The Pentagon has yet to attempt to create a threat model that identifies, let alone addresses, the internal and external jihadist threat. In January 2008 my colleagues LTC Joseph Myers, Dr. Terri Wonder, and I delivered a series of lectures at the Department of the Army’s annual anti-terrorism conference focusing on three issues: 1) that our national security strategy has yet to incorporate any threat model for jihadist ideology and how that hampers our counterterrorism operations; 2) mosque-based scenarios that provide important indicators and warnings of potential local community radicalization; and 3) the sources of jihadist ideology and the need for military force protection personnel to engage their local community to identify potential threats. In the audience were 350 of the top military counterterrorism, force protection, and law enforcement officials from Army commands and bases around the globe. The military brass can’t claim that they haven’t been warned. In the two years since, some limited educational efforts have been made in response to our warnings, but on the command level there is an institutional obstinacy that prevents any substantive discussion leading to concrete policies to put into place DOD-wide. Under the present administration, that doesn’t look to change…

No doubt there are critics, like CAIR, who warn that any attempt to address the internal and external jihadist threat to military personnel will put every Muslim in the military and American Islam itself under the microscope. To the contrary, the violent and anti-American jihadist ideology is fairly easy to identify and distinguish from classic Islamic teaching. In fact, it is the critics themselves who readily conflate jihadism and Islam.