Study: U.K. at ‘risk’ for supporting Iraq war
LONDON - Backing the United States in Iraq has put Britain more at risk from terror attacks, an influential British think tank said Monday.
In a report that may make uncomfortable reading for Prime Minister Tony Blair after the London bombings on July 7, terrorism experts said Britain had suffered by playing “pillion passenger” to the United States.
Experts Frank Gregory and Paul Wilkinson said the Iraq war had boosted recruitment and fund-raising for al-Qaida, which is suspected of being behind the bombings that killed 55 people.
Threat underestimatedThe security experts said British intelligence services had been preoccupied with Irish Republican extremists and had looked in the wrong direction for years.
“As a result of giving low priority to international terrorism, the British authorities did not fully appreciate the threat from al-Qaida,” they said.
Wilkinson and Gregory said conducting counter-terrorism measures shoulder to shoulder with the United States was a key problem because London was in no way an equal partner with Washington.
“Riding pillion with a powerful ally has proved costly in terms of British and U.S. military lives, Iraqi lives, military expenditure and the damage caused to the counter-terrorism campaign,” they said.
They said al-Qaida’s profile has also been raised by the war in Iraq.
“It gave a boost to the al-Qaida network’s propaganda, recruitment and fundraising,” the report concluded.
But they conceded it was “notoriously difficult to prevent no-warning coordinated suicide attacks, the characteristic modus operandi of al-Qaida."
“It is the most dangerous form of terrorist threat ever posed by non-state actors,” they said.
Reid, the defense secretary, argued that bombings in Turkey and Iraq since the London attacks had underlined that terrorism was an international problem.
“The terrorists want to kill anyone who stands in the way of their perverse ideology,” he said.
FROM MSNBC http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8613709/
Now the important thing for GB is to make sure that they don't pull out of Iraq prematurely. The war has already cost billions in dollars and thousands in lives, but it has also brought much more instability to the country, much to Al-Qaeda's and other terrorists' delight. The country is now a perfect, fertile breeding ground for terrorism. The country needs a much bigger presence of peacekeeping forces. So far, there's no signs that there's going to be the much needed reinforcement in Iraq. Ideally, its about time for the US to step back and admit that they rushed into this war, apologize for going to a war that was clearly illegal in light of international law, and also for threatening world's political stability. Its a much needed break on the American and British taxpayers' pockets as well as their militaries.
The UN should then formally be asked to take over control in Iraq with the responsibility shared between all members of the world. This would also change the hostile view that some Iraqi population have against Americans and British troops; they consider them "invaders" instead of "liberators", controlling the country and its resources in a way no different from Saddam but under worse conditions.
However, that seems highly unlikely considering the fact that the US considers the invasion a capitalist venture and plans to make a profit out of it, also evident by the assigning of 'rebuilding Iraq' projects to American and British firms only under the monopolistic market conditions, which is directly against the interest of Iraqi people- they should be allowed to get the best out of THEIR money and oil. There's hundreds of companies around the world who could do the same or better jobs for far less money.
The only way to counter terrorism effectively is to strike it with enough force. With the dwindling, barely enough force presence in Iraq, that does not seem to be the case. Under current circumstances, the US and UK are unable to provide more forces to improve security conditions in the country. Not only the Iraqi people are being subjected to these risks and terrorism- I also fear that the terrorists are also eyeing attacking the Western countries. The Al-Qaeda risk was underestimated even with enough warnings before 9/11. I fear that such negligence might give rise to future security risks to Western countries.
The only fix to Iraqi insurgency against the troops is not a withdrawal of American troops but a a hand-over of the control to an international organization that would fairly concentrate on restoring much need peace and stability to the country and using its resources fairly to help the people.
Remember : a lot of them are not Muslims tryin to kill "infidels" on their land: they are people who want an invading force out of their country! I'm sure they would welcome any help from an international platform, but only as long as its not a disguised attempt to control their resources.
Complete stability in Iraq is also vital to curbing the menace of terrorism around the world. We can't give these terrorists a chance to reorganize or rebuild their infrastructure again.
NO to terrorism. NO to war. NO to blood (American, British and Iraqi!) for OIL !