Leave my generals alone!

Dunford was a lot younger then, a colonel.  Think of all the valuable knowledge he's accumulated since!

Dunford (on the left) was a lot younger in 2003, he was a colonel in Iraq. Think of all the knowledge and contacts he’s accumulated since! He, and all of our generals, have acquired a lifetime of valuable, intangible, assets to our national security.


Colorado Rep. Doug Lamborn reportedly told a group of conservative voters that he is quietly working to convince Obama’s top generals to resign.

This conservative, red headed little girl, believes there is a huge difference between stating one general should resign because he knows Obama’s policy toward the Islamic State will fail, and instigating the resignation of many general officers.

One resignation does not cripple our national security, multiple resignations puts the country at risk.

I’m not saying our generals would leave us, on the contrary, since 2001 I’ve seen many stay, in spite of knowing their civilian bosses were making poor decisions. I’m thinking of Rumsfeld and his mismanagement of, well, everything, and of course Fallujah, two battles that would have been much less bloody, or perhaps avoided, if the higher ups had listened to the Marines, specifically that other fellow in the photo with Dunford.

The politician prompting resignations has not served in the military. He’s never ordered troops into battle, never written letters to the families of those who fell under his command. Probably never even attended a ramp ceremony. Yet he’s eager to damage the nation so he can stab at Obama. I’m not liking this at all!

Our politicians have already broadcast to the world that we are weak by allowing the government shutdown last year. Let’s not compound that with another show of weakness. We do not need our generals bailing on us.

We need them to stay, because no matter what happens, our military is our first line of defense. If Obama were gone tomorrow, we would still have our military, our seasoned generals should be in place, controlling as much as they can.

Generals bring much more to the table than people realize. Through joint military exercises with countries across the world, all of our troops, not just the officers, have made lasting, personal, cross-national friendships. Thus, intrinsic to our military, is a capability to communicate with other military personnel around the world outside the political realm. For example, during the Arab Spring, our CENTCOM commander picked up the phone and called the head of the Egyptian military when the political leaders were not taking calls from Obama. We don’t want to give this capability up. It’s a tiny bit of control that is lost when we lose our seasoned officers.

The importance of our generals does not solely reside in their ability to have their recommendations followed at all times, as you can see, it’s far more complicated.

Personally I believe Doug Lamborn has betrayed our country, my heart says the “T” word. His ilk makes me uneasy, trying to make backroom deals with our generals to emasculate our defenses. Remember, the more Obama fails, the more the country fails. That is immutable. Leaving our generals in place, mitigates some of Obama’s failures.

Islamic State – Depriving People of Food & Livelihood

Kurd-Farms-005IS poses a more complex threat than al Qaeda, the Islamist group from which it grew. For most of its existence, al Qaeda has focused on hit-and-run attacks and suicide bombings. But Islamic State sees itself as both army and government.

Taking farmland and crops, depriving the people of their food and livelihood. Air power won’t solve this. Bombing will destroy fields and infrastructure. Only infantry can deal with this.

How to accomplish this with the least loss of our most precious treasure? Only our generals know, because our politicians are poor leaders, they haven’t learned from history, and can’t stop thinking about how to stay in office long enough to consider real solutions. Honestly, our politicians are a joke. If we continue down this road the wheat fields of Kansas will be next.

For those who don’t know, and think Obama is our most precious treasure, NOT! Our military is our most precious treasure. The men and women who fight for us, and die for us, and change their lives forever for us.

Islamic State – tip of iceberg

Lord Ashdown speaks of reasonable solutions. He may not have all the answers, but who does? Our politicians need to consider what he says. People, diplomatic, military and political, need to come together and plan, and then when things change, they need to adapt the plan and not whine about it.

This is about a widening regional conflict between the Sunni and Shia. The coalition should look like Bush I, NOT Bush II.

As my Favorite Four Star (ret) says, the military can be used to help smooth diplomacy without ever firing a shot. A recent example was the multinational minesweeping exercise in the Persian Gulf that prevented Iran from mining the waterways of the Middle East. CENTCOM did this two years in a row. No violence needed, just a show of consolidated muscle.

Lord Ashdown is a former Special Boat Services officer, the UK counterpart and forerunner to US Navy SEALS. SBS is manned by members of the Royal Marines and Royal Navy. These are true warriors who have an educated opinion on how and when to use military might for the best outcome.

Grrr, the Reuters video in iframe automatically started when the page loaded so I just linked to the photo below instead. Click Lord Ashdown’s photo to hear him speak on this matter. He’s worth listening to.

3758167682

Time to Reinstate MotoMail

motomailmainlogo
Last year MotoMail was discontinued due to budget cuts. It cost the Marine Corps a $400,000 a year and usage had dwindled along with deployments. Well, now that ISIS/ISIL has something to say about how many deploments we’ll be experiencing, it’s time to start the program again or at least be ready to emplace it on short notice.

Rational Americans, Irrational President

Do not take “boots on the ground” off the table regarding ISIS (AQI, ISIL). Don’t take any element we have off the table, not military, not diplomatic. That is the advice of our most distinguished four star generals, of Ambassador Crocker, and many “think tank” experts.

The men and women who care about our security, as well as that of the entire world, are doing everything within legal bounds to move this country in the right direction. Instead of taking the advice of our experts, Obama is taking a poll.

General Zinni is right when he says in his interview that good leaders do what’s right, even if it’s unpopular. Our current president is not a good leader. In fact, every member of the committee spoke to Mattis as if he were still in command. Wishful thinking on their part? Perhaps he should be our president.

Here are videos of two of these great men, General James N. Mattis, USMC (ret) and General Anthony Zinni, USMC (ret). They both commanded CENTCOM, they both have great intellect regarding national security matters, they both have the respect of Middle East leaders. The president should take the advice of these men. He should also unleash General John R. Allen, USMC (ret) and let him make a success of our international effort against ISIS.

You can read my Favorite Four Star’s testimony or watch the video below. James N. Mattis testimony before the House Intelligence Committee 09/18/2014


I bought General Zinni’s book, Before the First Shots Are Fired: How America Can Win Or Lose Off The Battlefield, last night after I watched this video. General Zinni speaks strongly about our moral interest in fighting ISIS. He’s quite correct.

My comments on : Why Women Do Not Belong in the U.S. Infantry By Capt Lauren F. Serrano

The prowess of our military female is not in question. They can kick ass.

Members of the I Marine Expeditionary Force Female Engagement Team perform combat marksmanship training with their M4 Carbine assault rifles at range 407 here, Oct. 26. The training is designed to develop, sustain and improve individual defensive combat shooting skills in preparation for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

Members of the I Marine Expeditionary Force Female Engagement Team perform combat marksmanship training with their M4 Carbine assault rifles at range 407 here, Oct. 26. The training is designed to develop, sustain and improve individual defensive combat shooting skills in preparation for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

A well considered, professionally crafted essay by Captain Lauren F. Serrano, USMC. Why Women Do Not Belong in the U.S. Infantry

It’s a fact of nature that women do not belong in combat units alongside men. You cannot legislate biology, although “politically correct” politicians use the rhetoric of women’s equality in combat to secure their own political power. They do it at the expense of our war fighters, and they don’t care about needless injuries, deaths, rapes, success of our combat units, or our national security, as long as they get re-elected.

With that said – make no mistake, if you take away our men and make it so women have to do combat, we’ll annihilate the enemy. Female Marines are quite capable of closing with the enemy and being deadly, even if they may sustain more injuries. The resolve and prowess of our female warriors is not in question, female intellect is not less than that of our males. This is a practical matter of the biology of the sexes.

If you don’t want to read the whole essay, please read the conclusion below.

Conclusion

Marine Corps infantry is not broken, so let’s not “fix” it. Women should be incorporated into the infantry if they can provide additional support to the infantry mission, thus filling a gap in the needs of the Marine Corps. Until that gap is identified, I do not believe it is in the Nation’s interest to allow women in the infantry. Most importantly, the incorporation of women takes time away from training, jeopardizes readiness, and puts undue strains and requirements on the unit. National leadership should be more concerned with ensuring the Marine Corps infantry units are as strong as possible to fight our Nation’s battles, not with avoiding a difficult EO debate, promoting a particular political agenda, or maintaining a certain public image. Above all, preserving national security should be the driving factor of infantry policy change.

Now, on to care packages.

We are prepositioning troops in Kuwait. Obama won’t call it prepositioning, but that’s what it is. This means it’s time to ramp up support of our troops. I’ve started laying in supplies and making things that my Marines have requested over the last decade, my unique sewing kit, my combat pillow, and I’ve started testing a new berry, nut, coconut, protein power bar recipe. They’re only for my “cookie monster” Marines I’ve known forever, they ask for them. Please don’t send homemade food to our warriors unless you know them.

Drop by Anysoldier.com and get names and addresses. Send Marty some money so he can maintain his great site.

Write good letters. See my post here on that subject.

Retired Marine General John Allen Still Serving – Thank God!

Allen visits DFIP Photo credits at the end of this post.

According to The Military Times: Former Afghanistan commander John Allen to coordinate Iraq, Syria effort.

Obama has had the counsel of two other exceptional Marine four stars, James L. Jones, and James N. Mattis. He disrespected their expertise and tossed them aside. Do you suppose he’ll give Allen the respect he is due? Will he listen to this experienced Marine?

Lord I hope so! We’re in serious trouble with the Islamic State and they’re just the tip of the iceberg. More on that later.

Godspeed General Allen.

——————————————————————————————————————–
Photo credits:
Photo by Staff Sgt. Faiza Evans taken 04.14.2012
U.S Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, commander, International Security Assistance Force, visited the Detention Facility in Parwan, April 14, 2012, to observe the Detainee Review Board process and to award deserving service members with his commander coin. Guiding the ISAF commander through the visit was the command team that oversees all detention operations in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Keith M. Huber, commander, Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435; Air Force Brig. Gen. Dash Jamieson, deputy commander, CJIATF 435; Michael J. Scionti, civilian deputy, CJIATF 435 and Col. Robert M. Taradash, commander, Task Force Protector. This is Allen’s first visit to the DFIP since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and Afghanistan March 9. The MoU calls for the transfer of detention operations from U.S. to Afghan control by Sept. 9. In this photo Allen, Navy Capt. Scott J. Laurer, legal operations director, CJIATF 435 and Taradash tour the facility.

I Weep

ra1I haven’t said much lately but I must weigh in on this.

Marine Sniper Involved in Controversial Video Found Dead

1 – The frenzy over this video was utter BS.
2 – Marine leaders, and the President, should have stood up for these Marines and not cowed to political correctness.
3 – The population at large has no concept of what it takes to be a Warrior. To be in close, personal, life or death combat.
4 – The people appalled by this video are simpering ninnies who are incapable of protecting themselves, let alone our country.

Yes, I’m pissed. Every time one of my precious Marines gets screwed, I get pissed.

Rest in peace my magnificent Warrior!

The Next Commandant

111028-M-AR635-011edit1-300x200So I came home to several more emails asking me what I think about Tom Ricks’ opinion that General James N. Mattis, USMC (ret), should be reactivated and made Commandant of the Marine Corps. Okay, so I’ll bite.

Of course Mattis would make a fabulous CMC. He’d make a fabulous president, secretary of state, or whatever job you threw at him.

But why on earth should we go outside the active service for a commandant? What about all the other great Marine general officers still on active duty?

Are we to infer that Ricks believes all active Marine General officers are incompetent? Ricks’ premise is insulting to the other Marines capable of running the Corps, and why is Ricks the authority on this?

Oh, he’s not, he’s just stirring up some poo get readers, as usual. (I have a long memory, betraying one of my intel Marines for book sales in late 2006 puts one on my creep list for ever, and I’ll never fail to bring it up when it’s appropriate.)

So, I’ll mention two (of many) Marine general officers that have qualities I’d like to see in the CMC. Perhaps neither of them are senior enough yet, but they fine examples of the great leadership in our Marine Corps.

MajGen Vincent R. Stewart – As a BGen he was Director of Marine Corps Intelligence. That’s really a two or three star job, but if you filled it with a higher ranking Marine you would likely not have one experienced in intelligence. So, the Marine in that position has to conduct business among the higher ranks and not let them push him around. That’s an excellent trait for a Commandant.

MajGen Lawrence D. Nicholson – When Mills took command in Afghanistan from Nicholson I was writing to a SgtMaj under Mills. I told the SgtMaj that I’d like to put his photo on my desk in place of Nicholson’s. I like to keep my current Marines in Afghanistan on my desk so I remember to pray for them each day. The SgtMaj informed me his photo could go up along side Nicholson’s but not in place of it because Nicholson was one of the greatest Marines he’d ever served with. The SgtMaj isn’t the only one I’ve heard that from, hence I believe Nicholson is respected by the enlisted Marines. Oh, and having lived through being bombed in Iraq, we know he’s extra sturdy too!

That fellow Eisenhower thought he could push around, David Monroe Shoup, once wrote in his field notebook sometime during Tarawa, “that if you are qualified, fate has a way of getting you to the right place at the right time”… 1. I never get tired of citing that passage from Utmost Savagery. Now then, that’s what happened the last time Mattis was mentioned for CMC, his qualifications were more urgently needed at CENTCOM. Now I’m quite sure that the ghosts of Shoup, Daly, Puller, Diamond, et al, will ensure that fate does it’s job and places the right Marine at the helm of the Corps.

So I say to all the Marine general officers, there are plenty of you to choose a good Commandant from, and I mean that without slight to General James N. Mattis, USMC (ret).

—-
1Col Joseph H. Alexander USMC(ret), Utmost Savagery: The Three Days of Tarawa (New York Ivy Books), 51.

Rational Thinking Regarding the Middle East

I watched retired Marine General James N. Mattis’ speech given in November 2013 during an awards ceremony at the Foreign Policy Research Institute last night and of course I find that his rational approach to everything engenders my trust and true hope for a better world. Even as the selfish behavior of our politicians and aggressive acts by our foreign enemies try to destroy us, people like General Mattis and members of our military too numerous to list, provide the steadying hands that guide our country and the world toward civility and justice.

The whole speech is enlightening, you should watch the video too. Here’s my two paragraph take away.

Regardless of how our economy and energy infrastructure continue to develop, we must remain engaged in the Middle East. We have steadfast allies in the region that deserve our reciprocity, economies around the world will always be impacted by the pricing of Middle East oil, and there are plenty of terrorists and bad guys in the region that will attack us. Even if we should become energy independent, we cannot isolate ourselves against terrorists and acts of war initiated abroad.

We have a serious problem here at home. Our politicians are doing a poor job of running our country. Events like the shutdown of the government for two weeks sends the signals to everyone in the world that we are in turmoil. Our allies believe we cannot support them and our enemies see us as weakened.

Summary of his points:

♦ We must look at the Arab Spring for what it is.

We should not lose confidence that good things will evolve from it. This uprising is not necessarily a rush to democracy in the way we think of it. It is a response to the breakdown of the social contract between the governments and the people.

Many Arabs are fed up with unresponsive and unjust governments and in dealing with this “they do not have the tradition of democracy, and they do not have many of the things you and I associate with the rule of law.”1 They are building new foundations in an uncertain environment, thus there will be setbacks and problems along what is sure to be a tough road.

We must be patient and not blow things out of proportion. “Each country will manifest it’s future along the way.”2 General Mattis cited the events in Yemen over the last three years as proof that progress toward a fair and just government can be made in the face of the worst conditions.

♦ Our enduring interests in the Middle East3.

Even if we become primarily energy independent, as it appears will happen by 2017 or 2020, we will remain tied to the global economy. Oil prices set in the Middle East will effect the price we pay to do business in the world, even if it doesn’t set our internal prices for energy.

Our allies who have stood by us, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and others can only be committed to supporting us if we firmly stand by them as a friend, and we must do this during the bad times as well as the good.

Violent extremists can hit us from any place in the world, they managed to make spectacular hits on New York City and Washington D.C. from a half a world away. We cannot isolate ourselves and not be vigilant for such strikes against us.

♦ Our policy regarding the Middle East.

Many countries in the Middle East are undergoing political reform and our policy is to support it at their own pace without imposing our will upon them.

We also support economic reform in these countries so that the average citizen can feel as if they have a stake in their future.

We support our allies against bellicosity and terrorism. The Big Bad Wolf on the block is Iran and even though we must continue pursuing a diplomatic solution, we must also be prepared in the event of it’s failure. Even though yesterday it was reported that “the size of Iran’s most contested uranium stockpile has declined significantly for the first time in four years,” they are deceitful and we cannot allow them to obtain a nuclear weapon for they will certainly use it. If you nuke one part of the world you nuke the whole world. (Can we say “On the Beach” by Nevile Shute?)

However, our military can be used to further the diplomatic solutions by buying time. For example when Iran declared it’s intent to mine the Persian Gulf thus threatening to halt petroleum shipments to the world, CENTCOM, under Mattis’ command, initiated a mine sweeping exercise in the area that was joined by 29 countries across the globe the first year and 35 the second year. The exercise stopped Iran’s threats and diplomacy continued.

One major challenge for the U.S. is that our allies in the Middle East doubt our reliability. This is based in part by the fact that we have an unsustainable economy that’s getting worse, and our government has been unwilling to to deal with this. Without a strong economy we cannot support a strong military to protect us, let alone help our allies. Our global position is in decline.

Opinion:

Our government, for nearly a decade now, has done nothing to help our economy and has proactively done things to damage it. How can America be strong when our own politicians refuse to come to the table and negotiate with each other? They have spent the decade aggressively dividing the American people – both parties, and they have damaged our credibility with our allies and weakened our stance against our enemies.

Aside:

I had the opportunity to attend another Mattis event this afternoon at Rudder on the campus of my goddaughter’s alma mater, unfortunately business got in the way. For me, one of the best parts of his presentations at educational institutions is watching how he engages the students and spreads his rational character.

– – –
1 FPRIVideo, (2013, Nov 18). Reflections of a Combatant Commander in a Turbulent World – Keynote Address by General James Mattis, 11 minutes 28 seconds in.
2 Ibid, 12 minutes 46 seconds in.
3 Ibid, 14 minutes 50 seconds in.