Tuesday, June 30, 2009

FDR and President Obama

I have been hearing about how President Obama is like FDR. I have to disagree. FDR believed that capitalism needed help to get the United States economy out of the great Depression. President Obama believes that capitalism is greedy and evil. He has been saying that people should work for the government or a non-profit organization. He believes government and non-profit organizations to be fair and have the best interests of humanity at heart. And these differences are not the greatest between President Obama and FDR.

I believe that the most important function of the federal government is the decision to kill people. To wage war or not to. Politically, FDR not only moved closer to our allies, but he actively armed them. England, France and China were being threatened and attacked. FDR was instrumental in shipping weapons and support to all of them. This contrasts sharply with President Obama’s non-support of Israel. Our current President will pressure our best ally in the war region of the Middle East to end all ‘occupation’ and attempt to pacify their enemies. Our withholding of missile intercept technology is an example of how we will NOT be supplying our wartime ally with neither new weapon systems nor upgrades. In addition, President Obama is actually cutting our procurement of new weapons and weapon systems.

FDR was arming the country. New orders for everything from aircraft to tanks were being implemented many years before we became involved in the war. The greatest impact was in building a fleet. A bunch of new aircraft carrier and battleship keels were laid down in the years 1939 to 1941. Enough to double the number in service, a number that had taken more than 20 years to build. In addition, the first time the U.S. had a peacetime draft was implemented in October 1940. President Obama is doing the opposite.

In summary, unless President Obama changes his ideas about spending on defense and waging war, I cannot think of many Presidents who are more different than FDR. The real key will be how well we are positioned if and when we are Sunday punched, like at Pearl Harbor. I believe that President Obama will be like FDR in this regard. However, we will not be able to hit back nearly as early, nor as effectively because we will be caught much more unprepared than we were with FDR at the helm.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Momentum is being lost

Strategic momentum is being lost. Iran will crush its opposition. I expect them to be hunted down, interrogated (Not as nicely was we would) and then buried. This is a setback of major proportions. Iran is one of the three countries that are actively supporting terrorist organizations. Within a few months, the leadership of Iran should have even better control over their country. It will be a very long time before internal, organized resistance recovers. During this time, it will take an overt invasion from external sources to rid Iran of its current leadership. Iran will then be free to continue it’s current policy of exporting terrorism and development of nuclear weapons.

While we are pressing issues more forcefully in Afghanistan, Pakistan is looking more like it is attempting to get a real handle on the issue. The fact that Pakistan has nuclear weapons with missile systems and that so many Pakistanis are supportive of the Taliban make any progress susceptible to reversal. The area is known for loyalties changing side, often during a shooting war. Osama said it himself. They will back a winner. It will become apparent that it is not so clear-cut a case of the U.S. winning. Many people compared Iran with the U.S. experience in Vietnam. As has been demonstrated, Iraq is quite different from Vietnam. Afghanistan is much more likely to develop like Vietnam than Iraq. The leadership of the United States has an extreme reluctance to take military action on the strategic level. This will contribute to eventually persuading loyalties to switch more and more against us. More like Vietnam than Iraq, although I expect many loyalties to switch away from us in Iraq as well. After all, we are no longer willing to risk our necks for them. When shooting begins, this quality is valued more than any other.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hamas leader wants President Obama to become more involved.

I pulled this article from CNN today 6/26/09.

(CNN) -- Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal on Thursday called on the United States to take a more active role in the Mideast peace process "so that America and the rest of the world can take a break from the headache of the region." Khaled Meshaal says United States needs to take a more active role in Mideast peace process. "We appreciate the new language Obama used toward Hamas, and it is the first step in the right direction toward launching direct dialogue without any preconditions," Meshaal said in his address from Damascus, Syria. "We welcome this." Meshaal -- who lives in exile in Syria -- is the head of Hamas, which rules the Palestinian territory of Gaza. U.S. and Israeli officials have accused Iran of providing weapons, training and cash to Hamas militants in Gaza. The Hamas leader said the United States and its allies must emphasize "the need to lift the Israeli occupation" if it wants to rally the Palestinians and their Arab allies behind a peace deal. "When the Obama administration starts this kind of effort, we and the rest of the Palestinians will be very prepared to cooperate with this administration and with every international effort that serves this goal," he said.

Yes, Hamas understands that having the United States get more directly involved will help them. Hamas sees that President Obama is no friend of Israel and is on their side. This cannot do anything but help their position. Please note that Meshaal lives in Syria. I consider Hamas and Syria to be overt enemies. I believe that the 3 greatest threats to the region today are Pakistan, Iran and Syria. We shall see how well President Obama handles these three threats over the next four or more years.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Iran and the 'war on terror'

The events in Iran have caught me by surprise. Now I have had a few days to think about what is going on and what the potential side effects can be. Several outcomes are possible.

1) The government stays the same.

2) The President is sacked and the new guy is installed, but the government remains controlled by the ‘Revolutionary Council’.

3) The government is toppled and a new order is installed.

Outcomes 1 or 2 will mean disaster. The people who exposed themselves during the demonstrations will be hunted down. I would expect most, if not all to be eventually executed. The ability of Iranians to obtain control of their own government without an invasion from the outside would be set back at least a generation. Most likely multiple generations. After all, it has taken two generations to reach this point.

If the government of Iran is toppled, the holders of the most extreme views of the enemy within Iran will be exposed. They will fight to maintain control and risk being seen and known by the public. The ones who do not escape the country will be hunted down and imprisoned. I would expect many to be brought in front of a court. These people are the enemy that supports Islamic terrorism.

The most difficult problem in the war today is in knowing who our enemies are. This is why it is imperative that the government of Iran is toppled. If we lose, OUR side will be exposed. The loss will be incalculable. This is the time we must fight. We can be quiet about it, but we must ensure that the government of Iran changes in a fundamental way. Iran has been at war against the U.S., our allies and our way of life since the beginning of Iran’s current government in 1979. This is the time to make the effort. Iran is one of the major obstacles to defeating organized terrorism simply because of Iran’s support of terrorist organizations.

This will determine President Obama’s first term. And 2nd term, if re-elected. How effective he is will tell us everything that I need to know about him. It is times like this where caution can be an enemy. There are times in life when you have to take violent action against the bully or aggressive enemy. Conflict is as basic a part of human nature as eating and sleeping. If we do not fight for freedom here, our cause will be immeasurably injured. Acting here just may set back terrorist forces from obtaining nuclear weapons for another 5 to 10 years. This is priceless. It makes open warfare worth the losses sustained, if necessary. The point is, we have to do it when it will make the difference between winning and losing. This is part of the war that we CANNOT afford to lose.

I doubt that President Obama will see it this way. I expect him to under react, or react much too mildly. I can be wrong here, but I see him as being risk adverse to an extreme. He will wait until the dust settles and deal with who wins out. In a way, I can see why he will do this. Many are saying that any overt help from the U.S. would do more damage to the demonstrators than help. To a certain degree, this view is correct. However, this is an extreme situation. The results either way will be extreme. Our war against Islamic terrorism will be either aided immeasurably or hindered beyond calculation. To not take any risks at this time is to allow others to decide how the war will go for the next decade or more. As an American, I want OUR voices hear in this fight. We do have a major stake here as well as the Iranians.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Change in Iran?

With all of the unrest within Iran, it is possible that the current government could be brought down. Although unlikely, a change in the government of Iran would be welcome news. Even if a change in government occurred, I believe a fundamental change in Iran’s foreign policy is not likely. However, a change like this would help in the effort to end organized Islamic terrorism. The war would be far from over, but it would be a step in the right direction.

Iran would have to end ALL support of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah. The interference within other countries would have to end. Given these conditions, Iran would most likely become a much better member of the international community. This can only be a major, positive event in the war against Islamic terrorism. Syria and Pakistan would still be threats and I am certain that new threats would become more obvious as our enemies adjust to the new conditions. Right now, we can all hope that Iran will change for the better.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Islamic issues that are causing violence and warfare

I apologize about the repetition here, but these issues are a large part of the reason why violence and warfare is so common in the areas of the world where Islam is in contact with other cultures.

1) Separation of church and state – Islam is designed as a nation-state. Loyalty to Islamic laws and concepts over the government that represents you.

2) Moral obligation to kill the ‘occupiers’ of Muslim land – This is a basic cause of the Arab – Israeli conflict. This helps explain why so much effort at obtaining a peace has been so elusive. This is also a basic cause of much of the warfare against the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan.

3) The penalty for leaving Islam is death. - This is responsible for much of the internal conflict within Islam. The Sunni/Shiite dispute is a classic example.

4) Tribute – Payment of ‘non-believers’ to Muslim authorities has triggered wars.

5) Stoning people to death as punishment. Removing this medieval ‘law’ from Muslim culture has and will trigger violence.

6) "In Muslim tradition, the world is divided into two houses: The house of Islam and the house of war". – No comment necessary.

7) Jihad – Historically, the most common interpretation has been ARMED struggle for the advancement and defense of MUSLIM power.

In 40 years of my study of warfare, I cannot think of ANY armed conflict where I was able to identify a list of reasons for the cause of the violence in anything like the numbers presented here. Please note that this list is NOT complete, as my understanding of Islam is not complete. I would like to point out that ‘extremists’ within the Islamic world are NOT the only Muslims who believe in these concepts. A sizeable minority if not a majority of Muslims worldwide believes in at least some of these concepts. All it takes is one or two to cause war and the loss of life that results from the organized violence.

I consider the vast majority of Muslims to be ‘good’ people. A basic problem here is that like the good southerners who defended the evil of slavery and the way of life that revolved around that ‘peculiar’ institution, the ‘good’ Muslims will also defend these concepts with their lives. And like the good southerners, they will not change their beliefs without open warfare. Like the war to end slavery within the United States, this is a war that MUST be fought. As the constant Arab-Israeli wars have demonstrated, attempting to persuade them to change on their own will result in failure and open warfare. In other words, we will have to kill many of these ‘good’ Muslims before this war is over.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Election in Iran

The recent election in Iran will most likely make little to no difference. Even if the ‘moderate’ candidate had won, I do not see Iran as giving up the pursuit of nuclear arms. Just as importantly, I do not see Iran as backing off of support of the many Islamic terrorist groups that it sponsors. These groups give Iran much influence in other countries, so much that Iran is VERY unlikely to just give this influence up without some compensating benefit(s). Of course, now that Iran’s leader has been re-elected we can expect no change anyway.

Iran and Pakistan remain the most serious threats to regional, if not world peace. Pakistan because of its possession of nuclear weapons and missile systems combined with Islamic ideology and a history of supporting terrorist organizations. Iran is on this list for these same reasons, except its lack of possession of nuclear weapons. As has been well publicized, Iran is on a path that will lead to possession of nuclear weapons within the near future. Once again, time is not on our side.

It can only be a matter of time before a terrorist organization will obtain an effective weapon of mass destruction. The more Islamic countries that have nuclear weapons, the more likely an Islamic terrorist organization will obtain them. As the repeated suicide attacks have demonstrated time and again, mutually assured destruction (MAD) will not work to restrain these groups. It will be far easier for a government like Iran or Pakistan to deny any involvement in any attacks that take place if they supply one of these groups with a nuclear weapon as opposed to launching the attack directly. The election results in Iran will not have altered the probability of these events.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Issues in war for/against traditional Islam

I have studied warfare for more than 40 years. This includes hundreds of wars that contained all kinds of reasons (And excuses) for the organized violence. In many cases, only 1 or two major issues were required. The best example I can think of is the U.S. Civil War. The two main issues decided by the U.S. Civil War were slavery and loyalty to the state over the federal government. These two issues made the war worth every life that was lost fighting in it. This applies to both sides.

The vast majority of wars only required one to two GOOD reasons to make the destruction and loss of life worthwhile. I am referring to issues like slavery and the threat of change to way of life that is almost literally chained to the concept of slavery. This applies to both the slave and the "owner". What I see today scares the hell out of me.

I have found far more than one or two good reasons to wage war against traditional Islam. These same issues contain solid reasons to defend traditional Islam. In all of my studies, I can’t recall a conflict that had anything near the number of important issues that I am seeing today. The issues present (I have listed a number of them in prior posts) are important enough to die for and to kill others in order to resolve. For each issue, it can be expected that many more people become directly involved.

The more issues that are involved, the more people will be impacted thereby making the conflict larger. In addition, the more important the issue the more likely that issue will impact way of life. Defending way of life has and continues to be one of the most common (If not THE most common) causes of war. This is the primary reason that people decide to become soldiers in the first place. This decision places them at risk of life and limb. Not a decision that is taken lightly, I am certain. The risks of becoming a soldier have been known since the dawn of time. Islam has a rather large population to draw soldiers from. On top of this, Islamic ideology is the CAUSE of many wars and violence today because the issues involved are so important that they are good reasons to wage war over. On one side in order to protect the way of life. On the other side, to eliminate the injustice and discrimination that is inherent in the issue itself. Take the issue of separation of church and state.

Islam was designed as a nation-state long before they became common. Islam discriminates against other religions (As most, if not all religions do) and for centuries has had the power of a nation-state to enforce its ‘laws’ against non-believers. Islam is having great difficulty with the concept of a nation-state overriding its authority. Just look at the armies that some imams are fielding within Iraq. Or the statement issued last March in Istanbul by some prominent imams. The very idea of taking away the authority of the imam or overriding Islamic law would threaten the very way of life of those who have lived under this legal system. This alone is worth waging war over, and this issue is only one of many. This struggle of government versus Islam is being waged through terrorism in the places where the Muslim government is more ‘progressive’ than Islamic law.

By far, the most common terrorist (And the most effective and deadly) is the fighter that believes in Islam as the basic ideology. The concept of repeated suicide attack is a major indicator of the importance of these issues. For only the 2nd time in all of recorded history, repeated suicide attack is being seen. And this is even though Islam forbids suicide. The threat to way of life overrides this concern. We have seen this throughout history, as soldiers gave their lives in order to protect or to save others. I am certain that the suicide attackers (And their supporters) are seeing themselves in this way, or in some way like this. Once again, a major problem is size.

Repeated suicide attack is occurring all over the Islamic world. This helps me to understand the sheer size of the war. Hundreds of millions can be expected to defend the way of life that Islam represents. Not that Islam has to be eliminated. However, if the issues worth waging war over are resolved with change within Islam, Islamic ideology would be have to be changed so drastically that it would barely be recognizable. In other words, Islamic law must become optional and personal, not political. Change of this magnitude has historically triggered many wars. With more than 1 billion Muslims impacted, I cannot see this conflict as being a small one. If not handled properly and consistently, this war can easily blow up to the level of conflict that would exceed both of the massive wars of the 20th century.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Terrorist attack

The recent attack by a converted Muslim upon the U.S. military can be considered to be a ‘home grown’ terrorist attack, similar in a way to that of Timothy McVeigh or Columbine. I personally believe that this is only a foretaste of what will be occurring in just a few years. Even though I also consider this to be an example of a ‘home grown’ terrorist, the reaction or rather the lack of reaction by our current leadership will allow out enemies to continue to establish them within our nation. I am referring to many of Islamic issues that trigger wars, not necessarily of ALL Islamic beliefs.

We are actually letting our guard down, deliberately. Cutting the research and development for missile defense has to be one of the most glaring examples. The U.S. government deciding that it will not fight for the very values that are being threatened by our enemies is another. How can we expect moderate Muslims to fight with us when we refuse to risk our own necks? You find out very quickly who is on your side when the bullets are flying. You also can recognize your enemies much more readily. Seeing as this is one of the largest problems dealing with terrorism, our current leadership is dropping the ball. The result can only be our enemies becoming stronger and more capable. The attrition rate is way down. Our enemies can begin to reenter areas that they had to cut back on in order to maintain their army in Iraq. This will also allow them to deploy into new areas. The loss of strategic initiative now allows our enemies to begin to choose when and where to attack.

Defense is important in warfare. Attacking is preferred over defending unless you can’t maintain the attrition. The mismatch of terrorist against the U.S. military is an advantage that must be used. Without the open warfare against terrorism, we cannot expect anything but increasingly more effective attacks upon us. The strategic initiative has not yet been lost, but our momentum is slowing down.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Preventing North Korea from exporting weapons

North Korean export of weapons can be interdicted. More easily today than at any time in our past. A series of bilateral treaties were begun years ago. The idea of each treaty was to allow the country you are agreeing with to search any of your shipping on the high seas or in port. In return, you are allowed to search their shipping. In a way, this can be seen as giving up freedom of the seas.

The U.S. has fought wars to defend freedom to move in the open sea. These treaties can be seen as giving up this right. This is not entirely correct. U.S. shipping can go anywhere on the open sea. However, the U.S. is allowing others to help us stop other countries from abusing those same rights. North Korea has already been caught in a number of embarrassing attempts. These treaties played a major role in why North Korea was caught in the first place. This is also why North Korea has issued the threats of war for violation of ‘freedom of the seas’ today.

The treaty agreements began as direct treaties between the U.S. and individual countries with which we have mutual interests in maintaining open trade. Other countries began to make these same agreements with other countries and today, much of world trade is subject to interdiction if any of the countries suspects that a particular cargo is in question. A direct result has been some of the widely publicized searches of North Korean and Iranian ships. A number of illegal activities have been exposed that stood a good chance of not being caught if these arrangements had not been in effect.

The growth of this treaty concept has allowed for much more effective law enforcement. Economic sanctions can also be more effectively enforced. Of course, some of the world will be outside of this ‘umbrella’ but the world should be better off because of our mutual interest in enforcement of international law and order.