Duckworth’s Decimation of National Security

It has become a feature of the Democratic Party to intrude and interfere with national security issues for political gain.

They engage in leaking classified information, never fretting that the price is endangering intelligence collection. The recent accusations of the Russians paying bounties in Afghanistan are a prime example of putting party above country as is their willingness to downplay existential threats to the United States and fund terrorism states like Iran when it fits with their wackadoodle party goals.

They have demonstrated a reckless disregard for the protection of Americans and our national interests.

Now, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) has made a decision that will further undermine our national security.

Duckworth had plans to put on hold the promotion of 1,123 career officers who require Senate confirmation. She was doing this as a form of political extortion to force the promotion of a Democrat political operative who testified during the impeachment hearings of President Trump: Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. Vindman was up for promotion to full colonel—but because he made false statements under oath during the hearings and leaked classified information, his promotion did not proceed and he has now announced his retirement.

Before the House Intelligence Committee during the impeachment hearings, Vindman admitted leaking information to the anti-Trump whistleblower at the center of the Democrats’ impeachment proceedings—a CIA officer I’ve referred to as Eric “Cucamonga” (since his name has not been officially released). Vindman’s actions before, during, and after the impeachment hearings have come under official review.

This has displeased Senator Duckworth, and she has made it clear she will inflict punishment on innocent members of the military due to her displeasure.

Is this an appropriate course of action for a U.S. senator? To endanger national security and punish those who are due promotion in order to protect a political operative?

Duckworth, herself a former member of the military who lost both legs in combat, now intends to act like a Roman centurion and engage in a form of group punishment known as “decimation.” When a Roman legion failed to perform or fell into disfavor, they would be “decimated”—an act in which every tenth man was put to death.

In this case, Duckworth’s promotions freeze will murder the careers of these military professionals.

The freeze will upset secondary selection processes as well, such as selection boards for command, assignments to key positions that may lead to promotion, and more. Delaying these processes means derailing military moves and disrupting families. Deployment returns could be delayed, as could a family’s return from an overseas assignment. Career progression opportunities will be affected since key positions and opportunities require the military professional to be promotable in order to fulfill the role.

It is unrealistic to expect the military to hold positions open when select jobs are mission-critical and vital to national security. Disrupting the promotion process further disrupts military planning, resulting in assignment disruptions affecting not only military professionals but also their families. It becomes harder to procure adequate housing and schooling for children on a moment’s notice, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

At a time when we need to retain strong military talent, punishing the loyal members of the U.S. military sends the message that elected officials are merely using the military for their own political agenda. In other words, Duckworth will engage in the decimation of the careers of these military professionals as a means of political retribution against the Trump Administration.

Is this an appropriate course of action for a U.S. senator? To endanger national security and punish those who are due promotion in order to protect a political operative who lied under oath and engaged in borderline sedition?

We cannot forget the blood and sacrifice our military has made to protect our nation. Charlatan politicians who abandon their oath of office for purposes of political grandstanding do not deserve to hold high office.

In reality, Duckworth’s pursuit of political gain actually gives an unearned advantage to the Russian, Chinese, and Iranian governments by damaging the careers of the men and women we rely upon to protect the American people and our interests around the globe.

Duckworth has abandoned her oath to the Constitution and is no longer able to hold high office due to her emotional and partisan attempt to decimate the national security of the United States by using the military to try to gain a political advantage. Such behavior is a direct assault on the very foundations of our republic.

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About Tony Shaffer

Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer is a retired senior intelligence operations officer and vice president for strategic initiatives and operations at the London Center for Policy Research.

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

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