Again, please note that this is not from some "committed to defeat" anti-war group. It's the frickin RAND Corporation.
Well, this is the all-time winner. The all-time low low. For seven years, we have heard about how terrorism hit this country, 20 percent of the way into Mr. Bush‘s first term, by the way, because of the, quote, “law enforcement approach employed by President Clinton, Max Cleland, the Democratic Party, John Kerry, Europe, England, France, Barack Obama, me, you.”
Let me just read this verbatim by the study done by the conservative Rand Corporation which concluded that, quote, “Current U.S. strategy against the terrorist group al Qaeda has not been successful in significantly undermining the group‘s capabilities.” So the Rand people go on to write, “In looking at how other terrorist groups have ended, the Rand study found that most terrorist groups end either because they join the political process, or because local police and intelligence efforts arrest or kill key members.
Police and intelligence agencies rather than the military, should be the tip of the spear against al Qaeda in most of the world, and the United States should abandon the use of the phrase ‘war on terrorism.‘”
So, one of the think tanks the Pentagon loves best, has deduced that President Bush has done it exactly wrong, that the war on terror is a bunch of crap, that local authorities have the best chance of stopping al Qaeda, that what John McCain is still quoting as if it were the revealed word is exactly the opposite of what we need to do if we want to put terror groups out of business, that the correct strategy is—the law enforcement approach.
So let's flesh out Keith's quotations a bit.
If you want to play at home, here's the RAND report. On page 110, in a section called The Return of al Qa'ida there's this:
So even after the war in Iraq began, al Qaeda has gotten stronger and committed more terrorist attacks? And what does it say about the war that in pursuing it, we've actually made the group that attacked us on 9/11 stronger and more successful?
Indeed, the evidence since September 11, 2001, strongly suggests that the U.S. strategy was not successful in undermining al Qa’ida’s capabilities in the long run. Al Qa’ida remained a strong and competent organization. Its goals were the same: uniting Muslims to fight the United States and its allies (the far enemy) and overthrowing westfriendly regimes in the Middle East (the near enemy) to establish a pan-Islamic caliphate.
Al Qa’ida was involved in more terrorist attacks in the first six years after September 11, 2001, than it had been during the previous six years. It averaged fewer than two attacks per year between 1995 and 2001, but it averaged more than ten attacks per year between 2002 and 2007.
And this is found in the Summary (page xiii):
All terrorist groups eventually end. But how do they end? Answers tothis question have enormous implications for counterterrorism efforts. The evidence since 1968 indicates that most groups have ended because (1) they joined the political process or (2) local police and intelligence agencies arrested or killed key members. Military force has rarely been the primary reason for the end of terrorist groups, and few groups within this time frame achieved victory. This has significant implications for dealing with al Qa’ida and suggests fundamentally rethinking post–September 11 U.S. counterterrorism strategy.Again, from the RAND Corporation.
Anyone remember this? It's from a rally of some sort on March 20, 2004:
But according to the RAND Corporation, he was wrong. And there's 4 thousand American troops dead because of it.
THE PRESIDENT: Some are skeptical that the war on terror is really a war at all. Senator Kerry said, and I quote, "The war on terror is far less of a military operation and far more of an intelligence-gathering law enforcement operation."
THE PRESIDENT: I disagree. I disagree. Our nation followed this approach after the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993. The matter was handled in the courts and thought by some to be settled. The terrorists were still training in Afghanistan. They're still plotting in other nations. They're still drawing up more ambitious plans. After the chaos and carnage of September the 11th, it is not enough to serve our enemies with legal papers. (Applause.) With those attacks, the terrorists and supporters declared war on the United States of America -- and war is what they got. (Applause.)