Has the U.S. Army War College been infiltrated by Islamists?

Unfortunately, it looks as if it at has. By at least one Islamist and many appeasers as well. From Patrick Poole via Pajamas Media (emphasis added):

If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.

This famous maxim by the ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu is familiar to every student of military science and strategy. His counsel is simple: understand your enemy, understand yourself. Nearly eight years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, however, important segments of our military infrastructure dedicated to training and educating the next generation of military leaders have woefully failed to heed Sun Tzu’s advice. Two recent blog posts by Washington Post military correspondent Tom Ricks related to policies and publications by the U.S. Army War College give evidence to this strategic collapse in the War on Terror.

Two weeks ago, Ricks [1] reported on a new [2] publication by Army War College research professor Sherifa Zuhur on Hamas and Israel that informs readers that Hamas has been misunderstood due to the misreporting by “Israeli and Western sources that villainize the group.” Zuhur concludes that Hamas isn’t so bad after all, so we all just need to get along and embrace the terrorist group through negotiations — a view apparently endorsed by the Army War College when it published her defense of Hamas.

A second post last week, “[3] Fiasco at the Army War College: The Sequel,” records an exchange between Ricks and defense expert and author [4] Mark Perry. Assessing the academic state of affairs at the War College, Perry informed Ricks:

It’s worse than you think. They have curtailed the curriculum so that their students are not exposed to radical Islam. Akin to denying students access to Marx during the Cold War.

This is hardly the first complaint that the military has failed to investigate and assess the strategic writings related to radical Islam and Islamic war doctrine. William Gawthrop, former head of the Joint Terrorism Task Force of the Defense Department’s Counterintelligence Field Activity, says in a military intelligence journal article that:

As late as early 2006, the senior service colleges of the Department of Defense had not incorporated into their curriculum a systematic study of Muhammad as a military or political leader. As a consequence, we still do not have an in-depth understanding of the war-fighting doctrine laid down by Muhammad, how it might be applied today by an increasing number of Islamic groups, or how it might be countered. (”The Sources and Patterns of Terrorism in Islamic Law,” The Vanguard: Journal of the Military Intelligence Corps Association, 11:4 [Fall 2006], p. 10)

One effort to remedy this strategic deficiency identified by Gawthrop was undertaken by Joint Chiefs of Staff analyst Stephen Coughlin, who published his finding in his master’s thesis at the National Defense Intelligence University, [5] “To Our Great Detriment”: Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad. In his thesis, Coughlin examines texts from multiple schools of Islamic jurisprudence to evaluate the respective traditions on jihad and their contemporary use by Islamic terrorists, concluding that failing to investigate these sources has left our military “disarmed in the war of ideas.”

Coughlin’s thesis had barely seen the light of day before he was [6] sacked from his position with the Joint Chiefs, having running afoul of another Pentagon official, Hesham Islam, a top-ranked Muslim advisor to Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, who took issue with Coughlin’s academic analysis.

Another vocal critic identifying this wide gap in our military’s strategic studies is Army LTC Joseph Myers. He has recently voiced his concerns in an [7] interview with Congressional Quarterly and in a [8] review article published in the Army War College journal Parameters, where he argues that understanding the Islamic doctrine of war is a basic necessity for our military leadership:

To understand war, one has to study its philosophy, the grammar and logic of your opponent. Only then are you approaching strategic comprehension. To understand the war against Islamist terrorism one must begin to understand the Islamic way of war, its philosophy and doctrine, the meanings of jihad in Islam — and one needs to understand that those meanings are highly varied and utilitarian depending on the source.

In an [9] assessment published last May, Myers adds that the failure to study the strategy of jihadists leaves our own military strategy aimless and increases our long-term vulnerability to further terrorist attacks:

National security strategy is policy and policy implies a theory — a theory for action. To date we have no concrete theory of action because we have no fully articulated global threat model. We are seven years into a global war with armed combat and many dead and wounded, and yet still lack a common analytic paradigm to describe and model the enemy. It is a stunning failure to propel the country to war without a fully elaborated threat model that clarifies and specifies the enemy and makes clear our true objectives.

The lack of a threat model and a theory for action explains our schizophrenia, our failures, and homeland security shortcomings.

Understanding the enemy — “the threat,” his threat doctrine and the authoritative statements, sources, and philosophy undergirding that doctrine — is a primary duty. That is the first step in developing a threat model. It is the vital step in the [10] Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield process, to template enemy doctrine by laying it over the terrain: the physical, human, and cultural terrain to understand its manifestations in reality. These are the first relevant questions to be answered for U.S. national security analysis.

This intellectual and strategic groundwork for the “long war” against Islamic terrorism will never be accomplished as long as our senior service schools and military academies continue to neglect this vital area of strategic study. Regardless of what one might think about the relation between Islamic theology and jihadist justifications for terror, it is a fact that they believe they are operating in accordance with Islamic tradition. Islamic war doctrine ought to be studied on that basis alone.

But returning to Sun Tzu’s maxim, perhaps the root of our military’s strategic schizophrenia is not so much about our refusal to understand our enemies as much as it is a failure to understand ourselves. As a nation, we no longer have a sense of who we are, what we believe, or even why we fight. At the height of World War II, would a faculty member at the Army War College have even considered attempting to defend Nazi fascism or Japanese imperialism, as War College professor Sherifa Zuhur has now done with Hamas? That is a fitting testimony of how far we are from both aspects of Sun Tzu’s counsel. ~end

More on Sharifa Zuhur’s apparently deliberate obfuscation and omissions in U.S. Army War College Publishes Apologia for Hamas:

American dedication to free speech should not extend to using taxpayer money to pay for a paean to Islamist terrorism, backed by shoddy research and written at what is supposed to be this nation’s premier U.S. Army institute for national security research and analysis. Unfortunately, there is precedent at SSI for this genre of terrorist apologia. Sherifa Zuhur, an American citizen who is Research Professor of Islamic and Regional Studies at SSI, is the same author who penned an April 2008 SSI monograph, “Precision in the Global War on Terror: Inciting Muslims Through the War of Ideas.”

That monograph takes the form of a Glossary of Terms, from A to Z, which Zuhur uses to identify “a trend of pathologizing beliefs and practices that are at the core of Islam.”[8] Her definitions invariably deny any link between Islam and terrorism and claim that the violence of the suicide bomber is “not a manifestation of belief nor a natural outcome of Islamism or ‘fundamentalism,’ but rather a tactic, labeled with the religious principle of Jihad, that is intended to build an ethos, a camaraderie, and dependency on others engaging in violence.”[9]

Zuhur overlooks the Hamas charter, a theological covenant with Allah, which takes the motto of its parent organization, The Muslim Brotherhood, as its own:

Allah is its goal, the Prophet its model to be followed,

the Koran its constitution, Jihad its way,

and death for the sake of Allah its loftiest desire

4 Responses

  1. Not only is this beyond stupid I have to seriously believe that the people that are taking the issue seriously probably have target folders on themselves at the oh so peaceful Hamas HQ…

  2. [...] HAS THE U.S. ARMY War College been infiltrated by Islamists? …. [...]

  3. Her name is Sherifa not Sharifa; she discusses the Hamas charter; and you are a bunch of racists, not to say Nazis if you intend to call all Muslims, Islamists, as if to insinuate that Jews can be religious, but not Muslims.

    Coughlin and Myers are not academics; they don’t have doctoral degrees, can’t read Arabic and haven’t studied the texts of war and jihadism as Zuhur has. But it is ridiculous to mix up contemporary studies of a particular movement – Hamas – with all historic instances and texts on jihad in the past.

    Finally, the authors of this material have no familiarity with the Army War College, what goes on there, or, apparently, what rights professors possess in the U.S. – not everyone has to agree with the blasting of Muslim ideas – the worst way to win the war on terrorism

    • Are you Sherifa? Or just sharing her name and using her email?

      Let us count all the standard Islamist, apologist tactics used in your response:

      1. Racism – Islam is not a race – you lose
      2. Nazi’s – the West defeated Nazism while Muslims share in the hatred of Jews and the Islamic holy book, the Qur’an, which teaches similar hatred of Jews; without doubt Muslims around the world display the most vocal and vile hatred for Jews and wish Israel to be wiped off the map very much aligned with Hitler’s Nazi’s, in fact the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem worked with Hitler – you lose
      3. Can’t read Arabic – the majority of Muslims, upwards of 80% or more, cannot read Arabic so according to you they have no idea what is in the Qur’an – you lose again
      4. Mixing up contemporary with historic – Article 8 of the Hamas ‘Covenant’ (not charter): “Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.” Hamas readily refers to the Qur’an and Hadith mixing up contemporary and historical jihad – you lose yet again
      5. You have no idea what the authors are or are not familiar with and are offering pure speculation that appears to be blatantly false – you lost
      6. Intent to call all Muslims Islamists – where? when? Another blatantly misleading and completely false statement – which appears to be your strategy

      How are things near Wichita?

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