Gen Mattis, Gen Keane, Adm Fallon

Updated: 01/28/2015: Download the PDF Statement of James N. Mattis before the Senate Armed Services Committee..

Today’s testimony at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on threats to U.S. national security. It’s over 3 hours. At least listen to Mattis’ opening remarks from about 9:35 thru 26:00. You’ll get the point.

The world order is under pressure and is changing, we have allowed ourselves to become reactive, and that is a weak position, we (may) need to change our processes for developing integrated international strategy because mixing capable people with their good ideas with bad processes usually results in the bad processed defeating good ideas, and we must use reason over impulse when considering changes to the culture of our military – changes will likely reduce our combat effectiveness.

Congrats! LtGen Vincent R. Stewart, USMC

First Marine to Head the DIA

The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. John M. Paxton, Jr., left, speaks with Commander of Marine Forces Cyber Command (MARFORCYBER), Maj. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, while on a visit with MARFORCYBER in Columbia, Md., May 15, 2014. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tia Dufour/Released)

The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. John M. Paxton, Jr., left, speaks with Commander of Marine Forces Cyber Command (MARFORCYBER), Maj. Gen. Vincent R. Stewart, while on a visit with MARFORCYBER in Columbia, Md., May 15, 2014. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Tia Dufour/Released)

I’m not a bit surprised that this excellent Marine has been chosen to head the Defense Intelligence Agency. During my decade of supporting Marines, I’ve heard nothing but respect for him from people whom he’s commanded and served with. Trust me, some of the guys I’m talking about never pay anyone a compliment, thus I know LtGen Stewart is the real deal.

I feel little safer tonight. It always feels good to be watched over by my Marines!

Stewart

Strategy, Admiral Mike Rogers, NSA, Cyber Command, Chinese & Brazillian Hackers

I had a little time this evening until a few minutes ago. However client needs for a meeting tomorrow must come first so I’ll make some brief notes here. BRIEF!

In reviewing resources regarding a lack of strategy in Washington that General Mattis spoke of in his podcast (see previous post), I was lead to several congressional hearings where our military and retired military leaders were requesting planning, strategy and guidelines from Congress.

In specific, both Admiral Rogers, Director of NSA, Commander Cyber Command, and retired Marine General James Cartwright asked for guidelines that define cyber attacks into categories and what actions we can take depending on the seriousness of each category. For example, what constitutes a cyber attack so serious that we go to war over it? Without those definitions and agreement from our allies on these issues we will remain in a defensive position and our ability to protect ourselves will be weakened.

It’s bad enough that our media has undermined public opinion of the NSA over Snowden. People prefer to believe the worst, and the damage Snowden did with the help of mendacious journalists and media outlets will take a long time to repair. In the meantime China and Brazil made 589 attempts yesterday to hack into my Word Press account. To what end? Hey China, Brazil, all hackers, the back doors are closed and my password and logon name are so freaking long and complicated that it took me days to memorize them. Finally, after I was sure I could remember those crazy credentials, I wiped the paper they were written on with a bit of chicken liver and let the dog eat it.

SDBHey China, Brazil – When Smedley, tall, long legged Irish Setter that hunts with vigor, nose down, tail slashing back and forth, passes that piece of paper. . . do you want me to send it to you? Maybe you can make out my login data through the poop stains. With the lack of support our government is giving our protectors, Smedley is about my only line of defense.

More later, the links to hearings are below.

Cyber security threats: the way forward. Witness: Admiral Michael S. Rogers, Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and Director, National Security Agency

The Risk of Nation-State Conflict: China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. Witnesses: General James Cartwright, (USMC, ret), Dr. Kathleen Hicks, Dr. Walter Mead testifying. Oddly, this video doesn’t start until 35 minutes in.

Just a Quick Note on Mattis’ Podcast

There is much in this 30 minute speech that those of us who care about our lives, nation, and the world need to know. My question is: Who has the moxey to devise and implement the strategy to awaken Washington D.C.?

I’ll have more to say about this later when I get a breather, but for now you should listen to the podcast to see what I’m talking about – or you can check back after the weekend and see if I’ve found time to delineate things.

I want to know, how do we do the things Jim Mattis talks about? How do we get the attention of enough people who care about more than the latest poll? How do we impress upon our population that this needs to be addressed now? If we continue with our dysfunctional government, we are are headed for a fall we may not recover from. It will, at the very least, be a hardship we leave for our children to deal with.

How do we get our politicians to wake up and do the right thing? I can only write to my congressman/senator so many times before I become the barking, ankle biter, and lose my voice. I could give more to my political party so they would listen to me, but that would take away from my selected charitable giving, selected because our taxes do not do enough to help the precious people I support through these charities (see the sidebar.)

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I fear this will turn into the “Frankenstein Post” as the week progresses and I find more support data to piece in.

Mattis points out that as soon as ISIS gains control over territory about the size of Great Britain, they will have a safe haven, a base from where they can begin to export their terror to the West.

For anyone interested, Rule of Terror: Living Under ISIS in Syria talks about the rise of ISIS in Syria, the impact it has on civilian life, violations against children, and violations against women. I don’t understand why all the feminists have not jumped all over this with the same fury they attack our western men. For a quicker read you can advance to page 13 for the conclusion.

He also states that we must determine why young people are willing to sign up with ISIS and why some wealthy people and corporations fund them. Maha Yahya at the Carnegie Middle East Center has a good Op-Ed concerning this: The Ultimate Fatal Attraction: 5 Reasons People Join ISIS

I’m going to listen to Mattis’ podcast again tonight, for the 3rd time and I’m sure I will hear something new, learn more, and hopefully it will spur my gray matter to action.


The Worsening Situation in the Middle East

First Steps

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I am conservative, but not all about being republican, many of my GOP leaders leave me feeling unrepresented (Ted Cruz for one).We need a mix of leaders to successfully serve the nation. But Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Reid, and many other selfish, bombastic, blow-hard democrats have run the country into the ground. I’m hoping dems like Seth Moulton, who won the 6th district congressional seat in Massachusetts, are rational leaders. Moulton’s Marine Corps officer training should have taught him good leadership skills. I’ll be watching his career expecting to see excellence.

Realization of the carnage wrought over the last six years, brought us to yesterday. The elections were but the start of returning America to the strong nation we must be. Obama has weakened our status in the world allowing tyrants to no longer fear us. His impotency has emboldened Putin, the Islamic State and many other tyrannical actors around the world. He has dismissed our allies and given the rest of the world a reason not to trust us.

We need a big change, now. I wish the Prez could resign, but then we’d be left with that imbecilic, trophy husband and father of a coke-head who disgraced our Naval Service, VP. Ugh!

Obama does crazy things like spending $6.2 billion to fight Ebola. While the concept is great, it’s execution would prove to be a huge waste of money.
So I also just wrote to my Congressman, Michael Burgess, and my one senator I trust, John Cornyn, to stop this gross misuse of funds.

First, the $6.2 billion will be squandered and not used effectively to stop Ebola, second, Obama has no real plan and we need a practical, multi-national effort to eradicate this disease. Other countries should bear the financial burden as well. Finally, that money can be used more productively for our military – the one Obama has disrespected for the last six years.

What, give $6.2 billion to our military!?! Yep, that’s where it’s needed the most. After all, Obama has ordered our military to Africa and into the fight against Ebola. So spending the money on our military, by the transitive property, is spending at least some of the money on Ebola. Ooooo, we could take care of our most precious and fight Ebola too! What a concept.

It’s time to get busy repairing the country of all the damage we incurred from having an inexperienced child at the helm. We have to clean up his financial nightmare that further complicates restoring our position as the most powerful nation in the world . . . we have to again let our allies know we have their backs, while putting rabid fear of U.S. retribution into the minds of tyrants.

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.

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Time to Reinstate MotoMail

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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.