November 18, 2015 |
Americans can't help but empathize with France in the aftermath of the horrific terrorist attack in Paris Friday, which left more than 120 people dead and many more with serious injuries. Even as we shed tears with the French, we are reminded of 9/11 and the compassionate response of the international community, which bolstered this country's resolve to make the murderers pay for their crime. Emotion has its place, and this is a time for expressing feelings. Yet emotion must be set aside to make clearheaded decisions about an appropriate U.S. response to the massacre apparently engineered by Islamic State.
February 24, 2013
David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War By Fred Kaplan Simon & Schuster. 400 pp. $28 Reviewed by Tony Perry Everyone knows - or thinks they know - about the influence the military-industrial complex exerts on American foreign policy. But there is also a military-intellectual complex of think-tank researchers, policy theorists, academics, Pentagon bureaucrats, officers with Ph.D.s, and even a few columnists. It was this complex that greatly influenced America's military strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan.
December 3, 2012 |
The recent hostilities between Israel and Hamas are a chance for the United States to think strategically. Or, better yet, rethink - specifically the Obama administration's "pivot to the Pacific. " The challenge was issued - "respectfully but forcefully" - by Paul McHale, who has been a Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania (1993-99) and an assistant secretary of defense for homeland defense (2003-09), and is a retired Marine colonel whose most recent deployment was to Afghanistan in 2007.
June 8, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Automatic defense cuts looming in January would be more devastating than previously feared and make it impossible for President Obama to refocus his national security strategy, a bipartisan group of former lawmakers and retired military officers said Thursday. Members of the Bipartisan Policy Center painted a dire picture for the nation's economy, the military, and large and small defense contractors if the automatic reductions occur Jan. 2, 2013. Based on a special task force's calculations, the group said the cuts would mean an indiscriminate, across-the-board 15 percent reduction in programs and activities within the military, not the 10 percent that had been estimated.
December 16, 2009 |
I UNDERSTAND the concerns about sending more troops to Afghanistan. No one wants to put more of our servicemembers in harm's way, or tangled in a difficult and complex conflict. No one wants to be spending more abroad when there's so much to be done at home. I would not support President Obama's strategy if I didn't believe our mission in Afghanistan is indispensable to America's security and that the cost would be greater - to our security and our treasury - if we left now. After eight years and significant missteps, the people are justified in their concerns.
September 27, 2009
Concern is growing that President Obama has become wobbly about the military strategy for Afghanistan that he endorsed in March. In fact, there's good reason to believe that a new report from his top military commander in that theater, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, was leaked to gain public support before giving it to Obama. If that was the intent, it had some success. The president is being urged by some to meet McChrystal's request for additional troops lest the war be lost.
March 6, 2008 |
THE REAL truth about the war in Iraq is that it hasn't made us any safer at home and has only exacerbated the threat of terror attacks worldwide. The continued presence of the U.S. military in Iraq is fanning the flames of global anti-Americanism while stretching our military to a breaking point. To change course for the better, we have to truly understand the enemy we face and make the needed adjustments to our military strategy. The perpetrators of 9/11 died in the planes they hijacked while the masterminds, like Osama bin Laden, roam the mountains of Pakistan freely plotting more attacks on the United States.
July 1, 2005 |
Here's Osama bin Laden in 1998, in an interview with ABC: "We have seen . . . the decline of the American government and the weaknesses of the American soldier, who is ready to wage Cold Wars and unprepared to fight long wars. This was proven in Beirut when the Marines fled after two explosions . . . and this was also repeated in Somalia. . . . After a few blows, they ran in defeat. . . . [They] left, dragging their corpses and their shameful defeat. " Maybe bin Laden changed his mind about the American government and the American soldier after they ran him and the Taliban out of Kabul in 2001.
April 9, 2004 |
The last week's events in Iraq have dealt a swift and stunning blow to the Bush administration's plans to withdraw U.S troops from the country's major cities, hand authority to local security forces, and orchestrate peaceful elections by January. But the street-by-street battles fought by Marines in the Sunni stronghold of Fallujah and the takeover of three southern cities by a Shiite militia do not necessarily mean that the coalition's efforts in Iraq are falling apart. For example, there is no evidence that insurgents have permanently disrupted the ongoing $20 billion reconstruction program.
October 30, 2001 |
MILITARY STRATEGY: Talk is that the Pentagon big wigs are taking the same kind of foolish "Father Knows Best" approach to the Taliban that they did to the Viet Cong. Don't misunderstand. "War Stuff" doesn't know diddly about war strategy. No ROTC or anything. But critics who supposedly do know wonder whether the military establishment can even spell "Afghanistan. " They seem to have been listening to all the dim bulbs out there who shouted, "Let's bomb them back to the Stone Age!"