Save the Date for this Extraordinary Forum!

Key Global Crises 

Facing the New President

with

Rae Huffstutler               LTG Marty Brandtner

Former Executive Director, the CIA           Former J3, Director of Operations, the JCS

The Ramada, Thursday, September 8, 2016, 9:00 a.m.

This extraordinary session will bring together two of the leading experts in the field of intelligence, analysis and political-military operations.  We will ask Rae Huffstutler to provide an assessment of key crisis areas that the new President will confront, and General Brandtner will analyze and recommend  political strategies and military operations to address these challenges.

No need to RSVP at this time.  The full announcements will be forthcoming about a week before this event.

This is the final announcement for this most timely presentation on….

Israel Under Constant Siege

The Israeli Strategy for Defeating Its Regional Adversaries

with

COLONEL ELAM KOTT

(Colonel, Israeli Defense Forces, Ret)

The Ramada, Thursday, August 25, 2016, 9:00 a.m.

Israel faces an array of serious threats to its existence, from hostile neighboring states to ideologically-oriented militant groups.  The IDF strategy for protecting Israel anticipates dealing with a number of armed conflicts with both nation-state and “substate” actors.  Colonel Elam Kott will describe the threat environment as perceived in Tel Aviv and lay out the IDF strategy for both maintaining deterrence against hostile neighbors and actions to be taken in the case of full scale wars.

Consider these facts: Israel is surrounded by mostly Arab countries who outnumber her in size by 650 to 1, and 56 to 1 in terms of population.  Israel is surrounded by Arab countries who, while having serious differences among themselves, agree that Israel is their implacable adversary.  This includes Shia entities such as Iran, with its impressive missile arsenal and the militant Hezbollah terrorist army based in southern Lebanon (see the AIPAC article and maps below).

Elam Kott is a retired Colonel who served in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and continues to serve in a reserve status.  In his 25 years of duty in the IDF, COL Kott held many command positions and served as the deputy spokesperson for the IDF in his last active duty assignment.

Please join us for what will be a very interesting discussion. A full breakfast will be served ($15 Members, $25 Non-Members, and $10 for students with ID and military personnel in uniform; free for WWII Veterans). We recommend that you arrive by 8:30 to enjoy some breakfast, coffee and conversation.

You are encouraged to RSVP by clicking HERE. You may also RSVP by e-mailing info@nationalsecurityforum.org. Just a reminder, after the forum, we will be accepting new and renewal membership applications for the July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017 period. Forms will be available at the forum, though you can also access the application form by clicking HERE. For your convenience, we accept cash, check and credit card payments for both the breakfast and membership fees.

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Israel in the Middle East

Israel is surrounded by mostly Arab neighbors who outnumber her in size by 650 to 1 in terms of land and 56 to 1 in terms of population. Click the map below to learn more about the countries and territories that surround the tiny Jewish state.

Map 1

Iranian Missile Threat

Iran’s leaders have threatened Israel’s destruction. See a map of the their missile capabilities against Israel, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Map 2

Hezbollah Rocket Arsenal

Hezbollah is an Iranian-backed terrorist army based in Southern Lebanon. See a map of their missile and rocket capabilities against Israel.

Map 3

Dear National Security Forum Members and Supporters,

Before our next NSF meeting on the 25th, we would like to take the opportunity to send out a reminder to anyone who has yet to send their NSF membership in for the 2016-2017 period.

There are four easy ways to pay your membership:

  1.  You can pay online, using PayPal, by clicking this link;  http://www.nationalsecurityforum.org/membership/
  2. You can print the membership form, fill it out, and mail it to the National Security Forum with your selected form of payment; http://www.nationalsecurityforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Membership-Form-2016-2017.pages
  3. You can print the attached membership form http://www.nationalsecurityforum.org/membership/, fill it out and bring it with you to a NSF breakfast; or
  4. We will have forms available following each membership breakfast, and you can fill out a form and pay at that time.

If you have any questions about membership, please send us an e-mail at info@nationalsecurityforum.org.

Thank you!

Save the Dates for These Presentations on….

Israel Under Constant Siege

The Israeli Strategy for Defeating Its Regional Adversaries

with

COLONEL ELAM KOTT

(Colonel, Israeli Defense Forces, Ret)

The Ramada, Thursday, August 25, 2016, 9:00 a.m.

Israel faces an array of serious threats to its existence, from hostile neighboring states to ideologically-oriented militant groups.  The IDF strategy for protecting Israel anticipates dealing with a number of armed conflicts with both nation-state and “substate” actors.  Colonel Elam Kott will describe the threat environment as perceived in Tel Aviv and lay out the IDF strategy for both maintaining deterrence against hostile neighbors and actions to be taken in the case of full scale wars.

Elam Kott is a retired Colonel who served in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and continues to serve in a reserve status in the Chief of Staff’s War Room.  In his 25 years of duty in the IDF, COL Kott held many command positions and served as the deputy spokesperson for the IDF in his last active duty assignment.

/////

Key Global Crises 

Facing the New President

with

Rae Huffstutler               LTG. Marty Brandtner

Former Executive Director, the CIA           Former J3, Director of Operations, the JCS

The Ramada, Thursday, September 8, 2016, 9:00 a.m.

This extraordinary session will bring together two of the leading experts in the field of intelligence, analysis and political-military operations.  We will ask Rae Huffstutler to provide an assessment of key crisis areas that the new President will confront, and General Brandtner will analyze and recommend  political strategies and military operations to address these challenges.

No need to RSVP at this time.  The full announcements will be forthcoming about a week before each event.

World War II Ended Seventy One Years Ago

Thoughts on the Employment of the Atomic Bombs
by a Naval Officer Preparing for the Invasion of Japan
  • By William Lloyd Stearman, Ph.D., and WWII Navy Veteran
  • Special report prepared for the National Security Forum

When the war finally ended on August 15, 1945, I felt I had received a reprieve after having, in effect, been on a  death row since mid-July when we got orders that our landing ship would be in the first assault wave in the first landing on a Japanese mainland island. We were to land on the east coast of Kyushu, just south of the city of Miyazaki, on November 1, 1945. After reading the intelligence annex of the operation plan, I was stunned. I had to conclude that, after having just turned 23, I most probably, had only three and a half months to live. The most frightening intelligence was that the Japanese had 5,000 kamikaze aircraft (it turned out that they actually had 12,700).This most got my attention, since earlier our landing ship came within 30 seconds of being destroyed by one. If fact, I could see the pilot’s face before he was shot down. Our group had lost two of its six ships to kamikazes on a single morning. During the 83 day Okinawa campaign, kamikazes killed nearly 5,000 Navy personal.

President Truman had decided on an invasion of the Japanese mainland islands, codenamed Operation Downfall. The landing on Kyushu was Operation Olympic and the one on Honshu (where Tokyo is located) in March 1946 was Operation Coronet.  At that point, Truman was by no means certain he could end the war with atom bombs, so planning for the invasion went full speed ahead. Before long, we made contact with the Army unit we would land.  When asked for his assessment of the beach where we were to land, Army Major General Hugh J. Casey pointed at a contour map and noted that this beach abutted sheer cliffs and stated , “Anyone sending landing craft ashore there was a murderer.” It was also not encouraging that the second echelon duplicated that of our first echelon on the assumption that our echelon would be wiped out. We would have had our usual load of six medium tanks, several vehicles and a number of tankers and infantry. In fact, we would have been lucky to have even reached the beach after being attacked by kamikazes and some of the eight thousand fast suicide boats awaiting us. When US personnel examined our beach after the war, they found the cliff we faced to be replete with artillery emplacements, including battleship guns. It would have far worse than we imagined.  When the war ended, the Japanese already had 917,000 troops on Kyushu, while we had planned on having 452,198 on this island by X-Day plus two weeks. It had long been axiomatic that the attackers needed a decided numerical advantage in order to succeed. Also we learned after the war that the Japanese knew exactly where we would land and approximately when.

We discovered in the Okinawa campaign, April 1 to June 22 1945, just how tenacious the Japanese forces could be in the defense of their homeland. Japanese forces were outnumbered by U.S. forces five to one, yet it took us 83 days to defeat them! And then only when most of the 130,000 defenders had been killed. (U.S. killed was 12,613.) This was clearly a foretaste of what we could expect in carrying out Operation Downfall. Okinawa was part of Japan. Estimates of possible U.S. casualties by the War Department and by Army Intelligence working with ex-president Herbert Hoover varied from 400,000 to a million killed in action. (We had 291,557 KIA in World War II.) Estimates of Japanese war deaths ran from 5 to 10 million. Actually, official Japanese estimates of total Japanese deaths that would result from our invasion ran up to 20 million! In the last months of the war, Asians, military and civilian, from Indonesia through Manchuria were dying at the rate of some four hundred thousand a month.

The total number of Japanese who died from the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was about 118,000. (178,000 had earlier that year died from firebombings.) It was probably necessary to bomb two cities to give Emperor Hirohito his main argument for surrendering, which he finally did on August 15, 1945. “The enemy had begun to employ a most cruel bomb….Should we continue to fight… [it] would result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of Japan….”

Some maintain that the Soviet Union’s declaration of war against Japan played a greater role in inducing Japan’s surrender than did the atomic bombs.  Not true. Soviet armed forces posed little threat to Japan, only to its troops in China. This was clearly not enough to warrant surrender. The Soviet declaration came two days after Hiroshima, on Aug 8. Before this bombing, the Soviets were well informed about our atomic program and no doubt saw Hiroshima as the beginning of the end, and so sought to get in on the kill before it was too late. This move was no doubt entirely politically motivated, as there was no clear military advantage. After the vast devastation and 26 million deaths the Soviet Union had already suffered, it surely did not want to start fighting the Japanese.

Other critics of our atomic bombing believed that the war could have been ended with neither atomic bombs nor an invasion, but by continuing our conventional bombing and imposing a total naval blockade of Japan. This would have been a very lengthy and costly operation and would have resulted in the slow death by starvation of millions of Japanese. The two atomic bombs dropped were clearly a far more humane solution.

–William Lloyd Stearman, PhD, was a Senior U.S. Foreign Service officer (Ret.), and a Navy officer with the 7th Amphibious Force, Pacific from 1944-45. He was a member of the White House National Security staff under four presidents, Former member of the Georgetown University faculty, Author of a memoir, “An American Adventure, From Early Aviation Through Three Wars to the White House (Naval Institute Press, 2012)”. He is 94 years young and lives in Washington, D.C.

(Author’s notes: Most of the above material came from the official Japanese and U.S. documents used by D.M.Giangreco in his definitive book, “Hell to Pay, Operation DOWNFALL and the Invasion of Japan,1945-47”, [Naval Institute Press, 2009])

If you would like to write to Bill about his piece, you can contact him at: dr.william.stearman@gmail.com

Stearman Photo

Photo of Bill Stearman with his parents, Lloyd and Ethyl, at the end of WWII.