Dumb US Strategy Keeps Giving Life to al-Qaeda

It's decentralized now, but maybe more dangerous: Eugene Robinson

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 6, 2013 12:26 PM CDT

(Newser) – The al-Qaeda of old may be dead as we once knew it, but misguided US policy over a decade might actually be making things worse, writes Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post. He sums it up this way: "Al-Qaeda turns out to be like a pool of mercury. Hit it with a hammer and you end up with 10 little blobs instead of one big one." Note the rising influence of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, an affiliate of the main group largely responsible for the spate of recent terror alerts.

US mistakes began with George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq but have continued under President Obama and his perma-war via drones. "My argument with Obama’s policies is not that the president has tried too hard to end the 'war on terror,' as hawks allege," writes Robinson. "It’s that he hasn’t tried hard enough to leave behind the 'war' metaphor as ill-suited to a struggle that is fundamentally ideological." Our policies keep creating more anti-US terrorists. We should think engagement instead of intervention, and "soft power" instead of military might. Click for Robinson's full column.

A Bahraini armored personnel vehicle reinforces U.S. Embassy security outside a gate to the building in Manama, Bahrain, on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
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