Category Archives: Afghanistan

The Professor and White House Information Flow

The Professor thought teaching political science at the honors level in the first 100 days of the Trump Administration is more demanding than I remember at any period in the past. Foreign policy, military operations, domestic legislative crisis with healthcare and tax reform. Now we have critics clamoring for more information regarding the President’s plans and intentions in Syria, North Korea and Afghanistan. In addition, the political talking heads are ranting about control of information in the White House. They are all showing they know not what they are mumbling about. But I must write a short note to my students. It will be three days before the next class.

Not to worry class this is only a few thoughts on the by-play of people who should know better. Recently former officials and socialist critics of the current Administration have been raving about the need to have one person in charge of information in the White House. Unless they mean the President and, they don’t, this is an exceedingly dumb and dangerous idea. President Trump maintains personal contact with the outside world, both foreign and domestic, better than any other president in my life time. The office of the President can be and very often is a very isolated position. While it may be difficult to get to the President, it is hard for him to develop and maintain multiple points of access.

If one person controls information flow in the White House, he or she can control the President and have an undue influence on presidential actions. The gate-keeper of the Oval Office can be a very powerful position. So, when you find yourself as a player in presidential politics in a few years, resist the efforts of the former players to control the flow of information in the White House. If the people have elected the right person, that person will be in charge.

My second concern is also directly related to information flow. The President’s opponents in both parties believe they are entitled to a complete plan on everything he has done or is planning to do. ‘Why doesn’t he give us his complete plans for dealing with North Korea, Syria, Russia and others? We in Congress or in the party of opposition deserve to know. It is our right!

No! It isn’t. You do not have the right. Only those with a legal need-to-know the information on a case-by-case basis have that right. While Obama ranted on about his military and foreign policy objectives, he never seemed to realize, or more likely to care, that you cannot tell most of the nation without telling the enemy in the process. For example, a far left socialist Senator demanded to know what foreign policy objective the President was trying to achieve with the cruise missile attack on a Syrian military airfield. How about the message, ‘if you use chemical weapons, again bad things will happen to you?’ Or to ISIS and the Taliban in Afghanistan. ‘You are no longer safe in caves or tunnels.’ Talking heads, journalist, media anchors on the left and right, senators and congressmen, repress your constant whining about being briefed in greater detail. It won’t make you any smarter or help you serve the people. The only measurable result will be giving our enemies a better chance of getting our secrets.

What’s is wrong with short policy statements like destroying ISIS, stopping North Korea and Iran from developing nuclear weapons they can deliver to America, pushing NATO members to pay their obligated military investments, reduce funding to the UN, protect our borders, renew our traditional relationships with Sunni Arabs, standby Israel,  pressure Russia to stop its aggressive acquisition of territory from other sovereign nations, and get better foreign trade deals?

What was the George Kennan policy during the Cold War? A single word, Containment. How, is what was done in secret with a strict need-to-know.



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The Professor’s op-ed on the Middle East and the U.S.

In between honors classes one day, the Professor thought, “I just can’t stand it any longer. No one is telling the people the truth about the Middle East. Does the Obama Administration and the Clinton campaign think we are too dumb? Trump’s instincts are good, but he needs to bone up on the area. The Russians are not in the Middle East to fight ISIS and Putin is not about to make any deals that do not further his plan to hold a naval base on the Mediterranean and to be a major on the ground player in the oil patch. I just have to write an op-ed piece.”

He pulled his keyboard toward him, looked out over the bay, and began to write.

First, there are a couple of truths about our strategic past in the Middle East. Forget the lines and names drawn on maps of the Middle East. Think of the area divided between the Sunni Muslims and the Shia Muslims with the nation of Israel maintaining a stronghold in the midst of the struggle for dominance by the Shia and Sunnis. The Iranians are the leaders of the Shias and the Saudis, Arabs of the Gulf States and Egypt leading the Sunni opposition.

ISIS, al-Qaeda and their splinter groups are Sunni. The Obama-Clinton group has thrown American support to the Iranians, who want to use their new power to dominate the Middle East. President Obama always intended to follow the Shia/Iranian lead. That is why the abrupt pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq as soon as Obama came to power. The Iranians wanted the U.S. forces out of Iraq so that the Iraqi Shia could assume full control over the Iraqi military and economy and oust Sunnis from the military and government. (Remember, the Iraqi led Sunni government under Saddam Hussein fought a very bloody war against the Iranians.)

The Iraqi Shia government is now firmly allied with Iran. This is a government in name only. Iranians control all major moves in their drive to control a Shia empire of what is now Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. ISIS with all the terrible atrocities they have committed represented Sunni opposition to Iranian strategic goals. When they are destroyed, the strongest power on the ground will be Iran. When Mosel falls, it will be with the heavy involvement of Iranian weapons and ground forces. The Turks will stay within their territory and the only other viable fighting force, the Kurds, will be isolated with dreams of their own homeland shattered. With all of the talk from Washington about arming the Kurds, we never did. The Iranians and the Turks do not want the Kurds to be armed with modern weapons. All the arms we said were being sent to the Kurds went through the Baghdad Shia government that never sent them onward. The Obama Administration, of course, knew the Kurds would never receive the weapons. There is literally nothing the Iranians want that the Obama/Clinton group will not do their best to supply. Just look at the recent deal Obama made with Iran on their nuclear weapons program. While not called a treaty, that was what this deal is. Why take that route? Simply a way to avoid the need for Congressional ratification. We, the people, and Congress still have not seen all the pieces of this executive action.

On the Russian side, Putin is a modern day czar of Russia. His goal is to re-establish as much of the old Soviet Empire as possible. The weakness of the Obama presidency has given him a grand opening. For many centuries, Russian czars dreamed and planned to acquire a warm-water port for their navy. Without firing a shot or endangering Russian soldiers, he has acquired Tartus in Syria as a Russian warm-water port. That is now a fact. The fleet is there and weapons to defend it are in place. Putin will do what he must to support Assad. He is not in Syria to fight ISIS. Aleppo is the only evidence anyone should need. ISIS was not there but Syrian anti-Assad forces were. The city is now rubble as a result of Russian historic lack of concern for collateral deaths when their critical national interests are involved. Since Iran is the local protector and supporter of Assad and Syria, Putin will make any deal necessary with Iran to protect his naval base at Tartus and his new role in Middle Eastern oil. Obama’s plan for Iranian hegemony in the Middle East is on solid ground with both U.S. and Russia supporting Iran and the Shia Muslims.

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Filed under Afghanistan, Clinton, foreign policy, Intelligence & Politics, Iran, ISIS, Israel, Kurds, Middle East, Obama, Politics, Putin, Shiite, Sunni


Advisor's vault door“Mr. President, I want to read something you said last week when I asked, ‘Are you using the leading from behind strategy in the Middle East and primarily in Syria?’ And you answered, ‘Of course. My objective is to change or transform the world order. How could I do that if I was openly leading the action? I’m leading from behind. Iran, ISIS, and Russia are doing exactly what I want. If Russia ends up being a power in the Middle East with warm water ports for their warships and control of oil from the region won’t that end the strife and lead to a world society where the people will be much better off and the world’s wealth and resources will be more equitably distributed?

“‘Russia will have what they have always wanted. They have no desire to occupy Europe. The balance of world power will be forever changed for the better. The need for vast military expenditures will be gone. Colonialism, capitalism, and imperialism will be history. Those are the real evil “isms” of our world. Progressivism is the natural ideology for a world of equals.’”

“Given the very aggressive move by Putin into Syria in the last two weeks with his demand that U.S. aircraft no longer fly over Syria, will you need to change your approach?”

“Putin is following a long developed strategy followed by all the czars. He is the first to succeed in actually establishing a growing military presence in the Middle East. The Russian fleet will now have an all-weather sea port for their warships. He will be popular at home for a short time. Then the people will find out what it costs them to sponsor another client state. Control of Iraqi oil fields may provide some funds for Putin’s military build up and support for a bankrupt Syria but that will not be enough.

“He will soon have another Afghanistan on his hands. Remember how they moved into Afghanistan unopposed in President’s Carter’s one term? He was surprised. I am not. This a perfect response from Putin who is unknowingly assisting me in changing the current world order. Whether he stays for a decade or more in Syria, the Middle East will never be the same. The Christian, imperialistic, capitalistic western power will be balanced by the growing power of the Islamic nations who actually live in the Middle East. Those people will be governing themselves and using their wealth and intellectual resources for the good of a previously oppressed people.

“My concern is keeping the right wing ideologues from convincing my successor to oppose the Russian push into Syria. No matter what Putin does, I will not respond with American power. In a few more years American power both military and economically will be gone for good.”

“What about all the death and misery being inflicted on the people of Syria and Iraq?”

“It will pass in less than a decade. People always suffer when the tide of historical power shifts against existing rulers. Spreading Muslim people throughout the Christian world through chaotic refugee flows is not a bad thing. The shift in population demographics will actually act as a catalyst for a more rapid transformation in the Western world. I couldn’t be happier. Progress never takes place without chaos. The more chaos, the more rapid the pace of transformation can be.”

“Does anyone in your administration share your view of the world?”

“Really only one and she is constantly encouraging me to move more quickly.  A few others think they know but they don’t. Their thinking is still mired down in the Western approach of looking at governing as the constant solving of issues. As long as they stay out of the way, they do no harm in playing with transient problems that have no solution without transformation.”

“Mr. President, I think I’m safe in saying no other president has ever shared your view of America and the world.”

“I agree. See you next week. You are the only person I can truthfully talk to besides my co-partner in transformation. Good night.”


This is an account written by a fictional advisor who doesn’t exist but should.

Check out the latest Jack Brandon mystery suspense novel at your local bookstore. Follow the author on Twitter @factsfictions80.






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Filed under Afghanistan, Barry Kelly, Capitalism, Conservative views, Eight Decades of Insights, foreign policy, Intelligence & Politics, Middle East, Obama, oil, political solutions, Politics, Progressives, Putin, Russia



Image: U.S. President Obama walks to speak about the Affordable Care Act at the White House in Washington

President Obama read the polls and decided he should address the nation on the ISIS threat. But he didn’t say a word Wednesday night about how his past policies have made it necessary for America to go to war again in Iraq.

He claimed to have a small coalition of nine NATO nations and Australia who have not committed ground troops. That’s a bit smaller than the last time we went into Iraq, when we were supported by 29 nations who committed ground troops. President Obama did as well as he could from the foundations of his foreign policy over the last nearly six years. Let’s not poke anymore holes into his speech about ISIS.

As commander-in-chief, he needs to be clear on a few critical points. The first is call the threat what it is. It is radical Islam. Within those circles which include most of the Islamic world, it is a good thing to kill infidels/nonbelievers. Where are the moderate Muslims? The Saudis have funded radical madrases/schools all over the near, middle and far east for at least two decades. Money from Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Kuwait, and Pakistan have poured resources into the Taliban and other radical Islamic organizations for years. Nearly all the World Trade Center bombers were Saudis. In Egypt the more moderate military is nearly fully occupied dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood that Obama backed against Mubarak. Libya doesn’t seem too moderate, nor does our old ally, Turkey. Pakistan is not a moderate Islamic nation. Good luck, Mr. President, in finding moderate Islamic states to join your coalition with real help and commitment. They may not continue to support ISIS but I doubt they will stand up with a Christian nation against ISIS. Their only interest is keeping ISIS away from their territory.

The second point is that competent boots on the ground are necessary to win any military campaign. Obama’s examples of his strategic success in fighting terrorism in Yemen and Somalia are not even relevant. The relevant bit of recent history is the Bush Administration defeating the Taliban in Afghanistan with approximately 500 American boots on the ground, all military or civilian special forces warriors and, of course, thousands of tribal fighters from the Northern Alliance. Enough fighters to push the Taliban into massing to defend against attack so the U.S. Air Force, flying no holds barred missions, including B-52s, destroyed the defense positions of the Taliban down the length of  Afghanistan. The air strikes were guided to the kill zones by American civilian and uniformed Special Forces. That is a proven tactic. The problem is that skilled fighters like those of the Northern Alliance have yet to be identified.

With a clear broad view of the strategic battlefield, victory is possible without large U.S. combat units, but small units on the ground will be needed. First the Kurds will fight and can fight as soon as the Obama Administration recognizes the Kurds will fight for their own homeland. We need to accept and welcome Kurdistan into the alliance. As of last week they reported that had not received any arms shipments from the U.S. Our in the box thinkers had to send all aid to the Kurds through Baghdad which is the same as not sending any. Shiites don’t send weapons to Kurds.

The next tactic to hurt the heads of our people struggling to put Iraq back together again is to rekindle our Special Forces relationship with the Sunni tribes. They will not go back into a Shiite-dominated government so recognize that, and tell the humpty-dumpty bureaucrats trying to patch together a phony country to cease and desist. The Sunni tribes, if promised their own land and given weapons, will fight and take care of the ISIS forces in Iraq. The next step is easy. Let the Shiites retreat south of Baghdad until they decide they will stop and fight for their own land, Shiiteville. All we have to do then is separate the not so bad guys from the really bad guys in Syria and work with them to get rid of the Assad tyranny. All this can be done in less than a year with very few American WIA or KIA. What was Iraq is now nearly the same as it was before arrogant western diplomats drew unreal lines on a map and created the nightmare of Iraq. None of this can be done unless the president gets out of the way and lets the Pentagon and CIA run the war on terror and radical Islam.

Written by the author of “INSIGHTS: Transforming America — Is This What We Fought For?” available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook formats from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You are encouraged to share this message and follow the author on Twitter @factsfictions80.


Filed under Afghanistan, Barry Kelly, Conservative views, Eight Decades of Insights, foreign policy, Intelligence & Politics, Kurds, Obama, Shiite, Sunni, Terrorism



The president has reached a new low in his role as our commander-in-chief. Maybe no one told him that even if he has the authority to make prisoner of war exchanges, the position of the United States government has been for several decades that we do not negotiate with terrorists. The terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay are not POWs. They are terrorists without the process afforded by the legalities associated with the holding and treatment of POWs. By negotiating with terrorists you encourage them to seize more hostages because you have raised the value of hostages. Exchanging one U.S. serviceman or woman for five top value Taliban commanders puts every American in Afghanistan at greater risk.

President Obama, photo by the New York Daily News.

President Obama, photo by the New York Daily News.

The president’s motive for this exchange are not straightforward. The political spin is so fast the truth is blurred. Timing is nearly everything. He needed to change the debate from the failure of the U.S. government to take care of its veterans. He had nowhere to run. So spin out a tale of ending the war and rescue an American soldier captured on the field of battle defending America’s interests. Spin within spin. He also wants to close Guantanamo Bay by releasing all the prisoners into the custody of nations like Qatar. Even he surely can’t believe Qatar will keep an eye on prisoners released to its jurisdiction and prevent them from killing or planning to kill more Americans.

An additional motive is that president cares more about world opinion  than he does of America’s opinion. No joke! Even our lukewarm friends in Europe would vote to close Guantanamo Bay in a heartbeat.

The reality is that the rescued army soldier is no hero. At best, he is a deserter. At worst, a collaborator. He wasn’t captured on the battlefield. He just walked away from his unit, leaving his weapon and body armor behind. How to set all this right? Call on Susan Rice. She doesn’t mind being called on to fall on her sword again. She is good at it. Surely she can’t believe what she said on all the  Sunday TV shows. Unlike Benghazi, the truth here is not hidden. Just ask the soldiers who served with him or read the record.

But surely, you may say, the president knew he would be criticized by the Republicans. Yes, but he doesn’t care in the least about their criticism. He didn’t expect the followers of Harry Reid to chime in. The voters he doesn’t care about. He’s done running for office. It’s a good thing because I believe he could be elected again and so does he.

President Obama counts on the ignorance and disinterest of most of America’s voters to the nuts and bolts of the political process. A few good speeches, a manufactured story about improvement in the economy, ending wars, raising the minimum wage, the war on women, health care, and a super get out the vote ground effort with a 95 percent black vote, and a growing Hispanic vote could put the progressives in the Oval Office again. Hilary Clinton is counting on the same factors.



Filed under Afghanistan, Barry Kelly, Conservative views, Eight Decades of Insights, Intelligence & Politics, Obama, Politics, Progressives, Terrorism