Mar 24

Thank you President Trump – Keystone XL Pipeline Approved

In one fell swoop, President Donald Trump wiped away 8 years of obstruction of infrastructure and energy independence from the Federal Government, and approved the Keystone XL Pipeline:

The United States has issued a presidential permit for TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL oil pipeline, the Canadian company said on Friday, ending a years-long battle between environmentalists and the industry over whether Washington should approve it.

U.S. President Donald Trump will announce the permit alongside TransCanada (TRP.TO) Chief Executive Officer Russell Girling at the White House later Friday, according to a senior administration official. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said a Keystone XL announcement would come at 10:15 a.m. EDT.


Trump, however, campaigned on a promise to approve it, saying it would create thousands of jobs and help the oil industry, and signed an executive order soon after taking office in January to advance the project.

The multibillion-dollar Keystone XL pipeline would bring more than 800,000 barrels per day of heavy crude from Canada’s oil sands in Alberta into Nebraska, linking to an existing pipeline network feeding U.S. refineries and ports along the Gulf of Mexico.

Read it here.

This is why we needed President Trump. Because the rule of law was absent for far too long for a project that had dotted every “i” and crossed every “t,” and met every regulatory hurdle against it… only to have President Barack Obama & his administration continue to move the bar.

If we are to truly be great as a country again, we need not be afraid of “big ideas” like the Keystone XL project. Yes, wind, solar and nuclear are all good, and their development needs to be supported. But in the meantime, we need oil and coal as well, and should encourage projects that keep energy affordable for our nation, and not beholding to foreign powers for our supply.

The Keystone XL Pipeline is now stamped “Approved!”  Thank you President Trump.

Feb 11

Congratulations to Dan Lederman, newly elected chair of the South Dakota Republican Party


Rushmore PAC offers congratulations to PAC Chair Dan Lederman for his election today to the position of Chairman of the South Dakota Republican Party.

Running on a message of “Three M’s – Money, Message, and Membership, Dan was selected by a majority of members of the South Dakota Republican Central Committee at their annual meeting in Pierre.

Dan assumes his volunteer duties with the South Dakota Republican Party immediately, with his term of office running through February of 2019.

Jan 25

President Trump already moving America forward on energy independence

President Donald Trump has wasted little time in taking command since his inauguration this past week, as one of the first items on his agenda was forging ahead on ensuring that America takes a back seat to no one when it comes to energy production. According to NPR:

donald_trump_official_portraitPresident Trump on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for construction of two controversial oil pipelines, the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access.

As he signed the paperwork in an Oval Office photo op, Trump said his administration is “going to renegotiate some of the terms” of the Keystone project, which would carry crude oil from the tar sands of western Canada and connect to an existing pipeline to the Gulf Coast.


Trump said the Keystone XL pipeline will mean “a lot of jobs, 28,000 construction jobs, great construction jobs.”

Read that here.

And decisive, forward motion coming after the Obama Administration’s years of inaction have brought brought President Trump kudos from members of the affected delegations, where the Keystone XL and the Dakota Access pipelines had been stymied, allowing promised jobs to be unfulfilled, and forcing equipment to be mothballed:


noem-officialRep. Kristi Noem today issued the following statement after President Trump directed the federal government to move forward on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines: 

“The United States must look at every opportunity to increase energy independence, if we’re going to expand economic freedom and create a more secure nation. President Trump’s actions showcase his commitment to energy independence and I look forward to working with him as we move our country closer to a made-in-America energy supply.”


mike_rounds_official_senate_portraitU.S. Senator Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today issued the following statement on President Trump’s executive action to move forward with construction of the Keystone Xl and Dakota Access pipelines.

“President Trump understands that pipelines provide an effective and efficient means of transporting natural resources and meeting our country’s energy needs,” said Rounds. “Good domestic energy policies include an ‘all of the above’ approach that will strengthen our economy, create jobs and enhance U.S. energy independence. As the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines move forward, I will continue to work with those involved to address their concerns.”

It’s good to see a chief executive in the White House once again!

Jan 25

Rushmore PAC strongly support efforts confronting the insidious, hate filed, and anti-Semitic “BDS”


Rushmore PAC strongly support efforts in states to pass anti-discrimination bills aimed at confronting the insidious, hate filed, and anti-Semitic “BDS” movement which seeks, not peace but, the ultimate destruction of the Jewish state of Israel. Their leaders say as much.

It is no secret that under the guise of human rights, this campaign exists to give a voice to opponents who oppose the very existence of a Jewish state. Moreover, their actions often give way to violence and intimidation against Jews. In the United States, and around the world,  we have seen an uptick in anti-Semitic incidents. This is particularly evident on American college campuses.

BDS activists advocate economic pressure on businesses to cease business activities in Israel and pressure Israeli businesses, and academics, both in Israel and abroad. This effort is economic warfare meant to weaken Israeli’s position in the region and throughout the world. Additionally, this effort also harms the very people it claims to help. Palestinians have lost good paying jobs with high salaries and benefits because Israeli companies have been forced to move their factories and offices because of pressure from BDS activists. These Palestinians have not been able to find comparable jobs and their families suffer.

It must be asked why these groups that claim to be human rights advocates focus and fixate on the Jewish state when there are hundreds of territorial disputes ongoing around the globe. Atrocities and human rights violations persist unabated throughout the world. The recent genocide and slaughter in Aleppo, Syria is just one such example.

At Rushmore PAC we believe that boycotts of entities and individuals of specific countries very often amount to ethnic, religious, racial, and or nationality discrimination. This discrimination is unacceptable and directly contradicts the ideals of good government, public policy of the state government, and our shared common values.

Individuals and groups, of course, have the right to boycott and protest. That is the right of every American citizen. But states absolutely have the discretion to determine how to spend state dollars. We encourage states, and state legislators and policy makers to unequivocally oppose those that practice discriminatory tactics against Israel and Jews.

Israel is America’s greatest ally in the Middle East. It is the only democracy in a region full of dictators and strongmen who deny their citizens fundamental human rights. Rushmore PAC will be supporting candidates who stand up to anti-Semitic discrimination and who fight back with anti-BDS legislation in their states.

To date, 15 states have passed such laws, and one has enacted an executive order. We encourage states to pass these laws that reaffirm the strength of the US-Israel bond, the importance of strong trade relations between states and the nation of Israel, denounce discrimination, and fight back against the economic warfare aimed at the Jewish state.


Jan 20

Donald Trump takes command, and “Empty talk is over.”

donald_trump_official_portraitThe 45th US President of these United States, Donald J. Trump, has assumed his position of leadership for America, and there are already signs that our long American malaise may finally be lifting.


It all ended today.


As protesters and malcontents wailed in the streets and smashed windows in the streets of Washington DC, they did so because they realized their time has passed.  They finally had to come to terms with the realization that it’s not just about them. It’s about all of us.


We’re done with the patronization. We’re done with the pampering. Dad has finally come up to their room and said, son, it’s time to go to work.


The economic furnace that has been our nation will no longer sit cold and idle. As idle as the men who made America great through their labor were forced to be idle, while politicians dickered over how they’ll be able to find jobs in the new solar or wind economy. While these people’s families starved and went without.


President Trump began his administration with words of hope for a renewed America, free of the shackles that held it back. No more will we reject the notion of American exceptionalism.


“The American Carnage stops here and now.”


When Donald Trump uttered those words, he was speaking for those of us frustrated that the dreams we held for our children were slowly robbed from them by the red tape of regulation and the shackles of poverty, fueled by a government who wanted to raise up the poor by lowering us all.


The long eight-year winter of our nation is over. Eight years of increasing community unrest. Eight years of our resources for growth being strangled and stymied at the call of special interest groups. Eight years of unprecedented growth in government programs, creating a new generation of those dependent upon others. And eight years of treating one of our most trusted allies in the most turbulent part of the world – Israel – as an enemy.


We’re done with all of that. And today is a brand new day.


Our organization, Rushmore PAC, liked a lot of what we heard today. Similar to our new  president, we holds core values of energy independence, peace through strength, and balancing our budget


Donald Trump announced to the country that we will bolster our infrastructure. We will rebuild our country with American hands and American labor.  We will be a strong economy, and we will lead the world.


As Trump noted to the country today

“We stand at the birth of a new millennium, ready to unlock the mysteries of space, to free the Earth from the miseries of disease, and to harness the energies, industries and technologies of tomorrow.


A new national pride will stir our souls, lift our sights, and heal our divisions.


Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams, will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way.


Together, We Will Make America Strong Again

It’s a good way to start an administration.

Jan 10 all about pulling a fast one on South Dakota voters.

Right now in South Dakota a battle is being waged on the Internet, in mailboxes, and in the newspapers by, a liberal Massachusetts group who just completed spending over a million dollars in the state to pass a measure to appropriate 12 million in taxpayer dollars from the state treasury and give it to politicians for their political campaigns.

deb_peterscroppedIn response to the ballot measure passing, several state legislators, including Blake Curd (R- Sioux Falls) and Deb Peters (R- Hartford), responded by asking the state courts to rule on the constitutionality of the measure, as the new law was so restrictive that it was requiring people to quit their jobs or divorce spouses if they wanted to continue to serve in their legislative seats.   In addition, South Dakota law requires expenditures to go through the appropriations process, but the ballot measure bypassed that procedure.

Upon the many questions that the measure brought up being submitted to South Dakota Circuit Court Judge Mark Barnett, the Judge enjoined the measure from going into effect on the basis that he felt several parts would ultimately be found unconstitutional.  Ironically, many of the same issues Barnett brought up were not new. Issues of constitutionality had been identified to the sponsors by the State Legislative Research Council prior to the measure being circulated. Unfortunately, the sponsors chose to ignore them.

In the face of ignoring the legal warnings of unconstitutionality given to them, and subsequent court findings of likely unconstitutionality bringing the measure to a screeching halt, what has the response of the measure sponsors been?

Attack the messengers, of course. has been blithely ignoring their own complicity in their measure’s problems, and has launched personal attacks on two of the legislators who brought the lawsuit questioning the measure’s constitutionality – Republican Senate Majority Leader Blake Curd, a United State Air Force Veteran and Orthopedic Surgeon, and Senator Deb Peters, the President Elect of the National Conference of State Legislatures and one of Governing Magazine’s Public Officials of the Year for 2016. is attacking the Senators for asking the courts for definitive confirmation of what was alluded to before – that there were some big problems with Initiated Measure 22.

Think about it. They attacked them for going to court, and asking a judge to settle problems that the measure sponsors had known about for over a year. That doesn’t sound like the deep pockets of are mad over something that’s wrong. That sounds like they’re upset they got caught in their own deception, as they prematurely celebrated almost succeeding in pulling the wool over voters’ eyes.

But, this shouldn’t come as a shock. The people involved in are all about pulling a fast one on voters.

Tired of the negative attacks designed to divert attention from the real issue – their unconstitutional measure?  Call in your support for Senators Curd and Peters to the Senate Lobby at 605-773-3821, or send a letter to the editor to your local newspapers.  Let everyone know that the bad guys trying to buy South Dakota don’t get to win!

Jan 04

Sen. Mike Rounds: Time for a real strategy to keep Americans safe from cyber threats

Sen. Mike Rounds: Time for a real strategy to keep Americans safe from cyber threats

It is alleged that in recent months, the Russian government conducted  cyber hacks of the Democratic National Committee  (DNC) server and attempted to hack  the Republican National Committee  (RNC) email system.


In October 2016, the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence stated that the cyber hackers “intended to interfere with the U.S. election process” – a very serious charge.


On Dec. 16, 2016, President Obama informed reporters that he told Russian leader Vladimir Putin to “knock it off” in 20120913-174851.jpgSeptember after hearing of the attack on the DNC and that no further hacking attempts were made after that. Two weeks later on Dec. 29, President Obama imposed sanctions against Russian intelligence services and kicked dozens of Russian diplomats out of the country. 


Meanwhile, voters of varied political viewpoints are rightfully distressed. Some Clinton supporters believe the hack swayed voters toward the president-elect, while some Trump voters assert that the publicity of the attacks stems from yet another post-mortem excuse from the losing side.


No matter which camp one is in, it should be apparent to all Americans that the United States is not immune to damaging cyber-attacks from hostile foreign nations and other bad actors. We must update our national security policies to deter such attacks before a future debilitating attack occurs, possibly on civilian critical infrastructure.


Senior officials at the Pentagon have been warning about a “Cyber 9/11” or “Cyber Pearl Harbor” for years. We already know that foreign actors have attempted to access the cyber domains of critical infrastructure in the U.S.


Imagine what would happen if a foreign actor interfered with the operations of a nuclear power plant, or shut down the communications that control aircraft operations, rail operations or water releases from large dams. Such an attack on our critical infrastructure could threaten our entire economy or – worse – lead to loss of life. Without an appropriate plan in place to stop or respond to these cyber-attacks, we put ourselves at increased risk for a catastrophic attack to occur.


As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, broadening our national defense policies to adequately address cyber-attacks on civilian critical infrastructure has been a priority of mine. I am glad that Congress included a provision in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which would begin the process of defining when an act in cyber space constitutes an act of war. With language similar to my Cyber Act of War Act, the NDAA will require the administration to determine when a cyber-attack on the United States requires a military response. This is vital because, while current policies permit the Pentagon to respond to a cyber-attack against military forces, our nation does not have a clear policy to govern our response to attacks on civilian infrastructure. The NDAA seeks to change that.


Now that the NDAA is law, the administration will have until December 2017 to give Congress a report on when a cyber act would warrant a military response. In preparing this report, the administration must consider (1) the ways in which the effects of a cyber-attack may be equivalent to effects of an attack using conventional kinetic weapons, including with respect to physical destruction and casualties, and (2) intangible effects of significant scope, intensity or duration.


Defining when a cyber-attack requires a military response is but one in a series of steps we must take to deter our enemies from attacking the United States with this new, sophisticated form of aggression.


While our national focus may be on whether the Russian hack allegations warrant an investigation and Obama’s recent retaliation will deter future attacks, we must not lose sight of the fact we need a defined strategy for how to keep Americans safe from cyber-threats.


We cannot know if the alleged hacks in 2016 would have been thwarted had the provisions of my Cyber Act of War Act had already been in law. What we do know is that, absent a clear message to our adversaries as to when a cyber-attack may warrant a U.S. military response, we will not have done all we can to deter devastating attacks in the future. Recent events have shown that such action is urgently needed.   


(Note – this piece originally appeared on the Fox News Opinion website)

Jan 04

Noem, Sinema Introduce Bipartisan Health Insurance Tax Repeal – #stopthehit

Noem, Sinema Introduce Bipartisan Health Insurance Tax Repeal


noem-officialWASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representatives Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) today introduced H.R.246, the Jobs and Premium Protection Act, a bipartisan bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s costly Health Insurance Tax (HIT).  If enacted, the provision could save families as much as $400 per year in healthcare premium costs, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. 


“Many small businesses in South Dakota have faced a stunning reality since the passage of Obamacare: They can’t really afford to pay for the expensive mandated insurance, but they also can’t afford the HIT if they don’t provide insurance.  Essentially, they’re taxed if they do and taxed if they don’t,” said Noem.  “As a result, many employers have been forced to either cut workers’ hours or limit the small business’s growth.  The Jobs and Premium Protection Act would open new economic opportunities from South Dakota to Arizona while giving thousands of families the peace of mind that their financial independence won’t be jeopardized because of this regressive tax.”


“Arizonans continue to struggle with increasing health care costs,” said Sinema. “Eliminating the tax is a bipartisan, commonsense fix that lowers out of pocket costs for hardworking Arizonans.  I’m committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to provide relief for individuals, families, and employers and increase access to quality, affordable health care.” 


The HIT is a direct tax on health insurance providers for the services they provide to individuals, families, and other beneficiaries.  According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, this tax is passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs.  Additionally, the National Federation of Independent Business Research Foundation found the HIT will cost between 152,000 and 286,000 jobs by 2023, with 57 percent of those lost jobs represented in small businesses.



Nov 14

Guest Column: Senator Mike Rounds – Obama’s Failed Foreign Policy Legacy

(I wanted to share this column with Rushmore PAC members, as it sums up the work we have ahead in undoing the damage that President Obama has done to our foreign policy – Dan)

Obama’s Failed Foreign Policy Legacy
By Senator Mike Rounds
November 10, 2016

Rounds_official_photoSince President Obama took office nearly eight years ago, the world has changed considerably. During his time in office, ISIL rose to prominence due to the administration’s determination to withdraw all U.S. forces from Iraq. Iran has ascended as a regional destabilizing power, and it remains on a path to acquire nuclear weapons. The U.S. effort to combat the Taliban in Afghanistan faces potential under-resourcing. Russia has increased its nuclear arsenal and continues its aggression against Ukraine. In Libya, the administration half-heartedly led a U.S. military intervention, only to abandon the mission prematurely, which has created another destabilized country within which terrorists seek safe haven to plot attacks against our homeland.


Recently, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), John Brennan, testified to Congress that “Despite all our progress against ISIL on the battlefield and in the financial realm, our efforts have not reduced the group’s terrorism capability and global reach.” It is clear that the president’s current course to defeat ISIL and terrorism abroad is not working. We need more proactive efforts and not more delayed, reactionary half-steps if we are to truly defeat the terrorist organization, stop the terrorist group’s online radicalization and keep Americans safe from ISIL-inspired attacks here at home.


A side effect of the instability and chaos in the Middle East is a dramatic increase in refugees. In Syria alone, the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner on Refugees estimates that nearly 4.8 million Syrian refugees have fled the country and another 6.6 million are internally displaced within the country. In Libya, nearly 2.5 million are in desperate need of humanitarian aid, according to the UN News Center. Russia, , recently indicated that it would not consider a humanitarian ceasefire to allow refugees, anti-government fighters and injured citizens to escape Syria safely, or allow aid vehicles to deliver food and medical supplies to those unable to flee.


While most refugees are being relocated in Europe, many Americans are concerned about the prospect of a terrorist slipping into the United States, taking advantage of the refugee program. Refugees have been coming to America for generations seeking safety from war-torn regions of the world. I support efforts to help others seek shelter from persecution. However, we must be cautious to protect our own national security. While we as global leaders should take steps to assist in humanitarian efforts when possible, I believe our current refugee admission program needs further safeguards to make sure the refugees we admit have no ties to terror organizations and make sure refugees properly assimilate into American society.


As events continue to unfold around the world, many have wondered from where our foreign policy problems stem. I agree with other elected officials and experts that many foreign policy failures are a symptom of this administration’s “leading from behind” mentality. In less than three months, a new president, with the guidance of experts with new ideas as well as a new Congress, will have an opportunity to reset our foreign policy. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I look forward to working with the new administration and my colleagues on a new direction for our country which includes stronger leadership to protect our citizens, advance our global interests and support our allies abroad.

Dec 08

New Words for a New World

IMG_4550.JPGText of speech outline delivered by Newt Gingrich at NDU on December 1, 2015.

Posted with permission of Speaker Gingrich

We are living in a world rapidly evolving away from the mental constructs and language of the last 375 years. These ideas can be traced to the Treaty of Westphalia ending the 30 Years War in 1648 and  Grotius proposal of a system of International Law in the same era. The ideas were then extended through the development of state warfare culminating in the Napoleonic Wars.

This intellectual framework was applied and reapplied through two World Wars and the Cold War. It is the framework within which academic and bureaucratic careers were made and are still being made.

It is now a framework which distorts reality, hides from uncomfortable facts, and cripples our ability to develop an effective national security and foreign policy.

The gap between the old world in our heads and the new world we now find ourselves in is so large that the very language of the past blocks us from coming to grips with an emerging future that will be radically different.

Consider these challenges to the old intellectual order:

  1. We are in a Long War which could easily last 100 years or more, which will transcend all national boundaries and which ignores or rejects a century of work trying to routinize and tame warfare.
  2. There are technological and doctrinal breakouts on the horizon which will challenge our very survival. ElectroMagnetic Pulse, cyber war, loyalties to religiously inspired movements transcending traditional concepts of patriotism, militarization of space, are examples of breakouts which will reach require new thinking and new organizations and doctrines.
  3. The Chinese system of strategic competition in a world of “no war,no peace” ( see Sun Tzu’s the Art of War with its injunction that the greatest of all generals win bloodless victories as an initial starting point for Chinese strategies of blending war and peace into one continuum) as illustrated by the nine dash line and the long project to assume sovereignty over the entire South China Sea is an example of how different that competition will be. The ongoing cyber competition is a good example of the blurring of war and non war boundaries. This pattern is actually historically more normal than the American effort to draw a sharp line between war and peace.
  4. Russia is re-emerging as an opportunistic,predatory state with loyalty to its self defined national interests rather than to any theory of international legality. The Russian nuclear arsenal requires us to think much more deeply about how we communicate with and seek to negotiate with Russia. Managing the evolving Russian challenge may require more 19th century Real politick in the Bismarck-Disraeli tradition and less reliance on legalisms.
  5. The sobering reality is that we are at the end of the 70 year strategy of attempting to contain the spread of nuclear weapons and at the beginning of a dangerous new era of coping with the threat of nuclear weapons. The gap between the new dangers and the old thinking can be seen in the totally inadequate design of the Department of Homeland Security. As originally proposed in the Hart-Rudman Commission’s work in 2000 this department should be sized to handle simultaneous nuclear events in three different cities. Today, 15 years later, it could not adequately handle one nuclear event. Yet the spread of nuclear capability to North Korea, Pakistan, Iran and elsewhere virtually guarantees weapons could be used in the near future. We now have to develop a two prong strategy which both focuses diplomatically on minimizing their spread and the danger of their use and focuses national security and homeland security assets on surviving nuclear events if diplomacy fails.
  6. Lawfare combined with ubiquitous regular media and social media coverage is creating new ground rules for the effective use of force in defense of American safety. For two generations we have allowed lawyers, media members, and non governmental organizations to define an ever more complex and more unwieldy set of ground rules. The efforts to turn war into criminal justice and to find “humane” methods of waging war have largely come at the expense of American national security. Confronted by enemies like Islamic Supremacists who don’t care about either the rule or law or the public opinion pressures created by visible violence, the United States will find itself at increasingly one sided disadvantages.  The notion of “bringing to justice” those who attacked us on 9/11 or Paris this November is absurd. Not only do we need to move the lawyers, NGOs and media to the side, but our new leaders must communicate directly and bluntly the nature of the threats we face, and make it plain that we all must sacrifice something if we want this nation to endure. We have to cease treating our enemies with the kind of disdain (the “J.V. team” comment, for example) that allows our leaders to demand little of themselves and nothing of us.
  7. As I noted at the beginning, we are engaged in a Long War. Hollywood began recognizing that war with movies like Black Sunday 38 years ago (1977) in which a Palestinian group sought to kill thousands at a Super Bowl. Today, 36 years after the Iranian illegal seizure of the American Embassy and year long hostage crisis, 22 years after the first bombing of the World Trade Center, 17 years after the bombing of the United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, 15 years after the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, 14 years after the attack of 9/11killed 2,996 people, we need to have the courage to face the facts. We are losing the Long War. Our elites in America and Europe have an enormous resistance to dealing honestly and effectively with the Islamic Supremacists who seek to kill us and destroy our civilization. Until we can find accurate words to describe the realities of the Long War we have no hope of even beginning to win it.  We have to recognize that this Long War may require totally new approaches completely outside the American historic experience. Furthermore the enemy’s ability to adapt may force us to dramatically shift away from the traditional “American Way of War”.
  8. The Long War will last at least 50 to 100 years unless there is a disaster so large the West is compelled to mobilize with ruthless efficiency and destroy the capacity for Islamic Supremacists to function. We have no language or doctrine for sustaining a century long struggle in a free society. We have no serious efforts underway in our national security community to even begin thinking about such a long war. We certainly have no plans or systems which enable America to cope with technological breakouts, Chinese scale and complexity, Russian opportunism and a Long War simultaneously. We also have no plans to communicate with the American people and organize understanding among Americans to sustain a century long effort which will inherently be both foreign and domestic. Since we can’t talk with ourselves it is no wonder we can’t build support among our allies.
  9. As i outline in my new novel, Duplicity, Islamic Supremacism is a virus and has to be seen as an epidemiological phenomenon. Seen in this context the internet and social media are the centers of gravity for the Long War. Any effort which focuses on geographic campaigns, such as defeating ISIS in Syria and Iraq, is by definition a misunderstanding of the Long War. Our efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere for the last 14 years have failed in large part because we have no larger strategic context of defeating Islamic Supremacists within which to orient them. Imagine we had confused Guadalcanal for World War Two and you can see how far we have to go to rethink our current activities. It will be extraordinarily hard to get our national security bureaucracies and professionals to admit how big the failures are and how deep the change has to be. It will be even harder to get our political elites to understand how badly we are losing and how much we must rethink our current analyses, strategies, and activities.
  10. The biggest zone of controversy will be the inherently transnational nature of the Long War. Because Islamic Supremacism is a virus and because it spreads through the internet and social media it will require strategies and institutional relationships which have both domestic and foreign operating capabilities. We have to study the American struggle against Nazis in the 1930s (the House Un-American Activities Committee was established in 1938 to go after Nazi penetration of the United States). We have to study the frighteningly effective Soviet penetration of the American government in the 1930s and 1940s and the systematic government response to eliminate Soviet spies, agents and sympathizers. The history of other countries and their campaigns to eliminate penetrations by foreign enemies also should become part of such a study.
  11. Unavoidability is the first key to understanding the scale of the national security challenge we face. Whether we want to fight Islamic Supremacists or not is irrelevant. They intend to fight us. Whether we would like to live in a world of extreme nuclear danger or not is irrelevant. Every year countries like North Korea, Pakistan and Iran get more nuclear capability. Whether we want to deal with domestic subversion and domestic enemies or not is irrelevant. As Paris just proved once again, ignoring your enemies doesn’t mean they will ignore you. In fact it may create space for them to become more dangerous and more lethal.
  12. The sheer range and complexity of challenges and the speed with which any one problem can erupt requires a new approach to monitoring threats and managing responses. Just as we had to develop fleet and theater information integration systems to cope with speed and complexity we will have to build national command systems that integrate all departments and all sources of information.the Army Training and Doctrine Commands new emphasis on complexity is a welcome step in this direction. Their new doctrine manual “Win in a Complex World” is an important step in the right direction,a
  13. Rethinking national strategy on this scale takes time and inevitably involves very intense arguments. The emergence of the American response to the Soviet challenge after World War Two is a good example. George Kennan wrote his 8,000 word “long telegram” analyzing the Soviet’s as a global threat in February, 1946. It set the stage for a four year process of policy development culminating in the April, 1950 adoption of NSC 68 outlining the containment strategy for the Cold War. If it took the generation who fought in World War One and led the country in World War Two four years of thinking we shouldn’t be surprised if it takes us a lot of argument, thinking and innovation to develop a grand strategy for the 21st century. It has to be done but it wont be done easily.
  14. Our first assignment is to look at facts and develop new words and new constructs to accurately describe what we are facing. Until we have done that we will be crippled by the very words we use and the obsolete ideas we are trapped in.

Older posts «