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Hagel talking: Ships sinking

Incessant talking is a hallmark of the Obama administration and it is systemic among his appointees including the Secretary of Defense. Espousing truisms that are apparent to all isn’t helpful. Describing the ISIS propaganda machine, for instance, bolsters the image of our enemy. It doesn’t degrade it. Only precise countermeasures will “degrade and destroy” the enemy. So, stop talking and get to work.

Chuck Hagel in Mongolia
Alex Wong/Getty Images.

If ISIS is so sophisticated with its use of social media and modern technology, then that raises a number of questions.

  1. Who are funding ISIS?
  2. Who are the brains behind them?
  3. Is not the recruitment audience well equipped with computer technology to receive the messages?
  4. Has anyone thought about jamming them?

It isn’t necessary to convince Americans that a club of Sunni psychopathic tyrants need to be degraded and destroyed. It isn’t sufficient to accomplish that by military means alone. In the Middle East, we are talking about wholesale cultural change and development. We’re not talking about nation-building, we’re talking about hemispheric reorganization.

The messaging that should be coming from the White House and not from dribs and drabs from the Secretary of Defense is a comprehensive approach to be sold to all of our free world allies as a part of the free world collective. It is that the planet has reached the brink of disaster and that requires unprecedented attention to the world order. President George Herbert Walker Bush had that one correct when he spoke of a “new world order.”

For now, someone remind Secretary Hagel that loose lips sink ships.

“The term "new world order" has been used to refer to any new period of history evidencing a dramatic change in world political thought and the balance of power. Despite various interpretations of this term, it is primarily associated with the ideological notion of global governance only in the sense of new collective efforts to identify, understand, or address worldwide problems that go beyond the capacity of individual nation-states to solve.

One of the first and most well-known Western uses of the term was in Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, and in a call for a League of Nations following the devastation of World War I. The phrase was used sparingly at the end of World War II when describing the plans for the United Nations and the Bretton Woods system, and partly because of its negative associations with the failed League of Nations. However, many commentators have applied the term retroactively to the order put in place by the World War II victors as a "new world order."
The most widely discussed application of the phrase of recent times came at the end of the Cold War. Presidents Mikhail Gorbachev and George H. W. Bush used the term to try to define the nature of the post Cold War era, and the spirit of great power cooperation that they hoped might materialize.

Gorbachev's initial formulation was wide ranging and idealistic, but his ability to press for it was severely limited by the internal crisis of the Soviet system. Bush's vision was, in comparison, much more circumscribed and realistic, perhaps even instrumental at times, and closely linked to the Gulf War.”

“US officials warn that ISIS has created ‘propaganda machine’

By Kristina Wong - 09/04/14 06:00 AM EDT

The terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is harnessing the power of social media in its violent quest to establish a Muslim caliphate.

Experts in counterterrorism say the group’s gruesome videos of beheadings — the most recent of which was posted Tuesday — are having their intended effect by propelling the group into headlines.

"[ISIS] operates the most significant propaganda machine of any extremist group," Matt Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said Wednesday in a rare public appearance at the Brookings Institution.
As a result of media attention, ISIS threatens to "outpace al Qaeda as the dominant voice of influence in the global extremist movement," Olsen said.

It's unlikely that ISIS's media campaign is over, given the group's threat to kill a British hostage and the looming anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks next week.

President Obama and leaders around the world have condemned ISIS and vowed that the group will be destroyed. Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday said the United States would follow the group “to the gates of hell,” and some members of Congress are pushing for expanded airstrikes against the group in Iraq and Syria.
Some intelligence experts have speculated that ISIS timed the release of the two beheading videos for maximum impact. The first video had shown the journalist Steven Sotloff alive, with a masked executioner threatening to kill him unless the U.S. halted airstrikes in Iraq.”

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