A senior officer on the Joint Staff told State Department counter-terrorism director Sheehan he had heard terrorist strikes characterized more than once by colleagues as a “small price to pay for being a superpower”.
Security experts – including both conservatives and liberals – agree that waging war in the Middle East weakens national security and increases terrorism. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.
For example, James K. Feldman – former professor of decision analysis and economics at the Air Force Institute of Technology and the School of Advanced Airpower Studies – and other experts say that foreign occupation is the main cause of terrorism. University of Chicago professor Robert A. Pape – who specializes in international security affairs – agrees.
If we want to stop terrorism, we have to stop overthrowing Arab leaders and invading Arab countries to grab their oil.
Now the official Chilcot Report has confirmed this:
Blair was warned by British intelligence that terrorism would “increase in the event of war, reflecting intensified anti-US/anti-Western sentiment in the Muslim world, including among Muslim communities in the West.”
Similarly, the New York Times reported in 2002, long before the start of the Iraq war:
In the first public hearings on the administration’s goal of ousting Saddam Hussein from the Iraqi presidency, an array of experts warned a Senate committee today that an invasion of Iraq would carry significant risks ranging from more terrorist attacks against American targets to higher oil prices.
Months before the invasion of Iraq, U.S. intelligence agencies predicted that it would be likely to spark violent sectarian divides and provide al-Qaeda with new opportunities in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report released yesterday by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Analysts warned that war in Iraq also could provoke Iran to assert its regional influence and “probably would result in a surge of political Islam and increased funding for terrorist groups” in the Muslim world.
The intelligence assessments, made in January 2003 and widely circulated within the Bush administration before the war, said that establishing democracy in Iraq would be “a long, difficult and probably turbulent challenge.”
More than four years after the March 2003 invasion, with Iraq still mired in violence and 150,000 U.S. troops there under continued attack from al-Qaeda and Iraqi insurgents, the intelligence warnings seem prophetic.