Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The president and his family are not safe

I took the time today to watch the full 3.5 hour House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the failure of the Secret Service to stop Omar Gonzalez from entering the White House on September 19, 2014.  Secret Service Director Julia Pierson was the primary witness.

The take away from this hearing is that the Secret Service is not prepared to protect the President of the United States and his family.

It was clear that the Secret Service is headed by a bureaucrat. It needs a hard nose field agent who will take whatever action is necessary to protect the president and his family and suffer no fools in the pursuit of duty.  Director Pierson should be immediately fired.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Muslims must defeat the jihadi ideology

President Obama last week outlined his plan to “degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL.”  Obama contends ISIL poses a threat to U.S. citizens and interests in the Middle East.   If left unchecked he said the group could pose a threat outside the region, including the U.S., but ISIL does not yet pose a clear and present danger.  Under the doctrine of preemption established by President G.W. Bush, and followed by President Obama, the U.S. will take limited action against ISIL to prevent its further development as a threat to U.S. interests in the Middle East and the U.S. homeland.

The details of Obama’s plan and the participation levels of coalition members will be sorted out in the coming days and weeks.  The announced total complement of U.S. military personnel in Iraq will immediately rise to about 1,500.  No U.S. ground maneuver units (e.g. combat brigades and divisions) will deploy.  The plan calls for Iraqi forces and Syrian rebels to take the ground battle to ISIL under an air umbrella provided by the U.S.  The ground component requires much greater clarification as it is fraught with complexity and risk.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Remember those who fight and die

On Wednesday evening President Barack Obama presented his plan to address the growing strength of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).   The President was under considerable pressure to do something about ISIL.  Public opinion polling following the beheadings of two Americans by ISIL indicated growing public support for action.  Congressional leaders appear to support the effort.

An additional 475 military personnel will join over 1100 personnel already in Iraq.  If the past is any indicator that number will grow.  Navy F/A-18 and Air Force F-15 and F-16 aircrews have conducted 154 missions against ISIL thus far.  U.S. special-forces are deployed with Iraqi and Kurdish forces to provide intelligence, coordination, and targeting assistance according to press reports. 
There is a great divide between the men and women serving in our military and those who make decisions about placing them in harm’s way.  The President met with congressional leaders on Tuesday to seek their support for his actions against ISIL.  Neither the President nor the congressional leaders are veterans.