Once again, I am confused by our IRAQ policy. Under the present Administration, Donald Rumsfeld laid out a defense department strategy that called for a light, mobile attack force that could respond to supply overt and covert counterinsurgency support anywhere, anytime. The center piece of this plan was to be the United States Special Forces operating under SOCOM (United States Special Operations COMmand) operating from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. Composed of "Special Operators" such as the Navy Seals, Army Green Berets and other elite units backed with an extensive support team, these were the "GO TO" guys for everything from "snatch and grab" to causing serious mayhem in enemy camps.

Now with Rummy gone and a new commander taking over SOCOM, rumors regarding a de-emphasis on commando-like raids featuring SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) activities and increasing attention on new plans for winning the hearts and minds of those civilians trapped in hostile territories are beginning to circulate. Also new strategies which are said to rely on "checkbook" warfare: increasing bounties on so-called "bad actors," supporting surrogate opposition troops with money and additional material (e.g. guns and butter), and supporting the build-out of defensible critical infrastructure which improves the living conditions of the non-combatants. That it to say, there will still be "direct action" as required, but it is thought, by the powers that be, that it will be "indirect action" that will prove to be decisive in reaching United States goals and objectives.

Perhaps it was said best by the Commander of SOCPAC (U.S. Special Operations Command, Pacific), Army Major General Fridovich in an article which appeared in Joint Force Quarterly titled "The Special Operations Forces: Indirect Approach."

The Indirect Approach

"Addressing threats requires a sophisticated and indirect approach. The Nation cannot simply enter sovereign countries unilaterally and conduct kill-or-capture missions. It must blend host nation capacity-building and other long-term efforts to address root causes, dissuade future terrorists, and reduce recruiting. To address the underlying conditions that foster terrorism, SOCPAC works with host nation partners to help provide security and stability. This method promotes economic development and shapes conditions for good governance and rule of law."

"The primary contribution of Special Operations
Forces (SOF) in this interagency activity is to organize, train, and assist local security forces. The indirect approach relies heavily on the SOF capability to build host nation defense capacity, provide civil affairs forces to give humanitarian and civic assistance, and offer information operations assets to aid the partner."

"The indirect approach demands diplomacy and respect for political sensitivities. SOCPAC focuses on working in close coordination with host nation military and political leadership, law enforcement, and U.S. country teams in the region (to include the U.S. Agency for International Development
and Department of State Public Diplomacy officials). These stakeholders share the responsibility of capacity-building and leverage each others’ strengths and synchronize

Which sounds like the emphasis is going to be placed on a "stay and build" program with the host nation's security forces being supplemented with U.S. advisors and an "off-shore" rapid deployment strike force should the need for backup arise. This is a monumental task requiring large sums of money --perhaps an amount that would be partially repaid from the host nation's oil reserves; which is the most significant source of funds available. It also sounds like a very large opportunity to entice other strategic partners (countries, NGOs and the Multinationals) to assist the United States in the build-out for a commensurate share of any generated oil revenues. Certainly one would not expect that this nation would become a desirable vacation destination like Dubai or a center of commercial activity anytime in the near future.

However, the General does point out the single most important fact in any future planning. According to General Fridovich, "To produce institutional change, host
nation partners have to be willing to reform as
d." Whether or not this can be accomplished under the aegis of the current Administration in conjunction with a rabidly partisan and increasingly hostile Congress is unknown. Whether or not this can be accomplished by any Administration given the hostile regional forces (Iran, Syria, etc.) and the power-playing Russians and Chinese is still to be determined.

What can YOU do?

While it is tempting to play "armchair general," especially with all of the available political and military pundits in the media, military tactics and leadership are best left to those who are most qualified: the career military commanders who have already exhibited leadership and military skills in prior assignments.

Since our military is led by a variety of elected and appointed civilian politicians, it is extremely important that these leaders try not to overshadow military efforts by micromanaging the battles and losing the war. We have all witnessed the devastation caused by so-called "knowledgeable" advisors such as Henry Kissinger and Robert MacNamara as they practiced their brand of "power politics" or whatever they called their wild-eyed guesses.

It is important for citizens to elect politicians who will respect the military leadership and set realistic goals that will further United States interests, both foreign and domestic.

It is important for each citizen who votes to inform themselves of the threats that we face from radical Islamo-fascists and those of the hard-left (socialists, communists, Marxists, and anarchists) who have taken control over liberal politicians in the democrat party. Citizens must recognize that we are under attack from within as well as facing external forces. And, lest we not forget that great unmentioned enemy: greed -- which leads to the rampant corruption of our government and provides easy access for foreign powers to invade our country using "bought-and-paid-for" politicians as their "Trojans horse." 

Vote out those who brought chaos and corruption into the government and those who attempted to micro-manage our military to a political defeat. Vote out those who attempted to create a class of super-citizens out of illegal aliens, all for political purposes and the campaign contributions of special interests. Forget party politics and rabid partisan attacks, vote like your life, the lives of your family, neighbors and community depended on your judgement -- because, at this historic point in our Country's development, your vote really does count.

-- steve

A reminder from a large improvement can result from a small change…

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS