Reengaging with the world
By John Edwards, Foreign Affairs, September/October, 2007
The “war on terror” approach has backfired, straining our military to the breaking point while allowing the threat of terrorism to grow. “War on terror” is a slogan designed for politics, not a strategy to make the United States safe. It is a bumper sticker, not a plan. Worst of all, the “war on terror” has failed. Instead of making the United States safer, it has spawned even more terrorism — as we have seen so tragically in Iraq — and left us with fewer allies.
There is no question that we are less safe today as a result of this administration’s policies. The Bush administration has walked the United States right into the terrorists’ trap. By framing this struggle against extremism as a war, it has reinforced the jihadists’ narrative that we want to conquer the Muslim world and that there is a “clash of civilizations” pitting the West against Islam. From Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib, the “war on terror” has tragically become the recruitment poster al Qaeda wanted. Instead of reengaging with the peoples of the world, we have driven too many into the terrorists’ arms. [complete article]