CARRIER 7: AFTERBURN By Keith Douglass

The cost in American lives. Putting our people under the command of

foreign officers is nothing short of a military disaster waiting to


She seemed to consider this for a moment, then turned and spoke softly

to one of the aides flanking her. The man reached inside a briefcase and

produced a manila folder. She accepted it, leafing through several pages

inside before finding what she wanted. “Admiral, it seems to me that our

current policy of supporting UN operations but maintaining separate and

distinct lines of command and communication offers an even better

opportunity for ‘military disaster,’ as you put it. You’ve seen this?”

She slid the paper across the table. Scott barely glanced at it and did

not pick it up. “Of course, Madam Secretary.”

“Gentlemen,” Reed said, addressing the entire room. “Two days ago, as

any of you who watch cable news is well aware by now, one of our Navy

jets shot down a U.S. Army helicopter that was flying a UN mission. No

one was killed, fortunately, but the incident has pointed up the flaws

in interservice operations. There were breakdowns in communication up

and down the entire chain of command. It seems that the naval personnel

making the decisions in the carrier battle group had not been notified

that Army helicopters were operating in the no-fly zone and had not

received the computer codes that let their radars recognize those

helicopters as friendly.

“The day before that, this same carrier group sank a Russian submarine,

again by accident. At least fifteen Russian nationals were killed.

“Now, it seems to me that putting all of our forces under one command

infrastructure would be the best possible way of avoiding unfortunate

mistakes like these in the future. Placing our forces under UN command

will simplify the lines of communications. It will simplify intelligence

and ensure that our military forces know who is in the area and what

they are doing.

“I must say, it also sets a worthwhile precedent for the future. If we

start putting larger numbers of troops under UN authority, it would give

the organization some real teeth. That would save the United States from

more embarrassments like Somalia and Haiti.”

Magruder resisted the urge to speak up, to argue against what he saw as

a blatant misuse of American military forces. His position was an

unusual one. At the time of the Norwegian War he’d held the post of

Director of Operations for the Joint Staff, but during that crisis and

the Russian Civil War that followed it, the President had come to depend

on him as a personal military adviser. Now he was attached to Admiral

Scott’s personal staff, a position that gave him access to these

high-level meetings but no real authority. Anything he said now would be

viewed as a “Me, too” echo of Scott’s position.

Damn it, he wished the gold on his shoulder boards and jacket cuffs

counted for something in this roomful of career politicians. For years

globalists had been talking about increasing the authority of the United

Nations and giving it control over larger and more powerful military

units. They pointed to the organization’s complete helplessness during

the Cold War era and to the fiascoes of the early days of the New World

Order as good reasons to stiffen UN power and prestige with troops,

equipment, and armaments controlled by the Security Council. They

pointed out that UN attempts to engage in nation-building in Somalia in

1993 had been derailed by the U.S. decision to withdraw all ground

troops from the nation after a firefight where American troops had been

killed and their bodies dragged through the streets in front of TV

cameras for all to see. And UN Haiti policy had never quite gelled

because of vacillating American leadership.

But the thought of handing over a sizable portion of American military

power to the United Nations was, for Magruder, a chilling one. If the UN

could send Americans into Georgia. .. or the Crimea. .. how long would

it be before they sent troops into Los Angeles to quell the next round

of rioting? Or into American homes to search for handguns? Or to arrest

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