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We are at war but most Americans are blissfully unaware.  Folks are busy living their lives, attending school, work, raising kids, pursuing dreams, or if retired, leisure activities, visiting grandkids, enjoying life.  Most are ignorant of the malign designs of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).  

China is ruled by CCP Chairman and President Xi Jinping.  His word is law.  His goals are anathema to freedom loving people everywhere.  The people of China are helpless pawns.  They have no rights.  Government may lock people in their dwellings for months on end with no reason and no recourse, as they recently did. There is no freedom, no autonomy.  Everything, everyone in China is subordinate to the will and whims of the CCP and its absolute ruler, President Xi.  I have written extensively on the threat of the CCP here, here,  and here.  China experts Gordon Chang of Gatestone Institute, Dr. Michael Pillsbury of Heritage, and former Trump National Security Advisor Lt Gen H. R. McMaster have sounded alarms about the PRC.  See General McMaster’s recent Congressional testimony.  Dr. Pillsbury concludes there is a 70% chance that the PRC will dominate the world.  Unfortunately, too little heed is paid to these warnings.  We don’t want a world ruled by China.

Decades ago, Congress established the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission.  That non-partisan body has been doing yeomen’s work warning the nation of the CCP/PRC threat.  Their sobering 2023 Executive Summary is well worth reading.  The full report lays out in stark detail the corrupt and evil ways the PRC is using to gain power, influence, and dominance in virtually everything.  Experts consider China a peer or near-peer to the United States in both military and economic strength.  A 2023 study by Australia Public Policy Institute documents China’s leadership in 37 out of 44 fields.  Technology is crucial to economic and military strength.  China is a leader in space, Artificial Intelligence, quantum computing, rare earths, manufacturing, college degrees, patents, pharmaceuticals, hypersonic missiles, shipbuilding, batteries, solar panels, manufacturing, port control, and many other fields.   Senator Rubio issued a startling report Made in China 2025 on CCP’s plans to dominate in 10 critical sectors by 2025.  They are well on their way to this goal.  

Many now predict a military confrontation with the PRC/CCP in the near term?  It likely will be over Taiwan.  I have written about that threat here and here.   President Biden and other national leaders state forthrightly that the US would come to the aid of Taiwan.  We have authorized billions of defense weaponry and promised more.   TRANSCOM General Minihan recently warned that war will begin with China as soon as 2025.   What is the state of our readiness?

You might think our military will save the day.  Heritage Foundation’s Index of Military Readiness paints a grim picture.  This year’s report warns in stark terms our military capability and readiness has fallen.  Heritages states, “ In the aggregate, the United States’ military posture can only be rated as “weak.”  Weak budgets, neglect of the military by both parties, and the politicization of the military has led to a shocking weakness just when China is stronger than ever.  

Our military is not ready to fight the PRC!  Both Heritage and the Security Review Commission are sounding the alarm!  Exacerbating a bad situation, the politicization of our military which started in 2009 under President Obama is now on steroids!  President Biden greatly accelerated what Obama began, mandating divisive, wasteful social justice indoctrination.  Critical Race Theory, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, gay pride celebrations, drag queen shows, women in combat units, indoctrination in what pronouns to use, and integration of transgenders are military commander top priorities, consuming resources and distracting from the core mission.  With what result?  Readiness is down.  All services missed recruiting goals last year.  Retention is down.  Military member suicide trends are unconscionable and the problem is glossed over by leadership.  Sexual assault rates have skyrocketed as shown by this report.  Scores of commanders are being relieved each year for cause.  Our military is distracted and not ready.  American youth are declining to join the military.  Families who served generations are telling their children to avoid the military.  The nation is waking up to this danger thanks to the efforts of veterans’ organizations who are documenting the problems.  STARRS, Calvert Group, Restore Liberty, Center for Military Readiness, and Veterans for Fairness and Merit are sounding the clarion call to restore merit and traditional values in our military including fidelity to the Constitution.  Visit their websites and support their efforts.  Members of Congressman are warning of these dangers too such as Senator Rubio and Congressman Roy who recently issued a scathing report outlining dozens of examples of the wokeness that has weakened and distracted our military.

In 1941 with the attack at Pearl Harbor, the world saw the US viciously attacked with our pants down.  Almost 3000 died on that single infamous day.  In hindsight its clear the US ignored the warning signs that presaged that attack.  Our failures in diplomacy and readiness led Japan to wrongly conclude that they could defeat us.  That led to 111,000 American deaths and 250,000 wounded in the Pacific theater alone.  Let’s not repeat that type of failure with the PRC with 10 times the resources and population of Japan plus nuclear weapons.  

We must elect those who will strengthen our military.  We must have a military that focuses on readiness alone.   We must educate the American public on the dangers to America the PRC poses.  Congress must act to better protect us against the CCP’s evil plans and strengthen our military.  If our military is not ready to defend us you might as well start learning Mandarin.  In a stark warning, China’s Minister of Defense openly discussed using biological weapons to kill Americans.  Both the Department of Energy and the former head of the CDC confirm that the Covid virus was developed in Wuhan China.  What else are they developing?  Think of that.  Every one your loved ones could be dead in a few years in the coming conflict if we don’t act now to preserve our military and its ability to protect and defend us.  The time to act is now.    

Image by Jared Kofsky/

On 19 December 2022, the West Point Association of Graduates forwarded a letter from West Point Superintendent LTG Steven Gilland to graduates of the well-known military institution. The letter began with:

Long Gray Line Teammates and the West Point Community: 

During the holiday break, we will begin a multi-phased process, in accordance with Department of Defense (DoD) directives, to remove, rename or modify assets and real property at the United States Military Academy (USMA) and West Point installation that commemorate or memorialize the Confederacy or those who voluntarily served with the Confederacy.

In addition to renaming barracks and gates, the Superintendent spoke of dismantling and completely revising the West Point Class of 1961’s Reconciliation Plaza. This action item is the most concerning to many. The purpose of this monument was to show actions during and after the Civil War by West Point graduates on both sides of the war that helped the nation to heal after its most emotional and violent test of solvency. Purportedly references to Lee and other Confederate generals are to be erased and the message altered. After returning from Christmas break, cadets discovered the Supe’s directives were well underway.

The Civil War is an essential part of American history. It is impossible to connect our foundation in the late 1700s to the triumphs of the 20th century and beyond without discussing the Civil War. Superficially, it resulted in the end of slavery. However, its significance and legacy goes far deeper to the educated American. Among other things, it redefined the federal government’s relationship to states. Further, actions taken by key member of both sides helped the nation to heal and become once again One Nation Under God. Reconciliation was not easy, as recognized by perhaps one of the most important protagonists in the war – Ulysses S Grant. 

In The Personal Memoirs of US Grant (1982 edition), US Grant ends his book with the following commentary and hope for the future:

I was not egoist enough to suppose all this significance should be given because I was the object of it. But the war between the States was a very bloody and a very costly war. One side or the other had to yield principles they deemed dearer than life before it could be brought to an end. I commanded the whole of the mighty host engaged on the victorious side. I was, no matter whether deservedly so or not, a representative of that side of the controversy. It is a significant and gratifying fact that Confederates should have joined heartily in this spontaneous move. I hope the good feeling inaugurated may continue to the end.”

Of note, the principles were not about just slavery as the woke politicians that Gilland seems to mindlessly follow without much thoughtful introspection want America to believe. Further, Grant doesn’t mention Lee by name, but Lee and many other Confederate leaders devoted the rest of their lives towards guiding the South to tie its future and soul to the reunified United States. It is this spirit that the Reconciliation Plaza aimed to capture and inspire cadets and the lay public. It is impossible to comprehend and debate this outcome without including USMA graduates and other leaders that served both sides in the Civil War. Without Lee, there can be no meaningful conversation of Grant. Further, Gilland’s actions undermine Grant’s dying wishes to unify the nation and to keep forever more looking forward as one country. The Supe’s actions, whether realized or not, are contributing to the increasing divide amongst USMA grads and the rest of the nation. Many grads cut their ties with West Point and its alumni association over this specific controversial move.

Following on the heels of great censors of the past including Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and the People’s Republic of China, LTG Gilland seems to dutifully do his part to revise history to meet the needs of the modern progressive Democratic Party. A good ‘book burning’ is not commensurate with West Point’s two century legacy of training future officers to study history from all sides and to draw their own educated conclusions. A service academy Superintendent should be mindful of their influence (good/bad) on cadets and encourage thoughtfulness, not dogmatic indoctrination of one point of view.

John Hughes, MD
West Point Class of 1996

Veteran of Iraq/Afghanistan

Co-chair of a registered SUPERPAC

U.S. Soldiers, assigned to 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, train with the Integrated Visual Augmentation System and the Enhanced Night Vision Goggles during Project Convergence 2022 (PC22) at Fort Irwin, Calif., Nov. 7, 2022. PC22 brings together members of the All-Service and Multinational force to rigorously test the effectiveness and interoperability of cutting-edge weapons and battle systems. (U.S. Army photo by SGT Thiem Huynh)

There is no shortage of commentary on the lessons to be learned from the war in Ukraine. There is an understandable debate unfolding given the tremendous amount of sacrifice, human loss, and suffering. The stakes are high and learning needs to occur. War is, and has always been, the best teacher. It has been nothing short of incredible what David has been doing to Goliath on the Steppes of Ukraine.

There are indeed valuable lessons to learn from all sides. Yet, for Western militaries, it is more about the lessons they may not want to hear that will prove to be the most valuable in deterring, preparing, and if necessary, fighting the next war. Much of the West has over invested in other domains (e.g., maritime, air) and niche capabilities, at the expense of combat power on land. The war in Ukraine has validated the need for decisive land combat power to win large-scale wars. These types of wars are far from extinction and finding the right balance of capabilities to wage war in appropriate fashion, remains a fundamental security challenge for Western nations...

To read more visit Real Clear Defense.

Racial preferences compromise combat effectiveness, dilute merit, and are unfair.

Racial Preferences At Our Service Academies Are Not Essential To National Security

uring oral argument in the college admissions racial preferences cases (Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard/UNC), Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts inquired of United States Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar whether the service academies should “rise or fall” with the court’s ruling regarding Harvard and the University of North Carolina. The solicitor general, joined by the Department of Defense (DOD) general counsel, had claimed in briefing that the continued use of racial preferences at the service academies is a “national security imperative,” prompting the question.

The chief justice asked, effectively, whether DOD seeks an exemption for the military from any ruling against Harvard and UNC banning racial preferences’ further use. Prelogar’s replies fell short of asking for a military carveout, but she left the door open, reiterating the military’s alleged “distinctive interests” in using racial preferences and her claims that they are a “truly compelling interest” and “critically important” for the military.

Not addressed in rebuttal arguments were the reasons why there is no compelling national security imperative and how racial preferences are harming our military...

To read more visit The Federalist.

Image by Neville Goodman

Guest post by Thomas Klocek

One of my high school teachers was fond of telling us that common sense was not very common. If it ever was common, it seems to be mostly gone now. Today’s self-anointed pharisees, rather than employ common sense to foster the needs of the people, do everything they can to counter it, mostly for their own needs and agenda, regardless of the negative impacts it may have on society as a whole.

Of course, common sense is tied to logic and, despite Kamala’s obsession with Venn diagrams, many people today are like the person described in C.S. Lewis’s classic, The Screwtape Letters: “Your man is accustomed to having a dozen incompatible philosophies dancing about together inside his head.” The way the self-anointed get around common sense is to convince themselves that their ideology is better and more important than reality. Again, as Screwtape notes, “Everything has to be twisted before it’s any use to us.” Now their problem is merely to convince the rest of us, and they do this by obfuscation, misreporting, actually failing to report key information, or outright lying.

And so, we get the twisted excuse from Bill Gates (and other elites) that, because he is such an advocate for green policies, all his private airplane flights are okay. If such lame excuses don’t work, they’ll find some way to blame someone or something else for the failure of their ideology to produce the promised benefits.

We see this kind of argument when it comes to the elite’s mantra of “tax the rich” and make them pay “their fair share.” They claimed Trump’s tax cuts only benefited the rich and would reduce federal receipts. In actuality, receipts from taxes went up as a result of Trump’s tax policy. As for fair share, for decades the percentages have remained fairly constant with the top 10% of earners paying about 90% of the taxes. Similarly, the gap between the rich and the poor always seems to widen during Democrat administrations, with the rich getting richer.

Another case of suppressing common sense is the push toward green energy policies. Almost anyone (with common sense) could see that neither the country nor the technology was ready for a massive leap to green energy while at the same time just dumping existing viable energy sources (e.g., fossil fuels). Common sense tells us that make such a drastic leap into “renewable” energy while, at the same time, drastically cutting development of existing reliable resources would be fraught with danger, especially without having either a viable transition plan or a contingency plan for when things don’t go as expected. Yet, that is what this administration did, blindly cutting off or cutting back on fossil fuels, neglecting to develop nuclear energy plants, and driving people to electric vehicles whose technology is not mature, nor is the grid prepared to support them. At the same time, no plans were made for adverse conditions and so, in Scotland, for example, they are using diesel generators to keep wind turbines warm so they can function in the cold weather; and the turbines don’t make up for the fuel being used.

Supposedly the driver behind “going green” is to save the planet yet obtaining the resources to support electric cars (e.g., batteries) is more destructive to environments than the energy saved. Wind turbines kill thousands of birds (as do solar panels), are reportedly having adverse effects on fishing grounds in offshore installations (and the noise drives fish away), and their materials are neither recyclable nor biodegradable. Manufacturers of electric vehicles warn their owners not to use such amenities as heaters in very cold weather. They also have limited range and have lengthy recharging times. The mantra of buying an electric vehicle to avoid gas prices is also false as the cost to fill up and the cost to recharge are comparable.

And the idea that top-down government planning will be successful is also a denial of common sense. Show me a country that prospered with this philosophy. Soviet Russia was a huge failure. So is China. The way China has advanced of late is by its reacting to market pressures and opportunities. Most of what China produces are things that were invented or developed elsewhere, mostly in the free market innovation once permitted here in the U.S. Their success has been in being able to produce it easier and cheaper. Look what has happened when we tried top-down directed development by pushing such industries as Solyndra, which went bankrupt in less than a year on a government investment of half a billion dollars -- taxpayers’ money.

This is not to say that government-funded research is not valuable; it is. However, directing research to support a political position does not work, as opposed to research that would meet some identified need (with a good definition of requirements). Many military research projects have been successful in this way and have actually benefited society in general (think microwave ovens and plastic wrap).

Logic drives common sense and, despite Kamala’s obsession with Venn diagrams, most of the programs of this administration are decidedly illogical. One thing this administration has excelled at, however, is to show the failure of diversity and inclusion when choosing people for important decisions. The only equity of outcomes by selecting a gay transportation secretary, gay black woman for press secretary, and a non-binary activist as a Department of Energy official overseeing spent nuclear material has been abject failure on all counts. Logic would dictate the release of them from their positions and prohibition of federal employment but only one has been fired (and that the least influential of them)

Despite the failure of the woke philosophy in government, the administration continues to push CRT and the woke agenda on the country and, of most concern, the military. It is obvious that this administration sees no value in merit and merit is most important in combat.

Can this situation be reversed? Only by going back to the basics: the basics of the Constitution, the non-politicizing of science (when science becomes political, it ceases to be science), teaching critical thinking, actually teaching rather than grooming and indoctrination, the truth, and dare I say it, returning to God.

Our national motto is “One Nation Under God.” The Declaration of Independence cited God (our Creator) when delineating unalienable rights, and our Pledge of Allegiance also calls out God for our guide. The removal of God and the war against religion, Christianity in particular, has only brought anarchy and unhappiness. Organizations like Pew Research continue to show that religious people are happier and better adjusted than the non-religious. However, since faith might hold an out-of-control government in check, it has to be suppressed and even attacked outright, as was done during the COVID lockdowns when churches were closed while abortion facilities (I refuse to call them clinics as their business is murder rather than healing), bars, and strip clubs remained open.

Seek the truth and you will find God. “For where I found truth, there found I my God, who is truth itself.” St. Augustine, Confessions

LTC (ret) Darin Gaub - DEFEND THE GUARD TESTIMONY - Montana House Bill 527

Image by spDuchamp 

Ninety-nine red balloons

Floating in the summer sky

Panic bells, it's red alert!

There's something here from somewhere else!

The war machine springs to life

Opens up one eager eye

Focusing it on the sky

When ninety-nine red balloons go by

                                                    German Band: Nena, “99 Luftballoons”

By now most people in America know that China launched a “red” balloon and successfully navigated it across America and over some of our most sensitive installations. I am a Montanan living just south of Great Falls and the ballistic missile fields that are overseen from that location. To say the least, I was concerned, and many fellow Montanans watched the news or the skies waiting for an explosion. Either our Department of Defense would defend our airspace and shoot it down in a blaze of glory, or maybe there was something explosive on the balloon that would also be triggered. Neither happened, but I was reminded of growing up in Belgrade, Montana in the 70s and 80s, ducking under my desk in school wondering even then how thin walls and a classroom desk would save us from something like a nuclear blast.

The American people are rightfully upset that this single balloon crossed our country unhindered. We knew where it was from, China even admitted to it and called it a weather balloon. They were right that it was taking the temperature of a nation. We looked to the sky and knew there was something here from somewhere else, it was spying on us, and our administration simply watched. Thank you to Larry Mayer of Billings, Montana for taking a picture of the balloon, if he had not we may never have known. 

Angered and alarmed, Americans turned out in large numbers on television, radio, and podcasts to call out the administration for its lack of action against a threat to our nation. I was one of those Americans. It is time to admit though that the balloons that have us looking to the sky are worth noting, but spy balloons come across our shores every day and we are not upset enough. We better get there, or we will find ourselves homeless on the land our forefathers built. These “balloons” look different but are equally and maybe more dangerous. 

1. Exchange Students – Chinese students attended colleges and universities across the country. Keeping an eye on them and spreading propaganda are an estimated 80 collegiate-level and 500 high school-level Confucius Institutes. Controlled by the Chinese Education Administration they are there to influence Americans and report on Chinese student activities. 

2. Congressional Girlfriends – Eric Swalwell is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Chinese influence at all levels of government.   

3. Land and Business Ownership – throw a rock and you are likely to find land or a business owned by the Chinese. From several businesses in West Yellowstone, Montana to land purchases in multiple states like Arkansas and Mississippi, the Chinese either publicly own a lot of America or own it through proxies. 

4. Social Media/TikTok and Tech – our technology is infected with the cancers of spyware, malware, and many other means of collecting personal data. TikTok is banned in a number of state governments across the nation now, but America’s desire for followers, clicks, and likes is an addiction the Chinese are happy to feed. 

5. Trade Manipulation – it is no mystery that the Chinese have used our desire for things against us. We buy what they make, they take our money and buy up as much of the world as they can. Free Trade should be free, instead, it has come at the price of selling our independence overseas. 

6. Intellectual Property Theft – anything we can make the Chinese can copy and make cheaper. From movies to microchips, airplanes to asthma medication, it is copied and sold. In my younger days, I bought a lightweight jacket in South Korea and was asked which logo I wanted embroidered on it. This is what China does on a global scale. They steal our intellectual property. 

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7. University Grants – money comes with strings attached. When China is the source of money going to American colleges and universities we should expect there to be many strings. Professors and teachers who dare teach the U.S. Constitution accurately do not last long. 

8. Immigration/Invasion – China considers itself at war with America and has for a long time. The open Southern land border, the open and seemingly unguarded skies to the north, and barely controlled waters around America are the invasion routes. No Trojan Horse required China, just walk, float, or sail on in. 

9. Globalist Organizational Control – the United Nations, World Economic Forum, and many other global organizations have Chinese Communist Party members in key positions. They do not do this for philanthropic reasons. 

The lyrics of the 99 Red Balloons song fit America over the last two weeks, we focused on the sky, except the war machine did not spring to life. It stayed in the basement instead. If we as a nation keep allowing all the other “trial balloons” to cross our shores we may live out another part of the song:

Ninety-nine dreams I have had

In every one, a red balloon

It's all over and I'm standin' pretty

In this dust that was a city

If I could find a souvenir

Just to prove the world was here

If we do not start thinking like the Chinese and ask ourselves why they are doing the things they are, we will be looking for souvenirs of America in the “ashes” of what we once called home. 

And the Constitution

The following is a testimony written in support of House Bill 527 currently in the Montana State Legislature. There are many arguments used to distract people from the core purpose of this “Defend the Guard” bill, and my testimony addresses each of those arguments in sufficient detail. I wrote this with the sole intention of distributing it to the committee members as a means to persuade and educate and was then encouraged to write an article on this topic. After some time in thought and seeking the counsel of others, the conclusion was that the testimony stands on its own and should be published as is. 

The central point is:

The U.S. Congress has the sole authority to declare war. It cannot be delegated, and Governors have the responsibility to resist activation of the National Guard for overseas combat roles if Congress unconstitutionally delegates its sole authority to declare war to the President.

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Madam Chair, and members of the House State Administration Committee. My name is Darin Gaub. I stand in support of this bill as an individual, a 7-deployment combat veteran, a 28-year-in-service retired senior Army officer, Co-founder of Restore Liberty (veteran founded), the founder of the Global Veterans Coalition, and also on behalf of Montanans for Limited Government. I would like to thank the sponsor and twenty-five co-sponsors for bringing this bill.  

I would like to start by discussing my military, foreign policy, and strategic experience. I hope you will be able to see that it is extensive and of great value to this discussion. 

I served in the military from the rank of Private to Lieutenant Colonel. Even as a Private, I worked at the White House, the Pentagon, and in many of the nation’s highest security areas requiring the most sensitive security clearances. After becoming an officer my primary duty was as an aviation officer flying helicopters. During my career, I served on seven overseas deployments - four in Afghanistan, one in North Africa, one in East Asia, and one in Europe. These deployments combined with my experience gained stateside allow me to speak to this bill with what I hope is enough authority to gain your respect and trust. 

Officers in the military are also “generalists” in that we will work in many areas of government that are not related to those primary duties. While dedicated to my primary aviation duties I commanded army organizations of up to 3,500 personnel. I worked within Title 32 and Title 10 requirements, and with civilians to build successful teams. My ability to build high-performing teams spoke for itself across the Army Aviation community. But my experience as a generalist is what is most applicable to this testimony. 

As a generalist, I served as a national strategic planner where I developed plans for many regions around the world, including plans for homeland security missions. I worked within the constraints and limitations defined in United States Code (U.S.C) and within many regulations and departmental policies. Those regulations and policies were produced by the Department of Defense, Department of State, and many others. Not all these efforts can be made public or published in unclassified environments, many of those efforts dealt with multi-national and multi-state security environments. My duties required me to brief national leaders, congressional representatives, and department heads across the full range of government activities. I also worked with foreign military and government leadership on four continents and across multiple countries. 

Now, as a retired officer, I volunteer as an executive coach, foreign policy advisor, and military strategy advisor. I also co-founded a nationwide non-profit where we instruct people of all ages about our constitutional form of governance, with a focus on bringing our nation back to higher constitutional principles as the supreme law of the land. I travel the country to speak to numerous groups and routinely appear on national media outlets. I also founded the Global Veterans Coalition and run this organization across eight countries. Finally, I work as a peer-to-peer counselor with veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and serve alongside of numerous veteran and liberty-focused organizations. Our collective goal is to return to the constitution and Restore Liberty. 

What is the “Defend the Guard Act?”

This act is a necessary step to realign the Government of Montana and the Federal Government back to the U.S. Constitution. It is state-level legislation to prohibit the overseas deployment of the state’s National Guard units without a  congressional declaration of war. 

What does it do?

More specifically the act says the Department of Defense serving as the executive agent for the federal government under the President of the United States must abide by the U.S. Constitution’s requirement that only the U.S. Congress can declare war pursuant to Article I, Section 8. 

“To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water”

Why is it Needed?

The U.S. Constitution as the supreme law of the land vests the power to declare war exclusively in the US Congress. This clear letter of the law has been bypassed or ignored for years. Congress has repeatedly abdicated its duty by unconstitutionally delegating its authority to the executive branch. This violates the separation of powers. We need to return to the design of the US Constitution. If we are willing to ignore the letter of the law on the most crucial decision a nation makes, then what else will we ignore? 

To put it simply, Congress Declares war and the President executes the war as Commander in Chief (Art II, Section 2). The two functions were never meant to be delegated in either direction.  The President cannot declare and execute the war on their own. That’s something you see in dictatorships. This is a Constitutional Republic, and those decisions are made by the people through representatives. The law is clear on this, we all must accept the risk of war and stand behind that effort. Today’s expeditionary military mindset looks more like the time of the Roman Empire, where those in uniform served at the whim of the emperor, not at the will of the people. 

What is its Foundation?

The Constitution of the United States of America is the foundation for this resolution. Again, Article I, Section 8 does not leave any wiggle room. Congress and Congress alone has this power, it cannot be delegated. The reason is that our Founders were wise enough to know that Congress is the body of government closest and therefore most responsive to the people. 

The US Constitution, therefore, does the following:

a. Requires Congress to declare war.

b. Requires the President (Commander in Chief) to prosecute the war. 

c. Requires by logical extension that through the laws of this union that the National Guard only be deployed to overseas combat by approval of Congress and no other. 

The other critical component of the foundation of this argument is the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution. It is the duty of the states to interpose between the states and the federal government when the federal government takes part in unconstitutional actions. To violate Article I, Section 8 of the constitution is an unconstitutional action. 

Defining the Guard/Militia

In the U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, the militia is also addressed - specifically in Clauses 15 and 16. These same clauses are the basis for the formation of the National Guard. The Army National Guard even emphasizes this fact in their charter.

“The Army National Guard's charter is the Constitution of the United States. Article I, Section 8

of the U.S. Constitution contains a series of ‘militia clauses,’ vesting distinct authority and

responsibilities in the federal government and the state governments.” 

Clause 15 Delegates to the Congress the power for the calling forth of the militia (National Guard) in three situations:

a. to execute the laws of the union,

b. to suppress insurrections, and 

c. to repel invasions.

The militia was formerly known as “the whole people, except a few public officers.” This was further understood as all able-bodied males between 16 and 45 and up to 55 years of age. The Dick Act of 1903 then limited the scope and scale of this definition to control the extent to which militias could be called into Federal Service. 

Therefore, the militia is the National Guard and is governed by Clauses 15 and 16 as it pertains to the role of the US Congress and the states. 

What about Authorizations for the Use of Military Force (AUMFs)?

The United States has not declared war since World War II. Yet we spend decades at war anyway. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Libya, the Philippines, and other locations around the world have seen Americans in conflicts Congress never truly authorized. Even post-9/11, no war was declared. Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump have all leveraged these authorizations. 

The simple answer is the AUMF subverts the constitutional process by having congress delegate powers to the President it is not allowed to delegate. 

What about H.J.Res.542 – [The] War Powers Resolution?

The War Powers Resolution of 1973 is itself not constitutional. Here’s the timeframe:

a. The President must inform Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to action.

b. Forces are prohibited from remaining in combat for more than 60 days without congressional approval. 

c. There is a 30-day withdrawal period if Congress does not authorize those forces to remain deployed. 

d. This means forces can remain in combat for up to 92 days without congressional approval. 

The resolution was intended to give the President the ability to respond rapidly to situations that might be of concern to the United States’ national security. In fact, it gave the President the power to embroil America in conflicts to the point where we would be a nation at war and only have the choice to win or lose considering how much can happen in 92 days. 

Engaging in an armed conflict based on the discretion of only the President is not how America is supposed to work. To call the National Guard into such a conflict based on the War Powers Resolution is to build a decision on the sand. We did not authorize the three branches of government to have the power to delegate their sole responsibilities to other branches of government. This resolution only highlighted the violations of the separation of powers. 

The Threats Used Against this Constitutionally Based Bill. 

a. Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)

There might be threats from the Pentagon to close bases in Montana if we follow through. This is called Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). The real threat they are trying to leverage is the economic impact on locations that have federal military bases. Having been through this process more than once, I can guarantee it is not as easy as a phone call. It is a large movement of many agencies of government and Congress. Not only are there many people involved in these decisions that can take years, but the cost and logistics of a base closure also make the threat nearly an empty one. For Montana specifically, Malmstrom AFB is a significant strategic base with responsibilities that would be near impossible to move. 

Montana has an opportunity to lead and could show other states that the clear direction of the constitution matters. In doing so other states might follow the same path and send a message that will be clearly understood. We should not bow to bullying and call their bluff instead. 

b. National Security is At Risk

It is not. In fact, Congress over the last few years rarely showed up for in-person votes and used modern technology to work and vote remotely. If we need to go to war overseas immediately, then Congress can vote immediately too. 

This resolution means that the National Guard can be activated when Congress does its job. If the US is invaded then the National Guard will respond, as in this bill we are only focused on overseas combat deployments. 

The greater risk to our nation’s security is to continue to allow Congress to “pass the buck” and ignore the constitution. 

c. The Courts 

The Supreme Court has not settled this, and as the weakest of the three branches of government, it can render an opinion only. However, what is case law now is that the federal government can activate the National Guard for overseas training but does not address activating the National Guard for combat. See Perpich v. The Department of Defense

Even if Congress did try to create legislation to add that the federal government can activate the National Guard for overseas combat, the Governors would have to block that activation until Congress made a formal declaration of war. Again, technology can make this a fast process and if governors saw the declaration as more likely than not they are free to issue warning orders to the state’s National Guard units to prepare them for mobilization.

d. Funding and Equipment Restrictions or Removal, To Include Pay and Benefits removal for those still serving, and the retired

Much like the threats to close bases, this threat is not convincing or likely to realize. 

More importantly, the constant threat of removing funds is driving bad decisions and policies across America. Funds come with strings attached. The Montana legislature should not too quickly toss aside the foundational tenets of the US Constitution because of threats concerning money or equipment. 

Again, call their bluff and do not be bullied, threatened, or coerced. 

e. Does not conform with the US Constitution

You will likely hear that this bill does not conform to the U.S. Constitution, this is a false statement. The Supremacy Clause does not mean that the federal government is supreme in all things. It means that laws that are passed “in pursuance of” and abiding by the constitution are supreme. House Bill 527 is before this committee specifically because the federal executive authority is operating outside of constitutional limits and Congress continues to allow this despite the clear reading of the highest law. 

You may also hear that this bill would raise issues of constitutional conformity issues. Yes, it will. This bill is intended to place government back into the bounds of constitutional authority, therefore the question of conformity to the constitution is the whole point. 

The Higher Principles

The US Constitution is the highest legal authority in the land. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution is clear. We the people are the enforcers of the contract that is the U.S. Constitution. We as principal agents delegate power, and those who delegate power can remove that power. The government is our agent and cannot operate against our contract, or further delegate the powers we’ve limited them to in the first place. Montana can and should lead in this effort. I call on the legislature and the Governor to instead rise in courage and let the constitution be enforced as it is the highest law of the land. This is what it looks like to exercise the 10th Amendment, Montana should lead this effort, not follow.  

“The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable.” ― Frédéric Bastiat

The Oath of Office 

To all who have worn the uniform and still do, you recited the Oath of Office, I remind us all of that oath. 

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.

So help me God.

We are sworn to support and defend the constitution, not Congress, not the President – only the constitution. When we took that oath we were never allowed to ask if doing so would be easy. The legislature should know that those who take this oath back this house bill as it is part of us holding to our oath and not being swayed by bribery, or coercion.  

Key Quotes

“The constitution supposes, what the History of all Governments demonstrates, that the Executive is the branch of power most interested in war, & most prone to it. It has accordingly with studied care, vested the question of war in the Legislature.” James Madison

“In the general distribution of powers, we find that of declaring war expressly vested in the congress, where every other legislative power is declared to be vested; and without any other qualification than what is common to every other legislative act. The constitutional idea of this power would seem then clearly to be, that it is of a legislative and not an executive nature …Those who are to conduct a war cannot in the nature of things, be proper or safe judges, whether a war ought to be commenced, continued, or concluded. They are barred from the latter functions by a great principle in free government, analogous to that which separates the sword from the purse, or the power of executing from the power of enacting laws.” James Madison

"The President is to be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the United States. In this respect his authority would be nominally the same with that of the king of Great Britain, but in substance much inferior to it. It would amount to nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces, as first General and admiral of the Confederacy; while that of the British king extends to the DECLARING of war and to the RAISING and REGULATING of fleets and armies, all which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature.1 The governor of New York, on the other hand, is by the constitution of the State vested only with the command of its militia and navy." Alexander Hamilton

The states “have the right, and are in duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil, and for maintaining within their respective limits, the authorities, rights, and liberties appertaining to them. James Madison

“The executive has no right, in any case to decide the question, whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.” James Madison
















Communist China’s Egregious Violation Of U.S. Sovereignty And U.S. Airspace

Looking back -- The initial decision not to shoot down the spy balloon highlighted a continuation of Mr. Biden’s soft approach toward Beijing. Now that the balloon has been downed, let's look at ‘what should have occurred’.

Regardless of the purpose, mission, or capability of the Communist Chinese Balloon -- whether it was collecting intelligence, sampling air, surveilling property to buy from money grubbing woke realtors and politicians, dispersing chem/bio agents, was designed to deliver an EMP (Electro-Magnetic Pulse) package, or was conducting meteorological and weather experiments -- you take it down, before it enters U.S. Airspace and territory! Period! 

Any unauthorized aerial system that cannot be authenticated and has not filed a flight plan and violates U.S. airspace has to be brought down before it ever enters U.S. territory. You don't sit there and do nothing, and just wait to see if the platform is hostile or not. Nor, do you wait days in an effort to try to second guess its intent by letting it continue to fly across U.S. continental territory. 

In reality, the U.S. should have detected it before it started its voyage from Chinese airspace flying towards Alaska. Secondly, we should have used all of our intelligence capabilities to determine what China was up to beforehand.  Third, we should have known that China has a large balloon program.

Perhaps the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) has that information. Certainly we were aware of the presence of the balloon preparing to fly over Alaska’s Aleutian Islands on January 27th, but said nothing.  So, the IC should be tailoring certain aspects of that information for the U.S. public -- in order to explain what China was up to.

At the same time, they should be putting out NOTAMS, warnings to pilots of possible danger to flying aircraft.  Even though it's unlikely for the balloon to be a direct danger at 60,000 feet, a problem or mishap could occur where the balloon potentially descends to 30k feet, where it now is a danger to all.  Tragically, this has been handled extremely poorly. We now have not only have our sovereign southern border wide open, but equally concerning is that of our northern borders, both in Alaska and our northern continental border with Canada.  Those areas are wide-open not only on the ground, but up to and over and above 60,000 feet.  

My take, and certainly this is obvious is that Biden and company are hiding something, either negligently or deliberately.  And the U.S. Air Force, as well as the Pentagon and the Intelligence Community, has as of February 3rd stated they’ve dealt with this before type of situation in the past, implying Chinese military balloons. Obviously, this now raises the question, really?  When, where, and how?  The Pentagon and the Intelligence Community need to provide details.

This was and is an extremely serious national security situation.  It’s not about the sensors and equipment on this spy platform – it's about the U.S. response and our resolve to an egregious and deliberate international violation of U.S airspace and U.S. sovereignty by an adversarial and hostile foreign government.

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There should be a hundred senior officers throwing their ‘Stars and Eagles’ on the table in anger and in protest as we speak.  This is akin to Obama administrations failed response and lack of any action during the attack on the U.S. Consulate and Americans in Benghazi in 2012.  

President Trump was correct on Friday, February 3rd when he slammed Joe Biden for “deliberately allowing” a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon to fly in U.S. airspace. Mr. Trump accused Mr. Biden of being “weak on China” and pledged to crack down on Chinese espionage if he is elected to the White House in 2024. 

President Trump in his letter this week was absolutely correct stating, “Joe Biden has surrendered America’s borders to illegal aliens, and now he has surrendered American airspace to Communist China,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “Biden is deliberately allowing a Chinese spy balloon to soar freely over the continental United States.”  President Trump said the decision not to shoot down the balloon was a continuation of Mr. Biden’s soft approach toward Beijing.

The U.S. military has a racism problem alright, and a corruption problem as well. However, it's not in the rank and file, it's in the senior officer corp, and civilian leadership.

See the incident below where a general officer (Ohio National Guard Adjutant Maj. Gen. John Harris) threatens and attempts to assault a black reporter simply doing his job during OH Governor DeWine's press conference on the train derailment/chemical fire. This is the way they roll in Beijing; it's not supposed to be like this in the United States of America. We have a free press corp, General, and free speech to boot.

When I was the U.S. armed forces, people were relieved of command for such behavior.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has forced the prosecution of U.S. military members who refused to take the Covid mRNA gene therapy injections, falsely called 'vaccines'. He has continue to allow service members to be persecuted after Congress removed the Covid-19 vaccine mandate. He has allowed the coverup of a massive increase in deadly side effects with service members after taking the injection. He is pushing Marxism throughout the armed forces with critical race theory (CRT).

Lt. General Richard Clark, USAFA Superintendent forced his cadets to take the vaccines, even in the face of prolific evidence the injections were dangerous and did not work against the virus. He even forced a cancer survivor to get vaccinated in the face of evidence the injections harm one's immune system. He has pushed critical race theory at the Academy which is an attempt to divide the races and harm the force. He then told falsehoods about his racist agenda at the institution.

One Air Force cadet recently died on the way to class with a blood clot in his lung, which the academy blamed on a 'football injury', when it is common knowledge the vaccinated are experiencing blood clots, coronary issues, and sudden death.

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General Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has undermined civilian control of the military by working behind the duly-elected President's back in communicating with the Chinese Communist Party on nuclear policy. He has worked to divide the force with critical race theory. He has pushed the 'vaccines'. He is worried about 'white rage'.

General Darryl Williams, commanding general of United States Army Europe and Africa, previously the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point, oversaw the implementation of CRT among the Cadet Corp and enabled the persecution of cadets who did not want to take the vaccine.

If this isn't racism and corruption? What is?

Image by Ahodges7

Despite new leadership in the House, 2023 has unfortunately turned out as expected so far. DirectTV dropped Newsmax, removing yet another non-woke news agency from their lineup. Despite congressional protests, the streaming TV service is content to hold its ground in the grand woke assault on freedom of speech. The progressive long game to dominate the 2024 elections is already in full effect. DoD covid vaccine mandates are gone – due to legislative decree, not due to SECDEF enlightenment. On the contrary, SECDEF Austin fought the move bitterly and last week LTG Gilland at West Point allegedly reinstated the vindictive unvaccinated cadet travel ban despite zero covid deaths amongst active duty servicemembers in the past few months and zero at West Point in three years. The AMA and other large medical organizations continue to push for censorship in medicine under the guise of ‘misinformation’ protection for patients. Simultaneously, California’s Governor Newsom has not backed down on his ‘progressive’ party’s plan to eliminate patient informed consent despite a federal court ordering the law to be placed on hold for now. 

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Woke/progressive ideologies have become so ingrained that they are now considered to be consensus by those who wield the real power in the country – educators, medical leadership, executive branch leadership, mass media executives, and social media billionaires. As the years go by, their grip tightens and the ability to find a platform to wage a meaningful protest gets more and more difficult. Many find it frustrating that the disciples of wokeness can constantly bombard America with often incorrect information while defenders of American freedoms must tread carefully as one questionable word uttered publicly can lead to immediate cancellation and/or professional punishment. Politicians such as Congressman Pat Ryan (D-NY) are growing so bold as to give interviews that headline as “West Point Congressman Says He Has ‘Zero Time’ for Complaints About Woke Military, Focused on China.” On his campaign website, he sums up the woke spirit by splitting the country into 2 camps – those who support him and those who attack the Constitution. He brags he is going to “stand up to [such] domestic extremists.” His words, not mine. 

Many professions, such as medicine and soldiering have closed their ranks to ‘un-woke’ members. As evidenced by the DoD vaccine mandate, change and restoration of Constitutional freedoms are no longer possible by working from within organizations. Dissent is viewed as ‘partisan’ by politicians and editors of medical journals. This has forced many to seek the undesired course of public speaking and political influencing to highlight egregious actions and effect change. Even with Elon Musk’s directives to expose unethical and in many cases illegal censorship at Twitter under the prior regime, little has changed. Damning internal emails and other documents are released with little to no societal introspection at large. Instead, progressives suppress what is released and are attacking Musk’s business empire in retaliation for betraying the ‘liberal code’ where the ends justify the means.

2023 will be a long year. Next year will be even worse as 2024’s election becomes more pivotal to decide if the great Constitutional experiment will survive in the 21st century.

John Hughes, MD
Emergency Physician

Veteran of Iraq/Afghanistan

Co-chair of SUPERPAC

Words matter. One of the historical words that has always mattered in the political world was ‘Reconciliation’. According to Webster, an act of reconciling occurs when former enemies agree to an amicable truce. But there are a couple of other words in that definition that need to be unpacked. The words “former” and “amicable” and “truce” need some additional clarification. ‘Former’ generally means traditional and is generally regarded as a foreign enemy such as another nation seeking to disrupt our democracy and our American way of life. There are many nations on this planet that do not enjoy our freedoms and our liberties. But those qualities are precious enough that there was a time when we could recruit and mobilize our youth to fight and die to sustain that vision of our forefathers. 

We’ve been well prepared and well invested to defend against foreign enemies but what if it’s not a foreign invader? Our forefathers warned us about that other enemy, the domestic one. 

Ronald Reagan warned us; “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on to them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where our men and women were free.”

I am now in the sunset of my years and I am preparing my speech for my children and grandchildren. The domestic enemy has infiltrated our Democracy and it is well on its way to changing the freedoms and our liberties that they should be inheriting from us. 

So, lets take reconciliation down to a current events level: Biden's State of the Union speech. 

How do we reconcile the vast expanse from the message delivered by Biden and the world we are in the process of leaving behind?

We seem to have reconciled our differences with foreign enemies as evidenced by the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, the tolerance of Chinese balloons over our sovereign territory, the apparent ignorance of the proliferation of Iranian drone warfare. Depleting our weapon stockpile in the proxy war with Ukraine while simultaneously depleting our strategic petroleum reserve  (critical to any logistics support in the event we have to actually fight) implies our foreign enemies are not a priority. Reconciled? To ensure we can’t recruit, equip and train the next generation of freedom fighters, we are now focused on race-based conflict in our public-school systems and universities. The resultant lowering of standards to meet recruiting goals in our military and police forces is the obvious answer. However, it is creating severe dysfunctionality in both. 

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Consider the recent Memphis issue. It is a living example of the intersection of the ‘defund the police’, ‘lower standards to make the police look like the community’ and the 'fatherless family’ dynamic that has incentivized the poor black element of our society to have single mother families. The five black cops that will likely now spend the rest of their lives in jail, for a fleeting moment, were the lucky ones. They were able to escape the inner city and get a job on the police force that was forced to lower its standards, nearly eliminate all training regimens, and allow the group to act with the gang mentality they were escaping, but this time, wearing a badge. It is a case study on the black-on-black pandemic that is crippling many of our big cities which is conveniently avoided when the race-baiters can only perpetuate their cottage industry if it can be portrayed as a white on black problem.

Back to the State of our Union- we should all be very concerned that we have a mutual understanding of that State. It should be measured, somehow, on the health of our Democracy, which has always been the metric that has separated the United States from the rest of the world.

Let’s list a few concerns by age of our population:

Public Schools: The source of recruiting for our military and the relative ranking of the product of our schools measured against the school systems of our global competitors. How are we doing? Not well. Consider the corrosive influx of Wokeness and its basis- Critical Race Theory, Transgenderism, revisionist history. Thankfully, the pandemic allowed parents to see what their children were being taught and a vocal rejection began. Division used to be a math term, but it is now a ideology term. 

Teenage (and adult) years: Open borders have opened a flood of Fentanyl which has created an epidemic affecting multiple generations of our young people, even school children. The complete disregard for the influx of millions of refugees and the impact on our society, especially the border states, is profound. The open cartel operations and the influx of deadly drugs is a scourge on our Democratic principles. 

Adults: The complete abandonment of energy independence, the ignorance of the reality of our tax system (Tax the rich?), the unbridaled, wasteful spending and the associated misuse of hard earned tax dollars (under very misleading labels) are reality today.  The accompanying inflation effects on the middle and lower segments of our society seem conveniently ignored. Our society has lost its moral compass. Only witness the recent Grammies to see the depravity on prime time. 

Harkening back to our childhoods, schools issue report cards ….so how do we initiate a report card for our leaders who seem to act like unaware and uninformed children? You decide. 

How do we fight a domestic cultural war we never wanted and never thought we would fight? How could a strong Democracy allow such a war to start? You decide.

Once you decide, you have two choices. You can act or you can watch. The first might make a difference, the second will not. You decide. 

America is Sending Our Adversaries Another Bad Message, They Heard It

By now most people know that my home state of Montana was all over the news as Chinese surveillance balloons moved overhead. As a good Montanan my first response, along with many of my fellow Big Sky country friends, was to ask if it could be ranged by high-caliber hunting rifles. If our government was not going to defend our nation, then we would take it upon ourselves. 

Alas, at an estimated 60,000 feet of altitude, we could not reach it. 

As the nation became increasingly aware of this balloon’s existence, more questions were asked, and Americans had the right to answers. Instead, they were told many things, except good answers. First, our nation must thank Larry Mayer, a Billings, Montana based private pilot and sharpshooter with a lens, and no doubt a rifle too. He is the reason why a nation became aware of this balloon. He is the reason why more Americans are now aware of how our federal government refuses to take decisive action when needed.   

Here are some critical concerns our government needs to address concerning this incident. 

There is a bigger message because of this incident though. One is a message of weakness. The second is a message of trust, or the lack thereof.

MESSAGE 1. A nation ruthlessly defends its borders from clear and present dangers. This administration is showing that it will not defend America.  Not only are we invaded from the south on land, but we have also now been invaded from the air as China replicates tactics used by Japan going back to World War II.  Not in eighty years has America dealt with a threat like this. (Rebuilt Japanese World War II era balloon)

Instead, consider Gary Powers getting shot down over the Soviet Union in May of 1960 in his U-2 spy plane, or China’s knocking an American Navy EP-3 plane out of the sky in 2001. Those were times of high tensions, and these nations did what they thought was required to defend their nations. It is not a matter of whether we agree or disagree with their actions, but that they were taken and that we failed to take similar action when we needed to. 

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When a clear and present danger was upon us as a nation, our government watched. The only war that was started was in the meme wars as this incident created days of material on social media. Here are only a few examples. They are humorous but rest assured a nation watched and received a message as clear to them as it was to China. 

America surrendered and ran from Afghanistan.

America allows for a human invasion across its Southern border.

America severely degrades its readiness by sending critical supplies and systems to Ukraine. 

America attacks its own military through woke agendas and vax mandates. 

America is willing to adopt Chinese and global entity social credit scoring systems via other means.

America pursues its patriots with more energy than it does its true enemies. 

MESSAGE 2. The people do not trust the government to tell them the truth, and often wonder when we became so bad at telling a lie. The meme wars and many other comments on the news and social media make it clear that people will not trust this administration or government in general. They assume that if any agency of government is updating the American people, what is shared is likely a lie. Even if the government suddenly started telling Americans the truth, it will take a long time for trust to rebuild, if ever. 

There are plenty of actions the government needs to take that are specific to the “trial balloon” incident. They can start by proving to Americans they care about our borders be they land, sea, or air. They can also start telling us the truth, We the People can handle it. What we cannot stand are bad lies. 

Lt Col (ret), US Army, Darin Gaub is a Co-founder of Restore Liberty, an international military strategist and foreign policy analyst, an executive leadership coach, and serves on the boards of multiple volunteer national and state level organizations. The views presented are those of the author and do not represent the views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, or its components.

If you’re like me you’ve probably had it with being afraid of the sheer rise in power that the transgender movement has amassed in little over two years. It has many people scared, truly scared. Scared of saying (I’m going to say it): Biological men can never be real women; men cannot have babies; referring to oneself as “they” is beyond grammatically infelicitous, it renders one a nonsensical and a conceptual non-entity; the transgender affirmation of adolescents, which means agreeing to visiting a host of atrocities on a child’s body and plying it with irreversible drugs, is child abuse; trans women (biological men) have no business participating in (real) women’s sports. There I’ve said it all—at least as much as I care to for now. Why are people scared of offending trans people?

Misgendering another person, I am told, is the worst offense you can commit against another human being—as bad as rape and murder. No kidding. How did a small minority of people get to command the language, protocols, norms and framing methods of an entire culture in so short a space of time? Who handed all that power to them, and why?

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SECDEF Austin Is A Strategic Neanderthal; God Help Us All.
M1 Abrams main battle tanks from the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) participate in NATO Exercise DISPLAY DETERMINATION '87.

Neanderthal – “an uncivilized, unintelligent, or uncouth person” 

Something happened to Lloyd Austin between 1997 and 2003. In 1997, he was the brigade commander of 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division. I arrived as a new infantry platoon leader in 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, at that time and by all accounts, infantry officers I respected spoke highly of him. By 2003, he was a BG and the assistant division commander of the 3rd Infantry Division. At the start of OIF, his division had just efficiently destroyed much of the Iraqi Army and reached Baghdad. This was a tactical and operational victory, not a strategic victory. There is a huge difference as the US military would soon find out. He spoke at a press interview after the initial invasion, denying the emerging violence saying, “There is a perception that crime is rampant. It is not.” Crime was not the issue. The power vacuum being filled by the insurgency was. Thousands of US lives and trillions of dollars later, it was clear his judgement was horribly wrong. There is a tremendous difference between operational and strategic skill.

Years later, President Biden selected Austin to serve as SECDEF. In that capacity he presided over the  Afghanistan disaster, vaccine mandate debacle, abysmal recruiting policies, destruction of US military morale, and the introduction of the destructive CRT ideology. Worse, he provided terrible guidance on the war in Ukraine. Beginning as a slow grind, support escalated. Early 2023 saw yet another $40 Billion in military funding for Ukraine (not a lease, no strings attached). For the past year, Austin has not challenged multiple missteps including the President calling Putin a murderer and demanding regime change (presumptive acts of war). This past week, Austin stood proudly behind President Biden at a press conference where Biden stated, “The Secretary of State and the Secretary of the — of the military are behind me. Are — they — they’ve been deeply, deeply involved in this — this whole effort. Armored capability, as General Austin will tell you, spe- — is — has been — has been critical. And that’s why the United States has committed hundreds of armored fighting vehicles to date, including more than 500 as part of the assistance package we announced last Friday. And today — today, I’m announcing that the United States will be sending 31 Abram tanks to Ukraine, the equivalent of one Ukrainian battalion. Secretary Austin has recommended this step because it will enhance the Ukraine’s capacity to defend its territory and achieve its strategic objectives.” During the speech, the President couldn’t remember Austin’s job title.

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Sending M1 tanks is a dangerous escalation in the conflict. The President and mass media have done a great job of hyping the war as a harmless venture for lay citizens to discuss for social status in between viewing TikTok videos and working on pronouns. The reality is that although Russia is not nearly as powerful as they once were as the mighty USSR, they still command more nuclear warheads than the US does. Even at the height of the Cold War, US Presidents never called for regime change and further didn’t call Soviet leaders ‘murderers.’ Proxy wars were fought, but great care was taken to ensure they did not escalate into World War 3. Sending advanced US armor to Ukraine is an escalation. This past week a key German leader even stated that NATO is already at war with Russia. 

Technology and modern society have made the business of starting wars increasingly dangerous. Drones and separation of the US from most battlefields by thousands of miles have made the harsh reality of war invisible to most Americans. Such rhetoric to joyfully embrace war has not been seen for over 100 years when European leaders and populations gleefully marched to war in 1914. Ukraine face paint and flags on Twitter accounts are all the rage. In 20 years of war, less than 1% of Americans served in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. The US population is so committed to risking war that the US military cannot even come close to meeting its recruiting goals. Modern America has become increasingly content with a small warrior caste fighting its wars so that its non-military majority can go about their lives, pausing only to wave Ukraine flags and fan the flames of larger conflict. A harsh reality of consequences for misguided policy may await America. Is America prepared to lose millions of US military members’ lives if the Ukraine misadventure escalates to a full scale NATO war? Is America prepared for a draft again? How about entire US cities being reduced to rubble in even a limited nuclear exchange.  Likely not. 

The job of the SECDEF is to advise the president on matters of national security and war. SECDEF Austin, a veteran of war, should know more than most that wars have consequences for nations and for individual soldiers committed to fight. However, he appears to have tipped his hand nearly 20 years ago at a press conference in Iraq in 2003 that he has no grasp of the strategic level of war. Iraq was relatively “cheap” at a loss of approximately 4,000 dead and $2 Trillion in funding. War with Russia will be exponentially higher. As a physician who served in war, however, I view the avoidable loss of even one soldier in battle as too many. 

There seems to have been little thought to outcomes and end states. As is most wars, the root causes of this war are not nice and neat. While Russia should never have invaded, both belligerents have strategic grievances with the security situation in Europe that emerged after NATO and the US failed to consider the implications of post-USSR Europe. Further, there seems to be little consideration for how Russia will fit in to the post-conflict world.  SECDEF Austin is in over his head.

John Hughes, MD

Veteran of Iraq/Afghanistan

Member of

1 Neanderthal

2 The Intercept

3 The White House

And why it has no place in military service

Complexity Is Both Our Enemy And Our Friend

Guest post by Thomas Klocek, USNA '69

The current climate of being “woke” is all about oneself. It is political correctness on steroids. It rewards conformity to ideological perspectives rather than real performance. It does not look at others, their needs (except when “virtue signaling” – trying to make yourself appear to be taking the moral high ground), or how to work with them. Some of the basic principles of being “woke” include lack of personal responsibility for one’s actions, the need for safe spaces when there is a hint of adversity, and the right to be offended at the slightest trigger.

The youth of today are indoctrinated into being afraid to think for themselves. The idea of self-sacrifice is foreign to them. Today’s counterculture and the tyranny of moral relativism have twisted their development. This culture pushes them to believe that their nation, their upbringing, their families, and their history are all based on hate. It is divisive and works to set them apart and isolate one group from another based on all the biases the elites can think of. You cannot build an effective team if the members are in conflict with each other. Teamwork requires unity, not divisiveness. Recognizing that divisiveness is prejudicial to good order and discipling, the military services have led the way in fighting racism and fostering equality of opportunity. For decades, the military has provided equal pay for equal service.

A major characteristic of military service is self-sacrifice. Military members give up time with their families to deploy for months at a time, even more in crisis situations. They put their lives on the line. One doesn’t have to be in a combat zone to be in dangerous situations. For example, just going to sea is a hazardous situation.

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A friend recently sent me a picture of a famed New England lighthouse being assaulted by the towering waves of an early winter storm. Needless to say, the lighthouse, despite having withstood the ravages of the sea for over two hundred years, suffered some damage. The photographer who caught the awesome picture noted that he was in awe of the power of nature. Given time, just about anything manmade will succumb to nature. The world, beautiful and awesome as it is, can be a very harsh and dangerous place. Talk to any sailor who has weathered a storm at sea (or just the daily conditions in the North Atlantic in fall/winter). Think about WWII when the illustrious Bull Halsey ran into a typhoon and lost 3 ships with several others significantly damaged and numerous sailors washed overboard. The ships were there when the sun went down but could not be found the next morning. Having spent over two years at the Oceanography Center in Guam, I can attest to the power of these tropical storms.

This is the stuff of songs, even in the inland seas known as the Great Lakes, such as the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The sea is not a place for wimps. You don’t get a participation trophy – you survive, or you don’t. And to survive, you need courage, teamwork (unity), and perseverance. Courage is not the absence of fear, it is acting in the face of fear and danger, not turning your back on it. Hardly characteristics of “wokeness.”

Think of the men who signed our Declaration of Independence. They certainly were not looking for a “safe space.” The Constitution of the United States guarantees to protect every state against invasion (i.e., individually or collectively) and empowers congress to “raise and support armies” and to “provide and maintain a navy.” Our founding fathers knew the hostility of the world at large and thus provided for protection of the nation. Following the woke agenda results in weakening the defense of our constitution and the nation as a whole by changing the priorities of the services intended to protect the country to those of catering to individuals within the services themselves. It diverts attention from issues of readiness and leadership to catering to the whims of individual members. 

An organization that relies on the ability and merit cannot function effectively in an environment of equity or equal outcomes. Military service is not the subject of attendance awards but rather one of performance. The mediocre pilot is not going to fare well against an enemy who has honed his flight and dogfight skills against difficult opponents. We don’t want our fighters to be passable, we want them to be better than the enemy. A fighting unit cannot be effective in a cancel-culture environment.

Other than working to better oneself in competition with one’s peers, to advance and build a better force, the military, to be effective, is not a self-serving organization. Although there will always be a few who try to advance at the expense of others, most successful military career personnel acknowledge that their success would not have been possible without the help of others. At the Naval Academy we were introduced into the naval history of those who sacrificed themselves for others, such as Chaplain George Rentz giving his life jacket to a seaman during the sinking of the USS Houston during WWII, and telling him, “Take it, lad, you need it more than I do.” Or Lieutenant Anthony Tortoras, USMC at Guadalcanal, who wrote, “Always pray, not that I shall come back, but that I will have the courage to do my duty.”

The motto of the American Legion, the largest veterans’ organization, is “God and Country.” Military service is truly service in that it involves sacrifice. Most people who join the military do so because they believe there is something greater than themselves, not exactly a concept of wokeness. Even in the days of the draft (conscription) the underlying concept was service to the nation and to others as a necessary aspect of citizenship. Individualism had to take a back seat.

“It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.” —Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC.

The Charnel House of the Bloodlands

The McCain Neocons

Guest post by Colonel Jim Waurishuk, USAF (Ret.)

Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) need to shut-up and sit the hell down on Ukraine, NOW!  I don’t care if they are Senators and veterans, they show ignorance about military strategy and operations, especially in the context of Russia's 'near abroad'. They certainly are totally clueless on the history of the region. They are out of control in their call for escalation in Ukraine -- as they are calling for boots-on-the-ground, massive deployment of military equipment -- tanks, missiles, and combat aircraft.

Geopolitically, they are completely ignoring the lack of national security imperative for the confrontation. Ukraine is not an ally of the U.S., nor is it an ally of NATO.  Both fail to admit there is absolutely no “vital national interest” in Ukraine for the United States, never has been. PERIOD!  No U.S. national security plan, directive, or policy addresses or identifies Ukraine as a vital national security interest in any way, shape, or form. Both of these Senators are absolutely wrong on policy, wrong on objectives, and wrong on their stance for increased U.S. involvement.

FACTS and HISTORY:  To be blunt, everyone needs to understand this is a ‘border dispute’ between Ukraine and its eastern Russian speaking border which has been on going for centuries. The people and locally run provincial governments of the two main border provinces are Russian, speak Russian and want to be Russian. These provinces and people have absolutely no interest in being part of Ukraine. They never have been interested. Ukraine should let them go, and as a concession (for peace), let those provinces decide for themselves. Don’t let yourself be fooled like Graham and Cotton are.

KABUL – U.S. Army Spc. Mohamad Azimi, left, translates for Afghan Brig. Gen. Khudadad Agah, second from left, commander Training Centers, and U.S. Senators Roger F. Wicker, right, and Mitch McConnell at the Central Training Facility (CTC), Kabul, on January 9, 2010.

Neither grasp or conceptually have an understanding of what is at play; in fact, they are being led, coerced, and obviously bankrolled by the Defense Industrial Complex. They are reckless and are proposing an absolute disaster. They are part of the Washington Establishment NeoCon War Machine and are LOCKSTEP with Biden. We are on the precipice of getting into a hot war with Russia.  Their failure to grasp and understand the geopolitical ramifications, and the lack of missionm the lack of objectives, are literally “Sleepwalking into World War III”. And then there is this third idiot, Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) who is not ruling out a ‘nuclear first strike option’ by the U.S. These members of the UniParty Coalition (Leftists and Establishment Republicans) in Congress are pushing for much greater escalation. They are “gaming the system”, essentially “wagging the dog” for the U.S. to get into a shooting war with Russia. 

Graham, Cotton, and Wicker have demanded a complete surrender on logic and policy and have joined with “permanent Washington” and the radical, illogical Democrats, and the ‘forever war NeoCon warmonger defense contractor corporatists.’  These three are the same ‘Republicans in Name Only leftists’ who signed on with their close friend, the installed and current occupant of the White House Joe Biden on the Omnibus Bill.  If fact, Cotton has never been critical of Biden saying, “Biden has not been ‘escalatory enough’ on Ukraine” by not getting U.S. troops involved directly with Russia quicker.

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WHAT IS MISSING?  A THING CALLED DIPLOMACY.  I must ask … whatever happen to diplomatic negotiation – aka peace talks? Have they heard of the Dayton Accords, which were implemented and negotiated in Eastern Europe 28-years ago, following the fall of the Soviet Union and the Communism in Yugoslavia?  Since Biden was installed, there has been zero effort to hold talks with Putin.  Zelenskiy needs to sit down and talk. In fact, in September 2019, President Trump told Zelenskiy he needed to sit down and talk with the Russian president. Granted, there needs to be discussions and concessions worked out from the standpoint of both sides. But the process called “Diplomacy” needs to be attempted to the ‘nth degree’ -- that must happen first, and so far, the Biden Regime has refused to allow it.  

Let’s remember, as President Trump said, he could and would deescalate the current situation within 24-hours, as was the case during his 4-years as President.  President Trump will be laying out his solution and plan for Ukraine, on Saturday, January 28th during his events in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

We are now on a fast track for WWIII rather than rationality, reason, and logic.  Where will the trillion dollars, or more for this insanely contrived catastrophe come from to pay for this new wartime venture before we are all “lit up” by an RS-28 SATAN II?

At the age of thirty-five Dr. Martin Luther King won the Nobel Peace Prize, making him the youngest recipient in its history.  Over a thousand streets around the world are named for him, and he is acknowledged by one poll as the sixth most famous person in history. But King's message of forgivenessnon-violencereconciliation, and self-worth based on character rather than phenotype are under assault by the proponents of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and identity politics. 

Recently on Martin Luther King Day, politicians and the media grandstanded and payed homage to Dr. King, all the while, during the other 364 days of the year, undermining his legacy and promoting the divisive tripe of Ibram Kendi and Kimberly Crenshaw, who preach division, victimhood, and irreconcilable racial oppression.  Kendi has made a career out of one word, "anti-racism," for which he alone controls the definition.  In academic circles this guaranteed his unassailable academic credentials and prompted a host of influential leaders, including the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Michael Gilday, to add Kendi's book, How to Be an Antiracist, to the Navy's Professional Reading Program.

Kendi, who proclaimed, "Assimilation ideas are racist ideas," understands the power of language and the need to control every nuance of every word's meaning. His philosophic mentor and one of the founders of Critical Race Theory, Richard Delgado, devotes the last third of the book, Critical Race Theory,to the approved definitions of words and phrases.  Words are weapons deployed against philosophical adversaries to deny them the ability to effectively communicate.

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The Department of Defense abandoned Dr. King’s dream, when it imposed a culture imbued with mistrust and unyielding individualism based on racial and sexual identity. The vilification of the term “colorblind” serves as a metaphor for this radical departure from cohesiveness and mutual trust that is essential for mission readiness. The source of this illogical realignment of priorities emanates from CRT.  Delgado speaks of the perversity of colorblindness and Kendi avers that colorblindness equates with racism.

All of the United States military academies have come under scrutiny for eschewing their traditional role to painstakingly avoid political involvement by implementing intensive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs and teaching CRT as legitimate political alternative rather than extension of Critical Theory and post modernism.

Recently, Lt. General Richard Clark, the Superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) participated in a three part interview, where he addressed the controversial emphasis of DEI at USAFA and the publicity surrounding a preferred language tutorial that instructed cadets how to speak in accordance with DEI recommendations. 

General Clark framed DEI as merely a tool to facilitate communication in an ever changing world.  His portrayal of the program rests in sharp contrast with the Academy's DEI Plan that was established under Executive Order 13583 that impacts virtually every aspect of the USAFA training environment and has led some to conclude that DEI is a Trojan Horse for quotas and the inculcation of CRT into the heart of USAFA's academic program.

General Clark categorically supports DEI. Without citing specific evidence he alluded to numerous studies, most of which were conducted in the financial services industry that reported improved profitability due to inputs based on demographic diversity.  It has yet to be proven whether this conclusion applies to a military environment, but this contention remained unchallenged.  As with all all three parts of the interview, the interviewer’s role appeared to be the delivery of softball questions and readily agreeing with the general’s perspective. 

In no portion of the interviews did General Clark acknowledge Dr. King's contributions to the military's longstanding policy of nondiscrimination, nor did he distance himself from the detrimental influence of Kendi and his allies whose misplaced activism have destroyed decades of progress in racial relations.  Rather, he reminded listeners that times are changing and implied that DEI, an offshoot of theories promulgated by frustrated Marxists from the Frankfurt School, serves as the key to teaching a new generation of officers. 

DEI, CRT, and the slew of accompanying critical theories are the products of fervent anti-capitalists academics who have gained a foothold into the fabric of American life.  The utility of these doctrines are unproven and incongruent with a free, prosperous society.  Rather than build on Dr. King's legacy, they distort it and use his reputation as a vehicle to delude and divide the public. If color blindness does not represent fairness and the anecdote to discrimination, then what's the reason for celebrating Martin Luther King Day? 

Originally published at American Thinker

I have previously explained the concept of “shipmate” through the recounting of the Navy career of my Father.  He joined right after Pearl Harbor and served 27 years, retiring as a Master Chief in 1969, shortly after I was commissioned. 

In 1948, President Harry Truman ended segregation in the military.  Growing up in the late 40s and early 50s closely observing Dad’s behavior and attitudes, I note he was an obedient sailor and accepted everyone as they came without regard to race.  In 1955-1957 he was “pushing boots” and he treated all his recruits exactly the same regardless of race or where they came from.  The closest thing I ever heard him say that even hinted of a racial stereotype was that Black recruits did not know how to swim.  It was not a criticism just an observation that puzzled him because as a recruit company commander his job was to turn civilians into sailors and everyone had to be able to swim! 

Ours was a Christian home where one of the favorites of Sunday School from my earliest memories is “Jesus Loves the Little Children” where the verse goes, “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black or white, they are precious in his sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world.”  The culmination of the civil rights movement in 1964 with the passage of the Civil Rights Act was celebrated in my household.  And, it was already the standard that the Navy long since practiced.  Justice was served! 

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In the late 60s the biggest political issue at my university was anti-Vietnam war protestors with Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) protesting us military types being allowed at university.  After commissioning and school, I reported to the USS Richard L. PAGE (DEG-5) in 1970.  PAGE was named after a naval officer who in the civil war became a Confederate brigadier general.  No one, including Black crew members, cared the least bit about the ship being named for a civil war officer.  Apparently hidden from my view was the torture and anguish our Black shipmates endured over the name of the ship. (sarcasm alert!)  The modern phenomenon of Blacks’ lives being ruined at the very thought of the Civil War is a new invention of the fevered minds of academia that did not exist when I served.  

The very best sailor on PAGE worked for me.  He was a first-class petty officer and the ship’s Master-At-Arms as well.  He happened to be Black.  He set the example of squared-away sailor for the whole ship and nobody gave him any guff despite his skin color.  He was liked and respected by all.  He was also a black belt in karate.  The subject of White supremacy or systemic racism did not exist.  Everyone was trained to a unity of purpose which was to serve the ship and our shipmates and to make sure we were ready to fight and win in our nation’s defense.  Our entire focus was on the Soviet Union and the palpable daily threat that the Soviets represented to America even in the western hemisphere. The crew was laser focused on the mission of being proficient at finding and neutralizing Soviet subs… and we were good at it, as the Navy Unit Commendation that I earned attests.  Race was irrelevant to executing our mission and simply did not come up.

From Midshipman to CAPT, from GS-07 to GM-15, at 14 duty stations, and in a dozen locations I found the conditions the same as on PAGE, sailors and commands whose focus was on the mission and whose minority members shared the same values and qualities that everyone else had.  And, even very early on, at my second duty station, I worked closely with an Air Force colonel who happened to be Black and thought absolutely nothing about it.  Every duty station had minority members including senior officers.  The numbers may not have been large back then but the Navy was already diverse in racial makeup.  I don’t recall a single instance of racial tension or strife anywhere I was stationed in almost 40 years combined military and civilian service.  During Vietnam rare instances of racial strife occurred elsewhere but these were isolated instances.  Race was not a significant factor to Navy culture or readiness.  I never saw any discrimination nor even heard of complaints of it in my entire career, much of which was in Mississippi. And, from my first tour on, all over the nation, every command had minority members as part of the crew.  Not only did I not experience any of the above, no one I know reported anything different in their own experience.  The Navy I served in was focused on mission above all else.  The Navy was not focused on solving the nation’s residual race-related or cultural problems nor should it have been.  The Navy was a meritocracy by necessity as our enemy was serious, implacable and highly skilled at the art of warfare and we had to be the same or better to prevail in the event of conflict.

I am not saying that the Navy did not have race-related problems.  No doubt there were racists in the ranks and in some cases, discrimination occurred that was both illegal and harmful to the mission.  But, the institution of the Navy was committed to equal rights as was the law and largely discrimination was and is rare in the Navy and those who discriminated were not tolerated.  Up until recent years no one had ever heard of Critical Theory or Critical Legal Theory or Critical Race Theory or Diversity, Equity and Inclusion or Ibram X. Kendi’s nonsense that you have to  practice discrimination to make up for past discrimination. 

When did it become an article of faith in our nation and in our military that the exact demographic makeup of the nation had to be matched in every other institution, including the military?  What science supports that goal?  If that were legitimate, why isn’t everyone all up in arms that the NBA is 72% Black when the national demographic is 13% Black?  This is accepted as perfectly normal, but the Navy officer corps having only 8% black officers versus the 13% Black demographic nationally is a problem?

The Navy is an Equal Opportunity Employer and has been for a very long time.  Are we absolutely free of race-related problems?  Probably not.  Idiots and bigots despite our best efforts do at times still join and may cause problems.  When those surface, those people should be punished and discharged.  According to a senior attorney with DoD known to this author, as recently as 2021 survey results from all of DoD (military and civilian) conducted by the DHRA Office of People Analytics, over all, 2 percent of DoD personnel are concerned about hate crimes or racism.  This is direct evidence that racism is not the problem being portrayed by military leadership or those with a political axe to grind promoting progressive ideology. The Navy should not be an experimental proving ground for politics.  Those who join the Navy should be admitted based on qualifications, merit, and motivation.  The color of one’s skin should have nothing to do with it. 

It is not the Navy’s mission or responsibility to solve residual cultural problems with some minority groups that may still exist.  Those problems are America’s to wrestle with and solve.  Large majorities in the nation do not consider race to be a major problem nor do they favor race preference for college admissions including to the military academies.  According to Pew Research most Americans favor inter-racial marriage and the percentage of such marriages continues to rise each year.  In a few decades, most of America will be of mixed race.  To ask the Navy to solve residual racial problems that the nation has apparently not been able to fully solve is ill considered and a distraction from the mission of having ready naval personnel and forces in order to fight and win our nation’s wars.  There is no place in the Navy for social engineering. It will lead to defeat in battle.

A scene taken from Gen. William "Billy" Mitchell's court-martial, 1925. (U.S. Air Force photo)

COL William “Billy” Mitchell resigned from the US Army in 1926. His rank was not commensurate with his courage and impact on the history of the US military and the United States, especially on World War 2. Enlisting as a private in 1899 in the Spanish-American War, he soon earned a commission. After serving in Cuba and the Philippines, he was stationed in Alaska where he began his lifelong love affair with aviation. A signal officer, he took private flying lessons in 1916 and soon became a leader among early Army aviators. In 1918, he commanded all American aviation assets at St Mihiel and led his 1,400+ airplane crews to victory in the air and additionally demonstrated how air power can decimate ground forces. After the war, he continued to clamor for rapid expansion of the size and capability of the air service, convinced that air power would be key to victory in the next world war. In the early 1920s, he sank a captured German battleship with American bombers during naval exercises. Instead of being hailed as a revolutionary and promoted, he was vilified as a heretic by short sighted Army and Navy commanders. He left service in 1926 but continued his public crusade to promote American military air power. Although he died in 1936, his predictions came to pass, and US military air power was undoubtedly decisive in winning World War 2. Tragically, his courage was not recognized until after his death.

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Today’s military is facing a very different crisis. Throughout history it has been shown that great military leaders in any venue can carry the day. Mitchell was unafraid to risk his reputation and career for the good of the military and the nation. Today’s DoD has no such hero amongst the ranks of its senior leaders on active duty. Some lower ranking generals bravely spoke out during the debacles in OEF and Afghanistan and were fired. There were no senior generals and admirals willing to make a similar stand on the status and prosecution of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The result was predictable and unfortunate.

Post-war DoD is failing due to self-inflicted mandates and social misadventures that are destroying recruiting and morale. As a profession, it should be expected to fix itself from within, but this would assume that military leaders have the backbone to take such action. Instead, the overturning of the ill-advised vaccine mandate only happened because politicians forced SECDEF Austin to end it. One general’s protest won’t right the ship. However, if enough generals and admirals collectively protested the politically engineered destruction of the best military the world has ever known, change would be forced. Unfortunately, brave creatures would have to be willing to sacrifice their careers for the greater good.

There are 620 active-duty flag officers authorized in the DoD. Since 2021 the number of active-duty flag officers willing to show such courage is 0. Billy Mitchell must be rolling over in his grave. Thank God it is not 1939. The second half of the 20th century would have turned out more darkly given the character of modern US generals.

John Hughes, MD

Emergency Physician

Veteran of Iraq, Afghanistan

Young people have a voice today. Unfortunately, their opinion has been radically influenced by the teachers that infuse in them their thinking. Whether you call it critical thinking or indoctrination is up to you. Role models in the formative years used to be the charter of parents. At some point, that moral obligation was transferred to “teachers” as two parent earners became responsible for breakfast and dinner but the interim time was “fully trusted to the teachers”.  Trust but verify was a Reagan priority but lost in recent years.

The pandemic influenced a sharp reality check when parents were suddenly able to see what children were actually being taught. Challenges to school boards, once thought out of bounds, has become a ritual. The deep-rooted move to poisoning the minds of our next generation was well underway and it has become the evil we have been warned about for generations-our democracy is never more than one generation away and its only threat is from within.  

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But how do our children even get a vote, after all, by law they don’t get a vote, and our democracy is ruled by adults, not children. Unfortunately, those adults are, in many cases, geriatric and should have been relieved of their legislative powers, years ago. Once cognitive acuity has been eroded, it seems decision making capacity may be influenced much more by agendas that are not aligned with our basic Constitution. Policy implications suddenly support a “New America” that embraces many of the ideals that have been foreign to anything our Constitution or current generation has embraced. 

Many have defended, and sacrificed much, for the flag that defines us. But many have not. Those have enjoyed the freedoms that were assured by the former will never be truly grateful, not in today’s environment. How quickly they forget or, how quickly they never knew because history isn’t part of our educational process anymore. 

The reality of the new movement to redefine our history, redefine our Constitution and even redefine our gender, is symptomatic of the evil element that permeates our society. Loss of our religious moral compasses, fundamental to the founding father’s vision of our Democratic Republic, is slowly taking root. 

So, as this seed germinates in the next generation, what do we do? The current administration is reinforcing this cancer growing among us. Policies reinforcing divisive fractures within our generation are eroding not just our society but our military culture. Military readiness is suffering from an abject rejection of the Woke scripture from both the recruiting pool and from the highly trained forces objecting from compromising dictum. 

The fight is relentless. The next generation is following the age-old mantra- if you are gaslighted day after day with falsehoods, you can eventually conclude that they are true. The reality is that the truth, given a chance and the light of day, will pull the pendulum back to some sense of reality. 

The fight must be on two fronts: stop the insanity in our school systems, including our Universities and Service Academies. Secondarily, stop the woke agenda policy flowdown that is driving weak recruiting, relaxation of standards and rejection of patriotic defense of our nation. 

So, what next? 

Education is generally a strength of the United States. It’s time to go back to the roots of education and teach the basics. From grade school through university. Stop the insanity of force feeding the Woke agenda. The nation is ripe with recent educational statistics that we should not be proud of. Consider the recent expose that truly stellar students, in some cases, are not being recognized because “it isn’t fair to the students that have not excelled”. Time to go back to a merit based, color blind system, not an equity based, feelings hurt system if we really want to get the best of our society. 

More importantly, it’s time to get our military back to the premier institution needed to defend this nation. Time, resources, and our senior leadership needs to be redirected to the important ingredients of developing our next generation of warriors. Stop the insanity of treating our military like a Petrie dish of social experimentalism. That is not what our founding fathers, our Constitution or any patriots that sacrificed for the freedoms we all enjoy ever envisioned. 

Are we ready for the next confrontation?  Wake up America

Recently, Hunter Brown, a United States Air Force Academy cadet and member of the intercollegiate football team, died of a cardiac arrest while walking to class.  Tragic events like these are becoming all too common.  It is not acceptable to automatically regard these events as normal and categorically deny that they are not related to mRNA vaccines.  Those of us in the graduate community mourn Hunter's death and extend our deep-felt condolences to his family and friends.

For over two years eminent scientists, independent investigative journalists, and skeptical free thinkers have sounded the alarm about the potential severe side effects caused by mRNA derived gene therapies.  Despite ominous signals from the DMED and VAERS reporting systems and the skyrocketing incidence of cardiac arrests in young athletes, the Department of Defense, medical establishment, pharmaceutical industry, and MSM either ignored the data, messaged it, or unleashed ad hominem attacks on those who suggested a link between the two.

The press dispenses merciless criticism on physicians who do not regurgitate the party line, as if they are incapable of independent, rational thought.  Only sub-specialists in the fields of virology, epidemiology, and infectious disease representing compliant academic institutions are qualified to comment and set policy. Ironically, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a physician touted for his commanding intellect, who ruled NIAID with an iron hand for 40 years and controlled billions of dollars in research grants, testified 174 times during his deposition that he could not remember the most basic Covid-related topics.

As a non-practicing orthopedic surgeon and former head of the FDA and a Pfizer board member, Dr. Scott Gottlieb's credentials were never called into question.  Acceptable qualifications seem more to do with parroting approved solutions and suppressing opposing views. Dr. Gottlieb apparently attempted to compel Twitter to censor FDA Commissioner Dr. Brett Giroir for posting the audacious Tweet that natural immunity is superior to protection conferred by Covid vaccines. This blatant display of conflict of interest and unethical behavior perversely and directly affected members of the armed forces, who were compelled to receive the mRNA Covid vaccine despite being at low risk for serious disease and protected with antibodies from previous infections.

The rush to vaccine millions with mRNA based therapies was bound to expose patients to unknown risks.  There is a prudent reason that the gene therapy approval process requires ten years rather than a a few months.  It is impossible to identify the long term health risks of an experimental medication that is being introduced to the general population in the midst of a pandemic. 

According to a non clinical, computer based model, the Lancet reported and implied that the vaccines saved 20 million lives in one year.  The report has been criticized for over estimating the effectiveness of the vaccine, underestimating its adverse effects, and using inflated case infection fatality rates that have not been experienced during the pandemic.  Martin Kulldorff, writing in Brownstone, analyzed randomized control trials conducted in Denmark that clearly indicate that mRNA vaccine efficacy was neutral at best. 

It has been known that certain types of antibodies, the IgG4 subtype specifically, are related to aggressive tumors and may be implicated in their escape from tumor surveillance by the immune system.Until December of this year it was unclear how mRNA vaccines affected the process.  In a paper published in Science Immunology authors demonstrated that patients who receive more boosters are prone to have higher levels of serum IgG4 antibodies.  It is highly unusual that this antibody subtype, which suppresses the immune response, to be present at these elevated titers for prolonged periods.  Further investigation is warranted to explore the mechanism of tumor progression and its relation to the mRNA vaccine.

It is unscrupulous for the Department of Defense to assume that the hundreds of thousands of vaccinated service members have not been injured due to the mRNA vaccine or put at risk of succumbing to long term diseases.  Those who refused the vaccine for either medical or religious reasons require immediate restitution, and those who have received the vaccine require appropriate testing to determine if their health is in jeopardy.

During the so-called "Phoney War" from the fall of 1939 to the spring of 1940, the former Chief of the Imperial General Staff, Lord Gort – reassigned to command the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France against the German attack that everyone knew was to come – inexplicably remained attentive to nonessential concerns. Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s biographer wrote that during the eight months prior to the fateful date of 10 May 1940, when Hitler launched his attack on France, Gort “never once conducted an administrative, signals, Intelligence or even movement exercise.” He was entirely unprepared and ill-suited for the command he now held. One of Montgomery’s trusted subordinates, serving at Gort’s general headquarters at Arras, France, “. . . found the most amateur arrangements conceivable.” In one striking case of misdirected energy, Gort’s deputy “concentrated entirely on the wines and food for the mess of the Quartermaster-General at Noyel-les Vion, a village some miles west of Arras. How, in such circumstances, the BEF was supposed to swell itself into an eventual formation of two armies, with nearly half a million men, was incredible,” wrote Nigel Hamilton.

But Gort’s concern over the selection of wines for the officers’ mess shortly before the German onslaught against France in 1940 is not unlike the misguided activities of the Pentagon’s senior leaders amid gathering war clouds eight decades later. Since January 2021, the defense department’s obsession with Critical Race [racist] Theory (CRT) – and its “close cousin,” as Dr. Carol Swain describes – Diversity-Equity-Inclusion (DEI), adds no more to the combat readiness of the U.S. armed forces than did Gort’s choice wines. Worse, the Pentagon’s costly, counterproductive actions – including the virtue-signaling hunt for “extremists” within the ranks, renaming military posts, and promoting social-political causes from abortion-on-demand to pronoun preferences to drag-queen-military-library events to transgender reassignment procedures to unproven vaccine mandates – actually are lowering those intangible but indispensable elements of combat readiness known as morale and trust. (In terms of extremism, does not the discharging of trained personnel unwilling to subject themselves to an unproven vaccine, especially during a manpower shortfall, seem an example?) At least in the BEF’s case, the wine selections offered some momentary morale boost for British officers, albeit most of whom sadly lacked the professionalism required to engage the German Wehrmacht with any chance of success in 1940.

At least within socially permitted categories dependent on time and place, successful militaries have been based mainly upon merit. But today’s Pentagon seeks a paradigm change in the name of its god, Diversity, which means everything to its leadership. Years ago, conservative scholar and author, Professor Thomas Sowell, observed: “The mystical benefits of diversity are nonexistent, however politically correct it is to proclaim such benefits.” Two months ago, during oral arguments in an affirmative action case, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas rightly observed that diversity “seems to mean everything for everyone...”

To read more visit Real Clear Defense.

The Consequences of Lowering Military Recruiting Standards, from a former Commander’s Perspective

The American military in which I served for twenty-eight years continues to struggle to meet recruiting goals. I am not surprised. The Biden administration’s ongoing pursuit of ‘progressive’ (regressive) policies comes at a hefty price that cannot be ignored. The problem is so bad they are resorting to lowering recruiting standards to meet the need. This is abnormal for an American military that is not at war. The last time the military’s standards were reduced like this was at the height of the dual conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. I had a front-row seat to the consequences of lowered standards, both as a commander in combat zones and as a trainer. 

Are We at War?

Again, we are not at war; or are we? I would say we are in a war, but an internal one over the future of our own country. The military is part of that war, and we should not be experimenting with readiness, but we are, to our shame. The military serves one purpose, to win our nation’s wars. It should not serve as a giant laboratory for ideological indoctrination. The price of failure is too high.

America’s military is a cultural microcosm of our society. Big city kids from Los Angeles, farm kids from the mid-west, black-brown-red-white, each with their own motivations for joining. Some join for college money, some for adventure, others to escape a previous reality, and many to fulfill a desire to serve the nation they love. The attacks on servicemembers by their own chain of command seem to be intentional and designed to reduce our readiness as a nation. This is part of the internal war. 

Who willnot join?

The kind of recruits the military needs are the same kind who have no desire to sit in a classroom and be told they are racist, sexist, misogynist, or any other kind of ‘ist. Our military needs people who are physically fit and mentally capable of combat in harsh environments. They should not be filling out paperwork identifying their pronouns. These are the kind of recruits who love this country and cannot see enlisting in this environment. I cannot blame them. 

Who will join? 

There are great people still joining the military. They keep their heads down and focus on the mission while waiting for a leadership climate more focused on readiness and excellence. They pray for something new in 2024. This also means there are many joining who are willing to take part in the indoctrination and might even embrace it. Those who embrace the woke culture are typically not your warfighters. This causes problems for commanders who are tasked with training their people for combat and building the best team they can in a political environment focused on pronouns, diversity, equity, inclusion, and the apparent targeting of patriotic people for removal. 

How Does Lowering Recruiting Standards Impact Readiness?

1.  Every time standards are lowered recruits who otherwise could not join flood the recruiting centers, fill basic training slots, then move out to active, reserve, or national guard units. Here they often cause more problems because the issues they had prior to enlistment are magnified in the high-paced and stressful military environment. 

2. Commanders tasked with building combat-ready teams spend much of their time dealing with those problems. They spend a lot less time on training and readiness as a result. 

3. The recruits who have the problems get waivers to join because those tasked with meeting recruiting numbers are only responsible for signing them to a contract and rarely deal with that same recruit a year later. In recruiting command, the goal is quantity over quality. 

4. Commanders who would rather have eighty percent of their units filled with high-quality servicemembers are forced into accepting new recruits with problems. Their units look like they are one hundred percent filled on paper, but the reality is commanders are forced to spend eighty percent of their time on the twenty percent with the greatest number of problems. This is time-consuming, and the eighty percent see the command focused on the biggest problems, not the biggest contributors. The same twenty percent usually end up being removed from service for a variety of reasons and it can take a long time. All these factors kill the morale of the unit and cause the quality to leave rather than re-enlist. In the worst case, something I have personally experienced, the unit is scheduled to deploy, and the same twenty percent must stay home. The American taxpayer just spent thousands of dollars training somebody who cannot do their job. Commanders seek quality over quantity, the opposite of the recruiting mentality.

What can be done?

1. Elect a different Commander in Chief, one who respects the military and understands its importance. 

2. Eliminate the vaccine mandate for all servicemembers. No, the most recently signed NDAA did not accomplish that for all.

3. Eliminate all Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training requirements and offices/positions. 

4. Raise recruiting standards, don’t lower them. Quality often matters more than quantity. Quality builds great teams, quantity builds a stack of paperwork and wastes time and money. 

5. Diversify incentives. Servicemembers join for many reasons, not always financial. 

6. Teach the meaning of the oath and the U.S. Constitution, as originally written and intended. 

The military needs to be an organization recognized for having the highest standards. This creates a culture of excellence where servicemembers know they are part of the elite and are expected to perform that way. Lowering standards does not work, it creates more and bigger problems. 

Lt Col (ret), US Army, Darin Gaub is Co-founder of Restore Liberty, an international military strategist and foreign policy analyst, an executive leadership coach, and serves on the boards of multiple volunteer national and state level organizations. The views presented are those of the author and do not represent the views of the U.S. Government, the Department of Defense, or its components.



On 19 December 2022, USMA Superintendent Steven Gilland emailed a letter to the Long Gray Line, informing West Point graduates that certain historical artifacts at West Point would be modified or removed.  His letter, obediently sent by the West Point Association of Graduates (WPAOG), stated:  

“During the holiday break, we will begin a multi-phased process, in accordance with

Department of Defense (DoD) directives, to remove, rename or modify assets and real

property at the United States Military Academy (USMA) and West Point installation that

commemorate or memorialize the Confederacy or those who voluntarily served with the Confederacy.

These directives are based on the recommendations by the Congressional Naming

Commission, mandated by the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act. The

Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) approved the Commission's recommendations in October

2022 and directed implementation after an NDAA mandated 90-day waiting period, that

ended on December 18.

… We will also remove the bronze triptych at the main entrance of Bartlett Hall and

Place it in storage on post.”

Bartlett Hall Triptych:  This monument’s fate is far more concerning than the others listed in LTG Gilland’s plan.  Created by sculptor Laura Gardin Fraser, it was a 3-panel bronze mural that was dedicated in 1965.  In September 2022, the USMA public affairs spokesperson seemed to defend the triptych, telling ABC News that the artist “wanted to create art that depicted ‘historical incidents or persons’ that symbolized the principled events of the time, thereby both documenting both tragedy and triumph in our nation’s history.”  The PAO further stated that the monument "also includes individuals who were instrumental in shaping principal events of that time, and symbols like the 'Tree of Life' that depict how our nation has flourished despite its tragedies."  The obscure but recently noticed KKK image on the mural was meant to show racism in the tapestry of history.  The commission directed the removal of the images/naming of specific Confederate generals (Lee, Stuart, Jackson, and Brooke) but did not direct that the entire triptych be removed.  The commission merely directed for certain items on the large mural to be modified.  West Point, however, chose to completely remove the entire 3 panel mural and place it in storage.  The 4 Confederate generals and KKK reference were only 5 objects on a large 3 panel mural.  The mural was well known to cadets.  The tiny Confederate and KKK references on it were not, however, well known.  The central large figure of President Abraham Lincoln, though, had a well-worn sculpted head because cadets like myself used to rub the Lincoln head on the way to classes for luck.  West Point has chosen to remove the entire mural that had references to Union victory, President Lincoln (the great Emancipator), WW2, and Korea because they are offensive.  The revisionist targeting appears to have already spread beyond the Confederacy to key white figures in American history, even Union ones.

The summer of 2020 saw BLM led riots that resulted in monuments being vandalized, removed, and destroyed nationwide.  Directly or indirectly supported by national Democrat elected officials, the carnage began with Confederate statues and quickly spread to Grant, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Wilson, WW1 memorials, and many other non-Confederate monuments.  The only common thread was that the damaged/destroyed/removed memorabilia all concerned white historical figures in American history.  

What was Abraham Lincoln’s offense in LTG Gilland’s eyes?  Across America, Lincoln statues have been defaced and removed, schools with ‘Lincoln’ in their name have been renamed, and Lincoln’s reputation has been slandered by woke politicians and mobs.  Clearly lacking courage and conviction, or even common sense, LTG Gilland has ordered Abraham Lincoln to be removed and placed in storage so cadets can no longer view his ‘reviled’ face or suffer the ‘shame’ of walking past such a ‘contemptuous’ figure in American history.

LTG Gilland exceeded the mandate for selective modification of the bronze triptych and instead condemned the entire artifact, including the most prominently featured item, the rendering of President Abraham Lincoln.  This is the same Lincoln who was murdered for defeating the South and freeing the slaves.  Gilland also continues the recent trend of West Point superintendents to ignore Freedom of Information Act requests and to deny CRT indoctrination at West Point.  Last month, he quickly gave 5 cadets refusing the Covid-19 vaccine mandate General Officer Memorandums of Reprimand, despite knowing that very soon the mandate would likely be (and was) voted to be ended by Congress.  Was he wanting to be on the record to curry favor with SECDEF Lloyd Austin who had been an outspoken proponent of the vaccine and by punishing ‘disobedient’ religious servicemembers?  Perhaps LTG Gilland wants to appear even more obedient and woke than his predecessor, now GEN Darryl Williams, in hopes he too will garner praise and earn a 4th star.  In the process, Gilland has willingly shown his hand and expanded his CRT enabled contempt for West Point and American history by cancelling one of the greatest presidents of the United States.  You go, Steven.  You and Brandon (and Lloyd) are best buds now.

John Hughes, MD

Emergency Physician

West Point Graduate, Veteran of Iraq/Afghanistan


The centennial of the United States Military academy at West Point, New York. 1802-1902 (1904)

On 15 December 2022, the Senate passed a colossal $858 Billion military spending bill.  By a vote of 83-11, the bill passed and went to President Biden for signature.  Notably, the GOP included language that eliminates the vaccine mandate for the Department of Defense.  Earlier this month, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin had vehemently opposed the proposal to remove the military vaccine mandate, claiming his mandate had saved hundreds of lives.  In reality, 96 active-duty members had died of Covid-19 in nearly 3 years.  Austin, who was fully vaccinated and boosted, famously contracted Covid-19 twice in 2022 alone, despite his obedience to his own mandate.  

Thousands of active duty servicemembers and dozens of cadets from all service academies had been separated for refusing the vaccine, even ones who sought exemptions of religious grounds.  In addition to low morale, the services had experienced enormous recruiting shortfalls, prompting 20 Republican governors to send President Biden a letter last week stating that the vaccine mandate was risking National Guard effectiveness.

On 4 December 2022, Austin had told the media, “We lost a million people to this virus.  A million people died in the United States of America.  We lost hundreds in DoD.  So, this mandate has kept people healthy.”  In 2021, as soon as the vaccine was FDA approved, Austin ordered the mandate for the Covid-19 vaccination.  Non-compliant servicemembers were harassed by chains of command and in many cases, separated from the military.  Very few exceptions were authorized and DoD refused to provide an explanation despite repeated demands from Congress.

No cadets at the service academies died from Covid-19.  Amazingly, healthy 18-22 year olds didn’t seem to be at risk from the disease itself.  Less than 0.3% of deaths nationwide occurred in Americans 24 years of age and younger.  Most of the Covid-19 deaths were in older Americans and those with co-morbidities, 2 categories West Point cadets in particular are absent from.  

In early November 2022, the 6 remaining USMA cadets who refused the vaccine on religious grounds were ordered to get the vaccine late in the day, denying them legal recourse to examine the order.  The USMA Inspector General denied cadet appeals to scrutinize the legality of the order.  Despite letters of appeal from USMA graduates and a Congressman-elect discussing the issue on national TV, the Superintendent of West Point, LTG Steven Gilland, issued General Officer Memorandums of Reprimand to the cadets who then awaited separation orders. 

While many who knew him before his West Point tenure describe LTG Gilland as a good and decent officer in Army line units, this particular general officer placed obedience to the SECDEF and therefore ‘brown nosing’ above religious freedom or even patience to see how the political winds will handle the mandate.  His decision to go ahead and punish the cadets and prepare expulsion proceedings demonstrates his ethical downfall once he began to wear stars on his uniform.  

Unless President Biden vetoes the defense spending bill that eliminates the DoD vaccine mandate, the hated military Covid-19 requirement will end.  Any servicemember still on active-duty will instantly be out of jeopardy.  Further congressional/senatorial demands may seek re-instatement of servicemembers and removal of unfavorable punishments meted out under SECDEF Austin’s misguided policy. The 5 cadets LTG Gilland reprimanded will remain at USMA and hopefully graduate and bring their courage and conviction to the Army.  That being said, forever more it will be known that when LTG Gilland had a chance to play the hero and pause (or halt) the policy at his academy, he chose instead to be a mindless, obedient servant of the SECDEF.  Cadets deserve a better leader to emulate at West Point.

John Hughes, MD

Emergency Physician

Veteran of OIF/OEF

Member of



Bust of Themistocles, a Greek Strategos. Marble, Roman copy from the Hadrian Era after a Greek original from ca. 400 BC.

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Strategist - a person skilled in strategy

Let us pretend for a moment you are a dentist. It took you years to receive the training you would need to be certified and licensed. Now, imagine I walk up to you in a meeting and say, “I am a dentist.” How long would it take you to figure out that if I, a person with no dental training, went messing around with your teeth or gums, it would not go well? 

It sounds ridiculous to think a person with no training would claim to be a dentist, but the same thing happens when someone with no training in strategy development suddenly claims to be a strategist. If the dentist were to watch me attempt to fill a cavity and tell me I am not a dentist, they are possibly saving someone’s life. When a person like me, trained in many facets of strategy development, watches someone with no training attempt to be a strategist, it is not as dangerous initially but can still cost lives in the right circumstances. 

People have a fascination with the words “strategist” and “strategy,” but those same people rarely know what these terms mean. Perhaps this is because the word defines itself; a strategist is a person skilled in strategy. Let us try this another way; a dentist is a person skilled in dentistry – no kidding. In case the issue is not clear enough, let us define a dentist.

Dentist - one who is skilled in and licensed to practice the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases, injuries, and malformations of the teeth, jaws, and mouth and who makes and inserts false teeth 

Maybe it would be better to look at the definition of the word “strategy.”  

(1) the science and art of employing the political, economic, psychological, and military forces of a nation or group of nations to afford the maximum support to adopted policies in peace or war

(2) the art of devising or employing plans or stratagems toward a goal

There are a few keys words in the definition - science, art, and goal. That strategy is part science and art is a well-known fact to those trained in its use. 

The science of strategy means accounting for specific variables for which we have little control. Vehicles and aircraft move at certain speeds, fuel lasts for so long at specific consumption rates, and machinery manufactures a finished item in a set amount of time. That is the science that informs strategy. Failure to account for these hard facts often leads to impractical or impossible plans. 

The art of strategy is much broader and harder to master. It is how a strategist moves from an aspirational goal to the specific steps necessary to achieve that goal. “I want world peace” is easy to say. “How,” is the harder question. To witness our surrender in Afghanistan was easy (though not for us Afghanistan war veterans). To predict a range of consequences from our surrender and how to deal with them, a lot harder. With training and years of expertise, the predictions become more trustworthy and the potential solutions more realistic, especially when one is trained in strategy development and has years of experience analyzing world events. 

Strategy with no clearly defined goal is pointless. 

It is the years of experience and training that make a strategist not simply calling yourself one in a meeting. In my military experience, we employed a variety of terms with purpose. Strategic is something at the national or global level. Operational is based on a region or specific area of conflict. Tactical are those specific actions taken by individuals or smaller units to achieve operational and strategic objectives. Where the U.S. often fails is in the strategic realm. Too many of our nation’s elected representatives lack a truly strategic mindset and necessary training.

My training in strategy started with learning chess at six years old. It continued during my 28 years of military service where I attended the nation’s best strategy schools. I also went through the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification process, media training, Lean Six Sigma, and other Change Management training. I am not a strategist because I applied the label to myself in a meeting. I am a strategist because I went through years of training and applied that training to real world scenarios in multiple countries and organizations. I am not a dentist, doctor, lawyer, or accountant; I do not have the training.

Claiming the strategist title does not make a strategist anymore than claiming to be a dentist makes one ready to pull teeth. 

Lt Col (ret), US Army, Darin Gaub is a Co-founder of Restore Liberty, an international military strategist and foreign policy analyst, an executive leadership coach, and serves on the boards of multiple volunteer international, national, and state level organizations. He also serves as Chairman of the Lewis and Clark County Montana Republican Central Committee. The views presented are those of the author and do not represent the views of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, or its components.

On December 4, 2022, AP news reported that the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, is refusing to consider rescinding the Covid-19 vaccine mandate.  In recent days, Republicans in Congress and the Senate have pushed back on the mandate, citing harm it has done to recruiting and retention in the military.  Worse, the military has fallen short of recruiting goals by the tune of tens of thousands.  Republicans have threatened to hold the passage of the Defense spending bill until the White House directs the vaccine to be ended.  White House spokespersons said the Commander in Chief was considering the issue.

SECDEF, Austin, however, has doubled down on the vaccine mandate.  ““I’m the guy” who ordered the military to require the vaccine, Austin added.  “I support continuation of vaccinating the troops.””  Austin triumphantly declared that “A million people died in the United States of America.  We lost hundreds in DoD.  So, this mandate has kept people healthy.”

Austin, a 1975 graduate of the United States Military Academy, has strayed far from his ethical roots.  To date, 96 active-duty deaths have been attributed to Covid-19 since the pandemic began.  This figure has not changed in the past 4 months.   Less than 10 have died of Covid in the past year.  The vast majority of deaths in the  690 figure he likely refers to includes contractors, dependents, and civilian DoD employees.  According to the CDC, less that 0.3% of covid deaths have occurred in Americans 24 and under.   The average age of US military servicemembers is 23.  The DoD has repeatedly made covid statistics by age and comorbidity unavailable, likely to mask the truth that nearly all of the 96 deaths that did occur were in personnel with multiple co-morbidities and that were way over 24 years of age.  

Not surprisingly, 0 cadets at any service academies have died from Covid-19.  Yet, just last week, following Austin’s vindictive guidance, LTG Gilland (USMA Superintendent) gave 5 general officer letters of reprimand to 5 West Point cadets who refused the vaccine on religious grounds.  All 5 face separation any day.  Covid-19 is not a threat to the vast majority of DoD active-duty personnel, particularly the young Americans sorely needed as recruits.

The vaccine does not protect against Covid-19.  In a famous trial in January 2022 at the height of Omicron, 27% of vaccinated and boosted NBA players still contracted Covid-19 despite vaccines, boosters, and daily Covid-19 testing of the NBA workforce to isolate infected personnel.  Keep in mind the average age of NBA players is nearly a decade older than US military members’ average age.  SECDEF Austin, famously vaccinated and boosted, has contracted Covid-19 twice in 2022 so far.  Worse, since April 2022, the majority of deaths from Covid-19 have occurred in vaccinated Americans.

SECDEF Austin is equivocating on the truth.  If he had done that as a cadet, he would have been kicked out of West Point by the Honor Committee.  In addition to setting poor ethical examples for DoD, he is a poor physical example as well.  Overweight Austin daily shows that he doesn’t care about the science of what actually does cause Covid-19 disability – obesity and poor health.  Since early 2020 it was well known by physicians that advanced age, obesity, and co-morbidities were the biggest risk factors for age.  SECDEF Austin is not manifesting any form of leadership.  He should apologize for his mistake, take a math course to understand simple mathematics better, end the mandate, and buy a treadmill or join a gym.

John Hughes, MD
Emergency Physician

Veteran of Iraq/Afghanistan

Member of



To avoid racial tensions that weaken morale and cohesion, the Defense Department should eliminate all CRT programs, discontinue the use of racial preferences, and end all forms of race-based discrimination.

071012-N-7029R-059.SAN DIEGO (Oct. 12, 2007) - Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Bayungan, programs officer, explains Navy programs and benefits to Cadets from Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (JROTC) during the first-segment of the Hispanic Engineer National Achievements Awards Corporation (HENAAC) Conference. HENAAC was established in 1989 as a means of identifying, honoring and documenting the contributions of outstanding Hispanic American Science, engineering, technology and math professionals. U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alexia M. Riveracorrea (RELEASED)

he U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in two cases challenging race-based affirmative action practices at Harvard and the University of North Carolina (UNC). A group called Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) sued those civilian schools for discriminatory admission policies, but the high-stakes legal drama also involves the military.

Arguing for the Department of Defense, U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar insisted (without evidence) that military officer corps diversity “is a critical national security imperative” and that “it’s not possible to achieve that diversity without race conscious admissions, including at the nation’s service academies.”  

How did the military get roped into this legal debate?

To read more visit The Federalist.

200520-N-ZA692-0436 ANNAPOLIS, Md. (May 20, 2020) The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, fly over Bancroft Hall as midshipmen sing the Alma Mater, Navy Blue and Gold, during the fifth swearing-in event for the United States Naval Academy Class of 2020. The Class of 2020 graduated approximately 1,000 midshipmen during five swearing-in events and one virtual ceremony. As the undergraduate college of our country's naval service, the Naval Academy prepares young men and women to become professional officers of competence, character, and compassion in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Anita Y. Chebahtah/Released)

By J.A. Cauthen

America, it would seem to some, is irredeemably racist, bigoted, and guided by hate. Those fighting against these pervasive evils have experienced a great “awokening” and are on a noble crusade to perfect American society by transforming its centers of power and influence. In doing so, many of our nation’s institutions are attempting to redefine what is acceptable thought, speech, and behavior by creating formal structures of control. Thus do they reprimand and publicly castigate the fallen.

The U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), the nation’s premier institution through which future Navy and Marine Corps officers are educated and trained, has now embraced this ideology. Willing collaborators all too eager to appease their political masters are accomplishing this transformation through directives, policy, training, and the creation of new offices and positions staffed to advance the agenda of wokeness. Under a benign-sounding scheme known as “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI), wokeness is given a formal structure with the force to entrench itself. As emeritus professor John Ellis of UC Santa Cruz recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “These administrative divisions don’t merely act as gatekeepers; they also affect the speech and conduct inside [institutional] gates. DEI divisions are the driving force of cancel culture on campus, which limits the free inquiry that is essential to a university’s mission.”

The Navy’s “diversity” plan will erode the competency of future officers and imperil our national security.In early 2021, the Naval Academy published a Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, a complementary compendium to its 2030 Strategic Plan. This vision, if achieved, will erode the competency of future officers and imperil our national security. Endorsed and signed by all senior Naval Academy leadership, from the superintendent to the academic dean and provost, the plan will set the tone and tenor of forthcoming DEI initiatives and programs, with enforcement centralized through the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI). Drafted and promulgated by ODEI, some of the published objectives and actions read like bygone Soviet and Maoist slogans. To describe these as troubling is charitable; pernicious and punitive are more apt descriptors.

Read the full piece at The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal here.

White House Chief of Staff

In oral argument in a case before the Supreme Court, Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar argued that “it is a critical national security imperative to attain diversity with the officer corps,” and “it’s not possible to achieve that diversity without race-conscious admissions, including in our nation’s service academies.”

Prelogar has never worn a military uniform, and she hardly offered any evidence to support her assertion. Instead, she relied upon the opinions of a collection of retired officers who, also without evidence, asserted the same imperative in an amicus brief they filed for the case.

They’re wrong. The racial composition of our military forces is irrelevant to the object of war: the violent imposition of our will on the enemy. Consequently, our military academies should base their admissions decisions only on factors that would best pursue that mission.

If racial diversity in our officer corps was a “national-security imperative,” then the services — who continually evaluate military effectiveness and have the greatest interest in maximizing it — would at least track racial makeup in their mandatory assessments of unit combat readiness. But this has never been part of their assessments. One might argue that diversity of perspectives and ways of thinking is advantageous in warfare, but this is unconnected to race and ethnicity. Skin color doesn’t determine viewpoint.

Army Regulation 220-1, which establishes the official requirements and formal processes of determining and reporting the readiness of Army units to perform their wartime missions, requires unit commanders to measure four dimensions: personnel, equipment on hand, the serviceability of that equipment, and the unit’s collective training proficiency. Metrics within personnel evaluation include total deployable personnel strength, assigned military-occupational-specialty-skills match, and the deployable senior-grade composite level. Racial makeup is mentioned nowhere as a factor that might affect military performance.

During my 32 years in an Army uniform, having commanded combat units at home and on the battlefield, never once did the Army require me to report the racial composition of my unit or assess race as a possible component of my units’ ability to accurately fire bullets. In my final assignment as deputy director of operations for Army headquarters, our organization briefed the vice chief of staff of the Army on the monthly readiness reports of every soon-to-deploy combat brigade in our service. We scrutinized the statuses of scores of brigades and not once did we include racial composition as a component of combat readiness.

Our nation’s service academies shouldn’t resort to racial preference in their admissions processes for purely political or ideological reasons that are irrelevant to the military’s operational excellence.

The purpose of war is to break the enemy’s will to fight, and the means to do so is violence, not virtue-signaling. Let’s get back to selecting future combat leaders on the basis of their relevant qualifications. If we don’t, future wars will sort this out for us. The battlefield, after all, is an equal-opportunity employer.

Read the full piece at the National Review here.

The Plain at West Point c1896. The only building still standing today is Pershing Barracks, the tallest building in the center

LTG Steven Gilland became USMA’s 61st Superintendent on 27 June 2022.  Prior to this, he was a decorated combat officer and had a distinguished career in special operations and in the conventional Army.  He assumed his duties at West Point at a very challenging time in the wake of the messes made by prior Superintendents.  It is easy to look at his illustrious career and interview prior subordinates who praised his past leadership and ask that public opinion give him a pass with the ethical dilemma of unvaccinated military servicemembers.

Before Disney/Pixar became a woke machine focused on indoctrinating America’s children, it made many movies with sound morals and sage, timeless advice.  Its 1998 classic Bug’s Life has a scene where the evil grasshopper Hopper tells the young new ant queen, “First rule of leadership:  everything is your fault.”

It is no longer April 2020.  Covid hasn’t just arrived in the US.  There is not a sea of unknowns about the virus and the vaccine.  This is not the Spanish flu that killed over 45,000 servicemembers and nearly imperiled the Meuse-Argonne Offensive of 2018, prolonging a war.  LTG Gilland has been aware of the DoD vaccine mandate for over a year.  He volunteered to become Superintendent knowing that the question of dispositions of unvaccinated cadets was unanswered.  

Once a commander assumes the office and issues the first order, he/she owns the position and all of the unit’s problems.  It is unfortunate that the confluence of a new Superintendent with a stellar career, a virus that has killed less than 100 servicemembers in nearly 3 years, 6 cadets who value freedom of speech and religion, and a misguided DoD mandate occurred within months of his arrival.  His predicament is manifest in the term ‘loneliness of command.’  Commanders/generals are surrounded by staffs, but in the end, they alone must make the decision and they alone own it.

The Superintendent position is bigger than any person.  Many excellent officers in history have had careers cut short due to events beyond their control including but not limited to higher commanders who have grudges against lower officers, unlucky circumstances that resulted in damage to equipment or injury to soldiers, and/or a good officer ‘doing the right thing’ and falling on their sword to protect subordinates.  With today’s politics in Washington DC that are becoming increasingly hostile to DoD’s steadfast reluctance to eliminate the mandate, it is quite possible that if LTG Gilland resists pressure to separate the unvaccinated cadets, no harm will befall his career.  It is improbable given the 2022 election results that the Chief of Staff of the Army or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs will make a public spectacle of rebuking or relieving him.  It is also quite possible that doing the right thing could end his career.  He may also just opt to separate the cadets and try to wither the storm and also hide behind the above argument to give him an ethical pass because he is the ‘new guy.’

In the end, officers have to find out for themselves what they truly value.  If sacrificing 6 cadets to make the flag officer’s retirement shadow box brighter, then they will have to live with the dishonor of what they have done.  Conversely, many ethical officers gladly sacrifice a few extra trinkets in a picture frame for the lifelong knowledge that they did the right thing, superiors be damned.  Whatever the Superintendent decides, he will own the decision and must not be allowed to have an ethical pass because he had a great career and is ‘new.’  If the keeper of the Honor Code behaves this way, then West Point is obsolete and should be closed as it is failing in its core mission from the top down.

John Hughes, MD
Emergency Physician

USMA 1996

Member of

1 Bug’s Life.  Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar.  1998

The Gettysburg Address In 2022

Guest post by Paul S. Gardiner

The 159th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 iconic Gettysburg Address occurs on November 19, 2022. If he were alive and president today, how would his brief, 272-word speech possibly change? What he might say is presented below in another revised 272-word address.  

President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is considered to be one of the greatest and most influential statements of American national purpose. In year 2022, what would he say to address America’s current civil strife and dangers? What would he say to motivate his listeners to strongly guard their individual freedoms and fight against socialism, attacks on the American family unit, attacks on America’s youth, cheating in elections, and so forth? 

What President Lincoln might say follows:

Twelve score and six years ago, our forefathers brought upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal; that all men are endowed with certain God-given, unalienable rights among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our blessed Constitution guarantees citizens unique freedoms and rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and the right to own and bear arms.  

Now we are engaged in a great moral, spiritual, and political war, testing whether our nation, or any nation so conceived in liberty and dedicated to equality can long endure. Hostile forces strive to cause division in our nation, endeavoring to greatly diminish the value of the traditional American family unit, move people away from belief in our Creator, attack the sanctity of our nation’s youth, and undermine our elections.    

A conglomerate of radical, far-left politicians and government officials, media owners and commentators, people in academia, and their wealthy supporters zealously strive to undermine America’s constitutional republic. They, along with the perpetrators of the international “Great Reset” movement, earnestly work to turn America ultimately into a one-party, totalitarian state with a gargantuan loss of freedom for the American people. 

It is for us then to be dedicated to the great task of defeating these enemies of the republic for which multiple generations of patriotic Americans have given their lives. Henceforth, let us be highly resolved that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Paul S. Gardiner is a retired US Army officer, Vietnam veteran, and avid lover of America and its treasured freedoms. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,

University of Alabama, and the U.S. Army War College.

For too long, the forces of evil in the US have been keeping non-Woke Americans on their heels, forcing them to constantly react and chase balls like manic puppies.  The education community caved first, with the head of the 1.7 million strong National Federation of Teachers (Ms Randi Weingarten) recommending amnesty for decisions made during the pandemic.  Up until the summer of 2020, such a request could have seemed reasonable.  Not much was known about covid or its effets.  Over 2 years later, it is criminal.

It is past time to go on the offensive.  In areas including but not limited to covid vaccine and side effects, covid mandates, opioid deaths, psychological and educational trauma to children, defunding the police, and economic damage from misguided policies it is time to start associating key officials by name with their policy and the untoward outcomes.

Regarding the DoD covid vaccine mandate, for example, it has been known for some time what populations were most at risk (elderly, serious medical conditions) and rightfully needed to be protected from the virus from Wuhan Province.  It has also been known for some time that there were serious side effects associated with the vaccine.  The data on side effects was willfully and knowingly suppressed by Pfizer under the cover of the US federal government with the power to suppress such information.  Specific individuals that can be named from Pfizer and the government were involved.  Disparate reports of harm done to young Americans by the vaccine are widespread; up until recently, anyone daring to acknowledge their existence faced cancel culture socially, economically, and professionally.  Recently, Pfizer has finally spoken the word ‘myocarditis’ with its announcement of investigation into the ‘possible’ side effects of the vaccine and long-term consequences.  Amazingly, even NBC news announced the investigation.  Unfortunately, it is well known that NFL football player Da’Vion Miller was far from the only one affected.  The rumors of the effects did not emerge in November of 2022.  They emerged long ago and those who sounded the alarm early on like Dr Peter McCullough were professionally ruined and, in his case, actually sued.  

Misguided and selfish as they are, modern US generals are still smart individuals.  Most have graduate degrees and are very well read.  In spite of this, they rubber stamped the vaccine mandate for young military servicemembers who were at little if any risk of dying from Covid.  If informed consent was allowed, soldiers would have been told that the risk of harm from the Covid virus was likely equal to or less than the risk of the vaccine. 

Some reports put the number of servicemembers eliminated for vaccine noncompliance at over 15,000.  This is roughly the equivalent of a US Army division.  The last time a US division got wiped out was at the Battle of the Bulge when the green 106th infantry division was destroyed by the experienced Wehrmacht in December 1944.  Current US generals have succeeded in destroying enough combat power to field a division for a disease that killed at total of 98 servicemembers in nearly 3 years.  A disease that has almost a 0% kill rate in young healthy servicemembers and who are at the highest risk of myocarditis (particularly young males) and other complications of the vaccine.

It is time by name to hold Pfizer, CDC officials, certain politicians, and individual generals and DoD leaders responsible for any and all side effects/deaths from the vaccine that they forced on servicemembers.  They were not ‘following the science’ and their actions ran counter to a century of informed consent and to 3 years’ worth of data and charts on the impact of Covid.  ‘I was just following orders’ was an excuse given by Nazi officers during WW2.  It didn’t hold up then and it shouldn’t hold up now.  Just like in the Nuremburg trials, it is past due to begin prosecuting our misguided, blindly obedient generals who have knowingly and consciously weakened our military and worse put our nation’s most precious resource (our sons and daughters in the military) at risk.

2 months after President Biden declared the pandemic over, LTG Gilland, West Point Superintendent, is actually contemplating expelling 6 more servicemembers (West Point cadets) for vaccine non-compliance.  The only thing generals respond to these days are threats against their careers.  It is time to bring that career threat and potential criminal presecution to US general and further begin to debate criminal intent and for them to know what could happen if they emerge on the ‘wrong side of history.’  It won’t be ignored and forgiven.  It is time to go on the offense to bring the misguided whole house of cards down and restore not only our military but also our Democracy.  The best defense is a good offense and they are less likely to inflict further damage on our military if they are fearing investigation and punishment.

John Hughes, MD

Emergency Physician

West Point Class of 1996

The new look of modern warfare, bigger doesn't mean better

Credit: Author, Afghanistan 2006

Through the summer of 2022, the war in Ukraine rightfully dominated headlines. Many were suddenly flying their yellow and blue national flag in a display of solidarity. At the same time, the instant foreign affairs and military experts filled the airwaves of American news outlets. Months later, winter arrived, and though the war still creeps into headlines, America’s mid-term elections and fiscal crisis now dominate.

The war rages on, but it feels like a more static environment. It looks like the late stages of a boxing match. Though there was a display of intense energy as the initial bell rang, the fighters are now two exhausted opponents barely able to stand. The odds of a knockout blow are remote, but the world watches and prays that the threat of nuclear weapons use is not realized. It may look slow now to the observer, but they are doing everything they can, and both might be satisfied with a draw. The future is unclear.

Still, most of the public no longer thinks about this conflict every day. In fact, they may not hear anything about it for a week or more. But Ukraine remains fertile ground for those of us who faithfully follow the international situation and analyze events to provide advice and analysis to those seeking it. Ukraine provides critical lessons for America’s military and might signal the start of bigger changes. Are we seeing the birth pangs of the infamous but rare Revolution in Military Affairs?1 Or is this just a continuation of one that has already started? 

This war shows us the changing tactics and methods driven by advanced technologies and manufacturing techniques that cause the miniaturization of weapons. Highly lethal weapon systems are getting smaller, more agile, easier to use, and relatively cheap. Let’s look at three examples that show this is the case.

  1. The aircraft – I am a retired US Army Aviation officer with 22 years of flying the UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter. Most of my flight time is in combat. During mission planning, we would template large Air Defense systems and plan routes around them. They were either large systems easy to avoid and target due to their size and electronic signature or smaller ones impossible to locate. Though a clear and present danger to the higher-flying, fixed-wing aircraft, large systems are still easy to target and remove. Larger systems do maintain the advantage of longer ranges and higher altitude capabilities, as well as greater technological capabilities for tracking aircraft. But those same advantages come with the tradeoff of size, signature, significant training requirements, and excessive cost. What will get a pilot’s attention is to inform him that the battlefield is flooded with Man Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) rather than two to three of the large systems. A Stinger or SA-7 can be carried on a person’s back, employed virtually in any environment with minimal training, replaced easily, and disposed of quickly if the situation warrants it. These systems, in the right hands, only need to be around airfields to target larger, fixed-wing aircraft, while helicopters are vulnerable anywhere. 
  2. The tank – In the movie Saving Private Ryan, there is a battlefield scene where German tanks are incapacitated with “sticky bombs.” A rudimentary but effective solution where the combination of a sock covered in grease and some explosives make the best German armor ineffective. That was World War II. Enter the 21st Century and the javelin anti-tank missile. Just like the stinger can make almost anyone an airplane killer, the javelin can turn the same people into lethal tank hunters in a week or less. The javelin provides the same advantages to the user as a stinger - small, lethal, inexpensive, relatively simple to employ, easy to move, and resupply. Tanks are effective at what they do and have some unique advantages, such as speed. But if I were driving a tank (or any vehicle) on today’s battlefield, I would probably welcome the ease of detecting and targeting an enemy tank and fear the largely invisible threat posed by the javelin and other small weapons.
  3. The ship – The headlines on April 15, 2022, highlighted the sinking of the Russian flagship Moskva by harpoon anti-ship missiles. Like the sinking of the Royal Oak or Graf Spee in World War II, the Moskva was a symbol of power for the Russian confederation. This $750,000,000 symbol sits at the bottom of the Black Sea at the cost of $3,000,000, and the price of pride and public relations cannot be measured. 

Stingers, SA-7s, Javelins, and Harpoons are only a few examples of small, easy-to-employ, lethal, and inexpensive weapons on the modern battlefield. There are also “kamikaze drones,” or other drone systems that launch munitions or help identify targets for long-range artillery. These may only be the tools that technology has made possible and not a Revolution in Military Affairs by themselves, nor do they change the brutality of war. 

America’s military must prepare for combat in an environment where threats are everywhere and almost undetectable until it is too late. Larger systems are quickly becoming relics subject to the disposable systems of today.

 1A Revolution in Military Affairs is a hypothesis in military theory about the future of warfare, often connected to technological and organizational recommendations for military reform. Broadly stated, RMA claims that in certain periods of the history of humankind, there were new military doctrines, strategies, tactics and technologies which led to an irrecoverable change in the conduct of warfare. Furthermore, those changes compel an accelerated adaptation of novel doctrines and strategies.

Lt Col (ret), US Army, Darin Gaub is a Co-founder of Restore Liberty, an international military strategist and foreign policy analyst, an executive leadership coach, and serves on the boards of multiple volunteer national and state level organizations. The views presented are those of the author and do not represent the views of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, or its components.

West Point’s Honor Code is simple and clear. Engraved on a wall in the Thayer Walk Honor Plaza, it states, “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.” In May 2020, 73 cadets were accused of cheating on a calculus exam. Of these, 6 cadets resigned during the investigation, 4 cadets were acquitted, and 2 cases against cadets were dropped. Of the 61 ‘found’ guilty of cheating, 8 were expelled, 2 were turned back 6 months, and the remaining 51 were turned back one year. 45 of the accused were athletes, and of these, 24 were football players. “A few have played in football games this season after having been accused of cheating. Some of those players [were able to] dress and play in the [2021] Liberty Bowl on Thursday, according to Army Lt. Col. Christopher Ophardt, a West Point spokesman [at the time in 2021].”1 Amazingly, the Superintendent at the time, a former Army football player, allowed the football players to continue playing during the investigation. In another era, when West Point’s graduates actually won wars, the cadets would have been tried before the Honor committee and, if ‘found’ guilty, expelled immediately.

In December 2021, a West Point cadet quietly graduated late and is now an officer in the Army. Unofficial reports indicated that the cadet was the subject of an honor code investigation and educational vignette in which the cadet stole a watch from the PX and was caught on camera. The same Superintendent, LTG Darryl Williams, apparently allowed the cadet to graduate. When questioned by Class of 1962 graduates at a reunion in 2022, he stated he had no knowledge of the event. In another era, cadets who stole would be tried by the Honor committee and, if ‘found’ guilty, would have been promptly expelled.

Fast forward to November 2022. Just days after subjecting a contingent of several hundred West Point cadets to extreme COVID-19 risks at the West Point/Air Force Academy Football game in a Texas stadium with 33,000+ fans (many unvaccinated), West Point’s current Superintendent (LTG Steven Gilland) moved to order the remaining unvaccinated cadets to get vaccinated or face expulsion. The cadets applied for and were denied an exemption on religious grounds. The cadets now face UCMJ administrative action that can include involuntary separation under either Honorable Conditions or General Under Honorable Conditions. The latter means the cadets, if discharged from West Point and the Army could face job discrimination for the remainder of their lives, similar to soldiers who are discharged for serious infractions or crimes.

LTG Gilland assumed duties as the Superintendent in June 2022. He was not Superintendent during the above-listed scandals involving lying, cheating, and stealing. He also does not control the official Army COVID-19 vaccine policy. He does, however, have the authority and influence to help those in his command obtain waivers. He clearly has shown no interest in granting waivers to cadets having religious objections under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment of the US Constitution. He owes cadets, the Long Gray Line of graduates, and the nation an explanation for why West Point has adopted this upside-down moral directive. Clearly, he and West Point view religious freedom as a worse moral defect than lying, cheating, and/or stealing. These 6 cadets will likely soon become civilians due to their religious beliefs, while the other cadets convicted of lying, cheating, and/or stealing will be officers leading the US Army’s soldiers.

If you would like to weigh in on the issue, consider going to and signing a petition condemning West Point’s misguided moral system.

Petition link:


Retired Admiral Michael Franken

In 2017, Senator Rand Paul was attacked by neighbor Rene Boucher. Paul suffered multiple broken ribs and a complicated recovery. Boucher was sentenced to fines, community service, and prison time. Mocking an injury such as this could be expected from career politicians and their families. For example, in 2020, Christine Pelosi (daughter of Nancy Pelosi) tweeted, “Rand Paul’s neighbor was right.”

Mocking an injury is not expected from a retired Navy admiral. On his official campaign @FrankenforIowa Twitter page, Retired Admiral Michael Franken tweeted on January 20, 2021: “Wasn’t Rand’s neighbor more than a little in the right?”

Franken is the Democrat nominee for the 2022 Iowa Senate election. Predictably, he is running on his Navy service, appealing to public respect for his rank. His website has 3 stars above his name, presumably for the 3 stars he earned before retiring as a Vice-Admiral. The site also has several pictures of Franken in his uniform saluting. His Senate campaign webpage states, “Michael Franken has dedicated his life to serving our country and doing what’s right.” The gestures and imagery appear to betray his attempt to portray himself as a respectable, respectful retired naval officer. Praising a personal physical attack against a sitting Senator and defending the attacker are not exactly virtues of military officers, not to mention flag officers. Such contemptuous behavior instead describes an individual willing to descend into the gutter to score quick political points with his far-left base.

His campaign site goes on to brag about how he opposed President Bush’s war in Iraq while praising President Obama’s foreign policy successes in the Middle East. Franken served as the Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa from 2012 to 2013. The escalating turmoil that occurred in Yemen and other countries in the region after his “successful” command indicates he is as partisan as he is untruthful about US military operations and takes no responsibility for world events that happened on his watch. Both actions serve to promote his image and campaign. Neither reflects the honorable actions expected of a retired 3-star flag officer.

2021 witnessed the end game of 20 years of lies from flag officers on the war in Southwest Asia. It also saw the naked display of political partisanship by senior US military generals and admirals who openly rebuked a sitting President (Republican) and enthusiastic execution of hyperpartisan Critical Race Theory and other Democrat social justice causes. Franken’s actions are not surprising. Retiring in 2017, his career ended during the time US military leaders began to sully the honor of their office.

Iowa voters should be wary at the polls.

Putin is a bad man, but he's right about the imperialistic decadence of the West

Hate to say it, because I believe Vladimir Putin is a nasty dictator who had no business invading Ukraine ... but he's correct in his remarks about the West and moral decadence. Putin said at Valdai this week:

It is notable that the West proclaims the universal value of its culture and worldview. Even if they do not say so openly, which they actually often do, they behave as if this is so, that it is a fact of life, and the policy they pursue is designed to show that these values must be unconditionally accepted by all other members of the international community.

I would like to quote from Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s famous Harvard Commencement Address delivered in 1978. He said that typical of the West is “a continuous blindness of superiority”– and it continues to this day – which “upholds the belief that vast regions everywhere on our planet should develop and mature to the level of present-day Western systems.” He said this in 1978. Nothing has changed.

Over the nearly 50 years since then, the blindness about which Solzhenitsyn spoke and which is openly racist and neocolonial, has acquired especially distorted forms, in particular, after the emergence of the so-called unipolar world. What am I referring to? Belief in one’s infallibility is very dangerous; it is only one step away from the desire of the infallible to destroy those they do not like, or as they say, to cancel them. Just think about the meaning of this word...

To read more visit The American Conservative.

Image by Mostafa Tehrani

In 2011 I wrote a master’s thesis titled “The Children of Aphrodite” where I emphasized America’s lack of readiness to manage the threat posed by drones to our own forces and our homeland. It’s become an often-cited source document for further research in government agencies and private companies since then. Now we see the war in Ukraine taking a heavy turn toward drone use since the attack on the Kerch Bridge. This change also highlights the challenges to Russia’s logistics chains and their inability to maintain the more expensive aircraft. The Russians now destroy infrastructure across Ukraine using a variety of drones, including Kamikaze versions. The world should take note, as the advent and growth of drones mirrors the historical growth of aircraft capabilities and tactics in history. But what once took years and decades starting in World War I can happen in months and years today. 

My thesis highlighted potential uses for drones in the future that have since become reality. I analyzed state actors like China, Iran, and Israel. I also highlighted non-state actors like Hezbollah in the Middle East and drug gangs on America’s Southern border. The key predictions I made in 2011 were:

  1. China, Iran, and Israel were focused on growing their drone forces and capabilities. 
  2. China and Iran would seek drone technologies for their own use to inexpensively but effectively counter America’s systems.
  3. Israel’s conflicts ensured their need to outpace their adversaries in drone technologies and allow them to continue a persistent watch. 
  4. Israel would also focus on counter drone technologies as their adversaries built their own offensive and reconnaissance drone systems. 
  5. Non-State actors like drug gangs would find applications for drones, such as smuggling drugs and people, and targeting their own adversaries. They would also collect the intelligence they need to maintain their stranglehold on the narco-state of Northern Mexico and America’s Southern boundary. 

It’s clear to all watching the conflict in Ukraine and the narco wars along America's Southern border that drones are fulfilling these predictions. Iran supplying Russia with drones demonstrates Iran’s continuing ties to Russia while exposing Russia’s own logistics challenges. Israel recently targeted drone assembly facilities in Syria. Syria’s parts, manufactured in Iran, are a clear display of the expected proliferation of not only the completed systems but the supply chain supporting them. China is using drones to agitate and collect intelligence against Taiwan.  Lastly, their use by drug gangs is common, and sources in the Border Patrol admitted to me that they were not expecting how quickly the gangs would employ them. 

The drone wars highlight that the minimal training and cost required to employ them means drone use will increase. A million-dollar tank can be destroyed by an $80,000 javelin after minimal training. A $25 million MIG-29 would buy 25,000 drones at $1,000 each. That same MIG-29 can also be destroyed by an inexpensive Stinger missile. Countries counting pennies while in conflict see the advantage of low cost, easy to procure systems. The math behind drones says we better get used to them in all future conflicts. 

America’s military has improved our own drone systems significantly since I authored my thesis. But the U.S. is still plagued by considerable expense and bureaucracy behind how we procure our systems. While Russians successfully targeted vehicles, convoys, and structures using simple off the shelf quadcopters costing $750-$1000, Americans paid $10,000 for the Raven drone, not including their ground equipment and support costs. Also, by the time our systems are fielded, the technology is already old. America’s drone fleet is another victim of an antiquated procurement process. 

  America is not ready for conflict on a battlefield where drones are more common, versatile, and effective than tanks. We must consider that the total cost of the systems we are accustomed to employing combined with the speed of technological developments is driving them to extinction. We’ve improved our ability to counter the drones used by other nations, but we must learn the lessons coming out of Ukraine and our own Southern border. There are companies developing technologies and techniques to win the drone wars. But we are hindered by our slow-moving government acquisitions process. We must change to make sure the speed of the developments in drones is at least matched and then exceeded by our ability counter drones from other nations. 

The conflict in Ukraine is a window to the future, we better see it clearly. 







Lt. Col. (Ret.) Darin Gaub is an Army veteran, Blackhawk helicopter pilot and former Air Assault Battalion Commander, international military strategist, and Co-founder/Executive Director of Restore Liberty. Col. Gaub spent 28 years in military service, with 7 years in command, and three years training military forces for combat, including “hybrid warfare” environments.  He helped to build contingency plans for the unique characteristics of a conflict in Eastern Europe based on lessons from Russian operations in Georgia and Syria. He completed four deployments to Afghanistan, as well as South Korea, Eastern Europe, and North Africa.

Warfighters deserve the best-qualified leaders available, regardless of race. Providing them is a moral and national security imperative.

The Supreme Court will soon consider Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard/UNC. The court’s decision will determine whether our military’s future leadership will consist of the “best-qualified” individuals instead of simply those “qualified” as defined by an ever-moving standard meant to accommodate political and cultural goals. 

Affirmative action, in the form of racial preferences, pervades today’s military despite federal law that, if enforced, would prevent it. Section 601 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits racial “discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”  Racial preferences in the military also violate our Constitution’s Fifth Amendment Due Process Clause.  

Department of Defense (DOD) surrogates speciously have argued to the Supreme Court that the DOD’s use of racial preferences in service academy admissions is “mission critical” and “indispensable to” national security. That strategy was contrived only because of the legal framework courts must use when examining practices that violate the Constitution. Evidence must clearly prove a “compelling state interest” sufficiently strong to justify the drastic measure of suspending the constitutional provision that prohibits such practices...

To read more visit The Federalist.

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