Archive for the ‘Trump and national security’ category

Trump’s national security strategy holds the hidden key to defeating jihadism

January 4, 2018

Trump’s national security strategy holds the hidden key to defeating jihadism, Washington ExaminerBen Weingarten, January 4, 2017

Domestically, the administration’s failed “countering violent extremism” policy at best ignored Islamic supremacist ideology in counterterrorism efforts, and at worst actively empowered the Islamic supremacist ideologues themselves under the guise of “community engagement.”

If the Trump administration’s newly released national security strategy is to govern U.S. national security and foreign policy, this long national and international nightmare may soon be over.

According to the strategy, the “most dangerous threat” to America is no longer “violent extremists” (or climate change), but rather “jihadist terrorists.”

The Trump administration should be applauded for this monumental change in our national security strategy. It should be encouraged to make the strategy concrete by drafting and implementing a modern-day NSC-68 for the global jihadist movement: A comprehensive plan to defeat jihadist actors state and non-state, violent and non-violent, overt and covert, availing ourselves of every resource and tool we have in every realm. The fate of Western civilization – facing an enemy that as the national security strategy suggests wishes to subjugate us to Sharia tyranny – hangs in the balance.

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The Obama administration’s purge of the lexicon of Islamic supremacism from our national security and foreign policy apparatus was one of the single most detrimental manifestations of its delusional worldview.

The scrubbing of Islamic terms and concepts from government training and policy materials, while Islamic terrorists engaged the U.S. in battle, reflected an inability or unwillingness to openly and honestly recognize our jihadist enemy and their threat doctrine. If you do not know or refuse to understand your enemy, and their goals, tactics, and strategies, they will be well-positioned to defeat you.

In the Obama administration’s purge could be found the seeds of its singularly disastrous policy towards the Islamic world, in which it found itself actively colluding with those who wish to destroy us.

Globally, the administration aidedabetted, and enabled the world’s leading state sponsor of jihad in Iran and its proxies (as the new drug-running-for-Iran Deal revelations regarding Project Cassandra remind us) elevated the Muslim Brotherhood on the Sunni side and Hezbollah on the Shia side as “political Islamist” forces with whom the U.S. could do business, and sought to create “daylight” by punishing and endangering our staunchest moral, ideological, and strategic ally in Israel.

Domestically, the administration’s failed “countering violent extremism” policy at best ignored Islamic supremacist ideology in counterterrorism efforts, and at worst actively empowered the Islamic supremacist ideologues themselves under the guise of “community engagement.”

If the Trump administration’s newly released national security strategy is to govern U.S. national security and foreign policy, this long national and international nightmare may soon be over.

According to the strategy, the “most dangerous threat” to America is no longer “violent extremists” (or climate change), but rather “jihadist terrorists.”

These jihadists are no longer deemed “nihilistic,” nor are their aims considered nonsensical.

The document says:

Jihadist terrorists such as ISIS and al-Qa’ida…spread a barbaric ideology that calls for the violent destruction of governments and innocents they consider to be apostates. These jihadist terrorists attempt to force those under their influence to submit to Sharia law.

Further, the administration asserts that we are at war with “fanatics who advance a totalitarian vision for a global Islamist caliphate that justifies murder and slavery, promotes repression, and seeks to undermine the American way of life.”

The ramifications of accurately defining our enemy and describing what animates them go many orders of magnitude beyond just supplanting political correctness with truth.

As the national security strategy details, the U.S. intends to fight its adversaries using every means of federal government power. To the degree to which we have a clear-eyed understanding of the jihadist enemy, we can orient all of our assets towards its threat doctrine and defeat it.

If indeed the U.S. government is allowed to study the Islamic supremacist threat doctrine and devise a national security and foreign policy commensurate with it, we could reverse the tide of a war with the global jihadist movement that I believe we have been losing.

The Trump administration should be applauded for this monumental change in our national security strategy. It should be encouraged to make the strategy concrete by drafting and implementing a modern-day NSC-68 for the global jihadist movement: A comprehensive plan to defeat jihadist actors state and non-state, violent and non-violent, overt and covert, availing ourselves of every resource and tool we have in every realm. The fate of Western civilization – facing an enemy that as the national security strategy suggests wishes to subjugate us to Sharia tyranny – hangs in the balance.

Ben Weingarten is a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research, and the Founder & CEO of ChangeUp Media, a conservative media consulting and production company.

President Trump’s America First National Security Strategy

December 20, 2017

President Trump’s America First National Security Strategy, FrontPage MagazineJoseph Klein, December 20, 2017

In sum, the United States need not apologize to anyone. President Trump’s America First National Security Strategy is grounded in the strong belief, missing during the previous eight years, that “American principles are a lasting force for good in the world.”

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President Trump unveiled a new National Security Strategy on December 18th, which is driven by “principled realism that is guided by outcomes, not ideology.” It is based on a sober evaluation of the world as it really is, not as some wish it to be. Policy makers responsible for America’s national security must remain fully cognizant that, as the National Security Strategy document puts it, “a central continuity in history is the contest for power.” This includes economic as well as military power. Today is no different, except that the threats to America’s national security come not only from major Cold War era global players such as Russia and China. They also come from rogue countries such as North Korea, already equipped with nuclear weapons and intercontinental missiles, and Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism that harbors nuclear ambitions. And the threats come from Islamic terrorists acting out a hateful jihadist ideology that “justifies murder and slavery, promotes repression, and seeks to undermine the American way of life.”

The Trump administration’s National Security Strategy is a much-needed corrective to the misguided foreign policies of the Obama era. The Obama administration avoided confronting challenges to U.S. national security head-on. It preferred instead to engage in what it called “strategic patience” with North Korea. The Obama administration enabled Iran to mimic North Korea’s path to becoming a nuclear armed nation via its disastrous nuclear deal with Iran. The Obama administration’s foreign policy of “leading from behind,” political correctness and micromanagement of battlefield decisions by bureaucrats in the White House hindered the fight against jihadist terrorist groups. Refusing to acknowledge the common radical Islamist ideology that links the jihadist groups together world-wide compounded the problem. The Obama administration also rushed into multilateral agreements that jeopardized America’s economic security, most notably the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. 

The U.S. government’s first duty, the Trump administration’s National Security Strategy document declares, is to put “America first.” This starts with policies to protect America’s national sovereignty, which means placing top priority on strengthening America’s economic competitiveness, bolstering America’s energy independence, protecting America’s borders and enhancing America’s military preparedness to meet the serious challenges confronting our nation.

The National Security Strategy identifies four vital national interests, or “four pillars” as: (1) protect the homeland, the American people, and American way of life; (2) promote American prosperity; (3) preserve peace through strength; and (4) advance American influence. “Just as American weakness invites challenge, American strength and confidence deters war and promotes peace,” states the National Security Strategy document.

The National Security Strategy addresses, without any equivocation, the key geopolitical challenges to America’s vital national interests, which are more diverse and complex than they were during the Cold War. They include:

  • The “revisionist powers of China and Russia,” which “want to shape a world antithetical to U.S. values and interests” and “are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.” Anyone who thought that President Trump would go easy on Russia or would ignore its interference in democratic elections should think again after reading the National Security Strategy document;
  • Dictatorships such as Iran and North Korea that pursue weapons of mass destruction and are “determined to destabilize regions, threaten Americans and our allies, and brutalize their own people;” and
  • jihadist terrorists and other groups “that foment hatred and use violence to advance their supremacist Islamist ideologies.”

a The Trump administration’s National Security Strategy document also focuses on challenges to America’s economic security, which arise from “unfair trade practices” and from countries (particularly China) exploiting “the international institutions we helped to build,” subsidizing their industries, forcing technology transfers, and distorting markets. Excessive regulations and high taxes have stifled growth at home.

Finally, the National Security Strategy document notes the threats to the security of the American people arising from “porous borders and unenforced immigration laws.”

After clearly stating the national security problems facing the United States, the National Security Strategy document lays out a multi-pronged blueprint to surmount them. The jihadist threat, for example, must be countered by a “fight and win” strategy, which President Trump has already implemented by giving battlefield commanders more authority to decide on the appropriate military tactics to use in defeating the enemy decisively. It has paid off with the rapid expulsion of ISIS from their strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

The National Security Strategy views a strong military as the best deterrent against the aggressive designs of our enemies and as the best means in the dangerous world that we inhabit to preserve the peace. “A strong military ensures that our diplomats are able to operate from a position of strength” and will “deter and if necessary, defeat aggression against U.S. interests,” the National Security Strategy document states.

The National Security Strategy also includes the deployment of a more robust, layered missile defense system “focused on North Korea and Iran to defend our homeland against missile attacks.”

Strengthening control over our borders and enforcing our nation’s immigration laws will help “keep dangerous people out of the United States.” President Trump is already implementing this strategy through his “extreme vetting” policies, his plans for constructing a border wall, and the employment of additional enforcement personnel. President Trump intends to put an end to randomized entry and extended-family chain migration, and to refocus our immigration policies around a merit-based admission system.

The Trump administration’s National Security Strategy does not blur the distinction between our allies and partners who “share our aspirations for freedom and prosperity,” and our adversaries who seek to exploit instability, poverty and sectarian conflict. “There can be no moral equivalency between nations that uphold the rule of law, empower women, and respect individual rights and those that brutalize and suppress their people.”

Facing the world as it is, while demonstrating “a positive alternative to political and religious despotism” through our “words and deeds,” is the essence of President Trump’s “principled realism.” A great example of how “principled realism” works is the Trump administration’s 180 degree turn from the Obama administration’s inexplicable coddling of Iran and its willingness to throw our only true ally and the only genuine democracy in the Middle East, Israel, under the bus. The Trump administration’s National Security Strategy recognizes Iran as a major threat to our national security, and Israel as a reliable partner for peace. “Today, the threats from jihadist terrorist organizations and the threat from Iran are creating the realization that Israel is not the cause of the region’s problems. States have increasingly found common interests with Israel in confronting common threats.”

Just about a year after the Obama administration stood by and allowed a blatantly anti-Israel UN Security Council resolution to pass, the Trump administration vetoed a Security Council resolution that sought to invalidate President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In discussing the U.S. veto, Ambassador Nikki Haley reminded the other members of the Security Council, who had denounced President Trump’s decision and voted for the resolution, that national sovereignty matters. “The United States will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy,” she said. “The fact that this veto is being done in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council.”  She added that “the United States had the courage and honesty to recognize a fundamental reality. Jerusalem has been the political, cultural, and spiritual homeland of the Jewish people for thousands of years. They have had no other capital city. But the United States’ recognition of the obvious – that Jerusalem is the capital and seat of the modern Israeli government – is too much for some.”

The UN’s handling of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, operating under the thin veneer of meaningless diplomatic jargon and self-righteous pronouncements, is divorced from reality, history and morality. It demonstrates why President Trump’s re-examination of the role of international institutions in the context of his administration’s National Security Strategy is so necessary. The United States, as the strategy document states, will “cooperate to advance peace abroad.”  However, the United States will not sit idly by while authoritarian leaders manipulate multilateral institutions to advance their own nefarious agendas to the detriment of the interests and values of the United States and its allies. Moreover, the United States will not cede sovereignty to the so-called international community’s wishes where they are” in conflict with our constitutional framework.”

In sum, the United States need not apologize to anyone. President Trump’s America First National Security Strategy is grounded in the strong belief, missing during the previous eight years, that “American principles are a lasting force for good in the world.”