Friday, December 26, 2008

National (In)Security Team

"President-elect Barack Obama appointed his national security team December 1. ... Obama launched his White House campaign on the leftist antiwar plank of an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Iraq. ... 'We're going to have to bring the full force of our power, not only military but also diplomatic, economic, and political, to deal with threats, not only to keep America safe but also to ensure that peace and prosperity will exist around the world,' Obama said, noting that his security team nominees, 'share my pragmatics about the use of power and my sense of purpose about America's role as a leader in the world.' ... Susan Rice ... has argued that it was a mistake not to have intervened in Rwanda in 1994 when hundreds of thousands of Rwanda's Tutsis were massacred by Hutus in a tribal war that continues to play out today in the Congo. ... But there may be a downside to these appointments that runs beyond the current conflicts which Obama realizes cannot be lost on his watch if his presidency is to be considered a success by the American people. ... However, Gates has suggested trade-offs may be needed in long term programs to fund the current counter-insurgency campaigns. He has considered cancellation of expensive projects such as the Army's high-tech future Combat Systems and the Air Force's F-22 air superiority fighter. And he has shown no interest in expanding shipbuilding to maintain a 300-ship Navy which the admirals believe is necessary to sustain America's global reach. In a May 13 speech, Gates said, 'any major weapons program, in order to remain viable, will have to show some utility and relevance to ... irregular campaigns.' Such one-dimensional thinking, and at the low end of the conflict spectrum, would endanger America's strategic superiority against the most dangerous threats--rival major powers with the resources to expand their international influence. The U.S. and its allies must, of course, win the current campaigns against insurgency and terrorism. But it must be remembered that such irregular warfare is the tactic of the weak, and those whose capabilities are indequate to win control of people and territory. ... [A] National Intelligence Council ... report warned that the greatest dangers are coming from a resurgent Russia and a rising China, not terrorist groups. ... Yet, the U.S. military must be prepared to fight major wars against other nation-states, or their well-armed proxies. Air supremacy, command of the sea, and the ability to project heavy ground forces are necessary capabilities. Larger, deeper force levels are required for all services, to be issued with the best arms and equipment American industry can devise. If the United States fails at the high-end of conflict, it cannot succeed anywhere else in the long run", my emphasis, William Hawkins (WH), 5 December 2008 at

"If you've been laboring under the impression that President Bush is in favor of expanding and strengthening the American military, I've got some news for you. The man he installed as the replacement for Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense, former career CIA man Robert Gates, is not exactly headed in that direction. In fact, there's no question that he's quite adamant about continuing the current Bush Administration policy of not modernizing our conventional warfare capacity--that is, the Cold War concept of combat--because we're going to concentrate on 'irregular' warfare. ... Is Gates as Defense Secretary the greatest thing since sliced bread? Or is his continuation in that position a betrayal by Obama that is a grevious breach of his promises to the left wing of the Democrats? Or is Robert Gates taking us to the point of no return when it comes to America's conventional warfare capacity? Perhaps we should ask the Russians and the Chinese?", Dennis Sevakis (DS), 14 December 2008 at

"Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo get more press, but among the most urgent national secuity challenges facing President-elect Obama is what to do about America's aging nuclear stockpiles. No less an authority than Secretary of Defense Robert Gates calls the situation 'bleak' and is urging immediate modernization. ... [Obama's] wooly words have given boost to the world disarmament movement, including last week's launch of Global Zero, the effort by Richard Branson and Queen Noor to eliminate nuclear weapons in 25 years. Naturally, they want to start with cuts in the U.S. arsenal", Editorial at the WSJ, 15 December 2008.

Adolf Hitler said during the Yugoslavia campaign that guerrilla warfare was the refuge of the weak. Gates may be our worst SecDef since Robert MacNamara. He "thinks" all major weapons programs should "show some utility and relevance to ... irregular campaigns". Is Gates an idiot, or worse? Must a hammer show "some utility ... to turning nuts"? Gates, get out. Why "must we win the current campaigns"? I see no strategic significance to the US of the Iraq or Afghanistan "wars". Absent strategic superiority, the rest of our military forces are useless. 300-ship Navy? I remember when the US aimed at a 600-ship Navy, see my 22 November 2007 post:

I agree with DS. Suprisingly, I think if we asked Czar Putin he would tell us. Why? I think the Czar prefers a strong US to a strong China. China borders Russia. We don't.

What a piece of work Queen Noor (QN) is. Who is QN? QN, born in 1951 as Lisa Halaby, had a silver spoon in her mouth. She went to Princeton. That happens if your father is CEO of Pan American Airways. She marries the King of Jordan. So? Now she wants the US to disarm. Why? I presume since she has not been assassinated, she is part of the world-wide Jihad. QN, thank you very much. Go to hell. Among QN's more charming traits are: apparent historical ignorance and virulent anti-Semitism. Did you know Jordan makes it a felony to criticize the Prophet (PBUH)? Has QN spoken out against this? Does QN believe in the First Amendment, or does she want to avoid following Marie Antoinette to the guillotine?


Anonymous said...

You're rough today IA... picking on a Queen...

Don't you know we are not allowed to criticize the PTB!

Independent Accountant said...

I am well aware that being critical of the powers that be, our moral and intellectual betters, is "haram". So what? I just don't give a damn. Besides, I haven't said anything critical of Princess Caroline today. Yet.

Printfaster said...

You are on a rough ride. Good on ya.

You reach a large number of my sacred cows. The military thinking to fight insurgencies is goofy. Insurgencies do not threaten the USA. Ever, except maybe Pancho Villa. Fighting insurgencies is pure colonialism. The UN is showing its abject failure because its only mission is to fight these pesky, mini-genocides and it cannot deal with them. If it cannot deal with them, could it ever deal with another Jewish Holocaust? I suspect the UN would set up a popcorn stands to use the waste heat from the ovens, lest the ovens be a burden on the carbon dioxide of the planet.

As for the Princess, what amazing chutpah of the Kennedy family, starting out as bootleggers, becoming bootlickers to Roosevelt, gun boating to the presidency, drowning a secretary, and getting involved in a serious sexual escapade.

I guess that their criminality is qualification to royalty. Compare Caroline's treatment to Palin's: "Palin the failed vice-presidential candidate". Whoever heard of Gore, Mondale or John Edwards referred to that way?

Independent Accountant said...

What are you talking about? The UN would deal with "another Jewish Holocaust". 57 UN members are also members of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC). The UN-OIC would facilitate the second holocaust. I'm ashamed of you Printfaster. To think the UN would ignore it. I sentence you to hearing a day of UN General Assembly speeches. In person! I like your idea of using the waste heat. Let's ask Al Gore if he approves.
I think Palin can take care of herself. I'd like to see her go to NY and kick Caroline's butt. Such a fight could raise hundreds of millions on pay-per-view! Let's see if Goldman will promote it.
You missed something in "outing" Clan Kennedy, JFK's 1940 affair with a German spy in London. As for his and RFK's affairs, I'm jealous of one, Marilyn Monroe. So are you. 'Fess up.
Also see my 11 September 2008 post, "Foreign Policy and Other Realists".

Anonymous said...

I wanna see Sarah Palin versus Christine Quinn... more vigorous... more ideologically scrappy... more urban/rural... more red/blue...

Caroline K rides a white pony... exempt.

M.Monroe... yes... America's finest!