Category Archives: Defense and National Security

Congress Values Names More Than Housing for Service Members

Congresswoman Jen Kiggans

by Donald Smith

“Removing the last vestiges of Confederate history from the U.S. military, including renaming nine Army posts, will cost more than $62 million, a congressional commission said Tuesday.” 

That quote is from Alex Horton’s Washington Post article on the recommendations of the Naming Commission, dated September 13th, 2022. “For the base names,” wrote Horton, “the changes will require a complete overhaul for items big and small, from signs outside the main gates to the stamps used to process paperwork for new and departing soldiers.”

One year later, it was crystal-clear that the “Naming” Commission’s recommendations went far, far beyond changing some base names. (Recommendations which, apparently, Congress let pass unchallenged). By September of 2023, cranes had removed statues of Grant and Lee from Reconciliation Plaza, a memorial park gifted to the U.S. Military Academy by the West Point Class of 1961 to commemorate the reconciliation of Union and Confederate West Pointers after the Civil War. Cranes would soon show up in Arlington National Cemetery to remove the Reconciliation Memorial from the center of the Confederate cemetery in Arlington. And, across the nation, street signs were being pulled down, memorial bricks were being pulled out of monuments, software was being rewritten on classified and unclassified computer networks to reflect the new base names, etc. Undoubtedly, little-to-none of this was cheap. 

The Virginia Council, a Virginia heritage defense group created and led by WRVA talk show host John Reid, has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of the Army, to see what the total cost of implementing all of the Naming Commission’s sweeping recommendations actually was. Some people I spoke with in the Army, who wish to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation, think that the total costs could far exceed $62 million. 

Also in September of 2023, the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) released a report on the quality of housing in military barracks. “In recent years,” the GAO wrote, “there have been concerns about health and safety risks in military housing and DOD’s management of its housing programs. Poor housing conditions negatively affect quality of life.” Continue reading

A Modest Suggestion

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

Gov. Glenn Youngkin has taken a tough stance toward the Chinese. He has prohibited state agencies from using the TikTok platform. He wants to ban the use of TikTok by Virginia residents under 18. He championed legislation prohibiting the sale of Virginia farmland to Chinese buyers. Finally, he scuttled the location of a major electric car battery factory in Southside Virginia because one of the owners was a Chinese company.

The Governor is correct in his concern about the Chinese government. That country poses a major threat to the United States. But let’s be honest — none of those actions will have any effect at all on the Chinese government.

If the governor wants to go beyond political grandstanding and issuing toothless edicts, he could take the next step: prohibit state agencies from purchasing anything made or assembled in China. The large appetite of American consumers over recent decades for products made in China was undoubtedly a major factor in the growth of its economy and power.

Granted, the loss of the Virginia government agency market may not be much more than a drop in the ocean of the Chinese economy. However, it would be a substantive step by the governor. He could also use his “bully pulpit” to encourage Virginia citizens and businesses to avoid buying and selling products made in China. Constitutionally, that is as far as he could go, but these steps would put some substance behind his calls of concern.

Sorry, Senator. Zalenskyy is No George Washington

Sen. Tim Kaine

by Kerry Dougherty

Tim Kaine jumped the shark.

Get a load of the nonsense this United States Senator – from VIRGINIA – Tweeted on Tuesday:

President Zelenskyy spoke to the Senate today about the critical role of American support for Ukrainian democracy. He stood beneath a portrait of George Washington, who helped birth an America free from domination by a great power. A moving moment.

— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) December 12, 2023

Seriously, senator?

No member of Congress should ever compare America’s first president with this little corruptocrat.

This is the problem when Virginians vote for a Kansan to represent them in Washington. He missed fourth grade Virginia history and apparently they didn’t teach American history in the schools he attended either.

If they had, the senator would know that Washington was a humble man who fervently believed in freedom and the rights of man. He was an educated, measured leader who stepped down after two terms in office and refused to allow himself to be set up as anything more than a man of the people.

In his farewell address, Washington warned against foreign entanglements.

Presidents have been ignoring Washington’s admonitions for decades, unfortunately. Continue reading

Virginia Must Investigate and Control the Relationships of Its State Institutions of Higher Learning With the Government of China

by James C. Sherlock

The title of this article seems at first glance axiomatic.

After all, the power “to conduct … all intercourse with other and foreign states” is granted in the state constitution to the Governor.

Yet that power has been assumed by some Virginia state institutions of higher education (IHEs) with the apparent approval of their state-appointed Counsels.

They need better lawyers.

Courtesy U.S. – China Economic and Security Review Commission

The story of Communist Chinese influence in America’s IHEs is the story of left-wing faculty. The same ones that march in Hamas rallies.

They divide the world into oppressed and oppressors, with no room for individuals. They offer a narrative, not discussions.

Somehow, in their admiration for Chinese Marxism, they have missed the fact that the Chinese government is one of the most oppressive regimes on earth.  Straight out of Animal Farm.

It does not bother them that Xi Jinping and his government wish America harm. Or that America is on the brink of war with that country over Taiwan.

The campus radical leftists, and many of the schools they dominate, have their own threat assessments and foreign policies that do not align with those of the United States. Continue reading

William and Mary and the Chinese Communist Party – Dangerous Allies – Part 3

by James C. Sherlock

Chinese fighter and U.S. jet over South China Sea.  Courtesy CNN and YouTube.

William and Mary’s superb AidData program makes major contributions to America’s understanding of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). The school is justly proud of it.

AidData published in December of 2021 a study Corridors of Power – How Beijing uses economic, social and network ties to exert influence along the Silk Road.

Chapter 3 is “Social ties: How does Beijing leverage education, culture, and
exchange to amplify its foreign influence strategy?”

I recommend it to the President and the Board of the College.

I promised in this Part to look at:

  • the William and Mary/Chinese Foreign Ministry Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA);
  • Chinese student recruiting and admissions;
  • the courses they take, and their internships and the applicability of their skills to the People’s Revolutionary Army and Navy;
  • what happens when those “students and scholars” return home; and
  • the money.

We’ll do that, and we’ll look at the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) to see if it possibly applies. Continue reading

Never Again

Chinese-funded Code Pink’s co-founder Medea Benjamin at antisemitic rally in D.C. Nov. 4th. Courtesy Asra Nomani

by James C. Sherlock

At 78, I have been all over the world often and for long periods of time. I felt myself reasonably immune to cultural surprises.

But I had never seen anything like this.

It was the Maghrib prayer time about 5 p.m. on Saturday. On the southeast corner of 12th and Pennsylvania Ave. in D.C., a devout Muslim man was in the sujood prayer position on the sidewalk, forehead touching the ground.

That was not the surprise.

But a girl we took to be the praying man’s daughter was waiting a few feet away next to her mother and three young siblings. She looked to be, at the most, four years old.

There had been thousands like her at the festival on that beautiful afternoon. Families with toddlers and baby carriages were everywhere at the edges of the demonstrations. Watching. Learning.

Full of adrenaline from the hate that had been spewed out on a huge screen broadcasting anti-Israel rally speakers in the middle of shut-down Pennsylvania Avenue, that beautiful little girl was jumping up and down, tiny fists clenched, shouting in her small voice “Gaza,” “Gaza,” “Gaza.”

Three thousand years of hatred of Jews was being passed down to another generation.

It is never going to stop. Continue reading

“Good old TikTok: Chinese spy engine and purveyor of virulent antisemitic lies.” Sen. Josh Hawley

San Francisco High School students enflamed by false report from the NYT (which later offered “nuance”) broadcast worldwide on TikTok #freepalestine that Israel bombed that hospital in Gaza.

by James C. Sherlock

Taylor Lorenz, the estimable young Tech and Online Culture columnist for The Washington Post, has been the author of some of the most important reports on the Hamas-Israel war.

Today, she published with Drew Harwell, a Post reporter covering artificial intelligence and the algorithms changing our lives, “Israel-Gaza war sparks debate over TikTok’s role in setting public opinion.

A pro-Palestinian hashtag, #freepalestine, had … 770 million views over the last 30 days in the United States, TikTok data show.

To longtime TikTok critics like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), that assertion offered further proof that the app, owned by the China-based tech firm ByteDance, is a secretive propaganda engine built to manipulate American teens for Chinese geopolitical goals — in this case, Rubio said, to “downplay … Hamas terrorism.”

The same Post article, attempting balance, reports both the Sen. Hawley quote in the title of this piece and that:

TikTok creators and social media experts say the reality (of reporting on the war) is more nuanced (than critics have asserted).

“Nuanced.” What would we do without “TikTok creators and social media experts”? Continue reading

Will the Left Repudiate this Evil?

(This column was published earlier today by The Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy)

by Chris Braunlich

“You dance with the one who brung ya” goes one of the oldest sayings in politics.

It means that when elected officials get into public office, they vote with those who helped put them there.

The deadly Hamas attack on Israel, an event slaughtering 1,400 Israelis that Hamas political bureau member Ghazi Hamad called “our message to the world,” has exposed divisions up and down the Biden liberal-left coalition – and sent a warning signal about those who power that coalition.

Polling data demonstrate the split among Democrats, fueled largely by the young and the left.   It has already caused President Biden to shift his tone, and a recent Reuters report noted that “Biden, 80, has evolved in the face of a challenging 2024 reelection bid, (and) threats by some would-be supporters to withhold their votes over his lack of backing for Palestinians .…”

Four hundred congressional staffers have signed a letter to their bosses opposing the Administration’s current approach. Two-hundred each among the former volunteers of presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have done the same. Groups supporting Biden are disbanding. Continue reading

Miyares Moves to Support Israel

Jason Miyares

from The Republican Standard

In the wake of the attack on Israel carried out by terrorist organization Hamas last week, Attorney General Jason Miyares is calling upon Virginia law enforcement agencies to help Israelis fight for their lives in a new way.

Fox News obtained copies of a letter distributed to over 100 sheriffs’ offices by the AG’s office, urging them to donate “surplus body armor, protective gear and other tactical equipment” to be collected by his office and sent to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Continue reading

Virginians Sail Towards Gaza

USS Gerald R. Ford with Carrier Air Wing 8 embarked. Official Navy photo.

by James C. Sherlock

The U.S. Navy has sailed towards the sounds of battle for more than 200 years.

This time it is responding to the largest mass murder of Jews since the Holocaust.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered the Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group, already in the Mediterranean Sea as part of permanently increased presence in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, to move to east as a reaction to Saturday’s attacks in Israel.

The Israelis will deal with Gaza.

The repositioning, crucial for our Israeli ally and our own regional interests, holds at deadly risk other actors in the region that may consider joining in the battle.

The officers and sailors in that battle group are mostly Virginians. Continue reading

Stop All Aid to Palestinians and Other Terrorists. Every Bit of It

by Kerry Dougherty

On Saturday morning Hamas terrorists unleashed Hell on innocent Israelis. As Israel’s ambassador to the US pointed out, given the population of Israel 600 dead Israelis is the equivalent of 20,000 dead Americans.

This was Israel’s 9-11. Their Pearl Harbor. Some say it was the most deadly day in history for the Jewish state.

And all I can say today, after this weekend of horror in Israel, is thank God for Elon Musk.

Had Musk not spent a chunk of his personal fortune on Twitter, many of us would not have seen the horror Hamas inflicted on innocent Israelis. No way Jack Dorsey’s crowd of left-wingers would have allowed citizen journalists to tell the real story, the unfiltered truth, about the unimaginably grotesque attacks throughout Israel.

We wouldn’t have seen the graphic videos of these fanatical men driving around in a Jeep with the dead body of a young woman in the back like a slaughtered animal, stopping to allow cheering bystanders to spit on her mutilated corpse.

We wouldn’t have seen the bloodied woman – clearly a rape victim – being dragged by her hair into the street by men screaming about Allah and then shoving her into a car overloaded with men who were grabbing for her. God rest her soul. Chances she survived the next few hours are slim.

We wouldn’t have seen the bawling children being shielded by their parents as they were savagely herded into cars and taken as hostages.

We wouldn’t have seen the stacks of bodies.


All we’d have is sanitized references to “Hamas militants” – as if this is a regular army – and criticism of “Israel’s right-wing intelligence” for failing to thwart the unprovoked attack on civilians. Oh and lots of whataboutism about how hard life is in Gaza for Palestinians and that Israel is to blame. Continue reading

Navy Ditches Drag Queen Recruiting Videos

Norfolk naval base

by Kerry Dougherty

Whoa. Stop the presses. Big news out of Washington.

Navy brass has confirmed that it’s scrapped its ingenuous recruiting tool. You know, the one we wrote about last spring: drag queens.

Yep, Yeoman 2nd Class Joshua Kelley, a non-binary sailor who likes to dress up like a woman and prance around on stage as drag queen Harpy Daniels, will no longer be featured in Navy recruiting videos.

We wrote about this sailor last May.

This is a stunning about-face. Who could have predicted that fishnet stockings and lipstick wouldn’t be an irresistible lure to bring in the sort of sailors we need in the modern American Navy? Who knew that drag queens would rather be reading to pre-schoolers than twerking to serve their country? Continue reading

The Enduring Value of Arlington’s Endangered Monument to Reconciliation

The Confederate Memorial in Arlington.
(Arlington National Cemetery; photo by Rachel Larue)

by Donald Smith

Jim Webb, former U.S. Senator from Virginia, former Navy Secretary, and certified badass (Navy Cross, Silver Star and two Purple Hearts from his service as a Marine officer in Vietnam) grabbed quite a bit of attention last week.  On August 18 he called for the Confederate Memorial at Arlington Cemetery to be spared.  You can read his commentary here, if you have a Wall Street Journal subscription (or have some free articles left.)  Here’s a link to a no-paywall article on Webb’s piece.  Here’s a link to the most prominent criticism I’ve seen of Webb’s piece, from Civil War historian Kevin Levin. 

Webb’s commentary points out an important and, until now, mostly ignored repercussion of Congress’ blanket approval of the Naming Commission’s recommendations:  it diminishes our nation’s soft power.  That makes it harder for our military and diplomats to achieve our nation’s goals overseas without having to resort to coercion or violence.  Continue reading

Every Day is Memorial Day in Normandy

by Kerry Dougherty

My most memorable Memorial Day did not take place on Memorial Day at all, but a few weeks earlier. In May of 1982.

But then again, every day is Memorial Day when you stand on those beaches at Normandy. It was a glorious spring morning on the coast of France. The sky was the deepest shade of blue. A gentle wind made the American flags flutter. And I was there with 52 Irish boys. Bad boys.

I’m getting ahead of myself.

Forty-one years ago, I lived in Dublin, where I attempted to eke out a living as a freelance writer in the dingy offices of the now-defunct Irish Press. While back home, American newsrooms were swapping their IBM Selectrics for computers, this one was stuck in another era. Manual typewriters created a chattering cacophony, cigarette smoke turned the air blue, greasy chip wrappers littered the floors. Everyone was known by their last name.

Except me. I was The Yank.

I was toiling away on some forgettable story, dutifully reminding myself to spell gray as “grey” and harbor as “harbour,” when I overheard two of my editors talking.

“Ask the Yank,” Muldowney said. “She’ll go anywhere.”

“Hey, Yank,” O’Kane shouted. “How’d you like to go to France for the weekend?”

“Yes, please,” I begged.

I’d never been to France. I was weary of the endless Irish gloom. The unexpected offer of a weekend in sunny France was so seductive I never asked if there was a catch.

There was, of course. Continue reading

Why They Fought — and Deserve to be Remembered

Units descended from both Confederate and Union forces are now part of the Kentucky Army National Guard’s 138th Field Artillery Brigade. These campaign streamers, from the brigade’s colors, commemorate that service. Streamers with a gray top commemorate Confederate service, blue tops honor Union service.

by Donald Smith 

Soldiers go to war for many reasons — home, country, duty, glory, personal adventure. But, in the midst of battle, soldiers fight for their comrades — “the man to the left of me, the man to the right of me,” as the saying goes. Good soldiers are driven by an intense desire to not let their comrades down. That drive is one of the main reasons why Americans have always honored combat soldiers. Now, the United States Congress has arguably left out one segment of America’s past fighting force — Confederate soldiers — and indicated that those men don’t deserve the same level of respect from today’s military. Continue reading