In Other Words. . . .
The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report is a collection of the view of all 16 US intelligence agencies. Even as a partially declassified document, we can consider it as authoritative.
The findings should not surprise an increasing number of Americans who are paying attention:
- Militants, although a small percentage of Muslims, are increasing in both number and geographic dispersion
- If this trend continues, threats to US interests globally will become more diverse leading to increased attacks worldwide over the next five years “the confluence of shared purpose and dispersed actors will make it harder to find and undermine jihadist groups.’’
- Militants consider Europe an important venue for attacking Western interests
. . . the Iraq conflict has become a cause célèbre for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of U.S. involvement in the Muslim world, and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement.In other words, as David Sanger (NYT) states, this NIE
raises the implicit question . . . whether postponing the confrontation with Saddam Hussein and focusing instead on securing Afghanistan, or dealing with issues like Iran’s nascent nuclear capability or the Middle East peace process, might have created a different playing field, one in which jihadists were deprived of daily images of carnage in Iraq to rally their sympathizers.In other words, Check out the Pew Global Attitudes Poll released in the middle of last June, which concludes,
. . . The war in Iraq is a continuing drag on opinions of the United States, not only in predominantly Muslim countries but in Europe and Asia as well . . . . favorable opinions of the United States have fallen in most of the 15 countries surveyed.In other words, as Athenae writes in First Draft:
Turn it around, look outward: that national security, true national security, doesn't mean a world in which no one can hurt us. It means a world in which no one wants to.In other words, this NIE answers the question I have asked so many times before: Who has hurt America more, OBL or GWB?