Saying that the US should 're-think' the so-called 'war on terrorism', the report claims that Bush failed to meet his own stated objectives. It was, the report concludes, the wrong approach to begin with. Rand stopped short of repeating my charge: the 'war on terror' was just a cover for Bush's assumption of dictatorial powers which he accomplished with the Patriot Act and numerous 'signing statements', in effect, his de facto 'rule by decree'.
All terrorist groups eventually end. But how do they end? Answers to this question have enormous implications for dealing with al Qa'ida and suggest fundamentally rethinking post–September 11 US counter terrorism strategy.The evidence since 1968 indicates that most groups have not ended due to military pressure but because (1) they joined the political process or (2) local police and intelligence agencies arrested or killed key members and that few groups achieved victory within this timeframe.The ending of most terrorist groups requires a range of policy instruments, such as careful police and intelligence work, military force, political negotiations, and economic sanctions. Yet policymakers need to understand where to prioritize their efforts with limited resources and attention.--Rand Corporation, US Should Rethink "War On Terrorism" Strategy to Deal with Resurgent Al QaidaPerhaps because it is still, basically, a conservative think tank, a favorite of the Pentagon, Rand has not stated the obvious conclusion: Bush's 'war on terrorism' failed because Bush never intended that it succeed. It's a smokescreen, a pre-text by which his administration might justify the theft of Iraqi oil [See: OIL] and every Constitutional abuse put forward in the US Patriot Act. [See: Patriot Act Provision Declared Unconstitutional]
Free of conservative bias, the logical conclusions are obvious: the GOP has not only never succeeded waging 'wars on terrorism', terrorism has, in fact, gotten worse under every GOP regime since Ronald Reagan. [See:Terrorism is Worse Under GOP Regimes ] The Brookings Institution published FBI data that established the fact while Ronald Reagan waged his great 'war on terror', terrorist attacks against US interests TRIPLED!Terrorist acts against US interests were three time greater under Reagan than under Clinton. Bush is not the first GOP 'president' to have waged a failed war on terrorism.
To its credit, Rand concluded that the most effective strategies were those efforts made by local law enforcement and local intelligence organizations. Rand stated that US should abandon the use of the phrase "war on terrorism". McCain will be without a campaign slogan.
The United States cannot conduct an effective long-term counter terrorism campaign against al Qaida or other terrorist groups without understanding how terrorist groups end," said Seth Jones, the study's lead author and a political scientist at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. "In most cases, military force isn't the best instrument.Rand studied 648 terrorist groups in operation from 1968 through 2006 from a database maintained by RAND and the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism. According to Rand, forty-three percent of all 'terrorist groups' ended with a 'political processes' --NOT military action, war, or violence of any sort.
Among the other findings, the study notes:
- Religious terrorist groups take longer to eliminate than other groups. Since 1968, approximately 62 percent of all terrorist groups have ended, while only 32 percent of religious terrorist groups have done so.
- No religious terrorist group has achieved victory since 1968.
- Size is an important predictor of a groups' fate. Large groups of more than 10,000 members have been victorious more than 25 percent of the time, while victory is rare when groups are smaller than 1,000 members.
- There is no statistical correlation between the duration of a terrorist group and ideological motivation, economic conditions, regime type or the breadth of terrorist goals.
- Terrorist groups that become involved in an insurgency do not end easily. Nearly 50 percent of the time they end with a negotiated settlement with the government, 25 percent of the time they achieved victory and 19 percent of the time, military groups defeated them.
- Terrorist groups from upper-income countries are much more likely to be left-wing or nationalistic, and much less likely to be motivated by religion.
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