Friday, August 26, 2005

War Measures

Weekly Standard contributor Christian Lowe describes the efforts of a group organized within the Department of Defense office of Advanced Systems and Concepts to develop a cluster of objective measurements determining the relative success of American strategies in the war against FascIslam. Under the auspices of this group, former Marine Colonel Gary Anderson’s “team came up with a series of broader trends that would allow U.S. policy-makers to see how well their strategies are working to defeat terrorism:
* Terrorist attacks that take place on U.S. territory show a continuous decline.
* The number of states in the Arab and Islamic worlds with representative or inclusive governments that oppose terrorism is increasing.
* Roughly 90 percent of Islamic clergy are preaching against terrorism.
* The majority of Arab language media are editorializing against the use of terrorism and giving negative reportage to acts of terrorism.
* Polling index of Arab/Muslim opinion polls are increasingly favorable.
* Groups previously identified as terrorists but have chosen to adopt non-violent means are increasing.”
As Lowe elaborates, “With the elections in Afghanistan, the Palestinian territories, Iraq; municipal elections in Saudi Arabia, parliamentary elections in Lebanon, and upcoming presidential elections in Egypt a trend toward ‘representative’ governments in a region associated with terrorist movements – a key measurement of success – could be taking hold.
“The nonpartisan Freedom House, a Washington-based democratic advocacy and research group, wrote in its latest ‘Freedom in the World’ survey that there has been an overall gain in freedom around the globe since the attacks of September 11, 2001. East-Central Europe, East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa have posted the most gains, while key countries in the Middle East, including Jordan, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates, have had overall setbacks.
“The number and effectiveness of terrorist strikes worldwide as a measure of success is equally mixed. Though there have been no attacks in the United States since 9/11, the U.S. State Department’s latest statistics show worldwide terrorist incidents rose from 198 in 2002 to 208 in 2003.
“Terrorism caused 725 deaths in 2003, 100 fewer than in the previous year – but wounded 3,546, up nearly 45 percent.”
Lowe also notes Michael Barone’s discussion of the extremely illuminating polls of public opinion in a number of islamic-majority countries and others which we referenced in “Breeding Gound 1”.
Indeed, by virtually any other measure than the crucial variable of domestic political opinion within the United States, we are making progress, and slowly winning, the War On Terror. For the American public, it’s time to wake up.

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