Major Nidal Hasan and the Fort Hood Tragedy

Major Nidal Hasan and the Fort Hood Tragedy: Implications for the U.S. Armed Forces by Clint Watts, Foreign Policy Research Institute. From the Introduction:

Major Nidal Hasan's killing of his fellow soldiers at Ft. Hood, Texas undermines the common trust binding America's all-volunteer, multi-ethnic military force. Hasan's violence forces all service personnel to take an introspective look at their organization and persistently assess the possibility of extremists in their ranks. After Hasan's attack, many questioned the U.S. military's ability to recruit, train and retain Muslim military members without exposing service members to violent extremism. Unfortunately, Hasan's violence against fellow soldiers and fellow Americans is not unique. Recent history offers repeated examples of current or former military members conducting violent attacks in support of many different extremist causes. To ensure the integrity and safety of the all-volunteer force, the U.S. military needs a structured approach to assessing and mitigating the threat of lone-wolf extremists in the ranks.

Read the full FPRI E-Note: Major Nidal Hasan and the Fort Hood Tragedy: Implications for the U.S. Armed Forces

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It is politically incorrect to point that out that Major Hasan is the most blatant example of closing ones eyes and ignoring clear warning signs. Hasan had on his Army business card "SOA" as one of his post-nominals. SOA = Soldier of Allah. Numerous patients and doctors unofficially reported him, but due to "profiling" sensitivities, these warning were ignored. In fact, during the investigation after the shooting spree, many more admitted they found Hasan to be a flake and dangerous but hesitated to report him, especially his officer peers and superiors because they knew that to do that would imperil their career. This is especially so his superiors.

"Major Hasan represents only one of many U.S. military service members conducting . . ."

The article mentions Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph. That is disingenuous, as those incidents of ideological murder were by FORMER servicemen, and the description of grousing by them is "so what." So what. They complained and viewed the government as a threat to individual rights - I happen to think a strong central government is a threat to individual rights granted by God . . .does that mean I should be monitored and undergo psychiatric treatment because I am a "radical"? Well guess what, my views are the same as our Founding Fathers, as well as countless patriots over the history of this great nation.

The REAL threat, the real people the military should be watching for are those on active duty are those that clearly present a threat and violate their oath to protect and defend the constitution. Hasan violated that oath by word and by briefings, whereas, Timothy and Eric were FORMER military when they started to actually approach the line separating merely griping and acting on those gripes.

Thing is, watching for radicalisation is a good thing but let us not blind ourselves to the obvious threats when they are on active duty.
Sitting around and griping about the government and being vocal in defence of your rights as granted by God is a soldiers right and should not be viewed as an indicator of a potential murderer or "radical" in any way.

What happens after service is beyond the scope of the military.

By the way, when you serve your rights are not as they are as a civilian.

While on active-duty your rights are restricted and rightfully so.

I see no cause for concern over any of the recommendations, as they do not infringe on rights and they do not unfairly target.

I'm not tracking with this comment from above.

"My initial thoughts are that the focus on Muslims-Americans in the paper poses its own problems and easily labelled "I'm a Muslim, I'm a suspect". Not something the US military seeks or needs."

Where is the focus on Muslims in the paper? The case studies cited are Hasan, McVeigh, Rudolph and Akbar and repeatedly advocates that extremism comes in many forms.

Here are direct quotes from the paper which directly contradict your comment.

1- "Recent history offers repeated examples of current or former military members conducting violent attacks in support of many different extremist causes."

and

2- "Immediately following Major Hasans Ft. Hood attack, many pundits narrowly focused on Hasans religion as the causal link to violence. However, recent history on extremist attacks by current and former military members suggests Hasans actions characterize a broader pattern of extremist behavior. "

and

3- "Military member violence manifests from racial, religious, and anti-government ideologies. Holistically identifying, assessing and mitigating all forms of extremism in the military will better protect service members and citizens while maintaining the diversity of the U.S. Armed Forces."

and

4- "Recent historical analysis shows lone wolf military member extremist violence manifests itself in many different extremist ideologies. Solely focusing on Islamic extremism within military ranks is short-sighted. Timothy McVeigh, a non-Muslim, executed the Oklahoma City Bombing; the largest terrorist attack committed by a former or current U.S. military member. Military member violence manifests from racial, religious, and anti-government ideologies. Holistically identifying, assessing and mitigating all forms of extremism in the military will better protect service members and citizens while maintaining the diversity of the U.S. Armed Forces."

and there are others.

Whoops I am Anonymous 10:02AM.

My initial thoughts are that the focus on Muslims-Americans in the paper poses its own problems and easily labelled "I'm a Muslim, I'm a suspect". Not something the US military seeks or needs.

There are numerous referrals in the open domain, sometimes on SWC, to other internal, potential threats, notably criminal gangs and for ideological reasons the extreme-right.

Armies may not like to talk about it, but the extreme right and nationalist / loyalist groups have posed problems. The UK has had reports of extreme right activity in the army and "over the water" for a long time links with loyalist paramilitaries.

After the scandal with the Canadian Airborne Regiment in Somalia it was actually disbanded.

Radicalisation is not a simple process, it can be piecemeal, involve a catalyst and can be rapid - so rapid I fear the model described would find it hard to cope.

One of the distinctive features, in the UK and I expect elsewhere, is that in the initial stages argument or debate declines and only similar voices become acceptable. Family and friends are discarded. How that can work inside the US military I know not.

Is there a reporting mechanism, similar to Crime Stoppers, available to all ranks to pass on their suspicions?

What options exist for those who turn back after "dipping their toe" in radicalism? By the nature of the process more stop than go on.

All the military needed was a common sense approach to Nidal's radical Islamic views. One that was prevented by its PC leadership.