Chapter 536

I left the meeting after the discussion had gone on for an hour. Some of the topics made me question some of my ideas about future security of my country. I became worried the more I thought about it. Too many people in high places just could not be bold enough to give the necessary orders.

I looked at Africa and wondered if we were on the same path. Africa was now a basket case. JBG had been involved in stopping or responding to terrorist activity in five African countries and I expected no end in sight as long as we had the State Department security contract.

If anything, the continent was in more dire straits than ever. ISIS now had aligned groups in most all the countries that made up Africa and they were growing. Even though ISIS was on the ropes in Iraq and Syria, many of their fighters had escaped to African affiliates and were wreaking havoc.

Iran – acting as a proxy for Russia – had built factories to make AK47 rifles and other small arms in Venezuela to get around UN regulations when the last dictator ran the country. They were also arming and training rebels for disruption tactics in other countries of Central America.

The dictator was dead and gone but left the country in shambles; even though they were once an oil exporter. Different guerilla groups were fighting for control of the oil revenue and payoffs from the government for protection monies. The oil production industries were in shambles; the operators and executives had fled for their lives; kidnapping was almost a daily ritual.

Food was almost nonexistent; pets were being eaten and farm animals needed to produce eggs, milk and continue livestock production were being butchered in the field by the masses. What was once an exporter of beef, milk, cheese and vegetables could not even feed its own people.

With no exports, they were in default on massive loans to World Banks made by the dictator and now unable to get loans to keep food and critical items, including medicines. The result was the government was turning a blind eye to cartel activities and terrorist activity controlled by Iran, and its proxies; they had no money to fight them.

There were rebel groups fighting along it borders on both sides; some to expand the communist influence, others to eliminate the influence.

JBG had been involved multiple times in recent months with terrorists connected with Iran, the Prince and the cartels. Now the cartel was trying to overthrow the government of Mexico.

I wondered just how much of the problem was being fueled by Middle East terrorists. The cartel would certainly be happy to have a direct line to the Afghanistan heroin supply and an unrestricted path to its market. I knew the Prince was planning something big with his intended purchase of the large drones and hundreds of missiles destined for Central America.

By overthrowing the government of Mexico, the cartel would have access to the hundreds of millions, possibly billions of dollars of hi-tech weapons in the government’s inventory to use or sell to the highest bidder.
They would also have list of US agents, operatives, and confidants operating in Mexico. They would have access to Justice Department cases and records for the past decades.

Were those drones intended to be part of the uprising we were seeing now? Had the Prince’s demise accelerated the timeline for cartel uprising, before they ran out of his money? Were they trying to impress another Middle East power broker for continued funding?

All the countries in the region were fighting a cartel, drug problem and severe political strife. An influx of money from Russia and Iran could quickly turn the tide. I firmly believed that was what the Prince’s goal was. International politics was a tricky business on the edge of disaster every day.

I had a lot more questions than I had answers. And then there was the request for another meeting with the State Department tomorrow morning about expanding JBG embassy security to all central and South American countries that we currently did not run.

To be honest, I did not want any more and I knew Marcy did not either. She was still trying to get a balance in the revenue stream. But I also knew we would not say no; a company that did not grow soon withered and died, especially in the security business.

I was jolted out of my thought by a knock on my door; it was General Ingram again. As usual he closed the door before he sat down.

“I’m getting ready to head back to the Pentagon; I wanted to stop by before I left. Everything has been all business this afternoon and I don’t think I heard any of the politicians tell you point blank that you and your team did a great job,”

“They may not understand the challenges but I do. To plan from scratch, assemble and equip a team of eighty, travel 1700 miles to carry out a successful mission on foreign soil and return home with all the men and equipment in less than thirty six hours is a feat that is to be respected,” General Ingram said.

“The sad part is you and the team will never get the true recognition that is deserved. What you did is the kind of thing movies are made of and the War College dreams of for study material,” General Ingram said.

“Sometimes you are better off not in the limelight; this is probably one of those times,” I replied.
“You may be right but it was still an impressive feat,” he replied.

The General and I talked for another hour about a variety of subjects including my thoughts on the Mexican – Iran connection. Then the talks went real serious about other Central American challenges that could be connected to the Task Force.

The real shocker was that he invited me to sit in on a classified assessment, policy and planning session on Central and South America at the Pentagon tomorrow.

Just as I was getting to leave for the day I received the official notification of the State Department expanded security request from Amy Lockerman and approved by Victor Edmonson with all the numbers. I forwarded it to Vicky, Jenny and Jason.

I was sitting in the meeting with the girls in ninety minutes listening to reports. Marcy and Lorrie had contracted a design engineer to draw up the truck stop that Lorrie wanted and truck dealership Marcy wanted. they would be located on the same property. Then there was the permitting process if the designs met the girl’s approval. I was hoping that the commissioners had made progress on the changes to the building codes and processes.

In fact, I would see both commissioners at the fund raiser Monday night and ask for a progress report.
With Lorrie’s help they had set up four fund raisers in the next two months. I was going to all four of them. Elmo and Hanna had been sent free tickets to the one Friday night. Duke and Clarence had partnered together for the fund raiser.

My final stop was to see Robert.

“Anything new going on?” I asked.

“It was pretty quiet today; a pleasant break. It gave us time to review old files we had on the Prince and Balthazar and their associates to make sure we haven’t missed anything. Once we are finished with them I will move them to the long term storage servers,” Robert replied.

“Jason stopped in and said we would have more background checks to work on in a couple weeks or less,” Robert added.
“Just more of the same; just do your usual excellent job. Do we need to assign someone to monitor that deep web site?“ I asked.

The girls and I spent two hours in the gym; I needed it, I had made too many stops at the donut table. The meal after the gym was going to be light; salad and soup.

After supper I wanted to plan a weekend trip to the Bahamas to look at property. The last vacation to Florida was the handwriting on the wall that our privacy would be a fleeting thing. My time at the White House and all the time on TV was the last nail. The media and the paparazzi were trying to follow me as well as the rest of us around. Lorrie had already had a run-in with several at Morton trying to get statements and always hanging around.

There were plenty of private secluded islands for lease or sale there that were the nearly the same flight time as the Florida rentals. Several had runways that were good. We could control all access when we were there and rent out some of the cottages when we weren’t to make the place deductible as an investment. I was pretty sure we could schedule the ops team members there two and three weeks at a time as security, calling it a vacation perk year around.

Then again, I could use it to influence the important people as a getaway perk. I was learning the way of Washington, like it or not.

Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.

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