First, think about how society’s political correctness has retarded expansion of our oil and gas industries and distorted rational management of our forests. Instead of increasing the world’s energy supply by wisely developing our plentiful domestic energy resources, in the name of the political correctness’ global warming scam we allow OPEC to control the supply and the price of petroleum, thus generating a tsunami of petro dollars which finance Islamic jihadists bent on our society’s destruction.

Additionally, instead of prudently thinning old growth forests through logging and controlled burns, politically correct environmentalists insist on maintaining “natural” conditions where closely-spaced, closed-canopy, uncleared undergrowth forests have resulted in increasingly frequent, devastating forest fires. So the irrationality of how our society mismanages our energy resources and national forests is a clear indication that our society is no longer capable of making levelheaded choices to promote our societal good.

But the undeniable proof that we are no longer capable of making levelheaded choices as a society is written in American GI blood in the strategy failures that mark our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which we undertook to defend our society. The “strategy” employed in these conflicts, as well as throughout what was once mischaracterized as the “Global War on Terror” is based on the fallacious premises that: #1. Islam is a “religion of peace;” #2. Those who make war on us in the name of Islam have “perverted the religion;” #3. The core beliefs underpinning the central organizing principles of Islam (that is, complete Islamic supremacy over all other religious and secular political belief systems, world domination of Islamic Shari’a law through jihad, and wholesale conversion to Islam) have nothing to do with increasing worldwide terror attacks; #4. Muslims think like we do, and basically want the same things we want, which are interpreted as “democracy and freedom;” #5. Because Muslims want the same things we do, Muslims can be our allies who will side with us to physically and diplomatically combat other coreligionist Muslims that are “perverting Islam” through their jihadist attacks on non-Muslims.

None of these five premises has any basis in historical or Quranic fact. Nevertheless, our counterinsurgency/ nation-building strategy, referred to by the acronym “COIN,” that was and still is the basis for our military and diplomatic actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, was constructed on these illusionary premises. Furthermore, these five-false-premises are also the basis of our domestic homeland defense strategy.

In view of the foregoing, the question that immediately demands a rational answer is: Why would a society formulate a strategy to defend itself against an enemy that had just murdered almost 3,000 of its citizens based on five premises ungrounded in fact?

While it would take a book length treatise to fully answer that question, in the interest of brevity, I submit the cause of such irrationality can be traced to political correctness (that is, denying reality while postponing consequences) and the fostering of the decline of “American exceptionalism” (that is, the desire and ability to solve problems and the political courage to do the right thing when faced with difficult situations). It is no secret that, since the Vietnam War, the Democrat Party has constructed their political platform to run on political correctness and against American exceptionalism. On the other side of the political aisle Republicans have not conducted their political campaigns, or governed, to counter Democrat political correctness and anti-American exceptionalism. Instead, since 1965, Republicans have generally acquiesced and permitted the Democrats to establish the national political agenda and the “rules of the game,” which enthrone political correctness and diminish American exceptionalism.

The political correctness-driven mismanagement of our energy industry and national forests, however, pales in significance compared to the danger posed to our society by irrationally crafting our defense strategy on five-false-premises that exist only in the minds of the naïve, gullible, and uninformed, but not in reality. So, why do patriotic politicians and ranking military officers, men charged with U.S. national security, not question the easily disproved premises undergirding our failing military strategy of COIN? I submit it is due to the erosion of belief in American exceptionalism, that is, there is a pervasive lack of courage to challenge the “group consensus” (the self-policing mechanism of political correctness). The motivating factor in the political and military elites clinging to their failing military strategy is the sense of personal security that results from remaining an unquestioning and accepted member within these elite groups (some call it the “herd instinct”). Such acceptance of the group consensus is further nurtured by the “hands-off” attitude in U.S. politics toward questioning the sanctity of religious beliefs (unless it involves the Christian opposition to abortion). Because our political and military elites find a ready excuse in the First Amendment for not inquiring into the actual details and substantive theology of the Islamic Quran and Shari’a, they accept the baseless Muslim apologist propaganda that there is no difference between the essence of Islam and the benign natures of Judaism and Christianity. Finally, the watchword of political correctness is “diversity.” Our political and military elites are blinded to the existential danger of Islam by the Democrat and Muslim apologist propaganda smokescreen that “diversity is societal strength, and all faiths and creeds can peacefully coexist.” One need only look at the long, bloody histories of the continuing vicious clashes between Islam and Christianity in Balkans and between Islam and Hinduism in India to see the blatant falsity of those nostrums.

It is perhaps understandable, but not excusable, that politicians would carelessly accept the distortion of the nature of the Islamic jihadist enemy, but it is absolutely inexcusable and indefensible that U.S. senior military officers have not undertaken to understand the enemy that is daily killing American GI’s, in large part due to the ill-conceived five-false-premises strategy. The unsound nature of the strategy is compounded by politically correct rules of engagement (ROE) that deliberately sacrifice American troop safety for the COIN chimera-objective of non-combatant Muslim loyalty! Specifically, the egregious ROE’s that endanger U.S. combat forces are restrictions against employing artillery and airstrikes to save American lives, if such actions would put Afghan non-combatant lives at risk!

blue_starAnother aspect of the five-false-premises strategy, which is needlessly creating GI casualties, is the insistence that Afghan Muslim soldiers and police are our allies. (See premise #5. above.) But the high number of “green on blue” attacks against American forces by Afghan soldiers and police should have informed U.S. politicians, policy makers, and military strategists that their strategic thinking is fatally flawed. (FYI: In the symbology of war maps and war games, U.S. friendly forces are depicted in the color blue, while the enemy forces are traditionally portrayed in the color red. However, with the advent of hostile Muslim forces, the color green was added to war gaming since it is the color commonly associated with the Islamic religion.) As of mid-August 2012, 73 green on blue attacks since 2007 had resulted in 108 NATO deaths, of which 69 had been U.S. casualties. These statistics indicate that a significant number of our “Afghan allies” owe their allegiance to fighting us, their Western allies, rather than assisting us to defeat their coreligionist Muslim jihadists. When one objectively examines the central organizing principles of Islam (which are complete Islamic supremacy over all other religious and secular political belief systems, world domination of Islamic Shari’a law through jihad, and wholesale conversion to Islam), it should be no surprise where a Muslim’s allegiance would lie. In fact, it would be a surprise if a Muslim’s allegiance were other than with his coreligionists.

In spite of the central organizing principles of Islam and obvious falsity of the five-premises strategy, U.S. three- and four-star flag officers continue to unquestioningly accept the fiction of the five-false-premises. As a glaring example of this dreadful judgment, recall the words of the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General George Casey, after the Fort Hood jihad attack:

… I think this . . . could potentially heighten backlash against some of our Muslim soldiers. And what happened at Fort Hood was a tragedy, but I believe it would be an even greater tragedy if our diversity becomes a casualty here. And it’s not just about Muslims. We have a very diverse army. We have a very diverse society.

Additionally, one of the worst examples of blind, military marionette devotion to the failed way of thinking was the “Commander International Security Assistance Force (COMISAF) Initial Assessment” submitted by Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal to President Barack Obama in August 2009 prior to his assuming command in Afghanistan. This assessment was the basic plan subsequently approved by President Obama to implement his Afghan “good war,” but it was merely a continuation of President George Bush’s reality-adverse five-false-premises strategy.

In the same timeframe in summer-fall of 2009 when McChrystal’s assessment plan was under consideration by the president, the political situation was thrown into further chaos when an announcement was made concerning a resignation letter from a State Department Foreign Service officer, Matthew Hoh. In his resignation, Mr. Hoh questioned the U.S. war strategy and the strategic purposes of the war in Afghanistan. The reason why Mr. Hoh’s resignation had such political resonance was that he was a veteran with two combat tours in Iraq as a Marine Corps officer and Department of Defense civilian before becoming a senior US civilian diplomatic advisor in Afghanistan’s Zabul Province on the Pakistan border.

The most salient point in Mr. Hoh’s resignation letter was the U.S. strategic COIN assumption that the rural Afghanis will forsake their tribal, xenophobic ways and embrace an alliance with the U.S. was without any basis in reality. Mr. Hoh’s reality-based strategic assessment contrasts sharply with General McChrystal’s optimism that the U.S. had the money, manpower, patience, and most importantly, the ability to lift a willing Afghanistan out of the 7th century and into the 21st.

Ultimately, after much presidential dithering, General McChrystal’s COMISAF Initial Assessment was adopted, largely because of the political trap the president had set for himself with his “good war” proclamations. At that point the future became bleak. General McChrystal’s COMISAF Initial Assessment was a plan for disaster. The simple reason was that General McChrystal’s assessment lacked any recognition or knowledge of our enemy, the Shari’a-driven Islamic jihadist. Such was the ignorance or studied ignorance that Sun Tzu, the ancient Chinese war strategist, guaranteed would imperil our forces in every battle.

Sun Tzu’s Famous “Know Thine Enemy Rules”

  1. Therefore, I say: Know your enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated.
  2. When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal.
  3. If ignorant both of your enemy and of yourself, you are sure to be defeated in every battle.

Moreover, General McChrystal’s COIN plan also did not decisively utilize the strengths of U.S. forces—technology and firepower.

So, President Barack Obama and General McChrystal took up where President Bush and his military left off. (Since General McChrystal’s untimely departure, General David Petraeus and currently General John Allen have continued to carry out the Obama-McChrystal five-false-premises COIN strategy, as the increasing green on blue attacks demonstrate.) There was no recognition of the authority of classical and still quite authoritative Shari’a, which unequivocally enjoins the faithful to slay the infidels anywhere in dar al-Islam (i.e., Muslim lands) in jihad. It was this total disregard for the jihadists’ theo-political-legal doctrine of war and political hegemony that stands as an essential violation of Sun Tzu’s dictum to know your enemy. This singular failure has condemned General McChrystal’s COIN strategy to inevitable defeat.

Here is the crux of General McChrystal’s assessment of the war in Afghanistan:

Many describe the conflict in Afghanistan as a war of ideas, which I believe to be true…We must never confuse the situation as it stands with the one we desire, lest we risk our credibility.

There was not a single articulation in the entire COMISAF assessment addressing the self-proclaimed Shari’a motivation of the enemy in Afghanistan. Nowhere in the COMISAF assessment did the religion of Islam or its 1200-year old legal tradition get more than passing mention, and certainly there was no analysis beyond ignorant sophistry. But most amazing was the fact that the word “jihad” appeared nowhere in the COMISAF assessment!

In view of the prominence of the injunctions for Muslims to undertake “jihad” in the Shari’a literature, ignoring jihad and what it means in the Islamic religion violated General McChrystal’s own caution: “We must never confuse the situation as it stands with the one we desire….” It certainly appeared that the jihad omission was a case of studied ignorance that the legal traditions of the Islamic religion, embodied in the jurisprudence of Shari’a, was not the root of the problem in Afghanistan, since both the Taliban and al-Qaeda credit jihad as their strategic goal and Shari’a as their motivation. This wholesale failure to confront the enemy and his doctrine for war was an abject demonstration that General McChrystal’s COMISAF assessment betrays at best a willful ignorance of the enemy inviting the calamity that Sun Tzu foretells for the ignorant in war.

As stated previously in this essay, General McChrystal’s COIN plan also does not decisively utilize the strengths of U.S. forces, technology and firepower. Instead, we find in the COMISAF assessment: “Our strategy cannot be focused on seizing terrain or destroying insurgent forces; our objective must be the population.” So, rather than doing what the U.S. military did best, putting steel on target, U.S. GIs were supposed to sell a Western-crafted, fallacious vision of Shari’a-Islam to tribal peoples through interpreters! When one confronts this absurdity with the fact that the U.S. forces are infidel occupiers in a land where occupiers have never fared well, it was evident General McChrystal had designed a plan where the only outcome could be disaster.

The fact that General McChrystal’s disastrous plan continues in effect long after his departure was confirmed in no uncertain terms by President Obama in clueless remarks regarding green on blue attacks at his press conference on August 20, 2012:

On Afghanistan, obviously we’ve been watching with deep concern these so-called green-on-blue attacks, where you have Afghan individuals, some of whom are actually enrolled in the Afghan military, some in some cases dressing up as Afghan military or police, attacking coalition forces, including our own troops.

I just spoke today to Marty Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who happens to be in Afghanistan.  He is having intensive consultations not only with our commander, John Allen, on the ground, but also with Afghan counterparts.  And I’ll be reaching out to President Karzai as well — because we’ve got to make sure that we’re on top of this.

We are already doing a range of things, and we’re seeing some success when it comes to better counterintelligence, making sure that the vetting process for Afghan troops is stronger.  And we’ve got what’s called the Guardian Angel program, to make sure that our troops aren’t in isolated situations that might make them more vulnerable.  But obviously we’re going to have to do more, because there has been an uptick over the last 12 months on this.

Part of what’s taking place is we are transitioning to Afghan security, and for us to train them effectively, we are in much closer contact — our troops are in much closer contact with Afghan troops on an ongoing basis.  And part of what we’ve got to do is to make sure that this model works but it doesn’t make our guys more vulnerable.

In the long term, we will see fewer U.S. casualties and coalition casualties by sticking to our transition plan and making sure that we’ve got the most effective Afghan security force possible.  But we’ve got to do it in a way that doesn’t leave our guys vulnerable.

So we are deeply concerned about this from top to bottom.  And hopefully, over the next several weeks, we’ll start seeing better progress on this front.

The cluelessness in President Obama’s analysis is demonstrated by the omission of discussion of any motivation for the attacks! The president mentions “better counterintelligence, making sure that the vetting process for Afghan troops is stronger” without saying what the counterintelligence and vetting is attempting to uncover. These Afghans being vetted have been raised from the cradle on the Quran and Shari’a. Is a vetting going to discover the Afghan recruit’s theological belief in and commitment to the central organizing principles of Islam when the Islamic legal dispensation of taqiyya allows a Muslim to deceive regarding his Islamic beliefs when the deception furthers the cause of Islam? When a recruit has jihadist motivations, the vetting mentioned by the president is futile. The other measure the president heralded as reducing the vulnerability of U.S. troops working with the Afghans he termed “Guardian Angel,” which is aimed at ensuring American military personnel are not in situations where they are alone with our “Afghan allies.” It is amazing that President Obama is so ideologically yoked to the five-false-premises strategy that the irony of not being able to be alone with an “ally” is obviously lost on him, or simply over his head. President Obama’s above comments about green on blue attacks just reconfirms his unquestioning commitment to the five fallacious premises underlying his failing COIN strategy.

One editorial note. Nothing in this essay should be construed as advocating that we should not be fighting the Shari’a-Islamic jihadists with every kinetic, financial, and psycho-political weapon in our arsenal. The main point here is that COIN is not the military strategy to combat Shari’a-Islamic jihadists because it necessitates weaning away a tribal society from a religion and way of life that their ancestors have been practicing for more than a millennium, which Matt Hoh dismissed as impossible.

The saga of the Obama-McChrystal continuation of the Bush five-false-premises COIN strategy is relevant because it explains the origin and history of our inadequate strategy for combating Islamic jihad. Further, understanding the roles of political correctness and the campaign against American exceptionalism explains why our political and military leadership seems paralyzed and unable to question and reject the five-false-premises COIN strategy. The first step in our society’s breaking the stranglehold that political correctness and anti-American exceptionalism have on our defense strategy would be a widespread societal awaking and awareness of central organizing principles of Islam – that is, complete Islamic supremacy over all other religious and secular political belief systems, world domination of Islamic Shari’a law through jihad, and wholesale conversion to Islam – followed by an honest national dialogue led by our political leadership (the military leadership cannot fulfill this national opinion-shaping function) concerning how these central organizing principles of Islam should affect our national defense strategy. Until our society and government honestly address the implications of the central organizing principles of Islam, we will continue to witness the methodical and unceasing encroachment of Islamic Shari’a on American life through foreign affairs developments unfavorable to U.S. interests and domestic encroachment of the Islamic Shari’a through “lawfare,” which is the step-by-step exemption of Muslims from the jurisdiction of the American legal system as established under the U.S. Constitution. After all, according to the Shari’a, the U.S. Constitution is invalid and a heresy against Allah.

Tom_SnodgrassCol. Thomas Snodgrass, USAF (retired), is Director of Military Affairs for The Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE) and was adjunct professor of history at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, AZ campus.


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Col. Thomas Snodgrass, USAF (retired) served over a year in Peshawar, Pakistan, working with Pakistani military intelligence. During his year in Vietnam he daily scheduled 130 U.S. Army and Air Force intelligence collection aircraft. In his final overseas tour he was the U.S. Air Attaché behind the Iron Curtain in Warsaw, Poland. In total, Col. Snodgrass was variously an Intelligence Officer or an International Politico-Military Affairs Officer (military diplomat) serving duty tours in seven foreign countries, as well as teaching military history and strategy at the Air War College, US Air Force Academy, and USAF Special Operations School during a thirty-year military career. Additionally, he was awarded an Air Force scholarship to get a history master’s degree in revolutionary insurgent warfare at the University of Texas, as well as being granted a year’s educational sabbatical to teach and to write about international relations as an Air Force Research Associate in the graduate school at the Center for Advanced International Studies, University of Miami, Florida. Following the Air Force, Col. Snodgrass was an adjunct professor of military history for ten years at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Arizona.