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The Realities of War

By Wesley Smith1475005193709

It is a dangerous thing to be in a war – and behave like you are not in a war.  It allows your adversary to win the war of ideas and propaganda. It is confusing and demoralizing to your allies and unsettling to your citizens.  Ultimately, it ensures actual battlefield success for your enemy.  And, frankly, it is delusional.

The Obama Administration’s continued resistance to name the enemy and to fully acknowledge the threats we face is more than troubling; it is alarming.  The stated reason by the Administration is that they do not want to encourage Islamophobia.  It is patronizing and insulting to assume that Americans cannot make the distinction between radical Islamic jihadists and the ancient religion of Islam and its millions of peaceful adherents. Further, we do not have a widespread problem of Americans mistreating Muslims out of rampant Islamophobia.  We do have a national and global problem of radical Islamic extremists trying to kill everyone else.

The Obama Administration further claims that ISIS will use our honest discussion of terrorism being directly tied to radical Islam as a recruiting tool and accuse the United States of being at war with the religion of Islam.  This is illogical, as ISIS already views their organization as the legitimate ambassador and representation of Islam – even if it is not true. They continue to use not only their claim to legitimacy, but the weakness and fecklessness of the West’s response, as one of their main recruiting tools through social media and their monthly magazine, Dabiq.

Meanwhile, in preparing the annual report to the president called the National Military Strategy, the Pentagon’s leadership continues to urge the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Obama Administration to be very clear and unequivocal in naming the source of the threats we face as a nation. “If global jihadism is to be defeated,” they say, “U.S. officials must accurately assess the nature of the threat and its doctrines.” If not, as reported by the Washington Times, the National Military Strategy is, in essence, directing commanders to ignore threat doctrine and relinquish the information battlefield to the enemy. The commander of Special Operations Command, which for now is doing most of the fighting in Syria and Iraq, is asking that the connection between ISIS and radical Islamic ideology be included in the National Military Strategy report.  Its inclusion in the report is doubtful.

Last week, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stated we are in a war of competing narratives with ISIS.  While we are involved in much more than a mere war of words or narratives, pretending there is no relationship between the violent jihadists and their interpretation of Islam helps ISIS to win even this so-called “narrative war.” We may not think we are in a religious war.  However, the enemy gets the deciding vote as to their motivation for attacking and trying to kills us.  It is a religious war for them.

We are living in one of the most perilous times in history.  Unlike other major wars fought by the United States, we are no longer protected by oceans or vast geographical distance. And the weapons are more numerous and readily available to state and non-state actors.  Weapons of mass destruction, including both chemical and nuclear, are possessed by some of our adversaries and sought by all of them, including radical Jihadists. The world is a smaller place.  Recent terror attacks carried out in our own country were committed by people who are here legally.  Tens of thousands of refugees from nations hostile to our very way of life are making their way to America, while our vetting system is anything but fool-proof. It is a dangerous world.

And to whom are we looking for help in combatting this threat?  Iran and Russia. Two nations led by two regimes who are antithetical to the very freedoms and values which are in the heart, history and DNA of the United States. Both Russia and Iran have harassed our ships in international waters and our planes in international airspace, Iran going so far as to threaten to shoot them down.  They continue to bomb civilians in Syria, including a United Nations (U.N.) convoy attempting to deliver humanitarian aid.  Russia, to date, has carried out more air attacks in Syria on rebel groups trained and assisted by the United States than they have against ISIS.  Violating U.N. resolutions and our recent nuclear treaty, Iran continues testing long-range ballistic missiles with impunity and will, more than likely, eventually possess nuclear weapons.  The combination of Iran, Russia and the jihadists constitutes a clear and present danger to the United States and our true allies.

The times call for clear thinking, moral courage and honesty.  We need allies who can trust us and adversaries who at least grudgingly respect, if not fear, us. However, we must also be realistic about those who are not our friends, who work together to oppose us and the very values and way of life for which we stand.

The threats we face, and the ways we can face and defeat these threats, is clearly stated in ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow’s newest book Unholy Alliance.  In it, he writes, “A new alliance has developed in the last few years that has created an unholy alliance...We no longer have the luxury of simply letting history unfold.  We must change the course of events...to preserve our constitutional republic.”

The only people we harm by denying this reality are ourselves, our allies, and vulnerable people around the world. The United States must lead. There is no other choice.

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