Tag Archives: Iran

The FDO Playbook is Dead (Soleimani too!)

by Guardian 6                     Dateline: 6 January 2019

President Trump’s bold decisive action to eliminate the world’s #1 terrorist, General Qasem Soleimani, head of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force and architect of Iran’s Middle East strategy was killed January 2nd, 2020, in a precision drone strike on the perimeter of Baghdad International Airport (BIAP), Iraq. Happy New Year America and Happy New Year to all the world’s victims that have suffered due to this ruthless killer. While Iran’s “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his band of like minded killers consider a reprisal attack, I would counsel the Ayatollah to think twice and sleep on it for the rest of your time on earth.

I’ll be clear, the FDO Playbook is Dead! President Trump gets it. For the last 50 years the US Diplomatic-Military Complex (DMC) telegraphs every move to stalemate, status quo and to limited gain at best. The DMC Flexible Deterrent Option (FDO) playbook is so old it is better placed in the national archives than the Pentagon. Why do we have endless wars absent victory? How about we institutionalize our doctrine in Joint Publications and then we post these publications online to friend and foe alike. Sound like a good idea? Of course not. Who would do this? Did someone leak these documents because that would be extremely poor operational security (OPSEC). The answer is no leak. The Department of Defense posts all US Joint Publications online for all to see, study and if necessary, counter.

Open the attached hyper link, Joint Publication 5-0, Joint Operational Planning. In this Joint Pub, the US lays out our national security approach to operational planning, strategic guidance, interagency planning and coordination, operational design, and the Pub goes on to elaborate in tremendous detail the US approach to deterrence and warfare. Once in JP 5-0, jump to Appendix E and F, Flexible Deterrent Options & Flexible Response Options. Here is the playbook for all to see. Call me old school and paranoid if you must, but this is not smart!

Back to President Trump taking out the killer that was Soleimani. Trump values American lives and American interests first and foremost. An old, dusty, telegraphed playbook is of no use to him. Iran, Syria, Russia and North Korea among other countries are  counting on it as they exploit the US FDO/FRO process and use it to their advantage. While the US national security apparatus follows their process, bad actors exploit it and Soleimani was counting on it as he brazenly landed at BIAP, approximately 10 miles from the US Embassy, where he mistakenly orchestrated  one too many attacks against the US leading to his demise.

President Trump leads. He’s not looking for an OPSEC compromised playbook that leads to stalemate, leaves real bad actors in place and ultimately increases risks on American troops and US interests. As the dishonest MSM whines and failed Obama officials and policy wonks are trotted out to criticize President Trump, he just simply wins by breaking old paradigms, shredding failed policies and keeping Americans safe. The year is young. Enjoy it America because winning is the new normal while Iran and others have been put on notice.



by CDR (R), USN

American Sailors being held at gun point by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRG) on their knees and with their hands behind their heads. Captain James Lawrence’s dying words during the War of 1812 – “Don’t give up the ship” – have been lost in America’s failed foreign policy and our decline on the world stage. Our mighty fighting force is no longer respected, not because we lack capability but because our nation’s leaders lack the backbone to stand and if necessary fight. We no longer fight on principal nor stand our ground on the battlefield or on the vessels flying our nation’s colors. Our nation’s leaders thank our adversary for the safe treatment of our fighting force instead of being outraged and demanding the global community hold Iran accountable for their actions of capturing our sailors instead of rendering aid, and humiliating them by parading their pictures on public media, clearly a violation of the Geneva Convention and of course a complete propaganda play. They succeeded. We failed.

Although I think there should be accountability for the officer’s actions as it led to giving up the two Riverine Command Boats (RCB’s), the much larger problem is that we are perceived as a weak and capitulating nation. We are not respected. We are no longer feared. Our leaders try to appease our adversaries; they should take a few minutes to see how that worked out with the rise of Nazi Germany. They should read a history book. They should apply common sense. They should google Iran – 1979. They should figure out that peace is achieved through strength, not weakness. The US SEVENTH FLEET motto sums it up the best – A Ready Power for Peace.

We need to change the direction of our country to ensure the USA remains a superpower and doesn’t collapse like the former Soviet Union. One only needs to refer to the words of our national anthem to determine how we do this. We Americans are free people, we are brave people; but we need to use our wits and our intellect to ensure we elect the right leaders that will keep our nation strong. At the end of the day, the accountability rests with populace empowered to put in place our democratically elected leaders.