The Terrorism Surge: Measuring the Iraq Effect


My colleagues Peter Bergen, who moonlights at CNN’s terrorism analyst and is a Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, and Paul Cruickshank, a Research Fellow at NYU’s Center on Law and Security and frequent collaborator with New America foreign policy projects, have a great Mother Jones cover story piece out measuring the impact that the invasion of Iraq had on globlal terrorism as well as terrrorist incidents in Afghanistan and Iraq.
To see what Iraq has helped bring to the bottom line of the terrorism trend, read the “Iraq Effect.”
More soon.
— Steve Clemons


17 comments on “The Terrorism Surge: Measuring the Iraq Effect

  1. Edward Kelly says:

    None of this can end well the way things are going


  2. POP says:

    But what has it done for the Corpoate bottom line?


  3. WHackwhacker says:

    Somewhat related is the latest edition of “Foreign Policy Magazine” (, which has articles on “Who Wins in Iraq.” Nothing surprising, but more confirmation, as if any is needed.


  4. David N says:

    The Iraq Effect is not an unintensional side effect. It is the purpose we invaded Iraq in the first place. Bush and his handlers have known since the first day they took office that their policies are widely unpopular and ineffective, and thus they have a need for a distraction to convince the American public to vote for them.
    That was provided by 9/11. Fear is the great gift the Islamist terrorists have provided to BushCo. The impact of Rove’s fear-mongering on the 2004 election has been well documented. The irony is so humongous it’s truly astounding. Because of the oil-corp policies of supporting ME dictatorships of the corporate Republicans, fundamentalist, salafi Islamists target America, and we are all vulnerable. So the conventional nonsense says that Republicans are tough guys, and the ones to keep us safe from foreign threats. But the actions that the Republicans take against Islamist terrorists in fact validate their propaganda, and increase the numbers of recruits to their cause. At the same time, we waste resources invading a country that has nothing to do with them, and leave them to regroup in the South Asian homeland that they are strongest among.
    So the threat becomes greater, and America becomes more vulnerable, and the people are more afraid, and they vote for “tough guy” Republicans, who do the wrong things and make life easier for the Islamists, and the threat becomes greater …
    Get the idea now? And, as several have noted, with the lazy, blind, willfully stupid people who work for the MSM, conventional nonsense rules, and none of the assumptions that drive the above vicious cycle are questioned, or even mentioned.
    The only thing that will save us is what turned the election last year. The Republicans in their hubris will go too far, and there will be another major disaster, and this time the incompetance and willful blindness of the Republicans will be too obvious to hide, even from the American public with its head in the sand. Then we can at last turn the crooks out.
    But the conventional nonsense will still remain unchallenged, because anyone who points out how stupid it is can be easily ignored.
    . . . . . .


  5. Jeffrey says:

    The Iraq Effect is a wonderful study that verifies how upside down we are on the Administration’s purpose for invading Iraq. Thanks so much for bringing attention to it, Steve.
    One of the most astounding things in the first page was both Rumsfeld and Negroponte’s claim of ignorance regarding whether terrorism is up or down, or if there’s been a significant increase in Jihadism as a result of our war. Do they really expect us to believe that nobody’s examined these metrics secretly before now?


  6. 123 says:
    If Club Cheney outsources its covert stuff trough Saudi Arabia, that makes the Turki Al-Faisal resignation over the Bandar backchannel more significant and clear. Though why would his number 2 have gotten fired over pretty much proposing/threatening supporting Sunni groups?
    (I known there is the congressional oversight issue here but I kinda gave up on all that 🙁 Maybe US voters can get a little democratic transparency and influence trough the Saudi side of things…)
    Perhaps its time to redeem these a#$ kissing coupons:
    “a significant “truth-teller” “, “considered by many in the Saudi establishment to be one of the sharpest and shrewdest among Saudi elites”, “[Some consider his firing] a silly and distracting escalation by petty back-stabbers jealous of Turki’s role and intellectual abilities”
    Its these kinds of stories that lend credibility to the theory/accusation/tinfoil hat story that the Niger document forgery was outsourced to Italy. Theory: The extreme west/right wing* used Ledeens alleged ties to SISMI/fascist anti communist terrorist/telefonica private spooks who used Italian smear experience that fools Panorama readers but not the IAEA)


  7. Marcia says:

    As Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank so clearly establish, terrorism is growing but who cares?
    Our Congress continues with purely political calculations just as it did before the infamous vote to renounce their declaration of war powers to Bush for political reasons, not because they had bad intelligence, there were millions of people in the streets world-wide protesting that intelligence, but because they wanted the vote behind them for the elections.
    Again they are stalling…the deed will be done before they remember why they were elected.
    Do Clinton and Emanuel in collusion with Reid and Pelosi think we are blind?
    The world now sees us through an X-ray machine as though we were boarding a plane, The World Bank, The World Trade Org. Globalisation, Corporate rule, Media sell-out, in favor of a military domination of the world
    Just as values to exist must be practiced, principles must be upheld by votes in Congress. The rest is baloney.


  8. liz says:

    I think the surge has increased terrorism. I agree with the article out today that Bin Laden is again sounding the big bell and telling us Al Queda is regrouped and ready to take on the US> No one is listening just like no one listened before 9/11. Everyone is so busy arguing about EVERYTHING, no one is minding the store so to speak. Does anyone besides me think Rove’s job was to create distraction around the country and divide the entire country over every single thing he could find to spit at? Never before in America did I feel that I was frightened to walk the sidewalks, that I couldn’t go to the doctor and get what I need because of the name of the infection I have. I never saw Bush et al coming at all and if I had I woulda prepared for the train wreck that presidency has personally caused me…… No one understands that part. I became a second class citizen since I am ill under the rule of Bush.
    I am comforted that the Generals will resign in protest when the order is given to attack Iran though. Bush, Rove, Cheney et al have created Orwell’s 1984 and then some. I hope they are proud, but I think they are disgusting losers that should be held accountable for each and every action against each and every American citizen they have harmed.


  9. Mike says:

    Just to be clear, it’s also deeply unfortunate that these terrorist attacks have been spreading. That article on Mother Jones really puts things in context.


  10. Mike says:

    On the one hand I think that this thesis that the Iraq War has spread terrorism not just in Iraq but elsewhere is obvious. The data is in that piece; but the logic is simple: the U.S. has destroyed the cradle of civilization and sent over 1.6 million people fleeing the bloodshed. You don’t need to think hard to see why that would create terrorists elsewhere.
    This notion of the “globalization of martyrdom” is interesting because if it’s true, it implies that unjust operations simply will not work, because the truth of the situation will always spread by means of the media. Whatever else it’s done, modernization has allowed truth and data to spread to all people, and so has allowed all people to judge whether or not they are right. And this judgment itself may prove to be what determines history.


  11. Easy E says:

    Noam Chomsky is a noted linguist, author, and foreign policy expert. On February 9, Michael Shank interviewed him on the latest developments in U.S. policy toward Iran, Iraq, North Korea, and Venezuela. Along the way, Chomsky also commented on climate change, the World Social Forum, and why international relations are run like the mafia.
    Shank: With similar nuclear developments in North Korea and Iran, why has the United States pursued direct diplomacy with North Korea but refuses to do so with Iran?
    Chomsky: To say that the United States has pursued diplomacy with North Korea is a little bit misleading. It did under the Clinton administration, though neither side completely lived up to their obligations. Clinton didn’t do what was promised, nor did North Korea, but they were making progress. So when Bush came into the presidency, North Korea had enough uranium or plutonium for maybe one or two bombs, but then very limited missile capacity. During the Bush years it’s exploded. The reason is, he immediately canceled the diplomacy and he’s pretty much blocked it ever since……………
    ***Read entire article at


  12. Pissed Off American says:

    We need an intervention. Is there any constitutional means other than impeachment by which Bush can be removed from office?
    Posted by Via
    Yes, he could be abducted by aliens. But I wouldn’t hold your breath on that one. And he’s dumb, but I don’t think he’s dumb enough to go quail hunting with Cheney, so the ‘ol hunting accident option is ruled out. We could all chant him out…
    Hmmm. I guess we’re just stuck with him.


  13. Via says:

    We need an intervention. Is there any constitutional means other than impeachment by which Bush can be removed from office?


  14. Mullah Cimoc says:

    Mullah Cimoc say wicked persons keep ameriki people so stupid watch the jack bauer tv show for love to kill and the torture.
    To this the ameriki becoming slave for the master in tel aviv.
    but usa media so much fault for this. never talking of the neocon start the war. for understand who the spy work for the israeli.


  15. Tony Foresta says:

    Does this mean you’re giving aid and comfort to the enemy Steve.
    The truth will set us all free, and perhaps American should quit abiding the pathological lies of the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government, and start doing a little research beyond Rush Limbaugh, the gospel according to fox, and the slime, disinformation, obfuscations, and naked lies pimped by the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government.
    “Deliver us from evil!”


  16. Pissed Off American says:

    Even Brzezinski thinks these monsters in the White House are capable of engineering a false flag terrorist attack against American citizens. Perhaps he bases his fears on the very real possibility that the last “trifecta” was an inside job.
    The Bush Administration has been busy oiling the gears that make martial law an option for Monkey Boy to employ in times of “emergency”. One has to wonder why these bastards are going to the effort.
    It can’t happen here, right?


  17. JohnH says:

    Of course, there’s nothing like a little terrorism to justify another war…
    “A plausible scenario for a military collision with Iran involves Iraqi failure to meet the benchmarks; followed by accusations of Iranian responsibility for the failure; then by some provocation in Iraq or a terrorist act in the U.S. blamed on Iran; culminating in a “defensive” U.S. military action against Iran that plunges a lonely America into a spreading and deepening quagmire eventually ranging across Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.” –Zbigniew Brzezinski, Testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committeee, February 1, 2007 (Steve’s Jan. 31 post)


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