UK expert research group warns Brown that war on terror is "a disaster"

By staff writers
October 11, 2007

UK PM Gordon Brown's administration has received a warning in the strongest possible terms about following the current US-led geopolitical strategy, as a leading British research organisation says that the 'war on terror' has been failing and will continue to fail.

The strategy that US President Bush dubbed "the War on Terror has been a "disaster" and British military policy in Iraq and Afghanistan must be fundamentally changed if al Qaida is to be defeated, a report by the Oxford Research Group think-tank declares.

The report calls for major changes in foreign policy and warns of the dangers of military action against Iran. Iraq has become a training ground for violent jihadists and British and US forces should withdraw from the country as soon as possible, it adds.

The report says that the present fight against international terrorism has failed and has instead played into the hands of al Qaida.

The dismantling of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in 2001-02 was of "direct value" to al Qaida and the extraordinary rendition and detention of terror suspects is a "constant source of propaganda", it adds.

The report, Towards Sustainable Security - Alternatives to the War on Terror, calls for a complete withdrawal from Iraq, a scaling down of military operations in Afghanistan and the ending of extraordinary rendition and detention without trial.

The report chief author is Professor Paul Rogers, who granered an international reputation at the Bradford School of Peace studies. He is a close observer f the gloal political situation and a regular commentator in newspapers and expert journals.

Dr Rogers said: "Every aspect of the War on Terror has been counterproductive in Iraq and Afghanistan, from the loss of civilian life through to mass detentions without trial. In short, it has been a disaster. Western countries simply have to face up to the dangerous mistakes of the past six years and recognise the need for new policies."

He went on to warn: "Going to war with Iran will make matters far worse, playing directly into the hands of extreme elements and adding greatly to the violence across the region.

"Whatever the problems with Iran, war should be avoided at all costs - the mistakes already made will be completely overshadowed by the consequences of a war with Iran," concluded the professor.

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