Tags: Barack Obama | Iran | VA Scandal | gunboats | surrender

Navy Should Not Have Surrendered to Iran

By Wednesday, 06 July 2016 03:11 PM Current | Bio | Archive

“I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm's way.” — Captain John Paul Jones, USN

The U.S. Navy’s Combined Task Force 56 had two fast boats capable of speeds up to 50 miles per hour and fairly bristling with armament — two remote-controlled 25 millimeter chain guns and six crew operated .50 caliber machine guns — yet when they blundered into harm’s way both vessels surrendered to a rag–tag collection of bass boats manned by Iranian pirates.

The subsequent capture photos are telling.

A handful of U.S. sailors on their knees looking utterly defeated while some scruffy  Iranian in a Jiffy Lube jumpsuit shouts orders.

We’ve come a long way since John Paul Jones and the journey hasn’t been edifying.

The complete surrender of two superior U.S. gunboats without firing a shot is a new low in Obama’s military. The proximate cause was when the two drifted into Iranian territorial waters on a voyage to Bahrain, but the beginning of the Navy’s drift can be plotted from the time the service started recruiting social workers instead of sailors.

For years the Navy was: “A Global Force for Good.” This is not a recruiting message approved by serious people. It’s a recruiting message approved by paper sailors who’ve lost sight of the Navy’s mission and are instead cruising on the USS Euphemism.

“A Global Force for Good” is fine if you want to attract crew-members for Project Hope, the hospital ship, but it’s a disaster for a navy whose mission is defense of the nation.

Captured social workers aren’t supposed to give their lives.

They’re expected to submit to their captors until the tough guys in the military arrive — only in this instance the social workers were the military and they weren’t tough.

This humiliating episode could not matter less to the occupant of the Oval Office, Barack Obama, but it sends a dangerous message regarding national purpose to the rest of the world and sets a dispiriting example for that portion of the military that still has some pride.

The incompetence and cavalier attitude toward responsibility was distributed equally up and down the chain of command. The lassitude and where’s–my–check attitude was so pervasive it’s easy to imagine the incident happening at the Veteran’s Administration instead of in an organization that produces veterans.

The fired task force commander, Capt. Kyle Moses, ordered a last minute mission that far exceeded the boat’s operational range.

One of the craft was not functioning; probably the one that suffered engine failure later, so the crew had an all–nighter trying to repair it.

The Daily Mail reports that violated a head–slapping Navy “mandatory rest requirement before getting underway.” Evidently the crew works longer hours on a Carnival Cruise than Navy personnel do on warships.

Once underway the boat captains relied on GPS positioning that didn’t automatically indicate Iranian territory. When one of the boats broke down no one bothered to fix their position, which would have revealed the nearby island was Iran.

The breakdown also wasn’t reported to headquarters.

Not that it would’ve made a difference. The Washington Times found the ops center drones failed to inform senior officers of the earlier course deviation.

When a tiny task force is dead in the water in one of the most dangerous areas in the world, a prudent captain would tow the disabled boat so he wouldn’t be a sitting duck.

He would also order his crews to battle stations and prepare for the worst.

Instead these naval Barney Fife’s drifted on life’s currents with their heads stuck under the hood like two rednecks working on a pickup truck.

Which is why they were surprised when Iranian patrol boats bore down at high speed. In response, the social worker captains ordered their crews to remain passive and hope for the best.

After the surrender the crews voluntarily disclosed passwords, gave classified information (no problem if your name is Hillary, but otherwise a court martial offense), videotaped an apology to the Iranian nation and disclosed mission details.

The fact is the crews should never have allowed Iranians to board and should have used force to prevent the seizure of the vessels.

International law allows the right of “innocent passage,” particularly in the event of a mechanical breakdown, so the violators here were Iranian, not American.

The Navy investigation of the incident sums it up well: “Weak leadership, poor judgment, a lack of 'warfighting toughness.'"

Closing the door after the horses escaped, the Navy ordered, “all sailors undergo survival, evasion, resistance and escape training to better prepare for rigors of imprisonment by enemy.”

But a better solution would be reminding the Navy that surrender isn’t the preferred option during a confrontation.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher (for the League of American Voters), and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.


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The surrender of two superior U.S. gunboats is a new low in Obama’s military. The proximate cause was when the two drifted into Iranian territorial waters. But the beginning of the Navy’s drift can be plotted from the time the service started recruiting social workers instead of sailors.
gunboats, surrender
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 03:11 PM
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