The War in Iraq may well have turned the corner, Afghanistan might yet go either way, but here at home it seems that we may have lost a critically important battle in the war of ideas:
Stephen Coughlin, the Pentagon specialist on Islamic law and Islamist extremism, has been fired from his position on the military’s Joint Staff. The action followed a report in this space last week revealing opposition to his work for the military by pro-Muslim officials within the office of Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England.
Mr. Coughlin was notified this week that his contract with the Joint Staff will end in March, effectively halting the career of one of the U.S. government’s most important figures in analyzing the nature of extremism and ultimately preparing to wage ideological war against it.
He had run afoul of a key aide to Mr. England, Hasham Islam, who confronted Mr. Coughlin during a meeting several weeks ago when Mr. Islam sought to have Mr. Coughlin soften his views on Islamist extremism.
There’s probably more to this than what has been said in the Washington Times. There’d better be.
A thing is what it does, and if we lose the power to name the foe then we’ve lost the capability to frame the fight.