PC in the Military Establishment
On 25 October 2012 Defense Secretary Panetta said that he and top military commanders "felt very strongly" that deploying American forces to defend against the attack in Benghazi, Libya was too risky because what was happening on the ground was unclear. Panetta added "the basic principle is that you don't deploy forces into harm's way without knowing what's going on." For those of us who have been in combat this rings hollow, since we remember many times we have gone into the unknown to protect our comrades in danger.
There is another explanation for this failure to deploy military assets to Benghazi just as soon as the attack was known, i.e. within the first hour of a seven hour battle. Was it because of political correctness regarding Islam at the higher echelons of the military establishment? Was it because the administration did not want to use military forces near the end of a political campaign? These possibilities need to be analyzed and corrected as warranted.
Currently our political elite (including the top echelons of the military) and the foreign policy establishment (including academe and think tanks) have accepted the false premise that the only threat comes from "extremists" seeking to hijack Islam and therefore from "terrorists associated with al-Qaeda". They see Islam as "a noble religion, and a religion of peace." They make no distinction between the inner jihad (which is a religion to help individuals struggle against baser instincts) and the outer jihad (which is a sociopolitical ideology of submission just as evil as other totalitarian ideologies we have faced in the past).
Today most military commanders have been promoted based upon their ability to manage personnel, equipment, and money for conventional war, including how the armed forces were used in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have little interest in, and avoid, ideological struggles and strategic communication--the critical mass of Irregular Warfare. Those in the very top of the military establishment are selected because they are "team players", not because they are willing to "tell truth to power".
Much of our political elite, and the foreign policy establishment, reject anyone who thinks the Third Jihad is inherently a threat, that the outer jihad is inherently incompatible with the US Constitution, or that Islam is a holistic, totalitarian ideology rather than a religion like Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism. They do not accept the original meaning of the 1st Amendment of the Constitution or Article VI para 3 prohibition on "religious tests" for public office.
Also the political elite is too heavily dependent upon exports of energy products from the Middle East to acknowledge the truth. Decades of very clever Saudi-Wah'abi funding, propaganda and subversion have given our leaders a benign impression of Islam.