The Corner

Surprise: The Obama Administration’s New National-Security Strategy Never Mentions ‘Jihad’

Anyone who thought the Obama administration would use its new national-security strategy to finally put forward a serious policy to defeat radical Islam and recognize it as a global ideology at war with Western civilization has been sorely disappointed.

By sticking to the Obama team’s peculiar practice of referring to terrorist groups like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda as “violent extremists” and still refusing to use the terms “radical Islam,” “radical Islamist,” “Islamist terrorist,” or “jihadist,” this strategy makes clear that the president is still in denial.

Most disturbingly, the strategy is right in line with recent comments by President Obama and national-security adviser Susan Rice that played down the urgency of acting against those they call “violent extremists,” instead emphasizing “strategic patience” in dealing with international threats facing this country.

When French president François Hollande visits Washington next week to participate in President Obama “countering violent extremism” summit, you can pretty be sure he will not be calling for “strategic patience” against the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, or the radical Islam ideology. Unlike President Obama, after last month’s shootings in Paris, Hollande said France is at war with radical Islam.

Plenty of Americans, however, do believe radical Islam is a serious national-security threat that cannot be defeated as long as U.S. officials refuse to acknowledge it. That’s why on Wednesday, February 11, in Washington, D.C., the Center for Security Policy is sponsoring “The Defeat Jihad Summit,” which will discuss the nature of the Islamist threat, conduct an assessment of U.S. policies to confront it, and consider better approaches to defeat this threat.

Among those participating will be Texas senator Ted Cruz, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, former attorney general Michael Mukasey, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, Britain’s Lord Malcolm Pearson, former House Intelligence Committee chairman Pete Hoekstra, Danish free-speech advocate Lars Hedegaard, and former federal prosecutor (and NRO contributor) Andrew McCarthy.

This event will be live-streamed on the Center for Security Policy’s website — www.securefreedom.org — from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on February 11.

This important summit will discuss the kind of strategy America urgently needs to combat and defeat radical Islam and sharia — filling the huge void left by the Obama administration’s work. I hope you can watch.

— Fred Fleitz, a former CIA analyst, is a senior fellow with the Center for Security Policy. Follow him on Twitter @fredfleitz.

Fred Fleitz, president of the Center for Security Policy, served in 2018 as deputy assistant to the president and to the chief of staff of the National Security Council. He previously held national-security jobs with the CIA, the DIA, the Department of State, and the House Intelligence Committee staff. He is the editor of the 2020 book Defending against Biothreats.

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