Sunday, July 29, 2007

Assessing the NIE

Here's a link to the column I did last week for Antiwar.com. It discusses the brief summary made public of the latest National Intelligence Estimate on global terrorism. The bottom line, of course, is that starting the Iraq war has almost certainly made things worse for the United States. Not only is al-Qaida in Iraq, described as the only al-Qaida affiliate with a stated ambition to attack the United States proper, an artifact of that war, thousands of jihadists are getting trained and "blooded" in actual bomb-making and actual combat, which is much more valuable than studying something on the Internet or even attending a training camp in Afghanistan or Pakistan. We'll be paying for it --perhaps Europe more then the U.S. -- for years to come.

I continue to recommend Charles Pena's "Winning the Un-War" as the best detailed source for the kinds of strategies and tactics that might make the U.S. better off vis-a-vis terrorist jihadism. His strategy, of course, includes withdrawing military forces from Iraq and most of the Middle East, to reduce their values as a recruiting tool for terrorists, not to mention the danger to those troops themselves.

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