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August 28, 2007

Are We Winning? (No)

Terrorism Survey
The Center for American progress, in conjunction with Foreign Policy magazine, polled 100 top foreign policy experts, Republican and Democratic alike, on how the War on Terror is going. The answer is...not well. Not well at all. 84% disagree that America is winning the war on terror. 91 percent believe the world is becoming more dangerous for us. Experts give us low ratings on handling iraq, Afghanistan, public diplomacy, energy security, democracy promotion, failed states, nuclear non-proliferation, helping Pakistan stabilize against terrorists, etc, etc, etc. In short, we're performing awfully at just about everything.

And yet, where are these analysts? We've got over 100 of them in this survey, and their remarks seem damn near unanimous. Even those identified as conservatives are furious with our performance. Only 20 percent of them believe we're "winning the war on terror," and none of them agree with that statement "strongly." But they're not saying so publicly. You're not seeing hundreds of them at a single event denouncing our mistakes. You're not seeing any serious mobilization against the administration's policies. In short, they're happy to say millions may die in this poll, but not hurt some feelings -- and possibly blunt some careers -- by doing the hard work required to change the country's course. And God knows Giuliani has suffered no public sanction for hiring every discredited neocon he could find. It's deeply irresponsible.

August 28, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

You know the old expression, "showing up is 85% of life"? ISTM that if the Foreign Policy Clerisy expects to be regarded as Very Serious People, then they'd better freakin' show up already.

Instead, they sit in their offices and twiddle their thumbs, and let Krauthammer, Kristol, and the Kagans dominate the discussion.

Screw 'em.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist | Aug 28, 2007 3:15:47 PM

I always wish polls like this would get a little more specific about why they think we're not winning. That 84% may include not only those who think that Bush has totally fucked things up, but the nuts like Cheney and Company who think we haven't done enough bombing of civilians or whathaveyou.

Posted by: Glenn | Aug 28, 2007 4:19:32 PM


Survey participants: Madeleine Albright, Jon Alterman, John Arquilla, Ron Asmus, Scott Atran, Andrew Bacevich, Rand Beers, Dan Benjamin, Peter Bergen, Ilan Berman, Mia Bloom, Philip Bobbitt, Joseph Bouchard, Jarret Brachman, Paul Bremer, Matthew Bunn, Daniel Byman, Kurt Campbell, Ted Carpenter, Ashton Carter, Joseph Cirincione, Richard Clarke, Steve Coll, Roger Cressey, Sheba Crocker, PJ Crowley, Matthew Devost, Larry Diamond, Dana Dillon, Jim Dobbins, Daniel Drezner, Lawrence Eagleburger, R.P. Eddy, Robert Einhorn, Michael Eisenstadt, Ivan Eland, Clark Ervin, John Esposito, Douglas Farah, Michelle Flournoy, Steve Flynn, James Forest, William Frenzel, Aaron Friedberg, Jay Garner, Gregory Gause, Leslie Gelb, Fawaz Gerges, William Gertz, Larry Goodson, Slade Gorton, Mort Halperin, Gary Hart, Bruce Hoffman, John Hulsman, Jo Husbands, Robert Hutchings, Michael Jacobson, Larry Johnson, Robert Kagan, Kenneth Katzman, Geoffrey Kemp, Bob Kerrey, Daryl Kimball, Christopher Kojm, Lawrence Korb, Charles Kupchan, Anthony Lake, Anatol Lieven, Thomas Lippman, Jane Holl Lute, Robert Malley, Thomas Marks, John McCarthy, Mary McCarthy, Michael McFaul, Doris Meissner, Steve Metz, Bill Nash, Vali Nasr, William Odom, Charles Pena, Paul Pillar, Daniel Pipes, Christopher Preble, Charles Pritchard, David Rapoport, Susan Rice, Bruce Riedel, Barnett Rubin, Marc Sageman, Michael Scheuer, Steve Simon, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Gayle Smith, James Steinberg, Jessica Stern, Ray Takeyh, Raymond Tanter, Shibley Telhami, Jack Vessey, Edward Walker, Stephen Walt, William Wechsler, Lawrence Wilkerson, Jim Woolsey, Dov Zakheim, Jim Zogby.

(Even) I recognize a lot of these names, so I guess they are speaking up. It's not too hard to figure out some of the likeliest righties -- Daniel Pipes, Jim Woolsey; Eagleburger, Kagan, Kerrey, and Albright may be among them depending on the question. By and large, I'd say what you have here is a survey somewhat biased towards "people who currently don't matter enough yet." That's a little different than saying they're sitting on their hands.

Posted by: Thomas Nephew | Aug 28, 2007 10:16:46 PM

Then again, the bias may well be mine: there are a lot of names I don't recognize, and it may be because I don't read NRO or whatever as much as I do CAP or American Prospect:

Twenty-five people identified themselves as some level of conservative, 39 identified as moderate, and 44 identified as some level of liberal. In order to ensure balance, the survey was weighted according to ideology to make the number of weighted liberal respondents equal to the number of conservative respondents. Moderate and conservative respondents remained unweighted.

Posted by: Thomas Nephew | Aug 28, 2007 10:20:46 PM

84% disagree that America is winning the war on terror.

How is the "war on terror" even defined?

Was there a poll option for "There is no such thing as the 'war on terror,' it's just a political PR stunt"?

Posted by: Josh G. | Aug 29, 2007 1:20:31 AM

Josh, that's beyond the scope of this poll. There could very well be a poll conducted that would ask people how they defined our conflict with terrorism, but that's not this poll. This particular poll is really about the current direction of the country. There may be people out there that think we should be invading Iran and not doing so is hurting the "War On Terror". There may also be people out there that think the war in Iraq is distracting us from other, more pressing, dangers. Both of these people, however, will agree that President Bush's policies are not helping us succeed against the dangers we face. That's all we should take from the poll because that's all it's going for.

Posted by: Ben | Aug 29, 2007 11:33:48 AM

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Posted by: judy | Oct 11, 2007 6:52:12 AM

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