21 June 2017

Trump Administration’s STRATEGIC SAVVY (very good for America)

BUT IS THAT GOOD FOR ISRAEL AND THE JEWS?

The following is the concluding two sections of the report, The emerging Trump doctrine of strategic savvy. For the complete article, please HERE. [Trump is walking a tightrope.]

Obama’s Strategic Patience

On June 11, 2011, Obama announced that he would withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of December 2011 and the rest of the 30,000-member surge force by July 2012 (i.e., before the Democratic Party convention). Once again there arose a troublesome naysayer.

General David Petraeus objected to the premature withdrawal. Aware as he was of the actual situation on the ground, he was adamant that the projected timing of the draw-down would jeopardize the progress made in the previous year of the surge in Afghanistan. Obama was forced to compromise, but did not forget Petraeus.

Rahm Emmanuel, Obama’s chief of staff and one of the president’s loyalists, suspected that Petraeus was contemplating his own presidential run in 2016. It did not help that Petraeus emphatically told Emmanuel he wasn’t. Two days after the 2012 presidential election, Petraeus resigned his post as CIA director because of an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell. (The mishandling of classified information did not surface until months later.) When historian Smith queried “whether the Obama administration had taken advantage of his affair to cut his head off,” Petraeus smiled, but did not reply.

Towards Strategic Savvy

If there is any solace for Washington’s numerous follies in the Middle East, it is Donald Trump’s selection of an outstanding national security team: Mattis, McMaster, and General John Kelly (Homeland Security). With Trump’s election, America saw the dawn of a new doctrine to replace “strategic patience,” leading from behind, and the absence of strategy. We call the new approach “strategic savvy,” meaning the judicious use of military force, diplomacy, and economic instruments. Petraeus describes it as a “comprehensive and sustainable commitment” in defense of American vital national interests. The president and his security team seek to overturn policies that have produced only failed states, Islamist-fed chaos, growing terrorist attacks in Europe, and catastrophic debt.

We have witnessed the first actions defining this emerging doctrine. On April 7, 2017, US navy destroyers carried out a missile strike on a Syrian airfield in retribution for Assad’s use of chemical weapons against his subjects. A tactical move, it bore profound strategic significance, since it used judicious force to accomplish what Obama had failed to do in 2013 despite his own declared red line. So did the dropping of the “Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB, or Massive Ordnance Air Blast), the largest conventional bomb in the US arsenal, on ISIS fighters in Afghanistan on April 14.

Facing what Mattis has called a “clear and present danger” from North Korea, Trump’s team did not put the problem off in the manner of the past three US administrations. He is meeting it head on with an unprecedented deployment of three carrier groups with massive naval and air power. This is intended to send a clear message on the need to stop a maniacal leader from accomplishing a nuclear weaponization and delivery system that could eventually reach American shores. President Trump has communicated this need to Chinese President Xi very clearly as well. The era of Obama’s “strategic patience” is finally over.

Future presidents should consider replicating Trump’s placement of national security responsibilities in the hands of individuals with combat experience. America’s future leaders should be men and women with such experience combined with intellectual prowess.

In the meantime, the saga continues. Americans are transfixed by Russo-gate, much as they were by Watergate. President Trump’s political opponents seek to undo the results of the 2016 election by painting him as Putin’s Manchurian candidate.

Trump should now do what Obama did not: pardon Petraeus, whom Gates called “one of the nation’s great battle captains.” As Senator Rand Paul observed, Petraeus showed his personal journals, which did contain classified material, to only one person, an Army reserve intelligence officer with a top secret clearance. Her book was thoroughly checked for classified information and any sensitive political items by the then head of West Point’s Social Sciences Department, Colonel Mike Meese. The negligent Hillary Clinton, still unpunished, revealed classified material to the multitudes through her unsecured server.

Petraeus sympathizes with the beleaguered Trump’s predicament, but only to a certain extent. Like the authors, he realizes that Trump, a novice at presidential politics, has made big mistakes and then repeated them, making things worse.

In his final address as a general, Petraeus quoted Teddy Roosevelt’s 1910 Men in the Arena speech. The words are now surely applicable to both of them:

It is not the critic who counts … the credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood … who errs and comes up short again and again … but who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotions, who spends himself for a triumph of high achievement and … if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.

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The authors are indebted to General David Petraeus for his comments and suggestions.

Dr. Jiri Valenta and his wife, Leni, are the principals of The Institute of Post Communist Studies and Terrorism (jvlv.net). They are authors of a forthcoming book on Russia and US interventions in the 21st century. A prominent author and speaker, Jiri served for decade as a professor and coordinator of Soviet and East European Studies at the US Naval Post-Graduate School and former consultant to senior members of Reagan administration.

A BESA Center Perspectives Paper, published through the generosity of the Greg Rosshandler Family

Source:  ArutzSheva

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