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U.S. losing war on terror, experts say

By Bob Deans

WASHINGTON — The Unit­ed States is los­ing its fight against ter­ror­ism and the Iraq war is the biggest rea­son why, more than eight of 10 Amer­i­can ter­ror­ism and nation­al secu­ri­ty experts con­clud­ed in a poll released yes­ter­day.

One par­tic­i­pant, a for­mer CIA offi­cial who described him­self as a con­ser­v­a­tive Repub­li­can, said the war in Iraq has pro­vid­ed glob­al ter­ror­ist groups with a recruit­ing bonan­za, a valu­able train­ing ground and a strate­gic beach­head at the cross­roads of the oil-rich Per­sian Gulf and Turkey.

“The war in Iraq broke our back in the war on ter­ror,” said the for­mer offi­cial, Michael Scheuer, author of Impe­r­i­al Hubris, a pop­u­lar book high­ly crit­i­cal of the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s anti-ter­ror­ism efforts. “It has made every­thing more dif­fi­cult and the threat more exis­ten­tial.”

Scheuer is one of more than 100 nation­al secu­ri­ty and ter­ror­ism ana­lysts sur­veyed by For­eign Pol­i­cy mag­a­zine and the Cen­ter for Amer­i­can Progress, a left-lean­ing think tank.

Asked whether the Unit­ed States is “win­ning the war on ter­ror,” 84 per­cent said no and 13 per­cent answered yes. Asked whether the war in Iraq is help­ing or hurt­ing the glob­al anti-ter­ror­ism cam­paign, 87 per­cent said hurt­ing. Eighty-six per­cent said the world is becom­ing “more dan­ger­ous for the Unit­ed States and the Amer­i­can peo­ple.”


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