Monday, June 26, 2006

A Big Fat 'F'

Tom Paine reports a survey of the top 100 foreign policy experts across Republican and Democratic party lines give An 'F' For Antiterrorism.
[. . .]

Respondents sharply criticized U.S. efforts in a number of key areas of national security, including public diplomacy, intelligence, and homeland security. Nearly all of the departments and agencies responsible for fighting the war on terror received poor marks. Only the National Security Agency received an above-average score of 5.2, on a 0 to 10 scale, where 0 represents the worst possible job of guarding the United States. Every other agency received below-average marks. Experts gave the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) the worst grade; its average score was just 2.9. In fact, 36 percent of the experts indicated that the newly created DHS has had a negative impact on America’s national security, and nearly one in five thought the department’s funding should be slashed. In addition, more than half of the index’s experts said that creating the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has had no positive impact in the war against terror.

The index’s experts were similarly critical of most of the policy initiatives put forward by the U.S. Congress and President George W. Bush since 9/11. Majorities believe that the war in Iraq (87 percent), the detention of suspected terrorists at Guantánamo Bay (81 percent), U.S. energy policy (64 percent), and U.S. policy toward Iran (60 percent) have a negative impact on our national security. The index’s experts also disapprove of how America is handling its relations with European allies, how it is controlling the spread of weapons of mass destruction and its dealings with failing states, just to name a few.

[. . .]

Golly, that is more severe than public opinion.

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