National Security

French: Trump Makes Two Promising Moves in the War on Terror

Donald Trump is making the right moves in America’s long war. Yesterday and today, the New York Times broke news of two important but incremental changes in American policy that will make it more difficult for terrorists to operate in safe havens abroad and infiltrate our communities here at home. Both changes, if properly implemented, will make America safer without placing excessive strain on military resources or diplomatic relationships. In other words, they’ll provide us a sustainable way to fight. The first change, reported last night, is that Trump is preparing to “dismantle key Obama-era limits on drone strikes and commando raids outside conventional battlefields.” The language is a tad overblown, but the essence of the reported change is that Trump intends to delegate strike decisions to lower levels of the command chain and expand the list of potential targets from “high-level” militants to include jihadist “foot soldiers.” Crucially, the administration is not prepared to relax rules of engagement that require a “near certainty” that there will be no civilian casualties. By delegating strike decisions, the administration will be better able to quickly engage targets. By attacking even “foot soldiers,” the administration is taking an important step toward preventing the creation of jihadist safe havens and diminishing jihadist strike capability. As I’ve noted many times, when terrorists are able to create and maintain safe havens, their power to strike abroad increases immensely. That’s the lesson of al-Qaeda’s control over Afghanistan and of ISIS’s control over vast stretches of Syria and Iraq. The second change, reported this morning, is that Trump’s “ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries” will soon be replaced “with more targeted restrictions on visits to the United States that would vary by country.” This change is the reported result of the 90-day policy review that was part of Trump’s executive order.

Isn’t that interesting?  To read the rest of this excellent analysis by attorney, and Army Reserve Officer (Major), David French, click on the text above.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.  So, he knows a thing or two about what he’s talking about….and has from time to time been very critical of Pres. Trump.  Keep that in mind as you read the rest of this article…

U.S. Jets Drop Bombs in ‘Show of Force’ Against North Korea

U.S. jets, along with aircraft from Japan and South Korea, dropped live ammunition in the Korean Peninsula as part of a show of force against North Korea Sunday in response to North Korea’s missile launch over Japan last week. The Pentagon announced that two U.S. B-1B bombers from Guam and four Marine Corps F-35B fighters from Iwakuni, Japan, joined fighters from Japan and South Korea in flying across the Korean Peninsula and practicing attacks on the Pilsung Range training area in South Korea, including the use of live weapons. The move comes amid increasing aggression from North Korea. While the show of force was triggered by last week’s launch, it also comes on the back of a hydrogen bomb test by North Korea this month, as well as another missile launch over Japan last month. The U.N. Security Council has imposed two rounds of sanctions on the regime, cutting off as much as 90 percent of the regime’s exports and limiting its imports of oil. However, that appears to have failed to affect North Korea’s escalation of its weapons program. President Trump is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday and is expected to call for the international community to keep its focus on North Korea in his remarks. He has made repeated warnings to the regime and last week said that, while sanctions were a good step, they were “nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen.”

United States to Sell More Military Equipment to Japan and South Korea

President Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that he is allowing Japan and South Korea to buy “a substantially increased amount of highly sophisticated military equipment from the United States.” “I am allowing Japan & South Korea to buy a substantially increased amount of highly sophisticated military equipment from the United States,” Trump wrote on Twitter. The tweet comes after North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear weapons test over the weekend. Trump did not specify what kind of military equipment the U.S. will sell to Japan and South Korea. A White House readout of a call between Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday said Trump provided his “conceptual approval for the purchase of many billions of dollars’ worth of military weapons and equipment” from the U.S. by South Korea. It also said Trump gave his “in-principle” approval to South Korea’s initiative to lift restrictions on their missile payload capabilities. According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, the decision came after weeks of discussions, and is a means to deter North Korean provocations. South Korea is among the “top customers” for Foreign Military Sales from the U.S. and is an attractive market because of its rising defense spending, according to a recent study by the Congressional Research Service. Between 2008 and 2016, South Korea spent 75 percent of its total foreign defense purchases on U.S. companies, but also buys from European and Israeli defense companies. During that time, South Korea FMS contracts with the U.S. totaled $15.7 billion, and commercial buys totaled $6.9 billion, for a total of $22.5 billion. South Korea is to purchase 40 Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from the U.S. for a total of $7.83 billion, with the first delivery scheduled for 2018. South Korea is also to purchase four RQ-4 “Global Hawk” drones at a price of $657 million. U.S. military sales to Japan dwarfs South Korea by comparison. Japan spends $11 billion per year on Foreign Military Sales, with more than 90 percent of their purchases from U.S. companies, according to another study by CRS. Recent major purchases include the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, Boeing KC-46 Tankers, Northrup Grumman E2D Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft, General Dynamics Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicles, and Boeing/Bell MV-22 Ospreys.

Haley says North Korea is ‘begging for war,’ calls for strongest possible UN sanctions

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Monday asked the body’s Security Council to impose the strongest possible sanctions against North Korea in response to the rogue nation’s most recent nuclear test, saying “the time for half measures … is over.” Haley spoke at U.N. headquarters in New York a day after North Korea claimed to have conducted an underground test on a hydrogen bomb. It was the country’s sixth such test, following five previous ones on a nuclear warhead and recent launches of inter-continental missiles to land such weapons on foreign soil. The United States is calling for a U.N. vote on sanctions as early as next week. “We cannot kick this can down the road any longer,” Halley also said at the special U.N. meeting, convened after the weapon test overnight Saturday. “Enough is enough. War is never something the United States wants. … But our country’s patience is not unlimited.” Her statements follow President Trump a day earlier condemned the test in the strongest terms. “North Korea is a rogue nation which has become a great threat and embarrassment to China, which is trying to help but with little success,” Trump said in one of several tweets Sunday. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said later in the day, in a White House meeting on the matter, that any threats by North Korea to the United State or its allies will be met with an “effective and overwhelming” military response. North Korea is “begging for war,” Haley also said Sunday. “The time for half measures by the Security Council is over.” And like Trump and other top administration officials, she also said the U.S. intends to impose economic sanctions on countries that do business with North Korea.

Ambassador Nikki Haley (R) is doing great work at the UN and on behalf of America’s interests!  Excellent work Nikki!!   🙂

Bolton: ‘Only Diplomatic Option Left Is to End the Regime in N Korea By Effectively Having the South Take It Over’

On this weekend’s broadcast of Fox News Channel’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” former U.N. ambassador John Bolton argued the only remaining diplomatic solution to the nuclear threat from North Korea was through the unification of the Korean peninsula, which he argued means letting South Korea take over North Korea. “The only diplomatic option left is to end the North Korean regime by effectively having the South take it over,” Bolton said. “Sunday Morning Futures” fill-in host Trish Regan protested and said it wasn’t “really diplomatic.” “Well, that is their problem, not ours,” Bolton replied. “Because anybody who thinks more diplomacy with North Korea, more sanctions, whether against North Korea, or an effort to apply sanctions against China, is just giving North Korea more time to increase its nuclear arsenal, increase its ballistic missile capability, increase the accuracy of its guidance systems and put us, South Korea, and Japan in more jeopardy.” “We have fooled around with North Korea for 25 years, and fooling around some more is just going to make matters worse,” he added.

Agreed!!  Putting off dealing with N. Korea, which is all we’ve done for over a quarter century, will only make it worse.  It’s like putting off getting those impacted wisdom teeth pulled.  At some point we’ll have to end this nonsense with N. Korea.  And, it’d be better to have someone like Trump at the helm, who has actual executive experience and a first rate team of advisors and generals on his team, then some  limp-wristed, metro-sexual, “community organizer” like Obama. A confrontation with the DPRK is inevitable.  It’s not a matter of if.  It’s a matter of when.

Obama Admin Hid Intel on Iranian Militants in Syria to Push Nuclear Deal

The Obama administration likely hid information about Iran illicitly ferrying militants into Syria on commercial aircraft in order to promote the landmark nuclear deal and foster multi-billion dollar business deals with Tehran’s state-controlled airline sector, according to lawmakers and other sources familiar with the matter. The Washington Free Beacon first disclosed last week that congressional leaders are calling for an investigation into Iran for using its state-controlled air carrier, Iran Air, to ferry militant fighters into Syria, where they are taking up arms in defense of embattled President Bashar al-Assad. Photographs provided to Congress show Iran using Iran Air to ferry these soldiers between 2016 and 2017, in part when the Obama administration removed sanctions on Iran Air and promoted multi-billion dollars sales between the carrier and aircraft manufacturer Boeing, which is seeking to provide Iran Air with a fleet of new planes that many suspect will be used to carry terrorist fighters and weapons into regional hotspots. This behavior violates international laws governing the nuclear deal and has now led lawmakers and others to accuse the Obama administration of downplaying Iran’s illicit activity in order to promote the nuclear deal and ensure Tehran receives a new commercial fleet. Multiple senior Obama administration officials, including former secretary of state John Kerry, traveled the globe to promote trade with Iranian companies, including Iran Air, at the same time Iran was found to be ferrying militants into Syria. Lawmakers and others suspect the Obama administration either hid or downplayed this information in order to preserve the nuclear deal. “The Obama administration lifted sanctions against Iran Air as a political concession during nuclear negotiations with Iran, not because of any change in its activity,” Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.), one of the lawmakers calling for an investigation into Iran’s use of commercial aircraft for military purposes, told the Free Beacon. “Using social media and public flight tracking websites, any person with a computer can document Iranian military transports to Syria on commercial jets,” Roskam said. “The Obama administration undoubtedly knew Iranian airliners were being used to fuel Assad’s atrocities in Syria, but the administration officials who were globetrotting as Tehran’s chamber of commerce trying to shore up the nuclear deal didn’t care.” “Iran Air continues to support the Iran-Assad war machine to this day, and the Trump administration must hold the airline accountable and work to stop them,” the lawmaker said. Roskam and a delegation of other Republican congressmen petitioned the Trump Treasury Department last week to investigate photographic evidence showing Iran using Iran Air to ferry militants into Syria. “Iran’s use of commercial aircraft for military purposes violates international agreements as well as Iranian commitments under the JCPOA,” or Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the lawmakers wrote..

This is one of those stories you won’t see anywhere in the dominantly liberal mainstream media.  And, with what’s going on in Texas, this is getting buried “below the fold.”

U.N.: N.Korea supplying Syria chemical weapons program

A North Korean mining firm, reputed to be a front for Pyongyang’s weapons development programs, attempted to ship materiel to Syrian officials tied to the country’s chemical weapons program, according to a confidential United Nations assessment of international sanctions against the North. Details of the U.N. findings, first reported by Reuters, found officials from Korea Mining Development Trading Corporation {KOMID) had sent a pair of shipments of unknown contents to members of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Centre or SSRC. The Syrian government organization has been responsible for developing chemical and biological weapons for the regime in Damascus since the 1970’s. The shipments never arrived in Syria after being intercepted by international authorities from U.N. partner nations, Reuters reports. “Two member states interdicted shipments destined for Syria. Another member state informed the panel that it had reasons to believe that the goods were part of a KOMID contract with Syria,” the U.N. review states. KOMID has repeatedly trafficked in materials associated with ballistic missile development and other conventional arms programs, and was blacklisted by the U.N. security council as a result of those activities, Reuters reports. As a result, the U.N. “is investigating reported prohibited chemical, ballistic missile and conventional arms cooperation between Syria and [North Korea],” the report states. North Korea and Syria had reportedly been cooperating on efforts to repair and maintain Syria’s arsenal of short-range Scud missiles and the country’s air defense systems. Two American destroyers fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles attacked the al Shayrat airbase in western Syria in April. The strike was in retaliation for a Syrian chemical attack against anti-government fighters in Idlib province that left over 70 dead, including 11 children. Damascus had been ordered to dismantle its chemical stockpiles as part of Russian-brokered 2013 peace pact between Syria and the U.S.