(CNSNews.com) – Center for Security Policy (CSP) official Tommy Waller, who fought against Islamic jihadists "on their turf" in Afghanistan and elsewhere, said his military training did not include instruction in the ideology of the enemy, a deliberate omission that puts America in "great peril."
Waller, a Marine Reserve major, speaking via Skype at the National Press Club on Jan. 16, said he was speaking as an employee of the CSP, a conservative national security group in Washington, D.C., which released that day a new report, The Secure Freedom Strategy: A Plan for Victory Over the Global Jihad Movement.
The plan, designed by 16 experts on counter-terrorism, intelligence, the military and national security, is based on President Ronald Reagan’s plan to defeat the Communist Soviet Union.
The Secure Freedom Strategy explains that Muslims who adhere to Sharia law are behind the global jihad movement and the deadly attacks around the world on innocent people of all faiths, including other Muslims.
Waller, who is CSP's director of state outreach, said it was his hope that the strategy can help defeat that enemy. His full remarks are reproduced below:
“Ladies and gentlemen, the first thing I have to tell you is that I’m addressing you as Tommy Waller, an employee of the Center for Security Policy and not as Major Waller, a commissioned officer in the Reserve component of the Marine Corps.
“Now, why is it that I have to make that distinction? Well, it saddens me to say that if I were currently in an active duty I would have to refrain from speaking about factual information about this ideology – Sharia -- the very ideology that threatens our way of life because my words might be offensive.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I took an oath to the Constitution of the United States to defend it against all enemies foreign and domestic and when those that take an oath cannot be taught about the threat to our Constitution, which is both foreign and domestic, our nation is in great peril.
“Now I’ve deployed as an active duty Marine to numerous theaters of operations. I’ve faced the global jihad movement on their turf. And yet I was never taught what animated those Jihadists.
“Still to this day, if you attend a formal military school, you’ll find that there’s never mention of the ideology that animates our enemies.
“We speak in terms like violent extremist organizations. We never nail down the facts about what animates these organizations or, as Clare mentioned, individuals that subscribe to the ideology.
“I recently attended a school that was nearly a year long – a formal military school for commissioned officers at the field grade level. And in 10-plus months we covered information operations for less than an hour and our case study was the Communist insurgency and how we conducted propaganda operations against it in Vietnam.
“It’s mind-boggling to me how our enemies maintain absolute information dominance but it makes sense if that’s the curriculum that we have in our military’s formal schools.
“I’ve been up until this point, shocked and saddened by – and almost bewildered – by the absence void in factual analysis of our enemy on behalf of the national security community and what we face today is tantamount to the military of the Cold War being prevented from studying Communism. Being prevented from studying the ideology that they faced on the battlefield.
“And so it’s my sincere hope that my generation and those that follow it can recover the courage that our previous generation had to study the ideology of the enemy.
“I have to say that the ‘Secure Freedom Strategy’ gives me hope. It’s the first step in our generation doing a major course correction.
“And my personal request on behalf of the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice to that Constitution – in defense of that Constitution – on behalf of them, my request is that we embrace this strategy because we owe it to the generations that went before us and those that will follow us.”
At Waller’s request, the press conference ended with the Pledge of Allegiance.
Members of the “Tiger Team” include Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin; Clare Lopez, former Operations Officer in the CIA’s Clandestine Service and senior vice president for research and analysis at the CSP; Admiral James A. “Ace” Lyons, former Commander–in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet and father of the Navy Red Cell counterterrorism unit and chairman of CSP’s military committee; Dr. J. Michael Waller, expert on psychological warfare, propaganda and influence operations and a senior fellow at CSP; and Frank Gaffney, former acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy and the president of CSP.
You can see read the report here.