Staff Writer, R. Patrick ChapmanGovernment / Military
What is wrong with our military, in detail and from West Point:
Islamist extremists allege law of war violations against the U.S. to undermine American legitimacy, convince Americans that the U.S. is an evil regime fighting an illegal and immoral war against Islam, and destroy the political will of the American people. Yet Islamists’ own capacity to substantiate these claims is inferior to a critical cadre of American law of armed conflict academics whose scholarship and advocacy constitute information warfare that tilts the battlefield against U.S. forces by arguing — against evidence and reason — that the Islamist jihadis a response to valid grievances against U.S. foreign policy, that civilian casualties and Abu Ghraib prove the injustice of the U.S. cause, that military action is an aggressive over-reaction, and that the U.S. is engaged in war crimes that breed terrorists, threaten the rule-of-law, and make us less safe. Rather than lending their prodigious talents to the service of their nation, these legal academics, for reasons ranging from the benign to the malignant, have mustered into the Islamist order of battle to direct their legal expertise against American military forces and American political will. This psychological warfare by American elites against their own people is celebrated by Islamists as a portent of U.S. weakness and the coming triumph of Islamism over the West.
This Article defends these claims and then calls for a paradigmatic shift in our thoughts about the objects and purposes of the law of armed conflict and about the duties that law professors bear in conjunction with the rights they claim under academic freedom. It then examines the consequences of suffering this trahison des professeurs to exist and sketches key recommendations to attenuate its influence of this, shore up American political will, and achieve victory over ISIS and Islamist extremism more broadly.