Two Extremely Significant Administration Diplomatic Blunders

By Ed Timperlake

In the DC swamp world, it makes no difference if you are a Republican or Democrat in one significant regard.

One issue of common ground is the actions of “Advance Teams.”

These are the individuals who venture forth to make sure their candidate is seen in the most favorable light as possible.

The brilliant writing in the series “VEEP” actually captures perfectly what can and will go right and wrong when candidates venture forth in an Information War (IW) engagement.

Advance teams are not known for having shy nor retiring personalities so when something goes wrong I often have heard the term “well that was a fumble.

With President Trump, if his assistants make a fumble he is the best Information Warrior President America has ever experienced.

The fact is that he is his own  best  IW “action officer.”

Every day President Trump successfully earns  the steadfast loyalty of both many original Trump Nation supporters and a growing list of increasing new recruits.

This remarkable dynamic is a tribute to the President executing his campaign promises against the nastiest  organizational criminal behavior in American history.

As a National Security radio surrogate for Candidate Trump, it was one of the easiest  campaign supporting roles I have ever  had since I had been a very proud junior team member of the Reagan Revolution.

Just like President Reagan’s innate goodness and deft IW touch, President Trump goes to the mat every day to MAGA and he is succeeding

Consequently, it is time to look at two nasty “fumbles” by his team that are currently hurting President Trump.

The first one involves Venzuela.

President Trump was pulled in as the action officer to build strategic maneuvering space by engaging President Putin when it was obvious his NSC Team had no “Plan B” when Maduro did not leave as they calculated he would on May Day.

In the heat of this major international crisis, Special Counsel Eliot Abrams could not resist insulting the honor and dignity of Spain’s highest leadership when they correctly called out the NSC Director’s “cowboy diplomacy”

Borrell (Spain’s Foreign Minister noted:  “Like the cowboys in the Far West, saying ‘careful or I’ll draw’,”

He warned that the solution to the Venezuelan crisis can only be “peaceful, negotiated and democratic.”

In return, “Captain Obvious” Special Counsel Abrams, hired as a diplomat no less at the Department of State, caustically fired back that “there is already a military intervention in Venezuela, by Cuba.”

What this exchange really says about Eliot Abrams, as the Venezuelan Campaign point person, is that he is both thin skinned and wedded to proving that he wasn’t wrong in orchestrating the events of big fizzle all last week.

Fortunately, President Trump will now not allow his saber-rattling advisors to trap him into a metaphorical combat hurt locker

Since the Abram’s IW fumble followed by a pivot to face an Iranian threat and the NSC Director putting a USN Carrier Strike force in harm’s way, the Spanish Government just pulled a very capable surface combatant out of the task force.

The loss of the Spanish ship from the task force is significant.

The Méndez Núñez (F-104) was the first Spanish Ship class to detect and track a Ballistic Missile threat in 2007, words have consequences.

The second significant and most current “fumble” is the publically rebuking of a very combat capable British Army Major General:

The U.S. military gave a top British general a public tongue-lashing Tuesday after he told reporters at the Pentagon that Iran does not pose a threat to coalition troops in the Middle East.

Ghika’s comments “run counter to identified credible threats available to intelligence from U.S. and allies regarding Iranian-backed forces in the region,” Capt. Bill Urban said.

The New York Times reported Monday that U.S. officials reviewed a plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Gulf if Iran attacked U.S. forces, but President Trump denied the report Tuesday

“I think it’s fake news,” Trump said. “Hopefully, we’re not going to have to plan for that. And if we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that.”

Having been an Assistant Secretary running Public Relations for the Department of Veterans Affairs, I learned that you never ever blame the spokesperson.

But the issue of a public rebuke of a British Major General by a 0-6 Navy Captain is never good form.

On the actual substance of an unnecessary public fight, it was a huge insult when one looks at Major General Ghika’s illustrious and very dangerous combat career.

From serving in Ireland during the troubles to being in the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iraq, he has demonstrated combat mettle President Trump’s NSC team could never ever come close to matching.

As one hears in Jolly Old UK,  a very typical Brit understatement  “not very sporting of you” so just like Spain’s leadership, with a direct response in pulling the F-104 Mendez Nunez Frigate,  US National Defense leaders should stand-by for honorable Brit response to such a needless insult to a core ally, and one who does not agree with Bolton’s judgement on the Iranian threat.  They are hardly alone on this case.