Defense Department quadrennial review of security threats to America is SILENT on Islamic radicalism and Iranian nukes

Daniel S. writes:

Muslim radical Major Nidal Malik Hasan shoots up the Fort Hood army base, Muslim radical Umar Abdul-Mutallab tries to detonate a bomb on a plane over Detroit, Muslim radical Najibullah Zazi plots with other Muslim radicals to bomb targets in New York, Muslim radical Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad (born Carlose Bledsoe) shoots up an army recruitment office, Muslim radical and American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki incites Western-based Muslims to jihad against America, and Muslim radical Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declares anti-American, anti-Israel, pro-jihad Islamic Iran a nuclear power, but all of this is ignored by our Islamophile president and dhimmi “defense” establishment to tackle the (non-existent) threat of “global warming.”

James Corum, a defense specialist and retired Army officer, says this about Obama’s National Defence Review, a once-every four year document that reviews the security threats faced by the United States:

However, it’s not what is in the document that surprises the reader—it’s what was left out. There presence of two elephants in their living room apparently escaped the notice of American’s top civilian and military leaders. Islamic radicalism does not receive any mention whatsoever in the American Defence Review and the threat posed by a nuclear Iran is mentioned in only one general sentence at the end of a document (page 101). To put this lack of discussion in proportion, contrast this non-discussion with other security issues mentioned in the document. For example, the security effects of climate change are highlighted and discussed in depth in eight pages of the document.

I would not have thought it possible that one could publish a book-length assessment of America’s security challenges and responses and NOT address the problem of Islamic radicalism or the Iranian bomb—but that’s just what Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mullen have done.

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James P. writes:

It is true that the Quadrennial Defense Review does not mention Islam directly as such. What it does instead is refer repeatedly to “terrorist groups” and “insurgent groups” in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Gee, what motivates these groups, and what do they all have in common? Who knows! Obviously, you cannot possibly defeat the enemy if you do not understand the basic nature of how he thinks, and such an understanding is impossible if the subject of Islam is off limits. It is as if the military in the 1960s set out to fight North Vietnam and the Viet Cong while actively refusing to discuss the role of Communist ideology and indoctrination as sources of the enemy’s motivation and combat cohesion.

The QDR repeatedly mentions the need for “cultural knowledge,” “cultural skills,” and being “culturally attuned to the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.” This is, apparently, largely a matter of speaking the right languages. How can anyone become a “cultural expert” on Afghanistan or Pakistan if the subject of Islam is off the table? Again, who knows!

Tragically, while this is “Obama’s” defense review, his administration is not the source of the problem. Obama’s political commissars did not force political correctness on an unwilling military. The inability to discuss Islam frankly and honestly began well before Obama took office. I am convinced that left to their own devices, without any political oversight at all, the military would have created a document that is just as insipid and worthless as this one.

We should note that the previous Bush administration QDR, published in 2006, is only slightly less idiotic. The 2006 QDR does mention Islam. However, the document contends that our enemies are the “extremists” who are attempting to “exploit Islam” and to “subjugate the Muslim world.” In this intellectual framework, the enemy is not Islam—indeed, we are fighting with Islam against the small number of bad people who try to pervert Islam for evil purposes. It is only a small step from the Bush view that the enemy is not Islam but the very small number of people who pervert Islam—and are thus not “real” Muslims at all—to the Obama view that there is no need to mention Islam at all (since that will just gratuitously anger our friends and allies in the Muslim world, right?). Neither view can possibly produce a winning military strategy.

Quotes from the 2006 QDR:

Terrorist networks use intimidation, propaganda and indiscriminate violence in an attempt to subjugate the Muslim world under a radical theocratic tyranny. These networks also aim to exhaust the will of the United States and its allies and partners, including those in the Muslim world, to oppose them…. This war is both a battle of arms and a battle of ideas—a fight against terrorist networks and against their murderous ideology. The Department of Defense fully supports efforts to counter the ideology of terrorism, although most of the U.S. Government’s capabilities for this activity reside in other U.S. Government agencies and in the private sector…. The battle of ideas ultimately will be won by enabling moderate Muslim leadership to prevail in their struggle against the violent extremists.

LA replies:

The two views you outline, the Obama view and the Bush view, reflect the two permissible understandings of Islam in mainstream American society: the left says that Islam is wonderful, and that any thing bad about Islam is caused by ourselves; and the “right” says that Islam is wonderful, except for one tiny little radical violent extremist fragment of Islam which really has nothing to do with Islam. The left and the “right” fully agree that Islam itself is a wonderful thing, and that our policy toward Muslims should be to embrace, befriend, welcome, facilitate, enable, educate, enrich, empower, and overall just be as nice to them as we can possibly be.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 17, 2010 11:00 AM | Send

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