Report blasts Bush 'war on terror'

A respected American defence college has delivered a blistering assessment of President George Bush's "war on terror".

    Bush is accused of launching an 'unnecessary' war

    The recent US Army War College study called t

    he Iraq invasion "unnecessary",

     and said it has robbed resources

    and attention from the fight against al-Qaida

    .

    The report by Jeffrey Record, a veteran

    defence expert

    , urged US

     leaders to refocus Bush's war to

    target Usama bin Ladin's network.

    Record criticised the Bush administration for lumping

    together al-Qaida and President Saddam Hussein's Iraq "as a

    single, undifferentiated terrorist threat".

    'Strategic error' 

    "This was a strategic error of the first order because it

    ignored critical differences between the two in character,

    threat level and susceptibility to US deterrence and military

    action," he said.

    "The result has been an unnecessary preventive war of

    choice against a deterred Iraq that has created a new front in

    the Middle East for Islamic terrorism and diverted attention

    and resources away from securing the American homeland against

    further assault by an undeterrable al-Qaida."

    "The result (of the war on terror) has been an unnecessary preventive war...

    that has created a new front in

    the Middle East for Islamic terrorism and diverted attention

    and resources away from securing the American homeland against

    further assault"

    Jeffrey Record,
    US Army War College

     

    In an interview after the report's publication, Record also took issue with the very concept of '

    a war on terror'.

    "Terrorism is a common noun. It's a technique. How do you

    make war on terrorism as opposed to specific terrorist

    organisations?" he said.

    Far-fetched

    "I don't think that it is within America's power to rid the

    world of terrorism... The idea that you're going to be able

    to expunge this form of warfare from the world, I think, is

    really stretching it."

    The report will give ammunition to critics who accuse Bush of using the "war on terror" as a pretext to invade Iraq.

    Ten months after the invasion US-led forces have yet to find weapons of mass destruction which Bush administration officials claimed could find their way into hostile hands.  

    Pentagon officials said on Monday that Record was entitled to

    his opinion, but reiterated Bush's view that Iraq is the

    "central front" in the war on terrorism.

    Lawrence Di Rita, the top Pentagon spokesman, said:

    "

    "People are publishing stuff all the time...

    You learn

    even from analysis you don't agree with.

    But he added: "I don't even want to

    characterise it as something I don't agree with because I just

    haven't read it."

    SOURCE: Reuters


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