Wednesday, July 18, 2007

“You can't win a war when you're on the wrong battlefield.”

Are we safer than we were six years ago?
Not according to the newly released National Intelligence Estimate (
available here). The New York Times sums up the harsh reality:
The intelligence report, the most formal assessment since the Sept. 11 attacks about the terrorist threat facing the United States, concludes that the United States is losing ground on a number of fronts in the fight against Al Qaeda, and describes the terrorist organization as having significantly strengthened over the past two years.
As Michael Abramowitz writes in the Washington Post, the White House is not even close to acknowledging that a change in strategy could be called for:
Confronted with a political brush fire, the president and his aides retreated to familiar ground, highlighting the parts of the report that they saw as supportive of their policies, particularly the need to confront Islamic radicals on the ground in Iraq.

Although only a portion of the instability in Iraq is attributed to al-Qaeda and the group had no substantial power base there before the U.S. invasion, Bush again cast the war as a battle against its members, whom his aides have described as key provocateurs there.
Barack Obama sums up the failure of the last six years in this report from AFP:
"After almost six years, awesome sacrifices by our brave men and women in uniform, and hundreds of billions of dollars spent, we are no safer than we were on 9/11," Democratic Senator and White House contender Barack Obama said.

"It is time to act to correct those mistakes, and the first step is to get out of Iraq, because you can't win a war when you're on the wrong battlefield."

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