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The Forum > General Discussion > Iraq War increasing terrorism - National Intelligence Assessment

Iraq War increasing terrorism - National Intelligence Assessment

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The New York Times reports on a leaked assessment by 16 US spy agencies at http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/24/world/middleeast/24terror.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin. According to The Times "Titled 'Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States, it asserts that Islamic radicalism, rather than being in retreat, has metastasized and spread across the globe."

Our ABC quotes Senator Ted Kennedy saying:

"This intelligence document should put the final nail in the coffin for President Bush's phoney argument about the Iraq war," he said.

"The fact that we need a new direction in Iraq to really win the war on terror and make Americans safer could not be clearer or more urgent, yet this administration stubbornly clings to a failed 'stay-the-course' strategy."

All of this raises a few questions for me. What would be the state of international terrorism if there had been no Iraq War? Would it have subsided, or would it have expanded? Afterall, the Clinton policy of ignoring it doesn't seem to have been all that successful.

Are there pay-offs in the Iraq War that justify a temporary increase in terrorism? Short-term pain for long-term gain?

What alternate strategies would or should a Democrat administration adopt?

What would have been the state in Iraq if Hussein had either died or been desposed by domestic forces?

Is there a path which could significantly decrease terrorism, or the risk of it, or is it a movement that we just have to out wait?
Posted by GrahamY, Monday, 25 September 2006 9:05:37 AM
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Are these the same agencies that said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction?
Posted by T800, Monday, 25 September 2006 11:30:38 AM
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That's a bit trite T800. Are you discounting the possibility that they've learned from the WMD failure? And are you indicating that you don't support intelligence agencies at all? Whose advice are you going to rely on in these matters?
Posted by GrahamY, Monday, 25 September 2006 11:46:15 AM
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Part of the solution would be to get out of Iraq -

Another part would also be to expend part of the 1.4 trillion dollars currently spent on armaments and provide a substitute income stream for the Aghanis other than opium.

Economic sanctions were working in Iraq - the urgency to get in there was a desire to save face because the international community could not find Osama, his donkey or his dialysis machine - those who had lost citizens at the hands of terorists needed an Ayrab scalp - Saddams was the easiest to get - not overly popular amongst other arab states and an all round bad guy.
Posted by sneekeepete, Monday, 25 September 2006 2:38:06 PM
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1.4 trillion dollars would surely buy a few brownie points and a bit of time for contemplation for and with with the dictators, the terrorists and aspiring colonial powers, whatever their leanings are ??!
Posted by kartiya, Monday, 25 September 2006 8:57:23 PM
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Graham, good questions.

I think that terrorism would have still been an issue if Iraq had been left alone but that its draw power might have been much less.

If the USA had concentrated on the hunt for Osama, if they had ensured that Afganistan got as good a start at rebuilding as possible, if they had been able to manage their troops better so that the atrocities stayed with the terrorists then the issues would have been much more clear cut.

The extremists will always be with us in one form or another, the trick is to not give them easy propaganda wins.

From what I've seen of it there were a lot things the US missed in the lead up to Sept 11 that they should have picked up with existing security arrangements if they had worked together better. A tidy up of domestic security would have dramatically reduced the risks of another large scale attack.

Going to war in Iraq has exposed them to the bad PR that leading a war brings (troops behaving badly etc) and diverted some of the outrage away from the terrorists. It has also cost them a bucket load of money and a lot of additional stress (not to mention quite a few lives).

Lots of if's. Now how can they get out of Iraq without making things worse?

R0bert
Posted by R0bert, Monday, 25 September 2006 9:48:06 PM
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