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By Paul Brown

On December 14, 2008 President George W. Bush signed the US-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). At the time I was a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps, and I was in Iraq. I got to watch firsthand as our already restrictive rules of engagement became some how more restrictive. In front of my eyes, the war was ending, but the enemy we had fought so long had not actually been defeated. Truth be told, there was never any real chance that we would win, not when our elected leaders and their appointees chose not to commit to winning at all costs. Of course, a similar story has played out in Afghanistan . . .

as it did in virtually all of the major conflicts in which we have engaged over the last 70 years. US goes to war. US decides the war’s not worth winning. US leaves war. It happened in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and it will happen again in Syria or wherever else we decide to go next if we continue going to wars we do not commit to winning at all costs. Of course, readers at TTAG are no stranger to the concept of total war and limited war, especially if you read my last piece on the issue.

So to say I am sick of sending our troops to die overseas in conflicts we do not commit to winning is the understatement of the year. I’ve written a book, I’ve given speeches on the matter, and I’ve talked about the concept with virtually anyone and everyone who will listen, but last year I decided that something else needs to be done.

Ultimately the people in Washington seem to be absolutely clueless about warfare and the plight of warriors in these conflicts, as evidenced by their voting records. I am running as a Republican for US Congress in the primary against an established incumbent, who will have been in office for over 20 years at the end of this term.

He voted to send funding to the Syrian rebels, a lot of which went to ISIS (as usual, history repeats itself). He and the rest of congress have refused to bring up a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to vote on, this is despite the fact that we have not passed one since 2003.

Why is this important? As it stands now, we have around 10,000 troops in Afghanistan, over 3,000 in Iraq, as well as others in Syria, Yemen, Libya, and elsewhere. They are engaged in a struggle for their lives at the whim of the President, without true acknowledgement, or responsibility from Congress. The men and women in Congress are willing to sit back and say, “I believe the troops should stay over there,” or “I think we should bring them home,” but they are unwilling to put their name on an official vote to that effect.

Forgive me if you think this sounds harsh, but if you (a member of Congress), aren’t willing to put your name on an official vote about whether the troops should be at war or not, then you are a coward. Men and women are dying and being gravely injured for this nation, for our liberty, and for our security, and you can’t even risk a little political backlash by taking an official stance on whether or not they should be at war? Shame on you.

So there’s that.

But that’s not all. Just as my experience (and that of my family and friends) in the US military has driven me to seek change in the way it is employed, so it has driven me to see that we do a better job running the nation in general. These men and women have not only died for our liberty and security, they died believing that America is a great nation, one worth defending. It is a great nation, but if we don’t make some big changes, it may not always be.

Our national debt currently stands at close to $20 trillion. That is unacceptable, and it’s driven by chronic out-of-control spending that has been ok’d continuously by both parties. Immigration is a mess. The Department of Education was founded in 1979, and since that time the quality of education has plummeted, while the cost has skyrocketed. Similar results exist for healthcare since the government became more involved in that in 1965.

And then there are guns. You didn’t think I would forget that, did you?

The author at a young age

Enemies of the Second Amendment lie in wait at the federal, state, and local levels, and they all smoothly declare that they, “aren’t against the Second Amendment.” That “no one wants to take away your guns,” all the while doing literally everything in their power to fight against the Second Amendment and take away our guns. To fight these efforts we need people in office who truly understand guns and the issues surrounding them.

It’s one thing to say, “I’m pro gun,” and do a photo op with a shotgun at a range. That’s not me. I’ve been shooting since I was eight. My dad, a Marine Corps infantry officer, considered marksmanship and proficiency with a rifle an important skill for any man, and he saw to it that I began early. I joined the Marine Corps at 19 and shot Expert on the M16A2 (iron sites) in Boot Camp.

In 2007 I purchased my first handgun, and in 2008 I purchased my second and went through the Texas Concealed Handgun Licensing process for the first time. Currently I hold carry licenses from Texas, Virginia, and Utah (though I am a big proponent of Constitutional Carry).

In 2013 I started a gun store called Liberty Rifle Company, LLC in Northern Virginia. It was a small venture, but I learned a ton in the process. It was also around that time that I began writing about gun issues. I wrote four articles for The Washington Times, which you can find at these links here: one, two, three, four. I also wrote three articles for TTAG: one, two, three.

My most recent article was in the Marine Corps Times, and was a response to another Marine who called for veterans to push for gun control. You can read my rebuttal here. I am a NRA life member, as well as an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor. While I ran my gun store I also taught Virginia Concealed Handgun Courses.

As I mentioned, I am pro-Constitutional Carry. I am unequivocally against any new restrictions on purchasing firearms, and am in favor of the repeal of virtually all current restrictions. For example, I believe we should repeal the 1934 National Firearms Act, and the 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act (or at least the portion that restricts the manufacture of full-auto firearms for civilians), and the Brady Law of 1993. And instead of finding new ways to restrict our rights, the Federal government should be going after states and localities that do so, and ensuring that our right to keep and bear arms is not infringed.

In keeping with my stated values of integrity, and accountability, I will not make up anything about my opponent. I have not known him to oppose gun rights, and he cites a few examples on his website where he has fought for gun rights. However, I know of no statements from him one way or another on issues such as open carry, constitutional carry, NFA repeal, or Brady Law repeal. My guess (though I could be wrong) is that he is ambivalent at best, and opposed to all these things at worst.

I think it is fair to say that when I win I will be one of, if not the most pro gun-rights Congressman in the nation, as well as one of (again, if not the most) knowledgeable on firearms in general. I will defend the Constitution and represent the people of District 32 and the interests of the people of the United States of America with every fiber of my being.

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    • Paul Brown, You Sir are what America needs and wants and may God himself bless you.

      I hope you read this and reply back.

      Would you limit immigration to pre 1965 standers?

      Would you support ending the “refugee restatement” scam?

      Would you support ending low skilled/unskilled immigration?

      Would you support ending bright right ciztenship?

      Would you support ending chain immigration?

      Would you support having a cap on the number of immigrants allowed in?

      What limits on immigration would you support?

  1. Does this mean TTAG is endorsing him? If so I will donate to this campaign and I think this is a great idea for other people running around the country that espouse our POV.

  2. We shouldn’t enter conflicts that we don’t commit to winning. Especially when we don’t even define and agree on what “winning” means.

    • As much as I hate to say it, it’s really hard to define what “winning” really means before you actually do it.

      Even when we do have a plan (and we seldom do) the facts on the ground will change as we get closer to victory. They always do. But yes, we do a great disservice to our cause and soldiers by constantly tightening the RoEs.

      • Yes you can.

        Winning a war is to make your enemy see they were wrong to oppose you in the first place. To force them to acknowledge your greatness.

        See. Easy as pie. It worked with Japan and Germany but we achieved total victory in both of those cases. The outcry that would occur if we did today what was required then would though make the US an international pariah.

        • A true victory is to make your enemy see they were wrong to oppose you in the first place. To force them to acknowledge your greatness.

        • I agree with you in general, but the fact is that we, the Germans and the Japanese all had similar notions of “winning” and “losing”. Our current enemies are both more deluded and more adapt at playing the long game, which is why it is so hard to even define winning. Folks in the Arab-Muslim world operate on a set of basic understandings and assumptions that is not entirely congruent with the set upon which America and Europe operate. It’s sort of like fighting the Black Knight from Monty Python’s The Holy Grail, but with a lot more IEDs.

          Given all that, I don’t think large-scale occupations will be effective, and they will cost more lives and treasure than America is willing to pay. I also don’t believe we can ignore the situation – we may not want war with us, but they definitely want it with us. And if you only play defense, you’ll lose. Unfortunately, I think that just leaves us with punitive strikes and raids on a strategic scale – ISIS blows up a shopping mall and we take out a city. Rubble doesn’t cause trouble.

        • “if we did today what was required then would though make the US an international pariah.”

          If we were an international pariah, would that mean other countries would refuse to take our money and demand the right to defend themselves instead of looking to us? Because I would vote for that.

    • If you can’t define the terms of victory then you shouldn’t be fighting the war. And this guy sounds like someone I would definitely vote for. We’ve wasted billions (trillions?) of dollars we don’t have to fight wars we can’t win, killing countless people and creating even bigger problems for us down the road. I’ve never understood why we’re so eager to bankrupt our country fighting pointless wars then start crying like little girls when someone suggests that maybe we spend a little money on schools, roads and doctors that benefit American citizens.

        • Article I Section 8 allows for post offices and post roads. The national road was built over two centuries ago based on this provision.

          Back in the mid 20th century, when people still paid minimal attention to enumerated powers, it was also argued that defense implied a network of roads to move military assets around.

          Teachers and doctors, however, are not mentioned in the Constitution, should not be, and should not be the purview of state or local governments either.

  3. Amen! If you running in Idaho You would have our votes..

    Note: When I went into Vietnam on Jan. 1962 the rules of engagement where we could not shoot back if shot at! It slowly changed in the months to come…….

  4. I’d vote for him. Pro-gun former serviceman. I served in Iraq also, and that war was a dumb mistake. Unfortunately our incompetent political leadership, Bush, Clinton, and Obama, have helped create a less stable Middle East while distracting us from economic growth and countering our real long term adversaries or hot spots (like China or the wacko in North Korea). Anyway, it is sadly often the warrior who gets the shaft and forgotten about – after civilians run off to the mall or go on to argue about the really important stuff (like pro football or American Idol).

  5. What exactly would “winning at all cost” have entailed? How many more people, both American and Iraqi, would have had to die?

    More to the point, what was “winning”?

    Who were we “winning” for, and why on earth were we there in the first place? Why were we trying to salvage a “nation” that was never a truly coherent and unified state, created by long dead French and British bureaucrats as arbitrary lines on a map thousands of miles away for their own benefit from the crumbling remains of the Ottoman Empire, and imposed by fiat on a number of culturally and ethnically different people and held together only ever by force of arms?

    Much the same goes for Afghanistan, the Graveyard of Empires that has seen dozens of different foreign occupations and invasions and has never been pacified. Not by Alexander, not by the Mongols (except by extirpation of the population), not by the Mughals, not by the British, not by the Soviets, not by the US, or dozens of others.

    The fact that these questions could never appropriately answered is why we never went in to “win at all costs”.

    If your advocating we not enter into such conflicts in the first place, well then that’s awesome and I’d certainly love to vote for you, but if youre advocating we should have stayed to “win at all costs”, thats going to have a hard time gaining traction.

    • We should have been in both Iraq and Afghanistan for a month each. Destroy the military, execute the military brass and the ruler, and as we’re leaving announce to the world that if they screw up again, we’ll be right back to do it again. Then give them nothing, reparations are supposed to be paid by the loser, not the winner. If each one had required 3 more humiliations since then, it would not come up to costing as much as we have GIVEN them since then, never mind the blood and gold it has cost.

      Anybody remember the movie, “The Mouse that Roared”?

      • Well, therein lies the problem. What was it that Iraq did to prompt the US invasion that they shouldnt do again? There was no WMD program as was alleged, all such weapons found were dribs and drabs of forgotten munitions buried during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980’s.

        Likewise in Afghanistan…there was no state, no military brass to execute, it was a hodge podge of militias operating under the umbrella name of “Taliban” in a country that existed only on maps and otherwise was half a dozen different ethnic and cultural groups fighting each other. Most people there had no idea why we were there and had nothing to do with Al Qaeda, most of peple there cant read or write and have never been more than 10 or 20 miles from where they were born. We cant think of these places as unified statds with populations that have any clue as to what is going on.

        Speaking if executions…what good would that have done? Saddam is dead. His sons are dead. Zarqawi is dead. Mullah Omar is dead. Bin Laden is dead. Many more are dead. Are these places any better off? No. There’s always someone waiting in the wings to replace them and the underlying conditions that created the situations still exist.

        Money was being poured in to change those conditions…but becaude people running those programs didnt realize these places are not unified and functional states the way say, Germany and Japan are..the money got squandered.

    • Part of ‘winning’ means actually setting a concrete end goal. You don’t go to war unless you know what you’re there to accomplish, and then you do it to the fullness your of ability and vigor. Anything less is a disservice to the lives that will inevitably be spent on both sides.

      This sort of planning and commitment to action have been sorely lacking in our involvements in the sandbox.

  6. The link to his piece on limited vs. total war, is a mailto: link not an HTML link. Or rather, its a mailto: prefixed on an HTML link.

  7. Unfortunately the problem with congress is the vast majority have not served in the Armed Forces, know no suffering, and look to people who served as not reaching their full potential.

    For Mr. Brown, this former Mustang advises the following. Military decisions are linear. Civilian decisions are circular. Your strengths are principles, knowledge there’s five ways around a wall and bulldog determination. Your weakness contempt of patience. In battle one thinks three moves ahead, in politics ten. Adversaries have long memories and short knives. Your armor the people. And finally less than 2% of the people have served, they are reserves not a base. The politics of inclusion even if you must fallback and motivate the stragglers.

    My compliments and Gods speed.

    • I have a new freshman Senator in DC who is a NG LtC. SHE ran as a Conservative “TeaParty” Republican. CCW Harley ridin. You may recall her progun TV commercials that were run as news all over the US. I voted for her but can’t say I’m much surprise that has turned out to be weak and a puppet for McConnell. Has voted wrong on every major issue since she arrived in DC. How the RINOs turn freshmen is amazing. If only the CIA had such powers/skill.

      Sen Ernst actually informed me that Obumer putting chicks into combat units was not a political issue. She can’t understand that women have NO place in Combat arms unit.

  8. Don’t know enough about Jeff Sessions, unfortunately, whatever I have heard sounds more Conservative than any of the other cr_p in D.C. or most anywhere.

    GW Bush doesn’t need a whole lot of praise for all of the things he did, but you’d have to waste nearly eternity complaining about a myriad other people before justifiably getting around to b1tching about him. His SOFA is the U.S. modeled agreement, it is a staged process that was not continued by (D)Obaastard, and was ham-strung by a lame duck session of Bush with a (D)ouche cut-and-run as a campaign speech presidential candidate waiting in the wings and a similarly squishy McCain [f all ya haters of Palin, she had the only stones running that cycle] failing to criticize.

    Iraq was the Middle East version of pre-1900 Germany and Poland. Everyone flocked there to have their wars, and we nearly fought as many foreigners there, than Iraqi’s, same as in Afghanistan. I was there too, only (D)heads would say that it was not run better than most other conflicts we’ve been engaged in, BUT HELL, LET’S ALL GET ON THE FING BAND WAGON WITH THE EVIL BLUE (D)HEADS AND THE SH_TBAGS OF THE REST OF THE WORLD WHO SOMEHOW ALWAYS FIND A WAY TO SAY WE LOST OVER THERE. FDAT, we did superbly, the “Surge” even worked very well, and it wasn’t because broke-di<k McCain and (D)heads said 'we need to put a lot of troops over there' (that's not what the surge was). Think what you will about the Iraq conflict, but, for what it was, it was model warfare, and their strategies will be repeated.

    Personally, I don't need a resume'. Receiving one scares me. If you really are a Conservative, there are more liberal (R) seats to go after than Sessions'. Sessions has done things that, in hindsight, would've been better not, but if you think Brown will be devoid of those, you are high.

    I don't get a vote in TX, judge/play/vote wisely.

    • Sorry, asked my TX’n co-worker about Brown, he said he’s going after “Sessions”, and I said “Jeff”? “Not Conservative enough”? He shrugged.

      I know even less about Pete Sessions.

      I like people who run on Conservative platforms and values less than I like people who exercise them.

      I Brown’s your man, TX, demand delivery of what he’s selling.

      • One congressman cannot deliver anything but his voice, and perhaps his vote in critical places. I don’t think he is trying to tell us that if elected he will instantly become a powerful dictator and direct all of the country’s actions thereafter. That said, The Dept of Education is a joke, not one penny’s worth of improvement after spending billions and removing parents’ input into the education of their kids. Eliminating it would save 75 billion/year and put other departments on notice. I’m not getting the basis of your objection.

  9. Look, the central theme in all your points is the migration of people both illegal, and refugees. Being from Texas you should recognize the threat. It is the single issue that impacts the rest of your platform and threatens not only the sovereignty of Texas but the Nation as a whole. .

    Unless immigration is stopped, there will be war. Its a historical certainty.
    Unless immigration is stopped, the deficit will continue unabated.
    Unless immigration is stopped, gun rights will continue to be stripped.

    Total war means stopping the mass migration of people. Total war is rejecting globalism and multiculturalism.

    Your position/platform are nothing more than half measures that will cost more in American prosperity than they will protect. You are what you claim to be against.

    • Mr. Bolan, I can’t find the historical reference you refer to. Can you provide data that shows when our immigration increased, the likelihood of civil war also increased?
      Also I think maybe you mean welfare spending on immigrants causes an increase in the deficit, which I certainly agree with. But I think the answer is to get rid of those welfare programs, not immigrants.

      • Pick a century man. The road to war is measured in decades and is always preceded by the movement of people.

        Just picking one…the Mexican American War. The great state of Texas was based on the migration of people and the subsequent war that came of it.

  10. [United States military personnel] are engaged in a struggle for their lives at the whim of the President, without true acknowledgement, or responsibility from Congress.

    As we have stated before, elections have consequences.

  11. Personally, I happen to think that all else has failed, but we are left with one option. The nuclear one. Russia and China won’t nuke us if we obliterate the Middle East. In fact, they’d likley thank us in private while calling us names in public. Though we may not have to do it, I’m pretty confident if Daesh strikes Moscow with an attack on the level of 9/11 (which they are claiming they’ll do) Putin would likley respond with a nuclear attack. He knows getting mired in a ground invasion resulting in decades of guerrilla war won’t solve anything. It sounds horrible, but at this point we’re just about out of all other options. We can’t just leave and leave them alone, because then they will be comming here. We can’t invade because it will simply turn into quagmire after the liberals start a new anti war movement. So, what else is there? Obliterate them all in a brilliant flash of the holy fire they yearn for, and the lovely glow of a radioactive wasteland.

  12. According to the Heritage Action scorecard, Sessions is rated 66%, and ranks 19th out of 25 Republicans in the Texas house delegation.

    • He needs to move to Texas 18 and take out Shelia Jackson Lee. THAT would improve the country.

      Or one of the other 10 demtards Tx sends to Washington.

  13. Mr. Brown, thank you for throwing your name into the hat. I’ve been involved in a few political campaigns in the state of Texas. You have a tough row to hoe and I appreciate that you’ve started the process.
    I’ve read your book, a couple of times actually. The questions I had after reading your book remain, and are all the more important to answer now that you are running, based on the platforms you’ve listed in your original post.
    Do you believe that total war is justified in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Syria? If so, why?
    Right now, not 5 or 10 years ago but now, what do you believe should be the military objective for the US in those countries? Or should there be a military objective at all?

  14. You sound OK to me. However…every war since WW2 was badly executed/thought out or an absolute waste of blood and treasure. As in Saddam was better than what we got(unless you’re a Kurd). I’m glad my son didn’t die in the middle-east. He was in Iraq,Kuwait,Jordan and the Sinai. And I’m real happy I didn’t get drafted and end up in Vietnam. Total war? Yes-we would have avoided a lot of messes if we would have nuked some Chinese(and N. Koreans) in 1950. I guess Truman and the generals didn’t want war with the Soviets(very winnable with nukes in 1950). Good luck with the election-I’m a Cruzer…

    • If you start with total war, then subtract only nukes, you end up with the WWII we fought in Europe. That would do it for me. Some city is the HQ of ISIS? Tomorrow morning it cannot be located without GPS, flat as a pancake. Civilian casualties? Tuff stuff. Hit the wrong city? Oh, well, try to do better tonight. Destroy all bridges, kill anything that moves, bring the country to a halt to allow undisturbed unloading of 1000 tanks, and a few hundred A-10s. Blow hell out of EVERYTHING for a month, then leave. I’m talking stone age, then leave them to ferment. When they recover enough to once again communicate outside their own borders, probably a couple years, send word asking if they’d like to do that again.


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