which is the infiltration route. Then they get vetted at the border between Turkey and Syria to see who is willing to die and who is willing to be the most vicious. So when they return back to their home countries, you already have a preselected number of jihadis who are willing to die or carry out vicious acts of violence like beheadings. We haven’t experienced that in the US yet, but it certainly has been experienced in Belgium, Germany. It’s been experienced in Britain and now in Australia.

Mathisen: Mr. Hussain, how easy or difficult is it to track these individuals who as Mr. Emerson just described have a rather circuitous path, often moving through Turkey into Syria, into Iraq? How easy is it to track them so that when they try to come back into the United States or Great Britain, they can be identified, detained, investigated?

Hussain: Well, it’s not straightforward to stop people going or people returning. Turkey is a very popular holiday destination for many British people. And millions go there every year. It’s very easy to get a cheap, low-budget flight to Turkey and then get a coach across to the border and cross over. And if someone’s done that for a few weeks or even longer and decides to come back, unless they’ve popped up on social media and talked openly about what they’ve been doing, we’re not going to really know what they’ve been doing, these individuals. So it is very worrying that it is quite easy, in my opinion, to get back into Europe, certainly Britain or America, certainly very easy to get back into Europe, European territory, from Turkey and from Syria. And part of the problem is the fact that the Turkish government has actually turned a blind eye to these individuals because they have their own tactical objectives of overthrowing the Assad regime. And in the past they have not done enough to secure that border. So many individuals are getting the know-how, getting the motivation from individuals they come across online and then arranging to meet them at the Syrian border so they can go over and join ISIS.

Mathisen: We’re very tight on time. Mr. Hussain, thank you very much. Steve Emerson, where is the risk most prevalent and what would you expect the next sort of terror target to be? Would it be those kinds of streetnappings, or would it be the kind of attack that we saw in the shopping mall in Nairobi about a year ago? Very quickly.

Emerson: I think it would be the latter. I think we’re probably going to see–[although] it’s impossible to predict, a freelance–a homegrown terrorist returning from Iraq or Syria who decides to detonate a bomb someplace remotely or carry out a suicide bombing on his own like we saw in Belgium and in France in the last two years.

Mathisen: Is Europe more vulnerable than the United States, or can you tell?

Emerson: Europe is more vulnerable because there are ten times more numbers of jihadi volunteers, up to 5,000, who have gone over to Iraq and Syria. In the United States, only about 200 to 300 have. But that number is growing, unfortunately.

Mathisen: Gentlemen, we thank you both for your perspectives on this very chilling topic.

ISIS has Capability and Intent to Attack the Homeland

IS-facts-findingsBlind Eagle, By Brian Fairchild, Aug. 30, 2014:

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

  • Based on the intelligence analysis of the facts and findings below, as of August 29, 2014, the Islamic State has the capability and intent to launch an attack against the American homeland.  Moreover, the internecine war between “core” al Qaeda and the Islamic State represents a struggle for the leadership of the international jihad movement that provides both organizations with a strong motivation to attack America.  There is no way to predict a specific date when attacks will occur, but it is clear from the evidence that the Islamic State has the capability to launch an attack at a time and place of its choosing.

In intelligence analysis, analysts must first find and document substantiated and relevant Facts on the topic of their investigations.  Expert knowledge is then used to make sense out of these facts in a cogent, organized and articulate manner in a section called Findings.  Having made sense out of the facts in the articulated findings, the analyst can then see where all of the facts and findings lead, and make a Forecast as to what is likely to happen in the future.  It’s not a perfect or foolproof system, but it forces analysts to work with well-substantiated and relevant facts rather than opinion and hearsay.

On August 22, 2014, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby stated that the Defense Department does not believe that ISIS has “the capability right now to conduct a major attack on the U.S. homeland.”

The following analysis will test this hypothesis using the tried and true method of establishing Facts, Findings, and Forecasts.

FACTS:

  • On October 4, 2011, then leader of al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) and current leader of the Islamic State (IS), Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, was declared a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the State Department for his role in “managing and directing large scale operations”.
  • ISIS is a multi-faceted entity:

o   According to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the Islamic State demonstrates “a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess”,[1] and represents an “imminent threat to every interest we have”.

o   IS has “…an effective management structure…overseeing departments of finance, arms, local governance, military operations and recruitment”[2].  It operates like a national government in the areas it occupies providing electricity and water, levying taxes, providing police services, establishing religious schools and courts, and running training camps.

o   IS has a war chest estimated at $2 billion dollars, accrued from:  taxes, the sale of oil and antiquities on the black market, ransom for hostages, seized bank assets, donations from wealthy Gulf donors, the theft of all property and assets from the minorities it victimizes, and proceeds from zakat (tithing) and Muslim charities.

o   A report prepared in June 2014 by the former head of the counter terrorism office of British Intelligence (MI6), reported that over 12,000 radicalized Muslims have departed their homes in 81 countries to join the jihad in Syria and Iraq.  An estimated 3,000 of them are western passport holders.  These individuals are now routinely referred to as “foreign fighters”.  There is no doubt that the number of foreign fighters overall and the number hailing from Western countries has significantly increased since the publication of this report, which went to press before al Baghdadi announced the creation of the “Caliphate” and called for Muslims to emigrate to it.

o   IS has a virtual monopoly over the foreign fighters flooding into Syria and Iraq.  They constitute the majority of IS’ suicide bombers, and are responsible for 30 to 50 suicide bombings per month.[3]  Increasingly, they come from Western countries including the US, France, the UK, Norway, Austria, Australia, and Germany. They are infiltrated into the Islamic State via a global IS network, and then trained in secure bases there.[4]

  • On February 4, 2014, CIA Director John Brennan testified before the Congressional House Intelligence Committee during which he described the capabilities of these  training camps: 

o   We are concerned about the use of Syrian territory by the Al Qaida organization to recruit individuals and develop the capability to be able not just to carry out attacks inside of Syria, but also to use Syria as a launching pad…There arecamps inside of both Iraq and Syria that are used by Al Qaida to develop capabilities that are applicable, both in the theater, as well as beyond.” 

  • The Islamic State possesses chemical weapons seized from Iraq’s al Muthanna chemical weapons complex, including munitions containing Sarin, Mustard gas, and the nerve agent VX.  In 2006, then Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Lt. General Michael Maples stated that, while the munitions couldn’t be used as originally intended because of corrosion, “The agent remaining in the weapons would be very valuable to terrorists and insurgents”.[5]

o   In July 2014, IS fighters seized 88 pounds of uranium compounds from the University of Mosul that can be used to construct a radioactive dirty bomb.

  • IS was formerly constituted as al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), but was disowned by “core” al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri in February 2014.  This fracture resulted in all-out war between the two groups for the leadership of the international jihad movement.
  • Despite his war with “core” al Qaeda, IS leader al Baghdadi reveres Osama bin Laden.  When bin Laden was killed in the American raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, he vowed violent retaliation.  Almost immediately, he launched numerous attacks and suicide bombings, and vowed to conduct 100 attacks across Iraq to seek vengeance for bin Laden”.[6]
  • On January 21, 2014, al Baghdadi recorded an audio message in which he recognized that he and his organization would soon be in direct confrontation with the United States:

o   “Our last message is to the Americans. Soon we will be in direct confrontation, and the sons of Islam have prepared for such a day. So watch, for we are with you, watching.”[7]

  • In August 2014, IS declared war against the US in a document sent to the family of beheading victim James Foley.  It was addressed to the “American government and their sheep like people” and threatened the following (all emphasis added by IS in the original):

o   “Today our swords are unsheathed towards you, GOVERNMENT AND CITIZENS ALIKE!  AND WE WILL NOT STOP UNTIL WE QUENCH OUR THIRST FOR YOUR BLOOD.  You do not spare our weak, elderly, women or children, so we will NOT spare yours!  You and your citizens will pay the price of your bombings!  The first of which being the blood of American citizen, James Foley.”

  • In response to US airstrikes against IS positions in early August 2014, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)pledged solidarity with the Islamic State and promised to conduct mass casualty attacks against the US in retaliation:

o   “Hence, we declare our solidarity with our Muslim brethren in Iraq in [their struggle against] this Crusade. Their blood is our blood, their wound is in our hearts, and we have a duty to defend them. With Allah’s help, we will employ every means to cause the US as many casualties as possible, as part of jihad for the sake of Allah and in order to realize what our Sheikh Osama [bin Laden] vowed [to achieve].”

FINDINGS:

  • As made clear by the 2011 State Department designation of al Baghdadi as a global terrorist, he is adept at “managing and directing large scale operations”.  The Islamic State reflects these abilities.  It is a sophisticated organization that simultaneously plans and conducts offensive operations using conventional military strategy, as well as synchronized multiple-location suicide bombings, all the while operating a global network that recruits, trains and deploys foreign fighters.  Underlying its military capabilities is a government structure of provincial governors and officials that manage the civilian population like a small nation state.
  • IS has thousands of trained and combat-tested foreign fighters from which to select teams that could conduct attacks in the United States, including over 100 Americans.  The Islamic State is not restricted to using only American citizens for such attacks, and for security reasons, may well create cells of individuals from the UK and Western Europe that are not likely to be revealed by US databases.  It is likely that many of these individuals speak English and have previously traveled to the US.
  • IS has a seemingly endless supply of foreign fighters willing to martyr themselves.  Suicide bombings, once rare, have become routine for IS foreign fighters who conduct approximately 30 to 50 each month.  Importantly, the majority of these bombings are conducted with a high degree of operational security against targets in cities such as Baghdad and Kirkuk where security forces are on high alert employing road blocks, patrols, and area surveillance.  IS teams deploying to the US face only one real security obstacle – physically entering the country; once inside they would operate in an environment much less controlled than those they are used to.
  • IS possesses chemical weapons and radioactive compounds that it could smuggle into the United States via the southern border or other access points.  Even in the event that IS has no smuggling connections, its remarkable treasury could well buy such cooperation.
  • Should IS leadership decide, its financial assets, and extensive number of trained and experienced operatives willing to die for their cause, are adequate to fund and deploy numerous terrorist teams worldwide.
  • Despite the increasing number of American airstrikes against IS positions, and the rising calls for extensive military action against IS targets in Iraq and Syria, there is no evidence to indicate that IS leadership seeks to avoid a military confrontation with the United States.  Quite the contrary, all evidence indicates that it is actively trying to provoke such a confrontation, as demonstrated by the following:

o   Al Baghdadi has been at war against the US since 2003 when he co-created his first jihad organization.  He experienced first-hand the American dismantling of AQI in 2006, he spent time in American custody in Camp Bucca, he replaced leaders killed by the US, and sought vengeance for the killing of Osama bin Laden.  Given this experience, it is likely that in January 2014 when he recorded his audio statement, he was well aware that his plan to blitzkrieg across Syria and Iraq and his plan to establish a Caliphate that threatened US allies would provoke an American military response.  In this context, the specific phrases he chose to stress:  “Soon we will be in direct confrontation” – “the sons of Islam have prepared for such a day” – “we are with you, watching”, could well indicate that in anticipation of the coming confrontation, he deployed cells to the homeland that are “watching” and preparing attacks.

o   IS leadership chose to publicly butcher James Foley on August 19, 2014 describing Foley as the first American casualty of war, which strongly suggests that Foley’s murder was a deliberate attempt to provoke a military response.  Additional examples of IS’ willingness to provoke the US are revealed in passages from its official Dabiq magazine, published on August 29, 2014, that ridicule President Obama, gloat over the beheading of James Foley and the US inability to rescue him, blame the US for atrocities against Muslims, and call for American and Western Muslims to rush to the “Caliphate” to support the jihad.

o   IS’ declaration of war against the US government and its citizens, including America’s weak, elderly, women and children can only be taken as a direct provocation.

  • The war between IS and “core” al Qaeda is, at its essence, a battle for the ideological leadership and operational direction of the international jihad movement.  At present, the Islamic State, flush with money and recruits, is winning.    If IS cells successfully attack the homeland in the near future it would virtually cement its leadership over the movement.  If it were successful in conducting an attack on the anniversary day of the 9/11 attacks, the Islamic State and al Baghdadi would be catapulted into a new terrorist dimension that would have profound security implications for the US for decades to come.
  • This war for primacy, however, is also likely to prompt “core” al Qaeda to launch an attack against the homeland to regain its lost leadership.  Because Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden planned and conducted the historic 9/11 attacks, a commemorative attack on 9/11’s thirteenth anniversary would likely re-establish Zawahiri as the movement’s premier leader.  It is not clear at this point, however, if “core” al Qaeda has the resources and capability to conduct such an attack.
  • AQAP’s pledge to conduct mass casualty attacks in retaliation for US airstrikes against IS fighters, adds another threat stream.  AQAP’s proven record of near misses against the US via the 2009 Underwear bomber plot, and the plot to blow up cargo aircraft over the US with explosives hidden in copy machine ink cartridges, is sobering, but further exacerbated by AQAP’s reported development of a new explosive compound that is undetectable by existing sensors.  Like “core” al Qaeda, it is unclear if AQAP has the resources to conduct a separate attack against the homeland.  In order to remain relevant in the international jihad movement, however, AQAP could assist IS in attacking the homeland, which could explain its pledge of solidarity to IS and its promise to carry-out mass casualty attacks.

FORECAST:

Based on the above facts and findings and contrary to the statements of the Pentagon, as of August 29, 2014, the Islamic State has all the capabilities required to launch an attack against the American homeland.  Within its ranks alone, it has the expertise, trained operatives, financial resources, possession of WMD, a virulent anti-American ideology, and the intent to confront the United States.  Despite increasing American military action against it, there is no evidence that the Islamic State is trying to avoid a military confrontation.  Rather, its recent actions are tailored to provoke a military response.

Moreover, the war between “core” al Qaeda and the Islamic State is a struggle for the ideological leadership and the operational direction of the international jihad movement that provides both organizations with a strong motivation to attack America.  Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s recent pledge of solidarity to IS and its promise to perpetrate mass casualty attacks on its behalf exacerbates an already bad situation.  While it is unclear if “core” al Qaeda and AQAP have the resources on their own to conduct such attacks, AQAP’s pledge of solidarity to IS may well indicate its willingness to conduct a joint IS-AQAP attack.

Absent specific actionable intelligence, there is no way to predict a specific date when attacks will occur, as all terrorist plots run according to operational requirements.  It is clear, however, that a successful attack on the American homeland by any or all of these organizations would boost their respective standing in the jihad movement, especially if such an attack was conducted on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  It is also clear that the Islamic State has the capability to launch an attack at a time and place of its choosing.

 

FBI National Domestic Threat Assessment Omits Islamist Terrorism

Medical workers aid injured people near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following two bomb explosions / AP

Medical workers aid injured people near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon following two bomb explosions / AP

Internal report labels white supremacists, black separatists, militias, abortion extremists main domestic extremists

Washington Free Beacon, By Bill Gertz, August 29, 2014:

The FBI’s most recent national threat assessment for domestic terrorism makes no reference to Islamist terror threats, despite last year’s Boston Marathon bombing and the 2009 Fort Hood shooting—both carried out by radical Muslim Americans.

Instead, the internal FBI intelligence report concluded in its 2013 assessment published this month that the threat to U.S. internal security from extremists is limited to attacks and activities by eight types of domestic extremist movements—none motivated by radical Islam.

They include anti-government militia groups and white supremacy extremists, along with “sovereign citizen” nationalists, and anarchists. Other domestic threat groups outlined by the FBI assessment include violent animal rights and environmentalist extremists, black separatists, anti- and pro-abortion activists, and Puerto Rican nationalists.

“Domestic extremist violence continues to be unpredictable and, at times, severe,” the report states.

A copy of the unclassified, 60-page National Threat Assessment for Domestic Extremism, dated Aug. 14, was obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. It warns that the threat of domestic-origin extremism was moderate in 2013 and will remain so for this year.

“Domestic extremists collectively presented a medium-level threat to the United States in 2013; the FBI assesses the 2014 threat will remain close to this level,” the report said.

On black separatists, the report warned that a “high-profile racially charged crimes or events” could lead to an expansion of black separatist groups. The report identified three such groups as the New Black Panther Party, the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, and the Black Hebrew Israelite group as extremists under FBI scrutiny.

An alternative assessment section in the report warned that radical black activists could “reinitiate violence at the historically high levels seen for the movement during the 1970s, when bombings, assassinations, hijackings, and hostage-takings occurred.”

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“Such a scenario could occur as an extreme response to perceptions of devolving racial equality or perceptions of racially-motivated police brutality, or racially-biased injustice, oppression, or judicial rulings,” the report said. “Indicators include increased weapons procurement, reports of sophisticated plots, and development of an explosives capability.”

Black extremist groups may also seek “stronger ties to foreign governments in exchange for financial resources,” the report said.

The report was written before the racial unrest in Ferguson, Mo. However, it mentions that black separatist extremists stepped up threats against law enforcement officers, the U.S. government, and non-blacks following the Trayvon Martin shooting in 2012.

“FBI investigations reveal black separatist extremists engaged in financial crimes, and drug and weapons trafficking, possibly to finance activities and maintain access to weapons,” the report said.

FBI intelligence sources reported that domestic extremist groups “aspired” to carry out violent attacks. “Of a sample of 50 credible violent threat intelligence reports analyzed for this assessment, nearly 60 percent expressed lethal violence as an ultimate goal,” the report said, noting militias seeking the overthrow of the U.S. government, sovereign citizens, white supremacists and black separatists were among those seeking to conduct deadly attacks.

“Lone actors and small cells will continue to present the greatest threat in 2014,” the report says. “Some of these individuals will engage in lethal violence, although it is most likely the majority of violent criminal acts will continue to be characterized as serious crimes, such as arson and assault, but which are not, ultimately lethal.”

The Bureau anticipates an increase in activity by animal rights and environmental extremists, such as releasing animals and damaging property, as both movements began expanding in late 2013. Additionally, a similar level of activity is expected this year for anarchist, anti-government militias, white supremacy, and sovereign citizen extremists.

For abortion extremism, the report says violence prone groups fall into two categories, “anti-abortion” and “pro-choice,” but notes the primary threat of abortion extremism comes from lone individuals, not groups.

Puerto Rican nationalist extremists were described as “followers of Marxist-Leninist ideology,” have targeted the U.S. government for destabilization, and are seeking to create an independent island nation.

The FBI estimates domestic extremists caused more than $15 million in financial loses in 2012 and 2013, mainly through animal rights and environmental activities that targeted U.S. agriculture.

“It is highly likely extremists will continue to exact financial losses in 2014, with the agriculture, construction, and financial sectors serving as the most probable targets.”

FBI spokesman Paul Bresson had no immediate comment on the report.

One indirect explanation for the omission of Islamist extremism in the report is provided in a footnote to a graphic describing an “other” category of domestic extremism not included in the report. “The ‘Other’ category includes domestic extremist [sic] whose actions were motivated by beliefs which fall outside the eight designated [domestic terrorism] subprograms,” the footnote stated.

The footnote indicates the FBI has separated Islamist terrorism from other domestic extremism.

The Obama administration in 2009 adopted a new policy that substituted the vague term “violent extremism” as a replacement for terrorism.

The graphic showed that domestic extremists killed 43 people from 2003 to 2013 carried out by five categories of terrorists—abortion extremists, black separatists, sovereign citizens, white supremacists, and “others.”

The report left out all references to the April 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon, which killed three people and injured some 264 others. Two brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who were motivated by Islamist extremist beliefs, carried out the bombing. They learned the techniques for the homemade pressure cooker bombers from an al Qaeda linked magazine.

The FBI had been warned in advance of the attack by Russian security services that the brothers may have links to Chechen terrorists but failed to act.

The FBI report also made no direct reference to the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, by radicalized Army Maj. Nidal Hasan. The mass shooting left 13 dead and more than 30 injured.

Former FBI Agent John Guandolo said he was not surprised the report did not include any reference to domestic-origin Islamic terror.

“It should not surprise anyone who follows the jihadi threats in the United States that the FBI would not even include ‘Islamic terrorism’ in its assessment of serious threats to the republic in an official report,” Guandolo said.

“Since 9/11, FBI leadership—as well as leaders from Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, CIA, Pentagon, and the National Security Council—relies on easily identifiable jihadis from the Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas, al Qaeda and elsewhere to advise it on how to deal with ‘domestic extremism.’”

Patrick Poole, a domestic terrorism expert, also was critical of the report’s omission of U.S. Islamist extremism, blaming “politically correct” policies at the FBI for the problem.

“At the same time we have senior members of the Obama administration openly saying that it’s not a question of if but when we have a terror attack targeting the United States by ISIL, we have the FBI putting on blinders to make sure they don’t see that threat,” Poole said.

“These politically correct policies have already allowed Americans to be killed at Fort Hood and in Boston,” he added

Guandolo said the failure to recognize the domestic Islamist threat had allowed domestic jihadist groups and their sympathizers to shape U.S. government create policies that do not acknowledge jihad as the root cause for the current global chaos.

An example, he said, is that the FBI has appointed a domestic Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support organization leader to an FBI advisory council at the Washington headquarters.

Additionally, the FBI is failing to train agents and analysts on the Muslim Brotherhood network in the United States, Guandolo said.

“The FBI, no matter how diligent its agents are in their pursuit of ‘terrorists’, will never defeat this threat because its leaders refuse to address or even identify it,” he said. “This level of negligence on the part of the FBI leaders and their failure to understand the jihadi threat 13 years after 9/11 is appalling.”

Poole said the failure of the FBI to understand the domestic Islamist threat led to the U.S. government categorizing the 2009 Fort Hood shooting Army Maj. Nidal Hasan as “workplace violence.”

“In the case of Fort Hood, the FBI was monitoring Maj. Hasan’s email communication with al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki but the FBI headquarters dismissed it because they were talking about ‘religious’ subjects,” Poole said.

“In the Boston bombing case the FBI cleared Tamerlan Tsarnayev with nothing more than a house visit after receiving a tip from Russian intelligence, and never making the connection that he was attending a mosque founded by an imprisoned al Qaeda financier and previously attended by two convicted terrorists,” Poole added.

As a result “we have more than a dozen dead Americans killed here at home because of these politically correct FBI policies, and with threats emerging from all corners this doubling-down on political correctness when it comes to Islam is undoubtedly going to get more Americans killed,” he added.

The domestic threat assessment is the latest example indicating the FBI has been forced by Obama administration policies from focusing on the domestic terror threat posed by radical Islamists.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R., Texas) said in a 2012 House floor speech that the FBI was ordered to purge references to Islam, jihad, and Muslims in its counterterrorism “lexicon” guidelines for its reports.

As a result, the FBI is hamstrung from understanding the threat of terrorism from groups like al Qaeda that have declared jihad, or holy war, on the Untied States, Gomert said.

Guandolo, the former FBI agent, said the vast majority of U.S. Islamic organizations were identified in recent U.S. terrorism trials as part of the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent group for the Palestinian terror group Hamas. Thus, these groups are aligned with the same objectives as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, al Qaeda, and others, he said.

“Our FBI is not teaching their agents and analysts this information; they are not sharing it with local and state law enforcement officials; and they are not investigating and pursuing the very individuals and organizations which are supporting and training jihadis in America,” Guandolo said.

Guandolo said former FBI director Robert Mueller testified to Congress that he was unaware that the Islamic Society of Boston was the organization behind the radicalization of the Tsarnaev brothers. “That tells you all we need to know about the FBI’s leadership about the threat here in America from the Islamic Movement—they are clueless,” he said.

Bill Would End Outrageous Loophole Allowing ISIL Fighters to Return to U.S.

Mideast Syria Lines in Sand AnalysisBy Adam Kredo:

Americans who have travelled to foreign countries to train and fight with terror groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS or ISIL) are not being barred from freely returning to America, where they post a substantial terror threat, according to a leading member of Congress.

U.S. intelligence agencies have been tracking Americans who travel abroad to join jihadist groups, but there is no law on the books restricting travel to countries posing a substantial terror threat, according to Rep. Frank Wolf (R., Va.). He is proposing a new law that would significantly restrict travel to Syria and other “nations of concern.”

Wolf, who originally introduced the bill earlier this year, is leading a new push to pass legislation that would imprison for up to 20 years Americans who travel to these countries following the reported deaths of at least two Americans who had travelled to Syria to fight alongside ISIL.

At least 300 Americans are believed to be fighting alongside ISIL, according to U.S. intelligence sources, who have reportedly expressed concern about these fighters returning to carry out terror attacks in America.

Wolf petitioned other members of Congress on Thursday to finally “do something to prevent Americans fighting with ISIS from freely returning to the U.S,” according to a copy of a letter sent across the Hill.

“Limited U.S. intelligence about their activities in the region effectively means our law enforcement can do nothing when they return home, despite concerns about their activities, contacts and training while in Syria,” Wolf writes. “I think most would agree we need to do more to prevent these terrorists from returning freely to the U.S.”

The United States is not doing enough to prevent radicalized Americans from travelling back-and-forth between countries dominated by Islamist radicals, Wolf said.

“The U.S. is not taking any substantial steps to discourage Americans from going over to fight—and these would-be fighters can see there is little price to pay for doing so,” the letter states. “This is an untenable situation that puts our country at greater risk of attack from a radicalized American who trains and fights with these groups and later returns home.”

While U.S. officials have claimed they are tracking suspect Americans abroad, Congressional sources working on the issue say this is “completely unrealistic.”

“Think of all the FBI resources needed to follow each suspect once they return to the U.S.,” the source said. “Countless hours of agent time diverted just to piece together what they were doing over there and how much of a threat they pose back home. Why wouldn’t we try to preemptively address it instead?”

The security and intelligence gap has already been exploited by radicalized Americans, Wolf warned, referring to the case of Moner Mohammad Abusalha, a Florida resident who was radicalized in Syria and travelled back to the United States to try and recruit his friends and family.

Abusalha ultimately fled Florida and returned to Syria, where he carried out a suicide bombing on a government building.

“Incredibly, he traveled to and from Syria with impunity—because there are no restrictions on Americans going there,” Wolf wrote to other lawmakers.

The law as it stands currently takes a passive approach to those who travel between America and countries such as Syria.

U.S. authorities do not have the power to detain an American returning from a country like Syria unless there is definitive evidence the individual has joined a terror group. This type of evidence is often difficult to fully secure given the limitations of the U.S. intelligence community, Wolf explained.

“Currently, unless the U.S. has solid evidence that they have joined one of these terrorist groups, the FBI can’t detain and arrest suspects upon their return,” he wrote.

Wolf’s bill, the International Conflicts of Concern Act, seeks to mitigate the terror threat by giving the president authority to restrict travel and material support to nations where radical terror organizations are based.

The bill has been endorsed by FBI Director James Comey, who recently discussed the “enormous challenge” of tracking Westerners who travel to nations such as Syria.

Read more at Washington Free Beacon