According to our commander in chief's May 28 speech at West Point, “For the foreseeable future, the most direct threat to America at home and abroad remains terrorism . . . So we have to develop a strategy that matches this diffuse threat — one that expands our reach without sending forces that stretch our military too thin, or stir up local resentments. We need partners to fight terrorists alongside us."
As has been pointed out by many who were opposed to the Bush administration’s “War on Terror,” terrorism per se is not the threat. Terrorism is but one tactic used by our various enemies. It is the enemies who are the threats, not their tactics. Enemy tactics are not limited to terrorism. They also include hostile political and economic tactics, just to name a few.
Until our commander in chief is capable and willing to identify who our enemies are (beyond what he identified at West Point as “al-Qaida core” and the “decentralized al-Qaida affiliates and extremists”), we as a nation are likely to lose as many engagements with those enemies as we win. Sun Tzu predicted as much 2,500 years ago in "The Art of War."
According to Sun Tzu, with whom every cadet at West Point ought to be well versed: "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."
Many may argue that America has lost its understanding of our basic founding principles and thus we do not know ourselves. We will save that discussion for another time.
So who are our enemies, and how well do we know them?
We might start with those who have declared war against us, not simply “core al-Qaida,” but also the Muslim Brotherhood.
In the fall of 2010, the Supreme Guide of the International Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Badie, declared publicly that it is the duty of all Muslims to engage in jihad against the United States and Israel, explaining the need for “raising a jihadi generation that pursues death just as the enemies pursue life . . . the U.S. is now experiencing the beginning of its end, and is heading toward its demise.” Badie’s declaration foreshadowed the so-called “Arab Spring” of 2011.
Why is it that Egypt and Saudi Arabia have in the meantime declared the Muslim Brotherhood a "terrorist group," but the United States has not?
Perhaps it is because the Egyptians and the Saudis know and understand the enduring, almost century-old motto of the Muslim Brotherhood: "Allah is our objective; the Koran is our law, the Prophet is our leader; Jihad is our way; and dying in the way of Allah is the highest of our aspirations."
Perhaps it is because the Muslim Brotherhood is engaging in what it calls "civilization jihad" in North America.
We know about the non-kinetic warfare tactic of the Muslim Brotherhood in North America because we discovered the Muslim Brotherhood's own "Explanatory Memorandum" during an FBI raid in 2004 in Northern Virginia, not far from our nation's capital. Our Department of Justice introduced this "Explanatory Memorandum" into evidence in the largest terrorism finance and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in U.S. history — United States v. Holy Land Foundation, in Dallas, Texas, in 2008.
Based on its own writings, the Muslim Brotherhood, just like al-Qaida, has effectively declared war — which it calls “civilization jihad” — against the United States of America.
Back to President Obama’s West Point speech. Here is his self-described “bottom line” for the West Point cadets (all of whom are now presumably Army second lieutenants):
“America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will. The military that you have joined is and always will be the backbone of that leadership. But U.S. military action cannot be the only — or even primary — component of our leadership in every instance. Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail. And because the costs associated with military action are so high, you should expect every civilian leader — and especially your commander in chief — to be clear about how that awesome power should be used.”
Based on the president’s failure to effectively identify for the West Point cadets the enemies behind terrorism, here’s the bottom-line takeaway from our commander in chief's speech: Unless and until our commander in chief, and all our other commanders as well as the American voters who’s representatives exclusively possess the power to declare war know and can define the enemies behind our terrorist threats, we will continue to lose at least half our wars.
Joseph E. Schmitz served as inspector general of the Dept. of Defense from 2002-2005 and is CEO of Joseph E. Schmitz, PLLC. Read more reports from Joseph E. Schmitz — Click Here Now.
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