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January 2012



Chris Gibson grew up in Columbia County in the town of Kinderhook. He was the Point Guard and Co-Captain of Ichabod Crane’s High School Basketball Team and went on to graduate magna cum laude with a BA in History from Siena College while earning a ROTC Commission there.

Over the course of his 24 year Army career, Chris rose to the rank of Colonel and deployed seven times. They included four combat tours to Iraq, and separate deployments to Kosovo, the Southwestern US for a counter-drug operation, and most recently – just prior to his retirement – Haiti where he commanded the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT) during the opening month of that humanitarian relief operation. The Secretary of the Army awarded the BCT the Superior Unit Award for their actions in Haiti.

Other key assignments included tours teaching American Politics at the United States Military Academy at West Point, serving as a Congressional Fellow with US Representative Jerry Lewis (R-CA), the Chairman of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and completing a Hoover National Security Affairs Fellowship at Stanford University. Chris was also the Distinguished Honor Graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College.

In Congress, Chris serves on the House Armed Services Committee (Subcommittees on Readiness and Emerging Threats and Capabilities), the House Agriculture Committee (Subcommittees on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry and General Farm Commodities and Risk Management), and the Republican Policy Committee.

Among his military decorations are 2 Legions of Merit, 4 Bronze Star Medals, the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge with Star, the Master Parachutist Badge and the Ranger Tab. For their actions in Mosul in support of the first national election in the new Iraq, his Battalion Task Force earned the Valorous Unit Award. For their actions in Tal Afar during the 2nd and 3rd national elections in Iraq his Battalion and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment were recognized for excellence by President George W. Bush and earned a 2nd Valorous Unit Award.

Chris holds an MPA and PhD in Government from Cornell University and is the author of Securing the State, a book on national security decision-making published in 2008. Chris has been married to Mary Jo, a NYS Licensed Clinical Social Worker, for over 15 years and they have three children: Katie (14), Maggie (12) and Connor (10). Their home is in Kinderhook where Chris is active in several civic organizations including the American Legion, VFW, NRA, the Knights of Columbus and St. John’s Church of Valatie.



Libya’s nasty new friend Sudan President Omar Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He’s not someone Libya’s new leaders should be hosting.
Memo to the new leaders of Libya: If you’re trying to establish a democratic, internationally recognized state founded on the rule of law, it’s a very bad idea to seek governance advice from the modern successor to Idi Amin.

In one of the more incongruous diplomatic visits in recent memory, Libyan officials over the weekend rolled out the red carpet for none other than Sudanese President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir — the dictator next door wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for slaughtering his own people, very like the military dictator just overthrown in Libya who was also wanted by the ICC on similar charges.



Budget Doublespeak: Analysts Cast Doubt on Notion of ‘Reversible’ Cuts

The Defense Department will be slicing $487 billion from its $6 trillion budget over the next decade. Specifics on where the ax might fall within the budget are still unknown, but all funding decisions are being made on the assumption that cuts are “reversible.”

Reductions to the military’s budget, whether it’s people or equipment, can be commutated if circumstances warrant, according to the strategic guidance that President Obama unveiled last week.

The concept has been dubbed “reversibility” and it plays prominently in budget decisions, officials say. Reversibility is “not a small point” in the new defense strategy, says Pentagon spokesman Capt. John Kirby.

“It is inherent in this strategic guidance,” Kirby tells bloggers during a conference call. “We want the organization, the institution, itself, to be flexible enough that if we have to reverse any of these decisions … we need the ability to surge or regenerate” forces or equipment.


Obama flatters big campaign donors as ‘Minutemen’ The Daily Caller Tuesday, January 10, 2012 Commentary President Barack Obama portrayed his campaign donors Monday night as the modern-day equivalent of the 18th-century colonists who fought the British Empire on the battlefields of Concord, Saratoga and Yorktown.  Read more… Read more at: http://times247.com/ Firms fined for failing […]



Rich and Mike, I think there’s too much focus on “electable.” The election is going to be about Obama. The big differences we see between our guys — given that watching politics, and particularly GOP and conservative politics, is what we do around here — are likely to seem like marginal differences to the broader electorate that eventually decides the November election. “Electable” is not only about the field, it’s about the situation — for example, I think Mitt is clearly a better, more polished candidate this time around, but I also think it is a tougher race for him this time around because Obamacare is our biggest issue, so Romneycare looms much larger now than it did in ‘08. And speaking of ‘08, who on January 10 of that year knew that, when the autumn stretch run of the race, the financial meltdown would be the consuming issue? If we could have predicted such a thing, maybe Mitt would have seemed more electable than Sen. McCain.

Newt has done himself a lot of damage in the last few days. But he’s been a plausible candidate this time around, when in many cycles he would not be, because the main issue is Obama’s radicalism — the president has people frightened enough that what would appear to be insurmountable baggage in some elections could be cancelled out this time around. Besides Obama, the Tea Party movement is a big dynamic that did not exist in ‘08 — maybe it makes Santorum or Perry more electable than they would have been at similar stages in other cycles.


In 2010, Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, waded into a domestic political debate he would have been well advised to avoid. By declaring that “Our national debt is our biggest national-security threat,” Admiral Mullen painted a bull’s-eye on the Pentagon for every shortsighted budget-cutter in Washington to aim at. Since Admiral Mullen’s comment, it has been nearly impossible for the Pentagon to mount any defense against even the most foolish and dangerous budget cuts. After all, if the organization responsible for securing America is declaring our national debt to be the number-one security threat, then it must, of course, lead the way in taking the cuts that will help reduce that threat.
Last week we saw the outcome of Admiral Mullen’s misjudgment, when the president crossed the Potomac to announce his administration’s new strategic guidance to the Department of Defense. As the uniformed military salutes and does its best to carry out the new guidance, there are some things about it that all Americans must be made aware of. The most important is that this is not a strategy aimed at securing the country. Rather, it is designed for one purpose only: to cut hundreds of billions of dollars out of the defense budget — consequences be damned.


To Kill a Military Posted By Daniel Greenfield

URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/01/11/obamas-legacy-military-destruction/

In George Soros’ book, “The Bubble of American Supremacy,” he writes that in the clash of civilizations between Islam and the West, the victory would go to the former over the latter. “Although the West has material superiority, Islam will prevail because it has a major competitive advantage: it is not afraid of death.”

Fear of death is certainly one element in Obama’s new skeletal program of defense cuts, which stresses drones and “cyberwarfare” while cutting as many as a hundred thousand troops. Drones and cyberwarriors don’t die or get taken prisoner. They can take out the occasional target with no human cost involved. But they are also impotent in any larger conflict. They can enable us to take out the occasional Al-Qaeda terrorist or slow down Iran’s nuclear program, but they are no match for an outright invasion.

Democratic administrations have a history of favoring these types of bloodless wars that rely on extensive bombardment without exposing troops to any casualties. But cruise missiles and bombing raids can only do so much. The Clinton administration’s bombing of Iraqi targets produced no results. Nor will drones and cyberattacks be effective in stopping any major moves by North Korea or Iran.


Terror in Tampa Posted By Jacob Laksin
URL to article: http://frontpagemag.com/2012/01/11/terror-in-tampa/

Earlier this week, the FBI announced the arrest of Sami Osmakac, a 25-year-old Muslim man from the former Yugoslavia. In the process, the agency thwarted what might have been a horrific terror spree targeting populous civilian and commercial areas in Tampa, Florida.

According to the FBI’s criminal complaint, Osmakac, a naturalized American citizen, had been planning a massive terror attack targeting everything from businesses to nightclubs and bridges with the aim of killing and injuring as many people as possible. As part of the attack, he intended to set off a weapon of mass destruction planted in a parked car, then capping off the attack by detonating a suicide belt. Instead, Osmakac’s plans were foiled by a masterful FBI sting operation. Undercover agents tracked the would-be terrorist for months, monitoring his every move and even supplying him with the (secretly non-functional) weapons that he had planned to use before moving in this week to make a decisive arrest.

But what should be an open-and-shut counter-terror success is now being called into question by groups like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and further obfuscated by academic apologists for Islamic radicalism. No sooner was Osmakac in handcuffs than CAIR spokesman Hassan Shibly suggested that the FBI was more culpable in the case than the jihadist in their custody. “The weapons and explosives were provided by the government. Was he just a troubled individual, or did he pose a real threat?” asked Shibly, before expressing his “concern about a perception of entrapment.”



There are times these days watching the news when I feel I know less when I am finished than when I began. The people who ask the questions seem consistently to ask the wrong questions or to ask them in such a twisted and tendentious way that no possible answer could lead a viewer or reader any closer to the facts of the matter.

Two examples from the week just past. Rick Santorum appeared Monday on Fox News’ Studio B [1]with Shepard Smith [1]. Smith challenged Santorum on his stand against gay marriage. Here’s how Smith phrased the question:

How much longer is being anti-gay rights going to be something that’s a conservative principle…? How long before you catch up with the rest of the country and realize everybody’s okay?

Really? Is that what America needs to know about this issue? Santorum handled the question gracefully, pointing out that he wasn’t attacking homosexual relationships but defending the institution of marriage. Still, it was a stupid question stupidly asked and aimed at creating stupidity in its audience. It presumed that marriage was a right; it presumed to know the opinion of the majority of the country; it presumed that that opinion was an advance on Santorum’s, that he needed to “catch up” with it rather than the other way around; and worst of all, it presumed that Santorum could have no other basis for his stance than a sort of prejudice or ignorance that caused him to be blind to everybody’s glowing okayness.


Hamas Seeks a New Patron Posted By Jonathan Spyer

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/blog/hamas-seeks-a-new-patron/


The emergent winner of the Arab upheavals of 2011 is Sunni Islamism. This is reflected most centrally in the election results in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood and the more extreme Salafi trend have won a landslide victory. Arab Sunni Islamist regimes are set to emerge in the period ahead as factors in the regional contest for power.

The emergence of regimes of this type is bad news for the West, but it also represents a setback for the main enemies of the West in the Mideast — namely, Iran and its allies. The rise of Sunni Islamism has implications in the Palestinian arena.

Hamas is currently seeking to exit the Shia, Iran-led bloc in the direction of Sunni Islamist power. Meanwhile, Iran is focusing on its solid link with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement as an alternative to the dying alliance with Hamas.

Over the previous decade, Tehran had hoped to unite Islamist and anti-Western forces in the region behind its banner, and thus to emerge as the main challenger to the U.S. This ambition contained a fairly obvious flaw: the Iranians are Shia Muslims and non-Arabs. They were hoping to lead an area consisting overwhelmingly of Arabic-speaking Sunni Muslims. The rise of Arab Sunni Islamism to prominence and dominance in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and perhaps soon Syria casts a spotlight on this contradiction.

This has placed Hamas in a decidedly uncomfortable position from which it is now trying to extricate itself. Hamas is an outgrowth of the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood. Yet over the last decade, it had also become a card-carrying member of the Iran-led regional bloc. The movement’s leadership was domiciled in Syria, the long-term Arab ally of Iran. Iran provided money, weaponry, and training for Hamas’ sovereign Gaza enclave.

But in recent months, Hamas has faced a situation in which its fellow Sunni Muslim brothers in Syria are engaged in an uprising against a non-Sunni regime under whose patronage the Hamas leadership lives. The regime is seeking to suppress this revolt using methods of utmost viciousness and brutality. At the same time, as Sunni Islamism rises to power elsewhere, a number of attractive potential alternative patrons for Hamas seem to be emerging.

So Hamas is now trying to quietly exit the Iranian camp for pastures new. Leadership cadres in Damascus have in recent months moved themselves and their families out of Syria to a variety of regional destinations. Only a small staff remains in the Syrian capital. Hamas in Gaza has staunchly refused to hold demonstrations in support of the beleaguered Assad regime. The furious Iranians have threatened to cut vital funding from the Gaza enclave, to no avail.

Meanwhile, the search has been on for a new home. Among the possible destinations are Qatar, Egypt, and Jordan. The latest reports in Arabic media, however, have pointed to Tunisia as the most likely destination. A Muslim Brotherhood-associated party is already in unambiguous control of the country, unlike in the other countries listed. On the other hand, Tunis is a long way from the area of Hamas’ main interest.