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Defending Freedom

Iranian Military Agent Caught Trying to Enter U.S.

by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

An Iranian citizen identified as a senior member of the country’s Basij military force was caught trying to enter the United States posing as a cancer researcher, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation who told the Washington Free Beacon that the Trump administration should begin investigating how the individual was granted a U.S. visa in the first place.

Seyed Mohsen Dehnavi, who has been identified as a member of Iran’s highly vetted volunteer Basij force, was turned away from entering the United States at Boston’s Logan Airport.

Sources familiar with the situation said that Dehnavi is billing himself as a medical researcher and was to assume residency at a Boston-based hospital. He was detained earlier this week at Logan Airport along with his family and later sent back to Iran. Continue reading


A Time for Korea to Take Stock

by Peter Roff • Townhall

Since coming to office South Korean President Moon Jae-in has moved quickly to put the past behind him. Politically, this is wise. His countrymen are tired of the byzantine games and corruption that for decades influenced the system of government and drove his predecessor from office.

His need to put his country’s house in order defies ideological concerns. He faces daunting security threats, especially from the North, but also a restless and dissatisfied people hungry for change. He leads an Asian tiger whose economic power is being challenged and which desperately needs to improve its trade relations with the West.

U.S. President Donald Trump is making the most of South Korea’s internal turmoil to bolster the U.S. efforts to exert its political and economic influence in Korea. Just a week before the special election that brought President Moon to power, Trump summed up the existing free trade agreement with South Korea as “horrible” and vowed to renegotiate the pact. Continue reading


Freedom Through Commerce: How A Robust Domestic Shipping Industry Is Critical To Defend America

By George LandrithRedState

To project power and protect America the U.S. military requires a robust American sealift capability. Transporting materials and weaponry over across the high seas is a key component of America’s ability to protect its interests around the globe yet it is often overlooked, misunderstood and underappreciated.

History teaches this lesson unmistakably. In 1812, when the greatest army the world had seen up to that time launched an invasion of Russian. Napoleon had an army of almost 700,000 men. At first his troops routed the opposition wherever they engaged but, as he led his forces deeper and deeper into Russia, supplies ran short and his men began to starve.

As winter came, his men began to freeze, not from fear but from hypothermia. Napoleon was forced to beat a hasty retreat back to France, leaving 380,000 dead, 100,000 captured, and many so sick that they could no longer fight. His once great army had only 27,000 soldiers capable of fighting. Continue reading


Op-Ed: Missile Defense is needed now more than ever

By George LandrithAmerican Military News

About 40 years ago, Ronald Reagan and U.S. Senator Malcolm Wallop shared breakfast at U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt’s ranch. Virtually no one knew that this meeting took place or understood how important it would be to America’s security. As friends shared breakfast, Wallop explained the need for a robust missile defense — including developing a space-based defensive system. Once elected to office, President Reagan made it a national goal to develop effective high-tech defenses against missile attacks. That policy objective was an important factor in the U.S. winning the Cold War. Simply stated, even before missile defense was able to shoot down a missile, it was helping America defeat the Soviets.

During most of the last decade, missile defense was de-emphasized. It was a self-evidently foolish policy decision even though some offered misguided defenses of it. But now, given recent news from North Korea, few could argue that the Obama Administration’s disdain for missile defense has served America’s interests. Kim Jong Un has pushed North Korea’s nuclear program to develop nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles that can reach our West Coast. Pyongyang intends to threaten not just the West Coast, but all of America. Iran is headed in the same dangerous direction as North Korea. Continue reading


The Missile Defense Imperative

As nuclear threats grow, the U.S. needs more advanced protection.

By George LandrithWall Street Journal

Liberal opposition to missile defense has persisted since the 1980s, but the politics may be changing with technological progress and the rising threat from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s nuclear weapons. Congress has an opportunity this summer to notch a rare bipartisan deal that enhances U.S. security.

Kim has already overseen more nuclear and missile tests than his father and grandfather combined, and the Defense Intelligence Agency warns that “if left on its current trajectory” Pyongyang will develop a capacity to hit Japan, Alaska, Hawaii or even the U.S. West Coast. The Trump Administration is pleading with China to stop the North, but Chinese leaders never seem to act and they’re even trying to block regional missile defenses in South Korea.

Meanwhile, the U.S. last month successfully tracked and shot down a mock intercontinental ballistic missile, akin to a bullet hitting a bullet. The Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD)—first fielded in 2004 but untested since 2014—has a success rate of nine in 17 intercept trials. But even the failures show the GMD is increasingly effective. Continue reading


Op-Ed: Rebuilding Our Defenses: Building Strength And Obtaining Value

By George LandrithAmerican Military News

After a decade and a half of actively fighting terrorism around the globe while simultaneously imposing tighter and tighter budget squeezes, our military faces clear and unmistakable shortages in critical systems like ready-to-deploy fighter jets. These gaps grow larger and larger with each passing year and in the near future become alarming. As our fleets age, more and more, air craft carrier groups and squadrons are running short of planes. Media reports of cannibalized aircraft in museums to keep military aircraft in the air are not comforting. We cannot continually choke our military and hope to defend ourselves against ever increasing threats.

The Trump Administration has correctly identified the need to rebuild and strengthen our defenses. And they have shown an interest in getting the job done “on time and under budget.” That too is an important focus. The good news is it that we can rebuild our military and give our war fighters the best tools and systems on the planet and “come in on time and under budget.”

Here is one way we can do both — reinforce our military and be mindful of the taxpayer’s wallet. While we need a next generation stealth fighter with capabilities like the F-35, an effective air defense needs a wide variety of tools with varying capabilities and not all of them must cost nearly $132 billion each. We may see all fighter jets as being just like the other ones — super fast, super maneuverable jets that shoot and bomb things. But the truth is there are different missions and different missions and roles for different planes and they are not all the same. Continue reading


Missile Defense Needs to Address New Threats

By Mead TreadwellReal Clear Policy - Real Clear Defense

As North Korea works furiously to advance its nuclear missile arsenal to threaten our homeland, an upgrade of America’s missile defense systems could not come at a more crucial time.

Most Ground-based Interceptors to defend the homeland are located here in Alaska, the US State closest to North Korea.  The previously deployed fleet of 26 GBIs will be expanded to 40 defensive missiles by the end of the year, plus another four at Vandenberg AFB, in California.   With so much at stake, increasing our capability to take a volley of defensive shots is essential.
Missile defense also depends on radars across the North. At Clear, near Fairbanks, Alaska, a new Long Range Discrimination Radar will help improve the accuracy of our ground-based system.  New communications links here and around the world help network space-based sensors, land and sea-based radars that direct theater and ballistic missile defense systems on our side, everywhere.

A new report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies entitled Missile Defense 2020, lays out a roadmap for how the United States can improve the capability, capacity, and reliability of U.S. homeland missile defense.  One of the most important next steps, however, concerns the “Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV), the payload atop those fast Alaska and California defensive missiles.  The EKV’s job, after being rocketed into space on a trajectory opposite an incoming missile, is to intercept and obliterate anything that’s aimed at us.

These EKVs, the so-called bullets that hit the enemy bullet, are the heart of missile defense.   We want them ever more aware as they approach their target, agile as countermeasures are employed, and accurate in knocking out a warhead that could kill millions of our people.  Improvements to the EKV capabilities are available to be deployed soon, in the form of a Redesigned Kill Vehicle (RKV), an important development effort currently underway by the Missile Defense Agency.  Some argue we should skip the RKV effort entirely, and wait for a whole new generation of kill vehicle technology that will require years of development and testing. In the face of real North Korean missile advances, however, such a path would leave us too vulnerable.

Offensive missiles are much cheaper than defensive missile systems, however, and potential adversaries in North Korea, Iran and elsewhere are stepping up efforts to build attack weapons that are more mobile, can carry more payload, and can fly farther across the planet. Last year, then- NORTHCOM/NORAD Commander Admiral William E. Gortney told Congress, “We need to invest in the lethality of our kill vehicles, and in ways to get us to the right side of the cost curve.”

We should draw upon already amassed expertise to cost-effectively re-engineer the RKV and get it deployed as soon as possible, as well as a more flexible selectable-stage booster.  Among the many capabilities that would be improved quickly is the ability to hit targets launched at us closer to home.

Over the longer-term, a new interceptor, known as the Multi-Object Kill Vehicle (MOKV) is envisioned as having the capacity to defeat multiple targets, thereby overcoming the problem of discriminating between the warhead and other debris or decoys, as well as potentially against multiple warheads. However, the threat today is from North Korea, Iran, or a ship-launched missile that might be acquired in some arms bazaar by a terrorist group. These threatening missiles are growing in number.  They are less sophisticated than Russia and China’s arsenal, but still lethal.
Robust research and development on other missile defenses must continue.

Technology will allow us –someday–  to field more effective defenses against attack missiles in the boost phase, minutes after launch when missiles are most vulnerable and unable to deploy countermeasures.  Non-kinetic options, like lasers, have great promise to further even the costs between offensive missiles and defenses.  Given that missiles can disable much of our electrical infrastructure and electronic devices with an electromagnetic pulse from a nuclear explosion high above the earth hardening our civil power grid is a deterrent that should also rise on the agenda.

Donald Trump has pledged to develop a state-of-the-art missile defense for the United States.  This is indeed exactly the right goal and is necessary for both deter and defeat current and future threats.  Funding and fielding the Redesigned Kill Vehicle now, while still expanding root missile defense technologies, will improve that overall posture and help keep the peace..


Mead Treadwell,  Lt. Governor of Alaska 2010-2014, is a charter member of the Independent Working Group on Missile Defense, which has since the mid-1990s studied and published independent views on how to deploy effective land, sea, air and space-based missile defenses for the U.S homeland and US forces and allies abroad.


Corporate merger with Chinese company poses security risks

By Travis KorsonThe Hill

Two years have passed since a state-sponsored cyber-attack caused one of the largest data breaches in U.S. history, and it appears that a foreign government may once again be on the verge of gaining access to a treasure trove of sensitive American information.

For those short of memory, I’m referring to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) hack where over 21.5 million records were stolen, most likely, by state-sponsored Chinese hackers. The hack, which was discovered in April 2015, included personally-identifiable information such as Social Security numbers, addresses, dates and places of birth and personal financial information.

Instead of using the anniversary as an opportunity to renew the American government’s commitment to protect its citizens from acts of cyber warfare and foreign espionage, it appears that they are instead, inexplicably, considering approval of a transaction that would provide the Chinese a permanent pipeline to the sensitive personal information of millions of Americans.  Continue reading


The Obama Administration’s Iran-Deal Duplicity

National Review

In January 2016, the Obama administration released seven Iranian-born prisoners in what President Barack Obama called a “one-time” “humanitarian gesture” intended to sweeten the nuclear deal hammered out between Washington, D.C., and Tehran. The prisoners — who Josh Earnest insisted were guilty only of “sanctions violations or violations of the trade embargo” — were exchanged for five Americans, unjustly held by Iran since as early as 2011. In fact, some of the Iranian prisoners were national-security threats, and it wasn’t a straight prisoner swap: The Wall Street Journal revealed that on the day of the exchange the U.S. flew $400 million in cash on an unmarked cargo plane to Iran.

When it came to its negotiations with Iran, duplicity was the hallmark of the previous administration’s public statements. (Sanctimonious preening was a close second.) But supporters assured skeptics that the administration was acting in the country’s best national-security interests. Now comes a new bombshell investigation that shows the lengths to which the previous administration went to secure Iranian cooperation, even when it meant putting American security at risk. Continue reading


Iran Using U.S. Cash to Fund Unprecedented, Massive Military Buildup

By Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Iran is using the billions in cash resources provided under the landmark nuclear deal to engage in an unprecedented military buildup meant to transform the Islamic Republic’s fighting force into an “offensive” juggernaut, according to a largely unreported announcement by Iranian military leaders that has sparked concern among U.S. national security insiders and sources on Capitol Hill.

Iranian officials announced late last month that Iran’s defense budget had increased by 145 percent under President Hassan Rouhani and that the military is moving forward with a massive restructuring effort aimed at making it “a forward moving force,” according to regional reports.

Iranian leaders have stated since the Iran deal was enacted that they are using the massive amounts of cash released under the agreement to fund the purchase of new military equipment and other armaments. Iran also has pursued multi-million dollar arms deals with Russia since economic sanctions were nixed as part of the deal. Continue reading


Iran, Russia Boost Military Ties Amid U.S. Action in Syria

By Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Iran and Russia are moving closer together in their military alliance, working to boost ties and coordination in Syria and elsewhere in the region following the U.S. decision to launch a military strike in Syria, according to regional reports and experts.

Iran’s defense minister is slated to visit Moscow at the end of the month to discuss increased military ties, a move that is meant to deter U.S. action in the region and show a sign of increased force, according to regional experts who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

The Tehran-Moscow axis has been growing since the landmark Iran nuclear deal, with Russia making good on a series of weapons deliveries, including the Russian-made S-300 missile defense system. The two countries have been signing an additional number of military deals in recent months and that cooperation is likely to increase in light of the Trump administration’s decision to launch strikes against embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is being backed by both Russia and Iran. Continue reading


Missile Defense Now

By Peter Roff • Townhall

The Trump administration budget document recently released projects an increase in security and defense spending of more than $50 billion. It’s a needed shot in the arm, provided it’s spent wisely and on things actually necessary.

It’s important the defense community realize the days of blank checks are over. There’s no problem in government that can be solved just by throwing more money at it. This includes the vital functions performed by the Pentagon, the service branches, and the Department of Homeland Security. They too need to understand they have to find ways to do more with less just like every other part of the federal government even if the Congress and the president are willing, at the start, to give them more.

The higher number in Trump’s initial budgeting is due not just to the threat posed by ISIS but by the increasing belligerence of rogue states like North Korea (which is consistently testing missiles they argue will go farther and farther once in the air) and Iran. Continue reading


Chinese Takeover of MoneyGram Raises Lots of Red Flags

By George LandrithFrontiers of Freedom

A Chinese company, Ant Financial, largely owned by the government of China, is intent on taking over MoneyGram, a leading US-based financial payments company. This planned acquisition raises serious questions as to whether ownership of MoneyGram would be part of China’s strategic plan to obtain sensitive personal and financial information of Americans and westerners worldwide as well as  to undermine American economic strength. This acquisition should be stopped for that reason.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) exists to review the national security implications of foreign investments in US companies.  CFIUS is comprised of representatives from a number of US agencies or departments — including the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State and Commerce.  CFIUS can block foreign sales and investments that would result in a foreign power acquiring assets and intellectual property that would harm America’s national security.

There are a number of important national security and strategic reasons that CFIUS should reject Ant Financial’s proposed takeover of MoneyGram.   Continue reading


The Challenges Obama Left Behind

National Review

Most Americans are worried about our domestic crises. Obama left office after doubling the debt to $20 trillion. Near-zero interest rates over eight years have impoverished an entire generation of seniors — and yet remain key to servicing the costs of such reckless borrowing.

Over the last eight years, GDP never grew at 3 percent annually, the first time we’ve seen such low growth since the Hoover administration. Obamacare spiked health-care premiums and deductibles while restricting access and reducing patient choices. Racial politics are at a nadir and make one nostalgic for the environment before 2009.

Red-blue tensions are at an all-time high, and suddenly there is talk of 1860s-like Confederate nullification of federal laws. It’s now the norm for prominent commentators to call for the murder, forced removal, or resignation of the current president. A New York Times columnist asked the IRS to commit a felony by sending him Trump’s tax returns, and then he boasts by providing his own address. Continue reading


McMaster is a Promising Choice

by Mackubin Owens • American Greatness

President Trump’s selection of Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster to be his national security adviser has been widely praised, and rightly so. McMaster is a remarkable man cut from the same cloth as the new secretary of defense, Jim Mattis. Both are inspirational leaders. Both are thoughtful, well-read “soldier-scholars.” Both are clear thinkers and straight talkers. Indeed, McMaster’s intense, fierce outspokenness has not always endeared him to his superiors.

McMaster’s story has been recounted many times in recent days. A native of Philadelphia, he is a 1984 graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point. Later, he earned a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, studying under Richard Kohn, the eminent military historian and civil-military relations expert. His doctoral dissertation became Dereliction of Duty, a withering critique of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Vietnam War.

As a captain commanding an armored cavalry troop during the first Gulf War, McMaster proved himself to be an aggressive, fearless leader. Continue reading