Book 2 Chapter 149

After seeing my family off, the first thing I did was read the details of all the intel intercepts for the last ten days. While on vacation I was receiving just the summaries.
I read part of them then went to the national security briefing on the second floor. There is where I had an unusual awakening. Iran was in worse shape than previously thought.
Their military was now getting paid with script and not cash, not even every week but every other week. The script could be deposited and then drawn against to buy food and fuel when it was available. Cash was rare except for the ruling class.
All payments to the surrogate terrorist groups were stopped. The Iranians were now demanding hard currency for weapons shipped to the groups.
That explained the four scows that the Navy and JBG security ships had seized in the ten days we had been vacationing. The decks were false. Underneath the deck, the hold was filled with weapons that were to be sold to combatants in Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and the rest of Africa.
The Iranians were having a fire sale. That’s why more modern weapons were turning up in Africa and the Middle East.
The Iranian weapon delivery system was falling into hard times and the revenue the arm sales produced was coming to an end. Every shipment that was seized was less money they were to receive.
After thirty years of embargoes and sanctions, the Mullahs were nearing an end. Instead of saying enough and coming into compliance with UN decree, they were going to go full out war in the Middle East.
It would be so easy for them to negotiate out of this mess but no. Europe was anxious for a solution itself, desperate to trade oil for any commodities.
The intercepts – when all placed together – for the last six months was like a road map. A sentence here, a paragraph there – when connected they told the story. The only thing lacking was their war plan and a date when it was to happen.
Were the massive Iranian military exercises the lead-in for their battle plan? I was willing to bet it was. Why else would they expend so much money when things were so desperate nationwide?
When the drills were over, whatever they had in mind would not happen in sixty to ninety days. They would need that long to resupply and rearm from their warehouses and correct any problems with their army that the drills revealed.
After lunch there was a meeting with the joint chiefs for updates on all the things I had raised issues in with the last few weeks.
I ate lunch quietly by myself and was still reading. When I finished, Troy and I discussed several things he was working on for me.
One of them was information on creating an investigating branch with subpoena power for the Executive Branch.
Congress had subpoena powers and the ability for forwarding cases to the judiciary for prosecution. The Justice Department had their own subpoena and prosecution powers.
The four constitutional experts that briefed me during the first few days I was in office said that there were no words in the Constitution forbidding such an agency within the executive branch. They also said that there were no words allowing such an agency.
The result was their suggestion to try it and see how it went with the courts. That was what Troy and I were discussing – the right way to continue. First thing was a news release to announce it and wait for reactions.
The joint chiefs were in the conference room waiting. When I walked in the Secretary of Navy started the discussion.
”The Bush and Eisenhower will leave for sea trials on Friday. Provisions and weapon are being loaded. They will leave for their duty station immediately after completion of the trials. The rest of the task force will be ready to go with them ”
That would be four carrier task forces at sea and a good start. The big question was would the other two be ready in time. It was also time to get the Pacific task forces engaged in the process.
”The engineers have figured out a way to refuel the Stennis quickly. The Stennis and Thomas may both be ready in three months or less,” he said.
I listened as the Air Force gave updates on plane readiness. It was a number calculated every day on how many planes could sortie if an order was given. The numbers were slowly moving up.
At the first meeting I had as CIC, the numbers were at forty percent – now they were fifty five percent. There was still room for considerable improvement and I let it be known.
The B21 numbers were disappointing; they were still in the low forties. We had a hundred of them and today only forty of them could be counted on to fly.
That didn’t count those that would have to scrub the mission at the line after preflight and engine run-up failures
The good news was the seventy old ancient B52H models that were now being flown by the grandchildren of the original pilots now had a ninety five percent availability rate.
They were forever upgraded for every conceivable new threat, time after time. They could carry every kind of bomb and missile in the arsenal, from a group of plain old dumb bombs to two of the newest MOAB (Mother of all bombs) and still carry a couple cruise missiles on the wing pods.
The eight original jet black smoking engines had been replaced by four new larger fuel efficient engines. The result was a twenty percent reduction in fuel consumption and a thirty percent increase in range.
Previous upgrades had replaced all the instruments with the latest liquid crystal design. All the avionics had been replaced multiple times and now had the latest radars, radios and multiplexing, multi-functional and were able to interface with any Air Force plane in the air for offensive and defensive measures.
The B1s and B2s had long ago gone to the boneyard, they were too costly to fly, parts impossible to find and some days none were able to handle the call – but the B52 flew on.
We spent an hour trying to analyze the Iranians intentions. The only thing we really had to go on was the intelligence intercepts. They were still following closely. The information we were getting from the Iranians agreed with the intelligence we were getting.
From the Army general the updates were on the California and Washington operations. He was wanting to reduce the number of troops involved. I agreed to a further draw down and we began planning the New York phase for a similar operation. The meeting ended on those discussions.
Secretary Dean was waiting when I returned to the Oval Office. The Emir of Nigeria was flying in Wednesday night for two days of talks on Thursday and Friday.
I looked over the outline of the talks, topics and projects for our one on one discussion. I wanted a large map of Nigeria placed on the meeting table in the map room. I wanted to be prepared for my meeting when he arrived at the White House.
Secretary Dean was going to take care of all the planning and attendees for the customary state dinner.
The meeting lasted an hour while we discussed all the various aid programs that I could offer to the Emir; outright grants to military aid, humanitarian grants, low cost loans, and international monetary fund grants for infrastructure and more.
I never knew there were so many ways for the President to influence foreign affairs and countries and give away US tax dollars in the process. But I was getting one fast education.
I gathered up Ziva and several Secret Service agents and went to the fitness center and then spent several hours working out. It was the only chance I was going to have for a few days. Tomorrow night there was a fundraiser in Des Moines Iowa.
This one I was going to without my mates. They were busy; things were hopping with JBG. First was the college contracts that needed to be reviewed for the next college year. One third were up for renewal this year.
Another issue for the security division was that in June we allowed all the embassy employees to rotate to another embassy if they wanted a change in duty assignment. There were always a few that wanted a change in scenery.
We allowed the policy because it helped morale. From a security standpoint, moving people around reduced the risk that someone was on the take feeding information to the potential enemy or the media. Vicky and Andy were continuing the policy.
After supper I spent an hour on VCATS talking with my mates and the boys. Then I had more reading in the recliner in family room before calling it a night. I was lonely not having someone to sleep with.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.

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2 Responses to Book 2 Chapter 149

  1. joe h says:

    Thanks jack,
    What I needed to start my day…
    Stay safe.

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