And you thought you were getting a movie review;)!
Yes, I saw the newest James Bond thriller last night and mostly enjoyed it (though the dirty vodka martini's were something clear, not dirty at all...).
The furor regarding ISIS dominates the news at the moment. I present here a few thoughts, a long belated blog entry. As I contemplated my concerns this morning regarding USSOCCOM and our government's obsession with ISIS, I couldn't help thinking about SPECTRE.
SPECTRE is a mythical organization to which all the Bond villains belonged (spoiler alert!), and which (through M's new arch nemesis) C ends up supporting. C, a British intelligence bureaucrat, is ending the "Double Oh" program (so Bond and M are unemployed at one point in the movie) because he managed to acquire the intel feeds from the 9 most significant countries, supposedly making agents irrelevant.
I read a recent OP-ED from a Naval Academy grad who was calling for reinstatement of Stan McChrystal. You may recall GEN (ret) McChrystal ran afoul of the Obama administration because his team talked candidly with a Rolling Stone writer (who quoted some rather insubordinate comments attributed, perhaps falsely, to GEN McChrystal).
No one will dispute that Stan McChrystal might be the best terror-fighting phenom who has ever served our nation (unless that title goes to Black Jack Pershing, who is rumored to have stopped Muslim extremist attacks worldwide for over 40 years by executing 49 terrorists and burying them in pigs blood/entrails, then releasing the 50th terrorist to tell the tale). GEN McChrystal organized SOCCOM effectively, equipped them well and built a network of intelligence feeds that apparently produced an ever increasing list of valid terrorist targets.
President Obama had the same options with Stan McChrystal that Harry Truman had with Doug McArthur. Unfortunately, the Roman Republic had a similar problem with an insubordinate general. Their's was named Julius Caesar. Most of my readers are aware Julius Caesar over threw the Roman Republic and ultimately installed an Empire that would live on the greatness of the Republic for several thousand years.
Does the US need a vast military organization capable of reaching anywhere in the world and responding via missile attack, small or large military operation in a matter of a day or two? Assuming you say "yes," how do we insure we keep them pointing outward? And what policies of political control need to be in place to insure we don't turn the world into enemies (versus friends who appreciate our help prosecuting crazy criminal actions from radical Muslims and others)?
I am concerned that our vicious attacks on al Qaeda helped create ISIS and fueled its popularity (at least within many Muslim circles). Successful prosecution of targets is no good if such activity converts more adherents to radical Islam than we kill or remove from relevancy.
And is it possible that ISIS is more important than the second largest agricultural producer in the world, a country that is bigger in territorial size than France and some would call the inheritor of the purest Orthodox Christianity? Ukrainian casualties from "Russian inspired hostilities" far out number global casualties from ISIS. Some argue US military presence in Ukraine would inspire a world war with Russia... I only suggest that a friendly Air National Guard squadron of A-10 aircraft would inspire Vladimir Putin to keep his efforts East of Donbass (and south of the Crimean) skirmish lines.
So maybe dissolving SOCCOM isn't the right step, but I'm arguing some attention (budget and brainpower) away from ISIS toward placing and defending that A-10 squadron in Ukraine... would be prudent.