Posted by Exile on July 5, 2006
I found this rather damning but, I suspect, dubious article on my daily surfing tour. Reading what seemed to be a pretty ‘matter of fact’ report on the state of the WOT, I had to pause for thought. Here’s the article:
US is losing ‘war on terror’: experts.
PARIS, July 4:
Despite high-profile arrests, security operations and upbeat assessments from the White House, the United States is losing its global ‘war on terror’, experts warn. Five years after Washington launched its hunt for those responsible for the Sept 11, 2001, attacks, the world has not become a safer place, and a new large-scale strike against America at some point appears likely, they say.
Even the killing last month of Al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, hailed by the White House as a major blow against the terror network, has not dented its ability to recruit new militants or mount attacks.
In May the influential US magazine Foreign Policy and a Washington-based think-tank questioned 116 leading US experts — a balanced mix of Republicans and Democrats — on the progress of the US campaign against terrorism.
Among others, they consulted a former secretary of state, two former directors of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and dozens of the country’s top security analysts.
The result? Eighty-four percent believe the United States is losing the “war on terror”, 86 percent that the world has become a more dangerous place in the past five years, and 80 percent that a major new attack on their country was likely within the next decade.
“We are losing the ‘war on terror’ because we are treating the symptoms and not the cause,” argued Anne-Marie Slaughter, head of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
“Our insistence that Islamic fundamentalist ideology has replaced communist ideology as the chief enemy of our time feeds Al-Qaeda’s vision of the world,” boosting support for the Islamic radical cause, she said.
For Leslie Gelb, president of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, the unity of views expressed by those questioned reflects a deeply critical attitude towards the administration of President George W. Bush.
“It’s clear to nearly all that Bush and his team have had a totally unrealistic view of what they can accomplish with military force and threats of force,” he said.
Other experts questioned the very nature of the US campaign.
“It was a doomed enterprise from the very start: a ‘war on terror’ — it’s as ridiculous as a ‘war on anger’. You do not wage a war on terror, you wage a war against people,” said Alain Chouet, a former senior officer of France’s DGSE foreign intelligence service. “The Americans have been stuck inside this idea of a ‘war on terror’ since September 11, they are not asking the right questions.”
“You can always slaughter terrorists — there are endless reserves of them. We should not be attacking the effects of terrorism but its causes: Wahhabite ideology, Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood. But no one will touch any of those,” Chouet argued.
Chouet said US policy in the Middle East, which had “turned Iraq into a new Afghanistan”, was acting as a powerful recruiting agent for a generation of Islamic radicals.
Experts all over the place, I thought. What freaking experts? Chosen by an ‘influential magasine’ and a ‘Washington-based think-tank’? Published in Paris?
The only thing I agree with is the bit from Alain Chouet. We should be attacking Wahhabite ideology, Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood. I think he hit the nail pretty well on the head there.
But I wondered what questions were put to these experts? How were they worded? Did they all get a questionnaire? Multi choice answers?
Or was it just a bunch of Leftist reporters doing a bum-rush job on George Bush?
It all just seems a bit too ‘down and dusted’ for me.