5 Points About New National Security Adviser Gen. McMaster

U.S. President Trump with NCA-appointee General H.R. McMaster (left) and US Ambassador to Israel-appointee David Friedman (R) (Photo: © NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. President Trump with NCA-appointee General H.R. McMaster (left) and US Ambassador to Israel-appointee David Friedman (R) (Photo: © NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Clarion Project, by Ryan Mauro, Feb. 21, 2017:

President Trump has chosen General H.R. McMaster as the national security adviser and there’s plenty to be happy about. Below are five points to consider with his choice.

1. General McMaster is known for winning the most difficult of battles. As explained in this lengthy New Yorker article from 2006, he performed an amazing turnaround in the city of Tal Afar in Iraq. I remember when he arrived in 2005 and shocked observers by needing only about six months to change the situation by building strong relationships with Iraqis on the ground to kick the jihadists out and to quickly build up the local police force.

His warrior side will come in handy as the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan bluntly refers to the situation as a “stalemate” requiring several thousand more troops for progress to happen.

2.He will never forget how Iran killed our servicemen and women in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.  McMaster blasted the media for repeatedly referring to “alleged” Iranian support for militias and targets, saying it was “damn obvious to anybody who wants to look into it” that Iran’s proxy warfare against our troops was confirmed. He will never forget or forgive the Iranian regime for harming his brothers and sisters in the U.S. military.

3. He criticizes the ““almost narcissistic” U.S. expectations in Iraq and Afghanistan that don’t take into account the limitations of our abilities to shape those situations. Authorities on counter-insurgency like McMaster, Mattis and Petraeus are often criticized of pursing idealistic nation-building, but McMaster’s words reflect a realism about what can and cannot be achieved.

4. He wrote an acclaimed book about the Vietnam War, Deriliction of Duty: Johnson, McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Lies That Led to Vietnam. The title alone shows he is cynical towards the senior political class. If you are skeptical about President Trump, you can rest assured that McMaster will not be a puppet.

5. Jihad Watch just broke the story that McMaster said the “Islamic State is not Islamic” in a 2014 lecture. Comments like that by the Obama Administration were rightly criticized and so must his.

However, we should be fair to McMaster. Did he say it because he doesn’t believe we should focus on the radical Islamic ideology or, more optimistically, he does understand the ideology and was using the line to try to undermine ISIS’ legitimacy?

The record of McMaster points towards the former, as does the records of those he will be serving with. Defense Secretary General Mattis, for example, explicitly identifies political Islam as the enemy ideology that a strategy must be crafted around.

***

Jim Hanson defends H. R. McMaster’s counter-insurgency strategy (COIN) which is based on taking into account the political sensitivities on the ground in order to recruit Muslim allies:

 

An Epic Expression of Failed COIN Strategy; Fallujah falls to Al Qaida Factions

20140107_FallujahIraqmap620x350by JOHN BERNARD:

For the better part of five years, I have been decrying the unconscionable use of the historically failed strategy of Counter Insurgency (COIN) in the midst of an ideological monolithic culture; principally of Islam.

In the past few days and just two years after the final elements of US forces withdrew from Iraq, stories are emerging, bringing to completion the seemingly prophetic message I and others warned of two years ago; that Al Anbar has fallen back into Al Qaida hands with a self-neutered Iraq government seemingly powerless to stop it. I also made the case, then, that Al Anbar was not won by General Petraeus’ conjuring up the spirit of COIN specifically, but by the infusion of some 30,000 American uniforms into the region.

This process is more akin to the scientific theory of displacement than battlefield strategy. If you fill a region with men bearing one set of Colors, the unit marching under a different Banner, will be forced to displace – and they did. The effort to liberate Fallujah, twice, yielded a temporary reprieve for the non-combatants living there which now seems to have been reversed with Al Qaida and other like-minded cells and tribal components, retaking that city and Ramadi.

What is so damnably frustrating about this is that too many of us to list, foretold of this, years ago. And if there were any left in this country who still held onto the belief that either our civilian leadership or the left-listing General Grade Officers which populate the upper echelon of our Military structure were somehow visionaries and intellectuals, this latest manifestation of a failure of foresight should hopefully drive a spike through the heart of that lingering belief.

Not once – but twice, Marines, Sailors and Soldiers were asked to lay down their lives, “liberating” Al Anbar and most specifically, Fallujah; the second time being tightly restrained by the rigid ROE (Rules of Engagement) borne of the incomprehensibly idiotic paradigm of COIN! And now, two years later, that effort and all that blood, proves to have been for naught!

My argument against applying the rigid stricture of COIN – on any battlefield was multi-faceted and immutable. First, if the hope of armed conflict is to convince your enemy of the futility of continuing on his chosen path then historically it has failed to some degree or another, each and every time it has been employed.

Second, the principle reason for dragging it out of the dusty archives of failed ideas has been the desire to mitigate collateral damage among the “innocent” population. The Pentagon assigned that misnomer to the Iraqi and Afghan populations due to a very poorly managed assessment of the human terrain in both countries which concluded the general population was innocent and not party to the calamity that was their culture. This assumption was made possible due to a systemic ignorance of the dominating religion and its likely effect on the daily actions of the people or their potential sympathies with the “insurgency”.

Read more at Family Security Matters

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Lessons of Iraq and A-Stan: Infidel Armies Can’t Win Islamic Hearts and Minds

Karzai and Rohani in Tehran, December 8, 2013

Karzai and Rohani in Tehran, December 8, 2013

by Diana West:

I am reposting a couple of columns below from 2009, written at a time before the Obama “surge” in Afghanistan, based on Bush’s “surge” in Iraq, was in full swing.

I have long argued that the Bush surge failed (explanation in three parts here). TheObama surge has failed, too, and for the same basic reason that has nothing to do with leaving Iraq “too soon,” or, I deeply hope, “leaving Afghanistan” in 2014. It is vital to stress that these failures are not due to the bravery and sacrifice and skill of our military forces. These forces have resolutely fufilled their impossible missions, to say the very least. The failures lie in war-planning and political strategy, ignorance and fecklessness, at the highest levels of the Bush and Obama White Houses, in the Pentagon, and in the Congress that failed to check them.

(To such ignorance and fecklessness we may also add an epic show of institutional callousness.)

The simple fact is that an army from Judeo-Christian lands cannot fight for the soul of an Islamic land.

This is the obvious but untaught and thus unlearned lesson of these past twelve years of tragic, costly wars. They call us “infidel.” We think that doesn’t matter. The Koran is their guide and they build their constitutions upon its laws. We help them do so and order our soldiers to risk their lives upholding theses sharia-supreme documents in the fantasy-name of  “universal” rights that exist nowhere but in the West. (See the madness begin here back in 2004). Meanwhile, sharia norms and masked Marxism are eroding liberty in the West while 99 percent of our political leaders do nothing.

They learn nothing, too. They set post-9/11 strategy in Iraq without seeing sharia norms and jihad doctrine as obstacles to “nation-building” on a (flawed) Western model — as though sharia and jihad can be eliminated as the authoritative foundations of Islamic culture by wish or denial. Such a  see-no-Islam strategy was doomed to fail, and so it did. But instead of retooling this failed strategy (which served mainly to the benefit of Iran, China and other enemies), they turned around and implemented it in Afghanistan.

We must win the people’s “hearts and minds,” Gen. Petraeus urged his men back in Iraq.

We must win the Afghans’ “trust,” Adm. Mullen and others   stressed (or buy it).

Thus, our soldiers were ordered to take hills of the Islamic mind-world that infidel armies can never attain.

We must respect their culture, the generals insisted, seeking more and more common ground, but ceding ground (metaphorical and real) instead. Vital ground.

We must protect the Afghan people (at the expense of our own), ordered the COIN corps generals, led by Petraeus, who infamously ordered:

“Walk. Stop by, don’t drive by. Patrol on foot whenever possible and engage the population. Take off your [ballistic] sunglasses. Situational awareness can be gained only by interacting face to face, not separated by ballistic glass or Oakleys.

Such “situational awareness” came at a great and tragic cost — but with little if any lasting benefit. Neither “protecting the population,” nor restricting ROEs, nor insanely profligate public works projects have permitted the infidel counterinsurgency to achieve its goals — winning Islamic hearts, minds or trust.

Cultural prostration hasn’t worked either, but not for want of trying.

We must respect their culture (no matter how barbaric). We must uphold their culture (no matter how vile). We must protect Islam, too. We must submit to its laws, and punish Americans who don’t. And punish Americans.

“Handle the Koran as if it were a fragile piece of delicate art,” a memo to Joint Task Force Guantanamo ordered in January 2003. That wasn’t enough. “We will hold sacred the beliefs held sacred by others,” ISAF declared in 2012.

Soon we will have new and enduring allies in the war on “terror.” What difference will it make if we can only fight together for the other side?

From April and August 2009 — over one thousand combat dead and thousands of combat wounded ago.

From April 3, 2009:

“What Do You Mean: If We Ever Want to Leave Afghanistan?”

From August 14, 2009:

“All Those Boots on the Ground and No Imprint.”

Before Benghazi, There Was Extortion 17

Betrayed-HD-300x217By Pamela Geller:

Karen and Billy Vaughn are the parents of a fallen Navy Seal, Aaron Carson Vaughn. I met with the Vaughns when I spoke to a sold-out Tea Party event in Fort Lauderdale in June. The Vaughns are extraordinary heroes. Their courage to speak about Obama’s crippling rules of engagement is to be applauded.

The Vaughns have exposed the delusional U.S. military “rules of engagement” policy that led to the takedown of a Chinook helicopter, Extortion 17, by the Taliban. All 38 people on board the Chinook — 15 SEAL Team Six members (including Aaron Vaughn) and seven Afghan National Army commandos — were killed. The attack on Extortion 17 came just three months after the Osama bin Laden kill, and both Obama and Biden had identified the team that took OBL out. Retribution was inevitable.

The Vaughns were also one of the families that released the video that revealed the incredible fact that military brass invited a Muslim cleric to their children’s funeral in 2011 — an imam who “damned to hell” our fallen soldiers, in line with Islamic doctrine for infidels. Video here.

Now Billy Vaughn and U.S. Army Major General (ret.) Paul Vallely have teamed up to write a shocking new book: Betrayed: Exposing the High Cost of the War on Terror (coming in August from Hugo House Publishers). It tells the story of how on August 6, 2011, Taliban jihadists ambushed Extortion 17 as it was transporting American forces to an area where Army Rangers were engaged in a firefight.

Betrayed is an accurate account of events, but it is not some dry recounting from a military operation logbook; instead, it’s as engrossing as any novel. The first part centers on Billy Vaughn as he tries to find out — against immense obstacles — what really caused the tragic death of his son. Obama’s bureaucrats put up heavy resistance, but Billy Vaughn was determined. Then in the second part of the book, Major General Vallely analyzes the mission of Extortion 17, using his decades of military experience to point out the many errors and mistakes of this mission — all due to Obama’s impossible Rules of Engagement for American troops in Afghanistan.

That’s not all. Vaughan and Vallely show that this was more than just a matter of mission failure. As they search for the facts and demand answers from recalcitrant government time-servers, they discover that the poor planning and execution of Extortion 17’s mission can be traced directly to the failed political and military strategy that the Obama Administration and senior military leaders continue to pursue in Afghanistan.

Read more at American Thinker

 

Extortion 17 to Benghazi to Obama

seal-team-6-2-ts300

The United West: Navy SEAL Team VI Families to reveal governments culpability in death of their sons in the fatal helicopter crash in Afghanistan following the successful raid on bin Laden’s compound.

 

Press Release:

NAVY SEAL TEAM VI FAMILIES TO REVEAL GOVERNMENT’S CULPABILITY IN DEATH OF THEIR SONS IN FATAL HELICOPTER CRASH IN AFGHANISTAN FOLLOWING SUCCESSFUL RAID ON BIN LADEN’S COMPOUND

(Washington, D.C.). Three families of Navy SEAL Team VI special forces servicemen, along with one family of an Army National Guardsman, will appear at a press conference on May 9, 2013, to disclose never before revealed information about how and why their sons along with 26 others died in a fatal helicopter crash in Afghanistan on August 6, 2011, just a few months after the successful raid on the compound of Osama Bin Laden that resulted in the master terrorist’s death.

Accompanying the families of these dead Navy SEAL Team VI special operations servicemen will be retired military experts verifying their accounts of how and why the government is as much responsible for the deaths of their sons as is the Taliban.

The areas of inquiry at the press conference will include but not be limited to:

1. How President Obama and Vice President Biden, having disclosed on May 4, 2011, that Navy Seal Team VI carried out the successful raid on Bin Laden’s compound resulting in the master terrorist’s death, put a retaliatory target on the backs of the fallen heroes.
2. How and why high-level military officials sent these Navy SEAL Team VI heroes into battle without special operations aviation and proper air support.
3. How and why middle-level military brass carries out too many ill-prepared missions to boost their standing with top-level military brass and the Commander-in-Chief in order that they can be promoted.
4. How the military restricts special operations servicemen and others from engaging in timely return fire when fired upon by the Taliban and other terrorist groups and interests, thus jeopardizing the servicemen’s lives.
5. How and why the denial of requested pre-assault fire may have contributed to the shoot down of the Navy SEAL Team VI helicopter and the death of these special operations servicemen.
6. How Afghani forces accompanying the Navy SEAL Team VI servicemen on the helicopter were not properly vetted and how they possibly disclosed classified information to the Taliban about the mission, resulting in the shoot down of the helicopter.
7. How military brass, while prohibiting any mention of a Judeo-Christian God, invited a Muslim cleric to the funeral for the fallen Navy SEAL Team VI heroes who disparaged in Arabic the memory of these servicemen by damning them as infidels to Allah. A video of the Muslim cleric’s “prayer” will be shown with a certified translation.

“This press conference takes on special significance given that our government has over the last twelve years since September 11th committed brave American servicemen to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that, in large part as a result of politics, were poorly conceived of and implemented, resulting in the deaths of thousands and the maiming of tens of thousands of our brave heroes. To make matters even worse, America has effectively lost these wars,” stated Larry Klayman, legal counsel for the families.

See also:

Petraeus and Allen: Non-Combatant, General Disgraces

Colonel Douglas Macgregor (US Army retired)

By Andrew Bostom

Unlike Generals David Petraeus and John Allen, Colonel Douglas Macgregor (US Army retired), is an actual combat veteran, and innovative, iconoclastic PhD military strategist. After one year at the Virginia Military Institute, and four years at West Point, Macgregor was commissioned in the U.S. Army during 1976

As described by US News reporter Richard J. Newman (July 28,  1997. “Renegades Finish Last. A Colonel’s Innovative Ideas Don’t Sit Well with the Brass”. U.S. News & World Report 123 (4): 35), Macgregor was the “squadron operations officer who essentially directed the Battle of 73 Easting in the 1991 Gulf War. Under Macgregor’s  bold leadership, U.S. troops with 10 tanks and 13 Bradley fighting vehicles destroyed almost 70 Iraqi Republican Guard opponent, armored vehicles without any U.S. casualties during a 23 minute span of the battle. Moreover, positioned towards the front of the battle and involved in firing, Macgregor didn’t “request artillery support or report events to superiors until the battle was virtually over, according to one of his superior officers.”

My colleagues Diana West and AJ Rice, directed me to print and radio interview comments, respectively, that Colonel Macgregor has provided in the aftermath of the salacious allegations against Generals Petraeus and Allen.

Macgregor is singularly unimpressed with the military leadership record of these men—the Army’s Petraeus, Allen of the Marines—noting that both lacked personal combat experience, having, “never pulled a trigger” or “lead soldiers in direct fire battle.” Nonetheless, Macgregor observes, Petraeus and Allen created faux heroic identities and  succeeded in their egotistical quest for military promotion.

Macgregor’s withering critique of Petraeus includes these comments made to Time reporter Mark Thompson:

Petraeus is a remarkable piece of fiction created and promoted by neocons in government, the media and academia. How does an officer with no personal experience of direct fire combat in Panama or Desert Storm become a division CDR in 2003, man who for 35 years shamelessly reinforced whatever dumb idea his superior advanced regardless of its impact on soldiers, let alone the nation, a man who served repeatedly as a sycophantic aide-de-camp, military assistant and executive officer to four stars get so far? How does the same man who balked at closing with and destroying the enemy in 2003 in front of Baghdad agree to sacrifice more than a thousand American lives and destroy thousands of others installing Iranian national power in Baghdad with a surge that many in and out of uniform warned against? Then, how does this same man repeat the self-defeating tactics one more time in Afghanistan? The answer is simple: Petraeus was always a useful fool in the Leninist sense for his political superiors — Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and Gates.

Entirely consistent with their apparent moral lapses, but infinitely worse in effect, is the fact that both of these zero combat experience generals have been avatars of the delusive, self-destructive “see No Islam/Jihad” counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine which has fatally sacrificed or maimed thousands of our brave troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, to no avail. Petraeus is gone, Allen should be fired, and let us pray good riddance to their failed, morally depraved ideology follows swiftly, as well.

Governor Romney’s study guide for the upcoming foreign policy debate

By Kerry Patton:

The Vice Presidential debate concluded and only two more debates will occur before this upcoming November election. Governor Romney is racing to get his ducks in order for next week’s foreign policy debate. He doesn’t need stacks of documents to study—he only needs this one article.

Since President Obama took office, the war in Afghanistan has turned for the worse. This is a fact supported with horrifying numbers. Only one number needs to be revealed to the American public proving this point—American service members killed in Afghanistan.

In the seven years that President Bush oversaw the war in Afghanistan, approximately 569 US troops were killed. In the three and a half years President Obama has been our Commander-in-Chief, that number has spiked approximately 70% to 1,431. How could President Obama explain the stark differences in these numbers?

Basic counter insurgency (COIN) requires you to treat the population as the center of gravity. In doing so, you protect that population while sharing their risks. This convinces the people you’re serious about helping them. However, if the Commander-in-Chief announces the date you’re leaving, it makes it extremely difficult to convince the people you’re going to protect them.

The people of Afghanistan know that after we leave, the Taliban will move in and anyone who helped Americans will be killed. So what do they do? They hedge their bets and bide their time until we leave. By announcing the 2014 pull-out, President Obama has cut the legs out from the very strategy he has bound our military to follow.

President Obama’s foreign policy has not only endangered our service members, it also endangered American values of life, liberty, and adequate due process among everyday American citizens. Since President Obama took office, he authorized the indiscriminate killing of US citizens Anwar Al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. They were Al Qaeda operatives staged in Yemen.

In 2010, President Obama authorized the two Al Qaeda operative’s lives come to an end by means of a drone strike. These citizens were never granted their Constitutional rights of due process. Which American citizen will be next and when will this abuse in power end?

In 2009, the “Green Movement” in Iran unfolded. This was a movement inside Iran meant to topple the current regime. That current regime is the very regime that threatens the world with nuclear developments.

The Obama Administration did nothing to support the pro-democracy “Green movement” which could have ended the current Iranian regime’s initiatives of procuring a nuclear arsenal. It could have also reduced an unprecedented amount of violence throughout the entire Middle East that has been sparked and fueled by Iranian backed operatives.

Supporting the Green Movement could have marginalized the atrocities that continue to unfold in Syria as well as stabilized security for our ally, Israel. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that the Obama administration failed to capitalize on. Instead, the current US administration continues to support oppositions closely aligned with Al Qaeda.

As Libyan oppositions fought to topple the Qaddafi regime, the United States took a leading role in a multi-national air campaign supporting anti-Qaddafi fighters. US tax payer dollars were used to support an opposition which later assassinated Ambassador Chris Stevens.

US intelligence revealed that the very opposition that fought Muammar Qaddafi’s regime incorporated Al Qaeda based terrorists into its mix. These fighters comprised of terrorists from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and Al Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM) among others.

Read more at Canada Free Press

Kerry Patton, a combat disabled veteran, is the author of Sociocultural Intelligence: The New Discipline of Intelligence Studies’ and the children’s book ‘American Patriotism. You can follow him on Facebook or at kerry-patton.com.