Middle East Strategy and Obama

Iranian Nuclear Deal Middle East Strategy“You made some comments in the newsletter introduction last week about Obama’s speech at the UN. While there is no shortage of critics of Obama’s lack of a strategy in the region what I don’t see is anyone offering an intelligent alternative. What do you think we should do in the Middle East?”. ~ Don K.

Don, thanks for the question. First and foremost, as most of you are aware, I consider Obama’s foreign policy to be his largest failing and undoubtedly view our actions in the Middle East though a less then unbiased lens. I will attempt to explain a thought process I do not agree with, while pointing out competing opinions on the subject.

Obama’s actions and inactions have closed doors to potential options that were less costly in the past. It has also opened doors to potential options that, unfortunately, most observers like myself view as unlikely to bear fruit. Sadly, regardless of good or bad strategy, the end state of our current strategy in the Middle East is an all but certain degradation of our influence in the region. The degradation of influence ultimately paints us into a corner where the only remaining option to maintain U. S. interests in the region is military force.

Rebuilding our influence in the region will certainly fall to the to the next U. S. president. To save you the read, the short answer is all that we can do is wait until after the election. The current administration has set the course we are on, and Obama has proven stubbornly resistant to changing it. The most poignant evidence of that resistance is the revolving doors in leadership at the department of defense and intelligence communities. The course he is pursuing is a nearly 180-degree shift from the previous 35 years, and it will take time for us, our allies and our enemies to understand its implications. The best I can offer is to review the administration’s strategy and where it may leave us in a year because what we are currently doing is defining the options that will be available to us in the future.

Middle-East Strategy ObamaThe most common mistake I see when discussing Obama’s strategy in the Middle East is to claim that it does not exist. That is very different from claiming it is ineffective, poorly conceived, etc… Obama has a strategy, and that strategy largely consists of disengagement and Counter Terrorism. These are based on his perception that U. S. voters are more tired of U. S. casualties (military or civilian) then they are of a degradation of long-term U. S. interests. In this case, he has proven his strategy to be effective in that we re-elected him on that platform.

U. S. interests in the Middle East primarily consist of Energy Stability, Nuclear Non-proliferation, Counter Terrorism and the Expansion of Democracy. Traditional instruments of national power are Diplomatic, Informational, Military and Economic. We’ll take a very cursory look at the strategies Obama has employed, and what impact they have had in hopes of providing an increased understanding of our options and how they developed and have shifted. Continue reading


Concealed Carry Weapon Permit in Orange County, Part II

This article is Part II of a III part series on the concealed carry weapon process. In this article we will be discussing 1) Selecting an instructor, 2) Selecting a firearm, 3) Clothing.

So you have decided you want to be able to legally carry a concealed firearm; this comes with a lot of responsibility and is not to be taken lightly. Be sure you take the required training seriously and invest some time in selecting an instructor.

I am going to give you some things to consider when making the decision to select an instructor. Make sure you are getting your money’s worth from an instructor who has real, verifiable experience related to carrying a firearm for his or her profession. In my opinion, your instructor should have military and or law enforcement experience. There is a big difference between an instructor who has had to carry a firearm for work in real world conditions and one who has not.

Tactical Pistol TrainingThere is no substitute for experience — period. Law Enforcement personnel carry guns on their person when they are working and most carry firearms concealed when they are off duty. As a community they have the most real world ccw experience of any type of people you might come across. They are up to date on the newest types of firearms, training, ammo and equipment. You should want to take advantage of their experience to help you weed through what works and what doesn’t work.

An instructor who is prior law enforcement can also tell you what you could expect if you had to use your firearm to defend yourself. He or she may be able to give you some advice on how the process works and some of the do’s and don’ts.

Pick up the phone and ask to speak to the instructor who is teaching the course. Inquire as to his or her background. Ask the instructor if they have a ccw themselves. If the instructor does not have a ccw for the state he or she is teaching inquire as to why. How can an instructor teach a course on ccw if they themselves do not have one? If the instructor has a ccw ask him or her how long they have had it. Ask the instructor if he or she was prior military or law enforcement? Remember there is no substitute for experience.

Once you have selected your instructor complete the required training course and submit a copy of your certificate of completion to the sheriff’s department either through fax or email.

Selecting a firearm:

Purchasing a FirearmYou may already have this part figured out. If not discuss it with your instructor so they can help guide you on your purchase or selection. I suggest if you are unsure that you go to a local gun range and try out a few different guns to see what works best for you.
Keep in mind a couple of important factors: a.) in Orange County you can have a maximum of three firearms on your permit, b.) the firearms must be registered to you, c.) the sheriff’s department will check to see if the guns you list on your application are registered to you, if they are not you will not be able to add them to your permit, and d.) the firearm must not be altered from its original factory design — meaning you cannot change the internals of the firearm. For example, you cannot change or alter the trigger in any fashion such as installing an aftermarket trigger kit or having a gunsmith alter the factory components so that the trigger is lighter or smoother. You can change the cosmetics if you want such as the color, the sights, and/or the grips.


You will have to decide how you are going to carry. Most people have no idea how this can affect their daily life until they try and leave the house carrying a concealed gun on their person. For example, if you are carrying a gun inside the waistband you may have to buy a pair of pants that is one size larger to make room for the gun. You will probably need to buy a sturdy belt that can support the weight of a gun.

HELIOS_ALPHA_JACKET_BLACKYou may need to start wearing a light jacket or a button up shirt to help conceal the gun you are carrying. More than likely you will need to make some changes to your wardrobe. The last thing you want to happen to you is for you to accidently expose your gun while you are out in public. (I will be doing another article that will cover Unwarranted Detection.) Law enforcement officers know this inside and out as a result of experience. If you have an instructor who is prior law enforcement, be sure to ask for their advice on this subject.

In closing, remember to always store your firearm in a safe and lawful manner and always adhere to the terms and conditions of your permit. If you want to reach me directly feel free to contact me via email.


Author : Jason Granados

First Posted on Aegis Academy

Obtaining a Concealed Carry Weapon Permit in Orange County

I decided to write this article to try and provide some insight into the Conceal Carry Weapon (CCW) permit process. This article is Part 1 on a series of articles I will be writing related to CCW. Please check back with us so you can read the complete series.

I have come across many people who have not even tried to obtain a California CCW out of fear of being denied. Ca Gun Control Patrick Henry Gun lawsFortunately and possibly due in part to some recent court decisions, obtaining a CCW firearms permit has become much easier.

For the most part, the process will look very similar no matter where in California you might live. Being that I am an Orange County approved CCW instructor, I will write about obtaining a concealed carry weapon permit in Orange County.

Orange County CCW Process

You will first want to contact the sheriff’s department in the county you reside in. Most city police agencies have an understanding with the sheriff’s department that they will defer CCW applicants to the sheriff’s department for processing.

Once you are in contact with a sheriff’s department representative, request an initial interview. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may be able to do this through the department’s website. Essentially, you provide your name and email and within a few days you should receive a response to your email, which will include your appointment date, time and location. Now, don’t let the email scare you. It will probably tell you that your appointment date is six to twelve months away, but you have to start the process sometime!

Orange CountyFortunately, there is good news. What typically happens as your interview date draws nearer is you receive an additional email telling you that an earlier date is available, and asking you if you want that appointment instead. This can shorten your wait time by months at a time. Be sure to keep track of the initial email despite anticipating a second email: the initial email will also have an attached CCW application and checklist.

Preparing for the interview

Be prepared! Make sure you have brought in everything that was requested by the sheriff’s department including a completed application, proof of residency, a driver’s license or some form of government identification such as a passport, a birth certificate, and a recently taken passport quality photo. There will be a checklist; be sure you have brought in all the items on the list in order to expedite the process. You may want to consider dressing professionally, it can only help you.

Gun-WorkplaceMeeting with the investigator for your interview may sound intimidating, but in most cases it is a very easy, relaxed process. The investigator will go over your completed application with you. Depending upon your background he or she may ask you to clarify a few things. Be truthful about everything. At the conclusion of the interview, which will take probably less than 20 minutes, the investigator will have you sign your application in their presence under penalty of perjury. Remember what I said about being truthful!

In all my dealings with these law enforcement professionals I have always found them to be very easy to deal with. I am sure you will leave there feeling like that was a lot easier than you thought it would be.

Residency Check:

In Orange County you can expect that a uniformed deputy will be knocking on your door within the first week of submitting your application. The sheriff’s department must verify that you live in the county and at the address you provided. If you are not home they will knock on your neighbors’ doors to see if anyone can verify that you live at the address you provided. The deputies will not discuss with the neighbors the reason for the request, so it may leave your neighbors a little curious.

policeworkOnce the residency check is completed and verified you move to the next step, which is rather informal. An initial background check will be done on you and your file is sent up the chain of command for initial approval. A supervisor will look over your file to make sure nothing is missing. If there is nothing out of the ordinary you will move forward to the next step.

Initial Approval:

About 4-6 weeks after your initial interview you may receive an initial approval email. The email will state that you have been initially approved to move forward in the process. The email will include instructions on completing your live scan and on completing your CCW training course. Be sure to complete the live scan as soon as possible because it can take 4-8 weeks for your background to be conducted and cleared. Next, select an instructor (look for an upcoming article on how to select an instructor) from the approved list, complete your initial CCW training course, and obtain your certificate.  Send a copy of your course certificate to the sheriff’s department CCW unit either through email or fax.

Final Approval:

Once you have completed all of the above there is nothing more to do except wait for your background to be completed. If you are approved by the department you will receive a final approval email. The email will have a date for you to return to the sheriff’s department to sign the terms and conditions and pick up your new permit.

In Closing:

Training and educationCarrying a concealed firearm is a big responsibility. Negligent discharges are important reminders of how serious this responsibility should be taken. Negligent discharges can occur for a variety of reasons, but it is usually the fault of the person holding the gun. Many people who first obtain their CCW become over confident in their skill set. Just because you have been approved to carry a loaded gun doesn’t mean you have developed the necessary skills to do so! Most of the negligent discharges that I have witnessed occurred when the shooter was either drawing or holstering their firearm. It is in your responsibility to practice on a regular basis. I would suggest you continue your training and education by enrolling in further firearms training to supplement your CCW course. Lastly, always store your firearm in a lawful manner; and always adhere to the terms and conditions of your permit.

I hope you have found this article helpful. If you have questions feel free to contact me directly via email.

Author: Jason Granados (Firearms Instructor)

Jason Granados is a law enforcement veteran with more than 10 years experience. His duties and responsibilities were as follows. He spent more than five years assigned to the departments special tactics unit. During his time in this unit he was a supervisor in the unit as well as the team leader. He also served as the departments firearms instructor where he taught pistol, shotgun and carbine. During this time he was responsible for maintaining the departments qualification standards. Jason has also testified in State Superior Court as a firearms expert. Jason also has more than 10 years experience in martial arts and is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Jason continues to compete in Martial Arts competitions and is currently ranked #5 in the world by the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation.

Source: http://aegisacademy.com/community/obtaining-a-concealed-carry-weapon-permit-in-orange-county/