Time for U.S. to change anti terrorism policy

(MENAFN- The Journal Of Turkish Weekly) Fourteen years following the U.S. launch of a war on terror in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks on its soil it seems that Washington is still unable to dispel fears of more terror attacks.

Amid a tidal wave of refugees who are fleeing their war-torn homelands partially for the fear of persecution by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group there has been widespread criticism of the U.S. anti-terrorism policy.

On the one hand theUnited Stateshas taken an oversimplified and crude way to fight terrorists launching wars and interfering in the internal affairs of other countries. On the other hand it always adopts a double-standard anti-terrorism policy which accords with its national political interests.

Both theAfghanistanwar in 2001 and theIraqwar in 2003 reflect the U.S. mentality of "replacing one tyranny by another" and its overconfidence in the reconstruction of the two countries which has dragged the United States into a political and military quagmire in the Middle East.

For instance Arturo Munoz a RAND senior political scientist believes the United States should have backed then Afghan President Hamid Karzai's efforts to reconcile with the Taliban in December 2001.

"A peace process among the Afghans was being discussed at the time only to be repudiated by the Americans" he wrote in an essay reviewing U.S. actions since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Today according to Munoz America's efforts in Afghanistan might be better pursued by adapting military and civilian efforts to more closely aligning with Afghan norms. This means fewer U.S. troops across the country and more reliance on traditional and tribal forms of governance that stress consensus-building.

Of course the United States has reaped fruits in its fight against terrorism such as the significant degradation of al Qaida marked by the death of Osama bin Laden and improved intelligence systems that have helped uncover terrorist plots. But to achieve these results it has cost Washington a lot in political economic military and diplomatic fields.

A U.S. Congressional Research Service report shows the cost of Iraq Afghanistan and other global wars on terror operations since Sept. 11 had reached 1.6 trillion U.S. dollars by 2014.

Some of the great cost is unnecessary and the United States is eating bitter fruits it has brewed therein such as the Iraq war which actually has no relations with anti-terrorism and which was stubbornly launched in the selfish interests of the United States.

In 2003 the United States and Britain bypassed theUnited NationsSecurity Council and unilaterally launched military strikes against Iraq claiming that the country was hiding weapons of mass destruction and supported terrorists. Their real motive was actually to topple the anti-U.S. Saddam Hussein regime.

About 162000 Iraqis lost their lives in the war and several million civilians fled to neighboring Jordan andSyria contributing indirectly to today's refugee crisis in Europe.

Moreover the political inefficiency and social instability in post-war Iraq has also provided a hotbed for the rapid growth of extremist groups such as the Islamic State (IS) which later expanded its forces to Syria. But the U.S. strategy of only launching airstrikes and relying on local troops to fight the IS could lead to a prolonged anti-terrorism war.

As the U.S. war on terror lamentably fails to reach its goal Washington should see that countering terrorism has become a global challenge and no country can tackle it alone. It is high time for the United States to rethink and change its strategy while cooperating and coordinating with other countries in jointly fighting terrorism.

by Xinhua Writer Chen Shilei

The Journal Of Turkish Weekly

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