BOOK: Modern Islamic Warfare: An Ancient Doctrine Marches On

Knowing that Western civilization has been for many centuries squarely in the sights of the Global Islamic Movement—with countless engagements large and small on battlefields across the globe attesting to the implacable will of the Islamic enemy to defeat and subjugate us—it would seem to behoove us to examine the cultural, military, political, religious and social currents within Islam that inspire its relentless drive for supremacy. Even more specifically, if we are to avoid the fate of countless others who have succumbed to this onslaught, we need also to study and confront the Islamic style of warfare. That is particularly true insofar as the 21st Century is shaping up to be a time of accelerating attacks by the forces of Islam. Much of that takes the form of unconventional warfare, as has been true in the past, as well. An Islamic state that takes, holds and claims to govern territory it calls a Caliphate remains the ultimate ideal for Muslim warriors. ISIS’ “Caliph” Abu Bakr al Baghdadi and followers have simply brought to bear for this purpose the modern-day equivalents of camels, horses, swords, spears, catapults and mangonels. Their instruments of jihad include blitzkrieg-style charges across vast desert expanses in captured U.S. Humvees, armored cars and machine-gun-mounted pickup trucks; artillery, the use of automatic rifles, rockets, missiles and mortars in fire-and-maneuver warfare; and deadly attacks with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and car bombs. Violent Islamic warfare is increasingly evident in the Dar al-Harb—the non-Islamic West—where it is augmenting and exacerbating the danger posed by the stealthy, pre-violent form long practiced there by the Muslim Brotherhood, which calls it “civilization jihad.” More and more, Europe and the United States are being subjected to such asymmetric techniques as: airliners brought down with explosives secreted in a laptop; individual suicide bombings; or random acts of violence inflicted with knives, guns and vehicles used to mow down pedestrians. The Internet, too, has revolutionized modern Islamic warfare by allowing jihadist commanders, imams, jurists and strategists to disseminate diagrams, encouragement, guidance and instructions, both inspirational and operational, throughout the world, often reaching huge global audiences. Ever-more clandestine means of evading discovery through the use, for example of, crypto-currencies, the Dark Web and sophisticated cyber encryption programs all too often keep jihadis many steps ahead of the security experts trying to stop them. Unfortunately, we must expect to be facing such attacks from the Global Jihad Movement for a long time to come. To help us understand what we are up against, the Center for Security Policy is pleased to present this new monograph in our Terror Jihad Reader Series, “Modern Islamic Warfare,” written by one of the top Middle Eastern scholars of our time. Dr. Harold Rhode is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and a Middle East specialist who worked as a highly regarded Pentagon analyst for almost 30 years, observing and participating directly in crafting and implementing U.S. Middle East policy throughout those three decades. He’s also an extraordinary linguist who speaks Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew and Turkish. Dr. Rhode has been inspired in his own scholarship by one of the giants of Middle Eastern studies, Dr. Bernard Lewis, his close friend and mentor of many years. We hope that “Modern Islamic Warfare” will contribute materially to our understanding of the strategy and tactics of the forces of Sharia-supremacism and the jihad it commands. Equipped with Harold Rhode’s important insights, we will be better able to help formulate and implement an effective national security strategy for defeating that enemy and his totalitarian ambitions.


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