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Written by Jeffrey Stephens.

In the middle of a conversation over Memorial Day weekend my younger son asked: “How do we defeat ISIS and al Qaeda and the Taliban when we don’t always know who we are fighting?”

Good question.

In traditional armed conflicts, battles are waged among and between nations. When Germany and Italy and Japan surrendered in World War II, agreements were made, hostilities ended, and the rest of us moved on. How do you defeat enemies with no clear geographic, ethnic, or hierarchical parameters?

Last week, the Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour was killed in a U. S. drone strike. Almost immediately he was replaced, not by one of Mansour’s military lieutenants, but by a religious fanatic—Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada—yet another America-hating zealot. There are simply not enough drone missiles to solve this problem.

In my recent novel, ROGUE MISSION, drones play an important part in the story. As sophisticated as these weapons are, though, they are not the answer to defeating the forces of evil throughout the world. The sad truth is that we must engage them, with boots on the ground, putting the lives of our young men and women at risk. As we know, the various presidential candidates do not want to confront such an unpopular notion, not while they are trying to win votes. And our current president is too weak to do what needs to be done.


Written by Jeffrey Stephens.

I think it’s time we have a real discussion about America.

We have endured months of debate among those vying for the 2016 presidential nominations. Career politicians and egocentric business people have engaged in insults and personal attacks as they seek to rile up the electorate, incite the media, and gain an edge in the polls. However, even as the number of candidates has dwindled, there seems to be little discussion about the real issues of the day, and almost nothing in the way of details about how they will handle these problems. They instead all float along on a wave of slogans and invective.

Our beloved nation currently faces any number of crises that do not get the attention they deserve, even though these pundits constantly acknowledge their existence: ISIS; the economy; immigration; racism; personal rights; the future of Social Security; the seemingly unstoppable growth of the welfare state; the environment; income inequality. The list goes on, but where are the proposed solutions? They seem nowhere to be found in these empty political discussions, because everyone seems too interested in their own agenda to find the necessary solutions for the greater good.

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