It’s Time For The ‘Secure Freedom’ Strategy

1092263568CSP, by Frank Gaffney, Jan. 16, 2015:

A hard reality is finally sinking in across America: for a long time now – actually, for more than thirty-five years – the United States has been at war with an enemy sworn to its destruction.

It did not seek enmity or hostilities with them. Both are the product of forces that long predated the establishment of this country, to say nothing of its adoption toward the end of the 20th Century of certain policies towards the Middle East or other regions.

The enemy is the Global Jihad Movement. And it is inspired, guided, and enabled by the Islamic supremacist doctrine its adherents call shariah.

For much of this period, the U.S. government has pursued various approaches to the threats posed by that enemy – including selective military engagements, benign neglect, willful blindness, and outright appeasement. They have all shared one common denominator: They ignore the aforementioned realities and, as a practical matter, have exacerbated them.

Yet, no one has advanced a more reality-based, more practical and more effective way to counter, let alone defeat, this ideologically driven enemy.

Until now.

At the National Press Club at noon on January 16th, an ad hoc group of highly skilled national security professionals will unveil an alternative plan of action that has been proven effective in protecting us against relentlessly aggressive totalitarian ideologues in the one environment that matters: the real world. The resulting approach, called the “Secure Freedom Strategy,” is modeled after the one President Ronald Reagan successfully employed to take down Soviet communism and the Evil Empire it spawned.

The “Secure Freedom Strategy” offers a detailed prescription for a clear-eyed understanding of the enemy we confront and actionable steps for vanquishing it. Its key components include:

Understanding the Enemy’s Threat Doctrine: Having conclusively demonstrated that Sun Tse’s admonition that you can’t defeat an enemy you don’t know still operates, the United States must now abandon past practice by adopting a realistic understanding of the enemy and its doctrine. That requires, in particular, clarity concerning shariah, the jihad it impels, and the various ways in which such warfare is being waged against us.

The Tiger Team makes clear that its use of the term shariah is informed by the practice of Islamic law by the recognized authorities of the faith since at least the 10th Century. (It is noteworthy that, when Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi complained publicly and courageously about the jihadist character of contemporary Islam, he did not berate so-called “radical extremists” of al Qaeda or Islamic State. Rather, he took to task the leading imams in Sunni Islam’s equivalent of the Vatican, al-Azhar University.) Such use of the term shariah, therefore, does not refer to an idiosyncratic, personal, or purely pietistic observance of Islamic law which may or may not conform to the entirety of established Islamic doctrine.

The jihadism of shariah is being advanced by both violent techniques and by means other than terrorism. We must, accordingly, be prepared to deal kinetically where necessary with the perpetrators of violent jihad. But it is also imperative that we contend no less effectively with what the Muslim Brotherhood calls “civilization jihad” – its stealthy, subversive effort to “destroy Western civilization from within…by [our own] hands.”

Establishing Our Objective: Next, the United States must enunciate a national commitment to – using a phrase President Reagan employed as the object of NSDD 75 – “contain and over time reverse” shariah-driven Islamic supremacism, including establishment of the Caliphate. The rising tide of shariah and various efforts to impose it here and abroad make abundantly clear an unalterable fact: America and, indeed, Western civilization cannot coexist with the Global Jihad Movement.

Reestablishing “Peace Through Strength”: Just as President Reagan did in his day, the contemporary hollowing out of the U.S. military must be reversed as a matter of the utmost priority. The perception of American weakness only reinforces our shariah-adherent enemies’ conviction that the time has come for intensifying jihad operations. It is also emboldening other adversaries, including Russia, China and North Korea.As the United States is not confronting simply terrorist organizations, or even their state-sponsors, but prospectively “peer competitors,” the rebuilding of American military power must be balanced across the spectrum of nuclear, missile defense, conventional and special operations forces. We must also continue to develop asymmetric capabilities (e.g., in space and cyber space) while correcting our most egregious vulnerabilities to these enemies’ asymmetric attacks (notably, electromagnetic pulse, cyberwarfare, counter-space, economic/financial warfare, smuggled weapons of mass destruction, etc.)

Counter-Ideological Warfare: As in the Cold War, America’s ability to challenge and neutralize its enemies’ animating ideology is at least as important as the task of countering their kinetic threats. Once we are clear about the nature and centrality of the shariah doctrine to the existential danger we currently face, the need for a serious and effective counter-ideological strategy becomes self-evident.Putting such a strategy into practice will require, first and foremost, identifying the Muslim Brotherhood for the explicitly jihadist organization it has always been and is now.

Continuing to treat its operatives and organizations (overt and covert) in America and overseas as “partners” because we are told they “eschew violence” is a formula for our incremental destruction. Wherever and as soon as possible, these foes should be neutralized as political forces. At a minimum, they must be denied access to U.S. government agencies, funds, arms and, via television cable packages, American household subscribers.

Intelligence Operations: We must take a page from the playbook developed during the Reagan administration by then-Director of Central Intelligence William Casey and use covert means wherever possible to counter, divide and undermine our enemies. To the traditional intelligence techniques should be added aggressive use of psychological operations, cyberwarfare and, where necessary, clandestine and special operations.

Economic Warfighting: As with the Reagan NSDD 75 plan, there must be a central economic/financial warfighting component to a new American strategy for defeating our time’s existential enemies. This component would include: constricting the principal source of revenues for the jihad – vast petrodollar transfers from Western nations to OPEC states; reversing the present practice of accommodating and even encouraging shariah finance, a technique employed by civilization jihadists to penetrate and subvert our capitalist system: and exposing shariah-inspired sovereign wealth funds as instruments of financial jihad.

Cyber Warfighting: Cyberspace is the new battlefield of asymmetric warfare where attacks across domains and technologies by the Global Jihad enemy, as well as peer adversaries, must be countered with 21st Century capabilities drawn from the best and brightest in the civilian, intelligence and military worlds.

Were these and similar policy priorities articulated by the Tiger Team to be adopted and executed appropriately, it should be possible to effect the necessary second step: the adoption by the nation of a true warfooting, a state of national commitment that will bring to bear the popular vigilance and support that will make it possible for the Secure Freedom Strategy to be fully executed.

If we are to have a prayer of bequeathing, as President Reagan put it, to our children and children’s children an America that is free – and not one that has submitted to the jihadists and shariah – we must get about the business of securing freedom in a strategic and time-tested way.

And we must begin to do it now.

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Why We’re Losing to Radical Islam

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WSJ, By Newt Gingrich, Jan. 14, 2015:

The United States has been at war with radical Islamist terrorism for at least 35 years, starting with the November 1979 Iranian seizure of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and taking of 52 American hostages. President Jimmy Carter , in his State of the Union address two months later, declared the American captives “innocent victims of terrorism.”

For the next two decades, radical Islamist terrorism grew more powerful and more sophisticated. On Sept. 11, 2001, a remarkably sophisticated effort by Islamist terrorists killed nearly 3,000 Americans in New York City, Washington, D.C., and western Pennsylvania.

In response to the worst attack on U.S. soil since Pearl Harbor, President George W. Bushtold a joint session of Congress: “Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.”

We have clearly failed to meet that goal. After more than 13 years of war, with thousands of Americans dead, tens of thousands of Americans wounded, and several trillion dollars spent, the U.S. and its allies are losing the war with radical Islamism. The terrorists of Islamic State are ravaging Iraq and Syria, Boko Haram is widening its bloody swath through Nigeria, al Qaeda and its affiliates are killing with impunity in Somalia, Yemen and beyond, and the Taliban are resurgent in Afghanistan. The killings in Paris at Charlie Hebdo and at a kosher supermarket are only the most recent evidence of the widening menace of radical Islamism.

Confronted with the atrocities in Paris, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls told his people on Jan. 10 that they were at war: “It is a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity.”

Yet France, like the U.S. government, doesn’t have a strategy for victory in this war. Ad hoc responses to attacks have failed to stop the growing threat. We remain vulnerable to a catastrophic attack (or series of smaller attacks) that would have dark and profound consequences for the American people and for freedom around the world.

The U.S. and its allies must now design a strategy to match a global movement of radical Islamists who sincerely want to destroy Western civilization.

Congress should lead the way, first by convening hearings that outline the scale and nature of the threat. Additional hearings should seek advice from a wide range of experts on strategies to defeat radical Islamists.

Understanding the global threat, outlining strategies that might lead to its defeat, identifying the laws and systems that need to be changed to implement those strategies—all are complex problems that will require months to sort out. But the American people will rise to the challenge if they are given the facts about the real dangers we face.

Here is an outline of the sequence of topics that Congress should investigate:

1. The current strength and growth rate of radical Islamists around the world. We need a detailed sense of the total picture. The scale of the threat from this nihilistic global movement, I suspect, will be stunning.

2. The country-by-country danger. Americans simply don’t realize how dire the situation is in specific areas. Boko Haram has killed thousands more people in Nigeria alone than Ebola has in all of Africa, according to data compiled by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Centers for Disease Control. One or more hearings should focus on each center of radical Islamism, including Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

3. The role of the Muslim Brotherhood. The group is vital to the global radical Islamist movement, yet so little understood by Washington elites that it deserves its own set of hearings.

4. The primary sources of radical Islamist funding, especially Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran.

5. The Arab countries—including Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria—that have successfully contained and minimized radical Islamists. We must learn how this was accomplished and what aspects should be replicated.

6. Radicalization in mosques and on social media. How are young Muslims being drawn into terrorism? What can be done to counter a seductive message that has reached deep into Europe and the U.S. and inspired jihadists by the thousands to travel to the Middle East for terrorist training that can be exported back home?

7. The Islamist cyberthreat. The hacking of the U.S. Central Command’s social-media accounts this week apparently didn’t inflict serious damage, but the episode was evidence of a new front in the fight against terrorism.

Once congressional hearings have outlined the scale of the challenge, it is essential to turn to the sources of our enemies’ strategic thinking and doctrine. Doing so will be controversial, but it is vital to understand the motivations and assumptions of the radical Islamist movement.

On Feb. 22, 1946, U.S. attaché to Moscow George Kennan sent what became known as the “Long Telegram.” In 8,000 words, he outlined the nature of Soviet Union communism with clarity and force. His analysis shaped much of the American transition to a policy of containing the Soviet Union. It is a tragedy, if not a scandal, that nearly 14 years after 9/11, we are still in need of an equivalent “Long Telegram” about the nature of radical Islamism.

The terrorists are immersed in Islamic history and doctrine. It is extraordinary that the political correctness of Western elites has discouraged the study of what inspires those who dream of slaughtering us. Congress should hold hearings on the historic patterns, doctrines and principles that drive the radical Islamists. No doubt these facts will make some of our elites uncomfortable. They should. We must understand the deep roots of Islamist beliefs, like the practice of beheading, if we are going to combat them.

Finally, having held hearings on the enemy and its thinking, Congress must hold hearings on strategies for achieving victory. Once the hearings are complete, preferably this year, Congress should form a commission of the wisest witnesses it heard and charge them with designing a national strategy for winning the global war against radical Islamists. If the current administration doesn’t embrace the strategy, then it can become part of the 2016 presidential campaign: Who wants to get America on offense, with a coherent and intelligible strategy, against those who would destroy us?

Mr. Gingrich, a CNN contributor, is a former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Flynn is Right, Ideology is The Problem

By Kyle Shideler:

LT. General Michael Flynn, outgoing head of the Defense Intelligence Agency recently told an audience at the Aspen Institute that the ideology of Al Qaeda was “expanding,” and that Al Qaeda was not “on the run” as the Obama Administration had repeatedly insisted during the 2012 election. Flynn said, “It’s not on the run, and that ideology is actually, it’s sadly, it feels like it’s exponentially growing,”

Flynn went on to point out that “the core” of Al Qaeda was not in fact a geographic designation, but instead a belief, “We use the term ‘core al Qaeda,’ and I have been going against these guys for a long time,” The Free Beacon reports Flynn as saying, “The core is the core belief that these individuals have.”

While Flynn does not go so far as to name the ideology which Al Qaeda acts in furtherance of (namely Shariah), he is clear that one can not solely counter an ideological threat kinetically.

Under Flynn, the DIA has been one of the few intelligence agencies to hold the line against the Obama Administration’s popular, if delusional, reimagining of the threat.  As Eli Lakenoted in a Daily Beast article discussing the connections between Al Qaeda and Boko Haram:

The dispute inside the intelligence community falls along familiar lines about al Qaeda. The White House has emphasized the distinctions between al Qaeda’s core and its affiliates and other aspiring jihadists, who the White House sees as operating almost entirely independent of the central group.

However, another faction inside the U.S. intelligence community—one that comprises the current leadership of the Defense Intelligence Agency and others working in the military—see al Qaeda as a flatter organization that coordinates between nodes and operates through consensus in the model of an Islamic Shura council.

The idea that DIA should need to wage an rearguard action around a concept as basic as the fact that Al Qaeda is organized along shariah-prescribed lines, is itself an example of how badly we have failed to understand the enemy’s stated threat doctrine.

While Flynn does not say so, the reason the ideology of Al Qaeda has expanded is we have failed to directly combat it. We have failed in combating the ideology, as the direct result of influence operations waged against U.S. policy making by affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has resulted in the purge of U.S. trainers who understood the enemy doctrine, leaving U.S policymakers, and law enforcement and intelligence officials unprepared.

One quibble however. LTG Flynn warns that Hamas ought not to be destroyed, as there is a risk that the Islamist groups that would replace it would some how be “worse.” There is not any substantial difference in ideological doctrine between the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham. they are all based upon the Shariah. Saying that Hamas must survive because ISIS is worse is the same kind of mistaken thinking that permitted some to argue that we could work with the Muslim Brotherhood to serve as a bulwark against Al Qaeda. There is no major doctrinal disagreement between Hamas and Al Qaeda, or ISIS. Hamas hailed Osama bin Laden as a “holy warrior” when he was killed by U.S. forces. The Muslim Brotherhood also recognized Bin Laden’s role as a legitimate jihadist.   The godfather of both Al Qaeda and Hamas was Muslim Brother and Islamic Jurist named  Abdullah Azzam.

But even this mistaken view of Hamas is itself evidence thats proves Flynn’s point. Without understanding the nature of the enemy’s threat doctrine and its primary thinkers (Like Azzam), we will not be successful in defeating it.

Video: Benghazi: US Foreign Policy and the Influence of Shariah Doctrine

The Center for Security Policy is pleased to present a  panel discussion with three of America’s top experts on the shariah doctrinal threat to national security. Dr. Andrew Bostom, Diana West and Stephen Coughlin will be joined by Frank Gaffney to discuss, “Benghazi: U.S. Foreign Policy and the Influence of Shariah Doctrine.”

Featuring nationally-recognized experts and authors:

* Dr. Andrew G. Bostom – author of Sharia versus Freedom (Prometheus Books, October 2012). Dr. Bostom’s earlier publications include The Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism: From Sacred Texts to Solemn History and The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims. He posts regularly at http://www.andrewbostom.org/blog

* Diana West – author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character (St. Martin’s Press, April 2013). Ms. West’s earlier publications include The Death of the Grown-Up: How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization and Shariah: The Threat To America: An Exercise In Competitive Analysis (Report of Team B II). She posts regularly at http://dianawest.net

* Stephen Coughlin – author of Catastrophic Failure: The Big Lie in the War on Terror (Center for Security Policy Press, January 2013).   Mr. Coughlin’s earlier publications include Shariah: The Threat To America: An Exercise In Competitive Analysis (Report of Team B II) , and “To Our Great Detriment: Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad.” His popular series of educational video lectures on Shariah doctrine can be viewed on YouTube.

* Moderator: Frank J. Gaffney Jr., President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy