This paper was written by MG Vallely and was provided to the Trump campaign last week.
By Paul E. Vallely, MG US Army (Ret.)
Each day as I watch the news reports of recent events from across the globe, I wonder, "Who are America's friends anymore?" Try as I might, I can no longer readily identify them. It seems our longtime friends and allies are in retreat. And I am forced to ask myself, "How many of us are aware of this and have noticed that it's happening?" Having visited the Middle East (Turkey, Syria, and Egypt) and Europe several times during the current administration’s two terms of office, I witnessed unquestionable signs of the downward spiral in US credibility and respect. Those who counted on us for friendship and support in tackling world problems and threats – and who we counted on as well in return – are now nervous, skeptical and afraid.
For example, the Egyptians could not understand why, after so many decades of friendship, an American administration would spurn their civil uprising against the Muslim Brotherhood. They cannot understand why an American administration would have shut off US military modernization assistance at such a critical time in the Middle East.
Any special relationships garnered since World War II appear to have either disappeared or are certainly in decline. Clearly, confidence in us as the world's foremost leader has dissipated due to this administration's choice to cast aside allies and marginalize friends, despite our enemies becoming more numerous.
The international chessboard is clearly changing but not for the benefit of America.
Why is this so? For me, there can be no question, it is the direct result of Progressive Socialism, which has permeated both our governing parties. The harsh truth is we do not have competent senior government officials. Our current lot are, sadly, only amateurs at handling foreign relations and our national security. We cannot permit the current leaders in the White House and halls of Congress to continue in their efforts to push us down the road of progressivism leading to the ultimate destruction of the America we have known and love. We cannot continue to allow our national prestige and honor to be decimated at home and abroad. We must commit ourselves to creating the solution.
The ever growing damage incurred at the hands of the progressives specifically translates into significant pain that must be endured while we work to resurrect the United States’ international reputation. If our friends are to trust and admire us, and our allies are to respect us, combine forces with us, and when appropriate, defer to us, our former standing as the world’s sole super-power must be renewed and reestablished.
The chessboard must be reset, and reset now, before chaos and irreparable damage become a permanent part of the fabric of this country.
The current battle that America faces, is against the incompetence, deceit, fraud, corruption, dishonesty of our senior leaders and their cavalier violation of the US Constitution. More specifically, the very oaths of office of certain well-identified, elected and appointed officials have been utterly abandoned and betrayed. It is undeniable that the Obama White House, State Department, and CIA have been peculiarly inept at working with our allies or confronting our enemies, to the point that it has jeopardized some of our most important relationships.
To our friends (whomever they may be now), this directly relates to our national character, our alliances, our mutual security, our interwoven economies, and the trueness and viability of our friendship, not to mention our leadership.
If you think about it, it is a hard task to identify our last diplomatic victory. In fact, my best assessment of the most recent diplomatic victories for America were the results of the Reagan administration’s strengths, which led to the fall of the Berlin Wall, followed by the breakup of the Soviet Union. It is apparent that our leadership has never caught up to the realities of the new world order ever since.
Based on just such utter confusion regarding our nation’s proper role in the world, Hillary Clinton traveled the world, setting new State Department records for burning fuel, with no record of diplomatic success anywhere. Certainly, none that I can document. John Kerry is following the same path, continually trying to reuse old, tired, and failed ploys.
No less dismaying is Mr. Obama’s attitude toward U.S. friends. A particularly cogent example was his decision to allow, if not support, diplomatic attacks against Israel regarding the 2010 flotilla blockades into Gaza. His utopian idea was that he would, thereby, purchase goodwill throughout the Middle East. It is pure folly to think that distancing ourselves from the Israelis will buy us leverage with the Muslim states. Of the plethora of other examples, this is as clearly indicative of his wrong mindedness as any from his 2008 election until now.
Additionally, Turkey, an old ally, has now changed the current chessboard and is cozying up with Iran while entrenching itself on the side of Sharia-dictated Islamism. We must remember that Turkey was responsible for encouraging and supporting the flotilla against the Israeli naval blockade, which was a blatant forecast of the direction we only now see fully revealing itself.
Or consider Saudi Arabia, which is rightfully upset with the way Obama has handled Syria, Iran, and the Palestinian issues, not to mention his awkward and incompetent (at best) approach to the ISIS situation. From the Saudi’s perspective, Obama brought everyone to the brink, then he just washed his hands of it all, in favor of appeasement and talks with Iran and kowtowing to Russia. Further, Obama’s drawing and then erasing the red line in Syria may have even greater significance, but is simply another illustration of the same failure already established in the early years of his first term. Not one of his “diplomatic” moves included discussions with the Saudis and their neighbors.
The Obama administration cannot even bring itself to accurately characterize the enemies that it must admit we have. Their National Security strategy declares we are at war with “Al Qaeda and its affiliates.” Islamist extremists? Jihadis? No, they will not admit that. Senior officials have repeatedly insisted that they understand that radical Islamism runs counter to the authoritative teachings of an altogether peace-loving religion—when the truth is that all religions, including Islam, have within them entirely authentic, deeply rooted, and often sophisticated fanatical streams. In the case of Islam though, it is the controlling factor. This refusal to acknowledge the creed of our enemies is further evidence of a lack of strategic seriousness. His military half-measures and weak kneed response to our own threats immeasurably amplify the clear and present danger our allies face.
What about Russia? Friend or enemy, or both? The one thing we know is that now, after decades of successfully preventing Russia from grabbing a position of power in the Middle East, Obama’s failed policies have empowered Russia to establish itself as the most powerful rising player on the field. As a result, President Vladimir Putin of Russia rises as a diplomatic hero and is charming much of the world, despite their knowledge of the Russian government’s nefarious intentions.
Consider as well our enemy North Korea. Analyzing Obama’s misguided actions in this case involves first returning to the Clinton administration, which set in motion their nuclear proliferation. Then the Bush administration never took charge of the situation, and the Obama administration has followed suit. Obama has allowed this enemy to increase its level of threat vastly beyond anything we might have imagined had there been the slightest competence or seriousness of response.
Most serious of all, however, may be the consequences of the disastrous Iran Nuclear agreement. Simply put, there is not one aspect of it that is in alignment with American interest.
This administration perpetually plays into the hands of our enemies while continuously marginalizing friends. Therefore, we must demand the transfer of power away from derelict and incompetent officials. The one and only way we are able to accomplish this is through our vote.
The Declaration of Independence states:
“To secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.”
The oath of office is simple and reads:
“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
Sadly, we have seen in the current administration as never before, that elected and appointed officials violate their oaths, constantly and consistently. Fraud, lying, and corruption are rampant and some have engaged in treasonous activities. They effectively thumb their noses at us and have sold us all to the highest bidder.
Clearly, this is not the exclusive sin of those in our executive branch of government. Congress, too, enjoys the riches of extortion and “get rich” schemes abound through the intentional misuse of campaign funds.
To cure these ills, we must understand and remember that our Constitution grants the federal government the necessary authority to cultivate, promote, and secure the Blessings of Liberty. The balance of that authority, on the one hand, and the opposing individual liberties we enjoy as persons on the other, was established for the ages. Power was confined to that which was enumerated in the Constitution by means of the most well-designed check and balances any nation has ever created.
Lincoln issued this warning in his inaugural address:
“Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one. This is a most valuable and sacred right – a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world.”
In our lifetime, “rising up” means making change through other means than revolution, and NOT by force of arms. The people must “rise up” from the grass roots across this great country as we think of the greater good of this and future generations. We are righteously limited, yet fully empowered in the peaceful transfer of power by these various means: impeachment, forced resignation, natural death, or secure elections. Now is the moment to transfer power by election.
“We the People” are fed up. We have had enough.
The Obama Administration and identifiable members of Congress have taken America on a death march, reducing our country to new lows and jeopardizing our very survival as a nation. It is imperative that the “people” open their eyes, educate themselves, decide to stand up for this great country by defying those who tear her down, destroying our future and that of our friends and allies as well.
Hillary Clinton is no more and no less than the continued expression of all these destructive forces.
America must reject her bid for election.
For any and all flaws he may present, Donald Trump is the only answer to all these problems. We must rise up as a people and elect him, if we are to save our country.
Once again, we must build friendships not destroy them. Once again, we must live up to the legacy of our forefathers, and create anew a nation guided by its Constitution, to be by, of and for the people. Our friends will only be friends if we do. Our enemies will only fear us when we do.
MG Vallely is the Chairman of Stand Up America US
Get Your 'Hillary Liar' T-Shirt Before They're All Gone!
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September 11, 2001: Always Remember, Never Forget!
Instead of writing an article providing my thoughts about the state of the world and U.S. national security after 8-years of Barack Obama in the White House, Dick and Liz Cheney do a much better job in this WSJ article!
By DICK CHENEY and LIZ CHENEY
The Wall Street Journal
Sept. 9, 2016 6:45 p.m. ET
Fifteen years ago this Sunday, nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in the deadliest attack on the U.S. homeland in our history. A decade and a half later, we remain at war with Islamic terrorists. Winning this war will require an effort of greater scale and commitment than anything we have seen since World War II, calling on every element of our national power.
Defeating our enemies has been made significantly more difficult by the policies of Barack Obama. No American president has done more to weaken the U.S., hobble our defenses or aid our adversaries.
President Obama has been more dedicated to reducing America’s power than to defeating our enemies. He has enhanced the abilities, reach and finances of our adversaries, including the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, at the expense of our allies and our own national security. He has overseen a decline of our own military capabilities as our adversaries’ strength has grown.
Our Air Force today is the oldest and smallest it has ever been. In January 2015, then-Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno testified that the Army was as unready as it had been at any other time in its history. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert testified similarly that, “Navy readiness is at its lowest point in many years.”
Nearly half of the Marine Corps’ non-deployed units—the ones that respond to unforeseen contingencies—are suffering shortfalls, according to the commandant of the Corps, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. For the first time in decades, American supremacy in key areas can no longer be assured.
The president who came into office promising to end wars has made war more likely by diminishing America’s strength and deterrence ability. He doesn’t seem to understand that the credible threat of military force gives substance and meaning to our diplomacy. By reducing the size and strength of our forces, he has ensured that future wars will be longer, and put more American lives at risk.
Meanwhile, the threat from global terrorist organizations has grown. Nicholas Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told the House Homeland Security Committee in July that, “As we approach 15 years since 9/11, the array of terrorist actors around the globe is broader, wider and deeper than it has been at any time since that day.” Despite Mr. Obama’s claim that ISIS has been diminished, John Brennan, Mr. Obama’s CIA director, told the Senate Intelligence Committee in June that, “Our efforts have not reduced the group’s terrorism capability or global reach.”
The president’s policies have contributed to our enemies’ advance. In his first days in office, Mr. Obama moved to take the nation off a war footing and return to the failed policies of the 1990s when terrorism was treated as a law-enforcement matter. It didn’t matter that the Enhanced Interrogation Program produced information that prevented attacks, saved American lives and, we now know, contributed to the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden. Mr. Obama ended the program, publicly revealed its techniques, and failed to put any effective terrorist-interrogation program in its place.
We are no longer interrogating terrorists in part because we are no longer capturing terrorists. Since taking office, the president has recklessly pursued his objective of closing the detention facility at Guantanamo by releasing current detainees—regardless of the likelihood they will return to the field of battle against us. Until recently, the head of recruitment for ISIS in Afghanistan and Pakistan was a former Guantanamo detainee, as is one of al Qaeda’s most senior leaders in the Arabian Peninsula.
As he released terrorists to return to the field of battle, Mr. Obama was simultaneously withdrawing American forces from Iraq and Afghanistan. He calls this policy “ending wars.” Most reasonable people recognize this approach as losing wars.
When Mr. Obama took the oath of office on Jan. 20, 2009, Iraq was stable. Following the surge ordered by President Bush, al Qaeda in Iraq had largely been defeated, as had the Shiite militias. The situation was so good that Vice President Joe Biden predicted, “Iraq will be one of the great achievements of this administration.”
Today, Iraq’s border with Syria has been erased by the most successful and dangerous terrorist organization in history. ISIS has established its “caliphate” across a large swath of territory in the heart of Syria and Iraq, from which it trains, recruits, plots and launches attacks.
On Aug. 20, 2012, Mr. Obama drew a red line making clear he would take military action if Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons. A year later, Mr. Assad launched a sarin-gas attack on his own people in the suburbs of Damascus. Mr. Obama did nothing—a failure that destroyed America’s credibility and strengthened the hand of our adversaries.
We now know that the president’s refusal to act came as the Iranians and the U.S. were engaged in secret talks about Iran’s nuclear program. In his new book, “The Iran Wars,” Wall Street Journal correspondent Jay Solomon writes that according to Iranian sources, “Tehran made it clear to the American delegation that the nuclear negotiations would be halted if the U.S. went ahead with its attack on Assad.” The Iranians were now in the driver’s seat, not just regarding their own policy in the Middle East, but in determining America’s.
President Obama and Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry were so concerned with pleasing Iran’s ruling mullahs that they were willing to overlook the American blood on Iranian hands and decades of Iran’s activities as the world’s leading state sponsor of terror. In pursuit of the nuclear deal, they made concession after dangerous concession.
Every promise made to the American people about the Obama nuclear agreement has been broken. We were promised a “world-class” verification process. Instead, the Iranians are allowed in key instances to verify themselves.
We were promised the agreement would “block every pathway” to an Iranian nuclear weapon. Instead, the Obama-Clinton agreement virtually guarantees an Iranian nuclear weapon, gives them access to the latest in centrifuge technology and will likely usher in a nuclear arms race across the Middle East.
We were promised that non-nuclear sanctions, including those that block Iran’s access to hard currency and our financial systems, would remain in place. Instead, the Obama administration has paid the mullahs at least $1.7 billion in cash, which includes at least $1.3 billion in U.S. taxpayer money, the first installment of which was ransom for the release of American hostages.
In case there is any doubt that the regime will use these funds to support terror, Iran’s parliament recently passed Article 22 of its 2016-2017 budget, mandating that all such funds be transferred directly to the Iranian military. Fifteen years after 3,000 Americans were killed by Islamic terrorists, America’s commander in chief has become the money launderer in chief for the world’s leading state sponsor of terror.
Iran isn’t the only adversary benefiting from the age of Obama. Russia is threatening NATO, invading sovereign territory, selling air-defense systems to the Iranians, using its military to defend the Assad regime, bombing American-backed rebels in Syria, and playing a larger role in the Middle East than at any time since Anwar Sadat expelled his Soviet advisers from Egypt in 1972.
Across the region, nations that previously were strong American allies are making different calculations. Russia is seen as a reliable ally standing with Mr. Assad, while the U.S. walks away from its friends. The steady stream of visitors from the Middle East to Moscow, including most recently Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is evidence of Moscow’s growing role in the region. Neither Russia nor Vladmir Putin shares America’s interests.
China is also ascendant—threatening freedom of navigation through the South China Sea and developing weapons systems that directly threaten American military superiority. North Korea represents a growing nuclear threat to the U.S. homeland. Mr. Obama’s announced pivot to Asia turned out to be hollow, further alienating our allies and emboldening our enemies in the region.
Undoing this damage will require an effort of historic proportions. Our next president must abandon Mr. Obama’s fantasy that unilaterally disarming, retreating and abandoning our allies will bring peace and security. We must begin at once to rebuild our military. This means ending sequestration and returning to a Defense Department budget built around defeating the threats to our nation. We must remedy readiness shortfalls, modernize and upgrade our nuclear arsenal, develop and build a robust missile-defense system, and invest in technologies necessary to maintain our military superiority, particularly against advances by adversaries like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.
Among the most important lessons of 9/11 was that terrorists must be denied safe havens from which to plan and launch attacks against us. On President Obama’s watch, terrorist safe havens have expanded around the globe.
Our next president must recognize that Islamic terrorists pose an existential threat to the U.S., and must instruct the military to provide plans necessary to defeat them and deny them safe havens. These should include expanding the pace of our air campaign against ISIS, removing the onerous rules of engagement, and dedicating additional special operators and other American forces as necessary to defeat our enemies.
Winning the war against Islamic terrorists will also require that we rebuild our intelligence capabilities. Our next president should reinstate the Enhanced Interrogation Program, ensure that Guantanamo remains open so we have a facility to hold enemy combatants, and increase our intelligence activities so we can identify and disrupt plots before they are carried out.
We must make clear that we will not allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon or become nuclear capable. Our next president should renounce the Obama-Clinton nuclear agreement, develop a strategy in consultation with our allies in the region to address Iran’s state sponsorship of terror, and make clear that all options are on the table where Iran’s nuclear program is concerned.
We must also rebuild our relationships with allies across the globe so that we can build the coalitions necessary to defeat Islamic terrorism and restore our strength and power. This includes reinvigorating NATO and affirming America’s unshakable commitment to the most effective military alliance in history.
Generations before have met and defeated grave threats to our nation. American strength, leadership and ideals were crucial to the Allied victory in World War II and the defeat of Soviet Communism during the Cold War. It will be up to today’s generation to restore American pre-eminence so that we can defend our freedom and defeat Islamic terror.
Since World War II, America has been freedom’s defender—for ourselves and for millions around the world. We do this because our security depends upon it and because there is no other nation that can.
As Americans calculate the costs of leadership, we must remember that the costs of failing to lead—or of inaction—are much higher. Imagine a world where Russia, Iran, China and North Korea set the rules; where militant Islam spreads its evil ideology unchallenged across the globe; where parts of Europe are once again enslaved by Russia, our NATO alliance impotent; and where China achieves military superiority over the U.S. and dominates Asia and beyond.
Finally, imagine a world where the terrorists and their leading state sponsor have nuclear weapons. Fifteen years after 9/11, we can say with certainty that this is the world that will be created by withdrawal and retreat—by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s policies—if we don’t reverse course.
Mr. Cheney was U.S. vice president from 2001-09. Ms. Cheney is the Republican nominee for Wyoming’s at-large seat in the House.