The trickiest challenge for Mattis next year will be North Korea. The defense secretary backs Tillerson’s strategy of diplomatic pressure; the goal is slow asphyxiation. But Trump wants military options, too, and the Pentagon is working hard to deliver them. Dunford must be prepared for a possible North Korean nuclear-missile launch, anytime.
White House officials were pushing the Department of Homeland Security to announce this week that they were ending those protections for Honduras and Nicaragua ..
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly telephoned Acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke and pressed her on the matter, a White House official said. The official said the point of his call was to get her to make a decision, saying she was delaying too long. Others said the pressure from the White House was to end the protections.
“As with many issues, there were a variety of views inside the administration on a policy. The acting secretary took those views and advice the path forward for TPS and made her decision based on the law,” said Jonathan Hoffman, spokesman for Homeland Security.
.. Mr. Kelly, when he was Homeland Security secretary, offered a limited extension of the same protective status for Haitians earlier this year and advised immigrants protected by the program to prepare to leave. He also signaled that protections for people from other nations were likely to end, as well.
.. “The White House came down on her really hard” before and after the decisions were announced.
.. On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security announced that the protected status for Nicaragua would end, but the roughly 5,000 immigrants in the U.S. under the program would have until January 2019 to either leave the country or apply for another immigration status if they are eligible.
.. Ms. Duke is expected to leave the agency when a permanent successor is approved by the Senate. Mr. Hoffman, however, said he knew of no plans for Ms. Duke to leave.
Afghanistan is an expensive disaster for America. The Pentagon has already consumed $828 billion on the war, and taxpayers will be liable for trillions more in veterans’ health-care costs for decades to come. More than 2,000 American soldiers have died there, with more than 20,000 wounded in action.For all that effort, Afghanistan is failing. The terrorist cohort consistently gains control of more territory, including key economic arteries
.. First, he should consolidate authority in Afghanistan with one person: an American viceroy
The coalition has had 17 different military commanders in the past 15 years, which means none of them had time to develop or be held responsible for a coherent strategy.
- .. In Afghanistan, the viceroy approach would reduce rampant fraud by focusing spending on initiatives that further the central strategy, rather than handing cash to every outstretched hand from a U.S. system bereft of institutional memory.
- .. Troops fighting for their lives should not have to ask a lawyer sitting in air conditioning 500 miles away for permission to drop a bomb. Our plodding, hand wringing and overcaution have prolonged the war—and the suffering it bears upon the Afghan population.
- .. Third, we must build the capacity of Afghanistan’s security forces the effective and proven way, instead of spending billions more pursuing the “ideal” way. The 330,000-strong Afghan army and police were set up under the guidance of U.S. military “advisers” in the mirror image of the U.S. Army. That was the wrong approach. .. frequent defections, which currently deliver the equivalent of two trained infantry divisions per year to the enemy.
.. a different, centuries-old approach. For 250 years, the East India Company prevailed in the region through the use of private military units known as “presidency armies.” They were locally recruited and trained, supported and led by contracted European professional soldiers. The professionals lived, patrolled, and—when necessary—fought shoulder-to-shoulder with their local counterparts for multiyear deployments. That long-term dwelling ensured the training, discipline, loyalty and material readiness of the men they fought alongside for years, not for a one-time eight-month deployment.
.. the viceroy would have complete decision-making authority in the country so no time is wasted waiting for Washington to send instructions. A nimbler special-ops and contracted force like this would cost less than $10 billion per year, as opposed to the $45 billion we expect to spend in Afghanistan in 2017.
.. The military default in a conventional war is to control terrain, neglecting the long-term financial arteries that fund the fight, and handicaps long-term economic potential.
The Taliban understand this concept well. They control most of Afghanistan’s economic resources—including lapis, marble, gold, pistachios, hashish and opium—and use profits to spread their influence and perpetuate the insurgency. Our strategy needs to target those resources by placing combat power to cover Afghanistan’s economic arteries.
.. We need to encourage the growth of legitimate industries to raise tax revenue while choking off the Taliban’s sources of income. It’s absurd that Afghanistan—which holds an estimated $1 trillion worth of mineral resources—still doesn’t have a mining law, after 15 years of American presence and “advice.”
.. Our failed population-centric approach to Afghanistan has only led to missed opportunities
.. A smarter, trade-centric approach will boost Afghanistan’s long-run viability by weaning it off donor welfare dependency.
.. Mr. Trump must not lose sight of the reason we became involved in Afghanistan: to deny sanctuary to those who want to destroy our way of life.
.. The U.S. should adjust course from the past 15-plus years of nation building and focus on pounding the Taliban and other terrorists so hard that they plead for negotiation. Until they feel real pressure and know the U.S. has staying power, they will win.
a common lesson this year: The pay is great, but job security has rarely been shakier.
chief executive churn reflects a broader reality for the country’s business elite: An array of challenges—from
- increasing impatience on Wall Street and in boardrooms to
- a corporate landscape rapidly transformed by new technologies and rival upstarts
—have made the top job tougher and more precarious than just a few years ago
.. The typical CEO of a major company a decade ago resembled a ship captain “who could rally a group of people with a lot of process and procedures,” said Deborah Rubin, a senior partner at RHR International, a leadership-development firm. “Today’s CEO has to be much more like a race car driver,” she added. “You have to do the sharp maneuvers.”
.. Flush with more cash than ever, activist investors are pursuing bigger corporate prey.
.. Even GE CEO Jeff Immelt’s disclosure that he would depart this summer came amid brewing tensions with activist investor Nelson Peltz
.. Mr. Peltz’s Trian Fund Management LP had recently stepped up pressure on GE to cut costs more aggressively and boost profits, setting off speculation about when the longtime CEO might leave.
.. Growing shareholder clamor for quick results comes as new technologies are upending entire industries. If you run a retailer, for instance, “you are watching your whole market go away in just a matter of years,”
.. Likewise, Ford’s ouster of Mark Fields after less than three years in its highest job was the starkest sign yet of how tech players such as electric-car maker Tesla Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s autonomous-car unit, Waymo, threaten the traditional auto sector.