Apocalypse Now: Gov. Jerry Brown’s Miscaluations with Ukraine, Russia, and China

Bloggers Note: Few citizens realize the diplomatic tool available to their Governors through their National Guard’s State Partnership Program (SPP). Created in 1992 the SPP’s purpose was to model the American national guard’s deference to its governor  and  state emergency managers for former Soviet bloc countries. In 1993, NGB partnered California with Ukraine. Cal Guard leaders of the 1990s era created a powerful model that not only partnered National Guard units and soldiers with their Ukrainian military and civilian emergency  manager counterparts, but paired citizen soldiers’ employers,  bankers, business  associates,  civic  leaders, and community peers with Ukrainian civilians.

The Nation’s Governors, but particularly Gov. Jerry  Brown with his China initiatives, fail to seize this powerful diplomatic tool, allowing the SPP to fall into a state of disrepair and stray from its  original vision, as arguably  conceded  in a 2011 Congressional Research Service report titled: The National Guard State Partnership Program: Background, Issues, and Options for Congress. In this post I write about SPP’s:

  •  Connection with the California National Guard and Ukraine;
  • Surge into a dynamic civilian engagement program;
  • Roots to prophecy and history;
  • Demise into mediocrity and complacency;
  • Relationship to Russia’s resurgence; and
  • Sterilization through Gov. Jerry Brown’s China Initiative;

I conclude by arguing that the SPP –with civilian engagement restructured as private-public  partnerships– is an even more viable option today than it was in 1992 for not only helping former Soviet bloc countries escape Russia’s influence, but coalescing the 68 countries worldwide participating  in the  SPP against the  growing  evil sprouting  from the seeds of Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014.

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Ukrainian Maj. Gen. Ihor Federov, chief of staff, combat training department, alnd forces command, and Brig. Gen. James P. Combs, commander, Army Division California National Guard render salutes as they pass the multi national battalion during opening ceremonies for Peace Shield 2005.  The California  National Guard annually supports the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)  exercise since changed to Rapid Trident through  the State Partnership Program (SPP), designed to bring the  diplomatic, informational, and economic  tools linked to America's Citizen Soldier.
Ukrainian Maj. Gen. Ihor Federov, chief of staff, combat training department, and forces command, and Brig. Gen. James P. Combs, commander, Army Division California National Guard render salutes as they pass the multi national battalion during opening ceremonies for Peace Shield 2005. The California National Guard annually supports the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) exercise since changed to Rapid Trident through the State Partnership Program (SPP), designed to bring the diplomatic, informational, and economic tools linked to America’s Citizen Soldier.

 California’s Ukraine Connection

Since 1993, California has had a state-Nation relationship with Ukraine that conceivably could have  short-circuited Russia’s aggression if California’s leadership had involved itself in the National Guard State Partnership Program (SPP).

Victorious in the Cold War, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) faced regional security, economic, and democratic reformation challenges in the wake of the Soviet Union’s dissolution. NATO tactics included military to military (M2M) exercises and training among NATO and the former Soviet bloc countries through the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program. The SPP, managed by the National Guard Bureau (NGB), evolved when the Latvian government requested M2M relationship based on the United States National Guard’s citizensoldier model. Army Gen. Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs at the time, and Army Gen. John Shalikashvili, European Command (EUCOM) commander, blessed the concept, and NGB Chief Lt. Gen. John Conway launched the program in 1992 as a way to build partnerships with these non-NATO countries.

 SPP: The Marshall Plan of the Cold War

The SPP was promoted as “the Marshall Plan” of the post-Cold War. It was touted as a diplomatic bridge from “Main Street America to the former Soviet bloc countries. It permitted state Governor’s to engage in Post-Cold War diplomacy by providing subject matter experts (SMEs) to consult former Soviet bloc countries on transitioning from centralized to decentralized economic and governmental systems. The SPP had a footprint in the National Security Strategies (NSS) in the last decade of the 20th century.

SPP objectives underscored 20th Century social, religious, and economic events precipitating the Soviet Union’s break-up.   The sparing between President John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev during early 60s, Poland’s Solidarity Movement under Lech Wałęsa,  and President Ronald Reagan’s resolve to call out Mikhail Gorbachev “to  tear down this wall” all contributed to Soviet Union’s downfall.

The prophecy of the "spark from Poland" which would prepare the world for the Second Coming of Christ is one of the most well known private revelations given to St. Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), the Apostle of Divine Mercy.
The prophecy of the “spark from Poland” which would prepare the world for the Second Coming of Christ is one of the most well known private revelations given to St. Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), the Apostle of Divine Mercy.

The religious overtones are maybe stronger than the political events. The three Fatima of Prophecies–the second of which was that God would punish the world unless it prayed for the consecration of Russia to “My Immaculate Heart”–is arguably the foundation upon which Walesa’s solidarity succeeded. St. Faustina’s December 16, 1936 appeal to God to spare Russia’s destruction was perhaps a “stay in execution” of God’s Justice. She wrote in her diary: “Jesus said to me, I cannot suffer [Russia] any longer. …If it had not been for the prayers of souls that are pleasing to God, that whole Nation would have already been reduced to nothingness. Oh, how I suffer for that nation which has banished God from its borders!”

It was Russia’s conversion about which my Uncles John, Chris, Harvey Stevens, aunt Faith Leight, and my mother–Alma—often debated during family gatherings in Great Falls, Montana in the 60s and 70s. Debates centered on: the necessity of rescuing Nazi expertise through the “Nazi” ratline” to combat Joseph Stalin’s even more treacherous Communist Empire; Adolf Hitler’s collaboration with the Muslim Caliphates to eradicate the Jews; and Russia’s eventual alliance with Red China to fend off Christianity to preserve a communist chokehold on the world. Uncle John inevitability paraphrased Philosopher George Santayana saying, “He who does not know his history is doomed to repeat it.”

It was in this context of family,  history and religion that  I proposed a comprehensive strategic communications plan involving media, business, agriculture, government, and education in lieu of recruiting solely media that Lt. Col. (Ret.) Mitch Brown, California National Guard SPP Coordinator, requested to cover Peace Shield ’98. In my mind the Cold War wasn’t over since Russia hadn’t converted; and evil still lurked in the struggle between Russia’s desire for a Commonwealth of independent states (CIS) among former Soviet bloc countries, and NATO’s hopes for independent states. The National Guard, I believed, was the perfect launch pad for projecting democratic and economic values among these former Soviet bloc countries and to strive for that period of peace for which Saints encouraged us to pray.

Civilian Engagements: Adding the SPP Diplomatic Dimension

Brown and I broached the concept with California National Guard leadership–who were skeptical–and pitched it to National Guard Bureau Public Affairs Chief Dan Donahue, who liked the idea, but wanted a detailed plan within 48 hours. We delivered and, to our surprise, NGB not only blessed it, but provided a passenger aircraft to transport California businessmen, teachers, farmers, civic leaders and NGB officers stationed at their Ukraine desk at the United States Department of State to L’Viv,  Ukraine  for Peace  Shield  ’98.

The proposal dovetailed into the SPP foundation established by California’s adjutant generals Maj. Gen. Robert C. Thrasher and Maj. Gen. Tandy K. Bozeman. Maj. Gen. Robert C. Brandt, commander California Army National Guard, and Brig. Gen. Edmund C. Zysk, commander, 40th Infantry Division, partnered the 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized) with the 6th Division, National Guard of Ukraine and Ukraine’s 93rd Motorized Rifle Division, Ground Forces to model the American National Guard for their Ukrainian military peers.

The Cal Guard commanders zeroed in on Ukrainian military system weaknesses inherited

Lt. Col. Keith Tresh, Peace Shield 98
Lt. Col. Keith Tresh, Peace Shield 98. Click  her  to  view 1998 TV   report  on Guard’s military relationship with Ukraine.

from the Soviet system. They worked in unison with the Kansas National Guard to help Ukraine surge a Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) corps—the backbone of the U.S. military–and design officer professional development schools at Ukraine’s National Guard Academy in Karkiv, Ukraine.

They laid the cornerstone for civilian engagements  by integrating California’s sister cities with Ukraine. The Cal Guard leaders arranged for Ukrainian military and civilian leaders to stay in Guardsmen homes meeting their families, visiting  Ukrainian sister  cities, training with California’s Office of Emergency  Services  managers, interacting  with  Guardsmen’s civilian employers, schools, banks, religious Faiths, and volunteer organizations. It was from this pool where we found nearly 70 California teachers, farmers, business leaders, and civic leaders willing to work with Ukrainian counterparts to: nurture trade; strengthen global competitiveness; raise cultural awareness; and open a back door diplomatic channel for California Governors to engage Ukrainian civilian leaders with non-military tactics non-threatening to Russia.

Civilian Engagement: Blue Print for Economic/Democratic Transformation

Brandt appointed the Guard’s most policy savvy officer–Lt. Col.Warren Alberts–to surge our civilian engagement plan. Alberts quickly established liaison with the NGB Ukrainian desk in the State Department, EUCOM, and the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine to align the civilian delegation mission with these higher command’s priorities. He coordinated with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to ensure the project supported its vision to promote democracy. He enlisted U.S. Peace  Corps volunteers through USAID to link the California farmers, teachers,business and government leaders with their Ukrainian counterparts. He attempted to include California governor  and elected leaders who showed only token interest.

Sacramento School Teachers were highly active in Guard's SPP program from 1998 to 2000
Sacramento School Teachers were highly active in Guard’s SPP program from 1998 to 2000. Click here to view 1998  TV  report on Teacher program.

Under Alberts’ leadership, the mission succeeded on several fronts. Sacramento, California teachers Bill Hoffman, Elizabeth Joy and School Principal Jana Fields formed a non-profit organization called “Teachers Reaching Out (TRO).” TRO maintained teacher exchanges, classroom video cams, and English book donations with their counterparts at the Starichy School in L’Viv.

Northern California Television Reporter Jon Iander traveled to Ukraine to report on Northern California Farmers visiting Ukrainian Farm on the Outskirts of  L'Viv
Northern California Television Reporter Jon Iander traveled to Ukraine to report on Northern California Farmers visiting Ukrainian Farm on the Outskirts of L’Viv (click here to see report)

Yolo County Agribusinessman Casey Stone, Mike Campbell, Brad Pollock and Brian Huckins, modeled the American farm for a farm on L’Viv’s outskirts. They advised Ukrainian farmers on transitioning from a collective to a privately owned farm.

“I was very moved by (the farmer’s) spirit,” Stone told the Davis Enterprise newspaper in 1998. “They are very inefficient in the ways they utilize land. “His biggest problem is the government…It’s hard to get loans and the very high interest rates will just kill you  since they don’t own the land, they can’t use it for collateral.”

Campbell, an assistant dean of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at the University of California Davis, rapidly recognized the Ukraine farmers challenge with the country’s Oligarchy.

“They don’t have any money to buy equipment, that’s the chicken and the egg of it,” Campbell said. “This farmer spends his money as fast as he gets it. He doesn’t trust the banks, and there is no trustworthy economic infrastructure.”

Russian Influence on NATO: Charting the Treacherous Journey

Brig. Gen. Kevin Ellsworth validated the value of California's State Partnership with  Ukraine, but cautioned of the treacherous journey because of Russia's influence
Brig. Gen. Kevin Ellsworth validated the value of California’s State Partnership with Ukraine, but cautioned of the treacherous journey because of Russia’s influence

Col. Kevin Ellsworth assessed the civilian engagement as a “viable alternative” for helping Ukraine to remain solvent and charted its “long and powerful journey in his 2000 War College Research Paper titled: “State Partnership  Program: Does the Partnership Between the California National Guard and Ukraine Support the U.S. Engagement Strategy and is it a Relevant Mission.”

Ellsworth recognized that Ukraine’s strategic value as a buffer zone between Russia and NATO. He also identified “Ukrainian independence’s Achilles Heel” because it served as alternative  energy transport corridor” for delivering  cheaper oil to Asia and regional European countries from untouched oil reserves in the Caspian Sea.

He quoted James Sherr–currently a fellow at the Russian and Eurasian Chatham House Think Tank in London.

Russia regularly cut off Ukraine  oil supplies  at the  beginning  of the 21st Century  when the  former  Warsaw Pact country  failed to make its payments,” Sherr wrote. “Empowering Russia to impose  high taxes on Ukrainian goods and  services as a form of economic intimidation.”

The SPP, however, would fail to live up to its promise and sink into complacency as subsequent Cal Guard generations were lulled into the delusion that the Cold War was over.

SPP Complacency: Russia Exploits “Ukraine Independence’s Achilles Heel”

By a quirk of fate, I was deployed to Ukraine in July 2013 as the

YAVORIV, Ukraine -- Master Sgt. Christopher Lopez (bottom left) and Lt. Col. Stanley Zezotarski (second from the right top) from the California National Guard pose for a photo with Ukrainian, Polish and Swedish soldiers during Exercise Rapid Trident 2013, July 13, here. (Sgt. Daniel Cole, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs)
YAVORIV, Ukraine — Master Sgt. Christopher Lopez (bottom left) and Lt. Col. Stanley Zezotarski (second from the right top) from the California National Guard pose for a photo with Ukrainian, Polish and Swedish soldiers during Exercise Rapid Trident 2013, July 13, here. (Sgt. Daniel Cole, U.S. Army Europe Public Affairs)

officer in-charge (OIC) of the observation, control, and evaluation (OCE) team tasked with assessing a Ukrainian battalion cadre staff during a PfP Exercise Rapid Response 13. More 1,300 troops from 17 nations participated in the multinational field training exercise (FTX) and command post exercise (CPX) at the International Peacekeeping and Security Center in Yavoriy, Ukraine.

While dining with exercise co-directors–Ukrainian Ground Forces Maj. Gen. Vyacheslav Nazarkin and U.S. Army Col. Alfred Renzi–one evening, the Ukrainian general quizzed me on the status of several CNG generals with whom he worked. I didn’t have the heart to tell the general that each was arguably forced to retire as a result of a seven-year conflict within the state officer Corps that began in 2005 with the forced resignation of Maj. Gen. Thomas Eres. The internal division was a generational struggle between a younger officer corps anxious to assume senior leadership and those preferring to be groomed to assume the SPP projects that Alberts surged and Ellsworth envisioned. The more ambitious officers eventually prevailed on the coat tails of Gov. Jerry Brown.

I could feel the fallout of the California National Guard’s coup d’états during Rapid Trident ’13. I listened patiently as Ukrainian field grade officers opened up to us and shared stories of alleged grandstanding by  Cal Guardsmen  during previous PfP exercises and the appearance of impropriety when some Cal Guard Officers allegedly used their SPP assignments to marry Ukrainian women. Because of such perceptions, the Ukrainian officers were at first suspicious of our agendas and resisted our coaching. We eventually won their hearts and minds with Col. Rezi’s guidance, revealing tough, aggressive officers eager to learn the  military  arts  and sciences  of command and control necessary for combined operations with NATO forces. In hindsight, this training was perhaps timely given Russia’s aggression months later.

 Putin’s Delusional Spell: The Guard Drops its Guard

Conversion of Russia? Many argue that Vladimir  Putin has resurrected  the  icy evil incubated by Joseph  Stalin during the  Cold War.
Conversion of Russia? Many argue that Vladimir Putin has resurrected the icy evil incubated by Joseph Stalin during the Cold War.

More disheartening is that Russian President Vladimir  Putin clearly telegraphed his intent to rebuild the Soviet Empire as early as 2005, when he called the collapse of the Soviet Union a major geopolitical disaster of the century.” Then he apparently stole the SPP playbook by creating a professional NCO corps, reorganizing Russia’s military reserves, streamlining its military, upgrading its professional military training and military schools.

It’s almost as if Putin also read Ellsworth’s research paper,  capitalizing on a technological revolution to modernize Russia’s oil industry, cut Ukraine’s “Achilles Heel, and strengthen its economic hold on Europe.

In contrast CNG SPP coordinators became bogged down in bureaucratic turf wars amongst USAID, the United States Department of State, and U.S. Embassies over ownership of the civilian engagement activities. Civilian engagement activities faded and California’s program evaporated with SPP coordinators who lacked the policy scholarship to sustain Major General Bozeman’s, Paul  Monroe’s,  Thomas Eres’, Brandt’s, Zysk’s, and Col. Alberts gains.

 China Emphasis: Spiraling Toward Biblical Apocalypse

California Gov.  Jerry Brown has completely sidestepped trade avenues with Ukraine and Nigeria open to California through the  State Partnership Program  lunging head  first into trade  with China. American business is skeptical  of China's State-Owned-Enterprises (SOE) potential  impact  on  trade, policies, and  investment, according  to a Congressional Research Service report.  Governor's Office of Business and Economic  Development photo
California Gov. Jerry Brown has completely sidestepped trade avenues with Ukraine and Nigeria open to California through the State Partnership Program lunging head first into trade with China. American business is skeptical of China’s State-Owned-Enterprises (SOE) potential impact on trade, policies, and investment, according to a Congressional Research Service report. Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development photo

Compounding California’s lost opportunity to invest in Ukraine’s future was Gov. Brown’s anxiousness to find a quick cure for California’s economic woes by pursuing China’s $4 to $5 billion for foreign investment.

” California’s got to get a piece of that,” he said.

Brown is conceivably factoring the World’s ninth-largest economy into an equation of a Russian-China alliance detrimental to national security and global peace. American businesses don’t trust China fearing its State-Owned-Enterprises’ (SOE) will intervene with subsidies, trade and investment, and policies affecting U.S. business, according to the August 21, 2014 Congressional Research Service report titled, China’s Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States.

China is en route to the overtaking the U.S. as the world’s largest economy. With Russia’s ranking as the World’s seventh largest economy, its control of Europe’s energy lifeline, China’s projected demand for 30 percent of all global energy by 2035, and both countries interests to invest in Africa’s energy resources while clinging to their totalitarian ideologies is arguably the formula for World dominance.

Adding a Muslim Caliphate quotient to this equation debatably equals resurrection of an “Evil Empire” stronger that our parent’s generation faced in World War II. Putin’s desire to enter the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad—with his links to Iran–is eerily reminiscent of Adolf Hitler’s support of Haj Amin al-Husseini in 1941–jeopardizing Israel’s existence, marking our generation’s failure to fulfill prophecy for Russia’s religious conversion, and possibly phasing in the third Fatima prophecy that  God debatably graced us the power to dodge through prayer and Faith in his Saints.

“After the second failure of another world war, perhaps one can speak of a third war, one fought piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction,” Pope Francis recently said.

Faith: Antidote For Armageddon

In  the  Wake of Russia's  austere annexation of  Crimea, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has arguably made  Ukraine more  "trade  friendly" for  California and  U.S. Business through  policies to break  the country's  oligarchy  and minimize corruption.
In the Wake of Russia’s austere annexation of Crimea, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has arguably made Ukraine more “trade friendly” for California and U.S. Business through policies to break the country’s oligarchy and minimize corruption.

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, in his September 18, 2014 address before a Joint Session of Congress, accentuated the Pope’s observation when he called Russia’s aggression “Europe’s War, “America’s War,” a war for the free world.” If failure to heed prophetic warnings brings the World to the brink of Armageddon, then perhaps repentance averts holocaust. Poroshenko may have inferred  a form of reparation when he  requested American  leadership, lethal, and non-lethal support. Support that  can be  packaged  in  the SPP as follows:

    • Transform Civilian Engagements into Private-Public Partnerships—The Department of Defense neither endorsed nor ruled out civilian engagements when Congress directed they publish SPP guidance–Department of Defense Instruction 5111.20: State Partnership Program–in 2012.  The issue was funding. The Cal Guard’s 1998 civilian project demonstrated that imagination and creativity can overtake funding shortages. Other than the  jet NGB provided, civilians in that project paid for their own expenses to L’Viv, Ukraine,  then proceeded to fund follow-on projects through non-profit organizations and associations. Private-public partnerships  (PPP) consisting of non-profits, associations, and state international trade commissions could become a funding source for civilian engagements. The PPPs  could collaborate with USAIDs, Embassies, U.S. State Department through their National Guard SPP Coordinators  and US Combatant Command’s bilateral affairs officers to script its goals and objectives.
    • Leverage Civilian Engagements–  Many SPP analysts erroneously believe that the 1998 civilian engagement  Alberts’ coordinated, were Guardsmen serving in both their military and civilian occupations. The 1998 civilian delegation had little to do with the military other than employing, socializing, worshiping, and volunteering in community charities with Guardsmen living in their neighborhoods. With National Guard armories in more than 3,000 communities nationwide, SPP/PPPs could unleash financial, expertise, and civic service “know how” support in 68 countries at a scale unseen since  World War II. Image the competition this creates for Russia and China for foreign investment in Africa’s oil reserves off its Atlantic coast?   The security dividend generated when World is not  as reliant  on transporting oil through  the Suez  Canal? Or the added dimension of Nation Building in South America?
    • Involve State Governors/Rotate SPP Countries as necessary — California’s dealings  with China illustrates the economic  principle  that World’s economy is interdependent. It  also arguably exposes the potential for harm that Governors like Jerry  Brown can cause when they choose  to be mavericks instead of uniting behind our  National Interests. California is hardly  in a position to advise critical countries like Ukraine on their economic policies when its own policies generate a business exodus from California to Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon. Especially in these times when Ukrainian President Poroshenko is reforming his country’s economy, dissolving its oligarchy, and  addressing government corruption. DOD, NGB, State  Department, USAID, and embassies need a mechanism where they can collectively re-partner a country whose National Guard affiliate’s state government is dysfunctional, and replace it with a National Guard’s whose state’s economic policies are more compatible with the National Interests–such as Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
    • Clarify Guard SSP  Military Mission-Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin, adjutant  general, California National Guard  shared his SPP vision –which  is consistent  with NGB and DOD perspective–while   visiting  us in Ukraine during Rapid Trident ’13. His concept is to project National Guards into  cooperative security missions alongside their partner  country. I disagree. The National Guard should serve as its SPP country’s model for being the logistics, transportation, and maintenance pole that can drive the tip of the active duty spear–such as the 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team–into the Russian military’s heart and destroy it.
In the opinion of many people, the 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team projected an air of professionalism and confidence that multiplied the combat effectives ten fold of the more  than 1,700 troops from  16 nations participating in Rapid Trident '13 exercise.  (United  States European Command Public Affairs photo).
In the opinion of many people, the 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team projected an air of professionalism and confidence that multiplied the combat effectives ten fold of the more than 1,700 troops from 16 nations participating in Rapid Trident ’13 exercise. (United States European Command Public Affairs photo).

Perhaps most would agree if they had seen the 173rd’s effect on the 16 nation militaries participating in Rapid Trident ’13 during morning formations.  Their leadership was visible as they performed morning combat checks  before morning inspections–projecting a chill  of inspiration  that  cut through the  morning air like Solidarity slicing through the Warsaw Pack.  It appeared they infused the other  international militaries with a sense of  military professionalism and courage that  increased  their combat power ten fold.  This is the tip  of the  U.S. military spear visible to  Ukraine  and NATO–the  tip that the  American National Guard and  Reserves can fatally plunge into our  adversaries heart, while  maintaining its flexibility  at home  for  responding  to civil emergencies.

It’s the kind of leadership and inspiration  that Navy Capt. (Ret.) Bob Wells, former National Security Advisor to Vice-President Dick Cheney, called for during a March 8, 2014 Fox News interview when he said:  “Once upon a time in the Cold War, many different nations really articulated the fact that the Eastern Europeans and the former Soviet Union countries really needed to be free….I think that spirit should be rejuvenated again through American leadership as well as talking with Poland [and], talking with the other former Soviet Union countries that have become free since the Cold War.”

Today,  more than 64 countries are partnered with state National Guards through  the  National  Guard Bureau's State Partnership Program (SPP).  Civilian engagements such as that nurtured by the California  National Guard  in 1998--are neither endorsed nor discouraged after Congress codified the SPP  into  federal  law  per the  recommendations  of a 2011  Congressional  Research Service  Report.  The  subsequent  Government  Accounting  Office (GAO)  audit titled, State Partnership  Program:  Improved Oversight,  Guidance, and Training Needed for  national Guard's Efforts with Foreign Partners," revealed that National Guard SPP coordinators  and their counterpart Active Duty Bilateral Affairs officers have similar  views on the  value  of the civilian engagements.  SPP Coordinators  say the SPP  should be "changed  to better facilitate civilian  engagements," while  Bilateral Affairs Officers express frustration  that  the NGB's recent inability to bring civilian subject  matter experts to partner countries "diminishes the" program's value.  Involving state Governors  and shaping civilian engagements into private-public partnerships  could  debately mobilize the nation's home front in international  affairs  at a scale  unseen since World  War II.
Today, more than 64 countries are partnered with state National Guards through the National Guard Bureau’s State Partnership Program (SPP). Civilian engagements such as that nurtured by the California National Guard in 1998–are neither endorsed nor discouraged after Congress codified the SPP into federal law per the recommendations of a 2011 Congressional Research Service Report. The subsequent Government Accounting Office (GAO) audit titled, State Partnership Program: Improved Oversight, Guidance, and Training Needed for national Guard’s Efforts with Foreign Partners,” revealed that National Guard SPP coordinators and their counterpart Active Duty Bilateral Affairs officers have similar views on the value of the civilian engagements. SPP Coordinators say the SPP should be “changed to better facilitate civilian engagements,” while Bilateral Affairs Officers express frustration that the NGB’s recent inability to bring civilian subject matter experts to partner countries “diminishes the” program’s value. Involving state Governors and shaping civilian engagements into private-public partnerships could debately mobilize the nation’s home front in international affairs at a scale unseen since World War II.

Conclusion

While Jerry Brown refrains from using the National  Guard to secure the Nation’s Southern border while urging fellow Governors to  heed  a religious call, he appears deaf to  decades of  religious prophecy  calling for the world to unite against an evil rooted in Russia and currently mushrooming into a worldwide ideological war. While an argument can be made that the SPP is an unfeasible strategy  for  the  Governor, California’s own  history  suggests otherwise–let alone the legacy of the world war II and Cold War generations perhaps epitomized  by my  late  Uncle’s dramatic rants warning that “he who  does not know his history is doomed  to repeat  it.”

Then there are those from those  generations, like  my  deceased mother,  whose hope is rooted in  their prayers for leaders like Gov. Brown to hear those religious calls of which he  is so  fond of citing, and refrain from herding us into  formation for the March to  Armageddon. Of  course, Congress could authorize DoD and the State Deprtment to  take such a strategically vital SPP country away from California.

Then again California voters could hear the Saints prayers for Jerry  Brown and vote against him November’s gubernatorial  election.

 

 

 

 

 

10 comments

  1. This is an excellent and involved effort. I was not aware of the program(s) you noted but think they are conceptually excellent. Well done, well done indeed.

    Like

  2. Thank you Jim. That’s a tremendous compliment coming from a distinguished columnist like yourself..

    Hopefully, my article may provide some information and insight into how much a vote can count not only in California, but in countries like Ukraine..

    Thank you for reading my post.

    Like

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