The LA Times headlining article asks the question, "Is the U.S. winning the war on terror?" I think its an important question to ask as many disturbing statistics (many of which are highlighted in the article) seem to show it is not. Here are some of the main points from the article:
• Al Qaeda, the initial focus of the "global war on terror," has been disrupted and dispersed. But it has been succeeded by a looser network of affiliates and homegrown terrorists — like those who carried out bombings in Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005 — who could grow to be just as dangerous.
• The war in Iraq has become a training ground for Islamic extremists from Saudi Arabia and other countries, and some have returned home with expertise in urban warfare and explosives. Some experts fear the Persian Gulf's oil terminals could be among their next targets.
• Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon have damaged the image of the U.S. in much of the Muslim world and made it easier for terrorist organizations to win recruits. The wars and controversies over U.S. treatment of detainees also have made it more difficult for allied governments to cooperate with American counterterrorism programs, diplomats say.
• When Foreign Policy magazine surveyed more than 100 experts earlier this year, 84% said they did not believe the United States was winning the war on terrorism. In a Los Angeles Times poll, fewer than one-fourth of Americans said they believed the nation was "winning"; more than half said it was too soon to tell... One metric that administration officials don't like talking about involves how people in other countries view the U.S. The results of a multi-country poll sponsored this year by the Pew Charitable Trusts are sobering. When people in largely Muslim nations were asked whether they approved of "U.S.-led efforts to fight terrorism," 82% in Egypt said no, as did 74% in Jordan, 77% in Turkey and 50% in Pakistan. Some European countries showed similar results: 76% of those surveyed in Spain and 57% in France said they did not approve.
Click here to access the full article, well worth reading.
While there has also been a lot recently written about the state of Iraq and whether we are "winning" there, recent polls show much disapproval of the U.S. by Iraqis as well as the fact that Iraq is proving to be a great recruiting tool for creating new terrorists.
Also check out a recent op-ed in the Washington Post entitled, "Losing the War on Terror."