‘War on terror’ termed a “disaster” by British think tank

November 14th, 2007 - 1:48 am ICT by admin  
The Oxford Research Group (ORG) said in a report that Washington and its allies must change their policy, saying Iraq has become a training ground for violent jihadists and the coalition forces should withdraw from the country immediately.

The report claims that instead of rooting out terrorism, the current fight against international terrorism has played into the hands of al-Qaeda.

The dismantling of the Taleban regime in Afghanistan in 2001-2 was of “direct value” to the al-Qaeda, and the extraordinary rendition and detention of terrorist suspects a “constant source of propaganda,” the Scotsman quoted the report as saying.

Besides calling for a complete troop withdrawal from Iraq, the ORG report ‘Towards Sustainable Security - Alternatives to the War on Terror,’ emphasises the need for a scaling-down of military operations in Afghanistan, and the ending of extraordinary rendition and detention without trial.

Paul Rogers, the report’s author, said: “Every aspect of the war on terror has been counterproductive in Iraq and Afghanistan, from the loss of civilian life through to mass detentions without trial. In short, it has been a disaster. Western countries simply have to face up to the dangerous mistakes of the past six years and recognise the need for new policies.”

“Going to war with Iran will make matters far worse, playing directly into the hands of extreme elements and adding greatly to the violence across the region. Whatever the problems with Iran, war should be avoided at all costs - the mistakes already made will be completely overshadowed by the consequences of a war with Iran,” he added.

Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman Michael Moore said the “hard-hitting report” is a timely reminder of the flawed strategy of treating Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran as three fronts of the so-called war on terror.

“The concept of the war on terror is now wholly discredited. It would be folly to continue trying to tackle violent extremism in the same manner. The government must pay heed and withdraw our troops from Iraq and reconsider our strategy for Afghanistan. Above all else it must make it clear that military action against Iran is a non-starter,” Moore said

Calling the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 a “grievous mistake”, which had created a combat training zone for extremist elements linked to or inspired by Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda, the report says the situation was comparable to the rise of the mujahedin that rose against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. (ANI)

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