The war in Iraq has become a primary recruitment vehicle for violent Islamic extremists, motivating a new generation of potential terrorists around the world whose numbers may be increasing faster than the United States and its allies can reduce the threat, U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded.
A 30-page National Intelligence Estimate completed in April cites the “centrality” of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the insurgency that has followed, as the leading inspiration for new Islamic extremist networks and cells that are united by little more than an anti-Western agenda. It concludes that, rather than contributing to eventual victory in the global counterterrorism struggle, the situation in Iraq has worsened the U.S. position, according to officials familiar with the classified document.
The President has blamed “bad intelligence” for our woes, but he continues getting the straight story, that invading Iraq is and always has been a bad idea. We can only hope that this time the President and his insular staff will take this report seriously and begin to change our approach to this incredibly misguided war. The Iraq invasion was the least effective way to provide the Iraqi people a choice. Instead, the U.S. should have extended the embargo on the Saddam regime, tightened the oil for food program and forced a confrontation between Saddam and his people rather than sending in our army, which only made a confrontation between the U.S. and Islamic militants inevitable.