This will appear in the Bernice Banner, Bernice. Louisiana the week of 2/23/2015

America is the most formable fighting force in the world. There has been nothing like it in the history of the planet. So powerful is the United States military force that no one can stand toe to toe with the American fighting man on either the land, sea or air. What is so special to this magnificent force of young men and women volunteers is the fact that this military farce is not a force bent on conquering and controlling land. It will deploy, perform its’ mission and then leave. This military may leave members behind to provide support just as we did in Germany and Japan, not to suppress the countries but to protect and help build these nations. That is a success story that we should be looking back on and using this as the model. These two countries are two of our closest allies with two of the strongest economies in the world.
When the war is over and it is time to provide a peacetime posture the United States State Department provides the direction to help rebuild the nation. State provides missions to help develop different parts of the new government and also tries to encourage economic development. While this is happening the military should be providing security.
Over the last several years we have seen the yokes of tyranny thrown off as civilians rose up and looked for a democratic government. Egypt, Tunisia and Libya all changed their governments. Syria is attempting to do so and with direct American involvement Iraq was deposed of a villainous dictator. We won the war but in most cases we have lost the peace.
Egypt held elections and the Muslim Brotherhood took power. Fortunately the military overthrew this regime. This action is normally in contradiction to American values but fortunately the coupe is in line with values important to the world. America did little in Egypt other than to go to a key conference and offer apologies for American actions in the past. This was intended to appease the Muslims in the region but instead sent a message of weakness. The wrong signal for Mid-East success.
In Iraq, we won the war, kept troops in for a while, did not do a good job of assisting a peace-time government, telegraphed when we would leave, pulled the troops out based on a schedule instead of a mission-accomplish date and then we sat back and watch a government fracture and ISIS pour across the country.
In Libya we never committed the troops following the fall of Gadhafi and thus a security vacuum existed. Then when a government tried to form the internal security forces were not in place. America sent State Department staff to Libya to try and provide support to the new government. Due to lack of security this turned into a fiasco and when military support was required the Department of State preferred to be politically correct instead of decisive in taking care of its’ staff. This cost is an ambassador, one staff member and two ex-SEALS were lost when militants attacked their positions. Since we have left Libya to fend for itself and we did not support a democratic path for the country there has been a leadership void. This void was filled by ISIS and last week the despicable terrorist organization took twenty-one Egyptian Coptic Christians, walked them along the beautiful Mediterranean Libyan coast, kneeled them down and proceeded to murder them by decapitation.
So what is the solution? We have to have a military presence in any of these countries that have overthrown dictatorships. This force must be removed as soon as possible but not according to a schedule that was delivered as a political promise but instead when the country is fully secured and safe. The State Department must establish trust and guidance at the earliest possible time. State must work to develop the country and it must not be fooled to think that the entire population is embracing the new government. State and the Military must coordinate very well and provide a feeling of safety to the new country. Also, groups such as ISIS and Al Qaeda must be eliminated at its’ beginning; not just controlled and managed.


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