Accession Number:

ADA537011

Title:

The Role of Religion in National Security Policy Since September 11, 2001(Carlisle Paper)

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2011-02-01

Pagination or Media Count:

70.0

Abstract:

The United States has struggled to find a framework to integrate religion into the post-September 11, 2001 911 discussion of national security. Islam has been the central focus, with both the 911 terrorists and many of Americas partners in overseas contingency operations sharing an Islamic heritage. The struggle to locate that framework has taken the United States down a number of roads since the turn of the millennium, none of which has been totally satisfactory. President George W. Bush viewed freedom as a universal value, with religious freedom as the preeminent characteristic of free, robust societies. With this assumption, he viewed the post-911 conflict with the Taliban and al-Qaeda as a battle over freedom. He believed that repressed Iraqis and Afghans would welcome the U.S. military as liberators bringing greater freedom, to include freedom of religion. President Bushs assumptions were only partially validated. Part of the problem was the dissonance between a Western concept of freedom to choose and worship God over against an Islamic concept to submit to God. Bushs construct of Religion as Freedom did not offer the optimal framework. Neither has President Barack Obamas Religion as Unity framework solved the problem. President Obama has asserted a universal value regarding religion-that all religions are united by a moral law to care for ones fellowman. Based on this assumption, President Obama has labeled radical Muslim terrorists as false Muslims, and also launched initiatives to honor Islam and resolve mutual misunderstandings through dialog with Muslim states. His efforts have succeeded partially, but radical traditionalist Muslims continue to fight, believing they are the pure practitioners of the faith. Also, President Obamas framework has not accounted for the large numbers of Muslims in Muslim-majority countries who find terrorism sometimes justifiable. An additional framework is needed, one that understands religion as power which is comp

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Humanities and History

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE