Saturday, July 09, 2005

Neocons Losing The War On Terror

No virus found in this outgoing message. Checked by AVG Anti-Virus. Version: 7.0.323 / Virus Database: 267.8.11/44 - Release Date: 7/8/2005


Neocons Losing The War On Terror

July 8, 2005

Yesterday’s tragic bombings in London that left at least 50 people dead and another 700 wounded reaffirmed the world's resolve to defeat global terrorist networks. But the attacks also underscore that the world remains unsafe and that our current approach to fighting terrorism is at a minimum insufficient. While America remains committed to defeating terrorists, many are asking a legitimate question: are our policies making us safer?

  • The numbers don’t lie: global terrorist acts have increased steadily since 2001. By objective measures, the problem of international terrorism is worse now than it was in 2001. According to State Department data, the number of international terrorist attacks tripled to 650 in 2004. (The number of international terrorist attacks in 2003, 175, was a 20 year high.) This week, the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)—part of the intelligence reforms pushed by the 9/11 Commission—revealed that those numbers dramatically understate the scope of the problem. Broadening the definition to include attacks that “deliberately hit civilians or non-combatants” the NCTC found that 3,192 incidents of international terrorism occurred last year, resulting in the "deaths, injury or kidnapping of almost 28,500 people."

  • Al-Qaeda and other terrorist networks continue to operate and threaten our way of life. The attacks in London illustrated the changing nature of the threat from al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. As The Washington Post reports, it has long been Osama Bin Laden's goal to evolve al-Qaeda from "headquarters-planned conspiracies toward diffuse ideological incitement and tactical support." Over the last 18 months, Bin Laden in his top deputies "have persuaded dozens of like-minded young men, operating independently of the core al Qaeda leadership, to assemble and deliver suicide or conventional bombs in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Spain, Egypt and now apparently London." Thus, despite the President's rhetoric, the threat cannot be defeated "abroad before they attack us at home." Al-Qaeda brand terrorists can emerge anywhere at anytime.

  • The Bush administration’s incompetence in Iraq has only fueled the terrorist fire. In the face of an al-Qaeda threat that is global, diverse and diffuse, President Bush continues to defend sinking over $200 billion and 138,000 troops into Iraq to fight an insurgency that seems to produce more terrorists than it eliminates. As yesterday’s attacks prove, our enemies are nimble and adaptive yet the conservative leadership in our country remains stubborn and inflexible. American security will continue to suffer until our leaders discard the “stay the course” strategy and start implementing a smarter plan that addresses the real—and changing—nature of global terrorism. President Bush’s mantra that we are fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here is now becoming part of the problem not the solution.

For some ideas on how to fight smarter against global terrorist networks, read the American Progress report, Integrated Power.

Daily Talking Points is a product of the American Progress Action Fund.

To visit the Talking Points archives, please click here.


Post a Comment

<< Home