In Support of Fred Fleitz and the Real Target (Frank Gaffney)

Written by Diana West at her blog on June 3, 2018:

 

To understand the campaign of slander and smear against Fred Fleitz, late of the Center for Security Policy, now chief of staff in the National Security Council under John Bolton, it is important to understand that in the concentric circles that array themselves around Washingon’s power centers there are to be found National Security Hawks and National Security Subversives. Until November 8, 2016, the National Security Subversives ranged closest to and inside the hubs of power; after November 8, 2016, National Security Hawks began to trickle into that most powerful hub, the Trump White House.

This terrifies the Subversives. To understand why, let me explain why I call them “Subversives.” It is because their policies, their programs, are subversive of the Constitution of the United States; the sovereignty of the United States; which naturally means the continued existence of the United States as a nation-state with controlled borders (including an immigration policy designed to improve the nation-state), overriding interests, and a dedication to the primacy of its own citiizens. Hewing to Marx, not our Founding Fathers, Foreign Policy Subversives are best understood as globalists who see the United States as an integral and also subordinate part of an international political system to be run, not governed, by elites like themselves. In their eyes, We, the People, are just subjects, not citizens, members of contending “identity”-groups to which they will redistriibute benefits, or not.

Quite unexpectedly, the Trump Counter-Revolution of 2016 gave the National Security Hawks in Washington new hope. By “National Security Hawks,” I don’t mean to specify “neocons” or interventionists, which is how we have come to understand this term. Indeed, most neocons and interventionists have worked hand in glove with National Security Subversives. In the context of the campaign of slander and smear against Fred Fleitz, I am thinking of National Security Hawks as those who hold a variety of opposing, even clashing, foreign policy viewpoints; however, as a group, loosely confederated or not, we all seek to defend and protect America first.

Yes, it’s the old struggle — patriots vs. globalists, nation-staters vs. Marxists, anti-communists vs. communists — over our nation’s character. Will our nation re-discover itself as a republic under the US Constitution after all (the National Security Subversive nightmare) or will it further integrate (disappear) into the socialist suprastate run, not governed, by unaccountable legions of  bureacrats guided by global, not national, interests?

As vanquished as the globalists believed the nation-staters to be — I think they forgot about us after winning the ideological war in the Cold War at home  — they were pitched into disarray as this struggle entered a new phase in 2016.

Their tactics to regroup unmask them as Subversives as much as anything else. That is, these are not regular, old “liberals” putting forth their competing set of ideas to win elections next time. As Subversives, President Trump’s main opposition sows chaos, disrupts, “resists,” and tries to sabotage the president and harm those associated with him: Witness the ruinous, punitive campaigns of personal and financial destruction masquerading as a legal process operated by the Special Counsel and glossed by his Special Media. They attempt to commandeer the “information battlespace,” not debate in the public square, with a form of propaganda the historical record shows us originated in the Kremlin to be disseminated by Marxist agents. I refer especially to the communist practice of branding all anti-communists, especially the patriot who loves his country, as “fascists” and “Nazis.” Just check back issues of Pravda and the Daily Worker. Or check the Washington Monthly.

Which takes us to the campaign against Fred Fleitz. As soon as Fleitz’s new job was announced, the story went out that an “anti-Muslim” “Islamophobe” “conspiracy theorist” was going to work in the White House. But maybe nearly 17 years after 9/11, this tired invective just wasn’t bad enough anymore. Or maybe it was just time to hit new gutter-levels of calumny. Whatever the cause, in the pages of the Washington Monthly, in a hit and run piece of claptrap by Martin Longman with a headline on top, the anti-Fleitz campaign went full “Neo-Nazi”: “Bolton Taps Neo-Nazi as National Security Council Chief of Staff.” To put a point on the mainstreaming of such a spurious attack, Google, meanwhile, was simultaneously defining the ideology of the California Republican Party first as “Nazism.”

This is information-warfare against conservatives going nuclear.

Moments ago, the Washington Monthly changed its egregious headline as noted in the correction pasted at the top of this post — six days after the piece appeared. Better late than never is the adage, however, numerous follow-up pieces have appeared in the interim, referencing and knocking down the smear, which tell us the damage was done. (Example: “Fred Fleitz Is Not a Neo-Nazi” by Rich Lowry.) The lasting harm, I suspect, is to the Washington Monthly. Note that the text of Longman’s piece is unchanged and its central spurious claim — that “there are links between the Center for Security Policy and neo-Nazi origanizations in Europe” — is, if anything, underscored by the “correction.” What a disgrace.

Then again, the Washington Monthly is just a tiny publication. Still, it lays claim to the beating heart of mainstream liberal journalism and letters, as the magazine’s roster of contributing editors shows.

Are they all satisfied now that their publication’s Pravda-style headline is just a Wayback.org memory? Or will any of them do the right thing and apologize to Fred Fleitz for this unjustified, injurious blow struck by the journal that their own reputations anchor?

In the article that counts for Martin Longman’s admittedly dodgy research (“I cannot endorse everything” but …), I, too, am slimed (along with Frank Gaffney and other leading lights such as Geert Wilders, Lars Hedegaard, Rachel Ehrendfeld, David Yerushalmi, and more) as a racist, and, referencing the disinformation campaign against American Betrayal launched by David Horowitz and Ron Radosh, I am also tagged “`McCarthy’s heiress’ for selling `yellow journalism conspiracies’ about the secret Soviet occupation of America.” (NB: Being named “McCarthy’s heiress” is a great honor, and I humbly accept; however, Horowitz and Radosh meant it to do as much harm as possible.)

Here is the main and unchanged thrust of Longman’s scurrilous attack:

To get a sense of what it means that Fred Fleitz has been chosen as the National Security Council’s chief of staff, you need to understand both the role of Frank Gaffney and his Center for Security Policy in the international neo-Nazi movement and the way that movement is seamlessly connected to and promoted by Vladimir Putin.

“…the role of Frank Gaffney and his Center for Security Policy in the international neo-Nazi movement”

I have to say I’ve never read anything more insane in my life.

Longman has a caveat:

While I cannot endorse everything Mr. Ahmed alleges and recommend double checking his sources and how he treats them, I do think his A Fourth Reich is rising across Europe — with ties to Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin is an excellent place to start your journey. It connects a lot of dots that need connecting, and it contains a lot of documentation that you can assess for yourself.

In other words, “It’s trash, but I like trash.” As for providing “a lot of documentation that you can assess for yourself,” “Mr. Ahmed” somehow forgot to include a link to my column “whose views on black people,” Ahmed wrote, “`gave new meaning to the word racism’” (here’s the link).

In short, Longman’s nasty little item is no better than bathroom grafitti; however, it should not to be quickly dismissed. In its crude slashings there are indicators of a strategy that has been coming into focus, a strategy to engineer and/or use the Russian beguilement and/or infiltration of elements of the European right as a mechanism to “dirty-up” the genuinely patriotic people and parties coalescing around nation-state and sovereignty issues in the wider West. Such attempted inroads are openly attributed to the Kremlin. It seems unlikely that it is just a coincidence that we have been seeing similar patterns in the revelations around the Great “Russian” Frame-Up of the Trump campaign — a process of beguilement and/or infiltration of the Trump campaign to “dirty-up” members with Russian connections, too. Perhaps one day we will be able to attribute this similar operation to the Kremlin, also.

Not Longman. He’s off again, puring hot tar on anti-communists such as Gaffney (and me, I can assume) by aligning them with “Putin’s foreign policy objectives.”

But it’s the way this movement has melded with Putin’s foreign policy objectives that is most urgent, and it’s admittedly confusing because Gaffney built his reputation in the 1980s as an anti-Soviet, anti-Russia hawk. Even today, he is not known for speaking favorably of Russia or Vladimir Putin, which is why it’s essential to explore the absolute confluence of interests that have developed between Gaffney’s promotion of the European far right and Putin’s promotion of the same neo-Nazi parties and politicians.

More slander and disinformation about Frank Gaffney, a courageous patriot whose fidelity to this nation is unparalleled. If Putin is engaging in a “scissors strategy” — the traditional Kremlin m.o. of infiltrating both sides (or more) in a conflict — Gaffney’s so-called “promotion of the European far right” has nothing, nada, zero to do with any neo-Nazi parties or politicians. On the contrary, his “promotion” constitutes a principled and robust defense of free speech in Europe and the US against the incursions of both Islamic and Marxist censorship into Western society.

Not that Longman dares explain or even understands such things. By his own admission, he is irresponsible (and so is Washington Monthly) for promoting a source (“Mr. Ahmed”) he does not trust; also for substituting his own vicious biases for journalistic judgement, without concern for, or, worse, relishing the consequences to Fred Fleitz and anyone else associated with CSP and its mission to support free speech against sharia speech codes, and to alert Americans to the dangers to free speech that accompany Islam wherever it establishes its totalitarian legal, political and individual control-system known as sharia.

Longman says he’s confused.

If so, I bet whoever put him up to this piece is not.

***

Diana West gave an interview with Stefan Molyneux on June 4, 2018:

***

Also with Vlad Tepes May 24, 2018:

Attacks On National Security Council’s Fred Fleitz Whitewash Islamists To Smear A Conservative

Photo Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The attack on Fred Fleitz is yet another example of the Left’s inverted moral confusion, where it is seen as the height of virtue to defend the indefensible, even if it means smearing a good man.

The Federalist, by Kyle Shideler, June 5, 2018:

The rhetorical attacks on incoming National Security Council Executive Secretary Fred Fleitz (the author’s former colleague) have been shrill and ineffective. Conservatives have rallied to Fleitz’ defense, bolstered in part by Fleitz’s long history of work as a Central Intelligence Agency analyst, State Department official, and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staffer, along with his solid reputation working on Iran and nonproliferation-related issues.

According to Trump administration insiders, the White House blames Obama allies and Iran deal advocates for ginning up the non-controversy, and there’s no indication of a willingness to surrender the scalp of a long-time national security professional whose views align with the president’s.

Having met resistance in their initial effort to keep John Bolton allies out of the NSC, the Left’s smear merchants may be shifting to defense, trying to undermine expected policy objectives of a Bolton-led NSC. That’s the main takeaway from a recent column by The Atlantic’s Peter Beinart.

Beinart naturally repeats slurs against Fleitz that the discredited Southern Poverty Law Center has published. He goes on to warn that a likely policy objective for the National Security Council is designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. Beinart blames Fleitz’s former employer, The Center for Security Policy, for promoting this policy.

Yet in truth, Fleitz’s new boss, National Security Advisor John Bolton, has long been on the record supporting a designation for entire Muslim Brotherhood or key branches, a position that terrifies the Brotherhood and many of its defenders on the Left. So in addition to trying to dirty up Fleitz, Beinart undertakes to whitewash the record and nature of the Muslim Brotherhood and its U.S.-based front organizations by obfuscating the evidence that Brotherhood critics cite in their case for designation.

It’s a Conspiracy Theory Substantiated by the FBI?

Beinart labels as a conspiracy theory the notion that notable organizations including the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) are Muslim Brotherhood groups. He provides no evidence for this position.

Evidence to the contrary was supplied not by Fleitz, Bolton, or the Center for Security Policy, but by the FBI and the Department of Justice during the successful terrorism finance prosecution of what was at the time the country’s largest Islamic charity, the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF).

The federal judge who oversaw the trial, Judge Jorge Solis, noted in a memorandum opinion order that the U.S. government “produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA, and NAIT with HLF, The Islamic Association of Palestine, and with Hamas.” The judge went on to cite trial testimony and government exhibits to make the case in detail that the Muslim Brotherhood operated in the United States and created organizations, including CAIR, ISNA, and NAIT, for the purpose of supporting terrorism.

Beinart has argued—as he does in an article he links to in his current screed—that this evidence is insufficient because it comes from a trial now more than a decade old. Beinart quoted an “expert on Islamic extremism” who called the links between these organizations and the Muslim Brotherhood “ancient history.” That must have come as a surprise to the leaders of these organizations, many of whom remain the very same people who founded them and led them during the government’s investigation.

Meet the New Ringleaders, Same as the Old Ringleaders

Examples includes CAIR founder Nihad Awad, who has been the organization’s leader since it was created in 1994. Awad participated in a Muslim Brotherhood meeting in Philadelphia in 1993 where the FBI recorded explicit calls to support Hamas. ISNA’s board of directors (which underwent a recent shake-up) still includes ISNA Vice President for Canada Pervaz Nasim, who has been with the organization since the beginning, and Iqbal Unus, who helped found ISNA and was an early secretary general of the organization.

Included on the Board of Trustees of NAIT is Gadoor Saidi, whose name appears in a phone directory of U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leaders submitted as evidence by the federal government during the Holy Land Foundation trial. Saidi is listed as a member of the group’s Shura Council and a member of its Executive Office. Also a long time NAIT board member, and listed in the same 1992 phone directory, is Bassam Osman, also a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood Shura Council member.

There is plenty of room for a substantive discussion on the policy merits of designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. It is reasonable to discuss how it might be legally accomplished, or how best to address Islamists who act as pressure groups and supporters of terrorist groups. Yet the Left is largely uninterested in substantive discussion.

Instead, when defending the Muslim Brotherhood and similar Islamist groups the Left attempts, much as they did in the MS-13 “animals” debacle, to portray critics of a particular, dangerous group as criticizing and condemning all members of a protected class. The attack on Fleitz is yet another example of the Left’s inverted moral confusion, where it is seen as the height of virtue to defend the indefensible, even if it means smearing a good man.

To the extent the Trump administration is going to be successful in furthering its policies, it will be by ignoring the screeching of the outraged Left, and moving forward with the policies it was elected to accomplish. In national security and counterterrorism matters, Fleitz is positioned to help them do exactly that.

Kyle Shideler is the director of the Threat Information Office at the Center for Security Policy. Kyle has worked for several organizations involved with Middle East and terrorism policy since 2006. He is a contributing author to “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West’s Fatal Embrace,” and has written for numerous publications and briefed legislative aides, intelligence, and law enforcement officials and the general public on national security issues.
Also see:

9/11/2017: Trump, Pence, Mattis, Sessions Fail to Name ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’

AP/Susan Walsh

Breitbart, by Aaron Klein, Sept. 11, 2017:

NEW YORK — On the sixteenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, Islamic terrorist attacks, President Donald Trump did not once mention the terms “radical Islam” or “Islamic terrorism” during a commemoration ceremony at the Pentagon.

Those phrases were also not mentioned in speeches today by other Trump administration senior officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Instead of naming the enemy, Trump seemingly went out of his way to use other descriptors in his speech, including “terrorists who attacked us,” “barbaric forces of evil and destruction,” “horrible, horrible enemies,” “enemies of all civilized people,” and “enemies like we’ve never seen before.”

Similarly, Pence, speaking at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, referred to the scourge as “evil terrorists” and “global terrorism.” Pence did mention “the barbarians known as ISIS,” calling the global jihadist group by its acronym instead of the Islamic State.

Mattis, addressing the same Pentagon memorial as Trump, outwardly minimized the Islamic motivations of the terrorists by calling them “maniacs disguised in false religious garb.” He referred to “attackers perpetrating murder” on that fateful day, not even using the words “terrorist” or “terrorism.”

Sessions perhaps came closest to prescribing a religious ideology, calling out “extremists” who “seek to impose their speech codes, their religion, their theocracy.”

“For these extremists, it’s more than religion; it’s ideology,” he stated. “We have no choice but to defend against it.”

But Sessions did not mention a specific religion and did not expound upon which ideology the terrorists maintain.

When speaking of common threads among terrorists, Sessions also failed to mention the one major thread of Islam when he stated:

While the threats we face are diverse and evolving, terrorist ideologies have one thing in common: their disregard for the dignity of human life and they share an obsession with forcing everyone into their twisted ideology. And the terrorists know they can’t persuade people using reason, so they use coercion and intimidation. They seek acquiescence and inaction.

Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke released a brief statement that referred to the 9/11 radical Islamic jihadist perpetrators as “terrorists.”

Trump’s reluctance to name the actual enemy contrasts with speeches he gave in the past, including during the 2016 presidential campaign, in which he repeatedly utilized the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.”

“America was under attack,” stated Trump at Monday’s Pentagon memorial, a passive tone that did not specify who the attackers were.

“Today, our entire nation grieves with you and with every family of those 2,977 innocent souls who were murdered by terrorists 16 years ago,” he stated.

“The terrorists who attacked us thought they could incite fear and weaken our spirit. But America cannot be intimidated, and those who try will soon join the long list of vanquished enemies who dared to test our mettle.”

Trump went on to use various other terms to describe the enemy:

In the years after September 11, more than five million young men and women have joined the ranks of our great military to defend our country against barbaric forces of evil and destruction. American forces are relentlessly pursuing and destroying the enemies of all civilized people, ensuring — and these are horrible, horrible enemies, enemies like we’ve never seen before — but we’re ensuring they never again have a safe haven to launch attacks against our country. We are making plain to these savage killers that there is no dark corner beyond our reach, no sanctuary beyond our grasp, and nowhere to hide anywhere on this very large earth.

So here at this memorial, with hearts both sad and determined, we honor every hero who keeps us safe and free, and we pledge to work together, to fight together, and to overcome together every enemy and obstacle that’s ever in our path.

Pence did quote a previous statement from Trump about terrorists’ “radical ideology” but, like the other administration officials speaking, did not say what that ideology was:

But under the leadership of President Donald Trump, as our commander-in-chief, our armed forces have ISIS on the run in Iraq and Syria, and we will not rest or relent until we hunt down and destroy them at their source. Some four weeks ago, President Trump expressed the full commitment of the United States to, in his words, “destroy terrorist organizations and the radical ideology that drives them.

The uniform lack of the mention of radical Islamic terrorism from the administration Monday comes after previous reports that H.R. McMaster, Trump’s embattled national security adviser, has petitioned against using the phrase.

In February, CNN cited a source inside a National Security Council meeting quoting McMaster as saying that use of the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” is unhelpful in working with allies to fight terrorism.

In May, McMaster spoke on ABC’s This Week about whether Trump would use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” in a speech that the president was about to give in Saudi Arabia. “The president will call it whatever he wants to call it,” McMaster said. “But I think it’s important that, whatever we call it, we recognize that [extremists] are not religious people. And, in fact, these enemies of all civilizations, what they want to do is to cloak their criminal behavior under this false idea of some kind of religious war.”

This reporter previously exposed numerous instances of McMaster’s minimizing the Islamic motivations of radical Muslim terrorists.

Breitbart News unearthed a 2014 speech on the Middle East in which McMaster claimed that Islamic terrorist organizations are “really un-Islamic” and are “really irreligious organizations” who cloak themselves in the “false legitimacy of Islam.”

Delivering the keynote address at last April’s Norwich University ROTC Centennial Symposium, McMaster criticized “modern day barbarians like Daesh and al-Qaeda who cynically use a perverted interpretation of religion to perpetuate ignorance, incite hatred, and commit the most heinous crimes against innocents.”

Breitbart News also reported that McMaster endorsed and touted a book that frames jihad as a largely peaceful “means to struggle or exert effort,” such as waking up early in the morning to recite prayers. It argues that groups like al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations have hijacked the concept of jihad to wage warfare using such tactics as suicide bombings.

That same book calls Hamas an “Islamist political group” while failing to categorize the deadly organization as a terrorist group and refers to al-Qaeda attacks and anti-Israel terrorism as “resistance.”

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, Aaron Klein Investigative Radio. Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

H.R. McMaster-Endorsed Book Calls Jihad Peaceful, Al-Qaida Terrorism ‘Resistance’

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Breitbart, by Aaron Klein, Aug. 18, 2017:

TEL AVIV — A book on terrorism endorsed and touted by H.R. McMaster, the embattled White House National Security Adviser, calls Hamas an “Islamist political group” while failing to categorize the deadly organization as a terrorist group, and refers to al-Qaida attacks and anti-Israel terrorism as “resistance.”

The work frames jihad as largely peaceful “means to struggle or exert effort,” such as waking up early in the morning to recite prayers. It argues that groups like al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations have hijacked the concept of jihad to wage warfare using such tactics as suicide bombings.

The book, reviewed in full by this reporter, was authored by U.S. military officer Youssef H. Aboul-Enein, and is titled Militant Islamist Ideology: Understanding the Global Threat.

McMaster provided a glowing blurb for the book jacket, referring to Aboul-Enein’s book as “an excellent starting point” for understanding terrorist ideology. McMaster also promotedthe book in ARMOR, the journal of the U.S. Army’s Armor Branch, published at Fort Benning, Georgia, where McMaster served as commanding general at the Ft. Benning Maneuver Center of Excellence.

McMaster wrote in his blurb for the book: “Militant Islamist Ideology deserves a wide readership among all those concerned with the problem of transnational terrorism, their ideology, and our efforts to combat those organizations that pose a serious threat to current and future generations of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”

In the blurb, McMaster revealed his own views on terrorism, claiming that “terrorist organizations use a narrow and irreligious ideology to recruit undereducated and disenfranchised people to their cause.”

The book may offer a primer into critical national security views held by McMaster, who has claimed that Islamic terrorist organizations are “really un-Islamic” and are “really irreligious organizations” who cloak themselves in the “false legitimacy of Islam.”

In numerous public comments on terrorism, McMaster has seemed to minimize the central religious motivations of radical Islamic terrorist groups who are waging a religious war against Western civilization. McMaster’s comments represent views of Islamic terrorism that are diametrically opposed to those espoused by President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly utilized the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Aboul-Enein is listed as a senior adviser and analyst at the Joint Intelligence Task Force for Combating Terrorism at the Defense Intelligence Agency, a position that he also held under the Obama administration. He is an officer in the Navy Medical Service Corps and Middle East Foreign Officer, and an adjunct military professor and chair of Islamic studies at the National Defense University.

Besides endorsing Militant Islamist Ideology, McMaster also wrote a forward for another Aboul-Enein book, this one titled, Iraq in Turmoil: Historical Perspectives of Dr. Ali al-Wardi, From the Ottoman Empire to King Feisal.

Hamas an ‘Islamist Political Group’

Throughout the McMaster-endorsed Militant Islamist Ideology book, Aboul-Enein struggles to properly categorize Hamas; but at no point does he call Gaza’s murderous Islamist rulers a terrorist organization.

Hamas is a terrorist group responsible for scores of deadly suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians. Hamas’s official charter calls for the obliteration of the Jewish state, and proclaims that there is “no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad.” Hamas leaders routinely demand the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews.

Yet Aboul-Enein struggles to properly classify Hamas. At one point, Aboul-Enein differentiates between “militant Islamists” and Hamas, grouping the latter among “Islamist political groups.”

In the book’s introduction, he writes:

Militant Islamists alienate not only the United States but even Islamist political groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. It is time for a more nuanced definition of the threat.

At another point, the author calls Hamas an “Islamist” group. He writes (page 131): “For instance, Zawahiri condemns Islamist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas for participating in the electoral process.”

Despite its clear terrorist activities, Aboul-Enein suggests (page 2) that Hamas does not “fit into a neat category.” He asks an open question about whether Hamas “is an Islamist or Militant Islamist group,” but he does not provide an answer.

He writes (page 3):

There are also Islamists who do not fit into a neat category, such as the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas. On one hand, Hamas provides social services, won 44 percent of the electorate in 2006, and is the government of the Palestinian territories. On the other hand, it has failed to compromise effectively with other Palestinian rejectionist and secular groups to form a governing coalition, and it has failed to provide social services for a wider Palestinian populace. In addition, it has conducted suicide operations directed against Israeli civilians – though it has not widened its campaign beyond targeting Israel. Further, al-Qaida senior leaders have viciously attacked Hamas for participating in electoral politics. The question for Americans is whether Hamas is an Islamist or Militant Islamist group.

Aboul-Enein fails to note that the U.S. government already answered that so-called question, designating Hamas as a foreign terrorist group.

In another section of the book, Aboul-Enein defines (page 193) Hamas as straddling “the Islamist and Militant Islamist divide, using its proficiency in suicide-bomber operations to strike at Israeli targets, yet it is currently in government.” He also writes (page 215) that Hamas “is a Palestinian Sunni Islamist militant organization and political party.”

Al-Qaida, Palestinian ‘Resistance’

In the book, Aboul-Enein refers to the deadly terrorism of al-Qaida in Iraq as “resistance.” Besides its worldwide mayhem, Al-Qaida has been responsible for countless terrorist attacks across Iraq that have targeted civilians, U.S. troops and Iraqi government institutions.

Aboul-Enein relates a struggle between the goals of al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) and those of the Islamic Army of Iraq (IAI) in terms of “resistance” locally versus a global fight against the West.

Aboul-Enein writes (page 101):

In post-Saddam Iraq, among the Sunni insurgency there are other stressors that undermine al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI), such as the tensions between the Islamic Army of Iraq (IAI) and al-Qaida in Iraq. The IAI struggles with AQI over the concept of this fight being for Iraq’s Sunnis and not a wider pan-Islamist struggle; the IAI has narrower objectives than AQI. It is a tension between Jihad as muqawama (resistance) and Jihad for a wider pan-Islamist objective.

He refers to support for “resistance” against the U.S. presence in Iraq. He does so when documenting the rise of Muslim Brotherhood political parties and public criticism of an al-Qaida hotel bombing in 2005 in Amman, Jordan.

He writes (page 46):

This has split the Muslim Brotherhood, as there is deep hostility toward the U.S. presence in Iraq, support for muqawama (resistance) and for the Muslim Brotherhood concept of wasatiyah (moderation), and recognition of the need for grassroots representation of the Ahl-al-Sunnah (formal term for Sunni Muslims).

Aboul-Enein also categorizes deadly terrorist raids on Jewish settlements in the 1930s as “resistance,” even though those operations targeted and killed civilians.

He states: (page 138)

No study of Militant Islamist ideologues and the cleavages between Militant Islamist and Islamist groups can be complete without delving into the life, actions, theories, and legacy of Abdullah Azzam. Militant Islamist operatives take the nom de guerre“Abu Azzam” in his honor. A witness to increased Jewish immigration into Palestine in World War II, Azzam was reared on the stories of resistance by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigade, which led guerrilla raids against the British and then Jewish settlers.

The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades is currently the namesake of Hamas’s so-called military wing. Aboul-Enein was referring to deadly attacks carried out by the original Brigade, founded around 1930 by Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, a Syrian Muslim cleric who popularized the concept of jihad against Jews during the British civil administration of Palestine.

“Islamist” vs. “Militant Islamist”

The core of Aboul-Enein’s endeavor, and one that may help to elucidate McMaster’s views, is to differentiate between what he terms “Islamist” and “Militant Islamist,” and to show that “militant Islamists” present a distorted, dishonest view of Islam. The thesis might clarify McMaster’s aversion to using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.”

In seeking to differentiate between “Islam,” “Islamist,” and “Militant Islamist,” Aboul-Enein comes up with the following basic definitions:

  • Islam is “the religious faith of Muslims, involving (as defined in Merriam-Webster’s) belief in Allah as the sole deity and in Muhammad as his prophet.”
  • He defines Islamist as “a group or individual advocating Islam as a political as well as a religious system. Chief Islamist objectives include implementing sharia (Islamic) law as the basis of all statutory issues and living as did the earliest adherents to Islam. Many Islamists also assert that implementation of sharia law requires the elimination of all non-Islamic influences in social, political, economic, and military spheres of life.”
  • Militant Islamists, Aboul-Enein claims, consist of a “group or individual advocating Islamist ideological goals, principally by violent means. Militant Islamists call for the strictest possible interpretation of both the Qur’an (Muslim book of divine revelation) and the hadith (the Prophet Muhammad’s actions and deeds). This narrow interpretation opposes the beliefs of Muslims and non-Muslims alike; Militant Islamists stand against Western democracies, Middle Eastern institutions of government, and Islamist political parties that participate nonviolently in elections.”

Defining Jihad

Aboul-Enein frames jihad as a largely peaceful “means to struggle or exert effort,” a term that has been hijacked by “militant Islamists” to wage extremist warfare.

Aboul-Enein posits, for example, that jihad “can be as simple as struggling to get up in the early morning to say your dawn prayers or struggling to learn and improve yourself spiritually or intellectually. It also can mean struggling in the path of God, which does not necessarily mean engaging in warfare but might be making time to teach Islam to children or providing financial support for an Islamic project.”

Jihad, in other words, is a struggle to fulfill one’s obligations to Allah, according to the author.

Islamists, he states, define jihad as a “means to expend every effort fighting against the disbelievers.” However, Aboul-Enein attempts to cloak this violent struggle in the shroud of morality.

He writes (page 34): “Islamists delineate who can fight and when; unlike Militant Islamists, they generally set rules and limits for engaging in fighting in the name of God. … It makes Jihad obligatory upon all Muslims only if the enemy has entered Muslim lands and if the imam calls for Jihad.”

Some Islamists, he relates, “prescribe a protocol of warfare in which a noble Muslim warrior should be free of arrogance and conceit,” and espouse “etiquette” such as “warnings not to kill noncombatant women and children.”

Aboul-Enein describes the seemingly legitimate, moderate jihad as different from the jihadist views advocated by “militant Islamists,” who “use women, children, and the mentally infirm as suicide bombers, who reduce Jihad to fighting or supporting the fighting through financial means, and who make Jihad incumbent upon all Muslims, with no distinction between communal and individual responsibility.”

Islam experts, meanwhile, have pointed out that mainstream Islamic scripture advocates a violent jihad to spread Islam worldwide.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, wrote at Foreign Policy magazine that “anyone seeking support for armed jihad in the name of Allah will find ample support in the passages in the Quran and Hadith that relate to Mohammed’s Medina period.”

Ali pointed to Q4:95 which states, “Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home).” Q8:60 instructs Muslims “to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of Allah and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom Allah doth know.” Q9:29 explicitly tells Muslims: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

Writes Ali:

Mainstream Islamic jurisprudence continues to maintain that the so-called “sword verses” (9:5 and 9:29) have “abrogated, canceled, and replaced” those verses in the Quran that call for “tolerance, compassion, and peace.”

There lies the duality within Islam. It’s possible to claim, following Mohammed’s example in Mecca, that Islam is a religion of peace. But it’s also possible to claim, as the Islamic State does, that a revelation was sent to Mohammed commanding Muslims to wage jihad until every human being on the planet accepts Islam or a state of subservience, on the basis of his legacy in Medina.

The key question is not whether Islam is a religion of peace, but rather, whether Muslims follow the Mohammed of Medina, regardless of whether they are Sunni or Shiite.

Writing for the Hoover Institute, Shmuel Bar, who served as a senior research fellow at the Institute for Policy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel, assertedthat “few orthodox Islamic scholars would deny” that beliefs “commonly viewed as typical of radical Islamic ideology” are “deeply rooted in Orthodox Islam.”

McMaster’s Troubling Views

McMaster, meanwhile, has espoused controversial views on the topics discussed in Aboul-Enein’s book.

On Monday, Breitbart News unearthed a 2014 speech on the Middle East in which McMaster claimed that Islamic terrorist organizations are “really un-Islamic” and are “really irreligious organizations” who cloak themselves in the “false legitimacy of Islam.”

McMaster, who serves in a critical national security position, seems to be minimizing the central religious motivations of radical Islamic terrorist groups who are waging a religious war against Western civilization.

He has made such remarks in the past. Delivering the keynote address at last April’s Norwich University ROTC Centennial Symposium, McMaster criticized “modern day barbarians like Daeshand Al-Qaeda who cynically use a perverted interpretation of religion to perpetuate ignorance, incite hatred, and commit the most heinous crimes against innocents.”

In February, CNN cited a source inside a National Security Council meeting quoting McMaster as saying that use of the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” is unhelpful in working with allies to fight terrorism.

In May, McMaster spoke on ABC’s This Week about whether Trump would use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” in a speech that the president was about to give in Saudi Arabia.

“The president will call it whatever he wants to call it,” McMaster said. “But I think it’s important that, whatever we call it, we recognize that [extremists] are not religious people. And, in fact, these enemies of all civilizations, what they want to do is to cloak their criminal behavior under this false idea of some kind of religious war.”

In the speech, Trump eventually urged Muslim-majority countries to take the lead in “combating radicalization,” and referred to “Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires.”

Shia and Sunni Islamic terrorist groups such as al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and the Islamic State each openly espouse Islamic motivations, repeatedly cite the Quran, and claim they are fighting a religious war. Some of the Sunni groups are violent offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks to create a global Islamic caliphate.

Besides his drive to define terrorist groups as “irreligious,” Breitbart News further unearthed a speech following Israel’s defensive 2014 war against the Hamas terrorist group in which McMaster sidestepped a question about whether the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conducted itself in an ethical manner, instead providing what McMaster admitted was a “non-answer.”

The IDF is known to go to extreme lengths to operate ethically and protect civilians when fighting Palestinian jihadists who use civilians as human shields, launch rocket attacks from civilian zones and house their terrorist infrastructures in densely populated civilian areas.

Earlier this month, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), the oldest pro-Israel group in the country, released an analysis of McMaster’s policies and reported views, concluding that he should be reassigned outside the NSC after it found that McMaster may be undermining Trump’s stated national security agenda.

The analysis states:

We find it hard to understand how someone who clearly has animus toward Israel, who supports the disastrous Iran nuclear deal, who opposes calling out radical Islamist terrorists, who fires Trump loyalists and supporters of Israel and opponents of Iran, who hires those opposed to President Trump’s policies especially on Israel and Iran, who refused to acknowledge that the Western Wall is in Israel, who opposes Israeli counterterrorism measures, and who shuts down joint U.S. counterterrorism programs that are of enormous value to U.S. security, can faithfully serve President Trump as top national security advisor. President Trump made it crystal clear, both before and since his election, that supporting Israel and the U.S.-Israel alliance, abrogating or at least vigorously enforcing the Iran deal while calling out and sanctioning Iran’s violations, confronting radical Islamist terrorism, and draining the Washington swamp were key, distinguishing policies of his administration.

The ZOA’s analysis cited Breitbart News articles from this reporter on McMaster’s background.

Last week, Breitbart News reported that McMaster served at a UK-based think tank financed by a controversial, George Soros-funded group identified by the Obama White House as central in helping to sell the Iran nuclear deal to the public and news media.

From September 2006 to February 2017, McMaster was listed as a member of International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), where he served as consulting senior fellow. The IISS describes itself as a “world-leading authority on global security, political risk and military conflict.”

Breitbart also reported that IISS is bankrolled by multinational corporate firms doing billions of dollars of business in Iran.

And IISS quietly took in about $32.5 million in funding from Bahrain, a country whose constitution explicitly enshrines Sharia Islamic law as its governing doctrine, Breitbart News documented.

The funding from Bahrain, a repressive regime with a dismal human rights track record but also an important regional U.S. ally, reportedly amounted to one quarter of the think tank’s total income.

A significant portion of the Bahraini funding reportedly pays for the think tank’s annual conference in Bahrain, the Mamana Dialogue. The original agreement between IISS and Bahrain to finance the conference contained a clause calling for the memorandum of understanding to remain confidential, according to the document, which was leaked by a watchdog and published by the Guardian newspaper last year.

As a member of IISS, McMaster participated in the Sixth Mamana Dialogue summit in Bahrain from December 11 to December 13, 2009, Breitbart News found. He is listed in IISS literature as being part of the Mamana Dialogue’s four-person panel that year on “military transformation, intelligence and security cooperation.”

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

This article was written with additional research  by Joshua Klein.

Caroline Glick: McMaster’s Policies Completely Contradict Trump’s, Natural Continuation of Obama’s

AP/Getty

Breitbart, by John Hayward, Aug. 11, 2017:

Jerusalem Post contributor Caroline Glick criticized National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster’s leadership of the National Security Council on Friday’s Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM host Alex Marlow.

Glick said the problem with McMaster is that “in key issue after key issue, particularly in relation to the Middle East,” he “opposes the things that the president ran on and that he was elected on.”

She quoted Ayaan Hirsi Ali, one of the world’s leading activists against Islamic supremacism, writing in the Wall Street Journal that “President Trump, during the campaign, insisted that it was necessary to go after the political ideology of radical Islam, and he’s just completely stopped.”

“She called on Congress to pick it up and take it on since the president seems to have lost interest in it,” Glick said of Ali’s article. “Whether it’s Iran and countering Iranian influence and rising hegemony in Syria and in Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, Bahrain, and, of course, Iran’s nuclear weapons program, these are very, very key issues for the United States and for all of its allies in the Middle East. And on all of these issues, in practice, we see that the policies that the National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster, is pushing are at loggerheads with – completely contradict – the policies that President Trump ran on and continues to say that he wants.”

“For instance, I wrote in my column in the Jerusalem Post this morning, the United States special forces are fighting side-by-side with the Lebanese armed forces, which are controlled by Hezbollah, to the side of Hezbollah, which is a global terrorist organization, against ISIS,” she said.

“This is President Obama’s policy, was to try to get the United States to help Iran to take over Syria, without allowing the American people to know that, by saying, ‘Well, we’re fighting ISIS in Syria,’” she explained. “Allow Iran and Hezbollah to take over Syria and present an existential threat to Jordan and a massive strategic threat to Israel and to U.S. interests, in the name of fighting ISIS.”

“This, we see, is a policy that President Trump continues to implement,” Glick said with dismay. “It’s a very, very troubling thing.”

Glick was further troubled by the way Western media is allowing McMaster supporters, “from the Council on American Islamic Relations to the Anti-Defamation League” to frame coverage of his move away from President Trump’s policy agenda.

She further implicated “Soros-funded groups that are working day and night to undermine and subvert, with the hope of destroying this president.” These forces have conspired to forge a media narrative that claims people only oppose McMaster because they are “racist or Islamophobic or what have you.”

“In other words, they’re turning this into the same thing that the left always turns their policy disputes into, which is the good guys against the racists, and everyone who opposes them is essentially a non-person, and we mustn’t listen to them,” said Glick.

“It’s even worse in a way than just saying this is a partisan squabble and this is domestic politics,” she said. “What they’re trying to do is dehumanize the people who oppose McMaster, in order not to have a substantive discussion. That’s what we see the left doing everywhere, all the time, throughout the United States and throughout the Western world. You don’t win by substance because your substance is antithetical to what most people want, so what you do is you say that anyone who opposes you is a racist. Anybody who opposes you is the enemy of the good, and, therefore, all right-thinking people have to be on your side, against their side.”

“It’s interesting that this is the dynamic that’s taking place around McMaster. It would seem to me that, particularly for the president himself, who knows these things, this should be just a glaring red light. The fact that yet again yesterday he embraced McMaster, sitting next to Vice President Pence at his golf club in Bedminster, is an indication that something is awry, and I don’t really know what it is,” she said.

“Again, it’s very troubling because the problem here is not whether H.R. McMaster has a temper or is just the nicest person in the whole world. The problem is that he is pushing and getting implemented a policy, in relation to Israel in particular – and Israel as an American ally in the Middle East, no less Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, and so on and so forth – that is a natural continuation of Barack Obama’s policy of realigning the United States away from its allies in the United States and in favor of Iran and Hezbollah,” she charged.

LISTEN:

NSC Purge: McMaster ‘Deeply Hostile to Israel and to Trump

Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

Breitbart, Aug. 3, 2017:

Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick wrote Wednesday evening that National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster is purging pro-Israel staff from the National Security Council (NSC), turning the administration against President Donald Trump’s policies.

In a Facebook post, Glick noted that “all of these people” whom McMaster has fired this week — Rich Higgins, Derek Harvey, and Ezra Cohen-Watnick — “are pro-Israel and oppose the Iran nuclear deal, positions that Trump holds.”

She noted that the firings were the latest evidence that NSA McMaster is “deeply hostile to Israel and to Trump”:

According to senior officials aware of his behavior, he constantly refers to Israel as the occupying power and insists falsely and constantly that a country named Palestine existed where Israel is located until 1948 when it was destroyed by the Jews.

Many of you will remember that a few days before Trump’s visit to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו and his advisers were blindsided when the Americans suddenly told them that no Israeli official was allowed to accompany Trump to the Western Wall.

What hasn’t been reported is that it was McMaster who pressured Trump to agree not to let Netanyahu accompany him to the Western Wall. At the time, I and other reporters were led to believe that this was the decision of rogue anti-Israel officers at the US consulate in Jerusalem. But it wasn’t. It was McMaster.

And even that, it works out wasn’t sufficient for McMaster. He pressured Trump to cancel his visit to the Wall and only visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial — ala the Islamists who insist that the only reason Israel exists is European guilt over the Holocaust.

Glick noted that the three latest firings were not McMaster’s first attack on pro-Israel officials, or those critical of radical Islam. Two others had already been assigned to other jobs outside the National Security Council, she said.

Meanwhile, she noted, McMaster has replaced pro-Israel officials with anti-Israel, anti-Trump officials, and he allowed anti-Israel Obama holdovers to continue in their jobs:

[McMaster] fires all of Trump’s loyalists and replaces them with Trump’s opponents, like Kris Bauman, an Israel hater and Hamas supporter who McMaster hired to work on the Israel-Palestinian desk. He allows anti-Israel, pro-Muslim Brotherhood, pro-Iran Obama people like Robert Malley to walk around the NSC and tell people what to do and think. He has left Ben (reporters know nothing about foreign policy and I lied to sell them the Iran deal) Rhodes’ and Valerie Jarrett’s people in place.

(Malley was notoriously fired by Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign for meeting with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas and advocating negotiations with them. He was later brought into President Obama’s administration to negotiate with Iran, and advised Obama — evidently poorly — on how to fight the Islamic State.)

Glick noted that “McMaster disagrees and actively undermines Trump’s agenda on just about every salient issue on his agenda,” including the Iran deal: “As for Iran, well, suffice it to say that McMaster supports the deal and refuses to publish the side deals Obama signed with the Iranians and then hid from the public.”

She also noted the irony that Trump had only hired McMaster, under pressure, because he was recommended by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ):

Finally, there is the issue of how McMaster got there in the first place. Trump interviewed McMaster at Mara Lago for a half an hour. He was under terrible pressure after firing Flynn to find someone.

And who recommended McMaster? You won’t believe this.

Senator John McCain. That’s right. The NSA got his job on the basis of a recommendation from the man who just saved Obamacare.

Glick expressed disbelief that Trump could fire former General Michael Flynn as NSA “essentially for nothing,” while allowing McMaster to attack Israel, and undermining the rest of the Trump administration’s foreign policy, with impunity.

She suggested that Trump replace McMaster — or else Israel might begin to reconsider its embrace of Trump:

If McMaster isn’t fired after all that he has done and all that he will do, we’re all going to have to reconsider Trump’s foreign policy. Because if after everything he has done, and everything that he will certainly do to undermine Trump’s stated foreign policy agenda, it will no longer be possible to believe that exiting the nuclear deal or supporting the US alliance with Israel and standing with US allies against US foes — not to mention draining Washington’s cesspool – are Trump’s policies. How can they be when Trump stands with a man who opposes all of them and proves his opposition by among other things, firing Trump’s advisers who share Trump’s agenda?

She said that Trump should not fear criticism for firing another adviser:

One source claims that Trump’s political advisers are afraid of how it will look if he fires another national security adviser. But that makes no sense. Trump is being attacked for everything and nothing. Who cares if he gets attacked for doing something that will actually help him to succeed in office? Why should fear of media criticism play a role here or anywhere for this president and this administration?

Glick added, wryly: “Obviously, at this point, Trump has nothing to lose by angering McCain. I mean what will he do? Vote for Obamacare?”

Read Glick’s full post here.

Unimpressed Trump Sends Pentagon Back to the Drawing Board on Afghanistan

AP

Breitbart, by Edwin Mora, July 20, 2017:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. President Donald Trump, unimpressed by the Afghanistan war options presented to him during a White House meeting with his full national security team Wednesday, suggested they may have to go back to the drawing board to craft a strategy that does not mirror the failed ones employed by his predecessors, said an administration official.

The meeting came as the Pentagon briefed lawmakers about plans to increase the U.S. military footprint in the country.

Contrary to mainstream media claims that the president has taken a completely hands-offapproach to the 16-year-old conflict in Afghanistan, Trump presided over Wednesday’s meeting primarily aimed at discussing the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan, a Trump administration official familiar with the deliberations told Breitbart News on condition of anonymity.

President Trump indicated that he is not satisfied with the strategy as it currently stands.

The Pentagon and White House National Security Council (NSC) declined to provide specifics about the developing plan.

President Trump demanded that his team go back to square one if necessary and create a realistic plan that ensures Afghanistan is ultimately able to stand on its own as a country, said the administration official, noting that the meeting served as a sort of wake up call for those involved in developing the strategy.

It appears that besides the Pentagon, the NSC has at least some authority in setting the strategy.

Asked about the meeting, the Pentagon did not confirm nor deny that the President asked officials to go back to the drawing board.

“We’re not going to discuss White House meetings or direction,” said Adam Stump, a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) spokesman, when Breitbart News asked whether or not it has been forced to start developing the Afghanistan war strategy from scratch and when it expects to present the plan to Trump.

The NSC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters last Friday a decision on the new plan would be unveiled around “mid-July” or “somewhere around there. We are driven by the maturity of the discussion, and where we’re at, we are not going to meet some timeline if we are not ready, but we are pretty close.”

Trump has granted the Pentagon the authority to decide how many additional troops to deploy to the war-ravaged country.

Currently, Mattis may increase that number of troops by between 3,000 and 5,000, from the 8,400 already there.

Mattis noted on Friday that the number of additional troops has not been “finalized yet,” adding that the Pentagon is waiting from input from the U.S. State Department.

Citing unnamed U.S. officials, CNN reports that as it currently stands, the strategy:

Encompasses a way ahead in Afghanistan, including the possibility of sending more troops, but also a look at new ideas for dealing with Pakistan, which the US believes is supporting or turning a blind eye to a number of terror groups operating inside the country.

The president made it clear he is not interested in any approach that resembles the strategies used by his predecessors and will not accept anything less than a dramatic overhaul, the official told Breitbart News.

Directly dealing with Pakistan’s support for terrorists fighting the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan would mark a significant departure from what America has done in the past.

Most of the 2,255 U.S. military fatalities and 20,245 injury incidents have taken place in provinces that border Pakistan.

The Pentagon spokesman defined what victory in Afghanistan means for the Trump administration, saying it utlimately involves a settlement with the Taliban and terrorists laying down their arms.

Stump told Breitbart News:

The U.S. strategy in Afghanistan remains centered on working with NATO allies, operational partners, and the international community to defeat the remnants of core al Qaeda and to defeat other violent extremist organizations and terrorist groups, such as ISIS-K [Islamic State], to ensure that Afghanistan does not again become a safe-haven for groups to plan and execute attacks against the United States, U.S. persons overseas, or allies and partners; and continuing efforts to provide financial and advisory support to the Afghan Government and to enable a well-trained, equipped, and sustainable ANDSF [Afghan National Defense and Security Force] that provides security in Afghanistan.

The U.S. and Afghan Governments agree that the best way to ensure lasting peace and security in Afghanistan is through reconciliation and a political settlement with the Taliban. The United States supports an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned reconciliation process and supports any process that includes violent extremist groups laying down their arms.

Citing unnamed U.S. officials, the Washington Post (WaPo) reports that the current U.S.-Afghan war is framed around a four-year plan to degrade the Taliban this is unlikely to “yield significant results until its later stages.”

In recently issued reports, the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon have accused Pakistan of willingly serving as a safe-haven for the Taliban and its affiliates, including the deadly Haqqani Network.

The Taliban affirmed its relationship with al-Qaeda in December 2016.

Also see: