Service & Sacrifice: No Negotiating With Terrorists

A snapshot of the burdens being shouldered by brave U.S. troops and military families around the world.

The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Gravely conducts a replenishment-at-sea with the fast combat support ship USNS Supply in the Red Sea on March 22, 2024.

By Tom Sileo Published on April 5, 2024

Middle East

For nearly six months, U.S. military and foreign commercial ships have been under attack in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Iran-backed Houthi terrorists based in Yemen are responsible for the vast majority of these drone, missile and rocket attacks.

After being criticized by many military observers, including yours truly, the White House finally authorized airstrikes aimed at the Houthis back in January. The Biden administration also reversed its foolish decision to remove the terrorist group designation that had been previously placed on the Houthis by the Trump administration.

Now comes a baffling Bloomberg report that even after hundreds of attacks, the Biden administration is considering once again removing the Houthis’ terrorist designation if they stop striking ships. The Jerusalem Post expanded on Bloomberg‘s initial report, noting that the Houthis are currently holding 25 Japanese ship workers hostage.

“My hope,” (United States special envoy for Yemen Tim) Lenderking is quoted as saying, “is that we can find diplomatic off-ramps.” The envoy also reportedly said that the United States “would certainly study” removing the Houthis from its list of designated terror organizations, “but not assume it’s an automatic thing.”

Before Biden reversed the Houthi’s terrorist designation in January, I wrote in Service and Sacrifice:

It’s bad enough that the Biden administration inexplicably removed the Houthis’ designation as a terrorist group shortly after taking office, but now we have to “warn” them to stop launching unprovoked attacks on our sailors and other non-military ships? When the lives of U.S. troops and other citizens are being threatened, it is not time to talk, but to act swiftly and decisively.

Scores of attacks later, politicians are still putting the lives of our valiant men and women in uniform at risk. Simply put, the Houthis are a terrorist organization and should be treated as such. America shouldn’t “ask” or “warn” them to stop shooting at ships; we should enable our military to stop their ability to launch these attacks by force.

This isn’t about politics. It’s about protecting the lives of our nation’s troops. There should be no negotiating with terrorists.

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High Alert

The U.S. military is on high alert after Iran vowed revenge for Israel allegedly killing two Iranian generals and a top Hezbollah terrorist in an airstrike on its consulate in the Syrian capital of Damascus earlier this week.

“I am concerned because of the Iranian rhetoric talking about the U.S., that there could be a risk to our forces,” Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich told  Fox News.

As The Stream has been reporting for months, Iran-backed terrorist groups ramped up their attacks on U.S. military bases in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan following the barbaric October 7 Hamas massacre in Israel. While strikes aimed at American forces have slowed down significantly in recent months, U.S. troops have undoubtedly maintained their readiness in the wake of the ongoing threat posed by Iran and its terrorist proxies.

Please ask God to shield our brave men and women in uniform in the Middle East from further danger. We also pray for their worried families here at home.

Europe

“There will be no American troops on Ukrainian soil,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised during a stop in Paris on Tuesday.

“It’s not in our interest to have a direct conflict with Russia. I don’t think it’s in the interest of any of the NATO members,” Blinken added. “But at the same time, there is a determination, a conviction that we must do our utmost to support Ukraine, and do so not only this year, but in the years to come.”

The Secretary of State’s remarks were made in advance of a NATO summit in Brussels. As Blinken and fellow diplomats enjoy posh accommodations and expensive food and wine, more than 100,000 U.S. military personnel are separated from their families while deployed across Europe in the shadow of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

In Germany, the video embedded above shows U.S. Army personnel training hard to support their fellow soldiers.

In Romania, a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon refueled a KC-135 Stratotanker high above the clouds.

In Norway, a group of selfless U.S. Marines decided to raise their right hands and take the oath of reenlistment right in the middle of a difficult winter training operation.

“A factor of me reenlisting is that I know the Marine Corps has always had my back,” said U.S. Marine Cpl. Dorothy Le. “It taught me to be independent. I know I will always have my brothers and sisters to the left and right of me. That motivates me to continue.”

In Poland, a transfer of military authority ceremony took place this week at the Drawsko Combat Training Center.

“Today marks a proud moment,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Christopher Norrie, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, which will now lead operations at the base. “Your efforts have had an overwhelmingly positive impact here in Europe, forging bonds of trust and friendship among our allies and partners while demonstrating tact and tremendous professionalism while accomplishing your mission.”

Thank you to each and every U.S. military hero defending freedom on the European continent. Your sacrifices are appreciated and noticed.

Coming Home

After deploying to Poland for nine months during one of the most dangerous periods in Europe since World War II, 138 U.S. Army soldiers are back on American soil, having returned to Alaska late last week.

Military: Soldiers Return from Poland

U.S. Army soldiers return to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska, after a nine-month deployment to Powidz, Poland, on March 28, 2024.

Welcome home, heroes! We thank you and your families for sacrificing so much to preserve and defend the cause of freedom.

 

Tom Sileo is a contributing senior editor of The Stream. He is the author of the forthcoming I Have Your Back, the recently released Be Bold and co-author of Three Wise MenBrothers Forever8 Seconds of Courage and Fire in My Eyes. Follow Tom on X @TSileo and The Stream at @Streamdotorg.

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