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Ukraine’s No-Fly Zone isn’t as Simple as it Sounds

  Discussion continues about a no-fly zone in Ukraine. The discussion of a no fly zone has been debated for weeks, and I’ve answered many questions from neighbors, friends, readers at book events and folks on social media, and at the end of the day, each question was based on a misconception of what a no fly zone is, how it’s achieved, and what it can accomplish.  A myriad of articles have been written about the mission set, but most are overly long or overly complex, [...]

By |2022-03-14T12:06:00-04:00March 13th, 2022|Blog, Featured|2 Comments

A Simple Primer on Counter-Leadership Targeting

The world is a-twitter (pun intended) after Senator Lindsey Graham’s tweet stating that the only way to end the conflict in Ukraine is by removing Putin – in effect, calling for his assassination. He was immediately rebuked by members of both parties, with Senator Ted Cruz saying it was an “exceptionally bad idea”, Rep. Ilhan Omar simply quote tweeted with “Seriously, Wtf?”, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene stated we don’t need, “…bloodthirsty warmongering politicians trying to tweet tough by demanding assassinations.” (which is especially rich because she was removed [...]

By |2022-03-14T09:44:15-04:00March 6th, 2022|Blog, Featured|3 Comments

This is a NEO. It’s Time to Execute it.

The rapid fall of Kabul tore a hole in my heart. It’s taken me days to get my mind around what we’re witnessing and garner some focus to write this. First and foremost, I’m not surprised at the speed with which this happened.  Why everyone in our defense establishment is surprised, is what baffles me. I’ve been asked many times over the last few days, “What went wrong?” or “How could we have miscalculated so badly?” and my answer is, we didn’t.  Look at the assessments before this [...]

By |2021-08-23T14:17:55-04:00August 22nd, 2021|Blog, Featured, Uncategorized|34 Comments

No, Soleimani Wasn’t Assassinated.

As is typically true following any military strike, the armchair quarterbacks are out in force on television, and as is also typical, I get aggravated watching them.  I’ve received a lot of questions about the potential repercussions of the act, but have also seen most of the discussion on the news revolve around the legality of the strike —specifically as it relates to Executive Order 12333—which prohibits “assassinations”.  I wrote a blog about this in 2010 and thought it instructive to revisit it and post an updated version. [...]

By |2020-01-05T22:19:13-05:00January 4th, 2020|Blog, Featured, Uncategorized|9 Comments

Let’s Play Iran’s Game, Not our Own.

The world woke up yesterday to a bunch of maniacs chanting “Death to America” outside the US Embassy in Iraq, and given what I’ve seen on TV, with references to Benghazi and the seizure of the US embassy in Iran in 1979, I’m pretty sure that the average American has no hope of knowing what’s actually happening.  Watching the news, you’d think that Iraq is either hell bent on kicking us out or killing us, but that’s not the case.  Unfortunately, the problem set is more complex, involving [...]

By |2020-01-02T20:42:54-05:00January 2nd, 2020|Blog, Featured, Uncategorized|4 Comments

War with Iran…Three Differences and One Similarity

Iran has come to the forefront of political and military discourse in the last few weeks, and lost in the shuffle of hyperbolic political statements is exactly what a war with Iran would mean and what would be required from the American public and the military. Too often – as I have learned from personal experience – elected officials promise a quick and easy war when it most decidedly will not be either quick or easy. Make no mistake, Iran is a malignant actor on the world stage [...]

By |2022-01-29T15:43:58-05:00June 27th, 2019|Blog|12 Comments

Designating the IRGC a terrorist organization? Not a good idea.

Last week, the Trump administration designated the entire Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist group, which finally took effect yesterday.  I’d hoped that saner heads would prevail in the meantime.  While on the surface that seems like the right move, it’s replete with negative ancillary effects that far outweigh any positive ones. Right up front, I’ll say that this idea didn’t arise from just the Trump administration.  I remember writing The Widow’s Strike in 2013, where Pike goes against a Qods Force IRGC officer and he’s stymied [...]

By |2022-01-29T15:44:29-05:00April 17th, 2019|Blog, Uncategorized|9 Comments

A Realpolitik Look at a Moral Conundrum

The savage murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi consulate located in Turkey, followed by his dismemberment by bone saw, has generated worldwide horror and headlines, mostly centered on whether the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman (known as MBS for short), had directly ordered his killing. The argument in the United States has split along moralistic and realistic lines, with the moral side stating that a state-sanctioned murder must be confronted, no matter how powerful the man who ordered it.  The realist side states that [...]

By |2022-01-29T15:44:48-05:00November 26th, 2018|Blog|6 Comments

The Syrian Conundrum Part Four – Rinse and Repeat

After the latest strikes in Syria, President Donald Trump tweeted, “Mission Accomplished!” Besides the obvious subliminal baggage of using the same term that President George W. Bush used early on in a war in which we’re still embroiled fifteen years later, what, exactly does that mean? What “mission” was accomplished? And I mean beyond the partisan divide. Beyond the left shouting that President Trump was “wagging the dog” to detract from his lawyer’s office raid and FBI Director Comey’s upcoming blistering memoir, and the right shouting that the [...]

By |2022-01-29T15:45:30-05:00April 15th, 2018|Blog|5 Comments

Another tragic shooting, and the same tired arguments. Why is that?

After the Las Vegas Massacre, I wrote a blog for FoxNews.com. After the tragic events in Florida, I thought it was appropriate to post it again here, on my website.  Not to start a debate, but to show where the debate now stands and why nothing gets done.  There are sensible gun safety regulations I would support, but honestly, because of the partisan world we live in, I have no faith in the opposition to offer anything that would prevent the tragedy that occurred, instead using the tragedy [...]

By |2018-02-16T19:42:06-05:00February 16th, 2018|Blog, Uncategorized|10 Comments