Iraq War Vet David French: Political Correctness is Hurting U.S. National Security

By Joe Setyon | July 28, 2016 | 1:21 PM EDT

Constitutional lawyer and Iraq war

veteran David French.  (AP) 

( -- Constitutional lawyer and Iraq War veteran David French said on Wednesday that political correctness is hurting the nation's national security far more than constitutional protections for civil liberties. 

“I do think that what does hurt American national security is political correctness,” French told  It’s a view of the world not as it is but a view of the world as we want it to be.”

“I think the Constitution strikes the right balance between civil liberties and law enforcement, between liberty and security. I think that what’s hampered us more is political correctness,” French explained.

“We want to believe things that are not true because it makes the world a happier place,” he said.

French does not see the “robust constitutional protections” provided by the Fourth Amendment” as hurting national security. Instead, he told,  “You can do excellent policing while respecting civil liberty.”

He emphasized that in order to defeat ISIS  both at home and abroad, it is vital to know the enemy.

“We have to understand who the enemy is, where the enemy is coming from, and what the enemy believes, and utilize that knowledge to target the appropriate people for investigation,” he said.  “And I think we could defend our nation on that basis.”

However, even though French warned about the dangers of political correctness and the importance of knowing the enemy, he does not believe that the phrase “radical Islam” is necessarily a useful phrase in combating terrorism.

“Saying ‘radical Islam’ is not a military strategy,” he claimed during a lecture entitled “Fact and Fiction in Fighting ISIS” on Wednesday at the Rayburn House Office Building.

During that lecture, he further explained that the tactics employed against terrorism are far more meaningful than the words used to describe it. In some parts of the Muslim world, he pointed out, terror in the name of Islam is not even a radical thought.

Moreover, he noted that using this phrase might impede the progress of building Arab coalitions to fight terror in the Middle East.

In the interview with, French also discussed the role of the Second Amendment in relation to domestic terrorism.


“The notion that gun control is an answer to Jihad…would be laugh out loud funny if it weren’t so pitiful,” he said.

Pointing to recent terror attacks in Europe, French explained, “you had more than 100 people killed in a combination of truck attacks, knife attacks, axe attacks, bombings and shootings, with the truck being the most dangerous of all of those things.”

He also referred to the 9/11 terror attacks, saying, “if you look at American casualties to terrorism here domestically, the deadliest weapon so far is a box cutter combined with an airplane.”

“Jihadists can and will find and use whatever weapon they can find and use to kill Americans, to kill Europeans,” he clarified.

However, French does think the Second Amendment can be a “means for us to defend ourselves from jihadists.”

He claimed that if a jihadist was attacking a crowd of people, 99 percent of them “would rather have a chance to confront him.”

“It’s that simple: it’s pure self-defense, which is a constitutional right, it’s a natural right, it’s a human right,” he concluded.

In the lecture earlier in the day, French explained that a comprehensive and lasting strategy is needed in order to defeat ISIS and create stability in the Middle East.

He warned against what he called “terrorist whack-a-mole,” where the United States takes down individual terrorists or groups, only for others to rise up in their place.

According to French, all this does is anger the enemy without creating any lasting strategic effect.

However, he pointed out that even ISIS terrorists have a breaking point and that at a certain point, they will lose hope. They carry out jihad thinking that Allah will lead them to victory, and to defeat them, the U.S. military has to inflict enough damage to convince them that they cannot win,” he said.

French ended the lecture by saying that to defeat ISIS, the United States needs a “permanent,” “aggressive,” and “flexible” strategy of “self-defense.”

In addition to his military and law career, French is currently a staff writer at National Review.

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