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Safe at Home: A National Security Strategy to Protect the American Homeland, the Real Central Front

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Publication Date: February 2008

Publisher(s): Center for American Progress

Author(s): P.J. Crowley

Funder(s): Center for American Progress

Funder(s): Center for American Progress

Topic: Government (Internal security)
Social conditions (Safety and security)

Type: Report

Coverage: Iraq

Abstract:

The Bush administration’s political rhetoric that we are defeating terrorists in Baghdad so we do not have to confront them here is fiction. This is not an either-or proposition. The risk of a terrorist attack on the United States is on the rise both despite and because of what we have done over the past seven years. The United States is not as safe as it should be. We need to reorder our strategic priorities now.

The decision in 2003 to invade Iraq not only took the pressure off Al Qaeda Central, the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks, and enabled its leaders to reconstitute. Perhaps more importantly, it spawned a new generation of adversaries who believe, rightly or wrongly, that the United States is at war with Islam. As we have seen around the world, but particularly in Europe, they tend to be inspired by Al Qaeda, but acting on their own. Plots of relatively low sophistication have been disrupted within the United States, but we can never expect law enforcement to detect every one.