- - Thursday, November 24, 2016

As has been seen over the last eight years, diplomacy that results in capitulation is not very effective. The key underlying factor for successful diplomacy is not just having a clear understanding of our vital strategic objectives, but also the military credibility to achieve those objectives as necessary.

As a first order of business, we need to review and redefine our strategic objectives and what is vital to our national interest. For example, does our current involvement in Afghanistan make any sense as it relates to our vital strategic interests? Of course not. So why do we continue to expend our national treasure to sustain a corrupt tribal society?

Concurrently, in order to restore our world leadership credentials we must reverse the decline of our military capabilities. There is no question that sequestration has decimated our military forces. It will take several years to rebuild the force structure to levels that are required for what we define as a “ready response” force. However, there are actions and programs that can be enacted now that will immediately raise morale and the readiness of our existing forces.

Since we are still involved in combat operations in the Middle East, any remaining restricted rules of engagement must be removed. That does not mean we will be indiscriminate on how we conduct combat operations. Nonetheless, no longer will our aircraft be returning from a strike mission with only 20 percent, or even none, of their ordnance expended.

The next step that must be taken is to restore the moral underpinnings of our military forces by cancelling, as a matter of priority, the social engineering mandates of the Obama administration. This includes the secretary of defense’s latest mandate to force our military to accept transgender personnel. As Paul McHugh, former head psychologist at Johns Hopkins University Hospital has stated, transgenderism is not a physical issue, it is a mental disorder that needs understanding and treatment. It is not a civil rights issue and should never be forced on our military.

In trying to substantiate his decision to incorporate transgender personnel into the military, Secretary Ashton Carter’s assertion that the removal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” has been a resounding success is more than an overstatement. The last known published figures were in 2014. In that year there were more than 10,000 male-on-male unwanted advances. Remember, this is just the reported numbers. If this is success, I would hate to see what the secretary of defense thinks failure would look like. In my view, the LGBT agenda is actually a slow slide into paganism.

The secretary of defense has disregarded a plethora of well-documented studies, including a recently completed, nine-month study by the U.S. Marine Corps — all of which show combat effectiveness is degraded for a variety of well-founded reasons when women are placed in combat roles. His decision to open up all combat roles to women must be overturned. There are many viable roles for women in the military — combat is not one of them!

Separately, the secretary of the Navy has recently issued a directive to change all traditional enlisted rating names to make them gender neutral. This makes absolutely no sense unless it is to destroy more than 240 years of Navy customs and traditions. In fact, the entire social engineering program that has been forced on our military does not improve readiness or capability, so why is it being done? Is it being done to destroy military customs and traditions, as well as our warrior mentality?

Another administrative decision that needs to be removed is the stigma of political correctness. The most despicable example of this is the failure to properly identify the enemy and its doctrine. The enemy is not “violent extremism.” In fact, it is not “radical Islam.” The enemy was best described by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey when he was prime minister. He stated, “Islam is Islam — there are no modifiers. Democracy is the train we ride to achieve our ultimate objective, which is make Islam the dominant religion throughout the world.” Clearly, Islam is a totalitarian ideology bent on world domination, masquerading as a religion. The goal is to replace our Constitution with the seventh-century draconian Shariah law. It should be noted that Muslims do not consider Islam a religion but a “way of life.” Until Islam is understood to be the main threat to our Constitution and the freedoms we enjoy, we will not be successful in defeating this enemy.

Of course, the Muslim Brotherhood and its various front organizations, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), et al., with their effective penetration of all our government agencies, including the White House, will make a major effort to prevent the American public from understanding the Islamic threat and the global jihad movement. However, we can counter their anticipated efforts by not only purging them from our government agencies, but by also reopening the 2008 Holy Land Foundation Trial. This would revive the legal prosecution of CAIR, ISNA and their many front organizations.

It would also have a major impact on many of the more than 2,700 mosques and their radical imams in the United States who preach sedition. A plan needs to be developed to close those mosques that preach sedition, and deport or prosecute their imams.

All of these actions could be implemented in the first 100 days of the Trump administration and would be a positive step in restoring our credibility and capabilities.

James A. Lyons, a U.S. Navy retired admiral, was commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations.

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