'War on terror' has failed to deliver peace, study shows


THE US and western allies’ “war on terror” has failed to deliver peace and has triggered unexpected consequences, including a resurgence of al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the British Science Association’s annual Festival of Science was told yesterday.

An analysis shows “the actual outcomes have been radically different to those anticipated”, the festival was told.

The bleak perspective of the inadequacy of the “boots on the ground” and “troop surges” approach being pursued in Afghanistan was delivered yesterday at an annual festival that got under way at the University of Bradford.

It was 10 years since September 11th, 2001, and the deaths of almost 3,000 people at the World Trade Center that triggered the so-called war on terror. Yet, said Prof Paul Rogers, this war had failed to deliver any of the aims originally set by the Bush administration in Washington and had thrown up unexpected negative consequences.

Prof Rogers is professor of peace studies at Bradford and a global security consultant to the Oxford Research Group. The group yesterday released a research paper highlighting gross misjudgments made in the conduct of the war on terror, failures that were likely to be repeated in the coming years, he said.

“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.”

The Oxford Group analysis “shows that the actual outcomes have been radically different to those anticipated”, he added. Al- Qaeda became far more active in the five years after September 11th than they were before the atrocities in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania.

The costs have been astounding, with the overall death toll at about 225,000. The costs are estimated by the Oxford group to stand between $3.2 and $4 trillion, a figure including the costs of helping maimed US soldiers and meeting ongoing obligations to veterans.