Report: Foreign Policy "Experts" Reject the Iraq Surge
In the wake of the controversial O'Hanlon/Pollack op-ed endorsing the progress of the surge in Iraq, the liberal blogosphere has been awash in commentary about the mainstream media's narrow reliance on the pro-surge viewpoints of "very serious people" constituting the "foreign policy clerisy." As it turns out, not so much. A new joint report from Foreign Policy magazine and the Center for American Progress suggests America's leading foreign policy experts see President Bush's Iraq surge as a failure.
Leaving aside what they tell Americans during their myriad media appearances, the FP/CAP panel of experts offered a grim assessment of the U.S. war on terror in general and the surge in particular. In the third semi-annual Terrorism Index, 91% of the wise men and women surveyed now conclude the world is more dangerous for the United States, up 10% from February. A dismal 6% believe the U.S. is winning the war on terror, versus 84% who believe the struggle against Al Qaeda is being lost.
As for President Bush's surge, 53% now believe the additional U.S. troop presence in Baghdad is having a negative impact, up from just 17% in February. An overhwhelming majority - 68% - called for the U.S. to reploy its troops out of Iraq within the next 18 months. Importantly, 49% felt terrorist attacks in the United States were unlikely in the wake of an American withdrawal from Iraq. A further 39%s said there was no correlation between a U.S. pullout and the risk of attacks in the American homeland.
The FP/CAP study covers a range of other questions, including the emergence of likely terrorist safe havens (Pakistan, not Iraq, is seen as the greatest threat) and potential suppliers of nuclear arms to terrorists (Pakistan again the leader by far, with North Korea a distant second). For more, visit the Foreign Policy and Center for American Progress web sites.