No, containing ISIL is not “good enough”

I did a piece for the blog War on the Rocks as a rejoinder to a professor at the US Army War College.  You can find the original article here.  And find my response here.  If you’ve read my posts, you know I don’t take intervention lightly.  I’ve castigated our operations in Libya, and am definitely reluctant to enter into Syria’s mess of a war, mainly because of the fallout should we “succeed” in removing Assad, but ISIL is a different breed altogether.  One that rises to my level of threat, and one that needs to be dealt with.

The Libyan Conundrum: Brad’s Greatest Hits

President Obama recently gave a wide ranging interview to the New York Times, and his comments on Libya made my jaw hit the floor.  I really try not to be political on this blog, but after hearing them, I couldn’t believe our foreign policy could be that naive.  Before we get to that, though, a little recap of Libya analysis done by a peon outside the administration’s foreign policy team (me).

Analysis Paralysis in Iraq

Disclaimer: This blog is a little more emotional than usual. Sorry.

Tweeting our way into the #Apocalypse

I’ve seen the massive number of tweets from celebrities on the Gaza conflict and am flabbergasted at the capricious nature of American empathy. The Israeli incursion into Gaza has apparently sparked a fire of outrage in the conscious minds of the celebrity culture, and it’s become fashionable to show support. From Selena Gomez to Mia Farrow, #FreePalestine has become the hashtag of choice. But why?

About that Bergdahl thing….

I’ve received numerous emails, texts, and Facebook messages asking me my opinion on the Bowe Bergdahl release/swap for five Taliban commanders, and to each I replied, “There’s too much smoke and not enough fact.  Everything is political posturing”, and that’s where I still stand, but the cacophony in the press has gotten so loud it’s obscuring whatever truth remains.  The only thing I’m going to try to do is clear the air regarding some of the information out in the media.

Snowden’s a spy? Uhhh….Maybe on Halloween.

Every time Edward Snowden opens his mouth, another fabrication appears.  In an interview with NBC News’ Brian Williams, he apparently took affront to being called a “simple hacker” and took great pains to explain that he was, in fact, just like James Bond.

GI Jennifer Part II – Careful What You Wish For

After my first GI Jennifer blog about opening combat arms positions to women I received numerous emails and comments from all sides of the spectrum.  One thread that kept reoccurring was that if a woman could meet the standard, she should be allowed to enter the combat MOS, whatever that may be.  For elite units, this argument is fine, as they are all volunteer organizations, but for the average combat arms position, such as Infantry, Field Artillery, or Armor, the more I thought about it, the more unfair I realized the argument is.  Believe it or not, it’s setting up gender discrimination the opposite way – against males.

GI Jennifer

When the Department of Defense announced that it would be opening combat roles to women, I immediately began receiving questions regarding my opinion on this issue.  I strove mightily to be noncommittal, and begged off for the most part because I really didn’t want to poke the sore.  Then, a couple of days ago, 2LT Sage Santegelo wrote an OpEd in the Washington post decrying the “double standard” she endured, which made her fail the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course, and so I decided to blog.  Against my wife’s better judgment, because no matter what I type I’m going to aggravate someone, here’s what I think.

In the days of my youth I was told what it means to be a man…

Living in Charleston, South Carolina can be a little funny at times.  Today was supposed to be “Snowmageddon”, with a light dusting of the fluffy stuff and the commensurate shutting down of any and all services.  My kids left school early, and we all waited.  By nine pm it hadn’t hit and I had to take the dog for a walk.

No Al Qaida in Benghazi? Someone’s drinking the Kool-aid…

The New York Times presented a lengthy report on the Benghazi attack in its Sunday edition (12/29), and one of its central tenants was that the attackers had no connection to al Qaeda.  Specifically, there was “no evidence that al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault.”  I was flabbergasted.  No evidence?  And not “any role”?  Seriously?  Pretty strong, quantifiable words.  I could live with “not a preponderance of evidence leading to the conclusion that al Qaeda senior leadership directed the attack.” Or, “little evidence to support that the attack was committed by al Qaeda members from outside of Libya.”  But NO evidence?  And NO role from al Qaeda?  At all?  I wondered how that could be, since even a cursory study of Benghazi would turn up a Library of Congress report written one month before the attack.  The title?  Al Qaeda in Libya: A Profile.