De Westerse ‘War on terror’ – de meest catastrofale contra-productieve strategie ooit

Nog nooit is er zo catastrofaal contra-productief gereageerd op een provocatieve aanval van een tegenstander, als door ‘het Westen’ op de aanval van ‘9/11’. Wanneer zullen wij dat eindelijk in gaan zien? En daaruit lessen trekken voor het heden en de toekomst? Nederland zou in de NAVO moeten bereiken dat er een fundamenteel en objectief zelf-onderzoek wordt uitgevoerd naar de opzet en uitvoering van onze ‘oorlog tegen terrorisme’. Onderstaand rapport van professor Paul Rogers kan ondertussen uitstekend dienen om onze politieke en militaire leiders tot bezinning te brengen.

PRESS RELEASE 9/11 and the Paths not Taken – New Report Offers Fresh Appraisal on the Eve of the Ten-year Anniversary of the Attacks

London, 6 September 2011. The ten-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks presents a crucial opportunity to reflect on the catastrophic mistakes of the last decade of the ‘war on terror’, argues a new report from the respected British think tank, Oxford Research Group.

The report, A War Gone Badly Wrong – The War on Terror Ten Years On, assesses the consequences of the response from the United States and its coalition partners. It questions whether the response was either appropriate or wise and whether the results so far have been counterproductive – and may even indicate the need for an entirely new security paradigm.

The response to the 9/11 attacks:

The report’s author, Professor Paul Rogers said, “To see the attacks as requiring a major military response – a ‘war on terror’ – assigned to the perpetrators precisely the attention that they sought, and proved to be deeply counter-productive.”

The report compares the original war aims of the Bush and Blair administrations in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack with the actual outcomes. Only by doing so is it possible to get a clear idea of the unexpected consequences in terms of the longevity of the conflicts, the human costs, the financial implications and the political developments.

The report also points out that analysts at Oxford Research Group were amongst the minority of commentators at the time arguing that the 9/11 attacks should be seen as appalling examples of transnational criminality, “the appropriate response being rooted in policing and international legal processes aimed at bringing to justice those behind the attacks”.

The costs of the ‘war on terror’:

Professor Rogers summarises the major results of the ‘war on terror’ saying:

“A brief war in Afghanistan is shortly to enter its second decade, seven years of war in Iraq have yet to bring a lasting peace, and Pakistan remains deeply unstable. Meanwhile, groups linked loosely with the al-Qaida movement make progress in Yemen, Nigeria, Algeria and the Horn of Africa.”

The impact across the Middle East, North Africa and South and Central Asia will be felt for decades to come. Professor Rogers pointed out that:

“Perhaps the most significant aspect of the post-9/11 wars has been the increased influence of Iran. Far from being constrained by US actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the problems that arose in both countries have meant that Iran has more freedom to exert influence.”

The need for a fundamental rethink:

A major finding of the report is that despite the opportunity presented by the ten year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks for honest reflection, politicians and military planners risk repeating the mistakes of the last decade.

“A comprehensive assessment of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is needed in much greater depth” than is currently being undertaken in Britain and the US, in order to “increase caution in responding too readily to difficult circumstances with military force.”

“It has become increasingly clear over the last decade that the United States and its partners must learn from the evident failure of the ‘war on terror’ by paying more attention to the underlying causes of the conflicts, especially the factors motivating young paramilitaries to take extreme action.”


*TO READ THE FULL REPORT, CLICK HERE. For the earlier Oxford Research Group reports calling for a different response soon after the attacks see: The United States, Europe and the Majority World after September 11 (from September 2001) and A Never-Ending War? Consequences of 11 September (from March 2002).


For further information, or to arrange an interview with the author, please contact: Professor Paul Rogers on +44 (0)78 6798 2061, +44 (0)1274 234 185 or +44 (0)1484 603 194

Also available for comment, is Ben Zala, Manager of Oxford Research Group’s Sustainable Security Programme, on +44 (0)75 21 015

Alternatively, please contact the Oxford Research Group office on +44 (0)20 7549 0298, or Vera Evertz

About the Author

Professor Paul Rogers is a Global Security Consultant for the Oxford Research Group and Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford, UK.

About Oxford Research Group

Oxford Research Group (ORG) is an independent London-based think tank, which seeks to promote more sustainable approaches to global security. Established in 1982, it is now considered to be one of the UK’s leading think tanks. ORG is a registered charity and uses a combination of innovative publications, expert roundtables, consultations, and engagement with opinion-formers, government, and media to develop positive, long-term change in global affairs.


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