Thursday, June 29, 2006

Experts agree that we are losing the War on Terror

The Center for American Progress and Foreign Policy magazine surveyed over 100 of America's most esteemed terrorism and national security experts, asking whether the US was winning the "War on Terror".

From the summary of their results:
"Surprising consensus exists among the experts about terrorism and U.S. national security. A vast majority think that the world today is more dangerous for the American people. Fewer than two in 10 believe the United States is winning the war on terror. More than eight in 10 believe we are likely to face a terrorist attack on the scale of September 11 within the next 10 years."

read the entire report

People are dying and being tortured, Americans are being spied upon by their own government and the government is runing up huge deficits all in the name of keeping the American people safe. But the experts agree that as a result of the actions of the Bush Administration Americans are more at risk rather than less.


paladin said...

This is hilarious! The Center for American Progress and Foreign Policy are both left-wing, anti-Bush concerns. I used to subscribe to Foreign Policy, which touts itself as "non-partisan", but it is anything but. Also note that those asked at The Center for American Progress, were mostly Clintonites. Fair and balanced you say? Ha!

Equally hilarious were their "correctives":

1. Increase budget for State Department. The State Department is inhabited by Clinton holdovers and other "realists". So this is "Money For Bill's Kids", and nothing more. As much influence as Condi Rice has with GWB, I'm sure State has all the money it needs. And isn't it the usual liberal MO to just throw money at a problem and hope it goes away? Priceless!

2. Reduce dependence on foreign oil. Good lord, we have been going to do this since the Carter Administration. We've had Republican Presidents, Democrat Presidents, Republican controlled Congresses and Democrat controlled congresses and every combination thereof. Don't you think this would have been done by now? Hey, why not just call on donkeys to fly instead? Lame.

3. Improve intelligence capabilities. Well, duh! We've been trying to do this since 9/11, but since it appears we can't keep secrets, I don't really think it's possible to ask foreigners to give us information that will likely end up on the front page of the NYTimes, do you? But of course, "some" have concerns, and that should be our highest priority, not improved intelligence. It would be interesting to see how many of those polled approved of the SWIFT program or other programs outed by the Times and WaPo. I say make 'em choose---improved intelligence or catering to "concerns". I don't think we'd be surprised by the answer.

I don't think these "experts" will get much play beyond left-wingers. It's obvious that the "correctives" are just a cover for the real purpose of this----more boring Bush bashing.

Dave Barrett said...

"The survey polled 116 foreign policy experts in the first installment of what is intended as a twice-yearly Terrorism Index. Survey participants came from a range of professional and ideological backgrounds, and the results were balanced to give equal weight to those who self-identified as conservative, liberal, and moderate."

You will probably say that ones who self-identify as conservative are not "true conservatives" because they disagree with what the Bush Administration is doing.

That would mean that there could be no objective non-partisan opposition to Bush in your opinion because just being against Bush marks someone as partisan and non-objective in your eyes.

And how could the State Dept. be full of Clinton people 5 years into the Bush Administration? All the political appointees would have been appointed by Bush. Are you labeling all the career State Dept people "Clinton holdovers" just because they were in the State Dept during the Clinton years?

There is nothing inherently conservative or Republican in what Bush is doing. It is some dangerous form of incompetence combined with arrogance that conservatives should find at least as appalling as liberals do.

To not recognize the increased danger in which your president is putting you as an American is extremely dangerous folly. That is what that non-partisan panel is trying to tell you.

paladin said...

OK, even if all you say is true, and I have my doubts, what do you think of the bromides that were presented as an alternative to Bush's "failed" policy?

It's so easy to sit on the sideline and jeer---it's quite another to present a policy that is doable.

I'd say these "experts" have passed the buck and just want to criticise without any accountabilty toward a better policy.

PS: It's well known that Bush did not replace all the Clintonistas at State and CIA, and I'm sure he regrets it now. The one CIA agent who was fired for leaking damaging information to the press was a well-known Democrat operative.

So much for being a uniter. Sheesh!

Dave Barrett said...

I guess I was more interested in the diagnosis than the proposed cure. But their suggestions for a greater reliance on the State Department and less on the military when dealing with international issues would definitely be a step in the right direction in my opinion. More consultation with other countries and less bluster, threats and "my way or the highway" arrogance would definitely be an improvement.

Anonymous said...

The push for increased DoS money is for what? Is it for more "Phase Zero" international security cooperation, or is it to increase diplomatic presence overseas. I'd hope it's for the latter. Right now, we can't get enough career diplomats to roger up to going into hotspots like Iraq and Afghanistan, and what diplomacy that is done by civilians is handled by a very overworked alone-and-afraid few that rotate on 6-12 month shifts. Secretary Rice had mentioned drawing down the DoS footprint in vacation spots like Western Europe to move those positions to GWOT hotspots, but it doesn't seem like we're holding the DoS careerists' feet to the fire to take on those jobs. I question what is needed, money, or leadership?

As for intel, there's plenty of money, but the focus is on the high $$$ technology instead of the grunt workers in the field.

I'd like to see us enforce the laws on release of classified information, and I bet we can easily track down the latest couple of leakers.

At the same time, I'd like to see a philosphical shift by the Administration from seeking the outer limits of the legal envelope to ensuring their actions remain inside the boundaries of law. Each slip outside the bounds of law damages the integrity and long-term credibility of the Exective Branch.

Eighteen years ago, if I was told the Administration was doing things according to law, I wouldn't have questioned it. Today, I question every word. I always liked how GHWB and his team ran the show in that regard.