Trump’s Course-Correction on Afghanistan

August 22, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute. 

Last night, President Trump announced a course-correction on Afghanistan.  It’s not the one he promised as a candidate, involving a withdrawal from that long-festering sore of an Islamic civil war.  Fortunately, neither is it the double-down option initially proposed by National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster to send fifty thousand more troops to Afghan battlefields.

Mr. Trump signaled instead we will go on the attack in Afghanistan and pressure Pakistan using a condition-based strategy, not arbitrary troop levels or artificial deadlines.   

Interestingly, by not setting the numbers of additional U.S. military personnel he’d send to the region, the President has left the door open to yet another option – to be executed later, if not now: using a relatively small number of CIA agents and contractors to help Afghan forces destroy the Taliban and other jihadists. 

We may yet wind up there, and should. 

This is Frank Gaffney.

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The U.S. Navy’s Dangerous Attrition

August 21, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute. 

For the second time in two months, a cargo ship has taken out a U.S. Navy vessel vitally needed to project power in international waters claimed by China.  Worse yet, this is the fourth damaging incident this year involving Pacific-based warships, three of them equipped to shoot down ballistic missiles, at the very moment that North Korea is increasingly threatening to fire such weapons at American territory. 

Our Navy has become so small that, given our dependence on freedom of the seas for commerce and security, having any of our ships taken off line is worrying. 

Whether the result of intentional, hostile action by others or failures on the part of the warships’ crews, the practical effect is the same:  Our capabilities are diminished while our enemies are emboldened – and perhaps inspired to neutralize additional U.S. naval assets by “accident.” 

This is Frank Gaffney.

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Pain in Spain Compels Dot-Connecting Here

August 18, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

Yesterday’s murderous attacks in Spain are reminders of the threat posed to the Free World by the Islamic State and other Sharia-supremacists. 

Let’s connect a few “dots.” 

Adherents to Sharia, like other totalitarians, believe everyone else must submit to their program.  Incredible as it may seem, they have been joined and enabled in this country by supremacists of different stripes – notably, members of the radical left, Antifa and Black Lives Matter – in demanding that the rest of us submit to speech codes that prohibit even truth-telling that ostensibly “offends” Muslims.  People who don’t submit are smeared as “haters” and “bigots,” and lumped with white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

We need leadership that understands what animates supremacists that seek to impose Sharia worldwide and that is prepared to counter such totalitarianism and its enablers. That would disqualify H.R. McMaster as National Security Advisor.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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Defend Freedom, Oppose All Forms of Supremacism

August 17, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute. 

At the moment, there is a lot of fevered, yet selective, condemnation of “hatred” and “bigotry” in America. Objections to some manifestations of such behavior, however, risks imposing extreme intolerance in the name of “tolerance.” 

The truth is that any form of racially, ethnically, religiously or politically based totalitarian supremacism should be condemned, not just certain ones. These days, though, to paraphrase George Orwell in Animal Farm, some supremacists are more objectionable than others. 

This fits a narrative that has been relentlessly promoted of late by what’s come to be called the “Red-Green axis.” Its practitioners – notably, supremacists on the hard Left and their unlikely allies in Islamist circles – are determined to silence those they relentlessly, and increasingly violently, insist are “haters.”    

Our constitutionally protected right to engage in truth-telling about all forms of intolerant, hateful supremacism must not be selectively restricted.   

This is Frank Gaffney.

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Obama’s Third Term at the NSC

August 16, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

Americans voted last year not to have a Hillary Clinton administration bring us a “third Obama term.”  They chose instead to make a major course-correction – especially with respect to Obama’s disastrous foreign and defense policy legacy.

Yet, nearly seven months into the presidency of Donald Trump, forty Obama administration officials are still holding senior policy-making positions at the National Security Council. That’s roughly one out of five of its staff members – and an even larger percentage of that organization’s key jobs. 

This is a formula for disastrous continuity, not long-needed change. That’s not what President Trump promised the American people, but it is the agenda of his disloyal National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster.

With friends like McMaster, Mr. Trump doesn’t need enemies.  He has them working for him.  Or actually working against him – and us – just like it’s Obama’s third-term. 

This is Frank Gaffney.

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Will Trump Become a President in Name Only?

August 15, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

Donald Trump is president today in no small measure because the American people repudiated a GOP political elite known as RINOs, short for Republicans in Name Only, that has more in common with their Democratic counterparts than with the voters.  A preeminent RINO is Senator John McCain.

Ever since the election, RINOs like McCain and others who make up what Mr. Trump has called “the Swamp” have been trying to turn him into a PINO, President in Name Only. McCain’s vote preserved Obamacare and he is aggressively defending National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster – a man working to advance the Swamp’s agenda, not the President’s.

Nothing could be more certain to condemn Mr. Trump to PINO status than if he were to accede to the Swamp’s demands that he retain the disloyal McMaster and fire his tested and true Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon. 

This is Frank Gaffney.

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McMaster or Bannon - Shouldn’t be a Hard Call, Mr. President

August 14, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

As President Trump’s National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster has been highly problematic.  For starters, he has been insubordinate to his Commander-in-Chief.  He has exhibited deplorable judgment on policy issue after issue. 

And he has staffed the National Security Council with individuals who share his views, but not those of Donald Trump – even as he has purged those few staffers who were loyal to the President.

In a TV appearance Sunday, McMaster made clear that he cannot work with the President’s Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon – a transparent effort to achieve the termination of one Trump loyalist he can’t fire himself.  

McMaster is forcing Mr. Trump to choose between a subordinate he cannot trust and that his base loathes and the man to whom he wisely entrusted his then-failing campaign and who enjoys the confidence of the Trump constituency.  Shouldn’t be a hard call.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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Required Reading - Rich Higgins’ Explosive Memorandum

August 11, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

Rich Higgins is one of the most brilliant and patriotic public servants I have ever met. An Army combat veteran and former Pentagon official, he was, until recently, the chief strategist for the National Security Council. 

Earlier this summer, Higgins wrote an anonymous memorandum describing in detail the sources, tactics and successes of the “political warfare” being waged against Donald Trump and his presidency. The President read the memo and commended it to National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster. General McMaster responded by firing Rich Higgins.

Now, the full memo has been published at blogger Mike Cernovich’s website.  The document’s alarming depiction of a multi-dimensional campaign to take down the President of the United States, backed by rigorous analysis, makes clear that the man deserving termination is not Rich Higgins, but the general who punished him – and, thereby, tried to suppress his warning.

This is Frank Gaffney.

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The Nukes of August

August 10, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

August is traditionally the time when official Washington tries to take vacations. It is also frequently a period when crises erupt, reminding us that enemies of this country are relentlessly threatening our interests and even our security – and may feel emboldened by the seeming inattention of this country’s leadership.

Look no further than the escalating war of words – and the prospect of an actual conflict – between North Korea and the United States.  This month, we learned that Pyongyang may have the ability to field as many as 60 nuclear weapons and that some of them may have been miniaturized allowing them to be delivered by ballistic missiles or satellites.

Thanks in part to successive Democratic and Republican administrations’ inaction and missteps, we face an increasingly mortal threat from North Korea.  It may be August, but President Trump is right to say no more. 

This is Frank Gaffney.

 

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No Sweetheart Plea Deal for Hillary

August 9, 2017

This is Frank Gaffney with the Secure Freedom Minute.

According to former New York Times editor and best-selling author Ed Klein, the Trump administration has offered Hillary Clinton a plea bargain.  The arrangement would fall far short of the hopes of President Trump’s base that he would “lock her up.” 

Worse yet, it apparently would not even require her to disclose the extent of her pay-to-play schemes as Secretary of State, or her wrongdoing with respect to mishandling classified information.

Instead, according to an unnamed Clinton lawyer, the government has proposed that Mrs. Clinton simply plead guilty to charges of breaking the law.  Given the magnitude of her criminal misconduct – and the damage it has done to the nation’s security and vital interests, that wouldn’t even qualify as a slap on the wrist.

To be remotely acceptable, any plea deal must entail full disclosure of Hillary’s wrongdoing – and an appropriate punishment.

This is Frank Gaffney.

 

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