by Major Stephen Coughlin
In comments made at the National Defense University on 1 December 2005, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace explained to his audience the importance of “understand[ing] the nature of the enemy” if we hope to defeat jihadi extremists. Comparing our situation today, with that faced by an earlier generation who had to deal with the reality of the Nazi threat, General Pace suggested a simple solution to complying with his injunction: “read what our enemies have said. Remember Hitler…. He said in writing exactly what his plan was that we collectively ignored to our great detriment (emphasis added).” Just as we ignored Hitler’s articulation of his strategic doctrine in Mein Kampf, so too are we on the verge of suffering a similar fate today, if we fail to seriously assess the extremist threat based on jihadi strategic doctrine.