Current world events seen through the clarifying lens of the LORD's inerrant prophetic word. The Lord's Word proclaims a series of 'latter days' events leading to the second coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom upon the earth in this generation.
Sunday, February 19, 2017
In Response to 'Operation Millennium Challenge by Matt Ward'
National Training Center, Ft. Irwin, CA MC02
19 February 2017: This morning I was directed (hat tip: Nora) to an article published on the Rapture Ready website 'Operation Millennium Challenge by Matt Ward'. The article discusses something I was intimately involved in, namely the Advanced Warfighting Experiment (AWE) known as Millennium Challenge 2002, or MC02.
The above image was taken by myself upon my arrival at NTC Ft. Irwin in April 2002 for the final MC02 planning conference. I did not depart NTC Ft. Irwin until September of that year, which was followed by my deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom shortly thereafter. One could say I became very 'desert qualified' during this warfighting exercise not far from Death Valley. My arrival a couple months later at CFLCC and the assembly cabals in northern Kuwait was as if I had returned home to the high desert of California.
The issues I have with the above referenced article are that they are contrary to what I recall. First and foremost, MC02 was a Congressional mandated exercise for America's newly digitized military capabilities which was a follow-on to AWE exercises which took place at Ft. Polk in southern Louisiana prior to the act of war which occurred on September 11, 2001. At that time we believed Saddam had been a key cog in the Al Qaeda terrorist plot; we knew that several of the key 9/11 hijackers had trained on a static commercial aircraft located at Salman Pak, Iraq terrorist training center. On 9 April 2003 the United States Army's 3rd Infantry Division found some evidence of the Saddam regime role during a dynamic forced entry into Baghdad.
Saddam, 9/11/2001 and the 3rd Infantry Division discovery
Secondly, as an exercise MC02 was stopped and re-started with regularity. It was not war, it was, again, an advanced warfighting experiment, the largest at that point in U.S. military history. The exercise covered an area across the entire breadth of the continental United States, from from the parking lot behind XVIIIth Airborne Corps HQ, Ft. Bragg, NC to the ground combat "box" at NTC Ft. Irwin, CA. The number of aspects involved in MC02 fills volumes of recorded data, and it under no circumstances be boiled down to win-lose, or you cheated and I'm taking my ball and going home. That is simply nonsense. That's not how warfare occur and is resolved, or not, in the real-world.
Thirdly, contrary to the Rapture Ready article's view that the exercise was "an utter failure" and that it has "gone down in infamy as a lesson in how not to fight a rogue, terrorist nation," the true result of MC02 was proven during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Execution Phase I. Iraq was exactly the rogue terrorist nation envisioned in MC02; the early entry of U.S. and Coalition forces into the preparatory bivouacs (cabals) of northern Kuwait (Camp New Jersey, Camp New York, Camp Pennsylvania, etc.) were already underway as the exercise was executing in July-August 2002.
The anti-war left-of-center media was already predicting doom, just as they had done in the previous war to liberate Kuwait from Saddam's regime. This meant the extremely secular politics involved in naysaying MC02 were well-advanced even before the exercise began. Those politics played themselves out in Washington DC, and are also quite evident in this article. Only the facts of overwhelming success of the ground combat mission objectives against Saddam's Iraqi forces are the proper point to address in hindsight. MC02 made the overwhelming 'mission complete' success of OIF-I possible.
Finally, a US military exercise which occurred with the technology and fighting forces of 15 years ago has very little if any bearing on the prospect of Coalition warfare against the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2017, or beyond. MC02 merely envisioned hypothetical one-on-one warfighting in 2007, or five years afterwards. War against the Islamic Republic in the near future is a zebra of entirely different stripes, and with high likelihood bears a very close resemblance to the the prophet Ezekiel's "Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions" in Ezekiel 38:13, in essence a Sunni-Western alliance we can already see in the current run-up to tackling the Islamic State, and the coalition warfare against Iran's Shi'a Houthi proxies in Yemen.
In my opinion, no article or Christian discussion on the potential for warfare against Iran can be considered complete without a thorough exegesis of Jeremiah 49:34-39. Most unfortunately Jeremiah's prophecy is something the Rapture ready article did not even attempt to discus. I would recommend the author to visit Eschatology Today where there are several archived articles and their updates dating from 2010 to the present regarding Jeremiah's prophecy.