The Terrorism Index

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84% [of the 100 polled] said we’re losing the war, 86% said the world is becoming more dangerous for the United States.

…Foreign policy experts have never been in so much agreement about an administration’s performance abroad.

Joseph Cirincione

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision and a descent into further chaos in Israel, we’re turning to Foreign Policy‘s recent special, The Terrorism Index. They asked a simple question — “Is the United States winning the war on terror?” — and they wrote:

Since 2001, terrorists have found their targets on almost every continent, with bombings in Bali, London, Madrid, and elsewhere. Five years on, however, America has yet to experience another attack. But Americans appear less convinced that their country is winning the war on terror. In the face of persisting threats, including a growing number of terrorist attacks around the world, numerous reports show that Americans are losing faith in their government’s ability to wage the war successfully and to protect them from the terrorists’ next volley. Barely half of Americans today approve of the way in which the war on terror is being handled, and more than one third believe the United States is less safe today than it was before 9/11.

With a tip of the hat to Foreign Policy we’re creating a radio version of the index, and asking: How do you grade this almost five-year-old war on terror? (And for extra credit: should we put the term in quotes?) Who’s out there who wishes us harm? Are there more or less of them than a year ago? Are they talking to each other? Do we know where they are? Do we have any better sense as to why, exactly, they wish us harm?

And surely someone should get a bonus for the fact that we haven’t been attacked since 9/11. Right?

Joseph Cirincione

Senior Associate and Director for Non-Proliferation, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Author, Fool Me Twice, Foreign Policy, March 27, 2006

William E. Odom

Lieutenant General, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute

Director of the National Security Agency, 1985-1988

Author, America’s Inadvertent Empire

Mia Bloom

Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Cincinnati

Author, Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror

Michael Yon

Writer and photographer, Michael Yon: Online Magazine

Embedded blogger in Iraq in 2005, unembedded in Afghanistan, 2006

Former officer in Special Forces U.S. Army

Author, forthcoming Battle for Mosul

Extra Credit Reading

The Terrorism Index, Foreign Policy and The Center for American Progress, July/August 2006

Bob Herbert, The Wreckage in the China Shop, The New York Times, 6/29/06

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