- - Friday, September 9, 2016

Picture a breakfast meeting on the morning of September 11, 2001 between Mullah Omar, Ayman al Zawahiri, and Osama bin Laden, the three leaders of al-Qaeda. While eating their yogurt and fruit, they discuss the successful September 9th assassination of Ahmed Shah Massoud and the imminent strikes in Washington and New York.

Could they have imagined that a short 15 years later:

The United States would be approximately $20 TRILLION in debt.

Iraq in sectarian civil war and Afghanistan under increasing Taliban (ISIS) control would both have Constitutions placing those Republics under Sharia Law, and U.S. ally Turkey would be moving quickly into the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) camp.

Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak would be removed from power in Egypt, replaced by the Muslim Brotherhood, then replaced by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and the U.S. would support the MB.

Abidine Ben Ali would be removed in Tunisia, Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen and Moammar Quadaffi in Libya, the latter two states descending into civil war, as a Syrian civil war rages with no coherent U.S. strategy and no end in sight.

Nigeria, West Africa (Boko Haram) and Somalia (al Shahbab) under threat.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is on the road to nuclear weapons and receives $150 BILLION courtesy of the U.S. government while Saudi Arabia builds hundreds of Wahhabi mosques in Indonesia and in South America.

Nascent Islamic insurgencies in France, Italy, Germany, England, Belgium and other European countries fueled by millions of inassimilable Islamic immigrants who reside in “no-go zones” and who are flooding into Europe as well as the U.S. receiving social welfare benefits paid for by the citizens of those counties.

The Islamic State (ISIS) would be armed with American weapons and declare itself the Caliphate, spreading across the globe using videos of Christian beheadings and other atrocities broadcast on digital media to recruit thousands of jihadis worldwide, including open FBI cases in all 50 states.

U.S. presidential candidates from both political parties saying “the Islamic State is not Islamic” while U.S. and European patriotism is considered racism.

National Security officials are prohibited from developing a factual understanding of Islamic threat doctrines, preferring instead to depend upon 5th column Muslim Brotherhood cultural advisors.

If you could go back in time and tell Messrs. Omar, Zawahiri and bin Laden this would be the outcome in just 15 short years, do you think they would believe you? Do you think that they would think that their side is winning?

When a tactical fire-team breaches a door expecting four bad guys on the other side, but they find forty, what do they do?

Do they keep going in? That’s a one-way trip.

Do they ask one of the bad guys why there are so many of them in the room? Probably wouldn’t be a smart move to hang around for the answer. Not smart at all.

Ideally, the team backs out quickly and moves off the target. This is called a tactical pause and that is basically what Donald Trump has proposed in the form of a halt on immigration.

After getting out of danger, the tactical team will do a reassessment of what happened. Was their information wrong? Did they go to the wrong house? Did somebody purposefully give them bad information? Can they call in an air strike? All of these things need to be considered.

A strategic reassessment of the entire combating terrorism effort that is free from politically correct nonsense is long overdue. The “Islam has nothing to do with terrorism” narratives have effectively shut down the intelligence process for the war in any meaningful sense. Sure, we CT officers could look at organizations and people and places, some of which had Islamic names, but we could never dig into the political and ideological reasons the enemy was attacking us—which is supposed to be the first order of business in any strategic threat assessment.

At present, Mr. Trump’s proposed course of action pertaining to the terrorist threat is a tactical pause and a strategic reassessment. This proposal isn’t rhetorical, alarmist or ill-conceived. This is smart tactics being applied to a strategic issue.

Rich Higgins is currently a DOD contractor. He formerly led several classified programs for Special Operations Command. He is the former Chair of Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict at the National Defense University’s College of International Security Affairs.

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