The War on Terror: a Scorecard
The affectionados of the Wall Street Journal often look to the news pages to refute the ridiculous claims of the editorial page. A recent article gave a stunning refutation of any notion that the ill-conceived invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq are yielding any positive dividends.
The article suggests that the goal of the United States is now merely to prevent things from getting much worse. Here’s what it says:
“Concern about extremism seeping out of Iraq underscores a painful irony in the five-year-old war against terrorism: The U.S. and its allies now face the distinct possibility that the same kind of “failed state” that gave terrorists a haven when the Taliban ruled Afghanistan — leading to Sept. 11 — could be forming again, in more than one place. Both Iraq and Lebanon are threatening to degenerate into states with weak central governments where extremists can thrive. Iraq already appears to serve as a kind of finishing school for young radicals seeking battlefield experience. In Lebanon, Hezbollah’s war with Israel this summer both destabilized the country and enhanced the reputation of Hezbollah extremists, who in the past have demonstrated a desire to extend their reach beyond Lebanon’s borders. To make matters worse, Afghanistan itself now appears to be sliding backward so much that it could again become an international terror breeding ground.”
“U.S. officials acknowledge their main goal in Iraq now is to prevent it from turning into a place run by fundamentalists who export terrorism to the region.”
Dreazen, Yochi J. and Philip Shishkin. 2006. “Growing Concern: Terrorist Havens In ‘Failed States’ Instability in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon Raise Risk That U.S. Seeks to Address.” Wall Street Journal (13 September): p. A 1.