Water Week

EWN Publishing

“War on terror “fails to extinguish Islamist extremism, fuels it instead; Iran invasion would compound already huge errors of strategy, says Oxford Research Group

Posted by waterweek on 17 October 2007

The US-led “war on terror” had been a “disaster” and Washington and its allies must change their policy in Iraq and Afghanistan to defeat Al-Qaida, an independent global security think tank said, reported The Advertiser (9/10/2007, p.27).

A total failure of strategy: The Oxford Research Group said in a report that Western strategy, since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the US had failed to extinguish the threat from Islamist extremism and even fuelled it. “Every aspect of the war on terror has been counterproductive in Iraq and Afghanistan, from the loss of civilian life through mass detentions without trial. In short, it has been a disaster,” report author Paul Rogers said. “Western countries simply have to face up to the dangerous mistakes of the past six years and recognise the need for new policies.”

Hands off Iran, too: He also warned that any military action against Iran over the Islamic republic’s disputed nuclear program would further aggravate the situation. “Going to war with Iran will make matters far worse, playing directly into the hands of extreme elements, and adding greatly to the violence across the region,” Rogers said. “Whatever the problems with Iran, war should be avoided at all costs – the mistakes already made will be completely overshadowed by the consequences of a war with Iran.”

Haven for terrorists: Chief among the report’s criticisms was that the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 was a “grievous mistake” which had created a combat training zone for extremist elements linked to, or inspired by, Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaida. The report, ‘Towards Sustainable Security: Alternative Approaches to the War on Terror’, said the situation was comparable to the rise of the mujahedin that rose against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

The Advertiser, 9/10/2007, p. 27

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