Imagine trying to fight a war without a clue as to what motivates
your enemy or governs his strategy for your destruction. Actually, you
don't have to work too hard to get your head around such an insane
idea; it is the current practice of the U.S. government.
is not, of course, the way it is supposed to be. According, for
example, to the Pentagon's own guidelines as reflected in the Army's
Field Manual 34-130 dealing with Intelligence Preparation of the
Battlefield (IPB), one of the first tasks in any conflict is to
"Evaluate the threat." This job requires military personnel to "update
or create threat models: convert threat doctrine or patterns of
operation to graphics [doctrinal templates]; describe in words the
threat's tactics and options; [and] identify high-value targets."
guidance is eminently sensible and needed, not only at the tactical or
battlefield but also at the strategic level. In fact, most national
security practitioners would find it, well, unimaginable to try to do
Yet, Maj. Stephen Coughlin, one of very few people
working for the U.S. government who has rigorously studied the current
"threat doctrine" — the wellspring in the traditions, practices and
Shariah Law of today's totalitarian ideology known as Islamofascism —
is, as of this writing, still being cashiered at the end of next month.
yet, the individual who seems to be most responsible for shutting down
Maj. Coughlin's essential doctrinal analysis and training by driving
him out of the Pentagon — one Hesham Islam — seems to be staying in a
sensitive position working for the Defense Department's deputy
secretary, Gordon England. This notwithstanding serious questions
raised about Mr. Islam's public biography, conduct on Muslim outreach,
the Coughlin affair and his top-secret security clearance.
recap: Maj. Coughlin is the author of an impressive 330-page master's
thesis on the subject that recently was accepted by the Defense
Intelligence University. He works under contract to the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, a job for which he is well suited as an Army Reserve major,
trained strategic intelligence analyst and attorney. His thesis
brilliantly argues that jihad, or Islamic warfare, is rooted in the
Islamists' Shariah Law. According to the Army doctrine, the enemy's
conception of his doctrine is the basis for developing threat templates
and the threat model — not our uncritical assumptions about what "root
causes" inspires him. As Maj. Coughlin observes, we are not at war with
a "theory of terrorism."
Maj. Coughlin has developed an
intimate understanding not only of the "enemy threat doctrine." He has
also analyzed its "order of battle" including, notably, the various
front organizations operated in America by the Muslim Brotherhood.
entered into evidence last year by the Justice Department in the course
of the Holy Land Foundation terrorism conspiracy trial offered insights
into the Brotherhood's stated objective — namely, destruction of the
United States from within. The Justice Department has also named names,
identifying among many others, the Islamic Society of North America
(ISNA) as a Muslim Brotherhood front.
Unfortunately, thanks to Hesham Islam, ISNA has been of late the
pre-eminent vehicle for Pentagon "outreach" efforts to the American
When Maj. Coughlin warned the Pentagon
leadership of the error of such contacts, he was pressed by Mr. Islam
to desist. Shortly after Maj. Coughlin refused to do so, his contract
with the Joint Chiefs of Staff was not renewed because, as one unnamed
officer told The Washington Times' Bill Gertz, it had "gotten too hot"
to keep Maj. Coughlin on the job.
Some in Congress who have
taken an interest in the Coughlin affair have been led to believe the
nonrenewal of Maj. Coughlin's contract was not due to his altercation
with Mr. Islam; that he was getting a job in the Office of the Defense
Secretary and that Mr. Islam was to leave the Pentagon. It appears they
As of now, the Defense Department's best hope
for understanding — and drawing the appropriate insights from — the
Islamofascist threat doctrine will be separated from the government at
the end of March. An appointment that would allow Maj. Coughlin to
continue his vital work within the Office of the Defense Secretary is
reportedly being blocked by Undersecretary Eric Edelman or one of his
Meanwhile, serious questions about not only Mr.
Islam's possible ties to the Muslim Brotherhood organization but his
truthfulness in describing his personal history seem to have gone
unanswered. One of America's most accomplished investigative reporters,
Claudia Rosett, was unable to confirm various colorful claims made by
this Egyptian expatriate on a Pentagon Web site.
department's response so far has been to remove the page from that
site. Mr. Islam evidently remains what Mr. England has called: "a close
Steve Coughlin's insights and
capabilities are needed today more than ever. Effective congressional
intervention, including hearings, may be required to ensure that the
services of those who understand the threat posed by the Muslim
Brotherhood and its ilk are retained. No less important, individuals
who express sympathy for or otherwise abet the purposes of one of our
enemies' most insidious and successful instruments, the Muslim
Brotherhood, have no place in the United States government.