Bush II: Off to a solid start
The Bush Administration appears on track for a smooth transition into a second term. Remarkably, only one cabinet member stepped down during the first term of President George W. Bush, and that member was “asked” to resign.
Foreign and military policy will remain firmly rooted in the strategic thinking of: President Bush; Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld; Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, and with her former colleagues at the National Security Council. This means the Administration will continue to try to protect our homeland by taking the war to the terrorists abroad.
The President directed Porter Goss, the new Director of Central Intelligence, to clean out the staffers who retired and, apparently, forgot to notify the government and to get rid of those who think their mission is to formulate foreign and military policy. Presumably, by a renewed focus on espionage and intelligence analysis, the CIA will get back to its original mandate: No more Pearl Harbors.
Secretary Rumsfeld still has important work to do in transforming the Army from guarding the Fulda Gap against Soviet tank attack to a leaner, highly-mobile brigade-based Army designed to pursue and eliminate terrorist cells wherever they may be hiding.
Re-basing our air and ground forces out of the Old Europe and into the New Europe is already underway. NATO is shifting its center of gravity eastward into what the great British strategist, Sir Halford John Mackinder, called the world’s strategic Heartland. If the next election in the Ukraine goes our way, the U.S.-NATO grip on the Heartland will grow even stronger.
Axis of Evil Iran is already surrounded by Coalition forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. It would make strategic sense for Iran to be grateful to the U.S.-led Coalition for eliminating Saddam Hussein -- Iran’s long-time worst enemy. But the Mullahs running Iran don’t see it that way. They know the Information Age will topple them from power someday. So, the Mullahs are racing to obtain a nuclear capability that might make them immune from attack by our conventional forces.
Since 9/11, the Justice Department and the FBI have firm marching orders that may mean a few more white-collar criminals go free; however, like the CIA, the mission is: No more 9/11s.
Shortly, an intelligence reorganization bill will pass. But Joint Chiefs Chairman, General Richard Meyers, is wise to raise the issue of who gets to say when and where our satellites and other technical intelligence capabilities are employed in support of our troops on the ground.
Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. of Wisconsin is correct to insist that we start to get control over the issuance of driver’s licenses to non-U.S. residents and visitors. During the many months the 19 members of the 9/11 attack teams lived in the U.S., they were able to collect 62 driver’s licenses. Primarily, from Florida and Virginia.
Apparently, the Congress is under pressure from some folks who want their un-documented, gardeners, pool boys, cooks, car washers and housekeepers to be able to drive to their homes for work, rather than have to drive somewhere and pick them up. Sure wouldn’t want those who can afford such services to be inconvenienced in the name of national security.
Meanwhile, the President is trying to get control of our borders by devising a documented guest work program like the program that worked so well for many years in West Germany. The key is to identify jobs U.S. citizens do not want to do, identify foreign workers who want to do them and then match jobs with workers.
“Guest worker” is the key concept. For decades, German automobiles have been built by Turkish, Italian and other southern European guest workers (Gast Arbiter) who come to Germany for fixed periods of time, build up a financial nest egg and then return home to start their own businesses.
Yes, good things are on track. Now, if my alma mater can just beat Colorado. Say, about 42 to 3.
William Hamilton, a syndicated columnist, a featured commentator for USA Today and self-described “recovering lawyer and philosopher,” is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – two thrillers about terrorism directed against the United States.
©2004. William Hamilton.