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    Who is Winning the War on Terror?

    Are we winning the war on terror?

    The topic of this thread is intended to be the War on Terror and not the Iraqi situation.

    Since there hasn't been a major attack on the United States since 9/11 one might conclude that the US is winning.

    However, U.S. foreign policy is inflamming passions and creating jihadists to rally against the U.S.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports tracking poll finds that 43% of Americans now say the U.S. and its allies are winning. Thatís the highest level of optimism registered in nearly a year.

    Link: Rasmussen Reportsô: The most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a mid-term election.



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    Re: Who is Winning the War on Terror?

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    Are we winning the war on terror?

    The topic of this thread is intended to be the War on Terror and not the Iraqi situation.

    Since there hasn't been a major attack on the United States since 9/11 one might conclude that the US is winning.

    However, U.S. foreign policy is inflamming passions and creating jihadists to rally against the U.S.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports tracking poll finds that 43% of Americans now say the U.S. and its allies are winning. Thatís the highest level of optimism registered in nearly a year.

    Link: Rasmussen Reportsô: The most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a mid-term election.
    That's a very good question. We are winning in terms of defending our citizens at home. It's a lot more complicated than that though. The cost of defending ourselves is obviously high. There has been a cost in international relations too. I'm not sure that anyone could define winning or losing in anything less than a small book. I get the sense that we are evolving our strategy to minimize our enemies. I believe our military is learning a lot about how to deal with an asymetrical threat too. It's going to be hard to ever declare victory for good in a war of this type. There will always be a group somewhere who still plots to cause us harm. The key will be to prevent them from acquiring weapons that can cause mass casualties, and that will be an ongoing process.



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    Re: Who is Winning the War on Terror?

    I don't see how at this point we can separate the War on Terror from the Iraq War. From the president's point of view, the Iraq War is the "central front in the war on terror". From the president's critics point of view, the Iraq War is at best a major distraction from the war on terror.

    I also don't get the "America hasn't been attacked" talking point. One, the anthrax attacks and the DC sniper have had us utterly terrorized since 9/11, and two, the terrorists attack us every day in Iraq and Afghanistan and have killed far more Americans there then they did on 9/11.

    But to the title question: How can you "win" something in which victory has never been defined? Has the president once given a realistic end game to the War on Terror? How do you wipe out "terror"?



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    Re: Who is Winning the War on Terror?

    Depends on what you are trying to win. Will terrorists ever fully be gone? not so much. If you are trying to stop countries from housing them, I dont see that happening either. I think protecting our borders successfully would be winning.



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    Re: Who is Winning the War on Terror?

    When I went to work on 9/12 I expected another terrorist attack ThAT DAY. It's 6 years later and they haven't reached us at home. All it would take is ONE suicide boming in a mall, but yet nothing in 6 years.

    IMO we've won for 6 years but it could all change tomorrow.


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    Re: Who is Winning the War on Terror?

    No one can win the war on terror. We will never eliminate terrorism. We can only do what we can to reduce it and prevent it.



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    Re: Who is Winning the War on Terror?

    Quote Originally Posted by bawbie View Post
    I don't see how at this point we can separate the War on Terror from the Iraq War. From the president's point of view, the Iraq War is the "central front in the war on terror". From the president's critics point of view, the Iraq War is at best a major distraction from the war on terror.

    I also don't get the "America hasn't been attacked" talking point. One, the anthrax attacks and the DC sniper have had us utterly terrorized since 9/11, and two, the terrorists attack us every day in Iraq and Afghanistan and have killed far more Americans there then they did on 9/11.

    But to the title question: How can you "win" something in which victory has never been defined? Has the president once given a realistic end game to the War on Terror? How do you wipe out "terror"?
    Attacked domestically? Half of the strategy of being on the offensive is that Islamic fundamentalists will bash themselves upon the rocks of our military, who are better equipped to deal with them than civilians.

    How would you define the end game in this war? Obviously, the title has been politicized to be the "war on terror" instead of what it is, a "war on Islamic fundamentalism". You can thank the PC crowd for that. I define the end game as denying safe harbor and state support to them. That is being done somewhat successfully, though it could be better.



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    Re: Who is Winning the War on Terror?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    Attacked domestically? Half of the strategy of being on the offensive is that Islamic fundamentalists will bash themselves upon the rocks of our military, who are better equipped to deal with them than civilians.

    How would you define the end game in this war? Obviously, the title has been politicized to be the "war on terror" instead of what it is, a "war on Islamic fundamentalism". You can thank the PC crowd for that. I define the end game as denying safe harbor and state support to them. That is being done somewhat successfully, though it could be better.
    So how do you suggest that we effectively go on the offensive against Islamic fundamentalists? Do you really believe that the Iraqi war has been productive in the war on terrorism? How much of the military budget is equiping us with the tools we need to fight the war on terrorism? Are more ballistic missiles, fighter jets, and navy ships needed to fight terrorism?



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    Re: Who is Winning the War on Terror?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    Half of the strategy of being on the offensive is that Islamic fundamentalists will bash themselves upon the rocks of our military, who are better equipped to deal with them than civilians.
    This is a point that I know many, many people miss out on. Al Queda even said it themselves, that they consider Iraq the front line.

    If we did not have a presence in Iraq, we most likely would have seen other attacks domestically. With us in Iraq, they concentrate on our presence there.



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    Re: Who is Winning the War on Terror?

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    So how do you suggest that we effectively go on the offensive against Islamic fundamentalists? Do you really believe that the Iraqi war has been productive in the war on terrorism? How much of the military budget is equiping us with the tools we need to fight the war on terrorism? Are more ballistic missiles, fighter jets, and navy ships needed to fight terrorism?
    "Winning the hearts and minds" of the Iraqi (and the rest of the regions) people should be more than just a saying, I think it should be the core strategy. I'm no expert though.



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    Re: Who is Winning the War on Terror?

    I can separate the war on terrorism from Iraq. In fact, I don't see that the war on terror required our military presence in Iraq.

    Reasons that Iraq detracts from the war on terror include:

    Spending gobs of money in Iraq has to at some point limit what can be spent on other government programs. Some conservatives may say that is fine, however, if we are trying to protect ourselves from another 9/11, do we want Iraq to rob the funding of Homeland Security?

    Intelligence is one of the keys to fighting terrorism. If intelligence gathering is primarily diverted to Iraq, what is left to fight terrorism? How many Arab/English translators are there anyway?

    The Iraqi War appears to have worsened relations with the foreign community, and therefore some nations may not be committed to sharing intelligence with the U.S.

    Iraq appears to have been a rallying cry or recruiting tool for al-Qaeda.


    Last edited by alaskaguy; 10-25-2007 at 06:16 PM.

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    Re: Who is Winning the War on Terror?

    Quote Originally Posted by herbicide View Post
    This is a point that I know many, many people miss out on. Al Queda even said it themselves, that they consider Iraq the front line.

    If we did not have a presence in Iraq, we most likely would have seen other attacks domestically. With us in Iraq, they concentrate on our presence there.
    Perhaps there is some evidence that our presence in Iraq has reduced the likelihood of attacks domestically. However, I haven't seen it. In fact I think that our presence hasn't been all that helpful on the war on terror. I'm still waiting on the evidence that connected Sadaam Hussein with al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda regarded the secular Iraqi leaders as infidels for failing to make Iraq an Islamic state. Therefore the al-Qaeda/Sadaam Hussein connection makes little sense.

    It makes tactical sense for al-Qaeda to take the position that Iraq is a front line. It is al-Qaeda's mission to create instability in non-Islamic governments.


    Last edited by alaskaguy; 10-25-2007 at 06:50 PM.

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    Re: Who is Winning the War on Terror?

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    So how do you suggest that we effectively go on the offensive against Islamic fundamentalists? Do you really believe that the Iraqi war has been productive in the war on terrorism? How much of the military budget is equiping us with the tools we need to fight the war on terrorism? Are more ballistic missiles, fighter jets, and navy ships needed to fight terrorism?
    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    I can separate the war on terrorism from Iraq. In fact, I don't see that the war on terror required our military presence in Iraq.

    Reasons that Iraq detracts from the war on terror include:

    Spending gobs of money in Iraq has to at some point limit what can be spent on other government programs. Some conservatives may say that is fine, however, if we are trying to protect ourselves from another 9/11, do we want Iraq to rob the funding of Homeland Security?

    Intelligence is one of the keys to fighting terrorism. If intelligence gathering is primarily diverted to Iraq, what is left to fight terrorism? How many Arab/English translators are there anyway?

    The Iraqi War appears to have worsened relations with the foreign community, and therefore some nations may not be committed to sharing intelligence with the U.S.

    Iraq appears to have been a rallying cry or recruiting tool for al-Qaeda.
    Iíll give you my take. I think the issues of an offensive against Islamic fundamentalists and connecting Iraq to the broader war on terror are almost exactly the same issue. Indeed, nation-building in Iraq was/is an attempt at offensive against Islamic fundamentalism. You may already know all of this, but Iíll say it anyway. The basic idea, promoted by an influential group of neocons since long before 9/11, was that by building a stable democracy in Iraq, democratic ideas would propagate throughout the Islamic world, thus essentially providing an offensive against fundamentalism. While I never believed this nation-building idea would work, it is really the only idea that I have seen for an aggressive offensive against the obvious dangers of such fundamentalism. After 9/11 the idea of an offensive became more attractive to a broader group of people. Thus, while everyone knew that there was never any credible connection between Iraq and 9/11, it was a motivation to adopt a new and more aggressive strategy to address a long-standing problem.



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    Re: Who is Winning the War on Terror?

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    I
    Reasons that Iraq detracts from the war on terror include:

    Spending gobs of money in Iraq has to at some point limit what can be spent on other government programs. Some conservatives may say that is fine, however, if we are trying to protect ourselves from another 9/11, do we want Iraq to rob the funding of Homeland Security?

    Intelligence is one of the keys to fighting terrorism. If intelligence gathering is primarily diverted to Iraq, what is left to fight terrorism? How many Arab/English translators are there anyway?

    The Iraqi War appears to have worsened relations with the foreign community, and therefore some nations may not be committed to sharing intelligence with the U.S.

    Iraq appears to have been a rallying cry or recruiting tool for al-Qaeda.
    I agree, although my earlier post may not seem like it. While our presence in Iraq has made the focal point Iraq instead of here, I definitely agree that our presence is aiding the recruitment of al-Qaeda and other such groups.

    If the tables were turned, and there were foreigners on our soil with guns and tanks telling us what to do, there would be a lot of resentment. There would also be a percentage bearing arms against said foreigners.



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    Re: Who is Winning the War on Terror?

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskaguy View Post
    I can separate the war on terrorism from Iraq. In fact, I don't see that the war on terror required our military presence in Iraq.

    Reasons that Iraq detracts from the war on terror include:

    Spending gobs of money in Iraq has to at some point limit what can be spent on other government programs. Some conservatives may say that is fine, however, if we are trying to protect ourselves from another 9/11, do we want Iraq to rob the funding of Homeland Security?

    Intelligence is one of the keys to fighting terrorism. If intelligence gathering is primarily diverted to Iraq, what is left to fight terrorism? How many Arab/English translators are there anyway?

    The Iraqi War appears to have worsened relations with the foreign community, and therefore some nations may not be committed to sharing intelligence with the U.S.

    Iraq appears to have been a rallying cry or recruiting tool for al-Qaeda.
    Here's what I see as key: We cannot adequately defend our country from small cells of motivated terrorists. We can disrupt plots, but we can not get them all. There is not enough money in Fort Knox to secure all borders and ports even to a 50% level of security, especially without suspending civil liberties. So we are on offense because a complete defense simply isn't possible.

    Again, we are in Iraq because of Iran. It's no coincidence that we have troops on both the east and west borders of Iran. Not only does that position make Iran susceptible to military attack, it also theoretically would have allowed us to increase diplomatic pressure on them. However, I believe our leaders miscalculated the war in Iraq, as the damage to international relations made further offensive action more difficult, and a stalemate has resulted.



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