Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Bush Administration Is Weak on Terror By Stephen Van Evera

The U.S. public widely credits President Bush with toughness on terror. An August 2006 poll found 55 percent of Americans approving his handling of the campaign on terror and only 38 percent disapproving. Republican candidates are running successfully on the terror issue in this fall's election campaign. In fact, the Bush administration is weak on terror.
The administration wages a one-front war against al-Qaeda, the main terror threat, when effort on every relevant front is needed. Specifically, it has focused on an offensive military and intelligence campaign abroad while neglecting five other critical fronts: bolstering homeland security, securing weapons and materials of mass destruction from possible theft or purchase by terrorists, winning the war of ideas across the world, ending conflicts that fuel support for al-Qaeda, and saving the failed states where al-Qaeda and like groups can find haven. The administration has also bungled parts of the military offensive by diverting itself into a counterproductive sideshow in Iraq and by alienating potential allies. As a result, al-Qaeda and related jihadi groups remain a potent threat more than five years after the 9/11 attacks. Assessments by U.S. intelligence and other analysts actually indicate that the terror threat has increased since 9/11. more...


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