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The 'War on Terrorism': 12-Month Audit and Future Strategy Options

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Professor Paul Rogers and Dr. Scilla Elworthy
1 September 2002

Published one year after the 9/11 attacks, this report examined the effectiveness of the 'war on terror' and outlined options open to Western governments in dealing with the harsh challenges of political violence.

The report argued that the 'war on terror' has:

  • Failed to destroy the al-Qaida organisation or apprehend its leaders.
  • Made it more difficult to counter al-Qaida by dispersing it across many countries.
  • Provided an excuse to governments to undertake military action in Iraq in pursuit of unrelated goals.
  • Made the world a more dangerous place than a year ago.

The report also:

  • Showed the real cost of a military attack on Iraq.
  • Put the case for a major shift in policy.
  • Discussed what else could be done - concrete, costed alternative strategies for a real investment in regional and global security.

The amount of money currently spent on conflict resolution is less than one percent of military budgets but this report showed that in any hard-headed assessment of lasting results, the cheaper option is more effective and would amply repay further investment.

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