As recently as 2006, former top Pentagon official William Gawthrop lamented that:
"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" [emphasis added].
This is more ironic when one considers that, while classical military theories (Clausewitz, Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, et. al.) are still studied, the argument can be made that they have little practical value for today's much changed landscape of warfare and diplomacy. Whatever validity this argument may have, it certainly cannot be applied to Islam's doctrines of war; by having a "theological" quality, that is, by being grounded in a religion whose "divine" precepts transcend time and space, and are thus believed to be immutable, Islam's war doctrines are considered applicable today no less than yesterday.
While one can argue that learning how Alexander maneuvered his cavalry at the Battle of Guagamela in 331 BC is both academic and anachronistic, the same cannot be said of Islam, particularly the exploits and stratagems of its prophet Muhammad -- his "war sunna" -- which still serve as an example to modern day jihadists. For instance, based on the words and deeds of Muhammad, most schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree that the following are all legitimate during war against the infidel:
- the indiscriminate use of missile weaponry, even if women and children are present (catapults in Muhammad's 7th century, hijacked planes or WMD by analogy today);
- the need to always deceive the enemy and even break formal treatises whenever possible [see Sahih Muslim 15: 4057];
- and that the only function of the peace treaty, or "hudna," is to give the Islamic armies time to regroup for a renewed offensive, and should, in theory, last no more than ten years.
Koranic verses 3:28 and 16:106, as well as Muhammad's famous assertion, "War is deceit," have all led to the formulation of a number of doctrines of dissimulation-the most notorious among them being the doctrine of "Taqiyya," which permits Muslims to lie and dissemble whenever they are under the authority of the infidel. Deception has such a prominent role that renowned Muslim scholar Ibn al-Arabi declares: "[I]n the Hadith, practicing deceit in war is well demonstrated. Indeed, its need is more stressed than [the need for] courage" (The Al Qaeda Reader, 142).
Aside from ignoring these well documented Islamist strategies, more troubling is the fact that the Defense Department does not seem to appreciate Islam's more "eternal" doctrines, such as the Abode of War versus the Abode of Islam dichotomy, which in essence maintains that Islam must always be in a state of animosity vis-à-vis the infidel world and, whenever possible, must wage wars until all infidel territory has been brought under Islamic rule. In fact, this dichotomy of hostility is unambiguously codified under Islam's worldview and is deemed a fard kifaya-that is, an obligation on the entire Muslim body that can only be fulfilled as long as some Muslims, say, "jihadists," actively uphold it.
Yet despite all these problematic but revealing doctrines, despite the fact that a quick perusal of Islamist websites and books demonstrate time and time again that current and would-be jihadists constantly quote, and thus take seriously, these doctrinal aspects of war, apparently the senior governmental leaders charged with defending America do not.
Friday, June 20, 2008
From The American Thinker:
Posted by LaurenceJarvik at 5:52 AM