Thursday, June 15, 2006

U.S. Gets an F for Diplomacy and an A for Failure in the GWOT

Who can get 100 foreign policy analysts to agree about the progress of the global war on terror?

George W. Bush can.

Washington is failing to make progress in the global war on terror and the next 9/11-style attack is not a question of if, but when. That is the scathing conclusion of a survey of 100 leading American foreign-policy analysts.

In its first "Terrorism Index," released yesterday, the influential journal Foreign Policy found surprising consensus among the bipartisan experts.

Some 86 per cent of them said the world has grown more, not less, dangerous, despite President George W. Bush's claims that the U.S. is winning the war on terror.

The main reasons for the decline in security, they said, were the war in Iraq, the detention of terror suspects in Guantanamo Bay, U.S. policy towards Iran and U.S. energy policy.

The survey's participants included an ex-secretary of state and former heads of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, along with prominent members of the U.S. foreign-policy establishment.

The majority served in previous administrations or in senior military ranks.

"When you strip away the politics, the experts, almost to a person, are very worried about the administration," says Joe Cirincione, vice-president of the Center for American Progress, the Washington think-tank which co-sponsored the survey.

"They think none of our front-line institutions is doing a good job and that Iraq has made the terror situation much worse."
Almost 80 per cent of the analysts said widespread rejection of radical Islamic ideologies is crucial if terrorism is to be eradicated, but that goal requires "a much higher emphasis on its non-military tools."

Across the board, they rated Washington's diplomatic efforts as abysmal, with a median score of 1.8 out of 10.

More than two-thirds said the United Nations and other multilateral institutions must be strengthened.

In the survey's accompanying report, Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, said policy analysts have never been in such agreement.
"The reason is that 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."

Let's put that another way: Violence has solved nothing.

Told you so.

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