Government officials in Afghanistan are reporting that more than 40 people were killed after Taliban terrorists assaulted the Intercontinental Hotel in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, Saturday. This leads to a question: How are they able to do this?
The United States and an international coalition have been battling the Taliban and its affiliated forces since just after the 9/11 attacks. In the years before Barack Obama assumed the presidency, the Taliban had its back against the wall; existing far more decimated than when battling the Russians in the 1980s and 1990s.
Today, the Taliban can strike at the heart of the capitol city in Afghanistan and do so targeting a location that is allegedly heavily guarded to protect foreign diplomats and business people.
Two points come to mind at this reality. First, the Afghan military/Security Forces and intelligence mechanisms are infiltrated with Taliban sympathizers who afford critical security information to that terrorist group. And second, we have declared a modicum of success prematurely.
If this reality is not dealt with more effectively; if the Taliban is allowed to strengthen again to the levels pre-9/11, the next strike on our soil - or in the free world - will make 9/11 look like a traffic accident!
North Korea's child tyrant is claiming that he has miniaturized a nuclear warhead to fit on top of his "balsa wood" ICBM missiles. President Trump has, necessarily, responded with his war face. And while many are talking about the possibility of a confrontation between the US and North Korea, there are options that would change the game.
Part of executing a potent and respected foreign policy is to not only be steadfast in your alliances, but to be unpredictable to you foes. In this instance, regarding North Korea, being unpredictable is the way to go.
Conventional thinking embraces the thought that the United States should leverage its relationship with China to quell the aspiration of Kim Jong-un. But short of a Chinese invasion of that despotic nation, there really is little the Chinese can do. Kim doesn't think twice about letting his people starve to death in deference to the elites and the military.
What President Trump should do is exercise a move from an outside the box thought process.
Why not enter into a strategic military alliance with Japan giving them what they have sought for years: military autonomy? Let Japan lead the way, figuratively and strategically, against North Korea. Japan has as much if not more to lose as the United States if North Korea lights the nuclear candle.
An aggressive Japan would strike a great deal of fear into the hearts of the entire Asian continent, with memories of their totalitarian conquest circa World War II still fresh in many minds.
A strategic military relationship with Japan leading the way would both strengthen our relationship with Japan and send a clear and potent message to North Korea, as well as China and Russia.
In a little trumpeted item from earlier this month, FOX News reported that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a UN agency in Geneva, has been helping North Korea prepare an international patent application for production of sodium cyanide - a chemical used to make the nerve gas Tabun. This chemical is on a list of materials banned from shipment to that country by the UN Security Council since 2006.
The WIPO has failed, at every turn, to inform neither the Security Council committee monitoring North Korea sanctions, nor to the UN Panel of Experts that reports sanctions violations to the committee, of this application.
This is just one more example of either grotesque dysfunction or purposeful collusion with nefarious forces by the United Nations and its associated agencies and committees. It is also an excellent argument for dissolving this inept and biased international organization.
The United Nations, at its charter, was created as a body where nations could engage in dialog in order to avoid military conflicts and all out war. It has since been purposely and disingenuously transformed to a wanna-be global government that saps the United States of a inequitable amount of revenue for all of its globalist efforts, including its "sanctioned" military efforts, which have promoted Islamofascism while failing to curtail literal genocide in every single instance since its inception.
The UN is a failed experiment. That we are still engaged in its manipulative process is a testimony to both our naivety and unwillingness to accept the truth.
The commander of American forces in the Pacific has warned that China has a huge advantage over the United States when it comes to their stockpile of land-based short- and medium-range missiles – some which can carry nuclear warheads. Adm. Harry Harris told senators on Capitol Hill that a decades-old arms treaty between the United States and Russia prohibits the US from building its own arsenal of missiles that can fly between 310 and 3,400 miles.
So, as China bulks up militarily - to the point of building man-made island military bases, and Russia once again flexes an oppressive muscle over not only their old Soviet satellite nations, but the Middle East, our military is prohibited from making sure we can counter any attack by either.
Stupid is as stupid does.
The intellectual and ideological panty-waists that have been installed in career positions at State and the DoD wave this treaty and sing Kumbaya, even as they exist believing it makes the world safer. It does not.
As we are witnessing in Syria, Vladimir Putin's Russia will look the other way when a despot uses WMD against his own people. And China - regardless of whether or not they are "being helpful" with North Korea - is a massive oppressor of human rights in its own country.
So, why is the country that routinely defends the freedoms of all - and especially overseas (and to no fanfare) - hobble itself with inane treaties that allow the forces of oppression to flourish?
Leading Democrats are castigating one of their rising stars, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D), for appearing to defend Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad against allegations his regime dumped chemical weapons on a rebel-held area. Gabbard's perceived crime: Being skeptical that Syrian strong man Bashar al-Assad was the mastermind behind the recent chemical weapons attack in that country.
Knee-Jerk political hack and rally screamer Howard Dean tweeted: “This is a disgrace. Gabbard should not be in Congress.” Truly, the man is a dolt. But his statement personifies the Democrat leadership's ardent desire for a lemming-like devotion by its elected rank-and-file.
What we do know about the Syrian crime against humanity is that prohibited WMD was used on innocents. And while we know that the chemical weapons were deployed by Syria air force aircraft, it would be highly unlikely that Assad would have authorized the use of WMD without at least the tacit approval of Moscow and/or Tehran. To believe that he would go it solo on the use of WMD - and act that everyone knew would bring down the wrath of the world community - and risk rebuke by his allies is unreasonable to suppose.
So, it is reasonable for Gabbard to have voiced her skepticism when the fingers of probability point to more than just Assad.
To wit, instead of Dem/Progressive leadership calling for Gabbard's resignation, perhaps the Dem rank-and-file should be calling for a culling of the dysfunctional old guard that has lead the party into the minority on every level of government.
Speaking during a Security Council emergency meeting convened in the wake of a WMD poison gas attack in northern Syria which killed at least 72 people, US UN Amb. Nikki Haley said evidence indicates the agent is more lethal than Bashar Assad has used before, and offered up pictures of victims.
The Trump administration has pointed its finger at Assad, but Russia has claimed that the chemicals were released when Syrian aircraft bombed a rebel-held factory making chemical weapons.
What we do know for certain is that Assad has used chemical weapons against his enemies in Syria in the past, and that the Islamic State (IS) has used make-shift and captured chemical weapons against Assad and Assad allied forces as well. Both sides in this elongated civil war are guilty of violating international treaties against the use of chemical and biological weapons.
We, in the West (because, evidently, the totalitarian nations of the Middle East and Asia don't have a conscience about it), must make a decision about whether we are willing to allow the use of WMD without a definitive response. Barack Obama's limp-wristed "red line" in Syria only served to embolden both the Russians and the Syrians. Now the Iranians are involved as well.
Pres. Trump's response must be perfect. He needs to speak for a coalition of world leaders who are willing to risk it all to push back against tyrants who would use these weapons of abomination. And the American people - who have because weak-willed where doing the right ting is concerned - must be prepared for the worst case scenario...and we haven't seen anything like this in almost two generations.
The Air Force has warned the troops not use words like "boy" or "girl" and such phrases as "blondes have more fun" because they are offensive. An email outlining the list of banned words was sent to airmen at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas. Banned words include "boy", "girl" and "blackmail" and phrases like "you people" has also been prohibited.
Wow! I wonder when the email directive about how offensive it is to kill someone comes out!
There is no room - no room at all, period, dot - for political correctness in our military. Our warrior class has served as a guinea pig petri dish for social justice activists for far too long. Sec. of Defense Mattis should find out who issued this idiotic directive, follow the chain of the like-minded and terminate all of them, short of that, reassigning them to the South Pole.
We simply cannot condone emotionally charged social engineering within the ranks of the best military the world has ever seen. Their jobs are tough enough given their fields of battle without saddling them with idiotic, touchy-feely, weak crap this this.