The EU

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 Anniversary

It has been eleven years since al Qaeda successfully executed a horrendous attack on the United States, killing some 3,000 people, both citizens and foreign nations, in New York, Washington and Shanksville, PA.

As we are beginning our pullback from Afghanistan we should be asking if we are heading in the proper direction in the long war on terrorism.

What is our political goal in the Long War?
  • Never again
  • Drive al Qaeda out of business
  • Reduce Threat to sporadic activity
Each of those has its own cost, both in terms of defense budgets (tax dollars) and in terms of our own individual freedoms.

To balance it, while all Americans regret the loss of life on 11 September 2001, there is a limit to which we should allow security forces to go in tracking down potential terrorists—we don't wish to have a (East German) Stasi like organization where family members spy on family members.

Our best tribute to those who died at the hands of those who do in fact hate us will be to preserve our freedoms as Citizens of this great nation.

At the same time we have to ask ourselves to what limits we will go to track down terrorists.  Do US Citizens who are suspected of being terrorists and who are overseas require capture and trial or may the President order their death based upon intelligence collected, but not judged by a jury of his or her peers?

There are questions to be considered as we go forward into a fiscal atmosphere that will include Sequestration and calls for cuts in National Security spending in order to fund social programs.

Strategy is the matching of Objectives, Threats and Opportunities in a resource constrained environment.

Regards  —  Cliff


Jack Mitchell said...

When they issued me an M-16, it didn't come with a "judge and jury."

There should be a process, but once the Commander in Chief says, "Go!" It is Identify the target. Move to the target. Engage the target. Move through the target. Identify the next target.

Here's a little ditty:
I, (NAME), do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Two parts stand out for me in this context.
- "all enemies, foreign and domestic"
- "according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice." (I used to understand this part as meaning: any lawful order.

The second point is vital, as it removes any excuse of commiting an attrocity. As a soldier, I could not simply claim I was "just following orders." Sure, there will be gray areas. But, for the most part, certain things would stand out as "wrong." Of course, a soldier may risk there own death, if they refuse to act upon an "unlawful order." For those of us that believe in the afterlife, ya just have to be willing to bite the bullet and take one for the team. (I, personally, might be proactive and take some bad guys along for the ride.)

C R Krieger said...

All of which is true and why it is incumbent upon the US Congress to pay attention.  They are the ones with the mission "To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;" (I guess that would include Air Forces) (Article I, Section 8).

Is it just me, or is the US Congress, as a collective body, just a little flaccid vis-a-via the President?  To be addressed in a future book review on Bomb Power.

Regards  —  Cliff