Skip to comments.Al-Qaeda boosted by Iraq war, warns think-tank
Posted on 05/26/2004 12:43:21 AM PDT by churchillbuff
LONDON : The US-led war on Iraq, far from countering terrorism, has helped revitalise the Al-Qaeda terror network, the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) think-tank warned.
The London-based body said in its annual Strategic Survey 2003/2004 that the deadly train bombings in Madrid in March, the worst terror strike in Europe for more than a decade, showed that Osama Bin Laden's terror network "had fully reconstituted".
It also predicted the Islamic group would step up its anti-Western attacks, possibly even resorting to weapons of mass destruction and targeting Americans, Europeans and Israelis while continuing to support insurgents opposing the US-led occupation of Iraq.
The IISS pointed to devastating blasts in Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Turkey in 2003 and 2004 as further evidence that anti-US sentiment had soared since the Iraq war.
"In counter-terrorism terms, the intervention has arguably focused the energies and resources of al-Qaeda and its followers while diluting those of the global counter-terrorism coalition that appeared so formidable following the Afghanistan intervention in late 2001," the report said.
However, since the war it said that arms proliferation and state-sponsored terrorism has dwindled, with Libya giving up its unconventional weapons programs and Syria becoming "less provocative."
Stalinist North Korea's secret nuclear programme was somehow contained thanks to a negotiating process while Iran agreed to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency over its nuclear activities, the IISS said.
But another legacy of the war was what the IISS termed a highly questionable recourse to pre-emptive strikes as a means of counter-proliferation, as well as "the uses and abuses of intelligence as a basis for military action."
The IISS said the United States, which has dominated world affairs since the end of the Cold War, had failed to understand that Al-Qaeda's September 11, 2001 attacks were "a violent reaction to America's pre-eminence" and it urged the superpower to temper "the appearance of American unilateralism".
It warned that Washington would have a hard time restoring order in embattled Iraq and stressed that the conflict had brought a political split between the United States and its continental European allies, leaving Britain stuck in the middle.
The survey additionally forecast a possible attention shift away from terrorism, Middle Eastern problems and weapons proliferation should North Korea opt for a more aggressive stance, a humanitarian disaster hit Africa or undesirable regime-changes "produce abrupt and serious security challenges".
The United States will not manage to tackle all of the above single-handedly, warned the think-tank, raising a question mark over Europe's ability to break away from "strategic arthritis."
Osama who? Guess we forgot about him. He didn't forget about us, though.
Yep. The Iraq adventure has made us a lot safer. And where IS Osama, by the way?
Couldn't find anything on Pravda?
Where is Osama?
Yeah, and I'm sure they're all highly trained, too. </sarcasm>
Bring 'em on.
Hey GeneralMcClellanBuff, perhaps you are unaware that this 'think tank' also was a big anti-nuke, anti-war supporter during the 80's. Since you 'claim' to be a big Reagan supporter, why would you post as gospel truth a spun study from a group that actively tried to undermine Reagan's Cold War efforts?
And as to your snotty little remarks implying that Bush isn't pursuing AQ, that's either complete ignorance or blatent dishonesty. You tell me, are you an idiot or a liar? How nice of you to spit on our forces in Afghanistan(and in and out of autonomous Pakistan and other places that you have no clue about.)
All your posts seem to be anti-Bush, and often contradictary. I urge each reader to check your posting history for themselves. Your main purpose seems to be dividing conservatives and defeating the Bush administration. Once again showing your chosen freepname to be the most ironic one on FR.
The estimate of 18,000 fighters was based on intelligence estimates that al Qaeda trained at least 20,000 fighters in its training camps in Afghanistan before the United States and its allies ousted the Taliban regime. In the ensuing war on terror, some 2,000 al Qaeda fighters have been killed or captured, the survey said.
We're killing them off and they call it "revitalizing."
BTW, notice the date which they chose to use as a benchmark; October of 2001; I do believe that that would have meant that these horrible people trained on Bill Clinton's watch.
I have yet to understand how they seem to be "increasing" when their own numbers say we've knocked off 2000 of them!
If they don't pose a threat, why is Ashcroft having a news conference today to warn about big-time terrorism this summer?
The United States had no ongoing hostilities with any middle-eastern nation on 09/11. Evidently this 'think tank' (my a$$), thinks enduring those is a lot safer than taking it to the insects on their own soil. There's a lot of that going around these days. Cowards and fifth-columnists are a dime a dozen. To hell with each and every one of them. This is more of a stink tank than a think tank.
Is that a brand name?
Argue with Ashcroft. He's holding a press conference today, warning about terrorism this summer. Maybe this Strategic Studies report is on to something after all.
Do you really think we only took out 2,000 Taliban and Al Qaeda over the last year and change? Heh heh heh, someone's low-balling these figures. Don't believe this count for a moment.
Because we, unlike you, believe in fighting for this country, rather than lying down and letting them win, which is your choice.
Oh, I will -- provided we haven't been blown up by a WMD by then.
Maybe it's because Al Quade is alive and kicking (and energized by all the mess in Iraq)
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