The "war on terror" declared by the U.S. and its allies ten years ago, following the Al-Qaeda-led 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre in New York, has failed to deliver peace but instead led to a resurgence of al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the British Science Association's annual Festival of Science was told yesterday.
An analysis led by the Oxford research group says "the actual outcomes have been radically different to those anticipated", leading to question whether the "war on terror", instigated by the Bush administration as a retort to al-Qaeda's attack on the U.S. has instead been counter-productive.
Indeed, the war on terror gave Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden an international platform to operate from. While prior to the Twin Towers attack few people had heard of the head of the terrorist organisation, within hours Bin Laden's name was known throughout the world, bolstering his popularity in the Islamic fundamentalist world.
The U.S. response in invading Iraq and Afghanistan was also widely criticised and ten years later the Taliban, despite efforts from both U.S. and NATO forces are still very much part of the Afghan political landscape.
The presence of foreign troops has also intensified anti-western feelings, as the war has led to the displacement of thousands of people, including many children and ten years later, the economic and social situation in both countries has seen slight improvement, while the human cost has been massive.
According to Professor Paul Rogers who is professor of peace studies at Bradford and a global security consultant to the Oxford Research Group, this war has failed to deliver any of the aims originally set by the Bush administration in Washington while on the other hand producing negative consequences.
The Oxford Group recently published paper also highlights gross misjudgements made in the conduct of the war on terror, and warns against the likeliness of those failures being repeated in the coming years.
"A brief war in Afghanistan is shortly to enter its second decade, seven years of war in Iraq have yet to bring a lasting peace and Pakistan remains deeply unstable", professor Rogers said talking at the Festival of Science, adding that the Oxford Group analysis "shows that the actual outcomes have been radically different to those anticipated."
In addition, the study also suggest that in the five years following the 9/11 attacks, al-Qaeda became even more active, while the Bush doctrine was both humanly and economically extremely costly with an overall death toll of about 225,000 people and a total financial cost estimated by the Oxford Group to be between $3.2 and $4 trillion.