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April 16, 2024

PI Newsletter #4

1.  Burning Down the House, by Stephen Coughlin

A Strategic Overview of the Threat, the CVE, and Strategic Incomprehension in the War on Terror


2.  A great book, Catastrophic Failure, by Stephen Coughlin

After the events of September 11, 2001, Stephen Coughlin was mobilized from his private sector career to the Intelligence Directorate at the Joint Chiefs of Staff to work in Targeting. Thus began his education in terrorism. In the years that followed, Coughlin earned recognition as the Pentagon’s leading expert on the Islamic-based doctrines motivating jihadi groups that confront America. He came into demand as a trainer and lecturer at leading commands and senior service staff institutions, including the National Defense University, the Army and Navy War Colleges, the Marine Corps-Quantico, the State Department, and the FBI. So effective were his presentations that some in the special operations community dubbed them “Red Pill” briefings, a reference to an iconic scene in The Matrix. It’s an apt metaphor: Once the facts and doctrines are properly explained and understood, there is no going back. This was more than our enemies – and, it seems, our leaders – could tolerate. Beginning in 2011, the Muslim Brotherhood convinced the White House to ban Coughlin and put an end to his briefings.


3. Brexit Happened for a Reason: EU Members Like Poland Ought to Reassess, by Marek Jan Chodakiewicz

One of the leading founders of the EU, Jean Monet, believed in incrementalism. He worked to unveil only individual planks of the EU project, ultimately aiming at a superstate, lest the grassroots became alarmed that too much power accrued to Brussels.

And thus the EU project crept surreptitiously from the Coal and Steel Community and Common Agricultural Policy through the Common Market and the Maastrich Treaty as well as the Expansion East and the Lisbon Treaty – all the way up to the present day.

Taciturn initially, after each victory the Eurocrats rejoiced less silently. At each turn, in particular if deterred by a crisis, they would call for the “deepening of the European Union,” which is a byword for more centralization and less sovereignty of the member states.


4.  The Triangle of Moscow, Tehran and Jerusalem, by Joseph Puder

Putin has sought a Russian role in the Middle East peace process, guided by hopes of replacing the West and of simply appearing important.
Russia finds itself having to make a choice between Iran and Israel.
The odds are that Russia’s interests would favor Tehran, certainly in terms of solidifying its gains in Syria.  Thus, if the chips fall, Moscow will turn to Tehran rather than to Jerusalem.  If, however, relations between Moscow and the Trump administration warm, and the sanctions against Russia are lifted, it would appear that Jerusalem might come out the winner.  In such a scenario, Netanyahu’s close relationship with Putin and Trump might serve Israel well.


5.  Setting Poland on Fire by Ewa Thompson

“American journalist largely avoid the topic [ of the state of the European Union] because of its complexity. If they break the silence, it is usually to instruct or sermonize those members of the EU who are trying to overcome half a century of communist misrule.”

“Poland in particular seems to be a whipping boy.”


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