From the desk of Dr Sam C. Holliday, director of the Armiger Cromwell Center
Continued from Part I
Strategy of the Third Jihad
It is a mistake to focus only on terror. The strategy of the Third Jihad is far more complex. It is to be expected that the media, politicians, and those trained for conventional War will focus on the violence of Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Taliban. After all, this is why the current conflict is called a War on Terror – although terror is only a tactic.
However, the most significant threat to Western culture comes from non-violent means: infiltration into Western countries; the conversion of people to Islam; subversion of Western institutions – particularly academic; manipulation of the media; demonstrations and other forms of confrontation; penetration of Western political parties through funding; and manipulation of Western legal systems. The objective is to undermine confidence in traditional values as well as legal and political systems.
This is not to suggest that terror, and the direct action units of Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Taliban, are not important tools used by the Third Jihad, but to suggest that they are not necessarily the most important. Neutralizing those using terror tactics is a necessary condition, but it is not a sufficient condition.
The Third Jihad is a continuation of a religiously inspired movement based on an ideology teaching that it is every Muslim’s duty to use any means necessary to compel everyone’s submission to “the way of the Prophet.” After Muhammad’s death, in the seventh century, the First Jihad spread under the caliphs (vice regents) west from Medina across North Africa and then into Spain, France, and Italy, and east across the Middle East deep into Southwest Asia. Then Islam consolidated its control of the lands conquered.
The First Jihad ended in 1492 when Islam was driven out of Spain. The Second Jihad started with the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The Ottoman Turks then implanted Islam in the Balkans and established hegemony over lands from North Africa to India. The Second Jihad was stopped in 1682 with an unsuccessful attempt to capture Vienna; it was held in check during the modern era (eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) by European power, and ended in 1924.
In 1979 the Third Jihad started with the Shah of Iran being overthrown by Shiite followers of Ayatollah Khomeini. It was given focus in February 1998 with a Sunni fatwa, which declared war on America and its allies. The Third Jihad is just another effort to spread Islam – and to take down the Great Satan. The goal of the Third Jihad is to replace all secular governments from Morocco to Indonesia with a single Great Caliphate that would then be able to convert the rest of the world to Islam. This is why it is an illusion to think that the threat will end just as soon as Western armed forces are withdrawn from the Middle East.
Among the tactics and techniques used by the Third Jihad are:
- Infiltrating and taking over existing political, social, campus, and cultural organizations to realign them towards the goals of the Third Jihad;
- Using deception to mask the intended goals;
- Cultivating the intellectual community into “understanding Islam,” including the establishment of think-tanks and advocacy groups and publishing “academic” studies, to legitimize positions of the Third Jihad and to chronicle the peaceful history of Islam;
- Using destructive criticism to weaken those in authority by suggesting they are an elite mistreating the “disadvantaged” for their own personal interests;
- Maintaining the appearance of “moderation” by avoiding public alliances with known terrorist organizations and individuals;
- Involving ideologically committed Muslims in democratic institutions on all levels in Europe and America, including government, NGOs, private organizations and labor unions;
- Using existing Western institutions until they can be converted and put into the service of the Third Jihad;
- Monitoring Western media in order to quickly respond to “smears against Muslims;” Forming alliances with Western “progressive” organizations that can provide aid and support to Islamic action groups;
- Keeping Muslims living in the West “in a jihad frame of mind;”
- Establishing a right to Sharia law within their communities;
- Making the Palestinian cause a global wedge issue for all Muslims;
- Collecting funds to indefinitely support the Third Jihad globally; and
- Establishing financial networks to fund actions in target countries.
These tactics and techniques are used differently within each target country to weaken or overthrow those in authority. However, the Third Jihad does have a general strategy of five stages in which conflict moves from peace, through irregular warfare, to war. This is the same strategy used by insurgents for centuries. The tactics and techniques listed above are the activities by the insurgents – who can be either home grown or from other countries – during the first, second, and third stages.
Terror is not used in the first stage (Creation), and it has an insignificant role in the second stage (Organization). Terror plays an important role in the third stage (Control of the People) and is expanded in the fourth stage (Territorial Control), as the conflict becomes hybrid war. In the final stage (Overthrow) violence goes beyond terror to become conflict between the insurgents/embryonic state and the authorities of a state/failed state. In fact often the final stage can accurately be called a civil war.
A few individuals organize clandestinely. They increase the size of the underground and attempt to cause or accentuate insecurity among the people and weaken the government’s influence.
The leaders continue to build their organization, camouflaging it behind legitimate political, social, humanitarian, campus, religious, and labor organizations. Action to cause insecurity and dissatisfaction grows bolder with strikes, riots, selective terrorism, and intimidation. The insurgents’ aim at this stage is to cause the officials to react awkwardly and to take politically unwise steps.
- Control of the People
Direct action units are organized, but terrorism is restricted. The aim is to weaken loyalty to the government. Warfare is everywhere and nowhere. The insurgents control certain areas, which the police avoid. The goal is to transfer the loyalty of the people from the government to the insurgent organization.
- Territorial Control
The insurgents create a base of operations and establish a “liberation government” to rival the legal authorities. Direct action units start to operate from the base areas, and the use of terror increases. Psychological operations, to gain approval for the insurgents and contempt for the government, are intensified both internally and externally.
Operations are conducted to cause the fall of the government and to establish the insurgents as the legal government. During this stage the conflict might remain irregular warfare or it might be transformed into civil war.
Strategy to Defeat the Third Jihad
More effective ways to neutralize the tactics, techniques and strategies of the Third Jihad must be used in the future if it is to be defeated. We must defeat, deter, or neutralize our enemy. In irregular warfare there is never the final victory of conventional war – success is defined by stability.
First, we must recognize that destroying a few leaders will not end the Third Jihad. The leaders represent an important segment of our enemy, but not its totality. Second, we do not want to make Islam or an entire culture our enemy. Third, we must recognize that the demise of Israel will not mean an end of the Third Jihad, even though Israel will always be used to rally support for the Third Jihad. Fourth, we must recognize that withdrawal from the Middle East will only embolden the evildoers (Hirabahists) and make the final clash of civilizations more likely.
The best strategy for those that want to defend Western culture would be to:
1. Assure that Iraq, and the rest of the Middle East, is stabilized and that worldwide no state is willing to support insurgents attempting to overthrow those in authority.
2. Work toward energy independence through: (a) developing alternative sources of oil so that our economy is not dependent on energy sources that our enemies can disrupt; (b) using less oil, and less energy overall, while maintaining our standard of living; (c) developing new sources of energy – primarily nuclear.
3. Adopt a policy of containment until the faults within the Third Jihad cause its ideological certitude to collapse, and pursue policies, both overt and covert, to hasten this collapse.
4. Face the fact that communication superiority is a prerequisite for success in irregular warfare, just as air superiority is a prerequisite for victory in conventional war. To date we have been ineffective in the strategic communication campaign to strengthen the will of our own people, to weaken the will of our enemies, and gain the support of people around the world. In the current battle of wills, strategic communication is the center of gravity. This conflict is not to be won through economic, diplomatic, and military means.
5. Develop a message as effective as Muhammad’s in winning hearts and minds and a sociopolitical structure based on that message which is more powerful than that of the global revivalist movement known as the Third Jihad. Recognize that the true believers of the Third Jihad are willing to suffer, sacrifice, deceive, kill, conquer, and die for their cause. Recognize that we need true believers in our cause.
6. Encourage the respected leaders and scholars of the Islamic world to condemn those using violence in the name of Islam in religious terms, rather than in Western secular terms, and condemn those in the West who give aid, comfort, and support to the evildoers (Hirabahists).
7. Make a distinction between war, irregular warfare, and peace and develop stability forces, distinctive from war fighting forces, specifically for operations in irregular warfare. Integrate members of all government agencies (specifically Defense, State, CIA, USIA, USAID, and Commerce) into the stability forces. Deploy war fighting forces as a deterrent in peace and irregular warfare but only engage them in combat for extended periods of time with a declaration of war by Congress. Use stability forces in overt and covert operations during peace and irregular warfare. Revise the JCS Unified Command Plan into a National Security Operations Plan so that the stability forces have adequate supervision and support during peace and irregular warfare.
8. Take actions to counter the effects of postmodern thought on Western culture. The weakening of the will in Europe and America, and ability to protect Western culture as it developed in the modern era (until the 1960s), has many causes. Partly it is the result of actions by those disillusioned by World War I and World War II, and partly it is the result of the cycle of rise and fall common to all groups. The ability to counter the Third Jihad depends on strengthening the will of all of those who value Western culture.
We need to become more skillful in getting others to build their own nations at little or no cost to us. Those identifying with the nation being built must accomplish nation-building. Others can assist, but the leadership, dedication, vision, and energy must come from within – from those who are part of the nation being built. At the heart of nation-building is the creation and maintenance of a common sense of identity from which behavior is self regulated without coercion. Neocolonialists (those of the Wilsonian School) often assumed that the United States can build nations – this is foolhardy.
- Caption: Afghan heroin, police woman Malalai Kakar -
Nation-building requires continual attention to four interrelated tasks:
1. Achieve stability within a specific territory.
2. Provide effective local authority.
3. Organize and motivate the people.
4. Satisfy aspirations of the people.
Achieving stability is a prerequisite for the other three tasks. However, stability cannot be seen as an end in itself. It is merely a means to the end of nation-building. However, when the focus is on the creation of a state, actions to control the territory of that state can be carried to the extreme – such actions actually hinder nation-building since they do not produce a self-regulating equilibrium. This has been a major reason the neo-colonialists have failed to achieve long-term benefits.
Stability is achieved when the government of a state has a monopoly on force within the territory of that state, and no other group within that territory is willing, or thinks it is able, to use force to achieve political ends. Police forces of the provinces must be integrated into an alliance coordinated by the central government. In addition the central government would have armed forces stronger than any of the provinces. Any group committed to the use of force to weaken or overthrow the established government, i.e. insurgents, must be neutralized. It makes no difference where the insurgents come from.
- First of all, this requires an effective intelligence system that will allow rapid response to any attempt at intimidation by the insurgent group, or payment to it.
- When terrorism becomes a tool, policing appropriate for ordinary crime must be supplemented with counterinsurgency units, tactics and techniques. This will usually require some temporary limitations on civil rights and the legal system. This will require agreement on a social contract, which establishes limits on police activity, and the appropriate checks and balances. Finally, if the insurgent group gains control of any territory, control must be regained, with armed force if necessary, and the leaders must be neutralized.
A second task of nation-building is to provide effective local authority. Each individual lives in a concrete, human, face-to-face world of clear and specific events and situations. Aspirations and an unseen environment may shape his spiritual and material life, but he knows through what he sees, hears, smells, and feels.
This nation-building task provides local leadership – leadership which is: alert for signs of problems, inequalities, and injustices; able to use initiative and flexibility to win loyalty and produce results; capable of countering acts of intimidation, violence, and destruction; able to see that everyone can earn a decent living; loyal to the established institutions; creates a climate to encourage civilian investment; and is capable of educating each individual with values that blend freedom, ambition, duty, and responsibility in accordance with the customs and traditions of his nation. These judgments must be as seen through the eyes of the people and culture involved; they should not be as perceived through postmodern views in a wealthy, western, secular state.
The third nation-building task is to organize and motivate the people. A nation is no more than people welded together by a common destiny, which binds together tomorrow, today, and yesterday into an active whole. This nation-building task creates and maintains shared values, attitudes, habits, and goals which shape the institutions through which a nation lives and grows: the patterns of cooperation and conflict; the fabric of sanctioned relationships; the unseen lines of magnetic strength which link, join, and confine; the elusive cultural environment. This task creates kinship.
The fourth nation-building task is to satisfy aspirations of the people. The fuel of progress is the never-ending attempt to satisfy aspirations. Aspirations can unite people in a common effort; yet, aspirations can set one against another, preventing progress. Satisfying aspirations is an elusive, two-faced task of nation-building. Sole concern with satisfying aspirations can only result in turmoil, frustration, and bitterness; as past aspirations are approached new and more demanding ones are invented. This task means that each nation has its own, unique, ideology.
For all Arab-Muslim countries this means a replacement of the pseudo-religious radicalism taught in the mosques with the progressive, compassionate teaching of Islam. This task, just like achieving stability, will actually hinder nation-building when it is carried to an extreme. If this conceptual framework is to be useful, actions to accomplish these four tasks must be interrelated, and the building and maintenance of a nation must be seen as a never-ending process.
Muslim extremists (Hirabahists) are indeed a serious threat to modern Western culture, but so is postmodernism. We should attempt to weaken the evildoers (Hirabahists) through separating them from those Muslims who accept pluralism, and through encouraging secular Muslim states to neutralize them. While our strategy must attempt to eliminate the evildoers (Hirabahists), it must also seek alliance with those Muslims who want spiritual purity in the eyes of Allah together with better lives – freedom, equality, self-determination, representative government, and the pursuit of happiness.
Western culture must be freed from the decline and decay caused by postmodern thought. The balance between secular authority (the control of behavior through the rule of law) and sacred authority (the control of behavior through shared moral, ethical, and religious convictions that provide an inner compass for individuals) must be reestablished [ed. see "Secular and Sacred Authority: why we need it!"].
Traditional patriotism needs to be respected, and national identity must be valued more than multiculturalism and diversity. The U.S. government needs to reorganize so as to reflect the reality of irregular warfare, rather than the War and Peace dichotomy of the past 300 years.
Copyright © 2008 Armiger Cromwell Center, 3750 Peachtree Road, NE, Suite 374, Atlanta, GA 30319-1322. 404-201-7374. Permission is granted to forward this article by e-mail to friends or colleagues on a fair use basis. For reprint permission, contact Armiger Cromwell Center at firstname.lastname@example.org
More by Dr Sam Holliday filed in “The Armiger Cromwell Center”
- “Reforming Islam: Beware of the Fifth Column”
- “Effectively Communicating Jihad: a spade is a spade”
- Filed on Articles in “The Unholy Alliance” -