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GROUND ZERO PLUS 1238 DAY--New York, NY, Tuesday, February 1, 2005--Talking to the Joints Chiefs of Staff isn't as hard as one might imagine. It comes down to licking a stamp.

I delivered a message to the Joints Chiefs of Staff (JCS) today. Copies of it went to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Richard B. Myers, U.S. Air Force; Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace, Marine Corps; General Peter J. Schoomaker, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army; Admiral Vern Clark, Chief of Naval Operations; General John P. Jumper, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force; and General Michael W. Hagee, Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Richard B. Myers

These are the chief Sentinels of Vigilance, the leaders of the armedforces who order troops into battle.

General Richard B. Myers, Chairman of the JCS, reports directly to the Commander-in-Chief, the President of the United States, and serves as his military advisor. The Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, is on the top of the command list also.

As of 2003, the total active duty and reserve military represented 1.4 million. Below is the breakdown by service and the number of women in each branch.

    Active Duty and Reserves                        Total Number of Women
All Services       1.4 million                                 212,000
Army                  487,000                                    75,000
Navy                  385,000                                    56,000
Air Force            368,000                                    71,000
Marine Corps      174,000                                    10,000

In addition, there are 38,000 members of the Coast Guard under the dominion of Homeland Security.

Joint Chiefs meeting in the "war room"

The importance of the JCS is that they send American men and women into battle, and some, to their death. In Iraq, 150,000 U.S. troops stand in harms way. In the JCS "war room" is a giant map that lists the strategy of the armed forces and includes not only our count of wounded and dead, missing in action and prisoners of war, but also the devistating statistics to the enemy.

Little is known publicly about the role of these JCS members because civilians eclipse their role in the media spotlight. The President and Secretary of Defense consume headlines and camera lenses, but the real work of Vigilance is conducted by the JCS.

As military leaders, their primary goal is to protect the freedom of America. And, should there ever be a coup in the United States as there have been in almost every nation in the world, it would be launched by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Ultimately, they are more powerful than the President because they have the guns and bombs and bullets.

Not many people think of power in this way. They think that a person who is an elected leader has the power. However, if the military isn't on your side, you have no power because there is no way to enforce what you say.

The Ukraine is a good example. Recently there was a battle between the prime minister and an incumbent vying to become president. The national elections were considered to be "rigged" in favor of the prime minister who represented the eastern part of the Ukraine, the part leaning most toward Russian influence. His opponent represented a more Western, liberal, stance.

The recent election in the Ukraine is an example of the military ultimately being on the winning side

Thousands of citizens in Kiev rallied to voice their rejection of the election and a national crisis ensued. The military, comprising mostly former KGB military personnel and historically favoring the conservative hard-line Russian viewpoint, held the decisive power in its hand. One general ordered his tanks and men to head toward Kiev to break up the protestors.

Such an action would have led to major bloodshed.

The politicians were powerless. In the final analysis, the decision regarding who would rule the Ukraine was not a matter of democracy--who's right or wrong--but a matter of brute force: who has the most guns, most bullets.

The rogue general heading toward Kiev was called down by a group of generals who had more collective power than the rogue. In other words, their bombs and bullets were greater than the rogue's. In a reversal of expectations, the military backed the Western incumbent and kept order while a new election was conducted.

American power doesn't rest with the White House as most would like to think. It resides in the armories of the armed forces and the JCS and Secretary of Defense hold the keys to that locker.

If, for example, the President of the United States were to put America in such a risky position that its security was at risk, the JCS could rally and turn its weapons against the White House.

Ultimately, the future of America's safety and security depends on the fairness of the JCS to respect the constitutional system.

The administration knows the Joint Chiefs...
...are watchdogs of America's safety

But, every administration knows they are a watchdog. In the pages of history, countless leaders have fallen under the swords of the military. It's like walking down the street unarmed and getting into a shouting match with some one who has a loaded gun stuffed into their belt. If disagreement reaches a certain point where violence erupts, who has the edge?

That's why I've written the Joint Chiefs of Staff a letter thanking them for being our nation's Sentinels of Vigilance.

I wrote the President and his staff such a letter and didn't get any response. It was a bit embarrassing to think that the President's staff might send me a standard thank you, one of those pre-printed envelopes that automatically is sent to any citizen who writes to the White House and offers suggestions, advice and praise.

I wonder if the Presidents's staff should study up on manners

I did receive one response from a sub-sub associate of one of the people on my mailing list. The other eleven, from the President down, didn't bother to respond.

It made me wonder why anyone would write the President or his staff, only to be brushed aside with indifference.

If I were the leader of a nation and someone wrote me about important issues concerning my country, I would at least acknowledge receipt of that information, if for no other reason than as a courtesy, a matter of civility.

Then I realized that the President is not the Sentinel of Vigilance. At best, he is a salesman, promoting what he thinks is best. When he goes, and all Presidents do, the JCS is still there, commanding tens of thousands and keeping our shores safe.

I am hoping they will respond to me. At least, acknowledge my efforts to help support them with Vigilance.


Go To January 30 Story: "A Woman Dentist In A Bullet Proof Vest Stands Sentinel To Iraqi Vigilance"


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