National Security Experts Say Iraq War Is Making the World Less Safe for Americans (ForeignPolicy)

A bipartisan survey of America’s leading foreign-policy experts reports that the world is becoming more dangerous for Americans and that the Iraq war is the principal reason, according to the second installment of the Terrorism Index, produced by Foreign Policy magazine and the Center for American Progress. —————————————————————– The survey of more than 100 experts—released today exclusively online at and—is the only comprehensive effort to determine the U.S. foreign-policy establishment’s assessment of the war on terror and the state of U.S. national security. —————————————————————– A majority of respondents—which include a former secretary of state, national security advisor, and National Security Agency director—report both that the United States is losing the war on terror (75 percent) and that the world is becoming more dangerous for Americans (81 percent). Eighty-two percent say they expect another 9/11-scale attack on U.S. soil at some point in the next decade. —————————————————————– When asked to identify the principal reason why the world is becoming more dangerous, the greatest number of experts (41 percent) named the Iraq war, more than triple the number of those that named Islamic extremism or any other cause. In the previous edition of the index, released in June, 2006, only 28 percent answered the Iraq war to the same question. —————————————————————– Two thirds of respondents now oppose increasing troop levels in Iraq, with 88 percent saying that the war has had a negative impact on U.S. national security. By contrast, 64 percent believe that the war in Afghanistan has advanced U.S. national security goals and 70 percent support sending more troops to that battlefield. —————————————————————– Other Results:.. —————————————————————– Bipartisan Survey of National Security Experts Says Iraq War Is Making the World Less Safe for Americans; Predicts Another 9/11-Scale Attack Within the Next Decade (Foreign Policy and American Progress Survey) ———————————————————————————————————————————- The Wrong Surge —————————————————————– Afghanistan was the first front in the Global War on Terror. In the opinion of the index’s experts, it may still be the most critical. As the first deployments of the Bush administration’s ”surge” of additional combat troops arrive in Iraq, the index’s experts recommend adding U.S. forces onto a different battlefield—Afghanistan. —————————————————————– Asked about troop increases, only about one third of index respondents recommended increasing the number of American forces in Iraq, while 66 percent opposed an increase there. By contrast, nearly 70 percent believe that U.S. troop levels should be increased in Afghanistan. —————————————————————– These results may reflect the experts’ deeply pessimistic views on Iraq. Six months ago, the highest percentage of experts identified Islamist animosity as the ”one principal reason why the world is becoming more dangerous.” Now the highest percentage pinpoints Iraq. Fully 88 percent of the experts believe the war in Iraq is undermining U.S. national security. By comparison, 64 percent believe the war in Afghanistan has advanced U.S. national security goals. —————————————————————– The experts may also advocate a surge in Afghanistan, and not in Iraq, because they see evidence that the Afghan state is faltering—and fast. The percentage of experts who said that the war in Afghanistan has had a positive impact on U.S. national security fell some 30 points from the previous Terrorism Index published last July. They also graded the U.S government’s efforts at stabilizing and rebuilding Afghanistan as below average. With attacks against U.S. and NATO forces up 300 percent since September, and military commanders predicting a Taliban offensive this spring, sending more forces to Iraq may be the right idea in the wrong place… —————————————————————– The Terrorism Index (Foreign Policy & American Progress Survey)


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