Thursday, October 25, 2012

Breaking the Trust

One of the things that commits the warrior class to it various missions is the trust they place in the Chain of Command to support their efforts.

On a visit to Fort Benning, GA many years ago I was given a tour through the Delta Force training facility.  Without a long digression, we had supported their training activity in New Mexico over an extended period and they invited us to bring a couple of jets to Pope AFB, and then to tour their facility.  Needless to say, it was an unbelievable experience.

But what impressed me most was the nonchalant approach that the Delta Force team members took to the dangers of their duties.  They shrugged off dangerous nature of some harrowing training exercises as if they were going to the grocery store to pick up a quart of milk.  They were serious, but casual.  There was never any doubt, based on what I saw and what I heard, that these Special Forces operatives were hard as woodpecker lips, and no amount of danger would get them to flinch.  Nothing could dissuade them from doing anything other than their duty.

There was one moment during that visit when one of the team members related a story to us that was seared into my mind.  It was the only time I saw a flash of intensity that has been unseen by me since.  The discussion was about a Delta Force team that was attacked and presumed lost during the Grenada invasion.  (Forgive me if I don’t get the details entirely correct, but in the end you’ll see that that will be mostly irrelevant.)  Shortly after this news reached the DF command element a discussion brewed about whether to send more DF members after the team that had been attacked or whether the situation was “too hot” to risk additional troops.  Apparently the DF commander deferred to engage because of the risk involved.

At this point the face of our DF escort’s face was nearly purple with rage.  He calmed a bit and went on to explain that several team members armed up, commandeered a helo, and went to find the other team to see what they could do.

Upon their return, the DF commander had been relieved of his duties and was on his way off of Grenada.  Such business like decisions are not part of the Special Forces creed and are not acceptable to those special operators who will do ANYTHING they are asked to do, all they ask in return is to cover their backs.  Small potatoes when it comes down to what they risk.

Fast forward to Libya.  We had two special force operators, outnumbered and out gunned, and the best that we can do for them is NOTHING?  They fought for SEVEN hours, undoubtedly each wounded many times throughout.  They kept the faith with one another, as expected, but what did the Chain of Command do?  NOTHING.  The Administration left these two highly trained and committed warriors isolated; knowing with CERTAINTY that they would eventually perish to the overwhelming odds.  Every American should ponder what that must feel like before they vote this election.

In order for the military to operate effectively it MUST trust the Chain of Command.  At this point in time, I wouldn’t walk across the street under a Presidential order.  The spineless behavior, the absence of direct action and the cover up for this heinous delectation of duty is unprecedented and it is reprehensible for any Commander in Chief.

If for no other reason than fact that the Obama administration abandoned its people in the field while engaged with the enemy, this President should not be allowed in the office, let alone voted by the people of this country back into it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thoughts for Obama

Holding the wheel is not the same as steering.  Sitting the the White House and allowing world events to unfold around you does not constitute a coherent foreign policy.  It does not shape events.  And it most certainly does not diminish the threat to our country.  It does however more clearly define the idiot thought that it is possible to "lead from behind."  Let the wheels go where they may, then pretend you were actually steering.  Brilliant.

Closing your eyes does not make the boogie man go away.  Al Qaeda attacked us again in Libya; plain and simple.  The previous strategy of 3.5 years of playing nice did not make them go away.  It did not diminish their organizing activities.  It did not slow their training.  It only gave them room to maneuver.  No matter how much you had hoped they would forget about us and move on, they did not.  Instead, they moved in; killing four Americans.  Clearly not optimum.

As Commander in Chief, you should learn something about waging war.  Key principle, you must maintain contact with your enemy lest you get ambushed.  "Gain and maintain contact with your enemy," is basic warfighting and it also applies strategically.  Rest assured, if you take your eye off your enemy or ignore him, you will be ambushed; as in Libya.  Normalized relations with Al Qaeda is warfighting, not sipping home brews at the 19th hole chatting it up.

Semantics is no substitute for substance.  Quit dancing around the Libya timeline splicing words that have clear meaning to the rest of America.  It may help you feel better while giving a stump speech, but the rest of us know that going to Vegas to fundraise, says more about you and your deep concern for dead Americans, than finding a fortuitous sound bite on a tape that you think will act as an escape hatch from dereliction of duty.  Not so fast.  We get it.  You wanted peace through smiling and apologizing.  It didn't work out; it only took you four weeks of Cirque du Soleil verbal acrobatics to get to a spot where you think us stupid idiots in the Middle Class now find you believable.  We don't.  You lied about what you knew when.  You did it to protect your political butt.  Shameful behavior form the Commander in Chief.  Pathetic.

It sure is hard to defend vapor.  You should have worked harder for 3.5 years rather than just talking about "results;" you should have produced some.

You and Joe Biden could not lead ants to a picnic.  You both came out of the Senate.  You had 60 seats at one point, and you still haven't been able to wrangle a budget out that highly respected legislative institution.  If the President and Vice President, both fresh out of the Senate, cannot get a budget out of the Senate, what could they do?  I guess three years of no budgets is all the evidence we need.

Own up to it, you love being President, you just don't want to do the job.  Why let those security briefings get in the way of golfing?  Why not line up a new gig as a DJ while you can?  Why not strut your eye candy self through NY and Hollywood while everyone is licking your boots and telling you how much they like your new clothes?  Who could give it up?  Sorry, but being President is about being on call 24/7, and attending security briefings, and meeting with foreign leaders instead of TV ratings bottom dwellers and softball buttkissers.  It is heavy lifting and it is not for the faint of heart.  It is for those who love this country more than they love playing a round of golf, or watching the teleprompter, or watching themselves on TV being "hip."  It is not for those who can even utter the words "lead from behind," let alone try to turn an un-clever punch line from a joke into "coherent" foreign policy while half of the Arab world is in the throes of revolution. 

Walk away, you can play golf for free for the rest of your life, but the rest of America can't afford to have you as President. 

It costs too much. 

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