We live in such a fast food mentality world, where it appears many of us suffer from an acute version of adult ADD. But for those of you, who are somewhat deluded with reality and concerning yourself with some fantasy about election intervention, let me remind you of recent real events.
Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi just visited the United States, the White House — something he was not afforded an opportunity to do by the previous administration, since he is against the Muslim Brotherhood. Not only has al-Sisi been fighting the Muslim Brotherhood, he has an ISIS issue emanating from the Sinai Peninsula. And over the weekend we know ISIS decided to conduct two suicide bomb attacks on Coptic Christian Churches, one the home of the Coptic bishop. This happened on Palm Sunday weekend, a very important event for Christians. And don’t sell me that crap line about this not being a religious conflagration. It is to the enemy.
In Stockholm, Sweden, innocent civilians awoke to a bright sunny day and just wanted to go about their everyday lives. Sadly, an Islamist who was denied immigration, was set to be deported, and lied aobut his subsequent address, decided to use a stolen truck to run down Swedish citizens. So much for having respect for the sovereign immigration laws of a Western state.
We took action against the son of a genocidal maniac who is certainly exceeding the dubious achievements of his own father. What I find rather comical — no, absurd — are the ranting and requests of some that President Trump needs to consult Members of Congress before he takes such action. This is coming from the same folks who are now on a two-week “recess” — quite an interesting term — for Easter. You tell me any other profession in America where folks can get a two-week paid “recess” for Easter? If we are to be who we say we are — and this is not about insidious “red lines” — we must stand up for international law, rules and norms. And taking a limited action against a specific delivery means which was used to employ chemical weapons against innocent men, women, and children was the right thing to do…but now what?
Yes, we do need a strategy, a way forward, lest we repeat the stupidity of the previous administration as we witnessed in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan,Yemen — ok…everywhere.
So, if I were the National Security Adviser to President Trump, here are a few recommendations.
First of all, NEVER talk about regime change. That is an investment of resources and a commitment that leads down the venerable rabbit hole. What we must analyze are the key centers of gravity that can be attacked in order to degrade the ability of Islamic jihadists, or despots and dictators such as Assad to pursue their goals and objectives.
In the case of Assad and Syria, the key is to isolate him from his support by Russia and Iran. Sadly, the previous the policy of this nation was to obfuscate, deny and dismiss, creating vacuums and voids which could be filled. And even more astonishing, the Obama administration actually enabled Iran financially to be able to deploy its Revolutionary Guards, Quds Force, and Hezbollah in support of Assad. And we know that a simple promise to provide Putin more flexibility after reelection resulted in that despot being able to extend his support to his client state.
Therefore, when it comes to Syria and Assad, we must not seek to overthrow his rule, but rather isolate it from any external support, while reducing his capability and capacity to further conduct heinous assaults on his people.
Isolating Assad’s support has to be done diplomatically and economically, and will require, not the assistance of the United Nations, since Russia is part of the Security Council, but rather a true and willing coalition that will pressure Putin and Rouhani, who have embarked upon an unholy alliance.
My suggestion is that Secretary of State Tillerson forego any visit to the Kremlin and instead focus on NATO. Why would he go to Russia, especially after the visit by Iranian leader Hasan Rouhani? Never thought I’d say this, but our SecState doesn’t need to travel to Russia to send a message. It can easily be done via a tweet.
The real focus in Syria must be the destruction of the ISIS base of operations, Raqqa, and afterwards continued strike operations against any and every Islamic jihadist sanctuary. This is where President Trump must request a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). The request must not be so restrictive as to identify specific jihadist groups, rather focus on the global Islamic jihadist movement. As well, that AUMF must target the funding streams of these groups and interdict that support as well as working with our coalition partners to end their transit as recruits.
The previous administration had as a stated foreign policy, national security objective to pivot from the Middle East and focus on the Pacific — hardly the case. We know that the short, pudgy psychopath with the bad haircut continues his maniacal pursuit of destruction and threats to South Korea, Japan and the United States.
Kim Jung Un is the pet dog of Chinese President Xi Jinping, and we need the diplomatic and economic pressure to force China to abandon North Korea, just as we need force Russia and Iran likewise. Russia, Iran and China are complicit enablers of the abhorrent belligerence of Syria and North Korea, and we must see this as a total 21st Century axis of evil.
The Trump administration has to make this clear for any American to understand. Yes, we do need to position the proper maritime force in the vicinity of North Korea to send a clear message, and not telegraph our intentions. We must be targeted specifically against North Korean capability and capacity to employ ballistic missiles, or any nuclear threat. Bill Clinton led us down a foolish path, and Barack Obama did the same. They both went into agreements with North Korea and Iran: utter insanity.
My final recommendation for President Trump would be a prime time address to the American people from the Oval Office to define his national security doctrine. He can ill afford to allow the media or political opposition to define him on these matters. This is not about 140 characters, but conveying to the American people past failures, defining the issues we face, and laying out a roadmap, a strategic vision, as to how we restore our capability as a deterrent force, regain the trust and confidence of our allies…and put fear into the hearts of our enemies.
This is a critical juncture for the first 100 days of this administration. Eight years ago Barack Obama was expanding government spending with his stimulus — a failure — and giving speeches before the Muslim Brotherhood at Cairo University. Not to mention canceling the DC school voucher program. This is President Trump’s opportunity to show leadership.
Let’s be honest, Bashar Assad showed his defiance with his aircraft taking off from the same airfield that 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles struck. Mr. Trump needs to regain the high ground because, due to our adult ADD, most have already forgotten the cruise missile strike he ordered last Thursday…ancient history for our 24/7 news cycle.
Mr. President, deliver an address to the American people focused solely on our national security challenges and your vision. And I am more than happy to write it!
Oh yeah, tonight I will be at the University of Alabama’s North Lawn Hall Rm 2008, 7pm, to discuss these matters. Doggone, a Tennessee Volunteer giving a speech in Roll Tide Country. Ain’t that just a hoot!