Home / International / Opinion Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
The Evolving US Anti-terror Strategy
Adjust font size:

US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently signed a new confidential anti-terror document. Judging from what's already known, the US anti-terror strategy hasn't changed much, only for the first time recognized the possible negative impacts of military operations in this regard and asked for more understanding of local culture and religion. This reflects the US embarrassment in its anti-terror strategy.

More than 30 new al-Qaeda branches have appeared ever since the "September 11", the Pentagon says. According to a recent report by Swedish paper Svenska Dagbladet, the black list the US distributed to its airport security staff for checking terror suspects has lengthened from 16 names before the "September 11" to today's 80,000, a stunning growth that fully testifies the "more anti-terror, more terror" theory.

A review of the different versions of US anti-terror strategy published shows nothing wise apart from the habitual reliance on hi-tech weapons and military force. The significance of fighting terrorism, however, seems lying in more on pressing forward the US global strategy and in domestic political strife. In fact, the Bush administration has not only put terror combat a long-term strategic goal and arduous task, but cultivated it into so huge a political capital as to create a subject called "anti-terror politics".

Terror fight has become a golden signboard or a "cloak" under which the Bush administration seeks for strategic advantages globally. It is obviously the top option to rally domestic support and beat off international criticism whether for launching wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, building new overseas military bases and reshuffling global military deployment, or promoting US-style democracy in other countries or even for handling the escalating Iranian nuclear crisis.

Terror combat, for the Bush administration, is also the best political "tonic" when it comes to party strife and public support.

A high approval rating is simply easy as long as one talks glibly about terrorist dangers. This was brought into full play in the presidential campaign at the end of 2004, when George W. Bush won his second term by holding high the anti-terror banner and beat back all kinds of attempts by the Democrats.

What's more, anti-terror efforts naturally served as a fig leaf when the government was dogged by scandals including "fabricated information" in launching the Iraqi war, the "leakage of CIA worker identity", the "abuse of detainees", the "secret prisons on foreign land" and the "eavesdropping" on international phone calls. Bush claimed in early February that al-Qaeda once schemed in October 2001 to attack a building of Bank of America in Los Angeles, but America successfully frustrated the plan.

Bush's dishing out of the terrorist attempt four years later, some media analyzed, is simply out of two considerations. First, to quash strong doubts stirred up by the "eavesdropping" scandal and justify government behavior; second, to guide public opinion so as to fish for political capital for his Republican Party at the mid-term elections in this November.

What else would be left for the US, on top of embarrassment, when the country has reduced its anti-terror strategy into a "cloak", "tonic" and "fig leaf"?

This comment by Shao Feng, research fellow with the Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, is carried on the third page of People's Daily, Feb. 28, and translated by People's Daily Online.

(People's Daily Online March 1, 2006)


Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- Bush: US Must Strike Terror First
- Bush Proposes Domestic Anti-terror Strategy
- Academic: Al-Qaida Stronger than Pre-9/11
- Putin: Growing Terror Attacks Aimed at Bush
- Negroponte Approved as US Intelligence Chief
- Report: US May Shift Terror Policies
- Rumsfeld: US Met with Iraq Insurgents
- Bush: Troops to Stay in Iraq Until Mission Finishes
Most Viewed >>
> Korean Nuclear Talks
> Reconstruction of Iraq
> Middle East Peace Process
> Iran Nuclear Issue
> 6th SCO Summit Meeting
- China Development Gateway
- Foreign Ministry
- Network of East Asian Think-Tanks
- China-EU Association
- China-Africa Business Council
- China Foreign Affairs University
- University of International Relations
- Institute of World Economics & Politics
- Institute of Russian, East European & Central Asian Studies
- Institute of West Asian & African Studies
- Institute of Latin American Studies
- Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies
- Institute of Japanese Studies