Experts Agree: Surge Will Not Work, U.S. Not Safer genre: Just Jihad & Polispeak


Karl Rove and other GOP operatives like to tell the American public that President Bush is a man who has demonstrated strength and conviction when confronted with difficult situations. Unfortunately, many of the President's critics view those same traits as an indication that the President is prone to stubbornness and is often unwilling to heed the advice of others.

A majority of foreign policy experts apparently agree with critics of the Bush administration...especially with regards to the recent surge in Iraq and the President's overall strategy in the war on terror. The numbers are reported in the most recent survey by Foreign Policy magazine.

As Congress and the White House await the September release of a key progress report on Iraq, 53 percent of the experts polled by Foreign Policy magazine and the Center for American Progress said they now oppose Bush's troop build-up.

That is a 22 percentage point jump since the strategy was announced early this year.

The survey of 108 experts, including Republicans and Democrats, showed opposition to the so-called "surge" across the political spectrum, with about two-thirds of conservatives saying it has been ineffective or made things worse in Iraq.

Foreign Policy, published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said the experts polled on May 23 to June 26 included former government officials in senior positions including secretary of state, White House national security adviser and top military commanders.

Foreign Policy said seven of 10 experts supported the redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq. Experts have increasingly cited the war as the root cause of what they believe to be U.S. failure to win in its war on terrorism.

More than 80 percent of the experts said they expected another September 11-scale attack on the United States over the next decade, despite what they described as significant improvements among U.S. security, law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

A decade from now, the Middle East still will be reeling from the ill-effects of the Iraq war, particularly heightened Sunni-Shi'ite tensions in the region, 58 percent said.

Thirty-five percent believed Arab dictators will have been discouraged from pursuing political reforms as a result.

Only 3 percent believed the United States will achieve its goal of rebuilding Iraq into a beacon of democracy within the next 10 years.

Despite the President's strong support from a handful of apologists, it appears that most experts simply view George Bush's intransigence as a sign of a fatally flawed strategy and an unwillingness to accept the realities that have become painfully obvious some four plus years after the decision to invade Iraq.

While the President holds to his vision of a burgeoning democracy and the presence of a close American ally in the volatile Middle East, most experts believe that the decision to topple the Hussein regime will do little more than radicalize the region.

As regional populations grow increasingly skeptical of the presence and intentions of the United States, the leadership of these nations will likely seek to distance themselves from the United States. Further, the growing calls for a rejection of Western culture could lead many Middle Eastern countries towards more radical versions of Islamic law and a growing hostility towards the United States.

During the announcement that Karl Rove would be leaving Washington and his service in the Bush administration, the President stated, "I'll be on the road behind you here in a little bit". By all accounts, that moment can't come soon enough for many experts and most Americans.

Tagged as: Foreign Policy, George W. Bush, Iraq, Islamic extremism, Middle East

Daniel DiRito | August 20, 2007 | 9:08 AM
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1 On August 21, 2007 at 6:13 AM, Thomas Speelmans wrote —

WTF?? "Experts?? polled May 23 to June 6???" Which year?

What a pathetic article!

2 On August 21, 2007 at 9:17 PM, Daniel wrote —


Actually, what is pathetic is your comment. Since time seems to be your issue, let's discuss the nearly five years the Bush administration has spent telling the American public to give them another six months...time and again...each time failing to achieve the objective for which they stated they needed more time.

I typically exhibit an ample degree of patience with those who leave comments...but the tenor of your remarks and the utter discounting of the opinions of legitimate experts is nothing more than an unpleasant reminder of the same stubborn and intransigent attitude that has been repeatedly exhibited by the Bush administration.

Frankly, if you're so certain of the current strategy, why don't you volunteer to take the place of one of the soldiers who happens to be serving his second or third term in Iraq.

After all, if you truly believe the surge is the answer, then your time in Iraq would undoubtedly be short since you're convinced it is the right strategy and the one that will succeed.

You're welcome to comment here at Thought Theater...but if you choose to offer more of the same...expect to receive more of the same from me...time and again.



3 On August 22, 2007 at 9:56 AM, Fred wrote —

If anyone bothers to study the actual survey and not just listen obediently to the "results" they would discover that, although the respondents were "bipartisan" nearly ALL of them were liberal democrats.

Check the Foreign Policy website and you will find that 95 of the 108 "experts" are associated with liberal organizations. You would also find out that, even among the liberal respondents, 20% believed Iraq eventually would become a functioning democracy, but that it would take more than 10 years.

Whenever you read an article like this (originally published on and they don't publish the details of the survey, but just make general statements about it, you should ignore it, unless you are willing to spend about 5 hours doing the research to find out the details the reporter had but deliberately witheld in order to mislead.

I challenge those who are touting this survey to publish the DETAILS so people can form an informed opinion. Of course you won't, because informing people is the last thing you want to do.

4 On August 22, 2007 at 12:01 PM, Daniel wrote —


Thanks for your comments.

The following is the methodology used in this survey:

The Terrorism Index is survey of more than 100 of America’s top foreign-policy experts—including two former secretaries of state, a national security advisor, intelligence officers, and senior military leaders—and represents the first comprehensive attempt to determine the U.S. foreign-policy establishment’s assessment of how the United States is fighting the war on terror.

The index is based on the results of a survey designed by the Center for American Progress and Foreign Policy. Participants in the survey were selected by Foreign Policy and the Center for American Progress for their expertise in terrorism and U.S. national security. No one currently working in an official U.S. government capacity was invited to participate.

The nonscientific survey was administered online from May 23-June 26, 2007. Respondents were asked to self-identify their ideological bias from choices across a spectrum: very conservative, conservative, somewhat conservative, moderate, somewhat liberal, liberal, and very liberal. Twenty-five people identified themselves as some level of conservative, 39 identified as moderate, and 44 identified as some level of liberal. To ensure balance, the survey was weighted according to ideology to make the number of weighted liberal respondents equal to the number of conservative respondents. Moderate and conservative respondents remained unweighted.

I fail to see the bias or the numbers you report. Perhaps you can provide a list of names with credentials?



5 On August 24, 2007 at 10:17 AM, red stater wrote —

that's great, using a non-scientific poll with a huge majority of participants who were at least "moderately liberal" (anti-war) to base an argument about a war plan while you ignore the words of those actually on the ground in the war who agree that it IS working.

Like it or not, the surge is working, just ask Hillary or any Democrat (in private of course).

Victory or defeat, you decide.

6 On August 25, 2007 at 6:27 PM, manapp99 wrote —

Problem with asking people to identify themselves and liberal, conservative etc is that most liberals will not identify themselves as such. They will mostly call themselves moderate. In their minds they indeed DO think themselves moderate. A better gage would be in asking how they vote. I would bet that 90% voted Democrat regardless of how they view themselves.

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