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OpsLens: The politicization of the intelligence community greatly affects the ability of the president to garner support for military action.

Imagine this: The 3 A.M. call comes in to the President of the United States stating that intelligence shows North Korea is preparing to launch three nuclear armed missiles at South Korea, Japan, and the United States. The President, remembering the politicized intelligence community he inherited from his predecessor and the long sordid investigations resulting in the uncovering of surveillance on his own presidential campaign and transition, immediately asks the name of the approving official over the intelligence reports. The President tells his aide to let him know the name, as he will not make any decisions until he confirms that a “trusted” intelligence professional has reviewed the report for truth and accuracy. The phone rings after 5 minutes have passed and the military aide sets aside the Nuclear Decision Handbook (the nuclear football Black Book) he is using to brief the President on nuclear targets in North Korea to answer it. His face turns white as he listens and tells the President, “Sir, we are too late, 12 missiles are in the air, space assets indicate targets are Seoul, Tokyo, and Washington D.C., missile types are NK-14, NK-08, and estimated time en-route to target is 33 minutes. Mr. President, we are out of time so I recommend Option 3 from nuclear response plan Humpty Dumpty.” The President nods and reaches for the code card in his pocket …

GOOD FRIDAY MESSAGE FROM ROB MANESS: Denying American soldiers the faith of their fathers

This article was first published on the front page of the Washington Times Opinion Section on May 14, 2013. Today is Good Friday so I am re-publishing it as a reminder why those that fight and die for us must be free to practice their religious beliefs.The Maness family wishes all our Christian brothers and sisters a happy Easter.

As a former military commander both at home and deployed in war, I understand firsthand the important role free exercise of religion has in the lives of so many of our service members. For multitudes of our nation’s defenders, the practice of religious faith is foundational to life itself. In a combat setting, I have seen and experienced the hope a military chaplain’s religious message and prayers bring to a unit mourning the loss of a fallen hero and comrade. I know religious community, worship opportunities, prayer and access to pastoral care are key to the resilience of our war fighters and directly affects their capability to carry out the mission bestowed upon them by their country. That is why I am so disturbed and appalled at what appears to be an increasing effort to restrict the free exercise of religion within the military and completely secularize the public square.

"Send me lord, I will go ..."

"Send me lord, I will go ..."

The situation has become so serious last week that Republican Sens. Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham felt compelled to send a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel imploring him to ensure that our military members’ freedom to express religious beliefs be protected. They did this in response to recent reports that one or more of the armed services may be considering changing regulations to severely restrict that right.

Op-Ed: North Korea: Can Deterrence Still Work?

Op-Ed: North Korea: Can Deterrence Still Work?

North Korea’s successful simultaneous firing of four of its long-range missile arsenal at the beginning of the annual Allied military exercises in South Korea makes it clear that the Allies are in critical need of decisive action to strengthen deterrence efforts against the North Koreans.

I was on the Joint Staff working in nuclear operations and I remember the moment we realized that our attempt to prevent nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula had failed and the North had produced enough fissile material for several nuclear warheads. That day triggered efforts well beyond the lowest level of deterrence seen in the chart below: the restraint phase. We immediately began planning to ensure our nuclear forces could meet any threat posed by possible North Korean nuclear forces.