Imagine trying to fight a war without a clue as to what motivates your enemy or governs his strategy for your destruction. Actually, you don’t have to work too hard to get your head around such an insane idea; it is the current practice of the United States government.
This is not, of course, the way it is supposed to be. According, for example, to the Pentagon’s own guidelines as reflected in the Army’s Field Manual 34-130 dealing with Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB), one of the first tasks in any conflict is to “Evaluate the threat.” This job requires military personnel to “update or create threat models: convert threat doctrine or patterns of operation to graphics (doctrinal templates); describe in words the threat’s tactics and options; [and] identify high value targets.”
Such guidance is eminently sensible and needed, not only at the tactical or battlefield level, but also at the strategic level. In fact, most national security practitioners would find it, well, unimaginable to try to do otherwise.
Yet, Stephen Coughlin, one of the very few people working for the U.S. government who has rigorously studied the current “threat doctrine” – the wellspring in the traditions, practices and Shariah Law of today’s totalitarian ideology known as Islamofascism – is, as of this writing, still being cashiered at the end of next month.
Worse yet, the individual who seems to be most responsible for shutting down Mr. Coughlin’s essential doctrinal analysis and training by driving him out of the Pentagon – one Hesham Islam – seems to be staying in a sensitive position working for the Defense Department’s Deputy Secretary, Gordon England. This notwithstanding serious questions raised about Mr. Islam’s public biography, conduct in relation to Muslim outreach, the Coughlin affair and his top secret security clearance.
To recap: Coughlin is the author of an impressive 330-page master’s thesis on the subject which was recently accepted by the Defense Intelligence University. He currently works under contract to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a job for which he is well suited as an Army Reserve Major, trained strategic intelligence analyst and attorney. His thesis brilliantly argues that jihad, or Islamic warfare, is rooted in the Islamists’ Shariah Law. According to the Army doctrine, it is the enemy’s conception of his doctrine that is the basis for developing threat templates and the threat model – not our uncritical assumptions about what “root causes” inspires him. As Maj. Coughlin observes, we are not at war with a “theory of terrorism.”
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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