By Mark Silinsky
The US Army takes sexual harassment seriously and has an annual two-hour workshop to prevent it. Once each year, soldiers and civilians are required to attend this workshop during which they listen to a facilitator, watch films of unwanted sexual advances, and respond to questions. This is intended to foster awareness of harassing behavioral patterns and to instill a culture of awareness and prevention. Though occasionally heavy on bathos, the skits help young soldiers understand what behavior is expected of them and activity they must avoid.
Sexual harassment awareness is not the only class that soldiers must take annually. Computer security, drug avoidance, suicide prevention, and terrorism prevention are also topics that require annual certification. But there is nothing of substance involving the threat of political Islam, or Islamism. Despite the murders by Islamists in Army uniforms and the preaching of hate by those associated with the US Army, there is no Army-wide, substantive briefing to educate soldiers! Nor are there serious and coordinated efforts by veteran organizations to make soldiers aware of Islamist infiltration. So, why are there such sincere and extensive efforts to combat sexual harassment and to boost computer security while there is stone silence on Islamism?
The answer is, of course, Army politics. Women’s organizations, veterans groups, and soldiers’ family members have raised the awareness of sexual violence and harassment in society. They demand that their daughters, sisters, wives and friends are protected. As a result, Army leaders determined that soldiers needed to be educated and held accountable. But there are no similar organizations that push Army leaders to alert US soldiers to the dangers of Islamism, despite the Fort Hood massacre and the arrests of US Army personnel who planned to repeat performances. In fact, Islamist-front organizations, such as the Council on American Islamist Relations (CAIR), have fought effectively to stigmatize those who warn of Islamism as “Islamophobes.” Their name calling has worked.
US Army leaders have not only ignored the Islamist threat to the force, they have prevented analysts from warning soldiers about the issue. Several US Army intelligence analysts and security personnel have tried to brief soldiers about Islamist warning signals, such as vituperative anti-Americanism, vocal support for the Islamist enemy, anti-Western literature, and other indicators. And a beta version of this briefing was available and sent out for review well before the Fort Hood attack. But US Army leaders prevented its dissemination.
And that is too bad. It is not possible to state conclusively that this briefing, or any briefing, would have prevented the Fort Hood attack. But, it might have alerted suspicious soldiers and prompted them to force their concerns through the chain of command. And such a briefing today could prevent the next Fort Hood.
The Army has taken sexual issues seriously, and soldiers and civilians understand indicators, prevention techniques, reporting procedures, and behavioral consequences. But what of the Islamist threat? Where is the voice of the US Army? And, finally, who in the US Army will explain to the mothers of soldiers murdered by Islamists that there were those in the Army who wanted to warn soldiers but had their voiced silenced and careers threatened?
Mark Silinsky is a senior counterintelligence analyst for the US Army. His views are his own and do not represent those of the US Army. He invited correspondence with those who agree or disagree with his concerns about Islamism and the US Army. Silinsky@yahoo.com
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