Unimpressed Trump Sends Pentagon Back to the Drawing Board on Afghanistan

AP

Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, July 20, 2017:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. President Donald Trump, unimpressed by the Afghanistan war options presented to him during a White House meeting with his full national security team Wednesday, suggested they may have to go back to the drawing board to craft a strategy that does not mirror the failed ones employed by his predecessors, said an administration official.

The meeting came as the Pentagon briefed lawmakers about plans to increase the U.S. military footprint in the country.

Contrary to mainstream media claims that the president has taken a completely hands-offapproach to the 16-year-old conflict in Afghanistan, Trump presided over Wednesday’s meeting primarily aimed at discussing the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan, a Trump administration official familiar with the deliberations told Breitbart News on condition of anonymity.

President Trump indicated that he is not satisfied with the strategy as it currently stands.

The Pentagon and White House National Security Council (NSC) declined to provide specifics about the developing plan.

President Trump demanded that his team go back to square one if necessary and create a realistic plan that ensures Afghanistan is ultimately able to stand on its own as a country, said the administration official, noting that the meeting served as a sort of wake up call for those involved in developing the strategy.

It appears that besides the Pentagon, the NSC has at least some authority in setting the strategy.

Asked about the meeting, the Pentagon did not confirm nor deny that the President asked officials to go back to the drawing board.

“We’re not going to discuss White House meetings or direction,” said Adam Stump, a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) spokesman, when Breitbart News asked whether or not it has been forced to start developing the Afghanistan war strategy from scratch and when it expects to present the plan to Trump.

The NSC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters last Friday a decision on the new plan would be unveiled around “mid-July” or “somewhere around there. We are driven by the maturity of the discussion, and where we’re at, we are not going to meet some timeline if we are not ready, but we are pretty close.”

Trump has granted the Pentagon the authority to decide how many additional troops to deploy to the war-ravaged country.

Currently, Mattis may increase that number of troops by between 3,000 and 5,000, from the 8,400 already there.

Mattis noted on Friday that the number of additional troops has not been “finalized yet,” adding that the Pentagon is waiting from input from the U.S. State Department.

Citing unnamed U.S. officials, CNN reports that as it currently stands, the strategy:

Encompasses a way ahead in Afghanistan, including the possibility of sending more troops, but also a look at new ideas for dealing with Pakistan, which the US believes is supporting or turning a blind eye to a number of terror groups operating inside the country.

The president made it clear he is not interested in any approach that resembles the strategies used by his predecessors and will not accept anything less than a dramatic overhaul, the official told Breitbart News.

Directly dealing with Pakistan’s support for terrorists fighting the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan would mark a significant departure from what America has done in the past.

Most of the 2,255 U.S. military fatalities and 20,245 injury incidents have taken place in provinces that border Pakistan.

The Pentagon spokesman defined what victory in Afghanistan means for the Trump administration, saying it utlimately involves a settlement with the Taliban and terrorists laying down their arms.

Stump told Breitbart News:

The U.S. strategy in Afghanistan remains centered on working with NATO allies, operational partners, and the international community to defeat the remnants of core al Qaeda and to defeat other violent extremist organizations and terrorist groups, such as ISIS-K [Islamic State], to ensure that Afghanistan does not again become a safe-haven for groups to plan and execute attacks against the United States, U.S. persons overseas, or allies and partners; and continuing efforts to provide financial and advisory support to the Afghan Government and to enable a well-trained, equipped, and sustainable ANDSF [Afghan National Defense and Security Force] that provides security in Afghanistan.

The U.S. and Afghan Governments agree that the best way to ensure lasting peace and security in Afghanistan is through reconciliation and a political settlement with the Taliban. The United States supports an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned reconciliation process and supports any process that includes violent extremist groups laying down their arms.

Citing unnamed U.S. officials, the Washington Post (WaPo) reports that the current U.S.-Afghan war is framed around a four-year plan to degrade the Taliban this is unlikely to “yield significant results until its later stages.”

In recently issued reports, the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon have accused Pakistan of willingly serving as a safe-haven for the Taliban and its affiliates, including the deadly Haqqani Network.

The Taliban affirmed its relationship with al-Qaeda in December 2016.

Also see:

Trump and Leaks: The president must take aggressive steps to stop a grave national security threat

Center for Security Policy, by Fred Fleitz, May 29, 2017:

President Trump spoke out angrily Thursday against leaks of classified information to the press – including leaks of confidential information the U.K. government had shared with American intelligence agencies on the Manchester terrorist attack. These leaks “pose a grave threat to our national security,” he said, and pledged to identify and prosecute those responsible.

The president has it exactly right. He is facing an unprecedented campaign by career government employees to sabotage his presidency with a flood of leaks to the press of classified and confidential information. These leaks are damaging U.S. national security and constitute criminal behavior. They must be stopped.

Some of the leaks have been of highly classified U.S. intelligence reports, including “demasked” NSA reporting concerning former National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn. Others were of President Trump’s confidential conversations with foreign leaders.

Concerning the false allegation that President Trump “leaked” classified information to Russian officials when he met with them in the Oval Office, bear in mind that the president has ultimate classification authority — he can disclose intelligence as he sees fit to advance his foreign policy.

As I discussed in an earlier Fox News Opinion article, the real scandal in that instance was that current and former intelligence and policy officials disclosed to the Washington Post sensitive details about the intelligence Trump allegedly discussed with Russian officials – details that were so highly classified the Post chose not to publish them. This was the real crime. The persons who illegally disclosed this information to the Post must be prosecuted.

Just as serious are the constant leaks concerning investigations of Trump officials. There’s no question in my mind that former FBI Director James Comey arranged to have his notes leaked to the press to hurt President Trump and influence the congressional investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election. It also appears that anti-Trump government employees with the Justice Department and the FBI are systematically leaking a story a day to help CNN and MSNBC promote their false narratives that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election.

These leaks are especially serious since Justice and law enforcement careerists are violating the due process rights of Trump officials by disclosing (and probably misrepresenting) confidential information from official investigations to smear them. Since the “evidence” of wrongdoing by Trump officials appears too thin to produce any charges, these officials are instead using leaks to try and convict Trump officials in the press.

It is urgent that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller stop these leaks which are an affront to the American system of justice.

The Trump administration also must take decisive action to halt leaks of classified national security information. The most effective way to do this is to fill vacant confirmable and non-confirmable positions in policy and intelligence agencies as quickly as possible.

This should include a housecleaning in the NSC, State, DOD, CIA, DIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and other agencies to replace career government employees named to sensitive positions by the Obama administration. In some cases, these career officials are actually former Obama political appointees who converted to the career civil service, a practice known as “burrowing in.”

Although civil service laws and regulations make it virtually impossible to fire career government employees, the Trump administration can reassign these officials. If this is not possible, job descriptions can be changed so anti-Trump careerists suspected of leaking no longer work on sensitive matters. Their security clearances can also be stripped.

Other immediate steps must be taken to address recent leaks of classified and confidential information. Read-outs of the president’s meetings and conversations must be better protected. Investigations that include polygraphs should be conducted to find those who were behind recent leaks. And the NSC needs to bring in experienced personnel to help safeguard confidential information concerning the president’s policy deliberations.

Trump officials will never completely stop leaks to the press. They need to recognize that leaks are always worse during Republican presidencies because the career work force tilts to the left. That said, this recent flood of leaks is an unprecedented effort by government careerists to put U.S. national security at risk to undermine an elected president. This cannot be allowed to continue.

Fred Fleitz is senior vice president for policy and programs with the Center for Security Policy, a national security think tank. Follow him on Twitter@FredFleitz.

John Guandolo outlines his disagreement with Trump advisors on CT policy – plus my take

CJR: There is a fierce debate going on among counter-jihad activists right now over what the Trump administration’s official counterterrorism policy towards Islamic jihad should be. One positive development is the likely end of the disastrous Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) policy that de-linked Islam from terrorism and led to both domestic and foreign policy which placed Muslims “feelings” above the safety of our own people. Now the debate is focused on whether ISIS is Islamic. I have no doubt that both Lt General H. R. McMaster and Dr. Sebastian Gorka know that it is. I believe that they are using disinformation strategy to de-legitimize the enemy and gain Muslim allies. However, I believe that now is the time to make clear that Islamic doctrine is the enemy threat doctrine and Muslims who are not following that doctrine to the letter are technically apostates. Muslim reformers must acknowledge this. The Muslims we wish to ally with understand this very well and will not be “driven to radicalize” by an official U. S. policy that states the truth.

I would not impune the character and motives of Lt General H. R. McMaster or Dr. Sebastian Gorka as John Guandolo does in the following article but I do agree with his position that there is only one Islamic doctrine. I would just point out that Muslim belief and practice of that doctrine varies. I see no problem allying with Muslim reformers as long as we are all clear on what Islamic doctrine actually says. There needs to be a complete overhaul of CT training as well as public education on the matter so that we can begin to “orient on the enemy”.

I will continue to post opposing views on this important debate and encourage respectful comments. Perhaps Dr. Gorka should invite John Guandolo to the White House for a friendly chat over coffee like he did with that self-important, weasel attack dog Michael S. Smith II. That would probably be a much more productive meeting!

***

mcmaster-and-gorka

“Unfit for Duty” by John Guandolo at Understanding the Threat, Feb. 26, 2017:

The New York Times, Guardian, and CNN all report Lt General McMaster told members of the National Security Council Thursday he felt “radical Islamic terrorism” was an unhelpful way to describe terrorism because becoming a terrorist is actually “un-Islamic” in the first place.

In a talk he gave at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in May 2016, LtGen McMaster said, “There is a cycle going on where groups like ISIL, who use this irreligious ideology, you know, this perverted interpretation of religion to justify violence, they depend on ignorance and the ability to recruit vulnerable segments of populations to foment hatred, then use that hatred to justify violence against innocents.”

This is incoherent and factually wrong.  LtGen McMaster wrote a book entitled “Dereliction of Duty.”  He may want to look in the mirror to see if he is doing the same thing in this war he accused President Johnson of doing in Vietnam.

100% of all Islamic doctrine, from elementary, junior high, and high school Islamic text books as well as the highest authorities in Islamic jurisprudence, to include Al Azhar University in Egypt, all clearly and doctrinally state Islam is a “complete way of life (social, cultural, political, military, religious)” governed by sharia (Islamic Law).  100% of all sharia mandates jihad until the world is under Islamic rule, and 100% of sharia only defines “jihad” as warfare against non-Muslims.

“The duty of the Muslim citizen is to be loyal to the Islamic state.”

What Islam is All About  (most widely used junior high text book in U.S. Islamic schools)

The violence Al Qaeda, ISIS, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Boston bombers, the attackers in Paris, the Fort Lauderdale shooter, and all the jihadis we have faced over the past 20 years quote authoritative Islamic doctrine in support of what they do.  Al Qaeda and ISIS have never misquoted sharia in furtherance of their actions.

In the last 15 years it has been made clear – the more muslims study Islam and sharia, the more likely they are to support and participate in jihad.

So the questions remains…what the hell is Lieutenant General McMaster talking about because he is not talking truthfully about a real and present danger to these United States?  He is doing exactly what our enemy wants him to do – creating an imaginary target for us to chase while our real enemy prepares to defeat us.

Nearly 16 years after 9/11, the Global Islamic Movement has taken down nations, expanded its power, and defeated the United States in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq because leaders like McMaster decided they were too busy to stop and learn the enemy threat doctrine – Sharia – and instead have been given a counterfactual understanding of our enemy by Islamic advisors who are all batting for the other team.

The President’s Counterterrorism advisor, Sebastian Gorka, is “over the moon” LtGen McMaster is the new National Security Advisor.  However, Gorka’s lack of honesty about the Islamic threat raises much more serious questions.

Some have been lulled into believing he is on the right track because he uttered the word “jihad” but defeating this enemy takes more than pretending to know what you are talking about.

Speaking at CPAC this past weekend, Gorka stated:  “Zuhdi (Jasser) knows it better than anybody because he understands that this isn’t about poverty or lack of education. It’s about people who are fighting for the soul of Islam – not a war with Islam, but a war inside Islam; as King Abdullah, as General Sisi has said, for which version is going to win.”

Utter nonsense.  There is one version of Islam and one Sharia.  To say otherwise is to be factually wrong, but also dangerous when national strategies are being built off that utter nonsense.

When one’s duties include national security responsibilities, one has a professional duty to know the enemy or do due diligence to know the enemy.  To fail to do so makes one professionally negligent in one’s duties.  When people die (Ft Lauderdale, Boston, Orlando, Ft Hood…) because a person is unprofessional in his/her duties it is called “criminal negligence” and doctors and lawyers go to jail for such behavior.

Several years ago at a town hall presentation hosted by Washington, D.C. radio station WMAL, Sebastian Gorka stated “99.9% of muslims do not support terrorism (jihad)” despite a mountain of evidence and polling data proving this comment untrue, and the fact the entire purpose of Islam is to wage jihad until the world is dominated by Islamic rule (sharia).

Dr. Gorka also writes in his book, Defeating Jihad, we are not at war with Islam (p.129) but our enemy is “the ideology of takfiri jihad” (p.123).

No muslim jihadi who fought on the battlefields of Afghanistan, Iraq or anywhere else, nor any of the jihadis who have died in Europe in the United States attacking us nor the jihadis we have arrested have said they are “takfiri jihadis.”  They have said they are “Muslims” waging “Jihad in the cause of Allah” to “establish a caliphate under sharia.”

This is what Islamic doctrine commands them to do.

erdogan-moderate-islam-capture

On page 144 of his book, Gorka ends with the call for the United States to spend billions of dollars supporting “Muslim reformers” in their “ideological war to delegitimize the message of holy war against the infidel and bolster modern interpretations of Islam.”  This demonstrates Sebastian Gorka is either completely free of any clue of Islamic doctrine or is intentionally lying about what Islam actually teaches.
Since these ideas and strategies to use “moderate Muslims” to ensure the “other version” of Islam wins are based in fantasy not reality, these policies will necessarily fail – and have failed the United States for 15 years.
Is that Dr. Gorka’s intention?  Does he not know that strategies to win a war must be based in the reality of who the enemy is?  Why would Sebastian Gorka put forth such and idea when he knows what he is saying is untrue?
Is it possible Dr. Gorka has remained strategically incoherent for 15 years during this global war?  Is he working on behalf of some outside entity to intentionally mislead the President of the United States, or is he is simply putting his paycheck ahead of the American people and his duty.
The United States will lose this war against the Global Islamic Movement if we do not clearly define the enemy and target the enemy.  We cannot hit a target we do not identify and cannot defeat an enemy we do not target.
Our warfighting doctrine calls for an analysis of our enemy based on how the enemy defines itself.  We begin our analysis there.  Something we have not done since 9/11/01.  If we did, our entire national security apparatus, including our military, would have been studying and teaching authoritative sharia and more of our soldiers, Marines, sailors, and airmen would be alive today because of it.
Keeping LtGen McMaster and Sebastian Gorka in their current positions will ensure America remains strategically incoherent and will guarantee our defeat in this war against the Global Islamic Movement.
As always, this war will be won or lost at the local level because our federal government is still failing us.

Son of Muslim Brotherhood Official Visits White House

In this March 9, 2015 photo, Mohammed Soltan is pushed by his father Salah during a court appearance in Cairo, Egypt / AP

In this March 9, 2015 photo, Mohammed Soltan is pushed by his father Salah during a court appearance in Cairo, Egypt / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, January 19, 2017:

The son of a Muslim Brotherhood official who was imprisoned in Egypt until mid-2015 visited the White House earlier this week, according to photos posted on social media.

Mohamed Soltan is an American citizen who served as the unofficial spokesperson for a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated protest movement that sought to reinstate Mohamed Morsi following his ouster in 2013. Soltan visited the White House just days before President Barack Obama is set to vacate the presidential home.

Soltan, the son of a senior Muslim Brotherhood official Salah Soltan, was sentenced to life in prison by Egyptian authorities for his role backing the Muslim Brotherhood as it carried out deadly protests following Morsi’s ouster.

The younger Soltan was released from prison after a lengthy hunger strike and efforts by the Obama administration to secure his freedom.

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Soltan, who has been critical of the Muslim Brotherhood in the past and claims to not be an official member of the organization, thanked the Obama administration in comments accompanying the photo of him in the White House, which was posted on Facebook.

The Obama administration has come under fire in the past for hosting official members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which some lawmakers in Congress have sought to designate as a terrorist organization.

The Washington Free Beacon first reported in 2015 that the State Department had lied to reporters about a meeting it held with Muslim Brotherhood members.

One member of that delegation, a Muslim Brotherhood-aligned judge in Egypt, posed for a picture in which he held up the Islamic group’s four-finger Rabia symbol, according to his Facebook page.

Obama Quietly Transfers 10 Guantánamo Prisoners to Oman

AFP

AFP

Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, January 16, 2017:

Outgoing President Barack Obama has transferred 10 prisoners from the U.S. military detention center in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba to Oman on his way out of the White House.

As of 10:30 AM Monday, the Pentagon had not announced the transfers as it has consistently done in the past. The identities and nationalities of the prisoners remained unknown at the time.

Nevertheless, the government of Oman announced it has received the 10 jihadists, saying in a statement it responded to a request from the Obama administration and acted “out of consideration for the men’s humanitarian situation.”

“At the request of Sultan Qaboos and the US government for a solution to the question of Guantánamo detainees, 10 of these detainees arrived today in the sultanate to reside here temporarily,” the state-controlled Oman News Agency (ONA) quotes the ministry as saying.

Oman, which sits on the eastern edge of the Arabian peninsula and is bordered by Saudi Arabia and war-ravaged Yemen, has been ruled ruled by Sultan Qaboos bin Said since 1970.

Obama’s recent move reduced the Gitmo prison population down to 45, compared to 242 who were still held at the facility at the start of his presidency.

Read more

CAIR Leader: Overthrow the U.S. Government

by Daniel Pipes
Nov 11, 2016
Cross-posted from National Review Online

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) successfully presents itself to the media as a benign civil rights organization, comparable to the NAACP or the ADL, a description that conservatives ineffectively rail against. In this light, perhaps a tweet sent out just after midnight EST on Nov. 9 by Hussam Ayloush, long-time head of CAIR’s Los Angeles office, will help awaken the press to CAIR’s true Islamist identity. Ayloush wrote:

Ok, repeat after me:
Al-Shaab yureed isqat al-nizaam.
(Arab Spring chant)

ayloush-tweet

That second line is Arabic (“الشعب يريد إسقاط النظام‎‎”) for “The people wants to bring down the regime.”

In other words, Ayloush unambiguously and directly called for the overthrow of the U.S. government.

Comments: (1) Ayloush may be the most vicious of the CAIR leaders. So far as I know, for example, he’s the only one of them to bandy about the term “Zionazi,” as evidenced in his e-mail below, dated March 18, 2002.

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(2) Ayloush is not a marginal figure but someone with access to the heights of American power, including the White House. According to an Investigative Project on Terrorism analysis in 2012, he

was a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. [and] … attended at least two White House meetings. The logs show Ayloush met with Paul Monteiro, associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement on July 8, 2011 and Amanda Brown, assistant to the White House director of political affairs Patrick Gaspard, on June 6, 2009. According to reliable sources, Monteiro was White House liaison for secret contacts with CAIR, especially with Ayloush.

Further, “IPT has learned that the White House logs curiously have omitted Ayloush’s three meetings with two other senior White House officials.”

(3) The dawning of Donald Trump’s victory was apparently a trying moment for Ayloush, so he let loose with an emotion he’d normally have kept under wraps. In other words, he offered a rare, candid insight into the mind of one CAIR apparatchik.

(4) According to 18 U.S. Code § 2385, “Advocating overthrow of Government”:

Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States … Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

So, journalists, editors, and producers: do please note what CAIR stands for. (November 11, 2016)

***

Parents of American Islamic State Sex Slave Kayla Mueller: Obama Failed Our Daughter

Screengrab

Screengrab

Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, Aug. 26, 2016:

The parents of American hostage Kayla Mueller have shared with the public the 10 second “proof of life” video they received from her captors, the savage Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), in which their daughter proclaims, “It’s very terrifying here.”

Mueller’s parents — Carl and Marsha Mueller — believe the Obama administration failed their daughter.

“The president could have been a hero, but he chose not to,” Mr. Muller told ABC News.

Mr. and Mrs. Muller have provided a copy of the “proof of life” video to the news outlet.

“My name is Kayla Mueller. I need your help,” pleaded Mueller, the 25-year-old humanitarian aid worker who was kidnapped in Syria on August 4, 2013, before ISIS had gained international notoriety.

“I’ve been here too long and I’ve been very sick,” she continued. “It’s very terrifying here.”

Mueller’s parents also received a “proof of life” audio clip from ISIS on May 29, 2014, nearly a year after she was abducted.

“Goodbye,” she abruptly said at the end. That was Mueller’s last spoken word to her parents.

In in the audio, Muller said:

Mom and Dad, I still am remaining healthy. You should have already received the three answers to the proof life questions you provided. Those detaining me are demanding an exchange of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui’s release for my release. If this is not achievable, they are demanding 5 million euros to ensure my release.

ABC News has learned from one of the hostages who was enslaved alongside Mueller that she bravely defended her Christian faith.

The news outlet notes:

American hostage Kayla Mueller was tortured, verbally abused, forced into slave labor for ISIS commanders in Syria and raped by the group’s top leader [Abu Bakr al Baghdadi], but her fellow hostages say she never surrendered hope, she selflessly put the welfare of fellow captives above her own and she even stood up to executioner ‘Jihadi John’ to defend her Christian faith.

A 13-year-old Yazidi girl who was also held hostage alongside Mueller has been identified by ABC News as Mueller’s closest friend while in captivity. Thousands of Yazidi girls have been forced into sex slavery by ISIS. She has asked ABC News to identify her only as “Julia.”

“She [Mueller] told the [fellow hostage] girls that part of surviving was being forced to pretend she had converted to Islam so the ISIS leader could sexually assault her, though she still clung secretly to her Christian faith,” recounted Julia.

Mueller “was praying for us to escape, to survive,” added the Yazidi girl. “I will never forget this sacrifice. She was very good to us. I will never forget.”

The ISIS terrorists charged with overseeing Mueller were led by British terrorist Mohammed Emwazi, who became known as “Jihadi John” when he carried out the beheadings and killings of 10 hostages. He was killed by a CIA armed drone in Syria last year.

Former hostage Daniel Rye Ottosen, a Danish freelance photographer, recalled how Mueller stood up to Jihadi John to defend her Christian faith. ISIS has committed genocide against Christians in the Middle East, crucifying, torturing, and enslaving thousands of Christians.

President Barack Obama has reportedly broken a promise to make a contribution to a charity foundation Mueller’s parents established in Kayla’s.

“I’m still waiting for that donation, Mr. President,” Carl Mueller told ABC  News.

In February 2015, ISIS claimed that American hostage Mueller was killed in Syria by a Jordanian airstrike.

Although the White House has denied that an airstrike killed her, it confirmed Muller’s death a few days after the ISIS claim without revealing the cause.

Mr. and Mrs. Mueller have indicated that “a series of missteps” by the Obama administration “failed their daughter,” reports ABC News.

“The Muellers say White House officials threatened them with criminal prosecution if they tried to pay the $6.2 million ransom ISIS had demanded for the release of their daughter,” points of the news outlet.