President Trump’s national security strategy in fourteen points

Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points failed under the weight of human nature. But against the danger of radical Islam, a more realistic version could protect America.

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Image capture Jacquie Kubin @CommDigiNews

WASHINGTON, January 20, 2017 — In a January 1918 Congressional address, President Woodrow Wilson outlined fourteen principles to shape the peace after the Great War. Some of Wilson’s Fourteen Points made their way into the Treaty of Versailles—in particular, the League of Nations, to which all future international disputes would be referred.

Two years after Britain and France imposed harsh sanctions upon Germany and Republicans in Congress rejected the League of Nations, Wilson died a broken man. Twenty years later, the resumption of hostilities, fueled by abiding hatreds the Fourteen Points could not paper over, embroiled the world in war again.

Human nature doomed the Fourteen Points. The notion that international security institutions could vaccinate against the disease of war further revealed Wilson’s naiveté. The United Nations—offspring of the failed League—devolved into an international fraternity rife with anti-Semitism and indifference to the genocide that provides sinecures to globalist elites who hobnob on the Hudson on American taxpayers’ dimes.


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The simple lesson of Wilson’s Fourteen Points is that no policy paper is proof against human nature. Yet at a century’s remove, the Fourteen Points have salvage value. 

The West has been at war with radical Islam—a barbaric ideology that uses genocide, rape, and attacks on civilians to impose its domain—since the seventh century.

The following Fourteen Points, inspired by Wilson yet leavened with realistic insights into the dark dimensions of humanity, are an outline to secure the U.S. against the existential threat of radical Islam and render the world amenable to “justice and ordered peace.”

1. Define Our Vital Interests

The U.S. Constitution is predicated upon protections for life, liberty, and property, representative government, and Judaeo-Christian obligations. These are the vital interests Americans must defend. No other considerations must motivate Americans to, in Wilson’s words, “devote their lives, their honor, and everything they possess.” We must abstain from humanitarian intervention, nation-building, nonessential regime change, and all military operations not driven by threats to these interests.

2. Restore the Concept of the Enemy

When Americans won independence from Britain, destroyed Nazism and Japanese Imperialism, and rolled back Communism, they fought an enemy. Today, rank anti-Americanism animating academia, the media, and a government that has fooled many Americans into believing radical Islamists are simply misunderstood or motivated to right wrongs inflicted by the U.S. We cannot indulge the pretense that our enemies are anything but.

3. Acknowledge We Are at War

Radical Islam intends to destroy Western civilization and is attacking from Afghanistan to California. Yet Americans, disinformed by academic, media, and government elites who urge appeasement and brand as Islamophobic anyone who challenges them, will not commit to battling an enemy their outgoing president will not even name. We must acknowledge, by a formal declaration of Congress, that were are at war with radical Islam.

4. Secure the Border

The U.S. has deliberately engineered undefended borders to provide cheap labor for Republican businessmen and new voters for Democrat politicians. Predictably, radical Islamist fighters have insinuated themselves within our population, crossing from Mexico and infiltrating themselves within the U.S. constructing physical and technological barriers to making the U.S. border protected against incursion by radical Islamists is imperative.

5. Eliminate the Internal Threat

Nearly 400,000 of the three million U.S. Muslims believe Islamists should attack civilian targets in the U.S., while thousands plan, train, and prepare such attacks. We must grant our intelligence and security agencies the tools to make individualized status determinations of the loyalty of adherents to a faith claimed as the ideological inspiration to jihad. This need not dictate a return to World War II policies of relocation and internment. But however achieved, we must eliminate radical Islamists within our midst.

6. Craft Layered Defenses

The U.S. cannot be strong everywhere nor guarantee global security. Premised on the carrier battle group doctrine, we must craft a layered defense where the U.S. is the highest value asset to be protected at all costs (the aircraft carrier), our closest allies are pickets (cruisers), and non-hostile states interested in battling radical Islam but with whom we do not maintain overt alliances provide early warnings and standoff defenses (submarines).

7. Fight Over There

We can fight on enemy territory or on our soil. Fighting far from the U.S. will not only spare American civilian lives and property; waging war where radical Islamists receive aid and comfort will pressure indigenous populations to internalize the costs of their support and consider whether, to protect their lives and cities from destruction, they should rise up and empower local governments that join with the U.S. in eradicating the scourge of radical Islam.

If this war is to generate Dresdens and Hiroshimas, they must be in enemy territory.

8. Engage in Anticipatory Self-Defense

Radical Islamists who desire martyrdom cannot be deterred. They intend to destroy us using the most powerful weapons they can acquire. We must use military force in anticipatory self-defense against any radical Islamist group or nation to before it grows in power, acquires weapons of mass destruction, and inflicts a first strike upon us.


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9. Trigger an Islamic Reformation

Until 1648, the Ottoman Empire waged war against Christian domains and expanded its reach as the energies of European states turned inward in bloody internecine battles between Catholics and Protestants. With the Peace of Westphalia, the West ended religious wars within Christendom and grew more powerful at Islam’s expense. The emergence of radical Islam, in stark contrast to the Islamic liberalism prevailing in Jordan, the UAE, and Egypt, presents an opportunity to fuel an incipient protestant reformation currently sparking civil wars in Syria, Iraq, and Libya.

By fomenting Islamic Civil War and backing Islamic protestants, the U.S. can turn Islamist energies inward, make Islamic allies shoulder more costs and burdens, and speed the delegitimization and defeat of radical Islam.

10. Create a New Collective Security Institution

NATO is populated by countries unwilling to do their fair share in the battle against radical Islam, and it threatens the one nation that is—Russia. A collective security organization open to states willing to use force to destroy radical Islam must be created. Russia, Israel, the GCC, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Poland, and Croatia will prove more effective partners in this than Germany, France, Spain, and other free-riders.

11. Use Economic Force Where Possible

Because the U.S. faces the financial constraints of its national debt and competing priorities, an economy of force looms large in the national security strategic calculus. Thus, while the entire spectrum of American military power should be available to U.S. leaders tasked with destroying radical Islam, weapons transfers to proxies, covert operations, drone strikes against leaders of Islamist organizations, support for coups and insurgencies, and other economical application of power should be employed when possible.

12. Wage Total War If and When Necessary

If we cannot capture the hearts and minds of Islamic peoples and shatter their will to fight for radical Islam, we must utterly eradicate radical Islam and its adherents. To that end, our armed forces must fight with the ferocity needed to defeat Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, even if great destruction, innumerable enemy casualties, and civilian collateral damage result.

Because radical Islamists abjure all rules in attacks on U.S. interests, their fighters should be stripped of all legal protections, attacked by all means and methods at all places and times, and tried and executed post-interrogation. U.S. leaders must defend methods and means they countenance as legitimate interpretations of the law of war.

13, Explain Why We Fight

Islamist propaganda is amplified by U.S. academic, media, and government elites whose false narratives have convinced many war-weary Americans that our troops commit war crimes in fighting an illegal war against all Islam and we must surrender to restore American morality and security. As their government releases terrorists from Guantanamo, gives a clear path to nuclear weapons, brands Russian attacks on ISIS “war crimes,” and welcomes unvetted Muslims, war-weary Americans wondering who their enemy is and why we fight are branded “Islamophobes” for posing these questions.

To win a war the U.S. is losing, we must develop strategic messages modeled after the 1940s “Why We Fight” documentary series, which countered Axis propaganda, explained their evil aims, and reassured Americans of the justice of their cause. Contemporary Americans are equally entitled to know their enemy, appreciate the existential threat of radical Islam, and know that the methods and means they must use to defeat this foe are just and necessary.

14. Decide to Win

We must admit that radical Islam is the apotheosis of evil. We must restore our belief in the goodness of our country and the justice of our cause. We must know we fight for all humanity. We must reawaken the social cohesion and civic courage that won World War II. We must marshal our resources and fight without restraints that impede our victory over an enemy intent on destroying our way of life.

Above all, we must decide to win.

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William Brute Bradford
Dr. William C. “Brute” Bradford, PhD (Northwestern), LLM (Harvard), is Attorney General of the Chiricahua Apache Nation, a former intelligence officer, and an academic with more than 30 published articles on strategy, national security, terrorism, the law of war, radical Islam, and Native American affairs. Dr. Bradford has presented his research worldwide to civilian and military audiences at universities, think tanks, and other public forums, and he is a frequent commentator in U.S. and foreign media. The existential threat of radical Islam, the financial instability of the U.S. political economy, and the erosion of traditional American moral values form the basis of his research, scholarship, and advocacy. He is married to his childhood sweetheart, Shoshana Bradford. He enjoys hunting, fishing, traveling, cooking, and singing. http://williamcbradford.com https://twitter.com/Brute_Bradford