Between January 1961 and Nov. 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy fundamentally changed U.S. national security policy. These changes resulted in structures and doctrines that enabled American forces to fight in Vietnam in a new way that ultimately defined Kennedy’s national security legacy.
“Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the United States was too strong.” --Ronald Reagan
Despite sharing the same race, religion, and history, they slaughtered one another with alacrity. What a different country this might have been if, 400 years ago, someone had suggested, “Let’s pick our own cotton.”
After Sunday’s airing of Home Box Office’s series “The Bible,” controversy erupted over the depiction of Satan.
Recently released State Department documents reveal that shortly after 4:00 p.m., September 11, 2012, intelligence officers at the department informed the White House of a terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate. By 8:00 p.m., they had confirmed the death of Ambassador Chris Stephens and three other Americans. Furthermore, an al Qaeda-affiliate group in Benghazi had taken credit for the attack. By midnight it was morning in Libya and the attack was over. Is it conceivable that the State Department, with a first-rate intelligence operation intimately connected to the Central Intelligence Agency, did not know what happened in Benghazi? What role did election year politics play in the White House’s reaction? Perhaps a lot. And it’s not the first time.
President Barack Obama’s five-point plan for turning the war back to the Afghans is designed to cover the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces and “forge a just and lasting peace.” What does the plan involve, and can it work?
After the fall of Saigon on April 29, 1975, military and civilian strategists sought “lessons learned.” Many were tactical or technical, such as the operational effectiveness of precision-guided munitions and the continuing need for guns on jet fighters. At the strategic level, one pundit recommended that the United States never again fight in a former French colony located on the other side of the world with borders contiguous to enemy sources of supply governed by an ally of dubious political legitimacy.
On March 19, speaking at a Morris Township, New Jersey Democratic Party fundraiser, Vice President Joe Biden provided what may be the mother of all election year bumper stickers when he asserted, “Osama Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.
Late in the summer of 1961, President John F. Kennedy asked the Air Force to plan a nuclear first strike on the Soviet Union. The plan involved 55 B-52 bombers hitting 80 targets to degrade Soviet Long Range Air Force and Strategic Rocket Forces by 80 to 90 percent. Since these bases were located in remote parts of the USSR, estimated casualties numbered less than one million.
Much ink has flowed over the recent apologies from President Barack Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and General John Allen, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, following the burning of copies of the Koran and their careless disposal. An apology may have been justified. A national mea culpa was not.
From Damascus to Tehran, a test for world leadership is underway.
With breaking news of a U.S. Navy SEAL team successfully rescuing two hostages from pirates in Somalia, military pundits are quick to note how the deployment of small, elite units will fit in with President Barack Obama’s vision for modernizing the U.S. military.
President Barack Obama’s vision for modernizing the U.S. military is little more than an exercise in “back to the future.”
Once again, tensions between Iran and the international community are on the rise as the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, released a new report that warns of concealed attempts by Iran to produce an atomic bomb. How should one respond?
The U.S. Department of Defense must restructure to accommodate deep budget cuts and, more importantly, be ready for the challenges of 21st-century warfare. Those challenges will include unconventional operations and wars fought in vastly expanded battle spaces. Reforms are needed in three areas.
The U.S. military needs massive restructuring. The National Security Act of 1947 institutionalized the Industrial Age force extant today. Now, the armed forces of the United States would be hard-pressed to counter a North Korean invasion of South Korea without using nuclear weapons.