Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."

The Transplants

“The Transplants is selling briskly on Amazon.com. Thanks to everyone who’s purchased a copy. For those who haven’t yet; remember, you don’t need a Kindle device to read the Kindle edition. Just download the free Kindle app from “The a Transplants” book page on Amazon.com. Also e-books make great Christmas presents, especially for people far away like troops serving overseas. All you need is an email address. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Filed under: Books, , , , , , , , , ,

ASSAD, CHEMICAL WEAPONS AND OBAMA

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A year ago, President Barack Obama said that if the Bashar al-Assad regime used chemical weapons in Syria, it would cross a red line that would result in “serious consequences.” Last week, Assad crossed that line again, killing hundreds and debilitating several thousand with a chemical attack on the outskirts of Damascus. Will President Obama impose serious consequences this time?  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: National Security, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TWO ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATIONS FOR THE BENGHAZI COVER UP

 

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Is the Benghazi cover up just about hiding incompetence, dereliction of duty and deceptive presidential politics or are there plausible, more troubling explanations?  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Terrorism, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

OBAMA’S DISREGARD FOR THE NATURE OF ISLAMIC TERRORISM

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President Obama’s fundamental disregard for the nature of Islamic terrorism, no doubt, has Islamist-jihadists around the world cheering.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Terrorism, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

WHY THE BENGHAZI STORY WON’T GO AWAY

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President Barack Obama has been adept at deflecting Republicans’ continuing questions about the 9/11/12 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Still, the story won’t go away because the explanations he and his administration have provided don’t add up, and a strong odor of cover up lingers in the air. It’s been five months since the Benghazi attack. Even if we accept the Obama administrations explanations for what happened before, during and after the attack, we still don’t know full story. What difference does it make, at this point, whether or not we know the full story? It makes a difference whenever the President of the United States attempts to deceive the American people.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Terrorism, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

THE DRONE WARS

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During the George W. Bush administration, Democrats and anti-war groups derided enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) and the detention facility at Guantanamo as inconsistent with American values and a recruiting tool for al-Qai’da. Far fewer of those critics decry the Obama administration’s killing of al-Qai’da terrorists, including American citizens, with drone strikes, despite the collateral damage that is far more detrimental to winning friends in the Islamic world.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Terrorism, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

BENGHAZI: INCOMPETENCE AND NEGLIGENCE, OR SOMETHING MORE?

The more we learn about what happened before, during, and after the Benghazi attack, the more unanswered questions remain. The Obama administration is withholding answers to those questions. Americans have the right to know the whole truth and whether the President simply is covering up incompetence, negligence and the failure of his Middle East policy or something more.   (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Terrorism, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ISOLATIONIST REPUBLICANS VS. INTERVENTIONIST DEMOCRAT

Are Republicans returning to their isolationist roots while Democrats under President Barack Obama become more interventionist?

Polling results and recent statements by Republican presidential hopefuls suggest that Republicans are becoming more isolationists. Conversely, while the far left remains staunchly anti-war and non-interventionist, President Barack Obama, in the mold of his post-World War II Democratic predecessors, appears to be leading Democrats, albeit unwillingly, toward greater interventionism. He seeks to maintain substantial U.S. forces in Iraq. He continues the war in Afghanistan. He’s intervened in Libya. And he is conducting not-so-secret wars in Pakistan and Yemen.  (More)

Filed under: National Security, Terrorism, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ENHANCED INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES: It’s Time for a Law That Authorizes Their Use

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As we learned following the killing of Osama bin Laden, enhanced interrogation techniques (EITs) played an important role in the CIA eventually tracking him to his Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound. It’s time to stop the spurious arguments about EITs and for Congress to enact a law permitting the President of the United States, and only the President, to authorize the use of well defined and limited EITs when he determines they are essential to the national security of the United States.  (More)

Filed under: Terrorism, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

GENERAL PETRAEUS TO CIA: Is He the Right Person to Replace Panetta?

David H. Petraeus

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President Barack Obama has named CIA Director Leon Panetta to replace Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and GEN David Petraeus to replace Panetta. My April 18 column discussed the kind of person that should replace Gates and concluded that Panetta may not be the right person for the job. What about Petraeus; is he the right person to lead the CIA in these troubled times, and how will Osama Bin Laden’s death affect how Petraeus does his job.  (More)

Filed under: National Security, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CALIPHATE, COUPS, OR CONSTITUTIONS: Barack Obama’s Greatest Foreign Policy Challenge

2011 Egypt: Flags

Image by Imagery by Pete via Flickr

The sense of relief in the Obama administration and in Washington, D.C., was palpable the day after Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak resigned and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces of Egypt under Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi (75) assumed power, promising free and fair democratic elections in September. Fears of the infamous Muslim Brotherhood’s ascendency waned and hopes for the spread of freedom and democracy were encouraged. The media, for the time being, will focus its cameras elsewhere; and Americans can return to worrying about jobs, deficits, and the economy. The outcome in Egypt, however, is far from settled, and the implications for governments from Algiers to Teheran ensure we will soon go down this road again. Washington now must assess multiple situations and move intelligently and effectively to influence them.  (More)

Filed under: National Security, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RONALD REAGAN: What You Saw is What You Got

President Ronald Reagan speaking at a Rally fo...

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Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday Sunday provides an opportunity for people who respected and admired him to talk and write the President and his legacy. Some recall his great achievements—his role in ending the Cold War, Reganomics, and the revival of conservatism. Others reminisce about his acting and political careers before he became president. Others remember his storytelling, his boundless sense of optimism, and his deep and enduring love of America.

As someone who arrived in Washington, D.C., the year before President Reagan and who worked in the Department of Defense during his eight years in office, I remember a president who inspired and empowered the people that worked for him, didn’t require or create a bloated national-security bureaucracy, and who you didn’t have to analyze to understand. What you saw is what you got. (More)

Filed under: The Presidency, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

THE PERENNIAL CHINA-POLICY DEBATE: Conciliation vs. Carrots and Sticks

In this political cartoon, the United Kingdom,...

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Bill Gertz of the Washington Times in his October 20 “Inside the Ring” column reports on the current China-policy debate within the Obama administration. He identifies two opposing groups—the “kowtow” group, and the “sad and disappointed” group. Twenty-five years ago we called them the “convert-them-to-Christianity-and-democracy” group and the “let’s-just-outsmart-them” group. The U.S. players in the perennial China-policy debate change as administrations come and go, but the fundamental differences between two classic approaches to China remain the same. (More)

Filed under: China-Taiwan, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

VINCE FLYNN, DANIEL SYLVA, AND IRAN’S NUCLEAR FACILITIES

Cover of "The Rembrandt Affair (Gabriel A...

I’m a big fan of Vince Flynn‘s Mitch Rapp series of novels.  Having read them all, I looked around for an author to read while I wait for Flynn’s latest, and perhaps last, book about the assassin. I just finished reading Daniel Silva‘s “The Rembrandt Affair.” I highly recommend both Flynn and Silva, although they are two very different writers. Interestingly, both Flynn’s “Extreme Measures” and the “Rembrandt Affair” (spoiler alert) involve destruction of Iran’s nuclear facilities. I was struck by how plausible both of their schemes are. I know people in the CIA and other friendly foreign intelligence agencies read these books. More than one great idea for an intelligence operation began on the pages of a novel. If for some reason we should learn that Iran’s nuclear program experienced an unexplained catastrophic disaster I would immediately re-read Flynn and Sylva to see which one the event most resembled.

Filed under: Books, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

REDUCING THE DOD BUREAUCRACY: Less is More

Secretary Robert Gates wants to make sweeping budget cuts in overhead at the Department of Defense (DoD). For starters, he has proposed eliminating Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) in Norfolk, Virginia, a 10 percent cut in contractors, the reduction of at least 50 generals and admirals, and the elimination of 150 Senior Executive Service (SES) civilians. I applaud Gates for his initiative. Not only will it save money for the needed modernization of weapons and equipment necessary to maintain our military capabilities, but it will make DoD more efficient and effective. (More)

Filed under: Healthcare, Military, National Security, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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