The Bush administration is losing its global war on terror which has not made the world a safer place, a survey of 116 leading US experts and former official showed on Tuesday, July 4.
"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," Leslie Gelb, president of the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, told the influential US Foreign Policy Magazine.
The survey, which was conducted by Foreign Policy Magazine and the Center for American Progress, shows that 84 percent of those interviewed believe the US is losing the war.
Eighty-six percent are convinced that the world has become a more dangerous place in the past five years, and 80 percent believe that a major new attack on the US was likely within the next decade.
Those surveyed included former secretaries of state, national security advisors, top army commanders, seasoned members of the intelligence community, distinguished academics and journalists.
It's clear to nearly all that Bush and his team have had a totally unrealistic view," said Gelb
Nearly 80 percent of the participants have worked in the US government — of these more than half were in the executive branch, one third in the military, and 17 percent in the intelligence community.
Respondents sharply criticized US efforts in a number of key areas of national security, including public diplomacy, intelligence, and homeland security.
Most of the experts interviewed agreed that the US national security apparatus is in serious disrepair despite the high-profile anti-terror operations after the 9/11 attacks.
Causes of Terror
"We are losing the 'war on terror' because we are treating the symptoms and not the cause," said Slaughter.
The experts believe that Washington's global war has proved futile because the Bush administration failed to address the roots of terrorism.
"We are losing the 'war on terror' because we are treating the symptoms and not the cause," Anne-Marie Slaughter, head of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, told the respected magazine.
Michael Scheuer, who headed the CIA's Osama Bin Laden unit from 1996 to 1999, agreed.
He said Washington was acting as its own worst enemy in the fight against terror due to its foreign policy.
"We're clearly losing. Today, Bin Laden, Al-Qaeda and their allies have only one indispensable ally: the US' foreign policy towards the Islamic world," he averred.
"The cumulative impact of several events in the past two years has gone a good way towards increasing Muslim hatred for Americans, simply because they are Americans," said Scheuer, citing Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq and Guantanamo.
Alain Chouet, a former senior officer of France's DGSE foreign intelligence service, concurred.
He said the 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 radicals.
The continued US presence in Iraq and "the atrocities committed by a campaigning army" and the "grotesque" Guantanamo detention camp "provide excuses" for violent radicals, he opined.
Chouet said the US has "fallen into the classic terrorist trap -- they're lashing out at the wrong targets," causing damage that boosts the cause of their opponents.
A recent global poll by the American Pew Research Center indicated that the presence of US forces in Iraq weigh heavily on the US image in the Muslim world as well as in Europe and Japan.
Battle of Ideas
A majority of the experts polled agree that the war requires more emphasis on a victory of ideas, not just guns.
Nearly 80 percent of experts believe a widespread rejection of radical ideologies in the Muslim world is a critical element to victory.
"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," said Slaughter.
US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has recently admitted that the US lags "dangerously" behind Al-Qaeda and other enemies in getting out information in the digital media age and must update its old-fashioned methods.
The Bush administration has kicked off major new initiatives in foreign broadcasting —Radio Sawa, a pop music-news station in 2002, and Alhurra, a satellite-TV news network in 2004, both aimed at Arab audiences.
The latest PR failure was the suspension of the Arabic-language lifestyle magazine, Hi which used to distribute a meager 55,000 copies in 18 countries, 95 percent of them for free.
US Under Secretary of State Karen P. Hughes, tasked with reaching out to the Muslim world, found it a mammoth task after she had been faced with a flurry of angry reasons why Washington was disliked in the Arab and Muslim worlds during a recent multi-leg tour in the region.Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16